Israel cannot be pleased with tomorrow’s SW cease fire in Syria

South syria copy

Quneitra , Deraa and Suweida province have been closely contested the last few months.  The Israelis have been flying Close Air Support for their favorite flavors of jihadi rebels in the area close to the Golan Heights (occupied Syria).  They have also been providing medical evacuation and support for the same. Why?  they seem to think that a jihadi controlled buffer zone between them and Damascus is better for them than Syrian government control.  They do this in spite of the factoid that until the civil war began in Syria, there had been quiet along the front there for a long time.

The Israelis are unable to cope with the missile and artillery rocket threat from Hizbullah north of the present front line north of the present line of contact.  They know that.  Neither air attacks or a possible massive Israeli ground attack into Lebanon would prevent HB firing a lot of their arsenal (30,000 weapons) into the northern half of Israel.  Their belief is that if they take down the Syrian government they can achieve an operational level envelopment of Hizbullah's firing positions in Lebanon.  They also believe that defeat of the SAG would fatally wound the Iranian government politically.  None of that seems very likely to me but the scheme fits well with US enmity toward the Syrian government.  Perhaps an eventual offensive toward Damascus is dreamt of in DC (certain circles). That doesn't seem very likely to me either. 

The prospect of such  a cease fire must seem a good thing to the SAG.  The SAA (R+6) are perennially short of troops.  A massive (for them) offensive in the east is imminent.  The objective will be the extermination of IS from eastern Syria and the relief of the long besieged Euphrates River city of deir al zor.  A temporary reduction of the level of commitment to the SW would be helpful.

Why did Trump and Tillerson agree to this "deal?"  I doubt that they understand the military situation and Kushner was not in the room to argue for the Israeli interest.  pl

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59 Responses to Israel cannot be pleased with tomorrow’s SW cease fire in Syria

  1. Greco says:

    It’s a good development, far better than some of the rumors I heard swirling around after the WH declared Assad was planning “another CW attack.”
    With respect to your question, did Putin give assurances that the Assads won’t retain hereditary rule over Syria? That to me seems to be the real sticking point.

  2. b says:

    The Israelis wanted the U.S. to put troops into the ceasefire area near the border. (They also asked for pink unicorns.)
    Now Russian military police will patrol there. They will have a diligent eye on whatever Israel does in the area.
    Trump seems to be happy that he can leave the Syria mess to Putin. Tillerson made a quite interesting remark on the issue.
    /quote/ “Maybe they’ve got the right approach and we’ve got the wrong approach,” he said in an extraordinary concession. /endquote/
    Good that Trump left Mattis and McMaster outside of the room.

  3. A.Pols says:

    Well, we’ll see, won’t we?
    Seems these cease fires are evanescent..

  4. ann says:

    After reading on this website the amount of preparation necessary for talks to be held between high level govt representatives, I was surprised how casually Trump began discussions. Impulsively. Making deals without background. Maybe just to say he made the deal.
    I wonder if any of this will matter when they get home.

  5. turcopolier says:

    Answer your own question. pl

  6. Sam Peralta says:

    Why did Trump and Tillerson agree to this “deal?”
    Col. Lang,
    My layman’s opinion is that Trump is slowly asserting himself behind the scenes and working to stabilize the relationship with the Russians. I base this opinion on Putin’s comment that the Trump on TV is not the person in real life discussions. And on Syria, that the US is starting to become more pragmatic. I also found it instructive that Trump had only Tillerson in the meeting with Putin and did not have McMaster or Mattis.
    Of course, those afflicted with Trump Derangement Syndrome will not accept this opinion and will claim that Trump’s long, apparently positive meeting with Putin proves he is a stooge. I fully expect the Likudnik corner, including the inside mole Kushner, to do everything in their power to derail any kind of “pragmatic arrangement” with the Russians in Syria and the ME in general. I expect some forward & backward progression, but over time, I think or at least hope, that Trump will be sufficiently influenced by the sober realist Putin and we can take any potential military conflict with Russia off the table.

