The Surrender Of Qaboun | Colonel Cassad

May definitely continues to make a good news from the Syrian front. Yesterday was liberated airbase Jirah. Today, the SAA took the district Qaboun in Damascus after extremely bloody, multi-week battles. In recent weeks, the position of the rebels became absolutely unbearable, so they were forced to agree to a standard scheme, with the export of those surviving to Idlib. Thus another enclave in the heart of Damascus abolished, and Assad continuing to adhere to “national reconciliation strategy”, continues busily to expand the controlled territory.

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Damascus 2013-2017 | Colonel Cassad

It is obvious that preparations are underway for hostilities against the Caliphate (the regrouping of troops and creation of strike groups requires a certain time), which we will see in the second half of may-early June. As the primary tasks is to sweep the area of the base of the Giro and promotion along the banks of the Euphrates to the administrative borders of Raqqa province + creation of prerequisites for the development of the offensive from the area Itree. Simultaneously, we can expect offensive operations to the North and South of the highway Ties – Palmyra, as well as the mounting of the strike group in the area of the Palmyra, for the ambitious offensive operations in the direction of Deir ez-Zor.

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The “de-escalation zones” are a clever trick | Colonel Pat Lang

Putin wants to improve relations with the US. Trump will probably believe that this ploy is a genuine expression of good will rather than a clever maneuver. Look to see a follow on set of proposals for something like a UN supervised referendum in the Crimea on annexation and a proposal for a US/Russian mixed military commission to determine the actual state of affairs in the Donbas and eastern Ukraine generally.

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Afghanistan Syndrome | Mark Ames

It’s also strange to be floating conspiracies about Russian arms making their way to Kandahar bazaars, when we all know who has been backing the Taliban: the ISI, Pakistan’s intelligence service, with funding from the Saudis and the Gulf monarchies. The ISI nurtured, trained, equipped and advised the Taliban from its birth in Pakistani refugee camps, to its conquest of most of Afghanistan in the mid-late 1990s; and the Saudis and Gulf monarchs sponsored the whole thing. This isn’t a big secret. Just a few months ago, the New York Times did a big exposé headlined “Saudis Bankroll Taliban, Even as King Officially Supports Afghan Government”. But stories like that are just bummers, so everyone willfully forgets it and goes back to its version of Pokémon Go—something like “Putínmon Go” where every DC hack and military contractor runs around virtual-Afghanistan catching virtual-Putínmon phantoms…

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