Middle East Summary – 12 July 2017


1.  Iraq 

Mosul has finally fallen after many months of intense combat.  Iraqi government forces suffered severe casualties in close combat against an enemy committed to self-immolation unless ordered to withdraw to fight again elsewhere.  Many of these IS creatures withdrew to the west and south to participate evidently in a final apocalyptic attempt to capture deir al zor in Syria in the hope of establishing another population center under IS control.  The Iraqi assault on Mosul was greatly assisted by US coalition air support, but unfortunately this air support killed and wounded many Iraqi civilians.  This was inevitable.  The withdrawal of IS forces to the south into Syria was harassed and attacked all the way by RuAF and Syrian AF aircraft causing them many more casualties.  This is in contradiction to the repeated claims by the US and NATO that R+6 does not fight IS. 

The US seems to be losing its grip on the Iraqi government.  Iraq and Russia have concluded a deal for the sale of around a hundred Russian built T-90 tanks.  These will undoubtedly be accompanied to Iraq by a group of maintenance and training people.  There will be ammunition and spare parts sales that accompany this deal for many years.

The Iraqi government has begun conducting air attacks against IS in Syrian territory east of the Euphrates River.  This  is n accord with an agreement with what the US calls the Syrian "regime."  I see no evidence that the US was consulted in reaching this agreement.

2.  Syria 

The US coalition assault on Raqqa continues successfully.  It is probably going to be a fight that will last nearly as long as the Mosul battle and with similar civilian casualties.

The R+6 offensive into the depths of eastern Syria has been in preparation for weeks.  These preparations are near completion and an advance into the east for the purpose of driving IS out of Syria and for the relief of the Syrian garrison at deir al zor  which has been besieged in heavy combat for a very long time.  One can only hope that there will be no more accidental bombings by US coalition aircraft of R+6 troops involved in effecting the liberation of eastern Syria.  The main attack in this campaign will IMO be an armor heavy mobile force advancing on desert roads and tracks to the southeast with the mission of reaching the sukhna- deir al zor for the purpose of turning the IS forces SW of the point at which the road is reached out of their position to create a rout in IS ranks.  Presumably the column that had come from the Ithriya-Rasafa road area would combine with the Desert Hawks brigade of the SAA in continuing on to deir al zor.

 In the last few days both the R+6 and the Israeli Air force have broken the ceasefire established by the US, Russia and Jordan in the three southwestern provinces of Syria.  In the Israeli case they have continued to make air attacks against SAA forces near the occupied Golan Heights.  Their excuse is that they have received fire in Israeli occupied Syrian territory from these forces, but in my opinion the real purpose is assistance to their jihadi allies who are engaged with SAA forces.  The Israelis are supporting both IS and AQ affiliated forces.  The SAA has at the same time conducted an sizable operation into eastern Suweida Province that has largely cleared the region of US supported anti-government forces who are reported to have fled to the east to the protection of US coalition centers around al-tanf .  

idlib Province remains in the hands of AQ connected terrorists who are presently engaged in eradicating their IS jihadi rivals as well as FSA semi-jihadis.  Good!  They should keep it up.  At some point the province will have to be returned to government control but that can await the completion of other government efforts.

The Turks remain on the scene in northern Aleppo Province and just across the Syria-Turkey border.  Turkey seems to harbor deeply felt irredentist dreams against both Iraq and Syria.  That problem is unlikely to disappear.

Finally,  David Ignatius has  an article in the WP (Bezo's blog) today in which he makes reference to a RAND study in which the author tries to make the case that SOF forces (Green Berets, Rangers, Delta, SEALS, and other cats and dogs) are the key to success in warfare in the future.  I am a retired Special Forces officer and am deeply and persistently devoted to my regiment, a devotion I share with TTG, John Minnerath, Degringolade and others here, but I must tell you that although Green Berets are very good at working with local fighters, the rest of the SOF "crew" are direct action fighters.  Their business is killing enemies with their own weapons in their small groups rather than training, urging and helping to lead the local folks.  Armies through the ages are made up of dismounted fighters who are called Infantry, mounted fighters who are now called Armor and missile throwers called Artillery.  IMO it will always be thus.  pl

This entry was posted in Borg Wars, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Middle East, Russia, Syria. Bookmark the permalink.

