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Syria: How Long Will The New Cessation of Hostilities Hold?

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Syria: How Long Will The New Cessation of Hostilities Hold?

Originally appeared at MoonOfAlabama

Tonight Russia and the U.S. agreed to some new Cessation of Hostilities (CoH) in Syria.

The general negative points:

  • This CoH, like the first one in February, comes at a moment where the Syrian government forces have an advantage in the field and are on the verge of renewed offensives.
  • It gives the opposition the time to reorganize and rearm.
  • It severely restricts Syrian sovereignty.

The general positive points:

  • The Syrian government lacks the capacity for a fully military solution of the conflict. The agreement is a possible path to a political solution.
  • It gives the government time to rebuild its army and to issue and train on new equipment.
  • It has enough flexibility to allow for local escalation when and where needed.

On the agreement itself.

  • The Syrian government has, according to the Russians, agreed to it.
  • The parties agreed to keep many details secret to prevent other actors from spoiling it.
  • The agreement will start on sundown of September 12

The timeline, as far as announced or known:

  • A general CoH for with a trial period of 48 hours.
  • If the CoH holds during the trial period it will be prolonged to one week.
  • After one week successfully passed, the U.S. and Russia will start common action against al-Qaeda in Syria.

Some Details as AP describes them (there is some doubt that this is 100% correct):

The military deal would go into effect after both sides abide by the truce for a week and allow unimpeded humanitarian deliveries. Then, the U.S. and Russia would begin intelligence sharing and targeting coordination, while Assad’s air and ground forces would no longer be permitted to target Nusra any longer; they would be restricted to operations against the Islamic State.The arrangement would ultimately aim to step up and concentrate the firepower of two of the world’s most powerful militaries against Islamic State and Nusra, listed by the United Nations as terrorist groups.

The agreement excludes the area in south-west Aleppo where the recent attempt by al-Nusra and others to lift the siege on east-Aleppo failed. The Castello road in north-west Aleppo will be demilitarized to carry aid. (It is yet unknown who will supervise and enforce this by what means.)

It looks as if there has been unseemly resistance to this agreement by parts of the U.S. government. This may have been just for show. But it may also be a sign that Obama lost control of the bureaucracy:

The proposed level of U.S.-Russian interaction has upset several leading national security officials in Washington, including Defense Secretary Ash Carter and National Intelligence Director James Clapper, and Kerry only appeared at the news conference after several hours of internal U.S. discussions.After the Geneva announcement, Pentagon secretary Peter Cook offered a guarded endorsement of the arrangement and cautioned, “We will be watching closely the implementation of this understanding in the days ahead.”

If this deal falls apart, as it is likely to eventually do, all responsibility will be put onto Secretary of State Kerry. Indeed the military and intelligence parts of the U.S. government may well work to sabotage the deal while Kerry will be presented as convenient scapegoat whenever it fails.

This new CoH is unlikely to hold for more than a few weeks:

  • Too much is left undefined. This allows any party to claim the other side broke it whenever convenient.
  • The powers who agreed on the deal do not have control over main elements on the ground.
  • There are too many parties, inside and outside of Syria, who have an interest in spoiling the CoH.

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john mason

Assad not to attack Nusra! Is this an admission by the US that they control Nusra?


Nusra has taken a beating, so the US wants another “time out”. Nusra is not going to cease hostilities, yet Syrian ground and air forces are expected to stand down. Looks like a “no fly zone” has been achieved. It is certain this truce will only be honored by the US and its “moderates” , for as long as it serves their interests. No mention of expectations on Turkey as their invasion.

Doom Sternz

This might sound a little odd……Its in the interests of everyone to kill every single terrorists on the planet. If it takes them having a break re-arming and coming back to die in great numbers then that seems very appropriate. Better then they surrender and hide to reappear again.

Jens Holm

Dont think USA is getting weaker and weaker. More like they have chosen to and the sheps are barking.

Brad Isherwood

Time out helps Syrian military and gov.
Past CoH had hundreds of villages sign up to be neutral.
Hundreds of Takfiri take amnesty …another batch bailed this weekend.
It’s slow…yet it’s positive progress .
Empire has to keep the pawns in the game…
Pawns appear to be fainting now.
Empire watches Turk army get knocked around just like the useless Saudi
Empire kicking chairs accross the room for sure now : )


Politics is a whore.


This changes things as US has for the very first time openly taken responsibility for the “moderate rebels” in Syria, so far they have kept out of the negotiations hence avoiding responsibility of any kind. From now on they will be judged and possibly in the court of law for deeds of the “moderate rebels”. This also clearly puts the US on the other side of the jihadist forces, and they the jihadists will be now open game for all. Of course the details are secret, and we won’t know for some time what did the US get out of this deal, it reminds to be seen also how this will affect relations to the Gulf Countries, and that would be the real litmus test for this deal…

Jens Holm


For some of them. Some time ago its was said, there were 40 groups and the Nusras was all domnation. You generalize in full propaganda style.


