Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
October 29, 2018

Syria Sitrep - ISIS Defeats U.S. Proxy Force - Again

The U.S. backed proxy force in east Syria again lost positions to the Islamic State.

The map shows the positions of ISIS (grey), the US. proxy force SDF (yellow) and the Syrian army (red) at the border with Iraq on October 19.


Here are the positions as of today.


The U.S. proxy force lost the towns Susah, Hawi al-Susah, Safafinah, Mozan, Shajlah and Baghuz Fawqani and ISIS is back at the Iraqi border. The Iraqi forces were alarmed and sealed the border on their side.

The immediate cause of the loss was another sandstorm which ISIS used to counterattack. A similar counterattack during a sandstorm  happened two weeks ago. That makes this U.S. spokesman's statement laughable:

“The sandstorm allowed an ISIS counterattack, which was surprising given the conditions, but now the air is clear and the Coalition will continue to increase air and fire support to assist our partners,” Col. Ryan said ...

Sandstorms disable air and artillery support. That is why ISIS, which lacks an airforce, has for years used each and every sandstorm to attack. That is not surprising at all, but one of its signature forms of fighting. Sandstorms mean that one can expect an ISIS attack. That one has to double one's guard and be ready to defend one's position. The U.S. special forces who are supposed to lead their proxies seem to have neglected that.

ISIS jihadis attacked during the sandstorm in their usual manner. A suicide bomber blew up the first position at the frontline and more than 100 fighters stormed through and rolled up their enemie's lines. Since Friday some 60 to 80 SDF were killed, more were wounded and at least 20 were taken prisoners. Others simply fled in panic and ISIS could recapture several villages without a fight. ISIS claims that all the captured fighters were Arabs, not Kurds.

The Kurds decided long ago that the fight at the Euphrates is not their main problem. They prepare to fight against a Turkish invasion. The SDF ground force attacking ISIS is mostly Arab. Some were hired by the U.S., but many of them were pressed into service. They are not that interested in risking their life. They will only attack after the U.S. air force bombs their enemies to smithereens.

After the high losses of the Arab SDF the Kurdish YPG was told to sends some 300 of its fighters to regain the lost positions and to continue the general attack on ISIS which for months yielded no gains.

ISIS still holds some 700 prisoners and hostages. It had threatened to kill them if it does not receive food and medical supplies. There has been no news of their fate.

On Friday the presidents of Russia, France and Turkey and the German chancellor Merkel met in Istanbul. The French and German sides have given up on regime change. They have a refugee problem and want the war to wind down. They still insist that Syria should change its constitution but Damascus has no reason to follow such calls. The former Indian ambassador to Turkey, MK Bhadrakumar, has a deeper analysis of the summit. The big question to him is how the Turkish-American relations evolve.

There is little reason to think that these will get better. Erdogan wants the U.S. out of Syria nearly as much as Damascus itself. Erdogan threatened recently to invade the northeastern part of Syria that the U.S. controls. Yesterday Turkish artillery hit positions of the U.S. proxy force in Syria near the border with Turkey.

The U.S. keeps insisting that 'Iran-backed militias' leave Syria before the U.S. leaves. But the 'Iran-backed militias' in Syria are nowadays  Syrians. Iran supported groups with Afghan and Iraqi fighters and Iranian soldiers have left the country some time ago. There are at most some Iranian officers left who train local groups which Iran has put on its payroll. The demand makes no sense. It likely originates from Israel which wants the U.S. to stay in Syria as long as possible.

The situation in Idelb governorate and elsewhere has not changed. The upcoming U.S.-Russia summit on November 11 will discuss the Syria issue. Until then everything is on hold.

Posted by b on October 29, 2018 at 18:57 UTC | Permalink


SAA's elite 4th Division is deploying to Western Aleppo in preparation for an offensive against the terrorists there that continue to target civilians. Also, one of the main goals for establishing the Idlib DMZ was to reopen the M-5 highway which is currently far from occurring.

After Putin's Valdai Club comments, I speculated that a joint SAA-Russian offensive to clear the Euphrates East bank might occur. IMO, that possibility has increased further, particularly with the additional weight of the just issued Istanbul Statement toward clearing out the terrorists and reestablishing 100% Syrian sovereignty; The Outlaw US Empire has zero grounds to object. There's also additional emphasis being made for UN involvement in closing the refugee camp near the al-Tanf area. And despite the Empire's denial of its involvement in last January's massed drone attack, its personnel in theatre must realize they're now targets as the rules of engagement have necessarily changed over that and other incidents--No more olives Mr Bolton, only arrows for you.

Not directly related to Syria but certainly to the Great Game is the deal reached between China and Japan. IMO, the EU as a whole will soon sign onto M&M's Istanbul Statement, thus increasing its weight and providing some pushback against the Empire, and perhaps a diminishing of NATO's solidarity regarding Russia. In two weeks, Putin and Trump will meet in France. The potential for things to move in Putin's favor over that short period is high, IMO, and might result in something tangible that will act to reduce tensions.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 29 2018 19:30 utc | 1

thanks b.... the usa position in syria is as predictable as a sandstorm, even if they say it isn’t... what does israel want? that is what the usa wants... well, what has become of the usa that is.... i note that neitherthe usa, uk, israel or ksa was at the meeting in turkey.... i suppose they. didn’t want to be seen with ksa, trying to carve up the turkey!

anyone else think europe is finally coming around to making a break with uk/usa, or am i just being overly idealistic?

Posted by: james | Oct 29 2018 19:35 utc | 2

Now befuddled by the sands of Arabia, the Army of the Empire hesitates and prepares for another un-won war. Grenada aside, when was the last war we won? The Pacific Theater in WWII?

Trump is now massing troops on the southern border to withstand the caravan of hope. Will his army carry loaded weapons? Will Trump and Pence break out their manly bomber jackets while they watch on TV?

Posted by: Bart Hansen | Oct 29 2018 20:14 utc | 3

James @ 2. Threatening to scrap the NPT treaty pushes Europe -- except for maybe Poland and the Baltics -- closer to Russia. The Istanbul statement is bad news for the U.S.

