Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
August 21, 2015

Syria: Is Israel Planing To Escalate?

Yesterday four rockets or mortars fired from the Syrian side of the Golan heights landed on Israel occupied parts of the Syrian Golan without causing any damage. A recent report cited the Israeli defense expert Tzvi Yechezkieli:

He noticed that all terrorist activity directed at Israel on the Golan Heights is the work of Hezbollah and not of Jabhat al-Nusra, the Al Qaeda affiliate that is in control of the border with Israel.

If al Qaeda is in control of the Golan border how would Hizbullah fire small, short ranged missiles over it?

And if Hizbullah could do this why would the Israeli official accuse the Islamic Jihad group?

The Israeli army warned the government in war-wracked Syria it will "suffer the consequences" after four rockets crashed Thursday into the north of the Jewish state and the occupied Golan.

"This was the work of Islamic Jihad, an organisation financed and working for Iran, and we consider the Syrian government responsible for the firing and it will suffer the consequences," the army said in a statement.

It was referring to a Palestinian militant group which is based in the Gaza Strip.
The Islamic Jihad denied the military's accusation, saying it was not behind the rocket fire.

So how did the Islamic Jihad fire from Jabhat al Nusra, i.e. their enemies, occupied Syrian border when they are based in Gaza?

It is much more likely that the mortars were fired by al Qaeda to "request" fire support against the advancing Syrian Arab Army. Such has happened before to support Nusra advances and indeed the Israeli forces again obliged. At least 14 attacks against Syrian Army positions were flown and one additional attack against a civil car:

Israel said it carried out an air raid Friday that killed up to five Iran-backed militants it said were behind a rare rocket attack from across the border in Syria.

The strike came a day after Israel launched a dozen air raids on the Syrian-side of the occupied Golan Heights, raising concerns about a possible escalation.
Syrian television identified them as unarmed civilians, the Israeli military source said they were members of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad militant group, and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group spoke of pro-regime National Defence Forces.

Israel earlier said that it hit 14 Syrian army positions in the Syrian-controlled sector of the Golan on Thursday night in response to the rocket attacks.

There is indeed fear that this could be the start of a larger Israeli operation against the Syrian government and in support of al Qaeda.

Elijah J. Magnier ‏@EjmAlrai
Keep an eye on what is happening in #Israel and on the #Syria/n borders. Israel is deploying Iron Dome and Syria+allies on full alter now.

Over 10 #SAA positions facing Syrian rebels were air strikes by #Israel. Syrian allies believe this is not a normal #israeli response +

Front from #Syria to #Lebanon is boiling. #Hezbollah declared full alert ...

Israel is not the only entity supporting Jabhat al Nusra. In southern Syria the CIA trained mercenaries fighting against the Syrian army largely fought together with Jabhat al Nusra. They shared their CIA provided resources and their advances along the Golan height had Israeli fire support.

The Pentagon trained mercenaries who recently were infiltrated from Turkey into Syria before they got routed also had tight coordination with Nusra. Their leader said:

“We were surprised by the attack by Nusra, because we coordinated in advance with Nusra,” Abu Iskandar said. “Four months ago, Nusra showed great admiration for the training project. Nusra said . . . go get guns and come fight [the Islamic State].”

So the very selected "moderate rebels" the Pentagon trained claim tight "coordination" with al-Qaeda. One wonders how those in the U.S. military who spent the last 14 years fighting this or that al Qaeda entity feel about that.

Posted by b on August 21, 2015 at 16:53 UTC | Permalink


I found it a curious thing how Israel made mention of Iran. Now, I wonder how long it will take for every U.S. Presidential candidate, along with a couple of hawkish congressional stooges who will jump on this and tie it to the Iran NPT agreement. Oh wait, maybe something bigger (false flag even) will come to fruition to have us react to that instead. Finally, when we will start calling these religious jihadist what they really are? How about calling these fighters mercenaries for what that's worth.. While that will never happen, another thing that will never happen is for us to know who their benefactors really are. Common sense would suggest that no purely radical group would be able to support themselves logistically by itself, so what keeps them going? Answer that, and then there you go, now you would know it all!

