Τρίτη, 1 Δεκεμβρίου 2015

Guess Why The U.S. Is Not (Seriously) Bombing ISIS's Oil Business / Moon of Alabama

Guess Why The U.S. Is Not (Seriously) Bombing ISIS's Oil Business -
November 30, 2015

Guess Why The U.S. Is Not (Seriously) Bombing ISIS's Oil Business

The U.S. did not start bombing the Islamic State's oil infrastructure and oil distribution system until the Russian president Putin shamed U.S. President Obama at the G20. Putin showed around satellite pictures of huge oil truck assemblies waiting in the desert to be filled. These were through 13 month of bombing left completely unmolested by U.S. air strikes. The U.S. then bombed a bit and claimed to have destroyed 116 waiting oil trucks while the Russians claimed to have destroyed over 1,000.
So far I have found four reason given to explain why the U.S. did not bomb, and does not seriously bomb,  the oil truck convoys.
Civilian casualties:
The Obama administration has also balked at attacking the Islamic State’s fleet of tanker trucks — its main distribution network — fearing civilian casualties.
Environmental damage:
A former CIA director says concerns about environmental impact have prevented the White House from bombing oil wells that finance the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). “We didn’t go after oil wells, actually hitting oil wells that ISIS controls, because we didn’t want to do environmental damage, and we didn’t want to destroy that infrastructure,” Michael Morell said Tuesday on PBS’s “Charlie Rose.”
Long-term economic damage to Iraq and Syria
In the aftermath of the attacks in Paris this month, the United States has more aggressively targeted the militants’ oil production and smuggling operations, which it had held off from doing for fear of inflicting long-term damage to the Iraqi and Syrian economies.
Regime change in Syria has precedence
Just think of it: IS has killed American nationals and yet the Pentagon has been ordered to handle the IS with kid gloves! President Barack Obama waxes eloquently about his determination to “degrade and destroy” the IS, but the Pentagon is under instructions not to disrupt the IS’ oil trade! This is cold-blooded statecraft. Obama probably knows all about the Turkish elite’s flourishing business, but then, he has uses for Erdogan, too. Simply put, the regime change agenda in Syria got precedence over cutting off the IS’s funding sources.
Three of the above four reasons were given by the Obama administration or its proxies,  one by an astute observer,  Guess which of those reasons is the real one.
Posted by b on November 30, 2015 at 10:14 AM | Permalink

Ha ha ha. I suppose saying “Free trade is a cornerstone of democracy” doesn’t fly!
The thought was promtped by the fact that there are trucks going the other way too, as Assad buys that oil as well.
one article from business insider, march 2015 (note the hypocrisy)
Posted by: Noirette | Nov 30, 2015 10:45:06 AM | 1
An overall SITREP would be useful.
Posted by: Red | Nov 30, 2015 10:49:35 AM | 2
I assume you have seen this already:
The Pentagon’s Inspector General is investigating charges by analysts at the Central Command that higher-ups in the Tampa headquarters “cooked” their intelligence analyses to satisfy White House demands for “good news” reporting on the war against the Islamic State. That investigation has moved into an advanced phase, and there are now also probes underway by Senate and House oversight committees.
Posted by: Maracatu | Nov 30, 2015 10:53:54 AM | 3
Well b, this is not a guessing game, you gave it all away.
I guess Obama just expressed to Putin at the climate conference how his deep concern for environmental damage kept him from bombing Turkey's trucks. That was an easy one.
Regime change? Naaaahhh....
Posted by: Lone Wolf | Nov 30, 2015 11:05:29 AM | 4
@Maracatu 3, and Obama fired Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, who was trying to tell him what was going on, look at links at the end of Open Thread...
Got it:
Posted by: shadyl | Nov 30, 2015 11:09:14 AM | 5
This really has the stink of an impending Iran/Contra ... minus the Boland Amendment but the doubts wrt the far reaches of AUMF and AUMF II remain.
I heard not a peep about "authorization" when we drone assassinated some ISIS bigwig in Libya a few weeks ago, after Paris, before the Russian civilian plan bombing ... but have no fear, Obama's supporters will remain unfazed and blame the evil Republicans (much as they blamed Congress for Clinton's dalliance with Monica Lewinsky -- if only they hadn't shut down the government and left him with "idle hands").
The same folks screaming about the imperial president during the time of George Bush and outraged about Reagan/Ollie North will be studiously avoiding mirrors ... but they've had lots of practice.
Bin Laden had a lot more natural charisma and leadership potential (and the instantly recognizable family name). I wonder how much of Al-Baghdadi's rise was a matter of self-selection or personal ambition? and how early he/they received Saudi financing/assist ... a network of contacts the Saudis likely selectively "shared" with the U.S. (I'm also wondering about ties to the Sunni Awakening ... but that will take some digging).
Bin Laden and Company had abused their hosts in Afghanistan, not only by bringing down upon it the anger of the United States, but also, reportedly denigrating the two-bit "hick" Inmans who made up the ruling circles. I suspect getting a none-too-fancy "Iraqi Native" as front-man was essential. Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was Jordanian and had no religious pretensions.

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Nov 30, 2015 11:28:39 AM | 6
All in all, what the only aim of US Administration in ME - with ridiculous creatures like Francoise Hollande, unable to ensure the safety of their voters in their own home ... - is to topple Assad. Is it only because the latter refused to sign an agreement to build a gas pipeline from Qatar?
Posted by: carlos gonçalves | Nov 30, 2015 11:29:57 AM | 7
my bad -- my chronology is off
10/31/2015 -- ISIL affiliated Wilayah Sayna militants have claimed destruction of Metrojet Flight 9268. It was later confirmed that the aircraft had been bombed.[295]
11/13/2015 -- Paris
11/14/2015 -- Islamic State leader in Libya 'killed in US airstrike'
Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Nov 30, 2015 11:33:14 AM | 8
The NY lying times says;ISUS funds come from the subject local population.
They have to protect the Saudis,Israelis and US,and blame our victims,again.
Don't explosions affect the climate negatively?Will Obomba withdraw the military and save the world's climate?Nah.
Posted by: dahoit | Nov 30, 2015 11:33:34 AM | 9
Unfortunately, I was unable to edit my comment. Still, you get my doubt, I hope. Why?
Posted by: carlos gonçalves | Nov 30, 2015 11:40:32 AM | 10
Anyone having difficulty in deciding which of the four choices is the correct one should watch Obama explain US strategy - in an interview conducted: the day before the Paris attacks(!); months after intelligence analysts complained that their reports were being distorted by higher ups to alter their assessment that bombing was ineffective and that ISIS is a growing threat; and weeks after Russia embarrassed the US with the effectiveness of their bombing campaign.
Obama defends his strategy saying:

>> ISIS is contained! So the strategy has been a success (no metrics, just trust me); >> his ONLY interest is doing what is best - proven by his inability to stand for election again;
Note: an MSM interviewer will never impinge a President's character by asking about future remuneration: speakers fees, consulting, donations to the Presidential Library, etc.
>> he has advice from the best military minds (who distort intel or are given distorted intel);
>> and Assad is the real problem:

