Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
September 21, 2016

Syria - The Aid Convoy Attack Points To Further Escalation

The show-down over the damaged aid convoy west of Aleppo is reaching comedy level.

The UN/SRC convoy came from the government held west-Aleppo. It had reached a Syrian Red Crescent center in Umm al Kubra in the "rebel" held area further west where it started to unload. Something happened and many of the trucks burned or where otherwise damaged. Allegedly some 20 people were killed. The incident happened shortly after the ceasefire had officially expired. U.S. sponsored "White Helmet" propaganda teams where there when or shortly after the incident happened.

Here are various claims that were made about the incident (I am time restricted and will for now not provide links for each of these):

The U.S. and its allies claim that the convoy was bombed in an air attack. The Russians deny that they or the Syrians executed any such attack.

The "rebels" had various version. Syrian jets AND helicopters did it; "Barrel bombs" were used; a sustained attack over hours ...

U.S. Secretary of State first claimed that the Syrian did it, than that the Russians did it; helicopters had attacked. The Pentagon then came up with two Russian SU-24 fixed wing aircraft as the culprits. But the U.S. then claimed that the attack went on over two hours which is longer than a pair of SU-24 could sustain.

The Russians said neither they nor the Syrians attacked. They alleged that "rebels" attacked the convoy; that there had been no bombs, only damage from fire.

The pictures of some trucks show damage that is mostly from fire, but there also seem to have been some explosions and shrapnel impacts though no big direct hits. For me that leaves both possibilities open - an air or artillery attack or a simple local sabotage operation.

I don't know what really happened.

But independent from what happened is the question of motive.

Why would the Syrian Air Force attack the Syrian Red Crescent with which it has good relations and which also works in all government held areas? Why would the Syrian or Russian forces attack a convoy which earlier had passed through government held areas and checkpoints and was thereby not carrying contraband? I find no plausible reason or motive for such an attack. Nor has anyone else come forward with such.

A few days ago the "rebels" had accused the UN, which had goods on the convoy, of partisanship and said they would boycott it. "Rebels" in east Aleppo had demonstrated against UN provided help and said they would reject it. There was a general rejection of the ceasefire by the "rebels" and they were eager to push for a wider and bigger war against Syria and its allies. Al-Qaeda in Syria even made a video against the ceasefire. A part of the ceasefire deal is to commonly fight al-Qaeda. They naturally want the deal to end. The attack on the aid convoy seems to help their case.

The motive argument makes an attack by the "rebels" plausible and an attack by Syria and its allies implausible.

Kerry spoke at the UN today and performed some funny stunts that had the silly purpose of blaming Russia.

He said that Jabhat al-Nusra and Jund al-Aqsa are al-Qaeda and U.S. enemies and must be fought. He did not explain why the U.S. -for the last five years- provided al-Qaeda with weapons and munitions (via its sponsored "rebels"). He did not explain why the U.S. so far did not do anything about al-Qaeda in Syria. He did not explain why the U.S. did not order and forced its proxy "rebels" to distance themselves from al-Qaeda as it had promised at the begin of the ceasefire. Laughable nonsense.

Kerry then demanded a no fly zone over north-west Syria to prevent attacks on aid convoys. The whole UN erupted in laughter (silently). Surely he would love that. His "rebels" could then rearm, regroup and openly prepare for new attacks as they did under the first ceasefire in February. No, Russia and Syria will not again agree to that, nor will the UN Security Council. The demand was a lame joke.

But the gloves are coming off. The Syrian/Russian side is convinced that the U.S. willfully attacked Syrian forces in Deir Ezzor to hand the city to ISIS. The "rebel"/U.S. side (or their relevant public) will convince itself (despite lack of evidence) that the Syrian/Russian side is willfully attacking hospitals and humanitarian convoys. The words in front of the UN got markedly sharper.

I am afraid that we will soon see another serious escalation of the conflict. An incident between U.S. and Russian planes or something like that. This is playing with fire in a room full of dynamite.

This show is no longer about Syria. The conflict is now part of the U.S. election campaign. It is also about some very stupid need of some adolescent nations to prove to the world that their balls are the biggest. Stupid and deadly nonsense that will kill many bystanders and solve nothing.

Posted by b on September 21, 2016 at 17:04 UTC | Permalink

Comments
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@86 PK

Over a month ago ... I remember the report now, although I didn't pay it much attention then. That would account for no corroboration now. If so, why is it being dredged up and re-reported now?

Because in the interim they learned who they popped? who was actually operating the post? who was actively collaborating with - more, running the intel operation for - the expensive, imported 'rebels'?

Right on top of the USAF collaborating - in the midst of the Cessation of Hostilities it had negotiated - posing as the ISAF, with the expensive, imported head-chopping Islamic State?

Expose the underside of the rock and the sun-shy creepy-crawlies there. Sounds like an explanation to me.

Posted by: jfl | Sep 22 2016 4:14 utc | 101

@99 d, 'I have reservations about following the usually valid vote third party rule. That's a long-term strategy, whereas we seem to be in a crisis situation'

Allowing the (permanent) 'crisis' situation to interfere with an essential long-term strategy is not the Russian way :)

Do you have an alternative long-term plan? I'd love to hear it.

There seems to be no short-term plan at all : Clinton or Trump. That's it.

I guess you're a Trump supporter? Only as 'the lessor of two evils', of course :)

Posted by: jfl | Sep 22 2016 4:23 utc | 102

james@91 "...do the russians have any hellfire missiles? or anything that acts like that?..."

Russia has a thermobaric version of their 9M120 Ataka missile with approximately the same size charge (just under 10kg). I don't know of any reliable videos of a 9M120 explosion at night, so I couldn't compare it visually with the thermobaric Hellfire.

The difference between the Ataka and Hellfire is that the Ataka is command-guided. You need to steer it to the target after firing like a TOW missile (except the Ataka uses radio signals, not wires). Hellfires are IR and millimeter-wave radar seekers - they aim themselves once you designate a target. So if Russia were to use an Ataka in Syria, it would most likely be fired from their attack helicopters. I don't believe any jet aircraft can use Atakas - everyone who has them uses them from helicopters, armor and ships.

Russia has only started producing heavy, long-range armed drones. I doubt they have anything like a Predator/Reaper in Syria yet. They have plenty of long-range recon drones and smaller armed drones, but are only just now fielding their first big ones.

Russia certainly has other Air-to-ground laser/radar-seeking missiles (Kh-38), but they're much heavier and have a large charge of a few hundred kilos. They don't come in thermobaric versions that I know of. They do have air-dropped MAC thermobaric gravity bombs (they love to call them 'vacuum bombs') but the blast is different than a Hellfires (in my estimation - I'm certainly no expert).

Posted by: PavewayIV | Sep 22 2016 4:37 utc | 103

@97 Paveway, any follow up on the twitter link you posted a few days ago about possible killed Russian SF in Deir Ezzor?
Like I posted on the previous thread, I wonder if this Kalibr launch is retaliation for those killed in the USAF attack.
If so, this should be understood as a serious warning to the Coalition that Russia will answer any agression in kind..

Posted by: Lozion | Sep 22 2016 4:52 utc | 104

Lozion@103 - "...any follow up on the twitter link you posted a few days ago about possible killed Russian SF in Deir Ezzor?..."

Nope - haven't heard a peep out of anyone else about this. I'm guessing that if there was any credibility to it, we would have seen something else by now. Unless the Russians don't want people to know.

Petri - I saw you replied to YallaSouria's tweet. Did you see anything else on the supposed Russian casualtie(s) anywhere?

