Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
October 24, 2019

Syria - The Kurds Want To Play On Both Sides

When President Trump ignored bad advice he enabled progress in Syria. Unfortunately Trump is back at listening to the bad advice some State Department people are giving him:

President Donald Trump says he wants to “end endless wars.” But the counter-Iran, counter-Russia hawks on his national security team are planning to sneak in a long-term U.S. military presence in southeast Syria. And their plans may have been in the works for a while.

With U.S. forces opening the gates for Turkey to take over northeast Syria, Trump administration officials are now drawing up plans to keep several hundred U.S. troops alongside Arab rebel groups in the country’s oil-rich southeast. Trump has said, “we have secured the oil.” And Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) diplomats have said they’re willing to work with such a plan.

The National Interest has learned that the Trump administration’s anti-ISIS team, led by Ambassador James Jeffrey, has floated the idea of a counter-Iran presence in Deir ez-Zor for some time now.

“Every day, the [U.S.-led] coalition has been very strong against [Syrian ruler] Assad,” said Omar Abu Layla, CEO of Deirezzor24, who said that he has seen U.S. helicopters and F-35 fighter jets increase their presence against Iranian-backed forces in the region.

Abu Layla told the National Interest that he spoke to Jeffrey’s team three or four months ago. “They promised, ‘we will not leave Syria before we kick Iran out of Syria,’” he claimed. “They will not leave our province easily.”

While James Jeffrey pushes the anti-Iran nonsense Trump dreams of winning a Nobel Peace Prize by facilitating a deal between Turkey and the Kurds:

In the infamous “undiplomatic” letter to Erdogan a few days ago, Trump had voiced an audacious idea that Gen. Mazloum could be a potential negotiator with Erdogan. To quote Trump, “General Mazloum is willing to negotiate with you (Erdogan), and he is willing to make concessions that they would never have made in the past. I am confidentially enclosing a copy of his letter to me, just received.”

Yet, General Mazloum is Turkey’s most wanted terrorist who worked in the ranks of the separatist PKK for nearly 3 decades and it is necessary to connect some dots at this point.
Gen. Mazloum is likely to visit Washington in a near future; so is Erdogan. Trump is promoting Kurdish reconciliation with Turkey. The last fortnight’s developments on the diplomatic front have removed the single biggest source of tension in the US-Turkey relations — US’ alliance with YPG and the presence of Kurdish fighters along Syria’s border with Turkey.

When one combines the two items one can understand the thinking behind this otherwise idiotic tweet:

Donald J. Trump - @realDonaldTrump - 17:48 UTC · Oct 24, 2019

I really enjoyed my conversation with General @MazloumAbdi. He appreciates what we have done, and I appreciate what the Kurds have done. Perhaps it is time for the Kurds to start heading to the Oil Region!

The Kurds live in the northern part of east Syria. The oilfields are in the eastern part of Deir Ezzor governorate, 300 kilometers south of the Kurdish areas. The oil fields lie in an area that has a 100% Arabic population and Kurds are generally not welcome there. But the U.S. does not want to send enough troops to occupy the oil fields. It needs a proxy force it can trust.


Should the U.S. try occupy the oil fields area with the help of a Kurdish militia the local Arabs will immediately (re-)convert to ISIS and fight the occupiers of their land.

Joshua Landis @joshua_landis - 18:20 UTC · Oct 24, 2019

9. Iran and Russia are rivals of the US, but any effort by Washington to undermine their efforts to bring stability to NE Syria will only help ISIS & extremist groups. If the US keeps troops in the area, takes oil wells, or resists the transition of authority, it will serve ISIS.

I had some hope that Trump had recognized that James Jeffrey was working against his effort the pull U.S. troops out of Syria. Jeffrey should have been fired long ago. Instead it seems that Trump is still listening to him.

Meanwhile the Kurds again prove their utter lack of political sensibility. The State Department insulted them:

A State Department official broke a pencil and screamed at the Syrian Kurdish delegation during a dramatic breakdown of relations between the United States and the Syrian Kurds. The high-tension moment in September highlights the diplomatic problems plaguing the Trump administration ..

The U.S. envoys lied to them and Trump betrayed them. But they still believe that they can make deals on both sides of the Syria conflict.

Ali @CoolHuh_ - 19:39 UTC · Oct 24, 2019

SDF in last 24 hour:
Want SAA to defend border
No withdrawing of their mercenaries
Refuse Russian offer
Ask Russia to pressure Syrian gov
Want "special section" in SAA
Want US illegal presence in Syria
Want international forces

SDF, Are you high?

The Syrian government and the Russian military must tell the PKK-Kurds that they can not play on both sides of the game. No Syrian or Russian soldier shall risk their life to secure and defend the Kurdish majority areas against a Turkish invasion while the Kurds help the U.S. to occupy and steal Syrian oil fields. Either they submit to the Syrian government and end their relations with the U.S. or they shall have to confront a Turkish invasion of their northern areas.

"General" Mazloum Abdi must be told in very clear words that there is no other chance for the Kurds and for himself to survive.

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

next page »

When you see this development, you understand that there is no way that Trump or any of the Americans were included in talking through the potential deal that has emerged between the Kurds and the SAA, Russia and Turkey, etc. No, every sane negotiator knows that the Americans cannot be trusted, and that in negotiations they are a giant sieve working against each other. Count on Trump being out of the loop completely on any complex negotiations. Sure, at the time of the Turkish 'incursion' Trump may have heard that it would be a good idea to send Pence to Erdogan - and that idea was likely from the Russians and already vetted with the Turks: 'give him a little win and he'll be delirious'. It has all the markings of smart diplomacy - ie the Russians, Lavrov: he knows you never get real peace if you humiliate one side.
Here again, these oilfields issues will be solved by the patient Russians.

Posted by: Josh | Oct 24 2019 18:35 utc | 1

kurds and US are great allies because neither of them ever keep their word or any of their treaties they agreed to. Being such close relatives of duplicity, not surprised at either's behaviour.

Posted by: Igor Bundy | Oct 24 2019 18:44 utc | 2

Why haven't the SAA taken control of Deir-Ezzor and established at least a minimal presence on the east bank of the Euphrates there?

Posted by: Julian Bridal | Oct 24 2019 18:51 utc | 3

“The Syrian government and the Russian military must tell the PKK-Kurds that they can not play on both sides of the game. No Syrian or Russian soldier shall risk their life to secure and defend the Kurdish majority areas against a Turkish invasion while the Kurds help the U.S. to occupy and steal Syrian oil fields.”

If Syria is willing to effectively cede its eastern territory to Turkey, then they can definitely take that line, and let things fall where they may. But if the Turkish occupation will be harder to dislodge in the long term than the YPG and the U.S., then in doing so Damascus might be cutting off its nose to spite its face.

A tricky situation.

Posted by: David G | Oct 24 2019 18:53 utc | 4

Perhaps Trump is trying to do the right thing as b has pointed out. Who knows? But, Everything points to the contrary. At the very least, his inability to put a team around him that allows for his policy to be. Implemented puts his leadership in question. Everything we see is the leftover Zionist plan to sow chaos and division in order to get to their lifelong dream of attacking Iran.

As Quintes Arias put it, these idiots should know when they have been conquered. But they refuse and continue to throw stones at every turn with Trump being a mere spectator.

Unless every Jew and/or Zionist is purged from White House, Trump’s plans have no hope of success. And of course we know that is an impossibility.

Posted by: Alpi | Oct 24 2019 18:54 utc | 5

Now that the Kurds are no longer facing an immediate an existential threat, they become susceptible to the blandishments of their American fair-weather friends.

