The Liberation of Palmyra

The Palmyra Citadel.
The Palmyra Citadel.
The Palmyra Amphitheater.
The Palmyra Amphitheater.
Life news still of ancient Palmyra.
Life news still of ancient Palmyra this week.
The Syrian Army, liberators of Palmyra, defenders of civilisation.
The Syrian Army, liberators of Palmyra, defenders of civilisation.

March 31st, 2016.

The Liberation of Palmyra.

Civilisation triumphs over the forces of nihilism, chaos and destruction.

The US Air force stood, watched and did nothing in May 2015 as the city of Palmyra fell to  ISIS.

Ten months later and Russia has emerged as the defender of civilisation in Syria and nothing makes this clearer than the liberation of Palmyra.

While the US was perfectly happy to stand back and watch Syria being looted and pillaged by the forces of chaos and mayhem, Russia sent her soldiers  to fight and die in the fight against them and they have succeeded.

It was an extremely difficult and costly operation and only a week ago ISIS appeared to have the upper hand in the fighting around Palmyra the short video below shows a Russian journalist embedded with the Syrian Army under a hail of fire, pinned down and trapped as ISIS fighters rain accurate fire down on the Syrians from an elevated position. The trapped soldiers had to wait for nightfall to be able to move.

SYRIA Russian journalists under fire by ISIS

This video from Life news of Russia gives some insight into the intense fighting that took place in and around Palmyra this week.

Russian Life News Report Frontline Palmyra Coverage

The Battle of Palmyra: The Syrian assault on ISIS inside the city

While ISIS clearly made a tactical decision to withdraw from Palmyra and Tadmur this week, the group are still present in the area, still well armed and still capable of mounting successful small-scale attacks.

Russia Defense Report: The Hero of Palmyra

Still from an ISIS video shot on March 27th, the destruction of a Syrian Army tank with a rocket in the vicinity of Palmyra. (Source)
Still from an ISIS video shot on March 27th, the destruction of a Syrian Army tank with a rocket on Mount Tar north of  of Palmyra. (Source)
Still from an ISIS video shot on March 27th, the destruction of a Syrian Army tank with a rocket in the vicinity of Palmyra. (Source)
Still from an ISIS video shot on March 27th, the destruction of a Syrian Army tank with a rocket in the vicinity of Palmyra. (Source)
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Still from an ISIS video shot on March 27th, the destruction of a Syrian Army tank with a rocket north of Palmyra. (Source)

The Western “Response.”

Reporting on the liberation of Palmyra, the BBC World Service were reduced to offering the pitiful “many blame the Syrian Government for allowing the city to fall.”

It is worth remembering that fewer than two years ago the Western elite and their pet media were trying to present the Russian President, with a straight face, as the new Hitler.

This now laughable idea was actually a very popular meme throughout 2014 being voiced by Democrat front-runner Hillary Clinton, the British Prime Minister and the next in line to the British throne, among many others.

The hollow men and woman of the Western media supported these fallacious pronouncements as they do everything, with mindless enthusiasm and transparent sophistry.

The southern outpost of the Mighty Wurlitzer took to the task with shameless relish.

Hillary Clinton’s comparison of Vladimir Putin and Adolf Hitler checks out – Fact Check – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

So these latest developments are another self-inflicted moment of acute humiliation for the self appointed masters of the universe.

In this light the muted, sulking and whining response to the Russian operation in Syria and the Palmyra triumph make perfect sense.

The past two years have been among other things one long festival of humiliation for the Neoconservative Western elite, much of it at the hands of the Russian President. This must be a difficult moment for them.

In the Daily Beast they were still droning and whining about moderate rebels, in an unintentionally comedic piece written in the parallel universe of the Western propagandist where al Qaeda are moderate democrats!

Putin and Assad Score a Major Victory Against ISIS, After Hitting Syrian Rebels for Months – The Daily Beast

To describe the al Nusra Front are a terror group is a simple statement of fact. This is their legal status as designated by the UN along with their parent organisation al Qaeda.

al Nusra front deserve the designation having conducted terror attacks that target civilians in both Syria and Lebanon where the “plucky moderates” sent a suicide bomber to commit murder in a Tripoli cafe in late 2014.

Nusra Front claims Lebanon suicide attack – Al Jazeera English

They have massacred numerous groups from whom they differ including Shia, Christian and Druze. They have desecrated Christian churches, they have conducted chemical weapons attacks against both military and civilian targets. The only meaningful ideological difference they have with ISIS is that they believe in building an Islamic State in Syria after the war ISIS have tried and failed to do so during the war.

Any “journalist” who attempts to portray the Syrian opposition other than ISIS as being moderate is either a brazen liar and fraudster or simply a tool who deserves to the same contempt they have for their audience.

Al Nusra are the pivot group of the entire Syrian insurgency, throughout the war they have been allied with militant factions across the board and were the core and spearhead of the Army of Conquest coalition that swept through north-western Syria in 2015 seizing the province of Idlib.  Jabhat al Nusra have maintained alliances with the supposed moderates of the Free Syrian Army throughout the entire war.

FSA, Jabhat a-Nusra ally in north Homs ahead of expected Russian-backed offensive – Syria Direct

Syria: Drone shows ancient Palmyra relics following end of IS siege

Inside Old Palmyra: Exclusive access to ancient relics after ISIS flees

This image shows the relationship between Palmyra, Der ez Zour and Raqqa in Syria's east.
This image shows the relationship between Palmyra, Der ez Zour and Raqqa in Syria’s east.

The Road Ahead.

The Syrian Army are in the process of de-mining Palmyra, removing the hundreds of bombs and booby traps placed by the guerrillas, other units have fanned out in several directions and although clashes continue in the Palmyra area it is expected that the Syrian Army and their allies will soon  begin to move further north-east as they follow the M7 highway towards Der ez Zour.

Der ez Zour is 200kms away through a desert of sparse villages. If ISIS choose to mount guerrilla raids on the advancing forces it may take them months to advance across the desert.

On the other hand if the group withdraw the Syrian Army could be fighting to break the siege of Der ez Zour within weeks. If recent history is any guide it will be many months.

Palmyra victory has Syrian Army set to break ISIS siege on Deir Ezzor

If the Syrian Army manage to cross the desert and link up with the forces besieged in Der ez Zour, the current episode of the Caliphate project will be over. The forces in Syria will be reduced to operating in small isolated pockets of territory.