64 Responses to Middle East Summary – 12 July 2017

  1. FkDahl says:

    Carlson at FOX interview with Lt Col (ret) Peters. Revealing in a scary way what a spittle throwing fool he is.

  2. turcopolier says:

    FK Dahl
    Which one are you referring to? pl

  3. Kooshy says:

    Colonel Lang I found you very stratigicly creative with names, Borg, Chihuahua, Mokhtar Trump and now a new ace. WP = Bezo’s blog, very well said, BTW this Bezo’s blog,
    is full force after pulling a soft coup on the current legal and constitutional administration of this United States, IMO they are traitors to this country.

  4. Peter in Toronto says:

    Excellent summary Colonel! It’s a shame we have so little media published by the Russian MoD in the eastern campaign.
    Did you by any chance catch the interview Tucker Carlson held last evening?
    I think he carefully exposed one of those Borgist creatures you describe, the public caught a rare glimpse of one of these scheming minions.
    For those who missed it:

  5. John_Frank says:

    Thank you for this post. As to Syria:
    1. While I stand corrected, to the best of my knowledge the Israelis have not launched any air strikes in Southern Syria over the last 72 hours.
    Also, people may find the following report published by the Rubin Center on July 3 of value:
    Israel’s Relations with the Syrian Rebels: An Assessment http://www.rubincenter.org/2017/07/israels-relations-with-the-syrian-rebels-an-assessment
    The report is by Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi, a fellow at the Rubin Center and is very thorough.
    Yes, the writer is aware of the Rubin Center’s location and of the author’s perspective. Personally I found the article informative. People can read the piece for themselves and make their own assessment.
    2. As to the cease fire itself, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has posted the following report:
    The Syrian south truce completes its first 72 hours with varying violations without causing casualties in the provinces of Al-Suwaidaa, Quneitra and Daraa
    (The writer is aware of the leanings of the person behind the Syria HR. However, at this juncture detailed information on violations is sparse.)
    With respect to the advances being made by the Syria Army, according to the following report, this attack was launched just east of the southern ceasefire zone:
    Syrian army launches new campaign just east of southern ceasefire zone

  6. turcopolier says:

    Treason is the only crime defined in the constitution. It was put in there to deal with British sympathizers. It is narrowly defined and we should wan to keep it that way. pl

  7. turcopolier says:

    Peters is an officer who never saw a day of combat and who is a thoroughly indoctrinated product of the ant-Russia school at Garmisch. pl

  8. Pat Lang,
    Have there been reports of Samantha Power going into hysterics over the slaughter in Mosul? Perhaps she has and no one’s paid any attention. I think FK Dahl was referring to Peters.

  9. Cortes says:

    Peters must be a golfer.
    Le Carre in one of his blockbusters warned us about the golfing fraternity who promote each other within bureaucratic circles. Peters is not just moronic but willing to whore himself for a minimal appearance fee.

  10. FkDahl says:

    He, referring to Peters. I find Carlson in the top percentile for TV personalities.

  11. FkDahl says:

    Garmish is a very nice place, how lucky to have a school there!

  12. Thirdeye says:

    AlMasdar is confirming that the Tiger Force is getting in position for a move into the rear of Suknah, which was the prognosis offered by the Colonel. It looks like they see an opportunity to demolish ISIS in their western salient, while dealing a blow to their defenses on the way to Deir Ezzor in Suknah. That disposition assumes a certain amount of risk at Deir Ezzor, but there seems to be a pretty steady pattern of breaking up assembled attack forces there with aerial bombardment and a steady supply of ATGMS delivered aerially to the besieged forces. And the more R+6 forces can operate in mutual support, the better.

  13. BraveNewWorld says:

    The problem with that article is that it completely ignores what is being said at the cabinet level of the Israeli government which boils down to keep the war going as long as possible because we aren’t suffering and let as many people as possible die as long as they aren’t Jewish.

