Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
October 15, 2016

Al-Qaeda Fighters In East-Aleppo (Defined) Down To Three!

The pro-jihadist "west" is doing its best to define the number of civilians in east-Aleppo up and the number of al-Qaeda fighters in the city down. If the current numbering trend continues there will be a no al-Qaeda fighters left in east-Aleppo even as none have left. They will be redefined into "moderate rebels" who are entitled to the failed ceasefire they had never accepted in the first place.

The terrorists in east-Aleppo are encircled and besieged. The Syrian army nibbles away piece after piece of their territorial hold while the Syrian and Russian air force attack any recognized concentrations of forces or material. It is only a question of time until they are completely defeated.

Most of the fighters in the besieged area are associated with al-Qaeda. They are several thousand strong. Only few civilians remain. The eastern parts once housed some 300,000 people. About 10% of those, likely less, are still there. That are the realistic numbers. The spin differs.

When in 2013 the sectarian rebels had enclosed and completely besieged (map) the government held parts of Aleppo every win of theirs was called a liberation.


They since killed many of the people they "liberated". Others fled. But the tide has turned. This animated map shows the development from September 2015 to 2016. The now besieged "rebel" held areas in east-Aleppo are shrinking every day. This is today's situation. Much of the northern parts of the besieged area, including the Palestinian camp Handarat, are back in government hands.


Sooner or later the Syrian army will try to split the "rebel" held part along the east-west road from the airport to the inner (old) city.

The number game is played in front of the United Nations and in the "western media". The first marks from an October 5 post here:

"It is primarily al-Qaeda that holds Aleppo," said (vid) the spokesperson of the U.S. led 'Operation Inherent Resolve', Colonel Warren. That was back in April and al-Qaeda (aka Jabat al-Nusra) has since strengthen its capacities in the city. The French Syria (military intelligence) expert Fabrice Balanche tells Le Figaro (translated from French):

[Al-Qaeda's] grip on Aleppo's east has only increased since the spring of 2016, when it sent 700 reinforcement fighters while moderate brigades fighters began to leave the area before the final exit was closed. The provisional opening of a breach of the siege of Aleppo in August 2016 (Battle of Ramousseh) has further increased its prestige and influence on the rebels.

The UN Special Envoy for Syria De Mistura told (vid, 27:43) the UN Security Council:

We have seen information from other sources that tell us more than half of the fighters present in eastern Aleppo are al-Nusra. We have also seen reports alleging the intentional placement of firing positions close to social infrastructure, inside and aside civilian quarters.

A few days after that speech De Mistura held a press conference in which he offered to escort al-Qaeda fighters out of the besieged area. He alos sharply revised the number of al-Qaeda fighters down to less than 10% of all fighters. From his October 6 press conference:

We have done a much more updated analysis of the al-Nusra reality in eastern Aleppo. I know I was quoted, and is correct, I did refer to a figure which was close to 50%, you must have heard it, I think it was in the context of the Security Council. Well based on a more accurate estimates, which are also more up to date, and which are never completely perfect but are in my opinion, quite reliable, we are talking now about a presence in eastern Aleppo of at maximum 900 people, 900 people. The previous figure probably was also based on the out of date figure, that about 1500 al-Nusra fighters had left Idlib and other locations in order to join the al- Ramousseh battle which you remember took place some time ago when they attempted to re-take al-Ramousseh road. But they, according to our information, did withdraw, once this counter-offensive did not succeed and failed. So this amends, and please take it now as the line, which can always be amended by facts and figures, and more effective analysis, but that amends the so-called 50% thing. 900 al-Nusra fighters in eastern Aleppo.

The total number is, the question is of the fighters in general, including the so-called main stream fighters or the AOGs in eastern Aleppo, the maximum figure that is being considered as such is 8000 people, 8000.

So we went from "it is primarily al-Qaeda that holds Aleppo" to some 10% of all fighters there within a few month without any al-Qaeda fighter leaving. This while the siege was partially breached by the "rebels" in August and additional al-Qaeda fighters reportedly used the opening to entered the city.

One gets the feeling that Samantha Power herself, the "wailing banshee" and U.S. Ambassador to the UN, dictated those "more accurate estimates" to De Mistura.

But even those numbers are still too high some "diplomatic sources" now tell Reuters:

The number of Islamist rebels in eastern Aleppo who are not protected by any ceasefire deal, and can therefore be legitimately targeted, is far smaller than an estimate given by the United Nations, diplomatic sources have told Reuters.
Several sources independently told Reuters that de Mistura's figure for JFS fighters was far too high, and the real number was no more than 200, perhaps below 100. One Western diplomat said it possibly had no more than a "symbolic" presence.

Next week we will be down to one or three "symbolic" al-Qaeda fighters in east-Aleppo. When De Mistura finally escorts them out he will need a few helpers to push the wheelchairs of those few, old and disabled people. That then will have "liberated" east-Aleppo from all Jihadi-fighters and only upright, secular and democratic rebels will remain. They will fall under the ceasefire (the one the U.S. and these "rebels" never accepted or immediately broke). They do not deserve to be targeted by Russia and the Syrian government - no matter what they do. That, at least, is what John Kerry and the "western" media will tell the people. It will of course be complete bullshit and no serious analysts will fall for it. But those do not get quoted in the media.

While the number of Jihadis and rebels gets defined down the number of civilians in the now besieged area goes up. The eastern besieged parts of the built-up city originally had some 300-400,000 inhabitants while the government held western parts held nearly 2,000,000. That is, at first sight of the above maps, irritating. But if one studies the satellite pictures underlying the maps in detail one will notice that at least half of the now besieged parts are open country and factory areas. The built-up share is much smaller than in the western parts. Current UN estimates for the western parts vary between 1.3 and 1.5 million. That is consistent with Syrian government claims. The UN has several relief missions and offices in the western parts and those estimates seem therefore reliable.

But for the eastern part the UN has given the abstruse estimates of 250,000-275,000. It has not given any sources for that number. It also has no offices and no missions in the eastern part. It is implausible that only very few people left an area that is ruled by various competing Jihadi groups, has had little electricity and water and has been fought over for years. Until very recently passages to west-Aleppo were open to civilians. The rebels only now blockade them.

An independent estimates of the real population in east-Aleppo comes from Martin Chulov, a journalist for The Guardian who has visited the area ten times since it was occupied by rebels from out of town. After his last visit he estimated the actual number of inhabitants to be down to 40,000:

Those who remain in eastern Aleppo, roughly 40,000 from a prewar population ...

Just last week Chulov reconfirmed his observation:

I returned to the city for the last time. Finding residents in the east was difficult. Those who had stayed this long had no plans to leave. Umm Abdu, a wedding dress seamstress turned nurse was one of them.
Umm Abdu has left Aleppo, and few of the others I met along the way have stayed behind.

The Syrian government estimates are consistent with Chulov's observations:

According to well informed senior sources in #Damascus , number of civilians in #Aleppo does not exceed 60k according to their best estimate
11:02 AM - 14 Oct 2016

@MoonofA @TPAtticus @CamilleOtrakji "range" of Syrian government estimate of civilians in E.Aleppo is 40k-60k...60k is high of the range
11:48 AM - 14 Oct 2016

In other siege areas where the rebels gave up to the Syrian government the numbers of people coming out of them were much smaller than the original inhabitants. The numbers were also smaller than all prior estimates. Daraya, near Damascus, originally had some 80,000 inhabitants. The numbers of besieged people in Daraya the UN had given were variously between several ten-thousands and down to 8,000. When the evacuation of Daraya started the Syrian army estimated that 800-1,200 fighters and 4,000 civilians would come out. In the end the numbers of leaving fighters was some 600-700 and less than 2,000 civilians turned up to leave. The area was searched and all had left.

