How About Syria?

When was the last time you saw the word “SYRIA” in the headlines or on the front page of a newspaper?

And now the old professor seems to be the only person that actually cares about the events taking place in Syria.

ISIS has been herded into a Southern region of Syria….where there has been a couple of pot shots fired into the region and all parties seem to be playing some sort of game…..

For instance…the US is only pretending to fight ISIS…….

The U.S. occupation force and its Kurdish proxy SDF in northeastern Syria are supposed to fight the Islamic State in its last hold out northeast of Euphrates. But the operations against the handful of towns ISIS (grey) still holds – launched only after long and unexplained delays – shows little progress. Last week it received a serious setback.

After several days of sandstorms (vid) hindered U.S. air support, ISIS counterattacked on October 11 against the U.S. led SDF. Suicide bombers blew up SDF checkpoints as ISIS broke through the lines. It retook several villages and on October 12 raided a refugee camp for local civilians that the U.S. coalition had set up near Al Bahrah (on the upper left of the map). Some 130 refugee families with about 700 persons were taken prisoners and brought to Hajin, a small city at the northern end of the ISIS held area.

https://www.moonofalabama.org/2018/10/syria-us-again-only-pretends-to-fight-isis.html

Not to worry the US has re-started a tried and true technique….body count….

Aymenn al-Tamimi, a researcher for the right-wing, and generally hawkish Middle East Forum, has faulted new statements this week from the Pentagon as having greatly exaggerated the number of foreign ISIS fighters, and the number still joining ISIS, in an attempt to try to justify the continued US military presence in Syria.

Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Gen. Joe Dunford told a conference on Tuesday that ISIS remains “resilient, determined and adaptable,” and claimed that 100 new foreign fighters are recruited by the ground every single month.

Though ISIS was wildly successful at attracting foreign fighters during its prime, when it established a “caliphate” spanning much of Syria and parts of Iraq. With no real territory left, however, it is hard to imagine recruitment is anywhere near so high for them.

Tamimi noted that ISIS’ distance from the Turkish border means that’s no longer a place to get recruits, and getting in through Iraq would be no easier. These claims seem to be built around the need to keep using ISIS to justify keeping troops in Syria, and Tamimi noted that it would “be much harder for the US to explain its presence as an official counter-Iran mission.”

(antiwar.com)

Not to worry….Our Dear Supreme Leader has said that we have defeated ISIS…..

President Trump declared in an interview Tuesday that the U.S. has defeated the Islamic State, even as the military says it will still take months before forces are driven from Syria.

“We’ve defeated ISIS,” Trump said in an interview with the Associated Press. “ISIS is defeated in all of the areas that we fought ISIS, and that would have never happened under President Obama.”

The comments came the same that day that a military spokesman told reporters in the Pentagon that it was unclear whether the remaining fighters could be wiped out by the end of this year.

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/policy/defense-national-security/trump-declares-victory-over-isis-the-pentagon-says-thats-still-months-away

Since Iran is also fighting in Syria…what happens if they stay….will the US remain as well?

President Donald Trump speaks frequently about bringing U.S. troops home and avoiding costly wars in the Middle East. But last month, the administration changed its position in one key area: the Syrian civil war. America will remain in Syria, National Security Advisor John Bolton said, “as long as Iranian troops are outside Iranian borders.” He described the new policy as a strategic shift from countering ISIS to containing Iran.

Today, NBC News reported that the new strategy will include ramped up diplomatic and political efforts, but stay within the limits imposed by the current congressional authorization for the use of force in Syria. Part of the Trump administration’s strategy will be to withhold reconstruction aid from areas where Iranian and Russian forces are operating, in an attempt to further choke off funds to Tehran. While the strategy appears to seek to avoid direct confrontation between U.S. and Iranian forces, Washington has made it clear that American forces will defend themselves as necessary.

https://www.defenseone.com/ideas/2018/10/if-iran-never-leaves-syria-will-america-stay-forever/152072/

I try to keep my readers up to date on the conflicts that this country is fighting….since the media does not deem these wars as important enough to report on…..I feel I must step in ans fill the gap.

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And Then There Is Syria

Believe me just because the media has forsaken Syria the war is far from over….it just seems that all is progressing along prescribed lines….not so.

But since I am an observer so others can take selfies and “PIN” cute shit…..Syria is still a key….at least it should be…..

