Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
January 17, 2017

How The U.S. Enabled ISIS To Take Deir Ezzor

The city of Deir Ezzor (Deir ez-Zur) in east-Syria is on the verge of falling into the hands of the Takfiris of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). More than 100,000 civilian inhabitants of Deir Ezzor and thousands of soldiers defending them are in immediate danger of being murdered by the savage ISIS forces. The current situation is a direct consequence of U.S. military action against the SAA and non-action against ISIS.

Deir Ezzor is besieged by ISIS since September 2015. But the city was well defended by its garrison of Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and all further attacks by ISIS were repelled. Supply to the city was hauled in by air through the Deir Ezzor airport and through air drops by the Syrian and Russian airforces. Relief by ground forces and ground supplies are not possible as Deir Ezzor is more than 100 km away from the nearest SAA positions west of Palmyra and as the desert in between is under the control of ISIS.

Google map - bigger

Four days ago a new attack by ISIS on Deir Ezzor was launched and has since continued. ISIS reinforcements and resupplies had come over months despite air interdiction from the Russian and Syrian airforces. Yesterday ISIS managed to cut off the airport, where the local SAA command and its main supplies are hosted, from the city proper. It is now attacking in full force from all sides. Bad weather makes air support from the outside sporadic and difficult. Unless some unforeseen happens it is only a question of time until the airport and the city fall to ISIS.

Map by Peto Lucem - bigger

The U.S. has condoned and/or even actively supported the imminent ISIS taking of Deir Ezzor by (at least) three measures:

  • a massive U.S. air attack on SAA forces in September 2016 enabled ISIS to take a controlling position and to cut off SAA resupplies
  • a U.S. attack against a power station in January disabled the last electricity supplies to the city
  • U.S. non-intervention enabled ISIS reinforcements from Mosul and west Iraq to Deir Ezzor in east-Syria

On September 16 2016 an hour long U.S. led air attack on SAA positions on the Tharda hills to the south of the airport killed over 100 SAA soldiers, destroyed a big SAA supply dump and several SAA tanks and artillery pieces. Immediately after the U.S. attack ISIS took the hills and has since held them. The positions allow for fire control over the airport of Deir Ezzor.

The U.S. military claimed that the attack was a mistake but a thorough reading of the investigation report of that "mistake" shows that the U.S. military attack was intentionally targeting the SAA to make a political point against an announced U.S.-Russian cooperation agreement to fight ISIS. (Danish airforce F-16 planes and drones under U.S. command had taken part in the attack. After the report was published, the Danish government pulled all air elements from its participation in the U.S. coalition against ISIS.)

Since the U.S. attack in September no significant air supplies have reached Deir Ezzor. Even helicopter landing at the airport is only possible at night and by taking very high risks. The city inhabitants and their defenders are completely cut off.

Early January U.S. airforce attacks destroyed the electricity plant at the Omar oilfield near Deir Ezzor. The plant was the last one to supply the city of Deir Ezzor. Since then only a few military generators and dwindling fuel supplies are left for medical and communication equipment.

When the Iraqi Army plans for retaking the ISIS held city of Mosul were developed and commenced in October the U.S. insisted on leaving a western corridor open for ISIS forces inclined to flee from Mosul into the direction of Deir Ezzor. Hundreds if not thousands of ISIS fighters used the corridor. The U.S. controlled Kurdish forces in north Iraq let ISIS pass from Iraq to Syria. Fearing (correctly) that an ISIS move out of Mosul towards Deir Ezzor would mean the fall of Deir Ezzor Russia and Iran intervened with the Iraqi government. Despite U.S. wishes the Iraqi Prime Minister Abadi ordered his Popular Mobilization Forces (PMU) to cut off the western exit:

Iran was not the only country pressing for the escape to be closed west of Mosul. Russia, another powerful Assad ally, also wanted to block any possible movement of militants into Syria, said Hashemi. The Russian defence ministry did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

One of Assad’s biggest enemies, France, was also concerned that hundreds of fighters linked to attacks in Paris and Brussels might escape. The French have contributed ground and air support to the Mosul campaign.
Still, the battle plan did not foresee closing the road to the west of Mosul until Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi agreed in late October to despatch the Popular Mobilisation militias.

Despite a fast advance by the PMU from the south against Tal Afar to cut off the escape road many ISIS fighters in west Iraq were able to flee across the border and towards Deir Ezzor with their equipment in tact. They reinforced the ISIS troops now attacking Deir Ezzor. The U.S. has uncontested air superiority over west Iraq and east Syria but did not once intervene against the large scale move.

If ISIS takes Deir Ezzor it will likely kill (as it did on other occasions) all captured SAA troops and anyone it believes to have cooperated with them. The soldiers know this. They will fight down to the last bullet. But without any reinforcements and resupplies their chances are slim.

When the Syrian government besieged al-Qaeda forces in east-Aleppo the "western" media and the various "Syrian opposition" propaganda outlets were running an all out campaign in support of the besieged Takfiris. There is no such campaign in support of the civilians and soldiers in Deir Ezzor. In their few reports about the imminent fall of Deir Ezzor "western" publications even resort to outright lying. Thus claims the Daily Telegraph:

The US-led coalition, as well as the Russians, have been bombing the jihadists in Deir Ezzor for the last 18 months but have been unable to dislodge them.

No significant U.S. air attacks have been flown against ISIS forces around Deir Ezzor at all. All attacks flown by the U.S. in the area have been against Syrian government troops or their supporting infrastructure.

The U.S. official rhetoric about fighting ISIS is not supported by observable facts on the battle field. One can only conclude that the U.S. military does not only condone but supports ISIS in gaining control over Deir Ezzor despite the extreme high risk for anyone left in the city.

This likely to further the larger long term plan of installing a "Salafist principality" in western Iraq and eastern Syria that creates a justification for the U.S. military to stay in the area to "fight ISIS" and which can be activated against the Syrian and Iraqi government whenever convenient. U.S. President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry have both admitted that they earlier allowed ISIS to grow in Iraq and Syria for exactly such political purposes.

