Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
June 22, 2018

Syria - Damascus And Its Allies Prepare To Remove U.S. Forces From Al-Tanf

On June 8 we asked if the then ongoing ISIS attack on Albu Kamal was part of a U.S. plan:

There is sneaking suspicion that the U.S. directed the ongoing ISIS attack on Abu Kamal to gain control over the crossing and to disable road supplies from Iran through Iraq into Syria.
The U.S. must be given no chance to use the ISIS pretext to take Abu Kamal. The Syrian government must rush to support its forces in the border city. It must immediately request that Iraqi forces cross the border from Al-Qaim and support the endangered Syrian troops.

Some reinforcement came in and Albu Kamal was soon back in Syrian government hands. The Syrian army also launched an operation to destroy ISIS positions in southeastern desert.

Southeast Syria (red: Syrian Army, green: U.S. zone around al-Tanf crossing to Iraq, grey: ISIS, yellow: U.S./Kurdish SDF) bigger

But U.S. interference in the east continued:

The Russian military is warning of a false-flag "chemical incident" in Deir Ezzor governorate. The Syrian Observatory reports that Islamic State remnants in the southeastern desert and in the Rukban camp, both under cover of the U.S. occupied zone around al-Tanf, prepare for a large attack on Syrian government forces. It claims that such an attack is an attempt to occupy the zone between al-Tanf and Albu Kamal at the Euphrates. Both operation would be planned diversions intended to draw Syrian forces away from Deraa and could provide excuses for U.S. intervention on the opposition side.

Late Sunday an airstrike destroyed a building in the Harri area near Albu Kamal directly on the Syrian-Iraqi border. The building was used as a headquarter for the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces (PMU) who are securing the border in coordination with the Syrian army in the fight against the Islamic State. More than 20 fighters were killed and more than 10 were wounded. This may have been in preparation for the reportedly planned large ISIS attack.

Another serious incident followed last night when U.S. supported Maghawhir al-Thawra "rebels" (which include 'former' ISIS fighters) attacked Syrian government forces:

A Syrian army officer was killed in a U.S strike on a Syrian army outpost near a U.S. base close to the Iraqi-Syrian border, a commander in the regional alliance supporting President Bashar al-Assad told Reuters.

The Pentagon, said, however, that a U.S.-backed Syrian rebel group stationed in the Tanf garrison had engaged on Thursday evening an “unidentified hostile force” outside a “deconfliction zone” around the garrison, forcing it to retreat. It said there were no casualties on either side.

The Syrian Observatory claims that eight Syrian soldiers were killed in the attack. There is some footage of a desert chase with "technicals" that is supposed to be from these clashes. They took place in al-Halba, 70 kilometers northwest of al-Tanf and only 50 kilometers from Palmyra.

The U.S. sent "rebels" it trains at al-Tanf outside its self declared 55 kilometers deconfliction zone around Tanf to attack Syrian government forces. It supported them by air strikes. U.S. special forces are said to have taken part. This is likely the case as only U.S. special forces can call in such airstrikes.

It seems obvious that the U.S. is using ISIS, U.S. trained "Maghawhir al-Thawra" rebels, and its air power in another attempt to cut the land route between Syria and Iraq. It wants to use the upcoming Syrian campaign against al-Qaeda and ISIS in the southwest around Daraa to make a new move in the east.

But Syria and its allies will not allow that. They are building up their own forces in the east. As Elijah Magnier reported yesterday:

[D]uring my visit to the city of Palmyra and its surroundings, the presence of thousands of Russian troops is striking, indicating that Moscow is sending new infantry and special forces in very large numbers. This large presence has not been announced.

The Syrian army is also sending additional forces into the area and more Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units have arrived in the Al-Qaim/Albu-Kamal area.

Syria and its allies obviously decided to counter the U.S. move. Their operations at the Syrian-Iraqi border are coordinated by the common operation room in Baghdad.


Last night Syria, Iraq, Iran and Russia again discussed the situation in the east and made their decision:

SURA @AlSuraEnglish - 23:47 UTC - 21 Jun 2018

#BREAKING - #Iraq, #Syria, #Russia and #Iran confirm new mission to secure the #Iraqi-#Syrian border from all terrorist groups. The mission was devised in the operations room in Iraq's capital, #Baghdad.

 via Sura - Iraqi, Syrian, Iranian and Russian officers in the operations room Baghdad - bigger

"All terrorist groups" include the Maghawhir al-Thawra "rebels" and their U.S. protectors at al-Tanf.

Meanwhile the Syrian army continues its preparations for the large attack around Daraa which might bring it in conflict with Israel.


The U.S. again issued a nonsensical warning against such an attack but with a significant change in its wording:

The statement, however, omitted a line in a past statement on the subject that said the U.S. would take “firm and appropriate measures” if Syria violated the de-escalation measure.

It has been confirmed that Iran will not be involved in the fight in Daraa (We had noted that three weeks ago.) Hizbullah special forces might take part in the areas near the Lebanese border. Jordan reinforced its position on its side of the border. It is unlikely to join any fight but it will want to keep fleeing "rebels" from entering the country.

The operation in the southwest around Daraa will proceed. The U.S. attempts to use the occasion to cut Syria from Iraq in the east will be prevented by the new Baghdad operations room mission. Its high time for the U.S. to give up on its nonsense schemes in the southeast. The humanitarian situation in the Rukban camp near the U.S. positions in al-Tanf is catastrophic and the civilians there want to come back under Syrian government control. The al-Tanf position is indefensible against any larger force. The U.S. forces there can still move out without a fight. If they do not leave voluntarily, force will be used to remove them.

Posted by b on June 22, 2018 at 10:30 UTC | Permalink

next page »

One can try to all things at the same time, but reality proves that to be a delusional obsession. Could this really be the end? If the warmongers get their way, the whole of the area will go up in smoke if not even nuclear mushroom clouds. Will that price be worth it, for no one will escape the carnage inflicted if it does come about.

Posted by: Eugene | Jun 22 2018 11:15 utc | 1

I'm very happy to hear Al Tanf will be cleared of U.S. forces; about time.
The determination of the SAA is impressive. They have effectively done more in 2 years than the lame assed U.S. in 7 years.
Of course this also speaks very highly of Russian accumen in such endeavors (lots of experience in Chechnya).

Posted by: V | Jun 22 2018 11:45 utc | 2

I would add this, very important; the body counts in Russian ops is considerably, very considerably, lower than the U.S.'s bomb the shit out of everything, civilians be damned...

Posted by: V | Jun 22 2018 11:54 utc | 3

The US is a military dictatorship. It will continue to fight until it is destroyed. This an insane situation, but it is the reality we are faced with. China and Russia find themselves in a steel cage death match with the US. They have no choice but to fight, which they are aware of, and doing the best they can. But this affair well not end well for any of us, or all of us.

Posted by: mike k | Jun 22 2018 12:14 utc | 4

Has anyone noticed Russian forces handing out aid and moving about markets and areas that were recently liberated from terrorists? Any time such things happened in Iraq US forces were shot at and why US forces pretty much shot everyone on the road and did not mix with the civilians like we see Russians do. Russian doctors in make shift tents treat civilians, in iraq you had to go inside fortified bases to find any doctors. People dont seem to make a connection. Even with rebels, Russia soldiers seem to get along.. I saw them driving motor cycles and exchanging gifts and such. They dont trust the Syrian army but Russians are considered neutral. This also is a huge difference where locals did not trust the iraqi government or US forces. Russians must be doing something very different to be seen as not a threat and impartial referees by all sides.

