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Week Twenty-Two of the Russian Military Intervention in Syria: Putin Announces a New Strategy
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These are amazing times indeed. Only two weeks ago I outlined the likelihood of a dramatic escalation of the war in Syria, and this week Vladimir Putin announced the withdrawal of what I would call the “tactical air strike” component of the Russian task force in Syria. How is that possible? How could the Russian warn about Turkish troops poised to invade Syria and then suddenly pull out a major chunk of their Syrian-based firepower.

The dumbest explanation of them all was offered almost as soon as the Putin made his announcement: “the Russians are afraid and they are running away abandoning Syria”. This explanation was immediately picked up by a motley collection of very different folks: Americans whose delusion of US military might were shattered in the humiliating comparison between US and Russian military performance, Russian “hurrah-patriots” who will always accuse Putin of betraying something or somebody, armchair strategists who always cheer for more military action regardless of anything, etc.

As I have mentioned in a previous article, the fact is that the Russians have simply met all their objectives and those who now accuse Russia of “running away” are either deliberately ignoring the crystal clear set of objectives the Russian mission had (“stabilize the legitimate authority and create conditions for a political compromise”) or never bothered to find out in the first place. The logical impossibility of “running away” after having achieved all goals seems to elude these folks.

For those interested in this topic, I would like to recommend the absolutely superb analysis of Alexander Mercouris in his article “Russia’s Syrian Withdrawal – Why It Happened and Why Regime Change Remains Off the Agenda” which I consider to be the best and most thorough discussion of this topic.

Still, none of that answers the question – why did the Russian pull forces out right when the Turks and the Saudis were poised to go in?

As with most logical dead-ends, this question makes two very false assumption:

  1. That the only/best way to keep the Turks out is to deter them by military force.
  2. That should the Turks decided to invade, the only/best way to deny them their objective is by using Syrian-based Russian military capabilities.

Let’s take these one by one. But before I do that, I will have to, yet again, repeat my 22-week long mantra: the Russian military force in Syria is a small one. It was never designed to repel a Turkish invasion (never mind protect Syria from the US or NATO), much less so fight a regional war against Turkey, Saudi Arabia and God only knows how many smaller states. This was never the Russian objective and, therefore, the forces sent to Syria never had that kind of capability. Not 22 weeks ago, not today. Secondly, if Erdogan and the House of Saud have relatively little to lose in a crazy invasion of Syria, Russia has plenty to lose and the very last thing Putin or Russia wants is any kind of military confrontation with Turkey (even if NATO stays out) or the KSA. If we consider this then it becomes self-evidently obvious that using a small and vulnerably military force to deter Turkey+KSA is the worst possible strategy, especially if this might escalate into a regional war.

What the Russians did is yet, again, a typical Putin-style judo move on the Turks. Instead of escalating, they pretended to leave (yes, pretended, more about that later). For the Turks, it would be extremely hard to suddenly invade Syria when even the USA and Europe are tagging along, however reluctantly, with the Russian peace initiative. Not that I expect any sense of timing or, for that matter, decency, from Erdogan. But I think that his advisors are smart enough to realize that if Turkey goes in right after the Russian went out this would make the Turks look awfully bad (yet again). More importantly, it would make those reacting to a Turkish invasion look as the “aggression repelling” party.

Now let’s look at the second proposition: if the Turks invade, would it make military sense to use the Russian forces in Khmeimim to counter a Turkish invasion? First, keep in mind that the pure air-to-air fighters (SU-30SMs and SU-35) have not been withdrawn. In fact, I expect that contingent to be slowly and covertly increased. Second, the SU-34s are long-range strike aircraft and they can attack objectives in Syria by taking off from southern Russia (or Iran). As for the SU-24Ms and SU-25SMs, they would be very helpful in engaging the Turks, but they would also be vulnerable, especially to a direct attack on Khmeimim. Finally, the long range Tu-22M3 and Tu-160 were never based in Syria to begin with. As for the Russian cruise missiles, they have a range of 1,500km (Kalibr) and 4,500km (X-101) and can be delivered from the Caspian, Mediterranean or from the air. So yes, while the current redeployment of forces did reduce the strike-capabilities of the Russian forces in Syria, it in no way reduced the overall Russian strike capability against targets in Syria. As for Khmeimim, the base will remain fully manned, it will retain its formidable air-defense capability (S-400s and Pantsir-F) and an unknown number of advanced Russian air superiority fighters.

Putin himself has clearly said today that Russia will remain in control of the Syrian airspace:

All the components of the deployed air defence system, including close range Pantsir-F and long-range S-400 Triumph units will be on regular duty. I would like to note that we have significantly restored the potential of the Syrian air defence forces as well. All the parties concerned have been made aware of this. We proceed from fundamental international norms – nobody has the right to violate the airspace of a sovereign country, Syria in this case. We have created together with the American side an efficient mechanism to prevent air incidents, but all our partners have been warned that our air defence systems will be used against any target that we deem to be threatening Russian service personnel. I want to stress – any target.

Pretty clear, no?

During the same speech he also sent a very clear message to any wannabe invader:

If necessary, of course, Russia will be able to enhance its group in the region in a matter of hours to a size required for a specific situation and to use all the options available.

Again, I would say that the message is crystal-clear: what Putin has announced this week is a new strategy, and not a withdrawal, much less so a retreat.

