Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
October 23, 2016

Renewed Jihadi Attack On Aleppo Supported By "Western" Propaganda Fakes

The three days of unilateral ceasefire Syrian and Russia had announced and kept for the besieged east-Aleppo expired today. No evacuations took place, no civilians or fighters left and no aid was delivered as "rebels" inside the besieged area shelled all possible crossings.

The U.S. supported al-Qaeda aligned Jihadis have used the pause to prepare for another attack on the government held parts of Aleppo city with the aim of opening a passage into the besieged eastern areas. They received enormous amounts of new weapons and munitions from the U.S. and their other supporters. The child beheaders of the U.S. supported radical Zinki group warned civilians in west-Aleppo city to stay away from military positions. That is impossible as the refugee filled, densely populated areas are in the immediate neighborhood of the front lines.

The renewed attack is expected in the south-west of government held west-Aleppo near the Ramoush-area and the Artillery Academy where the first attempted breach battle also took place. A second attack is expected in the north-west near the Castello road. It is possible that Turkish supported forces, who battle Kurdish troops to the north-east of Aleppo-city, will also try an attack on the city. The fight against the Kurds is a Turkish attempt to keep its logistic lines of communications to the Islamic State open. Turkey has supported, like Saudi Arabia and Qatar, the Islamic State for years. An attack on Aleppo by directly Turkish supported forces would be a serious breach of the Turkish-Russian agreements and lead to a further serious escalation and internationalization of the war. Turkey will not dare such a move without full U.S. support.

We have maintained here for some time that the Turkish President Erdogan has designs for Aleppo as well as Mosul. He wants to incorporate both cities and all areas north of and between them into Turkey. Erdogan now publicly announced these aims:

Speaking during an opening ceremony for an educational institution in Bursa on Saturday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan compared the way that Syrians and Iraqis have been driven away from homes because of the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS; ISIS/ISIL), to how Turkish people were once forced out from the same cities.

Erdogan added that the cities of Mosul and Aleppo belong to the Turkish people.

This is a serious misinterpretation of teh areas population history and of Turkey's international agreements and borders as delineated after the first world war.

Erdogan also lamented that Turkeys national leaders were born outside of Turkey's current borders. Something he implied he will strive to correct. The Greek will not be happy to hear that. Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of modern Turkey, was born in Thessaloniki.

The U.S. and its machinations against Syria and Iraq have set fire to a combustive area. It created an Islamist "revolution" in Syria that had no genuine base within the country. The Obama administration is now again fanning the flames. It supports Turkish moves on Mosul which the Iraqi government strongly rejects. Instead of calming down the war in Syria it again and again supports with new arms, money and propaganda the advances of al-Qaeda with its expansive designs in the area and beyond. An explosion, involving Russian forces and war with and within Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon is longer impossible. This is a very shortsighted playing of the great game. Serious consequences for countries of important U.S. interests, Israel, Jordan and Saudi Arabia, will then become inevitable.

But the U.S. induced pro-Jihad propaganda is endless. Consider this tweet by the president of the Eurasia Group, a "political risk consultancy". Bremmer has 200,000 Twitter followers:

ian bremmer @ianbremmer

Statue of Liberty made from bombed rubble of Aleppo, by Syrian artist Tammam Azzam. Devastating.

8:36 AM - 22 Oct 2016

When I saw it first it had some 1,200 retweets.

It took me two minutes to find out that this picture was photoshopped (which is obvious) and published first in February 2013 by an Italian news-site. The artist lives and works in Dubai, not Aleppo. I responded:

Moon of Alabama @MoonofA

Pic first published in February 2013 - …
Artist lives+works in Dubai not Aleppo
@ianbremmer is a propagandist

9:57 AM - 22 Oct 2016

My tweet was retweeted some 90 times. But it found an echo in an Al Arabia interview with the artist and at the Independent's Indy100 site:

[D]uring an interview with Al, Azzam said he was ‘surprised’ by what he said was the ‘wrong interpretation’ the picture had recently received, compared to the more positive reactions it received in 2012.
The Syrian artist explained: “The Statue of Liberty in New York does not represent US politics and I used it only as the symbol of freedom.”

“The piece at the time was carrying a message of optimism despite all of the destruction in Syria,” he added “but that was a long time ago.”

Meanwhile Bremmer's propaganda has been retweeted some 13,000 times with just as many "likes". He didn't retract it despite being called out and the multiple proven lies it contains. Why should he? The propaganda effect, with its implied call for military U.S. war intervention, is obviously great and such propaganda is what he gets paid for. His group is consulting on "political risk" it seem to actively help to create.

Posted by b on October 23, 2016 at 16:17 UTC | Permalink

next page »

Propaganda is pollution.

Posted by: D. Barnes | Oct 23 2016 16:27 utc | 1

How did the US supply massive amounts of weaponry to a besieged East Aleppo? Surely there is no way to helicopter drop, let alone truck weapons in...? Please elaborate. As for Bremmers propaganda, it will only ever reach and appeal to bought and sold twitters. It doesn't carry any weight. That's how propaganda loses its potency. Keep up the good work man...

Posted by: dan | Oct 23 2016 16:41 utc | 2

I suppose Obama's "plan B" for Syria is now becoming evident.

Posted by: Edward | Oct 23 2016 16:48 utc | 3

dan says:

How did the US supply massive amounts of weaponry to a besieged East Aleppo?

yeah, i was wondering the same thing. i mean, aren't they completely surrounded, and isn't every square meter of their airspace under constant scrutiny?

Posted by: john | Oct 23 2016 17:13 utc | 4

Time to reassess the attempted coup against Erdogan?

Was it really a lucky break for Erdo or a masterful feint by the Assad must go! Coalition?

No doubt many will chime in that they US is forced FORCED! to give Erdo what he wants. Yet it seems that everything he wants is just what he was promised by his (former?) Coalition partners. The pivot pretense, strengthened by the "gift from God" coup, has allowed him to play "dear friend" Putin.

I think we getting close to a point where the answer will be clear.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 23 2016 17:18 utc | 5

Us supplies weaponry to the jihadis that want to break in Aleppo; so from Iblid province and from north of Aleppo, with Turkey's help

Posted by: claudio | Oct 23 2016 17:19 utc | 6

2, 4,

I took it to mean that Jihadists in the surrounding areas had been resupplied.

