Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
August 19, 2019

Syria - Army Cuts Off Khan Shaykhun - Russia Bombs Turkish Reinforcement

This is an update to last weeks post Syria - Frontline Breach Opens Door To A Deep Battle For Idlib.

Today the Syrian army gained fire control over the M5 highway north of Khan Shaykhun.


Map by Peto Lucem - bigger

The jihadists in the soon closed cauldron south of that point are now cut off from road bound resupplies.

For the last few nights reinforcements from north Idleb tried to reach Khan Shaykhun. The Syrian and Russian airforce prevented them (vid) from getting there.

This map shows the situation five days ago with the position of the Turkish observation point within the area.


via ISWnews - bigger

This morning Turkey sent (vid) a 29 truck convoy with five tanks, two infantry fighting vehicles, ammunition and additional personnel toward the observation post in Morek, south of Khan Shaykhun.

Before the convoy passed through Maarat al-Numan, 20 kilometers north of Khan Shaykhun, the Russian airforce bombed its path (vid). The leader of Faylq al-Sham, a 'Syrian rebel' group controlled by the Turkish intelligence service, was escorting the Turkish army convoy in a technical. He was killed. No Turkish soldiers were harmed. The convoy stopped and will have to return to Turkey. The tanks and the ammunition will not reach the jihadis in Khan Shaykhun.

The Turkish defense ministry falsely claimed that three civilians were killed in the bombing. The Syrian government condemned the Turkish invasion.

This now is the right time for the Syrian army to bring in reserves and to open the deep battle for Idleb by quickly moving northwards along the M5 highway.

Posted by b on August 19, 2019 at 18:24 UTC | Permalink

Comments
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Perfidious Turkey needs to back off before the chickens come home to roost..

Posted by: Lozion | Aug 19 2019 18:36 utc | 1

How does this fit in with the supposedly necessary rapprochement between Turkey and Russia in dealing with the rogue US state?

The basic situation is this: Russia cannot deliver enough economic support to bolster Erdogan; Russia cannot deliver a security cordon for Turkey or Afrin; Russia cannot alternatively allow Turkey to keep its jihadi clients safely corraled in Idleb (part or whole); Russia cannot police Kurds, especially if it is afraid to fight the US in Rojava. Erdogan's problem is he can't negotiate with the US as an equal and he's got very little leverage. His only other option is to forego war with the Kurds inside Turkey...but since he was the one who started the latest round this is confessing defeat.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Aug 19 2019 18:42 utc | 2

steven t johnson @ 3

But Russia can make the ISIS Air Force the only means to resupply Khan Shaykhun.

Posted by: Enrico Malatesta | Aug 19 2019 19:03 utc | 3

The nifty hole seems to be formed by an earth-penetrating bomb, with delay, such that the road is ruined and, thus, is used to close a road.

It seems that Ivan said "no no!" and then had to spank...

Posted by: Walter | Aug 19 2019 19:12 utc | 4

Is Turkey going to use its new Russian air defense tools against Russia?

Turkey can only ride the fence for so long before the fence pickets start causing internal damage

Thanks again b for reporting on Syria not available elsewhere.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Aug 19 2019 19:20 utc | 5

Putin backs SAA action in remarks made today during meeting with Macron in France. As I noted on previous thread, Turkey will get no sympathy from Russia. Tonight will be the last chance for the Turks at Morek to beat it back to the North, although it would probably be safer to surrender to SAA. Meanwhile, night operations are just getting started.

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 19 2019 19:22 utc | 6

steven t johnson | 3
What economic support are you talking about specifically?
(It was Russia's well targetted economic sanctions against turkey that changed Turkey's Syria strategy, that brought about TurkStream, Akkuyu, S-400 etc. All were 'rewarded' with the lifting of a specific sanctions, so economic support has been restored. But id you're talking about cash advances as Qatar agreed to, then why whould it? Turkey is not going to undermine its own position regarding the energy items I mentioned above.
As for the 'can't' provide a corridor, it could have, it was on the cards once, but why would it? As for the Kurds (YPG/ in Syria), Zacharova again reiterated Russia's stance that they should be in discussions with the Syrian Gmt.
And 'forego' war with Kurds inside Turkey? Are you suggesting that war against the Kurds inside Turkey is a given? The situation in Turkey has changed massively over the last five years.
Lastly, Erdogan has just completed series of significant negotiations with both US and Russia -somw ongoing for some time - and he did not come out empty handed - his interests are varied so not everything pertained directly to Syria. But yep,now he seems to have less left to negotiate

Posted by: AtaBrit | Aug 19 2019 19:24 utc | 7

That’s a nice salient you got there. Be a shame if someone turned it into a pocket.

Posted by: Cesare | Aug 19 2019 19:28 utc | 8

Russia warned Turks:

"Major General Alexei Bachin:

"We informed the Turkish side not to approach the theater of military operations in Idlib province.

"Press Section of the Russian Staff."

That's as polite a way to say get the hell out as I can imagine. The Turks need to think about how they'll deal with a Syria that's fully regained control of its lands and elimination of the Outlaw US Empire's presence from the region.

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 19 2019 19:34 utc | 9

the Russians were kind to their 'allies' the turks by only impeding their way and not bombing the sh*t out of that convoy. like they did to the ISIS oil truckers and their convoys of stolen syrian oil (going to, where else, syria)

Erdogan is one of the most traitorous leaders of a larger nation in the world


Posted by: michaelj72 | Aug 19 2019 19:38 utc | 10

Turkey had a couple of F16s operating in the area, including one over Khan SHaykhun, but they couldn't do anything.

Immediately after the SAA airstrike, Turkish military leaders flew to Moscow, presumably to try to get Russia to call off the SAA. I expect they will get a lecture on keeping to agreements and Syrian territorial integrity.

https://z5h64q92x9.net/proxy_u/ru-en.en/https/colonelcassad.livejournal.com/5216860.html

The SAA also made the joke when looking for the Turkish observation post shown in the second map, they only found HTS operatives.

Posted by: Yonatan | Aug 19 2019 19:43 utc | 11

Erdogan is pretty crafty. He is trying to play both sides. Considering The US was probably behind the coup attempt against him he still figures he is best off straddling the fence. I can't say I don't disagree with him. This has been India's position as well.

Posted by: goldhoarder | Aug 19 2019 19:52 utc | 12

I suspect Turkey would like to see all it's proxies in Syria utterly destroyed. As long as they are not seen as abandoning them before that is done. They are a hangover from a failed and foolish policy and their destruction would be a welcome gift in the long run.

Posted by: Turkish delight | Aug 19 2019 20:03 utc | 13

What amazes me is, why are Western mainstream media not beating the drums about another imminent 'chemical attack'??


Plus, it's nothing short of miraculous that the Jihadi guy leading the convoy was killed and no Turkish personnel were harmed. What if there had been a mistake and there had been Turkish casualties?? Would Turkey not have reacted? And was Russia willing to risk this? And this after Russia sells the S400 system to Turkey... Very strange.


As always in Syria all this is extremely turbid. We can only hope that the Syrian people will soon be free from foreign interference but I'm not optimistic.

Posted by: Conselldetretze71 | Aug 19 2019 20:16 utc | 14

When things aren't going well, suggest annexing Greenland.

Posted by: jared | Aug 19 2019 20:18 utc | 15

@15--

As I reported above, The Russians warned the Turks not to approach, but they did and suffered the consequences of their choice.

@14--

I've had similar thoughts. Turkey certainly doesn't want them back as the border is solidly closed.

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 19 2019 20:22 utc | 16

Erdogan doesn't have full control of the jihadis, nor of his own army or intelligence services. These are NATO/1000-eye operations, and they want to preserve their hordes for later use.

Pushing them together with Kurdish hordes, into an ever shrinking territory, will cause them to fight and destroy one another, which is the objective of Russia, and would suit Erdo just fine.

Thierry Meyssan at Voltairenet is reporting the Turk ruler is abandoning the Red Caliphate, now for a second time. After being offered the role of Demiurge by his erstwhile enemies/frenemies/friends, and after much hemming and hawing, he has provisionally declined the position of Sultan and will play Nationalist again.

Of course the position of Mahdi is still available, Solomeini being far from convincing in the role thus far.

Dammit where's the remote.

Posted by: C I eh? | Aug 19 2019 20:23 utc | 17

jared@16 forgets that global warming means Greenland will soon enough 1)lie along the new ice-free Northwest Passage 2)have new mineral resources exposed by the melting of glaciers and 3)serve as a threat to a newly-empowered Canada as the new climate permits more agriculture, access to its northern resources and higher economic/population growth. Trump thinks the US is the Final Empire. If anyone protests that Trump doesn't believe in climate change, they really mean he says he doesn't, but he lies all the time. What he really doesn't believe is that the rich and powerful have anything to worry about, except the revolt of the masses. But then that's always a potential problem, though he for one doesn't believe the rabble have the smarts or the guts to do anything.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Aug 19 2019 20:26 utc | 18

Turkiye's trying to play all sides and will surely end up losing everything.

Erdogan, the tool, is trying to play the Russians agains th US, the head chopping jihadis against the Russians/Syrians and anything else in-between.

He's absolutely convinced he's the new Ottoman sultan and therefore has the right to claim Syrian territory.

He'll be humiliated.