Posted by: PavewayIV | Sep 22 2016 5:24 utc | 105

@jfl #101:

I guess you're a Trump supporter? Only as 'the lessor of two evils', of course :)

I am going to keep this short because I don't want to derail the thread, even though I think this is an interesting issue.

I was born and live in the US, although my parents were both Russians from Russia. You are aware that Hillary, the Democrats, and the media which has been openly boosting Hillary are now absurdly demonizing Russia, aren't you? So without knowing anything else about me, how could you possibly think that I wouldn't vote against the Russia hater Hillary, which means voting for Trump, not third party?

Even if I wasn't ethnically and culturally Russian, I would still vote for Trump, because I also have an American identity, and wish well for America. But that's a different matter. The only point I wanted to make is that given that (1) the Dems are all about identity politics now and (2) they are also more Russophobic than Americans were during the peaks of the Cold War – how can Americans from a Russian background not vote for Trump??? Hillary gives them no choice.

Posted by: Demian | Sep 22 2016 5:33 utc | 106

@102 paveway.. thanks.. i am thinking the russians pushing for a full investigation on where the responsibility for the aid convoy destruction rests is something it will be hard for the usa to deny at the un.. although thinking that the usa would ever stop the constant russia/syria bashing is overly idealistic on my part.. any attempt at getting the truth out after all the lies that have been told, will be difficult.. more lies coming, no doubt..

Posted by: james | Sep 22 2016 5:57 utc | 107

@105 d, 'Hillary gives them no choice'

C'mon. Vote for Johnson, you're a libertarian, right? Of course you have a choice other than Trump. Don't be silly. You could help swell the 'other' vote, make a difference. Don't waste your vote on Trump. You have nothing to lose but your chains.

I do believe this CIA/Pentagon/Intelligence Community acting on its own is like the geni letting himself out of the bottle. They're not gonna get him back in again. Have probably lost interest in doing so already.

Only three wishes : the first, to be let out of the bottle; the second, Russia; the third, China.

What can go wrong?

Posted by: jfl | Sep 22 2016 5:58 utc | 108

On the one we are really here:

Alice laughed. “There’s no use trying,” she said: “one can’t believe impossible things.”
“I daresay you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen. “When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”

(Through the Looking Glass, Chapter 5)

Posted by: Hood Canal Gardner | Sep 22 2016 5:59 utc | 109

@jfl #107:

C'mon. Vote for Johnson, you're a libertarian, right?

What on earth makes you think that I'm a libertarian? I hate Hayek. And I voted for Jill Stein in the last election. I don't even consider libertarianism to be a real political or economic philosophy: it is just a fraud concocted by delusional American reactionaries.

On a side note, I would like to say that I am grateful for PavewayIV's presence here. I don't explicitly respond to his comments because I have absolutely no military expertise.

Posted by: Demian | Sep 22 2016 6:27 utc | 110

@ Jay #84

UNSCR 2249

Posted by: From The Hague | Sep 22 2016 6:29 utc | 111

There exists a high difficulty in meeting the empire's acts of aggression in kind in order to to prevent further violence WITHOUT CAUSING ESCALATION. I fear Russia has some hard choices to mker here, there is a LOT on the line now. It's like a massive poker game, but here the stakes are much higher. V

Its been a very scary couple days, I think it signals a big change in how America is going to operate in Syria (likely the same change is or will soon be applicable to the Ukrainian/Crimea situation). The force being applied by the West is going to be stepped up likely, perhaps it may become much more overt (at least in against the government).

My god this is frightenening though. I wish America cared more about destruction of the entire planet than it's hegemonic status. It stuns me that people can act with such disregard. Unbelievable...

Posted by: FecklessLeft | Sep 22 2016 6:31 utc | 112

@jfl #107

Gary Johnson?
Don't be silly!

See this:
Gary Johnson on Hillary: 'A Wonderful Public Servant'
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cIxJicyjLLE

Posted by: From The Hague | Sep 22 2016 6:38 utc | 113

Demian@109 - Thanks for the compliment Demian, but I assure you that I am no military expert in any sense of the word (except maybe a Google expert). The information I pass on comes mostly from other people who I think are experts or knowledgeable in their fields or have opinions I trust (or at leas have some good gossip) on the subjects. A lot is conjecture by people with no military experience but well-honed critical thinking skills and a keyboard. There are too many great sources to count on the internet from damn near every country on earth. It's all out there for anyone to find - I just try to distill it for everyone's consideration. My marginal and dated experience as a kind of delivery boy in the USAF is rarely pertinent to the actual matters being discussed. Like any vet, I can probably sort through the military acronyms in documentation a little faster than the average civilian. Other than that, I'm just another idiot on the internet. There are military experts out there - I'm not one of them.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Sep 22 2016 6:56 utc | 114

@Yul | 7
time to send on the clowns!
and he represents the UK - says a lot about where we are.
lol.

Posted by: AtaBrit | Sep 22 2016 7:52 utc | 115

@109 d,

Sorry. I don't know where I got the idea you were a libertarian. You are of a conservative bent though, aren't you? I remember you as sympathetic to AfD. Perhaps that's more like Trump than libertarian? By all means, vote for Trump if he's the one you prefer. But there are lots of other choices available and, according to my lights, writing in a candidate is preferable to either of the mainstream offerings. In 2012 only 1.6% of those casting a ballot cast one for a candidate outside of the zoo. I'm glad to hear you were one of them. I voted for Rocky Anderson myself, so I guess I should say us. We need at least ten to twenty times that number before we can recognize ourselves as a potentially cohesive political force.

@113 pw,

I also am very appreciative of your expertise on military matters, or on googling, if that's what it is, and of your sharing your views in general with all of us. You detail your reasons for thinking one way rather than another whenever you've made a choice in the formation of your opinion, and that's a very helpful feature of your posts, in my opinion.

Posted by: jfl | Sep 22 2016 8:06 utc | 116

Of course, this has never been about Syria per se. It has always been a proxy war about Hegemonic control. Syria's fate particularly matters only in that it is one of a series of countries slated to fall because they refused to kneel to the Hegemon. Beyond that Syria matters because it is a proxy battlefield between the US-Nato axis and the Russia-China axis.

Oh dear me, I'm sorry. That's a conspiracy theory, isn't it? Oh and did I repeat myself? Did I oversimplify? Please folks, continue chewing on rocks. I apologize for the truth-eruption...

Kudos to Russia for apparently not picking this moment to kick Assad in front of the bus (because yes, there is a deeper level than the proxy war, but certainly I wouldn't want to disturb any blue pillers).

Posted by: paul | Sep 22 2016 8:15 utc | 117

The pretence of peace


As from now, Russia will intensify its diplomatic advantage – the United States have been caught red-handed in treachery. Moscow could therefore use the General Assembly to announce its desire to finish with the jihadists. The US manipulation will turn against those who imagined it. Washington will have only two options left – either engage in an open confrontation, which it does not want, or accept that its protégés lose the game.

So says Thierry Meyssan. May the Syrians and the Russians persevere, finally, until the US and its protégés lose the game.

Posted by: jfl | Sep 22 2016 8:53 utc | 118

maytham ‏@maytham956 Sep 20
Gun shots' marks on one of the trucks of the attacked #UNConvoy
#Aleppo #Syria pic.twitter.com/UChunJVLDl

Posted by: brian | Sep 22 2016 9:13 utc | 119

@ PavewayIV and @ Grieved

Thank you. Between the two of you and the facts presented by b we get a comprehensive picture of what is happening.

