Syria in Limbo: Neither Reunification nor Partition Are Yet Possible

By Vahik Soghom, BA. AUB, MA. Univ of St. Andrews, Humboldt Univ of Berlin

tanks face off 8a

Is Syria headed toward some form of partition?

Recent developments in the conflict give credence to a number of fears that have been making the rounds for quite a while now. The long-accepted observation that the Syrian army is growing increasingly unable to independently engage in military confrontations against a motivated enemy is becoming eerily palpable in Idlib and Palmyra. Along with painstaking losses of strategically significant territory, this naturally unearths the fear that Syria is on the road to partition—a tripartite or even quadripartite partition. The way it might look is: the northeast of the country for the Kurds, the central to eastern portion for the IS, the northwestern portion (i.e., Idlib) for the Jaish al-Fatah, and the western stretch for the Assad regime. Aleppo is still divided among the contenders, and Daraa and Quneitra yet await their verdict.

This proto-partition has come into shape after years of intensive clashes on multiple fronts and the rise of both local and global takfiri militant movements. The belief that the Islamic State, with its global jihadi ideology, is the only significant force capable of redrawing the map has been challenged by the Jaish al-Fatah’s recent takeover of Idlib city as well as Jisr al-Shughur. Idlib province will now be the testing ground for an Islamic emirate overseen by takfiris with a more localist bent. This new reality has emerged partly as a side effect of the deaths or desertions of nearly half the regime’s soldiers, combined with the near impossibility of recruiting fighters from among the local population. Far from being capable of launching an effective assault to retake Idlib, the regime now has a number of worrying prospects to deal with. Latakia, a regime stronghold neighboring Idlib, is now under the threat of a possible Jaish al-Fatah attack, and the Islamic State has successfully seized Palmyra. The Southern front, meanwhile, has long proven to be challenging, and there is no less danger for Dara’a and Quneitra to fall into militant hands.

The question that naturally arises at this point is whether this proto-partition signals the early stage of an irreversible de facto partition. Answering in the affirmative ignores a number of important observations that indicate an indefinite prolongation of the conflict, as opposed to either a comprehensive peace settlement or a de facto partition. By extension, a gloomy forecast of events is expected, with gruesome tragedies and loss of life continuing to make their mark on the Syrian drama—unless, of course, the actors opt for peace or partition. Neither, however, seems likely.

After securing Idlib, Jaish al-Fatah will likely turn toward Latakia and Homs

After securing Idlib, Jaish al-Fatah will likely turn toward Latakia and Homs—Photo: Reuters/Khalil Ashawi

The start of a third round of peace talks has been downplayed in the media, and rightly so. This is because the talks, which are as complicated as the conflict itself, will not achieve anything remotely close to a comprehensive peace deal. The peace plan suffers from two basic limitations. Firstly, neither side is ready to accept the most basic demand of the other, namely that Bashar stays or leaves. This alone makes it impossible for the peace process to bring about a unified Syria based on a form of consociational democracy. Secondly, the two major opposition forces controlling the largest chunks of land—the IS and Jaish al-Fatah—are not, and cannot be, invited to participate. This poses the awkward question of who exactly the regime will negotiate with. The moderate opposition is virtually dead, and any serious comprehensive agreement would thus have to include, at the least, local takfiri groups like Jaish al-Fatah. But since no one wants to talk to the takfiris, and since the takfiris, by definition, don’t want to talk to anyone else, a comprehensive peace agreement is virtually impossible. And so the second possible outcome of the peace process, namely a de jure partition of Syria recognized under international law, will not be realized either.

Jaish al-Fatah fighters

Jaish al-Fatah fighters

Well, then, what about de facto partition, i.e. one not recognized under international law but that forms naturally on the ground? It is a much more plausible scenario than peace or de jure partition, and one can point out that it has already begun. A good example of this form of partition is the case of Cyprus, where the southern portion of the Island is under the administration of the Republic of Cyprus, and the northern part under that of the self-declared Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. Under international law, the Republic of Cyprus has de jure authority over the island’s entirety, though, in reality, it has had no actual authority over the north since 1974. Perhaps we should expect a similar kind of partition for Syria in the near future, albeit with more divisions than just two. But this would depend on the assumption that the Syrian regime and its allies, as well as their opponents, both opt (or become unable) to continue carrying out military campaigns on the various fronts. Since this is unlikely to be the case, de facto partition would also appear an improbable outcome.

The military and human losses of the Syrian army do not signal an end to its fighting capacity. Hezbollah, the regime’s invaluable partner, is the key factor in determining whether the regime still has a fighting chance. As argued previously, a successful campaign in Qalamoun will allow Hezbollah to deploy to other fronts and create the conditions for promising assaults. Indeed, Hezbollah has so far succeeded in Qalamoun, and has shown once again that it has the resources and capabilities to secure a quick and strategic victory. This edge will surely be taken to other fronts where potential similar victories in Idlib or elsewhere would not be surprising. As for Hezbollah’s own losses in Syria, these should not be exaggerated. It should be noted, firstly, that Hezbollah’s loss of around 1,000 soldiers is an expense it expects to incur in any serious confrontation with Israel. It has thus likely shaped its strategy and planning accordingly. Secondly, a recent report suggested that the organization is in fact growing, and that in spite of heavy deployment to multiple fronts, its important units in southern Lebanon remain unfazed.

Iran will spare no effort in continuing to bolster the Syrian regime

Iran will spare no effort in continuing to bolster the Syrian regime

Moreover, Iran’s relentless policy of confronting takfiri militants ensures that the regime will go beyond a defensive strategy that aims to secure the western stretch of the country, from Latakia down to Quneitra. In fact, Hezbollah members are said to have already deployed to Idlib province as part of early efforts to launch an offensive. If the regime is able to reverse the tide of losses, with Qalamoun as its starting-point, the next major battles will likely take place in Idlib and perhaps the Homs countryside. The ideological nature of the largely takfiri-Shiite war currently engulfing the Middle East should not be downplayed. As long as sectarian identity plays a role in fueling the conflict, neither side will be willing to accept even minimal defeat.

Turkish and Saudi policies have converged in supporting Jaish al-Fatah

Turkish and Saudi policies have converged in supporting Jaish al-Fatah

The Syrian drama will continue indefinitely. A unified or de jure-partitioned Syria, brokered by the international community, are not feasible outcomes, yet with continuously shifting battle lines, neither is de facto partition. Instead, what we have now is what I would call a proto-partition—a loose partition based on moving lines that are susceptible to significant alterations. That said, two important developments should be closely followed, as they may prove vital for shifting alliances as well as prospects for a partial settlement. The more important of these is the unification of Turkish, Qatari and Saudi policies in Syria, a crucial outcome of which was the formation of Jaish al-Fatah. This unified approach is centered on offering support for local, as opposed to global, takfiri groups operating in Syria. Since the bulk of Jaish al-Fatah members are interested in jihad within Syria, with little appetite for global jihad, it may be that the Turkish-Saudi-Qatari policy aims to prop up the legitimacy of these groups in the eyes of the West. Secondly, the possibility of Jabhat al-Nusra splitting off from the general command of al-Qaeda may be part of this localist strategy. Its ultimate goal may be to present the localist jihadists as potential partners for peace once all other options are exhausted. But it should be noted that the United States remains intent on undermining takfiri groups of all shapes and forms, and this policy will likely persist even amidst efforts of highlighting the localist agenda of the Jaish al-Fatah coalition.

