UN says 900 Nusra left in East Aleppo


"A Jabhat Fatah al-Sham (Nusra) statement sent to the BBC pointed to similar initiatives in the central city of Homs in 2014 and the Damascus suburb of Darayya in August, where evacuations took place after years of siege and bombardment by President Bashar al-Assad's forces.

It was "clear", the statement said, that Russia wanted to "cleanse" areas of Sunni Muslims – who form the majority in Syria and dominate the opposition to Mr Assad, a member of the Shia Alawite sect – and to "differentiate" between rebel factions in order to weaken them.

"We choose not to give up our people," the statement said. "We will not betray their blood and we will continue our jihad until we remove the regime and any plan against that is rejected."

The UN, which has designated Jabhat Fateh al-Sham a terrorist organisation, says there are no more than 900 fighters from the group inside Aleppo, out of a maximum of 8,000 rebels in total.

In a separate development on Wednesday, officials in the besieged Damascus suburb of Muadhamiya said hundreds of people, many of them fighters, were being evacuated to the northern province of Idlib as part of a deal struck with the government last month that would see it retaking control."  BBC 



The charge that the Syrian Government wants to "ethnically cleanse" Syria of Sunni Arabs is demonstrably false.  There are many, many Sunni Muslims fighting on the government side against the coalition of Sunni jihadis and illusory "moderate" resistors in Syria.  There are many Sunni Arab civilians living in Damascus and other government held parts of Syria.

Yes, the Syrian government, Russia and the US all agreed that Nusra (Jabhat fatah al-Sham) is a terrorist organization and that the supposed "moderates" should separate themselves from Nusra as a pre-condition for a political settlement.

Nusra has refused to allow civilians to leave East Aleppo.

900?  Good, this is a nice round number.  They have been offered a free passage to rebel held Idlib Province like other surrendedered rebel groups (including jihadis).  They have declined, All that is missing from their statements is the reply "nuts!"  given by BG McAuliffe to the German demand for the surrender of the 101st Airborne Division at Bastogne.

What should follow is  a final battle of annhihilation in East Aleppo.  pl

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85 Responses to UN says 900 Nusra left in East Aleppo

  1. mike allen says:

    Let’s hope Assad’s battle of annihilation does not include the Kurds in the Sheikh Maqsoud neighborhood.
    So, Assad allows and even helps to evacuate jihadis from Muadhamiya (and offers the same deal in Aleppo). By sending jihadis to Idlib province, which neighbors the Kurdish held Afrin Canton, Assad is betting they will end up as suicide bombers against the Kurdish YPG.
    Yet he and his IRGC allies use agitprop against Coalition aircraft for not bombing Daesh and their civilian shields trying to flee from Mosul.

  2. turcopolier says:

    mike allen
    You know that the Sheikh Maqsood Kurds have been cooperating with the government. What are you talking about? You favor the defeat of the Syrian government? pl

  3. mike allen says:

    Colonel –
    The Kurds in Aleppo and elsewhere in Syria are holding their breath while cooperating with Assad. They do not trust him. And they do not trust many of his allies. There have been shooting incidents between them at checkpoints in Sheik Maqsoud. That also happened in Qamislo. Thankfully for both sides they have been contained.
    No, I do not favor the defeat of the Syrian government. Hopefully the Russians will keep Assad in line after the defeat of the jihadis so that he or his other allies do not go after the Kurds.

  4. turcopolier says:

    mike allen
    You expect trust? My god! IMO the only choice is between the multi-confession coalition that is the Assad government or another Islamic State. that was always the only choice in a covert war waged by the US, Saudis, Qataris in the basking glow of the “Arab Spring.” We incited this war. Our former ambassador there, Robert Ford, went around the country encouraging revolt in the massive spirit of naiveté that infused our idiocy in Egypt. There was never an chance that western style liberals largely generated at AUC could take over Egypt. It was ALWAYS going to be the Salafists of one kind or another or the Egyptian Army. Now the Egyptian Army is going to re-activate their old alliance with the Bear from fear of our untrustworthiness. The ME is not your old stomping ground in east Asia, nothing like it. pl

  5. kgw says:

    Your words contradict themselves, Mr. Allen. Rather like Mr. Kerry’s.

  6. Harry says:

    I have been struck by this ethnic cleansing line which has been brewing for a while among the idiocracy. The borgists I know have been muttering ethnic cleansing for a while.
    Of course it makes no sense, but that’s the new propaganda line. But the UN is collaborating, and its a little irritating dealing with the bleating. Doesn’t matter that the a SAA is majority Sunni. They think they most people don’t know these facts and they are probably right.
    It’s a good line. Minimizes the damage to borg reputations when Assad takes East Aleppo. And if there are no civilians no matter. Assad and Putin must have killed them all

  7. Degringolade says:

    I will kill two birds with one stone. First is congrats on 15mm. A hell of a feat. I might even go over and feed the organ grinder.
    The second, you can leave this on as a comment, but I think that this:
    Should be the subject of a stand alone thread.

