Syria Daily, Feb 12: International Group Pursues A “Cessation of Hostilities”

PHOTO: Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and US Secretary of State John Kerry


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FRIDAY FEATURES

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UPDATE 1540 GMT: AFP has released an extract from an interview with President Assad on Thursday, in which he said his armed forces will try to retake all of Syria “without any hesitation”.

Rather than envisaging a cessation of hostilities, Assad said the involvement of regional players “means that the solution will take a long time and will incur a heavy price”.


UPDATE 1440 GMT: Even as the International Syria Support Groups is declaring its pursuit of the end of hostilities, the Syrian military is dropping leaflets on Aleppo city, warning residents that it is coming to “crush the terrorists”:

Dear residents and tribes and families and sons of Aleppo, the operations of the Syrian Arab Army have begun and and they not will not stop until the final terrorist has been exterminated.


UPDATE 0940 GMT: Doubts are starting to gather about the International Syria Support Group’s plan.

Former Swedish Prime Minister Carl Bildt poses an important question:

An activist with the leading rebel faction Ahrar al-Sham said that the proposal allows Russia to continue bombing opposition-held areas such as Idlib Province, using the pretext of attacks on the jihadists of Jabhat al-Nusra:

Not only in Aleppo but in most liberated areas there is Nusra, and consequently this agreement cannot be implemented….

I don’t expect Ahrar to accept it, because the agreement is completely illogical. It is a waste of time because as long as Nusra is excluded from the agreement it means fighting will not stop in any area.

Free Syrian Army Issam al-Reis was cautious in messages on Twitter:


ORIGINAL ENTRY: The International Syria Support Group — Russia, the US, 15 other countries, the Arab League, and the European Union — have agreed to pursue implementation of a “cessation of hostilities”, beginning in a week across Syria.

After a lengthy meeting in Munich, the group announced the plan late Thursday night. It declares that, within six months of the beginning of opposition-regime talks, an agreement should be reached on an 18-month period for “a political transition plan that establishes credible, inclusive and non-sectarian governance and sets a schedule and process for drafting a new Constitution [and for] free and fair elections”.

Declaring that the plan will “change the daily lives of the Syrian people”, US Secretary of State John Kerry said, “Today in Munich we believe we have made progress on both the humanitarian front and the cessation of hostilities front.”

He said the end of fighting applied to all parties except for operations against the Islamic State and the jihadists of Jabhat al-Nusra.

Kerry told a news conference that a task force will develop the “modalities” for implementation. Under the ISSG proposal, members of the force will include political and military officials from both the countries supporting the Syrian opposition and those backing the Assad regime.

Significantly, he noted that both the regime and the opposition will have to agree to the details of the “modalities”.

A Far from Complete Plan?

If implemented, the plan would end Russian and Syrian Air Force bombing and regime-Iranian-Hezbollah offensives against opposition-held areas.

The opposition-rebel bloc has refused to enter “proximity talks” with the Assad regime without the ceasefires and access to aid for besieged areas. Continued Russian airstrikes undermined short-lived discussions in Geneva last week, leading to a suspension until February 25.

However, the Munich proposals have significant gaps which could limit its effectiveness and even permit Moscow and the Assad regime to continue their attacks, which have gained territory north of Aleppo — threatening to cut off rebels and an estimated 300,000 people in the city — in recent weeks.

The term “ceasefire” was not included in the plan, and Russia has used the pretext of strikes on both the Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra to justify intensive bombing of rebels and opposition territory since its campaign began on September 30.

British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said the “cessation” could only succeed if Russia stopped its airstrikes, but “if implemented fully and properly…this will be an important step towards relieving the killing and suffering in Syria”.

Kerry echoed — but without naming Moscow, as he sat beside Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, “What we have are words on paper. What we need to see in the next few days are actions on the ground, in the field….Without a political transition, it is not possible to achieve peace.”

Lavrov emphasized that Russia’s bombing would continue, with the provision that assaults on the Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra can be pursued, “The truce does not go for terrorists and it is stated in today’s document. The military operation against them will be continued.”

The Foreign Minister said a working group on humanitarian aid will begin work on Friday, but he gave no indication if the Syrian military would relax its blockades — some of which have been maintained for years — which have threatened hundreds of thousands of people across the country.

Lavrov added that a “certain agreement” has been reached between Russia and the US to airdrop aid into some areas. He indicated that this would includes assistance to regime-held territory, which has been surrounded by the Islamic State, in Deir ez-Zor Province in eastern Syria.

Kerry said the deliveries would begin within a week in areas as Deir ez-Zor; to the regime enclaves of al-Fu’ah and Kafraya in Idlib Province, which were reached by the Syrian military earlier this month; opposition-held Madaya in Damascus Province, where scores have died from starvation amid a seven-month regime siege; and opposition-held suburbs of Damascus which have been blockaded for years.

Looking ahead, Lavrov challenged the legitimacy of the opposition-rebel bloc’s High Negotiations Committee in any “proximity talks” with the regime:

Some prefer not to remember that the transition [of power] should be based on the consent of the government and the broad range of opposition forces. Some believe that it will be enough to invite a delegation, which represents only a part of foreign opponents of the regime and to rank the rest as “consultants”. This will not work.

Russia has put a series of objections to the HNC, established in December in a conference in Saudi Arabia, including the claim that it includes “terrorists” such as the rebel faction Jaish al-Islam.

Moscow put forth an alternative list of 15 people including Kurdish representatives and politicians close to Russia. However, both the opposition-rebel bloc and countries such as Turkey objected to any participation by the leadership of the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), whose armed wing is seizing opposition territory in northwest Syria as well as pushing back the Islamic State in the northeast.


Video: The Latest Hospital Hit By A Russian Airstrike, 2 Killed

Aftermath of a Russian airstrike on Saida hospital in Daraa Province on Tuesday:

The hospital’s director, Mohammad al-Hiraki, said two people were killed and dozens injured in Saida, 7 km (4 miles) east of Daraa city.

“The hospital served the entire eastern [countryside] with surgical operations, and we conducted complex surgeries despite the lack of support,” Hiraki said.

Four other hospitals near Daraa closed after staff met on Wednesday, local news site Yaqeen reported. The closures bring the total in the province to eight.