The final scorecard of this first phase is rather impressive, especially when compared to the lame results of the US-lead coalition whose operations coincided with a massive increase in Daesh controlled terrorists. See for yourself:

All in all during 5.5 months of air strikes the Russian Aerospace Forces carried out more than 9000 flights, 26000 terrorist insfrustructure objects were hit. Among them: 2584 communication and command units, 401 training camps, 181 munition plants, 2043 munition and fuel depots, 9318 fortifications of all types, 287 oil infrustructure objests, 2912 oil tank trucks. 400 towns and over 10,000 square kilometres of territory liberated by the SAA‬. Province of Latakia completely freed, communications with Aleppo restored. Palmyra is under siege, control over its oil and gas fields reestablished. Most of the provinces of Hama and Homs cleared, Kweires airbase unblocked. Total number of the Russian personnel casualties during the operation: 3. (source)

But these (superb) military results were still only a means to a very specific end, to “ stabilize the legitimate authority and create conditions for a political compromise”. Now, however, it will be the task of the Russian diplomats to capitalize on the work of their military colleagues. However, from now on these diplomats will work in the “shadow” of the Russian armed forces and every person they will be speaking to will, if needed, be reminded of the fact that the Russians can be back in a matter of hours and that they can strike anywhere in, or around, Syria in a matter of minutes. This new reality might be a much more sophisticated form of deterrence than keeping a small Aerospace contingent in Khmeimin, would it not?

If we now zoom out from the topic of a possible Turkish-Saudi invasion, we can begin to discern the outline of what the Russian strategy might really be: instead of defeating Daesh first and then attempting to reform Syria by means of a political dialog, the Russians might be trying to reverse that sequence by first reforming Syria by means of a political dialog and only then helping a “reformatted” and united Syria to truly defeat Daesh. If that is indeed the Russian plan, it is an ambitious and daring one, and one which will demand an enormous effort from the Russian diplomats who will have to painstakingly “win over” the Syrian opposition faction by faction while, at the same time, countering the efforts of all the parties who will want to sabotage that peace process and deny both Russia and the Syria people a much deserved victory.

If the toxic US led alliance of the Ottomans, the Wahabis and the Zionists succeed in derailing this peace initiative the Russians might have to use their military power again. With the S-400s in place and backed by (an unknown number of) air superiority fighters, the Syrians skies should remain under Russian control for the foreseeable future. The conditions for a resolution of the conflict are here, but whether that will be enough to secure a lasting peace is impossible to predict.

• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Russia, Syria 
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  1. “These are amazing times indeed. Only two weeks ago I outlined the likelihood of a dramatic escalation of the war in Syria, and this week Vladimir Putin announced the withdrawal of what I would call the “tactical air strike” component of the Russian task force in Syria. How is that possible?”

    It’s possible because the Saker gives greater credence to his fantasies than to what the Russians had said from the beginning: the operation would last a matter of months:

    Russia estimates its air strike campaign in Syria could last three to four months, the head of the lower house of the Russian parliament’s foreign affairs committee said on Friday.

  2. Time to send in the drones.

  3. Hunsdon says:
    @Ronald Thomas West

    It’s possible that reading is fundamental—-if you have read the entire series, you will have seen that Saker stressed from the beginning that this was a limited engagement. If you disagree, for God’s sake, do feel free to disagree, but please bring your “A” game.

    • Replies: @Ronald Thomas West
  4. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    This is probably Putin selling out the Syrians to cut a deal with Saudi Arabia to increase the price of oil.

    That Russians could fight for something beyond their own base needs is just a fantasy.

    I’ve said it all along, Russians are unreliable partners and shiuld not be trusted.

  5. @Hunsdon

    Saker has been all over the map in this series. Sure there was potential for escalation but two things (primarily) happened to derail Saker’s expectations 1) Putin pulled out precisely per the Russian mission statement and 2) Saker read into things and missed. Not a crime but I’ve never seen him say ‘I fucked it up’ .. just more supposition (tied to excuses), mostly.

    He reminds me of nothing so much as ‘have you ever seen a laddie go this way and that way…’

    Meanwhile I am really enjoying Putin having put the west on the spot and in a position to either come out of the closet with the aggression’s strategic objectives or pick up and go home, leaving Erdogan and the Saudis holding the bag.

    BTW my ‘A’ game is at my webpage, anyone can go there, I recommend…

    …as well this one updating the immediate preceding link:


  6. Hunsdon says:

    Please, comrade Nemo, to be picking a name, so that we can send you congratulations when all of your predictions are the turning out truth to be. Because if you post as anonymous, well, you can say, “I’ve predicted this for years!” and there’s no way to check what you’ve said, you’re just some scribble scrabble we can skip over.

  7. Hunsdon says:
    @Ronald Thomas West

    The idea of the Saudis and Erdogan left high and dry is sufficiently pleasing that I have nothing bad to say. In Saker’s defense, I think he’s predicted more or less that Putin would do just what he’s said he’d do (and in fact has done): run a temporary stabilization op and go home. The \$94 question has always been, “What madness will ‘the West’ come up with to derail this plan?” (With ‘the West’ including such Western actors as KSA and Turkey.)

  8. Kiza says:
    @Ronald Thomas West

    Hello Ronald,

    The most unexplored angle of the Ghouta case is not even the suppression/censorshorship of the truth by NATO MSM, then the cooperation between Mossad and MIT (Turkish “intelligence”) on making Ghouta happen. To me it appears that US Ziocons were just too ready for Ghouta not to have been involved in it – they probably ordered it to get the Obama’s red-line crossed and US bombing of Syria started.

    To their chagrin, Obama passed his red-line on to Congress for the approval of bombing, probably the only time in memory that any POTUS respected The Constitution and sought parliament’s approval for a declaration of war.

  9. KA says:

    Can you trust US? Didn’t Kissinger himself say the same years ago that the countries who suffered most had been known US allies not long ago before meeting the sordid fate?

