A video is worth a thousand words.
Well, pilgrims, this is the Aziziya neighborhood in West Aleppo. It is a very multi-confessional district. I particularly like the brass band in Santa suits. They appear to be playing the Syrian National Anthem. Note the two comely teen aged girl scouts standing near the band. The display of flags is interesting; Syria, Russia, Hizbullah. One of our German correspondents on SST informed us the other day that there are now some Christian members of Hizbullah, the Lebanese Shia militia. This would make sense because after the 2006 war against Israel Hizbullah assigned priority of its own reconstruction money to Christians in south Lebanon. The tree has a Lebanese cedar emblem on it so I suppose it came from there. The MSM portrays Aleppo as a smoking ruin. What do you say about this, Joe? pl
Very nice….lets hope in a year from now the east side will also be celebrating…..
Make sure Morning J– watches this clip as well. It’s excellent. Eva Bartlett, Canadian journalist on a panel at UN 12/09/2016. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=HTq3QtDP9Lk
I am reliably informed said Brass Band Santas in Aleppo are playing the Armenian folk song, Zartir Lao.
This exposes the depths of the depravity these fanatics have fallen into—here we see parents sending their own young children to their deaths. The parents of two young girls fit them with suicide vests, send them into a police station in Damascus, and then press the detonator button to blow them up remotely. They are 7 and 9 years old. Our concepts of crime and punishment, rehabilitation and reconciliation, and our assumptions of innocence until proven guilty, don’t seem to fit fanatics like this. We have been on the wrong side of this and will pay the price for empowering these terrorists for the last 15 years.
“A last kiss for mama: Jihadi parents bid young daughters goodbye… before one walks into a Damascus police station and is blown up by remote detonator”
“A police source told Al-Watan that the little girl had appeared lost and asked to use the bathroom before the explosives went off.”
By Julian Robinson for MailOnline
PUBLISHED: 04:28 EST, 21 December 2016 | UPDATED: 07:24 EST, 21 December 2016
re: “We have been on the wrong side of this and will pay the price for empowering these terrorists for the last 15 years.”
I wonder if those responsible for these policies will ever pay a price. I doubt it.
BTW, from the comments I read, it seems that the readership of DailyMail are no longer buying the crap purveyed by the British Borg.
I’ve got a lot mails wishing me happy holidays. Are there any other holidays now apart from Christmas?
Zartir Lao is not exactly Christmas music. It is a folk song about the need to rise up and fight the wicked and oppressive Turks.
Syrian Ambassador to UN Bashar al Jaafari held a press conference at the United Nations a few days ago stating the names of 14 “foreign intelligence officers” from USA, Saudia Arabia, Turkey, Israel, etc they have detained in East Aleppo. This seems significant to me. I searched “google news” and there appear to be no articles written about this press conference and this information…I just watched this press conference on uTube. I am wondering if anyone would comment about this assertion by the Syrian UN Ambassador: “Bashar Al-Ja’afari exposes foreign agents in Syria”
There was also a tree-lighting ceremony and Christmas celebration at the Dama Rose Hotel in Damascus. SANA has pix. It’s a beautiful tree.
Re the hotel, from their website:
“The hotel location at the center of the famous Syrian Oasis, the Gouta, gives it an enchanting panoramic view of Damascus. Situated near the heart of the business & shopping district, old city and museums, Dama Rose hotel offers all the conveniences of an international five-star hotel….”
Re the tree-lighting ceremony in al-Aziziyeh Square in W. Aleppo, SANA reports: “The tree, which is the largest since the beginning of the terrorist war on the country, was lit by the Armenian New Generation Cultural Association in cooperation with the Tenth Scout Group.”
On a closely related topic, are we converging on a number for the Eastern Aleppo pocket regarding the civilians?
At this point, I am going with the one that says that there was a total of about 100,000 civilians before the final push.
I believe the Russians because they are feeding them and they along with the SAA were there to count them. As I mentioned earlier, Assad’s govt has more of an interest to over rather than under them so this is the best number that I have seen to date.
How many militants / civilians have taken the Green Buses out of govt held territory?
