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02 December 2016


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I've been following some Syrian journalists through the last four years of this war. They say that the gov't had several moles reporting from rat-held territory. Now that common people have been freed , any rodent trying to pass off as a human will be exposed

Nuff Sed

Press TV reports:

Joined by allied fighters, the Syrian military seized Aleppo’s Tariq al-Bab neighborhood from the militants, the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Saturday.

The advance also restored control on a road leading from Aleppo’s government-held western neighborhoods to the city’s airport, which is also under government control.

Foreign-backed militants amassed in the city’s eastern side in 2012. The government has been controlling its west and fighting to retake the east.

The official Syrian Arab News Agency said the military had also wrested back control over the Karam Al-Qaterji, Jazmati, and Halwaniyah neighborhoods in eastern Aleppo. An unspecified number of the militants were killed in the operations.


sorry Pat. Forget it. Google map is interesting. Who was it again that asked if there could be some type of barrel bomb gravity right turn, leaving the roofs in place?

Personal not, while not quite related to the guilds you have in mind. I tried to get some type of forest Pfad/path map down in the Blackforest some years ago. No chance, nothing helpful on offer, didn't exist. That is till my mother realized my desire and found an old one. Although at that point I didn't need it anymore. ;)

Nuff Sed

Yes and no. There is very broad consensus on *praxis* within Islam (but not on *doxa*) within the 4+1 rites (madhaaheb), and Wahhabis and takfiri praxis falls outside that consensus or magisterium. But yes in that modernity as (non-takfiri) Salafism has been doing a pretty good job of gnawing away, with rodent-like diligence, at that consensus.



I have been reading topographic maps and overhead photos since I was a teen. I have a hard time understanding an inability to do the same since a topo map is a picture to me. pl


Nuff Said

Oh, baloney. Only a pedant would make that argument. pl



One of the great days of my life happened when my men insisted one day out in the wilderness that I choose first out of some cases of C Rations that we had just had dropped to us. They said that I always ended up with the most undesirable meal and that they wanted me to get something I liked for once.

In Re Aleppo - to all

- I did not order R+6 to attack along the airport road axis
- IMO the open ground south of the airport road is natural ground for a large scale armored advance.
- I doubt that there are a lot of civilians left in the area just in front (east) of the citadel hill, but ... anyone who thinks you can make "bloodless war" is a fool who should expect to be defeated.
- IMO it should be remembered that as the Bard said, there is a tide in the affairs of men ... If R+6 screws around with this too long something may occur on the international scene that will ruin the victory.
- The thing to do is to get this over with at Aleppo, get the utilities back on, get the supply chain moving into the city and get people back into their homes as re-construction takes place. pl


It's a mistake to not differentiate between the idlibites and the true believers father east imo. I continue to believe that IS as it has existed since 2013 is fully independent of any foreign government's control,same cannot be said for the western rebels which are categorically direct proxies of one state or the other. IS doesn't do anyone's bidding except indirectly. Sounds a lot like you're burying your head in the sand to refuse to believe that the revolutionary strain of salafism (of which IS is the tip of the iceberg of) does in fact increasingly hold immense appeal to an incrementally greater proportion of the Arab and Muslim world as time goes on. The Saudi and Gcc citizens aren't spared from this undercurrent that their kings unleashed in the 80s, as these kings have failed to acknowledge and account for in their lopsided plans for regional domination(imo)

Nuff Sed

"Moderats" also works ;-)



Elyse Doucet? I saw her on BBC America last night reporting from West Aleppo refugee shelters. It was the first honest reporting from BBC in Syria that I have ever seen. The anchor in DC looked stunned. What has been sadly amusing about foreign journalists reporting from Aleppo is that they typically arrive by air at Damascus and are taken by the government to the front. pl

Nuff Sed

Not at all. Just because the nihilistic relativism which you believe to be an accurate description of the reality of Islam is indeed on the ascendant, this does not mean that the millenial magisterium did not and does not exist, or that giving this millenial tradition it's due is "pedantic". Rather, it is the paradigm that still predominates.


Colonel, FYI

As of this morning RT is reporting Mr. Kery has asked Mr. Lavaov, let us take out our Jihadi Unicorns out of Aleppo. We will find out if they mean it this time or not.

“Moscow is ready to immediately send our military experts and diplomats to Geneva to work out joint actions with our US colleagues in line with the [new] American proposals, which would ensure the withdrawal of all militants without exception from eastern Aleppo, and would provide unimpeded humanitarian supplies to the city’s residents and ensure the establishment of normal life in eastern Aleppo,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Saturday.
Until Friday, the United States had been doing its best to try to “push provisions that would take the heat off Al-Nusra, which directs the militants in the unliberated parts of eastern Aleppo,” Lavrov noted, while adding, “however, yesterday at our meeting in Rome, John Kerry passed on to us proposals from Washington that are in line with the suggestions from Russia’s experts.”
“It must not be a meeting for the sake of a meeting,” Lavrov added. “It is necessary to agree on a detailed timeline of steps.”

Nuff Sed

Update from the superb Canthama at SyrianPerspective.com


Dramatic moment now in Aleppo, the Tiger Forces are quickly advancing in the NE part of the pocket, building from two days of positive results in gaining urban ground from the terrorists, reports arriving of complete liberation of Karam al-Jazmati and Karam al-Tarrab and large parts of Karam al-Myassar, placing the Syrian forces as far as al Jazmati roundabout.
As if a repeat of the domino effect last weekend, the Desert Hawks are advancing from Sheikh Sa’eed )partially liberated again), Sheikh Lufti (almost entirely liberated) and the vantage points of Police hill and Tallet al Shertat toward Salheen and Marjeh districts in the direction of the citadel and another leg advancing from tallet al Shertat toward the highway Citadel-Aleppo Airport, it seems the fight will be soon brought to the ancient Aleppo walls (old ring road around Aleppo now) which means a possible cut off for the terrorists in the upper part.