  14. fanto says:

    Chinese state TV – CGTN – (China Global Television Network, ch. 279 on Dish TV) today brings the news about the first outside of China military support base in Djibouti, with the task to fight terrorism, support the surrounding states and do good in general. I do not watch the US media that much anymore, so I am interested if others looking at SST have seen this information on the MSM, (than includes the funny Bezo´s blog, aka Pravda on Potomac ).

  15. robt willmann says:

    Here is recently published video said to be made from a drone(s) of Mosul, Iraq, showing its devastated condition. The first clip has a few brief segments of people included. The video is probably authentic, with the second one being from the Associated Press, and both seem to be from the same source, although it is not clear who actually filmed it–

  16. MRW says:

    Peters is absolutely insufferable. Some other Fox anchor likes to have him on, can’t remember who. Makes my teeth and bones ache to listen to him. Sanctimonious and self-righteous fool.

  17. John_Frank says:

    As to Iraq and the purchase of Russian Tanks, according to reports:
    1. Iraq is currently relying on the Russian produced T-72, T-55 and BMP-1 armored vehicles, as well the American-produced M1A1 Abrams Tank.
    2. The headline in the Almasdranews.com report “Iraqi Army buys nearly one hundred T-90 tanks from Russia” https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/iraqi-army-buys-nearly-one-hundred-t-90-tanks-russia/ is an exaggeration. The agreement involves the purchase of 73 T-90 Tank ‘variants.’
    Iraq Purchases 73 T-90 Tank Variants From Russia
    The purchase will allow the Iraqi military to replace the older T-72 and T-55 tanks it currently operates.
    3. The purchase has been in the works for some time. An old posting on the Pakistan Defense Forum from April 18, 2014 references an agreement to purchase the T-90 tank from Russia in 2012. https://defence.pk/pdf/threads/iraq-bought-t90-ms-tanks-from-russia.309931/
    In that regard, in October 2012, Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki signed a deal with Russia’s Rosoboronexport, variously estimated at $4.2 – $5.0 billion.
    (Quoting from a report titled Baby Come Back: Iraq is Buying, Fielding Russian Weapons Again http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/baby-come-back-iraq-is-buying-russian-weapons-again-07571/ published on July 1, 2016 on the website defenseindustrydaily.com)
    With the collapse in the price of crude oil, along with the huge costs being incurred in fighting the Islamic State, to meet its financial obligations, the Iraqi Federal Government has been forced to seek IMF assistance.
    Meanwhile the various UN relief agencies operating in country under the auspices of the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq continue to “pass the hat” to help cover the massive costs related to the ongoing humanitarian crisis.
    So, to reach an agreement, the Russians would have had to agree to sell the tanks and any subsequent support to the Iraqi Government on extremely lenient payment terms.
    I make that observation because, according to reports, the Iraqi Government had expressed interest in purchasing the S-300 anti-aircraft missile defense system from the Russians, but the deal fell through as the parties could not reach an agreement on payment terms.

  18. Patrick D says:

    “In the Israeli case they have continued to make air attacks against SAA forces near the occupied Golan Heights. Their excuse is that they have received fire in Israeli occupied Syrian territory from these forces, but in my opinion the real purpose is assistance to their jihadi allies who are engaged with SAA forces.”
    This is Israel’s MO. The same thing was evident during the 2nd intifada coinciding with the rift between HAMAS and the PA/Fatah. I recall HAMAS figures saying that if they wanted to hit the PA/Fatah, they would just lob a couple shells into Israeli territory and let the Israelis do the work. There is a legalistic basis for it that shields Israel from accusations that they are state sponsors of terrorism, apparently. It was in the wake of 9/11 which absorbed the attention of most western media. If I recall, I read on this website that Israel is in possession of counter-battery radar and knows full well who fired the shots.

