Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
June 29, 2017

U.S. Retreats From Al-Tanf - Gives Up On Occupying South East Syria

The U.S. is giving up its hopeless position at the Syrian-Iraq border crossing near  al-Tanf in south east Syria. The U.S. military had earlier bombed Syrian forces when they came near that position but it then found itself outmaneuvered, cut off from the north and enclosed in a useless area.

Al-Tanf is in the blue area with the two blue arrows at the bottom of the map. It will soon be painted red as liberated and under Syrian government control.


Source: Al Watan Online - bigger

A more expressive version of the map:


Source: Doloroso

To recap:

The U.S. plan was to move from al-Tanf north towards the Euphrates river and to thereby capture and control the whole south-east of Syria. But Syria and its allies made an unexpected move and prevented that plan. The invaders are now cut off from the Euphrates by a Syrian west-to-east line that ends at the Iraqi border. On the Iraqi side elements of the Popular Military Unites under the command of the Iraqi government are moving to meet the Syrian forces at the border.

The U.S. invaders are now sitting in the mid of a piece of rather useless desert around al-Tanf where their only option is to die of boredom or to move back to Jordan from where they came.
Syria Summary - The End Of The War Is Now In Sight - June 13

The U.S. military even moved a HIMARS missile launcher with 300 km reach from nearby Jordan to al-Tanf. That was a laughable stunt. It made no difference in capabilities from the earlier launcher position in Jordan just a few miles west. But someone the U.S. military believed that showing off such weapons in a doomed area would impress Syrian or Russian forces and change the facts of life. It didn't. It was clear that the U.S. would have to move out.

That now seems to happen. A knowledgeable source just posted:

TØM CΛT‏ @TomtheBasedCat - 3:38 PM - 29 Jun 2017
Lol

Evidently Tanf FSA really are being flown to Shaddadi. Plan C is in effect.

There were several rumors to this regard since yesterday and the above now confirms them. Lol indeed.

About 150 or so U.S. trained Arab fighters will be flown from al-Tanf to north-east Syria where they will join the (hated) Kurdish forces. They may later try to reach the ISIS besieged Deir Ezzor from the north or get pushed into some suicide mission against another ISIS position. The Syrian army will approach and liberate Deir Ezzor most likely from the south and east. It is unlikely that it will let U,S. proxy forces take part in that. The U.S. contingent will move west out of al-Tanf and back into Jordan. The Syrian and Iraqi forces will take over the Al Waleed border crossing at al-Tanf and the regular commercial traffic on the Damascus-Baghdad road will resume.

The various propagandists who argued for a big U.S. mission to occupy the whole Iraqi-Syrian border and all of east Syria have lost. The "Shia crescent" between Iran and Lebanon they claimed to prevent with such a move was never a physical road connection and certainly nothing the U.S could fight by any physical means. Their pushing for a U.S. occupation of east Syria and incitement of a larger conflict has for now failed.

Posted by b on June 29, 2017 at 12:45 PM | Permalink

Comments

...their only option is to die of boredom...

a mollifying epitaph 'twould be

Posted by: john | Jun 29, 2017 1:15:45 PM | 1

Thanks for the Good News b. Go Syrian Army and friends.

Posted by: jo6pac | Jun 29, 2017 1:19:07 PM | 2

If it happens to be true then it will mean not only that Damascus will be reconnected with Baghdad but also with Amman via this road even before SAA had retaken the border near Daraa.

Posted by: Kinan | Jun 29, 2017 1:22:04 PM | 3

@1 '... or to move back ... from where they came'

i like that alternative myself. all the way back to the ussa, dog - as they say - have mercy on all the other americans when they get there and become cops.

Posted by: jfl | Jun 29, 2017 1:37:14 PM | 4

thanks b.... don't count on the usa to leave empty handed or for them to come up with other stupid hair brained ideas which involve murdering innocent syrians, or syrian armed forces...

Posted by: james | Jun 29, 2017 2:33:48 PM | 5

Hate to be the wet blanket here, but Mattis isn't likely to give up the longer war. The loss of al Tanf means the U.S. land/resource theft in Syria won't be the cakewalk originally envisioned using FSA and the Kurds as cannon fodder. Plan A - take out Assad and the Syrian government/military with mercs - was never really thrown out completely. It was simply moved to the back burner for the time being. If the mercs are not up to the job, then more expensive U.S. troops will have to do.

The latest chemical weapons false flag announcement should have demonstrated to everyone how willing the U.S. is to revert to Plan A given a convenient casus belli (however unbelievable). And you can be sure that a phoney CW false flag isn't the only one the U.S. could roll out. In fact, I would look for something completely different at this point.

Things are falling apart in Syria for the U.S. - Plan B and C were begrudgingly rolled out, but they just don't have that full spectrum dominance feel the Pentagon chicken-hawks love so much. Al Tanf isn't the only way to the Deir EzZor oil fields - the U.S. can always go through Damascus like they always wanted. Sometimes you have to kill a million or so Syrians and destroy their entire country to save them from their democratically-elected leader. And all that Kurdish oil stolen from the Syrians and Iraqis isn't going to get to Haifa by itself.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Jun 29, 2017 2:40:50 PM | 6

@6 PavewayIV

But how? How can the US actually deploy any force into Syria? It means war with Russia, and that means the destruction of the continental US.

Every move made since the Russians arrived shows the US in retreat. Nothing can change this. The US can't pull a rabbit out of a hat when it doesn't even have a hat. It doesn't have any clothes at all.

Trump is now confirmed to be meeting with Putin at G20. The US is not going to war with Russia. Therefore the US cannot enter Syria with force. Not even for Israel. Trump has no political mandate or incentive to do it, and the Pentagon already knows it can't be done. And any proxies left now have to face the Turks. Checkmate everywhere. This is endgame.

Posted by: Grieved | Jun 29, 2017 3:20:10 PM | 7

In that there is little coverage regarding the situation at Dara'a, would someone with knowledge of the situation kindly post info as to why it has been so difficult to push the jihadists out and why the area further south remains so firmly entrenched in jihadist control.

Posted by: chet380 | Jun 29, 2017 3:23:50 PM | 8

Funny because I have read at least 10 columns braying about the need to block Iran's access to Lebanon. The Neocon / Liberal interventionists are in full panic mode. If this news is true then they will rend their garments and cut themselves like the priests of Baal.

The National Review has had 3 - 5 days where at least one of their writers have said, 'it's time to stop worrying about ISIS and focus on Iran'.

Toppling Saddam was a huge fiasco, confronting Iran now that ISIS is in full retreat would be an equally bad fiasco. Given that Trump's team are filled with Iranophobes I suspect that they have something else in mind.

Posted by: Christian Chuba | Jun 29, 2017 3:34:10 PM | 9

The Israelis have the spigot turned on to the max?

