Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
February 23, 2018

Syria - The Two East-Ghouta Campaigns - One Is For Liberation, The Other To Save Terrorists

Daily mortar and missile attacks against the Syrian capital Damascus have been ongoing for years but intensified in recent months. The often quoted Syrian Observatory notes:

... raising to 116 persons at least including 18 children and 14 citizen women, who were killed as a result of the fall of these shells since the beginning of escalation on the capital Damascus and its suburbs on the 16th of November, and the SOHR documented the injury of more than 563 persons who were injured in these daily targeting during 3 consecutive months.

Other accounts report higher casualty numbers.

Some of the attacks on Damascus city hit well designated targets. The Russian embassy in Damascus has been mortared several times. Earlier this month more well targeted projectiles hit other Russian interests:

Maxim A. Suchkov‏ @MSuchkov_ALM - 4:03 AM - 7 Feb 2018
#Russia's trade mission in #Damascus got hit by 120-mm bomb & is badly damaged. Earlier Rus aid delivery point in the city came under fire killing two local Syrians, Rus non-gov delegation (Christian & Muslim leaders who brought collected aid) had to be evacuated.

All these mortars and missiles were fired from east-Ghouta, a Takfiri held area consisting partly of densely urban blocks and partly of agricultural villages. Some 400,000 people originally lived in the area but the number of people living there now is likely less than half of that.


The area is occupied by Takfiris from three groups. Jaish al-Islam is under control of the Salafi Alloush clan and is financed through Wahhabi "donations" from Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. Al-Qaeda in Syria (aka Nusra Front) and its allied group Faylaq al-Rahman also have significant contingents in east-Ghouta.

In 2015 these terrorists published video which showed their attempts to shoot down a large airliner which had just taken off from was landing at Damascus airport. They drove caged civilians of Alawite belief around town to protect themselves from bombing. The three groups have fought each other again and again and the people in east-Ghouta are the ones who have suffered most from them.

There have been several ceasefire agreements between the government and the terrorist groups but each of them was broken by one or the other group on the terrorist side. Last week another aid convoy by the Syrian Arab Red Crescent entered the area and distributed food and other humanitarian goods. But like elsewhere the militant groups will surely take control of such supplies, hoard them and use them primarily for themselves.

The Syrian government and its allies decided to finally liberate east-Ghouta from the grip of the Takfiri terrorists. Some 25,000 government troops are assembling now and preparatory artillery fire and aerial bombing has begun. The Syrian air force dropped leaflets to point anyone who wants to leave the area to designated humanitarian crossing points.

The western propaganda is repeating its "save Aleppo" campaign to save the terrorists in Ghouta. In the process the western aligned countries are making a joke (vid) out of the UN Security Council. There is no mention in this campaign of any Takfiri and no picture of any of the sectarian militants who daily kill random people in Damascus. This rings hollow writes Robert Fisk.

During the siege and the liberation of east-Aleppo the seven year old Bana, a girl who did not (vid) understand or know any English, was tweeting her genuine feelings in best prosaic English to the world. She called for war against Russia. Her father turned out to be a henchman for al-Qaeda's sharia court in east-Aleppo. But the media just loved that story.

CNN now found itself a new "Bana": The 15-year-old documenting Eastern Ghouta massacre with selfie videos. But this time the lucrative position of a tearful media darling attracted competition:

Ruth Sherlock‏ @Rsherlock - 2:00 PM - 22 Feb 2018
We spoke with a mother, a former english schoolteacher in #Eastern #Ghouta. Now she teaches her daughter to make video appeals in English - the world has ignored this siege for so long, she said. She hopes people might listen to a desperate child.

There are also Noor and Alaa - a Twitter account which claims to be of two young girls in east-Ghouta who in their videos read out English language propaganda shown to them off camera to "save Ghouta". These two girls seem to be run by the same guy, Mr Alhmado, who organized the Bana scam in east-Aleppo.

During the 2016 Aleppo campaign the terrorist supporters ran an "Aleppo Media Center" which distributed propaganda products to the "western" media. Together with the "White Helmets" al-Qaeda support gang it created the "boy in the ambulance" picture that many "western" newspaper printed on their front pages. The AMC was financed by the French government. The same organization that ran the AMC is now running the Ghouta Media Center GMC. The English language twitter account of the AMC sent its last tweet on July 5 2017. The first tweet of the new GMC was sent on July 9 2017. Both use a similar logo design:

There are an estimated 15,000 men under arms in east-Ghouta. Despite that, not one armed person can be seen in any of dozens of "White Helmets" propaganda videos of pictures of allegedly rescued, wounded or killed persons in east-Ghouta.

During the east-Aleppo campaign between June 10 2016 and November 19 2016 the "last hospital of Aleppo" was reported as being  destroyed "just now" for at least 21 times (vid). The "last hospital of east-Ghouta" will soon follow a similar path to fame.

The Syrian government has offered to evacuate all militants and their families from east-Ghouta to Idleb governorate. They declined. With the help of Egypt negotiations are ongoing with the Takfiri sponsors in Saudi Arabia. But as there are several terrorist groups involved it is doubtful that much will come from these talks.

The real assault on east-Ghouta has not even started and the "western" governments and media are already waging a full fledged campaign against it. But neither Syria nor its allies will allow the further existence of this al-Qaeda enclave. Two UN Security Council resolutions, 2249 and 2254, literary "demand" "to eradicate the safe haven [al-Qaeda and ISIS] have established over significant parts of Syria". While others try to protect those terrorists, Syria, Russia and Iran will fulfill this demand.

Obama acolytes call for U.S. attacks on Russian forces to "convince" Putin" that the terrorists in Ghouta must be "saved". But Russia has flown ten additional fighter planes to Syria, including two of its brand new Su-57s (vid), and further upped its air defenses to prevent any surprises from the U.S. or any other side.

While the preliminary shelling is ongoing no starting date and no operational plans for the ground campaign to liberate east-Ghouta have been revealed. Those may depend on the situation on other fronts in Syria, especially the situation in Afrin where Kurdish forces and other Syrian groups are fighting off a Turkish invasion. A follow-up piece will look into that campaign.

Posted by b on February 23, 2018 at 13:35 UTC | Permalink


Desperate need for a humanitarian ceasefire

After all, we had frequent pauses in the Battle for Mosul for the children. Oh wait, we ended up killing about 10,000 civilians, never mind. Ceasefires for thee but not for me. - Civilian deaths, 10,000 corroborated w/number of missing

Patrick Cockburn articles ... - destroy a building to take out a sniper bomb anything covered with canvas

Posted by: Christian Chuba | Feb 23 2018 13:42 utc | 1


Yesterday's propaganda storm from France24 "reported" that in the last week 380 people had been killed by bombing in eastern Ghouta, 150 of them children. I find these numbers to be unlikely, even random shelling of urban areas, as seen in government held areas would not result in such a ratio between adults and children. Besides, I do not think any civilians live in the front-line areas under attack. The numbers are most likely a hoax, as are the videos shown on the channel of White Helmets running around carrying children.