Posted by b on January 17, 2017 at 11:53 UTC | Permalink

« previous page

Re 201 english.aawsat link:

Saudi Ambassador to the United Nations Abdullah bin Yahya al-Moalimi urged the Security Council to issue an official resolution ordering the withdrawal of all foreign forces from Syria. The resolution would remove foreign terrorists, Hezbollah forces, Iran’s Revolutionary Guard and foreign sovereign military from Syria battlefields.

Bet that duplicitous, disingenuous statement easily slid off his honeyed tongue given the KSA's longstanding conduct and statements of demand re Syria & Assad. Hah!

Re ISIS bringing in heavy reinforcements re the desperate fighting taking place in the immediate vicinity of the Deir-Ezzor Airfield & Helicopter Land Pads, please see details/context/criticality(sic), in post 105, this Thread.

Posted by: Outraged | Jan 19 2017 12:10 utc | 201

@Debsisdead | Jan 18, 2017 7:23:48 PM | 172

Comments like the population of Leningrad & Stalingrad were led by jewish bolsheviks and it is they who starved the people not the nazi troops who had laid civilians under siege, are quite frankly so incorrect that one must assume they are deliberate plants by the israeli government to bring this blog into disrepute.

The movie "Enemy at the Gates", with its all star Jewish cast including Jud Law and Rachel Weiscz, has the great scene where the Jewish Commissars are gunning down the white christian Russians, see here. Frankly I was amazed that this little bit of truth made it through into the otherwise fake history movie.

As far as Kruschev goes, there is evidence that he was a crypto-jew. Since >90% of the Bolschevic Politburo were Jews, any purges by Stalin and Kruschev had to end up killing a majority of Jews, or they would have completed the Russian genocide before the war with hitler even started. A couple of quotes about Kruschev from (((wikipedia))):

- Khrushchev assisted in the purge of many friends and colleagues in Moscow oblast.[39]
- Of 38 top Party officials in Moscow city and province, 35 were killed[39]—the three survivors were transferred to other parts of the USSR.
- Of the 146 Party secretaries of cities and districts outside Moscow city in the province, only 10 survived the purges.
- In his memoirs, Khrushchev noted that almost everyone who worked with him was arrested.
- By Party protocol, Khrushchev was required to approve these arrests, and did little or nothing to save his friends and colleagues.[42]
- Party leaders were given numerical quotas of "enemies" to be turned in and arrested.
- In June 1937, the Politburo set a quota of 35,000 enemies to be arrested in Moscow province; 5,000 of these were to be executed. In reply, Khrushchev asked that 2,000 wealthy peasants, or kulaks living in Moscow be killed in part fulfillment of the quota. In any event, only two weeks after receiving the Politburo order, Khrushchev was able to report to Stalin that 41,305 "criminal and kulak elements" had been arrested. Of the arrestees, according to Khrushchev, 8,500 deserved execution.

- In late 1937, Stalin appointed Khrushchev as head of the Communist Party in Ukraine, and Khrushchev duly left Moscow for Kiev, again the Ukrainian capital, in January 1938... After Khrushchev's arrival, the pace of arrests accelerated. All but one member of the Ukrainian Politburo Organizational Bureau and Secretariat were arrested. Almost all government officials and Red Army commanders were replaced. During the first few months after Khrushchev's arrival, almost everyone arrested received the death penalty.

If you really need to continue this debate please let me remind you that I have have not even started quoting Solzhenitsyn, the artillery hero who was forced to the Gulag for 8 years when he started talking about what Stalin had done in Leningrad.

Posted by: Kenny | Jan 19 2017 12:37 utc | 202

Aleppo pics

Posted by: Mina | Jan 19 2017 13:04 utc | 203

Posted by: PavewayIV | Jan 19, 2017 5:11:12 AM | 197
Could Rep. Tulsi Gabbard be a kind of new Smedley Butler?
You did a smart analysis on Deir Ezzour, unfortunately I've to say.

Posted by: y | Jan 19 2017 13:44 utc | 204

@ Posted by: Kenny | Jan 19, 2017 7:37:59 AM | 204

The linked footage represents & clearly shows the actions of WWII era, clearly identifiable NKVD Barrier troops, blocking units, or anti-retreat forces. Which is historically documented. Sometimes, though far less often, SMERSH units were used in such a role.

The German Wehrmacht also used such during WWII in desperate times, commencing with the retreat from Moscow in late 1941 ... and subsequently when Strafbattalions & Units(Wehrmacht Penal Battalions & Units) were formed out of desperation. Perhaps you would argue the Wehrmacht Barrier Troops, usually Feldgendarmerie (Wehrmacht Military Police (MPs)) were manned, in your alternate reality, by Jewish-NDSP Gestapo, perhaps ?

These sorts of events occur due to ruthless Military Necessity in Total War circumstances, when the fate of the very survival of the State, is at stake.

Even Saddam Hussein used Barrier Troops against his frontline, expendable, low grade conscript troops(mainly reluctant, inadequately equipped & trained, Shia, cannon fodder) in the First Gulf War (1990/1991) and the Iraq Invasion (2003).

Suppose you would assert Saddam Hussein's Barrier Troops which were manned by Mukhabarat(Jihaz Al-Mukhabarat Al-Amma)(Secret Intelligence Party Service), Special Bureau, Mukhabarat Brigade, security detachments ... which were actually largely trusted/privileged Sunni, were manned, in your alternate reality, by Jewish-Sunni Ba'ath Secret Police Barrier Troops ?

None of your references/links mention the word jew or jewish, not even once.

Why do you serially persist with these demonstrable, trivially dis-proven, falsehoods ?

Posted by: Outraged | Jan 19 2017 13:58 utc | 205

So-called White Helmets in Idlib
UK money is only for Nusra? An old Qatari/UK deal behind that?

Posted by: Mina | Jan 19 2017 15:54 utc | 206

@202 mina.. i see 9 or 11 isis members were sedated and then killed in halta (area of deir ezzor).. i wonder if this is from the tribal folks that i think it was you had mentioned have aligned with assad recently.

Posted by: james | Jan 19 2017 17:14 utc | 207

You guys must not have watched Tulsi Gabbard's hearing yesterday. She believes Russia should be punished for annexing Crimea, and that there "absolutely" was a "genocide", with Russian/Syrian complicity, in Aleppo.

Secret trip to Syria? And who were her hosts? The White Helmets?

