After warning Russia on numerous occasions that Putin did not know what he was getting into and that his help was not welcome, Putin declared mission accomplished in Syria and announced Russia would pull all of its troops.

President Obama should be elated since this is precisely what the US asked, but the US state department had no response. Once again the Obama administration was caught like a deer in headlights.

Meanwhile, Al Qaeda rebels seized bases, stole weapons including a tank and anti-tank missiles, and arrested US-backed troops.

US intelligence? Where is it?

Surprise! Surprise! Putin Seeks Peace Talks

Please consider Putin Orders Russian Forces to Start Pulling Out of Syria.

Russian president Vladimir Putin has ordered his armed forces to start pulling out of Syria on Tuesday after a six-month campaign, saying that they had largely met their objectives and it was time to focus on peace talks.

Speaking at a meeting with Sergei Shoigu, minister of defence, and Sergei Lavrov, Russia’s foreign minister, Mr Putin said that his objectives had “overall been fulfilled”, adding: “Therefore I order the ministry of defence to start the pullout of the basic part of our military group from the Syrian Arab Republic.”

The Russian announcement appeared to take much of the Obama administration by surprise.

A regional diplomat who is close to Russia and the Syrian regime added: “Everyone was shocked . . . I’m 100 per cent sure the regime didn’t know about this before today.”

The diplomat added:  “We have to see how much they pull out in reality… It makes sense only if the[y] are dead certain they are going to make a deal in Geneva. So I think we are either going to have a sustainable deal soon in Geneva, or this is just theatre.

Moscow’s announcement also throws a spotlight on Mr Assad. According to Russian and foreign officials familiar with Moscow’s Syria diplomacy, Russia has been frustrated that the Syrian president has not been more flexible in accommodating efforts at a political solution of the conflict.

Al Qaeda Rebels Seize US Weapons

In yet another humiliating defeat for the war-mongers, neocons, the administration, and others including Hillary who backed giving weapons to “moderate” rebels …. Al-Qaeda Attacks US-Backed Syrian Rebels.

Al-Qaida militants swept through a rebel-held town in northern Syria in a display of dominance Sunday, arresting U.S.-backed fighters and looting weapons stores belonging to the Free Syrian Army.

The militants belonging to the al-Qaida-affiliated Nusra Front along with allied jihadists have been moving to exert their authority over rebel-held areas in Idlib province since a partial ceasefire to the country’s five-year conflict took effect two weeks ago, extinguishing patriotic demonstrations and sidelining nationalist militias.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based monitoring group, said Nusra seized anti-tank missiles, armored vehicles, a tank, and other arms from the division, which has received weapons, training, and money from the U.S. government. It said Nusra and Jund al-Aqsa detained 40 fighters from the division.

The Nusra Front arrested U.S.-supplied fighters belonging to FSA’s 30th division last summer and seized their weapons in a major embarrassment to the U.S. government’s train-and-equip program which was meant to support carefully vetted “moderate” rebels.

Putin’s strategy has clearly worked better at stabilizing Syria than has Obama’s. Just don’t expect to hear that from Obama, from the neocons, or from Hillary.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock