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    Syrian War: News #11

    calm
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    Post  calm Mon Dec 26, 2016 3:51 pm

    #SDF captured Hadaj,Wajuma,Atshanat Ali Omar,Kardoush and Alkarji. #ISIS still controls Suwaydiyat al Kabirah

    Syrian War: News #11 - Page 16 C0nAIALXgAAKQj_
    calm
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    Post  calm Mon Dec 26, 2016 6:16 pm

    Regional and international balance in the Levant (1): Turkish shifts in the Syrian war

    https://elijahjm.wordpress.com/2016/12/26/regional-and-international-balance-in-the-levant-1-turkish-shifts-in-the-syrian-war/
    As the end of 2016 approaches, the Syrian war is coming close to its sixth year, leaving about half a million combatants and civilians killed, more than that number wounded, and millions of displaced people inside and outside the country. The infrastructure, housing and business damage exceeds 250 billion dollars. In addition Syria almost set off the third world war, between the United States of America and Russia.

    The Syrian war spawned such terrorist organisations as the “Islamic State” (ISIS/Daesh) and the al-Qaeda franchise (Jabhat al-Nusra, aka Fatah al-Sham). Many rebel factions emerged and several small groups merged with other more powerful ones. Other rebel organisations were taken out of the Syrian arena despite the hundreds of millions of dollars invested in training and weapons in the hope of changing the Syrian regime.

    From Syria, terrorism spread outside its borders striking Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, and other countries in the region and much further afield, setting off serious alarm bells and increasing counter-terrorism budgets throughout the world.

    Human beings in Syria faced humiliation and killing in the name of religion and doctrine. The mainstream media seriously contributed to fuelling sectarian strife by reporting news away from the field, quoting anti-government sectarian activists, and projecting the war in Syria as one between the Alawite minority and the Sunni majority. The war is far from being exclusively between religious belligerents. The majority of the Syrian Army is Sunni, fighting for the survival of the government infrastructure and unity of the country, against Jihadists whose creed rejects democracy, all non Muslim-Sunni, and non religious government. International media reputation was seriously damaged, losing credibility due to this poor and biased coverage of the Syrian war.

    Players change as well as their role and the consequences of their input: Syria moved from certain partition to another more stable situation that will be more easily defined as the coming year, 2017, evolves.


    The Turkish role:

    This role was and still is the most influential in the Syrian war over jihadists and rebels. Turkey’s intervention was important and decisive for the fate of Syria politically and on the battlefield, forming different alliances where yesterday’s enemies are today now tolerated.

    Turkey’s intervention in the Syrian war began five and a half years ago. The goal of the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was not limited to the removal of the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad from power, but included the annexation of a “security belt” (safe zone) along the northern border. He went even further in his plans, preparing the ground to seize the city of Aleppo, a city that remained outside what was falsely called the “Syrian spring” for over a year after the beginning of the unrest in Syria. The city was enjoying the economic-political power it represented, the Sunni influence in Syria being represented in the cities of Aleppo and Damascus.

    This Turkish intervention came with the impact of Western countries’ push to dislodge Assad, for various reasons: the US extended its influence through former President George W. Bush, following the invasion of Iraq. Syria was next on the list to produce a “new Middle East”; the Qatar gas project that was supposed to go through Syria into Europe with the aim of weakening the Russian economy, at present a major gas supplier to Europe; the role of Assad in the “axis of resistance” and his support for organisations Washington considers terrorist groups (Hezbollah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad); Syria’s support for Iran standing in the way of an Arab – Israeli rapprochement. All of these influences were present behind the “Arab Spring,” putting Syria into a real “Arab tsunami” without apparently creating major benefits.

    Since the first days of the war in Syria, Turkey has opened its borders to anyone who wanted to join the war. Many foreigners (European and non European) travelled to Syria, via Turkey, to join jihadist organisations, later known as the “Islamic state” (ISIS/Daesh) and the al-Qaeda franchise in Syria (Jabhat al-Nusra, aka Fateh al-Sham).These people travelled with the knowledge and, for the most part, the approval of Western countries (France, US, Britain …). Many of those same fighters returned later to their respective countries, representing a real threat to their societies, but above all to Turkey itself because fighters were also asked to establish themselves in that country to form a (radical) society. In fact, ISIS asked many of these foreign fighters to stop in Turkey and form a family and a society where they might be needed one day to serve “the Islamic nation”, establishing a nucleus for the future.