Posted by: sejomoje | Jan 19 2017 18:22 utc | 208

Adam Hill on Russain Insider today (h/t

As ISIS offensive against Deir ez-Zor unfolds, U.S. Air Force is busy bombing oil stills and fuel trucks

And in a related comment thread on SouthFront, I enthusiastically excoriate CENTCOM/OIR as the enemy again and commenter John suggests the blame is not with the field/area commanders. I attempt to clarify my rant with the following:

Agree completely, John. But there are pissed off commanders in CENTCOM that hate the way politics has shaped and neutered their mission, and the grunts that work under them just want to kill head-choppers. They don't want to be thanked for their service and they don't want to be valorized if they can't do their job. They want some civilian idiot like me on the outside mocking their supposed mission so the entire world knows what they are/are not doing. The politicians need to understand the consequences of making them do dumb-assed things or not do anything at all. I could only have dreamed of the same favor years ago when I was in a command that was made to do stupid-assed things or not do anything at all while good people were dying somewhere.

Below are all Barksdale B-52s collecting dust at al Udeid Air Base in Qatar today. Their pilots are drinking beer in the O club watching the situation in Deir EzZor decay as 120,000 civilians slowly starve to death or are soon to be beheaded and a few thousand soldiers are struggling to kick ISIS's ass. The B-52 crews want me bitching about that out here because they sure as hell can't from inside. They don't give a damn about Assad or pipelines or neocon schemes - they want to kill head-choppers in Deir EzZor. B-52s were built exactly for that an it's under two hours of flight time from Qatar to Deir EzZor.

[Sat image of Udeid/B-52s]

CENTCOM's OIR mission needs to be mocked - it's bitch-wothy. Any butt-hurt snowflakes inside who take it personal need the stupid beat out of them. Civilians and damn good SAA soldiers are being slaughtered in Deir EzZor, and CENTCOM is just sitting on its ass because that's all they've been ordered to do. Their bosses need to understand how completely f'ked up that is.

The 'O' club is the Officer's Club - the on-base restaurant/bar on U.S. Army/Air Force bases reserved for officers.

And I realize the other issues that sending the USAF out on carpet-bombing runs creates. The unspoken implication is that we shouldn't be there at all and probably shouldn't have created (or allowed the birth of) al Qaeda/al Nusra/ISIS. My rant has more to do with the U.S. taking responsibility for the mess it has created and give up on the psychopathic strategy of using ISIS as a regime-change tool. Despite that debate, Deir EzZor needs help today, and more ISIS are pouring in there to finish them off.

Col. Lang on SST said it best in the title of his Deir Al-Zor thread - 16 January 2016: "OK. "Now's the time and now's the hour." Somebody better get off their dead asses and save these people. pl"

Posted by: PavewayIV | Jan 19 2017 19:35 utc | 209

@210 Crimea is up for debate - I mean Russia did annex it for all intents

Syria claptrap is a joke however

Posted by: aaaa | Jan 19 2017 19:36 utc | 210

And those are actually mostly KC-135 tankers in the older Google imagery, but we do have about half of Barksdale AFB's B-52s deployed to Qatar today. I'm sure the road-side oil still operators are petrified.

"Snackbar! This is the third time this week the coalition bombed us. Abdul, we're going to need more oil drums... find ones without holes, God willing."

Posted by: PavewayIV | Jan 19 2017 19:54 utc | 211

What is happening in Deir el Zor and Palmyra has all the footprints of Qatar, pre-Astana. Who pressures who? Q > UK/Fr > US?
Today, Russia and Turkey were bombing al-Bab together for the first time. So al-Bab was not freed by Turkey in a sec', as we were fed earlier?

Posted by: Mina | Jan 19 2017 20:40 utc | 212

@210 sejomoje.. thanks for that update.. that is indeed depressing but oh so typical.. yes - white helmets probably sponsored it with all their war propaganda loot..

@213 paveway... it is so depressing.. thanks for your updates and humour..

@214 mina.. seems like more of a long term plan to me.. dier ezzor has been on the hot seat for some time and just about 100 miles down the road from raqqa. it's no coincidence ash carters accidents here.. this is long range stuff, although you might be right qatar wants to ramp it up into this.. qatar - what a shit hole of a country..

Posted by: james | Jan 19 2017 20:56 utc | 213

@ Posted by: PavewayIV | Jan 19, 2017 2:35:38 PM | 211

Great post.

Sincerely, commendable effort.

Yet ... reality, ours & theirs intercedes ... 'Songbird' McCain's, Admiral father recalled the already dispatched two ready flights back to the 6th fleet carrier, which had been sent to defend the USS Liberty crewmen being deliberately massacred, once they managed to briefly establish comms through the sustained jamming ... and the Fleet crewmen & Officers had to sit on their butts, as ordered and do nothin' as the pleas continued ... unanswered, without response ... through all the reviews and Presidential appeals, etc, no DOD investigation initiated, ever.

Nothing came of any of it ... even to this day ...


Posted by: Outraged | Jan 19 2017 20:58 utc | 214

@211 pw, 'B-52s were built exactly for that an it's under two hours of flight time from Qatar to Deir EzZor. ... and CENTCOM is just sitting on its ass because that's all they've been ordered to do. Their bosses need to understand how completely f'ked up that is.'

note where those b52s are parked? they'll be bombing civilians in damascus before they bomb isis at deir ezzor.

col. lang knows who the 'owns' those b52s ... he's making 'outraged' noises to give his buddies - now rent-a-terrorists themselves, the ISAF - cover.

if those guys don't know who they're working for by now ... they're the ones who need stupid beat out of them.

Posted by: jfl | Jan 20 2017 0:12 utc | 215

@pw 211

Below are all Barksdale B-52s collecting dust at al Udeid Air Base in Qatar today. Their pilots are drinking beer in the O club watching the situation in Deir EzZor decay as 120,000 civilians slowly starve to death or are soon to be beheaded and a few thousand soldiers are struggling to kick ISIS's ass.

An excellent point that stands true for the Backfire bombers as well.

