The cease fire seems to be going well …


"Over a hundred rebel unit commanders agreed to the ceasefire and signed a corresponding agreement. Over 1,000 militants laid down their arms in the Damascus province and have since been relocated from the battlefields.

Field commanders of Mujahideen Khora and El-Furqan formations which operated south of Damascus in the Kafar-Shams district likewise signed ceasefire documents, as did Maamum Shukru al-Habbusa, the leader of Burkan Khoran. This meant 600 more militants laid down their arms.

Two major formations in Deraa province, Armiya al-Ababil and Jaysh al-Yarmuk, agreed to the ceasefire and their leaders signed the declaration forms. This action took 2500 militants off the battlefield."  Southfront


 Wall to wall, the R+6  are progressing in the task of running a marvelously successful  ANTICOIN campaign.  The Syrian government has declared an amnesty for non-jihadi rebels.  As you can read above that seems to be doing well.  It is better to work on re-integrating them than to kill them all which is the alternative policy choice.

Across the country the war goes on against the jihadis.  ground is being regained everywhere, ground that will be useful in the final battles needed to make Syria jihadi free.  The attritional battle is also going well.

Turkey appears to be stymied by the threat of Russian arms and the War Party hawks in the Borgist US government is "turning and burning" in frustration.  The post-Dempsey US Defense Department and JCS is now completely in the hands of the Borgist war party who obviously lust for a confrontation with Russia.  It would be tempting to attribute this "bloody mindedness" to male hormonal excesses but, unfortunately the worst of the worst are women.

IMO the war in western Syria will be largely ended in the next couple of months.  After that, the R+6 will make their contribution to the destruction of IS (the enemies of God).

The Iraqis?  We will see…  pl

PS  Don't let Southfront starve to death.  They are hard up.  pl


This entry was posted in Current Affairs, Iraq, Middle East, Policy, Russia, Syria, The Military Art. Bookmark the permalink.

53 Responses to The cease fire seems to be going well …

  1. James Vanasek says:

    Col. Lang,
    I don’t know if this is appropriate here (feel free to move it to a different tread or not post it if it isn’t), but I saw this Politico article which describes how the Borg are moving to back Hillary Clinton since Donald Trump doesn’t seem to share their view of remaking the Middle East:
    I thought it might interest you since it flips over the rock so you can see all the usual cockroaches (Kagan, Kristol, Boot, Cohen, Abrams, et al.) scurrying about.

  2. kooshy says:

    “After that, the R+6 will make their contribution to the destruction of IS (the enemies of God)”
    Pat, Inshallah

  3. Fred says:

    Message above received and acted on.
    “The Syrian government has declared an amnesty for non-jihadi rebels. ”
    That sounds like the right way to end a civil war.

  4. Bill Herschel says:

    Trump’s success arises from the fact that the people who have been asked to make the greatest sacrifices to further the interests of the Republican elite have also been thoroughly screwed by them. And today the Republican elite is finding out both that they know it and they are really, really angry about it. There is every indication that it is a “movement” that is going to grow, not fade and disappear. They have a spokesperson, Trump, and an example, Putin, of how it should be done.
    This is an extremely dangerous moment in American history. Were, for example, Trump to be assassinated, every single solitary media site in the West would say that he deserved it and that the world is better off for his death. They’re already saying that! That is a very dangerous situation. Very, very dangerous. It takes institutional lawlessness to the next level.
    We are spectators, and the temptation to turn away from this drama is overwhelming. The only ray of hope is the utter incompetence of the elite. They are going to lose in Syria unless they start WWIII, and that they will never do. There is no money to be made from WWIII.

  5. optimax says:

    Let us hope the rebels receive the proper sensitivity and diversity training to “make the country whole again,” thus spoke Hillary.

  6. ex-PFC Chuck says:

    In like manner, the legacy grass roots base of the Democratic Party is being screwed over by their party’s nomenklatura. Thus Bernie.
    I agree with you that the heterodox candidates are in danger. Trump especially since it’s more likely at this point that he’ll win the nomination.