Posted by: igybundy | Jun 22 2018 12:20 utc | 5

On the plus side, Nuttyahoo's wife has been indicted on charges of fraud. If Nutty himself is seriously in line for such charges, then he will pull a false flag to get out of it.

Posted by: Yonatan | Jun 22 2018 12:24 utc | 6

Iran is upping the ante off of Yemen with a couple of warships.........

If Iran starts doing escort duty for any blockade runners KSA is going to find itself in quite a quandary. Whoever sinks one of those warships will give Iran the pretext to crush them.

Posted by: Whozhear | Jun 22 2018 12:50 utc | 7

We must not forget here, that Trump is still not free of (false) accusations he colluded with Russians. If he does something that favors Russia, or fails to do something against Russia, he will be seen as colluding with Russia, even among his supporters. If Syria kills a single American soldier or mercenary, Trump could be forced to act against Syria. And if the Russians attack the US in defense of Syria, Trump WOULD be forced to act.

Moreover, Trump is planning, or is scheduled to have, a summit with Putin. Elements of the US military may try to sabotage it by hitting Syria or Russia or provoking an attack from them.

The best thing to do is for Trump to order a withdrawal of US troops from the area before an 'incident' occurs. But Syria cannot make that happen. I hope Putin and Trump are having private discussions.

Posted by: David Wooten | Jun 22 2018 13:12 utc | 8

I STAND WITH - every peace loveing person every child no matter what country you live in. We know who is trying to destroy us and our way of life. We know who keep's us in poverty . The greedy brutal immoral capatilist.
We may be peace loving,but we should remember ! Every freedom we enjoy now every human right we have,people in the past had to fight for. We do need to stop the insane USA leaders from tearing apart this world.
Remember they are a tiny tiny minority.

Posted by: Mark2 | Jun 22 2018 14:16 utc | 9

If Trumps order the US troops out of al Tanf, he will have to have a very good face saving exit. Otherwise it will be perceived as a defeat against the Russians and the Syrian government. Trump can accept defeats

Posted by: Virgile | Jun 22 2018 14:21 utc | 10

This appears to be a rather delicate exercise in application of pressure. Although this has been ongoing, the rules to seem to have shifted a bit. On the one hand the USA plays the game of agitation and mission creep. Russia on the other seems more inclined to absorb and deflect such provocations. It seems as though there have been several pushbacks and "reminders", one being the Kalibers slamming into an Aleppo mountain side following a US bombing of SAA forces. Another less subtle game changer would be the downing of israeli aircraft (who knows how many?) and the rocketry counterstrike of said assets on the Golan heights.
Several things strike me as important: the sheer scale of Syrian assets on the move to the south, the Russian embedding with the Tigers and air defense pieces within range of this strike force. It reads as a message to the various opposition forces: If you disrupt our operations directly we can (as demonstrated) and WILL strike you back on your own territory if necessary. The sense one gets is that there have been unreported dynamics both kinetic and diplomatic that have made very clear points. The SAA gets a whack when it gets too close to US assets, and those assets in turn will get whittled away by other means.
Clearly the move into the Daraa area is very big indeed. Supply lines for the original incursions as well as command and control.
The proxies were made an offer and most refused. It has been suggested that they will melt away after some token resistance.
But the Golan and Jordanian border with eventually be lined with SAA units, what then? Will air defense manifest if/when the enemies of Syria choose to attack from the skies? Who will absorb the fleeing mercenaries and how? What sort of pressure will be put on US forces in Al-Tanf and how much coordination with Iraqi PMUs can be expected from the war room in Bagdad?
Eli Magnier apparently saw Russian assets en masse in central Syria, will they come into contact with French and now Italian units in eastern Syria? Whatever dynamics are being played out, I'm seeing the tip of the signal noise iceberg....

Posted by: Chevrus | Jun 22 2018 15:33 utc | 11

Chevrus @11:

It has been suggested that they will melt away after some token resistance.
Won't they be expecting an offer to be bused to Idlib?

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jun 22 2018 16:08 utc | 12

All the SAA & allies have to do is take down one NATO jet or kill a few NATO soldiers and the whole illegal scheme will fall apart because NATO cannot survive the least casualties and they know it very well. NATO countries' populations' pretence of superiority has to be maintained at all costs for the MIC's plans to succeed. In this respect, the NATO contingent in Syria are hostages. That's obvious even to Trump. But the MIC unfortunately, is much more worried about trying to find a 'withdrawal with honor' to use the Vietnam term for retreat. So, I highly doubt any NATO 'all out attack' on the SAA is going to occur.

Posted by: Ralph Conner | Jun 22 2018 16:16 utc | 13

thanks b. excellent overview and the comments here are all good and worth remembering.

at what point do americans like pat lang and etc recognize what a peice of shit country the usa has become? how long doesit take for ordinary people to see this if military jocks are either unable or unwilling to see it?

Posted by: james | Jun 22 2018 16:24 utc | 14

A mighty factor for the training the ISIS-linked "freedom fighters:" "Have the US military gone Zionist?"
"The US military now seems to be totally focused on Israeli policy goals in Iran, Syria, and Iraq. Israel is not much interested in Afghanistan or Korea and in those areas the US is not slavishly following the Israeli lead. ...
The indoctrination and conditioning program has carried through to the present under the umbrella of AIPAC and its galaxy of linked organizations especially the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA). This program has been wildly, incredibly successful. As a result, there is an unthinking willingness among senior, and not so senior American officers to support Israeli policy in Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine and now Saudi Arabia. The handful of ME trained and educated US officers are ignored, treated as technical experts or shoved out the door when they speak up."

Posted by: Anna | Jun 22 2018 16:33 utc | 15

Perhaps a little 'off topic' but still, very applicable to the Anglo-Zionists & their trotskyite *neo-cons* behind the jewhaddis in Syria:
-A Lover Of Death Gets His Wish:Neocon Charles Krauthammer Dead At 68-.
Caitlin Johnstone writes beautifully, "...And now he is gone. Finally. Good riddance. Let us remember him for what he was, and not for the fake image of him that the establishment war propagandists are scrambling to create.
Charles Krauthammer is dead. May he rest in war. Amen."

Posted by: Veritas X- | Jun 22 2018 16:41 utc | 16

I hope B is correct but the anglo-zionists generally only respond to force or a credible threat of force. They (and the Israelis in particular) do not view Russian actions as a credible threat and they won’t until the Russians or their proxies start shooting back. The problem with that is that many of neocons hope Syria or Iran will shoot back so they can play victim and start a war.

Posted by: Alaric | Jun 22 2018 17:26 utc | 17

Russia is going to have to provide air cover to the SAA or any talk of pushing US forces out of Al Tanft or anywhere else is dangerous nonsense.

Posted by: paul | Jun 22 2018 17:51 utc | 18

I think that Russian jets were scrambled just before the US stopped it's last bombing campaign, as well as other targets apparently being lit up. I think this is one reason the World Cup isn't having many problems.

Posted by: financial matters | Jun 22 2018 18:10 utc | 19

Invading and Overthrowing

Re: Yesterday's Open Thread - there is another list that I found some time ago at Duran:

16 - That's "Saint Krauthammer" now, based on the remembrances in our two major newspapers. I recall reading some years ago that the swimming pool he dived into was not full of water, hence his paralysis. An awful man.

