Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
July 24, 2018

Syria - For The Third Time Israel Falsely Claims Iran Pull-Back Deal With Russia

A typical Israeli propaganda scheme is to falsely claim that an agreement with some entity has been made and to then push that entity to stick to a "deal" it never agreed to. Israel dislikes any 'Iranian presence' in Syria. It tries to press on Russia to push Iran out of Syria by claiming that Russia offered or made such a deal.

Last fall a campaign in Israeli media claimed that Russia had agreed to push Iran away from the border with Israel. Russia denied that anything like that happened. Iranian forces in Syria are legitimately there. In late May a similar campaign repeated that scheme. It claimed that the Russian Foreign Minister had agreed to move Iran out, when in fact he had called on U.S. forces to leave Syria. Moon of Alabama documented both campaigns.

Yesterday we saw a third attempt by Israel to pretend that Russia had offered or made a deal to counter 'Iranian presence':

A senior political source participated in the meeting between Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, and Russian Chief of Staff Valery Gerasimov, at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem Sunday evening.

"It was made clear again that we would not accept Iranian consolidation in Syria, not near the border, and not in the 100-kilometer strip that the Russians are talking about and committing to," the senior official said. "We said that there is long-range weapons placed beyond this area and all these forces have to leave Syria. Russia has considerable capabilities to deal with this, because it is a very significant factor within Syria."

Damascus is only some 50 kilometers from the Israel occupied Golan Height. Does anyone believe that Russia can tell Iranians to not go to Damascus? That it can tell Iran to not defend its ally Syria? Such an "offer", which Russia most likely never made, would be nonsense. Russia has no means to tell Iran what to do. Even the U.S. acknowledges that:

“We have assessed that it’s unlikely Russia has the will or the capability to fully implement and counter Iranian decisions and influence” in Syria, Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats said Thursday at the Aspen Security Forum. “Russia would have to make significantly greater commitments [in Syria] from a military standpoint, from an economic standpoint,” he said. “We don’t assess that they’re keen to do that.”

The Israeli haranguing about an 'Iranian presence' is a self fulfilling prophecy. Each Israeli attack on Syrian grounds proves that Iranian forces would have legitimate reason to be in Syria. They are obviously needed to help their Syrian allies to defend against such attacks.

Other news sites picked up on the alleged Russian "offer" claim and pretended that it is real.

Reuters weirdly headlines: Israel rejects Russian offer to keep Iranian forces 100 km from Golan: official:

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel on Monday rebuffed a Russian offer to keep Iranian forces in Syria at least 100 kilometers from the Golan Heights ceasefire line, an Israeli official said on Monday.
...
The official said that Netanyahu told Lavrov “we will not allow the Iranians to establish themselves even 100 kilometers from the border.”

From that quote it seems that it was Netanyahoo, not Lavrov, who introduced the "100 kilometers" line.

Axios offered a similar stupid headline: Russia wants to push Iran 65 miles from Israel's border in Syria:

Russia wants to push Iranian forces, Hezbollah and Pro-Iranian Shiite militias 65 miles from the Syrian-Israeli border in the Golan Heights, a senior Israeli official said after a meeting today in Jerusalem between Prime Minister Netanyahu and Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov.
...
The senior Israeli official said in a conference call with reporters that Israel's goal is to get all Iranian and pro-Iranian forces out of the entire Syrian territory, but the Russians want, in the first phase, to push the Iranians 65 miles from the Israeli border.

Russia had rejected such Israeli claims last fall. It again rejected similar claims in May. It will also debunk the current nonsense. No such offer was made. Israel 'rejected' something it invented itself and has the chutzpah to make even more lunatic demands:

According to the Israeli official, Netanyahu gave Lavrov a list of demands regarding Iranian military presence in Syria:
  • Iran needs to take all of its long range missiles and weapons out of Syria.
  • Iran needs to stop the production of precision munitions in Syria.
  • Iran needs to take all its air defense systems out of Syria.
  • The border crossings between Syria and Lebanon needs to be monitored to prevent arms smuggling to Hezbollah from Syria.
  • The border crossings between Iraq and Syria needs to be monitored to prevent infiltration of Shiite militias into Syria from Iraq.

Netanyahoo also asked for a pink pony.

Syrian companies produce ammunition. Syrian workers manufacture missiles of various ranges and precision. They have done so for decades. There may once a while be some lone Iranian engineer visiting to give advice. The Syrian Arab Army has long range missiles and it is the SAA, not Iran, that provides air defense for Syria. There are no longer Iranian forces or other personal in notable numbers in Syria. During the war Iran helped to build up Syria's National and Local Defense Forces (NDF/LDF). Hizbullah came from Lebanon to support the Syrian efforts. Iranian advisors joined some Syrian army groups. But as the Syrian army won back more and more control over its land these groups lowered their presence:

Hizbollah now only has 10% of its units compared to peak of 2016. Similarly, NDF/LDF that used to be almost 90k are now closer to 3k. ...

All the Israeli harrumphing about Iran in Syria is a diversion from the fact the Israel and the U.S. lost their war on Syria.

Israel openly stated that it preferred ISIS and other Jihadis near the occupied Golan Height. But now those forces are defeated. The Syrian army is back at the Golan Heights line and no shooting down of a Syrian jet or attack on this or that minor factory will change that. These are provocations to goad Syria into a response attack on Israel and to draw Iran and the U.S. into a war.

The southwestern Daara region is nearly cleaned up. The Syrian army is already moving forces northwards to Idleb governorate where some 15-20,000 Jihadis are busy killing each other. An all out attack on that last governorate with significant Jihadi presence will commence in September. A local guerilla movement against the U.S. presence in northeast Syria is growing. It is unlikely that the Trump administration is willing to sustain the occupation there when it starts to cause a number of casualties.

In a year from now the Syrian government will likely have regained full control over its country.

Posted by b on July 24, 2018 at 09:17 AM | Permalink

Comments
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There's no way Iran will fully leave Syria as long as there is a military threat of "Regime Change" being pushed against Iran.

That will clearly be the case for the forseeable future.

I don't think Iran would have a problem with being 100km away from the border with Israel, but they will demand some sort of base, or bases somewhere. Why wouldn't they? Their presence in Syria is their strategic "depth".

They're not going to give that up as long as they're being threatened!

Why would they?

Posted by: Julian | Jul 24, 2018 9:27:53 AM | 1

Apartheid regime is still protecting their ISIS terrorists by shooting down Syrian jet.. Payback is coming, just a question of when and where.

Posted by: Harry | Jul 24, 2018 9:33:43 AM | 2

There are a number of important Shi'a holy sites in Damascus. Iran has an interest in assuring the safety of their citizens who travel there.

Posted by: JohnH | Jul 24, 2018 9:57:51 AM | 3

Well said.
It's amazing how many people pick up and run with the Israeli propaganda.
The Iran focus is something of a wild goose. As you say the Iranians are no longer there in substantial numbers and don't need to be.
The thought had crossed my mind that US will link it's own withdrawal from Syria to that of iran and can thereby make an honourable exit. All they have to do is change the headlines to reflect the actual facts on the ground which is that the Iranians have already reduced their presence.

Posted by: adamski | Jul 24, 2018 10:09:52 AM | 4

Iran has been in Syria since 1982 and people has to accept that co-existence. Syria was a supporter of Iran during the Irak-Iran war.

