Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
May 26, 2017

Syria - Truth Slips Through In The New York Times - NATO Preps to Fight Iran And Russia

The New York Times Magazine has an interesting piece about east Aleppo. Robert Worth visited it recently and talked to people there. The NYT editors/censors inserted many of their standard slander against the Syrian government, but the can not drown out the realities described therein.

Thus the piece is headline: Aleppo After the Fall but one of the key sentences in it says just the opposite:

Yasser said he was one of the first people to come back [to east-Aleppo], right after what he — like everyone else I met — called the liberation.

Jihadi propaganda claims of government bombing of random hospitals without reason "verified" by a Skype call to some al-Qaeda propagandist in Idleb- are mixed with reality based on-the-ground reporting:

On my second day in the city, I went to see the Aleppo Eye Hospital, a sprawling compound that the rebels had used as a military headquarters. As we walked through the burned and shattered building, my government minder and the soldiers guarding the place kept picking up markers of the rebels’ Islamist leanings. They weren’t hard to find. A fire-blackened car out front still had the Qaeda logo on its hood. ...

Unfortunately the piece also includes factual errors:

The reporter, an Aleppan named Rida al-Basha, described the neighborhoods where [looting] had taken place and named the militias, including the notorious Tiger Forces, whose leaders include well-known thugs.

I do not doubt that looting has taken place after the liberation of east-Aleppo. Those who supported the "rebel" invasion of their city will have lost everything. But looting by the Tiger Force "militia"? The Tiger Force are the Special Operations Division of the Syrian Arab Army, not a "militia". It is led by highly professional officers, not by "thugs". Its leader, General Suheil al-Hassan, has been in the army for over 26 years. The division is armed with Russian T-90 tanks and other heavy assault equipment. It is an offensive unit which has been very busy on various fronts. It is not a mopping up or occupation force for urban areas that would have time for organized looting in Aleppo. The quoted claim is inconsistent with those facts.

But still - the Magazine piece is filled with detailed story of real people who factually tell what the "rebels" have done to their city. How they looted every factory and house down to the copper electricity wire and sold everything off to Turkey. Wherever the story is based on real reporting it confirms the view and position of the anti-Islamist Syrian majority which supports its government. After years of claiming the opposite in its hundreds of anti-Syrian propaganda pieces one wonder how the NYT editors let this pass.

One anecdote even reveals who the Syrians will choose as their future leader:

My Syrian businessman friend told me that he twice gathered about a dozen people for dinner and offered them a hypothetical in strict confidence. It is up to you to name the next president of Syria, he said. Whom would you choose? The guests were all Syrians, and none supported the regime. To his surprise, almost all of them named Assad.

And that, dear reader, is why the U.S. and its proxies are against truly democratic elections in Syria. Their nemesis would easily win and prevent the planned neo-liberal looting of what is left of the Syrian state.

The Islamic proxy forces of the "west", al-Qaeda under its various disguises, Ahar al-Sham and even ISIS are mostly done. The latest especially is no longer a capable military force but is reverting to guerilla levels of operation. Its final defeat will take a long time but it must and will be achieved by local forces.

Despite that the U.S. pressed on NATO members to let the NATO organization join its "fight against ISIS". The single NATO members were already part of the U.S. coalition. But NATO as an organization brings large scale command and control capabilities as well as additional resources. (All under U.S. control.)

Make no mistake - "fighting ISIS" is not the real purpose of the move. The U.S. wants NATO support to invade Syria from the north in Idleb as well as from the south near Deraa and from the south-east starting at the al-Tanf border station to Iraq. Syria and its allies will now be fought under the disguise of "fighting ISIS" which factually can no longer be the purpose. Thus NATO, together with Wahhabi Gulf forces, will now be engaged in an expanded war not only against the Syria government but especially against its Russian and Iranian allies. Trump's endorsement of anti-Iranian rhetoric on his visit in Saudi Arabia served a similar purpose.

Syria and its allies will try to prevent a further invasion by cutting off al-Tanf and holding on to Deraa city - thereby blocking any wider military moves. But those measures will probably be in vain. Unless some sane voices intervene we are now at the beginning of a far wider and more dangerous war that can easily slip out of anyone's control.

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Posted by b on May 26, 2017 at 09:49 AM | Permalink

Comments

Excellent article, thank you:)

Posted by: relament | May 26, 2017 9:56:37 AM | 1

- Right. Assad is lesser evil of two bad choices. Although in the long run he should be replaced somewhere in the future by someone who treats the syrian population betterhtan he does.

Posted by: Willy2 | May 26, 2017 10:01:14 AM | 2

somebody tells me the european states themselves have it under control. no problem that the eu/nato are under the us' thumb. i hope he's right. i've yet to see any confirmation of it.

Posted by: jfl | May 26, 2017 10:03:57 AM | 3

This is a good story via Twitter :

https://twitter.com/HaraldDoornbos/status/867824489710575616

Now they want "NATO' to go fight ISIS - mon oeil!
There won't be a Sunni NATO ( as per the wish of Trump)- both KSA and UAE are fighting Qatar via their paid spinmasters in the US - be it PR firms or print media.

Posted by: Yul | May 26, 2017 10:07:11 AM | 4

if what you say concerning the north is so, b, erdogan is right in the middle of it all again. like a bad penny, if you ask me.

Posted by: jfl | May 26, 2017 10:08:09 AM | 5

Willy22 @2

"Right. Assad is lesser evil of two bad choices. Although in the long run he should be replaced somewhere in the future by someone who treats the syrian population betterhtan he does."

I dun post much nowdays, but can't help not to respond..... you sound so much like the neoliberal... the waning days of John Kerry before rump.

BTW way who should replace Assad and should the syrians people decides?

Posted by: OJS | May 26, 2017 10:20:53 AM | 6

I see the Donald returning to the White House high from his Wahhabi sword dance, practicing in front of a mirror in the middle of the night the executioner's stance...not realizing the souvenir he was handed is double-edged.

Posted by: Lawrence Smith | May 26, 2017 10:45:27 AM | 7

3 Donald Trump and NATO - Why His Silence on Article 5 Is a Big Deal

Article 5 is the problem of flying over Syria and Iraq - if hit by Syrian or whatever aircraft, by accident or not. I don't think German politicians intend to sleepwalk into WWIII. I don't think anybody in Germany feels threatened by Russia either. To try extortion with a threat that doesn't exist won't work.
The Manchester attack could be placed in this context - trying to convince people that they are only safe when armies fight abroad.

The threat to close the US market to Germany is a real threat of economic warfare. To close the British market as a consequence of Brexit, too.

Posted by: somebody | May 26, 2017 11:05:57 AM | 8

add to 8

I think this is German consensus

A Danger to the World It's Time to Get Rid of Donald Trump

Donald Trump has transformed the United States into a laughing stock and he is a danger to the world. He must be removed from the White House before things get even worse.

I wonder, what will they do if he stays.

Posted by: somebody | May 26, 2017 11:14:05 AM | 9

And this along with multi hundred billion dollars US weaponry sale to Saudis, and with Yemen and with Iran, Kurds and Russia and behind the scenes Israel have good (!) chances to open the gates of hell: the Armageddon ( a regional WWIII on its own, imho...

Posted by: Truist | May 26, 2017 11:19:21 AM | 10

Impressive gains by SAA and allies over past 24 hrs, https://syrianperspective.com/2017/05/the-syrian-desert-will-be-fully-liberated-soon-huge-saa-and-allies-progress-aleppo-province-about-to-be-isis-free.html

A glimmer of light can now be seen at the far end of the tunnel.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 26, 2017 11:53:31 AM | 11

@9 somebody

For better or worse, I think it would be a bad idea to try to collectively oust Trump. This would rile his base immensely to the point that, justifiably so, they would chalk his impeachment up as a stolen presidency by the "establishment" and this country would be pulled into even more interesting times. Besides, his replacement would be an outwardly less vile though no-less neoliberal and agreeable candidate between the establishment parties which would give the illusion of "coming together" which his base, and even myself included, would rightly sniff out as globalist sabotage. We would continue our lockstepped approach to WWIII anyway. No, there isn't much we can do politically at this point but keep getting the word out that the policy, not the presidency, is the issue at hand. Germans should probably know that, though. Are they as ignorant as American sheeple?

Posted by: NemesisCalling | May 26, 2017 11:55:29 AM | 12

thanks b... i sure hope all the folks who read you and post here are making a financial contribution to you to allow for your site to continue.. it would be a crying shame to lose this valuable site with yours and others many fine insights..

Posted by: james | May 26, 2017 12:04:31 PM | 13

And that, dear reader, is why the U.S. and its proxies are against truly democratic elections in Syria. Their nemesis would easily win and prevent the planned neo-liberal looting of what is left of the Syrian state.

The most important sentence. The one that makes the whole edifice of Western hypocrisy collapse!


The Islamic proxy forces of the "west", al-Qaeda under its various disguises, Ahrar al-Sham and even ISIS are mostly done.

I don't share your optimism here:
True - ISIS caliphate's days are numbered. But what will defeated ISIS fighters do, where will they go? Some may retreat into hide-outs, but others will no doubt join their ideological brothers in HTS (ex-Nusra), there've been rumours about such negotiations. Some may prefer, after a thorough shaving session, to go under Turkish tutelage (Euphrates Shield).


The success of the Russian (& Syrian) strategy depends on "separation" of militants willing to reintegrate into Syria and those who don`t (usually for preference of their promised 72 virgins). Interestingly, the Astana accord has supported this dynamic - the formation of HTS was a direct response from then JFS/Nusra leadership (Joulani) for fear of becoming the sole or prominent target of Russian and US bombing. All the while Ahrar al-Sham have shaped themselves into a more "moderate" force, strengthening the ties with Turkey, and granting protection to smaller FSA factions not willing to be dominated by AQ.
So, the prospects for a somehow more peaceful future Syria (to use a cautious formulation) will mainly come from keeping this separation dynamic going.


Posted by: Qoppa | May 26, 2017 12:09:07 PM | 14

Manchester attack prompts NATO deployment?

Posted by: Jackrabbit | May 26, 2017 12:09:33 PM | 15

They voted for Assad instead of Mutti Ivanka? I'm shocked!

The great shame of the U.S. MSM is that they are lazy shills for the U.S. govt establishment. They will go after politicians but they lick the boots of U.S. govt officials, especially the Pentagon. As you pointed out, had they actual foreign correspondents on the ground instead of outsourced this to rebel activist tweets, the coverage of the Syrian War would have been much different from the swill they have been dishing up.