Posted by: Zico | Aug 19 2019 20:32 utc | 19

thanks b... my feeling is erdogan is cutting the jihadis lose, but he is not allowed to openly state this - thus the convey.. i am a bit concerned for erdogan as i do believe he is siding with russia, however being a double crosser, he has to watch himself as there are a number of players who will be out to get him... we are entering a more dangerous phase of the idlib operation here... short of ww3, time is on syrias side..

it is also nice to see ksa getting f#ked on yemen.. that can't happen soon enough and for those monkeys from uae as well..

Posted by: james | Aug 19 2019 21:15 utc | 20

Putin is warning Erdogan not to enter the battlezone, but Putin will certainly allow Erdogan to maintain a presence north of the DMZ. Assad will never reclaim all syrian territory but Syria will remain a sovereign state.

Bottom line: Putin is committed to preserving syrian independence but he will certainly make concessions with Erdogan in order to resettle the 3 million refugees now in Turkey and in order to achieve a final negotiated settlement to the conflict.

No one is going to get everything they want.
Putin is a pragmatist, not an idealist. Don't expect perfection.

Posted by: plantman | Aug 19 2019 21:17 utc | 21

Erdoğan has persisted in refusing to attack Al qaeda and Al Nusra. He owes them the release of the whole Turkish consulate in Libya. He also worries of rebellion in the ranks of his highly islmized army after he jailed the more secular gulenists military. He was therefore never going to implement the Astana agreement calling for turkey to disarm Al Nusra and Al qaeda spinnofs from edlib.
Russia knew that and gave Erdoğan a last chance. He probably agreed to let the Syrian army and Russia eliminate the terrorists in edlib. This is a gimmick. He made a big noise of sending reinforcements to give the islamists the impression that he was against their elimination. While he is v K9ery happy to let them be annihilated by other than the Islam sensitive Turkish army.
He has agreed to their elimination now that they failed in overthrowing bashar Al assad.he is on full sync with the Russians on the gate of edlib.


Posted by: Virgile | Aug 19 2019 21:25 utc | 22

By bombing every Turkish resupply, Syria can starve the Jihadists as the Turkish outposts are encircled and in effect under siege. All Turkish outposts can in effect be encircled and "protected" by the Syrian Arab Army.

Posted by: El Cid | Aug 19 2019 21:29 utc | 23

Reports of SAA control of most if not all of Khan Sheykoun..

Posted by: Lozion | Aug 19 2019 21:59 utc | 24

I'm inclined to agree with James @ 21 and some others that President Erdogan would like to cut the takfiris in Idlib province loose, since most of them are not originally Turkish citizens anyway but have come from Central Asia and western China (Xinjiang province) on false Turkish passports and moreover brought their families and are bringing them up in their extremist ways. The foot-dragging delay that Turkey has made over the past year or so in clearing out Idlib, to the extent that the Russians and Syrians must have lost patience with Ankara as far back as last century, could be explained by Turkey's reluctance and inability to take these Central Asians and Uyghurs into its own territory and resettle them without their causing problems for its own people.

Turkey's purchase of the S-400 missile defence systems from Russia probably makes little difference to the situation in Idlib or northern Syria because the systems are designed to defend against NATO weapons, not Russian ones. Also, where have the systems been placed in Turkey? Are they around the capital Ankara or Erdogan's hometown Istanbul or the country's borders? If they are around the city where Erdogan spends most of his time, then he is afraid of another US-made coup against him.

Posted by: Jen | Aug 19 2019 23:00 utc | 25

The turkish regime military convoy was roughly for show, no one believe 28 vehicles would change a thing against thousands of SAA soldiers and well equipped, the Turkish regime gambled and lost big time, but on the eyes of their terrorists it may actually worked out, at least to some of them...on the other side, expect terrorists to kill each other as well, the loss of all northern Hama will cost them immensely, this was a frontline built for years, a sort of terrorists' maginot line, which si gone for good, meaning Inside Idlib Province there is no major frontlines, which tends to equate to faster liberation at lower cost by the SAA.
The pincer move was instrumental and well executed by the SAA, forcing the terrorists to flee the cauldron which is exactly what happened today.
The turkish backed terrorists were badly defeated in the past 2-3 days but they are still a dangerous force, equipped by Turkey with thousands of ATGM/TOWs and MANPADS, the offensive will continue, though there is a delay from Kabanah, without controlling Kabanah the SAA can not attempt a larger pincer move...down the hill from Kabanah on the M4 and a new frontline to be open near Saraqib.
God bless the SAA and its heroes, alive or martyred, they are doing a favor to all humanity.

Posted by: Canthama | Aug 19 2019 23:05 utc | 26


ISIS Is Regaining Strength in Iraq and Syria

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/19/us/politics/isis-iraq-syria.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage

Can anyone make sense of this NYTimes propaganda piece - the usual suspect Eric Schmitt is one of the authors. They really don’t want the US to leave.

Perhaps someone here with a NYTimes account can provide a good response if they put comment up?

Posted by: Stever | Aug 19 2019 23:12 utc | 27

@Jen | 26 + others
I agree.
One of the problems Turkey has ia the fallout if seen to have abandoned the Jihadists in Idlib. Russia has been sensitive to this before and is now hence its seeming attack against Turkey.
If you follow the timeline of S-400 agreement, then key decisions have always been made in relation to Turkish developments in Idlib. Interesting to see now that as soon as the S-400 is delivered into Turkish hands Turkey turns its focus from Idlib to the Safe Zone and the Syrian army with Russian backing significantly up their game in retaking Idlib. The timing is no coincidence I rekon.

Posted by: AtaBrit | Aug 19 2019 23:22 utc | 28

One imagines that the Yankees squatting on Syria's oil resources will be 'reviewing their options'. It'd be Karmic if Syria's Spook Service could persuade some jihadis to eliminate the Yankee cancer in return for amnesty/ repatriation...

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Aug 19 2019 23:27 utc | 29

If I am advising Mr President Assad , I will tell him to inform Putin and Iran leaders to help him get all of his lands including Adlib , north eastern Syria by putting pressure on Turkey and the USA . Or he will go and meet with Mr Trump , May be he will get a better deal with a peace with Israel and the USA .
He and the Syrian people will be better off with this scenario unless immediate help from Iran and Russia to do as above and supply the country with petroleum and basic needs .
The Syrian citizens waiting hours to get basic life support including gasoline for their cars and heat for their homes.
Enough is enough , it seems to me that Putin and Khamenei have other interests .

Posted by: Bobby | Aug 19 2019 23:42 utc | 30

Turkey's problem (since Erdogan's rise to power) is the same as Germany's: it still thinks it has a viable shot at being an empire (which, in the modern sense of the word would mean one of the "poles" in the new multipolar order).

At least Germany has the Euro Zone and a legacy of a (for now) strong export base in value terms. Turkey is just a neoliberal banana republic a la Brazil who happened to be blessed with what may be the best geopolitical geographic position of our post-war era.

Posted by: vk | Aug 19 2019 23:51 utc | 31

Vk - 32
Well, this has been a prime geographic position for millennia, going back to the early days of Troy nearly 5.000 years ago. Heck, for totally different reasons, another part of Turkey, at the other side of the country, at Gobekli Tepe and surrounding area, was worldwide prime location more than 10.000 years ago when it comes to religion, buildings, urban development and early agriculture.

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Aug 20 2019 0:01 utc | 32

@ Stever #28,

I would say the article is trying to do two things, embarrass Trump by implying that he "failed to destroy Isis" and remind Americans that they must stay in Iraq and Syria forever to "fight" Isis. Imperial thinking and Trump Derangement syndrome have infected the political class completely now, they simply are incapable of thinking of anything except expanding the empire and taking down what Trump represents to his blue collar followers.

Posted by: Kadath | Aug 20 2019 0:18 utc | 33

To Stever, read Operation Gladio, Oded Yinon Plan and Operation Timber Sycamore, this is all for the benefit of Israhell.

Posted by: durlin | Aug 20 2019 0:24 utc | 34

Russain aviation terrorize Militants

TANKS- 37 Destroyed, captured, or damaged.

BMPs- 18 Destroyed, captured, or damaged.

TRUCKS- 9 Destroyed, captured, or damaged

APCs- 29 Destroyed, captured, or damaged.

BULLDOZERS- 4 Destroyed, captured, or damaged

MLRS SYSTEMS/VEHICLES- 8 Destroyed, captured, or damaged.

MOTORBIKES- 4 Destroyed, captured, or damaged.

TECHNICALS- 117 Destroyed, captured, or damaged.

UNKNOWN VEHICLES- 12 Destroyed, captured, or damaged. 5 Armored.

PANTERA APCs- 3 Destroyed, captured, or damaged. (correct name provided by u/Woofers_MacBarkFloof)

BVP-1 TYPES- 2 Destroyed, captured, or damaged

2S1 GVOZDIKA- 1 Destroyed, captured, or damaged

LARGE ARTILLERY- 3 Destroyed, captured, or damaged.

HUMVEES- 2 Destroyed, captured, or damaged

Posted by: Igor Bundy | Aug 20 2019 0:24 utc | 35

Canthama @27--

Thanks for stopping by and providing your update! Yes, Kabanah is proving to be more difficult than anticipated. We await the morning to hear the results of tonight's assault. There's about 6k between the pincer tips.

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 20 2019 0:39 utc | 36

I am not well-informed here. But it kinda looks to me:

Turkey just asked.

And Russia just said no.

I can't see how Turkey has all that much to gain with this play to begin with.

Lousy that a few more people will have to die for these cheap games.

World 'Leaders' in sick action, yet again.

