Syraq SITREP 61: SAA Liberating SW Syria Despite Israeli Strikes, Putin Meets Netanyahu Ahead of Helsinki Summit with Trump

Ahead of the Putin-Bibi meeting and Trump’s rhetorical grenade lobbing tour de force through the NATO Summit in Brussels, several hints at U.S. deep state dissatisfaction with Israel mediating a grand bargain between the Russians and Americans emerged. The first came last week, when former Texas U.S. Senator turned Ambassador to NATO Kay Bailey Hutchinson complained the Russians were trying to ‘flip’ the Turks into their camp, an allegation that happens to be true but is inextricably linked to the Turkish role of balancing not only between Washington and Moscow, but also Tehran and Tel Aviv.

Then on Monday, The New Yorker published an article lamenting the Israelis, Saudis and Emiratis support for U.S.-Russia detente as part of the emerging cooperation between Moscow, Riyadh and Abu Dhabi in the oil markets. This was a follow up on June 2018 articles from the same New Yorker and the Democrat deep state rag The Daily Beast concerning the Trump transition team’s contacts with suspected Mossad front man WikiStrat CEO Joel Zamel, and its collusion with Israel to undermine a lame duck Obama resolution at the UN over Palestine. This and not any immediate sanctions relief for Moscow was the topic of former Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) chief Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn’s subsequently criminalized communications with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kisylak on that and the subject of Syria. On a related note, national security blogger Marcy Wheeler aka @emptywheel announced she was so alarmed by her source discussing Flynn’s negotiations with the Russians concerning Syria (a high Israeli priority) immediately after the 2016 election, that she snitched out her source to the FBI, violating a core tenet of journalism.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) Complains Netanyahu Has Cut a Deal With Putin

The realization that the Trump team has outfoxed the Deep State, and the Russians are well aware of Israel's tremendous influence in American politics and are exploiting it to their advantage came late. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who had initially leaned towards the neoconservative John McCain led #NeverTrump faction of the GOP only to later warm up to Trump, suddenly found himself in the strange position of being more hawkish on Syria than Netanyahu. After the Israeli Prime Minister indicated his acceptance of the fait accompli, that Damascus has won the seven year old war with Russian firepower, Graham tweet-whined, "Without Assad’s blessing, the flags of Hezbollah and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard would not be on Israel’s front door".

Graham's tweet was in reference to the Netanyahu demand that all Iranian and foreign Shi'a militia forces leave Syria -- and not just stay away from the Golan Heights. Bibi's tweet posted above that not a single bullet had been fired at IDF forces from the Syrian side of the demarcation line in forty years happens to be true, but also shows his two faced nature as a politician, since earlier he had stayed silent when Israeli commanders said they'd rather see ISIS elements than pro-Iranian forces in southern Syria.

When asked about Graham's earlier tweet, Netanyahu said that Israel acts with full transparency with the United States. He added that he agrees with Graham that Israel should act against Iran's presence in Syria.

Graham's tweet came ahead of Netanyahu's meeting with President Vladimir Putin in Russia to discuss the situation in Syria amid reports about an Israeli proposal in which Russia would push Iran out of Syria, and in return the United States would lift sanctions on Russia and accept its invasion of eastern Ukraine. The New Yorker reported this week that such a proposal was made by Israeli officials in early 2017, during the transition period between the Obama and Trump administrations. -- Haaretz

Graham insists the U.S. must stay in Syria to 'counteract Russian and Iranian influence', without conceding the obvious that Tel Aviv more or less welcomes Moscow's Mideast influence -- so long as the Russians do little to oppose Trump's plan to squeeze Iran. The fact that the German Bundestag's counterpart to the U.S. Congressional Research Service concluded the American presence in eastern Syria opposed by Damascus is contrary to international law, didn't register with Graham or his fellow U.S. Senators. But the fact that a quid pro quo is clearly on the table, whereby Damascus politely asks the vast majority of non-civilian Iranians in the country to leave, in return for the Kurds currently under American suzerainty reconciling with the central government, clearly bothers the neocons Sen. Graham has aligned with for most of his career. Especially if any deal should involve (as Elijah J. Magnier says his sources are telling him) Damascus demanding the Americans withdraw first before the Iranians -- who have been in Syria in some capacity since the early 1980s -- go home.

