Syria Daily, May 31: 121 Killed Amid Regime’s Barrel Bombs on Saturday


PHOTO: Aftermath of Syrian air force’s barrel-bombing of al-Bab in Aleppo Province on Saturday (Getty)



Video: With the Rebel Advance Through Idlib Province

Responding to both rebel advances and the growing challenge of the Islamic State, Syria’s air force killed scores of people on Saturday with barrel-bombing.

The Local Coordination Committees reported the deaths of 121 people, including 13 women and 9 children. Of the deaths, 84 were in Aleppo Province, with regime airstrikes on both an Islamic State-controlled town and a rebel-held section of Aleppo city.

At least 50 people were killed by barrel bombs on the town of al-Bab, northeast of Aleppo, which has been held by the Islamic State since autumn 2013. At least 10 were slain in the al-Sha’ar section of rebel-held Aleppo, with more deaths in other neighborhoods.

Scenes in the Firdous area of Aleppo:

Pulling victims from rubble:

At least 20 people died in Idlib Province, most in shelling of Balyoon.

The Syrian air force, which has killed thousands of people with barrel bombs, has been using the airstrikes since March in an unsuccessful attempt to hold back the rebel offensive in Idlib Province. The latest defeat was on Thursday, when Syrian forces withdrew from one of their last positions, the town of Ariha.

See Syria Daily, May 29: Rebels Capture Ariha in Northwest Within Hours as Assad Forces Flee

The Islamic State has also advanced, capturing the city of Palmyra in Homs Province and threatening further advances towards Homs city. They are also pressing the regime in Deir ez Zor city in eastern Syria and fighting Syrian forces in neighboring Hasakah Province.

On Saturday, the Islamic State fought Syrian troops in several locations in the province and challenged the regime control of Hasakah city, firing shells into the center and reportedly taking three checkpoints on the perimeter.

State media and pro-Assad accounts claimed the attacks were repelled, with heavy losses for the militants. They also claim that those killed in al-Bab were Islamic State fighters, rather than civilians.

The UN envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, condemned the “indiscriminate” aerial attacks and said they were responsible for “the overwhelming majority of the civilian victims in the Syrian conflict”: “[It is] totally unacceptable that the Syrian air force attacks its own territory in an indiscriminate way, killing its own citizens, as it brutally happened today in Aleppo.”

Central Bank Devalues Syrian Pound to 271:1 vs. US Dollar

The Central Bank has set the exchange rate of Syrian Pound against the US dollar at 271:1.

The Syrian currency was about 50:1 vs. the dollar when the uprising began in 2011. It has been officially devalued sharply since the start of this year, when it was less than 200:1.

The unofficial rate of the Syrian Pound reached more than 300:1 in April amid military defeats and economic problems, its weakest position since US airstrikes were feared after the regime’s chemical weapons attacks of August 2014.

State Media: 27 Killed by Fuel Tank Explosion in Qamishli in Northeast

State news agency SANA says 27 people were killed when a burning fuel tank blew up in a clinic in Qamishli in northeast Syria on Sunday.

A “medical source” at Qamishli National Hospital said about 30 wounded people had been admitted. A Kurdish official said the explosion occurred as children were being vaccinated against polio.

Qamishli is in mainly-Kurdish territory but is controlled by regime forces.

Foreign Ministry Denounces European Union’s Extension of Sanctions

The Foreign Ministry has condemned the extension of sanctions against Syria by the Council of the European Union.

On Thursday, the Council renewed the sanctions imposed in 2011. More than 200 persons and 70 entities are subject to travel bans and asset freezes under the restrictions.

An “official source” at the Foreign Ministry said the decision shows the EU is “complicit in the conspiracy against Syria”, with “unfair” measures targeting the livelihood and health of the Syrian people.

Claimed Video Shows Army Abuse of Detainees in Ariha in Idlib Province

Claimed video, supposedly taken from the cellphone of a Syrian soldier, shows the military abusing detainees in Ariha in Idlib Province.

The footage shows soldiers shouting at men who are bound and stripped to their underpants. One of the troops smiles and laughs at the camera as the interrogation continues behind him.

Ariha was captured by rebels last Thursday. They claimed that, before withdrawing, Syrian forces executed both detainees and some of their own soldiers.

Video: Rebels Fighting Islamic State in Northeast Aleppo Province

Rebels battle the Islamic State in al-Hasia (see map), north of Aleppo city:

Rebel units and the Islamic State are fighting along a 25-km (16-mile) front north and northeast of Aleppo, effectively turning the contest for Aleppo Province into a three-sided war.

A media activist with the Islamic Front rebel bloc confirms that the Islamic State has taken the town of Sawran, near the Turkish border — the militants may be hoping to take the Azaz border crossing with Turkey:

Rebel reinforcements moving into the area:

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  1. The UN envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, condemned the “indiscriminate” aerial attacks and said they were responsible for “the overwhelming majority of the civilian victims in the Syrian conflict”: “[It is] totally unacceptable that the Syrian air force attacks its own territory in an indiscriminate way, killing its own citizens, as it brutally happened today in Aleppo.”

    What does it take for the mainstream press to take note of this, and the commentators start talking about this tragedy, and pointing their fingers to those criminal culprits and enablers in power in advanced countries with a strong airforce who have the power to stop this, but do not wish to put an end to this genocide?

    Why does the left never talk about such genocide? Robert Fisk? Patrick Cockburn? Seamus Milne? John Pilger? The left actively opposed intervention in Bosnia and Kosovo, delaying the Clinton intervention by years. And then actively opposed Libya, berating Bernard Henry Levi, himself a socialist, and Chris Hitchens who wanted to stop the genocide in Libya.

    It took Sarkozy, a conservative head of state to actually do something about Libya. And then the socialist Hollande and Obama came to power, and Libya and Iraq went to hell in a handbasket.

    There is no creature more loathsome than the pacifists and so-called anti-war crowd.

    George Orwell: A pacifist is another name for a friend of fascism.

