Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
March 02, 2020

Syria - Another Short Note On The Recent Developments

After the confusion caused by the sudden stand down of Russian forces in Syria and the following Turkish drone attacks everything seems to be back to normal.

Russian planes are again bombing Jihadis and Turkey has been told by Russia that none of its planes or drones will be safe within Syria's sky.

The Pentagon announced that it will not provide air support to Turkey. It will also not send any Patriot air defense to Syria but President Trump promised to ask other NATO countries to do so. They are likely to deny the request. It seems that Pentagon has won the fight with the State Department which supported the Turkish push for protection.

The Turkish president Erdogan said that Turkey has no "particular problem" with Russian and Iran aligned forces in Idleb. This comes after Iran and Hizbullah had warned that Turkish troops in their now surrounded 'observation posts' would be easy targets. The Turkish units which have invaded Idleb were quiet today.

Source: Peto Lucem - bigger

The Syrian army has again regained the areas that were lost during the last week. The city of Saraqib is again liberated. Russia let it be known that its military police will take care of security in the city. This means that it is off limits for another Turkish Jihadi attack. The M5 highway can now be reopened and will be secure.

There is another large supply operation from Russia underway. During the last three days two Russian landing ships, which usually carry heavy weapons like tanks, passed through the Bosporus on their way to Syria. Eight Ilyushin Il-76 strategic airlifters landed at Hmeymim, Latakia during the past three days. These likely carry additional air defense systems or additional fighter planes.

The resupply should silence any talk that Russia has given up on Syria.

Erdogan wants Idleb but neither Syria nor Iran nor Russia will let him have it. President Putin will meet Erdogan during the commong days and will make sure that the point is understood.

Posted by b on March 2, 2020 at 18:39 UTC | Permalink

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Good luck Lochearn @ 54
We will miss you and respect your contributions.

Posted by: Mark2 | Mar 3 2020 10:02 utc | 101

Yeah, Right 100

That's the way I see it.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Mar 3 2020 10:02 utc | 102

@90 "unilateral ceasefire as others have called it - during an ongoing conflict seems absurd".

No, not at all. Taking a de-escalatory posture is part of any war manual. It has a long history and is well-practiced by every nation.

It is never done in isolation: your posture is accompanied by any number of other signals both direct and via intermediaries so that there is no misunderstanding about what you are doing, and why you are doing it.

I agree (I think) with Peter AU that it is unlikely that the Russians were being naive. I think they were receiving the "correct" noises back from Turkey about Message Received And Understood, only to be shocked by Erdogan's perfidious Whammer Hammer Take That You Bastards!!!!! smackdown of the SAA.

Then again, I may be wrong, but that's what it looks like to me.

We'll know soon, because if I'm right then the Turks will not be able to repeat this, and if they try then they will be the one's on the end of a spanking.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Mar 3 2020 10:14 utc | 103

@Yeah, Right | 103
Cheers. Can I ask what the purpose of such a stance would be, and given that Russia is aupporting Syrian forces would you expect the Syrians to have been informed, or the Turks to have reciprocated?
And given the subsequent atracks why maintain he stance?

Sorry. Impossible questions, I know. But I'd appreciate your thoughts.

Posted by: Egor68500 | Mar 3 2020 10:22 utc | 104

Going back to an earlier comment (Ghost Ship @ 57), I'm going to suggest that this particular piece of political theatre in Idlib was designed to get the stay-behind terrorists in Daraa to get up and moving so they could be liquidated one way or another.
Of the four main areas where the terrorists were offered the chance to be bused to Idlib rather than die, Daraa was always going to be the most complicated because they were mostly locals, while in East Aleppo, and East Ghouta they were not and so easy to identify just by accent plus the actual locals hated them because of their past behaviour. The fourth busing, Madaya and Zabadani, everybody was bused out so no stay-behinds there.
With it being largely locals swimming in a sea of similar minded people, it would be hard for Syrian intelligence/security forces to identify the stay-behinds and liquidate them and in the meantime the stay-behinds would be launching pin-prick but still lethal attacks on the security forces. If you want to identify the members of an underground what better way than to get them above ground mounting an insurrection, and what better way to convince them to mount an insurrection than make them believe the TSK was going to go to Damascus. A half-baked bit of political theatre would be easily seen through and of no use, but a sudden swift and major reversal for the SAA that suggested its future was threatened would and it looks like it worked with the terrorist stay behinds now getting a one-way ticket to Idlib.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Mar 3 2020 10:26 utc | 105

@Yeah, Right/ @Peter AU
Sorry, guys just seen your responses on previous page. Thanks to you both. Have to say stull seems a strange thing to do... )))

Posted by: Egor68500 | Mar 3 2020 10:28 utc | 106

Ghost Ship

Turk proxies (and the Turks manning the artillery) stepped up their attacks right across the northern border to hold as many SAA as possible away from the Idlib front. The Darra crowd would have been activated for the same reason. It is possible they simply saw it as an opportunity, but they would be connected to US Israel or Turkey intel so more likely they were activated.

Kill off a couple hundred of your own men and destroy a heap of equipment for what - to draw out fifty or hundred bad guys...

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Mar 3 2020 10:57 utc | 107

Yeah Right - 103
"only to be shocked by Erdogan's perfidious Whammer Hammer Take That You Bastards!!!!! smackdown of the SAA."
One has to wonder if Erdogan thought he was actually in Game of Thrones and could pull off that kind of backstabbing trick without repercussions. That the real world works differently could be a shock for him. (Muhtesem Yuzyil would've been more appropriate for a Turkish leader, but I was under the impression Erdogan loathed the show)

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Mar 3 2020 11:00 utc | 108

IMO Erdogans gamble will cost Turkey dearly in the long run.

Turkey is in crossroads and big things are happening - economic & military cooperation with Russia (turk stream, nuclear plants, S-400, north Syrian Kurdish question & mediating), SCO dialog status and access. All of these are endangered for a sake of few days worth of military upper hand by backstabbing own words and deal on Idlib.

Turkey's gain in Idlib are already mostly erased. It's loss will be shown soon enough. I am betting Russia has just moved Erdogan's file from "possible partner" to "unagreeable" folder, and we all saw what that meant for USA. From Putin's Munich speech in 2007 to Russia with strategic and game changing capabilities revealed in 2018.

When Russians keep it quiet you can bet they are working 110% in background making sure that shit won't happen again.

Posted by: Abe | Mar 3 2020 11:32 utc | 109

Just to clarify Russian lingo: when they say "partner" it means bussines relation, it doesn't implies good or bad, friend. That is why Russians call USA partners, even though they are open enemies.

"unagreeable" or "non agreement able" means they won't even bother talking to you anymore because you never hold to your word.

Posted by: Abe | Mar 3 2020 11:39 utc | 110

Egor 76,
I suspect the attacks are more political than racist, and are from groups affiliated with the AKP and/or MHP. As for attacks on Turks in Europe, and Muslims generally, these are pretty commonplace:

At the moment, I am busy working, so do not know how bad things really are.

Posted by: bluedotterel | Mar 3 2020 11:50 utc | 111

Kabuki Theory

If this is indeed kabuki then there are a couple common goals of the major actors on the stage:

#1 - Fool the empire

The Ameritards need to be left with the impression that the Turks really tried, even over-did it in their zeal to grab a piece of Syria. To be satisfied Americans need to see blood and crying babies, and lots of it as they are rather jaded. With that said, Americans cannot really distinguish between hundreds and tens of thousands of victims, so as long as the body count appears to be above a few hundred they are OK with it.

Of course, this is only remotely possible to pull off because Americans, including the CIA/"Deep State"/establishment, have long ago gone off the rails into deep delusion territory. Whether this society-wide delusion is a typical characteristic of all empires in their final days amplified by the corruption of an economic system long past its pull date, or the elites are falling victim to their own highly advanced disinformation/brainwashing technologies that they have for generations been employing to control the masses, the end result is the same. The target of this aspect of the kabuki is primed to believe claims that tens of thousands of Syrian troops and their allies were killed with little evidence. The Turks and their media will naturally exaggerate the "enemy" losses. The trick is for the Syrians and Russians to look grim and appear unconvincing when they deny those losses.

