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27 February 2020

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Serge

Moderate beheader video from 3 days ago featuring one of a kind duel between Syrian tank and rebel APC + first person footage of combat at a chicken farm
https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=EPnEecCTSWQ&feature=emb_title

walrus

News reports suggest 22 Turkish soldiers killed in an air strike. I wouldn’t be surprised if they were in a convoy on their way to do mischief to the SAA. Erdogan is now allegedly considering his options. Appeals have been made to NATO and the U.S.

My guess is that Erdogan, having had his knuckles rapped, will back down and leave the jihadis to their well deserved fate in the hands of the SAA.

Fred

TTG,

The little old lady from South Carolina should spend some effort to get Barr to indict somebody involved in the horrendous miscarriage of justice that was the Russian hoax. As to Trump Towers Istanbul, I think seizing it would only irritate Mr Dogan and his family. Sultan Erdogan has a jungle full of jihadi tigers but he's a little thin on allies. The Corona virus is going to affect Turkey as much as anyone else and I think he'll need everyone's help more than he needs the jihadists.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ayd%C4%B1n_Do%C4%9Fan

voislav

One thing to keep in mind is that Erdogan is in a precarious political position. His grasp on power is slipping, he lost Istanbul in the last election and he's been steadily losing popularity.

His party (AKP) has dropped from 45% to 35% over the last year alone. He might be delusional enough to think that expanding the war in Syria will boost his popularity.

His Ottoman rhetoric is aimed at shoring up his popularity amongst his rural base, but that base is also the source of cannon fodder being fed into Idlib, so it will be interesting to see if he survives until the next election (2023).

Unhinged Citizen

Turkey openly opened fire against Russian air assets (captured on video) and directly intervened to help terrorists fight back against the government, using armed drones to inflict heavy losses on the Syrians at Saraqib.

The 70 or so Turks put to death today is a very measured warning that any Turk in Idlib is now fair game, and their positions and garrisons are well known. Also the Turk troops stranded behind the front lines now in their so-called observation posts are de facto hostages now.

The little Sultan is dumber than anyone could have possibly expected. He's probably going to get assassinated by his own forces or the CIA.

Justin Glyn

The mood music is certainly growing louder. Then again, a chord still jars with me. Russia is heavily invested in Turkey (Turkstream, power stations, S400s). None of this "escalation" is being accompanied by the same visceral Russian anger which greeted Turkey's shoot-down of the Su-24 nor even the (modest) sanctions which were imposed in response.

Is it too conspiratorial to suggest that Turkey is quite happy to have its uppity (as Erdogan sees it) military and "moderate" rebels sent to war with antiquated equipment and eliminated in place? Erdogan can claim that it was the perfidious Russians and that he stood by his men to the last. The sultan is relieved of consequences for his ill-starred Syrian adventure and Syria gets its country back. For Turkey, at least, it seems a good way to make the best of a bad situation once the ouster of Assad failed (as it was always going to do - at least once Russia got involved).

Jack

TTG

We’ll find out soon enough if Pom Pom and the ziocons convince Trump that acting “tough” against the “brutal dictator” Assad and that “thug” Putin will aid his re-election effort now that Trump’s self-proclaimed all time highs stock market is down a little over 12%.

Jack

Fred,

The “little old lady” from South Carolina is in his element and fully supportive of the ziocon position of creating a No Fly Zone in Syria to aid & abet Al Qaeda.

However he has no interest in getting to the bottom of Spygate or holding any of the miscreants at the DOJ, FBI & CIA to account. He’ll go on TV claiming “we must investigate” only to bury it.

Aristonicus

Confimed KIA from that airstrike has risen to 33
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-51667717

Seems to have been a HQ targeted:

https://mobile.twitter.com/Charles_Lister/status/1233123693108383744

NEW - Updated reports indicate a 2-storey building used by the #Turkey military as a command headquarters was leveled in a targeted #Russia airstrike. Requests by #Ankara to fly in helicopters to evacuate casualties were rejected by #Hmeymim AB = casualties were driven by land.

Twitter has been locked down on Turkish ISPs

paul

Jack,
I think one of the key factors of trumps win was anti-war democrats and independents could not bring themselves to vote for Clinton
depending on who the democratic nominee is getting involved deeper in syria would certainly harm his reelection campaign.

JamesT

My understanding is that it was the first gulf war in which the US military was able to try out and perfect their newly acquired Long Range Precision Strike capablities. Looks to me like Syria is doing the same thing for Russia. I bet Russia is learning a lot.

james

thanks ttg.. much appreciated..

Peter AU1

There would have a lot of casualties in this convoy. The lead vehicles look to have been in amongst fragmentation warheads.
I take it this convoy was transporting troops.
https://twitter.com/ynms79797979/status/1233142472714465301

The interior of one.
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/ER0PhWZU0AETo6i?format=jpg&name=small

falcemartello

I suggest You go to Syrianperspective or Syrianews.cc or Al masdar. Saraqib is strongly held by the SAA and Idleb is weeks away
Long kive a free and kiberated Palestine

J

The Russians will make hamburger of the Turks, if the Turks don't back off and tuck their tail between their legs and scurry back to Turkey. I don't forsee the Sultan weathering the political storm at home once the Turk body counts start rising rapidly.

When Russia entered the game to help Syria, they were in no playing mood, their mood was all business. And that mood has not changed to this day.

Turkey is stupid to go head to head with Russia. Guess the Sultan has forgotten his nation's history.

Barbara Ann

Well 24hrs have now passed and Tayyip the somewhat less than Magnificent has by now hopefully understood that kind words are all he's gonna get.

