Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
November 17, 2018

Syria Sitrep - Army Wins Al-Safa Battle - More Troops Move Towards Idelb

Today the Syrian army won the al-Safa battle. Al-Safa is a barren area around an old volcano southeast of Sweida where in July ISIS abducted dozens of hostages. The last of those hostages were freed in a commando raid ten days ago.

With the hostages out of the way the Syrian army could finally use heavy weapons against ISIS which hid in the caves of the al-Safa field. Under heavy artillery cover the troops made good progress (video). Then came three days of unprecedented rain fall. ISIS fighters drowned in their caves and fighting positions. The commander of ISIS in the area, a Chechen, was killed. Those ISIS fighter who were left fled towards the al-Tanf area, which is under U.S. control, and into the desert in east Homs. The Syrian army is now in full control al-Safa.

Map via South Front - bigger

The situation in the U.S. controlled northeast is complicate. The Kurdish YPG/PKK forces the U.S. allied with do not get along with the Arab fighters in the Syrian Democratic Forces and vice versa. Isolated attacks on Kurdish SDF units happen each day. It is unknown if these are by ISIS sleeper cells, local Arabs who despise the new Kurdish overlords, or some third party under Turkish direction.

The fight against the ISIS pocket along the eastern Euphrates makes no progress. In the north Turkish artillery sporadically fires across the border and hits Kurdish positions. Turkey also moved thousands of its proxy forces from Idleb and Afrin to the area west of Manbij. The Turkish president Erdogan threatens to take all the Kurdish controlled areas along the Turkish border in northern Syria.

Throughout the war on Syria the Syrian Kurds have shown a lack of political wisdom. They probably believe they can withstand the Turkish army or that the U.S. will come to their help. The Turkish invasion of Afrin demonstrated that both ideas are nonsense. Their only chance to keep their homes is to completely submit to Syrian government control.

Since the launch of the offensive in September the U.S. forces and their Kurdish proxies in northeast Syria made no progress against the ISIS pocket east of Deir Ezzor. The U.S. recently started a serious bombing campaign against the area. But the aim is not necessarily ISIS. The attacks are aimed at 20 armored Humvee vehicles ISIS captured from U.S. proxy forces. The Syrian Observatory reports that these vehicles are tagged:

[A]ccording to what these sources confirmed to the SOHR, this targeting operations come as a result of the seizure of about 20 US Hummer vehicles affiliated to the US forces and the International Coalition, by the “Islamic State” organization in its counterattacks which forced the Coalition’s troops to withdraw from the area and leave the vehicles, and the reliable sources confirmed to the Syria Observatory that the vehicles are provided with modern techniques that enable the Coalition’s warplanes, to locate them, thus, they are able to accurately target them, and despite these strikes, the warplanes killed Syrian citizens and others of the Iraqi nationality of ISIS families.

Earlier today at least 40 people, most of them women and children, were killed by such U.S. strikes.

Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces have moved to the Iraqi border and use artillery to prevent ISIS from crossing into Iraq. They would like to attack into Syria to finish ISIS off, but Baghdad, under U.S. order, is not allowing them to move.

The borders in the southwest of Syria are quiet. The border-crossing with Jordan was reopened but Syria increased the tariffs for Jordanian products and the large export stream Jordan had hoped for is only a trickle. A well deserved punishment for its role in the war. Israel is deterred from further attacks due to the new Syrian air defenses and the new Russian hostility towards Israeli escapades.

The situation around the deescalation zone in Idleb deteriorates by the day. The area is controlled by the al-Qaeda affiliate Hayat Tahrir al-Sham. Last week a commando raid by Islamist terrorists killed at least ten Syrian soldiers. The Syrian army moved a number of troops towards the area northwest of Aleppo. Something is up, but there is no rumor or report yet of an imminent offensive. It is possible that the complicate fight at the al-Safa volcano held up further moves on Idleb. With al-Safa liberated a limit move into Idleb governorate is likely the next operation.