The Syrian chessboard is still as complicated as it was in the beginning…..

The Syrian civil war has always been devilishly complex, with multiple actors following different scripts, but in the past few months it appeared to be winding down.

The Damascus government now controls 60 percent of the country and the major population centers, the Islamic State has been routed, and the rebels opposed to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad are largely cornered in Idilb Province in the country’s northwest. But suddenly the Americans moved the goal posts and – maybe – the Russians have fallen out with the Israelis, the Iranians are digging in their heels, and the Turks are trying to multitask with a home front in disarray.

https://original.antiwar.com/hallinan/2018/10/12/the-syrian-chess-board/

The rhetoric is muted these days….but what does the US want from Syria?

The United States’ top diplomat has officially announced the expansion of the country’s mission in Syria, where Washington has long been accused of pursuing interests outside of its stated goal of defeating the Islamic State militant group.

Addressing the Jewish Institute for National Security of America’s 36th annual awards dinner in Washington, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that “defeating ISIS, which was once our primary focus, continues to be a top priority, but it will now be joined by two other mutually reinforcing objectives. These include a peaceful and political resolution to the Syrian conflict and the removal of all Iranian and Iranian-backed forces from Syria.”

https://www.newsweek.com/us-finally-admits-what-it-really-wants-syria-1165131

That is right we are their to protect Israel….we care nothing for what the Syrian people want or are going through….as long as Israel can go about their BS Apartheid State unmolested (I use this word as a tribute to GOP candidates)…..(IMO if Israel cannot stand on their own then that is their problem not the US)…….

The US has spent much money and ordinance to destroy Syria and then they say something STUPID……( I expect this kind of hardcore crap from a sloppy drooling Neocon like Pompeo)……..

With US officials having already committed to keeping troops inside Syria more or less forever, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo set the same standard for the provision of any reconstruction aid in Syria, the expulsion of Iranian and Iranian-backed forces.

Pompeo says Syria’s government “bears responsibility” for the Iranians being there, and that the onus is on them to expel all of them before any costruction came happen.

The “Iranian-backed” forces standard is extremely broad, as the US can, and at times haas, argued that almost everyone on the side of the Syrian government is effectively an Iranian proxy. This means there is unlikely to ever be a case where US officials are satisfied that all Iranians and Iranian-backed forces are gone.

Effectively this rules out US involvement in post-war reconstruction in Syria, which probably isn’t a surprising fact, as the US wanted regime change from the start, and didn’t get it. It’s not clear if this rules out aid for the Syrian Kurds in reconstruction of the vast territory they control.

(antiwar.com)

Is that the most infantile statement…..but I expect stuff like this from the mouths of the man crushes of Our Dear Supreme Leader……worthless and spineless toads……

In The Skies Over Syria

The skies over Syria have been busy and crowded for years with war planes of US, Russia, Syria, UAE, Jordan, etc……and part of the US response to this conflict has been the use of drones.

These machines kill indiscriminately both civilian as well as combatants and the US has toned their attacks as best possible….https://lobotero.com/2017/02/27/the-new-game-of-drones/

For the reading impaired a couple of videos to explain the use of drones……

The reason I bring up this technique of war is that the US drones may not be alone……

Across the Middle East, countries banned from purchasing armed drones from the US due to a weapons embargo are increasingly gravitating towards Chinese defense manufacturers, according to a new report from the Associated Press, sales that “are helping expand Chinese influence across a region vital to American security interests.

“The Chinese product now doesn’t lack technology, it only lacks market share,” said Song Zhongping, a Chinese military strategist and former lecturer at the People’s Liberation Army Rocket Force University of Engineering. “And the United States restricting its arms exports is precisely what gives China a great opportunity.”

https://theantimedia.com/deadly-chinese-drones/

I agree with those that are calling for limited use of drones as a tool of war because that it does kill indiscriminately.

 

And We Go To Syria

I have been showing for years that this war we are fighting in Syria is not going as we would like…..we went after ISIS after we were told for decades that Assad was the enemy of the free world.

And then I read an article about the US “New Strategy” for the war in Syria…..

As the civil-war aspect of the Syrian conflict winds down, the great power struggle among states is intensifying. It appears the Trump team has discovered that its ability to help solve the former will determine how it fares in the latter.

