The friends of “the moderates” are not through yet


1.  Having lost the Battle for Aleppo, the Assad must Go crew have now moved on to projecting memes involving false analogies to The Shoah and NAZI Germany as the aftermath of Jihadi defeat in the city.  Wild and unsubstantiated rumor is being spread by the UN, SOHR (MI-6) and Western media to the effect that Syrian troops are butchering civilians including THE CHILDREN in the streets in a re-enactment of every sack of a city the propagandists can dimly remember.  In fact the Syrians and Russians are evacuating civilians from the recently liberated combat areas, caring for them in makeshift shelters and preparing them for return to their homes.  Does the SAA have a list of hard core jihadis who they are looking for and aiming to eliminate?  SAA intelligence has had agents inside East Aleppo where they made appropriate lists.  These lists would include some fervent civilian collaborators with the jihadi cause.  This is war. Dead men don't bite.

2.  It seems that the former Nusra front and its allies are moving men up to the Aleppo area from Hama in anticipation of a next phase operation into Idlib province probably oriented on Idlib City and Jisr al-Shugur. 

3.  ISW is pushing the propaganda theme that the capture of Palmyra by an "army" of Technicals and suicide bombers is a major setback for the R+6.   It is not.  IMO the  attack was made on an opportunistic basis by IS seeking to take advantage of R+6 focus on the Aleppo battle. 

4.  Palmyra can wait.  The ruins and the propaganda leverage that IS capture of them provide are not worth diverting scarce ground assets from the center of gravity of the fight.  That center of gravity is in Idlib Province and the Turkish border crossing at Bab al-Hawa.  pl

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92 Responses to The friends of “the moderates” are not through yet

  1. alba etie says:

    It will be interesting to see if Erdogan refrains from actively intervening on behalf of the remaining Liver Eaters in Idlib province . IMO we are always just one or two bad decisions away from a major regional conflict in the Levant . Meanwhile it’s being reported that the National Unity Government forces in Libya have expelled Daesh from Sirte.

  2. b says:

    I assumed that the ISIS attack on Palmyra was at least partly a U.S. supported operation intended to suck Syrian and Russian forces away from Aleppo. As such it failed.
    Lavrov today claimed the same as a private opinion.
    ISIS is seeking new grounds. It has to give al-Bab to the Turks, the Kurds will role in a bit more on Raqqa, Mosul will be gone. The Syrian-Iraqi desert, with Palmyra as one anchor looks like the next place to go. That will be a mess for Jordan too. Deir Ezzor is in danger as a second anchor.
    Isis is thus useful for the U.S./Saudi/Israeli aim of disrupting the “Shia crescent” from Iran to Lebanon. It will be kept alive, in this or another form, unless the Syrian, Iraqi and Russian force eliminate it.

  3. turcopolier says:

    I am as yet unconvinced that the US military will have betrayed its Iraqi and Kurdish allies by cooperating with IS in this. The US military has certain standards of behavior and this would be way outside those standards. They do not work for CIA and I doubt that Carter would have had balls enough to order this, but I am open to persuasion in this matter. IMO the eastern Homs/Palmyra is not a workable re-location site for IS, too much desert, not enough population. The Syrian and Russian air forces will eat them alive out there when they are no longer distracted by the main effort. pl

  4. turcopolier says:

    Alba Etie
    It will be entirely up to the Russians. pl

  5. Ghostship says:

    “As such it failed.”
    Has it. From what I can glean from Twitter, the T4 airbase is already be cut off from road reinforcement and it could be lost tonight. That would leave what remains of the 4,000 – 5,000 ISIS fighters that captured Palmyra only fifty miles from Homs city with no obvious defensive lines between T4 and Homs.
    Latest map:
    This is working too well to be just an ad hoc local effort as I first thought and I doubt the Qatari and Saudi armies are capable of coming up with anything that works, so I guess that means someone in the west drew up the plan and left it lying around for some ISIS messenger boy to pick up and deliver. I don’t see any western militaries being involved and I also doubt MI6 would do it without a pre-signed pardon so that leaves the DGSE and CIA or someone who works closely with one or the other.
    No real evidence for this so make of it what you will.

  6. Dmcna says:

    I can see that the populations of Fouaa and Kefraya call for the liberation of Idlib now but otherwise I would think the appeal of liberating the main road to Hama first is generally underestimated.

