Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
October 12, 2016

The "Salafist Principality" - ISIS Paid Off To Leave Mosul, Take Deir Ezzor?

Updated below (3:34pm EDT)

On September 20 I wrote about the likely reason for the willful U.S. bombing attack on a critical Syrian army position in Deir Ezzor:

Two recent attacks against the Syrian Arab Army in east-Syria point to a U.S. plan to eliminate all Syrian government presence east of Palmyra. This would enable the U.S. and its allies to create a "Sunni entity" in east-Syria and west-Iraq which would be a permanent thorn in side of Syria and its allies.
The U.S. plan is to eventually take Raqqa by using Turkish or Kurdish proxies. It also plans to let the Iraqi army retake Mosul in Iraq. The only major city in Islamic State territory left between those two is Deir Ezzor. Should IS be able to take it away from the isolated Syrian army garrison it has at least a decent base to survive. (Conveniently there are also rich oil wells nearby.) No one, but the hampered Syrian state, would have an immediate interest to remove it from there.

There are new signs that this analysis was correct.

Yesterday the Turkish President Erdogan made a remark that points into that direction. As the British journalist Elijah Magnier summarized it:

Elijah J. Magnier @EjmAlrai

Erdogan: #Turkey will participate in #Mosul just like it did in #Jarablus.Army doesn't take orders from #Iraq PM who should know his limits.

4:06 AM - 11 Oct 2016

"Like Jarablus" was an interesting comparison. The Turks and their proxies took Jarablus in center-north Syria from the Islamic State without any fight and without any casualties from fighting. ISIS had moved away from the city before the Turks walked in. There obviously had been a deal made.

That's why I replied this to Magnier's tweet above:

Moon of Alabama @MoonofA

The Turks will pay off ISIS in Mosul to leave early just like they did in Jarablus?

5:58 AM - 12 Oct 2016

Three hours later this rumor from a well connected Syrian historian and journalist in London answered that question:

Nizar Nayouf @nizarnayouf

Breaking news:Sources in #London say:“#US& #Saudi_Arabia concluded an agreement to let #ISIS leave #Mosul secretly& safely to #Syria"!

9:28 AM - 12 Oct 2016

Erdogan predicts that his troops and proxy forces will march into Mosul just like they marched into Jarablus: In a peaceful walk, without any fight, into a city free of Jihadis.

The Saudis and the U.S. arranged for that.

The U.S. bombed the most important SAA position in Deir Ezzor so that ISIS, now with the help of its cadres from Mosul, can take over the city. A nice place to keep it holed up in east-Syria until it can further be used in this or that imperial enterprise.


A good plan when your overall aim is to create an obedient mercenary statelet in the center of the Middle East. As the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency wrote in 2012:


But this plan requires to fight the Syrian and Russian air-forces which will do their utmost to defend the SAA group and the 100-200,000 ISIS besieged Syrian civilians in Deir Ezzor. The the U.S. and its allies may be willing to do that. A well known British Tory member of parliament already made noise that British fighter jets should be free to shoot down Russian planes in Syria. The U.S. had claimed that British planes took part in the Deir Ezzor ambush.

The defenders of Deir Ezzor lack their own air defenses. The Russian systems at the Syrian west-coast can not reach that far east. The Syrian system are mostly positioned to defend Damascus and other cities from attacks by Israel.

Russia recently talked about delivering 10 new Pantsyr-S1 short-to-medium range air defense systems to Syria. At least two of those should be airlifted to Deir Ezzor as soon as possible.

UPDATE: I was just made aware of a recent speech by Hizbullah leader Nasrallah who smells the same stinking plot:

Sayyed Nasrallah said that the Americans intend to repeat Fallujah plot when they opened a way for ISIL to escape towards eastern Syria before the Iraqi warplanes targeted the terrorists’ convoy, warning that the same deceptive scheme is possible to be carried out in Mosul.

Posted by b on October 12, 2016 at 18:36 UTC | Permalink

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The Chinese "Marshall Plan", the Silk Road Belt, has seemingly been so far ignored,a massive signature project with a minimum investment of $100 billion which routes from Tehran on its NW axis through E Syria and north to Ankara,then west of the Black Sea through the Ukraine to Moscow.Poroshenkos UN appearance over the alleged Red Cresent convoy bombing by Russia as a diversion from Deir Ezzor isnt a coincidence
Deir Ezzor through its geography within the Euphrates basin is a key point on this route which proceeds to Ar Raqqah and on to Aleppo..... Blocking this development is a key Pentagon war aim to restrain the growing economic power of China/Brics which will soon enter into this mess,hence the 2nd bombing of bridges there.Daesh is wholly directed by the Pentagon.
The other aim now that regime change is no longer possible is clearly to bog Russia down and take heavy esp air losses in Syria whilst increasing pressures elsewhere and to this end the Allies governments have been put on notice. Another huge question is just how will the US media be able to reclothe the movement of 9000 Daesh mercenaries unharmed into E Syria and maintain its poker face over Yemen and Gaza. Whilst those voices which would argue Clinton and Trump are very much 2 sides of the same coin do clearly have merit,what serious choice is there for a 3rd party to win the Presidency so despite the gamble voting for Trump seems the only " reasonable" vote left,and the clamours of the politically correct "liberals" must be ignored/ a good rule of thumb might be to always do the opposite of Sen McCain

Posted by: bill | Oct 13 2016 22:58 utc | 101

I was wondering if there was any information on how many hours/miles the Russian/Syrian aircraft in Syria have endured.
Given the small deployment, they must have racked up some serious use. I remember a photo of one Syrian jet that had a completely dilapidated seat

Posted by: bbbb | Oct 13 2016 23:19 utc | 102

I hope the Russians bomb them out of existence as they cross the Syrian border .....and the turks don't want them near their border

Posted by: andy | Oct 14 2016 1:44 utc | 103


I've seen that one, I've also seen the one where half the fuselage paint under the cockpit (on an SAAF Su-17 from my memory) has peeled off, and then the exposed body has started rusting away. Yet, they kept it flying.