Posted by: Mike Maloney | Oct 29 2018 20:18 utc | 4

Sorry about that, INF treaty. Another interesting possibility regarding the SDF being left to twist in the sandstorm sans U.S. air power is that Erdogan could have imposed upon the Saudis to demand that Rojava be pruned. Notice there has been no real Khashoggi news in the last 48 hours.

Posted by: Mike Maloney | Oct 29 2018 20:24 utc | 5

thanks mike... i hope that is correct... i just read an article on how turkey is not sharing all with the head ksa prosecuter who arrived in istanbul yesterday... it would seem erdo is holding out for more... just how this plays into the syrian dynamic is hard to know, but favours erdos agenda.. either way the kurds look like they are holding the short end of the stick..

Posted by: james | Oct 29 2018 20:31 utc | 6

The good, and so important news from the Russia, France, German and Turkish talks was as Karlof1 said above, the territorial integrity of Syria, this is a poke in the eye to the Empire [I love it], The four leaders are "full of determination to resist separatist plans, aimed at undermining sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria"

Posted by: Harry Law | Oct 29 2018 20:41 utc | 7

O suposto ataque do ISIS foi uma farsa. Foi a forma que a América achou de abastecer os mesmos com novas armas.

Posted by: cleiton | Oct 29 2018 20:50 utc | 8

@ Amsterjam, the latest nationalist maga shooter that killed an elderly black couple in Kentucky after he attempted to shoot up a black church in Louisville is also a hoax concocted by the deep state ? Another hoax foisted on deplorables by Hillary, Soros and Obama the closet muslim, we still haven't seen a valid birth certificate from this enemy of the state. Derp...

Posted by: Augustin L | Oct 29 2018 20:56 utc | 9

@3 - Amsterjam: I think B is not unaware, he is just not attached from reality as you are. Believe what suits your world view, but those deaths are real. People kill people, and nutjobs who think that a certain minority as a whole is the source of all evil kill especially. When you claim that this was all just a TV show, with faked deaths, you are one of the people which MSM uses to label the whole of alternative media as nutjobs "consiracy" guys.
Great job.
And this Robert David Steele you posted as evidence: That guy has a "Q" video on his front page. Nuff said. Refer to Bs post on Q if you dont get it that you are being fucked by this BS.

Posted by: DontBelieveEitherPropaganda | Oct 29 2018 21:04 utc | 10

"anyone else think europe is finally coming around to making a break with uk/usa, or am i just being overly idealistic?"

Posted by: james | Oct 29, 2018 3:35:49 PM | 2

IMO Europe will not break from the US and will stay with them to the end, unless the US collapses. And they will mourn the collapse.

Western Europe's religion is liberalism, and liberalism can not exist without the power of the Empire. They will have to become normal nations without the US, and the problem is that they don't want to be normal nations. They don't want going back to 19 century power politics. They want a Big Daddy to take care of them and bring order, as order and security is what they crave.

Not surpsisingly, the most liberal countries, the Scandinavians, or the dutch, became recently the biggest fans of the US. They beg for Big Daddy to take care of them, otherwise they will have to return to nationalism and militarisation, and they do not want that. They can not live without liberalism now. So they will beg the US to come to Europe and bring "order" and to "protect" them.

Europe sees the era of US domination as a Golden Era, and the era before that as evil.

Liberal Europeans hate Russia - due to its return to "normal politics", return to religion, anti gays stance, traditional values stance, national culture, patriotism, militarisation, hard power, etc. For them all of this is primitive. They want to build Utopia, and the "primitives" and "barbarians" like Russia stand in the way.

Not surprisingly, Council of Europe warned that it could expulse Russia and the European Parliament is a hotbed of Russophobia, recently urging new sanctions against Russia.

So Russia must be destroyed, in order for Utopia to be built. And any other "primitive" country, eventually. They hope that via a transatlantic western empire they can eventually take control of the world and then proceed to build Utopia. So they need to stay with the US in order to empower the transatlantic empire. If they break from the US, all of their big dreams for one world liberal utopia will be lost. So they have to stay with the US no matter what.

For a good take on this here:

Btw, it is not Trump's America they want, but the Dems America, California type. They want to work with liberal America, not to destroy the transatlantic alliance. They want to be the second pilar of a liberal alliance with the US. A liberal world order. So they hope that Trump will go away eventually and bite their tongues, waiting.

This is what Heiko Maas, the German FM said recently:

"The partnership with the United States has brought Germany a unique phase of peace and security since the end of World War II. America became a place of longing."

Do you understand now? The EU is feminised, behaves like a woman, and women seek protection, order and security. They need big Daddy. The big system that takes care of everything. Not surprisingly feminist Sweden and Norway recently became big fans of the US. They fear multipolarity, and long for the order, predictability and security of strong unipolarity.

The long presence of Merkel, a pro-US politician who even expressed support for the Iraq war, is emblematic of the fact that Germany remains a US puppet country. In general, that remains the case, as long as Germany is part of NATO and has US bases and troops on its soil. The Merkel replacements will not be better and the rising greens hate Russia. Btw, greens all over Europe hate Russia.

Polls exist that show dislike for Putin and Russia in all european countries. as well as strong support for the US during the Obama Admin years. Putin's rating in Europe is very low, and so is Russia's. Rusophobia is also a european phenomenon, as Guy Mettan showed.

Polls shows that europeans hate Trump, love Obama.
You think that Trump will repulse them enough to break with the US? No. G. W. Bush was despised in Europe too. There was huge resistance against the Iraq war as well. And so what? Do you know what happened next? After Obama became a president, europeans suddenly turned around and became big fans of Obama, and bombed Libya together. The US was not liked during Bush's times (according to various polls), then it suddenly became a liked country in Europe during Obama.

Scandinavia is seen as something to be followed by progressives, as the best example possible, and as Scandinavia is anti-russian, this could mean that many liberals in the West will be influenced by that anti-russian view of the "best utopia on Earth".

