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05 February 2020


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Reporting on RT claims that Erdogan has drawn a line in the sand and has essentially told SAA that there will be war between Turkish forces and SAA, if SAA does not withdraw behind Turkish observation posts in Idlib.


Given the assassination of Sulemiani, is this a prelude to an attack on Assad himself? It is difficult to think of something else the U.S. could do that doesn’t risk confrontation with Russia.



The WH film production company is a British creation run with a lot of USAID money. The really bad thing about their farcical efforts is that they kill Syrian Christians in order to use their dead bodies for props.

Diana Croissant

Is an effort being made by anyone to remove Pompeo as an influence on the POTUS?

Barbara Ann


The detail in this latest warning of a false flag chemical attack is impressive. The Russian MOD first said it was to occur in Maaret al-Artik, which is just NW of Aleppo city (see TASS link). If I am reading the map correctly Zerba/Az-Zerbah is actually in Aleppo governorate on the M5 SW of Aleppo city.

I have three questions:

1. Must this level of detailed intel. on WH false flag efforts come from HUMINT sources? They are brave souls indeed if so IMO.

2. Might the location of this planned faux atrocity explain the hiatus on the Aleppo front - i.e. are the R+6 avoiding targeting Zerba for fear that this will provide the pretext for the planned false flag?

3. Most importantly, in the wake of the widespread debunking of Douma, would another 'attack' be likely to convince anyone (especially given that people will immediately point to Russia's very specific forewarning)?


Andrei Martyanov

@James T.

Erdogan also stated that Turkish AF attacked SAA, which Russia's MoD flatly denied. A lot of it is game and posturing.



I looked up the answer to one of your earlier thoughts. Monthly non farm labor numbers are net of change. i.e., they measure total change in the labor force. Also, the micmicmic crap is boring. The UK has been trying to play the big game for decades by punching above its weight using time honored colonial tools of manipulation like the White Helmets. This has to do with self imagined British cleverness and nothing to do with the "merchants of death." Your professor won't like that answer but, having watch them at work up close I probably now more about them than he or you do.

Harlan Easley

If true count on the American media to fall in line and produce their mass propaganda for Al Qaeda. It does not matter one wick whether or not the recent revelations from whistleblowers in the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) occurred or not. Did anybody hear any news of this on any mainstream media in the US. Nope.

All for the Greater Glory of Israel. They have big real estate plans in the future. It's hard not to have complete contempt for all the cowards in positions of power in our society.


The White Helmets ? I often used to wonder how they could emerge spotless and clean from the powdered masonry and assorted liquid goo of collapsed occupied buildings hit by high explosive. Much talent, I thought.

The Pomp. Pompety Pomp. Fortunately, he has no cards on the table, but can speak as much as he wants with great pomp and importance. Putin, of course, publicly says very little.

The Twisted Genius

Barbara Ann,

Some answers/opinions:

1. That level of intel could come from a variety of sources. It could be traditional recruited HUMINT sources or debriefing of refugees. It could be SIGINT and IMINT. It could also be the work of what is best described as scouts. SAA individual scouts or small recon teams. Behind the line videos/photos are often posted and attributed to the work of such SAA scouts. It's most likely a combination of all these methods.

2. I doubt the possibility of a faux chem attack in Zerba is shaping the actions of the SAA around Aleppo. The SAA and Syrian Arab Air Force have hit Zerba in the past. The jihadis even claimed they bombed a hospital in Zerba last year.

3. A staged attach won't change any minds. Those who want to believe will believe. Those who know it's bullshit will know it's bullshit.


TTG: A staged attack will also not affect the seizing and holding of ground, not by one minute or for one square meter.


James T: "RT claims that Erdogan has drawn a line in the sand".
I would suggest Erdogan will not proceed. Erdogan is no fool, and would realise that Putin's opening reply to that would be to advise him gently and very tactfully, as a friend, that his prospects of success against Assad would be 'very poor'.

Erdogan's end state in Syria will probably be a joint Erdogan-Assad friendship agreement following the defeat of 'terrorism' in northern Syria.



As a Canadian with a self-admitted limited understanding of the US you should abstain from commenting on US politics. IMO you are a sorehead with an inferiority complex. You attitude mirrors the famous remark by Porfirio Diaz " Pobre Mexico, tan lejos de Dios y tan cerca a los Estados Unidos."

Ghost Ship

Perhaps what Erdogan is up to in Idlib is political theatre allowed him by Putin and Assad to provide cover for destruction of HTS in eastern Idlib. It might appear that he's supporting them but the SAA hasn't slowed as far as I can see in its progress to retake M5.