  7. Laguerre says:

    I would agree that the ISIS retaking of Palmyra sounds like opportunism. However the remark of the former British ambassador to Damascus, Peter Ford, that US satellite intelligence should have seen them coming is also true. It is several hours drive across open desert from Raqqa or Deir ez-Zor. It is typical desert warfare like the Brits in Libya in 1940-2. Nobody stops you driving across the desert; the battle takes place at the destination. However, today US satellite intelligence should have detected the movement, and didn’t do anything. That doesn’t necessarily mean US collaboration, rather US opportunistic exploitation of what they saw happening. Not US collaboration with ISIS, but a rather less than complete desire to eliminate ISIS. Which is what we always thought. ISIS is not the main enemy, Asad is.

  8. turcopolier says:

    IMO enough force will be committed to prevent an IS advance west of Tiyas. I hope that more than the minimum necessary is not committed until the main tasks are done. As for the CIA or MI-6 writing a plan and then an IS nutjob finding this in an Ah! Ha! Eureka! moment, that is laughable. For THE PLAN to work for this jinadi Cochise he would have to be able to shut off US and Russian ISR. No. Either Ash Carter ordered a cessation of interdiction on Obama’s authority or NOTHING. pl

  9. Tyler says:

    Twitter is flooded with tweets from “people” (likely bots) claiming to be in Aleppo and watching the slaughter “firsthand”, with lots of “THE WHOLE WORLD IS WATCHING” style agitprop as favored by leftist fabulists.

  10. turcopolier says:

    “should have seen them coming is also true.” IMO, not necessarily, arguments from supposed capability always remind me of a civilian colleague in DIA who asked me why advertised capability seldom matched actual performance in technological systems. She was right, basically, whatever can go wrong, will go wrong. Until a couple of years ago when I asked to be de-briefed as a consultant for several Executive Branch departments I had some idea of present capabilities, so I am not hopelessly out of date. Things have not changed all that much since I retired. I remember the days of the Polisario Front beduin guerrillas’ seemingly endless war against Morocco over ownership of the former Spanish Sahara, their homeland. The Polisario lived in refugee camps in western Algeria. These were hundreds of miles from the bermed up sand wall with forts that Morocco had built along the eastern border of the former Spanish Sahara. The Polisario would sally forth (usually in sand storms) from their camps in a hundred or so little columns of a dozen or so “technicals,” and also four wheel drive bigger truck, advancing on parallel routes toward an objective in the Moroccan wall. While moving forward they relied on very low wattage hand held radios to coordinate their movement. These radios could not be heard from outer space. We had SR-71, We had satellite photography. We never detected any of these movements. the Polisario would assemble for the attack within a few kilometers of the objective, attack, overrun and then withdraw unscathed toward their camps in Algeria. What were you saying about inevitable detection? pl

  11. FB Ali says:

    I would suggest it’s entirely possible. There’s the precedent of the air strike on Syrian troops in Deir Ezzor. The enquiry found a series of “errors” that led to it. AFAIK no one has been disciplined for any of them.
    If people can get away with acts of commission, acts of omission become much easier to perform (eg, sitting on surveillance information). I doubt if a mouse can move in Eastern Syria without being picked up by the US drones, planes and satellites covering the area night and day.
    There are very few officers with such a sense of right and wrong that they would need a direct order to not do their duty. The general anti-Russian attitude of their commanders would be enough for them to perform such actions without any explicit instructions.

  12. Schoolboy says:

    Oh, and don’t forget the cats! The cats are being killed by Hezbollah gas attacks on a local shelter. Yes, Sylvester and his cuddly friends are being systematically murdered by evil Hezb. There may have been people inside as well. Real event for what effect? A couple dead cats in a field, supposed to get a rise out of the free world and bomb Russia I suppose.

  13. turcopolier says:

    I hope they remember to eat the cats. That is what the Germans did at the end of WW2. Interestingly the Germans did not eat many dogs. Bless them. I had one of the survivors as a pet. pl

  14. turcopolier says:

    FB Ali
    I await proof. pl

  15. Prem says:

    Palmyra is only symbolic, but I’m worried about Deir Ezzor. Especially, if IS is chased out of Mosul.