Posted by: Christian Chuba | May 26, 2017 12:14:18 PM | 16

nato has become another extension of the war party... hopefully some european countries are getting queasy with this ongoing agenda with it's various additional strains and strings attached..

Posted by: james | May 26, 2017 12:15:10 PM | 17

"The Tiger Force are the Special Operations Division of the Syrian Arab Army, not a "militia". It is led by highly professional officers, not by "thugs". Its leader, General Suheil al-Hassan, has been in the army for over 26 years. The division is armed with Russian T-90 tanks and other heavy assault equipment. It is an offensive unit which has been very busy on various fronts. It is not a mopping up or occupation force for urban areas that would have time for organized looting in Aleppo. The quoted claim is inconsistent with those facts."

This is what the SS believed about themselves (and I do too, but I don't want to fight about it here), but they were in for a horrible surprise when the allies finally took what remained of them prisoner. A similar fate awaits the Tiger force if Assad loses. The Ritchie boys could certainly have taught ISIS a thing or two about torture.

Just as with Germany in 1939, outside of abdication there is no getting off of this Zionist war-escalator for Assad, Putin or their peoples. This coming confalgration will be of biblical proportions.

Posted by: Heros | May 26, 2017 12:21:06 PM | 18

Thank you, b, for finally waking up to the reality on the ground!

Expect the Empire's panicked response to SAA's recent massive territorial gains in Homs province (Palmyra countryside). I wouldn't exclude new attacks by IsraHell either, since Elijah is reporting that Hezbollah's "Ridwan" Forces have been deployed throughout the entire southern Syrian front and on the race to Deir ez-Zor.

Posted by: LXV | May 26, 2017 12:25:53 PM | 19

Posted by: NemesisCalling | May 26, 2017 11:55:29 AM | 12

Frankly, I feel German interference in US democracy is unacceptable :-))

Transatlantic trade and the German car industry are an ecological nightmare anyway, same as the Chinese "silk road".

I am waiting for an economic concept of balancing exporting, importing and working less whilst keeping the life style.

Posted by: somebody | May 26, 2017 12:48:34 PM | 20

Heros #18

Comparing Hitler with Assad/Putin is a shame.

Posted by: From The Hague | May 26, 2017 12:50:00 PM | 21

The Islamic proxy forces of the "west", al-Qaeda under its various disguises, Ahar al-Sham and even ISIS are mostly done. The latest especially is no longer a capable military force but is reverting to guerilla levels of operation. Its final defeat will take a long time but it must and will be achieved by local forces.

This is not such an optimistic scenario if the second Chechen war is a precedent that final defeat could be a very long time. It took the Russian army about 9 months to retake the cities and defeat jihadis in fixed position battles. The guerrilla war last another 9 years with Russian army withdrawing after 5.

Posted by: ToivoS | May 26, 2017 12:52:35 PM | 22

@21 from the hag... read much? he is not comparing the two...

Posted by: james | May 26, 2017 1:15:14 PM | 23

Heros #18

And you like those ukrainian Azov terrorists?

Posted by: From The Hague | May 26, 2017 1:17:38 PM | 24

Make no mistake, Russia is going to have to do a serious gut check, or else continue to aid and abet it's real partners in Syria, the US and its allies, as they consolidate control

Posted by: paul | May 26, 2017 2:09:43 PM | 25

>>>> Jackrabbit | May 26, 2017 12:09:33 PM | 15

Manchester attack prompts NATO deployment?

Too fucking right! The UK should demand a collective response under Article 5 to the attack by ISIS and/or Al Qaeda on the UK. The British Third (UK) Division should be deployed ASAFP to Palmyra for a right hook through the desert to relieve the Syrians in Deir Ez-zor to start with then annihilate as much of ISIS as possible.

Posted by: Ghostship | May 26, 2017 2:21:15 PM | 26

@20 somebody

Agreed. Balancing import/export without sacrificing domestic labor force = no loss of sovereignty. It would be up to a country's statesman to negotiate best deal as they try to appeal for the demands of their own people. Of course to do that, we will probaby have to bug Merkel's office again.

the ART of the DEAL strikes again!

Posted by: NemesisCalling | May 26, 2017 2:47:55 PM | 27

Posted by: NemesisCalling | May 26, 2017 2:47:55 PM | 27

I don't really see a solution for keeping the lifestyle.

Posted by: somebody | May 26, 2017 2:49:59 PM | 28

@ somebody

You don't think Americans or Germans could go back to stitching t-shirts and nikes?

Of course there is no escape from the coming reckoning.

I would if it meant doritos on the table.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | May 26, 2017 2:56:40 PM | 29

Iran used to have the largest single pocket gas deposits, according to newer research now Greece has them from south Crete AALL THE WAY to Cyprus, underwater....

Schauble has nightmares every night. Tehehe!

Posted by: dave | May 26, 2017 3:01:13 PM | 30

Maybe Trump needs to pull a Schauble on Germany about its huge NATO debt.

Posted by: dave | May 26, 2017 3:06:06 PM | 31

It seems that there is no such thing as a “moderate” Syrian rebel, even if the US State Department chooses to believe so for funding and arming purposes. A week ago, two prominent ISIS commanders left the ranks of the calliphate to join forces with the Free Syrian Army (FSA) fighters, the so-called “moderate rebels” on the provincial border between Homs and Deir Ezzor, al Masdar news reported.

