Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
September 21, 2017

Syria - Russia Accusing U.S. Of Attacks, Abduction Attempts, Team-play With Al-Qaeda

The situation in Syria is reaching another critical point. There is an increased possibility of a large scale clash between U.S. and Russian forces. We had warned of such a clash over control of the rich fields east of Deir Ezzor. At least three incidents over the last days point to more significant escalations.

  • On the 17th the U.S. accused Russia of a light air attack on its proxy forces north of Deir Ezzor. Russia denied that it had attacked those forces.
  • On the 18th and 19th large contingents of Russian and Syrian troops crossed the Euphrates at Deir Ezzor in east-Syria. The U.S. Kurdish/Arab proxy force in the area actively tried to hinder that movement.
  • In parallel a large al-Qaeda attack was launched in west-Syria. The Russian forces accuse U.S. intelligence services of having initiated that campaign. (The Syrian-Russian forces defeated the attack.)
  • Today the Russian military accused the U.S. Kurdish proxies near Deir Ezzor of firing artillery on its forces. It threatened massive retaliation.

The most dramatic incident was the al-Qaeda attack in Idleb.

Al-Qaeda in Syria, renamed to Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham, currently controls Idleb governate and Idleb city in north-west Syria. On September 19 it launched a large scale attack on Syrian government positions in north Hama, south of Idleb provinces. The al-Qaeda forces gained significant grounds before being stopped and forced to retreat. Nearly all the heavy weapons, tanks and artillery, that al-Qaeda had in the area were used and in the attack.

The spokesperson of the Russian military said (vid with English subtitles) that, according to Russian intelligence reports, al-Qaeda's attack was made on behalf of the U.S. to slow down the Syrian-Russian campaign in the eastern province Deir Ezzor. A subtask for the terrorists was to capture a platoon of Russian soldiers. This is, to my knowledge, the first time that Russia made such a direct and extremely grave accusation against the U.S. forces and intelligence services in Syria.

From the Russian military statement:

For 24 hours, insurgents managed to dent the government troops’ defence line for up to 12 kilometers in depth and up to 20 kilometers in front.

According to the received data, this offensive was initiated by the US special agencies in order to stop successful advance of the Syrian Arab Army to the east from Deir ez-Zor.

Seizing of a unit of the Russian Military Police was one of the main aims of insurgents. The Russian MP unit was operating in an observation post deployed as de-escalation observation forces.

As a result, the MP platoon (29 persons) was blocked by insurgents.
...
The encirclement has been breached. Units of the Russian Armed Forces have reached locations of SAA without losses.

After the al-Qaeda attack was launched the Russian air force in Syria initiated a massive counter campaign over Idleb province.

For the last 24 hours, aviation and artillery units have eliminated 187 objects, 850 terrorists, 11 tanks, 4 IFVs, 46 pickups, 5 mortars, 20 trucks, and 38 ammunition storages.

Units of the 5th Airborne Assault Corpse launched a counter-attack and almost took [all] lost positions.

Pictures from the area showed several destroyed tanks and infantry fighting vehicles. This was a very costly campaign for al-Qaeda with no significant gain. It seems that Syrian and Russian intelligence were aware that an attack was coming but not of the details. For a while the situation was extremely critical. Then the large aerial counter campaign caught al-Qaeda by surprise and destroyed the attacking forces.

At the same time as the al-Qaeda attack in Idleb started U.S. proxy forces in east-Syria (yellow) took measures to hinder the fight of Syrian forces (red) against the Islamic State (black).


Map by Weekend Warrior - bigger

The Syrian government forces are cleared nearly all of Deir Ezzor city of ISIS forces. At stake now is the control of the oil fields east of Deir Ezzor and north of the Euphrates river.


bigger

Soon after crossing the Euphrates Syrian troops came under fire from U.S. proxy positions:

"According to the reports that the Syrian commanders have been sending from the frontline, most serious counter-attacks and mass shelling on the Syrian troops come from the north," he said. "It is the area where units of the Syrian Democratic Forces, as well as the US special operations units, are deployed, who, according to CNN, are providing medical aid to these militants instead of participating in the operation to liberate Raqqa," [Russian Defense Ministry Spokesman Major General Igor] Konashenkov said.

The U.S. proxies also use their control of the Tabqa dam to hinder the river crossing:

Water discharges from the Euphrates dams controlled by the US-backed opposition hamper the advance of Syrian government troops near Deir ez-Zor, Russian Defense Ministry Spokesman Igor Konashenkov said on Tuesday.

"Thus, the water situation on the Euphrates has deteriorated dramatically in the past 24 hours. As soon as the Syrian government troops began to cross the river, water level in the Euphrates rose within hours and the current velocity nearly doubled to two meters per second," he said.

Today the Russian Defense Ministry accused the U.S. proxy forces of directly shelling its Syrian allies and the Russian forces accompanying them:

Russia warned a representative of the US command in Al Udeid, Qatar, that "any attempts of shelling from the areas where the militants of the Syrian Democratic Forces are based will be immediately curbed."

"Firing points in these areas will be immediately suppressed by all means of destruction," the general said.

Fighters of the Syrian Democratic Forces approaching Deir ez-Zor from the north are easily joining IS terrorists, and Russian drones and reconnaissance recorded no clash between the IS with a "third force," namely the SDF over the past week, he explained.

However, massive fire from mortars and rocket artillery was opened twice on the Syrian troops from the areas on the eastern shore of Euphrates where the SDF fighters and servicemen of US special forces are based, Konashenkov said.

The U.S. paid "Syrian Democratic Forces" that pushed into northern Deir Ezzor without meeting any resistance are mostly local tribes who were aligned with the Islamic State until the U.S. diplomat Brett McGurk hired them to fight on the U.S. side. They are led by Kurdish commanders and "advised" by U.S. special forces.

The U.S. wants to keep Syrian government forces away from the oil fields north of the Euphrates. It has plans to build and control a Kurdish proto-state in north-east Syria and control over the eastern Deir Ezzor oil would give such a state the necessary economic base.

But the U.S. has too few proxy forces available to actually take the oil area away from the Islamic State. Only the Syrian army has enough resources in the area. The U.S. is now cheating, attacking Syrian-Russian forces, and rushing to get an advantage. According to the Russians the U.S. Kurdish proxies have even stopped the fight against ISIS in Raqqa and moved forces from that area to take the oil in the east. I doubt that Syria and Russia will allow that to happen without taking measures to counter it.

With the al-Qaeda diversion attack in north-west Syria defeated and more reserves available the Syrian alliance should think about a fast air-assault on the oil fields. As soon as the oil wells are under Syrian government control and the ISIS presence eliminated the U.S. has no more excuse to continue the current deadly game.

Posted by b on September 21, 2017 at 08:42 AM | Permalink

Comments

Not to harp on this forever, but the real cause of the current Syrian mess was a government-initiated population explosion that caused the nation to literally run out of water. When people have no way of earning a living things will fall apart, brutal central government or incoherent foreign meddlers or not.

But keep this in mind: water is limiting in Syria. If people are messing with the dams, and wasting water trying to slow down an enemy river crossing, they are using up something vital they can't replace for a short-lived and marginal benefit.

Who controls the main water supplies in Syria? What's the status of the aquifers? Is this wasting of water common or a one-off? As the saying goes, amateurs talk strategy and professionals talk logistics.

Posted by: TG | Sep 21, 2017 8:57:38 AM | 1

1. Queue Gen. Information War, I meant, Gen. Jack Keane accusing Russia of breaking cease fire with rebels in Northern Syria.

2. I think the Russians are paranoid because of past betrayals. Regarding the fire they took after crossing the Euphrates, in the report I read, they said that they faced very experienced ISIS fighters where the SDF claimed to be. I think the more simple explanation is that the U.S. / SDF lied about their location to claim the M7 crossroad junction to keep the SAA from getting it, not that they are actively working w/ISIS. Now that would be a really dirty trick but it's not actual collaboration w/ISIS.

Regarding the attack in Idlib, hmm ... if they claim it was directed by U.S. Intel services, that is a very specific claim. I don't know what to make of that, I'll keep an open mind. I wish I could dismiss their claims but we did work with some of those groups before, that is an established fact so this claim cannot be dismissed out of hand.

Posted by: Christian Chuba | Sep 21, 2017 9:04:17 AM | 2

The Russians seem to be flying in new aircraft today, the question – is it is a rotation, or are they prepping for this clash that you mention. There also seemed to have been more heavy air transport deliveries lately to Syria, perhaps those were bringing in further anti-air defenses.

Posted by: Out of Istanbul | Sep 21, 2017 9:23:26 AM | 3

Pentagon propagandists hard at work here in the comment section.

Posted by: paul | Sep 21, 2017 9:31:33 AM | 4

Russia is taking hints from U.S. propaganda. Sputnik writes of a "US-initiated offensive by al-Nusra terrorists" as if it was a proven fact. Just like the proven Russian interference in U.S. elections.

WATCH Russian Airstrikes Destroy Nusra Front Attacking Military Police in Idlib

The Russian Defense Ministry has released a video of Russian airstrikes that helped to check the US-initiated offensive by al-Nusra terrorists in Syria’s Idlib de-escalation zone and break the militants’ siege of a Russian military police unit encircled in the area.

In other news, Russia's air force killed 850 militants in 24 hours in Idlib yesterday.

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Sep 21, 2017 9:37:11 AM | 5

Anyone know if it would be possible to cut off the Syrian forces that have crossed the Euphrates by continuing to increase the flow of the river? Or is this primarily a delaying tactic?

Posted by: Perimtr | Sep 21, 2017 9:37:50 AM | 6

Heading south from Deir Ezzor, perhaps it's better if the SAA focused on the cities which are on the west bank, rather than the oil-fields, first things first, control the population?

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 21, 2017 9:38:31 AM | 7

This is the last gasp of the coalition in Syria. And like all bullies they will throw a few last sullen punches where they are able to. The Brits are the primary operators in Ildeb as a part of this coalition. There are several roads ahead and which one is taken will decide what the political peace will look like. Bigger questions surround Syria's meddling neighbours in Turkey and Arabia et al and whether they will continue with subterfuge against the Syrian government and people, or in fact face some of the same that they dish out.

