Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
February 24, 2016

Syria: A First Major Win Due To The Cessation of Hostilities Agreement

The Russian/Syrian agreement to the cessation of hostilities in Syria is seen critical from a military point of view. It would have been better to use the current momentum and to proceed fighting instead of giving respite to the enemy.

But the agreement has one huge advantage. It excludes the Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra. Every "western" media report on the agreement and its likelihood to proceed now has to admit what has long been denied. That the unicorn U.S. supported "moderate rebels" are in deep alliance with al-Qaeda.

Even the grey lady now concedes:

many of the anti-Assad groups aligned with the United States fight alongside the Nusra Front

The readers of such piece note that the U.S. is actually supporting the terrorists it claimed to be fighting for the last 13 years. Somehow that does not compute. This will put pressure the Obama administration. It can hardly blame Russia and Syria for continuing a campaign against Al-Qaeda even during a cessation of hostility with U.S. supported "moderates". The U.S. lauds itself over killing alleged Al-Qaeda followers in drone strikes all over the world. How can it blame Russia for doing like in Syria?

But not only "western" media are now exposed. The new situation compels the actors behind Nusra/al-Qaeda to reveal their positions:

"The PYD is supported because it fights against ISIL. Nusra Front is also fighting against ISIL. Why is it bad?" [the Turkish President Erdogan] asked.

"AIDS also kills ISIL? Why is it bad?"

Just in time the BBC is reporting what everybody watching the war on Yemen already knew. Al-Qaeda is fighting together Saudi and other Gulf troops in their assault on the city of Taiz.

Since 9/11 the "western" public has been conditioned to see Al-Qaeda as the evil enemy. I do not think that it is possible to eradicate that within a few weeks or month.

With the push for the cessation of hostilities the Russian/Syrian side has won a major point in the public relation position. It is becoming clear to even average "western" reader that they are fighting real terrorists while the U.S. and its allies support at least associates to terrorists, if not the terrorists themselves.


(Sorry for light posting. I am busy.)

Posted by b on February 24, 2016 at 19:25 UTC | Permalink


@(Sorry for light posting. I am busy.)

That´s Ok. That´ll give me some time to have a wank. Havn´t been twanging my wire for some time and i don't know if it´s age-related or anything but to be able to pull it off would really make me feel better.

That and a nice walk down to the pond to feed the duck´s. Ok. That was some digression but i had to have it off my chest, now where were we?

Posted by: rufus magister | Feb 24 2016 19:44 utc | 1

First off, why isn't the evil US Empire included in the 'other terrorist organisations' agreement re Syria ? What's that, terrorist organisations must be approved by the UN council ? If the worlds biggest terrorist can set up terrorist designation nominations excluding itself, then the agreement is a stupid farce.

And just yesterday John Kerry said that Syria should be partitioned !!!! The US is the greatest threat to Syria now more than ever, and even openly admitted. How the fuck can you have a peace agreement with pure evil who has plans to break up the country.


Of course the US can't openly say that ISIL and Al Qaeda cannot be attacked. That's just too easy. But any Russian bombing of them can easily easily be lied by saying moderates are being killed, and Russians are clearly aggressors destroying the 'peace process'. There is no PR victory there. At least in the West.
Sure small amounts of people are catching on to the obvious US support for its proxy terrorists, but the vast majority of people are willingly brainwashed by war criminal Western media.

Russia trying to win PR this battle was originated with their attempt to create an alliance with the evil US Empire and it's puppets fighting ISIL. But that turned out to be a predictable PR disaster for Russia, since the MSM are such lying, despicable, cowardly, war criminal whores of the US Empire.

And this latest UN 'agreement' is just another tactic in that PA battle which will also be a loser for Russia, at least in the West as well.

Posted by: tom | Feb 24 2016 19:53 utc | 2

The fact that Kerry is advertising a US plan B indicates an expectation that the ceasefire will fail. It would be no surprise if the US accused Russia of violating the agreement whether Russia does or does not. The question is why would Putin, considering the US' history of double crossing Russia, negotiate a ceasefire while on the brink of victory? Surely there is something deeper going on behind the scenes.

Posted by: yellowsnapdragon | Feb 24 2016 20:28 utc | 3

yes, it's possible that Russia was itself interested in the deal because they hope it will help isolate extremists and disarm everybody else.

But, more plausible is this: the US threatened to green-light the invasion by Turkey and KSA if Putin doesn't halt his assault on Aleppo.

This way, Washington hopes to have a leverage on the political future of Syria. Or they could freeze the conflict, leaving Syria defacto fragmented (which was the initial goal anyway).

Another important point: the mujahedeen have been a US tool against the USSR and later Russia and its allies since the 80s. First Afghanistan, then Bosnia and other places, now Iraq, Syria and Central Asia.

Only some "rogue mujahedeen" believe they can fight the US, but these get hit by the next drone strike.

Also, keep in mind that "Al Quaeda" is a term coined by the US: it means "the base", but more specifically "the database": the database of mujahedeen fighting US proxy wars. Very simple.

If required, you can even use some of these to stage attacks on your own skyscrapers, to legitimize your own over-seas engagement. Again, very simple.

The problem in Syria was this: if the mujahedeen are now officially your "team", then there is no legit reason for the US to intervene in Syria itself. Solution: you come up with a group even more evil... Daesh.

Do some glossy videos (without actual gore) for prime time TV and voilà... Very simple.

Posted by: Frank | Feb 24 2016 20:34 utc | 4

I've asked again and again at numerous venues why the omission of the extremely important descriptive word partial for what was negotiated and agreed is a partial ceasefire!! Anyone have an answer or does nobody give a damn?

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 24 2016 20:36 utc | 5

thanks b... i am not as convinced as you of people waking up to the usa's duplicitous role here and elsewhere.. i tend to see it like tom @2.. i bet that russia does too, but they are working as best they can to lay bare what is fairly clear for more people to see.. the msm will continue to be the back stop for the evil empire.. why would they function in any other role, especially given the history for so long? it is propaganda and it will continue. i don't agree with toms conclusion however as i think russia is smarter then that.. well - that is my hope anyway..