  7. Cortes says:

    A positive view of President Trump’s meeting with President Putin emerges from the following article by Alexander Mercouris:

  8. jo6pac says:

    I’ll help with that. V. Putin sounds pretty clear on the subject

  9. MRW says:

    And Fiona Hill.

  10. Anna says:

    Here is a sample of hysterical reaction to the Trump-Putin talk by some Leon Aron, a whoring Resident Scholar and Director of Russian Studies at American Enterprise Institute:
    With his pettiness, Leon Aron is no Stephen Cohen. Aron’s hysterics bring to mind the worst among the Jewish activists of the Bolshevik revolution (like Yagoda and Kaganovich). Rather typical for AEI. The Resident Scholar cannot help himself but to exhibit a visceral hate for Russian Federation; this is incurable. One wonders if this warmongering could be qualified as a hate crime.

  11. turcopolier says:

    Sam Peralta
    The mental process and interaction between Trump and Tillerson that led to the exclusion from the meeting of Mattis, McMaster and Kushner must have been remarkable. Their absence IMO made the SW Syria attempt at ceasefire possible. McMaster is now saying how pleased he is with this. Well, he can do that or pack up his office. This looks like a turning point in US/Russian relations. it will be interesting to watch as Schumer, Mark Warner and Adam Schiff try to decide if it is still worth their while to continue to chase the red herring of Trump-Russia collusion. IMO most Americans (no matter how ignorant) will think an improvement in US/Russian relations is a good thing. We will see if the ceasefire holds for a while and we await the opening of the R+6 anti-IS offensive in the east. pl

  12. Anna says:

    Expect Israel-firsters to squeal for blood and to produce more warmongering nonsense. See the slightly insane Applebaum, opportunistic Aron, and miserable Lucas.

  13. turcopolier says:

    Someone suggested to me that the Anti-Russian emotion of many Jews is related to Jungian collective memory of Tsarist pogroms. Opinions? pl

  14. MRW says:

    Watch the 4.5 min video at this link for the whole thing. Well worth watching.

  15. MRW says:

    ”…how casually Trump began discussions. Impulsively. Making deals without background.”
    How do you know?

  16. BrotherJoe says:

    Try finding an English translation of “Two Hundred Years Together”
    by Aleksander Solzhenitsyn. The two volume Russian version is $129 on Amazon. Apparently we’re only to be allowed one interpretation of history.

  17. Bill Herschel says:

    Exxon is at 38 times earnings (Apple 17). The stock market is booming. Repeal and replace is as dead as dead can be.
    Putin: What do you think will happen if I shoot down an Israeli jet (cough), excuse me, if Syria shoots down an Israeli jet? Oh and by the way do you need help with Kim “slap the American bastards in their face” Jong-un?
    Trump: Let’s do this ceasefire.
    Putin: Good idea.
    Trump: Rex, have you finished polishing my WWE belt? I told you to do it on the plane. I don’t like to wait.

  18. VietnamVet says:

    I continue to think that Donald Trump was elected because he was the nationalist peace candidate. In fact, if he wasn’t burdened with Republican beliefs such as more tax cuts for fellow oligarchs, he would have won the popular vote. Hillary Clinton was tagged as the globalist war candidate. That and her collapse at the NY 9/11 ceremony destroyed the Democratic Party, not the Russians. I am hoping that Donald Trump watched “I Claudius” back when on PBS. If Vladimir Putin is correct that the real Donald Trump is not the media caricature, then the President is stage managing the globalist forces arrayed against him to survive his tour in the White House.

  19. turcopolier says:

    Bill Herschel
    You have managed to reduce this serious business to silly BS about Exxon’s profit margins and stock price. Congratulations. pl

  20. different clue says:

    Restoration of normal decent relations is one of the three things I voted for Trump “for”, aside from voting for Trump “against” Clinton. If relations re-normalize, I will feel 1/3rd validated in my vote for Trump.
    Rage and weeping over this will come from the entire Borg and Beltway who all wanted a Cold War 2.0 with Russia for their various different reasons. The Democratic party Clintonites will be the last holdouts and bitter-enders on ” Putin diddit (whatever it was)” It is unfortunate that Sanders will go passively along with a lot of this. Maybe he will be pressurable-out of his agreement with “Putin diddit” if he sees enough Mainstream MidAmerican support rising for Trump as peace with Russia becomes more visible.
    Perhaps Sanders can be the hammer and Trump can be the anvil upon which the Clintocratic Party can be beaten into shape or beaten out of existence.

