Reuters Quotes Incredulous State Department Bureaucrats: "The Russians Can't Do Negotiations Without Us! Russia Has an Economy the Size of Spain's!"
Meeting and negotiations continue between Turkey & Russia, yesterday Turkey prematurely announced reaching an agreement
— Hassan Ridha (@sayed_ridha) December 29, 2016
“If Russia gets its way, new peace talks between the Syrian government and the opposition will begin in mid-January in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan, a close Russian ally.
The talks would be distinct from intermittent U.N.-brokered negotiations and not initially involve the United States.
That has irritated some in Washington.
”So this country that essentially has an economy the size of Spain, that’s Russia, is strutting around and acting like they know what they are doing,” said one U.S. official, who declined to be named because of the subject’s sensitivity.
”I don’t think the Turks and the Russians can do this (political negotiations) without us.””
Yes, of course the Russians, Turks and Iranians can't decide anything about Syria without mighty indispensable nation/world's leading superpower, whose supposed intellectuals and diplomats are whining about being outfoxed if not boxed out by a country with an 'economy in tatters' little larger than Spain's.
This Time, the Turkish Turd in the Hummus Bowl Has a Point: Where is the U.S. Military Support for the Turks Fighting ISIS at Al-Bab Lame Duck CINC Barry?
“Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday said the West was breaking promises in Syria, accusing Ankara’s partners of backing “terror groups” including ISIS militants in the country.
At least 37 Turkish soldiers have died in Turkey’s major incursion inside Syria since it was launched in August to back pro-Ankara Syrian fighters battling ISIS and Kurdish militia.
Casualties have mounted as the military seeks to take the town of Al-Bab from ISIS militants and Ankara has become more impatient over the lack of support from the US-led coalition against the extremists for the Turkish operation.
“The coalition forces are unfortunately not keeping their promises,” Erdogan said at a news conference alongside visiting Guinean President Alpha Conde.
“Whether they do or they don’t, we will continue along this path in a determined way. There is no going back on the path we have set out on,” he added.
Turkey has met the fiercest resistance yet of the campaign in the fight for Al-Bab, some 25 kilometres (15 miles) south of the Turkish border.
Erdogan complained that rather than supporting Turkey, the West was backing the Kurdish Peoples’ Protection Units (YPG) and Democratic Union Party (PYD), who work with the United States on the ground in Syria, and also ISIS.
“They are supporting all the terror groups — the YPG, PYD but also including Daesh (ISIS),” Erdogan said.
“It’s quite clear, perfectly obvious,” he said, adding that Turkey could provide proof in pictures and video.
Erdogan had made a similar claim on a visit to Pakistan in November alleging that “the West stands by Daesh right now” and its weapons were Western-made.
But the Turkish leader expressed confidence over the assault saying “we now have the Daesh terror group surrounded on four sides in Al-Bab”.
“Yes we have martyrs... but now there’s no turning back,” he said.
Erdogan made no mention of a video purportedly showing two Turkish soldiers being burned to death by ISIS in Syria.”
— Elijah J. Magnier (@EjmAlrai) December 23, 2016
While the Russia Analyst has not hidden his disdain for the man the Guerrilla Economist calls the 'turd in the hummus bowl', in this case Erdogan has a point. Where indeed, is the U.S.-led Coalition air support for Turkey's Euphrates Shield operations when they finally do fight Daesh, and not the YPG-linked PYD Kurds who are part of the American special forces aided SDF rebel force? If Turkey is still a member of NATO in good standing as we were told many times after the failed mid-July putsch to oust Erdogan (and indeed, Turkey is one of the few NATO 'partners' to spend the 2% of GDP on defense benchmark the Alliance has called for) why are the Turks receiving nada in terms of U.S. air support as their troops bog down in street fighting with the Daeshbags at al-Bab? In its rather weak response to Erdogan's allegations published on Twitter, the U.S. Embassy in Ankara didn't try to answer these questions, but only issued boilerplate statements of support for Turkey in the fight against Daesh and denials that Washington has ever supported the terrorist army:
“U.S. Embassy & Consulates in Turkey - December 28 2016
The truth regarding misinformation in Turkish media concerning United States and Coalition operations against ISIL in Syria:
There is considerable misinformation circulating in Turkish media concerning U.S. and Coalition operations against ISIL in Syria. For those interested in the truths, here are the truths:
The United States government has not provided weapons or explosives to the YPG or the PKK – period.
