Syria Daily, June 2: Assad’s Bombs Aid Islamic State Offensive in Aleppo Province

PHOTO: Aftermath of a regime bomb in Mare’ in Aleppo Province

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The Syrian air force continued an escalation in bombing on Monday, assisting an Islamic State offensive on rebel-held areas in Aleppo Province in northern Syria.

The Local Coordination Committees reported confirmation of 83 deaths across the country, with 35 of them in Aleppo Province and 25 in Idlib Province.

Significantly, most of the Aleppo deaths were from regime strikes on Mare’ and Tel Rifaat, where rebels are trying to hold back the Islamic State offensive that surged over the weekend. Mare’ has been at the frontline for months, with the militants seeking to regain positions that they lost in early 2014 when battles erupted with rebel factions.

Video from Mare’ showed rescuers trying to save people, including a child, under the rubble of destroyed buildings.

The Syrian military is fighting the Islamic State in other areas of the country, having lost Palmyra in central Syria to the militants two weeks ago. In eastern Syria, the two sides are fighting in Deir Ez Zor and Hasakah Provinces.

As recently as Saturday, the Assad air force was bombing Islamic State-held areas in Aleppo Province, killing at least 51 people in al-Bab. However, as soon as the Islamic State challenged rebels along a 25-km front north and northeast of Aleppo city — pulling back from their threat to regime positions to the east — the Syrian aerial assault focused on rebel territory.

Activists are also claiming that Syrian forces in regime enclaves in Nubl and Zahraa, north of Aleppo city, are setting fires to hinder the move of rebel reinforcements.

State news agency SANA, in contrast to its reports of “stepped-up military operations leaving dozens of terrorists killed”, makes no reference to the military in Aleppo Province.

On Monday, the US Embassy in Syria, taking a much sterner line than officials in Washington, claimed a de facto regime-Islamic State alliance:

However, Pentagon spokesman Colonel Steven Warren said there would be no US aerial intervention against the Islamic State in Aleppo Province, in contrast to operations against the militants in eastern Syria. He indicated this was because the Syrian rebels are not reliable, telling a press conference, “[Our priority] remains Iraq, where we have a willing partner on the ground.”

The Islamic State’s attacks have taken some pressure off the Assad regime following a series of major defeats for the Syrian military since March. Assad forces have been all but ejected from neighboring Idlib Province, losing the cities of Idlib and Jisr al-Shughour, the town of Ariha, and military bases. The rebel offensive has moved into northern Hama Province, with the options of turning towards Latakia Province on the Mediterranean, Hama city, or Aleppo city.

The Syrian air force also continued strikes across Idlib Province, retaliating for the rebel gains. The LCC said 25 people died on Monday, most of them in Sinjar and Nahlaya, south of Idlib city.

A convoy of the Ahrar al-Sham rebel faction en route to Aleppo Province to bolster lines against the Islamic State:

Free Syrian Army fighters attack the Islamic State in Asanbel, east of Mare’ (see map):


Report: UN Unable to Bring Aid to Damascus Suburb of al-Moadimiya

A senior UN representative visiting the Damascus suburb of Moadamiya has reportedly told residents that the organization “can’t in any way bring any food or medicine” to the besieged town.

Moadamiya was cut off by the regime from mid-2012 in an attack to break the opposition. Under a ceasefire agreement in January 2014, food and supplies were meant to be allowed into the suburb, but the Syrian military has continued to limit deliveries with checkpoints and searches of civilians.

The UN officials were met on their arrival by large protests, according to Radio Free Syria. The residents also called for the release of detainees from the town.

The UN delegation was headed by the chief of the Syria bureau and the head of UN envoy Staffan de Mistura’s office. The opposition media said the regime will not allow any UN or other officials to visit besieged areas without a Syrian military escort.


Sources: Rebels Repel Islamic State Attack in Daraa Province in South

Local sources say rebels have repelled an Islamic State attack on al-Lajat (see map) in Daraa Province in southern Syria.

The Islamic State attacked the town, in a rugged volcanic area, from the desert to the east. A Free Syrian Army unit has issued a statement saying Lajat is still under full control of the rebels.

Last month regime forces failed to take Lajat in an offensive near the borders of Suweida Province and mainly-Druze areas.


Reports: Israel Strikes Positions in East Lebanon, But Hezbollah Denies It Was Hit

Lebanese media are reporting that Israeli jets have struck a Hezbollah outpost near the town of Brital in eastern Lebanon, near the Syrian border.

However, Hezbollah has denied that any of its military positions were targeted.

A “security source” denied that a raid occurred, saying Israeli jets only hovered about targets. However, another source Another source said a strike had been carried out on hills between the Lebanese villages of Ham and Maaraboun.


Turkish Red Crescent Sets Up Field Hospital in Idlib Province

Responding to appeals from local doctors, the Turkish Red Crescent has set up a field hospital in Idlib Province in northwest Syria.

The Red Crescent’s Deputy Director General Mintez Simsek said the facility will have 50 beds, an operating room, intensive care units, and ultrasound and x-ray devices.

Simsek called on international institutions to continue sending aid to Syrians and condemned regime attacks on hospitals: “Assad forces continue to kill regardless of age and sex….It is a war crime.”

More than 200,000 people have been killed in Syria since the conflict between Bashar al-Assad’s regime and opposition forces began in 2011, according to the UN.


Islamic State Launches 3rd Assault in Days on Regime in Hasakah City

In contrast to its de facto cooperation with the Syrian military in Aleppo Province, the Islamic State has launched another attack on regime forces in Hasakah city in eastern Syria.

Militants challenged Syrian army and militia positions in southeast Hasakah late Monday night, after they moved again into the nearby village of al-Dawoudiya. Islamic State fighters are also advancing near the ‘Abdel-‘Aziz mountains, southwest of Hasakah.

The Islamic State holds much of the territory in Hasakah Province, but the Syrian military has gone largely unchallenged in the city until last week. Then the militants fired shells and rockets into the center, while taking checkpoints and villages on the periphery. The assault was renewed on Sunday night, briefly holding part of a national prison.


Regime Hails Iran’s Support, But Key Economic and Military Issues Unresolved

State media headlines Iranian support on Tuesday, with three features on the Islamic Republic’s officials.

State news agency SANA’s top story is Monday’s meeting in Tehran between Iran’s Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani and Syrian counterpart Mohammad Jihad al-Laham on “means of enhancing Parliamentary cooperation” and countering “terrorism”.

Laham’s meeting this morning with President Hassan Rouhani is framed, “Iranian Government and People Will Stay by the Side of Syria“. Iran’s State news agency IRNA adds Rouhani’s comment, “After four years of resistance and struggle the enemies of Syria have come to realize that their dreams of gaining dominance over Damascus in just a few months were hollow ones.”

An interview with the Supreme Leader’s top aide, Ali Akbar Velayati, on Iranian TV is headlined, “Terrorists Will Fail to Achieve Their Goals in Syria”. SANA says Velayati praised “the strong resistance put up…by the Syrian government and people” and “lauded the Syrian leadership’s efforts in confronting terrorism and the American plots against the region”.

Velayati also met Syrian Speaker al-Laham on Monday, saying that regional crises are “a pervasive plot by the US, the Zionists and reactionaries”.

None of the stories refers to the key issues between Damascus and Tehran. The Assad regime is still pursuing a $4 billion line of credit, as $3.6 billion from July 2013 runs out, but Iran has held out against the request for months. There are also signs that the Islamic Republic has pulled back its military support, withdrawing forces from the north as rebels advanced and concentrating on areas around Damascus.

Last weekend, unconfirmed claims said General Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran’s elite Qods Force, was in Latakia Province in western Syria to discuss the increasingly-tenuous military situation.

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Scott Lucas is Professor of International Politics at the University of Birmingham and editor-in-chief of EA WorldView. He is a specialist in US and British foreign policy and international relations, especially the Middle East and Iran. Formerly he worked as a journalist in the US, writing for newspapers including the Guardian and The Independent and was an essayist for The New Statesman before he founded EA WorldView in November 2008.

98 COMMENTS

  1. PENTAGON OFFERS PHONY EXCUSE FOR “NO STRIKES ON ISIS IN N. ALEPPO

    Spokesman Army Col. Stephen Warren defended the lack of airstrikes, saying the U.S. priority “remains Iraq, where we have a willing partner on the ground.”
    In other words, Sunni killing, Iran-linked shia militias qualitfy but rebels don’t. Why not? Because they refuse not to fight the Genocide Regime first–the one that is raping, murdering and torturing their families.

