Friday, March 11, 2016

The game in Syria is only just starting

Interesting oped
The Syria war has set many countries against each other. If that wasn’t bad enough, it has now also started to set allies and friends at odds.

About three weeks ago it became evident that something was simmering. First, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad vowed to fight until he retook the whole country and won a victory. Upon this statement he was castigated by one of his main supporters, Russia. Russian Ambassador to the U.N. Vitaly Churkin publicly warned al-Assad for the first time. He said the Syrian president had to follow Moscow’s leadership “if he wants to resolve the crisis”.
Additional information on Churkin's statement:
1.Churkin: Don’t assign too much importance to Assad's words
2.  Assad regime told to follow Moscow's lead
Russia made another attack one week later, this time with Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov declaring that Syria could become a “federal state.”

As a result, we all started to question whether Russia was gradually withdrawing its support from al-Assad, but the most surprising move came from Iran, the main supporter of al-Assad and Russia’s key ally. When President Hassan Rouhani was asked about Rykabkov’s statement, he smiled for a while and then said: “We enjoy good relations with Russia but that doesn’t mean everything Russia does is approved by Iran.” 

Further thickening the plot, Russia then reportedly froze the planned delivery of a S-300 missile defense system to Iran. This development came as a veritable news bombshell. 
I too saw these reports, but, it has since been reported the delivery will take place-
 Russia to deliver S300 to Iran by September
Al-Assad is the reason why these two allies have fallen out. The Syrian president’s meaning and importance is quite different for these two countries.

Iran needs al-Assad, as he remains the main sponsor of Hezbollah, which has become almost identical with Iran. It is far from clear that a post-Assad Syria would continue this existential support for the Shia group.

Russia, on the other hand, is only seeking to protect its interests in the Middle East and the Eastern Mediterranean via Syria. To this end, it seems that Moscow has started to take action to guarantee its interests in a post-Assad Syria, which has driven Iran crazy.

In other words, as soon as the future of Syria started becoming clearer, allies started going at it hammer and tongs. This is only the beginning. The real squabble will start only once the fight against ISIL is toned down. Countries that currently look like allies are cooperating only tactically on the ground. Once the fight is over they will start having to share the cake and their interests will clash.

The U.S. and Russia will probably take the lead. At the moment they are cooperating behind the scenes without directly contacting each other. But once the ISIL front closes down and the sharing of sovereignty in Syria starts, their clash of interests will rise to the surface. 

Their rivalry over the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) recently came to light, which is a harbinger of things to come. The U.S. has been supporting the PYD’s progress in the eastern part of northern Syria (Rojava), while Russia has been backing the PYD’s march in the western part of northern Syria. But Washington has been giving more and more signals over the past couple of weeks that it is not happy with Russia’s flirtation with the PYD.

Furthermore, after the presidential elections in the U.S. in November, Washington may reevaluate its Syria policy. If a new president chooses to become more active in the Middle East, a bigger U.S.-Russia confrontation may not be so far away.
If a new President CHOOSES, emphasis on CHOICE, to become more active- Mentioned this here:Feb 8/2016: Aleppo: Syrian Actions- NATO Reactions
Quoting from linked article in Feb post:
"2017 will usher in a new US president and hope that the new office holder will be willing to up US intervention in the conflict, something that is distinctly possible given US political dynamics and the expected desire of a new president to project assertiveness as a mark of contrast with Obama’s perceived timidity"
My observation at that time:
 "The NATO global army and it’s minions will supply more weapons. To keep the opposition viable as a fighting force. To prevent Syria from retaking it’s territory. At all costs. Until a new president is in place. And it will be the evil & ruthless Hillary Clinton. Because the self identifying lefties always accept war under the democrats- And Hillary will kill with glee"
 Yes, I think the new presidente will be Hillary and she will expand the war.
 
