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September 05, 2017

Syria - The Liberation Of Deir Ezzor

The Syrian army just broke the Islamic State siege on the city of Deir Ezzor and its military garrison. The siege had been held up since mid 2014.

In a six month long campaign the SAA moved several hundred kilometers from the outskirts of Aleppo and Palmyra towards Deir Ezzor. Three axes, north, center and south drove the campaign through the semi desert. One axis has now reached the areas held by the besieged troops while the spear tips of the other two are only a few kilometers away.

Syrian TV showed the first joyful contact at the 137 brigades area, 15km from Deir Ezzor city center.


bigger

Only in January the city and its 100,000 inhabitants left was on the verge of falling into the hands of ISIS. A massive U.S. air attack on the most important Syrian military position of Deir Ezzor in September 2016 directly enabled the ISIS move. But surprisingly the garrison, with 4-5,000 soldiers, held out. Supplies were dropped by parachute through a Russian and Syrian air-bridge and the grand operation to liberate the city was planned and prepared.

It has now succeeded. The Syrian government forces were supported by Russian special forces, Iranian contingents, Hizbullah forces and various militia. The Russian air force flew massive interdiction raids in front of the advancing troops. The Russian navy fired cruise missiles against core ISIS hold outs in the area.

Mabruk!

It will take further weeks to eliminate ISIS completely from the parts of the city it holds and areas around it.


Map (August 2017) by Fabrice Balanche - bigger (with legend)

The upcoming question then is how this campaign will proceed. Will the SAA cross the Euphrates at Deir Ezzor to retake the valuable oilfields east of it? Or will it stay south of the river and leave those oil fields to the Kurdish U.S. proxies in the north?

Posted by b on September 5, 2017 at 07:25 AM | Permalink

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There are reports that SAA forces including tanks crossed part of the Euphrates into one of the western island districts. The river should not pose much of a problem to Soviet armor designed to operate in the east European marshes and cross the major European rivers.

https://www.syrianperspective.com/2017/09/run-rat-run-syrian-army-enters-dayr-el-zor-rats-being-exterminated-syrper-predicts-total-liberation-in-less-than-5-days.html

Posted by: Anonymous | Sep 5, 2017 7:33:20 AM | 1

That is great, a great victory against terror.
Syrian people and armed forces hold tight even in nasty moments: without that, even russian intervention wuold have been a no hope-useless move.
A lot to do, but great.

Posted by: y | Sep 5, 2017 7:37:00 AM | 2

Limping off back home to London...

british-troops-withdraw-south-syria-end-training-militants

Posted by: White flag | Sep 5, 2017 8:00:45 AM | 4

They need to head east and take back those oil fields. Don't want to be giving the Kurt's and their US handlers any ideas.

Posted by: KP | Sep 5, 2017 8:02:57 AM | 5

" Or will it stay south of the river and leave those oil fields to the Kurdish U.S. proxies in the north? "

I always heard Assad answering journalists that he wanted to recapture all of his territory (which includes the Golan heights).

Posted by: Paul | Sep 5, 2017 9:30:53 AM | 6

b-"Will the SAA cross the Euphrates at Deir Ezzor to retake the valuable oilfields east of it? Or will it stay south of the river and leave those oil fields to the Kurdish U.S. proxies in the north?"

I'll take Option One for $200 billion b:)

Posted by: frances | Sep 5, 2017 9:37:02 AM | 7

Kurds are Sunni. So there will be a sunnistan with capital Raqqah after all?

I suggest Iraqi Shia militia cross the border north of Raqqah and demand Kurds withdraw from the south where they occupy Arab lands.

Without YPG US WILL FLEE cannot rely on some HIRED desert thieves of the rest of SDF.

Posted by: Kalen | Sep 5, 2017 9:55:36 AM | 8

The upcoming question then is how this campaign will proceed. Will the SAA cross the Euphrates at Deir Ezzor to retake the valuable oilfields east of it? Or will it stay south of the river and leave those oil fields to the Kurdish U.S. proxies in the north?
Posted by b on September 5, 2017 at 07:25 AM | Permalink

This victory was achieved without killing any useless wimpy Yankees. Next steps will be
- Secure Deir Ezzor.
- Announce a re-unified Syria with Assad as Leader.
- Thank the useless wimpy Yankees for their 'help'
- Ask the useless wimpy Yankees to leave Syria ... or else.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Sep 5, 2017 9:56:07 AM | 9

this has been a long time coming.. thanks for your many fine commentaries on the developments b.. i hope the syrian people can restructure their lives and get back to living in some more normal way, minus all the pain, murder and suffering they have been subjected to as a result of those outside players who have interfered in syria..

Posted by: james | Sep 5, 2017 10:12:37 AM | 10

If there's a single document that explains why the U.S., Israel and Saudi Arabia were so keen to overthrow the Syrian government, it's this May 25, 2009 US State Department cable, in particular this bit;

First, the Syrians and Iranians agreed Iran should export oil to Syria through the Iraqi pipeline network from Basra and Kirkuk to the Syrian port of Banias. Next, the Syrians announced they had increased the pace of construction on a gas pipeline from Aleppo towards the Turkish border in anticipation of receiving Iranian natural gas through Turkey (see paras 3-4 above). Further, both sides expressed a desire to link their electrical grids via the Deir Ezzor power station in eastern Syria and the Al Qaim station in western Iraq. Finally, the two delegations agreed they should facilitate bilateral trade by connecting their railroad network, with the Iranians noting their existing track is only 10km from the Iraqi port of Um Qasr.

If we look at the larger picture, with China's SCO linking up with Iran and Iran linking up with Syria through to Lebanon - this is quite the economic deal. What Israel and Saudi Arabia are paranoid about is the military cooperation, but really, nobody's going to attack Israel (which has about 100 nuclear weapons) or Saudi Arabia (which is going bankrupt due to its war in Yemen). The last hope of the neocon/neolib alliance in the US is to use the Kurds as some kind of wedge force between Iran and Syria - a notion the Kurds would be wise to reject; they'd be much better off declaring victory over ISIS and accepting a role in a united Syria, with Assad agreeing to a certain degree of federal-style autonomy.
.../us-military-kurds-lose-iran-syria-former-ambassador

Posted by: nonsense factory | Sep 5, 2017 10:46:03 AM | 11

I suggest Iraqi Shia militia cross the border north of Raqqah and demand Kurds withdraw from the south where they occupy Arab lands. Without YPG US WILL FLEE cannot rely on some HIRED desert thieves of the rest of SDF.
Posted by: Kalen | Sep 5, 2017 9:55:36 AM | 8

That does not make much geographic sense. Iraqi Shia in Syria are under Syrian command (there were some issues, but they seem to be resolved). They have a much larger problem in pushing Peshmerga out of Arab and Turkmen areas outside the provinces that formally form the Kurdish Region of Iraq. I guess that after ISIS is largely eliminated (two more months?), they will do that. Same in Syria, except that YPG is not claiming the independence as the goal, or the overthrow of the government, so I suspect that "after ISIS" SAA will patch some way of coexistence with SDF/Rojava (there is already some) and go after the "moderates", which can take months. But ultimately, Syrian Kurds will have to submit to some form of central control.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Sep 5, 2017 10:56:54 AM | 12

nmb, perhaps you have not read previous requests, but please desist from posting shortened urls to this site.

As Uncoy posted here recently (23 Aug 2017 10:38:34 am):
Not only is B putting us at risk of malware by allowing URL shorteners (those URLs could take us anywhere), even without the malware there are huge intelligence risks. Whoever is monitoring this weblog can go to those URL shortener link stats and see just how many people clicked through and even who they are. Naked URLs are very difficult to monitor.

On the Typepad platform B has no way of automatically getting rid of URL shorteners unfortunately (if we moved him to WordPress we could automatize URL expansion but self-hosted WordPress entails much higher maintenance costs for a busy site like this one so I don't recommend it). At one point I even tried to contact B about helping with the move but I no longer believe it a good idea due to the long term maintenance burden.