Russian attacks have struck scores of hospitals and medical clinics across Syria. Last week, an airstrike killed three people, including a nurse, and wounded six in Tafas hospital in Daraa Province. Main hospitals in Aleppo Province, including two in Aleppo city, have been damaged and closed by the bombing.

Muskilda Zancada, the head of mission for Medecins Sans Frontieres, expressed concern about the situation near Azaz in Aleppo Province, where Russian attacks are enabling a regime-Iranian-Hezbollah offensive:

We are extremely concerned about the situation in the south of the district, where medical staff, fearing for their lives, have been forced to flee and hospitals have either been completely closed, or can only offer limited emergency services.

Related Posts

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.

101 COMMENTS

  1. ARTICLE: NATO ‘exploring possibility’ of joining anti-IS coalition: US
    .
    Putin, who invaded Syria to fight for a fellow dictator who has almost no popular support. ISIS is reeling. Putin suspects that when that threat is greatly reduced and Obama retired, all of the ground and air forces presently on Assad’s side would be no match for a Grand Coalition composed of NATO, most Sunni Arab states (a source of legitimacy) and most rebels. As in the late thirties, people are waking up to the cost of appeasing bullies. As that occurs, look for FDR and Churchill types to replace Chamberalin and Daladier types. The new leaders will be hard to pushy around and bluff.
    .
    http://news.yahoo.com/nato-exploring-possibility-joining-anti-coalition-us-180204186.html;_ylt=AwrBT7a_zbxWWJ4AANlXNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTByMjB0aG5zBGNvbG8DYmYxBHBvcwMxBHZ0aWQDBHNlYwNzYw–
    .
    RELATED ARTICLE: ISIS relying on child soldiers, drugged fighters as grip on Mosul slips
    .
    http://www.foxnews.com/world/2016/02/11/isis-relying-on-child-soldiers-drugged-fighters-as-grip-on-mosul-slips.html

    Where could ISIS fighters go? Those from Syria or Iraq are hated and likely to be slaughtered if the stay. Those from the West will not be allowed to return or arrested if they do. One way to take steam out of ISIS would be to allow them a safety valve in the direction of the Caucasus, Central Asia and southern Russia. The country best in the position to provide such an exit is Turkey. Given Putin’s behavior it also has motive. So why not? NATO member Turkey owes Russia and this is an easy way to pay Putin back. Turkey would be playing a very Putin-like trick on Putin.

    • Russia did not invade Syria, they were invited by the legitimate government of Syria as was Iran. All other countries there and foreign fighters are the invaders.

      You’re cheer leading for Islamic jihadist is growing tired. Russia has shown that it can curb US empire and bad behavior. In the region Russia is there adult on the block and the US a has been.

      Putin has once again pulled Washington’s chestnuts from the fire with this ceasefire agreement. Now all Easgibgton has to do is order it’s poodles in the ME to obey.

      Russian Intervention In Syrian War Has Sharply Reduced U.S. Options

      http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/11/world/middleeast/russian-intervention-in-syrian-war-has-sharply-reduced-us-options.html

      • “the legitimate government of Syria”
        The whole point of the civil war is that a substantial proportion of Syrians do not accept the rule of the Assad dynasty as legitimate. As there have been no free elections in Syria, there is no way to know whether the proportion is a majority.

        It is begging the question to call Assad “legitimate”.

        • The whole point of the civil war is that a substantial proportion of Syrians do not accept the rule of the Assad dynasty as legitimate.

          That would brt rue if this was just a civil war and not a proxy war backed by foreign interests pushing for regime change.

          There’s a civil war in Ukraine. Does that make the current government illegitimate?

          As there have been no free elections in Syria, there is no way to know whether the proportion is a majority.

          There are no free and fair election in Saudi Arabia. Does that mean the dynastic rile if the house of Saud had no legitimacy? What about the rest of the Gulf States, Bahrain and Jordan?

          The British ORB polls show that Assad has overwhelming majority approval.
          It is begging the question to call Assad “legitimate”.

          • The ORB polls show nothing of the sort. In the most recent one, with a rather indirect question, there is a figure of 47% supporting Assad and 50% not (and only 26% are real enthusiasts.). Moreover support for the regime is overwhelmingly concentrated in regime-controlled areas, where people may well feel that the security services are looking over their shoulders. The country is totally divided: Assad receives a positive evaluation in 7 of 14 governorates and a negative one in the other 7.Even in regime controlled areas a clear majority says the country is “headed in the wrong direction” Moreover if you look at the poll carried out in May 2014 which had a much clearer question, Assad and the regime had only 37% support to the opposition’s 48%. And all of this leaves out of account the refugees, who could easily shift the figures several percentage points against the regime, if they are even given a voice.

            • The ORB polls show nothing of the sort.

              Oh yes it does. 50% of the vote would easily win any democratic election.

              Moreover support for the regime is overwhelmingly concentrated in regime-controlled areas

              Dug. 70-80% if true population resides in regime controlled areas.

              Assad receives a positive evaluation in 7 of 14 governorates and a negative one in the other 7.

              Again that is a huge majority in Assad’s favor. If the 7 left, they would be divided between the opposition groups. So even in the unlikely events the opposition groups could all form a coalition, the best they could do is share power with Assad.

              Even in regime controlled areas a clear majority says the country is “headed in the wrong direction”

              Well duh, there is a civil war taking place. They don’t blame that on Assad.

              The ORB poll was was taken much later than your May 2014 poll, which is no longer relevant.

          • “a proxy war backed by foreign interests pushing for regime change.”

            I think it is a civil war with foreign interests pushing both for and against regime change. Much like the Spanish Civil War.

            • Don, I honestly think you’re wasting your time trying to talk sense to the pro-tyranny group. They have their narrative and they won’t stop trying to shove it down the throat of others. They will continue to talk as if everything the US does is pure evil and as if Putin and Assad’s shit doesn’t stink however tiresome it becomes. Assad could nuke a city at this point and they would defend him.

            • I think it is a civil war with foreign interests pushing both for and against regime change. Much like the Spanish Civil War.

              You might have a point, but let’s look at the facts. El Sisi massacred 800 demonstrators when after the coup in Cairo – a far more severe crushing of dissent than anything Assad did in 2011.#

              Did that lead to civil war? No. Why not? Because the Saudis did not arms and finance Johdaist nutters to go in to Cairo and take advantage of the situation.