I generalize? something like your one-line “comment”?


… and once more Russia rolls over. What was the definition of insanity again? For a year, Turkey refrained from invading Syria because it feared the Russian response–clearly, no such restriction exists today. So often we’ve been told that if you manage to liberate Aleppo, the worst in this terrible war will be over; was this wrong, or does Russia pursue other goals than ending the conflict? Clearly, any jihadist can go to work tomorrow under a “moderate” instead of a Nusra flag, and the Syrians apparently won’t be allowed to defend themselves against either.
Worse than any battlefield developments is capitulation in the war of ideas. By conducting the debate with their Western partners in Zionist terms, Russia has accepted them. The USA is now a legitimate stakeholder in the future of Syria just by arming some terrorists there, even though most of them aren’t even Syrian to begin with. Russia and others are going to have a lot of fun with that one at home in the coming years–way to protect your own people Vlad!
And for what? Once again we will be told that “Western hypocrisy” will be exposed when the agreement inevitably falls through. Exposed where? The Kremlin doesn’t control the NATO press, Obama does. Once again we will be asked to be patient, since we can’t possibly know all that Putin knows. Perhaps, but we know enough since we’ve seen this movie before: it ends up with thousands of Syrians and Iranians paying the price.

Jens Holm

Well, as I heard it when the russians came in, they would secure, that he secured and not defeated. Thats not the same as russians or other says, he should have everything back as thief and owner of stolen goods.

And patient. As You write its more like You should be patient on a hospital Your self. Assads and russians has terrorbombed everything they could and even specifyed easy to see hospitals. They use cluisterbombs, Barrel bombs, Gas…

Well opposition is not mush better, but Assads and the Russians has been the worst of that kind.

You forgot to blame the kurds as well.

Michael Drysdale

Brilliantly wrote. I think there is under the table deals with all major players.china is itching to test its new weapons systems


I don’t want to rush to a hasty interpretation of this deal. My initial
unease comes from the obvious observation that these ceasefires only
seem to come when the SAA is gaining forward momentum. More generally
it occurs to me that the Middle East has for at least the last
hundred year been subject to big power carve ups. This seems no
different with Russia and America taking the part of what in former
times would be Britain and France.

Jens Holm

yes – some.

Brad Isherwood

The ceasefire gives Syrians an opportunity to get out of certain locals.
For Refugees to return.
Humanitarian aid means Empire spies can get to work….same for Russ/Syria Intel.
Empire has trapped operatives which can now bug out…no need to shave beard and wear a dress as some desperate Takfiri did : )
Turk military are losing tanks to ATGMS fired by Kurds….park and die youtube
Like the dumb Saudis.
The useless UN honors the theme of ceasefire….yet nowhere to be seen concerning
Sovereignty and right to secure borders.
Or….Borders only matter when US/Nato/Israel and Saudi say so…
Everyone else be quiet.
Russia might as well send the S400 battery crews home….seeing they are obviously never going to use them.


All very true.


Anyway, as Syria is not part of the agreement, Syria is not bound by the agreement; Syria cannot be bound by the agreement, since it not a party to it and the agreement contradicts binding international law.


That said, the Russians are utter morons to do any kind of deal with the Americans after the new sanctions for building the Kerch Strait bridge.

I hope this will be reflected in the upcoming Duma elections!


Syria cannot be bound by the agreement

you are right. and the next day russian air forces leave syria.
this happened in spring, when assad rejected the pan of feederal syria.

assad is stupid, he does not negotiate with kurds. he sholud give full cultural and partial territorial utonomy (of course, rojava is stupidity, because on that territory the kudrs are only minority ~40%)

Jens Holm

Yes some real reforms like that.

Jens Holm

Thats riight. There is no Syria just a well armed dictator doing not all the times what russians wish.

