Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
December 05, 2016

Syria Roundup: East-Aleppo Siege Nears Its End

This is the situation in east-Aleppo as of Dec 4, 6PM ET. The enclosed green area, held by al-Qaeda and its allies, will soon be gone.

Map via Fabrice Balanche - bigger

The British Foreign Minister says that the foreseeable Syrian government victory in Aleppo will not be a gain at all. Bollocks. He and his colleagues have obviously given up on the case and now issue face saving laments. Syria's alliance is winning, U.S. policy is changing and the end of the war is now foreseeable. The British MI-6 propaganda operation "Bana Alabed" expired. The operation's main star was a seven year old girl in east-Aleppo who could not speak English but tweeted world politics in perfect Twitter-English even when the Internet in all Aleppo was down. It has now vanished. This is just like one of the first anti-Syrian propaganda operations, the "Gay girl in Damascus", which expired in 2011 shortly before its male U.S. operator in Scotland was exposed. What will all the media who have willfully fallen for this "Bana" nonsense now tell their viewers and readers?

Since the start of the Syrian army offense on the Takfiri held east-Aleppo some 21,000+ civilians have left towards the government held areas in the western part. Several news accounts confirm that these civilians had been held hostages by the Takfiris and had to flee under fire:

"We were under pressure by all means, psychological and financial. The gunmen were trying to prevent us from leaving until the army came," said 36-year-old Amina Rwein, who fled with her husband, seven daughters and three sons.

"We came under fire from the gunmen as we were leaving and the army hit the minaret from where the sniper was shooting, and then we crossed," she said.

About 500 fighters among those civilians gave themselves up to the Syrian army. 480 of them were locals and where led go after they pledged to end all fighting.

The remaining rebels want to stay in the city and continued fighting until the end. This sabotages plans by Secretary of State Kerry who tries to get another ceasefire in which some al-Qaeda fighters would leave but other Takfiris kept in control of east-Aleppo. Kerry was late anyway. That deal was no longer on the table. The EU has even worse ideas - it wants to bribe the Syrian government to keep some Jihadis alive and in power. What a joke! The Russian and Syrian forces will not leave any enemy fighter in the area alive or any inch of Aleppo city grounds occupied by them. Later the same will apply to all of Syria.

New controlled exits for civilians and fighters who want to leave will be set up soon. All the old exit areas in the northern parts are now completely under Syrian government control.

I doubt that there are many, if any civilians left. As my original estimated from October 15 said:

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.

The UN Refugees Agency and UN officials told fairy tales of some 270,000 civilians under siege in east-Aleppo. Numbers every "western" media repeated without caveats. More than 60% of the areas have been liberated. The International Red Cross went there and they were empty. Where are all those hundred-thousands civilians the UN envisioned now?

There are still daily missile attacks from the Takfiri held areas on the government held western areas and each of these is costing lives. UPDATE: According to SANA 8 people were killed and 25 wounded today when the Takfiris fired missiles into residential areas of west-Aleppo. A Russian field hospital set up over the last days to help refugees from east Aleppo came under attack from the "moderate" Takfiris. A female Russian doctor was killed, several other personal were wounded and the hospital was (pics) destroyed. /UPDATE

These attacks create urgency to drain the cauldron as soon as possible. There are several other reason, next to that urgency, why the attack on east-Aleppo proceeds much faster than expected.

Whenever the Syrian army and its allies slow down their attacks infighting keeps the Jihadists in the cauldron busy. Yesterday the al-Qaeda group Jabhat al-Nusra joined the CIA equipped Zinki group in attacks on the headquarters of some local armed groups who had control over stores filled with food and ammunition. Such moments of infighting are ideal for the attacking Syrian forces to go forward in unexpected ways.

The Syrian government forces do not proceed along the lines military professionals expected. They do not attack along main roads or obvious axes with enemy checkpoints and prepared traps but probe from every side until they find a weakness and then go through lightly defended densely build up areas to attack the checkpoint defenders from the rear. The 25,000 Syrian army fighters and the 10,000 foreign allies (4,000 from Iraq, 4,000 provided by Iran and 2,000 Hizbullah from Lebanon) have unprecedented air support from Syrian planes and helicopters. Reports of "Russian bombing" of east-Aleppo are all false and have been false for the last six weeks. Only the Syrian airforce is active in the area.

The general plan is to squeeze all the Takfiris into one small area in east-Aleppo (probably the "old city") and to then negotiate their departure to Idleb in north-west Syria. Idelb itself is already filled with infighting Jihadis of various stripes who were offered exit to it from several areas around Damascus, Homs and Hama. It will soon be a shooting alley for the Syrian and Russian air-forces. The Jihadis will flee to Turkey, which is a nightmare for Erdogan, and maybe onward from there into "western" European cities. There they will be pampered and rest until their masters call for another battle.

Posted by b on December 5, 2016 at 9:51 UTC | Permalink

next page »

good news, b. looks like the russians and syrians are intent on finishing the job now. the us/eu reign of death, devastation, and destruction in aleppo will finally be over soon. their deceit is unstoppable of course, until there are finally just none left gullible enough to be gulled.

Posted by: jfl | Dec 5 2016 10:35 utc | 1

BREAKING: New lead in the Ghouta chemical weapons investigation!

I have always maintained that the alleged "sarin" attack of August 2013 never happened. Instead, hostages were gassed in cellars throughout eastern Ghouta. The chemical agent used has been a mystery. I have assumed it was mainly chlorine, but not all symptoms match.

Lizzie Phelan has now published photos and video from a school in eastern Aleppo that had been used as a rebel base. A storage room contained hundreds of liters of potassium permanganate in 10 liter plastic canisters. We have long suspected that Syrian rebels use potassium permanganate to generate chlorine gas for their gas chambers and for staging "regime gas attacks".

The chemical cache also contains bags of aluminium phosphide under the brand name Detia GAS-EX-B. Aluminium phosphide produces phosphine upon contact with atmospheric water. The primary use of phosphine is as a fumigant in farms and grain silos. I suspect Detia GAS-EX-B was used to fumigate rebel prisoners.

More on the topic here on A Closer Look on Syria.

The Ghouta false-flag or hoax attack may not be the only case of rebel gas chambers. Many of the victims in the Caesar photo collection show signs of being executed by gas, possibly with chlorine.

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Dec 5 2016 11:28 utc | 2

jfl wrote: "the us/eu reign of death, devastation, and destruction in aleppo will finally be over soon". better say " the us/eu reign of death, devastation, and destruction" will end for ever not only in aleppo.

Posted by: stranger | Dec 5 2016 11:37 utc | 3

Zinki? As in Zinki Boys? Where do you get that name? Where does the CIA get that name? Afghanistan?