      • THE GOVERNMENT OF SYRIA IS ABOUT AS LEGITIMATE AS THE GOVERNMENT OF NORTH KOREA OR AS ISIS’ CALIPHATE

        Central point: Legitimacy comes from the people and is certified by them. It dos not derive from Holy Books, religious charlatans, coups, inheritance, Reichstag-style plots in which apartment buildings are blown up and blamed on others t confuse people. It does not derive from rigged elections where political opponents are jailed or assassinated, dozens of journalists murdered, open debate silenced, or special bodies pre-eliminate a high percentage of candidates.
        .
        By your definition North Korea’s government would be “legitimate” even if put in place by Stalin’s invading troops at the end of world war II. So would the ISIS Caliphate be legitimate by your definition. It holds ground, no matter how it got it.
        .
        Once legitimate governments lose their legitimacy when they turn on their own people and must rely on mass atrocities against their own people to survive. By that standard, Putn is losing legitimacy but hasn’t yet reached Assad’s low level. The moment the Russia people demand human rights, a free press, an end to killing of opponents and Putin cracks down brutally on them, even calling in Iranians and others to crush them when he finds himself incapable, he loses all legitimacy. He would be depending on foreigners to keep him afloat against his own people.
        .

        • “Legitimacy comes from the people and is certified by them.”

          A fundamental difference between the Islamists (Wahhabis, Muslim Brotherhood, etc) and the West is that they believe the legitimacy of a ruler comes only from Allah. Elections, democracy and freedom are all contrary to their beliefs, because they question the will of Allah.

          • A fundamental difference between the Islamists (Wahhabis, Muslim Brotherhood, etc) and the West is that they believe the legitimacy of a ruler comes only from Allah. Elections, democracy and freedom are all contrary to their beliefs, because they question the will of Allah.

            Whatever, it still comes down to their choice. If the majority subscribe to that believe, then that’s their business. Democracy is a matter of choice. Forcing states to adopt democracy is an oxymoron.

        • THE GOVERNMENT OF SYRIA IS ABOUT AS LEGITIMATE AS THE GOVERNMENT OF NORTH KOREA OR AS ISIS’ CALIPHATE

          THE GOVERNMENT OF SYRIA IS MORE LEGITIMATE THAN THE GOVERNMENT OF SAUDI ARABIA. BAHRAIN, EGYPT OR ANY OF THE GULF MONARCHIES.

      • Do you understand that Russia’s bravado in Ukraine and Syria has nothing to do with a so much dreamed russian military renaissance ? Western block i.e. Nato i.e. the US would send Russia back to the stone age any time. But you new socialists are so into this dream of a “duper” power who can finally kick back all the frustrations you had to take in the last 30 years and end up actually beliving all this BS prop.

        • Do you not understand that requested simulated war games carried out by the Pentagon has nothing to do with Russia’s bravado?

          In every situation, Russia smashes NATO and us home in time for dinner.

          The US has no hope in hell of sending Russia back to the stone age without facing the same fete. But you new chicken hawks and new cold warriors can’t accept that the only wars the US has ever won were against 3rd rate powers with no Air Force.

          The US military is a fat and bloated anachronism. You couldn’t even defeats a band if thugs armed with Kslashnikovs in Afghsnistan.

          • Russia is a paper tiger. They can’t even beat Ukraine and now you’re claiming they could beat NATO? LOL. Their communications are so shitty that during their invasion of Georgia they had commanders using personal cell phones. LMAO. They are well aware that they are no match for NATO.

            • That’s why they are obsessed with nukes. It’s the only area where they still roughly have parity. They are fully aware that in a conventional conflict with NATO or the US that they would have their ass handed to them.

              • Kevin i think you missed the 9,99$ walmart gps stuck with tape in their cockpits….overwhelm the US lol joke of the year hands down.

              • That’s why they are obsessed with nukes.

                Excuse me?

                Russia is obsessed with nukes? It’s nolt Russia that is plannig to spend a trillin dollars upgrading it’s nukes.
                http://www.techinsider.io/nuclear-weapons-life-extension-us-russia-2015-11

                The only justification for this obscene boondoggle would be to counter the perceived threat from Russia’s nuclear arsenal. Clearly it’s the US that is obsessed with Russia’s nukes.

                It’s the only area where they still roughly have parity.

                Wrong.

                1. Their air force is definitely on parity. The Russians air force would be laughing their heads off over the fact the US air force and navyare going to be stuck with a lemon like the F35

                2. Russia is a decade in front of the US in terms of missile technology

                3. Russia is years ahead of the US in terms of electronic warfare

                4. Russia’s nuclear submarine fleet is easily a match for the US equivalent.

                Repeated war games conducted by the Pentagon show that NATO would have their asses handed to them. You’re still stuck in the 90s ear myth of US invincibility.

            • Russia is a paper tiger.

              How does a paper tiger manage to tie Washington’s hands in Syria?

              Russian Intervention in Syrian War Has Sharply Reduced U.S. Options
              http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/11/world/middleeast/russian-intervention-in-syrian-war-has-sharply-reduced-us-options.html?_r=0

              How does a paper tiger defeat NATO easily in war games conducted by the US?

              If Russia Started a War in the Baltics, NATO Would Lose — Quickly
              http://foreignpolicy.com/2016/02/03/if-russia-started-a-war-in-the-baltics-nato-would-lose-quickly/

              They can’t even beat Ukraine

              They are not fighting the Ukraine. BTW. The US couldn’t even beat the Taliban or win in Iraq.

              nd now you’re claiming they could beat NATO?

              Can you not read? It’s the PENTAGON that is claiming they could beat NATO. NATO is a joke

              LOL. Their communications are so shitty that during their invasion of Georgia they had commanders using personal cell phones.

              LOL. mSuch a joke that their electric warfare technology is so ahead of the US it has been deccribed as eye watering

              Russia’s Winning the Electronic War
              http://foreignpolicy.com/2015/10/21/russia-winning-the-electronic-war/

              They would wipe the floor with NATO. NATO is nothing but the US and a could of groupies hiding behind Washington’s skirt.

              That’s the problem with you regime changers. You’re mid is still stuck in the 90s myth where everyone believed the US was all powerful and invincible.

              • DeANGELO LIES BY USING A HALF TRUTH, NATO SAID NO SUCH THING

                Re: It’s the PENTAGON that is claiming they could beat NATO.”