Posted by: BRF | Sep 21, 2017 10:10:00 AM | 8

To initiate the Islamic apocalypse you need to create a Kurdish entity. Obama saw himself arranging this event. He is still running some things. Moslem eschatology demands a Kurdish entity. The reason they have no state is because in the Islamic canon the existence of a Kurdish entity is a harbinger of Judgement Day.

:)

Posted by: Amanita Amanita | Sep 21, 2017 10:24:48 AM | 9

Wasnt it Trump that claimed that US will get away from Syria some months ago?
Huh another lie it seems, but what could you expect with rabid Mattis basically decide the foreign policy, not clueless Trump.

Posted by: anoynmous | Sep 21, 2017 10:34:42 AM | 10

M K Bhadrakumar: The US and Israel have suffered a strategic defeat in Syria from which they will never quite recover." here
And the US, driven by Israel, will not go away quietly.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 21, 2017 10:55:29 AM | 11

thanks b.. this is critical indeed..the public allegations are serious.. i am not sure how it resolves, other then on the ground.

@6 perimtr.. it is a stalling tactic.. that is all, as i understand it.

@8 amanita amanita.. interesting. thanks.

@10 don. thanks.

Posted by: james | Sep 21, 2017 11:17:51 AM | 12

The US is unlikely to let go of their operational goals until they are seen as completely irretrievable. There are an unknown number of troops in Iraq, many of them special forces, regardless of what the Iraq government may wish. The US no longer discloses those in Syria. Due to proximity, there is little reason to think this will end until a very solid control line is established on the Syrian border. To do that, the SAA & allies must essentially clear IS, local paid forces and Kurdish forces from the area.

Essentially, they need to completely secure the Euphrates valley in order to establish an SAA zone. Efforts to disrupt this will be ongoing, until the IS+others are cleared out. While air strikes can eliminate groups and equipment, this is not going to be a quick campaign. And the dam which is being used to subvert the river crossing cannot be destroyed - it must be taken by ground forces at some point, as critical infrastructure. The dam could still be demolished by IS+others as a scorched earth effort, particularly if the Russians use an airstrike on troops in proximity to the dam. Then the US can simply say 'the Russians did it" in their all pervasive media. By the time it is sorted out, the Americans are on to something else.

A perimeter must be established and security forced within it - or else those wishing to continue this will simply melt away and reappear. At the same time, to avoid an entanglement with the embedded US troops, Russian air strikes are likely being carefully targeted. Russia does not want to provide the US with a valid excuse for any complaint or action. None of this happens fast. Fortunately, areas that can be used as a base must have water for troops - making a lot of the local area away from the river useful for little but traveling through.

IMO, of course...

Posted by: Oilman2 | Sep 21, 2017 11:19:21 AM | 13

These events are a reaction to the Syrian initiative and therefore have failure built-in. Both the HTS attack and the move by SDF are acts of desperation and not unexpected given the situation, like The Battle Of the Bulge offensive by Germany in WWII.Both HTS in Idlib and SDF in the Kurd-pocket only exist because Syria has left them alone. HTS received a brutal pounding and will go back to a permnament defensive posture meaning their turn to be defeated will come. SDF has made a huge mistake. Up to now they have been immune to Russian air and the SAA,now they will find out what hell is like. The best strength of the Kurds will be ground into sausage on the East Bank of The Euphrates. This Kurd blunder helps Syria win as otherwise the SAA would have to deal with intact Kurdish forces fighting on their own ground and that might have ended in a negotiated Kurdish enclave. Typical Kurdish blunder.

Posted by: David Smith | Sep 21, 2017 11:19:22 AM | 14

@12 oilman.. it would help if the usa would gets it's fucking ass out of everywhere on the planet, including syria..

@13 david.. i hope you are correct in your analysis..

Posted by: james | Sep 21, 2017 11:22:32 AM | 15

re 1

"Not to harp on this forever, but the real cause of the current Syrian mess was a government-initiated population explosion that caused the nation to literally run out of water."

Frankly, absolute crap. The water problem was nothing to do with the Syrians. It was due to the Turks building too many dams on the Euphrates, and keeping all the water for themselves.

Posted by: Laguerre | Sep 21, 2017 11:34:18 AM | 16

Perimtr @6--

It's a move of desperation that will only slow the placement of pontoon bridging, nor will the forces be cut-off thanks to the local presence of air-mobile forces. The only real way to interdict these bridges is to attack them via air as they're beyond the reach of conventional artillery.

Note that the Barzani mafia has postponed its referendum. It appears that it doesn't trust its Imperial Mentor to protect it.

As for proof of al-Ciada being directed by CIA, the historical record shows the continuance of extremely poor com security such that both Syrian and Russian intel have long known what external groups are/were directing their proxies.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 21, 2017 11:35:44 AM | 17

re 1 again. We've been round this question of the water dozens of times, but people still come back with the same naive idea, repeated again and again. The fault is simply in Turkey, not in Syria. And it's the same problem in Iraq with the Tigris. (and by the way, will be in Egypt too, when the Ethiopians finish their dam on the Blue Nile).

Posted by: Laguerre | Sep 21, 2017 11:38:22 AM | 18

re 6

"Anyone know if it would be possible to cut off the Syrian forces that have crossed the Euphrates by continuing to increase the flow of the river?"

There's not enough water behind the dam at Tabqa to last very long. Some days, I would think.

And the tribesmen aren't going to be fighting very hard for the Yanks.

Posted by: Laguerre | Sep 21, 2017 11:42:35 AM | 19

The US has officially gone full-retard in Syria.

It was incomprehensibly cowardly for the US to either facilitate the al Qaeda attack, or do nothing wile the Saudis/UAE facilitated the attack. 'We don't know anything about it' doesn't cut it anymore. The real problem here is the US is unlikely to acknowledge (or too dim to acknowledge) this:

I can think of no more infuriating act to the Russian government and Russian military than a scheme to have a couple dozen of her soldiers taken hostage, brutalized, used as PR or 'bargaining chips' and eventually beheaded (with slick, London-produced YouTube video of the ceremony). The fact that this attempt was unsuccessful is meaningless. The Russians now understand the depths of depravity the US will employ to reverse our defeat in Syria. Does Tillerson really think he can negotiate with Russia at this point?

Israel warned America to prepare for war in Syria after Putin told Nettanyahu to f@#&-off. Israel needs Russia and Iran destroyed, and its time for the AIPAC-bribed US Congressmen to step up and send some young US soldiers to their deaths towards that end. Mad Dog Mattis can't wait to send US troops into the slaughter chute for his Israeli and Saudi/UAE masters.

My only question is - after the inevitable escalation in Syria - who would Russia nuke first: Washington DC, Tel Aviv, Riyadh or Dubai?

Posted by: PavewayIV | Sep 21, 2017 11:56:17 AM | 20

Amanita give us some more info on the muslim eschatology about the Kurdish entity in the last days?

Posted by: Fernando Arauxo | Sep 21, 2017 11:58:55 AM | 21

With the constant rotations, Russia would now have a lot of combat trained pilots, and Russia is only a few hours away. No info on air defences at Deir Ezzor, but I guess a lot would be happening there. The US won't be stopped politicaly so it seems like Russia/Syria should be pushing across the US front, bypassing and tough pockets, to cut the US off from the oilfields. Without the oil, their Kurdish project is not self supporting and will simply bleed the US until it leaves.
Saker has a good piece on the Russian MoD response to the US. Will be interesting to see if the SST crew continue acting like the three blind mice on what the US is currently doing in Syria.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Sep 21, 2017 12:02:27 PM | 22

Paveway 19
I think russia has enough Nukes for everyone to share the fun. I guess there will be a number of times as the US collapses that it will have to be faced down. Just depends as to how irrational the US leadership is as to what happens.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Sep 21, 2017 12:17:14 PM | 23

More detail on the U.S. al-Qaeda allegations:

nt. A Defense Ministry source told the newspaper Kommersant that U.S. special forces deliberately or accidentally shared information about the locations of Russian and Syrian troops in Idlib. Moscow claims this information was shared to influence the situation in another part of Syria (the city of Deir ez-Zor), and not to destabilize the Idlib province.

The Pentagon answered with a non-denial denial:

Ryan Browne‏ @rabrowne75
& Pentagon response: "Allegations that the US Government provided any support" to Al Nusra "are totally w/out merit or any basis in fact"

The allegation from Russia is not of "providing support" but "providing information" to Nusra/al-Qaeda

Posted by: b | Sep 21, 2017 12:23:10 PM | 24

Fernando Arauxo

There's nothing in Islamic eschatology about Kurds.

Sheikh Amanita

Posted by: @Madderhatter67 | Sep 21, 2017 12:26:52 PM | 25

The Saker just wrote up the attack in Idleb. He was quite shocked by the gravity of it I think. Apparently Spetznatz were sent in to help the hard-pressed Russian platoon. And Russia has clearly charged US intelligence with directing the attack, with the aim to capture Russian military police - i.e., relatively non-combatant soldiers in this context. What kind of parading and beheading might have happened thereafter can only be imagined, and the Russians see clearly the depths of depravity involved in creating such a plan. So this is all unprecedented. The question is, how has this escalated the situation?

Underneath the calculated moves and pragmatism of the Russians, there are also some things they never forget and never forgive. This strikes me as such a case. The US and Israel have failed to provoke Russia into a false move with this act, but have now succeeded in making Russia a rock that they can now only shatter themselves upon.

Russia will not retaliate in the terms of the provocation. She will use different terms. Beyond this, it's too soon to tell how the US has damaged itself further with this move. I think there will be no escalation that leads to full war. That wouldn't be winning to Russia. Perhaps the information war may be where this escalates. Releasing of documents? Something very asymmetrical, very controversial.

My personal hope is for a huge surge of bluster to come from the US at the political level now, signifying its slinking away from the prospect of fighting the Russians in Syria.