Posted by: Pvp | Jun 29, 2017 3:34:32 PM | 10

@7 Amen..

Posted by: Lozion | Jun 29, 2017 3:34:32 PM | 11

Sorry to post this here, will do it on the next open thread.

This is about the Information War against Russia. I just had an 'aha' moment.
The standard memes against Putin are well known but after reading this article, I only just now recognized the tactic of embedding them in scholarly, semi-flattering, expertly looking journals.
https://americanaffairsjournal.org/2017/05/seeing-russia-clearly/

Russia is uniquely hated. Iran is casually dismissed as 'number one sponsor of terrorism'. N. Korea is a rogue regime. China, growing rival (or ignored). Russia on the other hand has to be dissected to make it look like it was carefully studied and the author reluctantly came to these conclusions, 'Russia didn't have a liberal democratic tradition so of course they are ruled by a monster like Putin'.

I'm kind of surprised I didn't recognize this earlier. I'll bet a steak dinner that these authors hated Russia a year before they wrote their first draft.

Posted by: Christian Chuba | Jun 29, 2017 4:16:38 PM | 12

B thanks so much ... I needed a tiny bit of good news

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Jun 29, 2017 4:36:43 PM | 13

Paveway IV's correct to wear a wet blanket; Canthama at SyrPers is equally skeptical and wants more proof beyond Twittersphere. But I sympathize with Grieved's argument, too. Yet it must be admitted that at the Macroscale of our ongoing Hybrid Third World War we see the unipolar ambition of the Outlaw US Empire losing ground to the surging Multipolar Alliance, while at the Microscale we might even see Dier Ez Zor relieved by the G-20 meet in Hamburg.

I find it very interesting that 8 days ago Russia announced its biggest ever airborne training exercise will occur in early July as if it anticipated the Trump false flag announcement, https://sputniknews.com/russia/201706211054825207-russia-airborne-troops-drills/ I wouldn't be at all surprised to see a portion of those troops treated to a live-fire exercise deployment to the Syrian desert in tandem with SAA advance to Dier Ez Zor or Al-Bukamal.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 29, 2017 4:58:20 PM | 15

It seems very possible now that the US has handed off the war to the Saudis with the $350 Billion dollar weapons deal with the Saudis and probably for the mercs also. With the change of leadership to the more ruthless and former defense minister, Mohammad bin Salman. The Saudis have wanted Assad ousted for a very long time. It appears that the US has given the Saudis the job of executing the war in Syria.

Posted by: Rons | Jun 29, 2017 5:07:47 PM | 16

"Trump is now confirmed to be meeting with Putin at G20."

I hope Trump does not try something stupid, thinking that the G20 meeting will give an element of surprise. If I thought about that possibility, what are the chances that the Russian Military has thought of it too?

Posted by: JaimeInTexas | Jun 29, 2017 5:13:44 PM | 17

Hm, what is doing 94 old former state-secretary Kissinger in Moscow?
Negotiating with President Putin about what?

Act of desperation or rather 3D-Chess?

https://twitter.com/KremlinRussia_E/status/880492604189798400

Posted by: manigi | Jun 29, 2017 5:14:38 PM | 18

And the lies continue: http://wsenmw.blogspot.com/2017/06/video-america-is-one-big-lie-and-you.html

Posted by: Rawdawgbuffalo | Jun 29, 2017 5:23:23 PM | 19

manigi @18--

According to Putin's Kremlin website, "Henry Kissinger is in Russia to attend the Primakov Readings International Forum," http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/54910

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 29, 2017 5:27:00 PM | 20

Paveway @IV

"And all that Kurdish oil stolen from the Syrians and Iraqis isn't going to get to Haifa by itself."

That is not the plan. This is the plan. It is due to be operational by 2015

https://static1.squarespace.com/static/544680b5e4b0149c3cfddd3b/t/5947fcd5d482e9517f8cb7a0/1497890030662/

Israeli troops are already in Cyprus, running joint exercises. The IDF confirm that they are just visiting, not occupying.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uvQJfqnPuME

Posted by: Yonatan | Jun 29, 2017 6:17:59 PM | 21

@21 Doh, fat finger syndrome strikes again

"That is not the plan. This is the plan. It is due to be operational by 2025"

Posted by: Yonatan | Jun 29, 2017 6:18:50 PM | 22

@18 Henry needs to be careful. He may get tricked into saying something nice about Russia. He may even get hookers pissing on his bed.

Posted by: dh | Jun 29, 2017 6:35:34 PM | 23

Russia has said it would respond proportionally to any US attack on Syria. May be the reason US are getting out of al Tanf? Russian spokeswomen Zakharova has said they have information more provocations are planned?

Posted by: Peter AU | Jun 29, 2017 6:49:13 PM | 24

Finally some sanely SyriAss US WITHDRAWAL !

Posted by: Bruce | Jun 29, 2017 6:50:35 PM | 25

The Western Liberals, or FASCISTS, are one of the favorite guests in Moscow. War Criminal Kissinger is member of the Russian Academy of Science and Art. This is how the Russian neocons have profaned once the premier knowledge institution. Also Putin adored to another war criminal, recently deceased, German Chancellor Helmut Kohl.

https://www.rbth.com/news/2016/10/28/henry-kissinger-becomes-member-of-the-russian-academy-of-sciences_643153

I highly doubt that Russia and US will be engaged in any conflict, at very least not because of Syria. Yet Russia will supply Syria with minimum of weaponry to maintain statehood and prevent western dead squads from prevailing.

However, Moscow will not deliver anything to Syria that will upset the settler-state's "Qualitative Military Edge" and Moscow also doesn't want to upset "our western partners".

I am sure there will be no "sleepwalking" (like WWI) into WWIII despite ominous signs. This is the Dialog of Liberals.

Posted by: Chauncey Gardiner | Jun 29, 2017 6:51:47 PM | 26

Thanks for sharing. Very interesting. Glory to Assad loyalist Syrians people!

Posted by: Loung Kodak | Jun 29, 2017 7:03:14 PM | 27

Of course, US retreat or not, the bluster will continue. For Trump, it amounts to raising the tension prior to negotiation, and for the neocons it fits with their hope to drive a wedge between Putin and Trump. And the spooks may still pull shit at random to escalate the tension. None of it will change the fundamentals.

But stepping back a bit, one wonders about Trump's base. A commenter here cited the American Conservative the other day with its article denouncing the children (Kushner) in the game screwing with the adult business of international relations. Now I see that Sharmine Narwani has an excellent analysis of Syria, and this very strategy of driving wedges, published yesterday in the same American Conservative.