  21. turcopolier says:

    Bill Herschel
    Having thought this over as to why you would say things so trivial and silly I can only think that the post rattled you. Not up to your usual level of misdirection. shalom. pl

  22. Jack says:

    Your caricature of Trump and Tillerson in the comment above reflect your bias. Clearly you don’t recognize the political courage required by Trump to have such a public and extensive meeting with Putin where the outcome was positive. Trump knew that he would be piloried if he engaged with Putin in a respectful manner on a way forward to some kind of rapprochement. Considering the recent hysteria around Russia and Trump including calls for impeachment and a special counsel investigation, he showed remarkable guts and disregard for the opinion of the Borg media and establishment. Steve Cohen is right. This was an act of statesmanship, as he didn’t fall into the predictable pattern of our typical politicians by taking the standard “Putin is a thug” attitude.
    The response of the usual Borg punditry are so predictable and say it all.

  23. Bill Herschel says:

    I think what we are discovering is that Donald Trump is actually Oscar Zoroaster Phadrig Isaac Norman Henkle Emmannuel Ambroise Diggs. Not half so fearsome as he would like us to believe. That is a very, very good thing. His words speak louder than his actions. If this ceasefire holds, it will be the best thing he has done in office.
    You forgot to mention that I also said that repeal and replace was dead, dead, dead. I am not a Libertarian so that does not rattle me.

  24. Lemur says:

    Col., everyone
    I do believe Trump is certainly on the rise again from the low point of the Saudi Arabia visit. He’s made a strong showing in Europe, and been well received in Poland. He’s clearly angling to work with ‘new Europe’, which is a smart move that undermines the hostile Brussels-centric regime. He’s had a meeting with Putin which has led to a tangible result. Back home, the media has been retracting its Russian narrative. CNN has decided to set itself on fire by trying to crush dissent to its rule. Trump’s immigration program is gathering steam in the legislature, even drawing in some democrats. Economic indicators are heading in the right direction.
    So far we’re dealing with good signs rather than substance, so that’s a major qualifier. We’ll see if Trump can capitalize on this momentum.

  25. Bandolero says:

    The most astonishing news from Saturday was for me, that the IDF didn’t seem to help their favorite terrorists today as they were defeated by the Syrian army a mile south of Al Baath City.
    It leaves me with the suspection that after the Trump/Putin meeting someone relayed a message to Bibi that Trump and Putin may have agreed that – if needed – they both would take measures against continued Israeli support for terrorists in Syria.

  26. I hope everyone remembers Al Masdar reported an impending ceasefire back on 16 June along with an eventual opening of the Syrian-Jordanian border. The players were Damascus, Amman and Moscow. Washington is just going along with what was already agreed upon. Tel Aviv can piss up a rope.

  27. Ralph Anske says:

    Wouldn’t be surprised if the growing importance of post-Communist Russia hasn’t spooked the Izzies. Building their faith on “the historical record” rather than revelation (burning bush aside), makes them susceptible to paying more attention to the players, rather than what is being played.
    According to their version of history, their G*d dealt harshly with those who tried to mess with the Chosen Ones. Egypt, Babylon, Persia & Rome — among lesser lights — felt the judgement of their Deity. The first three have been more recent targets of the zionist placeholders; the destruction of Sadam’s Babylon and continuing opposition to the moderate flavors of Islam prevalent in Persia may be but an over reliance on a notoriously vengeful G*d.
    Russian posturing as the “third Rome” (and the native land of many Jews) may be inducing the occupiers of the Holy Land to seek their pound of flesh there as well.
    Me, I just wonder whether that Jewish oblast set up in the Russian far east will be accepting applicants, come the next diaspora.

