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Syria Crisis: News, Updates & Discussion

Discussion in 'Greater Asia & Middle East' started by Hembo, Jun 9, 2011.

  1. Butter Chicken

    Butter Chicken Captain FULL MEMBER

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    Rebel T-55 tank tries to fire at Assad forces,but instead blows itself up.Crew are killed inside the tank



    Scandinavian kid spotted in Kirkuk,Iraq @Fox
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  2. Flyboy!

    Flyboy! Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

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    the role of USA is undefined. Its like they dont have a commander to lead their forces.
     
  3. Fox

    Fox Supreme Overlord FULL MEMBER

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    Probably Swedish or Danish (he doesn't look Sami to me). He's very blonde and Norwegians typically have darker, more brown or reddish hair. The stereotype that all Scandinavians are blonde with blue eyes doesn't really apply to Norway and in fact, historically the Nordmen in Norway had darker hair and eye colors, especially in the coastal regions. Thus, though I can't say for certain, he's probably either Danish or Swedish who are more inline with the common Scandinavian stereotype.

    In any event I believe Denmark, Norway and Sweden have special forces in the region and I know the Norwegian Army's Telemark Battalion is in Erbil training Kurdish forces.

    [​IMG]

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  4. BMD

    BMD Colonel ELITE MEMBER

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  5. Butter Chicken

    Butter Chicken Captain FULL MEMBER

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    Video released by Islamic State's AMAQ news agency

    #Syria: #ISIS raided positions of pro-#Assad forces in the Eastern #Syria|n Desert and destroyed or captured several vehicles.

     
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  6. BMD

    BMD Colonel ELITE MEMBER

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  7. Butter Chicken

    Butter Chicken Captain FULL MEMBER

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    Video of Islamic State fighting SAA in central Syria

     
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  8. Hellfire

    Hellfire Devil's Advocate THINKER

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    Pretty dumb of her to be wearing a blue bandana!
     
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  9. Hellfire

    Hellfire Devil's Advocate THINKER

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    Air strikes, shelling strain Moscow-backed Damascus truce
    JULY 25, 2017

    BEIRUT (Reuters) - Air strikes killed at least nine people in the Eastern Ghouta area of Syria near Damascus overnight and insurgent shelling from the rebel-held area landed near the Russian embassy on Tuesday, a war monitor reported.

    The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the deaths in the town of Arbin marked the first civilian casualties since a Russian-backed truce in the area came into effect. The Syrian military declared a cessation of hostilities there on Saturday.

    Later, two residents said jets believed to be Russian that people identify by their flight at high altitudes and in sorties struck again residential buildings in the same areas, killing at least two people and causing scores of injuries.

    But Russia, a military ally of President Bashar al-Assad, dismissed reports of air strikes in the area as "an absolute lie" meant to discredit Moscow's peacemaking efforts.

    "During working contacts with representatives of opposition groups in Eastern Ghouta it was confirmed that no military actions had been conducted in this de-escalation zone, there had been no air strikes," the Russian defense ministry spokesman said in a statement on Tuesday.

    Russia said on Monday it had deployed military police in Eastern Ghouta to try to enforce a de-escalation zone it said it had agreed with the Syrian opposition there.

    In a second statement, issued late on Tuesday, the Russian Defence Ministry said it had delivered 10 tons of food and medical supplies to Eastern Ghouta, and evacuated sick and injured civilians from opposition-held areas.

    Social media footage downloaded by activists in the Ghouta area showed videos of children in coffins next to wailing relatives in the earlier overnight raids on Arbin.

    The Observatory said the overnight air strikes wounded 30 people in Eastern Ghouta while another four were injured by further air strikes that targeted the area on Tuesday morning.

    The Civil Defence for rural Damascus, a rescue service operating in the area, said the dead included five children and two women.

    In a statement on its Facebook page, Civil Defence put the number of wounded and missing at 50. The air strikes hit the area at 11 p.m. (2000 GMT), it said.

    There was no immediate comment from the Syrian military on the report, and no mention of air strikes by state media.

    Witnesses said three mortar shells landed in the neighborhood where the Russian embassy is located in northeastern Damascus. There were no reports of casualties.

    The Syrian army, with military support from Russia and Iran, has dealt the opposition a string of defeats around the capital over the last year, seizing back control of areas including Daraya and Moadamiya.
    "Is this the humanitarian aid that Russia has promised us? ... Children sleeping in their beds and the jets come to bomb and destroy us. What have we done to deserve this?" said an elderly man as he pointed to bodies lying on the floor in widely circulated footage.