Posted by: Joe Tedesky | Aug 21 2015 19:04 utc | 2

This has nothing really to do with the Iran nuclear agreement scam, because all Western and Mideast terrorist states have been seriously calling for more direct war crimes in Syria. This is all part of the softening up phase before the onslaught of atrocities are about to commence by the U.S. led West and it's Mideast puppets.

You don't attack a stronger army straight up, you slowly weaken then attacked a weaker army. That a sensible military philosophy that always exists and has nothing to do with a totally seperate nuclear deal

Posted by: tom | Aug 21 2015 20:38 utc | 3

thanks b... bears paying attention as the 4 year syrian regime change agenda continues... meanwhile refugees from syria are pouring into europe in large numbers... i guess this is another blessing for the usa which would like to see europe drown in all the turmoil it creates in the mid east..

quote from your article "So the very selected "moderate rebels" the Pentagon trained claim tight "coordination" with al-Qaeda. One wonders how those in the U.S. military who spent the last 14 years fighting this or that al Qaeda entity feel about that."

i think this is a good example of the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing.. the right hand think's it is fighting the good fight trying to get rid of al qaeda and version 2 - isis.. the left hand meanwhile are responsible for the continuation and perpetuation of these roaming mercenary groups.. the fact neither has shown any hostility towards israel ought to tell most folks just how is paying the bill and running their show..

Posted by: james | Aug 21 2015 20:43 utc | 4

Last August, when the world was distracted by the Ukraine regime offensive against Novorossia, Israel launched one of its murderous onslaughts against Gaza. Ukraine is about to go on the rampage against Novorossia once more. Israel is making nice to Hamas, raising the prospect of a period of stability there. Watch out for Israeli action as a land grab in Syria once that happens.

Ukraine Independence Day is 24 August.

Posted by: Yonatan | Aug 21 2015 20:45 utc | 5 Had a report on Putin's attack on the Turkish Ambassador, it does seem credible. In my opinion with the the support of China,Russia and Iran, Syria has more than enough support to survive anything the US and their puppets can throw at them. They also know that a failure to back Syria would mean,they are next, that is guaranteed. "So it seems that Putin is drawing his own “red line” with regard to Syria! Putin’s quote is as follows: “Tell your dictator Erdogan to go to Hell, and that unless he stops well established and easily proven support for ISIS, Russia will sever diplomatic relations. We are prepared to turn Syria into a big Stalingrad for Turkey and her Saudi allies and their vicious little gang of Hitlers. Your little dictator is a hypocrite, attacking the military coup in Egypt while, at the same time, he is trying to overthrow the elected government of Syria. As it stands, China, Iran and Russia will guarantee the survival of Syria.”

A few days later, Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov muttered that the Saudi Foreign Minister was an “f*****g moron” during a bilateral pourparler. If this is the rage in Moscow against the Saudi-Turkish tandem, there can be little doubt that Russian officials are angry enough to issue an ultimatum to Turkey.

Posted by: harry law | Aug 21 2015 21:21 utc | 6
A deputy leader of Islamic State (IS), Fadhil Ahmad al-Hayali, has been killed in a US military strike in northern Iraq, the White House says.

Hayali, also known as Hajji Mutazz, is described by US officials as the second in command of the group.

They said he was killed in an attack on his car in Mosul on Tuesday, and that his death would damage IS operations.

A number of IS leaders have been taken out by US-led air coalition strikes in both Iraq and Syria in recent months.

'Wide influence'

Hayali was a primary coordinator for moving large amounts of weapons, explosives, vehicles and people between Iraq and Syria, the US National Security Council's Ned Price said in a statement.

