Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
February 08, 2018

Syria - U.S. May Have Arranged "Self Defense" Attack On Syrian Government Forces

Last night the illegal U.S. occupation force in north-east Syria attacked a group of Syrian government aligned troops and their Russian support. The incident happened north-east of Deir Ezzor city on the east side of the Euphrates. The U.S. claims that it killed some 100 Syrian soldiers that were allegedly attacking its proxy forces in an attempt to recover oil fields.

There is a factual separation of areas south-west of the Euphrates under Syrian government control and north-east of the Euphrates under U.S. occupation. But several locations around Manbij, Raqqa and Deir Ezzor contradict that and are under control of the respective other side. The U.S. claims that a "de-confliction line" along the Euphrates is agreed upon. The Syrian government says that no such agreement exists.

A small area across the Euphrates north-east of Deir Ezzor had been taken by Syrian government forces months ago. It is near some oilfields which the U.S. wants to keep away from the Syrian government.


"The U.S. wants to keep Syria weak and poor," says Prof. Joshua Landis. According to Landis the U.S. is keeping the north-east of Syria under occupation to deny Syria access to its oil and its best agricultural land. It wants to turn Syria into a swamp for Russia and Iran to the benefit of mostly Israel.

The valuable oil and gas fields are currently in the hands of local Arab tribes who earlier worked with the Islamic State and are now, the U.S. claims, allied with the YPG/PKK Kurds under the name Syrian Democratic Forces. The SDF is the U.S. local proxy force for its occupation.

On the Syrian government side in Deir Ezzor are a few Syrian troops, local militia from the area, as well as members of Russian private military contractor named Wagner Group. Wagner allegedly has a contract with the Syrian government that will give it some 25% of all revenues from oil-fields it recovers and protects.

Last night the U.S. military announced that it had "self defended" against an attack by Syrian government troops on Syrian ground:

Syrian pro-regime forces initiated an unprovoked attack against well-established Syrian Democratic Forces headquarters Feb. 7.

Coalition service members in an advise, assist, and accompany capacity were co-located with SDF partners during the attack eight kilometers east of the agreed-upon Euphrates River de-confliction line.

In defense of Coalition and partner forces, the Coalition conducted strikes against attacking forces to repel the act of aggression against partners engaged in the Global Coalition's defeat-Daesh mission.

Reuters reports:

More than 100 fighters aligned with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad were killed overnight when U.S. coalition and coalition-backed local forces repelled their attack in eastern Syria, a U.S. official said on Thursday.

The heavy death toll underscored the large size of the attack, which the U.S. official said included about 500 opposing forces, backed by artillery, tanks, multiple-launch rocket systems and mortars. The official spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity.
No American troops were killed or wounded in the incident, officials said.

Some U.S. troops had been embedded at the time with Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), whose headquarters in Syria’s Deir al-Zor province had been a target of the attack.

One SDF fighter was wounded, the official said.

The U.S.also claims that it had seen preparations for the Syrian move and had warned the Russian command in Syria in advance:

The U.S.-led coalition had alerted Russian officials about the presence of SDF forces in the area far in advance of the thwarted attack, the U.S. official said.

Other sources say that there have been talks between Wagner and locals Arabs guarding the currently unproductive "Conoco" oil and gas field operation near the town of Khisham.

Hassan Hassan @hxhassan - 12:17 AM - 8 Feb 2018
5. Interesting, about a week ago, local reports also suggested an imminent deal to hand over the plant to the regime through an Arab faction within the SDF.

A translation of an earlier report from the opposition Al-Etihad media seems to confirm that some deal had been made:

Activists said Assad forces and Shiite militias have gathered near the villages of Bakkara Akidat, Dahla and Sabah in the eastern suburbs of Deir-ez-Zor (east of the Euphrates) near the Conoco gas field, which is controlled by Kurdish forces.

The sources added that the Kurdish-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces informed the U.S.-led coalition forces of these developments. The coalition urged SDF fighters not to resist the regime forces and surrender the area.

The activists added that the SDF has already withdrawn heavy weapons from their areas held by Arab and Turkmen factions.

Might this whole operation have been a trap? The U.S. military clearly knew that something was going to happen in the area. Local deals were made between the Syrian government side and locals Arabs holding the oil fields. The U.S. told the SDF to move out of the way. When the government aligned groups started to take over the field, as presumably agreed upon, the U.S. bombed them.

The "attack on coalition forces" the U.S. claimed as justification for its bombing seems not to have taken place at all. How else does one explain that sole casualty of the claimed battalion size attack with strong artillery support is "one wounded SDF" fighter? A later U.S. military statement to a journalist seems to be vague about the reality of an attack:

After 20 to 30 artillery and tank rounds landed within 500 meters of the SDF headquarters location, Syrian Democratic Forces supported by the Coalition targeted the aggressors with a combination of air and artillery strikes.

Is the U.S. military emphasizing the "SDF headquarters location" because the headquarter was no longer there as the SDF had already withdrawn from it? And why is a tank round landing some 500 meters away seen as a direct attack? Tanks rounds may deviate from the targeted point by a meter or two. There is no chance that rounds landing some 500 meters away were intended to hit the headquarter location. Whatever the Syrian forces have been hitting at, if they hit at all, was not the SDF headquarter location.

The story the U.S. military is trying to sell here stinks.

The incident seems comparable to the unprovoked U.S. attack on Syrian troops in September 2016. That air attack killed 100 Syrian troops who were then encircled and holding out against Islamic State forces. At that time it nearly enabled the Takfiris to eliminate that last Syrian government position in the east.

There has recently been a chain of provocations against Russian and Syrian forces in Syria. Two massive drone swarm attacks were directed  against the Russian air-port in Hememim and its naval base in Tartus. This week well targeted mortar rounds from east-Ghouta have hit the Russian trade mission in Damascus and severely damaged it. A Russian aid-distribution point in Damascus was similarly attacked just while leaders of some Russian non-government organizations were visiting it. Over Idleb a Russian jet was shot down with a rare MANPADS. All three were beyond the material and intelligence capabilities of the "rebel" forces.

The ludicrous "chlorine gas attack" propaganda against Syria is back in full force. Despite a Russian-Turkish-Iranian de-escalation agreement with Turkey, al-Qaeda and other "rebel" forces in Idleb governorate still seem to receive unlimited supplies through Turkish borders. Israel is attacking targets in Syria and tries to extend its occupation of the Golan heights.

The U.S. war against Syria and its allies continues with full force even while the U.S. pretends that no such war is happening at all. The intend to create the swamp Prof. Landis talks about is hidden behind clandestine operations, "self defense" action and "humanitarian" blubber.

The U.S. should be careful. More than one side can play dirty games. Its troops in north-east Syria have thin supply lines and are not well protected. They, as well as U.S. forces in Iraq, are vulnerable to clandestine activities of the other side. I would not be surprised at all should they suddenly receive some unwanted and very bloody attention.

Posted by b on February 8, 2018 at 13:34 UTC | Permalink

next page »

If the "more than 100 fighters aligned with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad" included Iranian militia, and they most likely did, then there probably will be payback, which Iran usually does. Recently from Iran: “My message to the US military command: when the battle against ISIS will end, no American soldier will be tolerated in Syria. I advise you to leave by your own will or you will be forced to it,” said Soleimani to a Russian officer.
Meanwhile, the French toadies have been enlisted: French foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on Wednesday that all Iranian militia, including Hezbollah, must leave Syria, which mirrors recent US demands.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Feb 8 2018 14:06 utc | 1

The hegemon has recovered from the little hiccup of a trump election win, and is now back up to speed.
This will only end when the US or the US dollar has been collapsed. The good thing is that while the US is preoccupied with Israel and the middle east, it cannot put its full attention on China.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Feb 8 2018 14:06 utc | 2

Phenomenal reporting.

Posted by: Eric Zuesse | Feb 8 2018 14:08 utc | 3

Might this whole operation have been a trap?