                Yes if you clarify what the Pentagon said by adding three words: “in the Baltics. No, otherwise by a wide margin. The Baltics are flat, small, hard to defend and too close to Moscow. On the other hand read my post elsewhere here on why the Russians are in the same strategic plight in MORE THAN A HALF DOZEN PLACES: Belarus, Georgia, the Crimea, the Eastern Ukraine, St. Petersburg, the Caicaisis. five Centra; Asian Republics.

                Russia would probably also lose Siberia and Kazackiztan as China took advantage, The economies and populations of NATO countries and other east Europeans countries likely to fight Russia would outnumber the latter by at least 10-1. It would get worse as time passed and these superior rescouces were mobilized. Its expected allies would stay out of it (Iran, China) or join the western assault (Belarus)

              • The way you keep bragging over that one article is hilarious. Maybe you should actually try reading it. I mean you’ve posted it like seventeen times already. It basically says that Russia could overrun a few scattered troops who don’t have armor or any air defenses. Wow. That sure is impressive. Imagine Russia being able to overrun a few troops without modern weapons. How impressive. Or not. And it’s all entirely hypothetical because lil Putin doesn’t have the stones to attack NATO. It’s a fight he can’t win and he knows it. Run all the war games you want. The counterattack would push lil Putin’s imperial ass out of eastern Europe for good.

          • Buahahahahah you reached your top with this one. I am sorry to wake you up…..Russia is nothing more than a paper tiger. No match whatsoever with the US. Sweet dreams deangelis 🙂

            • @Andre – Did you just watch Red Dawn? In reality the US military expenditure is about the rest of the world combined. If the US were committed to helping the rebels in Syria they would kick total ass.

              Military Annual Budgets (2014)
              1 United States United States 581 billion
              2 China China 129 Billion
              3 Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia 80.8 Billion
              4 Russia Russia 70.0 Billion

      • SELF EVIDENTALY A PUTIN ATTACK ON THE BALTIC STATE WOULD SUCCEED BUT WOULD BE SUICIDAL ELSEWHERE

        1. THE TRIP WIRE EFFECT: NATO would be obliged to react by treaty and will direct attention first to fronts where isolated Russian forces are most vulnerable–the Crimea, Georgia, the Ukraine and St. Petersburg (many folks there look to the West and want nothing to do with Greater Russia schemes.

        2. WILL TO FIGHT: Any Russian attack on the Baltics directly or by proxy, would have a Pearl Harbor effect by killing Americans and other NATO members. Like Japan, Putin would immediately be seen as the aggressor. He’d have taken on NATO in addition to getting Russia involved in two other wars (Syria, the Ukraine). I doubt Russians will be fired up by that.

        3. TERRAIN & PARTISAN ADVANTAGES NO LONGER AVAILABLE: In WW II, Russia could force an extreme unpopular enemy to advance hundreds of miles across unsympathetic territory (Bylorussia, the Ukraine) loaded with potential partisans. In this conflict, NATO forces would be welcomed by most Ukrainians just as Hitler was. The difference is that in this case we won’t blow that support via hated Gauleiters. We will be allies. The best Putin can hope for from Belarus is Franco-style neutrality which it can’t expect given Russian bases there. Flat and vulnerable, facing a NATO tide and tired of Putins bullying, Belarus would probably side with NATO. Russian forces and airbases there would be lost.

        4. MILITARY READINESS ON BOTH SIDES: Like Japan and Germany in World War II, Putin had been preparing for war for years, raising his own military spending while the West had been cutting it to the bone. Even so, NATO forces, equipment and manpower are much greater than Russia’s to start with. The latter would be taking on NATO supplemented by Polish, Ukrainian and other forces with strong revenge motives.

        5. MILITARY POTENTIAL IN A LONG WAR. Recall how quickly the USA mobilized for war after Pearl Harbor. and imagine the potential size and armaments of NATO once mobilized. While Russia is so engaged, Sunnis in Central Asia and the Caucasus will take advantage to oust Putin’s corrupt appointed leaders. What can he do t save them.

        Take into account Russia’s Italy sized economy, its technological outdatedness and its deceptive population of 145 million people. The Russian majority is disproportionately aged and many wouldn’t be happy with Putin’s suicidal decision to go to war with NATO. A substantial number of that 145 million, especially among the military aged, includes minorities unhappy with Russian rule. The combined, population of western and eastern Europe plus the USA beats the Russian figure 10-1. Millions of Sunnis in the West will be especially willing to enlist against Putin.

        Neither Belarus, nor China nor Iran is likely to commit suicide by signing on with Russia. In China’s case, how would its troops get there in time? How would most Russians like the idea of a million Chinese moving across Russia? More likely he Chinese might take advantage to seize Siberia and/or Kazakistan. Iran would have to fight its way through Central Asia first. North Korea can’t help Putin nor could its forces be relied on if shipped across such vast distances. When all was over, what would be left of Russia would be a rump state. As happened to Germany, that could be a good thing for Russians long term compared to force-based empire seeking.

        Clearly Andre DeAngelis can’t calculate militarily or can’t weigh in so many strategic factors.

        • THE TRIP WIRE EFFECT: NATO would be obliged to react by treaty and will direct attention first to fronts where isolated Russian forces are most vulnerable–the Crimea, Georgia, the Ukraine and St. Petersburg (many folks there look to the West and want nothing to do with Greater Russia schemes.

          Read the link again. There would be no NATO left to react. And none of your schemes are remotely realistic.

          Any Russian attack on the Baltics directly or by proxy, would have a Pearl Harbor effect by killing Americans and other NATO members

          It will likely have the opposite effect, such as Reagan reaction to the bombing of the barracks in Lebanon that led to withdrawal of US troops. All those states on the fence about withdrawing from NATO would pull out.

          But I seriously doubt Russia would ever invade the Baltic states. There is no advantage or incentive for him to do so.

        • NATO SAID NO SUCH THING

          I didn’t say NATO. You are the the one lying by omission.

          Yes if you clarify what the Pentagon said by adding three words: “in the Baltics.

          No, the Pentagon said if Russsia started a war in the Baltics, NATO would lose, not just in the Baltics but LOSE – FULL STOP and by a wide margin.

          Russia would probably also lose Siberia and Kazackiztan as China took advantage,

          China is Russia’s ally and would do no such thing. And there is no study to suggest Russia would lose Siberia and Kazakhstan.