Posted by: Sid Finster | Oct 24 2019 19:00 utc | 6

it seems possible this is going according to plan...chaos. trump may've come to believe that by freeing isis from prison he can have them prevent syria from ever regaining its oil. as well america can then along with israel concentrate on preparing for war with iran. set up troops in iraq & begin planning for war after the election. leaving syria much as america & israel wants...chaotic, devastated & struggling to fend off head choppers. trump & his 'advisors' may not fully believe how committed china is to iran or how serious putin is about syria---that may prove a fatal miscalculation. i believe iran, syria, russia & china & possibly iraq all aware of this possibility/probability & see what's going on as merely a precursor to the real battle. something they've been waiting for & preparing for. as always it's possible turkey is still uncommitted & hoping to play both sides until the winner (s) are obvious. i'm hesitant to as some have called this turn of events as a win but simply a signal stage before the undeclared war is obviously war. i hope i am wrong.

Posted by: emersonreturn | Oct 24 2019 19:12 utc | 7

The Kurks are just posturing in hopes that Israel will get back into the equation. It may be their best hand at the moment.

Posted by: ng | Oct 24 2019 19:13 utc | 8

Patrick Armstrong has a new one out at SST:


Posted by: Bemildred | Oct 24 2019 19:48 utc | 9

I had some hope that Trump had recognized that James Jeffrey was working against his effort the pull U.S. troops out of Syria. Jeffrey should have been fired long ago. Instead it seems that Trump is still listening to him.

Trump has always had a mutant ability to attract people’s unmerited confidence, and it’s still going strong.

From New York City preservationists who believed developer Trump when he said he would save architectural details of the Bonwit Teller building he demolished in 1980 to make room for the original Trump Tower, to everyone earnestly hoping candidate/president Trump was serious about wanting the U.S. to step back from empire – with many, many busted creditors, stiffed tradesman, and traduced fellow USFL team owners in between – they are all betrayed.

Moreover, Trump craves the resulting anger and recrimination since, in his brutally zero-sum view of every human interaction, other people’s dismay is a signal to him that he is the winner. With his stunted cognitive abilities, not understanding the substance of the various “deals” he participates in, his only reliable indicators of success are money and others’ misery.

Congratulations, b, on your admission to this numerous – if not exactly illustrious – fellowship.

Posted by: David G | Oct 24 2019 19:55 utc | 10

"But the U.S. does not want to send enough troops to occupy the oil fields. It needs a proxy force it can trust."

That has been my thought the last couple of days, with a slight difference. US wants a Tanf type set up with a US base in there somewhere but a proxy force that occupies the oilfields.

Trump has long had thoughts on "taking the oil" going back to at least 2016. Trump was first to mention anything on securing the oil and now the underlings have to run around making that work.
One of the wins for Trump was in using the oilfields to offset the outrage that US was pulling out of Syria.
Esper has said first stage of the pullout does not include the oilfields. That would be a minimum of two weeks and the situation would be looked at. Trump will try and hold enough ground to cut the oil line that runs from northeast Syria back to west Syria.

On the forces that pulled back to Iraq, Iraq is going through the US to try and get them out. Esper says they are just staying in Iraq until US arranges transport for them.
Those forces are in Iraq to stay. Trump is not about bringing troops home. He does want to end the useless and purposeless endless wars that do not pay, and reposition those forces for something that does pay.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Oct 24 2019 19:58 utc | 11

This is a junk map from a junk twitter account but it does show where I think the new US front lines will be. This would cut the oil line running from north east Syria.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Oct 24 2019 20:06 utc | 12

Thanks for the posting b and your evolving understanding about Trump's actions and words

I don't see this situation being unresolved through the US elections a year from now. With the US pullout from Norther Syria, it seems to be a matter of weeks before enough pressure can be made on the Deir az_Zur oilfields with Russian air defense and cover. The momentum continues to be on the side of Syria to restore its sovereign borders, IMO

Posted by: psychohistorian | Oct 24 2019 20:10 utc | 13

My, my. Bernard has seen the light in barely 48 hours. Indeed, the plan since Trump's announcement has been for the Kurds to move south, displacing Arabs, and Turkey invading/annexing a large strip of NE Syria. The fact that this is insanity, as Canthama at has pointed out, does not phase our "very stable genius." Kurds and the Arab tribes in Deir ez-Zor will pay for it with their blood. No more room on those tiny hands, so it will just have to drip.

Posted by: anti_republocrat | Oct 24 2019 20:14 utc | 14

re: Syria oil fields
I ran across this map of Syria oil fields, with the only US base at Ash Shaddadi which was ISIL's last stronghold in al-Hasakah province. US troops departed Ash Shaddadi recently according to this report. The US has troops over the border on the Iraq side at Sinjar mountain, the site of the Yazidi difficulties.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 24 2019 20:28 utc | 15

ok, i don't have an opinion, because I'm no expert. but the insistence of the US to stay at all costs in Syria, after losing the war, does it mean that there is more than meets the eye? "countering Iran" is bullshit as a justification imo, because if Syria invites/welcomes Iran, there is nothing anybody can do. it looks like, even after losing the war, US is clinching like a maniac to the idea of destroying syria / removing asad. for whatever reason.

Posted by: albagen | Oct 24 2019 20:30 utc | 16

albagen @19: There is a fine mist of bullshit in the air at the moment, lots and lots of it, trying to "shape opinions" with fake facts. What is happening in NE Syria will become clear enough in a few days. In the US case there is a lot of butt covering, both Trumpist and anti-Trumpist. The Yurpeans seems to be dumbfounded. In the meantime just assume everybody is dissembling if not outright lying. (Except us here of course.) In the meantime your best guide is what was agreed to in Sochi.

Posted by: Bemildred | Oct 24 2019 20:38 utc | 17

My, how quickly we change our tune! Can't keep up with your boy Trump's vicissitudes, huh?

Don't say I didn't warn you when you left that gaping hole in your last happy argument. Trump has been ANTI-IRAN from day one, so don't try to pass off this setback in your theory repeatedly for the 100th time as yet another case of his handlers getting inside his head. That excuse is in dire need of geriatric care; it's gotten so old and wobbly.

And no, Josh @1, the oilfields debacle will not be solved by the patient Russians. They had plenty of years to wrest that bone away from the jaws of the U.S. without avail. Eastern Syria like the Southwest has been Zionist-occupied territory for quite some time now and Trump came into office not only with that iron-clad understanding but ready to take on Iran guns blazing. I suspect Netanyahoo must have already informed Putin on his many visits to Russia that Eastern Syria was off limits to Putin's designs on Syria.

The Kurds are also aware of Zionist U.S. unwillingness to vacate Eastern Syria. God knows they got to know Americans well enough in so many years which is precisely what gives them so much false hope. Then there's Trump who never misses an opportunity to seize on foolish susceptibility casting a line with bait in their direction as Turkey and the U.S. have a tightly-aligned goal to ethnically cleanse the Kurds and resettle the rabid anti-Assad mass in their place. So why wouldn't Trump try to lure them with black honey straight into the hornet's nest? The answer is clear.

What's mind boggling is how bold the Kurds demands are taking them right off the reservation vis a vis their stark reality. In that we can agree. I understand why they sided with the Americans against the existential threat posed by ISIS but now the U.S. in collusion with Turkey presently pose the greatest threat to them.

As far as Russia is concerned. I think Russia should have stuck to a secured limited buffer zone instead of a SAFE ZONE where rebel refugees are to be resettled and then used as an excuse for a no-fly. Russia's basically playing along with the Turkish U.S. goal! That too is crazy.

Again, my point here is that you have two Nato allies one with a Zionist agenda trying to create irreversible FACTS ON THE GROUND in Northern and Eastern Syria and you're pretending here that Trump is an innocent dupe?

Trump came in with an anti-Iran Zionist agenda and he's executing it rigorously. It's time you stop defending Trump.

Unless of course you're on board with it.

The Kurks are just posturing in hopes that Israel will get back into the equation.

Israel never left the equation. Israel has been breaching Syria's sovereignty and plotting against it for years. Although, it's true Israel can play the Kurds like a Stradivarius to achieve the goal in Syria, unfortunately for them, they're now in the way of that goal.

As a matter of fact, Zionists wrote the equation. Clean Break: Securing the Realm.