"...until we get the Syria political situation resolved and until Assad is no longer a lightening rod for Sunnis in Syria and until that entire region is no longer a proxy war for Sunni-Shia conflict we're gonna continue to have problems."
Posted by: Jackrabbit | Nov 30, 2015 11:52:11 AM | 11
Opps: impugn
Posted by: Jackrabbit | Nov 30, 2015 11:54:13 AM | 12
Posted by: carlos gonçalves | Nov 30, 2015 11:29:57 AM
Carlos, I think the Qatar pipeline explanation provides a convenient and relatively non-controversial justification for the ongoing hostilities in Syria, but in reality I think there are bigger reasons lurking below the surface.
Namely, the so-called "Greater Israel" plan calls for the annexation of large swaths of Syrian territory. Consistent with that plan, the depopulation and fragmentation of Syria are both prerequisite to installing a compliant puppet government and expanding Israeli territory far beyond the currently occupied Golan Heights. Add to this the establishment of a Barzani (see: Mossad) controlled Kurdish state straddling both Syria and Iraq and providing Israel with discounted oil stolen from both of those countries, and I think you can begin to understand what's really going on vis-a-vis Syria.
In addition, a fractured Syrian state would be far less likely to provide the comprehensive "Shi'ite Crescent" of support from Iran to the Mediterranean, effectively cutting Hezbollah off from Iranian and Syrian support.
Again, the pipeline justification is simply the most palatable of a number of barbaric reasons behind the Syrian situation.
Posted by: Bruno Marz | Nov 30, 2015 11:57:10 AM | 13
Slightly off topic, but very relevant. The big question that nobody has asked to my knowledge. To what extent are draconian western economic sanctions on Syria responsible for the mass exodus from that tortured nation?
Posted by: Vollin | Nov 30, 2015 12:00:04 PM | 14
Posted by: carlos gonçalves | Nov 30, 2015 11:29:57 AM | 7
Read "The Redirection" (2007) by Seymour Hersh to understand the origins of the Syrian fiasco.
In short, Israel and Saudi Arabia allied to counter Iran with US help back in 2006.
Posted by: Jackrabbit | Nov 30, 2015 12:03:12 PM | 15
In order to create an economically viable Sunni state, they have to take oil reserves from the Kurds and Syria. The proposed path for the Qatar-Turkey pipeline runs through Aleppo to Ceyhan, Turkey.
Posted by: Les | Nov 30, 2015 12:10:27 PM | 16
@14 vollin.. i think this is an important factor.. the financial powers have laid this trip on iraq, iran and more recently on russia.. they've probably been laying it on syria for some time... it's another ugly aspect to regime change.. the west looks extremely ugly for using it.. it's one of the first weapons used against a country that doesn't go along with the uni-polar reality and demands of the exceptional nation/s.. it's another reason for the refugee crisis.. i frame it under the regime change agenda... financial sanctions are one of the first weapons used..
Posted by: james | Nov 30, 2015 12:32:07 PM | 17
Meanwhile UK prepare airstrikes since the pathetic Corbyn bows,
Posted by: Seder | Nov 30, 2015 12:40:12 PM | 18
Putin has a strong bargaining hand as the international community is in full support of Russia's actions and increasingly accusing Turkey and Saudi Arabia to be the supporter of terrorism in Europe.
Even France that has been heavily pampered by Saudi Arabia who payed for lucrative arms deals with Egypt and Lebanon is having second thoughts. There is a debate in France about how much France has been bought off by Qatar and Saudi Arabia and paying now with a human money.
Hollande has finally understood that the USA is not serious about eliminating ISIS for multiple reasons, the main one was to avoid displeasing its allies: Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey who were opposed to a systematic destruction of ISIS and its sources of funding.
Hollande has moved toward Russia as he sees Putin determined to finish off all Islamist fighters in Syria whatever their allegeance are. Hollande lost his illusion that they are genuine opposition fighters who are not Islamist. The USA is still hanging on that idea just to give its allies the impression that they have not changed sides and that they don't condone Russia indiscriminate bombing of Bashar al Assad's enemies. Yet in the background they are coming closer to Russia's perpective on the future of Syria.
Turkey who has shown a total stupidity in its political dealings with the country in the region is now blackmailing Europe by using the threat of flooding Europe with refugees. No one seems to realize that Turkey is responsible for the Syrian refugees in their country and that the death of any of them by negligence is a crime imputed to Turkey. Will one day Erdogan be brought to trial for non assitance to people in danger? For now Europe is bowing to Erdogan's demand but I suspect that once the crisis is over, Erdogan will be sued. The day Erdogan is no more the president, he will be be assaulted with hundreds of law suits. He knows that and is working to ensure that he stays in power for a very very long time.
It is clear that with such cards, Putin will be able to blackmail Erdogan about Syria and we may see a flip in Turkey's foreign policy toward Syria soon.
Erdogan has lost the Syria war.
Posted by: virgile | Nov 30, 2015 12:43:21 PM | 19
@ Susan Sunflower | 6...speaking of Iran/Contra, WHO is transporting and buying all that opium coming out of the ME? Surely someone knows. How many satellites does it take?
Posted by: shadyl | Nov 30, 2015 12:53:34 PM | 20
Posted by: virgile | Nov 30, 2015 12:43:21 PM | 19
Its a mistake to view the Syrian War as an Erdogan pet project. It is not. It is a KSA-Gulf States-Turkish ("Sunni States") + Israeli war with US support to counter Iran and Russia.
Turkey is just the partner with the most visible role. And other countries not mentioned above have benefited (via arms sales) or would benefit (via construction contracts) after Syrian regime change so they support the anti-Assad Coalition or just remain silent.
Posted by: Jackrabbit | Nov 30, 2015 1:07:32 PM | 21
Meet The Man Who Funds ISIS: Bilal Erdogan, The Son Of Turkey’s President
Posted by: virgile | Nov 30, 2015 1:18:01 PM | 22
Haven't you forgotten something? 30 November is the anniversary of Soviet aggression on Finland in 1939. Where they got their ass kicked, by the way - just like they did in Donbass recently.
Posted by: Cortez | Nov 30, 2015 1:25:24 PM | 23
For Russia the Syrian and Ukraine crises involve their vital national interest. This is not true for the US and NATO. So Putin is not going to back down
Posted by: Andoheb | Nov 30, 2015 1:26:28 PM | 24
The Turk plane shoot down was successful in one respect. It is forcing Russia to provide fighter cover for its bombers, which increases the cost of their Syria operations.
Posted by: Andoheb | Nov 30, 2015 1:29:31 PM | 25
Payback is a bitch, or as Sun Tzu (the real one) would say, "Know your enemies..."
The Game Just Changed: Russia Allies With Kurds to Push Turkey out of Syria
Moscow isn't likely to bomb Turkish military facilities, but it has other ways of undermining Ankara's presence in Syria: Russia is now aiding Kurdish rebels — a group that has been labeled as “terrorists” by Turkey. The Syrian Kurdish forces (YPG) are considered extremely valuable in the fight against ISIS. They have previously received support from the United States, although western cooperation with the group has been limited in order to avoid ruffling Erdogan's feathers. But for Russia, upsetting Erdogan is not really an “issue”.
In layman's terms, this new alliance could be a fatal blow to Turkey's geopolitical aspirations in Syria (not to mention Russia's de facto no fly zone, thanks largely to a little friend called “the S-400”):
The YPG has still not pushed west of the Euphrates, but along with its allies, and with the help of Russian strikes, the SDF are threatening Turkey-backed opposition groups in another key border crossing, Kilis, west of Jarablous.
Losing control of the northern countryside of Aleppo would be a setback for the opposition. Turkey, too, would lose influence.
But Russian President Vladimir Putin seems to be eyeing an even bigger victory. He called on the Assad government and the political wing of the YPG to unite. This has still not happened - at least not officially.
But Syrian Kurdish officials have said they are ready to work with anyone fighting ISIL, and anyone who works for a united, secular and democratic Syria.
Such an alliance would change the battlefield and the balance of power on the ground.
Turkey is in a heck of a pickle: The legendary Syria-Turkey ISIS oil train is being vaporized by Russian bombers; Ankara can't support its “moderate” rebels with air strikes because of the ever-looming S-400; And now Russia is giving direct air support to an anti-Turkish group that could actually push Turkish-backed forces out of Syria for good.
Was it really worth shooting down that Russian plane?
FINALLY: Obama Tells Turkey to Seal Syria Border
The US is demanding that Turkey close a 60-mile stretch of its border with Syria which is the sole remaining crossing point for Isis militants, including some of those involved in the massacre in Paris and other terrorist plots. The complete closure of the 550-mile-long border would be a serious blow to Isis, which has brought tens of thousands of Islamist volunteers across the frontier over the past three years.
In the wake of the Isis attacks in Paris, Washington is making clear to Ankara that it will no longer accept Turkish claims that it is unable to cordon off the remaining short section of the border still used by Isis.
“The game has changed. Enough is enough. The border needs to be sealed,” a senior official in President Barack Obama’s administration told The Wall Street Journal, describing the tough message that Washington has sent to the Turkish government.
“This is an international threat, and it’s coming out of Syria and it’s coming through Turkish territory.”
The US estimates some 30,000 Turkish troops would be needed to close the border between Jarabulus on the Euphrates and the town of Kilis, further west in Turkey, according to the paper.
Posted by: Lone Wolf | Nov 30, 2015 1:31:41 PM | 26
Bruno Mars and Jackrabbit: Thank you very much. Your explanations helped me to better understand this madness .
Posted by: carlos gonçalves | Nov 30, 2015 1:41:17 PM | 27
Posted by: Vollin | Nov 30, 2015 12:00:04 PM | 14