As Turkey has moved the core troops of its 'Free Syrian Army' proxies from Idleb to the west on Manbij it will probably not protest should the Syrian army attack the al-Qaeda controlled deescalation area. Erdogan could instead use the situation to move against the U.S. supported Kurds in the east.

Posted by b on November 17, 2018 at 17:43 UTC | Permalink


"Turkey also moved thousands of its proxy forces from Idleb and Afrin to the area west of Manbij."

Erdo did the same for the retaking of Aleppo. Pulling the moderate terrorists from Idlib makes life easier for SAA, plus the Idlib offensive may take place under the cover of a Turk moderate terrorist attack on Manjib.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Nov 17 2018 17:54 utc | 1

b- thank you for this update, I was at a loss as to what was happening, thank you again!

Posted by: frances | Nov 17 2018 18:05 utc | 2

Russia wants the US out of Al Tanf.

"Rhas called on the United States to withdraw from a base established by the Pentagon in southern Syria, alleging the presence runs contrary to international law.

Colonel General Mikhail Mizintsev, head of Moscow's National Defense Control Center, addressed a joint session Friday of Russian and Syrian committees tasked with returning Syrian refugees and blamed the U.S. for deteriorating humanitarian conditions in the Rukban refugee camp. The settlement is located within a U.S.-controlled security zone surrounding the Al-Tanf base on the harsh border of Syria and Jordan and has witnessed starvation deaths due to lack of supplies."

Posted by: dh | Nov 17 2018 18:18 utc | 3

Thanks for the encouraging SitRep, b.
Since the Yanks have declared that they intend to stay, illegally, in Syria for the long-term, and the Russians seem reluctant to squish them in situ, I was wondering if the Russians should consider inducing a foreign entity to set up a military base and training camp on AmeriKKKan soil. The Russians in Syria could be guided by the Yankee response to such a scheme.
There are probably similar Yankee-funded "enterprises" in Russia...

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Nov 17 2018 18:40 utc | 4

O/T but this took many hours here:

After hours of experimenting I just discovered that I can't post HERE (and do certain things on other sites) unless I force NoScript to allow the "ajax.googleapis" JavaScript to run (at least temporarily).
(Some websites are requiring this Google-link-calling JavaScript and won't function without it.) Quote:

"ask yourself if your privacy is more important...??
Than the file or information contained in this insidious web site...?
any web site that uses this abusive, invasive and very persistent google cookie does not care about your browsing privacy...... "

Posted by: blues | Nov 17 2018 18:53 utc | 5

Very sorry to butt in like this. This may perhaps solve it:

Decentraleyes (Firefox Add-on

Thanks all.

Posted by: blues | Nov 17 2018 19:43 utc | 6

O/T @blues -

I am currently testing problems with the comment/spam handling that appeared recently after Typepad changed this blog from http:// to https://

For that I had to switch to a different comment configuration. A "feature" that required Javascript was thus inadvertently enabled. I have now disabled that "feature" again and you should be able to comment with NoScript activated.

I hate Google privacy invasion just as much as anyone and try to keep this blog free of such trackers.

Posted by: b | Nov 17 2018 19:50 utc | 7

The only tracker I see on this site is Typepad Stats which I can block without any issue.

Posted by: AriusArmenian | Nov 17 2018 20:02 utc | 8

Post button on Opera has come back to life. Yandex came back on a couple of weeks ago but opera was dead when I tried it. Had been through yandex, firefox and opera then to brave as the post buttons died on each.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Nov 17 2018 20:10 utc | 9

b wrote: "I have now disabled that "feature" again and you should be able to comment "

Apparently I am also able to post comments again. The "Post" and "Preview" buttons had been disabled but now they are enabled and working.

Thank you for the update. Uncle Sam would prefer that no one hears or thinks about his continuing crimes in Syria and elsewhere. In Uncle Sam Land we are doing the Romans one better by changing the old "Bread and Circus" strategy to just Circus. It seems to be working so far.

