Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
February 07, 2016

Why Kerry Blames The Opposition For The Continuing Bombing In Syria

According to this report from Middle East Eye U.S. Secretary of State blamed the opposition for the continuing bombing in Syria:

US Secretary of State John Kerry told Syrian aid workers, hours after the Geneva peace talks fell apart, that the country should expect another three months of bombing that would “decimate” the opposition.

During a conversation on the sidelines of this week’s Syria donor conference in London, sources say, Kerry blamed the Syrian opposition for leaving the talks and paving the way for a joint offensive by the Syrian government and Russia on Aleppo.

“‘He said, ‘Don’t blame me – go and blame your opposition,’” one of the aid workers, who asked to remain anonymous to protect her organisation, told Middle East Eye.
...
"He said that basically, it was the opposition that didn’t want to negotiate and didn’t want a ceasefire, and they walked away,” the second of the aid workers told MEE in a separate conversation and also on the basis of anonymity.

“‘What do you want me to do? Go to war with Russia? Is that what you want?’” the aid worker said Kerry told her.

The hapless State Department spokesperson claimed that the story was wrong:

John Kirby Verified account @statedeptspox
@Charles_Lister Story wrong. @JohnKerry didn't blame oppo for collapse of talks, doesn't have comms w/regime & hasn't wavered on Asad.

But this lets me believe that the report of Kerry chastising the opposition is right on point:

U.S. Embassy Syria @USEmbassySyria
#SecKerry on bombardment of civilians in #Syria: This has to stop. But it’s not going to stop by walking away from the table or not engaging

So while the State Department spokesperson denies that the U.S. blames the opposition, another part of the State Department does exactly that: "it’s not going to stop by walking away from the table or not engaging". Kerry is clearly embarrassed that the Saudi opposition group ran away from the UN talks in Vienna. He should blame his "allies".

The Wall Street Journal says the opposition group ended the talks before they began on Turkish and Saudi orders:

The Syrian opposition abruptly withdrew from peace talks in Geneva this week under pressure from Saudi Arabia and Turkey, two of the main backers of the rebels, according to diplomats and at least a half-dozen opposition figures.

After sabotaging the talks the Saudis came out with an offer to send ground troops to invade Syria if the U.S. would take the command of such an operation. No one is taking that offer seriously. The Saudi troops who try to invade Yemen get beaten to pulp. The Saudis themselves say they had to closed 500 school and evacuate 12 villages with 7,000 people in Saudi Arabia because the Yemenis are now invading them. Their army has lots of expensive toys but is clearly not able to put them to use. The offer to send troops is simply to goad the U.S. into starting a war with Russia.

That is not going to work. The U.S. is now trying to find some end to the conflict in Syria. Someone finally told Kerry that Russia is not in a "quagmire" in Syria but is winning.  The U.S. is in a hurry now as it knows that it will have zero influence left on the issue should the Syrian government and Russia have the time to kill off the opposition. It needs a ceasefire to stay relevant. As Kerry says himself that "whining" about the situation and skipping negotiations will not help the opposition. It will kill it.

Secretary Kerry also called on the Russians to stop their bombing campaign in Aleppo province. But that contradicts the UN resolution 2254 under which the talks in Geneva are held. That resolution clearly calls for a continuation of the Russian and Syrian campaign: THE UNSC

[r]eiterates its call in resolution 2249 (2015) for Member States to prevent and suppress terrorist acts committed specifically by Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as Da’esh), Al-Nusra Front (ANF), and all other individuals, groups, undertakings, and entities associated with Al Qaeda or ISIL, and other terrorist groups, [...] and to eradicate the safe haven they have established over significant parts of Syria, and notes that the aforementioned ceasefire will not apply to offensive or defensive actions against these individuals, groups, undertakings and entities, as set forth in the 14 November 2015 ISSG Statement;

The insurgents in Aleppo province as well as in Idleb province are officially allied with the Nusra Front which is Al-Qaeda in Syria. They are clearly a target of the above resolution and thereby a legitimate target of Russian bombs.

