Thursday, November 16, 2017

Saad Hariri Accepts Exile in France? Or Not?

Link
"Lebanon's Saad Hariri is seeking exile in France after being detained in Saudi Arabia. Hariri resigned from his post as prime minister unexpectedly last week. Lebanon's President Michel Aoun accused Saudi of detaining Hariri against his will. Saudi denied keeping Hariri captive or forcing him to resign"

Free to Leave Saudi Arabia “when he pleases”
Not a prisoner?

"But Al-Jubeir told reporters in Riyadh that Hariri was free to leave "when he pleases".

“Al-Hariri lives in the Kingdom by his own will and he resigned; regarding his return to Lebanon, it is up to him and his assessment to the security situation (in Lebanon)", Jubeir told a joint news conference with French Foreign Minister Jean Yves Le Drian"

 Hariri Meeting Macron in France
Hariri and Lebanon's Former Colonial Leadership...

"The Elysée Palace says Lebanon’s recently-resigned prime minister will meet French President Emmanuel Macron during his scheduled trip to Paris this weekend (November 18).

Saad Hariri accepted the invitation after meeting French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian in Saudi Arabia, where he has remained since announcing he was stepping down.

French officials say they don’t know how long Hariri will stay, but he is said to be returning to Beirut after the trip. Once back, Hariri is expected to hand in his resignation in person – President Michel Aoun has otherwise refused to accept it."

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Forfended! Did China Influence the Military Take over in Zimbabwe?

Forfended: To fend, ward off or avert
Instead of using preemptive.

There was information that I’d come across that made me ponder the influence of China in Zimbabwe... Was there a concern that this influence might be challenged?

ZIMBABWE’S military chief behind the coup may have sought China’s approval during a trip to Beiing last week, it has been revealed.

China’s Foreign Ministry tried to dismiss the visit as a “normal military exchange” on Wednesday, after the army seized power in the African country.

Zimbabwe's military took control targeting "criminals" around president Robert Mugabe but gave assurances on national television that the 93-year-old leader and his family were "safe and sound".

Mr Mugabe remains under house arrest but is, for the moment, still President of Zimbabwe while the army’s generals now hold power.

General Constantino Chiwenga met Chinese Defence Minister Chang Wanquan in Beijing on Friday, where Chang expressed a willingness to promote relations with Zimbabwe, China's Defence Ministry said in a short statement last week, which has sparked concerns over the influence China may have over the former British colony.
The ministry showed a picture of the two men, both wearing military uniforms, shaking hands, and an officer from both countries sitting opposite each other holding a meeting at the People's Liberation Army headquarters in Beijing.

Asked whether Chiwenga had briefed China on plans to seize power, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said the Defence Ministry had already released information about his trip and that he didn't have an understanding about the specifics of his reception in China.
Mr Geng said: ”I can only tell you that his visit to China this time was a normal military exchange mutually agreed upon by China and Zimbabwe, referring other questions to the Defence Ministry, which has yet to respond to a request for comment.

He added: ”As a country that is friendly with Zimbabwe, we are paying close attention to developments of the situation in Zimbabwe"
"Maintaining peaceful and stable development accords with the fundamental interests of Zimbabwe and regional countries, and is the common desire of the international community. We hope the relevant parties in Zimbabwe appropriately handle their internal matters."
China and Zimbabwe have a close diplomatic and economic relationship and Beijing has stood with Mr Mugabe's government in the face of Western economic sanctions.

In August, Zimbabwe's government said a Chinese company planned to invest up to $2billion to revive operations at Zimbabwe Iron and Steel Company (ZISCO), which ceased production in 2008 at the height of Zimbabwe's economic meltdown.
That same year, China vetoed a proposed Western-backed UN resolution which would have imposed an arms embargo on Zimbabwe and financial and travel restrictions on Mugabe and 13 other officials, saying it would "complicate", rather than ease, conflict.

