Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
November 22, 2015

New U.S.-Turkish Bluster For Open War On Syria

The U.S. media, especially cable TV, seems to create full hysteria over the Islamic State and Muslim in general. I assume that this campaign is supposed to prepare the U.S. public for war on Syria.

The way thereto has its own logic. Tom Toles catches the salami slicing drift into it. It is exactly how the open U.S. involvement in war on Syria unfolded so far.

How the U.S. goes to war. Every. Single. Time.

The neocons, here Robert Kagan who wants Hillary Clinton as next president, are already salivating. He claims there is a "crisis of world order", which is something that never really existed, and he wants U.S. troops to invade Syria and Iraq:

What would such an effort look like? First, it would require establishing a safe zone in Syria, providing the millions of would-be refugees still in the country a place to stay and the hundreds of thousands who have fled to Europe a place to which to return. To establish such a zone, American military officials estimate, would require not only U.S. air power but ground forces numbering up to 30,000. Once the safe zone was established, many of those troops could be replaced by forces from Europe, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and other Arab states, but the initial force would have to be largely American.
The heretofore immovable Mr. Assad would face an entirely new set of military facts on the ground, with the Syrian opposition now backed by U.S. forces and air power, the Syrian air force grounded and Russian bombing halted.

But why would Russia and Syria allow this? Why would they halt their bombing of the anti-Syrian insurgents? Kagan does not say. The last quoted sentence is the only mentioning of Russia in the whole lame op-ed. By what means does he want to convince the Russian to agree to that plan? He does not say.

Kagan also wants another 20,000 U.S. troops to directly fight the Islamic State guerrilla. Such an effort alone would need trice that number and would likely escalate further. Kagan is a certified lunatic but for whatever reasons his views are taking seriously in U.S. policy circles.

In the UK prime minister Cameron is also moving towards war:

The prime minister is likely to make a statement to MPs on Thursday, the day after Osborne’s spending review, and he will give them up to a week to digest his argument before deciding whether to call a Commons vote before the December recess.

There is speculation in Westminster that political opinion has shifted in favour of British involvement in Syria. The unanimous support in the UN security council for a resolution calling on member states to take all necessary means to eradicate Isis in the wake of the Paris assault is believed to have helped change the mood among MPs.

But the relevant UN resolution does not allow for war against Syria. It restricts all action to international law and the UN Charter. "Who cares," might Kagan say and Cameron think. Well, the Russians do. And they will have a say on this issue.

Meanwhile Turkey is introducing another proxy army into Syria. After official protest against Russian attacks on "Turkmen" insurgents Turkey is upping the propaganda and claims to have sent volunteers to defend Turkmen in Syria against the Islamic State. Two border villages were captured. But the Turkmen story does not make much sense. There are hardly any Turkmen in Syria except those Chinese Uyghur Jihadis Turkey smuggled in on false Turkish passports. The volunteers Turkey claims to have send are also not harmless. Even the Syrian opposition propaganda outlet in the UK calls them out:

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights confirmed that the villages had been captured from IS but said the campaign had been waged by rebel and Islamist factions and not just Turkmen fighters.

250 of the "volunteers" are men from the Alperen Ocaglari, the youth movement of the Great Union Party. These are real islamo-fascists combining hard right nationalism and radical Islamism into a crude ideology.

M.K. Bhadrakumar believes that Erdogan wants to take, and keep, a big slice of Syria up to Aleppo and that this is the beginning of a new phase:

In strategic terms, a defining moment has been reached in the Syrian conflict – the “first step” in the creation of a swathe of land in northern Syria that will be out of bounds for military operations by Syrian government forces, Russian aircraft, or various militia groups such as Hezbollah who are fighting on the side of the Syrian regime.

Put differently, the race for Aleppo has begun.

But neither Syria nor Russia will agree to that and it is unlikely that Erdogan will be able to send his official army. And make no mistake. Russia HAS the means to prevent Erdogan from further developing this scheme. One unconfirmed report said that a Russian cruise missile already hit one of those "Turkmen" towns. I am not sure that it is more than a rumor but it sounds like a good idea.

I doubt that the U.S. will send its soldiers to  occupy Syria for Erdogan. Obama is unlikely to want to risk war with Russia.

So for now I regard all this as bluster.

But should some kind of (allegedly) Islamic State related terror incident happen in the U.S. all bets are off. Obama may then turn to Kagan for "advice" and start a war that will confront another superpower.

Posted by b on November 22, 2015 at 16:04 UTC | Permalink

next page »


So for now I regard all this as bluster.

Thanks b for getting light into the murky waters of US/Turkey latest nefarious plans on Syria. I was not impressed by Bhadrakumar's article, which for me pointed more to US/Turkey's intentions than facts on the ground.

I agree that, at least for now, is more of a bluster than a "safe zone." They are certainly probing the 4+1 vulnerable points, and are willing to exploit any.

Posted by: Lone Wolf | Nov 22 2015 16:21 utc | 1

I would suggest this is more than "bluster". I think Erdogan is serious about establishing Turkish control of as much of Aleppo province as he can. What he needs is US backing to counter Russia. He appears to be slowly drawing the US into the mess - US airplanes joined Turkish ones to support the "Turkmen" attack on the two villages. As you say, if there is a terrorist attack in the US, Obama will not be able to resist being drawn into the Syrian war.

This projected "safe zone" will essentially be another Jihadi stronghold, dominated by the likes of JaN, JaF, and Ahrar al Sham. If, as its proponents argue, Syrian refugees are to be relocated into it, all this will do is greatly enlarge the recruitment pool for these Jihadi outfits.

While Russia can deal with Turkish attempts, things can become much dicier if the US gets further involved.

Posted by: FB Ali | Nov 22 2015 17:13 utc | 2

I cut-pasted yesterday from pro-Erdogan Turkish media: at the beginning of July the plans for the "safe zone" were rapidly advancing, and two villages were conquered, per plan, around November 20th. I guess Alp Arslan is turning in his grave.

One acute problem is that Erdogan's relationship to ISIS is totally ambigous: support or fight them? October 15th: "There is a 360-degree, not 180-degree, difference between the Islam we defend and what Daesh has on its mind," Davutoglu told Show TV late Wednesday, using another name for IS.

- See more at:

One can see effects of the relationship: ISIS gets weapons etc. from somewhere, while the only attacks in Turkey attributed to ISIS were at Erdogan's enemies. In other words, this can be 360 degree difference, after all. ISIS does not make an obedient puppet, and if Turkey turns on ISIS in earnest, they can commit earnest anti-government mayhem. Military is unenthusiastic, in part because of that consideration, in part because it already got PKK morass, and in part, they would loose quite a few troops, the war would be dirty and televised etc. "Volunteers" are Islamists who do not want to fight their brothers, any more than the usual infighting in their fractious ranks.

Most critically, the experience with Libya gave a very bad name to "no flight zones", and there is absolutely nothing to assure any better outcome in Syria. The opposition to Assad is either insipid, or fanatical and fractious, and no one even suggested an answer how the government in the "safe zone" would look like. And how safe it would be.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Nov 22 2015 17:21 utc | 3

Anyone who believes that mission creep of the US military is the primary way of US expands it Wars, is a fool.
How did they become an empire ? did they just stumble their way through escalating mission creeps to become the largest empire the world has ever seen ? Absurd. And once again the intent and nature of USs pure evil domination plans is let off the hook. Sure, the US escalates its losing wars all the time, but that doesn't mean escalation wasn't always part of the plan, and an accident of "mission creep".

And don't forget that Russia keeps inviting the US to fight terrorists in Syria. That is an open invitation for a western invasion of a part of Syria. How can the Russians claim an invitation for the US to fight Terrorists in Syria, but still claim that any US/western invasion would be an illegal act ? which it would be illegal for sure, but that never stopped the US before. Didn't Russia just shame the US into supposedly bombing ISIL oil tankers in Syria ? Was that an illegal act or not according to the Russians ?
The Russian invitation plan was always about shaming the US, which it sort of has done, but it's also a dangerous invitation to the evil US empire and its dispicable allies. All I'm saying is, watch out for the cards that you play, because it could easily backfire.
If Russia stops France or the US from invading parts of Syria under the pretext bullshit of stopping terrorists, they could go all apeshit and say Russia is stopping us from protecting our citizens from more terrorist attacks. But that's only if the US wants to go dangerously that far in Syria.

Posted by: tom | Nov 22 2015 17:37 utc | 4

What a couple of warmongers Robert Kagan and his wife Victoria Nuland make, still one major force in German politics has their measure. Oskar Lafontaine excuriated Ash Carter and Victoria Nuland on his face book page here is the translation.
“The US 'Defense' secretary, i.e., war minister is in Berlin. He called on Europe to counter Russian 'aggression'. But in fact, it is US aggression which Europeans should be opposing.
“The Grandmaster of US diplomacy, George Kennan described the eastward expansion of NATO as the biggest US foreign policy mistake since WW2, because it will lead to a new cold war.