  10. @Ronald Thomas West

    Well it could be worse. The Saker could be like Tom Nichols, a professor who now and then somehow teaches a class at the Harvard extension and United States Naval (Twitter) War College in between his social media campaigning against Donald Trump on taxpayer time and dime from DoD property. Back in August 2013 when he was pitching a tantrum over the Joint Chiefs and Obama balking out bombing Assad over the Turkish/Saudi false flag chemical attacks Nichols wrote said Russia couldn’t do anything to save Assad in Syria and people who thought they could prevent NATO from attacking Assad were from the ‘university of Google’. Curiously enough we’ve yet to see the anti-Trump War Room Tom either say mea culpa over his false prediction that Russia wouldn’t intervene in Syria or fault Eliot Higgins aka Bellingcat for having no credentials or expertise in rocketry, avionics or military affairs save for what he’s learned from ‘Google University’. Because #Bellingcrap happens to back the same anti-Russian agenda as Nichols.

    I think RTW is being way too hard on The Saker. He always emphasized the limited size of the Russian force at Latakia and Russia’s limited objectives. He expressed plenty of trepidation about the prospect of a real Turkish-Russia clash of arms in Syria, with none of the triumphalism of the hooray patriots and idiots who can’t see that Russia and Iran might win such a war but at a ruinous cost that would make Moscow’s enemies in Kiev, Washington and elsewhere rejoice. And this is why any debate between me and say, Anatoly Karlin over how bloody Moscow could make it for the Turkish Army using thermobaric bombs or fusillades of Kalibrs destroying half the Turkish Air Force on the ground within hours of a neo-Ottoman Pearl Harbor-style attack on Latakia is rather pointless, akin to discussing whether or not NATO could hold off the Red Army from reaching the Rhine in a hypothetical war in 1984.

    I see no hard evidence of a ‘deal’ struck between Moscow and Riyadh to boost oil prices, any brief rise seems to have more to do with short positions having to be closed due to the Fed encouraged backdoor financing for bankrupt frackers and short positions consequently being closed than anything else.

    The Saudis say they’re pulling out of Yemen while Elijah J. Magnier says there’s a deal in place for the U.S. to stop sending team TOWJihad so many TOWs during the ceasefire period. But I serious doubt the Sauds have sufficient discipline and unity among the princes to fully abandon the hardline approach. Unless of course, the young impetuous Crown Prince Mohammed that even the German BND labeled a loose cannon has been told in no uncertain terms by his several hundred half brothers if he doesn’t get the Kingdom out of the Yemen quagmire or stop the ruinously expensive, failing effort to overthrow Assad by funding Al Nusra and ISIS he’ll be suicided off a balcony after a coke and hookers party in the south of France.

  11. Here is \$10 on the dead pool that Assad does not last more than a year.

    • Replies: @5371
  12. tbraton says:
    @Ronald Thomas West

    I thought you announced your retirement and withdrawal from the world a short while ago. What happened? Too many weeds in the garden?

    • Replies: @Ronald Thomas West
  13. 26,000 “terrorist infrastructure objects” struck in 9000 flights! Do you believe that?

    • Replies: @5371
  14. Greg Bacon says: • Website

    The Lords and Masters of OUR Universe, Wall Street banks and Israel, want Assad gone and they will get their way, regardless of how many GOY troops or Syrian civilians get killed.

  15. 5371 says:
    @Prof. Woland

    I am so old that I remember when the peerless wisdom of prediction markets gave him a 20% chance of lasting till the end of 2011. Good times.

  16. 5371 says:
    @Wizard of Oz

    You too have to make up your mind what you are going to denounce the Russian intervention for being, loony “wizard”. Horrifying atrocity or non-event?

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  17. @tbraton

    Yeah, I’m on my way out, no doubt you’ll be pleased. Disentangling to go off the grid has simply taken a few weeks longer than I’d have liked. But my flight out of the EU is booked. Meanwhile:

    …just made it simple for folk to find all my past work linked in one page –

    • Replies: @5371
    , @tbraton
  18. 5371 says:
    @Ronald Thomas West

    [just made it simple for folk to find all my past work linked in one page]

    Including the German authorities, if anyone were to do to you what you boast of doing to others.

    • Replies: @Ronald Thomas West
  19. @Kiza

    Hi Kiza

    I wouldn’t doubt a MOSSAD connection but my open source method requires I stick to what I can make stick (so to speak.)

    This will be one of my last (or maybe the last) posts, on my way out of the game. I’m leaving this following for folk such as yourself in the meanwhile:

    My best to you going forward –

  20. @Ronald Thomas West

    It’s possible because the Saker gives greater credence to his fantasies than to what the Russians had said from the beginning: the operation would last a matter of months

    Saker was concerned that the Turks and Saudis would escalate; he never believed that the Russians would voluntarily do so, and he’s been very consistent on that point. He stressed from the start that Moscow’s objectives in Syria were limited. This is what he wrote for Week 13 of the intervention:

    The key issue here is what criteria to use to measure “success”. And that, in turns, begs the question of what the Russians had hoped to achieve with their intervention in the first place. It turns out that Putin clearly and officially spelled out what the purpose of the Russian intervention was. On October 11th, he declared the following in an interview with Vladimir Soloviev on the TV channel Russia 1: “Our objective is to stabilize the legitimate authority and create conditions for a political compromise”.

    That’s it. He did not say that Russia would single-handedly change the course of the war, much less so win the war. And while some saw the Russian intervention as a total “game changer” which would mark the end of Daesh, I never believed that.

    By the way, entertaining contingent possibilities is not the same thing as ‘fantasizing’. The former is what competent strategists are supposed to do.

  21. tbraton says:
    @Ronald Thomas West

    “Yeah, I’m on my way out, no doubt you’ll be pleased. ”

    Not really. I was just surprised to see you still posting, just as I was surprised by your announcement a short while ago that you would no longer post. (In searching for that announcement, I happened to discover that you had been posting all along in response to blogs that I did not actively follow. That explains my surprise.) What did I ever write that would give you the idea that I welcomed your departure from the scene?

    • Replies: @Ronald Thomas West
  22. @5371

    Their problem with me, altogether unconcerned with what you would like to think, is quite ok from my point of view ;o)

  23. tbraton says:

    I believe you are giving way too much credit to our present C-in-C, who hilariously happened to be a lecturer in Constitutional law. For someone so steeped in Constitutional law, he certainly has demonstrated a readiness to violate the Constitution at the drop of a hat, which explains why the SC has ruled against him something like 9 times (and should have ruled against him a few times more). He foolishly drew the “red line” in Syria w/o consulting with Congress and indicated that he was going to go ahead with military action against Syria after it was “crossed,” just as he had waged war against Libya w/o consulting with Congress, but a couple of things happened that forced a change of course. First, the British Parliament surprisingly rejected PM Cameron’s proposal to go to war with Libya. That would have left the U.S. alone in the fight against Syria, which was almost as inconceivable as Sen. John McCain going abroad to stir up trouble without his constant traveling companion, Sen. Lindsey Graham. Secondly, the American public made known their overwhelming opposition to any such military involvement in Syria. It was only then that Obama stunned his own Administration (including SOS Kerry) by deciding to punt the ball to Congress and seek authorization. Finally, the Russians pulled Obama’s chestnuts out of the fire by arranging with the Syrians to surrender all their chemical weapons. You are right in criticizing Obama for drawing the “red line” in the first place, since even a grade schooler could figure out that that would provide a strong incentive to other parties (Turkey, Israel, etc.) to stage a chemical attack and make it appear that the Syrians had done it in order to draw the U.S. into a conflict which not only didn’t involve vital U.S. interests. (That disregards the great bulk of evidence that the U.S. was responsible for instigating the “civil war” in the first place.) The fact that the Obama Administration could come up with a super precise number of the dead (something like 1237) strongly indicated that the whole matter was trumped up. (Trump, btw, stated last summer that he would never have drawn the “red line” in the first place.)

    BTW Obama showed no such sensitivity about Constitutional limitations or international norms (such as the UN treaty to which we are signatory) when he unilaterally instituted military action against both Iraq and Syria in response to ISIS back in August 2014. Obama did show concern for the environment when he refrained from attacking the oil tankers illegally transporting the stolen oil from ISIS conquered territory to Turkey, something which readily disappeared once the Russians started attacking those tankers last fall and showed how it could be done.

    • Replies: @Kiza
  24. @tbraton

    Not really. I was just surprised to see you still posting, just as I was surprised by your announcement a short while ago that you would no longer post. (In searching for that announcement, I happened to discover that you had been posting all along in response to blogs that I did not actively follow. That explains my surprise.) What did I ever write that would give you the idea that I welcomed your departure from the scene?

    Maybe the snide ‘weeds’ remark at #13? From your point of view was I supposed to sit on my hands while waiting certain loose ends to be tied up, prior to my departure? (noting my original post on leaving gave a month or so notice, and yes, I’m a few weeks over.) You’re looking for a pointless argument? (seems that’s where this is headed) … in any case I’ll be out soon –

  25. annamaria says:

    Look for the unreliable partners closer at home:
    It is not the Russian Federation’ job to take responsibility for the short-sighted, greedy, and criminal policies in the Middle East by the US/NATO.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  26. Saker never tires of promoting his hollow ego the size of Mount Everest. His “analyses” always reflect the latest reporting in MSM. This is what he wrote on September 1, 2015.

    Ever since the crisis in Syria began I have been repeating that the Russians are not, repeat, not coming!!

    Well he was wrong as usual but that did not stop him from offering his numerous subsequent “analyses” . September 2, 2015 he continued.

    Even if Russian could successfully intervene in Novorussia (she can) or Syria (she cannot) – that does not at all automatically mean that she has to take any such action.

    He continues on September 13, 2015.

    I think that a week after Ynet broke the story about a Russian military intervention in Syria we can confidently say that that this was a typical AngloZionist PSYOP aimed at inhibiting the Russian involvement in the Empire’s war against Syria and that it had no basis in reality.

    Well the typical AngloZionist PSYOP turned out to be a fact after which point our “analyst” has changed tack and adjusted his “analyses” to new circumstances. I could quote more nonsense but the intelligent people already know and the rest refuse to see.

  27. @Regnum Nostrum

    Good job R.N., I was too lazy today to go digging but had in previous threads pointed out inconsistencies amounting to the same –

  28. Rehmat says:

    YEP – The “new strategy” is a good term to cover Putin’s betrayal of Russia’s long-standing Arab ally – Syrian Christians.

    In reality Putin and his Jewish Oligarch adviser are more interested in ‘cementing’ a good deal with US-EU over Ukraine than saving lives of fellow Christians in Syria.

    Ukraine parliament has asked prime minister Arseniy ‘Yats’ Yatsenyuk (Jewish) to step down. Last month, country’s president Petro Poroshenko (Jewish) asked him politely. It looks like Washington is set to replace him with the current finance minister Natalie Jaresko.

    Ukraine plunged into crisis last month when Aivaras Abromavicius (a Lithuanian Jew), the economy minister resigned after accusing president and prime minister of blocking anti-corruption reforms.

    On March 10, Kenneth Rapoza said at Jewish Forbes magazine: “And now rumor has it that ‘our guy Yats’ will be replaced by ‘our girl Natalie’ in Kyiv’s ……

    • Replies: @Sherman
  29. annamaria says:
    @Regnum Nostrum

    The Saker: “As I have mentioned in a previous article, the fact is that the Russians have simply met all their objectives and those who now accuse Russia of “running away” are either deliberately ignoring the crystal clear set of objectives the Russian mission had (“stabilize the legitimate authority and create conditions for a political compromise”) or never bothered to find out in the first place.”
    Thierry Meyssan,
    “After having invested hundreds of billions of roubles in Syria, Russia is not leaving the Near East at a time when Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Lebanon are on the brink of civil war. It is leaving the Syrians to the glory of their Victory.”
    Similar to the Unz Review, Voltaire Network, and Consortium, the Saker has been providing the intelligent readers with the independent analysis of the criminal enterprise by the US/NATO in the Middle East.
    These fearless and dedicated analysts deserve our gratitude.

  30. annamaria says:

    meanwhile, the NATO member Latvia has been honoring her Nazi sons:
    perhaps Latvia was inspired by the ideological success of the US-propped regime in Kiev that has been honoring the local Nazis:
    The US-taxpayers’ dollars at work

    • Replies: @Wally
  31. @annamaria

    Consortium is head and shoulders above Saker as a disinformation outlet; whereas Saker makes numerous ego-centric amateur mistakes, Consortium attacks false narrative with alternative false narrative in a highly professional way:

    ^ If Consortium’s ‘sources’ were threat as opposed to an asset of empire, there’d have been a real hunt; Robert Parry would have been taken down and Parry’s sources would be sitting in cells together with the the likes Jeffery Stirling & Co

  32. Sherman says:

    Hey Homer

    Thanks for the informative post.

    I didn’t realize the Jews control Russia and the Ukraine.

    All you control is your goat.


    • Replies: @Rehmat
  33. @5371

    I know you are not capable of thinking at greater length than your perfunctory brief paragraphs but you do need a few more logically arranged words to give even faint justification for your implying that I was reflecting on the Russian intervention rather than the reporting of it.

  34. Renoman says:

    Thank God for Putin, who ever would have predicted he would be the shining light in the Hell hole of the latest Western war.

  35. @annamaria

    What is NATO’s “enterprise in the Middle East” that you denounce as criminal?

  36. Agent76 says:

    Mar 18, 2016 Russian Foreign Ministry names prime enemies in media warfare

    “Western politicians – heads of state and leaders of international organizations – gave a very strong impetus to this information campaign. I would like to remind the names of our “heroes”. Federica Mogherini was one of the first to make such a statement. She said that Russia could go on the Afghan scenario. US President Barack Obama warned Russia against the danger of being bogged down in Syria, like in the Afghan war. Turkish Prime Minister Davutoglu supported that too, although he was a little behind his colleagues, but still in unison with them,” said Zakharova.

  37. Wally [AKA "BobbyBeGood"] says: • Website

    Latvia should be very proud of their SS men, they fought bravely against the communists.


    Besides, there are the ‘Nazis’ with the mythological ‘6M Jews, 5M others, & gas chambers’ and there are the ‘Nazis’ without the mythological ’6M Jews, 5M others, & gas chambers’.

    The ‘6M Jews, 5M others, & gas chambers’ are scientifically impossible frauds.
    see the ‘holocaust’ scam debunked here:
    No name calling, level playing field debate here:

    Also note that there is not a single verifiable excavated mass grave that can actually be SHOWN, not just claimed, (recall the claim of 900,000 buried at Treblinka) even though Jews claim to know exactly where these allegedly enormous mass graves are.

    The ‘holocaust’ storyline is one of the most easily debunked narratives ever contrived. That is why those who question it are arrested and persecuted. That is why violent, racist, & privileged Jewish supremacists demand censorship. What sort of truth is it that crushes the freedom to seek the truth? Real truth needs no protection from scrutiny.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    , @annamaria
  38. KA says:

    In 1920 British was empowering Ibn Saud of Najd ,supplying arms and money to kill Sharif of Hizaz and Ibn Rashid of northern region of Arab,enlarge Saud’s territories,in exchange of him accepting the Aglo Saxon Zio plans for the Middle East. They deceived ( and keeps on blaming the misunderstanding between Sharif of Hizaz and McMohan to an issue of interpretation) Sharif who wanted a unified Arab including Palestine .
    The Wahabis and the religious soldiers were unleashed against nationalistic forces with full weight of British diplomacy,status,gun power and money supply.

    Without UK,there would be no Saudi Arab and no Saud family . Without US,there would be no IS.

    The Ango British Zionist haven’t abandoned the plans . It was tried again in Eishenhower administration.
    They tried this in 2005 using Harriri assassination before the latest.
    Ibn Saud was created to carry out Ango plans. He was asked to forget wider Arab nationalism and be happy with hisHarem and the desert . Alternative would have been death. One wonders how much of the same has been imposed again on the existing regime of Saudi and Wataris. Would they be still standing if they didn’t agree to the plans?

    So it is possible that attempts would be made again . But the future endeavor can’t go ahead unless Russia is dismembered .So chances are that the terrorists will be unleashed on Russia as was on Sharif of Hizaz and on Ibn Rashid .

  39. Sean says:

    Not taken Raqqa yet then?

  40. Chaban says:
    @Ronald Thomas West

    Thanks Thomas. I suppose those of us who refuse to give in to wishful thinking realized long ago The Faker is fraud. That is pretty obvious.
    I was wondering what your thoughts are on Zero Hedge. I increasingly believe they also are a disinformation outfit. They have a history of banning all the posters that point out the holes in their “analyses”.
    I am ashamed to say I fell for it myself…
    Could they be an FSB operation? Certainly, the very cynical tone reminds me of their old propaganda techniques.
    What about the market’s going vertical every single ZH posts one of its “equities are crashing” updates?
    Could it be Wall Street (and obviously the real powers behind it) giving the FSB the finger each time that time of article is posted?

    • Replies: @Ronald Thomas West
  41. @annamaria

    I asked about NATO in contrast to your wrapped up US/NATO. Would you care to spell out precisely how you argue that NATO is engaged in a criminal enterprise as a co-principal (not just arguably as accessory because some NATO facilities like airfields or satellites, if there are any, are being used)? I have a question which is not an argument that you are wrong.

  42. @Wally

    If “the Holocaust is one of the most easily debunked narratives ever contrived” presumably the case can be lucidly made in relatively few clear words so I ask you to do your best. A good start, considering that Hitler expressed his loathing of the Jews and desire that German lands be rid of them in surviving writings as early as 1919, would be to cite census and other best evidence records of the Jewish population of Europe in 1938 and then explain where they were in 1946.

  43. annamaria says:

    Would you share you pride for the Latvia’s SS men with this organization? – “The WWII Veterans Website:”
    or perhaps with this? – “Normandy American Cemetery:”
    Latvia (similar to other vassal-dwarfs) has been trespassing the boundaries of human decency by feigning amnesia for that: “In WWII the USSR Suffered Some 25.3 Million Dead”

    Latvian contribution to Russia after the Bolsheviks revolution: “Yakov Peters was a Latvian Communist revolutionary who played a part in the establishment of the Soviet Union. Together with Felix Dzerzhinsky, he was one of the founders and chiefs of the Cheka, the secret police of the Soviet Union.”

  44. Kiza says:

    Hello tbraton,
    Thank you for understanding that I criticized Obama’s drawing of a red-line on chemical weapons use (by one side only). But, perhaps, I was not clear on the point of Obama respecting The Constitution on this one very, very rare occasion. In a discussion with Ron Unz a few years ago, I wrote that the decline in any country is best indicated by its leadership and although Obama is not a total dummy, he is the best liar the US could elect. He was a professor of Constitutional Law, but like every lawyer, he used his knowledge always how to break the law he is an expert in: from taking the guns away from people to pursing the whistle-blowers. It is an extreme level of cynicism that the single time when he respected The Constitution was out of personal convenience: to avoid getting into a war that he would be solely blamed for (once even the warmongering British bailed out). The Ziocons set him up to declare the stupid red-line, but he wiggled out of following up on it, of all things in the World, by calling up the law. The Ziocons start up a war and when it turns into a disaster they blame their puppet POTUS for the disaster. Obama fell into their trap only half-way. Here is a wonderful comparison between Obama and Hitlary on this point:

    Finally, I believe that Trump is a bad choice, but Hitlary is an utterly catastrophic choice.

    • Replies: @KA
  45. Rehmat says:

    “It helps to be an ignorant Jew to be a good Israeli propagandist,” says Rabbi David Weiss of Torah Jews.

    Vladimir Putin told Jewish conference in Moscow in 2013 that 85% of members of first Soviet government were Jewish.

    Last year, Alexander Zakharchenko, prime minister of the separatist Donesk People Republic has called the US-EU installed regime in Kiev as controlled by miserable Jews…..

    Yes I do control my goat I usually buy at a Jewish farm near Pickering to scarify at Hajj time. I guess you try to slaughter a Palestinian child on that very day.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  46. KA says:

    @The Ziocons set him up to declare the stupid red-line,

    You are correct. They ‘d blame if it were not carried out, they would blame had it went wrong.Worse they would blame in future even if it went right now according to the plan as they blame the Islam for the Moorish rule in Spain centuries after it occurred .

    This article form Guardian.Logic in this article embodies everything that could be described in one sentence -it’s pathetic !

    Nick Cohen argues lamely with blind eyes and deaf ears : ‘Israel itself is the “root cause” of all the terrors of the Middle East, from the Iraq war to Islamic State. Polite racism turns the Jews, once again, into demons with the supernatural power to manipulate and destroy nations. Or as the Swedish foreign minister, Margot Wallström, who sees herself as a feminist rather than a racial conspiracist, explained recently, Islamist attacks in Paris were the fault of Israeli occupiers in the West Bank.

    Cohen has not heard about OSP on Iraq war, sanctions on Iran, Berard levy on Libya, periodic bombings of Gaza,Lebanon and Syria , Operation Cast Lead ,and spying of US, He seems not to have noticed how the State of Israel became the Jewish State of Israel through the sleight of hand by an Israeli ambassador or haven’t the concerns of American safety raised by Americans and the flow of the money and technology to a country that hurts American interests

  47. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Yeah. The US is a horrible, morally bankrupt country. But the people here at Unz like to make Russia out to be some kind of moral authority when Russia is going after its own needs just like everyone else.

    Time to snap back to reality.

    • Replies: @Kiza
    , @Hunsdon
  48. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Putin is only interested in doing enough to block the Saudi pipeline to the EU in order to keep the Russian monopoly on gas to Europeans.

    He could care less about the partitioning of Syria or the plight of Syrians as long as he gets to control the gas to the EU.

    • Replies: @annamaria
  49. Kiza says:

    If you have not cottoned on to commenters’ mindset then you would not understand that if the US was doing what Russia is doing, then US would be much better off (not in debt up to its forehead) and the whole World would be better off. Instead, the US keeps always pursuing the interests of another country through its lobbies in the US, at the expense of the US blood, treasure, moral standing and possibly even survival (in a nuclear war). Ditto most other Western countries.

    When the US starts doing what Russia is doing – pursuing its national interests, then this World will become a different place, a better place.

  50. Hunsdon says:

    This would be so much more convenient if you would just choose a nom du internet. I like to think that we engage with our critics, but it is ever so much harder when they simply post as anonymous. Is this the fellow we responded to last week? Is it someone new?

    Russia, you assert, acts in Russian interests. I have little qualm with that. I wish America to act in American interests. Haim Saban and Sheldon Adelson might be, on the whole, really first class fellows, but one suspects that they are a bit more concerned about the state of Israel than the average American.

  51. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Tell that to the Syrians, especially the Christian Syrians, who bought into Russia as a partner against the Zionist and Imperialistic west.

    Now I hope they see Russia for what they really are. Someone to use just as Russia is using them.