Amidst the deafening silence, the obfuscation and barefaced lies, Robert Fisk of the Independent stood out as one Western journalist willing to state the truth about Palmyra and the West.

Why is David Cameron so silent on the recapture of Palmyra from the clutches of Isis?

“So in the end, it was the Syrian army and its Hezbollah chums from Lebanon and the Iranians and the Russians who drove the Isis murderers out of Palmyra, and who may – heavens preserve us from such a success – even storm the Isis Syrian ‘capital’ of Raqqa. I have written many times that the Syrian army will decide the future of Syria. If they grab back Raqqa – and Deir el-Zour, where the Nusrah front destroyed the church of the Armenian genocide and threw the bones of the long-dead 1915 Christian victims into the streets – I promise you we will be silent again.”

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South Front still shows the relationship between Palmyra and Der ez Zour to the east and indicates the likely trajectory of the Syrian operation in the near future.
ISIS in the Palmyra amphitheater about to stage a mass execution.
ISIS in the Palmyra amphitheater about to stage a mass execution.
The Syrian Army burns the flag of ISIS after the liberation of Palmyra.
The Syrian Army burns the flag of ISIS after the liberation of Palmyra.

Meanwhile…..in the Real World

This was the scene in the moments before the Iskndariyah massacre.
his was the scene in the moments before the Iskndariya massacre.
Moment of the Iskandariyah explosion caught on film. The death toll is 41.
Moment of the Iskandariya explosion caught on film. The death toll is 41.
SITE Intelligence reported that the Islamic State group claimed that a seventeen year old named Saifullah al Ansar committed the atrocity.
SITE Intelligence reported that the Islamic State group claimed that  seventeen year old named Saifullah al Ansar (above) committed the atrocity.
Iskanderiya marked on a map of Iraq.
Iskanderiya marked on a map of Iraq.

March 28th, 2016.

Meanwhile…in the Real World.

The Real War Against ISIS in Iraq and Syria.

Terrorist Massacre in Iraq.

On March 26th the ceremony following a children’s soccer match was attacked by a seventeen year old ISIS suicide bomber named Saifullah al Ansar. The attack left 41 people dead and scores wounded.

The videos below depicts the attack on al Asirya village near the town of Iskandariya,* located around 50kms south of the Iraqi capital.

These videos do not show any of the carnage caused by the attack, merely people’s reaction to what has happened, as well as showing the moment of the blast.

There is a stark contrast between the unmistakable terror and horror as people respond to this event compared to the Brussels aftermath despite the fact that the people of Iraq are far more accustomed to acts of extreme violence having experienced four major wars over recent decades along with an ultra-violent insurgency now in its thirteenth year.

Iraq: At least 29 killed in suicide bomb attack at football match

 ISIS Suicide Bomber in Iraq Kills Dozens at Soccer Game ,Most of the crowd were young people

As ISIS begin to collapse as a conventional army able to stand and fight, the tactics change from fighting battles to low terrorist attacks such as the one at Iskandariya.

The only purpose is to show that they can still cause heavy casualties and suffering despite being defeated on the battlefield.

These attacks are impotent acts of rage and bitterness that show that ISIS is in the early stages of battlefield collapse in both Syria and Iraq.

The suicide truck bombs so central to their success have now become overwhelmingly ineffective. The bombers rarely reach their targets as the Iraqi and Syrian military have become competent in destroying the vehicles with rockets and heavy weapons as they travel towards them.

Every week numerous failed suicide car and truck bomb attacks are filmed and posted on the Internet, the Youtube channel Stahlgewitter Syrien specialises in videos of these successfully foiled attacks. These are two recent examples.

Toophan ATGM vs. ISIS car bomb: An VBIED attack is foiled by Iraqi forces (West of Samarra)

The destruction of an ISIS VBIED by Iraqi forces during the battle of Ramadi

An Iraqi soldier celebrates after an ISIS truck bomb is destroyed short of it's target, march 2016.
An Iraqi soldier celebrates after an ISIS truck bomb is destroyed short of it’s target, march 2016.
This still shows some of the equipment ISIS fighters looted from a Russian Special Forces member they killed near Palmyra.
This still shows some of the equipment ISIS fighters looted from a Russian Special Forces member they killed near Palmyra in the days after the “withdrawal” announcement.

Russia did not leave Syria.

The story Russia put out that it was pulling out f Syria has turned out to have been something of an exaggeration. Around a quarter of the around 100 Russian Aircraft stationed at the peak remain in Syria and in addition Russian Special Forces are in action on the ground.

A member of the Russian Special Forces and possibly more, recently died in the fighting against ISIS near the central Syrian city of Palmyra. The group claimed to have killed five Russian soldiers and this may well be true. It is certain that at least one Russian died as the group were able to photograph the body and loot the soldier’s impressive array of equipment which they video recorded.

18+ “They are not there” in Syria. A group of Russian military destroyed at Palmyra.

The Palmyra Ctadel.
The Palmyra Citadel.
Map shows the Citadel in relation to Tadmur and Palmyra beneath.
Map shows the Citadel in relation to Tadmur and Palmyra beneath.
Mao shows the trajectory of the Syrian Army operation to liberate Palmyrawith the ISIS forces in the town being attacked from three sides.
Mao shows the trajectory of the Syrian Army operation to liberate Palmyrawith the ISIS forces in the town being attacked from three sides.
Palmyra ruins with the Citadel in the background.
Palmyra ruins with the Citadel in the background.
ISIS geniuses were unsure whether to destroy Palmyra or use it as the site for mass executions to make them look "epic" in the end they compromised, doing a little of both. Here the "children's battalion" massacre a group of captured Syrians.
ISIS geniuses were unsure whether to destroy Palmyra or use it as the site for mass executions to make them look “epic” in the end they compromised, doing a little of both. Here the “children’s battalion” massacre a group of captured Syrians.
vlcsnap-2016-03-28-20h17m22s137
The Syrian Army in the suburbs beneath the citadel.
How do the ISIS fighters survive against the Russian Airforce in the middle of the desert?They remain underground wherever possible and this appears to be the remains of an underground fighting position in Palmyra.
How do the ISIS fighters survive against the Russian Airforce in the middle of the desert?They remain underground wherever possible and this appears to be the remains of an underground fighting position in Palmyra.
This is how the Syrian Army helps ISIS.
This is how the Syrian Army helps ISIS.
Syrian Army with ISIS flag in Palmyra, March 2016.
Syrian Army with ISIS flag in Palmyra, March 2016.