The same applies to the groups inside Syria. The PYD has been fighting on the ground together with some of the Arab groups. But once the ISIL front closes down, Syrian Kurds and Arabs will find themselves fighting for dominance in the country. This goes for all opposition groups in Syria that are currently cooperating on a tactical basis. This disintegration also carries the risk of a deeper clash of interests between Turkey and U.S., who are supporting different groups on the ground.

The PYD and al-Assad’s forces are not currently fighting each other. On the contrary, they seem to have decided to share out their respective domains. But once the fever in Syria starts to die down, it is highly likely that they will also start jostling with each other.

The same scenario rules for Iraq. Today, Baghdad and Arbil are keeping their tension under control due to the shared ISIL threat and the economic hardship caused by the war. Nevertheless, Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) President Massoud Barzani continues to raise the issue of independence from time to time – most recently just a couple of days ago.

As soon as the dust starts settling, Arbil will certainly start raising the flag of independence. The two centers will also be increasingly at odds over the share of oil revenues in Iraq.

The real question is whether Baghdad, which has gradually come under Iran’s influence since the U.S. intervention in Iraq in 2003, will remain under Iranian dominance? Or will it start to compete against Tehran as a Shiite center?

I don’t want to demoralize you, but it looks like we may soon be craving even the turbulent days we are currently going through.
Thanks avirgo- Minsk it is and we see how that has turned out!

Don't Miss Canada's Lyin' PM, caught in the act. No, not with Obama ;)

PM "no combat" Trudeau- Shoot em first. Let God sort them out "Hostile Intent"

24 comments:

  1. Hi Penny:

    Could it be that, rather than Russia and Iran taking contrary views...the M$M is sowing discord in false stories? As for Russia saying it is considering Syria becoming a federated state...Canada is a federated state. Does that make it less a state? (don't answer that, lol)

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    1. Hey GC: I think you answered your own question ;)

      "Could it be that, rather than Russia and Iran taking contrary views...the M$M is sowing discord in false stories?"

      Can't be sure- I'm going to add some links to that post- (didn't have time last night to do so)

      Delete
    2. Russia is also a Federation.

      Delete
  2. Penny,

    I find the hurriyet article's analysis to be poor. I believe there to be NO "falling" out between Russia and Iran on Syria. They are near total agreement on Assad. "Russia, on the other hand, is only seeking to protect its interests in the Middle East and the Eastern Mediterranean via Syria." This sentence misses the point. Russia, specifically PUTIN has stated before that Russia does NOT have military interests if the focus is only on bases.
    (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-12-17/putin-says-he-s-not-convinced-russia-needs-syrian-military-base)

    Russia does NOT need a military base. Russia is in Syria due to one real purpose: The principle that NATO must be stopped from destabilizing countries. That is it. Purely stablity.

    This is not really about gas lines either. It is solely about preventing refugee crisis, and criminal elements from dominating and spreading to other countries (i.e George Soros Open society, Ukraine, Libya, Eu refugee crisis). Russia does not want chaos to go to the caucuses.

    The disagreement between Iran and Russia is based on a war with Israel. Russia has no interest in getting involved in a holy war with israel. There are alot of Russian jews, and Putin is not interested in supporting hezbollah in a war, which may cause may chaos in the middle east. A war with Israel will cause alot more refugees in the middle east.

    Iran, we should remember is a theocracy, a pragmatic one, but still a theocracy. They are religiously inclined to war with US, and Israel. Putin, and the russian military, while Orthodox Christian, do NOT hate jews and the US for religious reasons, they think only in real politik, and pragmatic terms. They see a war with Israel, as bad for stability in the middle east, and not in Russian interests.

    I believe Russia will support palestine in political terms, as with the vast majority of the world, but they will not support islamist terror movements, like Hamas, as Iran has, Russia along with the Chinese DO, in fact try to support a consistent foreign policy of stablity. Russia is more proactive than the chinese in preventing instability, with its intevention in the middle east. And china has been less active, but consistent with its anti imperialism, non interference policy, intervening only in Korea (US-Soviet Division of Korea), Vietnam (USSoviet division of Vietnam/Vietnam invasion of Cambodia), India (British/US encouragement of Indian territorial land claims).

