A man waves a Syrian national flag as residents of Nubul and al-Zahraa, along with forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad, celebrate after the siege of their towns was broken, northern Aleppo countryside, Syria, in this handout picture provided by SANA on February 4, 2016.
The Syrian Arab Army, with Russian air support, recently broke the 'rebel' siege on some towns in northern Aleppo province in Syria, thus cutting the terrorists' supply lines to Turkey. The U.S. was hoping that a ceasefire would protect their terrorist assets from this very scenario. No such luck. Just like it was in Ukraine before both Minsk agreements, the West only wants peace when its hired killers (and rapists and torturers) risk getting their asses handed to them on a platter by the populations they've been savaging.

The Western media response has been predictably shrill, and completely at odds with the reality of the situation. Here are some of the more odious examples. Get your sick bags ready!

First up is the Guardian's Natalie Nougayrède. One cannot help but be moved at her heartfelt sympathy for head-chopping jihadists...
The defeat of anti-Assad rebels who have partially controlled the city [Aleppo] since 2012 would leave nothing on the ground in Syria but Assad's regime and Islamic State. And all hope of a negotiated settlement involving the Syrian opposition will vanish. This has been a longstanding Russian objective - it was at the heart of Moscow's decision to intervene militarily four months ago.
Natalie really wishes there was a viable third option. There isn't. The "anti-Assad rebels" in Aleppo are just as bad as ISIS:
Kerry and West mourning loss of their mercenaries, Russia helping Syrian army prepare for Turkish
It is hardly a coincidence that the bombardment of Aleppo, a symbol of the 2011 anti-Assad revolution, started just as peace talks were being attempted in Geneva. Predictably, the talks soon faltered. Russian military escalation in support of the Syrian army was meant to sabotage any possibility that a genuine Syrian opposition might have its say on the future of the country. It was meant to thwart any plans the West and the UN had officially laid out. And it entirely contradicted Moscow's stated commitment to a political process to end the war.
Talk about spin! Yes, it was hardly a coincidence. The West was hoping a ceasefire would protect its terrorists and keep their supply lines with Turkey open, plain and simple. That isn't a "political process to end the war" - it's treachery. The terrorists who have held Aleppo for the last 3-4 years are not "genuine Syrian opposition", they are mostly foreign-backed mercenaries, and dyed-in-the-wool radical jihadists.
If there is one thing Europeans have learned in 2015, it is that they cannot be shielded from the effects of conflict in the Middle East. And if there is one thing they learned from the Ukraine conflict in 2014, it is that Russia can hardly be considered Europe's friend. It is a revisionist power capable of military aggression.
What does that even mean? You are writing nonsense, Natalie.

For you, the refugees pouring into Europe are 'effects', objects that are apparently useful only insofar as their grievances advance Western interests in Syria. Europeans cannot be 'shielded' from these 'effects' of obliterating Syria through proxy forces because European leaders keep increasing their countries' participation in obliterating countries like Syria!

It's really very simple: if you keep bombing their homes - directly from the air or indirectly through proxy forces - then you keep sending more refugees Europe's way.
Aleppo will define much of what happens next. A defeat for Syrian opposition forces would further empower ISIS in the myth that it is the sole defender of Sunni Muslims - as it terrorises the population under its control. There are many tragic ironies here, not least that Western strategy against ISIS has officially depended on building up local Syrian opposition ground forces so that they might one day push the jihadi insurgency out of its stronghold in Raqqa. If the very people that were meant to be counted on to do that job as foot soldiers now end up surrounded and crushed in Aleppo, who will the West turn to? Russia has all along claimed it was fighting ISIS - but in Aleppo it is helping to destroy those Syrian groups that have in the past proved to be efficient against ISIS.
Oh, cry me a river! The terrorists hired, trained, and shipped into Syria by the CIA, MI6, et al. were never intended to provide Syrians with defense against ISIS. That only became the Western narrative after these terrorists were rebranded as 'ISIS' in the summer of 2014. They are, and always have been, a mercenary army with the purpose of terrorizing the Syrian population and overthrowing the Syrian government. Get a clue, Natalie. The groups that have proved efficient against ISIS are the Syrian National Defense Forces, the Kurds, the Iranian Quds Force, Hezbollah, and the Syrian Arab Army. You know, the ones actually working together to free the country from the West's terrorists.
Russia's strategic objectives go much further, however. Putin wants to reassert Russian power in the Middle East, but it is Europe that he really has in mind. ... Putin was certainly caught off guard by the Ukrainian Maidan popular uprising, but he swiftly moved to restore dominance through use of force, including the annexation of territory. He calculated - rightly - that his hybrid war in Ukraine could not be prevented by the West.
How's that U.S. State Department Kool-Aid tasting? Putin wasn't caught off guard by a 'popular uprising' in Ukraine. He was 'caught off guard' by a U.S.-backed coup, designed - at least in part - to provoke Russia into an even bigger military confrontation. Thankfully for the world, that didn't happen. Thankfully for Crimea, she returned to where she rightfully belonged, and not with the utterly corrupt and bankrupt joke of a Ukraine. Unfortunately for the people of southeastern Ukraine, they had to withstand the assault of NATO-backed torturers, rapists, and murderers in the process.