Posted by: Circe | Oct 24 2019 20:42 utc | 18

how dare the kurds do what the kurds want to do. Don't they know that they have to fall over dead in a ditch or start liking hte boots of the russian and turkish shitface?
its the kurds?

Posted by: Sabine | Oct 24 2019 20:46 utc | 19

psychohistorian @13:

“… it seems to be a matter of weeks before enough pressure can be made on the Deir az_Zur oilfields with Russian air defense and cover.

That’s the open question: will Russia be willing to join in applying such pressure?

I don’t doubt Russia and Putin’s good faith, but they are relentlessly realistic. They have succeeded in denying the Western, neo-Ottoman, and jihadist maximal goals of destroying Syria, as they felt they had to, but how far are they willing to go to frustrate the barbarians’ fallback position of merely crippling it?

Will Russia be willing to risk direct, armed confrontation with the U.S. and/or NATO-member Turkey just to give the Syrian people back their future? And if the answer is no, can we really say that’s wrong? As inspiring as such a campaign would be, the possible repercussions are terrifying.

Happily, Putin, Lavrov, & Co. are a lot better at this than I, so perhaps they will find a way.

Posted by: David G | Oct 24 2019 20:46 utc | 20

Well, that didn't take long - 2 days in fact. Far from Trump being some policy genius, he's the policy embodiment of Brownian motion - ie essentially random. I think we are fast approaching the time when the Hegemon is finally called out and its troops attacked.

Posted by: cdvision | Oct 24 2019 20:54 utc | 21

Don Bacon

The only reports and maps of US bases come from Turkey. Now that the US has dumped the Kurds and their dream of Rojava, Turkey no longer has a problem with US being in Syria.
Turk news on Syria is at times as unreliable as Israeli news and Voltairenet.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Oct 24 2019 21:03 utc | 22

Yesterday, Russia warned the Kurds to retreat or be destroyed by Turkish forces:

"The Kremlin: 'It appears the United States is still encouraging the Kurds to stay close to the border to fight Turkey.' 'We call on the Kurds to withdraw completely from the border area or you shall be destroyed by the Turkish Army.'"

Meanwhile, the "Syrian Army, backed by air force and artillery, launches an attack on locations of armed terrorist groups in Kabani mountains of Lattakia northern countryside amid fierce clashes" and an ongoing build-up in forces as it becomes clear the biggest concerted effort to clear the Kobani area of terrorists and occupy it heights will soon begin.

Will the Kurds allow themselves to be fooled yet again onto doing the Outlaw US Empire's dirty work or will they recognize that they need to stay with their kinsmen and begin to build their future reality within the Syrian state? IMO, those Kurds willing to do the Empire's illegal bidding will find themselves designated as terrorists and attacked as Damascus's patience with them is likely to expire with such actions.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 24 2019 21:06 utc | 23

cdvision 25

Trump is only random if you refuse to look at what he is doing. His interests are oil and Israel.
A bad mistake to believe Trump is the reality show US wrestling persona he wears.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Oct 24 2019 21:07 utc | 24

I think it's a mistake to consider "the Kurds" as a unified entity. They are a bunch of formerly nomadic family groups with no common leadership. That makes them so easy targets for foreign influence. Promise one entity their own land, here eternal wealth from Syrian oil fields, and they will do for you whatever you demand. History is full of examples.

Secondly, it turns out that e.g. Circe was right in always pounding on the fact that Trump never intended to pull out of Syria. All what this moron ever understood of foreign policy is that the US of A is totally dependent on the control of oil trade. Consider his boot licking of the barbarian Saudis, consider Venezuela, consider Iran. The jerk tries to " secure the oil", that's all. It's hard to accept, I know, but the United States are no more run by a smart split-tounged MIC servant like Obomber but a simple-minded idiot.

And finally, it displays real greatness to change one's assessment publicly in front of such a large and knowledgeable audience as the MoA pack. Thanks, b!

Posted by: Cemi | Oct 24 2019 21:14 utc | 25

Peter @28

I think you are crediting Trump where none is due. Stand back a little: his administration is a shambles; he's on the edge of impeachment; the US credibility around the world has never been lower; and, the US forces are far from being the most formidable on the planet and could not match their peers; oh, and I forgot the economy is a busted flush. Not the results of a stable genius. (As an aside, its time the AU read the tea leaves and distanced themselves from the US). I have no doubt that Trump only has eyes for oil and Israel, but events on the ground are leaving the US behind.

Posted by: cdvision | Oct 24 2019 21:23 utc | 26

To Sabine at 23:

Sure it's the Kurds. Trying to carve out a piece of the pie when the country's integrity is at stake gives a 2-front (or more) war. The tiny tiny Syrian Kurdish community can't make war on 2 fronts. Also, anyone allied to to the US deserves whatever it gets: without defeating, preferably destroying the US, no problem will ever be solved. So yes, it's the Kurds.

When the YPG people pulled out all the able units in Turkey to go fight ISIS, hundreds, perhaps thousands were massacred by the Turkish state but most people saw that as an inevitable sacrifice to defend against the imperial monster. Up to when they allied themselves with the monster itself.

Posted by: joe | Oct 24 2019 21:25 utc | 27

I don't think the oil fields will be contested until roughly this time next year. Assad and Putin need to consolidate the huge gift Trump and Turkey gave them, and given SAA troop shortages, that will take time.

Idlib, and especially Kabani need to be retaken first. Kabani is a real thorn in Russia's side. Due to proximity and elevation Kabani, and whoever is manning the mountain top fortress (NATO?) provide a constant threat to the Lattakia airbase. Russian air-defenses have been very adept at taking down the variety of drones and missiles coming from that direction, but if the shit ever hit the fan, Kabani could easily be the straw that broke the camels back for the Russian Airbase.

Before now, Syria could not really operate as a nation-state without help and funds. With the newly acquired territory, it can. A nice chunk of arable land, some minor oil and gas fields, and most importantly the hydroelectric dams have all been reunified with the Syrian state. Tactically, Tabqa Airbase is a vital piece in the puzzle for future Syrian territorial integration.

All of this new territory will take time to fully secure, a time made longer by the man-power shortages in the SAA. Kurdish forces need to be integrated, insurrectionists need to be weeded out. Forward bases need to be built, equipped, and manned. Syria would be foolish to rush this in its impatience to win back the Eastern Syrian Oil Fields. It would be very easy to overextend at this point. The US goal is still regime change and conquest (Al Tanf is to be the spearhead), but with each passing day that becomes more unlikely.

Patience is a virtue, and Putin has plenty of that. Erdogan and Trump handed Syria it's biggest victory since Aleppo regardless of their ultimate motives. Time to consolidate gains and reinforce. There is still a long way to go, and the route is fraught with peril, but to spin recent events as negative for Syria/Russia is misleading.

Posted by: J-Dogg | Oct 24 2019 21:27 utc | 28

From transcript of speech by Trump at cabinet meeting Oct 21.
"We’ve secured the oil. If you remember, I didn’t want to go into Iraq. I was a civilian, so I had no power over it. But I always was speaking against going into Iraq. It was not a great decision. But I always said, “If you’re going in, keep the oil.” Same thing here: Keep the oil. We want to keep the oil.

And we’ll work something out with the Kurds so that they have some money, they have some cash flow. Maybe we’ll get one of our big oil companies to go in and do it properly. But they’ll have some cash flow, which they basically don’t have right now. Everybody is fighting. It’s not a big oil area, but everybody is fighting for whatever there is. So we have a lot of good things going over there, and they’re going very well."

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Oct 24 2019 21:28 utc | 29

b: Jeffrey should have been fired long ago. Instead it seems that Trump is still listening to him.

We can say that that's a pattern now with Trump. He hires a non-Trump, a Trump opposite to get another opinion, then does what he does. Why should one hire people who agree? Yes-men? No, give me your best shot and then I'll do what I'll do.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 24 2019 21:28 utc | 30

Im not surprised that the US is again trying to play spoiler and hold on to Syria's oil fields, but the simple fact is blocking the Syrian government's access to it's own oil will cost the US (in terms of supplying those troops) far more that what it costs the Syrian government in terms of lost oil revenues.