Posted by: Burt | Dec 5 2016 11:41 utc | 4


The Jihadis will flee to Turkey and onward from there into "western" European cities.

Or into the southern belly (the Caucasus, Dagestan,…) of Russia? I suspect the Russian Army & diplomacy will work hard to prevent those Tafkiris even reaching the Turkey border. I recently saw a quote of ~4000 Russian fighters with ISIS and other al-Qaeda linked groups (via @EjmAlrai maybe?) – sounds lots, though. Remember that Turkey was one of the conduits for the rat lines at the time of the Chechnya wars.

Posted by: Philippe | Dec 5 2016 12:33 utc | 5

@3 stranger

i'd love to say that, but ... Saudi airstrikes kill Pakistani sailors off Yemeni coast

A Saudi jet has struck a boat off the Yemeni coast killing six of the 12 Pakistani sailors.

... i don't see how. the saudis - like the us/eu - count people killed as 'wins', even when they are 'allies'. the us/eu are delivering dd&d worldwide, show no signs of diminishing. as b points out the high-priced guys who get out of aleppo/syria will be put to work in russia or china ... wherever the us/eu decide to deploy them. the die has been cast, the choices made. the us/eu are cold, calculating aggressors at this point, and will keep on aggressing. backing their boys in libya, the ukraine, the israelis in palestine, ...

the us/eu are the authors of aggression worldwide at this point. i hope they are stopped in aleppo. i hope they are pushed out of syria ...

Posted by: jfl | Dec 5 2016 12:36 utc | 6

Some of the 'non-professional military' giving advice on the front line near the Citadel in Aleppo. Damned amateurs out-thinking the professionals!

Posted by: Yonatan | Dec 5 2016 13:05 utc | 7

"The jihgadis in Idlib will flee to Turkey" - closely followed by Ka-52 and Mi-28 attack helicopters.

The whole (well a significant part of the) rationale for Russia being in Syria is to stop the takfiris being exported en masse to its borders. Obviously individuals or small groups make get there (Russia has recently taken out a group in Dagestan) but the mass will not.

Posted by: Yonatan | Dec 5 2016 13:12 utc | 8

here's a story you won't see on bezos' blog ...

Russian doctors perished as a result of shelling at the hospital in Syria

Press-secretary of the Russian Federation President Dmitriy Peskov said that the Kremlin dis not have such data. A bit later the Defence Ministry of RF confirmed death of one Russian doctor. And it was added that two more doctors were seriously wounded.

Moreover, local people who came to doctors were also wounded.

Militants kill Russian medical staff in west Aleppo

On Monday morning, a number of Russian medical workers were killed after a rebel group indiscriminately fired mortar shells towards a west Aleppo neighborhood.

The Russian medical staff was comprised of a doctor and two nurses; they were working in the densely populated Al-Furqan Neighborhood before they came under attack this morning.

Several other civilians and medical workers were wounded by the indiscriminate shelling that took place this morning.

Since the Syrian Arab Army's (SAA) launched their east Aleppo offensive two weeks ago, the jihadist rebels have punished the people in the western neighborhoods with non-stop mortar shells and rockets.

Posted by: jfl | Dec 5 2016 13:36 utc | 9

Zinki is Arabic transcription of Zingi-d = Saladin's family name

Posted by: Mina | Dec 5 2016 13:40 utc | 10

"The Russian military has transported over 710,000 tonnes of military supplies to Syria since the start of its ongoing counter-terrorist operation in the Arab country, Russian Deputy Defense Minister Dmitry Bulgakov said Monday."

Probably over a million tons overall, Iran is also sending quite a bit.

Posted by: Harry | Dec 5 2016 13:42 utc | 11

So - the real question is - what next?





What is the next priority - this is something I'm really keen to know.

From my own perspective, I would suggest Raqqa must be the priority.

Win Raqqa and you really win the War. It is now up to the Syrians/Russians to prove (to Donald Trump and his supporters for one) - that they can really finish the job and destroy ISIS.

Lest he will be convinced by those around him that the US really does have a role to play in liberating Syria from ISIS - even if in a real alliance with Russia to do so.

Posted by: Jules | Dec 5 2016 13:45 utc | 12

The Russian Defense Ministry is livid over the (excellently targeted) shelling of its hospital:

There is no doubt that the attack was conducted by insurgents of the ‘opposition’. We consider from whom the terrorists have received the information and coordinates of the admission department of the Russian hospital at the start of its operation.

Therefore, the direct perpetrators are not the only who is responsible for the killing and injuring of our medical workers, who had been providing assistance to the children of Aleppo. Namely, insurgents of the ‘opposition’.

The blood of our soldiers is on the hands of the hirer of the murder.

These people, who created, supported and armed these beasts in human form, called them ‘opposition’ to justify themselves towards their own conscience and voters.

Yes, the blood of our soldiers is on your, ladies and gentlemen, the patrons of terrorists from the United States, Britain, France and other countries and sympathizers formations, hands."

Posted by: b | Dec 5 2016 14:17 utc | 13

The Russian Defense Ministry is livid over the (excellently targeted) shelling of its hospital

excellently targeted suggests that those US special forces surrounded in Aleppo, whom we haven't heard about lately, are still getting quality intel.

wonder if they'll make it home for Christmas?

Posted by: john | Dec 5 2016 15:06 utc | 14

@Burt - Harakat Nour al-Din al-Zenki

Harakat Nour al-Din al-Zenki (Arabic: حركة نور الدين الزنكي‎‎ Ḥaraka Nūr ad-Dīn az-Zankī) is an Islamist group involved in the Syrian Civil War. In 2014–15 it was part of the Syrian Revolutionary Command Council and received U.S.-made BGM-71 TOW anti-tank missiles.

Zinki - Zenki - Zanki - there is no fixed transliteration of Arabic to Latin script. Thus the varying names.

There were claims by "rebel" sympathizers that Zinki received additional TOWs in 2016. It's boss is known for beheading a Kurdish boy which had been abducted out of hospital in front of a camera. The video can be found online. Zinki strongly cooperates with al-Qaeda (and indeed has a similar ideology.)

Posted by: b | Dec 5 2016 15:14 utc | 15

@Jules What is the next priority - this is something I'm really keen to know.

Likely liberating Nubr & Kafr in rural northern Idleb - besieged by rebels for years and under heavy artillery bombardment.
Next: Deir Ezzor in the east - likewise.
Next: probably al-Bab east of Aleppo to keep the Turks away from dumb ideas.
Next: rural and city of Idleb
Next: Southern Syria up to the Lebanese border.