In Iraq, Hayali was "instrumental in planning operations over the past two years, including the IS offensive in Mosul in June 2014", Mr Price said.

Posted by: okie farmer | Aug 21 2015 22:05 utc | 7


Putin is all bluster. Anyone turns on any radar, defensive or targeting, loitering US forces in the 'No Fly Zone' have two types of anti-radar missiles, and wide-area-network attack targeting for two types of cruise missiles to follow up.

Russia can do nothing. China is doing nothing. Iran sponsors, and then sends advisors.

Frog in a pot scenario. Assad is the frog. The absolute moment he abdicates, Sunni forces and CIA-MOSS AD already on the ground, will disable all the Syrian radar defenses.

From that moment on, the world must wait for Israel'a Operation Dark Alley attack on Tehran, entirely deniable, likely nuclear, and blame able as 'Iran Reactor Melts Down!' Reports of radiation released by hydrogen explosion. IAEA sending inspectors. No radiation detected on US troops in Afghanistan. Pakistan goes on alert against India attack. China stock market swoons. Clinton to face indictment."

Now what were we talking about?

This is the part of the movie where The Matrix starts to cascade crash as the Keanu forces of 'Zion' push all the buttons at once in a mesmerizing acid trails montage.

You won't even know what hit you.

Posted by: Chipnik | Aug 21 2015 22:09 utc | 8


I read some time ago that the Islamic state may be providing these 'death of high officials' reports to take the heat off their leadership. The US is so proud of their killings they usually have to report them multiple times to make them stick, if they actually even happen.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Aug 21 2015 22:29 utc | 9

harry law at 6 --

I couldn't find the supposed underlying source for the alleged "Stalingrad" comment back when it first surfaced. And neither did Tarpley. "This quote supposedly originated in The Moscow Times, though this can’t be confirmed." It was "leaked through certain channels...", however, to send the Turks a message, he believes.

Nor does he even source Peskov's supposed "weak denial" press conference (he is Putin's Press Sec'y). Though Tarpley does have a link to a NYTimes pc. on missile battery Russia sent to Syria, which is his trigger for this batch of insight.

So what can we find out about Webster Tarpely?

I just love Rationalwiki. And with this bit from their article on The Obama Deception, you can see why. Sadly, it's their only mention of this acolyte of the "Worlds's Greatest Living Economist."

The analysis about how Obama is "clearly being controlled" is given by Webster Tarpley, whose long association with Lyndon LaRouche, 9/11 truthers, birthers, and virtually every other sort of conspiracy theorist suggests that he can't walk to the corner store without spotting more machinations by the global elite that haunt his steps.

They descibe the film, by Alex Jones of Infowars fame, as a comedy, saying, "It is the worst kind of conspiracy theory, as it takes sound bites out of context and some elements of real concern, and then suggests a wholly fictional and malignant plan."

And what about the underlying source for this supposed quote? It's this attractively designed website,, with this little gem of misinformation, Russian president to Turkish ambassador.

A quick bing search shows it is apparently a Turkish site. It was used, according to The Guardian, to publicize a forged document. It asserted that UN special rapporteur on Iranian rights, Ahmed Shaheen of the Maldives, of taking Saudi bribes.

They describe it, as well as another site involved in the matter, as "amateur websites that duplicate materials from other sources." It also seems to be the source of the notion that Mugabe asked Obama to marry him.

Posted by: rufus magister | Aug 21 2015 23:56 utc | 10


Most of these really ludicrous stories seem to come from Iran, because they were fooled by an Onion story they seem to assume that others are as gullible as they are. The useful tools and fools here and elsewhere parrot these fantasies and we go round and round.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Aug 22 2015 0:44 utc | 11

Yeah, "Iran", spelled I-S-R-A-E-L.