    Obama’s attitude: “Don’t be a baby. It’s no big thing.”
    The buy is also a vindictive son of a bitch who likes to punish disobedience. Folks in the state department best watch themselves. See above for the reason.

    Tough rhetoric aside. Obama is just as willing as Assad to collude with ISIS when convenient. It makes me wish ISIS could get its hands on Obama and family, providing them with a taste of what most Syrians have suffered under Obama’s protection. I’d hand out champagne if that happned.

    Obama’s top reason for ignoring a great opportunity to smash ISIS is his pledge to to Khamenei to keep the Assad Regime afloat. The fear is that if ISIS were beaten back, Aleppo would fall In Obama’s mind, the more rebels ISIS kills off, the better.

    FOUR HOLES IN THE PENTAGON’S EXCUSE

    1) an Iraq only policy makes no military sense. Why would you want to provide ISIS with a safe harbor?

    2) You don’t bypass a potential opportunity to inflict ISIS’ biggest defeat yet just to get another sniff of Khamenei’s bottom..

    3) Other than Iran’s Shia proxies (main in Iraq at present) the only forces in the region capable of kicking Assad’s butt on the ground are the rebels, which Obama just won’t admit beause of his courtship of Khamenei.

    4) The latest move—a major betrayal of the rebels in collusion with the regime and ISIS—will radicalize Sunnis further, civilians and rebels alike, inside and outside Syria.

    MORE BULLSHITE FROM THE PENTAGON

    “One of the things we’re doing (in Syria) is training the moderate opposition so that we can have a viable ground partner in Syria that will help us beat back ISIS,” Warren said, using an acronym for the Islamic State.

    That program is a joke and everyone knows it. you have to agree not to attack the Genoide Regime which has 1,000 victims for every one ISIS victim in Syria. Totally lacking in empathy, Obama can’t gasp how ridiculous his condition is. No wonder so few have signed up. And given his latest pro-Bad Guy move in northern Aleppo, those who did sign on ar about to quit. After Obama’s latest stunt it will be ten times harder to get any Syrians to sign on. Who then will do the fighting on the ground?

    http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/world/article22838910.html#storylink=cpy

    • 1) Except for the fact that ISIS is conducting an Iraq first strategy themselves.

      2) Certainly not. If there is any evidence that ISIS has significant forces in N. Aleppo, I would like to hear about it.

      3) Capable yes, willing – maybe. For the talk of Assad’s focus away from ISIS, the other side of the coin is that rebels too primarily target the regime while ignoring ISIS. There are certainly good reasons for them doing so, but the fact remains – YPG is the only Syrian party 100% committed to combating ISIS.

      4) Doing nothing is not a move. It’s a stance.

    • I’d be all for tossing the warcriminal Obomber to his just desserts with IS, but can you in your infinite mercy at least spare the family, RT?

      Also, do you have any suggestions for how you’d like his video done?

        • “Family is important. Yes it is for Assad and Obama both EXCEPT when it comes to other families, especially Sunnis, where both support a “Kill ’em all” approach.

  2. IS GENERAL DEMPSEY JUST AS INCOMPETENT AS OBAMA OR IS HE JUST SUCKING UP?

    In any hierarchy the tried and true way to earn medals is by sucking up and having the right connections. “Yes Man” Dempsey got his medals fighting a collapsed army that put up almost no resistance. Merited or not, the question to ask now is, “What have you done for us lately?” If Dempsey supports Obama’s enabling policies from actual conviction, he is just as clueless. Otherwise he needs to resign and speak up. Failing to do so, Dempsey looks like a stooge, so happy to occupy his high office he will collaborate with ignorance.

    Jon H. cites possession of medals as proof insight into grand strategy. Historically generals who demonstrated such ability were rare. It has an instinctive element not acquired on the parade ground, in the classroom or even under fire. Ulysses Grant had it. So did George C. Marshall. Dempsey does not. Jon H. would have us believe that such insight would be impossible for any civilian without military experience which fails to explain men like Talleyrand and Lincoln.

    Given his defense of Obama the Enabler, we know that Jon can’t recognize bad strategy. We also know he is over impressed by externals that guarantee nothing but look impressive. Jon would have feinted if ecstasy had he sniffed one fart from General George McClellan parading by on a horse. Alas, for all the general’s fancy medals, his nobly martial appearance and his top-notch West Point rating, Little Mac sucked on the battlefield. (He did excel at training troops and turning rabble into a real army).

    Jon would have shared McClellan’s scorn of Lincoln (an ‘orangatan”) and of Grant, last in this class and –in his mud-spattered uniform the antithesis of spit and polish McClellan. Yet Lincoln recognized in Grant a special talent no other general in the war possessed, not even Lee or Jackson. When Jon’s sort complained about Grant’s alleged love of the bottle, Lincoln responded, “I can’t spare him. He fights.” If it were up to Jon, Grant would have been cashiered, McClellan for the third time and the war lost. Lincoln, unlike Jon, was also quick to spot when a man was beyond his depth. Thus his succinct summary of McClellan (“He has the slows.”).

    Jon has that old-fashioned faith, contradicted by so much military history, that generals and heads of state always know what they are doing because they have info we don’t. I can’t tell you how many times I heard that line of crap during the Vietnam War. Yet we now know the generals and president got it wrong and I know I got it right, as did Gavin.

    • This is a strikingly long-winded way of saying “my ignorance is equal to your facts.” You’re everything Isaac Asimov was talking about when he wrote about American society.

      I wonder what you would have done if you were in command of US forces in Baghdad, Salah ad-Din, and Anbar in 2004. Ah well, we’ll never know, you never served your country, you prefer to spend your time bashing people who do.

      Grant was a brilliant commander and the only one who could equal Lee on an operational level. McClellan had neither the foresight nor the aggression to get the job. So… I guess there goes your massive straw man, burned to the ground. Now, what does the Civil War or Vietnam have to do with anything? Well, nothing. You love irrelevantly bringing in historical scenarios and then drawing the entirely wrong conclusions from them. And to think you were actually allowed to teach history to real children. Chilling.

        • When Obama was within hours of bombing Assad after the Ghouta chemical weapons attacks, the US military brass were almost united in opposing the idea.

  3. Here is the US officially announcing that Assad is working militarily WITH ISIS.

    Tweets from US Embassy, written by the State Dept, approved by the White House:

    # Reports indicate that the regime is making air-strikes in support of ISIL’s advance on Aleppo, aiding extremists against Syrian population

    # We have long seen that the Asad regime avoids ISIL lines, in complete contradiction to the regime’s claims to be fighting ISIL.

    # With these latest reports, Asad is not only avoiding ISIL lines, but, actively seeking to bolster their positon.

    # As we have long said, Bashar al Asad lost legitimacy long ago and will never be an effective counterterrorism partner.

    # The fact is that there is no better recruiting tool for ISIL than the brutality of the Asad regime. http://goo.gl/wUJMCa

    https://twitter.com/usembassysyria

    • OBAMA IS THE ENEMY OF ALL SUNNIS WHO NEED TO RADICALIZE TO PROTECT THEMSELVES

      He is the full time ally of Assad, Iran and all of their proxy militias and in some ways an occasional ally of ISIS who are armed with his weapons–weapns he’d never give to Sunnis. Hence Obama functions as Genocide Enabler. . He has played a big part in helping the war on SUnnis being waged by those to whom he caters: Hezbollah, Khamenei and Assad.

      Obama is also living proof of how the West is out to backstab Sunnis. On that JAN and ISIS are right.

          • The aquaducts, also roads, wine, sanitation, medicine, education … no, wait, that was the Romans, sorry!

            • Wine was invented by prehistoric Georgians grapes did not naturally grown in Italy. Medicine was invented by Egyptians and they many cures that we use today e.g. swallowing pieces of limestone to cure a sore tummy as the alkaline stone neutralise the stomach acids. Education in written form was invented by Mesopotamians. True the Romans did have the first modern sewage system and scissors.

  4. REBELS NEED TO CONSIDER A 24-HOUR ULTIMATUM TO OBAMA ON ALEPPO

    “Either the Coalition aircraft bomb ISIS and seriously or we let ISIS have Aleppo.”

