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Putin Ups the Ante: Ceasefire Sabotage Triggers Major Offensive in Aleppo

By       Message Mike Whitney     Permalink
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Reprinted from Smirking Chimp

"Syria is the summation of all the errors of a dysfunctional empire collapsing upon itself. History forgotten. Science ignored. Facts denied. Propaganda cannot hide that West is supporting and killing Islamists at the same time in a World War that risks escalating into a nuclear holocaust." -- Vietnam Vet, comments-line, Sic Semper Tyrannis

The attack on Deir Ezzor was a flagrant act of betrayal. For the first time in the five year-long war, US warplanes targeted an SAA military outpost killing 62 Syrian regulars. The surprise attacks -- which lasted for the better part of an hour and were followed by a coordinated ground assault by members of ISIS -- were intended to torpedo the fragile ceasefire agreement and send a message to Moscow that the US was prepared to achieve its strategic objectives in Syria whether it had to launch direct attacks on defenders of the regime or not.

The attacks -- for which the Pentagon eventually accepted responsibility -- were followed by a callous and thoroughly-unprofessional tirade by the administration's chief diplomat at the United Nations, Samantha Power. Power dispelled any doubt that either she or anyone else in the Obama administration cared at all about the people who lost their lives in the bombing raid. She also made it clear that she didn't care if the US had violated the terms of the ceasefire just two days before critical parts of the agreement were scheduled to be implemented.

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Naturally, Moscow was taken aback by Washington's reaction, its blatant disregard for the soldiers they killed, and its obvious determination to sabotage the ceasefire. Having reflected on Obama's de facto rejection of the agreement, Putin pursued the only viable option left open to him; more war. As a result, he has intensified his efforts on the battlefield particularly around Aleppo where the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and crack-units from Hezbollah have launched a three-prong attack that will dispose of the US-backed jihadists that have destroyed much of Syria over the last half-decade and displaced over 7 million civilians.

Bottom line: Having foreclosed the political option for reducing the violence, the Obama administration will now face the consequences for its rejection.

Here's an excellent summary of developments on the ground around Aleppo from decorated veteran and retired senior officer of U.S. Military Intelligence and U.S. Army Special Forces (The Green Berets) Colonel W. Patrick Lang. The article was posted on September 24:

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"As of today, forces have been massed at Aleppo for the purpose of eliminating the East Aleppo rebel pocket. This pocket has now been without re-supply for an extended period. This is true for both the jihadi rebels and the civilian population, many of whom are rebel supporters.

"IMO (In my opinion) the main effort by R+6 is taking place at the SE side of the East Aleppo pocket. That is now underway with massive CAS from Russian aerospace forces. At the same time Palestinian militia allies with CAS have attacked the fortified Handarat refugee camp at the NE corner of the pocket. IMO this is a secondary attack intended to prevent the rebels moving forces south to oppose the main R+6 effort.

"This is an excellent plan.

"At the same time there is an unconfirmed report from SOHR in London (pro-rebel) that a Russian force with 3,000 men has been positioned at al-Safir about 12 km. SE of the main attacks on the Aleppo pocket. If this report is correct this force is well positioned to reinforce the main attack or be used in a defensive move against a rebel effort elsewhere. It would be in the Russian operational tradition to pass a reinforcing 'wave' or echelon of forces through the initial assault forces when they become exhausted by combat...

"The foreign policy establishment (Borg) in the West wants to believe that war is obsolete as a factor in the story of humanity... They believe that they have inherited the earth and that their cleverness will always prevail over mere force.

"We will now have a demonstration that this is not true." pl

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("Flash! Washpost discovers that Syria War may be "winnable," Sic Semper Tyrannis)

Obama's de facto rejection of the ceasefire has created the conditions for a decisive military defeat in Aleppo. The fate of the CIA-trained "moderate" terrorists hunkered down in East Aleppo is not that different from that of General George Armstrong Custer at the Little Bighorn who was surrounded by a superior military force and summarily slaughtered to the man. This is the option Pentagon warlord, Ash Carter chose when he decided to sabotage the joint military implementation agreement and go rogue. Carter opposed the ceasefire deal and in doing so signed the death warrant for hundreds of US-backed extremists who chances for survival are growing slimmer by the day.

According to recent reports, pro-government forces are advancing on a number of fronts. At the same time, the Syrian and Russian air forces have intensified their bombing campaign reducing large swathes of the city to rubble and killing several hundred Sunni militants. While the jihadists have performed better than many had expected, their fate is no longer in doubt. The cauldron is encircled, their front lines are collapsing, their supply lines have been severed, and the end is in sight.

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Mike is a freelance writer living in Washington state.


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