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For a moment it looked as if the U.S. was giving up on violent “regime change” in Syria. Under Russian pressure Secretary of State Kerry concided on September 29 that the outcome should be something that is not supported by the U.S. Gulf allies and proxy fighters of the war on Syria:

The United States and Russia agree on “some fundamental principles” for Syria, the U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Tuesday, adding that he plans to meet again with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Wednesday.

There was agreement that Syria should be a unified country, united, that it needs to be secular, that ISIL (Islamic State) needs to be taken on, and that there needs to be a managed transition,” Kerry told MSNBC …

But instead of building on that agreement and of further working with the Russians, the U.S. is now slipping into a full war by proxy against the Russian Federation and especially with its contingent in Syria. Obama had claimed that he would not get drawn into a proxy war with Russia in Syria but his administration, the Pentagon and the CIA, is now doing all it can to create one. The Russian support for Syria is not limited. With the U.S. administration now moving into a position where war on Russia in Syria becomes the priority the fighting in and around Syria will continue for a long time.

The official Pentagon program to train Syrian insurgents will cease to vet, train, arm and support those mercenaries. But the program will not end. The Pentagon will simply shorten the process. It skips the vetting and training part and will arm and support anyone who proclaims to want to “fight ISIS”:

The move marks an expansion of U.S. involvement in Syria’s protracted ground war and could expose the Obama administration to greater risks if weapons provided to a wider array of rebel units go astray, or if U.S.-backed fighters come under attack from forces loyal to Assad and his allies.

Under the new plan, leaders of groups already battling the Islamic State undergo vetting and receive a crash course in human rights and combat communications. Many of them have already received that training outside Syria, officials said.

Eventually the Pentagon plans to provide ammunition and basic weapons to those leaders’ fighters and would carry out airstrikes on targets identified by those units.

We know how well things go when some rogue proxies identify targets they want the U.S. air force to hit. The destroyed MSF hospital in Kunduz and the 50 something killed in the U.S. attack on it, on request of Afghan special forces, tell the story.

Significant military aid to those fighters, in an area where Islamist extremist groups are mixed with and often fighting beside moderate opposition rebels, would mark a departure from previous U.S. policy. A senior administration official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the matter, declined to give specifics on any new aid that might arrive in northwest Syria. But the official said that “these supplies will be delivered to anti-ISIL forces whose leaders were appropriately vetted,” and described them as “groups with diverse membership.”

That would be these diverse groups which all include al-Nusra/al-Qaeda, Ahrar al Shams and other Jihadis. Even if not directly given to them the fact that al-Qaeda demands a “toll” of 1/3 of all weapons going through its controls, and sometimes takes all, shows that this program is effectively a direct, though unacknowledged, armament program for al-Qaeda.

The new program is separate from a CIA-led effort to aid rebel factions in Syria. It was not immediately clear how Friday’s announcement might affect the CIA program.

The CIA runs a similar but much bigger program since 2012. Weapons are handed out to everyone who wants to take down the Syrian government. Most of those weapons have landed in the hands of the Islamic State or al-Qaeda.

Indeed it is the CIA, under its torture justifying chief Brennan, which has pushed the Obama administration away from Kerry’s conceding statement and into a full blown proxy war with Russia.

Russia bombed some of the CIA’S trained, armed and paid groups. It had earlier asked the U.S. to tell it who not to bomb but didn’t receive an answer. As the CIA mercenaries are fighting against the Syrian government and are practically not distinguishable from al-Qaeda, ISI or other terrorists they are a legitimate targets.

But not in the eyes of the CIA which nevertheless finds Russian attacks on them useful:

Reports indicate that CIA-trained groups have sustained a small number of casualties and have been urged to avoid moves that would expose them to Russian aircraft. One U.S. official who is familiar with the CIA program — and who like other officials spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence matters — said the attacks have galvanized some of the agency-equipped units. “Now they get to fight the Russians,” the official said. “This improves morale.”

Brennan departed for the Middle East last week as the Russian strikes intensified. U.S. officials said that the trip was previously planned and not related to the bombings but acknowledged that his discussions centered on Syria.

… The decision to dismantle the Pentagon’s training program — whose small teams of fighters were often quickly captured or surrendered their weapons to rival rebel groups in Syria — may force Obama to weigh ramping up support to the CIA-backed groups.

U.S. officials said those involved in the agency program are already exploring options that include sending in rocket systems and other weapons that could enable rebels to strike Russian bases without sending in surface-to-air missiles that terrorist groups could use to target civilian aircraft.

The person who told the Saudis to deliver 500 TOW missiles to Syria ASAP was likely CIA chief Brennan. He also ordered to plan for attacks on the Russian base.

So instead of a calming down and cooperation with Russia to fight the Islamic State the Pentagon was told to shorten its program and to hand out weapons to everyone who asks. The CIA is feeding more weapons to its mercenaries via its Gulf proxies and is planning for direct attacks on Russians.

The war on Syria, and now also on Russia, is unlikely to end in the near future. With the U.S. throwing more oil into the fire the war will burn not only in Syria but in every other country around it.

Two suicide bombers blew themselves up today at a rally of the Kurd friendly HDP party in Ankara. Some 90 people were killed and some 200 wounded. This is the biggest terrorist attack modern Turkey has ever seen. The Turkish government disconnected the country from Twitter and forbid any reporting about the terror attack. The HDP party is leftist and supports a peaceful struggle for Kurdish autonomy. The militant Kurdish PKK in Turkey is currently fighting skirmishes with Turkish security forces in the east of the country. It has now announced that it will stop all attacks unless when it is attacked first. The sister organization of the PKK in Syria, the YPK, is currently fighting against the Islamic State. Erdogan’s AK-Party and his government have supported the Islamic State and al-Qaeda in Syria. It sees the HDP party and the Kurds in general as its enemies. As one Turkish non-AKP politician said today, the bloody incident in Ankara was either a total Turkish intelligence failure or a Turkish intelligence operation.

Whatever else it was, the bombing, very likely by Islamic State suicide bombers, is a sign of an ongoing destabilization of Turkey. The instability will increase further until there is a major policy change and a complete crackdown on any support for the Jihadis in Syria as well as a complete closure of the Turkish-Syrian border.

Today the Russian President Putin will meet the Saudi “young leader” deputy crown-prince Mohammed Salman-un. Can Putin read him the riot act and tell him to stop being a proxy in the U.S. war on Syria? One hopes so.

Moon of Alabama
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