Some rebels called him the CIA’s man in Syria. Now, he struggles to get his calls returned. “We used to joke, ‘If you want something from Barack Obama, call Abu Ahmad,’” another CIA-backed rebel commander recalls. “If someone in the opposition wanted to meet the Americans, they went to him. Now, guys like us, we’re headed to the rubbish bin of history.”
The war against Syria is the first to have been waged, for more than six years, in the digital era. A wealth of documents which should have remained secret for many years have already been published. Although they have been released in different countries, so that international public opinion is unaware of them, they already enable us to piece together the events concerned. The release of a recording of comments made in private by John Kerry last September reveals the policies of the Secretary of State and obliges all observers — including ourselves — to review our previous analyses.
On May 5th, 2015, the Al-Qaeda affiliated group Jabhat al-Nusra committed an extrajudicial killing of a prisoner, which was filmed for propaganda purposes. In the video, members of the White Helmets are clearly seen present at the scene of the execution helping to remove the body. They did not appear to make any effort to prevent the killing. Al-Nusra’s decision to kill their prisoner was a clear violation of 75 U.N.T.S. 135 of the Geneva Convention on Treatment of Prisoners of War, and at worst an outright war crime were the victim a civilian.
In the next 2-3 days in the area of Tiyas expected bad weather, which will hamper air support that could set the stage for surprise attacks using suicide car bombers, with the aim of breaking the main line of defense, so the Syrians need to carefully monitor the activity of the Caliphate – from the idea to capture Tiyas “black” have not declined.
It is clear that the group in the area of Tiyas requires strengthening to reflect such threats. Overnight another 200 fighters “Hezbollah” pushed into Tiyas, which is encouraging, as the Lebanese are very strong infantry, which when necessary, is able to abut, during the fighting in Rampage have experienced assault troops “Al-Nusra” and “Ahrar al-sham”. Also Sidorenko reported that the position of the SAA in the area of Tiasa out of 20 people emerged from the environment near Palmyra.
From myself I will add that this soldier describes what happened to the North of Palmyra and to the East of it in the Elevator. What happened on the line, Julisis-Gazal or South of Palmyra it according to the text did not know and could not know. Regarding the questions where the aircraft operated, from the text it is clear that he worked for the communications of the enemy (where he covered the mechanized column), helicopters with Tiyas at a critical moment provided fire support and allowed the retreating to escape from the operational environment.
In the case of the options meeting concerning Syria at the White House on Friday, it seems clear that what was briefed was a set of options generated by the Joint Staff. In this meeting the president/CinC met with the chiefs to discuss the options and their secondary effects. Others may have been invited; the DNI, the Director of CIA, the Secretary of State, the CENTCOM commander, but they would essentially be “strap hangers”, i.e., observers at what was essentially a JCS “show.” An accomplished briefer would have presented the Courses of Action. This would be followed by discussion led by General Dunford, CJCS.