  28. Phil Cattar says:

    Some of the answers might be in the book” Two Hundred Years Together” written by Solzhenitsyn about the relationship between Russians and Jews.However it has not been “allowed “to be published in English.If you have read it in French I would like to know what you think………………..I am not an expert on Jung or his collective memory theory.However I always thought it took longer than a few hundred years to take hold.

  29. The Solzhenitsyn Reader, Ed. Edward Ericson & Daniel Mahony, 2006/2009.
    Contains 200 Years Together (Shortened). I don’t read Russian and have not seen the full version in English but I believe Solzhenitsyn gets the history right and in perspective. The Reader as a whole is one of the most valuable books I’ve come across. The translation is said to be good.

  30. Peter Reichard says:

    I can see how a Jew might regard even Nazi Germany as an historical aberration not indicative of German culture yet see in Russia in both Tsarist and Soviet times a continuum of anti-Semitism ranging from pogroms to the Protocols of Zion. Russia’s current support of anti-Israeli states such as Iran and Syria feed this narrative. Many Jewish Americans descend from those who fled Russia at the turn of the twentieth century. Jewish Russophobia may be misguided but is entirely understandable.

  31. Peter Reichard says:

    Trump and Tillerson don’t get it. A ceasefire in SW Syria is counterproductive to the US goal of overthrowing Assad or failing that a partition of Syria to prevent the dreaded completion of the Shia crescent. Any ceasefire like the deconfliction zones frees up SAA forces to better reconquer the east and secure the Iraqi border after which Idlib beckons leading to the final defeat of the US gambit in Syria.

  32. EEngineer says:

    Or it could be a prelude to Trump declaring victory over ISIS and going home. The unspoken goal of shattering Syria can be conveniently ignored. It would be the savvy way to spin the results on the ground.
    The real question is what do the Kurds do next?

  33. Patrick H says:

    At his press conference in Washington on May 10, Lavrov said that Russia was especially hopeful of cooperation with the U.S. in the southwestern de-escalation zone, because of American interests in the region that borders Israel and Jordan. These comments were barely noticed by the U.S. media, which was entirely preoccupied with the firing of Comey the previous day, and the question of whether or not Trump leaked intelligence material to Lavrov during their meeting a couple of hours earlier.
    It’s somewhat reassuring to see a non-Borg agenda moving forward.

  34. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Both Baghdad & Isphahan were great cities for Jews during historical times.
    There is a 5 volume history of Jews in Iran, written by Habib Levi – in Persian.
    A one-volume condensation is available in English from
    Generally I have found Western Jews to be ignorant of all aspects of the relationship between
    Yehud & Iran.

  35. Babak Makkinejad says:

    The Shia Crescent has been a political fact for almost a decade now. It became a military fact from 2011. It is yet to beome a cultural & civilizational fact.

  36. DH says:

    What a couple of dum-dums.

  37. Pundita says:

    1. SouthFront snapped up an extraordinary statement by Tillerson that I’d missed:
    July 8, 2017
    US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said in response to a reporter’s question about US President Donald Trump’s claim that Russia might been aware of the Syrian chemical attack beforehand. “Maybe they’ve got the right approach and we’ve got the wrong approach”.
    2. After waiting for hours for US-Russia brokered ceasefire to go into effect (noon today) and coming up dry at every source, I finally thought to check DEBKAFile to see if they’d scared up any news about it. They had.
    Syrian ceasefire deal skips Syria, Iran, Hizballah
    DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis
    July 9, 2017, 3:42 PM (IDT)
    The ceasefire which Presidents Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin agreed should go into effect in along southwestern Syria’s borders with Jordan and Israel on Sunday, July 9, is a hodgepodge of unknown factors with vague prospects – even by the rickety standards of that six-year war.
    Whether or not it holds is of less concern to Israel than the military presence of Iranian and Hizballah forces on its borders. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu made this point at Sunday’s cabinet meeting, after putting those concerns before President Vladimir Putin last Thursday and US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson before the Trump-Putin encounter at the G20 summit on Friday.
    Both assured him that Israel’s concerns would be taken into account. But neither spelled out what practical form that consideration would take.
    The ceasefire deal they forged at Hamburg with great fanfare turns out to be no more than a generic title for a still unwritten piece of work on the prospective military and political cooperation between the US and Russia. Up until the Sunday noon deadline, nothing was heard from Tehran, Damascus or Beirut on if and how they intended to uphold the truce.
    Jordan alone is celebrating the ceasefire and claiming it as a major feat.
    DEBKA is just getting warmed up; lots more to the report but it boils down to sour grapes.