Have you noticed (again) that green parties hate Russia? And greens are becoming popular in Europe these days. (see the recent Guardian article)

The leaders of "progressivism", the Scandinavians, who are traditionally seen as a model to follow by "progressives" around the West, joinded by Eastern Europe, and Britain, are begging for the US to come to protect them from Russia. Then there is the deep dutch colaboration with the US secret services (they were described as ready to do anything for the CIA), while France has returned in NATO's integrated command, that De Gaul left, and entusiastically supported the wars in Syria and Libya. Italy, Austria and Hungary are bright spots, but they are not enough.

Such european reaction shows a severe abnormality in Europe, as the decline of the US should have caused the opposite reaction. Yet Europe is begging "big daddy" to come and protect her and bring security, just like a battered wife.

if you study human psychology you would know that even a lots of damage is not enough to stop some relationships, in other words the EU may be having a "battered wife syndrome". Then there is the Stockholm syndrome.

Europe was not free for such a long time that it forgot what is to be free, it has a guilt complex, and it would prefer the well known reality of its abusive husband, instead of the frightening reality of going its own way into the unknown.

Look at what Maas said: "The partnership with the United States has brought Germany a unique phase of peace and security since the end of World War II"

In other words, there is a belief among euro elites that the partnership with the US caused the best time in history for Europe. So they will still hope that the "golden time" will somehow return, and will try to stay the course.

The EU is like those animals where even after you open the cage, the animal does not want to leave the cage.

While various trajectories do show that the US will lose power with time, my view is that Europe is so poisoned, that it will stay with the US to the end.

This is a good take on i agree with:

"many US allies have "strong vested interests in preserving America's geopolitical reach," adding that "former colonial powers like the United Kingdom and France" find it easier to dominate surrounding countries and "project themselves as a ‘superior civilization'" by collaborating with other NATO members alongside Australia.

"These former colonists never want the US to economize [America's] global security policy as they would lose global influence, especially with civil unrest growing at home due to disastrous domestic policies,"

"If China asserts itself in the South China Sea, then countries like Australia [and the US] will fear China's rise as a global power," he said, whereas the UK and France still possess colonial networks throughout the world "which are also allied with the US post-World War II."

"These networks may also refuse to accept China's prominence in the South China Sea or anywhere else in the world, and nor would they accept China's rise unless the US declines further and China accepts them under new multipolar order," he continued.

"The former Anglo-French-Dutch networks will determine how fast the US can economize its geopolitical reach, not only in the South China Sea, but throughout the world."

Posted by: Passer by | Oct 29 2018 21:23 utc | 11

Funny how the sandstorms always turn up in the nick of time to help ISIS to advance at the expense of US forces but never to help ISIS or al Qaeda forces against the SAA or their allies.

Oh well, those F35 jets or whatever other planes past their use-by dates the US sends to Syria have to be useful for something even if just for blowing hot air and sand.

Posted by: Jen | Oct 29 2018 22:05 utc | 12

Jen @12--

Sandstorms aided Daesh considerably in their siege of Dier-Ezzor and with both assaults on Palmyra. Conversely, SAA has used them to its advantage at times. Now that new leadership sits in Baghdad, SAA joining with PMU to rout Daesh east of Euphrates becomes a possibility, which may have been the topic of discussion by the 4+1 at their Baghdad HQ last Friday&Saturday. (All gleaned from Twitter and SyrPers discussions.)

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 29 2018 22:29 utc | 13

the Arab wars had the aim to weaken the EU. A weak EU can not compete with China. The globalist want China to rule the world.

The Globalist prefer rogue states with hard lows. So they destroy all democratic states so they can use the dictatorial states to sell them china products and israely military products.

The globalists ride China to safe their wealthiness.

Posted by: az | Oct 29 2018 22:37 utc | 14

@ Jen
The arab component of the SDF.. sometime back some Deir Ezzor tribes swapped ISIS hats for SDF hats. I would guess this is the SDF force supposedly fighting ISIS on the lower Euphrates.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Oct 29 2018 22:51 utc | 15

So after all this time, where the hell are they still getting weapons, food and funding from. Stop that and you stop ISIS until then the whole thing is just us uk sham !! As we all know ! Just another yanky cowboy film ! Bring on John Wayne ! Except these ‘actors don’t get up after the filming’ !!

Posted by: Mark2 | Oct 29 2018 23:14 utc | 16

Bottom line truth; The U$A corporate empire is never leaving Syria unless they're forced out. This time next year, we'll be discussing this same scenario on Syria.

Regime change is STILL the prime directive for the empire and it's minions..

Posted by: ben | Oct 29 2018 23:14 utc | 17

posted by: DontBelieveEitherPropaganda | Oct 29, 2018 5:04:49 PM | 11

hey fella what would you call the uss liberty attack?

reality or anti semite ashkanazim fake story

by deception thou shalt do war
yes no my boy?

Posted by: dave | Oct 29 2018 23:20 utc | 18

Oh dear, it looks like the US will have to stay even longer in Syria. These ISIS dudes are quite a tricky force to deal with!

Regarding the daylight Pittsburgh synagogue attack during 27 October, it served to distract US MSM from yet another IDF bombing strike on a hospital in Gaza on the night 26-27 October. Mind you, the western MSM would probably ignore anything the IDF does without such events. It certainly seemed that way when the IDF killed and wounded ~700 Gazan protestors not so long ago.

Posted by: Yonatan | Oct 29 2018 23:31 utc | 19

I was going to post two comparison photos ! From two war torn country’s, two war torn regions. Syria and Yemen one showing a well fed, armed and provided Isis fighter and one showing Yemeni fighters or civilians! But truth be told ! I did’nt have the stomach. But the contrast is blatantly obveous.
Conclusion the first is a cynical regeme change us tool. The second is a cynical us genacide tool !
The only place to stop this, is in the US, UK & Israel. The only people that will stop it is us. If we don’t we will be there next victim .

Posted by: Mark2 | Oct 29 2018 23:50 utc | 20

The headline for this Sitrep would have been pithier and more explicit had it said...
Syria Sitrep - ISIS Defeats U.S. Proxy Force - As Usual

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Oct 30 2018 4:09 utc | 21

B, it would be useful for comparison to add in the May 1st situation the only difference being the tiddly little bit in the North-West corner. It's just a game, one step forward, one step back. Except for the local people, who pay for the game with their lives.

