Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
September 17, 2014

Confirmation Of Southern Damascus Attack Plans By Jabhat al-Nusra/CIA

The National newspaper published in the United Arab Emirates confirms our earlier report about the new Syrian insurgency positions in Quneitra at the Israeli Golan border as the launching pad for southern attacks on Damascus:

Western and Arab military advisers based in Amman have quietly stepped up their role on Syria’s southern front, helping win recent advances for opposition factions.

After weeks of heavy fighting, rebel groups announced the seizure of 80 per cent of Qunietra province on Saturday, including areas along the border with Israel. The territory could prove to be a key link between opposition forces in the south and those fighting in and around the Syrian capital.

Qunietra borders the south-west side of rural Damascus and rebel commanders say they will now be able to work on establishing a reliable supply chain to besieged opposition units in districts on the western and southern sides of the capital, areas that have been largely cut off by regime troops since last summer.

This is exactly what we, scooping The National, wrote about this plan.

What the new report misses though is the role Israel plays in protecting the insurgents in the Quneitra zone, mostly Islamists from Jabhat al-Nusra, from Syrian government attacks.

But The National does confirm the role of the joint Arab-American operations room in Amman, Jordan:

Rather than a dramatic increase in training or influx of weaponry [...] the growing role of a secretive Military Operations Command (MOC) centre in Amman has been subtle but distinct, in the form of increasingly focused, hands-on planning and coordination for rebel operations.
The organisational changes put in place by the MOC have helped clear jams in the chain of command that rebels complained had hamstrung their attempts to effectively work with international backers, in particular when it came to intelligence-sharing and coordinating units for attacks on regime forces.

McClatchy reporters recently interviewed the military commander of the Fee Syrian Army who claims that CIA is cutting him out and is, especially in the South, directly working with the insurgent groups on the ground:

Some 12 to 14 commanders receive military and non-lethal aid this way in northern Syria and some 60 smaller groups are recipients in southern Syria, al Bashir said. They report to the CIA.

The leadership of the FSA is American,” says the veteran officer, who defected from the Syrian army two years ago and won respect for leading rebel forces in southern Syria. “The Americans are completely marginalizing the military staff. Not even non-lethal aid comes through this office.”

The National notes:

This timing coincides with the rapid rise of Jabhat Al Nusra, an Al Qaeda affiliate, on the southern front.

But The National report then makes it look, without evidence, as if the CIA/MOC involvement is a counter move to the Jabhat al-Nusra rise

Bolstered by an increase in fighters and funding, Al Nusra, once considered a bit-player in southern Syria, suddenly seemed poised to become its most influential actor.

That prospect appears to have galvanised the western and Arab states involved with the southern front into more concerted action designed to better organise moderate factions.

The last paragraph is a rather wild assertion. Facts on ground, especially the Israeli protection for JAN in Queintra, are inconsistent with that claim. Instead the rise of Jabhat al-Nusra in the south and its prominent role in the Quneitra launching pad operation seem to be a consequence of the greater CIA involvement.

This conclusion is also supported by the earlier campaign in U.S. media which falsely established JAN, despite its sworn allegiance to al-Qaeda, as Your Moderate Cuddly Homegrown Al-Qaeda which is, so it is claimed, much less evil than the savages of ISIS.

The Quneitra operation is already creating security problems in Damascus. A report in today's New York Times points to a first probing attack on Damascus from the south:

In Damascus on Tuesday, security forces carried out intensive raids in the Midan neighborhood, after insurgents not affiliated with the Islamic State infiltrated the district at dawn on Monday and clashed with government troops. It was the first ground attack in months across the broad bypass highway that divides the restive suburbs from the government-controlled city center.

State news media said insurgents entered through the sewer system and that all were killed. Rami al-Sayed, an insurgent spokesman in the Yarmouk refugee camp nearby, said that fighters from Islamist groups, including the Qaeda-linked Nusra Front and Ahrar al-Sham, entered from the south, attacking a checkpoint and clashing with government soldiers. Tallies of the insurgent death toll ranged from three to 18.

The Syrian army and its allies will have to make a counter move to clean up Quneitra and to secure the southern approaches to Damascus. Otherwise Jabhat al-Nusra, under Israeli protection in Quneitra and supplied through the CIA/MOC in Amman, could soon make more decisive attacks on Damascus and probably even establish a new foothold within the city.

