Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
January 27, 2015

Syria: IS Gives Up On Kobani, U.S. Rehabilitates Assad

The Islamic State has finally given up its attack on the Kurdish-Syrian town Kobani on the border to Turkey. It took 18 weeks to understand what deadly game the U.S. was playing there.

After pressuring Turkey the US. had inserted Kurdish fighters and forward air controllers (FACs) into the besieged city. These sucked Islamic State fighters into position where the FACs could observe them and direct U.S. air attacks onto them.

The tactic was used sparsely but that is what it made valuable. The Islamic State fighters fell for it again and again. One wave of reserves after the other was sucked into observable positions and destroyed. During four and a half month some 600 air-strikes killed about 1,400 Islamic State fighters around Kobani including high ranking commanders, important scholars and many foreigners. 600 air strikes during such a long time frame is a low number. During the 2006 Lebanon war the Israeli air force flew about as many strikes per day. But that low number deceived the Islamic State and let it believe that it could win a fight which in reality turned out to be a meat grinder.

The campaign is an important loss for the Islamic State because it shows that it is not invincible and can be defeated in a combined air and ground campaign when its fighters are attacking fixed targets. But this tactic will only work when the Islamic State army is out in the open, at the end of its logistic chain and attacking an buildup area that allows for decent defense. To dislodge the Islamic State when it itself is holding a town or city, like Mosul, will be more difficult.

Meanwhile a propaganda campaign in the U.S. media was launched to rehabilitate the Syrian president Bashar Assad. On January 19 the NYT propagandist Anna Barnard pointed to a (yet hardly observable) shift in the U.S. position towards the Syria war. On January 22 Leslie Gelb, Former chair of the influential Council of Foreign Relations, called for a deal with Assad. Gelb also pointed out that the Liberal Interventionists and Neocons in Obama's administration are still against cooperation with the Syrian establishment while the military seems to agree to such. Four days later a NYT editorial remarked on shifting realities in Syria:

[T]he greater threat now is not Mr. Assad but the Islamic State, especially if it continues to expand in Syria, entices more foreign fighters into its ranks and uses its territory to launch attacks on the West. A recent study by the RAND Corporation, which does research for the government, says the collapse of the Assad regime, while unlikely now, would be the “worst possible outcome” for American interests — depriving Syria of its remaining state institutions and creating more space for the Islamic State and other extremists to spread mayhem.

Yesterday Foreign Affairs, the magazine of the Council of Foreign Relations, published an interview with President Bashar Assad. In it Assad formal offers cooperation by the Syrian army with the U.S. air-force to defeat the Islamic State. He urges to put pressure on the Turkish government which allows the supplies and additional manpower for the Islamic State to cross its borders. Erdogan, Assad says, is "fanatical".

Interestingly I find nothing mentioned against Jordan and the U.S. puppet ruling it in the Assad interview. Jordan like Turkey supports Syrian insurgents including al-Qaeda in Syria in the form of Jabhat al-Nusra in their attacks in Syria. Does Assad believe that cooperating with the U.S. would take Jordan, and the southern campaign directed at Damascus, out of the game?

The southern campaign, also supported by Israel which Assad called al-Qaeda's air-force, announced a victory yesterday when it claimed to have taken out the Syrian's army brigade 82 in Sheik Miskin. Jabhat al-Nusra as well as the Fee Syrian army claimed to have won that battle. But it soon turned out that only the little defended brigade headquarter buildings were taken by them and that the brigade's fighting battalions and their weapons, stationed elsewhere, were not affected.

Comments to the various Assad rehabilitation pieces show that a lot of people in the "west" support cooperation with the Syrian government. The current spat between the White House and the Israeli premier Netanyahoo allow for a more lenient U.S. position toward Syria and helps push back Israeli wishes to destroy it. The fight in Kobani has shown that such cooperation with reliable boots on the ground is necessary and effective in defeating the Takfiris. The moment is right for a U.S. turn towards a reliable cooperation with Syria and with its president Bashar al-Assad.

Posted by b on January 27, 2015 at 04:59 AM | Permalink

Comments

b, so what is the source for the large numbers of ISIS casualties in Kobani? The only figures I have ever heard, come straight from the enemies of ISIS - the Syrian Kurds and the Syrian Observatory (SOHR) or maybe the Americans. They are intrinsically unreliable, for obvious reasons. All of these sources have wanted to present Kobani as a "Stalingrad". Apparently you believe it.

The reason for the low number of airstrikes over Kobani is the distance from the Gulf. I saw in an article about the Vinson that a sortie is six-seven hours flight time, with four in-flight refuellings. That's a lot of effort.

Posted by: Laguerre | Jan 27, 2015 6:24:28 AM | 1

The moment is right for a U.S. turn towards a reliable cooperation with Syria and with its president Bashar al-Assad.

You can't be serious, can you? After all that has occurred, Assad should now trust the Great Satan and get in bed with it? Let bygones be bygones? Your wishful statement belies an Israeli-centric view. You assume that America and, to a greater extent, Western foreign policy, is largely determined by Israeli connivers and manipulators. I believe the manipulators and connivers do have a discernible effect, but America and The West are still in the position to have the last laugh and ultimately it sets its own agenda with Israel as one piece on the chess board.

Obama's elasticity has reached its expiration date. Any further push in Syria will have to wait until a new puppet is installed in the bozoval office.

Unlike puppets, the puppet masters seemingly live forever, as though they're vampires which metaphorically they certainly are. Take Henry Kissinger — he's 91 and still going strong transcending the various puppet administrations for nearly half a century. Brzezinski's 86 and still going strong. George H. W. Bush is 90 and still as meddlesome as ever — don't let the wheelchair and atrial fibrillation fool you — he's like Hyman Roth.

Posted by: Cold N. Holefield | Jan 27, 2015 6:31:42 AM | 2

I'm not sure what this apparent US/Syria rapprochement means. The fact remains that Russia/Syria engaged in tacit cooperation with the Yankee bombing campaign and Russia could have stopped it. I'm sure there's more to this story than we're hearing about; back channels for example. No matter what the Yankees are blustering about, NO-ONE in the White House would decide not to take a phone call from Vlad/Lavrov. And Russia is Assad's chief, if unofficial, diplomat. When a US spin tank suddenly starts taking Assad's pov seriously, someone has been given a helluva fright.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jan 27, 2015 7:50:22 AM | 3

@1

'The reason for the low number of airstrikes over Kobani is the distance from the Gulf. I saw in an article about the Vinson that a sortie is six-seven hours flight time, with four in-flight refuellings. That's a lot of effort"

The reason for the low number of strikes over Kobani is- that is exactly as it is supposed to be- If the US wanted to strike from a shorter distance they have any number of bases available to them in Turkey- it's absolute baloney about Turkey not allowing the US to use fro example Incirluk

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Incirlik_Air_Base

Incirlik Air Base (Turkish: İncirlik Hava Üssü) (IATA: UAB, ICAO: LTAG) is a United States Air Force base, located near İncirlik, Turk

Or?

http://www.incirlik.af.mil/

Incirluk is an American base located in Turkey- so.......
The low strikes in Kobani 'against' ISIS are exactly as planned

Posted by: Penny | Jan 27, 2015 7:51:53 AM | 4

ISIS 'gives up on Kobani'? God that makes me laugh!