China, which has displaced Western rivals to become Africa’s largest trading partner and is a major investor in Zimbabwe, notably declined to call for Mr Mugabe’s restoration yesterday, despite his long ties to Beijing dating back to the Cold War.
Also interesting when thinking about the coup in Zimbabwe:
hattip anonymous commenter! Two specific links are included below anon's comments for you to read
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/dec/22/zimbabwe-to-make-chinese-yuan-legal-currency-after-beijing-cancels-debts
The Gupta scandal reaches British banks

https://www.ft.com/content/074ef562-bfea-11e7-b8a3-38a6e068f464

South Africa Jacob Zuma survives no-confidence vote

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-40869269


https://www.reuters.com/article/zimbabwe-russia-platinum/update-1-russian-firms-to-develop-3-bln-zimbabwe-platinum-mine-idUSL6N0RH4RL20140916

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2014-09-15/russia-zimbabwe-to-jointly-operate-platinum-mine-in-darwendale

http://www.sajr.co.za/news-and-articles/2014/05/14/who-is-yaron-yamin-meet-r.-berland%27s-funder-

Gold, Diamonds and Platinum

 Reuters

HARARE, Sept 16 (Reuters) - A Russian consortium including arms conglomerate Rostec have partnered to develop a $3 billion platinum mining project in Zimbabwe, the single biggest investment in the country since independence in 1980.
The government of President Robert Mugabe has been shunned by the West for over a decade over alleged human rights abuses and it has turned to China, Russia and other emerging powers for aid, trade and investment.
Aside from the mining deal in the country with the world’s second-largest platinum reserves, there was talk of weapons.
Who is Yaron Yamin

Tracking Yaron Yamin’s career

Yamin remained under the media radar for many years, going about his business of making his billions and growing his mining empire and influence in Zimbabwean business and government circles without making too much noise about it.
Last October, however, the elusive Mr Yamin came out of the shadows and was widely reported on in the Zimbabwean media.

Israeli investors forge partnerships was the headline on a SOUTHERNEYE.co.zw story last October: “A group of Israeli investors have forged a consortium — Yaron Goldstone Mine — with local entrepreneurs to develop two gold mining and processing projects in Bulawayo and the Midlands valued at $5 million,” wrote the website.
 Breslov - Yaron ex Chronicle
On 23 October, the CHRONICLE published a similar story, headlined: “Israeli investors keen on Zim” which included this picture. The caption read: “Israeli investors watch Qubani Ndlovu and John Moyo demonstrating how they sieve gold during a tour of Goldenstone company in Shangani. Among them are from left the company chairman Mr Yaron Yamin and chief executive officer Ms Henrietta Rushwaya (third from left)”
Then Yaron Yamim branched out into diamond mining, bringing other Israeli investors to the party. On 2 December 2013, ROUGH & POLISHED, an international diamond industry news website published “Israeli miner eyes Marange diamonds.”
Quoting the linked article from the Daily news, among other sources, Rough&Polished said: The Israeli mining investor Yaron Yamin and his local partners are on the verge of tying a deal with the Zimbabwean government to mine diamonds in Marange. The state-owned Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) was required by law to control at least half of shareholding in any operation in Marange. Daily News reports that Yamin… currently engaged in gold mining, had lined up two of Jerusalem’s ‘largest’ diamond miners to invest in the venture.”

This just keeps getting more and more interesting............

Mugabe under "house arrest" Emmerson Mnangawa, Man of the Hour

 Following up from last night- Zimbabwe Coup in Process?

From earlier today: BBC Tells "Raqqa's Dirty Secret"

Related to..

US-backed “SDF” aka PKK/YPG seize Syria’s second largest oil field al-Tanak


BBC Tells "Raqqa's Dirty Secret"

BBC Tells “Raqqa’s Dirty Secret”

Oh wow, did you know that the US, Britain and their Kurdish lackies conspired to transport "ISIS" safely out of Raqqa!?!? The BBC presents their report as if it's something shocking, but, necessary. The entire article stinks of damage control!
I read the so called report, but really didn’t need to-


As my readers had been duly informed- 

October 08/2017: US Commander:Final Assault to Take Raqqa From ISIS Begins Sunday

"ISIS"(PKK/YPG/Assorted special ops and a veneer of Arabs) is converging in one convenient location where they will be loaded up covertly and transported to Deir ez Zor. To fight SAA and allies.
 After all a stadium is convenient location for an irregular army to converge for ease of transport. This move can easily be obscured by darkness. The presence of other troops. Distracting/frightening gunfire sure to keep the curious away. What a great way to hide from civilians and other prying eyes while covertly moving fighters from one place (Raqqa) to another (Deir ez Zor)
Prior to ISIS being shipped out of Raqqa

Following up with this post just after: US Backed Forces Take Raqqa After ISIS "surrenders"


What was set to occur was as obvious, as obvious, could be!  I certainly did not need the BBC to “ tell dirty secrets” that were totally apparent nearly 6 weeks ago.  If this is journalism??
 I can see why journalism is in such a sorry state. Sorry BBC, had you told me two months ago, I might have thought “wow that is journalism”, but a whole month after the fact and nearly 6 weeks after the obvious was stated here, all that can be seen is damage control!