There's a manual way to deal with the URL shortener though. Any comment with URL shorteners in it should be deleted immediately (no platform for those who use URL shorteners). The commenter should be sent a polite request/warning. Any commenter who repeatedly posts links run through a tracking URL should then be banned.

In the meantime, I'd highly recommend that other visitors to Moon of Alabama refrain from clicking on any URL shortened link they see here. In the best case, you are being tracked. In the worst case, silent malware or spyware awaits. While most of us are not exciting targets, this sort of cheap scalping is just the sort of thing junior NSA hackers engineer to get noticed. Like target practice. Make them work a little harder.

Posted by: Petra | Sep 5, 2017 11:10:49 AM | 13

Piotr @12

I mean Iraqi shia militia units located in Iraq to cross the border of Syria north of Raqqah and by that threatening Rojava and forcing YPG to withdraw North when simultaneously Shia militia withdraws to Iraq.

No Russian or SAA involved and that is an advantage gives YPG cover not to follow US command while US will not attack Iraqis if they want to have troops there.

Posted by: Kalen | Sep 5, 2017 11:40:19 AM | 14

Karen @14:

There is a very short contact between YPG and non-Kurdish Iraqi forces. Sending a battalion or two would lead to a dispiriting defeat. And they are too busy with ISIS, and as I wrote, later they will have the same problem to solve. Politically, domestic forces are best for domestic problems, and moreover, one should not fight on more fronts simultaneously than necessary.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Sep 5, 2017 12:15:49 PM | 15

I expect SAA's bridgehead to be rapidly exploited to besiege the besiegers while also pushing North and East to forestall the SDF and secure assets. Meanwhile, the flanks will be secured and the impasse broken at T-2. Further places along the Syria-Jordan border continue to be retaken. Idlib looks like it will be the target of the Winter campaign.

Meanwhile in Vladivostok, the leaders of East Asian nations are converging there for the Eastern Economic Forum--including those from North and South Korea as well as President Putin, who will host, http://theduran.com/north-korean-delegation-arrives/ This is on the tails of the just completed 9th annual BRICS Summit in Xiaman, China, where eyes were on the sideline meeting between Modi and Xi, but apparently a suggestion by Putin stole the show: "Putin reveals 'fair multipolar world' concept in which oil contracts could bypass the US dollar and be traded with oil, yuan and gold," which Pepe Escobar reports about today, http://www.atimes.com/article/real-brics-bombshell/ The Hybrid Third World War just got more interesting.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 5, 2017 12:16:04 PM | 16

Even Robert Ford, who long conspired with SecState Hillary Clinton to form various shadow governments for Syria, has thrown in the towel.
news report: “Bashar Assad’s government has won the war militarily,” said Robert Ford, a former U.S. ambassador to Damascus who witnessed the uprising’s earliest days. “And I can’t see any prospect of the Syrian opposition being able to compel him to make dramatic concessions in a peace negotiation.”
My favorite prospective Syria PM from that era was a guy from Murphy,Texas. Ghassan Hitto graduated from Indiana University-Purdue University in 1989 with degrees in mathematics and computer science, and also received an M.B.A. at Indiana Wesleyan University in 1994. Hitto was elected "Prime Minister of the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces" on 18 March 2013 by a narrow margin over former Syrian Arab Republic agricultural minister Assad Mustafa. Hitto resigned several months later on 8 July 2013. (Saudi Arabia didn't like Hitto.) A Texas-based businessman Hitto had lived in the US for over 30 years.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 5, 2017 12:40:06 PM | 17

What is not yet surfacing from this long struggle in Syria is a realization that a universal need exist for the governed people of a nation state to address malfeasance in office or abuse of government.

Governments and corporations are nothing more than a bilateral contracts. In the case of government the contract authorizes one group to make the law and to enforce them, and other group to be law abiding citizens. but what do the people do, when the people who run the government are corrupt or use the government for purposes never intended by those it claims the right to govern or what do the governed do it those in power tell lies, hide their activities and generally keep everything a dark top secret?

Suppose a party in the government (any government) is corrupt [self-deals] or violates the terms of the nation state citizen commitment or uses his or her authority under colour of the authority and resources of the government to engage in genocide, or keeps secret the affairs of government and the acticties of those who are empowered to act on the government side of the contract, or torture citizens, or perpetrate inequality because of race or religion or write unreasonable laws or enforce laws that either do not exist or that violate the terms of the government:people contract (usually called a constitution)?

Anything run by a recognized nation state system will not work. History shows over and over again, the empowered will not charge, indite, try, convict or punish one of their ownfor corruption or mis guided intentions especially if the perpetrator is part of a strong government. or if that government is outside of the reach of the human rights courts..

The governed people[ which is nearly everybody] need a global court of their own, to keep those that govern honest. Such a court needs to be funded by the governed people. A court that has universal recognition which is fully transparent to all apparatus of all nation states, and such a court needs to make the nation states system its sheriffs and bailiffs.. and such courts should be made powerful enough to remove by just process a person who serves in a government, as an employee, contractor, consultant or otherwise, if such person is perpetrating an injustice under colour of a nation state government. I have in mind that the court of the governed (COTG) would try those who govern. not the government. Governments, military, and corporations are inanimate objects, fictional characters, animated by the people who operate them. The humanity of the world should be empowered to bring to justice those who accept and then abuse the responsibility to govern the lives of other people.

But if a person campaigns on a platform that they will not use money or resources of the nation state to build a bridge across the Atlantic Ocean, and immediately after taking office the installed government official directs the government to start construction of such a bridge, then the governed of that nation should be able to check that abuse of government by some means or other.

Making a nation stronger creates grave risk to justice and democracy.. which can only be countered by the efforts of those who are the governed.

Posted by: jose2 | Sep 5, 2017 12:43:27 PM | 18

Turkey isn't done with the Kurds yet. Turkey has an historical gripe about how UK and France split up the Middle East, and there is the matter of 45 billion gallons of Kurdistan oil reserves.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 5, 2017 12:47:03 PM | 19

According to Leith Fadel (Al Masdar News), the Tiger forces will take a much deserved break after securing DE while the SAA focus shifts to West Aleppo/East Ghouta..

Posted by: Lozion | Sep 5, 2017 12:48:55 PM | 20

The major town and cities in the east are largely Arab. The Kurds are trying to ethnically cleanse these. They regularly try to take on the Arabs in al Qamishli on the Syria/Turkey border. They need to be stomped on, like the takfiri brothers in arms. They have a real Israel complex, which isn't surprising, given this:

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_fiZwGmQRQlo/Szi9VxYCuSI/AAAAAAAAA8Q/uI8PKg7h2CQ/s400/Bild+3.png

Posted by: Anonymous | Sep 5, 2017 12:59:03 PM | 21

The symbolic power of this victory cannot be underestimated. There was, perhaps, in the minds of those who watched or suffered in this war a hidden unvoiced question. ISIS had demonstrated over and over again its' dedication and willingness to die for their ideology. Did Syrians? Deir Ezzour (and Khuweiris) stand as the ultimate statement that Syrians are willing to stand, fight with every fibre of their being and die for their country. Syria has shaken off the corrupting, self-serving infection of its' Lebanese occupation to become a force with a clear identity, sense of purpose and unity.

The end of the war is still ahead... but this victory seals a change in how Syrians see themselves, in how Syria carries itself in the world -0 a change that began at Khuweiris.

They deserve far more honor than they will receive.

Posted by: les7 | Sep 5, 2017 1:11:25 PM | 22

@21 Also Assyrian/Syriac. Lets hope Sootoro forces and SAA can keep in check YPG schemes in Hasakah/Quamishli until a political or military solution is found for Eastern Syria..