Posted by: Grieved | Sep 21, 2017 12:53:48 PM | 26

As Laguerre notes, this by TG is BS:
Not to harp on this forever, but the real cause of the current Syrian mess was a government-initiated population explosion that caused the nation to literally run out of water. When people have no way of earning a living things will fall apart, brutal central government or incoherent foreign meddlers or not.

Given the recent Ken Burns effort to respin Vietnam as a "civil war", it's worth noting that the same PR game is going on with the so-called "Syrian civil war" - which is not a civil war, it's a foreign-sponsored regime change effort, ongoing since 2011.

As far as the Syrian population explosion, recall that Syria had to absorb at least a million Iraqi refugees after the 2003 invasion of Iraq? And since the regime change operation began in 2011, at least 4 million Syrians (and likely many Iraqis) have left Syria. Yes, Syria suffered a severe drought 2006-2010 - but California and Texas have also gone through recent droughts, without the rise of Mad Max violence and "civil war".

As pointed out over and over again, the U.S. was looking to bring Syria into the Israel-Saudi fold around 2008-2009, but Assad decided to keep his economic ties with Iran, who was offering all kinds of deals on gas pipelines, airports, railroads and electricity - regional economic integration, which Assad, reasonably enough, viewed as a good deal for his country and the Syrian people. Since Assad wouldn't cut economic ties with Iran, the U.S. and Israel and Saudi Arabia decided they were going to regime change him, replace him with some pliable tool, and turn Syria into another puppet client state. Al Qaeda, ISIS, and any other lunatic group were viewed as useful tools for this effort, and the CIA poured arms and fighters and money into Syria with no regard for long-term consequences, with Obama and Clinton's approval, and McCain's - a real bipartisan Washington consensus effort, much like the Iraq war in 2003.

Now that that policy has turned to ashes, the next idiot game is to try and do the same with the Kurds - the whole policy being spelled out by the mindless insiders in the neocon-neolib circle in Washington, for example:
http://www.politico.eu. . . middle-east-iraq-kurds-independence/
That's written by this PR monkey: "Juleanna Glover is a corporate consultant who has served on the staffs of George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, John Ashcroft, Steve Forbes, Rudy Giuliani and others."

Why do these rabid lunatics keep trying the same failed policies over and over? Is it really the end of the world if Iran & Syria have a regional economic integration program? Israeli and Saudi paranoia aside, who cares if they do that? Why is it so terrible if Iran pipes gas through Syria and Lebanon to Europe, or through Pakistan to India? This manic empire-building business is just not sustainable any longer.

Posted by: nonsense factory | Sep 21, 2017 1:26:36 PM | 27

"During the Cold War, the larger struggle against communism created a mainstream consensus about what America stood for and against. Today, our society appears to be defined by a particularly vicious form of 'partyism' affecting Democrats and Republicans alike."
This Power quote proves that she sees the multi-party system only as a necessary evil, de facto the ideological cover for the rule of the' right' class.

Posted by: Pnyx | Sep 21, 2017 1:34:31 PM | 28

Grieved says:

Perhaps the information war may be where this escalates. Releasing of documents? Something very asymmetrical, very controversial

yeah, let's remember that the Russians warned US intelligence that something was brewing shortly before 911.

Russian President Vladimir Putin publicly stated that he ordered his intelligence agencies to alert the US in the summer of 2001 that suicide pilots were training for attacks on US targets. [Fox News, 5/17/02] The head of Russian intelligence also stated, “We had clearly warned them” on several occasions, but they “did not pay the necessary attention.” [Agence France-Presse, 9/16/01] The Russian newspaper Izvestia claimed that Russian intelligence agents knew the participants in the attacks, and: “More than that, Moscow warned Washington about preparation for these actions a couple of weeks before they happened.” [Izvestia, 9/12/02]

Posted by: john | Sep 21, 2017 1:54:24 PM | 29

The attempt on the Russian forces is a tacit admission of loss. The US is now trying to terrorize Russian society to build popular resentment against Russian involvement in Syria. The neocons will go after soft targets like civilians in Russia. They will also test boundaries of R+6 in Syria by attacking or otherwise trying to undermine them hoping no response will come. This will be done via proxy.

Expect more insane attempts to screw Iran to end the nuke deal and expect more Israeli bullshit aimed at Lebanon in general, Syria and Hezbollah.

It's a dangerous time but the US neocons have been careful to use proxies. Russia and Iran can do the same but they did and must continue to put their foot down or the neocons will be encouraged to perform more deadly mischief. Israel can not get off withou a reply not just from Syria and Hezbollah but from Turkey. Israel is the main force pushing to Balkanize turkey

Posted by: Alaric | Sep 21, 2017 1:59:02 PM | 30

The thing to remember here is that this is beginning to look like a very serious escalation...

The Russian general staff isn't known for throwing words around lightly...if they say something they mean it...

The US knows this too...we need only go back to the June downing of the Syrian ground attack jet that elicited a de facto no-fly zone west of the Euphrates for 'coalition' aircraft...

Some members of coalition immediately punched their cards and went home...Mattis and co. didn't figure it was a good idea to test the Russians and lose a warplane for all the world to see...and still don't...

Clearly they figured they could at least hold on to their 'Rojava', including the entire west bank of the Euphrates...I don't believe for a second that the Russians told them that was up for grabs...

They are pushing the envelope with these increasingly hostile moves...until they push just that one last little inch too far...as US and Israeli puppet Sakaashvili found out in 2008...

The harsh words coming out of Ru MoD are no joke...the crime committed is too serious...an attempt by US and their terrorist puppets to take a platoon of Russian soldiers...

That is not going to go down easy in any living room in the Russian Federation...

As for the US puppet SDF [not mainly Kurds in this area, but probably re-uniformed ISIS and some local tribes in bed with them]...their position is weak and they do not actually have the force required to stop the SAA advance on the west bank and the oilfields to the south and east...

I fully expect that there is right now a lot of heavy-duty Russian equipment being airlifted to Deir Ezzor airfield...and probably some ground attack and fighter aircraft that will be operating out of there...

The last time we saw a direct threat issued by Ru MoD back in June, it was accompanied by moves on the ground...additional fighter jets were brought in...and surely additional air defense units...

After Shayrat we saw the A50 AEW aircraft come back to Hmeimim...

Point is that Russian words are a reliable measure of what actions to expect on the ground...

Posted by: flankerbandit | Sep 21, 2017 2:19:08 PM | 31

nf @ 26: Nice synopsis, I agree..

"Why do these rabid lunatics keep trying the same failed policies over and over?"

The historical record is clear. "It's just business"

The "rabid lunatics" take their marching orders from a cabal of "captains of industry", who are united by interlocking boards of directors, who lust for capturing the resources around the globe.

Again, " it's just business". Human misery and death don't matter when there is market share to capture.

Posted by: ben | Sep 21, 2017 2:24:16 PM | 32

Any Russian speakers out there? I'm interested in why a lot of sites reporting the Russian Ministry of Defense statements are using the terms US 'special services' and US 'secret services'. I would just ignore this as a translation error, but the Russian MoD knows perfectly well the proper names and meaning for both "US Special Forces" and "US intelligence services (agencies)". It strikes me as odd that the translation is garbled this time. Those terms are - erroneously - used to describe the US entity that leaked Syrian/Russian troop positions and the peacekeeping guard station's locations to 'moderate rebels', who then leaked it to al Nusra.

'Special services' can't just be a bad translation of 'US Special Forces'. It doesn't make sense in context - there wouldn't be any in Idlib, anyway. And the Russian MoD has always used 'US Special Forces' when they are referring specifically to them.

The Russian MoD seems to have described the US intelligence community in general terms in the past and haven't used whatever translates to 'special services' or 'secret services'. Did the Russian MoD guy quoted in the articles actually use either of those terms, or is the translation somewhat ambiguous?

I'm not reading anything into this - just curious. Unless the US Secret Service (the guys that guard Trump) are sneaking around Idlib leaking troop positions.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Sep 21, 2017 2:41:57 PM | 33

@PavewayIV ,39

The US has officially gone full-retard in Syria.

Should I say I respectfully disagree with everyone in your earlier post or I agree with everyone and maybe not everyone crazy like trump?

http://www.moonofalabama.org/2017/09/trumps-insurgency.html

This crazy president is no different from the last one and previous presidents. Neither party will ever stop until Putin got flecking mad enough is enough! Period. I am continually hounded by plagiarize Fareed Zakaria:

CNN HOST: ‘TRUMP BECAME PRESIDENT’ AFTER BOMBING SYRIA

https://www.infowars.com/cnn-host-trump-became-president-after-bombing-syria/

Get real Americans loves wars. Lawmakers, MSM or people in power continually up the ratchet until crazy Trump's trigger-happy generals pull the trigger on one or more country’s namely Russia Federation, PRC and Iran.

Posted by: OJS | Sep 21, 2017 3:00:07 PM | 34


To proof test the weblink above, watch the vid again. It's really frightening and suggest everyone watch Fareed Zakaria calmly said "..it's the nom every president must...."

Posted by: OJS | Sep 21, 2017 3:11:45 PM | 35

Nope. Sorry. It's a setup.

'Partners' are taking out the trash. 850 Nusra terrorists squashed with only 3 Russian casualties. 30 Chechens held out as bait, delivering AQ's best into a cauldron and the rest is history as they say.

The Russians have earned their sphere of influence, lest the Iranian PMU link up with the SAA east of Deir Ezzor.

Glory to the people of Syria, Hezbollah and all those who have made this victory possible, including Iran and obviously Russia. It ain't over till it's over but we're definitely almost there, while Israel can do nothing.

Next stop Kurdistan in Syria, which will fold like a tent, while the Iraqi derivative is likely destined for a similar fate, thanks to Iran's position of strength and agreement by Turkey, Iraq and Syria there will be NO Kurdistan.

Posted by: C I eh? | Sep 21, 2017 3:30:50 PM | 36

I would like to see Russia abruptly turn 180 degrees and announce (falsely of course) to the world that they did in fact collude with Trump to put him in the white house, and also with Mattis, McMaster, McCain and basically paint the entire current Deep State hierarchy as traitors and see what the brainwashed US public does... the worst thing that can happen (nuclear war)looks inevitable right now anyway. Would the deep seated American fear of red commies over-ride the current ideological divide, or would the country tear itself apart?