Posted by: Trailer Trash | Nov 17 2018 20:26 utc | 10

thanks b.. it is still a proxy war and the usa is never going to leave.. they want to get rid of the pmu in iraq.. sanctions and etc bs... obviously that would help facilitate isis which the usa claims they are going after.. a load of bs is all i have come to expect from the usa..

here is inherent bullshit resolve comment regarding your mention of 40 dead.. - "Inherent Resolve: many open sources claiming massive casualties among civilians in Hajin region as result of coalition actions without any evidences."

meanwhile almasdar reporting 18 saa personal dead in latakia thanks these moderate rebels today.

the kurds are brain dead... no wonder the usa likes working with them! they get what they deserve for sleeping with snakes...

the result of the al-safa battle is encouraging.. thanks for the update and good luck working on the google snoop dynamic..

Posted by: james | Nov 17 2018 21:44 utc | 11

What is the diference between a moderate terrorist and a extreme terrorist? I wonder ? Will the moderate say please, before he chops you head off?
Any that can help me here? I run afoul the wording. A terrorist is not necessarily a terrorist ?
If he is on our side then he is ok , clear to go?
Say I wanted to throw bombs (I dont, and cant throw very far) my actions wound depend on who the victims were? If they were Arabs, it would be ok? If it were white people, it was probably not ok? Amirite ?
And what is a moral war? Anybody?
Seems like I am more confused today being 61 than I were when I was 20.

Posted by: Den Lille Abe | Nov 17 2018 21:45 utc | 12

Does terrorism even really exist? It seems to me that in most cases (in modern history) incidents of terrorism can be attributed to state actors seeking to discredit and/or escalate.

If we look at Northern Ireland it is clear that the British State were involved in carrying out, organising, etc. acts of terrorism on both sides of the divide. The protestant paramilitaries where actively controlled and directed by the British state and in many incidences actually took part. On the catholic paramilitaries there were British agents who were in senior positions within the IRA and extremely violent in their approach.

It is now fairly obvious that Al Qaeda and ISIS were western controlled, funded, trained and directed oranisations.

With the Dakota Pipeline protests there where agitators without a history with the protest seeking to provoke violence.

Hitler organised outrages against the German communities in Czechoslovakia to justify an invasion (to protect German minorities).

There is the Gladio operation (US/Anglo stay behind armies) which staged many acts of terrorism in post war Europe and is likely to still be active.

There is barely a terrorist incident that doesn't have some connection to state actors.

Posted by: ADKC | Nov 17 2018 22:08 utc | 13

@12 den lille abe... that was just a marketing ploy - moderate... pile of heaping bs essentially,but i continue to use it to throw it back in the face of any ignoramus that fell for that cheap trick... you seem to get it.. i am one year older then you, so take it from your elders, lol...

@13 adkc.. the word terrorism is just code for removing any privacy or freedom you thought you had.. the folks who happily want to clamp down on everyone, and especially the state, are the real terrorists today... but of that you will hear nothing.. sorry for sounding like a broken record... yes - state sponsored terrorism is the main type of terrorism going and it will not be discussed in any western parliament..

Posted by: james | Nov 17 2018 22:20 utc | 14

How many times have we read reports of terrorists fleeing toward al-Tanf; I recall at least a dozen over the past 2 years. The volume and rhetorical tone Russia uses in what are now its demands that Outlaw US Empire forces abandon al-Tanf have drastically escalated over just the past month as several damning reports of conditions at the refugee camp are now published.

The rains in the region were quite spectacular and numerous videos of camel caravans slogging through the mire along with others--a massive river in al-Safa flowing through the rocks is one--are all over Twitter. Additional long-serving Syrian troops have been demobilized and discharged from service and further amnesty programs introduced to goad refugees to return. Civilian services still need lots of attention, but normal life is steadily returning.