FWIW, Saraqib now encircled but reports suggest that jihadis have already fled. SAA now have just over 20 miles of the M5 to capture before Aleppo. With 2,000 to 3,000 jihadis gone to Libya and jihadis tied up in fighting in front of Aleppo, it's difficult to see where the jihadis are going to get reinforcements from. Meanwhile jihadis east of M5 are very vulnerable to being cut off. Perhaps they'll just move to the west of M5 to prevent annihilation, then we'll see just how good the jihadis really are.

Barbara Ann

Thanks TTG

Sid Finster

@TTG: "Those who want to believe will believe. Those who know it's bullshit will know it's bullshit."

Therein lies the problem. There are too many in and near the US government that very much want to believe, that will take any excuse in order to believe.


re "Erdogan’s hysterics about the crumbling Astana plan is falling on deaf ears in Moscow."

The poor guy. He has today complained that in Syria syrian troops shoot back at uninvited Turks (which, I assume, is part of defending a technically still sovereign country).

But then, hysterical inanity is around beyond Ankara.

Just yesterday Boris Johnson proclaimed that he was "losing patience with Islamist terrorists" active in London. I daresay these folks most certainly don't care about that a lot. And what about these sort of oddly UK friendly White Helmeteers?

And then there was iirc Johnson's buddy Michael Gove. He certainly has a lot more patience than Johnson as he said about same day that he is convinced that locking up suspected terrorists without trial forever forever forever is a brilliant idea and convincing with it's simplicity.

After 10 pints and a spoon of coke I also may utter something as brilliant.



I'm a bit challenged by Syrian place names. Is the 'Zerba' that you mention also named Az-Zarbah, which appears to be about 16 clicks SW of Aleppo City on the east side of the M5?

The Twisted Genius


That sounds like it. I've also seen it transliterated as al Zerbah and Al Zorbah. Whatever it's called, the town seems to be a magnate for bombings that supposedly hit hospitals and civilians. Must be a jihadi version of the Warner Brothers movie production lot.


"After 10 pints and a spoon of coke I also may utter something as brilliant."


I fear you do Mr. Gove too much credit. I suspect he is a 3 pint max man. Those of my friends who knew him at oxford tell stories which suggest he is not the kind of man you want besides you in a foxhole.

Still, our Balliol government are welcome to deal with the threats to the UK as robustly as they can. Best not to hold ones breath.


The counter-attack to the OPCW revelations have started in, of course, "The Guardian:"

"A Russia-led campaign that claimed the UN weapons watchdog had manipulated evidence of a Syrian government chemical weapons attack has been dealt a blow by an official inquiry showing that two former employees hailed as whistleblowers had little direct access to the evidence and inflated their role.

The independent inquiry commissioned by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) shows that one of the two had never been on the team investigating the April 2018 attack in Douma and the other was only on the team for a brief period.

Both individuals, referred to in the report as Inspector A and B, may face legal action."

Shut 'em up and send "em to prison.

But surprisingly those trying to print some truth about Douma et al in the British MSM are having some success.

Cocburn and Fiske in "The Independent" have been working away at it for years. But the most interesting digger for truth has been Peter Hitchens in the mass circulation "Daily Mail," whose been openly attacking the likes of Bellingcat with relish. He rides the online abuse with wit and style and is obviously enjoying every moment of it. He has opened a serious breach in the public ignorance on these matters.

(Hitchens is the adult member of the family that also contined neo-con fanatic Christopher).


Sorry, The Guardian "article" is at:



White helmets
Fat bastard pompeo
Yeah thats the ticket

I thought he was my best friend,
Right to the very end.


re "Those of my friends who knew him at oxford tell stories which suggest he is not the kind of man you want besides you in a foxhole."

I remember, during university time, getting the unwanted attention of a very enthusiastic man on a party who insisted to tell me that, to sum it up, he was "biggus dickus everhard, with firepower like a Leopard (the tank) etc. pp."

It was so bad he was carried away by friends who were kind enough to not thrown him down the stairs to help him on is way out. He went furious, saying with contempt that we were typical heteros, with only *** on the mind.

Ah well, there's a point to that 'don't ask, don't tell policy'. There are things other people don't want to know.

As for the ten pints, the inanity was so bad ... after 10 pint I likely couldn't stand, walk, speak or think anymore, which sort of fits the current Nr.10 inhabitants.


Latest Southfront map from Idlib:


The advance continues.

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