To what extent are draconian western economic sanctions on Syria responsible for the mass exodus from that tortured nation?
That's a very very complex question ... I think that 4 years of physical insecurity and a "busted" economy has exhausted the patience and finances of the many educated English speaking refugees so often interviewed. One man I recall, a neurosurgeon in Damascus, had had his own and his family's life become precarious and financially depleted as he moved between homes, selling some for ready cash, trying to support his adult children as well as himself ... finally "giving up" on hope that things would get better.
I suspect ISIS' atrocities have played "well" in Syria in mobilizing folks to run for the border rather than stay to defend their hometowns and properties. Again, the surge of refugees occurred a little more than a year after ISIS rolled into Iraq in June 2014... with a depleted SAA unable to effectively fight them (and the Iraq/Iran cavalry didn't show up either, for that matter)
Finally, the country-of-origin of the refugees trying to get to Europe is a patchwork of countries -- with a very large number of Balkan "economic migrants" mixed in, in addition to millions of Afghans and Iraqis who have been living in limbo for years and years "carpe diem" seizing the opportunity to "sneak" in with the crowd... ISIS had plenty of reasons to ratchet up the anxiety/fear quotient and, of course, so did "we" ... the opening of the proverbial "barn door" remains suspicious.
UNHCR numbers are always approximate, in my experience don't "scan" well -- there were 3 million Iraqi refugees 5 years ago who seem to have fallen off the books -- and I haven't seen much reporting from the camps in Lebanon or Turkey or Jordan wrt who is staying put, waiting for the civil war to end, etc. The MSM has made this "all about Syria" and -- like every death, every refugee is blamed on Assad's brutality, etc. etc. ("NOT OUR FAULT")
There should be reporting soon on the massive number of "disqualified" refugees being deported by Germany and others.
Finally, I'd be curious who is abiding by the sanctions ... the blackmarkets seem well-developed and the borders are porous. It's hard to know how representative refugees interviews are of the whole -- if they are professionals, with money enough to pay bribes, travel, etc. they -- like the Iraqi Sunni and many of the 6 million world-wide Afghan refugees -- are the privileged educated professional upper middle class who have leaving as an option, while the poor are stuck in the camps with no immediate other option.

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Nov 30, 2015 1:52:20 PM | 28
Lone Wolf @27
b's previous post is extremely important. I just heard the crosstalk folk emphasis the point that 'closing the border' for the US and Turkey does not mean responding realistically to the ISIS interpenetration but rather a way to have further confrontation with Syria and Russia over that region.
Hat tip on my part to b for his early analysis of troops and tanks involved.
Posted by: juliania | Nov 30, 2015 1:53:04 PM | 29
I guess I would add Cortez and Andoheeb to the list of suspect posters, at least from my perspective.
Posted by: Bruno Marz | Nov 30, 2015 2:07:36 PM | 30
@ Posted by: shadyl | Nov 30, 2015 12:53:34 PM | 20
Re: Opium ... god only knows where it is all going ... it's been a decade of banner crops and yet, apparently Mexico is now growing poppies (meaning there must be a profit to be made, a market for the product), etc.
There has been "news" of a U.S. heroin epidemic for nearly a decade (junkies don't make a lot of nuisance as long as it stays cheap and available, so the news has been mostly about overdoses). Recent news of a spike in big-city homicides have seems to be targeting heroin distribution networks rivaling well-established existing networks.
I can never tell how much is just War On Drugs folks protecting their budgets ...
See also, so much blame wrt to the spike in heroin use attributed to the drying-up of pharmaceuticals (regular and/or imported/black market).
It really makes me aware how much our media is sanitized for the protection of the "overlords" ... where the hell did that decade's worth of bumper crop heroin end up ... and why isn't it a story that apparently the American answer is "not here, not really"
NYT: Young Hands in Mexico Feed Growing U.S. Demand for Heroin (08/29/2015)