Idlib awaits its Dawn operation as the Turks have had more than enough time to do their sorting, while the terrorists have increased their number of assaults inviting increased counter-fire. The chemical FF potential still lurks, and further excellent published exposures detailing the true nature of the White Helmet Terrorists are published. IMO, Russian hopes of solving Idlib politically without a major combat operation have dimmed greatly.

Numerous variables influence where the next major combat op will occur. Iraq's political issues impede its military actions. A weighty contingent of Russian troops were moved to Dier-Ezzor over the past two months along with fresh Syrian forces. With the clearing of al-Safa, those forces will likely combine and head East over the Euphrates. I believe both Russia and Syria are aware the situation there cannot be allowed to become frozen, and the lands east of the Euphrates is the largest remaining district needing liberation. Indeed, there are only 3 remaining: Idlib, al-Tanf, and East Euphrates--4 if the Turkish border zone's included. Politically, Assad can't allow too long a respite as his liberation task remains undone. So, since the region lacking a political solution is East Euphrates, I look for the next major action to occur there--and the first serious testing of the new, joint, Syrian-Russian air defense system by the Outlaw US Empire, not the Zionists.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 17 2018 22:40 utc | 15

One of my Twitter sources, Desert Hawk, illustrates how critical info can go global via social media when it would otherwise remain unknown. The Outlaw US Empire has a very serious homeless problem nationwide, and over the past several years, local governments have passed immoral laws regarding the homeless mirroring the immoral nature of the Empire's activities. This is but one example of far too many. Hate to say this about my homeland, but much of what's said about freedom and the American Dream is a bunch of poppycock as my dear departed mom would say. The Immoral States of North America. Sorry for the OT.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 17 2018 23:11 utc | 16

Surround al tanf with Syrian, Russian and Iranian bases. Locate them over all major supply routes. Ensure that nothing gets out or in, but don't attack the US base itself. Use long range missiles to take out 'rebel' camps within the zone. Then sit it out.

Posted by: Arch Angle | Nov 18 2018 1:26 utc | 17

DLA @ 12 asked;"And what is a moral war? Anybody?"

Self defense maybe, certainly not the business wars the empire and their minions have been engaged in for many decades..

Posted by: ben | Nov 18 2018 1:34 utc | 18

Throughout the war on Syria the Syrian Kurds have shown a lack of political wisdom. They probably believe they can withstand the Turkish army or that the U.S. will come to their help. The Turkish invasion of Afrin demonstrated that both ideas are nonsense. Their only chance to keep their homes is to completely submit to Syrian government control.

If the Kurds knew about the tale of the Malvines, they would've already surrendered to the Syrian government.

During the Falklands War, Argentina declared war against the UK calculating the USA would side with them against the British because Argentina is in the American continent -- therefore the Monroe Doctrine would take precedence.

But the UK was (still is) a NATO member. The mistake the Argentinian military dictators commited was that the choice wasn't between the Monroe Doctrine or NATO, but between capitalism and socialism (i.e. West vs USSR). The military junta that was governing Argentina at the time had already given up everything to the USA, they were already a guaranteed ally, with or without the Malvines. The UK had much more leverage, and, if it didn't have, it was the superior military power even if you factor the logistics of the war theater.

Turkey has both the leverage and, in neutrality, superior military strength vis-a-vis the Kurds in Northern Syria. To top it off, it has the geographic advantage, because a Syrian Kurdistan would be landlocked between hostile neighbors. They were pawns in the American adventure in Syria.

Posted by: vk | Nov 18 2018 2:03 utc | 19

Two words. Thank God!!!