Posted by: james | Feb 24 2016 20:37 utc | 6

@5 karlof1.. i think the devil is in the details... both sides can claim whatever they wish if they so choose... partial ceasefire is not a concept the black and white world of reporting will want to get it's head around.. instead it is will be russia ignored the ceasefire... that seems obvious at this point.. in this regard it just looks like a frame up to blame russia..

Posted by: james | Feb 24 2016 20:39 utc | 7

"Partial ceasefire": this is the ideal situation, because it means the US can pressure Damascus/Moscow both politically (to include its SDF forces in the political process) while at the same time continue to target them militarily (via the mujahedeen and Daesh).

However, this dirty "other war" won't get any media attention in the future (same as in Yemen), that's why the US-controlled media simply ignores it and talks about a "ceasefire".

Posted by: Frank | Feb 24 2016 21:05 utc | 8

james: ... frame up to blame russia..

That's why Putin gave his speech. To try to head off the blame game by showing Russia's commitment to peace and a political process.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 24 2016 21:10 utc | 9

I see this as a humanitarian gesture on the part of Putin.

The US and its allies will have an opportunity to get their embed resources out before anyone that is left gets taken out but Putin and the Syrian allied forces.

Has Russia been in Syria for 6 months yet? They should have the job done in less than a year.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Feb 24 2016 21:12 utc | 10

b said: "With the push for the cessation of hostilities the Russian/Syrian side has won a major point in the public relation position."

So Western MSM is now promoting the Russian/Syrian view?
Dream on.

Posted by: From The Hague | Feb 24 2016 21:15 utc | 11

Remember those crazy ceasefires when Donbass was winning.

Posted by: From The Hague | Feb 24 2016 21:42 utc | 12

Russian president appears to be investing political capital in making truce a reality | The Guardian |

Evem BBC reporter ms Doucet gave a clear statement yesterday that Putin can claim credit for this moment of a possible cessation of hostilities brought about by Russian military intervention. Where the West failed, Putin wants every world leader to know who brought about this turn-around in Syria. Qatar lost in an earlier stage, president Erdogan is a BIG loser of political clout and King Salman will follow soon.

The developments in Lebanon shows a strenghtening of Hezbollah and Saudi Arabia pulling out funds to support military modernization. Both in the UAE and in Saudi Arabia, US citizens or persons with two nationalities have been detained on terrorism charges, put in solitary confinement with harsh treatment. According to a new UN report, an accusation of torture with treatment similar to US prison camps Guatanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib.

Posted by: Oui | Feb 24 2016 21:54 utc | 13

but the grey lady also said......"But instead of attacking the Islamic State, Russia went after Western allies in the Syrian opposition, confirming its unreliable status to Western governments." That article is all over the place imho

Posted by: notlurking | Feb 24 2016 21:57 utc | 15

here is another article from some retard at the guardian.. "John Kerry says partition of Syria could be part of ‘plan B’ if peace talks fail".. the propaganda is pretty impressive... who reads this shit anyway?

Posted by: james | Feb 24 2016 22:08 utc | 16

@15 The writer may have started with good intentions. Then the editors got at it.

Posted by: dh | Feb 24 2016 22:08 utc | 17


You did and I want to thank you for being brave enough to do so and return the info to the rest us not so brave;)I'm glad it did you no harm.

Thanks b

Posted by: jo6pac | Feb 24 2016 22:14 utc | 18

A light posting from Moon of Alabama > a typical heavy "posting" from the British Bullshitting Corporation or The New York Propaganda Rhymes.

No need to apologise, B!

Posted by: Jen | Feb 24 2016 22:24 utc | 20


I think you are being optimistic wrt Western Media and the 'average western reader'.

By and large, MSM is sticking/will stick with the distinction between 'moderate rebels' and 'terr0rists'. And MSM's slanted reporting doesn't come close to connecting the dots wrt how the war started, who is supporting al Nusra and ISIS, etc.

I would be very surprised if MSM even mentions the - now discredited - USA attempt to push the 'big lie': that Russia is only supporting Assad, NOT attacking extremists.

<> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <>

The fact that 'moderate rebels' and terr0rists/extremists operate in close proximity only means that deaths of peaceful 'moderate rebels' will be blamed on Russia. Just as the bombing of hospitals and the flood of refugees from Aleppo have been.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 24 2016 22:36 utc | 21

A big get that up you SKY, CNN, BBC stenographers. Its what happens when you try to sell a piece of shit as a piece of furniture for half a decade...sooner or later, no ones buying. The US are the bad guys lurking out in the barkyard of this conflict, but I guess the editors of much of the western press aren't even reading what they are broadcasting these long as it anti-Ruski, all good.

Posted by: MadMax2 | Feb 24 2016 23:07 utc | 22

So there you go... turns out Kerry's Plan B was ZATO's Plan A all along. Hopefully this is no surprise to Putin, Assad nor anyone here.

Posted by: xLemming | Feb 24 2016 23:09 utc | 23

@22 xL

US plans new military bases in Iraq’s Anbar province

On Wednesday, an Iraqi military source said that the United States had decided to build new military bases in Iraq’s Anbar Province allegedly to counter ISIS.

The military source also said that the two bases would be set up in the Hamarah region of Fallujah city and in areas close to the Iraqi-Syria border.

“The US military claims the increased presence of its troops in the province is in line with countering the rising influence of ISIS,” a source from the Anbar Operation Command said.

The Iraqis sound like spectators in their own country, watching the US to see what's going to happen. The US' Plans A-Z are just PR covers for the underlying, ongoing operations ... endless war abroad - in North Africa, the Middle East - now branching out to East Asia ... and the Asset bubble for Wall Street at home. Obama's Plan is just to hold it all together until he can get out the backdoor, and then good luck to the Hil or the Donald, however that bubble bursts. No thought wasted on the ordinary inhabitants of Syria, the USA, or the world at large.

