Just a day after summing up the powerkeg that is Syria – it gets powderkeggy-er! Iran and Hezbollah are launching ground forces to help tip the battle (and the balance of power in the Middle East). And to think this all began with some democratic protests just three years ago – that escalated quickly!

Zerohedge has a great round-up of the entire farce, excerpt below for the summary:

The US, in conjunction with Saudi Arabia and Qatar, attempted to train and support Sunni extremists to overthrow the Assad regime. Some of those Sunni extremists ended up going crazy and declaring a Medeival caliphate putting the Pentagon and Langley in the hilarious position of being forced to classify al-Qaeda as “moderate.” The situation spun out of control leading to hundreds of thousands of civilian deaths and when Washington finally decided to try and find real “moderates” to help contain the Frankenstein monster the CIA had created in ISIS (there were of course numerous other CIA efforts to arm and train anti-Assad fighters, see below for the fate of the most “successful” of those groups), the effort ended up being a complete embarrassment that culminated with the admission that only “four or five” remained and just days after that admission, those “four or five” were car jacked by al-Qaeda in what was perhaps the most under-reported piece of foreign policy comedy in history.

Meanwhile, Iran sensed an epic opportunity to capitalize on Washington’s incompetence. Tehran then sent its most powerful general to Russia where a pitch was made to upend the Mid-East balance of power. The Kremlin loved the idea because after all, Moscow is stinging from Western economic sanctions and Vladimir Putin is keen on showing the West that, in the wake of the controversy surrounding the annexation of Crimea and the conflict in eastern Ukraine, Russia isn’t set to back down. Thanks to the fact that the US chose extremists as its weapon of choice in Syria, Russia gets to frame its involvement as a “war on terror” and thanks to Russia’s involvement, Iran gets to safely broadcast its military support for Assad just weeks after the nuclear deal was struck. Now, Russian airstrikes have debilitated the only group of CIA-backed fighters that had actually proven to be somewhat effective and Iran and Hezbollah are preparing a massive ground invasion under cover of Russian air support. Worse still, the entire on-the-ground effort is being coordinated by the Iranian general who is public enemy number one in Western intelligence circles and he’s effectively operating at the behest of Putin, the man that Western media paints as the most dangerous person on the planet.

Because it is confusing, let’s get a tally on the actors in this epic Middle East pile on:

  • United States (air strikes, CIA money + weapons ops to militants)
  • Britain (airstrikes)
  • France (airstrikes)
  • Al-Qaeda (“moderate”)
  • Free Syrian Army (backed by U.S.)
  • Qatar (money)

VS.

  • Russia (troops and heavy air support)
  • China (troops and warship)
  • Iran (troops, money, weapons)
  • Syrian Government (Assad)
  • Lebanon (Hezbollah, backed by Iran)

VS.

  • ISIS / ISIL (vs. everyone, they want apocalypse)
  • Al-Qaeda (not “moderate”)
  • Islamic Front (backed by Saudi Arabia + Turkey)

Up next: Israeli ground forces. Because there’s a party at ground zero and everyone’s invited!

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