Posted by: Jose Garcia | Nov 18 2018 2:48 utc | 20


There Are Now So Many Admissions by Government Officials of False Flag Terror that Only the Willfully Ignorant Still Doubt the Reality of the Concept

Posted by: dumbass | Nov 18 2018 3:10 utc | 21

Den Lille Abe 12

In Syria, a moderate terrorist is one that that is openly under Erdo Turk control. They can be used to fight the US. The plain old terrorists are those that are under US, Israeli, Saudi, Qatar control (not forgetting the Frogs and the Brits) but not publicly owned by any of those. And a plain old moderate is those Syrians that are willing to reconcile with the secular government. Russia has found large numbers of unicorns in Syria in the last couple of years.

"And what is a moral war? Anybody?"
Syrians fighting the headchoppers that are backed by all of the above. Would have been a lot of headchopping if Russia had not stepped in back in 2015.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Nov 18 2018 4:15 utc | 22

It is very comforting to know that the Syrian army has fine sliped its cockroach extermination techniques as seen in the video. Might come in handy the day the big war against the roaches to the south of the border becomes a reality.

Posted by: Hem Lock | Nov 18 2018 5:49 utc | 23

in my opinion, it is better to finish off idlib before east euphrates......

the situation in daesh land with USA troops is similar to their support of israel on gaza. so if syria were to put a blockade on them and limit them as israel does to gaza is this not "acceptable".....

plus if they were to hit east euphrates first the empire will go insane. as they will lose all backings and influences in middle east, if they were to lose. and their entire goal is to draw iran to the border on these worthless company pawns in the middle of the desert.

thus it is better strategically to finish off idlib and find a truce with turkey, say a 51/49 land split along ethnic lines with full border sovereignty than to provoke the US forces till the US ends themselves in debt, which they are doing now better than USSR ever will do. i am afraid they will hit east euphrates first. which will be a big issue that will draw in Iran and the US/Israel plans.

this may be the reason israel is hoping the ceasefire continues to hold, since if they were to make a first move on gaza and perhaps draw hezbollah missiles, they would be hard pressed to take on even one state of Iran and a "lebanon" resistance.... they can't even face two sides anymore.

a bit of good news. it looks like syria and russia checked and stalemate every move US made to ensure war with syria and iran. this rock became a huge glass shard in US/Israel's shoes. and instead of thanking them and focusing on their own populations, they are full of their own blood thirsty cravings like a crack fiend to find more crack.

Posted by: jason | Nov 18 2018 6:56 utc | 24

i also find it interesting when the richest man in roman, crassius was it?, went to persia and supposed got gold melted into his skull with his supposedly invincible "mercenary like legions"

like alexander...... some really think if they conquered the whole world in their history book that it meant the whole world......

Posted by: jason | Nov 18 2018 7:03 utc | 25

@24 jason

Stop regurgitating memes which you yourself know are false please.

The American Empire is not drowning in debt.

Why do you keep lying to yourselves? The Fed can issue all the currency and credit to repay all US debt, public or private, in a second. The American central bank can do this brazenly by outright money creation out of thin air or cloak it as an exchange of "assets" for other "assets," as in the issuance of dollars for US Treasury debt obligations. As long as YOU accept the legitimacy of this fraud, that the worthless is valuable, nothing will change. Did you throw in jail the congressmen who violated the US Constitution by making fiat currency legal tender? No. Are you voting for politicians who advocate banishing pure fiat monetary systems and go back to the US Constitution? No. Article 1, Section 10 of the US Constitution states that only precious metals are money and that it's illegal to use debt as money.

Do you realize that you, all of you, are CRIMINALS because you are all violating the US Constitution every day in the course of conducting regular daily business? Whereas you are as insanely stupid as to not realize your own self-contradictory folly and self delusion, what weight does your mere assertion that the American Empire will soon drown in its own debt, carry in terms of credibility? When your very own existence only serves to back that debt merely by carrying on daily business?

How can something die if your own life, the collective existence of humanity, supports it?

You, all of you, are working and dying for US dollars despite your declarations that it's worthless. The value of something will never go down as long as you continue to acquiesce its buying power and willingly exchange your goods and services for it even if it's technically worthless.

