Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
July 12, 2016

Atmospheric Changes Over Syria

With Cameron leaving as UK Prime Minister another top politician who demanded that "Assad must go" has left the political scene. The Syrian President Assad is still in place and there is no sign that he will leave in the foreseeable future. It seems that real life facts still have more weight than "regime change" propaganda platitudes.

The facts continue to be persistent that there is therefore again some wind of change detectable in the political atmosphere.

The Syrian army and its allies are closing the only road to the eastern parts of Aleppo. This effort requires intense urban warfare (vid) against Jihadi terrorists. According a Pentagon spokesperson that part is held by al-Qaeda:

[I]t's primarily al-Nusra who holds Aleppo, and of course, al-Nusra is not part of the cessation of hostilities.

All attacks on east-Aleppo are thereby completely legitimate and do not break a ceasefire.

Despite that another media "outrage" campaign will be created to condemn the "siege on Aleppo" that this blockage allegedly creates. Such "outrage" propaganda pieces, like this one today in the LA Times, do not even acknowledge that west Aleppo,  with nearly two million people living there, is on the side of the government. They speak of "Aleppo" but only mean the eastern parts. They also exaggerate the number of civilians left in east-Aleppo as several hundred thousands. The Guardian journalist Martin Chulov has traveled to east-Aleppo several times over the last years. He reported a year ago that there are far less:

Those who remain in eastern Aleppo, roughly 40,000 from a prewar population estimated at about a million, ...

It is doubtful that the number of people in east-Aleppo has since increased. There was also enough time for the fighters and their families in east-Aleppo to prepare for a siege. As even the LA Times piece admits:

Anticipating a siege, local authorities stocked food for three months and medical supplies for three to six months, Sahloul said.

A Reuters piece confirms this:

Rebel areas of Aleppo have stockpiled enough basic supplies to survive months of siege ...

The soon coming claims of imminent famine in east-Aleppo are thereby already debunked.

The change in the political atmosphere is a convergence of the "western" and Russian view on which groups are terrorists in Syria and must therefore be fought. This follows a change in the public perspective.

Amnesty Internationally recently claimed, six years too late, that several U.S. supported "moderate rebel" groups torture and abduct civilians and regularly commit war crimes. The "moderate rebels" who recently attempted another offensive in Latakia openly advertise themselves as foreign Jihadis. Ahrar al Sham, which not long ago wrote op-eds for "western" papers claiming to be "moderate", is now threatening U.S. supported "moderates" in south Syria because they are tired of fighting and keep with the ceasefire.

The French president Holland has finally recognized al-Qaeda as an important enemy in Syria that should be fought:

"We must coordinate among ourselves to continue actions against Daesh but also... take effective action against Al-Nusra," Hollande said, directing his appeal at Russia and the U.S.

Back in 2012 the French government lauded al-Qaeda's role. The then Foreign Minister Fabius said that "Nusra does good work."

U.S. Secretary of State Kerry has not only acknowledged al-Qaeda's role but is now extending the terrorist label to Ahrar al-Sham and other Salafist groups:

“There are a couple of subgroups underneath the two designated — Daesh and Jabhat al-Nusra — Jaysh al-Islam, Ahrar al-Sham particularly — who brush off and fight with that — alongside these other two sometimes to fight the Assad regime,” he said, referring to two rebel groups that the United States has not named as terrorist groups until now.

That is a very significant concession to the Russian position which has for months argued for adding these groups to the UN terrorist list.

Also noticeable is that the Saudi/U.S. sponsored Syrian hotel opposition is again ready to negotiate with the Syrian government. That group had broken off negotiations during the last round. Someone now ordered them back into the play.

The Russians again demonstrated their commitment to Syria. They not only support the Syrian army in the siege of east-Aleppo but also renewed air strikes with long-range bombers which started from Russian soil. A sure signal that Russia is ready as ever to escalate again.