  19. Wunduk says:

    Good overview of Golan events up to May in UNDOF’s reporting (S/2017/486)
    Increasing UNDOF and its area of responsibility should be enlarged. While this will encroach on Syria’s sovereignty, it could offer an alternative to the current Israeli approach of bombing perceived enemies in that area. This is taking the Israeli statement at face value.
    Of course, UNDOF would need to shift from the current form into something more robust. It’s baby steps at the moment. Nepal is providing a new armored infantry company. Why not ask Canada, China or other bigger and better armed armies to fill this gap?

  20. Thanks for that. An instructive interview. This is Lt. Col Ralph Peters @ 4.26 in the interview linked to above explaining how things are:-
    “Vladimir Putin hates us. He is malevolent. … He is as close to pure evil as I can find.”
    And later on in the interview we find that Assad has killed half a million of his own people and will kill more given the chance.
    Got it. Finally Western intervention in Syria begins to make sense.

  21. jsn says:

    Off topic, but I thought you might find this interesting if you haven’t already seen it:

  22. r whitman says:

    A fine summary of what is happening today. Does anyone care to predict what things will look like a year from now? Who is going to own what territory?

  23. Old Microbiologist says:

    I think Ralph drank the koolaid too much. I knew him a ways back and he was usually straight up but he clearly has been blinded by Russiaphobia. This was way over the top so has me re-examining some of what I believe to be true.

  24. turcopolier says:

    English Outsider
    At last you see the light! (irony) Peters’ hysteric antics were repeated last night on TC’s show when Max Boot, the arch-neocon, melted down into a blubbering puddle of neocosmic ectoplasm. Well worth the watch. Who will be next; Pletka, Maddow? pl

  25. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Please see here – especially the last paragraph

  26. Willybilly says:

    100000000% correct…

  27. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Yup; 50 Muslim statesmen (irony alert) gather in Jeddah to meet-and-greet the new US President, pledging themselves to contain Iran – the source of their civilization – and nary a peep out of any of them regarding those poor Muslims in Yemen – I guess they do not count as human beings since so many of them belong to the Party of Ali.
    I wonder how much longer that Ilham Aliyev (of Ali) government in Azerbaijan can endure; ruling over a Shia population and yet siding with the enemies of the Party of Ali.

  28. turcopolier says:

    Looks like the general, multi-pronged offensive has begun everywhere, eastern Suweida, east of Palmyra and the armored force headed from SW of Rusafa for the hinge behind Sukhna. Reminds of Grant’s Overland Campaign. Someone asked where I learned to do this kind of analysis. I went through the Army school system all the way to the War College and was a designated operational planner for the JCS for seven or eight years while serving as the head man in DIA for the ME and South Asia. worked on a lot of campaign and contingency plans for the US and allies. pl

  29. Kooshy says:

    Colonel I understand sir, this the oath we took “I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic”

  30. Kooshy says:

    Azerbaijan is run by alliance of russian oligarch mafia, and western oil companies. They will keep him there till a religious revolt from bottom up which Iran has to support since it will be Shia based and supported by Qom and Najaf. Once the revolt get supported by Hozeh , like in Iran, Iraq, Bahrain it will not stop.

  31. Kooshy says:

    Western Iraq is mostly under control of PMU.

  32. Peter in Toronto says:

    I really wish Carlson was more savvy on Syrian conflict, and not yield so easily on some of those slanderous talking points like Russia “bombing bakeries” or other such nonsense.

  33. Pundita says:

    the story has been well covered in US msm.
    Here is WaPo on the 11th
    And CNN
    Several other US outlets as well — see Google News and Bing if you have access to them where you are. Now as to how much the story has been on TV, I don’t know. With the exception of my little research project last year to watch RT, I haven’t watched TV since 2013. But check if there’s a video report accompanying the CNN report; that would indicate it made it onto a CNN TV news report.