#2 - Mass-exterminate head-chopping jihadi rats

The army of rabid dogs that the Untied States collected from around the world to attack Syria with and that has been concentrated in Idlib cannot be "re-integrated" anywhere. These are the worst of the worst scum in all of the countries that they were recruited from, and the "work" they have been doing for the empire has erased whatever little humanity they may have started with. Their humanity cannot be salvaged as they are not really human anymore. Just observe the viciousness of the criminal gangs in Latin America to see what happens when you attempt to demobilize the CIA's death squads... it simply cannot be done. The only humane thing that can be done with these animals is to cage them in a small corner of territory somewhere away from normal people and let them wipe each other out, but this leaves the rabid dogs around for a time for the CIA to recycle in new atrocities. It is arguably more humane to euthanize them with artillery.

If kabuki this be, then few of the casualties on the Turk side are really Turkish. They will be the subhuman beasts that America collected that have been shaved and dressed up to look human. This may include some local trash that the Turks sent over for disposal. The fatalities among this group will be dramatically downplayed in Turkish and imperial media, and the western public, as well as the CIA/"Deep State"/establishment, will have no reason to disbelieve the lower figures. After all, these head-chopping orcs never officially existed to begin with for the western mass media consumers, right? And it isn't as if the CIA operators can tell one Uighur terrorist that they are working with from the next, much less keep reliable records of them. Who will miss them?

#3 - Remove kebab

Assuming Ur-dog himself isn't a subhuman psycho (I'm going out on a limb there) then he will want an exit strategy now that the West's war against Syria has obviously failed. #1 and #2 above are necessary for this. Ur-dog needs the jihadis slaughtered en masse while at the same time appearing to "win". We've already seen that both Syria and Russia are willing to go along with the West's false narratives if it leaves them in a better position when the smoke clears, so going along with gross exaggerations of their own losses isn't unprecedented. Basically, the "fog of war" here could originate from fog machines on the kabuki stage. The tell will be if when the fog clears Syria has secured strategically key parts of Idlib and the Turks' presence there is rolled back and the US neither launches new attacks on Syria (military) or Turkey (economic/coup).

Posted by: William Gruff | Mar 3 2020 12:02 utc | 112

It seems Turkey is now employing Boeing 737 AEW&C on the front. Possible indirect admission that drones alone wont cut it anymore?

Posted by: redrooster | Mar 3 2020 12:07 utc | 113

Kevork Almassian has posted a short video on YouTube titled “Why the civilians of Idlib escaping to Turkey?” Under the video, there’s an interesting comment:

Dahi Lammoth 4 days ago

Hi Kevork, I am from Mhardeh, which is the largest Christian town in Syria, for our bad luck it was situated on the frontline between Notrth Hama and Southern Idleb, and for years it was border of cruel battles. My town was obviously attacked for being Christian, for many years defended itself against radical rebels and despite all the denial that came from the terror groups, they hated us bscause of our faiith and way of living. Mhardeh was relatively rich town. I have friend from Khan Sheykhoun, who told me the entire tactic of the militant groups there. He also now lives in Europe, like me. They have expelled all minorities from these areas and stole their property which was divided between the millitants, they also implemented sharia law so that thsy send a message to us. You can't go here. This was more than obvious from all the video clips . These clips were very carefully made. You cannot find women there or in the rare accasions they were all with niqab - this was a message for us, do not come back, you are infidels. If an Idleb family sends three of their sons to join the jihadi groups, they receive bigger part of the land, houses or cars that were stolen. Then. later, they started to attack even the rich sunni families who were also expelled and their property was taken and shared to the millitans. They even required from Syrians who live in foreign countries and have families in Idleb to pay taxes in order these armed bands to "protect" them. Many families were attracted to join the rebels, these people were from poorest layers of Syrian society and they saw an opportunity for "revanchism" and fast way to become rich. They expelled all minorities and rich to middle class Sunni citizens. Now many of these poor families realize their mistake after so many foreign millitants infiltrated their ranks. For years these people were being lied to, they were promised more land, they received salaries from Turkey and Gulf countries and now they are locked in camps. In most Idleb cities there is no electricity, no water, not even primitive environment for living, they are fully dependant on Turkey and Erdoggan take advantage of them, they are now just tools. Turkey and the West manipulate all the numbers and make it look that it is catastrophe caused by the Syrian government, when it is exactly the opposite. It is the Idleb jihadists who attacked Aleppo and bombarded civillians, it was them who stole thousands of factories and transferred them to Turkey wehere they were sold for cheap. But hopefully soon all this nightmare will end.

Posted by: S | Mar 3 2020 12:21 utc | 114

redrooster 173

At the article 4 NATO meeting mid February, they agreed to send an AWACS to Turkey.
On 19 February, NATO’s top defence committee authorised Alliance military authorities to deploy NATO AWACS aircraft, as well as missile and chemical and biological defences to Turkey.
1 deployment of NATO Airborne Early Warning Aircraft (AWACS) aircraft;
2 NATO support for the deployment of theatre missile defences for Turkey;
3 NATO support for possible deployment of Allied chemical and biological defences.

From what the Americans have said there is a NATO patriot system at Incirlik but that's a long way from the Syrian border. I gess the difference is in the wording. For the AWACS the wording is "deployment of" and for missile defence the wording is "NATO support"

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Mar 3 2020 12:57 utc | 115

Peter AU1 | Mar 3 2020 12:57 utc | 115

Turkey has 4 Boeing 737 AEW&C

Posted by: redrooster | Mar 3 2020 13:02 utc | 116 I wrote 1½ days ago, *Syria brought its Tor M-1*:
Y.N.M.S Retweeted
Elijah J. Magnier
Sending F-16 along the borders, #Turkey is risking a lot. #Syria brought its Tor M-1 in the area & mistakes can happen. Situation can go out of control. #Russia is back now in the battlefield & Erdogan needs to use his wisdom not stubbornness. #US wld be delighted 2see a conflict

It's-part-of-the-plan, which I described.
It's truly a kebab...processor-machine-on-wheels.

Posted by: Veritas X- | Mar 3 2020 13:14 utc | 117

@ bluedotterel | Mar 3 2020 11:50 utc | 111

As for attacks on Turks in Europe, and Muslims generally, these are pretty commonplace:

Erm, bluedotterel... That article describes the rise in attacks by TURKISH KURDS in Germany on TURKISH STATE-ALIGNED institutions and mosques in Germany (yes, Turkish mosques in Europe are nearly all operated under very tight control of the Turkish state).

I don't understand how you manage to construct the article as pointing to attacks on Turks or even muslims in general in Europe.

At the moment, I am busy working, so do not know how bad things really are.

Oh yeah right, but not busy enough to be posting all sorts of nonsense here.

Do yourself a favor and try to at least read what you are posting here so. It might save you in the future from looking stupid. You're welcome.

Posted by: Lurk | Mar 3 2020 13:16 utc | 118

Thanks very much to Gruff (112) and S (114) for very insightful and informative posts.
Why is Urdog sending Afghans, Bengalis and Africans to his border with Europe? How on earth can this help him? Where are the supposedly Syrian refugees?
And, having taken over a slice of Syrian territory east of the Euphrates, why doesn't Urdog "rescue" the Idlib jihadis and move them to this 'slice', saving his own face and pleasing the Russians, Syrians and his own folk at home - by placing a buffer of jihadis between Turkey and the Kurds? He would also solve the alleged "problem" of Syrians in Turkey by bussing them all back over the border into northeast Syria.

