Whether “mercenries” or “special forces”, whether “only four” or “hundreds”, it’s incredibly dangerous that the illegal US Syria occupation force is killing Russians
It’s a story that isn’t getting as much coverage as it should, but American soldiers have allegedly killed “dozens” of Russian “mercenaries” in an attack on pro-Government forces in eastern Syria.
The numbers vary according to source. Some put them in single figures, some say “hundreds”. Some say they were special forces. Some say “mercenaries.” The Kremlin is vague and non-commital, so are the Pentagon & State Department. But no one is denying that Russians have been killed by the US Army.
Couple that with the second attack on a “Syrian tank” yesterday, and the “new cold war” that people keep talking about just got a bit hotter.
This really happened. It is an unavoidable reality. The time has come for people to truly wake up, because American fantasies are in danger of destroying the real world.
But the western media who are bothering to cover this seem entirely unaware of its meaning or even its historical significance. Alec Luhn in the Telegraph describes the incident as the “deadliest” confrontation between the two nations “since the Cold War”, as if he believes the 1950s-80s were seeing the Soviet Union & NATO taking pot shots at each other on a regular basis. He simply does not understand that rigid rules of engagement once existed specifically to avoid this kind of thing. Because back then the US military & State Department was run by people who understood what MAD (“mutually assured destruction”) actually meant. That neither they, nor journos such as Luhn have any comprehension of this any more is the most dangerous thing in this dangerous situation.
Luhn and other western journalists seem to believe a potential nuclear holocaust is a relic from the past, a thing that can no longer happen, or that if it does it will be “somewhere else”. Growing up with years of phoney “wars” with countries barely able to defend themselves has lulled these people into a sense of absolute safety and invulnerability. They believe war is a video game they can watch from the security and comfort of their living room and comment about in smug soundbites on Twitter.
By the time they realise their mistake it will probably be too late.
But let’s have a quick reality check.
These things didn’t happen
The Russian’s did not hack the American election.
That did not happen, the entire machinery of American bureaucracy has been working overtime to attempt to prove this story true. They have found nothing. If they had even the tiniest shred of evidence, it would be being pasted onto 20 foot tall billboards.
The hysterical social media-based screaming about Trump being “Putin’s man”, or the “Siberian” candidate, or any other ridiculous label needs to stop, because while people are talking about non-problems, the American deep state is causing REAL problems.
Do a results based analysis. If Trump had been put in power by the Kremlin…why would he promote increased NATO funding? Why would he be overhauling American nuclear weapons? Why would he be carrying out airstrikes in Syria, that kill Russian nationals? Trump has not made a single move to de-escalated the new conflict with Russia. The opposite. He has made the situation worse at every juncture, despite his campaign promises to work together. That fact alone disproves the “Russian interference” meme.
Assad did not gas his people.
There has never been any proof that either the attack on Ghouta or Idlib was carried out by the SAA, or under Assad’s orders. Quite the contrary, weapons experts have spoken out against those accusations, many times. Even the US Defense Sec. recently admitted:
We have other reports from the battlefield from people who claim it’s been used…We do not have evidence of it.”
In contrast, America’s own military admit that they have been using depleted uranium shells in Syria. The claimed moral authority of the US and NATO does not exist.
The White Helmets are not “non-partisan aid workers” or selfless heroes.
The White Helmets receive funding from US and UK governments, this is not disputed. They operate only within “rebel” held areas, and associate with globally recognised terrorist groups.
These things did happen
Bashar Al-Assad won a Presidential election.
Far from being a dictator with no democratic mandate, Assad won an election in 2014. Assad is the legitimate president of Syria. All polls carried out over the years since the war started have shown a large majority support their President. One in 2012, 2013, and 2017. Some of the polls were carried out by NATO powers. There is no question that Assad has the support of most Syrians.
America has been planning regime change in Syria for years.