The airframe hours on some of those after almost 6 years of war must be far beyond the design lifespan. If so, I'd say that old Soviet junk must not have been as poorly made as we've been led to believe.

Posted by: Quadriad | Oct 14 2016 2:58 utc | 104

Iranian ships to Yemen? They will most certainly be sunk and then the Persian Gulf will be alight.

6 weeks max.

Posted by: Julian | Oct 14 2016 6:01 utc | 105

Oh look! What a good little doggie Justin Trudeau's Canada is...

Canada Leads New Push on Syria Crisis at UN

"Canada is spearheading a new diplomatic effort to end the brutal civil war...According to one diplomat, a proposal under discussion is a resolution to suspend Syria's voting rights at the UN or even outright expulsion from the influential organization."

Posted by: John Gilberts | Oct 14 2016 12:20 utc | 107

The 9000 ISIS/Takfiri kooks will not stroll into Der Ezzor city.
So...out in the freezing cold desert with winter on its way...they will be.
The new signature of hundreds of Satellite feeds pulling Soccer games
Will locate the trash.
Syria can try ballistic missile attack...use up some of the old stuff.

Empire will fail as Saudi do not get their pipeline
And Israel is blocked from all of the Golan oil concession

Posted by: Brad | Oct 15 2016 16:00 utc | 108

General Secretary of Hezbollah Hassan Nasrallah said in a speech recently that the Shia of the region consider the fight against ISIS, Nusra and their backers an existential struggle. They are not going to accept Washington's "Salafist principality" without a serious fight. Considering the Iraqi army is mostly Shia and Iraqi and Iranian Shia militia are fighting in Iraq and Syria (and will most likely take part in the battle for Mosul) I can't imagine ISIS will just be able to meander across the desert and regroup in Syria. Columns of technicals streaming across the sand are hard to hide and I doubt the US will lend ISIS a few C-130s and airlift them across the border. They probably would if they could do it without being detected, but they can't.

It's possible that ISIS, anticipating the forthcoming battle, have been decamping from Mosul slowly and laying low or blending into their surroundings....but how to get several thousand fighters to Syria without the Shia and Kurds and Iraqi army laying waste to them? We never did hear what happened to ISIS after Ramadi and Fallujah were liberated...and surely not every last ISIS fighter was killed during the battles to retake the cities. Where did they go? The media has been silent about ISIS for a while now. On YouTube there are new videos posted daily of the Iraqi army and Shia militia battling ISIS in Iraq but there is nothing in the western media about this. We really do not know the details and what happens after Mosul is retaken will (hopefully) be illuminating.

Posted by: Temporarily Sane | Oct 18 2016 4:17 utc | 109

This piece has attracted more fantasists than usual who conflate their guesses and speculations with solid facts. I do wish people would stop this practice. It doesn't help that there are entire websites and blogs dedicated to spinning shots in the dark as facts. Some of them likely make shit up as they go along. Why? Is the truth not fucked up and exciting enough? I don't get it. Why do people have such a difficult time saying "I don't know"? Why do they make fools of themselves by making outlandish "predictions" that never happen and help the media and propagandists dismiss critics of US imperial wars as kooks and "conspiracy theorists"? The facts are damning enough...and it's okay to admit you don't know how exactly things will develop and play out.

Nothing wrong with speculating and making broad predictions...but don't act like they are facts until they actually happen. There are several prominent websites across the political spectrum that liberally salt their content with bullshit and unproven "theories" and they appeal to people who seem to think everything and anything that contradicts the MSM is an irrefutable truth that requires no fact checking. If it's truth you want, this is not a good strategy.

Posted by: Temporarily Sane | Oct 18 2016 4:47 utc | 110

@107 john gilberts.. thanks for the updates on canada's role in all of this.. what idiot stooges we have for leaders.. i thought harper was bad, but mini trudeau looks just as bad..

Posted by: james | Oct 18 2016 5:22 utc | 111

@107 James...To add to what john gilberts said, the Trudeau Liberals are more relaxed on the social conservative side but otherwise they are pretty much continuing Harper's odious policies. Lots of flowery rhetoric and media photo spreads of "Justin" and his photogenic family have a lot of people drinking the KoolAid and swooning at Junior's feet. Obama got a free ride longer than he should have because he was Not Bush...and it looks like being Not Harper is all it takes to fool a lot of folks into blindly adoring Trudeau.

To illustrate the difference between the two parties...Harper openly advocated increasing Canada's military role in US and NATO wars. The Trudeau gang will, for example, talk about the importance of women's "amazing" (yes they used that word) role in the military as "gentle warriors" and "peacekeepers" and how this is a good thing for Canada's military as it takes on the "challenges" of an increasingly "complex" world blah blah blah. Same shit, different the new boss, same as the old boss etc.

Foreigners will still be murdered for their own good...while the neo-liberal takeover and the dismantling of democracy continues as planned.

Posted by: Temporarily Sane | Oct 18 2016 8:25 utc | 112

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