    The “free world” predicted the fall of Assad in 3 months…6months…1 year… The situation became gloomy after that date. The fall of Assad was no longer predictable. In the first years of the war, the Syrian army resisted despite the large splits within its ranks, to become cornered in few cities in 2013. This is when Assad called on his allies for help. The French intelligence chief and his British intelligence counterpart both said “the map of the Middle East will never be the same again”. In the light of today, both clearly failed in the extent of their prediction, confirming that many politicians, intelligence officers, analysts and media also failed in their assessment because they were expressing wishful thinking rather than facts. This is exactly what happened to President Erdogan, who believed the partition of Syria was at hand.

    Erdogan therefore allowed ISIS to spill over inside the country, permitting commercial exchanges, especially oil, and opening the arms supply road to the Jihadists of al-Qaeda as well. That was considered a temporary procedure because “Assad was supposed to step-down in few months”.

    As time was going by and the Syrian government was still holding up, Turkey built strong alliances with Syrian groups like Ahrar al-Sham (15-20,000 fighters), Nur ad-DinZengi (3,000 fighters), Sultan Murad (2,000 fighters) and others who were (years later) recalled to form the ” Euphrates shield” and fight under direct Turkish forces’ command in Syria. These same groups established good relations with both the moderate and jihadist groups in Syria.

    Turkey contributed effectively to the fall of the city of Kessab in rural Lattakia by allowing jihadists to use its territory to cross into Syria and to control the hills surrounding the north-west Syrian province. Moreover, Turkey played an essential role in arming and offering logistics and intelligence for jihadists and rebels to occupy the city of Idlib and Jisr al-Shoughour. Everything was going as Turkey planned until Assad called Iran and its allies for help.

    Ankara has supported the control which the jihadists and the opposition exerted over large parts of Aleppo. It played an active role, enabling Iran to enter the battle line with its allies. The presence of Iran tipped the scales in favour of President Assad, but not enough to counter the continuous Turkish regional support, sustained by the United States and the countries of the region (Saudi Arabia and Qatar). Despite significant gains made in Damascus and Qalmoun and other areas, the regime and its allies decided to retreat within the major towns to protect the cities themselves.

    Here Russia intervened to spoil the plans of everyone willing to divide Syria, and change the map of their projects and their wishes. It rebalanced the battlefield imposing the initial solution which required everyone to sit down at the negotiating table and recognize the role of al-Assad, who had been sidelined. But Turkey’s shooting down of the Sukhoi 24 in Novembre 2015 changed the whole Syrian game. The partition of Syria was no longer an option and Russia showed thatkeeping a balance among the various players was not its concern. The event marked a turning point in the history of the Syrian war: Russia deployed more forces, advanced anti-air missiles and threw its military weight in the battle field offering the possibility of a victory for President Assad.

    A second turning point in the Syrian war took place when President Erdogan suffered a failed coup d’état. Intelligence support provided by Moscow through Iran contributed in warning the Turkish president in time for him to adopt security measures, counter the coup and remain alive. Erdogan implicitly accused the US of being behind the coup and turned his political energies towards Russia.

    The Turkish – Russian – Iranian understanding over Syria isolated the present US administration and marginalised it (at least until the new US administration takes control). This consensus among the three countries has allowed the return of Aleppo to the control of the Syrian government. It has also prevented the partition of northern Syria and a large US sphere of influence among the Kurdish controlled area extending from al-Hasaka to Afrin.

    Russia blessed the involvement of Turkey on the battlefield: Turkish forces and their allies took control of Jarablus, Dabiq and reached the gates of the city of al-Bab. This is when Russia stopped Erdogan again due to the lack of coordination of the presence of anti-government forces (Turkey proxies) facing the Syrian Army at the limits of Aleppo. This would be critical in the event of al-Bab falling to Ankara’s control. Turkish forces were bombed a few kilometres from al-Bab, sending a strong message and drawing the line of what would be the limit of deployment of forces. Again, Turkey understood the message and called for an immediate meeting with Russia and Iran to coordinate further steps.