    Now I know why the Ukrainians are so quick to stab the Russians in the back as soon as they get a chance. It’s because they need to before the Russians stab them first.

  52. @Chaban

    All of the ‘alternative’ news outlets (all of those with any degree of independence and significant readership in any case) will be targets of the several competing intelligence agencies wishing to shape discourse. The ability of the agencies to do this will depend on the environment, awareness, personality, sympathies and approach of the producers. Zerohedge is (my perhaps imperfect assessment) far less manipulated than, example given, TomDispatch (a blatant case) but no matter the outlet there is always some degree of risk.

    I would place zerohedge in that category where anti-corporate, libertarian ideology (yes, there is such a thing, as opposed to corporate controlled or manipulated tea party, e.g. Koch brothers) shapes its discourse on the right, over on the left there are also examples, for instance Global Research, Voltaire Net and more recently The Intercept are all to some extent shaped by ideology. Of course intelligence agencies will look at every opportunity to exploit these outlets regardless. The Intercept appears to have been co-opted rather quickly by western intelligence via its bank-roller Pierre Omidyar; on the Ukraine discourse (Glenn Greenwald’s disclaimers notwithstanding.)

    A common modus operandi is to associate events that cannot be concealed with the wrong party (false flag is pervasive method of disinformation) and embed facts together with inventions in the discourse. Consortium News is a past master at this, for instance Robert Parry consistently shaping the discourse to point to incompetent or maverick Ukrainian military downing MH 17 with a Buk SAM, as opposed to the Ukrainian SU 25 combat jet which he steadfastly refuses to so much as mention much less consider. The point of this is to create a face saving or less damaging escape for the western aligned parties in the event the initial propaganda efforts blaming Russia fall apart. Better some drunk or incompetent Ukrainian military performed the shoot down in the public eye than a Ukrainian air force jet on orders from Kiev. A secondary possible effect (the CIA would hope) is, when (more likely than if, considering the incompetence involved) the west’s MH 17 story falls apart, the Russians will allow for the alternative line put forward by Parry in return for concessions in the spirit of ‘Realpolitik.’

    Another method is to play on peoples’ sense of helplessness while steering them away from the essential underlying parties and motivations by keeping them preoccupied with outrage. That’s Tom Engelhardt’s method. A short research pulls up CIA associated funding underlying TomDispatch, originating with the Ford Foundation, laundered via The Nation Institute.

    Just a few short but critical examples. The best one can do with all of this is too keep track of the metadata threads (events than cannot be denied) while being careful not to be sucked into the spin. Assembling a focus with this information you almost never will get a perfect picture but done competently, one should certainly get a far clearer understanding of what’s up.

    A footnote would would be the Russians recognize the western press model is so corrupt, they don’t need to engage in overt deceits but stick to the facts as much as possible to gain credibility, and when this is not an option, the preferred fallback technique is ‘lies by omission.’

    And of course the biggest pool of fish are simple to exploit:

    “Sometimes people hold a core belief that is very strong. When they are presented with evidence that works against that belief, the new evidence cannot be accepted. It would create a feeling that is extremely uncomfortable, called cognitive dissonance. And because it is so important to protect the core belief, they will rationalize, ignore and even deny anything that doesn’t fit in with the core belief” – Frantz Fanon

  53. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Brilliant. Just a brilliant response!

  54. Seems like an incredibly huge risk to me. Erdogan cant believe his luck.

  55. annamaria says:

    Whatever has been the objective of the RF president (and whatever his/her name was), the results manifest the DIMINISHED amount of deaths and destruction in the Middle East. Judging from the responses to Russia’s withdrawal from Syria, the greatest disappointment has been emanating from the “only democracy in the Middle East” and her loyal troopers in the US & UK Lobbies. The Yinon plan laid down the benefits of balkanization of the Middle East for Israel:
    And the Golan Heights (that belong to the sovereign state of Syria) have been apparently coveted by the “chosen:”

  56. Just when you thought it couldn’t get more interesting it has just been revealed that Google has been involved in regime change in Syria.

  57. Agent76 says:

    A very informed post you have Anna Marina, well done!

    General Wesley Clark: Wars Were Planned – Seven Countries In Five Years

    “This is a memo that describes how we’re going to take out seven countries in five years, starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and, finishing off, Iran.” I said, “Is it classified?” He said, “Yes, sir.” I said, “Well, don’t show it to me.” And I saw him a year or so ago, and I said, “You remember that?” He said, “Sir, I didn’t show you that memo! I didn’t show it to you!”

    General Wesley Clark Asked About 7 Country War Plan

  58. says: • Website

    Very often reality on the ground, reality in our heads, reality on tv, and reality in the heads of others that view these realities do not coincide. In the end we are all surprised because the compromise is a compromise of all these realities and does not fit in any of them.

    It may well be that Syria is divided in the future and it may well be that all this is a prelude to a big middle east division of borders. There is always a chance something happens that was not at all expected, perhaps Syria and Iraq merge to form a fairly big, fairly divided country.

    Anything is possible.

