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19 May 2017

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Cee

Trump has been taken over by the vipers around him. Behold A Pale Horse indeed.

Barish

Regarding the last paragraph, Mr Magnier voiced much the same conviction that SAA and allies will regain at-Tanf irregardless of this air sortie in this here thread:

https://twitter.com/EjmAlrai/status/865403649408806912

He further goes on to dismiss one goal for this "iron curtain" between Iraq and Syria forwarded by the Reuters agency:

https://twitter.com/EjmAlrai/status/865408482857570305

Which, frankly, makes the murder of those men by the "anti-ISIL coalition" not just more criminal, but even more criminally pointless as well.

If there's payback to come from the PMU in Iraq whose comrades were also hit here, the "anti-ISIL coalition" fully earned it.

turcopolier

All
it now appears to me certain that the US intends to occupy at least the SE quadrant of Syria for the purpose described by TTG. That is to build a force there that can serve as a future means of overthrowing the Syrian government. I fear that Trump under the influence of Mattis/McMaster also gave Erdogan permission to occupy Idlib Governorate in the NW of Syria whenever he thinks that appropriate. From that position the Turkish Army could advance south in conjunction with and behind an advance by the US backed force from the Al-Tanf area. The hard core jihadi rebels in the Idlib Governorate seem to understand this and Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (Al-Qa'ida) is moving its fighters into position along the Hatay border to try to resist this. [l

b

@ttg The Coalition has unilaterally declared a thirty kilometer or so exclusionary zone around Al-Tanf.

Do you imply that or is there any such statement? I have not seen one.

Bruce Irvine

Trump obviously means to split Syria with Turkey and the Jihadis, prior to attacking Damascus, then Iran.

Ghostship

"inside an established de-confliction zone northwest of Al-Tanf"
Who agreed to the de-confliction zone? Well there is the first BS from CJTFOIR, the nearest de-confliction zone according to the Astana agreement is miles away and since the United States is not a party to the Astana Agreement then any attempt by CJTFOIR to define Al Tanf as being part of a de-confliction is nothing more than really stupid propaganda.
I've seen reports that the convoy was 50 - 60 kms away and consisted of a few tanks and a Shilka which unless the Russians have made a stupendous advance in gun propellant and barrel technologies means they represented absolutely no threat to the New Syrian Army or their alleged US/UK advisers at that point whatsoever.
I suspect that CJTFOIR is trying to cover up that the either the Jordanians are playing silly buggers for the benefit of their bankers, the Saudis, or a Jordanian pilot took it upon himself to perform jihad in Syria, and both those explanations should worry CJTFOIR. As a rapid response to CJTFOIR being caught unawares, this legend gets a C+ from me, but as the response to something CJTFOIR did themselves it's a big fat F.

The Twisted Genius

b,

The CJTFOIR and the Pentagon refer to it as a deconfliction zone in their description of the event.

The Twisted Genius

Ghostship,

This deconfliction zone around Al-Tanf has nothing to do with the de-escalation zones as specified in the Astana Agreement. I seriously doubt CJTFOIR is trying to conflate the two. The term deconfliction is used to imply that it was a mutual agreement with the Russians. I doubt that's the case. I think it is just something we informed the Russians about. That's why I referred to it as a unilaterally declared exclusionary zone.

Lemur

I'm not convinced Russia will put its forces in a position where they are likely to encounter Americans in a hostile environment. The Bear has a history of elliptical responses. All the Great Powers in Syria manevour according to the logic of establishing facts on the ground before a competitor does. The unwritten rule which keeps the jockeying from escalating is that a fact on the ground can't be challenged directly.

Yeah, Right

From the CJTFOIR statement:
..."well inside an established de-confliction zone"...
..."The agreed upon de-confliction zone agreement"...

Ladies and Gentlemen, our weasel-words for today are "established" and "agreed upon".

Any competent reporter who is in receipt of that statement would immediately ask for a copy of that "agreement", as well as asking when - exactly - that agreement was "established".

Dates and times, please, plus a list of names.

I will now suggest that the odds of any western reporter ever asking for those details is exactly..... zero.

visitor

For those who read French, there is an analysis of the situation and the future developments here: http://galacteros.over-blog.com/2017/05/l-est-syrien-enjeu-veritable-des-quatriemes-negociations-d-astana-pour-la-paix-en-syrie, which also stresses the strategic role of Al-Tanf and a probable push by the USA & allies to control that key town, as well as the border with Jordan.

