Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
July 12, 2018

Syria Sitrep - Army Liberates Daraa City

Today the current Syrian government campaign in Daraa governorate saw another highlight. The 'rebels' in the southern part of the city of Daraa gave up and reconciled with the government. Currently the Syrian army is taking control of the area. The Syrian flag has been raised over its buildings.

The whole Daraa governorate campaign in southwest Syria proceeded with astonishing speed. In just three weeks the government forces recovered 84% of the 'rebel' held territory and dozens of cities and villages with little force. Jordan and the U.S. had finally denied support for the 'rebels' and their only choices were to reconcile or to die. Almost all of them chose to give up. An enormous amount of weapons, including at least 18 U.S. made TOW anti-tank missiles systems and two British made armored infantry carriers, were handed over to the Syrian government.

The maps show the situation at the beginning of the campaign and as of today. (red - Syrian government; green - 'rebels' and al-Qaeda; grey - Islamic Statel; blue - Golan Heights occupied by Israel; Jordan is to the south) Note: The encircled southern part of the city of Daraa on the current map is still marked green as the government is only now taking control of it.

June 19 2018 bigger - July 12 2018 bigger

Israel is threatening the Syrian forces not to come near the deconfliction line on the Golan Heights. It wants to keep a buffer of Jihadis between itself and the Syrian army. Any attempt to achieve that will be in vane. Syria and its allies are determined to eradicate the Jihadis.  As these are experienced fighters willing to die the fight will likely take several weeks. After that the Syrian army will move north and liberate Idleb.

Daraa was the first city where the foreign induced 'rebellion' was launched. In March 2011 protest over some dubious cause escalated into riots which soon turned violent. Shops and police stations were set on fire and policemen as well as demonstrators were killed. Raids by the police found weapons in Daraa's main mosque.

Sleeper cells of the Muslim Brotherhood, long prohibited in Syria, had found outside sponsors who fueled their campaign. The CIA spend at least $1 billion per year to direct the attack on the Syrian state. With the help of the British MI6 its media arms promoted sectarian mass murder in Syria. Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait each spent several billions per year to pay the 'rebel' fighters and to provide them the thousands of tons of weapons and other needs. Nearly 100,000 foreign fighters moved to Syria and fought under the flags of the Islamic State and al-Qaeda against the Syrian state and later against each other.

Only with the help of its Iranian and Russian allies could the state of Syria and its people survive the onslaught. Since 2015 a systematic government campaign has turned the situation around. All parts of 'useful Syria' are under government control.

It had been expected that the 'rebels' holding the southern part of Daraa city would resist a while before giving up. They had years to prepare the ground and access to a huge amount of weapons as well as enough food for several months. But the local population, not only in Daraa, has long had enough of the 'revolution' nonsense:

Wide swaths of the millions residing under rebel control are disillusioned with the Syrian revolution, disgusted with the rebel factions, and dissatisfied with the local opposition government structures and NGOs operating in their region. The inability of foreign journalists to report from rebel-held Syria in addition to the ideological bent of local fixers and citizen journalists have contributed to the underreporting of this phenomenon. The Assad regime is already exploiting this reality to promote surrender deals with minimal to little fighting.

The 'rebels' have long lost the support of the population. In Daraa city it was again the Russian reconciliation team that convinced the 'rebels' to give up without any serious fight. Those who do not want to live under Syrian government control will be transported in Idleb governorate in the northwest where various 'rebel' groups, Islamist from Uighur, al-Qaeda and ISIS are busy with killing each other.

The U.S. held and Kurdish controlled northeast Syria has also seen infighting and strife between the Arab population and the U.S. allied Kurdish forces who try to control it. This year the northeaster province of Hasaka, in normal times Syria's bread-basket, had a large crop failure after a devastating drought:

Unirrigated wheat crops, which constitute around 55 percent of the total wheat sown in Hasakah, saw losses of over 90 percent this year, the Syrian government-run Hasakah Agricultural Directorate told Syria Direct in an official written correspondence. Barley suffered similar rates of devastation.

The local Kurdish authorities who reject Syrian state control have no money to help the farmers:

But while local authorities plan to buy up a portion of this year’s wheat and barley crop, they have few other resources available to aid local farmers who have suffered losses.

“The volume of losses this season is too great for the Self-Administration to compensate [farmers] at this time,” says Shakir.

The devastated farmers will likely prefer to live under Syrian government control.

The U.S. neoconservatives still try to get the Trump administration to intervene and to again attack the Syrian state. Their arguments are unfounded and their campaign will be in vane. Trump has long decided to end the senseless Syria campaign his predecessor started to no avail.


Posted by b on July 12, 2018 at 17:41 UTC | Permalink

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It's most telling that the unilaterally imposed Golan Heights 'de-confliction zone' allows a plethora of terrorist groups to inhabit, while SAA is not allowed to re-claim their own land.

Posted by: Enrico Malatesta | Jul 12 2018 18:06 utc | 1

Thanks for the continued reporting about progress in Syria

If we lived in a just world there would be prosecutions for the US actions. Less than 100 years ago we prosecuted people for war crimes.

I think society would be well paid to develop the moral backbone and consensus around what are crimes against humanity and prosecute a number of folk to establish a new beginning for the just and more equitable world we are in the process of creating. We need people back in government that are more interested in service to humanity than profit for themselves and others. I have seen and worked with those sorts of folk but they have been marginalized by the puppet management injected by the elite and their religious attack dogs.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jul 12 2018 18:21 utc | 2

Syria is really cleaning up. Go Assad.

Posted by: SomeGuy | Jul 12 2018 18:21 utc | 3

b, out of 100.000 noble freedom fighters, do you have any number as to how many have made the journey to hell?

Posted by: albagen | Jul 12 2018 18:21 utc | 4

As to the hard-core fanatics west of Daraa, to hell with 'reconciliation', exterminate them all.

Posted by: chet380 | Jul 12 2018 18:25 utc | 5


take it easy man, we have to prepare 72 virgins for each of them, it takes time these days for this job... :p

Posted by: albagen | Jul 12 2018 18:28 utc | 6

I completely agree, Enrico. It's also abominable that the Israelis are allowed to treat the occupied Golan Heights as their own territory, and forbid Syrian forces to enter that Syrian land - in spite of 50 years of the UN telling them they must give it back.

Posted by: Tom Welsh | Jul 12 2018 18:33 utc | 7

Trump seems determined to go exactly against everything Obama achieved

We can see that he wants a deal for peace in Syria, a deal in North Korea, a new deal with NAFTA, the return of besieging economically Iran to prevent an Iran-Isreali war and a new approach to the Isreali-Palestinian conflict.
While he is cozing up with the UK and mending the relation with Russia to the dismay of the EU, he is bulliying the EU to contribute more to their own proxy defence, NATO.
Is Trump finally a man who prefers military deterrence and business deals to war and regime changes?

Posted by: Virgile | Jul 12 2018 18:35 utc | 8

The APC is a Czechoslovakian OT-64 SKOT - Syria is shown in Wikipedia as having ordered 300 OT-64A back in 1976, that is not to say it wasn't purchased from a used military vehicle dealer in the UK - there are a few who sell ex-Warsaw Pact kit.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Jul 12 2018 18:38 utc | 9

Khomeini has sent an envoy to Moscow, Netanyahu also flew to Moscow both arriving on the 11th. SAA may get a bit of a break while Putin works his diplomacy, but once that's done they will make short work of the jihadi's along the demarcation line.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jul 12 2018 18:44 utc | 10

Israel defends "its" Golan Heights with al Nusra and ISIS fighters.

If they really thought it was theirs, why not risk some of their "brave" soldiers?

Too busy killing girls and children in Palestine?

Whatever moral right Israel may have ever had has been defiled long ago with its fascism and genocidal actions and false flag wars.

Bibi thinks that "allowing" Assad to stay will buy it a place at the negotiations and plans for the future Syria.

What he misses is that the Syrian people want their water in the Heights and its gas and oil. And all the al Nusra and ISIS will eventually be dead, leaving Tel Aviv a war that will cost it a thousand dead soldiers.

Syria will be fighting for its Syrian soil and Israel will be fighting for what it has thieved from the Syrian people.

Posted by: Red Ryder | Jul 12 2018 18:58 utc | 11

Good article b, but I do have a bone to pick with calling the war waging in Syria a "foreign-induced rebellion". The uprising was hijacked by outside forces, that undoubtedly happened. I personally became disillusioned with the revolt early one when the sectarian nature of the rebels became clear, as well as its militarized nature. However, one can note those points while at the same time realize that the rebellion gained so much traction so quickly precisely because it had so much support among Syrians, ie wide swathes of the Syrian population has no love for Assad's government. I don't have exact numbers but based on my anecdotal experience staying in Syria in 2006-08, I would estimate 20% of the population loved the government, 40% were indifferent or had conflicting opinions, and the remaining 40% disliked it. As the article you linked detailing disillusionment within rebel ranks spells out, many have come to the opinion that the rebels are worse than Assad. This doesn't mean they've become fans of Assad, or that they still don't hate the government. There were many reasons for your every- day Syrian citizens not to love the government, corruption, brutality toward dissidents, and just because the rebels turned out to be a worse devil doesn't mean that the complaints against the Assad government weren't legitimate.