Washington Post - December 28 2016
On the road to Raqqa: At the heart of the issue is the U.S. military’s policy of sending arms to the area controlled by the main Syrian Kurdish militia, the People’s Protection Units, widely known as the YPG.
The decision has paid off so far. The YPG — which constitutes the Kurdish component of the SDF — has proved to be the United States’ most effective military ally in Syria, and it has retaken vast swaths of territory.
The embassy statement denying weapon and ammunition support for the YPG is obviously a lie. That the U.S. provides and provided weapons and ammunition to the YPG since 2014 is definitely true,
The same U.S. Embassy statement also denied that the U.S. supports or supported ISIS aka DAESH:
The United States government is not supporting DAESH. The USG did not create or support DAESH in the past. Assertions the United States government is supporting DAESH are not true.
There are many indications and that the U.S. actively supported ISIS aka DAESH in at least in its early years.
In 2013 the Georgian Special Forces officer of Chechen heritage Abu Omar al-Shishani, who had had extensive U.S. military training, was the ISIS commander that led ISIS and the U.S. supported Free Syrian Army under U.S. paid FSA Colonel Abdul Jabbar al-Okaidi in the capture of the Syrian Air Force base Menagh.
Who supplied and paid ISIS for that service?
Recent ISIS videos taken near al-Bab show ISIS attacks on Turkish Leopard 2A4 tanks with U.S. manufactured TOW anti-tank missiles. Those fell from the sky?”
As Former Facilitators of ISIS, the Turks Ought to Know Plenty About the Real Nature of Obama's Go-Slow and Half-Assed U.S. Campaign Against ISIS
The fact that none of the so-called national security reporters for NBC/MSNBC, ABC, CBS or Fox News are asking such questions at State Department spokesclown (handed his)Rear(end) Admiral John Kirby's unintentionally funny briefings tells you all you need to know about how tightly controlled the discussion in state-managed U.S. media is surrounding Washington's THREE YEAR OLD war on the Islamic State. Don't ask why ISIS didn't use up all those TOW missiles supposedly captured from the Iraqi Army in late 2013 or early 2014, and don't tell why the super terrorist army has enjoyed a sort of Ardennes offensive of late despite its supposedly huge losses in manpower to both Russian and U.S. Coalition air strikes and battles in Iraq. You certainly won't find those attacking 'Russian propaganda' while lying by omission about the breach in Washington-Ankara relations after the coup demonstrated by a week-long power cutoff to Incirlik Air Base discussing such questions. When maintaining appearances involves avoiding Captain Obvious questions, you know the Narrative is falling apart.
— Petri Mäkelä (@pmakela1) December 25, 2016
As we mentioned in a previous post, the Turkish military and their relatives cannot but ask questions when large stocks of NATO grade ammunition are captured by Turks and their scant 'moderate rebel' allies from Daesh, and when the Daeshbags are so profligate with their quarter million dollar a pop TOWs they use them not only against tanks and IFVs, but also pickup trucks driven by the Turkish-backed rebels.
Naturally, NATO info-warriors don't ask such questions as to where ISIS got either the missiles or the money to pay CIA-backed 'moderate rebels' who are supposedly their sworn enemies for their TOWs. Nor does anyone seem to recall just weeks ago Michael 'Daeshbag' Weiss and his ISIS: Inside the Army of Terror co-author/UAE-based handler Hassan Hassan writing that with the second largest army in NATO, the Turks could occupy ISIS controlled territory and allow the U.S. to effectively partition Syria. With Turkish soldiers dying in large numbers and Daesh inconveniently refusing to melt away against Erdogan's army now that Turkey has reoriented its policies closer to Russia's, it appears Mikey's neocon dream of a Salafist principality (articulated in an infamously declassified 2012 Defense Intelligence Agency memo) arising in eastern Syria from the ashes of the Daesh Caliphate patrolled by U.S. and Turkish soldiers is dead.