    The Syrian army and its allies have been shelling and bombing the heavily populated rebel-held pocket east of Damascus for weeks in an attempt to make advances.

    Tuesday's shelling near the Russian embassy marked the first time rebels had hit government-held areas of central Damascus since the truce began.

    Reporting by Tom Perry/Sarah Dadouch and Dmitry Solovyov/Jack Stubbs in Moscow and Suleiman al-Khalidi in Amman; Editing by Catherine Evans and James Dalgleish

    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-syria-ghouta-idUSKBN1AA0JV
     
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  10. Hellfire

    Hellfire Devil's Advocate THINKER

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    Syrian army steps up strikes on capital's last rebel enclave
    August 7, 2017



    AMMAN (Reuters) - The Syrian army stepped up shelling and air strikes on the last rebel-held enclaves in the Syrian capital on Monday, its heaviest bombardment in a two-month campaign, rebels and witnesses said.

    From the strategic Qasyoun Heights that overlooks Damascus, elite units of the army pounded Jobar district, some 2 km (1.2 miles) east of the Old City wall and Ain Terma just to the south.

    The army's offensive has dented a Russian-sponsored ceasefire announced two weeks ago in the Eastern Ghouta area to the east of Damascus.

    Moscow has said it is negotiating with mainstream rebel groups in several areas across Syria to create new de-escalation zones and calm fighting.

    Rebels and residents said Moscow had already begun deploying some military police in certain checkpoints that border the rebel-held northern Homs countryside and in southwestern Syria where "de-escalation" zones have been announced.

    Residents and rescuers say the Syrian army has intensified shelling of civilian areas in the Eastern Ghouta region where rebels are holed up, many in underground tunnels, out of frustration at the lack of progress.

    At least 15 civilians have been killed and scores of others injured in three days of sustained bombardment.

    The U.K. based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights which monitors the conflict said at least 20 army soldiers were either killed, injured or taken prisoner in the past 24 hours, confirming rebel estimates.

    Less intense shelling has hit Zamalka, Harasta and Kafr Btna, also in Eastern Ghouta. Social media videos downloaded by activists showed sorties of jets pounding areas in Ain Tarma and Jobar, with fire erupting in places and large plumes of smoke rising into the air.

    Eastern Ghouta has been under opposition control for much of the six-year conflict. Jobar is in northeast Damascus and borders the Eastern Ghouta district of Ain Terma.

    The army is also using more elephant rockets - inaccurate and improvised munitions often made from gas canisters and fired on a high trajectory - insurgents said.

    "The elephant rockets are not having mercy on us. We have dug tunnels and fortified our positions so they are unable to advance," said Abu Obada al Shami, a commander from Failaq al Rahman, the rebel group whose fighters are drawn from the area.

    The rebels, for their part, are trying to hang on to their last foothold in Damascus following the loss earlier this year of Qaboun and Barzeh districts, located north of Jobar.

    Before the war began in 2011, more than half a million people lived in Eastern Ghouta, a sprawling mix of towns and farmland.

    Two residents said Ain Terma was now a ghost town, with only a few hundred families taking shelter in basements after most former residents fled to other towns in Eastern Ghouta.

    "Life is non-existent. Permanent terror and people are not coming out of their basements," said Abdullah al-Khatib, a former electrician, who lives there with his eight-member family.

    Rebels accuse the Syrian army and its Iran-backed allies of breaking the Russia-brokered truce in Eastern Ghouta to throw its full weight against Jobar and Ain Terma.

    The government has said it will abide by the truces which Russia has brokered but says it continues to target Islamist militant factions not covered by the agreement.

    "This truce is a lie. The regime has not implemented it. They are shelling us without interruption using all types of weapons," Abu Hamza, another rebel fighter said.

    http://in.reuters.com/article/mideast-crisis-syria-damascus-idINKBN1AN1GL
     
  11. z_er0

    z_er0 IDF NewBie

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    It looks fake to me

    bullet hit the wall from behind
     
  12. brahmos_ii

    brahmos_ii Major SENIOR MEMBER

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    Anticipating its defeat Daesh (ISIS/ISIL) is seeking to replenish its reserves and invest money in fast payback projects, said the deputy director of the Russian Foreign Ministry's Department on New Challenges and Threats, Dmitry Feoktistov, stressing that a comprehensive embargo on the terrorist group will become the way out.

