Thursday, March 22, 2018

A Multinational Regional Remake was Impeded in Afrin

 I'm not going to say it was stopped dead in it's tracks. Since I'm expecting the US to make yet another move. Perhaps with Israel by it's side?

 The remake the region agenda has been spoken of for years here at the blog. It’s interesting to me that the Turks and Russians both speak openly about the US plan to remake the region. Assad has also. The 5 eyes msm and alt don't mention it. Save for a handful of individuals. Why might that be?

Waybacks- November 2014: Kurd/ ISIS Symbiosis - The Impending Destruction of Turkey.
Pt.2- Kurd/ ISIS Symbiosis- The impending destruction of Turkey

Flashbacks: Really Think the US & Turkey Aren’t Fighting One Another in Syria? Think, Again!

The US was beaten in Afrin: Not the PKK
“Turkey spoiled a huge plan with the Afrin operation. It destroyed and negated a multinational scenario, a major map design and the plans to divide four countries at once. This is the first important geopolitical move of the 21st century in terms of Turkey”

“What’s most important is that the plans of those who have turned toward Turkey, who are getting ready to open the “Turkey Front,” who are making plans to move the war into Turkey, who are doing this through terrorist organizations, but who are also making total attack plans behind all this, are destroyed.

Turkey did not fight against terror in Afrin. It did not fight against a terrorist organization. It wasn’t the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) or its Syrian affiliate, the Democratic Union Party (PYD) that we were facing. We need to comprehend this truth now. We need to know that there is no longer a term as “fighting terror.” We need to know that all this is a war now, that it is a major showdown which includes many states. It wasn’t a terrorist organization fighting against us in Afrin, but the U.S. military forces. It was the U.K. mind. It was the Israeli aggression. It was the stupidity of some Arab countries”
  I’m not glossing over the conduit role Turkey played in the very early days of the Syrian destabilization- I will say that was a different time. And a different Turkish reality. Reyhanli. The coup attempt. And the refusal of the US to allow Turkey to play a role in removing ISIS altered allegiances.
"I went to Afrin on the second day: I saw a US-NATO buildup
I saw the tunnels, blockhouses, concrete barriers on the roadsides, at the road entrances. I saw the ammunition depots. I saw millions of bullets, shells and missiles. Weapons, ammunition planned entirely according to NATO standards, made with U.S. engineering are not a terror issue, I saw all this. I already knew, but I saw it with my eyes for once.
Buildup was made to attack Turkey
There was an alliance power against us, a U.S. power and a Western multinational front. These preparations were not to keep the PKK standing nor to defend Afrin. Preparations were made entirely for the attacks that would be launched against Turkey in the future.

Someone was sieging Turkey from the south, encircling us from our entire southern border from the Mediterranean to the Iranian border. Once this siege was complete, they were going to plan a new zone on Turkey’s side of the border from the Iranian border to Mersin. That is when the Turkey front was going to be opened. The war was going to be moved into Anatolia"
Turkey’s betrayal has been discussed here since 2014.  (See relinks at the top) The planning for this operation began long before that. It began in 03 when Iraq was attacked. The NATO alliance is one of convenience, save for the core 5 eyes members.

flashback: A Middle East Game Much Bigger Then Turkey

“The stakes in the Syria, especially its eventual post-war settlement, are immensely higher than the fate of ISIS, the creation (or not) of an autonomous Syrian Kurdish region in a post-war Syria, or the links between the PKK and the YPG. They revolve around two fundamental issues: the balance of power between Russia and the United States in the entire Middle East region; and the potential for war between Iran and Israel”
The fallout between Turkey and the US should be very, very obvious to everyone right about now- NATO’s alliance is faltering.

David Ignatius: The Turks have taken Afrin. Let’s not let Manbij fall next.

The United States and its SDF allies have a strong position in northeast Syria, which is useful for three reasons: to check Russia in the great-power competition in Syria; to prevent Iranian hegemony across the “land bridge” from Iran to Beirut; and to maintain leverage for the bargaining in Geneva that will eventually set the framework for a new Syrian state.