Act 1 is simply over, prep for Act 2- ISIS invades new town, Kurds have to fight and all the while Kurdish territory is taken
symbiosis- symbiosis

Deadly game the US is playing? Yah, hit a truck. That will teach them!
A tank. Whohoo! empty compounds- Syrian buildings- shock and awe

"The fight in Kobani has shown that such cooperation with reliable boots on the ground is necessary and effective in defeating the Takfiris"

ISIS is a western proxy- ISIS is a NATO irregular army.
Why would the US and co wish to defeat them?
This is nonsensical

"The moment is right for a U.S. turn towards a reliable cooperation with Syria and with its president Bashar al-Assad"

This is not going to happen, there is nothing, absolutely nothing that has indicated the US is interested in keeping Syria intact and Bashar Assad in place.

The US does not want reliable cooperation.

As for Israel? They want Syria destroyed-

Posted by: Penny | Jan 27, 2015 8:01:47 AM | 5

The media are tight-lipped about the identities of the Syrian opposition meeting in Moscow.
Two (?) of them are from the SNC whose president is the Turkish Khaled Khoja.
This silence of the media about that meeting shows the uneasiness of the western media to imagine that this Russian initiated meeting could be successful and pave the way to future negotiations.
The only positive issue that came out from the Syria war has been Russia's successful intervention to eliminate the chemical weapons in Syria. Now, Russia's pragmatism and coherence may well succeed in getting the opposing parties to negotiate a deal when the UN the US and the now defunct Friends of Syria failed.

Posted by: Virgile | Jan 27, 2015 8:25:05 AM | 6

re 4

it's absolute baloney about Turkey not allowing the US to use fro example Incirluk

That's silly. Turkey never agreed to the use of Incirlik. The Americans announced it, as they used to announce things in Iraq, in advance of agreement being obtained, but the Turks never did agree.

to quote Wiki:

2014 operations against the Islamic State
On 13 October 2014, it was rumored that the Turkish Government approved the use of Incirlik Air base to support operations against the Islamic State.[8] However, this was later denied.[9]

That's why they fly from the Gulf.

Posted by: Alexno | Jan 27, 2015 10:06:48 AM | 7

7 should have beeb signed Laguerre. As I told you, I've changed my moniker.

Posted by: Laguerre | Jan 27, 2015 10:22:44 AM | 8

Obama Cuts Off Syrian Rebels’ Cash

In the past several months, many of the Syrian rebel groups previously favored by the CIA have had their money and supplies cut off or substantially reduced, even as President Obama touted the strategic importance of American support for the rebels in his State of the Union address.

The once-favored fighters are operating under a pall of confusion. In some cases, they were not even informed that money would stop flowing. In others, aid was reduced due to poor battlefield performance, compounding already miserable morale on the ground.
...
In Syria, few rebel fighters want to join a force focused only on ISIS.
...
U.S. officials now acknowledge difficulties recruiting from insurgent ranks, conceding it is a serious challenge finding enough recruits willing to put off fighting the Assad regime.

So American officials recruiting for the train-and-equip mission are now hoping to fish in the pool of rebel fighters from eastern Syria who disbanded, quit the war and fled to Turkey when ISIS established control of the cities of Raqqa and Deir ez-Zor. The U.S. officials say the anti-ISIS force in Syria will have to be smaller than envisaged initially, but they are hoping early victories on the ground will convince more people to enlist.


But again nothing about the south where U.S. paid insurgents and al-Nusra are cooperating.

Posted by: b | Jan 27, 2015 10:28:54 AM | 9

@7

check the links I left

Incirluk is an American airbase- get your facts in order, then tell me what is silly?


Posted by: Penny | Jan 27, 2015 10:31:07 AM | 10

@9

Well that should guarantee the so called moderate rebels will simply have to join ISIS and so it goes

Posted by: Penny | Jan 27, 2015 10:33:21 AM | 11

America and The West are still in the position to have the last laugh and ultimately it sets its own agenda with Israel as one piece on the chess board. - Cold at 2.

Absolutely. (Don’t agree w the rest though.)

One symptom: Bibi has turned into a jet-flying, vulgar gate-crasher. Uninvited by officialdom to France (C. Hebdo march, Flamby asked him not to come) and the US, he shows up anyway, like a fading sorta-porno-sorta-whatever star. ;)

Flamby = Hollande, perfect name. Flamby is an industrial sugary ‘little pot’ desert, vanilla pudding with caramel, from the word flan eng, fr, etc.

Posted by: Noirette | Jan 27, 2015 10:33:44 AM | 12

so, you're saying we're done mowing Assad's lawn?

Posted by: scottindallas | Jan 27, 2015 10:39:05 AM | 13

CH @ 2: "Assad should now trust the Great Satan?" Exactly!

Penny @ 5:"This is not going to happen, there is nothing, absolutely nothing that has indicated the US is interested in keeping Syria intact and Bashar Assad in place."

Yep, remember M Gaddifi and Libya? He also thought he'd be fine making nice to the Empire.

Posted by: ben | Jan 27, 2015 10:41:14 AM | 14

Someone refresh my memory as to what the original plan was for replacing Asaad? Based on sadistically recent experience in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya smooth transitions are elusive. This reeks of savage hegemony. Even absent forecasting the rise of ISIS, a power vacuum had to be assumed, so is it unreasonable to suggest these events are unfolding as planned?

Posted by: IhaveLittleToAdd | Jan 27, 2015 10:45:29 AM | 15

re 10. What facts? The US is forbidden from using Incirlik for bombing ISIS. Everybody knows that. Wiki says it in the article you cite. I'm not quite sure why you're claiming the opposite.

I remember the event well. It was a classic US fuck-up. Presuming that they were going to be obeyed, and then finding the Turks didn't agree. It happened a good many times in Iraq. The northern thrust in 2003 - the troops had to be rerouted to Kuwait. The votes on the Oil Law and the SOFA, which the US many times told us were about to be voted by the Iraqi parliament, but never were. The list could go on and on.