ISIS commander Mahmoud al-Faraj, together with Ghassan al-Sankeh, arrived in Badia in central Syria, joining the US effort. Al-Faraj is one of the highest ranking ISIS commanders in ISIS’ new capital of Al-Mayadin.

Al-Mayadin is a city on the Euphrates River which reports indicate the Islamic State has transformed into its new capital. ISIS controls the vast majority of the eastern province of Deir Ezzor although the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) has maintained a presence in the provincial capital throughout the conflict while the FSA emerged in its southwestern desert last week.

Meanwhile, peace talks were advancing with ISIS’ oil funding almost entirely gone. Its fighters are also on the defensive in both Syria and Iraq, suggesting that the US may be worried about peace breaking out soon.

The current sixth round of the Geneva peace talks are aimed at finding a political solution to the six-year-long invasion of Syria, while the concurrent Astana talks have been more militarily framed, Reuters reported.

Posted by: furQ | May 26, 2017 3:06:46 PM | 32

Posted by: dave | May 26, 2017 3:06:06 PM | 31

Well, he can't as there was no loan to Germany. Let's face it, Trump is a clown.

Posted by: somebody | May 26, 2017 3:11:08 PM | 33

From The Hague 24

"And you like those ukrainian Azov terrorists?"

Those "Azov terrorists" are merely play things for billionaire Ashkenazi oligarchs. Kind of like Nato, who are into their own flavors of terrorism and war crimes (invading Syria being one).

But what about you? Pretending to be a judge from the same court that conducted the sham trial against Milocevic? Shame on you.

Posted by: Heros | May 26, 2017 3:32:59 PM | 34

The Russians have been aware wars over hydro -carbon control and markets could undo our specias particularly since ww2. This 'melancholy ' awareness runs through many of Ilya Ehrenburgh's writings in the 1940's / 50's. He was much read.

Posted by: ashley albanese | May 26, 2017 3:48:04 PM | 35

Posted by: somebody | May 26, 2017 11:14:05 AM | 9
What a stupid, shameless, servile article.
Stupid #1: China is laughing at America yet China and America circling each other in south china sea. Yeah, that must be really funny to China.

Stupid #2: complaining for lack of competence and education of an elected official, when the education and experience were not in the list of requirements for the position.

Shameless and servile: A non-American calling America the most important country in the world. So, for Klaus, USA is more important than his own country, Germany. Sad!

Posted by: hopehely | May 26, 2017 3:59:59 PM | 36

My guess is that the Manchester bombing was intended to help the narrative that "NATO has to go into Syria to help fight those evil terrorists" . The "intelligence" agencies fucked it up however by revealing the bombers association with MI6. In other news, Corbyn has been getting huge crowds but it is not being reported by the MSM.
https://off-guardian.org/2017/05/22/video-thousands-across-uk-flock-to-hear-corbyn-speak-ignored-by-msm/

Posted by: Ike | May 26, 2017 4:19:13 PM | 37

The good news of the Russia intercept of multiple US regime aircraft in Eastern Syria over the past day or two.

The massive gains the SAA and allies have made over the past few days clearing the Eastern Homs and the Jordan border.

And now this potentially huge development(if confirmed):

Urgent: the #US #UK forces pulled more than the half of its troops from #AlTnaf to #Jordan , #SAA advanced more than 6 km towards the area.


Posted by: sandra_m | May 26, 2017 4:20:56 PM | 38

Prior to NATO joining the US coalition there was very little reporting about it anywhere.
What is the procedure there? Whp is responsible for drawing other countries in to the US offence? The white house.. Pentagon.. operation inherent resolve generals?

Posted by: Peter AU | May 26, 2017 4:21:44 PM | 39

With Duterte turning to China and Russia, well trained ISIS special forces have been shipped to Philippines. Not long after becoming President Duterte wanted to kick US special force out of Philippines. He said they were helping ISIS rather than fighting them.

Daesh Invasion: Foreign Jihadists Repel Army Attacks in the Philippines

Posted by: Peter AU | May 26, 2017 5:11:07 PM | 40

The lament in Der Spiegel about Trump is somewhat comical. On one hand, I detest Trump and I expect that he will do his best to wreck USA, and with the help of his fellow party members he will clearly make big strides in solving the most acute domestic problems like excessive number of folks with access to healthcare or insufficient number of people killed or merely beaten up by police (lower classes have to be feel a stern hand). On the other, every country should be free to elect idiots, and one very good example is right there, less than an hour of train ride from Berlin (trains are mercifully unaffected by that idiocy). Either the locals will wise up or not, that is their sovereign prerogative (although EU subsidies should be a fair game).

On the other hand, this lament expresses also the mental deficiency of the writer, and not as an individual but as a member of EU elite. If Trump indeed goes bonkers, rather than being a mere buffoon, the chances are that his own generals will stop him before he starts tossing nukes. I personally find it unlikely that the things will go that far (I was similarly optimistic about Hillary). If USA issues "tyrannical decrees" that folks in Europe do not like they should cheerfully ignore them. But the certificate of European elite membership requires obedience to USA! Without it, you are a black sheep, a rouble rouser, an insane person and what not.