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    1. I believe there to be NO "falling" out between Russia and Iran on Syria. They are near total agreement on Assad”

      Personally, I can’t imagine Russia and Iran agreeing on everything- for the simple reason that each nation has a mix of common and unique interests. The unique interests is where they would differ.

      “Russia does NOT need a military base. Russia is in Syria due to one real purpose: The principle that NATO must be stopped from destabilizing countries. That is it. Purely stablity”

      I think they need a base /naval facility there or they wouldn’t have the one they do have. And they’ve had their facility at Tartus for quite some time- something like almost 50 years- I have a way back post on upgrades made to the facility.
      I agree this is about stability and putting a dent in NATO’s ability to act with impunity.

      Previous posts:
      http://pennyforyourthoughts2.blogspot.ca/2015/09/russia-building-a2ad-bubble-over.html

      http://pennyforyourthoughts2.blogspot.ca/2015/10/a2ad-bubble-syria-and-bigger-strategic.html


      “This is not really about gas lines either”

      It’s about more then gas or pipelines, though, there is that. There is also eastern Meditteranean natural gas
      I wrote a 3 part series years back touching on this topic;

      http://pennyforyourthoughts2.blogspot.ca/2013/04/part-3-cyprus-israel-turkey-syria-nato.html

      And there are other related posts


      “It is solely about preventing refugee crisis, and criminal elements from dominating and spreading to other countries (i.e George Soros Open society, Ukraine, Libya, Eu refugee crisis). Russia does not want chaos to go to the caucuses”

      Agree with this being a part of the reason for Russia’s involvement

      “The disagreement between Iran and Russia is based on a war with Israel”

      I’ve no idea how you have drawn that conclusion

      Russia has no interest in getting involved in a holy war with israel.

      There are no holy wars, so, I’m not sure what you mean?

      “A war with Israel will cause alot more refugees in the middle east”

      Not sure how or what you mean by that?

      “Iran, we should remember is a theocracy, a pragmatic one, but still a theocracy. They are religiously inclined to war with US, and Israel”

      I’ve never gotten that impression from Iran?

      Putin, and the russian military, while Orthodox Christian, do NOT hate jews and the US for religious reasons, they think only in real politik, and pragmatic terms. They see a war with Israel, as bad for stability in the middle east, and not in Russian interests.

      I believe Israel is the ‘holiest’ war maker around. Everything and I mean everything is god ordained and god provided and because god said- Even though that’s all a crock of baloney Israel is after resources and land- Same as the rest- They just use God as the justification.The US does that also.

      “Russia is more proactive than the chinese in preventing instability, with its intevention in the middle east. And china has been less active, but consistent with its anti imperialism, non interference policy”

      That’s certainly the way things appear

      Delete
    2. Penny,

      Putin has stated that Russia does not need a military base in Syria. http://atimes.com/2015/12/russia-may-maintain-temporary-military-base-in-syria-putin/

      “The disagreement between Iran and Russia is based on a war with Israel”

      I’ve no idea how you have drawn that conclusion

      Its from this saker article:
      http://thesaker.is/putin-and-israel-a-complex-and-multi-layered-relationship/

      “Iran, we should remember is a theocracy, a pragmatic one, but still a theocracy. They are religiously inclined to war with US, and Israel”

      I’ve never gotten that impression from Iran?

      It is common knowledge that Iran wants to destroy Israel and will not negotiate with Israel/US
      https://twitter.com/khamenei_ir/status/707923287280644096

      I believe Israel is the ‘holiest’ war maker around. Everything and I mean everything is god ordained and god provided and because god said- Even though that’s all a crock of baloney Israel is after resources and land- Same as the rest- They just use God as the justification.The US does that also.

