Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
February 13, 2016

Obama Nips ISIS - Putin Pounds It 12 Times Harder

How a U.S. propaganda line dissolves into embarrassment.

Pentagon spokesman Col. Steve Warren said at a briefing on Wednesday that at most, only 10% of Russian strikes are hitting the terrorist group ISIS (also known as the Islamic State, ISIL, and Daesh) in Syria.


In a report posted Thursday on its website, the [Russian Ministry of Defense] noted that its jets flew 510 combat sorties and hit 1,888 “terrorist objects” in Syria. The previous week’s report claimed 464 sorties that hit a total of 1,354 “terrorist objects.”

Daily reports from the U.S. military for the same period indicate a much lower level of activity: 16 targets struck in Syria.

x * 16 = 1,888 * 0.1
x ~= 12


Posted by b on February 13, 2016 at 9:33 UTC | Permalink


Meanwhile the pathetic west going all out on russia in munich meeting, they are out of touch with the world, real scary.

Posted by: Trombol | Feb 13 2016 9:41 utc | 1

Ever since Russia began its air strikes at the end of last September, US and other Western officials have condemned Moscow for targeting opposition forces other than ISIS.

Posted by: Middle East News | Feb 13 2016 9:55 utc | 2

LOL: Embarrassment should be an understatement given the circumstances. Yet the U.S. government just blathers on with their incoherent meme.
And then there is this;
And this came from a U.S. intel agency. Can't even get their stories straight; do carry on... ;-)

Posted by: V. Arnold | Feb 13 2016 10:10 utc | 3

"So - #Russia & #Syria have agreed to a "ceasefire" w/in 1 week under what I am sure is direct threat of US-backed #Turkey #Saudi invasion"

You think hes right?

Posted by: Trombol | Feb 13 2016 10:19 utc | 4

@ 3

I think there was no threat, this at RT.

KSA Jets Deployed To Turkey

Stupid if they attempt to engage SAR or RU forces

Posted by: alkomv | Feb 13 2016 10:41 utc | 5

In the Kosovo air campaign in 1999 NATO flew 10,484 strike sorties in 78 day's that is 11 weeks, which averages out at 953 strikes per week compare that with the US claim of just 16 per week against Islamic state proves that the US is not serious "Despite strains, the Alliance held together during 78 days of air strikes in which more than 38,000 sorties – 10,484 of them strike sorties – were flown without a single Allied fatality".

Posted by: harry law | Feb 13 2016 10:46 utc | 6

Seems like we were wrong, turkey/nato/west/ksa actually going to intervene (invade?) Syria. Horrible.

Posted by: Trombol | Feb 13 2016 10:46 utc | 7

Trombol@6 Could you provide a credible link to your assertion that we are wrong, and that this group are going to intervene [invade?] in Syria. Thanks.

Posted by: harry law | Feb 13 2016 10:53 utc | 8


Check the RT link above, I think that says it all, sure turkey, saudi could deploy just to posture but still, I think its the real deal this time. Thats why Syria/Russia want a ceasefire to halt that attempt. Whats your view?

Posted by: Trombol | Feb 13 2016 11:00 utc | 9

Mr. Piotr Berman, new replies are now posted in the previous thread. (I find the discussion interesting and request the favor of your reply.)

Posted by: Emil Pulsifer | Feb 13 2016 11:06 utc | 10

Frankly, I do not trust either American or Russian statistics bragging of war successes, whether body-bag counts in Vietnam or "terrorist objects" struck. (What is a terrorist object?! Weasel words.)

Kosovo was an entirely different campaign run by an entirely different president. Frankly, I consider it monstrous for the U.S. government to say that they are willing to kill up to fifty civilians (collateral damage -- more weasel words) in order to blow up what they call an ISIS cash warehouse. All this because Obama was shamed by FOX NEWS into opening up a cosmetic air campaign that cannot possibly achieve American strategic objectives without ground operations that dig IS out of its dug in positions.

But that would mean the politically unacceptable loss of American infantry in grueling street to street and house to house combat. So air power it is.

Israel has the same political problem ever since Operation Peace For Galilee: even worse since Israeli military are far better integrated into society. So when Israelis bleed or are captured, it resonates. And the number of nervous breakdowns among Israeli troops skyrocketed relative to armored warfare campaigns against conventional Arab armies. It's difficult to see pain and terror on the faces of women and children, who invariably get caught up in the vicissitudes of urban warfare. So instead of going into Gaza and targeting Hamas terrorists, they sit back and play video games with high powered artillery. It doesn't kill many Hamas fighters, who are mobile small unit groups, but it kills lots of civilians.

Should the Russians be bragging? Probably not.

Posted by: Emil Pulsifer | Feb 13 2016 11:37 utc | 11

I believe the threat of a Turkish military incursion into Syria was the cause of the sudden ceasefire announcement. I am however not sure it was Russia that blinked first.

I do not think the Turkish / Saudi invasion plan has U.S. approval. On the contrary, Kerry may be well aware of its catastrophic consequences. Most observers agree that a Saudi attack on Syria would drag in Iran and lead to an all-out Sunni-Shia war. With Russia and NATO involved.

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Feb 13 2016 11:49 utc | 12

Trombol@8 Neither Russia nor the US have agreed to a cease fire against Islamic State, Al Nusra and their associates [see UNSC Resolution] And until the powers that be come up with a definition of 'who or is not a terrorist' an almost impossible project, all groups carrying arms against the legitimate Syrian Government will be targeted.

Posted by: harry law | Feb 13 2016 11:59 utc | 13

"Israel has the same political problem ever since Operation Peace For Galilee ["Kill as many Filthy Subhuman Goyim as possible"]: even worse since Israeli military [Zio-turd Death Squads] are far better integrated into society. So when Israelis [Zio-turds] bleed or are captured, it resonates [they whine even louder than usual, still playing the eternal victim.]

