Syria's Cauldron: One Step Away from Major Showdown

Tyler Durden's picture

Authored by Peter Korzun via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

Syrian rebels from Eastern Lions and Ahmad al-Abdo Army formations – the elements of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) - state that they are «intensely» attacking Iranian-backed pro-government militias in the eastern Syrian desert in an operation dubbed «The Land is Ours». The forces’ strength is around four thousand. The main enemies are the Islamic State (IS), Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and Syrian government-allied forces. The operation is conducted near Syria’s borders with Iraq and Jordan. This time, the mission is to squeeze the SAA and its allies out from the desert areas.

Supplied from Jordan, the opposition plans to ultimately advance further into Syria’s territory. Combat operations areas encompass the de-escalation zones proposed by Russia, Turkey and Iran where ceasefire was expected to be established on June 6. In peace talks in early May, Russia, Iran and Turkey signed an agreement to create four de-confliction zones in Syria. This deal was supposed to apply to the US as well, but the Trump administration has refused to recognize the legitimacy of these de-escalation zones—even while using them to justify attacks on Syrian government-allied forces.

Evidently, one of the goals pursued by the escalation of hostilities is to demonstrate that the armed opposition is a force to reckon with at a time the crisis management talks are held in Astana and Geneva. Obviously, this is an attempt to subvert the ongoing international peace efforts.

At first glance, the mission appears to be a dubious venture as the opposition forces advance into desert with no urban areas. However, the goal is not to seize populated areas but rather to undermine the Russia-backed initiative aimed at establishing de-escalation zones. The opposition has decided that the time is right for changing the tide of war into its favor. The forces can advance more rapidly in desert as the SAA presence there is not as strong as in other areas.

Another goal is to cut off the Syrian Army and the Shia Hezbollah movement supply routes from Iran. It’s the south and the south-west of Syria where the decisive battles are fought today. On May 18, the US sent aircraft to strike Syrian regular army (the Syrian Arab Army-SAA) vehicles near al-Tanf, an army base where special forces are training Syrian militias. No doubt, the airstrike and “the Land is Ours” offensive are not isolated events.

It should be noted that the United States has bombed Syrian government-allied forces three times in just eight months. Does the U.S. have the right to tell Syria where its forces can go in its own country and strike them at will? Can it be done without benefitting IS terrorists? Still, that’s what the American military does while US officials condemn other actors involved in Syria’s conflict.

Meanwhile, US Special Forces have set up a forward base at Al-Zukf in the Syrian Desert, 70km northwest of the Syrian-Iraqi-Jordanian border triangle and the Al Tanf crossing, which is controlled by US, Western allied and Jordanian special forces, together with the Revolutionary Commando - a US-trained Syrian rebel unit. The mission is to keep the SAA and Hezbollah units away from the Al-Tanf crossing and prepare a springboard to attack Abu Kamal, located at a distance of 200km northwest of Al-Tanf. The overriding goal is to prevent Syrian and pro-Syrian forces from gaining control of the Syrian-Iraqi border, leaving Syria with no direct land route to connect it with Iran through Iraq.

The opposition takes other actions to thwart the peace efforts. Maghawir Al-Thawra Army, an international-coalition-backed division of the Free Syrian Army, announced the establishment of a military base for training and maneuvering in al-Zakf area of the Syrian desert. Formally the declared goal is to prepare for liberation of Abu Kamal from Islamic State (IS). Instructors from the US-led coalition are present at the base for training and supervision.

On June 6, the US-backed rebel alliance declared the start of the battle to liberate the Syrian city of Raqqa, the extremist group Islamic State’s (IS) stronghold and self-declared capital in the country. The SDF, a coalition of Syrian Kurds and Arabs, is engaged in heavy fighting with militants on the eastern and northern outskirts of Raqqa. The IS forces are reported to be fully encircled but in reality the fighters flee the besieged city to join the fighting in Palmyra and Deir Ez-Zor. The Russian Aerospace Forces (not the US-led coalition aircraft) deliver strikes to prevent them from moving southwards.

The IS terrorists in Deir Ez-Zor received large reinforcements and now they are attacking government troops in the area. They have managed to intensify the offensive against the Syrian government-held Deir Ez-Zor because the US-led Syrian Democratic Forces let them escape from Raqqa and move to other places. The same way the US-led coalition allows IS fighters to leave Mosul in Iraq and move to Deir ez-Zor. And everywhere they go, it’s Russian, not US aviation that prevents extremists from moving freely around the country.

If Deir ez-Zor is captured, the IS will free significant forces to reinforce its positions in other places. The city will become the new capital of the self-proclaimed caliphate. The Syrian land forces moving to reinforce the Deir-ez-Zor defenders from Palmyra still have about 180-200 km to go overcoming stiff resistance from the IS forces. It will take time. They pin their hopes on Russia’s aviation and the reinforcements coming by air, including those transported by Russian Il-76 cargo aircraft transferred to the Syrian Air Force.