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Feb 23 2018 14:21 utc | 2

As usually, thanks B. Once again the prop storm is unbearable. What will it take for the West to acknowledge the regime change this time did not succeed? Or will they escalate further and risk plunging the whole region and maybe the whole world in a final, convulsive devastation?

Posted by: Pnyx | Feb 23 2018 14:44 utc | 3

newsweek, Feb 23:

Russia has deployed its new advanced stealth fighter, the Su-57, to its Khmeimim air base in Syria. The conflict offers Moscow the opportunity to battle-test its newest fighter despite Russian President Vladimir Putin’s assertion last month that Russia would scale back its Syrian deployment. The two Su-57 jets were filmed landing at a Russian air base on Syria’s Mediterranean coast on Wednesday.

While the US has been wasting billions of dollars on the long-delayed development of the F-35 stealth jet fighter, even to the point of fielding large numbers of faulty pre-production prototypes, the Russians have developed the superior Su-57 stealth aircraft. The Su-57 has a ranger of nearly 3,500 miles and a top speed of around 1,500 miles per hour. The fighter’s cannon is also a much-talked-about feature, capable of a fire rate of 1,800 rounds per minute, which Russia claims is the “best such performance for this type of weapon around.” The Russian plane (unlike the F-35) has two engines, thrust vectoring, a top speed exceeding Mach 2 and supermaneuverability.
Israel has bought some F-35 prototypes, but has not employed them in Syria. Recently Israel used the older F-16s, with one of them being shot down.
See the Su-57 performance in this video.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Feb 23 2018 15:05 utc | 4

T-50 (in the video) is an internal Sukhol designation for the Su-57.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Feb 23 2018 15:09 utc | 5

Evil is stupid. Two obvious proofs of this are the facts that evil never gives up and evil never quits lying.

As b observed, East Ghouta is not agreement capable. There are no alternatives to a military solution.

Syria will not be sovereign until every pocket of resistance is overcome by every available means and until Syria controls 100% of Syrian airspace.

Posted by: SingingSam | Feb 23 2018 15:28 utc | 6

Thank you b for the summary of E.Ghouta.

Petri Krohn @2

Ever since I saw how CNN flat-out lied by portraying Nepalese police who were beating exile Tibetans in Kathmandu as Chinese police in Lhasa riot in March 2008, which then were regurgitated by BBC/German TV stations (ZDF/ARD/NTV/RTL)/French/Ialian/Austrian/Swiss/Indian, basically all Western TV stations and MSM newspapers (NYT/WaPo/Gudian/BILD, etc.) day in day out to mislead their audience/readers , I NEVER believe anthing that comes out of the horse mouths of Westen MSM. They are the artists of propaganda and manipulation.

Here is the link to show you what kind of pathological liars the Western MSM has been and will always remain so: True face of western media . Remember this is only a fraction of how manupilative, missrepresentive and lying/cheating MSM is when comes to bash its perceived enemy, be it China, Russia, Syria, Iran or DPRK.

Posted by: mali | Feb 23 2018 15:33 utc | 7

Thank you b, looking forward to that follow-up!

This time around I'm rather amused by the stunt which the usual suspects try to pull off. More of exactly the same - yeah, because it worked so splendidly with Aleppo! Really, it made me laugh out in disbelief to read some of the hyped-up nonsense "western" MSM are pouring out re East Ghouta. Are they that desperate? Are they under that much pressure? Have they become so jammed in their creativity - to follow the exact same script a second time? Like trust in the MSM hasen't further eroded. Like circulation of "major" papers isn't plummeting. Like excellent alternative news-outlets just like this one aren't getting ever more attention. Seems like they ARE squealing...

Posted by: Scotch Bingeington | Feb 23 2018 15:34 utc | 8

b. Thank you for the update. I very much appreciate your work and this bar for competent insight.
If you search the term: US special forces to assassinate Soleimani , the story I saw has disappeared. It told that our 'best' have located him in Jan. and plans are being drafted to conduct the operation. I do not remember the source. However, 3 articles do still show up in the search results announcing the policy green light given to Israel to do it.
If you search the term: Juniper Cobra 18, you will get many returns and they contradict each other; but the dates seem to have been moved forward to tomorrow; 24 Feb, 2018. "US forces are deploying in Israel ahead of a large-scale joint Israel-US military exercise which will simulate a major conflict in which Israel is attacked with thousands of missiles", from The Times of Israel.
I fear the 2 items are connected and that stupidity via treachery will soon occur; despite the overwhelming disapproval of US citizens. Luckily, drills rarely go 'live'. (sarc) I have prayed that I am wrong!

Posted by: mrd | Feb 23 2018 15:42 utc | 9

"All hospitals in Gouta destroyed by Russians!" "Hospitals in Gouta filling up with people wounded by Russia!"

Posted by: paul | Feb 23 2018 15:49 utc | 10

PS- Must admit though I am totally aware the cheating/lying nature of the Western MSM, it seems I always underestimate how unethical and unscrupulous MSM can be : the hollow rage/real support of terrorists in E. Ghouta in unison , the "last hospital" of Allepo, the potraying of pro-Syiran Government demonstration as anti-Assad demo, the inserting of mass demonstatrations taken place in Bahrain/Argentina as in Iran. This list can go on and on and on.

Posted by: mali | Feb 23 2018 15:51 utc | 11

IIRC, it seems that the AMC's "journalists" were trained in a media center in Turkey, which was/is (?) financed by French government.

Posted by: mali | Feb 23 2018 15:57 utc | 12

The local college station that I always listen to has decided to broadcast Democracy Now during my
morning commute. Yesterday they broadcast a story that followed their typical one-sided yellow journalism on Syria:

"A Monstrous Campaign of Annihilation": Death Toll in Eastern Ghouta Tops 300 From Syrian Assault

All three panelists were very much anti-Syrian. The following quote by Rawya Rageh of Amnesty International really stood out:

The excuse that we have—that the Russian or Syrian government is using, that there are so-called terrorists in these areas, is really an excuse to go ahead with further war crimes against civilians. There are 400,000 people besieged in Eastern Ghouta.

This is war propaganda. Aside from being immoral, it is prohibited under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights:

International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

Article 20

1. Any propaganda for war shall be prohibited by law.

2. Any advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence shall be prohibited by law.

It's time to start taking action against these crimes against humanity.

Posted by: Tobin Paz | Feb 23 2018 16:03 utc | 13

What I'd really like to see is some group/people/organization in the West who decides to sue media, officials and politicians for treason and offering help to the enemy - because that's exactly what all the talk about "stop attacking that takfiri-occupied area" amounts to.
Time to send the scum in jail. Barring that, to expel them to Saudi Arabia, after stripping them from their citizenship as if they were genuine AQ jihadists.