Posted by: Yul | Jul 24, 2018 10:15:57 AM | 5

many years ago many innocents where trapped and on the verge of death in camps in poland and germany
we said never again
many years ago are heroic tommy soldiers where trapped on a beach called dunkirk with toy ships and plucky bull dog spirit engerlund scored a victory
a triumph
when the bridges of holland or was it belgo arnhem a bridge to far when all was lost it hellish holland belge we triumphed.
yesterday and to day we have a new triumph of the spirit at the Quneitra crossing on the Syriana.
thousands of onnocents storytellers poets lgbt trans folks communists of the frankfurt school,chatham house oded yinon experts zionists and satanists have been saved from animal assad.
this exodus will go down in history in the anals of the short history of israheil.

takfiri sas navey seal canuck,norway twats and polish grom and british goy zionist frank kitsons gangs pseudogangs and counter gangs have all been saved by the mighty idf
we must thank moloch for these gifts todays these fredumb fighters will soon be in thailand,china remote russia europe and usa ready and trained to fight for islam sorry israel

low intencity warfare works dustification and year zero operations help israel grow
israel is the world capital it has to be because soon it will be the only stable place left.

Posted by: adam gadahn | Jul 24, 2018 10:24:36 AM | 6

@4 Yes, the empire will transform the last 7 years of nonsense about WMD, revolutions, last hospitals, and barrel bombs into a new fantasy about how they're there to stop an Iranian takeover.

Posted by: Jesrad | Jul 24, 2018 10:53:42 AM | 7

@b.
Can I ask a question?

Does Iran and Russia have good links?
As the Israeli propaganda is meant to undermine Iranian and Syrian trust. That’s is why all the actions are timed toconincide with Netanyahu visits to Moscow and now Lavrov visit to Tel Aviv.

Russia really need to wake up to the fact that Israel is not to be trusted.

Posted by: James2 | Jul 24, 2018 10:55:40 AM | 8

The Jewish State' tight cooperation with militant jihadists in Syria: http://thesaker.is/syrian-war-report-july-23-2018-israel-evacautes-white-helmets-members-from-southern-syria/
"The repeatedly declared Israeli “noninvolvement” in the conflict continued on July 22 when four senior FSA commanders in southern Syria run away to Israel. Syrian opposition activists identified them as “Moaz Nassar,” the leader of the Golan Knights Brigade, “Ahmed al-Nahs,” a commander in the Saif al-Sham Brigades, “Alaa al-Halaki,” the leader of the al-Ababil Army and “Abu Rateb Nassar,” a commander in the Golan Knights Brigade." ...
"Israel transported several hundred of the White Helmets and their families from the southwestern part of Syria to Jordan overnight July 21, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) reported saying this move was “a humanitarian effort” at the request of the US and European countries."
Who exactly made the request? --Trump, May, Macron?

Posted by: Anya | Jul 24, 2018 11:34:04 AM | 9

Magnier has a new article on the US moves against Iran in Iraq.
https://ejmagnier.com/2018/07/23/
Turkey looks to be siding with Iran, India may go that way too. These Israeli-US moves against Iran may turn into a disaster for themselves if Iran and the SCO countries play it right.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jul 24, 2018 11:36:54 AM | 10

thanks b... netanyahu gets a pink pony too! the unsuspecting public is quite happy with a pink pony.. why get a real pony when you can get a made in the msm thanks isreal - pink pony?

@8 James2.. i am quite sure russia can tell the difference between a pink pony and a real pony too, in spite of israels mechanisms..

Posted by: james | Jul 24, 2018 11:37:50 AM | 11

MiddleEastEye reckon there are still 400 trapped White Helmets left behind: http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/hundreds-rescuers-remain-trapped-syria-fearing-assad-reprisals-295986896

Posted by: Shakesvshav | Jul 24, 2018 11:49:15 AM | 12

@10 peter.. thanks for that article.. it is quite good and shows what a malignant country the usa is on all levels... why the fuck are they constantly meddling in the affairs of others countries? is that all in servitude to israel? what a pathetic country - usa..

@12 shakesvshav... that middle east eye is a good propaganda outlet for the white turd helmets...

Posted by: james | Jul 24, 2018 12:00:58 PM | 13

The zionists are liars.Except the aparteid they are bringing to israel.(since 1948)

Posted by: dahoit | Jul 24, 2018 12:15:48 PM | 14

James2 @8--

Iran and Russia are quite tight, although they do have differing outlooks on numerous policies. But strategically, they're very tight. Khamenei's head advisor Velayati just visited Moscow following Nuttyahoo and preceding Helsinki, and addressed the important Valdai Club to introduce the concept of Somalization. Follow Pepe Escobar's articles at atimes.com to keep up-to-date.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 24, 2018 12:22:36 PM | 15

@b - excellent article, thank you

Israel wages war by deception, and keeps trying this on to see if it works. Among the massive web of falsehood publishers and readers, it still does. But it doesn't change the realities on the ground the way it used to.

There's an interview with Maria Zakharova from late 2016 where she explains that when Russia announced in October 2015 its intention to enter Syria, and also invited the world to help, the peer-level diplomatic discussions with the west repeatedly contained explicit words of threat to Russia. The US and others said that Russia would be hurting, and would feel real pain from this move. At first they included this warning:

"Keep in mind - that everything you do in reality, will be manipulated by a media company, which will cancel out the results of your work."

Back then they believed this would matter, and that this would work. They've since seen several false flag attempts fail, not only in execution but in media impact.

The power to change reality by the use of lies is eroding. It has a long way to go, but the fact that its power is waning means that no planned deception can be sure of working correctly anymore.

This is thanks in part to people like b.

Posted by: Grieved | Jul 24, 2018 12:23:48 PM | 16

That Russia might be lying (too) is not even considered?
Of course russians do not want to be seen working with Israel!

Regardless of a "deal" or not, it is obvious that Russia works with Israel to get Iran out of Syria, this should be the issue. That Russia cannot be trusted.

Posted by: Zanon | Jul 24, 2018 12:45:38 PM | 17

Zanon @17--

It's very easy to see that Russia "works" with Israel since the heads of state meet and talk often. But that's not the same as working to advance Zionist aims, which is what you seem to imply.

Grieved @16--

Perhaps the effectiveness of BigLie Media is waning. Trump's latest inanity will put it to the test.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 24, 2018 12:54:50 PM | 18

The last paragragh of Escobar's most recent article.
"The fundamental “enemy” is China. But to make any divide-and-rule plan work, first, there’s got to be an attempt to lure Russia into some sort of entente cordiale. And in parallel, Persian destabilization is a must. After all, that’s what the Cheney regime used to describe as “the great prize”."
http://www.atimes.com/article/tweet-of-mass-destruction-ratchets-up-tension-on-iran/

I think we will see Trump risk all domestically to get Russia on side, or at least turn a blind eye to US attempts to take down Iran. If the US can take down Iran, it can then concentrate on China's vulnerability which is energy imports.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jul 24, 2018 12:57:21 PM | 19

karlof1

Actually it is, since "zionist aims" is about getting Iran out of Syria, thats what they are talking about.

Bibi to meet Russian FM & top general, expert says Israel wants Russia to help get Iran out of Syria
https://www.rt.com/news/434042-netanyahu-meets-russia-lavrov/

Posted by: Zanon | Jul 24, 2018 1:00:45 PM | 20

This is not as bad as the news that Israel shot down an SAA plan today. Here's a Fort Russ article on the topic: https://www.fort-russ.com/2018/07/breaking-israel-defends-isis-downs-saa-bomber-near-golan-heights/

I'm pretty sure that plane was in Syrian airspace and Israel is lying about the location, as per normal.

