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17 December 2016


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I couldn't find any verification on this in the MSM, but I thought it might interest SST readers

DAMASCUS – According to two reports coming out of Aleppo today, at least 14 US Coalition military officers were captured this morning in an East Aleppo bunker by Syrian Special Forces.

This story was quietly leaked by Voltaire.net, who announced, “The Security Council is sitting in private on Friday, December 16, 2016, at 17:00 GMT, while NATO officers were arrested this morning by the Syrian Special Forces in a bunker in East Aleppo.”

Fares Shehabi MP, a prominent Syrian Parliamentarian and head of Aleppo’s Chamber of Commerce published the names of the Coalition officers on his Facebook page on the 15th December: http://21stcenturywire.com/2016/12/16/reports-at-least-10-nato-military-officers-captured-by-syrian-special-forces-this-morning-in-east-aleppo-bunker/


Does this seem believable? Would these countries leave assets in Aleppo to be apprehended?


Ishmael Zechariah

Colonel Lang,SST;
re: "the UK government has sent a military mission consisting of 20 officers with ranks up to brigadier...the UK government should prepare to receive some body bags with full ceremony."
Is this not a deceleration of war?
Ishmael Zechariah
P.s: If someone did bag the brigadier, it would improve the morale of some rank-and-file, yours truly included, significantly.
Ishmael Zechariah


" OTOH, if they try to do their job inside Idlib Province the UK government should prepare to receive some body bags with full ceremony."

At some point you would think that the SOF and spook types on tHe ground would get tired of training jihadis. In the 80's and 90's it may not have been obvious what was going on. But given the GWOT narrative since 911 it should be obvious to everyone involved what is going on.


Yes Theresa May continues to disappoint, she has clearly signaled her determination to continue to kowtow to the Arab and Israeli lobbies. Despite Brexit our political and media establishment remain as useless and unchanging as ever.


Babak Makkinejad


Copied from a comment in Washington Post:

"Here are the names and nationalities of 14 US coalition military officers training islamic terrorists and captured yesterday in East Aleppo by Syrian troops.

Mutaz Kanoğlu – Turkey, David Scott Winer – USA, David Shlomo Aram – Israel, Muhamad Tamimi – Qatar,
Muhamad Ahmad Assabian – Saudi, Abd-el-Menham Fahd al Harij – Saudi,Islam Salam Ezzahran Al Hajlan – Saudi, Ahmed Ben Naoufel Al Darij – Saudi, Muhamad Hassan Al Sabihi – Saudi, Hamad Fahad Al Dousri – Saudi, Amjad Qassem Al Tiraoui – Jordan, Qassem Saad Al Shamry – Saudi, Ayman Qassem Al Thahalbi – Saudi, Mohamed Ech-Chafihi El Idrissi – Moroccan. "

Is this true?

The link is here:



According to reports, the Tiger Forces are redeploying to the Homs front for a counter-attack against ISIS.

Also, Trump is still saying he's going to set up 'safe zones' in Syria. I imagine he must mean across the border from Turkey in Idlib.


I wonder what the poor sods "sent" out to gin up some ready for prime time Unicorns think about this assignment? Are such trainers ordered out or do they volunteer? From your experience, do many do this dangerous work from "True Believer" commitment, or is it just another stepping stone to higher rank? Thanks



I lived in Old Jack's former classroom one year at VMI. In re the captured agents their sponsors may not have been able to get them out once the encirclement closed around east Aleppo. pl



You do the soldiery an injustice. This is in "line of duty." It is something like being ordered into Dien Bien Phu or the Philippines in the summer of 1941. pl


The most plausible explanation for why the UK government continues to support the Syrian jihadis even when their defeat seems inevitable, and to support the even more disastrous Saudi intervention in Yemen, is that they have been suborned by Saudi money. A few years ago there was a discussion on SST about how MI6 had allegedly benefited since the 1980s from an off-balance sheet Saudi slush fund associated with oil-for-arms deals, to the point where MI6 was effectively working for the Saudis.

The latest article by Alastair Crooke (ex-MI6) is mostly about the CIA's efforts to discredit Trump's election victory [https://consortiumnews.com/2016/12/16/politicized-intelligence-kneecapping-trump] but in the final paragraphs, quoted below, he appears to confirm this interpretation

"The war in Syria has had, it seems, a hugely corrosive effect on services such as CIA and MI6. Firstly, there was the tension of contradiction: the deceit to be maintained of ostensibly fighting terrorism, while secretly supporting such bloody forces (in order to weaken President Bashar al-Assad and subsequently Russia).
Secondly, that of pretending to be pursuing a “principled” policy of off-shored “identity politics” (Sunnis as victims), while quietly accepting – and becoming dependent on – the “off-balance sheet” subventions flowing from the very patrons of such forces (shades of Clinton Foundation pay-to-play ethos). And thirdly, by becoming the echo chamber of claims, however improbable, however false, thrown up by sundry armed movements and their paymasters – with the intent to force the hand of Western military intervention.