In a sense, then, the U.S. shares certain affinities with both the Turkish-Saudi-Qatari position and the Iranian position in this conflict. With which side will it ultimately come to perceive its interests as more compatible? That remains to be seen.

Comments (88)

Ghufran said:

Trying to sugar coat the fall of Tadmur will not work, Tadmur loss is bigger than the loss of Idleb and is not only a threat to Syria as a whole but also to Iraq and Jordan.
Until we see a serious campaign to degrade isis, this terrorist organization will attack central Syria and probably Jordan.
When Syrians refuse to stop killing each other, foreign jihadists will take over and all Syrians from all sides will be slaves.

May 24th, 2015, 10:48 pm


Syrian said:

This post sounds like a speech of Nislira the head of the terrorist Hizboola,not once the word sunni was mentioned but the word Takfiri instead, as if everyone fighting Iran in Syria is a takfiri .he even borrowed his exact words when he said “The more important of these is the unification of Turkish, Qatari and Saudi policies in Syria”
We say in Arabic ,barking dogs will not stop the moving caravan.

May 24th, 2015, 11:14 pm


Syrian said:

This war will not stop until Iran and its dog Hizboola is out of Syria. This fight is not between Alawite and Sunnis, it is between Iran and the Syrian people, Alawite and Hizboola are only Iran’s foot soldiers, the population will only get more radicalized the longer this war take.
Iran is the biggest enemy,because not even Israel wants to occupy Syria.

May 24th, 2015, 11:49 pm


ALAN said:

The revelations contradict the official line of Western governments on their policies in Syria, and raise disturbing questions about secret Western support for violent extremists abroad, while using the burgeoning threat of terror to justify excessive mass surveillance and crackdowns on civil liberties at home.

Pentagon report predicted West’s support for Islamist rebels would create ISIS
Anti-ISIS coalition knowingly sponsored violent extremists to ‘isolate’ Assad, rollback ‘Shia expansion’

/This fight is between Iran and the Syrian people/
NO, NEVER, this is a Pre-planned PROXY, hybrid, dirty, low intensity, long-term war with PENTAGON trade mark and GCC,Israel,Turkey participation for “regime change” in Damascus and also for partition of the ME.

May 25th, 2015, 12:42 am


ALAN said:

I would like to remind the author of the article above, that the fascist German troops in the Second World War, was on the outskirts of Moscow and the war evolved into that Hitler committed suicide
What you would have do in the article above is not invisible to the opponents (extracts program), and the lesson will be at the ends. Happy day.

May 25th, 2015, 1:17 am


El Chino said:

Good article. A scholarly treatment pointing to what the brightest among us have already concluded: Syria is no longer a country.

The fact is, it never was a country. The Romans, Arabs, Turks and French all ruled it as a province or a protectorate. For a few decades after World War II, it tried to be a country. But Hafez al-Assad made certain that would be a failed experiment.

So once again, someone from the outside will have to come in and sort things out.

May 25th, 2015, 1:31 am


Juergen said:

24 May
Area around Tadmor prison

May 25th, 2015, 2:27 am


Badr said:

“A scholarly treatment pointing to what the brightest among us have already concluded . . .”

What a display of modesty!

May 25th, 2015, 3:11 am


Juergen said:

Dr. Stephennie Mulder talks zo RT about the connection between the people on the ground and the cultural history

May 25th, 2015, 3:59 am


Hopeful said:

# El Chino – from previous post

“Poor dumb bastard”!

This, in a nutshell, summarizes my feeling for Assad. Thank you for being so eloquent!

Poor – he inherited a mess from his father – a country/society sitting on a fault line ready to explode any moment. I, for one, used to feel sorry for him.

Dumb – he is an ignorant who believes he knows it all – the most dangerous kind. Living in isolation in London for two years does not make one “worldly” – but it does make people around you make you believe that you are “worldly”.

Bastard – he led Syria into the mess it is in today. Whatever his motives were, the vast majority of people in Syria and around the world are angry with him. History will not be merciful.

May 25th, 2015, 4:26 am


Altair said:

That is an example of an informative video, that I have become accustomed to seeing you post.

May 25th, 2015, 4:45 am


Altair said:


Thank you also for reading and responding to my post.

But I still didn’t see the evidence you are talking about. Sectarianism is certainly one of the biggest problems of the Middle East, but to say that Iran is the one promoting it unjustly puts the blame on one player.

Iran challenged the Sunni Arab monarchies and questioned their legitimacy in its opposition to monarchy in general. I believe this is why the Saudis are so opposed to Iran. They responded with anti-Shi’ite propaganda, denouncing them as Rafidis, supported an Iraqi invasion of Iran, then turned on the Iraqis when that war was over.

In turn, the destruction of Iraq has a lot to do with the rise of the Unislamic State, who closely follow Wahhabi doctrine.

I am not defending Iranian policy, as it failed to show Syrians any mercy in supporting what essentially became a “republican monarchy” in Syria. But as I understood it, they checked out the opposition in Syria and felt they had no choice than to stick with the devil they know, Asad, or lose Syria as a key ally.

But Saudi policy has been far more malicious and harmful. However, they are little different than Asad in wanting family rule over their country. Remember the slogan “Al-Asad ila al-abad”? The Saudis are even worse, they just don’t have a good rhyme (and they quite immodestly named the country after themselves).

The Alawis in turn are cornered into supporting Asad because his father made sure there was no alternative. The IS and JN extremists now leading the fight also make sure that the Alawis have no doubts, as they threaten them with total extermination.

At the same time, one of the main pro-regime slogans were: “Asad, or we’ll burn the county”. I don’t know if that one is still around, but it seems to be a policy too. Stay in power, whatever the cost.

It’s a sad and grave situation. If a negotiated settlement is not reached, we will just see the complete and utter destruction of Syria, in a fashion even worse than Iraq.

I do believe many outsiders welcome that outcome, especially Israel’s supporters, just as they pushed the war wagon against Iraq.

What conspiracy are you talking about?

May 25th, 2015, 5:08 am


ALAN said:

/So once again, someone from the outside will have to come in and sort things out/.

Your wish comes so late at least for three years.
Need to interact with the events timely.
Let it be known, that the involvement of any military adventure against the Syrian entity would be a fatal mistake, and turn to hell on the aggressor. Has not changed anything with the Chinese – Russian VETO , repeated several times it still the essence.