Posted by: WorldBLee | Jul 24, 2018 1:03:22 PM | 21

@ 21

It was in Syrian airspace - debris were found in Syria. The plane was targeting ISIS

Posted by: Yul | Jul 24, 2018 1:10:21 PM | 22

Simply put, the Road to Tehran passes thru Damascus. Since the balkanisation of Syria failed txs to her allies, Iran is safe as Syria can & will support her. Trump/Pompeo/et al rough talk is just bluster. It is time they wake up to the New -Multi Polar- World Order..

Posted by: Lozion | Jul 24, 2018 1:11:29 PM | 23

@23 Comment was a reply to Peter AU's post regarding Cheney"s "Great Prize"..

Posted by: Lozion | Jul 24, 2018 1:16:11 PM | 24

Lozion 23
For Trump, the road to Tehran passes through Moscow. Trump pulled support for a lot of the jihadists in Syria as Damascus was not needed.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jul 24, 2018 1:17:26 PM | 25

If the jet was indeed one kilometre inside the air space of the Golan Heights, when will anti-aircraft missiles have to be launched, anybody?

Posted by: Gesine Hammerling | Jul 24, 2018 1:18:31 PM | 26

Good article b, I especially liked the part about the provocations, that is indeed a very plausible theory, but I guess the axis of Resistance saw that one coming.

Whether the pilot as in Israeli or Syrian airspace does not really matter, as it was a provocation and meant as a provocation.
Dont forget that thee US right now is wound up as a spring and would like to pounce on Iran. The just need an excuse, and rockets on Israel soil, would do fine.

Posted by: Den Lille Abe | Jul 24, 2018 1:30:21 PM | 27

@25 Agreed, the strategy may have changed but RU wont take the bait imo. That is what Multi-Polarity is all about after all, not that you dont know that already.. :)

Posted by: Lozion | Jul 24, 2018 1:31:11 PM | 28

The photo in this Reuters article show how close to the demarcation line the Syrian and Russian airforce are operating. Pic taken from Israeli occupied Golan. The security fence that can be seen is I believe the demarcation line.
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-syria/russian-backed-air-strikes

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jul 24, 2018 1:33:14 PM | 29

The road to Tehran is thru' Iraq again,the US ambassador delivered an unacceptable
ultimatum as the preamble.
Iran remains the key square in the Great Game board.The US motive.
Israels motive remains the same, occupation of S.Lebanon and its water,not possible while
the Shia crescent supplies Hezbollah.

Posted by: Winston | Jul 24, 2018 1:34:22 PM | 30

30
US has controlled both Iraq and Afghanistan for a long time now. Other than hopeless attempts at a siege, neither of those countries take Trump to Iran unless he can get through Moscow.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jul 24, 2018 1:44:44 PM | 31

israel doesn't own the golan heights!! what the fuck! they just show their true support for isis and anyone opposed to them.. in that regard, they are one and the same as the usa..

Posted by: james | Jul 24, 2018 1:46:30 PM | 32

This is what Trump needs to get past to get to Tehran.
"Any use of nuclear weapons against Russia or its allies, be it small-scale, medium-scale or any other scale, will be treated as a nuclear attack on our country. The response will be instant and with all the relevant consequences,”

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jul 24, 2018 1:47:18 PM | 33

james, US are looking at recognizing occupied Golan Heights as Israeli. I suspect they will push this through to try and provoke a reaction from Iran.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jul 24, 2018 1:51:01 PM | 34

re: "senior officials" and "on condition of anonymity". picture a bully ("nelson") and his "beta" buddy who is always looking for approval ("bart").

nelson: sure be funny if someone threw this egg at that cop.
bart: sure would! you should do it!
nelson: naaaaaah. he'll know it was me and call my mom at the strip club.
bart: well...i'll do it then! (throws egg, angers chief wiggum who comes yelling)
nelson: (disappears into an alley. as he goes shouts:) HAW HAW! you ruined your credibility!

that's how the writers from axios and reuters acted. the "anonymous sources" aren't going to look like idiots and taint every future statement they make. they get the hipster (safe guess) stenographers from axios or vice or the intercept or _____ to throw the egg then disappear into the woodwork like the vermin they are. lots of that going on with russiagate and it's always been a thing for the israelis.

"by way of deception" indeed.

Posted by: the pair | Jul 24, 2018 1:58:59 PM | 35

26

If the jet was indeed one kilometre inside the air space of the Golan Heights, when will anti-aircraft missiles have to be launched, anybody?

Russia could give Syria S300, that would stop this killing by Israel and attacks just like that - but they wont. Other than that, Syria have no chance.

Posted by: Zanon | Jul 24, 2018 2:32:04 PM | 36

This story about Kuwaiti medieval mentality
https://www.rt.com/news/434116-kuwait-filipino-maid-sondos-alqattan/
was the object of a page on the BBC news that won't stay long (it was "unavailable" quickly after they ve put it online)
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-44933748
Not entirely OT. Israel and the Gulf share an interest in keeping feodality alive on an ethnic basis.

Posted by: Mina | Jul 24, 2018 2:32:29 PM | 37

@ 35 the pair
? wut?

Posted by: Den Lille Abe | Jul 24, 2018 2:37:24 PM | 38

syria has no chance? syria is winning the war. stop falling for israeli propaganda.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Jul 24, 2018 2:55:38 PM | 39

pretzelattack

Obviously Syria have no chance since they are getting its plane shot down, attacked repeatedly. In their own airspace.

Posted by: Zanon | Jul 24, 2018 3:28:39 PM | 40

HATS OFF TO adam gadahn @6.

Hey dude, I read your posts, and I can understand 100%.

(I also read L. Ferlinghetti and e.e.cummings. I dig them as well, and especially so when I am feeling a presence with the universe in general.)

Send me an alert whenever you post your geopolitical, metaphysical insights. OK?

Posted by: DineroDProfit | Jul 24, 2018 3:29:39 PM | 41

Zionists provide further proof they're allied with al-Ciada and its offshoot Daesh by evacuating al-Ciada terrorists and protecting Daesh from air strikes by SaAF.

As frequently stated by Russia, its Southwest Asian policy goal is to prevent an escalation of war within region, and its primary method of achieving that goal is through dialog with all the region's actors, which occurs frequently.

Clusterfucking relations with Turkey's another reason why the Deep State directs its angst at Russia since Russia's friendly relations is what provides Turkey with leverage. That a similar problem with Qatar has arisen shouldn't surprise anyone given the level of mental acuity within Trump's admin, or Obama's.

Even Lebanon's extremist Christians continue to escalate their marginalization as they try to do the Zionist's bidding. And nothing is heard from Hariri nowadays.

All the while, the Resistance continues to grow in size and strength, further welded together by Trump's illegal threats of war, death and destruction. Now Trump says he's ready to talk with Tehran: "we're ready to make a real deal." But Iran has already said it won't talk to the Outlaw US Empire as it cannot be trusted whatsoever.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 24, 2018 4:20:44 PM | 42

@33 peter - and i can't see how he gets past that either..

@34 peter... the usa may be thinking that, but i am quite sure they are not going to get their ''partners'' agreement on that one, unless there partners only include israel and maybe ksa, lol...

nice hasbara tag team today at moa...

Posted by: james | Jul 24, 2018 5:52:03 PM | 43

Minor correction...
"Other Fake news sites picked up on the alleged Russian "offer" claim and pretended that it is real."

