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14 October 2019

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CK

https://youtu.be/9ZeGUqVZwzg
A man of action is President Trump.

j

Putin saying that 'All' of Syrian territory must be restored, one would hope he was 'including' the Golan Heights that Israel stole from Syria. Sadly Trump stuck his foot in his mouth when he said that the Golan was Israel's property. He backed himself into a corner on that one. If Trump backed Putin's call of 'All', he would surely loose Sheldon Adelson's money, and would garner the indignation of the Israeli 5th Column types like Hagee,the Hasbara, and the under-the-table Israeli paid Members of our U.S. Congress.

johnf

This is yet another positive event (three in all, I think) to occur in the Middle East while the Israeli Government is in a state of paralysis.

Terry

Events are moving quickly.

My favorite map - https://syria.liveuamap.com/

Leith

I remain a cynic. Although I hope you are correct about a flank attack on the invading Turkish Army and Turkish supported jihadis. But my cynical side suspects that the SAA will conduct that attack on the jihadis only after Erdogan withdraws any Turkish troops.

Leith

It is not SecDef Esper that is advocating US troops remain in l-Tanf. We can blame Trump's son-in-law for that. Esper is following WH policy.

Vegetius

In dissident circles, ISIS is often referred to as the "Reserve Army of ZOG."

This sounds good, and that is good enough for propaganda purposes, but is it accurate?

How many attacks have there been by the IDF on ISIS in the past five years?

Have there been any instances of Israeli spies being caught providing material support to them?

Stephanie

Russia plays a very long game. But when it happens, it happens fast. Ask the Japanese about the Manchurian campaign at the end of WWII. Or think Crimea.

The "Turkish" troops that the SAA are fighting, are they Turks or jihadi Turk mercenaries? Very, very different things.

But what it all comes down to are two very simple questions: is Syria better off under Assad--and Russia--or under jihadi rule? And why is the U.S. on the wrong side?

prawnik

Now that the Kurds have allied with Damascus, watch the neocons drop their support for The Poor Little Kurds(tm) like it was a hot turd.

The neocon goal for Syria was only ever always regime change, not "protecting the Kurds" or "fighting ISIS" or whatever.

JJackson

The Russians have been very quiet, where are they in all this? How will the SAA & SAAF fare in a direct engagement with their Turkish counterparts and would this be grounds for support via the North Atlantic Treaty? How much deconfliction coordination has there been between Washington and Moscow, what are they likely to have agreed - neither party shall provide air support or similar?
A lot of questions but they seem important bits of information in trying to understand what is gong on and its possible ramifications. I would be grateful if anyone would care to fill in some of the blanks.

JP Billen

1] Don't know!

2] None that I know of.

3} None that I know, but they did provide Turkey with material support to use against the Kurds.

oldman22

Patrick Lawrence makes a good point here.

usa withdrawal and unleashing of turkey is

really just more usa attempt to decapitate/destroy assad/syria

we will see if russia prevents/limits turkey

i am glad to see syria govt and sdf united

https://consortiumnews.com/2019/10/14/patrick-lawrence-the-predictable-mess-on-syrias-border-with-turkey/

JP Billen

JJ, "How will the SAA & SAAF fare in a direct engagement with their Turkish counterparts and would this be grounds for support via the North Atlantic Treaty?"

Per TTG in the 'Jubilation' post, the answer is there will be no direct engagement. At least no other than with the Turkish supported jihadis. I agree as there are too many other sources out there that say the SAG/SDF agreement was for the SAA to show the flag on the border but stay out of the direct fight. And let SDF & the Turks fight. Meanwhile Putin works out a deal with Erdogan to withdraw and get to claim he only wanted peace in the first place.

the invasionand per many sources on the SDF

BrianL87

We should have let the SDF come to an arrangement with the regime months ago and then pulled out our forces once this was complete. Some level of local autonomy coupled with allegiance to the regime in Damascus and protection from Turkey.

I agree that this is probably the right answer for the US long term (to head for the exits in Syria) but damned if we couldn't have done it more smoothly and with less human suffering. I fear that the establishment's lamenting of the message that this sends to future allies and proxies about the reliability of the US as a partner has more than a kernel of truth to it.

I'm also skeptical of Russia being a provider of meaningful support to the regime here. They're loving the opportunity to pull Turkey further from the US orbit and I'm not sure they want to jeopardize their progress here. Doubtful we'll see Russian pilots closing airspace to Turkish bombings and air support any time soon...

Hope I'm wrong.

J

TTG,

What about the 20 U.S. nukes that are said that Erodogan is now holding hostage?

J

TTG,

Correction, 50 U.S. nukes hostage.

The Twisted Genius

Brian, The Russian Aerospace Forces are flying cover over the SAA in Manbij. The last I read was that they were also preventing Turkish air attacks along the rest of the border. That's probably more the result of a Putin call to Erdogan than anything else. Judging by Putin's words, he wants ALL foreign out of Syria, including Turkey's and his own once Damascus decides she no longer needs those Russian forces. Putin supports Assad's call for sovereignty over all her territory.

oldman22

My view: Russia is reaping the rewards of Putin's patience.
Remember when many thought Syria and Russia were waiting too long to move in Idlib. Also, that the response to USA bombing in Deir Ezzor (accidentally on purpose) was criticized as too timid. Also, when Russia plane was shot down by Turkey.
But now that patience is paying off without battlefield losses, and with an enemy (SDF) transformed into an ally.
Whatever happens next, it is clear that Putin/Russia is in the driver's seat, deciding how far Erdogan/Turkey will be allowed into Syria.
Erdogan thought he had a green light from Trump, and maybe he did for a short time. But that light has turned yellow or maybe red, and Erdogan now has to face the political consequences with voters.
Putin's patience is quite a contrast to Trump's impetuosity.
Sure, maybe it is luck, but it's not all luck.