    • Bernard Henri Lévy is not a socialist at all, he’s actually sided with the right in France. He is one of the “new philosophers” who opposed Marxism back in the 70s and gave up on Maoism or other leftist movements. Everyone shits on him, especially the left.

      It does bother me that idiot leftists support conspiracy theories and refuse to see the people’s suffering because of the regime. I’ve once been called a “Mossad agent” or a “objective ally of American imperialism” because I support the revolution. It’s extremely annoying. But hey, for some people, Russian imperialism is supposely better than American imperialism… How? I have no idea. And I fail to see how some other country’s involvement is supposed to be better than another one.
      Also, an interesting article about how the Syrian Civil War is a class war (thanks Niall): This is what those who read Marx need to read. Too bad tankies are too stupid to do so.

      • Your welcome ASCWCATP. The people who think that US imperialism is worse than Russian imperialism probably think a 70s political dissident being shot in Romania is not as bad as a political dissident being shot in Chile. I like would think the ideological reasons beind being shot would not affect the physical pain endured and moral implications behind it, but I guess to them it dose.

    • You realize that most of the people you’re arguing with in the comments here agree with this 100%?

      • Of course I do, Ian. I just wanted to point out the fact that BHL, as we call him in France, is not a leftist but actually a liberal (European sense, of course).

    • libya is a shithole because sarkozy under the guise of BHL attacked the country and destroyed those minimal institutions that were in place.
      Its not because of Hollande or Obama evil socialism.

      lol the neohawkery is strong with this one

      • Libya is a shithole because it was ruled for decades by a crazy dictator. Ghaddafi destroyed Libya, and it will take generations to recover.

        • funny that when it was ruled by the evil dictator, it was the most developed country in Africa (maybe South Africa was ahead of them).
          would also argue that a lot less people were killed when the evil dictator was in place, also a lot less people being smuggled to the EU when the evil dictator was in place.

          • We don’t know exactly how many people were killed by Ghaddafi, and we might not ever know, but we can say just from the Libyan-sponsored terrorist attacks, and Libya’s wars with Chad and Egypt, that more people were killed violently by Ghaddafi than in its current civil conflict. And that civil conflict was ultimately Ghaddafi’s fault, since he responded to popular protest with tanks..

            • popular protests being the birth of ISIS in eastern Libya?
              it would be better for the entire world, if gaddafi crushed those few thousands islamists having their jihad revolution.

              Today no part of Libya is safe, either its ISIS, local jihadis or local warlord/smuggler areas, total state collapse.
              The logic that Gaddafi was a bad guy so its ok to take him down without the slightest idea what follows, which is obviously even worse than before. But hey you can clean your hands by saying its Gaddafis fault, even though foreign governments destroyed the country, totally disassembled the power structure without a realistic post Gaddafi plan.

              Imagine this happening in Syria, a country that isnt religiously uniform like Libya, i rather not think of it.

              • “””if gaddafi crushed those few thousands islamists having their jihad revolution”””

                If someone could choose between a state falling apart – and 220,000 killed in Syria with tens of thousands tortured to death including a state falling apart – what would you choose? Reminder: Each murder and every tortured to death is a trigger to a new future conflict.

              • hmmm a failed country destroyed for generations to come, or execute Muslim Brothers and similar idiots that would commit suicide bombing sooner or later.

                hmmm TOUGH CHOICE for anyone that isnt in the Salafist waters

              • Ali — When Ghaddafi attacked the protesters, he did not send tanks to liberate Derna from the 1000 Islamists. He sent tanks to massacre the secular Benghazis, so he can continue with fascism in Libya.

                Funny how you intend to distort history. Unfortunately the facts are in your way.

                Ghadafi had a soft spot for Islamists. Just like Assad has a soft spot for ex-Baathist ISIS. And you are an ISIS supporter.

              • Ali — blame the left for not having a plan for Libya post-Ghaddafi. The left fought tooth and nail to keep the rat in power. Then ethey made sure no western support would arrive for creating a valid state in Libya. That could only happen with boots on the ground. But that would mean occupation, invasion, another Iraqi quagmire (they argued) and stealing of the oil, wouldn’t it?

                So it was the socialist left, the friends of fascism, that enabled the Islamists and the fascists to challenge the liberals and seculars and the Amazigh in Libya, after Ghaddafi was found in a rat hole.

            • He also trained Charles Taylor who destroyed the life’s of thousands of Liberians and Sierra Leoneans. Not mention a huge chunk of them have no arms because they hacked off by his goons. Gaddafi duck also prolonged Ida Amie’s regime who was his son in law.

          • Ali – wrong. Many people were executed during the reign of Ghaddafi, and a lot more during the war, thanks to Ghaddafi. The rate has dropped considerably since.

          • Ali — Libya was no advanced country. It was all oil. Like Iran and Venezuela and Russia. The total non-oil export of the country of Libya was probably smaller than the exports of the city of Barcelona or the country of Gabon.

      • Ali — Now Ghaddafi is a good guy? Lol.

        Ali — have you ever not supported fascism on these pages? Are you a member of the Neo Nazi Party, or a member of the Left Party?

        Why do you hate liberal democracy so much?

        Islamism is another totalitarian ideology. I bet after the fall of Assad, you will become a supporter of ISIS and want them to attack western interests. After all, lots of ex-Baathists in ISIS.

    • and he should be an emo kid cutting his hands or what are you implying?

      just more stupid moralizing tweets

      • Ali – the kid must be utterly stupid and degenerate. All he has to do is to watch some of the videos of civilians getting torn apart or children getting gassed, and he would not feel like partying for a long time. See the ATL video on the barrel bomb dropped on Aleppo.

        Your next president, after this one abdicates, is no smarter than his dimwit father and already lacks moral intelligence. It is a well known genetic defect of the Assads, which Asma was unable to correct.