— Joshua Landis (@joshua_landis) December 7, 2016
Weiss as some may have noticed has been awfully quiet of late about the Turks' setbacks in Al-Bab, even though they would tend to confirm his Narrative of the Daeshbags being better guerrilla fighters than T.S. Lawrence's fighters during WW1, the Viet Cong and the Afghan mujaheddin all rolled into one. In truth, we don't think ISIS is nearly that competent, but they do control a still-very large territory and continue to receive vast quantities of arms if not fighters to replenish their losses. No one -- not the U.S., not Turkey or Egypt, and certainly not Russia -- has been willing to commit a sufficiently competent and large enough force to assist all sides in crushing the so-called Caliphate. Under President Donald J. Trump, the Russia Analyst thinks that is about to change. The latest pronouncement by Lt. Gen. Stephen Townsend to The Daily Beast, about how it may take another two years to defeat the super terrorist army, is all the more reason for Gen. 'Mad Dog' Mattis to fire Townsend as soon as Trump takes over and Mattis is confirmed as Secretary of Defense this spring.
— Joseph Meliambro (@JosephMeliambro) December 26, 2016
Aleppo Defeat Not Only Devastated the Washington-Riyadh-Doha 'Axis of Moderate Jihad', It Also Smashed the Dying MSM's Credibility After Years of Lying About the Syria War
First, we'd be remiss in failing to point out that secret negotiations between the Turks and legitimate Syrian government as well as the Iranians have been underway for months, even while Ankara blustered several weeks ago about Turkish troops having entered Syria in order to remove Assad from power. Those boasts of Erdogan are now buried along with the hopes of many thousands who, after the Turks quietly abandoned them, chose to take the Syrian government's green buses to Idlib over fighting to the last man in the ruins of east Aleppo.
The other casualties of the proxy defeat for the Obama Administration, Saudi Arabia and Qatar in the Aleppo battle have been the shrinking legacy media's credibility. No proof ever materialized of Syrian Arab Army massacres or mass rapes committed against the families of the jihadists or the civilian population 'trapped' by the Aleppo fighting, which were shamelessly repeated by Salafi-Trotskyite supporters of the jihadists such as Qatari think tanker shill Charles Lister or The Daily Beast's neocon fanatic Weiss. But there was forensic proof of atrocities committed by the anti-Assad forces both 'moderate' and al-Qaeda linked in the form of half-buried murdered Syrian POWs, which the Beast refuses to report.
— Michael Weiss (@michaeldweiss) December 28, 2016
Neither did supporters of the 'moderate rebels' admit to the jihadists holding civilians hostage and firing at them when they sought to flee through humanitarian corridors the Russians insisted on with their Syrian military partners, or that Russia provided aid to those fleeing to the government-held west end of the city. When a Russian field hospital was shelled by the jihadists, who apparently had very good intel as to its coordinates, killing two nurses in early December, the response of the Bellingcat/Bellingcrap propagandists was to blame the Russians for placing a clearly marked hospital within a mile of the front lines. The fact that Russian heli-medevac was not possible in such a dense urban battlefield, in part due to the MANPADs and anti-aircraft gun equipped 'Toyota technicals' Washington's friends in Riyadh and Doha had provided the jihadists, was not mentioned by Eliot Higgins' chums (more on that cretin in a moment).