Posted by: blues | Aug 20 2019 0:40 utc | 37

"The leader of Faylq al-Sham, a 'Syrian rebel' group controlled by the Turkish intelligence service, was escorting the Turkish army convoy in a technical. He was killed. No Turkish soldiers were harmed. The convoy stopped and will have to return to Turkey. The tanks and the ammunition will not reach the jihadis in Khan Shaykhun."


What comical bullshit was it not just last month Turkey and Russia furthering partnershship were going to "tip the scales in the Middle East?"


"Senators are now urging President Donald Trump to slap sanctions on Turkey. Erdogan “has chosen a perilous partnership
with (Putin) at the expense of Turkey’s security, economic prosperity and the integrity of the NATO alliance,” four senators, including chairmen of the Senate Armed Services Committee and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said in a bipartisan statement last week."


It seems Jen, James and AtaBrit have brains Erdy letting his hired guns get killed on purpose so he does't have to pay them anymore and keeps his hands cleaned when they are forever removed from the payroll.
https://www.cnbc.com/2019/07/17/how-us-sanctions-on-turkey-over-russian-s400-deal-could-backfire.html

What Turkey's S-400 missile deal with Russia means for Nato
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-48620087

Posted by: O | Aug 20 2019 0:52 utc | 38

Atabrit @ 29:

I must confess I hadn't made the connection you seem to have made - that a second US-made coup against Erdogan would be made by the very takfiris he has cultivated over the years, among others. The purchase of the S-400 missile defence systems might therefore be one part of a strategy Erdogan is creating to protect himself against a hydra monster he helped create.

Posted by: Jen | Aug 20 2019 1:10 utc | 39

@Jen | 40
Not sure where the S-400s will be placed or whom they'll be used against - might just be a showpiece purchase for Russia - but the issue of the jihadists swarming into Turkey is ooenly discussed in Turkey and is definitely a security threat. (Of course no one in Turkey openly makes the connection that they are indeed Turkey's own proxies!))))

Posted by: AtaBrit | Aug 20 2019 1:35 utc | 40

Now that the SAA are making big gains retaking Idlib it's time to use Chemical Weapons so Trump can launch another missile attach.

Posted by: Gerard | Aug 20 2019 1:56 utc | 41

I concur that Ergodan is the quintessential weasel and will say anything and use anyone if he thinks it will help him gain power (or at this point, hang on to it). I don't believe he wants these radical head choppers in Turkey, he wants them to die while looking like he's "got their back." When I hear that a terrorist leader was killed but not a single Turk, it really smells like this was theater from the start, and the Turkish military may well have tipped off the Russians with all the details of this little excursion, asking them to please take out the lead vehicle but nothing else so that they could go home. This would also explain the presence of RuAF in the attack--normally if there was a risk of accidentally striking Turks, the Russians would probably prefer the SAAF carry out the strike, but if the fix was in, and what was needed was ultra-high precision, you'd want Russian's and their most accurate guided weapons for the strike.

I can't help but notice over and over that the terrorists seem absolutely unable to grasp the concept of defense-in-depth. They fight like the devils they are from their Western-prepared tunnels and front lines, but once broken and relying upon their own skills, they seem to have nothing.

Posted by: J Swift | Aug 20 2019 3:23 utc | 42

@43 j swift... i concur... same take as mine, lol... erdogan better watch his ass.. mind you, he probably has russia watching it for him..

Posted by: james | Aug 20 2019 3:25 utc | 43

thanks jen and atabrit.. i am reading comments backwards - in true backass fashion!

Posted by: james | Aug 20 2019 3:26 utc | 44

J Swift @ 43:

The terrorists were only ever expendable cannon fodder to begin with so they are treated as such. Probably most of them also have low levels of education and are from impoverished backgrounds, and so they don't have the mental and psychological wherewithal to be able to survive or figure out things on their own.

Posted by: Jen | Aug 20 2019 4:25 utc | 45

the plot thickens

https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/russian-su-35-jets-allegedly-intercepted-turkish-warplanes-over-idlib/

almasdar news reports that 2 Russian fighter jets intercepted and forced to retreat some Turkish war planes from over the southern countryside of the Idlib Governorate , near the action at Khan Sheikhoun - those turks skidaddled from Syria pretty fast.

I don't think these comments about the military re-supply attempt by the turks to the jihadists being a ruse of some sort are not accurate

Posted by: michaelj72 | Aug 20 2019 5:20 utc | 46

@ michaelj72 who wrote
"
I don't think these comments about the military re-supply attempt by the turks to the jihadists being a ruse of some sort are not accurate
"

Thanks for the link but I would suggest you try again with the sentence above that has two negatives...what do you really mean to say?

Posted by: psychohistorian | Aug 20 2019 5:32 utc | 47

What the hell is a "technical"?

Posted by: BM | Aug 20 2019 5:57 utc | 48

BM @ 5:57
wiki "A technical is a light improvised fighting vehicle, typically an open-backed civilian pickup truck or four-wheel drive vehicle mounting a heavy weapon, such as a machine gun, anti-aircraft gun, rotary cannon, anti-tank weapon, anti-tank gun, ATGM, mortar, howitzer, multiple rocket launcher, or recoilless rifle, etc"

Posted by: chu teh | Aug 20 2019 6:00 utc | 49

james @3:26
I read backwards and scan thru to names that suit me.

Posted by: chu teh | Aug 20 2019 6:05 utc | 50

@46 Jen - "wherewithal to be able to survive or figure out things on their own"

They're not on their own. Officers of the empire are with them, to the extent they can guide them, preserve them and re-deploy them. That extent is not absolute. There will be losses.

It would be useful to see analysis on the strength and demographics of the irregular terrorist forces available for the use of the rich and privileged throughout this world and time. That would make a nice discussion.

Larchmonter over at the Saker says that the US has a quarter of a million terrorist/contractors at its disposal. As we have seen, it tries to save all the fighters it can, but only as a resource for further mayhem. And it seems the impressive logistical capacity of the Pentagon exists in part to move these pawns across the entire board at need. And my thought is that we seem to live in an age where these people will fight because they have nowhere else to go, no matter their previous situation, and no matter how harsh the present terms. So that force cannot be dissipated except by death.

This said, it also seems clear that an indigenous fighting force such as the SAA - aided by its allies with all their various weapons - cannot any longer be overcome by all these contractors, if this is all there are.

If all the world can supply is 250,000 amoral fighters to be brought into fighting shape as an army - and a hunch tells me this is all the world can supply - then all the aggravations can be slapped aside by the locals, such as Hezbollah and the Houthi and the SAA and the PMU of Iraq. Not to mention the IRGC of Iran and the PLA of China and the Russian Armed Forces.

And all these national and indigenous forces are joining together in mutual security pacts.

~~

Frankly, many of us were surprised and overwhelmed by the size of the ISIS force when it first appeared in its Toyota caravan of plunder - because who could have thought a non-state actor such as the CIA could afford such an army? But I think this will not take any of the general staffs of the axis by surprise in the future, and the goal will be to whittle down the numbers of these forces at every chance.

And eventually there will be more dead of these tormented beings than alive.

And there will be the peace.

Posted by: Grieved | Aug 20 2019 6:14 utc | 51

@52 "It would be useful to see analysis on the strength and demographics of the irregular terrorist forces available for the use of the rich and privileged throughout this world and time. That would make a nice discussion."

Attended a conference back a decade where at a German professor set out his stats and thesis on the (at the time) ME issues. The major correlation with 'troubles' was to the number of 2nd+ born males. 1st born are kept back to get the 'farm' and continue lineage etc. The remainder are sent off to find their fortune or disappear etc. Sounded plausible at the time and supported by fertility stats. Once 1st son and lineage is at risk then peace magically breaks out. I never followed it up but if would be interesting to see the demographics of the current round of ME and European invasions. Odds-on they are mainly 2nd-3rd sons on the loose etc. Happy to be corrected with facts.

Posted by: imo | Aug 20 2019 7:07 utc | 52

@51 chu teh.. maybe my unconscious mind is trying to tell me to do what you do! the advantage is you see a name and you can opt in or not.. the disadvantage might be that one loses the flow of the thread - if there is one..

Posted by: james | Aug 20 2019 7:31 utc | 53

Does anyone know if there's any truth to the Turks having kept Turkmen militias out of trouble and allowing only Arab (and I guess foreign) militias to take the heat in Idlib? If so, we have our answer as to Erdogan's true intentions.

Posted by: AtaBrit | Aug 20 2019 7:56 utc | 54

imo - 53
"The major correlation with 'troubles' was to the number of 2nd+ born males. 1st born are kept back to get the 'farm' and continue lineage etc. The remainder are sent off to find their fortune or disappear etc. Sounded plausible at the time and supported by fertility stats. Once 1st son and lineage is at risk then peace magically breaks out."
To an extent, this is what fuelled the crusades back between 1100 and early 1200s - then the toll of both crusades and growing inter-European wars put a stop to it -, and what fuelled Spanish conquest of America (and most possibly previous Reconquista).

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Aug 20 2019 8:27 utc | 55

It seems that Ivan said "no no!" and then had to spank...

Posted by: Walter | Aug 19 2019 19:12 utc

I more prefer "No you don't!" in, you know, that mrs Lovett style :-D

Posted by: Arioch | Aug 20 2019 8:30 utc | 56

What if there had been a mistake and there had been Turkish casualties?? Would Turkey not have reacted?

Posted by: Conselldetretze71 | Aug 19 2019 20:16 utc

* What if there were Turkish casualties?
* And if Turkey would had admitted it?
* Won't Erdo have to react or to loose his face?