    • Hafez jr dose has inherited his dad’s tallness, but he is strangely white, which could be the camera but it dose imply that Asma and Bashar have kept their offspring indoors most of their lifes and thus cut off from the rest of society. Contrast that the British royal family where they bring the kids with them when they go out in public venues. The Syrian family in my hometown (outside of Glasgow which BTW shares is latitude with Moscow) have darker skin than him for heavens sake. Oh and yes the kids where born in Glasgow,

    • Stefan,

      The LCC has been consistently reliable throughout the conflict in its reporting of casualties.


      • From my point of view they are just as reliable as the UK based SOHR….How can you trust a site that practicly belongs to the opposition???
        SANA is just as worse for the regime..

        • Stefan,

          Unlike the SOHR, the LCC and the Violations Documentation Center — with which it is linked — verify deaths and provide information on the casualties.


        • Stephen: For the same reason the BBC was far more reliable than Goebbels and–after Stalingrad–even Germans turned to the BBC to find out what was really happening. The LCC relies on BBC’s WW II model in which you try to report everything accurately to retain credibility. SOAR seems to report every rebel victoy as “an Al-Queda victory.” Its author may as well take his paychecks from Assad. Maybe they got something on him.

          • oh my the BBC, state owned british network, 100% objective 😀

            up there with Sana and other state owned broadcasters that are first and foremost responsible to the government currently in power

            • Difference is the BBC will publish stories about that are critical of Cameron or Sturgeon or Prince Charles, with no repercussions at all. Like when the media including the BBC torched Gordon Browns career by broadcasting the recording of him calling an old woman who looks after disabled kids a bigot because she disagreed with his policy on Eastern Europeans. Sana and Press TV never say bad things about Khamenei and his minions.

  2. Great weakness of the FSA in north Aleppo, IS advancing like a train. But unfortunately this was to happen, rebels are very weak around Aleppo. At this point i would start to think to give Aleppo to IS and see how the int. comunity reacts to that.

    • of course that rotten vermin Obimbo doesn’t give air support against ISIS only when the Kurds are fighting them

    • its the nature of a three way war, when one side concentrates forces to attack the other, the third side, can attack weak points of the other two sides.

      it has been happening since ISIS left the rebels

  3. The LCC does not exist, Lucas, only in your demented brain. It is not accurate or reliable. It uses a Ouija Board to impress third-rate instructors like yourself. Our barrel bombs are very accurate, unlike the LCC, and they have been most useful in killing Libyan, Tunisian, Kazakh, Tajik, Chechen, Jordanian, Turk, Uigher, Albanian, Bosnian, Indonesian, Malaysian, Moroccan, Sudanese, Somali, Saudi, Qatari, Kuwaiti terrorist savages. We are now on the verge of a different age of vaporizing your Alqaeda heroes: thermobarics. Get ready for the fun.

    • “The LCC does not exist, Lucas, only in your demented brain. It is not accurate or reliable” Wait so if it dose not exist as you claim, how canit be unreliable then Mr Fadel? A book that is not accurate or reliable has to exist to be inaccurate and unreliable. But it dose not exist then it can’t any of those things by virtue of it not existing. So which is it? Also what was that you were saying about a demented brain Mr Fadel?

      • Nail, Could you please ask this question in little plain English? Our friend. ziad has trouble understanding basic logics.

        • @ForSyria Ok i’ll try to use small words in my reply to Ziad ok lets go..”Cat..”Oh darn it! That word is way to big for him.

          Oh and my name is Niall not nail. Nails are things you hammer into walls to hang up paintings. Nialls are mega cool dudes who’s knowledge and love of the 3Ss (Syria, the Simpsons & Sonic the Hedgehog) is matched only by their ability to write witty and insightful comments on EA worldview. Mind you my dad who was really good at maths and not so much at English in school wrote Nail Fraser Love on my birth certificate.

          Oh and Ziad the next time you are use your Ouija Board contact Baathist founder Michel Aflaq and pass on this massage “If your brain was made of chocolate, it wouldn’t fill an M&M. In all love Niall Love ;-D

    • Yeah, “Ouija Board” is a nice touch! I was worried he might have been running low on creative and hilarious adjectives..


      Did you check out Mason’s Storm’s defense of Obama’s Hamlet-Appeasement Act in the Middle East.

      His basic argument was that we should be afraid of Russia because installing an NFZ might lead to World War III. Restraining oneself from acting for such a reason is like a guy who knows how to swim but won’t get in the pool because “You can’t rule out that I might hit my head on the side of a pool and drown.”

      Fearing Russia would be willing to go to war for a regime that is clearly on its last legs is no excuse for action. Putin isn’t that crazy and doesn’t have nearly as much at stake in Syria as Khamenei. In my response to yesterday’s post, I cited other reasons he won’t happen. As if Putin, with the Ukraine on his hands and his economy sputtering would be willing to risk a much greater and vastly more unpopular war just to save Pee-Wee in Syria.

      Fear of Russia going all out is total hogwash yet the sort of stupidity that paralyzes Obama. He has this McClellan-like caution and determination to get all his ducks in a row before making any move. Such types always get hammered by a Patton, a Stonewall or an ISIS who don’t waste any time waiting around until the perfect moment.

      Putin is extremely shortsighted but Assad and Khamenei beat him there. The latter would no doubt intervene to save Assad if he can even his financial, geographical and military capability to do so is limited. If he does, he couldn’t provide sufficient help to counterbalance Turkey, Saudi and the Arabs. Any additional forces thrown into that fire will end up like Assad’s reinforcement in Idlib Province, with hell to pay back in Tehran.

  4. Daily reminder, from our new JCS:

    “Dempsey is a thoroughly conventional thinker without a clue how insurrections work and looks at things from a conventional military angle only.”


      What follows will be my daily reminder if summoned:

      Even when justly earned, medals do not automatically rarely confer grand strategic sense which deals with questions of how to win or when a war does or doesn’t make sense–that go way beyond the battlefield.