Posted by: John Marks | Mar 3 2020 13:17 utc | 119

William Gruff #112

Thanks for that explanation. IMO the USA and it grovelling attack dog from occupied Palestine won't relent until the CIA is dismantled. I guess they will escalate and manipulate in extremis over the next few months. However I feel certain they will fail and Assad and his close allies will progressively retake all of Syria and eradicate most of the jihadis. The Libyan LNA government has reopened its embassy in Damascus and is deporting captured jihadis to Syrian Government security.

That is a complication for the dog Erdogan and seriously crimps his options and the jihadi cooperation. If the Houthis follow suit with Damascus that will dent his policy severely. Many of these killers could end up in Indonesia at this rate. They sure won't get far in Mindanao. It just needs more Saudi or Qatar $$.

There seems little chance of dog Erdogan ever becoming the sultan of the oppressed muslim brotherhood now. More likely the target.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Mar 3 2020 13:19 utc | 120

S #114 thanks for that insight.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Mar 3 2020 13:21 utc | 121

And bluedotterel, as a further illustration of the Turkish state control over Turkish mosques in Europe:

Are German imams praying for Turkey to beat Kurds in Syria?

Posted by: Lurk | Mar 3 2020 13:23 utc | 122

Tulsi Gabbard:

The most powerful AQ enclave in the world today is in Idlib, Syria. Yet Pompeo & corporate media call these terrorists “rebels” & want to protect them. Question to Trump & all Dem Candidates: Do you want to protect AQ or defeat them? Voters have a right to know.

Posted by: Mao | Mar 3 2020 13:25 utc | 123

redrooster 116

Thanks. I hadn't looked up what Turkey had. I guess that's why NATO agreed to send one. Apparently it was Greece stopped NATO deploying the patriots though from what I have read, Bulgaria isn't too happy with the Turks either.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Mar 3 2020 13:28 utc | 124

Peter AU1 | Mar 3 2020 13:28 utc | 124

Bulgaria seems to have some kind of deal with Erdogan. It is very strange that none of those "refugees" even try to cross the turkish-bulgarian borders, but concentrate solely on the turkish-greek border.

According to reports at the NATO meeting Greece was the only NATO country that even brought up the issue of Turkey's illegal invasion and occupation in Syria. Eventually because of Erdogan's "refugee" blackmail tactics Greece decided to put a veto.

Posted by: redrooster | Mar 3 2020 13:39 utc | 125

Sleboda points out that Kraft is now a criminal? Well, if shoe fit...and the female is photographed chatting amiably with a criminal gang? Birds of a feather, ah "flock" in incestuous pornography?

Mark Sleboda
US ambassador to the UN @USAmbUN
illegally enters sovereign Syrian territory to show US rhetorical support for the Erdogan regime's aggression & military invasion of #Idlib in support of its jihadi proxies in #OperationAlQaedaShield

Posted by: Walter | Mar 3 2020 13:43 utc | 126

Ru sends large landing ship Novocherkassk into Med.

Moscow Times> "Russia Sends 4th Warship to Syria Amid Turkey Tensions"

That's a Tank Landing Ship. Twitter indicates transited strait 1400Z March 02. Loaded with stuff? Is the star red?

Game's a foot, Watson! (??)

Posted by: Walter | Mar 3 2020 13:50 utc | 127


Erod seems intent of grabbing some territory. Mediterranean with his deal with the UN rep in Tripoli. Greece is another obvious target for land grab. He seems pissed of with Greece because they are squatting on some Turk land (Erdo view).

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Mar 3 2020 14:06 utc | 128

Hi Walter.
I've been listening to this, Michael Glennon, here:
'What-a-wimp' is my immediate reaction. Then I thought...yeah.
Glad I didn't continue my 'education' in the States.
These guys were 'everywhere' when I was doin' my academic studies ca. 50 yrs ago.
Dad, got his BS at Johns Hopkins/MA at Wharton School/phd-studies NYU.
NYU wanted him to take a professorship ca 60 yrs ago, btw.
Glad I...left-the-mess.
Cheers X-

Posted by: Veritas X- | Mar 3 2020 14:10 utc | 129

Peter AU1 - 128
I wouldn't be surprised if Erdogan dreams of actually taking over all of Cyprus and to annex the closest Greek islands - say Chios, Samos, Kos, probably Lesbos, Rhodes maybe.

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Mar 3 2020 14:23 utc | 130

Peter AU1 | Mar 3 2020 14:06 utc | 128

Basically the international law as it exists today gives islands, no matter how small they are, the same rights as the mainland. The reason the international law is as such, is because naval powers dominated after ww2. USA, France and Britain have lots of islands scattered around the world.

For Turkey's "bad luck", most of the islands in the Eastern Mediterranean belong to Greece, liberated in numerous wars before the 1950's. Most of them during the first Balkan War of 1912 and later during the greco-italian war during ww2.

What does that mean? It means that : Greece and Cyprus EEZ

Turkey feels surrounded and suffocated and tries to find willing puppet governments (such as the GNA in Libya) to break free.

Posted by: redrooster | Mar 3 2020 14:23 utc | 131

Why is Urdog sending Afghans, Bengalis and Africans to his border with Europe? How on earth can this help him? Where are the supposedly Syrian refugees?

And, having taken over a slice of Syrian territory east of the Euphrates, why doesn't Urdog "rescue" the Idlib jihadis and move them to this 'slice', saving his own face and pleasing the Russians, Syrians and his own folk at home - by placing a buffer of jihadis between Turkey and the Kurds? He would also solve the alleged "problem" of Syrians in Turkey by bussing them all back over the border into northeast Syria.

Posted by: John Marks | Mar 3 2020 13:17 utc | 119

May be he will. Jihadists with families are not safe in Europe where they are often put on trial for freedom active activities, like when someone is accused of chopping a head off and the biased court disregards all good intentions behind that act. However, they were brainwashed for the cause of having a glorious state where everything belongs to heroic Sunnis while everybody else is expelled or having his head chopped off WITH THE HELP AND PROTECTION of benevolent Ergo-an. Messed up, trained in weapons and explosives, they have to be handled with care. Perhaps Erdo-an tries to show that he did everything he could, but perfidious West and Russia ganged up on him before moving them to the "zone" in earnest.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Mar 3 2020 14:29 utc | 132

We're somewhat similar... Well, I myself prepped by an expensive attempt (military academy, free college and grad school and stipends), walked away and went into the trades - as nothing decent could come from the academy in the condition it had become...I had the advantage of listening to Marxist professors with their hair-down. They stayed, because of the wages and circumstance, but felt that it was otherwise a futile and wasteful activity. At least the trades were fairly honest - and I was lucky with my finding a good union (since seriously deteriorated in a coup). 50 years is about right... There was still some IWW sort of "one big union" and class consciousness. I even started a few wildcat strikes...great fun. I miss screwing the fatkats, even the little bit I could. I loved that union power. And the work was fun.

Still, Gannon's general ideas seem to dovetail in important ways with Hudson and others, and with what we see. His character is, of course, revealing as well.

"wimp" is not something I pay much attention to. The nature of their class-based conspiracy is revealed when they speak... I'd have sad "coward". Quisling? mmuuuum, well, yeah.

Gannon's paper (national security and double government, 114 pages) is a much more valuable source than the video imho. Faster too.

"Dean Acheson as Wolf mask" (soviet poster 1952) described the double government better than anything Gannon can do. see duckduckgo with that search term under "images"...

One might substitute any front-man's face... The principle of "double" is foundational to all confidence games...

see also Melville's "The Confidence Man" (which is Not In The Canon) Why's that? And of course WC Fields Old Army Game or Sally of the Sawdust... The Big Con is the way of murka...fake education by, ah, wimps...fake work, fake numbers...