      Russia does not go to war based on religious purposes. Iran DOES fight for religious purposes, Hezbollah is the "Party of Allah." Yes, Israel does use religion as an excuse to rob, but Russia, will not fight Israel directly, or asymmetrically with the use of proxies like Hezbollah. Russia is concerned with not only fighting islamists, but fighting a war with Israel. Russia would simply get into a quagmire.

      Delete
    3. Putin statement concerning military bases was not directed soley at the Tartrus navel base. That facility is important because it provides an operational facility for maintaining their naval vessels in the Mediterranean basin. It also, as stated above, allows Russia to project themselves as a block against US/NATO naval operations there. Oil, gas and pipelines will always be an underlying reason for all interventions in the ME region. Russia doesn't need nor want the anglo-zionists to control energy resources present in the eastern Mediterranean. In spite of minor disagreements between Russia and Iran, as stated both have certain individual interests, both nations are savvy enough to realize their bigger interests are best served by mutual cooperation. They both know they are targets of the anglo-zionist destabilization policies.
      The jihadi elements among the refugees may have interests in reaching the caucuses, however, I do not believe the vast majority of the refugees have any interest at all in settling in the caucuses region. Am I missing something in this regard?

      Delete
  3. Part 2:

    “The same applies to the groups inside Syria. The PYD has been fighting on the ground together with some of the Arab groups. But once the ISIL front closes down, Syrian Kurds and Arabs will find themselves fighting for dominance in the country. This goes for all opposition groups in Syria that are currently cooperating on a tactical basis. This disintegration also carries the risk of a deeper clash of interests between Turkey and U.S., who are supporting different groups on the ground.”

    I don't believe ISIS will ever be fully defeated in the next 10 years. No one really wants to go to Raqqa honestly. Syrian Arab Army has taken years to retake Latakia. Assad just doesn't have to resources to take over Raqqa, and defend Aleppo, Idlib, Jisr, Daraa. I dont think Kurds really want Raqqa either. Defeating ISIS, will end the excuse that Kurds are the best ISIS fighters, that is why the “west” should support them. Kurds and Assad in a way need ISIS to demonize sunni separatism, and sunni people. Kurds are also more interested in partitioning Turkey, and blaming Turkey for supporting ISIS than fighting ISIS. I think Kurds and Assad will work together for a LONG time, as Assad is a alawite minority, in a Sunni country, and has a lot of support among minorities (christians) anyway. Lebannon is also multicultural, so I don't think Hezbollah has a lot of problems of minorities like kurds. They only hate Jews.

    I think Turkey and the US/NATO are blackmailing each other. Turkey is using Weaponized migration, with refugee camps into EU, and NATO is along with Russia supporting a defacting partitioning of Turkey. I think there is a high chance NATO, especially EU is going to get really screwed, after the Iran Turkish talks. I think Erdogan is going to get a lot of leverage against EU, after Iranian support. While Russia doesn't really like Turkey, I think they will laugh privately and EU refugee crisis.

    “As soon as the dust starts settling, Arbil will certainly start raising the flag of independence. The two centers will also be increasingly at odds over the share of oil revenues in Iraq. 
    The real question is whether Baghdad, which has gradually come under Iran’s influence since the U.S. intervention in Iraq in 2003, will remain under Iranian dominance? Or will it start to compete against Tehran as a Shiite center? “

    I dont believe Kurds will declare independence without Syria, and Iraqi kurdistan being united. Considering how much Kurds dont like each other, I find kurdish independence to be unlikely, due to Russian, Syrian, Iranian lobbying. I think Barzani is spouting off independence statements in a kurdish zeitgeist sort of way. In that it is just very popular right now to say I love being a kurd, KURDISH PRIDE yay. I don't think he is serious about it. His background looks very corrupt, and very corrupt guys like being nationalists (I.e Trump a.k.a I can get along with everybody), but doesn't mean he means anything.

    Iraq replacing Iran as a shia center? LOL. The militias love Khomeini more than their president.