The Liberation of Palmyra.

The Islamic State group seized Palmyra in May 2015 and the Syrian Army have been conducting an operation to free the city from the clutches of the puppet psychopaths of ISIS for several months now with mixed results.

It is now being reported that the Syrian Military and their allies have liberated Palmyra and the adjacent town Tadmur. If so this will be an immense symbolic victory and makes it completely impossible for Neoconservatives (and their media) to claim that Syria and Russia are not fighting ISIS as they have been trying to pretend until recently.

War on Isis: Increase in Russian air strikes helps Daesh says US colonel

The magnificence of the Palmyra ruins and the depravity and destruction ISIS have wrought upon the city combine to end all doubt as to the identity of the real enemy of civilisation in the middle east and it is not the government of Syria.

One sure sign that the US had completely given up on the dream of regime change in Syria was the fact that CNN sent a reporter weeks ago to report on the Battle for Palmyra from the point of view of the Syrian Army.

CNN exclusive: Reporting from the front lines of Syria

Syrian army’s control over the ruin and the withdrawal of Daash

Footage of Ancient Palmyra after Syrian Army recaptured it from ISIS

Syria: Govt. forces recapture Palmyra as IS flee historic site

Syrian army men indoctrinated Daash in Palmyra lessons in fighting

Syria – Drone Footage of Palmyra fighting in Homs province

Battles for Syria | Palmyra | March 26th 2016

Syria: Battle of Palmyra: Pt 1

A vista from an armageddon movie. An ISIS fighter in Ramadi in 2015.
A vista straight from a movie about armageddon. An ISIS fighter in Ramadi in 2015.
South Front still shows the base where a US soldier was recently killed by mortar fire.
South Front still shows the base where a US soldier Staff Sgt. Louis F. Cardin 27 years old was recently killed by mortar fire.

The Obvious Difference Between real Violence and Psyops.

Victin f US Airstrike on Mosul March 20th, 2016.
Victim o f US Airstrike on Mosul March 20th, 2016.
Victim o f US Airstrike on Mosul March 20th, 2016.
Victim o f US Airstrike on Mosul March 20th, 2016.
Victim o f US Airstrike on Mosul March 20th, 2016.
Victim o f US Airstrike on Mosul March 20th, 2016.

vlcsnap-2016-03-28-02h28m12s61

Aftermath of US Airstrike on Mosul March 20th, 2016.
Aftermath of US Airstrike on Mosul March 20th, 2016.
Victim f US Airstrike on Mosul March 20th, 2016.
Victim f US Airstrike on Mosul March 20th, 2016.
Victim of US Airstrike on Mosul March 20th, 2016.
Victim of US Airstrike on Mosul March 20th, 2016.
Spot the difference between the people who are really wounded and this scene.
Spot the difference between the people who are really wounded and this scene.

Heavy Russian and US Airstrikes Blast Mosul and Raqqa.

On March 19th Russia launched an intense overnight bombardment of the town of Raqqa.  All of the casualty numbers are estimates but it was reported that 60 people died in the strikes and that thirteen civilians were among the dead. The casualty numbers are often distorted due to the fact that most militant factions will cover up their own casualties and accentuate civilian casualties instead for obvious reasons.

Russian, Syrian air raids on Raqqa kill 39 and wound dozens in ISIS capital

(18+ Graphic) Aftermath of Russian Airstrikes on Raqqa

A day later the US launched a tremendous bombardment of Mosul, the ISIS capital. Limited media reports stated that at least 25 civilians and an unknown number of ISIS fighters died in the attacks.

Scores of Civilians Killed in US-Led Air Strikes on Mosul

Neither the Russian or US attacks received high media attention as the violent deaths of middle eastern civilians are not deemed newsworthy in the West unless required for specific propaganda purposes.

Listening to the Republican candidates debate whether or not Raqqa should be struck with nuclear weapons it is impossible to avoid the conclusion that many Westerners have completely lost their conception of humanity after more than a decade of permanent war.

It is laughable the way that the US political class still pretends that the effort against ISIS is ineffectual as the group are on the brink of military collapse but to say so would reduce the rationale for the desired Western invasion of Syria.

For Cruz to muse about “glowing radioactive sand” shows he is a depraved and unprincipled opportunist and it is breathtaking to imagine a culture where an individual prances around with his chest out about what a devout Christian he is while musing about using nuclear weapons against civilians, a satanic idea on every level.

Cruz Threatens to Nuke ISIS Targets – Consortiumnews

Human beings of any quality, human beings who deserve the appellation do not engage in these behaviours, let alone true Christians. What a fraud and a joke is the current Pope fulminating against Trump on the border issue but offering total silence in the face of Cruz salivating over whom he is going to nuke.

If people cannot see the clear difference between the Brussels event and the real victims of violence depicted on this page they should have another look, it is pretty obvious.

(18+ Graphic) Devastating US Airstrikes on Mosul with Aftermath

*Iskanderiya is the Arabic version of Alexander and the town is named after Alexander the Great.

Russia Begins Withdrawal from Syria.

A small group of SU35s, Russia's most advanced war plane were deployed to Syria only weeks ago.
A small group of SU35s, Russia’s most advanced war plane were deployed to Syria only weeks ago.
Khmeimim airbase (also written Hmeymim‬) on Google Earth.
A South Frnt still shows the areas of control in Syria as of March 14th, 2016.
A South Frnt still shows the areas of control in Syria and south western Iraq as of March 14th, 2016.

March 16th, 2016.

Russia Announces Withdrawal of its Military from Syria.

On the eve of UN brokered peace talks, the Russian Government has made the shock announcement that they will  withdraw the “main part of their military grouping in the Syrian Arab Republic” beginning immediately.

The statement from the Kremlin does not say how many of the Russian Aircraft and troops will be withdrawn from Syria nor how long it would take but it has already started.

FIRST VIDEO: Russian warplanes leaving airbase in Syria

This is a very strange turn of events when it is considered that Russia was sending more warplanes to Syria less than a fortnight ago. South Front reported in early March that Russia had just sent several extra aircraft to the Syrian base and provided an updated inventory of the Russian Airforce in Syria.

