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….

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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.

Yep Sports Fans Syria Still Rages!

I know that too many of us are concerned with what is happening around Our Dear Leader and yet our wars continue to rage from Syria to Niger to Asia…..and yes there is still a war raging in Syria and yes US Troops are fighting in it…..

In case yo are interested….you have not heard much about this war because it is slowly showing the facts that we are losing this conflict…..

Syrian regime forces hoisted their flag above the southern town of Daraa and celebrated. Although there is more bloodletting to come, the symbolism was hard to miss. The uprising that began in that town on March 6, 2011, has finally been crushed, and the civil war that has engulfed the country and destabilized parts of the Middle East as well as Europe will be over sooner rather than later. Bashar al-Assad, the man who was supposed to fall in “a matter of time,” has prevailed with the help of Russia, Iran, and Hezbollah over his own people.

Washington is too busy over the furor of the day to reflect on the fact that there are approximately 500,000 fewer Syrians today than there were when a group of boys spray-painted “The people demand the fall of the regime” on buildings in Daraa more than seven years ago. But now that the Syria conflict has been decided, it’s worth thinking about the purpose and place of the United States in the new Middle East. The first order of business is to dispose of the shibboleths that have long been at the core of U.S. foreign policy in the region and have contributed to its confusion and paralysis in Syria and beyond.

The Syrian War Is Over, and America Lost

In case you have been under a Trumpian rock……there are also Russian troops fighting in Syria…..and along with Assad’s forces are about to win this war outright……is there a lesson there?

During the height of the US-led wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the common buzzword among the US military and the pundits analysing the wars was counterinsurgency.

The much-feted generals, David Petraeus and Stanley McChrystal, gave briefing after briefing on how to win through unconventional tactics. Their strategy was to think like the insurgents, capture their space and deny them physical and moral support. Yet for more than a decade Iraq and Afghanistan have remained firmly out of the US sphere of influence, with both countries still far from secure and the US military having to rely on regional countries for survival.

In Syria, however, the Russians are now demonstrating Machiavellian skills that are defining what success looks like on the battlefield. For the first time in modern history, a foreign military intervention has triumphed in the Middle East.

https://theantimedia.com/russia-strategy-syria-middle-east-war/

I read a piece that asked an important question….how long will foreign troops remain in Syria?

There are four major powers who have military forces in Syria.

Two of them, Iran and Russia, are there on the invitation of the Syrian regime – while the other two, Turkey and the United States, are not. These four powers all have different objectives, and, at present, it remains unclear which will stay for the long-run and which will withdraw.

https://www.alaraby.co.uk/english/indepth/2018/7/20/how-long-will-foreign-troops-stay-in-syria

There you are…..the news that has escaped noticing from the MSM…..

International Update–2018

There are so many things happening in the world that it is difficult to write about it all….so IST tries to do an update when events out run the time we have to post…..

The Horn of Africa is always a busy place and an important spot to keep an eye on…..

Ethiopia and Eritrea have set aside their long standing animosities….and are trying to work together…..I wrote about some of this before……

https://lobotero.com/2018/07/11/ethiopia-a-rising-star/

There is more about this situation……

Ever since Ethiopiaannounced in early June that it will fully accept the terms of a 2000 peace agreement with neighbouring Eritrea, the pace of normalisation of relations between the two countries has been truly stunning.

First, a high-level Eritrean delegation made a visit to Addis Ababa on June 26 and kickstarted the talks on ending the decades-long conflict. Only a couple of weeks later, Ethiopia’s reformist new Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed made a landmark visit to Asmara and met the Eritrean president face-to-face. 

https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/eritreans-happy-peace-wary-afwerki-promises-180709094420940.html

Eritrea has pulled troops back from its heavily militarised border with Ethiopia as a “gesture of reconciliation”, the pro-government Eritrean Press agency said on its Facebook page.

There was no immediate confirmation from the government in Asmara, but the move would be consistent with rapidly improving ties between the Horn of Africa neighbours, whose 1998 war killed tens of thousands and led to two decades of military stalemate.

(reuters)

For a couple of years I have been watching the situation developing in the Caucuses……

https://lobotero.com/2016/05/16/regional-conflict-brewing-in-azerbaijan-armenia/

https://lobotero.com/2018/06/05/between-the-two-seas/

Hostilities run deep in this region and are ever threatening conflict in the making……

Azerbaijan has sharpened its threats of war against Armenia in an apparent attempt to ratchet up tension over Nagorno-Karabakh, the territory that both sides claim.

Verbal threats toward Armenia are nothing new for Azerbaijan, a state for which the phrase “bellicose rhetoric” has become something of a journalistic cliché. But Baku’s rhetoric in the past has tended to couch military threats in the conditional tense, a last resort if diplomatic negotiations fail. Increasingly, however, the military option is being portrayed as the only one.