  7. readerOfTeaLeaves says:

    One more ‘tea leaf’, this one from David Stockman, who once upon a time was Reagan’s ambitious young tax-cutter.
    Presumably, less neocon interference will benefit the chances of the cease-fire in Syria.
    As for the Dems, only one of them raised $40,000,000 in small contributions in the month of February.
    It wasn’t Hillary.
    Bad news for The Borg.

  8. Dubhaltach says:

    In reply to Bill Herschel 02 March 2016 at 09:32 PM
    “This is an extremely dangerous moment in American history. Were, for example, Trump to be assassinated, every single solitary media site in the West would say that he deserved it and that the world is better off for his death. They’re already saying that! That is a very dangerous situation. Very, very dangerous. It takes institutional lawlessness to the next level.”
    At which point what? What happens then? Would there be an easily put down spasm of inchoate rage? OR would we see organised violence targetting for example the local Republican chairman?
    To what extent would Trump sympathisers in for example local law enforcement make true the threat “we know where you live”?
    “They are going to lose in Syria unless they start WWIII, and that they will never do. There is no money to be made from WWIII.”
    I wish I could be as sanguine as you. But I agree with the late Barbara Tuchman in “The March of Folly” and can see one slip or a series of them in the current Middle Eastern imbroglio could easily lead much as Sarajevo did to a sequence of events.
    A few years ago I was kicking these topics around with my dad. He told me to go and read:
    Conceptual models and the Cuban missile crisis by Graham T. Allison which to me served to illustrate Tuchmann’s point further.
    You can get it as a PDF here:
    Google Search here:

  9. Old Microbiologist says:

    You are on point. This, of course assumes, that Trump is who he says he is and is not just a straw man for Clinton. I am suspicious because of their close personal friendship, especially between the daughters. But, let’s assume things are as they appear. If so, he is in serious danger. On the other hand Clinton is universally despised by all underlings forced to serve her. Trump appears to inspire complete devotion and loyalty among his staff.
    We are in very dangerous times for a variety of reasons. I have often wondered about the US use of military action making the case it is for National Security reasons. That never made any sense to me given the US hasn’t been attacked on home soil since 1812. BUt, if we assume the neo-con agenda for global hegemony and that this world domination is considered National Security then it begins to make sense.
    We are already witnessing the beginnings of global migration, mostly for economic reasons. This will be exacerbated by global population rising to over 10 billion coupled with dramatic stresses caused by global warming. This crisis point of 10 billion people and a 2 degree warming are going to occur roughly simultaneously around 2050. But, it could be much earlier. Models are only that and stressors always respond in dramatic global birthrate increases. Global warming models are consistently too pragmatic so again, this could accelerate quickly. Beyond that we have projections of job losses of roughly 60% of all jobs in America to automation within 10 years. This exacerbates the already extent problem of shipping jobs overseas due to idiotic trade pacts created to provide wealth opportunities for America’s elite plutocracy.
    While all this is going on we are having dramatic socioeconomic trends of wealth redistribution and the wealth gap is already beyond the tipping point. A second economic crisis, which looms in our near future, could provide the impetus for revolt. The Black President will be gone and that socioeconomic cultural group, arguably affected dramatically more than others, have remained mostly silent, I believe because they have their guy in office. When he is gone all bets are off. Lenin described the process of wealth inequality as a means to push populations into social revolt. I believe the Trump phenomena is a harbinger of this same process. So we are hitting several key point soon. Mass migrations due to socioeconomic problems caused by global warming and overpopulation bringing masses of unskilled and poor into areas of relative perceived prosperity and higher resources. The borders are being deliberately opened to provide additional chaos and refugees/immigrants are being aided by forces such as the neo-liberals like Soros. So, a perfect storm appears to be coming on the horizon. Perhaps, Trump can make the right choices, again assuming he is who he says he is, and he survives long enough to make these changes in the face of extreme resistance from the plutocrats.
    May we live in interesting times.