In a now famous 2007 interview, Gen. Wesley Clark of the US Army stated that he was given a list of countries that the US was planning to “hit”. Those 7 countries were Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Lebanon, Iran…and Syria. Of those 7 counties, only 2 are still standing in one piece, Iran and Syria…and Syria only just. It’s perfectly clear that Syria has been in America’s crosshairs for a long time.
ISIS et al are funded by the West and their allies.
ISIS are the excuse for all of America’s military personnel on the ground in Syria. They are the reason for “coalition” air strikes. But they are the creation of American intelligence. No one disputes that the CIA armed and trained the Mujahadeen in Afghanistan, in order to undermine the USSR. No one disputes that the Contras in Nicaragua were armed and trained by the CIA also. Cuba and Chile likewise. Arming and training extremists (whether religious or political) to fight proxy wars has been the American MO for decades. Leaked e-mails show that ISIS, al-Nusra and their ilk are exactly the same, therefore any claims that America are in Syria to defeat ISIS are proven lies.
America (and Israel) are in breach of international law.
Syria is a sovereign state, it is illegal to perform military operations on the territory of a sovereign state without permission of the government of said state. This is the basic premise of all international law. War is a crime, to declare war on another state without approval of the UNSC is illegal under international law. To fund, train or arm mercenaries in order to fight a proxy war is also illegal under international law. You cannot shoot down Syrian jets over Syrian airspace. You cannot perform “defensive” air strikes against Syrian soldiers, in Syria, whilst being on their land illegally. Any such attacks are de facto war crimes.
Russia and Iran, on the other hand, are operating on Syrian soil at the express invitation of the legitimate Syrian government. In terms of international law, there is no question as to who is in the wrong.
It’s very important that this fact doesn’t get lost.
In 2013, as the world was priming for another (illegal) NATO war in the middle east, people prevented it. People stood up. The wounds of Iraq and Libya were still fresh. Ed Milliband was uncharacteristically principled. The Russians stepped in to mediate. War, for the moment was averted, because people were aware and spoke out.
This time, they’re not asking our permission, they’re not trying to persuade us or deceive us. They are distracting us. The Oscars and the Olympics and Brexit and Oxfam and ‘hate speech’ and #MeToo…none of it ultimately matters. Side shows, a three ring circus with an orange clown in the centre ring.
Behind these distractions, the deep state moves, declaring their intentions openly for anyone with eyes willing to see or ears to hear. The machine is moving toward war, a war far more dangerous than Iraq or Libya. Potentially global. Potentially devastating. Potentially final.
The above are the basic facts of the Syria conflict, they cannot be refuted. They must be repeated and spread. The fantasies need to be put aside and the realties understood. We can’t afford to keep our eyes shut, and stopper our ears, as we let a delusional American elite, and their zombified spokespeople in the MSM, push us toward a global war.
The only way to stop it is to be aware. Luhn and his fellow stenographer-journalists are clueless in the face of potential catastrophe. They are not going to be speaking truth to anyone. We have to do this ourselves.
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‘BREAKING: Victorious Syrian Government Forces To Enter Syria’s Afreen Region Within Hours
Syrian state television channel Ikhbariya reported that victorious Syrian government forces would enter Syria’s Afrin area within hours.
Everybody duck! Pindo’s got a gun!
[For those too young to remember WW2, when the British fired the Germans ducked, when the Germans fired the British ducked, and when the Yanks fired everybody ducked.]
I’ll see your ‘blue-on-blue’, and raise you a jihad on jihad. At this rate, the SAA can withdraw and let the jihadis eliminate each other?
Hamlet: Aye, Sir, “When thieves fall out”….. the proverb is somewhat musty.
A good article but I take issue with the bit about the Russian hacking i.e. how “the entire machinery of American bureaucracy has been working overtime to attempt to prove this story true”. The entire machinery of American bureaucracy has been attempting to prove nothing because they know there is nothing to prove. They are simply stating the same shit over and over until it sticks.
The Russia phobia has been fed to Western populations for other reasons as well as getting rid of or corraling Trump.
With ISIS “defeated” by America and Al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood now good terrorists we need a new threat to create a market for more weapons and more money poured into security.