  59. annamaria says:

    meanwhile, here is this astonishing news on destroying a whole edition of a textbook because the facts (maps) in the textbook have anti-Zionist bias. Sounds and looks like an emulation of both the Nazi Germany and Stalinist USSR – in the USA (courtesy the Israeli Lobby).
    “Textbook Destroyed.
    March 8, 2016.
    By Scott Jaschik
    McGraw-Hill Education has taken the unusual step of withdrawing a textbook and planning to destroy all copies of it — following criticism that four maps in the book are inaccurate and anti-Israel. The book is a political science textbook, Global Politics: Engaging a Complex World. The McGraw-Hill Education website no longer features the book. But a page on Amazon describes the book this way: “This contemporary presentation stresses the importance of global events and offers students a number of lenses through which to view the world around them.”
    You can see the maps here:

  60. annamaria says:

    hear, hear
    ” Nuclear warhead spending alone rose higher under Obama than under any American president. The cost over thirty years is more than \$1 trillion.
    A mini nuclear bomb is planned. It is known as the B61 Model 12. There has never been anything like it. General James Cartwright, a former Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has said, “Going smaller [makes using this nuclear] weapon more thinkable.”
    In the last eighteen months, the greatest build-up of military forces since World War Two — led by the United States — is taking place along Russia’s western frontier. Not since Hitler invaded the Soviet Union have foreign troops presented such a demonstrable threat to Russia.
    Ukraine – once part of the Soviet Union – has become a CIA theme park. Having orchestrated a coup in Kiev, Washington effectively controls a regime that is next door and hostile to Russia: a regime rotten with Nazis, literally. Prominent parliamentary figures in Ukraine are the political descendants of the notorious OUN and UPA fascists. They openly praise Hitler and call for the persecution and expulsion of the Russian speaking minority.
    This is seldom news in the West, or it is inverted to suppress the truth.
    In Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia — next door to Russia – the US military is deploying combat troops, tanks, heavy weapons. This extreme provocation of the world’s second nuclear power is met with silence in the West. What makes the prospect of nuclear war even more dangerous is a parallel campaign against China.”

  61. Durruti says:

    I wish the best for the Russian, Syrian, Palestinian, & all the world’s peoples. Am not sure the Russian leadership is unified and determined enough to resist world Zionist American Imperialism, & take advantage of opportunities offered.

    1. In the brief Georgian war, Russian tanks surged through Tbilisi, Georgia’s capital, (& Should Have Remained There). The Georgian puppets (of Zionist America), started the war, & Georgia (the birthplace of Stalin), should have returned to the Russian Federation. A priceless Opportunity was lost, or betrayed.

    2. At the moment of the Overthrow of the legally elected President of the Ukraine, Yanukovich, another door of opportunity opened. The Russians should have restored Yanukovich, with the help of their Armed Forces (there would have been, at most, negligible opposition). The Ukraine Armed Forces would have rejoined the Russian Army (who would pay their salaries and give them their orders). Forty (40) million Russians would have been reunited with their countrymen. These -also- are Igor Strelkov’s views.

    3. After such clear & decisive and intelligently defensive moves by the Russian Leaders, the imperialist sanctions would have been no worse than they are currently. The cowardly leaders of Sweden, Finland, and the Baltic principalities would behave-respect Russian Strength (as they worship power, almost as much as wealth). Poland will be Poland. God Bless them!

    Many Russian propagandists blame a ‘5th Column’ in Russia for all the weaknesses of the russian leaders; but the 5th Column is those leaders!

    I conclude with the following points and follow up remarks:

    Moving Forward to the Rear

    The great writer, Arthur Koestler, parodied the Marxist Leninist leadership in the 1930s, as one of– advancing from defeat to defeat.

    1..The Zionist imperialists dominate the Middle East and Europe

    2. They have disrupted and partitioned the Nations of Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Sudan, Somalia, Libya, and Yemen. Most of the remaining undestroyed Middle East Nations are waiting their turn.

    3. Forty million Russians in the Ukraine have been separated (behind a ruined economy, barbed wire, minefields, and NATO troops), from their Motherland.

    4. The Zionist-USA-NATO Troops are digging in, in the Baltic Principalities, just a stone’s throw from St. Petersburg, Russia’s most important Trading Port (equivalent to America’s New York City).

    5. NATO’s Abrams (tanks), are also in Poland.

    6. Turkey is now free to turn up the screws on Greece.

    7. NATO shot down a Russian bomber. Russia did not shoot down a NATO bomber.

    8. The Palestinians are toast.

    9. The Russians may be toast. Read the BBC:

    The rescue of Syria would have opened the doors to a Russian revival, possibly in the Ukraine. Now, the Russian leadership are withdrawing their forces, while Syria remains in ruin, with half of its people dispersed over the Middle east and Europe. Iraq will not be able to recover.

    10. The incipient revival of opposition to Zionist EU/IMF/NATO in Europe, specially in France, will be dampened.

    11. Vladimir Putin will not rate a Mausoleum when he dies.

    12. That Football guy is singing “Its all over.”

    13. Repeat: “President Hilary Clinton.”

    14. The American National Anthem: “Have a Tequila.”

    15. The Communists got many things wrong (almost everything wrong), but they made it to Berlin.

    These numbered comments are Not in chronological order.

    Durruti’s Anarchists did not win, either; but they did not surrender. Now, do you understand Igor Strelkov?

    It was in Spain, in 1938, where the Marxist Lemonists withdrew the International brigades from Spain, and called it a ‘Victory.” The Spanish Republic survived that ‘brilliant move’ less than a year. One of the leaders of Spain’s Communist Party, Dolores Ibarruri, said, ” It is better to die on your feet than live on your knees.” She lived the rest of her life on her knees.

    The 1920-30s encompassed a series of defeats and retreats by the Working Classes and Peasants, from China, to Latin America, to Ethiopia, to Germany, France, and, finally, Spain. Even with the world in a Great Economic Depression, the people were unable to gain ground. The final event that stabilized the Capitalist system, and the power of their Oligarchs, was the triggering of the Global waste, destruction, and horror, of World War II.

    Sixty million dead later, the Russians, Serbs, and Chinese, had suffered catastrophic losses, and have still not been able to recover. In the rest of the planet, brief sparks of resistance have been incapable of keeping the fires lit.

    Durruti: for the Anarchist Collective.

    For the Democratic Republics!

  62. Solemnity says:

    As I write this, Russia jets are still making bombing runs in Syria.

    I don’t see any “withdrawal.”

  63. sejmon says:

    do not display simply mind\ness and study SUN TZU.. you find answer to actions of Russians..

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