  10. lally says:

    Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon has announced that the Assad regime is using “chemical weapons” against civilians during the ceasefire.
    Such is the assumption that any Israeli BS will be believed; proof is irrelevant.

  11. Medicine Man says:

    I remember reading that Assad’s government has been offering an amnesty to rebels rallying back to the government for more than a year now. I wonder why the offer is being accepted now? A combination of the mounting military pressure on them from the R+6 plus foreign guarantees of their safety; more the former than the latter I reckon.

  12. VietnamVet says:

    I agree with your post.
    Earlier you mentioned that 200 American mercenaries were hired to fight in Ukraine for $250K each and were killed or captured. I assume you learned this since you’re living next door. Nothing like this has appeared in western media. But, if there is no reporting here that the Maidan Coup was sponsored by the West and it keeps repeating “Russian aggression”; anything becomes plausible.
    It is astonishing to me is the complete incompetence of the West in dealing with the Russia, forcing regime change across the world, climate change and the Refugee Crisis. The only thing that makes any sense to me is that the ruling elite are dependent on war profits. They believe in free movement of capitol and people plus eliminating the power of sovereign democracies to tax and regulate them. They are unable to deal with reality but create their own. Or, as Donald Trump says “They are stupid”.

  13. Thomas says:

    “I wonder why the offer is being accepted now?”
    Impending death will focus the mind and help someone to see the light on the way to Damascus.

  14. Thomas says:

    “The only thing that makes any sense to me is that the ruling elite are dependent on war profits.”
    You should factor in the base human reaction of revenge for slights real or perceived from today, yesterday or 200 years ago.

  15. Trey N says:

    Long after the war, a veteran of the Army of Northern Virginia was describing the brutal fighting in 1864. Paraphrasing his quote: “The common soldier on each side hated snipers. We considered them simple murderers. The deaths they caused made no difference in the outcome of battles. I was always glad to see a dead sniper, no matter which uniform he was wearing.”
    When it comes to mercenaries, I agree wholeheartedly with the Southern soldier’s sentiments regarding snipers. Mercenaries murder, rape, rob, and cause untold misery in this world for no worthwhile purpose, but for blood money for their own enrichment. They are simple murdering thugs for hire, no different than Mafia hit men. I rejoice whenever I here of the death of any mercenary anywhere in the world of whatever “side,” and the day they are all dead and the world cleansed of this scum cannot come too soon.

  16. Kooshy says:

    I have the same suspicion on Trump, that he might be the Republican’ Party popper sent/ setup by the Clintons/ DLC. One has to admit if so, unfortunately it is a brilliant strategy.
    Is amazing how the Republican Party bosses are trashing/ rejecting their own front runner to the point that he makes threats to run as a third party candidate if a broken convention.

  17. MRW says:

    “every single solitary media site in the West would say that he deserved it and that the world is better off for his death.”
    I suspect that people in the West might react by firebombing their local political offices at night. There’s a *lot* of support in the west for Trump, although I don’t know about California.

  18. MRW says:

    “They’re already saying that!” [re: press]
    Courtesy of the Israel Lobby machine, which is apoplectic at the thought of Trump’s control over foreign policy. Kristol can’t contain himself. Robert Kagan is writing screeds declaring love and support for Hillary and her dangerous foreign policy views. (Kagan’s wife, the Ukraine shit-disturber and one-woman State Dept. Victoria Nuland, would be out of a job, too.)
    Listen to this, Bill, if only the first 10 minutes.

  19. Pundita says:

    SouthFront was hacked today in an attempt to destroy its video section

  20. Fred says:

    I’m sure that the campaign with the one way sign symbol will strike just the right cord for reconciliation. Maybe Hilary can put Victoria Nuland on the project. I’m sure she’s got some great improvements from the “lessons learned” debriefing after all of her efforts in Ukraine.

  21. Fred says:

    I remember that too but I believe that the have been a number of “rebels” of various stripes who’ve taken that offer up. It also served to keep neutrals neutral. What the opposing side – essentially ISIS – offered was a deal best not accepted.