Based on the Daraya numbers and those of other sieges in Syria there are probably no more than 4-5,000 fighters and some 3-5 civilians per fighter, i.e. their immediate families, in east-Aleppo. The real total could easily be as low as 20,000.

But even then the al-Qaeda fighters will be still be the majority of the "rebels" in the city. It is implausible that their total number is now less than the number which were earlier announced to enter as reinforcement. The official spinmasters talking to Reuters obviously want the numbers to be very, very low to keep the al-Qaeda fighters unharmed and in place for future operations.

I am confident that neither the Syrian nor the Russian military will be a sucker for such bullshit. That role is reserved for "western" journalist and the the usual lobbyist-"analysts" who are employed by Qatar, the U.S. and other Jihadi sponsors.

Theo Patnos, who was held hostage by al-Qaeda in Syria for nearly two years, was interviewed by Vanity Fair (watch the video at that link). Asked what the presidential candidates know about Syria he responds:

They don’t know a thing about Syria. Neither do the journalists, by the way. They’re doing their best, but they don’t know. They’re guessing. They speak with great authority but they really know very little. I don’t criticize them for being incompetent, but I criticize them for not having the up-close knowledge. They’re speaking of a planet they’ve never visited but they speak as though they do know and it’s a little confusing for me.

Posted by b on October 15, 2016 at 18:47 UTC | Permalink

next page »

Erdogan's personal (toilet) newpaper just reports:

Al Nusra Front should leave from military posts in Aleppo immediately and the Syrian opposition forces should separate itself from the terrorist group, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said after the meeting in Lausanne.

Çavuşoğlu said that the leaders agreed that Syria needs a political solution but no consensus over a new ceasefire deal has been reached at the meeting, which began Saturday afternoon.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov also made a statement after the meeting, saying that the participants agreed to remain in contact and hold further meetings as soon as possible.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was leading the renewed talks. He was joined by a familiar cast that included Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Turkish FM Çavuşoğlu and the top envoys from Saudi Arabia, Iran, Qatar, Egypt and Jordan.

Turkey is obviously part of the "western" number game. "Those symbolic three Al-Nusra (al-Qaeda) shall leave immediately!"

What a stupid attempt of disinformation.

Posted by: b | Oct 15 2016 19:02 utc | 1

This whole operation is built on the same US propaganda as the terrorist Contras in Nicaragua that the US billed as "freedom fighters". It was then repeated endlessly by the media and the same is true today.

Fact checking, independent analysis, and freedom of thought are anathema to the mainstream press. Far better to parrot the official US line, which assures one of a fat salary, promotions, and invites to all the best parties.

Posted by: WorldBLee | Oct 15 2016 19:03 utc | 2

I propose that these moderate rebels all be given a free passage out of Aleppo and are hoarded onto airplanes that are disambarked at JFK, New York. Let's see how fast the term "moderate rebel" flips into "radical terrorist".

Posted by: zukini | Oct 15 2016 19:27 utc | 3

2 + 2 = 5

Why should the demographics of East Aleppo be any different than US Unemployment figures?

Posted by: Enrico Malatesta | Oct 15 2016 19:35 utc | 4

"The official spinmasters talking to Reuters obviously want the numbers to be very, very low to keep the al-Qaeda fighters unharmed and in place for future operations." true. it also makes it easier to accuse Russia etc. of "war crimes" for targeting "civilians."

Posted by: jason | Oct 15 2016 19:35 utc | 5

Excellent number / propaganda crunching, b.
Have to say I was surprised when I saw Cavusoglu's statement - primarily because I would expect something of such importance to come from Erdogan or at least Binali and be lauded as 'Turkey saving Aleppo civilians'... Your piece, however, explains its irrelevance well.

Tutkey's game in Syria is not clear to me yet. There is certainly a demographic 'cleansing' going on serving both the purpose of undermining Kurdish ambitions and at the same time reinforcing 'the right kind of' Sunni credentials in the area, but to what end?


Posted by: AtaBrit | Oct 15 2016 19:57 utc | 6

Late evng 14th news, far bigger news out in case no one saw it or heard it.
The Obama administration is contemplating an unprecedented cyber covert action against Russia in retaliation for alleged Russian interference in the American presidential election, U.S. intelligence officials told NBC News.

This looks to be a desperate final fall-back plan for the 'election' in case they can't fix the vote, because look today OCT 15th jim stone who owns the voting machines leased to be used!:

Also THIS 15TH:
U.S. President Barack Obama discussed the possibility of striking Syrian Arab Army installations on Friday during a meeting with his National Security Council (NSC) in Washington D.C.

According to a report from Reuters, the Obama regime is considering the increase in U.S. involvement in Syria, using different methods to attack the Syrian government, including airstrikes on military, radar, anti-aircraft bases, as well as arms deports.

Posted by: schlub | Oct 15 2016 20:09 utc | 7

War on Terror....
Banksters and print money out of thin air.

There is nothing wrong with your television set. Do not attempt to adjust the picture. We are controlling transmission. We will control the horizontal. We will control the vertical. We can roll the image; make it flutter. We can change the focus to a soft blur or sharpen it to crystal clarity. For the next hour, sit quietly and we will control all that you see and hear. We repeat: there is nothing wrong with your television set. You are about to participate in a great adventure. You are about to experience the awe and mystery which reaches from the inner mind to the outer limits.

Posted by: Brad | Oct 15 2016 20:11 utc | 8

@schlub #7:

far bigger news out in case no one saw it or heard it.

I think this take on that is correct:

Obama Channels His Ahmadinejad –
White House Banter For Domestic Left-Wing Consumption…

The story about the CIA prepping for a possible cyber attack against Russia is akin to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad building wooden Aircraft Carriers for Iranian military exercises. In essence this story is, laughable domestic consumption only.

Pushed by NBC-Universal this story is so fundamentally absurd, it’s beyond silly.

If the U.S. were going to launch a cyber operation against Russia: #1) it would never be announced, and #2) it would not be the CIA carrying it out, it would be the NSA.

So why push the ridiculous story? The motive is about propping up the failing candidacy of Hillary Clinton.

It's a sad day when conservatives laugh at liberals for their warmongering and grandstanding.

Posted by: Demian | Oct 15 2016 20:22 utc | 9

outstanding interview with Chas Freeman
covers all the bases, puts it all in perspective, too much to highlight

Posted by: mauisurfer | Oct 15 2016 20:45 utc | 10

Add to the long list of Obama Administration lies
(Not complete by any means)

- Change you can believe in!

- 'No drama Obama' = no accountability

- '11-dimensional chess': minimal economic stimulus despite a Democratic majority in Congress;

- "Most transparent Administration in history" (war on the press, war on whistle blowers);

- "If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear";

- If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor;

- IRS lost emails regarding illegal targeting of 'Tea Party' opponents of the Obama Administration/Democrats;

- Susan Rice had nothing to do with Benghazi! ... At this point, what difference does it make?!

- 'Reset' with Russia;

- Downing of MH-17 (lie by omission);

- 'New beginning' with the Arab World. (Cairo speech);

- "No Fly Zone" -> bombing campaign in Libya;

- US is fighting ISIS;

- Brexit? Brittan will go to the "back of the line";

- Obama's election: proof of a 'post-racial' society;

- The Fiscal Cliff / Sequester: a bi-partisan set-up to make the Bush Tax Cuts permanent;

- Economic recovery! (increase in homelessness, record number have "left the workforce", all economic gains go to the richest Americans, etc.)

- Mortgage crisis: "foaming the runway for the Banks" (Tsy Sec Geithners words) = homeowners warehouse their home (paying for upkeep and fees) until the Banks are ready to foreclose;

- Financial regulation: Dodd-Frank is a bad joke that puts consumers on the hook for the next financial crisis;

- Politicized Federal Reserve: 'backdoor bailouts' (like 'Quantitative Easing') and the end of mark-to-market accounting;

- Obama's answer to inequality: low-paying jobs.