“The US diplomat Victoria Nuland said we have spent $5 billion to destabilize the Ukraine. They stoke the flames ever higher, and Europe pays for it with lower trade and lost jobs.

“Nuland says 'F*ck the EU'. We need need an EU foreign policy that stops warmongering US imperialism.

“F*ck US imperialism!”

Posted by: harry law | Nov 22 2015 17:37 utc | 5

Interviewed "ISIS rebels" have already stated they buy guns and ammunition from the "moderate" rebels, so will this be their safe zone, too? I really wonder who came up with the safe zone idea. I heard it from McNutty first.

And I can't believe many of talking heads this week are still claiming ISIS was Assad's doing i.e. his civil war.

Posted by: shadyl | Nov 22 2015 17:44 utc | 6

bluster is grist for the escalation mill. surface-to-air missiles would be more like a silo fire.

the boys at Incirlik must be on pins and needles.

Posted by: john | Nov 22 2015 17:46 utc | 7

@harry law 5, what I don't get is that we almost went to war over a couple Russian missiles in Cuba, but Russia is expected to be calm and accepting of XXXX missiles surrounding them. Iran never seemed like a valid excuse, when was the last time they invaded anyone.

Posted by: shadyl | Nov 22 2015 17:53 utc | 8

Oh my. It's all coming out.

ISIS Coverup: US Centcom Accused Of Lying To President, Congress, Public About Airstrikes, Ground Fight


Note that no tin foil hats or conspiracy theories are needed. The passage shown above is from a 2012 declassified Pentagon report on the situation in Syria (you can read it in full here). What it says is that US intelligence was well aware of the possibility that Sunni extremists working to destabilize the Assad government might move to establish a proto-state in eastern Syria based around orthodox, ultra-conservative, Sunni Islam. It also says “the supporting powers to the opposition” (i.e. the US, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Turkey) would be delighted with such an outcome as it would “isolate” Assad on the way to dealing a strategic death blow to Iran’s Shiite crescent (i.e. Tehran’s regional ambitions).

That’s it. That’s the whole ISIS story in a nutshell. There’s no need to speculate on whether the creepy guy lurking in the background of the photos John McCain took with Syrian fighters was in fact Bakr al-Baghdadi. There’s no need to suggest that CIA operatives are on the ground assisting ISIS as we speak or that the US is paradropping weapons to Islamic State in Iraq. And there’s no need to ask whether the US government directly trained and armed ISIS once it became clear who the group was and what they intended to do. That’s not to say that some or even all of those storylines aren’t compelling and/or worth pursuing. It’s just to say that you needn’t posit anything that even looks like it might be a conspiracy theory to understand that at the end of the day, the bottom line - the almost irrefutable truth - is that the US and its regional allies were all-in on the “use Sunni extremists to bring about regime change in Syria” strategy from the word “go”, and the direct result of that strategy is ISIS.

Posted by: shadyl | Nov 22 2015 18:05 utc | 9

The villages that were struck by Russia are in the north of Latakia - Turkey did nothing except protest.

Russia - Putin according to Pravda - seems to take it personal now

Qatar is one of the organizers of the terrorist act over the Sinai.

"In Qatar and Saudi Arabia, there are those who organize and sponsor terrorist attacks - they are headquartered there. There are well-known people there, who control terrorist activities in Syria and Iraq.

"In my opinion, these people should be very much afraid of Russia, like plague. It is up for the country's administration to decide how to intimidate those people. Bombing is not necessary at all - there are completely different methods of influence," CEO of the Institute for the Middle East, Yevgeny Satanovsky said.

According to Satanovsky, "Russia stepped on the warpath, grabbed a large tomahawk, arrows and went to work. Everything else does not matter." Russia was not coordinating its actions with international organizations to take Berlin in 1945, the expert added.

Posted by: somebody | Nov 22 2015 18:15 utc | 10

drug addicts don't magically stop doing drugs, especially when they're surrounded by others doing them..war is an addiction with some countries very much caught up in the process.. a false flag, or event on the usa is the obvious catalyst for us involvement here... unfortunately the un isn't detox.. nuland could just as well have said 'fuck the un' as 'fuck the eu'... the uk under cameron as lap dog for the usa is essentially saying what the usa wants.. these fuckers no no limits to the pain and suffering they want to drag the planet into.. but keep those armament contracts moving to whoever has the money to buy them.. your country as drug dealer..

this safe zone talk has gone on too long... everyone knows it is bs..

@4 tom.. indeed all of it is a dangerous game.. but how could it be any different? idiots running foreign policy is mostly all we get...

Posted by: james | Nov 22 2015 18:16 utc | 11

- It's a distraction from the upcoming action in the Ukraine.

Posted by: Willy2 | Nov 22 2015 18:17 utc | 12

@b: I'm in the more than bluster camp.

"... AND as may further be agreed by the ISSG and endorsed by the UN Security Council ... to [b>eradicate the safe haven they have established over significant parts of Iraq and Syria." (extract from the link provided in the post)

This resolution appears to put ISSG in the drivers seat. They decide on the interpretation of the resolution and additional actions needed - with UNSC endorsement to follow.

It is unclear what ISSG voting rules are wrt this UNSC resolution. Of the twenty members, those that are pro-Assad number only 5 (by my count).

The Russians may view "UNSC endorsement" (which allows them to use their veto) as a stronger condition that it seems to this lay person. UNSC is likely to be viewed by ISSG as a formality because:

1) UNSC Rule 33 gives precedence to procedural issues. In a fast-moving situation, the decisions of the ISSG would be construed as authoritative;

2) all UNSC members are also members of the ISSG.


Allowing anti-Assad countries to have the initiative will allow them to establish 'facts on the ground' before UNSC review. On November 15, ISSG agreed to:

1) work toward implementing a ceasefire - with no specific timetable (!) - and the outlines of a political process to follow; and

2) the imperative (!) of building conditions for their [Syrian refugees] safe return in accordance with the norms of international humanitarian law and taking into account the interests of host countries. (emphasis is mine)

Conclusion: Devil's in the details
How can one eradicate ISIS's safe haven and allow for the expedited safe return of refugees without occupying territory? Who will decide who controls that territory and for how long?

Has Russia been outmaneuvered or just desirous of avoiding war? In the coming weeks, will we see a race by both sides to grab territory before a de-facto partition?

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Nov 22 2015 18:21 utc | 13

b, thank you for an excellent commentary, as always.

The last time Erdogan tried to set up a buffer zone/ no-fly was with the help of the now-fired Gen Allen, who announced their establishment on the Sunday political talkshows. The action was nevertheless reversed by Obama. And Allen was replaced. I cannot fathom what the new head of DOD, Ashton Carter, will do: His neocon rhetoric placed him well out in front of all those calling for a no-fly, but when push came to shove he inexplicably settled for "up to 50 US advisors" on the ground. I watched him carefully in his appearance in Italy and my feminine intuition dares to hope that he is not as evil as his rhetoric.

But I am probably mistaken, and it all depends, as b says, upon the CIA's next false flag (or hoax).

Posted by: Penelope | Nov 22 2015 18:47 utc | 14

The French UN Mission tweeted a link to their draft resolution.

Posted by: jaqwith | Nov 22 2015 19:01 utc | 15

The Kagan brothers and wife Vic "Fuck the EU" Nuland are war strategy experts - just like the other experts trotted out on CNN and Fox. They were consultants to Dubya Bush and they are consultants to Obama. Meet the new boss same as the old boss.

They've contributed their warmongering expertise to the PNAC, The Heritage Foundation and other prestigious think tanks.

For Full Spectrum Dominance, it is imperative that every state in the middle east, except Israel, experience Shock and Awe disintegration.

Roads, Bridges, Electrical Grids, clean Water and Sewage Treatment Facilities must be blown up, so that disease and famine will take care of the women and children. IN the long run, we believe it was and will be WORTH IT.

How clever (and caring!) that the scumbag Kagans espouse a humanitarian angle, whereby they want to make a safe haven for Syrian Refugees - the ppl that they made to be refugees in the first place!

Posted by: fast freddy | Nov 22 2015 19:04 utc | 16

I wonder where those anti-aircraft missiles are now?

“Thank you for Morocco and Saudi contacts. It was right in time.
The locals have been to Kiev at the Expo, are about to buy “Pechora” and something more serious. The issue of delivery is pending. Our side will not able to do that. You have a chance to make good money.
Try to talk to the military guys. The probability is high as the yankees agreed. Bulgarians and Turks are aware, the route is the same…”

Take note that it is the same Vasyl Babitskiy who resold 265 outdated Poland-made anti-aircraft autocannons to Saudi Arabia (eventually to the same ISIS), originally dedicated for the Ukrainian Ministry of Interior.

The revealed information clearly indicates that the Qatar Ministry of Defense is arranging supplies of the Ukrainian air defense systems to Syria-based terrorist organizations via Bulgaria and Turkey. The US officers in Qatar have approved the deals.

Posted by: shadyl | Nov 22 2015 19:04 utc | 17

Nipping it in the bud...with a nice map of Russian air strikes...