Posted by: Laguerre | Jan 27, 2015 10:51:13 AM | 16

@16

besides Incirlik ? check the other nato bases in Turkey, your contention is pure and utter nonsense

everybody know that?
lol-bandwagon?- sorry I don't jump on it
If the US wanted to fly from Incirlik or any of the other NATO bases to make targeting ISIS easier and more efficient they would

Posted by: Penny | Jan 27, 2015 11:02:05 AM | 17

Funny Penny: She makes a claim and then provides links to back it up. Never mind that her links completely contradict her own claims.

Posted by: bobs | Jan 27, 2015 11:07:55 AM | 18

Syria is part of the axis of resistance, Iran, Iraq, Syria and Hezbollah, anything that disrupts it is welcome for the US/Israel. Former US Ambassador M Oren was quoted.. "Israel prefers the bad guys of Al Nusra to the bad guys associated with Iran". If only the Islamists had concentrated on unseating Assad, instead of turning on the Kurds maybe the US would still be in bed with them. It is only a matter of time before the Iraqi and Syrian armies defeat the Islamists. How is it possible for a cult, who in my opinion are anti-human and who kill citizens simply for watching a football match http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2918567/ISIS-shoot-dead-13-teenagers-watching-Iraq-Jordan-Asian-Cup-clash-TV.html Most people under the rule of these nut jobs are too afraid to rebel [with good reason], in time, hopefully, the Syrian and Iraqi armies will wipe these scumbags off the face of the earth.

Posted by: harry law | Jan 27, 2015 11:08:18 AM | 19

ben @ 14

Exactly! And we see how much the US respects the sovereign territory and governments of other nations, so much so, that we simply must believe they are staying away from Incirlik because Turkey says so

Posted by: Penny | Jan 27, 2015 11:19:50 AM | 20

It is strange that the 600 airstrikes are being presented as a limited offensive when they represent 80% of US strikes in Syria. This symbolic victory, which is not complete, may improve the PR campaign for the Kurds but the IS seems to have moved on and are staging to attack another town along the Turkish border.

I read a report by a US military source that in Iraq the US and Iraq Army offensive has recaptured all of 1% of the territory that was lost to the IS, not much to brag about.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Jan 27, 2015 11:32:18 AM | 21

Kobani, the battle was won, but the town was lost, as a news report stated that the Kurds raised their flag over the ruins.

Posted by: Curtis | Jan 27, 2015 11:39:12 AM | 22

re 17.

besides Incirlik ? check the other nato bases in Turkey, your contention is pure and utter nonsense

When in a hole, the usual advice is don't dig deeper. I would have thought it self-evident that, if Turkey has forbidden the use of Incirlik, the same applies to other US bases in Turkey.

Erdogan quite likes ISIS - more importantly his conservative electoral base is sympathetic to them. I doubt if he really has a choice.

Do you really think that if the US had a choice of flying from Turkey, they would send planes all the way from the Gulf? It must take something like five plane sorties to get one aircraft to Kobani (though I haven't checked tank capacities). The consumption of fuel is colossal, just to get a couple of bombs on a jihadi's head. Maybe only one jihadi, or maybe they don't drop the bombs, if it's like the experience of the Brits and Ozzies.

Posted by: Laguerre | Jan 27, 2015 11:57:03 AM | 23

#22

You mean people were lost. Ruins can be rebuilt.

Posted by: Inkan1969 | Jan 27, 2015 12:28:39 PM | 24

Posted by: Laguerre | Jan 27, 2015 11:57:03 AM | 23

Penny is saying that the US doesn't really want to bomb ISIS efficiently/effectively and thus the 'restriction' on flying from Turkey is a convenient cover.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 27, 2015 12:31:34 PM | 25

@15 I think the perception was that it would be easy much like Gaddafi and Iraq in the early days. Team Blue was ready to demonstrate how awesome their "smart wars" were. After all, some of the money spent on the mic must go to useful projects, right? Gaddafi's and Hussein's was moving to not having retaliatory capabilities, and there is an event who think slapping a flag on a plane makes it invincible. As to why ousting Assad was desirabe is a different set of reasons, but perceived easiness was important.

Posted by: NotTimothyGeithner | Jan 27, 2015 12:36:21 PM | 26

'Rehabilitation' may be an overstatement.

Obama wants a deal with Iran and has been dangling joint efforts against ISIS as an incentive. The 'rehabilitation' of Assad is consistent with this offer of cooperation.

How REAL one thinks the 'rehabilitation' is, depends on one's assessment of: ISIS as a threat; the strength of the anti-Assad feeling among US allies in the region; the situation with Russia; the likelihood of a deal with Iran; etc.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 27, 2015 12:44:13 PM | 27

Up is uʍop.
Assad isn't a dummy - he'll take whatever he can get, and in the meantime CYA.

Posted by: ǝn⇂ɔ | Jan 27, 2015 1:10:00 PM | 28

from May 28, 2014 ...

Three important decisions were reportedly adopted at the economic, military and financial levels:
- In 2015, the Eurasian Economic Commission will create a free trade zone with the Customs Union (Russia - Belarus -Kazakhstan ) which will include Syria.
- The Russian Federation will continue to deliver weapons authorized by the UN Security Council. The Syrian Defense Minister, Fahd Jassem al-Freij, will travel to Moscow in August to sign a detailed treaty of cooperation between the two states. It is expected to involve the extension of Russia’s military base in the port of Tartus as well as Syria’s access to Russian satellite images.
- The Russian Federation should largely foot the bill for the reconstruction of Syria, so that she will not be constrained to sell the passage of Saudi and Qatari gas pipelines on its soil.

source - http://www.voltairenet.org/article184014.html

Posted by: Alberto | Jan 27, 2015 1:40:35 PM | 29

Cooperating w amrikans is a trap for Assad... no way out. This prob comes as close to reality as we can possibly know - http://www.voltairenet.org/article186327.html Loss of territory under almost any scenario for Assad's side is prob a given (unfortunately). It used to be such a nice country...

Posted by: GoraDiva | Jan 27, 2015 5:21:07 PM | 30

@23

apparently you do not comprehend the FACT that Incirluk is a US airbase
I don't know why? It's quite plain and simple.

If the US wants to use Incirluk, they will. If they don't want to they won't
Pretty straight forward stuff,really.
Therefore, if the US chooses NOT to use Incirluk, it is a choice they feel is more advantageous to them, for what ever their reason may be.