- 'No intent' by Hillary to compromise National Security;

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 15 2016 21:01 utc | 11

Excellent work b.

Despite all recent bluster, and nuclear scare mongering, 'partners' still find it useful to gather and communicate. While both sides still have divergent interests, the mostly unremarked movement of ISIS from Mosul to western Syria, was accomplished with barely a protest from Russia.

The jihadists are being lined up by one side, like bowling pins, to be knocked down by the other. What could be a more obvious example of close cooperation between 'partners'?

From the Syrian perspective, it is the best option available for not losing the war. My question, is it a strategy for victory, or merely a prolongation with no obvious end in sight?

Both Russia and the US appear to be waiting for a result from the coming election. With Trump appearing less and less likely to win, Russia must understand decision time is now, unless they are so lacking in committment to Syria that they are prepared to surrender to demands made by President Clinton, to avoid the likelihood of thermonuclear war.

The only possible explanation for continued negotiation with 'partners' resorting to nuclear threats, at least publicly, is Russia has received assurances which they accept at face value, or else they prefer to accept the lies to buy time, even though they know the committments made to them will be broken.

I am reminded of a person stuck in a relationship who chooses to accept the lies of a cheating partner because of dependence, economic or social. I'm sure zionist game theorists understand exactly what they doing. There are two different battlefields which must be considered as more or less seperate, one is of facts on the ground while the other is of facts in our head. In order for little people such as you or I to have any influence whatsoever, we must differentiate between these conflict zones and insist on seeing things as they are, not as we want them to be.

Posted by: C I eh? | Oct 15 2016 21:39 utc | 12

@zukini | Oct 15, 2016 3:27:40 PM | 3

I was thinking aloud....United Nations Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura said...... "if you did decide to leave, in dignity with your weapons, to Washington, Paris, London, Berlin, Canberra or anywhere you wanted in the USA, I personally am ready, physically ready, to accompany you."

Posted by: Jack Smith | Oct 15 2016 21:47 utc | 13

Now that Turkey has a Syrian force it has trained and that it controls tightly, it is starting to dissociate from Al Nusra.

Pro-government Daily Sabah

"Syrian opposition should break from al-Nusra, FM Çavuşoğlu says after Lausanne talks
Daily Sabah‎

Speaking to reporters following the meeting, Çavuşoğlu said Al-Nusra Front must withdraw from military posts in Aleppo immediately for humanitarian aid to reach the city safely, adding that the Syrian opposition forces should separate itself from the terrorist group."

Posted by: virgile | Oct 15 2016 21:54 utc | 14

“Candidate Clump.”
The Middle East and the Next Administration
Chas W. Freeman, Jr. speaks
The U.S. is making enemies all over the Muslim world. And every day here at home, millions pay homage to the memory of Osama as they remove their shoes to pass through metal detectors and are stripped of their dignity by body-imaging devices at airports. Americans are less secure, less prosperous, and less free than we were as this century began. In life, Osama was transformative. In death, he continues to shape the world he left behind.
Can a new administration change this? Will it?

Posted by: mauisurfer | Oct 15 2016 22:55 utc | 15

Sat Oct 15, 2016 4:38
Russian S300, S400 Air-Defense Systems Ready to Confront Possible US Attacks in Syria

Shame no one at any level had the foresight to have had this in place well before that Deir Ez-zor disaster a few weeks ago.
Or the shootdown of the russian ground support jet by Turkey months before that yet.

Reports out just now Sat evening that the battle for MOSUL Iraq has now begun.

Posted by: schlub | Oct 16 2016 0:53 utc | 16

Very very nice debunking!

But for the eastern part the UN has given the abstruse estimates of 250,000-275,000. It has not given any sources for that number.
Ehsani offered a good explanation for these high numbers. They are political numbers insofar the amount of food rations the UN sends there depends on the estimated number of "suffering civilians", so there is a high incentive for inflating them. If I remember correctly, Ehsani also pointed out that a monthly UN food ration is worth $50 on the local black market, so it is simple maths that x "superfluous" packages will provide the salary for y jihadis. Nusra does get some funding from Golf countries (as confirmed by recent Clinton leak), but of course they look for any source of revenue (mainly it is taxes, peculiarly).

Anyway, we should keep in mind that JFS (ex-Nusra) is the official al-Qaeda brand, but by no means the only jihadi faction. Ahrar al-Sham may in fact in many ways be more moderate, but it still is a moderate form of AQ, rejecting democracy and fighting for a sharia state. Similarly Jaish al-Islam, which might soon be transferred from Ghouta to Idlib (who are, not to be forgotten, the most likely perpetrators of the sarin false-flag attack, leaving 600+ people murdered).

Posted by: Qoppa | Oct 16 2016 1:08 utc | 17

xlnt background modern history of syria
by Prof Gary Leupp (Tufts)

Posted by: mauisurfer | Oct 16 2016 2:05 utc | 18

LOL---don't think this means it's over yet; note saying this is not the Shoddy prince military genius Salman conducting the south border war against Yemen, so it doesn't carry the same weight.
Sat Oct 15, 2016 7:55
Saudi Mofti Warns of Syrian Army's Crushing Victories in Aleppo, Damascus

TEHRAN (FNA)- Fatah al-Sham (formerly the al-Nusra) Front's religious judge Abdullah al-Moheiseni said widening rifts among the members of Jeish al-Fatah coalition of militant groups and the recent advances of the Syrian government forces will soon end in the imminent collapse of the militants in Aleppo and Damascus provinces.

Posted by: schlub | Oct 16 2016 2:54 utc | 19

To call Martin Cherlov independent is ludicrous. B knows it's a ludicrous lie but he wants to spread his propaganda too.

Vanessa Beeley says that the Aleppo medical Association reports to her that there was recently 200,000 ( less now As people in eastern Aleppo, with 1/4 at least being terrorists.
Watch video of V.Beeley from the 5min 50 Mark.

Posted by: tom | Oct 16 2016 4:26 utc | 20


Posted by: tom | Oct 16 2016 4:26 utc | 21

@schlub #16

Shame no one at any level had the foresight to have had this in place well before that Deir Ez-zor disaster a few weeks ago.

The collusion had to become undeniable first. Going in with a force big enough to fight NATO would have raised alarm bells, besides, the Russians were still hoping that the US would take the face saving way out and join them.

Posted by: Wwinsti | Oct 16 2016 6:06 utc | 22

@16 "Shame no one at any level had the foresight to have had this in place well before that Deir Ez-zor disaster a few weeks ago."

Wouldn't have helped.

Russian ground to air defences are based on the west coast of Syria, Deir Ez-zor is far to the east, and those USAF jets flew in from bases in Iraq to launch their strike.

Deir Ez-zor is simply outside the defensive umbrella of Russian S-400s and if those missiles can't reach that far (and they can't) then they certainly aren't going to be able to target jets that fly in from even further afield.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Oct 16 2016 7:20 utc | 23

Skynews using child "activists" to get Syrian war zone footage.

Skynews-"Risking their lives so we don't have to risk ours."

Posted by: Wwinsti | Oct 16 2016 9:06 utc | 24

@ virgile | 14

Now that Turkey has a Syrian force it has trained and that it controls tightly, it is starting to dissociate from Al Nusra.

All you need is to remember how Turkey have occupied Jarabulus without a single shot, where ISIS shaved their beards and became "moderates". Thats the type of "dissociation" Turkey (and US for that matter) are talking about.

