Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
October 19, 2015

Why Is The U.S. Silently Bombing Syria's Electricity Network?

The Aleppo power plant is a 1,000 megawatt thermal plant in five units build by Mitsubishi Heavy Industry in 1995-1998. It is situated some 25 kilometers east of Aleppo city center.  During the fighting around Aleppo various electricity distribution stations were damaged and electricity in parts of the city has become scarce and unpredictable. But the main power station had so far not been hit.

The plant is in the hands of the Islamic State but there is an informal agreement between the government, which controls the distribution network, and those who hold the power generating station:

[T]he agreement of understanding pertains to the division of the electricity supply between the parties, whereby ISIS will receive 60% of the quota and the Syrian regime will receive 40%.

Both sides will have some electricity and the civilian as well as fighters on both side will be better off than without electricity. No side has a motive to destroy that plant.

But last night the U.S. coalition bombed the Aleppo thermal power plant and destroyed parts of it:

A military source told SANA that warplanes of the Washington alliance violated Syrian airspace and attacked civilian infrastructure in Mare’a, Tal Sha’er, and al-Bab in Aleppo countryside on Sunday.

The source added that the warplanes attacked the biggest electric power plant that feeds Aleppo city, which resulted in cutting off power from most neighborhoods in Aleppo city.

Just a week ago U.S. air attacks had attacked another power station and a big distribution transformer al-Radwaniye also east of Aleppo.

The electricity generation and distribution system is civil infrastructure. It is used and useful to everyone no matter what side of the conflict. After the first U.S. attack on a power station a week ago the Russian president Putin was asked about the strikes. He called them "strange":

"On Sunday, the American aviation bombed out an electrical power plant and a transformer in Aleppo. Why have they done this? Whom have they punished there? What’s the point? Nobody knows," the president said at a meeting with the Russian government members.

The Russians and the Syrians are sure that it were F-16 planes from the U.S. coalition that bombed the power infrastructure even though the coalition reports do no mention the attacks. Why are these bombings not mentioned in the U.S. coalition reports?

The U.S. claims it is only fighting the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq. It accuses Russia of not only attacking ISIS even though Russia, and Putin himself, always said that ISIS is not their sole target but that supporting the Syrian government against all its enemies is the overarching aim. The Russian just snuffed out a 16 vehicle ISIS convoy. Something that the U.S. somehow never manages to do. The U.S. itself, by the way, has killed and kills some non-ISIS "moderate rebels". All its complains against the Russians are just nonsense.

But why would fighting ISIS or this or that "moderate rebel" terrorist necessitate the destruction of valuable infrastructure which serves all sides of the Syrian society?

Without the plant Aleppo city, with some 2-3 million inhabitants and refugees, as well as the surrounding areas in Aleppo governate have no electricity. The damage the U.S. bombing caused will make sure that any repair will take a long time. This will make life for people on every side of the war more unbearable and more people will leave to seek refuge in foreign countries.

Is that the purpose of the U.S. bombardment of electricity infrastructure in Syria? If not what else is this supposed to achieve?

Posted by b on October 19, 2015 at 01:49 PM | Permalink


It is the cut your nose to spite your face mentality

Aleppo was the major prize for the anti-Assad coalition but Rssian intervention has put a halt to that. So if the US can't have it, they'll now destroy as much of it as they can now to make Russian victory as costly as possible.

Like Israel peppering Southern Lebanon with tens of thousands of cluster bomblets all over the civilian areas when Hezbollah hNded them their ass in /006. Totally unnecessary.

Posted by: Anon | Oct 19, 2015 2:16:06 PM | 1

The geo-political strategy of the US is simple: the world is ours, lock, stock and barrel. If anyone objects, the US will simply create chaos. That is all we did in Vietnam, all we do in the middle east.

Why did the US attack the power station? It creates chaos and suffering. It is ultimately how we keep our population 'on top' even though we are sliding into a rentier world.

Posted by: Rg an LG | Oct 19, 2015 2:16:21 PM | 2

Sounds like they (the Americans) want to make good Erdogan's dire prediction that Russian bombing will lead to another tidal wave of refugees ... win/win ... Merkel's working as hard as she can to get Turkey full EU status as quickly as possible as pay-back for hardening borders and keeping the migrants "contained" ...

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Oct 19, 2015 2:23:32 PM | 3

Anon @ 1 got it.

The war crime and genocidal maniacs of the US Empire, know that Aleppo will soon be won by the Russian coalition. So what better way to slow down their advance against the USs proxy terrorists then by destroying essential services.
Despicable Warcrimes is part and parcel of US military tactics.

Does anyone here think that if Aleppo was still fully in control and not under threat of attack that the US would bomb this electrical plant ? Not a question, of course it wouldn't. Because it serves proxy terrorists as it stands now.

Posted by: tom | Oct 19, 2015 2:26:14 PM | 4

Hopefully this will galvanize the 'Arc of resistance' making the inevitable victory all the more sweet. The US will push their aggression as far as it can short of starting WW3. All US coalition activity in Syria is rejected by the Syrian government and are considered acts of aggression under International Law and the UN Charter. I suspect the Russians will let them go so far, then issue an ultimatum. The threat of force is all the US understands.

Posted by: harry law | Oct 19, 2015 2:29:22 PM | 5

Pure vindictiveness. Or incredible incompetence.

Posted by: MMARR | Oct 19, 2015 2:30:04 PM | 6

Economic warfare

They want to delay the economic reconstruction of Syria. That serves Turkey and Israel in particular. Turkey doesn't have to worry about the impact of competition from Syria's former industrial center and Israel wants weak neighbors.

Posted by: alaric | Oct 19, 2015 2:30:25 PM | 7

Gratuitous destruction of infrastructure is one of America's most notorious tactics -- see the Balkans and Iraq (and elsewhere -- the odd baby-formula or pharmaceutical plant) ... yes, it's probably a war crime, part of collective punishment of the civilian population

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Oct 19, 2015 2:34:46 PM | 8

We don't all the believe the western propaganda machine. I always thought it was strange how the US military was seemingly unable to destroy a motley crew of cut throats parading across the desert in Toyota utes.
We have witnessed in past decades how effective the US military is destroying the Iraq army in a few weeks.
Western reporting on the Syrian crisis simply doesn't add up. Without even reading unbiased informative news articles, I could smell a rat!
The fact is the US support ISIS and other rebel groups fighting the Syrian government.
It's also known the US bombing campaign is targeting critical infrastructure belonging to the Syrian people. It's a known fact even Syrian Christians support the Syrian Government. God only knows how much death and misery has been caused by the US government and the terrorists they support. Barack Obama should be tried on war crimes. However this is unlikely as the world elite control the UN. God will judge the US!

Posted by: Rod Berkeley | Oct 19, 2015 2:39:43 PM | 9

Could also be an effort to blame Russian Air Force for making lives of residents of Aleppo miserable. CIA-trained "moderate" head-choppers will make sure to tell the population under their control that it were Russians who took their electricity away from them.

Posted by: MMARR | Oct 19, 2015 2:40:56 PM | 10

the 54 afghans which were migrating from turkey to Bulgaria and the killed one afghani man.

in the mobile telefones of them was faund cruel scenes of terror. so whatfor are these scenes in their phones?

the answer, they are organised and when the afghans arrive in western europe with these telefones and scenes they can identify them as a passport.

Soros has a army and can control them.

Posted by: xz | Oct 19, 2015 2:44:35 PM | 11

2000 dead did not get cover page,.aspx

Posted by: Mina | Oct 19, 2015 2:45:02 PM | 12

They did similar things in Iraq too. The Arabs had their electricity, sewers, and running water ruined to punish them. I'd assume this is more imperial petulance.

Posted by: Jesrad | Oct 19, 2015 2:50:09 PM | 13

like we said in the last thread, b, it's a kind of hybrid scorched earth policy.

