Dec 07 (1/2): Ground Game: Remember Sochi?

Recall the announcement the other day of the galaxy brain idea to build a wall along the edge of the “safe zone.”

far side great wall china dog

So, as discussed, I suppose it’s a good idea.

I mean, another possibility would have been for everyone to order their troops to just, like, not fight or otherwise misbehave.

But we know that’s going to be too much to ask of Turkey and its ISIS proxies. Terrorist gotta terrorist.

Obviously, whatever solution for securing the safe zone and maintaining the cease fireor whatever this particular flavor of war is being called right now—would have to address that kind of day to day casual terrorism.

And the wall is what they came up with.

So now it’s all about securing the length of the M4 highway so that the “south side” can try to get on with life, the highway again being the major artery for that part of the country.

map aleppo to aqmishli 12-07-19

Securing the territory means implementing the Sochi agreement from late October which I really didn’t think was going to happen because, well, Russia started just sorta puttering around and letting Turkey keep blowing stuff up.

Maybe they needed to import some kind of advanced wall technology for this? Something very unlike the pedestrian wall tech currently available in Syria?

I dunno. But as per the previous post on the wall, they decided to do this some time ago.

Anyway: The whole Sochi agreement stuff where Russia actually helps to secure the zone is happening now.

It’s always fun to see which Twitter accounts emphasize which actors in all of this.

Like, the above mentions Russian military police and the Assad regime’s SAA, while this one points to the SAA-SDF partnership.

Meanwhile, this one is all about the SAA.

This one is down with the Rojava elements, distinguishing himself by mentioning both SDF and YPG together.

And next, there’s this first guy again. Note above how he mentions the Russian MPs and SAA patrolling some places together.

Here he refers to the agreement between the YPG and the Syrian regime.

Now, I assume most of these people have some sort of point of view shaped by what might be termed a partisan or “rooting” interest.

And so it is the case with this guy: He is virulently anti “goat-fucker”:

ynms goat fucker tweets

Even with his apparently partisan perspective, however, he endeavors to be clear, consistent, and precise. You keep an eye on those guys.

And yes, you are reading that correctly: When I went for the screen shot he had literally used the term within 30 seconds of my search.

As I said, he is very consistent.

It also doesn’t take long to figure out to whom he is referring. And again, it is actually quite precise, and it is very consistent.

So, yeah, the Sochi agreement is finally getting implemented.

Which means, as per the other day, a Russian show of force—driving around looking hard sure beats fighting.

So Russia is being cool for a change.

Except . . .

I know I keep saying that helicopters are how a gentleman flexes, but Russia is just being a dick about it now.

So Russia is going out of its way to make some kind of point that somehow extends beyond: We have helicopters.

I mean, the US seems to feel that’s all that needs to be said—Helicopters—as per the re-announcement of non-mission change re-deployment or whatever that was that was covered in that stirring NYTimes publicity stunt bad guy informercial video thingie.

Which I enjoyed very much, by the way.

You know, the same videos where they talked about why they brought the Bradleys.

So Russia maybe Russia is just in “try hard” mode? Or maybe they have something else going on. (Or maybe Apaches are just better.)

Either way:

  • They are patrolling;
  • They appear to actually be helping lock down the area like they said they would for a change; and
  • They are doing it with a high profile.

So that’s a thing now.

Deir ez Zor

To round out the news in the east, there’s been some fighting against the lingering ISIS types in the Deir ez Zor area.

So this has been going ongoing—the Syrian Military Council even put it on their Tik-Tok.

But, of course, despite this being the norm in the area, some people want you to know how dark and spooky and dangerous and confusing this all is.

It’s like: Guys. They put the fighting on Tik-Tok. This is not secret cabal stuff. Calm down.

So anyway, the US military, as per their custom, addresses this situation, as always, by driving around.

Because that way everybody knows where they are.



So basically, we now have a more detailed understanding of the driving around by Russia and the US military that we saw the other day. As in, we understand the boundaries and territories that are actually going to be enforced vis-a-vis Turkey for a change.

So I guess I’ll finish with a brief look at Idlib.


The Syrian side has had a lot to root for lately, and it looks like there has been real progress in terms of not just winning skirmishes but in gaining territory.

Especially since Turkey is now withholding support from the militias fighting Assad.

That would seem to suggest that Erdogan is not OK with these guys attacking SAA troops, but also kinda implies he’d be OK with them attacking other people in the region.


Although, in fairness, bad guy on bad guy violence is a thing.

But I think we know who Erdogan wants them to kill at this point, so yeah, it’s typical.

And speaking of typical, yeah, much of the situation in Idlib remains boringly, stultifyingly, violently the same.

And, to finish, I just bumped into a final Tweet while trying to sort out some confusion I was having that Kabani is not Kobane

It’s a little old, but seems to confirm what I’ve been saying about the western front of the Syrian conflict.

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