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27 September 2017

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mike

Mohammed Moussa al-Shawwakh is saying whatever the Mukhbarat wants him to say. But I am sure there will be many commenters here who will believe his "confession" to be the final proof they are looking for. Sadly.

CENTCOM arrogant? Maybe. They do have a lot on their plate:

http://www.centcom.mil/portals/6/Images/centcommapmideast_Cropped.jpg?ver=2016-07-13-125046-033

Why you ask? Seems to me that is their charter from the National Command Authorities, and not from General Votel.

Christian Chuba

Great post TTG. Both the SDF and SAA have made evacuation arrangements to spare civilians or to gain military advantage and both sides have made something that resembles reconciliation / de-escalation agreements but the SAA and Russians have been better at it.

Between the U.S./SDF vs the Syrian / Russians, I'd say that we have grandstanded much more about it when the SAA have done this because we are always in Information War mode. I wish we wouldn't, poisoning the waters doesn't do any good and can eventually bite us but it sure makes us feel good and gives Nikki lots to rant about.

There must be tiers of ISIS members, a top tier of Baghdadi types who are 'irredeemable' and a bottom tier who are just as comfortable being part of any number of groups. I don't think we should get on our high horse about it if someone local decides that it's a good idea to let some of them scat but then again we once thought that Baghdadi was one of the more harmless ones. No one has invented a Takfiri gauge yet.

Jack

TTG, Sir

I watched Ken Burn's Vietnam War documentary. IMO, an important aspect of the documentary was perspective.

Regime change in Syria was an Obama/Hillary project aided and abetted by Ambassador Ford, the French, Germans and British and of course the prime manipulators Bibi, Erdogan, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf monarchies.

Brennan and CENTCOM were in hog heaven. No idea if they directly aided the jihadis both AQ & IS. But clearly indirectly and in a big way. Then Putin intervened. I recall Obama trolling him saying this would be another Afghanistan quagmire for Russia. Well, it seems like R+6, have the winning hand and Assad may survive and Syria will face the long road to reconstruction as a mostly secular state.

The big winners from a strategic sense are Russia, Iran and Hezbollah who earned whatever that victory means in blood. Maybe some decades from now the next Ken Burns will come along and give us a documentary of our sordid role in creating chaos and anarchy in the Middle East beginning with regime change in Iraq on the basis of false pretenses.

Babak Makkinejad

The starting point was US creation of Israel.

J

TTG,

Speaking of the Kurds, appears Kurd nationalism is bringing together Iran/Iraq/Turkey in a joint op to squash Kurd independence.

PeterAU

The US mey have turned one or more tribal groups within ISIS. The problem I see is there is no frontline between pro US ISIS and anti US ISIS. Some groups for whatever reason now friendly to both US and their current or former collegues in ISIS?

mike

Babak Makkinejad -

I am for Ahmadinejad's suggestion. Create an Israeli State carved out of land in Germany and Austria.

But Balfour was British, not American. And the US State Department was against the Balfour declaration. The US held out and did not endorse it for five years until directed to do so by Congress, which at that time was overrun by bible thumpers.

30 years later, the United Nations voted for the Partition of Palestine. The British were withdrawing and glad to get rid of that tarbaby. Russia was among the two thirds of the UN that voted for it. The only countries, other than Mid Eastern, that voted against it other were India, Greece and Cuba. Good on those three for standing up against it. If the UN had to do it over again it would be a completely different vote outcome.

jjc

The focus for SDF was removing ISIS from Raqqa, then suddenly it became a race to the Euphrates and the oil fields. The Kurdish militias have moved far outside their traditional territory. So it's hard not to see this as a land and resources grab, facilitated by a cooperative ISIS (who still attack SAA).

mike

Babak Makkinejad -

PS - Third time within a year that an Israeli Armored vehicle has flipped over.

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2017-09/27/c_136643162.htm

If true it does not say much for IDF mountain warfare skills. If it keeps up, then Hezbollah won't need all those Iranian TOW missiles.

jpb


These observations are sourced from 'Russia's Stand-Off Capability: The 800 Pound Gorilla in Syria-Andrei Martyanov'. http://www.unz.com/article/russia-the-800-pound-gorilla/

Russia's long range cruise missile capability was demonstrated from Iranian and Iraqi airspace immediately after the death of Russian General Valery Asapov and two colonels in Deir Ezzor.

The article changes my understanding of the context of operations in the Syrian War and the wisdom of further USA involvement in the area on behalf of Israel and Saudi Arabia.

I pray the danger of escalation based on the delusion of USA and IDF military superiority in the area is dispelled before we our faced with a catastrophic military defeat.

Matthew

mike: That is a good summary.

AIPAC has "snuck up on history" and Congress's current obedience is a result of AIPAC crushing internal dissent, not a natural result of "shared values" or a long-term strategy of the State Department.

Harry

Did the US create Isreal?