Notice the dramatic narration?:




From earlier:

Mugabe under "house arrest" Emmerson Mnangawa, Man of the Hour

 Following up from last night- Zimbabwe Coup in Process?

Yesterday:

US-backed “SDF” aka PKK/YPG seize Syria’s second largest oil field al-Tanak

Mugabe under "house arrest" Emmerson Mnangawa, Man of the Hour

 Following up from last night- Zimbabwe Coup in Process?

Wondering how this overthrow fits into the grander scheme of things?

 Mugabe confined to his house:

Robert Mugabe
 Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe is confined to his home in Harare but is otherwise fine, said President Jacob Zuma
Zuma, who is also chairperson of the Southern African Development Community, spoke to Mugabe earlier on Wednesday after the country’s armed forces seized power in a move it says is needed to stave off a violent conflict.

Perhaps his wife isn't?

Grace Mugabe, the wife of Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe, has fled the country for Namibia, according to reports.
Mrs Mugabe is said to have left Zimbabwe following a night of unrest which saw her and her husband seized by troops.

Robert and Grace Mugabe

 Link
An ambassador to SA from the official opposition political party in Zimbabwe says all indications are that Zimbabwe is heading to military rule.
In the past week the country’s war veterans and its white farmers have come together as unlikely allies in a new battle: to unseat President Robert Mugabe (93) and curb the ambitions of his wife, Grace.
Together with the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) — led by the recently sacked vice-president Emmerson Mnangagwa — and with what is thought to be the backing of the armed forces, the farmers and war vets have vowed to form a transitional government whose aim will be to return Zimbabwe to its past glory.
Emmerson Mnangagwa seemed to be the benefactor of the coup, that was discernible just browsing through a dozen or so news articles last night
Man of the moment: Emmerson Mnangagwa is being touted to lead the country

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Zimbabwe Coup in Process?

Explosions in the street- 

 Explosions echoed across central Harare and soldiers took over the headquarters of state broadcaster ZBC in a dramatic escalation of a dispute with President Robert Mugabe over political succession.
The former vice president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, had long been tipped as most likely successor to the 93-year-old president, but Mr Mugabe's 52-year-old wife Grace is now vying for the job.
A Reuters reporter witnessed six armoured personnel carriers on thoroughfares on the outskirts of the capital, Harare, and soldiers told passing cars to keep moving.
The presence of troops, including the movement of armoured vehicles from a barracks northwest of Harare earlier in the day, sparked rumours of a coup against Mr Mugabe, although there was no evidence to suggest Zimbabwe's leader of the last 37 years had been toppled.

State broadcaster taken over

Soldiers took over the headquarters of Zimbabwe’s ZBC state broadcaster in the early hours of Wednesday, two members of staff and a human rights worker said, compounding speculation of a coup against 93-year-old President Robert Mugabe.
Some ZBC members of staff were manhandled when soldiers occupied the premises, the sources said. However, staff were told they “should not worry” as the soldiers were merely there to protect the site, one source added.
Military seen outside of Zimbabwe Capital: 