Posted by: john | Oct 19, 2015 2:52:43 PM | 14

It should also be a wake up call for all countries that buy from US or US allies that there is a price that must be paid for this behavior. Power plant components have long lead times and no doubt Mitsubishi will drag it's feet when told. If the plants are a complete wreck then buy from a friend.

Posted by: anon48 | Oct 19, 2015 2:58:05 PM | 16

The USA use Turkey as weapon against EU. So the migration is the stick of USA to beat Europe.

Posted by: xz | Oct 19, 2015 2:58:43 PM | 17

The creation of a islamic califat between Syria, Iraq and Turkey is the aim of Turkey for their war against the creation of Kurdistan.

This is like the creation of Israel which has the aim to make trouble with the Arabs.

Israel and Islamic Chalifat have the same purpose, namely to make trouble. This is the aim of these states.

Therefore the USA fight for these states and created the Islamic Califat.

Posted by: xz | Oct 19, 2015 3:02:34 PM | 18

I wonder what shenaningans we have planned to throw Turkey's election next month into "shambles" enabling some "state of emergency" and ensuring Erdogan stays in office ... Turkey is being richly rewarded (in advance) for the migrant crisis ... I'm beginning to "suspect" American fingerprints... which would explain our "surprise" and inadequate response ... is "payback for Minsk II" plausible?

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Oct 19, 2015 3:07:02 PM | 19

US and NATO warplanes entering Syria must be shot down; they are the Ultimate Terrorists behind the proxy terrorists. Or maybe Boulder Dam gets taken out by a flight of SLBMs. The Outlaw Empire will continue its criminal rampage until war is directed at it; the language of force is all it comprehends. And that reality's extremely sad.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 19, 2015 3:25:52 PM | 20

When the evil US empire declares a no fly zone when targeting its enemies , it also declares a no electricity zone, a no foods zone, a no water zone, and a no medicine zone.

Posted by: tom | Oct 19, 2015 3:29:21 PM | 21

As I understand it, the irony of "full EU membership" for Turkey (and why it has been opposed by years, particularly by Merkel) is that with open borders many many Turks will be "free" to enter the EU in search of work ... could it "buy" Erdogan the election? I have no idea ... however, it might "buy" some questioning of his projected almost-certain defeat as of a few weeks ago.

Electricity outage is a disaster in many semi-developed places like where I live where people's water is pumped from on-site wells, though I'd guess more recently electrified areas would have backup handpumps and gasoline generators. We also like to bomb water purification plants and sewage treatment plants ... giving a leg up to those coliform diseases that accompany lack of clean running water, handwashing and basic sanitation... and, of course, displaced persons and mess camps.

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Oct 19, 2015 3:40:59 PM | 22

If theres no electricity then you vastly limit access to news media. Their propagandists in Aleppo can then go to work blaming everything on the Russians.

Remember in Iraq they shutdown the station that exposed a 'suicide bombing' as an airstrike, bombed al jazeera and serbian tv, and Hilary Clinton tried to get the Arab League to ban Syrian TV. It would fit their MO.

Posted by: Bob | Oct 19, 2015 3:46:37 PM | 23

Like in Iraq.

The US bombed electricity plants, water facilities, management (incl. sewage), and like the Israelis, cut down plantations of any kind, trees, bulldozed irrigation, and stopped the sharing of seeds, plus disrupted the network for delivering oil to agri - needed for agri mechanics, like tractors, water pumping, mills, and of course transport / treatment in general.

Basically they destroyed Iraqi Agr. including FAO projects (which the UN never dared complain about.) Besides ordinary sadism, the aim was that Iraq would be forced to import all its food, which was why the Aussies were keen, Iraq would be wheat dependent. See just one link about that, those were the days of Booted Bremer:

The aim was, is, simply to destroy eveything and see to it that the ppl living there slowly agonisingly die from ‘unknown’ or ‘ordinary’ causes, not directly linked to bombing, war, invaders.

Like cholera, AIDS, starvation, childbirth, depleted uranium (cancer) and so on. But mostly from 3rd world afflications, various intestinal …, diarrhea that kills half the children, say, rapid action. These afflications are brought about by disabling water or clean water, for ex., which is eveywhere dependent on electricity.

Btw, Ukraine has an endemic AIDS problem, not handled, and not tallied, not written about. (There are a huge amount of intravenous druggies in Ukraine.)

The WHO has always considered it as at risk for a polio outbreak.

Now the first few cases are popping up.

Ok that is voa but all this has been brewing for 15 years. AIDS is of course far more of a danger than polio, but nobody cares...

a belated catch-up from UNICEF, oct. 15:

Posted by: Noirette | Oct 19, 2015 3:49:54 PM | 24

Infernally I think it can be that the purpose is to hurt European countries. In the global competition.
An thought from Stockholm.

Posted by: Ejnar Ekstroem | Oct 19, 2015 4:00:09 PM | 25

They did similar things in Iraq too.

When Richard Lugar was asking Paul Wolfowitz why US was bombing critical infrastructure, Paul answered, "American companies will rebuild it better than is was before". I remember the all the companies going to that 'conference' about "rebuilding Iraq", none of which happened.

Posted by: okie farmer | Oct 19, 2015 4:14:26 PM | 26

Now that it appears that US supported terrorists won't win an outright victory in Syria, resulting in a chaotic, failed state, the Obama regime will destroy as much civilian infrastructure as possible on it's way out, as a demonstration of what awaits any other country that dares to resist the empire. This is the new American military doctrine: If you can't win, blow it up.

Posted by: Gareth | Oct 19, 2015 4:24:26 PM | 27

It is a USA token gift to Turkey that would later generously offer to sell electricity to Syria. Turkey is preparing itself for big business in Syria after the Russians finish destroying the terrorists and the USA destroying the infrastructure.
Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia are mistaken. Iran will jump in and the door will be closed for these countries until they pay all the damages they have caused to Syria.
Syrians will neither forget nor forgive.

Posted by: Virgile | Oct 19, 2015 4:37:26 PM | 28

Actually I suspect they are trying to goad Syria / Russia / Iran into use of hostile force against them, their alliance (and I don't mean Turkey) ... although I think -- once again -- bombing the power plant could be interpreted as an "act of war" i.e. aggresssion against the state of Syria ... that the UN might well recognize as such (and "we" don't have the UN's blessing). I shudder to wonder what provocative target we'll strike next ....

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Oct 19, 2015 4:38:38 PM | 29

I keep asking. The more interesting question is why the Russians allowed it?

Posted by: Will | Oct 19, 2015 4:42:17 PM | 30

there might be war-related reasons for the strikes:
energy outage is more of a disadvantage for a regular army like the SAA;
ambushes, especially using TOWs, will be easier;
the same for exfiltration and infiltration operations (especially escape of SAS and other special forces)

for example, Syrian Perspective says that a network is in place ready to communicate to SAA and RUAF the presence of TOWs, and "capable of spotting, surrounding and destroying any such weapons"

by the way, do those S-300 and S-400 really exist, after all? you are allowed to shoot down an UFO over a battlefield, aren't you?

Posted by: claudio | Oct 19, 2015 4:53:01 PM | 31

@Will #30:

The more interesting question is why the Russians allowed it?

(1) The Russians appear to escalate in measured, considered steps. Shooting down a NATO plane would be an escalation that Russia has not yet decided to make.

(2) Even if Russia had wanted to prevent the US from hitting a power plant, it would be hard to determine in real time what the purpose of a bombing run was until the target was hit.

Posted by: Demian | Oct 19, 2015 5:54:24 PM | 32

“The extensive, quite precise destruction of this hospital . . . doesn’t indicate a mistake. The hospital was repeatedly hit,” Stokes said. The bombing went on for more than an hour, despite calls to Afghan, U.S. and NATO officials to call if off, MSF has said.

