« Israel is testing Russia ... | Main | Deir al-Zor Province - the wild east of Syria »

10 September 2017


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


Col., I know you use SouthFront so you might find this of interest:

SouthFront's Work Is Fully Blocked on YouTube (Updated)



In the joint press conference with the Emir of Kuwait, in answer to a question regarding Syria, POTUS just repeated the same sentence twice, "We are there to kill ISIS."


Syria claims an F-15 was downed off the coast of Lebanon near Sidon (southern Lebanon).



Colonel –

1. Regarding the stranded Daesh bus convoy: There was a report by the coalition spokesman that before they had broken off surveillance they observed something that appeared to be a fistfight, or some type of serious altercation among a group of those Daeshis.

2. Regarding the F15 and the S200 engagement: Both are 50-year old designs. It will be interesting to see how that worked out.

8. Regarding the SDF at the DeZ industrial zone: Which US general made the comment that the R+6 will not be allowed to cross the Euphrates? Lieutenant General Townsend said a few days ago that there was a deconfliction zone set up with the Russians ‘generally’ along the line of the Euphrates, but more discussion on that line would continue. However, he never said that ”R+6 will not be allowed to cross”. That may have been a reporter’s interpretation?



The Russians HAVE not agreed to any restrictions on the SAA. The line of de-confliction is not limiting. It is merely a line of de-confliction.

robt willmann

Number 6 should be at the top of the to-do list; making a bridge over the Euphrates River in order to get to the other side, the east side. This is what I have been very concerned about for a long time. Then, a drive straight east to the border of Syria and Iraq. If it can be done with an angle up northeast some, so much the better. This will create a barrier to the SDF and others who want what is south of there: the oil and gas pipelines and oil and gas fields.

After reaching the Syria and Iraq border, R+6 would make as strong an effort as possible to clear the area south of that new barrier line and east of the Euphrates, all the way to the Syrian border with Iraq, and around to where the Euphrates River intersects the border with Iraq. Then, drive west along the Syria-Iraq border a ways and then back up at an angle to Palmyra (Tadmur). This will give Syria and its army control of their border from east of Deir ez Zor (Dayr az Zawr) going south and all the way around and going west toward the border with Jordan. They will then have control of those all-important oil and gas fields and pipelines in that area, as well as the Euphrates River.

There are also oil and gas fields north-northeast of Palmyra going to the Euphrates and Raqqa. Syria should be able to gain control of that area as long as R+6 does not let the SDF/Kurds drift further south.

If a pontoon bridge is being contemplated, that seems to mean that there is not a bridge over the Euphrates at Deir ez Zor, or it has been destroyed.

The Twisted Genius

The official CJTF-OIR statement says territory won by YPG/SDF military action will be turned over to local tribal leaders for administration. The statement says nothing about preventing any SAA crossing of the Euphrates. It was some members of a Raqqa civilian council who said claimed that British MG Rupert Jones, DCINC of the CJTF, said the SAA would not be allowed to cross the Euphrates. The CJTF has not confirmed this. This sound like a miscommunication or outright bullshit.

My guess is that the R+6 will be talking with those local tribal leaders to ensure Damascus has a say in what goes on east of the Euphrates. It will be an extension of the de-escalation process that seems to be working well. I strongly suspect the Rojava Kurds are already in earnest talks with Damascus over their long-term future.


The Kurds have suddenly made huge territorial strides because the ISIS periphery is crumbling. But as they engage with ISIS forces who have concentrated along the Euprhates River Valley, their progress will suddenly slow. Most of their forces are still tied down in Raqqah.

It is the SAA who now has the manpower to go all the way to the Iraqi border. Once the Hama pocket is resolved, a fresh wave of troop concentration in the east can take place.


Colonel -

Let's hope the line of de-confliction works. There is no sense spilling the blood of those who are also fighting the headchoppers.

However I do not believe there is a deconfliction agreement that covers the entire Euphrates within Syria as the general you mentioned. The coalition commander never said that it did. He stated discussions were ongoing as to where that line would be. No US officer, general or not, who publicly says R+6 would not be allowed to cross the river should be reprimanded IMHO.



