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16 June 2017


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The day before Deraa



I didn't succumb. This latest piece hardly makes an airtight case. Buzzfeed definitely has earned the need to be spelled bracketed with inverted commas.

My initial reaction was "smear campaign, ch 2", your CYA insight rounds now rounds that out. Many thanks for yr insight and links.

This piece will broaden and intensify the Russophobia considerably, regrettably.



Should add that I dismissed the Owen inquiry entirely at the time simply on the basis of Owen's claims that Putin was homosexual.

I could not believe what I was hearing, that a head of state of a superpower was being publicly defamed so grotesquely in open court in Great Britain and if you will forgive me, wondered if the tragic mad cow disease outbreak yrs ago didn't leave a deeper impact than has been widely appreciated.

Something similar seems to have occurred here stateside as well.

I look forward to reading yr 2016 post, and can't thank you enough for the Barbarossa analysis in PDF.


"one reason was said to be their concern about the burrowing in of Iran in Syrian military and security apparatuses"

That sounds like a typical Washington Borg explanation just like the dream that Washington can split Russia and China apart with economic carrots. The reason expressed at the time by Russia was that the pro-rebel countries, Turkey, etc. had escalated by inserting their own forces directly into the proxy war and it looked like the Syrian regime would fall, so Putin did the same.

One reason that the Russians and Iranians have not sent large numbers of their regular army units to Syria is their concern at being accused of occupation and both understand that the SAA should be as self-financing and capable as possible to be able to survive once Russia and Iran withdraw when this war is over, so I doubt "burrowing in" is on Iran's agenda.

different clue

Tyler P. Harwell,

I don't know, either. Therefor I am in no position to tell you, just as you are in no position to tell me.

Unfolding events over the next half-year or so should tell us both. If the SARgov transports bunches of Cannibal Liver Eating Jihadis to the Idlib Sump, it should be visible and would hopefully be mentioned or referenced here if it happens.

ex-PFC Chuck

re Croesus, quoting Yossi Alpher: "-- we Israelis, to this day, have a need to -- a deep need to be recognized and accepted by the region. You see, Bibi’s demand, which is supported by most Israelis, that the Palestinians recognize us as a Jewish state, or the state of the Jewish people -- the nation-state of the Jewish people -- this goes way back, this need to be recognized."

Ya think it might help if they stopped treating everyone else in the region like s**t?


"3.28/2/2011: 13 opposition activists killed by regime while smuggling injured out of Homs, including British journalist Paul Conroy.

I think you'll find that was 2012 not 2011.


FB Ali

It appears that the US has given up on the SDF moving up from Jordan and (backed by US air power) taking large areas of Syria. Instead it has switched to the PKK Kurds, whom it was supporting in the assault on Raqqa.

For the time being the Kurds are adopting the SDF label, but their operations in both North (Raqqa) and South Syria (Deir Ezzor) are in furtherance of Kurdish goals. They appear to have dropped their earlier plans to limit themselves to retaking only Kurdish areas, and are now openly conquering Arab areas as well, in the hope of retaining them. This article in Der Spiegel is worthwhile: http://tinyurl.com/y76965p5 .

It appears that Central Command is keeping up the fiction that the Kurds/SDF, with US air support, are still pursuing US goals. In fact, the Kurds are setting up their own mini-state in Syria. They'll take US support so long as it suits them, but will go their own way when necessary.

There's not much that Russia can do about this Kurdish freelancing.


This timeline of events in Daraa in March 2011 is somewhat one-sided. The article by Tim Anderson linked below cites many reports, most in foreign media not supportive of the regime, of attacks on security forces from mid-March onwards. These began with the killing of seven policemen on 17-18 March, followed by ambushes and massacres from late March onwards. Weapons including grenades and automatic rifles were reported to have been found in the al-Omari mosque when it was stormed.


robt willmann

As James noted above, a Syrian SU-22 was shot down by a U.S. F/A-18E Super Hornet today (18 June) at about 6:43 p.m. Syrian time, preceded by a "show of force" to stop an R+6 advance on the town of Ja'Din--


I have not yet found that press release on the "Combined Joint Task Force" web site, but there is one from earlier today on military strikes the last couple of days--


The Twisted Genius

robt willmann,

Here's the CJTFOIR statement.


The same twitter account says the pilot was captured by SDF forces with a broken leg. This could have been a lot worse. We'll see what happens as the Tiger Forces continues towards the Euphrates and Deir Ezzor.

robt willmann

And, this press release from Al-Masdar News claims that fighting is going on between the Syrian army and the SDF near the town of Resafa, which is apparently west of Al-Raqqa. It notes that the SAR was trying to rescue a fallen pilot, and it is not clear if the pilot is the one who was shot down by the U.S. earlier today, although that incident may have happened further south--


Babak Makkinejad

Well, life is tough all over.