And the number of nervous breakdowns among Israeli troops [Zio-turd Death Squad members] skyrocketed relative to armored warfare campaigns against conventional Arab armies. It's (NOT) difficult [for Zio-turd Death Squad members] to see pain and terror on the faces of [Amalek/Filthy Goyim/Subhuman non-chosenite] women and children, who invariably get caught up in the vicissitudes of urban warfare. [deliberately targeted by the Zio-turd Death Squad members.] So instead of going into Gaza and targeting Hamas terrorists, [The Resistance], they sit back and play video games with high powered artillery. It doesn't kill many Hamas fighters, who are mobile small unit groups, but it kills lots of civilians, [which is what the Zio-turd Death Squad members enjoy most of all.]

Posted by: Emil Pulsifer | Feb 13, 2016 6:37:42 AM | 10"


"Emil" reveals itself to be the despicable Zio-bot most people probably already suspected it was.

Posted by: Martin Huber | Feb 13 2016 12:12 utc | 14

This is the "big lie" which is the foundation of the entire U.S. regime change operation. Assad + Putin only feast on the blood of Syrian civilians. Yesterday's lede unsigned NYT editorial is a perfect example, "A Chance to Halt the Brutality in Syria." Hillary had a line in the debate Thursday that was something to the effect that "No Russian airstrikes have targeted ISIS." Nowhere, or buried deep in the back pages, is any mention that Aleppo is principally controlled by Nusra, the AQ affiliate that provides whatever slender thread of legal rational there is for U.S. military presence in the region. It is an upside down world, reminiscent of Marx's thoughts in The Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844 of the perverted power of capital, how it can buy the most beautiful woman in the world for the ugliest man.

It is all very aggravating. But I think the U.S. and its client states are doomed to fail. Propaganda is not reality.

Posted by: Mike Maloney | Feb 13 2016 12:56 utc | 15

@ Alkomv 4; @ Trombol 8

Just posturing. Sure, SA may deploy to Turkey. Please wake me when they are airborne over Syria. As B noted "Obama Nips" Imho SA pilots will be ensconced in Turkey on the beach sipping iced milk. grounded.



Reuters, 1 hr ago as I write: Sat Feb 13, 2016 7:08am EST citing the one man SOHR in London on Raqqa

Syrian army edges toward Islamic State bastion, jets hit rebel towns

Syrian government forces were poised to advance into the Islamic State stronghold of Raqqa province and allied Russian jets kept up air strikes on rebel-held towns north of Aleppo, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported on Saturday.

An advance into Raqqa would re-establish a Syrian government foothold in the province for the first time since 2014 and may be aimed at pre-empting any move by Saudi Arabia to send ground forces to fight Islamic State militants in Syria.

Russia is pressing ahead with its four-month-old air campaign in support of President Bashar al-Assad ahead of "a cessation of hostilities" agreed by major powers on Friday. The agreement is due to come into effect in a week.

The cessation of hostilities agreement falls short of a formal ceasefire, since it was not signed by the warring parties -

[..]The Observatory said government troops were just a few kilometres (miles) from the provincial borders of Raqqa after making a rapid advance eastwards along a desert highway in the last few days from Ithriya. The Syrian army could not immediately be reached for comment.

emphasis mine

Posted by: likklemore | Feb 13 2016 13:14 utc | 16

Saudi Arabia is increasing tension by sending planes to Turkey and spreading the rumor of a ground invasion ( from where? by planes?)
I believe that what these countries are after is not ISIS, the usual pretext, but defiant Bashar al Assad and its supporters Russia and Iran that keep humiliating the embattled kingdom. The Saudis are also keen to draw Iran to intervene to compromise the nuclear deal relief of sanctions. They think they are strong and smarter, as usual.
It is not surprising that Iran has come with an olive branch toward Saudi Arabia to stop the escalation. Yet if Saudi Arabia and Turkey are mad enough, and they could well be (we have seen the madness in Yemen and in Cizre) then Iran will stop the soft talk and come up with threat of direct intervention "against ISIS" in Syria. I also expect Iran to re enforce the Houthis in Yemen to cause as much damage to Saudi Arabia as possible. In Syria I expect Iran to re enforce the YPG ( and the PKK) to inflict as much damage as possible to Turkey.
Saudi Arabia and Turkey are gambling again but if this is not stopped it could cause hell in the whole middle East.
The USA and the EU will have to make a quick decision to oppose these countries mad plans ...
The Sunni axis ( Turkey-KSA-Qatar) may take advantage of the US election distraction to execute their plans...

Posted by: virgile | Feb 13 2016 13:15 utc | 17

The stated aim of a Turkish/KSA invasion would be to battle ISIS (better late than never eh?), so the ceasefire won't apply here.

They won't be dumb enough to engage the SAA directly at Aleppo, that phase of the war is done and full points go to Assad. More likely they will stick close to the Euphrates and head towards Raqqa. This achieves the two goals of halting the YPG advance and forming the basis for the new Sunni state. It will be interesting to see how many of their ISIS brethren are wearing KSA military uniforms at the end of this.

The question now is how the Russians respond. This area is within range of the S-400s, and they have the air assets to swiftly deal with ground forces. Not to mention cruise missiles. Whether they can safely fly over the area is another question.

This will be a very tense few weeks.

Posted by: Fort Sensible | Feb 13 2016 13:25 utc | 18

Listen to the blustering/hysterical western leaders threatening the 'terrors of the earth' to Russian targeting of terrorists in Syria. and the clown Saudi Foreign Minister...“There will be no Bashar al-Assad in the future,” Adel al-Jubeir told Germany’s Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper. “It might take three months, it might take six months or three years – but he will no longer carry responsibility for Syria. Period.” I hope he and all members of the Saudi family of perverts are strung up on lamp posts the sooner the better. Hopefully the Russians will take no heed of the duplicitous western leaders, everything they [the Russians] are doing [unlike the West and its allies] is within International law. Unless the Russians stand their ground the UN charter will be trashed, then no state in the world [including Russia and China] will be safe from Western aggression.