Posted by: Lozion | Sep 5, 2017 1:12:19 PM | 23

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ghassan_Hitto
Ghassan Hitto

Ghassan Hitto (Arabic: غسان هيتو‎‎; born 1963) was the first Prime Minister of an interim government established by the Syrian opposition National Coalition.[1][2] Born in Damascus into a Kurdish family, he left Syria to the U.S. in 1980, became a naturalized American citizen and worked as an information technology executive and lived in Texas until recently. In late 2012, he relocated to Turkey.[3] He was elected prime minister on 18 March 2013 by a narrow margin over former Syrian Arab Republic agricultural minister Assad Mustafa.[4] Hitto resigned on 8 July 2013.[5]

Posted by: okie farmer | Sep 5, 2017 1:29:37 PM | 24

Hi Petra @ 13,
how does one know if a URL is shortened on links posted here? How does that mean that they can be hacked? Sorry, I'm kinda good with computer stuff, but I couldn't figure out how the posting from nmb was compromised.
Thanks!

And, Best news I've heard today about Syria regaining territory. Go Dr. Assad and all his brave fighters!

Thank you B for giving us the whiskey bar.

Posted by: roza shanina | Sep 5, 2017 2:07:53 PM | 25

I am an old man but I have been crying like a little kid watching the SAA break the IS siege.

My thoughts:

* There have been no serious counter attacks by IS or diversionary attacks to delay the SAA in other IS areas. This indicates to me that IS forces are rapidly dwindling and they are not being replaced. In the past IS had an endless number of drug crazed shock troops that could overrun almost any secured positions.

* The US regime has lost their ability to slow the SAA. No fake chemical attacks. No diversionary attacks elsewhere in the country to force the SAA to slow or stop their main offensive and draw troops and material away.

* The US regime is successfully controlling the Iraq government. If the Iraq government was operating in their own self interest, the PMU would be actively working with the SAA along the border in parallel with the SAA forces liberating Deir Ezzor.

* The US regime must be in a panic now. Their entire pretext for attacking Syria is on the verge of going away. With the US regime on the verge of starting a catastrophic war with North Korea one has to wonder how much more effort they are willing to waste on a war that is already lost. Do they continue and act out of spite or just walk away?

It is now time for the SAA and Russia to drive right up to Hasaka letting it be known that anyone standing in their way will be destroyed.

Historic defeat for the US and Israeli regimes and Gulf dictatorships.

Posted by: Vannok | Sep 5, 2017 2:40:41 PM | 26

Roza @25

If you hover over the link and you see bitly, it's shortened. Why it's a bad idea check

https://www.forbes.com/sites/ygrauer/2016/04/20/five-reasons-you-should-stop-shortening-urls/#6b64ee03f69c

Posted by: spudski | Sep 5, 2017 3:15:49 PM | 27

I for one, hope Assad and his helpers insist on reunifying ALL of Syria. To allow the empire a piece of Syria only guarantee trouble down the road.

Posted by: ben | Sep 5, 2017 3:34:45 PM | 28

@ Vannok 26
re: "The US regime is successfully controlling the Iraq government. If the Iraq government was operating in their own self interest, the PMU would be actively working with the SAA along the border in parallel with the SAA forces liberating Deir Ezzor."

I agree with the overall tone of your total comment, but actually Iraq is closely allied with Iran, thanks to Operation Iraqi Freedom. The PMU, a Shiite militia group in Iraq, was successful in Iraq and so moved to the Syria border in June where US-backed rebels in the south of Syria and US airstrikes restrained the PMU. Reports are sketchy, but that seems to be the case. In any case the US does not control Iraq. The US military was thrown out of Iraq several years ago and (if Iraq has its way) will again be asked to leave.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 5, 2017 3:43:37 PM | 29

* The US regime must be in a panic now. Their entire pretext for attacking Syria is on the verge of going away. With the US regime on the verge of starting a catastrophic war with North Korea one has to wonder how much more effort they are willing to waste on a war that is already lost. Do they continue and act out of spite or just walk away?

It is not exactly panic. It is more like in an ancient joke told in Poland with two stock characters, Bear and Hare. Our two fellows decided to make a train trip with a single ticket, and agreed that when the tickets will be checked, Bear will hide Hare by hanging him outside the window. The controller comes, punches the tickets, but then asks: why do you keep your paw outside, Mr. Bear? And in reply Bear shows both empty paws and says: oh, no particular reason! It seems that the moderate rebels will be bouncing like the hapless Hare.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Sep 5, 2017 3:48:08 PM | 30

Petra @ 13

I will accept instructions on how to post only from the administrator of this site.

Posted by: nmb | Sep 5, 2017 3:50:46 PM | 31

karlof1@16 - "...I expect SAA's bridgehead to be rapidly exploited to besiege the besiegers while also pushing North and East to forestall the SDF and secure assets..."

The US and Saudi Arabia just split their forces for the 'East of the Euphrates' campaign. A week or two ago, there were reports of seven battalions of Syria's Tomorrow Movement leaving their military forces, the Syrian Elite Forces (SEF) to join the SDF. Those battalions were composed of al-Baggara and al-Shaitat tribal fighters. Refer to the Balanche map b posted above - tribal areas are in green. This was to legitimize any SDF movement/war booty along the Euphrates.

The Syrian Elite Forces were initially about 3000 Arab fighters created last year, mostly from former members of the eastern Syrian Arab FSA tribes. They are led by a psychopathic criminal and Arab/UAE intelligence asset named Ahmad Jarba who created the 'movement' in Cairo - there is some Egypt intel connection that is still a bit of a mystery. Arab/UAE intelligence recruited more minor tribal fighters/insignificant warlords into the SEF last year, and financed 'training' for the SEF. It couldn't appear to be US-backed in any way, so the 'trainers' were probably UAE SF or Prince's mercs. The SEF supposedly was armed by Barzani (See? No US or Saudi in sight! It's all home-grown...).

The Syria's Tomorrow Movement was suppose to be the core of the Arab southern half of SDF-istan. It looks like they can no longer mount an effective campaign against the SAA for the Euphrates Valley. In response, the al-Baggara and al-Shaitat tribal fighters were cleaved off to 'become' SDF. The reports in the west said they defected because of SEF 'corruption'. Heh, heh... Anyway, they probably get whatever they can take over between or around the Euphrates and Khabur triangle, including anything they can grab across the Euphrates from Deir EzZor. The US has already announced air support for such a campaign. Despite the SouthFront title in this article, the effort will be the newly-defected Arab SEF tribal fighters (with the usual handful of Kurd commanders and spokespeople for photo ops/interviews).

This leaves the remaining SEF fighters outside the apparent control of the US and SDF, but they will still answer to their Saudi/UAE masters under Jarba's command. This would be the Shammar and Ougaidat tribal fighters (see Balanche map) working south from east of the Khabur and Euphrates. Their war booty will potentially be the Omar/Tanak oil fields and al Bukamal. This is certainly a Saudi/UAE scheme, but the US sees it as beneficial because it weakens Assad (loss of major oil fields) and drives a Wahhabi wedge into the feared Shia crescent/Iranian Superhighway of Shia. The Arab tribes will have plenty of Saudi/UAE assistance (financial, engineering, equipment) getting the Omar/Tanak oilfields back into production. They never produced that much, but they'll be productive enough to make the al Shammar and al Ougaidat tribal leaders plenty rich.

The SDF will be employed as a blocking force on the east bank of the Euphrates while the SEF mercs 'liberate' the remaining land/oilfields to the Iraqi border and south to al Bukamal/al Qaim. The US just wants to stall the SAA with the SDF east of the Euphrates. They're just buying time for the SEF to grab the oilfields.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Sep 5, 2017 3:52:07 PM | 32

karlof1@16 - "...I expect SAA's bridgehead to be rapidly exploited to besiege the besiegers while also pushing North and East to forestall the SDF and secure assets..."