Only one question about b's last paragraph, quote: "This show is no longer about Syria. The conflict is now part of the U.S. election campaign. It is also about some very stupid need of some adolescent nations to prove to the world that their balls are the biggest. Stupid and deadly nonsense that will kill many bystanders and solve nothing."

With the adolescent nations clearly Russia should is not meant, but b is referring to the US and its partners. The Russians in particular have no intention to show how manly they are. They are the ones who want to negotiate and resolve this peacefully. I hope I'm reading this right.

But to the convoy attack.
What a nearly perfect crime.

First the Americans (or in this case it were the Danish, Australians and Brits, so the Americans don't have to carry the blame on their own) bomb, "by mistake", the Syrian troups, although there have not been any other two fighting elements in the area than the Syrian Army and IS. According to Kerry: Very difficult to determine from air who is who unlike a series of Trucks who are clearly marked with the UN sign on them. Thus referring to the accusation made by the US and the MSM that Russia or Syria "barrel bombed' the UN aid convoy.

It clearly would be of no use to the Russians or the Syrians to do that. But not only does the accusation perfectly distract from their own war crime but it also achieved in further demonising president Assad.

Even the UN secretary General, obedient tool of the host country of the UN, jumped in and did not hesitate to mention Barrell bombs by the Assad "regime". What a clownesque show.

Let's hope the truth about this incident will emerge and it will break the neck of these warmongers and pathological liars.

Posted by: Demeter | Sep 22 2016 9:24 utc | 120

It is good that Pentagon is not giving any details "why they suspect Russians", because on the rare occasions when it does provide details they are totally baffling:

NYT: In Washington, the Pentagon said it was investigating the exact makeup of the Syrian troops who were killed on Saturday. A Defense Department official said that the strikes occurred at a Syrian military encampment where certain Syrian soldiers who had fallen out of favor with the military, and who were not wearing uniforms, were being detained.

Ahh! That explains everything! Because the soldiers were "out of favor", bombing their encampment was presumed OK! Especially given their sartorial sloppiness. Too bad that we do not know the lengths of their facial hair, long beards pointing to ISIS, and long mustaches, to Druze who are allied with the government. But wait: how was it decided that this location is under the control of ISIS? How fantastic level of stupidity was needed?

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Sep 22 2016 9:45 utc | 121

#119 Demeter

Barrel Bombs - Shmarrel bombs.

A-bombs were ok when the Americans used them. Only those 2 times. They "saved lives".

Their biggest sins of the barrel bombs is that they are 1) very cheap to make for their firepower and 2) inaccurate

Ideally, Assad would go bankrupt in the first month or two using laser guided ammo only to spare the lives of Western-supported head-choppers. And then, once out of $50k a bomb LG weapons, get Qaddafied.

Too bad Assad is too smart to be human rightized in his **tt and decided he prefers to kill rodents en masse and on the cheap. He chose life (for him), death (for the Takfiris). He chose barrel bombs. Mazel tov!

Barrel bombs were great for the "Western Civilization" and for Croats when they were fighting the "Serbian hordes". They were not one bit war criminal when used by Croats to defend East Slavonia. Because the poor Croats were "poor" and "too unarmed". So they had to barrel bomb to defend themselves, innit.

Guess what NATO bitches? What's good for the geese is good for the gander.

Barrel bomb the NATO HQ in Bruss next

Posted by: Quadriad | Sep 22 2016 9:47 utc | 122

just waned to say "thank you" to PW4 for the @45 and the follow-up alike. It always illuminating to read you.

Posted by: Wizzy | Sep 22 2016 10:03 utc | 123

We just see the bubbles on the surface of what is going on in Syria and what is planned.

The Syrian government has an evacuation/deportation strategy to Idlib so presumably has a plan where they want to concentrate and control the "deplorables". It is possible that they have an agreement with Turkey for this and this is what the Kurdish-Turkish-Syrian conflict is about. People being transferred to Kurdish areas.

The UN oppose this strategy and insist on supplying people where they are. I don't think the Qatari/Turkey pipeline route is in Turkey's interest when they can get their gas via Russia and Iran and distribute it to Europe from there.

So maybe Turkey is taking control of the border to block supplies.

Something has got to give.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 22 2016 11:16 utc | 124

latest Assad interview

The interesting stuff is that they are interviewing him, not the stuff he says.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 22 2016 12:39 utc | 126

Newsweek on the transfer/evacuation strategy

The account is probably largely correct but one sided - they don't cover the "rebel" "humanitarian" strategy trying to get outside support on "right to protect" principle.

What is left is trying to make "rebels" fight as long as possible without any prospect of success, just to weaken their adversaries and keep them engaged.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 22 2016 13:30 utc | 127

Kelly is in his last mission before quitting. He failed as a presidential candidate and he is about to fail as secretary of State.

Maybe is is the right time for him to show he is no coward. Time to stop denouncing Russia or Syria or Iran and denounce and threaten the USA's dearest allies: Saudi Arabia and Qatar who are still allowed to fund ISIS, Moslem Botherhood and other parasitic Wahabbis and Islamists in all immunity.
Ban Ki Moon was courageous enough to spell part of it in this last speech. I hope Kerry will do the same. At least he would be remembered as a courageous man.

Posted by: virgile | Sep 22 2016 13:51 utc | 128

@100

Israelis,SAS etc. operating in Syria wouldn't surprise me at all. But something about the Kaliber strikes doesn't add up. No drone photos, no bodies, no rapid evacuation. Seems to me more like the news release is designed to get the 'rebels' (the ones whose brains haven't been addled by Captagon) wondering who benefits from their activities.

Posted by: dh | Sep 22 2016 13:56 utc | 129

Bashar Al-Assad: Full interview on the Syria crisis

Posted by: virgile | Sep 22 2016 14:10 utc | 130

dh | Sep 22, 2016 9:56:14 AM | 128

Yeah, the Kaliber strikes; not a single confirmation they actually happened.

Posted by: V. Arnold | Sep 22 2016 14:10 utc | 131

One surely has to ask oneself, why AEI's Criticalthreat.org, created in 2009 has no entry for Syria. If you search the database you'll find it under the header Iran.

http://www.criticalthreats.org/

Reminds me slightly of Mr. Faster Please Ledeen, first let's take Syria and then Iran.

Posted by: Xenotude | Sep 22 2016 14:15 utc | 132

This action against the the aid convoy, by the U.S. led coalition and their proxies, as any reasonably thinking person will understand has taken place, serves multiple purposes. One as a news cycle diversion, as with the recent 'terror attacks in the USA, for the open aggression by the coalition against the Syrian national forces and allies as an act of war, using the fig leaf of having committed a 'mistake.' Secondly for the western MSM to lay the blame on Syria and Russia as a false flag in this on going propaganda war. And thirdly to continue to provoke Syria and her allies with this action as an actual act of war, most likely committed by the American proxies under their command, as a not too subtle dare expressing an attitude with the usual hubris and arrogance the U.S displays for any other nation or people, basically implying "What are you going to do about it?"

We are in extremely dangerous times but I have to put faith in the Russian brain trust to respond in the appropriate manner without tripping a wire. May any deity there is show compassion for those who are resisting the evil that exists within the western political and economic sphere of influence that seeks to subjugate the entire world to its miserable ideologies of greed...

Posted by: BRF | Sep 22 2016 14:48 utc | 133

The 'Russia did it' narrative is beginning to fall apart.

https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/20160922/1045586415/syria-convoy-attack-provocation.html

"There is no evidence that it was an airstrike of either Russian or Syrian aviation on the humanitarian convoy in Syria," Wael al Malas, the representative of the Syrian branch of the Red Crescent, which escorted the convoy, told Russia's Izvestiya newspaper.