Posted by: Don Wiscacho | Jul 12 2018 19:05 utc | 12

Surley breaching the 'defensive fence', between ISIS and the Syrian Golan Heights, so allowing ISIS an escape route towards Israel, would cause a big head ache for Tel Aviv

Posted by: Helen | Jul 12 2018 19:20 utc | 13

Uma oportunidade única de Assad, com ajuda do Líbano conseguirem de volta Golã! :-)

Posted by: Proftel | Jul 12 2018 19:24 utc | 14

Khomeini is dead; Khamenei is the Supreme Leader's name. He occasionally provides excellent material via his Twitter. Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif also has Twitter account where he most recently reported on the latest JCPOA negotiations. And as would be expected, Iran's President Hassaan Rouhani also has his own Twitter account where he reported on his trip to Europe in both French and German. It's interesting to note which government-based information service all three leaders have on their "You may also like" listing.

As was done to Iran regarding the 911 Own Goal, an alleged court of law within the Outlaw US Empire will be used to assign guilt to Syria for nurturing Daesh.

As for the anti-Terror War within Syria, the al-Ciada/Daesh pocket along Golan will be next, with a high probability of it spilling over and escalating into the liberation of Occupied Golan if the Zionists so much as fart. I think much of the chatter regarding Idlib being next is part of a disinfo campaign to fool the Zionists, as the Golan certainly qualifies as a "useful" portion of Syria whereas Idlib can continue to fester. Why else did Nuttyahoo scuttle off to Moscow?

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 12 2018 19:38 utc | 15

thanks b..progress... i agree with @1 enrico and @11 red ryder comments on israel... just when you think israel can't go any lower - they do... it is pretty clear israel has been fully supportive of isis/al qaeda/al nusra and etc. etc and that they continue to be..

@12 don wiscacho.. i share some of your viewpoint, however it seems like a tried and true method of the west under the leadership of the usa to force these regime change games at huge cost to the country singled out for regime change.. i wish people would recognize what they are getting when they go for this type of change, but they generally don't... 7 years later - hindsight is 20/20..

Posted by: james | Jul 12 2018 19:39 utc | 16

DW @12--

I suggest you read this as a primer on the illegal aggressive war waged on Syria by the Outlaw US Empire and its allies in crime. There's more documentation as to events preceding those outlined in the article, particularly formerly secret cables published by Wikileaks. I shall post such when I find it.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 12 2018 19:54 utc | 17

@15 Not sure about that karlof1, that may be wishful thinking. The last thing Damascus needs is a pretext for US/IS to intervene to "protect Israel's sancro-sanct existence"..

Posted by: Lozion | Jul 12 2018 20:23 utc | 18

@Don Wisacho,

I normally post in Syrper, partly due to the simple reason that the graphical interface is lighter hence I prefer it!

However you are totally right in regards to what you said about Assad's unpopularity amongst many Syrians. Syrper (where I have cut down posting heavily) is a place where many bullies operate (apart from the anti-Semitic trolls and the expletives) who try to ensure group-think and no one deviating from the 'party line' which includes how wonderful, amazing Assad is and all Syrians love him. This even leads people who have never been to Syria (unlike me and you who have lived there) to the nonsensical notion that this is not even a 'civil war'. This concept probably becoming a taboo amongst the self-designated thought-censors of Syrper.

The truth is Assad has many faults (though the Takfeeris who are anti-Alawi and have no meaningful program for Syria are probably far worse) and he was and is widely disliked by the majority of Syrians, who are Sunni.

Has he won? Yes.

"He" (he is the personification, the figurehead for the current ruling elite) is staying in power for at least another decade, and for at least another generation (or at the very least a semi-generation) there will most likely be no future attempt at an insurgency, revolt to remove him, given the huge scars that this war has inflicted on the Syrian nation who are now all too tired of war and the suffering it has brought.

Posted by: Muslim_Dude | Jul 12 2018 20:24 utc | 19

Thanks Karloff
All your links are bang on the money! I'm learning so much, so quickly,

Posted by: Mark2 | Jul 12 2018 20:33 utc | 20

Typo karlofi

Posted by: Mark2 | Jul 12 2018 20:34 utc | 21


well said. This matches my own experience with Syrians reaching as far back as the 1990s. While the mostly Sunni Syrians I met were supportive of Hisbollah and pro-Iranian at least 50% clearly disliked the government, while 50% were pro or neutral.

The failure of the "revolution" killed the short lived popular sympathy with the FSA and other armed opponents. During the years a part of the "freedom fighters" turned out to be freelancing thieves and waylayers, while another did not fight the regime to achieve a "free Syria" but for the goal of turning Syria into a satellite for Wahhabi Gulf countries.
As a result Assad even probably gained in popularity at the cost of his opponents losing the last bits of credibility and authencity.

Assad should not overplay his hand. He is best advised to introduce new reforms, fight against corruption and wanton indiscriminate violence of the secret service institutions. He also should reduce the cult around his own person. For many of the 60-70% Sunnis slogans praising a person almost at the level of God is taboo.

Posted by: KerKaraje | Jul 12 2018 20:34 utc | 22

just to add my congratulations -- such good news ... every day in every way incrementally the job is getting finished.

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Jul 12 2018 20:53 utc | 23

@Don Wiscachio, to which I have a bone to pick with you.

So you can't accept that Syria is a "foreign-induced rebellion". So explain how these rebels of the rebellion got their US made TOW missiles and the other plethora of weaponry they have been using since the start of the rebellion? These so called rebels as you call them, are extremists of the Islamic faith. This has been documented and proven so many times that I find it absolutely abominable that you call these "animals", rebels. They are not rebels, they are of the same ilk as Daesh and Al-Qaeda. Your statement about how "the rebellion gain so much traction so quickly", is laughable! Lets get some perspective:

-Syrian "Day of Rage" begins the protesting during March of 2011.
-Now we know that during this period weapons fire was indeed coming from these so called protesters and so Assad force had to suppress them.
-Your no "foreign-induced rebellion" argument falls apart when Obama freezes all Syrian assets and strong arms the rest of the world to do the same, when? In August, only 4 months after. After what? After the protesting in Daraa and Homs. Do those places mean anything to you? They should. Homs was occupped by Jaish Al-Islam, an extreme Islamic group that subjugated their captive residence to Sharia Law. Out of nearly 1,000,000 people that lived in Homs after several years of futile fighting what happened? These rebels and families of theirs agreed to be evacuated to Idlib Provence in the north. How many of them left Homs? Out of 1,000,000 people that that lived in Homs, some 12,000 rebels and accompany families left. Go read the facts Wiscacho, you are out of touch with reality. That's only 1.2% of the population, hardly the 20% you claim to think are in opposition to Assad! All this trouble and nightmare for a lousy 1% of unhappy people, whom wish to live in their own self-imposed Caliphate of Islamic horror. Let's not forget these are the same filthy people that used the chemical weapons lie, which is now proven to be a lie, in an attempt to bring untold war to people (that is the rest of Syrian population) whom have done nothing to deserve it!
-That next July numerous bombings were made upon the government, where Assad's own brother-in-law died!
-One year later in 2012, Al-Qaeda, holds Aleppo residents hostage, and the long battle starts. The British introduce the White-Helments as a propaganda tool, more false flags or chemical weapons use, and of course, the Syrian people of Aleppo are subjugated to Sharia Law, Al-Qeada style.

We can go on and on, cumulating with the weaponization of the Kurds and Daesh into Syria and 6 years of war, hardly a quick rebellion. Where do you think they got their weapons from Wiscaho? Iran (N.B. sarcasm)! Remember Iran is Shia, and these monsters including the Kurds are Sunni!. But hey, what do I know. Kurdish is not a religion, its a region, and guess what, many Kurds are Shia too! (FYI-Kurds came from a region called Kurdistan, its in Iran!). So how does it fit in with your narrative Wiscacho? How do you square Shia Kurds fighting Sunni Kurds, because they do, they are pro Assad. That's right, do you think that the Kurds really are on the same side as the US? Are the Kurds the infamous 20% that are against Assad? Syria is only comprised of about 7% Kurds, and as I said not all of them are against Assad. Nothing you have written Wiscacho has any basis of truth, and I doubt very much you ever were in Syria, for if you were, you'd know better.

