Interesting “doings” in Syria


Hmmm …   Votel, the commanding general of US Central Command went to visit in northern Syria where the GBs are shepherding the SDF/YPG toward Raqqa as best they can.  That must be a great deal like herding cats.  The Arabs in SDF have every reason to want to take Raqqa away from IS,  The Kurds in YPG?  Not so much.  But …  When you have acquired a major sponsor and the Turks are lurking across the border to the north you had better be at least somewhat cooperative.  I would expect that Votel's visit was in the nature of a coordination before major effort.  I can only hope that his four star presence did not inhibit progress already made.  I note that there is to be an increase in US AWACS presence in the area.  The AWACS is a flying command post for air operations.  Does this indicate an increase in air activity to come?

And now Kerry agrees to targeting of the al-Nusra front and those who are operating with them?  Will wonders never cease?

Russia will participate in a sizable way in re-building Syria's energy industry?  That doesn't sound like a decision to withdraw support from the Syrian government.  pl

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14 Responses to Interesting “doings” in Syria

  1. b says:

    Some info from SOHR
    – IS targeted Votel meeting with 2 SVBIEB at a checkpoint nearby. How did they know?
    – Votel flew with several helos through regime controlled air space without incident. Looks like Russia and Syria were informed.

    I do not give much on the talk of attacking Raqqa in the next few days or weeks. The U.S. makes a lot of noise about that but the people it needs do not seem prepared at all. There is also no sign of a pincer movement or something alike. No real battlefield preparation has happened yet.
    Also from the AP take of the Votel visit:
    Talal Selo, spokesman for the Syrian Democratic Forces, was especially strong in his criticism of the U.S. for providing too little assistance and for giving the SDF “very useless” support. He said that if this continued the Syrians opposing the Islamic State will have to fight for another 50 years.
    A lot of show for likely no progress at all. Obama and Kerry are fine with keeping the fight going on and on and on. They want Assad gone to take over Syria. Fighting IS doesn’t help with that.

  2. jld says:

    According to “separation of sources and info” I submit this to the sagacity of the Committee:
    If true the summer will be pretty hot…

  3. Tony says:

    This may be completely irrelevant, but can appointment of Lieberman as the sec of def in Israel affect the situation in Syria? Or, is this appointment another way of milking the US and Europe even more?

  4. bth says:

    Has the cited original Lebanese media source been identified? This article seems to be referencing another source.

  5. bth says:

    Late last year it was reported from several sources that Assad had offered to pay for military equipment from Russia in lieu of cash with O&G concessions and electric utility infrastructure contracts. Also that Iranian and Hezbollah officials had been offered blocks of ceased rebel land around Damascus for future real estate development in lieu of military and financial aid now. I think the timing of the Russian statement may have to due with internal reassurances of old transactions subsequent to the Syrian currency collapse this month.

  6. Babak Makkinejad says:

    I think this is crude propaganda – just like the assertions that Iranians and Lebanese Shia are being given – I suppose free – land around Damascus.

  7. lally says:

    If Hezbollah determines that Israel had a role in killing Baddredine, Hassan Nasrallah will announce their findings and issue promises of retaliation as per usual when Israel is the culprit. As of Nasrallah’s latest speech on 5/20, they had no evidence of Israeli involvement:

  8. bth says:

    should read ‘seized’ not ceased

  9. BraveNewWorld says:

    Israel and the KSA are BFFs and Netanyahu is warming to Erdogan again as he becomes more and more like Netanyahu. So that will keep Israel from getting any further involved than they are right now. Besides Germany told Israel to back off a few weeks ago when the Israelis staged a cabinet meeting in the Golan Heights to demand the world recognize their annexation. The US also told them to back off but the Israelis really don’t care what the US says any more.
    The appointment of Lieberman accomplished two things. First it destroyed the last standing sort of left of center party in Israel. Second it was a big middle finger to France / EU over the upcoming two state solution talkfest the French have planned. But you can be sure nothing will come of it.
    Sissi went as far out on a limb as a dictator can to call for Israel to step up to the 2SS in exchange for improved relations with Egypt not to mention the rest of the Arab League. Picking Lieberman just cut the legs out from under Sissi.
    Mean while Kerry has made it clear he is furious with the French for butting in on the US’s turf as the sole arbiter between the Israelis and Palestinians. I read some thing recently that of the 80 times the US has used the veto in the UNSC 40 times have been to protect Israel from it’s obligations under international law and 33 times have been to screw the Palestinians out of their rights under International law. So you can tell this is going no where.
    Besides the US has been completely silent over Israels announcement that they are extending Israeli civil law as opposed to military law over the settlements in the West Bank. That has always been the last step before annexing land for the Israelis.

  10. Amir says:

    I agree. If there is one thing that Iran has, is free land. An property speculation in Damascus right now sounds as farsighted an strategy as buying up property in Leningrad, if not Stalingrad in 1942.

  11. different clue says:

    The latest I had heard was that Hezbollah decided it was the alphabet jihadis who did it after inspecting the attack-site.

  12. BraveNewWorld says:

    As most here suspected Janes confirmed that the purpose of the cease fire was to rearm the terrorists and screw Russia.
    “On April 8 Jeremy Binnie from IHS Jane’s reported Washington continued to ship weapons to Al Qaeda affiliates in Syria during the ceasefire agreement, corroborated by the jiahdi groups themselves that the ceasefire purpose was to break the Russian and Syrian army momentum and buy time to rearm for the next offensive.”

  13. LJ says:

    So why did Russia agree to it?

  14. Lally says:

    Shortly after Badreddine’s demise, Hezbollah announced that the condition of his corpse indicated he was targeted by some type of thermobaric weapon. Aside from a few shrapnel wounds and bleeding from his nose and eyes, he was unmarked. They estimated the charge went off about 2 meters from Badreddine.
    Interesting that the usually circumspect Hezbollah would broadcast those details so quickly.
    Is thermobaric capability common among the takfiri forces?’

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