Thursday night we watched a video expressing the Iraqi armed forces' growing in confidence as the result of Russian hardware and Iranian support -- and which expresses Baghdad's determination to liberate its territory from the Islamic State (and if necessary, their Turkish sponsors). The style of the footage and Dark Knight-style soundtrack reminded us of videos the Russians have produced from their Syria intervention. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9LxCg905sSs
Compare the footage above, complete with intense music and scenes of Russian Kalibr cruise missiles being launched from the Med, with this:
Turkish invaders and Daeshbags beware: an Iraqi Air Force Su-25 purchased from the Russian Air Force and flown by Iraqi pilots trained in Russia...
The Week that Was in Syraq: More Gains for the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and Iraqi Shi'a-Led Coalition
Southfront reports that the Syrian Arab Army and its Iranian allies continue to advance in the north and south of Syria. The Islamic State made some very limited territorial gains in the past week at the expense of the so-called 'moderate' jihadists near the Turkish border and against the SAA near Maheen in the center of the country. But those advances are likely to be short lived as the Daesh spearheads get obliterated by Russian airpower. Meanwhile the Daesh bags are being driven out of Ramadi by the Iraqi army and pro-Iranian Iraqi Shi'a militias.
If Ramadi can be secured by New Year, that will open up the possibility of a rapid Iraqi advance north into traditionally Sunni parts of Iraq and the highway to Mosul -- where Ankara is likely to get nervous the closer Iraqi Shi'a forces get Turkish positions northeast of the ISIS-held city. The possibility that the Kurds will not be able to or will accept bribes to permit Iraq Shi'a combat teams to infiltrate their lines to attack the Turkish supply convoys if not the perimeter of Turkey's illegal air base will increasingly worry Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's neo-Ottoman regime and the Western globalists who back Ankara's long term ambition to carve out a puppet state using Syrian and Iraqi territory.
For now, notwithstanding the rumors that Iranian troops are being withdrawn from Syria that Bloomberg's Eli Lake credulously reports (without considering if maybe the Iranians are being re-deployed to fight the Turks near Mosul!), the Iraqis and their Persian partners are focused on beating Daesh and its fellow jihadists. Direct confrontation with the Turks will likely have to wait until next spring -- though Iraqi Shi'a special forces equipped with brand new Russian Kornet anti-tank missiles may be the first Iraqis to fight back against Erdogan's neo-Ottoman occupation.
Elsewhere, the Syrian Arab Army and Hezbollah are advancing to the southeast of Aleppo to secure the highway from the rebel stronghold to Damascus, and the SAA/Hezbollah combat teams combined with a limited number of Russian advisers and specialists have hammered Islamic State and 'moderate'' Syrian Al-Qaeda Jabhat al-Nusra jihadists in the in the Qalamoun Mountains inside Lebanon near the Syrian border. The significance of multi-confessional and once divided along sectarian lines Lebanon opening up its air space to the Russians has escaped comment in Western media, which prefers to stick its head in the sand about how quickly the U.S. is being displaced as Mideast hegemon.
In an embarrassing turn of events for Washington, the Russians, SAA and Hezbollah are poised to attack the highly symbolic ancient city of Palmyra which ISIS bragged about capturing in its recent 'No Respite' propaganda video. For the Pentagon and State Department, the bulls--t claim that 'Russia isn't really fighting ISIS' is about to get sorely contradicted by facts on the ground -- perhaps in time for Russian Orthodox Christmas on January 7, if not New Year. At any rate, we expect Moscow's advisers to be taking selfies in what's left of the Palymra ruins, alongside their SAA comrades, by the 'old New Year' Russian Orthodox holiday of January 14.
Will Washington Turn to An All-Out Turkish/GCC Invasion to Turn the Tide and Salvage a Sunnistan Out of Its Failed Syrian Proxy War?
But wait, with the rent a jihadis Washington, Riyadh, Doha and Ankara all put their hopes of toppling Assad on being defeated, what's a fast-fading superpower to do? A story from RT re-published at Zerohedge on Thursday gives one strong hint that desperate measures are being considered, at least by the craziest neocons embedded in the District of Corruption:
During a meeting in Baghdad on November 27, McCain told Prime Minister Haider Abadi and a number of senior Iraqi cabinet and military officials that the decision was ‘non-negotiable’, claimed Hanan Fatlawi, the head of the opposition Irada Movement.
“A hundred thousand foreign troops, including 90,000 from Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar and Jordan, and 10,000 troops from America will be deployed in western regions of Iraq,” she wrote on her Facebook page.
She added that the Iraqi prime minister protested the plan, but was told that “the decision has already been taken.”
RT report: 'No American boots on the ground' in Syria failed, as every military expert knew Obama's policy would
We have our doubts that the Saudi, Qatar and UAE militaries that have spectacularly failed to subdue poorly equipped but brave Yemeni Houthi tribesmen (despite massive quantities of arms from the U.S. and help from Western mercenaries) are prepared to occupy the large territory the Islamic State controls today, stretching from central Syria all the way to northern Iraq. That is, even if the Daesh bags mysteriously melt away in the face of the 'Sunnistan' advance, would the GCC not fear the result of clashes with the advancing Syrian Arab Army, Hezbollah, and Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps?
Given the pathetic performance of the Saudi army in combat with the Yemenis and the not much better prowess displayed by the pampered Qatari and UAE militaries, we think the SAA, Iranians and Hezbollah would make mincemeat out of them. One need only think back to 2006 when the Hezbollah bled the Israeli Army and destroyed many ultra-modern Merkava MBTs while killing scores of IDF soldiers to imagine what the battle-hardened Lebanese Shi'a fighters could do to the GCC's finest in eastern Syria.