So Trump tells Germans to spend more on defense in rather boorish language, "pay your dues". Tell him when you should shove it if you do not like it. If you are loosing business with Russia and Iran, tell USA and the east-EU paranoiacs that you prefer that it is legal. In actuality, that sanction non-sense operates by consensus, so even Slovenia could stop them, except that larger countries can intimidate it using the influence over EU budget, but no such "whip" can threaten Germany. In any case, Der Spiegel writer would not even dare to voice such contumely. What he wants is a stern but well mannered overlord.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | May 26, 2017 7:01:51 PM | 41

Thanks for the article b, always a pleasure.

It seems the so called Syrian express has worked hard during the winter and all the Hama offensive by the greens did was to postpone pre-planned operations for a month.

The Busayri offensive of the last several days was brilliantly planned and executed. The Russians showed excellent organizational skills and logistics.

The Astana COH ambitions proved fruitful and Turkey's "apeacement" has been a diplomatic breakthrough. The greens were shown that they cannot advance against the SAA except if they are willing to take unsustainable casualties. I guess the parachute ordinance raining down on them in profuse quantities broke their appetite for further attempts to advance. The deescalation zones were a god-send for the greens and it is in their interest that they hold.

Now the aim is the east. In my view the coalition will retreat to Jordan - they don't have much of a choice - all other options lead to unacceptable escalation and the Russians have embedded their SFs in the forces advancing to al-tanf not as a tripwire...

In the meantime AlMasdar is reporting that Egypt's air force has struck 6 black camps in Lybia. Very interesting development indeed...

Posted by: Kumben | May 26, 2017 7:21:43 PM | 42

@OJS: Agree. The best way is that the syrian people themselves should decide who must become their next president/leader/.......... But I fear that even elections wouldn't bring a good solution for that problem. I fear that even in Syria the "deep state" is much more powerful than the Assad government.

I think that there should be a large and prosporous syrian middle class. Such a group (a middle class) is the most powerful force providing pushback to a authoritarian government. And since the middle class is shrinking here in the US I fear that the US government will become more and more authoritarian as well.

Posted by: Willy2 | May 26, 2017 7:23:35 PM | 43

I really hope we will see more of the same Busayri tactic very soon on the way to DeZ and the Iraqi border - cauldrons of fairly large areas with one way open, two-three side blocking action and one wide advance area. The area west of al-tanf is already such a cauldron, as well as the north of Tyas, and hopefully all the area to where the Euphrates enters IQ.

Posted by: Kumben | May 26, 2017 7:43:30 PM | 44

IMO this is really big, so it should be quoted in full (by (AlMasdar)

"On Friday evening, the Egyptian Air Force conducted six sorties in eastern Libya, targeting a desert area where ISIS militants have set up camp after being expelled from Derna in 2016. The airstrikes were done in support of the Libyan National Army (LNA), spearheaded by Khalifa Belqasim Haftar.

Notably, the air raids were done in direct response to an ISIS terror attack across the border earlier in the day, where over 20 Egyptian Christians were shot dead by suspected ISIS gunmen while traveling on a bus.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said he had directed strikes against what he called terrorist camps, declaring in a televised address that states that sponsored terrorism would be punished.

Meanwhile, the LNA imposed full control over Tamanhent Air Base in southern Libya on Friday after battling it out with Islamist forces loyal to the Tripoli-based government."

What the Russians have done is rotate over 75% of their combat pilots through Syria (with 1!!! casualty taken by an AA missile), so the Egyptians may well learn from the best and let them have an airbase on the Eg-Ly border as speculated. Given that their oppos are the "UN-backed gov in Tripoli", which controls no less than a tenth (exaggeration, but useful for visualising) of Ly's territory and is veeery compromised (and Islanist, haha) then we can add that Haftar's and his backers' chances of success are quite good.

Talk about unintended consequences..

Posted by: Kumben | May 26, 2017 8:01:37 PM | 45

Trump and the ‘Management of Allies’


The following statement, perhaps, represents the first fallout from Trump’s anti-Shi’a positioning: Southfront reports that

“the Iraqi government has officially confirmed a cooperation with Syria, Iran and Russia to secure the Syrian-Iraqi border. According to the Iraqi Interior Ministry, there is a cooperation between the four countries on this issue. The Iraqi media also [quoted] Iraqi officials [saying] that Iraq and its allies will not allow establishing of any ‘buffer zone’ between the two countries.”

Already, it is the Iraqi PMU militia who are participating actively in the military operation, alongside Hizbullah and the Syrian army, inside Syria, to retake southeast Syria. While at the same time, Iraqi PMU militia are sealing the border, and severing the ISIS’ Euphrates valley supply line, from the Iraqi side. This is important.

When I was in Iraq this month, I witnessed the mobilization and energization of the Iraqi “Shi’a nation.” This not something instigated by Iran — it is an awakening directly related to the spreading war with ISIS in northern Iraq, and portends a shift of the center of political gravity within Iraq.

If Trump’s embrace of the Sunni narrative against Iran and the Shi’a militia works to embolden Saudi Arabia in Syria and Yemen, then his ‘red meat’ comments on Iran and the Shi’a will further energize the ordinary Shi’a Iraqi “nation,” despite its internal divisions.


... lebanon-syria-iraq-iran vs saudi arabia and the over-armed midgets ...

The deeper question facing Moscow, however, is the significance of the continuing war of innuendo prosecuted by the U.S. “deep state” that is directed at President Trump, even in his absence overseas. There has been no letup in this campaign, but rather a doubling down. It seems its object is to zombify Trump’s Administration, rather than to impeach the President.