With Russian Support, Syrian Army Advancing Toward Turkish Border

The Syrian regular army and the National Defense Forces (NDF) militia have taken advantage of a recent large-scale campaign of airstrikes by the Russian Aerospace Defense Forces against terrorist hideouts in the northwestern province of Latakia, taking control of the Zahia Heights, just 2 km from the Turkish border, Fars News Agency reports.

Syrian sources in the region told the news agency that Army units have captured the Zahia Heights, a strategically important mountainous area near the town of Rabia, while making "major advances" in other parts of the province, over the past three days, assisted by last week's intensified campaign of airstrikes by the Russian air contingent operating in the country.

The combined efforts of the Syrian Army and the NDF have resulted in the destruction of several bands of militants, together with their commanders, while damaging command and control centers and destroying the terrorists' military hardware [...]

Posted by: Lone Wolf | Nov 22 2015 19:11 utc | 18

Nipping it in the bud...with a nice map of Russian air strikes...

With Russian Support, Syrian Army Advancing Toward Turkish Border

The Syrian regular army and the National Defense Forces (NDF) militia have taken advantage of a recent large-scale campaign of airstrikes by the Russian Aerospace Defense Forces against terrorist hideouts in the northwestern province of Latakia, taking control of the Zahia Heights, just 2 km from the Turkish border, Fars News Agency reports.

Syrian sources in the region told the news agency that Army units have captured the Zahia Heights, a strategically important mountainous area near the town of Rabia, while making "major advances" in other parts of the province, over the past three days, assisted by last week's intensified campaign of airstrikes by the Russian air contingent operating in the country.

The combined efforts of the Syrian Army and the NDF have resulted in the destruction of several bands of militants, together with their commanders, while damaging command and control centers and destroying the terrorists' military hardware [...]

Posted by: Lone Wolf | Nov 22 2015 19:14 utc | 19

Posted by: Lone Wolf | Nov 22, 2015 2:14:34 PM | 18

That is not the Kilis Azaz Aleppo route Turkey is talking about.

Posted by: somebody | Nov 22 2015 19:21 utc | 20

La Guerre en Rose

[...] What about the matrix?

Bombing Raqqa to the stone age may not help France, or NATO, or the EU, or even Russia for that matter. An air war will never smash Daesh. Nothing will change if US coalition members Turkey and Saudi Arabia are not given the riot act.

Ankara is at best ignoring Daesh's supply routes in northern Syria.

After the Kurdish peshmerga recaptured Sinjar, Daesh's back-and-forth on the road deployments between Mosul in Iraq and Raqqa were abruptly cut off. YPG Kurds for their part control the northern Syrian-Turkish border all the way to the Euphrates, plus an area to the northwest of Azaz.

But there's a significant "gap" in the middle, between Azaz and Jarablus. That's exactly where Ankara wants to install what it calls a "safe zone", actually an advanced Turkish base over 30 km deep inside Syrian territory, theoretically to settle hundreds of thousands of refugees who will not be allowed to flee to Euroland.

Turkey is now basically playing a "delicate" extortion racket on the EU. Ankara wants three things from Brussels: 1) a lot of money; at least 3 billion euros. 2) a visa-free regime for Turkish citizens traveling to Europe. 3) the "safe zone", which is in fact Erdogan's dream from the beginning, a no-fly zone in northern Syria. The no-fly zone is against Damascus; it would certainly keep intact Daesh's supply corridors.

To impose the "safe zone", Ankara wants diplomatic cover from NATO — of which it's a member. But what Ankara really wants is boots on the ground, which for all practical purposes means a NATO invasion.

Here's where the Pentagon's wishes may eventually be fulfilled, as military cooperation between Ankara and Washington is already in effect.

Enter Russia. Moscow will never accept a NATO "invasion". What with the terrifying possibility of NATO forces — even accidentally — clashing with forces of the "4+1" coalition on the ground.

The House of Saud poses an additional problem to Turkey's double game.

Important recap. Bandar Bush was sent by the House of Saud to "manage" the Syria regime change operation. His strategy was to bolster a "revolutionary vanguard" killing machine: ISIS/ISIL/Daesh, which so far had had only a marginal local impact.

Hardcore Wahhabism as practiced by Daesh ended up reducing all "moderate rebels" in Syria into unicorns. And the proverbial, wealthy Gulf petrodollar "donors" continued to feed the monster, which has vowed to "liberate" not only "Syraq" but also Mecca and Medina.

Saudi Wahhabism is the ideological matrix of all shades of jihadi operations — Daesh included. There's no way Daesh will be vanquished if Turkey's geopolitical games and murderous Wahhabi intolerance are not addressed in full.

Now back to la guerre en rose.

Posted by: Lone Wolf | Nov 22 2015 19:31 utc | 21

Turkey taking land has been in the works a long time. Payoff was nixing pipelines, etc.

Syria, Turkey, Israel and a Greater Middle East Energy War
By F. William Engdahl

10 October 2012

On October 3, 2012 the Turkish military launched repeated mortar shellings inside Syrian territory. The
military action, which was used by the Turkish military, conveniently, to establish a ten-kilometer wide
no-man’s land “buffer zone” inside Syria,
was in response to the alleged killing by Syrian armed forces
of several Turkish civilians along the border. There is widespread speculation that the one Syrian
mortar that killed five Turkish civilians well might have been fired by Turkish-backed opposition forces
intent on giving Turkey a pretext to move militarily...

A well-informed Istanbul source relates the report that before the last Turkish
elections, Erdogan’s AKP received a “donation” of $10 billion from the Saudi monarchy, the heart of
world jihadist Salafism under the strict fundamentalist cloak of Wahabism.

Since the 1950’s when the
CIA brought leading members in exile of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood to Saudi Arabia there has
been a fusion between the Saudi Saudi brand of Wahabism and the aggressive jihadist fundamentalism of
the Brotherhood.

The Turkish response to the single Syrian mortar shell, which was met with an immediate Syrian
apology for the incident, borders on a full-scale war between two nations which until last year were
historically, culturally, economically and even in religious terms, closest of allies.


Syria-Iran-Iraq Gas pipeline

In July 2011, as the NATO and Gulf states’ destabilization operations against Assad in Syria were in full
swing, the governments of Syria, Iran and Iraq signed an historic gas pipeline energy agreement which
went largely unnoticed amid CNN reports of the Syrian unrest. The pipeline, envisioned to cost $10
billion and take three years to complete, would run from the Iranian Port Assalouyeh near the South
Pars gas field in the Persian Gulf, to Damascus in Syria via Iraq territory. Iran ultimately plans then to
extend the pipeline from Damascus to Lebanon’s Mediterranean port where it would be delivered to EU
markets. Syria would buy Iranian gas along with a current Iraqi agreement to buy Iranian gas from
Iran’s part of South Pars field.

Much more:

Article even mentions Hillary's mega donor, the self proclaimed Israeli firster, and what Israel's part was.
Billionaire entertainment mogul and Hillary Clinton mega-bundler Haim Saban.

Posted by: shadyl | Nov 22 2015 19:51 utc | 22

Timing is everything in Syria now, and if the US Empire does not like the current situation there, then they need to act quickly. So we will not need to wait long to see how this Turkish/French/UK/USA Syria invasion thing is going to happen. The empire has very limited time to act.

harry law@5 -

I usually live in Southern Germany and IMO people should know a little more about what is going on there. I am being taxed to death and treated like shit while the “refugees” are above the law and treated like VIPs. And of course the first thing that people are programmed to say: “you are a racist.” Well fine, then you pay for them!

I just filled out a 16 page visa application for another country to extend a visa for 6 months and you would be shocked what we all need to disclose and prove and provide all sorts of funds; but another group of people just walk in somewhere and prove nothing, do nothing, and get free healthcare, free dentist, nice accommodations, clothing allowance, language education, job training etc, ect. For example: private Germany healthcare is 700 Euros a month. If this is not discrimination then I do not know what is? But in Israel now, they demand a DNA test to make sure you are Jewish and can apply for citizenship

We are still paying for East Germany with that special tax that will never end. Plus now every German needs to pay for our CIA controlled media. It is a big event that gets no coverage. It’s a poll tax. If you watch TV or not. If two people share the same living space and are not married, then each one makes the monthly payments. If you are married, then only one payment. If kids grow up, then they make an extra payment. The lawyers are working round the clock for this new tax harvesting across Germany. They are suing me for two payments – that is rich – the same person should now make double payments. Hahahah! And they are super aggressive to.

Yes the German government is very generous with money that they do not have.

As you point out, it is painfully obvious that Germany cannot act in its self-interest. It has not be sovereign for a long time. No sure how long this is going to hold together her. But the media is good at brainwashing its victims; for example most Germans seem to believe the official 911 story! Is that even possible?

Posted by: Peter B | Nov 22 2015 19:54 utc | 23


That is not the Kilis Azaz Aleppo route Turkey is talking about.