Posted by: Ananymus | Aug 22 2015 1:19 utc | 12 has this article on the Syrian situation -
It was written before the latest events (8/13), but I think the arguments still hold (Meyssan also reminds one that 'official' policy out of D.C. is not always supported by all involved, but sometimes becomes subject to sabotage by US officials with their own agenda). If an all-out effort to destroy Assad really breaks out - then "we will be entering into a state of world war." Perhaps that is not something DC is willing to risk, just to dispose of Assad. Let's hope so...

Posted by: GoraDiva | Aug 22 2015 1:32 utc | 13

Posted by: Chipnik | Aug 21, 2015 6:09:06 PM | 8

That's the first time I can recall you having said something that's completely wrong.

Aug 21, 2015...

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Aug 22 2015 2:39 utc | 14

It was carelessly over-enthusiastic of the "Israelis" to rope Iran into another of its Existential Threat beat-ups. Here's Chomsky at TomDispatch on the Iran deal, NPT and the No 1 threat to International Peace & Security - the United States of AmeriKKKa.
Rogue States and Nuclear Dangers

Warning: It's long-ish. Chomsky is a "linguist" and finds it impossible to resist the temptation to use a paragraph when a sentence would be better (and to accurately translate what Ahmadinejad really did say about "Israel").

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Aug 22 2015 4:06 utc | 15

I am surprised to read @8 that Putin blusters, which is a comical assertion. The US is the ever blustering nation, one which is always announcing its aggressions in advance ; and is habitually meditating out loud, over what criminal measures it might be contemplating in the future. This is not the Russian style. Moreover, it should be obvious that Russia has extensive satellite intelligence, nukes, EMPs, neutron weapons, biological weapons, sophisticated radar jammers of their own, and radar countermeasures that may be more advanced than those in the US inventory. There is probably a limit to the degree in which the US may insult the crucial national interests of countries that are not defenseless Third World pushovers.

Posted by: Copeland | Aug 22 2015 5:41 utc | 16

OT: O on defense
WASHINGTON — In his most comprehensive effort to assure wavering Democrats, President Obama wrote in a letter to Congress that the United States would unilaterally maintain economic pressure and deploy military options if needed to deter Iranian aggression, both during and beyond the proposed nuclear accord.

The Aug. 19 letter, obtained by The New York Times, is addressed to Representative Jerrold Nadler, Democrat of New York, but is also aimed at other Democrats with concerns about the deal. For Mr. Obama, it reflects steps the administration could take outside the agreement. The president has repeatedly said that the deal reached by Iran and six world powers cannot be changed.
“Should Iran seek to dash toward a nuclear weapon, all of the options available to the United States — including the military option — will remain available through the life of the deal and beyond,” Mr. Obama wrote.

He pledged to increase missile defense funding for Israel, accelerate co-development of missile defense systems, and boost tunnel detection and mapping technologies. He also vowed to increase cooperation with Israel and Persian Gulf allies to counter Iran’s efforts to destabilize Yemen, its support for Hezbollah in Lebanon, and its efforts to preserve the government of President Bashar al-Assad in Syria.

Posted by: okie farmer | Aug 22 2015 6:12 utc | 17

Chipnik@8 "You won't even know what hit you" Yes I will, according to former Presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann its called "the end times" and "the Prophets longed to live in this day" she said "you and I are privileged to live in it". link She was funnier than Trump, and they say vaudeville is dead. Whatever the truth about what Putin was alleged to have told the Turkish Ambassador, I suspect something along those lines was said, if I was Putin I certainly would have said it.

Posted by: harry law | Aug 22 2015 8:54 utc | 18

14, 16

Your RU Oligarchy-worship won't save SY, even with a phalanx of Sukhoi Su-33's, they're just supersonic coffins, and Putin is only a Strong Man of the Steppes for RUs hoi polloi.

Whether Israel executes Operation Night Alley or not is totally contingent and unknowable, therefore cannot be 'entirely wrong', since it's one of the most highly plausible outcomes.