The 'Anglo' Part of the 'Anglo-Zionist Empire' is in Deranged Disarray, and the Russia-Trump Summit is Proof of their Humiliating Failure with the RussiaGate Gambit

Much like The New Yorker pieces, which taken together reveal the first inklings that Trump is putting the interests of America's non-NATO allies while openly disdaining those of NATO and the EU (which he regards as useful only as markets not as actual security partners), Graham's is a plea by an Anglo-American establishment that's already been left behind. That's not to say that the 'Anglo' portion of what our Swiss White Russian friend The Saker calls the 'Anglo-Zionist' empire is completely vanquished -- they still have the special counsel Robert Mueller Russiagate hoax and chemical false flag cards to play.

On Friday Mueller and his deep state kryshe Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein indicted 13 Russians, claiming that they were agents of the GRU in contact with Wikileaks and transferred emails hacked from the Democratic National Committee (DNC). Also on Friday, British authorities in Amesbury found what they described as a small bottle containing novichok, inexplicably more lethal than the original supposed Russian assassins' dose which failed to kill the Skripals, in the house of poisoning victim Charlie Rowley. The British presented no explanation on Friday as to how the highly toxic, Soviet designed substance got there, or why Rowley would have picked up the small bottle (presumably left behind weeks earlier by Russian assassins who got away), releasing the contents that killed his girlfriend, Dawn Sturgess. 

The British media in the past week have eaten some humble pie, and acknowledged criticism from England fans who enjoyed a fantastic World Cup (save for the national side's loss to Croatia). The Guardian which has been a 'liberal' Russophobic voice since the start of Cold War 2 following the Maidan putsch in Ukraine wrote "Will the World Cup Change How Russia is Portrayed?" The British also bragged about bombing Assad's forces with one of their advanced Eurofighter Typhoon jets weeks ago, but this and more recent Israeli nuisance strikes made no difference to the outcome negotiated between Netanyahu and Putin about southern Syria.

SAA Victory in Daraa Province as Locals Reject 'Moderate' Jihadists and Rebels Lay Down Arms in Russian Negotiated Reconciliation Deals

Earlier this week, the SAA raised the Syrian Arab Republic flag over liberated Daraa. The speed of the rebel collapse and relatively light casualties suffered by the victors would not have been possible without Russian air support and Moscow's reconciliation center at Kheimmim, which also uses the Turks as intermediaries to the remaining 'moderate rebel' and jihadist groups. The issue remains of what to do about the Turks and whether they intend to ever leave northern Syria where their occupation has both angered Damascus, but usefully dashed U.S./Israeli hopes to carve out a greater Rojava contiguous with the NATO/Israel backed statelet of Kurdistan in northern Iraq. All indications are that Iran will demand as a condition of withdrawal that the SAA with massive Russian air and artillery support, break the jihadist sieges of al-Foua and Kefraya, two predominantly Shi'a cities which have been kept alive with para-dropped supplies for years.

Russia played the role of postman for the exchange of the US-Assad messages. President Assad, however, informed the Americans that Iran is not interested in remaining in Syria once all terrorist Takfirees are killed and when its function is no longer required.

The bottom line is that Assad and his allies believe that the US-French-UK withdrawal from Syria would actually be actually an achievement. Moreover, both Iran and Hezbollah consider their withdrawal both a fact and a necessity, once Assad is no longer in need of their contribution. However, there is still al-Qaeda in the Levant, and other jihadists in the north under Turkish control. Also, there is still ISIS in the north-east within the US-controlled area. All  these can only be eliminated once the Syrian Army and its allies wage war against them.

From this point of view, the US proposed “deal” is feasible and is considered reasonable by Assad and his allies- but only once the very last US soldier has left Syria.

Russia will act as guarantor for its own allies, and these will commit to leave Syria once all jihadists no longer pose a threat to the central government.

Damascus and Tehran look at this “deal” positively but this does not mean they trust a US establishment led by a President who can unilaterally revoke his own signed deals, just as he did for the Iran Nuclear deal he signed with his allies. Moscow, Tehran and Damascus are aware that Trump cannot realistically keep his forces in Syria for very long, particularly since the south of Syria is about to be liberated.


The SAA Tiger Forces are confident after their swift victories in the south that they can break through the jihadis lines, provided the Turkish Army does not interfere. The Turks do not have sufficient troop strength in the north to mount any type of counteroffensive and it is certain that Erdogan will be kept apprised regarding the Trump-Putin agreement to be hammered out in Helsinki. It is highly likely members of Trump's entourage met with Erdogan's people during the NATO Summit in Brussels for this purpose. Therefore the Russian Analyst does not expect the Turks to do anything when the SAA inevitably turns its attention to the north and begins taking back sovereign Syrian territory.