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07 December 2016


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Col. Lang,

The nerve here!!



Col, do you think its probable at least some forces will be dispatched to link SAA controlled territory with the Kurdish Eastern canton, thereby preventing a further Turkish advance into Syria?


Dear Colonel,

I finally figured out why listening to NPR makes my blood pressure rise. They assume their audience has no memory. I don't listen to MSM (weak digestion), but presume they will report "we have always been at war with EastAsia."

So when Erdogan will fold his losing hand of cards? Europe is certainly making the direction for Turkey to jump clear. Will Turkey arrest recently shaved jihadi's when they flee across the border? or provide them buses to Iraq?


How to turn a lemon into an even bigger lemon: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/12/07/how-to-salvage-syria.html?via=desktop&source=twitter



IMO some reinforcement of the YPG/SAA force at al-bab is likely as is some air delivered reinforcement of the Deir al-zor garrison. The SAA have now formed and trained a 4th Army Corps. I have not seen them in battle yet and expect they will show up in the Idlib Province campaign to come. BTW Arabs tend to call all trainees "cadets." these are no necessarily officer trainees. pl


Simultaneously, the rebel pockets in Eastern Ghouta are being inexorably reduced in a very similar fashion -- but that front, which once figured prominently in the press because of those infamous sarin-gas attacks and of the importance of the rebel faction there, seems to be entirely ignored nowadays.


When they do that, you know that the poor old dears are very upset. They'll be stamping their feet and the gnashing their teeth but that'll be all. Someone should get out the smelling salts.


Col Lang, I put a lot of trust in the information, analysis, opinion and experience you bring us. You are fighting the full force of the American (and its friends) political and media machine ... I am overjoyed with the thought that there might be peace and rebuilding in Syria soon. I am cautiously hopeful that the truth of this civil war will emerge so that America will stop doing these kinds of things (fomenting and perpetrating violence/regime change in MENA).

Will there ever be a movie about Suheil Al Hassan and Tiger forces? What a story. Merry Christmas to all.


In his drive down through Burma, Slim cut loose from his LOC and used air resupply. If the Russians and Syrians want to reinforce Deir Ez-zor, perhaps they should do the same through the desert south of the Palmyra to Deir Ez-zor road. It's less than 140 miles, so they could have a leisurely breakfast in Palmyra and be in Deir Ez-zor for afternoon tea even if the jihadists want to meet their 72 virgins. Also the Syrians and Russians get to play with their cluster and thermobaric weapons and the west couldn't say a word in complaint (they will but WGAF).


Mr. Weiss as a loudspeaker for Israel-firsters: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/12/07/how-to-salvage-syria.html?via=newsletter&source=DDAfternoon
The weasel has a nerve to speak openly about American forces "embedded with Kurdish and Arab militias in the north and south" in Syria, thus giving a strong impressions that the American military is in unconditional service to ziocons. Mr. Weiss is basically rephrasing Ya'alon (former Chief of Staff of the IDF), who proclaimed that Israel prefers ISIS to sovereign Syria. Moreover, "Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ... even thinks that the rise of ISIS will aid Israel in its work with moderate Arab states." https://sethfrantzman.com/2016/01/20/why-would-israels-yaalon-say-he-prefers-isis/
In short, a picture of the US as a host for a veracious parasitoid.


The Guardian is reporting that the jihadis "withdrew overnight from the Old City, abandoning it over fears of being cut off by the soldiers and Iranian-backed militias spearheading the regime assault". It seems to me nobody taught the jihadis how to break contact with the enemy without losing control. Al Masdar News is now reporting that the jihadis are down to 15% of the area they occupied at the start, so it seems the R+6 forces just bounced the jihadists straight out of the south-eastern area.


Interesting aside.
The IDF has just used surface-to-surface missile to attack a Syrian air base near Damascus, not the air-to-surface missiles they used from aircraft over Lebanon a few days ago. Did the Russians issue a warning to the Israelis about Lebanon. But the bigger question is why does Congress continue pushing for a NFZ over Syria if even the IAF won't go there. Past experience suggests that if the IAF don't go there nobody else should even think about.
Will this change when Israel makes its F-35s operational or will Congress shortly vote to supply the IAF with F-22s?