As mentioned last night, terrorists’ defensive lines are collapsing, and that is even after JI and JF terrorists gangs sent reinforcements late yesterday, soon the race to the citadel will be on for the Syrian forces and allies and the race out of the NE/North pockets will be on to the terrorists, the fate seems sealed that the last standing will be south/western side of the pockets. This is going to be another very important day for the battle to free Aleppo.


I can easily understand this, Pat.

My best friend started out with toy game figures to delineate maps. As kid,really, not as teen.

As a result of this quite early orientation via maps we had this clash of characters (among others) concerning how to best deal with orientation or move from now on.

My standard setting was, ask people how to best find ways, with all the troubles involved was asking the next best person available. Did they get left and right correctly? Did they consider McDonald's as the best marks for orientation? His 'custom setting' was looking for the next map. ...


Nuff Sed

Muslims (like you?) have always sought to believe that Islam is one. It never was, never. pl


No, it was the CANADIAN army that destroyed by grandparents house.

But away from that is there objective reason to doubt what I said?

The U.S. military is since your civil war only fighting in foreign lands. Destroying a foreign city to kill the enemy, whoever that might be, will be done without much thought by some kid from Texas.

But many people in the Syrian army are from Aleppo. Many have relatives there. They will have to pay for any and all damage. The calculation is thereby a completely different one for the locals than for a foreign army. If they think they have a way to avoid damage they will use it.

Nuff Sed

Again, yes and no. Yes in the sense that the world is grey and never black and white (as it applies to social systems anyway, as opposed to, say, mathematical ones). But a big No in that therefore such questions are a matter of scale and perspective. Relative to Christedom - and again, in the domain of orthopraxy - Islamic orthopraxy is certainly unific. This unity or integrality even obtains in many matters of the various creeds.

That is what Bernard Lewis and his other MI6 predecessor Ann Lambton unknowingly envy. Nuff Sed.


Great point often lost in the modern propagandistic discussions of what is "Islamic" and "unislamic", points being completely irrelevant when looking at history. Just take a cursory look at first 100 years of the caliphate for example,the formative catalyst of sunnite doctrine being the ummayyad reaction to the innumerable Ijma interpretations of Islam springing up. This following anecdote which I find distills the whole thing perfectly in its parallel to the modern revival of ummayyad sunnism ,notably it was recently used by IS(Umayyad revanchists in every sense)in one of their propaganda pieces
"I witnessed Khaaid bin 'Abdullah al-Qasree - and he addressed them at Waasit - "Oh People, make sacrifice, may Allah accept it from you. Verily I am sacrificing al-Ja'd bin Dirham, for indeed he claims that Allah did not take Ibrahim as a khaleel (close friend), and [that] He did not speak to Moosa. Most Perfect is He and exalted is He from what al-Ja'd says." Then he descended and slaughtered him."

IMO this modern IS and undercurrent of Salafi jihadism goes far beyond Wahhabism as it's inspiration. There is a very real base in the frustrations caused by the modern destruction of the ideal of a geographical Arab nation state as an undercurrent to all this. A Frankenstein decades in the making

Babak Makkinejad

Are you referring to the Jihadists/Neo-Salafis as relativistic nihilists?

They certainly are not nihilists; they almost certainly think that they are advancing the cause of Islam. Including Mohammad Atta et. al.

I would refer to them as anarchistic Muslims. This anarchistic attitude among some Muslims has been present since the beginnings of Islam. The son-in-law of the Prophet, Ali, who was also the second person to have become a Muslim, was assassinated while praying in a Mosque in Kufa; the assassin believed Ali not to be a Muslim at all!


Serge & Nuff Sed

Let us not forget the very early emergence if the Ridda Warriors and the various kinds of Khawarij. pl



"Der ganze Balkan ist nicht die gesunden Knochen eines einzigen pommerschen Grenadiers wert." I agree with the spirit of that. Buildings can be re-built. Look at downtown Beirut. pl

Nuff Sed

The Khawaarej were the original takfiris, and this strain saw its various adumbration through Eben Teymiyya, Eben Khozayma, and Eben Abdol-Wahhab, the latter of whom was an intellectual midget compared to his theological predecessors. Note that Ahmad b. Hanbal is not a part of this deviant tradition. Eben Abdol-Wahhab's patron was Eben Saud, who was in turn armed and funded by Perfidious Albion as a way to get to the soft underbelly of the Ottomans.


Nuff Sed

Stanford? you have your own interesting way of transliterating Arabic. Is that of your own devising? "Eben Teymiyya" rather than Ibn Taymiyya. ابن تيمية The short vowel at the beginning of Ibn is kasra. How does that become "Eben?" The short vowels in Arabic are fatha, kasra and damma. pl


Popular transliteration, colonel. If you don't know Arabic, you are dependent on your source. Nuff Sed's representation of the name of Ahmad b. Hanbal is different and correct, because he's got it from somewhere else.


"Note that Ahmad b. Hanbal is not a part of this deviant tradition."

That's a curious thing to say. Ahmad ibn Hanbal was a major source for Ibn Taymiyya.

By the way, Ibn Saud was not armed and funded by Britain. The contact was relatively slight. The Brits preferred the Hashemites. Ibn Saud did it all by himself.

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