Meanwhile as the USA falls out with the people from more and more countries and places trade embargoes on more and more countries all other industries are struggling to survive while their home customers are impoverished by low wages and from being forced to pay for the weapons and military wages.
The wages of war are poverty and loss of government services. Meanwhile the Fear Industry enriches the capitalist class who can afford to buy more politicians.
It’s also about defeating the Putin government, because it is daring to hold out against the IMF austerity/war/famine nexus, and maintain a society that pays some heed to the needs of its citizens and tempers capitalism with social responsibility.
Using depleted uranium is a war crime. Another place it’s been used was in the 1991 Gulf War.
Former black operations operative, Cody Snodgres, tells of how the purpose of the Oklahoma Bombing false flag was to destroy two sets of important records:
the medical records of all the 1991 Gulf War vets who’d gotten sick from Depleted Uranium and from taking an unsafe hurriedly-developed quick-acting anti-anthrax vaccination (this was because in the years prior to the war Saddam Hussein was a CIA asset and the Americans had given him anthrax that they were afraid he might use in the war). The radiation sickness and illness from the unapproved vaccines was known as Gulf War syndrome. The DU got into the Tigris and Euphrates rivers and thus into the agrarian system, the date crops. A 600% greater incidence of leukaemia was reported in the region.
records on the Clintons related to profits they made for drug-running that was conducted to support illegal covert operations in Nicaragua. (The records were moved from another location to the building not long before the op.)
Actually, I’m quite dubious about Cody Snodgres now. Always dangerous for there to be only one source of information. He certainly sounded convincing in his interview, I must say. Apparently, he was injured in a car accident the day after he gave the interview with all the revelations. He says the accident happened because a girl moved from her lane and crashed into his car coming in the opposite direction – he gives the name of the road – now why would he do that if he feels his life is in danger – no doubt if he’s genuine the powers that be will know his whereabouts but even so. He says that when he asked her why she moved into his lane, she couldn’t give a reason – he implies that some special force might have made her do it. He talks about all sorts of strange phenomena and Hillary Clinton appearing in a dream and I can really only think that this is a complete windup. Gee, he certainly had me going – but then maybe he’s just a bit of a whacko –
it seems to sometimes happen to people when they turn whistleblower after leaving the CIA and similar organisations.
maybe he’s just a bit of a whacko — it seems to sometimes happen to people when they turn whistleblower after leaving the CIA and similar organisations.
Alternatively, maybe you would have to be more than just a bit of a whacko, to join the CIA in the first place. It’s hard to imagine that anybody who could reasonably be described as “sane” would want to have anything to do with it.
Meanwhile, back in the real world, solid progress continues to be made in Syria. From analyst Canthama in SyrPer: A deal between the Syrian Government and Afrin Canton is being finalized at this very moment. They have arrived in common ground in the past just to be rejected at the very moment to implement, so it is early to declare it done deal.
This deal must include the following demands form the Syrian Government:
1) All public institution back to central Government control,i.e. taxes, etc…
2) The entry of the Syrian Arab Army in the Afrin Canton.
3) Russian small police presence.
Turkish air attacks have stopped 2 days ago
“The real world”? This really happened friend. In fact it’s when things are stacking up against the US that this sort of dangerous escalation and crazy gamble is most likely to occur.
The US is a paper tiger. — Mao
But a paper tiger with enough bombs to blow up the world, and it is paper tigers and weak men who are more likely to resort to these extreme expressions to assert their strength and teeth.
@Franzesca. Sorry, couldn’t resist this video. Pindo may be crazy but he’s not stupid.
The Saker advises circumspection. There will be a lot of hot air blowing in from the West, ahead of the Russian presidential election. He gives casualty estimates from a Russian website, Colonel Cassad. Quote:
40 volunteers from local tribes
15 SAA fighters + Brigadier General
20 fighters of ” ISIS Hunters” group
5 Russian PMCs
Now that looks a lot more likely and more or less matches the official US “100” figure.