  16. Anna says:

    “The general anti-Russian attitude of their commanders would be enough for them to perform such actions without any explicit instructions.” Correct. The road to mutual destruction has been paved by opportunists of Morell/Hayden kind – unprincipled, viciously opportunistic in their lust for comfort and prestige, and incompetent and cowardly at the same time. The US “deciders” (and their Israeli handlers) have been eager to let the genie out of a bottle and hen they are getting surprised that there is no place on the planet to hide from total annihilation of the human race.

  17. Anna says:

    “ISIS is not the main enemy, Asad is”. Right. – For the Israelis.

  18. dmr says:

    Col. Lang: Notwithstanding your arguments in favour of benign motives and actions there are, as you surely must know, harrowing reports issuing daily, e.g. in the Guardian, of videos, tweets and email messages being sent by people trapped in Aleppo, describing in eye witness terms a murderous assault on a civilian population and pleading to be saved from an imminent wholesale slaughter.
    Are these to be discounted as false or cynical? As mere anti-Assad and anti-Russian propaganda? Am I, reading about all this, to think of myself as deluded and sadly misinformed?
    I set great store by your opinion and am keen to be enlightened.

  19. Serge says:

    My contention is that they didn’t see them coming because they were already there. The attacks on the palmyra checkpoints as well as the outlying fields,notably shaer, have been unceasing since march. A far cry from the Russian claim of thousands of attackers(this would be unprecedented for IS-the only offensive they have ever launched with more than hundreds was kobane) this was a coordinated action by small groups totaling in the mid to high hundreds,with high hundreds being extremely generous. A few hundred of these would have been gradually brought in by batches of dozens from the DeEz front and others(just like they brought in the groups and armour that took ramadi,they brought in these under far more scrutinize US air cover and it took everyone by surprise-including the bulldozers dump trucks tanks et al),but again I fully believe they they were simply already there all along. I believe it is far too easy and dangerous in the long run to discount the extremely high battlefield competence of the enemy and reflexively blame the nebulous hand of the greater powers that be,whoever that is. Both sides reflexively do it when losing to IS.

  20. Serge says:

    Tiyas certainly isn’t symbolic and things are looking grim.this opens up a whole new line of front starting with recently repopulated qaratayn if the Syrians don’t get it under control soon

  21. turcopolier says:

    You are easily duped in the propaganda process long underway. pl

  22. Ghostship says:

    Sorry, I was being sarcastic about the Gulfies. By ISIS messenger boy, I meant someone in the Qatari or Saudi military who has links to ISIS.
    How effective would Russian ISR be that far east with the current focus on Aleppo? There are reports that the Russians left a couple of hours before ISIS arrived and ISIS have put out a video which shows the Russian base in Aleppo. It looks like it wasn’t easily defended and they left in a hurry, someone even left his Mastercard behind. So maybe they had some warning, but how long would it take ISIS to cover the 150km from the Euphrates Valley to Palmyra on roads. Three to four hours?
    Would the US military in Iraq do anything directly if they saw a large number of ISIS trucks heading towards Palmyra? With the briefing against Iran after the Iraqi PMU blocked the exit west of Mosul, probably not. By the time it was reported back to the Pentagon, ISIS would have been engaged around Palmyra and be Russia and Syria’s problem.

  23. Serge,
    I share your contention that the attackers were already there. They probably number in the hundreds at best and certainly not in the thousands. I’m surprised this front remained static for so long. One can look back to Rommel’s experience in North Africa that became known as the Benghazi handicaps. Battles raged over long distances and usually favored whoever attacked first.

  24. Ken Roberts says:

    There’s a good discussion of the cats at Moon of Alabama. But here, courtesy of a link in the comments of that discussion, is the original “dead cats” photo — from Bozeman, Montana, 05-Nov-2005, a mountain lion and a house cat, dead in field, electrocuted from a utility pole — with snow in the field. Good … no cats were injured in the making of the latest “bad news from Aleppo” film.

  25. steve says:

    On December 9, 2016, Eva Bartlett, a young independent Canadian journalist held a press conference at the United Nations. Bartlett has traveled extensively throughout the war zones in Syria, speaks Arabic, and appears as knowledgeable about the role of western “journalism” in that war as anyone.
    This is an excellent video of her press conference. At 13:22 in response to a series of questions from an establishment journalist, she answers your questions about those reports of so-called mass atrocities in an absolutely devastating take-down of western reporting.

