"They're All Bandits!" Russia Will Not Stop Syria Airstrikes Regardless Of Ceasefire

Tyler Durden's picture

Once upon a time, the CIA and Washington’s Mid-East Sunni allies had an idea.

The American forces occupying Iraq were handed a bit of a lemon in 2004 when Abu-Mus'ab al-Zarqawi pledged allegiance to Osama Bin Laden and took command of the al-Qaeda cell in Iraq, which grew by recruiting from the ranks of Saddam’s scattered security apparatus.

But you know what they say, “when absurd Mid-East foreign policy decisions end up handing you lemons, make sectarian lemonade,” and so Washington, Riyadh, and Doha eventually decided that AQI might just have a part to play in toppling the Alawite government in neighboring Syria.

And then, somewhere along the way, things went horribly awry. AQI became Islamic State and the “oust Assad” narrative took a backseat to the group’s new goal: establishing a medieval caliphate. Now, a decade after al-Zarqawi’s death, ISIS has metamorphosed into a black flag-waving, sword-wielding, white basketball shoe-wearing, slave-taking, flesh-eating band of marauding desert bandits in what is easily the worst case of blowback in the history of US foreign policy.

Of course Islamic State aren’t the only “bandits” running amok in Syria. The Pentagon as well as the Saudis and the Turks are backing all manner of Sunni extremists in the country and rather than try to identify who’s who, Russia’s strategy is simple: if you are firing assault rifles at government forces, you’re a terrorist and that means you are the target of the Russian air force.

Over the weekend, Russian Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev made it clear that even if there’s some manner of agreement with the “moderate opposition” in Geneva, any ceasefire will not apply to “terrorists.” But again, they’re all terrorists in Russia’s eyes so there will be no cessation of strikes until either the opposition surrenders or until they’re all killed.

Medvedev, who racked up a string of headline-worthy quotes at the 52nd Munich Security Conference over the weekend (see here), granted an exclusive interview with TIME and it contains a number of quotable moments including a particularly amusing passage wherein the PM says the following about the Syrian opposition:

"People who run around with automatic weapons should be fair game — not only the terrorists of the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria. They are all bandits and terrorists. They move around amongst themselves for various reasons: They get paid more somewhere else, or somebody has a falling out with somebody else. So it is very difficult for us to tell the difference between the very moderate ones and the not-so-moderate ones, the good from the bad.”

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From TIME's writeup:

Medvedev left little room to hope that the peace deal would actually take hold. Its hard-won provisions, he said, “at least give us grounds for some cautious optimism in the hope that we will be able to reach an agreement about the future, about the way the resolution process in Syria will go, about intra-Syrian dialogue, its principles, its participants.” He paused before adding, “And about a cease-fire.”

The conditions he listed for such a peace indicate how far out of reach it remains. First, Syrian President Bashar Assad would have to sit down at the negotiating table with the rebel forces “who are capable of reaching an agreement,” Medvedev said. “That circle of people still has to be determined.” After that, the negotiating parties would have to agree on Syria’s political structure and the process of democratic reforms. They would also have to figure out Assad’s role in a future Syria, “because otherwise it would be strange,” Medvedev said. “At that moment,” he added, the fighting “should come to an end.”

Medvedev would not directly answer TIME’s question about whether Russia shares this goal with Assad. “He is not the one who will determine the extent of Russia’s military presence over there,” Medvedev said. The Prime Minister did, however, suggest that Moscow would resist any division of Syria between Assad and the opposition.

“We would like Syria to stay within its historic borders as a unified country,” he said, adding: “None of us need another Libya, which broke up into several pieces, nor do we need the kind of chaos in which various territories are under the control of field commanders or, to put it plainly, bandits, regardless what religious rhetoric they use as cover.”

Continuing on the subject of uncomfortable alliances, the Prime Minister noted that a variety of corrupt and violent despots have enjoyed U.S. support over the years. To make the point, he invoked the famous phrase—“He’s a son of a bitch, but he’s our son of a bitch”— that President Franklin Roosevelt is alleged to have said of the Nicaraguan dictator Anastasio Somoza in 1939.

The Russian alliance with Syria may not be much different, Medvedev suggested. “Of course, we do our best to honor our contractual obligations. If someone asks us for help, we try to assist. Do we use the famous formula of the United States, about our son of a bitch? Not always,” he said, chuckling. “That’s an American idea.”

Even so, Medvedev warned the U.S. and its Arab allies not to send ground troops into Syria to support any of the opposition forces. “Let’s remember what happened in Afghanistan,” he said, referring to the U.S. invasion of that country in 2001. “They still can’t leave. So, as soon as a conflict moves to the point of ground operations, it becomes endless. This is what’s dangerous. So don’t do it. Don’t even use it as a scare tactic.”