  38. robt willmann says:

    A report from the United Nations of 23 June 2017 on the situation in Syria actually contains some degree of detail. Numbered paragraph 3 describes the four “de-escalation areas” worked out by Iran, Russia, and Turkey at the Astana meeting–
    “3. At a high-level meeting convened in Astana on 3 and 4 May [2017], Iran (Islamic Republic of) the Russian Federation and Turkey signed a memorandum on the creation of four de-escalation areas, where hostilities between the conflicting parties are to cease (including the use of aerial assets). One of the aims of the memorandum is to facilitate rapid, safe and unhindered humanitarian access and create conditions for the voluntary return of refugees and internally displaced persons. At the same time, the fight against Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and Nusrah Front is to continue both within and outside the de-escalation areas. The four areas identified are (a) Idlib governorate and certain parts of neighbouring Ladhiqiyah, Hama and Aleppo governorate, (b) parts of northern rural Homs governorate, (c) eastern Ghutah in Rif Dimashq, and (d) certain parts of southern Syria (Dar‘a and Qunaytirah governorates).”
    Then there is this interesting note in paragraph 41–
    “41. The signature of the memorandum on the creation of de-escalation areas on 4 May created an opportunity to improve the situation of many civilians in the Syrian Arab Republic. While the exact boundaries have not been identified, the de-escalation areas include all besieged areas, except Dayr al-Zawr (besieged by ISIL).”
    The de-escalation areas include what the UN says are all the “besieged” areas, except for Dayr al-Zawr (Deir ez Zor), which is definitely a besieged area.
    The “background briefing” of the State Department on Syria on 7 July 2017 includes–
    “Question: Thank you so much for doing this. So Foreign Minister Lavrov today said in no uncertain terms that it was Russian military police that will be on the ground monitoring the ceasefire, but you’re saying that you don’t have an understanding on that. So is that not correct what the Russian diplomat is saying, and is the U.S. open to having it be Russian troops that are policing the truce? And then, secondly, I’m just wondering if you could explain how this interrelates with the Astana agreement, and since we don’t have access to the maps, whether this ceasefire overlaps at all with any of the territory that is covered under those de-confliction zones. Thanks.
    Senior State Department Official: Okay, sure. On your first question, we certainly felt like we had enough shared understanding about this arrangement to move ahead and announce the ceasefire that would start Sunday at noon. As Secretary Tillerson said, the specific details of monitoring arrangements is an extraordinarily complex question and it’s something that we hope to have finalized to everybody’s satisfaction in the next couple of days. Let me leave it at that….”
    I had a very positive opinion of the appointment of Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State, and still do, although occasional jingoistic and neocon-type statements by him have been surprising and disappointing. However, I like to think that his approach is influenced by the fact that his entire working life has been in the reality-based business of oil and gas exploration and production, which involves thinking for the fairly long term and requires the absence of conflict and war to be accomplished. The general public does not realize the technical aspects and many moving parts involved in exploring for, producing, transporting, refining, and again transporting oil and gas, before putting it in a car and zooming along at night looking at the stars or city lights. Tillerson’s approach to issues and problems may not end up working in the duplicitous world of “international relations”, but I would like to think that it is better than that of Warren Christopher, Madeleine Albright, Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, John Kerry, and Hillary Clinton.

  39. ISL says:

    Dear Colonel, My two cents – the Nazis took the edge off pogrom-inspired hatred.

  40. Hood Canal Gardner says:

    Puzzled: “Forget the ME, think Korea.” Does today’s piece MOL mean SST is back to the ME?
    Perhaps ‘getting all the signatures on the Korean War/UN Action-Armistice paperwork is a waste of paper/time. Ie let it be/what’s the point?
    But perhaps the point is wrapped up in the not so dead dreams of Syngman Rhee, Gen MacArthur, the Dulles bros and today’s Cold War neocon-miitary simpletons. That is, that another 100k plus US dead and wounded to unify Korea yielding Chinese and Russian land borders is “cheap price” doable and critical to continued US South Asia-Pacific hegemony.

  41. turcopolier says:

    IMO Korea is the threat to the US but you must be able to deal intellectually with more than one situation at time. pl

  42. Croesus says:

    Col., if your reading table can handle a bit more material —
    This comment by Tony Greenstein to a recent article on Mondoweiss —
    mentions The Haskalah Movement in Russia, that it failed, resulting in the individualization of Jewish people rather than their cohesion around a national identity.
    He further states: “Zionism was a reaction to Emancipation and a rejection of it. Both Herzl and Nordau hated it. Emancipation meant the individualisation of Jews not their formation as a nation. “
    Jacob Raisin’s “The Haskalah Movement in Russia.” explains that modern zionism started in Russia (Lithuania, Poland) which explains the geographic origin of many of the founders of Israel.
    There’s also much to be learned from Rabbi Henry Abramson’s lectures on historic figures in Jewish life: this link is to the rabbi’s sketch of Heinrich Graetz, author of the first modern history of the Jewish people, written in German, in the late 19th century. Graetz’s history emphasizes “Jews as victims,” but erases Jewish involvement in mysticism: both aspects are flaws, per Abramson, but Graetz’s History was found in almost every Jewish home for nearly a century — it was extremely influential.
    One more: In “Culture of the Jews” ed. David Biale, it is explained that a) the reality that Jews were successful in so many cultureS — plural — suggests that persecution & victimization is exaggerated. This exaggeration is perpetuated through Jewish liturgy: When a devastating incident does occur, it is commemorated with a prayer or song, which then becomes part of the Jewish ritual in perpetuity. Historians then refer to these commemorations of sporadic incidents and incorporate them as patterns in their histories. In other words, the practice of implanting emotionally charged negative memories has a long history in Jewish (and non-Jewish) culture, pre-dating Tsarist pogroms.
    I spent a number of years in a monastery where the Roman Martyrology was read aloud every day. It’s difficult to overestimate how such a practice can distort one’s worldview.
    As expressed here earlier, w/ the Col.’s forbearance, in my opinion it is a tragedy that “holocaust revision” is a proscribed activity: 1. discovering history is an essential and ongoing process; and 2. as my own experience and the above sources show, implanted distorted ‘history’ can last a long time and produce terribly destructive attitudes and outcomes, not only personally but geopolitically.

  43. Peter AU says:

    One thing unmentioned so far about this peace deal, to me it looks like the US have now publicly taken ownership of their proxies in SW Syria. Some time ago, after negotiating/talks with Russia, Turkey publicly took ownership of its proxies and called them off like a pack of dogs. Looks like something similar will happen in the south west with US.

  44. different clue says:

    Peter Reichard,
    The challenge might be for Russo-neutral Jews like Professor Stephen Cohen to figure out for themselves just how they ended up in a brain-zone of Russo-neutrality . . . and see if they can create a guidebook or a political-cultural field manual for helping other Jews get to the same brain-zone.
    Perhaps other Russo-neutral Jews can help work up such political-cultural treatment manuals. Then too, also, many of the non-Oligarch Jew-in-the-street type Russian Jews of today may well be Russia-identified. If so, maybe they could help the Russian-Jewish descended Jews elsewhere to reach the Russo-Neutrality Zone.

  45. different clue says:

    I see the possibility for an interesting poly-sci “lookback” experiment.
    If there are Democratic officeholders who are beginning to align with the Trump immigration program, what parts of the country do they represent and how long have they been in office?
    Does present acceptance of elements of the Trump immigration program correlate with past opposition to the various Free Trade Agreements? Does this present acceptance take hold within the areas of Great Lakestan and Rust Beltistan rather than in the Fun-in-the-Sunbelt areas?

  46. Pundita says:

    Speaking of NK, although McCain got in some usual snide remarks about Russia during his appearance on Face the Nation today, it sounded muted to my ears, and not a word about NK.
    I’m wondering if the Trump Admin put out the word to McCain and the rest of the Get Russia crowd in Washington (and UK) that right now and for the foreseeable future Russian intel on NK is extremely valuable to the US.
    Moving along, from the following RT report it looks like Damascus is on board with the ceasefire deal, which really did go into effect today.
    Ceasefire deal brokered by Russia & US enters into force in southwest Syria
    Published time: 9 Jul, 2017 09:54; edited 13:53
    A major ceasefire deal agreed upon earlier by Russia, the United States, and Jordan has taken effect in the southwestern part of Syria. The truce to end hostilities and deliver aid to war-torn areas will be enforced by the three countries’ militaries.
    The ceasefire and de-escalation agreement negotiated by Russia, the US, and Jordan on Friday took effect across southwest Syria on Sunday at noon Damascus time (09:00 GMT).
    The truce extends to Syrian government forces and rebel groups in the provinces of Daraa, Quneitra, and Suwayda.
    Commenting on the issue, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that Russian, American, and Jordanian experts had worked out the details of the truce, which says the US and Russia bear shared responsibility in ensuring that the ceasefire is respected by all parties, the minister said.
    Lavrov added that the ceasefire is aimed at getting aid deliveries through to war-ravaged areas and arranging contacts with opposition groups. A monitoring center in Amman, Jordan’s capital, will oversee the truce.
    President Vladimir Putin, who discussed the issue with his US counterpart, Donald Trump, at the G20 summit in Hamburg, called the ceasefire agreement “a breakthrough, to a certain extent,” noting that the deal was made possible by Washington’s “more pragmatic stance” on working with Russia.
    While little is known about how the truce will play out on the ground, it is understood that Russian, American, and Jordanian forces will be deployed to the area to stabilize the situation.
    “In the first stage, Russian military police, as well as the Americans and the Jordanians, will ensure security around this de-escalation zone covered by the ceasefire,” Lavrov explained.
    Russia’s foreign minister stressed that the ceasefire agreement clearly states that “Russia, Jordan, and the United States are committed to Syrian sovereignty and territorial integrity, as well as UN Security Council resolutions that pave the way to political reconciliation.”
    The United Nations, in turn, has stated that it appreciates the international effort being made to bring lasting peace to this part of Syria.
    “This is a step in the right direction,” UN Deputy Special Envoy for Syria Ramzy Ezzeldin Ramzy told reporters in Damascus, as cited by Reuters.
    “All of this leads to supporting the political process,” he added.
    Moscow has also engaged neighboring Turkey and Iran to push for the creation of safe zones in other Syrian provinces. The three countries adopted a memorandum on the creation of four security zones in Syria during peace talks in Kazakhstan’s capital, Astana, in early May.
    Extremist groups, including Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) and Jabhat al-Nusra (Al-Nusra Front), will be separated from the ‘moderate’ opposition in security zones set up in the cities of Idlib, Latakia, and Homs, as well as parts of Aleppo. Under the memorandum, all hostilities between government forces and the armed opposition should cease within the safe zones.
    Checkpoints and observation posts will be installed along the de-escalation lines within the safe zones, which should provide free movement for unarmed civilians and humanitarian access to areas under the control of the guarantor states.
    “The fact that the United States and the Russians have agreed on the ceasefire will make it more possible to be implemented,” Professor Seyed Mohammad Marandi of the University of Tehran told RT.
    “The Iranians, the Syrians and the Russians believe that the more peace there is in Syria, the more pressure will be on the extremists to end the war, because ordinary people will see their lives back to some sort of normality,” he said.

  47. Fool says:

    Colonel Lang,
    I am a Jew whose ancestors were chased out of Russia by the pogroms. I have not detected an “anti-Russian emotion of many Jews.” To this point, I would argue, even the firsters were skeptical of the false flag anti-semitic leaflet incident in Donetsk in 2014.
    IMO the current Russophobia among Borg / Dem party types, despite its many Jewish proponents, is driven by something else.