    Daesh is actively diversifying its financial sources and adopting new economic strategies, the deputy director of the Russian Foreign Ministry's Department on New Challenges and Threats, Dmitry Feoktistov, told journalistson Tuesday, bemoaning the fact that the Russia-drafted resolution seeking to impose a full embargo on Daesh has yet to be adopted.

    According to Feoktistov, the terrorists have focused on at least three spheres: the restriction on the use of other currencies except gold, silver and copper coins minted by Daesh; a further reduction in the purchase price for antiquities from "diggers"; the attempts to maintain control over drug trade in Afghanistan and the search for new sources of income.

    Daesh Gold Dinar Increases Value

    It was reported in June 2015 that the self-proclaimed "caliphate" started minting its own gold coinsworth $139 in an apparent attempt "to provide substantial support to their black-market oil-based economy" and evade dollar transactions, as Sputnik contributor Kristian Rouz explained.

    One of the terrorist organization's mints had been operating in Turkey's southern province of Gaziantep until it was discovered and destroyed in October 2015.

    However, after the beginning of Russia's air campaign in Syria, which inflicted considerable damage on Daesh-held oil infrastructure, the terrorists started accepting only US dollars for payments, as The Associated Press found out in February 2016.

    Now, the terrorist organization has seemingly switched to its coinage again — this time to replenish its foreign currency reserves.

    As Feoktistov revealed to journalists, terrorists have obliged civilians to change Syrian pounds and US dollars to dinars, which are sold at a price higher than gold in special "economic offices" run by Daesh.

    The terrorist organization "declared its gold dinars, silver dirhams and copper fils the only legal currency in civil circulation on the territory of their pseudo-caliphate," he explained.

    As a result, Daesh "has already sold 100,000 dinars at a price of over $180 apiece, according to some estimates, which brought the terrorists, about $18 million in revenue," Feoktistov said, suggesting that the money would be most likely spent on purchasing arms and ammunition.

    Diggers Will Earn Less for Stolen Artifacts

    Yet another novelty is Daesh's decision to reduce the price they pay to "black diggers," who provide the terrorist group with antiquities.

    The "caliphate" has long profited from selling cultural artifacts looted at archeological sites, including those from the UNESCO World Heritage List.



    The terrorists smuggled antiquities through Lebanon while the city of Gaziantep in southern Turkey emerged as the largest trade center of objects of cultural heritage that were stolen by Daesh, as the former permanent representative of Russia to the UN, Vitaly Churkin, revealed in his letter to the Security Council in April 2016.

    According to some estimates, Daesh's profit from the illegal trade of stolen artifacts reached $150-200 million a year.

    As RT highlighted in November 2015, ancient Middle Eastern cultural artifacts looted by Daesh in Syria and Iraq were of high demand in Britain and other European countries and often ended up in public institutions, museums and in the hands of private collectors.

    Earlier, in August 2015, the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) reported that cultural property originating from Syria and Iraq, and associated with the terrorist organization, had entered the US market.

    In an update to the press release the FBI revealed that in December 2016 the US Attorney's office for the District of Columbia filed a civil complaint "seeking the forfeiture of multiple antiquities" associated with Daesh. The complaint revealed that the extremists "created a sophisticated bureaucratic system for extracting wealth from sites containing materials that are important to the cultural heritage of the people of Syria and Iraq."



    Now that Daesh has lost many of its territories in Syria and Iraq, the terrorists are forcing diggers to cut prices for ancient works of art, thus seeking to increase their margin from selling the artifacts on the black market.

    "If previously terrorists bought artifacts from black diggers at a price amounting to 20 percent of their estimated value, now they force diggers to sell their [archeological] finds with a 20 percent discount, in order to later sell them at higher prices," Feoktistov underscored, stressing that it clearly shows that Daesh still has a stable channel for the sale of artifacts, regardless of the sanctions imposed by the UN Security Council in 2015.

    New Sources of Income: Drugs, Human Organs, Fast Payback Projects

    Feoktistov pointed out that Daesh would continue to seek new sources of income, while trying to diversify existing ones.

    The Russian diplomat called attention to the fact that the terrorist organization is currently trying to take control of the Afghan drug trade.