So I wonder how influential this journal is in US conservative thought? Because the material it's publishing tells the whole story as clearly as anything we know here. Sharmine's story is 2-3 days behind where we are with recent events, set just prior to this latest White House gaffe, but it's written from Damascus and it's an excellent piece that you could show anyone to explain exactly what's at stake in Syria: Dispatch From the Middle East: U.S. Buildup All About Iran

I have to think there are countervailing forces growing within the conservative base that elected, supported and gave its intellectual doctrine to Trump. Surely a tipping point must come when a critical mass is reached, and the base explains to Trump which way the wind really blows? And surely at this point Trump kicks back against the neocons? And maybe this is already happening to a small degree, if in fact Trump's way is to give everyone all they rope they ask for. We shall see.

Meanwhile, at G20, Putin will have his own things to say, and they may be very minimal, but I suspect the whole world will study very intently the dynamics of the meeting between him and Trump - seeking indications of substance in Trump.

Posted by: Grieved | Jun 29, 2017 7:45:13 PM | 28

Trump continue his plan to destroy the GCC by throwing them in useless and internals rifts.
Saudi Arabia and Qatar the main financiers of the war against the Syrian government are been watched and scrutinized for any money send to Syria directly or indirectly. They are now spying on each other, denouncing any money transferred by the other to the 'rebels'. In other words they are neutralizing themselves and watching how they can get Bashar al Assad on their side.
Now on the ground the USA and Turkey have to deal with the mess they have created by making the wrong decisions in under evaluating Bashar al Assad's smartness.
Maybe the Syrian see a now a light at the end of the tunnel

Posted by: virgile | Jun 29, 2017 7:53:23 PM | 29

The Tanf FSA airlift reminds me of the Kunduz airlift of ISI, Taliban, and al Qaeda fighters from Kunduz, Afghanistan to Pakistan with Rumsfeld's forces standing by and doing nothing. Back then the US supposedly controlled the air space of Afghanistan which meant the flights had to have had US approval. Official responses and media were denials. As usual it was the alt media that pointed to the outrage. American sheeples do not ask why do these things happen if US is fighting against terrorists.

Posted by: Curtis | Jun 29, 2017 8:06:19 PM | 30

@ Greived
Links to a few articles that appeared the other day on Trump backers. Worth reading if they are correct. Looks like Koch brothers are backing Trump in a big way. Where that leads to I have no idea but the third link is to an article at a Koch site.
http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-koch-idUSKBN19I137
http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-super-pacs-idUSKBN19J2GI
https://www.charleskochinstitute.org/americans-reject-u-s-foreign-policy-status-quo/

Posted by: Peter AU | Jun 29, 2017 8:10:45 PM | 31

>>>> Rons | Jun 29, 2017 5:07:47 PM | 16

It seems very possible now that the US has handed off the war to the Saudis with the $350 Billion dollar weapons deal with the Saudis and probably for the mercs also. With the change of leadership to the more ruthless and former defense minister, Mohammad bin Salman. The Saudis have wanted Assad ousted for a very long time. It appears that the US has given the Saudis the job of executing the war in Syria.

ROFLOL. Do you really think that that moronic prick MbS could organise such an effort. The war on a bunch of largely illiterate, ill-equipped tribesmen in Yemen has been a total disaster for the Saudis. Why would anyone think they could do any better against Syria and its allies.

Posted by: Ghostship | Jun 29, 2017 8:17:30 PM | 32

When Circe was predicting it was always about Iran, I laughed then. I am laughing now, too, because many here are thinking that intern'l support would be there for said war. Syria was no cakewalk for the empire, yet somehow Iran stands more of a chance to be toppled? We all want the empire withering away until its brittle exoskeleton has been hollowed out by feasting lesser insects, but I think that might be a while; so instead we will be treated to similar cockblocking by Russia and shrewd diplomacy by its allies until the US economy goes splat (not just for suicidal execs. in corporate towers anymore). If Syria is victory, Iran can run the table in the mid east.

Can anyone else fathom the depth of fear on the faces of zionists these days? Their repugnant Russophobia and dead silnce with regard to the Putin interview sans the hit pieces talking about Don Juan Vladamir seducing the pants off of Stone and, of course, Trump...

Take a second and enjoy watching them squirm, people. I was talking to one the other day, and he kept reiterating his fear of the coming unknown and that, "I can't help thinking that now is the time that in twenty years we will all regret we didn't do anything." After he told me that there WOULD be evidence of Russian collusion, I told him to keep calm and carry on. Empires come and go, but nature has many ways of paying back hubris. I think Putin is a man who knows this instinctively. God bless him.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Jun 29, 2017 8:21:35 PM | 33

The idea that Russia will fight the US to defend Syria is nonsense. Putin is in on the game, whatever the game is. The carve-up of Syria is proceeding comfortably. Israel gets a chunk. The US gets a chunk in association with the Kurds. Assad gets a somewhat bigger rump state than it looked like he would get. Russia gets some bits. Turkey will get a chunk.

If the US decides to sweep the pieces off the board and grab the whole thing, or perhaps to grab a larger bit than it has right now (which is already the second largest chunk), Putin will not resist in any meaningful way. In that case no doubt Russia will, quite conveniently, discover that Assad did use chemical weapons after all!

Basically Putin appears to be looking for what he always looks for - a deal. You know, when you think about who Putin's besties are amongst 'statesmen', it's horrifying. Netanyahu? Kissinger? Erdogan?

I do not believe that Assad will end up with his skin intact. It depends on how adroitly he can play the game himself, I guess. But someone is going to have to pay for all the carnage and that someone will likely be Assad, regardless whether it is his fault. Maybe if he's played his role well they'll murder some double in his place.

Posted by: paul | Jun 29, 2017 8:32:30 PM | 34

The Kuwaiti News Agency is reporting that the US State dept. is giving its full backing to theUN FFA group report concerning the alleged use of WMDs by the Syrian gov. No hint about the reports position on who the guilty party is, but it appears the State department Will fill in the blanks on that one.


http://www.kuna.net.kw/ArticleDetails.aspx?id=2621936&Language=en

Posted by: wwinsti | Jun 29, 2017 8:40:41 PM | 35

Rons @16

Saudi Arabia may have arms but it has no good troops, commanders, or operational know-how to accomplish much in Syria. In Yemen, they can bomb with the assistance of the US, but that's against opponents with no Air Force. They can continue arming and paying their terrorists but even in that case their supply of useful idiots appears to be drying up.

Posted by: WorldBLee | Jun 29, 2017 8:42:32 PM | 36

The State department *knows* that Assad used sarin gas.
We've seen the videos!

http://freebeacon.com/national-security/state-dept-rt-reporter-assad-regime-chemical-weapons/

Posted by: wwinsti | Jun 29, 2017 8:57:29 PM | 37

Well said! It may just be another conspiracy’s theory and could be true. It all depends on Putin and his end games and further his relationship with Israel. It seems Putin continues to close a blind eye as the Israelites continue to massacres and eliminates the Palestinians and bombed SAA in Golan Heights.