Posted by: harry law | Feb 13 2016 13:31 utc | 19

@ 16 Virgile

The USA and the EU will have to make a quick decision to oppose these countries mad plans ...

The latest from Nafeez Ahmed:

Posted by: Yul | Feb 13 2016 13:45 utc | 20

Posted by: Fort Sensible | Feb 13, 2016 8:25:25 AM | 17

Al Raqqa is close to Iraq. Will the Iraqi Shias accept a Sunni Saudi-Turkey army friendly to ISIS near their border? Will Iran and the Kurds stay put?
In my view Saudi Arabia and Turkey are just posturing waiting for a reaction from Iran, Irak and Russia and hoping these countries will step in and make a mistake..

Posted by: virgile | Feb 13 2016 14:01 utc | 21

Will Russia use nukes if the Saudi/Turkey Whacko Alliance invades Syria???

“We must analyze everything happening on the battlefield, how the weapons operate. The Kalibrs and KH-101 have proved to be modern and highly effective, and now we know it for sure—precision weapons that can be equipped with both conventional and special warheads, which are nuclear,” Putin said during a meeting with Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu, according to Russian television. “Naturally, this is not necessary when fighting terrorists and, I hope, will never be needed.”

"Moscow still has a long way to go before it can field a completely modern force. As such, Russia has to rely on its nuclear forces to make up for its relative conventional weakness."

"While the Soviet Union maintained an explicit “no first use” policy regarding nuclear weapons, Russia today reserves the right to use nuclear weapons first during a conflict. That new doctrine is paradoxically called ‘de-escalation.’"

source -

Posted by: Alberto | Feb 13 2016 14:02 utc | 22

Will Russia use nukes if the Saudi/Turkey Whacko Alliance invades Syria???

Do us a favour, and stop being silly, will ya?

Posted by: Martin Huber | Feb 13 2016 14:08 utc | 23

Yul@19 'People in glass houses should not throw stones' the Saudis export of oil is almost totally dependent on its port at Ras Tanura this Guardian article said if that port was disrupted this could destabilize the West since that is where most of its oil is shipped from. Similarly Qatar have two LGR plants at Ras Laffan which are fed from their North Pars field

Posted by: harry law | Feb 13 2016 14:15 utc | 24


Two of those US strikes were a-10s against the hospitals in Aleppo, right?

  x*14 = 1,888 * 0.1
      x ~= 13

@16 virgile

The US and NATO can just let the Syrian/Russian air defense forces explain to the Turks and the Saudis what a bad idea it is to try to push the US, NATO, Russia, and the Syrians around.

Posted by: jfl | Feb 13 2016 14:17 utc | 25

The Russians or Iranians should quietly say to the Saudis and Qataris "You have some nice facilities there, wouldn't like anything to happen to them, know what I mean?

Posted by: harry law | Feb 13 2016 14:20 utc | 26

Two of those US strikes were a-10s against the hospitals in Aleppo, right?

Apparently the attacks on the Hospital never occurred, according to at least one of those commenting here - so the Russians must have been lying for some reason when they confirmed the airstrike on the Hospital

Posted by: Martin Huber | Feb 13 2016 14:20 utc | 27

Martin Huber @22

"Do us a favour, and stop being silly, will ya?"

Oh yes, I nearly forgot, only our, ahem, allies can use tactical nukes ...

PS - 'favour' Sir, please invest in a U$A spellchecker.

Posted by: Alberto | Feb 13 2016 14:38 utc | 28

Martin Huber @22

Thank you for reminding me that only Israel can use tactical nukes in the Yemen, Syria,etc. ...

Peace brother

Posted by: Alberto | Feb 13 2016 14:49 utc | 29

Israels five modified Dolphin submarines are armed with nuclear cruise missiles ...

"The cruise missiles have a range of at least 1,500 km (930 mi) and are widely believed to be equipped with a 200-kilogram (440 lb) nuclear warhead containing up to 6 kilograms (13 lb) of plutonium."

source -

Posted by: Alberto | Feb 13 2016 14:56 utc | 30

Posted by: jfl | Feb 13, 2016 9:17:43 AM | 24

Can you convince megalomaniac countries that they are making a mistake and pay for it? Russia knows it can't.
Yet it can't use direct force to dissuade them but I trust Putin and Iran have better intellectual resources than war amateurish Erdogan and King Salman's clique.
By expressing its "worries" about a possible ground troop invasion of Syria, isn't Russia trying to draw these two countries further into acting recklessly and falling into a deadly trap where they could get fatally crushed?

Posted by: virgile | Feb 13 2016 14:59 utc | 31

Here's what Col Steve Warren said later in the day on Thursday regarding the hospital strike when confronted by Russian spokesperson on Twitter -

The reason this story was nipped, IMHO, is b/c the Russian's outed the coalition forces who did in fact bomb Aleppo the previous day. So, the question in my mind isn't about the hospitals hit, can't find anything anywhere on said strikes, but rather who/what the coalition forces were targeting in Aleppo on Wednesday? After all, according to coalition propaganda, Daesh is no where to be found in that region. So, why were they bombing Aleppo on Wednesday?

Posted by: h... | Feb 13 2016 15:03 utc | 32

@23 Glad somebody mentioned Ras Tanura. It is within the range of Kalibr 3M launched from the Caspian. Now think what would happen to oil prices.