The biggest move is probably happening in Turkey. After having made a mess out of Turkish foreign policy, under heavy economic pressure and startled by recent terrorist attacks on Turkish soil President Erdogan decided to change course. He fired his long time sidekick Davutoglu and perused better relations with Russia and other countries. After he apologized for the earlier ambush of a Russian fighter plane, Russia resumed relations and lifted some economic sanctions against Turkey. But there will be more demands to fulfill before Turkey is again allowed to have good international standing. Some softer words are spoken but the real Turkish position on Syria has yet to change:

“The normalization of Syria is possible but everybody should make sacrifices for this. Our strategic partners and coalition partners should heal the bleeding wound in Syria and take more responsibility. As Turkey, we are exerting necessary efforts to open the doors of peace and security,” Yıldırım said.

But Yıldırım said there would be no meeting with the country in the short term. “The oppression should first end. The dictatorial regime should end. What will you agree on with a regime that has killed more than a half million of its people without blinking an eye? Everybody already agrees on this,” he said.

It is still "Assad must go" but a slight change in tone is detectable. The new U.S. and French position on al-Qaeda and Ahrar al-Sham, both coddled by Turkey, increase the pressure on Ankara to move away from its rigid position. Erdogan may otherwise find that he, like Cameron, will have to go before Dr. Assad even thinks about leaving his position.

While all the above items are in themselves only small changes of positions they sum up to some significant change in the political atmosphere over Syria.

Posted by b on July 12, 2016 at 16:52 UTC | Permalink


July 12, 2016 - You cannot make this stuff up ...

"In Manbij, the Syrian Democratic Forces, supported by the US-led coalition airpower and special forces, almost cut the western part of the city from the rest of ISIS-controlled areas, surrounding Al Basel Hospital. The SDF also seized the school South of Sheik Ali district and advanced on Bakery near the city center and almost secured Hazawani Neighborhood. Clashes are ongoing."

source -

Posted by: ALberto | Jul 12 2016 17:01 utc | 1

The Russian military stated that the information on the eliminated targets was acquired over the last several days and confirmed through several intelligence channels.

"The US-led international antiterrorist coalition was notified of the airstrikes in advance, the ministry says.

“The strike resulted in the destruction of a large militant field camp, three depots of arms and munitions, three tanks, four infantry combat vehicles and eight vehicles fitted with heavy machine guns, also neutralizing a large number of enemy fighters,” the statement says."

source -

Posted by: ALberto | Jul 12 2016 17:03 utc | 2

"Those who remain in eastern Aleppo, roughly 40,000 from a prewar population estimated at about a million..." no doubt many just fled across the city, but no doubt many did not. 960,000 displaced.

one thing the chilcot report did was to confirm the infamous Lancet study of 2006 of excess deaths in iraq. the destruction the West has inflicted on MENA cannot be imagined. "hell is probable," as capt ahab said.

Posted by: jason | Jul 12 2016 17:55 utc | 3

That move is frightening. It makes me think we come nearer to partition, with Russian backing.

Posted by: Cresty | Jul 12 2016 18:16 utc | 4

ISIL held Raqqa hit by airstrikes ...

"Air strikes in Raqqa, Syria have killed at least 12 people, among them fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS), as well as civilians and four children from one family, according to activist groups."

source -

Posted by: ALberto | Jul 12 2016 18:20 utc | 5

I'm glad you are there digging this stuff up. In the meantime, we shall see what we shall see regarding the US involvement. It isn't that I trust the Russians, it is that I know I can not trust the US and it's activities. Been lied to so many times that I've come to assume that if a government lackey has moving lips, she/he/it is lying.

Remember that the state is defined as power ... and uses force (with the threat of force) to get it's way. All government is bad and not to be trusted. It is only that some governments are slightly less bad than others. Thus, it is indisputably true we would be better off without any government. Alas, many would die off in the transition ... but would we not be better off if there were very few people and they lived close to the land and did not see exploitation of each other and the planet.

Posted by: rg the lg | Jul 12 2016 18:37 utc | 6

The doctors featured in the LA Times story are sponsored by the Syrian American Medical Society, an NGO which is active inside Syria and refugee camps in neighbouring countries. While the organization of medical relief is a laudable effort, this society also clearly assumes an advocacy position in support of regime-change. Part of this advocacy promotes a factually challenged narrative of indiscriminate barrel-bombs, chlorine gas attacks, and a besieged civilian population "of 350,000" in east Aleppo - an area which SAMS asserts, as the LA Times reporter repeats, "Al Nusra Front, the Al Qaeda affiliate ... is a small player."