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Feb 23 2018 16:10 utc | 14

And over in tin-foil hat land, some of us were taken aback to see a Department of Homeland Stazi takedown notice today on the obscure Emergency Action Message monitoring site. These folks just monitored shortwave (HF) frequencies known to be originally used by the US military thirty or forty years ago as part of their (then) vacuum-tube radio command and control network.

As you can imagine, the military has moved on to other far more secure and efficient means of communication over the decades. The HF network is old-timey ham radio - it's broadcasts are in the clear. Anyone on earth can listen. No national secret for sure.

Best guess is that the US military still maintains HF broadcasts as some kind of a last-ditch backup network but nobody really knows. It's mostly just test counts, radio checks and encoded test messages, with an occasional callsign 'SKYKING' assumed to be related to an 'Emergency Action Message' - but even that is just speculation. It is anything but a active, honest-to-goodness command-and-control network for the US strategic nuclear forces (I hope).

This is from the monitoring site's 'about' page (when it existed):

Emergency Action Messages (EAM's) are encrypted messages sent through the High Frequency Global Communications System (HFGCS).

While the messages can not be decrypted by the average person, the frequency of broadcasts, and types of broadcasts are interesting.

Due to the fact EAM's and SKY KING messages can be used to direct nuclear forces it has become a hobby for some to try and detect the on-set of WW3 by looking for abnormally large amount of traffic being broadcasted.

The goal of this site is to help detect patterns in broadcasts that can be associated with real world events, and operating procedures.

It's about as tin-foil-hat as you can get. Of course, nobody has really been able to make any associations between real events and the short message broadcasts after years of monitoring. Nobody has 'broken' the military encryption used and the highly-classified secret keys required to do so change every day - maybe every hour. It's no security threat to the military - that's why they broadcast messages in the clear over known frequencies.

Yet a bunch of tin-foil-had geeks discussing the random noise of those shortwave messages has somehow just become a threat to national security here in the US. So much so that 'the government' has seized their domain = iron-fisted censorship. Anyone can listen to the messages, but the US will apparently not allow anyone to track or discuss them on a web site. "Three radio-checks, a test count and a SKYKING message last night?? OMG - WWIII!"

Imminent nuclear war? [yawn...] Yeah, that's always been out there to worry about. I'll go out on a limb and guess that the US is not trying to somehow cover that up right now. But jack-booted DHS thugs seizing obscure tin-foil-hat web sites for 'unauthorized publication of communications' broadcast on ham radio in the clear? Damn. Tyranny doesn't even bother knocking on its way in, does it? I can feel the jackboot of national security stomping on my face right now. "Taste the freedom, peon! TASTE IT!"

Posted by: PavewayIV | Feb 23 2018 16:47 utc | 15

J K Rowling will be delighted that there is a new 'Bana' for her to get emotional over.

Posted by: Shakesvshav | Feb 23 2018 16:56 utc | 16

@4 The rebel airforce hasn't shown up in Ghouta or Afrin yet. Maybe the SU-57 has something to do with it.

Posted by: dh | Feb 23 2018 17:10 utc | 17

I always believed that Israel supported Al-Nusra. They have at least admitted to supporting 7 "militant" groups (but no way of telling which). Note that their frequent aerial attacks were often designed to get Al-Nusra out of a spot (Usually located near the Golan heights-Qunietra.)

It is probably to warn the Israelis, that Russia has imported two T-50 stealth fighters. Not as "visible" as S-400's on a small number of "infiltrating" aircraft or those launching missiles from Lebanon.

Posted by: stonebird | Feb 23 2018 17:19 utc | 18

Looking at maps showing the Syrian/Russian bombing and shelling, it's obviously being limited to the south western part of East Ghouta occupied by HTS. If the bombing and shelling is so bad why hasn't the population moved to north eastern East Ghouta where there is no shelling? Could this be because the population of south western East Ghouta is made up of HTS camp followers who wouldn't be welcomed by Jaish al-Islam?

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Feb 23 2018 17:25 utc | 19

Ambassador Haley, Feb 21, 2018

“It’s time to take immediate action in the hopes of saving the lives of the men, women, and children who are under attack by the barbaric Assad regime. It is simply preposterous to claim that these attacks on civilians have anything to do with fighting terrorism. The Security Council must move to adopt a resolution establishing a ceasefire. The United States will support it, as should every member of the Council. As the Secretary-General warned us all, ‘eastern Ghouta cannot wait.’”. . .here

DOD, Jan 29,, 2018

"The 2001 Authorization for Udse of Military Force (AUMF) authorizes the United States to use force against, al-Qaeda, the Taliban, and associated forces against ISIS." . .here

The Cable, Sep 18, 2017

New airstrike totals issued by the Pentagon show that American aircraft have dropped over 2,400 bombs in Afghanistan this year, far above the 1,337 dropped in 2016, as U.S. warplanes seek to roll back gains by the Taliban and incursions by the Islamic State in the country’s East.
In Iraq and Syria, U.S. planes dropped a total of 5,075 bombs in August, more ordnance than had been dropped in any month prior since the campaign against the Islamic State kicked off in August 2014. That pace has been kept up all year: Through the first eight months, 32,800 bombs have hit ISIS targets, more than the 30,743 dropped in all of 2016.
In an often overlooked battlefield, the Trump administration’s more aggressive approach is also on display in Yemen, which has seen over 100 U.S. strikes against al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) this year, up from just 38 strikes launched in 2016. . . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Feb 23 2018 17:30 utc | 20

Ambassador Haley, Feb 21, 2018

“It’s time to take immediate action in the hopes of saving the lives of the men, women, and children who are under attack by the barbaric Assad regime. It is simply preposterous to claim that these attacks on civilians have anything to do with fighting terrorism. The Security Council must move to adopt a resolution establishing a ceasefire. The United States will support it, as should every member of the Council. As the Secretary-General warned us all, ‘eastern Ghouta cannot wait.’”. . .here

DOD, Jan 29,, 2018

"The 2001 Authorization for Udse of Military Force (AUMF) authorizes the United States to use force against, al-Qaeda, the Taliban, and associated forces against ISIS." . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Feb 23 2018 17:34 utc | 21

thanks b... there is no way around this, other then to confront these moderate headchoppers the west is fully supportive of.. they have to ignore the constant lies and bellyaching from the west and it's compliant media..

@13 tobin paz... i agree with you... it would be good for some organization to pursue that...

@ 18 stonebird.. israels hands are all black with regard to it's approach towards syria.. they may as well raise the isis flag over tel aviv..

Posted by: james | Feb 23 2018 17:34 utc | 22

they are hoping for some un resolution to up the bullshit... russia will veto it..

Posted by: james | Feb 23 2018 17:36 utc | 23

Vox, Nov 21, 2017

President Donald Trump entered the White House questioning why the US was still fighting in Afghanistan. Now he’s ramping up America’s longest war.
The US Air Force is currently on pace to triple the amount of bombs dropped in Afghanistan this year as compared to last year, NBC News reports. So far, the US has unleashed 3,554 bombs as of October 31. America dropped 1,337 bombs in all of 2016, and 947 in all of 2015.. . . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Feb 23 2018 17:44 utc | 24

I look forward to Russian UN Ambassador Nebenzia's proposed amendments to the proposed resolution calling for a 30-day ceasfire in the war-torn country and one could only hope they might include the US removing itself from Syria.