  26. I just saw a report on ABC Nightly News saying the Syrian Army was going house to house executing civilians. Of course there was no film of this, just some battle footage and two different video shots of civilians, lots of them, peacefully walking out of their badly damaged neighborhoods. No one was shooting at them. What a crock. I’ll have to go to RT for a more realistic report of what’s happening in Aleppo. Lizzie Phelan has been reporting from there for weeks. She’s showing a lot of the street celebrations going on now.
    The jihadi propaganda coming out of Aleppo now would even have Baghdad Bob rolling his eyes in disbelief. The alleged pictures of atrocities are being discredited almost as soon as they are published. And no one has seen poor little Bana and her family yet.

  27. Cortes says:

    When I was courting Mrs C, her father had a dog called Khan, named for “Rifleman Khan”:
    A few years later I mentioned this to a friend who worked for a very odd Scottish paper “The Sunday Post ” and he interviewed Bill, the father in law by then, and produced an article about the subject.
    Over the next 18 months or so Bill got letters from all corners of the world about the article, many very poignant about the whereabouts of men who died and others who’d decided to sever links with their family. The dislocation produced by war is probably still poorly understood.

  28. FkDahl says:

    As a practical aspect: the Keyhole style high res photography satellites are close to earth (perhaps 700km) and need to move relative to Earths surface (Galilean orbital physics and all that), stationary or geosynchronous satellites need to be 36000 km away. It is possible that ISIS could have moved between two passes of US photo recon satellites. Orbit information is probably restricted to countries that have the ability to launch satellites themselves.

  29. Serge says:

    You say so yourself that you feel inundated by the media coming out of east Aleppo, an area with a civilian population of 25-50k. Heard any of these bloodcurdling testimonies of yours lately from Mosul,a city of 1-1.25 million souls? I rest my case. I’ll preempt you by saying that the superior sensibilities and civilization of the Iraqi troops, a good part of which were dumping truckloads of bodies with nail gun holes to the back of the head every weekend in Baghdad just a decade ago , that these are not a factor in the equation.

  30. Jack says:

    “Are these to be discounted as false or cynical? As mere anti-Assad and anti-Russian propaganda?”
    Go back and review the past year of Syria stories in the Guardian. See how many, if any, stories there are that are pro-Assad.

  31. Jack says:

    Just like the wailing and gnashing of teeth with Trump’s electoral college win, the Borgists are in complete meltdown with the R+6 crushing the jihadists in Aleppo. The reporting in the Borg media is hysterical. I believe we are witnessing massive cognitive dissonance. The Borg’s treasured cows are being slaughtered. From Hillary is the best candidate to win so let’s rig the primary to the Assad-must-go and the unicorn “moderates” will be westernized democrats, the reality has upended long held beliefs. We’re seeing the denial phase in its full hysteria.

  32. different clue says:

    I still listen to BBC thru the night after getting home from work . . . a habit of some decades standing. Despite the audible decay of standards, it is still pleasant background ear-candy for the most part.
    But over the last few days BBC reporting from Aleppo has also been a SenSurround Wall of Sound about the dead children, the massacres, the torture, the disappearings, etc. Also, high level United Nations guys are wailing louder than ever about how there must be an immediate ceasefire, how there can be no military solution, etc. The BBC is pro-CLEJ, obviously. But what explains the UN? I think the UN people are so invested in the sentimental thought-world that violence is never acceptable and never solves a problem that they are approaching a state of brain-layer delamination at being forced to witness a problem being solved ( perhaps for several decades to come) by military force.
    Separately, I wonder how many of the strategists and planners for ISIS are still the legacy Saddam Baathists and the former Iraqi Army Officers and Secret Police leadership. If any of them are, I still find myself wondering if some of them are reading this blog for either ideas or perhaps things to watch out for.

  33. Ex-PFC Chuck says:

    dmr, see this video which, IIRC, I found in the comments on a post here a couple of days ago:

  34. Ex-PFC Chuck says:

    PS: don’t miss the Q & A at the end of the video. It’s 18 minutes long.

  35. Tel says:

    The way I see it, getting large vehicles in or out of Palmyra across that open plain is very vulnerable to air attack. That leaves no way to reliably get supplies through.
    ISIS need to capture that airbase if they are to have any hope of sitting in Palmyra for a long time. It’s all or nothing for them. Maybe they can wait a few weeks, maybe a month, but if you have 5000 people, they have to eat and drink.