Not 'might'. It was a trap. The Yanks probably call it the Glaspie Gambit when they feel like gloating...
April Glaspie (mis)led Saddam into believing that the US would have no objections to Saddam punishing Kuwait for tapping Iraq's oil by drilling under the border.
Gulf (fake) War I was the result.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Feb 8 2018 14:10 utc | 4

Thanks for this update b

I have these questions

1. What are the Israelis bombing and what effect does this have ?

2. What was the outcome of the US attack - were the Arab tribes part of the possible plot that you allude to?

3. These attack have they made any material difference to what is happening on the ground? Is Assad less secure? Have the SAA lost ground? What is the impact of these actions

Thank you

Posted by: James | Feb 8 2018 14:14 utc | 5

Dear b,

While we were discussing the eventual exit of American Forces in Syria,
the US generals were raising the ante and have just made a statement
that proves they have no intention to leave anytime soon.

This is a false flag event that comes at a high cost to Syria's legitimate
Forces and tests the resolve of Syria's allies re the US presence.

Additionally, the US is inviting admiration for its overwhelming superiority
on Assad's combined forces: 100 Syria's killed, to ONE SDF "injured".

So, considering this ratio of 100 to 1, with its 4000 soldiers in Syria,
the US troops are good enough to vanquish a staggering 400,000
strong army of the combined Syrian, Russian, Iranian IRCG and Hezbollah

Now, of course, the intruder is claiming self defense while trespassing
on the victim's premises. This is US logics and sense of Justice at its best.

Ok so the Bear and Assad have a bloody nose. What is next?

This, self defense event is of course provocation. How will the Bear respond
to the challenge? Will the Iranians react? Assad can only lick his wounds
while fuming with rage. This is an election year and Putin has his hands tied.

In view of yesterday's attack on the Syrian forces, it is now evident that the
SU25 was downed with an improved US MANPAD, all part of poking the Bear
and showing the World that Russia is just full of hot air.

The US is baring its teeth to all and I would not be surprised if they abduct
or kidnap Kim Jong Un's sister. They will of course claim that she is seeking
asylum from her brother!

Let's watch and see.

Posted by: CarlD | Feb 8 2018 14:15 utc | 6

More likely the United States knew what the SDF were up to and just decided to stick it to the Syrian militia just because they can. If the SDF were going to hand the facility over to the SAG, they'd move their headquarters to another location and start to move away from other facilities before the handover started. With careful targetting with PGMs there'd be little risk of hitting any SDF fighters.
The added advantage for the USG, although the decision to make the attack was no doubt made be Central Command, is that the US military's statement casts doubt on the reliability of the SDF as seen by the SAG, so maybe such local agreements will become a thing of the past.
BTW, the reports of the attack have disappeared from the "front pages" of and to be replaced by opinion pieces condemning the occupation of eastern Syria by the USG, and there has been no report on the "front page" of The Guardian which suggests that the USG has f****d up yet again. The senior officers of Central Command should each be required to write out ten thousand times the correct translation of Clausewitz's description of the purpose of war. Trump needs to understand that politicians should run the military and not the other way round.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Feb 8 2018 14:16 utc | 7

More on April Glaspie...

May April's legacy live on in the Madeleine Albright Hall of racist-supremacist Infamy.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Feb 8 2018 14:19 utc | 8

What recent incidents show is that Russia is - as we could see all along - a show pony. Turkey, the US and Israel have all been unloading big time on both Russia and its supposed ally, Syria. There has been no effective response from either Syria or Russia. Both are exposed. The carnage is real. The geopolitical leverage of Syria is less than zero and the geopolitical leverage of Russia is mostly glitter. The US and its allies have chosen, at this time, to expose those awkward (for Syria and Russia) realities. What this means, I think, is that the end game is in view. The Syrian government will become compliant, one way or another, to the Hegemon, Syria will be carved up into spheres of influence (if it's not outright dismembered and distributed as war booty) and Russia will take the back seat it is destined to. The only things to be decided now is how much more agony Syria has to endure and how much face Putin is allowed to save.

Posted by: paul | Feb 8 2018 14:25 utc | 9

@ 1
The French, although they have been quiet about it are entrenched in Syria. The @24 twitter network (le Monde?) I believe is French, and from this article in the Guardian, they look to have settled into al Qaeda's Idlib. in-north-west-syria-idlib
"...Ahmad al-Dbis, the director of safety and security at the Union of Medical Care and Relief Organisations (UOSSM), which runs hospitals across opposition Syria,..."

UOSSM is French, or France based.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Feb 8 2018 14:25 utc | 10

b and others on this site have been saying for some time that it was just a matter of time until the Arab tribes in the southern and western portions of "the US zone" would begin switching to the Syrian side, since they are mostly concerned about maintaining a degree of autonomy and will tend to back whoever they see as the rising tide. Assad is that tide. I'm sure the US saw this coming as well, and wanted to make a show of force not just against the SAA, but probably weren't too cautious about killing a few "turncoat Arabs" while they were at it just to send a message. While this will likely not stem the tide in the long run, a short term "victory" was desperately desired by the US, which has not had a lot of good news in Syria lately. May have also been linked to the high-level visits Turkey is receiving over the next few days, with the thought that Turkey, also, seems to have been losing a lot of respect for the might of the US lately. And if the US loses Turkish bases for resupply and support, maintaining the illegal presence in Syria will become difficult indeed. The next few months are likely going to be extremely dangerous as the US becomes more and more desperate.

Posted by: J Swift | Feb 8 2018 14:29 utc | 11

Meanwhile it looks like MbS has demonstrated yet again that he's Israel and the United States' poodle by allowing Israeli airlines to fly over Saudi territory from India - I guess previously they had to fly up the centre of the Red Sea and turn right at the top.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Feb 8 2018 14:38 utc | 12

US likely inflating SAA losses, but many have certainly been killed. These attacks will continue until and unkess US forced to pay a heavy price.

Posted by: Ace Hanlon | Feb 8 2018 14:39 utc | 13

>>>> CarlD | Feb 8, 2018 9:15:41 AM | 6

War is politics and politically the United States lost by demonstrating it's no better than your typical playground/schoolyard bully in Syria. It's not Russia, China or even Iran that really threatens the United States, it the ignorance, arrogance and stupidity of its political and military leadership.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Feb 8 2018 14:45 utc | 14

To paul@9 Go suck imperial dick elsewhere.

Posted by: par4 | Feb 8 2018 14:48 utc | 15

Posted by: paul | Feb 8, 2018 9:25:24 AM | 9

What flavour sauce are you going to sprinkle on those words,
after March 18, 2018,
when you have to eat them?

Have you watched Oliver Stone's Putin interviews I, II, III & IV?

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Feb 8 2018 14:54 utc | 16

Seconding par4 @15. Hallucinate on, Paul! LOL!

Posted by: Rhisiart Gwilym | Feb 8 2018 14:56 utc | 17

So...what are the options for Russia/Syria?

Posted by: adamski | Feb 8 2018 15:14 utc | 18

This casts a light on an interesting aspect of Trump's government: Mad Dog Mattis likes employing mad dogs and letting them loose. They, for their part, are assured that whatever they do will be done with impunity.

Posted by: bevin | Feb 8 2018 15:24 utc | 19

It's the darn Russians again, with a "pro-regime" attack on the US
Barbara Starr, CNN Pentagon correspondent
JUST IN: Russian contractors may have been involved in pro-regime attack on US military advisers and their partner forces in Syria that led to US counterattack with aircraft and artillery in east of Euphrates. No US wounded. . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Feb 8 2018 15:30 utc | 20

Is it possible that at some point Syria or Russia will give the US an ultimatum to get their illegal occupying forces out of Syria or face severe consequences?

Posted by: spudski | Feb 8 2018 15:39 utc | 21

from SANA

SANA’s reporter in Deir Ezzor said that forces of the US-led coalition on Wednesday midnight attacked popular forces that were fighting Daesh terrorist organization and Qasad groups between the villages of Khsham and al-Tabyia in Deir Ezzor northeastern countryside, leaving scores of persons killed and others injured.