I know that. If the 4+1 allows a so-called "safe zone" in the gap between Azaz and Jarablus, opening up "safe zones" and "no-fly zones" along the Turkish/Syrian border will be the order of the day for the Coalition of the Bastards.

Why not one in Latakia, where the Russians are based?

Control of the Syrian border along Latakia, Syria, and Hatay, Turkey, is of utmost importance strategically. Having the northern border safe and under Syrian control will nip in the bud any potential infiltrations by the takfiris, e.g. the recent mortar attack in Latakia city that killed 24 people.

Posted by: Lone Wolf | Nov 22 2015 19:55 utc | 24

Meanwhile....those idea was this?

Crimea declares state of emergency after power lines attacked

Posted by: shadyl | Nov 22 2015 20:19 utc | 25

Never thought that ZH ( link posted above by shadyl # 9) could produce such a brilliant article, extraordinary and moreover compact and to the point.
Still one essential point is missing or might have conveniently been ignored by the authors of the ZH article.
The reason that All began in 2006,2006, 2006, 2006,,, is of course the defeat of the zio-fascists Quds occupying idf forces in the 33 days war against Hisbollah, as the false myth of anglozionist superiority/invincibilty was shattered and we All knew that the fascist response would be harsh and evil, hence the idea of d.a.e.s.h was born.

Posted by: Sufi | Nov 22 2015 20:34 utc | 26

Qatar has arranged for ISIS to receive Pechora 2-D anti-aircraft missiles, capable of reaching 21 km altitude.
Purchased w US approval in Sept. Documents shown.

Posted by: Penelope | Nov 22 2015 20:47 utc | 27

"After all, it is the people and government of Syria AND the people and government
of Iraq who can ultimately defeat the death cult, not those who created it. And the most
and the best support that the US can render is stopping its allies' continued financial
backup and arms shipments to the terrorists in Syria and Iraq and putting an end to its
own arms supplies to the so-called moderate militants like the Free Syrian Army that received
a public praise by Al-Qaeda's official branch in Syria, the Al-Nusra Front, today for its recent
delivery of hundreds of TOW anti-tank missiles."

Posted by: Penelope | Nov 22 2015 20:49 utc | 28

Shady Lady @ 6,
It was Brookings Inst that first proposed "safe zones" in March of 2012, and in more
detail in June of 2015. They called their paper "Deconstructing Syria: America's Most
Hopelesss War":

"The idea would be to help moderate elements establish reliable safe zones within Syria once
they were able. American, as well as Saudi and Turkish and British and Jordanian and other
Arab forces would act in support, not only from the air but eventually on the ground via
the presence of special forces as well. "

Tony Cartalucci's Landdestroyer has reported continuously on this threat.

Posted by: Penelope | Nov 22 2015 20:51 utc | 29

shadyl @ 17 and Penelope @ 26...

i realize that foaming at the mouth is all de rigueur these days, but if you two would pay a little more attention and actually click on other people's links, you would know that the piece in point (which probably neither of you actually read) i already linked to @ 7.

Posted by: john | Nov 22 2015 21:15 utc | 30

The Russians said that they wanted to stabilize Syria and prevent a failed state. The are well on the way to accomplishing that objective.

But the conflict has entered a new phase: who will controls the return and resettlement of the refugees/future voters?

Who will prevail in the democratic elections that all parties agree to hold at some future date?

ALSO NOTE: The UNSC anti-ISIS resolution will apply to both Syria and Iraq.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Nov 22 2015 21:22 utc | 31


Crimea declares state of emergency after power lines attacked

I just posted this about same subject in the most recent Open Thread.

Lone Wolf@179

[...]This is another useless attempt to create discontent in Crimea against Russia, given the winter is closing in. It's just part of a concerted strategy to complicate matters for Russia, and keep it busy on different fronts, a diversion from the Syrian battleground.

And cutting Crimea's power lines is the least of the problems for Russia, as you will find out [...]

CyberBerkut links Ukraine to ISIS


On another note, Russia just retaliated (see below), and the Ukronazis will have no choice but to repair the damage ASAP. However, this is a severe warning for Russia, and it cannot last another winter, Russia has to extend its electric grid to Crimea, parallel to the roads is building over the Kerch Strait.

Russia ceases coal deliveries to Ukraine in response to Crimea blackout

Russia has ceased coal shipments to Ukraine in response to the restriction of the electricity supply to Crimea. This was stated by deputy of the Verkhovna Rada, Mustafa Dzemilev, after a meeting with Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko.

“I will tell you honestly - and I spoke about this with the president - that a very difficult situation has developed. In connection with the termination of electricity, now Russia has stopped deliveries of anthracite, which means that seven power stations in Ukraine will cease work,” Dzhemilev said [...]

Posted by: Lone Wolf | Nov 22 2015 21:27 utc | 32

@john 29, I admit. I did not click on your first link. BUT, I did on the second one!!

@Sufi 25, I agree. The last go round with Hezbollah and IDF took Israel by surprise. Much hatching of "plans" came after that.

And notice the escalations taking place in Palestine while the world is engaged else where.
Current “intifada” not getting any press.

Posted by: shadyl | Nov 22 2015 21:35 utc | 33

@2 FB Ali 'if there is a terrorist attack in the US ...'

Is that what the you're hoping for?

Posted by: jfl | Nov 22 2015 22:46 utc | 34

"We have a deficit problem..."

We don't, actually. And in fact we have the exact opposite problem; the deficit has been cut and we're headed for deflation. The military industrial complex actually understands, either explicitly or merely effectively, how our currency actually works and that if money is needed for something, it can and will be provided. The whole idea that the US federal government has a limited amount of income and has to 'balance the budget' is total bunk, though it provides a wonder excuse for cutting all those welfare programs that keep the annoying serfs alive and housed.

"In wartime there are no economic arguments at all. I've never heard a general say, 'I can't bomb Baghdad this month because I've exceeded my budget'. In wartime you do whatever is required. We should adopt the principle that in peacetime you do whatever is required. People want jobs, they want homes, want a decent income, a good education, health care..." - Tony Benn, People Before Profit; the Budget, 24/11/2008

Posted by: Plenue | Nov 22 2015 23:01 utc | 35

Old Russian saying:
Never trust a woman, a man who doesn't drink, or a Turk.

Posted by: Perimetr | Nov 22 2015 23:03 utc | 36

@33 If you knew who FB Ali is, you would realize what a foolish question you just asked. Do not pick fights with people who are on your side. Do not drive away experienced people who actually have something to say.

Posted by: Lysander | Nov 22 2015 23:56 utc | 37

b's link from the Guardian, UK could join Syria airstrikes before Christmas, Osborne suggests ... a gift to the Christ child from the UK's takfiri Xtians. Only in TX could Armed protesters gather outside Islamic Center of Irving. Carrying their Ted Cruz signs, masked, dressed in black - they look just like an Xtian Da'esh. They're in the same league as Da'esh, prepping for the 'big game'. Like good Wahabists they're "Hatin' Satan" and hoping for the lid to blow off so they can blow up.

The people in power ... Obama, Oland, Camaroon, Merkel and their toadies in the KSA and the Gulf ... are the ones cynically exploiting all this. Vile rank and file following their vile leaders. NATO is harbouring the Islamic State. How can war be avoided with 'leadership' like this?

Posted by: jfl | Nov 23 2015 0:07 utc | 38

Plenue @ 34

Thank You

Posted by: paulmeli | Nov 23 2015 0:19 utc | 39

@36 lysander

You're right, I don't follow FB Ali. I was just going by the US militarist site his link led to ... I click now and find him speaking of the Saudis in Yemen, his chief concern being that they will have drowned out the propaganda war against Assad in having done so ...

Having drawn in the US as a (probably reluctant) aider and abettor, he has also ruled out any valid grounds for the US media and sundry 'keepers of the world's conscience' to expostulate in horror every time Rami Abdelrahman announces from his London basement that the vile Assad's forces had killed a dozen or two civilians. Not that this will stop them, of course.

... probably reluctantly. Give me a break. The USA and its Nobel Peace Prize Laureate will reluctantly lead the invasion of Syriaq after al-CIAduh's FF terrorist attack in the US ... and the Saudis and Turks will be the viceroys of the Middle East. In their daydreams and my nightmares.

Posted by: jfl | Nov 23 2015 0:21 utc | 40

@39 Never thought I'd be defending SST but you're wrong. As militarists go Col. Lang is fairly enlightened. Your reply to FB Ali was plain stupid.

Posted by: dh | Nov 23 2015 0:36 utc | 41

Corrections to #13:

1) all UNSC permanent members (with veto rights) are also members of the ISSG;


On November 14, ISSG agreed to:

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Nov 23 2015 1:22 utc | 42


Conclusion: Devil's in the details

And what are the details?

A so-called "safe zone" needs a "no-fly zone" to be viable, a "no-fly zone" needs "boots-on-the-ground" to be feasible. Minimum, 20,000 to start, escalation and surges will do the rest.

What's in the US/Turkey's ruse about a safe zone, this late into the game?

First, Aleppo, then, Raqqa.