May 25th, 2015, 5:14 am


Jasmine said:

The fall of Palmyra has brought Iraq and Syria much closer,their enemy is going to be squashed with the help of Iran soon,and USA should help if it is serious about fighting ISIS,or may be not,the idea is to prolong the existence of the fanaticism in the ME to ensure full control on its resources and enrich the arm industry for years to come,and try to weaken the resistance in the south of Lebanon,and what is the best way to achieve that other than lighting the sectarian torch and keeping it inflamed by manipulating the poor and ignorant of the ME,and SA is not immune to this scenario,it has started already by bombing their Shia mosque.
Saudi is a new synonym to idiot,and it should be added to Oxford dictionary.

May 25th, 2015, 5:33 am


Poul said:


I agree that King Abdullah could be next. And after Jordan then IS will look to Mecca and Medina as the crown jewels of the Caliphate.

But first they have to win in Syria.

May 25th, 2015, 7:56 am


Ziad Abu Fadel said:

I knew this essay would ruffle my feathers when I clicked on the only proof adduced by this author to buttress the claim that desertion and death accounts for almost 50% of the Syrian Arab Army’s losses. The source quoted by this illustrious bag of gas is “Business Insider”. It’s an article written by one Jeremy Bender, a Zionist katsa, writing for a degenerate periodical. Surely, scholars can find better sources than that to try proving an irresponsible premise. Our army has lost many brave men and women, to be sure – but, why doesn’t the author also mention the horrendous losses to the rat terrorist savages? How many have they lost in this war of attrition. Our relatives are many in Syria and we all serve in the army to protect the future of Syria. All of them tell me the exact opposite of what this Soghom character has written. We cannot absorb the number of volunteers demanding induction into either the army or the defense militias. And by the way, what about Russia? Has Soghom even thought about the ships converging today off the coast of Tartous? Or would that expose his stupid essay to charges of bigotry, intellectual dishonesty and sloppiness?

May 25th, 2015, 8:21 am


Syrialover said:

SYRIAN your comments in #2 and #3 shine through. A blaze of truth, nothing beats it.

May 25th, 2015, 8:49 am


Syrialover said:

ALTAIR #12, you write eloquently but from an angle that makes no sense to me.

– I have never before heard the suggestion that Iran weighed up which side to back in Syria.

– Iran was poised to rush in the moment weak Bashar flung open the door for them. He’s been tight with Hezbollah’s Nasrullah for almost 10 years, if you remember the proud propaganda and posters. A marriage that could only happen with Iran’s approval. I have read that Hafez Assad would die many further deaths if he saw how easily his traitor son delivered Syria into Iran’s hands.

– “Assad or we’ll burn the country” has been getting a big run in Palmyra, where regime forces cut civilians’ power and water before they fled, and are still furiously bombing schools, stores and homes etc there in a way they never bombed the ISIS convoys as they advanced across open roads.

– And thinking about Saudi Arabia and Syria at the moment, like thinking about Israel, is a waste of headspace when there is far more to focus on.

– This stuff about the west wanting Syria destroyed is from the cheapest box of conspiracy theories. Why? On the contrary, they want the Assad regime gone, which is a wish for Syria to have the chance to be reborn and thrive, free from a brutal and corrupt dictatorship.

– The destruction if Iraq at the moment has everything to do with the interference in its politics by Iran, which was sectarian-driven and deliberately reheated embers burning among Iraqi Shia from the Saddam era. ISIS is a side-effect.

May 25th, 2015, 9:01 am


Altair said:

#18. “This stuff about the west wanting Syria destroyed is from the cheapest box of conspiracy theories.”

Really? Well, the original Syria, the one declared on March 8, 1920, that included Palestine, Lebanon and Jordan, has already been destroyed to a certain extent by the British and French who partitioned it and denied it independence, and then assisted Palestine’s fall and destruction to the Zionists.

Read “Syria, a history of the last hundred years” by John McHugo for some background history to this terrible tragedy occurring now.

Is it a leap of faith to imagine outsiders are hoping for a repeat partition into smaller units? You can read it all about it in articles by neo-con think tank “experts” (one of which was posted on this board very early in the conflict suggesting a 5-way split of present-day Syria!).

And thinking about Israel or Saudi Arabia is “a waste of head space”, yet blaming Iran all the time isn’t? Do you not see the irony in your logic?

So Syria is not a geopolitical battleground, as it has been for millennia?

May 25th, 2015, 9:49 am


Observer said:

The regime has 90 000 soldiers in the Republican Guard units meant to protect Damascus and the roads and cities of the center and coast of Syria.
They have not been used.

It still has fighting in it; and again the rebels may make the same mistake the regime did by attacking civilians driving them into relentless defense of their towns and families.

HA claims it is a fight for existence and it is as the strategic depth of the party will be lost if the regime and the supply lines are lost. HA without Iranian support is a card that Iran cannot play with any longer. Iran will sacrifice every Syrian and Lebanese to keep a presence in Lebanon as deterrent to Israeli nuclear attack.

Now for the de facto or the de jure partition of Syria.

The regime needs a modicum of legitimacy to continue to receive support from Russia and Iran and others around the world. Without Damascus it has no chance. It will try to keep Damascus at all costs. The rebels do not care one bit about being recognized by anybody and can operate the oil and gas and phosphate fields to their advantage. As a matter of fact IS sold oil to the regime to get cash and the dealings under the table will continue.

The question is whether the coast can be held. Damascus will fall if the coast falls and Ariha is 50 km from Latakia. If Aleppo falls a separate regime will be installed and air cover will be given by KSA Turkey Qatar to the new nascent entity. Pressure will be put on the Army of Fateh to accept a fig leaf of moderates that will be brought from outside to run the areas. Then a legitimacy will be given to fighting IS and pressure will mount on the supporters of the regime to effect a change of leadership and bring the protagonists to the table to keep the institutions of governance intact. The question is whether a dismantling of the security house of cards will happen or not. If it happens HA will lose its effective strategic depth as these entities will no longer be able to continue its supply. Syria is not important to Iran as HA is. There are no Shia of any great numbers in Syria and the Alewites are not highly respected or regarded by the Iranians and some of them do not even consider them Shias in the first place.

The call by HA leader for a Popular Militia is clearly an indication that the army is not capable of doing its work. There are not enough troops and not enough resources to defend everywhere.

HA is capable of entering the battle the question is whether its base in Lebanon will continue to buy into this Shia world fight everywhere and continued talk of Bahrain and Yemen and Iraq and Syria.

During the civil war in Lebanon, the outside powers fought each other in Lebanon; if HA continues this line it will invite the same old regional rivalries to happen in Lebanon and then it will lose most of the Lebanese. The trick is to carry the regional fight in Syria without allowing for it to come back to Lebanon. The fact that HA leader threatened to carry the attack into the town of Arsal if the army does not do its duty indicates that he may not be able to keep the conflict from spilling back into Lebanon.

If IS infiltrates into Lebanon he would be exactly like GWB who said we fight them there so they do not fight us here. In reality the fighting has now spread to more than 80 countries where Islamist insurgents and turmoil is happening including the Muslims of Europe.

I have called long time ago of partition of the ME into regions united by a common Federal structure and open commerce and borders to be done peacefully. I was accused of treason and yet it is clear that the Syrian identity is dead and will be reborn into a different one in the years to come.