The Porkchop Express


Is there any particular reason this is being reported now when no one would touch this story 3-4 years ago?



Resefa village: 35°37'29"N 38°45'34"E
Ja'din: 35°40'57"N 38°41'17"E

These two locations are about 5.5 miles apart.

Gene O

Les -

As I said in my comment, the salafis were quick to take advantage i Daraa. On the other hand, ahtribune.com is a known publisher of conspiracy theories: they claim Trump's grampa was a pimp, claim 9/11 was a hoax, claim the holocaust and the Armenian genocide never happened. So I take anything they say with a million grains of salt.


Signaling to the faithful.

David Habakkuk


It wasn’t homosexuality, but paedophilia – and the suggestion was not that the accusation was necessarily true, but that it might have provided motive for Litvinenko to be murdered. However, to say that gave it a kind of credibility, and, as you say, Owen’s performance was extraordinary.

As with the claim that Romano Prodi was a KGB/FSB agent, which he mentioned, and the allegation that Putin had been attempting to equip Al Qaeda with a ‘mini nuclear bomb’, which was produced in evidence but left out of the report, the obvious conclusion was that Litvinenko was a totally unreliable witness.

In relation to the ‘BuzzFeed’ dossier, what is important is that anything with which Steele is involved quite patently merits zero credibility.

What Americans need to realise is what kind of animal he is – a superannuated Oxbridge students’ union politician. For a vivid picture of what such people are like, see a report in the ‘Mail’ by Claudia Joseph from February, entitled ‘He took a fact and blew it up into a story that wasn’t true: Former British spy behind Trump dirty dossier is accused of smearing a Cambridge University political rival 32 years ago.’

(See http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4181272/Trump-dossier-spy-smeared-Cambridge-rival-32-years-ago.html .)


The Independent headlines "Russia vows to shoot down all flying objects"
deconfliction hotline suspended, again.

robt willmann

The Russian Ministry of Defense issued a statement today (19 June), if these posts are genuine, that it is not going to cooperate with the de-confliction agreement with the U.S., as a result of the U.S. shooting down a Syrian military jet yesterday. Part of its statement allegedly says--

"Moreover, at that time the aircraft of the Russian Aerospace Forces were also performing combat missions in the air space of Syria. However, the Command of the coalition forces did not use the existing channels of communication between the Command of the Al Udeid Air Base (Qatar) and the Hmeymim Air Base Command to prevent air incidents in the air space of Syria.

The Russian party considers those actions of the US Command as an intentional failure to fulfill its obligations within the Memorandum on prevention of incidents and providing of flight security during the operations in Syria dated October 20, 2015.

Since June 19, 2017, the Russian Defence Ministry has stopped the cooperation with the American party within the Memorandum on prevention of incidents and providing of flight security during the operations in Syria and demands a thorough investigation of the incident by the US Command with further providing of information on its results and the taken measures.

In the combat mission zones of the Russian aviation in the air space of Syria, all kinds of airborne vehicles, including aircraft and UAVs of the international coalition detected to the west of the Euphrates River will be tracked by the Russian SAM systems as air targets."


Not being a Russian speaker, I do not know if this is the same thing--


Sputnik News says this is now the case--


The RT news website also says so--



robt willmann,

See TASS for complete, definitive announcement:

"Russia cuts deconfliction channel with Washington after US downs Syrian jet"

In case anyone missed this:


"Tillerson: US Working for Regime Change in Iran"
Says Specifics of US Policy Are Still Under Development
Jason Ditz
Posted on June 15, 2017

Speaking to the House Foreign Affairs Committee yesterday, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was asked about whether or not the Trump Administration’s policy is one of trying to impose regime change on Iran. While Tillerson insisted that the specifics of administration policy on Iran are still under development, he did confirm that the goal remains regime change.

Exactly how they expect to pull that off remains to be seen, but Tillerson said the US policy as it stands is to rely on “elements inside of Iran” who can be supported toward the end goal of regime change, with the hope it would be a “peaceful transition of that government.”

The rest is Ditz's analysis. The webpage has the C-SPAN video of Tillerson's remarks.

Tillerson's remarks, made in public, were very specific but he had to know Tehran was taking note.

In any case, so much for Trump's "no more regime change."



In which an open secret is no longer even a secret.


And how does this differ from the supposed heinous interference of Russia in US politics?


This comes at the same time or shortly after the YPG Kurds make nice with the Saudis and want (got?) money from them.


Gene O

Syrian Army (Tiger Forces?) took Resafa a few hours ago.


Plus there is word that the SDF will repatriate the Syrian pilot that bailed out over their lines after being splashed by the F-18.

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