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Syrian Civil War - Endgame In Idlib? [Update]

by Oui Fri Sep 14th, 2018 at 06:54:05 PM EST

Will the West accept defeat in their attempt to overthrow Bashar Assad?
Will the Atlantic Alliance and NATO concede the intrusion of Russia/China/Iran in their backyard?

Will Netanyahu's rightwing government keep quiet in the coming weeks or intervene in Syrian politics?

[Update] See my new diary - Fucking Israelis Stirring Up Big Trouble

Will Germany's Merkel show military muscle to play the game with the "Big Boys" to keep her chance for a permanent seat at the UN Security Council?
Will Russia especially and Syria use the Idlib Battle for a lethal blow to the foreign jihadists holed up with no place to go?
Will Turkey manage to keep the border shut for Syrian civilians in the fear of letting terrorists into their country?
The US, UK, France and NATO allies are ready to make a devastating bombing campaign over Syria. Germany is willing to do their part although 75% of its citizens are opposed to intervene militarily.

One thing is guaranteed, lots of PROPAGANDA coming your way the coming days and weeks about the END GAME in Syria.

More below the fold ...


A worthy panel discussion on DW this morning ... I particularly liked the views and responses during the show. These realistic views are too few and far in between in the European media, especially the UK, France and in The Netherlands.

Battle for Idlib: Endgame in Syria?

Syrian strongman Bashar al-Assad and his allies are getting ready for a final assault on the last rebel stronghold in the country, Idlib. The city is home to an estimated three million people and many observers fear a slaughter of civilians. Guests: Maissun Melhem (DW), Michael Lüders (Middle East Expert), Alan Posener (Die Welt)

DW transcript

Russian warships lurking off Syria are probably hanging around for cruise missile strikes in a major offensive

Unless the Russian navy is hunting for the Red October in the eastern Mediterranean, it is likely that so many Russian ships have remained there since the end of Moscow's latest naval exercise primarily to support Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, Pentagon officials said.

  • More than a dozen Russian ships have massed close to Syria, and many of those vessels are equipped with KALIBR cruise missiles, Pentagon spokesman Eric Pahon said.

  • "The question remains, then, why is Russia's naval presence still elevated in the region?" Pahon told Task & Purpose. "Is there another reason?"

  • The Assad regime is currently poised to launch a massive assault against rebel-held Idlib province and Russian ships have previously launched cruise missiles in support of the Syrian regime.

US: 'Lots of evidence' Assad planning chemical attack | Arutz Sheva |

Jim Jeffrey, the new US representative for Syria, said on Thursday there is "lots of evidence" that chemical weapons are being prepared by Syrian government forces in Idlib region in northwest Syria.

Jeffrey warned that any attack on the last big rebel enclave would be a "reckless escalation," reported the Reuters news agency.

"I am very sure that we have very, very good grounds to be making these warnings. Any offensive is to us objectionable as a reckless escalation," Jeffrey told reporters. "There is lots of evidence that chemical weapons are being prepared."

Jeffrey said any offensive by Russian and Syrian forces, and the use of chemical weapons, would force huge refugee flows into southeastern Turkey or areas in Syria under Turkish control.

Jeffrey described the situation in Idlib as "very dangerous" and said that Turkey, which has backed some rebel groups in the region, was trying to avoid an all-out Syrian government offensive.

Breaking News article in Jerusalem Post

Dutch govt under fire for Syria opposition support | France24 |
Carla Del Ponte blasts impunity in farewell speech
Syrian Opposition Forces Caught with Sarin Gas in Turkey by Oui @BooMan on May 30, 2013

Recent news out of Syria ... not verified:

Syrian War Report - September 12, 2018: Militants Filming Staged Chemical Attack In Idlib

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Jim Jeffrey, the new US representative for Syria, said on Thursday there is "lots of evidence" that chemical weapons are being prepared by Syrian government forces in Idlib region in northwest Syria.

Curious the US is all twitterpatted over chemical weapons but has no difficulty burning men, women, and children to death using napalm.

And you can even sing a song about it.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sat Sep 15th, 2018 at 04:15:32 PM EST
Has to be chemical weapons since the bombing re-branding failed like crystal Pepsi and only hipster cruise missle liberals can tell the difference between good smart bombs and evil barrel bombs.
by generic on Sat Sep 15th, 2018 at 06:22:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I call bullshit.
"Seven years of crimes in Syria and total impunity. That is not acceptable".
[...]
The COI has accused all sides -- including the government and rebels -- of committing war crimes in Syria.
"War crimes" is an oxymoron.

War is categorically violent behavior.

War is socially acceptable to the international society whose rules permit some war conduct but do not forbid all war conduct.

Del Ponte exhortation to form a tribunal to judge which violence is impermissible (criminal) and must be punished (impugned) and which war conduct is permissible ("total impunity") expresses the irrational interest that she shares in rewarding methods of murder.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Sat Sep 15th, 2018 at 04:30:23 PM EST
Have any of your sources actually been on the front lines? Robert Fisk has. While obviously he couldn't visit the entire front, he didn't see any signs of preparations for a battle.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Sat Sep 15th, 2018 at 07:52:04 PM EST
Syria - The Rationale Behind The Delay Of Idleb's Liberation

Elijah J. Magnier confirms our take [MofA] that the Syrian-Russian operation to liberate Idleb is on hold but not canceled:

    What is clear so far is the certainty that President Assad is not ready to give up Idlib to President Erdogan. Assad is said to be ready to start the attack in a few weeks even alone, at the cost of dragging everybody behind him onto the battlefield.

