Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
April 24, 2018

Syria-Iraq - U.S. Coddles ISIS - Others Plan For The Final Fight

OIR Spokesman Verified account @OIRSpox - 15:02 UTC - 24 Apr 2018

#Iraq's strike on a known Daesh HQ in Syria was planned/conducted by the Iraqi Security Forces, w/ support from @CJTFOIR. This strike shows Iraq's willingness to do what's necessary to secure its citizens as well as their important role in the Global @Coalition to #defeatDaesh

The above tweet by the spokesperson for the U.S. Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR) against ISIS is extremely misleading if not false. The U.S. is trying to take some credit for a strike which was done without its consensus. The attack against ISIS was initiated by an anti-U.S. alliance as a warning against further U.S. shenanigans with ISIS.

The U.S. military in Syria has refrained from fighting ISIS for months. The map of the territory held by ISIS (grey) at the Syrian-Iraqi border in the U.S. controlled zone north of the Euphrates (yellow) has not changed since November 2017.

Livemap: Nov 30 2017, Apr 24 2018 - bigger, bigger

(The yellow corridor going south east towards Iraq on the map is misleading. The U.S. has no forces there and ISIS crossed it several times to attack Syrian forces (red) across the river.)

The British group Airwars documents the U.S. airstrikes in Iraq and Syria. U.S. strikes on ISIS in Syria are down to one per day or less:

Source: Airwars - bigger

The U.S. strikes hit, if anything, only very minor targets. From OIR's weekly summary from March 30 to April 5 (Syria only):

Between March 30 and April 5, Coalition military forces conducted nine strikes consisting of 11 engagements in Syria and Iraq.
There were no reported strikes conducted in Syria on April 5, 2018.
There were no reported strikes conducted in Syria on April 4, 2018.
There were no reported strikes conducted in Syria or Iraq on April 3, 2018.
There were no reported strikes conducted in Syria on April 2, 2018.
On April 1 in Syria, Coalition military forces conducted one strike consisting of three engagements against Daesh targets.
• Near Abu Kamal, one strike engaged a Daesh tactical unit and destroyed a Daesh vehicle.
On March 31 in Syria, Coalition military forces conducted one strike consisting of one engagement against Daesh targets.
• Near Abu Kamal, one strike engaged a Daesh tactical unit.
On March 30 in Syria, Coalition military forces conducted one strike consisting of one engagement against Daesh targets.
• Near Shadaddi, one strike engaged a Daesh tactical unit and destroyed a Daesh vehicle.

Two cars and three assumed militants (aka 'tactical units') targeted in one week is not a fight at all. The total number of ISIS fighters in the area is estimated between 5,000 and 12,000. The current U.S. strikes are not even pinpricks.

It is obvious that the U.S. wants to keep ISIS alive and well to again use it, if need be, against the Syrian and Iraqi government. Then Secretary of State Kerry as well as then President Obama admitted that they used ISIS to put pressure on the Syrian President Assad and then Prime Minister of Iraq Maliki:

The reason, the president added, “that we did not just start taking a bunch of airstrikes all across Iraq as soon as ISIL came in was because that would have taken the pressure off of [Prime Minister Nuri Kamal] al-Maliki.

We now see a repeat of such 'games'. ISIS was given time to rest. It is regaining capacities especially in Iraq's Anbar province where it is moving between villages and threatening the inhabitants. It is issuing new strategic instructions to its followers and calls on them to attack or sabotage the upcoming elections in Iraq.

As the U.S. is unwilling to fight ISIS, the governments of Iraq, Syria, Iran and Russia (+ Hizbullah) decided to again take the issue into their own hands. On April 19 the 4+1 met for coordinating their future campaigns.

Patch of the 4+1 op-room - via @IraqiSecurity - bigger

Military officials from Iraq, Syria, Iran and Russia meet in their Baghdad operations room to coordinate the further fight against ISIS. Note the four flags on the head table.

Source: @IraqiSecurity - bigger

Source: @IraqiSecurity - bigger

The Iranian Minister of Defense Brig. Gen. Amir Hatami attended the op-room meeting and held additional meetings with leaders of the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) or Hashd al-Shaabi. (IRGC commander Qassem Soleimani, a red rag for all anti-Iranian forces, is now intentionally kept out of sight.)

Source: IRNA via @Sadattawa - bigger

The high level operations room meeting agreed upon future operations and strikes. Before the meeting military intelligence officials of the 4+1 had identified a potential target for a common operation. An attack was planned and designed to give the new combat phase some fresh impetus. It was also intended to be a warning to the U.S.

Shortly after the meeting the Iraqi air force hit an ISIS command and control center in east-Syria near Abu Kamal within the nominally U.S. controlled zone:

According to an Iraqi military spokesperson, the operation was fully coordinated with the Syrian army.

The Iraqi Ministry of Defense distributed video of the successful strike on a three story villa. Iraq later announced that 36 ISIS fighters, including high ranking ISIS commanders, were killed in the strike.

After the strike had happened the U.S. Operation Inherent Resolve tried to take credit for the attack by claiming that its was involved.

SOUTHWEST ASIA – The Iraqi air force conducted an air strike near Hajin, Syria, against Daesh terrorists operating near the Iraq-Syria border on April 19. The strike was approved by the Iraqi Prime Minister and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces Dr. Haider Al Abadi.

The strike demonstrates Iraq’s commitment to destroy Daesh remnants who continue to threaten their citizens. The operation was planned and executed by the Iraqi Joint Operations Command with intelligence support from the Coalition.

“This operation highlights the capabilities of Iraq’s armed forces to aggressively pursue Daesh and to maintain their country’s internal security,” said Brig. Gen. Robert B. Sofge, deputy commanding general of operations, Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve.

The Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve’s mission is to defeat Daesh in designated areas in Iraq and Syria, and sets conditions for follow-on operations to increase regional stability.

My sources say that the U.S. claim is misleading if not completely false. After the four commanders in the Baghdad op-room decided on the strike, the Iraqi command initiated the pre-planned attack. The Iraqis informed the U.S. OIR command that a strike would happen but gave only a rough description of the target area. Said differently - no time was given to the U.S. to warn ISIS. The U.S. "intelligence support" for the operation consisted of keeping its planes out of the way.

The tweet by the OIR spox quoted above is a repeat of the statement the OIR command issued on April 19. It is claiming credit where non belongs.

While the U.S. coddles with ISIS in Syria to again use it for its own purpose, the 4+1 plan for a larger common operation to finally destroy the Takfiri menace. I expect that operation to begin only after the Iraqi parliament election on May 12 is over and a new Iraqi government is in place. Enough forces will have to be prepared on the Syrian as well as the Iraqi side of the border. On the Syrian side a military bridge to cross the Euphrates has recently been rebuild by the Syrian military and new equipment is arriving in the area.  The meeting of the Iranian defense minister with the PMU hints at a strong role for these units in the upcoming fight.

Will the U.S. try to prevent or undermine the plan or will it stay out of the way?


Posted by b on April 24, 2018 at 19:36 UTC | Permalink

next page »

The US literally has bombed Assad's Syrian holdings more than ISIS this month. That's something to ponder, and something that should be widely publicized and used to put pressure on Trump to choose which side to back, or if he wants out for real.
In fact, Trump actually once again stated he wanted the US out of Syria very soon - replaced by Arab troops, which would be just as illegal and would be far less welcome by YPG. Coincidentally, we'll see in the next few days if Trump wanting to stop US involvement will produce the same result as the last time.

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Apr 24 2018 19:58 utc | 1

@ b who wrote:
Will the U.S. try to prevent or undermine the plan or will it stay out of the way?

Come on b. Of course the forces of empire will attempt to regain control of the narrative. I don't see any white flags flying over any capitols of empire.

Now that I have disagreed with you let me compliment your presentation of the latest in Syria. Nicely done.

One final question. Is this final fight to drive the US out of Syria or Israel?........maybe both, huh?

What a show.....

Posted by: psychohistorian | Apr 24 2018 19:59 utc | 2

they will set their spies to work and provide intelligence of upcoming attacks to ISIS. Overtly they will play the same fake game, as ISIS is their nominal excuse for remaining in Syria

Posted by: JakeS | Apr 24 2018 20:02 utc | 3

thanks b... this is something we have talked in the comment section on for many months.. will the usa get out of the way? the answer still seems to be 'no'... they are still trying to manage the imagery here with false or misleading statements, or worse... at what point will the usa / coalition, stop interfering in syria? i can't see any stop to it myself... at some point there will be a confrontation.. russia is doing everything to prevent this, but it seems like it will have to come at some point..

Posted by: james | Apr 24 2018 20:02 utc | 4

It's all about perception management.

Once the PTB learned they could get away with something like demolishing WTC Bldg 7 and get the majority of people to believe the official narrative, they knew they didn't even have to try to conceal their blatant lies. In fact it seems they're going out of their way to see just how obvious they can be, even forecasting their upcoming false flags.

Goebbels learned well from Bernays: big lies, repeated endlessly, will result in enough (and that's the key point) of a widespread belief in their fictions to allow the criminals to work with impunity. The art & science of propaganda is nothing more than a very sophisticated magician's wand... and people do love to be fooled, even to their own unaware detriment. In fact they seem to need it.

Posted by: Lohmann | Apr 24 2018 20:27 utc | 5

thanks b!

Posted by: annie | Apr 24 2018 20:33 utc | 6

Russia instigated an attack on ISIS within US controlled territory and the US claimed to be a part of it. That is telling as to where the power is.

Iran and Russia don't want to destroy the world but at this point they also won't be backed down by US and Israeli threats to do so.

The nudging pressure will continue and I think also include retaking of the Golan Heights and better conditions for Palestinians.

Posted by: financial matters | Apr 24 2018 20:46 utc | 7

The Airwars chart doesn't seem to contain USA empire airstrikes on the Syrian government troops and allies. The kind of attacks that ex-CIA ogre pompeo braggs about. Like the one at the beginning of February where Russian mercenaries were also killed.
Details from the US bombing of pro-government forces in Deir Ezzor 8/2/2018
US attack on pro-gov’t forces in Deir Ezzor killed more than 10 Russians 13/2/2018

Either way, in my opinion the article should also have contained the well known fact that the USA will bomb Syrian and allied troops on the eastern side (on map) of the Euphrates who want to eleminate Daesh. Even Syrian and allied troops staging an attack from Iraqi soil would be bombed by USA.

Posted by: xor | Apr 24 2018 20:51 utc | 8

The Build Up. Lots of equipment's been flown and shipped into Syria from Russia since the last Outlaw US Empire attack, with smoke being used to veil the offloading from prying eyes above. Then the denials that the S-300 was being shipped--No, no, not yet said Lavrov--but what else would require such masking? No commentator has said this was done before; rather, most seem quite surprised.

As yet another terrorist shelling of a civilian market in Damascus proves, highest priority is to clear all terrorists from that region. But what ought to come next? 10 days ago, Iraq announced it was launching an op to secure its borders with Saudi, Jordan and Syria, which likely included the air strike b mentions above, and men and equipment are accumulating at Deir Ezzor. So, perhaps the next big move will be to secure the entire eastern Euphrates region in a joint op with Iraq.

Or the next move could be in the South by Daraa and the Golan, but that would likely provoke a Zionist response that would require most of Syria's armed strength to deal with--yes, all out war with Zionland. Or the Homs pocket, or the small Daesh pocket east of Aleppo. Or the rather large region west of Deir Ezzor. This map from 5 April shows them as little has changed on the map.

