The Russians have a proverb that says the more you kick at a compost pile the more it smells. Syria is the compost pile, and it is starting to smell even worse. I never had any doubt ISIS was going to go down hard, fighting to the last man, and doing as much damage as it could. ISIS, as it likes to do, creates situations that result in unexpected things happening. In the battle for the Syrian city of Khanser, both Hezbollah and Iran just had senior level commanders killed. Further, ISIS just managed to enrage both Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, as well as Hezbollah Special Forces. The results of that are going to be spectacular in my view.
The so called cease fire, which Vladimir Putin just said, for the last time, does not cover either ISIS or Al Qaida. A map showing the actual areas and groups covered by the cease fire is circulating online. Let’s just say out of the total land mass of Syria the area covered is somewhere between minimal and non-existent. Now that ISIS has waved the red flag in front of the Iranian, Hezbollah and Russian bull, it is reasonable to assume the Russian Air Force is going to pay the ISIS troops around Khanser a visit. The MIG’s will drop presents, bombs and missiles, and they will light off 30 mm fireworks no doubt. ISIS is now going to get a fast lesson in the kind of hurt Putin can put on people who annoy him.
The Syrian ceasefire is scheduled to take effect at midnight Syrian time February 27th, 2016. Syria is eight hours ahead of me, so that would be 4 on Saturday afternoon Pacific Standard Time. I don’t even have to put on my magician’s costume to tell you nothing will change in Syria. Given the tiny area covered by the cease fire, when compared with the other 95 percent of Syria, I can assure you combat operations will not only not stop, they will likely increase.
My view, which I share with Torah Tips over at timebomb.2000, is the true goal of the ceasefire is a reset, or in computer terms a reboot. I read with some bemusement the cease fire claims various groups can’t use it to resupply. Sheesh, I mean of course they will resupply. The whole point of the cease fire is to allow the Russian Air Force to increase the tempo of sorties, and focus them on the two groups they want to. It is not surprising we can expect a massive wave of air strikes on both ISIS and Al Qaida. The reason is the Russian Air Force will now have a free hand to do so. They will redeploy resources from the other 100 groups they have been bombing, down to just two.
The Russians have also been complaining that John Kerry’s Plan B represents a certain lack of faith in the cease fire. Gee, Obama and NATO are already writing the cease fire off and moving towards a buffer zone, or a no fly zone or whatever other idiotic idea they can think of. Erdogan has said multiple times he will continue to attack the Kurds since he thinks they are terrorists; therefore, are open season for his military.
We have seen a drone/missile shot down. We have reports of Turkish Air Force jets cruising around the area that has the Russian Air Base. We have further deployments of Saudi Air Force jets to the NATO airbase. Now, given all of that, exactly what is expected to change by Sunday? Turkey won’t stop. Iran, Syria, the Kurds, and Russia won’t stop. ISIS and Al Qaida won’t stop. WE have a situation that is rapidly spinning out of control. The cease fire will do nothing to stop the ongoing violence in my view. It may even increase it as the Russian Air Force and ISIS go head to head. We can expect both Hezbollah and Iran to go after ISIS with the kind of passion they are well known for. The government’s telling their citizens to leave Lebanon tells me something is going to happen in Lebanon also. I’m not sure what, but at this point anything is possible.
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