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Nov 30, 2015 2:16:16 PM | 31
@30 bm - same view here..
Posted by: james | Nov 30, 2015 2:24:41 PM | 32
Payback is a bitch, or as Sun Tzu (the real one) would say, "Know your enemies...
Someone keeps poking me...."the real one"? So I am unreal or false one?
No one has made any comments on the carrot offered to Erdogun by Merkel. Fast track to EU membership, really? No visa travel for Turks throughout Europe? While Europe is under the gun of Islamists? 3 billion euro bribe while Greece is enslaved? Cyprus air space is not even respected by Turkish AF? Is Frau Merkel gone bonkers or is she totally compromised? This seems to be a promise subject to reconsideration on human rights. Wait, a lawyer was just assassinated and investigators uncovering the smuggling of weapons to grey wolves were accused of spying.
Posted by: Sun Tzu | Nov 30, 2015 2:26:17 PM | 33
I can never when people talk about closing the border. It is not only a question of 60 km which is supposedly open, but much greater lengths, as everyone's supposedly occupied territory is extremely leaky, and anyone can pass through if the Turks are willing to let people through the gates (and they're unlikely to say no for ISIS). After all the Turco-Syrian border is 700 km long.
Posted by: Laguerre | Nov 30, 2015 2:30:20 PM | 34
Posted by: Sun Tzu | Nov 30, 2015 2:26:17 PM
It's pretty clear by now that Merkel is on board with the NWO and as such, fully compromised.
As it relates to the heroin epidemic, obviously the fully corrupted MSM in the west isn't going to point the finger to the actual source because it refuses to bite the hand that feeds it. Think "Spectre" from James Bond and you begin to understand the breadth and depth of the criminal conspiracy we're up against.
Posted by: Bruno Marz | Nov 30, 2015 2:33:11 PM | 35
Thanks for the referral, I already commented on that thread. All borders have two sides, and the consequences of closing the Turkey-Syrian border didn't escape the Russians, who offered their collaboration to the Western coalition. The main debate is not about closing the border, it is how. The Russians welcome the closing, but to whose advantage?
Posted by: Lone Wolf | Nov 30, 2015 2:35:31 PM | 36
Yes, "closing the border" will likely be a windfall for those already taking bribes ... time to raise "transaction fees" ... easy to imagine a pyramid scheme of a second army/police force/entity deployed to police the first ... it too will then be corrupted... wash, rinse, repeat ... but (and it's a big but) keeping the oil tankers in-country and the heavy weapon shipments out and large scale in-flow of fighters ... may make it worthwhile
Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Nov 30, 2015 2:36:19 PM | 37
The quick answer on the real issue..regime change, of course. But over and above that issue is why regime change? To further inhibit business competition from Russia & China, who are a challenge globally to the West's corporate hegemony. Think market share, only globally. Business uber alles ya' know. $$$$$$$$$$$$.
Posted by: ben | Nov 30, 2015 2:40:40 PM | 38
@Susan Sunflower@28
Excellent post, and a good beginning for a debate on the refugee issue. I lost my previous answer and have to run, but will pick it up on my return.
Posted by: Lone Wolf | Nov 30, 2015 2:41:24 PM | 39
US strategy of Stolen Syrian oil/petrol:
- finances the US empires terrorist proxies.
- denies The Syrian government much-needed oil revenues.
- less oil for the Syrian government defence, and general economy.
- organised by and benefits the Turkish crooks, who gets oil at ridiculously low prices.
- ISIL are very mobile, and require a lot of petrol for their rapid attack tacticts using 4x4's or other trucks/vehicles. As well cars/trucks used for suicide attacks.

The US evil will bomb Syrian oil storage and pumping stations for sure - when they look to be regained by the Syrian government.
There is more, but that's just off the top of my head.

Posted by: tom | Nov 30, 2015 2:42:50 PM | 40
Is this Bruno the new MOA Junior High hall monitor or just another Iranian sock-puppet?
Putin is having more trouble with truckers and may have to start bombing his own Russian truckers who are revolting. They don't like the neoliberal tax Putin imposed or that his son-in-law is a partner in the private company that collects the tax.
It doesn't look like Putin made any inroads with the Europeans on Syria as Hollende stated clearly today that 'Assad must go' before any united front can develop to fight the Islamic State.
Posted by: Wayoutwest | Nov 30, 2015 2:54:51 PM | 41
Hard to believe how stupid the EU is. By supporting US Mideast policy and severely sanctioning Syria, they unleashed a veritable flood of desperate refugees seeking sanctuary within their borders. Not to mention ISIS terrorists disguised as asylum seekers.
Posted by: Andoheb | Nov 30, 2015 2:56:45 PM | 42
@34 Laguerre, the rest of the border is under YPG control, ennemies of Turkey and supported by Kurds across the border, hence Turkey's panic to control that stretch west of the Euphrates, preventing a link up of Kurdish controlled areas, maintaining supply lines to "rebels" using the pretext of humanitarian reason's (refugees) for a "safe zone". I wont work, especially if Lone Wolf is correct (@26) in that the YPG will work with the SAA and Russia to seal it. Erdogan will prolly try to prevent that from happining but the stakes are high because of Russia's commitment. The Bear wont budge. ISIL's role is weaning..
Posted by: Lozion | Nov 30, 2015 3:12:37 PM | 43
Pretty well all the refugees I've met (actually every one, thinking about it), as well as most cases mentioned in the media, were already refugees in Turkey, and it was decline in the situation there that pushed them further on to Western Europe. It is not as though they were fleeing ISIS, or Asad, or whatever. This is no doubt why the €3 billion given to Turkey by the EU, in order to keep people there. I doubt that it'll be enough.
Posted by: Laguerre | Nov 30, 2015 3:12:43 PM | 44
re 43
the rest of the border is under YPG control
You are far too optimistic. The Kurds don't control their territory half as well as they claim, and are awarded on American think-tank maps. The narrow band of Kurdish "territory" could be crossed in half an hour pretty well anywhere in its western part. Less so round Nisibin/Qamishli.
Posted by: Laguerre | Nov 30, 2015 3:22:19 PM | 45
Erdogan Says Will Resign If Oil Purchases From ISIS Proven After Putin Says Has "More Proof"
...hmmm. Will our brave congress critters call for regime change in Turkey? Or just give them more billions.
Posted by: shadyl | Nov 30, 2015 3:37:18 PM | 46
"fear of inflicting long-term damage to the Iraqi and Syrian economies."
That is some sick joke. The US has imposed sanctions of Syria for buying its oil stolen by ISIS.
It is all so 'ducking stool' - drown and ou are innocent, float and you are guilty, hence put to death.