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jul 24, 2018 6:11:44 PM | 44

whats wrong with rape
whats wrong with control
just succumb
zio borg complete
why fight it
except yer fate
whatever way you spell it
control complete
with 3g we just about have are minds
5 g we are cooked
the ziomayhem murder is ritual
like aztec inka
their there will be blood
pure talmud
gaza and golan and syriana had to bleed
the show is on the move
matt demon gorge cloney angelina jolly rita katz site intel group bell pottinger movies next production
mad mullahs tehran barrel bomba
more
satanic dustifried atomisation
innit


no place here hair hare here for ee cummings this place is lost
in talmud

Posted by: adam gadahn | Jul 24, 2018 6:31:22 PM | 45

interesting article on uranium one and russia - iran connections which is sort of related to the thread topic..
https://disobedientmedia.com/2018/07/uranium-one-a-new-assessment/

Posted by: james | Jul 24, 2018 6:33:49 PM | 46

Grieved@16

"The power to change reality by the use of lies is eroding. It has a long way to go, but the fact that its power is waning means that no planned deception can be sure of working correctly anymore."

I dont see this at all, at least not in the US. Just go and look at the comments on the left and right of the more popular blogs like Breitbart and HuffPost. Insanity. I hope they are just bots or astroturfers but if not most of them are deep within the Matrix

Meanwhile Koch Brothers Donor group are spending 400 million to influence the results of the upcoming congressional elections . That pays for a lot of Media influence and commercials. It also pays for an awful lot of Voter Data Scientists to “Develop and apply models that predict individuals’ propensity to engage in a behavior or hold a particular viewpoint" Those on the otherside will do the same. Most people are helpless in the face of propaganda that has been perfected and aided with Big Data Analytics of Social Media.

Posted by: Pft | Jul 24, 2018 6:36:22 PM | 47

and the usa press briefing today https://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/dpb/2018/07/284380.htm

" QUESTION: So the President today said he’s ready to make a real deal on Iran. Given his tweet this week that seemed to stir – to make one wonder whether he’s pushing for regime change, this seems to backtrack a little bit as to – that he’s ready to make – negotiate a follow-up on the JCPOA.

MS NAUERT: Lesley, I’m going to be very cautious about not parsing the President’s words. I’d have to refer you to the White House for anything that the President said on that.

QUESTION: No, no, no. But this is it – is that – given that the State Department has been in front of the pushing – making sure that countries reimpose these sanctions and stuff, is it your understanding that officials from the State Department are also prepared to engage in a negotiation on a JCPOA?

MS NAUERT: I don’t have any – engage in negotiations on the JCPOA? We’ve been talking with our counterparts all around the world about the re-imposition of sanctions and holding the Iranian Government responsible for the horrible acts that his government – its government has been involved with in many parts of the world. And beyond that, I’m just not going to have anything else for you.

QUESTION: It’s the Secretary, though, who suggested that the United States stands with the Iranian people --

MS NAUERT: Yes, we do.

QUESTION: -- but their regime is a mafia kleptocracy.

MS NAUERT: Yup, mm-hmm.

QUESTION: So there are certainly suggestions of support for regime change.

MS NAUERT: The Secretary’s been very clear about that. He has said the only change we want is a change of behavior. I would say anything beyond that is an interpretation that is coming from whatever individual is saying that. "

Posted by: james | Jul 24, 2018 6:40:18 PM | 48

I heard that a crack team of Hollywood actors, producers, and executives
have hired limousines to go into Syria and save the White Helmets. True?

Posted by: Guerrero | Jul 24, 2018 6:42:31 PM | 49

@48 Hard to know what kind of deal he can come up with after the ALL CAPS bluster. Any compromise offer he makes will be seen as weakness.

Maybe Netanyahu will settle for Iranians leaving Syria and let Trump off the hook. I can't see how anybody, not even Putin, can guarantee the Iranians have all gone.

Posted by: dh | Jul 24, 2018 6:54:19 PM | 50

In my couple of weeks out sailing in Western Scotland watching brave little puffins bob up and down on the water far away from land, I realized things had entered a different phase. Since 2014 and Ukraine there has hardly been a day when we could just drop things and go. It was continuous and existential in the sense of would be continue to exist, given the ratchetting-up of tensions? Saker’s day-by-day coverage of Ukraine morphed almost seamlessly into b.’s huge contribution to relaying the Syria situation but there hardly seemed a moment to catch breath. Trump’s stalemate with intel and media and Russia’s unveiling of new weapons, the impending victory in Syria, seemed to slow things down. To the extent that only Israel is making waves, to return to maritime matters.

Posted by: Lochearn | Jul 24, 2018 6:56:02 PM | 51

@Pft | Jul 24, 2018 6:36:22 PM | 47

"The power to change reality by the use of lies is eroding. It has a long way to go, but the fact that its power is waning means that no planned deception can be sure of working correctly anymore."

I dont see this at all, at least not in the US. Just go and look at the comments on the left and right of the more popular blogs like Breitbart and HuffPost. Insanity. I hope they are just bots or astroturfers but if not most of them are deep within the Matrix

The Zionist lie machine is definitely weakening, as lies are not effective if they aren't omnipresent. Once the first crack appears, the full implosion isn't far off.

Remember that Trump's election happened in the face of overwhelmingly negative media coverage. Once someone realizes that much of the news is fake, he never trusts the media again. The number of people who have come to that realization can only increase.

Posted by: Cyril | Jul 24, 2018 7:03:55 PM | 52

The all caps tweets are meaningless. Only the actions that count and Trump personally has initiated a number of actions against Iran.
I see on the other side, both India and China are now buying more oil from Iran, Turkey seems to be backing Iran and Russia are backing Iran. Obama pushed Russia and China together, now it looks like Trump will bond the SCO as his actions affect most of them.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jul 24, 2018 7:24:14 PM | 53

While "rejection of 100 km separation" does not seem plausible for reasons that were well described here, some similar deals were done before and by some appearances, they exist now.

The wider context is that from the point of view of Russia and Iran, the war is Syria is a limited war in which it is very important to avoid unproductive escalation when different foreign powers ratchet up resources committed to the conflict leading to larger expenditures and losses than necessary. A deal that I recall was that military units deployed along Jordanian border cannot have "pro-Iranian components", and that started from ejecting "FSA" from the desert along Jordan border between Sweida province (with Druze majority) and what became "Tanf pocket". That said, the most prominent presence of "pro-Iranian militias" is around a temple/mosque complex that is very important to "Twelver Shia" which is located to the east of Damascus and to the south of East Ghouta, thus ca. 100 km from Israel. For security and prestige reasons, this force is there to stay.

Similarly, the pro-government sources were quite extensive in listing the forces engaged in Deraa/Quneitra campaign that is ongoing, thus stressing that they are "purely Syrian". That kind of works both ways. Israel supported jihadi forces in Quneitra province in various ways that included artillery support, and recently they didn't. The deal with Jordan was also very productive for Syrian government, an important stage of the current campaign was a rapid advance of their forces along Jordanian border, thus depriving them of any hope of resupplies from Jordan, and that in turn fostered quite orderly process of surrenders/"reconcilliation".

The current spat offers something nice for everybody involved. Netanyahu (and USA to some degree) can deny that he "sold Syria to Iran". Russia, Syria and Iran can deny that any deal with Israel took place -- why, Netanyahu himself denies. As I said, 100 km quote probably referred to actual position of Shia militias, and Israel, as it is fond, "reserves the right to bomb them anytime". Which they do, but with smallish damage.