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freewolf7's picture

I don't always commit suicide, but when I do, I wear Nikes.

Goliath Slayer's picture
Goliath Slayer (not verified) freewolf7 Feb 15, 2016 9:25 PM

The conspiracy that put Russia at loggerheads with the West https://goo.gl/nKJndT

eforce's picture

If Russia doesn't stop, it won't give Turks/Saudis time to invade...unless they are feeling suicidal.

chumbawamba's picture

Hey, dickwad Syrian "opposition": you've aligned yourself with ISIS, whether you want to believe it or not.  And as the great George Walker Bush said, you're either with us or you're with the terrists.  So prepare to die, mother fuckers.  Or repent and join the good fight.

I am Chumbawamba.

weburke's picture

allepo reminds me of verdun.

damascus must be next right? 

a wonderful verdun for mercenaries from all sides.

macholatte's picture

Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.


You only think I guessed wrong! That's what's so funny! I switched glasses when your back was turned! Ha ha! You fool! You fell victim to one of the classic blunders - The most famous of which is "never get involved in a land war in Asia" - but only slightly less well-known is this: "Never go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line"! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Ha ha ha...



BuddyEffed's picture

Desperate western economies/investors will do almost anything to keep their hands on the ISIS controlled oil or else some western profits or economies are troubled, stressed, and distressed to the point where their populations might get desperate with unrest as a possible downside risk.

Russia will do almost anything to protect Syria's current borders as it is to their economic advantage, plus they have the moral high ground.

I hope that this matter doesn't go over the top nasty where both sides consider going to their BNCs.  That would be so lose, lose, with the high possibility of collateral lose, lose too.

COSMOS's picture

A very funny joke on a news story comment board....

A joke to fellow Greeks from an Armenian:

In a train carriage there were a Greek man, a Turkish man, a spectacular looking blonde and a frightfully awful looking fat lady. After several minutes of the trip the train happens to pass through a dark tunnel, and the unmistakable sound of a slap is heard. When they leave the tunnel, the Turkish man had a big red slap mark on his cheek.(1) The blonde thought:- "That Turkish idiot wanted to touch me and by mistake, he must have put his hand on the fat lady, who in turn must have slapped his face".(2) The fat lady thought:- "This dirty old Turkish man laid his hands on the blonde and she smacked him".(3) The Turkish man thought:- "That stupid Greek man put his hand on that blonde and by mistake she slapped me".(4) The Greek man thought:- "I hope there's another tunnel soon so I can smack that Turko again".

HowdyDoody's picture

The Russians have sent one of their Tu-214R AWACS/ELINT aircraft to Syria. There will be no more sneaky A-10 attacks on hospitals. The Tu-214R will fill in the gaps in the S-400 radar coverage caused by the mountains immediatel east of Hymeim airbase.



chumbawamba's picture

Squeeze my lemon 'til the juice runs down my leg.


McCormick No. 9's picture

If you want to study the 19th century in microcosm, study the French Revolution.

If you want to study the 20th centur in microcosm, study the Spanish Civil War.

If you want to study the 21st century in microcosm, study the Syrian Civil War.

Socratic Dog's picture

Um, I think the French revolution was in the 18th century.  Good thought, but.  Although I'm buggered if I know what you meant.

general ambivalent's picture

19th Century is the long century, 1789-1913. 20th Century is the short century, 1914-1989. Pretty common for historians to discuss it this way (for example, the French Revolution may say more about what followed than what went on before, and as such has more in common with 19th Century histopry and philosophy).

1990-2001 are lost years, or perhaps the whole 21st will be.

Tall Tom's picture

1990-2001 are lost years, or perhaps the whole 21st will be.


No. They were the years of transition where we witnessed the fall of the former paradigm, the Industrial Age, to the current paradigm of the Information Age..


WE witnessed the fall of the Soviet State ending the Cold War, the opening of Eastern European markets, the fall of Japan's economic powerhouse, the rise of tensions in the Middle East, the rise of China as an economic powerhouse, the shift of industrial production from the west to the east, the beginning of the Information Age  with the commercial adventure of the Internet....


They will be remembered as a time of US dominance, innovation, and preeminence, like the 1920s, or the 1950s.


The parallels between the crash of 1929 and the crash of 2001 are uncanny.


The boom in the 1920s was due to US Industrial dominance which fed a Stock Market Bubble. Likewise the boom in Information Technologies in the 1990s fed an Internet Dot Com bubble.