Oh and one last thing. About your 20/40/40 percentage delusion. Here is one for comparison but is based upon facts. Donald Trump obtained 46% and Hillary Clinton 48% of the vote. But turnout was only 55%. That means Donald Trump became President with only 25% of vote of the entire electorate. Think about that Wiscacho! Donald Trump is President of the USA and can wage war all around the world, all because 25% of the electorate voted for him. That is, 75% of the people of the US didn't vote for him, and he can go around the world causing all sorts of mayhem. And you complain about Assad. Assad who has never invaded another country, has never provoked war, has never used chemical weapons, has never instituted Sharia Law, unlike how falsely elected Presidents of the USA (Bush, Obama, and Trump) have done these evil deeds directly or through their proxies like Al-Qaeda and Daesh, and much much more.

Wiscacho you're blind to your own bigotry. That's why we have wars, for people like you whom hate because you can't see the truth. If you really want to help, start first by stop dreaming about things that may or may not have happened 10 years ago, and start looking at the horrible truth that is surrounding us today.

Posted by: Dorian | Jul 12 2018 20:53 utc | 24

@12, 19, 22

Not for a minute do most folks here believe Assad is without his faults. Same with Saddam and Gaddafi, to a certain extent. But they are angels compared to the Satanic evil personified by ZATO (ht pw4)

Those 3, and more importantly their people did not deserve what ZATO did to them. So it's no surprise that the even those against Assad have come to realize the high cost of ZATO intervention (except of course little Bana, who I'm sure still want ww3, at any cost)

I would be hard-pressed to find the leader of ANY country that has the full support of ALL his / her people. In fact I bet Trump's numbers are lower than Assad’s - shall he go too? Hmm... on 2nd thought...

Posted by: xLemming | Jul 12 2018 21:07 utc | 25

DW @12

In "The Redirection", written in 2008(!) - years before the 2011 uprising, Seymour Hersh wrote of plans to use extremists in Syria.


To undermine Iran, which is predominantly Shiite, the Bush Administration has decided, in effect, to reconfigure its priorities in the Middle East. In Lebanon, the Administration has coöperated with Saudi Arabia’s government, which is Sunni, in clandestine operations that are intended to weaken Hezbollah, the Shiite organization that is backed by Iran. The U.S. has also taken part in clandestine operations aimed at Iran and its ally Syria. A by-product of these activities has been the bolstering of Sunni extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam and are hostile to America and sympathetic to Al Qaeda.

Nasr compared the current situation to the period in which Al Qaeda first emerged. In the nineteen-eighties and the early nineties, the Saudi government offered to subsidize the covert American C.I.A. proxy war against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan. Hundreds of young Saudis were sent into the border areas of Pakistan, where they set up religious schools, training bases, and recruiting facilities. Then, as now, many of the operatives who were paid with Saudi money were Salafis. Among them, of course, were Osama bin Laden and his associates, who founded Al Qaeda, in 1988.

This time, the U.S. government consultant told me, Bandar and other Saudis have assured the White House that “they will keep a very close eye on the religious fundamentalists. Their message to us was ‘We’ve created this movement, and we can control it.’ It’s not that we don’t want the Salafis to throw bombs; it’s who they throw them at—Hezbollah, Moqtada al-Sadr, Iran, and at the Syrians, if they continue to work with Hezbollah and Iran.”

... the Saudi government, with Washington’s approval, would provide funds and logistical aid to weaken the government of President Bashir Assad, of Syria.

The Syrian Muslim Brotherhood, a branch of a radical Sunni movement founded in Egypt in 1928, engaged in more than a decade of violent opposition to the regime of Hafez Assad, Bashir’s father. In 1982, the Brotherhood took control of the city of Hama; Assad bombarded the city for a week, killing between six thousand and twenty thousand people. Membership in the Brotherhood is punishable by death in Syria. The Brotherhood is also an avowed enemy of the U.S. and of Israel. Nevertheless, Jumblatt said, “We told Cheney that the basic link between Iran and Lebanon is Syria—and to weaken Iran you need to open the door to effective Syrian opposition.”

There is evidence that the Administration’s redirection strategy has already benefitted the Brotherhood. The Syrian National Salvation Front is a coalition of opposition groups whose principal members are a faction led by Abdul Halim Khaddam, a former Syrian Vice-President who defected in 2005, and the Brotherhood. A former high-ranking C.I.A. officer told me, “The Americans have provided both political and financial support. The Saudis are taking the lead with financial support, but there is American involvement.” He said that Khaddam, who now lives in Paris, was getting money from Saudi Arabia, with the knowledge of the White House. (In 2005, a delegation of the Front’s members met with officials from the National Security Council, according to press reports.) A former White House official told me that the Saudis had provided members of the Front with travel documents.

Others have written of the events leading up to the 2011 uprising, disputing the story of the uprising as told by 'Assad must go!' Coalition media. An example:

The day before Deraa: How the war broke out in Syria:

In reality, the uprising in Deraa in March 2011 was not fueled by graffiti written by teenagers, and there were no disgruntled parents demanding their children to be freed. This was part of the Hollywood style script written by skilled CIA agents, who had been given a mission: to destroy Syria for the purpose of regime change. Deraa was only Act 1: Scene 1.

The fact that those so-called teenaged graffiti artists and their parents have never been found, never named, and never pictured is the first clue that their identity is cloaked in darkness.

Deraa’s location directly on the Jordanian border is the sole reason it was picked for the location-shoot of the opening act of the Syrian uprising. If you were to ask most Syrians, if they had ever been to Derra, or ever plan to go, they will answer, “No.” It is a small and insignificant agricultural town. It is a very unlikely place to begin a nationwide revolution. Deraa has a historical importance because of archeological ruins, but that is lost on anyone other than history professors or archeologists. The access to the weapons from Jordan made Deraa the perfect place to stage the uprising which has turned into an international war. Any person with common sense would assume an uprising or revolution in Syria would begin in Damascus or Aleppo, the two biggest cities. Even after 2 ½ years of violence around the country, Aleppo’s population never participated in the uprising, or call for regime change.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 12 2018 21:08 utc | 26

Dorian @ 24
Wow please please stay around regular on this site. I hope you agree the truth is so important to return the world to sanity! Please stay.

Posted by: Mark2 | Jul 12 2018 21:15 utc | 27

Muslim_Dude @19--

Given that Assad was "Our Man" prior to 2008, I don't doubt many Syrians of all sorts had varying degrees of dislike for Assad and his government--very few governments allied with the Outlaw US Empire are liked by their citizenry usually because of gross corruption and lack of fundamental human rights, and Assad's was one of those governments. But then the Empire turned on him when he refused to kowtow to its demands; and like Noreiga, he was turned into an international pariah by the Propaganda System overnight. What's absolutely certain is Syria was the second of the five nations to be destroyed by the Outlaw US Empire in its support for the Yinon Plan that was announced in the weeks after the 911 Own Goal as revealed by Wesley Clarke. So, the present war against Syria has its roots in 2001 and earlier via the Yinon Plan.

What matters now in Syria is how the transition to peace works while still waging war against the Outlaw US Empire and its allies--especially Zionistan. Lozion @18 is correct that I'm engaging in "wishful thinking," although it has its basis in fact. I want Syrians and Syria to prosper and become a resilient nation that can further withstand the destabilization of its region when Zionistan falls. As far as I'm concerned, the living Devil of today has two heads--the Zionist Abomination and the Outlaw US Empire that helped spawn the former: For the world to have a chance at peace, both heads must be lopped off the body so something better can rise in their place.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 12 2018 21:23 utc | 28

@ Dorian

Rather verbose for someone completely missing the point. Please re-read what I've said: the revolution was co-opted, but that doesn't mean there weren't many Syrians who wanted a change in government. That these people later were given weapons from countries who wanted to see Syria burn in no way changes this fact.
You say that the rebels are all Islamists, and that they aren't even human. The Islamists certainly won out, but again this doesn't change the fact that many Syrians were very opposed to the government to the point of taking up arms, and not all were Islamists. How else is Syria now offering amnesty to its nationals that give up their guns? Do you think they would be giving such a sweet deal to Islamist fanatics?
As far as your patronizing history lesson, I am well aware of the religious make up of the region. I am also aware that religion and ideology don't have the same fault lines. Once again, this changes nothing as regards the corruption and shortfalls of the Assad government leading up to 2011.
As far as my "20/40/40 delusion", as I said in my post, that was my anecdotal experience while living in Syria and the interactions I had in Arabic with various people from various walks of life. By chance how many conversations have you had with Syrians in Syria, as that was what I said I was referring to?

Posted by: Don Wiscacho | Jul 12 2018 21:39 utc | 29

Some 'civil war' that needed massive support from the US and its allies in order to happen and to be sustained. Every country has factions that can be exploited by outside powers seeking to impose regime change.

