“b”‘s analysis of the current situation in North Syria


When the Syrian army and its supporters have cleared the Latakia area near Turkey Russia will install a new far reaching radar and a listening post on one of its hilltops. Such a station will allow the observance of all air and sea movements for hundreds of kilometers into Turkey. It will be part of the price Turkey and NATO have to pay for the ambush of the Russian plane.

Some people think that Turkey would invade Syria if the Kurds move further into the supply corridor north east of Aleppo the Islamic State uses for its dealing with Turkey. I very much doubt such a move as any intrusion into Syria would risk open war with Russia. The Turkish army would only launch that war under a explicit, written order. NATO would not support such a move and Erdogan alone would carry the full responsibility. Most Turkish people are well aware of the economic losses that follow Erdogan's aggressive policies and would likely not support such a hopeless adventure.

Erdogan's grandstanding and interference is no longer effective. The current UN talks in Geneva between the Syrian government and a Saudi supported group of the radical insurgents are a side show. The real  negotiations are on the battlefield and there the Syrian government and its supporters continue to improve their already superior position.  Moon of Alabama


This analysis of the situation north and northwest  of Aleppo is so well done and precise that I feel no need to post something different on the subject.

R+6 is in the process of grinding the rebel forces into dust north of Aleppo with a general collapse to be expected very soon.

IMO Erdogan's neo-Ottoman caliphate and sultanate disguised as a republic is seeking to provoke war between NATO and Russia.  I do not think this will succeed.  Sober reflection on the part of the political leaders of NATO will prevent that.  A consciousness of the need to stay off the escalatory ladder will block anything but blather from NATO.

General Breedlove (SACEUR) was abviously chosen for his rabid anti-Russian views.  He is a menace and should be removed.  pl 



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26 Responses to “b”‘s analysis of the current situation in North Syria

  1. mbrenner says:

    Re. Breedlove: his recent public statements that come perilously close to declaring war on Russia seen not only reckless but well beyond his purview or authority. I began following these matters since I was a kid at the time Truman fired MacArthur. Yet, I can recall no instance in which a senior military officer arrogated such prerogatives to himself. Indeed, they seem to go beyond MacArthur’s behavior – at least insofar as words are concerned. And, certainly, there was no approximation to this during WW II and probably since McClellan.
    By now, it is transparent that many in the country’s power centers have utter contempt for Obama as a person, leading them to take outrageous liberties. It is not limited to the uniformed military – the Intelligence people do so routinely. In addition, the Wall Street barons rode roughshod over him during and after the crisis. Obama, for his part, runs from confrontation with any strong-willed, forceful person – as Netanyahu, Erdogan, the Saudi leadership, and just about every Republican leader in Congress learned early on. Even the Treasury’s sanctions boss got into the act ;last week when he made grave accusations about Putin’s person without evidence and, apparently, without authorization.
    More surprising, and troubling to me, is the absence of any push-back from Breedlove’s colleagues, his civilian superiors, the media, the commentariat, and politicians. For this is very dangerous ground that we’re treading on. It is long overdue that the White House told these guys: “Shut up! or get the Hell out of here.”

  2. D says:

    General Breedlove or Stranglove?

  3. Fred says:

    “It is long overdue that the White House told these guys: “Shut up! or get the Hell out of here.”
    I disagree. The President should simply direct Ash Carter to inform General Breedlove that he is relieved and to return to his home of record to await further instructions.

  4. Babak Makkinejad says:

    About the costs:
    1500 hotels have reportedly closed in Turkey after Russia banned travel there.

  5. ex-PFC Chuck says:

    re ” In addition, the Wall Street barons rode roughshod over him during and after the crisis.”
    I don’t think they had to run roughshod over him. They had bought their man before the election. The tells were the appointments of Geithner as Secy of Treasury and Holder as Atty Gen., both known to be tools of the financiers.

  6. Ishmael Zechariah says:

    tayyip is scared that Putin will release facts about the illicit profits he and his family have been banking over the years. This may or may not happen depending on what Putin judges the ideal outcome for Russia to be; I do not think a personal vendetta is in the works. tayyip is so far below Putin in caliber…
    In the meantime, the “Turkish Economic Miracle” is now exposed for the fraud it has always been. Our local “democracy lovers”, craven, mendacious ignoramuses, are now claiming to have been fooled. Unfortunately it is the poor folk, toiling to feed their families, who will suffer.
    A direct ticket to Hell is too light a punishment for some.

  7. HankP says:

    mbrenner –
    Ran from confrontation with Netanyahu? He gave Netanyahu enough rope to hang (actually discredit) himself, then pushed through the agreement with Iran. Which, I think everyone here can agree, was a far better method of dealing with Iran than the bombing and invasion proposed by Netanyahu and his supplicants in the GOP.

  8. b says:

    The “Turkish Economic Miracle” under Erdogan was build on unsustainable credit growth especially in the consumer segment.
    While credit growth this started at a rather low level, (consumer) debt the level now reached is not sustainable and could be catastrophic when interest rates rise. A lot of the growth was external debt that has to be repaid in foreign currency.
    IMF Working Paper – Credit Expansion in Emerging Markets:
    Fig 1 and 2
    Turkey is very lucky that oil prices have tanked. It would otherwise have already crashed. On the other side many of its traditional foreign markets are now closed off (Russia, Syria) or have financial problems (Gulf states). The increase in military activities will also come at a price.
    I don’t expect that “miracle” to work much longer.
    (How was this credit growth justified when it contradicts Islamic law?)