    Additionally, it is possible that the extremists will attempt to capitalize on the financial flows allocated by the international community for the restoration of Syria and Iraq, he warned.



    In June 2017, Feoktistov revealed that Russia has information about Daesh attempting to invest in projects in Western Europe via Middle Eastern banks. According to the diplomat, previously there were reports on Daesh's attempts to invest in real estate in New York City and Turkey.

    Speaking to journalists on Tuesday, the diplomat surmised that Daesh wouldn't scruple to sell human organs to replenish its reserves, if necessary. Most likely the terrorists will jump at the opportunity to invest into fast payback projects, in particular: health care, pharmaceuticals, real estate, fish farms in Iraq or small car production, Feoktistov pointed out.

    Russia has repeatedly sought to impose a full embargo on Daesh in order to asphyxiate the terrorist organization.

    Unfortunately, the recent Moscow-led initiative, which sought to introduce a comprehensive trade and economic embargoagainst territories under Daesh control, was blocked by the US at the UN Security Council, Feoktistov said.

    "Perhaps someone among those who is blocking our initiative is not interested in it," the Russian diplomat concluded.

    https://sputniknews.com/analysis/201709131057365809-daesh-syria-iraq-finance/
     
  13. sangos

    sangos Lt. Colonel ELITE MEMBER

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    US special ops forces & hardware spotted at ISIS positions north of Deir ez-Zor – Russian MoD
    Published time: 24 Sep, 2017 09:09Edited time: 24 Sep, 2017 14:16
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    © mod_russia / Twitter

    The Russian Ministry of Defense has released aerial images which they say show US Army special forces equipment north of the town of Deir er-Zor, where ISIS militants are deployed.
    READ MORE: Russia warns US it will strike back if militia attacks in Syria don’t end

    US Army special units provide free passage for the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) through the battle formations of Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) terrorists, the ministry said in a statement.


    Follow
    [​IMG]Минобороны России

    ✔@mod_russia

    The aerial photos of ISIS' territory north of #Deir_ez_Zor where#USA special operation troops are seen http://s.mil.ru/2jUyo2p

    2:38 AM - Sep 24, 2017
    Twitter Ads info and privacy


    “Facing no resistance of the ISIS militants, the SDF units are advancing along the left shore of the Euphrates towards Deir ez-Zor,” the statement reads.

    Read more
    [​IMG]US-led coalition vows to avoid incidents with Russian military in Syria
    The newly released images “clearly show that US special ops are stationed at the outposts previously set up by ISIS militants.”

    “Despite that the US strongholds being located in the ISIS areas, no screening patrol has been organized at them,” the Russian Ministry of Defense said.

    This could mean that the US military staff “feel absolutely safe” in the area which is held by the terrorists, the ministry of defense stated.

    Though, the ministry claims to have identified, among others, cars, armored vehicles and tents, it does not provide information on the exact whereabouts of the US troops on the images posted.

    All of the images were taken from September 8 to 12. The photos show several Cougar infantry mobility vehicles and Hummer armored vehicles of the US Army special forces, according to the Russian MoD data.

    Earlier in September, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov accused the SDF of collusion with ISIS terrorists.

    “SDF militants work to the same objectives as IS terrorists. Russian drones and intelligence have not recorded any confrontations between IS and the ‘third force,’ the SDF,” Konashenkov said.

    READ MORE: Over 87% of Syrian territory liberated from ISIS – Russian MoD

    The city of Deir ez-Zor in eastern Syria was besieged by Islamic State in 2014. The Syrian Army, supported by the Russian Air Force, broke a three-year blockade on the city in early September. The city’s liberation enabled convoys to start delivering food, medicine, and other essentials to the city, which previously had to rely on airdrops.

    READ MORE: Russia sends sappers to help demine liberated parts of Deir ez-Zor (VIDEO)

    The liberation of Deir ez-Zor triggered a race between Syrian government forces and US-backed SDF militants. Both are holding separate operations in the area and are aiming to control the oil rich Deir ez-Zor province.

    https://www.rt.com/news/404365-us-special-forces-isis/

     
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  14. Picdelamirand-oil

    Picdelamirand-oil Lt. Colonel MILITARY STRATEGIST

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    Moscow: US-backed SDF faces “destruction.” Pro-Iranian Iraqi force crosses into Syria
    Sep 21, 2017 @ 15:48 Deir el-Zour, Hizballah, IDF, Iran, Russia, SDF, Syria, US
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    Israel’s strategic situation took several steps back in the first week of the New Year, chiefly: The US pulled back from E. Syria under Russian threat, allowing Iran to move in.