Thanks for the update b, It certainly sounds like the escalation continues and who is going to blink first?......or will we ever know.......sigh

Posted by: psychohistorian | Feb 23 2018 17:51 utc | 25

The US must be getting desperate for excuses...where was all the crying in Mosul? or Raqqa? Sorry, Mad Dog...our memories are not that short and our eyes saw you rubbleize these cities...civilians and all...



Posted by: oldenyoung | Feb 23 2018 17:58 utc | 26

@25 oldenyoung - selective memory.. that's all... works for the usa!

Posted by: james | Feb 23 2018 18:06 utc | 27

Don Bacon @4:

Russia sending Su-57s to Syria is interesting, if true. AFAIK, the fighter haven't reached LRIP status, so it's still a prototype. Granted F-22s have been harassing Russian fighter-bombers, but sending in and risking these prototypes is puzzling. Possible reasons:

1. The Su-57 has already reached LRIP status;
2. RuAF are using them as bait for the F-22.

PavewayIV @15:

I guess they're getting ready for when the other shoe drops. Slowly removing all forms of communications that are available to citizens; boiling frogs approach.

Posted by: Ian | Feb 23 2018 18:09 utc | 28

The USA cannot ever admit defeat, all events are always spun by lauding *x decision*, posture, stance, principle, and the following downstream action.

Though the action is often obscured, few know what happens on the ground.. often nothing much …No matter what, the ’latest’ is the greatest super-flash-hit promoting democracy / honor / achieving our objectives / rah rah / etc.

What remains to be seen is how the US-Isr-KSA (+ small weaker allies …) will continue to pay, organise, command and inspire Islamic terrorists (ISIS, Al Nusra, etc.) and to what point these can have an impact in for ex. Syria. These forces are not ‘organic’, they are 100% poorly paid mercenaries, sent at will here or there. As proxy forces they only serve temporary aims, no long-term plans of any kind exist for their use.

The manipulation of the Kurds is par for the course. Corrupting the top guys and paying them off (hierarchy..) quite so… but that isn’t the best all the time, and surprises can arise.

Posted by: Noirette | Feb 23 2018 18:09 utc | 29

Looking forward to b’s write-up on the Kurd situation. Sheik Mashood and other Kurdish areas of Aleppo are now under Central Government control..

Posted by: Lozion | Feb 23 2018 18:34 utc | 30

Vacum tubes are resistant to something. Read it some time ago. EMP?

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Feb 23 2018 19:30 utc | 31


No. However, I've read that linking to certain websites are banned. Unfortunately, I don't remember which ones; not sure if certain words are banned or not.

Posted by: Ian | Feb 23 2018 19:31 utc | 32

Peter @31:


Posted by: Ian | Feb 23 2018 19:31 utc | 33

Ive lived in the US all of my life...never been out of the country tripping to canada and mexico dont really count.:>) and ive never wanted to not live here...until the last few years...

the US really does not represent me at all anymore...and im worried that it will get much WORSE in the US shortly, and the citizens here are going to feel some real pain...maybe for years.

Ive researched leaving for a different country ...and may do just that...

Is anyone else starting(or has been) feeling this way?



Posted by: oldenyoung | Feb 23 2018 19:32 utc | 34

Ian @32

pretty sure it was a "bad word"



Posted by: oldenyoung | Feb 23 2018 19:42 utc | 35


The blog-system of MoA has an automated spam detector over which I have no control. It also has a list of banned IP addresses and of banned words and links which I control.

Whatever is caught in these systems is usually held back from publishing until I review it. That may take up to 24 hours. I then decide to publish or delete it.

I also read and review the comments and may edit or delete trolls or stuff I do not want on this blog which includes porn, racism, linkdrops, marketing stuff and some other crap.

Now that you know that please do not try to publish the same comment multiple times just because it did not immediately turn up. That only creates more administrative work for me which I would rather spend on reading and writing.

Posted by: b | Feb 23 2018 20:04 utc | 36

The actual situation in E. Gouta has suddenly got confused again.

1/ Lavarov says that Russia may be prepared to sign the 30 day UN resolution. (but sees no sign that the US has ever attacked Al-Nusra)
2/ A 4 day ceasefire has been declared so that women, children, and the over 60's can leave, after SAA dropped leaflets showing a safe crossing point.
3/ Negotiations within E. G are being held under fire. (Surrender or fight?)
4/ Shelling stopped in E. G. 3 hours ago

They can't ALL be right, can they?
All this is before there is any main attack. Just softening up

(I see the Russian actions could also be a smart way to pre-empt the upcoming "white-helmets" false flag. Who are now classed as "civil-defense" as a way to "explain" all those facebook and twitter posts showing them with rifles and SAA soldiers bodies)

Posted by: stonebird | Feb 23 2018 20:09 utc | 37

The next target for Assad is the Golan Heights. He's kept busy in EG. It's the main reason why we get all this fuss about it. IMHO.

USI+France+Israel are planning to secure a huge chunk of SW Syria by jointly moving into Assad's country soon. The East Ghouta case is related to that. IMHO.

The USI is transporting recycled Daesh militants from PKK held Hasakah to Afrin who are nicked one by one by the TAF and FSA. The USI response to this: 'Some people have families in Afrin'. The captured Daesh guys appear to have absolutely no idea about what's going.

Posted by: ConfusedPundit | Feb 23 2018 20:46 utc | 38

Confused Pundit is confused, so "truth in advertising".

In general, one has to be very, very careful. Today I read that a Danish beer company is now selling in Poland beer made in Poland with a label written in Czech and with a name of a Czech brewery -- a smallish one that they purchased, so they are not cheating another corporation but only the consumers who do not read a tiny print. Apparently, you do not need to be an internet troll to fake your nationality.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Feb 23 2018 20:53 utc | 39

b @ 36

yah...the second time i posted it, it vanished too fast...had to be an automated system...the site felt rather slow this morning too...was wondering if the [email protected]@d.s were hitting your servers again...ty


Posted by: oldenyoung | Feb 23 2018 21:06 utc | 40

@Ian #28

Remember 2014: Closing ceremony of Olympics in Sochi, and what happened in Kiev?

I do recall quite well. Been sitting glued to the screen wondering ' will they actually let pass the opportunity?'. They didn't as we all know.

I figure, these 2 Su-57 are a statement in that regard.

Posted by: Hmpf | Feb 23 2018 21:24 utc | 41

Dear Piotr Berman | Feb 23, 2018 3:53:57 PM | 39

The USI is sending Daesh members to Ghouta, Iraq (there have been many ISIS attacks recently) and Afrin.