So there is some dirty deal here that Russia and Syria tolerates based on the calculus of net gain, while Israel gets posturing points of some plausibility.

Incidentally, Hezbollah is absolutely glad to "bring boys home", and Iran has enough problem to reduce other elements that Israel/USA count as "their presence". This is a classic storm in a glass of water.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jul 24, 2018 7:34:50 PM | 54

@54 "This is a classic storm in a glass of water."

It certainly would be except that Donald is stuck with 'renegotiating' the Iran nuclear deal. My guess is that Israel is going to have to get used to Iranian 'tourists' visiting Syria and Donald is going to have to forget attacking Iran. There would be too much indirect damage in the Gulf and the US military knows it.

Maybe the Iranians will make some kind of face saving gesture.

Posted by: dh | Jul 24, 2018 7:52:39 PM | 55

#51 Lochearn

Nice observation. I thought it was me. The puffins! The puffins!

(à la the loons welcoming Fonda and Hepburn back to their vacation home in the On Golden Pond movie)

Posted by: Grieved | Jul 24, 2018 8:14:28 PM | 56

Keep hammerin' b, the truth will resonate ultimately..

Posted by: ben | Jul 24, 2018 8:54:50 PM | 57

Israel is worried. Iraq can become a potential powerful enemy, Hamas is still alive and well in Gaza, Hezbollah stronger than ever in Lebanon and Iran is protecting Syria while Russia is showing to Israel its new reality: it is surrounded.
Netanyhahu got a bone from Trump , the Jerusalem US embassy. Pissed off by the victory of Bashar al Assad, the congress is agitating another bone for Israel to calm it down, the Golan Heights.
The next blow back will be the ridiculous Palestine-Israel "peace plan' whose failure will totally discredit Jared Kushner and send Trump in a tweet frenzy to put the blame on the whole world. Trump may well prevent the plan to be published when he realizes that it is unworkable.
If Netanyahu ends up in jail,Israel will suffer a huge political crisis that will weaken it further.
The question is: Will Netanyahu end up in jail before of after Jared Kishner's plan is revealed?

Posted by: Virgile | Jul 24, 2018 9:30:11 PM | 58

When ever the Zionists use "Dilution, Deviation and Confusion" techniques, they are exposing their weakness stance. So let them keep at it. And let the Syrians retake their country with the help of Iran and Russia. Just denouce their lies. Despite what MSM tells us, the average citizen of UK / USA / France / Italy and every where welse, knowns how it is, and that is just the contrary

Posted by: opereta | Jul 24, 2018 9:38:27 PM | 59

@ Piotr #54

Very nice observations. But I am wondering if it is more like mutual silence than an actual deal. Russia probably just keeps stating scenarios to everyone stops objecting. I am sure Russia mentioned the need not to interfere with Operatopn Basalt and mentioned something about 80 km.

Syria emphasized it was an all Syrian operation as you said, but would not ask Hezbollah/Iranian advisers to leave. US said they would NOT back the rebels in the south during the operation but still added confrontational words for the Syrian Gov. Israel said the 40 year status quo in Golan should be upheld but also that they would not tolerate the Iranian/Hezbollah presence in Syria.

All these were very public statements that clearly did not conflict with what Russia was floating around. But not nearly committal enough to call an agreement.

Posted by: ASD | Jul 24, 2018 9:52:19 PM | 60

Concerning Iran, I agree with those who think no overt military acts against Iran are possible. But as Larchmonter elsewhere points out, there are tens of thousands of ISIS and mercs ready to throw at Iran covertly. This will fail too of course, over time. We will probably see the entire playbook exhaust its every move, and lose even more power, against this one country. We will observe, in these threads, the wave of empire break against the rock of Iran.

Escobar's latest follows up on the All Caps Tweet (haven't seen it posted yet, apologies if it has):
‘Tweet of Mass Destruction’ ratchets up tension on Iran.

Lots of juicy quotes, try this one (my emphasis):

...the stark options would come down to either Iran becoming a US satellite or closing the Strait of Hormuz – something that for all practical purposes would collapse the global economy.

I have been assured that the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps has the technological means to block the Strait and would not flinch to go for it rather than yield, if the going gets tough. President Rouhani cannot resist the IRGC. The Trump administration has, in fact, forced Rouhani to show his cards. All branches of the Iranian government are now united.
[...]
Things don’t even need to degrade towards a shooting war. All Tehran needs to do is to make the threat credible. Insurance companies would stop insuring oil carriers. No oil carrier will navigate without insurance.

This may be a little black and white, but it does seem true that Iran holds this leverage against the global economy. Hard to predict the sequence of moves yet to play out. Each side counts on the other to make the overt moves that justify muscular response. I don't think Iran will blink first ;)

Posted by: Grieved | Jul 24, 2018 10:20:33 PM | 61

@ Grieved #16


"By way of deception, thou shalt do war." Mossad motto

Posted by: lgfocus | Jul 24, 2018 10:22:57 PM | 62

@Grieved. Better yet the Iranians could just put up checkpoints like the Israelis do and stall world commerce. Announce that in an effort to aid the GWOT they are concerned of non existing Zionist Tankers so close to their borders maybe:)

Posted by: Tannenhouser | Jul 24, 2018 10:39:16 PM | 63

Adam Garrie has a take I hadn't seen about the White Helmets leaving Syria, namely that this is the first formal withdrawal of hostile foreign forces out of the country, and cause for celebration. Damascus would prefer to put these people on trial, but it's a good point he makes:
Syria Should be Celebrating The First Formal Withdrawal of Hostile Foreign Troops From its Soil

As to the waning power of deception, it does have a material effect, as we have seen with Russia. When Russia's Foreign Ministry knows a fact, its Ministry of Defense knows it too, and acts accordingly.

Russia at all formal levels has no doubt that the White Helmets are terrorists. Maria Zakharova says clearly that with the WH gone, the chance of chemical attacks has gone down. She says many other things as well in this brief interview on the street in Moscow:
Zakharova Speaks Out: “White Helmets Are a Front Organization” - Western Agent Provocateurs

In just a few years, immense moral high ground has passed from the west to Russia, and corresponding influence with the multi polar world. I can't illustrate it off-hand right now, but this moral force is what ultimately supports military activity. We are approaching a point where the US's loss of moral reputation will, purely itself, prevent military action by the US in the world. I think it's already happened, but I can't demonstrate this at the moment.

Posted by: Grieved | Jul 24, 2018 10:44:49 PM | 64

@64

Bad link on Zakharova, shoulda tested. Good link here:
Zakharova Speaks Out: “White Helmets Are a Front Organization” - Western Agent Provocateurs

Posted by: Grieved | Jul 24, 2018 10:47:24 PM | 65

Grieved 61
Escobar is very good on his coverage, but like others thinks a US attack on Iran would be with conventional weapons as in Iraq shock and awe. He really should check what Trump pushed for from the moment he won the election, and as of Jan 2018 has put in place as US military doctrine.
Iraq shock and awe was conducted with warheads that mostly had less than one ton TNT equivalent of explosive force. To attack countries like Iran, pentagon can now use war heads with TNT equivalent ranging from a few hundred tons to around fifteen thousand tons.
Just two submarines can launch a little over 300 of these.
Pepe talks about bases US can fly from. Once are defenses are taken out, strategic bombers can fly from US mainland if need be with ground penetrating dial a yield.

This is why we will see Trump having more meetings with Putin.