Posted by: Harry | Oct 23 2016 17:27 utc | 7


"An explosion, involving Russian forces and war with and within Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon is longer impossible."

I think this sentence needs an edit. Keep up the great work.


Posted by: Michael | Oct 23 2016 17:41 utc | 8

The march to stop the aleppo bombing had 100's, not thousands, hundred's of supporters outside Downing st. Calling for a no fly zone i.e. war with Russia. Most of these people mean well, but haven't got a clue.

Posted by: harrylaw | Oct 23 2016 17:41 utc | 9

It's a cruel place for the RU+6 to be in. They know what the enemy will do and mostly how they will do it, but we've given that enemy so many sophisicated arms that ru+6 will have to lose a lot of armor, men, and possibly aircraft to halt it.

Thery might take the slow road and allow these forces to amass so they can be bottled up and destroyed from a safe distance

Posted by: Cresty | Oct 23 2016 17:53 utc | 10

It is possible that Turkish supported forces, who battle Kurdish troops to the north-east of Aleppo-city, will also try an attack on the city.

I strongly doubt this will happen. Too many red lines to be crossed, too many disadvantages.

The shelling of Afrin SDF/YPG is part of the race to al-Bab.
Here´s TTG over on SST:

The fight against the Kurds is a Turkish attempt to keep its logistic lines of communications to the Islamic State open.

My take is the other way round: the support of Daesh (which I do suspect was secretly accepted by US) was Erdogan's way to keep the Kurds in check. Now that Daesh is disintegrating, the first step of which came from US support of YPG, he has switched sides (at least half, in a way) and is set to normalise the relations to Russia and Syria.

(If I may repeat what I said yesterday in the open thread:)
It should be kept in mind that Erdogan´s reconciliation with Russia was a long-term switch in strategy. It was preceded by the resignation of Davutoglu who is said to be the mastermind behind the "Neo-ottoman" expansion. Erdogan´s sole priority now is to prevent a Kurdish state, and for this Assad is the perfect partner as he stands for the integrity of the Syrian state.

In short: an attack on Aleppo would spoil everything Erdogan has gained since August. He may be a hothead, but he is not stupid.

PS: as confirmed by this video. Erdogan talked with Putin on Aleppo, and agrees Nusra must be pushed out. Then comes some grand-standing rhetoric about helping "brothers" in Aleppo, this is just hot air ....

Posted by: Qoppa | Oct 23 2016 17:58 utc | 11

Re: Resupplying East Aleppo--

It seems that several commentators have forgotten the lessons of Vietnam and the NVA's massive system of tunnels that honeycombed a very extensive region far larger than Aleppo. And we know that Daesh et al have constructed similar works within Syria.

It appears HRC has decided to echo Obama about the Outlaw US Empire's Exceptionalism in an essay published by Time, to which a rebuttal by Konstantin Kosachev, head of the Russian Upper House's Foreign Affairs Committee, was published by Izvestia, excerpts of which were published by Sputnik,

The war will now become even uglier than before just as some bright spots were beginning to arise.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 23 2016 18:20 utc | 12

Some art resembles a Rorschach test. I interpreted this piece differently than the artist intended. I interpreted it as a mockery of US "contribution" to peace in Syria and in the world.

Perhaps the artist himself would agree now with this interpretation. If back then it was supposed to convey optimism for some eventual success of some kind, by this time somber minds more likely anticipate that "success" will be hollow. It's fitting, then, that this statue is a gruesome facsimile, a fraud like so much else.

Posted by: dumbass | Oct 23 2016 18:20 utc | 13

Still no Putin bots admitting how wrong they and Putin were ? Of curse not. And "curse" is not a typo.

A day ago on the open thread, I mentioned Russia and it's own unilateral ceasefire that was another dismal failure. Above, b practically admits it without ever mentioning Putins name. True to dismal form.

Putin is also affected by western propaganda lies, Because he doesn't want to look so bad in the west. What a joke. Appealing to Western war criminal media was always destined for failure. Western media leadership can only be appeals to through criminal courts.

Posted by: tom | Oct 23 2016 18:20 utc | 14

I agree with 14 that the artwork struck me strongly as an ironic statement of how the US brought democracy(tm)and protection to Syria. Send me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, so that I can dump them in Turkey and get campaign bribes from Israel. Plays just fine in NYC and DC.

Posted by: Joe | Oct 23 2016 19:13 utc | 15

Erdogan's attack on Syrian Kurds helps Russia and Syria. It gives the kurds no option other than cooperating with the Syrian government and Russia, though the Kurds might not realize that yet.

R+6 need to close the northern border between Syria and Turkey already or this fight will last forever.

Posted by: alaric | Oct 23 2016 19:26 utc | 16

tom | Oct 23, 2016 2:20:48 PM | 15
A day ago on the open thread, I mentioned Russia and it's own unilateral ceasefire that was another dismal failure.

I do not even understand what you mean by failure ....

I take it the ceasefire was a gentle nod towards Kerry and US "humanitarian concerns", thereby also exposing to anyone who would care to look: which side is it that takes civilians as hostages? (Not that anyone informed would be in doubt.)

At the same time, there may have been a military background, building up for the coming decisive battle for Aleppo.

Interesting report from W. Aleppo:
Dan Rivers added: "I've never seen [as many] Russian troops on the front line like that. We've seen a convoy of Russian troops heading into Aleppo as we left the city this [Thursday] evening.

From Syrian sources it appears these are not Russian ground troops, but rather advisers.

Posted by: Qoppa | Oct 23 2016 19:46 utc | 17

another truce ended that went nowhere, like all the rest.
Saudi Arabia has resumed its airstrikes against Yemen after the expiry of a three-day ceasefire in the war-ravaged country.

The Saudi jets conducted more than 16 airstrikes on areas across the provinces of Sana’a, Ta’izz, Hudaydah and Hajjah at dawn on Sunday, Yemen’s al-Masirah television reported.

I did see some UN hack howling about another ceasefire is desperately needed, which means sure enuf that those unruly sandaled sand scorpions have been gaining (took over a Saudi base yesterday just inside S.A.), just like we see Syria.

Posted by: schlub | Oct 23 2016 19:47 utc | 18

This a translation, b " February 2013 by an Italian news-site...