That a bigger ‘game’ is afoot has long been apparent.  Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Syria are to be destroyed. It’s long past time to talk about this bigger picture. Which includes impeding Russia's warm water access/denying Black Sea use/Crimea with an eye to eventually, balkanizing Russia. One cannot see the forest by gazing upon just one tree.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

US has 25 Military Facilities in NW Syria "Russia/Iran/Assad Don't Stand a Chance.."

Saved this article the other day. It featured quotations from Tony Badran a claimed “Syria expert at the Foundation for Defence of Democracies”  Headlined: "Why Russia, Assad, and Iran combined don't stand a chance against just 2,000 US troops in Syria"
  • Two thousand or so US forces remain in control of Syria’s rich eastern oil fields.
  • Iran, Syria’s government, and Russia openly oppose the US presence, but there’s not much they can do about it.
  • An expert explains why it would be a losing battle to take on the US.
“I think the cruise-missile attack in April showed, and the ongoing Israeli incursions show, the Russian position and their systems are quite vulnerable,” said Badran, referring to the US’s April 2017 strike on a Syrian airfield.
Let's refer back to today's earlier post where the April 2017 strikes on the Syrian airfield were discussed : Russian Diplomat Calls on the US to Unconditionally Abandon Plans to Attack Damascus And it was reported that Russia had brought in some new equipment. 
Noticing that Tony Badran is glossing over the fact that many, many missiles missed their target last year.
Russia has just a few dozen jets in Syria, mostly suited for ground-attack roles with some air-supremacy fighters. The US has several large bases in the area from which it can launch a variety of strike and fighter aircraft, including the world’s greatest fighter jet, the F-22.

Iran has a large inventory of rockets in and around Syria, according to Badran, but an Iranian rocket attack on US forces would be met by a much larger US retaliation.

“It’s vulnerable,” Badran said of Iran’s military presence in Syria. “It’s exposed to direct US fire, just like it’s exposed to direct Israeli fire.”

If Iran fired a single missile at US forces, “then the bases and depot and crew will be destroyed after that,” said Badran, who added that Iranian forces in Syria had poor supply lines that would make them ill-suited to fight the US, which has airpower and regional assets to move in virtually limitless supplies.
“Everybody poses this question as though the US is Luxembourg,” Badran said, comparing the US, which has the most powerful military in the world, to Luxembourg, which has a few hundred troops and only some diplomatic or economic leverage to play with while conducting foreign policy.

For now, the US has announced its intentions to stay in Syria and sit on the oil fields as a way of denying the government the funds to reconstruct the country.
That is exactly what the US has/is doing:


Erection of a new military base for U.S. militaries and Washington’s partners is underway in Syrian Deir Ez-Zor governorate.

The site is unlikely to be chosen accidentally, since the province is extremely rich in oil. The base is being built to the east from Mejadin city near the al-Omar, the largest oil field in Syria.

To be reminded is that the U.S. has set up 25 military facilities in northwest Syria.

Russian Diplomat Calls on the US to Unconditionally Abandon Plans to Attack Damascus

Diplomat calls on US to unconditionally abandon plans of attacking Damascus
MOSCOW, March 20. /TASS/.Moscow calls on Washington to unconditionally abandon plans to attack Damascus, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told reporters on Tuesday.

"We have been warning the United States about the need to abandon these plans unconditionally," he said.

"Any illegal use of force, like the air attack on the Shayrat air base about a year ago, would be an act of aggression against a sovereign state, in accordance with the United Nations Charter," the senior Russian diplomat pointed out.

The Russian diplomat has also told TASS he doesn’t rule out further fake reports about Damascus’ using chemical weapons.