Syria east of the river is still Syrian sovereign territory. Why should we try to keep the SAG from re-occupying their national territory? The de-confliction line is not a partition line. I didn't say anything about reprimands. pl



McGovern is a grandstanding attention seeker. I refuse to talk to him. pl


Robt W -

Deir ez-Zor was at one time called the 'city of bridges', most famous for a 1920s French built suspension bridge that has been described as an architectural wonder. That was destroyed by the Syrian regime in 2013. In the next year they destroyed the other bridge in the city. The Russian Air Force destroyed another in 2015 but it is not clear to me if that was a different bridge or a re-strike on one that had been rebuilt. I believe all of the Euphrates River bridges within Deir ez-Zor province have been destroyed. The Coalition has taken out some others further to the southeast closer to the Iraqi border.

PS - The SDF do not want the oil and gas fields you mention, nor do they want the pipelines. What would they do with that oil and gas? The oil pipelines go to refineries and ports in regime held Syria. The gas pipelines go to regime held cities such as Homs, Hama, Aleppo, Damascus and others.


Colonel -

I never said we should keep the Syrian regime from re-occupying their national territory.

I was the one that mentioned reprimands. In my opinion any US general who stated what you claim he stated should be reprimanded.


Lemur -

The Kurds and their Arab/Syriac SDF allies made huge territorial strides long before the SAA moved into the Suknah/Deir ez-Zor axis and broke the siege of Deir ez-Zor city.

The area the SDF is taking just now in Deir ez-Zor province is an extremely small percent of what they had previously taken from Daesh in 2014/15/16 and earlier this year.

You are probably right that their progress will be slowed now. They are armed as light infantry. They have none of the heavy weapons and armor available to the SAA and affiliates.


If that was a British officer making the threat it could well be under the orders of Michael Farron, the deeply unpleasant British Defence Secretary. The do-nothing British Cabinet at the moment under Theresa May consists of a collection of zombies, clowns, and incompetents, all making signs that they would like to take over power from her. Sources close to Michael Farron have suggested that if he takes a "strong" position in a foreign policy "crisis" (preferably against Putin), this could provide him with the keys to Number 10.


pl I am quite interested in your involvement with VIPS. I noticed that you were once associated with them a decade or so ago. I,and I suspect many others, would be interested in your take one the current split in VIPS that has appeared in The Nation. I can understand if this is something you would like to avoid but this whole guccifer 2.0 story seems like a major story. I have been following it intensely but have trouble figuring out who is correct


@mike - the deconfliction agreement does not cover the whole Euphrates but just from the west to Deir Ezzor city. There is no agreement for anything east of the city. Gen Townsend and Centcom spokesperson Dillon have expressed that they hope to hav ea future agreement, i.e. they do not have one now.


- The claim that SAA will not be allowed to cross the Euphrates comes from the unreliable bullcrap account @Raqqa24. It is nonsense. There is o record of any "coalition" official saying such.

- The claim of the S-200 vs. F-15 comes from one Syrian account which has had several other "exclusives" that turned out to be nonsense.
No one from Lebanon or Syria or Israel confirmed it. Such things do not happen without bystanders noticing it. It is a nice fantasy - nothing more.

- The progress of the SDF towards Deir Ezzor industrial zone is unconfirmed. If this happened at all it clearly means that there is an agreement with ISIS and that ISIS moved out. 30 kilometers progress against ISIS through several villages without firing a shot is otherwise not possible. McGurk has hired some of the DEZ tribes that had pledged allegiance to ISIS (various photos show the tribal leaders with McGurk and before that with ISIS).

- There are now reports about at least four exfiltration operations by U.S. special forces in the Euphrates area east of Deir Ezzor. Two of these reports come through SOHR/MI6, two others from Russian officials (more form Iraqi forces). These ain't just all hot air. Those exfiltrated were said to be foreigners (Egyptians etc.) How many of these were spies? How man of these had operational/leader roles within ISIS? How much of ISIS was the CIA running through these guys?