Posted by: Wwinsti | Jan 20 2017 0:17 utc | 216

The aircraft that are covering Deir Ezzor seems to be all that's required at the moment.
Very little news coming out of Deir Ezzor over the last 24hrs... fuel rationing?... but the bit of news that has come out is that the situation is stable.
200 SF were land and also an airdrop of ammunition, fuel ect. That seems to confirmed by both pro gov side and headchopper "activists".
If the aircraft can knock out heavy weapons and truck bombs, this will become another grinder for the headchoppers.
The only danger seems to be if conditions become too dusty again to spot targets, then another truck bomb may get through.
The headchoppers only break through a defence if they get the suicide bombers onto target.

Posted by: Peter AU | Jan 20 2017 0:56 utc | 217

@ Posted by: Wwinsti | Jan 19, 2017 7:17:51 PM | 218

Yet, the Backfire bombers are RF AF assets, and therefore the moment they were identified as inbound by the Empires multi-spectrum surveillance, the embedded US SF 'advisers' would be promptly informed by secure comms and then communicate that to the local Proxy head-chopper forces ... see previous post 105 this thread for fuller context:

The ISIS proxies forces are well aware of the capabilities of the SAA Air Force & RF Air Force elements, thru bitter experience & constant reminders by their masters, the US SF advisers/commanders, who would also relay/communicate to them, in advance, to take counter-measures (dispersal, etc), ie,:

Be advised, CAS strike of Qty x 2 SU-25, inbound to your locale, approximate ETA 14Mins

So, unless there is a change on the ground in actual conduct/action, driven by new orders by Command, driven by policy directives from above, ... the comparison between the B-52s idle and idle backfires is not valid, yes ?

If, there was a new Executive Order, ie policy change, then the B-52s could launch, and the embedded US SF withdrawn prior, and no advance warning given ... Big, big, BadaBoom!

Same would apply if the policy change occurred, the embedded SF withdrew prior, and the Empire ... conveniently failed henceforth to warn the ISIS head-choppers, in advance of inbound heavy airstrikes or CAS aircraft of the RF AF ... Big, big, BadaBoom!

Posted by: Outraged | Jan 20 2017 1:24 utc | 218

@ Posted by: Peter AU | Jan 19, 2017 7:56:28 PM | 219

Keep in mind that the pre-existing ~4 months supply cut-off and increased tempo of recent and current Ops means that the ~200 SF landed would almost certainly be an almost one-for-one replacement-in/medevac-out for wounded dier-ezzor troops and some critically wounded civilians.

They must clear the Airfield and Helicopter pads surrounds and then expand that radius so as to bring in sufficient supplies and sustain the Air Supply effort. Any significant actual increase in forces, on the ground, in dier-ezzor prior to the that, only further exacerbates the logistics & medical crisis ... very good for the dier-ezzor morale re 1-fo-1 medevac as replacements come in/wounded go out, too ;)

Posted by: Outraged | Jan 20 2017 1:33 utc | 219

@ Posted by: Ian Shears | Jan 19, 2017 8:44:04 PM | 222

Ian, checkout b's *** META *** post update in Thread:

January 19, 2017
Obama Parting Shot Aims At Brennan, Clapper, Clinton: "The DNC Emails Were Leaked"

If you've used certain embedded links in your posts, then they are likely in 'manual pre-approval moderation', as explained by b, in above thread comment @ 2, by b. And further discussed/clarified within that threads comments. :)


Posted by: Outraged | Jan 20 2017 2:03 utc | 220

Outraged 221
also on moderate heachoppers twitter - All males between aged 18 and 45 in Deir Ezzor are being conscripted. Not trained, but mixed with the very seasoned military that have been there from the start, should give extra hands with no extra mouths to feed.
Give it two weeks or so of grinding down ISIS. They will do it tough for awhile, but once they have broken the back of the US/ISIS attack then they will start retaking ground.
This attack I think took Russia by surprise, but it is starting to look as though they will use it to advantage.
Inauguration, Carter out of a job today, will Centcom pull any nasty tricks before they see which way the new boss leans?

Posted by: Peter AU | Jan 20 2017 2:26 utc | 221

Wwinsti 218

re Backfire bombers. Have a think about why US forces where moved to Russia's border, concentrated around Kaliningrad, shortly before the attack on Deir Ezzor. The US plus NATO deployments put an attacking force in Poland and blocking forces in Lithuania and Latvia.

As per my earlier comment in this thread, this operation to take Deir Ezzor has been some time in the planning, beginning with Kerry surprisingly agreeing to Lavrov's peace deal.

Posted by: Peter AU | Jan 20 2017 2:47 utc | 222

@sejomoje | Jan 19, 2017 1:22:45

The findings from her trip could be a great excuse to change her position in a few days ...

The things on the global scene will change hugely in 24 hours - many people, groups, state actor will be able to finally show their true colors and intentions...

Posted by: ProPeace | Jan 20 2017 2:55 utc | 223

@Peter AU | Jan 19, 2017 9:47:00

It's a pincer move by the US with Russia. Guess who's trapped then in the Baltics..? :-)))

Posted by: ProPeace | Jan 20 2017 2:57 utc | 224

@225 peter.. i agree with you about the longer term planning around deir ezzor.. however, i am not as positive on how this unfolds over the next week as you.. i would like to be, but something tells me isis is going to throw everything they have at deir ezzor.. i guess we will find out soon enough. isis seems to be gambling heavily on some success in deir ezzor..

Posted by: james | Jan 20 2017 3:04 utc | 225

I've always respected Kucinich, removed from the Congress by a voting district trickery.

Tulsi Gabbard, Dennis Kucinich Travel To Syria On Fact Finding, Peace Mission

Posted by: ProPeace | Jan 20 2017 3:19 utc | 226

>>>> Outraged | Jan 19, 2017 7:10:30 AM | 203

The UNSC should support the Saudi Ambassador to the United Nations Abdullah bin Yahya al-Moalimi resolution ordering the withdrawal of all foreign forces from Syria. The terrorists are far more dependent on foreigners that the SAA is.

We are also told that the Syrian army has collapsed and it is now mainly foreign “sectarian” militias doing the fighting for the regime side, while the opposition remains mainly Syrian.
Not so. According to SOHR statistics more than 90% of regime fatalities last year were Syrians (either army or domestic militia), while only 9% were non-Syrians, and that includes Palestinians. Only 1% regime side fatalities 2016 belonged to Hizballah.
On the opposition side (including rebels, islamists, Kurds and the IS), however, 62% of the killed last year were non-Syrians.