If you dig through this article, at the time it was written they said that about 3,000 were waiting to leave. In the section marked, 11:45 am, a member of the Red Crescent said that 25,000 had been bused out but I am not certain if these were rebel civilians leaving govt held territory of if this includes civilians being relocated to govt held areas as well.
The SOHR threw gave a number but I don’t trust them.
So taking it at face value …
100,000 civilians were in Aleppo and about 75,000 elected to stay in govt held territory. Other references are welcome.
Rebels are claiming that this guy was a well known local crazy, a Druze convert who tried to kill his own mother for still being Druze, expelled by IS for declaring takfir on everybody. He joined up with nusra and did the same.
Attempt by the Turks to thrust into Al Bab ended in catastrophe today. Turks just announced that 13 soldiers are dead and 33 wounded from a VBIED, and they and their underlings have been pushed back way beyond the original lines they occupied before today’s offensive after a mass rout caused by (2-3) mass casualty VBIED attacks occurring in quick succession
Most of the public isn’t buying the crap the governments of the western world are selling. The only reason we didn’t go into Syria the first time after BO red line was because the people actually starting calling and writing letters to their elected officials.
and the Syrian national anthem
Here’s a Q&A by the Saker with a Lebanese Christian on Hezbollah. Well worth a read.
This shows the depravity of these inhumans. They should be shown no mercy. As a grandparent with similar aged grandkids I am devastated and outraged at this kind of behavior. And Obama and Hillary support these kinds of monsters. That is truly deplorable!
I believe that there have been Christian members of the Hizb for several years now.
Photograph from Fars News Agency, purporting to show a pile of shave beards, discovered in Aleppo.
If true, they owners would be on their way to Europe, I should imagine.
Festivus, for the rest of us!
In what passes for a winter day in North-East Florida, the natives are scurrying around in jackets and snorkel parkas, tossing sneers and ‘damn you’ stares at the Mainer in their midst, still in his Salt Life shirt and shorts.
“The only reason we didn’t go into Syria the first time after BO red line was because the people actually starting calling and writing letters to their elected officials.”
I’d like to believe that. I got back a very civil note from my MP when I wrote in. I noticed he still voted with the Government though.
Maybe such letters helped. I hope so. It was believed at the time here that the House of Commons vote dissuaded Obama from going in. I thought, however, that the main reason was that an analysis of the Sarin showed the wrong origin.
Another vide with Eva Bartlett. I’m sorry to say RT.COM put her up against British idiot, Dilly Hussain. Judge for yourself.
I’ve only been there in the run-up to Christmas Day, but yes, Aleppo did an enthusiastic Christmas- and looks like it intends to keep doing so. Clearly a significant time for the Armenians and other Christian groups, but it also seemed to be welcomed by the nominally Muslim population as well, as a way of punctuating the cold months. Besides, Jesus is the second-last prophet, so marking his birth isn’t really out of line unless you are an extremist.
I still have my favorite set of Christmas lights to remind me of Aleppo- a series of stars and crescent moons, purchased from an auto parts shop in the old town.
For the Hatay game players, it may be relevant that heating around Aleppo is provided by either fuel oil or mahzoot (diesel fuel). And Aleppo gets cold, although the snow doesn’t usually come until January. Moving this much additional liquid fuel would be a significant logistical task that could compete with other priorities.
Colonel I don’t know if Morning Joe is on the same page with CNN on who won the popular vote. but CNN is not giving up that Hillary won more than 2.5 million popular votes than president elect Trump. I hope someone will be allowed to be on air in this air rag and say ok Hillary won state of California with 2 million more votes, can we please make Hillary president of California to shut you guys up. How long they want to drag this irrelevant popular vote count.
France will be in the normalize relations with Russia camp after their presidential election. Both candidates expected to reach the final round have similar position on this subject.
We should expect to see the sanctions against Russia end next year. Obama’s policy has been a failure with not much to show at best.
A good response to that is pointing out Trump won 30 of the popular vote contests, and since the US is a Federal Republic that is what counts. The electoral college is actually a democratic mechanism because it distributes limits the scale of democracy geographically, and thus prevents discrete concentrations of citizens permanently lording it over their peers.