Posted by: BM | Oct 30 2018 6:11 utc | 22

Some of you should take note of Pepe's new satirical piece Summit in Istanbul as ramifications of the Khashoggi debacle roll on.

Posted by: TomGard | Oct 30 2018 11:06 utc | 23

The most disgusting Police action. Unlawful KIlling!

Posted by: Col from OZ | Oct 30 2018 11:38 utc | 24

Some of you should take note of Pepe's new satirical piece Summit in Istanbul as ramifications of the Khashoggi debacle roll on.
Posted by: TomGard | Oct 30, 2018 7:06:35 AM | 24

Interesting is the reference by Imran Khan at the Davos in the Desert summit to mediation between Saudi and Iran over Yemen. I hope that pans out well.

Posted by: BM | Oct 30 2018 12:06 utc | 25

The territory gains by ISIS to the Iraq border indicates a joint escape plan to Iraq is in the making..... between ISIS and their American Allies. The Iraqi's are defying the Empire invaders and finally awakening to the Empire's Final Solution of a Zionist controlled Middle East. The ISIS reserve forces have sit in the eastern desert of Syria at two locations, for over five years, was miraculously never discovered by the Empire and Lackeys. I suppose they never read MOA or South Front.

Posted by: Ger | Oct 30 2018 12:15 utc | 26

@ passer by

Nationalism, patriotism, militarism, these are all reactionary fantasies of the "new ultraleft" engendered from manipulation by the ultraright playing the weak-kneed Euro-Amerikkkan primal fear of invading Mongol hordes. For the aging Euro it is the youthful Arab refugee swelling their overcrowded urban deathscape.

White Amerikkkans, of course, fear the black man of any age (in perpetuity) and detest the invading horde of young "Mexican" babymakers who will steal into our lands and overpopulate the nation with illegit brown US citizens.

Please, please, please oh great caucasian strong man, please save us, the entitled Euro-Amerikkkan race...we will pay any price. The left is dead! We will accept your authority without moral reckoning! Anything! Please tell us where to hide and we will follow you!


Posted by: donkeytale | Oct 30 2018 12:35 utc | 27

Magneir has a piece on current US moves in Syria Iraq.
Iraq has deployed a militia group to block US ISIS moves into Iraq. The Iraqi militia's were targets of a number of US strikes when they were clearing ISIS from Iraq.

Then there is Escobar's piece at the Asia times. The Khashoggi killing has been a 'gift from god' (as Erdogan would call it) for all but the US. Even the Saudi's won't be badly hurt by it, though it is changing their actions. The tearful fiance, or honeypot, whichever she is, is now targeting Trump.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Oct 30 2018 14:35 utc | 28

In Idib are 30,000 hard core jihadist with no hope of redemption. If the US is serious about fighting terrorism they will not remain,and will not travel.

Instead they may be ferried about the middle east, likely to Yemen.

Posted by: steve | Oct 30 2018 14:44 utc | 29

Nicely sumed up Peter Au 1 I’d only add that it’s allso a gift to the US Dems making Trump look even more inept! The brit elites would rather deal with the Dems in charge of US than Trump ! They look down there noses at new money ! Bet that’s why Syria’s on hold! Trumps got very little back up at the moment ! There all shuffling away from him, till the next US home regeme change.

Posted by: Marh2 | Oct 30 2018 15:35 utc | 30

I remember back when Karl Rove made the statement “We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality — judiciously, as you will — we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.” If people analyzed every action of the Empire through the prism of this statement, we'd probably be better positioned to resist said Empire than we are now.

Our elections are fraudulent charades designed to placate an ignorant, confused, and exhausted electorate while simultaneously ensuring the Empire always holds the reigns of power. The only reason the US always appears to be split 50/50 is the engineered division of a well-orchestrated policy of divide and conquer, not because nobody who lives here wants things to change.

Our wars are sold under the patently false pretenses of fighting terror or protecting civilians from oppression, when terror and oppression are the preferred tools of the Empire. We all know the plans for these wars, and we also know the reasons we were told we needed to fight these wars are patently false. That we have no viable anti-war movement and no one is fighting to imprison the architects of these wars speaks to the fraudulent nature of our "democracy".

Our media is supposedly free, but it operates in perfectly synchronized harmony across the entire spectrum to divide, deceive, confuse, and terrorize its viewers, and it's hard to tell which type of lies - commission or omission - are more destructive to the ability of voters to make informed decisions about their world and their government. Regardless, the ad-driven model of news dissemination has been exposed and will need to be replaced with an independent model insulated from corporate interference if we're ever going to have a chance of receiving truthful information as opposed to synthesized propaganda. In other words: the media is wholly compromised and is beyond redemption at this point.

Until we get to the root of the problem - which in my estimation is that we have no control over the governments in so-called Western democracies - we will continue trying to understand the reality being served to us by the agents of Empire as opposed to fighting to remove said agents from their positions of power. Until we can stem the tide of propaganda and terror delivered daily to the news-consuming public we won't be able to coalesce around a strategy to right the ship of state.

Until we can treat Zionism as the Nazism it really is, we'll continue to be powerless against it, because it's the common thread across all that ails us, and it's the true face of Empire as we know it today.

Posted by: SlapHappy | Oct 30 2018 15:42 utc | 31

There's something amiss with TomGard's link @24. This one works,

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 30 2018 15:50 utc | 32


Will USA again support Turkey's hold of Idlib by threatening to bomb Syria if there is an offensive in Idlib?

Since the last time the USA made those threats (August), we have seen the Russian's strengthen their air defenses (after the downing of their spy plane), Khashoggi's murder, and Macron and Merkel join Putin and Erdogan for a Summit in Instanbul.

Pat Lang says USA will accept "a Russian/Syrian (R+6) offensive to clear Idlib Province of jihadis". This is based on his belief that "there is a "side deal" between POTUS and the Russians on this". Lang continues:

The Turks continue to play their dark annexation game with regard to Northern Syria. The Russians can easily make the case that the demilitarized zone has failed and that the jihadis continue to attack by fire targets in SAG held territory including the western suburbs of Aleppo City.