Although Netanyahu is a coward and only attacks concentration camps for political strategy, nevertheless, Boeing provided Israel nuclear launch rail reinforcing on their jet fighters, and Obama and Hagel sold nuclear bunker busters, inflight re-fueling tankers and stealth radar equipment, which lets Israel get inside Iran and out again, fire-and-forget and flee.

All they needed was IAEA inspectors' GPS coordinates for the bunker entry. Oops! No got~!
So that's three strikes: Israelis are cowards, Israel didn't get the GPS coordinates, and Assad is still blocking Israel's Night Alley attack with a Big Man of the Steppe's saber.

But you still can't state that my premise is 'entirely wrong', because it takes no bravery to launch a covert fire-and-forget raid, and Putin is not defending Assad, just blustering.

So it really all comes down to those Iranian GPS coordinates between you, and me, and WW3.

Posted by: NoReply | Aug 22 2015 9:09 utc | 19

Lavrov is alleged to have whispered that the Saudi Foreign Minister was a F-----g moron. If he is anything like the Saudi Ambassador to the UN, Lavrov is correct. Read this address to the UN from the Saudi Ambassador, and">">link

Posted by: harry law | Aug 22 2015 9:21 utc | 20

Try again 'Permanent mission to the UN of Saudi Arabia in New York'. link">">link

Posted by: harry law | Aug 22 2015 9:34 utc | 21


'... the mortars were fired by al Qaeda to "request" fire support against the advancing Syrian Arab Army. '

That's the way I read it too. I think there's going to be a press from Turkey, from Iraq (ISIS), from Jordan, and from Israel. This is just the official beginning of the Israeli deployment. They said 'wide-ranging' or words to that effect. They'll be attacking all over Syria, in concert with the US, with Turkey, with Jordan. With Australia, for goodness sake. Air war. Slaughtering civilians, primarily. That's what modern war is all about. That's what Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Barack Obama's coalition of the willing is all about. In Libya, in Syria, in Yeneb ...

It looks to me as though the Syrians may be pushed back to the coast and the Lebanese border. I imagine they can hold out there ... what will happen in the rest of Syria? What will the Russians do? Iranians? The Kurds? Will Turkish armor roll in? Will it be destroyed by Russian anti-tank missles? The Russians talk S-300, but there are exactly zero in all of the Middle East, aren't there? I don't think the Syrians had already paid for theirs, had they? That was the Russian play on the Iranains, copied by the French in the Russians. I'm sure they all wish they had some defense from the F-16s and A-4s - warthogs, whatever their designation - now.

I'll be watching MoA to find out what happens. Thanks for the attention you pay and the news and views you purvey. Top notch in all respects.

Posted by: jfl | Aug 22 2015 11:36 utc | 22

Today the neolibcons tell us the air of the ME is cleaner ass a result of all this turmoil.(Graun)
The NO2 is lower.But what about all the nuclear waste from our penetration shells,the burning of multiple buildings and homes,the stench of weaponry?Did the Chinese blast make Chinas air better?And just what did blow up in Tianjin?The MSM won't say,and they don't even say the Chinese govt won't say,which leads me back to it was a fireworks factory for US.

Posted by: dahoit | Aug 22 2015 13:12 utc | 23

China Daily had a helicopter video fly over, but it was so high you couldn't make out anything on the ground. One big patch of black dirt - that was it.

Posted by: okie farmer | Aug 22 2015 13:30 utc | 24

Whatever the truth about what Putin was alleged to have told the Turkish Ambassador, I suspect something along those lines was said, if I was Putin I certainly would have said it.

That would seem to translate to: "Somebody, somewhere, might have, could have, should have, said something, maybe, to someone else, about something." Perhaps.

Actions speak louder than words. What conclusions can we draw from Putin and Erdogan's actions?

The UNSC just re-affirmed the Geneva memorandum, and that the Turks are creating a protectorate around Aleppo (not so much for the Turkmen, as against the PKK). Sounds like things are being wound down, at least temporarily, vs. Assad in order to slow down ISIS.

