Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
September 25, 2016

Syria - Conflicting Reports, Dubious Witnesses Challenge Convoy Attack Case

The Washington Post tries an "explainer" piece to reconstruct the recent attack on an aid convoy in Urum al-Kubra, west of Aleppo. The sources are anonymous U.S. officials and members of the U.S./UK paid agitprop organization "White Helmets". I am curious about one of those "witnesses":

That Monday was a warm fall evening. Ammar al-Selmo, a local rescue worker, was making tea in a building across the street. Stepping onto a balcony just after 7 p.m., when it was already past dusk, he said he listened to a helicopter swoop in and drop two barrel bombs on the convoy.

Haven't we heard that name before? Ammar al-Selmo?


"There are planes in the sky now," Ammar al Selmo, the head of the Civil Defence rescue service in the opposition-held east, told Reuters from Aleppo on Saturday morning.

Another WaPo pieces also say that Selmo is not just a local tea drinking rescue worker in Urum al-Kubra:

By nightfall, more than 100 bombs had landed, and more than 80 people were dead, said Ammar al-Selmo, head of the Aleppo branch of the White Helmets civil defense group.

So Anmar al-Selmo is some average local dude in Urum al-Kubra, outside of Aleppo city. He is, at the time, head of al-Qaeda's propaganda shop within the besieged east-Aleppo. Let me guess: The guy sits somewhere in Turkey and is talking to "reporters" via some untraceable Internet application. They have no idea where he really is, nor any interest to find out.

There are more issues with the "explainer" piece. It says that the convoy was loading in Urum al-Kubra to then go into Aleppo city:

On a clear afternoon last Monday a line of humanitarian aid trucks eased to a stop in front of a cluster of warehouses packed with aid supplies 15 miles outside the Syrian city of Aleppo.

Omar Barakat, director of the local Red Crescent branch, supervised the loading of the 31-vehicle convoy, which was scheduled to drive into the battered city that evening.

But the International Committee of the Red Cross said the opposite:

Around twenty civilians and one SARC staff member were killed, as they were unloading trucks carrying vital humanitarian aid.

Other sources confirm this:

U.N. officials said the U.N. and Red Crescent convoy was delivering assistance for 78,000 people in the town of Uram al-Kubra, west of Aleppo city.

The convoy was unloading goods for Uram al-Kubra say the Red Cross and the UN. But it was loading goods for east-Aleppo says WaPo? Hmm ...

Curious is also that the U.S. now claims that both, Russian and Syrian government forces, conducted a strike on the convoy:

Eyewitness accounts, along with social media postings and video, including footage of the wreckage, added to assessments by U.S. defense officials, show that the convoy was obliterated by airstrikes, first by helicopters dropping barrels loaded with explosives and shrapnel — a long-standing tactic of the Syrian government — and then by Russian bombers.

Earlier U.S. Secretary of State Kerry claimed that Syrian government forces were "evidently" responsible for the attack. Later U.S. intelligence claimed "the Russians did it":

Mr. Kerry initially said Syrian forces were "evidently" responsible for the convoy attack, which killed at least 12 people. The U.S. officials said new intelligence indicates that Russian forces, rather than the Syrians, conducted the strike.

And now it is both? And this conclusion is based on what? "Eyewitness accounts" from one Ammar al-Selmo who sits who-knows-where?

The "explainer piece also says that the Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov demands an investigation of the incident. But it was UN aid chief Stephen O'Brien who first called for an independent investigation:

I call for an immediate, impartial and independent investigation into this deadly incident. The perpetrators should know that they will one day be held accountable for violations of international humanitarian and human rights law.

There is no response yet by the U.S. to this UN demand. Might that be because the U.S. and its media can't get the facts straight?

Posted by b on September 25, 2016 at 10:43 UTC | Permalink

next page »

Neutron Bombing of Yemen May 2015 Confirmed

How Israel Was Busted Nuking Yemen

Posted by: okie farmer | Sep 25 2016 11:24 utc | 1

@okie farmer

C'mon turkey, Yeah! "Neutron Bombing" on May 28, 2015
This kind of crap is always from Gordon Duff, he is just a "gatekeeper" sowing obuscation to hide more real bad deeds.
(What do you know about neutron bombs BTW?)

Posted by: acrimonious | Sep 25 2016 12:12 utc | 2

Sept 14th The Telegraph wrote:

The UN has accused armed groups in Syria of blocking the delivery of aid to the besieged city of Aleppo for “political gain” - including rebel factions inside Aleppo itself who say they will reject aid that comes through regime territory.

UN says armed Syrian groups blocking Aleppo aid for 'political gain'

I believe theyr were rebels, namely al-Qaeda, who hit the UN aid convoy.

Posted by: Pb | Sep 25 2016 12:12 utc | 3

It is utterly beyond my comprehension how any sane human can believe anything coming from the U.S. government.
The best weapon Russia has is the truth/facts, on the ground in Syria.
The clown show put on by Obama, Powers, and Kerry would be laughable; if it weren't for the fact people are dying, many people every bloody day, literally bloody days.
The rulers of the U.S. are dead people; devoid of life. When I see them, I see dead people...

Posted by: V. Arnold | Sep 25 2016 12:21 utc | 4

A photo of what appears to be the remains of an OFAB-type bomb protruding from destroyed aid
I would guess that the bomb had detonated from the way the casing is fragmented so why are there undamaged boxes of drug just lying there? Also, where are the bodies, there were about 20 dead and a similar number wounded but no pictures of the dead or wounded, not at the site, not even the wounded in hospital. The first things that anyone from the White Helmets seems to do on arriving at such an incident is run round filming the dead and wounded but here there is nothing. BTW, the drone video of the convoy driving out of Aleppo was taken from one tasked for the purpose, the later drone video of the convoy at the warehouse was taken by one of the ceasefire monitoring cameras that the Russians set up for a live feed n the internet. The drone comes across the activity, records it for a few minutes then flies off somewhere else. It's possible that the senior Russians involved were not aware of this.

Posted by: Ghostship | Sep 25 2016 12:28 utc | 5

More on the rebels not liking the aid - demonstration against UN aid in East Aleppo

Basically they reject the aid coming through the governemnt route/under government control to East Aleppo and not the route they have been fighting to open.

There is also Aid agencies refuse cooperation with UN

More than 70 groups sign letter saying Syrian regime has influence over UN and Red Crescent operations, demand probe.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 25 2016 13:13 utc | 6

WaPo's latest attempt to obscure the facts comes too late.
The Syrians and Russians are making it obvious to the World that they no longer care what the Yankees are thinking, or pretending to think. They've sent for reinforcements and are completely ignoring the Yankees.

One suspects that we're about to discover how much of their own bullshit the Yankees really do believe.
Are they too stupid to get out of the way?
Does anyone care?

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Sep 25 2016 13:17 utc | 7

Ya gotta hold yer head just right if you wanna see the responsibility here ...


US Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican, South Carolina:

Russia. Did they bomb this UN convoy?


US Secretary of Defense, Ashton Carter:

The Russians are responsible for this strike whether they conducted it or not ...

... this is faith-based government. George Bush opened the door 15 years ago and every dispensation's been crawling in and out ever since. Especially the Faith-Based TNC Media. Not so much their viewers/readership any longer ...

Posted by: jfl | Sep 25 2016 13:18 utc | 8

Just a reminder of Paveway IV's excellent (but self-identified as TL;DR) comment in an earlier thread on the weapons possibly used in the aid attack.

TL;DR - the explosion showed effects characteristic of a Hellfire AGM-114N metal augmented charge thermobaric missile fired typically from large US drone (Reaper?).

Posted by: Yonatan | Sep 25 2016 13:24 utc | 9


Good eyes and ears on the 'loading/unloading' switch. Typical observation on your part, though not always on mine. Very interesting implications there to speculate upon. I come here to read your observations and conclusions and am never disappointed. Your conclusions are not always 100% correct, but no one's are, not even (especially not?) the historians'.

Posted by: jfl | Sep 25 2016 13:27 utc | 10

Perhaps it was done unloading its humanitarian cargo and was picking up something else for its next stop?

Posted by: Anon | Sep 25 2016 13:32 utc | 11

@9 Yonatan

Some folks can stretch that TL envelope a lot further than others before it engenders DR. I suppose it's a personal choice, a matter of taste as well as of experience, but PaveWay's envelope holds the full A4 sheet unfolded, in my estimation. I guess I should say usually. There must have been a DR instance or two in there somewhere. Must have been quite awhile ago, can't place it now.

Posted by: jfl | Sep 25 2016 13:35 utc | 12

Posted by: somebody | Sep 25, 2016 9:13:52 AM | 6


From the Al Jazeera link

James Denselow, a Middle East expert and research associate at the Foreign Policy Centre in London, said that Syria has become "the humanitarian challenge of a generation with various actors playing politics with humanitarian principles".