"On the contrary, everything points to it being the militants of the terrorist organizations who exploded and set on fire the trucks of the convoy," he added.

It should be also noted, al Malas added, that the attack coincided with the militant assault on the positions of the Syrian army near Aleppo.

"Therefore it was more likely a provocation aimed at capturing the media's attention in order to accuse Damascus and Moscow of the attack," he stated.

Posted by: woogs | Sep 22 2016 15:18 utc | 134

TYPOS

U.S. sponsored "White Helmet" propaganda teams where there when or shortly after the incident happened.
...should read

U.S. sponsored "White Helmet" propaganda teams WERE there when or shortly after the incident happened.

The "rebels" had various version.
...should read

The "rebels" had various VERSIONS.

U.S. Secretary of State first claimed that the Syrian did it, than that the Russians
...should read

U.S. Secretary of State first claimed that the SYRIANS did it
THEN that the Russians

Posted by: Ronald | Sep 22 2016 15:27 utc | 135

I know it's macabre but where are the dead and wounded? With such a high profile event as this I would expect the White Helmets to publish videos showing the dead and wounded. But there is nothing but a few pictures of a man holding some entrails that just as easily could have come from a sheep. There are no videos of the dead or wounded being found or of the wounded being treated on site, evacuated by ambulance and treated in hospital. Not even any pictures of the dead after being wrapped for burial. Nothing.
Charles Lister claims that there are images of Omar Barakat, the dead SARC volunteer but that they're too graphic to show. When has anything been too graphic for the White Helmets? I don't know if he's even seen them.

Posted by: Ghostship | Sep 22 2016 15:34 utc | 136

More questions than answers, as ever.

http://katehon.com/article/attack-aid-convoy-kills-twenty-destroys-aid-and-obliterates-us-war-crimes

Warmest, f.

Posted by: Felicity | Sep 22 2016 15:46 utc | 137

Forgive if already posted, just jumping in with two excellent articles at Fort Russ this morning.

First, Russia MOD speaks the official word on the convoy attack, refrains from naming names about the US colonel who knew the situation at the time, and keeps that data as future blackmail weaponry. The report concludes that the US is playing an information battle, and losing:

"Now I want to particularly draw your attention to certain patterns. In recent days, unfounded allegations that Russia is launching indirect bombardments in Syria (for example, today in Khan Tuman) are growing exponentially. This trick is well known to all. Its motives are obvious.

"Our Western colleagues are doing everything to “hush up” the tragedy at Deir ez-Zor by spreading information noise in order to intentionally divert the international community’s attention from the Jebat al-Nusra offensive on Aleppo and thereby cover up the United States’ failure to distinguish between moderate opposition groups and terrorists in Syria."
RUSSIA CONFIRMS: UN convoy explosion was a US diversion


Second, Joaquin Flores has a great forensic deconstruction of the convoy propaganda play, and illustrates - to my mind quite decisively - that the US is now losing the information war, and we have passed a turning point. Flores shows how Russia has succeeded in walking back the official positions of booth the UN and NATO:
RUSSIA'S COUNTER-BLOW: Info War victory and the destroyed Aid Convoy

Posted by: Grieved | Sep 22 2016 15:48 utc | 138

I believe the exact Ban Ki Moon quote yesterday was "Balrelrl Bombs", but seriously what is up with him? Ventriloqist? He sounds like an actor rehearsing his lines for the first time, script in hand.

Posted by: sejomoje | Sep 22 2016 16:22 utc | 139

Posted by: Grieved | Sep 22, 2016 11:48:22 AM | 136

The US et al desparately want to get the supplies in, it is as simple as that. They also desparately want another cease fire.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 22 2016 16:34 utc | 140

This will tickle everyone pink.

ITV News: ‘New Holocaust’ in Syria as bombs kill dozens in Aleppo
http://www.itv.com/news/2016-09-22/new-holocaust-in-syria-as-bombs-kill-dozens-in-aleppo/

...

One local doctor told ITV News after the latest bombardment that the world was experiencing the “new Holocaust” in Syria.

“You are all like witnesses to the New Holocaust happening in the 21st century without interventions to stop it”, he said.

“We must continue to help all our innocent people living here… they are waiting for death or for the killing to stop”…...
####


It reminds me of the Bosnia reporting where the 'responsible' western media uncritically carried regular shrill accusations (from the beginning) by the bosnian moslems that the serbs were carrying out genocide against them. Not a shred of shame by the independent, balanced and professional journalists and their organizations.

Remember kids, it all started there and kept on going down hill. Times have changed, though not so much in corrupt western capitals.

Posted by: et Al | Sep 22 2016 16:44 utc | 141

@Grieved 136:

Great compilation in the Fort Russ article. I think we all were arriving at the same point here in a piece-meal way.

Still, the question of what's next, in an obviously more dangerous/tricky Syria, remains. That Russia has been able to beat back this latest brushfire leaves me slightly hopeful, but the ante has surely
been upped.

Posted by: woogs | Sep 22 2016 16:46 utc | 142

Obama knows that he MUST create a scenario which will give him the justification to declare Martial Law in America! Whether it be the instigation of a race war on US Soil, Revolution or World War 3, he MUST have the Justification and he will get it somehow. Watch close the events that lead up to this in the next 46 days as the closer we get to election day, the closer also we get to Obama becoming Dictator over America and the signs of this are now everywhere you look, eyes open people, the time is getting near where all yo

Posted by: Falcon101 | Sep 22 2016 16:55 utc | 143

until the people of the world recognize how the usa and it's 'coalition' are responsible for the countless death, destruction and relocation of the people of syria, by directly turning syria into the present nightmare it is via their 'military' approach to resolving everything, things will continue on as usual.. at some point people in these same countries are going to scream enough is enough.. we aren't there yet..

Posted by: james | Sep 22 2016 17:04 utc | 144

yes, Try as they might, the Srebrenica massacre (8000 dead, 1995) does not answer or deflect any/all questions about those "100,000 missing Albanian/Serb/Bosnian males" used to justify the NATO "intervention"

guardian (August 2000): Serb killings 'exaggerated' by west
Claims of up to 100,000 ethnic Albanians massacred in Kosovo revised to under 3,000 as exhumations near end
.

wapo: 1999:Cohen Fears 100,000 Kosovo Men Killed by Serbs.

It's very very difficult to convince even people outraged by Iraq's lack of WMDS that fabricated pretexts for war preexisted that conflict and also occurred wrt Libya (and just might be in the works wrt Syria)

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Sep 22 2016 17:06 utc | 145

"This is playing with fire in a room full of dynamite."

Precisely. And escalation is becoming more and more costly in that it is going to become more and more difficult for the US and RF to extricate themselves from ongoing conflict wherever it leads. And of course, Clinton with so much owed to her paymasters is hardly going to improve the situation ...

Obama says its time for hard diplomacy, my question is simply does the US do 'diplomacy'?

Posted by: AtaBrit | Sep 22 2016 17:21 utc | 146

re 69 Petri Krohn & Paveway 97, on the firing of Kalibr cruise-missiles at the operations centre.

There was quite a good reason for the use of Kalibr cruise missiles, and not less accurate and less expensive weapons. I was reminded by Paveway's geographical disquisition. The site is quite near (indeed on PW's Wikimapia map) the World Heritage site of Qal’at Sam’an, the remains of the church of St Simeon Stylites, you know the saint who spent his life sitting on top of a column in the 5th century. The Russians, being orthodox, would have been particularly sensitive to the danger of getting it wrong.