  8. Lemur says:

    Here’s the various dramatizations of the famous ‘nuts’ response:

  9. mike allen says:

    Colonel –
    You are right that I know little or nothing about the Middle East.
    But I know a little bit about propaganda no matter whether it is by Jane Fonda or by Assad and his allies. Assad’s BS on America sponsoring ISIL and al Quaeda stinks like a fish left out of the fridge for four days.
    I do not disbelieve what you say re Ambassador Ford, and I do not defend his actions. But what is your opinion on the attack on him by a pro-government mob because of Assad’s charges that Ford was forming death squads against Alawites and Christians? Death squads? Ford was a career diplomat, I find that charge hard to believe.
    I have no beef with the Syrian people and hope they have a stable government and lasting peace for the next millenium. All of them regardless of their religion
    And I have no beef with a Persian or Shia crescent reaching to Syria and Lebanon.
    But this constant trash they put out about us supporting ISIS and al-Quaeda is 100% bogus. Assad’s name, meaning Lion in Arabic I believe, should be changed. How do you say weasel in Arabic?

  10. Earthrise says:

    I hate having to express such a barbaric opinion as this, but annihilation is the only option. Whether the die in Aleppo, or in the reduction of the Idlib pocket to come, die they must. They have forfeited their humanity when they raped and brutalised the innocent Syrian people, for money and kicks no less. The Syrians who joined the rebels should be treated through the justice system, foreign mercenaries need to know in the future they will not get away with it. Like captured spies, or soldiers caught without their uniforms behind enemy lines, summary executions all round. I hear the Palestinians assaulting north Aleppo are doing this already, fair enough. Any rat who escapes this sinking ship will pop up in North Africa, Yemen, (insert next Zionist target here). There cannot be another Syria, it must stop here, no further.

  11. Babak Makkinejad says:

    May be you can explain why you and TTG and other Americans are so enamored of the Kurds?
    There are lots and lots of minorities in the world – the Basques, for example – or the Catalans – among others.
    Why Kurds?

  12. kooshy says:

    Ok, Mike as you claim, the Kurds in Syria don’t’ trust Assad and by extension they wouldn’t trust Iranians (you say IRGC for some pointed reason?) and Russians since they are Assad allies, for sure we know they don’t trust Turkey, and you claim the Jihadi Arabs, are moving closer to them so they can do suicide attacks on them so as result I think we can’t put them on the trusted column, and i would think just like in Iraq they wouldn’t trust the rest of syrian arabs regardless of their religion, that is because the syrian Kurds want to take a chunk of the country away. So can you explain to us who beside the US and europeans the Kurds should trust, and how good would they can do for them living beside all this people they can’t trust ?
    Sorry to say this but IMO if you already are not, you fit to be in Obama’ planning team, what you complain about and what you wish to happen it can’t happen , is as good as a policy as Assad must go.

  13. The ones ‘going after the Kurds’ at the moment are the Turks.

  14. Fred says:

    Hilary stated at tonight’s debate that she was for no fly zones and safe zones in Syria. That means war with Russia, and for what?

  15. Babak,
    I’ll speak for myself. The Rojava Kurds have been in the fight against IS from the start. They’ve stayed in that fight and have killed a lot of jihadis. I admire their fight. That’s why I’m enamored of them. If I was a young, single man, there’s a damned good chance I’d be there helping them kill jihadis. I have nothing against the Basques or Catalans, but there’s nothing about them that excites me.

  16. mike allen says:

    Babak –
    Yes, why not the Catalans or the Basques? Or the Standing Rock Sioux? Or the Balooch or the Montagnards? Or the Shia in eastern Arabia? I admire them all for putting up with adversity. Rooting for the underdog used to be a grand old American custom.
    I can’t speak for TTG. I admire the Kurdish people for their backbone and stoutheartedness in the face of their oppression – By ISIL, by Saddaam, by Erdogan, by Reza Shah and his successors, and by current day jihadis.

  17. Babak Makkinejad says:

    I very much would like to see Americans – outside of the Fraternal Order of Fire Fighters of Boston that supported IRA and thus the break-up of the United Kingdom – to kindly stop throwing stones; they themselves live in a glass house.
    You guys would be more credible if you voluntarily gave back the 1/3 of Mexico that you gained in that shameful war to the United Mexican States.
    And while you are it, may be you can issue an apology to CAS, and retreat back North of the Mason Dixon Line.
    And if that is too much, perhaps you can try to persuade Italy to give back Tyrol of Austria and to stop culturally oppressing all those Germans.
    And I am not even going to mention what you ought to do in case of the poor oppressed Hungarian minorities suffering under the yoke of those Romanians, Serbians, Ukrainians and others.

  18. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Mossadegh, Diem, and Qaddafi put their trust in foreigners; enough said.

  19. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Why not Kashmir then; Monotheists are fighting against the oppression of Polytheists?

  20. mike allen says:

    Kooshy –
    I think the Syrian Kurds do have some trust in Russia. Russia has declared its support for the YPG and their political arm the PYD. This resulted in Syrian Kurds opening a representative office in Moscow. I have not heard that the Russians closed it down after their recent reconciliation with Turkey. They may have? But what do I know? I am not privy to their consultations with Russia.
    I did not claim that jihadi Arabs were moving to Idlib to kill Kurds. I suggested that may have what was in the mind of President Assad when he evacuated jihadi fighters from Muadhamiya to Idlib and offered the same deal to Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, AKA al-Nusra Front and al-Qaeda, in East Aleppo. Do you not read newspapers
    Obama planning team? The evacuation of Muadhamiya happened and is not WH talking points. Too bad that the jihadis in east Aleppo did not take Assad up on the deal.
    Why did I point out the IRGC you ask? Because they have propagated Assad’s falsehoods about American support for ISIL and al Quaeda. That is vile slander.

  21. mike allen says:

    Sorry you say that Colonel. I am not passing on propaganda, only what I personally believe. Standing up against vile slander that American military men would deliberately aid ISIL and al Quaeda is not propagandism.
    And I believe you feel the same way.

  22. b says:

    In April the spokesman of the U.S. Centcom op said Al-Qaeda rules Aleppo (province and east city). In September the UN envoy said al-Qaeda is the majority of fighters in east-Aleppo. In early October he says al-Qaeda is 900 out of 8,000 fighters in east-Aleppo. I wonder who put pressure on him to change the real situation to that fantasy version. Days later some “diplomatic officials” tell Reuters that there ar actually only “perhaps below 100” and “only symbolic” al-Qaeda in east-Aleppo. The question is now if those “symbolic” are actually only two or three.
    The changes came after Russia offered to let al-Qaeda leave east-Aleppo. The CIA plan is now obviously to let the two or three geriatric al-Qaeda fighters leave and declare all the rest in east-Aleppo non-al-Qaeda.
    (see my site for links to the sources – http://www.moonofalabama.org/2016/10/number-of-al-qaeda-fighters-in-east-aleppo-defined-down-to-three.html)
    Nice try. The Syrians and Russians will not fall for it.
    The CIA sponsored Zinki group in east-Aleppo (the child beheaders) offered solidarity with al-Qaeda, will not leave and will continue to fight with them. Today the CIA + Muslim Brotherhood sponsored Faylaq al-Sham in Idleb declared to join al-Qaeda. A group a day …
    All this differentiation is nonsense. The DIA already stated in 2012 that there are no “moderates”, only various level of Jihadis. Assad said there are only two ways to handle them. Throw them out of Syria or kill them.
    I agree with him and prefer the second model (unless they go to Saudi Arabia).

  23. wrathofaton says:

    Bombing SAA positions is not helping ISIS?
    Allowing ISIS oil smuggling routes to exist for years is not supporting ISIS?

  24. Tigermoth says:

    Here is proof for you.
    Over 20 Turkish airstrikes with artillery fire have targeted Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) positions around Janderes and Afrin.
    Note that these areas are not near the Euphrates Shield operational area.
    and this:
    “According to reports by Al-Dorar, Turkish forces with bulldozers and diggers penetrated as much as 500m into Idlib province near Aqrabat.
    These forces began to dig up farmland and olive trees, in which some trees can take up to ten years before they bear fruit with the minimum at three years using modern methods.
    The Turkish forces supposedly entered Aqrabat to prepare for a ground invasion against the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces in Afrin province. This report however could not be corroborated by Al-Masdar News.
    Al-Dorar reported that the Turkish forces withdrew under pressure from local farmers who were angered by the destruction of their farmland and olive trees.”
    The Afrin YPG has started a move to the east towards Al-Bab, and Turkey is backing their moderates with artillery support.
    “Following a rebel request for Kurdish forces to conduct a complete withdrawal from Tall Rifaat yesterday, clashes have now erupted between the Kurdish YPG and Free Syrian Army (FSA) factions in the northern countryside of Aleppo.
    Heavy skirmishes and artillery bombardment erupted near and around the Shabha Reservoir on Wednesday despite neither directly conceding villages to the other. Clashes were also observed yesterday on the eastern outskirts of Harbul and Shaykh Isa.
    It will be interesting to see the Russian response to this. It Turkey overstepping their “agreement”?
    Does anyone know more about this incident? Belgium seems to be denying it and has called in the Russian ambassador.
    “Russia to regard Belgian strikes in Aleppo as support for Nusra if no criticism follows.”
    “Moscow expects the US-led coalition to provide an adequate response to the Belgian Air Force’s bombing of Aleppo, Russia’s Foreign Ministry’s spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Wednesday.
    “We have information on the US-led coalition’s airstrikes, particularly the Belgian Air Force’s bombing of Aleppo’s civil infrastructure, with civilian casualties having been reported,” she said.
    “We expect the US-led coalition and Belgium, in particular, as well as all the international institutions, who have been so deeply concerned about the Russian Aerospace Force air raids, especially about alleged strikes on civilian targets, to provide an adequate response,” Zakharova said. “We believe that this fact cannot be ignored.”
    “If no one comments on it, then we will conclude that the real concern is not about the plight of Aleppo’s civilians,” the diplomat added. “This media buzz is aimed at protecting Jabhat al-Nusra (terrorist group outlawed in Russia) and preventing the Russian Aerospace Forces from eliminating the terrorist groups in Aleppo.”
    “There can be no other explanation. If no direct condemnation of the US-led coalition, the Belgian Air Force actions follows, then we will have to consider it as an attempt to shield the terrorist groups active on Syria’s territory,” Zakharova stressed.
    On October 18, Russia’s Reconciliation Center in Syria reported the Hassadjek village had been battered by an airstrike which left six people dead and four injured. At that time, there were no Russian Aerospace Forces or Syrian Air Force aircraft in the area in question while Belgian F-16 fighter jets were detected.”

  25. Tigermoth says:

    With regards to terrorists leaving Aleppo, I find this interesting:
    “150 Ahrar al-Sham members evacuated from Bustan Al-Qasir Neighborhood of Aleppo city under the deal with Moscow and Damascus. There are no doubts that this incident will strengthen the government forces’ positions in the area and create a precedent for further withdrawal of militants from the city.
    Unconfirmed reports say that 2 facts were the reason of Ahrar al-Sham’s decision:
    Complicated military situation in the area
    Conflicts with Harakat Nour al-Din al-Zenki (October 17 interfighting reportedly resulted in 12 killed members of Ahrar al-Sham and Harakat Nour al-Din al-Zenki)
    A major part of the evacuated militants were transfered to the province of Idlib. Nonetheless, some of them decided to lay down and use an opporutnity to back to the normal life.”
    The question is: How many US coalitions “assets” were on those buses?
    Also, the article implies that the transfer of terrorists to Idlib hasn’t made the locals happy. I disagree here is why:
    Thousands of Syrians celebrate the expulsion of militants from key Damascus suburb
    “DAMASCUS, SYRIA (10:10 P.M.) – Thousands of Syrian civilians poured into the streets of Qudsiyah on Monday to celebrate the expulsion of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and Jabhat Fateh Al-Sham (formerly Al-Nusra Front) from this imperative Damascene suburb.”
    This removal of the militants was actually orchestrated by the locals.
    “The agreement is to ensure that the aforementioned towns are free of weapons. Sources report that lists of insurgents who plan on taking up the amnesty offer are being made after they were forced to kneel down to unprecedented public pressure of civilians who did not want their hometowns turned into battlefields.”
    “DAMASCUS, SYRIA (5:30 P.M.) – Several hundred civilians flooded the streets of the Qudsiyah Suburb on Friday, calling on the rebels to reconcile with the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and end the violence plaguing the area.
    Qudsiyah’s civilians demanded that the rebels reconcile with the Syrian government as soon as possible, or else, they will be expelled from the suburb by the people.
    This massive protest was conducted on Friday in response to the huge attack launched by the rebels against the Syrian Arab Army inside Qudsiyah.”
    IMO this shows a willingness amongst the Syrians for dialogue and a peaceful life. Unfortunately this isn’t the US coalition’s agenda.

  26. Earthrise says:

    Sorry for OT, but did the US just lose the battle of the South China Sea?
    Philippine President Visits China, Announces ‘Separation’ from US http://english.almanar.com.lb/71432

  27. Abu Sinan says:

    The whole ethnic cleansing of Sunnis in Syria is a sham. I’ll tell you what I heard yesterday from former lecturer at Yale and professor at SUNY. He is worried about ethnic cleansing of Da3sh specifically. When I pointed out that they were armed combatants and not an ethnicity, he claimed under international law, as a distinct religious group they were an ethnicity and deserved protected status because of it. This is what it is coming to with the looney left and SJW shilling for Islamists.

  28. Ghostship says:

    Perhaps Assad has reason not to trust the Kurds and your “memory” is conspicuously short term as it was only a few weeks ago that the YPG turned on the Syrian forces also occupying Hasakah and drove them out of most the areas that had been under government control since before the civil war started. I suspect this was done at the bidding of their American “advisers”.
    As for the jihadists evacuated to Idlib, most of them appear to have been used up in the recent battles just to the north of Hama. During the early part of the insurgency in Iraq, a Marine Corp general tried to persuade the insurgents to come and fight his unit in the desert but there were no takers. The SAA have succeeded where the USMC failed and have persuaded many of the insurgents to fight them out in the open.

  29. turcopolier says:

    IMO we have certainly lost our influence in the Philippines. I attribute that to our preachy, patronizing attitude toward our former colonial possession. The Borg does not like Dutarte? I don’t like him either but it is to be expected that lectures from the former metropole would not be welcomed. pl

  30. turcopolier says:

    “During the early part of the insurgency in Iraq, a Marine Corp general tried to persuade the insurgents to come and fight his unit in the desert” No idea what you are talking about. pl

  31. kooshy says:

    b, today an Iranian news site “Tasnim” which some say is close to military, reports from Aleppo by their reporter on ground “approximate number of terrorist in Aleppo ” and also says that the snipers prevent the civilians leaving through designated safe exits provided. according to this report gathered on ground and from local sources there are 2700 Al-Nusra Front and 5400 Ahrar al-Sham still left in east Aleppo as well as
    still 113000 civilians in east Aleppo.
    This report is in Persian and includes a curent map of designated safe exits, https://goo.gl/Ei7KS9

  32. Valissa says:

    Perhaps not deliberately, but looks like only 1 degree of separation, per orders from above and US strategic application of power in the ME… how different is Nusra or some of the so-called “moderate rebels” from Al-Qaeda and ISIL/ISIS in your opinion? Not to mention US history in Afghanistan. I think it’s probably true that military men (and women) don’t want to deliberately support such groups, but that does not mean they are no indirectly supporting them. And per the TTG;s post below, not happy about their orders to do so.
    “US Special Forces sabotage White House policy gone disastrously wrong with covert ops in Syria” – TTG http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2016/09/us-special-forces-sabotage-white-house-policy-gone-disastrously-wrong-with-covert-ops-in-syria-ttg.html
    “Nobody believes in it. You’re like, ‘Fuck this,’” a former Green Beret says of America’s covert and clandestine programs to train and arm Syrian militias. “Everyone on the ground knows they are jihadis. No one on the ground believes in this mission or this effort, and they know they are just training the next generation of jihadis, so they are sabotaging it by saying, ‘Fuck it, who cares?’”
    “I don’t want to be responsible for Nusra guys saying they were trained by Americans,” the Green Beret added.
    Course Correction – America needs a foreign policy that abandons triumphalist clichés, flawed assumptions and predetermined conclusions in favor of facts and serious analysis. http://nationalinterest.org/feature/course-correction-18062
    THE UNITED STATES is hardly to blame for the Arab world’s woes—corruption and stagnation provided a fertile ground for Islamic extremism—and for similar problems in South Asia and elsewhere. But U.S. interventions have contributed to the menace of radicalism. Indeed, Al Qaeda’s origins in Afghanistan are inseparable from U.S. support for radical Islamist fighters resisting the Soviet invasion and U.S. decisions about post-Soviet Afghanistan.