Posted by: insanity | Sep 21, 2017 3:40:37 PM | 37

@26 Great summary. Assad has been vilified in the Western media who conveniently overlook facts such as how he coped with the million Iraqi refugees and how his society was once the most tolerant of diversity in West Asia

Posted by: Ike | Sep 21, 2017 3:44:19 PM | 38

reply to Posted by: insanity | Sep 21, 2017 3:40:37 PM | 36
Rather than Russia putting the Dems back in the WH which is what your suggestion would do, it would be interesting if Russia was able to give Wikileaks lengthy audio of Chaney and his team planning 9/11, possibly throwing in the purchase orders for CD explosives and the like.
That would push the MSM head over teacup; how could they not wrap themselves in such a ratings opportunity? It might even put a dent in the swamp if it named enough players as knowledgeable/complicit. One can dream...

Posted by: frances | Sep 21, 2017 3:47:40 PM | 39

@35 C I eh?

I'm seeing this interpretation elsewhere too - 850 jihadis dead for only 3 Russian wounded seems suspicious to some military commenters. And luring - or more likely, letting - them walk into a cauldron makes some sense.

BUT - it doesn't explain the outrage from Russia's MoD.

Yes they had a sense an attack was coming, but not specifically enough to track it all the way in. Yes those military police were very tough Chechens, but that's been pretty standard in all the de-escalation zones I think (?). Yes Russian intel knew that US intel planned this, but either they didn't have specifics or they couldn't afford to reveal how deep their source goes, so they had to let the attack proceed.

I'm not military but to me it parses that what happened is consistent with ferocious defense by Chechens under attack, combined with very rapid reinforcement by Spetznatz, combined with Russians going ballistic and bombing the shit out of everything they were holding current intel on.

AND - this best explains the outrage and the unprecedented step of charging US intel publicly with this act. If it's a set up, then it means that Russia is play-acting this outrage, and still taking this step to even higher moral ground, and doing it consciously - think what this would say about Russian resolve here. It would make then even tougher than they already look.

A setup doesn't quite seem like the Russian plan, however. They try to quash violence rather than allow it to happen, even to quash it. And I'm having trouble with their deliberately risking the lives of the MPs, even Chechen volunteers.

Either way, Russia has become implacable. Or rather, the existing implacability is being revealed - tested by fools throwing themselves against Russian bayonets to see how sharp they really are.

Posted by: Grieved | Sep 21, 2017 4:13:54 PM | 40

Query. For someone better informed than myself. Artillery shells are heavy. A bombardment is a lot of tonnage. How is the US doing resupply? American Special Forces do not travel light. Major gearheads. With reduced cooperation from Iraq and Turkey it would seem freight would take a long journey through Kurdistan. Or not? Is it even possible for US to continue?

Posted by: oldhippie | Sep 21, 2017 4:18:18 PM | 41

Posted by: frances | Sep 21, 2017 3:47:40 PM | 38

Someone pointed out that Putin has said something about their spooks telling US spooks about "hijacked airplanes".

That is affirming the 9/11 offical story of aluminum steel cutting technology.

Is aluminum stronger than steel? Or is blood thicker than water?

In barter town, "Aunti" is "Rotschild" meaning finance and trade. (Master-Blaster is the energy sector.) Once upon a time, Aunti had to step aside while M-B "cousins" retrofitted the previous Anglo-Zionist empire.

Now in tin foil hat circles, Russia cum USSR cum Russia, was a major prize and victim of Aunti.

(Did you know the "Supreme Leader" of Iran studied as a student in the Soviet Union ... google it)

Posted by: nobody | Sep 21, 2017 5:00:46 PM | 42

C I eh? @35:

Nope. Sorry. It's a setup.
I might agree except for the Morgan Freedman message. That message indicates that public is being prepared for a possible clash between US and Russia.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Sep 21, 2017 5:12:46 PM | 43

Morgan Freeman video: "We are at War".

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Sep 21, 2017 5:29:59 PM | 44

nonsense factory | Sep 21, 2017 1:26:36 PM | 26

Is it really the end of the world if Iran & Syria have a regional economic integration program?

This is all about preserving the USD/petro-dollar status as the world’s reserve currency. Iran does not sell its oil and gas in USD but in euros. It is the blowback of US economic sanctions; Iran’s payback for having been kicked out of SWIFT and use of USD.

Not wanting to be next. Russia and China are also by-passing the USD.

Last week, Trumpette ,the twat, threatened to kick China out of SWIFT.

at ZH
The Petrodollar Is Under Attack: Here's What You Need To Know
http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-09-21/petrodollar-under-attack-heres-what-you-need-know


[.]Anyone who rejects this petrodollar theory should be able to answer the following question: if currency is not an important factor in America’s imperialist adventures, why was the U.S. so intent on invading a country (based on cold, hard lies), only to make it a priority to switch the sale of oil back to dollars? If they cared so much about Iraq and its people, as we were supposed to have believed, why not allow Iraq to continue netting a “handsome profit”?

In Libya, Muammar Gaddafi was punished for a similar proposal that would have created a unified African currency backed by gold, which would have been used to buy and sell African oil. Hillary Clinton’s leaked emails confirmed this was the main reason Gaddafi was overthrown, though commentators continue to ignore and reject the theory

At the start of this month, Venezuela announced it would soon “free” itself from the dollar. Barely a week or so later, the Wall Street Journal reported that Venezuela had stopped accepting dollars for oil payments in response to U.S. sanctions. Venezuela sits on the world’s largest oil reserves. Donald Trump’s threats of unilateral military intervention — combined with the CIA’s admission that it will interfere in the oil-rich country — may make a lot more sense in this context.

Iran has also been using alternative currencies — like the Chinese yuan — for some time now. It also shares a lucrative gas field with Qatar, which could be days away from ditching the dollar, as well. Qatar has reportedly already been conducting billions of dollars’ worth of transactions in the yuan. Just recently, Qatar and Iran restored full diplomatic relations in a complete snub to the U.S. and its allies. It is no surprise, then, that both countries have been vilified on the international stage, particularly under the Trump administration.

In the latest dig to the U.S. dollar and global financial hegemony, the Times of Israel reported that a Chinese state-owned investment firm has provided a $10 billion credit line to Iranian banks, which will specifically use yuan and euros to bypass U.S.-led sanctions.

Consider that in August 2015, then-Secretary of State John Kerry warned that if the U.S. walked away from the nuclear deal with Iran and forced its allies to comply with U.S.-led sanctions, it would be a “recipe, very quickly…for the American dollar to cease to be the reserve currency of the world.” [.]

Btw, the same John Kerry who fell silent when Obama used SWIFT as a weapon of war..


Posted by: likklemore | Sep 21, 2017 5:54:51 PM | 45

@32 PavewayIV
Rudskoy used the term “spetz-sluzhbi” which means “security services”, i.e. IC.

It is very important that the MP platoon was extracted. If AQ had taken them, it would have been a PR, political and morale nightmare. But that was to be expected since the first boot on the ground, so the Russians did their homework and prepared accordingly. The offensive was crushed in depth with attacking units, units moving to the front, logistical points and rear areas literally wiped off the face of the earth. There is some evidence that there was foreknowledge about the attack (snippets of info began appearing on Monday that an attack was imminent), there are even speculations that this was a carefully prepared ambush (there is some evidence for this as allegedly attacking units fell onto prepared positions, waiting for them, a shooting gallery exercise if you will).

Right now AMN reports that the black forces in Aqerbat have agreed to surrender or be shipped out (not clear yet). If true, this will free several thousand SAA personnel for the Northern Hama front. You may ask why not to Deir-Ez-Zor?

I think that this is where it gets interesting. By now, there should be a very sizable force at Deir-ez-Zor with most elite units there. Nobody knows how many but a guesstimate of 15-20-25 thousand or even more should not be a surprise. Not all elite of course, but you don’t need elite only for what’s coming.

There are apparently simultaneous tasks going on at the moment. Some of the troops are getting a well-deserved rest. Some troops are engaged in mopping up the still unliberated parts of the city (still 15% under black control, there is the Sakr island to liberate and the parts of the city east of the river, this is important for the security of the airport as well). The Tigers are mopping up the northern parts of the province and are already 20 km from Maadan from the south, Maadan area being basically encircled, with only the river offering escape. Whether they are going to finish it now or leave it for later is insignificant (after all, that was the area of the meat grinder a month ago when 800 of the black’s best soldiers were put to rest by the VKS).

The three main tasks appear to be the following: 1) The fullest possible preparation of all types of supplies for the assault force stationed at and around the city. This means tens of thousands of tons of stuff and it is probably at an advanced stage already. 2) The full “air-proofing” of the city, airport and surrounding area, probably the whole province. Pantsirs, long-range AA, that kind of stuff, whatever it takes. Stage as of now? Nobody would tell us :D. 3) The establishment of the bridgehead on the eastern side of the Euphrates – very hard beginning, which was to be expected. AMN reports today that they took Mazloum which makes the bridgehead already secure (it is not very wide anyway – probably several kilometers wide and pretty shallow). We will probably very soon learn that they have started rapidly expanding the area on the east side under SAA control. (Regarding the river speed which Karlof1 asked about - I read somewhere that the Russians consider optimal current speed for a river crossing at 1 m/s. And now they report that the speed is 2 m/s, which probably hampers the ferrying of cargo across.)

When above 3 tasks are considered sufficiently finished, then a “burst” south can be expected, from both sides of the river (the liberation of DeZ was such a burst with offensives from several directions). The force will have all the supplies it needs, all the troops for flanking protection (for bypassing strongpoints if needed), all the air cover possible (when DeZ airport becomes operational for combat aviation) and the necessary foothold on the east side.

And let's not forget about the troops by the Iraqi border - they are probably also getting resupplied as we speak and we can expect a major spearhead together with the Iraqi army to Abu Kamal.