Many of the accusations where against clerics or religious institutions, and not against the Saudi gov't itself.

However, from the article
"Should there have been any doubt about the connection between these Wahhabi missionary groups and the Saudi government, they were dispelled by the groups themselves. In documents filed between 2002 and 2005, some formally declared themselves to be organs of the state. They could thus shelter behind the principal Saudi defensive fortification in the case: the immunity enjoyed by foreign countries against being sued in U.S. courts, granted by the Foreign Sovereign Immunity Act."

If Saudi looses the 911 cases badly, it will call into question the relationship between Wahhabism and the Saudi family. Saudi Arabia could be headed for a visit to the "dentist" to have the Wahhabi infrastructure extracted from the gov't. This is destabilizing, to say the least. Perhaps this is why so many want to paper over the whole affaire. Instability in Saudi Arabia would destabilize everything.



You are quite right. The Saudi state is the product of the centuries old melding of the state with the Wahhabi sect. IMO the two things are inextricably linked. An attempt to separate the two could only be possible in the context of a violent revolution of some sort. pl



"There are now reports about at least four exfiltration operations by U.S. special forces in the Euphrates area east of Deir Ezzor. Two of these reports come through SOHR/MI6, two others from Russian officials (more form Iraqi forces). These ain't just all hot air. Those exfiltrated were said to be foreigners (Egyptians etc.) How many of these were spies? How man of these had operational/leader roles within ISIS? How much of ISIS was the CIA running through these guys?" Aw c'mon, what you are describing is the efficient and effective functioning of HUMINT clandestine penetration operations with regard to the IS organization. I am quite pleased at the thought. You would, of course, want to exfiltrste both US case officers, some of foreign birth, and their assetss including their families. these people are of continuing value.
the bombing of SAA troops in 2016 takes on a different aspect in light of such operations because it is never possible when dealing with an asset or assets recruited from among an enemy to exclude the possibility of mis-direction. In addition to the kind of espionage personnel (controllers and assets) that we have been talking about there evidently have also been US and perhaps British SOF reconnaissance teams in the area now contested by SAA and IS. One wouldwant to withdraw them as well at this point . As for the rest of your comments tone is nasty and aggressive and they display a regrettable desire to score points. pl



I am unfamiliar with the article in the Nation. I initially "joined" VIPS in the early stages of the Iraq War. I was urged to do so by someone within the group. Frankly, they wanted to use my name. I dis-associated myself from the group when McGovern started using the group to massage his ego. pl



"what you claim he stated" I did not claim anything. I reported that there was such a story. If it were true and that was not US policy then he should be fired. pl


thanks, helpful, Russel. I was close to babble, never mind it was off topic here. But then decided to check on a maybe somewhat misleading recent comment over here on my mind fitting into the larger context. In hindsight.

In any case a Saudi institution over here in Bonn surfaced in MSM research as a result of interests in the 9/11 Hamburg Cell as one tiny part of the larger puzzle.

Apparently it hasn't been closed down by German authorities, at least not on the surface, until 16 years later. Official context: the Saudi government itself seems to have agreed to close it down. To the extend I checked DW pretty superficially, I admit.



The main point I noted is that Binney says they continue experiments to try to find a way to get 1.9GB of data transmitted over the Internet from the US to Russia or Eastern Europe in 87 seconds. So far they can't do it. Binney says they're aware of Gigabit Ethernet but it's not clear whether they've tried that yet.
Binney said that it the transfer rates are not fast enough. I agree. The bottleneck is always the slowest link. You can not force it, not even with the smartest people and the best equipment. If you have a dedicated dataline it's possible, but then it wouldn't be a hack and a local transfer (eg to a disk/stick) is much easier. All it takes is a couple of minutes.

BTW the LaRouchePAC seem to live in a world of their own. The British empire? That only exists in the imagination of some Brits (no pun intended)

I was a bit disappointed that William Binney took part. IMO he is someone who is guided by a strong moral compass and his own status/position/fame is not important for him.


What are Salman and Bibi's next moves? Regime change v2.0 by assassination of Assad??


The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo

February 2021

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
Blog powered by Typepad