  33. Vic says:

    Unlike all or most of our local allies, they fight. They are the most capable ground force in the local area. They don’t ask others to do their fighting for them; and then whine about it when they do. Our lack of support for them against the Turks in Syria is shameful. The only other group with similar characteristics in Syria are the Druze.

  34. Babak Makkinejad says:

    I think the world has changed but not Americans’ perception of it. Those Filipinos who 50 years ago were in need of the managerial and technical expertise that US Peace Corp supplied, no longer need it. Now the Philippines and indeed many other countries have their own indigenous managerial and technical cadre and with their own agendas and plans.
    It is like dealing with children, after 2 decades, they feel that they know all there is to know and the parents can no longer teach them anything useful Certainly being preachy to them is not going to get one too far.

  35. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Yesterday a Muslim US citizen told me that he was voting for Trump after the recent publication of Clinton emails on Wikileaks. He proceeded to tell me that in South Africa, the emails have disclosed that Clinton (US) created ISIS – together with Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
    He was not going to vote for someone who had violated – in his understanding – the Constitution of the United States.
    “Assad’s BS on America sponsoring ISIL…”, as you state, now have a life of their own.

  36. turcopolier says:

    “that Clinton (US) created ISIS – together with Qatar and Saudi Arabia” I would agree that US ineptitude in Iraq set the stage for the emergence of IS but in my opinion not more than that. In the case of SA and Q., the only two Wahhabi countries, I think the creation was quite deliberate as has been their sponsorship of non-IS jihadis everywhere. pl

  37. Babak Makkinejad says:

    That is a fair and reasonable sentiments and I can agree with that.

  38. pj says:

    Listening to the radio yesterday, I heard an interview with a James Miller from the Interpreter Magazine. He was presented as an “expert” on Russia and Syria. He was full of deceit and anti-Russian propaganda. I wondered who the Interpreter Magazine was. First, I found one that had been around for a long time and served The Methodist Church. Then I found one that was started in 2013 to report on Russia and Syria. And guess what – it’s funded by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, which is funded by the US Congress to spread a pro-American and anti-Russian spin in Eastern Europe. So, we have a propaganda arm of the US government funding a sham magazine to spread anti-Russian propaganda in the USA. Here’s the site – http://www.interpretermag.com/

  39. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Thank you for your comments.
    I also found it remarkable that the gentleman would choose to vote for Trump – in spite of Trump’s comments regarding Muslim immigration – and in support of the Constitution of the United States.

  40. jld says:

    “I am not passing on propaganda, only what I personally believe.”
    C’mon, what a lame excuse!
    As I said before, you can lie all your content or appear an utmost idiot since you have no shame.

  41. hans says:

    that’s a pretty dense 57 page read… what are a couple of high points?

  42. mike allen says:

    Babak Makkinejad – Thanks for your response.
    If you want us to give back the American southwest to Mexico, then convince Mr Trump and his supporters. I myself have a 2-year-old greatgrandson, surnamed Gomez from an old CalMex family, that is the apple of my eye. His father’s family would never consent to be part of Mexico.
    And by ‘CAS’, I assume you meant ‘CSA’. My father was born south of the Mason-Dixon Line, my mother north of it, where would a retreat north leave me and tens of millions like me?
    I know little or nothing of the Italian Tyrol you mentioned. But looking it up in Wikipedia it is said to be: “granted a considerable level of self-government, … and is among the wealthiest regions in Italy and the European Union.”. They are over 62% German speakers. They do not sound like they are oppressed to me, but I could be wrong.
    The ‘poor oppressed Hungarian minorities’ you mention at least have a Hungarian nation they could immigrate to if the yoke gets too heavy. Or are Romania, Serbia and the Ukraine forbidding their exodus? In any case the Kurds have no such option.

  43. Babak,
    There are groups fighting oppression all over the world. I’m sure I am unaware of most of them. What’s your point besides your virulent animosity towards the Kurds?

  44. If Erdo-war is still backing the jihadists around Aleppo, the Russians could always retaliate by giving aid to the Kurds. That would bog down the Turks in N. Syria for some time to come.

  45. Babak Makkinejad says:

    I do not want you guys to do anything drastic. Just please stop throwing stones at others; you yourselves are living in a glass house.

  46. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Forgot to add:
    In Iran there is no barrier to Kurds moving anywhere outside of the country. They could go to Irbil and see how those Kurds there will treat them; not very well; you see – no one wants to share his oil money with others. Oil is oil and kaka is brother.

  47. johnA says:

    Why should Mexico take it back ?
    They have the best of all deals at this time.
    They would be fools to take on the duty of gvt there.
    The freebies would stop.