Posted by: Penny | Jan 27, 2015 5:31:38 PM | 31

Penny is saying that the US doesn't really want to bomb ISIS efficiently/effectively and thus the 'restriction' on flying from Turkey is a convenient cover.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 27, 2015 12:31:34 PM | 25

Exactly!!
Exactly!!

Thanks Jackrabbit. Thank you so much!! :)
It's that obvious! It really is!

Posted by: Penny | Jan 27, 2015 5:33:09 PM | 32

Greek F16 crashed at Spain air base ...

"Two pilots aboard the Greek F-16 were killed along with eight French air force members on the ground and the French airman who died Tuesday, the ministry said in a statement."

http://news.yahoo.com/spain-investigators-probe-jet-crash-killed-10-092655935.html

Posted by: Alberto | Jan 27, 2015 6:02:42 PM | 33

Is the next date for Iran deal in late march? Of course there can be no deal because the us gov cannot get the sanctions removed. Can will be kicked down the road again and the saner parties will just keep moving on- letting the us stew in its own impotent delusions. Meanwhile Isis continues getting ground down in Iraq and Syria, the tar sands and tracking companies sweat any still profitable assets, China continues massive infrastructural building and human resource development, India Hoovers up all the English speaking hi tech service outsourcing,Ukraine bleeds into a valueless wasteland, the eu beurocracrtises its citizens to a state of sullen resentment, what a wonderful world.

Posted by: bridger | Jan 27, 2015 6:30:37 PM | 34

"Assad should now trust the Great Satan?"

This is all second guessing people who are in the midst of a fight for their lives, and by someone who has never had the slightest interest in the success of the Syrian state. As c1ue states: "Assad isn't a dummy".

The warnings referencing Gadhafi cozying up to the west were valid, perhaps, during the Libyan bombings, but they don't apply to Syria precisely because of what happened there. No one trusts the United States since the attack on Libya. The "humanitarian bombers" over-played their hand there and have nothing left.

The battle lines are now drawn. Whatever the Syrian government gets from the US in the way of attacks on ISIS, it will all be absolutely secondary to the fact that Syria is partners Hezbollah, Iran, Russia, and China.

Posted by: guest77 | Jan 27, 2015 6:54:55 PM | 35

Assad should not fall for this hunky-dory setup. He's on his own. The Netanyahu dustup is a sick joke. He should not violate the one historical cardinal rule, "never trust the Anglo-Saxons". Hey Bashar.....give Fidel a call if you don't believe me.

Posted by: Kraken | Jan 27, 2015 7:05:08 PM | 36

The real POTUS has spoken ... Israel warplanes launch 3 attacks on Syria army positions. Benjamin Netanyahu.

No doubt he'll explain his administration's real position to the Congress when he meets with them at Boehner's invitation. Do away with this surrender-monkey talk.

Probably pick up his Nobel Peace Prize Laurels in Norway on the way to address the Congress, too. Every POTUS will, henceforth, automatically be awarded a Nobel Peace Prize for the duration of the long war. It's the least the Northern Europeans can do to help.

Posted by: jfl | Jan 27, 2015 7:16:04 PM | 37

Then why else would John Mccain and Diane Feinstein be calling for US Special Forces on the ground in Syria?

Posted by: Ron | Jan 27, 2015 7:37:25 PM | 38

Looks as if Israel is striking Syria right now!
IAF in action.(info at my blog)
So much for the US making peace with Assad

Posted by: Penny | Jan 27, 2015 7:55:49 PM | 39

This is all second guessing people who are in the midst of a fight for their lives, and by someone who has never had the slightest interest in the success of the Syrian state. As c1ue states: "Assad isn't a dummy".

Youse guys are better backpedalers than Seth Rogan. Either you hate America and Americans or you don't. Which is it? You can't have your American and eat it too.

It's no skin off my back — keep urging Assad to get in bed with snakes. I mean, hell, why shouldn't he — he's a snake himself who used to torture for America, so it's not as though he's not in familiar company?

The Game must go on.

Posted by: Cold N. Holefield | Jan 27, 2015 9:31:11 PM | 40

Penny: Israel Striking Syria right now!

Related?

*SHELBY SAYS MORE PRESSURE ON IRAN NEEDED FOR `VIABLE' DEAL
*ROYCE SAYS IRAN NUCLEAR TALKS `APPEAR TO BE STALEMATED'
*CHAIRMAN ROYCE OF HOUSE FOREIGN AFFAIRS HOLD IRAN HEARING
*OBAMA, SAUDI KING DISCUSSED IRAN NUCLEAR NEGOTIATIONS: OFFICIAL

From: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-01-27/medvedev-warns-unlimited-reaction-if-russia-cut-swift which mostly discusses the calls for cutting off Russia from SWIFT after the Mariupol attack.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 27, 2015 9:32:10 PM | 41

b: The media may not be totally with the program, but it looks like Obama has authorized some limited leaking to the NYT and CFR. The media has not changed their framing; it's still "the brutal dictator Assad" and "responding to nonviolent protests with barrel bombs" as well as citing Syrian dissidents in Beirut and disillusioned FSA in Turkey with no balance from government supporters in Syria. But CFR's interview with Bashar Assad is a significant shift. The propagandist, Barnard, finally mentions the contrary narrative of what UN officials have been telling her for a long time.

I see a few factors in this shift:
1) Israel's actions, including Netanyahu's planned speech to Congress and the IDF's killing an Iranian general in the Golan.
2) King Abdullah's death, coupled with the MSM's pathetic descriptions of "moderation" "reformer" "monarch" and even "regal bearing of the Saudi royal family." After trying to avoid mentioning the Saudi's practices of lashings and beheadings during the eulogies, it's hard to switch gears to describe the overwhelmingly elected leader of an Arab neighbor as "the brutal dictator."
3) Obama, in his state of the Union, hinted at one other factor -- his elbow room. He has no other elections to run (no other funders to appease). The neocons may have set this course and the Israel Lobby may still be pressuring him to pursue it; but he's got more options now.

Posted by: Rusty Pipes | Jan 27, 2015 9:59:06 PM | 42

"Incirluk is an American airbase- get your facts in order, then tell me what is silly?"

"Exactly! And we see how much the US respects the sovereign territory and governments of other nations, so much so, that we simply must believe they are staying away from Incirlik because Turkey says so"

"Penny is saying that the US doesn't really want to bomb ISIS efficiently/effectively and thus the 'restriction' on flying from Turkey is a convenient cover."

Look, there are two issues raised by Penny and her supporters/opponents.

1) Can the USAF use Incirluk to launch raids on ISIS if the Turks really do object?

The answer is "no", and it remains "no" even if "Incirluk is an American airbase".