“The developments unfolding in the world confirm that the international law does not work,” Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev tweeted on June 28. “If it did, Azerbaijani lands would have been freed from the invaders long ago.”

https://lobelog.com/azerbaijans-saber-rattling-grows-louder/

And then there is Syria and yes it is still a complete mess……

Sen. Lindsay Graham, a prominent Republican voice on national security and international policy, spoke out last week during a visit to the Middle East warning Turkey against further military involvement in the Syrian civil war. After meeting with Turkish President Erdogan, Sen. Graham cautioned the NATO ally—“You don’t want any further incursions in Syria by the Turkish military, you’ll get yourself in a quagmire.”

In a world filled with hyperbole, political spin, and fake news, it is rare to hear such an accurate and evidence-based statement as this. The civil war in Syria, raging for more than half a decade, has been a sterling example of a ‘quagmire’ in the geopolitical context since its inception. Even before the fighting started, Syria was one of the most complicated and volatile states in the Middle East.

https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2018/07/17/yes_syria_is_still_a_mess_113614.html

That is the round-up…..I hope you guys find it informative.

The Latest In US Diplomacy

My readers know that I am a foreign policy wonk and that I think the US is traveling a dangerous path…..but I try to keep my readers up to  date on the happenings on the world stage….

Let’s look at the latest on the North Korean deal……

North Korea doesn’t sound too happy about its latest chat with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, the New York Times reports. The seats were practically still warm in Pyongyang Saturday when a North Korean spokesman called their latest nuclear talks “regrettable” and contrary to the spirit of Kim Jong Un’s summit meeting last month with President Trump. The issue? Trump’s administration is seeking “unilateral and gangster-like demand for denuclearization,” said North Korea’s Foreign Ministry. The talks were “very concerning,” the ministry added, per the AP, and have entered a “dangerous phase that might rattle our willingness for denuclearization that had been firm.”

Pompeo had struck a more positive note after his delegation wrapped up two days of meetings with officials in Pyongyang, the Wall Street Journal reports. “These are complicated issues but we made progress on almost all of the central issues,” he said before boarding a flight to Tokyo. “Some places, a great deal of progress; other places there’s still more work to be done.” He declined to give details on the issues—like denuclearization, US economic investment in North Korea, or a timeline for repatriating US soldiers who died in the Korean War—but said the repatriation will happen “over the days that follow.” Kim, who had met with Pompeo on earlier visits, didn’t join the meeting this time around.

AS I and others have warned that there will be NOTHING simple about any deal with North Korea…..and events are bearing that warning out.

The US has been fighting in Syria for several years now in support of the “rebels” (whoever they may be) and I am always saying that we should back out and leave Syria to the Syrians….and then I read something on-line that made me wonder if there is a chance…..

Russian advisors visiting the Syrian capital Damascus are confident that the US forces will pull out of al-Tanf and will also aim to completely withdraw from north of Syria (al-Hasaka and Deir-Ezzour) in the next six months.

According to top decision makers based in Damascus, the US President Donald Trump is pushing his administration to approve an already prepared total withdrawal plan. Despite Trump’s limited knowledge of foreign policy and being unaware of the consequences of his decisions in the international arena, he found no convincing elements – said the sources, who asked to remain anonymous – in the presentation by his administration where US forces could benefit from the continuation of their presence in such a hostile environment and without suffering hits in the future.

I have said that I am concerned about the state of our alliances and then I am reminded that alliances have a tendency to mutate in one direction or the other……

“In politics, there are no permanent friends or permanent enemies, only permanent interests.” This often-quoted dictum (attributed to 19th century British statesman Lord Palmerston) has proved its validity in the realm of international relations. The fugacity of alliances and of enmities is indeed a phenomenon that the world has witnessed umpteen times.

https://intpolicydigest.org/2018/07/06/from-anwar-sadat-s-egypt-to-kim-jong-un-s-north-korea-how-alliances-mutate/

Late breaking news from DPRK (North Korea)…..the war of words returns…..

On his first trip to Pyongyang following what was billed by the Trump administration as a triumphant summit last month with Kim Jong Un, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo sounded fairly upbeat, saying “progress” had been made in talks to get North Korea to give up its nuclear arsenal.

North Korea apparently didn’t get the memo.

https://thinkprogress.org/trump-administration-north-korea-denuclearization-talks-d8b3ee567d65/

Pompeo said the “denuclearization” has a wide array of definitions……let that stupidity sink in.

I shall try to keep my readers up to date as best I can…..thanx for stopping by….chuq

Syria’s “Manbij Model”

There seems to be a deal brewing for some sort of ceasefire for Northeastern Syria between the US and Turkey……it is being called the “Manbij Model”….