The main unpredictable factor is the SDF and their patrons. It really looks that the up until now the SAA has always managed to play its hands in such a way as to always be one step ahead (the bypassing of Raqqa from the south, the unexpectedly fast winning of “the race to Deir-ez-Zor”). The SDF are stuck at Raqqa and about to lose the race to the east (mainly the oilfields). I hope the Russians have explained in no uncertain terms to the US that there is nothing for the SDF to do south of the Deir-ez-Zor –Al Suwar highway. The risk is just too big for a confrontation and the Sy/Rus side has shown more determination in the pursuit of its goals, despite all provocations.

And here comes the really interesting question. After the blacks are gone, no matter who takes the oilfields, there isn’t any more pretense for the US to be in Syria. Then, the real struggle will start – how to make the US leave without losing face. I guess they can declare “We won, we are leaving” :D. I know it sounds naïve, but after the pretense is gone, this may be the best way to say goodbye and close the door. In an ideal world that is :D....

Posted by: BG | Sep 21, 2017 5:57:45 PM | 46

Somewhat OT:

Bernie Sanders has given what should be considered a major anti-Trump Foreign Policy speech at Fulton, Mo's Westminster College, the venue for Churchill's Iron Curtain speech. Unfortunately, Bernie's own words prove he's still Sheep Dogging for HRC, Obama, and the Big Lie known as RussiaGate as he takes Russian interference in the last US Election as given despite zero proof in its favor and much evidence proving the entire affair to be yet another Big Lie. Transcript here, https://www.commondreams.org/views/2017/09/21/worlds-common-humanity-and-us-foreign-policy

The comments mirror those made during the election with the same trolls still working, blinders still firmly attached to their heads with minds still dysfunctional. I do wish I could still comment there, but I was banned during the election for pointing out the many falsehoods and outright lies of Sanders and others. IMO, Sanders is an unreformed Outlaw US Empire promoter every bit as dangerous as Obama, HRC and Trump, although his current smokescreen promoting Single Payer is working quite well thanks to the immoral Republicans. Please note how he frames the situation with North Korea by echoing verbatim the propaganda used over the past several decades, which means he paints himself into a corner by his denial to look at the historical reality of the situation--which makes him just as unfit to be POTUS as Trump despite his admission that we should use the Iranian Deal Template as a way forward. His views on Syria are no different than during the election, blinded by his animus and dogma. IMO, Sanders will never become a true Progressive, nor a Socialist, choosing to remain a woefully inadequate liberal.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 21, 2017 6:05:56 PM | 47

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Sep 21, 2017 5:29:59 PM | 43

:-)) Neoconservative are on the war path.

Will people be stupid enough to believe this? Sanders now claims the Russians tried to play his movement off Hilary Clinton.

Any Republican might have done that. Never mind the Democratic base.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 21, 2017 6:07:50 PM | 48

Christian Chuba, I would have never seen that view. Thank you for sharing your as they are logical and well thought out. It still is a worry that the US are in Syria for absolutely no internationally agreed reason, in fact illegally under international law. Let us hope the distraction we are being put through with the DPRK is so the US can withdraw without losing face and begin to stop their naughtiness abroad.

Yeah! I know big hope, Georgia, Ukraine, Venezuela better watch out. UK/US/NATO are coming.

Posted by: Horus | Sep 21, 2017 6:21:54 PM | 49

BG @45--

Thanks for all the info you provided! At The Saker's blog, the newest SitRep by Scott Humor also alludes to the ambush possibility and thus foreknowledge of the attack (unfortunately, linking to that item gets your comment sent to the spam bin). The Saker also opines about the operation. The attack may also be yet another attempt by CIA do derail talks between the US and Russian militaries--"According to Dillon, representatives of both Russia and the United States forces have met in the past few days in order to work out a deal, the first personal meeting of its kind since both the US and Russia got directly involved in the Syrian conflict"--that are reported about here, https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/us-coalition-promises-avoid-conflict-russians-syria/ In a twisted wsay, it makes sense that the planet's foremost Mafia organization would celebrate its 70th anniversary by attempting to perpetrate some atrocity, https://sputniknews.com/military/201709201057555346-cia-70-anniversary-list/

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 21, 2017 6:56:26 PM | 50

@somebody, 47

Thanks, I'm right and probably the only MoA refused to go for Sanders and everybody hates me for that. I also said Elizabeth Warren another Trojan horse including Dennis Kucinich and Tulsi Gabbard (better late than never)

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard: Russia Must Face Consequences for Continued Aggression in Ukraine. March 17, 2014

Press Release

https://gabbard.house.gov/news/press-releases/rep-tulsi-gabbard-russia-must-face-consequences-continued-aggression-ukraine

"...In a House Foreign Affairs Committee mark-up of H.Res. 499 recently, the congresswoman gained unanimous approval on including amendments on anti-corruption, and protection of civil and political rights throughout Ukraine. She also supported the House passage of H.R. 4152, which authorized loan guarantees for Ukraine."

Posted by: OJS | Sep 21, 2017 7:49:12 PM | 51

Lavrov has given his UNGA speech, but no transcript is currently ready. Video and highlights are available here, https://www.rt.com/news/404137-lavrov-un-assembly-speech/

It seems Lavrov has learned a few things from Western propagandists as his framing and highlighting certain aspects of Trump's UNGA speech definitely shows, http://www.mid.ru/en/foreign_policy/news/-/asset_publisher/cKNonkJE02Bw/content/id/2867341

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 21, 2017 7:50:42 PM | 52

In the context of Trump buckling to the Neocons and handing foreign policy to the generals, I came across a speech by Gareth Porter, historian and an expert on the Vietnam War, who argues that both JFK and LBJ succumbed in a similar way over Vietnam. Worth a watch to realize how far back this goes:
https://www.c-span.org/video/?187565-1/perils-dominance

From the Trump script it seems that what the annoying but useful Pat Lang calls the Borg (“elites” is being too generous to them) is feverish about a war, anywhere, anyhow. Taking on Russia in Syria could risk annihilation of the rich dudes, so probably not a good idea. The problem is that there is a lack of what banker shysters call “low hanging fruit.” Iran and North Korea are well up the tree and in Venezuela the masses have had access to non-Western narratives for a good while now.

Posted by: Lochearn | Sep 21, 2017 8:02:19 PM | 53

...
The Pentagon answered with a non-denial denial:
Ryan Browne‏ @rabrowne75
& Pentagon response: "Allegations that the US Government provided any support" to Al Nusra "are totally w/out merit or any basis in fact"

The allegation from Russia is not of "providing support" but "providing information" to Nusra/al-Qaeda
Posted by: b | Sep 21, 2017 12:23:10 PM | 23

I'm guessing that the Russian MOD's decision to complain loudly and publicly about US interference in Ru/Syria's ongoing operations is a warning not only to the Yankees, but also to the "Israelis" - just in case Bibi was thinking of doing something dangerous and stupid in Syria.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Sep 21, 2017 8:27:15 PM | 54

bad news here >>>

"Kurdish forces capture ISIS oil fields east of Deir Ezzor, outrace the Syrian Army"

"DAMASCUS, SYRIA (1:05 A.M.) – The US-backed ‘Syrian Democratic Forces’ have virtually met up with the Russian-backed Syrian Arab Army (SAA) after scoring a large advance, Thursday, through the oil-rich desert directly east of Deir Ezzor’s provincial capital.

After ISIS insurgents reportedly withdrew from the area without a fight, SDF units managed to dash southwards of their positions on the M7-highway and capture the Tabiyeh and Al-Isba oil and gas fields in a remarkable coup.

This advance brings Kurdish fighters within a couple kilometers of SAA troops that are simultaneously expanding their beachhead east of the Euphrates River.

Earlier in the day, a separate eastern SDF pincer towards the Khabur River saw SDF forward units overrun three villages and come within striking distance of Al-Suwar, a key junction town and ISIS stronghold near the border with Iraq.

According to a SAA source close to Al-Masdar News, Major General Suheil Al-Hassan had otherwise hoped to capture the aforementioned fields but was obstructed by a powerful ISIS counter-offensive on Tuesday."

https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/kurdish-forces-capture-isis-oil-fields-east-deir-ezzor-outrace-syrian-army/

Posted by: Dario | Sep 21, 2017 8:35:49 PM | 55

50

I would support Sanders if I lived in the US, but would not trust him on foreign policy. He is mostly conventionally hypocritical there.

America must defend freedom at home and abroad.

US foreign policy experts are mostly paid by the industrial military complex? I don't know anyone whose foreign policy makes much sense.

Russia is second in arms exports and frankly their foreign policy does not make that much sense either.

To ensure comprehensive, effective protection of the rights and legitimate interests of Russian citizens and compatriots residing abroad, including within various international frameworks; ... To promote, within bilateral and multilateral frameworks, mutually beneficial and equal partnerships with foreign countries, inter-State associations, international organizations and within forums, guided by the principles of independence and sovereignty, pragmatism, transparency, predictability, a multidirectional approach and the commitment to pursue national priorities on a non-confrontational basis; expand international cooperation on a non-discriminatory basis; facilitate the emergence of network alliances and Russia’s proactive participation in them; ... To facilitate the development of constructive dialogue and partnership with a view to promoting harmony and mutual enrichment among various cultures and civilizations.

Commitment to pursue national priorities on a non-confrontational basis?

I would say this thought process will need a few 100 years ...

Posted by: somebody | Sep 21, 2017 8:37:01 PM | 56

Daesh in Deir Ez-zor are going to receive some much needed reinforcements soon. The remaining Daesh in the East Hama pocket have agreed to relocate to Deir Ez-zor. Another pocket gone.

It looks like the assault on Idlib is about to begin, if it hasn't already. There are reports that the SAA are going to mount an operation towards Morek, about 5 mi/8 km south of Khan Shaykhoun.

Some one mentioned that the Russians had bought in more aircraft. Are they part of a rotation or are they reinforcements?

Posted by: Ghostship | Sep 21, 2017 10:09:56 PM | 57

Another great piece of journalism b, thanks!

And thanks to all the commenters that continue to flesh out the context and ancillary developments.

Are we all having fun now? To me, the glimmer of hope that the centuries old hold on society that private finance has could be broken makes me smile.....the rest is some seriously sorrowful stuff.