Posted by: Walter | Mar 3 2020 14:43 utc | 133

@Clueless Joe | 108
While Erodgan may / may not have breached an agreed ceasefire with Russia, his move was pretty spectacular and means that Turkey will not leave this war with the "shame" of the pre-2015 years, or the shame of being reduced to a passive spectator and can hold its head high for having put up such a strong fight.
So, there is a domestic audience we must not forget which during the fireworks was being told that this [the attacks] is the most important military conflict since Canakalle - which always tugs at Turkish emotiom and pride.
So,actually it was a very well timed and highly effective piece of posturing indeed - which to be honest is why I am still sceptical .. )))

Posted by: Egor68500 | Mar 3 2020 15:21 utc | 134

@Peter AU1 | Mar 3 2020 13:28 utc | 124

Bulgaria seems to have some kind of deal with Erdogan. It is very strange that none of those "refugees" even try to cross the turkish-bulgarian borders, but concentrate solely on the turkish-greek border.

I don't have exact numbers but from people I know Bulgarians do have refugees but they treat them very harshly and keep them in subpar accommodations. So it might be they just keep from Bulgaria by own will.

Posted by: Abe | Mar 3 2020 15:23 utc | 135

Posted by: Walter | Mar 3 2020 14:43 utc | 134
A book I would recommend which gave me an "Eyes Wide Open" moment was

The Incubus of Intervention: Conflicting Indonesia Strategies of John F. Kennedy and Allen Dulles – 2015 by Greg Poulgrain

There you can see how the operators from both sides of the Atlantic do real so called business. What was most enlightening to me was how well everything that was done in that part of the World for the corporate class was kept out of view of the Public. Here is a good review of the book,

How wealth was stolen from Indonesia is just breath taking. In case of the Gold Mountain (Grasberg mine) it was done by moving the decimal point and pretending that the report on the findings was lost for 23 years.

Few in the West are aware that all even happened and how it was done. Why ? Because there is nothing to see there. It was just Free market and business at its best.

Posted by: Tom_LX | Mar 3 2020 15:29 utc | 136

@Lurk | 118
Excellent response.

@bluedotterel | 111
First, generalisations are ugly for the most part, but in this respect I have to say that racism towards Arabs in Turkey is barely even hidden. This long pre-dates the Syrian conflict but has of course been hightened since.
To suggest there is no political engineering behind the mob abuse would be naive, but the politics plays on that racism just as it does to a far lesser but palpable extent at times against Greeks.

Posted by: Egor68500 | Mar 3 2020 15:38 utc | 137

Tom_LX | Mar 3 2020 15:29 utc | 137

Sounds like yet another reason for the "Kennedy correction event" of '63. When in Indonesia they murdered how many - a million? - well, could that have happened if John were still Prez?

Those links look like great stuff. I'll explore! Many Thanks!

Posted by: Walter | Mar 3 2020 15:41 utc | 138

An earlier result of JFK's assassination than the 1965 coup in Indonesia was the coup in Brazil in March 1964.

But earlier still was that the reactor at Dimona went critical on December 26, 1963.

Posted by: lysias | Mar 3 2020 16:25 utc | 139

Thanks to b and other comments, in particular S for posting the piece from Dahi Lammoth @ 114. Very helpful to set context, and one can only imagine how many refugees are indeed longing to return home and rebuild their homes. God bless them and keep them safe!

Thank you Lochearn for your participation here; you will be missed. I'm reminded of one of the posters at the old firedoglake who always said - never give up! And of that amazing song from Peter, Paul, and Mary - "Take your place on the great mandala". Blessings to you.

Posted by: juliania | Mar 3 2020 16:32 utc | 140

@ 114 S... thank you for sharing that important info that is completely being hidden or unseen in the msm intentionally...

Posted by: james | Mar 3 2020 16:47 utc | 141

Walter @ 127

Indeed, a Ropucha class LSTM (tank carrying landing ship) the RFS 142 Novocherkassk, this is her first trip south for four years so it looks like she might have had a refit. Also, leaving Sevastopol today is her sister ship RFS 158 'Tsezar Kunikov'.

Both can carry around 500 tons of cargo (10 tanks) and are RO-RO with crane access to the vehicle deck ahead of the bridge. They have been operating on roughly three week round trips with two or three ships in operation at the same time. In addition there are half a dozen merchant ships on the Syrian Express.

Posted by: JohninMK | Mar 3 2020 17:08 utc | 142

Yeah, right @89

"He better hope there are no more CIA-inspired coup attempts in his future, because next time Putin may not bother to warn him"

That's assuming that Erdogan did not direct it himself or at the very least was in on it, and that would be assuming a lot.

Posted by: Piero Colombo | Mar 3 2020 17:24 utc | 143

It seems that the "iranian backed militias" and the SAA are starting shelling the turkish "observation" posts that are punding the SAA + allies lines, as an act of self defense:

May be some iranian Fateh-110 or 313 missiles are showing in the batterfield to show the turks that enough is enough (as they show the US army what they can expect if they attacke Iran). It is only an speculation

Meanwhile the russian are providing the syrians probably with many more sophisticated air defense to clear the Idlib air space of every single turkish UAV (big transport ships are coming to Syria and 7 big transport IL-76 have landing in Hmeimim)

It seems that Russia is putting is (yuuuuge) weight on the syrian side of the balance.

We have to see what the americans do, may be they want Erdogan have a bloody nose so they start begging in his knee for the american aid/protection, that would cost very very high price for him

Posted by: DFC | Mar 3 2020 17:32 utc | 144

lysias | Mar 3 2020 16:25 utc | 140 "coincidence theory!"

Thanks for the reactor bit, I'd forgotten, and we could include the Liberty Affair cover up... Who had Johnson's bxlls? I figure the Mob and the Zion and the Mossad are fingers on a glove, so they had Johnson underblackmail - 'cause he was in on it.

But back to topic..sorry

Posted by: Walter | Mar 3 2020 18:01 utc | 145


Thanks for spending some of your time here over these past years.

It's important that people have a resource like moa and the participation of smart, knowledgeable people like yourself is vital.

Wish you well.

<> <> <> <> <> <> <>

@b can we have a thread for community issues?


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 3 2020 18:26 utc | 146

Desperate enough to believe Erdo and the European dream

Posted by: Mina | Mar 3 2020 18:31 utc | 147

Some weeks or perhaps a month or two ago I speculated that the US cross-hairs were moving towards targeting Turkey. Later I was worried about Russia not paying enough attention. Probably too early to tell but maybe I got the first right and the second wrong.

I believe everyone can agree the Russian Federation sees strategic as well as tactical value in the continued existence of Turkey (and whoever leads it) in order to safeguard the Bosporus status quo. Hopefully the Russians are sufficiently on the ball for coming contingencies, I was worried they might not be but they were probably far ahead of me :) (it's an old issue after all, still sometimes old things are "forgotten" or slip out of focus).

Thus not everything that happens has to have to do with Syria. That's probably not controversial either.

It's not a nice situation for anyone but both Syria and Iran are more than intelligent enough to understand it.

So… theater? No, not really. Lateral moves perhaps, and using what's available. Pragmatism can be as ugly as any -ism, as can necessity.

I worry about a US false flag or any relevant "accidents" in Turkey instead of Iran now :| Hopefully Russia and others already have hidden and mutually friendly contingency plans ready.

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Mar 3 2020 18:33 utc | 148

Tom_LX @137

Good info, thanks.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 3 2020 18:45 utc | 149

An article showing the complexity involved in Turkish/Syrian situation:

I can't deny that there are mutual antagonisms between Turks and recent history This extends back to European imperialism's promotion of nationalistic divide and conquest strategies in the 19th and early 20th centuries. However, the degree of racism is no greater than the racism of Europeans towards Muslims, including Turks today.

Indeed, media propaganda, like that in the US, shapes public perceptions of others to the the advantage of the ruling powers.

Interestingly, many of the same thugs attacking Syrians in Turkey today are the same type of thug that attacked Gezi protesters in Turkey in 2013, often while police stood by. I remember reports of them coming up to Istiklal in the evenings from Kasimpaşa with clubs, and sometimes knives, attacking what they felt were Gezi sympathisers. Of course, the Gezi supporters were Turks, so the attacks were Turks against Turks. It is no secret that Erdoğan egged them on through his speeches against Gezi terrorists. "Racism" is often created through political expediency.