Well, i think he would.

So - *don't admit*.
I see it kinda

- Russia, casually swinging a big bomber and totally indifferent to even briefly look down: you did not have any casualties, OR DID YOU???
- Turkey, bitterly staring at the mess at their feet: no we did not, not a single one.

Posted by: Arioch | Aug 20 2019 8:38 utc | 57

...Or [Bashar Assad] will go and meet with Mr Trump , May be he will get a better deal with a peace with Israel and the USA .
He and the Syrian people will be better off with this scenario unless immediate help from Iran and Russia to do as above and supply the country with petroleum and basic needs

Posted by: Bobby | Aug 19 2019 23:42 utc

There were quite few people who got perfect deals from USA. To name a few - Muamahr Gaddafi, Sadam Hussein, and even Erdogan himself.
Yeah, Assad is free to meet Trump... where exactly?
Yeah, Assad if free to get deals form Trump who does not control even his own wingmen, afterall didn't Kim got one?
Yeah, "Syrian people" are free to say "pay us to fight for our own houses, because those are you,
Khamenei and Putin, not us syrians who need them". And again they have a great example, this time in Ukrainians, who at large said just that - and are still waiting for someone oine day to pay them to start doing something about their lives.

Meanwhile Syrians just fight for their home, with foreign help where they can secure it, or without where they can not.
And that was exactly why they were worth the help.

Posted by: Arioch | Aug 20 2019 9:06 utc | 58

I can't help but notice over and over that the terrorists seem absolutely unable to grasp the concept of defense-in-depth.

Posted by: J Swift | Aug 20 2019 3:23 utc

D-i-D is a rather expensive gadget.
Actually they had it, in the prime time of ISIS.
Remember 2015 - many months, after arraiving - Russian AirForce was doing what? Bombing out the depots, the logistic paths, the storngholds. While frontlines were more or less standing still. RAF did not offered air support for gorund offensive. It was just boringly and methodically blasting depots. IOW RuAF was wipoing off that very defense in depth.

Will ISIS pretend a state again and defence into D-i-D infrastructure again - what you would see is probably the same as it was in 2015: frontlines stop moving and "heavy gear" starts flying like Tu-22M, Tu-95 and Kalibr.
Since D-i-D installations does not fight back to the bombs falling from a-high, it would actually a good think to Syria and friends if wakhabi would try to rebuild their D-i-d thingies.

Posted by: Arioch | Aug 20 2019 9:18 utc | 59

This said, it also seems clear that an indigenous fighting force such as the SAA - aided by its allies with all their various weapons - cannot any longer be overcome by all these contractors, if this is all there are.

Posted by: Grieved | Aug 20 2019 6:14 utc

It is not about "any longer", they never could. They are by their origin guerilleros, who can inflict "thousand cuts" but can not claim land control like regular armies do.

It was why US and French army had to war in Libya, destroying Libyan army before "rebels" could take power, calling their invasion "no fly zones".
It was why US invaded Iraq, where Hussein (Baathist like Assad and remnant of the same United Arab Republic dream) and his army never let ISIS (maiden name Al Qaeda in Iraq, before west-helped rebranding) raise their head up, so USA had to destroy that army.
It was why NATO invaded Serbia to gave Kosovo Liberation "Army" air support.
It was why USA and friends did and still occasionally do bomb Syrian army units and installations, and Clinton made war with Russia promise part of her public election interview, using the same fake term from Libyan war.

Insane bloodthirsty headchoppers are good to terrorize civilians and held them captive, and that is what western Army can no do so well because they need to pretend wearing "white gloves". But to do it efficiently they need to be matched agaisnt civilians, not against army. And that is where NATO kicks in, preemptively destroying everyone who would offer resistance to Al Qaeda and co. Then they resupply Al Qaeda on their military bases, like they did in Mosul in summer 2014, when SAA seemed to overcome initial Al Qaeda inroads and started to pushing them outside.

Posted by: Arioch | Aug 20 2019 9:49 utc | 60

If Trump is serious about buying Greenland he should talk to Greenlanders and bypass Denmark. A million per family, and they'll vote to leave Denmark.

Posted by: j | Aug 20 2019 9:59 utc | 61

It would be a good precedent :-)
If anything, centuries ago Russian kings literally purchased both Kiev (and Eastern Ukraine) and Baltic States.
Go, Trump!

Posted by: Arioch | Aug 20 2019 10:03 utc | 62

@michaelj72 | 47
Turkey is a master of distraction so I'd wait and see what happens. Don't forget that Erodgan creates an entire parallel reality for Turkish consumption- hence complete media control - , this may be part of it. (Remember Bahceli's comment about Erdogan "bombing empty mountains" in NIraq?)

@C I eh? | 18
Interesting point about Erdogan transitioning. We are already seeing signs of another transformation. There was even talk about a new AK Party. Need to remember that he is first and foremost a mafia head. He will protect himself and his own. Also he doesn't have many scapegoat candidates left, but Bahceli himself may be next ...)))

Posted by: AtaBrit | Aug 20 2019 10:24 utc | 63

yes my sentence @47 should read:

"I don't think these comments about the military re-supply attempt by the turks to the jihadists being a ruse of some sort are accurate"

AtaBrit @64
there certainly are difference between what leaders say for public/domestic consumption and what they then say and then do for real/to other world leaders or in private.

Russia is the cat, and Erdogan is the king of rats ....trying to run around/outsmart or outflank the cat at Khan Shaykhun. I doubt it will work... the Russian and syrian militaries drew the line by bombing that convoy

another source - Aug 19, 2019 13:11:49
https://en.muraselon.com/2019/08/syrian-air-force-strikes-turkish-convoy-in-south-idlib-videos/

"...Muraselon News has learned that a Turkish Army convoy, accompanied by Ankara-backed insurgents, attempting to reach the city of Khan Sheykhun was engaged by the Syrian Air Force as it passed south from Marat al-Numan on the M5 Highway in south Idlib

Sources report that an unspecified number of militants from the Free Syrian Army’s Rahman Legion were caught in the strikes by Syrian warplanes and killed. It is unknown if Turkish service personnel were harmed....."


Posted by: michaelj72 | Aug 20 2019 10:47 utc | 64

OT

Sooo, "Trump the isolationist" who "wants to dismantle the US empire", as some in alt media claim.

Trump Privately "Obsessed" With Naval Blockade Of Venezuela

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-08-19/trump-privately-obsessed-naval-blockade-venezuela-report

Same thing with China trade war - it was Trump who demanded more tarrifs over the advise of most of his advisors.

Trump is a pig and he will be highly aggressive in foreign policy if he can get away with it.

Posted by: Passer by | Aug 20 2019 11:18 utc | 65

> Same thing with China trade war - it was Trump who demanded more tarrifs

This part fits well into "isolationist' bill actually.
This part can be interpreted as "controlled demolition of US foreign trade" - racing against uncontrollable catastrophic demolition by sudden USD collapse.

Posted by: Arioch | Aug 20 2019 11:31 utc | 66

NYT calls for a revamp in America's military intervention in Syria and Iraq:

ISIS Is Regaining Strength in Iraq and Syria

Five months after American-backed forces ousted the Islamic State from its last shard of territory in Syria, the terrorist group is gathering new strength, conducting guerrilla attacks across Iraq and Syria, retooling its financial networks and targeting new recruits at an allied-run tent camp, American and Iraqi military and intelligence officers said.

Posted by: vk | Aug 20 2019 11:33 utc | 67

Posted by: Arioch | Aug 20 2019 11:31 utc | 68

He does not see it that way - if you look at his tweets China is going down and is desperate to get a deal.

Posted by: Passer by | Aug 20 2019 12:07 utc | 68

He does not SELL it that way.
But we do not know what public talking heads do really think and plan for.
Politics - is an art of lying and deceiving.

Posted by: Arioch | Aug 20 2019 12:08 utc | 69

Chulov in the Guardian is saying this morning that HTS has withdrawn from Khan Sheikhun, but the wording is not entirely clear. Headline says "in Khan Sheikhun". Text says "from", with another sentence suggesting withdrawing from the town towards the south.

Posted by: Laguerre | Aug 20 2019 12:13 utc | 70

Sorry, the above comment was @michaelj72 | 65

Posted by: AtaBrit | Aug 20 2019 12:19 utc | 71

Posted by: Arioch | Aug 20 2019 12:08 utc | 71

So you are of the view that Trump is part of attempt to create a controlled demolition of the US Empire?

I do not agree with that. I see these actions as a Cold War and attempt to keep US hegemony for longer.

Interestingly enough, China overtaking the US in gdp MER has been postponed after the start of the trade war. The 2016 forecasts were about 2024, and the latest are about 2032. Developing countries growth is being downgraded as well.

This fits well into the view that the US is trying to sabotage the global economy and particularly developing countries in order to slow down emerging multipolarity.

Posted by: Passer by | Aug 20 2019 12:25 utc | 72

Posted by: Arioch | Aug 20 2019 12:08 utc | 71

So you are of the view that Trump is part of attempt to create a controlled demolition of the US Empire?

I do not agree with that. I see these actions as a Cold War and attempt to keep US hegemony for longer.

Interestingly enough, China overtaking the US in gdp MER has been postponed after the start of the trade war. The 2016 forecasts were about 2024, and the latest are about 2032. Developing countries growth is being downgraded as well.

This fits well into the view that the US is trying to sabotage the global economy and particularly developing countries in order to slow down emerging multipolarity.