And I write about finance in this thread because this war is a proxy about ongoing control of global finance. Defeat of the US in Syria is very likely to lead to the fall of the US dollar as Reserve Currency. I can't tell you the geo-political steps that will be taken to arrive a new Bretton-Woods type global agreement about finance but see it now as quite inevitable......YEAH!!!!!

I know that I have chided b in that past about premature celebration over events in Syria and elsewhere but I am feeling more optimistic daily as Trump/America flails and the rest of the world reacts to the empire exhibiting delusional inhumane tendencies.

I realize that Americans will be thrown under the bus by this empire crash because their economic base has shrunk to MIC and private global finance which hopefully are going "out of style".

Posted by: psychohistorian | Sep 21, 2017 10:27:03 PM | 58

https://alethonews.wordpress.com/2017/09/21/200000-israelis-expected-in-kurdistan-once-independence-is-declared/

Of course, a new homeland for Kurdish Jews. Well oiled, no less! And Euphrates! Next stop a homeland for liberated Khuzestani Jews. You know Netanyahu has already claimed a colony in Libya, right? Just a little one, to monitor human rights. Vomit to infinity.

Posted by: mireille | Sep 21, 2017 11:00:42 PM | 59

Another tangentially related comment to inform fellow barflies that The Duran has posted numerous summaries of UNGA speeches you'll be hard pressed to find elsewhere. Furthermore, they've provided a translated version of the address/letter made/sent to Trump by Kim Jong-Un in response to Trump's UNGA speech that's quite the read, http://theduran.com/kim-jong-un-delivers-rare-personal-address-donald-trump/ I must applaud the adjective Kim uses to describe Trump in his letter--dotard.

The recap of Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi is also important to read as it leads one to assume that the SCO hasn't been effective as a venue for India and Pakistan to resolve their issues. China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi provided a speech commensurate with that of a nation wanting to lead the world in stark contrast to Trump. Unfortunately, Syria has no representative to speak for it.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 21, 2017 11:01:37 PM | 60

@54

This BS with SDF gobbling up ISIS territory without firing a shot is frustrating...

Very clear that ISIS is not going to fight US...but will fight to death against Russia...reminds me of Nazis running by the boatload to western front to surrender to US as Red Army started crashing on Berlin...

Stinks to high heaven...absolutely no doubt now that US pulling strings of not only Kurds but also ISIS, HTS...

Interesting that this latest move comes after an 'emergency' de-confliction meeting between US and Ru military, where US pledges to avoid conflict with Russian operations...

that's the US MO...every time Russia issues threats, US quickly runs to 'deconflict'...meanwhile the left hand keeps grabbing right under the Russians' nose...


Posted by: flankerbandit | Sep 21, 2017 11:19:56 PM | 61

Any Russian speakers out there? ... terms US 'special services' and US 'secret services' Posted by: PavewayIV | Sep 21, 2017 2:41:57 PM | 32

To my limited knowledge of Russian, there is no expression that literally translates "secret services", so "special services" is a literal translation, and "secret services" is a translation closer to the meaning in American English. And seemingly they do not give a damn that the "special services" can be under command of CIA, Army, Navy, Coast Guard and what not. I found an article about the recent event in Idlib on the website Tass.ru:

Атаки боевиков в районе зоны деэскалации "Идлиб" Генштаб связал с попытками США помешать успешной операции сирийской армии в района Евфрата. Attack of fighters in the de-escalation zone "Idlib" was attributed by the General Staff (roughly, Russian high command of the military) with attempts of USA to undermine the succesful operations of Syrian military in Euphrates region.
"Наступление инициировано американскими спецслужбами, чтобы остановить успешно развивающееся продвижение правительственных войск к востоку от Дейр-эз-Зора", – говорится в сообщении ведомства. The attack was prompted by American special services to stop successful advances of the government troops to the East of Deir-ez-Zor -- says their press release.
Цель американцев – любыми способами помешать сирийской армии. Такое мнение в эфире радио Sputnik выразил ответственный секретарь Академии геополитических проблем Араик Степанян. The goal of Americans is to disturb (?) Syrian military by any means available. This was the opinion that the head of Academy of Geopolitical issues, Araik Stepanian, expressed in an interview that was broadcast by Sputnik radio.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Sep 21, 2017 11:21:46 PM | 62

Actually, careful reading of TASS article suggests that Stepanian speculates, and the Idlib "fighters" had independent motivation for the attack. Russian "military police" seems to be more military than police, as they resisted the attack for quite some time, in other words, they were fighting better than "cops". They were also fighting together with members of a local tribe that decided to switch sides. I did not find info if they were rescued from the siege together with MPs. The strategy of Russia and Assad is to peel of fighter groups and tribes from whoever rules in Idlib, and the role of MPs was to protect the reconciled tribesmen, and from w.r.i.I they are turncoats, and tolerating them can unravel the Idlib ministate. In other words, they had sufficient motivation regardless of being encouraged or not.

However plausible the theory of Stepanian is, he did not disclose any proofs beyond the fact that it would help the American goal to create pro-American statelet on the territory to the east of Euphrates.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Sep 21, 2017 11:38:25 PM | 63

Posted by: Amanita Amanita 8

"To initiate the Islamic apocalypse you need to create a Kurdish entity."

total nonsense, any links to back up to that

Posted by: pB | Sep 21, 2017 11:48:52 PM | 64

BG@45 - "...Rudskoy used the term “spetz-sluzhbi” which means “security services”, i.e. IC..." Thanks. Scott Humor's article, Russian SOF incinerated the US SOF in Idlib on The Saker is a good example of why I was confused. I didn't think there's any US Army SF types in Idlib today.


Your analysis of the situation and next steps in Deir EzZor sound perfectly reasonable. I would expect this kind of consolidation of gains/security and preparation by the Russian military before another push down the Euphrates. Makes sense that they go down both banks simultaneously. Taking the west bank only means they'll be constantly harassed by sporadic rocket and mortar fire from the east bank.

Re: pontoon bridge. The current doesn't sound particularly fast at 2 m/sec, so maybe it's the threat of further water level increases after they have fixed the bridge in place. The bridges float of course, but the banks are pretty flat. A half-meter increase in river height may translate into a 20 meter change in shoreline. They should still be able to ferry without a problem at 2 m/sec (albeit 'hampered') using the individual sections, but it would be orders of magnitude faster to get equipment across by rolling.

Ghostship@56: I assume that the ISIS from Hama are going to be bused to somewhere in Deir EzZor Governorate, not to Deir EzZor city. That pocket must be tying up a lot of SAA/allies.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Sep 21, 2017 11:54:57 PM | 65

@59 karlof1

Yes, I've greatly appreciated the Duran's reporting of the UN speeches. This is off-topic - but perhaps in a multi-polar world nothing is completely off topic?

The communication from Kim Jong-Un directly to Donald Trump has me transfixed. This is an ancient manner of speech that threatens him, warrior to warrior. It belies Kim's cavalier style and shows a true leader fighting to protect his people in honor of his ancestors and to make them proud.

It's too far off-topic to quote it here, but I recommend it as one of the great reads of the week to any who are interested:
Kim Jong-Un delivers rare personal address to Donald Trump

Posted by: Grieved | Sep 22, 2017 12:10:12 AM | 66

Piotr Berman@61 - We cross-posted; thanks for that information. Some articles are mixing up the translation somewhat and paraphrasing both Konashenkov and Rudskoy talking at different times about different incidents. Western media/SDF propaganda has already spun this into a misleading "Russia warns it will attack US/SDF forces" narrative. It looks like nothing more than Russia reminding CJTF-OIR that it will continue normal, immediate counter-battery suppression against any hostile firing points, and it does not intend to inform/warn/seek permission from the US first in those instances.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Sep 22, 2017 12:16:38 AM | 67

BG@45 - My response to you disappeared, BG. Saker link? Thanks for the helpful reply and analysis.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Sep 22, 2017 12:21:22 AM | 68

It is inconceivable that you can kill 850 experienced AQ fighters from the air without bringing them into a well prepared cauldron. It is inconceivable the jihadists would score zero kills attacking a relatively tiny force of Chechens unless the location was selected specifically for the purpose of destroying the attackers. We've all seen footage of airstrikes on targets in the desert, that kill at best half a dozen jihadis. It is inconveivable the Russian air force and Spetznatz could be so well prepared to execute such an operation unless they knew what to expect. Heck the Russians even deployed new aircraft for this operation 
because they knew what was coming. Do you send in you newest weapons on a moments notice for a high risk attack near your own people?

Of course not.

Donald Trump is an actor. Nikki Haley is an actor. Vitaly Churkin was an actor, perhaps still alive and sharing margaritas with Barbara Olson on an island in the Carribbean we will never visit. Michael Ledeen, Michael Flynn and Steve Bannon were are ALL actors, fronting for intelligence, because that is how media always operates in a closed and controlled system, the only kind that exists. Every person you think has power is in fact an invented persona playing a part for your amusement and to make you feel special.

McMaster, Kelly and Mattis are doing their best to manage a transition. They were selected because someone decided it was time to move to the end game. Trump and his over acting cohorts will make complete fools of themselves because that's the game the game they've playing all along, because your and my input is irrelevant to the proverbial powers that be. So it is and so it has been since before Pericles made his famous funeral orration: Democracy is only the very best technicolour dream cloak for an oligachy.

In every possible respect the globalists have achieved their objectives. US dollar hegemony will be replaced by SDR hegemony, tier one of a two tiered wealth control system which will guarantee you will never be anything but a slave who can be pilfered with just a few keystrokes --

AND it will be managed by exactly the same people who control it today. The Brits have brexited their way out of European liabilities while setting themselves up to still be the largest financial centre outside of Asia. All of the biggest gangsters will remain completely untouched even if it becomes neccessary to lob a few nukes into the Levant or Korea, should someone still need convincing when the 2008 style raping and pillaging is revisited upon us 100 times over.

The transnational zionist elite are a class. They have everything in common with each other and nothing with you. You are at best a statistic and ultimately this war in Syria allowed them to reap enormous profits whilst achieving every goal they have ever proclaimed. They even managed to replace most of their malfunctioning organs for fk sakes.