    Once made,there can be no backing down or no extensions. Unless the Coalition seriously attacks ISIS within 24 hours, rebels would begin withdrawal westward to Idlib, starting with Sunni civilians and followed by troops. No regime troops or loyalist civilians would be allowed exit westward then or afterward.

    If ISIS, aided by Assad and Obama, cuts off the supply route to Turkey in any case. what’s the sense in staying in Aleppo? This move makes both Obama and the regime pay heavily for their support to ISIS in the north. Since the ultimatum and its cause would be news worldwide, Obama and Assad would face massive criticism afterwards.

    The regime will not be able to hold Aleppo against ISIS because the latter will have supply lines but ISIS can cut ISIS off in all remaining directions. Regime forces would stand no chance against ISIS and rebels would have turned the table on ISIS two allies..

    Back in Idlib rebels would have a strong position and a secure supply line to Turkey. They could threaten the regime in Latakia and Hama while blocking any escape by regime troops and supporters from Aleppo.
    They could also watch with amusement the panic of regime troops and loyalists in Aleppo as ISIS takes over. Watching the criticism of the White House would be a barrel of fun as well.

    Obama set out to teach the rebels a lesson by backstabbing them north of Aleppo. Why not make his move backfire?

    WHEN JUAN COLE JOIN”S THE CRITICISM OF OBAMA OVER ALEPPO, YOU KNOW A STORM IS COMING

    Cole is on of those leftists who often sides with bad guys like Putin and Milosevic. The problem is that everyone hates ISIS and notices how Obama has decided to give ISIS a free pass in Aleppo rather than displease Khamenei. This report also contains details on some very recent battlefield changes.

    http://www.juancole.com/2015/06/152702.html?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

    NEW ISIS VIDEO CLAIMS: “WE TREAT PRISONERS BETTER THAN ASSAD DID” (English subtitles)

    It may well be true. You could hardly treat them worse.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CI2pY70PuwE

    MILITARY UPDATE ON ALEPPO FROM REBEL SOURCES

    https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=845260682190177&id=493368000712782

    • you honestly believe that the president of the USA will bow down to ultimatums from rag tag militias.

      oh my

      • No, I don’t. What this politically minded jerk will be afraid of is the political shitstorm that would follow if Aleppo falls to ISIS because of is own actions (or tin this case, inactions. Rebels need to deliberately let ISIS have Aleppo in response to Obama’s treachery and in response to the regime’s providing air and artillery support to ISIS. If ISIS then slaughters every regime fighter and every loyalist civilian I won’t shed a single tear. But Assad will look bad too.

        Rebels must make Assad’s moves and Obama’s treachery backfire.

    • If you feel so adamant about it then why don’t you pick up arms and go help the rebels your damn self instead of begging others to do the work for you. Your little neocon theories are enough to make Rush Limbaugh blush.

      • Kevin. Irrelevant. Evades the point. That said, is it just that you fear by ultimatum idea would be very effective which explains your non-rebuttal.

    • I think you’re going to have to issue this ultimatum yourself, RT … now get on the blower and really bust a blood vessel … and if he pisses you off with any humming and hawing, then just make it 12 hours!

        • Embarrassing to see an American demand that an elected official should bow to a foreign entity.

          doesn’t Obama does this regulary bowing to Putin and Teocrazies

          anyone with decent social experience should know appeasing does NOT work

          • No, Alex, Obomber absolutely must appease RT, otherwise the entitled ‘strategic’ ranting and punitive bios of composted Yanki generals will continue ad infinitum

  5. In May the FSA destroyed 40 regime tanks with 24 in Idlib alone.
    In April they took out 43 tanks in March there where 25 tanks destroyed by the Free Army.

    That number was 46 in February but only 15 in January. Last December they blow up 43 Baathist tanks.

    So in the last 6 months have been 31+31+28+31+30+31=182 days. And the total number of tanks destroyed in the last 6 months is 212 tanks have been destroyed. So that means at this rate the regime is losing 1.2 tanks every day. Even if we round that down I must ask how can they afforded to lose a tank a day?

    http://rfsmediaoffice.com/en/the-number-of-regime-tanks-destroyed-by-the-fsa-in-may/

    http://rfsmediaoffice.com/en/the-number-of-regime-tanks-destroyed-by-the-%e2%80%aa%e2%80%8efsa%e2%80%ac-in-april/

    http://rfsmediaoffice.com/en/the-number-of-regime-tanks-destroyed-by-the-%e2%80%aa%e2%80%8efsa%e2%80%ac-in-april/

    • Hears the other tank reports from RFS Media Office since I can only post 3 links per comment. http://rfsmediaoffice.com/en/the-fsa-destroyed-46-tanks-in-february-2015/

      http://rfsmediaoffice.com/en/the-fsa-destroyed-15-tanks-in-january-2015/

      http://rfsmediaoffice.com/en/the-fsa-destroyed-43-tanks-in-december-2014/

      Keep in mind this is just FSA not Daesh kills so that total tank death figure WILL be higher. I know Syria had one of the largest tank aresenels in the world but surley even then it could not stomach a tank lost a day? How many do they have left? With them being so cash strapped I doubt they can buy anything other than really dated tanks abroad.

    • This is interesting but missing important pieces of parts. This is really the number of tanks hit. (Assuming it is only tanks and no recognition mistakes between an APC and tanks.)

      How many of the tanks that where hit where repairable? (Some of the hits where clearly catastrophic.) How many of the crew survived? How many tanks where captured by the opposition after they were hit? What is the condition of the repair facilities? Given the operational uses of the tanks I assume the crew training sucks.

      The history of ‘hits’ on tanks shows that the tanks where often repairable afterwards, often fairly quickly. However that requires some level of repair facilities and the tanks ending up in regime hands after the hit.

      On the other side I’ve seen on picture of medium duty opposition repair of tanks.

      • At 2010-2011 SAA has had 4,700 main battle tanks, the most advanced among them are 1,400 of the type T-72. Also include still some 2,000 outdated T-55 and T-62 in 1000 for Arsenal. Many tanks aren`t drivable, but built into battle positions.

        • Like Bill Smith says, this number probably includes all manner of armored vehicles, from BMPs to MBTs. Opposition media frequently conflates all of them as tanks (dababah).

          Regarding repairs — assuming that disabled vehicles were able to loaded onto HETs and transported out of the combat zone, one of the government’s critical vulnerabilities right now is a lack of spare parts for repairs and maintenance. Mostly badly damaged vehicles are probably lost forever. A significant exception to this seems to be in the Damascus suburbs, where (at least according to ANNA footage) MBTs have been saved and salvaged, probably due to the proximity to the regime’s best bases.

          And regarding numbers — On paper the SAA had thousands of MBTs, but a significant number of them were derelict and of no use. There’s a blog that has been tracking Syrian armor throughout the war, but the name of it escapes me at the moment.

          • Jon A, a tank is a tank and if they are labeled (T55-toT72) it should be clear that it´s not a BMP or MBT.
            The lack of spare parts is solved by a model of socialist economy: A number of tanks will only be used for the delivery of spare parts. If you do maths counting monthly 30 – 40 destroyed tanks minus the armor used as spare parts, minus the tanks used by the rebells from the beginning you will come easily to the conclusion that Assad will has the problem of missing troops but also the problem of missing weapons. Time is running against him – that’s the point. –

            • “The lack of spare parts is solved by a model of socialist economy”

              lol, what? No economic model in the world makes items appear out of thin air. You sound like a Soviet Commissar.

      • Bill only had numbers a and a little footage. RFS do have footage showing once its hit there was nothing left. I assume that they only post videos of total destruction. However hears some food for thought if a tank is hit but reparable that means if the rebels take the area it was hit that means they repair it themselves and used against them, even if they can’t fix it, the regime can’t if its in their territory. So if we assume that only 1/2 of tank hits are total destruction, and the other 1/2 are fixable, that means 12 of the 24 hits in Idlib can be fixed and used against the regime later on. And if its damaged but repairable in the middle of the country side it may as well be smithereens, as can’t drag it all the back to base can they? So it probably works out that the regime has 160 fewer tanks after 6b months.