There may a financial crisis later this year as the U.S. debt ceiling impacts at the beginning of October. The Federal Reserve is quietly warning investors that asset values may not be secure. All in all then, America is facing heightened uncertainties, and a contentious, possibly even violent, summer and autumn.

Bill Clinton when threatened by impeachment, went to war. A cornered Trump might too, go to war, or he could defy the “deep state,” and make peace. Moscow must – and no doubt will – assess the probabilities carefully. Trump might even do both (launch war against North Korea and seek détente with Moscow).


when you lose your money, please don't you lose your mind ...

Posted by: jfl | May 26, 2017 8:22:52 PM | 46

It should have already been obvious that a Kurdistani "state" surrounded at four sides by "unfriendly" states (TK, IQ, Sy, KRG) would be unviable. The Kurds will be forced into an agreement with the lawful authority in Syria.

That's the reason the coalition is pushing for its landbrdge via al-tanf. But it's not viable - such a long salient into enemy territory you don't even have permission to go through poses certain logistical, recruitment and diplomatic challenges to say the least.

Posted by: Kumben | May 26, 2017 8:29:15 PM | 47

@kumben

all that good news counts for nothing with the tnc msm ... they're up to their ears in demonic rituals and pledges of terrorist allegiance to the 'war on terror' ... nothing but hot air and bullshit, while they're being crushed in the states they set our of-handedly to destroy. and where a new, confident, hardened resistance to their bald criminality has risen and is growing.

Posted by: jfl | May 26, 2017 8:30:08 PM | 48

What we have here are plans coming into fruition - let us hope that good prevails.

For me, the greatest sight of this very unfortunate 6-years war wold be the handshake of general Zahreddin and the commander of the SAA forces who liberate DeZ.

Let's hope we see that soon.

Posted by: Kumben | May 26, 2017 8:57:45 PM | 49

46
Often the end result of Trump moves are similar. Trump stumbling around knocking over all the neo-con/globalist chess pieces?

Posted by: Peter AU | May 26, 2017 9:02:11 PM | 50

Trump publicly congratulates Duterte for his war on drugs - ISIS takes a Philippine city?

Posted by: Peter AU | May 26, 2017 9:04:00 PM | 51

When you think about it - itself's truly amazing that the guys at DeZ have survived against those constant attacks. They must have some balls of steel, don't they?...

Posted by: Kumben | May 26, 2017 9:06:48 PM | 52

@jfl 48

I guess the Russkies have their moves calculated very far in advance. They know where to push and where to hold back. That's where the whole diplo-sh#t comes into play. And it's necessary for sure.

If we go back to the Hama offensive - more than 10 000 greens were involved in this offensive - the Ru\Sy schedule was flexible enough to allow for the redeployment of the Tiger forces to where they were most needed.

That was a tactical setback, not a strategic one.

Posted by: Kumben | May 26, 2017 9:20:10 PM | 53

JFL @ 46: If what you've quoted in your comment is genuine and there really is a mobilisation of the Shi'a people under way in Iraq, then that movement has the potential to spread to Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar and the Persian Gulf area of Saudi Arabia: all areas where Shi'ite populations are under the boots of Sunni elites. Expect to see Saudi Arabia possibly having to fight the Yemenis and Saudi defectors to the Yemeni side on a southern front and their own Persian Gulf populations on a northern front some time in the future.

Posted by: Jen | May 26, 2017 9:21:38 PM | 54

There's also an article in today's Spectator about MI5 using radical clerics to recruit fighters for ISIS and the other jihadists groups.

https://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2013/05/its-time-for-mi5-to-abandon-the-disastrous-clerical-honeypot-strategy/

Posted by: Les | May 26, 2017 9:36:16 PM | 55

Les #55
That news is four years old.

Posted by: From The Hague | May 26, 2017 9:53:26 PM | 56

Great posts kumben.. Maybe you have seen the tweet about Gen. Suhail Al Hassan "Al Nimr-The Tiger" asking his brethren Gen. Zarredhine "The Mad Druze" to make some coffee, for he is coming?

Posted by: Lozion | May 26, 2017 10:12:55 PM | 57


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Posted by: M.D loanfirm | May 26, 2017 10:25:50 PM | 58

The foul tentacles of usury even extend to MoA eh. I'm certain b will destroy the post when he spots it but it kinds says something about the desperation of the moneylenders when they resort to spamming MoA.

I noticed that the RT economic dingbat has been pointing out lately that there are currently more instruments offering investment in the sharemarket than there are actual stocks and shares - the derivatives thing allows an infinite range of bets - sorry 'investments' on a single actual financial asset. I dread to think what nasty schemes the greedies have planned to force us to pay them when their 'assets' inevitably fail.

Posted by: Debsisdead | May 26, 2017 10:47:54 PM | 59

I think that there should be a large and prosporous syrian middle class. Such a group (a middle class) is the most powerful force providing pushback to a authoritarian government. And since the middle class is shrinking here in the US I fear that the US government will become more and more authoritarian as well.