Ongoing - the various surrounded rebel enclaves near Damascus. west-Ghouta is liberated, east Ghouta is next, several others still to come.

Each liberation of such besieged areas frees up several thousand soldiers which can be added to the main operations. The op-tempo thus can increase more and more. If Aleppo is solved some 30,000 fighters are available for further operations.

Raqqa is of minor interest. Everyone hates ISIS by now and fights it. Al Qaeda and the groups with outside support are more dangerous to Syria. Let others take care of the Raqqa problem for now and get rid of al-Qaeda and associated "western" supported groups.

Posted by: b | Dec 5 2016 15:24 utc | 16

"These people, who created, supported and armed these beasts in human form, called them ‘opposition’ to justify themselves towards their own conscience and voters.
Yes, the blood of our soldiers is on your, ladies and gentlemen, the patrons of terrorists from the United States, Britain, France and other countries and sympathizers formations, hands."
Posted by: b | Dec 5, 2016 9:17:30 AM | 14

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the kind of Russian diplomacy I've been waiting more than 5 years to hear.

Go get 'em Vlad!
Pick up some crappy little Christians and "smash them against the wall, just to show everyone you mean business."

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Dec 5 2016 15:26 utc | 17

Juan Cole used to be a solid analyst of mideast, but now he refuses to publish any comment that is critical.
His latest blog blames Gen Mattis for the foolish attack/destruction of Faluja.

So I commented:

you say
"Gen. Mattis should grapple a little with whether his 2004 Fallujah campaign did not alienate the Sunni Arabs of Iraq"
in fact the usa marines recommended AGAINST the attack/destruction of Faluja
in fact they were explicitly ordered to attack by Bush/Cheney
so now you blame Gen Mattis for following explicit order of the president of usa

Seems that Cole has become a Hillary bot, rather like Paul Krugman. Perhaps they are were hoping for prestigious appointments in the Hillary administration.

Posted by: mauisurfer | Dec 5 2016 15:30 utc | 18

@18 You sound a little conflicted there Hoarse. Vlad wants to kill jihadis and protect crappy little Christians.

Posted by: dh | Dec 5 2016 15:31 utc | 19

Posted by: mauisurfer | Dec 5, 2016 10:30:35 AM | 19

Xymphora began referring to Cole as "Langley" (Juan 'Langley' Cole) more than 5 years ago and removed Cole's website from his blogroll. The erasure was inspired by Cole pretending that he hadn't supported the Bush II Iraq Fake War when proof that he did support it was still alive and well in his online archive.
Cole is a shameless Liar and a typical Yankee fuckwit.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Dec 5 2016 15:46 utc | 20

Gore cometh...

Posted by: pubumwei | Dec 5 2016 16:06 utc | 21

Posted by: dh | Dec 5, 2016 10:31:58 AM | 20

Conflicted? Moi? Have you looked in the mirror lately?
I was referring to Christians of the Colonial, Crusading, war-mongering-for-fun-and-profit, variety to whom the cited Russian Defense Ministry's remarks were addressed.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Dec 5 2016 16:25 utc | 22

@23 Oh well in that case I beg your pardon. Russian Orthodox Christians can relax.

As far as US Special Forces go I imagine they are mostly in for fun and profit. A few are Christian fundamentalists probably. Some of them may even be muslims.

Posted by: dh | Dec 5 2016 16:32 utc | 23

On November 30, one week after the Washington Post launched its witch hunt against “Russian propaganda fake news“, with 390 votes for, the House quietly passed “H.R. 6393, Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017“, sponsored by California Republican Devin Nunes (whose third largest donor in 2016 is Google parent Alphabet, Inc), a bill which deals with a number of intelligence-related issues, including Russian propaganda, or what the government calls propaganda, and hints at a potential crackdown on “offenders.”

Posted by: ALberto | Dec 5 2016 16:42 utc | 24

Videos following the attack on the Russian field hospital

First one - wounded female doctor(?) is rescued

Second - general report

Russia invoked the UN article on self defense following the shoot-down of its civilian aircraft over Egypt. Given thew US has claimed that there are only its moderate rebels in east Aleppo, what now?

Posted by: Yonatan | Dec 5 2016 16:43 utc | 25

Zinki is the Syrian Arabic version of the Turkish Zengi. Nur al-Din Zengi was the Turkish predecessor of Saladin (who was Kurdish), and nearly won against the Crusaders himself but died too soon. No, not the family name of Saladin.

Posted by: Laguerre | Dec 5 2016 16:43 utc | 26

Section 501 of the Counter Intelligence Act creates a "Committee to Counter Active Measures by the Russian Federation to Exert Covert Influence Over Peoples and Governments."

This is followed by Section 502 which limits Russian and only Russian diplomats in the United States to traveling no more than 25 miles from their offices.

Posted by: ALberto | Dec 5 2016 16:47 utc | 27

>>>> Yonatan | Dec 5, 2016 8:05:53 AM | 7

Some of the 'non-professional military' giving advice on the front line near the Citadel in Aleppo. Damned amateurs out-thinking the professionals!

More likely to be some local from East Aleppo ratting out the takfiri rats.

Posted by: Ghostship | Dec 5 2016 16:49 utc | 28

>>>> b | Dec 5, 2016 9:17:30 AM | 14
After the claims from the jihadists that the Russians and Syrians were bombing hospitals, I read the Geneva conventions relating to hospitals. I know it might appear as nitpicking but unless a hospital is clearly marked as such it's not a protected place, so bombing it while regrettable is not a war crime. I suspect that the Russian field hospital was clearly marked so it was a protected place and targeting it was a war crime. The reason why the rebels might not want to clearly mark their hospitals is that it's also a war crime to use a hospital as a military base and comments I read on Twitter mentioned that the jihadists had used the top floor of the National Eye Hospital that was recently liberated as a base, so it's likely that many of the other rebel "hospitals" were used as military bases.
BTW, read about Sefton Delmar and his black propaganda radio stations to understand what the British have done in the past and you have to wonder if Bana Alabed was a Gustav Siegfried Eins for the Twitter age.

Posted by: Ghostship | Dec 5 2016 17:01 utc | 30

RT International's broadcast into Oz has just covered the attack on the Russian field hospital in Aleppo. The reporter on the spot was Lizzie Phelan and the report ended with the RF Def Min spokesman delivering the comments cited in b's | Dec 5, 2016 9:17:30 AM | 14, comment. The live voice-over English translation omitted the words "from the United States, Britain, France and other" which form part of the last sentence of b's cited translation.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Dec 5 2016 17:21 utc | 31

Sputnik refers to 90,000 residents Your view on this?