Posted by: jfl | Feb 24 2016 23:45 utc | 24

Failure of cease fire = partition This makes no sense as any effective partition would follow a successful cease fire and a partition absent cease fire is just a stalemate along the battle lines.
However, Assad would probably welcome a Kurdish buffer zone between him and Turkey.
Partitioning off a Suni (caliphate??) zone is to expand and continue the war everywhere throughout the region.

Posted by: YY | Feb 25 2016 0:04 utc | 25

A ceasefire seems a very good idea. One possibility is that it works to some extend. As we know, government and friends (Putin nods his head slightly) are somewhat stretched if not overstretched. This is a war on hundred fronts, and you cannot have your better troops everywhere, and Russian air force cannot be everywhere. Right now there is a crisis on the supply route for Aleppo, the last time it happened it took two weeks to resolve, now the war machinery seems to work better, perhaps it will take a week. In a perfect world, truces could be arranged in a number of places allowing to launch a serious offensive against ISIL and the "moderate goat" who colluded with ISIS in the attack on Khanasser route. What is needed is reaching Euphrates and connecting with the main "SDA" cantons.

The second possibility is that the ceasefire will not work. A potential problem is that Russia is always blamed, unless this is a tropical storm that demolished Fiji (I guess all writers from Russia vilification department were too busy with other topics). However, this is a bit harder to pull out in Syria than in Ukraine. For starters, Assad and Putin have a good case that this would be stabbing them in the back as they deliver blows to ISIS. Second, the putative good characters have a misfortune of not being plucky Europeans dreaming of availing themselves of reforms and Western values but instead they are straight from Hollywood stable of black characters, you know, unkempt Middle Eastern types who try to visit us asking for more help, which provokes Paul Rand to shouting "there are jihadists in our pool!".

Most importantly, what Russia needs to do is to whack Turkey so it would stop shelling, brazenly deliver weapons etc. Erdogan will not meekly surrender on those points. I doubt that it would escalate seriously, but Russia has to prepare it well militarily and diplomatically. On PR front, Turkey should become seriously isolated when it happens, and Erdogan is still perfecting his rendering of the black character role of "megalomaniac Middle Eastern despot".

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Feb 25 2016 0:19 utc | 26


Apparently you read this shit! It seems after all this time some people would recognize diplomatic posturing, this time aimed at Assad to show him his limited options and push him to submit to this ceasefire plan. Assad is now singing the correct song and this posture will relax and be forgotten just as the threat by the KSA to introduce SAMs will fade away now that Russia is singing in harmony with the Hegemon.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Feb 25 2016 0:31 utc | 27

rhetorical questions baffling simple brains... why am i not surprised..stopped clock is always correct twice a day... sooner or later wow is going to wow us with his brilliance..

Posted by: james | Feb 25 2016 0:47 utc | 28

The US Empire of Mendacity had its CIA create Al Qaeda in Afghanistan and has aided and abetted it ever since.

The Empire of Mendacity supports terrorism and therefore should immediately start bombing itself.

Posted by: AriusArmenian | Feb 25 2016 0:52 utc | 29

Anyone else having trouble connecting to Syper?

Posted by: midan | Feb 25 2016 1:19 utc | 30


Yes. Has been saying "pageok" all day.

Posted by: upsetter | Feb 25 2016 1:46 utc | 31

With this ceasefire I think Russia is giving some 'trust building' signs to give a chance to the supporters of the rebels to find a face saving exit, as the continuation of the bombing would totally eradicate the rebels and will exclude Turkey and Saudi from any role in the Syrian negotiation.
Turkey and Saudi Arabia have applauded to the
It is also an opportunity for Russia to throw the rebels and Al Nusra/ISIS at each other throats, thus obliging the rebels to look for the Russian and Syrian army's protection as it is clear that Turkey and Saudi Arabia won't rescue them.
It could be a major political victory for Russia opening the path to resolution.
If that ceasefire holds, Russia will move into the next step that involve reconciliations between the non-Islamist rebels and the Syrian government to allow the opposition to participate in the parliamentary elections announced for April.

If it does not hold and the blame is on the rebel fighters then Russia will get the green light from the USA to restart bombing rebel areas and eradicate them.
I believe Turkey and Saudi Arabia will do all they can to prevent the rebels from breaking the ceasefire. It won't be easy as the rebels are intermixed with Al Nusra and ISIS and different factions in Saudi Arabia and Turkey are on their side.
It is a very critical test for Saudi Arabia and Turkey if they want to stay relevant in the region
A brilliant move from Kerry-Lavrov.

Posted by: virgile | Feb 25 2016 1:59 utc | 32

Again, impersonated at 1. I never feed ducks.

Posted by: rufus magister | Feb 25 2016 2:05 utc | 33


You don't seem to understand that this cease fire deal is the prelude to the adoption of the UN resolution that will bring about a Transitional Government in Syria not more phony Assad elections under sectarian rule.

Putin is proposing a new UN resolution and perhaps that will clarify what major changes in the Syrian government are planned.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Feb 25 2016 2:23 utc | 34

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Feb 24, 2016 9:23:13 PM | 33

I doubt very much that Bashar al Assad would have announced the parliamentary elections without Putin's approval.
You don't seem to understand that the parliamentary democratic election is the first step to the transition government that the UN resolution is calling for.
Its timing will put pressure on the opposition to propose candidates.