The reporter added that the US-led coalition targeted the popular forces’ positions with ten strikes causing heavy material damage.

In the same context, Russian Defense Ministry declared that the coalition forces’ aggression showed once again that the real objective of the illegal presence of the US forces in Syria is not actually fighting against Daesh (ISIS) rather it is to seize and take over the economic assets that belong to the Syrian Arab Republic. . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Feb 8 2018 15:44 utc | 22

This below lets me assume that the U.S. "response" was well prepared. (One alos wonders about "battle" - zero casualties ion U.S. side does not sound like "battle" at all:
Lucas Tomlinson @LucasFoxNews
U.S. counter-attack in Syria included Air Force AC-130 gunships, F-15s, F-22s, Army Apache helicopter gunships and Marine Corps artillery killing 100 Russian and Assad-backed fighters in 3-hour battle beginning around midnight last night.
Russian MoD says the Syrian forces were fighting with ISIS and defended and where then attacked by the U.S.

Posted by: b | Feb 8 2018 15:55 utc | 23

"The story the U.S. military is trying to sell here stinks."

umm....honestly, everything stinks high to sky: "Israeli attack on Damascus" (how many times this is?), "Syria shot down Israeli missile!?", "Syria's air defense system in the north" and even "Downing of the Russian warplane".

All this is just ridiculous and absurd. I do not believe in the story and if true than Assad should be court marshaled.

Posted by: Partisan | Feb 8 2018 15:56 utc | 24

This just goes to prove that any Nation that does not seek nuclear weapons is ruled by morons.

Posted by: Steve | Feb 8 2018 16:09 utc | 25

If Syrian forces are maneuvering (or in this case sleeping) without air defenses and counter-battery capability then they are inviting attacks like this one by US air and artillery assets. I hope that they learned a lesson, because the US and its Kurdish allies must be removed from this Arab area within the Syrian Arab Republic.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Feb 8 2018 16:10 utc | 26

Oh boy Fox news. Saudi Arabia financed fascist/fake news channel. The Orange Dotard's favorite one.

Now we might except hagiography of the event. Pentagon brass need some action and evidence of its prowess. AC-130 easy pray for ManPads as well as choppers. 100 killed! Really!?

Yes the white savages love big numbers and lies even if they lie themselves. It is embedded in their supremacy and exceptionalism.

Well...than, if true, Damascus ruling elite should be executed.

Posted by: Partisan | Feb 8 2018 16:11 utc | 27

Aslong as Russia, China dont use UNSC to expose the criminality of these attacks, they will go on until regime change.

Posted by: Anonymous | Feb 8 2018 16:16 utc | 28

Wonder, where did they take off from?

Al Udeid or Incirlik?

If so the savages need overflight permission from Iraq and Turkey Gov. with which the savages are not on friendly terms with.

Maybe Jordan?

Can we separate fiction from the truth?

Posted by: Partisan | Feb 8 2018 16:17 utc | 29

The north is ripe for confrontation also.
from Stripes:

MANBIJ, Syria — On the ground in Syria, the top U.S. general in the coalition fighting the Islamic State group pledged on Wednesday that American troops would remain in the northern Syrian town of Manbij despite Ankara's demands for a U.S. pullout. "We're here to ensure the lasting defeat of ISIS is maintained in this area," Lt. Gen. Paul E. Funk said during a visit to U.S. forces in Manbij. ISIS is an alternative acronym for the Islamic State group.

...Today, a small U.S. base near Manbij — a cluster of a handful of tents, prefab housing units and American armored vehicles — reflects deepening American involvement in Syria. Since the ouster of IS from the border town, the U.S. has maintained a military presence there and regularly conducts patrols in the area.

.... American and Syrian Kurdish commanders in Manbij said that low-level clashes between Turkish-backed forces and the U.S.-backed fighters were a regular occurrence."Every 10 or 15 days there are some shots fired," said Judie Ibrahim, an 18 year old fighter with the Manbij Military Council stationed at the outpost alongside American troops."But the clashes are very small, it doesn't scare us," he said, then added why the troops are not afraid: "It's not because of the American presence ... it's because we have God with us." Funk also downplayed the significance of the attacks, describing them as just "harassing." . . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Feb 8 2018 16:19 utc | 30

ISIS and SDF are now interchangeable. The formerly/currently ISIS groups can now attack Syrian forces as ISIS and be defended by the US as SDF.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Feb 8 2018 16:31 utc | 31

This looks like an Israeli/Neocon attempt to get Syrian or Russian forces to attack US forces to create a wider conflict.

If i were in the position of the Russian, Syrians or Iranians, i would want to hit back but doing so simply invites what the israeli's want. I wouldn't be at all surprised is this is done via proxy.

Posted by: alaric | Feb 8 2018 16:46 utc | 32

Thanks for the reporting b

I read the first postings about the US attack of Syrians last night and appreciate your covering it.

The dollar sign on the picture related to the circle around the oilfields makes the point of the focus of US presence now.

February will be a key month for behind the cover of the Olympics perfidy. Will the elite get their war out of some event this month? I hope not.

I think it will take both China and Russia to force empire out of Syria and I hope that is their plan as the noose continues to tighten in Syria.

Is this the ultimate "whack a mole" situation or must it repeat in the Ukraine, NK, Africa, South America, etc.?

Posted by: psychohistorian | Feb 8 2018 16:47 utc | 33

is this PR campaign which should throw modicum of the light at dying hegemon?

after countless military defeat and public humiliation especially done by "ally" i.e. Tayyip, is this Hollywoodesque action supposed to bring faith in "invincibility" of once mighty empire?

Posted by: Partisan | Feb 8 2018 17:02 utc | 34

Elijah J. Magnier @ejmalrai 5h
#Syria: The death toll, according to sources in Syria, is around 61 (not 100) Syrian killed by Trump Air force. The occupation force air bombed also static #SAA and national forces positions around Deir-ezzour and not only moving forces.

Posted by: b | Feb 8 2018 17:07 utc | 35

59 Tomahawk cruise missiles launched into Syria.
now 61 soldier killed.

Yeah, right. "The Bigger the lie the more believable"

Got brain?

Posted by: Partisan | Feb 8 2018 17:13 utc | 36

"I would not be surprised at all should they suddenly receive some unwanted and very bloody attention."
Let's hope so.

Posted by: Pnyx | Feb 8 2018 17:14 utc | 37

How one goes from 100 to 61?

Is this the US Vietnam "body-count" methodology?

Posted by: Partisan | Feb 8 2018 17:16 utc | 38

Somehow I remember an announcement by Russia that the war in Syria was over?

Posted by: Perimtr | Feb 8 2018 17:23 utc | 39

Perimeter 38

That was the war against ISIS.

Now it is the war against US Coalition.

Posted by: CarlD | Feb 8 2018 17:28 utc | 40


"Gazprom increases total investment in TurkStream to $7B"

Unimpressed Roscosmos calls SpaceX's Falcon Heavy launch 'nice trick'

Tesla Inc. posted a record quarterly net loss of $675 million in the fourth quarter, up from a net loss of $121 million in the same period a year ago. California-based automaker The Palo Alto is struggling to meet production targets for its first mass-market car, the Model 3 sedan. It's also spending heavily on future vehicles, including a semi that's supposed to go into production next year.

Tesla lost $1.96 billion for the full year, nearly three times its loss of $675 million in 2016. The company has never made a full-year profit since it went public in 2010.

Tesla's adjusted fourth-quarter loss, of $3.04 per share, was ahead of Wall Street's estimated loss of $3.15 per share, according to analysts polled by FactSet. The adjusted loss eliminates one-time expenses, including stock-based compensation. Revenue for the quarter was $3.3 billion, which was in line with analysts' forecasts.

Tesla's total revenue for 2017 was $11.8 billion, which was also in line with analysts' forecasts.

