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Syrian army pushes ISIS back in Deir Ezzor

Round the clock bombing by Russian air force paves way for advances by Syrian army as it seeks to break ISIS’s siege of Deir Ezzor’s vital airport.

Alexander Mercouris




Reports from Deir Ezzor are sketchy, and it is clear that the crisis there is far from over.  However over the last few days there have been mounting indications that the worst of the crisis may be over, with the Syrian army apparently succeeding in seizing local hilltop positions and strongpoints from ISIS, as it seeks to break ISIS’s siege of Deir Ezzor’s vital airport.

A key factor in turning the tide against ISIS has been round the clock bombing by the Russian air force.  This has included bomb runs by both aircraft originating in Khmeimim air base in western Syria, and TU22M3 medium range bomber aircraft flying from Mozdok air base in the northern Caucasus in southern Russia.

Interestingly a report by the normally reliable Al-Masdar news agency says that some of the Russian aircraft involved in these raids have been operating from Syrian air bases closer to Deir Ezzor than Khmeimim

Russian fighter jets took off from the Qamishli Military Airport on Tuesday, heading south towards the Deir Ezzor Governorate, where they conducted more than 40 airstrikes over Jabal Thardeh, Al-Rashidiyah, Al-Jubeileh, Maysaloun, Jirayah and Saqr Island.

This is clearly an intensive air campaign, with all the stops being pulled out.  One report speaks of an air strike by TU22M3 bombers which destroyed an industrial facility used by ISIS to make weapons and ammunitions for its fighters.  This is the Russian Defence Ministry’s report of the raid as reported by Al-Masda

On January 24 six Tupolev-22M3 bombers took off from an airdrome in Russia to fly over the territories of Iraq and Iran to eventually deal a massive air strike against an ammunition and explosives production facility and weapons and ammunition depots of the Islamic State, as well as groups of IS military vehicles and equipment in Deir ez-Zor province

One of the most interesting facts about the Russian Defence Ministry statement is that it also says that whilst over the target the TU22M3s were provided with air cover by Sukhoi-30SM and Sukhoi-35S fighters flying from Khmeimim air base.  Clearly despite the change in administration in the US, and the apparent change in stance by Turkey, the Russians are taking nothing for granted, and are still providing air protection for their bombers when they carry out raids in Syria.

Another report says that another Russian air strike destroyed an ISIS convoy of 15 vehicles heading from Palmyra to Deir Ezzor.  Clearly the Russians are targeting ISIS’s local industrial facilities, their warehouses and supply depots, and their local headquarters, whilst also trying to disrupt ISIS’s movement of its fighters.

The latter is especially difficult given how rapidly ISIS moves its convoys of fighters.  Very quick response times are needed, which is why Russian aircraft are now using Syrian air bases closer to the fighting.

Though the importance of these Russian air strikes cannot be overstated, the major reason why the Syrian army is holding on in Deir Ezzor is obviously because of the courage and discipline of the Syrian soldiers there, who have continued resisting ISIS notwithstanding their perilous position.

It appears that ISIS’s siege of Deir Ezzor – like the Jihadi counter-offensives against Aleppo in the summer – is turning into a battle of attrition, with ISIS suffering heavy losses as it tries to storm the Syrian army’s positions defending the town, and as its fighters and supplies come under heavy bombing by the Russian air force.

The outcome of the battle of attrition in Aleppo in the summer was never seriously in doubt because the Syrian army’s supply lines to Syria’s heartland in south western Syria were never seriously threatened.  Unfortunately it is impossible to be equally confident about the situation in Deir Ezzor, where ISIS has the Syrian troops surrounded, and where they are far distant from the main concentrations of the Syrian army in western Syria.

The situation of the Syrian troops in Deir Ezzor therefore remains very difficult, but based on the reports that the situation on the battlefield is starting to shift in their favour, it may be that the most dangerous and critical moment has passed.


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Surprise, Surprise! Another Brett Kavanaugh Sexual Assault Allegation! (Video)

Democrats will use this Social Justice tactic on every nomination and election.

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Via Stefan Molyneux

Surprise, Surprise! Fresh off the spineless Republicans delaying the confirmation vote for Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh – the Judge has been accused of yet another sexual assault claim of questionable authenticity. Apparently during the 1983-84 academic school year, Kavanaugh ‘exposed himself’ to classmate Deborah Ramirez while she was heavily intoxicated – or so she thinks so, despite admitted gaps in her memory and no additional eyewitnesses.

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White House Releases Late Night Push Back to New Yorker Hit on Kavanaugh

Ramirez recalls “a penis being in front of my face,” and that despite being incredibly drunk, someone encouraging her to “kiss it.”

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Via The Gateway Pundit

The White House released a late night response to the New Yorker hit piece by Ronan Farrow and Jane Mayer on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh in which a Yale classmate alleged, without eyewitness corroboration, that Kavanaugh exposed himself to her face at a drunken college dorm party decades ago. Kavanaugh issued a statement denying the accusation.

Latest Kavanaugh accuser, Yale classmate Deborah Ramirez.

The White House statement highlights multiple details from the article that undermine the accusation.

Reporters have posted a copy to Twitter, one of them CNN’s Kaitlan Collins.

Full image and text posted below.


