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Tuesday, November 24

At a time and place of Russia's choosing. Until then, keep winning the war in Syria

Surprisingly measured advice from Tony Cartalucci at Land Destroyer in response to Turkey's downing of a Russian fighter jet. I'd expected him to yell, 'I told you so!' I think he was the first to warn in public about Turkey's deep involvement with Islamic State but for a long time he was warning in a glass booth. Here are highlights from his post today:

Russian Warplane Down: NATO's Act of War
Despite blatant provocation, Russia must continue toward the finish line.
November 24, 2015 (Tony Cartalucci - NEO) 

Russia Continues Toward the Finish Line

In recent weeks with Russian air support, Syrian troops have retaken large swaths of territory from ISIS, Al Qaeda, and other terrorist fighters. The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) has even begun approaching the Euphrates River east of Aleppo, which would effectively cut off ISIS from its supply lines leading out of Turkish territory.
From there, Syrian troops would move north, into the very "safe zone" the US and its Turkish partners have long sought but have so far failed to establish within Syria's borders. This "safe zone" includes a region of northern Syrian stretching from Jarabulus near the west bank of the Euphrates to Afrin and Ad Dana approximately 90-100 kilometers west.

Once Syrian troops retake this territory, the prospect of the West ever making an incursion into Syria, holding territory, or compromising Syria's territorial integrity would be lost forever. Western ambitions toward regime change in Damascus would be indefinitely suspended.

The endgame is at hand, and only the most desperate measures can hope to prevent Russia and Syria from finally securing Syria's borders. Turkey's provocation is just such a measure.
Russia's time, place, and method of retaliating against Turkey is something only the Kremlin will know. But Russia's actions upon the international stage have been so far thoroughly thought out, allowing Moscow to outmaneuver the West at every juncture and in the wake of every Western provocation.
For Turkey's government -- one that has been consistent only in its constant failure regarding its proxy war against its neighbor Syria, and which has been caught planning false flag provocations to trigger wider and more direct war in Syria, and whose government is now exposed and widely known to be directly feeding, not fighting ISIS -- the prospect of Russian retaliation against it, either directly or indirectly, and in whatever form will leave it increasingly isolated.
Until then, Russia's best bet is to simply continue winning the war. Taking the Jarabulus-Afrin corridor and fortifying it against NATO incursions while cutting off ISIS and other terrorist factions deeper within Syria would be perhaps the [the most damaging] of all possible retaliations.
With Syria secured, an alternative arc of influence will exist within the Middle East, one that will inevitably work against Saudi and other Persian Gulf regimes' efforts in Yemen, and in a wider sense, begin the irreversible eviction of Western hegemony from the region.
Right on, Tony. Until the West extricates itself from entanglement with very bad actors, it's best that it backs off from trying to 'save' the Middle East. President Obama had assured Americans he intended to do just that. Slowly, the American public began to learn he'd only switched U.S. war policy from overt to covert actions. "The tip of the shadowy spear" as Zenpundit's Mark Safranski once called it. 

Trouble was, nobody outside the highest circles knew back then that the tip of the shadowy spear was not U.S. Special Forces but foreign mercenary armies made up of terrorist groups and their fellow travelers.

Instead of leading the U.S. forward, Obama had simply recreated the wheel the U.S. made during the Cold War.


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