Posted by: Partisan | Feb 8 2018 17:37 utc | 41

Man, I feel bad for anyone living around Deir-ez-Zour--there's been nothing but bad news for them for years thanks to Daesh, the US, and their allies. Can't we let them live in peace???

Posted by: WorldBLee | Feb 8 2018 17:47 utc | 42

b’s speculation sounds right. The strategy is probably to strangle the Syrian State by denying crucial resources and then win elections by offering a better future - positioned as the only viable way forward for the Syrian people. In this way, the ’Assad must go!’ Coalition hopes to win ALL of Syria (those who decry a ‘partitioning’ of Syria fail to see the big picture).

This is all made possible, I think, by the - now official - view of Washington that Russia and China’s hostile ‘revisionist’ policies make them enemies. MIC no longer has to dance around peace-time restrictions that tied their hands (forcing the use of proxies like ISIS).

I think ConfusedPundit provided some clarity a few days ago when he listed the proxies fighting in Syria. One of those on his list was SAA as a proxy of Russia. This view is consistent with what some troll at ZeroHedge was saying recently: that Syria is NOT A STATE (if Syria is not a viable State then it is simply a Russian proxy and illegal occupying force).

So US participation in ’Assad must go!’ continues but USA is no longer tainted by using ISIS as a proxy AND USA is struggling against Russia - NOT helping apartheid Israel and Gulf State monarchies.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 8 2018 17:48 utc | 43

Enough of this sh*t, B.

Something has to give and if Putin/China/Iran don't want to take there (there being wherever we end up if you stand up for what you believe in) then they should say so.

The Americans/Saudi's/Israel are playing for keeps.

How many more Syrian fathers, brothers, uncles sons have to die before a stand is made ?

RIP to the dead.

Posted by: Skeletor | Feb 8 2018 18:00 utc | 44

What is the official legal justification for their presence? I am aware it will be false whatever it is, I'd just like to know their excuse.

I'm guessing the UN resolution calling for action against IS?

Posted by: Bob | Feb 8 2018 18:01 utc | 45

"The strategy is probably to strangle the Syrian State by denying crucial resources and then win elections by offering a better future"

From who? The white Christians and Jews? Are you kidding me?

I can not believe that anybody can write something like this let alone to believe in this shit. Allegedly it comes from Moscow but I have to check that out.

What strategy, there is none when comes to amerikkans. Secondly, are you into "the US invaded Iraq and killed 1.000.000 of them" because of oil.

Posted by: Partisan | Feb 8 2018 18:02 utc | 46

thanks b..

"Might this whole operation have been a trap?" it appears that way to me...

i continue to wonder about erdogans operation in the same light...

here he is in amn news.. - "Erdogan refuses talks with Assad, calls him ‘murderer of a million citizens’" thanks erdogan.. you have contributed to this immensely and it is not lost on most folks either...

Posted by: james | Feb 8 2018 18:13 utc | 47

@44 bob... correct - on the basis of going after isis - the same group that obama was hoping would help quicken the demise of assad and who had turned a blind eye towards... at least now - all these liars in the usa military can claim whatever they want - people paying attention see what is happening here..

Posted by: james | Feb 8 2018 18:15 utc | 48

Barbara Starr, CNN Pentagon correspondent ...
Or more accurately, Pentagon Press Secretary, she is one of the Borg that I loathe the most. At least Neocons like Ben Shapiro don't hide that they are activists, opinion oriented, columnists and speech makers.

I don't recall Barbara Starr ever telling the truth about the M.E. on any story.

Posted by: Christian Chuba | Feb 8 2018 18:19 utc | 49

10 indeed the latest days are all about ghuta and idlib and there were some reporting from idlib. Their sf from aleppo have probably boarded the buses when they evacuated aleppo. Add to this that two trials related to the 13 november paris attacks are on going and you get a sense they want to appease djihadists at the moment

Posted by: Mina | Feb 8 2018 18:29 utc | 50

RE: CarlD 39 "That was the war against ISIS. Now it is the war against US Coalition."

But hasn't it been clear that ISIS is USIS? The Russian MoD released photographic evidence last September depicting U.S. forces and ISIS working alongside one another against Russian and Syrian forces in Deir ez-Zour.

IMO, Putin needed to make a very public withdrawal of Russian forces for domestic political purposes (i.e. upcoming Russian presidential election). Obviously it was understood that Russian forces could return posthaste at any time of their choosing.

My point in asking the previous rhetorical question was to call into question the wisdom of that decision, which seemed predicated on rational behavior of the US "partners" (is there a pattern of behavior here?). The US and its mercenary proxies had clearly lost the war and the only sane decision was for the US to declare victory and leave. But since when are the neocons sane?

Isn't there a point of diminishing returns for Russia if it chooses to continue to reply with asymmetrical responses to blatant US aggression? And it looks like a major escalation is coming soon in Ukraine.

Posted by: Perimetr | Feb 8 2018 18:30 utc | 51

Peter AU 1 @2:

It's too bad that China chickened out by delaying (again) the roll out of the oil-in-yuan future contract. IMO, I don't believe Seoul will ever switch camps. They're firmly part of the AAZ Empire. I might be convinced IF they take back control of their military leadership, as I believe the US dominates it.

Anonymous @27:

The UNSC angle wouldn't work. I believe both the Chinese and Russians have raised the issue before, but nothing came of it. The best way is to raise the issue in the General Assembly.

Posted by: Ian | Feb 8 2018 18:34 utc | 52

Here we go, it is requested by you. Hagiography of marine unit in Syria.

"These Marines in Syria fired more artillery than any battalion since Vietnam"

Posted by: Partisan | Feb 8 2018 18:45 utc | 53

Looks like the US are rebranding ISIS as the white flag group in Iraq, which is comprised of ISIS and Barzani Kurdish mafia. Shades of the “white Helmets”!

Likewise Turkey is accused of recruiting ex-Isis fighters to attack Kurds in Syria

Perhaps the SDF forces in South Eastern Syria are a similar alliance between ISIS and Kurds? The Russian ministry of Defense claimed that “pro-Damascus fighters were involved in an anti-Daesh operation near the Al-Isba oil refinery in Deir ez-Zor province, when they came under the US-led coalition's fire.”

Syrian news also claimed that forces of the US-led coalition on Thursday 8/2/2018 committed a brutal massacre against Syrian popular forces which were confronting Daesh.

I have also read that the Sunni al-Shaitaat tribe was part of the forces killed by the US (but lost the link). This tribe is trying to exact revenge against ISIS for the killing of hundreds of its tribal members, such as this example:

Posted by: Krollchem | Feb 8 2018 18:51 utc | 54

I see Putin strategy falling apart. After Turkey shot down Russian warplane in 2015 and killed pilot, Putin reacted, now the same done by Turkish supported terrorists and .. nothing, a pathetic medal and raised pension to pilot family.

What is he doing? Instead of putting psychotic mental patients from D.C. in straight jacket, HE ENCOURAGES their murderous rants with his totally counterproductive public timidity. As in Russia gate Putin, initially praised by reasonable people for balanced, diplomatic adult responses to US tantrums and hysteria, in fact was encouraging more baseless accusation and more hatred as record of last two years indicates, and that is nothing but Putin political failure on international stage.

Putin should learn how to deal with bullies which is in first slightest episode of bulling strike hard and decisive , escalate when there is a space to escalate, before bully escalates the assault , later if you tolerate bully's attacks you have to kill bully since he will enter stage of irreversible psychosis of pleasure of domination.

Bully as US is, lives of the feeling of domination and forcing people to submit even in small things, and hence must be denied everything even smallest reasons to confirm his power over others.

I wonder why, now all his oligarchic friends are on the list threatened , intimidated , a clear attack on Putin trying to isolate him from his moneyed support on one hand and hijack coming elections on the other.

Bully is encouraged, prepare for terrorist attacks on Russia in Syria and Russia, voting disruptions and revealing of fabricated Putin's crimes to spread all over western presstitudes media bordellos.