The only condition should be that foreign terrorists have to withdraw first.

Posted by: Ghostship | Jan 20 2017 3:51 utc | 228

james 228 "i would like to be, but something tells me isis is going to throw everything they have at deir ezzor.."

So long as the government forces hold out, throwing everything at it will bleed ISIS dry. This is why I think they will be given just enough support to hold out for the next week or two. My only caveat on that is if ISIS get a truck bomb into the defenses.
Meantime, as well as the Palmyra front, two other offensives have been opened against ISIS while they are concentrating on Deir Ezzor. A wide front pushing east from Khanaser and an offensive towards al Bab.

Posted by: Peter AU | Jan 20 2017 3:56 utc | 229

@ Posted by: Peter AU | Jan 19, 2017 9:26:40 PM | 224

All males between aged 18 and 45 in Deir Ezzor are being conscripted. Not trained, but mixed with the very seasoned military that have been there from the start, should give extra hands with no extra mouths to feed.

Thank you. That is indeed very good news. An agile and flexible Commander is running dier-ezzor then ... addresses their fundamental 'catch-22' re logistics. Very good news indeed :)

As expressed previous, ultimately, as in all such situations historically, the trapped in dier-ezzor will be the ultimate deciders of their fate ... they must re-enable a continuous, sustained, Air Supply, at any and all costs ... wish them luck.

re Centcom, past conduct is supposedly no guarantee, nor supposed indicator, of future performance, but, all the same :(

Posted by: Ghostship | Jan 19, 2017 10:51:07 PM | 231

The only condition should be that foreign terrorists have to withdraw first.

Concur, absolutely, it's just the problem re 'executing', that tricky, malleable word ... 'should' ... :(

Posted by: Outraged | Jan 20 2017 4:41 utc | 230

@ Posted by: Kenny | Jan 19, 2017 7:37:59 AM | 204

Followup to above and my 207:

Often one can fail to state the obvious, since it is assumed a given, ubiquitous.

Hence, you clearly don't even know what a WWII Soviet Political Commissar was, the position they fulfilled, nor their role & responsibilities, nor any concept of how they were employed/assigned. Yet more, fictional unreality let loose. :(

A Soviet WWII (for two brief periods) Red Army Political Commissar was the Co/Joint Commander alongside the Military Commander of Field units, ie Battalions, Regiments, Brigades, Divisions, etc. A bunch of Political Commissars do not man a section of Barrier Troops! By august 1942, hence prior to the fictional, FALSE, base propaganda event depicted in the film, they had ceased to even be 'Commissars'. At the Company to Regiment level, the pompolit officer was replaced with the zampolit (deputy for political matters,). A non command, non combat, political/morale/training role and fucntion.


Yes, Barrier Troops performed these functions in extremis, though never as portrayed in the fictional Film re your clip. Upon the attack failing, at that critical moment of failed/doomed momentum, where the attack could no longer possibly succeed, the Barrier Troops would NOT, and no Historian can find any evidence of, then slaughter their own troops/conscripts as they retreat/withdraw from a clearly failed/unsuccessful attack.

The role and function of the Barrier Troops, as well documented, is at that point, to round-up, shepherd and re-group the retreating/withdrawing conscripts ... assets ... so they can be re-equipped and re-integrated into consolidated units for future re-deployments. Ie, recovery of human military assets, for future re-use. NEVER pointless, meaningless slaughter, to no purpose. Basest propaganda, is that portion of the fictional film!

Not the utterly false, FICTION, FABRICATION, of slaughtering ones own as they fall back from a failure.

Though you probably, already were aware of all that, given post 207.

Give it up, you're fooling no-one, won't you, please ?

Posted by: Outraged | Jan 20 2017 5:36 utc | 231

@Outraged & Peter AU at 219, 220 respectfuly,

To begin with, the use of heavy bombers is problematic for attacks against IS's main force, located inside the city or close to it in many cases. Impending air raid warnings occur against most airforces in the conflict, particularly against Russian & Syrians but American b52s would, more than likely, also get tagged.

Lastly, it is a siege we're talking about, so IS doesn't actually have to break the defenses. That's a rather brutal assessment, but unless the Is front in other areas starts to seriously collapse, our decidedly ungroovy ghoulies just have to keep the defenders busy.

Posted by: Wwinsti | Jan 20 2017 8:18 utc | 232

Same morning radio programs that would have Aleppo 3 times a week as a main topic in both the news and guest interviews have not a word on Mosul, Deir al Zor or Palmyra. So when people don't use Twitter or Skype, they are not worthy of consideration. More than that, when they don't have satellite phones we've provided them, they are just obviously not interesting enough to support.
Journalists have no shame. With the coming elections in France they are just thinking about how to stick to their chair rather than being flushed out with the change of administration.

Posted by: Mina | Jan 20 2017 9:16 utc | 233

Posted by: Wwinsti | Jan 20, 2017 3:18:28 AM | 235

... our ungroovy ghoulies just have to keep the defenders busy.

Oh, concur indeed.

Was merely clarifying/expanding upon the wider issues re B-52/Backfire ... which could be employed to carpet bomb select areas to the rear of the frontline ISIS positions, ... with utterly devastating effect ... including ravaging of ISIS morale and concurrently boosting that of dier-ezzor besieged defenders ... as discussed.

There would be no way possible for ISIS to be in any way aware of their arrival until the masses of dumb iron bombs have already hit, mixed in with a small percentage of incendiary/phosphorous bombs ... interleaved/overlapping explosions/shrapnel/over-pressure totality effects ... ah, too late ... literally taking out a grid square or two at at time. Given the altitude they would be flying at, ISIS has Nil/Nada/Zilch detection means of their own re such, independent of the US multi-spectrum surveillance & subsequent warnings, in advance. :)

Hence, also why 6 x SU24 were replaced with 4 x SU25(SM) and it was craftily/cannily represented as a withdrawal/reduction of forces, by RF. ;)

All good. :)


Posted by: Outraged | Jan 20 2017 10:32 utc | 234

@210 Crimea is up for debate - I mean Russia did annex it for all intents

Posted by: aaaa | Jan 19, 2017 2:36:25 PM | 212

No. Crimea broke free of Ukraine's coup/US govt, was very briefly an independent state, voted overwhelmingly in a fair election to become part of Russia, and then requested that of Russia. Finally, Russia accepted Crimea into Russia.