JerseyJeffersonian

Trump, contrary to all of his bullshit about winding down US involvement in the Middle East, appears to have fallen under the nefarious influence of the NeoCons, and is going to proceed full bore with the prosecution of a naked aggression against Syria. This_will_not_end_well.

Well, I imagine we would have gotten to this point far earlier if Hillary were in charge, but we're getting squared up for a major showdown with idiot Trump in charge instead.

God save us all.

anonymous

east of the jordan 3 cities of refuge.part of the new palestinian state.golan,ramoth, bosor.thats what is called an established deconfliction zone.


https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cities_of_Refuge

Ishmael Zechariah

TTG,
Could it be that this was always the real reason for the Borg support of the PYG and other "kurdish freedom fighters"?
Ishmael Zechariah

Barish

This keeps getting worse and worse: Not only did the "anti-ISIL coalition" illegally strike Syria's army, apparently it struck the PMU within Iraq as well, close to al-Bukamal as per this:

https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/another-us-airstrike-targets-pro-government-forces-near-syrian-crossing-video/

Based on a report by Iraqi TV-channel Afaq, in written form plus video footage found here:

http://afaq.tv/news/read/48034-%D8%B4%D8%A7%D9%87%D8%AF%20%D8%A8%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%81%D8%AF%D9%8A%D9%88%20::%20%D8%B7%D8%A7%D8%A6%D8%B1%D8%A7%D8%AA%20%D8%A7%D9%85%D8%B1%D9%8A%D9%83%D9%8A%D8%A9%20%D8%AA%D9%82%D8%B5%D9%81%20%D8%A7%D8%A8%D8%B7%D8%A7%D9%84%20%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%85%D9%82%D8%A7%D9%88%D9%85%D8%A9%20%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A7%D8%B3%D9%84%D8%A7%D9%85%D9%8A%D8%A9%20%D9%83%D9%8A%20%D8%AA%D8%AD%D9%85%D9%8A%20%D8%AF%D8%A7%D8%B9%D8%B4

I can decipher البوكمال, al-Bukamal, in the last paragraph as is, machine-translation of that paragraph reads thus:

"US aircraft attacked the Islamic Resistance Forces / Sayyid al-Shuhada Brigades at the Iraqi-Syrian border, specifically near the Bawakamal crossing to prevent infiltration and attacks on the lands and the Iraqi borders, and the bombing led to the martyrdom and wounding of a number of Mujahideen of the Islamic resistance heroes !!"

Ample grounds for the "anti-ISIL coalition" to be thrown out of Iraq, at the very least.

TonyL

JerseyJeffersonian,

Hillary is history. So whatever our predicament is, our idiot president Trump owns it.

It seems we're screwed either way.

Bill Herschel

Thanks TTG for this analysis. For some reason, and I would love to know why, I have not read anything similar in the mainstream media.

If U.S. jets get shot down attacking Syrian troops on Syrian territory, I wonder what the public will say. That would be a good topic for discussion.

The Twisted Genius

Ishmael Zechariah,

I don't think this was always the reason we provided modest support to the YPG/YPJ through the SDF. As you know I was quite pleased with the light touch of Green Berets spread among the local fighters. My hope was that this light touch would gradually withdraw as the R+6 regained control of Syrian territory from the jihadis. At that point, the Kurds and Damascus would work out their own problems without our interference. It would have been a classic implementation of Special Forces doctrine all the way through the demobilization phase. I was a foolish optimist to cling to that dream. As the US and Coalition effort to supply and direct these forces increased, I feared what you feared. Now I have little doubt we plan on staying in this area permanently to seek the dissolution of the SAR. We are screwing the Kurds and everyone else in the region once again.

Bill H

"Any competent reporter who is in receipt of that statement..."

That assumes that anyone in the media is a) competent and b) a reporter. Fail on both counts, as the media these days employs nothing but incompetent stenographers.

EEngineer

If the Borg/CFR can keep the public distracted with current DC cirrus act for a few more weeks, they'll be able to get their war started one way or another. Once hostilities get past a certain point they will be unstoppable. We approach the event horizon...