Some people think that way in my region. I consider them as trusted sources.

Maybe they are trolls or perhaps they strike gold. Time will show. Regards.

Posted by: ConfusedPundit | Feb 23 2018 21:34 utc | 42

I sit here and think of b. So many brilliant posts day after day and we sort of take it for granted, without donating as much as we could. We expect this high level stuff just to drop off a tree. But it takes time and money and food and rent to produce this apart from the brilliance. I dunno, I have been sort of poor the last few years, but now I am thinking what can I do without to enable b. to continue. Just a thought as they say.

Posted by: Lochearn | Feb 23 2018 21:47 utc | 43

Su 57 is to bolster their air control using it's advanced Radar as well to test it's brand new defensive suite. The other team will certainly feels that their deployment is a big opportunity to damage RU reputation as a force matching the US in military capability.

Posted by: cbrown | Feb 23 2018 22:07 utc | 44

Brilliant overview and summary! Thanks b!

Posted by: Mina | Feb 23 2018 22:36 utc | 45

Tobin Paz, yes DemocracyNow!'s full-throated "Regime Change" propaganda has become so blatant as to be farcical. Unfortunately, since Amy Goodman has spent decades building a reputation as a strong, independent voice in media, her followers do not question the absurd claims she and her guests make.

Of course, in the US, propaganda is now legal (2012 NDAA if I recall). Naomi Wolf confronted that issue a couple of years ago.

And it appears a big effort is being made to use the Parkland FL school shooting event to give cops the power to search social media postings for signs of "mental illness" and then involuntarily detain and even "treat" anyone whose posts fit their very fluid definition of "mental illness."

Posted by: Daniel | Feb 23 2018 23:40 utc | 46

An excellent Twitter observation:

"If the objective of the Syrian State is targeting civilians, hospitals & schools, how come the violence comes to a halt in all the areas where the armed groups [no] longer exist. Why isn’t the State still targeting Aleppo civilians, hospitals or schools?"

I believe it can safely assumed that no corporate media outfit will tell the truth about much of anything, particularly war zones where its affiliated nation's busy participating in actual War Crimes, which would be most everywhere NATO and Outlaw US Empire forces are operating.

There's a delay to allow those civilians that can to escape using already established humanitarian corridors which can be found using the many leaflets dropped all over East Ghouta. Seems the pause will end early Monday, Syria time.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 23 2018 23:54 utc | 47

@15 PavewayIV,

Nope, just drama.

Firstly, I would like to apologize about the confusion, and stress that this may have caused, but it was in order to assess an internal security concern in regards to one of our “partners” who was providing assistance in the automated recording and transcriptions setup process. I know many people will believe that this was a publicity stunt, but if it were I would not be providing this background now, or further background and screenshots at a later date. I would like to reassure everyone that I have been in control of the domain and website this entire time.

The SKYKING meme is just something to keep the /pol/ kiddies busy as far as I can tell.

Posted by: Jonathan | Feb 24 2018 1:24 utc | 48

With all of the media blackouts, propaganda, misdirection and deliberate obfuscation designed to keep us in the dark or guide our thoughts in the wrong direction, it gives me perverse comfort whenever the MSM and certain members of the Security Council wail in concert about civilians dying, children starving and the bombing of "last hospitals" because we know not only that it is a lie, but that it is also a clear signal that something is going right for the good guys.

Posted by: Activist Potato | Feb 24 2018 2:21 utc | 49

18 US Code 875 makes it a violation to threaten another person in interstate commerce. The Florida person commented on Youtube that he aspired to be a professional school shooter. Reported to FBI and not followed up, at least to deter the shooter.
There are many laws on the books.

Posted by: Duck1 | Feb 24 2018 2:30 utc | 50

Jonathan@47 - Apparently so. Sorry all. That's what I get for wandering about the dark corners of the internet in a never-ending quest for fresh tin-foil and emerging conspiracies.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Feb 24 2018 2:43 utc | 51

I just noticed that Paul Craig Roberts has an article entitled Russiaphobia Is Out of Control that has a reference to b's Mueller Indictment - The "Russian Influence" Is A Commercial Marketing Scheme.

Posted by: foo | Feb 24 2018 3:12 utc | 52

@ foo with the PCR link and hat tip within for b

It is nice to see b getting some of the credit he deserves and has had to fight for. I haven't seen ZH try and steal MoA content again.....but they have within last 6 months.....

Posted by: psychohistorian | Feb 24 2018 3:42 utc | 53

@ PH

Yes, I remember that. I guess emptywheel has had a little trouble with that recently as well.

But, as you say, it's good see b get credit for original and quality content.

Posted by: foo | Feb 24 2018 4:02 utc | 54

The South China Morning Post published an article on...

"UN Security Council moves vote on Syrian ceasefire to Saturday as body count rises to more than 460"

OJS suggest MoAs reads all the comments....Here are two comments...

4 hours 42 min ago
"Russian ally have killed 403 civilians, including 95 children,” said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights."
What a joke. This is fake news. Syrian Observatory for Human Rights just by the name is a big clue that it is a western propaganda outlet. Research shows it's a one man operation based in London.
LOG IN or REGISTER to post comments

10 hours 59 min ago
“Without Russia backing Syria, the devastation and the deaths would certainly not be occurring,” State Department Spokeswoman Heather Nauert told journalists.
The US State Dept got everything upsidedown. If the US regime and Turkey will stop supporting the Syrian terrorists and rebels, the war will stop tomorrow. Do not forget that the Assad government is the legitimate government of Syria and the US troops deployed in Syria are there illegally and are therefore invaders. When will the US regime start listening and obeying its oft declared respect for "rules based order"

Posted by: OJS | Feb 24 2018 7:17 utc | 55

wishing for the end of this bloodshed in understandable and i support it... but in a way assad has already lost. if he wins outright with force, which they are trying to do, they (terrorists & the west) will say assad is a butcher......if he loses they will be happy. what you have to ask yourselves is...what kind of governance is after assad and if nusra should win?

we know there is a heartbeat from muslims (west too with rome) to bring back the "empire/caliphate/whatever." this was just the start, they might have lost but they even got the backing of the west..... in syria. the west simply can not beat isis as witnessed back in iraq, so they support them in name as isis in syria. not only against iran and the sadr boys.. but could be used against syria/Riyadh/kurds too. gain, we see what they had in mind for libya afterwards.chaos and oil stealing.. not even a media blip now =)?

this is much akin to US. sure I wish it would collapse, but what is afterwards might not be better. usa will definitely not go back to pre 9/11 days of governance forget pre kennedy and other wishful thinking after this generation of unable to memorize friends phone numbers/addresses. this is the same play...people wanted something better than bush. and obama promised change. but he never said what kind of change if it is even change at all. everyone wants something better for usa now........julius ceasar? in the form of hillary? =)

let me ask you. multipolar world means what? unipolar world means what? not what they told u it means for them. what does it mean to you?