Turkey is profit-taking as the market for its services continues to be robust. Putin continues to support the Ba'athists.

Posted by: rufus magister | Aug 22 2015 14:12 utc | 25

web etiquette 101: do not paste a url into the body of the <a href=""></a> tag - take the time to paste in the title of the article or enter a few words describing the link/content - if we want to see the source of the link before clicking we can hover the cursor over the link - long url strings are essentially noise and wreak havoc on the layout

Posted by: b real | Aug 22 2015 15:53 utc | 26

Rufus magister@25 "the Turks are creating a protectorate around Aleppo" I don't think so, neither do I think they will establish a no fly zone in any part of sovereign Syrian territory. Both obviously against International law. Actions do speak louder than words, lets see what happens if Turkey does either of those two provocations. If Syria, Iran or Russia were to allowed this thin end of the wedge to happen.I would say it was all over for Assad. That's why it will not happen.

Posted by: harry law | Aug 22 2015 16:05 utc | 27


No one is reporting 'mortars' being fired into Israel only four 'rockets' which would be those supplied by Iran. The insertion of the mythical mortars into this story, with no evidence, makes your scenario seem foolish because al-Nusra may have mortars but are unlikely to have Iranian rockets which were the weapons reported as used in this attack.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Aug 22 2015 16:34 utc | 28

A lull in the fighting is not necessarily a winding down. Also, the concept that our oligarchs can whip your oligarchs is not any sort of coherent argument. Thinking that some oligarchs are to be preferred over others, is still a proposition that is fraught with danger. And the idea put forward, @19, that the most plausible outcome is that the Likud faction will fire nukes down the Dark Alley at Iran, and then be able to forget about it, is insane.

Posted by: Copeland | Aug 22 2015 16:53 utc | 29

harry at 27 --

We all know the NATO/EU attitude towards international law. Legal over at State can come up with some sort of force majeure dodge, if anyone asks and the Turks can't think of something. "NATO says," maybe.

The "no-fly" zone is a polite fiction, a cover for Turkish mercenary intervention. And from what I read and posted on the earlier "Turkey Invades Syria" thread, it has as much to do with Turkish pre-election politics as it does with Assad's fate; that's an added beneficial side effect.

Erdogan wants to gain nationalist votes and attack the Kurds to try to get enough votes to change the Constitution to a presidential system. Reuters quote him sayin “Whether it is accepted or not, Turkey’s system of government has changed. What needs to be done now is to clarify and confirm the legal framework of this de facto situation with a new constitution.”

As to Assad's fate, I think Whitney at Counterpunch sums it up nicely; you'd find it back on that thread, too, I think. He does not believe that Putin is Planning to Sell-Out Assad.

He cites Lavrov's statement with the Saudis, from early August, where he says "We believe that all issues of settlement, including the parameters of the transitional period and political reforms, should be resolved by Syrians themselves."

You can see by this statement what Putin really wants. He... doesn’t want... to create a power-vacuum that leads to another failed, balkanized hellhole.... [incubating] terrorists that will eventually come knocking on Moscow’s door.... That only serves Washington’s objectives, not Russia’s.

He’s trying to balance two opposing things at the same time. He’s trying to maintain his commitment to an ally while accommodating Saudi Arabia so they agree to help him to end the hostilities....

And even if Assad is removed, the process (Geneva) is such that the next president is not going to be a hand-picked US stooge, but someone who is supported by the majority of the Syrian people. Needless to say, Washington doesn’t like that idea.

I think Whitney is correct in saying the window of opportunity is short. The window may be closing.

Erdogan has apparently called for elections on 1 Nov., some question as to his authority to do so, it seems. Not that it matters, really, they had to be called by Sunday under the Turkish constitution, AKP still unable to form a gov't. after election losses.