There really is no disputing that, since Turkey isn't the only NATO country to have refused to allow USAF combat and/or support missions to stage through American airbases on their soil - Operation Nickel Grass being an obvious example.

After all, no matter how much "Incirluk is an American airbase" it still remains true that Turkish airspace is Turkish airspace.


2) Can the USA use a contrived Turkish faux-veto as an excuse not to go all monkey-shit on ISIS?

The short answer is "yes".

The longer answer is "yes, but that all seems rather pointless".

After all, the USA doesn't need to explain itself to anyone.

If it wants to be half-hearted about its efforts then it can be just as half-hearted flying desultory sorties out of Incirlik as it can launching FA-18's from some Nimitz-class carrier in the Gulf.

I mean, get real: who is going to complain that the sortie rate seems to be a bit on the low side, and why should the USA pay any heed to such complaints?

Posted by: Johnboy | Jan 27, 2015 10:48:53 PM | 43

GoraDiva @30 That's excellent analysis from Voltaire net on the likely 'divide and rule' US strategy for the Middle East. Of course, Robin Wright's divided map won't apply to Saudi Arabia unless as long as its nightmarish and US-subservient dictatorship continues.

As I've written before, Assad is not a natural friend of the anti-Israel resistance and he was forced into that relationship rather than seeking it out. And, yes, he is dumb, because he's been dumb before. For many years he passively accepted Israel's imperial rule in the region, including over Syria's Golan Heights, and he was also a key operative in the US torture/interrogation regime and was a key US intelligence source for the region.

But somehow the crazy Israelis (more than likely their military-industrial complex, which needs enemies) decided they needed to take him out. Nonetheless, he's always been ready to deal. His wife loves shopping in Paris, going to fashion shows, and hanging out with her rich Euro pals. I imagine Assad is no different, and is probably tired of constant and serious mortal danger and wants an easier life.

So, sure, if the US takes advantage of that side of him (and can get the Israelis to give the okay, which is the hard part), they could bring him onto their side. I think he'd gladly give up his Hezbollah bargaining chip if he could be assured that Israel and the US would take him (his country? just him and his wife?) off their kill 'list'. Would he be dumb enough to accept those 'assurances'? Maybe.

Posted by: fairleft | Jan 27, 2015 10:51:45 PM | 44

To continue briefly ... If the US is sincerely attempting to make a peace deal with Syria, it's to clean things up and quiet things down in the Middle East, along the lines of Robin Wright's map for Iraq and Syria. The US military-industrial complex has created wonderful and full-scale new enemies in Russia and China. It doesn't need small change ones like Syria and Iran anymore, and the new map should satisfy the Sunni religionists in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf.

That doesn't mean, though, that Israel doesn't want to keep those last Syria and Iran as US/Israel enemies. It does wage the US dog, so the cold/hot wars against Syria and Iran probably continue, definitely in the case of Iran.

Posted by: fairleft | Jan 27, 2015 11:02:28 PM | 45

CH @ 40: " Either you hate America and Americans or you don't. Which is it? You can't have your American and eat it too."

Don't think many here hate Americans, just the sadistic, greedy and avarice ridden assholes that make most of American foreign and domestic policy. I pity most Americans for their ignorance.

Posted by: ben | Jan 27, 2015 11:38:25 PM | 46

Bitter Lake by Adam Curtis

Now things make sense! As clear as mud ...

Be quick... It won't be up long.

Geez, what a madhouse of complete absurdity...

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jan 28, 2015 2:26:11 AM | 47

Addendum:Nonlinear warfare: A new system of political control

Oh, dear ...

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jan 28, 2015 2:36:39 AM | 48

b

The 'spat' with Netanyahoo has nothing to do with Assad, but the same reason Republicans have a 'spat' with Obama's Executive Amnesty, ...when they themselves are preparing five riders to a rehashed Gang of Eight 40,000,000 'Blue Visas' immigration bill: Perception!

The Media is the Massage. The Party's are fighting over perception, over votes, over $s.

Neither Party wants Netanyahoo using them as his bitch, sure, but if he puts enough war demagoguery and Iran Fear into his US campaign speech, he serves the needs of the NeoCon PNACs. If Obama wants to seize the opposite focus group for a week, and kiss up to Assad, that's good. It gives MIC-Mossad more humint/sigint to play with for 'Operation Treacle'.

The golden goose that keeps on giving since the Berlin Wall fell: 'Islamic Jihad'™

The whole reason McCain went into Syria through Israel to covertly meet with AQ (Al Nusra) and ISIS (The Caliph), was to arm and fund them against Assad, but much more importantly, against the end of the 13 Years War and inevitable winding down of NO BID MIC contracting.
He was just 'pump-and-dumping', the way he learned how with Silverado Savings & Loan.

The man is an in-plain-view genocidal war criminal after all.

So McCain and his Cabal got exactly what they want: I$I$ cutting off heads on prime time TV, Netanyahoo coming to preach a fiery Sermon on the Mount against Iran, and a compliant Republican Party that has already designated $10Bs for 'contingency actions' across MENA, using the 'I$I$ Jihad' meme the same way Cheney used 'Yellow Cake'.

Paging Kofi Annan? Please come to the Red Courtesy Phone!

There is no detente with Assad, but he may have his own reasons to play along, keeping his people believing he's not a demagogue, and might discuss terms for a peaceful resolution. It's all focus groups and MIC campaign funds now, in New USA's global SNAFUBAR clusterfuck.

Don't scream, and they won't hurt you.

Posted by: ChipNikh | Jan 28, 2015 5:12:05 AM | 49

Hezbollah revenge, 4 dead israeli soldiers.
http://rt.com/news/227007-israel-lebanon-missile-idf/

Posted by: Anonymous | Jan 28, 2015 6:36:05 AM | 50

http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/kobane-battle-kills-scores-foreign-fighters-leaves-%E2%80%98massive-destruction%E2%80%99
Many foreign fighters — many of them Australians, Belgians, Canadians and Chechens — were among them, he said, refusing to give exact figures other than to say "it was hugely, hugely significant."

Posted by: Mina | Jan 28, 2015 7:27:37 AM | 51

johnboy@43

2) Can the USA use a contrived Turkish faux-veto as an excuse not to go all monkey-shit on ISIS?

The short answer is "yes".

The longer answer is "yes, but that all seems rather pointless".

Actually it isn't pointless- It's quite valid if one is trying to create a perception of striking an enemy, that is not really an enemy.

I repeat, creating a perception, an illusion, a lie of fighting an enemy- that is not really an enemy.

That is exactly the case with ISIS- They are not an enemy to anyone.