US officials have spoken so often about the need to do away with the Islamic State but they have failed to convert the words into deeds. Freeing Raqqa and Mosul while providing the opportunity for the IS to capture Deir-ez-Zor and seize new territory is like robbing Peter to pay Paul.

While the world’s attention is focused on the Arab rift with Qatar isolated by a number of Saudi-led states, the situation in Syria is nearing conflict to nullify the achievements of the Astana and Geneva peace efforts. The ingathering of major forces in this part of Syria is ominous. It augurs the approach of a major showdown for control of southeastern Syria and its strategic multiple border assets. The situation calls for urgent contacts between US and Russian officials to dissipate tensions and make arrangements to prevent the worst.

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Jubal Early's picture

WARD.  What Are the Rothschilds Doing.

They are shutting down the Qatari gas fields so they can supply Europe from their Leviathon fields and from their stolen Golan heights:

They have their little European puppet armies like Norway blocking the Baghdad to Damascus hiway at al Tanf with Nato chapter 5.

They are sending their ISIS vassals into European capitals to cause terrorist chaos and help in the cultural genocide started through mass immigration and miscengany.

They are trying to foment another intra-europe war among Christians in Ukraine, Belorussia, Poland and the Baltics.

It is all in the Protocols.


World Cash Day's picture

"They have their little European puppet armies like Norway blocking the Baghdad to Damascus hiway at al-Tanf with Nato chapter 5."


NATO Article 5 doesn't apply in the Syrian desert you fool.

The Russians could bomb these fools to smithereens and other NATO members would turn around and say "What the hell are you doing in the Syrian desert?!?!?"


Jubal Early's picture

I am not aware of chapter 5 being limited geographically, but the mere fact that they are NORTH ATLANTIC TREATY ORGANIZATION and they are fighting in the deserts of Mesopotamia should be enought.  But it won't.  Nato is Zato and this has everything to do with greater israel and nothing to do with Europe.

BOPOH's picture

Read The Protocols of the Elders of Zion attentively. Rothshilds are only agents.

Erek's picture

There are no "good guys". There are no "bad guys". Everyone is fighting everybody and it's every man for himself. What a hell-hole!

Mr Hankey's picture

Secular ophthalmologist is the better guy.

Freddie's picture

Indeed.  Assad and his family celebrate Christmas and Easter.   Google Images and look for Chrstmas Damascus.  You will see Christmas lights everywhere.

The ZATO/ZWO-Soros-MIC-ziocon monsters turned rather nice Syria and Libya into hell holes.  Theyalso turned a not so nice Ukraine into an even worse hell hole.  The NovoRussian areas - DonBass and Lugnhask are better and the people are more civilizzed.


hestroy's picture

Are you some kind of joo retard?

Jubal Early's picture

He probably can't see that is exactly what they are doing across the US and Europe.  Spreading strife anc chaos.  He probably doesn't recognize that BLM and Occupy are just off flavors of the same Rothschild financed color revolutions taking place from 1848 to 1917 to Rose, Orange, Tahiri, to today.

Mr Hankey's picture


MS7's picture

"Free Syrian Army." The CIA probably thought up this name for their ISIS buddies.

WTFUD's picture

One good turn deserves another! Time to missile those NATO ( Vichy ) freaks to hell.

Freddie's picture

Islamic State is ZATO. 

What has been done to Syria is sickening.

I never thought I would sing the praises of Hezbollah but they are in Syria along with the Russians and iranians protecting all Syrians including Syrian Christians.   The USSA-Soros-Isrhael is doing what they have done for 450 years - killing Christians and other innocents in fake and proxy bankster and elite "wars" for profit.

Christian Lebanese singer - singing the praises of Hezbollah for their defense of Lebanon from invaders.

Volkodav's picture

      cos only knew what media told...


lakecity55's picture

The US is NOT invited into Syria. Only the Russian Federation has been legally invited.

Also the Iranians were legally asked to help.

The UN is a joke.

Kendle C's picture

So   now we have to turn all those up votes into the ADL, IDF, Mossad. We got ya! Hezbollah lovers. When they cut down trees they tag them first. You Americans have to realize once and for all, you are our tool, The Golem, you are useful to us and we will let you live if you serve us or are useful in other ways. Rebellious slaves get whipped!

undertow1141's picture

Syria-- John McCain's new Vietnam. A traitor then, a traitor now.

2banana's picture

Under what authority does America bomb Syrian army positions in their own country?

Over and over again?

Victor999's picture

America is under no authority - America IS the authority.

Nexus789's picture

A degenerate out of control empire 

lakecity55's picture

UN Resolution 'The US Can Attack Anyone.'

steve golf's picture

Theoretically, under the President.

Maestro Maestro's picture

Good article, thanks Peter.


Fireman's picture

When Russia finally fries this I$I$ slash Al CIAduh terrorist filth the world will gasp and then spontaneously burst into applause at the apparent and long overdue collapse of the anglozionazi sewer in Washing town and all things USSAN. Meanwhile the anglozionazis are eating themselves on both sides of the Atlanticist swamp as their oily fiefdoms implode. It can only get better.