Posted by: Laguerre | Sep 22 2016 17:25 utc | 147

The UN has revised its recently released statement regarding the humanitarian convoy affected by an attack in Syria. The phrase “air strikes” were replaced with references to unspecified “attacks.” Change of the text of the statement came after explanations of the Russian side.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/un-removes-charges-against-russia-and-syria-regarding-air-strike-on-humanitarian-convoy-in-syria/5547163

Posted by: ALberto | Sep 22 2016 17:28 utc | 148

@ et Al | Sep 22, 2016 12:44:35 PM | 141

And how do you know that Serbs are innocent, who told you that? Karadžić, or Mladić, or Milošević ... If you trust their lies then you should trust lies of other war criminals like Kerry and Samantha Powers!

Morons can not understand that enemy of my enemy does not have to be my friend!

Posted by: ex-sarajlija | Sep 22 2016 18:26 utc | 149

New great interview with Assad,
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tTIXZGSPl4c

Posted by: Simpers | Sep 22 2016 18:51 utc | 150

The term "genocide" is rapidly losing its meaning when it applies to what are fairly routine killings on the basis of ethnicity... sometimes a massacre is just a massacre, or a battle or ethnic cleansing -- i.e. where there is no expectation of actual racial elimination or when/where force movement (such as pogroms, flight) exist as an alternative... It's all nasty business and evil racist intents, but when -- for example, contraception and sterilization are considered genocidal tools of the oppressor, [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Black_genocide_conspiracy_theory] it gets suspiciously murky

It's also matter of the media (at least in America) turning quite so many conflicts into yet-another-Nazi-analogy. I don't know where the lines are drawn, but it has obviously become a political matter. A visit to wiki suggests that pogroms lacked the organization and state sponsorship and other characteristics to be easily called genocide

""Werner Bergmann suggests a particular unifying character for all such incidents: "[b]y the collective attribution of a threat, the pogrom differs from other forms of violence, such as lynchings, which are directed at individual members of a minority group, while the imbalance of power in favor of the rioters distinguishes pogroms from other forms of riot (food riots, race riots, or 'communal riots' between evenly matched groups), and again, the low level of organization separates them from vigilantism, terrorism, massacre and genocide".[66]"

This becomes critical when talking about civil wars -- such as Libya and Syria -- where there will inevitably be deaths, because it is an armed conflict. At what point is the threshold for R2P to be considered reached? In Libya there was preemptive intervention to "prevent a massacre" ... or with ISIS and the Yazidi, which was designated genocidal intent ...

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Sep 22 2016 18:57 utc | 151

Felicity | Sep 22, 2016 11:46:28 AM | 135

Until I see evidence, I have a problem with the second paragraph

The only undeniable fact is that another tragedy killed at least twenty Syrian Arab Red Crescent volunteers and the organisation’s local Director Omar Barakat, father of nine.

Have you seen any bodies of casualties from this event. I've looked at the White Helmet video and except for some entrails and someone poking around something wearing blue kitchen gloves, there is no sign of any bodies. The White Helmets are never backwards in coming forward with videos and pictures of bodies at incidents they attend but here there is nothing.
One of the few photographs I've seen of the people involved in the aid convoy is over at The Daily Telegraph but all you can see are the backs of their heads and that they seem to represent World Heath Organisation, Turkish Red Cross and UNICEF as well as SARC. One of them, the one in Red Crescent coveralls in the middle appears quite similar to a person seen walking around the site after the attack.

Posted by: Ghostship | Sep 22 2016 19:28 utc | 152

@ ex-sarajlija

Sorry, I don't know where you get that from. Are you quoting someone else or simply projecting? Plenty of lies were reported then as they are now. Nothing's changed.

Posted by: et Al | Sep 22 2016 19:29 utc | 153

ex-sarajlija | Sep 22, 2016 2:26:07 PM | 149
It's not up to an accused person to prove his innocence, it up to his accusers to prove his guilt so if the accusations are based on lies as they were with Kosovo, then the accusations fail. Actually given that 250,000 Serbs were ethnically cleansed from Kosovo, perhaps it's time that the United States as well as the Kosovan regime were prosecuted for war crimes but under the imperialist rules of Washington, that will never happen.

Posted by: Ghostship | Sep 22 2016 19:34 utc | 154

Another admirer – SOTT:

Footage of the nighttime attack on the Syrian aid convoy in Aleppo has surfaced. But there's something curious about how the footage has been appearing on Western news reports. A commenter on the Moon of Alabama blog, PavewayIV, made the following observations about what appears in the video, and what it suggests.

Posted by: Demian | Sep 22 2016 19:56 utc | 155

Apologies if this has been posted before

http://themillenniumreport.com/2016/09/russia-killed-30-top-level-american-israeli-and-other-agents-in-a-missile-strike/

Russia killed 30 top level American and Israeli agents in Syria in a missile strike

Posted by: mischi | Sep 22 2016 20:21 utc | 156

AP publishes the cease fire deal.

US and Russia to delineate the areas of Al Nusra and ISIS. Moderate forces to be separated from Al Nusra. Moderate forces expected to keep Nusra from attacking/to fight Nusra.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 22 2016 20:24 utc | 157

Telling lies when you are the undisputed king is fine because no one is going to argue with you. But you keep telling lies because they work and no one tells you if things in the world change. When the balance of power starts to shift, people slowly move away from the king, but the king will not notice and will continue to tell lies. Slowly the contrast between the liars and everyone else becomes more and more noticeable because the king gets further and further detached from reality. The US/UK governments have spouted bullshit for 50 years and got away with it but with the situation in Syria, the ground is shifting and the game is up. Of course, the king will carry on digging himself deeper into trouble because he cannot see it.

Posted by: aniteleya | Sep 22 2016 20:40 utc | 158

this have been posted before, US has done two strike to support ISIS.
https://youtu.be/QNQ4vu7Y7Ao

Posted by: okie farmer | Sep 22 2016 20:53 utc | 159

http://www.globalresearch.ca/deir-ez-zor-bombings-what-does-the-u-s-want-in-syria-shame-on-a-us-led-coalition-which-pretends-fighting-isis-while-in-reality-it-is-helping-isis/5547144

Mother Agnes Mariam, a nominee for the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize from Homs diocese, has some harsh words for the US war against Syria:

"Shame on a coalition who pretends fighting ISIS while in reality is helping ISIS killing innocent soldiers whose mission is to protect civilians.”

This is in response to the September 17 US airstrikes in Deir ez-Zor that massacred 62 Syrian soldiers and injured 100 more who have been fighting ISIS.[1] According to a June 2015 Time magazine article, Deir ez-Zor with a population of 228,000 has been under siege by ISIS the past years, relying on the nightly arrival of a large Syrian air-force-operated cargo plane which has a payload of more than 46 tons and transports munitions

Posted by: okie farmer | Sep 22 2016 21:02 utc | 161

A book has been published accusing leading candidate for a Louisiana Senate seat Charles Boustany of being involved with prostitutes who were later found murdered. Boustany made a statement denying the charge, which gave his leading rival for the seat John Kennedy the opportunity to make a statement worthy of Lyndon Johnson. It began:

"“I want to be very clear that my campaign played absolutely no role in creating this story alleging Congressman Boustany’s sexual relationships with prostitutes that were later murdered, his staff’s alleged involvement in running the bar and hotel where this illicit behavior took place, or publishing the book."