Posted by: Bart Hansen | Jun 22 2018 18:10 utc | 20

The Russian troops at Palmyra don't seem to be taking part in the clearing operations in the desert nor the southern campaign. The only reason they could be there is to block any US special forces move out of al Tanf.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jun 22 2018 18:23 utc | 21

Igor Bundy @5--

You make a very important observation, one that's been missing from our commentary. For me, the difference is the pains taken by Russia to avoid civilian casualties, the adoption of the reconciliation concept and associated bussing of terrorists to Idlib or elsewhere, as well as the points you made. IMO, civilians most everywhere know Outlaw US Empire soldiers are terrorists--Every US soldier within Syria was given illegal orders violating the US Constitution to be there and should have refused to obey them. The Outlaw US military is hated globally and no longer feared by most; so, like the Nazis before them, they just kill everyone in sight and beyond.

Canthama said the initial concentration's aimed at Hirak, about 15K West of as-Suwayda. The situation's very fluid as the SAA advances liberating smaller villages as it goes. From the video footage I've seen, the weather's clear, the terrain desert scrub with very few places to hide, with not much in the way of fortifications to deter an armored advance.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 22 2018 18:23 utc | 22

One other thought is that when the eastern desert and southwest have been cleared by SAA, it will be Russian troops only that clear the self declared US zone at al-Tanf.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jun 22 2018 18:53 utc | 23

The Baghdad coordination group has been in operation since the Russians landed in Latakia. It has been used to coordinate action along the whole Iraq-Syria border. Most importantly, when thousands of Iraqi fighters worked to block the fleeing ISIS from Mosul and later at al Kamal, ground and air power from Iraq was integrated with SAA and Iranian Shiite proxies from Afghanistan.

The report that there are "thousands" of Russian ground troops is not to be believed. If there were more than 20 in one location, Magnier would have seen a half dozen Russian jets and few pairs of helos flying above them.

Thousands? It sounds like he caught Ukie disease.

Show me the photos. You must have had a camera-phone, something to document this massing of Russian troops.
And what would the thousands being doing? There would be scores of tanks and GRADs, and like I said, helos and jets.
Nowhere, ever, would the Russians mass thousands of their troops anywhere like reported.

The Russians also would be protected, if such a massing was true, with a dozen Pantsir-1 and 2s and EW units.

This kind of reporting, even by Magnier, is common bunkum in the Syrian theater.

Show me the photos, better, the videos (harder to fake).

Sorry, I don't believe that stuff.

Especially, since the US would hit that area fast. Killing Russians has become sport to the CENTCOM psychos. They brag in Congress, on TV, in the State Dept. about killing Russians.

Posted by: Red Ryder | Jun 22 2018 19:00 utc | 24

Evgeniy Satanovskiy - Russian leading expert on Middle East - released interesting article a few days ago.
Southern de-escalation zone, 4 groups of forces (terrorists/"rebels") operating there, agreements/negotiations/problems between Russia, Iran, US, Turkey etc.
Recommended to check out (it's in Russian, so use a translator - Google or Bing etc.).

"Highly likely"(c) V.Putin & D.Trump will discuss this issue ("at-Tanf problem" etc) on the upcoming meeting in July. Btw, J.Bolton is also going to meet V.Putin.
Obviously, a "Syrian dossier" will be one of the main points to discuss.

Posted by: alaff | Jun 22 2018 19:01 utc | 25

We had heard of America relocating ISIS to Afghanistan, on the way to mischief in Central Asia and Russia. I happen to be in Kashmir, and it seems some of them have been sent here, an ideal place to create trouble for China, Pakistan and India, especially if India signs on for China's Belt and Road initiative. There was a military alert two days ago and some pro-India Kashmiri politicians were urgently got out of Kashmir. The night before a would-be suicide bomber was thwarted from entering a politician's house. One hears that Indian intelligence says they are Daesh.

Posted by: sarz | Jun 22 2018 19:47 utc | 26

RR @24--

SAA in Russian garb perhaps. Could be deliberate misinformation too aimed at suckering out a recon force so it can be ambushed. Never thought I'd write: Napoleon was smarter than Americans.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 22 2018 19:48 utc | 27

ISIS Hunters operate in the desert areas - trained and equipped by Russia and operating under Russian command, but Magnier wouldn't mistake Syrians for Russians. He is not in the habit of making wild claims, but as RR says, the is no other evidence as yet of a Russian buildup.
Magnier does say Palmyra and surrounds (does surrounds go out as far a T4?), so they are not massed in one camp.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jun 22 2018 20:17 utc | 28

Whozhear @7

This is the comment by Paveway IV on that link that puts it very well

"This is the normal, six-month or so rotation of the Iranian Navy anti-piracy patrol in the Gulf of Aden, relieving the previous one returning to Iran. It has always included two 'warships' - usually one of their destroyers and a replenishment ship, plus a number of smaller ships.

The Kharg 'Helicopter Carrier' is an old Royal Navy oiler (fleet replenishment tanker) with an added helicopter deck and hangar. Nothing unusual about the rotation and I doubt the Iranian Navy is planning on sailing them anywhere near al-Hudaydah."

Posted by: JohninMK | Jun 22 2018 21:02 utc | 29

Yet another terrorist commander assassinated in Idlib or vicinity making 6 by my count over the last 3 days, 3 reported in the last 24 hours. There was a question about this in the previous Syria thread. Given the number of hits, IMO it's Syrian special ops doing the work. Here's the most recent report, a Jordanian from HTS.

Reinforcements to Southeastern Syria to help clear desert, the detailed itinerary is somewhat unusual.

And an update on Basalt, which is going smoothly: "The goal of phase one of the Syrian Army’s offensive will be to isolate the jihadist stronghold of Busra Al-Harir," which is located at the bottleneck on the map above.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 22 2018 22:08 utc | 30

Someone close to a thermonuclear weapon will deal with London, Paris and Rome in the near future. Then these fools will instantly surrender. If you really want to understand what is happening on this planet and who is running the show then you need to take a good look at these 2 Twitter accounts. (look at all her images/media)

This is how the world is run.

Posted by: Thucydides | Jun 22 2018 22:48 utc | 31

JohninMK @ 29

Link to Paveway IV's comment please.

Posted by: Whozhear | Jun 22 2018 23:07 utc | 32

@24 Red Ryder

Skepticism warranted, but there is a Russian force there to de-mine and restore the city according to the Russian military's official site. Not sure how large.

Russian military engineers clear historical part of Palmyra and living quarters from mines

Hal C

Posted by: Hal C | Jun 22 2018 23:13 utc | 33

@33 Correction

Apologies. Looking further, the date of Russians in Palmyra photos is March 25, 2017.


Posted by: Hal C | Jun 22 2018 23:20 utc | 34

@22 / 30 karlof1... ditto your comments added to @33 hal c.. thanks..

Posted by: james | Jun 22 2018 23:29 utc | 35

Igor and karlof1 re. civilian deaths US v. SAA/Russia.

Kurdish intelligence reports estimate the US Coalition killed 40,000 civilians in the “liberation” of Raqaa. Waiting for Angelina Jolie’s moving video about the “smell of bodies.”