Christmas preparations in al-Qosh, Assyrian town north of Mosul:
Dodgy site. Full of stuff about some “Anglo-Zionist” conspiracy that I don’t believe a word of – all I see from where I am is the usual chancers, of whatever stripe, grabbing what they can abroad and using their pull with their various governments to help them along – but it’s a site that was invaluable in the early days of the Ukrainian shambles and that still comes up with instructive articles.
This is one such article. The interviewee is perhaps giving a partial or carefully constructed view but behind that there’s a run-down of how some Lebanese Christians see their future.
Does the article also illustrate a general tendency becoming apparent in the ME?
We’re told that at first the Sykes-Picot or colonial creations were for those who lived in the ME little more than lines on a map. Under the pressure of continual interference from outside are those artificial creations becoming nations in their own right? We hear for example a little less of people identifying themselves as Alawi or Shia or Sunni and a little more of them identifying themselves as just Syrians. Perhaps this is for propaganda purposes but such propaganda can turn into reality. There is a recognition among some of those groups subject to outside pressure that unless they band together to defend themselves, irrespective of their fiercely held local creeds or loyalties, they are going to be steam-rollered out of existence.
Is that analogous to the process the Palestinians underwent? Maybe the Israeli apologists are right and there was originally little national consciousness among the Palestinians; but under the pressure of expulsion and dispossession a nation coalesced. It is sometimes claimed that Palestinian nationalism was born in the terrorist training camps of Algeria but it might be more accurate to say that it was a survival response; that if they didn’t hang together, no matter how ineffectually to date, they were all for a surety going to hang separately.
There is therefore a hope that the Arabs might find out that it’s a mug’s game allowing their local animosities to be played on by outside forces for the benefit of those outside forces. As in the Ukraine, that way lies impoverishment, insecurity, and maybe ultimate disintegration. The survival of their cherished local creeds and communities might now depend on the survival of those originally artificial national units imposed on them in colonial times.
Recently Israeli politicians and soldiers have made it clear that for the sake of their own security they’d rather see Syria under attack than see it united and at peace. That fits with what we in the West generally are doing in the ME. “Shatter and rule” does seem to be our method of choice for keeping the ME as a whole incapable of resisting whatever schemes we have in mind for it. Is there, among those here who are in touch with political currents in the ME, any sense that the various peoples there are beginning to realise that they are in truth being played for mugs; and that the luxury of internecine strife, or even at times of using Western intervention to give them an edge in that strife, is a luxury they can no longer afford if autonomy or even survival is to be their aim?
It is worth noting that the Armenian community is celebrating even though it is not their Christmas, which actually is sometime in January. It has been traditional in recent decades for Christians in some Arab countries to celebrate Christmas according to the Orthodox or Western calendar in alternate years so everyone can get a day off work and enjoy the event together. Ditto for Easter.
Christmas tidings to all of them. jcg
A bit OT:
The following-named Career Members of the Senior Foreign Service of the Department of State for the personal rank of Career Ambassador in recognition of especially distinguished service over a sustained period
So she is there to stay – good thing HRC didn’t win or else she would have been the next Samantha Power at the UN or deputy of whomever would have been nominated .
Another plan from another Western Analyst for Syria:
New year obviously
If any Californians or New Yorkers feel disenfranchised by the electoral college they can do something about it for the next round. They can start moving to Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma……
“Trump wants to collaborate with Russia—which only works if Syria is broken up into autonomous zones.”
By MICHAEL O’HANLON
Babak, I think this neocon avid supporter of Iraq war O’ Hanlon, a self declared ME analyst did not bother to read Moscow Declaration just announced by Russia, Iran and Nato ally Turkey, one major in that declaration is that the 3 countries guarantee Syria’ integrity, and unity as a single country. but this guy still think we should make Russia to agree to break up syria. By the way this is the same guy, after his recommendation to invade Iraq failed, he wanted to brake Iraq to three countries.
