Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
June 04, 2015

Damascus Goes Into Defense Mode

When the enemy with overwhelming numbers is attacking in full force it makes sense to retreat to the best defensible lines and to protect only the most valuable assets.

The parallel onslaught of U.S., Turkey and GCC supported al-Qaeda "moderate rebels" and Islamic State Jihadists necessitates that the Syrian government concentrates its capabilities and assets and moves into a defensive stand.

This is not a strategic change of course or a sign of weakness but a tactical move. To sacrifice exhausted army units in further defending outlying and thereby indefensible minor parts of the country would simply be unwise. The Syrian government is still strong and at least 75% of the Syrian people within Syria are under its realm. The war on Syria will go on for years and there will come other phases when the Syrian army will again go on attack.

Some 10,000 al-Qaeda fighters, a third of them foreigners, crossed from Turkey with new U.S. supplied TOW anti-tank weapons and overran the Syrian defenses in the governate and city of Idleb. The move was unexpected in its size and force. The Syrian government recognized that more resources would be required to counter the attack and dispatched officials to Iran and Russia to request more help.

Iran released a new $1 billion loan and is also sending some 15,000 additional paramilitary fighters from Iraq and Iran to support the defenses of Damascus, Homs and the Latakia coast area. Hizbullah is engaged in the Qalamon mountains next to Lebanon and in the process of mopping up al-Nusra and other Jihadist groups in the area. Russia has publicly announced to further support the Syrian government. It is not yet known what exactly Russia is planning to do but we can expect to see more and newer weapons delivered to the Syrian army and air force.

Meanwhile the U.S. propaganda machine is working hard on three points. The first is to depict the Syrian government as no longer supported by its people and to sow doubt about its alliances with Iran and Russia. With the new support coming now that line is temporarily inoperable but will be revived when convenient.

The second propaganda stunt is to deny that Jabhat al-Nusra is a real operative part of Al-Qeada with the long-term aim to attack the "west". This claim is necessary to justify further U.S. support to the Nusra led campaigns in Idleb and elsewhere. There were rumors about al-Nusra rejecting al-Qaeda and attempts to invent some internal strife about the question. An AlJazeerah Arabic softball interview with Nusra chief Jolani was arranged to soften its image. But Jolani did not perform as AlJazeerah sponsor Qatar expected. He again declared full allegiance to al-Qaeda central and his obedience to al-Qeada chief Ayman al-Zawahiri. Nusra is thereby not "al-Qaeda aligned" or "al-Qaeda linked" or an "al-Qaeda franchise". Jabhat al-Nusra is al-Qaeda. Jolani left no doubt about it.

The third and most stupid propaganda claim is an alleged cooperation of the Syrian government with the Islamic State. "Look, we planned this big operation against Assad in Aleppo and Assad bombed us. The next day the Islamic State attacked us and Assad did not bomb them. See, he did not help us. He must be with the Islamic State." Some stupidity really has no bounds. Here is how well the Syrian army and the Islamic State really "cooperate":

Islamic State bombers have blown up about a dozen explosive-packed trucks at Syrian army checkpoints around the government-held northeastern city of Hasaka city over the past five days, the city governor said on Thursday.
...
"More than thirteen explosive-laden vehicles have attacked army checkpoints and sowed terror and fear among citizens," City Governor Mohammad Zaal al Ali told state television by telephone from inside the city.

The fighting in Syria is now between three parties. Al-Qaeda terrorists supported by U.S. aligned external states, the Syrian government and its allies and the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. All three are fighting each other but the Syrian government hopes that the fighting between Nusra and the Islamic State will intensify and diminish its two enemies. It sees the Islamic State not as its own problem but as a problem for the whole world. It will now go into a defensive mode and protect its core assets. Other entities will have to attack the Islamic State. The bet is that the Islamic State will, probably soon, directly attack the "west" and/or Gulf entities and that these attacks will result in others taking care of the Islamic State problem.

Posted by b on June 4, 2015 at 01:58 PM | Permalink

Comments

The bet is that the Islamic State will, probably soon, directly attack the "west" and/or Gulf entities and that these attacks will result in others taking care of the Islamic State problem.

The optimal scenario is that these globs of human sarcoma will fight to their mutual destruction. A long shot, perhaps, but something to fantasize about.