In my opinion this airstrike is pretty much a non-event. The US Americans attacked a column threatening their control of the zone of Syria they want to occupy (what else is new?), the bombing was a one way thing with no air cover or air defenses (so probably not Russian or even official government organized), the column was wiped-off (well yeah, of course)… when some three letter soup agency decided to pounce on this to create a massive big deal ex nihilo.. A few days later, the entire story collapsed but for a short while the Internet went crazy about it.
Lessons learned: next time around when you hear the next mega-rumor, relax, don’t immediately jump to conclusion and just wait! Wait until the dust settles and you actually get some facts.
This incident was used to make fake propaganda points against Putin but that doesn’t mean the incident itself was fake. In fact it obviously wasn’t fake since The Kremlin had accepted a small number of Russians probably died. Let’s just think before deciding to believe anyone.
If there was nothing to the story why did the Kremlin stay silent for six days? Why did Putin develop a “cold” and cancel his trips so he could remain in the Kremlin?
I think something went down. The Kremlin isn’t a fountain of truth, sometimes they need to lie just as everyone does. Lots of reason to be economical about the truth if the stupid US accidentally wiped out some Russian spetsnaz or even just some volunteers. If they publicise it they also get pressure from hardliners and liberals to respond – and that could take things rapidly out of control.
We’ll never know, but the lesson is the same. The US are a danger to human survival. Let’s not ignore that in the bid to downplay and dismiss the propaganda.
Well said. Last two sentences in particular …
MLS: I agree with all you say. All Vexarb was saying was wait for the facts? Both Peskov and Zakharova seem pretty keen to downplay this incident. It is not clear that any Russian nationals died at all. If that is a de-escalation ploy: fair play. As you say: we will probably never know.
Only the facts, Ma’am, just gimme the facts. — Dragnet
We employ ‘contractors’ to our dirty work, the Russians, obviously use ‘mercenaries’ to project and protect their interests in Syria. This ‘natural’ difference in using labels between ‘us’ and ‘them’ illustrates clearly how brainwashed our journalists are; I seriously doubt they even register the difference.
Recently US military leaders and some politicians have openly talked about ‘making the Russians pay a price for their involvement in the Syrian conflict’ as a way of ‘punishing them’ for getting in the way of Washington’s plans for the region, which amount to turning it into a giant bonfire and hoping that the flames will spread towards the Caucasus, which is perceived as Russia’s soft underbelly.
We do appear to be moving closer and closer to open and direct conflict with Russia in Syria. Should the Russians respond in kind? Imagine how our media would respond if the Russians ‘accidentally’ massacred a large group of US soldiers. It would be mass hysteria and calls for retaliation verging on war. Fortunately Putin is a clear and calm individual who doesn’t want to be dragged into WW3. But surely the Russians have to react in some way? Just allowing Washington to slaughter Russians like this, without a response, looks like weakness and will only encourage Washington?
Anyway, who is really in Charge in Washington these days? Trump seems to be surrounded by generals and looks like a hostage. Everything he does is wrong and is criticized, apart from when he acts aggressively towards Russia or moves to acquire more nuclear weapons.
And we’re all so distracted and thrilled by our various ‘sex scandals’ which, let’s be honest, have been systematically blown out of all proportion by our media as a distraction, as we move closer towards war with Russia. An attack on Russia is vital because a wrecked Russia smashes China’s ambitions as well. All the talk about a massive trade area linking China with Europe, comes to nothing if Russia is turned into a gigantic version of Iraq or Libya. Washington understands this, that ‘losing’ Germany is a real possibility, as German economic inerests are based on more trade with Russia and China. If the US ‘loses’ Germany, then the rest of Europe follows. The Americans are ‘losing’ Turkey as well and South Korea could be next. The future of the world’s economy lies in Eurasia, but Washington is determined that this cannot be allowed to succeed; Russia, China and Germany linked, with the US on the outside, bypassed by history.