— Partisangirl (@Partisangirl) December 17, 2016
Rather than the oft-reported number of 250,000 residents left in besieged east Aleppo by November, only about 88,000 people left the combat zone by the end of the siege, with only 13,000 of them actual anti-Assad fighters 'moderate' or Al-Qaeda and their relatives. When the SAA liberated the east end of the city which had been fought over for nearly five years, they found scores of their comrades who had been murdered by the terrorists, their bodies often showing signs of recent beheadings or mutilations before the U.S.-backed jihadist captors fled. The Syrians, it should be pointed out, could have demanded the jihadists, many of whom were not even Syrian, follow the laws of war and surrender their captives as a condition of their own surrender. But under heavy pressure from the Russians, who wanted the Aleppo battle resolved by Christmas, the SAA pressed forward with allowing the large scale evacuations to occur without making their enemy-held POWs a roadblock.
As Moon of Alabama blogger b reports, the jihadists were allowed to leave with their families and in some cases small arms, even after some terrorists murdered bus drivers who had volunteered to take Shi'a Syrians to safety in towns besieged by fellow jihadists. It was the so-called 'rebels' who used food aid as a weapon and horded it for themselves, not the Syrian government troops:
“Currently the area is searched by sapper teams and several hidden bombs were found. Several exploded and killed dozens of Syrian army soldiers. Mass graves were found of Syrian soldiers and civilians executed by al-Qaeda, Ahrar al Sham and other U.S. supported groups, presumably shortly before their evacuation. The Syrian government had wanted to negotiate their release before the evacuation. But an estimate of the additional death toll by a prolonged presence of the Takfiris during negotiations was high and international politics demanded a fast solution of the crisis.
Many weapon and food storage were found as well as intact health clinics. The fighters and their families were obviously well supplied while the rest of the population suffered. The weapons and ammunition found (video of just one stash - 1, 2) - mostly produced in Bulgaria, paid by the Saudis and transported and distributed by the U.S. - are estimated to be about $100 million in value.”
A Tale of Two Girls: One Made a Social Media 'Star' by Anti-Assad Activists, and the Other Largely Ignored After Being Sent to Her Death by a Jihadist Dad
— Partisangirl (@Partisangirl) December 16, 2016
The east Aleppo as 'another Srebrenica' 'genocide' gambit failed. The fact that the legacy media outlets relentlessly parroted whatever talking points the Obama Administration and its banshee hag at the UN Samantha Power pushed regarding Aleppo, while downplaying or pretending rebel atrocities were non-existent, further discredited the MSM. So too, did the child abuse of using a 7-year-old girl named Bana Alabed -- a girl who was considered more important to the presstitutes than another pre-teen Syrian girl sent to die as a suicide bomber in the suburbs of Damascus (whose father has thankfully been dispatched to face Allah after what he did to his own daughter).
“A jihadi father who used his seven-year-old daughter as a suicide bomber in Syria has now met his own death.
Abu Nimr al-Suri was shown on a video kissing his daughter goodbye before sending her into a Syrian police station, where she was blown up by a remote detonator.
Russia Today’s Middle East correspondent Lizzie Phelan has tweeted a photograph of Abu Nimr in his traditional death shroud.
She said he had also been involved in the murder of Syrian TV actor Mohamad Rafea, 30, who was kidnapped and killed in 2012.”
What 'Assadist' bloggers and Twitter accounts objected to regarding Bana was not her existence, as Bellingcat's Eliot Higgins claimed, but the exploitation of a seven year old girl as a sock puppet in propaganda wars by her parents. Questions also abounded regarding how the girl's parents managed to maintain not only good English for a native Syrian child, but such a good wifi connection in a war zone supposedly being starved to death under constant aerial bombardment. After many pleas guaranteeing Bana and her family safe passage out of the city, Bana's story seemingly had a happy ending, as she wound up on the lap of the turd in the hummus bowl himself, Erdogan, safe in Turkey. The facts that her parents were clearly jihadists who placed their daughter's life at risk and who ignored many opportunities to leave Aleppo before they did was once again, swept under the rug by the pressitutes.
..same as it ever was.