Posted by: Daniel | Jun 22 2018 23:44 utc | 36

For any interested, this afternoon (US time) I finally heard RT news mention last weekend's attack on SAA near Abu Kamal. Nothing about last night's attack though.

It was Anya Parampil, who along with Manila Chan have been filling in for Ed Schultz all week. Does anyone know what's up with Ed?

Posted by: Daniel | Jun 22 2018 23:58 utc | 37

Maybe dressing up SAA troops in Russian camo is maskirovka, i.e. designed to deliberately muddy the US intel picture, introduce a large element of doubt, limit gaming by the US and friends as well as upping the risk quotient? Even if the US know this, how can they be sure which are or aren't Russian? Even accidentally killing some could cause a direct confrontation when they are after all, in Russian uniform. Or, what if Russia and Syria sign a little paper to make parts of the SAA officially part of the Russian forces, if only temporarily?

Posted by: et Al | Jun 23 2018 0:14 utc | 38

You want to understand Netanyahu and his political future?

Netanyahu will NOT move, like Trump, he will stay where he is. Netanyahu & Trump are 100.0% Rothschild puppets controlled through rape, pedophilia and sexual sadistic murder on Jewish (American) children (strangling them to death). Just watch this movie. They are ALL controlled in Israel (American, USA, Saudi Arabia, etc.) through raping women and even more heinous crimes.

Israel is the British military landing for the conquest of Eurasia. Zionism is older then Israel and it is a club if degenerates that can not get women in their bed. So they mass murder all over this planet for money to buy prostitutes now for over 200 years. If they can not buy women, they rape them, if they no longer get an erection from prostitutes and raping women (and men) they go over into pedophilia.

Posted by: Thucydides | Jun 23 2018 0:25 utc | 39

In one minute, President Assad describes US Presidential power with greater understanding than most USAmericans.

Posted by: Daniel | Jun 23 2018 1:14 utc | 40

Whozhear @32
PaveWay IV's (partial) comment quoted above can be found with another of his at a piece in Southfront rebutting the purported importance of the headline: "iran-sends-warships-to-gulf-of-aden-as-clashes-for-yemens-al-hudaydah-continue."
Routine, not some huge naval convoy going to challenge the Coalition of Aggression bombing the port and surroundings.

Also, is it possible that the Russian-uniformed soldiers who Elijah reported on will be the expected policing forces in the S.W. once the SAA acts against the remaining terrorist pockets and clears them out?

(url is my food blog. my political blogs are too shy for here.)

Posted by: j | Jun 23 2018 1:19 utc | 41

Thucydides @39

I used to think that the Powers That Shouldn't Be would set up politicians and others in "compromising" situations so as to create blackmail material. And they certainly did and have been caught at such many times. Like when Jared Kushner's dad hired an Israeli male prostitute to seduce his own brother-in-law to prevent him from testifying against Charles Kushner.

But now I think that that they pick sick f*cks and then groom them to become politicians and such.

Posted by: Daniel | Jun 23 2018 1:53 utc | 42

@ 41
Thank you.

I believe the numbers of Russian servicemen noted by Elijah to be correct. And those numbers tend to explain the increased traffic of Tu-154s coming into Syria in recent months.

Palmyra has one of the old Syrian airforce bases that Russia was looking at to expand their presence in Syria, as Khmeimim had become too small for Russia's expanding operations and too far from east of the Euphrates.

Posted by: Whozhear | Jun 23 2018 2:56 utc | 43

Some interesting comments on the mix in the ranks of the Saudi operations in Yemen.........

Not mentioned is Malaya's recent withdrawal, though little seems to be known what the Malay contingent actually did, and some of the terrorists that were previously in Syria.

Posted by: Whozhear | Jun 23 2018 3:01 utc | 44

I think tha the MO of the US has changed. It now does not need a pretense of legality to operate, i.e. Un resolutions. It is firmly planted in Syria, completely illegally. It simply does not give a fok about right or wrong, the rest of the world, anybody or anything else but its own global goals. But even the pretenses has fallen now, it knows its own public does not give a fart, or is to week to opposes it. The US sees its own public as it sees Iraqie's, Syrian's and ANY other population : target's and at best "collateral damage". I wish the SAA and Russia all the best in clearing Syria of jihadis and their US puppet masters, but I hope they thread carefully.
I think the US may only be brought down by upheavals in the US, possibly even civil strife. Both it and the fascist Zio state are not at all concerned by laws or agreements, the only thing they respect is the power of the gun.
But both countries are getting ripe for subversion, its populations more and more living in open air prisons.
But that does not help in the ridding of Al Tanf....

Posted by: Den Lille Abe | Jun 23 2018 3:09 utc | 45

Den Lille Abe @45

That's about my view, too. Except I don't see nation-states as the locus of real power. The US serves as the principle enforcer for those powers, but the orders come down from "on high."

Still, owing to the military might of the US, I agree that only some sort of takeover domestically can change the way the chess game is played.

Posted by: Daniel | Jun 23 2018 3:31 utc | 46

Posted by: Den Lille Abe | Jun 22, 2018 11:09:13 PM | 45

Yep for me it has been apparent for a very long time that the empire must be destroyed from within altho I race to state not in that awful once fave for weak arsed boomers 'joining the system to resist from inside' way.
After seeing too much bloodshed at the pointy end of imperial operations and seeing that it was the citizens in the areas the empire coveted which paid the highest price I have long held that a form of ju-jitsu, using the greedies' power on themselves is the only viable way.

That said it also has to be acknowledged that the greedies know this too and try very hard to steer a fine line in their oppression of amerikan citizens - starving and opressing enough to enjoy improved profits from ordinary amerikans without going so far as to push amerikans into revolt.

They are however pretty much trying to emulate their rodeo bullrider 'heroes'.

Boom and bust cycles in an ever tightening spiral seem to be the preferred weapon but that can only be effective whist greedies have so much control over economies.
The extreme reaction to any state going it alone or developing an alternative reserve tells us how scared of that they really are.
e.g. Now that the gang has made a healthy profit this year on rising energy prices, they are pressuring opec via KSA to open up the taps and reduce prices or at the very least stop further increases, as that aids their enemies outside (Hiya Iran & Venezuela) while causing citizen problems in amerika and puppet states. Lowering other costs such as accommodation or food can alleviate this but then the gangs of arseholes in the property and/or agribusiness get really uptight and whine about their reducing share of the pie.

The so called 'free market is in fact tightly controlled, solely to favour the already rich.
The agent orange plan to increase tariffs has many in the elite scared shitless because it creates the same effect as someone smashing the shit outta all the balls on a pool table, working out in advance which ball will go into what pocket has now become impossible.
The competing pressures plus random unplanned external events also makes the type of control that the empire needs to walk that line impossible.
Our job as humans is to do everything we can to keep pressure on the elite machine constant, so inhibiting the ability for 'boom and bust'.
Once that happens elite greed will run headlong into angry and desperate amerikans and the inevitable self-destruction of empire.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Jun 23 2018 3:45 utc | 47

Russia is going to have to provide air cover to the SAA or any talk of pushing US forces out of Al Tanft or anywhere else is dangerous nonsense....

However, there are other scenarios. Although I find it scarcely plausible that Russia or Syria would initiate an attack on Al-Tanf, which would entail "neutralizing" US air support, if instead the US escalates beyond a certain red line, then the base at Al-Tanf might very well be a target of tit-for-tat reprisal.