          The economies and populations of NATO countries and other east Europeans countries likely to fight Russia would outnumber the latter by at least 10-1.

          Based on what data? Oh that’s right, you don’t do data, just wishful thinking and a lot of prayer. In fact, the only states likely to fight are maybe France and Maybe Britain.

          It would get worse as time passed and these superior rescouces were mobilized.

          No because NATO would be destroyed by then. Belarus would run to hide behind uncle Sam.

  2. WHY ARE PEOPLE FLEEING RUSSIA WHEN THEY SHOULD EMIGRATE THERE INSTEAD?
    .
    The demographic gap between Russia and all the enemies Putin has made in the USA, western and eastern Europe must be at least 10-1 and is sure to grow given immigration in the West, emigration from Russia and the latter’s aging population. The wealth of the West is much greater also with Russian GNP equal to Italy’s and its economy continuing to sink at rates like to match Venezuela soon.
    .
    Join our Vodka People and Orthodox Russian Crusaders. Why not serve as cannon fodder as we pursue forced-based empires? Enjoy fascism, poverty and mafia style rule. What’s not to like about “modern” Russia?
    .
    RUSSIAN DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER BANNED FROM MONTENEGRO & PUTIN IS ANGRY
    .
    He is one of 50 Russian politicians and businessmen banned as troublemakers in the once pro-Russian state. If they attempt to arrive, they’ll be arrested. Given how Putin uses such agents to stir up proxies and made trouble, it makes sense. We all know how Putin punished Ukranians for preferring the EU t to the Economic Unit of “Backwardia.” In this case intervening countries and military overextension limits his ability to make trouble but he’ll try anyway. Putin specializes in intimidation. No one was ever forced to join the EU or NATO or prevented from leaving.
    .
    http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2016/02/11/world/europe/ap-eu-montenegro-russia.html?_r=0

  3. Wrong, Scott: important distinction … they “agreed to seek a nationwide ‘cessation of hostilities’ in Syria to begin in a week’s time“, but in this case seeking very much does not necessarily equal finding, as Aunty Beeb continues to explain:
    .
    The halt will not apply to the battle against jihadist groups Islamic State (IS) and al-Nusra Front [nor to those NATO JI-Joes cooperating with either of them, as per Putin, obviously].
    .
    Ministers from the International Syria Support Group also agreed to accelerate and expand aid deliveries.
    .
    US Secretary of State John Kerry admitted the ceasefire plan was “ambitious” and said the real test would be whether the parties honoured the commitments. [i.e. Yankis have no commitments]
    .
    “What we have here are words on paper, what we need to see in the next few days are actions on the ground,” he said. [echoes of Chamberlin?]
    .
    A task force chaired by the US and Russia will work to implement the truce through consultations with Syria’s warring factions. [design committee for Mk2 CartHorse]
    .
    Aid deliveries for besieged Syrian communities are due to begin as early as Friday.
    .
    Mr Kerry made the announcement alongside his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov and the UN special envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura. [photo ops muß sein]
    .
    Mr Lavrov said there were “reasons to hope we have done a great job today”. An earlier proposal from Russia envisaged a truce starting on 1 March. [major Rooskie trolling]
    .
    At the press conference Mr Kerry again suggested that Russian strikes were targeting what the West sees as moderate opposition forces, rather than terrorists, as Moscow says. [feeble Yanki attempts at competitive counter-trolling]
    .
    British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said the cessation would only work if Russia halted its raids, although Mr Lavrov said they would continue. [i.e. nothing has changed; as you were, NATO-revolutionary fanbois!]
    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-35556783
    .
    .
    Full ISSG Munich script according to the Yanki warcriminals:
    http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2016/02/252428.htm
    .
    .
    O-Ton Lavrov: IS, JN & its affiliates [JaI, AAS, JaF, etc., etc.] are not included in ceasefire & RuAF will continue airstrikes against them.
    .
    WaPo explains how this apparent dilemma is to be resolved: “[Formerly NATO-sponsored JI-Joe] Opposition groups embedded with al-Nusra in the anti-Assad fight would have to decide whether to sever those links and separate themselves physically from the militants” [ … or receive intensified Rooskie airstrikes with Yanki blessings until they do get the memo]
    https://twitter.com/arisroussinos/status/697940082460852224

        • Kevin, last night George Clooney was a kind of very important competitor at the Opening of the Berlin Film Festival. On Friday (Today) he has gotten a date with Angela Merkel – many are wondering what will happen. Okay – you are right – Clooney is married – but will Merkel find the variety and relaxation during the date with George after the political stress in recent weeks?
          Btw – one reason of the George Clooney date with Merkel is the German Refugee politics because Clooney will expressly congratulate Merkel. The question is – Clooney is one legitimate representative of the US society ——–
          because he has has won two Academy Awards, one for Best Supporting Actor for his role in Syriana and one for Best Picture as one of the producers for Argo, as well as a BAFTA and a Golden Globe. For his role in The Descendants, he won a Golden Globe Award and was nominated for an Academy Award, BAFTA Award, Satellite Award, and two Screen Actors Guild Awards: Best Lead Actor and Best Cast.On January 11, 2015, Clooney was awarded the Golden Globe Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award—————
          Can Clooney be wrong to assesse the successes of Merkel’s refugee policies?
          No – he can`t – too many awards ……………………………………………………………

            • Okay, I feel a little bit sorry for the wife of George – maybe she is getting some a headaches during the Date between George and Angela Merkel. But as you know I am a Hardliner – for political reasons, I am currently not taking into consideration the situation on George Clooneys married woman …….

              • maybe she is getting some a headaches during the Date between George and Angela Merkel

                I am pretty sure Merkel is gay, so in spite fo Clooney’s formidable magnetism, I doubt there’s any reason for her to be concerned.

        • Of course you did, except Kerry isn’t the one who is going to get stuck in a quagmire.

          You and you ilk have been predicting a quagmire or 5 months and it hasn’t happened. And BTW. Kerry’s already stuck in quagmires in Afghanistan, Iraq and Lybia.