Posted by: Jack Smith | Oct 23 2016 19:51 utc | 19

Found some more photos for your art collection of "white helmets with children". The funny thing: They have now even some child stars:

Posted by: max | Oct 23 2016 20:07 utc | 21

There goes another chunk of Erdo's cash flow from oil running.
Maybe he should stick to running drugs for NATO...that never seems to get interrupted.

ISIS will not get its hands on the Al-Mahr oil field any time soon after Syrian government troops advanced considerably in the desert terrain of eastern Homs earlier today.

Starting on Saturday evening, the National Defence Forces (NDF) began targeting ISIS positions on the outskirts of the Al-Mahr oil field.

Posted by: schlub | Oct 23 2016 20:09 utc | 22

Yea the picture of the 'rubble of liberty' is a very impressive work. It really shows you what you want to see, and it's different depending on your feelings about American interference in Syria. Make no mistake the truly deluded neocon interventionists see this as some inspiring and hopeful vision of what they're doing in Syria.
I see it as a reflection of what America herself has become, a teetering edifice, the silhouette of which is still visible, laid bare before the world. Bringing neither liberty nor hope, just death and destruction.

Posted by: WG | Oct 23 2016 20:24 utc | 23

I hate to gloat over such a sad situation but I called it on Erdogan and Turkish irredentism and continued use and logistical support of the proxies. So much for the Russian-Erdogan rapprochement. This break in fighting with new reinforcements delivered by bus to Idlib province and resupply will make for some tough fighting that needn't have taken place. Hopefully the SAAF and the Ruaf can demolish or blunt the coming new offensive by catching the proxies in their forming up places. The humanitarian gesture and surrender terms, while it certainly proves what the Syrian and Russian governments have been saying about there being no moderates, will very possibly cost lives that might otherwise not been lost. No doubt this will be a last ceasefire until Syria's sovereignty is fully restored unless special circumstances prove otherwise, or we could hope so. I wonder how the Iranian and Hezbollah leadership feel about these continued pauses allowing the enemy to regroup and resupply? The last laugh should be Erdogan's unelectability if the Turkish military begins to suffer some serious losses or there are other repercussions on the Turkish economy again. Unless of course the Turkish people are stupid enough to believe in a rebirth of the Ottoman Caliphate and sign on for hopefully the coming disaster.

Posted by: BRF | Oct 23 2016 20:31 utc | 24


The U.S. supported al-Qaeda aligned Jihadis have used the pause to prepare for another attack on the government held parts of Aleppo city with the aim of opening a passage into the besieged eastern areas. They received enormous amounts of new weapons and munitions from the U.S. and their other supporters.

The Russian unilateral 'ceasefires' ... Doing the same thing over and over with the expectation of a different result each time? ... Or do the Russians share the USraeli goal in Syria : endless warfare bleeding both sides to death while destroying Syria?

An attack on Aleppo by directly Turkish supported forces would be a serious breach of the Turkish-Russian agreements and lead to a further serious escalation and internationalization of the war.

Turkish-Russian agreements ... any 'agreements' with Erdogan ... are for fools only. Erdogan will say whatever his 'partners' want to hear ... his own plans are unaffected by his 'agreements'.

I agree with dan @2. Twitter is for twits. It is an hermetically sealed arena attended to by those within its envelope only. It's just another fraudulent, parallel universe ... its sole purpose - like all 'social media' - lies in 'monetizing' its users.

Posted by: jfl | Oct 23 2016 21:10 utc | 25

Someone figured out that filling a geographic area with weaponry operable by a single individual will lead to the disintegration of that region. New York's stop and frisk is the counter-example that proves the hypothesis. Fill the South Side of Chicago with guns and you will destroy black civilization in that city. Fill Iraq with guns, fill Syria with guns, fill Afghanistan with guns, fill Libya with guns, fill Yemen with guns... in each case you will produce an anarchy that will enrich the military industrial complex, and, as a terrific bonus, keep the most bellicose leaders in power. President Clinton will be a wartime President. She will produce war at whatever cost. A "no-fly zone" is her ticket to reelection. Hollande desperately seeks to be bellicose. Ultimately, this cancer will become incurable, and humanity will die.

The British House of Commons voted against military involvement in Syria. It will so vote again. Britain has the strictest gun laws there are.

Posted by: Burt | Oct 23 2016 21:10 utc | 26

Just for reference and comparison with Aleppo - a LandSat image of Mosul showing the effects of oil plant fires set off by the jihadists and western coalition bombing.

Posted by: Yonatan | Oct 23 2016 21:33 utc | 27

"No evacuations took place, no civilians or fighters left and no aid was delivered as "rebels" inside the besieged area shelled all possible crossings."

Some civilians managed to escape, but under the threat of sniper fire from terrorists. It looks like they had to be smuggled out through corridors blown through buildings.

Posted by: Yonatan | Oct 23 2016 21:39 utc | 28

Qoppa @12

"In short: an attack on Aleppo would spoil everything Erdogan has gained since August. He may be a hothead, but he is not stupid."

It also goes against Putin's express statement that Syria's territorial integrity is sacrosanct and it is for the people of Syria to decide their future (Replace Syria by Russia to see Putin's concerns).

My own view is that Erdogan is playing a double game, but with the Anglo-Zionists, a far more dangerous group than Russia. If Turkey does try to take a large part of Syria, it will be faced with local opposition from Syrians as well as Kurds, not to mention SAA etc. However, the Anglo-Zionists would love for Turkey to be sucked in to the quagmire, to totally block SOuth Stream in favor of Israel energy supplies for Europe (yes the Qatar pipeline was bs). And you can bet those supplies would come at a steep price (politically if not economically).

This image illustrates the motive for Israel trying to annex Lebanon and the coastal parts of Syria, occupied largely by Alawites. Early on in the Syria war, Israel offered sanctuary to Syrian Alawites. The other side of the deal was not revealed - presumably it involved handing over the oil rights to Israel. Assad didn't bite, hence Assad must go.

Posted by: Yonatan | Oct 23 2016 21:57 utc | 29

' The child beheaders of the U.S. supported radical Zinki group warned civilians in west-Aleppo city to stay away from military positions.';

while the jihadis keep people from leaving east Aleppo as they need human shields

Posted by: brian | Oct 23 2016 22:27 utc | 30

@Yonatan #29

Does that smoke block satellite Intel. gathering?