The US and Saudi Arabia just split their forces for the 'East of the Euphrates' campaign. A week or two ago, there were reports of seven battalions of Syria's Tomorrow Movement leaving their military forces, the Syrian Elite Forces (SEF) to join the SDF. Those battalions were composed of al-Baggara and al-Shaitat tribal fighters. Refer to the Balanche map b posted above - tribal areas are in green. This was to legitimize any SDF movement/war booty along the Euphrates.

The Syrian Elite Forces were initially about 3000 Arab fighters created last year, mostly from former members of the eastern Syrian Arab FSA tribes. They are led by a psychopathic criminal and Arab/UAE intelligence asset named Ahmad Jarba who created the 'movement' in Cairo - there is some Egypt intel connection that is still a bit of a mystery. Arab/UAE intelligence recruited more minor tribal fighters/insignificant warlords into the SEF last year, and financed 'training' for the SEF. It couldn't appear to be US-backed in any way, so the 'trainers' were probably UAE SF or Prince's mercs. The SEF supposedly was armed by Barzani (See? No US or Saudi in sight! It's all home-grown...).

The Syria's Tomorrow Movement was suppose to be the core of the Arab southern half of SDF-istan. It looks like they can no longer mount an effective campaign against the SAA for the Euphrates Valley. In response, the al-Baggara and al-Shaitat tribal fighters were cleaved off to 'become' SDF. The reports in the west said they defected because of SEF 'corruption'. Heh, heh... Anyway, they probably get whatever they can take over between or around the Euphrates and Khabur triangle, including anything they can grab across the Euphrates from Deir EzZor. The US has already announced air support for such a campaign. [%&#!% Typepad-censored SouthFront link previously here deleted so this will post... sigh!]

This leaves the remaining SEF fighters outside the apparent control of the US and SDF, but they will still answer to their Saudi/UAE masters under Jarba's command. This would be the Shammar and Ougaidat tribal fighters (see Balanche map) working south from east of the Khabur and Euphrates. Their war booty will potentially be the Omar/Tanak oil fields and al Bukamal. This is certainly a Saudi/UAE scheme, but the US sees it as beneficial because it weakens Assad (loss of major oil fields) and drives a Wahhabi wedge into the feared Shia crescent/Iranian Superhighway of Shia. The Arab tribes will have plenty of Saudi/UAE assistance (financial, engineering, equipment) getting the Omar/Tanak oilfields back into production. They never produced that much, but they'll be productive enough to make the al Shammar and al Ougaidat tribal leaders plenty rich.

The SDF will be employed as a blocking force on the east bank of the Euphrates while the SEF mercs 'liberate' the remaining land/oilfields to the Iraqi border and south to al Bukamal/al Qaim. The US just wants to stall the SAA with the SDF east of the Euphrates. They're just buying time for the SEF to grab the oilfields.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Sep 5, 2017 4:00:29 PM | 33

This is a classic desert campaign. Not much resistance until you get to the destination, much like the Brits in Libya in 1940-1942. 60% of Deir ez-Zor is said to be held by Da'ish. That's going to take a while to reduce, but I don't see a problem.

I suppose they're going to go on to the oil-fields, perhaps before reducing Deir ez-Zor town.

The rap on the oil-fields east of the Khabur. Before the war, Syria depended entirely on those fields to keep Syria rolling. When the fields were taken over by rebels, before Da'ish, trade continued, and Syria continued to roll on Khabur oil, the same even under Da'ish.

The threat comes now, with the US directing the SDF to move south from Hassekeh to take the oil-fields. If the move succeeds, will Khabur oil still be available to Syrians? This is a major threat, and I should think it's why the haste to Deir ez-Zor.

But is there a threat? The forces allocated to take the oil-fields by the SDF are Arab tribal forces. Sunnis. A couple of years ago, there was a video where one of their leaders was shown saying he was joining the SDF in order to bring about the reunification of Syria under Asad. Just now, further north-west, we've had SDF tribal forces defecting to Asad.

My guess is that many of the Jazira tribes will defect to Asad, if the Deir ez-Zor campaign succeeds, and the Kurds will be left alone.

By the way, my Syrian student says, why not import oil from Iraq, friendly country, now that the road is open.

Posted by: Laguerre | Sep 5, 2017 4:02:33 PM | 34

Posted by: roza shanina | Sep 5, 2017 2:07:53 PM | 25

A shortened url is a substituted url. Think of it as nicknames ("alias") for web pages. So the simplest way to tell if the url is an alias, is to look for the telltale pattern of a shortned url:

1 - it is a jibberish sequence of characters. typical normal urls are words you can read.

2 - the 'web site' of the url is bit.ly, or tinyurl.com, or t.co, etc.

Why is that bad?

Because unlike a normal url, clicking on a shortened url will first take you to the servers of the url shortner service. And there, they translate from the "alias" to the actual url.

Hygenic url following:

1 - never click on shortened urls.

2 - never click on a normal url. copy location, open new tab, and paste address.

3 - use incognito mode

Posted by: nobody | Sep 5, 2017 4:07:21 PM | 35

Elijah J. Magnier‏ @ejmalrai 8h8 hours ago
 More
Replying to @ejmalrai
Elijah J. Magnier Retweeted Elijah J. Magnier
Deir al-Zour tribes are abandoning #ISIS and joining #SAA: the loser (ISIS) has no friends

If Magnier is correct, then a good chance SAA will easily cross the Euphrates and retake the oil fields.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Sep 5, 2017 4:25:08 PM | 36

@35 The writing is on the wall. Leave ship or sink with it..
@32 There is a certain assuredness to your post that belies your "just a guy on the net" stance, not that I mind ;)

Posted by: Lozion | Sep 5, 2017 4:32:11 PM | 37

frances@ 7
From Greg Galloway site it appears that the US is pushing YPG forces to block SAA from the oil fields East of the River.
https://twitter.com/NewsCoverUp

Posted by: Krollchem | Sep 5, 2017 4:33:13 PM | 38

@22

I agree that this lifting of the siege in Deir Ezzor is huge news. Mainly in the sense that it will give huge boost to morale of SAA and Syrian people in general. Whatever happens east of the Euphrates, there will certainly be a substantial land link from Iran to Lebanon for those opposed to the "Zionist entity". I doubt Assad will make an early move on the Golan heights, but the scene is now set for a major change in the balance of power. Syria has many friends and the momentum is with her. Expect to see middle class dual passport Israelis heading back to the US over the coming years.

Posted by: aniteleya | Sep 5, 2017 4:43:49 PM | 39

@ 26 Vannock
"* There have been no serious counter attacks by IS or diversionary attacks to delay the SAA in other IS areas. This indicates to me that IS forces are rapidly dwindling and they are not being replaced. In the past IS had an endless number of drug crazed shock troops that could overrun almost any secured positions."

There have been plenty of major counter-attacks... just look along the Euphrates where the Tiger forces were driven back through half a dozen villages. The difference is that now the SAA is fighting using satellite, drone and local intelligence. In addition there is a coordinated Air-Land (Sea if you count cruise missiles)attack that is prompt (a matter of a couple minutes between the call for support and bombs on the ground) This integrated attack is why they succeed as they do. But when they don't, the results are almost always slaughter. ISIS has not changed. They are just more visible and far less able to 'see' as their sources of intelligence have largely been cut by former supporters

@ 33 Laguerra
For those unfamiliar, the Jazira tribes are those in the area between the Tigris and Euphrates.

Posted by: les7 | Sep 5, 2017 5:23:48 PM | 40

Good maps on the SAA advances against the Western backed terrorists can be found at (language can be switched to English, French etc.)
https://militarymaps.info/

My bet is that the European "leaders" of Macron and Merkel (M&M) will seek to arrest the Leaders of the Syrian Arab Republic and recolonize the Middle East and North Africa for the benefit of the "Greater Europe".
http://www.voltairenet.org/IMG/pdf/CC_2017052_10.pdf

Posted by: Krollchem | Sep 5, 2017 5:41:32 PM | 41

Thank you b and all! This is harp string music to my ears and heart and oh so weary soul, after witnessing so many bloody battle defeats in so many countries spanning the last 70 years of the Fourth Reich's American empire. May this be a sign of the turning point and the beginning of a multi polar and more just world having finally arrived.