      Thus to suggest that Dempsey, merely by possession of medals, can compare in any way to a General Gavin, a Gavin or a George Marshall is bad reasoning. In fact, military experience is not required for grand strategic insight, and too much can be a handicap. Like a man standing too close to a wall-sized painting. Abe Lincoln with no West Point background or any military service but was quick to recognize Grant’s strategic vision, even if originally the man’s appointment was mocked by generals such as George McClellan of who Lincoln correctly noted, “he has the slows.” Obama is the civilian version of McClellan in that respect.

      As far as your misguided faith in the JSC, where was their great insight in Viet Nam? As Halberstam pointed out, the “best and the brightest” advisors also got it wrong, as McNamara later admitted, by never questioning the flawed premise on which the Vietnam War effort was based. If military training could provide good sense when it comes to grand strategy, why couldn’t the JSC see–any more than LBJ’s inner circle–the same thing I pointed out (repeatedly) and what Gavin also pointed out (pissing off the much bemedaled JSC): there was no need to fight the war because it stemmed from a false premise I’ve noted here. It took years before many fervent defenders of the war finally figured out they had misapplied the Munich analogy (good in other circumstances) where it did not fit.

      Your faith in much bemedaled generals (a Kitchner for example) and in presidents to get things right because “they know what we don’t” is touching, misplaced and naïve. It also suggests limited historical knowledge. Note the idiocy of top generals in World War I who insisted that “if it worked for Napoleon it will work for us,” ignored vast technological change since. See the WWI masterpiece “Paths of Glory” on their strategic vision. Contrast that with Foche who observed succinctly “Le feu tue.” Right! Never question the generals because they must know what they are doing. Ditto for our presidents and the CIA. Excuse me if I demur.

      See also the Battleship Admirals who opposed carriers, failing to understand how vulnerable their once potent battleships have become. See the advocates of another new generation of fighter jets or tanks who ignore changing technology or certain lessons from the Syrian War. Too many aging generals get over attached to what they learned in the past and can’t adapt or see reasons for change. A few people have it. Most don’t. What hade sense for the great Napoleon made no sense in an age of machine guns and barbed wire. What made sense for Patton would not have worked in Vietnam.

      As for prowess on the battlefield, please don’t compare Dempsey to Patton, Stonewall or Gavin (led special forces in pre-dawn D-day behind enemy lines)–all of whom had incredibly tougher assignments (Saddam barely put up a fight). Medals can be handed out like candy, so don’t overworship them. Even if Dempsey’s medals are deserved–as would be so in easily in Stonewall’s case, that in no way guarantee the man should head an entire army (as Lee did) while even that capability doesn’t automatically translate to grand strategic vision. Some people are far above ordinary for certain tasks but don’t belong higher. The same applies in reverse. Imagine putting George Marshall in Patton’s shoes or vice versa. How much talent would be squandered?

      Similarly what made Grant a great general did not make a great president. At his present level, playing cringing yes man to Obama, inflates probable costs and losses when it comes to NFZ’s, Dempsey appears to be, just like his commander-in-Chief, way over his head.

      • Another rambling history lesson by Ma Hunkel.
        What does JSC stand for, Johnson Space Center?
        Re:Medals can be handed out like candy, I,m sure American military veterans and active duty personel would differ with your inane statement.

        • NOTE TO BILL A: For accuracy’s sake, Insert the word “some” before “military veterans” in your last paragraph.

          Some medals are indeed earned, but not all. Similarly its easier to rise to the JCS if you have the right connections. Not everyone who gets a medal earns one while others who deserve one go ignored. Some movies have focused on this phenomenon and how it works. Tops are “Attack” ( a world war II movie directed by Robert Aldridge if I recall) and “Paths of Glory” (directed by Stanley Kubrick?)

          In “Attack” Jack Palance as a tough sargeant forced to endure an an incompetent superior (played by Eddie Albert who in real life won a much deserved medal at Iwo Jima). The officeris protected by a superior (Lee Marvin) who is well aware of his shortcomings but has political reasons for covering the guy. The last part of this film is is stunning as is also true of “Paths of Glory.” I can’t say more without spoiling it. Trust men. These films are damn good.

          Palance (not his real name) lived not far from my hometown and would show up at Matlow’s to buy his shoes. A friend of mine, L an ex-Red Tornado linebacker, went drinking with him once. When L got home around 2 am and his wife–a big Palance fan) asked where he had been, she blew a fuse. “You went drinking with Jack Palance without taking me along!” she said.

          On the subject of how incompetents can rise and get medals while those who do the dirty work get shafted, I’d also recommend the masterpiece, “Paths of Glory” which looks at the French practice of “decimation” under which one in ten troops could be executed as a lesson to the troops after a failed attack. Kirk Douglas plays a captain who is asked to defend three men picked out “at random” after a pre-doomed attack fails and the general (the superb George McCready who was also terrific in “Gilda” though Rita Hayworth stole the show).

        • Bill there are two types of army meddles. Ones you get for being there and ones for bravery like the Victoria Cross. The latter you get by doing something heroic like run back into enemy fire to rescue an injured comrade. The ww2 sevice medle was awoared to everyone who took part in the war be they Audie Murphy or guys who just showed up and never fired a gun. So because Truman did not declare an end of hostilities till Hogmanay 1946 people who joined te US army would medle after VJ-Day. For example a US draftee who was drafter in March 46 and deployed to Germany as an occupation troop in May 46, would get the service medal, with the closest thing to fighting a battle being a man in the firing squad that executes a SS-RottenFuehrer (yes that’s a real rank-rotte is German for team) who killed three Norwegian POWs.

          • NFL: I served for 23 years so I know a little about medals. You say there are two types of army medals. Under what type would a expert marksman medal fit in..

            • William you have been in the army longer than I have been alive. I know a lot of people don’t know between service medals like rainbow ones given to all vets in both world wars-which you could get without fighting and the ones awarded for bravery and heroics that the likes of Audie Murphy got. But going to guess there are other types, I did not know if you knew the difference as many don’t.
              So guess your example is an effort based one that you get for going above and beyond the line of duty not the one you get for showing up.

              Its cool that you where in the US army what medals do you have n wars you fight in? Gulf? Panama? Korea?