Posted by: dh | Feb 13 2016 15:11 utc | 33

Posted by: Alberto | Feb 13, 2016 9:49:54 AM | 27

Israel wants everyone to believe that it's got Nukes, but it hasn't.
They could have dropped a bunker buster with a DU penetrator but that's as "Nukular" as Israel will ever get.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Feb 13 2016 15:34 utc | 34

Russia said on Saturday a ceasefire deal for Syria agreed by major powers was more likely to fail than succeed, as Syrian government forces backed by further Russian air strikes gained more ground against rebels near Aleppo.

International divisions over Syria surfaced anew at a Munich conference where Russia rejected French charges that it was bombing civilians, just a day after world powers agreed on the "cessation of hostilities" due to begin in a week's time.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry reiterated accusations that Russia was hitting "legitimate opposition groups" and civilians with its bombing campaign in Syria and said Moscow must change its targets to respect the ceasefire deal.

The conflict, reshaped by Russia's intervention last September, has gone into an even higher gear since the United Nations sought to revive peace talks. These were suspended earlier this month in Geneva before they got off the ground.

The Syrian army looked poised on Saturday to advance into the Islamic State-held province of Raqqa for the first time since 2014, apparently to pre-empt any move by Saudi Arabia to send ground forces into Syria to fight the jihadist insurgents.

The cessation of hostilities deal falls short of a formal ceasefire, since it was not signed by the warring parties - the government and rebels seeking to topple President Bashar al-Assad in a five-year-old war that has killed 250,000 people.

Posted by: okie farmer | Feb 13 2016 15:35 utc | 35

Hoarsewhisperer | Feb 13, 2016 10:34:48 AM | 32

Oh come on, do you actually believe that?
England was a prime supplier of heavy water to Israel to expedite its nuclear development; that's a historical record.
You will lose all credibility with that nonsense.

Posted by: V. Arnold | Feb 13 2016 16:06 utc | 36

‏@jenanmoussa - Shelling continues from Turkey, average 2 shells in minute. Targets Kurdish positions in Maarnaz West Azaz & Mennegh - Eyewitnesses @akhbar.

Posted by: h... | Feb 13 2016 16:28 utc | 37

b - thanks.. the propaganda never ceases...

actually it is invading the comment section at moa at present too... too many new faces with too much to say...

from rt this morning - " Turkey’s army has shelled Kurdish militia targets near the city of Azaz in northwest Syria, Reuters reports, citing a source in the Turkish government.

"The Turkish Armed Forces fired shells at PYD positions in the Azaz area," the source said, referring to the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), which Ankara views as a terrorist group."

i thought azaz was in syria, not turkey...

Posted by: james | Feb 13 2016 16:33 utc | 38

Look at that nato/turkey attack Syria and attack the enemies of Daesh, will your MSM scream that out to you? Of course not.

Posted by: Trombol | Feb 13 2016 16:40 utc | 39

attacking the kurds that had the airport 5 km from azaz is more like it...

"Turkey bombs areas held by YPG in Syria" .. that is from the official turkish propaganda channel daily sabah.

Posted by: james | Feb 13 2016 16:45 utc | 40

Re: Posted by: Martin Huber | Feb 13, 2016 9:08:46 AM | 22

How is it being silly?

It would be the smart thing to do if Russia wanted to stop a Turkish or Saudi Arabian invasion of Syria.

Besides, it is not unprecedented either. It is recommended war strategy from the American playbook to halt a conflict in one's favour and demoralise the opposition totally.

Have you not heard of Hiroshima or Nagasaki?

What do you think Turkey & Saudi Arabia would do after their soldiers were nuked? Send more soldiers to continue the invasion?

Personally I doubt they would. So therefore, from the Russian point of view - mission accomplished.

Besides, Saudi Arabia & Turkey have been adequately warned, if they invaded a sovereign country and were nuked in response they'd have no one to blame but themselves.

Posted by: Julian | Feb 13 2016 16:45 utc | 41

The Munich gathering: “ Cessation of hostilities" or Ceasefire? It will be neither a cessation or ceasefire.
After 5 years, there is no quick fix. Settle in for the long haul, decades if Saudi and Erdogan intervenes as per warning by RF PM Medvedev.

In this interesting McClatchy article on the Syrian situ, there are two of several interesting links: (1) to “Chatham House” and (2) the release this week of the February 2016 ”Report Three on AL Nusra and ISIS” by Understanding, an American Enterprise Institute project.

McClatchy: Question of Nusra Front likely to bedevil Syrian cease-fire talks

Link (1) to Chatham House: Five Things You Should Know
(I have cited 1 and 4. An encrypted link; you will need to access from within the article)

1. This is an attempt by (the 17 members) of) the international powers to impose a peace on Syria, after the failure of UN efforts to negotiate a peace
The International Syria Support Group does not include either the Assad government or the Syrian opposition. Until they can be convinced to implement it, the agreement remains progress on paper only. We have seen agreement in the international community on these issues before — in UN Security Resolution 2254 — but these terms were simply never implemented.

4. Airstrikes against terrorists are to continue
The ‘cessation of hostilities’ excludes airstrikes against ISIS, Al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al Nusra and “other groups designated as terrorist organizations by the United Nations Security Council”. This is problematic as there is no agreement between the powers as to what counts as a terrorist group. Jaysh al Islam and Ahrar al Sham are key members of the Syrian opposition but are considered terrorists by Russia. If Russia continues to strikes these groups, the cessation of hostilities is likely to collapse.

Link (2) The Chatham House No 4 thingy led me to the AEI: U.S. Institute for the Study of War (“ISW”) aka, (in .pdf 24 pages) also found in the McClatchy article.

U.S. Grand Strategy: Destroying ISIS and Al Qaeda, Report Three – Jabhat Al Nusra and ISSI; Sources of Strength

Sets out the " Whys" of U.S. posits -- it will take a decade or two.

