Deir al-Zor Province – the wild east of Syria


According to "reports,"  IS has launched a serious counter-attack to keep the US backed SDF from reaching the city of Deir al Zor for the purpose of occupying the part of the city still under IS control.  If this is really happining, the event will prove tricky for the ant-American left to explain how it is that the shifty Americans have caused IS (seen as a US proxie) to fight to prevent the US proxie (irony) SDF succeeding in reaching the city.

But!  At the same time the tricky Americans are engaged in inducing various tribal sheikhs' defection from their past "allegiance" to IS.  How can this be!  Are not these sheikhs forever stained and unusable.  It would seem to be that they are not!  Your humble guide though the tortuous maze of eastern Syria and other parts Saracen, learned in a long and misspent life that tribal sheikhs have no fixed loyalties.  Alas!

And then, pilgrims, there is the case of a Syrian government intelligence officer who successfully infiltrated IS in the wild east of Syria and posed as an IS emir for some three years … Bravo mon vieux!  Bravo!  I would say of this man that he had balls as big as basketballs and is lucky to have not ended with them lodged between the jaws of his decapitated head.  Could such a thing have occurred?  Certainly!  He was a Syrian Arab, spoke the language with the right accent, showed up at a particularly fluid moment and prayed a lot.  He was still damned lucky.  Civil wars make such exploits possible.  You might want to ask Claude Devereux about that if you run into him.

Lastly, there appears to be a deep split in the policy of the DJT Administration between the generals active and retired, who want to carve out some sort of Kurdish and "friendly" Arab lodgement in east Syria for god knows what purpose, and the domestically oriented right wing policy wonks who are seeking counter-revolution in the US.  Trump?  Who knows?  Perhps he just wants this teaspoon full of oil to improve what he sees as a bad balance sheet over the last 16 years.

Evelyn Waugh would have loved this scene.  pl

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18 Responses to Deir al-Zor Province – the wild east of Syria

  1. PeterAU says:

    Not just the left.
    What at times appears to be happening, is there is a battle occuring between borg and non borg even in Syria. Who are some of the CIA aligned with? Who are the political upper tier of the military (some of) aligned with?

  2. Fredw says:

    “for god knows what purpose”
    That’s the part that gets me. I can see how the Free Syrian Army might have seemed a cool idea at the start of the Arab Spring. But it failed very quickly in a way that (to me) guaranteed that the concept could never work. Since then I have not perceived any US purpose other than an unwillingness to accept failure. But “success” can only come from the success of Syrians, and the Syrians that we found congenial have proven that they don’t have the necessary support in Syrian society. The Russians and Iranians found “success” by allying with Syrian groups with deeper roots in Syrian society. They also have much more concrete interests there, but that wouldn’t have mattered if they had allied with movements of urban intellectuals.

  3. mike says:

    To add to the mix in the wild, wild east, the following is from David Witty’s translations of the Iraqi press this morning:
    “Iraq Reporter: Iraqi PMU (Hashd) enter Syria to destroy 13 ISIS vehicles gathering near Iraq border.”

  4. LondonBob says:

    ‘The Generals’ seem determined to turn a tidy quick victory over IS in to the traditional post WWII long drawn out contest that results in eventual defeat. Impressive on so many levels, I often stop by Michael Sheuer’s blog and ‘The Generals’ continue to live down to his low opinion of them. Trump’s last statement on Syria was they are just there to kill ISIS, after conceding on Afghanistan I trust him to get his way on Syria where a functioning state can takeover.

  5. Patrick S. says:

    “for god knows what purpose” … Ever since the SAA broke the siege on DeZ, the Israelis have been hyper-ventilating over the possibility of a “corridor” from Iran to Lebanon (in addition to general Iranian influence in Syria). They want to disrupt this corridor, and the putative Kurdish state is the best means at hand. Hence the sudden re-igniting of interest in Israel over Kurdistan.

  6. Harry says:

    Bravo Colonel!