I just listened to Manar, Syrian TV, Mayadeen, Alam, RT arabic. There is shrill calls for a “political solution” in Bahrain and Yemen and even Syria ( Lavrov ).

It is too little too late. Watch Libya with a mirror and you will see Syria

May 25th, 2015, 9:58 am


Altair said:

A quote from John McHugo’s book (Syria, a history of the last hundred years):

“For Syria, the Cold War has never ended. It has now replaced Lebanon as a theatre for proxy wars. America cannot escape the charge of disinterest, of failure to rein in its proxies and of letting them, too, use the conflict for their own purposes while Syrian blood is shed and Syrian children starve.”

The author is not any easier on Russia, by the way, which he says has indefatigably supported the regime and will do so to the last drop of Syrian blood.

May 25th, 2015, 10:11 am


Tara said:


I think what you can’t see is the fact that in order for iran to maintain HA card, it must defend the regime and in order to defend the regime, it has used sectarianism to ensure support from withing and among the Iraqi and Lebanese Shiaa. Evidence: the whole thing about protecting Zainab tomb in Damascus… Since when Zainab tomb was ever threatened ? Sectarianisn provide recruits and Iran was so successful in finding those recruits to protect Zainab from a danger that did not exist.

May 25th, 2015, 10:48 am


Juergen said:

360 degree virtual tour of Palmyra

May 25th, 2015, 11:42 am


Altair said:


Considering what happened at Al-Askari mosque in Samarra, Iraq in 2006, I wouldn’t agree that no danger exists.

Whoever was behind that bombing set off the Shi’ite-Sunni civil war in Iraq, a goal that was openly espoused by Abu Mus’ab al-Zarqawi, the leader of the forerunner to ISIS.

So again, why focus the blame only on Iran? They may take advantage of these cleavages, but what would you expect with all these threats coming from the salafis or Wahhabis who think that anyone who disagrees with them is an apostate or a Taghut, a Rafidi or a devil?

May 25th, 2015, 11:51 am


ALAN said:

Did ALL SC-tors notice that Kerry went to Sochi to meet the Russian leaders? there is one in a dominant strategic position, who controls the course of events and the results in his hand with the clear known conclusions.
Without doubt Iran and Syria have a mutual defense treaty with Russia.

May 25th, 2015, 12:27 pm


Tara said:


I never denied the the presence of Takfiris and their ideology. The difference is that while you accept the presence of Wahhabi sectarianism, you are NOT accepting the Shiaa sectarianism and therefore asking for evidence. Yet, their was a contradiction in your last post, as you sorta admit it is there but stated that it is present for a real reason.

More evidence- the Mahdi of Harasta! Did you hear of him?. Did you hear the song? Did you see the self flagging brainwashing cult -type movements and proceedings .

I am sure you are not expecting the turban-in-chief the great mullah waging a religious war as an evidence. He is much smarter than that, however, shorter that that the evidence are rampant.

May 25th, 2015, 12:38 pm


Syrian said:

Zoo is in da house.

May 25th, 2015, 12:47 pm


Observer said:

Tara it so happens I did receive this document today and will share it with you. Nicely referenced and showing a clear cut silent programmed destruction and ethnic cleansing of the population in Syria by the Iranian regime and its proxies: so two sides of the same coin or mirror images of each other.

It so happens that the religious war has started with the Islamic revolution insisting on exporting its brand of revolution.

May 25th, 2015, 1:01 pm


Tara said:


Cc: Dr. Landis
Cc: Matt

And you will never ever would find SC publish such reports in its fair and balanced approach to the Syrian genocide. Has there ever any in-depth analysis of Iran involvement in the Syrian genocide published by SC?

May 25th, 2015, 1:21 pm


ALAN said:

@15 – POUL

The evolution of United States interests
In any event, Washington has changed its strategy. This is what the nomination of Colonel James H. Baker as the new Pentagon strategist demonstrates – the page of Chaos Strategy has been turned. The United States have reverted to a more classical imperial concept, founded on stable states – and in order sign their agreement with Iran, they now have to evacuate the Islamic Emirate before the 30th June.
The extravagant press campaign about the fall of Palmyra may be the preparation of public opinion for a true military engagement against Daesh. That would be the meaning of the meeting of the 22 members of the Coalition (and 2 international organisations) in Paris, set for the 2nd June. Until then, the Pentagon will have to decide whether they are going to destroy the Islamic Emirate or displace them and use them for other tasks. Three possible destinations may be under consideration – move the jihadists to Libya, to black Africa, or to the Caucasus.
If they do not act, Iran will not sign, and the war will grind on to its paroxysm, because the fall of Palmyra under the action of the jihadists – fabricated by the West – will have the same consequences as the seizure of the region by Aurelin’s legions. Already, the survival of the « Axis of Resistance » is threatened – meaning the coalition Iran-Iraq-Syria-Lebanon-Palestine. Hezbollah is considering a decree for general mobilisation.

May 25th, 2015, 1:23 pm


ghufran said:

Nusra and ISIS(and their step children)should not be allowed to win in Syria regardless of the cost and the political consequences, if Iran and Russia do not act those savages will knock at Iran’s and Russia’s doors after they attack Syria’s neighbors. This is similar to Europe in the 1930s when the Nazis (who won elections in Germany and had a substantial amount of public support)invaded Germany’s neighbors and sent troops as far as Africa. ISIS terrorists and their cousins (Nusra, Jaish alfateh, Ahrar al-sham,etc) are the Islamist version on Nazism and those of you who support them publically or secretly have no right to talk about human rights, freedom and democracy.
NATO will simply continue to do business as usual, a lot of noise but little action, and Turkey will wait until the time is right to annex another part of Syria.
Nobody knows how and when ISIS will be defeated but history will remember who helped ISIS thrive and survive and who did something to end this sick phenomenon.
People in pain who also struggle with guilt are in a desperate need for an outlet to make them feel better, this usually requires finding an enemy that they can use to explain their own hatred and shortcomings, most Syrians have found that enemy and are unable to see beyond their nose, for that to change war needs to stop and a new government should be created, then most Syrians will accept the fact that foreign jihadists are a real and permanent enemy and must be defeated.

May 25th, 2015, 1:37 pm


Observer said:

Ghufran wake up. The society and the man/woman in Syria are fractured beyond repair. There is no possibility of reconciliation at this time.

The regime needs to be defeated and the fanatics need to be defeated. Only the Alewitie will defeat the regime and cleanse themselves from its tentacles and only the Sunnis will defeat the Jihadists.

May 25th, 2015, 1:48 pm


El Chino said:

“…The regime has 90,000 soldiers in the Republican Guard units…They have not been used…”

OBSERVER, wake up boy! I don’t know where you get your numbers (did you actually go to the army base and count heads?) but let’s say you’re right. Let’s say there are 90,000 soldiers Pencilneck hasn’t deployed yet.

If he did deploy them, they’d desert like all the others. The hard fact is, the Syrian military has lost half its strength to desertion. Don’t blame the soldiers. They’re not stupid. They can see the writing on the wall…

May 25th, 2015, 3:52 pm


Syrialover said:


Hey, I think you could be right! Another ‘ZOO’?.