"The key question is whether this will force the UN into a new approach towards how it delivers its aid or if it sticks with the status quo, which will effectively mean even less aid for people living outside Damascus areas of control," Denselow told Al Jazeera.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 25 2016 13:43 utc | 13

A rather nuanced article in the Washington Post two days ago.
Not russophobic.
I'm surprised.

U.S.-Russian cooperation in Afghanistan peaked with the defeat of the Taliban in the fall of 2001. The Bush administration’s priority became preparing for the war with Iraq. The U.S. agenda on many international issues, including the scope of the War on Terror, did not align with that of Russia or, for that matter, many important NATO allies.

My interviews revealed that President George W. Bush wanted to improve ties with Russia, but Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld and others in the Bush administration did not, and other priorities such as missile defense, enlarging NATO and the war in Iraq took precedence. As one former official put it, “Rumsfeld saw Russia as a second-rate power; not worth a hill of beans.”

Despite his increasing frustrations, Putin maintained, at least publicly, a positive outlook on relations with Washington through the conclusion of his first term in early 2004.

The apparent total breakdown of the Syrian cease-fire after the airstrikes on a U.N. humanitarian convoy following the mistaken U.S. airstrikes on Syrian forces last Saturday reveals not only seemingly intractable differences over policy, but the dangers of U.S., Russian and other military forces operating in such proximity in the fog of this civil war. Former U.S. and Russian officials agreed in my interviews that this is not a “New Cold War” — but many expressed concern that it may actually be more dangerous. As one former U.S. official stated, “It is not as bad as it looks; it is worse.”

Posted by: From The Hague | Sep 25 2016 13:44 utc | 14

@okie farmer re Yemen Nuke

Besides the qualified people who agree it was a nuke, the astounding volume of hasbara noise on every channel showing the video is proof there's something in this that report the enemy wants to cover.

Another thing is, that most of the 'usual suspects' in the Hegemon's propaganda pogrom are not touching the story - that's unusual, too.

This video is good and *the physics involved would be very obvious to a specialist. I'd be inclined to go along with Paveway IV's opinion - Pagin Paveway IV!

*BTW, I'm a nrc certified class 2 tech so I do know something about radiation effects.

Posted by: O'Coner | Sep 25 2016 14:04 utc | 15

And here comes Boris talking about Russian war crimes. No proof of course. He's done a complete 180 on Syria BTW since his recent promotion.

"Mr Johnson also said Russia was "guilty of protracting" the war in Syria and of "making it far more hideous"."

Posted by: dh | Sep 25 2016 14:07 utc | 16

When in doubt, obfuscate. When that's not enough, lie, lie some more, and then add more lies. That seems to be unofficial US policy on all matters of foreign policy.

Posted by: WorldBLee | Sep 25 2016 15:38 utc | 17

the US Predator drone carries 2 rockets. There were no craters only flames. So the Predator killed the cargotrucks.

Posted by: aaaa | Sep 25 2016 15:47 utc | 18

Re: Posted by: dh | Sep 25, 2016 10:07:10 AM | 16

Boris has done his part. If it wasn't for Boris there wouldn't have been any Brexit, and no one here would disagree Brexit was a good thing, right?

But, to think Boris is anything other than a slaving Atlanticist Anglophile was never on the cards.

I don't blame him for that, he's never hidden it, he was born in New York for godsake! Still has his US citizenship I believe.

You really couldn't hope for anything further from these pro-Brexit Tories. They played their part, now it's up to the likes of Jeremy Corbyn to take the baton from here and remove the Tories from office. That won't be easy.

Unfortunately, that won't be for sometime as the next UK election is around the time the next US President will be on the way out. Whoever is elected of Trump or Clinton is I am certain going to be a 1 term President.

Frankly, I think a Tulsi v Trump showdown could well be on the cards for 2020. She's the only Democrat who's enhanced their reputations this election cycle. The only one!

As for what we should be riding in the next 12 months in the interests of world peace - there is plenty

Viktor Orban's Hungarian Migrant Referendum (October 2, 2016)
US Presidential Election (November 8, 2016)
Italian anti-democratic Constitutional "Reform" (November/ December 2016)
Austrian Presidential run-off re-run (December 4, 2016)
Netherlands General Election (March 2017)
French Elections (April-May 2017)
German General Election (August-September 2017)

Perhaps one could also throw in new Spanish & Italian Elections during this year as well.

12 months of fun coming up before the Global Financial Collapse - GFC 2.0 set down for late 2017 (September-October-November 2017) running into the Russian Presidential Election (March 2018).

Posted by: Jules | Sep 25 2016 15:53 utc | 19

If you think that the US isn't testing weapons in the various wars it is directly or indirectly involved in, you must think the defense department is for actual defense, rather than a handout dept. for the military industrial complex (among other things)?

Have they been testing nukes? I'd be very surprised if they haven't been.

Posted by: paul | Sep 25 2016 16:03 utc | 20

US NATO Red Crescent/Cross beating this Aid Convoy Story to Death. Like a teenager lying to his parents, the more details which must be hashed out, the more the lie becomes revealed.

They sure didn't want to talk about the MSF Hospital bmobing for this long.

BTW, Barrel Bombs. Picture a swarthy Snidely Whiplash rolling the barrels from the side door of clunky airplane.

High Tech Weapons and drone killing are much more peaceful. Hey - this is what passes for faux liberal anti-war perspective.

Posted by: fast freddy | Sep 25 2016 16:27 utc | 21

rt is carrying live an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council on Syria - apparently called by the US, plus reporting that the Russian Federation has called off the ceasefire following the lead of the Syrian president. I listened to the end of the Venezuelan representative's speech, and beginning of Egyptian one, each on opposite sides of the argument for or against maintaining the ceasefire, it would seem. My guess is the US is desperate to obtain a figleaf from the UN similar to Bush pressures pre-Iraq. I so hope they do not succeed as these are different days and surely most UN member states can see the handwriting on the wall by now.

Posted by: juliania | Sep 25 2016 16:46 utc | 22

@fast freddy #21

BTW, Barrel Bombs. Picture a swarthy Snidely Whiplash rolling the barrels from the side door of clunky airplane.

High Tech Weapons and drone killing are much more peaceful. Hey - this is what passes for faux liberal anti-war perspective.

Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Irak, Kosovo, Irak:


Much more peaceful in the old days.

Those were the days my friend
We thought they'd never end
We'd sing and dance forever and a day
We'd live the life we choose
We'd fight and never lose
For we were young and sure to have our way.
La la la la,
Those were the days, oh yes those were the days

Posted by: From The Hague | Sep 25 2016 16:58 utc | 23

File this under 'imitation is the most sincere form of flattery'.

Though not mentioned by name (only 'the best of the blogosphere'), click the link and ta-da!!! ..... Moon of Alabama.

Posted by: woogs | Sep 25 2016 17:14 utc | 24

What is also interesting is WaPo's explanation of why the ceasefire failed:

... the launch of the offensive [on Aleppo] called into question the entire premise of the agreement painstakingly negotiated by Kerry and Lavrov over the past eight months: that Russia shares the Obama administration’s view that there is no military solution to the conflict. On that basis, U.S. officials have explained, Moscow would be willing to pursue a negotiated settlement in return for a cease-fire and the prestige of eventually conducting joint military operations in Syria alongside the United States against terrorist groups.
According to this sping, Russia was never serious about a ceasefire! They negotiated in bad faith as they for their opportunity to strike?!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Sep 25 2016 17:31 utc | 25

Tom Cooper from War is Boring published this yesterday: "Who Bombed an Aid Convoy Near Aleppo? Russia or the Syrian regime?" I added a comment to the article expressing my incredulous that Syrian government forces would have any reason to bomb a SARC convoy.

To my surprise, Tom responded with a long, detailed reply to the question I posed. Mind you I don't necessarily agree with everything in it, but Tom makes several good points and adds a lot of nuance to an issue that I am too quick to take sides on or over-simplify.

I crave this kind of discussion on the internet. It's not important to me personally to be right or wrong - it's most important to consider the issues for the real layers of complexity they contain. There's nothing particularly interesting in the question I posed there, but I encourage everyone to read the exchange with an open mind and consider Tom's thoughtful reply.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Sep 25 2016 17:54 utc | 26

@okie farmer and others.

Stop this nonsense talk about nukes in Yemen.

ALL nukes have radioactive fallout measurable by any university around the world. The talk is thereby obvious nonsense. If you want to spread such go elsewhere.

The wailing banshee was harping at the UN about Russia using incendiary devices - completely unproven so far. "Evidence" are some very blurry pictures of normal explosions at night.

But here are two very recent headlines from US media.

