In Part One we looked at the north/South alignment of forces which seek to intrude themselves upon Syrian territory, and the web of duplicity by which they achieve that goal. Turkey, under the rubric of an “Astana Peace Process,” originally snuck itself into neighboring Syria as a ‘partner’ “guarantor” of de-escalation, such that it’s armed formations would be able to come and go as they pleased. Then it invented a wholly different ‘mission’ – by which the Kurds in Afrin Canton were labelled “terrorists” collectively, so as to ‘justify’ a violent jihad against a secular enclave which had rendered no threat whatsoever to Turkey’s peace or security.
This jack in the box, however, was not done with the pop ups. In the past week it has become gradually clear that the movement of Turkish military assets deeper and deeper into Syrian territory has been part of a plan to a) match up with al Qaeda franchise “Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham“, in confronting the Kurds on their southern flank, then pivot south to impede the northward progress of the SAA and it’s Iranian militia allies. By blocking their advance, the Turks are engendering an outbreak of voilent factional struggle between Sunni and Shia Muslim fighters – something perfect of course for tel avivs’ playbook, and also tying up national forces in a ‘second front’ which will weaken Syrian response to any drives against them in the south.
The upshot of that part one analysis? The coalition of Muslim Turkey and Sionist Israel has transitioned from a covert ‘diplomatic’ and weapons/intelligence sharing relationship to an overt military alliance to attrite Syrian national recovery.
Now we move the map over to the north east – an even more murky territory where media dissimulations are creating even bigger false narratives.
We need to look therefore, into the plans of both the Americans, and the Russians respectively. And as the Russians represent the more significant players at the moment, lets look at them first. Painted by many elements of the media as a kind of white knight force selflessly pursuing an agenda of peace and reconciliation for Syria in specific, and the middle east in general, the Russians, of course, have their own concealed agenda which is for the benefit of Russia… not any one else; such is how things work – in the real world. Having participated in the almost competed deletion of Daesh/Isis from the scene, they are now in place a) as ‘guarantors’ of de-escalation, like the Turks, and b)guarantors of their own ‘post war’ energy interests – again – just like the Turks, but also to note – just as the Russians are doing in northern Iraq, with their oil and gas plays.
Now for the biggie! We all know about the ‘contractors’ which America has employed in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere, to minimize political consequences of foreign interventions. This is a big ‘negative’ in the eyes of those who follow the geopolitical developments in the middle east, and really, rightly so! Mercenaries employed for the purpose of achieve state actors’ goals are an unseemly part of modern warfare. They are, essentially, not too different from the jihadist mercenaries who have wreaked so much havoc on Syria.
So, then: why is no one talking about The Wagner Group: aka - PMC Wagner, ChVK Wagner, or CHVK Vagner? Russian paramilitary organisations which contract to provide ‘services’ in the Ukraine Donbass imbrogolio … and now, Syria, are the eastern equivalent of Blackwater aka, well we know all those incarnations don’t we? And now, we find out that they were the particular ‘grouping’ of soldiers which attacked the SDF in Deir ez Zor region last week. Or were they? In this report - http://geopolitics-behind-the-mask.36089.n8.nabble.com/More-Method-to-the-Madness-or-Madness-to-the-Method-td81.html
where I relied the story of the media campaign to place the Russians and Americans at odds in eastern Syria, it seemed that a lot of smoke was being blown about the ‘tribal forces’ who had attacked the SDF placements ‘for their own reasons’ – without any authorizations or instructions from above.
But now we move a bit closer to the action –
“America launched airstrikes on Syrian government-backed troops February 7 after they attacked Syrian opposition forces who were accompanied by U.S. advisers in Deir el-Zour Province. The U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), aided by coalition support, are battling Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants east of the Euphrates River. Syrian government forces are active on the other side of the river around the city of Deir el-Zour.
The U.S. coalition launched the strikes after as many as 500 attackers began what appeared to be a coordinated assault on an SDF headquarters, where the Turkish forces are accompanied by U.S. troops.”
” U.S.-led Coalition forces and partnered Syrian Democratic Forces carried out air and artillery strikes in response to what appears to be a coordinated attack on the SDF near the deconfliction line east of the Euphrates river in Deir Ezzor, Syria, a Coalition spokesperson said on Thursday.
“Pro-regime forces initiated hostilities with artillery pieces (D-30/M-30 type). Additionally, Syrian pro-regime forces maneuvered T-55 and T-72 main battle tanks with supporting mortar fire in what appears to be a coordinated attack on Syrian Democratic Forces approximately 8 kilometers east of the Euphrates River de-confliction line in Khusham, Syria,” CJTF-OIR Public Affairs Officer Colonel Thomas F. Veale told The Defense Post in an emailed statement.
“Syrian pro-regime forces moved in an approximate battalion-sized dismounted formation supported by artillery, tanks, multiple-launch rocket systems and mortars.”
The SDF and Coalition responded “with a combination of air and artillery strikes” after 20-30 artillery and tank rounds landed within 500 meters of the SDF headquarters.”
An American viewpoint.
“As many as 215 Russian citizens may have been killed last week by the Coalition and Syrian Democratic Forces in Deir Ezzor, according to information shared on Russian social media.
The U.S.-led Coalition against Islamic State said on Thursday that it responded to an “unprovoked attack” on a well-established SDF headquarters by forces aligned with the Syrian regime.
Military officials said Coalition aircraft including F-22A Raptors, MQ-9B Reapers, F-15E Strike Eagles, AC-130 gunships, U.S. Army Apache helicopters and U.S. Marine artillery ground forces engaged the pro-regime fighters.
A February 10 post on Russian social networking service VKontakte says 253 Russians were sent into a fight near Deir Ezzor, and 196 of them died in the attack. The force consisted of Russian Special Operations Forces alongside Russians employed by private military contractor PMC Wagner, equipped with artillery and tanks.
The Coalition and SDF attack lasted for four hours. The engagement began with artillery strikes, followed by Lockheed AC-130 Spectre and helicopter attacks.
“The wounded are already in Russia, most of them in serious condition. The injuries are terrible. Many have horribly mutilated faces and head injuries. Almost all have either lost their limbs or have them terribly wounded. We are not going to guess how many of them will stay alive, hoping for the best,” the post reads, noting that it is impossible to identify those who have been killed.
Audio recordings detail Russian casualties
Audio recordings of phone calls made by unidentified men have circulated on WhatsApp. The calls purport to describe the circumstances of the attack.
“I just called the guys. They formed a column and they didn’t make it to the position … some 300-700 meters to the position. One platoon went ahead, but the column wasn’t moving,” a man says, using a lot of expletives. “Those [forces] raised the American flag, and the artillery started hitting them hard, and then choppers arrived…”
According to the man, the SDF then began firing artillery at the column, and 200-215 people died in the assault.
“Look, 177 killed – that is just the Fifth Company. The Second remained basically intact. The Fifth one was all destroyed,” a different man says in a separate recording. “The guys had no chances.”
He blamed the attack on “the Kurds and the Americans.”
So. The ‘tribalist forces’ originally fingered for the strangely ‘unauthorised attack’ on Daesh… turn into Russian subcontractors?
Russian and American military deployments – coming ever closer to the point of casualities created by “friendly/unfriendly” fire?
Part Three – comin up next!