Suggestion: Skip the “About the Authors” b/c you will decline the read.
Caution: Don’t throw up. ISW partners with a certain group known as “ PA” quote: “a Veteran Owned Small Business based in Alexandria, Virginia…PA provides several critical services to our government and commercial clients: training…embedded analysis…and product customization”

Did I mention, we should settle in for the long haul, eh?

Posted by: likklemore | Feb 13 2016 16:48 utc | 42

November 13, 2016 - You cannot make this stuff up department

Saudi FM says ...

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said on Friday the removal of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was crucial to defeat ISIS.

Speaking at a security conference in Munich, Jubeir said Assad was responsible for the creation of ISIS by turning Syria into a “fertile ground” for its militants, in which the foreign minister described them as “psychopaths.”

He called Assad the "single most effective magnet for extremists and terrorists in the region" and said his removal was crucial for restoring stability.

source -

Looks like Langley VA is dying to find out if S300/S400/S500 actually work as advertised. And the icing on the cake would be capture of a Russian aircraft with the aircraft's ELINT gear intact.

Posted by: Alberto | Feb 13 2016 16:52 utc | 43

One of the causes for the dire condition Syria confronted at the end of last summer was the utter lack of a professionally organized and trained military. Yes, The RUAF's strikes have made a big difference, but you must have combined arms action on the ground to rout the terrorists, and that was severely lacking. The linked item documents this and tells the untold story of the other half of Russia's intervention: The revamping of the SAA and role of Russian military advisors,

We've all bemoaned the slow progress made by the SAA with numerous, speculative explanations offered. Here we have it from the horse's mouth. Credit is likely due to Iranian and Hezbollah trainers, too. Now we see some of the results, particularly the ongoing Blitzkrieg toward Raqqa. The training presumably continues so that by summer the SAA will finally be a professionally seasoned force and likely the most formidable in the region with the IDF falling to third rank.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 13 2016 16:59 utc | 44


What makes you believe Russia would attack what Turkey, Saudi? Not gonna happen.

Posted by: Trombol | Feb 13 2016 17:00 utc | 45

@ 38 James

This is quite a turn. Erdogan attacked an important ally of the U.S.A?

RT has it as Breaking News with this observation:

Syrian Kurds are actively engaged in the fight against the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) terrorist group and have been recently described as “some of the most successful” forces fighting IS jihadists in Syria by US State Department spokesman John Kirby, AFP reports.
Earlier, the US also called the PYD an “important partner” in the fight against Islamic State, adding that US support of the Kurdish fighters “will continue.”

U.S. SoS John Kerry is on the phone.

Posted by: likklemore | Feb 13 2016 17:07 utc | 46

MoA cited as important source by Sputnik. The "Race for Raqqa,"

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 13 2016 17:18 utc | 47

All these talks of ground troops in Syria is just a diversion for Saudi Arabia to hide the genocide of the non-sunni Yemenis and for Turkey to hide the genocide of the ethnic Kurds in south east Turkey

Posted by: virgile | Feb 13 2016 17:32 utc | 48

Andrew Tabler - Washington Institute for Near East Policy

interview published by Zero Hedge ...

"Aleppo is Syria’s largest city. It’s the commercial hub. It is extremely important, particularly to the opposition, because Aleppo, along with the other northwestern cities, have been some of the strongest opponents to the Assad regime historically. I think the decision in 2012 to take [the city] was one of the first real major offensives of the armed opposition in Syria. And they hoped that by denying the regime Aleppo, it would set up an alternative capital and allow for a process where the Assad regime’s power was whittled away. Since that time, it has instead been one of the most bombed, barrel-bombed, and decimated parts of Syria, and now is much more like Dresden than anything else."

source -

Posted by: Alberto | Feb 13 2016 17:33 utc | 49

Why the "cessation of hostilities" in Syria likely won't hold.
—By Max J. Rosenthal
| Fri Feb. 12, 2016

Posted by: okie farmer | Feb 13 2016 17:51 utc | 50

ot @44 likklemore.. according to this zaman article, "A Kurdish official confirmed the shelling of Menagh air base in the northern Aleppo countryside, which he said had been captured by the Kurdish-allied Jaysh al-Thuwwar group rather than the Kurdish YPG militia."

a good backdrop on these different groups can be found hereU in a reuters article "Clashes between Syrian fighters pose challenge for Turkey, U.S." from dec. 6th 2015..

bottom line is this.. turkey is not bombing isis and has no authority to bomb in the azaz area of syria so far as i know, even if it is a part of the coalition of nato/west... i imagine erdogan is increasingly been viewed as a complete nutjob internationally.. that can only serve the wests agenda so far..

Posted by: james | Feb 13 2016 17:56 utc | 51

MUNICH — Turkey will supply ground forces to an anti-Islamic State coalition in Syria and will allow Saudi Arabian strike missions against the militants from its air bases, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said in an interview published Saturday.

The Saudis have already visited the Turkish base at Incirlik, where U.S. warplanes are launching attacks against the Islamic State, in preparation for the new deployment, Cavusoglu told the pro-government Turkish newspaper Yeni Safak after speaking at an international security conference here.

Turkey’s commitment comes after Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates said they would supply Special Forces troops as part of a force under the U.S.-led coalition. Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter appealed to coalition partners this week in Brussels to provide more resources. U.S. Special Operations forces are already operating in Syria.

Cavusoglu emphasized that no strategy for joint ground operations has yet been presented to the coalition. “If we have such a strategy, then Turkey and Saudi Arabia may launch an operation from the land,” he said. Referring to criticism that Turkey has been “unwilling” to join the fight against the Islamic State, he said his government has been “pushing for more tangible suggestions.”

Posted by: okie farmer | Feb 13 2016 18:13 utc | 52

Does anyone really have any doubt about the ultimate outcome in Syria? Either Syria/Russia wins or it's WW III.

Meanwhile, the US has decided to poke the Bear and the Dragon simultaneously by threatening to deploy the THAAD system in South Korea in response to North Korea's satellite launch.