  4. 1. Several allegedly reliable Turkish Twitter accounts this morning carry disturbing rumours of JaN leader Al Jolani’s demise last night due to Rooskie airstrike. Not [yet] confirmed.
    https://twitter.com/Kgthetweet/status/697900191110799360
    .
    2. Twitter ‘rebels’ are already complaining about Munich:
    .
    World powers agree Syria ceasefire, says John Kerry … doesn’t cover the ‘fight against JN’ it says, so it’s worthless … what the regime and their allies will simply do is bombard areas as they do now and when asked why simply say ‘oh because JN are there’:
    https://twitter.com/ibn_Ismail9/status/697954889763315712
    [honestly, there’s no pleasing some people]
    .
    3. YPG attack on Azaz began last night, clashes at National Hospital 2km S.W. of town … but Abu Tayyip still sitting placidly with thumbs parked in beaüttox on wrong side of border … YUUUGE mystery for Fanboi fantasists, no doubt …

      • If Russia is putting its stamp on this ceasefire, Moscow will be under special scrutiny. And there’s real reason to be skeptical it will hold to the terms, not least because it has long lied about its Syria airstrikes, saying they target ISIS when they in fact target anti-Assad rebels.
        ===========================================================================
        Russia and its proxies in Ukraine frequently violated ceasefires there.
        To secure the ceasefire it is nessary to deliver military armament to the rebels to secure a ceasefire
        ===========================================================================

        But even if Russia does stick to the ceasefire, Moscow has shown over and over that its leverage over al-Assad is limited. There is no guarantee that Assad’s forces will comply with the ceasefire. Even if both Assad and Russia comply, then their control over pro-Assad brainwashed Shia militias is not complete, either.
        =============================================================================
        It`s another reason to deliver more and better armament to the rebels
        ==============================================================================

        By the same token, Syria’s anti-Assad rebels may have come together under an umbrella negotiating body, but there are still dozens of rebel groups, some of which could violate the ceasefire.

        The Syrian conflict is a tangled mess of dozens of local and foreign actors. The odds all of them stick by the ceasefire throughout its duration is extremely low. The odds that the ceasefire falls apart, and probably quite quickly, assuming it ever even gets started, is very high. The moment someone first fires their rifle in Syria, there will be a spate of punditry demanding that US immediately plunge Syria back into war and abandon peace talks.
        ==============================================================================
        The ceasefire is one measure. Humanitarian access is the other one. Pulling the combat units is a further measure a violation the ceasefires to prevent
        ==============================================================================
        Nonetheless, not all violations are equal. If and when those violations happen, the question becomes whether the violations are sufficiently systemic to necessitate ending the ceasefire entirely, or whether they are isolated enough that Syrians are better off if the ceasefire holds despite violations.

        • BIGGEST PROBLEMS WITH THE CEASE FIRE DEAL
          .
          It might be acceptable with the rebels IF Russia confined itself to bombing only ISIS and JAN. But Putin’s plan, as rebels, Kerry and Obama all know, will be to use the cease fire to bomb other rebels instead. Putin’s goal would be to weaken rebels in Idlib Province as far as possible during the three weeks, thus picking off rebel fronts by being able to concentrate on one at a time. It’s just another scheme cooked up by the White House to shaft the rebels and “reset” with Putin and Iran. Also, as you note, Assad won’t stick to the deal in any case.
          .
          TO GUNNY:
          .
          No one likes the lack of breaks between paragraphs. Imagine printing novels or non-fiction books with no paragraphs. Who would read them?
          .
          There’s an easier way to get around it. As you see here: Just use one period between paragraphs. The catch is that its easy to forget at times, as in my response to DeAngis’ post on Russian chances of success against NATO.

        • GOOD STUFF FROM LEBANON’S NOW

          #1: Pro-Assad Daily Slams Regime Over Deir Ezzor.
          .
          https://now.mmedia.me/lb/en/NewsReports/566602-isis-comes-under-mystery-attacks
          .
          #2: ISIS Comes Under Mystery Attacks
          .
          Shadowy assailants conducted two strikes against the extremist group in eastern Syria’s Deir Ezzor.
          .
          https://now.mmedia.me/lb/en/NewsReports/566599-pro-assad-daily-slams-regime-over-deir-ezzor

          #3. Cold Turkey: Washington’s Relation with Turkey is Bad and Getting Worse? (

          Isn’t that true of Washington’s relation with Israel and all Arab allies as well as Obama sacrifices everything, including US national security. Everyone’s national security, including our own, continues to be sacrificed in an inflexible, dogma driven quest for “resets” with Iran and Putin who continually take advantage as Obama blindly fails to notice.
          .
          https://now.mmedia.me/lb/en/commentaryanalysis/566601-cold-turkey

        • Oil was selling ABOVE $120 a barrel as late as 2012–well before Obama’s Red Line Back Down convinced Putin he could safely invade the Crimea and the Ukraine and well before Obama’s inflexible “No NFZ” position led Putin to take advantage in Syria. An extra billion or so may not sound like much but a near bankrupt economy needs every cent. Even as his economy shrinks, Putin refuses to cut plans for an 8% increase in defense spending. Recent gains in Syria may turn out to be a curse by encouraging Putin to stay the course. Making it worse, puppet Assad, confident that Putin is stuck with him, undermines Russia’s cease fire scheme by announcing he will not play along.
          .
          For most of the world, and even most emerging markets, cheaper oil should only boost economic growth (though there will be some serious banking bailouts). For the oil exporters, however, it is a catastrophe. The Saudis have plenty of assets to fall back on but when you are spending 15% more than you earn every year you burn through a lot of cash very quickly. Russia’s budget deficit was projected at only $20 billion annual or 3% of GDP but that was based on $40 a barrel. Putin’s economy has slipped into recession, the ruble has been in free fall, and the country is burning through its reserves. For all his military meddling, the Great Leader has miserably failed to diversify or modernize his economy, and left the country at the mercy of the energy markets.
          .
          The world’s resources have already been stretched by the last sovereign-debt crisis. The West may have bailed out Ireland but a western taxpayers/voters, having to deal with a banking crisis, will be in no mood to bail out a bullying pariah state from trouble of its own making. Taxpayers won’t forget a leader who once sought to hold Western Europe to ransom by controlling its oil and gas supplies. To let Russia off the hook would also reward its crimes in eastern Europe and Syria and enable more aggression down the road. Best to let Russia sink from self-made problems. Putin will never allow economic or political reforms or cut his defense budgets and imperial schemes.
          .
          No country in 2016 should be dependent on oil exports alone — any that are, and go bust as a result, will have to find new sources of growth. If they can’t, unlike the peripheral eurozone, perhaps it would be better to let them fail.
          .
          http://www.marketwatch.com/story/falling-oil-prices-will-bankrupt-the-likes-of-russia-saudi-arabia-2016-02-10?siteid=yhoof2

        • Russia and its proxies in Ukraine frequently violated ceasefires there.