Indeed those who criticize Kerry for blaming the opposition because it ran away from Geneva ignore the resolution. It is the plan the U.S. and Russia have agreed to follow. That plan ends the war in Syria in a ceasefire but only when the opposition agrees to one AND cuts all ties with al-Qaeda and ISIS. As the opposition, and its sponsors, are unwilling to do so the Syrian-Russian campaign against them will continue, as agreed upon by the UNSC, until their end.

Posted by b on February 7, 2016 at 15:59 UTC | Permalink

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Not only is it not over, an escalation of hostilities may well be at hand.


NATO gears up to enter Syrian conflict - M K Bhadrakumar
http://blogs.rediff.com/mkbhadrakumar/author/bhadrakumaranrediffmailcom/

“The two-day meeting of the defence ministers of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) beginning on Wednesday in Brussels promises to be a fateful event for the conflict in Syria and Middle East politics. The NATO has so far claimed a ‘hands-off’ approach toward the Syrian conflict. But that may be about to change…”

Posted by: pantaraxia | Feb 9 2016 17:46 utc | 101

jfl@91, harrylaw @97

the UNSC resolution that governs the battle against ISIS explicitly restates the primacy of the UN charter.... any invasion of Syria in defiance of the UN charter is an act of war.
All this means is that:

1) there is no authorization to act against the recognized government of Syria/Iraq;

2) ISIS territory that is "liberated" remains Syrian/Iraqi.


The UNSC 2249 "call" to fight ISIS means that Syrian permission is not necessary. Syria/Russia may disputes that but, US/UK/France will veto any UNSC clarification or condemnation.

As PavewayIV points out, it is very unlikely that the 4+1 Coalition will attack a US-led Coalition that is fighting ISIS and providing humanitarian support.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 9 2016 17:57 utc | 102

jfl@89 - "...So maybe it comes down to the SDF? They are primarily Kurds? They are in a position to beat the Gulfies to the punch..."

The U.S. created the SDF to help the Kurds (a little, for now) to get more anti-ISIS proxy boots-on-the-ground while not angering the Turks too much. I think it's something like 80% Kurds, but everyone is lying about numbers so it's anyone's guess. The reason the U.S. 'assistance' to the Kurds is laughable is because the U.S. sat by and did nothing while Kobane was almost completely wiped off the map. That was an ISIS attack, but it could not have been accomplished without Turkey's help. Turkey intended Kobane to fall and be depopulated. Notice how Turkey let the Kurdish refugees from Kobane into Turkish refugee camps even though Erdogan hates the Kurds? Turkey would have eventually planned to retake Kobane with Syrian Turkmen and turn it into another 'Turkized' northern Syrian city without having to invade and occupy it with Turkish troops.


"...Although they are nominally tied to the USA, I'm sure they can drop the US as quickly as the US has dropped them so many times in the past..."

Beggars can't be choosers. We're talking specifically about the Kurds in Kobane and Jizra Cantons.

While the Kurds want to get rid of ISIS, they are too small and to under-equipped to be attacking ISIS strongholds outside of Kurdish territory. They have told anyone that would listen that they are willing to if someone would equip them properly with something besides rifles. Nobody will because Turkey wants the Syrian Kurds annihilated (or at least too weak to be a threat) and unarmed. Notice how easily the U.S. doled out TOW missiles to al Nusra-linked FSA? We have plenty, but none will ever go to the Kurds. The heaviest 'arms' they have ever been sent were German hand grenades, and those ended up in the hands of ISIS. You're not going to see Syrian Kurd APCs,HiLuxes with antiaircraft guns, TOWs or mortars. All that is to appease our NATO ally Turkey at the expense of the Kurds.

The Syrian Kurds in the east have been 'enticed' to go to Manbij because the U.S. is providing close air support. Likewise, they have been 'discouraged' from taking Jarabulus and closing the Azaz-Jarabulus corridor by the U.S. refusing to provide close air support. Lightly-armed Kurds can be controlled. The Kurds are aware of all this, but have no choice. The option is to refuse to cooperate with the U.S. and get NO small arms or air support at all. Things may be brewing with Russia, but not much has happened so far. The Kurds would dump the U.S. in a heartbeat if the Russians would equip them and provide air support.