This looks like a perpetual game of stirring the shitpot on the US's part; thereby upping the threat level which of course results in a big payday for defense contractors.

Nothing personal .... just business. I don't think these fools even care about the repercussions anymore, so long as 'they get theirs'.

Posted by: woogs | Feb 13 2016 18:20 utc | 53

@49 The Turks are trying to provoke some reaction from Syria. They need a pretext to invade.

Also Turkey and the Saudis still need a clear signal from Washington.

That in turn will need some righteous indignation from the American public (media shit-stirring doesn't count).

Posted by: dh | Feb 13 2016 18:27 utc | 54

Medvedev delivered an important, damning speech at the Munich Security Conference. Here's the official transcript,

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 13 2016 18:29 utc | 55

In the Munich press conference, Sergei Lavrov didn't hide the US deformation of International law as it pertains to Syria, Palestine and the Ukraine. The latter seems to be off the radar [sic], accept in recent days by one or two Dutch MPs who slowly awakened out of 19 months of hibernation ...

ICAO Rules MH-17 Crash - Primary Radar Data Still Lacking

At last, some more "tough" questions from Christian Democrat MP Pieter Omtzigt that needs to be answered by Justice minister Ad van der Steur by Monday Feb. 15, 2016. The Dutch Safety Board (DSB) has not delivered any of the primary radar data. Ukraine secret service reacted there are no radar data available, the Russian data wasn't accepted and the so-called US intelligence satellite images are surrounded by secrecy. Because the DSB investigation has to follow the ICAO rules, the primary radar images should be made public.

Russia Aviation has reacted by publication of their letter to the relatives of victims who died in the Malaysian MH-17 crash in Eastern Ukraine.

Posted by: Oui | Feb 13 2016 18:39 utc | 56

@ James 49

Thank you. I read it. If Reuters' source has it right: "Turkish groups against U.S. groups -- it's odd,"

Turkey has fallen out with the U.S.!!!? gone rogue, feeling indispensable is he?

things are looking grim - a civil war within a civil war, too many players to count - an org chart 10 miles wide.

@ 40 See my second link "AL Nusra and ISIS - U.S. Grand Strategy"

Posted by: likklemore | Feb 13 2016 19:03 utc | 57

Check your arithmetic. 16 x 120 = 1888 approx

Posted by: Finnegan | Feb 13 2016 19:03 utc | 58

BREAKING: Turkish official says there will be a 'massive escalation' in Syria over next 24 hours.

Posted by: Trombol | Feb 13 2016 19:03 utc | 59

The Pentagon always lies. the "rebels" and ISIS are as one. Give the Russians full credit.

Posted by: Finnegan | Feb 13 2016 19:07 utc | 60

Finally, we’re gonna get to see the Russian S-400 in action! ;-) So, the Saudis scubags will meet their Waterloo! Good Riddance. Good chance to Putin to get his Beslan revenge.

Posted by: Nick | Feb 13 2016 19:14 utc | 61

Hoarsewhisperer | Feb 13, 2016 10:34:48 AM | 32
Oh come on, do you actually believe that?
England was a prime supplier of heavy water to Israel to expedite its nuclear development; that's a historical record. You will lose all credibility with that nonsense.
Posted by: V. Arnold | Feb 13, 2016 11:06:59 AM | 34

Yes. And if you're insinuating that my cred will be improved by believing a completely unsubstantiated rumour, the logic for embracing that view escapes me.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Feb 13 2016 19:27 utc | 62


Mordechai Vananu, an Israeli nuclear scientist, revealed the existence of Israeli nuclear weapons to the British press in 1986. He was captured and jailed by the Israelis for 18 years, many of them in solitary confinement. He has been persecuted continually since his release.

Posted by: Lochearn | Feb 13 2016 19:39 utc | 63

The fog of war descends on MoA. And as James observes, plenty of new faces suddenly to form a chorus of chaos.

The Syrian government has announced it will attack anything that enters its country without "coordination". Saw that in a Russia Insider story I think - I assume it's part of the general reportage.

I will observe that in order to kill several birds with one stone, it is useful for the birds to cluster. Let the Saudis and the Turks cross that border, let them all die together. And if there are some US troops mixed in, this tells us the back-channel diplomacy and army-to-army communications will exact a high price from the US for sparing their lives.

The US is creating a cauldron for its "allies". Will it be stupid enough to walk into it, itself? My guess is no. And I also lean heavily towards the allies not quite making it across either, beyond a bit of shelling and more bluster. Visit Syria and die.

As for this thread - I saw the same thing with Ukraine. The moment a sliver of uncertainty enters the situation, all the hurray patriots get their "concern" on. Russia is the grown-up in the room here, alongside Iran and Syria - two equally grown-up entities. Everything will be fine. Have patience and wait for fog to clear, and decent analysis to arise. The parties on the ground are ten steps ahead of us.

Posted by: Grieved | Feb 13 2016 19:46 utc | 64

Two points

1. Russia wont attack Nato member TUrkey nor Saudi
2. Nor will Syria

Posted by: Trombol | Feb 13 2016 19:48 utc | 65

Posted by: Finnegan | Feb 13, 2016 2:03:37 PM | 56

I can live with rounding 118 up to 120 but I'd like to know where * 0.1 (or divide by 10) comes from? On a superficial reading of the (confusing) data presented, the headline should read "120 times..."

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Feb 13 2016 19:51 utc | 66

The 0.1 in the formula was from the claim that only 10% of Russian strikes were contra ISIS.

Posted by: P Cockshott | Feb 13 2016 20:24 utc | 67

Posted by: Grieved | Feb 13, 2016 2:46:16 PM | 64

Gotta love all the lying, wishful thinking and infantile logic. It reminds me of the question people were asking as the Crusaders were 'debating' whether to wreck Iraq...
"What would Jesus do?"