  48. charly says:

    Only very foolish Kurds should trust Westerners. Why, see history or the latest Turkish operation.

  49. kooshy says:

    BTW Iran’ oil mister, BN Zangeneh is a Kurd from a very large kurdish tribe

  50. different clue says:

    mike allen,
    Perhaps the problem comes with using traditional words instead of more precisely focused terms.
    The Borg and its DC FedRegime are not quite entirely the same thing as “America”. I believe the Borg and the DC FedRegime have been supporting ISIS and especially al Quaeda as much as they possibly can within the constraints of maintaining plausible deniability. And their deniability has come to lose its plausibility. But saying the “Assad must go!” Borg and its “Assad must go!” DC FedRegime are supporting ISIS and al Quaeda as much as they can get away with . . . is not the same as saying that “America” is doing these things.
    Perhaps some of the people who say “America” is doing this and “America” is doing that really mean “the Borg and the DC FedRegime” is doing this and that, and the people saying “America” aren’t using the correct words for what they really mean.

  51. kooshy says:

    Babak, BTW, I like Mexico, I love to vacation in Mexico, but I do not want to become a citizen of Mexico without a fight, I love California where it is now, please don’t give California away.

  52. Old Microbiologist says:

    Babak, My sarcasm detector is alarming. Hungarians as you say are still lusting after their “stolen” lands lost at the Treaty of Trianon which anniversary is coming in less than 2 years. The can arguably make a case that they are being persecuted in Ukraine, at least a little. Romania less so. Slovakia not at all.
    The larger question, and one I hope Trump (should a miracle occur) will ask is why are we in Syria or Iraq at all? From a business standpoint it is not profitable to the US (except the military industrial complex) and there is no return on investment so let’s cut our losses. I believe this is the reason the military are forming up behind Trump now. They are praying the OPTEMPO will drop to zero.

  53. Old Microbiologist says:

    Mike, in fact our Prime Minister Victor Orban has granted citizenship to all ethnic Hungarians living in former Hungarian lands to include passports and voting rights. This is one way he keeps his plurality in elections. Of course, it only goes so far and doesn’t include any actual benefits like health care, retirement, or free College tuition. On the other hand these Hungarians have absolutely refused to learn the language or customs of their new host countries even after 100 years. Hungarians are incredibly stubborn.

  54. Old Microbiologist says:

    A bit off topic but this article facetiously describes Hungarian stubbornness. I think most of my Hungarian friends would laugh at this. http://mirror.uncyc.org/wiki/Hungarian

  55. Babak Makkinejad says:

    There are a lot of similarities between Mexico and Iran – an ancient culture, a period of foreign conquest, the emergence of a new culture with elements of both the conquered and the conquers, the visible existence of Death in both countries and the significance of the belief in God.
    And then, of course, there are significant differences; pre-Colombian Mexico seems to have been ruled by a blood-thirsty people who were true sons of Ahriman while no one can deny that Iran was an Enlightened land.
    Furthermore, at this moment in time, I think Iran is a superior country to Mexico.

  56. Babak Makkinejad says:

    It is clear to me that the United States incurred major losses in her interactions with Japan since 1836 – I just do not see anything on the positive side of the ledger. Yes, Japanese and Korean gained, but US? I do not think so.

  57. Babak Makkinejad says:

    I forgot to add – also a certain common legacy due to the period during which large parts of Spain were part of the Muslim civilization – flower patterns, copper pots and pans, turquoise jewelry, belief in magic and assorted superstitions, the Life of Plastics Arts as well as Poetry…

  58. charly says:

    New host countries? It is their country. They shouldn’t need to learn another language to life in their own country.

  59. charly says:

    “an ancient culture, a period of foreign conquest, the emergence of a new culture with elements of both the conquered and the conquers, the visible existence of Death in both countries and the significance of the belief in God.”
    Name a country for which this is not true.

  60. Imagine says:

    Found the video of the actor laughing in the White Helmets’ hospital:

  61. Kooshy says:

    Funny you brought up the comparison of Mexico and Iran. Back in 82 or 83 when I first visited Mexico City, just couple years after shah’ refuge to Acapulco, we took a bus tour of Teotihuacan pyramids of the sun and the moon just outside of Mexico City. The tour Gide a middle aged Mexican male standing in front of the bus facing us in front row asked me where are guys from, I replied Los Angels, he replied you don’t look like Americans (gringos), I told him I am originally from Iran but we live in LA. Then I asked him, why your country so rich, with 2 oceans on both sides, oil, plenty of water, tourism, land, greens etc. is so poor? We were just outside of the zona rosa ( a rich are like northern tehran) in Mexico City, and every where else out side of that zone was dirt poor and dangerous, worst than the ghettos in Tijuana or any where in Halabi city in south tehran. He replies, in Iran you had one thief and he scraped here to us, here in Mexico we have thousand thieves, they don’t scape anywhere.

  62. Kooshy says:

    Spanish architecture, and tile work, from sassanid desert architecture of mud brick and tiles. Detailed to technique of brick suported arch entry, instead of wood header support.

  63. Harry says:

    Dear lord but he is clearly mad!

  64. Harry says:

    American military men have a chain of command. The definition of AQ is not so well established that moderate jihadis would be prohibited by law from receiving support or training. There have been reports of US serviceman complaining that they are training jihadis. One of those reports was published on this site.