        • you forget a thing

          rebels tend also to reused BMP turrets and put them on trucks or pickups so in essence they do recyle even unrepereable vehicles

          • Alex I guess that means another benefit of the FSA is that they environmentally friendly by recycling BMP turrets like that.

  6. IS very often is used as a tool of Assad to fight the rebels but IS is used as a russian tool, too — to drive US on the side of the Assadregime.

    “” Lawrov urged the U.S.-led coalition fighting against ISIS to coordinate their airraids ………””

    http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/World/2015/Jun-02/300249-russia-urges-us-to-act-in-lockstep-with-syria-to-crush-isis.ashx

    note to “tornade rouge”: Lavrow admitted that islamistic terrorists have even reached afghanistan “And even in northern Afghanistan which is very close to Cental Asia which is next door to Russia.”

    Btw – it would be better to use IS as a tool to throw Assad and the regime on the garbidge of history as a condition all Syrian troops can fight against IS.

    • Iran and Russia have both used ISIS and Al Queda as a tool against the West. We could turn that trick against them if Obama had any strategic imagination.

      • “IS very often is used as a tool of Assad”

        Or the other way around. Assad´s regime can´t even protect a small city like Ariha and we pretend that they can manipulate ISIS??, come on…

        ISIS is a free actor. Can we stop thinking of reality as something machinated from the shadows by some national state?.

        • Its coordination and not manipulation. While ISIS is attacking Mare, Assad is dropping barrel bombs on Mare at the same time. That should be obvious.

  7. Daily reminder:

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

    Remember guys, the best way to beat the Islamic State is to stop fighting them. From the mouths of babes, and the guy who imagines himself to be Abraham Lincoln.

    • JON H. FINALLY AGREES WITH MY LOW ASSESSMENT OF DEMPSEY (OBAMA”S LAPDOG)

      Ho! Jon H.finally agrees with me on Dempsey being incompetent or worse. He must have sniffed too much of McClellan’s gas. To get that point you must have read, “Is General Dempsey Just as Incompetent as Obama Or Is He Just Sucking Up?” below. I know many of our military are as disgusted with Obama’s policy myself and no doubt share my disgust with Obama’s coffee fetcher.

      Of course the second part of Jon’s post is total fiction, more straw man argument. I certainly do advocate the rebels fighting the Genocide Regime first, but they don’t need me for that. I’m opposed to picking unnecessary fights with ISIS where its acts or position does not threaten the rebels. I especially oppose defending Aleppo against ISIS if Obama and Assad are going to assist ISIS directly or indirectly, as in withholding Coalition air power.

      No need to repeat what I do advocate and what Jon changed and all the advantages of doing so. See my post for that.
      Deeper strategy goes beyond attacking the enemy militarily. You apply economic pressues (Obama proposes the opposite in Iran’s case) and political pressure. Giving Obama the ultimatum discussed below would put the respnsibty on him for rebels letting Aleppo fall. He’d be publicly exposed and know it. Most folks will blame Obama and Assad for the rebel move and rightly so.

      • You don’t seem to know anything about the military at all. You have demonstrated no familiarity with military matters or life in the military. Your claim to speak for any of them is just as moronic as when you claim to speak for all Arabs or Muslims.

        There are many in the military who disagree with current policy. Many of us are also not keen on being sent to die in the aimless, unintelligent war that you propose. None of that is relevant because we don’t make policy, and neither do you — Thank God, Allah, Yahweh, and Shiva.

        “I’m opposed to picking unnecessary fights with ISIS where its acts or position does not threaten the rebels.”

        What? Here’s where you need to get your head out of your ass. America does not act and think on the behalf and behest of a rabble of rebels. We are not at their service, and we are not their servants. You have entirely lost perspective and what the AMERICAN military represents.

        Demanding that a foreign entity give our Command-in-Chief an ultimatum that serves your specious aims is borderline treason. You have forgotten yourself.

        • then who the BEEP does US represent in Syria conflict, if they don’t represent anybody then get the BEEP out for good including CIA and vetting and influence over other countries and so on

              • Daily Reminder: Apparently, criticizing the American government is a very un-American thing to do according to Jon H.

                Of course, the US is looking out for their best interests. Would American best interest not be best served by aligning with your stated enemies most worthy adversary? That rabble of rebels has kept IS out of Eastern Ghouta, Southern Syria, and is fighting tooth and nail to keep them out of Northern Aleppo.

                Would it be in the best interests of the US for IS to occupy another sizable town called Azaz right on the border with Turkey? The rebels could surely arrange that.

              • It keeps the real enemy, Iran, tied up. America doesn’t want the war in Syria to end! It’s killing Hezbollah, bleeding Iran and hurting Russia. If only the North Koreans, Cubans, Venezuelans and Chinese would join in, it’d be perfect….

              • Jason I’m sure if we give few more doughnuts and pork pies to North Korea it will give the Dear Leader a heart attack.

                Also if Assad falls so do Hezballs and Iran’s dream of a 3rd Aryan Empire is as dead as the dinosaurs. Once Baathism is history then they can focus all their energy on pushing Daesh out of Syria and into Iraq where guess who has to deal with them that’s right the Persians. Literally we have chance to strike 4 enemies at once in a single war and Barry is refusing to capitalise on it.
                The current strategy Barry is using is about as useful as in WW2 if the US only declared war and attacked Hungry but left the other Axis nations alone.

              • Jason90 you just explained why the world hates the US, pardon US foreign policy

              • @ Jason90

                “It keeps the real enemy, Iran, tied up. ”

                My god…, Iran is not the real enemy, can´t you understand that Iran will NEVER attack the U.S?. How could someone who never attacks you pretend to be your real enemy, tell me?. Enemy like the ridicule Cuba? or Venezuela?. You will grow old hearing their mantra and without seeing them attacking the U.S -buy a newspaper from 20 years ago and you will find there their same impotent litany, their same stupid and ridicules claims against the U.S over and over again-.

                ISIS will attack the U.S, haven’t you americans learned anything after sept 11?, wake up!

              • Some things we haven’t forgotten: the marine barracks bombing in Lebanon, Kobar Towers, the attempted ambassador of the Saudi ambassador in Washington, the takeover of Amerian embassy and the holding of more than 50 diplomatic staff as hostages for a year, Soleimeni’s attacks on American troops in Iraq (mainly through proxies, Khamenei’s lies about the USA having created ISIS, Iran’s past collaboration with Al Queda in Iraq, etc.

              • @Red you forgot about their crimes against their fellow Ayrans, like in 88 when Khoamenie order that 30,000 political prisoners be massacred including kids as young as 13 like foot in mouth infected cows. If my hometown was nuked less people would killed in the blast. That is only about 1000 less people dead than the total number of deaths in the Dachau KZ. yes they killed nearly as many people in that bloody purge than genocide victims of DACHAU!

                The mullocracy has no understanding of honour only egotism. The Shah sentenced the Ayatollah to death but then SAVAK boss Hassan Pakravan, got the Ayramhter to spare his life by exiling him. So in 1979 what dose Rouohllah do to Pakravan who been in charge of SAVAK for 13 years and became worse after he left? Why he is one of the 1st to die, cause he couldn’t of spared his life and jailed him or anything. This action proves that they total egotists who despite calling themselves men of God they don’t his precious creation human life has any value.

                So the Iranian eclesiocracy massacres its citizens, stabs people who helped them in the back, sponsors terrorist organisations Hezballs and treats the Baha ullah followers like garbage, in the words of Bob Hale to describe Adolf “Honestly its like we can’t trust him or something.

              • @ RedTornadoes

                If I started to mention all of the worldwide governments toppled in one way or the other -and people killed- with U.S government involvement or assistance your list will look ridicule, I need a serious response not whataboutism.

                I expect high level analysis and not school boy insights so I need that you very clearly indicate the manner in which Iran represents and existentially threat to your country.

  8. Hey if Ziad was hear he would probably write something like this complete with slang so out of date Prince Philip would even use it ironically, homophobic insults countless nephews and contacting the underworld.

    “Limey Lucas you scallywag no one believes your stupid lies about our RottenFuehrer Bashar. All Syrians worship him and his chinless face, lisping voice that sounds like he’s 14, and the fact that 98 year old women can grow better moustaches than him. We have recaptured all Aleppo and Palmyra, jings crivens help ma boab how did your believe the fibs told by your fictional, make-believe limey LCC which has tonnes of factual inaccuracies? Honestly how believe limey them over me? Our might SAA never ever lose ever or retreats. They are totally invincible they use the force and lighsabers as they are all apprentices of Darth Soliemanei. We will also be deploying at tactical nuke at the limey SNC in limey Turkey. That will teach those limey twerps .