Stopping the infiltration through Jordan and Saudi makes lots of sense as does clearing the Syrian desert zones. Driving Daesh and its SDF allies North back toward traditional Kurdish areas would provide the needed push/boot to get the Outlaw US Empire to evacuate its Stormtroopers. Regain control of border with Turkey so it no longer has any excuse to occupy Syrian land. Crush Idlib. And lastly turn all guns to the South to Daraa and Golan. At least, those are the priorities as I see them. I think it imperative to get the Foreign troop presence removed from Northern and Eastern Syria before commencing the final battle with the Zionists. AS for their genocidal nature, this radio interview transcript provided by Crain Murray condemns them "By Their Own Words" as no different from Nazi vermin.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 24 2018 20:56 utc | 9

Why doesn't Syria arrange for a few of its intelligence operatives to foment an Anti-US, Sort-of-Anti-Assad, Syrian Democratic Nationalist insurgency in one or two of the territories in which U.S. troops are most vulnerable--relatively isolated, fewest in number, scantest in supplies, etc. The Iranians would be able to help with this as well.

The first aim would be to attract attention to the new movement by blowing up some piece or pieces of US equipment, while avoiding insofar as possible any US casualties. Press coverage is key here. Then, the group announces that it is the duty of all true Syrians to kick the US out of their land, so that they--Syrians--can later sort out Assad for themselves. "While we do not trust Assad, we reject and denounce the U.S. and Zionist presence in Syrian territory: We KNOW that the US is a greater threat to the Syrian people than Assad ever could be. Just look at Iraq, look at Libya! Etc." The call is made for all Syrians--pro-Assad, and anti-Assad, Alawites, Christians, and Muslims--to rise against the U.S. occupying presence. A deadline is given for the U.S. to remove its troops from Syria, after which the Syrian people must defend their territorial rights by any means necessary." Arrange for a few more guerilla attacks against U.S. equipment, etc. And hope that by the time the deadline arrives the U.S. has begun to move out. If not, then a few carefully calculated strikes against U.S. troops are planned and executed.

What could the U.S. do? This movement is Anti-Assad, but also Anti-U.S. The U.S. is there illegally. If the U.S. attacks this movement directly it undermines its Assad narrative. The U.S. knows that it can't lose any troops in Syria, or the U.S. people will demand a withdrawal. Force the issue, Syria. Fortune rewards her own conqueror.

How stupid, unworkable, of an idea is this, and why would it not work?

Posted by: WJ | Apr 24 2018 21:01 utc | 10

@7 financial matters - agreed.

I would like to take the US response as a good omen, a harbinger of future such lies. The more successfully the US can lie to its domestic population, the less real action it has to take.

Would the US completely leave Syria if the propaganda benefit was big enough? I don't think anyone knows yet, not even the US or the Zionists.

But the nudging will continue until ISIS is gone. And then the US has no proxies left. I don't believe it will leave its own soldiers to fight alone in the desert - that would increase the propaganda burden, either to explain it or to explain it away. And if the timing is right, and perhaps a few "mishaps" have cost US materiel or personnel and given sufficient warning - perhaps even secretly, with all the coverts around - I could see Trump withdraw.

Somewhere around those tables there must be people giving a lot of thought to how to apply the lever that dislodges the Yankees.

Posted by: Grieved | Apr 24 2018 21:13 utc | 11

Would be interesting to know more about the inner workings of US intentions and inner conflicts in the Syria policy. That is, to what extent conflict exists between the military and the state department. IMV Mattis is a different type of aggressive animal vs Bolton-Pompeo-Haley. It seems feasible Mattis worked back channels with Moscow to limit the recent strikes on Syria to a relatively harmless show of force to assist Trump's intentions, whatever they are. Is Mattis a supporter of the regime-change playbook? I don't think so but I could be wrong.

Posted by: Sid2 | Apr 24 2018 21:14 utc | 12

In yesterday's thread I asked the question whether Trump is improving, without saying anything further. I'm curious as to MofA's views on this. I've been and remain very critical of Trump, but since his recently saying he wants out of Syria his popularity appears to be rising. His recent comments on the DNC lawsuit (which appears to me a case of DNC arrogance at last about to blow back into its face) plus Aramco manipulating oil prices, plus developments with North Korea also suggest he's learning to be a presidential politician, and is very serious about 2020. Then again we have the contradiction of his view of Iran. More BS and confusion or is Trump making progress in ways we might approve?

Hopefully I'm not too OT with this post.

Posted by: Sid2 | Apr 24 2018 21:28 utc | 13

Stop whining about lies and fake news. Everyone in the world knows what's going on, and who is who. It's just about choosing sides. People ready to sacrifice the human traits over pleasure and comfort are not being made blind, they are blind by their very own choice. The equation that works for the Ziocons servents, same works for the common folk too.

Posted by: Fantome | Apr 24 2018 21:29 utc | 14

40 minutes of your time well spent, IMHO…

Pearson Sharp (One America News Network) in Syria…. PLAYLIST

Pearson Sharp's 4 dispatches from Syria since 13th April, totalling c. 40 mins. In the first he confirms seeing cruise missiles shot down the night he arrived. The rest are his investigation of the hospital chemical attack.

Posted by: AmsterJam | Apr 24 2018 21:30 utc | 15

Judging from Trump's recent comments about Iran, he's been getting an earful from Bolton lately.

Recall that for Bolton and his crew the goal has been Iran all along. Syria is important only because its destabilization was thought to be a necessary precondition for attacking Iran.

But let me go crazy for a bit. Let me put to you the possibility that Bolton's new strategy is to bypass Syria entirely--as Russia's presence there cannot be overcome. The new plan is to withdraw from the Iran agreement, accuse Iran of starting up its nuclear weapons program, arrange for one or two false flags--either in the region or here in the U.S.--and then use all this to drive a direct attack on Iran, bypassing Syria altogether. The thought is that Russia would not prevent the U.S. from attacking Iran, and would also be motivated to curtail Syria's direct involvement in the U.S.'s new war. I don't think this plan works if Israel gets involved. The key is to use Russia's presence in Syria against RUssia's and Syria's interest somehow.

Posted by: WJ | Apr 24 2018 21:33 utc | 16

@9 "Lots of equipment's been flown and shipped into Syria from Russia since the last Outlaw US Empire attack, with smoke being used to veil the offloading from prying eyes above. Then the denials that the S-300 was being shipped--No, no, not yet said Lavrov--but what else would require such masking?"

They won't have much time to set the defence system up when the Truman show gets there. Best to get a head start.

Posted by: dh | Apr 24 2018 21:38 utc | 17

The USA army will not leave Syrian territory until body bags start arriving at Washington cemetery,
So the resistance movement should get ready to do just that.
The USA is staying in Syria simply to please the Zionist and keep the Arabs divided and paralyze against the enemy .
Syrians , Iraqi , Iranian and Hezbollah should finished the job with help from the Russian whom should be more aggressive in helping and spreading the words agains the US which is staying in Syria illegally.

Posted by: Bobby | Apr 24 2018 21:40 utc | 18

Speaking of misplaced credit:

From the AP, Ahmed Al-Haj

Khaled al-Nadhri, the top health official in the northern province of Hajja, told The Associated Press that most of the dead were women and children who were gathered in one of the tents set up for the wedding party in the Bani Qayis district. He said the bride was also among the dead.

A Saudi-led coalition has been battling Iran-allied Shiite rebels known as Houthis since 2015 in a stalemated war that has killed more than 10,000 people.

"Saudi-led against Iran-allied" -- note how the blame is immediately deflected after mention of the killing of the bride and children. Also phrased as "battling" vs. "attacking". Al-Haj seems to be the AP scorekeeper for Yemeni casualties, but couched within the noble journalism is the warping of truth. Just an example.

Posted by: Stumpy | Apr 24 2018 21:42 utc | 19

From reports about the S-300 going into Syria, in the Russian news sites yesterday, it is clear that Russian military will man the weapons system until Syrians have proficiency.

Thus, Israel and US determination to attack "Syrian" missile defenses will be lethal to those Russian experts.

Naturally, via the Centcom phone, NATO phone and Pentagon phone connections from Russian General Staff and relevant counterparts will inform the US as well as Tel Aviv of this personnel situation.

If an attack hits the S-300, the attacker will have begun something quite larger than they might imagine.

Considering all focus on the missile defenses, it is very important to understand that the real menace to US and NATO and Israel is the EW systems Russia employs.

Per, Thierry Meyssan today indicates that the missiles of many of the launches on the last big strike against Syria were killed in utero. Russia can abort them before they fly anywhere.

Here's a brief quote from his article of today:
"In addition, when the Syrians were overwhelmed by the magnitude of the fire allies, the Russian army has deployed its system with inhibition of the controls and of Nato, thus paralyzing most of its launchers. It was the first time that the French were confronted with this system, which had already disturbed the Americans and the British in the Mediterranean, in the Black sea and Kaliningrad."

So, many, many more Pantsir-S1s are being sent to Syria, as well as more EW units on the ships of the East Med Fleet/Black Sea Fleet at Tartus.

The level of confidence of the Russian military is sky high. They have agreed to more budget cuts to help Putin with his domestic program. Five more years of cuts are ahead.

That means they will remain a lean military but secure with the technological advantages they possess now.

Posted by: Red Ryder | Apr 24 2018 21:45 utc | 20

@10 wj...not a bad idea on the surface, but i think it is not realistic.. @16 comment.. the crazy part,i don't think that flies either.

@13 sid2... it is all politics 24/7 with americans.. the presidents are no different.. everything is about image and optics and there is generally never any substance to anything any of them say or express, including trump as i see it.. how to 'madison avenue' or 'hollywood script' manage the populace with msm in tow? that is all that the usa seems capable of at this point.. trump is not really any different from what i can tell... as i am prone to say 'talk is cheap' and there is plenty of it too..

@18 bobby.. basically how i see it too..thanks.

@19 stumpy... classic propaganda bullshit from AP.. what else is new... i guess they figure sprinkling arsenic regularly is all cool..

@ 20 red ryder, karlof1 and dh.. russia is answering the same was as me and bobby to the wests ongoing bullshit.. they are putting their money, or panzirs/s-300 or 400's- where their mouth is, and not talking shit like the usa 24/7...

Posted by: james | Apr 24 2018 22:13 utc | 21

related to my question at #13:

More on Trump wants out of Syria--not so, with this view:

The concern of some within the American political and military establishment, as well as foreign allies like France’s Macron, is misplaced. Trump is not scaling back Washington’s involvement. He is instead seeking to outsource the military dirty work.

That plays well for Trump from a political point of view. It looks as if he is delivering on his “America First” agenda to his voter base. It also gives the chance for the US to wash its hands of bloody conflict.

In reality, however, Washington is pursuing its same hegemonic and destabilizing ambitions in the oil-rich Middle East, such as regime change in Syria, confronting Iran, and containing Russia.

Note: several relevant articles for today's discussion currently on info clearing house.

Posted by: Sid2 | Apr 24 2018 22:14 utc | 22

Sid2 @13--

IMO, it's very important to watch what's occurring globally, which is difficult but not impossible, to judge Trump's geopolitics. As such, the primary foreign policy goal of the Outlaw US Empire remains to obtain unipolar full spectrum dominance through every means available. One only need to look to the South to see that nothing's changed and has actually escalated somewhat. As for Trump's domestic policy, his 1% constituents are pleased and the base that elected him is growing angrier thanks to the usual GOP ploy to kill all social, safety net and regulatory programs, which has generated a lot of resistance, most of which goes unreported since allowing the deplorable masses to attain any form of solidarity cannot occur--just as under the Democrats.

I predict Trump will walk out of the Summit with Kim--the Outlaw US Empire will never willingly leave any of the nations it currently occupies as that goes against its #1 policy goal. It's entirely possible he will goad Taiwan's leaders to declare independence--a move that will prompt China to finally move to reclaim its territory and potentially cause a confrontation the Empire will lose. Something is certain to happen in Ukraine as Spring moves into Summer and the World Cup begins.

Currently in Beijing the SCO's Foreign Minister's Council is having its annual meeting, so it will be wise to read what they declare. Noises are being made to allow Russia to return to G-7, which I think Putin ought to spurn until all sanctions get lifted and virulent Russophobia is ended. How the UK manages to escape from the massive hole its dug for itself will have a large bearing on the climate of ongoing foreign relations. Iran's been accepted into the EAEU and will likely become an SCO full member later this Summer. Then there's the ongoing, seemingly unstoppable growth in BRI activities; I suggest keeping abreast of Pepe Escobar's ongoing chronicling of it and other related geopolitical events.