Stokes, who has called for an independent inquiry into the incident, told The Associated Press in an interview in the remains of the hospital on Friday that MSF wanted a “clear explanation because all indications point to a grave breach of international humanitarian law, and therefore a war crime.”

Should anybody be surprised by savagery of the most "exceptional" country on the world? What have posted by b is consistent with the nature of the US regime, internally and externally. It is no matter of winning, it is a matter of: “To ravage, to slaughter, to usurp under false titles, they call empire; and where they make a desert, they call it peace.” The US have modeled itself after Roman empire.

Stokes said that “until we understand what happened and we can gain guarantees that this unacceptable attack cannot happen again, we cannot reopen and put our staff in danger.”

and this is was the air of a fascist US regime. Any sign of humanitarianism and benevolence must be eradicated. It is the case internally as well in the US. Just take a look at health care and drug policy! It is a tool of extraction and oppression of the ruling class. Take a look who are the presidential candidates and who is sitting in US Congress.

Posted by: Neretva'43 | Oct 19, 2015 5:55:10 PM | 33

While I do not believe the Russians brought S-300, let alone S-400, here is some interesting comments:

Former Navy chief Lord West said the presence of the weapons makes the situation in the area "highly risky".

He said: "These are surface to air missiles of the later versions and are very highly capable missiles.

"ISIL doesn't have any aircraft that it's using and I'm sure Russia doesn't intend to shoot down Syrian government aircraft so one must wonder why exactly are they there?

"Are they expecting to shoot down coalition aircraft? Are they expecting attacks from coalition aircraft?

"That does worry me.

"They would argue that it's part of a deployment package but I think it's an extremely dangerous strategy.

ISIL doesn't have any aircraft that it's using and I'm sure Russia doesn't intend to shoot down Syrian government aircraft so one must wonder why exactly are they there?

"If you've got a capability then clearly there's an occasion when you might be able to use it."

Posted by: Neretva'43 | Oct 19, 2015 6:06:16 PM | 34

I assume european governments are "NOT happy" with this development. I think it will sour relations between the US & Europe (even more).

Posted by: Willy2 | Oct 19, 2015 6:08:00 PM | 35

I don't think there is any one reason for the US-led coalition attack on the Aleppo power plant and the reasons given by several commenters already are all equally valid. If an action can serve several purposes and a number of agendas, the US is likely to undertake it.

If destroying the electricity supply in Aleppo results in more panic leading to a refugee outflow and at the same time bog down the Russian advance, delay or make difficult Syrian economic reconstruction, shut down all news communications including Internet news and generally punish Arab people for being Arab, that makes bombing the power plant all the more attractive.

I agree this is a petulant, immature and barbaric action on the part of the US and its allies but what else did we expect? Maturity and respect for others ceased being part of the moral make-up of Western political elites a long time ago. This is something the Russians are still learning in dealing with the West.

Mr Putin, with reference to your UN speech, the West does understand what it's doing but in a way mature and responsible people like yourself have yet to comprehend - because the West's way is that of the psychopath.

Posted by: Jen | Oct 19, 2015 6:22:28 PM | 36

Gareth said this is new America tactic: "If you can't win, blow it up."

What is new about this tactic? We've used it all along ... it is the American genetic material ... can't have it? Kill 'em. Can't win? Bomb. It goes back a LONG ways ... .

Posted by: Rg an LG | Oct 19, 2015 6:24:51 PM | 37


I keep asking. The more interesting question is why the Russians allowed it?

The Russians DO NOT allow it. Remember, the US unholy terror coalition was already bombing Syria when the Russians sneaked in on them. The Russians are walking on a geopolitical tightrope in Syria, keeping clear to their objectives, which are,

1) Avoid another Libya, support the Syrian government, and contain the empire of chaos.

2) Stop the takfiris from taking Syria, prevent them from expanding to surrounding countries, while looking for a negotiated solution to the Syrian crisis.

The Russians entered a minefield in Syria, with ISrael, Turkey, Jordan, KSA et al ready to pounce on the Russian effort. Russians have been working hard to deactivate these mines, pushing the message across that their intervention is to prop up the Syrian government, not to attack any of the takfiris supporters. They have liaisons with ISrael to avoid airspace conflicts, and keep in close coordination with Turkey and the US, ehem, "coalition" on flights over Turkey.

Russia's intentions are clear, transparent, they are open for talks and negotiations re: their operations in Syria. Russia is working hard diplomatically to avoid a greater conflict with any of the Western "partners," which would be utterly counterproductive for Russia's political/military goals in Syria. The US on the other hand, has been slamming the door shut every time the Russians ask them to sit down and talk. The US has its own agenda, and that is to destroy Syria, and continue to carve political and military space for their cannibals, kidnappers, thieves, crooks, and criminals. Neo-cons and neo-zio-nazis are itching to create a greater conflict, to burn in it the Russian efforts to contain their wicked policies. Fortunately, the Russians know where the mines are, and the three masters, Putin, Lavrov, and Shoigu, knew long ago entering Syria was entering deadly ground.

Confront them with annihilation, and they will then survive; plunge them into a deadly situation, and they will then live. When people fall into danger, they are then able to strive for victory.

Sun Tzu

Posted by: Lone Wolf | Oct 19, 2015 6:32:27 PM | 38

Geographer Stephen Graham's phenomenal work, 'Cities Under Seige', calls it "demodernization by design", attributed to Walt Rostow.

Posted by: Shadow Nine | Oct 19, 2015 6:34:24 PM | 39

US military never won any war, nor it ever will. They know that and therefore they create a chaos and impoverishment. Its main purpose is to create environment for McDonalds and WalMart and etc.

Unfortunately heroic Vietnamese people, or precisely their government, have joined TPFTA!?

Posted by: Neretva'43 | Oct 19, 2015 6:52:21 PM | 40


Kissinger: Let Russia defeat ISIS, its destruction more important than overthrow of Assad

The destruction of ISIS is more urgent than the overthrow of Bashar Assad,” the elderly US statesman, who served as Secretary of State to Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford, wrote in the Wall Street Journal on Friday. “The current inconclusive U.S. military effort risks serving as a recruitment vehicle for ISIS as having stood up to American might.”

In the commentary, titled ‘A Path Out of the Middle East Collapse,’ Kissinger argues the region is “in shambles” as non-state movements tear apart countries like Libya, Yemen, Syria and Iraq. He calls the so-called Islamic State (IS, also known as ISIS and ISIL) established in parts of Iraq and Syria an “unrelenting foe of established world order,” seeking to replace the international system with an Islamic empire.

Posted by: shadyl | Oct 19, 2015 6:52:50 PM | 41

Assad has invited the Russians/Lebanese/Iran in but has he specifically told the US/NATO/Turkey/Israel to stay out?

Posted by: doveman | Oct 19, 2015 6:54:06 PM | 42

There is a clear risk that the Assad/Putin offensive around Aleppo will create massive new waves of refugees.

— Carl Bildt (@carlbildt) October 19, 2015

Posted by: gemini33 | Oct 19, 2015 7:02:11 PM | 43

@42 shadyl

Putin and Kissinger are buddies. Both are pragmatists, and have a healthy respect for each other. They meet for a friendly chat every time an opportunity presents itself.

Posted by: MMARR | Oct 19, 2015 7:03:10 PM | 44

@ 45 Kissinger was also an indicted war criminal. I say was because the US forced the Spanish prosecutor who brought the indictment to drop it. Im not sure what the proper tense is then, though it doesn't change the historical reality of the indictment (or of Kissingers acknowledged war crime)

Posted by: psakiwacky | Oct 19, 2015 7:15:47 PM | 45

I really hope the Russians are going to put a stop to this

Posted by: psakiwacky | Oct 19, 2015 7:17:20 PM | 46

The SANA article information is kind of garbled. The Aleppo Thermal Power Station is about 25km east of Aleppo, just east of a little town called Jibrin. It's a five-turbine heavy-oil-fired power plant, with a smaller natural gas turbine as backup. There are not 'two' power plants - this is the only one in the region.