Additionally- there is a second benefit- Making Turkey look bad and uncooperative- That plays into perception management for the next stage of remaking the ME.... destabilizing Turkey.

The signs are all there

As for the "turkish airspace being turkish airspace" comment- could you tell me exactly when it is the US has concerned itself with airspace of other nations?

Libya
Iraq
Syria
Afghanistan
Pakistan
Yemen
etc
That's really a non-starter

Posted by: Penny | Jan 28, 2015 8:38:12 AM | 52

Johnboy @ 43

Penny's responses are statements based on her observations. It would probably take pages to describe the full 'case' for her beliefs. But many here already know the jist.

I am not claiming that she is right. But I have followed enough to understand the argument.

=

You're right of course, it's Turkey's airspace. And Turkey is a sovereign nation. To the extent that this is 'obvious' it's also superficial. Penny is addressing what is going on behind the scenes.

Now, I must confess that I don't completely agree with her 'US is a bully' argument. I think the US does try to not step on other countries in any obvious way (unless they are weak and a target). Especially a country that could actually make a fuss like NATO-member Turkey.

But . . . Turkey's support of ISIS is an inconvenient truth at this point, isn't it? To say that Turkey is preventing the US from using its airbases is laughable. IS/ISIS has attacked several US allies in the region (Iraq + close ally Jordan + even closer ally KSA - killing a General). Why aren't these nations (as well as Qatar + Kuwait + UAE + Israel) complaining - LOUDLY - about Turkey?

IS/ISIS has also beheaded Westerners and called for attacks on the West. It seems quite clear that one of the attackers in Paris (Coulibaly) responded to that call (as per his martyrdom video) and IS/ISIS has claimed responsibility.

It is said, by multiple sources, that thousands of Westerners have transited through Turkey on their way to join IS/ISIS and then again, to return. This has helped IS/ISIS and has created a menace to the West. Indeed, it is well known that Coulibaly's wife (now a fugitive) did the same just before the attacks.

So why hasn't France invoked NATO's Article 5? Turkey is a NATO country and would be obligated to assist against ISIS. But they haven't. Furthermore, no MSM source is calling for that either. The dog that didn't bark.

I could cite more examples (as could Penny and others) of strangeness regarding IS/ISIS and the countries that say they are its enemies but I think you get the idea.

Even before Paris there was reason for the US and its allies to apply pressure on Turkey. To the extent that they haven't, it's logical to conclude that they are supportive of Turkey's support of IS/ISIS -- O R -- they just don't see IS/ISIS as the major (in some cases existential!) threat that they make it out to be.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 28, 2015 11:20:06 AM | 53

ISIS recruiter in Pakistan got money transfers via US

“During the investigations, Yousaf al Salafi revealed that he was getting funding – routed through America – to run the organisation in Pakistan and recruit young people to fight in Syria,” a source privy to the investigations revealed to Daily Express on the condition of anonymity. ... Al Salafi is a Pakistani-Syrian, who entered Pakistan through Turkey five months ago. Earlier, it was reported that he crossed into Turkey from Syria and was caught there. However, he managed to escape from Turkey and reached Pakistan to establish IS in the region.

Sources said al Salafi’s revelations were shared with the US Secretary of State John Kerry during his recent visit to Islamabad. “The matter was also taken up with CENTCOM chief General Lloyd Austin during his visit to Islamabad earlier this month,” a source said.

Al Salafi also confessed that he – along with a Pakistani accomplice, reportedly imam of a mosque – was recruiting people to send them to Syria and was getting around $600 per person from Syria.

“The US has been condemning the IS activities but unfortunately has not been able to stop funding of these organisations, which is being routed through the US,” a source said.

“The US had to dispel the impression that it is financing the group for its own interests and that is why it launched offensive against the organisation in Iraq but not in Syria,” he added.


Posted by: somebody | Jan 28, 2015 1:26:44 PM | 54

The Powers Behind the Islamic State

Leave a comment

29/01/2015 by Don Quijones


In the following interview with the Real News Network investigative journalist Nafeez Ahmed gives specific examples of how Saudi, Qatari, American and British interests have supported the group formerly known as ISIS, and what the global community can do now to reign them in. According to Ahmed — formerly of The Guardian (until he was sacked a few months ago for writing an article on Israel that cut just a little too close to the bone) — the first thing we in the West need to do is acknowledge the central role many of our governments have played in fomenting the rise of Islamic extremism and terrorism in the Middle East, North Africa and far beyond.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7FdnMJyiiwg

Posted by: okie farmer | Jan 29, 2015 11:47:14 AM | 55

@52 "Actually it isn't pointless- It's quite valid if one is trying to create a perception of striking an enemy, that is not really an enemy."

Penny, it is utterly pointless running a $1billion aircraft carrier into the ground to do that.

If the USA wants to be ineffective then it would be a whole lot easier being Not Very Effective out of Incirluk.

You appear to be under a misconception i.e. that if the USA was using Incirluk then it would - somehow, for reasons that you don't explain - have no choice but to run a high sortie rate, highly effective bombing campaign out of that air base.

Nope.

Let's take this as a given: the USA isn't interested in coming down on ISIS like a Tonne Of Bricks.

OK, in which case the USA can do one of two things:
a) Operate out of Incirluk, but be decidedly non-Gung-Ho about it, or
b) Use an aircraft carrier to send out seven-hour-long, four-inflight-refuelling sorties to the Syria/Turkey border region.

Not much of a choice, that: option (a) is clearly the way to go.
It achieves the same thing, but costs a lot less.

Sceptic: But, hey, you guys aren't trying very hard!!!!
Uncle Sam: You say that as if I should give a shit what you think.

Posted by: Johnboy | Jan 29, 2015 5:33:11 PM | 56

"Penny, it is utterly pointless running a $1billion aircraft carrier into the ground to do that"

In your opinion, but, not in the opinion of those who are doing just that.

War is utterly pointless, IMO and yet it is waged with stunning almost constant regularity

Posted by: Penny | Jan 29, 2015 8:18:30 PM | 57

Penny: "In your opinion, but, not in the opinion of those who are doing just that."

It is going to get very tedious pointing out that your argument is circular i.e. you have made the a-priori assumption that the USAF could use Incirluk if they wanted to, ergo, their use of a Nimitz-class carrier "proves" that they prefer to.... use a Nimitz-class carrier.

I'm pointing out - again - that there is zero / zip / nada reason why launching seven-hour sorties from a Nimitz-class carrier is preferable to launch those same sorties from a USAF base that is Just Over The Syrian Border, and so the way-more-plausible explanation for why they are using a Nimitz-class carrier is because Erdagon won't let them use Incurlik.