Posted by: RayB | Sep 5, 2017 5:58:30 PM | 42

PavewayIV @32--

Thanks for the info! I did read the Southfront item you tried to link but thought it more bluster than ability given current level of forces in theatre. As I understand it, DZ's airfield is operational and will be used as soon as local security's achieved. I don't see any armed formation with the ability to stop SAA and allies from regaining all of Syrian territory other than at Golan, not even Turks to the North. It would be nice to see just what's in the lengthy supply convoys and where they're at to determine when they'll be used--bridging equipment specifically, with some likely ready on-site and more in train @2 days back I'd guess. It's rumored the elite Tiger Forces will be pulled out of the line for R&R once DZ's secured; but, that begs the question: By what criteria is DZ considered secured--the city or entire province? I assume the latter as there's too much work left to be done.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 5, 2017 6:14:48 PM | 43

NMB continues to behave like a heel, dropping shortened tracked links into our conversation. He knows now that there is no technlogical way for B to put an end to his vandalism. Perhaps banning him until he learns proper link etiquette and post full links?

****

A great victory for Syria and Russia. Patience and straight dealing have been given a big boost by this Syrian campaign. Of course now is not the time to let down their guard. There is a nasty surprise on its way from either Israel or Uncle Sam. They are very poor losers. Perhaps this consular nonsense in San Francisco is partly related to losing Syria. If the US can't win on foreign battlefields, at least they can search Russian diplomats' apartments inside their own territory.

Posted by: Uncoy | Sep 5, 2017 6:16:22 PM | 44

@les7 #39

There have been plenty of major counter-attacks... just look along the Euphrates where the Tiger forces were driven back through half a dozen villages.

The largest attack IS was able to carry out, along the Euphrates, was recaptured the very next day.

That is not a 'major counterattack.'

Posted by: Vannok | Sep 5, 2017 6:47:21 PM | 45

@44

A close read of the news will show the counter-offensive had the SAA backing up for two days and they consolidated the third. Some of those cities/villages have still not been re-captured.

The main point still stands... it is an intelligence backed integrated attack that makes ISIS look like it is only fighting at half-strength.

Posted by: les7 | Sep 5, 2017 6:57:02 PM | 46

@34 nobody - thank you for the info. I had no idea.

Posted by: roza shanina | Sep 5, 2017 7:38:33 PM | 47

"NMB continues to behave like a heel, dropping shortened tracked links into our conversation." - no, he behaves like a complete arsehole.
He is either:
- too lazy
- too stupid
- or has an ulterior motive for continuing to behave in this manner.

Posted by: ted01 | Sep 5, 2017 8:11:01 PM | 48

Off topic a bit but does anyone know the status of the ISIS convoy that Hezbollah negotiated a safe passage for only to be stopped in its tracks by the US because, well just 'cuz. Thanks!

Posted by: frances | Sep 5, 2017 8:26:20 PM | 49

frances @48--

Last I read--3 Sept--that convoy was still stuck in desert where it halted.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 5, 2017 8:40:39 PM | 50

frances@48, karlof1@49

Still halted; under 24hr US drone surveilance. US intends to starve them - no aid is allowed anywhere near the buses. Convoy is actually two separate groups: 6 buses still in SAA-held territory, 11 buses in ISIS territory further east.

From Elijah J. Magnier tweet yesterday:

https://twitter.com/ejmalrai/status/904931957917847552

Posted by: PavewayIV | Sep 5, 2017 10:22:12 PM | 51

amerika is so determined to spare no expense on ensuring those isis families don't get out alive, that it is reasonable to speculate there is someone/people on board those buses who amerika is desperate to see doesn't get anywhere near a SAA debrief.
If it was yet another ISIS boss amerika would be talking loudly about that to try and put SAA in a bad light for being too soft on ISIS - that leaves an amerikan/israeli asset or former asset who knows too much operational detail to be allowed to live.

USukI has run up the white flag on most of the syrian mess - that suggests actual military on the ground intelligence would not be so sought after. That leaves intelligence gathering and communication methods along with knowledge of other mercenary quislings amerika & israel have in place in Syria. Alternatively their target may be an isis straight shooter who has managed to deduce that some other fella up where they are headed is a give up, grass, topper, - a traitor.

Nothing highlights the low moral character and yes, racist, nature of the amerikan regime than this sort of stuff which happens all the time albeit usually less publicly than this current fiasco of slaughter and broken promises.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Sep 5, 2017 11:31:45 PM | 52

I recall when Brazil-Turkey-Iran agreed on a deal back in 2010 to limit Iran's nukes, short-stopping US demands. We Iranophiles flung our hats in the air, whooped and cheered. Then Hillary Clinton, who was SoS, went nuts. The Brazil-Turkey-Iran deal fell apart within a week.

So I'm hanging onto my cap. It's terrific, a game-changer I hope, that SAA w/ Russian and Iranian assistance have rescued Deir Ezzor. I'd get on my knees and say a Rosary to call down the Lady's aid for reunification of Syria.
But the Izzies never quit, they just change the shape of their spots. Uncle Sam and his Congress of duplicitous delinquents will pursue whatever game Neuman's Rational Institute cooks up.

btw, Deir Ezzor & its desert environs was the intended "relocation zone" for Armenians rounded up by Young Turks in 1915.

Posted by: Croesus | Sep 5, 2017 11:57:01 PM | 53

Is Sulieman still active with Iranian forces in Syria?

Posted by: Croesus | Sep 6, 2017 12:02:53 AM | 54

@48, according to Nasrallah, commander or spokesman for Hezbollah the ISIS convoy was allowed safe passage to take the takfiris from one hot zone to another, not freed, in exchange for SAA captives and bodies. The takfiris must still decide whether to surrender or die. The US claims this is going easy on terrorists and they're not going to stand for it. But, of course, they only want to stymie Hezbollah's efforts to retrieve their fighters and bodies of the fallen. That's my understanding of the situation. sorry, can't find the original link.

Posted by: ruralito | Sep 6, 2017 12:33:51 AM | 55

Petra @ 13
I will accept instructions on how to post only from the administrator of this site.
Posted by: nmb | Sep 5, 2017 3:50:46 PM | 31

When thread margins were being occasionally mangled by long links with dozens of characters without spaces, by ppl too lazy/careless to PREVIEW such links, b asked ppl who want to post a potentially margin-wrecking link to slip it into the href protocol(?) which is permanently & prominently displayed immediately above the field into which comments are typed, before PREVIEW-ing and POST-ing.

It's not difficult and it's what the administrator has requested.
The administrator, himself, uses the href method when shortening links which confirms that this is his preferred method for this site.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Sep 6, 2017 1:43:26 AM | 56

Nothing highlights the low moral character and yes, racist, nature of the amerikan regime than this sort of stuff which happens all the time albeit usually less publicly than this current fiasco of slaughter and broken promises.

Debsisdead | Sep 5, 2017 11:31:45 PM | 51
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Indeed; it's stunning to say the least. But the view from the hermitage indicates a mass turning away from such depravity/moral bankruptcy.
This, from the Saker, seems to back that up;
http://tinyurl.com/From-the-Saker

Posted by: V. Arnold | Sep 6, 2017 4:22:54 AM | 57

To be clear; the turning away, is the world, turning away from the U.S. hegemon.

Posted by: V. Arnold | Sep 6, 2017 4:29:05 AM | 58

Wondering where the following is going to lead:
"Iran has closed its airspace for US and Saudi Arabia as well as for other countries that have attacked Yemen, the Iranian FARS News agency reported ..."
https://southfront.org/iran-closes-its-airspace-for-us-saudi-aircraft/

Its only one step from closing the airspace to closing shipping routes.