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Feb 13 2016 20:39 utc | 68

@64 grieved.. thanks for your ongoing comments which i have found rewarding to read.. it is unfortunate, but it appears things are going to escalate here..

Posted by: james | Feb 13 2016 20:43 utc | 69

P Cockshott | Feb 13, 2016 3:24:14 PM | 67

Thanks for pointing it out. That makes perfect sense, now.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Feb 13 2016 21:01 utc | 70

@43 "Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said..."

This is like being in a room of erudite, learned fellows and one gorilla who is crapping in his hand and throwing it at the wall. We dismiss the learned gentlemen to concentrate on the gorilla's POV.
With collapsing oil prices, endless war in Yemen, the desert pedos are sinking into the sand quickly. Another unsuccessful military operation where they get their asses handed to them will only hasten their demise and eventual overthrow.
Are they really this inbred and stupid?

Posted by: farflungstar | Feb 13 2016 21:49 utc | 71

@31 virgile @64 grieved

I think, between the two of you, you have the inside track here.

Posted by: jfl | Feb 13 2016 22:10 utc | 72

Joe contrarian

Posted by: tom | Feb 13 2016 22:54 utc | 73

@73 Joe obviously hasn't figured out that it doesn't matter what the Russians do or say. They get blamed anyway.

Posted by: dh | Feb 13 2016 23:05 utc | 74

The Turks are trying to force the SAA or Russia to respond to them so turkey can play victim and run to NATO or just invade Syria. That is telling because it means Erdogan lacks the balls to invade alone without a's possible NATO put him up to this as well as the Saudis.

I don't believe turkey will invade sans a response but turkey's incursions have become too much to ignore.

Russia needs to convene a security council meeting and they and iran must start massive deployments of forces. They have to show turkey is the agressor to undermine any PUBLIC support NATO or erdogan might have to escalate. Then they must start retaliating against turkey and saudi. This continues as long as the Saudis finance it. Saudi must be punished

Posted by: Alaric | Feb 14 2016 3:57 utc | 75

Alaric@75- I think Russia and Iran have it covered..besides Saudi Arabia is running out of money, along with the rest of the western world. And where are the Saudis keeping these 300k prepared to run the gauntlet thru Iraq?

Anyways Lavrov thinks doesn't think anyone is foolish enough to invade Syria:

By calling spade a spade, Russia on the one hand grabbed the Western terrorists by the threat and warned them that a direct Turkish intervention in support of the terrorists will lead to losses, and on the other it is offering the US negotiations on its terms. Negotiations which are open to compromise on internal Syrian matters, but categorical when it comes to the principle of the matter: first the terrorists are expelled from Syria, then we decide Syria’s fate.

Lavrov made another important point which did not address a specific international issue but was universal in its character: the choice between sausage and honor. Remember these words, those of you gentlemen who criticize the contemporary Russian state, so that in the future you will not write nonsense and won’t be saying that you don’t understand Russia’s foreign policy principles:

“You could say that you want a piece of bread with sausage and jam with your tea because “who cares about Crimea and what’s happening to the Russians there or about the coup.” Or you choose a different path. I will never be in favor of entirely ignoring economic interests, the necessity to establish favorable conditions for our economic development and growth. A country like Russia cannot “spin like a weathervane” depending on what is desired by the world’s powers-that-be who believe they decide the fate of all countries and peoples on this planet.”

How many Western leaders would choose honor before sausage?

Posted by: Nana2007 | Feb 14 2016 4:50 utc | 76

Speaking of body bag score keeping and other puerile war pron, Obama is said to be discussing Scalia's replacement with mentor and constitutional scholar Laurence Tribe. The search is focused on Jonathan Turley as a likely 'bipartisan' candidate, for Turley's comment that he believes the Second Amendment intent 'supports gnu ownership'. So thank G-d you war pron scorekeeping body bag sniffers, the New American Century SCOTUS won't let you down in the hegemon department~! On to Tehran!
P.S. Hillary must be crossing herself in secret confessional with the news of Scalia's fortuitous demise. This isn't the first time 'sudden death' has saved her Old War Hag keister from the hangman. It's simple stunning what the Khazarian Bank:Finance Mafia is able to do when it's given the 'go' sign, ever since Dallas in 1963.

Posted by: NoReply | Feb 14 2016 5:36 utc | 77

1. Russia wont attack Nato member TUrkey nor Saudi
2. Nor will Syria
Posted by: Trombol | Feb 13, 2016 2:48:50 PM | 65

That's probably wrong. Russia is only incidentally saving Syria.
It's in Syria to save Russia. Even if Russia stumbles in Syria, China (which will be the next target of Christian bloodlust) will help Russia to prevail (and then on to Washington & the Pentagoons if the Yankees don't cool it soon).

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Feb 14 2016 8:03 utc | 78


You should take a look at a world map sometime

Usually there's a lot of the colour blue surrounding most of the US.

This colour blue is a map makers way of signalling the absence of land and the presence of water.

This makes it somewhat unlikely either China or Russia will be heading Washinton-ward anytime soon, or indeed ever. Irrespective of how events pan out in Syria or anywhere else for that mater.

Simple fact of geography

This is but one reason why the Washington fascists choose to act as they do.

Posted by: Told Ya | Feb 14 2016 9:26 utc | 79

Correction to #79.

Christian bloodlust = Judeo-Christian necrophillia.
(killing people, organisations, countries then fucking them to add insult to injury.

Examples: China and India in the Colonial Era.
Tradition: PM Cameron initiated into The Club by semi-public dead pig-fucking.
Connection: 1. False accusations against Ghadaffi > murdered > publicly fucked.
(Club-member Hillary gloats)
Connection 2. Saddam falsely accused > Kangaroo Court > Saddam murdered > Iraq Fucked.