Posted by: Wwinsti | Oct 23 2016 23:06 utc | 31

US State Department releases 122 Clinton emails

"Several emails from August 2011, related to a conference call with Turkey’s Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, were redacted in their entirety. So was another email, forwarded from Clinton adviser Jake Sullivan, with the subject heading “I know this doesn’t help matters…”

Posted by: ALberto | Oct 23 2016 23:36 utc | 32

When are Russia going to move a dozen, or more, short range nukes to Syria?

Perhaps move as many nukes to Syria as there are nukes in Turkey - for balance of course.

This would be the only way to stop the Turks doing something stupid.

Posted by: Julian | Oct 23 2016 23:43 utc | 33

Re: Posted by: Bo Dacious | Oct 23, 2016 6:07:28 PM | 32

YPG sources who spoke to Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity said Turkey is unlikely to have initiated the strikes without informing Russia, whose planes effectively control the skies over northwestern Syria.

Interesting that Russia would be so keen to backstab the Kurds.

Unless of course one thinks this is agitprop - but then Russia leaves itself open to this by not being firmer with the Turks.

Posted by: Julian | Oct 23 2016 23:45 utc | 34

'And, behind these policies are some of the most skilled propagandists in the world. They are playing much of the U.S. population -- and surely the U.S. media -- like a fiddle'
The propaganda campaign is driven by a consensus among the major think tanks of Official Washington, where there is near universal support for Hillary Clinton, not because they all particularly like her, but because she has signaled a return to neocon/liberal-hawk strategies.

Posted by: brian | Oct 23 2016 23:57 utc | 35

Avaaz has just renewed their petition to create a no fly zone for Syria, exactly what the Neocons have wanted all along. However there is a counter petition to persuade them to cancel their petition. Would you want to help promote this? Over 1000 have signed it. Here is the link:

Posted by: brian | Oct 24 2016 0:42 utc | 36

@39 brian,

I 'signed' it. 2000 was the number I saw. Few and far between though ... 14 minutes, 52 minutes ... All petitions ought to make voting against them, and why, a possibility upfront.

Posted by: jfl | Oct 24 2016 1:17 utc | 37

If anybody still harbours any doubts about the reasons for Iraq and Syria wars... (and, yes, it's the usual suspects):
Oh, and things will only grow worse under the rein of the queen of chaos (although, I prefer 'the wicked witch of the west' if anyone has watched the we-came-we-saw-he... video). But nothing lasts forever.

Posted by: ThatOne | Oct 24 2016 2:23 utc | 38
Aleppo and Mosul: For UN They Are Completely Different Events

The outcome is predictable: The UN is not yet ready to condemn the high number of civilian casualties caused by US bombing in Mosul, but it has made considerable progress in redefining international law and double standards to bash and condemn Syria and Russia in Aleppo. It is now inconceivable that there is any scenario in the upcoming days and weeks that will not include yet another resolution against Damascus and its allies by the Human Rights Council.

Posted by: schlub | Oct 24 2016 2:43 utc | 39

Turkish aircraft supposedly hit 8 Isis and 50 Kurdish targets inside Syria Saturday.

Posted by: Wwinsti | Oct 24 2016 3:55 utc | 40

Is there a reason why Russia keeps letting the U.S.'s pet terrorists rearm and regroup? Fool me once, shame on you -- fool me 400 more times, shame on me, 400 times. I don't get it. Do the Russians really think they're dealing with honorable men? Or is there some other motive to allowing the U.S. to rearm their pet terrorists? I wish I knew what it was because it seems like every time they do this they get a whole lot more Syrians killed for nothing.

Posted by: rcentros | Oct 24 2016 4:23 utc | 41

The Avaaz website has just done something incredibly sneaky and dirty.

If you copy-and-paste their phony link which "looks like":

....into a browser URL bar, and then re-copy-and-paste the resulting "404 Not Found" page line in the subsequent URL bar into a good text notepad it will now read:

Yet the real URL:

Will work just fine!

Incredibly sneaky!!!

Posted by: blues | Oct 24 2016 4:34 utc | 42

Avaaz did this incredibly dirty and sneaky trick at their link:


Posted by: blues | Oct 24 2016 4:37 utc | 43

thanks b.. i agree with michael @ 9.. you need an edit fix, but great work as always..

avaaz... piece of shite website.. who even bothers with these stupid ass petition sites? they are just privacy collection agencies for all the wrong suspects.. thinking or avaaz would change anything is like believing obama is the hopey changey pretzel you'd been waiting for.. give it up on that shit..

Posted by: james | Oct 24 2016 4:46 utc | 44

@47 james

You're right on all counts there, brother. But some of the sheeple who find their way to the site might find the alternative petition as well, and think a thought or two. Certainly will have no effect on avaaz itself.

Posted by: jfl | Oct 24 2016 4:54 utc | 45

Maduro is having same treatment being done to him by his Congress there as was Dilma Rouseff of Brazil by her Senate just a year ago.

Leader of the Islamic Revolution said Venezuela’s influence on the anti-arrogance movements across Latin America points to the country’s high potential.

He urged Venezuela to exploit the potential while the country holds the rotating presidency of the Non-Aligned Movement.

“The West does not like the Non-Aligned Movement to make progress,” he said.

Posted by: schlub | Oct 24 2016 5:00 utc | 46

And in support that what is happening in Aleppo is part of WWIII

We just aren't all dead yet.....

Posted by: psychohistorian | Oct 24 2016 6:07 utc | 47

Posted by: blues | Oct 24, 2016 12:34:33 AM | 45

The Avaaz site replaces every hyphen in any URL with the Unicode Character 'NON-BREAKING HYPHEN' (U+2011). Evidently you are not supposed to include links outside the box in any petition. Or maybe whoever created the petition should have used proper HTLM encoding.

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Oct 24 2016 7:56 utc | 48

Julian 37
Russia back stabbing Kurds?
First the Kurds have to decide if they are friend or foe to Syria and Russia. The only friends/allies the Syrian Kurds have in the world is the Syrian government as they both have the same enemies, yet the Kurds went along with the US and attacked the Syrian government.
Now they have to learn the hard way.