— Syricide (@Syricide) December 27, 2016
A Post-Mortem on the Death of the 'Regime Change at Any Cost in Syria Including Overtly Allying with Al-Qaeda' and Secretly Arming ISIS Policy
Of course it was the vicious, stupid brutality of the terrorists, not the cleverness of Putin or Assad's 'trolls' and TV or just defeat on the battlefield, that unraveled a propaganda narrative painstakingly constructed at a cost of hundreds of millions if not billions of dollars over years. Whereby all of the estimated 500,000 deaths in the Syria war, including over 100,000 Syrian Arab Army soldiers and allied militiamen, are and have been due to Assad and his supporters intransigence, never the aggression or Wahhabi/takfiri sectarianism of the anti-Assad jihadists backed by 'the West', the Turks and their Sunni Gulf partners.
In case you missed this over the weekend - RMR - Guest: Mimi Al Laham [aka SyrianGirl] (12/10/2016) https://t.co/CnTuhhuvLj
— Rogue Money (@theroguemoney) December 12, 2016
SOFREP.com and the Slow Motion Revolt of U.S. Special Forces Tasked with Arming and Training the Next Generation of Jihadists Who May Try to Kill Them Tomorrow
Another factor it must be said in the failure -- according to W the Intelligence Insider, at least FIVE times -- to push the U.S. into overt war against Assad's government if not the Russians in Syria was cognitive dissonance. Simply put, it would take propaganda of otherwordly power to convince Americans to go to war on behalf of jihadists allied with Al-Qaeda just a few years after having to give up their rights and be groped by strange gloved men at airports due to...the 9/11 attacks carried out by Al-Qaeda. The gambit of openly declaring that Washington and Langley needed to ally with Al-Qaeda was a bridge too far, even for the likes of Gen. David Petreaus, while large sections of the active duty/retired brass right down to the special forces (as documented by SOFREP's Jack Murphy) revolted against the treasonous Obama/Brennan 'AlCIAeda' policy. We've quoted Murphy's article from several weeks ago once here at RogueMoney, and we'll quote it again (salty language and all):
““No one on the ground believes in this mission or this effort”, a former Green Beret writes of America’s covert and clandestine programs to train and arm Syrian insurgents, “they know we are just training the next generation of jihadis, so they are sabotaging it by saying, ‘Fuck it, who cares?’”. “I don’t want to be responsible for Nusra guys saying they were trained by Americans,” the Green Beret added.
Murphy states bluntly: “distinguishing between the FSA and al-Nusra is impossible, because they are virtually the same organization. As early as 2013, FSA commanders were defecting with their entire units to join al-Nusra. There, they still retain the FSA monicker, but it is merely for show, to give the appearance of secularism so they can maintain access to weaponry provided by the CIA and Saudi intelligence services. The reality is that the FSA is little more than a cover for the al-Qaeda-affiliated al-Nusra...”
Murphy to his credit, also reported the murder of three U.S. special forces soldiers by a supposed 'moderate rebel' trainee who had been 'vetted' through the CIA program. TheWashington (Langley Com)Post, of course, reported the servicemen's death but downplayed the fact that they'd been killed by one of the 'moderate rebels' Obama and Brennan wanted to arm to fight Assad.
The neocons of course, always doubling down as is their own brand of psychosis, chalk their failures up to the dastardliness of Putin's hackers and the anti-Muslim predjudice of Americans that the deplorable Donald exploited in his winning campaign. However, with the election of Donald Trump and the defeat of the (post)Western globalist-aided jihad in Aleppo, the world seems to have reached a turning point. As Team RogueMoney member Ken Schortgen Jr. says, there has been a 'frequency change'. And all the 'drive by' 'debunkings' of 'fake news' from the likes of Snopes.com, whining that the British-intelligence created White Helmets are not terrorists or allied with Al-Qaeda's Syrian affiliate despite ample video footage demonstrating the contrary, cannot salvage the situation. Especially when Snopes co-founders have their own dirty laundry leaked from a salacious divorce trial...