At some point soon, the 4+1 will decide to clear Daesh and SDF from the lands east of Euphrates and finally put real pressure on Imperial assets; then we will see how Trump's team reacts, particularly if they try to act as ISIS Air Force yet again but get seriously shot at in the attempt. Oh, and anything signed with North Korea will have to be ratified by Senate, where I doubt anything will gain the 2/3s vote required.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 24 2018 22:14 utc | 23

@karlof1 | Apr 24, 2018 4:56:46 PM | 9

Not to put you down, too much to digest and my humble opinion wishful thinking. It will never happens, not in a million year.

Posted by: OJS | Apr 24 2018 22:14 utc | 24

Can't see the US leaving Syria anytime soon, they have control over one third of of the country, that part is rich in agriculture and 90% of its oil and gas, it also has control over several dams which supply most of Syria's water. The US problem is it does not have sufficient reliable boots on the ground. An alliance with the Kurds would draw the ire of Turkey who will not allow a new Kurdish entity to be built on their border, the Arab tribes in the area are not reliable US allies. In my opinion the US will stay there until they are physically driven out. The US presence there is at the behest of Israel and Saudi Arabia, who want to keep the Golan and other bits of Syria. Also Saudi Arabia and Israel want to keep any Iranian influence out of Syria. The 'arc of resistance' will win, but that does not mean the the US/Israel will not put up a tremendous fight.

Posted by: Harry Law | Apr 24 2018 22:16 utc | 25

Sid2 13

All Trump's war talk to date, the MOAB in Afghanistan and the two strikes on Syria have been smoke, mostly I think for domestic politics in the US.
Big threats on NK, but then he agrees to a meeting. The war talk on NK for domestic consumption to allow a meeting to take place?
Iran and his military spending are the contradiction with Trump.
If Trump genuinely wants to pull out of Syria, and the US military recognize the danger of attacking Russian positions, then I do not see an attack taking place no matter what tricks the zionists pull..

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Apr 24 2018 22:19 utc | 26

OJS @24--

Then, in your considered opinion, what will be the next series of operations undertaken by the 4+1 Group. Remember, Assad on too many occasions to recall has promised to regain all lost Syrian territory--including Golan.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 24 2018 22:25 utc | 27

Here's another go, on the basis of the supporting views of commentators @18 and @25.

1. The only way the U.S. leaves Syria is if domestic politics require this.
2. Domestic politics will only require this if the U.S. military begins to suffer "meaningless" casualties in Syria.
3. Ergo, those for whom Syria's territorial integrity is important should begin to encourage, instigate, and in some cases undertake direct attacks upon U.S. bases and troops in Syria as soon as this becomes strategically feasible.

The difficulty is that such attacks must not be directly attributable to a state or quasi-state actor--to Syria or Iran or Hezbollah. Or they must be so damaging and politically upsetting for U.S. elected leaders that the question of their state-sponsorship can be plausibly avoided or negatively answered by these same U.S. leaders.

Posted by: WJ | Apr 24 2018 22:33 utc | 28

The sooner the Euphrates East showdown occurs, the better.
Now that the Iraqis have joined, as they did last year with PMU forces and Iraqi air force, the calculus is against the US with the Kurds.

There will be no rescue/replacement of US by replacement forces from their Arab coalition.
Arabs, Qataris and UAE do not fight on the ground. The forces they use are now African contractors, basically national mercs bought for the war in Yemen and now to be used in Syria. They will last one week at best.

The US has to stay. If they lose men, and they will, then the only question is how many?

And if the air is not deconflicted by the Russians agreeing to let the US fly support for their proxies in the East, the US will have to clear Syrian, Russian and Iraqi planes. I don't see them risking their planes and pilots.

Syria is Syria. Flying over Syria to keep Syrians out of the East has no justification that they can sell to the American public. The illusion so far is they are fighting ISIS. Well, as 'b' points out, the facts disprove the statements of the Pentagon and State Dept.

If the Russians bring S-300 for Syria and another S-300 or S-400 for themselves, the air over the East is Russian. It's the safest way to rid the skies of US and coalition/Israelis. They simply will not fly over Syria. That gives the proxies below zero odds of lasting two weeks as the Syrians mob up. The Kurds holding the oil fields will beg the Russians to cut a deal, and the terrorists will have no buses or cities to run to.

Posted by: Red Ryder | Apr 24 2018 22:37 utc | 29

thanks James, Karlof1, Peter AU--

I was much in your view, Karlof1, re North Korea expecting a setup to fail, a deliberate seeking to make it fail, as continued collaboration with the full spectrum playbook; then in the last few days I've been seeing it differently.

Note NBC is now going after Bolton as a Russia accomplice, and Trump has been cautiously emphasizing he may walk out of the North Korea summit, plus he's been very sensitive to having "given away" too much. I don't know what his "giving away" would be, unless it's to some extent a reduction of the usual exercises going on around North Korea (including talking Moon into killing the loudspeaker propaganda).

It's possible Trump is clever enough to see what a deal with Kim Jong Un would mean to a 2020 re-election. It also came to me that his moving to Bolton and Pompeo was possibly a brilliant maneuver, because if these war-dogs are behind a deal he has powerful support, which is difficult to argue down. (Hence, again, we now see the demonizing of Bolton of all people as gone over to the Russians.)

We need also not to underestimate the power of what's happening in the current very friendly thawing of relations with Kim Jong Un and Moon of South Korea. The Korean people long for reconciliation. Kim has amazingly turned very conciliatory, even toward denuclearizing the globe. I figure he has a deal with Xi for increased support and protection.

Thus, in my view, we come to the current (and as usual) intensification about Trump's giving away too much, and the emphasis on how North Korea is just being sneaky, hiding rockets up its sleeve, and as always totally untrustworthy. Let's not have peace!

So, respectfully, I disagree that Trump will walk out of the meeting, or is seeking a way to crash it at this time. I think, in contrast, that the meeting this Friday between Kim and Moon will cement the final details, so that the summit with Trump and Kim will be ceremonial and triumphant. (Melania and Kim's sister might even get along!) Trump will then have pulled off a similar diplomatic triumph to Nixon's reconciliation with China. You might recall that back in those days China was as vilified as North Korea is today.

This is the sort of thing I mean by Trump's learning to be more presidential.

Posted by: Sid2 | Apr 24 2018 22:46 utc | 30

Russia/Syrian enforced no-fly-zone via incoming S-300s integrated in the existing AAD network = Checkmate..

Posted by: Lozion | Apr 24 2018 22:54 utc | 31

Israel, not mentioned, is the wild card in the current conflict. Israel (along with the US) has been left out of any settlement of the war just to their north. (Macron is telling Trump to get involved ...but how?) On top of that, Iran is expanding its presence and influence in Syria, to a greater extent than Israel is happy with. It's been an Israeli "red line" and drawn dozens of attacks from Israel at Iran interests in Syria, according to reports. But that hasn't been enough, and it's been agreed in Jerusalem that something must be done even as Iran is threatening to attack Israel as revenge for a recent Israeli attack in Syria which killed Iranians.

When would Israel move on Iran? Well the oft-mentioned Truman Strike Group is nearing the area and then if Israel did escalate it would leave the US with a tough choice. A carrier is a terrible thing to lose.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Apr 24 2018 23:00 utc | 32

@31 sid... i agree with you about trump not walking out on the talks with kim and working towards something positive their.. i remain optimistic on trump up to a point.. he is a far cry better then what hillary would have been.. i think that is very clear.. in fact craig murray has a new article up discussing some of this here.. you might enjoy his post from today.. is trump learning to be more presidential, or more political?? i guess that seem one and the same, but i think they are different.. it seems to me trump is no different then many self serving people in politics.. unfortunately, i can't get past that view of him.. so - not presidential material, or sure - he is learning to be a better politician...

Posted by: james | Apr 24 2018 23:00 utc | 33

@33 james - it is muted that Trump was picked by top military to be where he is now - it is all too patently obvious that this is the cause of the protracted 'coup' aligned against him - he is simultaneously fending off the Mueller cr*p and the DNC wave of lawsuits and the Ollywood weirdo's and the Soros-based purple revolution, whilst trying to turn-around a country which is heading for rock-bottom financially - the crash IS coming, it's just a matter of when. Then you've got the Q phenomenon...Oh happy days...

Posted by: fredjc | Apr 24 2018 23:22 utc | 34

IMO, Iran and the Zionist Settler State are already at war thanks to the latter's assassination program of the former's nuclear scientists. The Zionists also assassinated the elder Hariri to destabilize Lebanon and thus force Syrian troops to withdraw; and given the enormous number of encroachments into Lebanese airspace, a state of war exists between them, too. The relationship between Iran and Syria is 100% legitimate and the Zionists can do nothing to modify it legally. Nor can it do anything to actually deter Hezbollah. In reality, it's the genocidal behavior of the Zionists towards Palestinians and anyone willing to stand with them that's their undoing--as well it should be! Balfour and Sykes/Picot were the last gasps of two dying Imperialist powers to disrupt the fabric of relations between newly independent states that's fucked up a great portion of international relations over the past 100 years just to burnish their egos.

IMO, Trump on Korea's a very big unknown--although he seems to be laying the groundwork for walking out--why mention such a possibility when it's so out of line with usual diplomatic protocol? Plus, as I noted, there's still the US Senate to deal with. Furthermore, if he withdraws from Iran Deal, how will that affect Kim's willingness to trust Big Lie Nation?

Domestically, there's lots ongoing, much of it purposely kept under the MSM radar. One major thorn is Judicial Watch and its numerous lawsuits, and the upsetting of the Apple Cart by Fox News (of all actors) through Truth Telling by Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity on the Syrian False Flag and Clinton/DNC Crime Family, respectively. Lots of states have entered into lawsuits against various actions by Trump's Executive and his edicts. Then there's the legislation enacted by Republicans designed to continue to make America weak and poorer--not Great Again--that's slowly educating his portion of the electorate. Lastly and unavoidably there's Climate Change and Trump Inc. ignoring the problem, for which several lawsuits are slowly making their way through the federal court system as citizen awareness climbs. Oh, ought to add Trump's "Hellofa Job Brownie" moment with his 100% mismanagement of Puerto Rico's attempt to recover from its Katrina, which provides excellent evidence as to how hard Trump would really push for what's actually required to MAGA--he won't do shit.

Past behavior is the best indicator of future behavior. Ignore the words while closely observing the actions.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 24 2018 23:54 utc | 35

It seems the last pockets of ISIS/Al Qaeda are on the Turkish border, the Israeli border, and the Jordan/Syria/Iraq border. . . Funny isn’t that where the CIA training bases (Turkey Jordan) are/were? Israel has some kind of assistance program going as well.

Notably, the most vitriolic pro-war voices in the United States appear to be the corporate media outlets, MSNBC leading the charge, claiming the strikes didn’t do enough damage etc. Telling, that is. The Saudi Prince doing the rounds of Wall Street may have something to do with that; Wall Street controls the media. Then there’s Israel.

Regardless, the latest seems to be getting Syrian economic reconstruction going. Enter China and the completion of the Silk Road to Europe:

“President Xi Jinping’s efforts to build a latter-day Silk Road have hit a roadblock: Syria’s seven-year civil war, which obstructs the crossroads to Eurasia, Africa, and the Middle East. So Beijing is vying to take the lead in rebuilding the war-torn country, even before the conflict has ceased.”