So, really, the question isn’t ‘if’ the next big war will start, but ‘when’ and what the excuse will be this time. The Russians and Chinese are trying to buy time and delay things for as long as possible, but it seems inevitable… war. Trump talked about better relations with Russia and that really scared Washington. He’d probably prefer to build casinos and hotels in the Crimea rather than bomb it; only he’s not really in charge and never was. He’s never was ‘Putin’s Puppet’, but he increasingly looks like the war party’s puppet. It’s that, or a bullet in the head.
I can hardly wait for the Guardians take on this, via their digital culture guru in San Francisco, Olivia Solon.
Balanced reporting is the only thing keeping us from the gates of hell.
Come on, Olivia, pull your finger out. Where are you when we really need you?
”An attack on Russia is vital because a wrecked Russia smashes China’s ambitions as well…”
Agreed, but … a nuclear exchange with Russia will mean total devestation on both sides. Forget about Ballistic Missile Defence systems in Poland, Romania and elsewhere. Ballistic Missile Defence all an untested pipe-dream.
I think that it was the Prussian soldier Herman von Moltke (the elder) who once said:
‘’No plans of operations extend with any certainty beyond the first contact with the main enemy force.’’
This truism has a long history of serial hare-brained military theories which have come to grief in the heat of battle, based upon deeply flawed stratagems and underestimation of the enemy’s capabilities. The Battle of the Somme (1916), The Maginot Line (1939) the Fall of Singapore (1941), Operation Barbarossa (1941). To quote Hitler on Barbarossa. ‘We have only to kick in the door and the whole rotten structure will come crashing down.’ Bit wide of the mark perhaps.
A winnable thermonuclear war is yet another addition to hubristic military idiocy. William J Perry United States Secretary of Defence from February 3, 1994, to January 23, 1997, under President Bill Clinton writes:
‘’To be effective against an ICBM attack a defensive system exact attrition rates well in excess of 90% – the first time! No historical data supports the contentions that such attrition rates could be achieved in any defensive system in real combat situations….
When I think of the forlorn idea of defence against a nuclear attack I am tempted to think that the notion especially typifies Einstein’s grim and painfully realistic observation that ‘the unleashed power of the atom has changed everything except our modes of thinking’. It certainly has been normal in history to think of fashioning defences against evolving military threats. But nuclear weapons unleashed in large scale attacks, bring a sure destruction, one so massive as to rule out any successful defence. Defence-in-conflict, a traditional mode of thinking is no longer plausible. In a nuclear war, the long-standing norm of reliance on defence has become a self-deception, a most human and understandable one, and one that is rooted in the aversion of the new reality.’’
Russia and the US have both approx. 1700-1800 each. Russia’s latest addition to its nuclear strike force is the RS-28 Sarmat, also known as Satan 2, a MIRV-equipped, super-heavy thermonuclear armed intercontinental ballistic missile in development by the Makeyev Rocket Design Bureau] from 2009, intended to replace the previous R-36 missile. Its large payload would allow for up to 10 heavy warheads or 15 lighter ones or up to 24 hypersonic glide vehicles Yu-71, or a combination of warheads and massive amounts of countermeasures designed to defeat anti-missile systems; it was heralded by the Russian military as a response to the U.S. Prompt Global Strike. Do the American strategists really imagine that they are going to eliminate in its entirety the whole Russian nuclear arsenal like sitting ducks in their silos? That takes self-deception and stupidity to a whole new level. Imagine, for example what would be the result of a Satan 2 ICBM penetrating US air space and landing slap bang on Yellowstone Park and/or the San Adreas Faultline?
This more broadly broaches the not insignificant matter of a nuclear winter and global warming which would be vastly accelerated. It would be a fair guess to say that a nuclear war would result in an Extinction Level Event beginning in the northern hemisphere and then spreading inexorably to the southern hemisphere. Think Neville Shute and his dystopian novel – ‘’On the Beach.’’ How did in the name of Jesus did we ever get to this place?!
The Americans may bluster and threaten but the cold and deadly facts of a major nuclear exchange must be known to them. A neo-con will incinerate just like anybody else, or spend his days in a fall-out shelter in the company of Victoria Nuland and hubby Robert Kagan.