Posted by: Yonatan | Nov 30, 2015 3:48:08 PM | 47
Fair enough but that can change rather quickly if YPG's pendulum swings towards the 4+1 and resists US rapprochement offer for a eventual post-partition vassal Kurdistan. Their decision may seal the fate of that endeavour. Does anyone truly know their position with the recent developments?
Posted by: Lozion | Nov 30, 2015 3:55:06 PM | 48
it,s no big deal to ride the spinning wheel
Posted by: barry | Nov 30, 2015 4:10:33 PM | 49
Breaking news Guys. According to Dan Dick of Press For Truth Turkey Closed the Bosphorus strait to Russia ships for stopping them to go help syria and Russia decided to send 140 thousand volunteers or something to fight on the ground in Russia..can someone confirms that ...because this looks pretty damn crazy and dangerous and serious...
Posted by: lebretteurfredonnant | Nov 30, 2015 4:33:29 PM | 50
Posted by: DM | Nov 30, 2015 4:46:53 PM | 51
Russian Ships Waiting for Hours to Cross Bosphorus :
Vessels sailing under the flag of Russia are now facing challenges while passing the Bosphorus Strait that connects the Black Sea with the Sea of Marmara. Kyiv-based Center for Transport Strategies reported it with reference to data of an online vessel tracking system atmarinetraffic.com.
As reported, on Sunday Russian vessels were moving on a zig-zag and curved course, waiting for hours for permission to cross the Strait.
Movements of vessels from other countries were without a delay on that day. Russian vessels entered the Bosphorus late in the evening of November 29.
That much seems to be true. Wouldn't that be a violation of the Montreux Convention?
Posted by: lysias | Nov 30, 2015 5:22:24 PM | 52
@ lysias
Ass**** from Turkey is out of control. This really gets me. And he is getting a clean 3 billion for family and friends. Criminal.
Posted by: shadyl | Nov 30, 2015 5:29:36 PM | 53
It's looking more and more like July 1914.
Posted by: lysias | Nov 30, 2015 5:30:48 PM | 54
The latest moves look to me like we are moving to the later stages of a game of musical chairs. This is when the ones with sharp elbows can only get a chair by taking out another with sharp elbows. All the easy options are long gone
Posted by: bridger | Nov 30, 2015 5:41:43 PM | 55
@Lone Wolf#26:
Thanks for the link to the Cockburn article. Obama just told Erdogan, go ahead and protect your border -- protect the whole thing, not just the segment across from Russia's airstrikes. Just don't expect us to back you up if you attack Russia in Syria. Frustrated, Erdogan is now trying to provoke Russia to do something stupid in Bosphorus, to try another tack to suck NATO in.
Posted by: Rusty Pipes | Nov 30, 2015 5:46:14 PM | 56
The problem for Europe is that if Erdogan feels as if he is being betrayed by the U.S./NATO, he can further open the floodgates on refugees going into Europe. The logistics are insanely in Turkey's favor, with multiple Greek islands only a few miles away, and the Syrians not allowed to work in Turkey and thus desperate to leave.
Erdogan can continue to send in refugees while taking the money with his other hand and diverting it to whatever he wants.
Posted by: @RustyPipes | Nov 30, 2015 6:36:56 PM | 57
@ 35 Posted by: Bruno Marz | Nov 30, 2015 2:33:11 PM |
It's pretty clear by now that Merkel is on board with the NWO and as such, fully compromised.
As it relates to the heroin epidemic
Afghanistan's Heroin trade route through Turkey was denounced since 2004
Posted by: Sun Tzu | Nov 30, 2015 7:25:33 PM | 58
Guardian: Kurdish fighters say US special forces have been fighting Isis for months [IN IRAQ] / US denies peshmerga claims after Obama last year announced redeployment of 300 military advisers to Iraq, saying US combat troops would ‘not be fighting’ .
The US military denies any special operations forces involvement in combat on 11 September or in three other other incidents listed by the peshmerga. Yet in interviews with the Guardian, a dozen Kurdish fighters and commanders said that US special forces troops have been participating in operations against Isis for months.
Oh, gee, I wonder who I should believe here ... and I wonder exactly why "the [Iraqi] Kurds" are going public with this right now ... so many plates in the air ...
Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Nov 30, 2015 7:35:05 PM | 59
Because they only do hospitals and weddings.
Posted by: YY | Nov 30, 2015 8:53:35 PM | 60
b has it right: "Obama . . . has uses for Erdogan, too." That's what last week's "knife in the back" was all about, a moment of drama to distract the world's attention. And Turkey's border confrontation with Russia will provide more of the same. Meanwhile the empire fights on both sides of the war against Daesh in Iraq. And the Guardian story about special forces fighting with the peshmerga serves to counter the PR damage done by the oil smuggling stories out of Syria.
Posted by: Laker | Nov 30, 2015 9:04:18 PM | 61
...hmmm. Will our brave congress critters call for regime change in Turkey? Or just give them more billions.
Spineless EU just rewarded him with 3 billion euros (refugee extortion), visas and same old promises of joining the EU, for his "business acumen" buying stolen oil from terrorists in Syria, and for defending the principle of "free markets" shooting down a Russian bomber fighting IS oil "business."
I am sure John McCainiac is ready to award him the Medal of Honor for services in the struggle against "dictators" such as Assad and Putin.
Posted by: Lone Wolf | Nov 30, 2015 9:14:54 PM | 62
That much seems to be true. Wouldn't that be a violation of the Montreux Convention?
The erratic behavior of fascist Erdogan makes him very predictable, and the Russians had already considered it. This excerpt a "drunken sailor" translation from the Russian online magazine Regnum. Long article.
Difficulties certainly in the Black Sea, after all this, Russia will be added, given the fact that Turkey controls the Straits. I am not inclined to think that with Erdogan in Turkey if necessary hesitate to close the Straits and will be guided in this regard to the relevant international agreements, the Montreux Convention, and so on. The image of the thoughts and actions of Erdogan shows that he is completely cynical on this issue and is able to resort to different forms and methods of struggle, if it feels threatened. Details: http://regnum.ru/news/polit/2024298.html Any use of materials is allowed only if the reference to IA REGNUM.

Posted by: Lone Wolf | Nov 30, 2015 9:24:22 PM | 63
I suspect Erdogan's game is a bit more complex ... he's in the position Hussain was for years of wanting/needing to be a "lap dog" but needing also to be seen as "standing up to the big boys" ... and then he became a pariah -- Thanks for the link in #25 ... funny, Juan Cole gave a very concise rundown of Russia's sanctions on Turkey ... but supporting the Kurds is a whole-other-ballgame -- that hits close to home for Turks and is Putin at his most provocative. I sincerely doubt the EU simply handed Erdogan a cheque for 3 Euro Billion ... he's too erratic and corrupt, and there are 3 million refugees to be housed and fed, lest they break down the barrier and attempt an escape ... which could be bloody and damned inconvenient ... and he's not a very good "little dutch boy" with his finger in the dike -- 200 refugees were intercepted on-water fleeing Turkey just yesterday

More than 200 refugees were rescued in the Aegean Sea by the Turkish Coast Guard off the Ayvalik coast of Turkey's western Balikesir province Sunday.

European Union leaders have said that a 3 billion euro package to help Ankara improve the living conditions of migrants in Turkey and prevent further influxes into Europe will be progressively handed over as officials confirm that Turkey is abiding by its commitments.
[Today's Zaman] Guardian: Turkey arrests 1,300 asylum seekers after £2bn EU border control deal // Three people smugglers held along with hundreds of Syrians, Afghans, Iranians and Iraqis after country vows to curb flow of refugees in return for aid.
The Ayvacık sweep is thought to be the largest single mass arrest of refugees in recent months, and follows an agreement on Sunday that saw the EU pledge to give Turkey €3bn (£2bn) in exchange for increased border patrols. Turkey says it has detained nearly 80,000 would-be migrants since 2014 as well as over 200 major smugglers. But rarely is an operation as big and organised as Monday’s sting.
Shades of the tanker bombings, Turkey knew exactly where to find 13,000 to arrest.
Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Nov 30, 2015 9:45:59 PM | 64
Re: Posted by: virgile | Nov 30, 2015 12:43:21 PM | 19
Wishful thinking on your part. There is no real evidence Hollande has moved France towards Russia in any real sense.
It will take someone like Marine Le Pen to do that. One could hope if Sarkozy as elected again he would have a more independent streak - he would certainly have a closer affinity with Putin having been the man who actually sold Putin the Mistrals back when he was President.
Europe's best hope to avoid a nuclear winter is to hope the current detente can hang on for another 18 months until Hollande is a foot-note in history.
Viva Le Pen.
Posted by: Julian | Nov 30, 2015 9:52:42 PM | 65
Paris False Flag: Bataclan Eyewitness Hoax Actor Ginnie Watson
Posted by: menechem golan | Nov 30, 2015 10:07:03 PM | 66
Erdogan Shot Down By Army Chief for Commenting on Downed Russian Bomber
Reports are emerging that the Turkish president is now at odds with his army's joint chief of staff after remarking that Ankara did not know that the warplane was Russian when targeting it; “had the politicians kept quiet, we could have resolved the problem very fast,” the Turkish media quotes an informed military source as saying [...]
Posted by: Lone Wolf | Nov 30, 2015 10:15:52 PM | 67
Re: Posted by: Lone Wolf | Nov 30, 2015 1:31:41 PM | 26
,blockquote>The US estimates some 30,000 Turkish troops would be needed to close the border between Jarabulus on the Euphrates and the town of Kilis, further west in Turkey, according to the paper.