"...They [Kurds] are in a position to beat the Gulfies to the punch..."

Except the Gulfies interest is to deny the eastern Syrian oil/gas fields (Raqqa, Deir ezZor) from Assad. The Kurds have no interest in dying for those cities. It's not in Kurdish territory and the cities are Sunni Arab. The Kurds want ISIS destroyed, but they're not going to sacrifice their lives to liberate all of eastern Syria with small arms and air support. They might be encouraged to participate if you dropped off a few hundred HiLuxes, a bunch of artillery and a thousand TOWs, but that's never going to happen. [For what it's worth, *I* would arm the Kurds to the teeth, but I don't run the DoD nuthouse]

The Kurds are willing to fight with small arms for Kurdish soil or interests directly linked to the security and well-being of Syrian Kurdistan. Northeastern Syria is part of what the Kurds consider Jazira Canton. They were willing to kick ISIS out of (the area around) Qamishli, Al Hawl and Hasaka because those cities were considered 'part' of the Kurds' Jazira Canton and critical to its security. Tishreen Dam is where Kobane Canton gets its electricity, so taking that is in the Kurd's interests. Still, they depend on air support from someone. The U.S. is all they got now, so they tolerate being under-equipped and on a short leash.


"...Maybe it is time for Syria, at least, to begin talking Turkey - with a capital 'T' - with the Kurds, as in what's the future look like for the Kurds in Syria?..."

Assad never treated the Kurds very well - they were not even considered Syrian citizens a few years back. The Rojava always talked about independence, but couldn't do much against Assad's formidable (at the time) army. They were far enough away from Damascus that Assad didn't worry too much about them, but he would never have gone so far as to grant them any kind of autonomy.

When the war started, Assad couldn't possibly cover all of Syria at once with his army. The Rojava never really took sides, and Assad had to rely on them to secure their own territory from al Nusra and ISIS (which they couldn't really do in any practical sense). That did buy the Rojava some of the autonomy from Damascus they had sought all along, without going as far as to antagonize Damascus by declaring independence or alignment with the FSA. That would have made things better for the Kurds in the future. I'm not sure they would gain much more by dying for Raqqa or Deir EzZor at Assad's request. Assad can't even equip them or provide air cover, so it would be immensely costly for the Kurds. I don't think Assad would ask, nor would the Kurds consider it. Retaking the eastern oil fields is a job for Damascus, not the Kurds.


"...I've thought for some time now that the Kurds and their relations with Syrian/Iraq/Iran/Turkey are the key to the region..."

I don't know about key, but they're certainly one of the more significant factors. The Kurdish issues are so complex and have so many layers that I can't even begin to scratch the surface. Now toss into that the fact that almost everyone else involved in Iraq and Syria have some other self-interested motives for seeing the Kurds do one thing or another. The Kurds themselves are united on some issues, but deeply divided on others. Cobbling together an artificially-united Kurdistan in the middle of countries opposed to the idea is a recipe for disaster. Which is why Team Chaos has always been licking it's chops at the possibility - it's easily another 20 years of instability and war.

The problems created by the 100-year old secret Sykes-Picot disaster are never going to go away. I don't know the answer to the Kurdish question, but you can't expect 30 million Kurds spread out across four countries to just accept their fate of a stateless nation. All I know is that any involvement by Team Chaos will not be to the Kurd's benefit. And unless Russia can stop them, Team Chaos IS going to call the shots.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Feb 9 2016 18:06 utc | 103

Any US-led force that occupies eastern Syria will have many advantages that the rebels lack. One of the most important is anti-aircraft defenses.