Posted by: Some Guy | Jun 4, 2015 3:06:28 PM | 1

What passes as war propaganda in Dumbfuckistan. It seems the West and all the poodles, regional or otherwise, want desperately to kill everyone but don't want to do it themselves, so the unreliable terrorist proxy armies are needed. Half-assed solutions to self-inflicted, half-assed problems. So many dead and displaced in this ongoing tragedy. Shame on the Western democracies and their "elected" leaders. Blood for blood and karma's a bitch. Even for those "radical Jihadists" who wish well the settler state. Just following the money.
I'd take the keys, hand them over to the Oded Yinons in Eretz israel and say "Here ya go, skumbags. This is your ride, you and the GCC greasy stains can take all these assholes home with you."
Here's to hoping eventually the perpetrators of these heinous crimes find punishment in Hell.

Posted by: farflungstar | Jun 4, 2015 4:13:32 PM | 2

@1 Some guy - I like where your coming from.

Allowing for the disgusting idea that these terrorist proxies are successful overthrowing the Assad regime - It's very interesting to myself, Who ISIL and Al Qaeda have on their priorities of targets to attack.
Is it Shia lead secular governments as the number one enemy ?
Then next, just Shia in general ? Of course including Lebanons Hezbollah.

Where does the conflict between ISIL and Al Qaeda fit between those other two ?

Why did ISIL spend so much resources and men trying to take over Kobani on the Turkish border ? Was that a priority to attack Turkish Kurds ? And where do the Kurds sit on the list ? Which by the way, the US Empire protected the Turkish Kurds so the Turkish government would have its own enemy. Oh how sweet, the planned chaos of the evil empire.

Or is it a case of, all who do not convert to their version of Islam or a sectarian/religious belief is the enemy, and the path of least military resistance is where they want to subjugate ?

Posted by: tom | Jun 4, 2015 4:30:40 PM | 3

- Syria giving up its chemical weapons weakened the position of Syria (+Russia) vis-a-vis the US & the Gulf states and their proxies.

- Assad simply has to go ASAP. Assad is simply not acceptable as a leader of Syria. He simply has too much blood on his hands. But the best way for Assad to go is to go voluntarily. I DO NOT like the way Assad seems to be heading for the "political exits".
- If Assad goes and is replaced with e.g. ISIS then the syrian people will undergo the same fate as the sunnis in e.g. Mosul. Sharia law etc. Keep e.g. in mind that alawites are allowed to drink alcohol.

Posted by: Willy2 | Jun 4, 2015 5:00:01 PM | 4

- The more I think about it, the more I am convinced that the days of Assad are numbered.
- Will the fight go on for years ? I seriously doubt it. I personally consider it to be likely that when the price of oil drops (again), in combination with shrinking demand (think "economic crisis in the West") the Gulf states will run out of money very soon. Saudi Arabia is already running Current Account Deficit.

And such (economic) developments WILL change the dynamics in the Middle East dramatically as well.

Posted by: Willy2 | Jun 4, 2015 5:09:23 PM | 5

@Willy2

Not acceptable as a leader of Syria? Says who? little bird told ya that?
Too much blood on his hands? hahaha

Sir, u r an arrogant fool at best, parroting the usual propaganda.

Who the heck are u to say Assad has to go?
What part of proxy war via wahaabi terrorists backed by ZUSA and its allies to destroy the syrian state do u fail to understand?
Well, hell, propagandists do not care about facts...

Posted by: Luca K | Jun 4, 2015 5:17:40 PM | 6

Mr.B has nailed it re the new propaganda drive.

Much of what he says in this regard can be seen
in this propaganda piece:

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/why-assads-air-force-now-191616721.html

I enjoyed however how many of the comments were hostile to the article, it shows more people r beginning to question uncle ScamS propaganda.

Posted by: Luca K | Jun 4, 2015 5:22:01 PM | 7

Not strongly disagreeing with the article in broad terms, but the idea that Damascus has now dramatically shifted from offense to defense doesnt' seem to hold up... Just compare a map from a year ago to now, Damascus won hardly any territory at all, it made localized gains in Qalamoun and South, and Deir-ez-Zour city and NE, but more broadly, AN and ISIS expanded their territory at Damascus' expense. During this time there was lots of battles won by Damascus, so they seemed like they were winning, but they just didn't change the map of control enough in their favor.