Posted by: Harry | Oct 16 2016 9:22 utc | 25

A little off topic .... but straight from the tyrant's mouth via his foghorn media ... Erdogan in Rize yesterday -

"Cerablus'a girdik, arkadan El Rai'ye girdik. Şimdi ilerliyoruz, nereye? Dabık'a ilerliyoruz ve orada 5 bin kilometrekarelik bir alanı terörden arındırılmış güvenli bölge olarak ilan edeceğiz"

"We entered Cerablus, after that we entered El Rai. Now, where we are moving forward? We are moving on to Dabika and then we will have purged of terrorists a 5,000 km safe-zone."

Erdogan goes on to say that Turkey has 3m refugees and that they need a safe place, etc. İs this resurecting Davutolug's 3 cities idea?

That the areas are being 'purged' of all but the right kind of Sunni is scary - there are some horrific stories of abuses by the FSA in the 50 odd villages they've 'purged' - and that turkey's words can never be trusted leads me to suspect that there is much more behind this move.

Turks often say that the best way to understand Turkish politicians is to understand the opposite of what they say! That FSA are wandering Syrian villages wearing Tutkish Police helmets might be a clue as to what is really going on!

Posted by: AtaBrit | Oct 16 2016 11:33 utc | 26

For anyone interested in Turkish events, one of the last remaining truly independent newspapers, Sol Gazetesi, has just launched an english language site - hopefully the content will increase and parallel the Turkish language site.

Posted by: AtaBrit | Oct 16 2016 11:36 utc | 27

Russia (indirectly Assad) has given many opportunities to the Americans to save face. They took none of them. So now what? They will just ignore it all while many in the world think Allepo is a turning point, the supreme battle that decides the war (i don’t quite agree but who am i ..)

I can’t speak to the number of jihadists in E. Allepo, but it seems that they are turn by turn, over- or under-estimated in function of political discourse. Plus of course even 700 fighters in determined urban guerrila warfare situation in a landscape of say 30K ppl can create impressive death/mayhem and hold out for a long time, provided they have some weapons and control enough to have food to eat etc.

The offer for ‘amnesty’ for ‘rebel’ fighters’ from Assad is very old, from 2011 I believe. (Giving up arms, safe passage..) de Mistura takes that up…

Posted by: Noirette | Oct 16 2016 13:07 utc | 28

@23 Yeah, Right

"Wouldn't have helped.

Deir Ez-zor is simply outside the defensive umbrella of Russian S-400s and if those missiles can't reach that far (and they can't) then they certainly aren't going to be able to target jets that fly in from even further afield."

You are heavily mistaken. S-400 (based in Hmeimim) and S-300B4 (based in Tartus) both reported to have range of 400 km (for ballistic missiles, for aircraft - "a little bit" more). Distance to Deir Ez-zor is almost the same. But don't be fooled with the "reported" range - the "Kalibr" missiles were reported to have the range of 250-500 km. You'd better ask guys from Daesh and al-Nusra about their REAL range - it seems they've flown more then 1500 km, didn't they?

After American hysteria like 'we demand to bomb Assad's airfields and army positions' their was a prompt answer from Moscow. Gen. Konashenkov said that if 'someone' (guess who) would try this trick in Syria, they 'would be very much surprised with the range and capabilities of those systems'. So if anyone want to take part in figuring out their real characteristics... i'd think twice.

Posted by: Maverick | Oct 16 2016 13:24 utc | 29

NYTs says Obomba in Somalia and will not repeat Blackhawk Down debacle.
They never quit,these criminals.
War war everywhere,but Cuban cigars and rum will settle the nerves.
My God.
Trump accuses HB of being on drugs during debates;My sentiments exactly,as in the first debate at least,she definitely was.I'm an expert on drug use.Wapo said dugs,in a proofreaders error.
All you sheeple who believe liars about anything are going to be surprised Nov.8.Oh,and wapo says Trump within 4 points.I think he's ahead myself,but again the propagandists want no part of America First,and just imagine the debt the Hell Bitch will owe the Zionists if they steal this election for her.

Posted by: dahoit | Oct 16 2016 13:37 utc | 30

Dabiq like Jarabulus falls into the hands of the Turks in 24h without any reported casualties.. ISIS has 1,200 fighters there, where are they?

Posted by: virgile | Oct 16 2016 13:46 utc | 31

RT films aftermath of deadly shelling of residential areas in Aleppo (GRAPHIC)

Nah you wont see this on western msm:

Posted by: Lieben | Oct 16 2016 15:20 utc | 33

Lieben @32.

There is no wonder the UK and others are looking to block RT in their respective countries.

Posted by: Yonatan | Oct 16 2016 15:59 utc | 34

Interesting comments from a private contractor who maintains comms equipment at Diego Garcia.

"I rotate thru Diego Garcia every 6 weeks to pull maintenance on uplink equipment as a private contractor.

Something big is going on, the island has more aircraft than any time in the last 9 years. They have blocked off some access roads and are now parking aircraft on the National Road. Barriers have been set up around the aircraft areas. Temporary barracks and hangers are popping up everywhere. A tent city full of AF and Navy maintenance personal has also been set up.

I have never seen B1s and B2s there at the same time. Actually I have never seen more than 1 there at a time. Now, there are very many.

Security is nuts I had to show my id at least 8 times a day.

My coworker is former AF and said they are like that when nukes are around.

We counted over a dozen air refueling tankers on the ground. The airfield had a takeoff or landing every 1 minute, very busy. When we flew out we waited in line for quite a while. We never had to wait in the past.

The Navy had the docks full of ships and 6 to 8 more were moored just off shore. We watched many pallets of bombs being off loaded from one ship.

There were a bunch of B-52’s coming in that were painted flat black. I have’t seen that before.”

Diego Garcia seems to be well outside range for attacks on Syria/Iraq. Are the planes being shifted there to keep them out of harms way should TSHTF?

Posted by: Yonatan | Oct 16 2016 16:05 utc | 35

> What was the purpose of this whole thing (the war on Iraq)? Hundreds and hundreds of young people killed. And what about the people coming back with no arms and legs? Not to mention the other side. All those Iraqi kids who’ve been blown to pieces. And it turns out that all of the reasons for the war were blatantly wrong. All this for nothing. (Emphasis, JW)
> — Donald Trump on Iraq War, August, 2004, reiterated verbatim, August, 2016.
> Obviously I have thought about that a lot in the months since (her October 2002 vote in favor of the Iraq war resolution). No, I don’t regret giving the President authority.
> — Hillary Clinton on Iraq War, April, 2004.
> In 2007 Trump added one more component in an interview with Wolf Blitzer. The added component is that the war was based on lies – not mistakes, not faulty intelligence but lies. Again no major political figure has said this, certainly not Hillary Clinton.
> In the interview Trump says: “Look, everything in Washington has been a lie. Weapons of mass destruction was a total lie. It was a way of attacking Iraq, which he (George W. Bush) thought was going to be easy and it turned out to be the exact opposite of easy. … Everything is a lie. It’s all a big lie.” Here again Trump has remained consistent. In one primary debate he confronted Jeb Bush with the fact that his brother lied us into Iraq.
> What was Hillary’s position in 2007? She remained committed to her 2002 vote, despite the call of many antiwar Democrats to apologize and admit it was a mistake. To an audience in Dover, New Hampshire, in February, she said defiantly: “If the most important thing to any of you is choosing someone who did not cast that vote or has said his vote was a mistake, then there are others to choose from.” She could afford to be defiant. She was the front runner for the Democratic nomination at that point. Little did she know that Obama would be a serious contender.

Posted by: mauisurfer | Oct 16 2016 16:19 utc | 36

Alexander Mercouris gives an excellent rundown on the farcical dueling resolutions on Syria at the UNSC:

How France botched its Syrian diplomacy with Russia and at the UN Security Council

China has a longstanding policy of not vetoing Resolutions which have majority support in the UN Security Council except in very exceptional circumstances. Clearly what happened was that the Russians and the Chinese worked together to enable China to cast a vote supporting Russia at the UN Security Council without having to cast a veto when the French Resolution was put to the vote. By proposing their Resolution the Russians made it possible for the Chinese to abstain on the French Resolution, whilst making it possible for the Chinese to make their support for Russia clear by voting for the Russian Resolution.