Posted by: Shakesvshav | Dec 5 2016 17:31 utc | 32

these are terrorists not freedom fighters. This is what they do. They don't care about a Geneva convention or have any decency. all the more reason why I am rooting for Assad and Russia and friends to annihilate them all. NATO cant get into bed with terrorists and then be surprised when they target a field hospital. Theres been no report on this in the Western media today which tells you all you need to know about whos side the West is on. Its disgraceful

Posted by: Danny801 | Dec 5 2016 17:36 utc | 33

The Russia Defense Ministry has issued an official statement claiming they intercepted western intelligence communications providing Syria terrorists with coordinates to bomb a Russian hospital moments before the attack began.

“Full responsibility for the killing and injuring of our medics, who were treating children in Aleppo, lies not only with the actual perpetrators [of this crime], that is with the ‘opposition’ militants. The blood of our military personnel is on the hands of the people who ordered the hit … [on the hands] of the terrorists’ patrons from the US, the UK, France and other terrorist sympathizers,” Konashenkov said.

Posted by: ALberto | Dec 5 2016 17:43 utc | 34

A second Russian doctor has died of her wounds. The Independent and Fox news mentioned the hospital attack along with the Russian plane that crash-landed in the sea. The idea being to make it look like a bad day for Russia.

Posted by: dh | Dec 5 2016 17:51 utc | 35

A Palestinian boy was beheaded not a Kurdish boy, if I recall
you're right of course, as usual I forgot Shirkuh and made Nur al-Din the uncle of Saladin.

on the tweeting girl debunked here:
but that doesn't count for the bbc:

Posted by: Mina | Dec 5 2016 17:58 utc | 36

Isn't it odd that the I-phone7 freak (all real democrats want a made in China i-phone) I mentioned yesterday happens to have the same first name than the tweeting girl's mother, and the same last name?
Her twitter account is not exactly pro-peace

Posted by: Mina | Dec 5 2016 18:03 utc | 37

Danny801 @ 33: Good post, I agree. And it's not just disgraceful, but criminal.

And, all in the name of corporate profits.

Posted by: ben | Dec 5 2016 18:07 utc | 38

ANNA News video of the shelled hospital area:

@Mina - the AlabedFatemah account is a very recent spoof account to make jokes about the MI-6 AlabedBana propaganda - its even a bit funny if you get it.

Posted by: b | Dec 5 2016 18:16 utc | 39

Looks like Putin has had it -
The west is still playing a double game.

Posted by: GoraDiva | Dec 5 2016 18:19 utc | 40

Yonatan @26 - ooops same link posted twice. The second one should have been the Anna News link posted by b @ 39

Mea culpa

Posted by: Yonatan | Dec 5 2016 18:20 utc | 41


They keep posting "CIA" Cole articles over at truthdig. Judging from the comments people are on to his bullshit... and it is blatant bullshit.

Meet Professor Juan Cole, Consultant to the CIA

Posted by: Tobin Paz | Dec 5 2016 18:31 utc | 42

And there is this -
What a world we live in

Posted by: GoraDiva | Dec 5 2016 18:36 utc | 43

Journalist former hostage in the eye hospital in Aleppo now supporting the progresses of the SAA

Posted by: Mina | Dec 5 2016 18:46 utc | 44

Thanks ! hoax was my first impression but i became hesitant

Maytham956 tweets that Ford is now calling rebels to leave Aleppo

The Eurocrats can rightly be scared that the mess they created will now provoke even more waves, and are desperate to hang on the Gulfies to help them in the coming crisis. With Italy getting closer to Italxit, economic crisis is even more on the horizon.

Posted by: Mina | Dec 5 2016 18:51 utc | 45

Wonderful little map, scarcely believable how the green part has shrunk, how it's totally surrounded with no escape.

Posted by: Lochearn | Dec 5 2016 18:59 utc | 46

Israel’s new ambassador to Turkey arrived in the capital Ankara on Thursday, an Israeli embassy official said, to serve as the first official envoy since a six-year spat put diplomatic relations on ice.

[Editor’s note: The exact nature and degree of closeness of the Turkey-Israel relationship has been a matter of interest to analysts for quite some time. On the surface, the two countries have been at loggerheads with the MV Marmara incident and the ongoing blockade of Gaza as one of the major bones of contention.

However, there are many who strongly suspect the reality is of a far closer and co-operative relationship where the agenda of both countries as regards Syria and the greater middle eastern region are aligned

Is this new appointment of an Israeli ambassador to Turkey for the first time in years a sign of an improvement in the Israeli- Turkey relationship? Ian]

Posted by: ALberto | Dec 5 2016 19:02 utc | 47

@ 37 Mina

Fatemah's husband and father of that little girl "works" for the East Aleppo Council. They are well fed whilst the other citizens are starving.

Posted by: Yul | Dec 5 2016 19:08 utc | 48

that fatemah alabed tweeter account is way over the top, kinda the syrian Onion on cocaine... quite funny in its way...

Posted by: ratatat | Dec 5 2016 19:15 utc | 49

I forgot the quotes on "syrian" ^^

Posted by: ratatat | Dec 5 2016 19:18 utc | 50

TEHRAN (FNA)- Ankara is in talks with Russia to keep a way open for its affiliated forces to stay in regions North-East of Aleppo province, while it has suspended operations in the strategic al-Bab region. dissident sources said.

According to the Shabakat Akhbar Syria Mottaheda news website, dissident sources said Ankara has decided to suspend military operations in al-Bab city as long as the war in Eastern Aleppo city is underway.

The sources added that the Turkish fighter jets have not carried out any mission over the Syrian airspace in the past few days.

Also, the Turkish army has issued a short statement on pounding the ISIL positions in Northern Syria, stressing that the bombing has been carried out from inside the Syrian territories near the borders, they said.

The report was released after the Syrian military aircraft targeted positions of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) terrorists in the area of al-Bab in Aleppo province and halted the advance of the Turkey-backed militants in the area, a media report said.

The bombing carried out by the Syrian Air Force on the positions of the Free Syrian Army militants in the area of al-Bab, previously controlled by ISIL, halted the advance of the FSA fighters, who are supported by Turkey.

Posted by: ALberto | Dec 5 2016 19:23 utc | 51

>>>>> Posted by: Danny801 | Dec 5, 2016 12:36:43 PM | 33
The terrorists might not be worried about the Geneva Convention and war crimes but anybody who acts in concert with them should be because it makes them war criminals as well.

Posted by: Ghostship | Dec 5 2016 19:56 utc | 52

@36 Mina
Anyone with a twitter account should pay J.K.Rowling a visit and tell her to wake the fuck up. BBC consumption is affecting her judgement. Celebrities like these getting fully duped and become part of the false narrative, giving it credibility via re tweet.