Well, that certainly provides a convenient pretext to mass Turkish troops on the Syrian border now doesn't it.
Posted by: Julian | Nov 30, 2015 10:48:15 PM | 68
And an attack by ISIS on those massed troops and tanks (destroying a couple of unmanned tanks?) would be a convenient pretext for crossing the border.
Posted by: Jackrabbit | Nov 30, 2015 10:59:44 PM | 69
Re: Posted by: Rusty Pipes | Nov 30, 2015 5:46:14 PM | 56
Erdogan is now trying to provoke Russia to do something stupid in Bosphorus, to try another tack to suck NATO in.
Huh? It is not Russia doing something stupid. If Erdogan blocks Russian ships from leaving the Black Sea that is Turkey committing an Act of War on Russia.
Any Russian response to an Act of War is ipso facto justified - and not something "stupid".
If I were Russia though I'd insist on Chinese destroyer escorts through the Bosphorus.
Come on China, step up!
Posted by: Julian | Nov 30, 2015 11:08:00 PM | 70
here's a good article on how isis oil flows to turkey and then onto israel story that i hadn't seen before.. apologies if someone shared it previously.. titled "Raqqa's Rockefellers: How Islamic State oil flows to Israel"
Posted by: james | Nov 30, 2015 11:24:21 PM | 71
Let's see, folks are ready to launch WWIII, as the Bosphorus is said to be closed. Evidence offered -- screen shots of three vessel tracks. The vessels are said to have taken longer to transit than other flags' traffic. Some comparative times would have been nice. And why not all Russian vessel tracks?
I looked in the Journal of Commerce and the ILWU Shipping News, no word of any announcements about restrictions on Russian traffic.
But I did find what seems the underlying report at the Centre for Transportation Strategies, a Ukrainian firm. I could not find it on the English side, but here it is in Russian.
They are cited by the only relevant return from Bing news search on the Bosphorus, APK-Inform. It is a Ukrainian agro-business site. It concludes, "Unfortunately, the reasons for such delays were not reported. Also, in the late evening of November 29, the vessels under the Russian flag were allowed to enter the Bosporus."
So for unstated reasons, some unspecified percent of Russian-flag traffic had delays. I looked up the three vessels named. "Volga-Balt", is a large class of mass-produced river vessels, most are 50 years old. We'd need a number to track her down.
Sormovo 3 is a small bulk carrier, Marine Tracker shows her at anchor in the Sea of Marmara. She looks to be waiting a berth at her port of call, Tekirdag. Bratsk is also a small bulker; according to the same site she is proceeding to Vrisakia, Greece. Both cleared Istanbul in a few hours on the 30th.
So if the Turks are jerking Russian shipping around, they are starting with small operators and doing it on the quiet. This would account for no bombastic press release from governments or vessel operators. But I think more mundane explanations, revolving around not filing proper, timely notice are more likely than an unannounced slow-down of Russian maritime traffic.
And I'm sure the helpful bird-dogging by some totally disinterested Ukrainian firms, with few details, is mere coinicidence.
Put the "Guns of December" metaphor down and step away from the edge of the shipping channel, nobody gets embarrassed.
Posted by: rufus magister | Nov 30, 2015 11:30:18 PM | 72
@70 Julian
China 's Xi made a point of meeting w/ Putin at current climate summit as reported by Xinhau:
PARIS, Nov. 30 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin agreed here on Monday to enhance cooperation on fight against terrorism.
During a meeting with Putin on the sidelines of a UN climate change conference, Xi said against the backdrop that tremendous changes have taken place in global anti-terrorism situation, China stands ready to work with the international community, including Russia, to combat terrorism and uphold the common interest of the world.
The China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination is moving forward and developing in depth, the Chinese president said, adding that frequent high-level exchanges on bilateral ties, regional and global issues are necessary.
The Chinese side is willing to make concerted efforts with Russia to push forward bilateral cooperation in all areas, he added.
For his part, Putin said he believes the world has undergone complicated and profound changes, and Russia would like to work with China to enhance cooperation in such areas as anti-terrorism, and adamantly promote democracy in international relations.
Posted by: psychohistorian | Nov 30, 2015 11:55:41 PM | 73
@66 link not working..
Posted by: Lozion | Dec 1, 2015 1:18:24 AM | 74
Given the growing diversity of preferred names for ISIS (IS, ISIS, ISIL, Da'esh (& IS-US & JSIS)), OIL-SIS would more accurately reflect their core business.
Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Dec 1, 2015 1:28:07 AM | 75
@Tom #40 US strategy of Stolen Syrian oil/petrol:
Could yet another "benefit" be the flood of cheap oil (isis sells cheap for cash)?
To ding the Russian economy?
I'm just an observer, no expert.
Posted by: Laura Roslin | Dec 1, 2015 1:35:06 AM | 76
Shady Lady @ 46, Yep, that's the big story:
“At the moment we have received additional information confirming that that oil from the deposits controlled by Daesh militants enters Turkish territory on industrial scale,” said Putin on the sidelines of a climate change summit in Paris on Monday."
"Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, also present at the conference, said that he will step down if there is any proof present of his country’s collaboration with Daesh.
“We are not that dishonest to buy oil from terrorists. If it is proven that we have in fact done so I will leave office. If there is any evidence, let them present it, we’ll consider [it],” he said." --PressTV
It must be terribly easy to prove-- a living pipeline of trucks crossing Turkey to the port. But the only reason I can think of that might induce him to really step down would be a threat of jail; his crimes have really been exposed a lot recently.

Posted by: Penelope | Dec 1, 2015 2:14:10 AM | 77
James @ 71,
Believe that's the article Neretva & PavewayIV were looking at yesterday or day before. Their consensus was that it seems to have the intention of blaming lower levels, criminals & hence leaving upper levels of States a shot at deniability. (In other words a planted article). They also looked up al-Araby.
It's good to mention it again; it's part of the moves made by big players-- I think they said al-Araby is Qatar-based & I commented that Qatar is Exxon-Mobil (Rockefeller)

Posted by: Penelope | Dec 1, 2015 2:23:49 AM | 78
Lozion @ 48, Does anybody truly know US position w regard to partitioning of Syria?
Huh! It's like a funhouse w mirrors. Here's an update on Thierry Meyssan's take on it; He still insists US is against partitioning: Short & worth reading; here's about half of it:
"From these elements, we may conclude that NATO was aware of the preparation of the Turkish attack and allowed it to happen. It looks as though Washington, which might support the project for a Kurdistan in Turkey, but is opposed to the invention of a pseudo-Kurdistan in Syria, is readying itself, with Russia, to oppose the Franco-Israelo-British project, just as the two major powers once opposed the colonisation of the Suez Canal (1956).
"Keep in mind :
- The destruction of the Soukhoï 24 by Turkey was no accident, but an operation which had been planned well in advance in order to push Russia out of the area destined to be occupied by France, Israël and the United Kingdom. NATO, which had been following in detail both the Russian operation against the Turkmen militias and the Turkish attack, chose not to intervene.
- Far from folding under pressure, Russia has found in this skirmish both a motive and an opportunity to extend its military presence in Syria. In particular, it has deployed S-400 anti-aircraft missiles.
- The strategies of Turkey, which the international Press has been ignoring for four years, are now publicly discussed (pillage of Syrian factories, installation of training camps for jihadists in Northern Syria, supervision of the jihadists, support for Al-Qaïda, smuggling of petrol to finance Daesh).
- The Franco-Israelo-British operation has been interrupted. Coalition planes no longer fly over Syria." http://www.voltairenet.org/article189474.html

Posted by: Penelope | Dec 1, 2015 2:35:54 AM | 79

So here we are, as usual, staring at the red cape of aggression while the real vulnerability goes entirely unnoticed: The climate conference is going on right now-- the largest hoax in human history. And a tremendous gift to the bankster-types. Cap & Trade is worth $1Trillion per year on that Chicago Board that will sell the right to emit CO2. And Al Gore will make millions in his Company that gets a piece of the pie. While CO2 rises the planet is cooling.
TPP & TTIP will be signed, probably w/in a month, unless something happens to stop it.
Then I suppose we'll be treated to some fake mega-crisis in the ME to distract from the end of Democracy.
http://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2015/11/14/the-current-assault-against-democracy-i.html Eric Zeuss
Ah, yes & China's yuan w/b in the sdr basket of currencies. Ahe only had to "liberalize" aspects of her economy-- allow the West into her inter- banking sector, etc.
I'm going to bed to read Modern Money Theory-- surely a work of fiction, dammit all.