  22. Fred says:

    ex-PFC Chuck,
    “In like manner, the legacy grass roots base of the Democratic Party is being screwed over by their party’s nomenklatura.”
    Now I understand Reagan’s meaning when he said he didn’t leave the Democratic Party, it left him.

  23. Fred says:

    “While all this is going on we are having dramatic socioeconomic trends of wealth redistribution and the wealth gap is already beyond the tipping point. ”
    Nary a word from Pravda on the Hudson about the richest man on earth, the redistribution of Mexico’s wealth into his hands, or the assistance of politicians like President Vicente “I won’t pay to build that f*&’n wall” Fox in making all of that happen. Or the millions of economic refugees who came to America because of them. I’m sure being the biggest individual shareholder is having no impact at all on the editorial board or reports of the paper that prints “All the news that’s fit to print”.
    Here’s a little primer.

  24. robt willmann says:

    Yesterday, 2 March 2016, a group of people calling themselves “members of the Republican national security community” published a letter entitled, “An Open Letter On Donald Trump From GOP National Security Leaders”–
    This open letter “on Donald Trump”, but not “to Donald Trump”, comes from 95 people (I didn’t count them) who call themselves “leaders” among Republicans on “national security”. This letter is also the pot calling the kettle black.
    Among the signers are Michael Chertoff, Robert Kagan, Max Boot, Roger Noriega, Philip Zelikow, and Robert Zoellick. Their 9 points include, “His embrace of the expansive use of torture is inexcusable”. Notice that the use of torture seems OK and just fine, but the “expansive” use of torture is not! Just try not to make that use of torture too expansive!
    They also declare that, “Furthermore it [his hateful, anti-Muslim rhetoric] endangers the safety and Constitutionally guaranteed freedoms of American Muslims”. Actually, one of the things that has endangered the (formerly) guaranteed freedoms of all Americans is the Anti-Patriot Act, one of the claimed architects of which is Michael Chertoff. Furthermore, the busy Mr. Chertoff was made Secretary of the Department of Homeland Stasi Security, which includes the Transportation (notice that broad term) Security Administration lodged at airports, and which was found to fail to stop tests that successfully got guns and bombs through the “security” 95 % of the time–
    It would be accurate to say that Trump’s authoritarian rhetoric — not his anti-Muslim rhetoric — telegraphs a danger to the freedoms previously established for and in the U.S.

  25. turcopolier says:

    Your ME background as a believer in conspiracy is showing. The hidden hand eh?

  26. turcopolier says:

    “I wonder why the offer is being accepted now.” The rebels are losing now. pl

  27. kooshy says:

    Col. Lang, the first time I heard this conspiracy (on Trump) was last fall, from a jewish American client and friend, he even said that this is Bill’ strategy to defeat the republicans. I agree it’s a conspiracy, but it’s the political season and conspiracies and mudslinging talks are part of the game and the daily.

  28. turcopolier says:

    I DEMAND that you rise above that crap on SST. pl

  29. kooshy says:

    Yes will do, BTW if Trump survives I will vote for him.

  30. Babak Makkinejad says:

    I must confess that I too had speculated whether the candidacy of H Ross Perot had not been set up to defeat the re-election of G H W Bush.

  31. Dubhaltach says:

    In reply to Trey 03 March 2016 at 04:55 PM
    Agreed – there are two things that the Bush/Cheney administration deserve to be cursed, vilified, and quite frankly persecuted for. The first is their use of torture as an instrument of policy. The second is that under them the use of mercenaries has become commonplace.
    Like you my reaction whenever one of these scum is killed can be summed up in a simple four letter word:

  32. turcopolier says:

    Conspiracies here are generally more hidden and less personal than that. pl

  33. cynic says:

    Maybe the ceasefire was going too well to suit certain people.
    The Syrian electricity grid appears to have been sabotaged.
    The Spanish police have just intercepted 20,000 uniforms that were being shipped from unspecified sources to Islamic State and Al Nusra.