    You’re limey stupid and limey and so is the limey UK and its full of gay homosexual, same sex, bent queer gayness. Unlike super straight Khamenei what his long dress and blouse, all male bonding, obsession with discipline, general foppish behaviour and that he thinks its wrong for men to find women attractive or them show their ankles in public or he thinks it should be illegal for people to have sex at all unless its done by married people once a month and its missionary position in the dark with just their flies unzipped and lasts less than 3 minutes and the girl has to give birth 9 months later and they don’t enjoy it either at all and than afterwards they must self flagellate to purge them of their sinful lust. I think we all know out of Scot Limey and Adolf Khamenei who has the normal view of sex.

    My 8764323876543654 nephews will soon take back all of Syria form your limey lime limes and single handily reconquer all the land “From Bissau to Palau, in the shade of Avalon
    From Fiji to Tiree and the Isles of Ebony
    From Peru to Cebu, feel the power of Babylon
    From Bali to Cal, far beneath the Coral Sea”
    Your mind is just a bunch of compost (limey compost of lime peel decomposing in soil rich in limestone) and so everyone else who takes the views of a university professor over some 40 year old loser who smuggled a laptop into his prison cell at Spandau :we have a word for those people….limey. I know this because I used my Ouija Board to contact the ghost of the goldfish that belonged to my aunt’s best friend’s husband’s window cleaner’s son’s podiatrist. So there you limey, limey, McLimer”

    I’m joking of course in Ziad real posts he would word limey 10 times as much.

    • Nila, I appreciate your sense of humor. However, I must say, you have wasted a lot of strokes on your poor wretched keyboard (or pad screen) for the Great Persian Idiot ‘Ziad’. A person who thinks ‘Barrel can be precisely deliver on the heads of a terrorist’ from several thousand feet above, is anything but with below average IQ. Lets ignore him. These Assad-scums do not warrant such an effort from you. They deserve a simple expression ‘ Go F yourself and your Shabihas’

      • hahaha : ) sad part is your impression isnt really that over the top that actaully sounds like him and assheadists actaully consider him a respectable news source.

    • “Darth Soliemanei” I’ll admit, I laughed. To be honest that’s indeed something he could say. You never know what kind of strange chemistry happens in the brain of an Assad supporter…

        • Thanks guys that means a lot, I put more thought into that Michel Aflaq ever into his works. Buy the way the “From Bissau to Palau, in the shade of Avalon… I stole from the song Sail Away. Its good to know you like my jokes a lot of people find my sense of humour immature but theses are same people who don’t like the Simpsons or Mall Cop, so I think who knows best comedy wise.

          If you liked that rant just wait till you read my personal favourite rant. I wrote it a few weeks back on the person I hate the most the regime cow who’s initials are BS and that is not happenstance. I showed by Greek pal it and fought it was funny and agreed with me after I summoned the courage to watch a clip with him of her/it on YouTube. Hears the rant boys.

          “Bouthaina Shaaban or Bitchaina Shaaban as I call her. This woman just personifies everything wrong with Baathism in a nutshell or in her case a numbskull, she’s arrogant and proud of it, self-obsessed and proud of it, racist to the Lebanese and proud of it, holds the Syrian people in contempt and proud of it, annoying and proud of it, stupid and proud of it, delusional and proud of it, egotistical and proud of it, a miser and proud of it, self-seeking and proud of it.
          The second I saw her on TV parading around the gassed kids that her boss killed I knew I hate her guts. And she had the unmitigated gall to play the victim? Or when she was winging about how she can’t visit her mother’s grave because of the war when of Syrian mothers are having their children were killed by her goons? I have to hold in vomit every time she opens her big fat trap. There is not a single person on this planet I can hold in more contempt than her, yes I include every regime figure, every al-Qaeda and Daesh loon, and yes I have less contempt for Garry Glitter than this witch! To describe her in one word to describe her is punch-able.”

          http://eaworldview.com/2015/05/syria-feature-assad-appears-at-martyrs-ceremony-acknowledging-defeats-as-well-as-claiming-victories/

  9. AN ALTERNATE THEORY ON WHY OBAMA PROVIDES NO AIR SUPPORT FOR REBELS VS. ISIS

    If this is Obama’s strategic reasoning, it only shows that in grand strategy, Obama’s Harvard Law education hasn’t been much help. Juan Cole describes a theory based on misplaced fears.

    “I’ve heard it said that the Obama administration thinks it NEEDS Iran’s help to defeat Daesh in Iraq, and therefore doesn’t want to alienate Tehran by attacking Iran’s ally, the al-Assad regime. That is, the Iraq and Syria campaigns against Daesh require different strategic and tactical alliances. In order not to have the one blow back on the other, Washington has decided to leave al-Assad alone until Daesh is defeated.

    How Obama Gets Things Totally Backwards

    Obama doesn’t get it. As much as Khamenei likes to pretend otherwise, Iran needs our help in Iraq not the reverse. If Iran can’t save both Assad in Syria and a Shiite dominated public goverment. and must choose, Iraq is the easy choice. An ISIS victory there wouldn’t just oust an Iranian controlled Shia government but would immediate pose a dire threat to the Iranian heartland. ISIS would wind up with all those America weapons plus lots of oil

    Therefore, if we totally withdraw from Iraq, Iran will hardly do the same, as Obama crazily imagines. Instead, it will have to massively increase its military involvement there. You’d have the ideal conflict of Bad Guy vs. Bad Guy–an arrangement we should want not oppose.

    I’ve made a similar argument as to why American withdrawal from Afghanistan would force both Russia and Iran to fill the slack there as well Just as US withdrawal from Iran would help clean up in Syria, so would our withdrawal from Afghanistan help remove Putin’s pressure on the Ukraine. This is the kind of grand strategic thinking in which both Obama and Dempsey are wanting. Those outcomes easily beat the present alternatives Obama pursues.

    By the way, it’s true the Pakistanis would also be forced to act in Afghanistan where their intelligence service supported the Taliban and Al Queda in the past. If Pakistan hasn’t been able to conquer its own radicals in the northwest, don’t imagine they can solve the extremist problem in Afghanistan without Russian and Iranian involvement.

    Against, I come back to the intelligent solution. IN sum it goes like this:

    1. Withdraw from Afghanistan and Iraq, force Putin and Khamenei to confront threats on their very doorsteps they can’t ignore.

    2. As a consequence force both to reduce their troublemaking elsewhere, especially Syria and the Ukraine.

    3. Create an intolerable and long lasting military and economic quagmire simply by a non-threatening move (withdrawal) which even isolationist would approve.

    4. Add to domestic pressures for regime change on Putin and Khamenei as the coffins flow in, as economic costs mount, and as ISIS strikes the homelands of both, advances in Central Asia and draws recruits in Russia itself.

    • I font understand how pulling out of Affhanistan creates threats that Russia and Iran “can’t ignore”, or some quagmire for them? There was a long period between The Soviets pulling out and America going in, and it seems like both Russia and Iran handled that just fine. What’s different…?

      I also wouldn’t call Afghanistan Russia’s doorstep, the Soviet Union is gone and there’s a few countries in between now that wouldn’t take kindly to you ignoring them like that. China’s doorstep (and obviously Pakistan) might be a more apt description.

      • See my post above regarding your first point.

        Re: Russia’s doorstep. Afghanistan is on Russia’s border and also adjoins Iran (her northern border) and to a limited extend China. While it does not adjoin Russia directly, the five Central Asian republics are threatened with infection from Afghanistan unless the latter is dealt with. You may have read about the US trained special forces chief in Tajikistan who defected to ISIS this week. Believe me, there are a lot like him and it is going to get much worse.

        Putin’s key role in massacring Sunnis and his simultaneous promotion of Russian ultra nationism & Orthodoxy is soon going to boomerang on all Russians. A blood tide looks inevitable at this point. If ISIS is acting true to form, it is already winning many converts among Russia’s growing and youthful muslim population inside Russia itself, whose propaganda will dwell on Putins crimes against Chechens, agains Tartars and against Sunnis in Syria. Some will be encouraged to sty in place, spy out regime weakness and maximize disruption at the time of attack by knocking off critical figures and by employing suicide bombs and VBIEDs galore. ISIS is going to stay with what works when Russia’s time comes. For all this, Russia can thank Putin and themselves for having applauded him.

