Anti-Empire Has Some of the Best Syria (Turkey vs Russia vs US) Coverage on the Internet

Context and depth in a way that's decluttered and easy to get into

When it comes to the war in Syria and the corresponding US-Russian-Turkish-Israeli-Iranian-Saudi-European shoving contest it represents I would divide media outlets into three distinct groups.

1.) First, you have the vast majority of media which almost never reports on it. Not because the Syria is not interesting or critically important (what could be more important than a US-Russian or a Turkish-Russian shoving match??) but because they are clueless and do not know where to start. When events absolutely force them to nonetheless cover it they fall back to doing stenography for the Pentagon and the State Department. A distinct subset of this clueless brigade are the supposedly bleeding-heart liberals who raise their heads every couple of months to call for the West to bomb Syria so they can have the cheap feel-good thrill of “doing something” against an imaginary Hitler.

2.) Secondly, you have specialized alt-media outlets like South Front and Al-Masdar which report on the war daily and know their stuff. They, however, focus on the tactical level and report every minute detail, but without giving the context or the political dimension. They’re good for someone who already knows everything about the war (or thinks he does) and is only following along as it develops further. However, they’re poor entry points for someone who is still learning or doesn’t have the inclination to wade through headlines about every minor airstrike or clash.

3.) Thirdly you have places like Moon of Alabama and Sic Semper Tyrannis which leave out the daily tactical stuff and instead deliver insightful analysis and commentary which provide that much-needed context to make sense of it all. However, these outlets are not so much in the ‘covering Syria’ business as they are in the ‘making insightful comments’ business which means their coverage is understandably spotty. Often something very important will take place in Syria but they won’t have a post about it because perhaps that day or week they’re occupied with another topic. They’re good places to seek additional analysis and interesting opinion but you can’t be certain you’re staying on top of things just by following them.

Finally, there’s Anti-Empire. I’ve compiled news on it and written about developments there since 2015, first for Russia Insider (back in the days of the US-Russian Race for the Euphrates and the deadly Standoff at Al-Tanf) and now on here. And I do it in a unique style where I leave out the mundane tactical stuff. Instead, Anti-Empire will have something on Syria only when it has a wider strategic or political implication, but here’s the catch — it will have all such events.

Even when the site has nothing on the conflict there, because there’s nothing that rises above the threshold of the tactical, I’m still staying on top of what’s happening there. If something happens that reaches beyond that you can be sure Anti-Empire will cover it, and will do so with the context necessary to understand the political and strategic dimension rather than pester you with the recitation of standalone facts.

It’s an outlet which if you’re following you can be sure you’re on top of all the really important stuff even when there hasn’t been a Syria headline in weeks or even months. Yet when things heat up all the context to enable even a relative newbie to begin to understand what is going on will be there.

All that without sacrificing any of the depth but instead giving the complete story with all its twists and turns as it happens (and always big on maps). If you have followed Anti-Empire’s coverage of the recent escalation that has now led to what has to be called a Turkish-Syrian war and may yet lead to a Turkish-Russian (and even NATO-Russian one) this is the journey you would have taken:

Syrian Army Offensive Envelops Large Strategic Town, Cuts Key Highway, Encircles Another Turkish Outpost

Erdogan Rages Against Russia and the Syrian Idlib Offensive Steamrolling Al-Qaeda

Syrian Army Advances to Outskirts of Uber-Strategic Town of Saraqib, Erdogan Threatens “Military Force”

6 Turkish Soldiers Killed by Syrian Artillery, After Turkey Rushes Troops Protect Al-Qaeda

Undeterred by Arrival of Turkish Military the Syrian Army Continues Advance, Cuts Key Highway, Reaches Edge of Saraqib

Erdogan Says He Issued Ultimatum to Putin for Syria to Relinquish Gains or He’s Joining the War on AQ’s Side

Military Genius Erdogan Gets Hundreds More of His Troops Encircled in Syria

5 More Turkish Soldiers Perish Under Syrian Army Artillery Fire in Syria

Erdogan Is Quietly Integrating Syrian Refugees to Gain More Voters, Wombs and Islamists

Photos Surface of the Turkish Army Convoy Devastated by Syrian Artillery Last Week

Turkey Claims Has Killed “101” Syrian Troops Nobody Knew Were “Dead”, But Not Claiming Helicopter Downing That Actually Happened

Trump Admin Gets on the Al-Qaeda Bandwagon to Deepen Wedge Between Russia and Turkey

Turkey’s NATO Military Is Now Al-Qaeda’s Artillery Corps

Inside a Single Week Syrian Troops Fought Turkey, Israel, the US and Al-Qaeda

Turkish Hand Suspected as 2nd Syrian Army Helicopter Shot Down in Days

Erdogan Escalates Threats, Syria Ignores Him, Scores Massive Gains

NATO Has No Plans to Provide Military Support to Turkey in Syria’s Idlib

Erdogan Raises Stakes in Syria, Launches Offensive vs Syrian Army, Russians Intervene on Opposite Side

Turkey Seeks US Military Backing for an Air Offensive in Syria

US Military Spokesman Says Idlib Is a Magnet for Terrorist Groups Who Are a “Menace and a Threat” to Its Civilians

VIDEO: Turkish Troops Fire Missile at Russian Strike Aircraft

‘Syrian’ Footage of Deadly Airstrikes on Turkish Military Shows They Were Actually Russian Strikes

Russia’s Defense Minister Hosts Libya’s Haftar in Moscow to Mess With Erdogan

(Russian?) Warplanes Drop Bombs Next to Turkish Column in Syria, Force It to Halt Advance

Will Turkey Drag America Into a ‘World War III Scenario’ With Russia?