Posted by: Passer by | Aug 20 2019 12:25 utc | 73

> I see these actions as ... attempt to keep US hegemony for longer.

Good. So then show me a list of Team Trump actions in foreign policy, since he got enthroned, that enhanced US position as "world leader".

As for me, i do not see a single one.
And i do not buy "coincidence theory" that Trump tried to win all the encounters but lost them all, with 100% efficiency, because he is a fool surrounded by idiots.
Would it be so, then by shear probability they would win at least something at least sometimes.

So, i seem Trump playing his idiocy card for the sake of plausible deniability.

Basically, if to employ the anthropic principle, what else can Trump do where he is (and especially where he was in 2016) to do his dismantling and kept his office, freedom and life?

Posted by: Arioch | Aug 20 2019 12:51 utc | 74

It is possible that Trump tries to ruin US' standing in the world, to break some alliances, and to piss off enough people that the US wouldn't be asked to help or intervene here and there (though he'd be delusional or hypocritical not to realize that, often, the US likes to be asked to meddle in other countries' business). That might be a way to ensure the US is far more isolationist, and therefore goes further into self-reliance. In which either he doesn't see or doesn't care that it also means that a multi-polar world will come faster, because other powers will take over the room left by the US. We'd be back to a system of spheres of influence, more than a superpower acting as the world's hegemon.
Of course, that's trying to make sense of what might either be Trump not having a clue, or having totally different plans.

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Aug 20 2019 12:52 utc | 75

Good. So then show me a list of Team Trump actions in foreign policy, since he got enthroned, that enhanced US position as "world leader".

Posted by: Arioch | Aug 20 2019 12:51 utc | 76

Plenty.

Further US sanctions on Russia. Russian gdp growth is very low now, forecasts are about mere 1,2 % per anum, and thus Russia's share of world GDP is declining.

China postponed for overtaking the US in gdp MER to 2032 from 2024.

Indian growth downgraded - which taken together with China means slowing down Asia's rise.

Iran in recession - long term growth is low - it means that Iran's share of the world economy is now declining. This will lower iranian influence in the long term.

Venezueala in deep recession - sanctions reduced gdp by 7 %, thus a serious weakening of the influence of this country is to follow.

In Latin America most governments are now US puppet governments.

Weakened the EU, via support for Brexit and other ways - it means that the euro will not be a viable alternative for replacing the dollar, and it is permanently threatened by italian economic collapse. Trade wars seem to be hitting EU's export dependent economy pretty hard.

Turkey has serious economic problems - partly due to the US again - which again means slowing down multipolarity as turkish growth is now low. Empowering the kurds is further used to stop the rise of Turkey as a regional power.

Overall situation - the US share in the world economy is declining at slower rates than before, mainly due to the retarding of growth of everyone else, which means defacto slowing down multipolarity and the replacement of the US dollar.

Posted by: Passer by | Aug 20 2019 13:15 utc | 76

Take into account one more point: Trump personally can be a clinic idiot on the run form an asylum, it would not change much.
Trump is a talking head for some movement, some semi-visible alliance, that managed to enthrone him against 1% election fraud, using pervasive MSM smear campaign and so forth.

Focusing all the processes upon a single person and then glorifying or dehumanizing it is east to swallow, causes Hollywoodesque thrills and resonates with our animal instincts to see a biggest ape of the cave as natural leader (whether we would love or hate such a cavechief is anouther quesiton). And that is why it is loved by propaganda. Stalin was godlike figure in USSR. And devil-like figure in the West, before and after WW2. And he was next door "Uncle Joe" with x-mas candies - during WW2. Well, d'oh, did USSR as a nation or as ideology changed that much betweem 1932-1942-1952? Hardly so. Same thing about Syria - there is no such a land, there is no such a nation, there is only Assad the Dictator, and no one else there. Etc, etc.

Now in USA it is all about Trump the fascist wannabe, Trump the orange buffoon, Trump this and Trump that. Like he was the last leaving person left in USA.

Posted by: Arioch | Aug 20 2019 13:21 utc | 77

Posted by: Arioch | Aug 20 2019 13:21 utc | 79

I think Trump, but not, let's say, Obama, fits well into an attempt by the most hawkish and revanchist elements in the US to destroy globalisation and create a world of the jungle, where they estimate the US will have better chances.

Posted by: Passer by | Aug 20 2019 13:34 utc | 78

ok, I think I get it. So what Arioch and others are saying is that the U.S. empire uses the head choppers like attack dogs to do the dirty work and has some kind of indigenous recruiting stream that feeds the 'down and outs' from areas like western China, Chechnia, Arabia, Africa, Europe, America, etc, into a ragtag 'army'.
sounds believable...

Posted by: michael | Aug 20 2019 13:41 utc | 79

I thought Turkey's interest in this was in protecting against infiltration by the kurds?
I don't see why they would have interest in harrassing Syria, unless it were to serve interests of U.S.
Though I gather Erdogan is a bit of an opportunist.

Any info re. status of Syrian northeast?
Is that where Syria will move next or is that untouchable for the near term?

Posted by: jared | Aug 20 2019 13:55 utc | 80

> Further US sanctions on Russia. Russian gdp growth is very low now, forecasts are about mere 1,2 % per anum, and thus Russia's share of world GDP is declining.

Posted by: Passer by | Aug 20 2019 13:15 utc

You think "harming Russia" is a good answer to question "how does it boost USA the hegemon?". Well, let's suppose it...

Problem then is, Russia does not care that much about nominal GDP and even about PPP GDP. It is "average temperature in hospital", where some patients are in 41C fever and others in 4C morgue, but on average they all have that healthy 36,6C.

However, even for those sanctions that did hit Russia and EU hard (and those were enacted mostly in 2015), under the "China-Russia double helix" model, economic soft power is Chinese responsibility, so targetting EU and Russia economically was perhaps a mis-aiming, like would be targetting China militarily.

Also, take a single line - "congress obliges Trump to enlist russian officials for sanctions" and do the search in both pro-Clinton Google and in DDG. first page of Google has zero relebvant results. DDG however starts with

Trump Administration Sends Congress List of Possible Russia ...
www.nytimes.com/2017/10/26/us/politics/trump-russia-sanctions.html

Congress has tied Trump's hands on Russian sanctions - Vox
www.vox.com/2017/7/29/16061878/trump-russian-sanctions-sign

Congress Forces Trump to Sanction Russia - Fash the Nation
fashthenation.com/2018/03/congress-forces-trump-to-sanction-russia/

Trump Finally Imposes Russia Sanctions That Congress Ordered ...
www.motherjones.com/politics/2018/03/trump-finally-imposes-russia-sanctions-that-congress-ordered-months-ago/

Is 2017 so far ago that we already forgot it?
Trump has no freedom of choice to sanction Russia or not.
It is not his authority to make this choice.
Trump is ordered to sanction and he would do.
If he has any leeway, it is to how specifically sanction, but even that choice is framed into UIS domestic politic fuel, as a vehicle to fry Trump over being "Putin's shil" and looking "not enough" into evil Russians.

> China postponed for overtaking the US in gdp MER to 2032 from 2024.

Estimations are just that, estimations. Guesses into the future mixed with propaganda.
If you don't buy Trump's tweets about "China begging for deal" and Obama's about "Russian economy in tatters" - why to buy these estimations?

> Indian growth downgraded - which taken together with China means slowing down Asia's rise.

Pro-American Modi in power of India was a definite win for USA. But i do not think Trump did it in 2016. Such events are grown for years and years of undercover works.

Same for the Brazil fiasco, which i perceive was much heavier blow upon BRICS than Modi. But Brazilian coup was in preparation yet before Trump's oath. May 2016 was the FINAL act, prepared months before: nytimes.com/interactive/2016/world/americas/brazil-dilma-rousseff-impeachment.html

> Iran in recession - long term growth is low - it means that Iran's share of the world economy is now declining. This will lower iranian influence in the long term.

Long term? like Trump is planning for long term? Would he, like Putin, still be American president in 2016+18=2034 ?
Well, maybe. However does it boost much US the hegemon position today?

Also notice how this pushes Iran back to Russian bucket. Before JCPOA Iran was flirting with "Lesser Satan" a lot, promising to buy russian airliners, promising to barter Iranian goods (oil and others) for Russian goods, thus de facto letting Russia be quasi-monopolistic seller of Iranian goods on world market for any margin Russia would manage to extract. All those hints and kinda-plans were squashed instantly after JCPOA. Iran rushed ot trade with EU directly, to buy Boeing and Airbis jets.... But was shot into the leg before it started. I think China would also find their way to be "big helping brother" to Iraninan economy, on some conditions of course.

> Venezueala in deep recession

True, and this is again fitting the isolationist bill, to a degree. If Team Trump ready to exclude USA from global trade - it would have to secure oil supply. Enslaving a nearby oil-containing nation would do.

Additionally, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States–Venezuela_relations lists 2014 as start of economic sanctions against Venezuela. So, Trump has inherited "office of Venezuelan affairs" from Cinton/Obama. And... he brought it to light and headlines by making that idiotic wannabe-coup. The sh*t that previously USA did silently pretending whitegloved "shining beacon", Trump exposed.