  34. SmoothieX12 says:

    There is such thing called Fire Impact (Ognevoye Vozdeistvie), it is also described in terms of Fire Density–that is the number of means of fire impact per length or, even, volume in space. The weight of explosives matters and the more of them delivered with better precision, the more it softens the hardest positions on any issue. As good ol’ Karl Von Clausewitz stated: “The war is the act to compel the enemy to do our will”. The enemy was merely compelled to do Assad’s will. Kinetic issues associated with weapons are a universally understood language.

  35. Outrage Beyond says:

    If Trump is sponsored by the Clinton Crime Family, I suppose it could be labeled a case of turnabout. Recall that in the 2004 race, Al Sharpton was funded in large part by Republicans and his campaign manager was notorious GOP operative Roger Stone.

  36. Barish says:

    First bit, reports appear to be that the Damascus govt is at work fixing the issue.
    Second bit, they seem to be getting sloppier at the “rat-lines”, keeping in mind the other piece of news that a weapons shipment to Lebanon was intercepted at sea.
    Pumping equipment and personnel into Syria in the hopes that Damascus would simply get swamped and swarmed was the modus operandi for the last several years. We can’t exactly observe that it has worked all that well, particularly since “them damn Russkies” brought a first class air force into the equation.

  37. Medicine Man says:

    A bit hard on sharpshooters. While that may have been true in the American Civil War, under other circumstances in other wars those tactics can be regarded as both effective and justified. Shellback’s recent recounting of the Finnish strategy in the Winter War is one good example.

  38. The Beaver says:

    Same thing has happened to Consortium News – can’t access since Tuesday night but from his twitter a/c , Robert Parry has this to say:
    “IT experts tell us that Consortiumnews, our 30-year-old investigative news site, was apparently hit by a “denial of service” attack.”

  39. Matthew says:

    Barish: The new angle: “demonstrations” during the ceasefire. See, for example,
    The idea, I guess, is that without Assad’s army “the people” would peacefully protest. This smells like a Maiden-style program. Now that the head-choppers are being defeated on the battlefield, the West will now need to intervene to protect “peaceful protesters.”

  40. Matthew says:

    BM: There is no conspiracy. We have had Third-Party Candidacies every generation. The size of the protest vote “shocks” the two parties into changing course. Left to their own devices, they simply self-deal.

  41. Trey Nelson says:

    I read that passage many years ago, but what has stuck in my mind was how bitter that CSA veteran felt about what we refer to as “snipers” today, and how glad he was to see a dead one of either side.
    I would not stake my life that he was referring only to the 1864-1865 period, but that would make sense because before that period major battles were separated by weeks/months of inactivity that allowed the soldiers to rest and recuperate in safety, while from the Wilderness to the end of the war the two main armies in Virginia remained in constant contact. During this period the men in the front lines of both armies were in constant danger from bombardment and snipers — and they resented the hell out of it.
    One other specific part of the quote that has stuck with me, besides the “simple murderers” who made no difference in the big picture and how he was glad to see any sniper killed, was this: the veteran claimed it was a custom “not to shoot a man attending to a call of nature,” which the snipers routinely ignored. Considering the many unofficial truces and trading on the picket lines when officers weren’t around, this custom may also be true — though I haven’t seen it mentioned anywhere else (probably due to Victorian sensibilities; see the book “The Story the Soldiers Wouldn’t Tell: Sex in the Civil War” for how much was edited out of soldier memoirs by prudish descendants in the Victorian Era).
    Harper’s Weekly had a famous engraving of a Union sharpshooter perched in a tree on the Peninsula in mid-1862, so they were around pretty much from the beginning of the war. The art of sniping firmly came of age on the Western Front in WW I and has been a staple of military conflict ever since, but it is yet another of the many aspects of “modern warfare” that have their roots in the War for Southern Independence.