Posted by: virgile | Feb 25 2016 3:15 utc | 35

Chuck: Are You Gonna Scream With Anna Wu
Anna Wu: (Anna Screaming)
Anna Wu: Anna Screaming
Chuck: Are You Gotta Scream With Anna Wu
Anna Wu: (Anna Screams)
Anna Wu: Anna Screams
Shandi Screams: No
Shandi Screams: Noooooooooooo
Shandi Screams: Nooooooooooo
Shandi Screams: Nooooooooo
Mary Jane Watson: (Screaming)
Mary Jane: (Screaming)

Posted by: ioana screaming | Feb 25 2016 3:38 utc | 36

They must be some deal made behind the doors as I don't see any relevant action in the realization of the ceasefire beside Putin 's hour of glory for being able to force it on every party. I don't think that Putin give a damn a bout the partition of Syria in the same way he does not about Ukraine as long as the Russian interests and security are protected.It seems obvious to me that stopping a war when we are winning it to allow respite to his adversaries is ludicrous.Aleppo is essential to Syria and a huge symbol in the battle against terrorists.By allowing them to reorganize themselves before they being totally neutralized Putin is making a strategic mistake unless he knows something we does not and a deal has been broke behind the scene.

To me it seems that Putin is going along with the partition of the middle east or at least not opposing it.It is pretty clear that The us will never destroy Daesh as they need it as their ultimate threat to justify their antiterrorist activities, actions in the middle east, military-complex and security state.So Putin declaring a truce juts now without making sure Assad took back most of his Syrian territory is very sketchy.Maybe Putin is forcing his legitimacy around the world on purpose by doing this to show his good will knowing full well the united states and its allies won't follow their part of the bargain.It would be a pretty smart move if he was already preparing his next move in the war against the terrorists.But is it what Putin is after??? Nations have only interests and I won't expect Putin to do more than what is necessary to protect his own.If Putin didn't recognize the new republics in eastern Ukraine I don't see him fighting for Syria if he got what he wants.Maybe he did.

I can see the disappointment of the Syrian people and Al Assad at This point with all this and a clear misunderstanding between Damascus and Moscow.But Can Assad do anything ?

At this point Russia is military dominant over the us and the middle eats is a mess so it is rather unlikely that The united state will engage themselves military in Syria especially since the S-300 and the Russia naval fleet outmanoeuvred The us Military action so dominantly. The United States never Started a War they could not win.Furthermore The pacific is now the center of the world and it is where the smart faction of the US elite is focusing on to keep their domination on the world.In this situation it is therefore probable that a deal could be made if the smart imperialist overcome the crazy one but then again I have trouble believing it(those neocons are insane). But who knows? after all, The Iran deal Has been made and despite the prevailing hate of Russia in the American elite some common sens might prevail.The problem is what will be left of Syria after a deal between the two best army in the world...and this is what saddens me.with a Syria broken in piece and an opposition, with probably the Muslim brotherhood in it, bankrolled by The US Syria future does not look bright.

Posted by: lebretteurfredonnant | Feb 25 2016 3:39 utc | 37

Chuck: Are You Gonna Scream With Anna Wu
Anna Wu: (Screaming)
Anna Wu: Screaming
Chuck: Are You Gotta Scream With Anna Wu
Anna Wu: (Screams)
Anna Wu: Screams
Shandi Screams: No
Shandi Screams: Noooooooooooooooo
Shandi Screams: Nooooooooooooooo
Shandi Screams: Nooooooooooooo
Mary Jane Watson: (Screaming)
Mary Jane: (Screaming)

Posted by: ioana screaming | Feb 25 2016 3:41 utc | 38

I just have to link this here on that occasion: it's (completely in german) a german semi-subversive crowdfunded journalist whose popularity mostly stems from asking "naive" questions at the german federal press conferences. He's asking whether the german government is at war not only with isis, but also with al-nusra, referring to a statement the blonde woman made some weeks ago ("this is a war against terrorism").
Everyone takes his turn at answering going from "it's not war", "yes I said it's war, but it's not" "we're in a fight, not a war" and so on. When the guy asks "ok, if it's not war, then is germany fighting al-nusra, since they're terrorists?" answers are like "we've already said everything" and so on. This is pretty cool. How they're lavishing says "no, we support al-nusra" much more impressively than if they all just would plainly admit it.
I usually think the guy is a bit too moderate, but here he's pulled off a great one.
Don't be fooled by the admittedly extremely hot Ms Chabli, I guess they picked her for the very purpose that no one listens to what she speaks ;-).
Sorry this is only in german, but the faces and tones of their voices pretty much speak for themselves, I guess.

Posted by: radiator | Feb 25 2016 4:03 utc | 39

I don't fully understand all the lack of faith in Russia all of a sudden. Syria has formally agreed to the agreement. Shoygu just went to Tehran (I speculate this might be to balance Churkin's highly improper statements, which I still don't understand). Iran and Syria are still plenty close to Russia.

I've seen the analogy made that this ceasefire is like the ceasefire in Donbass, just when NAF was kicking butt, so the criticism goes. But analysis of that situation provides plenty of reasons for the halt in the counter-offensive, and what we see remaining is Minsk 2, which no hostile player has been able to overcome for even one moment, not by even one centimeter. The US over time has simply been forced to accept it. It remains today the road map to solve Ukraine.

This agreement in Syria will be the similar road map to solve Syria. The US can't break this agreement, the US is caught in it, like a fly in a spider web. Assets that the US prizes will be "exfiltrated", the rest will die under Syrian guns, or pass through the rehabilitation process and become law-abiding. Elections will occur, Assad will win, there will be a political opposition, everyone unauthorized in the desert with guns will die. Turkey and Saudi are powerless here. This is a UN-sanctified operation now, with the US on board. Like a fly in the web.

None of this was done for the PR. Russia knows what we all know, that it simpy doesn't matter what lies the US population is told about Russia, Russian plans proceed apace. Military action and diplomatic negotiations continue unabated, hand in hand as is the Russian way of war. Anyone who can't see what Russia can achieve through negotiating simply hasn't been paying attention in the last few years.

