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22 November 2017

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james

thanks ttg.. aside from the abbreviated words which i don't know what they stand for, i appreciate your update and share your viewpoint on usa presence in syria..

Peter AU

Is centcom a seperate entity to the US state.?
Looks like centcom have moved deep into Obama's 'quagmire'.

The Twisted Genius

Peter AU,

CENTCOM is the US Central Command, a combatant command of the Department of Defense. It has no connection to the Department of State. The chain of command goes from the President to the Secretary of Defense to the combatant commander.

b

There are at least 1,700 U.S. troops in Syria now, only 500 have been earlier admitted.

Allover the U.S. deployment in the Middle East has increased by 33% over just four month. Turkey, UAE, Qatar and Bahrain seem to have the biggest increases. There are no reasonable explanations for these.
https://www.yahoo.com/news/trump-apos-secret-war-u-192745096.html

The Trump administration is trying to dig up anything than could somehow be blamed on Iran (for one example see alleged Al-Qaeda Iran connection dropped by the CIA to FDD)

Is this a build up to something?

Green Zone Café

It is bizarre that CENTCOM forward is in Qatar, a country which continues to be threatened by Saudia and its vassal the UAE. The Qatar stock market has been on a constant decline since the crisis, must be choking their economy.

All events, including the Hariri drama, the US occupation of eastern Syria, and the Kurdistan independence bid, continue to indicate the relentless pressure to eventually Bomb Iran, something the neocons, Bibi and maybe the Saudis seemingly will never give up on.

Your view is more optimistic than mine. I hope you are right and the US sees reality. Otherwise, what? Saudi, Israeli and maybe US bombing of Hezbollah in Lebanon? More US bombing of Syrian because "chemical weapons?" Congress directly arming the KDP in Iraq? Leading up to the main event - US, UAE, Saudis and Israelis bombing Iran.

JohnB

Thanks for the update TTG

The Duran article is very much on the ball for me. It's good to see that Trump & Putin have the sort of 'chemistry' that can allow things to be done, which is one shafts of light in US/Russia relations.

I am not a Trump fan but i think he was and is genuine in wanting better relations with Russia but sadly the shadow of Russiagate has made that really difficult.

turcopolier

TTG

Perhaps Peter AU means independent of the US government. Great piece. Once again I think it would be better to have he overland route to Iran terminate in a Syrian port rather than Beirut. pl

AEL

TTG: Does the emerging Shia Highway interact with China's One Belt, One Road initiative? If so, will it draw Turkish eyes eastward as they trade even more with Turkic language markets in central Asia?

English Outsider


What is here postulated is a Kurdish entity in North-Eastern Syria taking in as much non-Kurdish or minority Kurdish territory as can be achieved and hosting military bases. Presumably it would be re-inforced by Kurdish refugees from other areas and would also be a slightly less toxic ally for our client ME states than Israel.

Is that what we are hoping is on the cards? If so, it would be difficult to think of anything more foolish. It would be a message to other troubled regions. Don't let the West in at any cost because if you do they'll use your minorities as a lever against you.

On Trump, one of the links contains this:-

"Though Trump is extremely inexperienced and many of his ideas about foreign policy are frankly amateur, he nonetheless comes across as warm and approachable in a way that his cold and aloof predecessor Barack Obama never did.

"The result is that other world leaders – especially those outside Europe – like him in a way that they never liked Barack Obama, and are prepared to cut him slack, even when they disagree with him.

"That suggests that if the US bureaucracy was prepared to work with Trump and not against him, and instead of seeking to undermine him at every turn sought to help him gain the experience and understanding of world affairs he needs to do his job, then he could in time become an extremely effective foreign policy President."

Maybe an effective domestic policy President too, if they let him.

plantman

Boy, you have to be impressed with the way Putin is handling this deal.
He basically declares victory and calls a big meeting to see if everyone has had enough.
He huddled with Assad yesterday and must have told him he'll have to make concessions he otherwise would not have made.
My guess, is that there will be more of a federal arrangement post-Astana (but that's just a guess)

The Kurds will abandon statehood if they get sufficient autonomy and the Turks will partially withdraw if the get assurances that the Kurds won't set up a state along the southern border.
But what does Trump want, or does he know?
And will he be sandbagged by Izzie into causing more trouble?

Stay tuned!

Willybilly

It will terminate at the Tabbouleh line, come hell or high water or any other Zioconned dreams.....

Enrico Malatesta

Even economically, one has to admire Putin's grasp of the long game. The US/SDF may have captured Eastern Syria oilfields, but who will they sell the output to, and how will they get it to market? It seems the best that the US/SDF can do is act like a crude version of Exxon/BP while shoveling US$$'s to local tribal leaders in the David Petraeus model.

Babak Makkinejad

Kurds, in my opinion, will not abandon the idea of statehood in Iran, or Iraq, or in Turkey; no matter how impractical; as the recent earthquake in Kermanshah demonstrated the utter and abject dependence of so many people's recovery on the rest of Iran. The dream will live on.

outthere


the usa/israel neocons (and the saudis) are so desperate to blame iran for anything/everything
they want usa to destroy iran for their benefit as iran is too powerful for israel to attack alone
gareth porter is xlnt at examining their claims


> The 19-page Arabic-language document, which was translated in full for TAC, doesn’t support the media narrative of new evidence of Iran-Al Qaeda cooperation, either before or after 9/11, at all. It provides no evidence whatsoever of tangible Iranian assistance to Al Qaeda. On the contrary, it confirms previous evidence that Iranian authorities quickly rounded up those Al Qaeda operatives living in the country when they were able to track them down, and held them in isolation to prevent any further contact with Al Qaeda units outside Iran.