Why Syria Was Targeted Well Before the 'Arab Spring' and Overthrow of Gaddafi in 2011
Snopes aside, the lies about the Aleppo battle became a microcosm of the great wave of lying that sustained a brutal sectarian war waged against what had been, for all the regime's authoritarian and nepotistic faults, a multi-confessional and tolerant state. Pre-war Syria was a Sunni-majority country that had, for all its problems, protected its 2,000 year old Christian community among other minorities like the Shi'a and Assad's sect the Allawites in the cradle of Christianity outside Palestine, the Levant (it was in Antioch, now separated from historical Syria by a Turkish landgrab, in which the believers in Jesus as the promised Jewish Messiah were first called Christians).
For decades Syria was a nation that had promoted secular values of Arab development and auto-emancipation, were women not only were educated but drove unveiled through the streets, unlike in Saudi Arabia which sent the best part of its infantry to 'liberate' the Syrian people (judging by the pathetic performance of the Saudi National Guard and Army in the Yemen war, there aren't very many Saudi young men willing to fight for their own country as opposed to ISIS or Al-Qaeda abroad).
As RogueMoney guest Syrian Girl (Mim al-Laham) has pointed out, Syria not only wouldn't allow a Qatari gas pipeline through its territory that would compete with its patron Russia for European markets before the war, it also did not have a Bank of International Settlements-linked central bank. These policies, along with its alignment with the anti-Israel 'axis of resistance' that included Iran's proxy Hezbollah made Syria a target. In fact, according to retired Army General and former NATO Supreme Commander General Wesley Clark, Syria was a target before 9/11 and was one of the countries slated for 'regime change' by the Project for a New American Century (PNAC) crowd and its contacts at the Pentagon as far back as the late 1990s. Some have gone further, and argued that Israel had plans to partition Syria along sectarian lines going back to the 'Oded Yinon plan' of the 1980s.
If the Syria War Was About Israel and Its Neocon Supporters in the U.S. Breaking the So-Called 'Axis of Resistance', It Spectacularly Failed
Ironically, despite the devastation of the country and considerable losses, Israel's enemy no. 1 Hezbollah is emerging stronger, not weaker from the war. Aside from a few Sunni sectarians and Wahhabis backed by Saudi or Qatari money, the Lebanese Shi'a militia's prestige is scarcely less than it was in 2006 when the group inflicted a painful defeat on the invading Israeli Army. Despite losing some support among anti-Israel Sunnis the Hezbollah have gained supporters among Christians in the Levant. It was no accident that alongside the flags of the Syrian Arab Republic and the Russian Federation, west Aleppo residents, both Christian and (somewhat secular) Sunni Muslims celebrated Christmas and the city's liberation last week with the flags of Hezbollah.
Even without direct arms transfers from Russia, a clear no-no according to agreements reached between Vladimir Putin and Benjamin Netanyahu, the Hezbollah have learned some tricks or a few from fighting alongside Russia's 'Polite People'. If G-d forbid there is another Israel-Hezbollah war, the IDF and IAF are likely to face a much more sophisticated opponent, capable of using drones and directing devastating artillery or rocket barrages on Israeli troop concentrations using small and relatively low observable and even night vision-equipped drone technology.
Iran's military industrial complex might not be capable of producing new fighter jets or modern main battle tanks to replace its 1970s or 80s vintage U.S. and Soviet made hardware, but it can make drones, cluster munitions for rocket launchers and anti-tank missiles (copies of the U.S. TOW 2 aka the Toophan and Russia's more lethal Kornet). Therefore Hezbollah won't need Russian weapons, only tactics and battle lessons it picked up from Moscow's advisers in Syria, to be far better prepared for another war against Israel. But even if that conflict scenario for which Israel is said to be preparing does not come to pass, the tectonic realignment of Mideast politics will make for strange bedfellows in 2017.