As it happens the Russian draft Resolution gathered more support in the UN Security Council than the Western powers and perhaps the Russians anticipated. Russia, China and Venezuela voted for it and Angola abstained – as was to be expected. However Egypt, traditionally a US ally and the one Arab state represented on the UN Security Council, also voted for it, whilst Uruguay – the one genuinely non-aligned state on the UN Security Council, also abstained (ie. refused to vote against it). This left just those states on the UN Security Council who are known to be allies of the US to vote it down.

If the plan behind the French Resolution was therefore to embarrass Russia by isolating it on the UN Security Council, then deft Russian diplomacy meant that it failed.

It beggars belief that the France of De Gaulle or Mitterrand would have agreed to let itself be used in this way. If Kerry and his officials had wanted to put on a show at the UN Security Council then the French in former times would have told them to do it themselves rather than involve France in it. As it is the prestige of French diplomacy has been diminished.

Posted by: Demian | Oct 16 2016 16:47 utc | 37

Kudos b.

Quite appropriately related is this piece by Federico Pieraccini of Strategic Culture via ZH:”

Going Beyond Propaganda - Nuclear Conflict: Deception Or Real Threat?

The events in the Middle East, Syria and Aleppo are the focus of global attention. Rarely has a battle been so decisive to the outcome of a war and the fate of hundreds of millions of people around the world

Hillary Clinton in the last presidential debate repeatedly called for the establishment of a no-fly zone (NFZ) in Syria. The concept, reiterated several times, clashes with the revelation contained in her private emails admitting that the implementation of a NFZ would entail the increased deaths of Syrian civilians. In a recent hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee, General Philip Breedlove was asked what kind of effort would be required for the US armed forces to impose a NFZ over Syrian skies. With obvious embarrassment, the General was forced to admit that such a request would involve hitting Russian and Syrian aircraft and vehicles, opening the door to a direct confrontation between Moscow and Washington, a decision the General was simply not willing to take. The military leadership has always shown a readiness to implement the military option; so this time they must have sniffed the danger of a direct conflict with Moscow.

The Kremlin has publicly admitted to deploying in Syria the S-400 and S-300V4 advanced anti-aircraft and anti-missile systems respectively. The presence of the defense complex was intentionally announced as a factor of deterrence and is a logical strategy. The message to Washington is clear: any unidentified object in Syrian skies will be shot down. The United States bases much of its military strength on the constant need to project power, making its opponents believe that it possesses capabilities that others do not hold. Therefore it is very unlikely» that the Pentagon would want to reveal to the world the worth of their stealth systems and their «legendary« American cruise missiles when faced with the S-300V4 or S-400. The Kosovo War serves to remind of the F-117 that was shot down by Soviet systems (S-125) dating from the 1960s.

Hillary Clinton’s threats against Moscow were not the only ones. The present policy makers in Washington continue to make aggressive statements demonstrating their total loss of touch with reality. .[.]

The conclusion:

“With the failure of the northern front, the terrorists will be faced with the probable prospect of the complete collapse of their operations nationwide. Some will continue to fight, but most will throw away their weapons knowing that they have lost the war. Once this is achieved, the liberation of the rest of Syria should be a matter of a few months. It should be remembered that the recapture of Aleppo would guarantee a crushing defeat for the regional sponsors of international terrorism (Qatar and Saudi Arabia).”

~ ~ ~ ~

do read the article in full.

Posted by: likklemore | Oct 16 2016 16:55 utc | 38

Interesting and surprisingly honest BBC report on Russia, Syria and the White Helmets

Posted by: Bo Dacious | Oct 16 2016 18:38 utc | 39

Lurch says "Have we got a deal 4 U!".

This says something is up there, along with that story mentioned another forum that one of the notorious eternal war whoring MSM big names actually printed a "semi-apology" yesterday for that whole USN Mason incident, admitting/saying there was no attack on it.

US, Britain urge immediate ceasefire in Yemen
Sun Oct 16, 2016 4:14PM
The United States, Britain and the UN special envoy for Yemen have urged the warring sides in the conflict in Yemen to declare an immediate ceasefire.

US Secretary of State John Kerry said after high-level diplomatic talks in London on Sunday that if Yemen's opposing sides accepted the ceasefire, the UN special envoy, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, would work out some sort of a deal.

Posted by: schlub | Oct 16 2016 19:22 utc | 40

virgile | 31
Do you remember not so long ago people questioned the large numbers of FSA fighters being claimed in the media, some dissenters even claimed that there were no FSA fighters anymore ... they are all Al Nusra / Al-Qaeda - There was no FSA anymore until ...
Interestingly, since Turkey began its foray into Syria recently, FSA numbers have seemingly swelled. At least in Turkish media all the combatants that Turkey is supporting in its 'purge' are FSA! And do you remember the 'shave their beards off' remarks? And what about the challenges of policing a safe -zone - you need thousands of boots on the ground which Turkey is not willing to commit, and which, were they Turkish boots, Syria would surely not accept! And lastly, Turkey has always worried about these head-choppers returning to Turkish soil and blowing shit out of the place as is happening in Gaziantep ...

Maybe b or someone else could shed some light on this ... have jihadists really been 'absorbed' into the FSA? Is Turkey going to use these 'Turkish-police-helmet-wearing' FSA ex-jihadists to police its safe zone?

(disclaimer - I could be onto nothing ... :-) )

Posted by: AtaBrit | Oct 16 2016 19:24 utc | 41

@40 I'm sure they have all been carefully vetted .....but seriously....don't these guys change sides all the time? A better question would be who is funding the FSA?

Posted by: dh | Oct 16 2016 19:37 utc | 42

more Hillarity-ous e-mails due out Monday.

The new FBI documents might be released to the public as soon as Monday, a congressional source told Fox News, citing overwhelming FOIA requests from the public.

Describing the revelation as “infuriating,” Chaffetz said it lays the ground for at least four Congressional hearings on the situation.

Posted by: schlub | Oct 16 2016 19:38 utc | 43

tom@20. Vanessa Beeley Said the number was of Terrorists 'and their families' in that clip.. Thanks for the link.

Posted by: harrylaw | Oct 16 2016 19:52 utc | 44

yeah tom...

thanks for that link.

Posted by: john | Oct 16 2016 20:14 utc | 45

Interesting and surprisingly honest BBC report on Russia, Syria and the White Helmets

Posted by: Bo Dacious | Oct 16 2016 20:53 utc | 46

@ 23

It is not only S 400 and and S 300, but Russia is also delivering 36-50 Pantsir-S1 systems to the SAA, they could be deployed everywhere including in Deir Ez-zor via transport planes, which means that attempts to attack Syria with air craft could become very dangerous for the attackers.

Posted by: Passer by | Oct 16 2016 22:02 utc | 47

#29 Maverick

It's pointless to shoot missiles at the very edge of the range even if S-400 can nominally barely reach Deir Az Zor from Latakiya. At those marginal ranges the much of the kinetic energy is used up and there's no more solid fuel left for final manoeuvring. In other words, you are shooting very expensive missiles (a couple of million dollars worth each) only to lose them achieving nothing, and look like a fool in the process should your targets be alert enough to perform even basic defensive manoeuvres.

IMO, the only real solution is to liberate a land road to Deir and then place a battery nearby which then then be resupplied using that road. Even late model Buks might be able to get the job done in that case, they can fly high enough; but ideally you'd also have an S-300 battery there to cover much of Eastern Syria.