Posted by: jayc | Jul 12 2016 18:49 utc | 7

South China Sea news today is big.. also North Korea has closed its only communications channel with USA... I'm afraid something big could break out in that region soon

Posted by: bbbb | Jul 12 2016 19:18 utc | 8



[All emphasis mine – Oui]

This arbitration concerned the role of historic rights and the source of maritime entitlements in the South China Sea, the status of certain maritime features and the maritime entitlements they are capable of generating, and the lawfulness of certain actions by China that were alleged by the Philippines to violate the Convention. In light of limitations on compulsory dispute settlement under the Convention, the Tribunal has emphasized that it does not rule on any question of sovereignty over land territory and does not delimit any boundary between the Parties.

China has repeatedly stated that “it will neither accept nor participate in the arbitration unilaterally initiated by the Philippines.”

[Using records of colonial powers – Oui]

... during the hearing with respect to its claims, by appointing independent experts to report to the Tribunal on technical matters, and by obtaining historical records and hydrographic survey data for the South China Sea from the archives of the United Kingdom Hydrographic Office, the National Library of France, and the French National Overseas Archives and providing it to the Parties for comment, along with other relevant materials in the public domain.

The Tribunal also examined the historical record to determine whether China actually had historic rights to resources in the South China Sea prior to the entry into force of the Convention. The Tribunal noted that there is evidence that Chinese navigators and fishermen, as well as those of other States, had historically made use of the islands in the South China Sea, although the Tribunal emphasized that it was not empowered to decide the question of sovereignty over the islands. However, the Tribunal considered that prior to the Convention, the waters of the South China Sea beyond the territorial sea were legally part of the high seas, in which vessels from any State could freely navigate and fish. Accordingly, the Tribunal concluded that historical navigation and fishing by China in the waters of the South China Sea represented the exercise of high seas freedoms, rather than a historic right, and that there was no evidence that China had historically exercised exclusive control over the waters of the South China Sea or prevented other States from exploiting their resources.

Accordingly, the Tribunal concluded that, as between the Philippines and China, there was no legal basis for China to claim historic rights to resources, in excess of the rights provided for by the Convention, within the sea areas falling within the ‘nine-dash line’.

[Reminds me of the decison by the court on the security wall by the State of Israel ... the wall is still there as the occupation strenghtens – Oui]

Posted by: Oui | Jul 12 2016 20:22 utc | 9

It is apparent that the Syrians aren't supposed to know what is good for them; but the West does. Here is one of the many videos of President Al-Assad and the First Lady mingling with the Syrian people. The Syrians sure don't look like they are appalled by their presence.

President al-Assad and his family visit injured army personnel in Homs countryside-VIDEO

Posted by: Dean | Jul 12 2016 20:30 utc | 10

"Daesh on the brink of collapse" ...

The following piece contains a clear and concise opinion that explains the forces behind the present humanitarian disaster in the Arab and Persian countries, which have caused a massive amount of death, devastating amounts of wounded, destruction of entire cities and forced many families into refugee status. I have found Dr. Kevin Barrett to be a thoughtful and honest writer as well as a great human being.

Posted by: ALberto | Jul 12 2016 20:40 utc | 11

Not off-topic at all, and just as I predicted, ernie Sanders officially endorses Hillary Clinton for president.

His job was always to hold down the Left, so Hillary could play Center-Right. Trump's job is to lead thr Far zRight into Chaos. It's all Goldman, all the time, and the zYinon Plan + zUkraine is their goal.

Hillary is trained like a Pavlovian dog now to execute all-out war in MENA. World Bank is rebuilding Eastern Ukraine's roads and bridges to military capacity, and China is now officially attacked in the South China Sea.

Bush the Lesser brought two wars. Obama brought six wars. Clinton will bring War of the Worlds on behalf of The Chosen, and MoA will provide the war-pron play-by-play from ringside in the DDR.