ISIS took over the plant over a year ago and it completely shut down. This summer, some of the employees agreed to return and get the plant running if ISIS shared the power with Aleppo. Last I heard, they had two units running and were working on a third. ISIS has no electrical generation head-choppers, so they kept out of the few employees that returned. ISIS knows nobody is going to bomb a power plant, so they set up camp there.

The plant was being bombed for a week or two before the one LAST week took out some crucial piece. It's not clear from any of the reports if that was the turbines, themselves, the switchyard, or a distribution station a few km east of Aleppo. It did affect power and the Euphrates pumping stations.

It's unclear what the "...civilian infrastructure in Mare’a, Tal Sha’er, and al-Bab..." actually was, but it's unrelated to the power grid or electrical generation in Aleppo as far as I know. On Google maps, it's Tal Shair (about 15km from Aleppo) and Marea and al Bab (about 45km from Aleppo).

The Euphrates pumping stations to fill the water canal are not powered from the same source as the Suleiman Aleppo station (pumps for the purified city water). Suleiman is in al Nusra-held territory and was getting much of its power from the Hama-Zorba power line from south of Aleppo instead of the main power plant. That power line has been the subject of cuts by the FSA. Suleiman can run on diesel (which they have little of in Aleppo), but it gets its water from the Euphrates water canal. Empty canal = no water to pump, even if they had electricity.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Oct 19, 2015 7:19:01 PM | 47

@42 shadyl

He calls the so-called Islamic State (IS, also known as ISIS and ISIL) established in parts of Iraq and Syria an “unrelenting foe of established world order,” seeking to replace the international system with an Islamic empire.

Close ... He should have called the United States (USA, also known as the USSA) - having destroyed all of Iraq and Libya, most of Afghanistan and Syria, and presently working to destroy Yemen - the “unrelenting foe of established world order,” seeking to replace what's left of the international system with an American empire.

Old habits die hard.

Posted by: jfl | Oct 19, 2015 7:25:00 PM | 48

And in case anyone remembers back that far, the SYSACCO chlorine plant originally seized by al Nusra is about 2km further east on Hwy 4. Now presumably in ISIS hands, the plant had 400 tonnes of chlorine sitting in one-tonne shipping tanks. No reports of if they allowed it to be sold or used it themselves, but it would make a nice Samson option for them if they were in danger of losing it.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Oct 19, 2015 7:58:44 PM | 49

They bomb hospitals, don't they?

I knew a guy that served during the first Gulf War. He often told me wires were dropped on power plant switch-yard out going conductors,causing the plants to trip off-line.

These tactics were classified as war crimes by the UN or other over seers.

I agree.

That is how low we've fallen as a society.

Posted by: JohnT | Oct 19, 2015 8:08:00 PM | 50

Q: Is that the purpose of the U.S. bombardment of electricity infrastructure in Syria? If not what else is this supposed to achieve?


Posted by: Neretva'43 | Oct 19, 2015 8:10:17 PM | 51

It’s truly amazing for a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate instead of bombing terrorists ISIS in Syria to make us "safe" bombs’ Syria infrastructures. Am I to believe a Democrat Presidential hopeful said "Change”, Change you can believe in?

Not only that it, it Bombs (MSF) Doctors without Borders in Kunduz, northern Afghanistan after repeatedly warned. Should the world watch in silence and not demands USA and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate be investigated for war crimes.

When will this madness end!

Posted by: Jack Smith | Oct 19, 2015 8:14:54 PM | 52

They could just as easily have been Israeli F-16s. It would be easy to tell which they were by if they were equipped with Conformal Fuel Tanks, which American F-16Cs don't use.

Posted by: Plenue | Oct 19, 2015 8:24:39 PM | 53

I'm surprised but this what Amerika does best. It doesn't need to kill people and it does that but the long time goal is to starve then to death.

Posted by: jo6pac | Oct 19, 2015 8:31:12 PM | 54


[...] They have liaisons with ISrael to avoid airspace conflicts, and keep in close coordination with Turkey and the US, ehem, "coalition" on flights over Turkey [...]

It should read,

[...] "coalition" on flights over Syria [...]

Posted by: Lone Wolf | Oct 19, 2015 8:55:16 PM | 55

thanks for highlighting this b.. i needs to remain in focus and if possible nato/usa need to have their feet held to the fire..

thanks PavewayIV @46/50 for the valuable additional info.

i agree with many of the commentators here - scorched earth policy in operation.. sure looks like that to me..

Posted by: james | Oct 19, 2015 9:12:50 PM | 56

Plenue 54
Wouldn't they have ditched them before making the attack run? - by definition that was halfway thru the sortie and any pilot wants to be unburdened before the fun starts!

Posted by: sillybill | Oct 19, 2015 9:14:46 PM | 57

Re: my post @48 " they kept out of the few employees that returned..." should have read that they kept out of the *way* of the few employees that returned, i.e., they didn't bother the power plant employees or chop their heads off (yet). Sorry for the confusion.

Incidentally, the deal back in May was supposedly that ISIS-held areas east of Aleppo to the Euphrates got 60% of the produced power, while Aleppo got the other 40%. There were never any reports after May about how that deal worked out since then. The idea was that the plant could not run without ISIS oil (stolen from the Syrian people, of course), nor could it run without trained employees.

Interesting that the Syrian Army and friends will eventually marching up Hwy. 4 to relieve the besieged Kuweyres Military Airbase (alternative names: "Dayr Ha Fir", "Kweyres", "Al Kwairis", "Rasin El Aboud") another 5km east of the plant. It's curious timing, indeed, for the U.S. to decide to bomb ISIS out of Aleppo TPP by destroying the plant or switchyard. I'm guessing ISIS would have come to that decision on their own with the SAA, Hezbollah and a few thousand Iranian Quds on their way up Hwy 4.

I honestly have to wonder if this was all designed as another MH-14. If nobody saw the F-16s to begin with, then the U.S. could have started crying about Russia's crimes against humanity for bombing the Aleppo TPP and causing a cholera outbreak in the city. Bellingcat would have been all over that. The people in opposition-held areas of Aleppo would believe anything - they don't have power and probably don't have cell phones or the internet. Nice how effectively evil nations can create widespread censorship with a F-16 and a few well-placed JDAMs.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Oct 19, 2015 9:14:47 PM | 58

@59 PavewayIV... good additional insights. thanks!

Posted by: james | Oct 19, 2015 9:16:47 PM | 59

Well, well. Look who is the go between the US and Russia

Zionists showing their hand ??

Posted by: curious | Oct 19, 2015 9:17:46 PM | 60

For me to say too much here would only add to the redundancy. It's the Empire's policy to inflict as much misery on those who defy it's hegemony as possible. The historical record is clear.

And the beat goes on....

Posted by: ben | Oct 19, 2015 9:24:16 PM | 61

I've only read the first dozen comments, and I'm still sceptical, b. The cited ACDemocracy/Economic Warfare Inst (originator of the Assad/ISIS electricity sharing trade-off) stinks like a rotting Neocon fish and includes Richard Perle among its list of Directors/Advisors. As of Oct 19 neither CCTV nor RT have reported the recent disabling of a major (or any) Aleppo power station by Yankees which, imo, would be a "gift that keeps on giving" for Putin.
So until more substantial/credible evidence emerges I'm on the agree to disagree end of the electricity debate spectrum.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Oct 19, 2015 10:25:07 PM | 62

any possibilities of theses reasons for the bombing ?
- covering up / removing evidence of something ? some non kosher stuff stored in the bombed area ?
- to disturb the iranian militia offensive that was going to start in aleppo ?