Natalie probably doesn't realize it, but it is really the U.S. that 'really has Europe in mind': its primary objective is to ensure Europe does not become allied with Russia, at which point it's curtains for the Western empire under U.S. hegemony.
Putin likes to cast himself as a man of order, but his policies have brought more chaos, and Europe is set to pay an increasing price. Getting the Russian regime to act otherwise will require more than wishful thinking. Aleppo is an unfolding human tragedy. But it is necessary to connect the dots between the plight of this city, Europe's future, and how Russia hovers over both.
Blaming the chaos in Ukraine and Syria on Russia is rich, especially coming from an apologist of the Atlantic regime that spreads death and chaos every time it intervenes outside its borders. Although it is a point-blank lie to blame Russia for this, Natalie has correctly homed in on the essence of this titanic geostrategic battle: in this battle for the ancient city of Aleppo, so much more than Syria's future hangs in the balance.

Moving on to the Washington Post, this one comes from Liz Sly and Zakaria Zakaria. (Seriously, I know.)
Syrian rebels battled for their survival in and around Syria's northern city of Aleppo on Thursday after a blitz of Russian airstrikes helped government loyalists sever a vital supply route and sent a new surge of refugees fleeing toward the border with Turkey.
I'm at a loss for words. Do these idiots really not understand that they're cheering head-chopping, al-Qaeda flag-waving terrorists who relish killing anyone, including - no, especially - Western liberals?
The Russian-backed onslaught against rebel positions in Aleppo coincided with the failure of peace talks in Geneva, and helped reinforce opposition suspicions that Russia and its Syrian government allies are more interested in securing a military victory over the rebels than negotiating a settlement.
That's right: the WaPo wants Russia to negotiate with al-Qaeda and their affiliates.

What really happened is that the talks had to be postponed because the negotiators in Geneva had no opposition to talk to. On February 4th, Russian Defense Ministry Spokesperson Major General Igor Konashenkov announced that there have been intense military preparations along the Turkish-Syrian border, which suggests that Turkey is planning a full-scale military invasion of the Syrian Arab Republic.
After two days of what rebel fighters terrorists described as the most intense airstrikes yet, government forces had succeeded on Wednesday in cutting off the rebels' terrorists' main supply route from the Turkish border to the portion of Aleppo city that remains under opposition terrorist control. On Thursday, the government captured several more villages in the surrounding countryside, prompting fears among residents and rebels terrorists that the city could soon be entirely surrounded.
The above paragraph has been corrected to reflect reality, not WaPo's sly fantasy.
The loss of Aleppo, Syria's largest city and the most significant urban center to fall, at least partially, under rebel control, would represent a potentially decisive blow to the nearly five-year-old rebellion against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The rebels have maintained control of much of Aleppo since they surged into the city in 2012, prompting U.S. intelligence assessments that they eventually would topple the government in Damascus.
Indeed, once they took Aleppo, they thought al-Assad's departure was a done deal, which is why they persisted in grinding the proxy war on for another three years, and why hundreds of thousands of refugees have since flooded into Europe. This is why the U.S. and their propagandists are so disappointed. They were counting on their al-Qaeda mercenaries to use Aleppo as a springboard for taking out Assad as they took out Gaddafi in Sirte.
With the push around Aleppo, pro-government forces were able to break a rebel siege on two predominantly Shi'ite villages, Nubl and Zahra, which had been surrounded by rebel forces for the past three years and sustained only by government airdrops of food.
Think about that fact for a minute. Sly and Zakaria obviously didn't.
Rebel fighters sounded desperate as they described enduring more than 200 airstrikes in the past 24 hours alone. Commanders from a range of rebel groups, from moderates to the al-Qaeda-affiliated Jabhat al-Nusra, issued urgent appeals for reinforcements from other parts of the country.
Again, think about that. Strange bedfellows, no? The WaPo has just blithely mentioned that the 'rebels' it sheds tears for are associated with the 'terrorists who attacked us on 9/11', and against whom the entire 'war on terror' and 'multiple simultaneous war theaters' in the Middle East and North Africa are justified.