HARARE, Zimbabwe -- At least three explosions were heard in Zimbabwe's capital early Wednesday and military vehicles were seen in the streets after the army commander threatened to "step in" to calm political tensions over 93-year-old President Robert Mugabe's possible successor. The ruling party accused the commander of "treasonable conduct."
The Associated Press saw armed soldiers assaulting passers-by in the early morning hours in Harare, as well as soldiers loading ammunition near a group of four military vehicles. The explosions could be heard near the University of Zimbabwe campus.
Those developments came several hours after The Associated Press on Tuesday saw three armored personnel carriers with several soldiers in a convoy heading toward an army barracks just outside the capital. For the first time, this southern African nation is seeing an open rift between the military and Mugabe, the world's oldest head of state who has ruled since independence from white minority rule in 1980. The military has been a key pillar of his power.
Mugabe last week fired Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa and accused him of plotting to take power, including through witchcraft. Mnangagwa, who enjoyed the military's backing and once was seen as a potential president, fled the country and said he had been threatened. Over 100 senior officials allegedly supporting him have been listed for disciplinary measures by a faction associated with Mugabe's wife, Grace.
The first lady now appears positioned to replace Mnangagwa as one of the country's two vice presidents at a special conference of the ruling party in December, leading many in Zimbabwe to suspect that she could succeed her husband. Grace Mugabe is unpopular with some Zimbabweans because of lavish spending as many struggle, and four people accused of booing her at a recent rally were arrested.
On Monday, army commander Constantino Chiwenga issued an unprecedented statement saying purges against senior ruling ZANU-PF party officials, many of whom like Mnangagwa fought for liberation, should end "forthwith."
"We must remind those behind the current treacherous shenanigans that when it comes to matters of protecting our revolution, the military will not hesitate to step in," the army commander said. The state-run broadcaster did not report on his statement.
Showing a generational divide, the ruling party's youth league, aligned with the 52-year-old first lady, on Tuesday criticized the army commander's comments, saying youth were "ready to die for Mugabe."
On Tuesday night the ruling party issued a statement accusing the army commander of "treasonable conduct," saying his comments were "clearly calculated to disturb national peace and stability" and were "meant to incite insurrection." It was not clear whether the commander still had his post.
State broadcaster Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation read out part of the ruling party statement late in the nightly news, which was led by a report on regional tourism.
The army spokesman was not immediately available for comment.
"Yes, given the past two weeks' political events, it is tempting to speculate that there is a connection between the deployment of military personnel and the comments of the army chief of staff on an 'intervention' -- but there are very real dangers of violence breaking out as a result of rampant and unfounded speculation," African Defence Review analyst Conway Waddington wrote Tuesday evening, saying there appeared to be no other signs of an "organized coup" and that it could have been an act of intimidation instead.
ZANU-PF posted a statement on Twitter assuring the public "there is NO coup happening in Zimbabwe. Please continue with your lives and face up to your own problems."

Mugabe in the past has warned military commanders from interfering in succession politics. "Politics shall always lead the gun, and not the gun politics. Otherwise it will be a coup," he told supporters in July.
Frustration has been growing in once-prosperous Zimbabwe as the economy collapses under Mugabe. The country was shaken last year by the biggest anti-government protests in a decade, and a once-loyal war veterans association turned on the president, calling him "dictatorial" and blaming him for the economic crisis.
"Mnangagwa was held out by many as the best hope within ZANU-PF for piloting an economic recovery," analyst Piers Pigou with the International Crisis Group wrote Tuesday.
Now, "Mugabe will have to employ all his guile if he intends to ensure continued accommodation with the armed forces."
 These are just a few early news articles reporting on what is occurring presently 8:20 pm  est

US-backed “SDF” aka PKK/YPG seize Syria’s second largest oil field al-Tanak

Daily Sabah
& Andalou
Just a quick post for today- it's just been one of those days!!!
"The U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) captured the al-Tanak oil field in eastern Syrian province of Deir el-Zour on Monday.

According to local sources, the SDF, which is dominated by the PKK terrorist group's Syrian offshoot the Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its armed wing People's Protection Forces (YPG), occupied the oil field located near the border with Iraq after fierce clashes with Daesh terrorists.

Following the clashes in the field, which is located 35 kilometers (22 miles) east of Syria's Deir ez-Zor city center, Daesh terrorists reportedly retreated eastward.

Last month, the SDF, with air support from the U.S.-led coalition, captured the al-Omar field – the largest in Syria.

In September, PYD said its terrorists took control of Syria's largest gas field, Conoco, in Deir el-Zour.

Backed by the U.S., the PYD began advancing Sept. 9 into Deir el-Zour without encountering any resistance from Daesh.

According to the map area measurements of AA, the PKK/PYD currently controls approximately 25 percent of Syrian territories, mostly on the left bank of the Euphrates River.

Many of Syria's most productive oil fields - including al-Omar, Tanak, Ward, Afra, Kewari, Jafra, Jarnuf, Azrak, Kahar, Sueytat and Galban - are located east of the Euphrates River.

Together, these strategic oilfields are estimated to account for roughly one-third of Syria's total energy production."