As they see the 4+1 closing down on Aleppo, the takfiri rats fleeing Raqqa, they panicked and suddenly revived the "safe zone" option. Aleppo is being surrounded on all sides, and the battle for Aleppo is imminent. A crucial part of the battle is to cut off all supplies from Turkey, and shut down the supply routes for the takfiris.

Next, Raqqa. Lost Aleppo, Raqqa will be cut off, encircled and isolated, hopefully from all sides, if the YPG and their 50 immortals decide to join the fray. With both Aleppo and Raqqa gone, takfiris have two ways to exit: North to Turkey, as their Southern route to Iraq is cut off, or down to hell, where there is a special place for them.

Other reasons for the "safe zone," an available pool of cannon fodder, refugee population under control for different purposes (money, political manipulation, etc.), and you mentioned the elections. Of course, the elections. How many Syrian refugees are there in Turkey? Last time I checked, there were @ 1.7 million, which don't fit in a 30 kms deep pocket inside Syria. Therefore, the "safe zone" will have to be ever expanding, getting refugees ready to vote for the "moderate opposition," or whatever candidate US/Turkey will support.

And do you think the 4+1 have not entered that into their calculations of the US/Turkey strategy? What we are heading towards is what Sun Tzu (the real one, not the poster) called "Deadly Ground," where opponents aim at imposing their will on the battleground.

Dangerous territory, and a very dangerous phase of the Syrian conflict, where the Coalition of the Bastards will be probing Russia/Iran/Syria/HA determination to respond in kind to their provocations, and will extrapolate/manipulate the legality of the latest UNSC resolution re: Syria.

Posted by: Lone Wolf | Nov 23 2015 2:07 utc | 43

@36 @40

Well, I hardly think that FB Ali will care what I say, and I frankly do think that, deep down in their militaristic hearts, SST is in line with the ultimate US imperialist 'cause', even though they think that those prosecuting that cause are idiots and that they could do much better. Admittedly, I haven't studied their site and its history to 'prove' it. I suppose their hauteur has everything to do with that.

But it makes no difference to any of you what I think. So don't worry about it.

Posted by: jfl | Nov 23 2015 2:45 utc | 44

Nice work, b (for the umpteenth time!).
Couldn't help liking this...
"Put differently, the race for Aleppo has begun."

Or, to put it a different, different way...
The race for some persuasive Aleppo wishful thinking has begun.

Oh, almost forgot. If there's an ISIS attack in the US then the Yankees are just going to have to suck it up (like everyone else who's been attacked by AmeriKKKa & Israel's IS-US).

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Nov 23 2015 3:11 utc | 45

Whenever I'm reading horseshit & bluster from the Yankees and their EU ex-colonial, pro-Israel, racist-supremacist friends, I can't help remembering that Putin has sworn payback for the Russian airliner 'lost' over Sinai. Nor can I forget that, during G20, he called out the West, including "some G20 members" for supporting and funding Ter'rism. The Neocons don't know what they're doing. Putin does know what they, and Russia, are doing.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Nov 23 2015 3:32 utc | 46

Plenue @ 34 said.."The whole idea that the US federal government has a limited amount of income and has to 'balance the budget' is total bunk, though it provides a wonder excuse for cutting all those welfare programs that keep the annoying serfs alive and housed."

True how true.

shadyl @ 9: "ISIS Coverup: US Centcom Accused Of Lying To President, Congress, Public About Airstrikes, Ground Fight"

So, what else is new? This news will NEVER reach the US public. And, if it did, does anyone here think those in charge of the empire give a flying #@%&.

Thanks for the link. I can send it to my uninformed friends.

Posted by: ben | Nov 23 2015 3:59 utc | 47

ditto john's comment @29, lysanders comment @36 and dh @40.. jfl - i think you're a good guy.. about keeping an open mind - it's work for everyone..

Posted by: james | Nov 23 2015 4:42 utc | 48

@40 "As militarists go Col. Lang is fairly enlightened."

No, he's not. He's just convinced that he is the smartest guy in the room.

Which may - or may not - be true, but it does rather depend on the company that he keeps.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Nov 23 2015 4:49 utc | 49

Neocon dreamer Robert Kagan just can´t understand the new facts on the ground. He's still living in the Second Bush regime years...

Posted by: guy | Nov 23 2015 6:01 utc | 50

@48 yeah, right.. you have a point as well.. i think the key word here is ''fairly''..

Posted by: james | Nov 23 2015 6:01 utc | 51

Is Russia headed at last towards ECONOMIC SOVEREIGNTY?

At the end of Sept Sergey Glazyev, head of an economic or financial committee in the Duma,
submitted to Putin a 20 pp report entitled On Urgent Measures to Strengthen the Economic
Security of Russia. He has submitted others which have mostly not been adopted. He is
heavily influenced by Lyndon LaRouche, whose ideas have enjoyed somewhat a vogue in Russia,
although they've not been adopted. LaRouche, despite his problems in other areas, is
pretty good on economics, and it was he who repeatedly pushed the idea of "the Land Bridge"
(Silk Road) since the 50s.

The overwhelming brake on Russia's progress has been that she adheres to the Fed/IMF system,
under which countries which IMF classifies as "developing" may not print their currency or issue
credits except in an amount equal to the amount of their export income. The shortage of rubles
is so great that only 25% of the circulating currency is in rubles; the rest is in dollars and
euros. Yet the central bank, like central banks everywhere, is not controlled by the govt,
but by the international banking cabal thru the IMF/Fed system.

Due to the low price of oil Russia and her industries need more investment capital, but US/EU
sanctions are making all but very short-term credits unavailable. Russia's economists have
long-since advocated a radical revision of the economic system. Starikov, in particular, has
advocated nationalizing the ruble and the Central Bank.

There is at last some movement towards a revision of the system:

1. Glazyev's report calls for printing 20 trillion rubles over a five year period. There is
as yet no indication that this recommendation will be followed, but:

2. The Orthodox Church has for the 2d time suggested interest-free lending, and a leading bank
is already putting this into practice in one of Russia's Islamic republics. This process
is being seriously considered, has been endorsed by the Russian Chamber of Commerce
and Industry, wd be accompanied by other steps which strengthen Russia as an economically
sovereign nation.

Posted by: Penelope | Nov 23 2015 7:05 utc | 52

"The Syrian Arab Army is reportedly close to completely encircling militants
that have occupied the northern city of Aleppo since they invaded it from NATO
territory in 2012. Once the encirclement is complete, analysts believe the the
city will be finally liberated, in a process similar to the retaking of Homs further south.

'The desperation of militants facing this final phase in the Battle for Aleppo
is indicated by their Western sponsors’ attempts to broker a ceasefire and arrange
“aid” to reach them."


Posted by: Penelope | Nov 23 2015 8:26 utc | 53

Plenue @ 34, Absolutely. As Michael Hudson always says, "The next time they try to convince you that the govt has to balance its budget just like a family does, ask them how many families have a printing press in the back room."

Posted by: Penelope | Nov 23 2015 8:29 utc | 54

ref Centcom in ZH " This news will NEVER reach the US public. " uh, it was on the NYT frontpage yesterday (online).
to the extent that one thinks they make this up to cover the former little business between the two sides and explain the so-called "failure"

Posted by: Mina | Nov 23 2015 8:30 utc | 55

Posted by: Lone Wolf | Nov 22, 2015 2:55:05 PM | 23

Turkey did nothing on the Latakia border but protest diplomatically. Nothing - yet - seems to be done on the Kilis-Azaz route - by Kurdish fighters, Russia or Syrian Army.

There seems to be an US-Russia agreement on Syria - the question is if the Kilis Azaz Aleppo route is part of it.

Posted by: somebody | Nov 23 2015 8:50 utc | 56

Oh, no. My @51 isn't current. What a heart-breaker. Please excuse.

Posted by: Penelope | Nov 23 2015 8:51 utc | 57

Commander of Iran's Basij (volunteer) Force Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Naqdi underlined Tehran's military advisory role in Iraq and Syria, and said no Iranian Basiji or IRGC forces have been sent to the two Arab states.
"As said before, Basij and the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) play an advisory role in the resistance fronts and they are transferring their experiences to the fighters and this need is felt more in Syria and less in Iraq," Naqdi said in an interview with Iran's state-run TV on Sunday night.

"We help the two countries at the request of their armies and we are just transferring our experience, but haven’t sent any forces to these states," he reiterated.

Naqdi, meantime, said that there are many Basiji and IRGC forces who have persistently demanded to be deployed in Iraq and Syria to defend the Shiites' holy shrines and the Iraqi and Syrian people against the terrorists, but they have not been dispatched to these countries.

Posted by: Penelope | Nov 23 2015 9:13 utc | 58

Am i the only one looking at the Bruseels lockdown as yet another case of Western hubris?
Some zero-risk fantasy?
Ah yeah, the CT usual suspects will say that the general strike scheduled today in Belgium has been cancelled, as also all the protests that were planned in Paris along the COP21.