"Fake reports continued and may continue further on, especially taking into account Syrian government forces’ successes in exterminating terrorist groups in Eastern Ghouta (Damascus’ neighborhood)," Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabov said.
Attack on Shayrat airbase

On April 7, 2017, US President Donald Trump ordered a strike on Syria’s Shayrat military air base located in the Homs Governorate. The attack, involving 59 Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles, came as a response to the alleged use of chemical weapons in the Idlib Governorate on April 4. The Pentagon said that the airstrike on Idlib had been launched from the Shayrat air base.
I covered the strike at the time it occurred in Syria- albeit on April 6 due to time zone differences ( No special psychic capabilities on my part) US Launches Airstrikes Against Syria- Military Intervention Begins

At the time of the airstrikes in 2017 many of the Tomahawks didn't strike their targets;

The reasoning for stray missiles was mentioned in this post: 
 A myriad of jamming devices that Russia had at their ready were mentioned:
"Airborne forces are being re-equipped with Infauna complexes. These are installed on armoured vehicles or other military vehicles and can locate and jam enemy’s radio connection in short wave and ultra-short wave frequencies, and “put out” remotely-controlled land-bombs. They will explode but only after the Russian troops have passed by and are far enough to be safe.
Infauna has another function: the optic sensors installed on both sides of the vehicle spot flashes of discharges and command laying smokes-screen to protect convoys from fire.
The Lesochek device fulfils the same functions as Infauna but is portable and can fit into a backpack or a suitcase.  It can be useful at important talks for protection against most advanced security services interception systems.
The Borisoglebsk-2 is the core of the radio-electronic warfare of the tactical units of the Russian army. It comprises an automated command point and four types of jamming stations – they use a single algorithm to identify and jam the sources of hostile activity on the air.
The Zhitel device locates and blocks satellite and mobile phones, subscription complexes of GPS-navigation. It proved efficient during the conflict in South Ossetia by misleading Georgian drone aircraft."
Today this information comes across my desk:
Killer of electronics: Mi-8 helicopter with the Rychag-AV warfare system first seen in Syria

A photo of what looked like the Russian Mi-8MTPR-1 helicopter equipped with the radio electronic warfare system Rychag-AV in Syria has emerged on Twitter, reported by Russia’s newspaper Rossiyskaya Gazeta.
Known as one of the most effective jammers in the world, the Russian helicopter-based radio electronic warfare system Rychag-AV is capable of protecting the entire vehicle by “blinding” all enemy warplanes and missiles within several hundred kilometers.
The Rychag-AV is considered one of the world’s most powerful jammers when it comes to disrupting the electronics of combat aircraft and cruise missiles.
Russia’s newspaper Rossiyskaya Gazeta cited military experts as saying that the Rychag-AV jammers added significantly to reducing the effectiveness of the US air strike on Syria’s Ash Sha’irat airbase in April 2017Russian sources reported at the time that only 23 Tomahawk cruise missiles hit the targets, while the remaining 36 flew off course.
The system is typically installed on Mi-8MTPR-1 helicopters and can completely “blind” the enemy up to 400 kilometers (about 248 miles) away.
Additionally, Rychag-AV elements can be installed on ground-based mobile air defense systems. The unique development of Russian scientists can also be used in the interests of the Navy.
Speaking of the April 7/17 US airstrikes on Syria, a response to an alleged chemical attack on civilians. The airstrikes on Khan Shakoun go full circle back to Porton Down

Chemical weapons scientists at Porton Down, in the United Kingdom, have analyzed samples obtained from Khan Sheikhoun, and these have tested positive for the nerve agent sarin, or a sarin-like substance,"
Porton Down takes us back to Salisbury and the UK/Theresa May Ultimatum drama that looks to have been concocted to provide the convenient pretext for yet another attack on Syria

 - A strike on Syria- because ya know... Russia "bears responsibility" for alleged chemical weapons use

 And lookie, lookie were right back to the very beginning of this very post 

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Ghouta: Assad Visits/ Terrorists Negotiate with UN/Deadline for Terrorist Exit has Passed

Today was really a Tale of Two Cities in Syria.

Covered Afrin earlier today-   Afrin: Freshly Evicted YPG/PKK Will Now Switch to Guerilla Warfare Tactics

Now to Ghouta:

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Syrian state TV said the Syrian army had given rebels in the Harasta pocket of opposition-held eastern Ghouta till 3pm local time on Sunday to withdraw, citing its own correspondent.

In a month-long assault, pro-Syrian government forces have marched into much of eastern Ghouta, the last major insurgent bastion around Damascus. They have splintered it into three besieged zones, the smallest of which is the Harasta pocket
In a month-long offensive on Eastern Ghouta, pro-government forces are seeking to liberate the last major terrorist stronghold, squeezing insurgents and opening humanitarian corridors in order to guarantee the safety of civilians.