Although not entirely incorrect, saying Russia annexed Crimea strongly connotes aggression on Russia's part, which is a lie.

Posted by: fairleft | Jan 20 2017 13:18 utc | 235

Wwinsti | Jan 20, 2017 3:18:28 AM | 235
Recently the B-52 was upgraded to allow it to individually target every internal JDAM. Since JDAM can travel over 25km once launched, a B-52 could drop its load of 500lb JDAM, and have turned away before anyone on the ground without radar knew it was present.

Posted by: Ghostship | Jan 20 2017 13:41 utc | 236

@232 peter au... i give it to monday/tuesday to get a better picture..

@235 wwinsti.. thanks for commenting on this thread. i have enjoyed your participation and you bring valuable info..

@236 mina... this is the reason why many folks don't believe the msm anymore and seek alternative sources for info.

Posted by: james | Jan 20 2017 16:38 utc | 238

Wwinsti 235

Looking at the various maps and reports, ISIS have driven a narrow wedge between the airport and city. In that gap they will be taking fire from both sides plus CAS. They have to keep attacking to widen the gap or pull out. I would guess that at the moment they would be taking high losses there and will have to keep feeding fighters in just to hold it.
This looks very similar to when AQ created a small gap through to East Aleppo.

Posted by: Peter AU | Jan 20 2017 16:39 utc | 239

The Trump administration will make defeating "radical Islamic terror groups" its top foreign policy goal, according to a statement posted on the White House website moments after Donald Trump's inauguration as U.S. president.

The US conducted a raid on the 8th Jan about 50k NW of Dier Ezzor city in which they took a number of prisoners who where flown out, and killed about 25 ISIS. Local headchopper reports said that some prisoners seemed to go willingly. None said anything about a hostage rescue? US pulling out assets and destroying evidence ahead of the changeover in Washington?
Apparently the raid was different to others in that it was conducted in full daylight rather than night time.
Location of raid here

Posted by: Peter AU | Jan 20 2017 20:28 utc | 240

Peter AU@243 - Commenter abuqahwa from SouthFront placed this at the supposed Kibaar nuclear reactor that Israel bombed in 2007. It's pretty unlikely that the site had anything to do with nuclear weapons. They managed to find traces uranium even though the supposed facility wasn't even complete - meaning it was all a B.S. false flag justifying the Israeli strike. Nobody has ever had any solid evidence of what Syria used the building for. Some guess rocket motor production (dangerous, hence remote location). A new building replaced the original and that one was bombed a couple of years ago, and head-choppers have held the area ever since.

There is nothing around there for miles, so a daytime raid on Jan. 8th shouldn't be a problem. No idea what they thought ISIS was doing there, but could have been a U.S./GCC/Israeli supplied ISIS chem weapons lab that the U.S. needed to be 'cleaned' before someone else found evidence implicating us. The 'willing prisoners' sound like western intel 'ISIS assets' that needed to be evacuated. The site would then be salted with evidence implicating Assad, of course (because that's the way we roll). The entire episode is suspicious as hell. Here's a brief discussion we had on a SouthFront thread a couple of days ago:

abuqahwa --> Pave Way IV • 4 days ago Since reports retailed in US media (WSJ,WAPO) confirmed by Pentagon/OIR-CJTF of US SOF (Delta or so-called Expedition Target Force wtf !) "raid" on 08 JAN in JAZRA area (misleading called "western Deir ez-Zour") I have determined the target location as Lat : 35 42 28 N, Long : 39 50 25 E. On GoogleEarth in degrees decimal this is 35.71 N, 39.84 E. This is none other than the purported nuclear reactor (Kibaar facility re-named "at Deir ez-Zour" by media and later IAEA reports to obscure actual location !) bombed in SEP 2007 by the IAF OPERATION ORCHARD. In 2013 seized by Dai 'sh and held. Details of this US incursion and the initial tweets from DeirZour24 are now deleted and US have clammed up re mission purpose/objective/results, other than reporting no friendly casualties, engagements or prisoners. Very suspicious. Was this a pick-up, plant, salting of WMD (NBC) materiel ?? Is this to be "discovered" as Assads hidden chem wpns stockpile to justify insertion of US airborne units ? Or will US claim find of long-lost Iraqs WMD ? Why mount a large heliborne (don't know if CH47 or MH53 used ??) op in Indian country, spend 90 mins on ground securing area including water plant, then extract for no apparent reason ? Thoughts ?

And my reply:

Pave Way IV --> abuqahwa • 4 days ago

Isis had that blown-up building (the new one) for three years. If they were looking for anything, then it was to see what the head-choppers were up to. I suppose they may have thought it was a Syrian chem weapon lab.and got worried if they saw recent head-chopper activity there. It sticks out like a sore thumb so I can't believe the head-choppers would actually use it for something like an IED or chem weapons lab, but who knows?

As far as salting the site - again - I wouldn't put it past the U.S. - psychopaths stick with what works. If Trump wants the U.S. out of Syria, then they'll need something to wave around at a press conference (a la Powell/yellow cake) to convince the sheeple of the imminent threat to the world.
"Look what Delta Team found on regime cars in the parking lot. Shriek!! It's PROOF!"

Posted by: PavewayIV | Jan 20 2017 21:04 utc | 241

Paveway 244

Any idea how abuqahwa determined that was the site of the operation?
All reports are very specific that the operation was between the towns of Kubar and Jazra
The link in my comment above is to a deirezzor24 twitter post on the 8th.
apparently the road was closed between the two towns wile the raid was underway, and also all reports say a water pumping station was also raided.
I have found a water station here

abuqahwa raid site here

Posted by: Peter AU | Jan 20 2017 22:34 utc | 242

@242 peter au

it would be nice to think the gap was a creation of saa forces, so as to have isis take a a big toll to keep it, but i think this is isis way of divide and conquer.. i hope they're unsuccessful in this.

@243/245 peter au and @244 paveway...

thanks for the overview on all that. quite interesting in fact.. covert operations are full of mystery and loaded with deception..