In May 2013 Hizbullah general secretary Nasrullah announced that he will establish a Hizbullah like force on the Golan heights. Nasrullah is known for keeping his promises. It may be time for him to activate some of the newly established forces to counter the CIA/Jabhat al-Nusra/Israeli move in Quneitra and the attacks on Damascus.

Posted by b on September 17, 2014 at 07:21 AM | Permalink


I wonder in this story how and why the infiltration attempt was noticed that easily.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 17, 2014 7:41:52 AM | 1

infiltration attempt was noticed that easily.

Easily, somebody, guard patrols, and SAA knew for sure it was coming. No doubt they were guarding the sewers too.

Posted by: okie farmer | Sep 17, 2014 8:59:39 AM | 2

Hey folks this is a must read......

Posted by: notlurking | Sep 17, 2014 9:32:00 AM | 3

Posted by: okie farmer | Sep 17, 2014 8:59:39 AM | 2

Yep, Ziad has mention this on his site a few months ago. The SAA is ready and I hope it's a quick take down of Amerika proxy thugs.

Posted by: jo6pac | Sep 17, 2014 9:57:46 AM | 4

Pissant tools of the Yankee Reich.
The SAA should make them all pay for ignoring the only regional gov't. willing to field an actual army to fight these lowlife head-choppers and liver-eaters the Amerikan-Israeli whores have doing their dirty work for them on the ground.

Posted by: Farflungstar | Sep 17, 2014 10:01:48 AM | 5

Well well well, the enemy of your enemy is your ( fill in the blank)

Israel, the commander said, should impose a no-fly area over the buffer zone and allow the moderate opposition fighters to continue eastward, toward Damascus.

“Israel could down any plane above that area and no one would blame it,” he continued. “Refraining from doing this means collaborating with the Assad gang in our murder.

Posted by: Yul | Sep 17, 2014 10:35:29 AM | 6

@ 3: Nice read, thanks!

Posted by: ben | Sep 17, 2014 10:57:46 AM | 7

Posted by: okie farmer | Sep 17, 2014 8:59:39 AM | 2

I am saying that the whole story does not make sense. Especially the Jordan part.

Obama last night announced a sustained campaign against ISIS that could include air strikes and other action in Syria and Iraq. Democrats and Republicans in Congress reportedly support utilizing up to $4 billion to arm the Syrian rebels, with emphasis on the Free Syrian Army.

The security official said Jordan’s estimation is that the Free Syrian Army is no longer a cohesive fighting unit.

And the Jordanian kingdom fears that with U.S. acquiescence, Saudi Arabia will train and arm the al-Nusra front in Syria. Al-Nusra is allied with al-Qaida, although some al-Nusra militants have fought factional conflicts with ISIS.

The Jordanian official warned that al-Nusra shares the same values as ISIS and ultimately seeks an Islamic caliphate utilizing the tactics of brutal jihad.

Word of the Saudis helping to combat ISIS is particularly poignant since WND reported in June that, according to Jordanian and Syrian regime sources, Saudi Arabia has been arming ISIS and that the Saudis are a driving force in supporting the al-Qaida-linked group.

Jordan’s concern over the arming of Syrian rebels represents a major turnabout. Previously, Jordan reportedly aided the U.S. and other Western countries in arming the Syrian rebels.


Jordanian officials are now concerned the sectarian violence in Iraq and Syria will spill over into their own country as well.

ISIS previously posted a video on YouTube threatening to move on Jordan and “slaughter” King Abdullah, a leader they view as an enemy of Islam.

The fact that the training of rebels had to be switched from Jordan to Saudi Arabia is an indicator of Jordan's unwillingness to take part.

The hostage taking of UN peacekeepers was either an attempt to draw Israel in (if they were sure Israel wanted to all they needed to do was shelling Israel, they don't, so they are sure Israel would kill them) or - a sign that they are cut off support - or them just being greedy, but getting this international recognition as terrorist is a big risk, no Jordanian operation room would advise this.

To "infiltrate" a huge city like Damascus should be pretty simple if you know the place and don't look like or behave like an alien.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 17, 2014 11:51:23 AM | 8

regarding israels involvement in facilitating this, somebody on a previous thread posted this. titled "Syria: Israel Helping Golan Rebels, 'Playing with Fire'."

Posted by: james | Sep 17, 2014 11:57:38 AM | 9

This here is the video uncut

It does not make that much sense either.