Gue Bjuen

this is really serious. few days ago that dirty retarded obahma threaten russia with ‘a last deal suggestion’. you need to understand even though russia has a lot of nukes and a strong military it can;t fight the whole world. only very few countries are in the side of russia. and most of those countries don;t have much influence in world power games. alsmost china is the only ally to russia who has a little bit to say in world power game but still china and russia can’t fight the whole world. let’s talk about the middle east and the arab countries in north africa. in that region the only ally with syria is iran. lebanon and iraq are not surporting syria as a nation. only hezbollah and iraqee shia militias are surporting syria. except iran syria actually doesn’t have a real allied country in that region. that is the sad but the truth…

russia stands in the same situation. how can russia be able to have a diplomatic fight+economic fight

+political fight+military fight against the jewish controlled west+east europe+north and middle and some south america+the majority of asian countries+austrailia…. and also in africa they have more influence. you could add china to russia but still they don’t have the strength to fight those countries.

nuke war is something russia and china could not use. i mean if they would use that last card, it would mean that human beings are likely to perish…. the whole world which has nukes will use it…

and you all know the high ratio people live in cities.

so as i said in the beginning, obamma threaten russia with the statement that he is going to give the russian the LAST FINAL proposal to agree with a cease fire agreement in syria.

russia is not even able to go war against ukrain. only few people klnow what really happend. only few people know that ukrain provoked russia a lot of times. a lot of people know ukrain doesn’t have a chance against the russian military. even ukrain knows it. but still they are doing almost everything to have that war with russia.

only a few people know that the majority operation of the al nusra changed it name to jaish al fateh.
the majority of the people in the wealthier countries don’t know that!!
jaish al fateh was never mentioned during the anouncement between kerry and larvov.
NOT A SINGLE TIME WAS jaish al fateh mentioned!!!!!!!!!!!

but who needs jaish al fatehm when you can change brand anytime or they just can send
operations to another brand that is anounced moderet. even russian intels could not prove that. nobody can prove that. money laundering at least leaves tracks. but passing around their human resources who the majority are even not allowed and not suposed and don’t have a legal record of being in syria after all. who will be able to distguish those exchanges in human resources….
this is a fuki.ng no-fly-zone and a MOBILE one!!! a fuki.ng mobile-no-fly-zone. even worst.
you are also not allowed to attack them on the ground. it is a damn untouchable-zone.
if you think of the past you are wrong. al nusra is listening to theirs masters. they even changed their name and officially said bye bye to al caeda. now they are moderate opposition.
illegal to attack…. waht the f.uk.
only a few people know that israel and the jews will never stop until they achived their sick agenda.
they will not allow syria to become stable again. they need assad dead, or at least they want to have syria suffer a long long long time of war…. if syria is gone, hezbollah can’t survive. as soon as hezbollah is weakend, it will try to run over iran which is the final target in that region.
iranm, syria , hezbollah, iraqee shia, and houtis with their allies in yemen are the only ones who openly opose the perverted zionist agenda in that region.
as the perverted zionist puppet slave obamah said it’s the final chance for russia to agree to a cease fire agreement, we need to be very worried. russia wouldn’t agree with the us why should they, they are having a chance to win war in syria and everyday it became faster and faster.
who many people died to re siege aleppo. how much resources and money and the lifes of many heroic people sacrafised to re siege aleppo!!! how long did we all wait to retake control of the northen border with turkey in latakia area and north of ildlib area. that was going to happen.
with the succes of re siege of aleppo, the pro syrian allies had the chance to simutationly operate
the retake of latakia area and its northen border+start operation in hama and ildib.
and now the terrorist groups gain a untouchable status……..
so i am curious why russia made a deal with the zionist perverts…. i wanna know how they threaten russia to take such a bad deal…
it’s a fu.king untouchable zone. much worse than mobile-no-fly-zone.
if only the people wake up in the us and europe, we still would have hope.
people said that with the internet the trurth will come to light. but the reality was not even close to that. and that is really really sad…. even in the internet there are mainstreams and substreams….
that is the very reality we are living in the year 2016……. sad but true…..


you are right. BUT! russia must do a decision. surrend or fight. no sense enter wars which can not finish.
i think, IF russian use N-bomb in Idlib, all enemies wolud ran away. russia can shoot with rockets riad and qatar. laki raegan did with gaddafi. russia can put nuclear wapons in cuba and syria. russia can occupy ukraine. and what would be happen? economical sanctions. russian has only 1 problem: they are russian. look, big land with resources, and depending on import. this is a big shame! why is it so?! this fact is not a result of zionist or americans. this is stupid russian mentality and style of economy. the pitential is big as elephant, but the outcome little like mouse. russian have good weapaons. 3 dozens. not 300. or 1000. this is the failure of russian and not americans. russia has everything but need enhance the capacity.
stalin did it.

Jens Holm

The west is not jewish controlled. Control Yourself.

If You want to be something, behave like them. Learn.

But You cant. The best Your religios dominans can make is copy paste from the old days, when You renew Yourself. Doesnt make the things better You make Your girls and females stupider than Yourselv by obeying any boy or male.

I see those boys here now and than in our own muslim population. They never can fit it, bacause as boys they are placed that high about the ground an the real world, that there feets cant reach the grounds.