It’s a bluff. The neo-con crazies in DC want to give the impression to Russia-China that they are crazy for and gung-ho for a nuclear war, hoping that the Russia-China bloc will surrender. And if the Russians and Chinese fall for this gambit – which I don’ think will happen – and do surrender then I have over-rated their intelligence and resolve. The Mexican standoff is coming and cannot be avoided. Who will blink first?
Francis Lee, I agree.
I’m not sure about the significance of Russian freelancers fighting IS, after all today a British freelancer appeared in Court charged with going to Syria to fight, in his case against IS. Is it an offence in Russia as well? I don’t know. But the real significance is that the US clearly intends to hang on to a big chunk of NE Syria, coincidentally or not in the area of vast oil reserves. The Saturday attack on a tank shows their resolve to defend what they hold. It seems likely they will pick a local ally, anti Assad Arabs most probably, the Kurds being less attractive because of their resistance to Jihadis, many of whom from Idlip will join the locals under the American air power umbrella. The Americans think they can hold it by air strikes and good spotters on the ground. Thus the significance of the recent “self defence” attacks. Maybe they can. Thus the war will continue until the aim of Regime Change is complete.
A shockingly dangerous situation without an intelligent adult in sight in Western politics. As we drown in the relentless propaganda which overshadows our lives daily [and robs me of peace daily] the numskull media cowardly beyond comprehension continue to ignore the grave warning signs of WW3. America is out of control, there seems no way out, ruled from the shadows with a complete moron taking his orders from the fascist Neocons.
That Russia have behaved in such a mature measured way appears to have escaped the children here in the West. We are running out of road. Deeply worrying and traumatic.
It would be encouraging if the media was really just stupid but the wave of coordinated propaganda suggests firm control. The media don’t want to know, they have the script.
Boasting that one is a homicidal lunatic, completely out of, and beyond, control is an old theme in American culture. Mark Twain has a marvellous story in Life on the Mississippi featuring such a staple of the frontier society.
It is as well to bear this in mind when examining American claims of and even apologies for the slaughter resulting from the unprecedented killing power of its forces. It may just be trying to frighten us while cheering up the folks back home with reports of yet another massacre for which they can claim a share of responsibility.
I don’t believe that ‘dozens’ or ‘scores’ of Russians venturing too close to, the Pentagon’s pride, jihadi militias were killed. Unless, that is, they were on their way to a wedding party or locked up in a citadel.
Like the cries in Iran’s recent demonstrations calling for an end to Iranian involvement in Syria, these claims are probably part of Fifth Column campaigning in the Russian election, intended to convey the message that it would be dangerous to re-elect Putin or anyone not happy to lick NATO’s boots.
If it was completely false or even mostly false we’d have had robust denials by now. Yes, it’s being picked up and distorted by the anti-Assad pro-US bullhorns in order to bash Putin (for no good reason) but that shouldn’t blind us to the fact Russians have apparently come under direct fire from the US military. The correct response to the disinformation is not to ignore the real information. It’s not a sign of Russian weakness or misjudgment, but it is a sign of US refusal to abide by rational rules of engagement. The question is, will it happen again but worse?
Denials like Zakharova’s?
That’s not a denial. That’s an admission. She accepts Russians died. And she took six days to say anything. This isn’t how the Kremlin reacts when they are dismissing lies. I think they have taken a few days to work out a plan on how to respond , and this is it. Minimise it. To avoid the danger of escalation. I respect them for it. It’s statesmanship and more than the US would be capable of in the same circs.
As MLS has said, it’s not really a denial, more a clarification. She does not claim no Russians died.
5 people presumably Russian: subject to verification? Peskov has ”also called on journalists not to be “misguided by distorted data.“” They have stressed there were no Russian service men in the area.
If there was an chance they weren’t Russian she would have said “we don’t know what nationality they were yet”. “Presumably Russian” is diplomacy speak for “Russian.” The Russians still do diplomacy like adults. We don’t so we forget the lingo.