The Turds will have little luck in occupying in the Arab parts of Syria and I doubt they will have high morale while their own homes are being bombed by the Turks. This move reeks of desperation on the part of the Americans and I suspect they make more desperate moves in the future, the US originally supported Isis in trying to overthrow Syria, so I'm concerned that they will try to revive Isis to keep the Syrian pot boiling, rather than admit defeat. A lot I think will depend on how Iraq responds to the USs' unannounced second invasion of troops, will they expel them?

Posted by: Kadath | Oct 24 2019 21:29 utc | 31

b.. thanks for being able to change your position here with regard to trump and usa's intentions... the last weeks titles might be better named 'lose, lose, lose and lose' instead of the win many thought they were.. trump is about looking after trump - whatever that means.. i like the idea of him wanting to pull out of wars, but the talk doesn't line up with the bottom line here.. listening to this jackass jeffries is more of the same..

as for the kurdish leadership in northern syria - they are unreliable as i see wg pointed out earlier - they will go with uncle scams paycheck - a practical response in itself, but are unable to see how they are being used, or worse - don't care and think they are going to get something out of it.. that is the sign of a loser.. they have shown themselves to be this way..

meanwhile, either trump is being sabotaged - not how i see it, or he wants to claim something that isn't his to claim - like the oil fields in syria on more then a few symbolic levels.. and now we understand why this first rate loser graham - has been fine, and why israel hasn't bellyached about all this very much.. things are going to heat up going into the end of the month.. i don't think it is going to look pretty..

Posted by: james | Oct 24 2019 21:32 utc | 32

Kadath "A lot I think will depend on how Iraq responds to the USs' unannounced second invasion of troops, will they expel them?"

Iraq are going through the UN to try and have the US forces that have come from Syria moved on. By going through the UN, it means they are going to bend over and take whatever the US dishes out.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Oct 24 2019 21:36 utc | 33

US wants to "keep the oil" so it can be used to fund the Kurds, they are trying to bring the General to US, not clear it the General is going to come, Erdogan is insisting on coming as agreed too.

But the idea is to prevent the Kurd militias from joining up with SAA. It's delusional I know, but that's not new with the Jeffrey cohort. If the General takes them up on it at this point, he's dumber than I thought.

At this point I'd say: "watch that General", he's the bone of contention. Lucky him.

Posted by: Bemildred | Oct 24 2019 21:42 utc | 34

Don Bacon
Take a look at all Trump appointees. The common denominator is a hatred of Iran. They are all Nicky Haley types. Some or most have a few other hates - Russia or whoever else - but above all, they must have a blind hatred of Iran.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Oct 24 2019 21:45 utc | 35

Plenty of Kurds are for sale. Not all, but enough for US purposes.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Oct 24 2019 21:47 utc | 36

One never knows what he'll say next:
Trump Takes Credit for Syria Deal
President Trump is seeking to take credit for the ceasefire in Syria, painting it as a victory for his unconventional foreign policy. As part of the agreement, he removed all U.S. sanctions imposed after Turkey launched its military operation. (Source: Bloomberg)

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 24 2019 21:49 utc | 37

@ Peter 39
re: a blind hatred of Iran
That's been a US staple for forty years, like the hatred for Russia.
Some things change, some things stay the same.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 24 2019 21:53 utc | 38

true... and blindness is not a trait you want to hold to when you want to continue to be an exceptional nation either..

Posted by: james | Oct 24 2019 21:54 utc | 39

FFS, hasn't anyone else here worked out that you don't listen to what Trump say but look at what he does. Until the American oil company that's assigned the job of repairing the oil infrastructure and extracting, refining and exporting stolen Syrian oil actually sells some refined Syrian oil outside of Syria with no money ending up in the Syrian Arab Treasury, then there is no real evidence that Trump wants to control the Syrian oil.
Meanwhile, he's having to deal with Special Forces admirals pushing for a coup against him while claiming he'll build the border wall in Colorado. The last bit is a genius level example of the bullshit he constantly pumps out to keep people from looking at what he's doing elsewhere too closely.
At the moment, the Deir Ez-zor Military Council, a formerly jihadist anti-Assad organization that became part of the SDF is saying that it will continue to fight the Assad regime even without the support of the Americans. If the YPG arrive in eastern Deir Ez-zor to take control of the oilfields and evict the Arab tribes, how long will it be before the Arab tribes are negotiating with Damascus.
Nobody in Washington, including Trump, has really thought this through and done a risk assessment or filled out the health and safety questionnaire. Until they do, I'll regard this as nothing more than talk, or rather, collective bullshit from Washington including Trump and still maintain that Circe is wrong as usual yet again, while I think most of b's analysis is spot on.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Oct 24 2019 21:55 utc | 40

I don't use bold to emphasize a sentence as I usually mess it up, but this part of Trump's speech, some of which I quoted @33 does need emphasising. I have been saying it for some time, and now Trump has said it himself.

"But I always said, “If you’re going in, keep the oil.”

Take a look at what gulf oil states the US is in.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Oct 24 2019 21:55 utc | 41

Well it looks right now like the shake out is going to be that Turkey gets a bigger chunk of Syria than it had before and the US increases its grip on Syria's oil. As so often happens, the Trump administration is slighly more honest, in a sense, about its criminal intentions than US leadership tends to be. They have pretty much said "we are here to steal the oil". Well, they were at least polite enough to use the word "secure" rather than steal. That word substitution almost makes it sound like they are doing everyone a big favor when they steal the oil.

Posted by: paul | Oct 24 2019 22:01 utc | 42

The head of the SDF political wing Ilhem Ahmed is set to testify in the House this afternoon, is calling on the Trump admin to impose sanctions on Turkey, deploy international peacekeepers, and install a no-fly zone over Northern Syria after the Turkish incursion here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 24 2019 22:03 utc | 43

Iraq saying it was going to the UN to remove the supposedly transiting US troops (just them and not the US entirely) started me wondering what hold the US has over Iraq and why the Trump admin confidently feels it can simply ignore the Iraq government.

The recent riots in Iraq. Genuine problems there and reasons to protest, but there was also snipers.
What stopped the riots and protests... They stopped very suddenly - at the point when US pulled back from the border in Syria and Turkey launched its attack.
With genuine problems in Iraq, it would be very easy for a media warrior unit (to combat ISIS) to kick off protests. Bring in a few agent provocateur to do a bit of rioting (though perhaps they weren't required) and some snipers.... By the way it all shut down so suddenly, and the timing, it seems like it was designed as a warning to Iraq

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Oct 24 2019 22:14 utc | 44


If Russia had insisted with Turkey on a patrolled buffer zone instead of a wide safe zone for refugee resettlement purposes maybe the Kurds would be more inclined to trust the Russians.

After so much spent, either Russia was outfoxed on Syria or it willingly capitulated to most of the Turkish (Zionist U.S.) demands.

I believe Assad is very cautiously, reluctantly going along with the deal Russia brokered with Turkey which basically amounts to the same as the U.S. Turkey plan except that Russia gets to patrol the Northern border and maybe prevent a no fly zone, but the refugees will still be resettled and a civil status quo will not last. It's non-sensical to imagine Assad is on board with millions of people who mostly hate him settling there and Turkish and rebel boots on the ground.

As far as Eastern Syria, Putin dropped the ball on that one quite some time ago and willingly or unwittingly BETRAYED IRAN in so doing.

All along I suspected this was the case. Honestly, Russia did postpone the inevitable in Syria but the Ziocon road of destruction to Tehran is in the final stages and in that sense Russia accomplished squat.

@35 Kadath

but the simple fact is blocking the Syrian government's access to it's own oil will cost the US (in terms of supplying those troops) far more that what it costs the Syrian government in terms of lost oil revenues.

