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  • #50663
    SA

    Easy as in holding a loaded gun to his temple!
    It is said by some that this is the decisive work of Shoygu and the military rather than Putin.

    #50687
    SA

    This analysis by Scott Ritter confirms what I suspected that this was Putin forcing a capitulation from Erdogan, but whether the peace and the agreement will succeed in the long term remains to be seen.

    #50692
    michael norton

    Lebanon in multiple crises.
    First they have been in an on-off war with Israel for a long time, Israel overflys Lebanon to fire on Syria, so Lebanon is piggy in the middle, not a happy place.
    There is the terrifying debt.
    There are the protests and multiple adminstration collapses.
    Lebanon is going to default on its international debt.

    #50699
    SA

    The newly elected PM Hassan Diab seems honest and determined. Here is his full speech announcing the debt default on Eurobonds, debt rescheduling, clamp on corruption and bank restructuring, together with promise for meaningful infrastructural investment. One can only hope.

    #50727
    michael norton

    Lebanon has recorded its first death from coronavirus, according to the health ministry.

    Local broadcasters said the patient had been in quarantine since returning from Egypt.

    The total number of cases in the country rose to 41 this week.

    Strange that no cases have been reported yet in Turkey or Syria,
    it is rife in Egypt, Israel, Jordan Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait Greece and Lebanon?

    #50732
    SA

    Michael
    I have also thought it strange but the first defence against rapid dissemination of the virus is the lack of major civilian air traffic and also of border crossings to government controlled areas. However this does not apply to Turkey. Some say that Turkey is suppressing evidence of cases but I am not sure how true that is.

    #50766
    michael norton

    Israel is getting ready for lock-down.
    Anyone entering the country, from anywhere, has to undergo two weeks self containment in a private home or a government facility.

    I wonder if they will now stop missile attacks against their close neighbour, Syria.
    Syria would seem to be the only country in the Middle East, not yet declared a single Covid-19 victim.
    Turkey has now admitted it has a single case.
    It is likely Turkey has many hundreds of cases.

    #50770
    SA

    A novel way of separating terrorists from ‘moderate rebels’ is in the making in Idlib. According to South Front some Syrian sources have information that Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly the official Syrian branch of al-Qaeda), the Turkistan Islamic Party (an al-Qaeda-linked group), the National Front for Liberation (a coalition of Turkish proxies friendly to al-Qaeda) and several smaller groups are going to create a united command center and even declare a formal merger. This means that with one stroke Erdogan has got rid of terrorist in Idlib, It also means that the Turkish army in Idlib can now safely protect the terrorists freedom fighters against nefarious attacks. Simple answer to a very complex problems. Erdogan should be nominated for the Nobel peace prize.

    #50775
    michael norton

    the Turkistan Islamic Party
    are mostly Chinese mohammedam types,
    no place being in Syria.

    #50777
    michael norton

    So when the war in Syria finally comes to a conclusion.
    What will be the conclusion the U.k. government come to, when it becomes glarinly obvious that this so called civil war was in essence done by people who are not Syrians.
    When the go through those left alive in North West Syria to find out if they are Syriuan or if they are
    Turkish, Chinese, Russian, ex-soviet Russian, Iranian, Iraqi, Jordanian, Israeli, Saudi, Egyptian, French, British, Belgian and so on.
    What if 3/4 of the so called opposition are from other lands?
    How will that stack up as a Syrian “Civil” War?
    How will we answer the world condemnation for the terror we have jointly caused in Syria.
    The deaths?
    The devastation?
    The mutilations?
    The Economic warfare, goes on till this day.
    But the worst criminal regimes have been Israel & Turkey.

    #50787
    SA

    The list of people who have no place to be in Syria is quite extensive and include Turkey, US UK France and several other countries. There are also individual fighters smuggled through Turkey smuggled through Turkey
    This is another one mapping out where the jihadis come from
    But none of these are discussed in the heart rendering documentaries aired by Channel 4 and other documentaries nominated for Oscars.