It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood.

Posted by: Uk Tahder | Jul 12 2016 21:08 utc | 12

Erdogan the dispicable authortarian showed how pathetically weak he is internationally as soon as the US supported the Kurds he quickly scurried to show his regrets to Russia. PATHETIC - and never to be trusted.
While he was working with the evil US Empire destroying Syria with proxy terrorists he thought he was king of the world. Now look at him. I fucking demand that political terrorist goes to jail ASAP.

The Evil US Empire saw the writing on the wall that their terrorists were losing. Sure, they can throw arms and terrorist/jihadi infantry into battle for awhile but that will never last long against airpower. That's why he US empire plan was to use the Kurds to break up Syria, instead of the destruction Libya style no longer that feasible.
How much anti-Kurd talk and anti-kurd attacks have there been by the evil US Empire alliance ? That says it all. And there will be no real attacks against terrorists inside Syria because enough damage has not been done according to the US empire.

I look forward to Left opinion and commentators condemning Russia with this new agreement with the Erdogan authoritarian fuckwit. a greater internal enemy of the Turkish people has not been seen in a long time. Oh, but geopolitics is all that matters isn't it. If hypocrisy was a nutrient then fake leftists will never go hungry.

Posted by: tom | Jul 12 2016 21:21 utc | 13

Note that Turkey has recently spoken of giving citizenship to the Syrian refugees who would ask for it .This seems part of a deal with us and eu aimed also at facilitating future deals for eu membership.

Posted by: Mina | Jul 12 2016 21:36 utc | 14

@12 Chipnik?

Posted by: Lozion | Jul 12 2016 21:42 utc | 15

thanks b,

seems like a slow realization for erdofanatic and based on his 2nd in command, these buffoons are vey slow to read the tea leaves.. russia is playing a long game and continues to show superior strategyw and perspective. that blowhard kerry as the braindead mouthpiece is also starting to acknowledge a wee bit of the inevitable..good riddance cameron and hopefully erdofanatic is next...

Posted by: james | Jul 12 2016 23:08 utc | 16

@12... No worries, mon vieux

This whole fantasy narrative was hot wired before you and I were even born. Reread that scene in Moby Dick, between Starbuck and Ahab. You'll see!

Or as Camus said, "Do not wait for the last judgment, it takes place every day".

Posted by: Copeland | Jul 12 2016 23:32 utc | 17

Erdogan may otherwise find that he, like Cameron, will have to go before Dr. Assad even thinks about leaving his position.

You seem to be forgetting that this would work only if "the street" could somehow get rid of him. But Turkey is nothing like France or GB, it is a dictatorship, with people dumb enough to be fooled by and vote for RTE (or not smart enough to realize that the election process is completely rigged).

Unless some external power gets rid of him, he'll never leave and can't be forced to do it...

He "owns" the media both public and private for the most part, he owns the police and the (so called) justice system. So no one can or dares to do anything against him in the country :(

Posted by: sYSati | Jul 12 2016 23:39 utc | 18

SDF negotiating with ISIS on relocation agreement

The remaining ISIS militants hope to be transported to Al Maskanah Plains or Raqqa where they’ll link up with the rest of their comrades and commanders.

All Obama's horses and all Obama's men keep trying to put ISIS together again.

Posted by: jfl | Jul 13 2016 0:17 utc | 19

BS kow-tows to Killary, the bitch. He was never really the lessor-of-evils. But, like others, I was hopeful. Hope? Recall how Obama turned that concept on its head?

Turdagain twists in the wind, not sure where and what his job is. Poor fellow. Must be tough being a sap for the empire.

Assad seems to hang tough. What's an empire to do when a small country has real allies?

Maybe ... just to get things going, Stein has a chance? Look at the options. Are USians really stupid enough to put either Killary or the Dumwad in as POTUS? [Ok. Sure they are. And, with each vote you can hear the voter saying "My person, though totally untrustworthy and corrupt, is the LESSOR-EVIL."]