“In this, Xi is pushing against an open door. The Syrian government is determined to move ahead with rebuilding — in part to ensure its post-war sway over the battered country — but it needs international help with the estimated $250 billion price tag. As things stand, reconstruction will get little aid from the countries of the “Friends of Syria” coalition—notably the United States, Canada, and Britain—which have frozen $9.6 billion in pledged funding until a political transition “away from Assad” is on track. In the U.S., the proposed “No Assistance for Assad Act” would effectively prohibit financial assistance for reconstruction in areas under the control of the Syrian government.”

Doubtful that any attack on Iran is in the offing; the empire is too busy trying to keep from crumbling for that.

Posted by: nonsense factory | Apr 24 2018 23:59 utc | 36

Israel is indeed the wild card,they've run out of water, ten years later that was
forecast back in the 1950's.
Unless they can secure the Litani delta and the Golan they will cease to exist as a
state in another decade.They're desperate.

Posted by: Winston | Apr 25 2018 0:07 utc | 37

Thanks b!

Does anyone have an opinion on this assessment of the recent cruise missile attack by FUKUS?

Any thoughts on Votel in Lebanon and today Israel? He seems to be completely rogue. Who gives him orders -- really? Is Betrayus still in the command chain? Kagans? Trump is outside and below the Votel loop.

The timeline has failed for the bads but they are determined to play all scenes in sequence. Take out Syrian air. Fail. Close Damascus airport. Fail. Take out T-4. Seems also to be a fail. Aircraft carrier? lol!
Tanks for the memories from Jordan next? EW!

Were the financial warfare options removed, sanctions in particular, military operations would shrink in importance. Or just reverse -- remove from Russia and Iran, hammer them down on Israel for unspeakable Gaza atrocities. Cash flow/credit collapse for the bads. Not so far fetched! Rumblings of a crack in the dam from Germany. Already told US to fork off on Nordstream 2. Told Israel not to expect backup. Cusp of inflection?

Posted by: mireille | Apr 25 2018 0:07 utc | 38

james @33--

Read Murray's latest; can't wait for that lawsuit to commence. I wish I had the resources to blog it. It will make Bill's Impeachment process pale in comparison. Don't agree completely with Murray's assertion that Trump hasn't raised tensions beyond where they stood when elected, Venezuela being the most prominent example. Trump's inaction on Puerto Rico's immoral to the nth degree. Then there's the grossly immoral Republican domestic agenda Trump promotes which is similar to the Tory's that Murray abhors. Would be nice for the suit to be in full swing come elections in November.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 25 2018 0:22 utc | 39

An interesting option could appear after the remaining pockets in S Damascus, Rastan and Deir-ez-Zor are cleansed. Syria would no longer absolutely need Iranian support to survive, and one way to confront the issue of US troops east of the Euphrates could be this challenge. The Iranians could state that if the US withdraws from Syria, they will withdraw from Syria. If the US stays, they stay. Now wouldn't that create an uncomfortable conversation in Washington, Tel Aviv and elsewhere :)

Posted by: Sad Canuck | Apr 25 2018 0:34 utc | 40

@34 fredjc.. there seems to be a real disconnect in the us at present with one hand fighting the other.. i don't know if you saw pts latest post on sst, but it sums it up pretty well. The Corruption and Deceit of the FBI by Publius Tacitus

@39 karlof1... that lawsuit seems insane! but then that saying their is 30 lawyers for every engineer in the usa always made sense to me.. the usa is one litigious society! as for murrays view on trump - both he and i might not have a fully accurate view on just how docile or neutral trump is.. i am not watching trump super close.. it is too much to stomach!!

Posted by: james | Apr 25 2018 0:55 utc | 41

One more Karlof 1 and I'll stop bothering you with it . . . I see it this way: Trump's need to be cool and tough explains the tough talk in the face of the current pitbull-like snarling coming off CNN and MSNBC. Donald is cagey. So he plays it tough and nasty: it may happen it may not, with a cold and peculiar manner.

He might also be strongly tempted to go for a Nobel Peace Prize (he and Kim are currently 2-1 in the odds to win it, with everyone else at 10-1)because he would earn serious bragging points on outdoing Obama. Obama did nothing more than talk about peace and (in Donald's view) fucked up the Iran Deal. Wouldn't that be something? In the face of all the slandering that he's a dimwit traitor fooling around with Russia he wins the Nobel Peace Prize? Plus momentum from this into the midterms and on into 2020 would be given a boost. Against this all the Dems have is venom and frothing at the mouth.

Your point on the senate, tho, is certainly important. But I think it could cost opposition senators dearly in the midterms, due to the magnificent (sentimental) value of a Peace Treaty.

Posted by: Sid2 | Apr 25 2018 1:28 utc | 42

No, not the US cuddling ISIS but the UK-Rothschild 'Octopus' Cabal and it's minions. Recall it is Mike Pompeo who has been responsible for the effort to stop CIA support for ISIS, on directions from Donald J. Trump and the Pentagon faction which essentially controls the White House.

Mike Pompeo was President of Sentry International, an oilfield equipment company and close partner of Koch Industries. Also recall the recent meeting between the heads of the FSB and SVR, Alexander Bortnikov and Sergey Naryshkin, received by Pompeo, then director of the CIA, and Dan Coats, director of National Intelligence.

Alexander Bortnikov and Sergey Naryshkin Secretly Received in the United States

In hindsight this meeting appears to have been a strategy session conducted by extremely important high level individuals from Russia with their 'partners' in the United States.

The meeting occurred immediately before the firing of Rex Tillerson, an agent of the UK-Rothchild 'Octopus,' which effectively controls Exxon-Mobil (the Rockefellers sold their interest several years ago) of which Tillerson was formerly head. Tillerson, who once ran the foreign policies of multiple countries dominated by Exxon-Mobil including Qatar, was said to have been caught red-handed by the NSA under James Kelly, of assisting the UK conspiracy to launch a chemical false flag attack in Eastern Ghouta, the discovery of which led to Tillerson's unceremonious dismissal by Donald Trump via Twitter, a truly unprecedented way to fire a US Secretary of State.

This was immediately followed by the clumsily arranged response of the UK-Rothchild 'Octopus' government of Theresa May, with accusations made that Russia poisoned British spy Segey Skirpal and his daughter minutes away from UK chemical and bio weapons research facility at Porton Down, most likely in an effort to embarass Trump away from cooperating with Russia and to head off the Rockefeller-Koch faction's plan to make good on Trump's pledge to withdraw from Syria.

Fred C. Koch, founder of Koch Industries, the second largest privately held company in the United States and now run by his sons David and Charles, are well known players on the US political scene and especially in the Republican Party, and according to Wikipedia, developed an innovative crude oil refining process which threatened existing (Rothschild 'Octpopus' controlled) oil companies, who forced the company out of business in the United States.

n 1925, Fred C. Koch joined MIT classmate Lewis E. Winkler at an engineering firm in Wichita, Kansas, which was renamed the Winkler-Koch Engineering Company. In 1927, they developed a more efficient thermal cracking process for turning crude oil into gasoline. This process threatened the competitive advantage of established oil companies, which sued for patent infringement.[16] Temporarily forced out of business in the United States, they turned to other markets, including the Soviet Union, where Winkler-Koch built 15 cracking units between 1929 and 1932. During this time, Koch came to despise communism and Joseph Stalin's regime.[16][17] In his 1960 book, A Business Man Looks at Communism, Koch wrote that he found the USSR to be "a land of hunger, misery, and terror."[18] According to Charles Koch, "Virtually every engineer he worked with [there] was purged."[16]

Not only are the Kochs enemies of the Rothschilds but they also have a history of working with the Soviet Union since the time of Joseph Stalin, who gifted the oilfields in the vicinity of Baku to the Rockefellers (now Rockefeller-Kochs) for development, including the construction of multiple refineries for the Soviet Union. By this arrangement the Soviet Union funded it's 5 year development plans under Stalin.

The relationship between Rockefellers and the Soviet Union is legendary within the alternative history community, including the story of the visit of David Rockefeller to the Soviet Union immediately prior to the removal of Khrushchev for what Brezhnev famously described as "hare-brained schemes," after the Cuban Missile Crisis effectively turned the US and Soviet Union into confirmed enemies in line with the long term objective of the UK-Rothschild 'Octopus' Cabal, to disrupt and destroy Russia according what is sometimes called the Mackinder Doctrine.

Before the Cuban Missile Crisis relations between the US and Soviet Union had warmed significantly under President Kennedy and there was talk at the time of a massive reduction of nuclear weapons by both sides, with the final nail driven into the coffin of this plan for de escalation occurring with the murder of JFK in Dallas by agents of -- you guessed it -- the UK-Rothschild 'Octopus' Cabal.

Slowly but surely the whole of the history of the world during the 20th century is coming into view.

To reiterate and make clear, there are two Deep States invloved in this struggle for supremacy in the Anglo-American space, and although heavily intertwined, they are the Rothschild-UK 'Octopus,' which by some estimates controls 40% of all corporate wealth in the world, and the much smaller US-centric Rockefeller-Kochs, perhaps less than 1/10 the size of their UK based but truly global Anglo-American rivals and competitors.

Watch this short video where Andrei Fursov discusses the relationship between the Rothschilds and Rockefellers.

Rothschild vs. Rockefeller

Trump is attempting to steer his way through the minefiled created by the Deep State War between the UK-Rothschild 'Octopus' Cabal and their US-centric Rockefeller-Koch competitors. Donald Trump, via the Kochs and Mike Pompeo, is clearly tied to the latter group which includes Militarist-Nationalist Pentagon Generals who see the Rothschild 'Octopus' plan to destroy the US dollar and replace it with a Chineses fiat as profoundly threatening to the US ability to spend over 1 trillion dollars annually on defense.

A reconnection of interests between sovereignty oriented Eurasianists in Russia and the US forms the basis of the alliance between Vladimr Putin and the White House of Donald J. Trump.

Finally, everytime you see someone in alternative media blame solely the United States for anything that is occurring with respect to the Empire of Chaos, and who simultaneously lets the UK based Rothschild Deep State 'Octopus' crime family off the hook, you are witnessing strategems of people who most likely work for the 'Octopus' Cabal and are attempting to scapegoat the US government for their own perfidious acts and devious deeds.

Posted by: C I eh? | Apr 25 2018 1:35 utc | 43

In the past, the US has attacked the Iraq PMU when they were taking too much territory from ISIS.

From wikipedia "On December 11, 2017, the PMU began to be entirely consolidated under the Iraqi Armed Forces, following a call by the Iraqi top Shia cleric Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani to integrate"

Any attack by the US now will be a direct attack on Iraq military. It may be that Syria will clean up the ISIS pocket west of the Euphrates, and Iraq will clear the US ISIS pocket east of the Euphrates in a combined or concurrent operation.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Apr 25 2018 1:36 utc | 44

james #33

Please don't think I'm picking on you, but you seem so close to enlightenment

I'd hate to see you slip back to MAGA magic again.

When the pragmatic element of the Deep State was plotting their usurpation of

the control of it from Wolfowitz's neocons, they decided that Trump would be

a very effective way to defeat the Zombie War Queen and her Svengali husband,

Bill. Consider how fucked up the world would be now if we had segued from the

cretinous Bush of Iraq War infamy right to Hillary and her STD donor in 2008?

The pragmatics must have supported the Sainted Schwartzie in the primaries back

then to avoid that calamity. No one can say with certainty how long ago the

pragmatics devised their plot to take over the DS.

Whenever it was, they made Trump an offer which he was smart enough to take.

It involved him running, staying in the race to the end, winning and,

ipso facto, irritating the the liberals, the Dems, the neocons, the media to

the point of madness.

Pragmatic operatives in the ranks of the neocons encouraged the losers to investigate

Trump, start false rumors about him and file lawsuits.

For a year the pragmatics let Trump do, say and tweet anything he liked which

further annoyed the establishment, let their defenses down, and caused them

to make huge mistakes.

But Trump continued the Beloved Negro's use of sanctions and even outdid him

with missile fire at Shayrat and again earlier this month at Homs.