Adjusting their tactical position does seem advised, in fact, it's crazy that the narrow "finger" to Idlib city held on as long as it did, apparently because they were facing incompetent "Syrian National Council" affilitated "rebels" before, and more AN now. It seems reasonable to consolidate the remainder of that "finger" by expanding from al-Ghab plain and rest of government-controlled Hama province, and possibly taking area from Jishr-al-Shugr to Turkish border so that area is safe and the front line is reduced in length. They also need to worry about maintaining road to Aleppo.

Besides Nasrallah also promising further involvement in Syria (not just Qalamoun adjacent to Lebanon), it looks like Iran is also stepping up: http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2015/Jun-04/300520-iran-sends-15000-fighters-to-syria.ashx#.VXA0xiDSyzE.twitter

It's likely that support from Iraq will be needed to finally win the war though.

Posted by: Yah | Jun 4, 2015 5:45:44 PM | 8

Definitely need to fix the Turkish border. The Rambo wannabes will just run back over it.

Posted by: dh | Jun 4, 2015 6:10:12 PM | 9

Assad's Devilishly Simple Plan To Bring The West To His Side Against ISIS
....
"U.S. coordination with Russia, Iran, Hezbollah, or the Assad government in the fight against ISIS will play directly into the Assad plan," Barabandi said. "It will prove to Assad that his manipulation of time and terror has once again worked."

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/assads-plan-to-work-with-the-west-2014-8#ixzz3c8YuZPcI

Posted by: Virgile | Jun 4, 2015 6:58:23 PM | 10

yah 8......damascus will be holding a "burning man" festival in july....even "staring man" will be there

do i smell a whiff of baath,just a whiff of baath party ex saddam iraqi army officers coming to damascus for tea and scones.

https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2015/06/03/isis-forces-exbaathist-saddam-loyalists/

no wonder the iraqi forces ..."just ran away" and left behind all the good stuff...syria does not need russia when the americans provided the good stuff for free

operation enduring freedom mission accomplished alpha bravo charlie ho ho ho

no wonder the iranians are worried

Posted by: mcohen | Jun 4, 2015 7:07:36 PM | 11

Maybe the right strategy but, in the long run, if Assad plays the waiting game he could end up on the losing side. Sooner or later Isis may decide Damascus is vulnerable and will increase its attacks. This could turn the people against Assad unless he shows his ability to fight.
On the other hand, some chatter from Iran and hozballah, along with some Syrian high ranking military have been suggesting a major counter offensive is coming. it is feasible that the saa has been regrouping and preparing for a full offensive on two fronts. The southern front will likely fall quickly and the northern front will be bloody. I am guessing all will be clear right after the Turkish election the end of this week. If erdogan goes, major political changes could seriously damage Isis. If he stays, aa bloody offensive will be necessary.

Posted by: Brad a | Jun 4, 2015 7:19:50 PM | 12

When will Iran realize what must be done and fully invade Syria and Iraq to wipe out this cancer and deny the Americans anymore of this destruction from within while saying they are there to "help"

Posted by: Anunnaki | Jun 4, 2015 7:33:44 PM | 13

The bet is that the Islamic State will, probably soon, directly attack the "west" and/or Gulf entities and that these attacks will result in others taking care of the Islamic State problem.

Bad bet. IS command has to placate the cannon fodder by posing as anti-GCC and so on. The bosses know where their funding is coming from. That's not to say the commanders have 100% strong top-down control over the cannon fodder and true believers. But those folks will be killed when it's prudent.

Posted by: fairleft | Jun 4, 2015 11:28:44 PM | 14

To elaborate my perspective while I wait for GS-Cleveland overtime ... What we have here is a US/Saudi/Israeli-sponsored Sunni sectarian war against Shias. That's the fundamental driver of what's happening. Turkey, KSA, Israel, the US, UK, France, EU, Al Nusra, Al Qaeda, ISIS are allies. Symbolic acts aside, that's what Iran, Russia, the Shias of Iraq, and Syria are dealing with. When/if China comes on to the anti-sectarian side we'll have all the main WWIII players involved (well, except for Japan).

Posted by: fairleft | Jun 4, 2015 11:43:14 PM | 15

More "Assad is weak" propaganda from David Ignatius

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/syrias-assad-nears-the-tipping-point/2015/06/04/ae9af080-0af4-11e5-95fd-d580f1c5d44e_story.html

---
@Brad "This could turn the people against Assad " and to whom would they turn? ISIS or AlQaeda?
No. They will stick with Assad.