Posted by: Penelope | Dec 1, 2015 4:03:42 AM | 80
Not only has stolen oil found its way to Turkey.The Syrians invested billions of Syrian pounds in the Aleppo area.
“One hundred forty-five billion Syrian pounds were invested here in the year 2000. Activities began in 2005. There are 963 production facilities, mostly textiles, food, chemicals, medicines, aluminum, iron and plastics. Today 366 of them are operational. They were badly damaged. Electricity and water systems collapsed. Half of the non-operational facilities were dismantled and taken to Turkey. We don’t know who plundered it, but Turkey is the responsible party. This is why the Aleppo Chamber of Industry and Commerce is taking the issue to international courts.” See also https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uOSUh87WA20
When the war is over Turkey and Erdogan as the Commander in Chief of the beneficiaries of this theft, will have to face the music.
Posted by: harry law | Dec 1, 2015 5:23:41 AM | 81

Posted by: harry law | Dec 1, 2015 5:23:41 AM | 81
Top weblink original in French and below translation by Google.
What were the consequences of the war on the industrial area of Aleppo ?
Aleppo was the economic capital of Syria. We had over 80,000 plants. Much more than any city in the Middle East. In 2011, as early as the second month of the war, the destruction and looting began. From the first months, the rebels we have distributed leaflets demanding the closure of our businesses, otherwise they would be burned. They have sent these threats to all the shops and businesses. The people immediately became very afraid. About twenty of my friends, industrialists, members of the Chamber of commerce, have been murdered because they refused to close down their factories. In 2011, the rebels were reduced to ashes more than 100 factories.
One of my plants was in Sheikh Najjar, the largest industrial area. The rebels have seized in 2011.

Posted by: Jack Smith | Dec 1, 2015 6:04:00 AM | 82

Thierry Meyssan in Voltaire Network. Why did Turkey shoot down the Russian Soukhoï 24?
Provided detail and sources (in 5) "What were the consequences of the war on the industrial area of Aleppo?"
Posted by: Jack Smith | Dec 1, 2015 6:24:20 AM | 83
James @71 To complement your comment, here is an article which sets out proof of where the stolen oil goes and who profits.http://sputniknews.com/middleeast/20151201/1031041612/erdogan-turkey-oil-proof.html Erdogan said he would resign if Putin's allegations could be proven.
Those International courts are going to be busy when the Syrian government and business men sue Turkey for massive reparations after the war. That is why Erdogan is lashing out. Thanks for those links Jack Smith.
Posted by: harry law | Dec 1, 2015 7:34:37 AM | 84
@ harry law | 84
Those International courts are going to be busy when the Syrian government and business men sue Turkey for massive reparations after the war.
International courts are under US and its alies control, much of luck to Syria to get any justice in them. That is, as long as Erdogan is useful for the Evil Empire.
Plus Turkey wasnt the only guilty party, US itself, the West in general, Israel, Persian Gulf monarchies, etc. Do you think Syria will be even allowed to approach the courts?
What will most likely to happen, the West will turn the table and claim its all Syria's fault and the one who should be sued is that "murderous dictator" who "gassed and barreled bombed his own people".
Posted by: Harry | Dec 1, 2015 8:02:08 AM | 85
Harry@85. Sadly, you may be right. Chomsky quoted Thucydides when he said "The strong do as they can, and the weak suffer as they must". As you say, International law is only for the strong, therefore we live in a lawless world.
Posted by: harry law | Dec 1, 2015 8:31:37 AM | 86
The Russian objectives in Syria are part of a larger strategy for the ME, one of the borders of the Eurasian mass, and one of Russia's five fronts.
Any time the empire and its puppets launch an attack on Russia, e.g. the shooting of the SU-24, Russia uses it to enhance its military power base in Syria. Now Russia/Syria are readying a new airbase in Homs, Al-Sha’yarat military airport, that will allow Syria to host a fleet of more than 100 Russian jets. The airport and its surroundings will be guarded by a 1000 men Intel/Spetnatz Russian brigade, ready to participate in "selective battle."
100+ Russian jet fighters + new Brigade expected in Syria once Sha’ayrat airport is in service
Russia is preparing a second airport in East Homs to increase its fleet to over 100 fighting jets, in addition to Hamemeen in Latakia, Syria. One Brigade of around 1000 men is on the way to reinforce the Russian ground troops effectively to join the fight on terror to Syria. A high ranking officer within the joint military operation room in Damascus (includes Russia, Syria, Iran and Hezbollah) said “Russia is preparing to send a Brigade of intelligence and Special Forces, in support of the already deployed forces in Syria to participate to selective battle and to deploy around Al-Sha’yarat military airport, qualified to be the second airport Damascus places at the service of the Russian Air Force”.
“Al-Sha’ayrat Airport, located southeast of the city of Homs, is the best available option for the newly arriving fighter jets. Russia required from the joint forces (Hezbollah, Iraqi forces and IRGC- Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps) to retake control of Al-Qaryateyn and Palmyra-Tadmur from the self proclaimed “Islamic State” (ISIS) known as “Daesh”, to expand the security perimeter around the airport to prevent any shelling possible that may affect the Russian Air Force once inside the new airport”
According to the source ” the two-runways-three kilometers long Sha’yarat ‘ airport contains about 45 fortified hangar that can protect any damage to air jets and personnel in the event of shelling. A team of Russian and Syrian engineers is already working at al-Sha’ayrat and will be operational when Russian jets are less busy in the north of Syria. Russian Air Force has intensified its sorties recently and is dedicating most of its operation against pro-Turkish and pro al-Qaeda (Jabhat al-Nusra) fighters. Gathering of forces and convoy aid crossing the borders from Turkey into Syria are hit by Russia in response to the downing of its Su-24 and the killing of the pilot by pro-Turkey ground militia while in the air.”
“Ground military operation in the vicinity of Palmyra will soon regain its intensity against ISIS. The coalition forces (Iran, Hezbollah and the Iraqi and Syrian forces) have reached the city limits but needs air support to minimize losses. Russia has promised that it will raise the number of its aircraft to above 100 to meet the needs of ground forces. Moscow is sending a large number of multiple (24) unguided rocket launchers and thermobaric Pinocchio TOS-1, designed for defeating enemy personnel in fortifications in open space. Russian forces is already using it to bomb Jabal al-Akrad and pro-Turkey Turkmen deployed not only on the border between the two countries, but also in the countryside of the province of Latakia and A’zaz “, he said.
According to the source “since Turkey shot down the Sukhoi 24 last week on the borders, inside Syria, Russian Air force focused on targeting any truck crossings A’zaz and Bab al-Salama borders into Syria as a response to Turkey proxies. Russia will gradually increase it support to allies in Syria to remove the Syrian opposition from the Syrian-Turkish border. Russia considers all non-secular opposition forces and those receiving foreign military support as legitimate targets and part of a crackdown on terrorism in the Levant. ”
Sha’ayrat air force base map link: https://tinyurl.com/pd2d646
+34° 29′ 31.20″, +36° 54′ 36.00″
Posted by: Lone Wolf | Dec 1, 2015 8:48:41 AM | 87
oil trucks north of A'zaz
A lot of long cargos seen in Gooogle Earth (July 2014) N 36°35'48"
East 37°03'07"
Posted by: Ejnar Ekström | Dec 1, 2015 9:47:34 AM | 88
>> Turkey made a bad mistake when it shot down the Russian aircraft which had strayed into its airspace for 17 seconds. The operation, conceived to teach Russia not to interfere ...
No, this operation could not have been "conceived to teach Russia not to interfere".
On the chess board, players look ahead more moves than Thierry suggests Russia and NATO looked ahead on this game board.
This seems very unlikely to me. I can't imagine major powers don't develop and maintain a list of policies to enact in response to various contingencies that might stem from each of their possible moves. I'm a dumbass and even I would do that if I were in charge of a city council.
Russia claims Turkey/NATO has been supplying ISIS. If true, Russia would've known this for some time and therefore would've known that attacks against ISIS could draw Turkey's/NATO's ire.
I have to believe that whoever gave the order to shoot expected Russia to use it to escalate and expedite.
As for the question "to what end?", I can only guess. Cut off the Bosphorous? Drive a wedge between trading partners, Turkey and Russia, in order to pull Turkey more closely to NATO and reduce Russia's economic sphere and sphere of influence? I have to imagine NATO and Russia consider these possibilities regularly.
Posted by: dumbass | Dec 1, 2015 9:53:10 AM | 89
The big question that nobody has asked to my knowledge. To what extent are draconian western economic sanctions on Syria responsible for the mass exodus from that tortured nation? Vollin at 14.
Kept under the radar natch, can't be calculated. There are also two (maybe 3) other important factors that lead not only to exodus out of Syria, but the whole mess.
1) Global warming and the absolutely dreadful draught roughly 2oo7-10 Syria experienced. Was discussed previously on MoA, goog does OK on ‘syria draught’. Ppl were forced off the land…
2) The curse of black gold. Syria does not have consequent oil reserves, nevertheless at peak it accounted for maybe about 25-30% of Gvmt. revenues, plus x internal consumption (development, GDP++, sharply rising birth rate, etc.) One link below by Ugo B. (blog, in the field, respected), sure some caveats .. (> comments as well.) I’d add that this situation was a tremendous spur to any kind of move to take over the remaining last scraps, crass Mafia type commerce, for personal / tribal / local control: sale and use. (Religion of no account.)
3) Assad’s handling of these terrible events, conditions. (He is my least favorite so called ‘dictator’ because of it.) He seemed to believe that liberalisation moves (e.g. scotching gas subsidies for farmers, opening up the banking sector a bit, not to mention basically no management of water, etc. etc.) would help…He faced stiff opposition from various instituted power quarters (his Min. of Economy for ex.), but seemed oblivious? Hungry ppl do demonstrate and then riot…Expanding this point would require massive effort, would make a fascinating book. As Syria is not alone in this predicament.
I grasp this type of message is generally unpopular. Ppl prefer to think about the Yinon plan, Isr. again!, spitting hate of the Assad ‘régime’ (or support because he is ‘secular’), salafists — radical Islam, Erdogan vs. the Kurds, Putin’s latest moves, etc. As human agency, greed and interests, must, somehow, be explanatory, at all costs. Not saying such considerations aren’t valid or pertinent, yet they are only part of the picture. They all take place on a stage that is veiled. The actors pontificate (lie, coerce, propagandise), quarrel, fight amongst each other, bomb from the air, how many ‘coalitions’ by now? Nature bats last, as the saying goes.