    An important meeting was held between the Foreign and Defence ministers of Russia, Iran and Turkey in Moscow to map out the strategy and distribute/co-ordinate tasks through to 2017 in Syria. This meeting excluded the US and Europe. The exit of militants from Aleppo and the advance of theTurkish troops (with their proxies under “the Euphrates Shield”) to al-Bab were the first visible results of the meeting.

    he ISIS brutality of burning two captured Turkish soldiers in its custody removed President Erdogan’s option of going back to support the terrorist group. On the contrary, the elimination of this organisation has now become one of Turkey’s priorities. However, the harmony between Russia -Turkey – Iran, if continued at this rhythm, will not aim to destroy ISIS as a priority compared to the other jihadist groups operating within the collection of Syrian rebels.

    Turkey has abandoned Aleppo and contributed to the defeat of the militants and jihadists. Despite Ankara’s long record of support to al-Qaeda (Nusra, aka Fatah al-Sham), the relationship can now no longer be the same. Indeed, Al-Qaeda has refused to bow to Erdogan on many occasions even though its military, security, medical and logistic support comes via the Syrian-Turkish borders.

    Turkey announced that al-Qaeda in Syria (Jabhat al-Nusra) is on its list of terrorist groups. But this decision was never implemented: on the contrary, Ankara effectively contributed to the formation of “Jaish al-Fath” where al-Qaeda and Turkey’s allies (and other groups) were included under one umbrella.

    However, al-Qaida stood up to Turkey when it announced its rejection of a safe zone on the borders “because it is not in the interests of the Jihad,” and pulled out its jihadists from the northern part of Syria, leaving Turkish allies to face ISIS on their own. But the straw that broke the camel’s back was when al-Qaida announced the prohibition of asking for Turkish Army support and therefore condemned any group participating in the “Euphrates Shield”.

    The Turkish-backed factions will never accept a merger with al-Qaeda because in Syria this organisation is expected to be targeted in the coming months.

    This was also clearly announced and approved by Turkey during the Moscow meeting with Russia and Iran.

    Turkey now is one of the main players in the Syrian arena. Its forces are deployed on the battlefield to contribute to changing the rules of the game and the pattern of alliances. Ankara’s soldiers are in the Syrian quagmire (fighting ISIS in al-Bab to start with), losing more men in one week than Russia has lost in 18 months. President Erdogan can no longer pull out of his involvement to collect the result after the war. Therefore, a peaceful settlement will not include those jihadist groups unwilling to merge with more moderate (even Islamist) groups. In Syria, there can’t be a place for al-Qaeda foreign fighters, neither ISIS nor the ones unwilling to bow to a peace process to stop the war.

    Therefore, serious differences and infighting are expected to arise between the various factions located at the northern city of Idlib in the process which should pave the way for a political settlement and spare Idlib a bloody theatre-style destructive climax similar to that which flattened the city of Aleppo.

    So Turkey remains one of the most important players, aware that any alliance with the actual US administration (under Obama) over Syria will have an aborted outcome, whereas the alliance with Russia has allowed Ankara to remain in Syria. The Syrian President will have to negotiate with Ankara and take into consideration its interests, the day the Syrian war comes to an end.

    Next:

    Regional and international balance in the Levant (2): Russia’s role in the Syrian war and the tactical differences with Iran
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    Post  eehnie Mon Dec 26, 2016 6:57 pm

    While I think the 11 pockets that I count still inside the government territory (Homs and Damascus, including the borders with Liban), can be defeated in the short term, the areas in the border with Israel, Jordan, the Eastern front and Turkey will be difficult still, because they keep their supply lines from these countries. To win in these borders means to defeat Turkey in the North and Saudi Arabia and Israel. in the East and the South,.
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    Post  d_taddei2 Tue Dec 27, 2016 4:22 am

    thats quite a large find and some tanks that were hidden nice, and also a very clear sign that FSA etc have been supplied by other countries



    The Syrian Arab Army's Republican Guard units discovered a large supply of weapons on Sunday that belonged to the jihadist rebels in eastern Aleppo prior to their departure last weekend.