Posted by: Blue Dotterel | Mar 3 2020 18:52 utc | 150

The irony of all this is that Erdogan was propped up and first elected with blatant European (read: Germany, Angela Merkel) support. He was the great center-right hope, the man who would pave Turkey's accession to the EU.

If you read the news of the big European newspapers from 2009-2012, you'll see they considered Turkey's European membership as just a matter of time. After all, if fucking Croatia did it with ease, why wouldn't much bigger and much more geopolitically important Turkey?

Turkey in the European sphere of influence is an old European obsession. The Romans did it - and collected vasts wealth from it. It would be then the gateway to the fertile and oil rich regions of and around Mesopotamia (Syria-Iraq). After that, Israel's membership would also be just a formality.

And, to top it off, Europe would finally expand through its arch-nemesis Russia's "soft underbelly". Germany would then be able to achieve what no other European power could: break the natural barrier of the Middle East and directly connect with China (where the real wealth is). It would've achieved the Roman dream.

Posted by: vk | Mar 3 2020 18:58 utc | 151

“Going to Moscow to meet with Putin” is the soft way to put it. Actually he was “Summoned” to Moscow to meet with President Putin because Putin refused to travel to Turkey. When he arrives he will have his head handed to him, but it was already handed to him by Tulsi so he will arrive with it in his lap.

Posted by: William H Warrick MD | Mar 3 2020 19:01 utc | 152

At sixes and sevens @133: Erdogans will return from Russia with Cold Turkey

IMO there's a good chance that Erdogan refuses to go to the Moscow woodshed.

<> <> <> <> <>

For non-Americans: "the woodshed" is a colloquial term for 'dressing down' that is derived from the past practice of sending errant children to a backyard woodshed for spanking.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 3 2020 19:02 utc | 153

I seldom see politics the same way as vk does but I'll second at least some of what vk says about APK when it rose to power. Some of the EU support was genuine but there were also plenty of resistance (mostly from people vk would love to hate). Supporting APK fitted well into the whole multiculturalism trope, especially for Germany with its relative large use of imported Turks. APK changed but probably not as much as people would like to believe, ie.: they were always openly islamist and the perceived "mildness" was only Turkish "charm" helped by the onlookers' rose-tinted glasses and ulterior motives (which are unlikely to be as off the charts as the rest of vk's comment —sorry vk :) ).

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Mar 3 2020 19:19 utc | 154

@ Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Mar 3 2020 19:19 utc | 155

The thing is Erdogan was vice-president or minister of the previous - secular - government, so Merkel calculated he was a center-right politician.

Nobody in Europe imagined he would resort to the Anatolian base to cement his power in 2010-2012.

Posted by: vk | Mar 3 2020 19:30 utc | 155

jr - it would be very unusual for that to happen in this situation and generally world leaders don't pull the plug this late in the game on something like this.. my take..

also false flags- not that the possibility of a chemical weapon false flag is completely over, but as lurk mentioned to you somewhere in one of these threads, it is looking way less likely here... a better idea is a false flag on turkey as someone upstream mentions... i think this is a much better possibility at this point in time then something you have raised many times in the past 6 months here at moa... where are you at with all this now? thanks..

Posted by: james | Mar 3 2020 19:32 utc | 156

@Blue Dotterel | 151
The very premise of that argument is completely unfounded and what we saw on the weekend was the symptom of such racism not the cause.
Ahmet Hakan wrote very openly about racism in Turkey just a year or so ago and was villified on social media but was absolutely right. (Me defending Ahmet Hakan hahaha!!)
Anyway. Don't take my word for it, go and live among Turks.
And don't even go down the sectarian route ...!!

Posted by: Egor68500 | Mar 3 2020 19:47 utc | 157

@158 egor68500...

back @ 85, i asked hausmeister to comment on this, but never heard back...

perhaps you'd like to comment on some of the statements towards the end of the article that @8 alaff shared? i quote the section that tries to understand the turkish psychology here... thanks..

" For a large part of Turkish society, [possible] compromise is a shame."

"Thus, each subsequent geopolitical retreat or defeat of Turkey fuels a thirst for revenge in society."

and the very end "The demand for war is growing, maybe not with those who offended [us], but with someone weaker. But still, we [- Turks -] must prove to ourselves that Turkey can still scare someone. So far, this trend is only growing and will grow in the near future. Of the well-known Turkish politicians, not a single one is known who claims the need to break it. On the contrary, everyone is trying to straddle the wave of public demand for militarism."

if you'd care to comment on these 3 quotes, i'd be curious about your feedback and impressions.. i think there is some truth to what he says here, but i don't know to what degree.... thanks..

Posted by: james | Mar 3 2020 19:54 utc | 158

Regarding Turkey and its prospects of becoming part of the EU, that is simply not going to happen for a long time.

Most Turks simply do not want to be Europeans. Sure, some do, I even know some myself and Blue Dotterel seems to know a great many. But the vast majority does not want to be European. They like to have some of the European goodies, but they want to be Turks and nothing else.

Case in point is the Turkish expat community in Europe. Societal statistics show that in general, they do not integrate very well, even at the third generation living in the EU. Sure there are many Turks who find their own way in European society, but they are more of an exception than the rule. Most Turks remain joined to the hip of Turkey, living relatively isolated in their Turkish identity bubble, always ready for a group display of their Turkishness, complete with abundant flag waving and grey wolves hand signalling.

It would not surprise me if most of the Turks who actually do manage to integrate are infact from Kurdish ethnic origins, skewing the Turk identitarian issue even further.

Even the Chinese are better integrators. That says a lot.

Posted by: Lurk | Mar 3 2020 20:03 utc | 159

@BlueDotterel 151

IMO, the common thread involving all these groups, including AQ in Syria is the Moslem Brotherhood (connection, but not necessarily membership), of which Erdoghan is a dedicated adherent, with instruction in it going back to the 1970's.

Posted by: chet380 | Mar 3 2020 20:38 utc | 160

james @159:

jr - it would be very unusual for that to happen in this situation ...

It's also unusual to have such a high level meeting with no understandings having been reached beforehand. I don't see any real indication that the Russians and Turks agree on Idlib (unless it's all kabuki, which we've mostly discounted at moa). They've just been talking past each other.

It would be unusual and a bad sign. But I didn't say Erdogan wouldn't go, just that there was a good chance - meaning that whatever excuse might be given (shit happens) would be phony.

also false flags ... is looking way less likely here

A false flag - especially directed against Turkish troops on Turk soil - would likely prompt USA/NATO to be involved in a way that sidelines Russian air support over Idlib.

We can debate just how likely a ff might be but SAA needs Russian air support to retake Idlib. Without it, the conflict is just a meat grinder.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 3 2020 21:23 utc | 161

@james | 159
Just read it and like you its the final part that impressed me because it is spot on. The writer definitely understands Turks and the mood in Turkey.
You need to consider that from the early days of Balyoz and Ergenekom, Turkish politics has played on victimhood, rediscovering its roots (albeit appropriated) and defending the country against a never ending string of enemies from within and without. This general atmosphere has been used to veil the fact that actually what was going on was a massive and gradual transference of power. The gradual increase of control over the media allowed for a far more poignant expression of nationalism and Islam, combined with the ever present existential threats to Turkey's very being, which eventually led to revisionist media and educational programmes, despite being proven baseless in many court cases! imagine every day for years and years news programmes beginning with vague shots of barren countryside and explosions with a running commentary of how many terrorists were killed that day and never hearing an alternative opinion; imagine martyrs' coffins being paraded on TV followed by footage of wailing families and father and brothers declaring that they too want to give their lives to the fatherland; imagine every level of celebrity from A-Z playing the same propaganda game in order to maintain their sales while actually living abroad! I could go on but you get the picture. There is no let up, no breathing space. As the power becomes more centralised the pressured propaganda becomes more intense. Acamedicians argue intelligently and convincingly the very points that the propagandists have determined. Every counter argument is reduced to either being a traitor or a terrorist. Only those 'allowed' to counter ever get a national voice, and they ultimately stooges
This morning I wrote a comment about Erdogan's antics over the weekend and their success in allowing the country to let off steam and revel in a sense of strength and victory; this is exactly what the author is talking about too - without letting off the pressure conflict is inevitable. What he does not say is that the conflict could also be expressed internally.
The extreme civilian violence we saw towards Kurds in 2016; the inhuman treatment of Syrians 2014/15: the horrific violence towards young soldiers in the coup; the hunting down of Alevis and Kurds during the Gezi riots;the collective calls for hanging traitors; these are all expressions of that potential internal conflict as all the 'enemies' in these cases are internal.
Erdogan creates these conflicts and he understands perfectly how to manipulate them to further his power. That is his true success.