But for completeness sake

Syrian Opposition Leader Attends International Counter Terrorism Conference in Israel

Gordon: Syria lies on Israel's Golan frontier. What has Israel contributed to the alleviation of the plight of Syrians and has there been any relationship between the democratic opposition in Syria and the Israeli government?

Jasser: I think that's such an important question and the Syrian National Council, they are still slowly coming around to that view. I would ask people to look at some of the writings and comments of Dr. Kamal al-Labwani who in the past few months has come out and said we should have visited more closely with Israel and guaranteed them security on the Golan as being a mechanism by which we could actually protect some of the more moderates in Syria. He's realizing that there was no hope for the Syrian National Council (SNC) because it was being protected by Turkey and Qatar. The Islamists, including many American Syrians including Louay Safi and others who went back to run the SNC from an Islamist Brotherhood perspective. Labwani is awakening to the fact that the West is his friend, Israel is at the head of that coalition and the Golan is part of that.


Syrian rebel commander says he collaborated with Israel

Free Syrian Army commander, arrested last month by the Islamist militia Al-Nusra Front, told his captors he collaborated with Israel in return for medical and military support, in a video released this week

In a video uploaded to YouTube Monday by the Executive Sharia Council in the eastern Daraa Region, an Islamic court established by Al-Nusra in southern Syria, Sharif As-Safouri, the commander of the Free Syrian Army’s Al-Haramein Battalion, admitted to having entered Israel five times to meet with Israeli officers who later provided him with Soviet anti-tank weapons and light arms. Safouri was abducted by the al-Qaeda-affiliated Al-Nusra Front in the Quneitra area, near the Israeli border, on July 22.

“The [opposition] factions would receive support and send the injured in [to Israel] on condition that the Israeli fence area is secured. No person was allowed to come near the fence without prior coordination with Israel authorities,” Safouri said in the video.

Israel has never admitted to arming moderate Syrian rebels, who have been engaged in battle against the Assad regime and its allies since March 2011. In June, Brig. Gen. Itai Brun, head of Military Intelligence research, told the Herzliya Conference that 80 percent of Syria’s oppositionists are Islamists of various shades, indicating that Israel was reluctant to collaborate with them.

January 2013 citizen journalism image shows rebels from al-Qaeda-affiliated al-Nusra Front waving their brigade flag on top of a Syrian air force helicopter, at Taftanaz air base, captured by the rebels, in Idlib province, northern Syria. (photo credit: AP/Edlib News Network ENN, File)
Al-Nusra Front activist wave their brigade flag atop a Syrian air force helicopter, at Taftanaz air base, captured by the rebels in Idlib province, northern Syria, January 2013 (photo credit: AP/Edlib News Network ENN, File)

Thousands of al-Qaeda-linked rebels reached southern Syria over the past month, fleeing the Islamic State which had captured large swaths of land in northern and northeastern Syria. While Al-Nusra and the Free Syrian Army have collaborated in the battlefield against the Assad regime, friction has intensified as the Islamists began to implement their stringent version of Islam in the area, establishing local Sharia courts.

In the edited confession video, in which Safouri seems physically unharmed, he says that at first he met with an Israeli officer named Ashraf at the border and was given an Israeli cellular phone. He later met with another officer named Younis and with the two men’s commander, Abu Daoud. In total, Safouri said he entered Israel five times for meetings that took place in Tiberias.

Following the meetings, Israel began providing Safouri and his men with “basic medical support and clothes” as well as weapons, which included 30 Russian [rifles], 10 RPG launchers with 47 rockets, and 48,000 5.56 millimeter bullets.

While opposition websites denied that Safouri was a collaborator, claiming his entries into Israel were for medical purposes alone, regime media celebrated Safouri’s confession as proof of the Free Syrian Army’s treachery. On August 1, dozens of demonstrators took to the streets of the village of Hayt, Safouri’s hometown near Syria’s borders with Jordan and Israel, to protest his abduction, condemning Al-Nusra Front for the act.