From reading the article where Zakharova clarifies the number of people (apparently Russian) who were killed, I venture that these people went to Syria of their own accord and that they may have done so through illegal channels. For all we know, they could have been jihadis as well as volunteer fighters for the Assad government.
I am sure that like most countries, the Russian Federation frowns on its citizens going overseas to fight as mercenaries or volunteers but does not actively prevent them from doing so.
They may officially frown but having a “volunteer” force of sheep-dipped ex-special forces is standard military practice all over the world where you are operating in situations of high political danger and need plausible deniability if – as may have happened this time – your people get killed.
They were NOT Jihadis. Russian Jihadis get blown to bits every day and – rightly – no one gives a stuff.
The fact Zakharova made such a qualified statement and took a week to do it telegraphs this was a bit of a biggy.
Please note I don’t condemn the Russians for this conduct. On the contrary it’s the only way to play this to avoid escalation. What worries me is that in the rush to downplay this as “fake news” (which it isn’t btw, it’s exaggeration), we are failing to get the real message which is the US is either so out of control they didn’t know there were Russians present, or they didn’t care.
MLS: there are two main hypotheses that fit the few facts we know. One is that the Russian FM really don’t know who the five are, and have been investigating all week to find out? Or, they really were Russian regular or irregular forces, and for reasons of de-escalation and mission confidentiality – they are officially denying it? Both are equally plausible to my mind. What is clear from both Zakharova and Peskov is that the Russians do not want others to speculate on this.
If, on the other hand, we want to get the message out that the US is out of control …well, where do you want to start? I would suggest the recent Nuclear Posture Review: that seeks to make nukes sexy and deployable, possibly against civilian targets. That’s fuckin’ insane.
As for Syria: a dangerous escalation is likely to happen soon enough; on the East Bank of the Euphrates; in Afrin Canton; or the hotspot still around al-Tanf. There is the also out of control IDF involved in an intensifying air war, and a creeping incursion into Quneitra and Daraa. If and when it goes down, particularly if the IDF are involved, the potential for escalation is enormous. The SAA and Russian FM are trying to downplay this incident for a reason. They do not want a war. Neither should we.
Downplaying war is always good
@BigB. Re Afrin, even more positive note from analyst Canthama on today’s SyrPer. Basically the enemy continues in retreat:
“… the deal [mentioned yesterday] between the Syrian Government and Afrin Canton is beginning to take shape and has the best shot to be signed today or tomorrow. This is as close to a deal as it has ever been, so this time all sides are determined to get it done.”
Vexarb: I can’t see that report, is it on the Saker? The Saker seems to think the YPG dismissed the idea of a deal?
I must admit to having more than a little sympathy for the Kurds. Back when they were Assad allies, I was hoping the could pioneer a semi-autonomous ecological community. But then they sold out Murray Bookchin-Ocalan’s ideology for capitalist guns, McCain’s empty promises, and the Yankee $$$$. Now it looks as though they will be discarded with all the reverence of a used condom? Both in Afrin and soon in Manbij? They are being gassed by NATO member Turkey (no Macron red line crossed there?) and their female fighters brutally murdered (the video is on SyrPer FB page). I do hope they can salvage something?
@BigB. SDF spokesman confirms-> “The Syrian army SAA will enter Afrin on Monday,” said Sheikho bello, a leader of the Kurdish Democratic party adding that “the aim of entering th-e city is to protect and defend it.”
From usually reliable blogger Bundy on psually reliable website SyrPer 50min ago.
As confirmed on AMN. That pits SAA plus YPG/SDF against Turkey plus FSA? Where are the Yanks? Also on AMN: a huge offensive against East Ghouta …I thought someone said the war was over!
We can assume that Al Monitor’s report is not the truth, just as we cannot believe the claims of similar casualties made by Russian Opposition members, who are pursuing a destabilisation of the Kremlin on behalf of the US, claiming that the Kremlin is putting out false storiess, or hiding things.
The Facts of the matter appear quite different, and we shouldn’t be distracted – as Kit warns – from the essential points of what is happening and what has happened.