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    1. avirgo: I will respond at length later

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    2. The same applies to the groups inside Syria. The PYD has been fighting on the ground together with some of the Arab groups. But once the ISIL front closes down, Syrian Kurds and Arabs will find themselves fighting for dominance in the country. This goes for all opposition groups in Syria that are currently cooperating on a tactical basis. This disintegration also carries the risk of a deeper clash of interests between Turkey and U.S., who are supporting different groups on the ground.”

      PYD is political. YPG fights. Sunni Muslim Kurds and Arabs have been cooperative for quite some time- Kurds are Sunni Muslims. The US, in 2003, decided Turkey was done.

      Kurds and Assad in a way need ISIS to demonize sunni separatism, and sunni people.

      Kurds are Sunni’s - They don’t demonize themselves. And have worked very well with the Sunni Arab militias- particularly the former Iraqi baathists

      “Kurds are also more interested in partitioning Turkey, and blaming Turkey for supporting ISIS than fighting ISIS. I think Kurds and Assad will work together for a LONG time, as Assad is a alawite minority, in a Sunni country, and has a lot of support among minorities (christians) anyway. Lebannon is also multicultural, so I don't think Hezbollah has a lot of problems of minorities like kurds. They only hate Jews”

      I’m really not sure why you state ‘they only hate jews’ cause from where I’m sitting the Israeli’s hate on everyone- As for Lebanon, Israel has done some very bad, bad things there. Assad has much support amongst the Sunni Syrians also- that’s how he has stayed in power so long.


      I think Turkey and the US/NATO are blackmailing each other

      Maybe?

      “Turkey is using Weaponized migration, with refugee camps into EU”

      Disagree. The weaponized migration has been a NATO operation from start to finish
      The US is trying, as always, to keep Germany down. To push Europe down in general. To weaken and ensure it remains subordinate. That weaponized refugee plan has been used against Turkey.

      “As soon as the dust starts settling, Arbil will certainly start raising the flag of independence. The two centers will also be increasingly at odds over the share of oil revenues in Iraq”

      Yup

      The real question is whether Baghdad, which has gradually come under Iran’s influence since the U.S. intervention in Iraq in 2003, will remain under Iranian dominance? Or will it start to compete against Tehran as a Shiite center? “

      Baghdad is too weak to compete. IMO

      I dont believe Kurds will declare independence without Syria, and Iraqi kurdistan being united.

      That’s already happening- See Sinjar and the annexation of it by Kurdish forces
      See alShaddad Syria to Mosul

      “Considering how much Kurds dont like each other, I find kurdish independence to be unlikely, due to Russian, Syrian, Iranian lobbying”.

      Agree the Kurds don’t like each other, but, since Kurdistan = Israel 2.0 I don’t think the Kurds, other then the corrupt leaders and militias really matter

      I think Barzani is spouting off independence statements in a kurdish zeitgeist sort of way. In that it is just very popular right now to say I love being a kurd, KURDISH PRIDE yay.

      Of course he is. He want’s to go out on top!

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    3. I’m really not sure why you state ‘they only hate jews’ cause from where I’m sitting the Israeli’s hate on everyone- As for Lebanon, Israel has done some very bad, bad things there. Assad has much support amongst the Sunni Syrians also- that’s how he has stayed in power so long.

      Hezbollah's primary enemy is Israel

      “Turkey is using Weaponized migration, with refugee camps into EU”

      Disagree. The weaponized migration has been a NATO operation from start to finish
      The US is trying, as always, to keep Germany down. To push Europe down in general. To weaken and ensure it remains subordinate. That weaponized refugee plan has been used against Turkey.

      It is not only US/Israel/NATO using weaponized immigration. Just like ISIS/Kurds are being used by multiple parties. Even Turks used Kurds to kill Armenians. We are looking at multiple factions looking to secure their interests. Erdogan also has political interests in weaponizing refugees. Erdogan is looking for regional influence, and particularly EU membership. The recent talks had erdogan tying immigration to EU ascension. Turkey is actually powerful enough as a EU member to sabotage German-French-Belgian power trinity.