          It was the Washington puppets in Kiev and the neo nazi militias who broke most of the ceasefires.

          There is no guarantee that Assad’s forces will comply with the ceasefire.

          They have no choice. They are entirely dependent on Russia at this stage.

          It`s another reason to deliver more and better armament to the rebels

          Not going to happen without the supply routes.

          By the same token, Syria’s anti-Assad rebels may have come together under an umbrella negotiating body

          No rebels groups were involved in the agreement.

  5. […] Questo, come già detto altre volte, per due ordini di motivi: il primo, cosi come fu per il documento di Vienna sulla Siria, perché non include in alcun modo un accordo con Jabat al Nusra e con Isis. Un accordo impossibile, considerando che si tratta di due gruppi terroristi, ma un punto di debolezza chiaro, perché si tratta di due organizzazioni che controllano (purtroppo) parte del territorio siriano (EA World View). […]

  6. 1.. Bavarians prejudices and Russian warmongering is not sufficient to end the war in the Middle East.
    Russian Killing of civilians and Russian Massmurder will prolong the war.
    ——————
    2..The reason for the Russian the mass murder policy in Syria is not the military strength of russia – but
    the political weakness of the west.
    ——————
    3..Important to recognize is that Russia is a regional power. Russia is acting like a syrian war party.
    The only interest of Putin is to hold a syrian massmurderer and poison gasmurderer in power.
    ——————
    4. At the moment the Munich security conference takes place. The west has taken there a clear path:
    a. all regional countrys are taking part – including Turkey, Saudi Arabia and more important big parts of the syrian opposition. Without the syrian opposition there will be no solution at Syria.
    ——————-
    5..Russia is a regional acting warparty with no right to determine which opposition groups to participate in the discussion process. Russia represents the interests of the mass murderer Assad only.
    ——————–
    6.. Additional Russia has no socio-political approach to Syria that would have validity for the Syrian future.
    Russia tried by military means only to reside the syrian political development and to keep the country firmly in a smashing dictatorship.
    ———————
    7.. Thats why the tough talking has to stopp. Nato, US and EU have many military means to stop the bloodshed at syria.
    ———————-
    a. to deliver air defense weapons to the Syrian opposition.
    b.To call Erdogan to secure the Turkish border against Russian attacks.
    c.To invite Saudi Arabian troops including the troops of 35 sunni states to fight Daesh inside Syria.
    d.Additional Putin needs the clearly remembering that the West never will accept a Syrian rump state between Latakia Damascus – because the Syrian opposition would never accept Putins this rump state idea

    • The biggest reason for the possibility that russia is committing massmurder at syria is the use of SU – 34.
      Erdogan has shown how easy it is to shoot this russian fighting plane.
      ———–
      At this very moment Saudi Arabia has enough anti-aircraft missiles to the entire Syrian opposition to move to effectively protect against the civilian attacks of Russian warplanes. This discriminatory russian attacks have been prohibited by the United Nations. Therefore the use of Air Force defense rockets systems would not be a problem if the Syrian civilian population can be effectively protected.
      ————
      What is known at the moment that Lawrov has very strong arguments with the US delegation at the Munich security conference.
      ————-
      The plan to supply the rebels with anti-aircraft missiles has surfaced repeatedly during the discussions at the Munich Security Conference.

      • Erdogan has shown how easy it is to shoot this russian fighting plane.

        As Caligola has pointed out, the plane that was shot down was an Su 24. It is not a fighter plane, it’s a bomber, so you clearly have no idea what you are talking about. Bombers are usually bigger and slower and not designed for air to air combat. Now that the SU35s are escorting those bombers, Erdogan wouldn’t dare try to pull off this stunt again.

        BTW. Did you forget that Syria show down a Turkish jet not long ago?

      • At this very moment Saudi Arabia has enough anti-aircraft missiles to the entire Syrian opposition to move to effectively protect against the civilian attacks of Russian warplanes.

        They are not much good unless the Saudis can get them into Syria, and with supply routes cut off, that’s not likely.

        This discriminatory russian attacks have been prohibited by the United Nations.

        False. There has been no prohibition decaslred by the UN. In fact, Russia’s actiosn are perfectly conistent with UN resolution 2254 under which the talks in Geneva are held. That resolution clearly calls for a continuation of the Russian and Syrian campaign:

        What is known at the moment that Lawrov has very strong arguments with the US delegation at the Munich security conference.

        Yes he does have very strong arguments, which is why the US has agreed to his terms.


        The plan to supply the rebels with anti-aircraft missiles has surfaced repeatedly during the discussions at the Munich Security Conference.

        No it hasn’t.

    • Still thinking its all words Tundra ? You know that turkish military was in Riyadh last few days speaking with their Saudi counterpart. Yesterday KSA minister was quite clear and today turkish president. Sonething is definitely coming up. And as the US gave green light inam sure the Russians have been told too. Lavrov yesterday was very nervous in his talks with Kerry.

      • “Still thinking its all words Tundra ? “
        .
        I don’t know what to think. The Aleppo safe zone also had a lead up of several meetings, sharp rhetoric from the Turkish leadership, and on-the-ground preparations.
        However, I also don’t discount the possibility of Turkey acting in a completely intemperate manner at the growing possibility of a connected Rojava. That’s completely plausible. IMO whatever they pull off won’t be done with the support of the US, though.
        .
        We’ll see in a few days.

    • The only possibile scenario that comes in my head if all of this goes through (big if). Is Turkish armor and artillery and KSA direct air support. They won’t go for Aleppo but they will try to regain the borders. I dont see KSA infantry going in the north for various reasons more chance for southern sector. My 2 cents.