    #50788
    SA

    US now openly admits its goal in Syria is to make it ‘difficult’ for Moscow and Damascus to defeat terrorists

    The State Department’s special envoy for Syria has just admitted that the US aims to defend jihadist militants in Idlib against ‘Russian aggression,’ proving once again that the swamp in Foggy Bottom is alive and well.
    Russia and the Syrian government “are out to get a military victory in all of Syria,” Ambassador James Jeffrey told reporters on a conference call out of Brussels on Tuesday. To illustrate these methods, Jeffrey cited the US threat to respond “in a very savage military way” against any chemical attacks, which he described as “a favorite tactic of the Syrian regime in making advances.” This is factually untrue, since the alleged attacks always happen after Syrian Army victories, as a pretext for US intervention.
    Jeffrey also noted that there are US and coalition troops in parts of Syria – officially there to fight Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS), but in actuality “guarding” the oil fields. He tellingly described their presence as “a complication” for the Syrian government.

    #50789
    michael norton

    Donald Trump is now a little worried about Coronavirus.
    He is locking his borders and stopping people flying from many countries in to U.S.A., even from NATO countries, like Germany, where thousands of Americans reside. Many American troops also reside in Germany.
    I expect Russia can do what it likes in Syria for the next six months.
    United states will not be interveining.

    Is six months long enough for Mr.Putin to seep the terror people into camps?

    #50792
    SA

    Michael
    There are several ways the US can act as a spoiler, as indeed they have been doing over the last 9 years, without physical presence in Syria, the token forces are enough. Turkey as we saw can heavily mobilise and send vast troops across land borders and be supported by nearby NATO countries either from East Europe or even UK and France if needed.
    I think the battle is now shifting to an economic warfare. As the price of crude plummets, US will suffer a major blow both in self sufficiency and in maintaining the high production cost fracking for oil. The economic consequences of Corona virus on the world economy will presumably hit western economies more than it will Russia. As always I think Putin is playing the long game and capitulation may come unexpectedly from unforeseen directions.

    #50801
    SA

    Whilst the rest of the world is trying to fight the Corvid-19 pandemic, some are still trying to make political capital of the disaster. For example, the Guardian focuses on the supposed coverup of the extent of the epidemic in Iran. Meanwhile Google bans an Iranian App to help people recognise the symptoms of the disease, and of course there is no mention that economic sanctions, sometimes extending to sanctions on importing health related products, will have a major role in the response to the virus in Iran, with increased lethality.

    #50807
    michael norton

    Yes, it would be surprising if even a third of those fighting Assad in Idleb are ethnic Syrians.
    I had not heard of this group before.

    The Imam Bukhari Jamaat (Uzbek: Imom Buxoriy Katibasi, also Katibat Imam al Bukhari) is an Islamist Salafi group fighting in the Syrian Civil War and the War in Afghanistan, composed of primarily Uzbeks, and expressing loyalty to the Taliban movement. The group originally operated only in Syria, where it is allied with other jihadist organisations such as al-Nusra Front and Ahrar ash-Sham, and alongside these other groups it makes up the Army of Conquest, which overran much of Idleb province in north Syria in 2015. Since late 2016, the group has also began to fight against Afghan National Security Forces, and has claimed to have set up training camps in northern Afghanistan.

    So what will be done with the Uzbeks/Uyghers/Chechens/Turks

    when the “Civil” war is over?

    #50813
    SA

    “So what will be done with the Uzbeks/Uyghers/Chechens/Turks
    when the “Civil” war is over?”

    Indeed that is why Erdogan does not want it to end, where will they go. He is trying to export some of the terrorists to Libya but I believe that so far they are Syrians. It is also alleged that some of them are finding their way to Europe as refugees.