The Assad must go! Coalition have been unwilling to provide such weapons to the extremists.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 9 2016 18:07 utc | 104

Elijah JM has an interesting article on US/Turkey,SA machinations here..https://elijahjm.wordpress.com/2016/02/09/6000-ial-sabereen-unit-of-the-iranian-revolutionary-guard-corps-in-aleppo-and-major-plans-before-the-summer/

Posted by: harry law | Feb 9 2016 18:26 utc | 105

...
The UNSC 2249 "call" to fight ISIS means that Syrian permission is not necessary.
...
Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 9, 2016 12:57:46 PM | 101

You made that up. It's claptrap.
The UN never has, and never will, have the power to impose its "help" on a country with a govt which has chosen to decline that "help".

There are lots of reasons. IF the Crusaders & Friends try something stupid in Syria you'll hear some of those reasons - from Russia (and China).

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Feb 9 2016 18:36 utc | 106

I will admit to not having the time today to read all the posts on this matter, and am unable to post interesting links which I really like about this site.

Just would like to say the loss of one hub/womb of Global Capitalism is not something that the Western Hemisphere should feel excited about, unless they have the means to pull up stakes and head east.

Russia will hold the healthy agriculture card, the currency card, and if the battles they choose continue to be ones they can commit to fully, they'll have the good-will-to-the-point-of-royalty card in the Middle East, not to mention military-presence-by-rabid-applause.

My poor benighted West will hold the inevitable karma of ill gotten gains, all the more terrible for the evil means used to prolong that advantage.

I refuse to breed; have insisted on it....and I will have been tragically correct in that life choice if the Western Hemisphere becomes either a backwater or a militia/Contractor (terrorist assassin) heaven like Syria and Yemen. Ask a few grief-stricken, fresh-minted non-persons in the East, they might say I'm not exaggeration.

Here's to interesting times. May they fuck off and die.

Posted by: Tom O. | Feb 9 2016 18:40 utc | 107

harry law@90 - "...Boots on the ground are so important here, if they are Turkish, Gulfies or US ones, Syria is lost. That is why I do not think Russia will blink..."

The U.S. is using their one last scheme of desperation: Putin's stated intention to help Syria, but not at the peril of Russia itself. Putin will not fight WWIII over Syria. It's important, but not THAT important. For what it's worth (and despite all the U.S. bluster), I don't think Syria is that important to the U.S., either. That being said, everyone is trying to use the U.S. in their usual role of Middle East thug. And the psychopaths in the U.S. that still won't admit defeat in Afghanistan and seem oblivious to their destruction of Ukraine are damn sure not going to admit to our obvious defeat in Syria. Who can really predict the limits of their control-seeking insanity? I know how far rational people are probably willing to go, but the U.S. has gone off the deep end.

Aging psychopaths like Brzezinski are still imagining this as evil Russia against planet earth. I'll simply offer that China and Iran - among many other nations - see this very distinctly as the U.S. thug army and proxies against anyone in the Middle East it (or Israel) decides it doesn't like, with Russia (the good guys) trying to stop them.

I resent my country's (the U.S.) leaders playing this game of chicken with Russia, period. It's cowardly and smacks of desperation. If Russia blinks first, it will be because Putin is the only adult in the room. I've already had to rely on his good senses too many times to prevent WW III. One of these times, he's going to say, "The hell with it..." and let the Topol-Ms fly. I wouldn't blame him one bit.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Feb 9 2016 18:45 utc | 108

I'm not interested in the blow-by-blow anymore. What interests me is, Global Capitalism has two Mothers, three if you count an Arabian Peninsula's oil wealth in real total war--none of which must be seen to fall, at least not for long. One is in Beijing, the other New York. Strikes me that Putin is aware of what might happen should either 'suddenly' die (lose definitively in the military sense, and diplomatically, and spiritually [in the sense that decay and problems become the only subject of conversation, no longer taken seriously].

What happens could be (not saying it will) as bad as a fraction of the world's population will die (1/4, 1/3?) we'll be short on fertilizer, transportation, security, communication to include phone and internet connectivity, medicine--not world-wide, ultimately, just the West.

Not looking forward to U.S. folding, as every (stolen) inch it returns, translates into lethal enemies gaining--and if you think Putin and Jiping don't harbor murderous thoughts, then they must be cyborgs.
I would.