Posted by: MadMax2 | Dec 5 2016 20:12 utc | 53

I agree but I don't have a T or a FB account. I find it already unbearable to see all this free advertising with their buttons everywhere on webpages and their mention on TV and radio programs! I want an internet 3.0 ad-free!

Posted by: Mina | Dec 5 2016 20:20 utc | 54

@ Madmax2 #53

Similar to that idiot dopey celebrity (hoe many rehab?):

Posted by: Yul | Dec 5 2016 20:21 utc | 55

Ghostship @52:

I wonder if the Russians passed on the location of their field hospitals to the US/Coalition in order to ensure that they weren't 'accidentally' struck by US aircraft. If so, and the coordinates 'leaked' to the takfiris, then that is going to be one seriously pissed bear.

Posted by: Yonatan | Dec 5 2016 20:36 utc | 56

last week when jimmy carter suggested that obama recognize israel (now that obama is lameduck, he would pay no political price)

and cole thought this was brilliant idea,
so i commented: why didn't carter do that himself when he was a lame duck?
and why did president clinton NOT do it either?

and of course cole did not publish it, as it does not fit his cause, which is devotion to hillary

i mean it is one thing to take a political position, i have problem with that

but when that position conflicts with truth, and you have to cover something up, then i lose respect

Posted by: mauisurfer | Dec 5 2016 20:40 utc | 57

meant to say
i mean it is one thing to take a political position, i have NO problem with that

Posted by: mauisurfer | Dec 5 2016 20:45 utc | 58

RT Live now!

Russia, China veto UNSC resolution on Aleppo ceasefire

Posted by: Jack Smith | Dec 5 2016 20:55 utc | 59

Good old China and Venezuela for supporting Russia Federation. You can always count on China. Amen!

"...The draft resolution submitted by Egypt, New Zealand and Spain called for an immediate ceasefire in Aleppo.

It initially mentioned a 10-day ceasefire, but the draft that was considered on Monday saw the length of the truce reduced to seven days.

11 Security Council members supported the resolution, while Russia, China and Venezuela voted against it. Angola abstained. Russia and China have the power of veto in the UNSC...."

Posted by: Jack Smith | Dec 5 2016 21:00 utc | 60

As for the Pentagon’s view on the Iraq invasion at the time, Mattis said this: “I think people were pretty much aware that the U.S. military didn’t think it was a very wise idea. But we give a cheery ‘Aye aye, sir.’ Because when you elect someone commander in chief — we give our advice. We generally give it in private.”

Gen. Michael Flynn, told Der Spiegel that the invasion was a “huge error” and “strategic failure.”

“Nobody elected me,” Mattis told the audience in 2015. “But I did feel I had to be heard. And I was very blunt. And I gave my advice. But when it’s all over and done with, ladies and gentlemen, your military is obedient to the Constitution that says we obey the president. We swear an oath to protect that Constitution, and we live up to it.

Posted by: mauisurfer | Dec 5 2016 21:06 utc | 61

>>>>> Jack Smith | Dec 5, 2016 3:55:56 PM | 59

I think someone has pissed off the Chinese. Normally they keep their powder dry and abstain as only one veto is required, but standing with Russia is sending a message. Who to? I wouldn't like to guess...............

Posted by: Ghostship | Dec 5 2016 21:10 utc | 62

>>>> mauisurfer | Dec 5, 2016 3:40:50 PM | 57

jimmy carter suggested that obama recognize israel

Doesn't the United States already recognize Israel? I think you mean Palestine. That would be a major FUCK YOU to Netanyahoo and AIPAC.

Posted by: Ghostship | Dec 5 2016 21:17 utc | 63

'The British Foreign Minister says that the foreseeable Syrian government victory in Aleppo will not be a gain at all';

well its no gain for the brits..the liberation of Aleppo is a s disaster!

Posted by: brian | Dec 5 2016 21:18 utc | 64

@Ghostship | Dec 5, 2016 4:10:48 PM | 62

Could it be Putin meeting Abe this week in Japan and a gentle reminder to Putin Japan is China arch enemy?

Hey watch the weblink tne live stream still on and expect Russia UN permanent rep to speaks to reporters.

Posted by: Jack Smith | Dec 5 2016 21:20 utc | 65

>>>>> Yonatan | Dec 5, 2016 3:36:13 PM | 56
I can just see some government lickspittle announcing that it was all a misunderstanding 'cos the Russian medics weren't wearing the right kind of uniform.

Posted by: Ghostship | Dec 5 2016 21:27 utc | 66

@59 js

great that they stood together, finally.

Posted by: jfl | Dec 5 2016 22:02 utc | 67

Lieven @ 13:

If I were Assad, I'd be charging the EU astronomical levels of rent to hold the takfiris in those provinces and use some of the money to build prisons for them and the rest to rebuild Aleppo and the rest of the country's ruined infrastructures.

Posted by: Jen | Dec 5 2016 23:15 utc | 68

@mauisurfer FWIW back in 04 prior to the shrub/kerry beauty contest, Billmon the proprietor of the whiskey bar which was the the immediate precursor to this site, wrote of an invitation he received from Cole to a conference, when he got there Billmon was asked by Cole to join a coalition of blogs overseen by Cole who would report directly to the DNC. Right at the start of the Iraqi invasion Cole a junior academic at a minor college had set about parlaying his special subject, the ME, into a Juan Cole self aggrandizement program.
Cole was initially welcomed by anti-war bloggers because (1) he was one of the few people in amerika at the time who claimed any knowledge of the history & culture of ME societies and (2) his initial stance appeared to be anti-imperialist.
Of course it later transpired his opposition to the brutal rape, murder & torture of Iraqi civilians was largely partisan - his objection was less to do with a dislike of the rape, murder & torture of innocents per se, and seemed more about the fact it was evil neocon republicans committing the war crimes not good neoliberal democrats.

Is Juan Cole a Langley enabler, an agent of influence or even on their payroll? Who knows or cares? - a better question would be who in the media being used as a regular source for 'expert opinions' doesn't kiss the hand of at least one of the organs of the security state?
Not many - if any - is my estimation.

These 'experts' are sorted - and culled if need be, exactly the same way as full time news-gatherers are.

Just about every journo with a high profile in any country you care to think of, is examined & analysed by the their society's spooks, some are deemed recruitable, some are deemed 'malleable' and the handful remaining are deemed toxic - no longer given access to most of the major news sources in government and law enforcement, their career grinds to a halt before it even began.
Not because anyone is out there wording up their bosses, but because they just don't have enough good stories.