  7. Grotesque russian news:

    Syrian Kurds Begin Major Operation Against Jihadists in Key Town of Azaz:

    “”The population of Azaz is constantly threatened by attacks from al-Nusra fighters and other terrorist groups. If the people wish it, the Syrian Democratic Forces will conduct an operation to clean Azaz of terrorists,” Afrin Canton’s Defense Minister Abdo İbrahim told Sputnik Turkiye.

    http://sputniknews.com/middleeast/20160212/1034628149/syria-azaz-sdf-operation.html

    ——————————————————————————————————————————-

    The picture of Abdullah Öcalan in Abdo İbrahim´s office wall is very funny. Extreme-left terrorrism always claims to be “democratic” -Democratic Kampuchea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, lol-.

    These scums when under inferior conditions pose as flower power humanists to harvest useful idiots, but beware because after that they will send you straight to the gulag if you oppose their policies. They will start conspiring against turkey from the day one. Turks should get rid of them NOW before it’s too late.

    • “The population of Azaz is constantly threatened by attacks from al-Nusra fighters and other terrorist groups. If the people wish it, the Syrian Democratic Forces will conduct an operation to clean Azaz of terrorists.”
      .
      Lol, they aren’t even trying to sound credible. The PKK really have the lousiest propaganda of any party in this conflict, and that’s saying something.

        • You cannot be serious with this Allah has control over the elements thing. Allah is a figment of the imagination much like Bigfoot. He was thought up by a pedophile who lived in a cave in order to give that individual power over his fellow man.

        • Amir i don’t think anybody wants to see that scenario. But who’s fault it is now if we arrived to this point? If Russia had put all its will and determination to save Assad in instead bombing the shit out of ISIS, maybe we would have not reached such a dangerous turn. And maybe we would have gotten ridden of that cancer called ISIS. That would have been a good starting point for then go ahead on the other chapters. Don’t you think?

          • Caligula,

            IS is a piece of cake. They are isolated and will be gone sooner or later. They are no more than an episode with a caricaturistic nature.
            The real danger is posed by the Syrian Islamists, the ones that Abu Naqie supports. If they take hold of Syrian territory, it will be much more difficult to uproot them. Islamists controlling major Arab cities is something that sane Arabs and the west shouldn’t allow.
            Russia might be brutal, but it is very hard to fight Guerrilla warfare when the local population supports the insurgency.

            • Yes Amir i understand your point even if i wouldent downplay the role of ISIS. Its from those ranks that suicide terrorists come to strike in europe. Leaving alone the mayhem the create in the middle east. But you aswell say its hard to fight a guerilla warfare when local population supports the insurgency. Well why do you think they support them? I still do think that many non hardline islamists still compose an important part of the once called syrian revolution. Russia should have helped clean up ISIS. And this wouldent have meant to leave a blind check to islamists in Syria.

          • Thay are likely to destroy entire Arab societies before coming to us. You tried this for the last 120 years. We are prosperous and going up and you are being destroyed and going down.

            • “Thay are likely to destroy entire Arab societies before coming to us”

              Why Amir?, anti-imperialists here had told us many many times how the “jews” are on islamist side. Resident fellow Barbar explicitly asserted Netanyahu´s support to the islamist cause and fellow Mike -a.k.a the mole, fifth column inside U.S, etc- goes as far as to say that Netanyahu is steering the “arab kings”.

              They claim that Assad is “the last of the anti-zionist mohicans” but here are you rallying around his team, you are spoiling there propaganda!

          • TASS MOSCOW, February 12. /TASS/. Russia and Israel plan to sign a free trade agreement within the nearest future, Deputy Agriculture Minister Sergey Levin said on Friday after talks with the Israeli side.
            Russia and Israel plan to found a Moscow-based agricultural technological demonstration center

            http://tass.ru/en/economy/856214

  8. The US is desperate enough to beg a ceasefire that they accepted the one weak delay. The SAA/SDF will clean the way during this time.

    Islamists rebels are essentially defeated North of Aleppo since the SDF joined the party and started to clean the field alongside the SAA.

    The Saudis are desperate enough that they are trying to push the US into accepting to let them send soldiers in Syria, since they would be butchered without US protection.

    The saudi army is the laughing stock of the world in Yemen and would be massacred by all parties in this conflict.

    Anyway all this desperation means only one thing, every party realize that the islamists rebels are collapsing and losing on all fronts. Nobody believe anymore they can win anywhere.

  9. Assad taunts Putin: “SCREW YOU. YOU’RE STUCK WITH ME LIKE IT OR NOT!”
    .

    Assad has announced he has no intention of cooperating with Putin’s cease fire deal which destroys any chance it will work. Assad reasons Putin can’t do without him and, having intervened in Syria, is stuck there. Putin doesn’t strike me as a guy who will tolerate being defied so publicly. Will Assad end up like Diem? Stay tuned.

    .
    Also see my post above reporting a new analysis predicting Russian bankruptcy unless oil prices go up soon. What is most fatal is that Putin shows no sign of addressing the problem and doubles down on everything that makes Russia a pariah and drains her economy.
    .
    http://news.yahoo.com/afp-exclusive-assad-vows-retake-whole-country-warns-150319669.html

    • The interview was done before the ceasefire was agreed.

      But if we are being honest, I can’t see how a ceasefire can succeed since Nusra is the main force of what you call the rebel.

      Nusra is 50% of the “rebel forces”, with Jayis al Islam, Arhar al sham are the two other big players. The rest is 10%.

      These 10% of less hardline rebels should defect to the SDF before getting annhilated.

    • Assad taunts Putin: “SCREW YOU. YOU’RE STUCK WITH ME LIKE IT OR NOT!”

      Another manufactured headline that has no relevance to the link you cited RT. There is nothing in that interview that contradicts Russia’s position.

  10. Update:

    #Hama: Rebels carry out another marvellous ambush in the province “At least 170 regime army soldiers killed in massive fires inside army base in Misyaf #Hama Suburbs ” – northern stork

    How JaI is self-sufficient in mortar rounds, boots &uniforms:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YImhH2NKVQI&feature=youtu.be

    I wonder whether the other rebel groups are watching and learning? Especially the Southern Front rebels? Self-sufficiency leads to political and operational/military independence which leads to victory, the MOC debacle demonstrated this point rather pertinently.

  11. ISIS goons and pro-assad anti-imperialist are of the same opinion:

    Hassan Ridha ‏@sayed_ridha 5 min

    #IS release video with Abo Goldwatch Al-Ansari calls for people of #Aleppo to stop supporting Gulf/US backed rebels

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