Posted by: Peter AU | Oct 24 2016 7:59 utc | 49

Re: Posted by: Peter AU | Oct 24, 2016 3:59:25 AM | 52

I guess so - but what are Russia offering the Kurds?

A state similar to that of Iraqi Kurdistan? A vow to defend the Kurds against Turkey for instance? I can't see either of those things happening so the Kurds will continue to allow themselves to be a tool to be used by the West as and when it suits them.

How could they pivot in any other way short of some sort of public firm guarantees that are clearly in their interest - they'll just go with whoever gives them the most guns even if that same entity is arming their enemies at the same time!

Posted by: Julian | Oct 24 2016 8:45 utc | 50

@Qoppa #12

Totally spot on. Putin and Assad know that the Salafists in Isis and other groups are not going to disappear when Isis falls, which it will and soon. A vacuum is dangerous and allows Mossad to stir trouble. Much better to have them under the influence of Erdogan. As you say, he will do anything to prevent a Kurdish state and will rein in the roving terrorists. They will cut off their beards and repackage themselves

Posted by: anitele'a | Oct 24 2016 10:55 utc | 51

"Erdogan now publicly announced these aims"

@b, would like to see the video footage if possible. I shall have a look later today, but I'd like to point out that the last couple of days Erdogan has been making the same speeches and he claims not that Mosul and Halep ARE ours, but WERE ours. The easy to miss syllabic "...di" at the end of the posessive "bizim" actually creates a past form. Which could also be confused with '...dir' which creates a more emphatic form. So, would be worth double checking. As I say, I'll also have a look later today.

But, don't misunderstand me, the above in no way negates your understanding of his intentions. I too fully believe thay he intends to 'incoporate' both - but I doubt his ability to do so. The fact that the first act in all these usurped areas is to hang Erdogans poster all over the place a
is an open sign of his intentions. I read one theory stating that Erdogan intends later to hold referenda in areas usurped!!! Hence the demographic cleansing and relocating going on at the moment.

Having said that, it might also be fighting rhetoric for the domestic audience. Lets not forget that Erdogan is being humiliated by his exclusion from the big fights in Alleppo and Mosul. He is furious at this, and so is lashing out at home. We've seen the same kind of bullish rhetoric many times before. It may well turn out that he will be unable to 'claim' any land beyond that which he has currently occupied as a safe-zone / corridor hybrid kind of thing. - I keep thinking he's been given a sand-pit to play in while the big boys deal with the real warfare.

Posted by: AtaBrit | Oct 24 2016 11:40 utc | 52

Now, more realistic sounds coming from Washington:
One senior U.S. official said that it is time for a “ruthless” look at whether agency-supported fighters can still be considered moderate, and whether the program can accomplish anything beyond adding to the carnage in Syria.

The CIA units are “not doing any better on the battlefield, they’re up against a more formidable adversary, and they’re increasingly dominated by extremists,” said the U.S. official, who, like others, spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a sensitive operation. “What has this program become, and how will history record this effort?”

Slow recognition of reality.

On the other side:
Backers of the program said that the CIA effort had succeeded in important aspects of its mission — building a politically moderate force that by last year posed a serious threat to Assad. A U.S. official said that the CIA-backed opposition — widely known as the Free Syrian Army — remains largely intact after a year of Russian pounding, and is the only force in Syria capable of prolonging the war and possibly pushing Moscow to abandon Assad as part of a political solution.

“The FSA remains the only vehicle to pursue those goals,” said a second U.S. official.

This is wrong even on a factual basis:
Assad´s setback in 2015 came from
1) Nusra and Ahrar al-Sham joining in Jaish al-Fateh (Army of Conquest) to conquer Idlib.
It is true that FSA units played a part, assisting with CIA distributed TOW. But only as part of this Islamist coalition.

2) Daesh conquering Palmyra and posing threat on Damascus.

It´s interesting to read the comments. Even WashPo readers don´t buy the official line any longer.

Posted by: Qoppa | Oct 24 2016 12:01 utc | 53

AtaBrit # 55
Having said that, it might also be fighting rhetoric for the domestic audience. Lets not forget that Erdogan is being humiliated by his exclusion from the big fights in Alleppo and Mosul.

Yes, that´s what it is.
Watch also the video I linked in #12.

Posted by: Qoppa | Oct 24 2016 12:05 utc | 54

I wish the statue of liberty built out of Aleppo ruins really had been built - what a brilliant piece of savage mockery it would be, such and appropriate tribute to the way the United States and its allies bring peace and democracy around the world.

Posted by: paul | Oct 24 2016 14:20 utc | 55

An idle thought. Trumpian "bimbo problem" became somewhat boring. Gal number 11? One more and we will have a nice calendar for 2017! The fresh meat now comes from "Trumpian challenge to the cornerstone of our democracy", the rite of accepting election results, which like the Pledge of Allegiance somehow became one of the civic duties without ever being mentioned in the constitution. The Pledge, pretty incomprehensible for little tykes that are saying it, has some legal support. Initially Godless, it was corrected by an act of Congress. A bit hard to tell when an acceptance speech became a necessary civic duty.

Surely, it is not something that USA tries to "export". Rejection of election results, or cheerful disregard of those results is the basis of most of "Color revolutions" etc. And when "second Amendment people" remove a government, then USG has to scratch heads to decide: is it fine or not. Are Trump's supporters more like Ukrainian patriots (Bandera be praised) or more like Houthis?

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Oct 24 2016 14:31 utc | 56

Erdogans comments are NOT only directed at domestic audiences but reflect offcial turkish policy and aspirations which are unchanged since the times of Ataturk until the present day.

This is not even an issue of debate since the words have been followed by actions (Turkish occupation in Iraq and Turkish invasion of Syria).

Those who try to downplay or deflect from this serious issue are very suspicious. One can only hope that turkish imperialism will be crushed on the ground and the hated Ottoman empire which caused so much death and destruction will never raise it's ugly head again.

Posted by: redrooster | Oct 24 2016 14:50 utc | 57

Is this article REALLY off topic? I don't think so ...

Posted by: rg the lg | Oct 24 2016 14:59 utc | 58

I thought it was part of Ataturk's policy to renounce all claims to Arab-populated territory like Mosul.

