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11 March 2017


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Yes. I do not want SST to become a place where people feel they can't express an opinion without having to debate someone who has a different view. BTW UNSCR 2249 is the international law justification for war against both ISIS and AQ. pl


As I said, I have no special insight or inside information.

But it seems to me that a simpler answer is that Assad isn't sure how far Russia will back him in getting rid of his uninvited guests. Will they go all the way to WWIII?



IMO Assad's statement is being taken far too seriously. IMO it was a rhetorical gesture in support of Syrian sovereignty. What Assad really wants is a renewed relationship with the US government. Russia hs no intention of fighting the US over anything. pl

alba etie

Col Lang ,
Its being reported that the House of Saud now have exploitable commercial gold mines , wonder if this will keep them in power indefinitely . (mining.com new Saudi gold mine starts producing 18,000 ounces per year ).

alba etie

sid finster.,
I have extreme misgivings about the DST administration ,especially regarding the proposed gutting of the State Department 's budget. But if Mattis & McMasters can destroy Daesh ,& keep Syria intact without the US staying involved then I will definitely stand and applause, and give great credit to POTUS 45 ...


Without going into details, I am not here to debate.



Why are you concerned with Trump cutting the State Department's budget?


Turcopolier: i hope that you are right, and that you stay right.



I have had a long and intimate experience of the State Department and I think you have no idea what useless, backbiting, precious people a lot of them are. Don't confuse the level of State Department funding with how effective diplomacy may be. pl

The Beaver


There is also this happening:



Dunford has played an important role.

Dunford met with Gerasimov on February 21 in Baku, Azerbaijan. And he met with Gerasimov and Hulusi Akar (Chief of the Turkish general staff) on March 7.

"The meeting in Azerbaijan was the first face-to-face meeting between Dunford and Gerasimov since the two militaries cut off communications in the wake of Russia's annexation of Crimea in 2014."



A lot of that budget is probably in USAID and the BS bombers at USIA. pl


I think there is an expectation among some that Trump would quickly restore US-Russia relations and leave Syria. That is unrealistic. US will secure any gains until negotiations reach an agreement as Mattis explains here:

"We are not in a position right now to collaborate on the military level, but our political leaders will engage and try to find common ground," Mattis said, but the U.S. and NATO could only negotiate with Moscow "from a position of strength."


I dutifully went of & did my homework on UNSCR2249, ironically the second bullet point reads as follows:

'Reaffirming its respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity, independence
and unity of all States in accordance with purposes and principles of the United
Nations Charter,'

That was blown out of the water by the UK, France & the US in the first place when they destabilised Syria & introduced external terrorist groupings into Syria.

I also find it ironic how a UN resolution from 2015 which condemns 'Al-Nusrah Front (ANF) and all other individuals, groups, undertakings and entities associated with Al-Qaida' is somehow presented as a justification for what is transpiring now.

Only recently I recall various US Govt employees from State Dept Spokespeople to the Ambassador to the UN performing daily verbal gymnastics in their attempts to paint so called 'rebel opposition groups' as something entirely separate from the Al-Nusrah Front (ANF) and all other individuals, groups, undertakings and entities associated with Al-Qaida'.

The elephant in the room has ALWAYS been that its all Al-Qaida in Syria & parts of our intelligence apparatus HAVE been clandestinely providing logistical. financial & physical support to these 'unicorn' groupings for five years.

The bitter irony now is that have now committed men to the field of battle to supposedly destroy these forces, I wonder how many TOW missiles they have left? imagine what great viewing that will make, watching a Stryker cook off after a direct hit. I expect the Enemy & Ground paragraph makes for interesting listening for those young Marines & Soldiers, expecting to fight terrorists who only a few months ago were being supported by the west.

You honestly could not make this up in a nightmare.

Now whose idea was it to support these unicorns again?

The amount of collective amnesia that is prevalent these days is what allows situations like these to develop.


Lemur -

The Russians handled only the western perimeter. The northern perimeter along the Sajour River was handled by American Rangers along the Sajour river.


Might be time for another Tweet or two to send the MSM a flutter for another week or two. Seems to work.


and President Trump told us quite plainly (in the press conference linked to and discussed here) that he had no intention of giving any advanced notice of his military intentions. Which seems prudent and logical.


For Sunday chaplain's blessing to troops, commanders, and advisors, the slideshow accompanying this ancient blast from the past Rolling Stones track is remarkably poignant yet suitable for contemplating the gravity of the situation while it also inspires taking stock of our wisdom gained from past experience that is solid ground for optimism.



re.UNSCR 2249
pl were you implying this is the legitimating mandate? If so I did not read it like that. I took it to mean 'get IS & AQ' but with the clearly stated caveat it must be done with regard to international law, humanitarian law and a whole host of other extant UN constraints.


Even this late in the game, with all the blames and mishaps, I have a feeling, no, no I have a dream if US government would have recognized THE UN recognized, legal and legitimate government of Syrian Arab Republic, and would have offered to help Syria to get rid of ISIS and AQ terrorist and even to liberate eastern Syria from this terrorism she would have been welcomed to do so, like Syria did before. Can we imagine how beautiful and exemplary lesson that would have been to the rest of the world, and to future of international law as well as UN.
Can't see Why not? We have a new administration, can simply say and change it's policy and become a hero to world, like back in 40s


I have no doubt that we can eliminate IS, just like I had no doubt we could invade and take over Iraq. The issue was, and remains, what comes after? Will it really be better this time? Is there any sort of plan? I feel a bit better having McMaster and Mattis involved this time, but those decisions are made above their pay grade.


Slightly off topic, but it is about Syria so I think people will be interested--


Gareth Porter argues that UN investigattors rely much too heavily on the claims made by White Helmut spokespeople.


It needs to be stripped down to the studs so a new generation of wise men can be cultivated, hopefully drawn from the veterans of our recent wars.

Sam Peralta

What's up with the Sultan these days?

Seems like he's riling the Germans and now the Dutch.


ex-PFC Chuck

At today's per ounce price of $1,207.20 that's less than $22M per year. Chump change in comparison to their oil revenues. Their production rate and/or the price per ounce have a long way to be before gold becomes a significant factor for them.

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