Posted by: Willy2 | May 26, 2017 7:23:35 PM | 43

There is also a less fortunate dynamics. Middle class can fear and despise the "lower class" which creates a craving for a "strong rule" that would keep those undeserving ignorants in check. Of course, that may mean that they cast their lot with the rich and powerful, but there are variations. A very pure case of that dynamic was recently displayed in Thailand, where one of the rich families with links to idolized monarchy betrayed their class and made a number of reforms improving the lives of peasants and other folks in the provinces, which was much lamented by the middle class in the capital. After a series of demonstrations, military took over to "middle class" acclaim. If you strip religious motivation, something similar happened in Egypt, with the fascist leader adored by the middle class while the restive folks outside the capital are (barely) kept in check.

Another case is China. However numerous and prosperous, the middle class is in the minority. In the largest cities there are two sets of rights: for those that live there legally and temporary/illegal migrants who provide bulk of workforce. Even more people live in less developed countryside. By assuring prosperity and keeping the potentially anarchic lower classes in check, the government maintains decent popularity.

There are many variations of the theme. In USA, the fear of drug addicted slothful and violent "others" leads to the support of quite repressive state, in in some area not only the fines and incarcerations are draconian but the police is brutal, murderous and this is precisely like the folks who elect their sherifs, prosecutors and judges like it. As the system develops democratically, the majority has little to fear from the system that mangles the lives of millions. As the middle class feels protected, it leaves the difficult task of the government to the rich who showed their ability by "creating jobs".

And to give the timorous or elitist middle class their due, the "rule of the people" can look ugly, and taqfiris are but one recent variation of the theme that can be illustrated through the history. And in Syria, the government was not particularly kleptocratic or particularly repressive (if you look south, north and east of Syria, the west being Mediterranean Sea), and the "people"being split between the moderates, village level brigands creating "brigades" which were basically very local gangs, and "radical Islamists" who had clear ideology and organization, hence more effective militarily, and as we know, even more murderous, and even if you would accept that, fighting each other with real zest.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | May 26, 2017 10:52:02 PM | 60

Fort Russ is reporting 3 Syrian soldiers killed near the Golan in Israeli drone strike.

http://www.fort-russ.com/?m=1

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Posted by: M.D loanfirm | May 26, 2017 11:09:03 PM | 62


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Posted by: M.D loanfirm | May 26, 2017 11:09:52 PM | 63

@60 pb

you're right in that the 'middle class' always 'look up for inspiration' ... view themselves as incipient 1%'ers, despise those 'below' them in the economic pecking order ... but i don't know that they are the majority in the us any longer.

Posted by: jfl | May 26, 2017 11:38:54 PM | 64

OT, but effing good news none the less.

https://www.rt.com/usa/389900-zbigniew-brzezinski-dead-89/

Posted by: x | May 27, 2017 12:43:22 AM | 65

@8"Article 5 is the problem of flying over Syria and Iraq - if hit by Syrian or whatever aircraft, by accident or not."

Err, no.

If that were true then the USA could have invoked Article 5 every time the North Vietnamese shot down a USAF jet over Hanoi, and those planes happened to have been downed quite a bit during the Vietnam War.

Which rather suggests that Article 5 can't be invoked when your warplanes are shot down while running missions over a foreign country.

Note the first part of Article 5..... "The Parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them IN EUROPE OR NORTH AMERICA shall be considered an attack against them all,".....

Vietnam wasn't "in" either place, and so Article 5 could not be invoked.
And neither is Syria, and so Article 5 can't be invoked there either.

@8 "The Manchester attack could be placed in this context - trying to convince people that they are only safe when armies fight abroad. "

Yes, you are on much sounder ground there.

Note that if the British did invoke Article 5 then every NATO country will be under this obligation: ...."assist the Party or Parties so attacked by taking forthwith, individually, and in concert with the other Parties, SUCH ACTIONS AS IT DEEMS NECESSARY, including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area."

Note that while this *could* involve the use of force, it isn't *mandated* that NATO countries have to take up arms in response to the invocation of Article 5 - they may not "deem" it to be "necessary".

In the article that you linked to Trump was absolutely correct to hint that the USA is under no obligation to render assistance in the form of the actual use of US military forces. He need only "deem" that to be "unnecessary", and there is no higher authority to which the other NATO countries can appeal.


Posted by: Yeah, Right | May 27, 2017 1:31:36 AM | 67

Julian @ 66: Let's hope that right beside Brzezinski in his special place in Hell is a vacancy for Henry Kissinger.

Posted by: Jen | May 27, 2017 1:56:54 AM | 68

from Sputnick:

"University of Pittsburgh Professor of International Relations Michael Brenner told Sputnik that Stoltenberg’s pledge was devoid of any effective content and that no contribution to the anti-Daesh campaign of any significance at all would occur.
"What is the significance of this step and its possible impact? Absolute zero," Brenner said.

Brenner dismissed Stoltenberg’s promise of intelligence and airborne early warning information sharing as empty posturing.

"This is pure theater. All NATO members committed themselves to full cooperation more than three years ago. So absolutely nothing new will occur," he said.

Stoltenberg’s comments came right after President Donald Trump publicly criticized European-members of the NATO alliance for refusing to meet their financial and military obligations to it. His rhetoric about joining the fight against Daesh therefore lacked any substance or credibility, Brenner suggested.

The promise of support was "motion as a facsimile of action," Brenner said. (...)