  48. Brad says:

    Excuse me….did IQs just drop sharply while I was away?
    The US has annexed the Kurd portion of Syria,…built bases.
    Now gets Putin/Lavrov to conceed FSA held Suweida.
    Israhell sitting on its stolen Golan with UNSCRs mark occupation as illegal.
    Israhell now gets all the territory frozen in ceasefire …which is more
    Stolen Golan.
    Watch for trickster as Hezbollah and IRGC get labelled illegal forces operating
    In de escalation zones.
    Putin/Lavrov will not resist this forced play.
    Israel needs the previous illegal Golan grab removed from political.
    What better way than now create a firewall of new political intrigues.
    It’s all Kabuki theatre as Syria gets partitioned.

  49. BraveNewWorld says:

    Like most large groups Jews are a complex mix of sub groups. One split in those sub groups is Israeli Jews and Western Jews. There is considerable support for Russia\Putin among Israeli Jews due to the support Russia gave in helping Jews move to Israel and support for them them once they got there.
    Western Jews are much more liberal than the Israeli counterparts and dislike Russia for not being as open, free and liberal as they view western states to be.
    Of course they split other ways as well with the older Jews more in touch with the Holocaust and remembering who freed many of the concentrations camps. Younger Jews tend to move those considerations to the history pile.
    I see almost no discussions/references at the many Jewish focused sites I keep my eye on about the pogroms. On occasion an Israeli politician will break it out for nefarious reasons, but that is it. Much is still viewed through the lens of the Holocaust. But again that is more of an older/Israeli thing than a western/younger obsession.

  50. Keith Harbaugh says:

    Colonel Lang, do you have any opinion on whether an independent Kurdistan,
    formed of the areas where the Kurds are in the majority,
    would make for a more stable and just (in some sense) Middle East?
    Many Kurds certainly seem to want their own state.
    Maybe this would be a good topic for a stand-alone post?
    BTW, I tried googling “Kurdistan”
    to see if you had addressed this already, and the hits didn’t look promising as providing an answer
    The closest was
    (found by using your website’s search feature).

  51. turcopolier says:

    Keith Harbaugh
    IMO the Turks will never accept the existence of an independent Kurdish country. We will have responsibility to defend such a country if we sponsor it. pl

  52. Ralph Anske says:

    Babak — thanks for the additional information. It’s been argued that later manifestations of Judaism (still pre-“Common Era”) were greatly influenced by the Persian experience. To me, at least, this reinforces the scenario of modern Jewish hatred regarding the Persian and Babylonian sojourns.
    Don’t recall if Koestler noted a comparable idea in The 13th Tribe, regarding the “hostile takeover” of the faith by the Khazars, ’bout a thousand years back.

  53. Phil Cattar says:

    It was interesting to hear Katrina Vanden Heuvel remarks on one of the Sunday talk shows today.She is married to the Russian “expert” Stephen Cohen and the editor of The Nation magazine.She is half Jewish and was born and raised in NYC.She was positive about the Trump/Putin meeting.

  54. Babak Makkinejad says:

    You may find this worth reading:
    The author is not Western.

  55. Babak Makkinejad says:

    If you want another South Sudan, then go ahead, cobble together a “Kurdish” country from different and disparate pieces and watch it go up in smoke – but not before Rapine & Carnage have had their fair share.
    In 3000 years a Kurdish state has not existed, and for good reasons – namely that Kurds are not a nation-building people; just like Silkhs, Gurkhas and many many such other people.

  56. FourthAndLong says:

    I agree. It’s simply a fact of life that the Borg has members that happen to be Jewish than the other way around.

  57. turcopolier says:

    Natanyahu announced today (17 July) that Israel is completely opposed to the SW ceasefire because it is Israel’s intent to destroy Hizbullah and Iranian interest in Syria and this ceasefire does not contribute to that. ITYS (I told you so) pl

  58. Fred says:

    He’ll have to cross the Potomac first. It’ll be easier than crossing the Litani.

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