I think Crooke's article is worth discussing on SST. It's now becoming clear that MI6 has been not just an "echo chamber" of false claims by the Syrian rebels, but has been running their information operations and colluding with the set up of alleged CW attacks intended to draw the US into military intervention.

mike allen

The Brit military mission is more likely to be helping US Special Forces to train SDF recruits to take Raqqa. IMHO.

And David Scott Winer mat be an NGO employee, or an independent trying to help Aleppo civilians. Or a reporter, although I have never heard or read his byline. If not, if what Assad says is true, then the US should charge him with aiding terrorists.

The Beaver


The list was made public yesterday by a minister in Assad's govt , going by the name Fares (IIRC). He had it on his FB but I can't access it from where I am.


Another noble peace prize for BHO

"What over 4 years of militancy did to Aleppo: Photos"

mike allen

Lots of Turkish flags along with the Syrian Opposition flags being waved by marchers in London during the "March for Aleppo".

Thought I also spotted a lone pre-1980 Iranian flag - green, white, red horizontal stripes and a golden lion with sword. But that can't be right, can it? Who among the Pahlavi refugees would be mixed up in this protest? Perhaps only to show disagreement with the involvement of the current government of Iran? Or maybe I mis-identified it. Anybody else see that?


If British forces fall into the hands of the IS we can expect a Tryion Lannister moment "Heads spikes, walls"

Babak Makkinejad

The English have multiple economic equities among the Gulfies. They will say anything to get more money out of the Arabs. The costs are borne mostly not by England but by the United States and the Gulfie Arabs.

Babak Makkinejad

Are these men captured in Eastern Aleppo not illegal combatant - except the fellow from Israel?

Since there is no declared state of war obtaining between US, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Jordan, and Morocco and the Syrian Arab Republic?

Do not Geneva Conventions only apply to the Israeli fellow?


I don't know what ideological commitment that would be. I can't think of any basis for it. The ones who have anti-Iranian commitment are Israel and Saudi, and only Saudi is ideological.



On Cassad there is this helpful graph (in English) which shows numbers of civilians confirmed in E.Aleppo up to 16.12.16:


(if anyone can find out where he sourced it from, as he didn't link back to it, that would be appreciated).



would you guess there were 150,000 people in East Aleppo before the recent offensive began and how many are left there? pl


I am concerned that Hollande and Obama are are trying to preempt the Trump administration's approach to Syria by engaging in hocus-pocus at the United Nations today.

From AMN's 12/18 report headlined, "UN considers sending monitoring group to Aleppo." The money quotes are in the last two paragraphs:

The UN Security Council will consider France’s initiative to deploy an United Nations monitoring mission in Aleppo to control the evacuation of citizens from eastern quarters of the city during the day, an official with New Zealand’s permanent mission at the UN told TASS.

According to the official the vote will take place on Sunday, December 18, at 10:00 New York time.

France’s draft resolution, the copy of which was obtained by TASS, takes into consideration "efforts on evacuation of peaceful citizens and opposition militants from the sieged quarters of Aleppo."

The document stresses that this operation "should be conducted in compliance with international humanitarian right," and peaceful citizens should be given an opportunity to independently choose their destination.

According to the draft resolution, the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon should charge the employees who are already in the region of Aleppo "to conducer a competent, impartial monitoring", reporting on the progress of the evacuation of people and the situation with safety of civilians.

The document calls on all parties to the conflict to give the monitors "an immediate and impartial access" to perform these tasks. At the same time Secretary General is obliged to report within 5 days about whether the UN staff was admitted to the scene.

On Friday, Russia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Vitaly Churkin told reporters that it will take weeks to send an international mission to Aleppo to monitor the process of evacuation of people from the city’s eastern quarters.

He reminded that a 300-strong United Nations monitoring mission had been deployed in Syria in 2012 at the request of the United States. That mission was preceded by a monitoring mission from the League of Arab States.

Now, officers of the International Committee of the Red Cross are working in Aleppo, Churkin said, adding that Russia hopes there will be more possibilities for the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) after Aleppo’s eastern quarters are liberated from terrorists.

France’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Francois Delattre said earlier on Friday his country plans to initiate a resolution on deploying an international mission to monitor and coordinate evacuation of people from Eastern Aleppo.