Now the Pentagon planners would have to at least consider losing Al-Tanf and considerable air assets before having, say, the the carrier battle group now arrived in the Med "punish" Syria and Russia for the next instalment in the false-flag chemical attack horror series.

Posted by: Paul Damascene | Jun 23 2018 3:57 utc | 48

Debsisdead | Jun 22, 2018 11:45:11 PM | 47

There is no fixing this death machine. It cannot be changed; it must be ended.
Figuring out how to do that is key.

Posted by: V | Jun 23 2018 4:41 utc | 49

here come the Tiger and the Bear!

Posted by: Trisha Driscoll | Jun 23 2018 4:47 utc | 50


IMO, kill the USD.

Posted by: Ian | Jun 23 2018 5:27 utc | 51

At Debsidead 47

Once that happens elite greed will run headlong into angry and desperate amerikans and the inevitable self-destruction of empire.

This about sums it up, pretty well. Bloodshed, probably unavoidable, as the US cannot be reformed wthin following current laws and lobby mechanisms. Money and Israel is too embedded in their system.
The Kleptocracy knows this, and that is the reason of militarizing the police, that is the reason for the "Surveillance State" whose main purpose is to quell internal dissent.
The MSM story about "external security threats" are all bollocks, there is nothing at present that can threaten the US's security. But internal strife is a credible threat, especially id the outer fringes agree to cooperate. But it all up to the population in the US.

Posted by: Den Lille Abe | Jun 23 2018 5:38 utc | 52

Thucydides @39

Thanks for posting that link to a David Sheen presentation. I didn't know about him, but he's an erudite presenter of anti-Zionist Jewish information whom I shall be following up on.

This 1 1/2 hour presentation he did in Oslo is clear and well documented, and perfectly explains how/why Zio-Fascism has such a grip on Israeli Jews (and many others).

Posted by: Daniel | Jun 23 2018 6:43 utc | 53

Ian | Jun 23, 2018 1:27:15 AM | 51

I agree.
The BRI, BRICKS, and the SCO are establishing a gold based exchange for all international trade. No dollars necessary or traded.

Posted by: V | Jun 23 2018 8:16 utc | 54

I thought this appropriate for this thread.

Nothing new under the sun (Solomon; ecclesiastes) and history is witness to the truth of that.
Tacitus almost 2,000 years ago wrote this;
"To ravage, to slaughter, to usurp under false titles, they call it empire and where they make a desert, they call it peace." Tacitus

Posted by: V | Jun 23 2018 8:34 utc | 55

Thanks for another fine perspective. Regards your fitst map; believe your grey area is Daesh, and yellow area US Coalition supported fighters.

Posted by: Al S | Jun 23 2018 9:54 utc | 56

Whozhear @32

When I put links up they are in the wrong format and I get shouted at so I have stopped.

Its the sixth post on that thread which you linked to.

Posted by: JohninMK | Jun 23 2018 10:33 utc | 57

Re any upcoming meeting between Putin and Bolton, I think people are taking this way too seriously. Adversarial leaders have meetings to "jaw jaw" all the time, which end up being completely inconsequential. If we assumed the anti-imperialist best case scenario, that Putin is committed to blocking US power and trying indirectly to help cause the empire to begin collapsing, still what would it cost him to meet with Bolton, other than some prestige among internet commenters? Of course we know what Bolton's committed to, so what are his fellow neocons saying about his being willing to meet with the arch-enemy? I don't frequent their sites so I don't know, but by the same logic they should be criticizing him in the same way, if they took the meeting seriously at all.

I would expect Bolton to bluster, Putin to sit sphinxlike, and nothing to come of it.

Re the US moving ISIS cadres to Afghanistan in order to cause trouble for China and Russia, how much trouble could such losers cause there after being routed from their own home turf? According to what I've read the original mujahadeen as well were highly over-rated, while the most effective Islamist fighters against Russia were native to Afghanistan and Pakistan.

And today the US is doing all it can to ensure that those natives will if anything want to side with Russia and China.

Posted by: Russ | Jun 23 2018 11:45 utc | 58

@44 Whozhear

Malaysian troops were intially sent to evacuate citizens trapped by the travel bans among them a number of businessmen and religious school students. As time went on reports from foreign media exposed the involvement and the government faced questioning from everyone including politicians on both sides, rights groups and the veterans association. They had to calm the crowd stating they "weren't involved in attacks" and was "supporting logisitics and intelligence" but eventually ignored the issue. In 2015 as part of the 1MDB investigations, the Saudis were found to have deposited $681 mil into Prime Minister Najib Razak's personal account as a "donation". Since the defeat of the ruling party and its shady dealings in the May general elections, he is now facing trial for massive corruption.

Posted by: Tongkat Ali | Jun 23 2018 12:17 utc | 59

Came across that
could be of interest for some people, who knows

Posted by: Mina | Jun 23 2018 13:05 utc | 60

Vanessa Beeley seems worthy of a listen (grab a cup of coffee):

Posted by: Maracatu | Jun 23 2018 17:42 utc | 61

I'm an armchair general, too! My qualifications: Having carefully read Herodotus "The Histories", Thucydides, "The Peloponisian War", "The Lessons of Modern War", Cordesman and Wagner, "The Guns of August", "Strategy" by Lidell Hart, "Gettysburg" by Trudeau, and many more. My assessment is that the USA has too many military bases all over Eurasia. They are badly positioned, unable to support each other. To wit: the embarrasing enclave of Al Tanf.

Posted by: Guerrero | Jun 23 2018 18:11 utc | 62

Russ @58:

Re any upcoming meeting between Putin and Bolton ... I would expect Bolton to bluster, Putin to sit sphinxlike, and nothing to come of it.

Trump's floating the possibility for Russia to rejoin the G8 and a meeting with Putin originated in the preparations for the Kim-Trump meeting. I think the speed with which China has moved to assert itself has caught USA by surprise. Among other things, China was key in forcing USA to meet Kim and reach an accord and even brought Kim to the meeting with their plane. (which I commented upon here)

What would USA offer Putin to pull them from China's orbit? A lot. I think everything EXCEPT Syria (which can't be traded because of Israeli and Saudi interests):

>> acceptance of Crimea (and Donbas) as part of Russia;

>> normalization of ties (including return to G8, Northstream, etc.);

>> de-militarization of borderline states (Ukraine, Baltic States, maybe Poland);

>> and more!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jun 23 2018 18:26 utc | 63

@ Jackrabbit | 63

What would USA offer Putin to pull them from China's orbit? A lot. I think everything EXCEPT Syria (which can't be traded because of Israeli and Saudi interests)

First of all, Putin will never agree to trade partnership with China to US, nor will he ever trust Americans. And why would he bother to begin with? US are on steep decline, China and Russia are silently becoming true superpowers (ok, Russia not so silently :)

Second, Neocons and Military complex will not agree with such trade-off. Hence these ideas wont fly from the get go.

Posted by: Harry | Jun 23 2018 19:07 utc | 64


We spent a couplecweeks in hot-fire zones, unarmed, surveying and planning for a transport bypass around Kandahar, as Karzai's hope to make KDR a modernized transport link between Quetta, Zabul and Herat.