The U.S. is in a way better position to absorb that cost than Syria is to suffer losses.

@32 J-Dogg

No patience required from Putin when he already gave up the farm in Eastern Syria. Eastern Syria was supposed to be developed into an Syria-Iraq-Iran economic corridor. Now it's becoming the tip of the spear to destroy Iran. I'd say Syria is in a much more vulnerable position than you make it out to be.

@47 Don Bacon

Kurdish Hail Mary pass. Zionist U.S. will choose chaos over the Kurds. The no-fly zone will be attempted once the refugee flood gates are flung open.

Posted by: Circe | Oct 24 2019 22:17 utc | 45

Repost from last rhread:

"I see this new (half) tank brigade deployment (if in Al Tanf) as a possible reactionary measure following Pelosi's / Dems visit to Jordan. How can the US send in those troops? Either from Anbar in Iraq or via Jordan to Al Tanf. Certainly not from KRG's border, doesnt make sense..


Another concerns if this deployment happens is the SAA being overstretched. There are already 30 000+ troops moved to NE Syria..

Posted by: Lozion | Oct 24 2019 22:17 utc | 46

@48 peter... money, just like what they have used to pay the kurds in northern syria...

Posted by: james | Oct 24 2019 22:20 utc | 47

ditto circes comment to @35 kadath.. that is obvious... again, it's about money.. who gets to print it without restraint, and who doesn't..

Posted by: james | Oct 24 2019 22:21 utc | 48

The US leadership openly stating that they're going to take the Syrian oil is so blatant that it reminds me of a late-stage Athenian Empire, right on the eve of the Pelopnnesian War. At this point, I'm half expecting Trump to quote (well, more probably paraphrase in Trump-speak) the Melian Dialogue on Twitter.

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Oct 24 2019 22:28 utc | 49

How does this oil Trump has secured get transported to market. Oil smugglers would seem a legitimate target for SAA/Russian forces. Will Erdogan turn a blind eye to Kurdish oil shipments crossing into Turkey? Once again it sounds like Washington's gone off half-cocked.

Posted by: justme23 | Oct 24 2019 22:29 utc | 50

Circe 49

Putin is bring the pot of frogs very slowly to the boil. Raise the temperature too quick and they will start letting of nukes. Everything Putin has done, putting Russia back together and now with Russia's move into the world, is done through evolution not revolution, just enough military force used at times to being about circumstances required for change. US was and is the most difficult problem in Syria. Turkey is a small problem and will be easy to remove once US is out. But while Turkey is there, Russia will use to to encourage the return of refugees and from there reconciliation with the Syrian government.
It will take a few years to wind down some, but is doable once they are under state control even if that state is Turkey.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Oct 24 2019 22:30 utc | 51

Julian Bridal @ 3, David G @ 4:

At this point in time, it would be madness for the SAA to try to secure the area east of Deir-ez-Zor up to the border with Iraq. This is a thinly populated area and is mostly desert.

The most pressing priority is to secure and maintain the more populated areas in the western parts of the country, especially the area around Aleppo and its highway links to Damascus and the coast. This is partly why the Syrians have been itching for ages to launch their offensive against the jihadis in Idlib province, because that area is close to Aleppo and as long as the jihadis remain in Idlib, Aleppo is still vulnerable.

A long-term strategy is needed for Damascus to reclaim all the pre-2011 Syrian territory and to keep it, not simply to go racing around the country trying to play Whack-a-Mole whenever Kurdish, American, European and Turkish forces or various jihadis rear their ugly heads from their rabbit holes.

Posted by: Jen | Oct 24 2019 22:34 utc | 52


Oil and gas pipelines are just across the border in Iraq on the west bank of the Euphrates.
It can trucked to Kirkuk Mosul area and go into pipelines there or it could be Trucked direct to Turkey through Iraq as ISIS was doing.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Oct 24 2019 22:37 utc | 53

james 51

Most likely a bit of money, though US occupations under the new management have to pay their way.
There is a pro US faction in Iraq, not sure what size this is, though I have the impression it may be around 30% or more. Magnier and one or two others write about it at times.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Oct 24 2019 22:42 utc | 54

The status of Eastern Syria hasn't changed, it is as it was, under the control of the Anglo Empire. Putin gave away nothing, as he never had Eastern Syria to give away. What Putin did gain is a chunk of Syria more valuable than the oil fields.

Syria/Russia will also have gained the ability to lay a nice trap, quagmire if you will, if they succeed in luring a significant amount of US troops to an area dominated by pissed off Sunnis and disgruntled Kurds. Great opportunity for some asymmetrical proxie warfare.

Posted by: J-Dogg | Oct 24 2019 22:48 utc | 55

Clueless Joe mentioned the Melian Dialogue.
"In the negotiations, the Athenians offered no moral justification for their invasion, but instead bluntly told the Melians that Athens needed Melos for its own ends and that the only thing Melians stood to gain in submitting was self-preservation. It is taught as a classic case study in political realism to illustrate the ultimately selfish and pragmatic concerns that motivate a country at war.[1]"

This is very much how the US under Trump is treating all the Arab countries - Iraq, Saudi Arabia and the rest of them.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Oct 24 2019 22:49 utc | 56

Bhadrakumar thinks that Erdo has won, Russia has blinked and Assad has no option but to agree with Putin.

Posted by: Nathan Mulcahy | Oct 24 2019 22:54 utc | 57

IMO, it's the Facts on the Ground that matter, not the rhetoric tweeted from thousands of miles away or pleas made to an inept political organization located at the same distance. And the factors that will govern those facts have been well discussed here already but are studiously ignored by a faction determined to turn them into something that can't be accomplished unless a very visible and drastic escalation occurs.

Another consideration: The Outlaw US Empire has always preferred not to directly govern its post-WW2 colonies, preferring instead to govern through comprador governments via bribes. The Empire sought--and still seeks--to install a comprador government in Syria, but the odds on that happening now are extremely thin. Same goes with Iraq. The nations most vulnerable for having their hydrocarbon resources stolen--secured--by the Outlaw US Empire are Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, and the UAE; and to a degree, that's already a reality, albeit very covert. Why when it already has semi-control of those nations's resources would it want the meager amounts within Syria and the cost of securing them? Trying to deny or disrupt the flow of hydrocarbons to China by sequestering Syria's resources makes even less sense since China has never imported any and will soon be receiving a massive influx of oil and gas from Russia with the opening of new pipelines at the end of 2019, during 2020 and beyond. IMO, the only logical reason to seek greater physical control over Southwest Asian hydrocarbons is because the fracking boom within the USA is about to go bust for already well established reasons. And that would also explain the aim behind the renewed attempt to control Venezuela, whose potential hydrocarbon reserves are greater than any other nation's.

If Peter AU 1's hypothesis about Trump's oil gambit is to gain further traction, the rationale for its implementation needs to change to what I've suggested above. AND the execution of that plan cannot occur until Trump is reelected, for it would certainly be considered a war of sorts like the coup in Ukraine except far more direct intervention by Imperial troops would be required. Another nation that must be lumped into this scenario is Brazil with its huge offshore oil deposits that have yet to be exploited. And I ought to include Nigeria, too, although entering that nation would mean immediately entering a Vietnam like situation where the costs outweigh the benefits.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 24 2019 23:00 utc | 58

Who wants to play on both sides? The Kurds or the Turks?

Bhadrakumar again....