Obama and the placeholders from Italy and France are trying to mess things up as much as possible for Trump, Fillon and future Italian PM. While they still can.
Hopefully, Donald will reverse whatever these clowns are doing - and quickly.


Looks like jihadis are running out of ammo fast. With Russians flying their drones and listening to all of the enemy's communications, it shouldn't be too difficult to pinpoint the locations of the stockpiles to be taken out by the airstrikes.

Ishmael Zechariah


The entire Borg membership is wailing. Tosh! Nothing they can do, or say, or spin, will have any impact. They lost! They will get used to it.

It is highly probable that Turkey may have issues with some jihadis who are feeling betrayed. tayyip-the-klept will try to sell this agreement as the best he could do, but this will hurt him. His role in, and his statements about, the Syrian conflict, are becoming more visible in the Turkish media. The opposition, usually a bunch of (extremely) limp noodles, are even bringing the financial loss to the general Assembly.

Now that the Borg is wounded in Syria, I wonder how Yemen and Ukraine are going to play out. The loss of broomstick-one has put them at a disadvantage.

Ishmael Zechariah

Peter in Toronto

Meanwhile in Mosul....



The Daily Beast piece by Weiss and Hassan linked above is the replacement strategy for the failed regime change in Syria (and Iraq). It tries to achieve the original aims by other means. Expect that more people will soon jump onto that plan.

OT (for Pat)
The Rise And Fall Of COIN

A good piece with some historic detail

Making COIN - The modern history of an unstoppable bad idea
by Tim Shorrock


My God ! (say an atheist in disbelief) once more and again those never learning hammer shaped heads. how many people nailed, broken nation - or major confrontation - do we have to endure before getting rid of those crazies... Sorry, I know, that's not a very elaborated reaction, but I have such a sense of criminal irreality here, that I have to share it, anyway.


For some reason, some people, are not happy at all that the ME resistance forces leading by Iran and Russia, and supported by Iraqi goverment has blocked the ISIS' escape route to Syria. Of course as usual this is blamed on Iran which currently unofficialy should be " the foremost fighter of terrorism in the world" specialty the terrorism that eventually is focused and directed at europe/west.

How Iran closed the Mosul 'horseshoe' and changed Iraq war"

One wonders why that is a bad thing ?


Matthew & Anna

Weiss's bigger lemon sounds like Crusader castles. The State Dept had a plan like this for Iraq. As the US military pulled out, State wanted to build 6 or 7 fortified consulates around Iraq. These "castles" would have been protected by 6000-7000 security contractors with their own fleet of helos. Someone really wants the US involved in endless war in the ME.


US defense policy under neocons/lib interventionists, simply explained in 1 minute 47 seconds



Was about to post the same. Anyone could have seen that the Iraqi thrust yesterday would end in catastrophe. The audacity of it leads me to believe that this was a politically motivated move by Iraqi higher ups ,in their typical hubris,to prove that they have something to show for the past month's failures in east mosul. "We managed to make a swift advance on Tuesday in al-Wahda but it seems that Daesh fighters were dragging us to an ambush and they managed later to surround some of our soldiers inside the hospital"
Indeed. 50 looks conservative here, wouldn't doubt the IS estimates. many of them irreplaceable spec ops, not to speak of the materiel damage(which in the face of the apparent continued US blank resupply cheque,does not seem to factor in Iraqi calculus.)


ISIS retreating from Mosul to Raqqa and the Syrian oil patch was part of the US regime's strategy to limit the Syrian government's gains and, by seizing said territory from ISIS while Syria is preoccupied in the west, dictate territorial concessions from Syria. The link in Matthew's post contains another indicator of the US regime's strategy. The slow battle in Mosul (which your article points out is starting to look like a protracted Aleppo kind of battle) puts a real kink that strategy.



Nah. We are not that clever. We are just blundering around. pl


The link in Matthew's post contains another indicator of the US regime's strategy.

Thirdeye, Daily Beast is strongly 'neoconnish'. Check the authors of the article. Ideally read the review of their book by the Guardian's Robin Yassin-Kassab, to get an idea of their background/perspective.


Peter Beinart's Open Zion was as far as it could get. But since Beinart himself had been a strong supporter of the Iraq war that wasn't very far. "Make America Great Again" can only be achieved by the left? What does it mean? Initially he even published articles by Trita Parsi more the exception to his moderately dissenting rule.



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