This is an efficient system of control which is terrifying in its simplicity, worst of all it means that pro status quo cultures develop within newsrooms simply because the system self selects the reporters who put advancement ahead of ethics. The players loudly declaim their dedication to a particular gang of pols in the knowledge it will make its way up to the hype merchants - this blatant bias is then grabbed ahold of by new recruits eager to join the team, the circle remains unbroken.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Dec 6 2016 0:05 utc | 69

Sykes and Picot. Two drunks from fading European empires; in the end their agreement remains proof against the ravages of time. Those old-time Europeans knew how to set the ball rolling.

Posted by: Ivan | Dec 6 2016 0:09 utc | 70

thanks ghostship
yes of course usa recognizes israel
i meant to say that carter proposed that obama recognize palestine
sorry, i stand corrected

Posted by: mauisurfer | Dec 6 2016 0:47 utc | 71

Thanks Debsisdead, your comments about Juan Cole are much appreciated.
But when you say
"Right at the start of the Iraqi invasion Cole a junior academic at a minor college"
it does make me wonder.
I believe Cole has been at U of Michigan for his entire academic career, ever since he got his PhD from UCLA in 1984, and has been full prof there since 1995.
In my opinion that is one of the best public universities in USA (and not just in football).

Posted by: mauisurfer | Dec 6 2016 0:59 utc | 72

@yonatan and ghostship.. regarding the idea of the us coalition passing coordinates for the hospital - that is a scary thought.. you both might want to read @ 30 mike k. post of the duran link which essentially speculates the same... seems to me quite plausible, although as in the diez ezzor event, the usa claimed ignorance..

Posted by: james | Dec 6 2016 1:13 utc | 73


But the question is: Will Russia return the favor when Trump starts gunning for China, or will Putin be taken in by Trump's phony reset?

Posted by: Circe | Dec 6 2016 1:18 utc | 74

I'm surprised you still do not recognize the most prominent "celebrities" as assets of the global ruling elite, a.k.a "Brutish Empire of the City of London Crown Corporation".

Lohan is another MKULTRA MONARCH MPD beta kitten doing what she's told.

And Rowling wrote her judeo-masonic cabala based series for a reason...

It should be obvious by now...

Posted by: ProPeace | Dec 6 2016 1:52 utc | 75

The NATO campaign against freedom of expression, by Thierry Meyssan

Posted by: ProPeace | Dec 6 2016 3:03 utc | 76

Yul @ 55
Lieven @ 63
Can only imagine somebody left the back gate open at the Betty Ford clinic... immediately after a proper mind shagging.

Posted by: MadMax2 | Dec 6 2016 3:03 utc | 77

@23 Hoarsewhisperer,

I think the leaders of The West, puppets of the Bankster Illuminati corporatist NWO could hardly be called "Christians". If "Pizzagate" and the British Jimmy Savile and Belgian pedo rings are any guide, "Satanists" might be more accurate.

Meanwhile Orthodox Christian Vladimir Vladimirovich and his colleagues are doing what they promised the Russian Orthodox Church and its affiliates in the Middle East - protecting Christians who've been in Syria since St Paul's journey to Damascus nearly 2,000 years ago. As well as protecting atheists, Alawites, Shias, Sunnis (the vast majority who are not Wahhabist Takfiri fanatical head loppers), Yazidis and Jews of Syria.

Posted by: Anoncommenter | Dec 6 2016 3:18 utc | 78


Uh, so if Trump decides he wants to torture after all, Mattis will go along with that too, because according to him, he must obey all orders; no matter how unlawful, even razing Fallujah to the ground.

You can be a mad dog or you can refuse an unlawful order.

The Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) 809.ART.90 (20), makes it clear that military personnel need to obey the “lawful command of his superior officer,” 891.ART.91 (2), the “lawful order of a warrant officer”, 892.ART.92 (1) the “lawful general order”, 892.ART.92 (2) “lawful order”. In each case, military personnel have an obligation and a duty to only obey Lawful orders and indeed have an obligation to disobey Unlawful orders, including orders by the president that do not comply with the UCMJ. The moral and legal obligation is to the U.S. Constitution and not to those who would issue unlawful orders, especially if those orders are in direct violation of the Constitution and the UCMJ.

So he chose instead to be a mad dog unleashed on Fallujah. What happened and is still happening in Fallujah is simply put, barbaric.,_The_Hidden_Massacre

Link to U.S. War Crimes in Iraq

This GI is a bigger man than Mattis will ever be, because he has the balls to tell the truth about unlawful orders.

Mattis is a mad dog, alright; but he isn't the bigger man; he's a war criminal probably ordering his men to shoot everyone in sight, because that's what many GIs say happened. Who gave the orders?

Testimony that civilians were shot by American snipers.

Of course they isolated Fallujah, because no one should see what the U.S. is really about. Why doesn't anyone ask Mad Dog for his version of what happened?

This is just one of the many wars where countless people were slaughtered for the Neocon/Zionist plan. The unlawful orders came down the chain from the Zionist Neocon cabal, a foreign-created shadow government, and everyone followed them blindly, and they're supposed to be American patriots; American heros???

Here is a true patriot I trust that was kicked to the curb by Americans.

And you won't see him on Trump's team; Trump doesn't even seek his advice; cause he's listening to the likes of Woolsey, Yates, Ledeen and other Zionist Neocons. You won't see the patriot in that video invited to Trump Tower. That should tell you everything you need to know about what's coming.

Posted by: Circe | Dec 6 2016 3:24 utc | 79

Expect huge war-mongering campaign starting now:

La Chambre des Représentants vote une zone de non-survol en Syrie

It was with the utmost discretion that the House of Representatives adopted, on 15 November 2016, the Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act of 2016 (H.R.5732).

The text derives its name from the code name of the person presenting himself as a "photographer of the Syrian Arab army" taking pictures of thousands of citizens who died under torture.

The text, which was presented bipartisanly by a dozen parliamentarians, is an initiative of Elliot Engel, the traditional voice of Israel, this time inspired by the White House (photo).

The text was sent to the Senate.

It plans to establish a no-fly zone in Syrian territory in order to protect the places held by the jihadists.

Posted by: ProPeace | Dec 6 2016 3:25 utc | 80

>>>> james | Dec 5, 2016 8:13:13 PM | 74
I can understand how The Duran reached his conclusion. The logic is not very difficult so I'm re-posting here what I posted at The Duran
From Mr Toner's presser on Monday 5th
The exact quote:

" No. We would never give coordinates to the Syrian opposition."