The killing is beginning to stop in Syria. Not there yet, but coming eventually. Endless boredom of endless negotiations is the future. Popcorn sales will plummet. And families will go back to raising their children in peace. The Kurds will get sorted out. Golan will get sorted out. The US will be restrained, caught in the web. All this will take time, and along the way the killing will stop. As for the world, we all just moved a large step closer to the rule of law.

Posted by: Grieved | Feb 25 2016 4:08 utc | 40

This threat by Kerry to partition Syria if Russia does not cooperate with the US's interpretation of the "cessation of hostilities" agreement has to be taken very seriously. Kerry's words are a real threat. Two points that the Russians clearly understand.

1. Israel has made clear on numerous occasions over the last five decades especially in recent months that it is their policy to fragment Arab nations into smaller units. They succeeded in Sudan, sort of. They are currently working on Iraq and Syria.

2. Zionist capitalist and financiers have provided hundreds of millions and even billions of dollars into the American political system. Those dollars have elected numerous Congress people and US presidents. Those elected make up a very powerful political force in the US.

Russia must tread carefully. Kerry can carry out his threat. The US would pay a heavy price for fragmenting Syria but the big money behind the scenes would find this price acceptable (after all, it would be the US to pay it, not Israel). That is a big stick Kerry is carrying given his willingness to sacrifice US national interests on Israel's behalf.

Posted by: ToivoS | Feb 25 2016 4:20 utc | 41


*First off, why isn't the evil US Empire included in the 'other terrorist organisations' agreement re Syria ? *

there's a tacit agreement so that russian air force would skip bombing areas where murkkan special forces operates.

Posted by: denk | Feb 25 2016 4:28 utc | 42

@38 Grieved

I would like to believe that we are returning to the rule of law but that would mean trials for war crimes by US puppets and that is unlikely, given the brainwashed that I come into contact with. There is just not the common understanding of a multi-polar world......the USA could be described as "culturally deprived" and its part of the program by the global plutocrats so the American public can be manipulated by the media to hate everything that isn't part of the white man in natural control myth.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Feb 25 2016 4:43 utc | 43

@38 - the killing won't stop - it'll just be delayed !!
There's no way the wahabist terrorists will relax for the next 10 years. They'll keep car and vest bombing civilians. Are the past 15 years in Iraq/Af-Pak not evidence enough?

Syria+Russia will have fewer moves that they can make with foreign USA co-opted troops squatting in barracks near Raqqa, etc. In the meantime, I wouldn't be surprised if other fronts are opened to compound the ruskies' and their affiliates.
Kashmir's been calm lately

Posted by: aaaaaa | Feb 25 2016 6:01 utc | 44

Syria's opposition indicated on Wednesday it was ready for a two-week truce in Syria, saying it was a chance to test the seriousness of the other side's commitment to a U.S.-Russian plan for a cessation of hostilities.

Combatants are required to say whether they will agree to the "cessation of hostilities" in the five-year war by noon on Friday (1000 GMT), and to halt fighting on Saturday. The United Nations hopes the planned halt will provide a breathing space for Syrian peace talks to resume.

A statement seen by Reuters from the Saudi-backed High Negotiations Committee, which groups political and armed opponents of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, said it "views a temporary two-week truce as a chance to establish how serious the other side is in committing to the points of the agreement."

But it objected to Russia being a guarantor of the truce alongside the United States, saying Russia was a direct party to the conflict, and that the plan ignored the role Assad allies Russia and Iran were playing.

Posted by: okie farmer | Feb 25 2016 6:09 utc | 45

Companies from 20 countries are involved in the supply chain of components that end up in Islamic State explosives, a study found on Thursday, suggesting governments and firms need to do more to track the flow of cables, chemicals and other equipment.

The European Union-mandated study showed that 51 companies from countries including Turkey, Brazil, and the United States produced, sold or received the more than 700 components used by Islamic State to build improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

IEDs are now being produced on a "quasi-industrial scale" by the militant group, which uses both industrial components that are regulated and widely available equipment such as fertiliser chemicals and mobile phones, according to Conflict Armament Research (CAR), which undertook the 20-month study.

Islamic State controls large swathes of Iraq and Syria. NATO member Turkey shares borders with both countries and has stepped up security to prevent the flow of weapons and insurgents to the hardline Sunni group.

A total of 13 Turkish firms were found to be involved in the supply chain, the most in any one country. That was followed by India with seven.

"These findings support growing international awareness that IS forces in Iraq and Syria are very much self-sustaining — acquiring weapons and strategic goods, such as IED components, locally and with ease," said James Bevan, CAR's executive director.

Posted by: okie farmer | Feb 25 2016 6:20 utc | 46

from the Reuters link above:
Bevan said the Turkish government refused to cooperate with CAR's investigation so the group was not able to determine the efficacy of Ankara's regulations regarding the tracking of components.

Turkish government officials did not reply to requests for comment.

CAR gained access to the components through partners including the Washington-backed Kurdish YPG in Syria, the Iraqi Federal Police, the Kurdistan Region Security Council and forces of the Kurdistan Regional Government.

The components were recovered during major battles around the Iraqi towns of al Rabia, Kirkuk, Mosul, and Tikrit and the Syrian town of Kobani.

Posted by: okie farmer | Feb 25 2016 6:25 utc | 47

I think the USA has accepted that it's fighting a losing battle in Syria. They are now in damage control mode since the facts don't support their narrative. Kerry is trying to keep the eggs in his basket intact by saying that Syria can be divided. I believe the Russians and their allies have won this battle but not the larger war. Just over the horizon is another battle looming, this will be between the west against China, Russia, Iran and other rag tags. Interesting times we live in.

Posted by: Reverend Spooner | Feb 25 2016 7:06 utc | 48

Re: Posted by: Piotr Berman | Feb 24, 2016 7:19:51 PM | 25

I've said it before many times, and I'll say it again. Russia needs to pursue a strategy with Turkey of isolating Erdogan and his clique as much as possible.