Russia's motivations are very powerful because Russians (and Chinese) know what awaits them if they fail. Victory is never enough for Jedeo-Christians. Humiliation, degradation domination are the icing on their cake.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Feb 14 2016 9:35 utc | 80

Posted by: Told Ya | Feb 14, 2016 4:26:46 AM | 80

We're 36 years into the Missile Age (jointly announced by Russia & China circa 1980).
The Christians are the ones who think their number of navies should exceed other countries number of warships (not sure there's a better explanation than profiteering for that Fun Fact given that the self-defense scam is Top Secret Stuff).
Anyhow, when it comes to a Race Across an Ocean between (worshipped) Warships and
Rockets, my money is on 20,000 Rockets.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Feb 14 2016 9:59 utc | 81

Christians schmistians. Rant all ye want bout jews and christians, but the yanks have at least 20000 rockets too. Rockets may halt Washington, but they'll halt Moscow and Beijing too. They are not the all purpose panecea you are childishly trying to portray them as.

Halting Washington in its tracks requires ground troops on the potomac, and wonderful as your all purpose panacea sounds to you,
Christian buddist or jew Ye can't fly in ground troops with em nomatter how many missiles you have.

If it comes to rockets as the weapon of choice for dealing with Washingtons stupidity, the Russkies and the chinese will be every but as fucked as the Zio-turd cabal in Washington. This shouldnt really need pointing out, but you will insist on propagating your little phallic fantasies.

If rockets were the answer, the Zio-turds in shitty little israel would have finished off hamas long ago. They would have no need to storm in with their death squads every few years. But they do because even the Zioturds know the rockets have limited capability to persuade.

Posted by: Told Ya | Feb 14 2016 10:38 utc | 82

Especially when the Zioturds in Washington have thousands of very effective rockets too. When it comes to phallic fantasies, try thinking first, then posting. The other way around just makes you look completely and utterly foolish. Its lucky for us all that you're not a chinese nor a russian military strategist

Posted by: Told Ya | Feb 14 2016 11:06 utc | 83

Just a personal view about the Turkish situation (and we must remember that Erdogan is fighting on the Syrian and the Home/ Domestic front.)

Erdogan made rash ultimatums last week stating that the US must decide between "Me and the [Kuridsh] terrorists". The strength of this language was not lost on many: Erdogan is growing desperate. Yet, when the US stated that its position on the YPG had not changed, Turkey's only response is this - continuation of shelling of YPG close to the Turkish border - shelling has been going on for more than 4 months at least, lets not forget.
Therefore, I do not see this attack on the Syrian Kurds as a sign of strength given the degree to which Erdogan tried to up the ante. It might in fact belie a 'limit' to which the Turkish military is willing to be bullied into action by Erdogan. But it does give Davutoglu and Erdogan headlines at home!

As for the shelling of the Syrian forces. This too is not a show of strength in any way whatsoever. The shelling is coming from inside the Turkish borders! It is a continuation maybe of Turkish attempts to protect its Turkmen and other militias in that region. Again, it gives Davutoglu and Erdogan headlines at home!

Is Turkey trying to goad Russia? Maybe, but Russia is not going to react to such insignificant military activity. And Turkey is, in my opinion, unlikely to go much furhter than this without explicit NATO backing.

What the 'Escalation' is going to entail is yet to be seen but if it is indeed the beginning of a Saudi / Turkish incursion, then why these impotent attacks on the Kurds and SAA?

The escalation, may well be inclusion in a coordinated effort with the West to take Raqqa. That would be entirely possible. As others have noted, Raqqa would give the West a significant bargaining chip that they desperately need at the moment.

Posted by: atabrit | Feb 14 2016 11:19 utc | 84

Hey, Told Ya, it's not my fault you had to forget rockets in order to panacea-ise oceans. No-one has tried the 20,000 rockets gambit, whereas every man and My Pet Goat has tried the shipfuls of fools trope (with mixed results).
The Missile Age challenges the historic usefulness of ships, navies and oceans.
I think it'd be premature to declare Victory. But if you think you've won something, be my guest (I'll just chuckle from the sidelines).

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Feb 14 2016 11:31 utc | 85


You can lead a Hoarse to water, but you can't stop him constantly fondling his phalliac fantasies while he pisses in it, it seems

Posted by: Told Ya | Feb 14 2016 12:03 utc | 86

". No-one has tried the 20,000 rockets gambit"

Now might be a good time to pause and reflect on the notion that maybe, just maybe, the reason no one has tried it yet is because those with the 20000 missiles realise what a totally fuckin retarded gameplan it would be

Posted by: Told Ya | Feb 14 2016 12:06 utc | 87

Posted by: atabrit | Feb 14, 2016 6:19:47 AM | 85

I agree with you. Erdogan and Davutoglu's credibility is at stake inside Turkey. As the referendum on the Constitutional changes that would pop him up to "sultanism" is nearing, Erdogan must show that he is strong and daring. He made threats and promises, threw insults and until now they got nowhere.
So now he is blackmailing the EU to get a Visa free deal and 3 billions euros. He is bluntly accusing the USA of treason and Russia of aiding terrorists. The turkish media that has been totally emasculated is glad to hide the fall of the economy, the war in South East, the killings of Kurds by "spectacular" military achievements against the demonized Kurds, in Turkey and in Syria.

This is a sign, as you point it, of growing exasperation and despair.
Under the megalomaniac Erdogan and his Sancho Pansa, Turkey is loosing its cards one by one in the regional and international game.

Posted by: virgile | Feb 15 2016 13:44 utc | 88

Should the Russians be bragging? Probably not.
Posted by: Emil Pulsifer | Feb 13, 2016 6:37:42 AM | 11

no need as syrians brag for them

Posted by: brian | Feb 16 2016 10:32 utc | 89

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