Boustany and Kennedy are both Republicans.

Posted by: lysias | Sep 22 2016 21:28 utc | 162

@136 g, @142 woogs

Another, extremely interesting post at fort-russ ...

LAVROV MAKES HISTORY: 'Ceasefires' were bogus, nixes future 'unilateral measures' [VIDEO]


Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov made history today at the UN's meeting of the Security Council, declaring that future unilateral pauses couched as 'ceasefire agreements' are off the table.

I wasn't able to watch the video.

Posted by: jfl | Sep 22 2016 23:21 utc | 163

@126 sb, @130 v, @150 simpers

To me the most salient feature of that interview was the AP guy's aggressive partisanship. Assad handled him very well, I thought.

Posted by: jfl | Sep 22 2016 23:27 utc | 164

Re: Posted by: et Al | Sep 22, 2016 12:44:35 PM | 141

You're wrong about it all starting in Bosnia. You're discounting Croatia and Eastern Slavonia a few years earlier, the first Iraq War and the establishment of Iraqi Kurdistan and the support of the mujahideen supported in Afghanistan in the 1970s & 1980s. And then you have the US interventions in Lebanon, Libya and before that Iran and Mossadegh and the Shah.

And on it goes. I'm not sure exactly when it started, but you do know who and what allowed the establishment of the country of Saudi Arabia don't you? It wasn't the Sauds by themselves!

Posted by: Julian | Sep 22 2016 23:37 utc | 165

now someone else picked up the story

http://www.timesofisrael.com/russia-mossad-other-foreign-agents-killed-in-aleppo-strike/

Posted by: Mischi | Sep 22 2016 23:38 utc | 166

There was an incredibly ghoulish Senate hearing today with Ash Carter and Gen. Dunsford regarding the situation in Syria. I'm going to have to re-read the article, it's so dark and foreboding, but it looks as though backing down on the aid convoy accusations is not an option for the Pentagon, no matter what upcoming investigations find. There's a statement about nato aircraft never leaving under any scenario, and getting a NFZ may require war with Russia and Syria.

There's also a bizarre episode where they as for more funding for contractors.
https://www.rt.com/usa/360317-carter-dunford-syria-russia-senate/

Posted by: wwinsti | Sep 22 2016 23:45 utc | 167

Re: Posted by: lysias | Sep 22, 2016 5:28:23 PM | 162

Well aren't you just the True Detective. Are you Marty Hart or Russ Cohle?

Posted by: Julian | Sep 22 2016 23:45 utc | 168

#141, 165 Julian

To be most exact, it started on Maksimir in May 1990 when the Red Star ultras led by their bastard British Intelligence brat Arkan protected by that sell out son of a bitch Slovenian Air Force general went to Zagreb in that train specifically to go stir sh*t up between the RS Belgrade and Dinamo Zagreb thugs, all on behalf of one of Queen's MI's, thus starting the Yugoslav wars in the minds of the peoples.

Slobo was the useful communist apparatchik idiot (not unlike Saddam Hussein) who was played like a fiddle all along the way, and British, West German and US intelligence were the protagonists. All that was missing was a bunch of idiots happy to go kill their own cousins and destroy their country in the name of Western Powers. Serbs, Croats, Muslims all happily volunteers, like the fine Southern Slavic self destructive retards they are, and Albo illiterate sheep f**kers later joined in, inviting the US Special Forces to come along some time in 1998.

Posted by: Quadriad | Sep 22 2016 23:57 utc | 169

Hey wwinsti @167 what are you reading regarding "There was an incredibly ghoulish Senate hearing today with Ash Carter and Gen. Dunsford regarding the situation in Syria. I'm going to have to re-read the article, it's so dark and foreboding, but it looks as though backing down on the aid convoy accusations is not an option for the Pentagon, no matter what upcoming investigations find. There's a statement about nato aircraft never leaving under any scenario, and getting a NFZ may require war with Russia and Syria."

I've been distracted by the 9/11 families protesting the soon to be override of S. 2040 - Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism showdown. Please share. Thanks in advance...

Posted by: h | Sep 23 2016 0:05 utc | 170

Let's face it: multiple powers operating in Washington. Obama is no longer in charge.
It's unwise to act as though Clinton will win. She could well loose.
Posted by: Laguerre | Sep 21, 2016 6:51:39 PM | 65

So this is how we get to see the unelected deep state at work...at the end of yet another weak presidency. I'm sure a few recent appointments made Obama's pocket a tad bit heavier. Though, that little diversionary number on the Red Crescent could be Vintage Barry given his love for the drone 'Cmon guys, gimme one last double tap.'

Should The Don continue the trend, he'll have some fresh excuse to retire a good few. Otherwise the neocon flight was the correct bet.


Posted by: MadMax2 | Sep 23 2016 0:22 utc | 171

On Carter and Dunsfeld at the Senate ...

1. The Joint Implemenation Councils (JIC) are dead along with the Cessation of Hostilities. Mission accomplished.

2. Carter and Dunfeld omitted mention of their use of the USAF as the ISAF in order to massacre the Syrian army protecting the airlift supply line to Deir Azzor, instead cited the alleged 'Syrian and Russian attack' on the UN humanitarian aid convoy in Aleppo, after their massacre of the Syrian army troops at Deir Ezzor, as the end of the HoC.

3. I don’t have the facts,” Dunford said, when asked about the convoy attack by Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut). “It was either the Russians or the regime,” he added.

“There is no doubt in my mind that the Russians are responsible,” whether directly or because they backed the government in Damascus, Dunford said, describing the attack as “an unacceptable atrocity.”

Carter explained Dunford’s logic in a response to Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina), saying that “the Russians are responsible for this strike whether they conducted it or not, because they took responsibility for the conduct of the Syrians by associating themselves with the Syrian regime.”

4. The latest proposal by Secretary of State John Kerry involves grounding only Syrian and Russian airplanes, Carter told Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-New Hampshire).

“There can be no question of grounding US aircraft” over Syria, he said, adding that US jets conduct their strikes “with exceptional precision… that no other country can match.”

5. Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Mississippi) asked about what it would take for the US to impose a no-fly zone over Syria, using the phrase “control the airspace.”

“Right now… for us to control all of the airspace in Syria would require us to go to war against Syria and Russia,” Dunford replied, drawing a rebuke from committee chairman John McCain (R-Arizona), who argued a no-fly zone was possible without war.

Posted by: jfl | Sep 23 2016 0:38 utc | 172

John McCain should surely know everything there is to know about the low risks in enforcing no fly zones and dealing with Russian SAMs, he himself managed to destroy one of those pesky missiles in mid air in Vietnam by letting his F-4 Phantom smash into it head on.

McCain's Special

Keep your MIC working Johnny boy!

Posted by: Quadriad | Sep 23 2016 0:51 utc | 173

Correction!! It was an A-4, not a Phantom.

Sloppy...

Posted by: Quadriad | Sep 23 2016 0:53 utc | 174

jfl@172--

Wow!! the BS's so thick and deep waders probably won't keep it out of your overalls. The lies being told are Treasonous!

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 23 2016 0:54 utc | 175

@172

At least Dunford got out the war with Russia meme. Hard for me to imagine that being popular with the fans at home. Trump, the present master rabble-rouser, got great mileage out of not going to war with Russia. Sounds as though he's got Dunford's vote on that one. Although all I have is wwinsti's RT coverage, I didn't find coverage at CSPAN. We have to remember that the US Senate actually represents the TNCs and only nominally the American people.