Posted by: paul | Jul 12 2018 21:42 utc | 30

@ Jackrabbit

I have read those articles and am very familiar with the various Israeli, American, and GCC plans to get rid of Assad sr and jr. Many nations absolutely wanted to oust Assad and had tried to varying degrees in the past. 2011 was the perfect storm and opportunity for them and they jumped at the chance. My point is that without massive opposition to Assad among a variety of Syrians, this would have never got off the ground. Which is to say there was widespread dislike for Assad. This isn't an endorsement of any of the rebels but an observation of the political Syrian landscape.

Posted by: Don Wiscacho | Jul 12 2018 21:49 utc | 31

With hind sight the trick the west has played in Syria is exactly the same played on Gadafi in Lybia and many many m east county's, South American country's. And all over Africa so that game is up! Sorry we know the truth game over! Allso a reminder as we speak trump is in the Europe playing the same game ! Devide and rule ! Are we really that stupid!

Posted by: Mark2 | Jul 12 2018 21:49 utc | 32

pssst: Not a big deal, b, but its "in vain", not "in vane". More to the point, thanks for another report that puts things in a perspective others don't.

Posted by: fx | Jul 12 2018 21:53 utc | 33

Although the topic is quite serious, some comic relief can be had via Senator Lindsey Gharam's Twitter dealing with the subject at hand. The naivety and ignorance displayed is amazing as is the Senator's ability to prevaricate.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 12 2018 21:58 utc | 34

According to Vanessa Beeley local ads appeared in Syrian Observer & FB pages looking for families, women and children for an upcoming 'documentary' (ahead of a possible false flag chemical attack??):

Posted by: jsb | Jul 12 2018 21:58 utc | 35

Don Wiscacho 31

How long before the actual start of the war did US/CIA pysops against the Syrian population kick in?
Social/community activists, the US ambassador traveling, around shit stirring, google apps - the whole works and jerks. Not to mention sanctions.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jul 12 2018 22:02 utc | 36

Was the Deraa uprising a spontanious gesture
proceeding from out of the heart of the people?

Focusing the rage of a credulous population upon
the legal government is an old trick of the oligarchs.

In Mexico, when the 43 students disappeared on 24 September, 2014,
the Major-Media and the Deep State focused the dismay and the tears
of their mothers on marches against the hapless President in los Pinos.

Investigations have failed to identify the kidnappers; one supposed that
any time you have a popular revolt against the government, it's the CIA.

Posted by: Guerrero | Jul 12 2018 22:08 utc | 37

Posted by: Red Ryder | Jul 12, 2018 2:58:59 PM | 11

Agreed. Here is a compiled list of Israel's false flag ops against the US:

9/11 and the War on Terror: Israel’s History of False Flag Operations against the U.S.A. by Chirstopher Bollyn:

Good audio interview from Patrick Henningsen (recorded about a year about) while on the ground in Syria:

All-Time Podcast: ‘Everything we’ve been told about Syria (by the MSM) is a LIE.’

Posted by: jsb | Jul 12 2018 22:09 utc | 38

psycho @ 2 said:" We need people back in government that are more interested in service to humanity than profit for themselves and others."

Absolutely, but first, we must find a way to punish those who exploit their positions for personal gains, like for instance, the DJT regime.( don't hold your breath til' that occurs.)

Dorian @ 24: Nice rant. Isn't history a bitch?

Posted by: ben | Jul 12 2018 22:13 utc | 39

Saudi clerics are also in the CIA pysops toolkit to use against Syria.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jul 12 2018 22:25 utc | 40

Don Wiscacho @ 31:

If there was widespread dislike of Bashar al Assad among Syrians over 2006 - 2008, and "wide swathes of the Syrian population has [sic] no love for Assad's government" (as you say @ 12) how is it then that when Syria held presidential elections in 2014 under the then new constitution (approved by referendum in 2012, and which changed the country's political structure into a multi-party parliamentary system), out of a voter turnout of 73%, Assad received 88.7% of the votes? (This gave him 65% voter approval.)

24 candidates submitted their candidacies to contest the Presidency, of whom three were approved by the Supreme Constitutional Court.

The elections were observed by a number of foreign delegations, including a delegation from the US who gave a press conference at the UN on the elections. The delegation's report can be viewed on Youtube at this link:

In 2016, Syrian parliamentary elections were held. 200 of 250 seats were won by the National Progressive Front, a coalition of socialist and Arab nationalist parties led by the Ba'ath Party.

All this information can be found on Wikipedia.

Posted by: Jen | Jul 12 2018 22:34 utc | 41

Jennifer @41 and others,

Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems that's what you're saying is everyone loved Assad until given AKs and TOW missiles. And when given weapons, those people had a sudden change of heart and decided to overthrow their government?
It would seem to me that you wouldn't give someone a weapon to overthrow their government unless they ALREADY didn't like that government. Otherwise they'd just smile and say thanks.
And that folks is the entirety of my point: the West, Israel, GCC threw gasoline on a fire, enabling seven years of bloodshed. But they didn't create the dislike of the government, that existed previously.

Posted by: Don Wiscacho | Jul 12 2018 22:43 utc | 42

Peter AU 1 @36--

CIA attempts to destabilize and overthrow Syria's government began in 1956 with Operation Straggle followed in 1957 by Operation Wappen. Here's a video related to the second. The Ghraham twitter thread I linked to has in it a USSR provided poster calling out the latter attempt. Please note the "Millionaire's" greater fear given in the video. The Wikipedia entry notes evidence provided by Wikileaks of CIA support for Syrian terrorists since 2006--although a politer descriptive term is used.

It comes as no surprise that very few know everything there is to know about the ongoing attempts by the Outlaw US Empire to obtain control of Syria's government--I know it's been happening almost my entire life--60+ years--but lack many details.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 12 2018 22:48 utc | 43

Don Wiscacho

"The uprising was hijacked by outside forces,"


Posted by: Nerrian | Jul 12 2018 22:53 utc | 44

DW @42

No. We are saying that what happened in Syria was very much like Ukraine's Maidan and other 'color revolutions': discontent is stoked (sometimes by sanctions to undermine the economy) and peaceful protests are hijacked by a small number of armed extremists that want to provoke the government.

Here is a balanced view from Angry Arab published at Consortium News (in two parts). It's only a summary but you should note that:

1) Assad took steps to accommodate USA between 2001 and 2011. Even participating in torture for USA's war on terror.

2) Assad took steps to calm the situation in Deraa that were (naturally) rejected by the regime-change activists. USA-Israel-Saudi Arabia had already decided upon regime-change.

AFAICT, Syrian Muslim Brotherhood was the in-country extremist group that was supported for violent action, much like MEP is used for protests in Iran.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 12 2018 23:05 utc | 45

Thanks Karlof1. I Knew that US had started putting in an effort around 2004 that built up to the first violence at the start of the war but have not studied it.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jul 12 2018 23:07 utc | 46

@42 - I'm sure some Syrian rebels had legitimate reasons to dislike Assad, but many were paid mercenaries:
"The United States has supported the moderate mainstream FSA faction with millions of dollars worth of arms and paid monthly salaries to thousands of rebels in the course of the seven-year war under a military aid program run by the Central Intelligence Agency."
Also, aren't many "Syrian" rebels Chechens and Ugyurs?

Posted by: Schmoe | Jul 12 2018 23:07 utc | 47

I have been following Syria's war against foreign terrorists from day one.

I watched as the massive US regime propaganda campaign switched from Libya to Syria.

I watched video coverage from The Guardian from the very first days of the war following armed bands of red bearded Chechens terrorists being called 'simple Syrian farmers'.

I followed the direct sources documenting the massive transfers of weapons and terrorists into Syria by Clinton and her regime change cronies before the war started - brushed off as 'conspiracy' talk by the legacy media.

The 'Golly! We were having this peaceful little revolution and all these pesky foreign terrorists just showed up armed with state of the art Western arms and communication equipment' narrative only started when the news out of Syria became overwhelming that the US regime was funding and supporting the very same terror groups behind 9/11 and other attacks on US citizens.

Flood Detroit or Cleveland with the massive amounts of state of the art military grade weapons and communications equipment and tell us about how the mass slaughter going on is just a 'peaceful and organic group of people rising up against their oppressive government'.

Posted by: Nerrian | Jul 12 2018 23:08 utc | 48

But they didn't create the dislike of the government, that existed previously.

Dislike of the government was created in the first place by the IMF.

Posted by: Guerrero | Jul 12 2018 23:12 utc | 49

@ Don Wiscacho

Maybe your statistics are inline with few dozens of people you knew in Syria, but they are NOT inline with the statistics of the whole Syria. Here is a fact for you, Al Jazeera (Qatar's mouthpiece, who was hostile to Syria and wage undeclared war against it) claimed 56% of Syrians support Assad in 2011! Considering how anti-Assad Qatar was, its likely 56% is a conservative number, and still many Western politicians would LOVE to have such level of support!