Posted by: Tom O. | Feb 9 2016 19:00 utc | 109

Hoarse:

The UN "helped" Serbia/Kosovo and Libya without assent of their government's, didn't they?

=

UNSC 2249:

"Calls upon Member States that have the capacity to do so to take all necessary measures, in compliance with international law, in particular with the United Nations Charter, as well as international human rights, refugee and humanitarian law, on the territory under the control of ISIL . . . and to eradicate the safe haven they have established over significant parts of Iraq and Syria.

I'm not saying that the Assad must go!/anti-ISIS Coalition has a clear and unambiguous right to move into Syria but it seems to me that any ambiguity is not great enough to prevent them from doing so.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 9 2016 19:00 utc | 110

Should be re-phrased: "... the ambiguity is great enough to allow them to do so."

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 9 2016 19:12 utc | 111

If the US and allies use the excuse of self defence when attacking Islamic State [IS] with boots on the ground in Syria [France has already put forward this position/excuse] then that would also not be legal since the legitimate government of Syria has to be 'unwilling' or 'unable' to stop IS from attacking the US or its allies. Clearly the 4 plus 1 is not only willing but also able to eradicate the threat from IS, and needs but a small amount of time to do it. The US decision [as Paveway points out] if done in desperation, [and make no mistake the US are desperate] will have profound effects all across the middle east.

Posted by: harry law | Feb 9 2016 19:14 utc | 112

harry law:

1) This is all speculation, we don't know if USA+allies will be so audacious;

2) However, they have a clear motivation to be so audacious;

3) We are talking about guys who have chosen to use extremists as a weapon and have legalized torture - would niceties like "a little extra time" and "not legally clear that you can" mean anything to them?

4) The gamble would be that once they are there no force could dislodge them so no force would even try.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 9 2016 19:28 utc | 113

Jackrabbit et. al. - I'm baffled by the legal complexities of intervention, but stumbled across this apparently thorough discussion of the topic from early December on a site called Just Security.

About: Just Security is an online forum for the rigorous analysis of U.S. national security law and policy. We aim to promote principled and pragmatic solutions to national security problems that decision-makers face. Our Board of Editors include individuals with significant government experience, civil society attorneys, academics, and other leading voices. Just Security is based at the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice at New York University School of Law.

The articles are interesting and add a well-thought-out legal perspective to actions in Syria. At any rate, here's the articles from Dec. 7th and 8th discussing the legalities of bombing Syria:

A Legal Map of Airstrikes in Syria (Part 1) by Jonathan Horowitz and

A Legal Map of Airstrikes in Syria (Part 2) by the same author.

Horowitz also did an interesting article on the legality of the Rmeilan Airfield on Jan 27th:

Is the US Allowed to Control a Syrian Airfield?

Lots of the same issues would apply to any Turkish/Saudi occupation of ISIS-held territory. Horowitz does not make conclusions on the ultimate legalities. To me, the answer sounds like "Maybe (in the weakest of terms), but probably not."

The U.S. could just throw a barrage of legal weaselese at the global press/public to muddy the issue to convince them otherwise. After all, who is going to prosecute the U.S. Empire?

Posted by: PavewayIV | Feb 9 2016 22:08 utc | 114

@103 PW

'Things may be brewing with Russia, but not much has happened so far. The Kurds would dump the U.S. in a heartbeat if the Russians would equip them and provide air support.'

That's my thought.

'Assad never treated the Kurds very well - they were not even considered Syrian citizens a few years back.'

That was then, this is now.

'I don't know the answer to the Kurdish question...'

Neither do I, of course, but it is not just a Kurdish question, there are respective Syrian, Iraqi, Iranian, and Turkish questions on the other side of each relation. If the region hopes to cohere, it has to 'solve' these questions or go down to those who've exploited 'divide and conquer' forever. They must all hang together or they will surely all hang separately.

@108

'Putin will not fight WWIII over Syria. ... I don't think Syria is that important to the U.S., either ... I know how far rational people are probably willing to go, but the U.S. has gone off the deep end.'

I know Syria is not that important to the US. The US is like a spoiled, bored, malevolent child pulling the wings and legs off of insects. I think Putin and Syria are going to stand up to the US. And that the US will back down.