To that end, the president’s team is fine-tuning an approach to Syria to ensure the enduring defeat of ISIS, freeze the conflict elsewhere in the country, and reinvigorate the peace process according to UN Security Council Resolution 2254.

https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/10/new-syria-policy-helps-defeat-isis/

I got a good chuckle from parts of this piece……for one the diplomatic aspects…..as far as I have seen there are no diplomatic aspects.  Syria is a sovereign nation like the leader or not and it is NOT the US place to define their policies.

But that with all this so much crap passed around….there is a chance of mission creep?

One of the ten principles of war taught at all military colleges is “Selection and Maintenance of the Aim”. It sounds simple enough, but when the principle is not adhered to then things often go awry.

Think the invasion of Iraq – was the aim to rid Iraq of weapons of mass destruction, or to establish a functioning democratic state in the heart of the Middle East? The military planned for the former, while the political leadership envisaged the latter. So what started out as a purely military operation morphed into a nation-building effort without the necessary political direction to transition in a timely manner from a military-led to a civilian-led effort. It became mission creep on steroids.

The ensuing chaos simply proved the perspicacity of the authors of the ten principles. And it also proved the relevance of another of those principles – “Unity of Effort”.

https://www.lowyinstitute.org/the-interpreter/danger-mission-creep-syria

On the diplomatic front…… “with actions like targeting Shi’ite militias or Russian mercenaries in Syria, neither of whom Congress authorized, on the grounds that they were engaged in hostile actions against rebel factions that the US, at least for the purposes of the attacks, were labeled “partners” at the time.”

None of that would lead to a positive diplomatic outcome.

Then There Is Syria

By the lack of coverage in the MSM one could draw a conclusion that the armed conflict in Syria was winding down….not so …..so to help evweryone understand I would like to give some info that the media is avoiding for one reason or another…..

A situation map by the Institute for the Study of War…….

(ISIS controlled area is in black)

First American policy……

https://www.worldpoliticsreview.com/articles/26145/america-s-syria-policy-is-incoherent-and-there-s-no-sign-it-will-change

Plus Trump has made another monumental decision……

Addressing an infrastructure event in Ohio on March 29, President Donald Trump declared that the United States would be departing Syria sooner rather than later“We are going to have 100 percent of the [Islamic State] caliphate… But we are going to be coming out of there real soon,” Trump told a roomful of his supporters. “We are going to get back to our country, where we belong, where we want to be.” And In case one thought such a declaration was simply a throwaway line at a public event, Trump put that to rest at the White House days later: “I want to get out, I want to bring the troops back home, I want to start rebuilding our nation.Five months after the president made those remarks, it appears as if the administration’s Syria policy has shifted in the opposite direction. The same establishment forces within the administration who have publicly admitted to restraining the president’s policy instincts may now very well be involved in boxing the United States into one more long-term, strategically amoral military and economic commitment in the Middle East.https://tpc.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-29/html/container.html

 The United States will stay in Syria as long as Iran maintains its presence, but the US role will not necessarily involve troops, a senior official said on Thursday.

James Jeffrey, the US special representative on Syria, was clarifying recent comments by senior officials who appeared to suggest that troops would stay indefinitely to counter Iran.

Such an objective would drastically alter the mission in Syria first authorized by president Barack Obama, who set a goal of defeating the Islamic State (IS) group, which also considers Iran a foe.

https://theantimedia.com/us-military-syria-iran/

What news that has come out of Syria seems to point to the fact that Russia has come out on top of the Middle East situation…..

A ceasefire seldom gets a good press. If it succeeds in ending violence or defusing a crisis, the media swiftly becomes bored and loses interest. But if the fighting goes on, then those who have called the ceasefire are condemned as heartless hypocrites who either never intended to bring the killing to an end or are culpably failing to do so.

Pundits are predictably sceptical about the agreement reached by Russian president Vladimir Putin and Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Sochi on Monday to head off an imminent offensive by President Bashar al-Assad’s forces directed against rebels in Idlib province. This is the last enclave of the armed opposition in western Syria which has lost its strongholds in Aleppo, Damascus and Daraa over the past two years.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/09/25/how-putin-came-out-on-top-in-syria/

Syria is not as calm as the news reports would have us believe.

Syria By Any Other Name

Since the media has chosen to ignore the conflict in Syria does not mean that the fighting is over.