    #50822
    michael norton

    Another problem ( not that they need any more) for
    The Middle East is the recent collapse of Crude Oil prices, Brent Crude has dropped from
    70 $ plus a year ago, to just above 33 $/barrel.
    So almost halved in twelve months.
    Saudi Arabia needs a price of 80$ plus for their economy to prosper.
    Russia can cope with 20$/barrel, to proper.
    Saudi Arabia wanted a world reduction in production, to assist in keeping the price higher but Russia would not play ball.
    Russia has America in its sights.
    The Fracking industry of the U.S.A. cannot make any money at 30$/barrel.
    The Hegemony of the pertrodollar is doubt.
    This could take The Donald off course in his November presidential election, as Donald has put the American Economy as his success.
    As America is now moving into a Coronavirus explosion, so the American Economy will feel a cold breeze.

    The only country in
    The Middle East, to so far, not report any Covid-19 cases, is Syria.

    All these commotions, can only play to the strengths of Syria and Russia.
    The Syrian people, in the Syrian Government parts of Syria, have been tested to their limits over the last nine years, the ones that are left are healthy and strong, they are on the winning side of history.

    #50826
    SA

    Here is a different take on this price war from South Front.
    It seems that initially SA wanted to cut OPEC oil production to keep the price of crude up but Russia refused to comply and this prompted the price war. This would have the advantage of harming both Russia and Iran and increasing the Saudi share of the market.
    But I am not convinced that this analysis is correct for the reasons you state. I am sure that Russia can stand a lower price than KSA and I am not sure that KSA would necessarily have the blessing of Trump to continue this measure which would certainly harm the viability of the fracking industry. If the South Front analysis is correct then it is likely to backfire in the long term in my opinion.

    #50828
    michael norton

    All primary producers want a high price for their minerals, be it oil, coal, methane or nickel or iron.
    However, part of the trick, is having customers and keeping them happy.
    No country in the world is used to sitting things out better than Russia, it is what Russia does, hunkering down.
    They can sit anything out.
    How long can American frackers, sit it out.
    The Donald will soon put the squeeze on MBS to turn his taps down.
    The Donald will have been appraised of the purpose of Russia, in this matter.
    The purpose of Russia in this matter is to fuck America over.

    #50842
    michael norton

    I miss spoke.

    I meant to suggest that,
    The Donald will soon put the choke hold on Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud
    to do what the United States of America wants/needs, if that is to increase oil production or decrease oil production.
    MBS is the creature of Washington, he is their monster.
    The Petrodollar must stay supreme at any and all costs.

    #50904
    michael norton

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-51914600

    America is pulling out of its base, adjacent to the Syrian border and the big river.
    This is quite significant for the Syrian “Civil” War as it will complicate ( for U.S.A.) cross-border incursions.
    This is good news for Iraq and Syria, they also may be drawing down other outside escapades, might be needed at home if millions catch the Wuhan flu.
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-51919945

    #50909
    SA

    This is where Russia has the advantage of sitting out for the long term. They have tried this before and it did not work. The truth that even in KSA production cost per barrel is much higher than can be sustained long term at these prices, they are loss leaders meant to choke Russia.

    #51042
    michael norton

    Two Turkish soldiers have been killed in a rocket attack in Syria’s northwestern Idlib province, Turkey’s defence ministry has said.

    A ministry statement said a third soldier was wounded in Thursday’s attack,
    which it said was carried out by “radical groups”.
    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/03/rocket-attack-northwest-syria-kills-turkish-soldiers-200320041200347.html

    Turkey now almost has a thousand Covid-19 cases, so may be starting to regret waging war in Syria

    #51045
    michael norton

    Smile wiped from Erdogan’s cocky face by a virus
    https://www.rt.com/newsline/483651-erdogan-postpones-events-turkey/

    Erdogan’s decree, published in the Official Gazette on Friday, said all meetings and activities, indoors or outdoors, related to science, culture, art and similar fields would be postponed until the end of April.

    On Wednesday, the president said that Turks should stay home for at least three weeks, but did not ask them to stay away from work.

    No more extracurricular activity for Turkey till the virus winds down.

    #51051
    SA

    As a general rule it is wise to refrain from unnecessary activities, let alone harmful ones, and stay away to reduce transmission of SARS-Co2 virus. When will Erdogan call back his troops to strengthen the home front?