And all you have done is muttered something about "creating a perception, an illusion, a lie of fighting an enemy" when - once more, yet again - I need to point out to you that the USA can do that just as effectively by flying hopelessly-inadequate sorties out of Incirluk.

You and I both agree that the USA isn't flying missions out of Incirluk.
That is a given.

You and I both agree that the USA is half-hearted about whacking ISIS.
That, again, is a given.

The difference is this:
a) You insist that they could use Incirluk if they wanted to, they just.... prefer.... the way-harder option.
b) I insist that the USA would use Incirluk if they could, but if Erdogan says "No, no way!" then the Nimitz-class carrier is The Only Option Left To Them.

My theory is way, way more plausible than yours.

Posted by: Johnboy | Jan 29, 2015 10:48:57 PM | 58

Penny: "War is utterly pointless, IMO and yet it is waged with stunning almost constant regularity"

Imaging that you are the US Joint Chief Of Staff.

You have just been ordered to Play Pretendies i.e. to launch half-hearted, ineffectual air raids on an "enemy" that you aren't really allowed to hammer.

OK, staff, gather round, let's do some planning.

Well, you can fly those missions-that-aren't-for-real out of a US Air Base that is just over the Syrian border.
Or, you can fly those same missions off a Nimitz-class carrier that is a full seven-hours flying time away.

Which to choose..... which to choose.... which to choose......

Penny would have us believe that she would **choose** the Nimitz-class option over a US airbase that is just over the border.

I suggest that any military man worth their salt would choose the airbase-just-over-the-border option every day of the week, and would reach for the Nimitz-class option only when There Is No Other Choice.

That remains true regardless of how utterly pointless war might be, and regardless of how regularly that pointlessness is engaged in.

Because regardless of both, no military man will make life harder for themselves if they can possibly avoid it.

And the US military would avoid A Huge Amount Of Hardship if they used an airbase that is just over the border, and if they **aren't** using that airbase then there needs to be a damned good reason why they aren't.

Say..... the host country refusing to allow those missions to be flown through their airspace.

Yeah, that would do it...

Posted by: Johnboy | Jan 29, 2015 11:06:28 PM | 59

Johnboy: And the US military would avoid A Huge Amount Of Hardship if they used an airbase that is just over the border, and if they **aren't** using that airbase then there needs to be a damned good reason why they aren't.

How about sabre rattling? Proving to the Iranians that they can conduct sustained operations with long distance sorties on their doorstep? (while reassuring Gulf country leaders of same)

But again, Turkey seems to be IS/ISIS's most overt 'friend' (in as quiet a way as possible). That no one seems to want to spoil that party speaks volumes.

Or, it could be what you say.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 30, 2015 12:23:30 AM | 60

J@60

I think you have to look at Turkey's behavior as being similar to that of Israel's. Both countries have immediate threats to address, Turkey has the Kurds and their need to suppress their growing power especially in Syria and Israel has Hezbollah. Turkey sees the IS as a counter to the Kurds and a possible future problem so they don't interfere for now. This will probably change in the future especially if Assad is overthrown.

The use of their territory for US bombing missions is a lose-lose proposition for them because of the internal opposition they are already trying to control and their independent status in the region.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Jan 30, 2015 12:53:05 AM | 61

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Jan 30, 2015 12:53:05 AM | 61

Obviously, Israeli policy is Turkish policy is US policy.

Mr Davutoglu said that Turkey opposes either Isis or Syrian President Bashar al-Assad winning the war in Syria. He believes that if the international community is not going to send ground troops to Syria “the only alternative is to train and equip moderate opposition forces”. Since such a force does not currently exist, and the armed opposition is increasingly dominated by Isis and by the al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra, Turkey evidently sees a long war with no obvious reason why it should end. The Syrian army is short of recruits and exhausted by four years of war while its three main allies, Russia, Iran and Hezbollah in Lebanon, have problems of their own.

So yes, Turkey is cooperating with the US on the fight against IS should it become to strong. Both don't want it too weak either.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 30, 2015 2:30:23 AM | 62

JohnBoy@ " I insist that the USA would use Incirluk if they could, but if Erdogan says "No, no way!" then the Nimitz-class carrier is The Only Option Left To Them."

Incirluk isn't the only option- There are multiple other NATO bases in Turkey

here's a map from an older blog post at my place

http://pennyforyourthoughts2.blogspot.ca/2013/05/the-geneva-talks-exercise-in-futility.html

See all the bases? Turkey is an occupied country, for all intents and purposes. And there are multiple base options.

Which is very suggestive to me, if the US is in the Med, it is because that is exactly where they want to be

What other advantages might there be in using the Med vs any one of the NATO bases in Turkey? For other 'war theatres'
To assist other nations? For future considerations?

Posted by: Penny | Jan 30, 2015 9:14:45 AM | 63

Johnboy- Would the positioning of the US in the Med be helpful in this scenario? Just a suggestion? A possibility? Something to consider?

http://pennyforyourthoughts2.blogspot.ca/2012/09/worrisome-scenarios-you-gotem-israel.html

" We conclude that a military strike by Israel against Iranian Nuclear Facilities is possible and the optimum route would be along the Syrian-Turkish border then over a small portion of Iraq then into Iran, and back the same route. However, the number of aircraft required, refueling along the way and getting to the targets without being detected or intercepted would be complex and high risk and would lack any assurances that the overall mission will have a high success rate."

The map is there, there is also a pdf which includes a more detailed map-

Posted by: Penny | Jan 30, 2015 9:51:38 AM | 64

WoW @61 & somebody @62

I understand Turkey's motives. What we are working through in this discussion is the issue of collusion among countries - arising via US not using Incirluk for bombing IS/ISIS.

By definition, "allies" collude. But what we see in the ME is, um . . exceptional. Because many of these 'allies' don't want to be seen to be working with certain other countries. It is funny to watch, really.

So, if IS/ISIS was the threat that it is made out to be - to all the countries in the region and beyond - then Turkey would face enormous pressure to join against IS/ISIS. But IS/ISIS is USEFUL to these countries so we get half measures and bullshit (for now).

=

Johnboy and Penny are both right. The US can't use Incirluk but there is more to that than Johnboy's: "Turkey is a sovereign Nation" and Penny's: "Turkey is occupied".

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 30, 2015 10:59:12 AM | 65

J@65

I think these conflicts are more serious than funny especially for the peoples of the ME. The actions and reactions of these countries and the West will have long-term consequences for the world and especially US hegemony.