The neocons have long been convinced convinced Trump's one of them and are

only now starting to suspect that Mueller, who was head of the FBI during

the Obama administration for 5 years until 2013, knows where all their

skeletons are buried.

And all those skeletons are probably Dems, no? It was the Obama administration.

They mistakenly thought that they would be in office forever if the gender-

positive Hillary was running against the Opera Buffoed and toupeed Circus Clown,

Donald J. Trump.

I'll have to get back to you on the rest of this, james. She who must be obeyed has

rung the dinner bell and gets very annoyed if she has to ring it twice

Posted by: FSFF | Apr 25 2018 1:56 utc | 45

Don't mess with Russia -- it rules electronic warfare.
from Breaking Defense:

GEOINT: The Compass Call is supposed to be one of America’s foremost electronic warfare weapons, but the EC-130s flying near Syria are being attacked and disabled “in the most aggressive EW environment on the planet,” the head of Special Operations Command said here today.
“Right now in Syria we are operating in the most aggressive EW environment on the planet from our adversaries. They are testing us everyday, knocking our communications down, disabling our EC-130s, etcetera,” Gen. Raymond Thomas told an audience of some 2,000 intelligence professionals.
While, for obvious reasons, we don’t know many details about the nature of the attacks on the EC-130s, we do know the Russians have done what one EW expert called a “good job” in several recent conflicts using EW. And the Russians are in force in Syria and provide most of the gear used by the Syrian military.
“The Russians have redone and reengineered their entire EW fleet in the last 20 years,” notes Lori Moe Buckhout, a retired Army colonel who specializes in EW. After the Russians attacked Georgia, they concluded they needed to upgrade their EW capabilities, she says. “The Russians put in millions on upgrades after Georgia. They’ve ended up with killer capabilities, jamming in a multitude of frequencies for hundreds of kilometers.”. .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Apr 25 2018 2:06 utc | 46

@ FSFF 45
Personally, I don't read anything that's half spaces.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Apr 25 2018 2:08 utc | 47

"Wild card" Israel doesn't like S-300
from Haaretz:

Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Tuesday that Israel may strike the Russian-made S-300 anti-aircraft defense systems in Syria if they are used against Israel.
"One thing should be clear - if someone fires on our planes, we will destroy them," Lieberman said in an interview with the Israeli website Ynet. "What's important to us is that the weapons defense systems that the Russians transfer to Syria are not used against us. If they are used against us, we will act against them." . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Apr 25 2018 2:14 utc | 48

@45 FSFF.. i hope dinner was good! i am not focused like an american on us politics 24/7... i am guessing you are... frankly, i get tired of the huge focus on the usa.. it bothers me... as for this thread - us coddling isis.. that i think is a fact.. whether trump is oblivious to it, or knows it, but opts to turn a blind eye to it - i don't know.. bottom line answered in the question b poses at the bottom of his post "Will the U.S. try to prevent or undermine the plan or will it stay out of the way?" - i already gave my answer above... how about you?

Posted by: james | Apr 25 2018 2:36 utc | 49

Russia announced that no final decision had been made on providing Assad with S-300s. They did NOT say that they hadn't decided to rush more S-300s (among other air defenses, no doubt) onto Syrian territory so at any point in the future they could be instantly turned over to the SAA, and by all appearances that's exactly what they're doing. Russia surely realizes that when the announcement is made that many of their "extra" systems are going to be given to the SAA, it needs to be a fait accompli, otherwise it will just be begging for more strikes from the terrorist lovers.

This action would not only deliver the serious consequences Putin promised, but would entertwine Russian personnel with the Syrian air defenses in the event of future strikes. Also, I'm reminded of the rumors that when the US and friends last tried approaching Russia to negotiate the release of their terrorist trainers captured in E Dhuma, they were told "Sorry, talk to Assad. That's for him to decide." Perhaps this ramping up of Syrian air defenses is in preparation for the anticipated offensive in Deir-ez-Zor or even East of the Euphrates, where shutting down US air cover for ISIS is an absolute must. Maybe Russia plans to say to the US "Hey, we've had all these grand agreements which have allowed you to continue [illegally] flying in these areas, but now the SAA has its own air defenses up and running, so you're going to have to talk to Assad if you want to continue flying." The Russians are always careful to honor their own agreements, but that doesn't mean they won't allow a situation to change so that they are relieved of having to continue in an agreement.

I just wonder this, because S-300s have virtually nothing to do with defending against cruise missiles. They are for area denial for aircraft.

Posted by: J Swift | Apr 25 2018 2:48 utc | 50

some fake news from the US military, Apr 24 . . .two airstrikes per day!
Two specific attacks each day from the strongest military ever, against its most important enemy . . .they must be tired after that.
US, Coalition Forces Double Airstrikes on ISIS Targets in Syria

U.S. and coalition forces recently doubled the number of airstrikes against Islamic State fighters in Syria in an attempt to help friendly Syrian ground forces defeat the last two pockets of terrorist resistance in the country.
In the past week, the coalition conducted 14 airstrikes against ISIS fighters in defensive fighting positions in Syria, Army Col. Ryan Dillon, spokesman for Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve, told reporters Tuesday at the Pentagon.
"In the last two weeks, we as a coalition have conducted strikes and upped the number of strikes that we have conducted on the eastern side of the Euphrates River," he said. "We have doubled the amount since the week previously." . . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Apr 25 2018 3:19 utc | 51


"They are for area denial for aircraft."

What makes them so effective at this? They've taken on almost mythical proportions in these debates. Range? Accuracy? Speed? Can they be evaded by advanced fighter aircraft?

Posted by: WJ | Apr 25 2018 3:45 utc | 52

J Swift @50

Totally concur; and those S300s are in there, technically still Russian not Syrian, but will be handed over as and when.

Many reports of the Russians putting hardware into Syria since the last strikes. They are ready for the 1000 missile strike.

WJ @52 - plenty of info out there on S300/400 system and missile capability. And that's just what is publicly admitted. You can bet the farm those systems are not "export" versions and have the latest radars and missiles. Its a brave pilot who wants to go up against that. And US and Israeli pilots don't seem keen to try.

I'm more interested in whats not publicly reported: the ships that put to sea from Tartus before the last strikes, and any joining them from the Black Sea; what is their capability as a first line of defense. Also the EW capability of Russia; its obviously a big piece of this jigsaw. Then there are subs lurking in the Med and the Red Sea and Arabian Gulf.

Posted by: cdvision | Apr 25 2018 4:11 utc | 53

WJ 52 Look at this CIA approved site. It's accurate in Military specification.

Since the s200 preformed well I would say the s 300 is a effective Anti access/area denial

Posted by: col from OZ | Apr 25 2018 4:24 utc | 54

WJ 52

According to Wikipedia, the S-300 was originally designed for use against aircraft and cruise missiles. Later mods were ballistic missile capability, improved radar capability, and a range of missiles.
Largely impervious to jamming due to frequency hopping. From what I can make of it, BUK and Pantsir can be integrated to make a layered defense.
And then systems can be integrated. Each S-300/400 system consisting of the command vehicle, several radars which may be 80km apart, the launchers, and the spare missile/backup units.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Apr 25 2018 4:26 utc | 55

@53 Persian Gulf..

Posted by: Lozion | Apr 25 2018 4:35 utc | 56

Thanks all. I was surprised to learn that the first iteration dates back to 1979! Since then updated, modified, expanded considerably of course but shit! that's some longevity. It is rather amusing to read the comparative specs of the US's much vaunted but almost totally incapable Patriot. It's almost like the US stuff isn't as good even though our military budget dwarfs that of Russia. Let's hope nobody notices that!--eh, fellow Raytheon board members?

Posted by: WJ | Apr 25 2018 5:53 utc | 57

Before considering next moves it is wise to look at the larger picture. US political and economic dominance is militarily based. The - how shall we say - inconsiderate use of that force with scant regard for international treaties, structures, or consequences - at times for petty personal gain has created a backlash. The American century may be over before it really got going.

Currently the only military rival of consequence is Russia. It will be another 10 to 15 years before China can pose the threat that Russia currently represents.

Because of the rise of Russia, the Neo-con Syria adventure - which was as much about personal vendettas as it was politics (support of Hezbollah) or economics (pipeline control) - has evolved into something few could have imagined at the start. Itn this regard it is more significant than Ukraine.

Syria is become more than a testing ground of new weapons, it has become a testing ground for new political players in the face of the eclipse of American supremacy. Saudi Arabia, Iran, Russia, Turkey, Germany, France, Israel, Uk, and the US are all testing each and every other player in that arena. Many other countries take as their cue for future behaviour and action the kind of signs they read from the ongoing confrontation.
This is not true of Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, or Ukraine.

So before there can be a change in the current playing field (when the US withdraws, Turkey surrenders N. Syria, Israel surrenders the Golan, the US withdraws from the NE Kurdish areas) there must be an alternative venue found for hosting the game. Now were the game a placid affair with one dominant side, we could all hope for a lull between rounds. But the great game is currently hot, wickedly hot and there is no way this venue will be given up unless one more expansive and amenable be found.

Whatever new venue is found, it must include the following criteria:

1) A place few outsiders care much about. Think Somalia
2) A place to test military tech with relative anonymity. Think limited access country
3) A place to train rivals and test strategies and attack techniques. Think Libya
4) A place where casualties are not counted. Think Yemen.
5) A place where The rivals are motivated to play the game seriously (It could be argued that the US is not playing seriously in Syria. Uzbekistan or Kazakhstan may be likely targets only the US is hampered by poor logistics/access.

since the list of alternatives is thin... I doubt there will be any early end to US involvement in Syria. Please note that none of the above has anything to do with Trump - on those matters he is told what to do.

As to N.Korea, Trump is looking for an achievement to bring home - it is election time around the corner. A 'peace' deal, no matter how limited will be 'trumpeted' and if it is an expansive deal he might even get a Nobel nomination out of it - never forget he looks to outdo Obama.

Posted by: les7 | Apr 25 2018 6:15 utc | 58

it is not there is no substance to it. the substance oozes with pure vile disguised as G.I.joe vs arab/syria/iraq/persian vampires along with a oily bear. and bear is not some type of "good" guy by any measures.

the new reality is that there is no accountability behind words now.

people can always cry victim now. its a gender neutral thing btw. this kind of hypocrisy alone causes huge productivity losses in business.

what happened to just challenging your opponent like andrew jackson? right. because the isis are worse especially to their people. but not worse than assad. but not worse than the persian who is backed by the most evil russia. the story continues.......for now =)

Posted by: jason | Apr 25 2018 6:25 utc | 59

From reports, Russia is looking at supplying billion dollar S-300 systems to Syria free of charge. Military aid.

This editorial from the Global Times just prior to the US strike on Syria -
"It is beyond outrageous how the US and Europe have treated Russia. Their actions represent a frivolity and recklessness that has grown to characterize Western hegemony that only knows how to contaminate international relations. Right now is the perfect time for non-Western nations to strengthen unity and collaborative efforts among one another. These nations need to establish a level of independence outside the reach of Western influence while breaking the chains of monopolization declarations, predetermined adjudications, and come to value their own judgement abilities.

It's already understood that to achieve such international collective efforts is easier said than done as they require foundational support before anything can happen. Until a new line of allies emerges, multi-national associations like BRICS, or even the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, need to provide value to those non-Western nations and actively create alliances with them.

What Russia is experiencing right could serve as a reflection of how other non-Western nations can expect to be treated in the not-to-distant future. Expelling Russian diplomats simultaneously is hardly enough to deter Russia. Overall, it's an intimidation tactic that has become emblematic of Western nations, and furthermore, such measures are not supported by international law and therefore unjustified.

More importantly, the international community should have the tools and means to counterbalance such actions.

It is since this editorial that Russia are looking at supplying S-300 to Syria as aid (Russia is not financial enough to just give these things out) and also Kim Jong Un has said that NK will cease nuclear testing and decommission or dismantle their test site.