Posted by: jfl | Feb 9 2016 23:08 utc | 115

Syria is not important to US ... to Russia.

Let's not lose sight of who Syria is important to:

Iran (Russia will Support)

KSA, Turkey, Isreal (USA/NATO will support)

So, if if "not important", Russia and USA are likely to be drawn in. If not for the new Cold War, I'd say that the superpowers could act to defuse the crisis and keep their allies in line.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 9 2016 23:54 utc | 116

@Tom.O 107,109
I hear where you're coming from. There has been no such thing as free markets, or capitalism, in the west as far as I can tell. But, Beijing price fixes too, let see how much shit hits the fan when they let the renminbi float in the winds of the global markets...we'll see how much decay lay inside.

Will be interesting to see if The Rule Of Law is ever applied in my lifetime, as you say, for the mis deeds of Western Powers that be. For only then, can true healing begin. Bush, Cheney, Blair, Rumsfeld, Howard...they need their time in the dock. Blair is coming closest in his home country so far. Some are apologising on his behalf. George W cannot fly to Malaysia, he's a war crim there...and his lawyers did not recommend he set foot inside Switzerland...so Dubya best stay at home.

I also am quite downbeat on the west, being one of its children...it's sad to see such potential lay to waste...with that said, I have no doubt that its leader, the USA, would have no trouble in being able to innovate its way into a new sustainable age...if there was the correct leadership. The technological base, and higher educational network is there...

...it's the will of it's leaders that cause the most concern. Until there is political revolution in the USA, then the west will continue to follow Worlds' Best Practice in a race to the bottom.

Posted by: MadMax2 | Feb 10 2016 0:58 utc | 117

If WE CONSIDER THAT giant oil and gaz corporations(beside big banks) are the main power behind the throne in the western world and that Russian influence over Europe is threatening for united state's grip over Europe.Well we have to acknowledge that Syria is the main piece to control in the middle east.We all seems to forget that pipelines and control of energy resources is the main reason for almost any geopolitical action. The pipeline going through Qatar- Saudi Arabia -Jordan- Syria and turkey was absolutely necessary for Exxon-Mobil and the united states to counter Russian's leverage and influence in Europe due to Europe's dependency on Russian Gaz. For those of you who can remember from the mid to the end of 2000 Bashar had been courted by the west(Kerry was even a close friend of Assad during this time,visiting him numerous time with his wife in Damascus) in an attempt to drive him away from Russian and Iranian geopolitical sphere of influence which he refused in order to maintain his traditional alliances with Russia and Iran and probably to also preserve Syrian independence.Syria has always been a key element in the geopolitical battle between Russia (Eurasia) and the west (Oceania).It is ,because of its geographical location in the middle east, a key point to control for a safe hegemony of the US over Europe or the protection of Russian enormous interest there.

Adding to this is the fact that Turkey wanna become a major pipeline center but even more so importantly the fact that oil and gaz importation from golf countries to The united states is currently declining, as the latter is more and more focusing on national production that forces oil countries in the middle east to find other markets for their resources mainly in Europe.Hence the limitless craziness of golf countries to destroy Assad regime. Especially as we know that he was realizing ,as well, a pipeline to supply Europe in gas with the help of Iran.Again in the same way as above with Russia and The United States we can see that Turkey and the Golf countries could not achieve their viable goals without the fall of Syria.

Of course the Shia crescent in itself is a major element in this geopolitical conflict too, because of its link with the Hezbollah and its resistance to Israel, but as far as I know The Shia Crescent does not represent a real threat for the security of Israel,maybe a severe inconvenience for its regional imperial aspiration and an excellent scapegoat as well for his cohesion as a Jewish state but nothing more.We therefore can put out of our mind that Israel is the principal reason of the Syrian conflict.

What is at stake in Syria is more of a gigantic battle of global proportion where all the parties,regional and global, are in fight to maintain their revenues ,influence and hegemony.
The Syrian conflict is the master piece in the geopolitical chess game happening right now in the middle east;and its outcome will determine to some extend the balance of power in the years to come.