Is he right? Or will USA again oppose an attack on Idlib? Will Erdogan abandon his humanitarian opposition to an attack and accept the "grim realities"? Did Saudi concessions include removing support for Jihadis in Idlib? Wouldn't the fall of Idlib lead to pushing out the American/SDF occupation of eastern Syria?

And kindly explain your position.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 30 2018 16:09 utc | 33

Slap Happy @ 33
As long as I can read comments / statements like yours ! I will neither give up! Where can I join ? Incredibly they have all but removed reality from the general publics perseption. It’s down to us to protect the truth and spread the truth. Thanks.

Posted by: Mark2 | Oct 30 2018 16:20 utc | 34

@ karlof1 | 33

Interesting. If I feed Google the title of the piece, I get a link with normally functioning skripts. I used it in my website and from there it loads regulary. But the same link text loaded from MoA triggers skripts, that are rejected by my Norton protection system as irregular and potentially damaging, even if I copy the link to go there via Google, still the same original link-text. Funny, isn't it.

I guess this situation is part of what I alluded to in my blogentry "Ist Skripalen und Khashoggen das neue Teeren und Federn?". Its hard to translate and I doubt its worth reading (mostly a short comment to Pepe).

Posted by: TomGard | Oct 30 2018 16:21 utc | 35

Typo not @33 but 32

Posted by: Mark1 | Oct 30 2018 16:22 utc | 36

JR Poll @34--

No. After the Act of War waged against Russia back in January and Il-20 shootdown, neither Russia nor Syria will allow another Outlaw US Empire or Zionist attack without challenge. And after the Istanbul Statement, the Empire has zero political capital remaining to do much of anything to further its project--three of the most important NATO nations have just said no to that project, essentially adopting the Russian Line regarding Syria. SAA's 4th Division will soon be ready to push West from Aleppo to clear the terrorists while still allowing the Turks to defang and move the terrorists its responsible for in Idlib. If they continue to refuse, they'll be removed by force--an outcome France and Germany are okay with.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 30 2018 16:41 utc | 37


USA will support Turkey's hold on Idlib if needed. However, it is highly unlikely that the Russians & Syrians will prepare such an attack any time soon.

1)USA has to support Turkey's hold on Idlib if they are going to continue to remain in Syria.

2) Macron & Merkel went to the Istanbul Summit to support Erdogan's hold on Idlib - and USA hold on Eastern Syria. The Summit gives new life to the 'political settlement' that Erdogan needs to hold on to Idlib.

Erdogan's objection to an attack on Idlib has always included his belief that the focus should be on a political settlement over an attack on Idlib.

3) Erdogan's sly ability to push the political process forward has effectively derailed any plan to attack Idlib. Putin now has no choice but to respect the 'political process'.

4) The 'political process' could take months or years.

Pat Lang is right about Erdogan's "dark annexation plans" but wrong about an attack on Idlib in the near term.

Those who cheer the Istanbul Summit as a setback for 'Assad must go!/ will be sorely disappointed. Macron's & Merkel's attendance doesn't herald any wholesale change or newly found anti-USA gumption. Instead, it solidifies the occupations of Syria (aka "frozen conflict").

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 30 2018 16:59 utc | 38

Re— jackrabbit @ 34
I reckon the USA regarding Idlib will do what ever Israil tells them to do ! Who ever gains support in the mid term elections ! Trump would prefer to forget Idleb as a lost course ! And focus on Iran.
But as stated above Israil gets what Israil wants! One way or another, we’ve seen Israil turning up the heat in palistine so yes after the midterms the shit will hit the fan for Idlib from both directions. Why ? to kill off more poor folk and keep the pot boiling. Trump won’t like it but he’l do what he’s told, using it to do deals with Putin. That’s my vote !!

Posted by: Mark2 | Oct 30 2018 17:16 utc | 39


Posted by: dahoit | Oct 30 2018 17:25 utc | 40

Clearly, JR, you didn't read the Istanbul Statement where ALL parties agreed to the point about Syria's retention of sovereignty over its territory. Here's the relevant passage:

"Reaffirmed their strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic, and to the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations;"

Indeed, there's absolutely zero mention of the Outlaw US Empire or its project to Balkanize Syria. Instead, we have the passage cited above which specifically rejects it.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 30 2018 18:46 utc | 41


Reaffirmed their strong commitment ... [blah, blah, blah]

All countries have been singing that same song for years, including USA - they all reaffirm, time and time again, respect for Syria's territorial integrity. And yet, USA, Israel, and Turkey are effectively occupying Syrian territory, aren't they? And what countries rebuke those occupiers? Only Russia, Syria, and Iran.

... zero mention of the Outlaw US Empire ...

LOL. There doesn't need to be. The sacrosanct 'political process' is what was needed. And Erdogan/USA got that.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 30 2018 19:11 utc | 42

Israel gets Syria (land) the Saudis get Yemen, The US elite get Iran that’s the deal !! I know I know it’s insane ! Tell me about it !!! And what about us ? oh we don’t fit into the plan ! Sorry

Posted by: Mark2 | Oct 30 2018 19:17 utc | 43

Israel gets Syria (land) the Saudis get Yemen, The US elite get Iran that’s the deal !! I know I know it’s insane ! Tell me about it !!! And what about us ? oh we don’t fit into the plan ! Sorry

Posted by: Mark2 | Oct 30 2018 19:19 utc | 44

@ Jackrabbit | Oct 30, 2018 3:11:17 PM | 43

You fail to realize that if, admittedly it's a very big if, France, Germany and Russia act in unison regarding Syria's territorial integrity, then Turkey can be brought to its knees in a heartbeat and, thus, be made accept pretty much anything.

The main problem know seems to be the Hesse elections in Germany, rather its consequences on a national, European level. If one of the contenders for chairmanship of the CDU, the most despicable Friedrich Merz, a major lobbyist, head of board of governors of Blackrock Germany and Atlanticist, succeeds then all bets are off.