Sink all the ISIS oil carrying ships for a start - they're all owned by Erdogan's 2 sons!

Get Chechen jihadis (operating with Russian backing) to blow up a few Calik Holding Energy plants - closely tied to Erdogan.

Give information to Italian authorities, and leak oodles of information to Italian media, about the wrongdoing, theft, fraud and embezzlement of the Erdogan son now on charges in Italy.

Do all these things and really target and weaken the problem - which is the Erdogan mafia clique - not the average Turk in the street.

Posted by: Julian | Feb 25 2016 7:08 utc | 49

The turks have been behaving quite rashly and unpredictable for some time now and made it clear that a red line of theirs is not to let Azaz (and what remaining few kilometers are left to the turkish border) fall into the hands of the Syrian regime and the kurds. I'm of the impression that this deal was proposed by the russians to the americans in order for them to pacify the turks, as a "way out" for the Obama administration from being involuntarily dragged into a regional war (as was the case a few years back).

True, if correctly implemented, it does not stop the bombs being dropped on Al-Nusra, ISIS or any of their allies elsewhere. But with Latakia province almost purged of rebels and the connection between Turkey and aleppo province virtually severed, those areas shouldn't be a nuisance in the future.

The SAA/russians should simply work their way around areas which the turks find most sensitive, for now, and move eastward into ISIS territory (something the West can't really object to).

The question is whether the turks and the saudis will really agree to this (I'm guessing they won't, but this is more about the russians trying to influence the americans)?

Posted by: never mind | Feb 25 2016 7:12 utc | 50

@42,43, 44, 45 okie farmer

With regard to the Reuters link you quote, what I find curious is: There are about 28 paragraphs in that article, most of which are only one sentence long, yet it is by two people with "(Additional reporting by Tom Perry, Arshad Mohammed, Humeyra Pamuk, Tulay Karadeniz, John Davison, Ali Abdelatti, Michelle Nichols, Tom Miles and Dmitry Solovyov; Writing by Tom Perry, Giles Elgood and Peter Cooney; Editing by Philippa Fletcher and Andrew Hay)". Seems like a lot of 'resources' went into it?

Posted by: qwerky | Feb 25 2016 7:34 utc | 51


Posted by: okie farmer | Feb 25 2016 9:19 utc | 52

This cessation of hostilities is nothing more than the preparations for a resumption of hostilities, just with larger actors coming onto the stage. (Turkey and KSA)

Many of the people I work with in Istanbul have told me that the economy in Turkey will spiral downwards this year. Many of their companies have either started to or will lay off anywhere between 7-15% of their workforces in the next six months. I've been here for many years already and never have I heard such pronouncements from so many different individuals at the same time.

What better distraction from a crumbling economy than a new war? The Sultan decided to continue governing from an increasingly militant nationalist position, so enflaming new tensions in the south will further strengthen that position.

Everyone is stockpiling sigint assets and munitions in the general vicinity.

My predictions for the next month are as follows:

-- cessation of hostilities fails miserable once Saudi and Turkey have positioned their forces
-- Saudi begins bombing runs in Syria, eventually bombing SAA forces
-- Ground interventions from the Turkish border, attempting to seize 10-20km along the entire border with Saudi air support
-- Ground intervention through Jordan
-- Sprint for the oil rich eastern portions of Syria, and time for Sunnistan
-- Russian and Syrian aviation bomb land forces
-- Turks close the Bosporus due to hostilities
-- oil price spikes $20/barrel (Putin smiles/ KSA Smiles / America Smiles)

And the war goes on... :((

Posted by: In Istanbul | Feb 25 2016 10:24 utc | 53

According to the Guaardian which let's face it is hardly a reliable purveyor of facts, Vlad the retailer has announced he is personally taking control of Syrian ceasefire ceasefire negotiations.

If tue speculation as to why this is doesn't suggest many good things could be at the root of it.
The article states:

The Russian president spoke by phone to leaders in Iran, Saudi Arabia, Israel and Syria in an attempt to garner support for the ceasefire, and explain its complex details.

I realise that many put great faith in Vlad's abilities but I hafta say I cannot see anything good for Syrians much less Palestinians, coming from Vlad having a jaw jaw with netyahoo and his sociopathic band of Zionist assholes.

The best spin that could be put on this is that Vlad has lost faith in his professional negotiators and is pulling out the old "if you want something done right do it yerself" riff - that suggest Vlad thinks his team has screwed the pooch.
Alternatively maybe Vlad has decided to personally pick up the brown envelopes full of the folding stuff OR the whole story is an Olivetti from beginning to end, whose sole purpose is to discredit Russia. We shall see eh

Posted by: Debs is dead | Feb 25 2016 12:18 utc | 55

As long as the US has the evil goal "Assad must go" the horror goes on.

So the only hope is Trump?

Posted by: From The Hague | Feb 25 2016 12:33 utc | 56

Posted by: In Istanbul | Feb 25, 2016 5:24:36 AM

If Erdogan decided to go to war, there will be a military coup as the Turkish army is totally reluctant to such a move.
It is much simpler than you make it.

Posted by: virgile | Feb 25 2016 13:29 utc | 57

Gaza in dark-swan freefall, Israel admits:

Read it! They'll be selling their children's body parts soon.

Posted by: Chipnik | Feb 25 2016 13:34 utc | 58

@Debs 53 - it's quite natural that Putin, not the foreign minister, calls the relevant heads of State in the region (excluding Turkey, of course) to inform them; we can confidently assume he also called Abdullah of Jordan, although not reported;

Posted by: claudio | Feb 25 2016 14:02 utc | 59

Chipnik says:

They'll be selling their children's body parts soon

nah, the body snatchers have that covered...

Donald Boström, a Swedish photographer who worked in the West Bank in 1992, was tipped off by UN officials to follow the bloody trail of Israeli soldiers who had kidnapped young Palestinians and returned their dead bodies five days later “with a slit from the abdomen up to the chin.”