Girls and females are much better, because they have learned to obey and learn, what the teachers tell them. Therefore they also learn to understand, whats going on here and diverse from illiterate men tired of bringing waiters and slaves.

Many arab little boys cant learn anything from a well educated female teacher. They do not listen to females at all laughing and calling their teachers whores in arabic language teachers dont understand – and laugh – and are lossers we have to pay for the rest og ours and their lives.

Its very, very often like this manily from the oldest muslim territories.

Carol Davidek-Waller

Putin is once more pulling Obama’s bacon out of the fire and giving him a chance to save face. If the peace doesn’t hold, 48 hours isn’t very long. Having been bamboozled once, the Syrians and their allies will use the time wisely, not only to relieve the suffering of innocent people, but to reinforce their own military machine. They will then be fully prepared to start chewing up terrorists at the drop of a hat.. The US now has an investment in the cease fire; a chance to share the glory of wiping out the terrorist threat vs. being run out of Syria with their tale between their legs and covered in shame for creating Daesh in the first place and using a terrorist army for geopolitical gain.

Divesh Kumar

And what do you think the terrorist will keep on sitting like lame ducks during this 48 hours. Reinforcements are more direly required by these unorganized and untrained terrorists scums than SAA. SAA has the momentum on their side and it should go on. The strategy that the US has adopted now is to exhaust the syrian government and allies into some sort of compromise as they know that their head chopper “moderates” can not do anything more than just creating videos.

Jens Holm

agree make sense.

Carol Davidek-Waller

The cease fire does not apply to terrorists. Business as usual when it comes to the violent and the uninvited.


Yeah, seems the Kremlin is rationalizing this charade as “protecting Obama from his own hard-liners”. What does that even mean? He appointed every one of them, and could any time make an example of a few of them–on the dubious assumption that his true policies differ from the hard-liners’. I don’t remember any ceasefires aborting the US-led offensives on Kobane or Manbij, or the rapid Turkish advance. Framing matters: all this reinforces a bogus storyline that the SAA’s bloody offensives are “barbaric”, while NATO’s bloody offensives are “humanitarian”.
Russian helicopters are being brought down by MANPADs handed out by US&friends, but it maintains a Victorian prudishness about whacking their “Western partners” right back. One side has taken the gloves off, the other is visibly losing its nerve I’m afraid. If Russia lets itself be squeezed out of Syria, its few allies will be running from them at warp speed, and they’ll only have themselves to blame.

Jens Holm

Well, You put Trump and the hardliners in a higher level, than they are. If You want to see them fly for real, you should make tunnels to them below. Thats more the level.

Joseph Scott

No, the US foreign policy establishment has been a pretty continuous, consistent entity for 50 years now, at least. We are talking about both key members of the Senate (a group that basically runs the Senate), a whole entrenched bureaucracy of non-elected officials, and the conglomeration of think-tanks that support them. These in turn tie into families that have been significant in business and politics well before the American Revolution, and back to English feudal politics. All of these groups operate together in a supporting network, pursuing a common agenda. It’s a mistake to assume the US president has much power in the face of such a well-organised and well-establshed network. Presidents who push against them too much run into trouble. Remember Kennedy? They are more of a figurehead and frontman, allowed to excercise limited autonomy to maintain the pretence that this isn’t the oligarchy that it is.

The Russians are playing a very complicated, multi-layered game in Syria. First, as you may notice, they have been working to demonstrate that nothing significant can happen without their cooperation. These truces, and even the Turkish operation, are part of that.

Second, they know that the Americans are careless about details and waste their resources. The actual fighting quality of most of the terrorists is pretty low, as the Israelis have pointed out, and isn’t likely to improve, both because Western intelligence has limited opportunities to train them under present conditions, even with a ceasefire, and that training has limited effectiveness in any case, for various cultural reasons. That means that the Americans are throwing away a lot of money and equipment arming people who can’t fight very well. That gives the Russians a relatively safe sandbox to see what various pieces of modern equipment can actually do under battlefield conditions, and how it can be countered. That latter point is especially important, since this isn’t likely to be the last such episode. The Russians are making impressive improvements to their kit, and in many respects, the Americans are paying a large share of the R&D money.

The quality of terrorist reinforcements isn’t going up, either. Most of the Chechens interested in coming already have, and they have been priority targets, whittling away their numbers. Even if there are more interested, Russia would rather kill them in Syria than in the Caucausus, so it is still advantageous to keep drawing any willining into the fight. As for the rest, they are a motley assortment of losers, and the incentives of joining dwindle as the fortunes of the jihaditss do. When they were making sweeping advances, with plenty of loot and slaves, people flocked to them. But how many people want to show up for a slow grinding match? The advantages in firepower (directed by well trained FOs and FACs) the Syrian-Russian-Iranian forces possess mean that the jihadists must take disproportionate losses just to contest the field with them.

Also, it would seem that some Russians are involved in ground combat. Whether that merely consists of Spetsnaz, artillery and Wagner contractors, or whether, as has been alleged elsewhere, Naval Infantry, Airborne and Motor Rifle brigades have quietly been involved, it presents a certain problem for the Russian government. The Russian people have never supported a more escalated involvement of Russian forces. As long as the rate of casualties over time is kept low, these can be explained away or ignored without too much difficulty. But if operations with these forces were conducted more intensely, the casualties per month would be more noticeable. This seemingly dlatory approach keeps any such losses less perceptable by spreading them out in time.

I think the Russian endgame for Syria is a clear Syrian victory. With their now two permanent bases, I don’t think they see any other outcome as acceptable. However, along the way, they’d like to deplete the Caucausus’ terrorist supply, drain American coffers further, do battlefield resarch and keep their losses under tha radar.


Much of this I’d agree with. Surely, a US president can only look like a strong leader by clamoring for war–which is what the Deep State wanted to begin with. Just like, in its pathetic turn, Britain hangs on to its major-power status by just going along with whatever the US wants. But when you talk about the low quality of the jihadists I ask: compared to whom? With their TOWs and other modern kit, they were steamrolling the SAA in Idlib etc until Russia showed up. Idiots though they may be, they are idiots who keep getting reinforced. The loyalists don’t have a comparable supply of disposable goons–even if they had, I’d start wondering if they’re really that much better than the jihadists.

This brilliant master plan of waiting out the jihadist supply sounds a lot like “quagmire” to me. Didn’t exactly work out for either big player in Afghanistan. It would additionally seem to assume that other players are content to stay on the sidelines. In reality, we see all the usual suspects taking advantage of Russia’s lack of decisiveness. Besides, I doubt that time is on Russia’s side if Hillary wins.

Also, what does it mean for Russia to “drain the resources of the US”? Who has the stronger economy here? Anyway, these resources flow from US taxpayers to defense contractors so it’s all good for those running the show. Not to mention that Russia has to earn its resources, while the exceptional side can just print dollars at infinitum.

It all sounds so much like Obama’s progressive supporters being told to wait for his master plan to unfold in all its splendor after the midterms–no wait until after his reelection, when the “true Obama” would magically reveal itself. Then, boom, his eight years are over and they’re still waiting–tough, better luck with Hillary.

Bottom line for me: Russia stepped in with a claim to restore order. Even if what you write is true, the Syrians aren’t much better off being Russian pawns rather than American ones. Good for them to know.

Michael Drysdale

What fabulous writing and responses by all on this thread. Great point of views, only time and history will tell who’s correct

Carol Davidek-Waller

I don’t think Moscow is rationalizing anything. They are giving the US another chance to leave with honor and perhaps. in the process to save many, many lives and treasure.
The Russians are very aware of what is going on in Syria and who is doing what to who.
They are playing a long game. Wars are won at the conference table not always on the battlefield.
Putin is a good psychologist. He understands what makes his opponents/colleagues tick. He has used that understanding for the good of Russia and by extension for the good of the rest of the world who have nothing to gain from the neocon’s puerile games of ‘king of the mountain’ and the 99%’s entitlement complex.

Jens Holm

Dont see it like that at all. Rebels will do it too. Obama isnt runned out by any russians and syrians. they have chosen to keep relativly low and has Iraq as well. USA is not alone. Everybody forgets Nato and several others are there too. This month a french hangarship should arrive and they are already at the Inzirlik too. many are as well as in Syria.

USA has very good succes fighting ISIS if You see, what the Irqians are for a kind of people. Assads are after ISIS making terror outside Syria. Its more ISIS first than Assads not.

An other perspective is if the russians can effort to be in Syria much longer that much. The BNP for them is something like Spain and lower because of oilprices too.

Carol Davidek-Waller

When is your next novel going to come out?


Every time the SAA starts making serious gains, Russia sells out Syria to the world so that it can get fucked by jihadists all over again. After a week (or sooner) shit will hit the fan again and the Syrians will love many fighters trying to untangle this shit sandwich. Yeah, great job assholes. In fact, they even let Turkey invade the country and they are now best buddies despite the fact that Turkey nearly started war with the Su-24 shootdown. In politics everyone truly is equally worthless. Fuck the US and fuck Russia.


do not trust Russia (and America). I rememebr, what did russian with Cuba in 90ties. never forget this!!!

Jens Holm

agree, naive trust is no good.

Jens Holm

Cant see russiands has solded Assads at all. They have on denied Assads in helping to retake all Syria. The assads in the forner French colony has got all help from Hesbollah and Iran as well.

If thats not enough, he should have resigned in the first place or made normal human rights as well as other reforms. He could have done that for Years. His father could too .


I don’t think the Russians are morons to accept a CoH, especially if it is with Assad’s approval.I believe the final war of Aleppo will be fought. The only reason I can see is that a little more time is needed to get all the forces there ready. Since rebel part of Aleppo is besieged there is no way they can re-arm ot re-organize. But Assad’s forces can.

Divesh Kumar

The impression that I get from these reoccurring truces is that even Russia isn’t serious about ending this conflict, leave aside US. Russians seem to be interested in just controlling the tone of conflict by moderating it slightly in favor of Government. So what Russians are doing there……….. ??? I think they are utilizing Syrian battle ground as live testing ground for their newer arms and ammunition, testing different battle strategies.
The russians don’t have desire to end this war else they must have additionally stationed their aircrafts and manpower to Qweries base that is very near to Raqqa and deir ezzor and from where they cold have controlled lots of eastern syria as they did in west syria from Hemeim air base.
Meanwhile Assad dont has any option but to take whatever Russians are giving. Without Russia help he would have been over thrown by US and allies till now just as they did to Gaddafi

Jens Holm

Something like that. Russians need to secure their(2 I think) bases in the area.

And Yes. Its normal to test what You got of weapon, supply, communikation when its actually used.

They dont care about the rest of it exept for oil and gas. All winners has to sell it and by things for it. Even 1400 years old Ilsamists has to do it. Giving bread is minimum for them as well.

Jean de Peyrelongue

For me unfortunately Russia wants to get out of this mess and by signing such agreement, they expect to be able to go home and save face. Just the fact of negotiating Syria’s future with the US is wrong as everybody knows that 1) the US never behave according to their word 2) The US with its Anglo-Zionist Empire including the EU, KSA, Qatar, Turkey are actually war criminals for having sponsored all the terrorists in Syria after having destroyed Irak, Libya and now Yemen. I think Russia is doing a miscalculation. The US are going to appear as the winner, Russia ready for any compromise to avoid a confrontation with the Anglo-Zionist Empire. This is going to strenghten the hawks in the US and Clinton will be able to tell the Americain that Russia was just a paper tiger.


Several western sources have shamelessly but accurately stated how the Syrian gig is a dress rehearsal for the Iranian job next. The Russian message seems to be “we’ll put on a show, but at the hour of truth we won’t really confront you of course.” The message is being received just fine both in Washington and in Tehran, one assumes. Then when the “moderates” will come for the main course in Russia itself, they’ll be fighting them all alone.

Jens Holm

My only comment is shit.

Boris Kazlov

I have lost faith in this Russian leadership, I expect new elections in Russia to put on power real leaders who will care about international law, instead of makinfg deals with terrorists and hindering a legitimate government to exercise its right to defend itself. BULLSHIT!!

Jens Holm

Assads are not a goverment for all citicens in the Frech colony Syria. This regime is very illigitme and has – as expected – not behaved as a state should do.

It majority tribe rule, where the system as tribe by family/father, despot, dictator of course cant and shall not rule more than and Emirat of Damaskus or a litle more.

The people has to have the power and that includes a a very well example, whats written by UN about human rights.

No undertribes…

Michael Drysdale

Arabs need tough rule by nature.you carnt change a culture over night.the country was better off with Assad than it is now decimated


“With victory in their grasp they stopped to negotiate, and while talking they were defeated.”

If the definition of insanity is doing the same thing, time after time, and expecting a different result then Russia has truly gone insane.

Time will tell.

Jens Holm

very optimistic. I dont agree. Having them defeated as military units easy could be followed by years of guerilla.

Brad Isherwood

Syria is a really messed up country.
Far to many Syrians allowed their country to slide into chaos.
Like Iraq…Syrian Sunni military leaders and political stooges were cash bribed by Empire
To open the door to doom.
Baathist Syria could not keep the countryside. …ISIS and whoever rolled over them and the pocket
SAA military.
Russia understands Syria is totally broken….the current generation of citizens are not up to
Challenge to support basic human freedoms.
Turks probably have the best chance to push ISIS out of Raqqa. ( IE. ..ISIS will run away to
Where Uncle Shlomo tells them.)
Possibly Assad will step down in the future…..Russia will support Baath party .
Iranian future plans might be on the floor now….Hezbollah isolated again to Israel’s pleasure.

China may have second thoughts about Silk Road link….going thru Syria….especially
When Empire can print money out of thin air and create 200,000 merc army in months if needed.