Monday, November 13, 2017

"Proof of US Failure" If Syrian Army Captures Boukamal/Abu Kamal, City From ISIS

Link

"If the government takes Boukamal, they will show that they can control this area and can push back U.S. proxies

Proof of US failure if ISIS does not succeed against Syria's army... ponder that?
Syrian troops and allied militias, including Iraqi Shiite groups and the Lebanese Hezbollah, are now attempting to wrest control of the militants’ last stronghold in the country.
Capturing Boukamal and gaining access to the border crossing will facilitate the flow of fighters and weapons between Syria and Iraq, while also helping Iran secure a land bridge to the Mediterranean, according to Fabrice Balanche, Visiting Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution.
Control over a section of the border with Iraq is also likely to boost Syria’s economy by allowing trade and exports to resume, he added.
In a broader scope, Balanche said the capture of Boukamal would serve as “proof of U.S. failure,” in eastern Syria and of increased Iranian influence in the country.
Balanche has written extensively on developments in east Syria, about the implications of the Syrian government’s latest advance, including its impact on the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, Washington’s interests in Syria and, ultimately, the survivability of President Bashar Assad.

*What would the capture of Boukamal mean for the government in Deir Ezzor?
The Syrian government in recent weeks has taken Deir Ezzor city and Mayadeen. The capture of Boukamal would mean that the three most important cities in Deir Ezzor province would be under government control. It will also be easy for Assad to take the countryside, so we should expect areas on the eastern banks of the Euphrates River (controlled by the Syrian Democratic Forces) to fall under government control soon. However, northern parts of Deir Ezzor province will remain under SDF control until an agreement is brokered with Damascus.
The capture of Boukamal would give the Syrian government access to a border crossing into Iraq for the first time since 2012. What is the importance of this for Damascus, Baghdad, and Tehran?
The capture of Boukamal means that the Syrian government and allied Shiite militias would be slated to control a large part of the Syrian-Iraqi border. This means that there will be a facilitated flow of fighters and weapons between the two countries.
Also, Iran could more easily secure a landbridge connecting its territory to both Syria and Iraq. This will allow Iran to dispatch weapons and fighters to both countries wherever it wants. This is a significant development because Iran has mostly relied on aviation to fly in weapons and fighters to Syria so far. But Iranian aviation is weak, and planes can be easily targeted. So this landbridge will be very important for the deployment of Shiite militias and Iranian troops between Syria and Iraq.
For the Syrian government, access to a big part of the border with Iraq is also of economic significance. Before the conflict, Iraq was among the top markets for Syrian exports. A lot of manufactured goods and agricultural produce used to go into Iraq from Syria. So this would be good news for Syrian businessmen and the Syrian economy.
Also, access to a border crossing with Iraq means that it would be possible to export Iraqi gas and oil to the Mediterranean through Syria. This will generate a significant amount of royalties for Syria from the transit of gas and oil. This economic factor is crucial for reconstruction and the survivability of the Assad regime
*Do you think that the Syrian government and the SDF will head toward a confrontation as ISIS retreats from eastern Syria?
It is a possibility. However, I think after ISIS withdraws the Syrian government will try a softer approach first. The Syrian government will try to broker a deal with the SDF for them to relinquish territory in Raqqa and eastern Syria. They will also ask the SDF to withdraw from the al-Omar oil fields in Deir Ezzor, Syria’s largest.
If the Kurds don’t accept the agreement, the government and Shiite militias will exert pressure on the SDF, by threatening to dispatch forces across the border into Kurdish-held regions such as Shadadi and east of the Euphrates River as well as areas around the al-Omar oil fields. We have already seen this happen in the Iraqi town of Sinjar last month. Kurds were driven out of the Kurdish-held area by Iraqi soldiers and Shiite militias who have now moved into the region.
Beyond a direct military confrontation, the Syrian regime can also strain the economy of Kurdish cantons in northern Syria by imposing a blockade. The government controls roads connecting the Kurdish canton of Afrin to Manbij and Aleppo. By cutting these roads, Damascus can prevent the delivery of food and medical supplies and obstruct trade. Also, the Turkish border is closed, and Iraqi forces control the Feshkhabour border crossing which is the only option for humanitarian organizations to bring supplies and specialists into northeast Syria. It is possible for Damascus to coordinate with Ankara and Baghdad to enforce a siege on Kurdish territories.
*Iranian-backed Iraqi militias crossed the border on Wednesday to help the Syrian army encircle Boukamal. Is this the first time Iraqi militias cross the border into Syria and is it a sign that more forces will deploy in the future?
I think this is the first time that Iraqi militias have crossed the border to enter Syria. Although there are thousands of Iranian-backed Iraqi forces already fighting in Syria, most of them have been flown in from Iraq and Iran. They did not deploy across the border.
Also, Wednesday’s deployment signals to what I talked about before: We will see more deployment of Iraqi and other Iranian-backed Shiite militias. It is much easier for Iraqi forces just across the border in al-Qaim to cross the frontier and enter Syria now. We can expect more forces to come soon. Especially since these Iraqi militias will help the Syrian government put pressure on the
Syrian Democratic Forces to give up territory they captured in Deir Ezzor, Raqqa, and other traditionally Arab territories.
*What does the capture of Boukamal mean for the U.S.?
The U.S. originally wanted to enter and eventually retake eastern Syria. Between March and April 2017 it tried to send allied rebels it had trained in its base in the southern Syrian town of al-Tanf to Boukamal, but Iranian-backed forces blocked their advance.
If the government takes Boukamal, they will show that they can control this area and can push back U.S. proxies. In other words, the capture of Boukamal would mark the failure of U.S. plans to retake eastern Syria and parts of the Iraqi border.
 Al Boukamal/Abu Kamal, is, coincidentally, the claimed locale of al Baghdadi!
SAA had taken this town, however ISIS, it was claimed, had taken half of it back.
And apparently they're dragging Baghdadi alongside them?
 