Saudi Arabia appears to be using U.S.-supplied white phosphorus in its war in Yemen

U.S. forces are using white phosphorus munitions in Iraq but it’s unclear exactly how

Posted by: b | Sep 25 2016 17:55 utc | 27

@okie farmer:

Neutron bombs are ignited by atom bombs. Where is the shockwave, and why have there been no reports of radiation?

Posted by: Gesine Hammerling | Sep 25 2016 18:00 utc | 28


That was an education. However, lost in all that interesting minutia, is the rai·son d'ê·tre for the "war"*. Tom seems like a guy buying the whole GWOT theme and God Bless America, too. Will do further reading of his hairy-chested bombast.

*Yinon Plan, smash and grab, resource extraction, cockblock Russia and Iran, and more.

Note: If Red Crescent, knows their wares are being baksheeshed (as Tom indicates), they might find a more direct method of feeding people. (That is if aiding the needy is indeed their primary aim - doubtful).

Posted by: fast freddy | Sep 25 2016 18:52 utc | 29

I've been listening to the 'debate' at the emergency UN meeting and couldn't help noticing that Di Mistura is touted as the "UN Envoy to Syria". However, given Di Mistura's obvious Russophobia and hatred of Syrians and their ELECTED President, and the fact that the UN takes its orders from FrUKUS, a more correct title for Di Mistura would be the "UN-imposed Envoy to Syria."

i.e. the title "UN Envoy to Syria" is as intentionally deceptive as the "Visiting Scholar" horseshit which spin tanks bestow on each others liars & fantasists.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Sep 25 2016 18:59 utc | 30

@ PavewayIV 26

Tom makes several good points and adds a lot of nuance to an issue that I am too quick to take sides on or over-simplify.

Which points would that be? Tom's article is ridiculous and exclusively biased, the thought it could be done by terrorists (or heavens forbid, US drones) never crosses his mind. He even tries to present the fact that US created Al Qaeda (mainstream history, even admitted by US leadership) as "conspiracy theory" and "Assadist ideology".

He goes on, how Syria's "regime" gives an explicit orders to attack civilian population, and if officers refused, they are jailed or executed.

How "Assadists" are fanatic murderers, and dont care about Syrians. How Assad have no control over anything and Iranians run the show, etc. How Assad gassed his own people, and similar 100% insane drivel.

And how does our PavewayIV responds? "What a delight to finally read a well-reasoned and detailed explanation."

Seriously, I thought you are reasonable man, I guess I was wrong.

Posted by: Harry | Sep 25 2016 19:03 utc | 31

ff @29

Came back to say much the same thing.

Despite touting his vast experience and contacts on Syrian matters, Tom seems to be willfully ignorant of who is funding and arming the "moderate rebels", how these "moderates" inter-operate with extremists, and the propaganda network that prevents the Western public from knowing the truth.

Sy Hersh described the US-Israeli-Saudi conspiracy to use extremists as a weapon back in 2007 in "The Redirection".

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Sep 25 2016 19:07 utc | 32

Paveway IV is either naive or pretending to be. Clearly Tom Cooper (War is Boring - what a horrendous title for a site - smacks of jew smartarseness)is a lying bastard.

Posted by: pm | Sep 25 2016 19:33 utc | 33

The key to winning Syria's civil war is propaganda and Amerikka is very good at it. If you focus your eyes at the White Helmets which most MSM and regime in Washington's spokesmen gets their news.

For latest news and update 21st Century Wire has reporters either ground in Aleppo or update from Vanessa Beeley. 21st Century Wire provides either pod cast and Alternate Current Radio Live Feed.

My hope, Russia and Syria keep up the bombing, no more ceasefire to eliminate the ruthless "Moderates" (Headchoppers) once and for all. China took a neutral position during the last UN Security Council urgent meeting and She will veto with Russia should a NO Fly ZONE imposes on Syria and/or Russia.

Posted by: Jack Smith | Sep 25 2016 19:38 utc | 34

Have to say I am sick to death of the manipulation of truth by our media. Read, rather, began to read, an article in the guardian heained Bombardments cut off water supply to millions in Aleppo - or something like that, yet what transpires is that the rebels cut off water supply to west aleppo as revenge for SAA bonbing! So, the rebels we support are actually depriving millions of civilians of water! But the angle of the piece is that Assad is responsible.
I am so sick of such flagrant abuse of power by the media and such lack of action by our supposed regulatory bodies.
But they shall not win with lies!

Posted by: AtaBrit | Sep 25 2016 19:49 utc | 35

i.e. the title "UN Envoy to Syria" is as intentionally deceptive as the "Visiting Scholar" horseshit which spin tanks bestow on each others liars & fantasists.
Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Sep 25, 2016 2:59:20 PM | 30

Usage of the word envoy was already edging towards the Orwellian. Tony Blair's title upon leaving as UK PM was 'Middle East Peace Envoy'. Peace Envoy aka Flamethrower.

Posted by: MadMax2 | Sep 25 2016 19:52 utc | 36

Sorry, forgot to add that I suspect that water deprivation may be used to drive people from Aleppo to seek refuge in Turkey and then thr refugee crisis ysed by Turkey to either or both a) guarantee its no fly zone; b) blackmail thr EU once more.
Not coincidentally, it was only last week that Erdogan was openly threatening such a mass refugee situation again.

Posted by: AtaBrit | Sep 25 2016 19:54 utc | 37

Paveway's #26 provided more than enough information to deduce that War Is Boring is a Zio-crock.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Sep 25 2016 19:58 utc | 38

Xymphora : The list is never complete
Sunday, September 25, 2016

"The War Against the Assad Regime Is Not a ‘Pipeline War’".
Rare truth, but even Porter has to obfuscate to remain respectable. The credentialed classes deem it acceptable to blame the 'Pentagon' (and note this degree of comfort goes back to noamian propaganda), even though there is never any explanation for why the 'Pentagon' would care, rather than calling all these wars what they are, Wars For The Jews.
Nevertheless, it is good to read a hard evidence utter refutation of the Wars For Oil (or Gas) nonsense.

Posted by: Ethereal Schwerpunkten | Sep 25 2016 20:11 utc | 39

thanks b.. excellent coverage on your part.. the only line i can come up with to counter it and which is bullshit would be there's more then 1 Ammar al-Selmo.. lame excuse but the best i could think of!

@3 pb.. i think that is fairly obvious to any detached and interesting party at present..

@9 yonantan.. paveway left an even better viewpoint on the convoy attack on this thread - message @243.. worth reading..

@26 paveway.. i see your direct comment to tom found here, but i don't see his response to you... i agree with harry@31 and hoarsewhisperer @38...

Posted by: james | Sep 25 2016 20:13 utc | 40

@Paveway 26

Tom Cooper was unaware or lying about where the convoy originated from.
He thinks that Syrians are irrational in thinking that they are fighting US/Saudi/Quatar/Turkey ect and also thinks that they are irrational in thinking they are fighting foreign jihadists like AQ.
All parties especially in northern Syria fight alongside al Nusra UN designated terrorist organisation.
An not the forget the 2012 DIA report on AQ being the driving force behind the insurgency in Syria.
For those reasons I would put him down as deliberately spreading disinformation and ignore anything he writes.

Posted by: Peter AU | Sep 25 2016 20:23 utc | 41

Why would they need aid in Aleppo? From what we've seen in the videos, the only ones left are children who play in bombed out buildings, hospitals, and guys in white helmets.

According to NBC, the white helmets have been hit.
(warning lots of bias, spin, and dishonesty)

Men in White Helmets

(aka Ballad of Dusty Boy, sung to the tune of Knights in White Satin)

Men in white helmets
funded from afar
pull kids from the rubble
turn them into stars

Men in white helmets
photo ops with their friends
they pose with al Nusra
never pay for their sins

and they're lying
yes, they're lying
whoa, oh, ohhh

Men in white helmets
sell agendas of death
help the media enrage us
dusty boy out of breath

Posted by: Curtis | Sep 25 2016 20:24 utc | 42

And not to forget the 2012....

Posted by: Peter AU | Sep 25 2016 20:25 utc | 43


I read that too. They couldn't even bring themselves to state who it was that turned off the supply to western Aleppo.

They claim that Syrians are united in their hatred of Assad, which implies that those living in government held areas are living under the barrel of a gun.

Despite this they aren't interested in their plight in the slightest.

Same goes for the White Helmets. Where were they when the western Aleppo maternity hospital was being blown up? Sat with the guys blowing it up staging counter hospital attack scenes.

Posted by: Bob | Sep 25 2016 20:28 utc | 44

On the alleged Neutron bomb in Yemen. Radiation will cause scintillation but gamma rays will not be focussed by a camera lens so the scintillation will occur all over picture not just on edge of blast. Debris illuminated by explosion is more likely cause.