All of these people swallow the US Dollar and end up destroying their own countries. I guess personal greed trumps everything.

Brad Isherwood

Yes….stroll thru the rubble of your country and take a selfi on your new
Cell phone.
There’s no food in sight…but hey …the cell phone just dinged and you got mail : )


I see the Russians plying with the Americans, militarily speaking, they will not withdraw any forces, they have the upper hand. The border with Turkey is controlled and war supplies reaching the jihadis is going to be rather difficult. Turkey is reproaching with Iran, at Saudi’s expense. If the moderate rebels do not identify their positions clearly and mingle with the jihadis, they will be bombed…..US cannot do anything about it. The ” boots on the ground” for US seem to be on the loosing side at the present and for the long term. I do not see S. Arabia being able to funnel weapons through Turkey very easily. US’ choices are becoming more limited.


The border with Turkey is controlled now BY JIHADISTS, under full protection from Turkey and with US air cover. Supply lines to jihadists have been not merely secured, but shortened. The ambiguity starts only after that: was it never the US intention to let the Kurds seal this border, or did Turkey force Uncle Sam’s hand?


The Turkmen jihadis are the proxy fighting for Turkey, Turkey controls the border, for Turkey to be in Syria after frosty relations with Russia is indicative that Turkey and Russia reached some form of agreement where Russia got what it wanted and Turkey got what they wanted. It is a quid pro quo for both countries, US is not involved in the equation. The areas contested by Turkey was mostly ISIS and Kurdish controlled, SAA had very little presence.
What Russia got from Turkey is the control of weaponry and jihadis coming across the Turkish border threatening the Asaad regime. US and Saudis have been sidelined.


That is… a lot of wishful thinking for now. Turkey has ALWAYS controlled the Turkish border–from the Turkish side. The only people who got through in any numbers were the ones which Turkey let loose on Syria. Just because the NATO press obfuscates this crucial point doesn’t mean others should. The jihadist “safe zone” is now a fact, and it was established with US support–so much for them being sidelined. The jihadist position in Syria has been strengthened at the Kurds’ expense; I’d guess the Saudis can live with that.

A deal on the weapon flow would be excellent news, which is I guess why it has been speculated about at least two times before. Mostly it turned out to mean “a deal on extra weapons”. I just don’t see what the “or else” part is to keep the Turks in line this round.


Turkey controlled the border from the Turkish side and was anxious to prevent a YPG unification south of its border. US’s primary proxy in the area are the Kurds and ISIS, the Turks are not following the dictates of Washington, they are doing what is best for them. If the Turks do not follow the agreement with the Russians, they are in Syria illegally, and can be attacked any time. NATO will be of no help. Time is on the side of the Russians, Iranians and Syrians, if Turkey wants to whore around with the US and the Saudis and not be part of the Russia and Iran axis, there will be repercussions.


Russia is developing the Russia, Turkey, Iran axis.


Russia, given its strategic methodology, follows multiple strategies. It must be clear to them by now that trying to do a deal with the perfidious degenerates in Washington is a waste of time – Kerry has no influence. While these ‘negotiations’ were going on the US increased sanctions on Russia. What the Washington degenerates do is more relevant than an so called ‘deal’ they agree to.


Seriously, what is the thinking here. Some options:

(A) Russia and others sent Assad serious help, but he somehow keeps expecting a blank check. Assad’s refusal to give the Kurds some kind of deal has left Russia completely exasperated. Russia wants a way out, or at least to show Assad that going home is an option for them. Assad could then threaten Russia with total humiliation by just failing–Karzai’s trump card in the good old days.

(B) Russia, or at least some Kremlin factions, would be willing to trade Assad for sanctions relief. I’d be outraged at such a betrayal of Syria, though perhaps not shocked. I would be shocked however at such a betrayal of Russia’s own interest: sanctions can (and will) always be reinstated over doping, hacking, snowfall in New York, whatever; in contrast, the fall of Damascus would be fact on the ground, sending all of Russia’s allies running away from them.

(C) Russia thought it could coax the US into a partnership, fighting terror in Syria together. The threat of “war with Russia” was supposed to keep the hawks in Washington in check. Now the Kremlin is finding out that the hawks SALIVATE at the prospect of a hot war with Russia; they just need some time to move their assets into place, and put one of their own on the Dark Throne. This prospect causes the Kremlin to visibly lose its nerve, and the bad guys are taking notice.

(D) Putin’s rich friends just like too much sending their kids to school in New York, owning property in London, and going for shopping trips in Paris. They can stomach confronting the head-choppers in Syria, but never their sponsors. Thus, with its intervention Russia set out on an adventure which it could not possibly finish–a strategic catastrophe.