Posted by: maningi | Sep 6, 2017 5:40:37 AM | 60

There have been plenty of major counter-attacks... just look along the Euphrates where the Tiger forces were driven back through half a dozen villages.
I'm still not sure what happened up there on the Raqqa/Deir Ez-zor border. It could have been that ISIS wanted to rescue some senior leaders from Raqqa with ISIS fighting its way through the SAA forces to the SDF forces and a small group from ISIS driving out of Raqqa is SDF uniforms. Alternatively, it could have been a feint by the SAA to draw ISIS away from the SAA's planned line of advance. ISIS seems to have lost about 1,600 fighters in that operation, what ever it was, so it was hardly successful.

Posted by: Ghostship | Sep 6, 2017 6:40:35 AM | 61

@33 Laguerre

That was the idea from the beginning to build a pipeline Iran-Iraq-Syria and then up to Turkey. Somebody did not like that plan at all.

Posted by: Demeter | Sep 6, 2017 6:54:07 AM | 62

Syrian government forces used chemical weapons more than two dozen times: U.N.

The U.N. investigators interviewed 43 witnesses, victims, and first responders linked to the attack. Satellite imagery, photos of bomb remnants and early warning reports were used.

So yet another report free of any actual/conclusive evidence, ie Russia will (and is very much entitled to) throw in its veto on any proposition, from the usual suspects in the UN security council, that would condemn the Syrian military. Good job, you've accomplished nothing.

Posted by: never mind | Sep 6, 2017 7:14:34 AM | 63

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Sep 6, 2017 1:43:26 AM | 56

I think b. can speak for himself. It is obvious that NMB's intention for using the short URL service is to get marketing statistics from which blog posts people click on his site.

Don't click the link if you don't want to show up or go to the latest article in failedevolution.blogspot.de directly if you are interested

blogspot is owned by google. There is a google chrome bit.ly extension. Either way your information will end up with google and if you go via the shortener also with bit.ly. If you want to remain completely anonymous don't use the internet.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 6, 2017 7:25:41 AM | 64

61

No, the issue was if it should be a Qatar-Iraq-Syria-Turkey gas pipeline or a Iran-Iraq-Syria-Mediterranean gas pipeline.

Saudi now tries to buy their way into Iraq - which would have been a good idea a long time ago.

He further spoke about the big conflict between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

Talking about what Saudi Arabia stands to gain in this alliance with Iraq, the analyst said that there is an “energy component” in there.

“For many years now they wanted a pipeline to go across from Northern Iraq through Syria into the Mediterranean and Qatar was proposing a plan like that several years ago. So if you are focusing on those oil fields and that capability then it required tremendous investment of countries that can afford it,” the analyst said.

According to Vallely, Saudi Arabia can afford to make an investment like this but again there is the power struggle between the kingdom and Iran about who will control that part of Iraq and Syria if they are restored.


Posted by: somebody | Sep 6, 2017 7:48:50 AM | 65

@62 Just saw this

The Western media and political elites are such low level lifeforms, something between worms and cockroaches. They just don't want to talk about good things coming from Syria, SAA actually fighting and beating ISIS, freeing up 100'000 sieged civilians - who were more numerous and sieged for far longer than their bogus crap about East Aleppo last year -; they now have to release their 3rd-grader-written "report" about Evil Assad. And media will once again go nuts about their usual false-flags and hoaxes.
I'm still half-surprised they didn't go for the "Russia did it" angle with that chemical mess.

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Sep 6, 2017 8:25:35 AM | 66

Simple. Don't like the way somebody links, don't click. Let the owner of the site deal with it.

Posted by: Morongobill | Sep 6, 2017 9:15:23 AM | 67

re: Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 5, 2017 8:40:39 PM | 50
re: Posted by: PavewayIV | Sep 5, 2017 10:22:12 PM |51

Thank you both for the updates on the convoy; how horrible, as a US citizen I am so ashamed. Thank you both again.

Posted by: frances | Sep 6, 2017 10:14:28 AM | 68

re48
reply: Posted by: Debsisdead | Sep 5, 2017 11:31:45 PM | 52 and Posted by: V. Arnold | Sep 6, 2017 4:22:54 AM | 57 and Posted by: ruralito | Sep 6, 2017 12:33:51 AM | 55
I remember a Mossad agent being uncovered working as an ISIS operative a few days ago, perhaps Israel stepped up its game and now, yes there are a number operatives within that caravan.
On the other hand it could just be US rage at losing a war that had been seen as won a few years ago. A nasty business, I wonder if Russia will take a hand in this, for no truce/safe passage agreement will be viewed as secure if this one fails.

Posted by: frances | Sep 6, 2017 10:27:54 AM | 69

Why should be people be careful about clicking on links in general?
https://citizenlab.ca/2016/08/million-dollar-dissident-iphone-zero-day-nso-group-uae/

On August 10 and 11, 2016, Mansoor received SMS text messages on his iPhone promising “new secrets” about detainees tortured in UAE jails if he clicked on an included link. Instead of clicking, Mansoor sent the messages to Citizen Lab researchers. We recognized the links as belonging to an exploit infrastructure connected to NSO Group, an Israel-based “cyber war” company that sells Pegasus, a government-exclusive “lawful intercept” spyware product. NSO Group is reportedly owned by an American venture capital firm, Francisco Partners Management.

Url shortening is only done for monitoring or redirection, it's the opposite of transparency. Look up "spearphising and malicious links" for many discussions of the problem.

To get back to Syria, the usual clan of neocon/neolib activists has settled on "an independent Kurdistan" as their last great hope for pursuing the PNAC objectives. Not that they give a shit about the fate of the Kurds, who will be used for a while and then abandoned, it's just all they know how to do. For example, one Juleanna Glover, a leftover from the Cheney-Bush era, just published an article titled "Supporting an independent Iraqi Kurdistan is the right thing to do. It’s also the smart thing to do", in Politico. It's more interesting to look at Glover's background (wiki):

Ms. Glover served as senior staff for President-elect George W. Bush and as Press Secretary for Vice President Dick Cheney. Glover also served as the registered government affairs advisor for Iraq’s first post-Saddam Hussein ambassador to the United States. She is a former term member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Glover was a senior advisor in Senator John McCain's 2008 bid for the White House, traveling with him throughout the primary season. . .
Ms. Glover is also a regular public policy commentator[10] on cable news shows, including Squawkbox on CNBC, Fox and Friends on FoxNews, and Martin Bashir on MSNBC. Her opinion pieces have been published in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Politico, Forbes, and the The National Review, among others.

The idiots in Washington DC with their think tanks and corporate consultancies and records of unmitigated disasters in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Syria, they just keep spewing the same drivel, like some pack of Soviet apparatchiks and functionairies set to autoplay. Go home already, the game is over.

Posted by: nonsense factory | Sep 6, 2017 10:33:42 AM | 70

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Sep 6, 2017 1:43:26 AM | 56

I think b. can speak for himself. It is obvious that NMB's intention for using the short URL service is to get marketing statistics from which blog posts people click on his site.

Don't click the link if you don't want to show up or go to the latest article in failedevolution.blogspot.de directly if you are interested.
...
Posted by: somebody | Sep 6, 2017 7:25:41 AM | 63

We all know b can speak for himself.
But one of the important reasons I lurk at MoA is that b doesn't regularly, and habitually, quibble with commenters the way RB @ Niqnaq, and Pat Lang @ SST, do. It's amateurish and infantile.