      I dont believe Kurds will declare independence without Syria, and Iraqi kurdistan being united.

      That’s already happening- See Sinjar and the annexation of it by Kurdish forces
      See alShaddad Syria to Mosul

      These multikurdish factions along with Russian,Iranian, Iraqi interference will prevent a True Kurdish state. I find Kurdistan as Israel 2.0 as optimistic, not only in US supporting them in military terms, but from historical events. Kurds have been used as mercs/proxies by everyone, even the Turks to kill Armenians. The idea that Israel can "own" the Kurds is unlikely. Kurds are for sale to the highest bidder.

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    4. Erdogan is looking for regional influence, and particularly EU membership

      Erdogan isn't going to get EU membership- the EU has been stringing Turkey along for years.

      Only when the dust settles and that little tiny piece of Turkey, actually in Europe remains, will Turkey get EU membership-

      As for the Kurds and killing people- they've aided more then just the Turks. They aided Saddam Hussein too. Israel 2.0 is the reality. The Kurds and the Khazars have a very long history

      Delete
    5. Turkey has 80 million people, they are pretty powerful, Turkish EU membership along with middle east migration will cause Turkey to be a major player in the EU.

      Iran supported and used Kurds as a proxy in the Iran Iraq war. Saddam gassed Kurds using US chemical weapons. A lot of factions are using the Kurds.

      Delete
  4. Hurriyet Daily News (Turkish) translated Churkin's words as publicly warned al-Assad for the first time. He said the Syrian president had to follow Moscow’s leadership “if he wants to resolve the crisis”.

    And you take it seriously?

    It is about as reliable as Israel's translation of Ahmedjanead claiming he said Iran wanted to wipe Israel off the map.

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    1. Is there an error in the translation?

      I don't speak Russian. And have to rely on what is translated. Here is additional reporting on what Churkin stated publicly:

      Keep in mind these are direct quotes attributed to Churkin

      http://aa.com.tr/en/todays-headlines/assad-regime-told-to-follow-moscows-lead/524263

      Vitaly Churkin said: "If the Damascus regime insists on a fight till a final victory without any ceasefire, then, the current crisis could last for years.”

      "If the Damascus regime follows Russia’s lead, they will have a chance to get out of this crisis,"


      Churkin said, warning that the regime would be in a "difficult condition" otherwise.


      It's better to find the quote/information that challenges the claim- So if you would do that I would appreciate it greatly? Or assist me with a proper translation? That would be good also

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    2. Re: AnonymousMarch 12, 2016 at 7:10 AM

      Russia Beyond the Headlines

      http://rbth.com/international/2016/02/19/churkin-dont-assign-too-much-importance-to-assads-words_569369

      "On Bashar al-Assad's statements

      Vitaly Churkin: We shouldn't assign too much importance to some of the statements, dramatize them… This is my personal point of view. I heard on TV President Assad's statement [about fighting until victory is obtained and the impossibility of observing a truce]… It obviously contradicts Russia's diplomatic efforts. There is the Vienna process, the latest agreements with the International Syria Support Group reached in Munich that include the ceasefire, the cessation of military activity in the foreseeable future. We are working on this now.

      But the Syrian president is acting according to a certain political framework. And here I think we should take into consideration not what he says, with all the respect to the statements of such a high-ranking individual, but what in the end he will do.

      If the Syrian government, despite its internal political disposition and the propagandistic line that it must conduct, follows Russia's leadership in regulating this crisis, then it will have the opportunity to exit the crisis with dignity. If, on the other hand, they stray from this path – and again this is my personal viewpoint – there will be a difficult situation, one that will also involve them"

      It certainly does read like a public admonishment of
      Bashar Assad's statements- Churkin appears to understand that Assad may be engaging in rhetoric for the domestic audience, but, he is also saying follow Russia's lead and they have an opportunity to exit this situation gracefully

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    3. Just this week Lavrov said us deploying THAAD in Korea is worse than anything NK could possibly do. Emphasis

      Russia also said this week the US is collating the NPT and further creating greater risk nukes get exchanged. US deploy B1 lancers to Pacific and B52 to Europe.