Posted by: Paul Cockshott | Sep 25 2016 20:41 utc | 45

@ PavewayIV

Another thing to consider in the disinformation, is that countries, or governments of secular countries like Iraq, Libya Syria, are compared to western pacified "democracies"
In those countries there is, and possibly always will be a section of the population that believes everyone should live by their version of sharia law and are willing to fight to the death for that belief. How do you keep a lid on something like that?
For that reason I believe secular middle eastern/MENA countries will always require an authoritarian rule -even though the majority may prefer secular- to keep them secular.

Posted by: Peter AU | Sep 25 2016 20:43 utc | 46

Posted by: Ethereal Schwerpunkten | Sep 25, 2016 4:11:48 PM | 39

Xymphora came up with The War For No Oil meme some time ago.
A google search for the topic turned up this 2007 post from Blier's Blog which dates the origin as March, 2007. It's Blier's rhapsodic gratitude followed by Xymphora's wfno post.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Sep 25 2016 20:54 utc | 47

France24 interview of Turkey FM Cavusoglu:

Ankara is planning to send troops 45 kilometres into Syrian territory to establish a no-fly zone and a safe zone...

He denied allegations that Turkey had entered Syria to attack the PYD/YPG Kurdish group [and] blasted Washington for arming the PYD/YPG group, calling this decision "unacceptable".

The foreign minister also squarely blamed Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his allies for the failure of the ceasefire, adding that the regime were also clearly responsible for the attack on the aid convoy.

45 kilometers into Syria? That would essentially be up to the outskirts of Aleppo, right?

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Sep 25 2016 20:56 utc | 48

james@40 - "... i see your direct comment to tom found here, but i don't see his response to you... i agree with harry@31 and hoarsewhisperer @38..."

The discussion interface is kind of odd there. Sorry - maybe people can't see replies to replies. I see it if I click a 'see replies' bar on the bottom but I had to register using my Twitter account. Maybe only I can see it - I have no idea. It's a fairly long reply, so I'm not really comfortable hogging the space here to copy and past it. That kind of explains the responses here though if people were only able to see the content of the original article. My point wasn't about the content of that, but rather his reply to me.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Sep 25 2016 20:59 utc | 49

b 27. Right you are. SA's been using cluster bombs in Yemen with no comment from the media. I didn't know they were using WP. That's what the US used in Fallujah and Israel used in Gaza.

Posted by: Curtis | Sep 25 2016 21:11 utc | 50

For that reason I believe secular middle eastern/MENA countries will always require an authoritarian rule -even though the majority may prefer secular- to keep them secular.
Posted by: Peter AU | Sep 25, 2016 4:43:10 PM | 46

That wasn't funny.
If you really are from AU, you MUST have noticed that the Liberals, starting with Tony (good friend of Israel) Abbott and followed by Malcolm (Good friend of Israel) Turnbull, have not only stopped listening to The People but are now consistently telling us what to think. That, my friend, is the very essence of authoritarianism.

So is the same sex marriage "plebiscite" - a vote the result of which is not binding on the parliament. So please, spare me the drivel about what arabs require.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Sep 25 2016 21:29 utc | 51

White Phosphorus, if it doesn't kill, creates horrifying burns. It rains down on women and children. NATO countries (ISrael and USA) claim to use it for nighttime illumination, but they are lying. They use it, against the rules, as an incendiary weapon. Then they say, "oops, sorry about that!".

Posted by: fast freddy | Sep 25 2016 21:30 utc | 52

@ PavewayIV | Sep 25, 2016 1:54:48 PM | 26

I've read Tom Coopers article, and your considered response:

One question.
Cooper states that he has dozens of sources over a period of years,
and that these sources confirm instructions from Damascus to target

Given that the US chants this mantra, and given that the US
has some of the most sophisticated espionage facilities in the
world, I would have expected the US to capture one of these
written orders and produce it at the UN. Case over...

If not that, then sworn affidavits from some of the pilots that
fled with their families and survived. Claim proven??

The dog that did not bark??

Posted by: DavidKNZ | Sep 25 2016 21:30 utc | 53

Hoarsewhisperer 51

What would be your solution for keeping a segment of the population that could quickly turn to violent extremism under control? Say you lived in a country where 20% of the population is this way inclined?

Posted by: Peter AU | Sep 25 2016 21:43 utc | 54

@ PavewayIV

The respondent at War Is Boring claims his information comes from insiders within the Syrian Air Force, while also claiming that all dissidents or even slightly disloyal persons within that organization have already been executed (along with their families).

Posted by: jayc | Sep 25 2016 21:44 utc | 55

Start researching on "White Helmets" or Syria Civil Defense" (the real Syria Civil Defense) after b posted in MoA. From there it lead me to 21st Century Wire where Vanessa Beeley posted all her findings. You must read her piece - The REAL Syria Civil Defense was established as an organization in 1953, some 63 years before the White Helmets. BTW I came to know 21st Century Wire back in 2013/14 even before MH370 and MH17.

The REAL Syria Civil Defense is a founding member of the ICDO (International Civil Defense Organization). You should take time and click onto every highlighted link for details. BTW Syria Arab Republic still paying its yearly due but get no credit or benefits from ICDO

Dun waste your time Google or even check Wikipedia. All you get MSM, ABC, CNN shits. I'm convinced without a shadow of doubt Vanessa Beeley is genuine and the rest are fake. I'll put all my money on Vanessa Beeley.

EXCLUSIVE: The REAL Syria Civil Defense Expose Nato’s ‘White Helmets’ as Terrorist-Linked Imposters


Posted by: Jack Smith | Sep 25 2016 22:17 utc | 56

@49 paveway.. thanks.. i wish i could read your response to tom...

@54 peter au... i know you aren't asking me, but in the case of syria, the idea of closing the borders to prevent military weaponry from entering the country, would be a good place to start.. as we see with syria, turkey, and israel has a different agenda.. if turkey or israel were to experience something similar, they would respond to it accordingly.. the fact that turkey has allowed headchopper inc. easy access to syria lays their agenda open for all to see..

in fact, it's conceivable 20% of the usa would turn to violent extremism too, but then they would be labeled 'terrorists' by the usa, and 'moderate rebels' by those who supported them... we see how the usa is handling dissension by the general public by responding with violent extremism.. some folks confuse it with democracy, lol..

Posted by: james | Sep 25 2016 22:24 utc | 57

@ jayc | 55

Yeah, I didnt see much difference in POV between Tom or Killary, its the same 100% BS demonizing propaganda, with no connection to reality. I forgot the name of US official who said they are creating their own reality, and when someone catches up to it, US creates a new reality, again.

As for Tom's anonymous "sources", in the same way I could say that Tom rapes little boys and eats babies for breakfast, and that information comes from insiders in Tom's family circle. Anyone can play this game.

Posted by: Harry | Sep 25 2016 22:27 utc | 58

ot - anyone know much about aranews?
they don't tell much on the page..
looks like a white helmets type pic inside this article.. i always knew propaganda would be thick and heavy in times of war...

Posted by: james | Sep 25 2016 22:30 utc | 59

Peter AU @ 46:

"... In those countries [Iraq, Libya, Syria] there is, and possibly always will be a section of the population that believes everyone should live by their version of sharia law and are willing to fight to the death for that belief. How do you keep a lid on something like that? ..."

The solution is blow the lid off and expose who funds that section of the Muslim population that believes in its particular version of Shari'a law. It's usually the Saudis, the Qataris or some other rich Gulf oil sheikhdom in cahoots with the US (by "donating" mega-bucks to the Clinton Foundation, HRC's presidential campaign or the war chests of other politicians), the UK or other Western countries, who are pushing their Wahhabi / Salafist ideology by stumping up the money to build new mosques and madrasahs and supplying the textbooks.

Posted by: Jen | Sep 25 2016 23:42 utc | 60

Ammar al-Selmo - FWIW he's the blue-shirt goofy-English guy in the night time "Syrian Christians" video. So he's in the area, if not just across the street making tea.

Posted by: Adam Larson | Sep 25 2016 23:43 utc | 61

@49 PW

Sorry. I lose the thread at author's responses to a reply by you to a posting at another blog where I need to login using my non-existant twit account.

TO;CBB (Too Obscure; Can't Be Bothered). They're preaching to empty pews.

The purpose of this whole exercise has been to drive the USAF acting as ISAF out of the headlines, and they're succeeding, seems to me.

Has the ISAF struck again? ...

Two aircrafts drop military aid to Syrian rebel near Turkish borders

Two military aircrafts airdropped military aid to Turkish-backed militants fighting the Islamic State (IS) in northern Syria, Turkish General Staff announced.

The two aircrafts – most likely American – took off from an airbase in the gulf state of Qatar, which hosts Al Udeid Air Base used by the United States Central Command against ISIS in Syria and Iraq, as well as al-Qaeda in Yemen.