It looks as though anywhere the US is attacking, China will now put a lot of weight into defenses behind the scenes.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Apr 25 2018 6:37 utc | 60

james #49

If you are familiar with my beliefs then you know that I believe much more is
going on here than meets the eye. First, there is the Deep State and my hunch
that there has been breach in its singularity of purpose that must have been
its hallmark before it was on everyone's tongue. Next is the United States,
an Empire not even a century and a quarter old, whose labored breathing
indicates it is not long for this world. And finally, Russia and China who
have suffered at the hands of our dying Empire.

Everything else are just pieces, important or not, of our jigsaw puzzle:
"What's going on"?
You claim not to be interested in our focus on the US. But what else is
there? No one knows anything about the primary actor, the Deep State. A
subject which I have only claimed to have a 'hunch' about. That leaves
Russia and China for you to focus on, and how can you focus on them without
a intricate theory about how the US is ticking since Trump became president.

I'm not going to repeat my conjecture about the state of the DS. I believe it is
now in the control of the pragmatists, who see the necessity of intense
cooperation with all the other players at this pass in the history of mankind on
Earth. And who also see the gravity of avoiding warfare as a solution to economic
and environmental problems.

The DS has selected Trump to be their voice. Initaly, to wall off the conspiracy
of the Democrats to call Putin's bluff and perhaps take the world to war. And now
to investigate the criminality of their behavior during the Obama administration.

It is also my hunch that the DS will resolve all of these disparate problems at
precisely the same time. The tangle of the global economies and markets, the
elimination of 'tradewars' and the use of cryptocurrencies, underwritten by
investors with an eye for both $1,000,000 coins and for well-heeled, greater
fools, to resolve the 'balance of payments' problems, the continuation of some
regimes and the termination of others.

Donald Trump was chosen by the DS to cut this Gordian Knot and move the world
into Act 5, the last act of this tragicomedy called Life.
james #49

If you are familiar with my beliefs then you know that I believe much more is
going on here than meets the eye. First, there is the Deep State and my hunch
that there has been breach in its singularity of purpose that must have been
its hallmark before it was on everyone's tongue. Next is the United States,
an Empire not even a century and a quarter old, whose labored breathing
indicates it is not long for this world. And finally, Russia and China who
have suffered at the hands of our dying Empire.

Everything else are just pieces, important or not, of our jigsaw puzzle:
"What's going on"?
You claim not to be interested in our focus on the US. But what else is
there? No one knows anything about the primary actor, the Deep State. A
subject which I have only claimed to have a 'hunch' about. That leaves
Russia and China for you to focus on, and how can you focus on them without
a intricate theory about how the US is ticking since Trump became president.

I'm not going to repeat my conjecture about the state of the DS. I believe it is
now in the control of the pragmatists, who see the necessity of intense
cooperation with all the other players at this pass in the history of mankind on
Earth. And who also see the gravity of avoiding warfare as a solution to economic
and environmental problems.

The DS has selected Trump to be their voice. Initaly, to wall off the conspiracy
of the Democrats to call Putin's bluff and perhaps take the world to war. And now
to investigate the criminality of their behavior during the Obama administration.

It is also my hunch that the DS will resolve all of these disparate problems at
precisely the same time. The tangle of the global economies and markets, the
elimination of 'tradewars' and the use of cryptocurrencies, underwritten by
investors with an eye for both $1,000,000 coins and for well-heeled, greater
fools, to resolve the 'balance of payments' problems, the continuation of some
regimes and the termination of others.

Donald Trump was chosen by the DS to cut this Gordian Knot and move the world
into Act 5, the last act of this tragicomedy called Life.

Posted by: FSFF | Apr 25 2018 6:43 utc | 61

Forgot the link to the Global Times piece in my post @ 59

This bit from the article I like - "More importantly, the international community...".
It is only sovereign nations that make up an international community. The US 'West is not comprised of sovereign nations, only vassal states - or partly autonomous regions of the US empire.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Apr 25 2018 6:46 utc | 62

@karlof1 | Apr 24, 2018 6:25:43 PM | 27

I came to MoA shortly after Ukraine's Separatists took Debaltsevo from Kiev and two of my favorites’ commanders Givi and Motorola (Mikhail Tolstykh and Arsen Pavlov) were assassinated. Dr. Assad invited Russia Federation to Syria, SAA with Iran, Hezbollah and RF battle Daesh and US proxies the "moderates Headchoppers.” I was optimist believing Putin's air force will change the outcome. No one denies Putin's helped Syria, but Syrians paid heavily in lives and signed away two bases to RF (wondering how much Putin paid for the uses for the two bases?).

While many MoA's keyboard warriors blindly praised Putin with conspiracy theories, I focused on the oil field across the Euphrates and events in Gaza. Often questions why Putin so friendly with Bibi and why it’s OK for US, UK and France to bomb the Syrians but NOT the Russians?. Why Putin easy with YPG, allowing Syrians’ Kurd to take over the oil field across the Euphrates? Further, the Kurd - YPG or whatever were never across the Euphrates river before the Syrians' war - is this backstabbing Dr. Assad? Lastly, Putin interest in selling arms (S300, S400 etc.) to Sultan Erdogan and Dr. Assad's enemies; Qatar, SA, Turkey and who fuck else.

With that in mind or my biases, what you posted earlier and more after seem pointless. It's not what Dr. Assad wanna "regain all lost Syrian territory--including Golan". But will Putin pushed the buttons? In the end Dr. Assad, the Syrians and Palestinians are the main looser. While I still support Putin but never blindly over the cliff.

I dun pray - I dun believe in god but hopes and wishes: the Syrians, Palestinian and all nations in the Arabs’ world fight against the Yanks and the regime changes for peace and happiness...

You might wanna watch TeleSur Tariq Ali new piece “The World Today with Tariq Ali - Amira Hass: Life In A Palestinian Ghetto”

BTW you are one many favorites, please dun be mistaken I'm not attacking you and excuse my Eng trying hard to composed a readable piece. Thanks.

Posted by: OJS | Apr 25 2018 6:46 utc | 63

"Will the U.S. try to prevent or undermine the plan or will it stay out of the way?"

We know you don't like going overboard with speculation, b.
But it's obvious to me (and Pat Lang) that you have formal training, experience and expertise in military matters, including strategy and tactics. Given that you've made a pointed reference to a Final Fight, I'm guessing that you've spotted (or deduced) a Fatal Flaw in the US strategy.
I've always thought that their Base & Bunker gambit in Afghanistan seemed more like a timid PR stunt than a winning strategy. So their decision to adopt a down-sized version of B & B in Syria suggests that it's either a brilliantly successful strategy, or, it's not particularly clever but it's better than nothing.
Which is it (in your 'humble' opinion) keeping in mind that the Russians have been running rings around them for two and a half years?

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Apr 25 2018 7:03 utc | 64

@37 Winston : any sources for this ?

Posted by: Marcus | Apr 25 2018 7:28 utc | 65

One thing Syria might be able to do is to create a joint defense treaty with Lebanon and to provide anti-aircraft support to shoot down Israeli aircraft every time they illegally penetrate sovereign airspace. That would, of course, not be acceptable to Israel, but would stop them from attacking Syria from within Lebanese airspace which is what they have been doing.

The second necessary thing Syria must do is declare war on the US and France for illegally invading sovereign territory. They can do this through the UNSC or in a general session (or both). The UNSC would be vetoed by FUKUS but it would be on record. The UNSC is supposed to prevent wars and all three FUKUS have demonstrated themselves to be rogue nations (like Israel) and not to follow International laws. As it stands the US has not declared war on Syria and they would have trouble getting Congress to put American lives at risk to attack Syria if Russia AND China are defending Syrian sovereignty. The US would, of course, have to back down once American lives are lost (as has happened several times in recent history with Lebanon and Somalia as examples). This would not prevent them from working on other fronts which based on events this week look like there is a fresh US-funded color revolution in Armenia. I never see any reportage on the fact that the largest US embassy in the world is in Armenia and one might wonder why?

Posted by: Old Microbiologist | Apr 25 2018 7:53 utc | 66

Actually, second largest as the Baghdad embassy is now the largest. My mistake.

Posted by: Old Microbiologist | Apr 25 2018 7:55 utc | 67

@WJ 10, 28 james 21

There may be a non-violent popular resistance to the occupation brewing as well - and this ought to be encouraged, and publicized in the west. Al-Masdar reported on Monday, April 16 (i.e. two days after the FUKUS aggression on Syria) regarding street demonstration in Raqqa, with accompanying video, and Ivan Sidorenko's Twitter posted about 9 videos of the street demonstrations, marches and motorcades. Later I traced the source to the Facebook page of شبكة اخبار الرقة RNN. A few days later Syria Alikhbaria posted a copy of one of the videos on its Youtube channel. These demonstrations were anti-US aggression and occupation and pro-Syrian government. 'Raqqa' here refers to Raqqa governorate, rather than the city of Raqqa itself. Were these indeed from Raqqa province east of the Euphrates?

I'm not sure I understand WS's suggestion that an effective resistance to occupation take an anti-Assad (as well as a strong anti-occupation) stance. Why not a pro-Assad, or at least pro-SAA, defiance of the narrative that they need to be "saved". That's up to the people involved, of course.

And, from the standpoint of a resident of the Empire, one shouldn't be too glib about the potential for non-violent civil resistance alone to pry off the occupation (especially if no one in the west hears about them).


Posted by: Norumbega | Apr 25 2018 11:10 utc | 68

WHITE HELMETS: The Guardian Protects UK FCO Destabilisation Project in Syria
Monbiot, Solon, Boffey et al: Guardians of Al-Qaeda’s PR Wing

Posted by: Anonymous | Apr 25 2018 11:16 utc | 69

The white helmets are props used to suggest to the older American public that these are "good guys". You see, the good guys always wore white hats (and the bad guys wore black hats) in the cowboy and indian TV shows we watched when we were kids.

Posted by: Perimetr | Apr 25 2018 12:49 utc | 70

70 So true!!! I confess, at last years academy awards i Hoped for 9'o Earthquake just as the frauds were receiving their FAKE awards. Poetic justice.

Posted by: col from oz | Apr 25 2018 13:03 utc | 71

Old Microbiologist | Apr 25, 2018 3:53:31 AM | 66

I like it. It just might work.
Israel is second only to the U.S. in its hubris and violations of international law.
I find it funny, in a twisted way, that countries no longer have the right to self defense.
Wow, what a world we've become...

Posted by: V. Arnold | Apr 25 2018 14:17 utc | 72

@ 72
I probably should have said; "effective" self defense...

Posted by: V. Arnold | Apr 25 2018 14:19 utc | 73

first off some great commentary from j. swift on down - les7 and etc. etc. thank you..

@61 FSFF deep state... deep state put trump in..... hum? how about this one that lester was suggesting a few weeks back... deep state put putin in, lol.. putin is working for the deep state!! it is all for the oligarchs, west or east!!

frankly, i am more inclined to go light on this deep state speculation... rothchilds verses rockerfellers and etc. etc.. it is like going down a rabbit hole and having a hard time coming back up..

you have still avoided a response to b's question "Will the U.S. try to prevent or undermine the plan or will it stay out of the way?" i guess it is intentional...

@ norumbega... thanks norumbega.. that was you that was asking for a reference for the uprisings in raqqa a week back? i think it was... wj's theory on getting an anti-assad group that was also anti-usa was to help give it more legitimacy in the eyes of the west...i like your idea better as it is based on reality and more likely to succeed and doesn't have to be created out of nothing, as it sounds as though it is already happening.. thanks for your post!

Posted by: james | Apr 25 2018 15:42 utc | 74

CI Eh 43

video re: Roth vs. Rock deep state clusters.

It was recorded pre Trump during Mitt vs. Obama.

Author said Mitt would have no effect on Fed Res Banking System and that Obama would derail it.

That was entirely inaccurate, yes?