    In just one week, the dire perils, which many military and political experts warned against for years, are suddenly looming on Israel’s northern border.

    1. From Sept.15-17, Syrian and Hizballah forces crossed the Euphrates to the eastern bank on pontoon bridges provided by Russia.
    2. Last Saturday, Sept. 16, Russian jets bombed the US-backed Syrian Defense Forces (SDF) in the Deir ez-Zour region, as a warning against their obstructing the eastward impetus of those Syrian and Hizballah units.
    3. On Monday, Sept. 18, US Marines began blowing up buildings at the Zaqaf military base in eastern Syria and then retreating to the Jordanian border. The US set up Zaqaf early this year in the Syrian Desert as a barrier against this very Syrian/Hizballah crossing to impede their advance to the Syrian-Iraqi border.
    4. The following day, on the heels of the US withdrawal, Hizballah troops took charge of the Zaqaf base.
    5. On Wednesday, Sept. 19, the Iraqi Hashd Al-Sha’abi (Popular Mobilization Units – PMU) crossed into Syria and linked up with the Syrian-Hizballah force. The PMU is under the direct command of Gen. Qassam Soleimani, head of Iranian military operations in Syria and Iraq.
    6. Iran, through its Iraqi, Lebanese and other foreign Shiite pawns, is now in control of 230km of the Syrian border, from Abu Kamal (still held by ISIS) in the north, to Al Tanf in the Syrian-Iraqi-Jordanian border triangle in the south – where, too, US and coalition special forces have begun packing up ready to exit.
      Iran in recent years imported some 20,000 Afghan and Pakistani Shiite fighters to reinforce the Syrian army and Hizballah in their battles for Bashar Assad. The new Iraq arrivals boost that figure by tens of thousands and more are coming in all the time.
    7. On Thursday, Sept. 21, the growing disconnect between Moscow and Washington over Syria suddenly erupted into an open breach with a crude threat from the Kremlin: “Russia has officially informed the United States via a special communications channel that Russian forces will strike immediately US-backed forces if they attack or shell Syrian or Russian task forces operating near the Deir Ez-Zour city. Any attempts at shelling from the areas where the militants of the Syrian Democratic Forces are based will be immediately curbed. Russian forces will suppress firing points in these areas using all means of destruction.”
    A threat of this degree of ruthlessness has not been encountered in the Middle East for decades, it may recall Moscow’s threat to Israel in 1956 to end its invasion of the Sinai without delay or else…

    Where do these menacing steps leave Israel?

    • The US has washed its hands of central and southeastern Syria.
    • Russia is wholly, unreservedly and openly in lockstep with the Syrian army, Iran and Hizballah in all their objectives in the war-torn country, and moreover, willing to threaten any pro-American entity with total military punishment. Is this an indirect message to Israel too?
      Iraqi Shiite forces are surging into Syria; they have given Tehran the gift of control of a 230km segment of the border.
    And what does the IDF chief of staff, Lt. Gen. Gady Eisenkott have to say about all this? In an interview to Israeli media as recently as Wednesday, Sept. 19, when it was all happening, he said: “If Iran does entrench itself in Syria, that will be bad news for the entire region, including the moderate Sunni camp, and even more for the countries of Europe.”

    He went on to explain: “That is why we have given the Iranian threat and halting its expanding influence very high priority as an issue to be dealt with.”

    Gen. Eisenkott underlined the IDF’s focus as being to prevent [Israel’s foes] from obtaining weaponry, i.e. missiles – of high targeting precision.

    The trouble is that, while the IDF focuses on this objective, commendable in itself, Russia and Iran are focusing and in full flight on a far wider-ranging goal, the precise and systematic deepening of Iran’s military presence in Syria. Iran and Hizballah have already established military commands at Arnaba just 6 km from Israel’s Golan border.