  42. turcopolier says:

    Trey N
    It was a common feature of A of NV infantry regiments to have a two or three man “sharpshooter” team armed with English hunting rifle and telescopic sights. They followed the regimental commander around and engaged targets that he designated. Sedgewick and Reynolds and many other Union officers so designated were killed by these teams. Any talk about how this was not a legitimate activity in war is nonsense. And then, of course, there were Berdan’s Sharpshooters on the Union side. pl

  43. Barish says:

    I very much doubt this’ll work. There has been too much blood-letting for people – a vast Syrian majority, that is – to still be eager to join “peaceful protests” organized by groupings that made a point to quickly turn to armed means when their two- to one-dimensional demands weren’t met. Such type of protests fizzled out rather quickly in neighbouring Lebanon recently, no doubt keeping in mind what lurked beneath that type of cover to pounce on the Syrian neighbour.
    The window to intervene on “those ones'” behalf has long since come and gone. Also, it is rather apparent that the Idlib corner in particular, ruled over by Nusra, Ahrar and associates as they are, is only putting up a show here. In the linked video do note the lack of any women in public space, as per usual for that corner.
    I’ve read of rumblings that certain military people were aghast back in 2011 that the no-fly zone in Libya basically would act as “al-Qaida’s air force”. The same would be true for an intervention by air on behalf of the Idlib corner.

  44. cynic says:

    I’ve been reading Mark Urban’s book ‘Rifles’ subtitled ‘six years with Wellington’s legendary sharpshooters’. He paints a vivid picture of how the Greenjackets functioned in the Peninsular war as skirmishers and counter-skirmishers to break up attacks, particularly by shooting the French officers leading them. I don’t think they had occasion to shoot men who were relieving themselves.

  45. alba etie says:

    Outrage Beyond
    Do you have citations for this – was Roger Stone really his campaign manager ?

  46. Henshaw says:

    It’s too early to make a definitive assessment of Trump, but from where I sit in Oz, he is presently looking somewhat Italianate, seeming to fall somewhere between Belusconi’s ‘trust me, I know business’ and Mussolini’s ‘do it or else’ fascist authoritarianism.
    Neither are options I would wish on the USA, or anyone else.

  47. alba etie says:

    Outrage Beyond
    I just did the Google on Rev “Tawnya Brawley ” Al Sharpton & Roger Stone and yes there are many many citations that support your assertion. Rev Sharpton is a social entreprenuer so why not cash in all aspects of the socio/political parlor games ?

  48. Dubhaltach says:

    In reply to turcopolier 04 March 2016 at 05:36 PM
    Colonel, if you could suggest a book that covers this I’d be grateful. I consider the American civil war to be the first modern war* and know far less about it than I should.
    *Unless you count the English civil war and the introduction by Parliamentarian forces of uniformed regiments as modern.

  49. turcopolier says:

    “The Civil War, A Narrative” by Shelby Foote in 3 volumes. pl

  50. Dubhaltach says:

    Thank you.

  51. Trey N says:

    I just finished reading “Waterloo” by Tim Clayton, one of the two best books on the battle that I’ve ever come across (the others being by David Hamilton-Williams). Apparently the rifle-armed skirmishers of all the main 1815 Napoleonic armies (British, German and French) aimed particularly for officers, in contrast to the 1864 Virginia “snipers” — who shot whatever happened to come up in their crosshairs at any given moment. And apparently the sharpshooters on both sides in Virginia were capable of astounding shots of instantaneous accuracy….
    (There’s a famous painting by Winslow Homer of a young Confederate soldier mounting the parapet at Petersburg and daring a Union sniper to hit him (“Inviting a Shot Before Petersburg,_Inviting_a_Shot_before_Petersburg.jpg
    I would have taken the other side of that poor benighted boy’s bet…).

  52. Thomas says:

    “I consider the American civil war to be the first modern war…*
    FWIW. My view is the Napoleonic Wars are the beginning of modern war era with 1812-15 time period being the first world war (all fighting all across the globe).
    The Civil War was unique in how industrialization of Napoleonic war concepts changed the scope and scale of conflict.

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