Posted by: b | Jun 5, 2015 12:05:40 AM | 16

Luka K @ 6: Think I'll second your remarks. Trolling really is a growth industry.

Posted by: ben | Jun 5, 2015 1:00:05 AM | 17

The premise that “Assad has to go” is a false premise, even if the “good” intention behind is the idea that once Assad is gone, the political and military bottleneck in Syria will work itself out. Given that “Assad has to go” has been the battle-cry of the anti-Assad alliance, the clamoring for Assad’s exit is only parroting the US/Zionist/Wahhabi/Eurostan clique against Syria. The premise is false because the target was never Assad, was a redrawing of the ME according to the designs of the above-mentioned clique, whose plans for a “Divide & Ruin” of Syria, Iraq, Lebanon et al, started long ago. Without Russia & China’s intervention, Syria would have gone down the drain like Iraq and Libya, bombed back to the Stone Age mercilessly.

If Plan A (no-fly zone/bombing) didn’t work, Plan B is to keep Syria, Iraq, Iran, Lebanon, et al busy at war, wasting precious resources after an existential fight imposed from outside, setting these countries back for decades in education, technology, science, sports, culture, arts, etc., vis-à-vis the Zionist entity. The unintended consequence of pretending to target Assad while in fact planning for a destruction of the ME as we knew it has been to shore up political and military support for Assad greater than any he had before.

The Syrian people had honest reasons to start a revolution against Assad, who had overstayed his time, and they could have succeeded in their efforts if their struggle had not become part of the geopolitical game of the empire. If, (BIG IF), there was ever any attempt for a true revolution in Syria, it was killed as soon as it fell under the “protective” mantle of the empire and its minions. Assad, like Russia’s Putin, has now become a larger-than-life symbol of the struggle against the empire, and of the resistance of the Syrian people against the onslaught launched by their enemies.

Any predictions of Assad leaving have been proven false after almost 5 years of the same old, same old BS, so you can just shut up; any calls for Assad ousting are only playing into the hands of the criminal US/Wahhabi/Zionist/Eurostan mafia, whose only intention is to weaken the Syrian resistance and strengthen their AQ/IS bastard children.

Posted by: Lone Wolf | Jun 5, 2015 1:39:46 AM | 18

Excellent Lone Wolf. No delusions about what Assad or Putin are. But the nationalism of each advances the hope of generating a multi-polar world where national sovereignty plays a much larger role. Of course, then the hope is for popular control of as much of those sovereigns as possible. Without their help and of Xi and some others, battling against the big bankers' empire would be a likely impossible medium-term game, and end-stage financial capitalism is horribly anemic/depressive economic and economic inequality catastrophe that needs to go asap.

Posted by: fairleft | Jun 5, 2015 2:28:30 AM | 19

@6:
I am VERY well aware about the propaganda coming from the US main stream PROPAGANDA media. EVERY party in the war in Syria has blood on their hands.

Reese Ehrlich gave an interview in october 2014 to the Peter B Collins Show, in which he provided very interesting information.
http://www.peterbcollins.com/2014/10/28/journalist-reese-erlich-offers-informed-comment-on-americas-new-war-in-syria-iraq/

Posted by: Willy2 | Jun 5, 2015 2:58:28 AM | 20

@6:
Keep in mind that the start of the syrian civil war was spontaneous uprising/protest of the syrians against Assad. Assad replied with harsh repression.

Posted by: Willy2 | Jun 5, 2015 3:06:46 AM | 21

Keep in mind that the start of the syrian civil war was spontaneous uprising/protest of the syrians against Assad.
That's your version. The truth is considerably less clear. Had it been simply as you say, the rebellion would have be over a couple of years ago.

Posted by: Laguerre | Jun 5, 2015 4:34:20 AM | 22

@ Laguerre | 22

The truth is considerably less clear.

The truth is quite clear - when Assad in 2005-2007 refused to leave Resistance axis, US and alies initiated full-scale preparation of overthrowing Syria's government. Training, arms and funds were flowing in billions, thousands kilometers of tunnels were dug. As soon as the Axis of Evil succeeded in Libya, they began an active phase in Syria - quite small demonstrations got 24/7 coverage, snipers in the usual CIA style started shooting both sides. Within days thousands of armed jihadis started attacking army, police and city offices. Even in initial days of "peaceful demonstrations" 10x more police and soldiers died than demonstrators, and thats including victims of CIA snipers.