The soft feathers and soap bubbles around the word “Iran” and stubborn distractionist blaming of everyone else but the mullahs. It feels familiar.

(For anyone new here, ZOO was an inexhaustible 24-hour poster who stubbornly defended and promoted Iran to the max. He (or they collectively) were kicked off SyriaComment a year or so ago for using multiple i.ds)

May 25th, 2015, 4:43 pm


Altair said:


The Wahhabi movements state their aims quite openly. For ISIS, just look at their magazine.

If the Iranians and Hizbullah are just being much more sneaky about their sectarianism, I just don’t know it. I do know that Hizbullah in Lebanon is much more tolerant of other sects and doesn’t impose its ideology at gunpoint or knifepoint.

If that report that Observer posted (#28) can be corroborated, then it would be clear that there is an anti-Sunni movement going on and it is genocidal. Would Prof. Landis or others on this blog care to comment on the reliability of that report?

I never heard of Naame Shaam until now, so I honestly don’t know of their reliability. I do take almost everything I hear out of Syria or the region with a grain of salt, and initially I didn’t believe that ISIS could be so bad until they started bragging of their exploits with videos of chopping journalists heads off, and destroying cultural heritage sites in Nimrud and Hatra (none of which are justifiable in Islamic law, by the way).

Blame can be spread around, but no one, whether Iran or Saudi Arabia, Russia or the US, or local Syrian actors, seems to be standing on principle. The only ones who did initially were those peacefully demonstrating or protesting for freedom (like Razan Zeitouneh who was likely killed by salafis). They are long gone, either in regime prisons, killed by one side or the other or refugees.

The only possible reasonable course is to end the madness, and re-constitute civil rule. I don’t know if this can be done anytime soon, but at least one can advocate it, not advocate wiping out the other side or finding a new and improved partition plan.

May 25th, 2015, 4:43 pm


Syrialover said:

Perspective time. Remembering Assad’s routine inhuman brutality against the defenceless well before ISIS, and how Syria got to be torn apart:

# It’s the 3rd anniversary of the Houla massacre. Assad forces slit the throats of 100 Syrian civilians, including 50 children.

May 25th, 2015, 4:58 pm


Syrialover said:

And here’s a reminder of why the Assad regime and the current “leadership” of Iran are such a happy marriage (reposting one of my comments from November 2013):

The rotten, corrupt, thieving core of the “holy” Iranian regime.

Important groundbreaking reports.

Read all about it.

COMMENT: They see taking over Syria as an easy extension of what they did in Iran.

May 25th, 2015, 5:23 pm


Syrialover said:

OBSERVER #28 thank you for posting that brilliant report.

It deserves stronger promotion:

SILENT SECTARIAN CLEANSING – The Iranian Role in Mass Demolitions and Population Transfers in Syria (May 2015)

Incidentally, the same body published another high quality report last year:

THE IRANIAN REGIME IN THE SYRIAN WAR: A REPORT – From an ally in the region to an occupying force (November 2014)

May 25th, 2015, 5:39 pm


Observer said:

El Chino my numbers come from rumors not clear cut real numbers
The fourth division has not been used.
In the meantime here watch this

May 25th, 2015, 5:42 pm


Ghufran said:

I agree with a lot of what observer has said except that I see Isis and Nusra as a much bigger threat than the regime. The Assads and his top chiefs have a short life even if they survive this current crisis but the ideology and reach of Takfiri Islamist groups can last for decades and spread all over the region and beyond, most people minus some Thawrajiyeh agree. I also think healing can start when the war stops and a new inclusive government emerges in Syria, some sort of a semi partition is talked about now but many questions remain unanswered ( read the original article). Partition is still a possibility if the war continues but a lot of Syrians, may be most Syrians, do not want it and it is an idea easier said than done especially in areas that are still under partial or total regime control where there is no clear ethnic or sectarian majority. Dividing Syria along sectarian lines means a massive refugee crisis that nobody can tolerate.
Turkey want parts of Syria for a number of reasons one of them is to send back most of the Syria refuges but that option is not possible with Lebanon and Jordan. We are talking about more than 6 million additional refugees from different sects here, I do not see that happening. Talk is cheap but implementation is very expensive and unattainable.

May 25th, 2015, 5:49 pm


Syrialover said:

Those reports by the group Naame Shaame above contain sound research and documentation and first-rate analysis. They are also extremely well-written.

The group producing them are filling a critical vacuum of a lack of concrete and reliable information about Iran’s role in Syria and in Lebanon.

It can only be intellectual laziness/bias for the mainstream media and sites like SyriaComment not to be seizing on these reports and reporting on the group’s work and findings.

Their web site:

May 25th, 2015, 5:57 pm


Observer said:

According to the Daily Star Fabrice Balanche writes the Iran told the regime to withdraw from areas it cannot defend and concentrate on the towns of Homs Hama, the coast and Damascus in an effort to have a plan B of de facto partition.

There is risk as it may signal moral collapse and more desertions. Estimated number of total troops it holds is 138-168000 if you count the militias as well. If it loses one coast town or Homs as IS is now moving towards it its plan will collapse.

This is where HA will be coming to the rescue.
That is the repeated talks and speeches of its leader meant to convey to its troops in the face of further retreats and collapse. This is the result of the failure of the two offensives in the north and south of the country with the IRGC helping but failing to secure anything.

Again absent a political framework there is no chance of this plan to congeal and solidify. It is a gamble


May 25th, 2015, 6:02 pm



Iran, by believing they have a right to control the government of Syria, own its lands and massacre the syrians for being arabs sunnis or christians, is the main responsable for the death of Syria and Lebanon.

Assad criminals and Hezb Zbele illuminati mercenaries are their angels of death.

Iran must be destroyed sooner or later. There is no way out. The cancer of sectarian politics and God inspiration in Iran has reached levels out of control. Fake religious men of Iran must diseappear before more hundreds of thousands of human beings get killed to the glory of Shiit-Istan.

May 25th, 2015, 6:09 pm


Ghufran said:

Notice how isis advanced thru the desert towards Tadmur under the accepting eyes of most players including the U.S., Alloush army of thugs and even Iran.
The jewel is not Tadmur it is Damascus, and there might be an unwritten agreement that defending Idleb, aljazeera and Tadmur is a lost cause at least for the time being, I do not buy the reports that the syrian army is massing troops for a counter attack in those areas despite the advances made in Dayr Azzour and Hasaka, I am indeed surprised that there is no pullout from those areas but I think that is coming at a certain point.
I told you from September of 2011 that the winners in this war will not include syria or even those who rose to defend ” sunnis”, now let us see how enjoyable a Sunni state ruled by the thugs of Nusra and isis will be.
If there was a revolution, that lasted less than 6 months, after that the war became a fight over Syria and not a fight for Syria. Syrians are mostly victims with the exceptions of those who benefited from the war and became war lords after spending most of their adult life in thuggery and prisons.
أمه فاشله من الالف للياء
Help the needy and send money to those who want to live instead of copying and pasting garbage analysis.