        • “Afghanistan is on Russia’s border”….you luckily clarified that Afghanistan is actually not on Russia’s border. Statements like that, wih your quick clarification, exaggerate how close Afghanistan is to Russia and even more so the effects Afghanistan has on Russia. Followed by the statement “to a limited extent China” underplays the (bigger) effect Afghanistan has on China. I understand why you are doing that, because you have a particular dislike of Russia and are looking at things with a skewed view, but that doesn’t lessen the inaccuracy of your statement.

          It also does not answer what I said- Iran and Russia chugged along just fine between the Soviet pullout and the American invasion, which wasn’t exactly a short period of time. I fail to see why now would be any different and you have yet to point out why now would be different.

          You also ignore the fact that China is an ever increasing player in Afghanistan, and for good reason. Because unlike Russia, Afghanistan has direct security implications for China (you know that little problem the Chinese have in the big western part of their country that happens to be Muslim combined with Chinese paranoia about Afghanstan/Pakistan becoming a safehaven for militants moving into China). Not to mention China is a HUGE investor not just in Afghanistan but Central Asia as a whole (see Chinese transportation and mineral investments in Afghanistan, The New Silk Road project and more). Way more so than Russia, or any other country you’ve named. So explain why Afghanistan falling into anarchy affects Russia more than China?

          Even if Afghanistan affected Russia, how exactly is this supposed to bankrupt or otherwise tie down Russia? Are you trying to suggest that Russia would have to get directly involved?

          By bringing up the Tajik officer who defected (which anyway is an anecdotal story and this of little value in the grand scheme of things, unless you have numbers pointing to a big trend) and suggesting that the Central Asian nations are going to radicalize if Afghanistan falls apart seems like a big stretch. Again, what would be different about Affhanistan being in a civil war now from the civil war between the Soviet and American occupations??

          I likewise fail to see any connection between Afghanistan and lathe Caucasus or the Tatar population in Russia. Admittedly Russia has and will continue to have many problems with its demographics, but those problems are completely unrelated to anything that happens in Afghanistan.

          • The extremist infection is already spreading to the Central Asian republics. Why do you imagine its going to slow or stop. ISIS will see to that and is very good at penetrating new areas and creating spreading cells.

            There are many other reasons why extremism is likely to spread to explosive levels through the area, including the Caucausus as well and Russia itself.. Even the poorest folks learn of Russia’s role in the mass slaughter of Sunnis in Syria or of stomping Tartars in h=the crime as folks may be they know of Assad’s horrific crimes and how Russia fasciitated them via the internet and TV and news satellites. Most Central Asian countries have corrupt, Putin-style governments with lousy economies. Their citizens are treated like dirt when they work in Russia, especially as Putin’s encouragement of Orthodoxy and nationalism creates right wing militias who bully people in the street like brownshirts or shabbiha. Economic conditions in those republics are likely to grow worse alongside Russia’s economy as shale oil and new batteries impact the price of oil, the major source of Russian revenue.

    • “I’ve heard it said that the Obama administration thinks it NEEDS Iran’s help to defeat Daesh in Iraq, and therefore doesn’t want to alienate Tehran by attacking Iran’s ally, the al-Assad regime.”

      If we only guide ourselves by mainstream media opinion, we conlcude that most people believe exaclty the opposite:

      1 – ISIS is an American creation -a Frankenstein type, not false flag russian/iranian conspiracy-

      2 – The U.S is trying to topple Assad´s regime by arming rebels through its middle eastern “proxies”.

      3 – Rebels are all fundamentalists.

      4 – Assad -though brutal- is better than ISIS, he is the only one who can fight against ISIS. Ohh yeahh he has used CW but at least he is secular…

      5 – The role of the iranian and russian regime in the radicalization of the conflict, Assad´s connivance with ISIS, etc., etc.,. People know nothing about this, nada.

      6 – U.S and ISIS are guilty for everything.

      • I love how US strategy is believed to be totally personalized.

        Obama apparently just pulls decisions out of his arse. It’s not like he has an army of thousands of miltiarr experts (who unlike Ma Hunkel have actual military experience) advising him.

    • At this rate that they losing troops its not that they will be using kids and OAPs its that they will be drafting foetuses to fight for Baathism.

  10. Marginalization of Russian speakers among IS

    The most famous enraged IS units are the units that speak Russian, which is composed of fighters came from the former Soviet Union and the Balkans.

    Many of them fought many tough battles and have experience in the Caucasus, Balkans, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Those were in the front lines when ISIs got a lot of the gains – also were responsible for the great successes in recruiting and efforts media (for example: the Kazachi child who executed spies) – they are among the most dissatisfied with their limited promotion in ISIS, which led a lot of them to leave ISIS.

    Rally around the Chechen

    The Furious Foreign fighters from the Iraqi control over the organization are looking to Chechen Abu Omar to help them in correcting the situation. The Chechen is seen as a successful commander who resisted Iraqi ISIS in order to advance on the leadership.

    But the growing defeats in the organization reveal the growing frustrations and rifts among the marginalized, also clearly show the frustrations and fissures among the leaders. Always look for the Chechen filled into doubt as a former intelligence officer who worked in the Georgian army and the son of a Christian father.

    http://english.shafaaq.com/stories/14578-isis-dissidents-low-morale-among-fighters-foreigners-raise-a-conflict-between-chechen-and-al-baghdadi.html

  11. A LESSON IN GRAND STRATEGY

    re Jon H: “You don’t seem to know anything about the military at all”

    For purposes of grand strategy one need not be able to distinguish Version A of a Kalashnikov from Version B, or know much about the range of particular artillery. A certain minimal knowledge is required, much of I common sense requiring no technical expertise or training in battlefield tactics. Why some terrain is better than others for defensive or offensive purposes. Why you can order tanks to advance through a swamp? Why you don’t want to get flanked? what kind of ratio is usually required for a successful offense and how various factors can modify that, etc.

    One hardly needs a military education to look at map and identify a very strategic location (though first hand knowledge of the terrain and the composition of local populations is definitely an advantage. Recall that I pointed out two years ago the strategic value of Jisr al-Shughour, Adra, Palymyra, Salimeyeh and the Khan al-Shughour area. Did I need a military education for that or common sense?

    In reality too narrow a military education can make one shortsighted when it comes to grand strategy which looks at defeating an enemy by all means, not just military. VIetnam’s Giap was a great strategist in that sense while his opposition numbers were lacking in same. He grasped that even major strings of military victories may not contribute as much to victory as other factors–something Grant also understood (Grant knew he’d never beat Lee on the battlefield but didn’t have to in order to win. Unlike previous generals who would retreat and rebuild after a loss, Grant realized he didn’t have to. If he slid around and kept coming after each defeat, Lee’s losses would eventually do him in. The strategy of wearing down the enemy worked for Grant as it is working for rebels in Syria. In VIet Nam, American efforts to do likewise failed.

    Thus, in a report I saw in the NY Times at least 20 years ago he wrote that Tet was, from a military point a view a total disaster for his side. Seemingly exagerrated Pentagon claims of enemy losses actually understated the case. Those losses were far greater than we knew 600,000 men compared to 10,000 Americans in one month. In addition, Giap noted that the real VC was virtually wiped out. After that we were fighting NVA. Those with a narrow military education would consider that a crushing victory. Yet strategically it was a massive bonanza for the enemy.

    Grand strategy does not concentrate on how to win specific battles. It concentrates on where the enemy is most vulnerable in every sense–military, economic and political. Do we want to reduce Putin’s aggression in the Ukraine and other neighboring states? You’d agree on that. Do we want to reduce Iran’s aggression against neighbors which is what fires up and radicalizes Sunnies. Giving your support for Obama’s strategy, I’m not sure we share that priority.

    Nevertheless can’t you see that my grand strategy is much broader and attempts to resolve problems not just in the Middle East but elsewher via interconnected impact. Withdrawing from Afghanistan and Iraq and forcing the Bad Guys to handle it would make it almost impossible for Putin and Khamenei to continue their present aggression against neighbors by giving them too much to handle, economically and politically. It would also promote regime change at home by creating popular discontent over costs.