We presented it to the AF ministers at the palace in KDR, waiting for USAID's Party Chief to attend, and throw holy water on it. She rolls up in a bulletproof Toyota between two APCs, the grunts deploy huh-huh-huh then give the all-clear (in the walled palace grounds, lol).

She steps out like Melania On A Half Shell, and then during introductions, as the ministers left to go into the Great Hall to take their seats, she asks me,

"What the hell are you doing here?"

"I've been asked to prepare planning documents and a white paper to make KDR their southern transport hub," I said, holding out my heavy sheaf of papers portfolio.

She looks at me EXACTLY like Goldfinger's 'I expect you to die!', and brays, "The Afghans don't tell US what they want, WE tell the Afghans what they're gonna get!"

So she played the part of the boored Ice Princess during the presentation, left with short formalities, got back in her bullet-proof Toyota, the Marines huh-huh-huh'd in reverse to the APCs, and back she roared to OEF-KDR.

USA is currently occupying, invading or running covert assassination squads in 75 countries, with more than 700 overseas bases and FOBs, according to Sy Hersh. You couldn't name 5nof them. And the locals don't tell US what they want, US tells them what they're gonna get.

The Spice must flow.

Posted by: Chipnik | Jun 23 2018 19:14 utc | 65

Harry @63

Any deal is very unlikely. But I think an attempt will be made. A half-hearted attempt may have been made already.

They had the exceptional! hubris that they could take on the world. And I expect that the same hubris will lead them to believe that they can turn around the mess they made via a deal with Russia.

They thought that they could control China via economic interests. Now the "oh shit" moment has arrived and they see that China is a bigger problem than Russia.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jun 23 2018 19:27 utc | 66

Maracatu @61

A bit long but very interesting. Thanks.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jun 23 2018 19:28 utc | 67


Trump is at Mar-a-Lago Club again this weekend, but he'll attend a rally and give a campaign speech on 'indefinite detention' at the Homestead, FL, opening of a new Tony Weiner Hospice Center for Wayward 'Unaccompanied' Girls.

Posted by: Chipnik | Jun 23 2018 19:32 utc | 68

Please take a WARNING the comenter above called chilpnik. Is a psychopath. A short while ago he posted a link to a snuff video, of several baby's/children being run over and killed.defiantly don't click on eny link !!!

Posted by: Mark2 | Jun 23 2018 20:10 utc | 69

Russian airstrikes on terrorists in Busra al-Harir.

Also, there are reports that the U.S. Embassy in Amman is telling their terrorists in the south of Syria essentially "You are on your own".

* Tens of thousands of battle hardened SAA advancing
* Large US backed terror groups giving up and surrendering to the SAA
* Russia actively conducting airstrikes against the US regime backed terrorists
* The Israeli regime still reeling from the beating it took from Syria's retaliatory attack last month
* And the US regime impotently sending strongly worded letters to President Assad to stop attacking their foreign terrorists pretty please.

The south of Syria is going to be terrorist free in a very short amount of time.

The only real wildcard is what is going to happen when the US regime backed terrorists really start fleeing and come in contact with Jordanian forces on the border.

Posted by: Nerrian | Jun 23 2018 21:43 utc | 70

I suspect the threats from the State Department spox were just that, threats from the State Department. How many bombers, fighters, warships, etc. does the State Department actually have? Zero.
As for al-Tanf, the SAA should leave it alone and focus on Daraa - in a few months the US will leave anyway and when the United States leaves, the UK will leave as well.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Jun 23 2018 22:35 utc | 71

A day or two back, Russia MOD reported than a large FSA unit had reconciled with the government. Today an article in Sputnik Russia MOD reports FSA and SAA together fighting off a large attack by Nusra. With Russian airpower in on the fight, it looks like the southern offensive could be short and successful.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jun 23 2018 22:52 utc | 72

many will now see the light, and switch to the winning side, of the legit Syrian gov't and its allies

On June 23, U.S. Embassy in Amman informed the Free Syrian Army (FSA) in southern Syria in a message that they should not base their decisions on the assumption or expectation of military intervention by the U.S. and its allies against the Syrian Arab Army (SAA).

Furthermore, the U.S. Embassy in Amman encouraged FSA commanders in southern Syria to make decisions based on their own interests and the interests of their families and groups.

Several pro-government activists reported that many FSA groups in southern Syrian began negotiating with Russia in the last two days in attempt to reach a peaceful solution. The message of the U.S Embassy in Amman will likely boost these efforts, as the FSA may stop betting on foreign support....

Posted by: michaelj72 | Jun 24 2018 0:55 utc | 73

>>>>> michaelj72 | Jun 23, 2018 8:55:54 PM | 73

Even The Guardian is reporting the statement from the U.S. Embassy in Amman. I wonder if that small ISIS pocket in the far south-west is the cause of America's change in position. After all, you can't celebrate the "defeat" of ISIS while they still control any territory neither can you withdraw from Syria. Is Trump allowing Assad to attack Daraa to eventually wipe out ISIS there as well as elsewhere in Syria before the 2018 mid-terms? If Trump really wanted to rub the Washington Borgs faces in the dirt, he'd invite Assad and Putin to watch the "victory parade" in Washington.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Jun 24 2018 5:24 utc | 74

Reuters article on the US telling the FSA it will not support them.
An interesting paragraph in it saying the US had paid FSA salaries from the start of the war until Trump stopped it. I have not seen this stated in the MSM before.
Looks like Putin's diplomacy with nutty a few weeks back has paid off. Since then the US tried to bluff and that has been called.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jun 24 2018 5:30 utc | 75

The Reuters article is telling in that it is published at all. The gist of the article is the postulation that the tamed headchoppers of the south are on their own, no US aircover....
Ergo the US must have a withdrawal plan for south-Syria made ready, probably with some face saving included. This would indicate that pressure from all over the world, has been put on the US to "get out" because their is no justification at all for their presence, not to speak off denying the legitimate government of Syria of cleansing its lands of takfiri organ eaters, pedo's, bankers and hedgefund managers.
On the other side of the border, apparently Jordainian troops are lining up their peletons, guns at the border, ready for a live fire turkey shoot! (No not that Turkey shoot :) )
I wonder if they will leave the airstrip in good working order, so the Russians can move in immediately ? That would be a polite gesture...
In the meantime elsewhere, Mini Macron has rejected an EU army, which is OK, as we in the EU find a French army, fictitious, fantasy, delirious and comical. Like the thought of an Italian Army. Or a Swiss Navy.
Likewise the French need for Aircraft carriers has caused a great deal of snickering in NATO for years, the British commissioning two Aircraft carriers caused outright rapturous laughter among serious defense pundits. Although the moro silenced quickly at the thought of the "forced" procurement of the newest American Wundervappen the F-35 or the "Dodo" as it is called in officers messes.
Merry solstice to all.

Posted by: Den Lille Abe | Jun 24 2018 6:58 utc | 76

Den Lille Abe 76
Quite a bit within the lines of that Reuters article, but a lot more between the lines.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jun 24 2018 7:36 utc | 77

Macron has rejected an EU army but signed up for a FrUK one last year, isn't it?

Posted by: Mina | Jun 24 2018 7:50 utc | 78

@63 Jackrabbit

1. If Trump really wanted such a sweeping eventual outcome, would he be sending Bolton, dedicated to preventing any constructive outcome at all, as his point man? That would seem to fit only if Trump really is the wayward moron, with zero real plan beyond the current day, so many claim him to be.