Posted by: Nathan Mulcahy | Oct 24 2019 23:06 utc | 59

j-Dogg @59--

Your statement that Northeast Syria is more valuable than the oil&gas fields in the Southeast has great merit! Overlooked in the discussion about hydrocarbons is the fact that other resources of great value to Syrians come from the region just recaptured--oil&gas, wheat and other foodstuffs, control over Euphrates's water flows and the electricity produced and the commercial thoroughfare linking Western Caspian and Central Asian markets. Then there's also the human capital of the quarter million people living just in Qamishli district and its related productivity and contribution to the national GNP. Until Raqqa is rebuilt and regains its regional importance, the Northeast's importance to the national health is enhanced, thus its importance.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 24 2019 23:22 utc | 60

karlof1, in looking at what happening this is where I part ways with most 'the it has always been done'
"Another consideration: The Outlaw US Empire has always preferred not to directly govern its post-WW2 colonies, preferring instead to govern through comprador governments via bribes. The Empire sought--and still seeks--to install a comprador government in Syria,"

I fully believe the post WWII US dollar hegemony ended with the inauguration of Trump. Although it still has momentum and will take a bit to disappear completely, Trump is looking at the world through a different lens. Trump and few behind him could see that what the US was doing was unsustainable, US 20 trillion in debt and growing... they needed to dump the old racket that was not paying and find something that would pay and give the US leverage over the world.
Mixed in this is keep China down and zionism.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Oct 24 2019 23:26 utc | 61

This is all such BS. Until the empire and their sycophants realize the U$ has no business in Syria, the situation can never get better.

Russia, Syria and Turkey should settle on a plan that they, and no one else, be involved in.

It's their sphere of influence, they should settle it, not the empire and their "butt-boys".

Posted by: ben | Oct 24 2019 23:39 utc | 62

P.S.- You could add Iran and Iraq to that list of interested parties. If DJT wants a peace prize, let him make THAT happen...

Posted by: ben | Oct 24 2019 23:44 utc | 63

In this era, there is just a few players. Those that can manufacture their own military equipment. The sovereign countries.
US, Russia, China, Iran though Iran is not in the nuclear club it come under the Russian umbrella. Turkey could also be considered a smaller player as it is in a position to play two sides.

All others and what they think are meaningless. Gulf Arabs, Europeans and others can squeak and squawk and that's about it. Trump doesn't care what any of these think.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Oct 24 2019 23:50 utc | 64

Forgot france. It may still have enough of its military manufacturing left to become sovereign.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Oct 24 2019 23:53 utc | 65

Another great article...and completely consistent with the excellent analysis that our host has been presenting here since day one on Syria...

I think those that are accusing B of zig-zagging must be on mushrooms...they just want to get in their 'I told you so's'...because they have been pushing a TDS agenda here...

The reality is that some remarkable facts have been gathered and presented here in a highly informative way, that is clearly the best analysis on the internet...and the quickest out of the gate...

Nobody can complain here...if they do they are nuts...

Now as for this situation within the Sodom on the Potomac...yes Jeffrey is a total scumbag...but he's already been laid low...

The previous article here that pulled together all those details about how these little pinheads were throwing just remarkable hissy fits [snapping pencils in people's faces...LOL] to browbeat the Kurds into not embracing the SAG are just fucking priceless...

So they have already lost...they disregarded direct orders from the C in C...hoping that the entire media and congressional asylum would blow up and provide cover for them...well they were right about that...

The whole fucking house is freaking out...[as are some shills who visit here and point us to similar freakouts in so-called 'articles']

Trump is now dancing a jig on the head of a pin...that's all he can do...he is zigging and zagging wildly...just like a snow hare trying to outrun a lynx...

Doesn't mean anything...the more I think about it the more quixotic this notion of US staying in control of even a small portion in eastern Syria...supposedly with some proxies that it's going to pay to do its bidding...

That's not a strategy...that's called losing your fucking mind...

The US is out of Syria end of's still dotting the i's and crossing the t's as I see it...[with the exception of al Tanf...which is clearly a blocker against Iran on behalf of Israel]

Posted by: flankerbandit | Oct 25 2019 0:02 utc | 66

An article in Sputnik News is that Trump plans to send a battalion of M1 tanks to secure the oil fields.

My thought is that he would use al-Tanf as a springboard, as Jordan provides much more reliable logistics than Iraq, and doing this move the US can also cut off Iranian transit to Syria, which is the real intent of this exercise. Given that area is desert, it would be much easier to hold with tanks. He would use the very convenient ISIS narrative, since as stated above, there a few of them still on the Euphrates. This would satisfy the Israeli lobby, and thus save his Presidency. I'm sure he has no compunction in attacking the SAA, as it has been properly vilified in the Western media. The thing that might stop him is Russian resistance, which could get very interesting.

Posted by: MIchael | Oct 25 2019 0:06 utc | 67

How are the ISIS escapees from the North that Turkey allowed to escape going to get down to the Deir-ez-Zor oil fields and what weapons and supplies are going to be available for them?

I read somewhere today that there are 10K folks in detention under Turkey control. If Turkey really is playing both sides then release of more of those folk than the current 100+ (as reported) will show more clearly which side they favor and I expect they will pay for their betrayal to the Syria/Russia side

I understand that Russia may not want to send more troops back into Syria but letting empire continue to hold areas in Syria, given the progress and current movement, may force them to recommit more forces.

Again, I don't see how this dance can continue at this pace for another year for US (s)elections to occur and so it seems like the Syrian front "game" must be played to some conclusion now or never.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Oct 25 2019 0:25 utc | 68

Peter @69, et al--

Your writing indicates fatigue. Take a break, organize your thoughts, write a draft, then edit it, then post it. I sorta get the gist of your argument since we've discussed bits of it often over the course of the year, but the premises aren't clear enough, and the above is somewhat of a muddle.

One last serious set of questions that require pondering: Why is it deemed so damn important that the USA remain Top Dog nation when such status wasn't important when it didn't have it? What difference will there be if the USA is the equal of 5 or 50 other nations? The winner of the game of Monopoly bankrupts all other players, but how long does that triumph last--particularly in the real world? At home, the losers just grumble and go off to play something else. But in the real world, all those bankrupted people/nations now become your enemies because of the way you treated them in the process of driving them into the ground and will seek to return the favor--what's so damn good about that? Where does the glory come from while sitting atop a pile of skulls? When will it be deemed pathological to seek dominance over all others?

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 25 2019 0:30 utc | 69


Nation states are mostly irrelevant. Your comment borders on misdirection.

There is one Deep State, sometimes called the 'Octopus' of global control. It owns or effectively controls up to 50% of all recorded assets in existence - and is based in the UK, City of London and Switzerland. It has money power and legitimacy owing to a history that goes back roughly 1000 years, at least. It's identity is elitist, supremacist and Zionist, owing to the mainly 19th century merger of Euro aristocracy and Jewish mercantalism and finance.

So no, Europe is not irrelevant at all. Above all else the UK controls global culture via mastery of the global language, giving it the power to establish global norms - as in, the ability to control what people think. Mandarin will NEVER be in such a position, nor will we all have Chinese names and nicknames, as the Chinese have English names and nicknames for their Anglicized globo identities.

Then there are those who vy for position within the 'Octopus' superstructure, most prominently the Jewish mob and US military, which have been empowered by running crime and extortion rings, including compromise operations, drug running, money laundering, etc. and etc. on behalf of the Octopus. Sensing they will be scapegoated for their execution of these operations when the poop hits the fan, including possibly taking blame for perpetrating 9/11, which is essentially true, they are theoretically fighting back via the Trump Presidency.

China, the United States and Russia are not completely irrelevant, as are all other nation states, but focussing on them as centers of power is akin to focussing on puppets in a theatre when what we really need to know is who pulling the strings.

Posted by: Zedd | Oct 25 2019 0:32 utc | 70

wall street journal has a new article just put online this evening suggesting tha thte US is considering now 500 troops, plus heavy equipment, taking over the oil feilds

you notice of course that in all the major mainstream propaganda outlets, that the US imperial objectives are passed off as "safeguarding oil fields" and "preventing ISIS resurgence"

the donald may have to accept some modifications of his grand plan to skidaddle from Syria due to neo-liberal/Establishment media war mongering and of course Sen. Lindsay Graham, who insists on stealing Syria's oil fields I mean protecting the fields from the mighty ISIS jihadists which the US has protected and used against the Syrian gov't now for 7-8 years........