“This alleged event from 35 years ago did not happen. The people who knew me then know that this did not happen, and have said so. This is a smear, plain and simple. I look forward to testifying on Thursday about the truth, and defending my good name—and the reputation for character and integrity I have spent a lifetime building—against these last-minute allegations.” – Judge Brett Kavanaugh

The accuser, Deborah Ramirez, admits in The New Yorker’s piece that there were “significant gaps” in her memories about the event. 

  • “She was at first hesitant to speak publicly, partly because her memories contained gaps because she had been drinking at the time of the alleged incident.”
  • “Ramirez acknowledged that there are significant gaps in her memories of the evening…”

By The New Yorker’s own admission, Ramirez was reluctant to speak with certainty on the allegation. 

  • “In her initial conversations with The New Yorker, she was reluctant to characterize Kavanaugh’s role in the alleged incident with certainty.”

It took six days of “assessing her memories” for Ramirez to say she recalled Kavanaugh committing the alleged incident, and that came only after consulting with an attorney provided by the Democrats. 

  • “After six days of carefully assessing her memories and consulting with her attorney, Ramirez said that she felt confident enough of her recollections…”
  • “Senate aides from Ramirez’s home state of Colorado alerted a lawyer, Stanley Garnett, a former Democratic district attorney in Boulder, who currently represents her.”

The New Yorker admits it has not confirmed through eyewitnesses Kavanaugh was even present at the party and other students who knew Kavanaugh said they never heard of the incident. 

  • The New Yorker has not confirmed with other eyewitnesses that Kavanaugh was present at the party.”
  • “In a statement, two of those male classmates who Ramirez alleged were involved in the incident, the wife of a third male student she said was involved, and three other classmates, Dino Ewing, Louisa Garry, and Dan Murphy, disputed Ramirez’s account of events…”
  • “We were the people closest to Brett Kavanaugh during his first year at Yale. He was a roommate to some of us, and we spent a great deal of time with him, including in the dorm where this incident allegedly took place.”
  • “Some of us were also friends with Debbie Ramirez during and after her time at Yale. We can say with confidence that if the incident Debbie alleges ever occurred, we would have seen or heard about it—and we did not.”

Further, those classmates said that the allegations in the story would be completely out of character for Kavanaugh.  

  • “The behavior she describes would be completely out of character for Brett.”

A former student who was best friends with Ramirez said she never told her about the incident despite how close they were. 

  • “The former friend who was married to the male classmate alleged to be involved, and who signed the statement, said of Ramirez, ‘This is a woman I was best friends with. We shared intimate details of our lives. And I was never told this story by her, or by anyone else. It never came up. I didn’t see it; I never heard of it happening.’”

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US Will Be “Defenseless” Against New Russian Nuclear Sub Equipped With Hypersonic Missiles

The hypersonic nuclear submarine is not the only super-weapon that Russia is preparing to add to its arsenal.



Via Zerohedge

The Soviet-era arms race between the US and Russia is officially back on.

To wit, Moscow is reportedly building a fleet of nuclear submarines armed with hypersonic ICBMs capable of delivering a nuclear payload ten times larger than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima, according to CNBC, which cited a US intelligence report on the new weapons. Russian President Vladimir Putin hinted at six new super weapons during a speech back in March where he also revealed that Russia is working on a nuclear missile capable of evading NATO’s ring of ABM defenses.

The new Borei II submarine, also known as the Borei-A, is a fourth-generation nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine that will reportedly join the Russian Navy’s Northern and Pacific Fleets once it’s completed in 2024, according to the report. Each sub can carry up to 20 Bulava intercontinental ballistic missiles, which can deliver a nuclear payload of 100 to 150 kilotons. The sub will be the first new Russian sub developed in the post-Soviet era.

What’s worse is that, as of now, the US doesn’t possess adequate defenses to protect against Bulava missiles.

What’s more, unlike a traditional missile, which carries one warhead, the Bulava missile is capable of carrying up to 10 nuclear and hypersonic weapons on its tip. That means one Borei II submarine could potentially launch 200 hypersonic weapons, a threat the U.S. is currently unable to defend against.

A hypersonic weapon can travel at Mach 5 or higher, which is at least five times faster than the speed of sound. This means that a hypersonic threat can travel about one mile per second.

Back in March, Putin showed a digital representation of how one of Russia’s new weapons could evade ABM defenses by traveling high into the stratosphere. The Russian president also criticized the US and NATO for forcing Russia to resort to these weapons. He also dared any of Russia’s geopolitical rivals to call the country weak.

“I want to tell all those who have fueled the arms race over the last 15 years, sought to win unilateral advantages over Russia, introduced unlawful sanctions aimed to contain our country’s development: You have failed to contain Russia,” Putin said during his March national address.

A hypersonic weapon can travel at Mach five or faster, which means it is five times faster than the speed of sound, traveling at about one mile per second.

And the new sub isn’t the only super-weapon that Russia is preparing to add to its arsenal. Of the six weapons Putin unveiled at his speech earlier this year, CNBC reported that two of them will be ready for war by 2020.

“We don’t have any defense that could deny the employment of such a weapon against us,” Air Force Gen. John Hyten, commander of U.S. Strategic Command, told the Senate Armed Services Committee in March, following Putin’s comments.

With this in mind, perhaps Democrats in Congress can stop complaining about the ostensibly friendly relationship between President Trump and Putin and also stop agitating against Trump’s plans to allocate more money to the military.

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