Posted by: rg the lg | Jul 13 2016 0:33 utc | 20

Posted by: Louis Proyect | Jul 13 2016 0:49 utc | 21

@21 yuk yuk.. good to know what a rabid neocon rag thinks. if i want to throw my brain into the gutter, i will follow your guidance, thanks.

Posted by: james | Jul 13 2016 1:22 utc | 22

#22 That was not just the Washington Times but the author is Daniel Pipes. Even by neocon standards he is rabid. I found the opening line interesting: Analysts agree that the erosion of the Syrian regime’s capabilities is accelerating, that it continues to retreat, making a rebel breakthrough and an Islamist victory increasingly likely.

Now if that is what these guys believe it is very interesting. There take on what is happening in Syria is diametrically opposed to reality. I think this is a face saving suggestion for the US to admit defeat and retreat from the Syrian fiasco.

Posted by: ToivoS | Jul 13 2016 2:22 utc | 23

@ 18 sYSati -

Do you think that Erdogan has purged the military far enough down the food chain to ensure his safety from factions within the country?

He had better hope so, for while he is busy trying to exterminate the Kurds and keep a fish eye on Daesh, he had better pray the army stays all in on his side. Otherwise he is a dead man walking, which no doubt he realizes.

Posted by: Tom in AZ | Jul 13 2016 2:51 utc | 24

{QUOTE} Remember that the state is defined as power ... and uses force (with the threat of force) to get it's way. {UNQUOTE} -- rg the lg | Jul 12, 2016 2:37:54 PM | 6

I really hate to have to keep setting you straight. That notion is pure nonsense. You simply do not comprehend what the state really is.

Posted by: blues | Jul 13 2016 3:43 utc | 25

rg the lg @ 6 You say that "it isn't that I trust the Russians." Why isn't it that you don't trust the Russians? Any reason other than a priori prejudice? Or is that statement standard boilerplate in Russia demonization?

You also say that "it is indisputably true we would be better off without any government." How might that be so? Humans are social animals and if the anthropologists of the last 200 years and travelers of the last 2,000 are to be believed, all human societies have governments of some sort or another. We are not solitary beasts of prey; like all primates we are social animals and have need of social structures, that is, of governments. Therefore, it is highly disputable and patently false that we would be better off without any government.

"Alas, many would die off in the transition ... but would we not be better off if there were very few people and they lived close to the land and did not see exploitation of each other and the planet." You said those words also.

Here's a little thought experiment for you to test your belief: Would you be willing to sacrifice yourself, your family, your loved ones, parents, spouse, children, grand-children to be among the ones who die? "Oh, let's all kill ourselves so that there will be fewer people who can live close to the land [tr. sleep in the dirt]."

Your "very few people" living "close to the land" is the very essence of of nuclear Armageddon thought. Therefore, it seems you can join the ranks of the nuclear annihilation crowd. I presume you have already reserved space for yourself and your family in one of the COG hardened survival bunkers. How's that going to work out when you few, you happy few, you band of brothers crawl forth one day and gentlemen in England now a-bed shall think themselves accurs'd they were not here in the bunker with you. Of course, they'll not think at all; they'll be crispy critters and you can have your world of simple people living close to the land. You will, of course, also have your psychotic nuclear button pushers, saved just as you are. And they will form a government because that is what social animals do. And you, not they, will live close to the ground.

Was that what you were writing about or did I get something wrong?

Posted by: Macon Richardson | Jul 13 2016 4:48 utc | 26

On the policy shift regarding U$A/Syria:

Regardless, the Empire's desired outcome will ALWAYS be regime change.

"It's just business,."

Posted by: ben | Jul 13 2016 5:31 utc | 27

@23 toivo. thanks for reminding me of what a first class loser the washington times has in d pipes.. there is no face saving for these neocon retards. they are the antithesis of anything to do with honour.

Posted by: james | Jul 13 2016 5:39 utc | 28

I admire your clippings file system, b, to produce so many links in one piece of journalism, even throwing a nation's words back at it from 4 years ago :)

And it takes such a widely cast net of antennae to detect the subtle shift you report here, but I buy it completely, because it seems to match the pace of the entire contest between east and west currently. This pace is glacial, almost imperceptible, yet containing the same gravitas and irresistible force of the glacier. It's really hard to see it moving, especially in a world overrun with lazy and incompetent journalists. Your work becomes especially valuable.

