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21 May 2017


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The Twisted Genius

This is a statement from the twitter feed of Wael Al Hussaini (@WaelHussaini), a half Lebanese half Syrian who now contributes to Russian Insider. "Sources: units of the "Russian 31st Guards Air Assault Brigade" are being deployed in #Syria to participate in #OpLavender" I've seen nothing else on this, but it will be one hell of a development if true.


Norway has 60 soldiers in Iraq on a training mission, and 60 soldiers in Jordan in a mission surrounded by much secrecy, supposedly training and supporting rebels in Syria who "only fight IS". The Iraqi-based soldiers is not to take part in fighting, but the Jordan-based group might. I hope for some more news on this in Norway, but so far the government has been very tight lipped.



Operation Lavender is the relief of deir al-zor? pl

Gene O.

What am I missing re: al-bukamal? My understanding is that the Iraqis, whether PMU or Iraqi Army would have to retake anah, rawa, and al-qaim before crossing the frontier. That is a tough going before they can pressure the daeshis in al-bukamal. Or is there a PMU thrust coming SE from deir ez-zor? Or coming SW from Nineveh province in Iraq? I have not seen any open source reports on those options.

Gene O.

Supposedly named after General Ali Khuzam who was KIA there.

Account Deleted

If accurate, this is the best news I've seen in some time & surely a game-changer. With the PMU operating in cooperation with Assad's forces we must be approaching checkmate for the Coalition. Attacking the PMU in Syria would immediately alienate their compatriots across the border and the Baghdad government. Such action by the US could then jeopardize it's occupation of Irag, as well as their Syrian project.

A trip-wire of, of all people; Norwegians, smells of desperation to me on the part of the Coalition. I interpreted their deployment as a reaction to Daesh's demolition of a couple of radio masts on the Iragi side of the al-Tanf crossing (link in my comment in TTG's Incident at Al-Tanf post). Norwegians seem like an odd choice for a trip wire too. The Norgy govt. is likely to ask too many questions if casualties are taken on Syrian soil (see S.E.'s comment in the Jebel Druze post). Wouldn't the French or more obedient Brits have been a better choice?


Would a Russian "Air Assault Brigade" automatically have state of the art anti-air units attached? If so, this is a pivotal move on the Russians' part. "Put up or shut up."
These air units being mentioned here; do we know the mix of piloted versus remote controlled craft? (Would the shooting down of a drone "matter" as much as the shooting down of a piloted craft?)
This next week bears watching.


I don't think the Norwegian public would be terribly pleased if their soldiers were killed in Syria on a mission that was illegal under international law and cannot be easily explained. I am referencing how Italy, Japan and Spain all opted out of the US "coalition of the willing" after sustaining losses in Iraq. However, I also feel that the degree to which NATO member states seem to be mere hostages to the More Powerful Member of NATO compared to 10+ years ago might mean that Norwegian outrage or anger amounts to nothing and the wishes of the Norwegian public amount to a piss in the wind compared to the needs and requirements of the Hyperpower. Anybody have anything to add to my thoughts or correct me if I am mistaken?


It looks like Turkey and Germany aren't on the best of terms, though I don't how this might affect developments in Syria (if it has any at all).


I don't see how the R+6 advances much further on al-tanf with out air support. The US has shown that it is willing to use theirs and the Russians have shown they aren't if the air is contested.

That leaves 3 scenarios as far as I can see. The R+6 abandon the op. Stopping isn't an option as it would leave to many fighters twiddling their thumbs in the desert. They could progress but avoid al-tanf possibly leaving it besieged. But in that scenario the US will just slowly pick them off from the air. Third the R+6 keeps moving and we are into WW III.

Cutting a cheque for nearly half a trillion dollars to the US sure has had the desired effect for the Saudis. I would love to hear what gets said about this behind closed doors at the NATO meeting.

The Twisted Genius


Yes it is. It was named after a Republican Guards general who died at Deir Az-Zor, Ali Khuzam. Some part of his name translates to lavender.


the norwegians are not just any tripwire, they are a NATO tripwire. al tanf needs to be taken lest it become a forming up place (assembly area) inside Syria for a coalition force with the objective of establishing an eastern syrian protectorate.

this is a legal fig leaf tactic in my opinion - if the force assembles inside syrian territory then it can be argued in the UN that no invasion has occurred since the force did not cross the border.

judging by trumps riyadh speech,it now seems that the deplorables faith in him eschewing further war was misplaced.



Options are narrowing. The coming Arctic War with Russia propaganda is coming from Northern Norway. Bordering Russia does something to the neighboring military. What is needed now is sanity. But the spreading millennial war between Sunnis and Shiites is drawing in Christians and Jews creating a mini World War. The Shiite militia drive to encircle remnants of the Islamic State and open a Damarcus Baghdad land supply line is violently opposed by Israel and the Gulf Monarchs. Somebody has to stand down or the NATO-Russian war will start in al-Tanf.



USMC has had contingency missions in northern Norway under existing approved plans for many decades. pl

different clue


I listened to that speech. At first it was a stylistic pleasure to listen to compared with the "flooded toilet gargling" from Obama.
But the content became disturbing and disappointing when he referred to Iran as the source of all malign support for all malign terror in the region. He then referred to parts of the R + 6 as terrorist militias which Iran must stop supporting. He also declared total support for Saudi efforts to widen and deepen the mass-atrocity war against Yemen. (Though he saw it as yet more opposing the Evil Iranians' evil Houthi Militia.)