Posted by: john | Feb 25 2016 14:15 utc | 60

56;You mean Palestinian body parts,correct?
The hell bitch says ;We've been in Korea,Japan and Germany for 60 years,comparing them to Libya.What a retard.Seriously.
Yes,Trump is our only salvation from Zion.If one can't see the hatred and fear from the Ziomonsters towards Trump,every day,in every MSM lying rag,one is blind.

Posted by: dahoit | Feb 25 2016 14:16 utc | 61

good news although eu parliament has no executive power at all

Posted by: Mina | Feb 25 2016 14:17 utc | 62

Why Moscow Holds the Cards in Syria

In the end, a call for more sanctions against Russia.

Posted by: Les | Feb 25 2016 16:31 utc | 63

@61 les... i agree... listen to josh earnest - wh press sec. saying russia isn't abiding by minsk 2, but good ship lollipop porkosenko is doing everything right... same deal is going to happen here - russia will be blamed for the ceasefire in syria not working... same plan all along - isolate and sanction russia... it is what a falling apart unipolar vision of itself country does..

Posted by: james | Feb 25 2016 17:08 utc | 64

Yeah I gotta agree w/ James @62, when have the neocons ever given up on anything?vAs self-styled masters of the universe, their egos won't let them. Never mind the psychopathy.Add to that what we know about the ceasefires in Ukraine and the never ending duplicity of US "diplomacy" and one can not help but wonder how this will be used to achieve their goals wrt Syria. They never give up on their long term plans, just switch tactics as necessary. And the propaganda that goes with it. I have to think Russia is prepared to counter or at least confront whatever tricks the US & co. have up their sleeve, I'd be surprised if the US DIDN'T use the ceasefire for nefarious purposes.

Also today, a leaked "secret" letter by a dozen or so Saudi generals urging King Salman not to engage the military in Syria, warning of dire consequences ala instability in the kingdom. Also getting their asses kicked by rag tag Yemenis likely has something to do with it.

Posted by: Colinjames | Feb 25 2016 17:47 utc | 65

Psychohistorian @ 41,

What do you call a multipolar dictatorship? An oligarchy.

How is a world of free sovereign nations different from a global oligarchy?
Supranational institutions do NOT run their monetary system, create their investment credits, or make their trade decisions.

Which one can ordinary citizens get control of thru confiscation & redistribution, thru break up of the large banks, thru a decentralization of the media?

More hands on the leash of oligarchy only co-opts more nations into it. This is not multi-polar power.

Posted by: Penelope | Feb 25 2016 18:28 utc | 66

What power does the US have actually to partition Syria? The government is lawful, and will be reconstituted soon by globally scrutinized elections. Can the US call on the UN to help it partition the country, against the will of the people and their government? Against the opposition of Russia, Iran, Hezbollah and, oh yes, the lawful military of the nation? And a political action? Against Russian negotiators?

It's embarrassing for Kerry even to strut such a piece of empty propaganda, aimed for domestic consumption.

Further, who believes that Erdogan holds trump cards, sitting largely isolated now from the west, with a large military but no support from NATO and facing a vastly larger task of invading Syria? And the shelling on the border hasn't crossed any red lines of the forces in the theater yet - we'll know it if Turkey actually crosses a real one. Who can doubt that a real incursion will be stopped very quickly?

And Saudi sends a few more planes. Planes. The one thing you don't want to send into Syria right now unless it's okay with the locals.

I'm honestly having trouble seeing that anything has really changed in the field. The destruction of the terrorists continues unabated. Everything else, is now formally political. The theater is clarified, as the Russians wanted from day one, offering immediately to partner with (i.e force to accountability) the US.

And the US is locked into communication with Russia, which gives the world frequent and luminous military briefings, and which has stated that it's warned the US that any wrong actions by the US will be revealed publicly, if Russia so chooses - as the hospital bombings already have been revealed. The Syrian command, bolstered by world-leading technology and some of the world's best intelligence networks, is seeing everything that moves. Where exactly will treachery find its stage? How will it apply leverage? Upon what? Syria is now a Petri dish, and everything is seen.

Important to distinguish between bluster for propaganda and face-saving purposes, and actual, physical capability - or incapacity.

Posted by: Grieved | Feb 25 2016 18:40 utc | 67

Yes (to b’s post) — I noted the words intermingled and interwoven (re. Al-Nusra/ISIS forces - and others, presumably ‘moderates’) in three MSM articles. This is a neat way, journo 101 style, of skirting around the fact that all the ‘active’ ‘rebels’ are fighting together on the same side. I mean, those words make it sound like they just are accidentally in the same spot or something! Dashed inconvenient I must say old chap! (harking back to imperialistic old-timer Brits.)

b: The readers .. note that the U.S. is actually supporting the terrorists it claimed to be fighting for the last 13 years.

As I have argued previously several times, Putin’s aim was from the beginning to force so-called “clarity” on the US and get them to admit their actions and stance and take it on, own it, or to back down. The second option prevails, as was 99% predictable. Why?

Besides the fact that US hypocrisy has reached heights so stellar it is noticed by many, the nitty-gritty is: Will the US and/or its allies, proxies (Turkey, KSA etc. - btw imho everybody is fed up with nutter Erdogan) take the risk of a direct confrontation with Russia? The answer is NO.

Note, the agreement as b has clearly described is not a cease fire or a ‘truce’ (which has many implications) but the cessation of hostilities (1) with exceptions. Not the same thing at all. The agreement explicity allows the ‘hostilities’ to continue, while now ‘framed internationally (UN)’ in a way that suits Syria and its allies, Russia as first actor; in fact ‘on paper’ it legitimises ‘war’ on certain parties. (Now defined as certain ‘terrorist’ groups.)