In fact the last bastion of support Putin has are Russian people who do not play oligarchic games by care deeply about their country facing western madness.

Posted by: Kalen | Feb 8 2018 19:12 utc | 55

Talk, talk, talk. Meanwhile the U.S. and Israel whatever the hell they want and the Syrian government doesn't have the weapon systems to protect themselves. Talk is cheap.

Posted by: rcentros | Feb 8 2018 19:20 utc | 56

"While the U.S. claimed “100 pro-regime fighters” were killed in the attack, a Syrian military source reported that approximately 25-30 tribal fighters were dead and many more severely wounded by the Coalition assault."

From 100 to 61 to 25-30.

Posted by: Partisan | Feb 8 2018 19:26 utc | 57

Trump to meet Kissinger today, we’ll know more about US next moves soon..
Otherwise, whats the update with Al Tanf?

Posted by: Lozion | Feb 8 2018 19:27 utc | 58

Peter AU 1 said@2: :"This will only end when the US or the US dollar has been collapsed."

Right on Pete, that's bottom line.

Actually gives relevance @ 9's comments...

Challenging the financial hegemonic demon that the empire has become, isn't easy. Why else would the Russian Bear put up with the empire's challenge in Syria? Or, is their help to Syria just a show, with no real teeth?

Someone, some day, must give the empire their "bloody nose"...

Posted by: ben | Feb 8 2018 19:33 utc | 59


The Americans have invested a lot in Al Qaeda - the Syrians and Russians are going to liquidate them - end of regime change in western Syria - there is your response from Putin and Assad. It looks like the ISIS pocket in north east Hama could be gone by tomorrow morning or perhaps Saturday morning, and then it's on to Idlib.

As for ISIS in Deir Ez-zor, when is the United States going to get its proxies to liquidate the pocket of ISIS controlled territory on the east bank of the Euphrates opposite Abu Kamal? Given the events of last night the American response to an SAA attempt to liquidate that pocket would be brutal.

How many attacks by ISIS in the pocket abutting the Iraqi border in Deir Ez-zor and al-Hasakah governorates on the SDF/YPG forces in eastern Syria will the YPG put up with. With the Iraqi army being able to contain any ISIS attacks across the border, it seems that the United States is quite happy to us ISIS to help control SDF/YPG.

Most of the SDF/DEMC forces in Deir Ez-zor used to be allied with ISIS until the United States or an ally/allies offered them more money - no wonder tribes who opposed ISIS regard them a ISIS sleeper cells. At some time in the future a Saudi just has to turn up with truck loads of dollar bills and ISIS will be up and running again.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Feb 8 2018 19:44 utc | 60

The sky is not falling in Syria.
Of course the Russians can't directly engage with US forces in battle but they've shown willingness to stand, fight, and even die as needed alongside their Syrian brothers and even stand up in the UN arena for them. No war is purely filled with victories, particularly one against the richest empire in the world (and this battle has already shown some fortune with the US almost at direct odds with their fellow nato member Turkey) and I don't believe that the US has the spirit to stick with it if it requires really dealing with sacrifices of us troops or equipment (As always, American rhetoric is like the belligerent swagger of a spoiled bully, and those usually end up running away crying foul after they catch a fist to the nose)
This is a protracted war, not a dinner party.

Posted by: Anon | Feb 8 2018 20:06 utc | 61

All you wrote is true but it is not the issue I have raised.

If you still think that US WILL RECOGNIZE THE REALITY IN Syria someday and stop agression , I must disagree pointing to the past and now US ESCALATING nuclear posture to most agressive ever, arming NATO countries, spending $1.5 Trillion a year for war machine. Russia and China trying to catch up.

These are not words these are deeds facts on the ground, madness of militarization of economies continues.

Since when a psychotic neocons recognize reality in Syria or anywhere ?


It is up to us to overthrow this abhorrent imperial regime of death from within otherwise madness will continue.
It seems that neither Russia nor China want war with US but I am sure it is not concern about survival of human race but of survival and growth of their oligarchs profit, they have a good thing going, since so far US maniacs pay their bills with sweat and blood of their slaves.

Posted by: Kalen | Feb 8 2018 20:13 utc | 62

ben 58

Eventually it will be China because the 'West' is relentlessly pushing her into a corner from which she will not be able to escape without resistance .

Posted by: ashley albanese | Feb 8 2018 20:14 utc | 63

Kalen @54:

Politics rarely travel in a straight line.

Posted by: Ian | Feb 8 2018 20:17 utc | 64

the US in syria reminds me of several asshole bosses i've worked with; the type that instigates and annoys and needles you constantly to the point where you finally snap and tell them to piss off. then they and their enablers always say "wow, where did that come from!?!?"

any direct offense by the"coalition" will be seen as such so they do it through proxies or - in the grand tradition of US and israeli "pre-traumatic stress disorder" - claim self defense...against people in their own country. the cowardice and sleaze is matched only by the sense of entitlement. i can't wait to break into my neighbor's house and steal his shit and screw his wife and then shoot him in "self defense".

as fun as it is to think of bloody revengeance against these scumbags even the slightest reprisals will be met with incessant whining and more "self defense". support from iraq and iran will be somewhat helpful but then there's the global urine stains known as israel and turkey to back up any future colonial nonsense. see also: the non-hezbollah factions in lebanon who seem to hold daily contests on who can fit the most anglo-zio buttcheek in their mouths.

i admire the restraint shown by the syria/russia/iran folks but i see this dragging on until israel unleashes one of their semi-regular civilian killing spasms and leaves no choice but to show some actual self defense. i somewhat agree with the "it will go on until dollar collapse" but if the great depression taught us anything, the US has no problem killing its way out of financial crisis...especially with a moronic populace fed a diet of "russiagate" bullshit 24/7. oh well.

Posted by: the pair | Feb 8 2018 20:36 utc | 65

The idea of a "deal" between the tribal members of the SDF and the (same?) tribal members on the government side, being shot up by the US :

If true, and it probably is, then this is a case of Citizens of Syria making a deal/agreement with the legitimate Government of Syria. The "legality" of the US strikes? Humm.

It is more obviously a way for the US to "scare" off any further deals before the whole eastern bank decides to make peace with the Syrian Gov. It is possibly also designed to make life difficult for ANY Gov. presence on the East Euphrates, and then Deir Ezzor itself, as these could be the start of any military movement to regain the oil rich area. Remember the difficulty the SAA had to cross the river - and the Russian pontoon bridge has been destroyed, slowing re-inforcements. (The US controls the Tabbqa Dam)
The US is nothing if not greedy.

The Russian reply. Russia will respond in their usual manner. ie Withdrawal of some forces before the "open hand" at Sochi. Those that did not show willingness to participate, will be the next targets of the reinforcements coming in (actually mainly airforce).
Lateral movement. With the elimination by the SAA and friends of various "pockets" of resistance, troops will be freed up. Include the "silence" of the Herzbollah and the regular attacks by the IAF (Israel from Lebanese territory) on Damascus. Some sort of unexpected development is to be anticipated. (I have an idea - but it is too early to be sure). Probably Diplomatic.

Incidentally I would not be surprised if the recent shooting down of a Russian plane by a sophisticated Manpad, and the earlier direct attack on Ltakia/Tartus by drones (with sophisticated GPS and "ant-jamming" devices hidden in a rudimentary drone) were the effort of Al-Nusra, in which case Israel would be behind them. Note that Haaretz showed a picture of a similar "drone" and then tried to blame them on Hamas. But Hamas does not have the satellites or the technology necessary to produce "anti-jammers". Bad conscience by Israel?

Posted by: stonebird | Feb 8 2018 20:37 utc | 66

When a weakling faces a bully, he cannot hope to survive a hand to hand
combat. Instead, he has to resort to guile and lethal force if he wants to
stay alive.

I do not believe one second that Russia has what it takes to wage a
conventional war with the US. With NATO countries on its side, Russia
would be bound to be vanquished.