Turkish Secular Opposition Tells Erdogan to Contain the Refugee Crisis by Working With Assad, Against al-Qaeda

Erdogan Calls Kremlin to Bail Him From His Idlib Fiasco, Pitiless Putin Lines Up Behind His Military

Pompeo Demands Syria Institutes a ‘Permanent Ceasefire’ With al-Qaeda, Says Looking for Ways to Help Turkey

Erdogan Vows to Risk Everything to Save Idlib for al-Qaeda, Reiterates February-End Deadline for Syrian-Russian Retreat

Syrian Army Collapses a Chunk of Southern Idlib Pocket, but Turkish-Rebel Offensive Takes Back Critical Town

Erdogan Has Been Telling Everyone and Their Mother He Is Meeting Putin on the 5th. Putin Says Has No Plans to Meet Him

33 KIA in Airstrike on Turkish HQ in Syria. Russia Denies Ankara’s Request to Evacuate the Wounded by Air

Russians-Syrians Had to React to Turkey’s Strikes on Syrian Army or Throw in the Towel

Israel Sends Condolences for Turkish “Martyrs”. Erdogan Expands War to Hezbollah, Iran

Turks Shoot Down 2 Syrian Su-24s in One Day, Turkish-Qaeda Offensive in Full Swing, Taking Ground From Syrian Army

Erdogan Gets His Putin Meeting, but It’s He Who’ll Have to Go to Russia

Wounded and Shaken the Syrian Army Goes on the Counter-Offensive, Wins

Russia Deploys Military Police to Highway That Erdogan Demands Syrian Army Gives Back to Al-Qaeda

Turkey Is Busing Migrants to Greek Border, Rejects EU’s €1 Billion Offer to Knock It Off

Then there’s a wholly separate US-Russian wrestling match to the east in northeastern Syria but about that at another time.

  1. michael houston says

    you left out….Vineyard of the Saker…..Colonel Cassad….

    1. Marko Marjanović says

      These are just examples it’s not meant to be exhaustive. Specifically I didn’t use them because Cassad is not in English, and the Vinyard columns fall in group 3 but then then their SITREPs fall in group 2, so it doesn’t work as a clear-cut example of either.

    2. Mikhail Garchenko says

      Two of the VERY FEW “BEST BY FAR” that you can find in the web. And, I must to say, I´m Argentinian, and my only “knowledgment” of Russian is limited to no more than few phrases and a bunch of nice words to write to a nice Russian Lady… ( “…use Yandex, asshole..!” 😉 )

  2. CHUCKMAN says

    Maybe this should have been headlined, “Advertisements for Myself”?

    1. Marko Marjanović says

      Is it an effective one?

      1. Canosin says

        is he jealous? envying? the wheathercock?

      2. CHUCKMAN says

        Just a light joke, Marko.

        That was the title of a book by Norman Mailer.

  3. Robert Mcconnell says

    I note you did not list VT in your appraisal of analysts etc, care to rate them. I often have strong doubts about their agendas, motives. Sometimes they carry useful info coupled with off the wall analysis, lately I find them totally bonkers.

    1. ArcAngel says

      Hi RM. If you’re referring to “Veteran’s Today” and that Shillary Killary ass kissing sociopathic idiot “Gordon Duff”… well, its apparently an FBI (Dept 5) so-called Psy-Op site (Operation Mockingbird 2.0).
      I found it to be a decent site until 2015 when it started to “go weird”. Then the Clinton love fest started in early 2016 and the site went completely “off the rails” and Duff went completely f n insane/sociopathic. Mr Dean was one of the few writing on the site that made any sense.
      After 5 years on the site…. I got banned just for asking “what’s up with the Hillary love fest”.
      I think GD lost alot of “credibility” in 2016 with his Shillary Killary love fest and the vile, brain dead rants against “Trumplestein”.
      One could write volumes of intelligent diatribes/rants against the Orangeman… alas GD didn’t go down that road, but instead went for ‘low brough” mud slinging. Maybe he was looking for a new job with the US MSM. Or following his “Pay Masters” instructions.
      “Totally bonkers”…. totally agree.
      Take care.

  4. cechas vodobenikov says

    this is one of many limitations for journalism—culture, history, sociology and context r only addressed superficially

  5. David Chu says

    Yes, keep up the great work on reporting the situation in Syria!

  6. Mikhail Garchenko says

    Open an account in Telegram, there is A LOT of guys “right there” with A LOT of info, “minute to minute” (…mainly in Russian, but, what´s the problem with it..? Can´t you use a translator, hmm..? )

  7. Mary E says

    Those reasons are why I read Anti-Empire…easy to comprehend what is really going on
    in Syria and highlighting (rightly so) how evil the Evil Empire really is! And that Turkey is playing both sides against the middle – which will their downfall. Thanks for having such eye-opening commentary….Keep Up The Extradordinary coverage!

  8. ArcAngel says

    A very good site MM.
    Visit it daily, although I might not make comment.
    Yeoman’s work you are doing…
    May I add Anna News and its ‘true to form’ “war correspondents” (especially Oleg Blokin), R&U Videos (which I see are now being played here) and while Syrian, I like Sana News as well.
    Keep up the great work.

  9. john223 says

    I missed Syrianperspective, Canthama, Thucydides, Daniel Rich, And there is another one I forgot I think Bundy? There are more… and they are some of the most talented posters in the site. But of course there are stinking bots too. Oh well that is free speech. But too bad Ziad got tired of his website getting DOS attack all the time.

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