Link

ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is holed up in the eastern Syria town of Boukamal, according to a media outlet linked to the Syrian military. (doubtful on the linked to Syrian military)
Syrian opposition activists denied claims that al-Baghdadi was in Boukamal, also known as Abu Kamal, saying that the government is trying to make up for its losses it suffered while recapturing the city last week before again losing parts to extremists.
Syria's army declared victory over Boukamal on Thursday after a three-year occupation in the region. But the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said ISIS reclaimed half of the city by Friday.
However..  via sputnik
al Boukamal/Abu Kamal is safe in the hands of Syria's army. And SAA is looking ahead.
"The Syrian army, with support from the Russian Aerospace Forces, has recently retaken the city of Abu Kemal, the last Daesh terrorist stronghold in the eastern Syrian Governorate of Deir ez-Zor. Syrian Brigadier-General Heitham Hassoun and Syrian deputy Walid al Zuubi have revealed to Sputnik Arabic where the government troops will go next.
According to Brigadier-General Heitham Hassoun, there are several places where the Syrian army might strike next.
"The first is the liberation of Raqqa Governorate, which the US has occupied by the hands of the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). The second variant is to head towards Idlib Governorate," he told Sputnik Arabic.
The military official suggested that the army will opt for the Raqqa operation as it is located closer to the current deployment site of the Syrian troops and thus it won't be necessary to redeploy military equipment and manpower far away.
Heitham Hassoun also surmised that recent changes in Iraq will facilitate the operation. The borders and checkpoints are now controlled by Baghdad, he explained, and thus the SDF won't be able to freely cross the Iraq-Syrian border any longer. Besides, the Iraqi government has recently liberated numerous areas along its border with Syria from terrorists, he pointed out.
I hope that Syria get's all of her territory back. That said, I keep in mind that the US has built yet another military base in Raqqa..  

Flashback November 4/2017:  US Creates Yet Another Base in Syrian Annexed Territory: SDF/PKK

Syrian deputy Walid al Zuubi, meanwhile, suggested that the Syrian army will opt for Idlib Governorate.
There has been some controversy over the final liberation of Abu Kemal: on Friday, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu announced that the Syrian army, with the support of Russia's Aerospace Forces, had retaken the settlement. A day later, however, the reports of some Western media sources claimed that Daesh has recaptured nearly 60 percent of its territory, squeezing the government troops out of the city.
On Sunday, a representative of the Russian group of forces in Syria refuted all the reports, calling them "unfounded propaganda."       

As of this moment it seems that Syria has taken Abu Kemal/ Boukamal.
 Baghdadi is surely not present. Because he doesn't exist in the real world.

flashback- 2014: Mythopoeia- Abu Bakr al Baghdadi