  34. FourthAndLong says:

    I can’t take it at face value. It’s Fox throwing red meat to the great unwashed. They pay the rent with those acrimonious dust-ups. Having said that, I would have to say that Tucker made far more sense were a choice imposed.
    Putin believes he’s next in the series of US depositions commencing with Sadaam. Critical to understand that in any appraisal of him, his policies and actions.
    Comparisons with Hitler are hysterical, absurd — way over the top. Beyond absurd.
    Russia continues to struggle with its massive logistical problems and harsh climate. They’ve made immense achievements though. Last year they led the world in grain production, marginally edging out the US and EU.
    Russia continues, as it has for centuries, to be plagued by epic corruption endemic to a sparcely populated country of 11 time zones and severe winters. Russians are no more inherently corrupt or brutal than any other people. It’s a great pity people in the US are not better educated about their situation. The demonization borders on criminal insanity.

  35. Eric Newhill says:

    I did see that interview. Boot came off like a madman. I also saw the interview that English Outsider refers to. Another madman revealing himself.
    My wife, who was watching with me, thought Boot was just some crazy guy that Carlson found in a shady bar somewhere and set up as a straw man. I was glad to be able to respond, “No, he is the borg that Col Lang speaks of”.

  36. turcopolier says:

    Eric Newhill
    Max Boot is a senior fellow at the CFR in New York and the ultimate Borgist. I was on a panel at NYU with him at the beginning of the Iraq War and he shrank from me like Dracula from the sun. pl

  37. John_Frank says:

    If the Syrian Army and their allies are taking advantage of the Southern Front ceasefire to launch a general offensive in eastern Syria, which largely focuses on territory held by the Islamic State, good for them.
    I suspect, as a result of the meeting between Pres. Putin and Pres. Trump an understanding was reached on zones of influence (or if you prefer responsibility) in eastern Syria, while both sides focused on eradicating the Islamic State. If that meant the Russian side had to take territory in the south east, outside of the cease fire zone, presently controlled by forces fighting the Syrian Government, so be it. The only caveat? Do not threaten US forces or forces being directly supported by US forces in the fight against the Islamic State, because if you do, we will defend ourselves.
    Could be wrong, but that is my sense of what is going on.

  38. turcopolier says:

    We all like Garmisch-Partenkirchen and Berchtesgaden. The US Army had seven or eight resort hotels at the two places for a long time and a ice show restaurant complete with sliding roof. It was the “Casa Carioca.” I spent two weeks at Garmisch one Christmas. New Subject: I was an underage infantry private in the National Guard in 1955. I was careful not to speak to officers unless spoken to. pl

  39. turcopolier says:

    The ceasefire covers SW Syria, not SE Syria. Except for Suweida Province (SW)the area the big offensive in the east is going into is all OUTSIDE the ceasefire zone. pl

  40. Ed says:

    “Armies through the ages…” But what about that old RMA piece, non-lethal weapons, the arming of gangs and the like, cyber war and information technology, and the use of space weaponry?

  41. turcopolier says:

    Largely bullshit. Bean bag guns do not win the Battle of the Bulge or the recent Battle of Mosul. Seen any space weapons lately? When you do they will be just another kind of artillery. pl

  42. turcopolier says:

    SWMBO tells me that I have deceived you. She says that I was equally obnoxious in high school when I was carrying a rifle in the National Guard. When I came in the regular army after college I had been exposed to a good humanities education and was even more difficult. pl

  43. fanto says:

    At Pundita:
    Thank you very much for the feedback. I thought this story of China establishing and publicizing the base of operations so close to the Horn of Africa and the Red Sea – is very important in the geopolitical sense, a “game changer” if you will, and possibly a nod to USA that they would be there in case of unpredictable developments in ME.

  44. mike says:

    I believe that cholera is non-preferential of religion. In the Yemen it is in both the east and the west, infecting both the Party of Ali, and the Salafists, but mostly the very young who are not yet in either camp.

  45. optimax says:

    Nerf warfare. That’s like adults asking, “Why can’t we all just get along?” and not knowing why.