The operation has to wait until the Congressional elections in the U.S. are over and the danger of a U.S. escalation for domestic policy reasons recedes. Russia also fears that an attack on Idleb right now could re-unite the U.S. and Turkey and lead to a new coordinated onslaught on Syria.

Thomas Seibert at The Arab Weekly points to an upcoming change in the balance that will lower this risk:

    Moscow would wait until October or November before ordering an all-out attack because the Kremlin expects the crisis in Turkish-US relations to deepen even further by then.
    ...
    "Comprehensive action will start at a time when Turkey desperately needs Russian support" and Ankara is unlikely to add a crisis with Russia to its difficulties with the United States, [Kerim Has, a Moscow-based analyst of Russian-Turkish relations,] said. US sanctions against the Iranian oil industry starting in November are one reason why tensions between Turkey and the United States could worsen soon. Turkey buys about half its crude oil imports from Iran and has said it will not abide by the new sanctions.

But Turkey still does not want to remove al-Qaeda from Syria. It wants to move the group around while keeping it under its own control. They are excellent shock troops which, if transferred to Jarabulus in Turkey's Euphrates Shield area, could potentially be used against the U.S. supported Kurds in the northeast of Syria.

U.S. Policy Toward the Levant, Kurds and Turkey - By Joshua Landis

Global Warming - distance between America and Europe is steadily increasing.

by Oui on Sun Sep 16th, 2018 at 06:42:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
An informative maze of references, Oui. I was  engrossed by the links several nights.

Russia, Turkey agree to create demilitarized zone around Syria's Idlib

The agreement marks a major diplomatic victory for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who was eager to prevent a major Syrian government assault, backed by Russian air power
[...]
As part of the Russia-Turkey agreement:
  • Radical rebel groups, such as al-Qaeda linked Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) will be ordered to leave the zone
  • The Syrian government will gain access to a key highway passing through Idlib that connects the north of the country with other major cities
  • Both Turkish and Russian troops will patrol the demilitarized zone

Predicted by Southfront.org analysis of multi-lateral positioning (so-called delay) and plausible path to a fugue state of hostilities ("end-game"). Persauding Syria to concede what the Turks cannot control (US-NATO funded ISIS fraternizing with HTS) and, ultimately, appeasing the Kurds (Raqqa! An obscene episode easily discarded), whose militias are all more devoted to autonomous settlement than either deposing Assad or US-NATO allegiance (since Iraq!). In an aside, Southfront confirmed the "open secret," Kurds would not be participating in any operations. Just maybe that was under US direction. In any case, Russian mediation paid off.

What threw me off was, even though MoA pulled out Southpoint bullet points, this front page message:

The [SYRIA-allied] operation has to wait until the Congressional elections in the U.S. are over and the danger of a U.S. escalation for domestic policy reasons recedes. Russia also fears that an attack on Idleb right now could re-unite the U.S. and Turkey and lead to a new coordinated onslaught on Syria.
as if endorsing US military and financial redundancy. The "Final Battle" was a sham to all but Anglosphere from inception? The mid-term election result is utterly irrelevant to the maneuvers in Syria. Congress has already pulled all their tricks to intimidate Russia and Turkey!They even reset their R2P2 Chemical Warfare deadline to 4 Nov. What's left to "fear"? Erdogan will be salvaging Idlib's ruins, Syria-allied is cleared to sweep Q4.

Until spring perhaps. ugh.

(MoQ link: Turkish Strategy In Northern Syria: Military Operations, Turkish-backed Groups And Idlib Issue)

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Tue Sep 18th, 2018 at 08:30:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Excellent addition to interpretation on what's going on!

My take on the delay until after the midterm election ...

If the Russian and Syrian forces would be bombing Idlib, there will be a chance for a release of a chemical substance by whatever party on the ground putting blame on Assad. What's not needed in these weeks a retaliatory reaction by Western allies to bomb Syrian facilities creating a nationalist feeling in the US thereby backing the sitting president and the Republican party. A reverse of wagging the dog in past war scenarios.

Global Warming - distance between America and Europe is steadily increasing.

by Oui on Tue Sep 18th, 2018 at 09:23:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]


Global Warming - distance between America and Europe is steadily increasing.
by Oui on Tue Sep 18th, 2018 at 09:28:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Magnier impressed me too.

I scanned Southfront for insight into the tri-partite zone agreement. TU-RU ministers attending demurely confirmed "political, military and economic issues". Erdogan of course "opposes any kind of military operation" in Idlib, but then it occurred to me.

HTS is rather defenseless once they leave Idlib.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Tue Sep 18th, 2018 at 09:54:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Israelis have been left out of the loop by the Americans in the war effort in Syria. The diplomatic effort is now in the hands of three major players Turkey, Russia and Iran.

Here what happened in the last 24 hours above Latakia ...

My new diary ...

Fucking Israelis Stirring Up Big Trouble

Global Warming - distance between America and Europe is steadily increasing.

by Oui on Tue Sep 18th, 2018 at 09:46:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]


Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Tue Sep 18th, 2018 at 09:55:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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