what the hell is Riad Darar doing, I thought he came out saying the SDF was planning to fold into the SAA just the other day?

source is anti-Bashar in the extreme so it might be disinfo but i haven't kept up with SDF-government talks https://syrianobserver.com/EN/news/47613/secret-meeting-between-sdc-and-government.html

damoj posted:

i'm trying to imagine a 'roided Delta dude with deathshead tattoos on his balls shedding a tear while telling a Bookchin-reading YPJ 16 year-old he has to go to his home planet now

like, here is a truly dangerous human being. think of how many people are alive today because she did not win the election.

ghostpinballer posted:

honest question, which minorities have they been suppressing? i remember the UN accused them of ethnic cleansing a while ago and then retracted when it came out they'd evacuated some villages, then helped the residents to return after a fight with ISIS. I've had a look around and can't find anything.
edit: i mean, I'm not about to die on this hill so if what you say is true then ofc it's bad.



ghostpinballer posted:

honest question, which minorities have they been suppressing? i remember the UN accused them of ethnic cleansing a while ago and then retracted when it came out they'd evacuated some villages, then helped the residents to return after a fight with ISIS. I've had a look around and can't find anything.
edit: i mean, I'm not about to die on this hill so if what you say is true then ofc it's bad.


i haven't read these in a while but i think they cover different aspects of it


Lots of stuff on Assyrian issues in Iraq and Syria on the Max J. Joseph's twitter (@DeadmanMax). From what I can tell, accusations of YPG ethnically cleansing Assyrians don't really hold water though there are certain chauvinist policies, such as forcing schools to use Kurdish textbooks with nationalist propaganda.
i few years ago i got a ride from a cab driver in chicago who was assyrian, alleged several of his extended family still in syria were killed when the ypg rolled into their village. ypg then kidnapped some priests and old folks for ransom and to help the village stay compliant. this in response to me asking how he was doing

there was a huge icon of assad hanging from his rearview mirror
thanks for the article. i read it, and while much of it is informative, some of it strikes me as a bit dubious and kind of weak; the ethnic cleansing incidents the author refers to seem to be the same ones i mentioned previously, which after investigation turned out not to be true. i have read they massacred surrendering nusra fighters during the battle for aleppo (in tandem with the SAA), and they killed some ISIS prisoners during the liberation of raqqa, etc, but it's a bit hard for me to care very much about that. each dead jihadi = syria another step closer to peace, imo.

i don't want to derail the thread any more than i already have, tho, so i'm going to put a sock in it re: the YPG for the foreseeable.
here's a report on assyrian/kurdish issues of the sort mentioned, focusing on the KRG rather than the YPG

overall i haven't heard as much about these sorts of tensions in syria as iraq, though
the kurds appear to be uncucked


failing british journalist oz katurji is pissing blood that erdogans genpcide scheme has been thwarted

Utter silence. That is the sound of Western corporate media days after a more than one-hour-long panel on the White Helmets at the United Nations on December 20...the silence is due to the irrefutable documentation presented on the faux-rescue group’s involvement in criminal activities, which include organ theft, working with terrorists — including as snipers — staging fake rescues, thieving from civilians, and other non-rescuer behaviour.

^with the important caveat that i'm quoting geopolitics.com so i honestly don't know how legit any of this is.

i don't have time to check all the names involved in the panel but despite beeley's involvement, they apparently interviewed over 300 syrians/mercenaries/assorted medical experts, including former WH members and civilians present in aleppo during the worst of the #holocaustaleppo #whitehelmets propaganda push. however i remember reading the same plausible-but-not-verified organ theft stuff about the kla. it's believable but also i'm reluctant to buy it wholesale without some solid, solid evidence, i feel we harm our case when we do so.

Edited by ghostpinballer ()

i dont follow her closely so forgive me asking, what's wrong with beeley?

Petrol posted:

i dont follow her closely so forgive me asking, what's wrong with beeley?

im the same, so it's my own personal thing tbh. I've just never quite trusted her.

Beeley is a for real crypto-fascist "libertarian", not just the type that libcom likes to scare you with in bedtime stories before you go to sleep. She's also admitted in DMs that she believes Assad tortured people, but would never say it publicly. So she's probably on the payroll of the Syrian state to some degree. That has nothing to do with the credibility of the White Helmets (near vanishing), nor does it havd anything to do with a lot of her reporting, which hasn't been unreliable.

Edited by Parenti ()

Thanks, not really shocking to hear of someone who appears so regularly on RT tbh
bit of an effort post again i suppose

holy shit

anyway, according to syrian war map, turkish-backed jihadis are hitting kurdish forces near manbij despite what this says


...yet YPG fighters are being bussed out, which means sooner or later these contra guys are going to unwittingly hit an SAA position and get absolutely fucked. what are the chances of an all-out clash between the turkish forces/turkish proxies and the SAA? would russia really let that happen?


