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01 September 2017

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Peter AU

I have mostly been undecided about whether Trump and Mattis where genuine about taking out the takfiri's or would continue to enable them, but a lot of signs now that this is genuine, and also working with Russia.
Re the ISIS convoy. There has been no noise from Russia, Syria, Iran about US blocking the convoy. I doubt they would have liked to let the bastards loose either, so this may be working in their favour, as they can keep hold of them without breaking their part of the deal. Also when Raqqa was left open, RUAF was destroying large convoy coming out of Raqqa towards Palmyra. Some exchanges of intel between US and Russia?

Whatever is happening it seems to be different than what was going on under the Obama admin.

Illingworth is a reporter for al-Masdar news.

Outrage Beyond

In a related vein, Alastair Crook analyzes Netanyahu's "panic" and the new reality of the resistance to Israel.

https://consortiumnews.com/2017/09/01/the-reasons-for-netanyahus-panic/

Peter AU

Andrew Illingworth twitter
https://twitter.com/oz_analysis

Annem

Can anyone explain why the ISIS families wanted to be escorted to BuKamal, right next to all those militias that would love to make minced meat out of them. Once there, how did they plan to defend themselves?

iowa steve

An excellent article. Thank you for the link.

Thirdeye

I'm inclined to see the ASAA claim as an attempt to ratchet up the Iran-in-Syria issue in the US after it so miserably failed to impress the Russians, most likely with an eye towards bringing US pressure to bear on Russia through pressure on Trump. Painting arch-Zionist Trump as somehow being convinced by the Russians to all of a sudden take a benign view towards Iran seems silly, but silliness hasn't disqualified anything else so far.

turcopolier

thirdeye

"arch-Zionist Trump" You really do not understand him. He isn'tan arch anything except arch-egotist. He will dump anyone and anything that he thinks is causing him real damage. Crooke is right. pl

Bill Herschel

Off topic. Is it the case than neither Kelly, Mattis, nor McMaster saw a day of combat in Vietnam? I am not seeking to pour gasoline onto a lighted fire, but much has been made of Cheney's, Trump's, Bush's, Clinton's deferments, so I think it is relevant that the Generals who surround Trump are in the same league. And not simply from a public relations point of view.

DH

I'll take Manhattan, the Bronx, and Staten Island, too...

Babak Makkinejad

Israel is not a Western country.

turcopolier

Bill herschel

They are all too young I think. pl

MRW
Bibi must be eating his own guts at the thought.
Ode to Joy.
johnf

An excellent article. Israel invaded Lebanon and after 20 years of war was faced by Hezbollah. Israel and her supporters started endless wars in the Middle East to supposedly overcome a non-existent "Shia Crescent." Now after 16 years it is faced by a real "Shia Crescent" backed by Russia and China, with the Gulfies in turmoil and the US and Europe at best indifferent.

Those whom the gods would destroy they first make Netanyahu.

The Porkchop Express

Hariri claims he and Aoun decided to let Daesh leave Lebanese territory. Not Hezb.

Lemur

Col, I am a little confused over who is associated with who. My understanding was Illingworth is with the pro-Assad anti Saudi AMN, but both your links go to the same Illingworth article at AMN, and I can find no Illingworth articles at the other publication.

On another note, I'd like to point out Trump's non alt-right MAGA base is oblivious to his deviation from the Israeli agenda in Syria. I keep up to date with Conservative Tree House as a representative sample, and they remain firmly persuaded Bibi has an unshakable friend in the white house now. A little rhetoric gets you a long way...

Great article outlining in what respects Trump steamrolled over the Israeli lobby's 'concerns': http://www.middleeasteye.net/columns/israels-syria-policy-collapses-63932273

turcopolier

lemur

I told you that I have no idea who Illingworth is. pl

mike

Dunford was too young. Both Mattis and Kelly enlisted during that time frame, Mattis in 69 and Kelly in 70. But Melvin Laird's 'Vietnamization' policy had been started by then and troops were coming home. So Mattis and Kelly never got there.

On the Daesh bus convoy, I tend to agree with what PeterAU implied above that Syria is happy with not letting them go. Although there are reports in the Iraqi press and here that some did get through to Daesh territory. About 100 fighters per the Iraqi press, a dozen or two by using civilian vehicles per the Miami Herald. Coalition says the 17 busses are still within SAA lines.

https://twitter.com/DavidMWitty1/status/903925762759196673

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/article170953607.html

Iranian Ambassador to Iraq, Iraj Masjedi, is doing a lot of explaining and non-apology apologies in Baghdad.

DH

from Lemur's article:

"But now it is becoming clear that Israel’s aims in Syria are not going to be accomplished. Assad will stay in power, Iran will increase its presence, Hezbollah will emerge stronger and, despite the Israeli air force sorties, the group’s missile arsenal is probably bigger with more accurate weaponry."

All, is there any truth to the claim that in 2003 Israel begged Bush II to go after Iran instead of Iraq?

turcopolier

mike

Enlisted? If they were officers service schools, etc would have delayed a possible arrival in VN past the time that there were any USMC untis left in theater. By the time I got back to VN in early '72 the only US ground combat units were three army brigades who were not much use any longer due to propaganda from CONUS and a deep seated "last man to die" phobia. I was in SOG and its post stand down successor STDAT-158 and that was quite different. the only marines I saw in that tour were adviserd to the RVN marines. pl

mike

Colonel -

Yes, I left in 71 with 1st Marines. I think they were the last Marine regiment to leave. Have forgotten what month.

Mattis enlisted in the reserves while an ROTC cadet. He graduated in 71.

Kelly enlisted in 70, spent two years in Camp Lejeune in an infantry company before going to college and becoming a Mustang via an enlisted-to-officer program available at that time.

mike

A pro-Assad military commander has denied the Iraqi press reports that a hundred Daesh fighters got through to caliphate controlled territory.

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-syria-convoy/hezbollah-syrian-army-seek-new-route-for-stranded-islamic-state-convoy-idUSKCN1BD0HO

lally

Lemur.

The sick joke of the Iraq debacle was that the Israelis did not consider Saddam to be any threat to Israel. PM Ariel Sharon stated that Iraq had ceased to be a threat to Israel since 1993 and that target Iran would be preferable. The Israelis went along with our plans for Saddam and of course insisted that we do whatever possible to protect them from any possibility, even if remote, that Iraqi missiles could find their way into Israel. But, there was very little Israeli consensus that there was any real threat and in fact, shortly before his stroke, Sharon claimed that Saddam called him personally during Operation Desert Fox to reassure him that there would be no missiles fired Israel's way. Sharon was FM at the time.

The israelis did express their preference for target Iran without much hope that we would or could change course.

The neocons and their agents apparently thought they knew better how to blaze the long trail to that particular goal.

ToivoS

There has been no noise from Russia, Syria, Iran about US blocking the convoy. I noticed that too. In addition I was unable to find any mention of this story of the US bombing the road blocking the Takfaries in the English language Russian press. This tells me that R+6 does not particularly oppose this action. I wouldn't be surprised to discover that in fact the Russians and Americans discussed this issue in their deconfliction talks beforehand.

Laguerre

Superb piece by Crooke. I'm astounded the Israelis allow him to stay in Nazareth. I can only suppose the Israelis feel they can overhear more easily what he's up to there in country.

Emad

Mike,

Could you provide a link to the news on the Iranian ambassador in Iraq doing a lot of explaining? Thank you.

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