“The three countries agreed to take on the role of guarantors to facilitate the process preserving the territorial integrity of Syria and spreading the cessation of hostilities to all parts of the country. Other states are welcome to join. ”
Aleppo evacuation by the numbers:
110,000 civilians evacuated to government-held areas.
28,000 rode the buses to Idlib, including 2823 local and 1400 foreign jihadists.
2700 jihadists surrendered.
456 jihadists were captured while wearing women’s clothes.
I recommend Michael O’Hanlon to at least read yesterday’ report by WP
“Lavrov then declared that there was now a consensus that regime change should not be the priority in Syria, and he read a joint declaration by the three foreign ministers that affirmed a dedication to Syrian sovereignty, territorial integrity, opposition to terrorism and commitment to a secular and pluralistic Syrian political structure. There was no mention about the fate of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad.”
“Yesterday’s declaration is quite shocking. It’s diametrically opposite to what Turkey has been arguing vis-a-vis Syria since 2011,” said Erdemir. “This is basically Turkey coming to accept Assad.”
The best refutation of O’Hanlon’s op-ed that Assad has too much blood on his hand to be be considered legitimate to by the people to rule Syria is the recent liberation of Aleppo. There were 100,000 civilians in the eastern Aleppo pocket and about 85,000 opted to stay in govt held territory. Upon reading more articles, I found that the 25,000 who were bused out included both people who stayed in and left govt held areas.
double tap strikes against the White Helmets
After the “60 Minutes” story, I decided to look for videos to see if any double tap strikes were actually recorded. After all, since the White Helmets constantly record their rescues and if this is a common SAA tactic, having a guy stand off and record these atrocities is an obvious thing to do. I mean they know where Assad is going to strike.
Here is what I found, has anyone else searched for these events?
– This is a double tap strike by the Saudis against the Yemenis. This was the most convincing video of the lot. The explosion was loud, and off camera, and did not have a staged feel to it but you be the judge.
– A claimed double strike by the Saudis against the Yemeni funeral procession. I say claimed because it wasn’t obvious that there were rescue workers there when the bomb hit but it looked like a real bomb strike.
– An infomercial by the White Helmets, if I had any reservations that they were anything other than Flying Monkeys unleashed by the Neocons this pretty much erased it (Wizard of Oz reference).
– Claimed to be a double tap against the White Helmets. Possibly a real airstrike but no evidence that it was a double tap.
My google search found a gazillion stories about double taps against White Helmets but not video recordings of actual attacks.
I think that differentiating between a true double tap and a case of a plane just making another approach because it’s his job and he doesn’t know there are rescue workers down there is a little sketchy. In any case, if anyone else has any more material or thoughts on this subject please let me know. I am just exploring this topic, not claiming to be an expert.
Michael O’Hanlon in my opinion is a trumped up budget analyst. pl
I agree, the fellow has completely taken leave of his senses.
I wonder, does one go to Princeton University to become stupid or is that a requirement before admission?
I just posted that piece to share with others what passes as analysis in the United States; and by implication, in the Fortress West.
Where do they get these people and the man is not a complete imbecile; he even knows French and has Peace Corp experience?
I met several Peace Corp volunteers decades ago and none of them where anything like this MICHAEL O’HANLON.
I hope that Turkish leaders have altered course in earnest.
For Chris Chuba:
Most of the video that I’ve seen of bomb strikes in Syria have been single bomb drops. If precision munitions are used, one bomb might be enough. If iron bombs are used, multiple passed would be the norm for the aircraft with the air controller adjusting the pilot between drops. The only times that I would have a pilot “ripple all” would be if he only had fuel for one pass or the situation on the ground was so dire that I hoped to shock the enemy. In the later case I’d only ripple all if I had additional aircraft on station to sustain the attack.
I did watch the video of the Saudi attack in Yemen. That appeared to be precision munitions with the 2d strike targeting emergency personnel.
Graphic depiction of Pundita watching US Syria policy unfold:
Come to think of it, defense policy under the Borg should properly be called “Bates Motel School.”
Also, the Guardian reports today on former UK Amb. to Syria Peter Ford’s most recent slam on British policy in Syria. It’s a joy to behold.