    Based on the video footage captured by Hezbollah's official media wing, the Syrian Arab Army confiscated several missiles, mortar shells, assault rifles, and ammunition in eastern Aleppo on Sunday.

    In addition to the aforementioned weapons, the Syrian Arab Army also discovered tanks hidden around the eastern neighborhoods of Aleppo City.

    The Syrian Arab Army is still combing through these east Aleppo neighborhoods, looking for enemy weapons and explosives that may have been hidden prior to the departure of jihadist rebels from the area.


    https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/syrian-army-seizes-large-supply-jihadist-weapons-east-aleppo-video/
    calm
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    Post  calm Tue Dec 27, 2016 1:04 pm

    ^

    More

    0:37? Rolling Eyes
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    Post  JohninMK Tue Dec 27, 2016 2:39 pm

    calm wrote:^

    More

    0:37?  Rolling Eyes
    Short barrel gun?

    It that an underground bunker or outside filmed at night?

    Looks like they had a pretty organised logistics chain. Image how much effort, now wasted, went into transporting that lot there. A few humanitarian convoys perhaps.
    calm
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    Post  calm Tue Dec 27, 2016 2:54 pm

    Outside, same place like in video posted by d_taddei2 above.

    Seems like a new "anti - air battery" is being used in Raqqa against coalition warplanes. #Syria
    Syrian War: News #11 - Page 16 C0o25vZXgAMu_NO
    Syrian War: News #11 - Page 16 C0o26ATWQAISPRX
    Syrian War: News #11 - Page 16 C0o26SnXEAAuF_B
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    Post  miketheterrible Tue Dec 27, 2016 3:01 pm

    Just look at that war booty. Absolutely astonishing how NATO managed to smuggle that all into a school.

    Anyway, wonder if this will be used to arm the new unit being formed? I think try selling the NATO equipment like the 50 cal guns and buy other that are currently in use by SAA in order to reduce logistic issues.

    Still unfathomable how much they captured!
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    Post  KiloGolf Tue Dec 27, 2016 4:04 pm

    I suggest we boycott, if possible shut down, the other, #fakenews thread of the turkish invasion (which suggests Al Bab has fallen today).
    This is the current situation in Al Bab:

    Syrian War: News #11 - Page 16 C0sE22sXgAAm7zw
    derar ‏@derar3000  49m49 minutes ago
    A map of current situation in #Al-Bab village in #Aleppo northern countryside
    #Syria

    Syrian War: News #11 - Page 16 C0rF408VEAAnVA6
    American Jihad Watch ‏@Watcherone  2h2 hours ago
    Military Situation In Al-Bab On December 27, 2016 (Syria Map Update) #SouthFrontEng http://dlvr.it/Mz9736

    Syrian War: News #11 - Page 16 C0sQUr4W8AEMgSP
    Prime Source ‏@PrimeSourceME  6m6 minutes ago
    Ankara sends additional reinforcement to al-Bab #Syria, as local contingent suffers casualties, faces staunch resistance from #ISIS

    Syrian War: News #11 - Page 16 C0sPY37XgAAdhXF
    Conflicts Zone ‏@Conflictszone  13m13 minutes ago
    Specialist Corporal of Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) 'Niyazi Pekdoğan', who was injured in VBIEDs attack in which 16 others died in AlBab

    Syrian War: News #11 - Page 16 Proxy
    SMM Syria ‏@smmsyria 2h
    During the Euphrates Shield operation about 40 Turkish soldiers who were wounded in al Bab of Aleppo province succumbed to their injuries.
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    Post  KiloGolf Tue Dec 27, 2016 4:20 pm

    Syrian War: News #11 - Page 16 Resized_cf317-465f2462resized_310dfa429b40agetimagebyurl
    “In the last clash, a Daesh suicide bomber attacked with a car and after the detonation,
    a wall fell down on me and my friends, trapping us under the rubble,” says Turkish soldier Niyazi Pekdoğan


    http://www.yenisafak.com/en/world/turkish-soldier-recounts-his-unforgettable-night-in-al-bab-2586933