2019 will mark the return of the northeast province to the control of the Syria government forces; Turkey is choosing its camp; and the Arabs – afraid of becoming orphans like the Kurds – are overwhelming Assad with their warmth, acting as though they had not been waging war on his country since 2011.

lol that last sentence is so good. magnier has generally accurately called the war almost move-for-move so i'm inclined to trust what he says.

No matter whether Trump decides to delay or speed up his withdrawal, the Kurdish YPG/PKK have chosen their camp next to Damascus.

plus i love his heroically garbled english. also you can practically hear the orchestra rising in the background as you read this, over a slo-mo image of the syrian flag flying:

Turkey will take further positive steps towards Assad, who today enjoys a more prestigious position than at any time since 2011. Indeed the Levant is returning to the centre of Middle East and world attention in a stronger position than in 2011. Syria has advanced precision missiles that can hit any building in Israel. Assad also has an air defence system he would have never dreamt of before 2011 thanks to Israel’s continuous violation of its airspace and its defiance of Russian authority. Hezbollah has constructed bases for its long and medium range precision missiles in the mountains and has created a bond with Syria that it could never have established if not for the war. Iran has established a strategic brotherhood with Syria thanks to its role in defeating the regime change plan. NATO’s support for the growth of ISIS has created a bond between Syria and Iraq that no Muslim or Baathist link could ever have created: Iraq has a “carte blanche” to bomb ISIS locations in Syria without the consent of the Syrian leadership (following Assad’s total blessing to the Iraqi leadership to join in the fight on ISIS), and the Iraqi security forces can walk into Syria anytime they see fit to fight ISIS. The anti-Israel axis has never been stronger than it is today. That is the result of 2011-2018 war imposed on Syria.

it really could go either way now. trump is done, he's finished with this whole thing. doubtless there'll be massive pushback from the media, and ofc some of his spooks and generals but even they have to recognise this is futile now. the jihadi militias are mostly fighting amongst themselves when they're not trying to take potshots at SAA and civilians. so imo turkey v syria is the next thing to watch for, w/ manbij as the flashpoint. either it's wrapping up (which tbf we've been saying for around 2 years now) or it could enter into a new phase if violence erupts between the syrian and turkish forces.

edit: one more caveat - i'm terrible at predicting anything so i'm probably wrong about what the thing to watch for is


ghostpinballer posted:

The anti-Israel axis has never been stronger than it is today.

blessed be

well, a very important turkish army general just got moved to an insignificant position and it s probably because of syrian drama. when we launched the invasion of afrin, SAA tried to send some troops there and we bombed them. apparently this general was the guy who ordered the bombing and he was upset about our "reluctance" to enter manbij and wanted to order the troops to invade once again, so now he got "promoted" to some inspection office instead. i guess we got some secret agreement with russians or some shit
Addressing his deputies on Tuesday, Erdogan said he held a "quite positive" telephone conversation with Trump late on Monday where he reaffirmed "a 20-mile security zone along the Syrian border ... will be set up by us".

Erdogan said he viewed the planned security zone in Syria positively and added its range may be extended further.

seems like erdogan can get whatever he w ants when he gets on the phone with Trump
has trump agreeing to something an actual indicator that he will actually do it? im not trying to be snide here, really, im actually curious how often his administration follows up on these sorts agreements.
oh definitely not, but it does make it a little more likely hes doing it i think. the US had begun to withdraw allegedly https://www.vox.com/2019/1/11/18178304/syria-withdraw-troop-trump-bolton-pompeo

btw 4 american invaders got blown up by isis today. i dont want to get too tinfoil but part of trump's basis for leaving was that isis is beaten sooo ???
US army releases history of the iraq war and subsequent developments, 2003 to 2014.


ghostpinballer posted:

US army releases history of the iraq war and subsequent developments, 2003 to 2014.