Besides the stupidity and perfidy of the masses, there is another, and greater, reason for the continued eminence of the dollar in particular and other fiat currencies in general: they are all issued and managed by the very same people, the bankers. The central bank of Russia is controlled by the SAME City of London bankers that own and control the Federal Reserve or the Bank of England. The Russian central bank cannot even issue Russian currency without permission from London. It's WRITTEN into the Russian Constitution which Putin protects and upholds.

And it's not the Chinese who continue to work for slaves' wages to deliver real and valuable goods and services for digits printed out of thin air, that will change any of this. The Chinese are IMF members just like India, Brazil or Russia, and thus forbidden to use gold as money.

When YOU are the criminal how can crime disappear as long as you continue to exist?

All the wars; the Syrian war, Vietnam, the Russian genocide at the hands of the Frankist Jewish Bolsheviks; they were all financed and succored by you and your progenitors.

The Empire will not go bankrupt because YOU are the Empire.

Posted by: Reason | Nov 18 2018 11:15 utc | 26

Its alleged that the problems in Chechnya and surrounds where funded and fueled by Saudi. With all the disclosures coming out of Syria and Iraq is hard to deny that some force is using terrorist for geopolitical purposes and damm the consequences. I wonder what would happen if the Russians funded the Zapatista's. Would the US see that a tit for tat?

This site seems to be seeing the world through the eyes of Russia. It also seems to have some actual news not pure propaganda.

Posted by: steve | Nov 18 2018 13:48 utc | 27

Posted by: ADKC | Nov 17, 2018 5:08:38 PM | 13


Posted by: somebody | Nov 18 2018 14:02 utc | 28

Some twitter chatter about an imminent Tiger Forces ops under RuAF cover..
Make it so.

Posted by: Lozion | Nov 18 2018 16:26 utc | 29

reason......yes you got me. i am the empire and the reason it functions. i guess they are swimming in a sea of riches. why not print a 100 trillion coin and buy out other countries?? got to go more in debt because not rich enough i guess. yet trying to steer the idea away from the fact that syria should hit idlib first before euphrates is not working.

there is a third option and waiting. syria is waiting for israel and saudi to get their house in order along with turkey and usa...

Posted by: jason | Nov 18 2018 18:55 utc | 30


Its alleged that the problems in Chechnya and surrounds where funded and fueled by Saudi. With all the disclosures coming out of Syria and Iraq is hard to deny that some force is using terrorist for geopolitical purposes and damm the consequences.

The CIA has repurposed its mujahedeen network — financed by the Saudis and the Afghani drug trade — to create instability in Chechnya/Dagestan to block the operation of the Soviet-built Azerbaijan–Dagestan–Chechnya–Russian Black Sea Coast pipeline, thus necessitating the construction of a new Azerbaijan–Georgia–Turkey pipeline (BTC), which would be unofficially controlled by the Western oil companies. Read the full story here (an English machine translation of a Russian translation of the original piece in Croatian).

Posted by: S | Nov 18 2018 22:19 utc | 31

... it’s not the US or Israel’s fault, it’s Everybody’s fault, for being Human.

Hahahahaha... TROLL.

Posted by: Featherless | Nov 19 2018 8:03 utc | 32

Who is supporting, succoring and legitimizing Israel and the US?


Europe (the EU).





Saudi Arabia.















So stupid.

Posted by: Reason | Nov 19 2018 16:45 utc | 33

I forgot:



Humans, right?


If humanity entire rebelled against the US or Israel/KSA

Could they survive another second?


Humanity = US + Israel + Saudi Arabia + the rest of the scum = YOU + humanity entire

Posted by: Reason | Nov 19 2018 16:53 utc | 34

Thank you for the enlightening situation report. If not for Moon of Alabama, I'd be in the dark.

Posted by: Guerrero | Nov 20 2018 23:29 utc | 35

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