  46. different clue says:

    Peter in Toronto,
    I have seen very little of Tucker Carlson over the years . . . but he seems to have matured and gained quality since his tenure on Crossfire with Paul Boogaloo ( or whatever that name was).
    He still needs some practice dealing with the super-fast shout-talking style of people like Peters. But he will get that practice by talking to more of them on his show. He was already able to resist rising to some of Peters’ baited hooks and he may reach the point of rising to zero of them . . from Peters or from anyone else.
    The fast-talking constant-interruption style of these political shows (pioneered by Chris Matthews I think) is part of the problem. Talking reeeeaaaaalllll sssslllloooowwwww . . . to force the filibustering guest to also slow down . . . would be considered bad television, and would get Tucker Carlson a nasty reprimand from his superiors. Their priority is ratings-gaining entertainment after all, so there is only so much actual education and discovery that Carlson or anyone else would be permitted to pursue on this or any other TV channel.
    Peters knew what he was doing. He was playing the “passionate advocate” for Freedomization and Democrafication overseas. One hopes Tucker Carlson is able to watch these shows after the fact the way a football team watches the game it just played . . . to really study how Peters diddit. And to study how all the Peterses do it. So he can be readier and readier to force them off their game and make them play his game his way.

  47. different clue says:

    Peter in Toronto,
    Having watched the Carlson interview with Max Boot, I must say Carlson handled Boot very well. He gave Boot chance after chance after chance for Boot to step on Boot’s own . . . tongue . . . which Boot did every time.
    Boot was clearly more unhingedly emotional than Peters and Carlson gave the audience a chance to see the Boot reality. If the viewers at home were to put their noses up close to the screen, they could almost smell the Boot.

  48. For some time now I have been reading this blog and I have already shared some of the publications. I’ll share this one.

  49. confusedponderer says:

    I know little about Boot, don’t know him personally, but I have a rather clear idea about the man. I read what he writes, and it speaks for itself.
    Sadly, or fortunately, I own some few (fortunately second hands) books written by Boot, in particular “An End To Evil”, a notable piece he in fact didn’t write alone but the help of … the incomparable Richard Perle.
    By reading it it became pretty quickly clear that this was a shovel filled with “clear propaganda & pro more wars” goodness from the two, without logic but a lot of assumptions and allegations, emeshed in more nonsense, and with global ambitions.
    It was barely readable, and on a lowly-low sub-subterranean niveau one is only used from the average utterly nutter folks, with the difference that for the latter it’s just annoying nonsense. With Boot and Perle as authors it is not just usual nonsense but dangerous nonsense.

  50. confusedponderer says:

    Sadly, I know the Berchtesgaden-ish area only from exercises I had during my military service. The thing that really amused me was that in the baraques, as usual in bavaria, for dinner you were always, and without being asked, given a large beer as a bonus.
    Why? Well, in bavaria, beer is food, and, well, they fed us well. Nice people there, good beer, good food and it’s wonderful landscape too.

  51. Difficult to say how nice because there’s a wide range of reports and stories. Some say it’s pretty well normal there. One hears “crisis” from other sources. This is a report from the middle of the range:-

  52. John_Frank says:

    Yes, the cease fire is in south western Syria. However, my understanding is that the current offensive in Suweida Province is also outside of the ceasefire zone.
    July 10 – Syrian army launches new campaign today just east of southern ceasefire zone, takes “strategic points, hills.” http://bit.ly/2u0ix6w
    My point? Irrespective of what others may want or wish both within and outside of the administration, I believe the President’s primary focus is on defeating and destroying the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.
    As to the civil war, will the cease fire in south western Syria hold, or will it fall apart? If it holds, can it be used as a precedent to settle the fighting in other parts of western Syria?
    Have opponents of the Syrian Government led by Bashir al-Assad lost the fight to overthrow him by force?
    While Secretary Tillerson has made statements about Bashir al-Assad and the al-Assad family ultimately giving up power, the President is not interested in using force to push him or the family out of power. He has made that quite clear.
    It is apparent from the public statements made by the French President at yesterday’s press conference, that the French Government is willing to work with the Russians to find a political solution. But, what about the Gulf States?
    Needless to say, those within the United States who have long sought the removal of Mr. al-Assad from office, by force if necessary, will be unhappy with these developments. We are already hearing cries that the Trump administration has capitulated to Russia and Mr. Putin.