    Note how, by overextending both Putin and Khamenei it would do to both on a grand scale EXACTLY what the rebels have done to Assad in a microcosm.

    re: re: Many of us are also not keen on being sent to die in the aimless, unintelligent war that you propose.

    I proposed no such thing. The rebels would do most of the ground fight, along with forces presently controlled by Assad once the latter is ousted. US ground force involvement would probably be much less than what Obama has done in Iraq. Assad would fall in short order, making an Alawite rebel alliance possible instead of dragging things on forever, as Obama propose. His present policy of arming incompetents with US weapons has done so much to army ISIS. And, knowing Iran’s penchant for kidnapping and Solemeini’s penchant for sneaky (and deniable) attacks on American troops, our boys in Iraq may actually be at more risk (from Iranian proxies with deniability). It compares to Obama’s strategy as Talleyrand’s settlement in the Congess of Vienna compares to the Versailles Treaty. The First brought 100 years of relative peace to Europe for the first time in centuries. The second invited another war in short order.

    • “Withdrawing from Afghanistan and Iraq and forcing the Bad Guys to handle it would make it almost impossible for Putin and Khamenei to continue their present aggression against neighbors by giving them too much to handle, economically and politically. It would also promote regime change at home by creating popular discontent over costs.”

      The political cost of the colapse of the afghan regime would be huge for the U.S. Besides that, do you want to open another battle front against fundamentalism?, don´t you realise that it is in our interest to have russia on our side?.

      Russia is quite functional to western affairs, never forget that their ridicule propaganda -wich portrait themselves as an alternative to “western imperialism”- is only designed to knock out usefull idiots.

      • Re: The political cost of the collapse of the afghan regime would be huge for the U.S.

        Russia, Iran and Pakistan would have to step in to see that such a collapse would not occur. It would be even more disastrous for them. Hence the effect is neutral at best with one protector replaced by three. In that case, the White House would look smart. Even in the worst scenario (the Afghan regime collapses which it might well do anyhow under the present withdrawal schedule) and political blowback would be offset by the benefits in Syria, in the Ukraine and in all former USSR-ruled states now threatened by Putin. Throw in the further benefits of massive discontent at home in Russia and Iran, who will know how their leaders got them into this pickle.

        Re: “You do not want to open another battle against fundamentalism.

        It’s already there.ISIS is making gains in the Caucausus and Central Asia Republics and Putin must be aware of that. The benefit is others would have to deal with a problem on their own doorstep. They will have no choice. Hence, no vacumn created by our absence. Along those lines, a side benefit might be that Chechen and other Russian element presently fighting in JAN and especially ISIS would leave the Mideast for the Russo-Iran Front.

        Re: “Don’t you realize Russia is on our side?

        It never was but such an impression was possible prior to Syria, the Crimea, the Ukraine and all accompanying Russian propaganda. Throw in massive investments in weapons most suitable for warfare aimed at the West. Putin’s propaganda is not only loaded with hatred of the West while he subsidies neo-fascist parties much like his own to disrupt western-style democracy.

        Hence the above minuses are overrated and even if it were not so,you must include the big pluses that I thing outweigh them–especially when in comes to putting the brakes on Putin’s aggression in the Ukraine and elsewhere to the West and doing the same for Iran’s aggression in the Middle East. They’ have a full plate on their hands.

        Another benefit: With Coalition forces withdrawn from Iraq, teaming up with rebel ground forces against Assad, and enabling an even more potent alliance (alawite-rebels) afterwards in Syria, ISIS could be disposed of quickly there at which point we could let Iran continue to struggle in Iraq until suitable reforms were made in its foreign and domestic policy. In Russia’s case, no help should be offered ever. Putin’s super Russian nationalism, and his attacks on Sunni muslims in Chechyna and Syria will have created huge problems. They broke it, let them fix it.

        For one thing the West must be grateful regarding Putin’s recent aggression, his anti-western rhetoric and 80% Russian support for all this: Whereas Russia could have joined NATO & Europe I doubt she’d never be allowed in now even if Putin were ousted. What we’ve learned from all this is that Russians have a strong desire to dominate everyone and to disrupt directly or via proxies. Russian membership would destroy NATO & the EU. Also, we’d be stuck with defending Russia against threats by China or from extremists in Central Asia or from internal disintegration caused by the intersection of low birth rates, Russian ultranationalism and a growing, youthful and more radicalized muslim population. No, we don’t need to take on Russia’s problems.

        • “Nevertheless can’t you see that my grand strategy is much broader and attempts to resolve problems not just in the Middle East but elsewher via interconnected impact.”

          I KNOW I’m a genius. You’re clearly just to stupid to recognize my genius.

          • @ RT

            “Even in the worst scenario (the Afghan regime collapses which it might well do anyhow under the present withdrawal schedule) and political blowback would be offset by the benefits in Syria, in the Ukraine and in all former USSR-ruled states now threatened by Putin.”

            I am sure of this:

            If you now go to any actual U.S army strategist -or someone else with real knowledge and insight into reality- and tell him “LIsten to me Sir, I think It´s in our benefit the collapse of russia under fundamentalist forces”, you will get kicked out of the room instantly!

            You are a reductionist, your biggest problem is that because you see some antagonism developing between your country and Russia over specifical issues you conclude she must be destroyed in totum -in this sense your view resembles ISIS fan boy, they all want to see Russia destroyed- . You are not aware of the huge strategical cooperation of interests going on right now between the U.S and Russia. Same with Iran, a partial antagonism in the reality field boils down in your mind to radical opposition. Clever people in your country knows very well that iran doesn´t pose as an existential threat.

            Let´s take Cuba as an example, the country is 90 miles from the U.S border -a trained swimmer could easily cover that distance-. Do you think for one instance that your country would have permited to have a real existential threat that close?. Who has the U.S bombed for the last 20 years?, Iran?, Russia?, Cuba?. No, the islamic jihadists. I am just telling you from where to expect the next strike, it will not come from Iran or Russia so don´t waste your time. You like films?, this one is instructive:

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Tartar_Steppe

            • The days when we saw Russia as a potential pal and evolving toward a normal democracy are over as Russian evolves toward supernationalistic fascism. All cooperation is ceasing after all the aggression by proxies and Russian army “volunteers in the Ukraine and threats of same to any nation that belonged to the former Soviet Union. Then there are the fly-bys with nuclear bombers, Russia warships and subs close to the coasts of NATO–all those attempts to intimidate and bully. Fearing people would want democracy at home if Syrians got it, Putin and Khameenei both urged Assad to spurn the democratic demonstrators and resort to Putin’s brutal Chechnya tactics–the same ones he and his shabbiha thugs are using in the Ukraine. Russia is perceived as a thug because Russia acts like one (for domestic political reasons and to distract the masses).

              If you think most Americans would trust Russia today after all Putin has done you are kidding yourself. Sanctions forever and keep Russia out of Western Europe! why do you think all European states are suddenly deciding to boost their military budgets after years of cuts? Because they trust Putin or are friends with him? Russia wasn’t a pariah state before but it is now. Even if Russians tossed out Putin tomorrow it would take decades to undue the trust he created and the masses who cheer him.

              It is likely after Putin’s crimes in Syria, the Ukraine and Chechnya, that furious muslims bossed around by intolerable ultra-nationalist Russians skinhead types of the sort Putin employed in the Ukraine will turn the country into what Syria is today. Muslims have long memories and are fast getting radicalized by Putin’s War on Sunnis and the Chechnya strategy Russia under Putin always employes when committing aggression.

              Everyone has seen the polls showing how Russians give Putin 80 percent popularity for carrying out his war or conquest and destabilization in the Ukraine and for his jingoistic rhetoric against the West. Come the apocalypse, don’t expect us, who you now seek to bully, to come to your aid. Russians made their bed, let them lie in it. The irony is that NATO and the West was never a threat to post-USSR Russia, while the Central Asian Republics and (in Siberia) China will be down the road Putin alienated the only neighbors who might have supported Russia in that crunch. After what he did they never will.