Unless, of course, most other nations on Earth would come to the help
of Russia, which is not sure to happen.

The US has thrown away the mask of paternalism an is now engaged in
open and blatant imperialistic moves and behavior.

When a woman faces a man, her only hopes of winning are to be swift
and lethal. She must win with a single blow or in the very first seconds
of the fight.

In this case, Russia is the woman. She can kill the United States. But she
cannot exchange trivial blows for she is sure to lose.

Therefore we cannot expect Russia to exchange blows with the US in Syria.

What she can do is EMP the US or wreak havoc on its electrical grid and
other vital services or plainly obliterate it by nuking all that should be nuked.

And therein lies the problem. To live subjugated or die with the human race.

The US leaves no alternative to the World other than a slave's life or a hero's

The commanders whip or a nuclear winter.

Posted by: CarlD | Feb 8 2018 20:42 utc | 67

According to on-site accounts announced via Twitter, and this is just one selection, proves the Outlaw US Empire's description of events is one massive Fish Tale.

FYI--55 years ago today, the CIA waged aggressive war against the 1st independent government of Iraq by ousting it that began a series of aggressive assaults on Iraq and its people that still continues.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 8 2018 20:47 utc | 68

Dear Jackrabbit | Feb 8, 2018 12:48:35 PM | 42

I tried to convey the general feeling I get here.

Erdogan's stance is obvious

1) I'm a Neo-ottoman with a broken heart (My sultanate is down from 5m km2 to 780.000km2, weep, snort, sulking)
2) Syria is not a real country (my ex)
3) Assad is a minority rep (I wonder if there is an opportunity to annex some of Syria?)
4) But Assad can keep his seat as long as we prevent bloodshed (Erdogan defends Assad against Assad must go! gang in 2005)
5) But we have something called Arab Spring. It's your turn Assad, let's avoid it shall we? Erdogan-Assad meet, heavy traffic between many countries. Assad says no. I will crash the uprising.
6) Assad kills 'own' people by the thousands. Sectarian war. His father Hafez had done the same.
7) Erdogan is under too much pressure from left and right, he is not very strong back then, the Gulenists, western voices, Kurds, as well as the silly islamists want him to spank Assad.
8) Erdogan yields: OK we are off to Umayyad Mosque to pray.
9) Erdogan policies are influenced by the Assad must go league, directly/indirectly. He knows it's a trap. He works with the enemies of the Assad. Meanwhile he strenghtens his position internally.
10) Today we have a mess. Turks view USA as democratic barbarians, an Israeli militia force, they will attack Turkey after Syria? Condoleezza Rat wants 22 borders modified. US forces close in, Romania, Black Sea, new bases or expansion in Turkey, bases in Iraq, Syria, even in Israel!
11) Turkey is nervous and has to fight for her life. It'll be Turks' turn next. Maybe before or after Iran. Erdogan kicks bolshy Merkel (USA) out of the bases first. She goes to Jordan. Well sort of.
12) Palestinian refugees in Jordan, Lebanon. Syrian refugees in Turkey? Are the Turks making a space for new jewish settlers in Syria? No way, the Turks say, we are not the servants of the silly Jews. Syrians must go back to their homeland, asap.
13) OPS. Euphrates & Olive Branch. Manbij next. If Syria is divided, Turks won't get out, Syria is undivided then Turks will get out.
14) Turks do not trust America any longer. Because of those who pull the string in the USA?
15) Erdogan calls Assad a murderer? I wouldn't dwell on it though. It's politics. He doesn't really mean that. The Coalition for Occupation must go. Assad must stop flirting with the PKK and so must the Russians! You can't have a PKK wildcard anymore. The USA, Rus, Iran, Israel, EU... Nobody should. That's a matter of national security for Turks. You want WW3? WW4? 5-6? Samson Option? Go ahead, the Turks will not step back. You'll have to make them retreat.
16) The US killed 5 Rus officers during yesterday's attack. Rus pilot, Rus ambassador... If Turkey goes down so will Russia. That's what people think here. More or less.

Posted by: ConfusedPundit | Feb 8 2018 20:47 utc | 69

"This new aggression, which constitutes a war crime and a crime against humanity is directly in support of terrorism; it also reveals the disgusting nature of America’s intentions against the sovereignty, territorial integrity, and people of Syria," This statement of Syrian gov sums it up right.

USA has no legal presence or authority in sovereign Syria. The USA has supported various terrorist organisation in Afghanistan in the eighties. It did so in many other countries before and after. It has been supporting various terrorist organisation in both Syria and Iraq the last decades. In eastern Syria it's doing all that it can to make sure Daesh survives and thrives so this terrorist organisation can remain a treat to western Iraq as well as Syria. As long as the Syrian authorities are witheld the means to deter and protect themselves from Israeli and NATO attacks, these war craving countries that actively use and support various terrorist groups as shock troops will continue to bomb whenever they please.

Posted by: xor | Feb 8 2018 20:51 utc | 70

Some good comments here. For example:
“Man, I feel bad for anyone living around Deir-ez-Zour--there's been nothing but bad news for them for years thanks to Daesh, the US, and their allies. Can't we let them live in peace???
Posted by: WorldBLee | Feb 8, 2018 12:47:32 PM | 41”

Since I like to dig through Wikileaks US State Department cables, I can tell you what’s up with Deir Ez Zour. Let’s go back to 2008, when France’s Total was going to develop the oilfields there:

“The most significant economic development resulting from French President Nicholas Sarkozy's visit to Damascus was the signing of an MOU with the SARG that would position the French petroleum company Total to take the lead on any potential projects linking Syria's petroleum infrastructure with Iraq. . . . . According to Nuseibeh, the first agreement simply extends Total's license over energy projects in the Deir Ezzor region for ten more years, until 2021. These projects are owned by Total but operated jointly by Total and Syrian Petroleum Company (SPC).” (2008 State Department cable, confidential)

It’s not just oil, however, it’s also electricity, gas, etc.:
“Next, the Syrians announced they had increased the pace of construction on a gas pipeline from Aleppo towards the Turkish border in anticipation of receiving Iranian natural gas through Turkey (see paras 3-4 above). Further, both sides expressed a desire to link their electrical grids via the Deir Ezzor power station in eastern Syria and the Al Qaim station in western Iraq.” (2009 US State Department cable, confidential)

The US message to Syria at that time was, basically, “We’ll only allow this if you cut all ties with Iran and come into the US-Israel-Saudi orbit” - but Iran offered better percentages, as did Russia; so Syria went with the Iran-Gazprom deal instead of the Saudi-US deal.

Assad, in other words, took actions that were in the best interests of the Syrian people - and the Outlaw US Empire just couldn’t go along with that. This is really the central issue - it’s neocolonialism, the notion that a foreign power can dictate unfavorable terms to a developing nation and if those terms are rejected, can kill hundreds of thousands of people to gain those percentages. That’s what Tillerson and Trump - and Clinton and Obama before them - are really up to here.

Posted by: nonsense factory | Feb 8 2018 20:57 utc | 71

will Putin continue to refer to the US as his “partner”

Posted by: Ace Hanlon | Feb 8 2018 20:58 utc | 72

CarlD @66
You forgot that a "womans" favourite weapon is poison. Turn a person's own greed against them. You don't "hit" them, you feed them, even get them to ask for more - until it is too late.

Posted by: stonebird | Feb 8 2018 21:23 utc | 73

Don't think there will be unwanted attention to US forces. Russia & Iran don't want it. Syria simply cannot do it. Damascus is still bombed at US will. Idleb is in Erdogan's hands and he will never break off with NATO. Israel will keep the Golan Heights to link them up to the ever expanding illegal settlements in Palestinian territory. It looks like Syria's partition is achieved. US troops and jets can stay there forever. Look at Afghanistan.

Posted by: buenaventura | Feb 8 2018 21:29 utc | 74 'While US claimed “100 pro-regime fighters” were killed in the attack, a Syrian military source reported approximately 25-30 tribal fighters were dead & many more severely wounded by Coalition assault.'