I was whingeing on my own behalf because NMB's bitly links are indecipherable, whereas href links identify themselves. But I also appreciate the (apparent) fact that b spends a lot more time doing 'due diligence' when prepping a post, than repetitive quibbling in the comments.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Sep 6, 2017 11:03:05 AM | 71

frances@67 - Keep in mind how this story is being subtly twisted by CJTF-OIR and western media. Brett McGurk just tweeted this deceptive statement to propagate the US spin:

Many false reports on #ISIS terrorist convoy. It has not reached #Iraq and will not reach Iraq. Buses still in open desert, with food/water.

Note that Hezbollah had ALWAYS been clear about transporting them to al Bukamal - an ISIS-held Syrian city on Syrian sovereign territory. It was the US and Iraq spun this initially as 'right next to Iraq' and then just as 'into Iraq'. Al Qaim is the ISIS-held town on the Iraqi side of the border. How are Iraqis and the US so sure that they would want to cross into Iraq? Some sort of secret ISIS bases there that they know about?

The US has been pretty obvious about influencing Iraq so far to avoid moving up the Euphrates to al Qaim to clean out ISIS. In fact, the US seems pretty determined to herd all the remaining ISIS in Iraq TO the Syrian Euphrates Valley. The US military even predicted that ISIS will go underground there when defeated and use it as a base to launch guerrilla-style attacks against Syria. Now how would they know that? Why is the US so interested in taking Syria's al Bukamal before the SAA does? Why doesn't the US have Iraq clean out the Iraqi side of the border in al Qaim and secure the crossing now? The PMUs have been asking to do this for months, but the Iraqi government curiously refuses to do anything for now.

The ISIS convoy deal only adds weirdness to an already odd situation at the Syrian/Iraqi border crossing.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Sep 6, 2017 11:09:08 AM | 72

Zio Jazeera have resumed their pro-ISIS Assad-bashing with an anonymous 'Syrian grandfather' lamenting the demise of his 10 grandchildren via Chemical Weapons delivered by Assad's Airforce.
No evidence. No identifiable horizon in the clip. No evidence that the grandfather is real.
Just anecdotal, incurious, fact-free bathos.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Sep 6, 2017 11:58:02 AM | 73

PavewayIV @71 & frances @67--

Igor at SyrPers posted some related info--"Civilians, children will be allowed to leave buses according to a USA-Russia deal. NO ISIS LEFT TO IRAQ

"USA Pentagon just confirmed info all ISIS busses still blocked, divided in 2 parts. Russia intervened." and linked to this twitter page, https://twitter.com/ejmalrai/status/904929471681134592 but I didn't see anything related to any deal done by Russia in the matter. I asked Igor to elaborate and await his reply.

But the twitter link led to a blog post made yesterday by Elijah J. Magnier that introduces a new spin--the upcoming Iraqi election, https://elijahjm.wordpress.com/2017/09/05/the-gloves-are-off-in-iraqi-politics-opponents-are-iran-and-the-axis-of-resistance/

The situation is about as clear as a sand storm, IMO.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 6, 2017 12:31:19 PM | 74

The UN reports 'affirms" then invoke "reasonable grounds" that the Syrian airforce is behind the Khan Shayhkun attack

https://thinkprogress.org/syrian-government-used-sarin-on-civilians-d50519c67778/

67. Between March 2013 and March 2017, the Commission documented 25 incidents of chemical weapons use in the Syrian Arab Republic, of which 20 were perpetrated by government forces and used primarily against civilians. During the reporting period, government forces further used chemical weapons against civilians in the town of Khan Shaykhun, in Al-Latamneh, located approximately 11 kilometres south of Khan Shaykhun, and in eastern Ghouta.

77. In view of the above, the Commission finds that there are reasonable grounds to believe that Syrian forces attacked Khan Shaykhun with a sarin bomb at approximately 6.45 a.m. on 4 April, constituting the war crimes of using chemical weapons and indiscriminate attacks in a civilian inhabited area

Posted by: Virgile | Sep 6, 2017 12:38:20 PM | 75

@74 Utter bs imo but lets see how the media spin evolves..
@73 Curious about bundy's sources, is he rus mil?

Posted by: Lozion | Sep 6, 2017 12:51:08 PM | 76

This is a great victory for the global resistance to the Global hegemony against the ZOG. Onto Ukraine and beyond. Let them Kurds tremble.

Posted by: Fernando Arauxo | Sep 6, 2017 1:38:43 PM | 77

The recent speech against Iran by Nikki Haley to the AEI neocons here, including fabricating charges against Iran, is a new US effort go destroy the joint nuclear agreement with Iran. Probably this move is directly related to the defeat of US objectives in Syria as especially evidenced by the Syrian Army's success in breaking the siege of Deir Ezzor with the help of Shia (Iran-supported) militias. So thanks to US Operation Iraqi Freedom and Russian/Iran opposition in Syria, Iran now owns the "fertile crescent" from Iran to the Med, a large threat to US client Israel. This deserves a US challenge, Washington believes.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 6, 2017 1:50:51 PM | 78

Posted by: PavewayIV | Sep 6, 2017 11:09:08 AM | 71 and Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 6, 2017 12:31:19 PM | 73
Thank you both, yes Karlofl, it is indeed a sandstorm,either to deny Hezbollah the "right" to negotiate, or Mossad agents in tow, or rampant hate/stupidity, all equally likely and none exclusive:)

Posted by: frances | Sep 6, 2017 2:54:24 PM | 79

Lozion @75--

Unknown, but he certainly has numerous twitter contacts that are as well as SAA. Plus he has time and ability to copiously comment. Occasionally he comments here. His response about where the info came from: "Elijah says Russia was the one who convinced the US to allow the women and children to be able to leave." So, presumably, only male Daesh were left with the busses. IMO, the entire incident reeks.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 6, 2017 3:12:53 PM | 80

https://consortiumnews.com/2017/09/01/the-reasons-for-netanyahus-panic/ The Reasons for Netanyahu's Panic "Against Hizbullah, Israel had thrown its full military force (though Israelis always say, now, that they could have done more). And against Syria, the U.S., Europe, the Gulf States (and Israel in the background) have thrown the kitchen sink: jihadists, al-Qaeda, ISIS (yes), weapons, bribes, sanctions and the most overwhelming information war yet witnessed. Yet Syria – with indisputable help from its allies – seems about to prevail: it has stood its ground, against almost unbelievable odds."

Posted by: MR | Sep 6, 2017 4:05:33 PM | 81

What impresses me is the brilliance of the entire military campaign strategy in Syria, starting perhaps with the Aleppo victory. If you look at the progress since then, the sequence of the arenas slated for take-over, the tactics of securing the flanks and the high grounds (certainly ever since Palmyra fell the second time), the use of battle hardened and special forces (cf. the Tiger) to form a bridge head, complemented by regular troops, militia and allies (Hezbollah, IRPG, Iraqis, Arab tribes) to secure and hold them, and the obvious coordination between different flanks to form "pockets", which are then left to fester until the will and ability to fight are gone (cf. Maskaneh, central Homs/Hama), it becomes then obvious that already back in 2016 a grand plan for taking Syria back was developed, taking into account available manpower and required materiel. The plan was then executed in an almost clockwork precision - something that should become clear if one looks at the time-lagged maps that show the different areas as they came under SAA's control.

I see numerous traces of the handiwork of Russian military planners everywhere I look, and I don't mean to detract in any way from the accomplishments of the Syrian army and government in saying this. There are instances where similarities can be drawn between the campaigns in Donbass and Syria despite radically different terrains and people. In particular, I do see evidence for discipline imposed as an absolute must - recall the Desert hawks who not long ago started to act a bit too independently and were then summarily disbanded and redistributed. Such imposition of discipline happened in the Donbass too after a while. Of course, Syria was a huge challenge to start with, given the diversity of the people, the poor condition of the military when the Russians arrived in 2015, the many losses and, of course, the enemies they faced, which were as ruthless as they come, and included a malevolent superpower pulling the strings.