Posted by: Quadriad | Oct 16 2016 22:09 utc | 48

"I could be onto nothing."

The more I read this blog, except for B, the more I think 'I could be onto nothing' should be inscribed on the foreheads of those posting.

In the meantime read:

That article should make it manifestly clear that a revolution is essential if humanity doesn't blot itself out because it continues to opt for evil. We (you and I) won't revolt because we are too damned comfortable with the status quo ... too selfish, too hung up on the acquisition of stuff to ever take the risk that continuation of the species might be more important than the sh*t we own?

Yeah, it would mean facing down the corporate lackies (the military-industrial-state) with little more than pitchforks ... it would mean being willing to die for a better world ... but we won't because we (that IS both you and I) are narcissistic pricks ... despite alleged gender differences!

Posted by: rg the lg | Oct 16 2016 22:21 utc | 49

@dh | 41
Yes, that is my point in part.
However, this situation is in many ways different.
And who supports and directs FSA is no secret, is it.

Posted by: AtaBrit | Oct 16 2016 22:33 utc | 50

That article should make it manifestly clear that a revolution is essential if humanity doesn't blot itself out because it continues to opt for evil.

Posted by: rg the lg | Oct 16, 2016 6:21:56 PM | 48

    David Korten wrote this article . . . . . a member of the Club of Rome,

    The Club of Rome was created in 1968 by the Morgenthau Group,

The principals of the Morgenthau Group have been creating wealth for third party investors. The Group has previously consisted of a private placement investment group and a broker/dealer network which is a member of the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD), the Regional Investment Bankers Association (RIBA), Securities Investors Protection Corporation (SIPC), and the Municipal Securities Ruling Board (MSRB). . . . The private investment side of the Morgenthau Group was recently recertified by the State of Florida as one of four Venture Capital companies able to participate under the State's Certified Capital Companies Act. This level of expertise creates investor wealth and brings the "value add" required by today's discerning entrepreneurial companies.

hahahah I love it - a "Revolution" financed by a Venture Capital/Investment Broker company.


Oh you are hilarious

you really had me there for a second or two.

Well done!

- seriously funny concept! all started off with the phrase "I could be onto nothing." - great joke - you really are a trickser

Posted by: Bo Dacious | Oct 16 2016 22:43 utc | 51

"On learning of Korten’s Club of Rome membership, I asked my self whether a true anti-corporatist would join a Round Table organization of corporate elites.

The business executives who participate in Round Table think tanks are legally obligated to make profits and shareholders their highest personal and professional priority.

In essence this demands that they do everything in their power to suppress wages, benefits, income tax and environmental regulations. I

n fact, I can envision no beneficial role whatsoever for corporate think tanks in a truly democratic society.

No society run by its own citizens is going to allow upper 1% and the so-called intellectuals who work for them to decide how they rest of us should live."

Posted by: Bo Dacious | Oct 16 2016 22:46 utc | 52

Some fellow calling himself 'Buckwheat' wrote:
"Any significant nuclear exchange, or a breakdown of society, will finish off all complex life forms within 25 years globally. Why do I say this?
Because nobody is considering the 460 odd nuclear power plants scattered over the world. As soon as the lights go out, chaos sets in, and the people maintaining those plants don't make it to work. They melt down, one by one, each one releasing thousands of times more deadly radioactivity than 500 nuclear bombs. Game over for everybody, no matter what your survival skills are."

His comment was at the end of an article:

I found the article worth the couple of minutes it took to read it. Maybe you, oh wise and noble poster of commentary, should take the time to read it ... or not since so many minds seem so made up?

Posted by: rg the lg | Oct 16 2016 22:56 utc | 53

I found the article worth the couple of minutes it took to read it. Maybe you, oh wise and noble poster of commentary, should take the time to read it ... or not since so many minds seem so made up?

Nah, 's Cool - I stopped worrying about the state of the World as soon as I discovered there was a Group of v. smart guys, in Rome, boogieing the night away, (in some Club some where?), all paid for by a bunch of altruistic Venture Capitalists, sorting it all out for us little people - doing all the worrying and theorising, on behalf of, and naturally "for the benefit of", all us plebs.

I'll sleep much more soundly than usual tonight, having discovered that.

Once again - Thanks!

Posted by: Bo Dacious | Oct 16 2016 23:08 utc | 54

@49 I guess it depends on what Erdogan is up to in Syria and how far he wants to go.

I'm sure there are plenty of Nusra/Al Quaida types wandering around looking for work they clean their act up a bit and join the FSA. But how loyal are the FSA to Turkey? If the Saudis are paying them Erdogan's plans could easily backfire down the road.

Posted by: dh | Oct 16 2016 23:21 utc | 55

AtaBrit | Oct 16, 2016 3:24:53 PM | 40
not so long ago people questioned the large numbers of FSA fighters being claimed in the media, some dissenters even claimed that there were no FSA fighters anymore ... they are all Al Nusra / Al-Qaeda - There was no FSA anymore until ...
Interestingly, since Turkey began its foray into Syria recently, FSA numbers have seemingly swelled.

Good observation.

The short answer: there is no FSA, and there never has been (as proven by the 2012 DIA report). The FSA has never been an army (with a command structure), but a PR logo, a flag and some uniforms, and a bunch of disgruntled generals in Turkish 5-star hotels making occasional announcements to the Western press.

The long answer is more complicated, naturally.
There are quite a few groups with the FSA logo. They make for the impressive number of "moderates" some think-tanks come up with, but when you have the (rare) chance to look at them, most are just local militias with unclear ideology (apart from being anti-Assad) who just want to survive.
Then you have CIA-vetted groups who receive TOWs, they usually just serve as specialised anti-tank units within an Islamist coalition but they also clash with Nusra. Division 13 is a good example.

Then you have ambivalent groups who use both FSA and islamist logos, like Fastaqim Union.

Now, as for FSA in Euphrates Shield, you have some of the local militias of the Northern Aleppo countryside, but on the whole it looks more like a revival of a "clean" non-jihadi image.

Not really convincing when you discover some of the people presented as FSA have been ISIS members:

Posted by: Qoppa | Oct 17 2016 0:30 utc | 56


Well, I am glad you found a pearl amongst all that dung.

Posted by: Tom in AZ | Oct 17 2016 2:27 utc | 57

Posted by: rg the lg | Oct 16, 2016 6:21:56 PM | 48

"That article should make it manifestly clear that a revolution is essential if humanity doesn't blot itself out because it continues to opt for evil."

Many people keep saying that, but I have the feeling that few actually know what a 'revolution' would look like in today's(!) world. What Bastille or Winter Palace should be stormed, what tyrant beheaded? What does 'overthrowing the old order' mean if the order is decentralized and mostly internalized?

What we have today is a structural (and sometimes symbolic) form of governance, so I presume any radical change will also have to be structural in nature. Let's say if people just stopped using money and gave each other whatever is needed for free...why not? We only need 'money' as long as the goods we exchange are 'scarce', which today they aren't any more.

In other words: If there's a revolution, it will be inside people's heads. A change of mentality which liberates them from adhering to the (internalized, but anachronistic) rules of the current system. Stop believing, and the system ceases to exist. If everyone stops believing, or at least most people, that is.

Posted by: smuks | Oct 17 2016 2:56 utc | 58

Slightly off topic but, keeping in mind that Russia/Syria are being accused of "killing children" in East Aleppo, CCTV took time out recently to pose the question "How many children are being killed in Syria by US/UK's (oh so Christian) Iraq-style sanctions on Syria's medical, health and financial systems?
CCTV doesn't know and De Mistura's hypocritical Christian Colonial Crusaders seem not to care...
At the recent BRICS Summit, China proposed setting up a Ratings Agency which won't collude with Banksters and/or the existing Western Ratings Agencies.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Oct 17 2016 3:00 utc | 59

Sorry, the last comment was slightly OT.