Posted by: brian | Feb 8 2018 21:38 utc | 75

Partisan | Feb 8, 2018 1:45:12 PM | 52

"These Marines in Syria fired more artillery than any battalion since Vietnam"

Thanks for the link. Approx. 500 rounds of artillery fired to kill 1 ISIS fighter?
Artillery fire to support PKK fighters as well I guess.


Posted by: ConfusedPundit | Feb 8 2018 22:03 utc | 76

Kalen @ 54:

The Russians have already avenged the shootdown of Roman Filippov's death by targeting and killing 30 jihadis in the area from where the MANPAD missile was launched. Not all his killers may have been wiped out and quite possibly those who took down his jet managed to escape. Overall the shootdown of the Su-25 proved to be very expensive for the jihadis if in addition to the 30 killed, we count the jihadis Filippov killed with his side pistol and then blew up with him.

The fact that the US resorted to the type of "self defence" false flag attack as B has described in his post above speaks for the desperation, not to mention cowardly viciousness, of the US military. Is this how armed forces in control of the situation and on the road to victory act?

If Russia does not strike hard in the way you expect, it is because this is what the US expects. Fighting the way the enemy expects you to fight in the battles it sets for you is a sure-fire way of losing the war in the end.

Posted by: Jen | Feb 8 2018 22:03 utc | 77

Yes, this “defensive” aggression could well have been a setup. The goal to break up Syria seems to still be in play.

Note: I can't seem to stop everything after "The Oded Yinon Plan" to "Back in 1996" being a repeated hyper link, so please just skip to Doug Feith.

In 2006, the US Armed Forces Journal published a map of a new Middle East. (The original link no longer has the map, but it’s probably somewhere).

In 2013, the NY Times came up with a new map.

There have been others. But really, aren’t they all intermediary plans towards the 1980s’ Oded Yinon Plan> ?

Which after all draws its “legitimacy” to a Bronze Age collection of fairy tales in which we find the genocidal desert god, Yahweh promising:

Genesis 15:8
“In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates”

Back in 1996, Doug Faith and the NeoCons wrote, the game plan to create their Greater Israel Project.

“Israel can shape its strategic environment, in cooperation with Turkey and Jordan, by weakening, containing, and even rolling back Syria. This effort can focus on removing Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq — an important Israeli strategic objective in its own right…”

“Israel has an interest supporting diplomatically, militarily and operationally Turkey’s and Jordan’s actions against Syria, such as securing tribal alliances with Arab tribes that cross into Syrian territory…”

And this certainly what's been happening since 9/11.

Posted by: Daniel | Feb 8 2018 22:35 utc | 78

Air Defenses will put the end to US and its phony coalition.

Russia sent another S-400 to each of its bases (fearing swarms of drones).

What is needed now is more S-300 and Pantsir systems for Syria, and one more Russian S-400, located much closer to the East. Then coverage and the integrated system of Russian and Syria defenses will ground the US air power.

It simply has to happen.

The reason Israel stays over Lebanon and shoots missiles into Damascus region is air defenses.
The reason the US phones the Russians when they fly is air defenses.

Syrian national border integrity requires Russian-provided and integrated air defenses.

We have partial integration in the Western half of Syria. Time to cover the entire nation.

Posted by: Red Ryder | Feb 8 2018 22:54 utc | 79

Excellent research & analysis! A sincere thanks..,

Posted by: Sue | Feb 8 2018 22:57 utc | 80

I yet to see video which will make me to Believe that Su-25 is downed by Igla-S. What I saw I interpret as a warplane malfunction, probably the Compressor Stall - and the pilot's inability to recover power.

One of the reasons for downing, we are told, is that Su-25 do not have flares, which is not true, if one goes to wikipedia Su-25 is clearly stated that warplane has that.

And of course all this is followed with state-crafted narrative of the event. The Russians are also quite capable in creation of Hagiography.

Nowhere I had seen fumes from the missile and moment when it hits target.

Posted by: Partisan | Feb 8 2018 22:57 utc | 81

Another Compresssor Stall

Posted by: Partisan | Feb 8 2018 23:08 utc | 82

66, Carl, North Korea is well aware and could carry out EMP attack.
Trump is playing with fire.

Posted by: col | Feb 8 2018 23:12 utc | 83

Kudos to: xor @ 69

buenaventura @ 73

Two short and relevant posts. Thanks!!

Posted by: ben | Feb 8 2018 23:15 utc | 84

james james
let us leave israel out of this it would be a shame to erase all your comments down the memory hole.
my friend b says israel is not the issue here hare here.
that is just nazi new hitler talk.
please james let the israel innocent B

Posted by: menechem golani | Feb 8 2018 23:21 utc | 85

Don Bacon. So, Turkish forces are attacking US Kurdish proxies and possibly US forces in Idlib, with total impunity. Yet, a claimed attack by Syrian forces against Kurdish proxies musters a 3-hour long multi-asset attack.

This sure looks like further evidence that the alleged "conflict" between Erdogan and the US is malarky, and the plan is to divide Syria along the Euphrates river.

Posted by: Daniel | Feb 8 2018 23:21 utc | 86

I wonder what the morale is like for the U.S. military abroad.

It's one thing for an officer or a politician to order a hit but I just have to think that it does something to the rank and file pilots who later find out that it was all BS. The first attack on Deir Ezzor, the downing of the Syrian Jet, this attack, threatening local forces fighting for their own country. How does this not eat at you?

What's it like in Afghanistan, taking long showers at military bases while the locals have to dig deeper and deeper for even the most basic water needs. Do our soldiers even leave the base when they are not on missions? I'd really like to know what is happening upstairs with out active duty personnel.

Posted by: Christian Chuba | Feb 8 2018 23:31 utc | 87

Jen. False flags are not necessarily signs of desperation. The US used false flags to excuse the Mexican/American and Spanish/American wars, which were both foregone conclusions once the military might of the US was unleashed.

I am having less and less confidence in Putin's resolve regarding Syrian sovereignty.

Posted by: Daniel | Feb 8 2018 23:35 utc | 88

@61 Kalen

You nailed it my friend. The US strategy is how you describe it: endless war.

At some point we (as in we the people who are opposed to a world mired in perpetual warfare for the benefit of US and Zionist elites and their allies) must fight them.

The neocon/American exceptionalists will never never "come to their senses" and leave other nations in peace. The US will never draw down and leave Syria voluntarily. They will have to be fought and driven out.

The US will never accept Russia as a "partner" and I hope Putin realizes that it will be a tough slog in Syria that requires a strong commitment.

In other words, common sense won't prevail. The US sees this as a zero sum game.

Posted by: Temporarily Sane | Feb 8 2018 23:51 utc | 89

The Outlaw US Empire's muddled tactical and strategic thinking which are based upon chimeras rather than facts is also present within the newly released (pdf) Nuclear Posture Review being driven by the lunatic desire to exercise oneupsmanship no matter the reasons why or its costs, which is actually rather scary; or as Mercouris ends his discussion of it: "However given the appallingly high stakes, its resistance to reality can only fill one with a deep sense of foreboding and dismay." [My emphasis]

Imagine the Empire just used tactical nukes then told the sort of Fish Tale it did to justify its actions--exactly what a hubris infected lying psychopath will do. The Nuclear Posture publication shows for all with eyes to see and brain to reason with that the Outlaw US Empire is 100% Demonic--Evil to the Max!--and in total denial as to how it dug its own hole, which it continues to dig deeper.

Meanwhile, as to the Fish Tale, here's a synopsis of what actually occurred as relayed by several trustworthy sources:

"Yesterday the #SAA had an agreement with the #YPG to hand over the oil fields in the area Conico and Al Omar. But the Deir Ezzor Military Council didn’t accept the deal and opened fire at the #SAA allies then called for #USAF air strikes. The clashes continued for 3 hours."

