The First call and Next Putin/Trump Phone Call?

President Trump spoke with Vladimir Putin on Saturday and the readouts of the calls from both sides don’t quite match. Notwithstanding, is this the real reason for the call?  

News has been circulating on the internet since Friday[27 Jan]stating that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is experiencing serious health problems. Some media outlets said that Assad had suffered a stroke; while others said that he was shot and has been taken to Damascus Hospital for treatment.  

France’s Le Point, speculated that Assad might have been assassinated by his personal Iranian Bodyguard Mehdi al-Yaacoubi, going so far as to say that he shot him in the head.  

Lebanese newspaper, al-Mustaqbal, quoted “reliable sources” as saying that Assad suffered from a cerebral infraction and was transferred to Damascus Hospital where he is being treated under high security.  

As for the Saudi newspaper Okaz, Assad is suffering from a “brain tumor.” He tried to cover up his illness through short and frequent appearances.  According to its sources, Assad is being treated by a Russian-Syrian medical team on a weekly basis, adding that he has undergone medical tests when he was in Moscow in October.  

Pro-Syrian regime Lebanese newspaper al-Diyar reported on Friday that Assad suffered from a stroke, but denied the news today.  

There were also rumors that Assad is at the American University Hospital

(AUH) in Beirut. However, Al Arabiya contacted the hospital and no information on the issue was given. Al Arabiya has also tried to contact Damascus Hospital, but there has been no response. On the other hand, in a statement carried by the Presidency of the Syrian Arab Republic page on Facebook, Syrian authorities said that such rumors were incorrect.


Meanwhile, not being able yet to add credibility to the rumors above, on to the next call and when….


Arab no more: Russia plans Syria name change in draft constitution

A draft Syrian constitution prepared by Russia suggests that the word “Arab” will be removed from the official name of the Syrian Arab Republic, currently ruled by a faction of the pan-Arab nationalist Baath Party.

Russia’s constitutional proposals were revealed during the Astana peace talks this week, according to Sputnik.

As far back as June 2016, the state-owned Russian news agency reported: “Russia suggested that Syria should change its official name from the Syrian Arab Republic to the Republic of Syria, in order to appeal to ethnic minorities such as Kurds and Turkmen.”

Pre-war Syria had a 74 percent majority Arab population; nine percent were Kurds and there were about 100,000 Turkmen. More here.

Russia to Hand over Large Number of Armored Vehicles to Syrian Army

The activists released several images in social networks showing several groups of the Russian armored vehicles of Vodnik in Tartus port in Mediterranean Sea.
The activists also said that the Syrian army will receive the Russian armored vehicles soon. Military journalists underlined that deployment of high-speed Vodnik armored vehicles along with T90 tanks will help the Syrian army in the war on terrorism.
The Arabic desk of massdar news said it seems that these armored vehicles have been imported to equip Faylaq al-Khames forces that were formed by the Syrian army and Russia’s full military back up.
Media sources disclosed on Saturday that the Russian Armed Forces would likely send back a number of soldiers and military hardware to Humeimim base in Lattakia province to reinvigorate their forces’ combat capabilities again. The Russian language Nezavisimaya Gazeta daily said Russia seemed to redeploy its forces and equipment to the Humeimim base after the Astana peace talks.
The daily opined that liberation of Aleppo had not been a turning point in war on ISIL terrorists in Syria and Moscow made a hurried decision when started to withdraw a part of its forcers and equipment from Syria.


In part from Newsweek: Buried within the U.S. intelligence community’s report on Russian activities in the presidential election is clear evidence that the Kremlin is financing and choreographing anti-fracking propaganda in the United States. By targeting fracking, Putin hopes to increase oil and gas prices, destabilize the U.S. economy and threaten America’s energy independence.

Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, is a decades-old drilling technique in which water and sand is pumped through rock at a high pressure to release previously unreachable deposits of oil and natural gas.

Thanks to new technologies which are making the process more efficient and environmentally friendly, fracking now supports 4.3 million jobs and generates about half a trillion dollars in economic benefit to the United States every year. Additionally, natural gas prices have dropped in half thanks to the corresponding boost in supply, saving American families an average of $200 a year.

Fracking is the major reason why the United States is on pace to become completely energy independent by 2020. America relies on fracking to produce more than 1.5 billion barrels of oil a year — over half of the total U.S. oil output.

Russia sees all this as a threat. More here from Newsweek.

Or could the next conversation include Afghanistan?

Challenging the U.S., Moscow Pushes Into Afghanistan

WSJ: Russia is making fresh inroads into Afghanistan that could complicate U.S. efforts to strengthen the fragile Kabul government, stamp out the resilient Taliban insurgency and end America’s longest war.

Moscow last month disclosed details of contacts with the Taliban, saying that it is sharing information and cooperating with the radical movement on strategy to fight the local affiliate of Islamic State.


Posted in al Qaida al Nusra Boko Haram, Citizens Duty, Cyber War, Department of Defense, DOJ, DC and inside the Beltway, ISIS ISIL Islamic State Caliphate, Military, Russia, The Denise Simon Experience, Trump Administration.

Denise Simon