Did it really made USA position better in 2018 than it was in 2014? I doubt. To me it seemes more like T.T. accelerated things and "threw it all on the table" making Venezuela "hit the rock bottom". Now Venezuela can adjust to the new brave world, while USA would probably not be in position to tighten its grip - it already burned all the reserves and in so clumsy way, that Bolton and Co became a laughing stock. If anything, it exposed that while most gov't there would be paying lip service to USA, none would go with something material. France invaded with USA Libya, Germany invaded with USA Serbia, but none enlisted to invade Venezuela with USA.

> In Latin America most governments are now US puppet governments.

Brazil was indeed a huge blow into the BRICS dream. But i see it more of that indirect, covert "soft power" that USA secret services prepared and rushed to implement before Trump.

> Weakened the EU, via support for Brexit and other ways - it means that the euro will not be a viable alternative for replacing the dollar

Basically turning EU elites against USA and splitting "Western Hegemony" into rivaling factions.
From multipolar view circa 2010, would it be much difference for, say, Russia or China or Iran, whether USD or EUR would be "reserve currency"? After Alexander of Macedonia died his empire split to pieces, and some of those pieces soon started warring. Did this enhance Greek hegemony or reduced it? When COMECOM and Warsaw Pact disbanded did it enhanced Soviet hegemony over Eastern Europe or reduced it? But it slashed exports of those lands, Bulgaria is not more agriculture super-power it used to be, "Ikarus" bus is still often meet in Moscow street but in the "remnants of old times still able to run" kind, Poland is no more producing ocean-grade ships. So, was it enhancing USSR share of world economy then?

Also, didn't he kind of forced EU elites into Chinese OBOR camp? That said, similarly Russia was forced towards China in 2013-2014 by Western lunacy, so i would not say it was Trump's novelty to push EU eastwards.

EU was in with US in looting Libya, EU was in with US in looting Serbia, now US calls for EU to join in "patrolling" Persian Gulf and response is... like the one about invading Venezuela. Hegemon became stronger?

> Trade wars seem to be hitting EU's export dependent economy pretty hard.

And i wish to see more of those wars not less. Won't you?
EU is the power, that took part in creating narco-haven in Kosovo, murdering children of Iraq, building sex slaves markets in Libya, destroying what was left of democracy in Ukraine. EU power is diminishing? Let it crash and burn if you ask me.

> Turkey has serious economic problems - partly due to the US again - which again means slowing down multipolarity

Wasn't in 2012 Turkey part of Hegemon entourage neck-deep in bloody ISIS affair?
Wasn't Turkey for decades be knockign into closed EU membership doors?
Wasn't Turkey send their poeple into Germany to intertwine and cross-influence?

Turkey as part of multipolarity? Maybe. But exactly because it was prohibited from what they see their place in global western world. However i am not very sure that would West offer "larger piece" to Turkey in their crippling hegemony, turkey would not turn back yet again. Goog thing, it would be hard to do as few believe western promises today, but again, didn't Trump (but other western politicians too, and including many pre-Trump) invested into making West glaringly "not agreement-capable" in but everyone's view?

Trump could smash Turkey and instate Kudistan.
Trump could smash Kurds and make amends with Erdo.
Instead Trump is breaking pots with both. Neither Kurds not Turks no trust "the shining beacon".

> Overall situation - the US share in the world economy is declining at slower rates than before

Won't this mean Trump's economic policy is if limited success?

> the retarding of growth of everyone else, which means defacto slowing down multipolarity and the replacement of the US dollar

That may be what some faction of Team Trump counting upon. But i have reservations.
Uni-polarity is not about economic growth. It is about trading on One True Market, hegemon's one.
And when everything goes down, another factors start to weigh in. Like elasticity of demand and replacement with cheaper substitutes. Like, if i need a tooling for my house, i would perhaps want to purchase Japanese Makita or German Bosh. Those are famous brands with decades of well earned reputation. But if i only can salivate on them, then perhaps i can go with some cheaper Chinese knock-off? Or perhaps to blow the dust from my grandpa's old tool and purchase nothing at all? If i can buy genuine American Levi's it is a fad, but if i can, then perhaps i will make it in Turkey-made or China-made or Philipinnes-made or even Syria-made jeans? You know, their cut is not that fitting as European or American, but perhaps we can deal with it for the price? If in Russia i can no more buy Czech or German beer as before 2014, then perhaps i can sooth myself with apple cidre from semi-eastern Altai region of Russia? And then, will my gov't still had the same need for USD for those adjusted trade transactions, as it used to?

Posted by: Arioch | Aug 20 2019 14:22 utc | 81

A note to everyone about Turkey,jihadis and Kurds. Turkey under Erdogan has resumed the war against its own people, the Kurds, inside Turkey. The mere existence of a the KRG in Iraq is bad enough, but it is to some degree policed by the US. Rojava is an existential threat not because of aggressive infiltration by Syrian Kurds, but by providing sanctuary for Turkish Kurds. There is a political problem, too. The strong shift to the right by the YPD isn't enough. Ending the war on the Kurds is more than a personal defeat for Erdogan. To make peace means political, social and economic reforms. But quite aside from the impossibility of the Turkish ruling class accepting a bigger slice of the pie given to the masses, Turkey's pie isn't growing the way it needs to anyhow. So Erdogan has to go with the forces that can help him service his ultimate constituency, the owners. Secularists, even semisecularists like the Gulenists, aren't going to do it for him. He needs Islamists, and that means jihadis, even more so because the secularist Ataturk tradition still threatens him personally. But suppose he miscalculates, thinks he has the military still? He still can't half-ass betraying the jihadis. They'll know if he sets them up. He has to either really finish them off or wait for them to retaliate. He is not in a de facto alliance with Russia to drive the jihadis back up against the Turkish border which they will promptly infiltrate. He has to actually stab them in the back to make sure they're dead.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Aug 20 2019 14:47 utc | 82

It is important to fix the wrong article title. Russia did not bomb Turkey reinforcement column. According to Syrian sources, it is the Syrian Arab Army's AirForce which "bombed the road" in which a column of vehicles from Turkey was present. Nevertheless Turkey AirForce was also lurking around Idlib. Later followed / intercepted by Russia Su-35.

Currently huge operations are being conducted. See at: Russian Air Force unleashes large attack on ISIS in eastern Syria. This leads to think, Russia and Syria are willing to break the situation and start cleansing the region of "bad rebels".

It is also curious the following warning: China warns of next jihadist wave in Syria. Indicates a new wave of groups are being resurrected (as in sleeping cells), to commit crimes. Interesting to see how China enters the international arena in openly talking about this in public. Maybe willing to even enter the conflict in Syria to fight a group of «chinese muslims that might be around there». This could put pressure in Turkey, as everybody else is willing to fight «bad rebels», instead of using the conflict [for another purpose?].

Posted by: jordi | Aug 20 2019 14:50 utc | 83

..attempt by the most hawkish and revanchist elements in the US to destroy globalisation and create a world of the jungle, where they estimate the US will have better chances.

Posted by: Passer by | Aug 20 2019 13:34 utc

Bingo!!!

But as of today (and as it was 10 years ago, and perhaps ever since USSR collapse) "globalisation" and "USA Hegemony" is the same! Now, of course in theory there can be Russian hegemony or Chinese hegemony or Islamic hegemony... Maybe there would. But in the world we live in today, USA Hegemony = globalisation. That is what we inherited form 1990-s.

Teamp Trump wants to "create a world of the jungle" ? But WHAT is jungle if not multipolarity? Tiger is challenging wolves, bulls are trumping the tiger, monkeys are throwing nuts at everyone while cobra and python are eating them monkeys, right?

Posted by: Arioch | Aug 20 2019 14:53 utc | 84

@ Posted by: Passer by | Aug 20 2019 13:15 utc | 78

You cite without irony that U.S. is enhancing it's position by hobbling it's erstwhile trading partners.
Not sure that's a formula for success.
Also not sure why this leads you to believe that this has the affect of slowing transition from dollar.
It's one thing to destroy and something more complex to create.
However I don't think that the world will be better-off for Trumps creative destruction.
I don't know if it's harder to believe that such incompetence was all an accident or that this was his intention.

Posted by: jared | Aug 20 2019 14:55 utc | 85

>Passer by | Aug 20 2019 13:15 utc | 78

Man does not live by bread (money) alone.

Yes, US elites are successfully causing a slow-down, perhaps even a crash, in the world economy. What their hubris does not allow them to see is that they're causing the unification of much of the world against them, and also that their weaponry and military might is of poor quality and obsolete. It can often be defeated by low-tech counter-measures like the unguided drones the Houthis used to attack Saudi oil infrastructure.

Much of US GDP is either the creation of these ineffective military assets, "services" that merely transfer wealth to the already rich or resource extraction (including the mining of top soil and other agricultural assets) that pollutes the homeland and must eventually be cleaned up.

Trump either understands none of this or as Arioch suggests, has no choice in which case his bosses have no clue. If he or they did, he wouldn't be doing what he's doing. Nobody wants to go down in history compared to Nero, Caligula or worse still, Honorius.

Posted by: anti_republocrat | Aug 20 2019 15:14 utc | 86

This is just my 2nd post to MoA. I'm reprinting my first (made just a few minutes ago to the thread that chronologically preceded this one) as an self-introduction.

"Hi all supporters of the Syrian people and their government / SAA; and/or opponents of US Imperialism and Zionists & Sauds. I've been a long-time reader / follower of MoonOfAlabama; but I only just now found this site and thread. Great thanx to MOA and the many posters contributing to helping us better understand what is happening on the ground in Syria.

btw, born and raised in the US, I attended my first (of multiple hundreds of) demonstrations in 1965. It was Pro-Palesitnian, Anti-Zionist. I naively went there to OPPOSE them; and got 100% convinced of the justice of their cause. That afternoon, a female member of the Anti-Vietnam-War Movement educated me about the nature of that conflict - US Imperialism at its worst - and it was the combination of learning about Palestine and Vietnam that caused me to dedicate every free moment for the rest of my life to contributing to the struggle for peace and justice.