  65. mike allen says:

    Babak Makkinejad –
    Ahriman – I had to look it up. I do learn a lot from you and enjoy your comments despite our occasional disagreement.
    Regarding two previous questions you asked:
    You are right about Kashmir. The northern part never should have been partitioned off to India. On the other hand, although I believe in only one God, there is nothing wrong IMO with polytheists and pagans as long as they do not practice human sacrifice. And there are many monotheists that are “true sons of Ahriman”. ISIL and Nour al-Din Al-Zenki and some others come to mind.
    On American admiration of the Kurdish people I agree with both TTG and Vic above. But I also think it harks back to commentary in western literature about the most famous Kurd in history: Salah al-Din known more familiarly here as Saladin. He was praised universally by his crusader enemies for his chivalry and military prowess. He beat the crusaders decisively at the Battle of Hattin and recaptured Jerusalem. I never understood why he and his people were not held in high regard by other Muslim ethnicities in the Middle East?

  66. mike allen says:

    Old Microbiologist –
    My wife and I are friends with a Hungarian woman who as a teenager escaped with her family to the west during the uprising in 56. Her family was of German ancestry and she claimed they faced persecution from Hungarian authorities as well as the Soviets.
    Also in Southern California I once met a former Hungarian pilot from WW2. He had flown Messerschmitts against the Soviets. He and his wife and child were expelled in 47 or 48. They became citizens here, their son became a Marine helo pilot and was KIA in Vietnam. A sad story.

  67. turcopolier says:

    mike allen
    Saladin was a very Arabicized Kurd. His people often do not want to claim him. It is as a great Islamist jihadi that he is really famous. As to his gallantry he was often just as quick to massacre prisoners as anyone else at the time. After Hittin he had all the turcopole native cavalry prisoners belonging to the Hospitallers and Templars put to the sword. they were native Christians, about 10,000. He gave Sufis and other mullahs from Damascus the opportunity to each behead a Templar or Hospitaller knight or sergeant, another very large number. When Jerusalem fell to him he let people buy their freedom and passage to the coast and those who could not were sold into slavery. Walter Scott knew very little of Saladin. pl

  68. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Hungary, the United States, Germany, Switzerland, all the Nordic countries of Europe, Russia, Pakistan, all Muslim countries save Iran and Afghanistan and Tajikistan, Bulgaria, Albania, all of Sub-Saharan African countries…..

  69. Babak Makkinejad says:

    I heard something similar from another Mexican friend; “For years politicians stole from people but invested it in Mexico, now they still steal from people but invest abroad.” – that was in 1981.
    But the violence in Mexico and the feudalism of that country is just astonishing – it is worse than Iran under the Qajars.

  70. Babak Makkinejad says:

    This is like “Tijuana Brass”; a American (US) set it up to cater to the fantasy of American tourists of Mexico. Just like in Buenos Aires where the bar owners hire young couple to go to their bars and dance tango for the benefit of the tourists – giving them the fantasy of Argentina and not her reality.

  71. Babak Makkinejad says:

    I have a simple explanation: India is a Hindu state that is nuclear-armed state and thus immune to regime change or dismemberment, unlike Iran, Iraq, Turkey, and Syria that are signatories of NPT and Muslims.
    Those seems to be the two criteria.

  72. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Yes, it was like meeting old friends when walking in Cordoba and coming across all those terra-cotta pots with blooming geranium flowers outside of the houses.

  73. Pundita says:

    Although the US was inept, I’m not sure that even the best-run post invasion regime would have prevented the rise of something like Islamic State. The bottom line is that the overthrow of Saddam’s regime meant the rise of the Shiites in Iraq. This was bound to be fought by the Sunnis in the country, who inevitably reached to the Gulfies for help.
    And there are two very different aspects of IS: the Iraqi insurgency, and the takeover of the organization by Iraqi Baathist ex-military/intelligence officers, who set up base in Syria. The documentation that SPIEGEL obtained and published in April 2015 throws some light on the murky beginnings of the Syrian IS, which it seems eventually gobbled up the entire organization, setting it at loggerheads with al Qaeda.
    Yet the documentation still leaves many questions about the genesis of IS. I keep returning in my mind to the oil-smuggling angle, which was in effect long before the US invasion of Iraq. I figure someone must have written a book about oil smuggling in the Saddam era of oil sanctions, and about the extent of Kurdish involvement in oil smuggling during that era. Until I find such a book I am at a blank wall.
    The most I can do is speculate that Turkey’s government was deeply involved in the oil smuggling, even before Erdogan became President. But as to whether this had anything to do with those Iraqi ex-officers zeroing in on Syria, and whether they got help from the Turks from the start — blank wall.
    In any case, while blaming the US for the creation of Islamic State is wrong, the Syrian Army is convinced that the US is now actively abetting Islamic State. The report below from Sputnik is one of several in recent weeks that relate to the SAA’s claim. In short, it stopped being a conspiracy theory for them after the US coalition bombed Syrian troops while the troops were fighting IS.
    “US-Led Coalition Destroys Infrastructure in Syria, Attacks Civilians – Envoy” – October 21.

  74. Frank says:

    You can’t be serious…. Sheikh Maqsoud has been cooperating with the Syrian Government the entire time.
    “Suicide bombers against Kurdish YPG” <-- Again you can't possibly be serious... There have been zero major attacks against the Afrin Kurds in a long time. During that time there has been assault after assault on Government held Aleppo.