I dont see anything unclear about that, who started and who benefited from Syria's upheaval. Even looking in Syria's case separately as in in vacuum, timeline and guilty parties are very clear, and since we know US and alies stacked history of overthrowing hundreds of governments with frequently re-used the same templates, only very ignorant (or certifiably challenged people) can claim it was "spontaneous civil war" and similar dumb claims about any country US initiates "revolutions". Whether its Syria, or Libya, or Ukraine, etc.

Posted by: Harry | Jun 5, 2015 9:03:57 AM | 23


Its quite clear, the arc of resistance is under attack from GCC, Turkey and assorted sectarian bigots from all over. The US attitude is the enemy of my enemy is my friend, as in 1980's Afghanistan, therefore they are not attacking IS with any conviction, allowing mile long columns of IS fighters in their shiny new Toyota trucks, to cross hundreds of miles of open desert, on main roads from Syria to Iraq, and with black flags flying. Nobody in their right minds believes the US could not see this happening.The combined populations of Iran, Iraq,Syria and Lebanon is approx 143 million. The 20/30 thousand head choppers could be an existential threat to them all, unless they start mobilizing.

Posted by: harry law | Jun 5, 2015 9:49:18 AM | 24

re 23

The truth is quite clear
No it is not. I've had dozens of different versions over time. And I'd be very dubious about the sequence of events. The situation was a lot clearer later on, when the rebels were able to put out their videos, which often showed much that was unintended.

Posted by: Laguerre | Jun 5, 2015 9:55:45 AM | 25

@22:

"That's your version. The truth is considerably less clear. Had it been simply as you say, the rebellion would have be over a couple of years ago."

Yes, is was that simple. But a number of countries started to get involved and that turned the spontaneous uprising (remember the words "Arab Spring" ?) into a civil war without end.

Did you bother to listen to that interview (see weblink in reply #22) with Reese Erlich ?

Posted by: Willy2 | Jun 5, 2015 10:04:45 AM | 26

Anunnaki at 13 wrote: When will Iran realize what must be done and fully invade Syria and Iraq to wipe out this cancer and deny the Americans anymore of this destruction from within while saying they are there to “help” ..

What about this then? What does this mean, if anything? For the military types here?

June 2, business insider

http://tinyurl.com/p8o2fnt

quote: Iranian Revolutionary Guards Quds Force chief Qassem Soleimani has vowed that upcoming developments in Syria will soon “surprise” the world, Al-Quds al-Arabi reported. “The world will be surprised by what we and the Syrian military leadership are preparing for the coming days,” the state Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) quoted him as saying, according to the London-based daily. 

Posted by: Noirette | Jun 5, 2015 10:50:19 AM | 27

Anyone remember the "Highway of Death" where A-10s barbecued 250000 Iraqi soldiers in a single morning?

In view of this past happening, it takes considerable bad faith to believe or claim that the US is serious
about IS when such shiny IS columns can linger unchallenged in open country.

Even the drones would make mincemeat of these beheaders.

Posted by: CarlD | Jun 5, 2015 11:10:13 AM | 28

re: comments 22-25. It is clear it unclear debate.

What was clear to me, within two weeks of "Arab Spring" uprising in Syria was that there was a very well organized armed contingent among the street demonstrators. At the time these were described as groups organized by the Muslim Brotherhood. What was not clear was how spontaneous the initial demonstrations actually were. However, what became clear fairly early on was that to the extent that there were many thousands of peaceful demonstrators in the early weeks they quickly became quite irrelevant. They did serve a purpose in that it allowed willing dupes like Juan Cole to maintain for more than two years that the rebellion was really peace-loving and democratic oriented.

Very similar to what happened in Libya. It was clear that very heavily armed and incredibly well organized armed militias were active in Benghazi within days of the opening of the Libyan Arab Spring. This was denied by western propagandists for more than a year who were selling the rebellion as a spontaneous uprising, thirsting for western style secular democracy. Again I noticed last month that Juan Cole is still trying to defend that fiction.

Posted by: ToivoS | Jun 5, 2015 12:06:49 PM | 29

Lone Wolf at 18: The Syrian people had honest reasons to start a revolution against Assad, who had overstayed his time, and they could have succeeded in their efforts if their struggle had not become part of the geopolitical game of the empire. If, (BIG IF), there was ever any attempt for a true revolution in Syria, it was killed as soon as it fell under the “protective” mantle of the empire and its minions.