The aids were dropped to the US-vetted 'moderate rebels' in Tal Ahmar near the bordering town of Al-Rai, used by the US forces as a headquarter to assist rebels fighting under operation Euphrates Shield against ISIS terror group.

Or is the Turkish Air Force volunteering to fly future ISAF missions ...

Turkey wants to join U.S.-led operation 'against Islamic State' in Raqqa: Erdogan

But Ankara is wary of the U.S.-allied People's Protection Units (YPG) and its political arm, the Democratic Union Party (PYD), Syrian Kurdish groups it sees as extensions of Kurdish militants who have waged a three-decade insurgency on its own soil.

"Our foreign minister and military authorities are in talks with the United States discussing the matter of Raqqa. We shared with them our conditions," Erdogan told reporters on his plane returning from New York, where he spoke at the annual United Nations general assembly and met U.S. Vice President Joe Biden.

"Taking a joint step is important for us," he said, according to private broadcaster NTV. "If the United States does not insert the PYD and YPG into this business, we can fight this battle with the United States."

... at McCain's Senate hearing only the Kurds were mentioned. No mention of Erdogan and his re-branded IS Turkmen.

Posted by: jfl | Sep 26 2016 0:13 utc | 62

@60 jen, 'The solution is blow the lid off and expose who funds that section of the Muslim population that believes in its particular version of Shari'a law.'

Absolutely. And to expose the US' use of IS moles (drawn from that poor, possibly benighted, definitely bedraggled section of the exploited Muslim population) in it's 'Assad must go!' campaign.

Whack the mole-masters 'underground' ('unknown' only to the actively benighted section of the Western population in it's particular version of White Men's Rules) rather than the endless stream of moles themselves which pop-up, now here now there, according to their mole-masters' requirements.

In short, expose the US' Global War Of Terror. Fifteen years old - thirty if we go back to its origins in Afghanistan with OBL - and still going, now morphing into Gülenist respectability. It is still only spoken of in the back pages, it needs to be on the fromnt pages, in the headlines, everyday, as the root cause of all the Western death, devastation, destruction, and DECEIT, over those three decades.

Posted by: jfl | Sep 26 2016 0:34 utc | 63

Russian media may want to request an interview with this al-Selmo character, and see how far the rabbit hole goes. They'll probably be denied, but the denial itself will be very revealing.

Posted by: telescope | Sep 26 2016 1:09 utc | 64

Hillary's neocon buddy at the UN, Samantha Powers says Russia supports barbarism. It takes one to know one, ay? Syria and Russia are accused of breaking the cease fire but no mention of the Deir Ezzor attack. And more photos of hurt children from the "activists." At least there is some common sense in the comments.

Posted by: Curtis | Sep 26 2016 1:36 utc | 65

Alexander Mercouris: US rages as Russia calls its Syrian bluff

The key point to understand, and which explains all the furious rhetoric of the last few days, is that the Western powers cannot stop the Syrian offensive against the Jihadis trapped in Aleppo. …

[British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said] that the only thing the West could do in this situation is to try to embarrass the Russians into calling a stop. He explained this by saying that “the one thing the Russians respond to is adverse global public opinion”. [LOL]

This explains all the current talk of war crimes, encompassing charges of (the unproved) Russian guilt for the attack on the relief convoy, complaints about the deliberate cutting off of Aleppo’s water supply, charges of the indiscriminate bombing of civilian areas of Aleppo, claims of the use of firebombs there etc.…

Posted by: Demian | Sep 26 2016 1:36 utc | 66

Going slightly off-topic, here is the cook-off competition between the SAA and ISIS:

Are people really all that surprised at who wins?

Posted by: Jen | Sep 26 2016 1:45 utc | 67

@65 d, 'the Western powers cannot stop the Syrian offensive'

let's hope the Russians don't stop it, again. They've demonstrated the US' bad faith to all. Vitaly Churkin says no more unilateral ceasefires ... he's making a functional distinction of course, those 'agreed to' so far have all been mutual ceasefires that turned out to be adhered to by just the Syrian/Russian side.

Posted by: jfl | Sep 26 2016 2:59 utc | 68

jfl@61 "I lose the thread at author's responses to a reply by you to a posting at another blog where I need to login using my non-existant twit account."

These links are to the my question posted as a reply to Tom's regarding the Syrian government's motivation to attack SARC:

And his detailed reply to me:

I followed up with another short message thanking him. The links above may have some logic tied to my account on something called that they use for discussion threads. If they don't work, then disregard. Sorry for the confusion.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Sep 26 2016 3:10 utc | 69

And as I said above, I don't necessarily agree with several points in his reply. I was just surprised to get a detailed, well-reasoned answer. I appreciated the time he took for a detailed response and had no intention of stating a long debate picking his reply apart on a comment thread in his article.

Not directed at you jfl, but if anyone is looking for a confirmation-bias echo-chamber of Assad good/Rebels bad or cannot tolerate opinions/information you don't agree with and discount everything on War is Boring as propaganda, then don't bother reading Tom's reply at all - you won't like it.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Sep 26 2016 3:26 utc | 70

@65 Demian - funny, that piece and those paragraphs were exactly what I jumped over here to post.

It's a good point Mercouris makes - that the west is falling back on the only weakness it can think of that Russia has, which is a sensitivity to world opinion. I believe Boris Johnson is the supremely useful idiot in this matter, and is revealing the current back-channel neocon buzz. Hence all the trolls everywhere, and all the gutter press yellow ink.

What the west has lost the capacity to understand is that nothing it pronounces counts as the kind of world opinion that Russia is sensitive to.

That was an age gone by, for the west. Russia's many friends and admirers in the multi-polar nations have seen the impeccable rigor with which Russia has accorded with law. These nations are the new holders of world opinion. Russia has gone to great lengths not to frighten them and to reassure them by its faultlessly civilized behavior. Now it all pays for itself.

I agree with Mercouris's assessment that the west cannot stop Syrian victory in Aleppo. I watched the clip of Dunford saying they couldn't control the skies over Syria without going to war with Syria and Russia. A wonderful moment.

There's will be false flags, one supposes. They will fail, one hopes. The people of the US will continue to believe whatever makes them comfortable from whatever their news sources are, and yet they will over a few short years see the US fail everywhere in the world. In a way the propaganda buffer may be a blessing that helps the US sink quietly into obscurity, with a whimper rather than a bang. We can only hope.

Posted by: Grieved | Sep 26 2016 4:09 utc | 71

It would seem Russia's patience with the US is finally at an end. Good, time to finish the job with those Wahabites and with the Kuznetsov off Tartus in a few weeks, good luck to the Coalition trying to impose a NFZ.
The only wildcard imo is Turkey's temptation to head South..

Posted by: Lozion | Sep 26 2016 4:24 utc | 72

@ Grieved I want some of what you are smoking

So you think that the US might sink quietly into obscurity with a whimper rather than a bang.

What do you think those good old boys are going to think when Trump wins and tells them that the outgoing black president oversaw the US "losing" military superiority in the world? The elites that own private finance. They have arranged America's demise to occur either under a black, female or slick grifter president.
Humanity only survives if it can evolve and end the centuries old control of the parasitic families that own private finance and everything else. They own the US govt. "representative" and the military. The also control the bullhorn of the media that is underreported as the social control tool it really is.

I have been watching it get worse for 40+ years and didn't have kids to have to explain this species extinction path to. If we are stupid enough to hold onto hubris invented religious myths as active centers of human focus, how can we ever evolve beyond the limitations of the past they lock us to?

Posted by: psychohistorian | Sep 26 2016 4:56 utc | 73

@68, @69 PW, '... anyone [who] discount[s] everything on War is Boring as propaganda ... don't bother reading Tom's reply at all - you won't like it'

Thanks for the links, PW. I read the post and both of your links ... bottom line ... I have to agree with your statement above.

I just jotted down what I saw as 'the bones' of the original post ...

1. Internal, Assertion : A series of air strikes lasting more than three hours ...

2. External, Question : b's loading/unloading ?

3. Internal, Assertion : more than 20 civilians were killed, including the head of the SARC, Omar Barakat

4. Internal, Assertion : a number of Syrians loyal to Assad’s regime celebrated the destruction of a “Nusra convoy” on social media

5. Internal, Assertion : well-positioned sources within the Assad regime began bragging about “revenge” for the deaths in Dayr Az Zawr

6. Internal, Assertion : The air strike on the SARC convoy was counterproductive for Russia, but perfectly in line with Assad’s aims and ideology.

7. Internal, Assertion : Nevertheless, the Russians are responsible, too.

... for some reason you chose to respond to this guy, and more baffling you chose to respond to my number 6 above, his assertion that 'The air strike on the SARC convoy was counterproductive for Russia, but perfectly in line with Assad’s aims and ideology'.