Iraq’s WMD program had been a major U.S. and international security concern since
the end of the Gulf war. After 9/11, U.S. policymakers worried that Saddam’s WMD
materials would fall into terrorist hands, and CENTCOM, along with the rest of the
U.S. intelligence community, assumed that Saddam would, at a minimum, use chemical
weapons against an invasion force. 41 Interestingly, however, there were no specific plans
to eradicate those materials or the sites at which they were suspected of being developed,
as WMD elimination was not part of the deliberate planning process or joint military
planning doctrine in the 1990s and the early 2000s. Consequently, although U.S. contin-
gency plans for Iraq from the 1990s and the revisions in 2000 identified the elimination
of Saddam’s ability to make WMD as an end state, none of them assigned any units or
organizations the responsibility for exploiting and destroying suspected WMD sites.

not too interesting so far but i thought this was funny. couldn't even remember to put some WMD hunters in front of cameras. thanx for the linx

edit wait nvm that's exactly what they did, find some token WMD hunters the day before the final exam for the cameras, pg 60-

However, CENT-
COM and CFLCC did not assign an organization to secure Iraq’s presumed WMD until
3 months before the invasion, even though the Iraqis’ alleged nuclear, biological, and
chemical weapons stockpiles were the U.S. casus belli. The U.S. interagency’s list of 900
suspected WMD sites was too extensive for the CFLCC to secure with a small invasion
force that needed to focus its combat power on destroying the Iraqi military and defeat-
ing the regime security forces in Baghdad....
Once assigned to CFLCC, the 75th brigade divided the
200 personnel assigned to the mission into sensitive site exploitation teams and mobile
exploitation teams, then linking up with other U.S. Government agencies to gather the
information necessary to fulfill its new mission. The 75th Field Artillery Brigade also
participated in CFLCC’s Lucky Warrior exercise in February 2003, but the late notice the
brigade received, combined with its lack of WMD expertise and the sheer volume of the
suspected sites, would quickly overwhelm the 75th once Saddam’s regime fell.

CFLCC's been integrated into an AI now btw


enjoying the lengths the settlers went to use lightning-war w/o calling it that-

"Major General Buford C. “Buff” Blount, the division commander, had a somewhat different view. Having encountered little coherent Iraqi defense on the approach to Baghdad, Blount preferred to keep his brigades moving and attack through Baghdad rather than merely probe it. Blount and Perkins thus set
out to conduct what amounted to a movement to contact into the city, an attack the unit dubbed a “Thunder Run.” For his part, Perkins defined his task as “to enter Baghdad for the purpose of displaying combat power, to destroy enemy forces . . . and to simply show them that we can.”

...It outlined the concept of “shock and awe” and how it could be applied in devising war plans. 32 Ullman and Wade advanced the idea of “rapid dominance” in which a comparatively small-sized military force could, through a display of military might, enforce its will on a powerful country and military to enact change. Some of the mechanisms to induce shock and awe included the use of “unstoppable, lethal” weapons like long-range air power to “impose a regime of unrelenting and ever-increasing stress.” Any of the relatively small number of ground forces used to enact the change must “arrive suddenly, strike without remorse, and terminate their presence quickly” before the adversary had the opportunity to recover.

Edited by toyotathon ()

rip to the 75th brigade, hopelessly overwhelemed by the sheer volume of saddam's suspected WMD sites. never forget
It is with a heavy heart that i must tell you that Israel is at it again

We're attacking you and your allies and you're nto allowed to resist... Hmm seems like Israel's MO everywhere they operate no?

Maybe Syria can stop them in March
“The White Helmet drivers would take the injured or dead bodies to the Turkish border. Many of the injured had light wounds, nothing that needed hospitalization but the bodies would come back without organs."

swampman posted:

“The White Helmet drivers would take the injured or dead bodies to the Turkish border. Many of the injured had light wounds, nothing that needed hospitalization but the bodies would come back without organs."

my deleuze is rusty but it just sounds like they're trying to create a TAZ

US Sends Additional Troops to Syria to Prepare for Withdrawal

The officials said the additional security forces may move around Syria to different locations as needed and may move in and out of the country at times. They would not indicate if any troop withdrawals have taken place or will happen in the immediate future, citing security concerns.

American military doctrine is very unique. Who else can withdraw by sending more soldiers? I would make a joke that soon American troops will withdraw from countries that they were never even in using this method, but that was the story all along with Syria anyway. Everyone just kind of forgot that there weren't any troops in Syria until suddenly there were, and they were very very important to keep there.

someone i know was talking about aleppo as though it's completely uninhabitable to this day. so i had to check something

today is feb 14, 2019

a google search for 'aleppo' gives you the standard top results you'd expect: a couple of wikipedia pages, unesco, a couple of news site topic pages. beneath that, six articles are linked directly on the first page:

"Aleppo After the Fall" (New York Times, May 24, 2017)
"Syria conflict: What's been happening in Aleppo?" (BBC, Jan 3, 2017)
"We live in Aleppo. Here's how we survive." (Washington Post, Oct 21, 2016)
"Inside Aleppo, Syria's Most War-Torn City" (Newsweek, August 28, 2015)
"There is more than one truth to tell in the heartbreaking story of Aleppo" (Independent, Dec 13, 2016)
"Ground down by savagery – the agony of Aleppo" (The Guardian, Oct 12, 2016)

the most recent of the above (and the only one postdating Trump's inauguration) is exactly the sort of bile-drowned tripe that you'd expect from the principal mouthpiece of empire