As for the Syrian ppl part, revolution against Assad, maybe, and that is what I have argued weakly here in the past, been dismissed more or less, but no matter. For the rest, yes.

Opposition in Syria was an outcome of:

1) A horrific long-lasting drought which everyone forgets, cut revenues and many farmers to the ground. Into the ground.

2010, IRIN:

http://www.irinnews.org/report/90442/syria-drought-pushing-millions-into-poverty\\

from MESSA (US - University) 2015

http://tinyurl.com/orqk2qy

2) Economic liberalisation moves made by Assad, cutting subsidies, allowing foreign banks in (again, that is forgotten), and boosting privatization.

The Guardian, 2011, lame description:

The plan included measures to encourage investment, enhance free trade, liberalise prices and strengthen social safety nets. There were also policy objectives to tackle human rights issues, regional development and social justice. … http://tinyurl.com/paheojh

From the official Pres. of Syria link, historical, eng, http://tinyurl.com/ob6ftjm

Assad tried to ‘Westernize’, please the W (deals), follow a W model, and thought, or hoped, it would be no problem.

Assad did try to backtrack:

global research 2012 http://tinyurl.com/q3vjj4z

Posted by: Noirette | Jun 5, 2015 12:17:27 PM | 30

The civilized world must help the syrian people...and btw why the saudi islamic state hasn't started the destruction of the old city of Palmyra?

Posted by: guy | Jun 5, 2015 1:54:55 PM | 31

@Noirette@30

I used the word "honest" purposely, as I have read many an article in which members of the Syrian intelligentsia mourn the lost of THEIR revolution, one they started around the circumstances you so sharply linked us up to. Truth being told, even without circumstantial events, i.e. drought and neo-liberal economy, Syria was in serious need of a political remake to get out of its stagnation, a by-product of the Hassad dynasty. I am sure in due time, once the dust settles in Syria, historians will be able to patch the pieces of that period that brought us to the current mayhem. While we wait for those scholarly studies, these are my two pennies on the subject.

1) There were genuine reasons (general discontent, economic crisis, need for a political renewal) to kick off a revolution in Syria, it was ripe for it. The uprising took hold mainly in the countryside, spreading to cities like Aleppo, which became an early bastion of revolutionary fervor.

2) There was a parallel effort in the murky world, driven by the usual suspects, ready to take advantage of any genuine, authentic, honest effort to change the status quo in Syria, the former quickly tapped into the latter, co-opted it, took control of it, and one day the genuine revolutionaries woke up and found themselves under the control of AQ.

The "Arab Spring" BS came later, the Syrian peasants couldn't care less how the media whores would name their efforts, all they wanted was food on their tables. And the rest is history, still unfolding.

PS: BTW, thanks for the links.

Posted by: Lone Wolf | Jun 5, 2015 5:00:20 PM | 32

@ Noirette #30 and Lone Wolf #32.

Lets separate two issues:

1. There are unhappy people in every single country in the World, including Syria (drought, reforms, etc.) You both assume if there are unhappy people, it means revolution was suppose to happen, no it doesnt, are there a revolution in your countries? I can assure you there are plenty of genuinely unhappy people among your countryman. Thus the premise is wrong, in reality genuine revolutions happen very rarely, regardless of dissatisfied population.

2. Lets recap if there was a revolution in Syria at all. Vast majority of demonstrations were hundreds people only, few reached couple of thousands, and only ONE reached 20k. Thats in the country of 23 mln! Demonstrations were TINY and showed very low traction in society (despite 24/7 mass propaganda in West/Gulf monarchies media), and once we remember some of demonstrators were paid off actors by the usual suspects, demonstrations were in fact even less significant.

Another aspect, even enemies like Qatar done polls admitted that Assad was very popular among Syrians. Therefore what revolution? There wasnt any to speak off. If you want an example of a genuine revolution - check Iran's in 1979, MILLIONS of people hit the streets, while vast majority of population hated Shah. Nothing like what we saw in Syria.

I also have an issue with "Assad had to go" and "he overstayed his time". Says who? Such claims reflect more West/arabs propaganda than reality, since majority of Syrians were happy with Assad. Its a bit similar to Libya, where Gaddafi ruled for 42 years, and yet he was very popular among Libyans and there was NO genuine revolution against him either. Sure you could find some unhappy people there too, but it doesnt change the big picture.