doesn't multipolar world just mean democrats and republics and little populated countries, so people can choose sides and argue for their favorite team, while the top toast each other in fine luxuries and give shows?.... and unipolar means you are still using a credit card and pay usury? but if you don't have the card you might not be able to pay one day since they are collapsing the us dollar intentionally. as bad as fiat is, think cryptocurrency by governments that didnt' collapse because of bad practices will be better....... =X

so what is the new governance? forget those stereotyped words, multipolar/unipolar, democracy/dictator,superpower/developing, terrorist/rebels, etc. does those things matter?
are you sure you are ready to see what is in store tomorrow?

they just made a way to combine both of these polar concepts. the new world is easy. keep the animals in the city because it is easy for them to congregate together and their most important need, food, is completely controlled by us and our "markets". because most of what they really do is drink and go to club then they are "forced by necessity" to go to cube work day dreaming about club and drinks afterwards anyways. that is the efficiency of now in the supercorporations.

evolution or deevolved species.. i dare not speculate in fear of debate.

look at their phones which helps them immensely in work unlike smoke filled executive meetings of the past...... we will have robots farm the food, the people are basically worse than the chickens/cows in farms...and we even got them to fight over the chickens and bathrooms... it will be hilarious when it all crashes worldwide. and it will but it will take a while.

someone said evil is very stupid.... i agree with this very much, but when stupid is winning, people will join stupid. And i take all this with a grin because i know this is the easy way.

this is why i suggest to all to grow old, find peace, forget these things, and take care of your families and neighbors. asking or wishing for the harm to stop in syria is good intentions, but really i rather wish the end comes quickly and all sides really show their power in syria tomorrow instead of dragging it on.

like a girlfriend you are not marrying. why are you still with her?

if assad really wants to finish it, he should send out last warning and then just push on through in afrin and ghouta..and arrest all the white helmets.. that proves to me that he still dreams of a united syria( a silly dream in reality), when he should be negotiating with turkey/iraq/iran/israel/kurds to split it up and just not allow syria to be landlocked to the east or the west (sea), and it will be in a better position for assad's allies, and even the west's allies. and he can even let usa stay in the desert landlocked with her allies as long as the sweet oil produced are taxed when being driven out of their enclave.... and wait because even the kurds will be betrayed trice by usa in the near future as seen in afrin.

Posted by: jason | Feb 24 2018 8:04 utc | 56

Re: Posted by: mrd | Feb 23, 2018 10:42:00 AM | 9

If you search the term: Juniper Cobra 18, you will get many returns and they contradict each other; but the dates seem to have been moved forward to tomorrow; 24 Feb, 2018. "US forces are deploying in Israel ahead of a large-scale joint Israel-US military exercise which will simulate a major conflict in which Israel is attacked with thousands of missiles", from The Times of Israel. I fear the 2 items are connected and that stupidity via treachery will soon occur; despite the overwhelming disapproval of US citizens. Luckily, drills rarely go 'live'. (sarc) I have prayed that I am wrong!

So, time running out on this one... You might well be wrong!

Posted by: Julian | Feb 24 2018 10:55 utc | 57

@parisweb 58 It is not helpful posting what you did, and not helpful to us that do not read arabic, may I suggest you find another place to post ?

b, thanks for your article on this, highly refreshing to read instead of the usual MSM rubbish. The Independent had a piece by Robert Fisk, which was faily neutral on East Ghouta. The Guardian is just shameless these days, considering what it once was. And the Fascists are marching again in Europe, Berlusconi is at again. Why cant he just foking die. Aready?
We on the left have not been prepared for this, Danish politicians private data have been exposed on extremist sites, even with suggest attack routes to them and their families. Frightening we have come to this. Frightening that people unaware expose themselves.
I hope for you, b , that you have your site's security in order and your identity well guarded, because Islamists are no different from Fascists, they are evil, and evil you mercilessly stomp and throw on the bonfire. I refuse to hear any objections to this.
But we on the left must use the instruments that democracy gives us, we can not succumb to the use of unconstitutional measures, or not work within the law, that in itself is against democracy.
Back on topic: East Ghouta will be taken. Period. How many get out before the assault is probably not many. The headchoppers will have their apocalypse in hope of the west intervening, I dont think that will happen though, the Russians running the show.
So by Easter, the show will be over Idlib will heed Damascus and the it is "only" east of "The River".

Posted by: Den Lille Abe | Feb 24 2018 11:01 utc | 58

Posted by: jason | Feb 24, 2018 3:04:15 AM | 55

Facile bourgois judgement much? Has it occured to you that it isn't of the slightest interest to the average Syrian what you or anyone else in the west which has armed, equipped and sent the headchopping takfiris into their homeland think? They couldn't give a toss WTF you think of what is happening in east gouta.
Especially since the headchoppers have been firing mortars into Damascus suburbs from Gouta 24/7/365 for nigh on 4 years. Thousands of civilians have died from that but no one in the west appears to give a flying fuck about it. It has barely been reported.

Trying to cut a deal with these murderous lunatics is a waste of breath.
President Assad has tried that many times and it has always gone the same way one of the myriad al Quaeda, ISIS gangs who comprise the bulk of the 'resistance' breaks the deal - usually early on cos they want perpetual war, then the finger pointing begins "What me/us no it wasn't al Nusra/al qaeda, it was ISIS while ISIS points their finger at some other gang who for whatever reason are currently on the outer.
If you accessed a worthwhile news service who actually report what has been said in the UN security council, rather than the news outlet's re-interpretation for the derps, you would know that this is what Mr Lavrov has been telling fukUS talking heads for the last two days.

Once again the Syrian Army has dropped pamphlets, posted notices and explained via loudspeaker that a number of protected exit points have been set up for anyone especially civilians who wish to leave Gouta. When they reach the exit point the people can choose whether they want to stay in liberated Syria or be transported up to Idlib which is still (for the moment) takfiri controlled.

President Assad cannot be much fairer than that, certainly when amerikan proxies were ridding Iraq and North East Syria of ISIS they just bombed the beejesus outta everyone regardless. It was the same when amerika was following the invasion of Iraq no one was allowed out and everyone was bombarded. In point of fact as the amerikan proxies with 'advisors' entered Mosul they grabbed ordinary citizens and tried out the torturing skill the amerikan trainers had taught them, which is why many Iraqis whose tribal leaders initially aligned with ISIS are still scared shitless.
President Assad has been doing everything he can to accomodate the citizens in newly liberated areas but if he completely dropped Syria's guard and just let these takfiris and their families do WTF they wanted, and as per usual they kick off their suicide bomber campaigns, or destroy Damascus' water supply once again, how do you think normal Syrians who have no desire to blow shit up or murder innocents are gonna feel about that? Suddenly there is no water or friends and family are dead just because the middle classes in western nations were uncomfortable with what was happening.