What is striking is that the old lady from South Carolina is almost alone in calling for any sort of warlike response. NATO is offering sympathetic platitudes and will hear out Turkey's Article 4 concerns, but we are along way from Article 5. In any case, Trump has zero interest in letting Syria derail his election campaign.

For her part, Russia is currently celebrating 75 years of victory over fascism in the Great Patriotic War. She is in no mood to allow another revisionist power which feels it was hard done by at the end of WWI to endanger its Mediterranean & security interests.

Erdogan's sense of self preservation will hopefully kick in soon. If he escalates further I think there is a very good chance he'll share the fate of Il Duce. The TSK is not the Wehrmacht, in any case

Christian J Chuba

Who has the better army

I hope that the SAA withdrawal is in line with what they learned about conserving strength. For this style of fighting I bet the SAA is better at it than the Turks.

CNN

CNN was practically in tears over the 'Syrian regime's attack' that killed 33 Turkish soldiers, that both of them are in Syria is an unimportant detail. They then went on a long segue over the Russians systematically bombing civilian targets in Idlib and showed footage of a family living in a cave where the mothers have to keep watch at night to prevent scorpions and snakes from attacking their children. The correspondent was in Istanbul so she was relying on the usual suspects.

I don't know if the footage was fake but according to our MSM militaries other than Russia, Iran, and Syria have mastered the art of non-disruptive advances to the degree that the U.S. likes them.

turcopolier

All

IMO there is little chance that Trump will establish a no-fly zone in Idlib. Milley will be making it clear to him that to do so is commit the US to fighting Russia. A declaration of a no-fly zone, like a naval blockade, is an act of war which has to be enforced to have any meaning. Russia is still a nuclear power. Trump has a lot on his plate nd will not add something like this to his burden of risk. IMO Erdogan will back away after he loses some more people. As I had previously written the lack of actual combat experience and repeated political purges of the Turkish officer corps have made the TSK an easy mark for a small but very experienced SAA.

JJackson

White Helmets appeal for help from world powers in Syria's Idlib
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/world-middle-east-51642406/white-helmets-appeal-for-help-from-world-powers-in-syria-s-idlib

The White helmets are hurting and begging for help, with a little assistance from the BBC.

Vegetius

If NATO is too feeble to defend Europe's borders from an Islamic invasion, Putin should to step in.

Russia should simply assume Greece's debt and pay it over time with higher gas rates charged to western Europe. Then fly in the necessary men an material. Maybe call for Orthodox volunteers from Serbia and the Donbass and call it a coalition.

How many battalions would it take to close Greece's land border with Turkey?

Leith

Erdodog knows he will be toast if he retaliates on Russians. So he is now taking out his wrath on the Kurds and their SDF allies near Tel Rifaat in the northern Aleppo Shabha Canton. The Turks are heavily bombing (and shelling) there at Maranaz, Milkiyah, Alaqsah, Samouqa, Sheikh 'Isa, al Shabah Dam, Hassiya, Dayr Jamal, Ziarah, Kafr Naya, Sheikh Hilal, and Umm Hosh. Plus south of there they are bombing the Shiite cities of Nubl and Zahraa.

I saw a single report from the STEP news agency that Russian and US Chiefs of Staff were meeting. But have not seen any verification of that in US news or in RT.

Andrei Martyanov

If NATO is too feeble to defend Europe's borders from an Islamic invasion, Putin should to step in.

Why? It is Europe's business and responsibility. No foot of Russian servicemen should step on European soil ever. Europe should enjoy its policies to the fullest--it is not Russia's business. Europe got exactly what it wanted and, frankly, deserved. In fact, the calls for Iron Curtain with Europe are stronger and stronger in Russia and I am not embellishing or exaggerating. Never in my life did I think that overwhelming majority of Russians would look at Europe with disdain and contempt, but this is precisely a mood in Russia. It also explains why increasing number of West Europeans (not least of them Germans) choose to immigrate to Russia.

Sam Iam

Andrei,

Like it or not, Russia IS a European power, and by definition impossible to not step its foot in European affairs. If you really believe that, than all military to military exchanges with Belarus should also cease.

Saying that, I do agree with you that Russia should not assume more risk by getting in the way of a EU collapse. Only after Greece comes to its senses and realizes that the EU (bureaucracy) does not care about its plight as the Sultan directs more migrants its way, should Greece seek Russian assistance, at which point Putin should think long and hard whether its worth it on condition of Greece also leaving the hapless NATO organization.

Just my two cents.

Andrei Martyanov

Like it or not, Russia IS a European power, and by definition impossible to not step its foot in European affairs. If you really believe that, than all military to military exchanges with Belarus should also cease.

Russia has zero obligations to Europe other than economic contractual obligations and referendum on April 22 (funny, B-day of Lenin, coincidence?)for amendments to Constitution WILL solidify primacy of Russian Law over any international obligations. Those amendments are accepted having primarily EU in mind. Belarus is a completely different case, since it is the same, in fact, even stronger connection to Russia than that of Canada's to US. But even here, Russia stopped being charitable (finally) for the benefit of Lukashenko's cottage industry and it is conceivable, albeit not as probable as was the case with Ukraine, that some sort of "color revolution" is possible there. Culturally, Russia has increasingly less and less in common with modern Europe. Here is an exhibit A.

https://www.rt.com/op-ed/481934-greta-thunberg-bristol-coronavirus/

One doesn't talk with this people, one builds fortifications and cordon sanitaire. This is the future of Europe. Or, if any resistance arises--other extremum. Either way--it is not good.

LJ

Since the Russians have air superiority, how is it that the drones seem to fly with such impunity? Are the Turkish/NATO drones flying with Russian permission for some reason?

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