Posted by: Mina | Nov 23 2015 9:18 utc | 59

Posted by: Mina | Nov 23, 2015 4:18:12 AM | 57

They also closed all schools. They really lost control.

Posted by: somebody | Nov 23 2015 9:36 utc | 60

Posted by: Mina | Nov 23, 2015 4:18:12 AM | 57

Plus metro was closed and I don't think people went to work either. Brilliant for a general strike, no?

Posted by: somebody | Nov 23 2015 9:59 utc | 61

Today's Bild says that Abdesalam has fled to Germany. Sounds like they want a general strike there too!

Posted by: Mina | Nov 23 2015 10:27 utc | 62

Posted by: Mina | Nov 23, 2015 5:27:14 AM | 60

Common sense would say that a guy who refused to blow himself up when he was supposed to would not do it on another time.

Posted by: somebody | Nov 23 2015 12:13 utc | 63

I certainly agree. The two guys who came through Greece definitely look Syrian (might also look Iraqi, but Syrians is my bet). I doubt they came all the way to Brussels on foot, like the real migrants. They probably had enough cash to get rides and had someone come and pick them up.

Posted by: Mina | Nov 23 2015 12:33 utc | 64

Since confusion and cognitive dissonance usually don't go well with 'gung ho', The PR problems of this pro-war drive have to be pretty massive. (1) Russia is kicking ass against outfits widely understood to be terrorists, but the West 'inexplicably' refuses to cooperate with Russia. Social, alternative, and non-Western media repeatedly bring this up, and I think it is having the effect of making many very suspicious of Western motives. Destroying IS is a big deal to most people, but its lack of cooperation with Russia makes people think the U.S. is not fully committed. (2) On the same note, the West is extremely tight with Saudi Arabia, which has a growing reputation, penetrating into mainstream awareness, as the world's leading sponsor of terror, specifically Wahabbist terror. Generally, the U.S. allies in the region -- Qatar, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and increasingly Turkey -- have a bad image in the West. 'Let's help out our friend Saudi Arabia' in its effort to impose a mirror of its own nightmare state on Syria ... is not an easy sell. (3) Finally, there is strong evidence that the West has turned a blind eye toward or worse yet has helped the Wahabbist 'head choppers' take over Syria. This hasn't penetrated into common awareness, unfortunately. Still beyond the pale for the average guy/gal to contemplate, but there's potential even here if people keep calmly putting the evidence out there, with links to mainstream publications, DIA documents, and so on.

On the other hand, maybe this 'war' ... presumably targetting Assad while pretending to target ISIS, is a hopeless cause, and will just be done. The key is not PR but generating confusion, and under that cover the dirty deeds will be done. When some hellish government or chaos takes over, Neocon pundits will talk about 'mistakes' and 'whoops' like they always do. Gotten away with it so far ... If that's the plan, the only thing holding it back is Putin, the SAA and allies. Especially the Russian air force. I don't see how the West gets around that, and neither does Obama, I think.

Posted by: fairleft | Nov 23 2015 12:50 utc | 65

all the insane psyops shall sustain each other.

From 9/11 onwards... and before that Northwoods, and before that WWI and Tavistock Institute. It is glaring amount of idiocy that commoners are showing in understanding. Joseph de Maistre said that "Every country has the government it deserves" you deserve all this entertaining chaos. They have nothing else to offer to you.

Posted by: Neretva'43 | Nov 23 2015 13:16 utc | 66

Coming Soon: Eagles of Death Metal Speak Out about the Paris Attacks

Posted by: Neretva'43 | Nov 23 2015 13:22 utc | 67

FARS News carries the following report:

"The Russian infantry forces, supported by tanks and fighter jets, participated for the first time in operations to attack the Takfiri militants in Syria in a region between Lattakia and Idlib provinces" and they could take control of strategic heights without sustaining any casualties, Kuwait's al-Rai newspaper quoted Syrian dissident commanders as saying.

The FARS report ends by mentioning, "But Moscow has repeatedly underlined that it will not fight any ground battle in Syria."

Posted by: sarz | Nov 23 2015 13:29 utc | 68

"As in the first five years of his austerity push -- which Osborne originally hoped would wipe out the budget deficit -- he plans to spare Britain's health service, schools and foreign aid budget from his new cuts and will increase defense spending."

We've seen this before Military Keynesianism in the US, and did not worked. Nor ever will, maybe it is not intended to work in that way. It is just tool of wealth transfer. Now we have MK in France and UK, if one need to reason for the psyops operation than that's it. But this kind of news is buried or not televised at all.

Posted by: Neretva'43 | Nov 23 2015 13:39 utc | 69

Guess where the neighbours of the St Denis building are waiting, now that their appartments have been destroyed by the police? in the sport gymnasium of the town, while the governement and the city hall debate on whom should assume the responsability of their relocation!

Posted by: Mina | Nov 23 2015 13:51 utc | 70

It must be Hjalmar Schacht laughing out loud now, in its grave. Just proof that the Nazi ideology is deeply ingrained in the Western political thought.

Posted by: Neretva'43 | Nov 23 2015 13:52 utc | 71

When recently Russia's Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu reported to Supreme Commander Vladimir Putin on the air operations in Syria, he announced Russian Armed Forces "have moved to the next phase of the operation." Since he was reporting about the objectives achieved after the addition of strategic bombers to the Syrian operation, I was left wondering what was the next phase of the operation.

Shoigu: "The armed Forces have moved to the next phase of the operation"

[...] All objectives are completed. The armed Forces have moved to the next phase of the operation.

Surprise, surprise, if this news is true, and in general Fars News is a reliable source, this is Russia's "next phase of the operation."

Report: Russia Starts Ground Operations in Syria

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Russian infantry forces, supported by air force and artillery units, launched their first operations inside the Syrian territory, a Kuwaiti paper reported.

"The Russian infantry forces, supported by tanks and fighter jets, participated for the first time in operations to attack the Takfiri militants in Syria in a region between Lattakia and Idlib provinces" and they could take control of strategic heights without sustaining any casualties, Kuwait's al-Rai newspaper quoted Syrian dissident commanders as saying.

It added that the conditions for Russia's ground operations in Syria were prepared by the country's advanced 130-mm artillery and SU-25M fighter jets.

"This shows that Russia is preparing its forces at a high level to fight against enemies… since Russia has decided to enter Syria powerfully and assumes the Levant territory as a real training field to show its power and develop its weapons and military equipment which have not been used in any real war for years," the paper claimed quoting the same sources.

They also claimed that the Syrian command has been in charge of logistical support for the first-time war fought by the Russian infantry forces in Syria.

Moscow itself had demanded the Syrian forces and its allies not to participate in the operations so that the Russian infantry forces will be tested in the battlefield in Syria, the sources said, adding that the battle lasted some hours and a strategic hill was purged of terrorists and a number of them were also killed.

On September 30, Russian military aircraft began executing precision strikes against ISIL forces in Syria at the behest of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Since the beginning of the airborne campaign Russian aircraft have carried out over 2,000 sorties, destroying about 3,000 ISIL targets and eliminating hundreds of militants.

The warships of Russian Caspian Flotilla also launched a series of cruise missile strikes against the ISIL assets in Syria.

But Moscow has repeatedly underlined that it will not fight any ground battle in Syria.

Yup, "no ground battles in Syria," but Putin also announced after denouncing the bombing of the Russian plane, Russian armed and security forces were entering a new phase in search of the perps, wherever they were.

They can as well start in Syria.

Posted by: Lone Wolf | Nov 23 2015 13:52 utc | 72

Kagan may be a fool, but the idea of fighting against ISIS and against the Assad dictatorshipis far from foolish.

Posted by: fuater | Nov 23 2015 13:53 utc | 73


There seems to be an US-Russia agreement on Syria - the question is if the Kilis Azaz Aleppo route is part of it.

It is baffling to read about so many "US-Russian" agreements from one too many posters on MoA.

Any time an event happens in Syria for which there is not a satisfactory explanation, a "US-Russian" agreement is pulled. There are so many of them it looks as if the US and Russia are great pals, and any time they face a contradiction on Syria, Lavrov and Kerry sit down, have a cigar, some vodka, cheese and crackers, and work out an agreement.

Last time I checked, the only agreement between US and Russia on Syria was a MoU to avoid accidents while conducting operations in Syria's skies. If there is one more I don't know, please show it to me, I am all eyes. Most of the time, the US is countering Russia on Syria, not looking for agreements or understandings.

The lull in the so-called "safe zone" might as well be the calm before the storm.

Posted by: Lone Wolf | Nov 23 2015 14:25 utc | 74

Lone Wolf @70

I am not sure if Fars News are reliable, BUT they may be correct. A puzzling news item that fits is the newest update of the map of North Latakia front posted by Peto Lucem. On that map, there is a hilly location marked as "taken by the government" but there was no claim of that ever being accomplished. When asked, Peto Lucem claimed that this is exactly as his sources in SAA said. (note "Toros" at the map on top of ) Then certain "military advisor" claimed that it is not under SAA control, a rather uncharacteristic because this "Russian" poster is usually very positive. But perhaps it WAS under "pro-government" control earlier.