Posted by: milomilo | Oct 19, 2015 10:27:10 PM | 63

Off Topic - Sorry Suicide 'cause she missed her plane & was broke?? WTF !! Has this been covered/mentioned here yet ??.

Even her friends are now crying cover up in the Telegraph.

Chris in Ch-Ch

Posted by: Kiwicris | Oct 19, 2015 10:31:13 PM | 64

Thanks b for this posting.

I do hope that this war crime activity gets forced out into the American media. Americans need to wake up to how their country is being used.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Oct 19, 2015 10:34:33 PM | 65

The power plant bombed on October 10th is the "1,000 megawatt thermal plant in five units build by Mitsubishi Heavy Industry in 1995-1998" located in ISIS-held areas east of Aleppo.

This was posted on Facebook on October 10th, along with a photo of the 5-unit plant with one unit on fire: (Another version of the photo)

A military source: on Saturday morning October 10th two F-16 fighters belonging to Washington and the International Coalition violated Syrian airspace and targeted civilian infrastructure in a flagrant violation of international law, destroying two power plants in the residential area of ‪#‎Radwaniyah‬ in eastern ‪#‎Aleppo‬ countryside, causing an interruption of the power supply for the region.

The power plant is located along the M15 motorway. Some 10 km further east is Rasin El Aboud or the Kuwayres Military Airport, that has been under siege for some 3 years. There is an ongoing military operation to break the siege. The SAA was some 10 km away from the power plant when the first F-16 strike happened. Now they are 5 km away. It is unlikely the damage is a result of fighting in the area. It was however generally expected that the SAA would liberate the power plant in the coming days.

At first I was extremely skeptical of the story. I thought the power plant east of Aleppo was right were the front line of the SAA attack was. I thought it was most likely hit from a stray shell from either side. Or maybe ISIS blew it up when they retreated. I did see this photo, so most likely something had happened.

A similar incident happened in Lugansk in 2014. The Aidar Battalion was accused of blowing up the thermal power plant in Shchastya ("Happiness"), just north of the Seversky Donets River. Later it turned out to be a Novorossiyan shell.

As you noted, the Aleppo story has now gained support from high level sources, including Putin. The US strike on the Aleppo power plant is also confirmed by the Russian MoD map:

The special feature of civil wars is that large parts of the economy and social services continue operating normally across the front lines. Roads are mostly open. Bus routes operate (not trains in Syria), water, electricity and telecommunication flow almost freely across the front lines.

It has been my impression that a large part of the US bombing campaign against the "Islamic State" has been to destroy Syrian infrastructure; property owned and operated by the Syrian state and Syrian companies.

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Oct 19, 2015 10:57:34 PM | 66

@2 Respectfully, I suggest that American spite has nothing to do with it; and that, in the American bombing of the power plant, we see the pursuance of the Oded Yinon Plan [1,2] for the 'greater Jewish State' of Eretz Israel [3, 4] by means other than the increasingly frustrated mercenary forces of ISIS/ISIL/Daesh/Al-Nusrah/I-can't-believe-it's-not-Mossad.[4]

As far back as 1982, Oded Yinon published a document in 'Kivunim' ('Directions'), the journal of the Department of Information of the World Zionist Organization (yes, such a body exists:, in which he suggests a plan of attack in which Israel could surreptitiously foster ethnic and sectarian strife in the Middle East and in Syria, including the support of insurgent groups. Oded Yinon wrote in 1982: "Syria will fall apart, in accordance with its ethnic and religious structure, into several states such as in present day Lebanon, so that there will be a Shi'ite Alawi state along its coast, a Sunni state in the Aleppo area, another Sunni state in Damascus hostile to its northern neighbor and the Druze who will set up a state, maybe even in our Golan". [5] Oded Yinon had no crystal ball or psychic powers to see the Syria of 2015; he was outlining the plan Israel would go on to implement via the military power of the United States, a nation whose political class is effectively controlled by Israel, through the issuance of APIAC-directed campaign donations [6], through Jewish control of US media [7], through Israeli surveillance of the USA via the NSA [8], and other means.

America gains little from the Syrian disarray or the bombing of the power plant, in the same way it has gained little from any of its MENA warfighting. America has a $4-6 trillion war bill [9, 10], but no strategic economic or military gains.

Only Israel has been the consistent winner from the smashing of Libya, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Yemen, etc.

Gadi Eizenkot, Chief of the General Staff in Israel, said in 2015 that Israel has never been stronger in relation to its Arab neighbors. The Jerusalem Post said the same thing in 2014. [11]

Israel now buys 75% of its oil (at a massive discount) from Syrian and Iraqi Kurds, and from the 'ISIS' mercenaries [12]. Hizbullah is stretched thin, and Israel has been free to kill with impunity in Gaza, Lebanon, and the West Bank.

Who got the oil contracts from Iraq, post 2003? China. But on the downside, China lost vast oil contracts it had lined up with Libya before Gadaffi's fall. The International Energy Agency says Libyan oil exports to China dropped by a third from 2011 to 2013 [13], which was a "huge disappointment" for China, as its oil companies had lined up massive contracts in Libya before the conflict [14] and China needed the oil. China has not been a net winner in the Middle Eastern turmoil.

Have the Saudis (led by Sunni, Israel-aligned Wahabbists) been a net winner? No way. KAS' only strategic 'opponent' was, and is, Shia-dominated Iran. That hasn't changed for the better since 2001. KAS' national finances are in a dire situation, and KAS is embroiled in a war against Yemen in which it is doing far worse than it expected. KAS is considerably weaker than before, and still a pliant puppet state of Israel [15].

Has any other nation gained from the Middle East's turmoil and wars, since 2001? None of Israel's neighbors. Not Turkey. No-one around the increasingly fractious and unstable Mediterranean. None of the BRICS nations or the EU, or Mercosur, or anyone else.

Syria was on the PNAC list for attack, from the moment Israeli-American citizen Kagan (husband of Victoria F--k the EU Nuland) and his cronies wrote the 'Project for a New American Century' manifesto for war. All of the mess in Syria - all of it - is the work of committed and psychopathic Zionists.

[1] "Greater Israel: The Zionist Plan for the Middle East",

[2] "The Unfolding of Yinon’s “Zionist Plan for the Middle East”: The Crisis in Iraq and the Centrality of the National Interest of Israel",

[3] "Future Israel",

[4] "The Jewish Plan For The Middle East and Beyond",


[6] "Jewish donors prominent in presidential campaign contributions; Sheldon Adelson is biggest giver of all; Obama’s top two donors also Jewish",

[7] "Who runs Hollywood? C'mon - Joel Stein",

[8] "NSA 'routinely' shares Americans' data with Israel - Snowden leak",

[9] "The Iraq War Could Cost More Than $6 Trillion - Business Insider",

[10] "Study: Iraq, Afghan war costs to top $4 trillion",


[12] "Israel turns to Kurds for three-quarters of its oil supplies -",

[13] "Chinese national oil companies' investments: going global for energy",

[14] "China, Libya, and Oil: Update ",

[15] "Saudi/Israeli Terrorist Union: The Wahhabi-Likudnik war of terror",

Posted by: BiffaBacon | Oct 19, 2015 11:51:56 PM | 67

The US has nothing against power plants. Any other target would do, such as a hospital. It was necessary to drop the bombs so that Raytheon could supply replacements.

Posted by: William Rood | Oct 19, 2015 11:57:00 PM | 68

The bombed plant is bad, but didn't ISIL cart off a bunch of factory machinery into Turkey as well? Will Syria get that back ever?