    Camping behind a wall, as the pictures have shown, is not a great strategy to begin with.
    Their CO should start looking for a new job Suspect
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    Post  KiloGolf Tue Dec 27, 2016 4:48 pm

    Syrian War: News #11 - Page 16 C0sVKPIVEAAGMHg

    Syrian War: News #11 - Page 16 C0sVK-TVIAEpwIC

    Syrian War: News #11 - Page 16 C0sVLoDUkAAnIYN

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    Syrian War: News #11 - Page 16 C0sbKGVXgAAQXha
    iBRABO ‏@BraboCo  23m23 minutes ago
    #ISIS post images of four #ATGM strikes on #Turkish military targets outside of al#Bab, #Syria. #RiskMonitoring #OSINT

    Turkey asks U.S.-led coalition for air support at Syria's al-Bab

    "The international coalition must carry out its duties regarding aerial support to the battle we are fighting in al-Bab. Not giving the necessary support is unacceptable," President Tayyip Erdogan's spokesman, Ibrahim Kalin, told a news conference.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/reuters/article-4066722/Turkey-asks-U-S-led-coalition-air-support-Syrias-al-Bab.html#ixzz4U3PdSmWN

    That was fast. Turkey seems to lack battle stamina, a few setbacks and they're whining for Uncle Sam's support.
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    Post  KiloGolf Tue Dec 27, 2016 5:03 pm

    MILITARY SITUATION IN AL-BAB ON DECEMBER 27, 2016 (SYRIA MAP UPDATE)

    Turkish forces have failed to recapture the al-Bab hospital from ISIS terrorists in in the western outskirts of al-Bab in the Syrian province of Aleppo. However, the Turkish army and pro-Turkey militant groups are still in the control of the strategic Dalil roundabout. This allows Turkish forces to keep pressure on ISIS units deployed in the town of al-Bab. Clashes are ongoing. On Monday, Turkey asked the US-led coalition to provide support to the Turkey-led operation against ISIS in al-Bab:

    “The international coalition must carry out its duties regarding aerial support to the battle we are fighting in al-Bab. Not giving the necessary support is unacceptable,” Reuters quoted President Tayyip Erdogan’s spokesman, Ibrahim Kalin, as saying. The US-led coalition has not officially commented on the Turkish request.

    At the same day, unconfirmed reports appeared that some “Russian” warplanes delivered a series of airstrikes against ISIS terrorists east of al-Bab. However, no photo or video evidence are available. Meanwhile, ISIS released more photos of clashes near al-Bab. ISIS uses anti-tank guided missiles against Turkish military equipment.

    Syrian War: News #11 - Page 16 186-1024x576

    Syrian War: News #11 - Page 16 342-1024x576

    https://southfront.org/military-situation-in-al-bab-on-december-27-2016-syria-map-update/

    The turkish force has been thoroughly pushed back from the hospital area. They don't seem to be able to retake it for now. Lots of political comments by Erdo's side on the lack of US air support. dunno

    Those ATGM troops are evidently punishing the Euphrates Shield folks. Poor tactics also don't help.
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    Post  calm Tue Dec 27, 2016 5:36 pm

    a rocket hit a wall next to a #saa soldiers he lights a cigarit and carry on ,zero fucks given
    Syrian War: News #11 - Page 16 C0sjGNkXEAAlgwaSyrian War: News #11 - Page 16 C0sjGNkXEAE76uE
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    Post  JohninMK Tue Dec 27, 2016 5:47 pm

    What genius thought it was a good idea to deploy their Intel van in arctic white for desert use. Don't they have spray cans of brown paint? Sitting bloody duck, probably with well trained guys inside too.