Posted by: rufus magister | Aug 22 2015 17:05 utc | 30

b real at 26 --

And even worse -- neither of them even lead you to the freakin' speech. Odd, since he got the link to Tarpely right. Give the link to the underlying source, not Google Tranlate. Mention that it's machine language, if you cite it, which one might. Intellectual and not just internet etiquette.

Posted by: rufus magister | Aug 22 2015 17:17 utc | 31


I agree with some of what Whitney says but the idea that the transition government would lead to a president supported by the majority of Syrians is pure fantasy. The best that can be hoped for if Assad is removed is that some of the so called moderate rebel groups will join the transition government at least initially and then the infighting will begin. Those groups who refuse to join the transition may see the Islamic State as a better bet for their goals and then the Syrian nationalist vs. the Islamic State trans-nationalists war will commence.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Aug 22 2015 18:42 utc | 32

Wayout at 32 --

Well, as I noted on the earlier thread, take the 40 pct. of Syrians that are not Sunni Arab, throw in the secular and non-jihadi Sunnis, the Ba'ath Party could conceivably stay in power. The so-called "liberals" would need to abandon their Lockean right-to-revolution fantasies that brought all this about.

It's not really my area, but were I to guess, I think Wash. wouldn't mind freezing this conflict. But I'm not aware of any evidence that the Saudis and the Gulf States are ready to abandon their support for Wahabist jihad.

I don't see a deal as forthcoming. Erdogan won't stop before the elections. Putin can't simply abandon Assad, but Washington can't back away from demanding his removal.

Any transitional government that might include the jihadists is a guaranty of instability. Why let the terrorists into a government you see as necessary to fighting terrorist?

Posted by: rufus magister | Aug 22 2015 20:20 utc | 33

Israeli War Jet Shot Down Over Syria

Sputnik - The Syrian air defense shot down an Israeli warplane violating the Arab country's air space, an Iranian news agency reported.

The Israeli fighter jet was targeted over the city of Al-Quneitra on Friday, Iran’s Fars news agency reported on Saturday.

Israel regularly violates the Syrian airspace and launches missile attacks against the country.

On Friday, the Israeli Air Force resumed airstrikes on Western Syria, targeting a government army base at Khan Al-Sheih in Damascus province and another in the al-Quneitra province after a six-hour halt in attacks that followed their multiple air raids over the Golan Heights.

Both Syrian army installations have been under siege by the al-Qaeda-linked group of al-Nusra Front and their allies from Ajnad al-Sham and Jeish al-Islam groups.

Posted by: okie farmer | Aug 23 2015 8:55 utc | 34

Russia denies reports of delivering 6 MiG fighter jets to Syria
Russia has denied reports that it has provided Syria with Mikoyan MiG-31 fighter jets, adding that it has no plans to do so in the future, either.

On Friday, the head of the Russian MiG Corporation rejected Turkish media reports that Russia had delivered six supersonic interceptor jets to Syria as part of a contract inked between the two sides in 2007.

“We have not delivered this [type of] aircraft to Syria and are not going to supply them there,” Sergei Korotkov said.

Posted by: okie farmer | Aug 23 2015 10:09 utc | 35

iraq syria jordan made into one country but divided into provinces or states,not along tribal or sectarian lines but democratically elected national currency one prime minister and a president similar to knesset

assad,king of jordan offered ceremonial role as in royal family,more symbolic.same with tribal leaders.

combination of tribal and democratic leadership.

Posted by: mcohen | Aug 24 2015 11:37 utc | 36

Zio York Times, 23AUG15

"The completion of the Iran nuclear deal last month created space for a renewed push for a political solution to a ruinous civil war (sic) between President Bashar al-Assad of Syria and the rebels (mercenaries) seeking to oust him, which has cost 250,000 lives and forced 11 million people from their homes. Since then, a burst of high-level diplomatic meetings has raised hopes that such an effort is finally underway.

