Earlier today the Syrian Arab Army had announced that 1,000 fresh soldiers arrived in Deir Ezzor to liberate it from ISIS.
The U.S. planes came from Erbil in the Kurdish separatist region of Iraq.
The Syrian troops were holding positions on Jabal Tharda, a mountain that overlooks Deir Ezzor’s airport. The mountain is now fully under Islamic State control. With this IS has firecontrol over the airport and the Deir Ezzor garrison as well as more than 150,000 civilians living under government protection are thereby cut off from supplies and any further reinforcements. Government forces have launched a counterattack to regain the vital position….
The U.S. air attack on Deir Ezzor was certainly not a mistake but well planed.
It is a signal to Russia and Syria. I am not sure though what lunacy it is supposed to convey.
One can reasonably assume that the planned presence of U.S. forces amid a Turkish invasion has the sole purpose of deterring Russian or Syrian moves against it. With U.S. forces around the Russian command will have to think twice before bombing any Turkish advance beyond the borders of their agreement with the Russians.
The deployment of some 40 U.S. special forces to Al Ra’i did not go well. The Turkish “Free Syrian Army” proxies threatened to kill the U.S. forces (see video). They called them “unbelievers” and “crusader pigs” and the U.S. forces had to retreat under Turkish cover….
The Turkish supported sectarian “moderate” FSA groups are the very same groups the CIA has “vetted” and provided with TOW missiles and other weapons.
In his Beast piece, Barnicle opines that Hillary “hasn’t been asked” about Aleppo – but that’s because there’s no need to ask. Her position is well-known. It was Hillary, while she was Secretary of State, who lobbied fiercely on behalf of Aleppo’s defenders – the “moderate” Islamic anti-government rebels – along with Gen. David Petraeus. Indeed, Petraeus pushed for allying with the local al-Qaeda affiliate, so eager was he to overthrow the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Oh, but these are the “moderate” faction of al-Qaeda, he assured us…
A Gorgeous, Desolate Record of Russia’s Past and Present
To explore more of Nikolai’s photography, follow @n_tolstyh on Instagram.
By day, Nikolai Tolstyh (@n_tolstyh) works as a journalist in Izhevsk, Russia, chronicling the latest developments in his region. In his free time, the 29-year-old captures the countryside’s structures that have survived his nation’s past. “I am drawn to the charm of the old buildings’ desolation,” he says. An amateur photographer since his teens, Nikolai takes pleasure in snapping “simple things,” such as wooden houses, abandoned churches and the life that grows around — and sometimes within — the decrepit architecture. A year ago, he began experimenting with stencils, too, creating animal shapes that he poses against the countryside’s natural beauty. His photos bring together the past, present and future, making a reflective and ultimately hopeful record. “I always like to do something new, to discover new techniques and take pictures today better than I did yesterday,” he says.
US and Russia reached a deal on Syria for a ceasefire, humanitarian aid, and later military cooperation and a roadmap for political transition. The Syrian government accepted the deal while the major opposition rebel groups rejected it, issuing some demands to secure their agreement. The ceasefire officially began on Monday evening. Details of the deal are trickling out, the White House is publicly doubting Russia, privately arguing among themselves, and in response Russia wants to publish the (withheld) text of the deal.
Al Qaeda and Ahrar al-Sham rebel groups launched an offensive in the Golan Heights region against the Syrian military, allegedy with air support from the Israeli air force. The Syrian military claims that their air defense shot down an Israeli fighter jet and a drone. The Israeli military denies the shootdown but confirms recent airstrikes on Syria.
Kurds report that ISIS fighters are fleeing the Turkish border offensive in Syria and joining al Qaeda groups in Aleppo. BBC interviewed surrendering rebels in Daraya who say they joined due to financial hardship and the revolution is a lie. In Ukraine, Stephen Cohen says that Pres. Poroshenko has unilaterally changed the terms of the Minsk deal.
The new ceasefire agreement between Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, which went into effect at noon Monday, has a new central compromise absent from the earlier ceasefire agreement that the same two men negotiated last February. But it isn’t clear that it will produce markedly different results.