The US and Turkey finally reached a deal to jointly administer the strategic city of Manbij following the YPG’s withdrawal from it, and this promising agreement is being touted as a model for Ayn al-Arab (more popularly known in the Mainstream Media by its Kurdish name “Kobani”), Raqqa, and other population centers in the northeastern agriculturally and energy-rich one-third of Syria under American-Kurdish SDF occupation. The working concept as articulated by Turkey at the moment but importantly unconfirmed by the US is to gradually return to the pre-war ethnic status quo in the region either by physically reversing the effects of anti-Arab and –“Turkmen” ethnic cleansing (which is unlikely) or at the very least not recognizing its political consequences in the sense of refusing to allow the minority Kurds to be the majority stakeholders in each city that they’ve conquered.

https://www.globalresearch.ca/the-manbij-model-turkey-us-deal-for-northeastern-syria/5643287

A ceasefire is always more preferable than the shooting and killing however in this case I want to know where the Syrian input is……US and Turkey are invaders and now occupiers and last I looked Syria was a sovereign nation whether the like the leadership or not…it still is a nation and we should have no say on the control of its territory or its people.

Then There Is Syria

No Irene the war in Syria has not ended…..BTW, how did ISIS get all that American weaponry that they have been using in the past?  Just wondering….

The US has NO plan in Syria other than fighting bad guys even Congress has asked for some sort of idea of what the plan is in Syria….

In a report accompanying the Senate’s must-pass annual defense authorization bill, lawmakers this week called out the Pentagon for “inconsistency” in its plan for Syria. US defense officials say that 2,000 US troops will stay there indefinitely, until the Islamic State (IS) is rooted out, despite President Donald Trump’s insistence that American forces leave the country “very soon.”

The Senate bill freezes $300 million requested for Syrian opposition fighters until the administration gives Congress an overdue and legally mandated outline of its plan for destroying the remnants of IS and stabilizing Syria. The bill also pegs $400 million for the anti-IS fight in next-door Iraq to a report on the “roles, missions and responsibilities of any future US military presence” in that country.

“The committee is deeply concerned by the lack of clarity and conflicting messages from administration officials related to the Middle East and, specifically, Syria,” according to the Senate Armed Services report. The report adds that the committee “believes that the activities of the US military in Syria are not adequately integrated into a broader strategy designed to stabilize Syria and address the factors that gave rise” to IS.

The problem is also that Russia has designs on Syria and that is where we should be most concerned…..

Partners in the Syrian war and arch sceptics of Washington, Russia and Iran have come together in recent years as both countries pursue a more hands-on role in the Middle East.

Yet doubts about Russia’s reliability are surfacing in Tehran, as a host of regional players begin to pick their way through tensions in southern Syria.

For weeks, there have been signs that Russia is trying limit Iran’s military activity in Syria.

On 17 May, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that with the Syrian army’s recent victories, foreign forces should withdraw from Syria. When asked for clarification, Putin’s envoy said that the president was referring to Turkish, American, Iranian and Hezbollah soldiers.

http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/russia-wants-iran-out-syria-iranians-arent-so-happy-about-1850822925

Russia is replacing the US as the indispensable player in the region….

The U.S. is no longer the indispensable nation in the Middle East — it’s Russia. Putin has more control in this powder keg than American experts like to admit.

Who told Israel to “cool it” after their F-16 jet was shot down by Syrian forces? Russia. Who told Iran to knock off its toxic anti-Israel rhetoric? Russia. Who told Israel to stop airstrikes in Syria? Russia. Who told Iran to “calm down” after they lost seven soldiers in the attack? Russia. Who did Netanyahu meet last week to get Iran in line? Russia. Russia has even vowed to protect Israel from an Iranian attack.

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/05/22/forget-iran-russia-is-the-real-threat-to-the-us-in-the-middle-east.html

Russia is replacing the US in all areas and the US seems to be oblivious to the fact that we are losing our control of foreign policy….

Since the 1980’s the US has been trying to destroy Assad’s hold on Syria…..I found a CIA document that outlines what the US needs to do….

Yet, despite the fact that the Trump administration is apparently poised to continue the Obama regime’s proxy war of aggression against the people of Syria, an example of seamless transition, it should also be remembered that the plan to destroy Syria did not begin with Obama but with the Bush administration.

Even now, as the world awaits the continuation of the Syrian war through a Democratic and Republican administration, the genesis of that war goes back to the Republican Bush administration, demonstrating that there is indeed an overarching agenda and an overarching infrastructure of an oligarchical deep state intent on moving forward regardless of which party is seemingly in power.

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-04-10/1983-cia-document-reveals-plan-destroy-syria-foreshadows-current-crisis

This is the document for those that care about the war and the policies behind the war…..

https://www.scribd.com/document/344768700/CIA-Syria-Pipelines