(E) Would one be amiss in speculating that the truth contains a bit of all the above?


Some responses to your points:

A. Russia does not want a way out of Syria, they are in Syria to stay.

B. Russia is not going to do foolish things in order to get sanctions lifted. They have lived with sanctions for over two years and are making the adjustments they need.

C. The hawks in Washington are moron neocons that live in a make believe world, US does not have the will or military capacity to go to war with Russia.


My question was not rhetorical. So much was invested to make Aleppo’s liberation possible, and then at the last moment Russia says “You know what? Never mind.” For the second time in a row! How many soldiers will say Hezbollah be willing to risk for the third round? My explanations may be wrong, in which case, please advance your own.

Admittedly, I’m discounting 100% that Obama, in a fit of “legacy” heartache, is serious for one second about taking on the Nusra goons. Outside of ISIS-dominated east Syria they’re, what, 3/4 of jihadist firepower? Why would the US start bombing the source of its own leverage? They could just stop them from being trained in the first place since that’s just down the road from Incirlik if I’m not mistaken. Not to mention that if Obama had a Damascene conversion, he’d welcome Syrian help.

What you say under C. sounds satisfying, and yet those “morons” *now got their jihadist safe zone at the Turkish border *tighten a “no fly” noose around the neck of the Syrian Air Force, while * “transition” (i.e. regime change) is still on the table apparently. Russia doesn’t seem to mind these, as long as their incessant begging for “partnership” gets some answer from the US.


I do not see the situation in Aleppo changing, what I see Russia doing is politically sidelining US and diminishing its influence. Russia has not abrogated its rights to bomb southeast Aleppo even after the cease fire.
If US wants to bomb al nursa and share coordinates of friendly jihadi forces with Russia, so be it.
Russia is not playing world politics at the expense of Syria, it would be oxymoronic; in the grand scheme of things Russia wants to neutralize the primary trouble makers (US and S. Arabia) without going into a shooting match.
Russia does not want to allow more Hezbollah fighters to die, in war you have casualties, how you conduct the war determines the extent of the casualties.
The Russians are deploying their aircraft carrier next month whereby Suk 34 and Mig 29 could attack Idlib at will pulverizing jihadi defenses. Russia is attacking most staging logistical areas in Idlib before the cease fire.
Turkey is acting according to its interests, not US’. Aleppo is encircled and will remain encircled until the jihadis inside the city either surrender or are annihilated.
I do not see a continuous flow of weapons and men passing through Turkey’s border; Erdogan stated that Asaad can stay in power, recognizing him as a legitimate leader of Syria, something Russia impressed upon him with authority.
Therefore, if Turkey acts for its best interests instead of being a pawn for the US, Putin succeeded in neutralizing a NATO member by being a puppet to a greater power.

Carol Davidek-Waller

The Russians are not building any infrastructure that would indicate they are ‘in Syria to stay’. You must be thinking of the US.


What infrastructure is US building? Russia has the port of Tartus and the airbase that is being enlarged to accommodate all types of aircraft. Developing another major base near Palmyra would be problematic because of supplies issues, however with a largely modernized airbase in Latakia able to handle the T22 bombers and up to 100 aircraft along with the Hamadan air base in Iran, Russia will have air superiority over a 1200 miles radius.

Carol Davidek-Waller

The Russians have built no new infrastructure in Syria. The Russians and Syrians have been allies for a long time so there are existing agreements.
There are reports of the US building bases in the northeast. The US has over 900 bases world wide. The Russians have 14.
Guess who invades and stays…..


US has improved an agricultural airfield in the east, to what extent….I am not sure. Yes US has many bases world wide, if US want to exert influence in east Syria, they can have that after letting the Kurds down. The center of action in Syria is Damascus, Aleppo and maybe Deir Ezzor. Since US does not have significant boots on the ground, except proxies their ability to control territory is limited.

Carol Davidek-Waller

“Sanctions relief” isn’t linked to Russia helping the Syrians prevent terrorists from creating an oil rich caliphate out of Syria and Iraq, they are allegedly tied to Russia accepting the mandate from the Crimean people to rejoin Russia and to the Russia implementing the Minsk agreements for a cease fire and negotiations in Ukraine…..a neocon fairy tale that refuses to recognize that Russia has no role in implementing the Minsk Agreements. It’s the US puppets in Kiev that are refusing to honor an agreement they signed. If it weren’t for the Russians, there would be no Minsk Agreement and no framework for peace. Another reason for a neocon hissy fit. The last thing the US wants is peace in the ME or anywhere near Russia’s borders.
The Russians have used the sanctions to build up their own economy. They couldn’t care less nor do they expect the US to lift sanctions.

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