Bashar Assad Visited Troops in Ghouta as Terrorists Negotiated Their Exit with the UN
Syrian President Bashar Assad visited troops Sunday on the front line in the newly captured areas of eastern Ghouta, near the capital Damascus, hailing their recent advances as a part of a larger battle against global terrorism.

Standing in a neighbourhood street, Assad congratulated his troops during the visit broadcast on state-run Al-Ikhbariya TV. “We are proud of you,” he said.

He told the soldiers that they are not only fighting for the region but also to rid the world of terrorism.

“With every bullet you fire at a terrorist, you change the balance in the world,” Assad said. 
Assad stood near a tank and was surrounded by soldiers on a street in eastern Ghouta, the region near Damascus where a government offensive has been underway over the past month. The soldiers cheered and pumped fists in the air. Assad, who wore a suit with no tie, flashed smiles and stopped for chats with soldiers. Some Soldiers posed with him, taking selfies. It was not clear where in eastern Ghouta Assad was.
Assad visiting Troops in Ghouta
Assad then climbed on top of a tank and looked around, before stepping down, also surrounded by soldiers. He told them the residents of the capital, who have come under repeated fire and shelling from the rebel-held areas, appreciate the soldiers’ advances.
UN Negotiating With Terrorists to Allow Medical Aid and Evacuation

Figures close to the two main rebel groups – Failaq al-Rahman in the south and Jaish al-Islam in the north – said discussions were under way for the transfer of Failaq al-Rahman and Jaish al-Islam fighters to opposition held areas in northern and southern Syria respectively.
Earliest reports seem to be suggesting that heavy fighting is ongoing in Ghouta presently. However the reports are only coming from SOHR and need to be validated.

From earlier

Update: Putin Leading Presidential Election, Wins According to Polls

And yesterday:

10 Years After- An Anniversary. A Milestone

Update: Putin Leading Presidential Election, Wins According to Polls


 Russian nationals are electing the country's head of state among eight contenders: Sergei Baburin from the All-People's Union party; Communist Party candidate Pavel Grudinin; incumbent Russian President Vladimir Putin; Civil Initiative party candidate Ksenia Sobchak; Communists of Russia party chairman Maxim Suraykin; Presidential Commissioner for Entrepreneurs' Rights Boris Titov; co-founder of the Yabloko party Grigory Yavlinsky, and head of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia Vladimir Zhirinovsky.
Voter turnout is currently 59.93%
From earlier today:

Afrin: Freshly Evicted YPG/PKK Will Now Switch to Guerilla Warfare Tactics


10 Years After- An Anniversary. A Milestone

Afrin: Freshly Evicted YPG/PKK Will Now Switch to Guerilla Warfare Tactics

  The initial news reports this morning stated that Turkish military and their proxies had taken Afrin city center and the PKK/YPG had fled the vicinity. I awaited verification. It has come in the form of a signal to switch to guerilla warfare against Turkish forces. 
We now know with certainty that the USrael backed terrorists of PKK/YPG have been forced out of Afrin- Be mindful that this aspect of the Syrian conflict is not yet over.

Kurds signal move to new phase of guerrilla war on Turkish forces in Afrin

The Kurdish administration of Syria’s Afrin region indicated on Sunday that Kurdish-dominated forces fighting Turkey-backed groups in the area will shift from direct confrontation to guerrilla tactics.
“Our forces are present all over Afrin’s geography. These forces will strike the positions of the Turkish enemy and its mercenaries at every opportunity,” Othman Sheikh Issa, co-chair of the Afrin executive council, said in a televised statement.
“Our forces all over Afrin will become a constant nightmare for them.”
Read the next bit of unbelievable spin from the fearless Kurdish fighters...

Issa said Kurdish fighters had shown “unparalleled steadfastness and resistance” in the fight, but that Kurdish authorities had decided to evacuate civilians from Afrin “to avoid a worse humanitarian catastrophe”.
 Kurdish authorities decided to evacuate civilians to avoid a worse humanitarian catastrophe? Unadulterated rubbish! 