WASHINGTON—The White House is considering options for leaving about 500 U.S. troops in northeast Syria and for sending dozens of battle tanks and other equipment, officials said Thursday, the latest in an array of scenarios following President Trump’s decision this month to remove all troops there.

...It also would modify U.S. objectives—from countering Islamic State extremists to also safeguarding oil fields in eastern Syria with additional troops and new military capability.

...Mr. Trump, after ordering all U.S. forces out of northeastern Syria in early October, said later that he would agree to leave about 200 troops in northeast Syria to safeguard oil fields. The move came after Sen. Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) outlined the potential importance of the oil.

Mr. Graham suggested in remarks to reporters at the Capitol on Thursday that American troops would end up securing the oil fields. He was among eight to 10 senators briefed by the White House on Thursday....

Posted by: michaelj72 | Oct 25 2019 0:38 utc | 71

An article from Ben Norton that might make it past the anti-shill censor....

"Washington’s obsession with toppling the Syrian government refuses to die. The United States remains committed to preventing Damascus from retaking its own oil, as well as its wheat-producing breadbasket region, in order to starve the government of revenue and prevent it from funding reconstruction efforts."

Posted by: dh | Oct 25 2019 0:42 utc | 72

Jeffrey should have been fired long ago. Instead it seems that Trump is still listening to him.

Wishful advice inclination! To who? Trump?!

I do not talk about Trump. But watch twists of tragedy from different angels. Watch flow of power.

Watch curling, convolutions and twists on birth of tragedy. Kurds are from different world, they used to warship the sacred serpent. Residues of mythical serpent still remain on their folkloric culture. Watch mythical serpent convolutions. In tragic times they fall back to belated serpent convolution, again and again.

Posted by: arata | Oct 25 2019 0:54 utc | 73

karlof1 @ 64:

Euphrates' head waters are in Turkey and Erdogan of all people (because his business cronies and family members of his have had interests, and may still do, in civil construction companies building dams among other things) exploits this fact.

Posted by: Jen | Oct 25 2019 0:57 utc | 74

What 'Octopus'...?

Western finance capital is a house of cards...a giant Ponzi scheme ready to collapse...

Posted by: flankerbandit | Oct 25 2019 0:58 utc | 75

as Serge says regarding AFP report that #BREAKING US to send "additional military assets" to protect Syrian oil, says Pentagon

Serge @Zinvor - Serge Retweeted AFP news agency

"Syrian oil wouldn’t need “protection” by “additional military assets” if you just hand over Syrian oil to Syria and let the country guard its own infrastructure as it is doing just about everywhere else in the country.

Just say you want to wage economic warfare and go.

It never ends. Yankee go home already."

he also earlier reports some good news from the Syrian North-east:

"200 vehicle convoy of Syrian Army soldiers rolling into Kobane tonight. Entire Kobane area should be secure from Turkish offensive with this deployment. Expect YPG to be integrated within this force."

That will keep out most of those pesky Turks and their jihadist best buddies. I hope to that the local kurds integrate with those forces.

Posted by: michaelj72 | Oct 25 2019 1:07 utc | 76

If Russia / SAA wants to play rook, it should crossover the Euphrates under S300 cover ASAP..
Are the bridges ready?

Posted by: Lozion | Oct 25 2019 1:07 utc | 77

Great 2min long In The Now with over 523K views that others have seen elsewhere. I liked his one main question--Why?--for which no honest answer has ever been officially provided.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 25 2019 1:09 utc | 78

@82 Lozion

Not directed specifically at you, but I've seen it asked several times in the threads....

Why do so many "informed" commenters here keep questioning this bridge ? Note the date, it is almost a month old. Still... Is there another bridge across Euphrates I should be aware of?



Posted by: b4real | Oct 25 2019 1:17 utc | 79

At b4real about the bridge...thanks for the TASS the bridge has been up a month...?

Maybe Trump can 'rent' it so they can get their 'tanks' over to the other side of the Euphrates and into the oil patch from al Tanf...since there is no other way in...the SAA having secured the M4 highway in the northeast by which the US convoys left...LOL

Posted by: flankerbandit | Oct 25 2019 1:51 utc | 80

I disagree about the US being in a better position to carry the cost of the Syrian oil occupation. Since 2003 the US simply slides from crisis to crisis with nothing ever resolved or settled. The accelerating financialization of the US economy is now preventing them from developing usable or competitive technologies for the civilian economy, rather than being allowed to develop, new start ups are bought up, broken up and then used as collateral for more loans for more stock buybacks to inflate company performance and executive compensation, suffocating R&D and hallowing out the civilian economy. The perpetual war economy keeps the economy going, but only as a zombie economy, they can't stop the funding for war because doing so would trigger an immediate depression because there is no civilian to take over economic production and employ the labour force.

Yet, this does not resolve the fundamental problem of the US, military obligations and spending are increasing faster than GDP growth (and have being more nearly 20 years), eventually no amount of printing presses, political donations, identity politics and corruption will be able to prevent the American people from recognizing the simple truth - they are poorer, sicker and live more miserable lives than they did 20 years ago. If Political leaders keeps overriding the people's democratic will (i.e. end the wars, end globalization) it will trigger a crisis of political legitimacy within the government (the Trump derangement syndrome is a early symptom of this). The US is replicating all of the disastrous effects of the Soviet Union with almost none of the social benefits.

Ultimately, I think the US is heading down a dangerous path with only 3 likely outcomes,

Option 1, the US slowly winds down its militaristic policies over the next 10 years while it deals with a long and deep recession.

Option 2, The US launches an especially disastrous war somewhere in the world that ends in an obvious military defeat for the US triggering the long feared collapse of NATO, a political crisis in the US and a crushing depression in US/Western economy.

Option 3, The US avoids a major failed war but continues to increase funding to the MIC faster than civilian GDP growth over the next 10-15 years, causing the US civilian economy to collapse in a modernized "Irish Potato famine" like situations (Ireland had records crop harvests during the famine, the issue was that the poor couldn't afford to eat it and the government refused to provide for the poor). In the US I imagine this would appear as major companies showing record profits and share values, but with huge stores of unsold domestic goods being exported (i.e. dumped) in countries the US has free trade agreements with. Unable to buy goods, quality of life in the US will rot away, urban centers will become more like 3rd world slums and the country will become politically unstable. In this third situation, the US military will have a hard time even getting recruits and will eventually start being used in policing actions to ensure a nominal level of domestic stability. This will result in either a military coup or an uncontrolled breakup of the US.

Syria has already survived 7 years of a direct US proxy war, there is a good chance the government can survive 10 years of US spoiler activity (look at Lebanon), especially if Russia, China and Iran continue to support it. However, the US has many, many problems affecting it's civilian economy that it has already spent the last 11 years putting off. Pushing them back for another 10 years means that the US political elite have effectively written off an entire generation of the US population during their most productive years, yet those people still have a vote, that is a receipt for political instability and a political unstable country will not be able to maintain alliances with Foreign powers

Posted by: Kadath | Oct 25 2019 2:12 utc | 81

Strange my last post got caught, it had a Al Masdar news link from 2018 about the Coalition bombing a near-completed bridge in DE. b4real, your article is dated sept 2017..

Posted by: Lozion | Oct 25 2019 2:14 utc | 82

I don't see this as lasting too long. The Kurds have already made a deal with the Russians and Assad so he'll get back control of northeastern Syria.