The only looser are Syrians (beside the Palestinians) according to Who is losing and who is winning in Syria?

https://elijahjm.wordpress.com/

Posted by: OJS | Jun 29, 2017 9:01:08 PM | 38

@paul

Repost direct to paul

Well said! It may just be another conspiracy’s theory and could be true. It all depends on Putin and his end games and further his relationship with Israel. It seems Putin continues to close a blind eye as the Israelites continue to massacres and eliminates the Palestinians and bombed SAA in Golan Heights.

The only looser are Syrians (beside the Palestinians) according to Who is losing and who is winning in Syria?

https://elijahjm.wordpress.com/

Posted by: OJS | Jun 29, 2017 9:02:31 PM | 39

https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/06/29/world/middleeast/syria-sarin-chemical-weapons-united-nations.html?referer=http://c.newsnow.co.uk/A/891955686?-34562:23103:0">http://c.newsnow.co.uk/A/891955686?-34562:23103:0">https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/06/29/world/middleeast/syria-sarin-chemical-weapons-united-nations.html?referer=http://c.newsnow.co.uk/A/891955686?-34562:23103:0

That's the NYT version of the story, and a report was released today. My earlier posts didn't quite make that clear.

Posted by: wwinsti | Jun 29, 2017 9:34:41 PM | 40

B, I didn't catch any double link in the preview. Apologies to the board.

Posted by: wwinsti | Jun 29, 2017 9:37:11 PM | 41

@40 ww


Sarin nerve agent or a similar poison ... did not answer the question of who was responsible for the attack in the rebel-held village of Khan Sheikhoun ... the organization did not make the report public, some diplomats with access to it conveyed the findings. The United States ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki R. Haley ... report will be forwarded to a joint commission of the organization and the United Nations, she said, “to independently identify who was responsible for this horrific attack.”

more trash from the trashmen and women. excerpts and spin from them. no report for us.

Posted by: jfl | Jun 29, 2017 10:13:09 PM | 42

Curious to know how reliable and knowledgeable is that source. Flying a few SOF to SDF held territory is not necessarily proof that the US is packing and ceding AT Tanf and other bases to the SAA..

Posted by: Lozion | Jun 29, 2017 10:19:24 PM | 43

Posted by: PavewayIV | Jun 29, 2017 2:40:50 PM | 6

Your pessimism is unfounded. I recommend you acquaint yourself with the Oliver Stone Putin interviews. Putin is disarmingly frank about the series of terrible blunders which Russia, and Putin himself, have made in their dealings with the USA. But what the interviews illustrate is that Putin's Russia has learned from its mistakes whilst the US ideologues have become even more insane, disconnected and hide-bound.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jun 29, 2017 11:39:07 PM | 44

Russia has said it will retaliate if American forces launch a major attack in Syria. They do not buy the chemical weapons nonsense. Trump and the gang are smart enough to understand the implications of this. This is one chess game the Americans are currently losing. But they won't pack up and go home either. Not a chance. They will tinker around in the Kurdish region until something comes up (as it surely will) or they think of another way to achieve their goals. Killing Assad in an Israeli-style "targeted assassination"? Arming and training more "rebels"?

Posted by: Temporarily Sane | Jun 30, 2017 1:12:29 AM | 45

Temporarily Sane | Jun 30, 2017 1:12:29 AM | 45

None of these wars will end until the US is defeated or collapses. Russia's aim seems to be to freeze conflicts until the inevitable occurs.

Posted by: Peter AU | Jun 30, 2017 1:22:42 AM | 46

@14 spudski

I volunteer Justin True Dough for the role of "dictator toppler". Drop him in the Syrian desert with a paper map, a copy of T.E. Lawrence's memoirs, a .22 pistol and his trusty selfie stick...and wish him luck finding the rode to Damascus.

Posted by: Temporarily Sane | Jun 30, 2017 1:24:36 AM | 47

The chemical warfare propaganda is coming from lots of directions including this one from a UN/BBC article.

Latest Syria chemical attack propaganda from the BBC

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jun 30, 2017 1:27:08 AM | 48

@7 grieved... i am afraid i see it much the same way as paveway with regard to the usa figuring out some lame ass way - packaged properly with the msm's help no doubt - to continue to destroy syria... it is what the usa does.. wish i saw it different, but i don't..

@14 spudski.. national post is a joke... the only folks who read that shit are rabid right wing nut jobs - basically all the conservative base under harper and a chunk of those who voted for trudeau.. all those lame ass canucks who want to sidle up with the usa essentially.. that would include the loser who started the national post conrad black..

@44 hoarsewhisper.. as i said to grieved, i am sorry, but i too extremely pessimistic over the usa backing down over what they have become known for - destroying others countries.. wish i saw it differently and obviously i hope it doesn't happen any more then it already has.. fwiw, i agree with @46 peter au..


todays enlightening exchange with usa press briefing on the issue of the use of chemical weapons..

"QUESTION: One on Syria.

QUESTION: Syria.

MS NAUERT: Okay, let’s go to Syria then.

QUESTION: Okay.

MS NAUERT: Sir, I’m sorry, tell me your name.

QUESTION: I’m Caleb with RT. Caleb Maupin.

MS NAUERT: Oh, right. Caleb, hi.

QUESTION: So this recent statement from the White House alleging that the Syrian Government was planning an upcoming chemical attack, are you concerned that that could have created an opening for terrorist groups to carry out a chemical attack?

MS NAUERT: No.

QUESTION: You’re not concerned even though al-Nusrah, al-Qaida groups, have been using chemical weapons in Syria that’s documented?

MS NAUERT: No. Next question on Syria.

QUESTION: Just um – well, I mean, they could carry out a chemical attack, and then with the White House saying, “Oh, Assad was going to do it,” that would create a cover for them to do such a thing.

MS NAUERT: Do I have to do this again? We know that Assad has used chemical weapons on his own people, and he’s done that repeatedly including --

QUESTION: Well, hasn’t the United States convinced the world that that --

MS NAUERT: Including women and children --

QUESTION: -- Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction?

MS NAUERT: -- and we have all seen that. We have all seen the video, and there is no debate about that. Okay? I’m going to --

QUESTION: So didn’t Assad give up his chemical weapons in 2013?

MS NAUERT: No.

QUESTION: Didn’t that happen?

MS NAUERT: No.

QUESTION: That didn’t happen? So the --

MS NAUERT: Hayvi.

QUESTION: The OPCW is not being --

MS NAUERT: Hayvi, let’s go over to you.

https://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/dpb/2017/06/272265.htm

Posted by: james | Jun 30, 2017 2:54:53 AM | 49

@34 : harsh, but that has something of a ring of truth about it. Putin desperately wants to play the game on the US side in return for keeping his dignity intact.