The dimensions of evil against the people of Syria makes me so angry

Posted by: bbbbb | Oct 20, 2015 12:00:30 AM | 69

The Russian state, and its English-language media, has a love-fest with Kissinger. You can't open up Russia Insider or RT without reading an article he's written, or an article about something he's said. I wront some comments on Russia Insider 9 months ago ona puff piece about Kissinger (their third of a half dozen...) politely pointing out many saw Kissinger as a war criminal for his murderous actions in Cambodia. The comment was up for half a day and people replied to me, then RI deleted my comment. I posted it again. RI deleted it inside an hour. Then they implemented a word filter that prevented anyone, with any IP address (I use different IPs) posting the word 'Kissinger' at all for a few days. All very sinister.

Kissinger has been given lots of gongs by the Russian state. I don't know if they think he still has clout, and that's why Russian English-language media quotes him and cultivates him. They used to quote Alex Jones all the time in RT, and they quoted the Daily Express last week, so their standards for "expertise" and "sound judgement" are pretty low. I say that as someone who support's Russia's actions in Syria. The Russian media has a long way to go before its propaganda is as professional as the West's!

I have noticed that the editorial/executive boards of most Russian media conglomerates are vastly, disproportionately Ashkenazim. I wonder if that influences their views on Kissinger? I did a count of the Ashkenazim on Russia Insider's editorial team and senior reporters list in early 2015, and it was about 50%. Many of them were horrendous neocons, or were old hands at the NYT, FT, Economist, etc. That's extraordinary, although I guess the 50% figure correlates well with ownership of the Russian economy; 50% of Russia's billionaires are Jewish, most of them enjoying control of assets they appropriated from the Russian state while that drunken fool Yeltsin was 'in charge'.)

In my darker moment, I suspect that Russia Insider, RT, Sputnik, New Eastern Outlook etc. don't think an opinion by someone *other* than an Ashkenazim can really matter all that much. (Seriously, think of all the Ashkenazim 'gatekeepers' to the alternative media, like Lendman, Sondreir, Finklestein, Margolis, etc. They have a nasty habit of blaming the USA for being warmongering, while sidestepping discussion of Israel's control of the USA, and Israel writing the PNAC Plan.)

Alternatively, maybe the Russian media thinks that they have to connect somehow with American decision makers, who tend to be Jewish; and to try to cozy up to Israel and avoid appearing 'antisemitic'. I think that's a pointless strategy. "Hey, people of America, don't listen to the Western media with its 10,000 Ashkenazi journalists, newsreaders, producers, scriptwriters and commentators! Listen to us, with our hundred Ashkenazim!" The cards are kind of stacked in the American Ashkenazim's favor, you know? ;-)

Posted by: BiffaBacon | Oct 20, 2015 12:19:36 AM | 70

The US is only interested in sowing chaos in the Middle east on behalf of Israel. With the Syrian government poised to take over Aleppo, they wish to leave a smoking ruin and frustrate efforts to rebuild the city as much as possible. Remember that they did massive damage to civilian infrastructure in Iraq including irrigation networks with no military value. It is difficult to find a rationale for this other than a desire to inflict chaos on the people. Putin is too damned polite.

Posted by: Sean | Oct 20, 2015 12:26:33 AM | 71

You asked whether causing chaos is the main purpose to destroying the civilian infrastructure. The answer is obviously YES. At the same time, Russia can be blamed for the misfortune that befalls the inhabitants of Aleppo.

One might question conspiratorially sounding analysis and ask, whether these U.S. Neo-Lib-Cons evil maniacs? The answer to that is also an obvious YES. At the end of the day, one can not expect more from likes of McCain who even sell the souls of their compatriots, whom perished in 911, and collaborate with Liver-Eating-Head-Choppers and Al-Qaeda.

Without wanting to attack you personally, your question is silly: When the Neo-Con-Lib Chaos Creators in USG do not hesitate in supporting Al Qaeda, spend time and treasure and shed innocent blood in Syria, they are not going to be worried about a few transformers or electricity turbines.

Posted by: Amir | Oct 20, 2015 1:29:43 AM | 72


Conformal Fuel Tanks, not wing mounted drop pods. CFTs can't be dropped; they're directly connected to the fuel system. Also on the F-16 they're mounted above the wing, there wouldn't be any safe way to dump them mid-flight anyway.

CFTs are the single easiest way to tell an American F-16 from an export model, since the USAF continues to stupidly refuse to adopt them.



Posted by: Plenue | Oct 20, 2015 4:05:48 AM | 73

One of the interesting aspects of Russia's complying scrupulously with International law is that their "partners" do not, the US, UK,and France all have a veto on any UNSC Resolution used against them, effectively putting them above International law for all time. The Russians are not naive enough to believe it is only they who should abide by the rules of the game, I am sure they have plans, I think the Saudis are the weakest link. For a comprehensive look at the veto powers at the UNSC this article by Dr David Morrison mainly on the Resolutions on the Iraq war is a must read. 'The Attorney Generals Legal Advice was Sound' by Dr David Morrison.

Posted by: harry law | Oct 20, 2015 4:36:44 AM | 74

BiffaBacon @71, I don't think there is anything sinister about giving Dr Kissinger a platform. The late Old Man of Singapore Lee Kuan Yew, George Shultz and himself were on the board of many advisory councils including Russian ones (reading the reminiscences of Lee Kuan Yew and, I am posting from Singapore). It just gives whichever outfit they are in some street cred.

BTW, I agree completely with your posting @68. One cannot explain the sheer stupidity, and complete lack of morality of the Americans otherwise. They have let the Ziocaine get into their collective heads.

Posted by: Ivan | Oct 20, 2015 4:55:16 AM | 75

The reason V Putin expresses himself through questions like 'Do you understand what you have done?' or 'Why did they do that?' is not because he doesnt understand or is 'too damned polite' but because he is less authoritarian than his western counterparts, and more educational, leaving for the public to think for themselves. To reflect and ask themselves: ' Yes why indeed did they do that?' (ie bombing the power plant)

Posted by: Peter Grafström | Oct 20, 2015 8:19:15 AM | 76

TASS (via SOTT News):
Russian military discovering that US airstrikes in Syria targeted civilians

on October 11, near the settlement of Tel-Alam, the coalition's jets destroyed by airstrikes a thermal power plant and transformer substation," he added. As a result, hospitals and schools in Aleppo were left without electricity. Water pumping stations and sewage also stopped working which can be very harmful in the conditions of high temperatures.

"I think that it is unlikely that our partners did not know that the thermal power plant worked only eight hours per day. Airstrikes were delivered for several days, and on October 11, the power station was completely destroyed. One might get an impression that someone is deliberately destroying infrastructure in settlements, thus making the life of local population impossible. Because of that, civilians leave these settlements after losing living conditions and increase the refugee flow to Europe," Kartapolov noted.

Posted by: Demian | Oct 20, 2015 8:44:10 AM | 77

I thought the bombing of the power station was a particularly vile piece of spite, now that the Americans are losing. Winter is coming on, and the poor Aleppans will need their electricity, on whichever side of the line. They'll be down to local diesel generators in each quarter (when they can be installed), as there is no chance the power station can be rebuilt.

I would agree with those above who suggest that it was done to cut access to mobile phones, and people informing Syrian/Russian forces of where the FSA/Jaish al-Fath troops are. Though I wouldn't exclude sheer ignorance on the part of the Americans as to who the station was serving.

Posted by: Laguerre | Oct 20, 2015 9:09:04 AM | 78

Liberation theology.

Posted by: Louis Proyect | Oct 20, 2015 9:14:41 AM | 79

@75 Hey, in a democracy, you're entitled to an incorrect opinion ;-)

Seriously though, I wouldn't compare Lee Kwan Yew to Kissinger. For all his faults, LKY is a saint by comparison.