Posted by: lysias | Oct 24 2016 15:00 utc | 59

I hesitate to call the Russians either naive or incompetent. Not to overspeculate, but allowing supplies to wend their way through the battle zone might yield some interesting targeting information. Much like tracing ants back to the crack in the wall.

Posted by: stumpy | Oct 24 2016 15:15 utc | 60

Regarding the Kurds - all was nice and good between them SAA/RU. Latter kept an eye on the sky for those Turkish F-16s, as there were grievances to be settled. With an SAM or AA missile (or two!). Turks knew that and hadn't ventured into Syrian airspace, which limited their options to arty.
Than BANG! Hasaka thing happened. Kurds attacked SAA, and... And were punished almost immediately - Russia had mended fences with Turkey, and Turkey jets started flying again. Not just jets - turks had started a full scale invasion, with tacit support of Russia and Syria.
Yeah, Kurds screwed up. However, someone helped them to do that, as their actions against SAA couldn't occur in better moment for Turks/Russia/Syria. It was so good, actually, that if this Hasaka thing hasn't happen it must have been made up.
to Julian - 36
Nukes, from several pieces to a dozen or two, are currently en route. Both Adm Kuznetsov and Peter the Great are armed with nuclear capable cruise missiles. Recently such missile (Granit) was "first time ever" tested against an inland target. People got the message, I guess.
And of course, most of RUAF jets, both landbased and carrierbased, are nuclear capable.

Posted by: Wizzy | Oct 24 2016 15:44 utc | 61

@48 jfl.. thanks.. in fact brian and blues are good people and regular posters here and i wish i could learn how to tone down my rhetoric.. none of it was meant for them, but for my annoyance at those kind of sites that i personally believe are collection agencies and nothing more.

Posted by: james | Oct 24 2016 16:28 utc | 62

stumpy: it could be. I can't tell either.

There are a lot of tunnels which could explain why the Syrians hold their advance on the surface and why the Russians don't want to drop bombs. The truck of Russians could have been combat engineers, maybe for demining or repairing or fortifying tunnels, or for advising such efforts.

Only guessing, I could be completely wrong.

Posted by: Outsider | Oct 24 2016 16:34 utc | 63

Looks like Erdogan's Neo-Ottomanism is fueling the rise a a Neo-Panarabism.

Seems to me Iraqis are more united than ever in their fight against Isis, looks like the birth of a new nationalism in Iraq, that MSM try to minimize by insisting on sectarianism.

Personally, I wouldn't mind the emergence of a secular neo-panarabism including Iraq, Syria and Egypt.

Posted by: Jean | Oct 24 2016 17:37 utc | 64

At time net pieces are written that contain a germ of truth. A rather wandering article at Veterans Today authored by Gordon Duff covers several conspiracy theory pieces melded into a semicoherent rant. But every so often these pieces contain a germ of reality. As in ...

"According to the US, there are no other personnel that make up Wikileaks other than Assange and Manning. With Assange under wraps and Manning in prison, there is, in fact, no Wikileaks operation at all, according to the US Department of Justice.

There is no active investigation, there are no suspects, no hackers, no servers, no leakers. Wikileaks material appears out of nowhere, passed on by no-one and there are no laws being violated by any living human being even though the material is often highly classified or fabricated to seem as such, generally a mixture of both.

So, who hates Iran and loves Netanyahu? Why do they love the Donald?

Why does nobody ask?"

Posted by: ALberto | Oct 24 2016 17:46 utc | 65

To the people who question how is it possible for the "rebels" to get the weapon supplies under siege: if you have to be stupid at least be amusing.

Posted by: Manirai | Oct 24 2016 17:53 utc | 66
OCT 5 incident

US financed Right Sector Nazis take over radio station and beat helpless civilians

The brutal fascist action commences at the 1:40 mark.
This invasion of a business in Dneipertrovsk was conducted by the Right Sector Ukrainian private National Guard who are directly financed by the United States. Their leader is Igor Kolomoisky who is the chief financier of the fascist, Nazi battalions in Ukraine. He is the employer of Hunter Biden, the son of the Vice President of the United States. Hunter is employed by Burisma Holdings which is extracting natural gas from Ukraine and is owned by Mr. Kolomoisky through a Cypriot offshore shell holding.

4th largest city:

Posted by: schlub | Oct 24 2016 18:07 utc | 67

To the people who question how is it possible for the "rebels" to get the weapon supplies under siege: if you have to be stupid at least be amusing.
So I'm stupid. What's the trick? I could imagine one or two ways of smuggling small quantities, but you evidently know. What is it?

Posted by: Laguerre | Oct 24 2016 18:35 utc | 68

FIX BAYONETS! Ready the body bags! Exhume and reanimate John Philip Sousa! There's money to be made!

Posted by: ALberto | Oct 24 2016 19:01 utc | 69

@ Qoppa | 57
Interesting link. Makes a lot of sense to me because I simply do not see Erdogan as the threat he was, and I do not see his current actions as unilateral in any way - even his current attacks on Kurds are, I believe, being 'allowed' by RF and US. Anyway, we'll see what happens, but it would not surprise me that erdogan wants to rescue his assets - many are turkish or closely tied to turkey! It is hard to exagerate the connection between Turkey and Al Nusra - all the way to the heart of Old Istanbul!

As for the rhetoric, bluster? probably. But still there is method behind this. Erdogan is repeating the refrain 'we will be at the table" - he can only mean that he envisages a political negotiation of some kind is likely in the near future and he wants in on it - a share of the pie!
This also explains his repeating the idea that Tutkey didnt choose its borders, and that Lausanne was imposed on Turks, the Turks have been wronged etc. ... all part of the same thinking as to how to eek out a better negotiating hand.

Lastly, listen closely when he talks of brothers, he often talks in that way about previously Ottoman held areas, turkmen populations and other sunni populations - it fits perfectly with his understanding of turkey's place in the world - capital of not just the new ottoman empire, but also of all turkmen countries and leader of all sunni populations, even those in germany! :-)

Posted by: AtaBrit | Oct 24 2016 19:01 utc | 70

What is the 6 in RU+6/R+6? I apologize for my ignorance but Google searches have failed me.