The Twisted Genius

I sure the Pentagon has detailed contingency plans for removing the nukes. The question is a political one. By pulling the nukes out, we are pretty much saying Turkey is no longer a NATO member. I don't know if Trump is prepared to do that. The bigger question is if the JCS and SecDef are willing to pose the question to Trump. They're probably afraid of the answer.

rho

@JJackson

NATO Treaty, Articles 5 and 6:

"Article 5

The Parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all and consequently they agree that, if such an armed attack occurs, each of them, in exercise of the right of individual or collective self-defence recognized by Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations, will assist the Party or Parties so attacked by taking forthwith, individually and in concert with the other Parties, such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area.

Any such armed attack and all measures taken as a result thereof shall immediately be reported to the Security Council. Such measures shall be terminated when the Security Council has taken the measures necessary to restore and maintain international peace and security.

Article 6

For the purpose of Article 5, an armed attack on one or more of the Parties is deemed to include an armed attack:

on the territory of any of the Parties in Europe or North America, on the Algerian Departments of France, on the territory of Turkey or on the Islands under the jurisdiction of any of the Parties in the North Atlantic area north of the Tropic of Cancer;

on the forces, vessels, or aircraft of any of the Parties, when in or over these territories or any other area in Europe in which occupation forces of any of the Parties were stationed on the date when the Treaty entered into force or the Mediterranean Sea or the North Atlantic area north of the Tropic of Cancer.”

The NATO treaty is defensive in its nature, it does not trigger support clauses if a member country attacks the territory of a different state.

Furthermore, any mutual defence under Article 5 assistance is discretionary ("will assist the Party or Parties so attacked by taking forthwith, individually and in concert with the other Parties, SUCH ACTION AS IT DEEMS NECESSARY"), there is no automatic mechanism.

On a political level, I cannot imagine any NATO country deciding to give military support to a Turkish military invasion into Syria.

optimax

Vegetius

Israel pays and arms Syrian rebel groups on the border to protect themselves from the Iranians in Syria. The name of the rebel groups is Forsan al-Jolan, lit. "Knights of the Golan", or, as I like to call them "Knights of the Golem."

https://foreignpolicy.com/2018/09/06/in-secret-program-israel-armed-and-funded-rebel-groups-in-southern-syria/

If this is part of the Free Syrian Army rebel group rejoining Syria, Israel will freak out.

Riley

How much of all this is theater? https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-10-08/trump-compliments-turkey-and-indicates-erdogan-will-visit-u-s
Is Syria being set up to fight Turkey? To finally have Syrian army defeated via Turkey (supplied on the sly by NATO allies like they armed Nusra as Turkey escorted them into Syria?) Perhaps arm both sides Assad-Erdogan- to neutralize each other? Be a great way to then redraw Kurd borders on the map out of the two mutually depleted antagonists...? This plan was leaked 6 mos ago by a zionist 'defector' and dismissed at the time. But his info has proven accurate, even to the day.

confusedponderer

oldman22,
re Putin's patience ... yes, he has that.

Now he certainly isn't a friendly man but that isn't his job. His job is to rule russia and keep rusia's interests in eye. And by and large that he does.

What IMO probably is his greatest advantage is that he is a rational, cold thinking man, looks at opponents as he would look at agents, and not tempted into outbursts of fury or other impulses. That likely helps spies.

Putin also isn't charmed by murderous little princes like MbS and others booking his hotels or golf clubs. Putin in contrast is, so to speak, at least almost charmingly reliable.

I assume that the letter parts may have helped him a lot in the KGB. He also has no compulsive penal taxes too. That makes him almost pleasant.

confusedponderer

optimax,
re "If this is part of the Free Syrian Army rebel group rejoining Syria, Israel will freak out."

Don't they freak out a lot? They don't necessarily need Iran for that, even though that's a preferred target.

Netanyahu was on a frenzy in the last elections, showing election posters of himself with Trump or opening another illegal settlement on the illegally occupied Golan - the "Trump Heights". Likely BJ Bibi style.

Netanyahu's focus is very likely staying in power before he could and would be dragged to court for these odd criminal investigations and possible charges against him. His enemy here is not a mullah or ayatollah or nukes but Israel's cops and judges. He's likely another friend of "impunity when in office".

And just like that man Powell ... for Trump at least ... is Trump's America's greatest enemy ... worse even than China.

Ingolf Eide

Indeed.

Putin and his team have been consistent in their broader goals while retaining tactical flexibility. They've also sought to build and maintain good relationships with all the players. Given the goals are in accord with international law with a primary focus on sovereignty, it's an understated but powerful combo.

So no, it's certainly not all luck . . .

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