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23 October 2017


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I have an idea Russia fancies the Turk man as a check on the Persian man.


I don't know about Al-Omar Oil Field. It barely produced any oil, even before the SHTF. It's not much of a strategic gain imo.

As for Tillerson and US FP, it seems we're at the stage of the game where we get up from the table, and flip it over.


"The foreign fighters in Syria need to go home and allow the Syrian people to regain control"
I am sure the families of US servicemen in Syria will be delighted to here they are coming home - or is that not what he meant?


Apparently, the American people also must be shielded from anyone who might point out that the jihadist activity in Niger and neighboring Mali is directly related to the US and NATO bombing of Libya, which enabled al-Qaeda and other Muslim militants to overthrow the secular regime of Col. Muammar Qaddafi. That Obama-Clinton operation in 2011, besides producing Qaddafi’s grisly murder and turning Libya into a nightmare, facilitated the transfer of weapons and fanatical guerrillas from Libya to nearby countries in the Sahel – as well as Syria. Since then the US government has been helping the French to “stabilize” its former colony Mali with surveillance drones and Green Berets based in Niger. Nice work, Nobel Peace Prize winner Obama and Secretary of State Clinton. (Citizen Trump was an early advocate of US intervention in Libya.) Need I remind you that the US/NATO regime-change operation in Libya was based on a lie? Obama later said his failure to foresee the consequences of the Libya intervention was the biggest mistake of his presidency.


different clue

It would appear that if the permagov players feel they have lost their "Assad must go" due to Trump, that they can at least have " Assad must suffer, and so must Syria".

I am surprised that the RussiaGov would facilitate the Erdogan occupation of part of Idlib Province. Certainly Erdogan will turn it into de facto annexation as soon as he can. If it looks to the Arab World that Russia has facilitated the Turkification of Occupied Idlib, will this cause the RussiaGov to lose popularity and respect in the Arab World? And if Erdogan establishes illegal Turkish settlements in Occuppied Idlib, how will that look?

And if Ergogan thinks he is a great chess master, perhaps in a few years time he will cause incidents from Occupied Idlib into neighboring Syria . . . and if Syria responds militarily; will Erdogan claim Turkey has been militarily attacked by a non-NATO member and demand a NATO response under Article Five? Could this be in Erdogan's mind a future backdoor to "Assad must go"?

There is still time for EUrope to abrogate NATO, form its own NEATO without America and Canada and withOUT Turkey; and pre-take those pieces off the board out of reach of Erdogan's grasping little fingers.


In Riyadh Tillerson also warned European companies from doing business with Iran. Two days earlier he had (WSJ) given a green light for European companies to do business with Iran. Whatever he says is obviously worthless.
The Omar oil field is not in the hands of the SDF. Some local ISIS aligned tribes in the area had offered through one SDF gang-leader from Deir Ezzor (a known criminal) to change sides to the SDF. No SDF fighter is even near the area.

It is obvious that the U.S. now makes efforts to bribe all local ISIS to its side. They will likely continue to fight the SAA under that new label.
The only thing Turkey did in Idelb was to surround the Kurdish enclave Efrin. For that purpose Erdogan made a deal with al-Qaeda.

Turkey is a huge headache for Syria. It is unclear to me why the Russians allowed them in. I can only hope that Putin is willing to use his airforce to push them out when the time has come.



To call Qathafi's regime "secularist" is a bad joke. It completely ignores his efforts to construct a new form of Islam centered around the "Little Green Book" and the Jamahiriya. pl

Babak Makkinejad

You'd be wrong.

For the first time in 300 years Russia and Iran are separated by buffer states; having a maritime border only in the Caspian sea.

They have no bone of contention, no territorial claims, no civilization leadership claims, no political claims, no ethnic claims against one another.

It is Turkey, a NATO state, that has been constantly an irritant to the Russian Federation; supplying Chechen separatists and harboring them in Turkey, being a member of an anti-Russian alliance, and laying claim to the leaders ship of Sunni Muslims (majority of the Russian Muslims) as well as claims to a nebulous pan-Turkic leadership. And there is the little role that they played in Syria.

Russia will supply Iran as a buffer state against Western Fortress, which includes Turkey - in my opinion.


Re the US intent to make it difficult for Syria to recover, there's this report...

Washington Forbids Serbia From De-Mining Syria

The US tells Serbia that it provided de-mining assistance to them to be used in Serbia only and hinted that if it wants any more help there will be no de-mining of Syria.


I thought article 6 made it clear that an attack on forces which were outside NATO boundaries (inc. uninvited in some other state territory) did not qualify. As to why the Russian may be on-board with this Turkish deployment may have something to do with an end-game with the SDF allied Kurds - play nice or we may let our Turkish dogs off the leash. The pocket in the far NW is looking precarious.

Peter AU

Russian strategy in Syria is as much a geopolitical chess game as it is fighting the jihadists. There has been no public condemnation of Erdogan, for his moves in Idlib, coming from Russia.
A possible reason for the move may be to take the various jihadists in Idlib under state control as in the Jarabulas area.