I don't know why you did so. You're usually a nuts and bolts guy, he made several nuts and bolts assertions ... you choose to counter his touchy-feely - well touchy-repulsive - assertions about the Syrian government. Actually his whole chain of such imagined assertions. His opinions.

And then when he 'backs up' his opinions with a whole raft more of such unfalsifiable assertions, you give him credit for it.

You must have been reading this guy for a long time and seen other stuff he wrote once that wasn't 100% opinion, in your eyes, and respect him for stuff we can't see, that's off the screen?

I'm sorry, but there's nothing on this particular thread from his site but propaganda. I can definitely recommend a skip of the whole site, unless you're doing a study of the imaginary world of the apologists for the US/NATO/KSA/GCC Global War of Terror in the Middle East. None of his stuff is any more than his assertions.

I'm amazed that you went right for the pure smoke of his argument and then inhaled deeply.

Posted by: jfl | Sep 26 2016 4:58 utc | 74

Just imagine how much quicker, how much cheaper, how many more lives saved in Syria it would be, without the idiotic self defeating Russian invitation towards Western tyranny, and against the US proxy terrorists ?
And Which only now Russia is clearly coming out and saying after five years of beheadings, slaughter and widespread terrorism with clear Western support ?

Just imagine minus the Russian miss-leadership without the cult of fake world view self identification ?

Just imagine the regret of celebration and propaganda of quickly aligning with post coup attempt in now increasing Turkish authoritarianism, which showed a brief opportunity of delusion for Russian realignment.
How quickly that came and went without apology ?

Posted by: tom | Sep 26 2016 5:42 utc | 75

@68/69 paveway.. thanks for sharing tom's reply.. i ain't buying it personally.."And ‘Syrians’: since when does the regime, since when do Assadists care about ‘Syrians’? Nobody there is responsible for anybody (except Assad to Khamenei and his IRGC cliques)." i pick up something from the tone of his comments, but it's his view coming out of the same angle of this being a religious war, based on your particular brand of islam that i don't buy.. that is the number 1 product on the american propaganda shelf that gets tossed out to explain why these crazy islamists are murdering each other.. lets drop everything at the feet of 'different sects of islam are the root problem facing syria' won't ya say? lol. i don't buy tom's viewpoint, but i thank you for sharing it.. and i agree with @73 jfl's overall view on tommy tantrum too..

Posted by: james | Sep 26 2016 5:44 utc | 76

speaking of tommy tantrum, lol.. look who shows up!

Posted by: james | Sep 26 2016 5:45 utc | 77

jfl@73 - "I'm amazed that you went right for the pure smoke of his argument and then inhaled deeply."

I didn't ask him directly about any of the bones of his original post except for this one specific assertion:

"...Because the SARC is operating in the areas controlled by such elements, and is supported by the United States, it’s cooperating with jihadists. Therefore the SARC is a legitimate target. That’s the Syrian regime’s way of thinking, at least..."

This promted my question re: "Legitimate target? Really" Where I tried to make the case that the Syrian government (I believe) in general would not have had any reason to target that convoy and could have blown it away inside government territory where it was loaded. I wasn't even sure we were talking about the same convoy because Tom says in his article that the convoy originated in Turkey.

I posed the question because I honestly wanted to know - based on my understanding of the situation - why he thinks Syria would want to target it. It was a question about Syria's motivation for such an action, not about Tom providing proof of their motivation or for Tom to defend his overall conclusions because I have a more 'correct' understanding of the situation.

"...You must have been reading this guy for a long time and seen other stuff he wrote once that wasn't 100% opinion, in your eyes, and respect him for stuff we can't see, that's off the screen?

I realize I was asking this to Tom Cooper in his article on War is Boring. I know what he writes about and his general view on Syrian matters. I wanted to know what Tom Cooper thinks Syria thinks, period. I don't agree with a lot of his views on Syria, but he's clearly not an idiot.

He answered my question/rant thoughtfully and with much detail - it's almost longer than his entire article. I thought he gave a somewhat well-reasoned explanation for his opinions based on his experience and interactions with Syrians. Some of it was predictable, but other parts were interesting and nuanced in a different way than I expected. I respect his opinion regardless of whether I agree with it or not. It is what it is.

Could I argue with his opinions based on my opinions? Sure. But I didn't ask him merely to debate the matter - I wanted to know why he thinks Syria would target SARC. Based on his response, I did not instantly turn into a slobbering anti-Assad fanboy for life, join the FSA and pledge my allegiance to the dream of a greater Zion. And I got a much better answer than the usual rebel sympathizer squeal of "Who cares? Assad must GO!" He made his case for why elements within the Syrian government/military may see SARC as a legitimate target. That's exactly what I wanted to know - what might motivate them to think this way. Is Tom Cooper right about all his assertions for how Syrians think? That's not what I asked. I wasn't looking for 'facts' - I wanted his opinion, whether it was fact-based or whether he derived it entirely with a Ouiji board.

I saw little reason to go into a long dissertation picking apart his response item by item considering this was his opinion in a comment section of his article on the War is Boring site. Nobody goes there to be enlightened by PavewayIV in the comments section - they go there to read authors like Tom Cooper.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Sep 26 2016 7:07 utc | 78

@77 PW

I agree that he's 'not an idiot', but the premise of his assertion was that he and we can know the psychology of 'the Assadists', that, in fact, he does know it, and that that knowledge is sufficient to discover who was responsible for the destruction of the convoy.

I just think that's nuts, or dishonest. By the depth of and the one-sided-ness of his characterization of 'the Assadists' I assume the latter, since he's not an idiot. But smart people can go nuts, too. I know it's possible to eat your own dogfood, and 'you are what you eat'. As well, it is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it. Upton Sinclair (1878-1968). Or the inverse. I think the guy is a paid propagandist for the neo-con camp/CIA/KSA ... whomever.

But whether he is or not, he delivered no facts, no compelling explanation of the convoy's destruction that proved beyond a reasonable doubt Syrian and/or Russian involvement. By Syrian I mean the Syrian Government, not some imaginary bunch of "rebels" fighting a "civil war" in Syria. And his last line ... 'Nevertheless, the Russians are responsible, too', is right there with Ashton Carter and James Dunford at the John McCain show. Fact-free and proud of it. He rings like a bell in consonance with 'Assad must go!' CHQ.

I'm not tarring you with that brush, PW. I think you are a stand up guy, I'm just amazed that you take a guy like this guy seriously.

If you're going to convince me that it was 'the Assadists' who destroyed the convoy you're going to have to do it with facts, not with intuitions about the 'essential nature' of 'the inner Assadist', but that's all this guy's got, isn't it? or was there more? did I miss it?

Ok, say the lack of such facts as I require makes knowing who was responsible for the (not at all well-defined) act of destruction impossible. In that case all we have are opinions, and in that case I agree with the argument of Assad himself in his interview with the mad dog from the AP the other day, in which he argued that it was not in the interest of the SAA to have done so, without appealing either to horns or to halos.

Posted by: jfl | Sep 26 2016 8:07 utc | 79


You may be fine with the answer that you got but the way you left it is likely to convey the impression to others that Tom's reasoning is sound. It isn't - as explained by jfl and others. See my comment @32.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Sep 26 2016 9:20 utc | 80

Anybody here find any confirmation of the rather scattered reports of a Russian missile attack on a control centre in Allepo? I think it started as a Sputnik article and then got picked up by Fars and a few others. They claimed over 30 Western intelligence agents were killed, and yet not a whisper in MSM.

Posted by: dan | Sep 26 2016 9:21 utc | 81

dan 80

Watch the video and listen to ex CIA acting director Morell. The news was leaked out by a Russian government owned news service.
I would guess western intelligence is down 30 agents.

Posted by: Peter AU | Sep 26 2016 10:11 utc | 82

That would be a huge slap in the face. Damn! That got their attention!
This is insane.

Posted by: dan | Sep 26 2016 10:31 utc | 83

Re Cooper's response to Paveway. I would say that the only thing he really has is the supposed document which pilots had to sign agreeing to bomb Syrian civilians. Well you know, USAF pilots would be expected to bomb civilians if so ordered. Of course, there's no pain when they're not white, but still they're civilians. The only difference is that the Syrian pilots were asked to sign a document. Evidently there'd been some argy-bargy at some point, and a risk of mutiny. Given the tactic of the rebels to hide out in civilian zones, and use the civilian population for protection, it is a difficult point what to do about it.

Otherwise I thought Cooper's response was piece of sh*t. I doubt very much whether he knows any current Syrian air-force officers. He's talking about the past, 2011-2012, but not admitting it. I.e. people who left and joined the rebels, or more likely went into exile. He calls current pilots Asad fanatics - that in itself says he doesn't know them himself. And amazingly enough he admits he doesn't know anything about the political situation, but still Asad is evil.