I than worked 40+ hours a week, 50+ weeks a year, 1965-1975 (20,000+ volunteer hours) to help end the US Gov slaughter of 2-3 million innocents in Vietnam. And, for the past 54 years have done all I can to support the Palestinians and oppose Zionism (and its US-billionaire sponsors).

Kudos to all the great work by so many of you here,
Pablo"
-------
My overall position: THE PROBLEM: vis-a-vis the whole world: Capitalism (since 1550~); Monopoly-Capitalism (since 1900~); Deathroes-Capitalism (since 2000~). vis-a-vis the US: The US Gov was never "great"; instead, just the opposite, with 227 out of 243 years (a HUMONGOUS SAMPLE SIZE) of wars of aggression; and 243 out of 243 years of the American super-rich getting richer and more powerful (at the expense of the American working and poor; but especially, at the expense of the workers and poor of the rest of the world.

CORRELARIES: Capitalism has never been reformable. Israel is one of dozens of 100%-dominated US puppet-states (same for Saudi Arabia ...). Israel does not run the US Gov (the 585 American billionaires do!); and Israel did not do 9/11; the American billionaires did 9/11 to: As A pretext to: Try to maintain, if not expand, their world-straddling empire THRU never-ending, ever-expanding: wars, police states and world-wide poverty: AGAINST all enemies (Chinese-Russian billionaires, other non-American billionaires; competing economies and militaries; and especially against the ever-more-united non-rich peoples of the world to liberate themselves.

N.B. I've been a 9/11 Truther since the late afternoon of 9/11 - the ENDLESS REPETITION (of the "2nd plane crash" and the Twin Tower's demolitions) finally made me remember that endless repetition is SOP for (US) Imperialism. It's aim is to sell the exact reverse of the truth (so we don't believe what really was going on) thru mass brainwashing.

I am the original author of the Leaflet:
"End ALL The Wars & Police States, NOW!" (aka: "The 9/11 Truth UNITY Manifesto") -

which can be found at the above-listed URL;

Facebook site: International 9/11 Fraud Awareness Week

Posted by: Pablo Novi | Aug 20 2019 15:15 utc | 87

steven t johnson | 84
"Secularists, even semisecularists like the Gulenists, aren't going to do it for him. He needs Islamists, and that means..."

The dynamic in Turkey has changed significantly - the Istanbul re-elections confirmed this as do Erdogan's language and stance. Turkish secularists and AKP's muslim brotherhood will always find common ground when it comes to Nationalism and Turkification, Turkish expansionism are a part of that. All Turkish parties will unite behind Ersogan should there be sufficiemt threat.
Gulenists are a different issue completely. They are not now part of Turkish society in any way whatsoever.

Posted by: AtaBrit | Aug 20 2019 15:20 utc | 88

It didn't take long to find out who those "American and Iraqi military and intelligence officers" quoted by the NYT (see my previous comment here for the link and the excerpt) are:

Mike Pompeo: Islamic State is gaining strength

The NYT should stop embarassing itself.

Posted by: vk | Aug 20 2019 15:20 utc | 89

100% PROOF THAT EVER-EVIL ISRAEL DID N-O-T DO 9/11 AND DOES N-O-T RUN THE US GOV: AFGHANISTAN WAS ATTACKED FIRST!

IF Israel really did 9/11 and it was really against the interests of the (now 585) American billionaires; then the American billionaires would've used THEIR US Gov to bomb Israel back to the stone ages. IF Israel really ran the US Gov AND was SUPPORTED by the American billionaires, then, post-9/11, THEIR US Gov would've attacked Iraq / Palestinians FIRST - to, asap, set up Greater Israel.

The US Gov did NOT attack Iraq / Palestinians FIRST; PROVING that Israel does not run the US Gov (and did not do 9/11). The American billionaires KNEW that Afghanistan was/is "the graveyard of empires". So, by attacking Afghanistan FIRST; they were DELIBERATELY POSTPONING, and indefinitely, Israel's #1 agenda item: setting up Greater Israel.

You can't have it both ways. Either Israel runs the US Gov or it doesn't. Afghanistan being attacked FIRST, 100% proves Israel does NOT run the US Gov; but, instead, is RUN BY the US Gov's real owner-operators - the American billionaires.

Further, An Israel-run US Gov would NEVER transfer massive amounts of arms to Israel's surrounding Arab countries. Arms that they have used AGAINST ISRAEL whenever it has attacked them!

btw, I've been a heavy-duty supporter of the Palestinians and opposer of Zionism since 1965; so PLEASE don't try accusing me of backing Israel / Zionism - few on the Planet have dedicated more time to opposing Zionism than I have.

Posted by: Pablo Novi | Aug 20 2019 15:25 utc | 90

>jordi | Aug 20 2019 14:50 utc | 85

Yes, there seem to be conflicting reports as to whether it was the Russians or Syrians that attacked the convoy. You seemed to suggest it could even have been the Turks themselves as you observed, "Turkey AirForce was also lurking around Idlib." However improbable, perhaps there was no airstrike at all, but the lead vehicle was a VBIED, explosives planted and detonated by Turkish intelligence for infowar purposes.

Posted by: anti_republocrat | Aug 20 2019 15:32 utc | 91

> Nobody wants to go down in history compared to Nero, Caligula or worse still, Honorius.

Posted by: anti_republocrat

Nobody? What about Herostratos?

Posted by: Arioch | Aug 20 2019 15:42 utc | 92

Pablo Novi @ 89
Welome aboard Pablo ! Lovely to read your account views and experience, you’v come home. Looking forward to reading your future contributions.
My life has been similar to yours but i’m In the U.K.
We are not alone !
‘We are the many, they are the few, rise like lions’
Trump tells us he oppose’s anti-facism so by definition he must support facism !

Posted by: Mark2 | Aug 20 2019 15:45 utc | 93

Warfare typically includes a lot of mistakes and misinformation. Messages get garbled, coordinates get mixed up, people make mistakes, and there are always some "blue-on-blue" casualties. Then these mistakes must be covered up and papered over by the military hierarchy which controls the "news." It happens.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Aug 20 2019 15:57 utc | 94

Believe it or not, the next ally of Turkey will be Israel and that's just another regime change away.

Posted by: Rev. Spooner | Aug 20 2019 16:42 utc | 95

Posted by: Arioch | Aug 20 2019 14:22 utc | 83

>Problem then is, Russia does not care that much about nominal GDP and even about PPP GDP

GDP does matter, lowering the GDP of certain country weakens the country. Other factors matter too, such as demographics or landmass and natural resources.

>targetting EU and Russia economically was perhaps a mis-aiming

I would not call it misaiming, Europe has one of the largest economies in the world and the Euro is the second most important currency in the World. As long as Russia and the EU attack each other - it is a win for the US.

>Also, take a single line - "congress obliges Trump to enlist russian officials for sanctions"

It is not simply Congress, the Trump Admin is hawkish on Russia by itself. Pompeo and Bolton are anti-russian and were instrumental in the US leaving the INF. The pressure against Nord Sream is greater than during the Obama Admin, Second Fleet was activated for containing Russia, a russian consulate was captured in pretty brutal manner, etc. Recently, another set of sanctions were enacted by the Trump Admin.

>Estimations are just that, estimations. Guesses into the future mixed with propaganda.

I'm not dismissive of growth estimates and forecasts, this is the job of various companies, organisations and universities. Overall things could be predicted roughly, for example via demographics, median age of population, labour force growth, total factor productivity. The OECD for example is an international organisation working on such forecasts. They can get the rough shapes of growth patterns right - for example it is pretty clear that India or China would be growing faster than, let say, Germany or the US. And this is what their forecasts show. So these are not guestimates.

>Pro-American Modi in power of India was a definite win for USA. But i do not think Trump did it in 2016. Such events are grown for years and years of undercover works.

This is not what i had in mind. While this is true, you did not take into account the prefidy of the US Government, which is working to retard indian economic growth via tarrifs and by trying to remove the WTO perks for developing countries. Even when Modi is frendly to the US, this is still not enough, because the growth of Asia, including India, threatens the dollar.

>Well, maybe. However does it boost much US the hegemon position today?

Iranian economy was booming after the JCPOA was signed. If the Plan remained, Iran would be stronger than today. The whole point is to retard iranian economic growth, which would be far stronger without the sanctions.

>Also notice how this pushes Iran back to Russian bucket

Even back in 2015, Iran did not stop being an israeli adversary, which means that the US would have targeted it one way or another. Plus the US was not in position to gain much from the iranian market, due to their still strained relations caused by the israeli lobby in the US, which caused all types of sabotage in the Iran - US trade relations, the process of removal of sanctions, etc. A big beneficiary from the JCPOA was the EU, and the main losses from the sactions (outside from Iran) were for the EU again. Retarding the EU economy via blocking its trade with Iran (or Russia) is a benefit for the US.

>Venezueala in deep recession. True, and this is again fitting the isolationist bill, to a degree.True, and this is again fitting the isolationist bill, to a degree.

This isn't about isolationism, but about retarding the economy of the rest of the world, and especially of still uncontrolled countries. The point is to preserve the share of relative power the US has, or to slow down its decline as much as possible.