Its true some people were unsatisfied with Assad (no government in the World has 100% support), but you know how many people were actually raising up and protesting? Very few. Vast majority of demonstrations had less than few hundred people in them (and most of those were not even local, just transported from place to place to shout in front of cameras, along with as many Western journalists). Only few demonstrations had over thousand of people, and the biggest was in Deraa with ~20.000 people, in the country of 18 mln. thats nothing.

Also its not true that Islamist and CIA took over "rebellion" sometime later. While they were using unsatisfied people by propaganda (by controlling majority of Worlds media and social networks, and directing by paid shills), but intense preparation for "Arab spring" started years before 2011 - digging tunnels, preparing caches of weapons, organizing terrorists networks, channeling billions of dollars to create an "uprising").

You know how many Syrians supported Assad few years later after 2011? 70-80%! And these numbers are not coming from pro-Assad sources, but rather from lamenting terrorists (who cried 70+% of Syrians support Assad rather than them) and Western organizations.

My point is that without massive opposition to Assad among a variety of Syrians, this would have never got off the ground.

I would put it the other way - without massive support of Syrians Assad would have been long gone. Assad faced impossible odds with most of powerful countries in the World going against him, extensive sanctions, cut off from exports, etc. If majority of populations would have also wanted him gone, it would have happened, very quickly. Thats a fact.

Just look at the history - unlike Assad, Iran's Shah had support of the most of the World, but tens of millions of Iranians ousted him like its nothing, THATS what happens when locals actually want it. It was exactly the opposite in Syria, thats why Assad survived.

Posted by: Harry | Jul 12 2018 23:16 utc | 50

But they didn't create the dislike of the government, that existed previously.

Dislike of the government was created in the first place by the IMF.
At least this is so in Mexico, I don't know about Syria still i suspect
that heating oil shortages and electricity-price rises are routinely
manipulated by feral foreigners to make the government look bad.

Posted by: Guerrero | Jul 12 2018 23:16 utc | 51

Nerrian @44

Yes, AFAICT the protests were not 'spontaneous' or 'hijacked', they were organized from the start - and some 'grievances' were concocted. But these organizers were able to get discontented people to the streets - most of whom didn't know that they were being used. They thought they were joining peaceful protests.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 12 2018 23:18 utc | 52

@ Wiscacho

This is government disinfo.

The CIA imported Sunni Terrorists from all over Southwest Asia to destroy beautiful 1st world Libya (and yes, they had free healthcare). Then they did the same to Syria.

We all know the faux "rebels" are outsider mercenaries. Stop the CIA whitewash already.

Posted by: blues | Jul 12 2018 23:18 utc | 53

Dont forget the severe (worsened by Turkey's closing of dams) droughts and the snipers, always the snipers..

Posted by: Lozion | Jul 12 2018 23:22 utc | 54

the reglink site has deep ties with Shin Bet and is not to be taken seriously.

A widespread popular uprising?

Not at all - not in 2011, not now.

Posted by: Florin N | Jul 12 2018 23:34 utc | 55

In my experience over the past few years, the people who cling to 'terrorists just showed up and ruined everything' narrative do so in attempt not to look like idiots.

I am not an expert in military affairs. Nor an expert in the Middle East. I just know how to use a search engine.

With just that basic knowledge I was able to learn pretty much everything people are posting here - the import of foreign terrorists and arms, the funding by the Gulf dictatorships, etc. years ago.

I have to imagine the western intelligence agencies are livid over the ease with which the general public was able to get unfiltered news out of Syria and, in my opinion, as a consequence doing a huge part in Syria winning its war against the imported terrorists.

I don't think it is crazy to assume the western intelligence agencies are desperately looking at ways to criminalize any non-government approved news out of whatever country their are currently focused on regime change.

Posted by: mars | Jul 12 2018 23:36 utc | 56

Can I suggest some nuance for the "foreign-induced rebellion" vs "people wanted change" debate?

First, there is a well-defined methodology for instigating regime change. Andrew Korybko has written extensively about regime change operations - whether or not you agree with all of his conclusions, he has comprehensively documented how it works, the prerequisites, etc.

The first step is to exploit existing tensions. Find legitimate grievances, inflame them, then turn them violent, etc. Two important implications of this methodology:

1. it is TRUE that there were legitimate grievances in Syria - there always are in every regime change operation. So in that respect Don Wiscachio's facts are correct. He observed legitimate grievances. No-one can deny his first-hand experience.

2. the existing grievances do not naturally turn into an armed rebellion. That takes sophisticated organisation, lots of money, weapons and logistics, and powerful political support from other countries. So it is TRUE that the rebellion in Syria was induced by foreign powers.

So when I read DW's comments, I can appreciate his first-hand experience, acknowledge that there were some proportion of the population who wanted change, yet respectfully disagree with his conclusion. DW argues that "it was not a foreign-induced rebellion" but "it was undoubtedly hijacked by outside forces".

I think DW is saying:
A. some people were unhappy
B. they started an honest rebellion
C. it was hijacked by outside forces

I think what happened was:
A. some people were unhappy
B. rebellion was secretly induced to make it look as honest as possible
C. it was more openly hijacked by outside forces

Because secretly inducing a rebellion is naturally hard to see, perhaps one could form the opinion that induction was not present. Documentary evidence, however, militates against that opinion.

Finally, there is perhaps a spectrum of psychological tendency between giving more weight to your own experience, and giving weight to a constructed view of the world based on reported facts. For example, you see a policeman shooting a man in the street - it happens right in front of you. You then research police shooting statistics and find they are very low (let us say for the purposes of this illustration). Do you form the opinion that police violence is very high or very low? It may depend on your nature but either way it would not mean you are a bigot.

Posted by: Deltaeus | Jul 12 2018 23:40 utc | 57


You can always find segments of a population that dislikes the government, even in the West.

Imagine if China handed out TOWs and AK's to certain disnfrachised elements in the US , provided logistic support and made some promises to recognize them as leaders of a new government?

Syrias economy had been affected by sanctions against them for 40 years and were enhaced in 2004 so creating unhappiness is a first step in any regime change. Imagine if China stopped selling us their goods, we would be naked and without cheap phones and TV's. People would be unhappy

Posted by: Pft | Jul 12 2018 23:43 utc | 58

I remember when those protests took place, American politicians when asked what America planned to do, would reply 'we'l do what is in America's interest' never a truer phrase spoken , I picked up the implications of that statement then. Ever since it's been like watching a slow motion car crash.

Posted by: Mark2 | Jul 13 2018 0:07 utc | 59

@29 Once again, you are not getting the point. Let me spell it out, since I think you don't understand metaphors very well.

There IS TOO much "anecdotal" garbage these days. Its called FAKE NEWS, SOCIAL JUSTICE whatever, and so on. People don't need to hear your distorted anecdotal dreamscapes. The whole reason why so many people around the world, especially in the USA, believe rubbish, is because too many people in responsible positions talk rubbish. That is why the rest of us mere mortals whom frequent the comments, should hold them to task. What you are doing Wiscacho is pushing false narratives that the lying MSM (main stream media) will feed upon. That is very poor form.

We need facts. We need true stories. We need honesty. We need THE TRUTH.

As for my "patronizing history", well sir (or is it ma'am, i ask respectfully), it is HISTORY. History is not patronizing, giving anecdotal hog-wash IS PATRONIZING. Why? Because you are expecting people to take it for true, that you believe to know what the Syrian people are thinking from a stay that was 10 years ago under Bush II, which should apply today! And that isn't patronizing!!!! SERIOUSLY! That's patronizing, 100%!!!!!

Lastly, on the 20/40/40 thing. I wrote that so you could reflect upon the hypocritical nature of the USA when in regard to Assad's government. Here we have the bastion of democracy, said namely the U.S.A., electing what they call a democratic process, a leader of a super power that holds in one finger the power of life or death for the whole world, and is elected by a paltry 25% of the electorate. Think about that Wiscacho! THINK SERIOUSLY ABOUT THE IMPLICATION OF THAT. Does this mean that a US President if he can be elected by only 25% of the people that he can be elected also by about 15% or how about just the top 1% of the electorate! Whereas, we have Syria, without any nuclear bombs, no chemical weapons, no belligerent acts outside of its boarders, has to be treated as if it is a cancer of Earth, and needs to be dissected as such. Do you now get it! No metaphor, straight explanation.

We have serious problems, and they are not just spelt T R U M P.

Scenario for every one to think about:
Pertaining to what I just wrote now. What if the next choices for President of the USA are so reviled by The People, that only the elites vote because they have a vested interest in them. So only 1 or 2% of the USA votes, and we get a Presidential Monster. Think that this will not happen? Well it did in Germany, it was a democratic election that brought in Hitler.