No Israeli comment was available at time of publication.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 17, 2014 1:38:00 PM | 10

Well, the last time Nasrullah kept a promise to Syria, Obama and BBC's 'rebels' didn't see it coming and only realised what was happening when they started waking up in Hell - en masse. Looking for civilians to kill, a 'safer' alternative to confronting the SAA, seems make US/Israel's useful idiots dangerously conspicuous.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Sep 17, 2014 1:46:26 PM | 11

I agree with #8 somebody that Jordan's role in this invasion of Syria does no make a lot of sense at least considering the price that she might have to pay in doing so. Jordan is extremely vulnerable. The whole idea of Jordan entering into an alliance with Israel, KSA and the US to use Jordanian territory as a staging area for a jihadi army that attacks Syria does sound preposterous. This is also an army that has suffered one major defeat after another over the last year. However, b does seem to have assembled some compelling evidence that, in fact, Jordan is doing so. That the Obama admin is using to CIA to coordinate this invasion may seem counter-productive to his stated intention to defeat ISIS, but it is at least consistent with his totally incoherent ME policy over the last three years. But what is Jordan going to get out of this? Maybe it is no more than a hapless pawn and has no choice but to take orders from the power brokers.

Posted by: ToivoS | Sep 17, 2014 1:48:09 PM | 12

@12 Jordan may be looking for a way to purge the hot heads in Jordan. What better way than to send them to a foreign war and hope they die with the quiet hot heads identifying themselves. The Friends of Syria don't have a unified plan or set of interests, but the one common factor was the Allawites and Shiites not rolling over because America said so. I think the expectation was that Assad would be ousted in a short period once Obama put down his foot. Since then, every actor has gone a little batty because they were reacting to events.

The chemical weapon fraud was an attempt by Obama to restore order by going in guns ablazin'.

Posted by: NotTimothyGeithner | Sep 17, 2014 2:15:37 PM | 13

Jordan has only some very limited ability to decide what happens in Jordan. That the new training, by the U.S. military, would be in Saudi Arabia rather than in Jordan is simply because the military prefers the space it has in Saudi Arabia. (It is also a foreign policy issue issue because Kerry/Obama has to show that Saudi Arabia is "helping" in the fight.)

The operations room in Amman and the current training in Jordan is run by the CIA, not the U.S. military.

There is obviously now some conflict between those two entities. The CIA wants to continue its plans while the military wants to take them over. CIA Privately Skeptical About New Syria Strategy, Sources Say

Posted by: b | Sep 17, 2014 2:28:30 PM | 14

Seems to me Israel would not want to have Al Nusra on its border and the CIA/US military whatever not really secret command center in Jordan would not want to be seen training them.

There seems to be a grassroot Jordanian Salafi Syrian support group crossing over to Syria. From last year.

Jordan’s Salafists Provide Lifeline to Syrian Opposition

Islamist fighters affiliated with the jihadist Salafist movement in Jordan are infiltrating the city of Daraa under the cover of night, avoiding ambushes set up along the way by the Jordanian army along the border with its northern neighbor. The border is estimated to be about 350 kilometers (217 miles) wide. The Salafists travel across rugged roads and minefields planted by the Syrian regime in hopes of joining Jabhat al-Nusra, which has been listed by the US as a terrorist organization. They rely on gangs that smuggle weapons and people into hot fighting zones in exchange for amounts ranging from $600 to $900 per person, in addition to the fees imposed on weapons, which exceed $400 per gun.

A 30-year-old man who chose the name Abu Qudamah for himself is one of the most prominent members of the movement. Abu Qudamah managed to breach the fortified border and join one of the battalions of Jabhat al-Nusra active in Daraa. He was later critically injured and forced to return to Jordan, where the general intelligence apparatus began to pursue him.

He says, “I spent weeks in the ranks of the mujahedeen. … I was with hundreds from Jordan, the Gulf and Iraq.” He added that the war has left big scars on his face and body, “I got hit by a rocket launcher and I lost a leg. My body still has pieces of shrapnel that doctors were unable to remove.”

“The mujahedeen insisted that I go back to Jordan for treatment, but I vowed to return again. … I entered Syria with the help of smugglers, and I left with their help as well, under the cover of the night, through secret lines designed to smuggle in equipment and volunteers,” he added.

At the heart of the city of Zarqa, which is about 25 kilometers (15 miles) from Amman and a stronghold of Salafist jihadis, Al-Hayat met Munif Samara, a leading figure in the movement. Samara has a doctorate in general medicine and is married to a Muslim French woman who has been working on the translation of books issued by the Jordanian spiritual father of the fighters, Issam Barqawi. Barqawi, also known as Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi, currently is in prison on charges of terrorism.

Samara, sporting a thick beard and dark, traditional Afghan garb, talked about the main stations crossed by Jordanian Salafists in Syrian territory, stressing that these constitute — given their number and the combat experience they have accumulated — a lifeline for Jabhat al-Nusra members and certain Islamist militant groups.

Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi was released this year - presumably because he denounced ISIS. Obama's antiterrorist plan seems to have changed his mind - according to angry arab

I doubt anybody is in control of what is happening in Syria.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 17, 2014 3:06:04 PM | 15

Americas "logic" when it comes to Syria, Iran, IS and Peshmerga:

Posted by: KerKaraje | Sep 17, 2014 5:00:47 PM | 16

We were -- waist deep in the Big Muddy
And the big fool said to push on.

Posted by: chuckvw | Sep 17, 2014 7:24:22 PM | 17

not lurking re Naked Capitalism piece

is Stoller claiming that the Saudis went along with deposing Hussein, or that this strategy was merely developed independently funded with their petrodollars?
if so, were Saudis then willing to risk Shia dominance of Iraq, or oblivious to that risk?

Posted by: truthbetold | Sep 17, 2014 8:08:08 PM | 18

"To "infiltrate" a huge city like Damascus should be pretty simple if you know the place and don't look like or behave like an alien."

I suppose it depends on what scale you mean, but I really don't think this is true at any level bigger than the occasional bombing. You can be sure the Syrians are monitoring all communications in and out of the city, and the residents of Damascus know damn well what is at stake. Let's not forget that this is a country 3 years at war, carefully building up neighborhood militias, and with a long history of careful (if not always successful) internal policing.

This isn't Syria 2011.

Posted by: guest77 | Sep 17, 2014 10:13:37 PM | 19

Its sickening to see this war be waged on a people who, by all rights, should be considered the heroes of the Middle East in the United States.

It is sickening to know that my government prefers to see a world that looks like Libya, 2014 to one they cannot completely control.

The US is seeking to fracture the globe, no doubt about it. It is sickening to watch how effective it has been in these last decade - but especially since Obama took office. Obama makes George W. Bush look like an absolute piker when it comes to launching coups, destroying countries, calling for bombings, maintaining occupations, and talking out of both sides of his mouth.

The Project for the New American Century is proceeding apace. But the America that completes its task will be unrecognizable from the one that began it - and I do realize that is saying something. Because the one that began it was a pretty nasty place.

Posted by: guest77 | Sep 17, 2014 10:20:03 PM | 20

@20: yes

Jorgan is not a country. It is not economically viable on its own, and was designed that way. It is an outpost, or as AA would say, a playstaion of the empire.

Posted by: Malooga | Sep 17, 2014 11:53:01 PM | 21

This here makes sense

Insurgents of all stripes, except for the Islamic State group, say the Syrian government appears to be stepping up its attacks on them ahead of the threatened American air campaign. Pro-government and antigovernment analysts say Mr. Assad has an interest in eliminating the more moderate rebels, to make sure his forces are the only ones left to benefit on the ground from any weakening of the Islamic State, also known as ISIS.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 18, 2014 2:35:13 AM | 22

@somebody #22:

No, it doesn't really make sense. I thought everybody at MoA had agreed that there is no such thing as moderate Syrian rebels.

As I said before, given that other than Iran, Syria is now the only Muslim country with a decent government (given that the US has turned Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya into failed states, and that Turkey is becoming Islamist), no Muslims other than Wahhabists or paid mercenaries would want to fight against the (secular) Syrian government.

Posted by: Demian | Sep 18, 2014 3:11:30 AM | 23

Posted by: Demian | Sep 18, 2014 3:11:30 AM | 23

"moderate" is code for "supported infiltrated by CIA/Mossad" and "not on our terrorism list".

Syria will have their own classification of rebels - the above classification and "supported infiltrated by Saudi Arabia", "supported infiltrated by Qatar", "supported infiltrated by Turkey", "supported infiltrated by ourselves", "local ethnic/religious self defense, protecting their villages, can be coopted" etc.

US airstrikes only work if supported by ground groups. If the Syrian government wants to make sure they are the only ground troops around to do the work they have to destroy the US/Mossad supported infiltrated rebels. Al Nusra on the Golan is just fine, these guys actually believe in what they are doing.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 18, 2014 3:55:14 AM | 24

Posted by: Demian | Sep 18, 2014 3:11:30 AM | 23

"moderate" is code for "supported by the CIA/Mossad" - they seem to exist.