Posted by: james | Jan 21 2017 3:09 utc | 243

WH are found where al Nusra is

Posted by: Mina | Jan 21 2017 11:04 utc | 244


Posted by: Mina | Jan 21 2017 11:07 utc | 245

This is interesting. Trump is now POTUS and Russian strategic bombers started hitting Deir Ezzor immediately after the inauguration. Seems like Russia believed a threat had passed and the strategic bomber could again be sent to Syria?
"On January 21, 2017, six long-range Tu-22M3 bombers took off in Russia and delivered a group air attack against Daesh targets in the Deir ez-Zor province… Intelligence data confirms that the targets were successfully hit,"

Posted by: Peter AU | Jan 21 2017 13:08 utc | 246

As many times as I've been burned by Farsnews, you'd think I'd learn. This article is interesting if only for the fact that it claims the Russians are using Iskander missiles now.

Posted by: Wwinsti | Jan 21 2017 13:16 utc | 247

@ Posted by: Peter AU | Jan 21, 2017 8:08:12 AM | 249

Very far from coincidental, given the timing, indeed.

Hence, as discussed, were directions given(?), not to warn the head-choppers, in advance, of detected inbound airstrikes by the TU-22M3s, as has happened in the past ... the Empires does know thru multi-spectrum surviellance, before actual take-off, of the monitored bases/aircraft, that a strike is being prepared for launch .. so the very open question, is why no advice to ISIS this time ? ;)

Posted by: Outraged | Jan 21 2017 13:33 utc | 248

Posted by: Wwinsti | Jan 21 2017 13:45 utc | 249

Sorry for the bare link, but swiftkey keyboard is acting ugly this morning. Tu-22s have joined the the fight according to the rt link above^^

Posted by: Wwinsti | Jan 21 2017 13:48 utc | 250

@peter AU, missed your post by minutes.

Posted by: Wwinsti | Jan 21 2017 13:51 utc | 251

Outraged | Jan 21, 2017 8:33:31 AM | 251

After watching Obama/Carter shredding the AQ evidence in Idlib over the past couple of weeks, I am wondering if the US Jan 8th raid in Dier Ezzor province was to pull out US assets and kill off the ISIS enthusiasts that worked directly with the assets? At that stage the planning for the ISIS attack on Deir Ezzor may have been finalised and allowed to run it's course?

Posted by: Peter AU | Jan 21 2017 13:58 utc | 252

@ Posted by: Peter AU | Jan 21, 2017 8:58:18 AM | 255

Hm ... did not Obama, as the CIC push tensions and provocations multi-sphere all the way up to the very last moment of his Presidency ... can't imagine, there was an anomalous event on the 8th, by his Executive Order, or his administration officials either ... however, if you've been following the multi-part discussion with Hoarsewhisperer re actual realities of concurrent & competing/overlapping Military/State/CIA(Intel) objectives/goals in real life Ops/theaters, regardless of Executive Orders ... then the most likely explanation may be Joint Force Command(?), or lower down the command chain, just pulled 'em on their own initiative ... ie, "The Prez is gone in 11 days, so, just DO IT! Go!". What he doesn't know, won't concern him. ;)

Posted by: Outraged | Jan 21 2017 14:09 utc | 253

Peter AU@245 - I asked abuqahwa to stop by and reply to your question. Either they haven't seen that request on SF or they're just shy. Not sure how Kibbar was located specifically. If it was the water pumping station (infrastructure = common ISIS command centers) then the U.S. was doing evidence clean-up. Rescuing hostages? Seems a stretch for way out there - I would expect the head-choppers to take them somewhere more important for questioning/torture.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Jan 21 2017 15:06 utc | 254

re paveway 244 & elsewhere

I have some doubts that that guy abuqahwa knows what he's talking about. I don't think he's even Arab, in spite of the name. because of his astounding ignorance.

"raid" on 08 JAN in JAZRA area (misleading called "western Deir ez-Zour")
JAZRA must mean al-Jazira (the island), the name for the whole trans-Euphratene area. "western Deir ez-Zour" means the province of Deir ez-Zour, which does indeed extend that far up the Euphrates, not the city. Any Arab would know that, but he doesn't.

Posted by: Laguerre | Jan 21 2017 15:47 utc | 255

Thanks Paveway.

@ Wwinsti | Jan 21, 2017 8:16:37 AM | 250
Something here that may back up the farsnews article. Yandex translation (not very good) of a tweet from @euphratespost... "western:the fall of the long-range missiles Deir Ezzor on the way to the tenderness of the monastery in the islands of the aboved."
Sounds like the Isklanders hit the part of Deir Ezzor city that is on the Islands?
Tweet here

Posted by: Peter AU | Jan 21 2017 16:11 utc | 256

A more likely site for the raid
to the left of center on the linked wikimap page is a small village. To the right of center is a pumping station.
This is directly south onto the river from the position marked by DeirEzzor24.
There is often different spellings in translation between Arabic and English, but most accounts of the raid say Kabr village or al-Kabr village rather than town whereas al-Jezrah is al-Jezrah town in the accounts. Would the small un-named village in the above link be al-Kabr village.
If so, then the pumping station at the linked map would be the one raided, and the road where checkpoints were set up would be the road linking this al-Kabr village and al-Jezrah town rather than the main road between Al-Jezrah town and Al-Kubar town as shown by DeirEzzor24?

Posted by: Peter AU | Jan 21 2017 19:19 utc | 257

@247/248 mina.. thanks

@etc peter au/ Wwinsti.. thanks for that as well.. looks encouraging.. one quickly sees the importance of deir ezzor strategically speaking. thus, it remains off the western msm news channel..

Posted by: james | Jan 21 2017 19:35 utc | 258

Laguerre@258 - I assumed they were talking about the village called Al Jezrah as shown on this Wikimapia page. Keep in mind that this is user-sourced content. No idea if that's the proper name of the village. Wikimapia tends to be a hodgepodge of English, Russian and Arabic contributors of various levels. There is no consistency in naming - anyone can edit a title.

Someone else added a title to the "Al Jazrah water station" facility 17 days ago, so maybe they were going off of that. The whole subject of the actual location of the raid is interesting, but speculative. Whatever DeiEzzor24 reported has to be viewed with a bit of skepticism - hard to believe someone was close enough to see that some people taken were 'not resisting'. The idea of secret Delta Team raids is that... well, they're suppose to be secret.