The US knows this and that leads them to serial straight faced lies + contempt. Though I think they have some residual uncertainty as to exactly how far they can drag Putin through the mud.

I know most of us desperately want someone to stand up to the US plan for world domination - but I'm not sure that Putin is the guy to do it

Posted by: JakeS | Jun 30, 2017 2:58:31 AM | 50

QUESTION: Are we going to see Assad regime forces go into Raqqa or try to govern and take these areas?

MS NAUERT: We would certainly hope not, and that is an area that is of great discussion, because the United States wants to be able to stabilize these areas, eventually be able to bring the Syrian people –

more crazy as batass shit in the link @ 49 for anyone interested in getting their brain washed by the usa state dept..

Posted by: james | Jun 30, 2017 2:59:42 AM | 51

While the focus here is on the South

Posted by: AtaBrit | Jun 30, 2017 3:12:13 AM | 52

While the focus here is on the South, there have been repeated reports in Turkish news that Turkey is preparing to attack Afrin, and today it is reported that the Russians have left the area ... Could Erdogan be about to celebrate the one year anniversary over the managed coup with a greater land grab and more Kurdish deaths?

Posted by: AtaBrit | Jun 30, 2017 3:14:44 AM | 53

well, there is some speculation on good ole' usa shipping the folks who have become useless in the south up to shaddadi... does that count?

slightly ot - scott ridder - ex weapons inspector who challenged the mem on saddam and wmds is at it again, this time with the issue of the chemical weapons dossier.. read here if interested..

"The NGO used by the OPCW was none other than the White Helmets." it is inside what i consider an excellent run down on this ongoing attempt on the part of the usa/white helmet and etc to frame assad with chemical weapon attacks responsibility..

Posted by: james | Jun 30, 2017 3:20:55 AM | 54

@53 atabrit... erdogan is running out of people to jail in turkey.. he better switch it up here for a bit...

Posted by: james | Jun 30, 2017 3:22:04 AM | 55

Propaganda and bluster fly at a certain elevation, while facts on the ground cement the true reality.

Iran now surmises that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is dead, slain in a Russian strike at the end of May. Sputnik translates from the Iranian news agency (www.asre-iranian.ir) that multiple sources confirm that the leader of ISIS, and ruler of the Caliphate - which now has no head - is dead. There can be no doubt, says Ali Shirazi, an Iranian cleric: Iranian Revolutionary Guard Confirms Daesh Chief Baghdadi is Dead

Note that earlier reports from Iranian media showed an old picture of al-Baghdadi as representing the body, and were discounted as false evidence. The US could not confirm, and the Russians always spoke in terms of likelihood, because there was no tangible evidence. So we have waited for time to pass. Intelligence agencies have been parsing the situation with Daesh and are beginning to conclude that everything points to Baghdadi's absence rather than presence.

It takes time to kill a man, when the weapon destroys the body, or the ground remains hostile to inspection, I suppose. Evidently, enough time has passed that al-Baghdadi's death can be taken to the bank. If he were alive, word would be passed to the fighters. But there is no such word. So he is dead, and will not rise again. Does this mean that without a caliph, there is no caliphate, currently? The site of al-Baghdadi's original proclamation of the Caliphate, the al-Nuri mosque in Mosul, Iraq, was liberated yesterday, and is no longer in the possession of ISIS.

What can this mean to the fighters on the ground? Symbolism is rife wherever we look. In the air, the US plays with false symbols that even children can see through. On the ground, symbolism is forged from unshakable facts of life and death. And these symbols are black portents that must surely reverberate through the jihadi universe right now.

Posted by: Grieved | Jun 30, 2017 3:40:15 AM | 56

@56 g

another unshakeable fact would be the fate of ‘Ali Fahd - shot down by the us navy's f-18 in the vicinity of raqqah about two weeks ago - rather it will be unshakeable when it's known. still pretty shaky, as far as i can see. any news?

Posted by: jfl | Jun 30, 2017 4:07:55 AM | 57

@50 jakes

well, we'll all have to stick with putin, jake, until you've made up your mind to take over and shown us how a real man handles the situation.

Posted by: jfl | Jun 30, 2017 4:12:44 AM | 58

@50

oh, i see 34 was paul, our perennial putin putdown artiste. are you paul as well, or just a close friend?

i waste my time responding to you guys, and everyone else's as well. i apologize for feeding the trolls.

Posted by: jfl | Jun 30, 2017 4:15:54 AM | 59

@54 james

thanks for the link. knowing that ...


The OPCW acknowledges that its personnel did not gain access to Khan Sheikhun at any time. However, the investigating team states that it used connections with “parties with knowledge of and connections to the area in question,” to gain access to samples that were collected by “non governmental organizations (NGOs)” which also provided representatives to be interviewed, and videos and images for the investigating team to review. The NGO used by the OPCW was none other than the White Helmets.

... their non-access to the site degrades their assertion ... their use of the white helmets' information discredits not only their assertion but their organization. is there any honorable international organization left anywhere at all? the un, the eu, opcw ... many more all marching to the us' drum.

i'll read the article, i respect scott ritter, but i know now what i need to know about the opcw report already. plus the fact that it's not been made public, and all we have is spin from 'vetted' people who have been allowed access to it, or have gotten a copy by other means ... which probably includes scott ritter. given the others allowed access i imagine he's one of the last people on earth they'd hand a copy to.

thanks for the link ... it's to the american conservative, both p au and ... grieved? ... have openly wondered if that outlet isn't coming around ... hasn't had enough of the neocons.

most libertarians have had their fill and then some of the neocons ... the only war resistance left in the usofa is libertarian. i don't know the stance of the american conservative up until now. i do think they've been picking up paul craig roberts, though. it seems the liberals and progressives all went pro-war with obama. the only anti-war folks left in the usa are libertarians. raises all of their statures in my eyes.

Posted by: jfl | Jun 30, 2017 4:36:29 AM | 60

@54 james

the article is well-written and hinges on the fact that you brought to light : the opcw literally doesn't know what it's talking about. it is not dealing with evidence of known origin, and in fact the origin of the evidence it is dealing with is known to be flaky to bogus, the white helmets.

i think all the evidence in the khan sheikhun case has come from the white helmets. nothing can be proven from it as there is no chain of custody available. and on the other hand, everything is suspect about those providing the evidence. there is nothing new here at all, in the opcw report.

we all knew that, but now we have your link to go to, if the need should arrive.

Posted by: jfl | Jun 30, 2017 5:32:03 AM | 61

Grieved says:

So we have waited for time to pass

man, you always talk about waiting like it's some kind of big fucking accomplishment. waiting, by definition, is to remain inactive, which hardly requires much of an effort.

so al-Baghdadi is dead. big fucking deal. spare me the prescient symbolism, the ethereal horseshit.

the al-Nuri mosque is now a pile of rubble, no doubt with the usual assemblage of dead men, women, and children underneath. spawning only grief, and hatred.

