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29 June 2017

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Bill Herschel

Enormously informative. Thanks.

I used to say when Bush invaded Iraq to look for WMD, that the U.S. had entered the Iran-Iraq war on the side of Iran. Is it true to any extent to say that ISIS is the Sunni Iraqi Army blowing back? Who are these guys? Lots of them I guess are either Chechian or crypto-Chechian who certainly have Russia in their sights. Whoever they are, they're not pushovers it would appear.

Fred

"What these two are saying to the Israelis and Saudis is also of great interest to me."

What the Israelis and Saudis tell us the Russians are saying would be interesting to know too. Sadly the "cat's out of the bag" as far as our ability to read Russian message traffic thanks to ant-Trump leakers and the press.

Red Cloud

What is the Israeli motive behind all of these recent airstrikes? They expose themselves a little more each time they reach out and help Al-Qaeda, so I presume they wouldn't be doing this without some specific goal.

Is taking Baath City really that significant? IMO it would only delay the inevitable. These airstikes are nowhere near enough to propel their head choppers all the way to Damascus. It seems like a rather minor distraction to the R+6, at great cost to the zionists.

Babak Makkinejad

When Saddam Hussein was executed, there were people distributing sweets on the streets of Iranian cities.

Babak Makkinejad

Russia's Answer:

The testing on 06/27/2017 from a submarine an ICBM with the capability to carry 10 nuclear warheads of 100 kilotons each; next followed by the statement of Vladimir Putin on 06/28/2017:

"Only advanced powerful mobile armed forces are capable of securing the sovereignty and territorial integrity of our country and protecting us and our allies from any potential aggressor, as well as from pressure and intimidation by those who do not like the independent sovereign Russia.”

David Habakkuk, are you paying attention?

b

Unofficial news says that U.S. is moving its proxy forces out of the al-Tanf area into north-east Syria. Al-Tanf will obviously be given up. It no longer serves any U.S. purpose. The plans to occupy south-east Syria are for now buried. Commercial traffic between Damascus and Baghdad can resume.

The Twisted Genius

b,

I've seen that, too. Also seen mention of airlifting the al-Tanf jihadis to Shadaddi. Supposed to be part of some agreement between Washington and Damascus. That last part I have no faith in. I wonder how many of them the US is talking about taking or how many would be willing to go?

sid_finster

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/…/ex-weapons-inspec…/

Scott Ritter...boy howdy did he ever catch holy hell for refusing to go along with the Establishment Narrative on WMD in Iraq. Every neocon, every establishment shill and apologist called him a traitor or worse, and he was essentially blacklisted for being right.

Well, Scott Ritter is back, and he's at it again!

JerseyJeffersonian

Sid,

Something is amiss with the web address that you posted. Here's the one that worked for me:

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/ex-weapons-inspector-trumps-sarin-claims-built-on-lie/

And my God, does Mr. Ritter deliver on this one. I am going to spread this article around immediately.

The Twisted Genius

All,

Appears the YPG/SDF have surrounded Raqqa from the south. If true, that's good news for the R+6. The IS jihadis will have to DIP.

Peter AU

For months now, ISIS have been leaving positions they have had time to fortify to go and attack Deir Ezzor, which has been operating like a very efficient bug zapper.
Any chance will be left to operate as such until much of the desert has been cleaned up?

b

I also have my doubts about an "agreement" - sounds like the invented "deconfliction zone".

I am not sure how many of those fighters are under some "tribal authority" - i.e. were delegated by their family for a certain local purpose. Those are unlikely to go. Those who are just mercenaries may do it for the money. I doubt though that the Kurds will be very welcoming to them but they probably can use them as cannon fodder in this or that fight.

ISL

TTG thanks for the analysis,

There was a report that Russia shot down a number of US drones over the med (from Israelis news - uncertain quality), while radar painting of US airplanes has had the US back off attempting to fly air cover for ISIS. The timing could not be better for the R+6.

It baffles me what the long term US strategy is to pick the Kurds over Turkey - it is painfully obvious its one or the other, and Russia has the carrots to ensure the US choice will be a major strategic mistake. Given the strategic US decisions since the Turkish coup - the coup against Erdogan seems consistent with US policy of using the Kurds to destabilize Syria.

made a choice between Turkey and the Kurds agree the diplomatic pressure on Turkey is key, but of course if it was not for the changes on the battlefield the diplomatic dynamic would be very different.

confusedponderer

Babak,
well, Saddam Hussein has not exactly shown himself as a friend of iran. The sweets thing could be explained by that. The losses of the iran-iraqi wars were severe and did hurt iran a lot. Stuff like that is hard to forget.

Speaking of memory, I have a curious little story on this:

I remember that, back in the day, my dad was in the university hospital in Aachen after a heart attack. I visited him a lot and when he was sleeping or being treated I roamed around in the huge hospital, a new world to me, rather than just sitting and waiting on a seat in the floor.

Notably, there was a section in the hospital with SMG armed police standing at the entrance, leaving only staff through. That was curious. I was young then and quite curious so I straight asked the cops what the hell they were doing there and got a straight answer. They told me that they were guarding the treating of iranian casualties of the iran-iraq war and that I ought to go away.

sid_finster

Sorry about that.

Oddly enough I am having the same problem when posting this link to FB.

Go figure.

sid_finster

And yes, Mr. Ritter delivers.

turcopolier

sid_finster

I don't think Scott Ritter has anything useful to contribute to the present discussion. pl

Gene O

Die-In-Place?

turcopolier

TTG

Great job. It really looks to me from a map look-see that the ground from the T-3 area is a lot more difficult than would be an advance to the finished road north of albukamal and thence to Deir al-Zor. pl

turcopolier

Red Cloud

You have not been paying attention. The Izzies want to destroy the Syrian government. To that end they are backing various jihadi groups. they are now desperate because the "opposition" is losing its ass to the R+6. They can only rely on Bibi's agent in the WH for so much. In my long experience of the Izzies as chisel of liaison with IDF intelligence I found that they are remarkably short sighted. Get it? pl

Walker

Could have been civilian casualties.

The Twisted Genius

Peter AU,

I am reminded of the final line in a Jerry Clower story, "A Coon Hunting Story." John was stuck up in a tree in a fight for his life with a cougar which Jerry described as a souped up bobcat. Both the cat and John were screaming bloody murder. John begged those on the ground to shoot. They responded that they were afraid they would hit John. John replied, "Just shoot in here amongst us, cause one of gots to have some relief."

I would not want to be the poor SOB who's job it was to tell General Issam Zahreddine that we're going to hold off on relieving Deir Ezzor so he can kill off some more jihadis.

The Twisted Genius

Gene O, yes. It was also generally assumed to be the mission of a common retrograde operation... DLIC (detachment left in contact).

Gene O

There are tertiary roads to Mayadin from T2, which is close to Humayma. From Mayadin they have good roads (route 4 and a parallel) to Deir ez-Zor city, which is 44 klicks NE.

Mayadin lately has been speculated to be the new Daesh capital. From WaPo two days ago:
"The Islamic State is believed to have moved most of its leadership to Mayadin in Syria’s Euphrates Valley southeast of Raqqa, the group’s besieged de facto capital, according to U.S. intelligence officials."

Or at least the place where senior Daeshis are fleeing to with their families. The Iranians probably believe it also as they targeted Mayadin on 18 June with reported surface-to-surface mid-range ballistic missiles (Zolfaghar?).

Deir Ez-Zor seems to be in good hands with General Zahreddine. Why not focus on Mayadin and leave DeZ until later?

sid_finster

Turcopolier: why do you think so?

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