  75. mike allen says:

    Saladin was a headchopper, but then so were some of the crusaders. Raynald of Chatillon had attacked and tortured and killed pilgrims on their way to Mecca, insulted the Prophet, and had threatened to occupy and destroy Mecca and Medina. It is said that Raynald was personally executed by Saladin after Hattin.
    And many historians have written of Saladin’s mercy on the Franks of Jerusalem after their surrender. He forgave the ransom of many of them as did his brother. This is not from Walter Scott’s fiction.

  76. Babak Makkinejad says:

    You are underestimating the active role of the AKP Government in those events that led to the establishment of ISIS.
    Regrettably, I have come to the conclusion that the AKP, even though some of its leaders have read or are familiar with such books as those written by Allamah Seyyed Muhammad Husayn Tabataba’i, has been pursuing a strategy of containment against the rise of Iranian power after 2003.
    Turkish government, under AKP, was aiming at nothing less than the creation of a new state or pseudo-state (modeling itself after the Russian Federation) in Eastern Syria and Western Iraq.
    I also have concluded the AKP government, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, US, and EU all pursuing this grand strategy of Iranian containment; with ISIS being one wing of it and the destruction of SAR being its other wing.
    In order to salvage their equities in Syria and in Iraq, Turkey and Saudi Arabia now have to go to war against Iran & the Shia Crescent; likely waiting to do so after January of 2017 – in my opinion.

  77. Earthrise says:

    Fair enough different clue, I’ll do the same. I use the Empire normally anyway, as this is just the modern form of what has always been since the dawn of civilisation. The fight over excess production. But as it is the people versus this 1% (the psychopaths), I will no longer say America.

  78. Pundita says:

    Thank you for your reply. The oil sanctions on Iraq began in 1990, which is when I assume the Iraqi Baathist regime began smuggling oil to Europe and other points using Turkey as the transit route. If this assumption is correct, such a massive smuggling scheme would have required tacit permission from Turkey’s civilian government and considerable assistance from the country’s military and intelligence agency (MIT).
    All this would in turn suggest it wasn’t the various “conservative” (Islamist-leaning) political parties that coalesced into AKP that were involved in setting up the smuggling network. It was the previous Turkish regime.
    From what we learn from the SPIEGEL report, Islamic State in its present form was set up by Iraqi former Baathist military intelligence officers and/or military officers. These men knew what they were doing straight out of the gate, which suggests to me that they were already knowledgeable about the Iraqi-Turkey smuggling network during the Hussein era.
    I’ll go further and speculate that these very officers were involved in the network, and simply transferred their experience from smuggling Iraqi oil to smuggling oil they began stealing from Syria — and that they worked with the same Turkish officers they’d worked with when the Baathists were in power in Iraq.
    i realize that’s a lot of speculation, which is why I keep looking for a book titled, ‘Oil Smuggling During Sanctions Against Iraq and Iran For Dummies.’
    Until that book comes along I’ll tentatively assume what I’ve laid out above. This doesn’t mean that when the AKP came into power it didn’t take over the smuggling network, but I’d say at this point it does mean that AKP (and the Erdogan family if they were big players in the smuggling) simply took over a smuggling system that predated them.
    What I do think I can say with certainty is that it’s the system that counts, not political considerations or any specific individuals. Indeed, the system could have been at the bottom of Turkey’s ‘economic miracle.’ The miracle depended greatly on a somewhat mysterious foreign investment boom, but much of that could have been laundering of oil smuggling profits before the rug was pulled from under high oil prices.
    Regarding your concern about looming war to contain Iran — Al Saud couldn’t war its way out of a paper bag without help from the US military. So I’ll go out on a limb by doubting that an incoming American regime wants to spend its first year opening up another war front. And if Clinton becomes President, she would make Obama hopping mad by forcing Tehran to rip up its nuclear agreement. During the first year of her presidency Obama’s ire could be a problem for her.
    After that — we’ll see what the global economy, and the weather in the Middle East, have to say in 2018.

  79. Martin Oline says:

    The future ain’t what it used to be – Yogi Berra Or maybe not. I found this opinion about the 2035 forecast this morning and am passing it along:

  80. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Thank you for your comments.
    The United States, by signing the JCPOA cease fire deal, left Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey alone in their war to contain Iran in Syria and in Iraq.
    She also left them to do whatever they wished to do in those 2 countries (and in Yemen, in case of Saudi Arabia); further diminishing themselves and thus increasing their dependence on the United States.
    Arabs as well as Turkey and Israel can seek to create an incident or a series of provocations to manipulate US Government into a war against Iran; not that large segments of US are already not loving that idea.
    They need to wait for Hillary Clinton Administration – the current one is just running out the clock and they know it.

  81. rjj says:

    has anybody explained why White Helmets signs and labels are in English and only in English?

  82. charly says:

    I give you the US(excluding Mexico and the Indians and the not English colonies) Nordic countries only under a very good mood but the rest? Every European culture is a mix between the pre-Christian culture and their period of Christian rule with optional a period of Arab/Turkish rule.

  83. charly says:

    Why would Iran rip up its part of the nuclear agreement? Upholding it while at the same time making a ruckus about double crossing Americans is much better

  84. Fred says:

    Americans couldn’t be propagandized without it.

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