If it is really possible to only have 25% of the people to bring in a President, meaning that, people have have turned off so much that only 25% of the electorate are required to vote to give us a Trump, is it so hard to believe that one day, the Democratic and Republican Parties put two terrible prospects and no body votes for them, except the likes of Hollywood, Wall St and Silicon Valley, can you image what will happen to countries like Syria? There will not be any argument about what to do, it will be just done.

Democracy is broken. We need to start discussing about how to, may be not fix it, but at least make some patches. Like for example, no more secrets in government, The People should know what is happening about everything in government, after all, its their country, not just the elites'. Plot to over throw governments is evil that should always be exposed.

Posted by: Dorian | Jul 13 2018 0:14 utc | 60

Only 18 TOW missiles? I read somewhere that early in the war that the Saudis sent 500 to Syria. Did the rebels use most of them?

Posted by: Curtis | Jul 13 2018 0:17 utc | 61

@61 They probably backfired because the advisers weren't around.

Posted by: dh | Jul 13 2018 0:29 utc | 62

@Mark2 27

Thank you for your kind words. I have to admit I only came to know this site recently from watching CrossTalk on RT.
I will stick around for as long as I can. I usually get booted off sites after a while. I have a habit of upsetting people with my research and the truth.
Let's see what happens.

Posted by: Dorian | Jul 13 2018 0:31 utc | 63

Don Wiscacho 29
Would Assad offer the sweet deal to the remaining Islamists? Yes. And for that I expect there will still be isolated bombings from some sort of "resistance" or insurgency for years to come just like in Iraq. At one point, Assad let some prisoners go. (2011 is usually given as the year.) It's claimed that some were Islamists.

Posted by: Curtis | Jul 13 2018 0:35 utc | 64

this is a sad day indeed indeed animal assad should not be allowed to kill his people like this this is like 1939 all over again.
at some stage we must stand up to this bully who kills the innosents.
if the usa,uk,france,canuck or aussie kiwi or the mighty zionist of norway then it may have to be left to greater israel to step forwards.
are new upgraded merkava vava 666 tanks are blessed with a terrible power ready to punish these arab and iranian anti semites
shirley it is time
oded yinon can never stop the goyim must fight to protect the chosen

Posted by: benjamin | Jul 13 2018 0:47 utc | 65

Don Wiscacho @42

"the West, Israel, GCC threw gasoline on a fire, enabling seven years of bloodshed. But they didn't create the dislike of the government, that existed previously."

Governments or regimes that the US has long tried to overturn, with Syria being a prime example, are typically heavy-handed and paranoid because of the constant US attempts to subvert and overthrow them. They may actually wish they could provide more openness and freedoms for their people, but that would be immediately and thoroughly exploited by the CIA to control the country, its resources, and its people.

The CIA's very first government overthrowing operation right after it was established in 1947 was quite possibly the 1948-1949 coup in Syria. There was also 1957-1958. And now there's 2011-2018. That's at least three US attempts to overthrow the government in Syria in just seven decades, with how many other attempts in between. Given that context, is it any wonder that the Assad governments were somewhat heavy-handed?

This illustrated account from Slate in 2012 somewhat captures this thread in that I disagree with its last 2 panels that may be closer to your view.

I would argue that the US did indeed create dislike of the government by forcing it to be authoritarian (as a necessary defense against decades of constant US subversion,) by encouraging it to be authoritarian (extraordinary rendition to US-outsourced interrogation,) and by its economic warfare in the form of sanctions (collective punishment designed specifically to create dislike of the government with the end goal of regime change.)

Posted by: Canadian | Jul 13 2018 0:48 utc | 66

Dorian @ 63
You'll be at home here ! M O A is all about the truth . I wish there was an Moa paper at my corner shop every morning ! Now there's a thought !

Posted by: Mark2 | Jul 13 2018 0:54 utc | 67

@Ben 39

For the record, it wasn't a rant. But I do appreciate the sentiment, thanks.

Furthermore, History ain't just a "Bitch", it can do a lot more, depending though, how? Well the problem is, when you read history books, especially Anglo books (i.e US, British etc), you have less history and more "bitch(ing)". When I get a chance in future posts I'll exemplify. (and no I'm not a historian, I just read a lot).

Frankly, on historians, I don't know what is worse today, fake news or history books, the more I read the more I realize more and more historians are full of crap!

Posted by: Dorian | Jul 13 2018 0:59 utc | 68

@ Deltaeus

Thank you for bringing some nuance to the discussion. As related to your points, I would agree with much of what you wrote. We differ only in how much the discontent was indigenous vs. instilled from the outside.

@ Jackrabbit

I am also saying that the Syria conflict mirrors Ukraine: divisions in the country were exploited and stoked by outside forces into armed conflict. But this isn't to say many Ukrainians did not dislike the government before the intervention of foreign countries. The same is true in Syria. Foreign countries gave the dissenting side guns, ammo, cash and fighters and said 'go nuts'. But the point is that the society, in both cases, was divided and already was in that state.

@ Harry

I can assure you my knowledge of Syria goes beyond "a few dozen" people. I lived between Beirut and Damascus for five years, I would often hitchhike between the two. But you're right, this is purely anecdotal evidence. I never said it was otherwise.

@ Dorian

You say anecdotes are "FAKE NEWS" but also "we need true stories". Well, these are my true stories, which happen to be anecdotal evidence of what I'm saying. You've accused me of a great deal of things for saying simply that not all Syrians loved Assad. A very simple statement that has incited so much anger in yourself. To go with some of your analogies, yes, societies have differing opinions. If you'd have given all the Never Trumpers AKs and TOW missiles after the election what would we have. Civil war. What I was saying is the differences between the Trump and Hillary camp would have existed before the handling out of arms. Same for Syria.

@ all

Most Syrians now support Assad. I've not said nor implied anything to the contrary. Everyone should take the time to read the full content of what b linked to regarding the growing disillusionment among the rebels. It details much of what I was saying: there was discontent among many Syrians, many took up arms thanks to the Western, GCC and Israeli supply, then they realized these unknown devils are worse than the known devil. The point is Syrians were already divided, due to many domestic reasons. Therefore the conflict's origins are primarily Syrian, even if one side was massively assisted from the outside.

Posted by: Don Wiscacho | Jul 13 2018 1:21 utc | 69

@69 don wiscacho.... let me play devils advocate..

i am curious if you would say the usa is divided at this point? i am curious as i would like to know what would be acceptable action on the part of foreign countries towards a divided society like what it looks like to me for the usa...

i just changed a few words to a quote of yours here.. "The point is USA was already divided, due to many domestic reasons. Therefore the conflict's origins are primarily American, even if one side was massively assisted from the outside."

Posted by: james | Jul 13 2018 1:40 utc | 70

i know you get where i am going with this... where does one draw the line? what about the concept of international law, as opposed to other countries meddling in others affairs?? unfortunately the usa has a bad track record on this for quite a number of years.. if what the usa has visited on other countries was ever visited on it, i wouldn't welcome it, but i'd find the justice and coincidence of it very relevant..

Posted by: james | Jul 13 2018 1:43 utc | 71


The US is highly divided and it should be wrong to for any country to give weapons to one side or the other. Same was true with Syria. My point is in both cases the origins of the conflict would have been domestic.

Posted by: Don Wiscacho | Jul 13 2018 1:47 utc | 72

thanks don... cheers james

Posted by: james | Jul 13 2018 1:54 utc | 73

Many things are true. Syrians didn't like the neoliberalism the government imposed on them. They wanted more political freedom, just like everyone everywhere, and no doubt found Tunisia and Tahrir Square inspiring. A historic drought drove farmers off the land and into the cities. The Syrian government did torture people for the Great Satan in the "war on terrorism" and made reparations to the Canadian Maher Arar.

It's also true that the CIA has regime change plans on the shelf for every country in the world, including the US itself, which they pull out when the conditions are ripe. Hezbollah's 2006 victory over Israel alarmed the empire and kick-started the planned demolition of Syria. See Hersh's The Redirection article. (Hez had to be cut off from Iran and the takfiris had to destroy Hez and Lebanon for Israel so Israel can seize Lebanon's Litani River delta to expand -- that was the plan anyway.) No matter how bad a nation's leader is, what follows a US regime change operation will be multitudes worse.

On youtube there is a video of unarmed Syrian police running for their lives from sniper fire along with civilians during the first days of the Deraa "uprising," the same MO the CIA used in Ukraine, Venezuela and currently in Nicaragua -- shoot everybody and cause chaos and blame it on the government. The heavy machine guns and RPGs were all in place at the Omari mosque right from the beginning.