    Syrian War: News #11 - Page 16 C0sVLoDUkAAnIYN
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    Post  KiloGolf Tue Dec 27, 2016 6:15 pm

    calm wrote:a rocket hit a wall next to a  #saa soldiers he lights a cigarit and carry on ,zero fucks given

    Smoking kills my a** lol1
    What a legend

    Syrian War: News #11 - Page 16 TqmJK9P
    medo
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    Post  medo Tue Dec 27, 2016 6:40 pm

    calm wrote:^

    More

    0:37?  Rolling Eyes

    I wonder if SAA also capture some TOW launchers and missiles. That would be great, specially if they capture completes with TI cameras for night operations.
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    Post  calm Tue Dec 27, 2016 7:24 pm

    nice
    Syrian War: News #11 - Page 16 C0s7-i5XAAAO4Z7
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    Post  PapaDragon Tue Dec 27, 2016 7:25 pm

    KiloGolf wrote:
    calm wrote:a rocket hit a wall next to a  #saa soldiers he lights a cigarit and carry on ,zero fucks given

    Smoking kills my a** lol1
    What a legend

    Syrian War: News #11 - Page 16 TqmJK9P

    Nice, it's been a while since we had some good thug life material here Very Happy
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    Post  JohninMK Tue Dec 27, 2016 7:46 pm

    PapaDragon wrote:
    KiloGolf wrote:
    calm wrote:a rocket hit a wall next to a  #saa soldiers he lights a cigarit and carry on ,zero fucks given

    Smoking kills my a** lol1
    What a legend


    Nice, it's been a while since we had some good thug life material here Very Happy
    Marlbro man Mid East style
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    Post  JohninMK Tue Dec 27, 2016 7:47 pm

    New Peto map

    Syrian War: News #11 - Page 16 C0tCmHGXEAAOj6B
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    Post  VladimirSahin Tue Dec 27, 2016 8:41 pm

    Easy pockets... They need to just blitzkrieg those bastards and get it over with.
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    Post  calm Tue Dec 27, 2016 8:57 pm

    JohninMK wrote:New Peto map

    Syrian War: News #11 - Page 16 C0tCmHGXEAAOj6B

    Nice map.

    Take a look at the At Tall and Qusseya cities, both recently liberated, and both on a road that leads to Homs.

    Next target for SAA is Barada- Valley

    The #ModerateRebels in Barada- Valley just destroyed Al Figeeh spring that gives water for over 7 million people in #Damascus .
    Syrian War: News #11 - Page 16 C0scl--WgAA2PmT

    And trying to blame it on SAA.
    https://twitter.com/QalaatAlMudiq/status/813789154668515328

    Jyst days ago
    Damascus water supply cut after rebels pollute it with diesel. So revolutionary of them
    http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2016/Dec-23/386585-damascus-water-supply-cut-after-rebels-pollute-it-with-diesel.ashx
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    Post  KiloGolf Tue Dec 27, 2016 9:45 pm

    VladimirSahin wrote:Easy pockets... They need to just blitzkrieg those bastards and get it over with.

    Agreed, there is zero excusses of letting such pockets exist right next to their capital. That northern one right next to Lebanon seems very large though.

    On the turkish invasion, this is what the "FSA" mercenaries look like:
    Syrian War: News #11 - Page 16 Resized_86ab6-c368ea5eresized_657ce010e5c88baboso

    Also this just in:

    Qebziyat ‏@qebziyat  21m21 minutes ago

    According to Turkish sources US let coalition has mistakenly pounded Turkish troops near al Bab.

    Someone is having a really bad day
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    Post  nihilusa Tue Dec 27, 2016 10:24 pm

    A glimpse of ongoing cooperation between US and RF on ISIS and Syria by western media.

    CBSNews - U.S.-Russian talks on ISIS yielding surprising results, officials say

    "... But U.S. officials with knowledge of the ongoing conversations are crediting both sides with putting aside much of the public animosity, which has included Washington’s accusations of Russian war crimes in Aleppo and Moscow’s charges of American support for terrorist groups such as al-Qaeda. ..."

    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/us-russian-talks-on-isis-yielding-surprising-results-officials-say/
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    Post  OminousSpudd Tue Dec 27, 2016 10:26 pm

    KiloGolf wrote:
    Qebziyat ‏@qebziyat  21m21 minutes ago

    According to Turkish sources US let coalition has mistakenly pounded Turkish troops near al Bab.

    Someone is having a really bad day
    What is up with US intel these days? On our side we've had what, one Blue-on-Blue since the start of the VKS intervention? Yet I've lost count of the amount the US has managed to rack up in Iraq and Syria. The US is living up to its stereotype rather well... it would seem. unshaven

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