    #51108
    michael norton

    The Black Sea Fleet’s 197th Assault Ship Brigade Tapir class LST ORSK 148 transited the Bosphorus Strait and entered Mediterranean waters on Sunday. Due to the refusal of militant groups to withdraw from the agreed upon safe zone, the Syrian Arab Army has been preparing themselves for a new operation in which they will push towards the strategic city of Jisr Al-Shughour in the western countryside of Idlib.

    The goal of this upcoming operation to is to capture all remaining towns, cities, and villages located along the strategic M-4 Highway (Aleppo-Latakia Highway).
    https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/russian-military-delivers-more-equipment-to-syria-photos/

    There is talk of the Americans building a patriot missile system battery in North West Syria

    #51111
    SA

    Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu paid a visit to Damascus on March 23 for talks with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
    The official readout of the meeting states that the Russian military leader traveled to Syria “on President Putin’s instructions.”
    Shoigu last visited Damascus about a year ago, on March 19, 2019. At that time, he was said to have been delivering “a message from Putin” to Assad.
    Why it matters: On March 20, Putin and Assad held a telephone conversation dominated by discussion of Idlib, the Syrian Constitutional Committee and humanitarian assistance. The Russian leader congratulated his Syrian counterpart on the occasion of the Muslim holiday of Isra and Miraj.

    rel=”noopener” target=”_blank”>Read more: https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2020/03/intel-russia-defense-minister-visit-syria-assad-shoigu.html#ixzz6Hd5WqeiS

    The Covid-19 outbreak in the region may alter the course of the Syrian war. The first case of Covid-19 was reported in Syria and there are now over 1200 cases in Turkey. Soon Turkey will have to close its borders and probably introduce emergency measures and I wonder whether they may even have to call some troops back. Russia seems to have the epidemic under control for now.

    #51112
    SA

    Mods can you please amend this post it came out wrong above.

    Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu paid a visit to Damascus on March 23 for talks with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
    The official readout of the meeting states that the Russian military leader traveled to Syria “on President Putin’s instructions.”
    Shoigu last visited Damascus about a year ago, on March 19, 2019. At that time, he was said to have been delivering “a message from Putin” to Assad.
    Why it matters: On March 20, Putin and Assad held a telephone conversation dominated by discussion of Idlib, the Syrian Constitutional Committee and humanitarian assistance. The Russian leader congratulated his Syrian counterpart on the occasion of the Muslim holiday of Isra and Miraj.

    Read more

    The Covid-19 outbreak in the region may alter the course of the Syrian war. The first case of Covid-19 was reported in Syria and there are now over 1200 cases in Turkey. Soon Turkey will have to close its borders and probably introduce emergency measures and I wonder whether they may even have to call some troops back. Russia seems to have the epidemic under control for now.

    #51113
    michael norton

    Indeed, President for life, Edrdogan has made a right mess of this.
    He has annoyed all of his “partners”
    He is an avoid enemy of President Assad and of Syria.
    Part of his motivation is religion.
    Erdogan’s base is his simple religious peoples.
    As well as expanding Turkey in to Syria, he needs a simplistic religious base, there too.

    The Covid-19 is likely to rip through populous Turkey
    like an uncontrollable fire.
    He has recently been sabre rattling against Cyprus as well as Greece, he must be universally despised.
    He is a war criminal.

    #51120
    SA

    Sultan Erdogan certainly perfected how to manipulate all the great powers to his benefit by trying to hoodwink both his allies and Russia, Syria and Iran. I think the stupid administration in US led by the End of time Pompeo thought they can manipulate him so as and his irrationality, in the same way they have done with their other ally south so as to be able to benefit from his mad acts and also distance themselves when things go wrong.

    I am not sure whether this S-400 thing was co-ordinated with Washington so that a NATO ally can then get insider information about Russia’s defence system but for me the whole episode is bizarre and now there is talk of Turkey acquiring the Patriot missile system.
    But maybe Erdogan has run out of luck and also at the same time as we have all run out of luck and economies destroyed by a virus. If Russia and China come out of this better organised than Trump led US then things may change and the US tyrannical rule end.