Poul

Apparently there is an agreement with Russia about a deconfliction zone.

https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/201705181053753022-us-coalition-at-tanf/

Quote:
"A US defense official told Sputnik that the US-led coalition struck the pro-Syrian government forces near the town of At Tanf in the area of an established deconfliction zone with Russia."

LeaNder

A noter que les zones tenues par les rebelles le long de la frontière syro-jordanienne et syro-irakienne (en bleu sur la carte), soutenus par les Etats-Unis, et récemment actifs dans ce secteur (nous y reviendrons), ne sont pas comprises dans cet accord que les Etats-Unis ont salué tout en exprimant naturellement des réserves à l’égard de son « patronage» par l’Iran. Enfin, les forces aériennes de la coalition internationale ont interdiction de pénétrer dans l’espace aérien de ces zones.

Still bad on maps, is this "syro-irakienne" region referred to by TTG?

For the more fast link clickers among us, you should take care of the comma not being too close to your link.

JerseyJeffersonian

Bill Herschel,

Exactly to the point. This is an attack on Syrian and Syrian-allied troops on Syrian territory by air forces of a nation not invited - and not wanted - under the pretext that they, in defending their foreign-supported insurgents, are merely defending "their" troops, blithely ignoring the national sovereignty of a UN-acknowledged member state.

I don't know how you define "aggressive war", but this sure seems to be a clear example of that crime from which flow all the other abuses condemned by the Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal.

But I guess that this is all just hunky dory for the "Exceptional Nation", 'cause that nation is by definition not subject to the same standards which it applies to others being, you know, "Exceptional" and all. Shameful.

Parenthetically, in line with what Yeah, Right observed above, good luck even having accurate reportage by our Borg Media of the run-up to any hypothetical shoot-downs of US aircraft. It'd all just be cast as an unprovoked, context-free attack on 'Murica, Beacon of Freedom and Justice. As it always, always seems to be.

It is difficult to respect your nation when the propaganda justifying actions that are, under any fair-minded assessment, unjustifiable continuously rolls out like a great, turgid flood of sludge.

Babak Makkinejad

Sayyid al-Shuhada Brigades is named after Imam Hussein.

US has attacked the Party of Ali.

Andrew W

Are dissenting opinions welcome 'round here?


I've consistently opposed the idea that the West's regime change operation in Syria is actively operational, or that the US intends to occupy any part of Syria. If southeastern or eastern Syria was the objective why did the Southern Front rebels advance west into As-Suwayda and attempt to open a supply line to the rebels in the al-Qalamoun? The previous attempt in that direction by the New Syrian Army was a disastrous misfire and was easily repelled by IS. It makes more sense that the objective of the rebels is securing the Syrian-Jordanian border area.


The primary development of the SDF operation to isolate Raqqa has forced IS to pull it's troops from it's remaining active fronts on the periphery of their Caliphate. This has led to a mad scramble for territory previously held by IS. With the deserts of Southern Syria being just one area up for grabs. I don't think the military leadership of the SAA likes the idea of any rebel consolidation in the southeastern countryside of Damascus or their advance along the Damascus-Baghdad highway. But I suspect the Iranians are angling for the same objective for different reasons given that the eradication of the IS is pretty much a given.


Regional powers like Iran are positioning themselves for the next conflict which appears to be a war between Israel and Lebanon/Hezbollah. Control over the Damascus – Baghdad highway is critical for the Iranians/Hezzies. As the repeated Israeli airstrikes on Damascus airport have proven the Iranians can't move equipment by air into Lebanon without being interdicted. Even though Hezbollah is armed with anti-ship missile launchers any sea lane is similarly under risk of blockade. The only remaining option, and the least desirable imo, is a land route from Iran through Iraq. This is primarily what is being fought over as TTG pointed out.


I don't imagine Russia is happy with Syria/Iran about this. The Southern Front has maintained an official cease fire with Damascus since 2016. Additionally, they are members of the Astana cease fire talks that Moscow organized alongside the rebels located in eastern al-Qalamoun. But if Russia launches any retaliatory air strikes we'll know otherwise.


I doubt that'll happen though. It was the SAA & friends who broke that cease fire on May 7th with the attack on rebel positions in Badia.

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