 What more sensibly occurred was the 'brave' Kurdish fighters took some human shields along with them to reduce the likelihood of them being killed as they fled in a cowardly fashion from Afrin.

Earlier reports:
Turkish-led forces have captured the northern Syrian town of Afrin from Kurdish fighters, Turkey’s president said Sunday, in a potential turning point for his two-month-old campaign to expel U.S.-backed Kurdish forces from the border area.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in a speech the flags of Turkey and its Free Syrian Army allies had been raised in the center of Afrin as the “terrorists have fled”. "As of 0830 this morning, the Free Syrian Army, with the support of the Turkish Armed Forces, have gained total control over Afrin town center,” Erdogan said on Twitter.
My hope is that the Syrian flag will, once again, fly over the area. But for the time being there is no possibility of that occurring. For the simple, obvious reason that SAA cannot keep the US backed Kurdish proxies away from the Turkish border.
The capture of Afrin could propel Erdogan to expand the offensive to push the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia from the border and quash aspirations of Kurdish self-rule. Turkish authorities see the YPG as an extension of PKK militants who have been battling for Kurdish autonomy in Turkey for decades. Turkish commandos have also been fighting PKK militants in northern Iraq since last week, state-run TRT television reported Sunday.
There was no immediate comment from the YPG or the Syrian government.
No Handover
Turkey has already said it had no intention of handing over Afrin to the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad and the area would be ruled by locals.
I'm still looking for a complete quotation of the statement made regarding Afrin by Turkish authorities. Out of context doesn't count. Nor do eye catching headlines.
Ali Serdar Erdurmaz, an analyst with Hasan Kalyoncu University based in Gaziantep province near the Syrian border, said the victory would embolden Erdogan, who has urged the U.S. to ensure the YPG also withdraws from the town of Manbij, further east.
If that happens, Turkey would control a large chunk of northern Syria from the Euphrates River to the Mediterranean coast, in effect blocking the formation of a Kurdish statelet in the area, Erdurmaz said. The capture of Afrin ensures that Turkey will have a say in its future,” he said.
Turkish authorities have stated clearly, concisely and repeatedly this route to the Mediterranean was their red line. I'm pretty sure Iran is ok with this too.
Turkish troops are now sweeping Afrin for booby-traps and explosives, believed to have been planted by fleeing Kurdish fighters, CNN-Turk television said Sunday. Civilians welcomed the Free Syrian Army as they entered Afrin. Television footage showed residents showering them with rice from balconies while some rebels kissed the ground and fired into the air in celebration.
Daily Sabah

 Daily Sabah- link under image
Turkish forces took complete control of Afrin town center early Sunday morning as part of Operation Olive Branch.
Civilians waved to the Turkish and FSA troops and chanted slogans in their support.
Many drove their cars to the town center where they gathered and honked to celebrate the victory.

Anadolu Agency correspondents in the region saw several buildings and vehicles which had been set ablaze by terrorists.

Security forces are searching houses to capture any terrorists who are hiding among civilians.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

10 Years After- An Anniversary. A Milestone

It was ten years ago this very date I published the first post on this here weblog.
Whew, what a whole lot of learning along the way! I'm not kidding. There are 4,410 published posts.
I'm unsure of how many news articles, interviews, book reviews, enlightening shows  etc., have been gathered in this one place? Or just how much information has been consumed over this past decade that has enlightened me personally as well as you all over this time period?
When I think back, it's certain that is has been quite a lot! 
Take a gander at the first post - Looking back I realize both myself, personally, and this blog have come a very long way. 
I've definitely honed my logic, writing and investigative skills along the way.
I truly feel more aware of the real world. No longer accepting the unreasonable facsimile that has been long presented as reality.
Thanks to my hubby for helping me along the way.
Thanks to my fellow bloggers who have been such great support
Thanks to all the readers and commenters who've shared the journey. Quiet and otherwise. 
It just wouldn't have been the same without you all!

I'd love to change the world
But I don't know what to do
So I'll leave it up to you
Will there be another ten? Who can really say. Certainly I'll be here for as long as I am able.