*if you guys pay attention all the countries participating in this conflict are linked to the pipeline interest going from Qatar to turkey.This cannot only be mere coincidences.
Country involved in the Qatar-turkey pipeline comprise Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Qatar,Turkey and the united states(especially) and great Britain due to their oil and gaz corporations.
Country involve in the Islamic pipeline are Iran Iraq Syria..and Russia

Posted by: lebretteurfredonnant | Feb 10 2016 5:28 utc | 118

@103 I still dont understand why Russia, who recently vetted the YPG/SDF is not providing weapons and air cover to Kurdish cantons to help them fight the militants and encourage dropping US support. Maybe Damascus believes like the Foreign Office did in 1917 when Lawrence Of Arabia requested artillery for the revolting Arabs and got a no because if "you give them guns, you give them independance"..

Posted by: Lozion | Feb 10 2016 5:33 utc | 119

@Lozion
Me too.Clearly the Kurdish are a key piece in all this .Even in the case where Russia Wants to absolutely keep Syrian territorial and regime integrity I don't see how this could efficiently happen fast enough without involving the Kurdish.If I was Assad and Russia I would make an alliance with them and even go as far as giving them a special autonomy or rights under the constitution to safeguard Syrian independence.

Posted by: lebretteurfredonnant | Feb 10 2016 5:47 utc | 120

...
If I was Assad and Russia I would make an alliance with them and even go as far as giving them a special autonomy or rights under the constitution to safeguard Syrian independence.
Posted by: lebretteurfredonnant | Feb 10, 2016 12:47:38 AM | 120

That's exactly what happened. I remember it because a couple of years ago, when Syria's situation was beginning to look bleak, Xymphora quipped that Assad should cede autonomy to Syria's Kurdish regions (which were never overtly anti-Assad) on condition that they defend themselves, and not become anti-Assad. And within less than a week, Syria adopted that policy. It wasn't a mutual defense pact. It merely gave the SAA one less thing to worry about.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Feb 10 2016 7:03 utc | 121

Similar crazy words are written by Zionist propaganda clowns in major U.S. newspapers.

Judging by the comments, the American public is waking up.

Posted by: MRW | Feb 10 2016 9:00 utc | 122

Possibly related...
Interesting headline in the horizontal Latest News scroll bar at CCTV NewsDesk this morning, Feb 10.
"Canada to end airstrikes against ISIS within weeks"

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Feb 10 2016 15:43 utc | 123

Is this true? → Why are Russian engineers working at an ISIS-controlled gas plant in Syria?

http://foreignpolicy.com/2016/02/09/why-are-russian-engineers-working-at-an-islamic-state-controlled-gas-plant-in-syria/?utm_content=buffer89cfd&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

Posted by: Laura Roslin | Feb 10 2016 17:21 utc | 124

144 :

"According to Turkish officials and Syrian rebels..."

Posted by: L Bean | Feb 10 2016 17:34 utc | 125

@108 paveway.. i agree with how you see it..

@113 jackrabbit.. i see it that way too..

@114 paveway... regarding legal means for the west under us leadership to do whatever shit they want - remember cheneys legal advisor david addington? these fuckers will rubber stamp much more then gitmo, all in the name of 'it is legal' and we can do it, while really trying to say : might makes right, or we make the rules as we go....

so, i wouldn't be surprised with whatever legal grounds the usa comes up with to rubber stamp whatever they want... they give the idea of justice for all such a bad name.. they may as well step on their constitution and throw it in the toilet..

@116 jr... last line - that would be nice.. hopefully it doesn't get to that, but it sort of already has... and i can't for the life of me trust the usa or west in any of this..

@118 lebretteurfredonnant.. yes, that is how i think many see this, which is why syria is actually quite important in the wider scheme of things and which is why russia is their and the usa/west is pissed..

@124 Laura Roslin.. i wouldn't trust foreign policy, period... another gov't type mouthpiece spreading bs probably..

Posted by: james | Feb 11 2016 1:29 utc | 126

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