It's no great secret - I've known it for two years or so, from Syrians I know - that those who are still fighting on the govt side are mainly just the Alaouites. It's no great discovery by Cooper. It's why the counter offensive is so slow, and why they can't afford casualties. And why the bombing policy. But Cooper does not condemn the rebels for using the civilian population as human shields.

Posted by: Laguerre | Sep 26 2016 11:01 utc | 84

Posted by: dan | Sep 26, 2016 5:21:07 AM | 80

Anybody here find any confirmation of the rather scattered reports of a Russian missile attack on a control centre in Allepo?

Yes, on August 19th the Russian MoD announced that they had fired three Kalibr missiles from ships in the Eastern Mediterranean. Their video shows a direct hit on a command centre and a terrorist base in Syria. Also hit was a plant manufacturing mortar munitions. Both Sputnik and RT published stories on the strike, Sputnik titles theirs as Russian Warships Launch Cruise Missiles on al-Nusra Front Targets in Syria. According to Sputnik the terrorist command center was in Dar-Taaza (also transliterated as Dar Ezza of Daaret ‘Izza).

As to why Western intelligence agents would set up their terrorist command center in Darat Izza near Mount Simon, read this long comment by PavewayIV.

I think it started as a Sputnik article and then got picked up by Fars and a few others.

Yes, Sputnik Arabic published this on September 20th:

صواريخ "كاليبر" استهدفت قيادات عسكرية أجنبية في ديرة عزة بمحافظة حلب

According to the source [in the] field in the province of Aleppo, that the three rockets from Caliber kind launched by the Russian ships that recently targeted operations room for terrorists in Dera Izzat west of Aleppo in the Mount Simon, which is famous for the harsh nature of the mountainous and contains ancient caves area.

The source for "Sputnik", the operations room with 30 leading officers of the Turkish and the US and Saudi Arabia and Qatar and the British army and the Mossad, running terrorist operations in Aleppo and Idlib. (via Google translate)

It is quite likely that Western or GCC terrorist handlers were killed in this operation, or at least wounded. I have no idea how many and from what country.

Note, that Sputnik does not say the attack happened on the week of September 20th. August 19th is still "recently", especially considering how slowly rumors of secret operations are spread: someone heard that someone heard that...

They claimed over 30 Western intelligence agents were killed, and yet not a whisper in MSM.

Publishing the story now may be revenge for the U.S. attack on the SAA in Deir Ezzor. At least it helps save face in the Arab world.

Stories like this are a total taboo in the Western and English language media. In October 2015 I noticed that Facebook was "soft censoring" some of the videos the Russian MoD had posted on YouTube. Most notably a video titled "Su-24M bomber hits an ammunition depot in the mountain area in the district of Jisr al-Shughur". My conclusion was that an American citizen had died in this strike. The censorship was the US' silent confirmation and warning to Russia.

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Sep 26 2016 11:26 utc | 85

Petri - I've been trying to get my ShoutWiki password reset for almost as long as I had that account. I thought it was linked to my gmail account, but I never get a reset email and emails to support have gone unanswered. I have no idea what other email I might have used when I created the account. I'm not married to the PavewayIV ID, but surely there must be some way to get the damn thing reset through the ShoutWiki gods without me having to create a PavewayV ID.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Sep 26 2016 12:12 utc | 86

Jackrabbit@80 - "...You may be fine with the answer that you got but the way you left it is likely to convey the impression to others that Tom's reasoning is sound. It isn't - as explained by jfl and others..."

I have expressed myself rather poorly, so sorry for dragging the subject of b's post so far off topic. My final attempt to clarify and I will stop clogging the board with this nonsense: If I could ask Samantha Powers, Robert Ford or John Brennan the exact same question and get a detailed response, I would be equally delighted and think their reply would be interesting. I doubt it would be materially different than Tom Coopers. If I ever ask and they ever answer, I promise to never mention a word of it on b's board.

b has just posted a far more fascinating interview with headchopper Abu al-Ezz. Please - for the love of God - let my poor example of the opposition's views via Tom Cooper die in peace.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Sep 26 2016 12:38 utc | 87

Diana Johnstone has a good article up at counterpunch ...

The Hillary Clinton Presidency has Already Begun as Lame Ducks Promote Her War. She carries her narrative through

1. Samantha Power's uniquely cynical and hypocritical stunt replete with moralism and grandstanding

2. John Kerry's taking the stage in the U.N. Security Council this time, the critical point was the contrast between what we certainly did and what they allegedly did. Yes, we committed “a terrible accident”. But what they (allegedly) did was worse.

3. On September 20, President Obama used a Leaders Summit on Refugees to portray the Syrian episode in what increasing appears to be World War III as a sentimental children’s story. And it won’t occur to his teary-eyed audience that the photo of the little boy in the orange seat was quite deliberately iconized by Western media as part of the campaign promoting the Islamic rebel-connected “White Helmets” for the future Nobel Peace Prize.

Another subtle step in demonizing the “Assad regime” before Hillary takes over to administer the planned coup de grace.

I don't have links to the Kerry and Obama performances. I'm sure they can be found by those interested. I'm late to the Power piece because the UN version was flash, and I am no longer equipped to use flash. I got the gist of what went down via comments. I had never watched the Banshee's delivery before and it certainly was a shameless stunt, just as she described it. The other two sound like more of the same.

As well, PaveWay's links to the 'war is a bore' site above seem to me to fit right in with Diana Johnstone's trilogy, and US accuses Russia of “war crimes” as danger of US/Russia clash in Syria mounts wherein is covered the new ground opened by the neo-cons and Blairites at the UN on Sunday.

All this is to overshadow the criminal aggression against Syria by the US + { Denmark, UK, Australia } and their massacre of the 100+ Syrian Arab Army members by the ISAF at Deir Ezzor on 18 September 2016, a day that will live in infamy.

These publicity stunts by the US/NATO stuntwoman, stuntmen, and bloggers are surely the harbingers of more such aggression and massacres in Syria.

Posted by: jfl | Sep 26 2016 12:41 utc | 88

@87 PW

Your links to the views of TP were actually eye-opening to me Paveway. The 'pure' hatred embodied in TP's narative is startling and quite in keeping with that of the US Senators at the Carter, Dunford, McCain show in the Senate on the 22nd, I think it was. Thanks for posting them. The only thing I found startling was your taking the time to post at the site, and the tack you took in questioning his narrative. I understand now that you were trying to be reasonable and to learn something via conversation with the guy.

I think you've learned that same thing that the Russians have in trying to deal with the US/NATO/GCC? I know the three pieces you posted hammered home that experience to me.

I wouldn't even classify your adventure as a mistake ... experiment is close enough. I'm sorry I was so blunt in my criticism ... but the criticism is really of TP not of yourself. I was just surprised that were doing what I would classify as 'psychopath' outreach. It actually speaks highly of your attempts at objectivity, given your many expressions of revulsion with such characters.

Posted by: jfl | Sep 26 2016 12:56 utc | 89

@88 Samantha Powerless is looking quite desperate these days. Still dangerous though. She'll fight like a cornered rat.

Posted by: dh | Sep 26 2016 14:17 utc | 90

Hoarsewhisperer 51
What would be your solution for keeping a segment of the population that could quickly turn to violent extremism under control? Say you lived in a country where 20% of the population is this way inclined?
Posted by: Peter AU | Sep 25, 2016 5:43:03 PM | 54

I'd toss all the asinine, racist-supremacist, conspiracy theory-based "Ter'rism" laws in the nearest dumpster and prosecute the (apprehended) perpetrators of each and every violent crime under the pre-existing, comprehensive, and satisfactory, Criminal Laws and Statutes.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Sep 26 2016 14:56 utc | 91

I spent some time looking at the CNN airing of the Security Council session on Sunday. While Samantha Powers was speaking, any english speaking member of the audience would have been able to understand her speech as it was in english.
As soon as she finished speaking, a commentator obscured the french Ambassador and the next speaker and no translation was offered for these while she further interpreted Power's speech for her audience.

When Churkin turn came, his speech was translated. The translation was sooo poor, that one could not understand the Churkin intervention. The translator , a female, would utter three words, then uh, then eh, then uh and then three more words, uh, eh, three more uh words uh then two more and so on. There was no way one could restore the relationship between words in order to make sense of them.

It shows that CNN has more than one way to prevent the audience from hearing both sides of the story.

Posted by: CarlD | Sep 26 2016 15:25 utc | 92

Further to...
Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Sep 26, 2016 10:56:23 AM | 91

It's apparently easy for the pro War on Terror crackpots to "forget" that most countries which adhere to the Rule of Law have regulations prohibiting "cruel and unusual" punishment of convicted criminals.