Speaking of "intelligentsia", some of them opposing leadership doesnt make it a revolution either. Part of them may have genuine concerns, some are naive and fooled by the West promises "of the better tomorrow", some are blatantly paid by the usual suspects. Remember reading some intelligentsia's cries later, how they were fooled and how "their revolution was stolen", while in reality it was West and alies organized overthrow of the government from the get go. Not only that, but extensively prepared and funded for many years beforehand.

Those who doubt about who really starts these revolutions, should look up the history and what schemes the usual suspects use when implementing "revolutions". Same thing over and over again, hundreds of times, and still there are people who dont see it...

Posted by: Harry | Jun 6, 2015 2:01:41 AM | 33

H@33

Only a fool would tell a pollster in a police state such as Syria they didn't support Assad, the Great Leader.

The demonstrations during the 'civil' part of this conflict were not a revolution and only after the civil uprising was crushed and thousands were jailed and fed to the torture regime did many military personnel defect and start the FSA and began the armed revolution.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Jun 6, 2015 10:58:58 AM | 34

@Harry(33)

Excellent posts, you have nailed it re violent revolutions! Why do they happen in only some places but not in others!
Very good post!
Regards

Posted by: Luca K | Jun 6, 2015 1:41:35 PM | 35


@3
"Why did ISIL spend so much resources and men trying to take over Kobani on the Turkish border ?"

Did ISIL really, as in actually and factually, spend 'so much in resources' to take over Kobani?
Cause I don't think they did. Or they would have taken it for themselves.... Instead they ran and the Kurds walked in..
Wash, rinse ,repeat in so many areas

Posted by: Penny | Jun 6, 2015 3:05:08 PM | 36

I don't believe the report propagated by B that Iran is "sending some 15,000 additional paramilitary fighters from Iraq and Iran to support the defenses of Damascus, Homs and the Latakia coast area". I cannot see an affirmation of this from Syrian sources, and I'll bet you that you and I won't be seeing any evidence of it on the ground in reality in Syria over the upcoming twelve months. The report about the 15,000 fighters is in the Daily Star of Lebanon (an anti-Assadist newspaper) which gives as its source: "a Lebanese political source has told The Daily Star". An utterly worthless source, or worse than worthless.

Posted by: Ghubar Shabih | Jun 9, 2015 6:35:16 PM | 37

I agree with Harry #33 above. As a point supplemental to Harry's points, I assert that "the members of the Syrian intelligentsia" who supported the uprising against Assad were only a small number of cranks and discomfits, the likes of which you can find parallels to every country's "intelligentsia". The great majority of the educated classes in Syria supported the Assadists before the uprising and during the uprising and still do today. What I call the Syrian educated classes includes, but is much bigger than, what Lone Wolf above called the "the Syrian intelligentsia". It includes the preponderance of the people in the professional classes.

Posted by: Ghubar Shabih | Jun 9, 2015 6:39:36 PM | 38

B, above, makes the following statement and I'm going to argue that it is a falsehood. B says that in Spring 2015: "Some 10,000 al-Qaeda fighters, a third of them foreigners, crossed from Turkey with new U.S. supplied TOW anti-tank weapons and overran the Syrian defenses in the governate and city of Idleb. The move was unexpected in its size and force."

The number of rebels who were involved in the operation in Idlib was only a few thousand. B's number of 10,000 is too big by around a factor of 4. The numbers of rebel fighters involved in the takeover of Idlib city in late March 2015, and the subsequent rebel takeover of the nearby cities of Jisr Al-Shughur (mid April), Al-Mastouma (mid May), and Ariha (late May), can be inferred from the very plentiful videos from rebel sources. These vidoes include firstly the rebel victory videos from those towns, and secondly the rebel fighting-action videos. To see these videos at Youtube you search for the names of the above towns in their Arabic-text form, restricted to videos that were uploaded in the appropriate timeframe. Re-inforcing the numerical evidence from those videos is the extensive evidence that the Syrian army in essence retreated without a fight in each case. The army's retreat was a successful one in each case: very little of soldiers' lives or military hardware was lost. The reports of the Syrian government news agency affirms that to be true and you yourself can personally verify it by watching the rebels' victory videos. In Jisr Al-Shughur a platoon of the Syrian army got somehow cut off and isolated after the rest of the army withdrew. This platoon (by which I mean some very small number of soldiers) was beseiged by the rebels for a week or more in urban buildings that were difficult to defend. After about a week, the Syrian army successfully created a corridor through which the platoon could be evacuated. The platoon was able to hold out under enemy fire for the week. As further evidence of the lowness of rebel numbers and the weakness of rebel firepower, the Syrian army safely and securely maintained a smallish position at Al-Mastouma army camp on the southern outskirts of Idlib city for about 40 days after the army's withdrawal from Idlib city. Smallish in this case meant a few hundred men. The few hundred safely and securely withdrew from Al-Mastouma under cover of night on the night of 18/19 May, leaving behind nothing of value to the rebels. The rebels did not have the manpower or firepower to mount a serious attack against Al-Mastouma. The army was never seriously challenged by them during the 40 days.

