War Report For Sunday, March 12, 2017
1) US/NATO v. Russia
2) Syria and the War On ISIS
3) Israel v. Iran
To the Russians, this is nothing more than another exercise in NATO fear mongering. "All work is paid for, and this report is no exception. How objective it is and the competency of the person who prepared it is another issue. It's one thing if he has tried to give an objective picture, but if he wanted to spread some fear and think up some stories, that's quite another and it seems to me that in this case, it's most likely the second one," Nikolai Topornin, an associate professor of European Law at the Russian Foreign Ministry's Moscow State Institute of International Relations, told Radio Sputnik, in apparent reference to Breedlove. "The man has simply set himself the task of telling everyone that Russia was violating some kind of strategic standards, is strengthening its military presence, including naval and may constitute some kind of threat," Topornin told Radio Sputnik.
Fars News, meanwhile, citing something called Hawar news, reports that things aren‛t going swimmingly between the Turks and their proxies in the FSA. Hawar news quoted informed sources as saying that at least sixty Ankara-backed militants in al-Rai town in Northern Aleppo have dropped ties with the Euphrates Shield Operation over low salary and Turkish Army's indifferences to the promises it made to assist the militants.
And a senior official of the PYD warns that Turkey wants to occupy parts of northern Syria. "The territory that Turkey wants to advance to belongs to the Syrian state. These lands are part of Syria's sovereign system. Attacking these lands means attacking a sovereign state," said Ewwas Eli, responsible for foreign relations of the PYD's branch in Kobani. "Turkey wants to occupy Syria."
Meanwhile, the US State Department has declared Hayyat Tahrir al-Sham in a statement published on Friday. The reasoning is simple. The leader of HTS is Mohammad Al-Julani, commander-in-chief of Jabhat Fateh Al-Sham, which was Jabhat al Nusra, which was Al Qaeda, and therefore should still be considered Al Qaeda. Al Masdar published the US statement in Arabic, but I can‛t find it in English.
While Iranian-backed militias in Syria could probably cause trouble, it seems unlikely to me that they could come anywhere close to invading and capturing the Israeli occupied part of the Golan Heights. They would get pulverized before they got very far.