2. Given the universal shrieking outrage of the US political/media class over what Trump allegedly "gave away" to Kim, I shudder to think how they'd scream, and what they might try to do, if Trump made the kind of deal you describe with the Evil Empire itself.

Posted by: Russ | Jun 24 2018 10:33 utc | 79

@ Mina 78
Of course he has! What could go wrong? No-no don not mention 1940, it is very impolite! It is even more impolite to mention the senseless slaughter in WWI, so we will abstain from that.
But else it is a splendid idea, both countries are doing really well economically, huge surpluses on trade and the very best social security systems! I am fortunate these courageous nations are willing to bomb defenseless civilians on my behalf!
I think I do not need to add a sarcasm tag ehhh? I very much reject these horrid criminal nations acting on behalf of the EU, in any sense.
What these kleptocratic Kabuki democracies choose to do on their own is their choice. Now there 'aint no Muslims living in those countries? No I thought not!

Posted by: Den Lille Abe | Jun 24 2018 10:48 utc | 80

bolt on is no more than a diversion. watch Kissinger.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jun 24 2018 11:47 utc | 81

Russ @79: If Trump really wanted ...

What faux populist front men like Trump and Obama "want" is nothing more than a pay-day and ego-stroking.

Policy is determined by the "Deep State".

It makes sense that USA would want to do what they can to separate Russia and China. Pushing them into each others arms was a strategic blunder.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jun 24 2018 14:55 utc | 82


But Russia & PRC each have to know by now that if they let the US take out the other, they're next on the US target list and will find the deal they made repudiated by the US.

Posted by: rkka | Jun 24 2018 20:55 utc | 83

To this day, I'm still baffled by the strategic blunder of forcing China and Russia together. Even I, part of the unwashed masses, could see it a mile away. IMO, Trump's latest suggestion to bring back Russia to the G7 is a feeble attempt at recreating the Chinese-Russian split. Looking forward to see of the coming Putin-Trump summit.

Posted by: Ian | Jun 24 2018 22:13 utc | 84

To this day, I'm still baffled by the strategic blunder of forcing China and Russia together.
Posted by: Ian @84

One explanation for the Eagle forcing the Bear to dance with the Dragon (what a sight that would be) is that the Eagle believed the Bear to be gravely wounded, incapable of dancing, and that it could continue to poop on its head with impunity before diving in for the kill.
An indication of this mindset is in Globalist's John McCain's vehement assertion that the Russians would "do nothing" if the US attempted to set up a no-fly zone in Syria. (or it may have been in relation to another situation - I cannot find the video right now where I saw him say that)
Could it be that Putin was playing Possum with the Eagle and it worked?
I don't think it is a coincidence that we haven't seen a Russian fighter jet ambushed, or a civilian flight bombed out of the air, or an MH17-style assassination attempt on Putin lately.
I am not saying the Bear is out of the woods yet (never underestimate perfidy) but there is a lot more respect being shown toward the Bear today (the Mad-as-a-Hatter Brits notwithstanding) than when this Syria intervention began.

Posted by: Activist Potato | Jun 24 2018 23:45 utc | 85

"To this day, I'm still baffled by the strategic blunder of forcing China and Russia together..."
Not to mention: forcing Iran to join them, neatly rounding out some of the strategic creases.
And now, pushing Pakistan- long one of the lynchpins of US alliances- into China's welcoming embrace. Turkey having already been offended into opposition. Even Qatar, home of a massive US base, is teetering on the brink of deserting its main state sponsor.
It all becomes perfectly comprehensible when you realise that the neo-cons, who run the Deep State and dominate both political parties, have been making the same error for the past twenty five years. The more their policies endanger the US, the more energy they put into them.
There isn't a conspiracy, or any deep thinking behind the automatic support of Israel and the mindless making of enemies everywhere, it is just that control over the culture is so complete that serious discussion of the consequences of, for example, the attack on Iraq never reaches the point where those in authority are forced to re-evaluate.
On the contrary, those who pushed hardest for the Iraq war-which ensured that the US would never achieve the global hegemony that was their aim- have been rewarded with greater power, more influence. They ran the Obama foreign policy and they are running Trump's: and every day that they rule, benefits the "west"'s strategic rivals.
The neo-cons are the Chinese CP's fondest dream: every decision they take weakens the US and strengthens its rivals. Look at the company Washington chooses- Netanyahu, MbS, the British Tories (and the Blairites), Canberra, losers and clowns, all of them invested heavily in the proposition that, with US military backing, they can do anything, however offensive it might be.
The Emperor has no clothes. The Empire on the Potomac has no idea of what it is doing besides handing out contracts and collecting kickbacks.
And the political system is so sewed up that the elites never get any feedback. In much the same way that the Unions are all so corrupted that the anger on the shop floors and in the country as a whole is never taken seriously. There are no reforms, there are no improvements, living standards decline continuously and have done so for almost half a century. Nothing relieves the pressures.
And the only people who don't understand are the politicians, the pundits, the academics who look at each other and conclude that all is well and that the US military which hasn't won a war since Grenada rules the world.
Sometimes appearances are everything, and a state run by Trump, Pompeo, Bolton, Haley (Giuliani!) and Mattis is going to be no more effective than any other gang that can neither think straight or shoot straight.
And these clowns, bullies, loudmouths, crooks and fools perfectly represent the governing caste behind them, a caste recruited largely by hereditary wealth, augmented by the wiles of the careerist (flattery, corruption, cheating) and the talents of the prostitute.

Posted by: bevin | Jun 25 2018 2:14 utc | 86

@86 bevin

Exactly so.

And "...the consequences of, for example, the attack on Iraq never reaches the point where those in authority are forced to re-evaluate." I was just in the open thread talking about privilege, and how we know it's eroding because we can see these defeats.

What you add to this equation is that the holders of privilege don't know that it's eroding because there is still some left. But if privilege were intact and strong, we wouldn't even be able to see the defeats. And privilege erodes from failure, not from success. We are at perhaps the relative thin end - but less thin than it once was - of an entire situation going pear-shaped.

By the way, to add to your list of those strategic blunders that push enemies into collaboration rather than into disarray, Magnier just wrote that Saudi Arabia is now going to join Israel and the US, along with other Gulf states, against Palestine, and cohere the entire region against themselves, to their undoing. I linked this piece at #48 currently in the open thread.

Posted by: Grieved | Jun 25 2018 3:40 utc | 87

I haven't seen this reported

In Surprising Turn, US Sends "Farewell Message" To Proxies In Syria's South

The caveat quote
Despite Washington's signalling that it will remain on the sidelines in the fight for the southwest region through the US embassy's "farewell message" to opposition commanders, the situation remains fluid and volatile, and US policy has been known to change on a dime in Syria.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jun 25 2018 3:54 utc | 88

It's been a not well hidden secret that the Reagan team negotiated with Ayatollah Khomeini in 1980 to convince the students to hold onto the hostages at the US Embassy in order to prevent Carter's "October Surprise" of releasing them, and winning the election.

Well, a few years ago, CIA declassified documents showing that the Carter team had already been negotiating with Khomeini since 1979.

Some Iranians I know (and sites I read) did not want to believe that. They insisted CIA was releasing fake documents to undermine the Iranians' faith in their Revolutionary Government. Gosh, just like the Democrats/CIA are telling us about Russia’s dirty dealings in US politics.