This is a nice piece of work and a great read, and it inspires many questions. Why does it seem that Russia was so silently focused on Turkey for many months while it seemed absent from Syria, and now it returns in such an improved position that even the US can only move aside to let this happen? What has happened here to improve the Russian position? Exactly what made Turkey shift? What forced the US to begin to throw it under the bus?

In what unseen medium is the balance of power being demonstrated and measured, such that Russia can turn the US without any of us on the outside seeing motion, or physical contact? Diplomacy? The underground bunkers of the Pentagon?

So many questions, b, for you yet to answer. Many thanks for the answers thus far.

Posted by: Grieved | Jul 13 2016 6:02 utc | 29

Good post but I would not be that optimistic since at best it is so far all about US and Erdogan return to sanity so solution can only start to be discussed, far from any significant break through yet.

On the other hand this recent North Aleppo offensive is good news after two months of misunderstanding and even conflict between members of Russian coalition fighting for scarce Russian Air support resources in Aleppo while dealing with rearmed terrorists.

Here is more on that subject:

Posted by: Kalen | Jul 13 2016 7:10 utc | 30

Re: Posted by: Macon Richardson | Jul 13, 2016 12:48:39 AM | 26

I think the point is.

Governments have power. Else, why would they exist if not to exercise some level of power?

As we all know - Power Corrupts.

Ergo, all Governments of any form - are by their nature Corrupt.

Given that point which I know we all agree on.

Why would any sane person submit themselves to the whim of corrupt Governments lording over them?

Why do you put up with the corruption that destroys your life insidiously every day you exist on this pale blue dot?

Why do you?

Posted by: Jules | Jul 13 2016 15:33 utc | 31

In terms of exit stage left David Cameron and enter Theresa May.

She is simply a more boring less talented female clone of DC.

Disappointing as it is, the radicals who might possibly have actually changed the policy of the UK - noticeably Boris Johnson, Nigel Farage or perhaps Andrea Leadsom - though she comes across as too thick to actually even realise how Government operates, were all eliminated from the process by willing patsies and their own inadequacies.

One need only look at the way Jeremy Corbyn is treated to know the man is actually regarded as some sort of threat to the established order. This is likely because he is a man of honour who refuses to be bought.

An honorable version of Bernie Sanders if you will.

If Corbyn were somehow, miraculously, to come anywhere near the reins of power - he would be a prime candidate for assassination. In fact, it would be inevitable.

There is nothing surer that if Corbyn were ever actually elected as Prime Minister it would be worth taking a bet he wouldn't be there to contest the following election.

The likes of Angela Eagle, for instance, are talentless, stupid, craven, foolish nobodies.

One would hope she fails abysmally in her appallingly carried out "coup de farce".

Posted by: Jules | Jul 13 2016 15:40 utc | 32

More fundemental than Cameron's badgering is Turkey's want to change stance on Syria and Iraq. That this comes immediately after Turkey's rapproachment with Russia is no coincidence. Russia is clearly working hard to find negotiable and leverageable positions in the region whicb, lets face it, needs an alternative to the divisive and destructive US hegemony.

Posted by: AtaBrit | Jul 13 2016 15:50 utc | 33


It is quite possible that Erdogan will leave before Bashar al Assad. Erdogan is a sick man, he had a cancera few years ago that may reoccur, especially after the failures and the repeated humiliations he is going through. If illness does not take care of him, it is only a matter of time that generals in the Turkish army will.
While Gulen and his still powerful supporters within Turkey are not in favor of a military regime, they and all the Ataturk supporters in Turkey would prefer a military regime to a regime under Islam.
Erdogan's days are counted...

Posted by: virgile | Jul 13 2016 19:09 utc | 34

Remember, Reuters is a Rothschild owned mouthpiece for the NWO.

Posted by: Paul | Jul 13 2016 19:38 utc | 35

Secret negotiations over Syria? That's what Voltairenet says
Secret from whom?