Posted by: Egor68500 | Mar 3 2020 21:25 utc | 162

Peter AU1 @ 107

Kill off a couple hundred of your own men and destroy a heap of equipment for what - to draw out fifty or hundred bad guys...

I wasn't suggesting that getting the stay-behind terrorists in Daraa up and moving was the sole purpose of the unilateral Russian ceasefire, but the Damascus government must be concerned about the amount of violence happening in the vicinity of the capital and the number of SAA deaths at various checkpoints. SOHR reported on Feb 12, 2020:

since June 2019 until this day, raising to 134, the number of people killed in the same period of time, they are 21 civilians including 3 women and 2 children, 67 of the regime forces and militiamen. loyal to them and collaborators of the security forces and regime institutions, 26 fighters of the faction who carried out “reconciliation and settlements” and became in the ranks of regime’s security branches, including former commanders, and of the 15 Syrian militias of the Lebanese Hezbollah and Iranian forces, in addition to 6 of what is known as the 5th Corps which was established by Russia.

The number of government dead in Al-Sanamin is already over one hundred according to SOHR, so liquidating the problem without further casualties would be important.
In these days of social media, it would be problematic for Damascus to Hama-ize towns in Daraa, particularly after the efforts put into reconciliation, although it turns out the town, Al-Sanamin, was never subject to the reconciliation project. Getting them all up and moving would make it far easier to offer them reconciliation. As for the US, Israel or Turkey jerking their chain, I doubt it. It seems like a local situation.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Mar 3 2020 21:30 utc | 163

From syrianperspective this is an interesting Canthama post

PCNW, the situation is very positive on the frontline, today was particularly bad for the turkish/al Qaeda partnership in Syria, their HQ received a direct hit in Idlib city, all dead, many MIT…it was their war room, Syrian spies are all over the place in Idlib.

The terrorists got really burned inside Nayrab and Efes, huge air trikes, all sort of bombs used, a annihilation campaign, it was bad indeed, many tanks, armoured vehicles destroyed.

Another specific event was in Taftanaz base, a turkish long range artillery was being used against the SAA and it got a direct hit back from a Syrian artillery.

Another direct hit was near Miznaz and Kafr Halab, NE of Taftanaz, 4 tanks and few armoured vehicles were hit, many terrorists and turkish “advisors” were hit.

There are forward troops from the SAA inside Nayrab and Efes, slow moving combing has started, too many terrorists around still though clearly retreating to Sarmin and Qmenas, which are now under severe bombing.

I am not sure whether it is the 3rd of 4th attack drone hit today just minutes ago, numbers are escalating very quickly, since Sunday over 20 were hit in Syria plus 6-8 in Libya, all attack drones. Turkey supposed had before sending them to Libya and Syria, some 120 attack drones, anyone tracking these hits in Libya and Syria since they got in Libya late last year will count some 40+ downed, so Turkey still have little less than 80, but at the 4-6 per day rate….mid March they will have zero…..
40 Reply
3 hours ago

Posted by: JohninMK | Mar 3 2020 21:31 utc | 164


Posted by: JohninMK | Mar 3 2020 21:53 utc | 165

@ William H Warrick MD | Mar 3 2020 19:01 utc | 153

When he arrives he will have his head handed to him, but it was already handed to him by Tulsi so he will arrive with it in his lap.

No disrespect to Tulsi the Bold, but if Erdogan took notice of her scathing remarks at all, her would perceive her as a mosquito briefly landing on his leathery neck.

OTOH, even if Erdogan intends to disappoint and outright defy Putin, he won't easily ignore or dismiss Putin's chop.

Personally, I hope that Putin has finally reached the "no more Mister Nice Guy" stage with Erdogan and other local instigators who shall remain nameless Netanyahu.

Posted by: Ort | Mar 3 2020 21:59 utc | 166

re: Walter | Mar 3 2020 14:43 utc @ 134

Thanks Walt for the info.
Yes. Sounds like a similar fate here as well.

Dean Acheson of course was a 1st-class prick as well as Soviet Propaganda During the Cold War « Cold War Diplomacy
He was another *lifetime actor*, playing his part along with, among others, the 'big boys'-Dulles brothers in the ***The Big Con***.
You did know John Foster & Allen Dulles were at the Versailles Treaty Conference in 1919?
Guess who sent them?
Allen Dulles was such a prick that his wife was cursing-him-out when he was on his deathbed. No shit!

Anyway, I'm 100% convinced the 2nd-tier banksters were all of their bosses.
Nomi Prins' *All the President Bankers* is a great resource btw.

Cheers X-

Posted by: Veritas X- | Mar 3 2020 22:12 utc | 167

Erdogan's plan to swamp Europe with refugees has hit an obstacle. ursula von der Leyen is caling Greece the 'shield of Europe' and giving Greecd E700 million for expences.

Posted by: dh | Mar 3 2020 22:48 utc | 168

Russian Aerospace Forces have helped Syrians capture the most important city from the Turks


The fighting in Syria is becoming increasingly fierce - and Turkey reports on the colossal losses that it inflicts on the Syrian government forces. What is actually happening now in the battlefield and how, in such conditions, the Syrian army managed to return the most important settlement - Sarakib, lost a few days ago?

. . .

Now the dominant view is that the situation in Idlib no longer has a solution other than a military one. You can negotiate with the Turks as much as you like, anything from joint patrols to “disarmament,” but on the earth it is only possible to destroy all groups of militants who are not ready to integrate into the new Syrian society. Yes, the fierce battles for Sarakib were provoked precisely by the political and historical ambitions of Turkey, which continues to consider Northern Syria its “hereditary” territory. But in general, the problem of Idlib is not so much in the Turks - they only interfere with their ambitions, but in the presence of a gangster’s nest.

Given the fact that very little is left before March 5, the designated date for the talks in Moscow between Vladimir Putin and Recep Erdogan, a new attempt by militants with the support of Turkish artillery and drones for the third time to repel Sarakib from government forces can be expected. Since the tactics of the militants and Turks have not changed, all this will again turn into a meat grinder. And you can expect a counterattack attempt by the evening of Monday.



Russian sources expect that at this Thursday’s meeting with the SUV, Putin cannot offer to negotiate a return to the Sochi agreement lines of disengagement. This is because even if Erdogan consents, there is no Russian trust in Turkish undertakings of any kind. Instead, the Russians will probe what the threshold of pain is for the SUV now. Colonel Cassad (Boris Rozhin) comments: “Turkey’s loss figure will not only grow in Syria. Interesting to ask – how many coffins from Syria and Turkey will stimulate serious questions to Erdogan from inside Turkey itself. It seems that Turkish society definitely has a certain pain threshold.” “Erdogan has essentially driven himself into an extremely narrow space for solutions, where he must either raise the casualty rates or look for opportunities to dig himself out of extremely dangerous scenarios.”

Posted by: pogohere | Mar 3 2020 23:03 utc | 169

@55 Goodbye Lochearn, safe travels. Its getting hard to follow here, lots of activity, bar is getting full, crowds changing.. Oh well..