May 25th, 2015, 7:22 pm


Poul said:


I just can’t see any Sunni group to eliminate the salafist & Muslim Brotherhood groups. If the Syrian government falls there are only religious extremists left.

This just declassified Defense Intelligence Agency report from 2012 is rather clear about US intelligence on the matter and their knowledge of who the Syrian rebels are. Also they predicted the possibility of a Salafist principality in Hasaka & Deir ez Zour and a resurgence of Al Qaeda in Iraq.

How right they were. And still president Obama supported the rebels.

B: The salafist, the muslim brotherhood, and AQI are the major forces driving the insurgency in Syria

May 25th, 2015, 8:27 pm


El Chino said:

Ghuffie’s comment above: “…ISIS advanced thru the desert towards Tadmur under the accepting eyes of most players including the U.S…”

Remember two years ago when half the people on this messageboard insisted that al Qaeda, Israel, the CIA, the Saudis and the EU were all in cahoots? No sane person outside certain parts of the Middle East (Syria, for example) would believe that. It makes no sense.

But if a person has been traumatized by the tyranny of the al-Assads or by Saddam Hussein for thirty or more years and has been spoonfed loads of Baathist bullshit, that person will see logic where a normal person won’t.

Case in point above. Ghuffie says the Americans LET Isis take Tadmur. He implies that the US and ISIS have some kind of an arrangement. Does anyone else believe that? If you do, blame the al-Assad dictatorship for twisting your thoughts into a pretzel…

May 25th, 2015, 9:02 pm


jamal said:


One God
One Syria
One President Alassad
One Place for terrorists – Grave
One Destination for traitors – Prison

May 25th, 2015, 9:11 pm


ghufran said:

I am glad my comments rattled some feathers because the truth needs to be told. US admin decided a long time ago that this is not their war and they will only intervene if they believe their friends are in danger, and as long as Israel, Kurdstan and GCC countries are largely intact the US is not likely to engage in a serious fight with ISIS except thru sporadic air bombing and supplying some, not all, ISIS enemies with weapons.
I still think that a lot of what I see on this blog especially from thawrajiyyeh is not worth responding to, my main concern is doing what I can to help the victims of this war, I will let others do the blabbing !!

May 25th, 2015, 10:24 pm


Observer said:

Here is Juan Cole’s comment about the freedom of information request from judicial watch regarding the DIA report on the groups in Syria.

Today for example, the rebels took over Sahm Al Jolan from IS and liberated fully from them. The rebels are fighting against both the regime and IS.

Also as the fight for Qalamoun started IS attacked the rebels at the same time as HA did. I do not think they were collaborating just taking advantage of the situation.

Some have advocated on this blog some time ago that the rebels join the regime in fighting IS. I think the same can be said today to have the regime get rid of the current leadership and join the rebels in defeating IS.

The problem though is that IS suits the regime very much and so far there has not been any serious fight between the regime and IS; skirmishes yes but no real fight and why not it serves the regime’s purpose to have IS around.

Here is the post

Charity remains anonymous by the way.

May 25th, 2015, 10:56 pm


Alan said:

Must read!
“Syrian commandos, coming off a series of successful raids against Al Nusra commands, killing and capturing Saudi, Turkish and Qatari officers in the process, had received unimaginably valuable intelligence from a prisoner taken in a raid…… They were told that an American retired general, US Army, had been employed by a UK based CIA contractor as operational commander for the Islamic State military.” ….. That is the true face an nature of proxy masters!!!

May 26th, 2015, 10:54 am


Hopeful said:

#51 Alan

You forgot France and Israel! How about they were captured with French weapons carrying Israeli money?

May 26th, 2015, 1:08 pm





You need one God, but you cannot prove the existence of one or multiple Gods. You have not more scientific evidence about it than other. You are an ignorant.


There is not one Syria anymore, Assad today accepted the partition of Syria


The self imposed dictator president of 30 % of a country destroyed by himself.


I guess the grave is the place for all of us at the end


It happens in countries where there is a rule of law. In Assad Syria´s the righteous go to jail and the brave to the grave. The criminals are in the Mouhkabaraat HQ.

Do you know what? FY

May 26th, 2015, 1:45 pm


Juergen said:

Daesh in Palmyra

May 26th, 2015, 2:00 pm


Juergen said:

Islamic State revels in Palmyra victory amidst looted tons of weapons, ammunition

At the Palmyra airport, IS captured at least one hanger and store room containing tens of small-arms ammunition crates, and what appear to be at least twelve Kh-28/AS-9 ‘Kyle’ air-to-surface missiles. Photos of the ammunition and weapons cache first appeared on Twitter on Tuesday.

May 26th, 2015, 2:15 pm


jamal said:


All what mentioned above actually makes sense.

May 26th, 2015, 3:39 pm


El Chino said:

More on the widely-held Syrian conspiracy theory that the CIA and ISIS are in cahoots:

General Qassim Soleimani, head of Iran’s elite Quds forces in Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, told Iranian newspaper Javan that the U.S. didn’t do a “damn thing” to stop the advance on Ramadi.

Well gosh, it must have been planned, right? Of course, Soleimani ignored the fact that Iran, Shi’ite Iraq’s sugar daddy, didn’t do a damn thing either…

May 26th, 2015, 4:37 pm


ALAN said:

15. POUL said:
/I agree that King Abdullah could be next. And after Jordan then IS will look to Mecca and Medina as the crown jewels of the Caliphate.
But first they have to win in Syria/.
Nothing prevents.
Why do they have to win in Syria to move forward on the other axes? That will be necessary, only in one case: to act in accordance to the sequence of Oded Yinon plan !!!

May 27th, 2015, 12:15 am


ALAN said:

Michael O’Hanlon, a signatory of the Brookings Institution’s “Which Path to Persia?” policy paper calling for terrorism and intentional provocations to overthrow the government of Iran, stated in a USA Today op-ed titled, “Michael O’Hanlon: American boots needed in Syria,” that:
In the short term, this strategy requires an acceleration of our train and equip program for Syrian opposition fighters — including perhaps a bit less puritanical approach in who we are willing to work with. Most Syrian moderates are tired of waiting for us, or already dead given our delays in helping them. So we may have to tolerate working with some questionable actors to get things started.