Also, having a war criminal like Kissinger on an advisory council is the definition of sinister: think of all the non-war criminals from which a company could choose. It's not about "street cred" to select someone like Kissinger, that's rather naive and simplistic. It's about networking, behind-the-scenes influence, access to elite power structures, and aligning with powerful transnational groups. Where Kissinger goes, he takes with him the influence of (and access to) the Council on Foreign Relations, Wall Street, the Bilderberg Group, etc. To this day, Kissinger's many business and advisory activities tie him into tight-knit neo-conservative network at the heart of Wall Street, global law firms, global accountancy firms, NGOs, neoliberal and globalist think tanks, investment banks, regulators, legislators, lobbyists, PR agencies, etc.

Posted by: BiffaBacon | Oct 20, 2015 9:20:33 AM | 80

#79 The picture has a band, so it cannot be in Syria. It is clearly not from Syria. Turns out is was taken at the latest in August.

Posted by: Sam.D (AntiNWO) | Oct 20, 2015 9:31:47 AM | 81

@ Sam.D (AntiNWO)

Hey, do not pay attention to well known left-wing fascists who happen to write to Counterpunch.

Curiously, this time he is right on target but he will not admit that the white-liberal from East to West, ideologically and culturally speaking, are not different. Russia after all is not after Syria's well being, there are after own interests. The Syrian affair will serve them as long as it suite their needs. Russia Nation-state isn't not in love with Islam to put it mildly. Tomorrow they will sit with its IMF and World Bank partners from the West (its Christian brethren) and together will "reconstruct" Syria (and any West Asian state) - in behalf of own and Zionist settler state.

Posted by: Neretva'43 | Oct 20, 2015 9:52:19 AM | 82


Enjoyed reading your post. I think you are over stating something, however:

Who got the oil contracts from Iraq, China.

Before I comment, just want to ask... are you talking about "purchase agreements", or production of Iraqi oil fields? I've read China is getting somewhere around +/- 12% of it's oil from Iraq now. Bloomberg corroborated this in January 2015. Couldn't find 2015 numbers for Iraq oil exports by country with quick Google.

However, I just wanted to point out: oil field developent has been awarded largely to Western multi-nationals. Exxon, BP, Dutch Shell in particular.

Al Jazeera (2012):

Juhasz explained that ExxonMobil, BP and Shell were among the oil companies that "played the most aggressive roles in lobbying their governments to ensure that the invasion would result in an Iraq open to foreign oil companies".

Iraq's oil reserves may be second only to Saudi Arabia's [EPA]

"They succeeded," she added. "They are all back in. BP and CNPC [China National Petroleum Corporation] finalised the first new oil contract issued by Baghdad for the largest oil field in the country, the 17 billion barrel super giant Rumaila field. ExxonMobil, with junior partner Royal Dutch Shell, won a bidding war against Russia's Lukoil (and junior partner ConocoPhillips) for the 8.7 billion barrel West Qurna Phase 1 project. Italy's Eni SpA, with California's Occidental Petroleum and the Korea Gas Corp, was awarded Iraq's Zubair oil field with estimated reserves of 4.4 billion barrels. Shell was the lead partner with Malaysia's Petroliam Nasional Bhd., or Petronas, winning a contract for the super-giant Majnoon field, one of the largest in the world, with estimated reserves of up to 25 billion."

So Western, and US producers, have a large foot print. This from the same article:

Juhasz explained that ExxonMobil, BP and Shell were among the oil companies that "played the most aggressive roles in lobbying their governments to ensure that the invasion would result in an Iraq open to foreign oil companies".

Iraq's oil reserves may be second only to Saudi Arabia's [EPA]

"They succeeded," she added. "They are all back in. BP and CNPC [China National Petroleum Corporation] finalised the first new oil contract issued by Baghdad for the largest oil field in the country, the 17 billion barrel super giant Rumaila field. ExxonMobil, with junior partner Royal Dutch Shell, won a bidding war against Russia's Lukoil (and junior partner ConocoPhillips) for the 8.7 billion barrel West Qurna Phase 1 project. Italy's Eni SpA, with California's Occidental Petroleum and the Korea Gas Corp, was awarded Iraq's Zubair oil field with estimated reserves of 4.4 billion barrels. Shell was the lead partner with Malaysia's Petroliam Nasional Bhd., or Petronas, winning a contract for the super-giant Majnoon field, one of the largest in the world, with estimated reserves of up to 25 billion."

Telling. Admittedly, this article is dated (3 years): I paid close attention until about that time, but fully acknowledge paying little attention since then.

I always assumed the purpose of US's $1B embassy there was (and corroborated by much I read at the time) was not proper Embassy business, rather to provide comfy office space for oil execs to have large, direct and local "presence" steering development.

So anyway, I'd caution against making sweeping statements as... "Who got the oil contracts from Iraq, China".

Posted by: jdmckay | Oct 20, 2015 10:29:52 AM | 83

Will at 30: I keep asking. The more interesting question is why the Russians allowed it?

They needed time. To build up military, to keep the country on board, to deal with sanctions, organise, to shelve (for now) the Ukraine horror.

PavewayIV at 47 thx for those details, clarifications. And Hi Petri.

Hey, do not pay attention to well known left-wing fascists who happen to write to Counterpunch. Neretva at 82.

Ha ha I was much more polite and let's say nuanced which is a dumb buzz word, but really they aren’t worth any attention at all. Thing is, they have an audience....

Posted by: Noirette | Oct 20, 2015 11:54:25 AM | 84


The last reports I read a few years ago stated that these Western and Iraq contracts were not production sharing agreements but only oil field services contracts which protect Iraq's control of its resources while gaining the needed expertise and funding to produce and sell their oil.

Iran on the other hand was required to offer production sharing agreements with Western Oil to get their badly needed funding and technology from the West following the relaxing of sanctions.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Oct 20, 2015 12:35:28 PM | 85

Left wing fascists;Zionist Trotski-ite's.They hate Russians.(they hate everyone else also)
Plenue;The US has plenty of inflight refueling capability,and wing tanks must impede performance.The Zionazis don't(?),and have never faced a comparable air force,where that loss of performance would make them vulnerable.

Posted by: dahoit | Oct 20, 2015 12:51:25 PM | 86

@ 81: So what. Russian Orthodox Church doesn't deny the fact of the photo itself. The point being made here is that Moonies stand in solidarity with this missle-blessing, State-supported right wing preacher. It is a secondary matter as to when and where the blessed missles are to be launched, since we all know in advance that Moonies will mindlessly cheer it on so long as their hero Putin gave the order.

Posted by: matt | Oct 20, 2015 2:01:21 PM | 87

Not surprising, it's the standard pattern (although shocking that this is not front-page news - but, of course, that is also not surprising). Invasion and conquest are hard, creating chaos is easy. Our current military and government are incapable of conquering and maintaining control of even a tiny country like Afghanistan. However, we can easily disrupt and destroy. Starting way back in the cold war as a way to fight a then-feared onslaught of Soviet conventional forces, our military has really perfected the art of hitting the vulnerable key infrastructures of a modern industrial state and tearing it down.

If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. If all you can do is spread chaos...

But other professional militaries out there are watching and taking notes. People worry about starting a nuclear war with Russia - maybe, but there is something perhaps that we should fear even more. What if our fearless leaders are so stupid as to attack an enemy that can fight back in kind? Imagine targeted conventional cruise missile strikes on the US that take out a large fraction of our major electrical generator plants. There aren't that many of them. Sure we could rebuild them in a decade or so, but the United States as we currently know it would not be around by then...