Obama has been the dog who hasn't barked on Syria, for quite awhile now. I seems he's ceded war powers to Carter. Obama will be AWOL for the rest of his term, I guess. Maybe Carter can fall down a flight of stairs at the Pentagon and break his neck, or something.

Posted by: jfl | Sep 23 2016 0:54 utc | 176

@176

Rereading ... I really can't tell if Dunford is using the threat of war with Russia to scuttle the talk of 'controlling the Syrian airspace', or using the 'necessity' of controlling Syrian airspace to justify war with Russia.

If someone else finds a link to CSPAN coverage of this performance please post it.

It's what happens on the ground in Syria and Ukraine that counts, of course. Not to be taken in by bullshit artists in the Senate.

But ... used to be only the POTUS could illegally - unconstitutionally - start wars. Now any damn fool seems able to. All it takes is an absentee presidency, like Obama's.

Posted by: jfl | Sep 23 2016 1:05 utc | 177

Good old Tokyo Rose McCain, chiming on in like a tambourine. 'No we don't have the facts, but trust me they're bad let's war.' Comical.

Posted by: MadMax2 | Sep 23 2016 1:06 utc | 178

@177

6. “If the main fighting force inside of Syria is not signed up to take Assad out, where does that force come from?” Graham asked. Neither Dunford nor Carter had an answer to that.

7. Lack of funding posed a significant threat to readiness and maintenance, Carter and Dunford argued, before pointing out that the US military was still the strongest, most powerful and most competent in the world.

They couldn't answer 6 because the answer is al-CIAduh, IS, and now, the ISAF.

Seven is simultaneously a pitch for even more money to plug up the ratholes, but also a 'subtle' reminder of their joint conviction (I wish they were both convicted) that, hey, we can beat those Russkies, no problem.

These are just the guys to walk us all into WW III. I'd say somebody wake up Obama, but he'd just put up a wall of words ... and agree with them. Nobel Peace Prize Laureate that he is. What more proof could there be of the European complicity with the neo-cons than Obama's Peace Prize.

Sleepwalkers, all of them. That's what they'll claim ... If I knew then what I know now ... if there's a microphone left on earth, and an audience to hear them.

Posted by: jfl | Sep 23 2016 1:19 utc | 179

@h #170

From rt:

No-fly zone would ‘require war with Syria and Russia’ – top US general
Published time: 22 Sep, 2016 20:34
US Defense Secretary Ash Carter and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Joseph Dunford testify before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, September 22, 2016 © Yuri Gripas
US Defense Secretary Ash Carter and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Joseph Dunford testify before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, September 22, 2016 © Yuri Gripas / Reuters
Speaking to the US Senate, the Pentagon’s leaders blamed Russia for the Aleppo aid convoy attack, but admitted they “had no facts.” Only US coalition planes should be allowed over Syria, they said, though that would require war against both Syria and Russia.
Defense Secretary Ash Carter and General Joseph Dunford, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, faced the Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday to report on the ongoing military operations and “national security challenges” faced by the US. They also asked the senators for more reliable funding, saying the uncertainty was hurting the defense industry.

“Not only our people – our defense industry partners, too, need stability and longer-term plans to be as efficient and cutting-edge as we need them to be,” Carter told the senators.


The lawmakers were far less interested in the war against Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) than about the future of the Syrian government, Iran’s “malign influence,” and “aggression” by China and Russia – all ranked far ahead of terrorism on Carter and Dunford’s list of security challenges.

The Pentagon had “no intention” of sharing intelligence with Russia when it came to Syria, Dunford told the lawmakers unequivocally. Secretary Carter explained that the joint implementation councils envisioned by the ceasefire proposal negotiated in Geneva wouldn’t share intelligence, just coordinate efforts – but that they were a moot point anyway, since the ceasefire was effectively dead.

READ MORE: AP leaks one of the 5 Syria ceasefire docs, Moscow says always wanted them public

Both the lawmakers and the Pentagon chiefs blamed that development on Russia, focusing on the alleged airstrike against the humanitarian convoy in east Aleppo while the US-led airstrike against the Syrian Army fighting IS in Deir ez-Zor went unmentioned.

“I don’t have the facts,” Dunford said, when asked about the convoy attack by Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut). “It was either the Russians or the regime,” he added.

“There is no doubt in my mind that the Russians are responsible,” whether directly or because they backed the government in Damascus, Dunford said, describing the attack as “an unacceptable atrocity.”

Carter explained Dunford’s logic in a response to Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina), saying that “the Russians are responsible for this strike whether they conducted it or not, because they took responsibility for the conduct of the Syrians by associating themselves with the Syrian regime.”

Read more
Syria's President Bashar al-Assad © SANAUS airstrikes on Syrian troops were ‘intentional,’ lasted nearly 1 hour – Assad to AP
The latest proposal by Secretary of State John Kerry involves grounding only Syrian and Russian airplanes, Carter told Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-New Hampshire).

“There can be no question of grounding US aircraft” over Syria, he said, adding that US jets conduct their strikes “with exceptional precision… that no other country can match.”

Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Mississippi) asked about what it would take for the US to impose a no-fly zone over Syria, using the phrase “control the airspace.”

“Right now… for us to control all of the airspace in Syria would require us to go to war against Syria and Russia,” Dunford replied, drawing a rebuke from committee chairman John McCain (R-Arizona), who argued a no-fly zone was possible without war.

Asked about the video of US-backed Syrian rebels insulting US Special Forces in Al-Rai and running them out of the northern Syrian town, Carter and Dunford shrugged it off.

anders. He said the incident was “irrelevant” because the US-backed forces and Turkey were making “great progress” along Syria’s northern border.


In their exchange with Graham, Carter and Dunford confirmed there is a plan to arm the Kurdish militia in Syria, over Turkish objections, as a way of advancing on the IS stronghold of Raqqa. Once Raqqa is taken, however, an Arab force would be required to hold it. “We have a plan,” Dunford said, but described it as “not resourced.”

Dunford agreed with Graham’s assertion that the US had two objectives – to destroy IS and to “remove Assad,” referring to the Syrian president – but admitted the Kurds were not interested in the latter.

“If the main fighting force inside of Syria is not signed up to take Assad out, where does that force come from?” Graham asked. Neither Dunford nor Carter had an answer to that.

Both the Pentagon heads and the lawmakers agreed throughout the hearing that caps on military spending mandated by sequestration were harmful and needed to be repealed. Lack of funding posed a significant threat to readiness and maintenance, Carter and Dunford argued, before pointing out that the US military was still the strongest, most powerful and most competent in the world.

Posted by: wwinsti | Sep 23 2016 1:31 utc | 180

Here's C-SPAN with the video:
Secretary Carter Joint Chiefs Staff Chair | Video | C-SPAN.org

National Security and Military Operations Defense Secretary Ashton Carter and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chair General Joseph Dunford testified before a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on military budget needs, particularly as it related to readiness across the world. The two military officials expressed concern about their ability to fulfill various missions around the world with any proposed budget cuts, and responded to numerous questions on various acquisition and mission programs.

Frankly, when I see the top figures in the US war/defense institutions meeting to discuss increasing and stabilizing the flow of funds to the defense corporations, I worry very little about big war. The thought that these guys could sleepwalk us into WWIII is something that I find implausible. These guys only care about money and contract renewals. I'm not convinced, despite their titles, that they know how to command a full war, and I'm not convinced their subordinates would follow their orders. Just my two cents, and very much a work in progress.