South Front's updated inventory of Russian warplanes in Syria from early March, 2016. This indicates that the decision to begin to withdraw was taken in the past several weeks.
South Front’s updated inventory of Russian warplanes in Syria from early March, 2016. This indicates that the decision to begin to withdraw was taken in the past several weeks.

What Forces does Russia have in Syria?

The Russian Air force has stationed almost 100 aircraft in Syria, the estimates for the number of Russian troops in Syria range between 5 and 20,000. Whatever the number, Russian forces have not played a significant role in ground battles.

Officially, the Russian military have suffered three deaths during the Syrian operation, two on November 24th last year when Turkey shot down the Russian SU24 aircraft and another soldier died in the rescue effort and a soldier who died earlier this year as the result of a reported ISIS mortar attack.

There were also credible reports that a car bomb attack in Latakia claimed by Ahrar al Sham had killed at least ten Russian soldiers in late February.

Syrian rebels claim car bomb attack that killed Russian soldiers in Latakia – ARA News

The story disappeared but there were people on both sides telling neutral sources it happened.

Motives.

The Russian decision comes as a shock as they are a vital element of the loyalist coalition that is midway through several major operations.

The motives for this decision will become clear over time but it seems that Russia has decided to put its will towards ending the war in Syria.

It is possible that Russia is attempting to send a message to their Syrian Government allies that they must be flexible in their negotiations with the opposition.

In recent days the Syrian Foreign Minister stated that the status of the Syrian President Bashar al Assad was not up for negotiation. It is possible that Russia would like to see Assad and coterie head into exile as a way to end the war.

Future of Bashar al-Assad remains ‘red line’ as Syria peace talks begin

Russia has tended to be at least one step ahead of Western observers in recent years so only when we see what happens next will Russia’s intent become recognisable.

There are three obvious possibilities.

  1. This is a ruse designed to bolster the Geneva talks and Russia’s international image.
  2. The US and Russia have made a secret deal regarding Syria’s future that will end the war.
  3. Russia wants Bashar al Assad to leave Syria and is trying to make Assad understand that he must yield to the demands of the opposition and leave power.

My understanding is that Russia is perfectly happy to see Assad leave as they understand that the demand for his departure is merely an excuse for the destruction of Syria via a continuation of the war, their priority has clearly been the survival of the Syrian state and the Syrian army, under whatever leadership. If the war could be ended by his departure, in an orderly way it is highly likely that Russia would request that Assad leave Syria.

This is a provisional map of the ceasefire areas. The orange areas are government controlled. The green areas are under juhadist control and the ceasefire areas are in blue.
This is a provisional map of the ceasefire areas. The orange areas are government controlled. The green areas are under juhadist control and the ceasefire areas are in blue. The cessation proved more significant than the small blue sections of the map would indicate.

Brief Summary of the Military Situation in Syria.

International Military Review – Syria–Iraq, Mar. 14, 2016

International Military Review – Syria, Mar. 16, 2016

A Cessation of Hostilities?

Around one hundred small insurgent groupings chose to participate in the partial ceasefire. The cessation did not apply and was never intended to apply towards either ISIS nor the local al Qaeda franchise the al Nusra front. Another large grouping Ahrar al Sham chose not to participate in the cessation due to the fact that the al Nusra front, their close ally, were excluded.

Ahrar al Sham says no cessation of hostilities while Nusra is being attacked : syriancivilwar

Therefore the only insurgent groups of any significance to participate was the Jaish al Islam, largely based in the outer Damascus area and the Southern Front coalition of insurgents fighting in the far less active southern parts of Syria.

On paper it seemed then that the cessation of hostilities would make little difference but the fighting has been sharply reduced in the fortnight since implementation and Russia has been helping to negotiate a series of local amnesties and ceasefires, building on a tactic the Syrian Government has been using for several years and that has seen insurgents allowed to leave many areas including Homs city.

Since the cessation began anti Government demonstrations have resumed in the rebel held areas but they are neither large nor enthusiastic. On the weekend an attempt to hold a pro-democracy rally in Idlib backfired badly when the “democratic’ protesters were attacked by Islamists advocating the implementation of Sharia law. The overwhelming desire of the majority of the people appears to be for the war to end and be able to resume their lives.

The sooner it is over the better, but the problem of al Nusra, ISIS and their sponsors is not suddenly going away, even if the Americans decide to call it a day, there are strong indications that neither Turkey nor Saudi Arabia would follow the advice or direction of the US.

Looking from the Latakia mountains down into al Nusra held Idlib province. The town of Jisr ash Shigour is the white patch in the upper left, at a distance of around 7 kilometres.
Looking from the Latakia mountains down into al Nusra held Idlib province. The town of Jisr ash Shigour is the white patch in the upper left, at a distance of around 7 kilometres.
Syrian Amry rockets impact on a Latakia mountain viewed from a surveillance drone.
Syrian Amry rockets impact on a Latakia mountain viewed from a surveillance drone.

Major Current Government Operations.

The Latakia offensive is almost complete and the assault is poised to move onto Idlib province in the coming days and weeks.

Drone footage of Syrian Army MRLs against militants in Kabbani – Latakia

Syria‬ ‪‎Latakia‬ : ‎SAA‬ ‪‎NDF‬ military operations in Vicinity of ‪‎Kabani‬

A large operation is also underway against ISIS in the area around Palmyra in central Syria.

Syrian Army prepares to storm Palmyra | March 10th 2016

Rain of BM-30 Smerch, TOS-1A and BM-27 by SAA on ISIS in Palmyra

Fighting continues in the Hama and Homs countryside and in southern Aleppo.

Battles for Syria | March 12th 2016

Battles for Syria | March 13th 2016 | North Hama Plain

The Der az Zour pocket showing the SAA positions.
The Der ez Zour pocket showing the SAA positions.

Besieged Der ez Zour and Conclusion.

Thousands of Syrian troops and hundreds of thousands of civilians remain encircled by ISIS in the eastern city of Der az Zour and although ISIS are on the path to total collapse in both Syria and Iraq, without Russian air support it is hard to see the Syrian Army liberating Palmyra and defeating ISIS and al Nusra in Syria.

The attempt to end the war is admirable but this will not solve the problem of al Nusra and ISIS each of which retains significant territories within Syria.

It must be assumed that Russian air strikes will continue in Syria for many months at the very least with a scaled down presence conducting a smaller campaign.  Anything less would be a betrayal of all they have achieved up to this point.

International Millitary Review & Analysis – Withdrawal of Russian Military from Syria


First group of aircraft has left ‪‎Hmeymim‬ airbase for permanent location airfields in Russia

ISIL Rising.

IS Victory parade in West Anbar, Iraq, May 2015 the US Air Force inexplicably failed to notice this event.
IS Victory parade in West Anbar, Iraq, May 2015 the US Air Force inexplicably failed to notice this event.

May 28th, 2015.

Who are the IS group?

The best “Muslim” bogey money can buy. The IS group is a synthetic jihadist organisation that is currently pretending to build a “Caliphate” in North Western Iraq and Eastern Syria. A mix of agents, dupes and mercenaries, the IS group function as the private shadow army of the Western banking/intelligence cabal, acting as both a positive proxy against the enemies of the Empire, and also as a negative proxy to help facilitate Western military involvement in the Middle East.

The IS group (otherwise known as ISIL, ISIS and Daesh) enable the contrived and fraudulent Global War on Terror that began in 2001 with the Western conducted terror attack on New York of September 11th to continue. The project involves both the violent destruction of the Middle East region and the introduction of the incipient police state across the West .

The Origins of the IS group.

The forerunners of the IS group (Tawhid wal Jihad, al Qaeda in Iraq and the Islamic State in Iraq) were born from the violent resistance to the US occupation of Iraq that began in 2003 and (somewhat) ended in 2011 leaving more than 4800 US soldiers and at least one million Iraqis dead, The practice of Western elites deploying fake “Muslim” extremists to achieve their policy goals and act as their proxies dates back centuries and the United States has done so more or less openly since successfully funding the insurgents in Afghanistan who opposed the Soviet military presence there in the 1980’s.

The Judicial Watch D.I.A Documents- the Plotters Confess.

Declassified US  Defense Intelligence Agency Documents written in August, 2012 state plainly that the jihadist emirate in Eastern Syria and Western Iraq was envisaged by the enemies of Syria, including the US, Turkey, Israel and the Gulf gangsters way back in 2012.

http://www.judicialwatch.org/document-archive/pgs-287-293-291-jw-v-dod-and-state-14-812-2/

These are some of the more important insights that can be gleaned from the seven page document.

 It’s a proxy war.

Page 3, “General Situation.

C. The West, Gulf countries and Turkey support the opposition, Russia. China and Iran support the (Syrian) regime.”

Envisaging the “Caliphate” in 2012 and Admitting that the Whole Syrian Nightmare Has Been a Plot Against the Axis of Resistance.

Page 5. “The Effects on Iraq. Pt. 8.

C. If the situation unravels there is the possibility of creating a declared or undeclared Salafist principality in Eastern Syria (Hasaka and Der as Zour) and this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want in order to isolate the (Syrian) regime which is considered the strategic depth of the Shia expansion. (Iran and Iraq).”

IS in the Zarqawi Tradition of Destructive Extremism.

It is worth noting that a key figure in the creation of these groups was a man named Abu Musab al Zarqawi. Prior to the Iraq war Abu Musab al Zarqawi ran militant training camps in the Kurdish region of Northern Iraq. According to former US official Michael Scheuer, the US knew of Zarqawi’s presence in the Kurdistan region prior to the war and a plan was developed to attack the site from the air but the US administration vetoed the attack for unknown reasons that presumably relate to Zarqawi’s requirement to play a role in the propaganda for the war, where the fact that Zarqawi was not resident in the parts of Iraq under the control of Saddam Hussein was helpfully edited out.

Following the invasion and occupation of Iraq Zarqawi was used as the threat to the West that justified the occupation and later into the war Zarqawi was apparently used to direct the insurgency towards an extremist dead end and also to provoke sectarian civil war in Iraq between Sunni and Shia Arabs.

In the months following Zarqawi’s death in June 2006 the Islamic State in Iraq group announced it’s existence and this group has continued in the Zarqawi tradition, acting as a multi-purpose Western proxy force. This indicates that a great deal of planning and effort goes into the creation of these synthetic terror outfits and the planning for the Iraq insurgency started before the war had even begun.

The same preparations presumably went into constructing the insurgency in Syria.

The IS Anbar parade, May 2015.
The IS Anbar parade, May 2015.

The Stand Down- Why are the IS being Allowed to Win in Syria and Iraq by the USA ?

The men of the black flag, white sneakers and the well earned reputation for sectarian Neo-Bolshevik savagery drove through al Anbar province waving their flags for the cameras, if the US really was trying to destroy the IS group, or even trying to make a show of looking like they were trying to destroy them, here was a nice big easy target waiting to be destroyed. Nothing happened. This is what a convoy on the flat ground of Iraq looked like a quarter of a century ago after US Air Force attacks. The highway of death incident was a senseless massacre, but it showed how effective a modern air force is when operating against a convoy of vehicles on an open desert road.

If the US was really fighting the IS group, this is what their convoy would look like. Aftermath f the
If the US was really fighting the IS group, this is what their convoy would look like. Aftermath f the “Highway of Death’ massacre of fleeing Irai soldeiers in 1991 by the USAF..

According to the ironically named  US Department of Defense they conducted a steady FIVE airstrikes a day in Syria as Palmyra fell into the hands of the IS group, and between 15 and 22 in Iraq as Ramadi fell.

The IS group are credibly claimed to now hold all of the border posts in Eastern Syria/Western Iraq . In order to function a border post must have at least a checkpoint that will require several fighters at a minimum yet the US has never to my knowledge targeted these border positions. The US operations in defense of Ramadi and Palymra were negligible.

These efforts contrast starkly with the massive bombardment directed against IS fighters in and around the Northern Syrian city of Kobani last year. The US air assaults on the IS around Kobani succeeded in causing the group to abandon their efforts to take the city and the loss of hundreds of fighters and a great deal of momentum. The defense of Kobani proves that the US Air Force aligned with even poorly trained and equipped local ground forces is perfectly capable of defeating the IS group. The repeated mantra about needing US ground forces to achieve victory in either Syria or Iraq is thus proven to be incorrect.

The Media Mantra Betrays the Goal.

Events in Syria and Iraq are receiving extensive coverage in the Western media. One phrase is repeated time and again in almost every Western controlled media report on the situation in Iraq and Syria. “boots on the ground.” There are two very simple messages being transmitted repeatedly in an attempt to grind down and destroy the resistance of the viewer to the US participation n another middle Eastern bloodbath that will achieve nothing positive certainly not for the citizens of the USA. The big lies that underpin this narrative are :

The IS group are a real threat to civilians inside the West.

and

Only US Military ground operations will successfully counter the IS threat.