1. Term carries no legal implications afaik, a new invention, vague, etc.

Posted by: Noirette | Feb 25 2016 18:44 utc | 68

A couple of news stories folks might be interested in reading and watching -

Newly Translated WikiLeaks Saudi Cable: Overthrow the Syrian Regime, but Play Nice with Russia -

The Saudi's claim to have nuclear weapons -"

The Saker - Week 20 - A ceasefire and yet another huge victory for Russia -

Voltaire - How Turkey Supports the Jihadists -

Posted by: h... | Feb 25 2016 19:17 utc | 69

Noirette Yes, Pepe Escobar deals with the cessation of hostilities and other things Syrian here

Posted by: harry law | Feb 25 2016 19:35 utc | 70

Pussy Screaming: You Better Watch Out
Pussy Screaming: You Better Not Cry
Pussy Screaming: You Better Watch Out I'm Telling And You Why
Pussy Screaming: Santa Claus Is Coming To Town
Pussy Screaming: Earthe Earthe Gotting Earthe
Pussy Screaming: You Better Watch Out
Pussy Screaming: You Better Don't Cry
Pussy Screaming: You Better Watch Out I'm Telling And You Why
Pussy Screaming: Santa Claus Is Coming To Town
Pussy Screaming: Earth Earth Getting Earth
Mary Jane Watson: (Screaming)
Mary Jane: (Screaming)

Posted by: ioana screaming | Feb 25 2016 19:52 utc | 71

Grieved @40:

Thank you for this and previous statements, Grieved. You always express what I muddleheadedly think is the case, and I particularly appreciate your focus on the restoration of respect for international law. That is indeed the name of this game.

Posted by: juliania | Feb 25 2016 19:56 utc | 72

Stewie Griffin: I Do Not Agree Me Sir
Stewie Griffin: I Do Not Agree Sir
Stewie Griffin: I Do Agree Me Sir
Stewie Griffin: I Do Agree Sir
Mindy Robinson: (Mindy Screaming)
Mindy Robinson: Mindy Screaming
Meredith Vieira: (Meredith Screaming)
Meredith Vieira: Meredith Screaming
Mindy Robinson: (Mindy Screams)
Mindy Robinson: Mindy Screams
Meredith Vieira: (Meredith Screams)
Meredith Vieira: Meredith Screams
Mary Jane Watson: (Screaming)
Mary Jane: (Screaming)

Posted by: ioana screaming | Feb 25 2016 19:58 utc | 73

ToivoS @41:

The "big money behind the scene" is in trouble, or soon will be, and they know it even if we who foolishly think empires go on for ever don't. Is it still all about oil when oil is tuppence a bag and climate change is rushing upon us, not sneaking in on little cat feet? Is it still about anything money can buy?

In passing, with sound off, I caught sight of Bill Gates waving his arms around explaining something to Charlie Rose a night or two ago - what is it about big money other than the catastrophes it causes? The moving finger writes, and having written moves on.

Posted by: juliania | Feb 25 2016 20:15 utc | 74

Evidently the impersonator of rufus magister @1, as of oui earlier, has a sexual obsession. So easy to recognise.

The problem of the present cease-fire agreement is why Putin has agreed to it. In principle he would want to continue to victory. Which is not far away. mbrenner on SST suggests that it may be that there is fear that Erdogan may go over the top and invade Syria. Even if irrational. That sounds logical to me. Better to stop events for the moment, rather than let Erdogan launch a war where NATO would be drawn in.

Posted by: Laguerre | Feb 25 2016 21:29 utc | 75

It is truly stunning - after years of efforts and trillions of dollars, the United States is ALLIED WITH AL QAEDA. So far only Donald Trump is even tangentially addressing this issue - are the American people really so stupid that they are not outraged?

"We've always been at war with Eastasia."

Posted by: TG | Feb 25 2016 22:40 utc | 76

TG | Feb 25, 2016 5:40:38 PM | 75 after years of efforts and trillions of dollars, the United States is ALLIED WITH AL QAEDA. So far only Donald Trump is even tangentially addressing this issue - are the American people really so stupid that they are not outraged?

"We've always been at war with Eastasia."

Most Americans I encounter are fully on board with "Muslim Boogeymen terrorist meme". If they watch tv, that's the story they're buying. They are completely unaware of US support of AQ, AN, and etc.

Posted by: fast freddy | Feb 25 2016 22:55 utc | 77

'But, more plausible is this: the US threatened to green-light the invasion by Turkey and KSA if Putin doesn't halt his assault on Aleppo.'

Posted by: Frank | Feb 24, 2016 3:34:04 PM | 4

Putin aka Russia airforce isnt 'assaulting' Aleppo

Posted by: brian | Feb 26 2016 7:39 utc | 78

Posted by: ioana screaming | Feb 24, 2016 10:41:11 PM | 38

time to evict this screaming troll

Posted by: brian | Feb 26 2016 7:40 utc | 79

Deb: I realise that many put great faith in Vlad's abilities but I hafta say I cannot see anything good for Syrians much less Palestinians, coming from Vlad having a jaw jaw with netyahoo and his sociopathic band of Zionist assholes.

The best spin that could be put on this is that Vlad has lost faith in his professional negotiators and is pulling out the old "if you want something done right do it yerself" riff - that suggest Vlad thinks his team has screwed the pooch.


I do not understand what is the nature of Deb's misgivings. That ever impressionable Vladimir Vladimirovich would get confused after all those jaw-jaws and screw some deserving folks as a result?

First of all, VV always has excellent "message discipline". If the situation calls for it, he can talk total nonsense, or credible threats, or straight deal etc. There is never a question "what VV had in mind" (well, if it is unclear that means that he wishes it to be that way).

Second, it truly accelerates the process if the talks are man-to-man and not man <-> underling <-> underling <-> man.

Third, it sc...g Palestinians will take a while longer, this is "Fourth Seal" situation.


A remark to many: this is not a total war! Syria, Russia and Iran try to achieve their objective on limited budget.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Feb 26 2016 22:35 utc | 80

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