“Working with some questionable actors,” is O’Hanlon and US policymakers’ way of saying they intend to provide open material support to terrorists, including Al Qaeda, as they’ve been covertly doing all along, and as was warned against as early as 2007 by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh in his article, “The Redirection: Is the Administration’s new policy benefiting our enemies in the war on terrorism?” which explicitly stated (emphasis added):

To undermine Iran, which is predominantly Shiite, the Bush Administration has decided, in effect, to reconfigure its priorities in the Middle East. In Lebanon, the Administration has coöperated with Saudi Arabia’s government, which is Sunni, in clandestine operations that are intended to weaken Hezbollah, the Shiite organization that is backed by Iran. The U.S. has also taken part in clandestine operations aimed at Iran and its ally Syria. A by-product of these activities has been the bolstering of Sunni extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam and are hostile to America and sympathetic to Al Qaeda.
If the situation unravels there is the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist principality in eastern Syria (Hasaka and Der Zor), and this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime, which is considered t he strategic depth of the Shia Expansion (Iraq and Iran).
The vile conspiracy now openly unfolding in Syria, seeing to its destruction at the hands of terrorists the US is openly backing after claiming for over a decade to be “fighting” is a harbinger of the destruction that complacency and failure to resist will bring all other nations caught in the path of these special interests. Nations not immediately caught in the grip of chaos created by this conspiracy must use their time wisely, preparing the appropriate measures to resist. They must study carefully what has been done in Syria and learn from both the mistakes and accomplishments of the Syrian government and armed forces in fighting back.

More important than backing other powers to serve as a counterweight to the West’s global aggression, is to identify the consumerist foundation these special interests are built upon and perpetually depend on. By creating alternatives nationally and locally, the swamps from which this global pestilence is emitted can be slowly but permanently drained.

May 27th, 2015, 12:51 am


El Chino said:

Alan, you need to stop reading journals written by stupid people. It makes you appear stupid by association. And what is worse, it won’t help you attract females…

May 27th, 2015, 1:10 am


Poul said:


Resources. You can only do so much. If you overextend, you get beaten. A classic mistake in military affairs.

Nazi-Germany is an example. Why did they not finish off Britain before attacking the Soviet-union?
A defeated Britain would have secured their Western and Southern border and insured full concentration on the Russians. And kept the USA on their side of the Atlantic.

May 27th, 2015, 1:36 am


Altair said:

I don’t see why just because Syria is not in one piece today, people write it off as some sort of permanent arrangement.

Some fools who think they know something insist Syria was artificial all along. Syria (including Palestine, Lebanon, Jordan) has been one unit for most of recorded history, most recently the 400 year rule under the Ottomans (1516-1918).

Germany was divided for 45 years (1945-1990). And it didn’t get united until 1870, being divided for most of its history. Yet when the time came, it united almost faster than anyone could have imagined. Why?

1. Education. Germans were brought up believing that Germany was arbitrarily divided and would unite one day.
2. Economic success. West Germany became a rich country after Germany was devastated, just like Syria can be if it can learn lessons from this great catastrophe.
3. The Great Powers allowed it to reunify. That is the big wild card today.

Of course, Germany didn’t have an existential threat like the one posed by the Zionists to the west and the “Islamists” to the east (if only they knew how much they had in common).

But eastern Germans of Silesia and Pomerania were almost 100% ethnically cleansed out of what became Polish territory, which was a huge chunk of territory. (The similarity ends there: unlike the Germans, the Palestinians of southern Syria did not launch a world war to bring the violent backlash against them. They ironically became indirect victims to Germany’s aggression. Nonetheless, the ethnic cleansing was similar).

Syria is no less artificial than any other country of the world, until Syrians themselves start believing in such artificiality.

It is short-sighted and defeatist to just accept the downfall of Syria today.

May 27th, 2015, 2:47 am


ALAN said:

62. PAUL
Our balancing side is an important necessity of this time period.

May 27th, 2015, 3:40 am


ghufran said:

There is no doubt that the US is picking and choosing in its “war” against ISIS. Kurds with US support liberated an area near Hasaka equal to 1/2 Lebanon’s size in less than 3 weeks, and now Kurdish fighters are knocking at ISIS doors in Raqqa. Compare that to the timid response to ISIS advances in the rest of Syria(including its attack on Tadmur). The US policy in the last 4 years (and before) was that it will only intervene if its citizens or its “real” friends are being threatened, that means mostly Israel but it also includes the GCC and the Kurds (who have warm relations with Israel). Syrians will discover, if they have not figured this out yet, that they are not important and that their “friends” have left them in the cold to fend for themselves after they spent years killing each others and destroying their country, this war should not have started and should have been stopped a long time ago, the blood of Syrians will stain the history of Islam, the region and the West for generations to come.
Syria is a also show case of how indifferent and/or immoral realpolitik is especially in The Middle East and a proof that hungry and unemployed angry men can not lead a revolution or advance the cause freedom and democracy, those men need to be fed and be offered jobs not weapons !!

May 27th, 2015, 9:42 am


ALAN said:

You make me repeat the same comment several times!
How Israel wants to restart the war in the Levant
by Thierry Meyssan
Far from admitting defeat, Benjamin Netanyahu is planning to sabotage the agreement between Washington and Teheran which is to be signed the 30th June 2015. In order to do so, he could restart the war in Syria. His idea is to continue the work already accomplished by the Islamic Emirate in Iraq, Syria, Libya and Yemen, by applying the Wright plan and creating an independent pseudo-Kurdistan straddling Iraq and Syria.

May 27th, 2015, 10:29 am


Altair said:

Couldn’t agree more.

Syrians have been played by many sides, maybe all sides. It’s just a geopolitical playground now.

May 27th, 2015, 10:57 am


El Chino said:

61 Saudi Arabia Finances Most of Israel’s Weapons Build-Up…

Alan Alan Alan. You are a disgrace to this message board. You need to walk outside and tell the first Jew you meet to bitchslap you…

May 27th, 2015, 2:55 pm


Ghufran said:

The orgasmic responses from some thawrajiyyeh to aljzaerra’s interview with Nusra terrorists chief Jolani were not only comic but also predictable. You can tell a lot about the direction of a ” revolution” by its leaders and the messages they send. It has to be depressing to see the original, yet insincere, slogans of democracy and freedom being hijacked by a terrorist group with support from GCC media and many people who were glad to carry a terrorist flag in a marsh to wipe out fellow citizens who are classified as Kuffar and god’s enemies.
The next time thawrajiyyeh try to apologize for Nusra ask them what type of a government and a society they want to replace existing regimes and see if they want their kids, especially girls, to live under Jolani’s rules !!
كوميديا ارهابيه سوداء و علم أشد سوادا

May 27th, 2015, 6:54 pm


ALAN said:

CC: The modorator
No need to personalize the subject. please commit to mutual respect, taking into account the conditions of participation!

May 28th, 2015, 12:42 am


Uzair8 said:

Welcome back to all the pro-freedom/justice long term absentees!

Good to see you back along with the sensible comments.

Too many to mention by name.

May 28th, 2015, 9:02 am


Uzair8 said:

Latest tweets from Shaykh Muhammad al-Yaqoubi:

– Al-Jazeera’s interview with Abu Muhammad Al-Golani is an attempt to polish his image. He confirmed his allegiance to Al-Qaeda. [14hrs ago]

– Al-Nusra” ideology does not belong to Syrian people who are Hanfis, Shafi’is, Ash’aris, & Sufis. [14h]

– there were rumours that Al-Nusra front was to defect from Al-Qaeda, Al-Golani confirmed in his interview his allegiance to Al-Qaeda. [14h]

– It looks like the Muslim Brotherhood and Al-Nusra are in alliance now. [14h]

– The so-called Islamic State will perish & vanish like deviators of the past; but Islam will always remain. [13h]

May 28th, 2015, 9:08 am


jamal said:

# 71. Uzair8 said:

“Welcome back to all the pro-freedom/justice long term absentees!”