              My cousin’s uncle was the US army he joined as they where leaving Vietnam and was discharged as they about to invade Iraq, so pretty lucky timing ay?

              • Im chuckling at the claim that Bronze Stars with V devices are handed out like candy. Height of ignorance.

                Bronze stars, yes, at least for officers, but the V.. well, I don’t imagine the person ranting about medals even know what that signifies.

                Likewise NAMs can be handled out for asinine reasons.. I on the other hand earned mine. Not that anybody trying to tell me I don’t defend my country cares about that.

                “Abe Lincoln with no West Point background or any military service but was quick to recognize Grant’s strategic vision”

                Welll I guess that’s why it took years for Grant to appointed Commander-in-Chief of the Union Armies, right.

                “As far as your misguided faith in the JSC, where was their great insight in Viet Nam? ”

                Well this literally has nothing to do with anything in the conversation, but is a classic case of the logical fallacy of the red herring. Also a so-so attempt at poisoning the well, but really fails since, you know, General Dempsey was not in Vietnam. Such poor reasoning skills on display.

  5. Would a barrel bomb explode if it was shot before it hit the ground thus explode in the air? I assume it would thought I know its nearly impossible do hit it as falls unless you standing right underneath it. Still I wonder if anyone has succeeded in doing that. I have seen videos of aircraft exploding massively because their barrel bombs exploded with them.

    Dose anyone know who came up with the idea of a barrel bomb? Who he must be high on the hit list.

    • Mid-air explosions of barrels were common when they were still using timed fuses. It results in less damage to infrastructure, but wider dispersion of shrapnel. You also need to hit it with something that explodes on impact, as a regular rifle rounds will simply go through it without setting off the explosive charge.

      The alleged inventor of barrel bombs was killed a month ago. Ironically, he died in an accidental explosion of a – barrel bomb.

      • Oh because they where full of TNT and other eplosvies a bullet would set it off, thanks the answer. It is pretty funny that the barrel bomb inventor was himself barrel bombed do you know his name. Speaking of being “hoist by your own petard” you probably headed that the likes Himmler, Goering, Eva Brun, poisoned themselves with K-cyanide which is a key ingredient to Zyklon-B the gas used in the holocaust.

        • No. You can easily shoot a wad of TNT and not set it off, only a primary detonation will cause TNT to blow. A bullet is rarely hot enough to ignite TNT.

        • barrel bomb inventor 😀 ?

          stacking explosives in a container with some added shrapnel is a new invention?

      • I remember the first time I saw a video on Youtube of such a mid-air detonation, which also destroyed the regime helicopter that carried the barrel bomb. I believe it took place over Aleppo in late 2012, and it was the most bizarre explosion I have ever seen. The helo went up in a huge fireball which looked nothing like what you would expect, but instead resembled an SFX explosion from Star Wars. There were no visible helo parts or debris descending to the ground – just this massive fireball. The fireball burns out, leaving a huge circular formation of smoke hanging in the sky, and after about 3 seconds, there appears a round hole in the center of the circle. The video ends with a shot of this donut-shaped black smoke formation and FSA screaming for joy. It was so bizarre, I was convinced that the video was fake, but there appeared in the days that followed multiple videos of the same explosion from different angles and distances. It was not a fake. And I know of at least one other barrel bomb mid-air explosion which had the same strange features.

  6. URGENT! JExactly As I Predicted


    Unconfirmed: ISIS had taken Sirwan and hauled off rebel women and children into captivity.–Tweet from Gudaw English.

    The easy part was predicting Obama would not use coalition air forces to help the rebels for reasons everyone knows. Pleading for action, as I did when Obama allowed ISIS & the regime to team up agains the rebels in Deir Ezzor, I warned of serious repercussions. Yesterday, I also argued that Obama would miss what could have been an opportunity to inflict damage as bad or worse than what ISIS suffered in Kobane. That above would blow another opportunity was a virtual certainty. So much for all his Red Line-style rhetoric about how he planned to “defeat an degrade ISIS.”

    Two things I couldn’t predict–whether the rebels would be able to hold off ISIS while also under attack in the area by regime air forces, or that the rebels might be fools enough to leave their wives and children in town.

    The only part I couldn’t predict is that rebels would be foolish enough to leave their wives of children in the town or to assume that Obama would help because of his phony speech about how he would “destroy and degrade” ISIS. One effect should be to greatly radicalize the rebels further.
    They got their worse backstabbing yet but should have seen it coming. Meanwhile as the battle progressed, regime trolls unline were hailing ISIS’ offensive.

    1. Didn’t the rebels notice Obama’s war on ISIS was a joke–exactly like his other behavior, an air power” only treatment for ISIS in Syria and not even that where a rebel victory would not be good for nearby regime forces?

    2. Didn’t rebels notice his contrasting willingness to bend over backwads to help Iran and its Shia proxy mlitias in Iraq and arming the Iraqi government with arms it leaves for ISIS to collect as its troops flee the battlefield?

    2. Didn’t the rebels learn anything from Obama’s tough Red LIne rhetoric on chemic weapons and his subsequent two-stage back down or from Assad’s mocking use of chemical weapons since? Rule #1: Any tough talk by Obama should never be taken seriously. Ignore his words and watch the subsequent Mr. Softie performance.

    3. The rebels should have remembered Obama’s similar dithering behvio in the Victory Which Enabled Everything: i.e., Assad and ISIS teamed up against larger but short of ammo rebel forces to drive them out of Deir Ezzor. No reader can deny that I pleaded with on here for almost two months for Obama to stop hesitating and act, or that I predicted dire consequences if he didn’t. Recall those two dire consequences which followed almost immediately. Even I never thought they’d be quite so bad.

    EVERY ISIS SUCCESS SINCE WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN POSSIBLE WITHOUT THAT BATTLE OR HAD OBAMA INTERVENED. Too little attentio has been paid to that battle but I’m confident historians won’t miss it after things settle

    4, The rebels (like Obama) should have learned something from Kobane. Obviously the Misser of Opportunities had no intention of acting there either as shown by how he dithered almost to the stroke of midnight. If you think ISIS is doing well now, imagine how it might be doing in Aleppo had Obama hesitated another (fatal) 24 hour.