  7. Hood Canal Gardner says:

    Broadly related..what part of the “rebuild” story (if there is one) are we missing? RT is reporting a 540 mw generator purchase from Iran for Allepo/Latakia in the west. To what extent is Iran ‘there’ to stay? Tel Aviv surely has something to say.

  8. turcopolier says:

    There is nothing the Izzies can do to stop it if they can’t get the US to overthrow the Syrian government and they have tried that. pl

  9. Mikee says:

    Technical detail: In physics and engineering, ‘mw’ means milliwatt (.001 Watt) while ‘MW’ means megawatt: (1,000,000 Watts).

  10. Hood Canal Gardner says:

    Mikee ..that WAS a mistake/shoulda known better. Thanks pal. ted

  11. Hood Canal Gardner says:

    Pat .. not losing any sleep but what are the chances, if any, that Iran has a Med Sea port say along side the Russ at Tartus (sooner rather than later) wrapped into the generator deal as a bargaining chip or for real?

  12. turcopolier says:

    IMO the electric plant deal is commercial although aligned with what the Iranian and Russian governments want to see in re-development. I don’t know what “having a port” means if Iran can export through a Syrian port. They already have ports in the Persian Gulf. Ships can depart from there with Iranian goods. pl

  13. Anna says:

    Meanwhile, ziocons are readying for more actions in Ukraine: “Saakashvili vs. Poroshenko: a new political stand off has begun in Ukraine”
    “When covering the breakthrough of Saakashvili on to the territory of Ukraine, some observers drew attention to the excellent organization and good financial support for this action, carried out in the best traditions of Euro-Maidan. Saakashvili was one of the organizers of the Rose Revolution in Georgia, and took an active part in the Orange Revolution in Ukraine. He and his people are familiar with the technology of organizing revolutionary performances. Activists of the Georgian organization “Kmara!” taught Ukrainian like-minded people to carry out the first “color revolution” in the autumn of 2004. In Ukraine today, they openly say that these events were made possible with the money of the oligarch Igor Kolomoisky. … Saakashvili and his numerous political supporters are supported by a complex conglomerate of financial and political forces, among whom Kolomoisky is the first among equals.”
    The name of the Israeli-Ukrainian citizen Kolomojsky pops up again. Kolomojsky has got the notoriety by financing the Ukrainian neo-Nazis (not bad for the President of the United Jewish Community of Ukraine) and for his possible involvement in the downing of MH 17 ( This battalion:

  14. Marc says:
    Great analysis (in french) of the Russian military campaign in Syria.

  15. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Iran is seeking to restore the days of the Great King; when major ports in Eastern Mediterranean Sea were under the sovereignty of the Great King; in Egypt, in Palestine, in Lebanon, and in Western Anatolia and Western Hellas.
    In a few short years, without a doubt, the mullahs will don head gear of the Achaemenids’ and proclaim the reconstituted Persian Empire – every Arab knows that.
    What they do not know, an you are hearing it from me here for the first time, is that the Iranians in Southern Persian Gulf, ostensibly involved in business, are in fact members of the Iranian sleeper cells that are instructed to take over the Arabian peninsula at a moment’s notice and declare for the Great King.

  16. Tel says:

    “Perhps he just wants this teaspoon full of oil to improve what he sees as a bad balance sheet over the last 16 years.”
    Seems like more nation building to me. The purpose of the oil is to provide finance for a new independent state in the Northern part of Syria… and of course to take something away from Assad. If Kurds ever achieve independence in Iraq they also will have oil as a source of wealth.
    Assad and the Russians are stretched already, they cannot afford to open new fronts here.

  17. Very good, Babak. You provided a laugh to accompany my morning coffee.

  18. Hood Canal Gardner says:

    Pat ny “concern” was the Mediterranean. Iranian diesel subs home based/ported along side the Russian Navy (serviced, fueled, protected) a possible and no small concern to Tel Aviv.
    Related in terms of the Iranian submarine cadre. In the mid-late 70s several cohorts of Iranian naval personnel underwent submarine training at Groton/New London Submarine Base…enough Iranian “students”, 50 reserved parking places per cohort, pretty much voided my privileged parking passes.

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