Posted by: Noirette | Dec 1, 2015 10:28:26 AM | 90
SecDef Carter earlier today (12/1): "U.S. deploying specialized expeditionary force to back Iraq." Read "to block Iraqi defeat of Daesh."
Daesh/Sunnistan and the Iraqi Kurds are strategic capacities of the empire, intended to destabilize Iran and Russia in the years to come. So while Turkey is deployed to create a quagmire for Russia in Syria, the imperial project goes on to the east.
Posted by: Laker | Dec 1, 2015 10:37:28 AM | 91
Posted by: dumbass | Dec 1, 2015 9:53:10 AM | 89
Well said dumbass!
IMO Here's what the attack accomplished:

1) intimidate/harrass 2) attempt to goad into a mistake (respond with counter-attack)
3) isolate - no joint actions / cooperation with Russia
4) punish
5) encourage Jihadis

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Dec 1, 2015 10:56:36 AM | 92
Posted by: Noirette | Dec 1, 2015 10:28:26 AM | 90
1) Global warming and the absolutely dreadful draught roughly 2oo7-10 Syria experienced. Was discussed previously on MoA, goog does OK on ‘syria draught’. Ppl were forced off the land…
Oh please! The draught is either man made or aggravated by Turkey building dams on the Euphrates which is down to 20% of its original flow.
Posted by: Sun Tzu | Dec 1, 2015 11:05:16 AM | 93
I didn't expect that from you.
"Least favorite dictator"?
Does that justify using extremists as a weapon?
Oil as a curse?
By this metric, KSA should be a living hell.
Global Warming?
You're drinking the Kool-Aid.
I have no love for Assad. But we have sufficient evidence to show that Sunni monarchies, Zionists/neocons targeted the secular Arab nationalist dictators (Saddam, Kaddafi, Assad) and Iran. And this is the PRIMARY reason for Syria's current troubles.
Posted by: Jackrabbit | Dec 1, 2015 11:09:16 AM | 94
@Jackrabbit #94:
Agreed. Syria was under tremendous pressure to implement neoliberal policies, same as Russia was. But Assad is no Yeltsin, and calling him a "dictator" is just bizarre.
Posted by: Demian | Dec 1, 2015 11:15:24 AM | 95
Defacto no-fly zone?
US-led anti-ISIS will soon have sufficient air power to continuously fly missions against ISIS.
De-confliction agreement between Russia and US (never made public, I believe) likely means that Russia would not fly where the US-led anti-ISIS Coalition flies.
Posted by: Jackrabbit | Dec 1, 2015 11:17:52 AM | 96
42;The Europeans should be tarring and feathering their leadership for their role in following US down the rabbit hole of regime change.As our US pop. should be.
ISUS works best for me and the most descriptive.
Wapo? had a story about barrel bombing of hospital in Syria.Zion never sleeps.
Posted by: dahoit | Dec 1, 2015 11:20:58 AM | 97
@Jackrabbit #96:
Russia would not fly where the US-led anti-ISIS Coalition flies
Russia has made it pretty clear that it will not allow Syria to be split up. Having areas of Syria where Russia flies and other areas where the US and satellites fly would do just that.
Posted by: Demian | Dec 1, 2015 11:23:20 AM | 98

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