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21 May 2017


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Can't vouch for accuracy, but probably a representative summary of composition.

Brigade units:

2 Air Assault Battalions
Airborne Battalion
Artillery Battalion
Military Transport Aviation Squadron
Support units

Source: http://military.wikia.com/wiki/31st_Guards_Air_Assault_Brigade

I would guess that the actual composition may vary depending on mission. I don't see a specific anti-air artillery listed but would imagine it's available in theatre.

I'd imagine fellow correspondents may have better sources for information regarding this unit.


Here is the proof of milking

Peter in Toronto

Pipeline conspiracy theories never pass the smell test.


I agree. So far no politicians here have commented on the news about Norwegian soldiers inside Syria, but the comments from readers of the news are negative. The government has given as little information as possible on the deployment of 60 soldiers to Jordan (and Syria) since it was decided last year. I suppose the last news is uncomfortable and that the government response will be more "management talk" (cf remark from Tel further down).
This government has been extremely receptive to US wishes. It was love in the air when Ash Carter visited Norway september last year. The new long term plan for the Norwegian defence is said to be "to the highest degree" adapted to US interest, and more so than former plans (Carter even remarked that he hoped it would be good for Norway, too, or something like that (don´t have the exact citation). Politicians and the press has bought the "Russian danger"-meme in toto, and I guess much follows from that.


"They made us an offer we couldn't refuse"


Thank you. This will be interesting. It looks like Damascus is coming to accommodations with the Kurds in the north, and now the Druse in the south. We will see how a "multi-confessional" coalition does against a "monolithic"(?) sectarian cabal.


The Germans were involved in Syria and Palestine on the side of the Turks back in the 1914-1918 War. That didn't turn out so well.


Norway has invaded Syria with a small force. Will this not give the world pause for thought over how far into madness and delusion it has got over Syria?


Israel's gas reserves are tiny. Only 1/168 of Iran's. So no game changer.

Israel would not be able to supply Europe with more than one year worth of gas and then their fields would be depleted.

Only Iran and Azerbaijan have the potential to compete with Russia on the European gas market. Iraq could also be a competitor but that would require peace and stability which is doubtful in the foreseeable future.


But the US claims that the New Syrian Army(NSA) is there to fight ISIS so why would the Russians and Syrians assist ISIS by attacking the New Syrian Army? Provided the NSA fights ISIS, the Russians and Syrians have no need to get involved.
The only justification that the US has for being in Syria is fighting ISIS and Al Qaeda. Once the ISIS Caliphate is eradicated, the US needs to either start fighting Al Qaeda and its associates or pack up and go home. If the US wants to claim that HTS is not Al Qaeda, as the State Department seems to be doing, then they have no legal justification for remaining in Syria. This might not be important to Washington as it does what it wants to do, but most of the rest of NATO can't as they believe in the "rule of law" thing. Turkey might remain but they would be an aggressor and if Russia attacked Turkish forces in Syria I doubt the European NATO members would respond at all.


Trump is at heart a grifter - so what he says and what he does can be very different. This was just scamming the Saudis into buying lots of very expensive American weapons. If he's any good he can keep the Saudis on the hook buying yet more very expensive American weapons until at least 2020.
If he is not to upset his base then he needs to stick to the non-intervention stuff, so until we know who the members of METO are going to be and if the U.S. is to be one of them, then it's probably not worth worrying. Looking back at Gulf War 1, it took the US and its allies quite some time (almost six months) to get there forces in place while the Iraqis did nothing much. Once METO starts forming up if they ever do without U.S. involvement, do you think the Iranians will do nothing. If the U.S. can go to war for preventative reasons why can't the Iranians do so for preemptive reasons. There are going to be no UNSC resolutions supporting it so most of NATO will stay well away and let's face it the Conservatives have so hollowed out the British military I doubt even they would want to get involved.

Babak Makkinejad

So, Trump had a few choice words for Iran, appeasing the Arabs, and, sold a few hundred billion worth of military and non-military goodies to them.

Politically and commercially it was a successful trip.