    As you recall he was already under fire from Democrats and Republicans because of ISIS recent successes, especially in Iraq, So he couldn’t afford another ISIS victory there but appeared ready to kid himself about Kobane’s importance. .Thus he dithered until ISIS had victory virturally in the bag. So what forced him to step in at the last minute?

    Two things. Most important was the ISIS victory over the Ismaelis and the subsequent mass murders of 4,000, the forced recruitment of captured male children and especially the forced marriages and sexual slavery which brings us to the second motive.
    Clearly Kurds were in for the same.and for political and personal (family) reasons,

    Obama couldn’t not afford a shocking and similar barbaric show or he’d have had every woman in America on his back.. That would have included Michelle, as she watched ISIS to the same to Kurds and knew her husband’s reluctance to act was to blame. There would be no peace in the White House bedroom. What woman would want to be married to such a man? How could his kids still admire him?

    So now that the horses have left the barn, the man whose dictum is “a stitch in time never saved nine” will be forced to act. When he does, as in the Red Line Back Down, political motives will trump the national security motives he should have considered earlier. In this case preservation of family harmony and fear of rage from all women voters may also play a part. Obama never does the right thing for the right reason. This anti-Good Samaritan is as responsible for these women’s enslavement as ISIS, just as he is as responsible for every barrel bomb as Assad.

    Never forget that these women, like earlier victims, wouldn’t be enslaved today had Obama kept his Red Line threat, or had he acted in Deir Ezzor. Nor would hundreds of thousands of civilians have died, a country have been destroyed and the whole region set afire. Obama’s Mr. Dithers act and his courtship of Khamenei has been as disastrous as it gets.

    • So tragic. These areas of northern Aleppo are core FSA territory which is being decimated by ISIS. Coalition inaction is treason to humanity. Turkey should also be indicted for indirect collusion with ISIS.



    ITEM: Rebel assessment of latest: “isis attacking rebels n. of aleppo. Regime bombing same area air +long range artillery. Coalition sits idle.”–Deborah Amos

    ITEM: ISIS offensive in north Aleppo designed to forestall ‘Jaysh al-Fateh’ scenario rebels were planning to mirror success in Idlib.–Charles Lister

    ANALYSIS: The failure to target ISIS with coalition airpower is deliberate on Obama’s part. Even though intervention could have inflicted an immense defeat on ISIS, Obama is unlike to act–as I warned–because of a key variable: the regime (who Obama favors) is helping out ISIS with the Syrian Air Force and long-range artillery. In essence, the regime if playing ISiS air force with Obama’s approval, just as everyone said would happen.

    Following his own modified version of Putin’s Chechnya strategy, Obama is more interested in slowing down rebel victories than defeating ISIS. Given a choice, he opts for the former and has done so repeatedly. Obama, copying Putin’s strategy, seeks to prolong the war and keep the regime intact regardless of the latter’s genocidal atrocities.

    Earlier Obama himself helped the regime out by targeting Nusra. Obama doesn’t want a repeat of Idlib in Aleppo. He is determined to save the regime, barrel bombs and all, via treachery. Obama seems to hate both Sunnis and Israel he has his nose so far up Khamenei’s ass.

    The president is a war criminal who should be hauled before the World Court. for assisting in genocide and the enslavement of women..

    • While using its air force and artillery to help ISIS attack on rebels north of Aleppo (with Obama’s approval), the regime fights ISIS in Sheik Najjar. Karybdis writes:” Fighting in both Handarat village and district. SAA has been pushing IS from Sheikh Najjar.

      Short on manpower and overstretched elsewhere, the regime is forced to ally with ISIS for short term purposes, even knowing it may have to pay a big price elsewhere. Obviously that’s not in the interests of most Assad loyalists who would benefit from a rebel-Alawite alliance the present regime makes impossible.

      What is really helping the regime and ISIS north of Aleppo is Obama’s covert assistance–the latest instance of his backstabbing the rebels. As I keep saying, we knew this ISIS offensive was coming just as Obama is aware of the regime’s air force and artillery helping ISIS out. As I also continue to insist: Had the Coalition aircraft intervened, ISIS might have suffered a much worse defeat than in Kobane, since the rebel forces engaged are larger, veteran, more experienced and better armed. What a blown opportunity! But that’s what Obama has always been “good” at. Right?

      • There is an element of collusion and an unholy alliance. Basically regime and ISIS have come to agreement that ISIS would not put pressure on the regime in Aleppo (including Sheikh Najjar) and in return regime would help ISIS take over areas outside of Aleppo held by the rebels. ISIS doesn’t have the sympathy of Aleppo population in order to take over and rule the largest city in Syria. On the other hand, the country side and smaller towns and villages are easy to subdue and loot and shakedown with just a few tens or hundreds of jihadis.

  8. Off topic but interesting.
    Jan 23, 2015 … The price for Venezuela’s Octane 95 gasoline, the most popular fuel, is 0.097 bolivar a liter, or $0.06 a gallon, at the official exchange rate.


  9. situation really heats up


    #Syria #Aleppo Break out attempt by #Assad-forces from Nubbol & Al-Zahraa?
    Heavy clashes at the frontline now- take advantage of IS assault

    also several JAN suicide bombers managed to halt ISIS advance and al rebel factions sent reinforcements to North Aleppo

    this must be a long awaited showdown in N. Aleppo

    • 10 TO ONE ODDS

      …that Obama knew the regime intended to take advantage of this assault–a good reason for stabbing rebels in the back once again. There is no good excuse for not intervening. We all know who Obama is protecting. Why hasn’t he bombed ISIS when it was so incredibly vulnerable as he must have been told? Unless they are blind, even his most die-hard defenders on this site see how we are blowing an opportunity that would make the one in Kobane look miniscule by comparison

      Compared to Kurdish forces in Kobane at the time Coalition intervened (they were less than 24 hours from collapse) these rebel ground forces are loaded with experienced vets and much better armed and supplied. Unlike Kurds in Kobane, they wouldn’t need days to launch a massive offense. Imagine the damage that could have done if backed up by Coalition air power.