              Even if Russia changed tomorrow, it would take decades to undo the damage Putin has done. . Along with Iran, Russia has chosen to seek old fashioned force-based empires in an age when almost everyone has dumped them. Why? Because for some time now such empires cost way more than they are worth Modern technology and travel make it impossible to conceal the crimes needed to conceal such empires and hang on to them. Public awareness and new techniques of asymmetric warfare assure that they can make like hell for the conquerers. Open borders make it impossible to stop agents of change from crossing borders, spreading infectins and establish reistence cells likely to be far more violent and less scrupulous than in the past..

  12. Why ISIL’s Attacks on Shiites of Saudi Arabia Threaten World Economy

    http://www.juancole.com/2015/05/shiites-threaten-economy.html

    Always consider wider impact. Destuction of Saudi oilfields would enrich Putin and Khamenei who wouldn’t hesitate to blackmail Europe. Putin could also afford to rebuild his entire military–something he’ll have to postpone otherwise.

    Assad may have nourished ISIS back to health because he needed it, but there’s no way it would be the regional threat it is becoming today without Obama’s Asleep at the Wheel act. Arguing that a stitch in time never saved nine” and that ISIS was no more a threat than a JV basketball team, Mr. Dithers dithered, allowing ISIS to become what it is today.

    THE GREAT IRONY

    No battle contributed more to that the one in which ISIS and Assad teame up to drive out well motivated and more numerous but poorly armed rebels out of Deir Ezzor. ISIS immediately following up with its biggies. Obama is making exactly the same mistake today in Aleppo. The man is chronical incapable of learning from experience..

    • “No battle contributed more to that the one in which ISIS and Assad teame up to drive out well motivated and more numerous but poorly armed rebels out of Deir Ezzor. ”

      Except maybe, you know, Mosul.

      • ALEX: Except, you know, for chronology.

        the ISIS invasion that took much of Iraq INCLUDING Mosul was enabled by the battle in which a regime/ISIS alliance drove rebels out of Deir Ezzor as Obama watched. The big and successful ISIS invasion came AFTER which is my whole ;point, just as that victory in turn allowed ISIS to turn on the regime. I repeat the sequence.

        1. ISIS-Assad alliance takes about 2 months to drive rebels out of Deir Ezzor while Obama pondered and did nothing.
        2. Shortly thereafter ISIS won its big victory in Iraq.
        3. Shortly after that, ISIS turned on Assad and took D-17 and Tabqa.

        #1 invaded #2 and #3.

        Before calling me a liar, check back with Scott regarding the chronology. He should also be able to confirm I made almost as many posts drawing attention to Obama’s “pondering” and the probability of several consequences if he didn’t act as I’ve done re: Aleppo now where Obama is repeating his mistake. I was not specific as to the latter but I was certain on the general idea. The consequences were indeed severe. So much for the smart alecs in the White House and their defenders!

  13. NEW MAP REVEALS ISIS IS IN DANGER OF ITS WORST DEFEAT EVER

    Rebels have retaken Kafrah,Assanbel, but lost Umm Qura, while continuing to push east, reports Karybdis who offers his map: Link:

    http://img.ly/BYA6

    All it would take to trap massive ISIS forces between rebels shown on the western side of the map and combined ISIS/FSA forces from Kobane further east is for Mr. Dithers to unleash the Coalition air force and stop dithering. That move would automatically make rebel ground forces, already holding their own and perhaps advancing, even more formidable since it would force the Assad’s Air Force to lay off.

    Thousands of ISIS fighters with little cover in the desert and strong rebel forces would be hammered and forced to retreat with no safe exit, given those forces in Kobane.

    How can Obama’s defenders here (people like Jon H.) justify Obama’s inaction in a low-risk, super high gain situation? How can Obama not act? For the answer see the next item/

    Obama Publicly Admits:

    ” I’D PREFER AN ISIS VICTORY IN ALEPPO.RATHER THAN SEE REBELS WIN.

    Quote: “A rebel win would be worst for Assad there and protecting his regime has always been a priority for me.”

    Quote: “Rebels need to be punished for disobeying me. They insist on fighting Assad over a few minor grievances. If they fought ISIS only and let Assad alone I’d be more than happy to support them with generous air cover.”

    Source: The Mind Reader’s Journal.

    DAMASCUS

    Several Assad forces were reportedly killed when Faylaq al-Rahman took out a regime tunnel in #Jobar this morning

    IDLIB PHOTO

    Regime loyalists mourn the death of Maj Gen Tahir Jamil Ra’ida, Idlib special operatins commander killed in Jisr al-Shugour.

    https://twitter.com/Paradoxy13/status/605771726077583361

    • “NEW MAP REVEALS ISIS IS IN DANGER OF ITS WORST DEFEAT EVER”

      No, it does not. Possibly ideological, if the rebels take Dabiq, but not military.

    • More quotes from Obama as reported by MindReaderjournal:

      “I hope my MB buddy Erdogon gets re-elected. We need an Islamist government in Syria to stop corporations from stealing Syrian oil, olives and goat dung.” (editor’s note: Syria produces almost no oil.)

      “A free and secular Syrian government is just going to give Palestinians education and jobs. Then they will not want to return to Israel. But Israel should be shared with Palestinians.”

      “Prophet Mohammad took in the helpless women and girls out of pure kindness of heart, and not as war booty. They were going to be abandoned by their unfaithful men. The Prophet punished and killed the men because it was clear they were going to abandon their women when dead. Just goes to show how much the Prophet protects and respects women and little girls. Sobhanallah”

  14. “Damascus, SANA-Upon the directives of President Bashar al-Assad, Commander-in-chief of the army and armed forces, the army’s Chief of Staff Ali Abdullah Ayoub visited on Tuesday the army members in Idleb and Hama north-western countryside where he met the combatants and inspected their situation and conditions of their task.”

    WTH?

    • Visited Idlib province — namely the few villages they still hold on M4. Probably the remnant SAA in Idlib are just not taking orders anymore and want to see the boss.

      If it were not for ISIS helping Assad in north Aleppo, while Obama fiddles, these remnants would have been wiped out by now.

  15. The Hasije Kurds, with the help of Christians and Assyrians, and the FSA and Sunni tribes have progressed in the past couple of days 60 kilometers to the west, fighting for the town of Suluk, and are within 20 km of Tal Abiz which is the main entry point of arms from Erdogan to ISIS.

    http://wikimapia.org/#lang=en&lat=36.595684&lon=39.125061&z=11&m=b

    With the capture of Tal Abiz, ISIS would be cut off from the Turkish border on the east and Kobane will become connected to Hasije. This would be the first step to the liberation of Raqqa.

    http://syriadirect.org/news/syria-direct-news-update-6-1-15/

    However, ISIS is still pressing on Tel Tamr, a Christian town close to Hasije, and US is ignoring calls for more air strikes against ISIS at Tel Tamr.

    http://wikimapia.org/#lang=en&lat=36.655750&lon=40.371323&z=10&m=b

    Erdogan must be super pissed that the Kurds are making progress against the Islamists. Because of parliamentary elections in Turkey on June 7, Erdogan may not be able to do much to save the Islamists.

  16. REBELS CRUSH ISIS IN THE SOUTH AGAIN. OBAMA WILL BE ANGRY

    Lajat area in Daraa (al-Shayah, al-Alali & al-Shomara) fully is under rebel control. 10s of ISIS & pro-ISIS fighters killed/captured today. Jaish al-Yarmouk reinforcements sent to confront ISIS & pro-ISIS sleeper cells in #Daraa today.–Sami. Up to 60 ISIS fighters were killed.

    SADDAM EX_OFFICER: WE”VE PLAYED A KEY ROLE IN HELPING MILITANTS

    http://www.npr.org/sections/parallels/2014/06/19/323691052/saddams-ex-officer-weve-played-key-role-in-helping-militants

    QALAMOUN

    Jaish-al Fateh knocked off 15 Hezbollah Fighters today.–Sami

    ISIS’s CHESS MATCH IN SAUDI ARABIA

    By attacking Shiite targets in Yemen and Saudi Arabia and potentially drawing Iran into the fray, the group is playing a complicated game aimed at delegitimizing the royal family and destabilizing the kingdom.–Washington Institute

    http://www.washingtoninstitute.org/policy-analysis/view/the-islamic-states-saudi-chess-match

    MAJOR REBEL DEVELOPMENT?

    Syrian National Coalition dissolves the military council and calls for a unified command for all groups on the ground.–Aura Salix

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