Yes. Opportunity lost for the USA gave the opportunities to other emerging nations..Nature abhors a vaccuum and it seems as history does as well.

sam i am's picture
A curious case of Moty Cristal, Chabad, and Israeli militants in Odessa, by Scott


Truther's picture

Everything sucks though, right?


* I was so depressed last night thinking about the economy, wars, jobs, my savings, Social Security, retirement funds, etc., I called the Suicide Hotline. I got a call center in Pakistan, and when I told them I was suicidal, they got all excited, and asked if I could drive a truck."

Bernanke'sDaddy's picture

Logged in just to upvote you. Hilarious.

Truther's picture

Not only that, it's so fucking bad here that a truckload of Americans was caught sneaking into Mexico .

jerry_theking_lawler's picture

Frontrunning a position in the line to get their Carrier jobs back?

Kagemusho's picture

A genuine ROFLMFAO! Many thanks!

zorba THE GREEK's picture

Kill them all, let God sort them out,

Augustus's picture

From the article:

 Now, a decade after al-Zarqawi’s death, ISIS has metamorphosed into a black flag-waving, sword-wielding, white basketball shoe-wearing, slave-taking, flesh-eating band of marauding desert bandits in what is easily the worst case of blowback in the history of US foreign policy.


The Mohammadans are just returning to their historic ways of living.  Never was any real progress, just plundering.

MalteseFalcon's picture

These guys are always wearing masks?

What's with the masks?

What are they hiding?

Their beards?

o r c k's picture

Hey Honey....the Roto Rooter guys are here...  

LordBuckFast's picture

Russia are telling it as it is.....period!


And yet another example of why the West is heading towards the abyss......



Baby Bladeface's picture
Baby Bladeface (not verified) LordBuckFast Feb 16, 2016 5:43 AM

Ugh, again with this crap? Your net.kook spamming makes baby Jesus cry.

Truther's picture

Come on Vlad, Fuck them all to hell. Get it over with.

freewolf7's picture

Their bed clothes were unwrinkled.

847328_3527's picture

Those dudes think they're tough, but they would not last a minute outside an American mall wearing those fancy brand new Air Jordans. America's "Gentle Giants" and "Obama's sons" would knockout punch and trash them and be off with their seankers in a flash.

r0mulus's picture

Mevedev comes across as pretty hilarious in the interview.

Seems pretty clear he called Erdogan and the Sauds bitches by implication.

Techpriest of Mars's picture

these are zionist roaches, burn them to the last Vlad, hang them by theirs balls and put their heads in spikes on the turkish frontier sa that everyone who si going to cross know his fate.

no one is going to miss this filth

Peace From Algeria.

nmewn's picture

"Nice job Brownie."

Omega_Man's picture

walmart sneakers

Normalcy Bias's picture

Terminate with extreme prejudice, Vladimir!

flaminratzazz's picture

Looks like a merry bunch of marauders is all.. I am sure they would listen to reasoning if someone would just go down there and explain why head chopping goat raping child molesting and flesh eating is just not kosher.

chicmagnet's picture

There is a guy doing just that. he was going to sing folk songs to them. Wonder how he's making out with that.

Cycle's picture

Could someone please figure out who is paying for brand new Toyota trucks in the background?

BarnacleBill's picture

This link is a bit stale by now, but even after 16 months the question is still valid. The CIA won't answer it, and wonders why its credibility has gone up the spout!


Cabreado's picture

Put the onus on a corrupt Congress.
They know where they fail.
They know where they fail more than does the citizenry that put them there.

Oldballplayer's picture

I would love to meet the clown who thought it would be a good idea for a peace discussion in Munich. I guess this is "a thing" now.

Bernanke'sDaddy's picture

Check out this bad ass video of bandits getting ass raped by SAA ATGMs. Hilarious



Rusty Diggins's picture

That's gotta be getting expensive on a per kill basis...affective no doubt.

ghengis86's picture

Started off slow, but DAMN! Ends with a bang, or six! Wow. Like a fucking Turkey shoot! (Oh wait...)

TheReplacement's picture

Wow that starts out slow but really picks up after a bit.  That is a terrifying weapon.

SillySalesmanQuestion's picture

Are these "bandits" also in DC & Wall St.... inquiring minds want to know.

jm's picture

Russia could very well get its ass handed to it.  This is a potentially overextended Russian action that could easily cut off from the Black Sea.  Turkey and Saudi Arabia want to protect their position as energy suppliers just as much as Putin does. They also have every reason to push Iranian influence back.

Sit back and watch.  The US can't lose here. 



chumbawamba's picture

Jesus H. Fucking Christ you're an idiot.

I am Chumbawamba.