      By contrast, ISIS is loaded with young conscripts with no battle experience–mere cannon fodder waiting for someone to take advantage. Its supply lines are lousy and if driven back we could have caught retreating forces in a nutcracker, given Kurdish and FSA forces to the east. If they had a tough time against the Kurds when Coalition air power intervened, imagine the hell they’d have faced here. It wouldn’t have take days or weeks for rebels to counterattack. The defensive role would have switched to offense immediately THIS SHOULD HAVE BEEN A HUGE “ISIS KILLER” if Obama or his yes men generals had an ounce of sense.

      Once again, Obama has missed the bus…dither…dither…dither. Such stupidity is hard to bear.

    • Azaz an Nubl are presumably populated by minorities (Alawites, Shias, Christians, etc.). ISIS is on the verge of taking over Azaz which is on the Turkish border and can become a major supply line for ISIS (how is it that Erdogan doesn’t lift a finger to stop foreign fighters and supplies from reaching ISIS?).

      So are we bound to see the kind of atrocities against the locals that we saw in Tal Afar happen to the Yazidis, happen in Azaz in the hands of ISIS?


    1. A growing political struggle in JAN over ties to Al Queda

    The struggle is between hard-line conservatives and more pragmatic types and is discussed in the second part of Lister’s article. Which side is likely to get a boost as Obama collludes with the regime in supporting an ISIS offensive against rebels north of Aleppo? Does Obama imagine that Sunnis everywhere else won’t notice the extent to which he continues to collude with Iran and its proxies in both Iran and Iraq? How can it not radicalize them?

    So much for tough talk about “degrading and destroying ISIS.!” It a virtual repeat of what Obama did after his Red Line was crossed: Roll over and expose his throat. Every disastrous decision Obama has made since 2012 stems from one impulse: his endless desire to appease Khamenei on the assumption Khamenei would soften up and his behavior in the region become more moderate.

    Had that happened, maybe folks like me would be less critical of Obama. Instead we get the reverse. More Putin-like bull (see:”The US is behind ISIS”). More aggression by Khamenei’s proxies everywhere in the region with Yemen the latest. Obama’s response: A yawn plus assurances that “they don’t really mean what they say and do.” The Japanese reportedly war gamed the Battle of Midway, came up with undesired results and dismissed them. Obama’s excuses for Iran are identical.

    2) What are rebels likely to do after their victories in Idlib? Here’s a taste of what Lister offers:

    –Parts of northern Latakia are now dangerously exposed and one of the leading Islamist commanders active there has told this author to expect “a lot of surprises” in the coming weeks.

    –Other insurgent commanders say a large multi-group operations room is in the midst of being formed in Aleppo amid escalating fighting south of the city. “We’re feeling more confident than ever and sooner or later, the regime will experience the consequences of that — Idlib was just the first stage of a more comprehensive plan,”

    –However, a renewed Islamic State (IS) offensive north of Aleppo may prove a dangerous distraction to the implementation of the next stages of that more ‘comprehensive plan.’ (What he does mention in this story but alludes to in a quote posted above is Obama’s rule in colluding passively with the regime in an effort to slow down its defeat and prolong the war).

    Title: An Internal Struggle: Al Qaeda’s Syrian Affiliate Is Grappling With Its Identity


    • The Sowran area apparently is not populated by Kurds, and thus the YPG seems not to get involved in this life and death struggle. Which is very sad. If the FSA is helping the Kurds get back Kobane, then YPG must help the FSA get back its territory.

    • Rebels are amazing. They had to do it on their own while fighting both ISIS and facing regime air and artillery.

      See the map in my new post which shows clearly how Obama’s Hamlet Act is saving ISIS from potentially the greatest defeat it has ever suffered.

    • Wow — if true, this would put Obama to deep shame for not lifting a finger. People are fighting ISIS tooth and nail with all they got, and their wives and daughters are being sexually enslaved, but they still manage to push ISIS back against all odds, and without any direct military help, and only with very limited help from the west after 4 years of genocide — all this while Obama fiddles and Syria burns.

      Shame on this criminal gang in the White House.


    …Coalition aircraft werer not being held back by the White House. Unless you are stone blind you can’t read this map without seeing that ISIS has climbed out on a fatal limb and why we should be hitting these guys with as much coalition aircraft as possible instead of “none at all” or maybe “a little bit” down the road.


    1. The moment Coalition aircraft got involved, ISS would love the air and artillery support Assad had been providing.

    2. The ISIS offensive is loaded with inexperienced cannon fodder, not the experienced vets Assad had in Idlib. While some will sacrifice themselves in suicide bombings or World War I-style attacks, many of the newbies are likely to panic under precision bombing.

    3. Any retreating force would face a potential hammer and anvil situation to the east, given YPG and FSA fighters there.

    This is the kind of opportunity any president other than Obama or any general other than Dempsey would pray for. MIss it, and ISIS would get a huge morale boost, its rookies would gain experience and
    Aleppo would be endangered.

    Even should Obama decide to act, its likely to be too little and too late. Each target must be carefully chosen pre-approved by 30 NSC advisors and micromanager Suzie Rice and then by Obama himself. Unlike in the past, there would be little room for initiative. Our forces would have as much freedom to act as Rommel did at Dunkirk and Normandy or as Von Paulus enjoyed at Stalingrad, fatally handicapped when another dogma-prone leader insisted on bad doctrine (i.e. “A German army never retreats”).


    Earlier it was ISIS sending most of the reinforcements, with no hinderance from Obama. Now the rebels seem to be sending them in droves, as the tweets below suggest. Hence the apparent change of tide. Obama still sneers at the rebels fighting ability its clear to everyone else how wrong he is. These guy are definitely superior to the Iraqi army and the Assad regime.