Dubhaltach

TTG taking what j said above @ 27 September 2017 at 10:51 PM a bit further every time I think about Kurdish independence I look at a map. The thing that leaps out at me every time is all those head waters. I find it very difficult to believe that Turkey, Iran, and whatever remains of Iraq are going to allow the Kurds to have control of the most vital asset of all. All the oil in the world is no use to you if you don't have potable water.

LeaNder

Mohammed finishes the interview by saying that he knows for a fact that the US is attempting to establish an alliance between Kurdish forces and ISIS in Deir Ezzor province in order to undermine government-led military efforts to liberate the region.

I could imagine that Russia and its partners in war wonder about what drives the Iraqi Kurds to have an election on independence right now? ...

Elijah J. M.
https://elijahjm.wordpress.com/2017/09/28/masoud-barzani-either-burned-or-paved-the-way-for-the-syrian-kurds-a-dangerous-move/

JJackson

The poorly thought out neocon dream of destuction of a Shia cresent is showning every sign of developing into something beyond their worst nightmares. When the dust settles they may well be faced by a new Warsaw pact of the feared Shia cresent plus the defection of Turkey and Qatar. The new Hizb re-armed and retrained by the Russians - quite possibly with defacto control of Lebanon. At this point the Golan would seem vunerable and should it go Jordan may well begin to wonder if a realignment may not also be in its best interests. What then Judea and Sumeria?
As to TTG's why? My guess would be that the incoherent multi-faceted US FP still has significant elements that have not given up hope of a 'friendly' entity in east Syria. Trump may have given up on Syrian regieme change but I am not sure everyone else has and these delusional dreamers may still hope this can be used as a springboard from which to undo all that has occured since the start of the second Iraq war.

plantman

What can we expect from the Russian-backed coalition now that the SDF has seized some of the oil fields in Euphrates River Valley?

What I'd really like to know is how TTG or Colonel Lang would approach the situation.
Would it be better to launch and attack on the SDF now before they get dug in or tell them they must evacuate or there will be trouble or wait for final negotiations (if there are any?)

Assuming that Assad MUST have the oil receipts for rebuilding the country, he has to rout the SDF and recapture the fields.

It doesn't seem to me that the SAA has any other option except to attack.

Am I wrong?????

LeaNder

thanks mike,

I agree that Ahmadinejad had some good points, unfortunately the overall 'feel and touch' was heavily off from a communicative point of view. Irony alert: What part of Germany and Austria would be on your mind? But yes, considering the ME I can understand the idea. Tyrol/Adige popped up here once in family history:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Tyrolean_secessionist_movement

Considering how far back the earliest document here in Cologne referring to the Jewish community goes, maybe it should be the region of the Jekke, the Rhinelands? Wouldn't that be the best place? Unfortunately hard to cut out regions in Austria from here on down South.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ashkenazi_Jews

But semi-irony apart:

One of the most interesting voices on Mondoweiss once led me to read the diplomatic papers on matters in a US online archive. That was pretty interesting.

http://mondoweiss.net/profile/hostage/

FkDahl

Did the driver fall asleep? Those things tend to happen.

The Twisted Genius

plantman,

There is no need for the R+6 to open up an offensive against the YPG/SDF. That would be an unnecessary distraction, especially at this time. They should concentrate on defeating IS, HTS and the rest of the jihadis along the Euphrates south of Deir Ezzor, in Idlib and around Damascus. They should continue to normalize ties with Jordan and Turkey and keep discussions open with the Rojava Kurds. In time the US will be the odd man out and will be pressured to leave. In my opinion the Rojava Kurds would be smart to listen to Assad and keep their distance from Barzani. It would be far better for them in the long run if they did so.

The Twisted Genius

jjc,

ISIS isn't being cooperative. They're falling apart as a conventional military force. The same thing happened on the western side of the Euphrates between DeZ and Raqqa. The IS melted away in the face of SAA attacks. We'll see what happens south of DeZ along both sides of the Euphrates.

The Porkchop Express

TTG - I think you struck a very important distinction: the issue of connivance vs. arrogance when it comes to US/assorted jihadis in Syria and around the region.

The Twisted Genius

PeterAU,

Maps can be deceiving. Neat frontlines don't exist over wide parts of the battlefield and many groups are just tiring of the fight preferring to hunker down and avoid the fighting altogether.

The Twisted Genius

Jack,

I'd also like to see Ken Burns or someone like him tackle the US involvement in Lebanon in the early 80s as an in depth documentary.

Willybilly

Archives aplenty ........

Willybilly

TPE & TTG, Thre are definitely connivance and arrogance galore... and YES the US, NATO and the Izzies are in cahoots with ISIS and ALL its cousins, sisters and brothers in arms from day one. But plausible deniability requires all the acrobatics and various posturing we have seen over the years, in a veiled but failing attempts at denying the obvious...

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