  9. Lefty says:

    Obama prevailed over Netanyahu and the Neocons on the Iranian nuclear deal. That demonstrates that he can, but has otherwise lacked the will.

  10. Old Microbiologist says:

    I disagree as well. It is clear that this is what the White wants to say all along. There have been several instances of minions saying outrageous things which stand uncorrected. Bot Breedlove and Carter are saying similar things. I also recall that twice now Kerry has said one thing and Nuland the next day the opposite and she was validated by subsequent comments by Obama. Nuland is supposed to be working for Kerry but it appears otherwise. That Kerry didn’t resign immediately tells me this is all part of a larger game and all of it is deliberate. The effect though is for enemies and allies alike to completely distrust anything coming out of the US administration.
    What is interesting is to examine these actions against the background of Lavrov and Putin. Those guys are clearly professionals and understand diplomacy. The Americans consistently look like amateurs but perhaps it is intentional.

  11. Ante says:

    As in North Korea, the adoption of a bombastic rhetorical style points to weakness rather than the strength.

  12. LeaNder says:

    Well done, b. So Russia prepared for further Turkish adventures. Not sure, if Turkey really wants to repeat the event anyway.
    The map: I don’t understand the circle and the dome shaped symbols…
    Were there earlier reports of Turkish nationalist party members on the ground?
    your MHP link:
    Off-topic: Any hard evidence for “Chinese Turkmen” fighters present on the ground?

  13. An important post and thread IMO. Again IMO NATO is the problem not the solution.

  14. b says:

    @Pat Thank you for the compliment.

    It seems that the SAA will have reached Zahraa later today. It is attacking the insurgents on multiple fronts in the area and is using heavy air support.
    The insurgents in Aleppo city and south-west of it will be cut off from their northern supply route to Turkey. The only open way to Turkey is then much longer, south-west-west through Idleb. If the operation in Latakia proceeds on plan that border will also be closed in a month or two. The only way out then is through ISIS territory.
    The “Turkmen” in Latakia are fleeing to Turkey with their retreat covered by Turkish artillery. A Russian missile could soon end that support as the artillery is only a few meters from the border.
    The question now is how the various insurgent groups will arrange themselves under this pressure. Many locals will give up and take the amnesty the Syrian government offers. That leaves the ideologues of Ahrar al Sham, Al Qaeda and the Army of Islam. Their allegiances and believes have some distinct differences. Will they fight each other? Will some “convert” to ISIS?

  15. jld says:

    If you are correct doesn’t this mean Americans are trying to conceal evil intents behind a haze of incoherence and pretend stupidity?

  16. turcopolier says:

    IMO the kesselschlacht in western and northwestern Aleppo Province has begun with many of the insurgents seeking to break out into Turkey across the border where they can lick their wounds in safety. The process of cutting jihadi supply lines looks to be a success and this will destroy them in any areas where the supply lines cannot be kept open. Once again, logistics rules! pl

  17. LeaNder says:

    America has less of a unified “politically nationalized”* outlook? Never mind other historical factors.
    * for loss of a better way to put it.

  18. Ishmael Zechariah says:

    re: “How was this credit growth justified when it contradicts Islamic law?”
    These bastards are full of tricks and explanations-all fully within the letter of their law. Here is a link:
    If you think this is disingenuous, find out how they use displaced Syrian women as “temporary wives”.
    Ishmael Zechariah

  19. Babak Makkinejad says:

    It is a lie but people need such lies to operate in the current world.
    Do you think “Sukhut” is any different?

  20. Fred says:

    You are correct in stating (that by his silence) Obama consents to the conduct you have described.

  21. SmoothieX12 says:

    is the absence of any push-back from Breedlove’s colleagues, his civilian superiors, the media, the commentariat, and politicians. For this is very dangerous ground that we’re treading on.
    Sadly, when speaking of Russia, US establishment lacks two Os from Boyd’s OODA Loop. No real Observation, no real Orientation. It always lacked them, it is just that as of lately this lack became a gaping abyss of ignorance. The semblance of sense of measure and proportion has left, sadly, D.C.with the departure of last “realists” (and even this term I am using loosely) of the scale of James Baker or Ambassador Jack Matlock…hell..throw in the mix even Brent Scowcroft. When dealing with Russia US runs today narrative-driven routine remarkably reminiscent of the worst from Ideological Department of the Central Committee of CPSU in Suslov’s time. It is dangerous because consistently US establishment relies on the narrative not serious assessment of Russia and that is a recipe for eventual wrong move which may (hopefully not) have a dire consequences for all parties involved.

  22. Tyler says:

    Carter is too busy making sure that the combat arms can accommodate breastfeeding biracial polyamorous transgender Muslim Hispanic illegal aliens to fire the General.

  23. b says:

    Terrormonitor.org @Terror_Monitor
    #AlQaeda Linked #Uyghur Group #TIP Released 6th Series Of Its Video “A Call From The Frontlines Of Jihad” #TM pic.twitter.com/n3NyPFPzrg

  24. YT says:

    Yes, war is bad for business.
    ‘Cept for the whorehouses & the arms dealers.
    Do I incl. the drug peddlers?

  25. Thomas says:

    “Do I incl. the drug peddlers?”
    Yes, because getting people to lose faith in the future will make them susceptible to the offer of “White Dreams” from Helmand’s finest fields.

  26. Ingolf says:

    Dangerous ground, for sure.
    The principal saving grace, and perhaps the only decent ground for hope just now, is that Putin and Lavrov appear acutely aware of this failing. They take account of it not only in what they do, but also in everything they say. Fortunately, neither seems to need the “gratification” of putting others down or aggrandising themselves.

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