Posted by: fastfreddy | Apr 25 2018 16:17 utc | 75

Indicators are heavier which support the premise that Trump & Co will NOT induce any actions with serious consequences on members of the previous admin.

After campaigning on the prosecution of Crooked Hillary, he let her off the hook, once elected.

Obama & Co (look forward, don't look back!) let Cheney/Bush off the hook. Trump pardons Libby.

Iran Contra - No big arrests. North gets his own TV show. Negroponte remains in esteemed government for years as do Bolton and others.

Nixon - Ford (Warren Commission) ushered in to pardon Nixon.

Posted by: fastfreddy | Apr 25 2018 16:28 utc | 76

I just had a look and it looks like an Iraqi Air Force F-16IQ carried out the strike on ISIS*. Irony or what? $$$!

* According to Rudaw which says that Iraqi tv showed its F-16 taxing

Posted by: et Al | Apr 25 2018 17:17 utc | 77

To predict the future of the Syrian conflict one must clearly understand the past.

To date, we can clearly identify 3 separate attempts by the American led 'Coalition' to conquer Syria.

Plan A was to repeat the Libyan scenario. This was attempted in Sept./Oct., 2013. However it was blocked by Russia's Black Sea Fleet, parked off of the coast of Syria. The Chemical Weapons Agreement was a face-saving way to allow the Americans to back off without admitting defeat. (As an aside, the take over of Ukraine in 2014 was a response to the Russian actions. The geopolitical goal was to punish Russia for interfering in Syria. The military goal was to force Russia's Black Sea Fleet out of the Black Sea.)

Plan B was to have ISIS conquer Syria, then have the Coalition displace ISIS. This plan was put into action in 2015. However it was again blocked by the Russian intervention in Syria. The American coalition at first thought that Russia would not be able to stop this plan. They didn't accept the failure of this plan until the fall of Aleppo at the end of 2016. Their actions since then can be seen as trying to slow down Russia and Syria while they put in place Plan C.

Plan C was to be a direct invasion of Syria by the American led coalition. This was to have happened in early March, this year. The U.S. base in Al Tanf was the staging ground for an attack directly on Damascus. The large weapon's cashes discovered in Douma and Qalamoun testify to the pre-staging of weapons for this operation. The plan was to use a chemical weapons false flag to justify a massive air attack, followed by an invasion through Al Tanf to Douma, joining up with the existing rebel groups. Again this was blocked by Russia and Syria, who understood what was going on, and moved on Douma before the Coalition was ready. The rapid advance through Douma disrupted the chemical weapons false flag and destroyed Coalition preparations for this attack.
The Skripal case in the UK and the White-helmets false flag both look like quickly put-together improvisations to justify an air-strike, in order to salvage something of this plan. In the end, the April 14 bombing demonstrated the complete failure of plan C.

These three plans have a couple of things in common:
Firstly, they had a common objective - to conquer and then dismember Syria.
Secondly, each took a year or more of planning and preparation.

So what will happen next? It is hard to imagine what Plan D could be. However, I have no doubt that the Globalists and their American led coalition are trying to dream up something. What does seem likely is that whatever Plan D will be, it will take at least a year to prepare. Until then, the Coalition will try to do everything possible to freeze the situation and prevent further deterioration in their strategic position.

Posted by: dh-mtl | Apr 25 2018 17:19 utc | 78


British government official agencies are the patrons, managers and funders of the White Helmets, who have been the go-to source for the mainstream Western media reporting on the ongoing Syrian war. For good measure, the U.S. State Department's Agency for International Development (USAID) has kicked in $23 million to finance Mayday Rescue, the cutout between the White Helmets and the British Ministry of Defense, the Home Office, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and 10 Downing Street. This is all a matter of public record, yet no Western major media outlet has bothered to include these "data points" in their lavish coverage of the White Helmets...

More at the link.

Hadn't heard of 'Mayday Rescue' before.

Posted by: et Al | Apr 25 2018 17:21 utc | 79

@dh-mtl 78
You missed a whole lot of the US anti-Syria history, which was the arming of dissidents and the creation of a new absentee government, starting about six years ago, all based on the assumption that Assad was washed up. Syria is "a dead man walking" testified Frederic Hof, US State Dept, to Congress in December 2011. Also there is no evidence of your Plan C, a direct US invasion of Syria last month, which is preposterous.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Apr 25 2018 17:36 utc | 80

Have you seen this?
Stephen McIntyre @ClimateAudit
"I've published a lengthy commentary on Douma hospital and victim videos, placing each one in order and summarizing how they relate to one another. IMO, there is a real absence of systematic analysis and hopefully this is a first step."

Posted by: Laura Roslin | Apr 25 2018 17:43 utc | 81

OJS @63--

Thanks, I asked and you provided. You bring up some valid points. But based upon statements by Russia's MoD and their actions leads me to believe they care quite a lot about the lives of Syrians, which is in stark contrast to the pro-Terrorist coalition; their attitude toward Raqqa and the recent bill passed by US Congress denying any funds to help Syrian people repair the damage done by Outlaw US Empire terrorists to their nation prove my point very well. General Rudskoy: "Had the Syrian facilities attacked by the US, UK and France indeed been chemical plants and labs, tens of thousands of people would've died. It is obvious there were no chemical weapons there. but such disregard for the lives of Syrians is perplexing." The whole concept of establishing deconfliction zones as a way to protect/limit civilian casualties was developed by Russia and is something none of the Western states would ever dream of since they view themselves superior to any native within their own nation--and their track record is long and coated with the blood and body parts of tens of millions of innocents: a "value" also shared by Zionists.

I don't know if you read The Saker's blog, but he's advanced several excellent arguments as to why Russia has managed its engagement in Syria, most of which I agree. As I've written on many occasions, IMO a Hybrid Third World War has already begun as the Outlaw US Empire continues its attempt to attain Full Spectrum Dominance over the planet and its resources but has encountered the newly formed Multipolar Alliance consisting of dozens of nations spread out globally as epitomized by the BRICS trade bloc, where Brazil's undergone a hybrid assault and a concerted attempt was made to woo India away in order to destabilize the bloc. But when looked at closely, the attempt failed. Neocons were licking their chops at the prospect of renewed border war between India and China, but the SCO and other multilateral mechanisms where used to diplomatically solve the problem; and eventually--sooner than many think--the SCO will solve the Afghan problem and NATO's exit. Yes, one must keep tabs on what's happening globally along with events in the Hot Zone of Southwest Asia to get an accurate assessment of how the Hybrid War's proceeding. Yes, the reading list is long and consumes several hours each day, so it's fortunate I have the time. This source rises above others and he also posts consolidated updates at SyrPers. Here's another recap that deals with the topic at hand: Where will the next big offensive occur:

"By early 2018 there were 5 terrorist pockets in Syria, East Ghouta, Southern Damascus, Eastern Qalamoun, Rastan and Homs desert.

"With East Ghouta and now Southern Damascus completely liberated (there may be few terrorists on both pockets hiding or to attempt to do what they are good at, terrorize and steal, but they do pose any threat for the Gov’t anymore), these victories unleashed a fresh breath of hope to the Syrians in and around Damascus not only on safety issues but trade, fresh fruits and produce from East Ghouta will hit Damascenes table in no time bringing inflation down and easing Syrians budget constrains.

"With TF moving into the kill in Southern Damascus pocket, it may be an indication that this pocket will be sorted out in weeks and not months.

"Then there will be Rastan pocket, which recently did not accept an agreement, this pocket is vital to return and M5 linking to southern Syria and Hama to full use, besides railroad and many other aspect of safety for Homs and Hama cities. This pocket is deeply linked to the terrorists in northern Hama, so it is only natural to see NATO backed terrorists in northern Hama to try offensive 10.0 there in a futile attempt to shift key forces on the ground.

"No matter what, Rastan pocket will go down by mid 2018, flat lands do help Syrian elite forces, so clearly, with proper forces to this offensive, the terrorists there have no chance at all.

"The lack of forces applied to eliminate ISIS in Homs pocket may indicate ISIS has only hit & run groups and not a real force to threat the Gov’t infra structure, so remain to be seeing whether the SAA will give any priority to eliminate ISIS for good from Homs desert or not, but it may be a slow cooking effort for the militias.

"With all pockets cleared, the Syrian High Command and allies will have to look to the next offensives, and that is what is shifting lately, from Jisr al Shoughur to Daraa to eastern Euphrates, moving pieces and shifting sands…but it seems Daraa is gaining ground lately."

Note how that goes against what I surmised since Daraa is next to Golan, although its getting secured would be required with any operation to secure the borders with Jordan and Iraq and stop infiltration from Saudi and Jordan. We shall soon find out, only to speculate again as to what will then occur.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 25 2018 18:05 utc | 82

at this moment, the US is violating the Russian Consulate in Seattle

Posted by: CarlD | Apr 25 2018 18:33 utc | 83

@79 et al.. there were a few posters the past 2 weeks here at moa that mentioned the mayday rescue group... someone from holland as i recall being pissed his gov't was supporting this mayday rescue group and another poster talking about violet syria another front for the same bullshit...not sure if the voilet syria and mayday rescue are the same...

Posted by: james | Apr 25 2018 19:18 utc | 84

@80 I disagree. I think dhl-mtl has nicely summed up the 3 major MILITARY game plans (overlooking the regime change pseudo "civil war" started in 2011 that didnt topple the Syrian Govt fast enough). There was alot of noise around early to mid-March about a US build up and move out of Al Tanf, pre-empted by the rapid SAA success in the Ghouta. Remember the multiple warnings from RU general staff? As for proofs, how can you prove something that did not happen?

Posted by: Lozion | Apr 25 2018 19:23 utc | 85

Regarding a future US strike on Syria, this piece from the Russian Ministry of Defence is worth reading.

"Fragments of cruise missiles found in these interception areas have characteristic holes from the striking elements of anti-aircraft guided missiles. There are marks with serial numbers, dates and manufacturers, and other data on mechanical units and components. Specialists will be able to easily identify the belonging of these fragments. Some of them are demonstrated at the exposition.

Part of the missiles did not reach the targets, apparently because of technical malfunctions, creating a threat of destruction of civilian objects and the death of civilians. Two of them, including the Tomahawk cruise missile and an air high-precision missile, were transported to Moscow.

Now they are being examined by Russian specialists. The results of this work will be used to improve Russian weapons"

"It is to be noted that most high-precision missiles were shot down by S-125, Osa, and Kvadrat Soviet-made air defence systems.

These systems were recovered and modernized under the auspices of Russian specialists.

The Syrian Defence Ministry analyzed the results of the missile strike. On its basis, a number of changes have already been introduced into the air defence system of the country, which will further increase its reliability.

Russian specialists will continue training Syrian military personnel, as well as assisting in mastering new air defence systems, supplies of which are to be carried out in the near future."

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Apr 25 2018 19:43 utc | 86

Posted by: Don Bacon | Apr 25, 2018 1:36:41 PM | 80

You missed a whole lot of the US anti-Syria history,

Well I think that was his whole point. Take look again, he started his commentary with the premise:
To predict the future of the Syrian conflict one must clearly understand the past.

and after some musing he ended up with with:
So what will happen next? It is hard to imagine what Plan D could be.

So, since he cannot make a prediction, he does not understand the past. Clearly. :-)

Posted by: hopehely | Apr 25 2018 19:47 utc | 87

@80 James

Thanks. I must have missed the comments somehow. I have been following MoA for the last few years but my eyes glaze over when the trolls and nutters hit.