I wouldn't be surprised to see some shenanigans going on at Al Kibbur like salting the site. For some reason, everyone has started harping about Assad's chemical weapons use based on a U.N. report. The report implicates nobody and simply said there was chemical weapons used. The U.S. will never admit head-choppers have them and have used them, but they seem eager to revive the thoroughly discredited notion (well, in my opinion) that Assad used chemical weapons in al Ghouta. I don't know if that's a knee-jerk reaction to another useless UN report, or if they want to start reviving that narrative for some (evil) purpose. If it sounds like I don't trust the motives of my country, I'll remove any doubt: I don't.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Jan 21 2017 22:03 utc | 259

@ james 261
It looks as very much as though ISIS had to take Deir Ezzor before Trump was sworn in.
they have had a few relatively easy victories in the past perhaps because of access to US intel. If that is the case, the intel has now stopped.
Now they are taking a pounding from Russian and Syrian airforce, plus their losses in fruitless attacks. It seems to be a do or die effort for ISIS and if they lose here, which it looks like they will, I wouldn't be surprised to see a complete collapse from Deir Ezzor to Palmyra.
Judging by the new fronts that have been opened against ISIS, Russia/Syria may also be anticipating a collapse. Perhaps when the attack on Deir Ezzor collapses, a clean sweep from Palmyra through to Deir Ezzor and all the country west of the Euphrates up to al-Bab?
A bit of speculation there, but with the headchoppers in Idlib busy shooting each other, Syria/Russia may well leave them to it for the moment and take the opportunity to clean up ISIS.

Posted by: Peter AU | Jan 21 2017 23:56 utc | 260

Follow-up to @262 - "The Whole Truth" and related @DeirEzzor24 twitter seem to be western/GCC intel-financed activist 'reporting' by their own admission.

From their 'about' page:

A group of news media social activists inside Syria covering the latest violations of the Assad regime & ISIS with live video and photos.

While I really want to believe that somewhere in Syria is unbiased activist reporting, I'm afraid DeirEzzor24 doesn't fit that critieria by a longshot. Most of the original ISIS in Deir EzZor were actually FSA that 'converted'. I don't think al Nusra was anywhere in sight at the time - not entirely sure. And lest anyone forget, these FSA-turned-ISIS are responsible for this one year ago: Shocking pictures from Syrian city under siege show starving people who look like concentration camp victims There were also unconfirmed reports of ISIS capturing and executing hundreds of Deir EzZor civilians at about the same time last year, but DeirEzZor24 suggested that number was inflated by 'the regime' for some reason.

So if DeirEzZor24 reported anything about the U.S. raid, it would be to put that in the best light possible. Since they are the only one that seems to have uncovered details of the raid, I would tend to thing the details (not the raid itself) are 1) and outright lie, or 2) a deception meant to obscure the true location and nature of the raid. So it's anyone's guess at this point and we're unlikely to ever know for sure.

DeirEzZor24 demonizing both the regime and ISIS is entirely consistent with the U.S.-planned "Moderate Sunnistan" or whatever. The scheme has always placed ISIS on ground that the U.S. (or it's proxies) would then move in to 'liberate' later on. The end result was to steal the land and resources from the Syrians, or at least keep Syrians from benefiting in any way from them.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Jan 22 2017 1:12 utc | 261

PavewayIV | Jan 21, 2017 8:12:47 PM | 264

You may well be right there Paveway, but in looking into this there seem to be a number of sources with differing details but overall the same picture.
The likes of DeirEzzor24, Euphratespost ect seem to be moderate headchoppers. Neither for ISIS nor for the Syrian government.
Made up of locals still under the US illusion of revolution.

SOHR an MI6 operation but much of the information is accurate.
DeirEzzor24 and EuphratesPost? US, French operations?

Posted by: Peter AU | Jan 22 2017 6:41 utc | 262

@263 p in au

sounds great. got my vote. we'll see what actually happens shortly, won't we?

Posted by: jfl | Jan 22 2017 13:06 utc | 263

@ peter au and paveway.. thanks peter for staying on top of all this.. i try my best as well too, but have been busy the past day! i think you might be right.. i also have the same view as paveway regarding some of those news sources. that was my impression anyway.. thanks guys.. sure how syrian forces can keep isis down and out, and take the saudi/qatar regime down with them on the way out.. rats - all of them, for subjecting ordinary people to this kind of extreme intolerance..

Posted by: james | Jan 22 2017 17:54 utc | 264

interesting how the us dept of website gives daily press releases on what they are doing in syria against isis where they repeat some of the same data 2 days in a row...
jan. 21st press release Near Dayr Az Zawr, three strikes destroyed two oil refinement stills, an oil wellhead and an oil storage tank.
and and jan. 22nd press release Near Dayr Az Zawr, a strike destroyed two oil well heads.

i guess they are different oil well heads and etc...

Posted by: james | Jan 22 2017 19:45 utc | 265

@ all

Re objective evaluation/assessment of individual reports/sources/data.

May one suggest reviewing the principles of what is referred to as the 'Admiralty Code'.

A methodology for assessing the worth of a Tweet(?), report, news article, video, etc. Is especially important when information re an event/topic/incident is limited to one instance/source, without an alternate account(not a duplicate account) or source, and always with consideration of the very motives/allegiances, past and present of the source.

Hence that isolated single report re the Cyberberkut Iphone intercepted memo re the SSCI hearings, would be rated: F/F.

The guts/principles of it can be readily applied in an informal sense.

The Admiralty Code

Intelligence source and information reliability - Wikipedia

Intelligence source and information reliability rating systems are used in intelligence analysis. ... from a moderately doubtful source is C1. The evaluation matrix as described in the Field Manual FM 2-22.3 (see also Admiralty code): ...

The Admiralty Code: A cognitive tool for self-directed ... - UNSWorks - Case Study(with PDF download link)

The Admiralty Code: A cognitive tool for self-directed learning ... a cognitive tool, used by police investigators and intelligence analysts, which can also assist ...


Posted by: Outraged | Jan 23 2017 2:48 utc | 266

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