Posted by: Jonathan Gillispie | Oct 25 2019 2:15 utc | 83

Further to my prior post #86,

For those who feel that a vote doesn't matter or that results are always fixed, I say a vote only matters if the candidate matters. The Roman Republic was never a democracy as we would recognize it, but even so they did hold votes for some governmental posts and Roman history is full of minor elected officials who caused or led all sorts of crises, rebellions and civil wars through their actions (both intended and unintended). For good or bad, People like AOC, Tusi Gabbard and Trump may trigger as much political change through their failures as with their successes. And if nothing else, history also shows that if someone with power is incompetent enough they can trigger truly mind-bogglingly levels of change

Posted by: Kadath | Oct 25 2019 2:39 utc | 84

Pentagon 'likely' deploying tanks to Syria, officials say

The Pentagon is "likely" to order tanks and hundreds of soldiers to eastern Syria, U.S. officials tell Fox News. This would mark the first deployment of tanks to Syria. The tanks would come from a unit already deployed to the Middle East, the officials said. . .here

This is really crazy. Tanks were not designed for static defense of property against terrorists, or partisans, or whatever they might be called, and the people in tank units were trained to move and shoot, not sit and look at the sand. The motto of the tank corps, called "armor," is "Shock, Mobility, Firepower!" . . .Not park next to an oil well and pretend to shoot. . . .If they do it, it will not turn out well. Those unfortunate troops have to be resupplied with all the goodies they demand, for one thing. How long can they stand that? Morale of troops isn't so good right now, for another, after being pelted with fruits and vegetables for bailing recently.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 25 2019 2:47 utc | 85

@87 Lozion

Ty, my bad..

Posted by: b4real | Oct 25 2019 2:47 utc | 86

I don't understand the comments that b is substantially changing his position with this article. He's reporting on a very thin slice of US political drama, and largely pointing to the folly of the Kurds. One sliver of his view on Trump's resolve is now in question. One sliver, and it can change tomorrow, and b will reassess as that changes too, and present us with incomparable reporting on the meaning of that too.

The folly of the Kurds is to believe what they hear during the day and to ignore their accumulated memory from all the other days. This is the same folly in this thread that thinks that because the US sitcom is reading out loud today's script, then the situation has drastically changed from yesterday, or that the underlying realities have shifted in any degree.

As J-Dogg @32 reminds us, a huge geopolitical gift has just accrued to the Syrian account.

Thanks to karlof1 and flankerbandit both for trying to keep the record straight, as the scale of this enormous victory warrants, and to those others who don't forget the facts of other days. As karlof1 points out, we have discussed all this in great depth.

For myself, I said all I could observe and surmise in the first days of this new Syrian turn of events. I remember it all, and I see nothing changed from any of it. One waits as they in Syria go on with their lives, and until there is a significant new thing made out of substantial reality to evaluate.

On the days when the daily news seemed a certain way, the consensus here regarding the underlying realities seemed clear, yet when the daily spin changes, suddenly those realities fade away. As if the world can be changed by straws in the wind.


ps..on a purely personal note, for those whom I consider colleagues, I confess to some fatigue myself, with the discussions here, and I could wish in a whimsical way to go and sit with SAA soldiers and talk about the multitude of positive things progressively happening, rather than to read comment after comment here that seems trapped in a daily news-cycle view of life.

It is a confession. Not a complaint. Not an itinerary.

Posted by: Grieved | Oct 25 2019 2:48 utc | 87

@ Kadath 89
There's an open thread next door for your voting discussion.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 25 2019 2:50 utc | 88

If the Kurds are somehow able to sell oil via Iraq, wouldn't that be the first step in the formation of Kurdistan? Would Erdogan allow that? He would if he could get a cut of the oil, but would Russia permit that?

Posted by: Schmoe | Oct 25 2019 2:53 utc | 89

@ Grieved 92
Sorry to hear of your fatigue.
If I may: Don't waste your time on the petty stuff about conspiracy theories etc. A lot of blah-blah. Most of it doesn't amount to a hill of beans. Life isn't that complex as they wish it. It's just filling space on the page. We have to keep our heads above water! mix a metaphor. And this picking on b thing will pass. There's no basis for it, as you say.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 25 2019 2:59 utc | 90

@95 Don Bacon

Thank you, very much. My head was under water. You can sink too deeply into these things. Friends pull you up.

Right, crack on then :)

Posted by: Grieved | Oct 25 2019 3:14 utc | 91

@ Grieved
Roger that!

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 25 2019 3:17 utc | 92

Caitlin Johnstone has a new post "We Want to Keep the Oil." In the article she links to a Grayzone article "US Troops Are Staying in Syria to keep the oil..."

Posted by: spudski | Oct 25 2019 3:26 utc | 93

If Russia / SAA wants to play rook, it should crossover the Euphrates under S300 cover ASAP.. Are the bridges ready?

Posted by: Lozion | Oct 25 2019 1:07 utc | 82

That would be an excellent in your face move. Apparently, the bridge is supposed to be ready by the end of October.

However, I believe the Turks may also be building their own bridge btw.


Okay, now I have to point out the obvious to those still clinging to Trump hope. Lindsey Graham who is a rabid Iran hater has become Trump's staunch defender in the Impeachment process. In addition to that, after meeting with Trump last Saturday now suddenly Graham is fully on board with Trump on Syria and very confident that Trump is doing things right in Syria securing the oil.


Posted by: Circe | Oct 25 2019 3:39 utc | 94

we the taxpayers will have to fork up for it.

The underwriters are no more interested . Gulf
States are done supporting the whole
religious-judicial- military complex called ISIS.

What US is STILL planning to do is set up a
mini state in Deir Azzor — and use oil fields
to fund terrorism. In the surface it will be to help
Kurds. But how? Kurds do not live there?
People that US intends to steal oil from are Syrian
Arabs, and US plans to treat them like “ISIS” if they
rebel against US rule. How convenient?

As for Kurds, they always get their just deserts.
Never steady in their purpose, to improve life of
its population , always in service to one power
or another. Always jumping at opportunities to
make quick money. Kurds had a very bad
reputation during French colonial rule in Syria,
as colonizers favored them over Syrians. Being
arrogant and superior when in favor — they were
victims of backlash one France left.
They may be setting themselves up for
another round of being occupiers’ darlings.

Posted by: Bianca | Oct 25 2019 3:41 utc | 95

@61/63 nathan... thanks for the bhadrakumar articles...

@86 kadath... any of those 3 options are possible.. i don't disagree with you about where i think the usa is, or is headed, but in the short term they can continue to throw their paper money around$ remains a legit currency and the worlds main currency, until it isn't anymore.. hard to know when that bubble bursts, but i think 20 years is about tops..

it is an interesting tug of war between the pessimists and the optimists here!!! i am somewhere in the middle, which apparently isn't allowed, lol.. what i don't get it the lack of appreciation for alternative viewpoints that don't jive with yours.. that is the part i find hard to understand from some here..

Posted by: james | Oct 25 2019 3:56 utc | 96

Bianca @100--

Sure Daesh/ISIS still exists; the Outlaw US Empire moved several divisions worth of its assets to Afghanistan to provide justification for its continuing occupation.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 25 2019 4:22 utc | 97

In case you're still not convinced on Trump's motives for keeping the oil, I'm going to post the article Caitlin Johnstone referred to/linked in her own piece regarding Trump's oil grab in Syria.

us troops staying in Syria oil

I think the article is way more insigtful than Caitlin's article.

Caitlin states that Trump doesn't hide his motives like other President's have. I disagree. He tells you what he intends to do without pussyfooting around mostly because he's an arrogant lawless bas turd, but he often hides the SINISTER MOTIVE(S) behind his actions because they're evil, and in his twisted Zionist mind, necessary.

In the case of taking the oil and occupying Eastern Syria it's about deprivation and hurt to pressure eventual economic and government collapse and regime change AND it's about preventing the Syria/Iraq/Iran commercial corridor that would strengthen the Shia connection and lead to geater prosperity and geopolitical influence.

It's downright pure imperial evil signed Donald Ju Trump.

Posted by: Circe | Oct 25 2019 4:33 utc | 98

Who is this b? Can anybody help me.

Posted by: Anand Kumar Singh | Oct 25 2019 4:43 utc | 99

Lozion b4real

Russian military put a bridge across just after Deir Ezzor city was cleared. By then they already had a bidgehead taken on the east bank. Thats when they were blocked by US handing SDF hats to ISIS.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Oct 25 2019 5:06 utc | 100

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