The way things are going, I suspect Trump, Bolton, Pompeo plans are going to fall in a heap - hopefully leading to the collapse of the US.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jul 24, 2018 10:56:34 PM | 66

Personally, I think Iran would be within its right to help Syria take back the Golan. It would be suicidal, but they'd be in the right.

Posted by: Fidelios Automata | Jul 24, 2018 11:02:22 PM | 67

The real fear of the Israeli - Saudi - UAE - America axis is the development and expansion of economic ties between Iran and Syria (and also Lebanon and Iraq). All the hype about the “Shia Crescent” dates back to around 2009, it’s right in the State Department cables at Wikileaks for anyone who cares to look.

(1) US State Department cable 2008:
On October 14, the official Syrian news agency SANA announced that the Russian Stroytransgaz had been awarded a USD 71 million contract to build a 38-mile (62 km) gas pipeline from Aleppo to the Turkish border over the next 18 months. (Note: While the SARG may spin this project as the final "link" in the "Arab Gas Line" project to export Egyptian gas to Europe, industry experts believe the pipeline's actual purpose will be to bring Iranian gas to the Syrian market. End note.)

(2)US State Department cable 2009
Syrian official media touted several bilateral agreements resulting from the visit, including Turkish cooperation in Syria's plan to import Iranian natural gas through Turkey's infrastructure. . . .the Syrian Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs signed an MOU in Tehran attempting to strengthen Syrian-Iranian economic ties through cooperation in petroleum, electricity and transportation. . . .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. 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.

Funny how those names - Aleppo, Deir Ezzor - were hotbeds of Al Qaeda and ISIS activity as the CIA/Israeli/Saudi regime change operation expanded from 2011 onwards, with those CIA training camps in Jordan and Turkey playing a central role. No, that was not a coincidence.

It’s really back to the same old game they were playing in 2009, for the exact same reasons. Of course, economic recovery in Syria would be good for everyone outside the US-Israeli-Saudi cabal; refugees could return home, people could have jobs - but this is just unacceptabe to the borg state.

Posted by: nonsense factory | Jul 24, 2018 11:11:27 PM | 68

I'm still struggling to understand what would be in it for the Russians to agree to this Israeli nonsense.

I mean, let's be real for a moment. Putin isn't running a charity here, nor is he in a popularity contest with anyone.

If Netalnyahu wants to convince Putin to agree with this then he needs to put forward a convincing reason why it is in Russia's interests to agree.

If he can't then why would Putin agree?

Answer: he shouldn't, and that's why I think he won't.

Sure, he'll be polite and listen - that costs him nothing. But agree to Nutty's proposal? Why, exactly, would Putin think it is a good idea to agree?

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Jul 25, 2018 12:16:24 AM | 69

@ zanon no shooting down one plane does not win a war. the syrians are winning on the ground, and russia isn't going to let israel invade.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Jul 25, 2018 12:22:35 AM | 70

pretzelattack

Actually Russia doing everything to weaken Syria just like Israel wants, why else do you think Israel so desperately want Iran out off Syria?

Posted by: Zanon | Jul 25, 2018 2:58:47 AM | 71

@71 There is no logic whatsoever to that proposition.

If the Russians wanted to weaken Syria then they would simply not have intervened in 2015. Yet intervene they did, and that marked the point at which the Syrian government steadied and then slowly regained composure and ground.

And post-2015 the Russians could have simply upped sticks and left Syria which would have left the Syrian government dangling in the wind.

But, again, that's not what the Russians did, which suggests that they aren't following your script.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Jul 25, 2018 3:18:49 AM | 72

Yeah Right

They didnt intervene to save Syria, they are there to take care of ISIS. Thats the difference we see being played out now.

Posted by: Zanon | Jul 25, 2018 3:39:25 AM | 73

Yeah, Right
Waste of time arguing with a troll. Just gives it air.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jul 25, 2018 5:06:31 AM | 74

The legal term for your argument is this: it is a distinction without a difference.

The realpolitik answer to your argument is this: Russia is in Syria fighting ISIS, but Russia is not in Iraq fighting ISIS.

Odd, hey?


Posted by: Yeah, Right | Jul 25, 2018 5:30:56 AM | 75

Netanyahoo also asked for a pink pony

as the world's first super power trolls the world's last super power with the very American colloquialism:

COLOR US UNIMPRESSED

...i can barely imagine the butt of the jokes in Farsi social media.

LMFAO

Posted by: john | Jul 25, 2018 6:36:09 AM | 76

Some relevant questions:

1. Iran's Mersad, Ra'd and Talash anti-aircraft defense systems are more than enough to neutralize Israeli air superiority in the Golan and southern Lebanon. Is Russia preventing the deployment of these systems by the Syrian army, or is it still Iran's "strategic patience" that is the driving factor?

2. The Ra's Tanura is the only deep sea port that Saudi Arabia has to off-load its 10 million barrels of crude per day onto ships that head mainly to Europe and China. Why has a Yemeni ballistic missile (built with Iranian assistance) or missile-armed drone not hit this obvious schwerpunkt to date? Or even a simple small bomb tied to one of the outer piers, as a warning or wake-up signal. What are they waiting for?

3. The Straits of Hormoz are another obvious schwerpunkt. They are in Iranian territorial waters, not in international waters. Iran could, by rights, refuse passage to ships that further the interests of its enemies. But if that is too much of an escalation, it could certainly do a slo-go and carry out thorough inspections as an element of doing its part for the GWOT, to ensure that no takfiri terrorists enter Iranian territorial waters. Again: what are they waiting for?

4. Satanyahoo has made six trips to Moscow to ask Putin to abandon Iran. In these trips, he has undoubtedly offered the Cardinal of the Third Rome the help of the Jewish lobby to lift US and EU sanctions on Russia, and to bring it back into the G7/8 fold. Yet, this notwithstanding, Velayati goes there once, and we hear that the Kremlin has signed a deal to invest $70 billion dollars in Iranian infrastructural improvements, including oil and gas. That's with a B. Before that, China had signed a similar deal for $50 billion, and had agreed to up its mutual trade to another $50 billion per annum. So why is Iran still on "Observer Status" in the SCO? What is it that the Bear and the Dragon are holding out for that the Lion is still not willing to give?

5. Have Rowhani and Zarif finally seen the light of day, given their recent tweets, or are their heads still lodged so high up the rear end of the West that they can't see the writing on Trump's T-shirt, which reads, "What Part of No don't you Understand?"

Posted by: Nuff Sed | Jul 25, 2018 6:48:42 AM | 77

Some relevant questions:

1. Iran's Mersad, Ra'd and Talash anti-aircraft defense systems are more than enough to neutralize Israeli air superiority in the Golan and southern Lebanon. Is Russia preventing the deployment of these systems by the Syrian army, or is it still Iran's "strategic patience" that is the driving factor?

2. The Ra's Tanura is the only deep sea port that Saudi Arabia has to off-load its 10 million barrels of crude per day onto ships that head mainly to Europe and China. Why has a Yemeni ballistic missile (built with Iranian assistance) or missile-armed drone not hit this obvious schwerpunkt to date? Or even a simple small bomb tied to one of the outer piers, as a warning or wake-up signal. What are they waiting for?

3. The Straits of Hormoz are another obvious schwerpunkt. They are in Iranian territorial waters, not in international waters. Iran could, by rights, refuse passage to ships that further the interests of its enemies. But if that is too much of an escalation, it could certainly do a slo-go and carry out thorough inspections as an element of doing its part for the GWOT, to ensure that no takfiri terrorists enter Iranian territorial waters. Again: what are they waiting for?