They, the zionist superclass, have culled the revolutionary energy of yet another generation, arising from the contradictions inherent to any system parasitism and theft.
They have scored victory after victory and no one will ever be punished for the hundreds of millions of people they have murdered since the begining of the last century.

Unless we finally come to understand that this system can only be perpetuated by willfull ignorance of true history, not of the victors but of We the People, we will be doomed to repeat this cycle in evermore destructive waves.

Posted by: C I eh? | Sep 22, 2017 12:30:59 AM | 69

@ C I eh? who blame both a system and the zionist superclass

As I write repeatedly, lets change the system by eliminating private finance and not focus on the current individuals in control of the power and control levers thereof.

Yes, I would like to see many tried for crimes against humanity but more important to me is changing the underlying system to take away power from a small group and unleashing our potential as a species.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Sep 22, 2017 2:01:59 AM | 70

C I eh?: inconceivable

On the contrary, it seems very plausible that:

>> the Russians may have observed preparations for attack;

>> al Queda may have over-committed because they had a strategic target;

>> during the battle the Russians sensed that the attackers had info that could only have come from a sophisticated party (i.e nation state);

>> sensing the danger, the Russians responded with overwhelming force;

Furthermore, I can't fathom what benefit the Russians get by lying about what what happened (though it is not inconceivable to me that they might).

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Sep 22, 2017 2:11:29 AM | 71

Israel vs S-400

"BEIRUT, LEBANON (7:00 A.M.) – An Israeli attack drone fired two missiles at the Damascus International Airport last night, causing a loud explosion that could be heard throughout the Syrian capital.
According to a report from the Syrian military, the two Israeli missiles did not cause much damage to the airport or its surroundings.
The report also indicated that the attack did not kill or wound any civilians or military personnel present at the airport last night.
Not long after the missile strike, the Syrian Air Defense reportedly downed an Israeli drone near the town of Beit Jinn along the Damascus-Quneitra provincial border.
No further details were released…"
https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/israeli-warplanes-attack-civilian-airport-damascus/

Any thoughts on that?

Posted by: Scotch Bingeington | Sep 22, 2017 2:29:56 AM | 72

This, from the Saker, offers some background on the U.S. proxy attacks on the Russian military police;
http://thesaker.is/russian-sof-incinerated-the-us-sof-in-idlib/

Posted by: V. Arnold | Sep 22, 2017 3:10:15 AM | 73

For what reason were my posts disappeared?

Posted by: V. Arnold | Sep 22, 2017 3:29:38 AM | 74

I was supplying a link to a Saker thread giving background on the U.S. proxy attack on the Russian military police.
850 terrorists killed and 11 tanks, along with artillary, and ammo depots

Posted by: V. Arnold | Sep 22, 2017 3:33:57 AM | 75

>>>> Piotr Berman | Sep 21, 2017 11:38:25 PM | 62

Russian "military police" seems to be more military than police, as they resisted the attack for quite some time, in other words, they were fighting better than "cops".

That's because military police are soldiers first and police second, and because they're policing soldiers they need to be more capable than soldiers. If you'd read the reports when they first deployed, you'd know they're Chechen military police. As the War Nerd said, you don't mess with Chechen unless you're crazy like the Russians.

As for the incident, of course it was a trap with the MPs as bait. Syrian intelligence has probably penetrated almost every single terrorist group in Idlib except the ones that are exclusively foreigners, so the Russians knew the where, when and what. The terrorists don't help themselves by making attacks like this, "The Last Attempt", public before they start and Idlib Governorate is under intense surveillance.

As for the high terrorist casualties, the Russians claim 850, the terrorists claim 300, so take your pick. The Russians might have inflated the numbers to demonstrate that they can bullshit as well as the Americans and their proxies. Actually, the Russians can do it better because they gave out more credible bullshit than the SDF did with Cizire Storm with some evidence to back it up while the SDF provided none. How does anyone know what the capabilities of the terrorists were - they were used to fighting the SAA - but this time they ran into skilled determined soldiers who were most likely well dug in and not surprisingly it was a bloodbath.

Why did the Russians set the trap? Because of the enforcement agreements for the four de-confliction zones which now allows them to act against any group in Idlib that was involved and that was also party to the Astana agreements. They could already act against HTS but now they pretty much have a free hand, and with the additional troops available after ISIS vacates eastern Hama, my best guess is that the Battle of Idlib has already started, with those new aircraft, if it's not a rotation, being involved.

I hope in a few days, Pat Lang will be a very happy man.

Posted by: Ghostship | Sep 22, 2017 7:47:17 AM | 77

Russian military police wear a red beret. From what I have read, only spetsnaz in Russia wear red beret.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Sep 22, 2017 8:28:47 AM | 78

66
Every time jihadi forces try a counter attack, large numbers are destroyed. Generally they first take ground. There are no civilians on the ground they take. It then becomes open season. No civilians to worry about.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Sep 22, 2017 8:33:43 AM | 79

200 camions d'armes et munitions livrés par le Pentagone au YPG


The first 200 trucks of weapons and ammunition offered by the Pentagon to the YPG were delivered in two separate convoys to Hasakeh on September 11 and 19, 2017.

The trucks came from the Kurdish region of Iraq and passed through the Semalka border crossing.

The weapons and ammunition were manufactured ex-Soviet, except for Oshkosh L-ATV vehicles of the US Army.

These weapons are not intended to fight Daesh, which is about to be eradicated in the Levant, but will be used for the next war against Syria.

500 million dollars on its way to fund the next war against Syria

Posted by: PeacefulProsperity | Sep 22, 2017 9:17:46 AM | 80

FYI: I found this om voltairnet.org

200 camions d’armes et munitions livrés par le Pentagone au YPG

Les 200 premiers camions d’armes et de munitions offertes par le Pentagone au YPG ont été livrés en deux convois séparés, à Hasakeh, les 11 et 19 septembre 2017.

Les camions provenaient de la région kurde d’Irak et sont passés par le poste frontière de Semalka.

Les armes et les munitions étaient de fabrication ex-soviétique, sauf des véhicules Oshkosh L-ATV de l’armée US.

Ces armes ne sont pas destinées à combattre Daesh, qui est sur le point d’être éradiqué au Levant, mais seront utilisées pour la prochaine guerre contre la Syrie.

Google Translate:


200 trucks of weapons and ammunition delivered by the Pentagon to the YPG

The first 200 trucks of weapons and ammunition offered by the Pentagon to the YPG were delivered in two separate convoys to Hasakeh on September 11 and 19, 2017.

The trucks came from the Kurdish region of Iraq and passed through the Semalka border crossing.

The arms and ammunition were manufactured ex-Soviet, except for the Oshkosh L-ATV vehicles of the US Army.

These weapons are not intended to fight Daesh, which is about to be eradicated in the Levant, but will be used for the next war against Syria.

http://www.voltairenet.org/article198000.html

Posted by: arbetet | Sep 22, 2017 9:21:01 AM | 81

>>>> Peter AU 1 | Sep 22, 2017 8:28:47 AM | 74

Russian military police wear a red beret. From what I have read, only spetsnaz in Russia wear red beret.

FWIW, not according to Wikipedia.

Russian MPs wear a bright red beret, while Spetznaz wear Rust Red (orig. Krapovyi) berets. although in the field they apparently wear the sky blue berets of Russian airbourne forces.

Posted by: Ghostship | Sep 22, 2017 9:28:35 AM | 82

Sometimes military small fiasco might trigger politico-economical landslides

http://russia-insider.com/en/politics/military-defeat-financial-collapse-trigger-epic-us-fail-syria/ri20960

Posted by: Arioch | Sep 22, 2017 9:34:30 AM | 83

@17, Laguerre

Egypt knows it and is preparing for it.
They are ordering Russian nuclear power plants coupled with factories for water de-salinizations.

Somethign USSR did long long ago on Aral sea.
Now Egypt wants the same and hugely scaled up

Posted by: Arioch | Sep 22, 2017 9:40:50 AM | 84

Russia responds with Kalibrs

Russian sub hits terrorist group with Kalibr missiles after military police attacked
https://www.rt.com/news/404185-russia-submarine-missiles-syria/

A Russian submarine has destroyed several targets in Syria with a barrage of Kalibr cruise missiles, the Russian Defense Ministry reported. The missiles hit the assets of jihadists, who attacked a unit of Russian Military Police earlier this week, it said.

[.]The attack started on Tuesday morning, with incoming fire from territory controlled by various militant groups opposing the government of Syria. Russia said it was conducted by the group previously known as Al-Nusra Front and was aimed at capturing three dozen Russian Military Police troops, who were deployed north-west of the city of Hama to monitor a ceasefire in the area.[.]

[.]Syrian government forces supported by Russian warplanes have lately gained ground in the eastern Deir ez-Zor province, previously mostly held by the terrorist group Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL). The Russian military believe the offensive in Idlib was meant to undermine the operation against IS and have blamed US special forces for triggering the attack, an accusation that Washington denied.

and loser Israhell hits Damascus

Israeli warplanes strike near Damascus airport – reports
https://www.rt.com/news/404210-damascus-airport-air-strike-israel/


Israeli forces are reported to have carried out attacks from outside the Syrian border early on Friday, according to the Lebanese Al Mayadeen. It said the strike led to a fire, with no casualties or disruptions at Damascus International Airport reported.
Pictures allegedly showing the moment of the attack have emerged online on Arab and Hebrew-language social media.


Someday, I'm waiting on Karma to return the Golan Heights.

Posted by: likklemore | Sep 22, 2017 9:59:54 AM | 85

35: 'Partners' are taking out the trash. 850 Nusra terrorists squashed with only 3 Russian casualties. 30 Chechens held out as bait, delivering AQ's best into a cauldron and the rest is history as they say.

What makes me irk, is that some journo say and then it is repeated ad nauseam how "29 russian soldiers repelled 850 terrorists with only 3 casualties". It is so like those stories ukranians were spurring around in 2014-2015....

Russian MoD is careful to state, 29 soldiers were helding defense TOGETHER with locals of Mwali. They were bothers in arms, and additionally Mwali's resolve to negotiations they made with Syria is honored if maybe not gratified yet.