Posted by: Hmpf | Oct 30 2018 19:34 utc | 45

A sane voice

Posted by: Mina | Oct 30 2018 19:39 utc | 46

Actually, and I hate to admit this (not really, I loves me sum JR), but so far my vote is closer to Jackrabbit's, although with a slightly different take, of course.

Turkey holds the cards in this poker game, IMHO. Russia is genius at attaching themselves to various "partners" situationally to help strengthen their own hand but this actually is a sign of their relative weakness (see recent capitulation to Israel over downed spy plane). They need to find a way out of Syria (moreso than the US does) without losing face, er I mean, base.

Putin's pile of chips, while certainly impressive in its own right, is simply not large enough to keep Russia at the table indefinitely, given the ability of others to bluff and outbid them.

Russia has nothing to gain reputationally from attaching themselves to another of Assad's "scorched-earth leveling a Syrian outlying City into rubble" just to clean out the few remaining terr'ists. So, they became a willing "partner" in the Istanbul quartet, maybe even an instigator behind the scenes.

The US checked bid, and is content to fold, sit back and watch. As usual, this "great defeat for the Evil Empire" rhetoric is an overplaying by the usual "wishin and hopin" Dusty Springfields of the ultraleft.

And I agree with Lang and JR, if there is an attack, and I think eventually may well be at some point, then Trump made a secret deal with Putin to hold off until after the mid-terms, and probably well after.

What I see in the grand scheme is the de facto multipolarity everyone yammers on about but ignores that it already exists.

Posted by: donkeytale | Oct 30 2018 20:39 utc | 47

And, while I'm obviously not an esteemed keyboard military analyst, as a layperson looking at these two maps, and squinting my eyes some, I do see extremely small, limited gains on both marginal flanks, but nothing like a break-out at near the center or a "defeat" of the US proxies as the article suggests.

"Wishin' and hopin'" doesn't make for solid analysis, I'm afraid.

Posted by: donkeytale | Oct 30 2018 22:23 utc | 48


Posted by: Schmoe | Oct 31 2018 1:41 utc | 49

"Russia has nothing to gain reputationally from attaching themselves to another of Assad's "scorched-earth leveling a Syrian outlying City into rubble" just to clean out the few remaining terr'ists."
- That is a key question - is it a "few remaining terr'rists", or are there 10,000 Chechens armed and ready to move into Russia's underbelly if they are not exterminated?

Posted by: Schmoe | Oct 31 2018 1:43 utc | 50


While I appreciate any responses to the Poll, I find your response to be both confusing and misleading.

I agree with Lang and JR ...

LMFAO. You can't agree with both of us, donkey. My analysis contradicts his.

... Trump made a secret deal with Putin to hold off until after the mid-terms, and probably well after.

If Putin had made such a deal, then why would he wait until "well after" which you claim to be the probable scenario?

Russia is genius at attaching themselves to various "partners" situationally ...

Really? Which partners have they treated this way?

Your statement parrots Empire disinfo.

capitulation to Israel over downed spy plane

Once again, parroting Empire disinfo.

Assad's "scorched-earth leveling a Syrian outlying City into rubble"

Empire propaganda. ("Last hospital in Aleppo!")

Russia has nothing to gain reputationally ... So they became a willing "partner" in the Istanbul quartet ...

Yet more Empire propaganda and disinfo: Putin is an evil genius; "situational" allies.

In fact, the Istanbul Summit was held as an extension of the Astana Process of which Russia is a founding Member so your statement is completely wrong-headed. Russia's reputation is bound to Astana and the success of Astana is strategically important to Russia.

Importantly, BOTH Lang and I assume that Russia and Syria are serious about wanting to reclaim Idlib. Yet donkey believes Russia would be happy to trade it away and no reason for such a claim beyond the Empire propaganda and disinfo of "situational allies", "capitulation to Israel", and 'evil genius' Putin.

What I see in the grand scheme is the de facto multipolarity everyone yammers on about but ignores that it already exists.

"defacto multipolarity" - I would think you're joking if I didn't know that you're obliquely referencing your propaganda theme that Russia and China are "just like us" in that they have elites that subjugate their people. How many times do we have to unpack and refute that bullshit?

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 31 2018 4:01 utc | 51

Schmoe @ 51:

You should watch this documentary made by Jenan Moussa, "Undercover in Idlib":

Jenan Moussa's informants who travelled around in Idlib province agree that 10,000 to 20,000 Uyghur and other terrorists from western China and Central Asia are present in that province and have taken over entire towns like Jisr al Shugurr.

Posted by: Jen | Oct 31 2018 4:06 utc | 52

Jen @ 53

The US may have trouble flying these people out as Russia tightens the screws..



Russia Is Ready To Shoot Down Any US Plane Coordinating UAV Attacks On Hmeimim Air Base – Russian Lawmaker

Posted by: financial matters | Oct 31 2018 11:17 utc | 53

Jackrabbit @ 52

My suggestion is audit a high school class in logic.

Strawman Fallacy. Description: Substituting a person's actual position or argument with a distorted, exaggerated, or misrepresented version of the position of the argument.

Here you simply contradict yourself: These statements are both yours in the same comment! LMAO

You can't agree with both of us, donkey. My analysis contradicts [Lang's].

Importantly, BOTH Lang and I assume that Russia and Syria are serious about wanting to reclaim Idlib.

This is in response to my comment:And I agree with Lang and JR, if there is an attack, and I think eventually may well be at some point, then Trump made a secret deal with Putin to hold off until after the mid-terms, and probably well after.

So, yes I can and did agree with both Lang and

More Jackrabbit strawmanning the barricades of his own delusions here:

Yet donkey believes Russia would be happy to trade it away and no reason for such a claim beyond the Empire propaganda and disinfo of "situational allies", "capitulation to Israel", and 'evil genius' Putin.

Where did I say Russia will trade away the chance to reclaim Idleb? Lol. Look above again, I said they will likely attack Idleb. Nowhere did I state Putin is an "evil genius."