  36. BraveNewWorld says:

    “IMO we are always just one or two bad decisions away from a major regional conflict in the Levant.”
    Truer words …

  37. Mac says:

    In my circles, my US friends actually thinks the “moderates” are the good guys….I just don’t know how to enlighten them….they think Assad is the problem….SST is the only sane space I have left.
    Any help is appreciate in relieving them of their misguidedness.

  38. BraveNewWorld says:

    You forgot snake face to the north. The Turkish military is still tied in enough that they could have put it together. I’m not saying they did, but that is where I would put my money. If they were involved and Russia found evidence …

  39. Bandit says:

    This has been my main issue all along; how easy it is to dupe the American public who refuse to do any independent research and analysis on whatever subject is being propagandized. It has been pointed out on this site and many others that the propaganda machine runs 24/7; it never stops; it has lots of actors who are willing to agonize in front of a camera or to tweet through whatever form of digital media.
    Once the White Helmets were uncovered to be nothing more than propaganda ops, an intelligent person might have some reservations about believing in government controlled media. But, sadly, this does not seem the case. Nothing personal here dmr, just stating the facts as I see them.

  40. BraveNewWorld says:

    The weather was also reportedly pretty bad for air ops at least in the beginning when the focus was more on Pamyra than T4. I don’t know how good modern equipment can see through cloud and fog. I took it as a given that any thing the military flies these days would be impervious till I saw this.

  41. BillWade says:

    laughing here, did you see the dead cats? I saw the pic, one’s definitely a cat while the other is a mountain lion, a bit of snow on the ground for added realism, lol.

  42. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Business as usual among competing centers of power. As Sa’adi wrote:
    دو درویش در گلیمی بخسبند و دو پادشاه در اقلیمی نگنجند

  43. Babak Makkinejad says:

    I hope some day Istanbul will be rid of them.

  44. turcopolier says:

    who and what would be sending IS supplies by air? pl

  45. turcopolier says:

    I have said from the beginning of this discussion that most of the IS were already there. IMO the rest were brought in by infiltration in bad visibility conditions. pl

  46. different clue says:

    Everyone has their own style, and has their own friends. And everyone’s friends have their own styles. So every different reader-of-SST will have to craft herm’s very own way of making herm’s friends and aquaintances aware of SST. And will have to vary that style to best match the style of every one of those friends and aquaintances.
    Here is how I have aquainted a few-couple people with SST. I have gained a little credibility with a few people over the last few years by offering a few predictions about things. If those predictions have come out more often right than wrong . . . to the point where a few people are respecting my opinion about things and stuff . . . I will then mention that “you know, it isn’t really my analysis. It is analysis and description of events coming from a blog called Sic Semper Tyrannis.” And some of those few have begun going there and giving it some due consideration at least.
    The process can work faster and spread farther on line. People ready for something a little bit new have already self-selected themselves and clumped up around various PSS ( Parallel Side Stream) blogs and other media. Such people are already a little bit more ready to receive word about another also-valuable blog. For example, I have been mentioning SST over at Naked Capitalism and mentioning Naked Capitalism over here. And so have others. And I see each blog being sometimes cited or referred to at the other blog.
    And so word spreads.
    But if your friends and aquaintances are among the overworked overstressed beat-down majority, they won’t even have the time-energy to look at something new. One shouldn’t let a very low and slow rate of recruitment among most of the people one knows . . . be too discouraging.

  47. Lemur says:

    “According to a military source in Damascus, the Syrian Arab Army’s High Command sent reinforcements from the Aleppo Governorate to eastern Homs today; these units were made up of soldiers from the elite Tiger Forces and Military Shield.
    At least 2,500 more soldiers are expected to be redeployed to the Palmyra front in the coming days, as part of the greater force to retake the oil fields surrounding this ancient Syrian city.”
    If this is true, the SAA wants Palmyra back.
    Re propaganda, I watched One News tonight here in NZ (our equivalent of the BBC). They showed a BBC clip about the ‘horrors’ of Aleppo, and then the valiant Samantha Powers giving Churkin what-for in the UN. They used the Obama administration’s stance to segue into Trump’s SoS pick Tillerson (PUTIN GAVE HIM A MEDAL!) and his views on de-escalating with Russia. So they told whoppers about Aleppo and then made Trump look like he was in favour of their fictional accounts.

