It gets better; he seems to be the first one to advance the fascinating hypothesis that Russia in Syria might be signaling the coming of age of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) as a "putative military alliance."
Naturally he admits that the "4+1" at work in Syria -- consisting of Russia, Syria, Iran, Iraq plus Hezbollah - are not the SCO; after all, the only SCO member here is Russia (Iran is an observer and will get full membership as soon as UN sanctions are lifted).
What matters is the key objective of the "4+1" in action is exactly to preempt NATO, posing as a Global Robocop, to unleash Libya-style regime change projects disguised as R2P ("responsibility to protect," the sanitized denomination of humanitarian imperialism).
Crooke is spot on when defining the actions of the "4+1" -- for all practical purposes -- as a "pilot," or work in progress, in terms of successful non-NATO coalitions. This, more than anything else, is what's enraging the "Empire of Chaos" like never before.
Thus the relentless droning in US corporate media which for the moment totally ignores every "4+1" success on the ground; dismisses them as irrelevant; or bets on their absolute failure. So the outcome of the extremely high-stakes game in Syria is of unprecedented strategic importance for the Global South.
The "4+1" were in fact invited by the (elected) government in power in Damascus to help wipe the US/Saudi/Turkish/Qatari-backed "moderate rebels," and most of all ISIS/ISIL/Daesh goons off the Syrian map.
Compare it to the NATO-GCC "Coalition of the Dodgy Opportunists" (CDO), which includes Salafi-jihadi enablers/sympathizers such as Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar operating illegally and with no authority whatsoever over Syrian airspace.
Make no mistake; the Global South is watching. Especially the One China "threat."
(Note: You can view every article as one long page if you sign up as an Advocate Member, or higher).