So the net result of the pre-emptive WoT hokum is that even people convicted of "Ter'ism" receive punishment influenced by, and commensurate with, those regulations. Except, of course, in AmeriKKKa and Israel where kidnapping, extra-judicial murder and torture by Govt Agencies are all perfectly legal - which begs more questions than it answers.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Sep 26 2016 15:31 utc | 93

Posted by: CarlD | Sep 26, 2016 11:25:25 AM | 92

The Al Jazeera English broadcast followed the same (dog's breakfast) format. Embarrassingly(?) un-professional.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Sep 26 2016 15:42 utc | 94

PavewayIV @87, jfl @89

I have a great deal of respect for you, PavewayIV. I understood your point of view from the beginning - you wanted to be respectful of the reasonably intelligent response even if you disagree.

I was speaking for those who are less informed that might go to TP's site and find your exchange. They may be swayed to believe in TP's view. And that's the way propaganda works these days: multiple sources that all have the same narrative are convincing.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Sep 26 2016 16:38 utc | 95

Pop Quiz:

Tom =

1) Wowser (see the definition here, but excuse the Down-Underism)


2) Cyber-Sayan (see the definition here, but excuse the French)

Posted by: Quadriad | Sep 26 2016 20:58 utc | 96

Tom Cooper’s article begins with a massive fail when he described the convoy as “Entering Syria from Turkey”. There was another convoy, of 20 trucks, held up at the Turkey-Syria border, but this is not the convoy in question. The 31-truck convoy that came under attack at Urum al-Kubra crossed OUT OF west Aleppo into al-Nusra-controlled land about midday. See this tweet for evidence of this and a link to a tweet from @OCHA_Syria. De Mistura talked of the convoy taking aid to outlying villages in Aleppo and Homs governorates.
He continues with several other falsehoods: “Drones had tracked a pick-up truck towing a heavy mortar next to the convoy, making it a legitimate target, another Russian statement claimed”, say he. No mention of targets was made. This is pure invention on Cooper’s part. All the Russians did was provide drone footage showing the pick-up truck with mortar in tow, and the MoD spokesman admitted he was not certain what function this pickup had. He did ask, however, what happened to this pick-up at the time of the attack. The convoy is shown as stationary in the drone footage with only the pick-up moving. Exactly where—unknown. The Russians called off the surveillance drones once the convoy had reached its destination.
Cooper fails to mention the fact that S.V.Lavrov asserted that the Syrian Air Force are unable to fly at night. This fact is confirmed by the British MoD in case anybody likes to call Lavrov a liar.
As Konashenkov reported, after close examination of all the available video footage put out by the White Helmets (embedded with al-Nusra) he saw no evidence of an air strike. There are no bomb craters. The road is undamaged. Pictures in SM of a dusty bent old Russian bomb casing surrounded by undamaged wall and packets are simply too ridiculous to take any notice of.
That trucks caught fire is evident. What caused the fires, and the damage to the car in which a Red Crescent official was killed, is far from certain, but the most likely cause is ground fire. Al-Nusra had every reason to wish failure upon the US/Russia ‘agreement’ and neither Russia nor Syria had any such reason. Some will suggest that the Americans were complicit in this attack, or even that they used the Reaper drone to drop hellfire munitions on the convoy/warehouse. I personally think this is far-fetched. In my opinion this attack was planned and executed by the al-Nusra jihadis without consultation with any foreign power. Certainly the Americans have tried to use this fortuitous attack to blame the Syrians and the Russians and distract from their Deir ez-Zor attack on the SAA, but that is normal for them.
The UN very quickly rowed back from their initial statement that the convoy had suffered an air strike and said they could say only that it had been ‘attacked’. NATO’s Stoltenberg also refused to be drawn on the matter.
Twitter: @johndelacour

Posted by: John Delacour | Sep 26 2016 21:13 utc | 97

Did someone just say we should stop talking about nukes? I guess the British Daily Star did not hear it.

Putin accused of firing NUCLEAR style missiles in Syria that can horribly kill hundreds - Patrick Knox, Sep 26, 2016

VLADIMIR Putin has been accused of using nuke style weapons in war-torn Syria which crushes his enemies' lungs, sinuses, ears and intestines in an instant.

The nightmarish weapons of mass destruction are alleged to have been used by the Russians in their bid to liquidate Syrian rebels, according to reports.

Extraordinary video seen by Daily Star Online shows all the hallmarks of fuel-air bomb which sucks in oxygen and ignites air to create an explosion equal to a small nuclear bomb.

Footage shows an intensely bright flash near a city followed by flaming mushroom cloud which bears eerie similarities to a nuclear bomb blast.

To make it even worse, the video and photographs shown are not from Syria as claimed, but from Yemen.

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Sep 27 2016 1:01 utc | 98

Reuters have tracked down Ammar al Selmo and as you suggest he's in Turkey, more specifically Gazientep, home to many charities for some reason or other.

"We are trying to respond ... but we don't know what tomorrow will bring," Selmo said, speaking from Gaziantep, Turkey after recently leaving east Aleppo.

Funny they didn't note is recent stay in Urem al Kubra
Perhaps he needed a holiday what with his dog of a daily commute from Urem al Kubra to East Aleppo via the Ramousah Road. Dodging all those Saggers must be tiring.
Perhaps he felt a need to hang out with all the hos or is it bros in his Aleppo posse (ht to Dominic H).
Perhaps someone could clarify how recently he left Aleppo for Gazientep.

Posted by: Ghostship | Sep 27 2016 2:09 utc | 99

John Delacour@97 - "...Cooper fails to mention the fact that S.V.Lavrov asserted that the Syrian Air Force are unable to fly at night. This fact is confirmed by the British MoD in case anybody likes to call Lavrov a liar..."

SAAF can certainly fly at night, it's just that they can't target anything reliably with the technology used in their fixed-wing ground-attack aircraft. The SAAF aircraft configured for ground attack are old and have fairly dated ground targeting/bomb release systems. They depend in part on dated versions of laser rangefinders, which in their case must be pointed at large physical targets the pilot can actually see in daylight. This doesn't work at all in bad weather or at night. It won't work at night just by pointing it at a group of bright lights (like a factory complex or residential neighborhood). And that's for their dedicated ground-attack aircraft, of which they have few. They mostly use fighters or interceptors reconfigured as bombers with no special kind of dedicated fire-control systems. They calculate release points ahead of time cuing of of ground references and release the bombs manually. It's next to impossible at night.

The cannons ('machine guns') of SAAF ground attack aircraft are useless as well at night. They're actually pretty useless during the day unless the pilots have a death wish. You have to be far too close to the ground to use them with any effectiveness, meaning any 17-year-old head-chopper with a CIA-supplied shoulder-fired SAM can take you out. You can't use them from a SAM-safe height of 10,000 ft. - you have to dive at the target and fire from a few thousand feet up. They are terribly inaccurate, so they're not used by most pilots on that account alone considering the risk.

SAAF can kick barrel bombs out the back of a helicopter from 10,000 ft, but they are roughly only accurate to city sections and neighborhoods, not accurate enough to hit warehouse complexes and certainly not accurate enough to hit specific buildings or convoys. If I had to guess, I would say an experienced Syrian helicopter barrel-bomber could probably hit somewhere within in a half-kilometer radius circle maybe 50% of the time.

Russian aircraft in Syria used for ground-attack have modern fire-control systems and nighttime capability. What Russian pilots would never do is make multiple passes over a designated target, which supposedly happened during the convoy attack. The RuAF plans a strike, executes it by both aircraft dumping all their bombs at once and then they get the hell out of the area. They don't repeatedly circle around dropping a bomb or two at a time to see what happens. Russian ground attack aircraft have cannons, but it's preposterous that they would use them on a fixed target at night after bombing it. Their aircraft's GSh 23 or 30 mm autocannon produces rather impressive and obvious holes in things, none of which were seen anywhere in the 'convoy attack' scene.

It's not absolutely impossible for Syrian or Russian aircraft to have carried out this strike. But even if one ignores the lack of any corresponding ground damage that you would fully expect, the White Helmet's account/video of a prolonged and/or repeated aerial attack does not match anything we've seen in the last five years of Syrian or Russian ground attack operations. It looks like video (and sound effects) edited together by someone unfamiliar with air-ground operations trying to give the impression of a deliberate, punitive attack against the SARC convoy/warehouse.

They really should have left the vid part up to Rita Katz. At least she would take the trouble to ask a RAF guy at MI-6 what realistic video of an actual attack would look like. When you outsource your propaganda instead to low-cost Syrian head-choppers, you just can't get the quality you want. Lord knows you can't rely on Bellingcat or CIT to pick up the propaganda slack afterwards - they're getting pretty sloppy, too.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Sep 27 2016 2:52 utc | 100

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