Posted by: mark | Oct 24 2016 19:04 utc | 71

Turks will bleed to death if they become foolish enough to enter fight for the dismemberment of Syria. They will be attacked by everyone, and the end result will be disintegration of Turkey itself. Needless to say, Russians will start arming Kurds with latest gear right away.

Posted by: telescope | Oct 24 2016 19:14 utc | 72

No, propaganda, like rhetoric, is a tool. Misinformation, disinformation and obfuscation are pollution.

Posted by: Robert Beal | Oct 24 2016 19:27 utc | 73

It appears that only the People's Republic of China has sufficient numbers of combat personnel to take over the security of Syria. End of story. One million Chinese ground troops will end the conflagration that the West has wrought upon Syria. This way, the Western front of Russia is not weakened, as it would be with Russian ground troops.

There is no other way to end this, then to disarm EVERYBODY, but the Syrian government on Syrian territory.

If the U.S. were to be in a situation like Syria, would the government have the authority to eliminate all violent parties? Yes, or no? If 'yes', then so does the Syrian government. It must now ask the Chinese for ground troops.

Posted by: Nottheonly1 | Oct 24 2016 19:28 utc | 74


Well they advance steadily towards Al-Bab which is right next to Aleppo city. I mean they can't make it more obvious.

Posted by: redrooster | Oct 24 2016 19:40 utc | 75

@Laguerre # 71

Tunnels were used extensively by the North for logistics during the Vietnam War. Entire NVA divisions were kept supplied in such a manner.

Posted by: Wwinsti | Oct 24 2016 20:01 utc | 76

Putin done it!

A light reconnaissance aircraft ... carrying out surveillance operations over the Mediterranean for the defense ministry crashed this morning at 0630 at Malta's Luqa airport, during take-off," the defense minister said.

The minister noted that three of the victims were ministry staff while the other two were contractors.

The French daily Le Monde reported that the officials belonged to France's intelligence services.

Posted by: schlub | Oct 24 2016 20:31 utc | 77

straight out of the old "Ripley's Believe it or not":

Mon Oct 24, 2016 9:5
US Backs Away from Plans to Arm Rebels in Syria: Righting of Wrongs?

TEHRAN (FNA)- The CIA’s program to arm “moderate” rebels fighting the Syrian government, which has been ongoing since the war began, is in limbo – for now.

Until yesterday, White House officials were hyping up the escalation, which also included possible military action against Russia. Now they say the idea is “neither approved nor rejected”, and just left in limbo. It’s not an oversight, but rather a reflection of President Obama’s unwillingness to continue the program himself, and a desire to leave it as an option for the next White House tenant:

Posted by: schlub | Oct 24 2016 20:42 utc | 78

@ schlub who ended with "......and a desire to leave it as an option for the next White House tenant"

By the time the next White House tenant is in place the ME will be significantly different than now.....3 months can be a long time.

If I were a conspiracy theorist I would say that Russia/China planned it to this (s)election time frame.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Oct 24 2016 21:18 utc | 79

In my view the offensive against Mosul is going far less well than announced. And it's not merely a question of the media announcing successes before they actually happen. They announce the taking of Bashiqa the day before yesterday. Now it is merely nearly surrounded. The embedded journalists talk, in between their declarations of how the victory is already achieved, of how hard the fighting is. Yesterday the Peshmerga were six miles (kilometres?) from Mosul, now it's ten.

In my view ISIS have decided to fight for Mosul. The diversionary attacks, in Kirkuk and Rutba, indicate that. The crap that ISIS were running away to Deir ez-Zor is just that, what American propaganda wants.

Whether it was the right decision and who will win, is hard to say. But one thing is certain, the original American plan to declare victory before the election of 8th November is not going to work, and America will be seen to be in the quagmire at that time.

Posted by: Laguerre | Oct 24 2016 21:19 utc | 80

@81 schlub,

sounds like obfuscation to me, but i always like it when i am wrong.. i wouldn't trust anything coming out of the military industrial complex, least of all that they want to stop the flow of weapons for murder, mayhem and profit..

@83 laguerre,

ever since the time of bush 2, the idea is to make the grand bullshit announcement(s), and 13 years later in the case of iraq, the bullshit announcements just keep on coming in..

Posted by: james | Oct 24 2016 22:08 utc | 81

With Trump claiming that the attack on Mosul was mounted by the Democrats for political reasons, it will be impossible for the U.S. media not to concentrate on whether or not the attack succeeds before the election.

Posted by: lysias | Oct 24 2016 22:34 utc | 82

slub @82:

...a reflection of President Obama’s unwillingness to continue the program himself
Sounds like more Obama's legacy nonsense to me. Such tripe is trotted out as necessary to want to keep adversaries off-guard.

Also: There seems to be a campaign to ratchet down tensions before the election so that voters don't have second thoughts.

laguerre @83:

In my view ISIS have decided to fight for Mosul.
When the "fight for Mosul" first started I wrote at MoA:
The 'fight' for Mosul may be as bogus as the Turkish 'pivot'... The current 'fight' is really just a morality play whereby the Assad must go! Coalition appears to fight the good fight against ISIS while R+6 bombs hospitals and civilians...
Your comment leads me to believe that my intuition was right (as b pointed out: Erdogan has long wanted Aleppo and Mosul).

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 24 2016 22:37 utc | 83

Re: Posted by: Wizzy | Oct 24, 2016 11:44:28 AM | 64

That is true in regards to the ships. Although the ships aren't likely to be captured by the Al-Qaeda/ISIS types.

Nukes on the ground in Syria would certainly call into question Western support for the jihadis. Would they really want to be so brazenly supporting these guys if them being successful meant they got their hands on some nukes?

Posted by: Julian | Oct 24 2016 23:14 utc | 84

I still don't know what to think about Wikileaks in general, but when push comes to shove, Duff will always shill for the Democrats.

Posted by: RudyM | Oct 24 2016 23:19 utc | 85

Good catch with the twitted artwork. I call it Count Argutinsky evidence. Ukrainian activists distributed photographic evidence of Russian troops crossing to Ukraine, except that they had Caucasus mountains in the background. While in USA "we are all Caucasians" if pale of face, over there it is rather clear that Russian-Ukrainian border lacks any mountains of note. Perhaps our Senators would be convinced with the painting of Count Argutinsky.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Oct 24 2016 23:37 utc | 86

Bloody Monday in Syria’s Aleppo as rebels shell residential areas [+Video]

Syria does a bit of its own ... what the White Helmets fake.