  48. Jason says:

    Same here, I am at a loss.

  49. Tel says:

    I’m saying IS supplies travelling in ground vehicles would be attacked from the air as they move in the open.
    Thus, if IS don’t keep the momentum going they won’t be able to just sit tight in Palmyra, they will run out of food. This time of year it’s fairly cold there too, so they will also need fuel.
    Perhaps bad visibility can protect them, remains to be seen.

  50. b says:

    There is allegedly a new deal with Ru/Sy allowing Turkey to take al-Bab in exchange from not intervening in the Idleb fight.
    But will Erdogan stick to this deal? No one knows …

  51. b says:

    I sarcastically tweeted the cats in a three tweet challenge to the UN Human Rights nonsense of “receiving (unverified) reports of atrocities” which the BBC and others “translated” into “UN says atrocity happened”.
    Funny – that pics helped to get some 50+ retweets … any “dead human” pic would likely have received less.

  52. begob says:

    This is from the Jeremy Vine show on BBC R2, popular lunchtime news programme – discusses Aleppo for first half hour:
    Starts with Samantha Power line, but ends up with guests concluding Assad is lesser of two evils, rebels are jihadis, atrocities are on the rebel side, Syrian army is looking after refugees, war needs to end through Russian intervention. First time I’ve heard this conclusion from the BBC, and it follows on from Boris Johnson’s criticism of SA last week.

  53. turcopolier says:

    Jason and Mac
    They have been so programmed that nothing helps. pl

  54. Don Sorce says:

    Interesting video of Russian SOF in Syria (and training).
    Washington Post: New battlefield video shows how Russia’s elite KSO military unit is fighting in Syria

  55. The Beaver says:

    @ Brig. Ali
    First we have the fact that the U.S. point of contact for the Russians could not be reached for 27 minutes when the strikes started .
    Secondly the U.S. military gave the Russian forces erroneous information in advance of the bombing (9 kms off from where they intended to strike).
    Third one intel analyst expressed concern that the forces on the ground were not ISIS fighters, but it was not widely distributed.
    The best part was, after the fact, the coalition of forces participating in those air strikes rushed to proclaim their participation: the Aussies , Danes and the Brits

  56. The Beaver says:

    @ Ex-PFC
    The blood of Clarissa Ward from CNN and Samantha Power must be boiling 🙂 looking at this video.

  57. turcopolier says:

    Today, the 14th, a group of jihadis who had surrendered yesterday decided to reverse course and attacked government troops. Mopping up is underway. This is what the MSM is calling “ceasefire collapse.” Also, the UN denies having said that government troops killed 82 civilians yesterday. pl

  58. LeaNder says:

    Interesting. From the linked article:
    In North Africa, the Germans had introduced a non metallic mine, which baffled the electronic mine detectors, which until then had sucessfully found the buried explosives; and enabled safe paths to be marked through mine fields. The new mines were slowing the British and allied advances.
    I once stumbled across an interesting comment … according to which the Nazis funded the development of mines that could not be defused. Maybe this is what kept it on my mind: till the funding authorities understood the implications, or someone alerted them to them, they themselves wouldn’t be able to defuse those mines.
    No idea if it was a rumor only.
    ‘Die Hundewelt’, not ‘Die Hunderwelt’. Hunde is the plural of dogs, ‘Welt’ is world. …

  59. LeaNder says:

    slightly rude, but I would like to understand where she is coming from. As human being. Below the surface indication a love for sensations.

  60. kooshy says:

    I think it’s about time that Mr. Assad can say “Obama Must go” and be sure is done.

  61. Matthew says:

    TGG: It’s especially ironic in light of the media’s refusal to show the crowds of cheering civilians welcoming the SAA.

  62. Matthew says:

    Col: I’m basically drowning in fake news now. This exchange sums up the brave new world of anti-facts. See
    In football terms, this is Texas A & M’s claim that they never lose, they are just out-scored.

  63. The Beaver says:

    Since her father was part of the East Aleppo council, most probably already fled to Idlib.
    Incredibly CNN and other networks fall for that propaganda.

  64. A Pols says:

    Anyone take note of Samantha Power’s recent histrionic performance at the UN?
    “Have you no shame?”

  65. Petrous says:

    So true!