After all these years of fighting in Syria one would think that the US would have some influence within the country…..one would think…..

Syria’s capital looks a bit like Washington, D.C.: imposing government buildings, heavy traffic, busy streets, and imperious officials. Public edifices are surrounded by concrete walls. The main difference may be the ubiquitous regime propaganda: you can’t miss images of President Bashar al-Assad and his father Hafez, whereas President Trump’s visage is missing from Washington.

Also unusual are the ubiquitous checkpoints. They’re there to prevent terrorism via car bombs. Although the threat of terrorism scares most Americans, it actually offers a form of relief to Damascus residents. Until recently insurgents controlled some suburbs, from which they fired artillery and mortars into the city. Today those neighborhoods, just a few minutes away, are wrecked and empty. It may be the peace of the grave, but at least it is peace.

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/washingtons-influence-in-syria-is-nowhere-to-be-found/

Since the first bomb fell on Syria I have been saying that this battle was not necessary…in fact it is a stupid waste of manpower and money……

As tensions continue to mount around the Al-Qaeda-held province of Idlib in Syria, the New York Times has published an op-ed by virulent neoconservative war whore Bret Stephens explaining that the US should intervene militarily in order to thwart the geopolitical agendas of Iran. He argues that any movement to recapture Idlib should be met with a full-scale assault on the Syrian government, crippling its air force and attacking Bashar al-Assad’s presidential palaces. Stephens says this must be done to prevent Tehran from “consolidating a Shiite crescent stretching from Bandar Abbas on the Persian Gulf to the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon.”

https://theantimedia.com/why-interventionism-syria-crazy-stupid/

And now for your visual entertainment a little ditty about the war in Syria…..

Some people are predicting n end to the war in Syria…if they are accurate what will be next?

There can be little doubt about who emerged as the dominant partner when the presidents of Turkey, Russia and Iran convened in Tehran to discuss the next stage in Syria’s brutal war.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan flew to Tehran with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, to join Iranian President Hassan Rouhani for a discussion on the fate of Idlib, the rebel-held province that is the last remaining redoubt of the anti-Assad opposition movement.

https://www.thenational.ae/opinion/comment/as-the-syrian-war-nears-its-end-a-tense-new-struggle-is-materialising-1.770121

Syria,,,,,,Syria….

Turn The Page!

It’s Syria!

It has slipped from the news with all the antics from the man in the Ivory Tower….but Syria is still as deadly as it has been for damn near a decade…..

These days the news is more about Russia and the possibility of US troops having to fight the Russians in Syria…….

 As things in Syria seem poised to heat up dramatically in the coming weeks,CNN has reported that Russia has warned the U.S. that the Russian and Syrian militaries are prepared to launch an offensive on the Al-Tanf military base in Syria, an installation that has been controlled by the U.S. military since 2016.

According to U.S. defense officials who spoke to CNN, Russia has warned the U.S. military twice within the last week alone that its forces, as well as those of the Syrian military, are poised to launch an attack on the base’s “deconfliction zone.” The deconfliction zone is a 34-mile (55-kilometer) radius around the base that the U.S. has unilaterally enforced even though it is not internationally recognized. In the past, the U.S. has attacked the Syrian military and allied forces that have approached the deconfliction zone, which the U.S. later justified as an act of “self-defense.

https://theantimedia.com/russia-may-attack-us-military-syria/

This would not be such a good idea……Syria is volatile and to the point that the US and Russia could come to a huge push and shove….

Following Thursday’s report that Russia had recently informed the US of planned military operations against terrorist groups on the Syria-Jordan border, a company of US Marines conducted a live-fire exercise in the same area. Officials say it was intended to be a “warning” to Russia.

The exercise took place near the US base at al-Tanf, at the corner of Syria’s border with Iraq and Jordan. Though the US no longer really has any rebel allies in the area, which was the initially point of the Tanf base, the US does regularly attack any pro-Syrian forces who get too close.

The proximity of Islamists, especially al-Qaeda-linked groups on the Jordan border, has pretty much been ignored by the US. The possibility that Russian and Syrian forces might take care of those groups has infuriated the US, and led to threats of force.

https://theantimedia.com/us-military-warning-russian-troops-syria/

Syria is not gone and it is definitely not forgotten…..like all our small wars…..it could take one small screw up to turn it deadly and all encompassing.