Russia and Turkey: From Enemies to 'Frenemies' Freezing the U.S. Out of a Final Negotiated Settlement to the Syrian Conflict (With the Egyptians Helping to Destroy Daesh)
Not only will we see NATO member Turkey and former Russian enemy Erdogan seeking direct security cooperation with the Russians, but a Trump Administration eager to destroy Daesh as a soon as possible may ask Egyptian military men allied with the U.S. and Israel to work with the SAA and Hezbollah on plans for post-Daesh peacekeeping in Sunni areas of eastern Syria. As the Russia Analyst has indicated in previous posts, we believe an Egyptian anti-Daesh or peacekeeping force is a strong possibility, given Egypt's warming ties with all of the players in the Syrian conflict except for the biggest losers in Riyadh and Doha. As the largest Sunni Arab army in the Mideast, the Egyptians can provide enough manpower trusted by Damascus to enable a Mad Dog Mattis-planned, general offensive against ISIS -- one that will minimize U.S. troop levels while maximizing the lethality of American firepower against the terrorist army. In other words, no more Obama or Gen. Townsend pussyfooting around, after the Russians and Syrians take back Palmyra it's time to kill the bastards all the way to Deir Ez Zor and Raqqa.
Busted! 'Free Syrian Army' made up of foreign (including US) intelligence officers - https://t.co/MD3QXxol0P
— The Daily Economist (@FinanceExaminer) December 22, 2016
Which brings us to our final point in this year end analyses of the radically shifting Mideast situation and the approaching end game in the Syria war: can the Russo-Turkish alliance successfully conclude a Westphalian peace in the Levant? Frenchman Thierry Meyssan, who has high ranking sources in Damascus, believes so. Meyssan also thinks the capture of U.S., Israeli and Saudi special forces directing the jihadists in east Aleppo has given Assad and the Russians more leverage, which may account for the lame duck Obama petulantly lashing out for the last time against both the Israelis (who in Obama's mind may have almost snookered him into the Syria quagmire) and the Russians (whom the Democrats insanely blame for putting Trump over the top against Hillary):
“the liberation of East Aleppo by the Syrian Arab Army was only possible because the foreign participants accepted to cease supporting the jihadists. Their retreat could not have been negotiated by the Syrian Arab Republic, but only by the Russian Federation.
Moscow has managed to turn Qatar and make it an ally. Qatar’s change of heart was sealed by the sale by Moscow of one fifth of the capital of Rosneft, at the beginning of December, in Doha. Rosneft, the jewel in Russia’s crown, is the largest company in the world. By implementing this transaction, allegedly in order to bail out Russia’s budget deficit, Igor Setchine and Vladimir Putin have inextricably united the political energies of the two greatest gas exporters in the world. De facto, Qatar dropped the jihadists, although since last May, it has disposed of a permanent office at NATO headquarters in Brussels.
The other revolution is that of Turkey. While as a state it remains a member of NATO, its President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has become a personal enemy of Washington. Since the general elections, Moscow has been leaning on Erdoğan in order to break the ties between Turkey and the United States.
Even though this is a complex maneuver which may take some time, it panicked Tel-Aviv, who commanded the assassination of ambassador Andrei Karlov in Ankara – a murder which was duly approved and celebrated by the New York Daily News, the fourth-largest newspaper in the USA, and public address system for the toughest of the Zionist lobbies. Perhaps Tel-Aviv also commanded the shooting, the same day in Moscow, of the director of the Latin American bureau of the Russian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Peter Polshikov.
After having considered for an instant that Karlov’s death might be a move in a double game by Erdoğan – the assassin had been one of Erdoğan’s body-guards - Moscow realised that it probably was not so. Vladimir Putin therefore reinforced the security of Russia and her representatives abroad. Incidentally, this episode attests to the fact that, despite appearances, President Erdoğan is no longer the master of his own house.
The capture of foreign officers in a NATO bunker in East Aleppo illustrates the evolution of the conflict. The captured men were principally British, US, French, Saudi and Turkey. By publicly confirming a non-exhaustive list of 14 names, ambassador Bachar Ja’afari stood NATO squarely in front of its responsibilities – a very different approach from that taken in February 2012, when Syria engaged in bilateral negotiations with France and Turkey during the siege of the Islamic Emirate of Baba Amr. At that time, Damascus had returned about forty Turkish officers and twenty French officers to their original army, either by the intermediary of Mikhaïl Fradkov (director of Russian Intelligence services), or directly via Admiral Edouard Guillaud (French Chief of Staff) at the Lebanese frontier. But the agreement which had been concluded with President Nicolas Sarkozy was not respected by his successor, François Hollande.