The majority of the Syrian people have always supported the government and after each city is liberated by the SAA they have plenty of horrible tales to tell about the fanatics who held them hostage. In every city held by the takfiris there are informers for the government including the "rebel" ranks themselves. The tumor cells gathered in Idlib will get their meds before 2018 is over. The Kurds will either come back into the Syrian fold or be betrayed to death by the US and slaughtered by the Turks. The US will give up NE Syria or face an Iraqi-style Sunni insurgency. The real question is whether Gollum will try to hang on to some stolen Syrian land. Considering that a nuclear war would be the last one ever fought (and probably won't be) and considering that the dozens of despicable nations allied to wreck Syria and failed, I think it should be said that Syria, Iran, Russia and Hez just won WW3.

Posted by: street worm | Jul 13 2018 2:40 utc | 74

'useful Syria'
Aren't the oil field across the Euphrates still under rebel control? I've been out of touch, but haven't seen a map indicating otherwise.

Posted by: jsn | Jul 13 2018 2:53 utc | 75

Don Wiscacho @ 42:

You are very wrong in suggesting what my comment @ 41 implies. You are the one who said that most Syrians had "no love" for President Assad's government.

I was merely pointing out that since the war began in 2011, Syria adopted a new constitution in 2012 that turned the country's political structure into a multi-party parliamentary system; held a presidential election in 2014 which returned Assad to the presidency and which was observed by various foreign delegations, the US one of which returned to the US and gave a press conference at the UN (I gave the link at my comment); and then in 2016 held parliamentary elections which were one by a coalition of socialist, social democratic and Arab nationalist parties led by the Ba'ath Party. No more and no less. '

All I asked was how, after the war began, Syrians supposedly turned from opposing Assad for various domestic reasons (raising food prices? privatising utilities? allowing Iraqi refugees into the country to compete with already unemployed people for jobs?) to supporting him.

It seems to me that after the war started and spread, most Syrians who had weapons supported Assad - through fighting as part of the Syrian Arab Army.

Posted by: Jen | Jul 13 2018 2:56 utc | 76

The giveaway to it all is the fact that the 'cradle of the revolution' sits bang on the Jordanian border.
It would be interesting, albeit impossible, to know the exact proportion of indigenous and foreign fighters in the mix.
I always assumed that the millions of external refugees were fleeing the 'revolutionaries' as much as the fighting.
the true nature of the syrian conflict was concealed for years by western media.
While BBC referred to 'activists' (presumably touting nothing more dangerous than a clipboard and pen) and of course repeating what 'activists say' as hard news, other media were reporting syrian police being decapitated in the streets and snipers operating under cover of demonstrations.
Thank god it's all but finished now with a stronger syrian military.
A salutary lesson in the conniving evil of our leaders.
Let israel quake.

Posted by: adamski | Jul 13 2018 3:10 utc | 77

@Jen 76

My point is the conflict began before the weapons were handed out. As you mentioned, in 2011 Syria became a multi-party system. But preceding that it was the Ba'ath party only. My point was the were many grievances arising from a single-party system, such as nepotism, corruption, and the allocation of government funding. Now, there were also many reasons why Syria was a single-party state, but what I'm commenting on is the differences that exist within Syrian society. Similar to Saddam or Gaddafi, they ruled over a government where the power was concentrated into one individual, for better or for worse. They also likewise created domestic resistance that, in their cases, lead to their downfall. Assad has avoided this imposed fate and had many people return to the government's fold. But that doesn't mean there weren't Syrians with grievances against the government when it began.

Posted by: Don Wiscacho | Jul 13 2018 3:24 utc | 78

@77 "I always assumed that the millions of external refugees were fleeing the 'revolutionaries' as much as the fighting."

Me too. So many of the refugees were young men who should have been in the army. Unfortunately they were never surveyed to determine their precise grievance. It's not even clear which parts of Syria they came from. No doubt they blamed Assad for everything because that is what the West wanted to hear. Assuming they want to go back to Syria they must wonder how welcome they will be.

Posted by: dh | Jul 13 2018 3:28 utc | 79

@74 Txs for well thought out post. I see the same..

Posted by: Lozion | Jul 13 2018 3:28 utc | 80

* lead to their downfall through willing collaborators when the West intervened. Mis-edit apologies

Posted by: Don Wiscacho | Jul 13 2018 3:29 utc | 81

b, it was a great article, and thank you. The maps and your summary in a couple of sentences were a perfect presentation of information. I love good writing.

It's very much a remembrance of events, and your almost hidden link to the Libertarian Institute retrospective led to what appears to be a wonderful article. I notice karlof1 linked it in full - apologies but I'm so late to this thread that I can't cite the comment numbers. But let's at least do the link again: The Myth of US ‘Inaction’ in Syria. It almost sounds like it will be an apologia for US policy but in the first dozen paragraphs (as far as I've gotten so far), it becomes clear that this piece intends to lay bare the crimes of the US in Syria, where it was very active indeed.

Guerrero at some point nailed it supremely well in one sentence when he said that even if the Syrian people had grievances against the government, it was the IMF that put those grievances there in the first place.

And for all the argument that boiled up during the thread, that now seems to have settled down, let's understand - as Deltaeus, who cited Korybko and the study of color revolution, explains - that no color revolution happens without authentic domestic unease. It is the co-opting of the authentic by the contrived that constitutes the supreme evil of the color revolution.

There is always unease, because societies are always evolving. The point is to leave it all alone and let the unease and the debate continue, and over time the country will change. But the change will come without violence. Everyone changes, even national leaders, in the crucible of events, and there is no doubt that Assad has become a wholly different symbol to his people at this point. He has held the country together and it has won itself back. If there was once contention against him, that is largely gone for now. It may indeed rise again, and it may not, but either way it will be a clear sign that peace once more exists in the country. There is always struggle and debate.

Just don't bring in the snipers to kill both sides of the debate, and turn the simmer up to a boil. As happened in Syria. From the outside.

One retrospective is worth a review, this from Sharmine Narwani in her irrefutable witness to the events of 2011. Both sides of the debate were killed, by the outside force. And meanwhile those who innocently believed in the truth of words and representations were tricked and goaded and lied to, in order to change the narrative - which was the deadliest evil of all, because it is one never expected by honest people, and never guarded against:

How narratives killed the Syrian people

I wish I could cite many more of the excellent comments here. Despite its temper, it resolves as a good thread, with much attempt to recall the truth of history, and where we stand now on its shoulders.

Posted by: Grieved | Jul 13 2018 3:45 utc | 82

@74 street worm... good post.. thanks..

Posted by: james | Jul 13 2018 4:41 utc | 83

Dorian @68--

"Frankly, on historians, I don't know what is worse today, fake news or history books, the more I read the more I realize more and more historians are full of crap!"

Thanks for the endorsement. Some of us historians do try to discover the objective Truth and strive to obtain Justice while illuminating fellow citizens. At least you read.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 13 2018 4:52 utc | 84

The syrian government is finally getting on top of things, with assistance from Russia. Crucial assistance mind you, as the Russian effort mostly has been based on reconcilliation and according to various sources a softening of President Assad' stances.
It is telling, that Russians , universally despised by the MSM, favor diplomatic solutions, rather than forceful. I sincerely hope that Syria can find peace, and people can return home to rebuild; hopefully also with EU support. The amount of people returning will be a measure of support for President Assad.
President Assad faces challenges, huge challenges, keeping peace being a minor one, but true reconciliation and rebuilding being a major one.
Russia has gained a tremendous amount of good PR in Syria, even among US and EU administration officials, they are seen as trustworthy and credible and among other nations in the world they have sprung onto the scene as true mediators. It goes without saying, this will help Russia solving the "Ukrainian problem". Crimea is not up for discussion.
While Russia is sorting things out, and setting things straight, the US, with the Trumpoman in charge, is issuing directives to the vassals. Do this and do that, complete oblivious to the fact, we are not state nr. 51,52, 53, ect, ect. but that we are independent nations part of the EU.

As I have commented previously, the US main goal is the destruction of the EU, it is a threat to the US, especially if it leans eastward, that isolates the US completely.
But old cold war theoretic is still prevalent (I know, posted before), but fact is ice cold: Russia could devastate Europe with nuclear weapons, but does not have the manpower to conquer it. The ordinary Russian citizen would rebel at the thought, as it is outrageous.
Russia is part of us, and we are part of them (Read some history books, for those who don't understand), Russia today is not Russia 1975. Like Eastern Germany is not like 1975.

But Trumpoman is persistent, goading the UK along in its demise: a hard brexit. While we care less on the continent, the sviwel eyed loons (Tory's) will 'prolly take GB that route, now goaded by the Idiot in Chief, further damage a GB that is down and out and counting. The US can in reality offer GB nothing in terms of Trade.
I am sorry if my commenting went of topic, but it is difficult to isolate events.

Posted by: Den Lille Abe | Jul 13 2018 5:41 utc | 85

Great piece, b - but today the comment section rocks,too! if this kind of quality discourse were standard the world over, it would fully restore my belief in the great future of mankind......