One strategic objective of RF is that their military bases are absolutely secure, the aircraft and supplies there are extremely tempting and valuable targets. One battalion of Russian marines is few miles from "Toros". Some time ago, Grad missiles were launched at Latakia, ca. 5 miles north of the airport RF airforce is using, and that makes it imperative for the Russians to move the front in that area. Those are mountains, so it is not easy, nevertheless, the front was moved several kilometers already where it is closest to Latakia.

In short, there is a location and strangely obfuscated reports that fit Fars story exactly.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Nov 23 2015 14:25 utc | 75


Kagan may be a fool, but the idea of fighting against ISIS and against the Assad dictatorshipis far from foolish.

Kagan is not a fool, otherwise he wouldn't have the power and influence he has used to spread hate and destruction for so many years. It is dangerous to underestimate one's enemies, and Kagan is a dangerous, venomous snake, not different from the viper he has for wife.

In Syria, he's not trying to fight ISIS or Assad, his goal is to turn Syria into another Iraq, living in a perpetual carnage for a hundred years.

Posted by: Lone Wolf | Nov 23 2015 14:44 utc | 76

Posted by: Lone Wolf | Nov 23, 2015 9:25:19 AM | 72


At a Pentagon briefing, Peter Cook, the department’s press secretary, said the agreement, called a memorandum of understanding, established safety protocols requiring the Russians and the United States-led international coalition fighting the Islamic State in Syria to maintain professional airmanship at all times, use specific communication frequencies and establish a communication line on the ground.

How is the above supposed to work if they don't agree on the places they bomb - or not.

Posted by: somebody | Nov 23 2015 15:07 utc | 77

74;Yea these neocon zioscum are pure evil.
Todays Wapo salutes shillary for diverging from Obombas strategy of no boots on the ground.Jesus,the serial liars forget to say it was her policy which created this whole disaster.
The power of Zion is revealed in the full court press of intervention being pushed right now.What's up with Trump?He can't discern dancing Israelis from Muslims?


Posted by: dahoit | Nov 23 2015 15:28 utc | 78

dahoit @ 76: "What's up with Trump?He can't discern dancing Israelis from Muslims?"

The "Donald" isn't, IMO, supposed to discern anything, he's the latest " dancing bear", in the circus of the US "elections". Sucking the oxygen out of any REAL debate concerning domestic or foreign policy.

Posted by: ben | Nov 23 2015 16:16 utc | 79

The French carrier Charles de Gaulle is getting down to work. Interestingly they will be flying through Turkish and Jordanian airspace to avoid Syrian air defences.

Excuse the source.

Posted by: dh | Nov 23 2015 16:37 utc | 80

Kurdish twitter sources say YPG has cut the Azaz - Aleppo road.

Posted by: somebody | Nov 23 2015 16:47 utc | 81

@79 Whose side is YPG on these days? I've lost track.

Posted by: dh | Nov 23 2015 16:58 utc | 82

Neretva'43 | Nov 23, 2015 8:39:41 AM | 67

"""We've seen this before, Military Keynesianism in the US, and it did not work. Nor ever will"""

No, military Keynesianism has worked. Obviously during WWII, Vietnam War, and then Reagan's nonsensical build up in the early 80s. It works but a better Keynesianism would focus on making stuff that actually improves the quality of people's lives, and which employs far more people than weaponry-building does.

Anyway, Osborne might not be employing military Keynesianism. I don't think he plans to run very big deficits. He seems to be cutting back on a lot of social welfare while he funnels a greater share of the national budget to military/security.

Posted by: fairleft | Nov 23 2015 17:14 utc | 83

@Piotr Berman@73

Piotr, I found this article while writing a response to your post, and decided to post this first. So, it is official, as per Fort Russ, but the "news source" has been abroad, the Fars News article mentions Kuwait, and Fort Russ confirms is the Al Rai Media Group, based in Kuwait, precisely.

The context given for Russia's troops in Syria is "Fourth Generation Warfare," that with US troops on the ground, Russia is upping the ante. There is more to it than just 4GW, and they give an inkling into those factors, though not much about the long term strategic battle plans. The operation launched in the Mare Nostrum carry a clear and loud warning to Syria's neighbors: Russia is backed, don't mess with the Bear.

Russian infantry troops reportedly participate for the "first time" in Syria

According to a reliable source, Russia has dispatched some troops to control a strategic hill overlooking Sahl al-Ghab in Syria. Now in terms of Fourth Generational Warfare, it is possible that this is indeed a first for Russia's operation in Syria, however, it is most likely that this is a frequent occurrence that is not always as obvious as looking for soldiers with Russian emblems on their attire.

The source writes:

Here is my opinion on the leading sources saying that in Syria, for the first time, Russian infantry troops participated, backed by tanks and aircraft, in an operation to storm the opposition forces between the countryside of Latakia and Idlib countryside, where they captured a strategic hill without recording any injuries in the ranks of the attacking forces.

The leading sources state that a live military exercise was carried out by the Russian army on Syrian land, which required the involvement of an infantry battalion, with the help of Syrian 130 mm cannons and advanced Sukhoi SU-25M aircraft to aid the advancing Russian infantry from the periphery . Carrying out the takeover process highly accurately , and without losses to the attacking forces is evidence that the Russian army is using their troops on an increase level of efficiency, clashing with the enemy as a prelude to the involvement of combat units in the near future, because the Kremlin leadership made the decision to benefit Syria strongly, and to consider the land of Sham as an arena for the real training and the development of strength and to shake off rust of the combat equipment that did not participate in a real battle for many years.

According to the same sources, Russia has not only established a strong presence in warm waters, but has also put into place rules and procedures as it deems appropriate. In the past, Russia's rapprochement was shy in nature. Today, a large fleet performs live manoeuvres with set rules and procedures for airports and ship navigation which stretches to commercial aircraft and ships in the manoeuvring area, something the former Soviet Union at the height of his power did not dare to do. Also it is worth noting that modern Russia has imposed itself over the application of measures of control at what ever time it likes, which, overnight , became a triangle of control in between the city of Beirut, down to the international waters that touches the island of Cyprus and ending at Poseidon in Turkey.

Under the authority of Russia, knowing that this triangle roughly covers the area of ​​Syria, it is clear that the Russian fleet has become an integral part of the control and defense of Syria, and that the Bear paved the way for future operations to create great freedom on the land of Sham for forces to exact revenge on terrorism, Afghanistan's history and restore the glory of old Russia, using a more diplomatic, modern system, which is more resolute in nature.

This is not the first time this source has mentioned the activity of Russian boots on the ground, in fact, it really isn't a secret anymore that Spetsnaz and other elite units are a large reason as to why ISIS/'rebels' never took total control of key cities.

It is worth remembering that the Syrian State news agency 'SANA' removed one of their videos where Russian language could clearly be heard, choosing to re-upload the video with that particular section muted.

At 4:10 we clearly hear Russian being spoken:

(Can't get link to this one, sorry.)

Here is the edited video, where at 4:20 we can hear the blatant insertion of silence:

Likewise, American spec ops will also be on the ground, likely for some time, trying to aid their 'moderate' buddies. It is all part of that thing called Fourth Generational Warfare.

Posted by: Lone Wolf | Nov 23 2015 17:33 utc | 84

Posted by: dh | Nov 23, 2015 11:58:28 AM | 80

Their own side I guess. Here, they seem to count on the US mainly but don't really seem to have a problem with Russia

Muslim: Returning to the negotiating table seems hard. The plan devised by the UN’s Syria envoy, Staffan de Mistura, is backed most of all by Russia. But the opposite camp, meaning Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey are resisting this [plan]. If the United States wants to pave the way for a solution, it must apply certain pressure on this camp. In any case, if there were not some kind of agreement between Russia and America, Russia would not have intervened in this way.

Al-Monitor: What do Russia’s moves spell for Turkey?

Muslim: Turkey’s Syrian policy is totally bankrupt. Two years ago I was talking to a Russian official and he asked me, “What do the Kurds most fear?” “Possible Turkish intervention,” I replied. He laughed and said, “That is not Turkey’s border [with Syria], but NATO’s,” to which I responded, “In that case you have given me relief, thank you.” Turkey cannot intervene in Syria without the blessings of the big powers.

Al-Monitor: And how will the “IS-free zone” that Turkey wants to establish west of the Euphrates River along the so-called Mare Line be affected by Russian intervention?

Muslim: Russia and the United States seem to have established their own zones of influence within Syria. The US is active in the north. The Russians will not meddle in the north. But should Turkey attempt to intervene, then they will. Russia has a joint defense agreement with Syria. They will prevent Turkish intervention not to defend us [Kurds] but to defend Syria’s border.

Posted by: somebody | Nov 23 2015 17:47 utc | 86

here's an excellent article from a month ago that sums up the move to raqqa.. folks here will relate.. i picked it up off a poster at ssr.. "The Race For Raqqa And America’s Geopolitical Revenge In “Syraq”"

Posted by: james | Nov 23 2015 17:50 utc | 87

and in related news "Russian infantry forces involved for the first time in ground attack in Syria" Elijah J M article here.