Not only do we now have claims in all the Western media that “200 Russian mercenaries” were killed by the US in self -defence, and that it was the Russians who are guilty, but this is combined with today’s launching, or relaunching of the Russia stole our election story, with a whole lot more B/S about infiltration amounting to absolutely nothing new, including about St P troll factories!
Meanwhile over in Munich, the security conference discusses how Europe should cope with the Russian threat, and the problem of getting Turkey back on side, if it was ever off side.
And thanks Kit, for writing so clearly these essential lies. Please do it again.
One last thing – the “Syrian tank” photo was shown on the CNN ‘exclusive’ report at the same time as the pic of the group of soldiers being bombed. As it was shown, the commentary was that “Assad Loyalists bombed US special forces and their Kurdish allies” “..and as these drone pictures show”… “the US bombed them in response, including this artillery crew”. Two days later the first shot, of a tank being hit, was reused in the report claiming a new strike, while the artillery crew strike that was so incriminating was never shown again, and disappeared from a youtube video that otherwise was identical.
I believe the first story on this, that the forces involved had negotiated with local tribes, and even SDF, over the handover of the Conoco gas plant, and the US had to sabotage the deal. The forces, including Wagner security, were there to maintain… “security” against attacks from the US-SDF-IS coalition.
Al-monitor.com has an interesting account in today’s news. They give graphic details from Russian Military Hospitals, Doctors and others that suggest 80-100 Russians contracted to a Company called Wagner were killed on 7 Feb and 2-300 wounded. They suggest a 500 strong Wagner team approached within 3 miles of the SDF line in an agreed neutral zone perhaps to test responses to probes. They were probably unaware of American forces, including special Forces, in the immediate area. There is no information on who fired first. The Americans bombed the Wagner team and then used helicopter gun ships. Some 200 men survived unscathed. The high losses are attributed to the fact they were in relatively open territory, had no air cover and didn’t return fire for fear of worse. The answer to the probe was pretty clear; America intends to hold onto its Syrian oil fields, the richest in the country.
I don’t find that a very believable narrative I have to say. Why would such a huge force of “volunteers” be ganging together without any air support? Why would they not know the US was there? Why would they not return fire if being massacred?
It sounds a bit like a Rambo narrative designed to massage the US ego which is both very fragile and naively arrogant.
Whatever happened I think it would be a smaller scale, and probably consisting of the US breaking a verbal agreement and attacking without warning either by genuine error or because of a gung-ho local commander.
@Paul. Al-Monitor ‘the pulse of the Middle East’ is a NATZO disinformation site. Clue: still refers to Syrian ”regime”.
The obvious non Westetn response is for the Syrian and Russisn side of the conflict is to make peace with the Kurds who have been hung out to dry by the West in response to Turkey attacking them and to provide Syrian pro Government fighters with sophisticated weapons to bring down US and NATO planes. Dead Westerners stops wars better than any other factor.
Also China can flog off more US bonds to give the US economy a good kick in the backside to frighten off the capitalists pushing war.
Isn’t it strange how Russia has ‘mercenaries’ while USA has ‘contractors’. Contractors sounds so much more non threatening.
Funny how that works for sure.
Back during Reagan’s time al Queda were called “freedom fighters”.
Then terrorists vs. “moderate terrorists”.
It is rather difficult to keep up with which side you’re on!
The biggest obstacle to nuclear disarmament, and to preventing proliferation is fear the Americans will invade and enslave, and pillage, and ruin. They like to be number one and they are repeatedly voted at the top of threats to world peace, not to mention their starring role in sanctimoniousness and hypocrisy.
They are a thoroughly disgusting empire and it hardly needs saying they have no business in Syria. It all seems very dangerous. Is this really all about Israel?
Yes it is all about Israel continuing to serve as an impregnable US base in the Middle East, and the means of controlling the region.
What it is not about, though the news may have to be broken to them gently, is defending a Jewish Refuge from genocidal attack.
It is all about tying the existence of Israel to its subordination to the goals of the US plutocracy.