And then, those locals, without whom maybe Russian policemen would not make it long enough, they are discarded and ignored, like they were some subhumans we Caucasian people should not ever notice and mention. This is just wrong IMHO.

Posted by: Arioch | Sep 22, 2017 10:02:54 AM | 86

>>>> Peter AU 1 | Sep 22, 2017 8:33:43 AM | 75

Every time jihadi forces try a counter attack, large numbers are destroyed. Generally they first take ground. There are no civilians on the ground they take. It then becomes open season. No civilians to worry about.

Quite agree. Actually I reckon the Russians and Syrians have developed it into a military art form. All through the Battles of Castello Road and East Aleppo, the SSA would advance through an area clearing out any remaining civilians and then the jihadists would counter attack and the SAA would fall back to the prepared positions they'd started from, then it was a matter of wash, rinse, repeat but the jihadists never seemed to work out the tiresomely predictable bit.

The SAA always claimed that they were never able to complete their defences before the jihadists counter attacked but after several cycles the next defence line would be complete and ready to go, at which point the next jihadist counter attack would be repelled.

The Battle of the Ramoush Roundabout was a variation in that the SAA cleared out the civilians beforehand and allowed the jihadists to just break through enough so that they made repeated attack to achieve a full break through which they only once perhaps came close to achieving when they claimed they'd managed to get some pickups with fruit into East Aleppo. I think the same trick has been used many times at Deir Ez-zor with the Battle of Cemetery - the SAA would push forward and kill most of the jihadists then the jihadiists would counter-attack and the SAA would withdraw with a new lot of jihadists in the cemetery to be killed on the next cycle of the meat grinder.

Posted by: Ghostship | Sep 22, 2017 10:16:31 AM | 87

@39, Grieved

> A setup doesn't quite seem like the Russian plan, however.

Probably not. But Russia was redying to inject itself into the plan and re-route it.

> And I'm having trouble with their deliberately risking the lives of the MPs, even Chechen volunteers.

There could be no way out of it.
Make this plan canceled in Idleb, where it was prepared for, and it would be re-started in some unknown place at some unknown date.

Since Russia can not squash American intelligence services, Russia cannot cancel this plan altogether. It can only hope for the plan to be deployed in the place and time Russia would have the upper hand to spoil it.

Either way, Russia has become implacable. Or rather, the existing implacability is being revealed - tested by fools throwing themselves against Russian bayonets to see how sharp they really are.

There was no choice if this would be executed or not. The choice was where it would be executed when and where Russians are ready, or when and where they are not.

Also think of 08-08-08 war. Russia knew Saakashvili was about to attack. Russia knew their peacekeepers in Osetia would be attacked first. Russia could neither remove them nor attack Georgia preemptively. Russia had to face being backstabbed and overcome the no-so-sudden ambush. And even then Russia is somehow blamed for it.

So, yeah, Russia can deliberately allow their servicemen be attacked.

And maybe the MoD outrage reflects the frustration of being forced to sit passively and letting your soldiers be prey and bait.

Posted by: Arioch | Sep 22, 2017 10:23:42 AM | 88

@b - The 'secret' typepad blocklist for links in comments seems to be growing. I assume you are not intentionally blocking reference links in comments to sites like The Saker and The Duran. If these are never appearing in your moderation list, then TypePad is doing something else to delete them before you even see them.

Could you create an empty open thread with a title like "Blocked Links Test" where we can post tests and collect a list of links that will cause a comment to be deleted? I hate to post garbage 'test' comments in the open threads. This shouldn't involve any other work on your part besides creating the initial thread. We can test/manage the resulting lists in the comments.

If you are keeping these sites/IP addresses in a blocklist for MoA intentionally for some reason, then a simple confirmation to this comment will suffice. You don't have to justify to me or anyone else how you run this blog (for free, in your spare time).

However, if you're NOT actively censoring non-spam comments/links, then you should probably know what is getting blown away on our side before you ever see it. I'm not suggesting you waste any of your time 'solving' this problem. You should be aware of the issue though if TypePad or some other mechanism is doing this without your knowledge.

The most recent social media 'trick' used against blogs/sites is to bombard a site with spam comments using a spoofed IP address. The administrator bans it, not knowing that it is a legitimate IP address. No idea if this was used on MoA, but we have seen the weird flurry of odd spam messages on occasion so I merely bring up the possibility. We could always check your blocklists for you - I don't expect you have the time for such nonsense.

Everyone: PLEASE do not ruin the current thread/topic by posting suspected banned links or 'MoA censored my post last week' in response to this comment in this thread. If B wants to create a dedicated thread, then we use it. If not, then use the next OT thread.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Sep 22, 2017 10:32:05 AM | 89

>>>> arbetet | Sep 22, 2017 9:21:01 AM | 77

It's not exactly a secret, there are photos and videos enough on Twitter to keep that twat Bellingcat happy for weeks. There's even a clip of an American escort vehicle (MRAP) for the convoy being politely turned around when it tried to pass through territory controlled by the SAA.

These weapons are not intended to fight Daesh, which is about to be eradicated in the Levant, but will be used for the next war against Syria.

Most reports including Kurdish ones suggest they're for Deir Ez-zor and the Cizire Storm operation which seems to mostly involve recent recruits/mercenaries from the tribes that were formerly associated with ISIS, now led and augmented by the SDF/YPG. Early tweets of this operation showed some US kit (probably SDF/YPG) but mostly it appeared to be ISIS-supplied pickups and gun trucks which makes them vulnerable to RuAF/SAAF attack. With American kit there would be enough ambiguity and confusion to make its use beneficial.

Posted by: Ghostship | Sep 22, 2017 10:39:00 AM | 90

Latest update on east bank of Euphrates...

SAA have reportedly captured Khusham village on the crucial road that runs south to the Iraqi border along the east bank...as well as the large Omar oilfield...this from South Front, citing pro-govt sources...but not confirmed...

Report also adds that SDF claims to have taken Tabiye and Al Isba oilfields east of the road have not been confirmed either...

I would guess that there is now some urgency in Russian-Syrian command about expanding that bridgehead asap...

The story about paratroop landing...by either side...seems to have disappeared...but would not be surprised if we see that from Ru-SAA side in the coming days to secure strategic locations to block SDF advances...

Posted by: flankerbandit | Sep 22, 2017 10:41:28 AM | 91

>>>> mireille | Sep 21, 2017 11:00:42 PM | 58

Of course, a new homeland for Kurdish Jews. Well oiled, no less! And Euphrates! Next stop a homeland for liberated Khuzestani Jews. You know Netanyahu has already claimed a colony in Libya, right? Just a little one, to monitor human rights.

The original source for that claim is a magazine Israel-Kurd that published a couple of issues back in 2011 and then seems to have folded. Those magazines, along with some other publications from the same publisher can be found and read here.

BTW, the claim also fails the smell test. Israel is in a demographic war with the Palestinians and it can't afford to ship 200,000 foot soldiers in that war out of the country because it would make the Israelis a minority in Palestine. Israel needs to keep on bringing in reinforcements from abroad to survive the demographic war.

Vomit to infinity.

Fully agree!

Posted by: Ghostship | Sep 22, 2017 11:18:49 AM | 92

Stepping back a bit, and looking at the last two years in Syria; it's pretty damned apparent the Russian's are far better strategic thinkers than the corrupt western coalition generals. And their battlefield performance is far superior; hell, they lost some pretty high ranking officers on the front lines. When's the last time a ranking coalition officer saw battle on the front lines?
It's become a cliche, but it's true; the west plays checkers against the Russian game of chess; never so true as now...

Posted by: V. Arnold | Sep 22, 2017 11:21:43 AM | 93

@ V. Arnold | 93

Stepping back a bit, and looking at the last two years in Syria; it's pretty damned apparent the Russian's are far better strategic thinkers than the corrupt western coalition generals.

I agree on this point, however its not like Coalition of a killing doesnt have really smart officers, just they dont rise to the top unless they are expert butt kissers and serve well corporate and "defense" (an oxymoron) industries.

And their battlefield performance is far superior; hell, they lost some pretty high ranking officers on the front lines. When's the last time a ranking coalition officer saw battle on the front lines?
It's become a cliche, but it's true; the west plays checkers against the Russian game of chess; never so true as now...

While I'm all in for giving Russia credit it deserves, but its not them who do the most heavy lifting, that would be Iran and Hezbollah. Its just they prefer to fly under the radar and let Russia to take all the credit it wants. Its especially true for Iranians, who refuse to even talk with journalists. And speaking about lost officers in the battles, nobody (other than Syrians) lost as many as Iranians did, probably more than 30 generals, and who knows how many lower ranking officers. Russia only very recently introduced limited special forces to the front lines, before that it was air support and some training.

Posted by: Harry | Sep 22, 2017 2:24:36 PM | 94

"And then, those locals, without whom maybe Russian policemen would not make it long enough, they are discarded and ignored, like they were some subhumans we Caucasian people should not ever notice and mention. This is just wrong IMHO."

Well, perhaps you are a Chechen, but most probably, not much of a Caucasian. Myself, I am Carpathian-Appalachian. Concerning the locals, there is only so much you can do from the air and with a limited local ground force. Russians put a lot of emphasis on the reconciliation strategy, and at the very least, they assured that the attack on Mwali was very expensive. Moreover, there is a plan of a follow-up.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Sep 22, 2017 6:39:05 PM | 95

@95 i am not Chechen, though as all Russians i more or less suffered from Chechen mafia in 1990-s. So i do not bear any special warm feelings toward them.

Russian input indeed is strategy and technology.
Tanks, guns, battle suits.
Destruction of ISIS/AQ logistics and production chains.

And reconciliation, as u put it.

CAS missions are important where Syrians can't fly due to USA/Turkey/Israel, but it is secondary.

Now, the reconciliation is of strategical importance.
Naming and praising Mwali as worthful and reliable partners is strategic.
And when it get vulgarized to "russian soldiers hacked god mode and went to grind frags" i find it both dishonest and harmful.

Posted by: Arioch The | Sep 26, 2017 3:41:41 AM | 96

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