Even Sufies are supporting and welcoming terrorists and their allies now. Last time I checked your tareeqa shiekh was still hiding in Morocao or somewhere in North Africa.

May 28th, 2015, 3:51 pm


jamal said:

# 70. ALAN

I agree this terrorists supporter (EL CHINO) should be banned along with the street girl.

May 28th, 2015, 3:53 pm


jamal said:

Th returners suddenly showed up after being eavesdropping quietly like snakes waiting in the dark till the right moment comes and booooom the head comes out.

We the real lovers and citizens of Syria will stomp, squash your heads and send you back to your dark holes and dark ages with IS.

May 28th, 2015, 4:02 pm


Uzair8 said:

A gentle reminder.


Messages containing any of the following will not be tolerated:


•Threats of death or violence;


May 28th, 2015, 5:21 pm


jamal said:

Noway what a child cry me a river, run to mommy.

May 28th, 2015, 6:18 pm


Ghufran said:

Idleb province is now almost totally controlled by Nusra and Islamist groups, next is the inevitable withdrawal from Dayr Azzour and an assault on Aleppo. If this happens you will see a protected zone in the north and a defacto partition of Syria.
The question is whether KSA and Turkey can convince Nusra to let the SNC politicians establish a government in the north. Another question is whether the Islamists will attack Latakia
and try to change borders in the south and threaten Damascus.
Isis is the wild card here after Nusra seems to be willing to play along with KSA and Turkey.
Jolani’s interview was the first chapter in a plan to polish Nusra’s image which will be followed by other moves including a request to remove Nusra from terrorim list.
أمه فاشله من الألف الى الياء

May 28th, 2015, 11:10 pm


El Chino said:

Good analysis, Ghuffie.

But I wouldn’t call ISIS a wild card. It’s more a question of who’s driving the bus up north. I’d bet my money on ISIS. If indeed the Syrian Army is on the verge of collapse all over, ISIS, with its superlative tactical instincts and its prime manpower resources, could move several battle groups there in a nanosecond and punch a fresh hole in poor Bashar’s poopchute.

ISIS has the skill, the power and what is most important, the imagination. The Middle East hasn’t seen anything like ISIS since the days of Tamerlane. The men driving ISIS have vision…everyone else is wearing bifocals.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not a fan of ISIS. I’m not an ISIS cheerleader. I’m just a guy who sees the writing on the wall.

Let’s hope Bashar has some nice beachfront property in Dubai. He and what’s-her-name will need it.

May 29th, 2015, 12:26 am


Juergen said:

Uzair, good you are back!

May 29th, 2015, 12:32 am


Juergen said:

I had a chance yesterday to meet Christoph Reuter, one of few western journalists who regularly visit Syria. He is a very humble man, and I wanted to share some of his views. He was able to get a rare insight into Daesh by obtaining strategic papers by one of the most famous architects of Daesh who got killed in Northern Syria in early 2014.

About Al Nusra

He thinks that its time for Qatar and KSA to portray a moderate sort of more liberal ( if you can even use this term with Islamists) group as an atipode to the horror of Daesh.
It’s no wonder Al Golani was treated like a head of state with Al Jazeera in their interview. In his mind, AL Nusra has one big disadvantage, it has inherited the AQ vision of Islamism. They have an ideology, but Daesh has the state.


they act more rational and sophisticated than many people in the west are seeing them. They seemed to have achieved what most would say was impossible for Islamists: they learned from the mistakes of AQ and other groups. They plan not to gain a momentum, they intend to morph into a real statehood. They have a master plan how to infiltrate and overrun an area, or state. ( see his below article on the papers of al-Khlifawi ) They dont rush into things, they plan strategically. So far only one setback could have been seen, the events of Sindjar. In his view Daesh will play a major role only in Sunni held areas, areas controlled by Kurds or Shia are most likely not taken by them. In the long run, there is only a chance to extinguish them in Syria, in Iraq its almost impossible. They have a strong home base in the Anbar region, and they were getting big in Mossul by mafialike racketeering. But in order to take them out, Assad has to go to. The regime and Daesh are not working together, but along as the situation allows it they have tolerated each other, but at times were they felt superior, they fought each other. Daesh is probably the best thing happen to Assad, and Syrians need to take out those two evils before they could take care of the remnants of Syria.

May 29th, 2015, 12:56 am


Juergen said:

Here are some unusual pictures of Saudi Arabia

May 29th, 2015, 1:38 am


ALAN said:

Moderation SC: please remove black hole from my path

May 29th, 2015, 2:26 am


ALAN said:

The journalist Christoph Reuter is ( Der hase !!!).
Bei einem illegalen Grenzübertritt aus Syrien in die Türkei wurde er 2015 festgenommen und anschließend aus der Türkei ausgewiesen.

May 29th, 2015, 8:00 am


ALAN said:

memo to: NO cmmment
Is Jeffrey White forgotten that his government formed a military alliance to eliminate ISIS, Al-Nusra and Al-Qaeda and has allowed itself without a return to the Security Council the breach of Syrian sovereignty under this called?
Hypocrisy? Does The United States “Show Its Own Lack of Will” When It Comes to ISIS?
Yet neither US President Barack Obama nor any of the 22 heavily weaponized nations / vassals theoretically part of his coalition of the willing sent at least a single Hellfire missile-equipped drone against the black-clad fake Caliphate goons.
A case can still be made that the “civilized” West would rather deal with a medieval, intolerant Wahhabi-drenched Caliphate than with a secular Arab “dictator that refuses to prostrate himself in the altar of Western neoliberalism.”
In parallel, the case has already been made that those who weaponize the beheaders and throat-slitters of Al-Nusra, aka al-Qaeda in Syria, or ISIS / ISIL / Daesh are essentially Saudis – the largest importers of weapons on the planet – who buy mostly from the US but also from France and the UK.
And now, an August 2012 declassified document from the US Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), circulated to everyone from CENTCOM to the CIA and the FBI, and obtained by public interest law firm Judicial Watch, finally confirms what passes for Washington’s strategy in the Levant and the Arabian peninsula.
And just as much as the original, CIA-funded proto al-Qaeda, established in the 1980s in Peshawar, ISIS/Daesh, a.k.a. al-Qaeda 2.0, fulfills the same geopolitical purpose.
Is Jeffrey White side by side with vassals such as Turkey and the GCC petromonarchies, “supported” al-Qaeda’s branch in Syria to destabilize Damascus – even though the Pentagon foresaw the ghastly endgame, as in the emergence of ISIS?
This mess is just an example of the perennial double game played by the Empire of Chaos in its “war on terra” – which boils down to the fight against ISIS across Syria and Iraq being nothing more than an elaborate farce.
It seems that there is no evidence the US government will ever cease from using “Islamic terrorism” as a strategic asset.

May 29th, 2015, 8:29 am


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