Diplomats of US and France warned on Friday that if the idea of the resolution fails to find support in the UN Security Council they will call for holding an extraordinary special session of the UN General Assembly. This will allow the General Assembly to adopt the resolution under the "Uniting for Peace" formula that was worked out in 1950.

A Uniting for Peace resolution would recommend countries to take joint steps to secure peace in Syria under pretense of failure of the UN Security Council to carry out its tasks.

The final remarks seem to me to indicate a threat of joint military action if the monitoring process isn't "immediately" possible or runs into problems.

Keep telling myself they wouldn't dare challenge Russia to a shooting war in the closing days of the Obama administration, but I put nothing past Messrs Obama and Hollande when it comes to Syria. One would think the country is sitting on a mother lode of unobtanium.

Well, we'll know in a few hours what if anything happened at the UN.




PETER HITCHENS: Amid the bombs of Aleppo, all you can hear are the lies

I AM the opposite of a war junkie. I loathe the sound of fireworks because they remind me of a bloody night in Lithuania in January 1991, where I lay down in dirty snow to save my skin from Soviet bullets. I was also frozen with fright in lawless, gang-ruled Mogadishu in December 1992, waiting for US marines to arrive.
In Bucharest at Christmas 1989, I crawled under the bed as tracer fire whizzed past my hotel-room window, and – because my long-delayed call home came through just then – I dictated my account of events to my wife. No heroics for me, thanks.
I was in all these dreadful places by accident. I never meant to be there. I take great care not to get caught in such things again.
But I learned a bit from it, mostly that the old cliche ‘the first casualty of war is truth’ is absolutely right, and should be displayed in letters of fire over every TV and newspaper report of conflict, for ever.
Almost nothing can be checked. You become totally reliant on the people you are with, and you identify with them.
If you can find a working phone, you will feel justified in shouting whatever you have got into the mouthpiece – as simple and unqualified as possible. And your office will feel justified in putting it on the front page (if you are lucky).
And that is when you are actually there, which is a sort of excuse for bending the rules.
In the past few days we have been bombarded with colourful reports of events in eastern Aleppo, written or transmitted by people in Beirut (180 miles away and in another country), or even London (2,105 miles away and in another world). There have, we are told, been massacres of women and children, people have been burned alive.
The sources for these reports are so-called ‘activists’. Who are they? As far as I know, there was not one single staff reporter for any Western news organisation in eastern Aleppo last week. Not one.
THIS is for the very good reason that they would have been kidnapped and probably murdered. The zone was ruled without mercy by heavily armed Osama Bin Laden sympathisers, who were bombarding the west of the city with powerful artillery (they frequently killed innocent civilians and struck hospitals, since you ask). That is why you never see pictures of armed males in eastern Aleppo, just beautifully composed photographs of handsome young unarmed men lifting wounded children from the rubble, with the light just right.
The women are all but invisible, segregated and shrouded in black, just as in the IS areas, as we saw when they let them out.
For reasons that I find it increasingly hard to understand or excuse, much of the British media refer to these Al Qaeda types coyly as ‘rebels’ (David Cameron used to call them ‘moderates’). But if they were in any other place in the world, including Birmingham or Belmarsh, they would call them extremists, jihadis, terrorists and fanatics. One of them, Abu Sakkar, famously cut out and sank his teeth into the heart of a fallen enemy, while his comrades cheered. This is a checked and verified fact, by the way.
Sakkar later confirmed it to the BBC, when Western journalists still had contact with these people, and there is film of it if you care to watch. There is also film of a Syrian ‘rebel’ group, Nour al-din al Zenki, beheading a 12-year-old boy called Abdullah Issa. They smirk a lot. It is on the behalf of these ‘moderates’ that MPs staged a wholly one-sided debate last week, and on their behalf that so many people have been emoting equally one-sidedly over alleged massacres and supposed war crimes by Syrian and Russian troops – for which I have yet to see a single piece of independent, checkable evidence.
When I used to travel a lot in the communist world, I especially hated the fact that almost every official announcement was a conscious lie, taunting the poor subjugated people with their powerlessness to challenge it.
I would spend ages twiddling dials and shifting aerials to pick up the BBC World Service on my short-wave set – ‘the truth, read by gentlemen’ – because it refreshed the soul just to hear it. These days the state-sponsored lies have spread to my own country, and to the BBC, and I tell the truth as loudly as I can, simply because I cannot hear anyone else speaking it. If these lies go unchallenged, they will be the basis of some grave wrong yet to come.


Do not Geneva Conventions only apply to the Israeli fellow?

Explain, would you please, I am too lazy to try to look up what you may have in mind.


Tasnim' news of Iran (Persian) reporter in Aleppo reported that some forign military adviser to takfiries were among the militants surendred, without naming any names or countries.

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