Posted by: james | Nov 23 2015 17:58 utc | 88

I think Jackrabbit tried to warn us there was something wrong w the UN resolution on Syria & he was right. Lone Wolf said we were entering dangerous territory & he was right too.

Since you all are reporting Russian troops on the ground, I guess they are going to try to defeat another plan to partition Syria which, according to T. Meyssan is on in force. And facilitated by the vague language of UN 2249 permitting war against "Daesh" in Syria & Iraq w/o permission of either of them.

The plan is a Kurdistan straddling Iraq/Syria border (where all Iraq's oil is) and including northern Syria. Kurds are a less than 30% majority here. I have been warning that Barzani of Iraqi Kurdistan is Mossad.

If this is successful we'll have an Israeli colony. Erdogan will accept it, cuz he'll kick his dissident Kurds out of Turkey & into Kurdistan.

In Northern Syria Kurds began at least a month ago kicking Arab-speaking teachers out of the schools, replacing them w Kurdish-speaking?? ones. However, Iraqi Kurds & Syrian Kurds don't speak the same language. Syrian Kurds are Marxist, but not Iraqi Kurds. There was an earlier plan for the latter to massacre the former after takeover, according to Thierry Meyssan.

Here's the link. The map shown is not the current proposed partitioning.

Posted by: Penelope | Nov 23 2015 19:43 utc | 89

August 23, 2015

Israel turns to Kurds for three-quarters of its oil supplies

Posted by: shadyl | Nov 23 2015 20:23 utc | 90

fairleft # 65: Amen

Penelope # 89: Yes; how wrong are those preachers of a 'legitimate' Land of 'Kurds'

Posted by: From The Hague | Nov 23 2015 20:36 utc | 91

Neretva '43 @ 67, I don't really believe that people get the govts they deserve, but I am tempted when I see people believe this maudlin drivel. I am speechless that people cannot see that this is not a real death scene. Where are the wounds & blood on these stage dummies and/or people pretending to be dead? I have never seen anything less realistic.
Lone Wolf @72, In the run up to the increased air resources, Putin thanked the ARMY, navy & airforce for their service, saying that it was in defense of Russia. It was on RT, but I don't have the link.

Posted by: Penelope | Nov 23 2015 20:56 utc | 92

dh @ 82, "Whose side is YPG on these days? I've lost track."
On the side of autonomy. They have full rights in Syria, but their territory traditionally has been in the far Northeast & Northwest corners of Syria. All that spreading out along the Turkish border was in preparation for autonomy with a larger territory. They only have to extend a little to the South now to encompass 3 oil wells.
Piotr @ 75, Thanks for checking out the reports of Russian grounjd forces. Sure looks like it. If the newest T Meyssan report is accurate that a more extensive partitioning plan is underway, that wd explain what the Russians may be counteracting. When you think about it, it was hardly worthwhile for the French to stage the "Paris terrorism" just to join the bombing: Must be a major escalation by the US, Israel & vassals.

Posted by: Penelope | Nov 23 2015 20:59 utc | 93

Lone Wolf @ 84, Remember I commented that Russia had a 3-day shut down civilian & military overflight of part of the Mediterranean? That was Saturday, Sunday & Monday just past. During that time no communication or radar or satellite image was to be visible of the area. That's probably when they offloaded troops & equipment-- or started first hostilities.

Posted by: Penelope | Nov 23 2015 21:01 utc | 94

Penelope @ 89 says:

Since you all are reporting Russian troops on the ground, I guess they are going to try to defeat another plan to partition Syria which, according to T. Meyssan is on in force

yeah, less than two months ago mr. Meyssan was telling us that there will be no WW3. that the war in Syria was winding down. that peace was practically at hand.

Within a week, all the Western leaders, one after another, relinquished the objective that they had been collectively pursuing for almost 5 years – the overthrow of the Syrian Arab Republic and its democratically elected President, Bachar el-Assad.

i think that he and you have a soft spot for Obama.

Posted by: john | Nov 23 2015 21:23 utc | 95

Kagan/Nuland are not fools. They are Zionists. The Yinon Plan and The PNAC Plan require the balkanization of every state in the Middle East and North Africa for the "security of Israel". It is apparent that this "security" includes territorial expansion and resource extraction as well.

"We came, we saw, he died!" - H. Clinton

The MIC - which President Eisenhower warned about on his way out the door - includes Military, Private Corporations, Big Oil, Big Ag, Big Media and more. These do benefit from the plan.

"We think it was worth it." - M. Albright

Eisenhower was a member of the MIC, but for whatever reason, he'd decided to squeal on it by way of the bully pulpit. Everything he'd warned about has come to pass. We live in that dystopia that he predicted. The MIC has taken control of our government, our media, and it has sufficiently brainwashed and de-educated too many of our fellow citizens.

"In the future, we'll all be dead." - Dubya Bush

Posted by: fast freddy | Nov 23 2015 21:29 utc | 96

@96 fast freddy

The MIC is not in control of our government.

The public is not in control of our government, which it should be.

The global plutocrats that own private finance, most corporations, are in control of the MIC and our government.

Please keep the focus on the right set of perpetrators of our illness.

Thank you!

Posted by: psychohistorian | Nov 23 2015 22:01 utc | 97

With regard to Turkey, I suspect that all the stuff about Erdogan's ambitions to re-expand the Ottoman empire into Syria is crap.

The present situation is that Turkey is under great stress from Syrian refugees. You might say that Turkey is a big country, and should be able to absorb them. Maybe true, but nearly all the Syrians who took boat for Greece and further in Europe, were already refugees in Turkey and felt they couldn't survive there. That's from my personal exchanges.

Erdogan's idea of creating a "safe zone" in Syria would be driven mainly by the idea of getting rid of the Syrian refugees, and redepositing them in Syria.

When I was in Istanbul in October, the situation of the Syrian refugees was piteous. A family begging every five yards in the street. I spent my money for eating on them.

Even if the idea of a safe zone might have worked in the past, it won't now. You can't declare a no-fly zone without agreement of the Russians.

Posted by: Laguerre | Nov 23 2015 22:10 utc | 98

@Piotr Berman@73

Thanks for the map, though it looks like a copy from Fars News unintelligible maps, when expanded they go fuzzy. I don't particularly trust any news source, hence I qualified that "in general Fars News is a reliable source." I've been following their info on Syria for years now, and lately been closely following the Aleppo governorate campaign, and when compared to other sources, Fars News info has been dependable.

I agree with you on the need to secure the surroundings of the Russian base in Latakia. During the recent rocket attack you mentioned,

[...] Two blasts occurred on Tuesday on a highway connecting the city of Latakia and a Russian airbase. According to eyewitnesses, the rockets were fired from the outskirts of Latakia [...]

the takfiris got too close, the Russians/Syrians need to clean Latakia governorate, for that and many other reasons. From my understanding, and I haven't followed the Latakia campaign as close as Aleppo's, the SAA (now aided and abetted by Russian Spetnatz) is attacking along the Jabal Nusayriyah range, pushing takfiris toward the Turkish border, with the intention of taking back the Syria/Turkey border crossing.

The Russian boots-on-the-ground story is everywhere now, and SAA/NDF/HA are suffering some setbacks in southern Aleppo, hopefully temporary. That's war.

Islamist Rebels Capture Several Sites in Southern Aleppo

Posted by: Lone Wolf | Nov 23 2015 22:45 utc | 99

This "safe zone" thing is the talk of the town. Its the "best idea" for Americans - the majority of whom don't want to take refugees in out of fear of terror attacks, but can't morally (exceptionally) stomach slamming the door in their face.

I have even heard "you can give them education there, take good care of them..." The problem is, of course, that there is no such thing as these utopian refugee camps. Even at their best, the refugee camps are places of misery where people are on the run, displaced, and suffering. You can't force people to go there anyway - unless you want to move from "refugee safe zone" to "Vietnam-style strategic hamlet" in the blink of an eye.

There is no solution to the refugee problem. You are damned if you take them in, damned if you try and keep them out. The solution - the only solution - is to find peace for Syria. If the US wants this, they'll need to find a compromise with the Syrian government and its backers. They'll need to tighten the leash - to the point of choking - on their vicious allies.

The problem, though, is that those running the US have no real stake in the game and this latest batch of psychopaths they've been carefully cultivating are probably out of their control if they even would care to try and put a stop to any of this.

The US has started a fire that it can't control, to which there is no real solution for. There is the hope that maybe they'll think twice before starting the next one, but this one is going to rage out of control. We're hearing so much nonsense from the media these days: because things are out of control: these half-cocked ideas, the endless screaming about terror, and the ramp up of the one the US seems to be able to do these days - smother civil liberties and trot out the robocops.

This is what we see when the elite have nothing to offer as a solution to the problems they've created. Shuck and jive.

Posted by: guest77 | Nov 23 2015 23:48 utc | 100

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