Stoltenberg also made clear the alliance would not provide any additional ground troops or combat aircraft to provide tactical support in the actual fighting."

https://sputniknews.com/politics/201705271054035443-nato-daesh-russia/

Posted by: Dario | May 27, 2017 2:47:03 AM | 69

Let's hope that right beside Brzezinski in his special place in Hell is a vacancy for Henry Kissinger.

Posted by: Jen | May 27, 2017 1:56:54 AM | 68

----------------------

Let's not forget the third member of that troika of evil ... Marie Jana Korbelová; aka Madeleine Albright.

Posted by: woogs | May 27, 2017 3:50:03 AM | 70

There was a deal in Riyadh. EGypt and KSA promessed full support to fo after the MB. Egypt attacking Libyan training bases yesterday in reprisal of the Minya massacre make almost no sense: Minya is full of MB. That they possibly traveled to Libya a lot in the years during Morsi is almost certain but it doesn't cover for the fact the MB are the target. As to the massacre, might be the MB answer to Egypt clash with Qatar and the new policy taking a wider shape.

Posted by: Mina | May 27, 2017 4:36:43 AM | 71

NATO nations want to be cannon fodder and sock puppets for America?!

Good luck with that.

It would be better for the Europeans to let the Americans, British, and their Middle Eastern puppets fight--and die--alone.

Americans are clinically pscyhotic. Trump and other US political elites are merely a reflection of Americans as a country.

It would be best not to follow them down the path of immolation.

America most of all deserves to reap the (nuclear) whirlwind.

The "United" States will no longer exist, except as an cautionary warning of what not to become as a nation and as a people.

Posted by: ak74 | May 27, 2017 4:52:48 AM | 72

Both Bush the Mad and Obama the Liar were 'bad' presidents, guilty of killing millions of innocents, but don't recall NATO getting worked up about that.

Posted by: Greg Bacon | May 27, 2017 6:28:37 AM | 73

Saudi Arabia after splitting Muslim people: Yemen’s Houthi


He said Saudi Arabia was the leading regime among the “regional hypocrites, which only seek destruction and sedition to execute American and Zionist plots.”

that sounds right to me. i wonder what our parallels, the 99%ers of the ummah, are hearing.

Posted by: jfl | May 27, 2017 8:42:53 AM | 74

It's the anglo-zionist wet dream. It will not happen
ONE:The Pmu along with Iraqi defence forces are aligned with the SAA and the Syrian people and sovereign government
. The Pmu is coordinating efforts with the SAA as we speak to seal of their borders.
TWO: That means that along with the SAA they will secure the Damascus Bagdad highway by the end of the summer.
THREE:Yes the anglo-zionist/US and UK and Jordan seem to have circa 100 000 service men primed for an incursion from the Jordan side. The Iraqi quagmire will guarantee that any shenanigan by the anglo-zionist will be met with solid resistance be it via the Iraqi's or the Syrians and thirdly Jordan will become one hell whole that the Jordanian puppet regime will not be able to contain any insurrection . Jordan proper is one hell of a powder keg that never gets mentioned.
FOUR: The Kurds have revealed their hand and their game plan they have pulled of a Barzani/Iraq. They are bought and payed for by the anglo-zionist. They r only 2 percent of the Syrian population>In northern Syria there still exist the Armenian and other arab people which do not believe in the destruction of Syria proper.
Five : I have demonstrated with my above arguments that the whole situation is not looking good for pax-americana and their zionist handlers. The ME and the arab people in general have had enough they have reached the well over the 16 percent threshold of cynicism . Hence they will be surrounded by a lot of hostility.
Six:The Turks are not to be trusted but one would think that they have come to the realisation that they made enough money already in looting Aleppo and all the oil and gas looting that they will consider we got what we got so maybe we better call it a day.Further more they are aware of the Kurdish plans of greater Khurdistan and that they r totally beholden the anglo-zionist. Hence they will continue to thwart any Kurdish dream of self determination
CONCLUSION: Like I have pointed out the wind is blowing in favour of logic and reason and the establishment of pan -arabic sovereignty. Iran's more friends than enemies in the region and Israel is on free fall . It's only a question will Israel fall but when will it fall. Iran unlike Saudi Arabia has total internal public support. Syria as well Iraq is coming to the same end. Hence The new Sunni Nato is another anglo-zionist wet dream . Pax-americana can no longer sustain itself internally or globally .< the Ponzi scheme/petro dollar is dying . The Market correction is over due. Western governments no longer have the backing of their people so how can the west/pax-americana/anglo-zionist get any backing from the general public.
The mainstream has entered into a dystopia that even my neighbours pet parrot call it propaganda. The light s are on but no body is home . The emperor has no clothes.

Posted by: falcemartello | May 27, 2017 8:30:34 PM | 75

Posted by: Yeah, Right | May 27, 2017 1:31:36 AM | 67

This is how NATO sells article 5

"NATO has taken collective defence measures on several occasions, for instance in response to the situation in Syria and in the wake of the Russia-Ukraine crisis. "

Believe me no one is going to call a lawyer when the political will to do it is there. And politicians will sell it to their constituents.

Jeremy Corbyn is doing a good campaign in Britain. Let's hope, he wins.

Posted by: somebody | May 28, 2017 5:50:06 AM | 76

add to 76

Now there will be a discussion on the legalities, will there?

Syria urges UN to immediately halt US coalition strikes, which ‘spread chaos & benefit terrorists’

Posted by: somebody | May 28, 2017 6:39:21 AM | 77

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