> The first Iranian campaign to round up Al Qaeda personnel, which the author of the documents says was focused on Zahedan, came in May or June 2002—no more than three months after they have had entered Iran. Those arrested were either jailed or deported to their home countries. The Saudi Foreign Minister praised Iran in August for having transferred 16 Al Qaeda suspects to the Saudi government in June.
>
> In February 2003 Iranian security launched a new wave of arrests. This time they captured three major groups of Al Qaeda operatives in Tehran and Mashad, including Zarqawi and other top leaders in the country, according to the document. Saif al Adel later revealed in a post on a pro-Al Qaeda website in 2005 (reported in the Saudi-owned newspaper Asharq al-Awsat), that the Iranians had succeeded in capturing 80 percent of the group associated with Zarqawi, and that it had “caused the failure of 75 percent of our plan.”
>
> The anonymous author writes that the initial Iran policy was to deport those arrested and that Zarqawi was allowed to go to Iraq (where he plotted attacks on Shia and coalition forces until his death in 2006). But then, he says, the policy suddenly changed and the Iranians stopped deportations, instead opting to keep the Al Qaeda senior leadership in custody—presumably as bargaining chips. Yes, Iran deported 225 Al Qaeda suspects to other countries, including Saudi Arabia, in 2003. But the Al Qaeda leaders were held in Iran, not as bargaining chips, but under tight security to prevent them from communicating with the Al Qaeda networks elsewhere in the region, which Bush administration officials eventually acknowledged.
> After the arrests and imprisonment of senior al Qaeda figures, the Al Qaeda leadership became increasingly angry at Iran. In November 2008, unknown gunmen abducted an Iran consular official in Peshawar, Pakistan, and in July 2013, al Qaeda operatives in Yemen kidnapped an Iranian diplomat. In March 2015, Iran reportedly released five of the senior al Qaeda in prison, including Said al-Adel, in return for the release of the diplomat in Yemen. In a document taken from the Abbottabad compound and published by West Point’s Counter-Terrorism Center in 2012, a senior Al Qaeda official wrote, “We believe that our efforts, which included escalating a political and media campaign, the threats we made, the kidnapping of their friend the commercial counselor in the Iranian Consulate in Peshawar, and other reasons that scared them based on what they saw (we are capable of), to be among the reasons that led them to expedite (the release of these prisoners).”
> There was a time when Iran did view Al Qaeda as an ally. It was during and immediately after the war of the mujahedin against Soviet troops in Afghanistan. That, of course, was the period when the CIA was backing bin Laden’s efforts as well. But after the Taliban seized power in Kabul in 1996— and especially after Taliban troops killed 11 Iranian diplomats in Mazar-i-Sharif in 1998—the Iranian view of Al Qaeda changed fundamentally. Since then, Iran has clearly regarded it as an extreme sectarian terrorist organization and its sworn enemy. What has not changed is the determination of the U.S. national security state and the supporters of Israel to maintain the myth of an enduring Iranian support for Al Qaeda.

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/translated-doc-debunks-narrative-of-al-qaeda-iran-alliance/

eakens

All Russia and Iran are doing is taking advantage of situations where their opponents can't explain, in clear terms, what they're fighting for.

Kooshy

Happy Thanksgiving to all SST corespondents and commentators, special thanks to Colonel Lang for SST.

The Twisted Genius

Sid Finster,

Someone made that same observation to that original tweet. The SDF is incorporating tribal militias formerly allied with IS. Some of that probably works, but it does also provide a safe haven to to die hard jihadis. As long as we impede the YPG/SDF reconciliation with Damascus, we continue to provide aid and comfort to the anti-Assad jihadis. Our smartest move would be to continue striking the remnants of IS east of the Euphrates and encourage (or at least non discourage) YPG/SDF reconciliation with Damascus. I just don't know if we can get over our "Assad must go" mentality to do this.

The Twisted Genius

AEL,

That all could come about and I think it would be a smart move for Turkey. I don't think the US, Israelis and Saudis will stand still for any of that happening though.

turcopolier

All

One of the interesting things going on is the way the MSM accepts the Ziocon/Israeli line that all the fighting in Syria west of the Euphrates is done by Iranian forces or its associated militias. I wonder if the Israelis are so blind as to believe that. pl

james

us/sdf model = bribery? looks like it.. now that is something patriotic to stand behind, lol...

james

there is a reason it is called the exceptional nation and some of it ain't pretty..

james

those relevant details will never be shown in the western msm at this moment in time, if indeed usa/ksa/israel is intent on a war on iran... skip reality..

ISL

TTG,

To summarize your very apt summary (thanks), multiple major US foreign policy initiatives by/within CENTCOM in the middle east have all been checkmated. Do you think anyone will be held responsible and lose their position as a result? Or had their career shuttled into a dead-end? Or is success completely irrelevant?

Certainly in the political sphere the neocons get it wrong and wrong and wrong and continue (perhaps akin to patronage in Rome?) to have positions of influence. How fare has the rot spread?

The Beaver

Troops surge in the ME:
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DPMJfmyVoAEbtVb.jpg

Kooshy

Historically Aleppo=Halab was, is a Silk Road city, where Karavans went south to Egypt and Africa or north to Europe. Very important traders city or a Depot

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