Posted by: TG | Oct 20, 2015 3:11:18 PM | 88

I was thinking last night that part of our wanton destructiveness is -- in fact -- due to the fact that we have no desire to incorporate these countries .. as perhaps Germany intended to annex France, Belguim and/or the Netherlands ... while treatment of the local population was extremely harsh, brutal, it was with an aim to "pacify" ... we still seem to believe both in kill-lists and killing in large numbers to shock-and-awe to pacify. More disturbing though is the punitive quality of our destruction. Bosnians have neither forgiven or forgotten our blowing up bridges and other infrastructure. Americans have never really been told much about the aftermath of the great and glorious "perfect little war" I do think it's largely because we've never had the inconvenience and lasting effects of a war on American soil -- even the civil war was largely fought in the agrarian south -- no, the south has not forgotten it -- but discretely and conveniently out of sight for most of the country. The documentary "Rape of Europa" about allied efforts to protect, hide and then restore various historical treasures of Europe in WWII is fascinating and moving. So much of America is "new" and first-generation, buildings and monuments never threatened, never damaged, never replaced -- and so much without any particular history or nostalgia.

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Oct 20, 2015 4:29:51 PM | 89


The last reports I read a few years ago stated that these Western and Iraq contracts were not production sharing agreements but only oil field services contracts which protect Iraq's control of its resources while gaining the needed expertise and funding to produce and sell their oil.

Could be, I wouldn't argue. From time I spent this morning, info is "sparse". But then, I'm several years out of touch with knowing where to go with this sort of thing. What I do remember clear as day:

1) Reading approx. 4 years ago, the Exxon had been awarded contract to develop (I believe) Iraq's West Qurna field, then (don't know about now) believed to be 2nd largest on the planet behind SA's Ghawar. This received little press here.

2) What I also recall, again dug up by some of our great intrepid bloggers (I don't recall which) I think after Wikileaks began publishing, was memos between Exxon execs and GWB literally salivating over prospect of getting control of West Quma. This was dated approx. 1 year before we invaded.

When I was keeping on top of stuff like this, was pretty easy to GOOGLE up good info. So I'm ready to believe much of this stuff is being kept under wraps.

What also feeds this "notion" (under wraps): about this same time (long after the fact), I spent the better part of a full day GOOGLING/reading on Bush Sr'.s 1st incursion (Kuwait). There was limited info available when Junior "liberated" Iraq, that Sadaam had petitioned the UN to intervene repeatedly (over 6-18 months, I don't recall) claiming Kuwait was "angle drilling" across the border into Iraq's fields (3 of them, not just Rumaila, as was largely reported). Our Iraqi UN ambassador at the time (I don't recall her name), had "carried the water" to kill Sadaam's petition. She had been called & quoted on this, and was very suspiciously evasive. So around '03-4, AFAIK... this is all that was known.

Again, about 5 years ago I decided to revisit this as I mentioned. What I found was a treasure trove of good documentation substantiating Sadaam's claims, from multiple quarters. It was beyond convincing.

Did this search again this morning... nothing.

Somebody's doing some housecleaning.

One other thing, during both Bush's incursions: Both Bush Sr. and James Baker had extensive oil interests in Kuwait. I've read most of Baker's wealth (I can't document it, so...) came from this. Much of his biz there was in partnership with Bush Sr. This hardly made the news, was entirely off the radar.

And lastly (just for a little recap), lest we forget... Bush Sr.'s Kuwait "effort" was approved by US Senate by ONE vote (acquired through heavy handed pressure only 24 hrs. before the vote). Multiple Senators said years later, when it was revealed the tear jerking Senate testimony about Iraq soldiers and "incubator babies" was a manufactured lie, they all said had they known that they never would have approved. Bush's admin arranged for this testimony.

Or in other words, this whole sordid disaster began with a deliberately concocted lie (Bush Sr.): not an intelligence "failure" or "mistake", but a deliberate deception that changed the world and led to (now) 25 years of domino like destruction. All initiated on lies, all the way through no WMD's.

Given Bush Sr. and Baker's oil interests in Kuwait, not that big a stretch to believe they did this for their own personal interests. After all, Sadaam had been US proxy in Iran war (our guy, chosen and installed by Reagan, for a long time. And Kuwait was not strategically important, and led by a (IMO) disgustingly opulent crew pleasuring themselves constantly in more oil dollars per/capita then any other country.

I remember when we invaded, the solid gold toilets and sinks in their bathrooms.

Iran on the other hand was required to offer production sharing agreements with Western Oil to get their badly needed funding and technology from the West following the relaxing of sanctions.

I'll take your word for that, haven't read it (but I haven't read the agreement)... you referring to recent (nuke agreement) sanctions? Hard for me to believe Iran would agree to that.

Posted by: jdmckay | Oct 20, 2015 4:52:07 PM | 90

Maybe the Syrians need to cover up their power plants with replicas of the World Trade Center.

Posted by: blues | Oct 20, 2015 5:09:11 PM | 91


This just shows that grest schemes by powerful people and corps can be thwarted by resistant petty leaders. I recall that the Oil Cos were very disturbed by the no production sharing stand by al Maliki and they may have helped develop the new field you mention but are not sharing in its wealth, just the work contracts.

I think I read about Iran's submitting to production sharing demands at a few weeks ago.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Oct 20, 2015 6:01:21 PM | 92


They aren't wing tanks. And no, all the testimony of the many pilots who have flown planes equipped with CFTs is that they don't meaningfully impact performance. Unlike actual wing mounted drop tanks, which do significantly affect performance and are usually dropped at the first sign of trouble.

Posted by: Plenue | Oct 20, 2015 6:04:59 PM | 93

Turkish security sources said they expected the number of refugees leaving Aleppo to increase to 350,000 by the weekend if the airstrikes continue, with a number of these people being expected to reach Turkey’s border. --Hurriyet

Posted by: Penelope | Oct 20, 2015 10:41:39 PM | 94

10/20/15 The Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union (PYD) plans to open a mission in Russia, a move that would anger Turkey which sees the party as a terrorist group, Russia's Kommersant newspaper reported on Oct. 20.
Leaders of the Kurdish group will hold consultations with the Russian foreign ministry in Moscow on Oct. 21, Kommersant said, including talks about further steps toward the opening of a Russian office.
The purpose of the mission is to strengthen cooperation with Moscow in fighting the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), the newspaper said.
Turkey suspects Russia, which launched air strikes in Syria three weeks ago, has been lending support to the PYD and its armed wing YPG. --Hurriyet

I don't theeenk Mr. Erdogan w/b happeee

Posted by: Penelope | Oct 20, 2015 10:43:25 PM | 95

10/20/15 Turkish jets have destroyed a number of outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) targets in the southeastern province of Hakkari as a part of an air operation, the Turkish General Staff announced on Oct. 20. “Shelters, caves and weapon pits belonging to the separatist terrorist organization determined in the Dağlıca region of Hakkari were destroyed in an air operation,” the Turkish General Staff said through a statement on its website, using the term “separatist terrorist organization” to refer to the PKK. ---Hurriyet

I theenk that is called "bombing your own people", yes? I heard that France is charging Assad at the ICC for war crimes for "bombing your own people". But I don't theenk it counts in Mr. Erdogan's case, cuz he's doing it on purpose.

Posted by: Penelope | Oct 20, 2015 10:47:24 PM | 96

@ Posted by: Penelope | Oct 20, 2015 10:47:24 PM | 96

"Their own people"? Something very strange is going on with these Kurds. Everybody bombs them. They seem to want to carve out a "Kurdistan" from Iraq, Turkey, and Iran. Perhaps they should not be faulted for this (The British jerks are the primary culprits here, as usual.) But then these nations have a desire to hold their territory.

As far as Turkey and Erdogan are concerned, they are a riddle wrapped in a mystery. I believe NOTHING I read about them. There is a vast amount of disinformation about them, and I believe NOTHING!!!

Posted by: blues | Oct 21, 2015 5:41:10 PM | 97

Why? Because the only tactics the American military knows is war crimes?

Posted by: hp | Oct 23, 2015 1:16:03 PM | 98

"Why Is The U.S. Silently Bombing Syria's Electricity Network?" General Electric needs the work.

Posted by: Bilbo | Oct 23, 2015 2:08:46 PM | 99

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