1. Saudi Arabia has expelled Canada's ambassador and recalled its own for consultations. It has halted any new business with Canada and stopped giving any new Saudi scholarships to its nationals for study in Canada. 'Adil Jubair (aka The Chihuaha, FM of THE KINGDOM) has taken umbrage with the statements of Chrystia Freeland and Le Petit Justin. This happy couple said they were unhappy at Saudi governmental nastiness to women's rights activists. Good heavens! How dare the Saudis act like that in this modern age, an age filled with Canadian liberal values and Chrystia's well known disdain for local governments.
2. The SAA is mopping up the jihadi population in east Suweida province. These jihadis will probably be processed locally into soil enrichments as part of the Greater Syrian Desert Soil Bank program. Their attack on several Druze villages this weekend with attendant rapine and massacre sealed their fate.
3. At the same time the SAA and friends (R+6) continue to deploy to the north for the soon to be general offensive against NE Latakia and all of Idlib Province. Air preparation of key terrain and targets is underway. This will intensify as D-Day approaches. At the same time assassinations of key jihadi figures is occurring all over the Idrib-Latakia-Afrin District area. Some of this is murderous cannibalistic rebels. Some is Kurdish in nature, but IMO a lot of these are operations of the commando units of Syrian military intelligence who have been more and more active in enemy occupied territory both in ambushes and reconnaissance. The troop list for the big push is going to include kampfgruppen made up of tailored combinations of most of Syria's quality units and it will be armor heavy. Tiger Forces teams, 4th Armored Division. Republican Guard, Syrian Marines, these will all be represented.
4. China is teasing us all with the idea that it may send troops to participate in the Idlib offensive. Their twin objectives would probably be to insure a foot in the door with the SAG for contracts in reconstruction as well as a desire to kill as many Uighur Muslims as possible in Idlib before they escape and return to western China.
5. Trump's faithful execution of Israeli policy will result in re-imposition of US sanctions on Iran tomorrow. The UK, France and Germany have announced that they will not be governed by these sanctions and IMO Trump will not have the stones to sanction these actual American allies. This will be another instance of Trump learning that intimidating countries is a different game than making hotel project deals. In the case of tariffs the EU caved in what can be seen as bi-lateral negotiations but in this case accepting American orders to reimpose sanctions will be seen as acceptance of a servile position. The US position with regard to desired Iranian concessions includes acceptance of a statehood bereft of foreign policy or foreign interventions of any kind. This is a maximum Israeli position that has been sold to Trump ,the real estate guy, by his donors and family. Pompeo and Bolton, the neocons, are fully on board as well. DoD is supportive. Mattis is always seeking a childish revenge against the Iranians for their actions in Iraq.
6. On the Palestine Front Jared has been swanning around the Arab World seeking to have them all accept an end to Palestinian support by UNWRA. He, and the Israelis want the Palestinians deprived of the status of refugees so that they can be said to have no right of return to their ancestral homes in Palestine. With the exception of Jordan, the Arab States have always refused to make the refugees citizens of their countries. The Palestinians are a distinct ethnic group among the Arab Peoples. The Israelis hate that idea and have always insisted that the Palestinians could be easily absorbed in the Arab countries. In fact, they have always been a profoundly disruptive political group in the Arab countries and are not desirous of absorption. The general ignorance in the Trump Administration of anything resembling the history and nature of the ME continues to make ridiculous all the efforts of Trump & Co. to make peace among peoples of whom they know nothing except whatever the neocons and Zionists tell them King Salman of Saudi Arabia has rejected the Jared Peace Plan and he is only the first to do so. There will many.
7. Trump, Mattis and Co. want to form a Sunni Arab version of NATO united against Iran. This would include the GCC plus Egypt and Jordan. Words fail me at the blind ignorance of this idea. All these countries will gladly accept Saudi money. That does not mean they will accept Saudi leadership in anything. This has been proven over and over again.
8. Yemen? We are assisting a genocidal war. What else can be said? pl