  66. FkDahl says:

    Any readers in Raqqa or Mosul? The colonel has that map thingy on the main page… he can track… of course VPNs can be used.

  67. Serge says:

    “Islamic State militants have been producing weapons on a scale and sophistication which matches national military forces and have standardized production across their self-styled caliphate, an arms monitoring group said on Wednesday.”
    Fascinating stuff in this report. Under “dispatches”

  68. different clue says:

    I remember someone commenting over a year ago that some of the senior Naqshbandi Army officers had “had enough” and moved to Jordan. Those among them who really have “had enough” may be totally out of touch with the Bitter Baathists still in ISIS. But if some of them were only pretending to “have enough” so they could lend ongoing plausibly-deniable help or comfort to their Naqshbandi BaathISIS comrades still in the field, they might be reading this blog from their Jordanian sanctuaries and sending anything of interest on to ISIS.

  69. different clue says:

    I heard on BBC last night that ISIS was getting all the mass-quantities of arms-parts from Turkey. Is there any political significance to the fact that BBC would permit that to be broadcast on its news?

  70. ToivoS says:

    b I saw the satire in your original post — it was very funny playing off on the fake news meme and the crazy stuff coming out of Aleppo. It looked like very few people realized your intent — sometimes it is very difficult to satirize reality when the reality is more extreme than your satirical attempt.

  71. Babak Makkinejad says:

    I think what the Fortress West accomplished in Syria was to make certain that all religious minorities in the Near East as well as a significant numbers of Sunni Arabs to seek shelter with Iran and her allies; the Passion of Imam Hussein becoming the shelter for the Passion of Christ.
    Please also consider that the Fortress West is denying that it is any shape way for form Christian; the Cult of Shoah leaves no room for the Passion of Christ – evidently.

  72. The Beaver says:

    It is the freaking HRW which is responsible for most of the lies being spread around:

  73. kooshy says:

    Colonel, here in LA, Los Angeles police provides police escort and security on Harley for street movie shots. I wonder if Vladimir Hitler and Assad the Attila are providing the same protection service to the western MSM’ jihadists, who are making fake news clip titled “I will be dying any minute here in Aleppo”, and the new version by UN rep Samantha P. “don’t cry for me UN”.

  74. Cortes says:

    An interview with President Assad covering his take on recent events in Syria, the media and more (English transcript):

  75. charly says:

    To find the orbits of spysats isn’t that difficult. Just point a radar installation up and that can do a whole lot more countries than launch a satellite.

  76. Ghostship says:

    Stephen Cohen v Kenneth Roth on Democracy Now – Umpire – Amy Goodman
    Not really the “rumble in the jungle but Cohen gets under Roth’s skin towards the end.
    It should jump to the start of the intros at about 14:30

  77. Kooshy says:

    Babk IMO your “as a matter of fact” ending resault of miss-guided western actions in MENA region is on the spot, no doubt. IMO the western regime change proxy war in Syria was no less than non proxy war in Iraq and much prior to that the war in Lebanon (82), for handing this minorties’ hearth and mind and aligning them to Iran. This three wars has multi folded Iran’ soft and hard power in her immediate region, Iran was able to show the region’ non Sunni minorties, she has the means to protect them from major and minor powers in the region.

  78. FkDahl says:

    SOP in my Arctic infantry brigade was that 10 % of AT mines were tamper proof, or connected to a deeply buried second mine 2m back. We had little kits with explosives and a time delayed fuse we placed under the mine. Can only be cleared with explosives.

  79. kooshy says:

    New Syria peace negotiations between Turkey, Russia and Iran to start end of month
    “Turkey, Russia, Iran to hold Syria meeting”
    “On Wednesday, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that Ankara, Moscow and Tehran are set to hold a meeting over resolving the crisis in Syria on December 27.
    “We are striving to secure a ceasefire throughout the country and for negotiations for a political solution to start,” said Cavusoglu.
    “In this sense, at the end of the month, on December 27 in Moscow, we will hold a tripartite meeting with Turkey, Russia and Iran,” he added.”