Can the R + 6 wipe out the rebellion before President Trump can tip the balance decisively in favor of the Global Axis of Jihad?

He will pitch the big new arms deals as keeping his promise to job-doer America. In his own mind he will believe it. And in the narrowest sense it will be somewhat true for a few.

I wonder how much of this is due to the legacy hatred for Iran held by National Security Director McMaster and others after all these years.



So NATO troops in a foreign nation without permission would trigger article five if attacked? Turkey then gets the go-a-head for an "on to Damascus" operation and calls in Germany to help. That's rather humorous.

The Twisted Genius


Russian combat brigades of all types have plenty of organic air defense and indirect fire units, far more than US combat brigades.


US is not worried or gives a F* what UN thinks or if his actions are legal according to international law, are you mixing yourself, did Iraq invasion was approved by UN or was it a ording to international law? What makes you think US has changed? Is having troops in Syria bombing Syrian army base on law or UN approval ?

The Twisted Genius


Two Russian Su-30s flew cover for the advancing forces yesterday. I'm pretty sure Russian and Syrian air defense resources are also in overwatch.

Account Deleted

Even with air support the trip-wire would be used to justify the Coalition going to war proper with SAA & it's allies. A no-fly zone over SE Syria would follow and the US gets to carve up Syria. Well that's the theory, I guess.

The delicacy of this situation doubtless isn't lost on the Russians. Perhaps they'll accept the de facto deconfliction zone at al-Tanf & deal with it at a more favorable time.

Al-Tanf is not critical to linking up with Deir Ezzor. The push from Palmyra can still cut off the MaT before it gets to the Euphrates. If they hit back with the TOW's they claim to have I'd expect them to be introduced to the SyAF and RuAF. This seems to be the ROE - your proxies can attack your opponent's proxies with impunity, but the principals' forces are off limits.

Phil Cattar

Walrus,Ive talked to a lot of deplorables.They are not against all wars .If a war is fast,decisive and we win most deplorables will stand up and cheer.Or better yet, volunteer to fight if need be...Deplorables are against getting into a war where our hands are tied behind us , while the other side does whatever they want to................Most deplorables I know, know organically that war is hell like General Sherman said and cannot be fought being "politically correct".

robt willmann

Donald Trump, the salesman, travelled to Saudi Arabia to close a sale claimed to be $400 billion or so. The surreal event of this morning (21 May), in the form of prepared speeches by "king" Shah Salman and Trump, sounded like an exhibit to George Orwell's book, "1984". One can only hope that on Trump's part, it was simply the practice of saying anything to make the sale go through.

Iran's foreign minister, Javad Zarif, expressed the irony of it all--


If the inflammatory accusations of this morning are any indication, they are likely unfortunately to continue when Trump goes to Israel, but who knows? The context is indeed different. Saudi Arabia sends money to the U.S. The opposite occurs with the U.S. and Israeli governments.

Meanwhile, in Syria, the fog of disinformation appears to be lifting a little, as overt action on the ground is exposing the positions of the players a little bit.

I need to find detailed maps of Syria; the one I have used does not have much in the way of roads and smaller towns and villages.



"Following Wednesday's approval, Defence Minister Ine Eriksen Soreide told local news agency NTB that because the anti-IS forces had exceeded expectations, it was "more important that coalition forces must also be able to train, advise and provide operational support to local groups on Syrian territory."

Can someone translate this for me? This is manager speak.


No, that was mostly the the alt-right element among the deplorables. The civic nationalist/Breitbart crowd, who are the most prolific Trump faction, are extremely interested in fighting what they perceive to be necessary wars. For them, Libya was unnecessary. Tightly containing Russia was not considered a priority. These commitments got in the way of fighting Zionist Jew wars, 'threats' to Jews being the criterion of necessity.

Never forget (and I say this as someone who deeply sympathizes with 'fly-over country' and its political disposition) a substantial compliment of the Republican base pine for confrontation with the Shia state. Hostility to Israel or Saudi Arabia, regardless of their machinations, is considered synonymous with an attack on the US itself.

Conservative Tree House, which is a stout defender of 'President Trump' (they ALWAYS include the honorific) frequented by what I would characterize as the grassroots supporters, is singing the praises of Trump's demarche in Arabia. They're tickled pink about the pomp and pageantry laid on by the obsequious bevvy of royalty. They feel the previous incumbent failed to elicit such 'respect' owing to America.

Unlike the diffident Obama, they see Trump taking firm, concrete steps to roll back yet another freedum hating 'Evil Empire' in the form of Iran. CTH believes Trump is creating a 'Peace and Freedom' coalition in the ME, contra the traitorous Obama who 'sold out' to the Mullahs in Tehran. Had Hillary Clinton won she would have immediately given the nuclear codes to Iran, don't you know! The Democratic Party is Iran's stooge in Washington! Fortunately President Trump put a stop to that little game! Those of us who critique Trump from the Right sometimes call this thinking 'error push'. It's where a position is adopted simply because a hostile 'tribe' are perceived to hold the opposite view.

Iran's actions are never assessed in the light of Saudi and Israeli behavours, which are considered apriori correct. Such is the the logic of the mind inculcated with Zionist premises.


I think the Israeli gas pipeline to Europe will be a game changer. Russia seems to think so too.


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