The existence of a NATO bunker in East Aleppo confirms what we have been saying about the role of NATO LandCom in the coordination of the jihadists, from Izmir. But the Atlantic Council, supreme organ of the Atlantic Alliance, never gave the go-ahead to this operation. As with the attack on Tripoli (Libya) in August 2011, Washington used NATO systems without certain of its members being informed. By doing so, it was applying the Rumsfeld doctrine, according to which there is no longer a permanent coalition around the United States, but only custom-built coalitions, according to the targets chosen by Washington.
The liberation of Syria should continue at Idleb. This governorate is today occupied by a horde of jihadist groups without a common commander. Since these groups are incapable of ensuring their own intendancy, and even less that of the civilian population, the zone is de facto governed by NATO via a string of pseudo-NGO’s. At least, this is what was noted last month by a US think-tank. To beat the jihadists there, it will be necessary first of all to cut their supply lines, in other words, close the Turtkish frontier. This is what Russian diplomacy is currently working on.”
My Swiss/White Russian Floridian friend largely concurs with Meyssan's take on the approaching end to the Syrian war, while acknowledging that Turkey will maintain some sort of sphere of influence inside the country, since without Turkish cooperation there is no way to make any ceasefire stick:
“Russia’s success in Syria is nothing short of amazing. Not only did an extremely small Russian military force succeed in turning around the course of the war, but it has held an essentially indefensible position long enough to deter Turkey, Saudi Arabia, the Gulf states and the USA from overtly attacking the Syrian forces or government. The Russians succeeded in this despite numerous, ugly and bloody provocations and despite having to operate in an extremely hostile environment (the region “belongs” to NATO and CENTCOM).
One of the most amazing successes what how the Russians managed to save Erdogan in extremis from a US backed coup and convince him to work with Russia and Iran to solve the Syrian crisis. The liberation of Aleppo could not have happened had Turkey continued to support al-Nusra & Co at any price. At the very least it would have taken much more time. By the end of 2016 the Russians own the Black Sea, control, at least for the time being, the eastern Mediterranean and they are working with the three biggest powers on the ground: the Syrians, of course, but also Iran and Turkey.
As for the United States, they seemed to have lost the entire region and their only “achievement”, so to speak, has been to alienate both the Israelis and the Saudis. As for President Elect Trump, he has clearly indicated that his number one priority will be to smash Daesh & Co. which happens to be exactly what Russia, Iran and Syria want too. If Trump really manages to kick the Neocon crazies to the cockroach filled basement where they belong, we could see something quite amazing happening: a joint Russian-US effort to destroy Daesh.
The big problem here will be the totally counter-productive and, frankly, idiotic anti-Iranian rhetoric of the Trump campaign. However, there must be enough good brains around Trump to make him understand that nothing in the region can happen without Iran’s approval and that the US and Iran don’t need to love each other to agree on a common objective. Trump strikes me as a realist much more than as an ideologue. Hopefully, he will learn how to separate AIPAC-pleasing rhetoric with serious foreign policy (the crash of the Obama Administration ought to teach him that lesson).
What is certain is that Russia is now running the show in Syria and that without US or Turkish support, Daesh will be facing an existential crisis. Of course, the situation remains fluid, complex and dangerous. And I would never put it past the US or Turkey to do yet another 180 and to resume their support for Daesh. The Kurdish factor, Israeli policies and Erdogan’s inherent unpredictability all serve to make sure that the Syrian crisis will continue well into 2017.
However, I think that the Neocon’s crazy rampage is reached is apogee and that things should begin to improve from now on. Russia alone simply could not save Syria, and yet she appears to have done just that.”