Lastly you may dream the neolib dream of a world free of national boundaries, but that is because you imagine that world would have values that are similar to those you hold. What of the people who don't share that view, who hold that moral relativism is the slippery slope to disaster. Do you ignore what they say, treating their views as quaint but irrelevant or do you let them do their thing knowing that your world is gonna be nothing like what you hoped?

Posted by: Debsisdead | Feb 24 2018 11:15 utc | 59

@ Don Bacon | Feb 23, 2018 12:30:48 PM | 20

Don, on the applicability of the 2001-2002 AUMFs to ISIL, we may be about to get a court decision on whether the DoD position is correct. See

Posted by: Paul E. Merrell | Feb 24 2018 12:04 utc | 60

The Sukhoi Su-57 entered service with the Russian Aerospace Forces in February. The state tests for the initial version have ended and the first two Su-57s were commissioned for trial operation.

Low-Rate Initial Production (LRIP) should start this year. An order for the first set of 12 planes is about to be signed, but the first two planes will not be delivered until the end of 2018 or early 2019. These twelve may be the only planes to be produced before the introduction of the new Izdeliye 30 engines in 2020.

Twelve prototypes have been produced so far. The last two planes delivered this year are said to be identical to the initial production models. I assume these two are the ones seen in Syria. The latest news is however that two more Su-57s have arrived in Syria, along with several Su-30SMs.

I wrote a longer analysis of the deployment and published it on The Duran. See:

Syria Has a New King: Sukhoi Su-57 Enters Combat

Yesterday two Su-57s were seen flying to Syria and landing on the Russian air base in Khmeimim. The timing may be a coincidence, but this follows the attack by the U.S. Air Force on Syrian forces in Deir ez-Zor that may have killed 100 Russian “contractors” and wounded twice the number.

Nothing in Russia happens by accident. At first I thought the deployment of the Su-57s might be related to the increasing tensions between Russia and the USA over deir ez-Zor or between Syria and Turkey over Afrin. Now it looks like they are part of the of the long-planned liberation of eastern Ghouta. Their role will be similar to that of the aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov during the liberation of eastern Aleppo; to show Russian determination and resolve and to deter the Western powers from making any brainless moves.

(* Bolded links by me.)

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Feb 24 2018 12:08 utc | 61

An oldie but goodie. Just change Aleppo to Damascus and you are good to go as a fully qualified Western median expert.

Posted by: Anonymous | Feb 24 2018 13:20 utc | 62

@Anonymous 63

THAT is very funny. You know that. Quite cool and very funny. Brings to mind this:
Monty Python "Tiger in Africa" (look up)
Monty Python "The black knight"
And Monty Python : "Your Mother smells of...."
Hej guys we need humour, else we bee seen as too wound up.
Please let it pass b, relieving tension, I hope.

Posted by: Den Lille Abe | Feb 24 2018 13:47 utc | 63

Posted by: Anonymous | Feb 24, 2018 8:20:47 AM | 63

What drongo let in the dancing feminists? Soon they'll be all Osama bin Laden #MeToo

Posted by: Debsisdead | Feb 24 2018 13:59 utc | 64

@PetriKrohn 62
Thanks for that. . .and especially this... right on. . .
The newest American fighter, the F-35 is generally considered to be a failed design. It is trying to be too many things at once and fails in most of them. Its fighting capabilities may be on par with the Brewster Buffalo. In a dogfight it would lose to any 4th generation fighter. Without its stealth it will become a sitting duck.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Feb 24 2018 14:17 utc | 65

Trump: ‘Get ISIS and go home’: Trump on ultimate US goal in Syria. . .video here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Feb 24 2018 14:59 utc | 66

Don Bacon 65
The F35 is a sitting duck. It only has stealth from a frontal perspective. Adversary 4th gen aircraft with data link, flying line abreast with a good distance between them will take it down.
One of the adversary aircraft will get a side view, and the other which is in front and closer will take it down.
Read submission 35 by Anker Sorensen Lieutenant Colonel from the Royal Danish Air force, to the Australian government re purchase of F35.
For the Danish government, re purchase of F35, Sorensen, in US simulator, used F35 against adversary Russian aircraft, then Russian aircraft against F35. In his planning for being the SU- adversary, He was no allowed to fly line abreast with his wing man, and not allowed to use the latest Russian air to air missiles.
The F35 is a flying dog.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Feb 24 2018 15:06 utc | 67

And now Russia allows another bogus U.N. Syrian ceasefire. What is the point? The U.S. will just claim that the ceasefire supposed to end all attacks on terrorists and that the terrorists in East Ghouta are actually all fuzzy kittens and orphans – and, of course, it will be Russia and Syria who will break the agreements of the ceasefire. Why play this lying game? You know the liars in the United States will make false claims and will continue to resupply their pet terrorists. This just gives them more wiggle room to get their job done. Seems self-defeating in my opinion. Does Russia still think they're dealing with people who's word means something?

Posted by: rcentros | Feb 24 2018 20:15 utc | 68

Good vivisection of this information warfare campaign that's in full swing.

While the preparations are made to eradicate the terrorist blight from Eastern Gouta, the countries currently shedding crocodile could save the lives they ostensibly want to save by providing entry visas for their darlings. Not the top cadres who would be recycled for other theaters of war where the USA empire needs them but really all the other low level fighters and their families.

I bet that in the coming week there will be another staged sarin like gas attack. Maybe not even in Eastern Gouta but another inaccessible terrorist controlled area.

Posted by: xor | Feb 24 2018 20:17 utc | 69

@ rcentros with the question: "Does Russia still think they're dealing with people who's word means something?"

Of course not but when you are face to face with a rabid dog with a gun to humanity's head you play the long game and hope they wear themselves out.

What exact line would you have Russia, or for that mater China, draw in the sand?

Posted by: psychohistorian | Feb 24 2018 20:32 utc | 70

Disappointing state of affairs. Whats the status for the main groups involved? HTS I suppose is included in the IS/AlQaida exclusion but what about Faylaq and Arhar?

Posted by: Lozion | Feb 24 2018 21:37 utc | 71

@72 Ooops....

"In separate statements, Jaish al-Islam and Failaq al-Rahman pledged to protect aid convoys that come into the besieged rebel enclave near Damascus."

Especially the ones with the ammunition.

Posted by: dh | Feb 24 2018 21:44 utc | 73

@ Peter AU 1 67
I agree with your conclusion, but there is some criticism of Sorensen's report at here
. . .scroll down to Post23 Feb 2016, 06:40

Posted by: Don Bacon | Feb 24 2018 23:11 utc | 74
UNITED NATIONS (Sputnik) - The UN Security Council has unanimously adopted a resolution introducing a 30-day truce on Syrian territory to allow the medical evacuation of those injured and provide access to number of regions for humanitarian convoys...
...The ceasefire regime does not cover military operations against Daesh, al-Qaeda, and Jabhat Fatah al Sham (formerly known as al-Nusra Front) terrorist groups...

The same pattern here as at Aleppo. The UN resolution holds Syria/Russia to nothing, as it is the UN designated terrorist organisations groups that help/work with these organisations, as described by the UN designated terrorist list, are who Russia/Syria is fighting.