>Now Venezuela can adjust to the new brave world

The point is that Venezuela would be growing far faster without sanctions, thus the US is weakening the independent multipolar world and slowing down its rise.

>Did it really made USA position better in 2018 than it was in 2014?

Obviously. Venezuela today, vis a vis the US, is weaker in relative power terms than in 2014. For the US its better to wreck Venezuela's economy than to allow it to flourish and expand its influence.

>Basically turning EU elites against USA and splitting "Western Hegemony" into rivaling factions.

They are not turning them against the US, that's the point. Europe is too much of a puppet of the US. The US causes various conficts on Europe's perifery in order to turn it against Russia and make it dependent on itself. Divide and Rule.

>would it be much difference for, say, Russia or China or Iran, whether USD or EUR

Yes, Europe is less hawkish than the US overall. If it was up to Europe JCPOA will still be here and there would be no trade wars with China.

>Also, didn't he kind of forced EU elites into Chinese OBOR camp

Its more about economic weakness. Those in Europe with poor economy signed up for BRI - such as eastern Europe and Italy. The big 3 - Germany, France and the UK refuse to join BRI (which is different than AIIB) as of now. I do not see greater western european - China cooperation today than before 5 years. The EU commission declared China a european rival.

>EU was in with US in looting Libya, EU was in with US in looting Serbia, now US calls for EU to join in "patrolling" Persian Gulf and response is... like the one about invading Venezuela. Hegemon became stronger?

The iranian issue has always been a red card for Europe as it fears a really big war in the Gulf. There is nothing new in that. If you are going to talk about "now", the EU did join the US against Syria, its sanctions against Syria still remain, and it does support removing Maduro from power. It did put sanctions against Venezuela, although not at the same level as the US. It is no friend of the Maduro Government.

>And i wish to see more of those wars not less. Won't you?

Currently the result of them is weakeing multipolarity by retarding growth in most of the world. They have negative impact on the global economy.

>EU is the power, that took part in creating narco-haven in Kosovo, murdering children of Iraq, building sex slaves markets in Libya, destroying what was left of democracy in Ukraine. EU power is diminishing? Let it crash and burn if you ask me.

Yes, but the US does not want to crush and burn the EU, it simply wants to make it weak and dependent on itself. A colony.

>Wasn't in 2012 Turkey part of Hegemon entourage neck-deep in bloody ISIS affair?

The more players around, the better. Strong Turkey will be more independent from the US, the US understand that, this is why it want weak Turkey

>Trump could smash Turkey and instate Kudistan.

Trump can not directly smash Turkey, the moment an attempt like this is made is the moment Turkey will invite Russia and China into the country. Rather, a hybrid war is being waged on Turkey, with the aim of weakening Erdogan and replacing him with a reliable puppet.

> Overall situation - the US share in the world economy is declining at slower rates than before Won't this mean Trump's economic policy is if limited success?

No. There is nothing better than this that could be done to stop the US relative decline, it depends on the cards one has to play. Economic convergence process and technological diffusion, driven by globalisation, means that it is impossible the fully stop the rise of the developing world. But if the US did not react like it reacted, and just stayed on its hands, i think its power would have been gone in 2 - 3 years.

>Uni-polarity is not about economic growth.

It is also about the economy and growth. You can't have unipolarity if you don't have the largest economic, as well as military power. One needs to have the largest economy to rule the world (among other things), or they will fail. You can't have it without the dollar dominance as well.

Posted by: Passer by | Aug 20 2019 16:54 utc | 96

passer by... if i could just quickly paraphrase you... - the usa-west is hoping to screw and destroy the rest of the planet so that they can continue to reap the profits - rape and pillage basically, and according to you - trump is succeeding in this... rocks of ruck with that agenda...

@pablo... it only took you 3 posts to show us who you are... thanks for that! i will skip reading all your posts here forward...

Posted by: james | Aug 20 2019 17:00 utc | 97

92;what an eyewash.

Posted by: dahoit | Aug 20 2019 17:00 utc | 98

@ 71 & @75

"So you are of the view that Trump is part of attempt to create a controlled demolition of the US Empire?"

The 'controlled demolition of the US Empire' is an elaborate euphemism for re-nationalism, I suppose. To unfold in three concentric waves.

Step 1. Trade restructuring - close the NAFTA loophole, redirect production to the NA Trade bloc (and friendlier reciprocating markets - Laos, Vietnam, India, etc). Closer to home, Mexico will be a huge beneficiary. Redirected supply lines are no arid macroeconomic development. They mean the radical bestowal of prosperity in some countries and the revocation of prosperity in others. I liken the USMCA impending wage increase in Mexico to Fordism in turn-of-the century America. The $5 a day program minted the US middle class and averted the central crisis of capitalism, overproduction. Anybody can build factories, staff them with rural peasantry and create a tsunami of global deflation. Productive capacity's a cheap trick. What bestows today's prosperity? DEMAND. Trump is asserting the previously unasserted crown jewel of the global economy: a highly developed demand market that has long-since traversed the middle income trap, no small feat.

The Eurasian Century will not arrive soon enough to displace US demand, not for the CCP anyway. Hillary was to cement the terminus of the Managed Decline Arc. Woops. Xi misread Trump. It may sound trite, but Trump's not a politician. His resume 'moves backwards'. He's not a political class grifter who's gathering chits in career one to build a global foundation in career 2. This is the career trajectory the Chinese have been normalized towards. Their 11th hour adjustments in the first agreement would have been snatched by any craven US politician and heralded as a victory. Trump defied all expectations by walking away. There's no doubt this rattled the Chinese. Let's also not forget Trump picked this fight as he did NAFTA renegotiation. These were settled modes of business in line with globalist and corporatist agendas. The Eurasian Century (and belated domestic Chinese demand, the offsetting sponge the world needed in 1999 and should have insisted upon had Clinton not been bought off to WTO entry. This treachery, in the end, served no one except the political classes of both nations.) The ferocity of the present China-US struggle is a direct result of its criminal belatedness. WW3 is a possible outcome. Neither nation was well-served by this procrastination. (Google the 1996 United States campaign finance controversy).

Step 2. A significant resurgence of US domestic productivity collapses the Triffin Paradox which mandates structural trade deficits from the reserve currency nation. Main Street retakes the streets from Wall Street money-changers who were only too happy to abet the trade deficit (and make the $ the US' preeminent export) by shipping manufacturing overseas (it wasn't 'their' jobs after all) , hollowing out the soul of the country and creating a nation of opium-eaters. The US Chamber of Commerce (multinational mouthpiece) detests Trump. This will ultimately lead to a relinquishing of USD reserve currency status. It was going to happen anyway under the globalist regime, just more wrenchingly ala the Argentine Paradox.

Step 3. What is after all the US military's paycheck? The petrodollar. A full spectrum military answerable to a nationalized currency would hyper-inflate away overnight. The Empire military footprint is unsustainable with a trade-rebalanced and re-nationalized USD and absent the infinite flow of defended oil (hence the Oil Standard usurping the Gold Standard in 1973 - the peak household income year in the US incidentally). So a receding MIC is implicit in the Trump agenda, though too controversial to trumpet at this early juncture --back end of term 2 maybe? Natural attrition will be tagged with this outcome. We see Soros and Koch already joining forces to herald a new era of peace. Strange bedfellows.

In the broadest terms, the Trump theme is a tectonic and hyper-ambitious re-seating of Main Street as the driver of the American economy. This pits him against every vested interest on the planet. It's the ultimate counter-cycle to one-worldism and neoliberal financialization. The globalists were done with America and ready to toss the population to a fentanyl fog.

I prefer skirting Trump is a moron trope. Suffice to say SOMEBODY assembled the Navarro-Lighthizer-Ross-Mnuchin trade team -the only nucleus that matters for Step 1 above. want to sell into this market? There will be a kiosk fee. You want to call that a war? Well, that sounds a bit histrionic. But maybe it also conveys your fear. Leveraging US demand for geopolitical and trade advantage after decades of post-WW2 market building in devastated nations. This policy had overstayed its efficacy from an 'America First' standpoint.

Posted by: Full Spectrum Domino | Aug 20 2019 17:01 utc | 99

Most powerfully, the SAA demonstrated today with squeezing the Hama salient that when it decides to move there is fuck all that the jihadists can do to stop it. In historical terms this is akin to the Battle of St Quentin Canal back in WW1 where part of the British Fourth Army including British and Australian divisions with two US divisions tore a 17km gap in the strongest part of the Hindenberg Line and demonstrated that the Imperial German Army was fucked, as the western allies could pretty much to what they wanted where and when they decided.
There will be no race to capture Idlib City as that will mean taking a lot of jihadists prisoner and why should the Syrians have to deal with the foreign jihadists? Instead, war will be replaced with politics and the foreign jihadists will be "encouraged" to return to their own countries. Either that or take the war to Turkey because of Erdogan's complete failure to support them. And all the other countries that failed the jihadists will be "remembered" sometime in the future. As for the Russians, the jihadists will remember that the Russian intervention in Syria was trivial in the scheme of things (less than a hundred aircraft?) and that if the jihadists try to mess with Russia again, will understand what a full-blown intervention by Russia will look like.
There might be some holdouts in Idlib but they will be dealt with, and today the balance of power in the Middle East and also the world tilted notably in favour of "the axis of evil" (yet another example of American projection because the United States and its poodles are the real axis of evil!

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Aug 20 2019 17:17 utc | 100

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