It’s unclear precisely how the goal will be achieved but clearly the goal is to parlay US ground involvement in Syria into regime change.

The lines of control in Syria as of May 22nd, 2015. The IS group it can be seen, holds nowhere near 50 percent.
The lines of control in Syria as of May 22nd, 2015. The IS group it can be seen, holds nowhere near 50 percent.

The 50% Claim.

Another interesting claim made by many parties recently is that the IS group controls more than half the territory of Syria. This claim is pure nonsense. It would be more accurate to state that the IS group has positions in areas that comprise more than 50% of Syria. Dozens of different armed groups hold the large parts of Syria that have fallen from the control of the Government. The nation is a patchwork of shifting factions and territories. The opposition groups control area that contains around one-third of the 90% of Syrians who have not fled the nation as refugees.

The IS group has developed a dominant presence in the Eastern Syria areas that border their Western Iraqi stronghold but are not a large or nationwide presence. The al Nusra Front (al Qaeda in Syria) supported extensively by Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Israel are the predominant group in the largest rebel enclave in the North of Syria..

It is very obvious that this campaign is a large-scale psychological operation due to the media’s repeated use of the infantile phrase “boots on the ground” as a mantra, an incantation. This phrase is the way they are going to explain to the “little” people the US casualties that will inevitably occur if US ground forces are sent to participate in another bloodbath in the Middle East.

A Syrian refugee child who fled the violence from the Syrian town of Flita, near Yabroud, poses for a photograph at the border town of Arsal, in the eastern Bekaa Valley March 20, 2014.
A Syrian refugee child who fled the violence from the Syrian town of Flita, near Yabroud, poses for a photograph at the border town of Arsal, in the eastern Bekaa Valley March 20, 2014.

The Syria War.

The Syrian Civil war began in 2011 as part of the CIA sponsored Arab spring that saw the Leaders of Tunisia and Egypt deposed in Western concocted “people’s revolutions” and the Government of Libya destroyed by Western Air power.

The Syrian Civil War, whether characterised as the attempted Gulf/NATO/Israeli overthrow of the Assad government, or the people’s revolution that turned violent in response to repression has undoubtedly been a massive disaster from the human point of view.

It is not known and will probably never be known how may people have died in the Syrian Civil War. The figure that is currently quoted is 220,000, some of the more adventurous propaganda outlets have now upped the total to 300,000 presumably reasoning the higher the guesstimate the better.  This number is believed to include at least 35,000 soldiers of the Syrian Army. It is possible that this estimate is either low or high. All sides engage in propaganda that leads to the inflation of certain casualties while others are obscured.

All the information regarding the war in Syria is highly suspect due to the fact that almost all coverage is part of a propaganda effort. The refugee figure is claimed to be at 4 million people, and the internally displaced are said to number a further six million. These numbers appear to slightly inflate what are huge numbers, with 1.7 million refugees  quoted in Turkey and almost 700,000 in Lebanon along with 100,000 in Jordan.. All in all this has been a major human disaster and responsibility falls upon all participants for this calamity and nightmare.

This is Aleppo, Syria's largest city. All the urban fighting areas look alike.
This is Aleppo, Syria’s largest city. All the urban fighting areas look alike.

The Plot .

The Syrian state has clearly been attacked by external forces over the past four years. Syria has undoubtedly been the victim of a broader plot against the allies of Iran. It is not good enough to simply leave it at that however. The outside forces, the US, Israel, the UK, France, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and first and foremost Turkey have all capitalised on the genuine sense of disenfranchisement and alienation from the Syrian state of a sizeable proportion of the Syrian population.

The many weaknesses of the Syrian state have been successfully exploited by the plotters and  their efforts to destroy Syria have been so successful because they are supported by a significant but high;y disaffected minority of the Syrian people.

The Difference between Syria and Iraq and Libya.

Up until September 2013 it had seemed that the Syrian Government would meet the same fate as the government of Libya and be destroyed by Western military operations.The strength that prevented Syria from being added to the ever lengthening list of Western regime change operations was the alliances the Syrian government had maintained over decades with Iran and Russia.

Neither Iraq nor Libya had allies who were prepared to offer tangible support and the support from Iran, Russia and Hezbollah was the key strength that has enabled the Assad Government in Syria to survive the NATO/Gulf backed jihadi onslaught for more than four years.

Part of the ancient ruins of Palmyra, Eastern Syria.
The ancient ruins of Palmyra, Central Syria.

Palmyra

Palmyra is the site of ancient ruins that date back millenia located in Eastern Syria.

This is a quote from Wikipedia that covers the recent history of Palmyra,.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palmyra

“Palmyra’s wealth allowed the construction of many monumental projects. By the third century, Palmyra was turned into a prosperous metropolis, with a strong army capable of defeating the Sassanid empire in 260. Following the victory, Palmyra’s chief Odaenathus was proclaimed king but was assassinated in 267. He was succeeded by his minor sons, under the regency of queen Zenobia, who started invading the Roman eastern provinces in 270. The rebellion was masked by a nominal subordination to Rome. However, the situation escalated and the Palmyrene rulers adopted the imperial titles in 271. Roman emperor Aurelian defeated Palmyra in 272, and destroyed it in 273 after a failed second rebellion. Palmyra became a minor city under the rule of the Byzantines, Rashiduns, Ummayads, Abbassids, Mamluks, and their vassals. After being destroyed by the Timurids in 1400, Palmyra remained a small village under the rule of the Ottomans until 1918, then the Syrian kingdom, followed by the French mandate”

The residents were moved from their home in the ancient city by the French, (whose archaeologists sought both to preserve and study the site and it’s ruins) in the late 1920s, the evacuation was completed in 1932. The “town” area of Palmyra is called Tadmur.

Before the war in Syria that has seen the nation successfully dismembered since 2011 the population of Tadmur was around one hundred thousand people. Internal displacements caused by the war saw that population double to an estimated 200,000 people.

This week the IS group attacked the area and seized the town from what appears to have been a token Syrian military presence. This event apparently caused approximately one-third of the populace to flee the city. Many presumably internally displaced for the second time. It is being claimed that the IS group have massacred around 400 people in Palmyra, including some SAA soldiers.