Posted by: Lozion | Mar 3 2020 23:13 utc | 170

The saying "never trust a Turk" seems well illustrated by the beloved leader of the Turks,Erdowan.
Putin got his lesson and I doubt he'll fall a second time.
Erdowan will have a hard time on the 5th of March, meeting furious Putin.
It is time that hypocrite criminal is unmasked, humiliated and hopefully neutralized.

Posted by: Virgile | Mar 3 2020 23:44 utc | 171

I think Putin will attack Erdogan on his Achille's heel: Turkey economy.
Yes, Russia needs Turkey on long term, but it does not need Erdogan and Erdogan needs Russia to stay in power.
In my view Putin will be extremely tough with Erdogan who betrayed the Sochi accord and made Putin look like a naive fool. On short term, Russia is probably ready to lose Turkey's commercial alliance without major problems, but a crash in Turkey's already ailing economy, more dead soldiers from Edlib and the massive arrival of refugees and jihadists may trigger violent unrest in Turkey and accelerate the removal of Erdogan.
Putin should be inflexible and give Erdogan a very short deadline to withdraw from Edlib while threaten him with the stop of tourism and all commercial deals. What can Erdogan do? Turn to Europe? he'll get nothing, turn to the USA always thrilled to get him back at Trump's conditions i.e to cancel all commercial deals with Russia?
I wonder if Putin will do that...

Posted by: Virgile | Mar 4 2020 0:16 utc | 172

@Walter #146:

and we could include the Liberty Affair cover up...

Speaking of the USS Liberty affair, the survivors are raising donations (vid) to produce a full-length feature film about the attack.

Posted by: S | Mar 4 2020 1:11 utc | 173

Remember the footage of migrants exposing a small child to smoke from a fire? Here’s the finished scene from Sky News.

Posted by: S | Mar 4 2020 1:34 utc | 174

@85 James

I think we need to have very modest expectations for the meeting on the 5th. Sure Putin is pissed off that the Turks have broken all agreements and are openly supporting terrorism in Syria, but itʻs not likely that Putin sees the benefits of crushing Turkey as worth the cost:. Isechenko sums this up in the last line of his essay:

"In any case, [the war] later and with anyone else is better than [the war] with us and now"

Erdogan is itching for war and he will get one eventually. Russia wants to support Syria, but it does not want to engage in full blown hostilities with Turkey, especially while the axis of kindness sits back and cheers. Erdogan realizes this and has essentially pushed all of his Syrian chips into the pot on the assumption that Putin does not want to fight directly. So itʻs much more complicated that many people state. One thing that is clear, however, is that the Kurds will have to join the SAA if they ever want Afrin or the buffer zone east of Kobane back. That is where the cleavage lies in the alliance against Syria. If the Kurds remain apart from the Syrian government, there is a very real risk that their lands are what is traded in return for Turkeyʻs withdrawal from Idleb. The Kurds will have nobody to blame but themselves if that happens.

Posted by: sad canuck | Mar 4 2020 1:44 utc | 175

US ‘willing’ to give Turkey ammo amid Ankara’s military standoff with Syrian army in Idlib.

Could this “ammo” be the 155 mm guided projectiles that I’ve speculated about in a previous thread?

Posted by: S | Mar 4 2020 1:45 utc | 176

Sorry guys, i just had a blrainfart. I’m wondering if the drone war is now in it’s spanish civil war training camp phase.
It appears that drones are killing things in the Battle many im not sure, but it appears the drones gave the saa enuf shit to dosrupt their defence. I need someone else, someone better trained, to tell me if the drone nwill become the queen of battle..... a la terminator.

Posted by: James j | Mar 4 2020 2:24 utc | 177


There is a lot of propaganda going on. What is sad is the use of children as political tool for the cameras, a sordid a kind of emotional blackmail.

I remember in 2015 how Turkey guard coast engineered Aylan Kurdi staged photo. At the time, an Iranian TV exposed the plot: the body was collected from the sea along his mother and others by the Turkish guard coat fleet , when back to beach, a Turkish guard calls for photographers present to photograph the dead body boy in the bay as if he had been pushed from the sea. Using a dead child body as propaganda. As if Turkey had no responsibility for pushing refugees into Ageu.

Posted by: Nick | Mar 4 2020 2:30 utc | 178

The lie / narrative currently peddled by trolls is the same one peddled during the ukraine debacleds in 2014 , also the same one when there's setback in syrian theatre of war.

Trolls post narrative about how Putin betray the donbass , How Putin kowtow to Israeli interest , How putin scared of the israelis , How Putin sold off iran to save his skin... etc

Anyone who been reading this stuff instantly noticed the pattern of the same lies over and over again.. it is as if the west and their troll army think if they create a lie big enough to fool useful idiots , they will win the war on the ground..

pity to them , it is the victory on REAL battlefield that will have lasting impact , not some lie typed by a low paid drone in tel aviv.

Posted by: milomilo | Mar 4 2020 2:45 utc | 179

Just another observation , which i saw during ukraine conflict .. plenty of people got swayed daily over some random setback and these people who do not have ground truth in the battlefield easily misled by websites who pretend they knew the ground situation in ukraine..

they wailed daily on why russia do not enter ukraine with tanks blazing , they screamed putin is a coward for not sending tanks to kiev , they cried this is the end for russia..

they made all this embarassing predictions , all based of ignorance and lies..


fast forward syrian conflict today... Same Idiots blather about how russia will make a deal with erdogan and throw away syria.. Same Idiots cried russia is not a true friend and abandon syrian army..


all these people are trolls and useful idiots , no war is decided on a single battle loss or retreat..

Posted by: milomilo | Mar 4 2020 2:50 utc | 180

Tom_LX #137

All of Greg Poulgrain's work was that of a mighty honourable human.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Mar 4 2020 3:37 utc | 181

vk #156

Nobody in Europe imagined he would resort to the Anatolian base to cement his power in 2010-2012.

All I can say is that everybody on the Turkish progressive secular left new what Erdgan was and intended and spoke out loudly about their knowledge. The EU leadership saw Erdo as a chance to stomp on the head of the left secular, anti globalist movement . And so the EU did a deal with the pig. I read any progressive Turkish Newspapers that existed then and talked with many Turkish acquaintances. They knew he was a despicable, untrustworthy pig.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Mar 4 2020 3:46 utc | 182

ooops "I read many .....

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Mar 4 2020 3:47 utc | 183

@177 James Unless you can make them stealthy (hard to do if you hang missiles from them) I would think of drones in the same way that the British regarded the Stuka dive bomber in WW2 - utterly terrifying and brutally effective if there are no air defences, but it only took a few sorties by Spitires and Hurricanes and those Stukas were withdrawn from combat.

And very quickly too, otherwise Goering wouldn't have any Stukas left, and that's pretty embarrassing for any swaggering tin-pot.

I mean, look at the specs - most drones have worse performance than a late-WW2 fighter-bomber, whereas air defense systems are a quantum-leap better than the kit that was available in 1944-1945.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Mar 4 2020 4:50 utc | 184

@ 162 jackrabbit.. okay thanks... i was just pointing out that the chemical weapon false flag looks dead.. other ff's can possibly be pulled off...

@163 Egor68500.. thank you! i thought the last part of that article was especially interesting and so i appreciate you sharing your perspective on it... i think you are very correct.. erdogan creates these conflicts to position himself in an advantageous position.. it might work internally, but not externally where he has to deal with the actions of other countries on the world stage..

@ 175 sad canuck... yes, i agree.. would be wise for the kurds to realize which side they need to align with here, but they are very slow to figure it out it seems..

Posted by: james | Mar 4 2020 4:57 utc | 185

Dunno, I think the Russians might be getting outclassed by the combo of Turkish drones and US intelligence. Russian MPs are already retreating from saraquib, allegedly. Erdro is not going to back down. His drones are still devastating SAA forces. Yet their convoys coming in-country are off-limits? If those are the ground rules, then they’ll win. Russia and SAA have clearly not secured the sky’s.