And this is purely illogical reasoning on your part:(DT said) What I see in the grand scheme is the de facto multipolarity everyone yammers on about but ignores that it already exists.
(JR responded): "defacto multipolarity" - I would think you're joking if I didn't know that you're obliquely referencing your propaganda theme that Russia and China are "just like us" in that they have elites that subjugate their people. How many times do we have to unpack and refute that bullshit?

This is, again, why you are a waste of time, strawrabbit. I'm making no oblique reference to Russia and China in my comment. I'm illustrating the obvious fact there are multipolar political and diplomatic forces at work here with respect to Syria. Turkey has its own aims (such as control of its border w respect to the Kurds primarily), Russia has its own (already stated in my comment), ditto Germany and France (more warring in Syria injects more refugees and internal political unrest into the EU). This is four, count em, 4 countries each pursuing their own ends, not one of them the Evil Empire (which has its own aims) dictating terms to the others ("unipolarity).

Get some game dude, even if all you want to do is play this tired Daily Kos game of "Gotcha", circa 2005.

I could easily waste more of my time pulling apart the rest of your nonsense but life is too short. Have a great day. You da man. Keep up the grate work.

Posted by: donkeytale | Oct 31 2018 14:15 utc | 54

@48 donkeytale... spoken like a true neo con, could go alittle harder on russia and putin and blame them for stealing the us election too..your view on russia is so out of touch with reality, i can only guess you get all your info from the us msm... as for me, obviously i am a putinbot, lol... read@53 jen, or last line @54 fin matters for more of a reality check... congrats on encouraged schmoe to take up you line of bs..

Posted by: james | Oct 31 2018 16:50 utc | 55

fully agree with jr too about pat langs ‘side deal’ bs.... trump as saviour of the right wing dream of some sanity in usa foreign policyis just that.... a dream..... they never saw a war, or famine and suffering - take yemen or syria as the most recent examples , that they didn’t always sign up for 24/7... sick country usa...

Posted by: james | Oct 31 2018 16:54 utc | 56

James @ 56

"Have a great day. You da man. Keep up the grate work."

Posted by: donkeytale | Nov 1 2018 0:47 utc | 57


Great point. Thanks, Srsly. You nailed it.

Posted by: donkeytale | Nov 1 2018 1:21 utc | 58


1) Your strawmaning claim is ridiculous. Pointing out something that is illogical/inconsistent is not strawmaning.

2) Looking back, it appears that what you really meant to do is to agree with Lang that there is a side-deal but extend his "after the mid-terms" to anytime in the future.

"Russian influence" on Trump is a core belief for establishment donkeys that hate Trump.

3) Where did I say Russia will trade away the chance to reclaim Idleb?

You wrote:

Russia is genius at attaching themselves to various "partners" situationally ... They need to find a way out of Syria ... Putin's pile of chips, while certainly impressive in its own right, is simply not large enough to keep Russia at the table indefinitely ... Russia has nothing to gain reputationally from ... [joining an operation to] clean out the few remaining terr'ists. So, they became a willing "partner" in the Istanbul quartet ....
This was the prelude to your agreeing with Lang. Essentially, you argue that Russia has no interest in supporting a Syrian attack to reclaim Idlib and have joined the Istanbul quartet to escape any obligation to do so. BUT, if there is such an attack (at any time in the future), then it must be because Putin has used his influence over Trump! LOL.

4) Nowhere did I state Putin is an "evil genius."

You didn't say it explicitly. It was implied things you wrote like your quotes around the word partner:

>> Russia is genius at attaching themselves to various "partners" situationally


>> willing "partner" in the Istanbul quartet.

5) Your understanding of what makes a "multi-polar" world is very shallow and isn't that oh-so-convenient given your fondness for Empire propaganda and disinfo?

6) You don't say anything about my challenging your establishment-oriented perspective. Instead, you shout "strawman" to avoid the issue. How very clever.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Nov 1 2018 3:28 utc | 59

@58 donkeytale lol.. i am glad that you are grate-full...

Posted by: james | Nov 1 2018 8:46 utc | 60

with both sides getting supplied by the same father, maybe mother is to blame

Posted by: steve | Nov 3 2018 20:30 utc | 61

Grenada aside, when was the last war we won?
Posted by: Bart Hansen | Oct 29, 2018 4:14:22 PM | 4

The most successful actions are performed with a light touch. Wiki:

Between early 2001 and 2004 rightwing ex-army paramilitary groups conducted a violent insurgency murdering dozens of Lavalas [leftist party that won elections in Haiti] activists, officials, and civilians--as documented in the book "Paramilitarism and the assault on democracy in haiti" (Monthly Review, 2012). Based in the Dominican Republic, these groups formed ties with narco criminals in the port city of Gonaives and among elite led opposition groups in Port-au-Prince. In February 2004, the killing of gang leader Amiot Metayer was used to spark violent attacks on police in Gonaives. Amiot's brother, Buteur Metayer, blamed Aristide for the assassination, and used this as an argument given in order to support the right-wing paramilitary group known as the National Revolutionary Front for the Liberation of Haiti.[46] The paramilitary campaign was headed by ex-army/police chief and convicted narco trafficker Guy Philippe and former FRAPH death squad founder Louis Jodel Chamblain [47]. The rebels soon took control of the North [of Haiti], and eventually laid siege to, and then invaded, the capital. Under disputed circumstances, Aristide was flown out of the country by the U.S. with help from Canada and France on 28 February 2004.

I recall a version from US press that Aristide requested protections against the criminal rebels, US send a platoon or so of Marines and they whisked him out of the country against his wishes, later the "coalition occupation force" made sure that Aristide stayed abroad and his party, Lavalas, stayed low. Haiti remains a "staunch ally", miserable as usual, of course. You could quibble "but how USA can take credit for the action of lawless elements attacking from Dominican Republic". That would assume that our diplomats cannot tie their own shoe laces even in Central America. Only scant banana crop in Haiti deprives this operation of the title "The most recent victorious banana war" -- although perhaps some later events can deserve that title ("legal coup" in Honduras?).

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Nov 4 2018 2:36 utc | 62

A little theory: why, contrary to expectations (at least, my expectation), clearing of the southern Syria was not followed by clearing Idlib and western Aleppo.