I believe that somewhere in advanced military institutions a careful strategy was drawn that left all kinds of room for flexibility so that response to new events can be made and opportunities could be exploited. The combination of diplomacy, negotiations for de-escalation zones, cease-fires, utilization of unique assets (missiles here and there), deployment of sudden flanking moves to block an enemy's advance (al-Tanf), and, of course, the meticulous gathering of enough manpower and equipment before start of a new and difficult campaign, enough to overwhelm designated enemies (ISIS, al-Nusra), is nothing short of brilliant. That even as behind the scenes moves were being made to contain Israel, the US and Turkey, some of which we know about and some we don't.

By comparison, American military planners seem ineffective everywhere America went to fight, be it in Afganistan or Iraq or Syria (through proxy). I don't think it's because of lack of capability, because the US military does no doubt have good strategists and tacticians among its ranks. Rather it's because the bizarre American political games get in the way, with defense department, state department, pentagon and the military often at odds, each double and triple-guessing the other. Not to mention a rogue CIA that seems to act according to its own set of rules, serving some Deep State somewhere, accountable seemingly to no one. It somehow always seemed like America is pretending to fight in a 10 dimensional world, using one-dimensional game pieces that produce enormous damage to local infrastructures, civilians and their own morale, yet gaining little respect in the end and hardly any good will from the locals.

I can easily imagine, for example, some high up West Pointers being quite as impressed as I am with the planning and execution of the Syrian campaign, and no doubt rather bitter that America's forces always seem to come out losing more than they gain, even as they miss entirely on the high moral ground. On a good day like this, I almost feel sorry for them (but not too much, of course).

Posted by: Merlin2 | Sep 6, 2017 4:36:55 PM | 82

Merlin @82--

Good observations. Boiled down to its essence, experience brought to bear on the line will almost always win out over puppeteers trying to manipulate their pawns from afar, no matter how well the pawns are trained and armed. Much of the strategy employed was classic, as far back as Punic Wars, and the inability to recognize and react to what was occurring exposed the paucity of training at both line and command levels--both in Ukraine and Syria. I hope at some future point someone from within the US command structure will write a tell-all equivalent of The Pentagon Papers. We do know quite a lot as to how it all began thanks to those who contributed to WikiLeaks. I do know a trove of documents were recovered from overrun Daesh and al-Ciada HQs, but only a tiny fraction translated and published. The Bulgarian weapons ratline using Azerbaijani Diplomatic planes for their delivery was recently exposed and the Libyan connection is now fairly clear, but there's so much more lying in the dark begging for exposure.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 6, 2017 6:03:50 PM | 83

#75 "The UN reports 'affirms" then invoke "reasonable grounds" that the Syrian airforce is behind the Khan Shayhkun attack"

A criminal accusation based on a balance of probabilities.

How neat.

How about Cui bono. An even better balance of probabilities methodology.

That makes Zio-Israhellis and their subservient Anglo-American kiddie-fiddlers criminally responsible for the entire genocide of Syria and so many others.

Bad karma spilling over quite yet?

Posted by: Quadriad | Sep 6, 2017 6:26:00 PM | 84

CAREFUL!!!

If you click on the "ThinkProgress" link in #75, then DO NOT click on the underlined word "Report" in the article that comes up.

I did. A document (A/HRC/36/55) immediately loaded itself onto my computer's word processor and then locked the program. When I tried to recover the locked files the recovery program locked.

The document is the UN report referenced in the post. It's at A_HRC_36_55_EN and I would strongly advise that no one go there if you value your computer. I'm probably looking at hours of work to get my main computer up and running properly again.

Posted by: AntiSpin | Sep 6, 2017 6:37:58 PM | 85

Merlin2
Debaltseve cauldron

Posted by: @Madderhatter67 | Sep 6, 2017 7:00:59 PM | 86

#85 AntiSpin

It looks like you've just downloaded the latest and greatest from the Hertzliya virus factory

Posted by: Quadriad | Sep 7, 2017 1:26:20 AM | 87

AntiSpin @85,
Quadriad @87,

I don't see anything like shellcode in the file. It does crash LibreOffice 4 but loads fine on LibreOffice 5. Anyway, there's a PDF available at http://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/A_HRC_36_55_EN.pdf

Posted by: Jonathan | Sep 7, 2017 2:45:47 AM | 88

@85 antispin

I downloaded the .docx UN report and it was automatically converted to .doc as I use an old MS office that does not support .docx. I had no problem. It is possible that the .docx version has viruses.

Thanks Jonathan for the PDF ( safer) version

Posted by: Virgile | Sep 7, 2017 12:01:22 PM | 89

Nothing on the israeli latest attack on Syria?

Posted by: Mina | Sep 7, 2017 5:29:15 PM | 90

@90 Mina see Elijah Magnier's tweeter account @ejmalrai

Posted by: Lozion | Sep 7, 2017 5:43:05 PM | 91

BREAKING: israel is bombing Damascus ! Airdefence systems engaged
https://twitter.com/waelhussaini/status/905867799410728960

Posted by: ProPeace | Sep 7, 2017 11:52:16 PM | 92

As usual good news ref dz followed by escalation from the war mongerings
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/sep/07/israel-airstrike-syria-chemical-weapons-facility

Posted by: Mina | Sep 8, 2017 3:57:08 AM | 93

These bastards never stop. They need cash!
http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/8/276687/World/Region/Syrian-opposition-leader-says-UN-mediation-has-fai.aspx

Posted by: Mina | Sep 8, 2017 9:46:29 AM | 94

I've long suspected Charlottesville was a false flag provocation where the alt-right was led into a trap, many commenters pointed that out, but this disgusting hit piece is a definite proof for me. At least we can learn some names of the enemies from it:

Why White Nationalists Love Bashar al-Assad

Posted by: ProPeace | Sep 8, 2017 10:41:45 PM | 95

Addendum, worth reading: Charlottesville: Gladio Meets Cointelpro?

Posted by: ProPeace | Sep 8, 2017 10:59:00 PM | 96

Very interesting from Blumenthal

Thirsting for War, CNN's Jake Tapper Turned to Strange and Shady Syria Sources

Posted by: ProPeace | Sep 8, 2017 11:22:41 PM | 97

And this France admits its defeat in Syria, says future with Bashar Al Assad possible

Posted by: ProPeace | Sep 8, 2017 11:31:50 PM | 98

Why would Hezbollah or Syria allow ISIS to be shoved into Iraq? Weird. Not one poster noted this, but I will-- American POTUS' ceasing to fund/arm ISIS made all of this possible. If he hadnt pulled support? Syria would be in same shape today as under Obama vis a vis ISIS. NOT "defending Trump" just stating logistical fact.
Great Syrian Army prevailed! But if Putin hadnt persuaded Trump & Co to dump support for the NATO death squads, we'd still be in stalemate.

Posted by: FLN | Sep 9, 2017 2:27:10 AM | 99

99
ISIS was not funded/supported by US but by US proxies, ie Gulf countries plus Turkey. The US had disengaged from Syrian fighters in a way that Biden was able to blame Saudi and Turkey. Most likely Obama and Biden were not informed what the CIA and allied secret services were doing for "plausible deniability"

ISIS occupied a lot of the oil rich parts of Syria and Iraq. The main blow to ISIS economy was when Russia stopped oil sales to Turkey.

It is very unlikely that Trump stopped Saudi support for ISIS as he is trying to form an anti-Iran axis of Arab states plus Israel in the Middle East.

What stopped ISIS was Russia, Iranian, Iraqi Shiite militias, Lebanese Hezbollah and Kurdish fighters. Plus the resilience of the Syrian state without none of this could have succeeded.

Add the inability of the US to officially support Sunni independence if represented by ISIS. The US can officially support the independence of Kurdish people which will be the next Middle East conflict.

Trump did not change foreign policy except shifting power from the CIA to the military. I am afraid that might be a change from Obama's "intelligent wars" back to the "stupid wars".

Pick your poison.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 9, 2017 4:13:52 AM | 100

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