As for the regime’s victory there, it probably would not have taken place if Turkey had not withdrawn some of its rebel proxies to focus on fighting the Kurds. Aleppo may have helped the regime’s morale, but the war is likely to grind on for years, sustained and manipulated by outside powers. Assad needs them: His army has been decimated by war and desertions. That may help explain his use of chemical weapons in the town of Khan Sheikhoun in early April, which prompted the Trump administration’s slap-on-the-wrist missile strike. With his manpower running out, Assad cares more about reinforcing his rule — at any cost — than rehabilitating his reputation in the West, which might have provided loans to help rebuild his shattered country.

for real, dude could have had our loans if he'd just focused on his brand

Fisk (in the Independent) breaks up the monotony of the narrative, but only barely -- his somewhat more critical perspective comes qualified with the standard litany of denunciations of the "regime," and loaded with starry-eyed naiveté that proves no matter how senior a reporter you are, you can still remain a child at heart. "Western politicians, 'experts' and journalists are going to have to reboot their stories over the next few days now that Bashar al-Assad’s army has retaken control of eastern Aleppo," he begins, referencing some late-2016 hot topics ripe for correction, such as the number of civilians said to be trapped and fearfully awaiting extermination at the hands of the government. Later in the piece, he mentions "indiscriminate attacks" by rebels against the civilians in government-held areas. "I suspect we shall be hearing more of this in the coming days."

buddy, i have to specifically tell the biggest search engine to only show me results from the last year just to know Aleppo continued to exist after it "Fell" to some oriental-despot caricature

Edited by Constantignoble ()

in happier news, god bless this man

some FSA thugs tortured him but i'm really glad he survived

Edited by Constantignoble ()

i actually thought "aleppo after the fall" was a decentish piece in context of a wider media world that has never met a cruise missile strike it couldn't support. it's of course laden with the kind of doublespeak you'd expect, and although this paragraph is buried way down the article, the fact it is even present at all made me do a double take when i read it:

In March, I met a lawyer named Anas Joudeh, who took part in some of the 2011 protests. Joudeh no longer considers himself a member of the opposition. I asked him why. “No one is 100 percent with the regime, but mostly these people are unified by their resistance to the opposition,” Joudeh told me. “They know what they don’t want, not what they want.” In December, he said, “Syrians abroad who believe in the revolution would call me and say, ‘We lost Aleppo.’ And I would say, ‘What do you mean?’ It was only a Turkish card guarded by jihadis.” For these exiled Syrians, he said, the specter of Assad’s crimes looms so large that they cannot see anything else. They refuse to acknowledge the realities of a rebellion that is corrupt, brutal and compromised by foreign sponsors. This is true. Eastern Aleppo may not have been Raqqa, where ISIS advertised its rigid Islamist dystopia and its mass beheadings. But as a symbol of Syria’s future, it was almost as bad: a chaotic wasteland full of feuding militias — some of them radical Islamists — who hoarded food and weapons while the people starved.

true, it ain't much, it's more than a little late, and the writer is hardly some anti-imperialist radical, but even those^ few lines invited a torrent of hysterical outrage from the usual suspects when the article first went up, so for me it did something right. there were also more than a few avowed socialists who were nevertheless satisfied that the final phase of the aleppo operation was definitely a massacre, a genocide, a holocaust 2.0, etc, who bought the "suicide rather than rape" rumours and believed bana was really tweeting all that shit in perfect english. they greeted that section of "...after the fall" with a kind of bewildered, cheated anger. it was easy to dismiss the al qaeda stuff when it was online journalists and the like making those claims, but when it was a middle class syrian, speaking to an american journalist, on the record, in the NYT, with enough "of course assad is a diabolical monster" qualifiers to sweeten the medicine, i think a lot of the more honest ones i know finally started doing some actual reading outside the acceptable places. this isn't to forgive 7 years of almost wall-to-wall bullshit, of course, but sometimes the MSM gets it kind of right and it can be useful.

for people who've taken the time to really learn about syria, i can see how the article is insufficient in all the ways you say. but i can also say i've pointed a couple of people to it when they expressed skepticism about the official narrative of the war but weren't (at that point) ready to fully dive into something really off the beaten path (war nerd, alternet, this thread, etc). it certainly helped water those seeds of doubt, and now they're fully on our side.

Edited by ghostpinballer ()