Posted by: Grieved | Sep 23 2016 2:15 utc | 181

I have to add, having now skimmed a few minutes here and there of these proceedings, from Carter and Dunford but also the panel of tame Senators - what bullshitters all these people are. I mean, really, total bullshitters. This has to count for something in the calculation doesn't it?

Posted by: Grieved | Sep 23 2016 2:21 utc | 182

CSPAN : Military Operations against [sic] ISIS

It seems to be three hours long. I had trouble with the video as laid out in the page above. I right clicked, chose Copy Video Location, and then opened it in another tab. Smaller, but seems better. I don't know if I can go three hours, I'll see.

Posted by: jfl | Sep 23 2016 2:27 utc | 183

Secretary Ash Carter and General Dunford mull the consequences of imposing a no-fly zone in Syria
before Senate committee, chaired by John McCain.

“Right now… for us to control all of the airspace in Syria would require us to go to war against Syria and Russia,” [General] Dunford replied, drawing a rebuke from committee chairman John McCain (R-Arizona), who argued a no-fly zone was possible without war.

Carter is worried about the impact of indecisiveness on "our defense industry partners". if we can't do all the things we feel big enough to do.

We are in some deep trouble now

Posted by: Copeland | Sep 23 2016 3:25 utc | 184

john kerrys comments at the un from yesterday morning.. 23 minutes if you have the stomach for it... it is very depressing to see kerry who is like a more polite version samantha power, being a great manipulator of words and events as told by he and his speech writers..

Posted by: james | Sep 23 2016 3:27 utc | 185

kerry / usa is very keen on the no fly zone for syrian planes... apparently the syrian planes are going after the 'moderate' opposition who just happen to always roll with al qaeda company... the usa can't separate the moderates from the terrorists, so they have to suggest a no fly zone!!

Posted by: james | Sep 23 2016 3:35 utc | 186

IMHO, The no-fly-zone is like Milosevic and Rambouillet Conference... All Assad need do is to cede power to the American led "coalition' and give up the sovereign right to self-defense ... easy-peasy ... he just needs to do is agree to Syria being occupied.

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Sep 23 2016 4:11 utc | 187

@182 g, 'The thought that these guys could sleepwalk us into WWIII is something that I find implausible'

Well, I certainly hope you're right, g. It would be good if they just sleepwalked themselves into a good ass-kicking, lost some of their big assets, had the invincibility of their armament shredded ...

But you know how things are. Their 'only possible' response to that would be ...

I think all war-mongers are bullshitters. It comes down to who has control of the nation with the most assets, the most staying power ... who can 'afford' to lose the most in the end. Things that, as consumers - destroyers - of wealth, are completely beyond their control.

What they need right now is a good million-men-and-women march - No More War! More War No! War No More! - in AC/DC. And then a ride out of town tarred and feathered on a rail. That's the sort of reality they need to face.

Posted by: jfl | Sep 23 2016 4:31 utc | 188

So we're nearing the point, like the Yom Kippur war, where Russia will have to either go defcon or go home

Posted by: bbbb | Sep 23 2016 4:50 utc | 189

Hmmmm... Ahaaaasoooo was it Peter Arnett from CNN reporting from No-Fly-Zone in Baghdad's Shock and Awe?

From NeoCon and NeoLibreal playbooks. Imposed "No-Fly-Zone" on Syrians and Russian warplanes. Coalition warplanes’ Shock and Awe bomb the hell the "regime" in Damascus. While the "moderate headchoppers with White Helmets (with videos) wiped out SAA, Hezbollah and Irian on the ground.

Not finish yet.... from the North, Erdogan eliminates the Kurdish's rodents once for all. Israel will annex the 1/3 Golan Height which she did not occupy and partition Syria's oilfields with Sultan Erdogan.

To cap it off the next Syrian Gov. if any will cede Tartus and Latakia to Amerikka.....

Syrians refugees problems solved and end of story!

Posted by: Jack Smith | Sep 23 2016 5:06 utc | 190

Everyone's probably already seen this, but just in case. . . .
"TEHRAN (FNA)- The Russian warships stationed in Syria's coastal waters targeted and destroyed a foreign military operations room, killing over two dozen Israeli and western intelligence officers.
"The Russian warships fired three Caliber missiles at the foreign officers' coordination operations room in Dar Ezza region in the Western part of Aleppo near Sam'an mountain, killing 30 Israeli and western officers," the Arabic-language service of Russia's Sputnik news agency quoted battlefield source in Aleppo as saying on Wednesday.

The operations room was located in the Western part of Aleppo province in the middle of sky-high Sam'an mountain and old caves. The region is deep into a chain of mountains.

Several US, Turkish, Saudi, Qatari and British officers were also killed along with the Israeli officers. The foreign officers who were killed in the Aleppo operations room were directing the terrorists' attacks in Aleppo and Idlib. "
http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950631000607

Posted by: Penelope | Sep 23 2016 5:08 utc | 191

Sorrie, forgot: President Hillary will appear on TV after the "moderate" killed Dr. Assad and said... "We came, we saw, he died,"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UtH7iv4ip1U

Posted by: Jack Smith | Sep 23 2016 5:14 utc | 192

gotta love folks like elliot higgins / belling cat / bullshite artists carrying water for the continued war on syria... wonder how much these cats get paid for the ongoing propaganda?

Posted by: james | Sep 23 2016 5:17 utc | 193

@Penelope | Sep 23, 2016 1:08:43 AM | 191

Old news and unconfirmed.

Posted by: Jack Smith | Sep 23 2016 5:17 utc | 194

@Penelope | Sep 23, 2016 1:08:43 AM | 191

Old News, unconfirmed.

Posted by: Jack Smith | Sep 23 2016 5:20 utc | 195

When enough heat is applied to a volatile environment a fire can break out. The imbeciles, the ones fecklessly experimenting with bluster, pressure, and violence, will probably set events ablaze, while protesting that a greater war could not have been predicted to happen.

Posted by: Copeland | Sep 23 2016 5:21 utc | 196

Jack Smith @ #190 said:

"... from NeoCon and NeoLibreal playbooks. Imposed "No-Fly-Zone" on Syrians and Russian warplanes. Coalition warplanes’ Shock and Awe bomb the hell the "regime" in Damascus. While the "moderate headchoppers with White Helmets (with videos) wiped out SAA, Hezbollah and Irian on the ground."

Crawling and hiding within the Rodinia will not work in a world of highly accurate cruise missiles with thousand mile ranges that can be launched from submarines. The ME is a good place to make a stand, lots of targets within range, while vast portions of strategic territory are out of reach to most enemy systems.

Posted by: wwinsti | Sep 23 2016 5:34 utc | 197

@191
I think there are no intel agents form Israel, the US, Saudi Arabia. Too risky. Probably there are some private security/communication firms which act as a go-between.

Posted by: if | Sep 23 2016 5:41 utc | 198

@Jack Smith #195:

Old news and unconfirmed.

As far as I know, all stories about that derive from one Arabic Sputnik story. If a story that Arabic Sputnik put out were legitimate, one would think that the story would also be independently reported by another Russian source, in Russian or English. In other words, if the story is legit, why did Arabic Sputnik report it but not English Sputnik? So my guess is that the story is disinformation directed at an Arab audience.

Posted by: Demian | Sep 23 2016 6:34 utc | 199

Demian | Sep 22, 2016 2:27:58 AM | 110 & 199

110 - Great answer; Libertarianism sucks as do most political parties.
I have been and will remain un-affiliated to any political movement.

199 - Agree, I need some independent verification of the Kaliber strike; hope it's true.

Posted by: V. Arnold | Sep 23 2016 7:18 utc | 200

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