I'm not a big fan of numbers games and usually don't pay attention to any such figures anyway.

What's important is that on Friday, the US didn't decide to do anything militarily and on Saturday told the others in Lausanne. So there definitely won't be any intervention in the near future, which is why today was another turning point with the seizure of Dabiq and the official start of the liberation of Mosul. And there may be changes in Yemen too, with the US and Britain demanding a ceasefire - could that be distraction from the upcoming liberation of Aleppo? We'll soon find out.

What few have noticed: China started putting economic pressure on the US (again) last week. In case of a 'bad decision' on Syria, they probably would have escalated that very quickly in the coming days. They had to play by the rules.

Posted by: smuks | Oct 17 2016 3:03 utc | 60
UK and US consider extra sanctions against Syria

The United Kingdom and United States say they were considering more sanctions against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his supporters, and called on Russia and Iran to help end the 5-year conflict in the country.

BoJo the clown looks positively numbed out of his skull in the 2 pics I've seen here today.
Too many free rounds in the diplomats' bar.

Posted by: schlub | Oct 17 2016 3:24 utc | 61

Johnson is clearly out of his depth, especially when dealing with a lying snake like Kerry, Johnson said just last December..“Am I backing the Assad regime, and the Russians, in their joint enterprise to recapture that amazing site? You bet I am. It turns out he made the case for staying in the European Community two days before being firmly for leaving it. Last week he threatened military action against Syria, I wouldn't have been surprised if he had asked the Prime Minister for the nuclear missile launch codes. Of course she would have said "I don't have them the Americans will not give them to me.

Posted by: harrylaw | Oct 17 2016 8:41 utc | 62

smuks 57 "US and Britain demanding a ceasefire"

US backed Saudi's not included in the ceasefire. According to the US, Yemen is a civil war.
US,UK want a ceasefire between the Houthi's and the Yemen government. Yemen government being the stooge parked in Riyadh and his loyal AQ/ISIS troops.

Posted by: Peter AU | Oct 17 2016 10:15 utc | 63

rg the lg 48

You and I will not revolt because there will be no leaders. Do you really think the population surveillance of the "western world" is to catch terrorists?

Posted by: Peter AU | Oct 17 2016 10:28 utc | 64

Do you really think the population surveillance of the "western world" is to catch terrorists?

Posted by: Peter AU | Oct 17, 2016 6:28:44 AM | 63

I wonder just how many Cyber Security/Surveillance companies the Morgenthau Group invests in?

Posted by: Bo Dacious | Oct 17 2016 10:42 utc | 65

Peter AU | Oct 17, 2016 6:28:44 AM | 63
Do you really think the population surveillance of the "western world" is to catch terrorists?

Hell no! 1984 is here in spades and hardly anybody noticed.
Why are Faraday Cages not in a top priority?
Cell phones, credit/debit cards, passports, and now your nice brand new vehicle are all trackable.
Time to get a horse (but check it for implants)...
My advice; always ignored, is to get out while you can: Free travel is coming to an end sooner than you think.

Posted by: V. Arnold | Oct 17 2016 11:50 utc | 66

Posted by: okie farmer | Oct 17 2016 11:56 utc | 67

@Qoppa | 55

Thanks for that Qoppa

Posted by: AtaBrit | Oct 17 2016 12:14 utc | 68

Completely OT

RT in Britain is reporting their long established bank accounts have been closed, terminated without explanation or subject to question. So much for freedom of British press. MI5, MI6 rules in effect. The British government has slipped entirely into the dark side.

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Oct 17 2016 12:22 utc | 69

okie farmer | Oct 17, 2016 7:56:20 AM | 66

Thanks for that link; I guess I ass-umed people knew what a Faraday Cage was; my bad.
But then, that addresses the larger issue of an educated population; I guess that leaves out Usians, yes?

Posted by: V. Arnold | Oct 17 2016 12:41 utc | 70

The “failed” coup in Turkey is passed over in the MSM though the consequences in T itself are considerable. Curious. The usual, move along nothing to see here .. huh?

The "coup that was" is essential for any understanding of the present international war-stage.

Article via Russia Insider hits some of the main ‘accepted’ narrative bullet points, which I am rather doubtful about. (The description of the emails etc. is correct, but what does that show?)

T-bear. The plan is to cut off - ban, forbid, squeeze diffusion, access - Intl. Russian media. All of it. Propaganda, lies, etc. dontcha know.

Posted by: Noirette | Oct 17 2016 13:30 utc | 71

Although the RT News thing seems bad all through the worst of the cold war local editions of Pravda were freely available in most western countries, on the other hand it seems like USuk is really scraping the barrel on this one as they may slightly inconvenience RT UK branch this won't close em down as there are simply too many alternative means of payment now. Maybe RT will go for a Skrill wallet.
I reckon most brits will be genuinely shocked by the affront to freedom this move is.
I mean its not as if the population is hugely behind the neolibs on both sides of parliament's demand to support the 'moderates' in Syria. The UK population thus far has been overwhelmingly in favour of letting Assad & Russia sort it out.
There is something planned tho following the 'liberation' of Mosul from its citizens - a really complicated (which means it will fall apart) deal, between iraqi kurds, the US & erdogan.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Oct 17 2016 13:44 utc | 72

If you can't shut them up....cut them off......

"Wikileaks says an unidentified "state actor" has shut down internet access for its founder Julian Assange."

Posted by: dh | Oct 17 2016 13:52 utc | 73

Has this already been posted of MoA?

Britain is fighting at least seven covert wars in the Middle East and North Africa, outside of any democratic oversight or control. Whitehall has in effect gone underground, with neither parliament nor the public being allowed to debate, scrutinise or even know about these wars.

When questioned about these covert activities, Ministers have two responses. One is to not to comment on special forces’ operations. The other is to lie, which has become so routine as to be official government policy. The reasoning is simple – the government believes the public simply has no right to know of these operations, let alone to influence them.

British foreign policy is in extreme mode, whereby Ministers do not believe they should be accountable to the public. This is the very definition of dictatorship. Although in some of these wars, Britain is combatting terrorist forces that are little short of evil, it is no minor matter that several UK interventions have encouraged these very same forces and prolonged wars, all the while being regularly disastrous for the people of the region. Britain’s absence of democracy needs serious and urgent challenging.

Posted by: ALberto | Oct 17 2016 13:58 utc | 74

Posted by: dh | Oct 17, 2016 9:52:55 AM | 72

Technically that could be either Britain or Ecuador.

Ecuador is in a tough spot as some in the US call for bombing it in retaliation.

Posted by: somebody | Oct 17 2016 14:16 utc | 75


Remember when those British SAS soldiers were arrested in Basra, Iraq for driving around dressed up in Arab clothing in a car bomb? Their comrades had to break them out of the Iraqi jail using a god damn tank.

We (the US, UK, and any other members of the "coalition of the willing") were never there to liberate anyone; we were there solely to sow strife, create conflict, and destabilize a secular Arab nation. Same as with Libya and now Syria.

Posted by: Bruno Marz | Oct 17 2016 14:23 utc | 76

at Debs, others. Shutting off RT (others..) is an admission of defeat. It implies that ‘free speech, free media,’ ‘balanced povs’, ‘democracy in the world’ and yada yada can only be tolerated when the Empire is on top of the game and can drown it out with their own propaganda.

Once that fails - as it has - sharp censorship (incl. of ordinary citizens) hits. All the parties re-trench and attempt to control ‘their ppls’ opinion, at which, since 1948, all have been remarkably successful. The internet has changed things. Somewhat.

The line between what is bruited by the MSM and the tolerance of ‘foreign infiltrator orgs’ is narrow, tricky. Russia has made an effort to censor, banish, get rid of, Soros (to mention only one ex.) As hybrid wars comprise holding 'soft power.'