Gaddafi was a muslim, and he did change islam in Libya.
I would not have called Gaddafi "secular", but Libya under Gaddafi was certainly was "more secular" than Saudi Arabia, where Christian churches are not allowed to exist.
I view Gaddafi as having searched the political and economic theory of the world (not just religion) to find solutions for government. This search included capitalism, socialism, marxism, and included voluntary cooperatives. And yes there certainly was an element of the cult of personality in the green book, as there was in Mao's red book.
Gaddafi was 27 years old when he came to power, and his ideas evolved with experience.
Perhaps my favorite quote:
"if we were to restrict ourselves to the support of Muslims only, that would be an example of bigotry and selfishness: True Islam is the one that defends the weak, even if they are not Muslims".
I do not feel qualified to "pass judgment" on Gaddafi, have never been to Libya, and I do not speak/read arabic as you do. He certainly accomplished many things, including the economic progress of his citizens, including his great underground river irrigation project.
I DO think that there would be fewer refugees fleeing to europe, and fewer terrorist gangs in central africa if Gaddafi had not been "overthrown"/killed.


Erdogen does appear rather adept at playing all sides, now apparently there's a handshake deal with HTS/al-Qaeda to cooperate with Turkish troops. Let's see how long that lasts.


=== block quote from article ===

Turkey and some of the opposition’s secondary intention in this first phase is to establish a Turkish protected area in northern Idlib, which can be used to start a slow and gradual campaign to undermine HTS. Some of Turkey’s long-term partners in Syria, groups like Failaq al-Sham and Ahrar al-Sham, are on board with this strategy.

They don’t want to enter a full-scale confrontation with HTS. Instead, they want to more methodically undermine the extremist wings of HTS, particularly to try to encourage defections and divisions within HTS to make it a more manageable competitor rather than an adversary.

From what I’m told, Turkish intelligence has been working on this for some time already, in cooperation with opposition groups previously close to HTS. A spate of recent assassinations are apparently linked to this subversion campaign and, perhaps more importantly, so are a number of recent audio leaks of HTS internal communications.

Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg

Vindictive as ever, the US means to cripple and break up Syria by whatever means are at hand. It's hardly a surprise they seized the oil fields.
The US foreign policy establishment is so far up Likud's gastro-intestinal tract, they don't know which way is up anymore.


You are factual and correct IMO, thank you



I agree with all that. b makes an issue of the US/SDF having induced a transfer of allegiances of some tribesmen from IS to "the gang." That is a normal feature of the game of nations. B knows that. pl



Is it possible that this influenced the disappearance (and probable murder) of Musa as-Sadr in Libya? The 'why' still intrigues me.


I saw, it works for both. If that is the rule for Iraq then why should it not be equally valid for Syria, the problem is, as you point out, that the Tillerson would be blind to that kind of logic. It obviously could not apply to the indispensable nation and the forces of light.


Abadi told Tillerson the paramilitary force called Popular Mobilisation “is part of the Iraqi institutions,” rejecting accusations that it is acting as Iran’s proxies.
“Popular Mobilisation fighters should be encouraged because they will be the hope of country and the region,” he said.
A few hours earlier, Abadi’s office published a statement rejecting Tillerson’s comments. “No party has the right to interfere in Iraqi matters,” it said 



IMO, Babak makes a reasoned and factual analysis with regard to Russia, Iran, strategic relations. With one caveat/ stipulation IMO, that is Russia is not reliable with regard to her strategic partners (IMO she came a little too late to help Syria) IMO she is willing to drop any partner to be accepted as european/western country. IMO this is correct with regard to Iran nuclear file during Medvedev.



"Abadi told Tillerson the paramilitary force called Popular Mobilisation “is part of the Iraqi institutions" This level of f--k up is evidence of State professionals sabotaging Tillerson. This reminds me of a director of DIA who failed to read the briefing papers before the office visit of a European counterpart. He told the man that he should have brought his lovely wife to Washington only to be told that she had died a year before. pl



That is possible. BTW I detested Qathafi. pl


Colonel you mean someone is pulling the rug from under him?, b suggest that someone is him, as he hopes to get fired.


Colonel, IMO even if Abadi wanted to send PMU home he couldn't, I would think he would be going home before PMU, PMU was formed with and after A. Sistani Fatwa, no way that jeni can be put back in the box.


off topic, but thought you might enjoy talk by Dominic Lieven on Russian revolution:
The peak of tsarist Russia’s international power and prestige came with the leading role it played in the defeat of Napoleon in 1812-15. The key to Russian military power was its European-style combined arms (infantry/artillery/cavalry) army that used contemporary military weaponry to best effect by training to manoeuvre, coordinate and fight in close-order formation. But Russian power also owed much to elements typical of Eurasian military tradition. Uniquely among the European great powers it employed “colonial” units to great effect in the Napoleonic War: these were the Cossacks, whose traditions were rooted in warfare on the Eurasian steppe. In pre-modern warfare the horse was the equivalent of the modern tank, aeroplane, mobile artillery and lorry: it was in other words essential to reconnaissance, shock, pursuit and mobile firepower. Because of its Eurasian steppe territories Russia was far richer than any of its great-power rivals as regards horses. The Cossacks played a great role in Russian victory over Napoleon but Russia’s immense reserves of horsepower were even more significant.

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