Another point about rebels' Idlib offensive this Spring is that the rebels were openly and publicly planning the assault on Idlib City for over six months, after previous attacks by them against Idlib city in 2014 were driven back. In the end this Idlib offensive by them included almost all of the largest rebel factions. As has been widely and correctly reported, it was much more than the Jabhat al-Nusra faction. Yet it is clear to me that their overall fighting force in the end was small-scale (I repeat that my principal information source for that clarity I have is the rebel videos at Youtube, which I say are the planet's very best window into rebel scale). From my angle of view, this fact about smallness of rebel scale is more telling than the fact that the Syrian army opted to withdraw without a fight.

Posted by: Ghubar Shabih | Jun 9, 2015 9:08:22 PM | 39

@ Mina #40: Thanks for that link. The journalist in that article says about the breakout from the Jisr al-Shughur hospital: "an unknown number of soldiers, it appears, never made it past the initial breakout." Right there he straightforwardly admits that, with respect to the issue of scale, he doesn't know what he is talking about. The same journalist says in another article about the same event that "dozens" of Syrian Army soliders died but he gives no indication of where he pulled that number from (ref). He indicates the bulk of the people in the breakout were civilians -- he quotes from a doctor in Latakia who said "We received over 120 wounded. They were civilians.” The bulk of the Syrian army had been withdrawn from Jisr al-Shughur before this seige thing at the hospital began. He is correct to say "As for the Syrian army, their adversaries were clearly better armed and outnumbered the soldiers" at the hospital seige. He follows that up with a totally unsupported claim that the Syrian army "is outnumbered and out-gunned" in general -- a radically different thing to say. That particular journalist has been around for a long time and has always been shitty.

Posted by: Ghubar Shabih | Jun 10, 2015 8:13:33 AM | 41

GS@37

The report of 15,000 additional fighters, mostly Iraqis, being sent to Syria came from an AFP reporter in Damascus quoiting a Syrian military official. I don't know if this is true or the number is accurate and Iran as usual is denying the report.

Thanks for correcting b's BS claim of 10,000 Nusra fighters entering Syria from Turkey, there are only about 10,000 Nusra fighters in all of Syria.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Jun 10, 2015 10:53:19 AM | 42

there are only about 10,000 Nusra fighters in all of Syria.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Jun 10, 2015 10:53:19 AM | 42

and your evidence for this is . . . . . . .?

Posted by: Ted's Cruising | Jun 10, 2015 10:59:57 AM | 43

TC@43

The Syria War wiki has a comprehensive account of the multitude of groups involved and the estimates of their numbers. I don't know if anyone has challenged the accuracy of these estimates or offered other numbers.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Jun 10, 2015 7:07:17 PM | 44

...
The number of rebels who were involved in the operation in Idlib was only a few thousand. B's number of 10,000 is too big by around a factor of 4. The numbers of rebel fighters involved in the takeover of Idlib city in late March 2015, and the subsequent rebel takeover of the nearby cities of Jisr Al-Shughur (mid April), Al-Mastouma (mid May), and Ariha (late May), can be inferred from the very plentiful videos from rebel sources. These vidoes include firstly the rebel victory videos from those towns, and secondly the rebel fighting-action videos.
...
Posted by: Ghubar Shabih | Jun 9, 2015 9:08:22 PM | 39

How does one reliably assess that a claim of 10,000 rebels was 'too big by a factor 4' by watching rebel videos? The very nature of video (contrived illusions - from Hollywood and everywhere else) makes them reliably unreliable as a source of hard numbers.
You can't. It's impossible. Videos portray what the editor wants them to portray.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jun 27, 2015 2:02:03 PM | 45

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