Exactly who does he mean by "we"? Does he mean the State Department? Does he mean the US government? Does he mean the US-led coalition? So he could be telling the truth because he meant the first option and it was the CIA that gave the co-ordinates to the "Syrian opposition"!
Again, ask yourself what he meant by the "Syrian opposition"? The moderate unicorns? The regular jihadists such as Ahrar al-Sham?Al Qaeda? ISIS? Given past usage, I'd suggest that the "Syrian opposition" is the moderate unicorns and the regular jihadists, so that rules out the Department of Defence, because they stay away from Al Qaeda and the only contact they seem to have with ISIS is dropping bombs on them.
So that could mean that the CIA gave the information to Al Qaeda. Now ask yourself how likely that is.
And if anyone wants to say this is unfair on Americans, ask yourself how Hillary Clinton got from "tradegy for the Soviet Union" to "Russia is gong to invade the altic States"

Posted by: Ghostship | Dec 6 2016 3:41 utc | 81

@57 ..."so i commented: why didn't carter do that himself when he was a lame duck?"

Because Carter was President 1977 - 1981, and the PLO didn't declare the independent state of Palestine until 15 November 1988.

Which would have made it kinda' hard for Jimmy to recognize a state without a declaration by the provisional government of that state.

Cart before the horse 'n' all that.

@57 ..."and why did president clinton NOT do it either?"

OK, ya' got me on that one.

Clinton could have done so at any time but, you know, he's not exactly the most upstanding of individuals.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Dec 6 2016 3:46 utc | 82


Who too?...TRUMP!

It's not just that the Chinese are pissed; it's that they're starting to feel that soon they will find themselves in Russia's shoes. Awareness dispels ambiguity.

The unintended consequence of containment of China will be that China will remove all doubt as to where it stands geopolitically.

How it aligns itself during the hostility that a Trump presidency represents for China will be interesting to behold.

Posted by: Circe | Dec 6 2016 3:46 utc | 83

@82 ghostship.. again it raises the question does one hand of the usa gov't not know what another one is doing? or is one aspect of the gov't - cia - gone rouge and who would be responsible for that? if so toner would be speaking the truth, but unaware of what was actually going on in a deeper sense.. sounds unlikely, but given his ignorance over so much already, it is very possible. when challenged on his (toner/usa state dept) sources he pleads ignorance, or is often vague and non specific.. when it turns out the hospital being bombed is not in aleppo as he had claimed, his facts get altered (previous example of this in the past 2 months happened), and etc. etc.. the timing and accuracy of the bombing of this temporary hospital seems very suspect, but will result in an unwillingness on the part of russia to follow thru with the talks at a temporary ceasefire that lavrov and kerry have been engaged in the past week. that seems very clear and perhaps is the goal, however it clashes with the optics of seeking a temporary ceasefire for humanitarian aid..

Posted by: james | Dec 6 2016 4:21 utc | 84

In my #84 it's Who to?


Zionists are pushing this bill:

Unsurprisingly, the Israel lobby is campaigning for the passage of HR5732, as Israel is officially at war with Syria and continues to illegally occupy the Syrian Golan Heights. Removing Assad would make things easier for Israel to permanently seize this fossil fuel-rich area, and would strike a blow to its perceived enemies in Lebanon and Iran.

Despite the grave ramifications of HR 5732, the media is silent. The media outlets now professing to hold the monopoly on real journalism have not said a word about the shocking abuse of “suspended rules” in the House, and the utter propaganda being spewed out by lawmakers, to save their crusade for regime change in Syria — even if it means World War III.


Robert Naiman (activist) had a petition on MoveOn trying to stop it from passing the House; guess it failed.

From Naiman's petition:

The Friends Committee on National Legislation, America's biggest and diplomacy lobby, notes that H.R. 5732 would "undermine its stated goal to encourage a negotiated political solution" and that "while the Obama administration has opposed H.R. 5732 on the grounds that it will undermine its Syria diplomacy, the bill could move to the House floor during the lame duck session in November.

This is bi-partisan legislation that was passed stealthily through the House and is being pushed by Zionist Neocons. I keep telling you all that both sides are the same! It doesn't matter who's President we're going to war AGAIN.

It's as I've been warning; Zionist Neocons control Washington and of course the Mainstream media that kept this under wraps.

Posted by: Circe | Dec 6 2016 4:53 utc | 85

“Nobody elected me,” Mattis told the audience in 2015. “But I did feel I had to be heard. And I was very blunt. And I gave my advice. But when it’s all over and done with, ladies and gentlemen, your military is obedient to the Constitution that says we obey the president. We swear an oath to protect that Constitution, and we live up to it.
Posted by: mauisurfer | Dec 5, 2016 4:06:47 PM | 61

Thanks for reproducing that particular Mattis quote.
Unfortunately, it overlooks the fact that the US Military Officer's Oath differs from the Oath sworn by Expendable Grunts in one very important respect. The Officer's Oath includes an additional undertaking which can be paraphrased as "defending AmeriKKKa from enemies within" which, if it were to be taken seriously, would require Officers to privately ponder the allegiances of entities and individuals within AmeriKKKa and DO or recommend DOING something about ANY entity which didn't pass the sniff test - which the pro-Israel Crowd definitely fail by any reading of their policy positions.

DefSec is a highly politicised post in the US and DefSec Chuck Hagel seemed, to me, to be an 'enemies within" threat to the Neocons & Chicken Hawks in the US Admin. He faced-down his pre-appointment pro-Israel critics and to this day was able to maintain his integrity (imo) by never telling lies before or during his tenure - making him unique among modern DefSecs.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Dec 6 2016 5:16 utc | 86

Am not sure how bills are passed in the US but I think after the House vote it has to be voted for in the senate as well then approved by the POTUS right? Even if the senate votes favorably for a NFZ, the president can veto it down which is what Trump would do imo..

Posted by: Lozion | Dec 6 2016 8:07 utc | 87

Russia's veto was expected on UNSC resolution, whining of the West was also a given, but what surprised me is a very strong China's stance, usually they prefer silent diplomacy.

UK Ambassador Matthew Rycroft said, “[Russia and China] have chosen to veto not because of a lack of consultation, but because of their long-standing, misplaced faith in a despot who has killed nearly half a million of his own people.”

Taking the floor, Chinese Ambassador Liu Jieyi said Rycroft was “poisoning” the atmosphere and “abusing” the forum with his remarks.

“I would like to ask the representative of the UK, what right does he have to distort positions of other countries? The Security Council is a solemn forum. it is not a place where groundless attacks can be made on other countries positions,” Liu said.

“I would like the UK representative to put an end to such practice of poisoning the atmosphere of the security council and abusing the solemn forum of the council. This is not the first time that he did this and I hope that such abuse will not repeat in the future,” the Chinese envoy said.