Posted by: john | Jun 30, 2017 5:50:12 AM | 62

@6 PavewayIV
The planned CW "false flag" was probably planned to take place in the de-escalation (no fly) zone next to the Golan/Syrian border. The Israelis have been bombing SAA troops in Ba'ath city for four days and are openly supporting Al-Nusra in the area. There have not been ANY flights by the Syrians to defend themselves. (ie if a plane goes over it would instantly be accused of a "chemical attack"). The HIMARS battery would then be ideally placed to down any plane now supporting the Palmyra front, and support any new "accidental" attack" as happened at Deir Ezzor. (It would also destroy the inviolability of the de-escalation zones)

However, The SAA are advancing very rapidly towards Al-Qaim (Iraq) and Al-Bukamal where the Euphrates crosses the border into Iraq. One theory is that the SAA will then advance up from the south towards DZ. Encircling ISIS on the West of the Euphrates. BUT, why should the SAA only go up the western bank of the Euphrates? There is a very oil-rich triangle to the east - now held by ISIS. As the SAA, Iranian, Russian group seems intent on completely destroying ISIS, including their sources of funding, they would be unlikely to leave such a resource in terrorist hands. Contrary to the US, who want ISIS to be self-funding.
I reckon that one possibilty is that the various US special forces and YPG might be tempted to "force" an advance southwards along the eastern bank of the Euphrates. Seizing bridges and key points by "helicopter" drop-ins as they did at Tabqah, and cutting the SAA off from the oil fields (saving them for....?)
These fields would then form part of the flow towards Haifa and could include oil pumped from from Neo-Kurdistan, without going through Turkey or Iraq.

Posted by: stonebird | Jun 30, 2017 6:28:01 AM | 63

I don't think there is a retreat until one sees the brown streak in their nickers. An appearance is most likely a diversion, distracting from some other plan to accomplish their goals. It is amazing that information from known indelible prevaricators can be taken seriously unless that information is inconsequential. People already discount debased coin, why would information be any different? Once having a sterling reputation amounted to something in the field of journalism; that term is as mythologic as unicorns when applied to corporate marketing media.

Start paying attention to events now. All manner of carryon is and is about to happen. Would I be of the 0•001%, I would be highly troubled and concerned about what is hitting the fan as this is written. Credit is destroyed for all intents and purposes, illiquidity is about to be imposed on all markets, credibility and unicorn share like rarity and complexity cannot be maintained by traditional means. This will manifest itself by a sharp increase in a drive to war as the traditional method of preserving the status quo. This will fail along with the eviscerated economy; there will be no alternative available to the fraudulence and corruption, those possible alternatives were destroyed with the basic structures needed for social cohesion. Having also destroyed history, labour, public investments, education, and even the basic respect between members of the society, all in support of controlling, owning a fictional 'shinning city on a hill', the winds have been sown and the harvest is ready, it is that season for all things.

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Jun 30, 2017 6:31:39 AM | 64

@64 FTB
Re: This will manifest itself by a sharp increase in a drive to war as the traditional method of preserving the status quo.

I couldn't agree more with this (discounting of course that history might soon say we're at an advanced stage even now). Each day that passes sees the odds rise on a total breakout, trigger happy yank formula mixes poorly with just about anything. The great unchecked credit/debt ponzi expansion of the last decade can not be repeated, the natural end of the financial system was then...38 years after the last great change in course of global finance: Nixon backing the US dollar with oil, not gold. They cannot fractional reserve their way out of this mess when there is no one left to debt slave. Traditional methods will be used because of the failure fall on ones sword and let banks die...faith in fiat looking down the barrel of a gun, same as it always was. Did you hear the one about the yank sub prime auto lending scheme...? No, it's not another sub prime housing bust...unless of course, your are homeless and live in your car.. which is exactly where 'worlds best practice' is at. I might just move to the states and sell loans for cardboard boxes.

Posted by: MadMax2 | Jun 30, 2017 7:21:05 AM | 65

@ 65 MadMax2

Will go partners with you on cardboard box loan scheme; a winner that! LOL

Understanding how banks work is about 0•001% of the population, about the same % that have one. That is not to say those are the same population. I differ with your assessment about the $US going off gold standard once the $US had been accepted as the international money standard for international trade as it was effectively gold backed. Sterling had nearly the same status, just in a smaller market, but WWII settled that. What changed happened after the dollar became liberated from the golden anchor where the unpegged dollar became the object that lubricated international trade and liberated national reserves to seek economic return directly; it was always possible to sell anything in the U.S. market to obtain dollars, some things easier than others, those dollars used to buy needed goods elsewhere. The problem became how to get $US into other hands to be used; the U.S. trade deficit was that answer and the U.S. productive economy having reached the end of its useful existence was allowed to die, needed goods and services were allowed to take U.S. production's place. This worked well, the world's production flooded the U.S. economy for the dollars. Investment in U.S. production became sovereign and hedge funds looking for places that provided as hansom a return as possible, absorbing all productive assets available to meet income requirements, no investment in production is done and vulture capital is the result. A you are here should be visible now.

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Jun 30, 2017 8:30:12 AM | 66

It will be impossible to adjust this for a benefit if true. It ruins most of the scenarios where Syria is reduced to accepting the gas pipeline on Saudi terms especially with Qatar feeling forced into part reship with Iran and ultimately China. The Russia. Turkish angle is far from clear still.

Posted by: Homer | Jun 30, 2017 8:58:45 AM | 67

For a preview of the fireworks expected at G-20 meeting, see Pepe Escobar's latest, https://sputniknews.com/columnists/201706301055121126-washington-berlin-collision-course/

Syria MoD announces closing of Khanaser pocket. Canthama adds: "The MoD was waiting for the forces in northeastern Hama to gather (Desert Hawks were the last one), to start the offensive there, they could only do it when the Ithriyah-Resafa could be openly declared safe." https://syrianperspective.com/2017/06/syrian-army-controls-border-of-dz-and-homs-trumps-road-to-ruin-kushner-and-abbas-talks-flop.html#JoEQQqlAQMwBy3sS.99

Entry just above Canthama's by Igor Bundy has up-to-date situation map.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 30, 2017 11:46:11 AM | 68

Regarding http://www.moonofalabama.org/2017/06/us-retreats-from-al-tanf-gives-up-idea-of-occupying-south-east-syria.html#c6a00d8341c640e53ef01b8d2919e8b970c (#60 here):

You are ignoring the progressive Tulsi Gabbard, who with incredible political courage, has helped to lead the few in Congress who are opposed to the neocon position.