4. Satanyahoo has made six trips to Moscow to ask Putin to abandon Iran. In these trips, he has undoubtedly offered the Cardinal of the Third Rome the help of the Jewish lobby to lift US and EU sanctions on Russia, and to bring it back into the G7/8 fold. Yet, this notwithstanding, Velayati goes there once, and we hear that the Kremlin has signed a deal to invest $70 billion dollars in Iranian infrastructural improvements, including oil and gas. That's with a B. Before that, China had signed a similar deal for $50 billion, and had agreed to up its mutual trade to another $50 billion per annum. So why is Iran still on "Observer Status" in the SCO? What is it that the Bear and the Dragon are holding out for that the Lion is still not willing to give?

5. Have Rowhani and Zarif finally seen the light of day, given their recent tweets, or are their heads still lodged so high up the rear end of the West that they can't see the writing on Trump's T-shirt, which reads, "What Part of No don't you Understand?"

Posted by: Nuff Sed | Jul 25, 2018 6:49:22 AM | 78

Israel has not been bombing Iranian posts in spite of what it has been saying. The strikes have mainly been on Syrian Government forces and positions. With two aims in mind. "Help" Al-Nusra and now Daesch. and to help the on-going US attacks in the south East.
About the last point. Al Bukamal and Deir Ezzor areas are a link between Syria and it's neighbours Iraq and Iran. Palmyra had Russian troops as well as Syrians. (The Iranians may have been there in limited numbers). Palmyra is a key point for the control of the desert and possible Syrian access to Deir Ezzor etc.

What has not been reported is the "coalition" bombing of civilians in the corner of the south-east nominally under ISIS control. As The US backed Kurds and US special forces advanced southwards into the Iraq/Euphrates triangle some time ago, several (pro)ISIS groups changed name and sides to integrate the "Kurd" dominated forces. These were refused entry into two large villages which are nominally within the "ISIS" enclave marked on the maps. They are possibly part of the Shaitah tribal group that saw 700 women and children massacred by ISIS. (Most of whose members are now on the western side of the Euphrates as part of the Syrian army.) This was not in the US's plan. Which is to take over all the possible crossing points between Syria and it's neighbours. So the coalition have been bombing them (52 civilians killed at least) to force them to let the newly-named but ex-ISIS to take over the villages. The Israelis also bombed the Iraqi base 200 yards inside of the Syrian/Iraq border, close by.
......
The Russians' policy has been to let the Syrians WIN their own battles. It would have been too easy and counter-productive to do all the fighting FOR the Syrians. The result is that the Syrians are now an capable force, with high morale and are integrated into an overall command structure (Russian).

The comments above mention that the Israel IAF can "continue" to bomb and so there "must" be an agreement with Russia to let them continue. I doubt it, as there have been reports of Syrians being trained (in Russia) on S-200/300 s. No use giving highly performing anti-air missiles if the recipients don't know how to use them. Russian tactics have been to advance forces, stop, propose a "reconciliation" or similar, wait, and if the other side does not respond correctly wash and repeat again. Netanyahu has NOT accepted any sort of agreement that could lead to an halt in Israels air attacks, so.... I expect that the Syrians will have their air defenses upgraded fairly soon.

Posted by: stonebird | Jul 25, 2018 6:54:13 AM | 79

Yeah Right

Its because Syrian gov. has a better relationship than that with Iraq. In Iraq US forces began its op. So no need for russians there.

Posted by: Zanon | Jul 25, 2018 7:08:49 AM | 80

Peter AU

Actually, Russia itself admit that Syria is what Russia/Israel talk about,

The Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Monday that during Monday's talks, “the parties tackled various aspects of the Middle Eastern agenda, attaching primary significance to the situation in Syria and its vicinity.”
https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2018/07/24/569080/Iran-Syria-Israel-PM-Netanyahu-Russia-FM-Lavrov

Posted by: Zanon | Jul 25, 2018 7:11:43 AM | 81

Posted by: Nuff Sed | Jul 25, 2018 6:48:42 AM | 77

2. The Ra's Tanura is the only deep sea port that Saudi Arabia has to off-load its 10 million barrels of crude per day onto ships that head mainly to Europe and China. Why has a Yemeni ballistic missile (built with Iranian assistance) or missile-armed drone not hit this obvious schwerpunkt to date? Or even a simple small bomb tied to one of the outer piers, as a warning or wake-up signal. What are they waiting for?

3. The Straits of Hormoz are another obvious schwerpunkt. They are in Iranian territorial waters, not in international waters. Iran could, by rights, refuse passage to ships that further the interests of its enemies. But if that is too much of an escalation, it could certainly do a slo-go and carry out thorough inspections as an element of doing its part for the GWOT, to ensure that no takfiri terrorists enter Iranian territorial waters. Again: what are they waiting for?

If they were to do these now it would remove them as part of the deterrent against a US attack on Iran itself. It would also help US propaganda which is struggling to depict Iran as the aggressor, rather than the US and the Zionists.

Posted by: Russ | Jul 25, 2018 8:22:16 AM | 82

@64 Grieved

Great observation!

For me, the "moral high ground" baton was passed to Russia back in 2013 when Kerry & Obama couldn't wait to bomb Assad over the Ghouta CW incident. Imagine the shock to my cognitive dissonance when the "shining city on a hill" of my youth turned out to be a "synagogue of Satan" and the leader of the "evil empire" turned out to be the truer statesman, diplomat & humanitarian.

Posted by: xLemming | Jul 25, 2018 8:37:34 AM | 83

EUObserver: Women and children's role in Islamic State underestimated
https://euobserver.com/justice/142447

...A new report out Monday (23 July) by the department of war studies in King's College London suggests around a quarter of the some 41,490 citizens from around the world that joined the Islamic State between April 2013 and June 2018 are women and minors.

"Women and minors are poised to play a significant role in carrying forward the ideology and legacy of IS after the physical fall of its 'caliphate' in late 2017," notes the report.

The report categorises IS minors as infants (0–4 years), children (5–14 years), and teenagers (15 –17 years)...
####

Plenty more at the link.

EUObserver may be a russophobic rag, but every now and then....

Posted by: et Al | Jul 25, 2018 9:17:23 AM | 84

I have phony headlines for Haaretz " Despite of agreement with Russia and UN Israel refused to withdraw from occupied territory of Golan Heights"

Repeat this every other day. And you got yourself propaganda.

Posted by: Kalen | Jul 25, 2018 9:21:28 AM | 85

@81 Russ,
That’s a nice concise description of the facts of the matter. The Iranians are using those threats as a means to prevent attacks on themselves; they understand why a war of words shoudn’t turn into a real war. I wonder just how many lunatics in the borg state and their wild-eyed friends in the UAE and Saudi Arabia want to make it a real war. . .

Posted by: nonsense factory | Jul 25, 2018 9:34:34 AM | 86

The Jewish State rushed to save "moderate" terrorists in Syria and then ordered the zionized UK and the zionized/banderized Canada to resettle "our jihadists:" https://globalnews.ca/news/4345810/syria-white-helmets-resettlement-canada-chrystia-freeland/
At the same time, Julian Assange has been under a grave threat: https://www.globalresearch.ca/what-should-we-do-about-julian-assange/5648422
"WikiLeaks dared to expose the perfidy of the United States to the world’s public. The pro-transparency organization enraged the US military-industrial complex by publishing a slew of classified documents, emails, and graphic accounts like the “Collateral Murder” video that adduced US war crimes in Iraq. In other words, Assange is being painted as a criminal for revealing the crimes of the US empire. War is peace. And revealing crimes is criminal."
Assange is a collateral damage of the Wars for Israel: http://www.ihr.org/leaflets/iraqwar.shtml

Posted by: Anya | Jul 25, 2018 11:08:34 AM | 87

Can anybody here explain why Lavrov's and Shogu's visit in Jerusalem
is not a tacit acceptation of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital?