Posted by: et Al | Apr 25 2018 19:58 utc | 88

"Stop whining about lies and fake news. Everyone in the world knows what's going on, and who is who. It's just about choosing sides."
Posted by: Fantome | @ 14

Well, I sort of agree...for the ruling and business elites worldwide what you say is almost certainly true, but....
There is real ignorance out there - the kind that doesn't bother to read anything in depth, doesn't generally care about the outside world, thinks emotionally as opposed to critically and assumes that the mainstream media, like the weatherman, is telling the truth about everything within its natural limitations.
The cognitive dissonance levels of those who follow current events and consider themselves informed, however, must be astronomically high when choosing to "accept" what they are being told. Difficult mental gymnastics are required in order to justify believing, at face value, anything the MSM has to say about anything, especially war. When we accept the mainstream media narrative, a choice is being made - at a conscious or sub-conscious level - to keep our cheap luxuries and comfort and the expense of others, less human.
I lost faith in mainstream media a long time ago, without the assistance of alternative news sources and blogs. I simply could no longer resolve the dissonance. The results of our Holy Crusade to bring civilization looked more and more to me like the Devil's work. It has only been recently that I have discovered great sources of information and critical discussion sites such as Moon of Alabama. I don't believe everything I read here, either. But here there are many gems of thought and interpretation and most of them seem to be united in a quest for the truth.

Posted by: Activist Potato | Apr 25 2018 20:15 utc | 89

Here is an example of what I discussed @82, which is based on this article in Russian, both of which report about the just completed SCO Council of Foreign Ministers Summit in Beijing that laid the table for an "informal" meet between Xi and Modi at Wuhan, China to "focus on the world's profound changes and a long-term cooperation strategy."

The full SCO doesn't meet until June 9-10 at Qingdao. Moon and Kim meet this Friday. Trump will meet with Moon prior to meeting with Kim, but dates haven't been finalized. From what I see, much of the Foreign Policy Establishment is fearful of Trump's meet with Kim as Peace might be the result.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 25 2018 20:41 utc | 90

80, 87

You are right that I ignored the many years of regime change prior to 2013, in the interest of being concise. I considered this to be similar to the plan in Libya.

The point that I was trying to make is that each of the three plans have been large complex military operations requiring at least a year of planning and preparation. Each one had the same objective, complete victory. Each required an increasing commitment and risk by the U.S.

So what could be plan D. It is hard to know what they might try next, when the plan for a direct invasion failed to even get off of the ground.

But what we can predict from the past behavior is that:
- The plan will involve an even larger commitment and higher risk than the one that we thought was going to bring us to the verge of WW3.

- The plan will take a considerable time to put in place. So look for anything in the next year to be nothing more than buying time.

So what are the possibilities? The same thing only bigger? A limited nuclear strike? Or move on directly to Iran?

What is unlikely is that the Globalists will give up.

Posted by: dh-mtl | Apr 25 2018 20:46 utc | 91

" entire Arab Leadership (re Iraq) hanged in the gallows... in the future, it will be your turn too... (laughter) ...Indeed!!..."
"...America may approve of our hanging one day..."
~ Gaddafi - Arab League Speech - March 2008

Unsure if Dr Assad is smiling in agreement or amusement in that video, but its been just over 10 yrs since his prophecy, not a hard one to foretell though with Gen. Wesley Clark's words already ringing bells.

The Arabs, chiefly Iraq and Syria, need to start bonding and bonding real quick... PNAC has a plan which is very last century and that overgrown tumour called the MIC needs to be fed.

Jeffery Sachs termed the deep state as the 'permanent state' during a recent CNN interview... And I think that is more apt. It's what it is. Permanent, unelected agents of chaos representing the ongoing profits of a bloated war industry. At some point it has to be shown how inefficient it has become. My hope it that we are currently witnessing that.

Posted by: MadMax2 | Apr 25 2018 21:09 utc | 92

Posted by: dh-mtl | Apr 25, 2018 4:46:28 PM | 91

Wars are in many ways just like any other large projects. You need a client, an investor, a project management and the labor force. If any of these components is missing or fails, the whole project fails.
The managers might be willing to make the new plan, but if the client gives up or the investor pulls the plug, the project will be dead.
So, in order to predict what will happen, we do not need to know the past that much. Rather, we need know about the current state of those 4 components:
Who are the clients, are sill eager to carry on, or they want to move on to some other project?
Who are the investors, are they willing to pour more money to the project that failed 3 times already?
Ok, we know who are the managers, safe to assume they are willing to stay in the business and they have lots of plans. ;-)
About the labor force - still healthy supply or the supply is exhausted or busy elsewhere?

I think the Russia is trying to prevent the next round by disrupting and jamming all 4 parts.

What is the weakest link of these 4?

Posted by: hopehely | Apr 25 2018 22:23 utc | 93

dh-mtl @91--

"So what are the possibilities? The same thing only bigger? A limited nuclear strike? Or move on directly to Iran?

"What is unlikely is that the Globalists will give up."

To try and find an answer to your queries, lets begin by asking another question for which we already know the answer: What's the Globalist's fundamental goal? They want Full Spectrum Domination of the planet as they've announced/published on at least 4 separate occasions, the latest earlier this year. Initially, they were going to rely on various levels of coercion coupled with waging a hot war to accomplish the Zionist Yinon Plan, but that's now a complete bust. And their hubris and greed have caused them to fall technologically behind such that it's a strategic failure to the point where despite the current limited presence a large portion of Eurasia will never be gained, with much of Europe hanging in the balance. Is there any way to reverse that outcome short of nuclear war? No. Yet your last axiom says they won't cease trying.

IMO, the failing domestic strength of the Globalists primary asset--Outlaw US Empire--will force them to cease trying, although that probably won't happen tomorrow. Sure, a whole lot of damage could still be done globally--including nuclear war--but I see such damage actually harming Globalist's interests more than any other actor's. Indeed, if Trump mocks reason and refuses to make peace in Korea, a more formalized Multipolar Alliance will announce its existence based upon members of the SCO, BRICS, and Non-Aligned Movement from all continents.

What I'd like to see: Trump drops traditional Imperialistic Zero-Sum Game to get in on a piece of the Win-Win action of Xi's BRI and economic integration of entire Eurasian followed by African markets while applying the logic of Win-Win within USA to fulfill his MAGA, which would require throwing the Globalists and MIC under the bus, fulfilling his promise to Drain the Swamp. A Pipe Dream? Time will tell.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 25 2018 22:38 utc | 94

james # 74

I have said innumerable times that there is no way to confirm the existence of the
Deep State. That my belief in it is either from intuition, a hunch.

It's like belief in God, isn't it? There's no way to prove the existence of God,
but that doesn't mean He doesn't exist. If you only want to prove to yourself the
existence of God, isn't it far wiser to look for Him empirically rather than reading rereading, and memorizing all the poetic verses in the bible?

What if God IS the Deep State? And the Deep State is merely a hands-on Deity?
You seem someone who doesn't believe something unless you can see it and
understand it. Which is opposite of where the inventive minds in our past
discovered all the unbelievable things we all know about the universe today
(which most of us think we would have thought of ourselves if Pythagoras
hadn't beaten us to it).

Did the Deep State kill JFK? Or did the CIA? Did William J. Casey, DCIA at the
time, order one of his Ukrainian agents to have an accident at Chernobyl?
To save his boss from some very embarrassing publicity about the Challenger
disaster two months earlier?

Could all the sudden weirdness we're experiencing - certainly since Trump's
election,if not a long time before - signify the presence of God the Father
at last, tardy, belatedly, on His earth?

Who can say?

Posted by: FSFF | Apr 25 2018 23:03 utc | 95

The Syria attack and the Skripal case: May's wish to put tough sanctions on Russia is blocked by a handful of EU states:

Daily Express UK reports:

Fury as EU states BLOCK Britain from hitting Russia with sanctions

BRITAIN has been prevented from slapping Russia with a raft of tough sanctions by a small number of rebel European Union states.

The UK, along with the majority of other EU member states, are determined to send Russia a warning after the attempted poisoning of former spy Sergei Skirpal and the suspected chemical attack in Syria.


Chancellor Hammond told MPs today of his frustration at the “varying degrees of appetite” for tough action during a meeting of the Commons Treasury Select Committee today.

He said the Government were determined to follow America’s lead by issuing sanctions but were being prevented from doing so due to EU state vetoes.[.]


Likely these "rebels" are critical thinkers. Where is the evidence?

All three, Macron May and Trump are in need of distractions.

Posted by: Likklemore | Apr 25 2018 23:15 utc | 96

The CIA is an arm of (or a network incorporated into) the Deep State. It is part of the "secret societies" and "out-of-control shadow government" which JFK spoke about in public speeches.

It may be important to note that no other President after JFK has ever mentioned secret societies or shadow governments.

Nor have any noted their disdain for the CIA. Perhaps Trump has just a bit. Trump most likely a limited hangout.

Posted by: fast freddy | Apr 25 2018 23:19 utc | 97

Honestly, bombing has little effect on a prepared opponent, and does it makes a scant difference if there is one or five ineffectual bombings per day. After all these years, ISIS and other taqfiris developed a system of hideouts in tunnels made in a number of ways. For that reason they are hard to dislodge from their enclave.

What what I have read and interpreted, air attacks that confuse the organization of rebel forces followed by air support closely coupled with advancing ground attack is effective, at least potentially. The basic counter measure for air attack is dispersal, display of decoys and masking the presence. But to stop a ground attack the dispersed forced would have to congregate by traveling in the open, and the coordination can be impeded if you destroy "operation rooms". Also, if you know the location of hideouts, you can make them hard to use even if you do not destroy them.

Compare the effects of air attacks by Gulfies and by Turkey. Gulfies operate from distant airports and that makes it almost impossible to tightly coordinate with ground attacks, and their offensive go nowhere more often than not. Turkey operated from airports and heliports extremely close to the targeted area.

If USA and their coalition were serious about ISIS in "their part of Syria", NE of Euphratus, they should make few steps. First, loudly and quietly make no-fly zone plus a promise to bomb ANYONE who enters (meaning, Turkey). Second, mobilize SDF with its YPG component, making their back secure from Erdogan. Third, supply air bases in Hasakah, Then SDF could advance with copious closely coupled air support. Ground forces could inspect all suspect hideouts and neutralize them. Right now, Syria is not going all out against ISIS SW from Euphrates, but we know how they liquidated several pockets in the deserts or semi-deserts -- campaign to connect with Deir-ez-Zor, Qarantain campaigns, SW Aleppo, NW Hama. Afrin campaign of Turkey was not all that different.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Apr 25 2018 23:23 utc | 98

james #

"Will the U.S. try to prevent or undermine the plan
or will it stay out of the way?"

It will do whatever the Deep State wants it to do. What God or fate or
Manifest Destiny tells Trump to do. What do I think that will be?

The US will pretend they are trying to prevent the plan. You can quote me on that.

Posted by: FSFF | Apr 25 2018 23:25 utc | 99

@94 karlof1

I agree with your take here. And especially the concept you challenge, that the Empire will never give up. I hear this from all sides, but I don't see any proof for it. Admittedly it's a future thing so can't be proved one way or the other, but along with you I don't see that it's at all demonstrated or inevitable that the US won't simply change its plans and turn away from a dead end. It's just a question of how long it wants to bump into the dead-end wall before it gives up.

It begs a question, at what point does increasing failure constitute not giving up, rather than giving up?

What I think we're seeing from the US is a diminishing strength of play at every turn. Its moves are getting weaker and weaker. Saker has made the point that because the US is now so useless at conventional land and sea warfare, all it has left is its nuclear capability. And he worries about that, but I haven't seen it war-gamed in detail anywhere so I don't know what to think about it as yet.

It would be a nuanced discussion in its own right, to determine what that capability really is in practical - and political - terms. And to decide what would push the US into such a use of force, and how it would be deployed, and if it would even work as hoped for. I suspect the nuclear option is not as simple as pushing a button. I suspect that if the US can't manage conventional warfare, then for reasons not yet clear to me, or that I haven't thought through yet, they also can't manage nuclear.

Meanwhile, the US and the Zionists diminish in strength and effective action, and are not coming up with new ideas. Brainpower is part of net strength. When an entity is fading, it doesn't become known for brilliant ideas suddenly. That's a strength that fades also.

Posted by: Grieved | Apr 26 2018 0:16 utc | 100

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