      And with every tick lower in RUB the vol in Ukraine escalates including the latest bellingcat hit piece in wake of Russia reminding Reuters that the US has still not complied by handing over the MH radars.

      Last week plans "leaked" of an Italian invasion of Libya whch happen to correlate with the already deployed French US and UK troops in north Africa. A week and half ago Sisi all but told you that the color crowd was back.

      Nato just deployed more ships to the eastern med. Russia matched with sub exercises presumably the "black holes" from the Black Sea fleet.

      And this latest discord follows the times of Israel pushing the idea that Russia stopped s300 transfer because of Israel intel on Hezbollah weapons transfers. Denied. Transfer suppose to take place September along with deals on Su 35 and ssj. US has already opposed.

      And in view of it all the Saudi FM rather concessionary statements about Iran changing its behavior are curious? Russia isn't intermediating but Putin comments last week about mre interesting ways to fix the oil balance reverberate at the IEA who this week says close to a bottom. A deflationary flush is almost assured as GS pushes the flush coming.

      But the Syria and Assad's comments about toal war came weeks ago. Russia walked those back to. As above illustrates rousing on Syria to the exclusion of the game board isn't productive.

      China and Russia this week said they have agreed to exchange information in wake of reports the Chinese surrounded a us carrier group. Watch the Russian exomars launch.

      As for the Kurds what's more important Syria or Saudi? Depends on who your target is.

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    4. anonymous: yes, I saw the conciliatory message from Saudi Arabia to Iran- Interesting indeed!

      http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2016/03/09/Saudi-could-turn-page-if-Iran-changes-policies.html

      "If Iran changes its way and its policies, nothing would prevent turning a page and building the best relationship based on good neighborliness, with no meddling in the affairs of others,” he told reporters in Riyadh"

      And no mediation needed- that in particular?

      "There is no need for mediation” in such a case, said Jubeir"

      Who would have mediated? Therefore who would Jubeir be suggesting as an unnecessary partner?

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    5. border attack in wake of Yemen dovish comments. Dynacorp ramping up merc training?

      http://muslimmirror.com/eng/iraqi-forces-repel-is-attack-near-saudi-border/

      Days after the reports of talks
      http://www.wsj.com/articles/yemen-rebels-saudi-arabia-begin-peace-talks-to-end-nearly-year-long-war-1457520050

      and the merc reports
      http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2016/03/07/454304/Yemen-mercenaries-Blackwater-DynCorp

      recalling the Oman exfils last year
      http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/american-dies-yemen-detained-shiite-rebels-article-1.2430568'


      Whose operation is it again? And what exactly are the french up to with Nayef? Jubeir must wbe watching with interest...

      http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/mar/07/france-awards-legion-dhonneur-to-saudi-prince-for-terror-fight

      Now Kerry in town to sure up the alliance: as stressing need to end war? But US is restarting train and equip and inviting Saudi specops and planes to Turkey after frontrunning the GCC move (Saudi) on Hezbollah in Lebanon with the Drug bustc (US request?)

      http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-kerry-saudi-idUSKCN0WD26J

      Up to US coalition: FM
      http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2016/02/14/Saudi-Switzerland-to-manage-Riyadh-s-consular-affairs-in-Iran.html


      Train and equip restart in wake of hawkish Carter comments
      http://sputniknews.com/middleeast/20160309/1035986417/pentagon-train-program-syria-rebels.html

      Oil stabilizing is the not 'sustainable'
      http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-03-08/goldman-sachs-dismisses-metals-rally-with-call-to-short-copper
      http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-01-19/iea-says-oil-rout-could-deepen-as-market-drowns-in-oversupply


      But IEA comments days ago: “For prices there may be light at the end of what has been a long, dark tunnel” as market forces are “working their magic and higher-cost producers are cutting output.”