The Islamic State seems to be the only force and more importantly Idea that may be able to unite the ME and truly threaten the Hegemon. When they have control of 'Our Oil' the table will be turned and the West will feel the pain that it truly deserves.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Jan 30, 2015 12:50:17 PM | 66

WoW @66

Please don't twist my words. What is humorous is the kabuki and kayfabe BS -NOT- the death and mayhem.

And I saw what you did there: the segue into fearmongering when we are discussing how the efforts against IS/ISIS is only half-hearted. FYI: this is not an M$M blog.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 30, 2015 1:28:14 PM | 67

JR @ 65

"Johnboy and Penny are both right. The US can't use Incirluk but there is more to that than Johnboy's: "Turkey is a sovereign Nation" and Penny's: "Turkey is occupied".

Agreed and my argument was certainly not limited to Turkey is occupied space, though, they are for all intents and purposes.
When it comes to Turkey, one has to think of the deep state issues
the Kurds, the future of Kurdistan, Israel and Iran- and the efforts to destabilize Turkey -which is why I was finding Johnboy's argument unconvincing-

While I was out today, i was thinking about this even more and I recalled something I had posted at my blog( it's hard to recall everything I have ever read or posted in all these years- there has been news that Turkey and the US had come to an agreement regarding the use of Incirluk-

http://pennyforyourthoughts2.blogspot.ca/2014/12/us-considers-safe-zone-aka-kurdistan.html

from a Washington Post article

- my commentary- How is the US going to expand Kurdish territory for their terrorist army- YPG/PKK?

WP continues:

Under the plan, U.S. aircraft flying from Turkey’s Incirlik air base would target positions the militants currently hold along the border north of Aleppo, eastward toward the besieged town of Kobane. Turkish special forces would move into the area to assist the targeting and help Syrian opposition fighters consolidate their hold on the territory.


This is the link to Washington Post

WashingtonPost


From the December 1/14 article
I am including every mention of the Incirlik base from the article

'Under the plan, U.S. aircraft flying from Turkey’s Incirlik air base would target positions the militants currently hold along the border north of Aleppo, eastward toward the besieged town of Kobane"

The Obama administration is weighing the opening of a new front in the air war against the Islamic State in Syria, part of an offensive to push back militants along the western part of Syria’s border with Turkey and create a relatively safe zone for U.S.-backed Syrian rebel forces to move in.

Under the plan, U.S. aircraft flying from Turkey’s Incirlik air base would target positions the militants currently hold along the border north of Aleppo, eastward toward the besieged town of Kobane. Turkish special forces would move into the area to assist the targeting and help Syrian opposition fighters consolidate their hold on the territory.

President Obama, who has not yet approved the proposal, was briefed on its outline at a meeting with his senior national security advisers Wednesday.

The plan, which was developed over the past several weeks during extensive meetings between U.S. and Turkish diplomatic and military officials, also was a subject of discussion between Vice President Biden and Turkey’s top political leaders during Biden’s visit to Istanbul 10 days ago.

The proposal would at least partly address Turkey’s long-standing desire for a protected buffer zone inside Syria along the entire 511-mile border, while providing the faltering rebel fighters with a much-needed boost.

In exchange, U.S. access to ­Incirlik for the use of manned warplanes and armed drones throughout Syria would add as much as six hours to the time that individual strike aircraft could spend “on station,” locating and reaching targets. Aircraft currently striking Islamic State positions in northern and eastern Syria fly from bases in the Persian Gulf, a distance of about 1,000 miles.

“That access is huge,” a U.S. official said. At the same time, having Turkish special forces on the ground inside Syria would not only “breathe life into the Free Syrian Army” but also provide “more capable folks to help with targeting” for airstrikes.

Right now, the official said, targets are pinpointed with surveillance by unarmed aircraft flying from Incirlik and other bases in the region, as well as friendly Syrian “dudes with cellphones” on the ground.

So, Incirlik has been being used all along- for drones
But it appears a deal was hammered out late last year for bombing runs to begin-
I wish I would have recalled all this sooner-
sigh....
What is interesting is the deal was hammered out with Turkish "officials" There is that deep state issue at play
And Turkish special forces will assist- They are intertwined with NATO- they are like bread and butter- so interesting

Posted by: Penny | Jan 30, 2015 4:19:38 PM | 68

sorry, meant to click preview and instead clicked post- Aargh!
wanted to change my tags- apologies for that- I really should get back to work- yikes

Posted by: Penny | Jan 30, 2015 4:21:40 PM | 69

Under the plan, U.S. aircraft flying from Turkey’s Incirlik air base would target positions the militants currently hold along the border north of Aleppo, eastward toward the besieged town of Kobane.

That didn't happen. US aircraft were not authorised to bomb Kobani from Incirlik.

Nevertheless, the Syrian Kurds succeeded in taking the town. The question is: Was it a defeat for ISIS, where ISIS lost 1600 dead according to the Kurds? Or was it that ISIS, recognising that they wouldn't take the town, only left a small garrison, to give as much trouble as they could to the Kurds? That is what I would have done.

We will see shortly. If the Kurds had a victory, we will see in the retaking of villages around. If not, it was a Pyrrhic victory.

Posted by: Laguerre | Jan 31, 2015 4:59:00 PM | 70

@70

"That didn't happen. US aircraft were not authorised to bomb Kobani from Incirlik."

Want to tell me and anyone else interested how you know, with certainty, that plan did not come to fruition?

"The plan, which was developed over the past several weeks during extensive meetings between U.S. and Turkish diplomatic and military officials, also was a subject of discussion between Vice President Biden and Turkey’s top political leaders during Biden’s visit to Istanbul 10 days ago"

BTW:

The WP article makes very clear that the US was flying drones out of Incirlik, all along

"Right now, the official said, targets are pinpointed with surveillance by unarmed aircraft flying from Incirlik and other bases in the region, as well as friendly Syrian “dudes with cellphones” on the ground."

Interested to read your info- thanks !

Posted by: Penny | Jan 31, 2015 6:02:59 PM | 71

As for what happened at Kobane??
I would say that moved along- Any so called ISIS dead will be inconsequential- 1600 dead? Is simply not a believable number.

Posted by: Penny | Jan 31, 2015 6:05:40 PM | 72

That is that so called ISIS just moved along---- and some of the useful idiots were left as fodder and show for the camera

Posted by: Penny | Jan 31, 2015 6:06:37 PM | 73

Also odd that you say 'syrian kurds' took the town when that is not the case at all- Plenty of Turkish Kurds along for the ride too.

Peshmerga was all over the area-

Posted by: Penny | Jan 31, 2015 6:08:12 PM | 74

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