  80. Chris Chuba says:

    ISIS has been moving around for 4yrs against some advanced air forces, they have gotten pretty good at it, I do not believe that the U.S. looked the other way at Palmyra. However, here is a recent review of the Pentagon report about Deir Ezzor that did look pretty bad.
    Paraphrasing …
    The Russians were misled about the location of the airstrikes in the deconfliction procedure.
    The targeting procedure was changed during the mission.
    The primary reason offered for the mistake, the attire worn by the Syrian army, is inconsistent with past observations.
    The officer most involved was Lt. Gen. Jeffrey L Harrigan. He was the same officer who protested the most about the ceasefire requirements for sharing intelligence with the Russians.

  81. Chris Chuba says:

    The misinformation about atrocities at Aleppo, and I am comfortable about calling it that, is masterful.
    Look at how much mileage was gained from the following,
    1. Someone calls a representative at the U.N. and ‘reports’ that 82 civilians were massacred.
    2. The U.N. person says he has heard allegations about a massacre.
    3. Then CNN, British media, etc, all issue headlines … ‘U.N. reports that 82 civilians were massacred’.
    This is pure genius. Sure, if you read the articles carefully, you might be able to extract the truth but to an average person they just here the 1000th report of ‘Assad the butcher’.
    Today I encountered a Rand Corp. report on ‘Russian Propaganda’ techniques through an unfortunate Max Boot article
    where one of the main tactics is to bombard the listener with repetitive information from multiple sources. Sound familiar? Talk about projection.
    I am not picking on anyone who is worried about civilians at Aleppo. I am just saying that we are being bombarded with a lot of misinformation.
    Here is another great link from a Russian officer on misinformation regarding Aleppo, perhaps I’ll summarize it in another post. It is very much worth reading

  82. Thirdeye says:

    “Yesterday [December 12] evening, we received further deeply disturbing reports that numerous bodies were lying in the streets but residents were unable to retrieve them due to the intense bombardment, and their fear of being shot on sight. In all, as of yesterday evening, we have received reports of pro-Government forces killing at least 82 civilians (including 11 women and 13 children) in four different neighbourhoods — Bustan al-Qasr, al-Ferdous, al-Kallaseh, and al-Saleheen.”
    On December 12, those were hot neighborhoods in their last hours under Jihadist control. The dead civilians could have just been in the wrong place at the wrong time, human shields, or executed for trying to leave, but execution by government troops at that time and those places seems like a logical impossibility.
    The UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria acknowledges reports of Jihadis using civilians as human shields.

  83. Ghostship says:

    They just don’t give up. They will do anything to delay yet further the ignominious departure of the terrorists from Aleppo.
    “French President Francois Hollande on Wednesday joined calls for international observers to oversee the evacuation of civilians trapped under fire in the wrecked city.”
    How long will it take to organise and transfer international observers to Aleppo? Weeks? Months? Enough for the terrorists to reorganise in Aleppo?
    And Samantha Power was in the lead:
    “The French statement echoed a call by the US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power, who said on Tuesday that foreign observers should be allowed in to ‘oversee the safe evacuation of the people who wish to leave but who justifiably fear that if they try, they will be shot in the street or carted off to one of (Syrian President Bashar al-) Assad’s gulags.'”

  84. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Yes, it is a ruse.
    Otherwise they could have mentioned the International Committee of the Red Cross.

  85. Cee says:

    A Pols,
    She’s a sickening liar. I honestly don’t know how she sleeps at night.

  86. alba etie says:

    Col Lang
    Then IMO we should have high confidence that Russians will not allow Erdogan any room for further mischief .

  87. Mac says:

    Thank you Different Clue – thank you…

  88. Mac says:

    Its very discouraging….if they cannot see the “moderates” are the headchoppers, isis – whatever the nom de guerre they presently go by, how easy will it be for the Trump appointees of Flynn, Pompeo and Mattis to curry up a war with Iran and increase the misery a thousand fold?
    And I thought 2017 would be a very dark year in HRC was the next POTUS. I may have seriously misjudged Trump.

  89. Mac says:

    I’m worried Colonel, very worried…

  90. Cee says:

    The Beaver,
    They showed Baba and her mother again yesterday. They neglected to cover the news of the 7 year old girl that the Takfiri rats sent into a police station who was detonated.

  91. Martin Oline says:

    (Check out this story before posting. Please do note post this if you wish to do a separate thread or believe it may harm some individuals.)
    I read this on the southfront site. I will only put in the link as the article has named the individuals.

  92. turcopolier says:

    Martin Oline
    There is one American and one Israeli among the 14. It may be legal to shoot them. pl

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