Some of the personnel harmed were members of the ISIS Hunters. Elsewhere, the Daesh pocket in Hama is no more.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 8 2018 23:55 utc | 90

Daniel @87:

Only Assad is responsible for Syria's sovereignty. Putin have already done most of the work. There's no way the Russian people would tolerate a wider war just to fully restore Syria's territorial integrity. If both national interests and peace can be achieved by sacrificing a portion of Syria, it will be done. Syria will never be restored to the way it was. There's too many players (Turkey, EU, US, Israel, Saudi Arabia, etc...) involved. Sadly, it's just the nature of politics.

Posted by: Ian | Feb 9 2018 0:05 utc | 91

karlof1 @ 89 said:"The Nuclear Posture publication shows for all with eyes to see and brain to reason with that the Outlaw US Empire is 100% Demonic--Evil to the Max!--and in total denial as to how it dug its own hole, which it continues to dig deeper."

Yep, absolutely. Trouble is, the American sheeple don't see it, nor would they believe it.

The power of myth, still rules the American electorate.

Posted by: ben | Feb 9 2018 0:18 utc | 92

ben @91--

The difference between a myth and prevarication is the former is based on cultural and historical lore having a modicum of factual basis whereas the latter has no factual basis whatsoever. I posit it's the Big Lie that rules the American electorate, although more people are discovering that daily.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 9 2018 0:27 utc | 93

Pentagon Claims It Informed Russia Ahead Of Its Attack On Syrian Army.

the US-led coalition attack on the SAA included Apache attack helicopters, AC-130 gunship, F-22 and F-15 warplanes and US Marine Corps artillery units.

russia’s UN envoy Vassily Nebenzia described the US-led coalition attack on the SAA as “regrettable”

yes indeed regrettable
the use of depleted uranium rounds certainly is not regrettable but maybe problematic for the next half life of a million years give or take a bit.

what is important is the corporation partners understand that russia will sell turkey s400 and new gunships and will keep assad weak.

integrated air defense in the syriana maybe assad needs to go turk and kill some russian pilots that seems to work

Posted by: miles mason | Feb 9 2018 0:33 utc | 94

The phrase "U.S. claims ... " means "U.S. lies to cover their ass ..."

Posted by: rcentros | Feb 9 2018 1:12 utc | 95

The transformation that I described at 42 was accomplished by Trump and his generals. Hillary could hardly have done a better job of it

It is very much what I think Flynn was trying to achieve. Flynn was opposed to the extensive use of covert ops by the Obama Administration. He made a lot of enemies for taking that stance.

So this transformation was planned long in advance of Trump’s election. It doesn’t seem too much of a stretch to be speculate that Trump was elected to effect this transformation.

The eye-opening, cold-shower moment for US MIC was when troops questioned the planned bombing of Syria by Obama. (We now know that a massive bombing was planned. Kerry: “The US doesn’t do pinpricks”). They realized that bombing Syria would only mean a victory for the Jihadis, including al Qaeda. US Mil was shaken by such questioning.

Trump & Co. have now changed the equation. ISIS And al alQueda are now not the main beneficiaries of anti Assad operations and virtually any action in Syria is justified by the new Cold War - In which Russia and China are aggressors because their ‘revisionist’ policies challenge US dominance.

This is the propaganda narrative that the world must dispel (the assertion that Russia and China present a mortal threat to the US/West). Because any war is not possible without dupes that make sacrifices. We saw the truth of that after the Iraq War. American citizens were so skeptical of US govt that the neocons had to resort to covert ops. They even rebranded the neocon movement.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 9 2018 1:34 utc | 96

So, I just watched Ed Schultz's news show on RT, and he and McAdams from the Ron Paul Institute discussed this attack. Decent discussion, but the video RT played in the background was the recently released White helmets video of the "chlorine gas attack" in Ghouta!?!


Posted by: Daniel | Feb 9 2018 1:48 utc | 97

Ian, "Ally" used to mean a commitment to defend an ally's sovereignty, including its borders, from foreign invasion. But you're obviously correct regarding our political environment.

Posted by: Daniel | Feb 9 2018 2:43 utc | 98

@ben 91
Yep, absolutely. Trouble is, the American sheeple don't see it, nor would they believe it. The power of myth, still rules the American electorate.

Your ignorant remarks blaming the American people for what the government does, without any demonstrated support of the citizens, in opposition to polls indicating that the citizens are unhappy with it, continues to be appalling.
Why do you continue to harbor such disgust of the American people, who have nothing to do with Syria, for one example? Did you get insulted by some American at some minor point on your poor life? Why do you do it?

Putting it another way, do you harbor disgust of the citizens in other countries for what their governments do? How about Germans and Mexicans and Iranians and Israelis, do you hate all of them too???

Your views are disgusting.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Feb 9 2018 2:49 utc | 99

@98 don... the usa people may remain ignorant of what their gov't and military are doing, but they have no excuse if you ask me...

the usa have been supporting the '''moderate headchoppers''' all along, giving weapons and support to these moderates since day one.. i feel the same about many of the western countries at this point, including the one i live in - canada.. read @70 nonsense factory comments... this game has been going on a long time.. i see they and there kurdish slaves have raised the water level at the tabqa dam and destroyed one of the last remaining bridges in deiz ezzor.. the usa is on one bullshit mission and it has been going on for too long to claim the people of the usa can get a pass...

syrian democractic forces... what fucking country thought up this stupid ass name for the kurds? - we'll everybody knows...

here is that regular jive ass jackass nauert in the daily press briefing today...

the people of the usa can't remain ignorant of all the lies and etc. that are regularly fed them... i say the same for anyone interested in what is going on in syria... these liars are really shitty liars, if you ask me...

" QUESTION: So if – I mean, I just want to understand something. You’re saying that your forces were threatened. Which forces, first of all? When you say our forces were threatened, which forces are those?

MS NAUERT: As you well know, we have coalition forces there and we also work with the Syrian Democratic Forces, and I won’t go beyond that.

QUESTION: And now, to my understanding – in fact, if we go back a week or two and so on --

QUESTION: It was U.S. forces that were threatened, right?

QUESTION: Yeah, you’re saying that --

QUESTION: Not coalition or --

MS NAUERT: My understanding – and again, this would have to go over to DOD, but my understanding is U.S. forces working with the SDF.

QUESTION: So they’re like maybe trainers or training personnel and so on --

MS NAUERT: I’m not going to comment on the work or the activities or the mission of U.S. forces over there.

QUESTION: But walk us through this. Like, it’s quite confusing because a couple weeks ago the SDF actually called on the Syrian forces to protect them. So there’s some sort of an alliance between these two forces, and the Syrians are saying, “Our forces or those affiliated with us, we’re actually attacking ISIS.” So walk us – explain this to us, if you can.

MS NAUERT: Said, I think I’d have to refer you to Department of Defense. They have a – I believe it’s an on-camera briefing at – about at this hour right now. So I’d have to refer you to them.

QUESTION: Let me – if I can have your response --

MS NAUERT: Okay, then we’re going to have --

QUESTION: One last one.

MS NAUERT: Then we’re going to have to move on.

QUESTION: What? Yes, absolutely. One last question.

MS NAUERT: Go right ahead.

QUESTION: Your counterpart, Maria Zakharova in Moscow, basically said that you or the United States is intent on dividing Syria and keeping the conflict going. Do you have any response to her?

MS NAUERT: The United States is there to defeat ISIS. I think everybody knows – everybody knows the horror that that country has been through. The United States is there to defeat ISIS, for no other purpose. We are there also to stabilize the country so that the country hopefully can get through the Geneva process and to have elections and decide what they want to do with its future. We’ve been clear about that all along. There is no other reason that the United States is going to be there. Our --

QUESTION: And you’re committed to the unity of Syria?

MS NAUERT: We have said that.

QUESTION: You remain --

MS NAUERT: We have said that all along, yes."

Posted by: james | Feb 9 2018 4:26 utc | 100

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