There are compelling reasons to stave off a further collapse of the Syrian state: Mr. Assad, struggling on the battlefield and in recruiting troops for his army, is growing weaker. The Americans, the Russians and the Saudis, among others, fear that ISIS, which already controls a large portion of Syria and is stronger than other militant groups there, will take over if the regime falls.

But it is still not clear that the United States, Russia, Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia and other key players have the sense of urgency and political will to set Syria on a more stable path. It is clear, though, that without a political settlement in Syria (you mean, like the one in Ukraine?), it is hard to see how there can be an effective, unified campaign against the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, and its determination to establish a caliphate in Syria and Iraq.

Given the many lives lost since #JohnMcCainArmedandFundedISISorISILorUS-IL, and the way the continued civil war (sic) opened the gates to ISIS, it is regrettable that Moscow has come so late to the table. Still, there seems to be serious interest now in pursuing a diplomatic solution, and it must be encouraged. Russia and Iran bear a special responsibility to move it forward."

Syria 360

Posted by: Chipnik | Aug 24 2015 11:45 utc | 37

chipnik read through the link above....this agreement could have changed everthing.....but the british and french decided to divide and conquer for not be so quick to blame the


etc etc

Posted by: mcohen | Aug 24 2015 12:41 utc | 38


As to Assad's fate, I think Whitney at Counterpunch sums it up nicely; you'd find it back on that thread, too, I think. He does not believe that Putin is Planning to Sell-Out Assad.

He cites Lavrov's statement with the Saudis, from early August, where he says "We believe that all issues of settlement, including the parameters of the transitional period and political reforms, should be resolved by Syrians themselves."


One can also cite another statement of Lavrov that was not officially translated. Make web search "Lavrov debili" and if you are not linguistically inclined, use somewhat misleading "Google translate". In my opinion, neither "asshole" nor "fucking moron" accurately translates "debili blyad'", «Дебилы, бл***», but kind of close enough.

In the meantime, there are news that an Israeli fighter plane was shot down by SS-300.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Aug 24 2015 23:57 utc | 39

Russia, Egypt call for international anti-terror coalition

During his second visit to Moscow in the last two months, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi met with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin. They discussed a wide range of topics, including an international anti-terrorism coalition.

“We underline the fundamental importance of the formation of a broad anti-terrorist front involving key international players and regional countries, including Syria,” Putin said after the meeting with Sisi in Moscow on Wednesday.

Putin added that both countries share “common views” on the importance of stepping up the war on terrorism, especially against the Daesh Takfiris.

“The Egyptian people hope to see improvements in the cooperation between us and Russia in different fields, including…the fight against terror in a region suffering from terrorism,” said Sisi. “It has an impact on our region’s stability and security. Not just in some countries, but in the entire region and possibly the whole world.”

I'm old enough to remember the UAR. I don't know what this means but it sounds like it may be posiive.

Peshmergas liberate 9 villages in northern Iraq, inflict casualties on Daesh

In a massive military offensive against Daesh Takfiri terrorists, Iraq’s Kurdish Peshmerga forces have managed to clear nine villages in northern Iraq of Daesh Takfiris and inflicted heavy casualties on the terror group.

Iraq's Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) said in a statement that Peshmerga fighters launched their offensive at dawn on Wednesday with some 2,000 soldiers targeting the militant-held villages on the south of the northern oil-rich city of Kirkuk, The Associated Press reported.

That's definitely positive.

Now if an Israeli jet has been shot down over Syria that would be the most encouraging news of all.

Posted by: jfl | Aug 27 2015 5:39 utc | 40

That's definitely positive.
Yeah, except that there won't be a press release when the villages get taken back again. The Peshmerga have not succeeded in clearing Da'ish from the area, which is hardly Da'ish heartland.

I suspect the main point of the announcement is to suggest that the Peshmerga are actually doing something for once. They've been sitting on their backsides now for nearly a year now. I should think the Americans are pressuring them to be more active.

Posted by: Laguerre | Aug 27 2015 8:20 utc | 41

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