I have followed, and occasionally had articles posted to, The American Conservative and its twin unz.com, and can state here that it is nationalist, more than it is libertarian, and that neither site is progressive, but both sites have brought into their fold some of the progressives (such as I) who puke at the Democratic Party's almost 100% slavery to America's military-industrial complex and neoconservatism.

You might be interested to know that the 'libertarianism' you refer to, which includes Ron Paul and Rand Paul and their supporters, is very different about international affairs than is the Koch brothers' and the institutionalized libertarianism, which was funded by fascist aristocrats back in the 1930s and 1940s and is neutral about neoconservatism, not rejecting of it. So far as I am aware, Tulsi Gabbard is the only member of Congress whom I would still categorize without exception to be a "progressive": she is not, and never has been, any sort of "libertarian" at all.

Posted by: Eric Zuesse | Jun 30, 2017 12:05:53 PM | 69

@60 jfl... i don't follow 'the american conservative' any really.. however i did pick up that article from scott ridder and thought it was good... looks like someone might be shooting the messenger or medium @69?


@62 john.. on the topic of '''waiting'''.. sounds like you prefer the usa approach which is a'''' rush to judgment''' typically devoid of facts..

@64 ftb.. that sounds like an especially dark post from you.. maybe some of our comments rubbed off on you, or you have some special insight in the financial markets...

Posted by: james | Jun 30, 2017 12:32:32 PM | 70

@68 k, 'Analyst Peter G. Spengler qualifies the US Senate bill as a “declared, but not yet executed act of warfare, an act of (sanctions) war against Germany and Austria directly, possible recipients within the EU indirectly.”'

good to hear a duck called a duck ... hybrid, 3rd, 4th generation ... it's war. has been for years now. so, in preparation for its war on russia the us is going officially to declare war on germany and austria.


Compared to the US Senate, the role of the European Commission (EC) in the saga remained somewhat murky, until it became clear it will interfere via a “mandate”. This “mandate” will have to be approved by a “reinforced qualified majority” vote by member states, a higher than usual threshold of 72 percent of EU states representing 65 per cent of the population.

Spengler observes how, “the commission's continued attempts to get a legal foot in the contracts between European companies and Gazprom would be much more detrimental and potentially efficient than even a President's signing of the Senate (and House) sanctions law.”


more detrimental to the eu and more efficient at breaking it up. more efficient as well in breaking up nato : “We know which side Poland is on. Which side is Germany on?” they'll soon discover the answer in ac/dc.

Posted by: jfl | Jun 30, 2017 12:41:32 PM | 71

@69

i certainly approve of the stop funding terrorists act ... have no idea what 'flavor' tulsi gabbard is. those labels are chiefly in the eyes of the beholder, or projector. her actions speak for themselves in this instance. i'm oriented top and bottom, not 'right' and 'left'. 'left', especially, along with 'liberal' and 'progressive', has lost all meaning in my view by now.

Posted by: jfl | Jun 30, 2017 12:55:07 PM | 72

james

the kind of waiting our pal is always talking about is not strategic, but acquiescent, hardly something to be vainglorious about.

Posted by: john | Jun 30, 2017 12:57:00 PM | 73

Knowing the modus operandi of the Rollbackers, I suspect one of two reactions from the US: Either double down in Syria. The problem with that is that it would undoubtedly involve Israel, and in any war there is a chance of losing, and the most obvious thing for Israel to lose would be the Golan Heights, and there's a little bit of oil to be sucked out there. Or: Throw in the towel on this one and start another one along Russia's border. Anywhere from the Baltics, to Ukraine, to Armenia, Dagestan, Chechnya or Georgia. Or maybe more heavy warfare in Afghanistan.

Remember: There is only one deadline for the US. Running out of money.

Posted by: Bob In Portland | Jun 30, 2017 1:24:35 PM | 74

@ 70 james

A comment noir? not really. If one were to imagine a tipping point, news like that being presented today might qualify. With no alternative plan available on the horizon and a calliope of raucous, ill-considered opinions making up the menu, leaves a somewhat limited probability for survival of this world. I was just observing that. Personally I find such a future the bright part, it is the only way the cold dead fingers of this establishment are ever going to be prised off the wheels of power and the sooner that happens, the earlier the rest may get about the problems facing us; a lot of work will be needed to be done. Re-educating ourselves will be the first order of business then, and that may turn out to be a true miracle in itself. Not only end of empire but end of an old civilisation that gave that empire birth. A new Rome is needed be built, let there be hope of qualified architects and engineers being available for the job. It is that cohort I don't see.

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Jun 30, 2017 1:34:19 PM | 75

jfl @71--

And there's virtually no discussion of those potential fireworks to be found in 5-Eyes Land, although there are a few exceptions as discussed in the following linked synopsis of sTrumpet's America First tariff regime which is directly related to his upcoming Trade War, https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/06/30/flouting-cabinet-trump-plows-ahead-potentially-devastating-trade-war Perhaps this will be somewhat equivalent of 1828's Tariff of Abominations, which proved a pivotal point in Outlaw US Empire history, http://history.house.gov/Historical-Highlights/1800-1850/The-Tariff-of-Abominations/

Eric Zuesse @69--

In your piece at Strategic-Culture, What Happens When America’s Top Investigative Journalist Reports What Media Bosses Don’t Want the Public to Know?, you ask: "How can the public vote intelligently, when the reality about what the government is actually doing is being hidden from the voters?" We're both historians, so we know the actual state-of-affairs regarding the crucial withholding of information from the electorate has existed for many decades and isn't something new; so, why did you ask?

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 30, 2017 1:58:41 PM | 76

james
the kind of waiting our pal (Grieved) is always talking about is not strategic, but acquiescent, hardly something to be vainglorious about.
Posted by: john | Jun 30, 2017 12:57:00 PM | 73

LoL! If you're trying to persuade anyone, besides yourself, that John's keyboard warrior fingers have got bigger balls than Grieved's keyboard warrior fingers, I'm not buying it.
Besides, since when did talk stop being cheap?

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jun 30, 2017 2:51:13 PM | 77

@73 john... i think in the case of russia, there approach is 100% strategic.. i think that is what grieved admires.. perhaps you see that differently.

@ftb.. thanks - i agree with your overall view about where we are here, and i don't immediately see any way forward either..

@hoarsewhisperer - LOL... okay.. i'll stop digging a deeper hole for myself!

Posted by: james | Jun 30, 2017 6:17:32 PM | 78

"You are ignoring the progressive Tulsi Gabbard,...."

Depending of the very definition of the progressive (and you obviously have your own) you might put her in that camp. In liberal/racist societies it is quite normal to be "progressive" on one and reactionary on some other issues. I assume that those, from so-called left and progressive etc., who are grew up in liberal/racist societies these norms and standards are quite "normal". After all Marx was a racists.