Finally, here's Frederic C. Hof, from the Atlantic Council, "working together to secure the future" (for what, we're not entirely sure).
UN Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura suspended the Geneva talks until February 25 for one reason: Russia had taken full advantage of a peace conference it had helped organize to escalate its military campaign against nationalist rebels in northwestern Syria—a predominantly air campaign that was adding significantly to the horrific death toll of Syrian civilians.
<sigh> First, there is no source cited for the "horrific death toll of Syrian civilians". Second, there is no mention of the fact that there would be no horrific death toll if the U.S. hadn't manufactured a fake color revolution and trucked in thousands of foreign mercenaries to take over Syria. Third, as mentioned above, Turkey (and thus the US) is "taking full advantage of a peace conference" to prepare for what could be an invasion of Syria (as it did in northern Iraq 2 months ago).
Reacting to de Mistura's decision to suspend the talks, Secretary of State John Kerry said, "The continued assault by Syrian regime forces—enabled by Russian airstrikes—against opposition-held areas, as well as regime and allied militias' continued besiegement of hundreds of thousands of civilians, have clearly signaled the intention to seek a military solution rather than enable a political one." This is potentially important.
Like you care. Not a word about the towns besieged by 'moderate rebels' or the fact that the towns 'besieged' by the Syrian Army are held by terrorists - terrorists who confiscate humanitarian aid and sell it to the besieged residents for massively inflated prices.
Moscow has used its "co-convener" status of the Vienna peace process (which mandated the Geneva conference) as a cover to distract and occupy Washington and the West while pursuing its political-military objective: neutralizing the armed nationalist opposition in order to create for the West—for Washington in particular—the horror of a binary choice between Bashar the Barrel Bomber and Baghdadi the False Caliph.
The horror!

Reality check, Fred: 'The Dirty War on Syria: Barrel Bombs, Partisan Sources and War Propaganda' . The only dirty barrels in Syria have been Erdogan's oil tankers sneaking across the border with the Syrian people's oil, and the only False Caliphs in this fake 'war on terror' have been CIA-Mossad boogeymen.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has taken the measure of the West and has decided that he can pull this off with impunity. There is no guarantee that he can. But the tut-tutting of Western politicians about the mistake Putin is making and the quagmire that awaits him impresses the Russian dictator not in the least. He has been schooled by an ever-widening gap between Western (especially American) word and deed in Syria. He has noticed that for all of the verbiage about human suffering, mass homicide, terrified refugees, red lines, and people stepping aside, the West has protected not a single Syrian inside Syria from his regrettable client.
Try a bit harder, Fred, I believe in you! You're so close!

1) Putin can probably do this because his strategy is sound and effective.

2) What quagmire?

3) Yes, the West doesn't have the slightest care for human suffering in Syria: they've been manufacturing it for more than four years. But no, it's not from Assad. It's from the West's own mercenaries.
For Moscow the attempted military solution being enabled by the Vienna process has nothing to do with facilitating stable, legitimate governance or defeating the Islamic State (ISIL, ISIS, Daesh). The mission is to defeat all nongovernment, non-ISIL armed opponents of the Assad regime. The desired end-state is one in which the uprising against Assad family misrule is effectively neutralized, with Assad and Baghdadi alone left standing in Syria. This is also the end-state desired by ISIL. So much for the American "common enemy" thesis.
Saving innocent lives is not, however, a universal motivator. So put humanitarian considerations aside: what happens in Syria does not stay in Syria. The gap in Syrian policy between US words and deeds surely has not imposed limits on Vladimir Putin's dangerous and destabilizing behavior in Europe. And if his current offensive in Syria sends yet more waves of refugees in the direction of Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon, and Western Europe, we should not expect Russia's leader to lose sleep. Barack Obama may not be the only one hoping to leave office before the piper is paid. Russia may be dying, but Putin's nationalist show of military aggression may buy him a few years in the saddle. Still, it is extraordinarily dangerous. It is a threat to the peace.
Is this supposed to be satire or something? I'm at a loss.

It stands to reason, of course, that the last people on Earth to realize that it is in fact the U.S. Empire which is dying will be its propagandists.
Syrian rebels—including some reportedly armed and trained by the United States—are defenseless against Russian air attacks. If diplomacy is to have a chance—if a military solution is to be avoided—leaving them defenseless is the wrong medicine. Mr. Obama is now making moves in Europe that recognize the threat posed by Russia: moves from which his successor will benefit. Perhaps—if for no other reasons than to save lives, give diplomacy a chance, and curb Russian impunity—he will move in Syria as well.
Just wow. Translation: "OMG, our terrorists are getting their butts kicked! Diplomacy! Diplomacy!"

Newsflash to NATO-backed terrorists and their masters: "ceasefire" is not just another word for "uncle". You should have tried out that "diplomacy" thing before the whole destabilization-and-regime-change-through-terror routine.

Mr. Putin is now making moves in the Middle East that recognize the threat posed by the U.S. and her allies: moves from which the world benefits.

Perhaps - if for no other reasons than to save lives, give national sovereignty and stability a chance, and to curb American impunity - the world will follow suit.

Are all these writers just total morons? Or do they know they're total liars?