Posted by: Penelope | Jul 14 2016 3:36 utc | 36

Secret from whom?
Posted by: Penelope | Jul 13, 2016 11:36:10 PM | 36

We the People.
Russia is shredding Obama's asinine SuperPower Myth in Syria.
The 1% are finding out, the hard way, that they can't loot AmeriKKKa's Military Budget AND outclass Russia's (unlooted) Military Machine.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jul 14 2016 5:27 utc | 37

Erdogan's days are counted...
Posted by: virgile | Jul 13, 2016 3:09:02 PM | 34

Erdogan's face betrays poor health and has done so for several years.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jul 14 2016 5:35 utc | 38


"1: “Everybody knows the threat. We’ve all awakened to the news that I just announced to you. How many times have you awakened to it? Vicious attacks perpetrated by a lone wolf or by a group, inspired on the internet or otherwise. From Orlando to San Bernardino to the Philippines and Bali, we’ve seen pictures and we’ve heard testimony of shocking crimes committed by al-Qaida, by Boko Haram, by Jaysh al-Islam, by Ahrar al-Sham, by al-Shabaab, Daesh, other groups against innocent civilians, against journalists, and against teachers particularly.

2: “But the most important thing, frankly, is seeing if we can reach an understanding with the Russians about how to, number one, deal with Daesh and al-Nusrah. Al-Nusrah is the other group there – Jabhat al-Nusrah. They are a designated terrorist group by the United Nations. And there are a couple of subgroups underneath the two designated – Daesh and Jabhat al-Nusrah – Jaysh al-Islam, Ahrar al-Sham particularly – who brush off and fight with that – alongside these other two sometimes to fight the Assad regime.”
By Vanessa Beeley

Posted by: Penelope | Jul 14 2016 6:11 utc | 39

President al-Assad’s interview with NBC News - transcript

Question 21: There was a political will, as you put it, to remove you from power. That was the will of Washington. That seems to have changed. Have you any idea why the United States has changed its mind apparently about your future?

President Assad: No, because the problem with the American officials is that they say something and they mask their intentions, they go in a different way. They say something, they say the opposite. They say something, they do something different. So, you cannot tell what are their real intentions. What I’m sure about is that they don’t have good intentions towards Syria. Maybe they are making tactics, maneuvers, but they haven’t changed their intentions, as I believe.

Posted by: b | Jul 14 2016 9:00 utc | 40

Video of the Assad interview

Posted by: b | Jul 14 2016 10:20 utc | 41

Thanks for the link to the Assad interview, b. I don't think that will be shown in the US, or it will be heavily 'edited' if it is showm. I've lost track of the talking heads on US television, but that guy is a nasty piece of work indeed. Assad lives in a different world than he does, in the real world of US dealt death, devastation, and destruction, and resistance to US DD&D. And he conveyed that point very well. I don't they'll allow Americans to see that tape. Not in prime time anyway.

Posted by: jfl | Jul 14 2016 12:04 utc | 42

Posted by: Paul | Jul 13, 2016 3:38:58 PM | 35

Rothschild on the brain

Posted by: brian | Jul 14 2016 14:29 utc | 43

Not quite off topic...
The US/Eurotrash pimps and poseurs are extremely upset with Russia and it's probably about Syria: and Oh Boy, are they getting desperate!
The World Anti Doping Authority (WADA) whose origins are similar to those of that other triumph of Fantasy over Fact-based Reality, NATO, is "considering" calling for the banning of Russian athletes from participation in the forthcoming Olympics.

The Big Flaw in this half-baked NATO plot is that WADA is a laughably incompetent and disorganised operation; as demonstrated by its abject failure to introduce rigorous and foolproof testing procedures for winners of sporting events. Conventional Wisdom says that doping has been widespread and getting worse (and harder to detect) for more than a decade. This stupid attempt to blame Russia, alone, for WADA's gigantic list of shortcomings and lazy incompetence is doomed to fail.
The ensuing laughter, when WADA sobers up, promises to be deafening...

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jul 20 2016 17:38 utc | 44

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