I read an interesting article recently that posited that the protection of the ancient ruins of Palmyra would be the pretext for an escalated US involvement on the ground in Syria. This prediction may turn out to be correct and the underlying conclusion that US invasion is a key goal seems to be correct.

The sight of those beautiful ruins in Palmyra caused my mind to cast back to the destruction the Bamiyan Bhuddas, the ancient carved statues that the Taliban destroyed (allegedly with extensive assistance from Pakistan and Saudi Arabia) in March 2001.Coming six months before September 11th, the destruction of the Bhuddas acted as a great prelude both to the September 11th attacks, and the Afghan war that followed a month later in response.

The Bamiyan Bhuddas pre and during the dynamite of March 2001.
The Bamiyan Bhuddas before, during and after the dynamite of March 2001.

Iconoclasm.

A lot of people would look at the core members of the cabal, in London, Frankfurt, New York, Paris, Los Angeles and Tel Aviv and wonder why a bunch of old rich Westerners would sponsor the supposed bloodthirsty maniacs and head chopping thugs of the IS group.

At face value they certainly look different. But there is one very important value shared by both groups, the belief in destruction as a positive end in itself, as a way to remake and improve the world in their respective images and this confluence may well see the ruins of Palmyra destroyed in the most spectacular and upsetting possible manner much as the Bamiyan Bhuddas in early 2001. Each side for different reasons have as one of their core values and goals the destruction of traditional human civilisation.  

ISIS blows up 2,000yo Arch of Triumph in Palmyra

ISIL shows images of Palmyra temple destruction

Ramadi Falls to IS.

The fall of Ramadi the capital of al Anbar province in Western Iraq is being portrayed as a disaster for the Iraqi military and government. While this is a setback and the deployment of Shia militia forces in the city is likely to only cause the people of the area to become further alienated from the central government. Ramadi and al Anbar province must be seen in their proper context in order to assess the importance of the Ramadi setback.

Al Anbar is the massive red section to the left (West) of Iraq.
This map shows the US deaths in Iraq by province. Al Anbar is the massive red section to the left (West) of Iraq where more than 1,200 US troops were killed..

al Anbar is Very Different.

The reason the fall of Ramadi is not especially telling is because al Anbar is part of Iraq in name only. The people of Anbar province do not support the current Iraqi government and have not supported any of the Iraq Governments since the toppling of Saddam Hussein in 2003. Anbar province is a very large and sparsely populated, mostly desert area of Western Iraq. The demographics of the Anbar population is very different to that of the rest of Iraq. Almost the entire population of Anbar are Sunni Arab, there is very little representation of the Iraqi Kurdish or Shia populations in the province whereas in the overall nation the Shia and Kurds combined comprise almost 80% of the population.

Aftermath of massive roadside bomb in al Anbar during the US Occupation.
Aftermath of massive roadside bomb in al Anbar during the US Occupation.

al Anbar Under US Occupation.

Al Anbar was the area of Iraq that saw the most concerted and violent resistance to the US presence in Iraq. Despite the province’s small population, more US soldiers were killed there than in any other of Iraq’s provinces outside Baghdad. Fallujah had more name brand infamy but the US military had terrible problems in Ramadi and the only way that Anbar was ever really “pacified” to any extent was through the US military paying bribes to the local tribes not to support the violent resistance to the US occupation there. The direct antecedent of the IS group, the Islamic State of Iraq announced themselves in late 2006 with a procession through the streets of Ramadi.

The Islamic State of Iraq celebrate their inception by driving through Central ramadi in late 2006
The Islamic State of Iraq celebrate their inception by driving through Central ramadi in late 2006

So dangerous was Ramadi that US operations in the city were eventually conducted entirely off the street. The US military could not drive nor walk the streets of Ramadi, if they needed to conduct an operation they would avoid the streets and vehicles completely and move to their target by destroying the walls of people’s houses and moving through those holes towards their target so they could avoid walking in the street and being attacked with the inevitable small arms fire and roadside bombs.

Baghdad and Damascus to Follow?

Both the Government’s of Syria and Iraq have failed badly at the task of protecting and controlling their national borders. In both cases, token efforts are made to hang onto marginal areas. Small forces are left stranded in isolated bases within opposition held territory. When the bases are over run by a small determined force the required assistance arrives either too late to make a difference,  or never.

On the other hand, both Iraq and Syria have managed to hold together the centre of the state, both territorially and psychologically. It can be stated with some confidence that the 60% of Syrians living within Government areas do not support the opposition in  any number.

The people in Damascus, and even more so the people of Baghdad do not want to live under the rule of the likes of the al Nusra front or IS. These groups will never achieve the popular support required to overtake and stabilise either capital. In the case of Baghdad, it is often stated correctly that Ramadi is only 100 kms from Baghdad, but this completely mischaracterises the situation.

Psychologically Ramadi is a million miles form Baghdad. The vicious sectarian nature of the IS group combined with the large Shia majority in the city means that the only impact the IS will ever make on Baghdad will be made with car bombs and at best mortar shells and other indirect fire methods.

The populations of the remaining Sunni areas will not support the group, knowing that to do so will likely lead to their mass slaughter and/or see them lose their homes and if the IS group ever set foot in the Shia areas of Baghdad, something they would never be stupid enough to do, they would be quite literally torn apart in the streets. The closing in on Baghdad narrative is pure nonsense.

Are We Doing the Fake War on Terror or the Fake Arab Spring?

These wars  in Syria and Iraq are like evil twins, each representing the methods of different power factions within the US and the West to destroy the Middle east. The Neoconservatives allow/conduct false flag terror attacks, lie about the threat posed by the targeted nation and engage in wars of naked aggression such as the Iraq war.

The current faction take a more stealthy path, using proxy forces, pretending not to intervene as they try to over throw their enemies with the colour revolution operations coupled with Air strikes when the confected “people’s revolution” fails.

Libya represents a classic example of the modus operandi of the second group. Violent demonstrations conducted by Western agents and dupes followed by months of UN backed bombardment followed by a total loss of interest once the “enemy leader” has been removed from power and the nation slides into anarchy and somehow the Western media are never able to make the link between the supposed “liberation” bombardment and the chaos that followed and continues to this day. Proponents of the next war never mention the last war. Ever. Whatever the reasons given or the method’s chosen, chaos, mayhem and immense human suffering are the end result.