There will be full on military action followed by pauses to get civilians out and negotiate as many of the diehards into being bussed to Idlib before the final assault. I believe Egypt reps are there to negotiate on behalf of, or as a go between for, the wahabbi backed groups?

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Feb 25 2018 0:45 utc | 75

Reuters is reporting "a U.N. resolution demanding a 30-day truce across the country to allow aid access and medical evacuations". Afrin and the border areas with Turkey are part of the country (Syria) so does this mean the ceasefire also applies to Turkish actions? Erdogan is not going to like that and I doubt he's going to stop Turkish actions, so perhaps the United States and NATO are going to turn a blind eye.
<sarcasm>Also means that Israel, United States etc. will have to comply with it so no more Israeli raids on Damascus, etc. and Syrian forces can drive up to al-Tanf and the Americans can do nothing about it.</sarcasm>

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Feb 25 2018 0:48 utc | 76

Ghost Ship 76
Was also thinking about that when I posted ny comment just prior to yours.
In having the UN designated terrorist groups removed from the resolution, Russia has successfully turned the resolution against US/Israel and Turkey. The opposite to its intent :)

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Feb 25 2018 0:54 utc | 77

@77 Looks to me like the UN resolution is just a prelude to deeper 'Coalition' involvement. The Russia/Syrian idea has always been to get rid of the jihadis. They can legitimately keep targeting them but let's see what the MSM says about civilian casualties.

Posted by: dh | Feb 25 2018 1:24 utc | 78

Text of resolution here(go to bottom of press release).

Did Nikki Haley really understand what she was voting for?

“Expressing its disturbance at the humanitarian situation for the internally displaced persons in Rukhban and stressing in this regard the need to ensure humanitarian access to Rukhban from inside Syria and the need for a sustainable solution,
For those who don't know Rukhban is the internally-displaced-person camp next to the al-Tanf border crossing which the United States has blocked access to and prevented people leaving. It is also alleged that the terrorists controlled by the United States at al Tanf pressgang people from Rukhban into service with the terrorists.
“10. Calls upon all parties to immediately lift the sieges of populated areas, including in Eastern Ghouta, Yarmouk, Foua and Kefraya, and demands that all parties allow the delivery of humanitarian assistance, including medical assistance, cease depriving civilians of food and medicine indispensable to their survival, and enable the rapid, safe and unhindered evacuation of all civilians who wish to leave, and underscores the need for the parties to agree on humanitarian pauses, days of tranquillity, localized ceasefires and truces to allow humanitarian agencies safe and unhindered access to all affected areas in Syria, recalling that starvation of civilians as a method of combat is prohibited by international humanitarian law;

The Syrian government should send in the coaches and offer anyone who wishes to reconcile with the SAG safe passage out of the camp. I wonder how many who are not related to the terrorists would want to stay?
Perhaps the Russian opposition to accepting the resolution was intended to distract Nikki Haley who is rather stupid from understanding the implications of what she was voting for.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Feb 25 2018 2:01 utc | 79

@ Peter AU 1 and Ghost Ship

Is this the face saving pause to let US embedded out? The US is not going to leave Syria like Vietnam because there are bigger players engaged in the conflict.

I would not be surprised to see a series of withdraws that are sold as standoffs in the West. I don't see anywhere in the resolution that the US is asked to stay or even be there.

Time for US foreign policy to pivot to
Trump's growing bald spot

Posted by: psychohistorian | Feb 25 2018 2:22 utc | 80

I'm yours very truly sorrie many still believe "U.N. resolution demanding a 30-day truce across the country to allow aid access and medical evacuations" will somehow end or help the Syrians long sufferings.

How many times do I need to reminds everyone you cannot trust the Amerika especially the DEM - they are bastard the lesser evils Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Tulsi Gabbard Watch, Khan Sheikhoun 4 April 2017........

Rare footage shows chemical attack in Syria A doctor who treated victims of the attack said it was 'like Judgment Day, the apocalypse'

Posted by: OJS | Feb 25 2018 3:32 utc | 81

The US narrative, the massive marketing campaign to promote AQ and then ISIS as the greatest evils ever known, which was required to allow their unlimited war on the world, is now being used very successfully by Russia against them.

psychohistorian, I doubt it is a face saving deal. The resolution as it now stands will mesh perfectly with Russian strategy in Syria. Consolidating government controlled areas ect, either by killing the jihadists or bussing them to Idlib, and turning as many Syrian civilians as possible away from the jihadists and back towards the Syrian government.
The current resolution simply takes the wind out of, and punches holes in the US's intended narrative.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Feb 25 2018 4:03 utc | 82

psychohistorian to my post @82 that the resolution or the way Russia has used is perhaps more part of larger scale information warfare rather than its tactics and strategy on the ground in Syria.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Feb 25 2018 4:12 utc | 83

It's Putin/Lavrov vs. McMaster/Haley (one an army tactician who hates civilian leadership and the other a small-time political hack). It's like major leaguers playing against a local sandlot team. No contest.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Feb 25 2018 5:06 utc | 84

Mercouris has it right over at the duran regarding the Afrin context. A must read analysis..

Posted by: Lozion | Feb 25 2018 5:39 utc | 85

@ Peter AU 1 with a response...thanks

Will the Golan Heights become a military objective for Syria before the move of the US embassy to Jerusalem in May? Does the US have to be removed before then?

What other complexities will be added to the ME pot before it boils over?

Posted by: psychohistorian | Feb 25 2018 6:02 utc | 86


My views. The US seems to run with one plan/strategy at a time. If plan A runs into unforeseen problems and is scuppered, they then hurriedly come up with a plan B the C and so forth.

The current Russian leadership I think runs a number of strategies simultaneously to get to a given goal. If one strategy is blocked for a time the others move ahead. Always at least one strategy is advancing that will leave US moves exposed. The US then has to retreat a bit to come up with a new plan, which allows Russian strategies to again advance. The Russia leadership seem very good chess players, seeing combinations of moves that others don't.
Russia's goal? To create a favorable frozen conflict or stalemate awaiting final resolution in the multi polar world when there is a UN composed of independent sovereign states rather than US or hegemon vassals. Russia with its veto status will never allow the international recognized borders to be changed.
A favorable stalemate? Perhaps a consolidation of all parts up to but not including the Israeli occupied Golan. The US left in control east of the Euphrates, but this turned into a bleeding or festering sore for the US, Turkey perhaps left in control of some parts as part of the festering sore for the US and also to take large numbers of jihadists under state control, thus allowing them to be controlled to a certain extent.

I guess to sum it up, my view is that Russia is playing the long game, with one eye always on the future multi-polar world for final resolution.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Feb 25 2018 7:42 utc | 87

The following is an interesting read on USA plans for Syria

Posted by: John | Feb 25 2018 8:27 utc | 88

Posted by: ninel | Feb 28 2018 6:00 utc | 89

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