    #51126
    michael norton

    The Mujahideen Battalion, a unit of the Free Syrian Army, announces its formation in Jisr al-Shughur, March 2012.

    #51127
    michael norton

    https://www.vesselfinder.com/vessels/DVINITSA-50-IMO-7500578-MMSI-0

    A cargo ship operated by the Russian Navy passed through Turkey’s Bosphorus strait en route to Syria on Tuesday loaded with ambulances, Reuters said.

    The Dvinitsa-50 ship, part of Russia’s auxiliary fleet, was reportedly carrying at least three military ambulances along with a shipping container on its deck.

    Russia operates a naval facility at Tartus in Syria and an airbase in Latakia.

    The United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross said on Tuesday that an immediate nationwide ceasefire is needed across Syria to enable an “all-out-effort” to stamp out the coronavirus and prevent it from ravaging a beleaguered population.
    https://www.rt.com/newsline/484030-russia-ship-bosphorus-syria/

    I think Russia is a good friend to Syria

    #51130
    michael norton

    Mad as a box of frogs Erdogan ratchets up the amount of his enemies,
    as if he needs any more ememies

    Turkey has charged 20 suspects over the murder of the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul in October 2018.

    Prosecutors said an indictment accused former Saudi Deputy Intelligence Chief Ahmad Asiri and former royal aide Saud al-Qahtani with instigating the murder.

    The 18 others are accused of carrying out the “deliberate and monstrous killing” inside the Saudi consulate.

    Western intelligence agencies believe it was ordered by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman – something he denies.

    #51137
    michael norton

    Idleb,
    Terrorist group on Wednesday blew up bridge of al-Kafeir village in Jisr al-Shughur area in Idleb on Aleppo- Lattakia international highway (M4) to impede the patrols’ route due to be carried out in in framework of cessation of hostilities agreement in Idleb which was reached on March 5th.

    So, the terrorists have not yet stopped in Idleb.

    #51159
    SA

    Whilst Russia and China are trying very hard to help stricken countries such as Italy and Spain battle the Covid-19 epidemic, The US politicians are busy with their regime change plots. These involve tightening the blockade on Iranblockade on Iranblockade on Iran, which inevitably means increased death from Covid-19 for ordinary Iranians, and now again trying to remove Maduro from Venezuela. These actions amount to crimes against humanity. Meanwhile they cannot even set their own house in order as the cases of Covid 19 in US exceed those in China and the Epicentre has moved from China to Europe then now the US.
    And here is some other form of whitewash to cover for the poor leadership of this country ‘we must all come together’.

    #51171
    michael norton

    Turkey is now on fire.
    More than a 50% jump in a single day
    with covid-19 accepted cases.

    #51269
    michael norton

    Israeli jets clearly heard roaming over Lebanon – and heard over Beirut. Local media reporting that those warplanes were headed towards Syria’s Homs.

    Syria’s ‘Sana’ news agency reporting that Syrian air defense systems intercepted missiles near Homs.

    Even though Netanyahoo is on covid-19 lock-down
    and effectively there is no government in Israel, they are still at it.
    Why?

    #51284
    SA

    Whilst the rest of the world is concentrating on combatting Covid-19, the US deep state continues to persue its agenda in Iraq and Syria and preparing for a war with Iran
    Also the US has not relaxed its sanctions on Iran, Syria, and not much mentioned by the media, also Sudan. The war in Yemen shows no signs of being halted. These countries do not only need sanctions lifted but also massive aid in order to combat the virus. The USG behaviour is tantamount to a deliberate policy of genocide in these countries, under the circumstances, but of course our MSM do not seem to care.

    #51294
    michael norton

    One of the other concerns is a very real lack of actual news, especially, world news.
    It is as though nothing happens any more.This could be used as cover for further adventures in the Middle East.
    Do it now, no one is looking.

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