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12 February 2018


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So, after the clean up is over, what is the SAG plan for reclaiming their US and Turkish-held territories?

I would assume that Sohail Hassan long had his future in mind, especially when elements in the regime look around for a popular replacement for Bashar. But he may be too charismatic for his own good in the world of faceless security and intel guys who call many of the shots. He will be lucky if he gets "retired" as gently as certain very popular Egyptian generals were when the President became concerned about their appeal.

blue peacock

Col. Lang

Does a war like this and not just surviving it but also winning it create the next lower echelon of leaders too?

Gen. Zahreddine hung in there in that Deir ezzor pocket for a long time and then his luck ran out as his vehicle ran over a mine.

Are there leaders who could take over and be as effective if Suheil Hassan falls? And who is directing where Suheil Hassan and his Tiger Forces fight?


Colonel, your profile of Suheil Hassan and the SAA leadership generally (also particularly Brig Gen Issam Zahreddine) under Russian tutelage contrasts remarkably with that of the Iraqi and Afghan armies under US and Nato training. Do you have any views as to why this may be so?


An Alawite commander in a majority Sunni country; the liberality of Syria and Lebanon speaks to modernity, and I guess one reason why they threaten Israel's sense of security.


Amazing to me is that Hassan is an Air Force officer leading an Army unit. And he has reportedly turned down promotion in order to stay in the field with the troops. You gotta admire the guy. But I cannot say I like the way he wears his cap a la South Central LA gangbanger or golfer Rickie Fowler:

If tensions keep increasing with the Izzies then maybe they should put him back in the Air Force or back in Air Defense Command?

Is al-Baghdadi hiding in that HOMS pocket? Or dead as reported many times before? Or in Ankara as suspected by the YPG?

Clueless Joe

Not only are enemies and foreign powers eager to see him gone, not only does he has to fear rivals inside the current regime/administration. Ancient history, including ancient history from the Middle-East, is full of victorious and triumphant generals who were killed because their monarch feared they were too popular and would try to take the throne. Happened to Surena, to Aetius... Suheil Hassan better hopes he's in good terms with Assad and let him know he's his faithful servant, not a threat in any way.
And speaking of Syrian military efficient leaders, I'm still not over Issam Zahreddine's death.


clueless joe

"A penny for Belisarius ..." pl



He was an air force paratrooper, then an air force intel officer. He should keep leading the TFs. His men don't give a damn about how he dresses. Remember Stonewall. He was the shabbiest officer in the CS Army. Air force? Army? It means nothing in this situation. pl



OK, one more time. Throughout my professional life I have seen the same thing over and over again. The US is permeated with the idea that the US is the future of mankind and that anything cultural that varies from the US model post Civil War is simply backward and something that people should be trained to abandon. such attempted total transformations fail and result in monstrously distorted local forces that are ineffective. the Russians evidently do not make that mistake. the small number of people in the US government who do not carry that burden of prejudice are generally shunned and suspected of disloyalty. pl


Maybe this is over analysis, but I think that the ceremony itself says a lot about the differing approaches to conflict/war/politics.

The Russians handed the guy a f&^%ing sword.

I have a feeling that similar ceremonies for folks we work with aren't recorded and involve the transfer of funds to a Swiss bank account.

Might have something to do with the cost-benefit ratio for our respective intercessions.



Iraqi MoI Intelligence: ISIS leader Baghdadi is still alive & in Jazira Syria area near Iraqi border. He is in poor health & in poor mental state. He cannot walk on his own due to injures & he has diabetes. We have a source in his organization.

The Beaver


Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi is "alive and hiding" in #Syria's northeastern Jazira region according to #Iraq's intelligence and counterterrorism department head Abu Ali al-Basri, citing "irrefutable information and documents from sources within the terrorist organisation".



I am not a Middle East analyst that you trust? pl

The Beaver

Israel's security is very much on the line right now... we need to be concerned about an Arab-Persian war, which might be on the horizon.

The social worker Wendy Sherman on Andrea Mitchell report today.
Wonder which Arab country(ies) will dare go to war with Iran?
KSA?UAE/ which proxies will they use?


blue peacock

For the force to survive a long hard war is more important to the development of future leaders than winning the war. A good example would be the renaissance of the Prussian Army after its total defeat by Napoleon in 1805. Scharnhorst, Gneisenau and Clausewitz were produced by the defeated army and were the architects of Prussia's role in the ultimate destruction of Bonaparte. Whether or not the right man would be appointed is a matter in the hands of Allah as the Muslims would say. IMO the Syrian General Staff decides with Russian and Iranian counsel offered. pl

Babak Makkinejad

Putin was in Tehran in November of 2015 and presented Ayatollah Khamenei with one of the few copies made of the original Quran in the 7-th century.

What would/could Trump present to Ayatollah Khamenei in a hypothetical meeting in Tehran?

Or Theresa May?

Or Berlusconi?

Or Merkel?


An Alawite commander in a majority Sunni country; the liberality of Syria and Lebanon speaks to modernity, and I guess one reason why they threaten Israel's sense of security.

I think you nailed it.

Babak Makkinejad

Yes; like German police in Afghanistan that was trying to teach Afghans how to do policing in Hamburg.

Iranians would have been more effective, but then, this was never about effectiveness - Afghanistan was made into a sandbox for the Western Diocletians to try their various fantasies - until mugged by Reality - loosing Life or Limb.


"A penny for Belisarius ..." pl

Once again, I thank you for the mini-history lesson. Fascinating!


Lots of cogitation about creation of great leaders of great armies. Dare one ask what comes after "war"? I suspect the answer likely to be given is "more war." Warriors and armies don't generally grow food, or build stuff that lasts (other than maybe the Romans and their engineering prowess?) I guess it's a fool's errand to go looking for the possible forms and shibboleths and structures of some possible future political economy where us humans have eschewed "war" and all its many parts and forms... What's the quote? "It is fortunate that war is so terrible, else we should grow too fond of it..."?



Sanctimonious crap. We try to deal with the real world on SST. Do you actually know anything about Lee? pl



You might like this. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/324312.Count_Belisarius

Peter AU

It is worth researching the second Chechen war (not the western version) and the reason of Kadyrov junior's loyalty to Putin to gain an understanding of where Putin's Russia is headed and why they work so well with the forces in Syria.


since you are the most knowledgeable person i can get an educated guess out of, im curious if you have any idea what percentage of the original syrian army has survived, or should what is fighting today be seen as a completely new organization.



i think it is a massively re-trained version of the original with some new leaders added in and some new units generated. So, what I do is guess, eh? Well I have heard that throughout a successful career of analysis. pl pl

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