    I’m not so sure the ISIS offensive will have delayed the rebel one in Aleppo though the real intent may be to relieve pressure on the regime in Latakia and Homs. If most reinforcements were intended for Aleppo the real impact would be in forcing them to arrive sooner. If they can drive off ISIS, the regime will be hit from many sides. However, for reasons cited in my map post below, Obama will have missed a huge opportunity to stomp ISIS.

    –13th Division (‪#FSA‬) convoy on its way to Mare’ to reinforce the frontline.–Thomas Van Linge. If coalition aircraft were to hit ISIS, there would be little danger to the convoy from regime air power. Alas, we all know the obstacle.

    –From Charles LIster: Reinforcements (FSA, Islamic Front & Jabhat al-Nusra) have been sent to N. #Aleppo to defend. Massive Nusra car bomb this PM vs. #IS.

    From Aris Roussinos: Ahrar ash-Sham reinforcements targeting IS with HMGs. ISIS are taking rebel women & children as slaves in Souran!! Calls them Murtadin & makes them scream on rebel radios! Ya Allah!



    From Archicivlians After they took new villages in N.Aleppo, Daesh (ISIS) detaining women and claiming that they deserve to be used as slaves.

    From Hamo: ISIS (attacking FSA in Aleppo) has apparently threatened to enslave women & children of FSA. There’s a recording circulating but in Arabic. (No doubt that’s the intent BUT has it done so as an earlier report from Sarwan claimed?)

    From Sami: ISIS are taking rebel women & children as slaves in Souran!! Calls them Murtadin & makes them scream on rebel radios! Ya Allah!

    From Sami: Assad escalates attacks on rebels fighting #ISIS in Mare, #Aleppo, launches multiple airstrikes. Casualties reported.


    –From Zeddonymous : YPG/FSA advance on Tal Abyad while ISIS attacks FSA & Islamists near Aleppo. Next days may be critical to pushing ISIS out of North Syria.

    –From Malcomite: rebels must liberate al-bab, manbij and jarablus. After that aleppo would be a easy target for them

    –From Furious Kurd: You cannot be on the defensive against daesh, look at rebels in aleppo they never attacked daesh now they are losing ground against them

    –From Hans Scholl: if N aleppo rebels collapse, efrin will surely be besieged like kobani. (Residents could thank Obama the Enabler in that case).

    From Bilal: If rebels manage to fend of Isis in Aleppo, they will need to push them all the way to kobane. No other way.

    From Markito0171: Heavy night clashes now btw Rebels & IS in Albel village


    This one shows regime forces attempting to escape from Nubl and Zahraa. An obvious reason Obama hasn’t attacked ISIS is because doing so could prevent such an escape. Obama’s main concern is seeing the regime does not collapse.

    • Massive Nusra car bomb this PM vs. #IS.

      Wow — what irony. Would this be the first time that ISIS got a taste of its own medicine?

      In Iraq, car bombs by ISIS agaisnt the Shias and before that against the coalition is routine. Starting in 2004. Now they get to be on the receiving end of it.


      Feminists don’t give a damn about oppression of women in Islamic societies. They have several excuses for that. First they believe Islamic culture is “authentic” and on par with civil society culture. It’s called cultural equivalency. So, nothing to see there. Sexual slavery is on par with women’s liberation, because it is their traditional culture, and we can’t criticize it.

      Second, they believe all oppression you see in the 3rd world to be the result of colonialism and western imperialism. So they will never blame the sex enslavers and oppressors, because they are just reacting to western imperialism.

      Finally, there are bigger issues to worry about than sex enslavement or forcing women into a bodybag and confined to the house: There is the corporate boardroom glass ceiling to reckon with! I mean 53% of all directors are men! What a tragedy and such a massive crime against women,

  13. 3 Positive Results From Any Successful Rebel Versus 5 Downsides from Obama’s Latest Betrayal


    Bear in mind that the above happened despite Obama’s passive collusion with a temporary ISIS-regime alliance. What rebels achieved they achieved on their own and in spite of Obama.

    1. Regime will have lost its protection from ISIS to the East.

    2. It is likely to lose the Al Safira and Khanasar area where ISIS presence had complicated things.

    3. All ISIS forces near Aleppo are likely to be pushed back toward Raqaa.


    None of these would likely have occurred had Obama aided the rebels against ISIS via the Coalition Air Force

    1. Beyond question, ISIS would have suffered an even more devastating lost had Obama not elected to deliberately bypass the opportunity to fulfill his role as “Assad’s Guardian Angel,”

    2. Obama’s decision directly facilitated ISIS taking of more women sex slaves and young boys as potential recruits.

    3. The battle took pressure off the regime above Hamas and in Latakia.

    NOTE: The third item above is only a downside from rebels’ point of view. As Obama sees things, being pro-Assad and pro-Khamenei, that’s the one positive thing to come out of it.

    4. Radicals inside JAN got a big boost over advocates of moderation, thanks to more backstabbing.

    5. For the same reason, Obama discredited moderates further. One result will be to support radicalization of the opposition when we should be undermining it.


    All told, the pluses outweigh the minuses. ISIS would have suffered a serious defeat but not as massive as could have been. Rebels and Sunnis will owe Obama nothing but mistrust.

    IF(I repeat “if”) the rebel counterattack does succeed,
    Obama will still have missed the crushing victory over ISIS that might have been. The regime’s position in Aleppo worst than ever, Now that intervention can’t help the regime’s prospects in Aleppo, coalition aircraft may hit ISIS well east of the city. Doing so would add to the damage inflicted but won’t compare to what might have been.


    Very Heavy Clashes between ISIS and Regime forces near Hasakah City,as ISIS is trying to storm the City.–Abdel Rahman. This would be another huge setback for Assad.


    Very Heavy Clashes between ISIS and Regime forces near Hasakah City,as ISIS is trying to storm the City. ISIS still controls Al Zaydi despite coalition bombing.–Nathan Ruser.

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