Posted by: CarlD | Jul 25, 2018 11:18:09 AM | 88

@ 78 stonebird Thanks for your for the informed evaluation of military situation in South
East Syria. I started reading Moononalabama because this kind of report serves my personal
life-long interest in military history, and my solidarity with those who defend themselves.

Posted by: Guerrero | Jul 25, 2018 1:17:23 PM | 89

@78 stonebird... good comments.. thanks!

@87 carl d... why not wait and see what comes of it? i can't remember russias response to trumps idea to relocate it's embassy to jerusalem..

Posted by: james | Jul 25, 2018 1:41:00 PM | 90

CarlD @87--

People attending a meeting go to where the meeting's being held, not to some other location. Such attendance is not any form of recognition. St Petersburg was once Russia's capital, but people attending meetings there instead of Moscow doesn't mean the seat of government's changed in any fashion. Formal recognition of such a change would occur if Russia were to announce a change in the venue of its Embassy as Embassies are situated in the recognized seat of government.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 25, 2018 1:52:13 PM | 91

90

Think about the propaganda opportunities this offers...

Posted by: CarlD | Jul 25, 2018 2:09:31 PM | 92

French gov radio reports that today some IS bombing around Suweida in South Syria have left 180 victims. Was that what the Israelis covered with their latest raid?

Posted by: Mina | Jul 25, 2018 2:31:55 PM | 93

nonsense factory @68--

Good work and thanks for providing those! The rise of Saddam stopped cold the possible merging of Iraq with Syria that was being discussed at high levels. Destroying the nascent United Arab Republic was high on the list of policy goals for the Outlaw US Empire, thus its alliance with Saddam. That such a combination would be anathema for Zionists is rather obvious. Awhile ago, I toyed with the idea of a Greater Iran having merged with Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon, thus reforming part of one of the prior Persian Empires. I can't help but presume Trump's "New Deal" JCPOA would include some provision disallowing such a combination and the current security pacts in an effort to "secure Israel's security." Considering how much time and effort went into constructing JCPOA, I highly doubt Trump's deal will go far as we know what he'll try to include constitute Iranian Red Lines. Furthermore, I highly doubt requisite lower-level talks to arrange a higher level meeting will occur given the many Iranian statements about the futility of such given Outlaw US Empire's gross untrustworthiness and ongoing unilateral breaking of treaties of all sorts--even those tied to its fundamental law of the land like the UN Charter.

The upshot is no lessening of tensions leading up to the likely establishment of further illegal sanctions on Iran that will escalate into a full-blown crises. Trump's certainly presidential in that he doesn't give a damn about the innocents damaged by his policies wherever they might live.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 25, 2018 2:33:39 PM | 94

A refresher for those without geography. The Straits of Hormuz are narrow. They are shallow. They need to be dredged regularly to allow large tankers to pass. There is a northbound channel and a southbound channel that are dredged. Each is one ship wide if the ship is a big one. All Iran needs to do is scuttle any old scow in either channel. Salvage crews and dredging crews will not operate until some settlement is reached.

One more. The Iranian side is mountainous and perfect for concealing anti-ship missiles. The Qatari side is flat desert. The only way to ensure the mountains are safe would be nukes. Enough nukes to make Qatar glow in the dark.

Assume half a dozen analysts in D.C. know some geography. Assume no one listens to them.

Posted by: oldhippie | Jul 25, 2018 2:50:00 PM | 95

Mina @92--

al-Masdar News has several reports about the Daesh attack here and here; both contain graphic pics and are labeled 18+. Other reports point to support coming from the al-Tanf area, which is close to the Daesh pocket mentioned at the first link. Linkage with Zionist actions? Likely. Important to note Daesh specifically targeted civilians, not SAA, the 2nd link graphically showing civilian executed justice. Ultimate responsibility for those murdered lies at Trump's feet.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 25, 2018 3:03:39 PM | 96

In just a few years, immense moral high ground has passed from the west to Russia, and corresponding influence with the multi polar world. I can't illustrate it off-hand right now, but this moral force is what ultimately supports military activity. We are approaching a point where the US's loss of moral reputation will, purely itself, prevent military action by the US in the world. I think it's already happened, but I can't demonstrate this at the moment. Posted by: Grieved | Jul 24, 2018 10:44:49 PM | 64

It is highly speculative if the loss of moral reputation may prevent military action. However, effectiveness of the action is reduced from the start of abhorrent activity. Why is Afghan military so ineffective and why the soldiers trained by USA-led alliance keep attacking their patrons? Most plausibly, the sane and non-corrupted Afghans shy away from that force, and those who serve have family ties to victims of atrocities and resort to blood revenge.

In the mentality of our Establishment, such difficulties were explained by cultural deficiencies of Afghans and Iraqis, and thus they confidently predicted that Russia will experience a "quagmire" in Syria. However, sticking to some minimum of moral behavior, consistency and treating the population, soldiers etc. with dignity avoids the problem that seemed unsolvable to Americans.

I wrote "some minimum of moral behavior" because some atrocities are hard to avoid when a war is waged where civilians live.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jul 25, 2018 3:04:27 PM | 97

oldhippie @94--

Thanks for those reminders. During what's known as the "Tanker War" phase of the US via Iraq-Iran War, no insurer would cover the tankers so commerce stalled just as if the straits were blocked; so, the Outlaw US Empire took it upon itself to insure and even flag those vessels. But that was then, and the situation's very different today. Again, insurers will refuse to cover tankers transiting a war zone and commerce will cease. But flagging and insuring tankers won't work this time as Iran has more than several ways to block passage through the straits and there's zero anyone can do about it. The Deep State's Ponzi Scheme can't abide a slowdown in money's velocity lest it falter, which is exactly what would happen with straits closure. Boom! Iran wins without firing a shot! Not only would nukes "make Qatar glow," they'd contaminate the straits for years making the closure self-imposed.

During the Age of Discovery, the Heartland countries were very weak compared to the newly formed power of the Maritime Imperialist nations, which allowed them to conquer South and Southeast Asia and humiliate China with partial colonialism's Unequal Treaties. The situation is now close to being the opposite with the Heartland nations militarily strong enough to defeat Maritime Imperialist nations and approaching political-economic solidarity. If Mackinder were alive today, he'd be forced to admit the UK's defeat--even the combination of the UK/USA--as there's no way the Maritime nations can coerce the Heartland any longer. Unfortunately, the Outlaw US Empire's so accustomed to getting its own way it's level of hubris is off the charts, but the reality is it's utterly helpless militarily to retake control of the Heartland, yet few are willing to admit defeat, thus the continuing feeble attempts to reverse an outcome that's irreversible.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 25, 2018 3:40:07 PM | 98

Iran's control of the straits is obviously a huge factor and a major source of frustration for Big Oil and the UsUkIs governments it controls. Burns their asses since 1978.

Posted by: Fastfreddy | Jul 25, 2018 4:00:38 PM | 99

Iran can of course not "close" the Hormuz, not only is it illegal but the whole world would be against that move in the first place, not to mention Iran wont benefit from it either economically.

Posted by: Zanon | Jul 25, 2018 4:27:40 PM | 100

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