Posted by: Noirette | Oct 17 2016 14:32 utc | 77

A British guest hit the nail on the head on RT this morning. This is not a war of words. It is a war of images. The little boy in the back of the ambulance is the only image allowed--not the film of the Palestinian boy being beheaded as witnessed and celebrated by the very same photographer.

The West can barely acknowledge that there is a war in Syria that is not simply an "assault on humanity" by Putin and Assad. The ruling "elite" in the West wants war... and they shall have it...

Posted by: Charles Van Wey | Oct 17 2016 14:33 utc | 78

@61, Harrylaw

Johnson is clearly out of his depth,

All current Western power "elites" are "out of their depth", because they are plain and simply incompetent. They don't seriously study (if at all) geopolitics, military or operational art in journo or philosophy (or law) schools. Case in point--Obama and his "Cabinet".

Posted by: SmoothieX12 | Oct 17 2016 14:34 utc | 79

To elaborate on Smoothie @ 78 and ‘Obama’s cabinet,’ see Zero Hedge (the e mails etc. are attested to afaik)

Most Important WikiLeak - How Wall Street Built The Obama Cabinet

In Switz. it was known that Obiman was the Wall-Street-Man before he was elected (2008.) This raised glee and condemnations, it was discussed. To not much purpose. Supposedly, the first pix of OB. after his election were of playing golf with the head of UBS. That actually happened later, in August, 2009.

On the first day of his vacation in Martha’s Vineyard, President Obama spent five hours golfing with UBS executive Robert Wolf, an early financial backer of Obama’s presidential campaign.

Posted by: Noirette | Oct 17 2016 15:39 utc | 80

Alberto @73

Whitehall has in effect gone underground, with neither parliament nor the public being allowed to debate, scrutinise or even know about these wars.

Yawn ... We're decades ahead of y'all. ScrutiniZe that! USA USA!!!!

Posted by: Martin Finnucane | Oct 17 2016 16:02 utc | 81

Interesting at RT

Posted by: okie farmer | Oct 17 2016 16:17 utc | 82

Is Saudi Arabia getting ready for a U-turn on Syria as it seems to be using Egypt as a go-between

Syria national security chief visits Cairo for talks with Egyptian officials>

Posted by: virgile | Oct 17 2016 16:25 utc | 83

somebody, there was a report released a couple of days ago on the number of refugees that returned to their countries, could you find the full text? i want to see the statistics per country...

Posted by: Mina | Oct 17 2016 16:29 utc | 84

Mina here's what I found;

Posted by: okie farmer | Oct 17 2016 16:57 utc | 85

Biden: "We're sendin' a message...".

Just a couple of days before RT banks accounts closed and Assange internet is interrupted.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 17 2016 17:04 utc | 86

no it is in German, released two days ago
different than this report mentioned here

Posted by: Mina | Oct 17 2016 17:17 utc | 87

Just in

Humanitarian ceasefire in east Aleppo to begin on October 20
By Leith Fadel -
17/10/2016 0

Posted by: schlub | Oct 17 2016 17:28 utc | 88

re: Assange, embassy goings-on, etc...
Jim Stone has gone all fully feral nutty off-the-handle today 17th his site on this.
he's got Anderson showing up posing as Lady Macbeth, or some other wet work agent.
Can't believe Assange could be that blind or stupid to fall for that.
There was also supposed to be some project veritas release today 17th also, but I never heard of it/them till this morning researching.

Posted by: schlub | Oct 17 2016 17:37 utc | 89
The Shabadeq base is a camp to train the Kurdish fighters for war against the ISIL terrorists in the Eastern battlefields of Raqqa up to the Northern banks of the Euphrates River," the sources added.

"In the meantime, over 100 US soldiers have entered Ein Issa via an illegally-established US army base in the village of Kharab Isq to coordinate Kurdish fighters' operations and meanwhile guard the US political officials who have been dispatched to Syria to form a new coalition, allegedly for the capture of Raqqa," the sources said.

obvious looking at this map that NATO is all-in with Erdo in n. Syria & Kurdistan, contrary to all the smokescreen of BS since July 17 they are bestest buddies, to steal back then consolidate all their Raqqafeller Oil assets that have fragmented.

Raqqa just a li'l red dot there.

Posted by: schlub | Oct 17 2016 18:00 utc | 90

Attempt to shut down the RT might be a necessary move before the coming "Big" false flag "terrorist" attack attempting to change the fate the war in Syria - total monopoly of the narrative may be required in such case.

Posted by: ProPeace | Oct 17 2016 18:04 utc | 91

"....Humanitarian ceasefire in east Aleppo to begin on October 20.."

"The Russian sponsored ceasefire will specifically allow vehicles carrying humanitarian aid to enter the besieged eastern neighborhoods of Aleppo, as long as they do not come under attack by the Islamist rebels.

However, ISIS, will reinforce eastern neighborhoods of Aleppo from Mosul. Another desperate move by Kerry.

How many times Russia fail to learn the same old trick?

Posted by: Jack Smith | Oct 17 2016 18:12 utc | 92

Posted by: xyz | Oct 17 2016 18:27 utc | 93

Posted by: Mina | Oct 17, 2016 12:29:52 PM | 83

Mina, there is this "voluntary return" statistics, but that means refugees who did not get asylum or any other protected refugee status in Germany and returned before they were forced to.

Nobody is being sent back to Syria, so Syria does not figure in this statistic.

Apart from that, nobody knows. Not all refugees register, I suppose who can afford it or has family/connections is on some type of tourist, student or work visum.

There is a EU-Project in Munich called "coming home" - they have no legal way to help people return to Syria but there are statistics for other countries.

From what I hear people with/without refugee status do go back and forth for family reasons, Europe's borders are basically open and there is a land route from Turkey if you have the know how and the means, but no statistics would cover that.

And that is what it comes down to. Without means people are stuck.

Posted by: somebody | Oct 17 2016 19:11 utc | 94

Posted by: somebody | Oct 17, 2016 10:16:39 AM | 75

Wikileaks confirms that Ecuador cut Assange's internet connection.

Posted by: somebody | Oct 17 2016 19:30 utc | 95

thanks i was wondering what are the exact numbers for 2015 and 2015 of the Eritreans, Sudanese, Afghans, Ethiopians and Syrians, because in Calais apparently these form the highest numbers; also it would be interesting to know if they came from Syria directly or had been registered in refugee camps in Lebanon or Turkey. just to know

Posted by: Mina | Oct 17 2016 19:42 utc | 96

Posted by: Mina | Oct 17, 2016 3:42:06 PM | 96

You can find European statistics here

Posted by: somebody | Oct 17 2016 20:18 utc | 97

"The only reason they're attacking Mosul now is because America is choosing a new moron to be president and the current moron needs to go out on a high to sell his fake leadership to the American people and reap the rewards later with book deals and nonsensical speeches."

Posted by Saman Mohammadi at 9:06 PM

Posted by: fredjc | Oct 17 2016 20:36 utc | 98

thanks! i knew u must me some sort of journalist!

Posted by: Mina | Oct 17 2016 21:12 utc | 99

@mina 96 - I'm in the UK and I've met more Eritrean, Afghan, Ethiopian refugees than Syrian - the only Syrian I have met was from a well-off family in Homs who moved, because they were Christian to the North, out of harms way. The Syrian man was very concerned about his family, etc. but did not want to be conscripted into the army, which was why he was here, this was 3yrs ago. Since then, Homs area has been ravaged, along with Palmyra district, and eastern Aleppo.

One thing is for sure - our refugee problem comes from previous slaughters! The refugees from Syria are reluctant to come to a country that initiated that war!

Posted by: fredjc | Oct 17 2016 22:26 utc | 100

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