On the other hand, like George Bush who made the enemies of Israel also the enemies of US, Trump declared the Party of Ali to be an enemy of the Western Fortress - I think we can all enjoy this clarity.

William Fitzgerald

Barbara Ann,

Do you think that the concept at Central Command, or whomever is running the show, is de-confliction zone, leading to a "tripwire" incident, then a no-fly zone and a bastion inside Syria? If so, how do you suppose they intend to maintain it. The Baghdad highway would seem to be the only line of communication and it appears that it is going to be controlled by Iraqi government forces who aren't sympathetic to the FSA. Dien Bien Phu isn't an exact analogy but does come to mind. I'm puzzled by the planning.


Babak Makkinejad

You cannot expect them to come out and say:

"The Republican Emperor has told us that the Party of Ali is our enemy and we have saluted the flag, licked our heels and proceeded to do what we are told."

Theirs not to reason why, theirs but to do and die


Not Azerbaijan alone is not enough, but Iran or Qatar can be major suppliers

Babak Makkinejad

Why would Iran compete against the Russian Federation to supply Europe which is an enemy of the Party of Ali?

Not going to happen.

Account Deleted


I think the original concept was to hold al-Tanf and the road and expand from it with the FSA. That was before the Astana DEZs plan was implemented. As I commented at the bottom the Incident at Al-Tanf post, I think the the Coalition attack on Assad's forces could simply have been a delaying tactic before withdrawal from al-Tanf. I am also not convinced by the Norgy tripwire thing actually and commented to that effect in the Jebel Druze post.

The original strategy to partition Syria from the Jordanian/Iraqi border seems to be unattainable now. The really worrying thing is that whoever is directing tactics at al-Tanf doesn't seem to appreciate that. b's piece on the disconnect between what the top brass say and the reality on the ground is an excellent read:


Even more important what is the US domestic law that justifies the attack on Syrian aligned forces this time? The US has another president that is off book launching attacks willy nilly that could drag the US into a much larger conflict while Congress averts it's eyes.

The disregard for both domestic and international law by all western governments is extremely dangerous both for the domestic populations and for the world.


"Will this not give the world pause for thought over how far into madness and delusion it has got over Syria?"

No, but if Bibi's Blintzkreig to Beirut comes to pass and the Hizbullah boys counterattack leading to a stalemate in the valley, then there will be an awakening as the nightly news gives updates, analysis, and other expert opinions about the battle for the artillery observation outpost on Har Meggido.


It is, if NATO wants a pretext for war.

Haven't you ever run across a barroom bully looking for an excuse to start a fight?


This has been my experience. It's like talking to cultists.

different clue


The DC FedBorg line is that Assad's continued presence makes the Syrians so unhappy that they reluctantly join the various alphabet jihadi groups just long enough to overthrow the "Assad Regime". Once Assad has "gone", they will become the Democrats they have always wanted to be. So the long range justification the DC FedBorg Regime gives for being in Syria is to eventually in the long run get Assad overthrown and change the Regime to a Democracy.

Liberal academic middle-east-expert professors like Juan Cole advance this line. For Prof. Cole, it is a true belief. If President Trump's mind operated at a level sophisticated enough to sustain something like a "belief", I would say that Trump believes a version of it too.



It can get Albanian and Serbian nationalist gangs who killed each other during the Kosovo War to work together to smuggled amphetamine and other designer drugs into the EU.

Where else will Iran find customers for large gas deliveries? Pakistan has an unstable border region in Balochistan and then there are the problems between India & Pakistan to potentially affect a gas line to India (a la Ukraine). A route to China also has it's share of threats towards a gas line.

Babak Makkinejad

Iraq and Turkey and lately Kuwait and Oman will be consumers of Iranian gas.

At the moment, I do not think Iran is producing sufficient volume of gas for European consumption.

And then there is the little matter of religious war: why would the linchpin of the Party of Ali supply gas to the enemies of Party of Ali?


I personally doubt that in the Gulf. Overbuilding solar is cheaper than gas and will be pushed by the US instead of sending money to Iran

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