Posted by: Larry | Jul 13 2018 5:50 utc | 86

Don Wiscacho @ 78:

Syria was a one-party state from 1971 to 2012. Presumably the problems you mentioned that pertain to one-party rule, such as corruption, nepotism, brutality and allocation of government monies, lasted for 40 years. Why during all that time, did Syrians not rebel then, even after a change of leader?

In his early years as President, Bashar al Assad was apparently derided by some Syrians as "Mr Soft Heart" because he didn't appear to be as tough as his father Hafez. The Syrian people could have overthrown him during the first 11 years of his leadership.

The initial protest in Dara'a in 2011 was over a rise in the prices of staple foods. It only became violent when foreign snipers took over and shot police and torched the police station and a government building. Why then would Syrians have rebelled against President Assad (if indeed they did) and not before?

Is it not more likely that the grievances that Syrians had against Assad which led to the protest in Dara'a had more to do with the neoliberal economic changes that Bashar al Assad's government made during the first decade of his Presidency? Many if not most of these changes took place under Abdullah Dardari who served in various senior positions overseeing economic planning in Syria from 2003 to 2011. He currently works as Deputy Executive Secretary for the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA).

Posted by: Jen | Jul 13 2018 6:30 utc | 87

Syria under Hafez was an entirely different country.

Bashar inherited quite an entrenched and powerful administration, military and secret service. The change he was able to bring about was astonishing in the first few years.

Certainly there was more work to be done but you don't dismantle those sort of power centers easily in one generation.

If there is an upside to the tragic foreign intervention in the affairs of Syria is that:

1) having seen the alternative, even those that might have been opposed to the government at the outset, have had a change of heart

2) this will help Bashar push through reforms quicker


Posted by: guidoamm | Jul 13 2018 6:47 utc | 88

I fully agree to Larry @86, the comments are as good a read as the article itself.

The impression I have from conversation with a Syrian guy some years ago and continuous reading on "the web" is that there was and is surely enough opposition against the assad/baath system in terms of corruption and arbitrary executive force but that in no way suffices to explain even the start of that "rebellion".
How much of that was "foreign-controlled" in the beginning, imho, would be hard to determine, but one might assume that - especially in a strategic ME country - outsiders would have very good connections to local opposition and of course it's their job not to look too foreign to the locals. Which locals start a "civil war" for the cia anyway, they ought to think they're acting by free will after all ;).
Also my guess is that Bashar is a person who actually serves as a uniting figure and that much of the domestic hate goes against the "system" and its remains more than against Assad himself. As far as I can see, the death of his brother is in some ways a windfall to syria, because he never was meant to "rule", and he appears much like a civil and reasonable person, not a power-greedy tyrant at all.

Posted by: radiator | Jul 13 2018 7:38 utc | 89

Don, what is missing in your equation of «a segment of society was so strongly against gov (and its police... see egypt too)» is the MB question and the role of ultra Sunnis and their strings to the Gulf. Check the archives of joshua landis website for february to july 2011 to read the voices of some of the main actors in the play and see their background and

Posted by: Mina | Jul 13 2018 8:18 utc | 90

@ 65

GTF out of here, you Hasbara troll !!

Posted by: Bevin Kacon | Jul 13 2018 8:40 utc | 91

"Family of James Foley sues Syrian gov’t for $200 million"

If you dont remember, James Foley was a journalist, killed by ISIS in Idlib. Now his family is suing Syria because: "Syrian President Bashar al-Assad
and his security apparatus deliberately took steps to help create and thereafter greatly assisted Daesh in its terrorist operations."

“At all times relevant to this Complaint, Syria provided material support to Daesh, including but not limited to safe harbor, financial support, provision of materiel, and military air support. Over this same period, Syria also provided intelligence and direct instructions to Daesh through embedded intelligence officers. Without Syria’s support, Daesh would not have grown into the terrorist organization that abducted and murdered journalists such as James Foley,” the claim added.

Wow, when you think US cant get any more stupid, they do.

What are the chances US court will actually confirm Syria is responsible for ISIS creation? 100%? 99.99%? Hell, they might rule that its not 200 mln. as a compensation but a billion. Why not? Just like US court ruled Iran is responsible for 9/11 and stole billions from its frozen accounts.

Posted by: Harry | Jul 13 2018 8:47 utc | 92

@ 88

Well said.

But it's not over yet. We still have to wait and see what happens at the Golan area, where Israel is relying on that pocket of IS. I'd like to think that Syria could regain the region taken from them by Israel but a lot of water's going to run under the bridge with clearing IS out before that can even be talked about.

Posted by: Bevin Kacon | Jul 13 2018 8:49 utc | 93

Israel=Saudi Arabia
Jews=Muslim terrorists
European Union=Rothschilds
You=piece of shit

For making the above happen.

Posted by: Art Best | Jul 13 2018 9:22 utc | 94

wow, an 'in depth' discussion about the fomentation of the war in Syria and not a single mention (sorry if i missed it, i do a lot of skimming) of US ambassador Robert Stephen Ford, certainly one of the principal architects of the entire shit storm. acolyte of scumbag John Negroponte in Iraq, he, almost single handedly, brought the Salvador Option to Syria.

guess i shouldn't be surprised y'all overlooked it, i mean, who would suspect the US embassy of such nefarious behavior?

Q: Why will there never be a coup d’état in Washington?
A: Because there’s no American embassy there.

Posted by: john | Jul 13 2018 9:22 utc | 95

re the Don Wiscacho debate

I quite agree with a lot of what Don says, certainly about there being a lot of unenthusiasm for the Ba'thist regime before the war, though I'm not sure I'd go for 20/40/40. As others have said, the regime would never have survived had there really been as little support as Wiscacho's figures suggest. And it's not merely, though muchly, that a Jihadist regime would be so much worse. The difference is, I suspect, that Wiscacho could have been meeting the intellectual classes in Damascus, and been influenced by them. They, although small in number, had an enormous influence on western regimes, like France, and became very anti-Asad. I know quite a number. I know that my daughter, who was studying Arabic in Damascus before the war, has always been unyieldingly anti-Asad, even when you point out that the Jihadi regime would have been so much worse. I suspect she had a similar experience to Don Wiscacho.

Of course, it is not that one is enthusiastic for the Asad regime, though he seems a nice man personally, but that Syria desperately needs peace, and the Jihadis will never provide that. Curiously even some of the intellectuals are turning around. The father of one Syrian I know, a well-known intellectual, just wants to go home to Syria, to die, being old now, never mind Asad.

Posted by: Laguerre | Jul 13 2018 9:30 utc | 96

Don Wiscacho

For person who has supposedly spent a lot of time in Syria during the 'rebellion', you have a markedly different perspective from many of us on here who have not.

'Most Syrians now support Assad. I've not said nor implied anything to the contrary. Everyone should take the time to read the full content of what b linked to regarding the growing disillusionment among the rebels. It details much of what I was saying: there was discontent among many Syrians, many took up arms thanks to the Western, GCC and Israeli supply, then they realized these unknown devils are worse than the known devil. The point is Syrians were already divided, due to many domestic reasons. Therefore the conflict's origins are primarily Syrian, even if one side was massively assisted from the outside.

I have trouble swallowing the above.

'Most Syrians now support Assad.' Most Syrians previously supported Assad prior to the 2011 insurgency, implemented by the MB with help from CIA, KSA, ad nauseam.

'...many took up arms thanks to...' No! Just no! Maybe some did , eventually, but in the early days the combatants were mainly from outside Syria.

...the conflict's origins are primarily Syrian',... I don't know how anyone who has followed this conflict can write that.

Are you trying to change the narrative of the insurgency's history, just because you had 'boots on the ground', so to speak? I can't help feeling you have this motive - and maybe more - to the fore.

The Syrians 'were already divided'. Most voters in any democracy are. You seem to be implying that this 'division' was enough for a putative insurgency.

Posted by: Bevin Kacon | Jul 13 2018 9:54 utc | 97

you missed it.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jul 13 2018 9:54 utc | 98

@92 Harry
That is exactly the type of idiocy/opportunity Syria needs to seize on and have the Syrian course of events play out in a court of law... In front of the world. It's an easy win.

Much like two months ago, when one of the 13 the Russian entities accused and indicted over turning the 2016 US election upside down by the Mueller investigation, who then unexpectedly chose to
actually turn up in court and fight the charges levelled against it. What happened there?? A lot of scrambling by Team Mueller to stop the 'evidence' of all social media
in Russian, from wider dissemination. 'How do you know what's in it? This is an American court of law?' asks the Russian's representative re:the 2 terabytes of social media... *crickets* was the response,
Crickets because they now realise they'll have to translate all this shit in order to give to the defence.

Once these ridiculous allegations are in anyway challenged in our current Carrollian Theatre, they'll disappear as quick as they came.

Posted by: MadMax2 | Jul 13 2018 10:04 utc | 99



Posted by: john | Jul 13 2018 10:19 utc | 100

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