It is not the first time there is talk of US strikes inside Syria - from 2008 -

The US military incursion into Syria was aimed at the senior leader of al Qaeda's extensive network that funnels foreign fighters, weapons, and cash from Syria into Iraq, a senior intelligence official told The Long War Journal. ... he Combating Terrorism Center at West Point later conducted a detailed study of the "Sinjar Records," which was published in July 2008. The study showed that al Qaeda had an extensive network in Syria and the Syrian government has allowed their activities to continue.

"The Syrian government has willingly ignored, and possibly abetted, foreign fighters headed to Iraq," the study concluded. "Concerned about possible military action against the Syrian regime, it opted to support insurgents and terrorists wreaking havoc in Iraq."

Al Qaeda established multiple networks of "Syrian Coordinators" that "work primarily with fighters from specific countries, and likely with specific Coordinators in fighters' home countries," according to the study. The Syrian city of Dayr al Zawr serves as a vital logistical hub and a transit point for al Qaeda recruits and operatives heading to Iraq.

A vast majority of the fighters entering Iraq from Sinjar served as suicide bombers. The Combating Terrorism Center at West Point estimated that 75 percent conducted suicide attacks inside Iraq.

Using terrorists is part of the game all sides play. A fight against terrorism would mean a code of conduct, something like an agreement on a "Geneva convention of counterterrorism".

What the US pretends to do now is just more of the same. So yes, if Obama wants to fight ISIS in Iraq whilst threatening Assad in Damascus, it would not really be his business to help the US. Al Nusra on the Israeli border is a hint, and the Syrian UN ambassador talking of a Lebanon scenario on the Golan another.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 18, 2014 4:25:19 AM | 25

I have stopped following Israel's Gaza "wars" as it is too depressing, but if the following is true, Israel is bound to be very worried about its Gaza border though I doubt Hezbollah is going to make them feel more secure.

Israel lost on all fronts of the Gaza war

“This time, however, most of the fighting took place on Israeli soil. Hamas had prepared for the IDF’s ground maneuver in the Gaza Strip, while using the tunnels to make its own maneuver. Many of the Israeli fatalities occurred inside Israel. Part of it was due to Hamas sorties from the tunnels in Israel’s rear, which took Israeli combatants by surprise at the home front. And part of it was due to mortar shells.

“And what is most serious,” the senior Israeli source added, “is that the operation ended without deterrence being regained, without Hamas having been decisively vanquished, and without a true military collision between the IDF and Hamas. Israel let Hamas engage it in areas that were most convenient for the organization. It opted to give up a real ground operation and a maneuver deep into the Gaza Strip that would have dealt a blow to the core of Hamas’ strongholds. Instead, it made do with destroying some of the tunnels. And at the end of it all, it embarked on explicit negotiations with Hamas, while violating a sacred principle that had been upheld since Israel’s foundation: No negotiations with terrorists.”

But this is not where the saga of Israeli failures ends. During Operation Protective Edge, the dark side of the moon — in terms of US-Israel relations — was revealed. The severe crisis of trust between Washington and Jerusalem was exposed to its fullest extent and in broad daylight. The nonstop series of events, which were described in my previous article, “lifted the curtain,” if you will, on the real, deep and strategic crisis in the alliance between Israel and its greatest and most important patron in the Western world.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 18, 2014 5:57:45 AM | 26

I have little more to add than what Peter Lee wrote a week ago on the matter.

The depressing part of the US strategy is that, as far as I can tell, it views the anti-IS campaign as a Trojan horse, a chance to favour, strengthen, and advance anti-Assad forces.

...So my expectation is for several more years of inconclusive and expensive bloodshed as the people of Syria and Iraq suffer.

This was effectively confirmed when Kerry was asked by Congress this week what the end game was for the anti-IS strategy. Regime change in Syria, of course. How many years would this take? Multiple. And I don't need to quote filtered and approved snippets from Reuters or Al Jazeera. I heard the rubber jaw half-wit say it myself.

Bleed, bleed and bleed some more.

The only question that remains as this foul scheme develops is - What does Russia intend to do about it?

As Andrew Korybko suggests,

Russia and China need to not only come up with their own strategy, but to take visible steps in initializing it before the regime change coalition begins theirs.

But don't bet on it.

Posted by: Pat Bateman | Sep 19, 2014 6:29:01 AM | 27

Posted by: Pat Bateman | Sep 19, 2014 6:29:01 AM | 27

A Saudi - Iranian agreement would do. When Saudi (and Israel) are frightened enough that will happen. Lets hope ISIS does the job.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 19, 2014 7:30:37 AM | 28

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