  53. Thomas says:

    “But, what about the Gulf States?”
    Have you not noticed that they are in the beginnings of a long drawn out contentious conflict? I wonder what the odds are for the Kingdom of Sadui Arabia to be the first country of the Middle East to splinter, especially with those survivors of the Islamic State returning home to see their mothers?

  54. John_Frank says:

    For those who are interested, earlier this week, the representatives of the global coalition to defeat ISIS met at the State Department in Washington, D.C.
    For those interested, two videos:
    Global Coalition To Defeat ISIS: Remarks at Small Group Session https://youtu.be/Oib2zmE-LeA
    Special Presidential Envoy Brett McGurk delivers opening remarks with Deputy Chief of Staff to the Prime Minister of Iraq Dr. Naufel Al Hassan at the Department of State on July 13, 2017. A transcript is available at https://www.state.gov/s/seci/2017remarks/272588.htm
    Special Presidential Envoy McGurk Briefs Press on Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS Meeting https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ty0w02LF8eQ
    Special Presidential Envoy Brett McGurk holds a press briefing at the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS Small Group Meeting at Department of State on July 13, 2017. A transcript is available at https://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2017/07/272601.htm
    Also, from last week:
    July 8 – Press Conference by Special Presidential Envoy McGurk in Baghdad, Iraq
    In addition from the Defense Department:
    ISIS Dealt Significant Blow After Iraq Retakes Mosul, Official Says
    People can watch the video at:
    Inherent Resolve Spokesman, Iraqi Security Forces Spokesmen Brief Reporters https://www.defense.gov/Videos/videoid/537951/?videoid=537951#.WWknsz0hQko.twitter
    As well, a transcript at:
    Department of Defense Press Briefing by Colonel Dillon and Iraqi Spokesmen in the Pentagon Press Briefing Room

  55. Babak Makkinejad says:

    There is no political solution; either Sunni factions fighting SAR are going to win and massacare their opponents or they themselved are going to be killed. Marcon is asking Russia to supply a face-saving settlement for the Western Fortress; there is none – in my opinion.

  56. Babak Makkinejad says:

    I really liked Sonthofen.

  57. Ed says:

    Thanks for the reply (optimaxl too…). But you missed the point, which is my fault because I failed to ask the question)s) in more meaningful and detailed ways. I’ll write it up in good time and re-present it as a set piece in some way. I’m doing some research and ran across a good and lengthy description, and I will find that. The answers may be the same, but I’ll know more because I asked the question more throughly. Be patient.
    As noted, I find SST and its discussions more valid and informed than most.

  58. John_Frank says:

    Thank you.
    Since following the situation on a map can help people visualize what is taking place, (at least I do), individuals may also find Syrian Civil War Map – https://t.co/QeXZATbIdy of value.
    The twitter feed is Syrian Civil War Map @CivilWarMap

  59. John_Frank says:

    especially with those survivors of the Islamic State returning home to see their mothers

    Based on various public announcements, it seems that like the Russians, the International Coalition do not plan on showing any mercy to the foreign fighters currently in Syria and Iraq. The plan is to annihilate them.
    Defeating and destroying the Islamic State in places like Raqqaa in eastern Syria is just the first step. What happens afterwards?
    In that regard, how are the Syrian Kurds seeking to position themselves?
    Analysis: Shift in Rhetoric Among Kurdish Politicians in Syria
    Kurdish political officials in Syria are taking an increasingly anti-Iranian and pro-Saudi Arabia stance amid the rising tensions between Washington, Tehran and their proxies, and the rift between Qatar and Saudi Arabia, writes journalist Wladimir van Wilgenburg.

  60. Thomas says:

    “In that regard, how are the Syrian Kurds seeking to position themselves?”
    Well considering the threats from Erdogan, the Kurdish Politicians are taking the Saudi side in the Gulf Conflict since Turkey stands with Qatar. Nothing new under the Sun.

  61. Lemur says:

    You call on the Israeli response to the ceasefire negotiated in syria was spot on:

Comments are closed.