The manufactured horror in the Western media is peaking with 'humanitarian concern' over a rebel held pocket on the outskirts of Damascus. The press forgets that Russian-backed Syrian army re-taking of urban areas is brutal but thankfully rapid, with ground forces clearing house-to-house shortly after bone-numbing artillery and air attacks. Unlike US / Iraqi faffing about, with endless attritional bombardment including US White Phosphorus causing mass casualties because the ground forces won't risk themselves in combat. Not only is Syria's approach ultimately kinder, but the civilian population in the rebel area has already had every encouragement to move out into safety in the Assad-held areas but has chosen to remain.
Media concern here is manufactured and is a smokescreen. Take a look at the current war map; ISIS have been all but vanquished, the Kurds have occupied territory from the Turkish border to the Euphrates, and the remaining US-backed Islamist rebel enclaves are shrinking. Assad must eliminate the rebel pockets around Damascus before a major offensive against the US / Turkish backed rebels holding land east of Latakia. We are now entering into the most dangerous stage of the war - in which Russian, Turkish, Iranian, Israeli and American ground and air forces are at high risk of direct conflict.
Der Spiegel has a good taste of the confusion now emerging on the ground;
What do a counterfeiter from Syria, an Iraqi-Afghan militia fighter under Iranian leadership and a Russian Cossack have in common? More than you might think. They all took part in a strange offensive involving around 300 men on Feb. 7 -- an attack force that was bombed by the U.S. as it crossed a pontoon bridge over the Euphrates River in an effort to capture one of largest natural gas fields in eastern Syria for the Assad regime. Located near the city of Deir ez-Zor, the so-called Conoco field had been wrested from Islamic State (IS) last September by Kurdish-led troops -- with the help of U.S. Special Forces who have been stationed in the area since then.This is the real story; the big boys are now playing out the end game for land, gas and oil, and our sucker media is just too easily distracted by planted fake news intended to turn our focus away from the important stuff. With the BBC still soundly smarting from the spanking it got over its wholly fake White Helmets reporting from Aleppo (there weren't any) they've fallen straight into this one. Perhaps when Czech intelligence officers branded Agent COB 'stupid' they didn't know he was representative of a whole cabal of 'stupid' at the heart of the British establishment.
The Americans are using the Kurds to promote their own interests and the Turks, in addition to their own soldiers, are using anti-Assad rebels to fight on their behalf. Iran, meanwhile, has a diverse mixture of Iraqi, Afghan and Pakistani recruits under its command, in addition to its own people. Since 2013, the tens of thousands of troops under Iranian control have been propping up the regime of Bashar Assad. They are commanded, trained and financed by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, which wants to keep its Syrian ally in power at any price. One of these multinational Shiite militias was also involved in the attack on the Conoco gas field -- a collection of fighters straight out of a dystopian catastrophe film.
Two local tribal militias also took part in the attack, including one controlled by counterfeiter Torki Albo Hamad. Once wanted in Qatar for murder and document forgery in Saudi Arabia, he was known in Syria for being the leader of a gang of highway robbers. In 2013, Damascus offered him money and impunity if he and his men would place themselves at the service of the regime.