Kokulakai's picture

"Their main enemies are..."

Just Three?

The world is tumbling headlong into global conflagration.

foxenburg's picture

"Russia, Iran and Turkey signed an agreement to create four de-confliction zones in Syria"

The writer is only adding to the confusion. The zones agreed by Russia, etc are called "de-escalation zones."


The "de-confliction zone" is an American concept that no-one else has heard of or understands. 

JohninMK's picture

For Chris sake, he just got the name wrong.

But you are right, the 'de-confliction zone' is the name of an (I think it is just one) area that the US/Coalition has decided that it wants as a US proxy only area. I am not sure if it has been actually defined geographically but, as the article correctly states its prime objective is to keep the SAA away from the al-Tanf border crossing.

Lavrov has specifically stated that Russia has not agreed anything of the kind.

Quite what will happen when the Iraqi PMF army, which has Syrian Government permission to cross into Syria, gets there is as yet undefined. They have already reached the border crossing further NE. The PMF is a very effective and well armed Iraqi/Iranian 100,000 strong Shia army that the US hates. It is not mentioned in the article but it will almost certainly be critically important in the fight for Deir.

The Syrians/Russians/Iranians as well as everyone else are well aware that the future shape of Syria is dependent on what happens in Deir. It has been besieged now for about 4 years and there are about 100,000 Syrians trapped there, many of whom would be slaughtered by ISIS as Christians. How they have held on is a story in itself. The US, sorry ISIS, is now throwing everything it can at the town as once ISIS has taken it from the SAA then their other proxy force, the SDF can take it from ISIS. This means that the overtly US backed SDF will not have to directly fight the SAA/Russia for the town. If they lose the town the Syrian Government will not only see large numbers of their citizens slaughtered but they will have effectively lost control of everything east of the Euphrates.

Needless to say, this is a battle worth following. The new Saudi/Qatari tiff must be pissing off the US and helping the Syrians/Iranians as it is taking their eyes off the ball. Get the popcorn in, this is coming to a head.

Volkodav's picture

       Orcs tried battalion size assaults Lugansk last days...

       heavy shelling, tanks, serious but not real gain


JohninMK's picture

It seems to have died down now. But you are raising a conflict that nobody in the West cares about now, Ukraine.

It uses to make the news when the Neos were in overt control but now it is a squabble that DC/EU just wishes would miraculously disappear. I suspect that Kiev just ups the tempo every so often to both test the international reaction and keep their troops, who must be pretty fed up by now, active with some kind of real action. Mind you every time they try it they get nowhere and leave their bodies behind.

Maybe they think they can achieve something whilst the World and specifically Russia is distracted by the ME. Personally I doubt that as the Russian Western Military District is probably not distracted at all and champing at the bit to remove this running sore just over the border. By giving the US 24 hours warning of a strike, sufficient time for NATO forces to get out of danger areas and the oligarchs and families to get out, it could probably be over in a couple of days at most.

Still, that's for another thread on another day.

sinbad2's picture

The Russians have found Americas limit, they can't fight simultaneous wars in Syria, Libya Yemen North Korea and Ukraine.

The Chinese and Russians are bleeding the US out, but slowly so the yanks don't know they are dying.

When America collapses freedom will come to many countries, including Ukraine.

lakecity55's picture

Last time I was in Amman it was a real clusterf###.

I suppose it's gotten even more confusing.


AllBentOutOfShape's picture

FSA = Islamic State, al-Nusra, al-Qaeda, and every other Wahhabi group of shit-stains they concoct.


esum's picture

Meantime 20000 jiahdis in US
2000+ ISIS IN MEXICAN TRAINING CAMPS.... working with drug cartels crossing the border at will...
dont wait for it to come to you..... take the initiative and go after them while they are not expecting it..hunt and kill
In the UK they ought to be rousting the known jihadis daily .... random sweeps and infiltrate the radical mosques... they had no trouble doing this with the Irish... goatfuckers deserve it more

Brazen Heist's picture

Qatar has done the math and realized its time to jump off the US-Saudi pile of vomit.

Turkey has done the same.

Egypt knows, despite its rhetoric against Qatar.

China knows too.

Pakistan did the math and quietly distanced itself as well.

India knows.

Lebanon knows.

Iraq is struggling to free itself from US tutelage, but it knows.

Russia and Iran, Syria knew long ago.

The Kurds are suckers for siding with Uncle $cam.

silvercity's picture

Does the U.S. have the right to tell Syria where its forces can go in its own country and strike them at will?

The US government owns the entire Earth and therefore has the right to do anything it desires to do with it's property, the Earth. Libertarian theory at it's best.

sinbad2's picture

The US thinks it is God.

Rabbitnexus's picture

Soon many US troops will start to die in Syria. The defenders have not come this far only to have the great Satan steal victory from them at the last.