To say for someone from the US Congress that is progressive is quite statement, regardless of context. In this context it is known that she hates Muslims and Palestinians in particular but by US standard she still might be classified and progressive. Still more politically correct than being a radical.

Posted by: Chauncey Gardiner | Jun 30, 2017 7:19:35 PM | 79

@Yonatan 21

That ICG pipeline is ominous, I haven't yet figured out how serious these plans are. All the transit countries are rather Russia-leaning, interestingly...

@Paveway, Grieved

I rather agree with Grieved. The US will not invade in large fashion, it just won't happen - and their proxies have proven mostly useless. Bogus 'chemical attacks' don't convince anyone any more, they'd need something really new and much stronger...and I don't see what that should be.

Also we're in the middle of another one of these financial thumbscrew episodes, which happen periodically every ~ 6 months to 'gently convince' Washington that the unipolar world order is dead and it had better accept this fact and cooperate. US financial markets haven't gone through a rough week for no reason...

Posted by: smuks | Jun 30, 2017 8:28:35 PM | 80

meanwhile...

Mosul Raped and Destroyed, Not Liberated

Posted by: john | Jul 1, 2017 1:41:40 PM | 81

@Chauncey Gardiner

You state, re: Gabbard; "... it is known that she hates Muslims and Palestinians in particular..."

Known by whom? Have you any evidence to support this somewhat spurious statement??

Posted by: expat | Jul 2, 2017 7:02:25 AM | 82

I don't see the U.S. simply leaving Al-Tanf. The strategic importance of a land link between Bagdad to Damascus is too great, and Syria's enemies are determined to prevent a strong Syria emerging from the war.

The FSA and U.S. forces at Al-Tanf represent an additional/potential pressure point on the Syrian armed forces and their allies. There need not be ongoing hostilities in order to have an impact. Holding onto to the border and stationing forces is a pressure point that Syria will have to guard against. Pressure from Al-Tanf can be increased anytime should the U.S. so choose.

Neither Israel, U.S., nor any of Syria's other enemies want to see a strong Syria. A direct highway land link is not something they want to happen because it would facilitate trade and contacts between Iraq, Syria, Iran, and Lebanon.

There are daily warnings in the U.S. news that Iran wants a land link to Syria, and if that were to occur, it would be a disaster. Israel definitely sees a land link as a threat, stating that they fear weapons transfer from Iran to Hezbollah.

With the Deir Ezzor being the last major "open" territory to be captured from ISIS, my expectation is to see increased pressure from Syria's enemies. This will come from many directions and angles. The idea is to slow down, if not stop, the SAA push eastward so that someone else takes Deir Ezzor. The Idlib front around Hama and East Gouta near Damascus may heat up again, ISIS and FSA forces will mysteriously receive ever more powerful and missiles, Israel will increase bombings in the SE, and Israel's Al Qaeda proxy forces will up their efforts to take territory. With Raqqa surrounded, the Kurds may make a dash south toward Deir Ezzor. The U.S. may land Kurdish paratroopers somewhere in the SE desert. I take seriously Trump's recent warning of serious consequences should the Syrian Army supposedly make a chemical attack. Trump gave a "green light" to anyone who thinks they can engineer a false flag, offering assurances that the U.S. will do some serious damage to the Syrian Armed Forces. If there is a chemical attack, I don't think Russia will be able to stop the U.S. strike, and they will not go so far as to risk WWIII.

The wild card is Turkey…is Erdogan waiting for an opportunity to invade Syria, attack the Kurds, take some more of Syria, and slow the SDF in taking Raqqa or moving toward Deir Ezzor? If the U.S. strikes the Syrian Army big time, and Russia strikes back, in the turmoil is Turkey willing to make a major break with the U.S and grab SDF territory?

In conclusion, given what I believe to be the interests of the U.S., Israeli, and Syria's other enemies, I don't see the U.S. simply leaving Al-Tanf and letting the Syrian government take it.

Posted by: Small Thinker | Jul 2, 2017 10:55:39 PM | 83

@FTB 66
Great post... you rightly place the horse before the cart in your piece - the trade deficit as the driver, the petrodollar as (one of) the monster deliveries. Just what would the U.S. add to a truly 'world currency'...? With a hollowed out carcass where industry should be, it maybe best to target a few minnow countries, keep the gun barrels warm, and intimidate the rest to stay onto USD tit.

That proxy forces have replaced boots on the ground says a lot.

Posted by: MadMax2 | Jul 4, 2017 2:35:09 PM | 84

@ MadMax2 | Jul 4, 2017 2:35:09 PM | 84

The boots on the ground is only political, influencing, persuading and cajoling others to obey regime wishes, however ill thought out those wishes were. Most of those wishes centred upon enforcing credit contracts, South and Central America was the testing ground [Eduardo Galeano's Open Veins of Latin America, Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent, ISBN 978-1-84668-742-6, is a fantastic adjunct to missing parts of U.S. and world history]. These techniques are being used in MENA to control by intimidation those governments controlling population and mineral resources as well as removing witnesses to U.S. human right malfeasances (e.g. rendering prisoners for 'intelligence' interrogation), Saddam Hussein, M. Gaddafi, Mubarak and attempted Bashar al Assad were or are such targets. It's follow the money time again. If those credit contracts are not enforced, the income from them will not cover the financial investments made and the revenue streams vanish. Think like an investment banker and many things clear. I trust you will find benefit from this last.

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Jul 4, 2017 4:43:38 PM | 85

Russia Asks PYD to Hand over Afrin to Assad or Turkey Will Invade It: Source

"Moscow has given PYD two options, either to accept the handover of the Afrin region to the Syrian regime, or Turkey will invade it," a Kurdish politician in Russia told BasNews.

Russia's UTRO newspaper reported Tuesday that Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoygu told Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during their meeting in Istanbul on Sunday that the Kremlin would not oppose Turkish military action against PYD in Afrin.

The Turkish newspaper pointed out that Turkey's goal of the operation is to control the town of Tel Rifaat and Meng air base, and about 10 other villages and towns in that area.

The Kurdish politician, preferring anonymity, said that Russia has told PYD that it will protect them from the Turkish invasion on multiple conditions, including obstructing Iranian and US intervention in Afrin, and handing over the city to the Syrian regime.

The source stressed that Russia gave the PYD a short time to respond to these demands, otherwise, the alternative is the Turkish invasion of Afrin. He noted that Russia offered the PYD in 2014 to protect Kobani in exchange for handing over oil region of Rumailan to the Syrian regime, but PYD rejected the offer and the result was the fall of Kobani to the Islamic State.

Posted by: somebody | Jul 5, 2017 4:01:25 PM | 86

The comments to this entry are closed.

 

Site Meter