Posted by: Goober | Mar 4 2020 4:58 utc | 186

just so folks know - this is james with a small j.. all my comments are absent capitals.. there is now another james using James with a capital J as their name..

Posted by: james | Mar 4 2020 4:58 utc | 187

@ 186 goober.. sources? links? thanks..

Posted by: james | Mar 4 2020 5:02 utc | 188

Re: james @188
Generally I follow the reddit Syrian civil war subreddit. It has a diversity of posters, some bogus, some credible, always timely:
Over time the credible sources are recognized (based on veracity of posts after a period of time - post fog of war) and the bogus ones are chaf to the wind.

Specific source:

Is this specific source legit? I can’t speak to that. The original tweet isn’t in English and isn’t known to me as a decent source or otherwise. As things heat up, the sub can get an influx of trolls, but if you follow the sub over time you can sus out trends and get a pretty good overview of the situation. It usually has a decent signal to noise ratio imho.

It seems that there are a preponderance of posts lately indicating that Turkish drones are still in theater and effective. Accurate info? Shrug?

Posted by: Goober | Mar 4 2020 5:47 utc | 189

thanks goober... it is suspect...

Posted by: james | Mar 4 2020 5:57 utc | 190

@james | 185
"but not externally where he has to deal with the actions of other countries on the world stage.."

And sorry my reply turned out to be so long. )))

Posted by: Egor68500 | Mar 4 2020 7:21 utc | 191

Terrorist fortifications in Idlib have ‘merged’ with Turkish outposts – Russian Defense Ministry


Turkey has allowed its observation posts, established under a 2018 deal with Moscow, to virtually merge with terrorist bases in Idlib, Russia’s Defense Ministry said, amid a Turkish assault against advancing Syrian forces.

“The fortified areas of the terrorists have merged with the Turkish observation posts deployed under the 2018 Sochi agreement,” Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov said early on Wednesday.

Posted by: pogohere | Mar 4 2020 7:31 utc | 192

Posted by: JohninMK | Mar 3 2020 21:31 utc | @164

Canthama is an inveterate syrian propagandist and bigot, just like his buddy Ziad Fadel from syrianperspective. I stopped reading that site and Canthama's comments years ago. That type of racist hype is unacceptable for anyone who supports the legitimate goals of the Syrian government w.r.t. international law. It's not any better than that of the Turks.

Ziad's son, Leith from Almasdar, is a lot more balanced and objective, and also mentions the limitations and weaknesses of the Syrian government and army. He's a good source on the status quo in the Syrian war.

Posted by: trin | Mar 4 2020 7:40 utc | 193

Just a quick aside on the two arms manufacturers whose drones are currently being deployed in Syria -

Bayraktar is strongly linked to Erdogan through his son-in-law, Selcuk Bayraktar, who is Chief Technical Officer; and

Turkish Airline Industries was brought under Presidential control after the 'coup'. It and other key arms manufacturers such as Roketsan, Aselsan etc. are now governed by a board chaired by Erdogan himself. It of course includes reps from Ministry of Defence but is no longer under their control.

(The 'coup' that just doesn't stop giving! Erdogan must feel blessed) ))))

@uncle tungsten | 182
"All I can say is that everybody on the Turkish progressive secular left knew what Erdogan was"
Spot on. Just as people were also well aware of the depth of Gulen's penetration into the state - a great ally for Erdogan which later became a threat to his power and had to be dealt with.

Posted by: Egor68500 | Mar 4 2020 8:14 utc | 194

@186 "Russian MPs are already retreating from saraquib, allegedly."

I assume that Erdo himself told you this. On the quiet, of course... don't want to ruffle feathers 'n' all that.

"His drones are still devastating SAA forces."

You forgot to add the ", allegedly."

I do know for a fact that 14 of the drones that the Turks sent over Ibleb in the last few days have been shot down, which somewhat goes against the claim that they Russians and Syrians are getting outclassing.

At this rate Erdogan will run out of drones by mid-March. Allegedly.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Mar 4 2020 9:10 utc | 195

Finally, some data on the population of jihadi-controlled territories in Idlib.

Syria: Turkey pushes 130k refugees from temporary camps towards Greece - Russian MOD (Ruptly, March 4, 2020):

Turkey is attempting to expel more than 100,000 refugees to Greece, said Oleg Zhuravlyov, head of Russian Central Command and Control Centre in Syrian Arab Republic, during a briefing on Tuesday.

“Currently, the authorities of the Republic of Turkey are chasing towards the Greek border some 130,000 refugees who were previously in temporary camps near the Turkish-Greek border,” Zhuravlyov said.

According to him, besides Syrian citizens, there are Afghans, Iraqis and citizens of African countries among the refugees.

There are currently about 200,000 refugees on the Syrian-Turkish border, 85,000 of whom are in the Hazano, Sarmada, Sheikh Hassan, Baskaria, Darkush and Salkin refugee camps, he stated.

Thus, concluded Zhuravlyov, criticism of Syria and Russia for “millionth” flows of refugees and “humanitarian crisis” by Turkey, Europe and the United States is untenable.

The centre cited its observation data, according to which as of 1 January 2020, no more than 1.8 million people lived in the entire Idlib de-escalation zone controlled by terrorists. Up to 210,000 people were living in the areas liberated in the Syrian government’s response to the terrorists from January to February 2020 in the east of the de-escalation zone, and no more than 50,000 people were living in the area (30×18 km) south of the M4 Motorway.

“The Russian Central Command and Control Center in the Syrian Arab Republic has been continuously monitoring the humanitarian situation in the north-western regions of the country for the past several years 24 hours a day. The Center uses UAV grouping, 24-hour hotlines, social media and Internet analysis, as well as extensive direct contacts with local residents of the Center’s province, to continuously monitor the situation,” Zhuravlyov outlined.

Posted by: S | Mar 4 2020 9:14 utc | 196

@S | 195
Which temporary camps on the Turkish Greek border?
Do you know?
Not even Turkish news is saying that there are 130k on the Turkish/ Greek border.
Its ridiculous.
If they are talking about those held on Lesbos that's different. There was a skirmish on the island yesterday but those are refugees that have long since been on Lesbos (- Turkey has never tried hard to prevent refugees crossing the sea to Lesbos!) They were to/d that a ship to Athens was accepting refugees and all of them left the camps and headed to the port. Of course the news was a ploy to provoke confrontation.
This Ruptly news seems like a deliberate attempt to conflate different groups of refugees and to inflate what has become a pretty luke warm threat by Turkey. Russia ia quite happy to watch the conflict between Turkey and EU grow and our boys are very good at propaganda too!
Lastly, Turkey has not opened the Southern borders around idlib and is in fact fortifying them to prevent refugees!!

Posted by: Egor68500 | Mar 4 2020 10:36 utc | 197

Tom Luongo's take is nothing new but it's a good readable summary of what's known to date.

Will Idlib be Putin’s Folly or Erdogan’s Rubicon?

Erdogan will try and wheedle a deal out of Putin which gives him some of what he wants. However, I don’t think that will fly. Despite his missteps here, I think Putin still has this situation under control. In fact, if I know Putin at all, I’d say that Erdogan will leave Moscow with nothing, even though Erdogan has cards he thinks he can play. And it is the silence coming from major NATO players that is his biggest issue. Trump cannot get involved in Idlib in an election year. Without NATO backing him up, what is he going to offer Putin? Having ticked off all of his benefactors to this point, trying to use access to the Bosporus and NATO Article 5 as leverage for his aggressions in Syria have their limits. But, at the same time, Putin has to recognize now, with these moves by Erdogan, that he is dealing with a person with delusions of grandeur at a Hitlerian level.

Posted by: Carciofi | Mar 4 2020 10:44 utc | 198

Goober @189

Everything on reddit is suspect. It is just an establishment echo chamber. All posts that effectively challenge official narratives are purged and their posters banned.

Posted by: William Gruff | Mar 4 2020 11:02 utc | 200

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