Wow, such straightforward no BS comments are common from Russia or Iran, but China? As Napoleon said, "dont wake up the sleeping dragon." Too late.

Posted by: Harry | Dec 6 2016 8:17 utc | 88

who has killed nearly half a million of his own people.

Whenever the proxy war in syria is finally put to rest and, unless a new US administration doubles down its support to Al-Qaeda, that day may come soon, the truth of the matter will be comprehensibly documented in books and documentaries.

Whether or not the UK ambassador really cares, history won't look at his words nor his country's involvement against the Syrians in any positive light. History will remember him as a terrorist sympathizer and a liar.

Posted by: never mind | Dec 6 2016 8:50 utc | 89

@ 63

Lo and Behold fellows, Lindsay Lohan back the rebels in Syria!

Laugh or cry? Seriously..

Who gives a shit? Seriously who gives a shit? Some actress with no knowledge of the region and neither political power nor influence makes some ½assed comment using elctronic media. BFD.

Posted by: Irony Maiden | Dec 6 2016 8:50 utc | 90

@Posted by: Harry | Dec 6, 2016 3:17:47 AM | 89

Egypt a sponsor of UN resolution? France, Australia, Canada and UK taking back seats now - NZ Amerika's new lap dog. The last time former NZ PM John Key attacked Putin, Russia banned New Zealand exports of meat and fish from the Russian market.

People can be really dumb fucking stupidly, ignoring bombing Russia's field hospital and blame Russia for crimes against innocent Syrians in Aleppo?

China will make shit head NZ pay for it - dairy products and tourisms

Posted by: Jack Smith | Dec 6 2016 9:07 utc | 91

You really can't trust the Yanks.

Posted by: spudski | Dec 6 2016 10:26 utc | 93

@82 "
Exactly who does he mean by "we"? Does he mean the State Department? Does he mean the US government? Does he mean the US-led coalition? So he could be telling the truth "

It doesn't make any sense to pay attention to such people. He has been hired to be a liar. The truth is simple: the US is run by depraved sociopaths. This is not an insult, this is a well documented fact.

Wikileaks has just published a lot of emails belonging to Erdogan's son-in-law. Maybe someone is trying to take the Turkish cabal on a shorter leash.

Posted by: blue bx | Dec 6 2016 10:32 utc | 94

spudski says:

You really can't trust the Yanks

no, you really can't!

Posted by: john | Dec 6 2016 11:09 utc | 95

Re: Posted by: Harry | Dec 6, 2016 3:17:47 AM | 89

That's all very well - but why weren't they vetoing previous resolutions and why on Earth decide to veto this one?

It really makes no sense at all.

No sense.

Nothing substantive has changed and nor is there any prospect of any substantive change. If it is merely due to the rhetoric of one Presidential candidate, now elected, that really shows up their previous blasé attitude as recklesss, weak and foolhardy.

Posted by: Julian | Dec 6 2016 11:11 utc | 96

>>>> blue bx | Dec 6, 2016 5:32:43 AM | 95

He has been hired to be a liar.

No he has not because most people would find it very difficult to lie on the regular basis that you suggest Toner does, unless they were a sociopath or psychopath, and have you any evidence that he is?.
It doesn't make any sense to pay attention to such people.

It does because they are usual delivering a message which contains the truth but is described in a way that needs to be interpreted for most people and that way the messengers don't have to deal with lying. The British civil service has been doing it since before the United States came into existence, and I doubt they were the first. You have heard the phrase "economy with the truth"?
BTW, nice bit of distraction and disinformation (suggesting I'm a conspiracy theorist) by association, so I have to ask who do you work for? Please don't bother replying that this proves I'm a conspiracy theorist because it's such a cheap shot.

Posted by: Ghostship | Dec 6 2016 11:27 utc | 97

Ghostship | Dec 5, 2016 10:41:48 PM | 82

So that could mean that the CIA gave the information to Al Qaeda. Now ask yourself how likely that is.

On reflection and since there are officials from other countries, including the GCC ones, working in the US-coalition command cehtre, it's more likely it was one of them although I wouldn't put it past someone from the US who knew about the hospital to pass the information to someone who didn't but who might also have known links to pass it to the terrorists. There is more to this story and we'll probably find out the truth twenty/thirty years from now because someone wants to disclose how they stuck it to those damn Ruskies in their memoirs, but he should remember that while the rest of the world might forget, the Russians generally don't.

Posted by: Ghostship | Dec 6 2016 11:39 utc | 98

>>>> james | Dec 5, 2016 11:21:47 PM | 85

cia - gone rouge

What a delicious thought - the CIA run by closet communists.
again it raises the question does one hand of the usa gov't not know what another one is doing?

Very likely, it's very common for governments to consist of multiple competing power structures. The most obvious one was the Nazi regime in Germany where Hitler actually encouraged it and it had such dreadful consequences. I suspect the problem with the American government is that Americans seem so scared of losing what they have that they are prepared to spend inordinate amounts on security which unbalances the government by making the military and other security power centres the most powerful. The MIC doesn't help either.
So, I believe Toner when he says "we" because he probably means the State and Defence Departments, the obvious candidates for him to talk about, but the rest, who knows?
As for the talks between Lavrov and Kerry, the only thing that Lavrov will listen to Kerry for is an immediate cast-iron plan to remove all the militants from moderate unicorns to hardcore jihadists from the entirety of that rapidly shrinking part of East Aleppo they occupy and that will be fully implemented in the next few days. So, the opportunity for anyone in any of the alternative USG power structures to disrupt the liquidation of the militants in East Aleppo has gone for good unless they're prepared to unleash WW3 and the Pentagon have already made it pretty clear that is not something they're prepared to do.

Posted by: Ghostship | Dec 6 2016 12:26 utc | 99

>>>> Jack Smith | Dec 6, 2016 4:07:09 AM | 92

China will make shit head NZ pay for it - dairy products and tourisms

I very much doubt it - someone other than the US, UK, France, Australia and Canada. was going to draft that resolution come what may. Egypt, NZ and Spain drew the short straw this time but China, in it for the really long game, probably doesn't care.

>>>> Circe | Dec 5, 2016 10:46:32 PM | 84
Who too?...TRUMP!
So you know exactly what policies Trump is going to follow? At the moment, Trump has one objective on his mind, to stand in front of the Capitol building in Washington, DC at midday on January 20th, 2017 and be sworn in as president of the United States. Then we might start to understand what policies Trump is going to follow. Until then it's all window dressing.

Posted by: Ghostship | Dec 6 2016 12:43 utc | 100

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