But others who dug into that lead came up with much more evidence. so, let's just play this out. Both party flavors preferred an Islamic State to the secular, socialist one the Revolutionaries were establishing until Carter welcomed the Shah to catch some rays in Florida, which p*ssed off a lot of the revolutionaries. Remember that the revolution had succeeded almost a year prior to Carter's move, which led to the Ayatollah's boys taking control.

Reagan’s team apparently offered the best terms, and so Carter was left out to dry, and the world gets Iran/Contra, etc.

And the Islamic part of the Republic of Iran is… what now? Sworn enemies of the very powers that installed them? Could be.

Posted by: Daniel | Jun 25 2018 5:28 utc | 89

Open admission the Obama admin armed terrorists in Syria
Worth a look.

Posted by: Emily | Jun 25 2018 8:25 utc | 90

Zero Hedge: Sociopaths, Manipulators Get Rich On Doom Porn, Trashing America

Anti-American website a matrix of propaganda, disinformation, bogus "financial advice"

Posted by: Jimi | Jun 25 2018 10:34 utc | 91

@ Jackrabbit 82

These kinds of Universal Spider - Master Cabal fantasies, whether it be the Illuminati or the Freemasons or the Elders of Zion or the omnipotent Deep State are never anything but fantasies. Actual power exertion is always a more or less messy result of squabbles among the elite factions. The deep state is one faction among others. (Or set of factions, not always on the same page themselves; for example the Snowden affair is best explained as part of a turf war among agencies.)

The only thing for sure is that the desires and well-being of the people mean zero at best.

Anyway, even according to your construction it has to have been that same Deep State which consciously, deliberately drove Russia and China together. You can't coherently claim they're capable of making a "strategic mistake" in the same breath as claiming they automatically dominate the president, military, etc. If they can make mistakes they also can lose control of situations.

Posted by: Russ | Jun 25 2018 14:39 utc | 92

Currantly at thread bottom, Geroman reports al-Lajat region 100% under SAA control. This was Basalt's initial goal and has resulted in more villages accepting reconciliation. Now the Southern portion will be the focus.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 25 2018 15:47 utc | 93

Here's a new Twitter source I just discovered providing excellent coverage of Syria's war!

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 25 2018 16:23 utc | 94

Russ @92

Universal Spider - Master Cabal fantasies . . . are never anything but fantasies.

It's getting harder to dismiss how Western governments work and for whom.


- GFC: ponzi finance scheme costing trillions in which no one went to jail;

- a relentless push to reduce taxes on the wealthy - Obama used "bipartizanship" and scaremongering ("the fiscal cliff!") to excuse HIS contribution;

- using the IRS to target political enemies;

- a major war based on lies (Iraq War);

- illegal occupations (Eastern Syria, Afghanistan);

- hundreds of people rendered and tortured despite all sorts of human rights agreements;

- silence about Palestinians and a concerted effort to break BDS - several US states (NY, Texas, others) now force companies to trade with Israel (how else can you show compliance with a law that demands that a company not participate in a boycott of Israel?)

- clandestine support for ISIS, Contras, and other militant groups known to regularly abuse human rights;

- US participation in the Ukrainian coup ("F*ck the EU!");

- Coordinated, nation-wide take-down of peaceful Occupy Wall Street demonstrators;

- DNC-Hillary collusion to deny Sanders the Democratic nomination;

- illegal use of chemical dispursants after the gulf oil spill (the Obama Administration looked the other way);

You can't coherently claim they're capable of making a "strategic mistake" in the same breath as claiming they automatically dominate the president, military, etc.

The "strategic mistake" comes from being blind-sided by hubris and short-term concerns.

United States "inverted totalitarian" style of government has been well-described elsewhere by academics. For example, Princeton did a study that showed that the concerns of ordinary citizens had almost no impact on legislation.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jun 25 2018 21:00 utc | 95

From reports it seems US ensured nusra had plenty of weapons, ATGMs ect, before telling FSA it would not support them.
Watching maps of airstrikes and assaults over the last few days, it looks as though SAA will counter this by concentrating all its force on bite size pockets.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jun 25 2018 23:03 utc | 96

Any thoughts on this here from you guys?

Coalition forces suddenly spread to Iraqi side of Al-Tanf

Posted by: Scotch Bingeington | Jun 25 2018 23:16 utc | 97

re Karlof1 @ 83 re the Hakluyts

In late 1500’s, the English Crown realized its very survival was to be as seafaring-traders/sea-controllers and began (1) building a global navy and (2)collecting data, in earnest, of all known, global resources, first compiled by England’s 2 Hakluyts, both uncle and nephew having the same name of Richard Hakluyt. [Note: The Hakluyt Society established in 1995 is just a namesake of the original Hakluyt team.]

Columbus' 1492 "discovery" the New World meant that Earth was a sphere and thus there was only limited and limited resources, both vital to the Crown's existence.
The fact of finite land and resources related to England's future existence and meant that global collection of navigation data and resource deposits was to begin, Thus, an Earth survey, by any means necessary, was established and run by the Hakluyts about 1595.

It has never stopped. Spies, shipping agents, ships' captains and navigators, adventurers, scholars et al were enlisted globally to record and send the data to the Hakluyts for collection and [limited] publication to interested parties. The Hakluyts collected all raw data and printed the first volumes about 1599. [I have read several parts of the early volumes which is a bit of a struggle, because there was not yet any standard form of English spelling or grammar.]

An example so the reader gets the urgency: On 2,000 mile voyages across open ocean, lack of potable water caused entire crews to die and their ships become derelict. This was well known by occasional reports of these derelicts. Thus sources of potable water for long voyages and the landing points for longboats to get safely ashore at “unknown” islands to collect the fresh water, became vital secrets to be learned.

This Earth Survey led to gold-buccaneering, fleet-building and wiping-out the Spanish Armada on up to The East India Company and into more modern, more covert tactics, e.g. identifying control methods to ensure global control of trade routes, as choke-points, colonies, naval dmination ,etc. That Earth survey and quest for control of resources has never ended.

Long-range planning was always evolving by trial and error and very covert. The small island-nation of England learned well its limitations as its Empire collapsed. Surely by the 20th Century, survival depended on correctly analysing its failure to control that Empire. To wit: the lacking island-nation needed a giant proxy-nation to front for its Empire rebuild. Whoever might it be?

[The foregoing was parsed from a comment at the old The Oil Drum website, here ]

Posted by: chu teh | Jun 26 2018 0:23 utc | 98

I have been looking at it too. US seems to have given up on connecting US/CIAstan through to Israel , but might stil be looking at trying to control the Iraq/Syria border through to Tanf while the SAA are busy at Daraa. Reports that Israel hit an Iranian cargo planes at Damascus airport. US Israel may have settled for to to stop all Iranian supplies into Syria as their fall back position. Syria just ran a large operation cleaning up ISIS cells west of Tanf and according to Magnier, Russia has a much larger number of troops and special forces at Palmyra than last time he traveled through so it seems something is going on in that area.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jun 26 2018 2:36 utc | 99

Also, a week or two back Russia MoD said it was aware US was preparing a false flag CW attack in Dier Ezzor. Dier Ezzor, which I took to mean the province, seemed an odd place for it as SAA was then gearing up for the southern offensive.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jun 26 2018 3:00 utc | 100

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