    Yet the IDF chief is still talking about this as an untoward event that may – or may not – come some time in the future.

    https://www.debka.com/moscow-us-backed-sdf-faces-destruction-pro-iranian-iraqi-force-crosses-syria/
     
  15. Picdelamirand-oil

    Picdelamirand-oil Lt. Colonel MILITARY STRATEGIST

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    Military Defeat as a Financial Collapse Trigger

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    Back in 2007 I wrote Reinventing Collapse, in which I compared the collapse of the USSR to the forthcoming collapse of the USA. I wrote the following:

    “Let us imagine that collapsing a modern military-industrial superpower is like making soup: chop up some ingredients, apply heat and stir. The ingredients I like to put in my superpower collapse soup are: a severe and chronic shortfall in the production of crude oil (that magic addictive elixir of industrial economies), a severe and worsening foreign trade deficit, a runaway military budget and ballooning foreign debt. The heat and agitation can be provided most efficaciously by a humiliating military defeat and widespread fear of looming catastrophe.” (p. 2)

    A decade later these ingredients are all in place, with a few minor quibbles. The shortfall of oil is in the case of the US not the shortfall of physical oil but of money: against the backdrop of terminal decline of conventional oil in the US, the only meaningful supply increase has come from fracking, but it has been financially ruinous. Nobody has made any money from selling fracked oil: it is too expensive.

    Meanwhile, the trade deficit has been setting new records, defense spending has continued its upward creep and the levels of debt are at this point nothing short of stratospheric but continuing to rise. Fear of catastrophe is supplied by hurricanes that have just put significant parts of Texas and Florida under water, unprecedented forest fires in the West, ominous rumblings from the Yellowstone supervolcano and the understanding that an entire foamy mess of financial bubbles could pop at any time. The one ingredient we are missing is a humiliating military defeat.
    [​IMG]
    Done with fiasco number three—onward with fiasco number four. Instead of just tossing in the general direction of Syria tonnes of obsolete Soviet-era weapons bought up in Eastern Europe using laundered money and forged paperwork, the US decided to actually play an active role “on the ground.” In October of 2015 the first 15 American instructors were helicoptered into Syrian Kurdistan. From that moment on the Americans wholeheartedly dedicated themselves to cultivating Syrian Democratic Forces (the two largest Kurdish armed groups) plus, for the sake of ethnic diversity, a couple of local Arab tribes.

    In May of 2015 General Joseph L. Votel, commander of US forces in the Middle East, was flown into Syria in (relative) secrecy and met with Kurdish commanders. He attempted to force through the idea of having American advisors in Kurdistan and of having them prepare the locals for action. The Kurdish commanders and the tribal leaders were unreceptive to these ideas, and demanded that the Americans supply them with heavy weapons. Luckily, Votel had no authority to do so, and so when the Kurds started besieging the ISIS stronghold of Raqqa it was the Americans who fired the mortars and the artillery, with American Marines providing security for them. The effectiveness of these actions remains questionable.

    The Kurds have shown themselves to be willful and uncooperative as allies. Their main goal is to bite off as much territory as they can and to later use it in negotiation with the government in Damascus in order to establish the largest possible Syrian Kurdish autonomy. They are generally unwilling to venture outside of their established range. They weren’t particularly willing to fight even for Manjib, which is mostly ethnically Kurdish, and their interest in capturing Raqqa has been largely nonexistent.

    And yet the Americans consider it reasonable to think that once ISIS is completely routed (a matter of a couple of months at this rate) these same Kurds will help them establish and maintain control over the entire eastern shore of Euphrates all the way to the Iraqi border. Not only are the Kurds quite unmotivated to do so, but the Syrians are currently busy fortifying a beachhead and erecting a pontoon bridge in Ayash north of recently recaptured Deir ez-Zor. In the past couple of days they have moved heavy weaponry across the Euphrates to its eastern shore, knocked ISIS remnants out of the surrounding villages and are getting ready to advance toward the Iraqi border. They have made no secret of their plan to reestablish control over all of Syrian territory.

    Looks like fiasco number four is already very much baked into the cake. But as usual, this is not stopping the Americans from pumping in more advisors and weapons, who will advise people who will refuse to heed their advice and arm people who will just as easily fight for them as against them. They are also pumping in other resources into constructing military bases on Syrian territory, which they will not control for any length of time. There is the airfield in Rmeilan, a larger base in Kobani and yet another airfield in Tal Beidir. Syrian Kurdistan is now playing host to a few hundred Americans armed with light weapons, Hummers and Strykers who never cease complaining about the substandard living conditions and the lack of good intelligence about what’s going on around them.