Even the Turkish Army -- which seems to us to have been purged of its secularists who won't toe the AKP Islamist line -- would have to imagine that Russian Kornets and older anti-tank weapons plus cluster munition-tipped rockets like the Russian-supplied 'Smerch' MLRS could massacre their advancing tank columns. And given this piece appearing in The New Yorker of all publications, not everyone in Washington, Tel Aviv (where Israelis haven't forgotten the Turkish Mavi Marmara Gaza flotilla provocation) or Washington's European vassal states (especially Greece) will be displeased with the Turks getting a well-deserved butt kicking:
The Turkish move into Iraq is the latest in a series of geopolitical flailings by the blustering and impulsive Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Most of them are related to the civil war in Syria. Since 2011, when the Syrian uprising began, Erdoğan has sought to gain some kind of advantage there, or at least to feel sure that he is backing the right horse. And he’s failed miserably. As much as any other leader in the region, Erdoğan has pushed vigorously for the removal of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. To see this through, the Turkish government has backed the most extreme rebel groups, including ISIS, allowing and even helping foreign fighters to come into Turkey and cross into Syria. ISISwould never have metastasized as virulently as it has without Turkey’s assistance.
The Turkish policy in Syria matched its efforts elsewhere in the Middle East in the early years of the Arab Spring. Wherever he could, Erdoğan backed parties linked to the Muslim Brotherhood, the Sunni Islamist movement that Erdoğan’s own political party, known by its Turkish initials, A.K.P., grew out of.
The Muslim Brotherhood has been routed across the Middle East, most notably in Egypt, where its leaders are either in prison or dead. In Syria, Assad is standing stronger than he has in months. (Remember when, in 2013, President Obama decided not to use force against Assad after he crossed the “red line” by using chemical weapons? No one was angrier at President Obama than Erdoğan.)
Assad—a member of the Alawite sect, a minority group in Syria with strong ties to Shiite Islam—was rescued by the Iranians; by Hezbollah, the Lebanese militant group, which sent thousands of troops into Syria to bolster the regime; and, most recently, by Russia. Since September, when Russian President Vladimir Putin mobilized his forces in Syria, the Russians have carried out hundreds of airstrikes against rebel targets. Assad’s government, which was teetering, is safe for now.
Then came Turkey’s downing of the Russian fighter jet last month. Erdoğan, his Syria policy in a shambles, had picked a fight with his vastly more powerful neighbor. Putin, acting like the calculating former intelligence officer that he is, then unloaded a trove of intelligence that revealed the extent of Turkey’s official coöperation with ISIS oil smuggling. It’s been a bad a month for Erdoğan.
If Hezbollah fought this well against the well-trained/well-equipped Israelis, imagine the mincemeat they'd make out of the Turks/GCC Arabs in Syria
Then there's the main obstacle to any such insane scheme that involves going beyond the Erbil to al-Hasakah Kurdistan/Mosul enclave the Turks and Americans seem intent on establishing -- the presence of the Russian aerospace and air defense forces.
There is legally nothing to prevent the Russians from bombing any invading force that obviously won't have Damascus permission to swarm into the country to smithereens. Someone may say that the 10,000 strong contingent of American troops allegedly included in the plan would be human shields for the Gulf Cooperation Council and Turkish armies against Russian/Iranian attack. But we highly doubt the Joint Chiefs would go for such a plan if they already revolted against attacking Syria when there were only a few hundred Russian advisers in the country back in August 2013. Based on what we're seeing with multiple retired U.S. generals slamming the Turks as in cahoots with ISIS and for stupidly shooting down the Russian SU-24, we would expect a full scale revolt on the part of the top brass against American troops chaperoning a full-scale Turkish invasion of Iraq, much less armed to the teeth and Russian-defended Syria.
McInsane and co may believe that they can finally blackmail or bully Obama into declaring a non-fly zone in the teeth of Russia's de facto NFZ. Reports that the Qataris have been shopping for Soviet-designed 'dumb bombs' of the type Russia possesses in Ukraine published by the (likely SVR front) CyberBerkut hackers suggest a false flag attack on U.S. troops on the ground in northeastern Syria, to be blamed on the Russians, could happen. But Obama's own generals have admitted the Russian S-400/300 and Su-30 fighter jet deployments make a U.S. 'safe zone' plan of the type favored by the Turks impractical, if not impossible. Therefore it's hard to see what a false flag attack on American special ops personnel blamed on the Russian Air Force would accomplish, other than dialing up the WW3 rhetoric to a fever pitch.
Nonetheless, it sounds to us like this report is probably true, but Sen. John McCain and Ms. McCain Lindsey Graham have been drinking too much of their own neocon 'just show up with enough force and the Russians/Iranians will back down' koolaid. Even so, the Turkish Army remains quite large and formidable, and Washington together with its Sunni Muslim allies have spent billions if not tens of billions trying to topple Assad and reorder the Mideast. The man behind the StormCloudsGathering video published below is right, there's no way that Washington and especially Ankara are simply going to accept the humiliating defeat of their Syrian proxies and go away quietly without a fight:
Support StormCloudsGathering if you can (Google-controlled YouTube is trying to shut their channel down using numerous excuses)
Joseph P. Farrell @GizaDeathStar December 10, 2015 News and Views from the Nefarium: Turkey is 'on the menu'