Russia, Turkey exchange military intelligence in Syria

I guess I just have to defer to the superior wisdom of the Russians, again. Looks to me as though they still have not discovered the 'kick me' sign taped to the backs of their coats. Or is it, 'If you can't beat 'em, join 'em?'

Posted by: jfl | Oct 24 2016 23:51 utc | 87

I'm really not smart enough to untangle these weird intel community things.

Posted by: RudyM | Oct 25 2016 0:16 utc | 89

RudyM @88

"I still don't know what to think about Wikileaks in general, but when push comes to shove, Duff will always shill for the Democrats."

RudyM. How is the weather in HAIFA? What are you going to spend your $2,000 on? I'm thinking you could use it help complete your middle school education. Usually a question is followed by a '?' English as a 3rd language? Russian #1? Hebrew #2? Get a real job.

Posted by: ALberto | Oct 25 2016 0:25 utc | 90

F-35: Next, or Nixxed?
(may get security warning trying to access the site)

With the latest US fifth-generation fighter barely able to stay aloft, the Pentagon is already looking toward its sixth-generation successor.

The new aircraft, already in the conceptual development stage, is slated for launch in the mid-2030s, and is being developed by the US Air Force and Navy, according to Scout Warrior.

For the Navy, the sixth-generation aircraft will replace its fleet of F/A-18 Super Hornets, which will begin to be retired by 2035.

Posted by: schlub | Oct 25 2016 0:33 utc | 91

It appears that only the People's Republic of China has sufficient numbers of combat personnel to take over the security of Syria. End of story. One million Chinese ground troops ...

Posted by: Nottheonly1 | Oct 24, 2016 3:28:59 PM | 77

I could spun various theories why, but the facts are plain: Chinese government has no inclination to be actively involved. In general, their policies are mercantilist to the hilt, and it is hard to see what they would gain in Syria. There is a certain craving for "imperial grandeur" in China, but it seems to be fully satisfied with some tiny islands and fishing privileges. And on commerce/economy front, the government has a share of troubles. The population is used to fast economic growth that cannot be sustained forever, and recent endeavors of the central government to extend it had some monumental flops, like propping the stock market that duly shot up to collapse later. Now a trouble is brewing in real estate. While the problems are manageable, the government is loath to show more concern about distant countries, especially entailing numerous body bags.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Oct 25 2016 1:13 utc | 92

Let the 2016 bread & circus show begin.

Early voting has begun in a number of US states two weeks ahead of Election Day after more than 18 months of intensive battle between Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump.

Thirty-six states and Washington, DC, offer some form of early voting. According to the rules in those states, voters can cast their ballots before Election Day without having to give an excuse to vote early.

truly amazing how life imitates art:

Posted by: schlub | Oct 25 2016 2:08 utc | 93

@Piotr Berman | Oct 24, 2016 9:13:03 PM | 95, Nottheonly1 | Oct 24, 2016 3:28:59 PM | 77

My 2 cents.

Russia (Putin) a new developing democracy while China (Xi) a commie nation. Both practicing democracy in their own ways, They are neither Stalin nor Mao Tse-tung.

Putin and Xi both are nationalist and not policemen of the world. China is rich - being the factories for the world but lagging military - quantities and hardware. However, she is seemed moving ahead in researched, science and electronics technology. Russia remains equal or ahead military's superiority with US but lagging in quantity. China will not interfere what Russia doing and the same goes with Russia. Russia needs China's support in UN while remain neutral. Therefore, expecting China massive troops in Syria is but a dream.

China remains cautious especially on her door's steps, namely South China seas with Asian Nations, Australia, N Zealand, Japan and Korea. Regime changes in Hong Kong (umbra movements) and Taiwan (ROC, cedes from China). In South Asia India and Pakistan and China's western frontiers. She needs Russia in UN and military supports if and when proxy wars breakups at her doorsteps with Amerikka.

Common enemies - United States of Amerikka.

For better understanding geopolitics, your best bet is Katehon, looks under Geopolitics - India, Pakistan, Russia and China. China's Asia relationship in NEO. Don't trust Asia Times and the Diplomat both Japan shit Amerikka lap dogs.

Posted by: Jack Smith | Oct 25 2016 3:30 utc | 94

#97 Jack Smith - 'Amerikka'

Hey Jack, a more politically correct way to spell this would be 'AmeriKKKa' or 'Amerikkka'.

'KK' is for 'Korean Killers', a relatively benign ethnic mafia originally founded in Koreatown, LA, CA. Benign compared to the US Federal Government, of course.

Posted by: Quardiar | Oct 25 2016 3:49 utc | 95

@Quardiar | Oct 24, 2016 11:49:40 PM | 98

According to Urban dictionary: Amerika: A word used to describe the worst sense of the United States, i. e. imperialism, corruption, and the global exportation of American culture.

Thanks will change. :-)

Posted by: Jack Smith | Oct 25 2016 4:03 utc | 96

Anyone know when is the Kuznetsov and support ships due to arrive in Tartous?

Posted by: Lozion | Oct 25 2016 4:41 utc | 97

@jfl, 27

Doing the same thing over and over with the expectation of a different result each time?
Nope, not expecting different results. Every time, the number of pro-Putin, pro-Assad comments on comment threads increases. Slowly but surely, NATO is weakening. You didn't really think all those German aircraft had the exact same malfunction, did you? Why don't you run this one through

Posted by: William Rood | Oct 25 2016 5:02 utc | 98

@Yonatan 31,
I hope you're right, and if Erdogan is not totally stupid, you are. He should know by now without doubt that the destabilization project includes Turkey. If he confirms Russia and Syria as his enemies, a full-fledged Kurdish rebellion in the SE will bring about Balkanization of Anatolia as well as Syraq. Very foolish. Anybody who stands with existing borders, territorial integrity and international law is his natural ally.

Posted by: William Rood | Oct 25 2016 5:12 utc | 99

@Lozion | Oct 25, 2016 12:41:02 AM | 100

Not sure. Saturday, reported Russian aircraft carrier passing the English channel, maybe in a week time?

Posted by: Jack Smith | Oct 25 2016 5:41 utc | 100

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