    Not content to wait for fiasco number four to run its course, the Americans have launched preemptively into fiasco number five: constructing a military base in the south of Syria. Amazingly, even after all that has happened, they saw it fit to try to breathe some new life into the Free Syrian Army, and also to find some use for their bases in Jordan which had been thoroughly discredited by their performance in Timber Sycamore. To this end, they cozied up to some obscure armed groups that had crossed into Syria from Jordan and with their help established a base at Al Tanf, sufficiently heavily armed to hold that territory for a long time, and possibly to serve as forward position for an invasion from the south.

    What happened instead is that the Syrians and the Iranians quickly circumvented Al Tanf and took control of the Iraqi border (with full Iraqi cooperation), rendering the Al Tanf base completely irrelevant. In recognition of this fact the Americans started dismantling and evacuating the base while the obscure armed groups they had cozied up to gave up and either surrendered to the Syrians or ran off and joined ISIS. Fiasco number five is now complete.

    Fiasco number four is still ongoing, but the end result is already clear. Pretty soon there will no longer be any ISIS left in Syria for the Americans to pretend to be fighting. Their position, both in the Middle East and all around the world, is increasingly weak. Other than Syria, the country that has the most to gain from this situation is Russia. Consider the following:

    • Saudi Arabia has been the major financier of the Syrian conflict, but even the Saudis have grown weary of American fecklessness and are trying to work out deals with the Russians.

    • When the Israelis recognized that Syria has been conclusively “lost” to them, Netanyahu immediately jumped on a plane to… Moscow, of course, to beg for a few crumbs off the master’s table.

    • Turkey has decided that cooperating with NATO is no longer on strategy and has put a down payment on Russian S-400 air defense systems which, unlike NATO-approved, US-supplied weapons, are not hindered by an inflexible friend-or-foe identification system and are perfectly happy to shoot down NATO targets.

    • Even Germany—America’s most obedient lapdog since the end of World War II—has just launched an investigation into arms shipments to internationally recognized terrorist groups in Syria that went through the Rammstein military base and are illegal under German law.

    As ISIS is being destroyed by the Syrians, with Russian air support, the Americans, in keeping with tradition, are blaming Russia for their loss of face, if not outright strategic defeat. If that silly blame game isn’t a sure sign of extreme weakness, I don’t know what is. The end game may not be entirely clear yet, but what is already clear is this: in order for a superpower to cease being a superpower a relatively small military defeat is sufficient, provided it is sufficiently meaningful. American performance in Syria is such that the US will no longer be party to international negotiations over Syria’s future—because its position is now so weak that it can simply be disregarded. And when it comes to meaningful military defeats, a self-inflicted one is by far the most efficacious.

    Syria is not the only place where US military power is turning out to be not the least bit powerful. There is also Afghanistan, where the Taliban is busy reconquering the north of the country—the part of it that was most easily “liberated” when the Americans first invaded back in 2001. And there is also North Korea, whose leadership has successfully checkmated the US, leaving it with exactly zero viable military options—a situation the Americans are constitutionally incapable of accepting. And so they trash-talk the North Koreans, who trash-talk right back at them, making the rest of the world laugh nervously.

    In conclusion, let me go out on a limb and venture a guess as to where this is all heading. I think that now that all the evidence is in that America’s superpower status is just a bit of Cold War nostalgia what comes next is… punishment. What do mommy and daddy do with a spoiled brat who has maxed out his credit cards squandering money on bar tabs, fancy toys and hookers? Why, take the credit cards away, of course!

    In the case of the US, this action goes by the name of dedollarization. Those who have attempted it before—figures such as Saddam Hussein and Muammar Qaddafy—were swiftly killed and their countries destroyed. But now such countries as China and Russia are heading up the dedollarization drive—countries that the US cannot hope to oppose, especially when they act in concert—and the American response so far has amounted to empty threats, toothless sanctions and a great deal of angry but incoherent mumbling.

    To describe the situation in the simplest terms possible: the function of the US military is to intimidate other countries into letting the US buy whatever it wants by printing US dollars as needed, essentially robbing the rest of the world at gunpoint. Once their ability to intimidate the world into submission is gone so will be their ability to endlessly fleece the planet. And once that ability is gone all that will remain of the “richest country in the world” is a pile of worthless paper. When precisely that moment arrives is anyone’s guess, but you shouldn’t need to time it exactly provided you can plan for it. I recommend that you do so—if you haven’t already.

    http://cluborlov.blogspot.fr/2017/09/military-defeat-as-financial-collapse.html
     

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