      Again the question: did the Saudi policy 'work"? Better yet was it a Saudi operation at all?

      With the equity markets reflated in another 'V' another 'Saudi move to slaughter shale"?

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    6. http://pennyforyourthoughts2.blogspot.com/2016/03/more-contrived-grass-roots-petition.html?showComment=1457534971711#c2865427175414899074

      http://pennyforyourthoughts2.blogspot.com/2016/03/more-contrived-grass-roots-petition.html?showComment=1457534919367#c229385610772804109

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  5. Thanks Penny! Many interesting analyses from different folks. Most all Russian quotes are taken out of context or only partial quotes. Seems a combination of lack of people capable of speaking/reading Russian and a total disappearance of all Russian experts since 1980s. Ryabkov's federalization comment ended with this "... if the Syrians want it." but nobody except Russian media ran the full quote. RBTH has been reliable for a lot and the concept of comments made for internal consumption by Assad has been highly overlooked by most media throughout this war on Syria. The west does the same thing and seems to think they are the only ones allowed to use the tactic. As far as China - they have a habit of not publishing their actions and work quietly in the interests of the country itself without feeling the need to brag about it from a podium to the world. Iran and HZB will remain close in any way they can but neither will start a war with Israel. Both know full well any US administration is going to come to rescue of Israel regardless of the purely public spat between leaders. The deal with the S-300 has been confused since Putin reinstated it. The model Iran ordered and still wants is no longer manufactured as they moved on to S-400. Iran looked at the models available and has made a compromise that still gives them S-300 but an advanced model. The other part of the deal was that Iran would stop its court case against Russia which had yet to be done. Also there was a question of whether Iran had paid for it. Latest in Russian is that Sept. - Oct. delivery of first parts which is still in 2016 but not the same as Persian "new year". More of the complication with translations that seem to be used and misused. BTW,I use "Barzanistan" since that clan has been controlling the majority of Iraqi kurds going back to 18th century. And as you have shown often here, all other kurds would seem to be PKK related - it's a way to separate the two.

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    1. Your welcome SP :)

      I really try to get the most reliable information, to the best of my ability, of course :)

      "Most all Russian quotes are taken out of context or only partial quotes."

      That is a phenomena that applies almost across the board- I've noticed Erdogan is almost always partially quoted or his words are used out of context.

      Same happened to Assad, plenty. I try to get as much of their actual wording as possible

      Both know full well any US administration is going to come to rescue of Israel regardless of the purely public spat between leaders.

      I see the US is already making a bunch of noise about taking Iran to security council and yes, they will always come to the rescue of Israel- A victim always needs rescuing ;)

      The S300 looks to be on

      "BTW,I use "Barzanistan" since that clan has been controlling the majority of Iraqi kurds going back to 18th century. And as you have shown often here, all other kurds would seem to be PKK related - it's a way to separate the two."

      Thanks for explaining why you use that term in the way you do! I know for example Willy Loman uses it differently. It surely looks as if all other Kurd (militias and criminals and political movements) are pkk related. From everything I've read.
      Gorran, Yazidi militia- YPG and all other flavours of PKK: TAK and all those others reported on here- yikes!

      And then there are the ordinary folks who just want to live their lives :(

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  6. On Friday, Peskov, the Russian government spokesman, in an official statement, declared that Syria's territorial integrity is vital to Russia and that only the Syrian people can legitimately decide Syria's future.

    https://syrianfreepress.wordpress.com/2016/03/12/syria-integrity-vital/

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    1. Directly contradicting Putin's statement about delineation?

      I read what Peskov said last night.

      "“Only the Syrians themselves can take a legitimate decision about their future.”

      Assuming that includes the Kurds?
      What decision will they take about their future?
      What decision might the rest of the Syrian take for their future?
      What is attainable with the US and company in the picture?

      That's a very safe statement for Peskov to make.

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