The Way Out of the Nightmare-Self Reliance and Reconciliation

In some respects the US stand down is a positive thing. The whole habit of attempting to win wars by enlisting major powers to augment local forces must be abandoned by all factions in the region if the nightmare in Syria and Ira is to ever end. Independence and sovereignty must be grounded in independence. The superpowers, whatever their identity or motivation will always expect payment for their assistance.

Both Syria and Iraqi governments need to engage in a vast process to reconcile the warring factions within their nations. It is possible that a plan to decentralise or Federate Iraq and Syria may be one of the ways to satisfy the aspirations of the people of al Anbar, Idlib and other “spheres of alienation” within these nations.

Military victory in Iraq is in theory a possibility for the Iraqi government but history indicates that if a realistic attempt at national reconciliation is not made it will simply see another group of violent extremists assume power in al Anbar and other Sunni centres of Iraq in future even if the IS group were entirely destroyed.

In Syria, complete victory appears to be impossible for either side. There are reports from Turkey that the US has agreed in principle to provide unspecified air support to the Syrian opposition. This may well be the case and clearly the US is working closely with Turkey on the Northern front in Syria.

The US is apparently running substantial parts of the Syrian opposition at this point. It remains possible that the US will intervene overtly on the side of the opposition and in that case bomb them to victory. If this happens the results will be more chaos, the war will not end but simply descend into a series of vicious feuds between sectarian warlords and the potential costs to the US of simply bombing a rebadged al Nusra front to victory will be immense, diplomatically and militarily. The Government of Iran has previously stated that such a move would “cross a red line”, that an attack on Syria would be regarded as an attack on Iran and has threatened to start a major regional war in response.

The IS group will be destroyed and forgotten in the near future, amd it can only be hoped  this happens before the group can be used as the patsies for a new massive false flag terror attack and that their crimes discredit all forms of sectarianism and extremism in the Middle East, including of course the Zionist movement whose interests the IS group serve so ardently.

RAW: 60 Iraqi soldiers killed in alleged ISIS attack

They knew! US intelligence predicted rise of ISIS, report shows

Iraq War 2015 – Massive Explosion Right In Front Of Iraqi Army Position Caused By IS SVBIED In Baiji


Iraq War 2015 : Iraqi Shia Militia Blow Up ISIS Car Bomb With ATGM

Iraq War 2015 – Iraqi Army in Heavy Clashes and Firefight against IS in Anbar

Iraq War 2015 – US Close Air Support Levels IS Position Near To Kurdish Fighters In Sinjar

Syria War 2015 – IS SVBIED Explosion Close To Syrian Army Soldiers Position In Al-Hasakah

Syrian Army Retreat Under Rebel Fire From Jisr al-Shughour Hospital After Weeks Of Heavy Clashes

RAW: Residents of Ramadi flee the city as ISIS takes it over

Iraq:

Scores dead as pro-government forces battle IS in Ramadi *GRAPHIC*

Syria: Islamic State claim to have seized part of World Heritage-listed Palmyra

Combat Cam: Stranded Iraqi soldiers rescued from ISIS in Ramadi

Press TV exclusive report from ISIL-held Palmyra

Iraq: Airstrikes rain down on IS targets near Anbar

Iraqi Pro Government Militias In Barefoot Firefight Against IS In Iraq | Iraq War 2015

Iraq: Iraqi soldiers battle Islamic State in al-Anbar *GRAPHIC*

Sources.

Iraq War in Anbar Province – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iraq_War_in_Anbar_Province

ISIS Holds Massive Military Parade in West Anbar Celebrating Victory in Ramadi …(Where’s the Coalition?) | The Gateway Pundit

http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2015/05/isis-holds-massive-military-parade-in-west-anbar-celebrating-victory-in-ramadi-wheres-the-coalition/

Al Anbar Governorate – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al_Anbar_Governorate#Population

Shiite militias prepare to deploy en masse to Iraq’s Anbar: militia spokesman | News , Middle East | THE DAILY STAR http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2015/May-18/298376-shiite-militias-prepare-to-deploy-en-masse-to-iraqs-anbar-militia-spokesman.ashx

Islamic State details rout of Brigade 26 headquarters in Anbar | The Long War Journal

http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2015/05/islamic-state-details-rout-of-brigade-26-headquarters-in-anbar.php

Islamic State militants murder 322 Iraqi tribe members in Anbar province | World news | The Guardian http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/nov/02/isis-militants-murder-322-iraqi-tribe-members-anbar

Tanzim Qaidat al-Jihad fi Bilad al-Rafidayn – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al-Qaeda_in_Iraq

Military intervention against ISIL – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_intervention_against_the_Islamic_State_of_Iraq_and_the_Levant Defense.gov News Article: Central Command Updates Iraq-Syria Target Counts

http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=128410

Defense.gov News Article: Anti-ISIL Airstrikes Continue in Syria, Iraq

http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=128910

Body Count | Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, PSR

http://www.psr.org/resources/body-count.html

American-led intervention in Iraq (2014–present) – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American-led_intervention_in_Iraq_(2014%E2%80%93present)

Iraqi insurgency (2011–present) – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iraqi_insurgency_(2011%E2%80%93present)

Prepare for the Battle of Baghdad: ISIS hold victory parade after taking key city of Ramadi just 60 miles from capital in an orgy of violence and beheadings | Daily Mail Online

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3085486/ISIS-claim-taken-control-Iraqi-city-Ramadi-security-forces-flee-following-series-suicide-car-bombings.html

Lindsey Graham calls for 10,000 U.S. troops in Iraq – CNNPolitics.com

http://edition.cnn.com/2015/05/18/politics/lindsey-graham-iraq-not-a-mistake-election-2016/

Iran, Israel and Their Red Lines Over Syria – Al-Monitor: the Pulse of the Middle East

http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2013/01/israel-strike-syria-weapons-convoy-hezbollah-iran-response.html#

Islamic State Now Controls 50 Percent of Syria After Seizing Palmyra | VICE News

https://news.vice.com/article/islamic-state-now-controls-50-percent-of-syria-after-seizing-palmyra

American-led intervention in Syria – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American-led_intervention_in_Syria

Islamic State group beheads 8 Shiites in Syria’s Hama | News , Middle East | THE DAILY STAR http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2015/Mar-29/292557-islamic-state-group-beheads-8-shiites-in-syrias-hama.ashx