I think that the chief motivation to stop offensive activities was a serious manpower problem. SAA was fighting for seven years and while most conscripts stayed in their units, most of them wished to returned to their homes. In the same time, mobilizing subsequent conscripts was harder if they believed that they will not return home alive. For the stability of the government and even for the long term efficiency of the military, restoring rotation of the troops was imperative, and so was shrinking of the personnel in SAA. You may recall that even two years ago SAA was defending an incredibly long and complicated lines of control, necessitating large manpower, however demoralized -- the trick was to match the fighting ability with the jihadists on the other side who also were progressively demoralized. So second and third class units were keeping their trenches and first class units were waging offensive operations.

As soon as practicable, it was imperative to demobilize troops from lower grade units and even apply troop rotation to the elite units. However, there are enough crazy Idlib/Aleppo province jihadists and diehard ISIS remnants that simultaneous reorganization and a major offensive could "break the camel back".

The most imperative task is to deliver some peace dividend to territories controlled by Damascus. Restoration of the damaged infrastructure and production, civilian jobs. And letting incredibly tired soldiers to rejoin their families while training new ones who can reasonably expected to serve 2-3 years, and only some of it in combat.

One can object that there were numerous reports of a unit after unit moving to the front lines around Idlib and everything was getting ready for the last fatal blow against "moderate jihadists". It was surely important to keep jihadi morale low and the jihadists to anticipate the worst. It is also possible that an offensive was truly planned, and the indefinite or not so indefinite delay evolved in response to daily events, diplomatic assessments etc.

Finally, the period of respite and reorganization could be misconceived if it would strengthen SAA less than the opposition that could also recruit fresh troops, get fresh weapons etc. But it seems that the contrary is true. Turkey is not recruiting jihadists from abroad anymore, locally they are also a tired and spent force, although with fanatical elite elements, but those fight each other and do not grow in size. KSA is suddenly busy getting some foreign support for its mere survival, like 6 billion gift to Pakistan, and if they can recruit new mercenaries, they would use them in Yemen. The zeal of other absolute monarchs waned a bit as well. Turkey seems strategically lunatic in a way that benefits Damascus in a short term.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Nov 4 2018 3:04 utc | 63

Maybe the US should just stop allegedly giving arms to ISIS.

Posted by: steve | Nov 4 2018 13:46 utc | 64

donkytale vs Jackrabbit

donkytale clearly bases his assessment on some "common wisdoms" and summaries and not on actual reports. That allows him to sting unsupported statements like: "Turkey holds the cards in this poker game, IMHO."

A few years ago Erdogan publicly wished to pray in Omayyad mosque in Damascus, presumably being invited for a festive occasion by Islamist government. Since then he changed his goals a few times. He still would like to be the top exponent of "rational and Sunni" Islam, with visible influence abroad and (more importantly) adulation at home. That is helped by him keeping something in Syria and/or Iraq, and it does not matter a lot what is it. Secondly, he acquired a bloody vendetta with western Kurds with a very murky ultimate outcome. With that definition of the game, somewhat vague, one can analyze if he has "the cards".

Syrian/Russian decision to postpone attacking Idlib+parts of Aleppo province has logical explanation for them, it buys them time to accomplish several useful things. Erdogan gains in short term as he is not humiliated in Syria and can focus on humiliating Saudis who (1) had temerity to try as top Muslim country (2) have an inferior version of Islam -- Sunni, but much worse than AKP version. Concerning his vendetta against Kurds, it gives him certain extra opportunities, but hard to see if they add to much. In the longer term, it is hard to see how the current Erdogan's construct in Syria can be stable -- it is surely not stably now. After being the damping ground for the most resolute jihadists who fled various region of Syria, Idlibstan is full of people who have good practice in firearms and explosive and diminished mental capacities -- traumatic stress disorder and crazy ideologies reinforcing each other.

Erdogan is surely a master of projecting a statesmanlike image but this is a mercurial and vengeful statesman, traits that he shares with MbS (who lacks the positive features of Erdogan).

Unlike Erdogan, the actions of Putin have explanations that make sense in the long run, not just the next 3-6 months.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Nov 4 2018 14:49 utc | 65

about my last post: please forgive hasty misspellings like damping instead of dumping.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Nov 4 2018 14:52 utc | 66

usa has murdered another 15 folks, or more, from thr diez ezzor area...

@piotr... thanks for yoyr posts.. i agree with your overview @66 on a race to the bottom, it is hard to beat mbs, but erdogans game plan is indeed mercurial and subject to change at any moment.. the guy can’t be trusted..

Posted by: james | Nov 4 2018 20:13 utc | 67

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Nov 4, 2018 9:49:24 AM | 66

You are excusing donkey by focusing on trees while missing the forest.

Maybe you like to be lied to and played. Maybe you like to fill up your time responding to such nonsense. That is not me.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Nov 4 2018 21:06 utc | 68


Sorry I snapped at you in my previous comment.

While you see "'common wisdoms' and summaries", I see a deliberate effort to express the propagandized Western establishment point of view. I used to give donkey the benefit of the doubt and called him a "Kool-Aid drinker". Now I see him as a "Kool-Aid pusher".

Did you read my comment @60 (timestamp: Oct 31, 2018 11:28:04 PM)?

If so, perhaps you missed this part:

6) You don't say anything about my challenging your establishment-oriented perspective. Instead, you shout "strawman" to avoid the issue. How very clever.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Nov 4 2018 22:41 utc | 69

The main reason the offensive against the terrorists in Syria was put on hold is of course the US midterms on Nov 6.

DJT, QAnon and patriots need free hand to deal with the Deep State efficiently, especially with the vote rigging, now expose in Georgia, earlier by Michael Connell, or "Hacking Democracy"...

Many things in geopolitics will change dramatically after tomorrow.

Make Earth Great Again! Go Trump!

It's becoming obvious how evil are the satanic Business Round Tables / Bilderberg including Unilever, Mastercard, Facebook, ...

Posted by: PeacefulProsperity | Nov 6 2018 2:34 utc | 70

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