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Thread: Syrian Civil War Developments

  1. #2386
    Senior Contributor Amled's Avatar
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    Assad, (looking ahead) wins by showing, (as if anyone needed reminding!) “his” people that he’s willing to use any means, however ruthless and barbaric they may be, to stay in power.
    Putin wins, in that at no cost to himself, the action might deflect some of the flack raining down on Russian involvement with the Assad regime, as well as the ongoing hacking scandal.
    Trump wins in that he has shown balls! No pussy footing around with a line in the sand BS! And again, it may deflect some of the talk about his alleged Russian ties. - Price : 59Tomahawk Cruise Missiles.
    With the exception of the inhabitants and victims of Khan Sheikhoun, it seems like a win/win scenario for everybody!
    When we blindly adopt a religion, a political system, a literary dogma, we become automatons. We cease to grow. - Anais Nin

  2. #2387
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    It makes no sense for Assad to use chemical weapons. He would know the eyes of the world are on Syria and that there's no way of hiding a chemical strike. Russia is standing with him, ISIS has run out of steam and an Assad regime victory is now more likely than a defeat.

    Initially I heard that the warehouse the Syrian airforce hit contained chemical weapons and the explosion sent some of it airborne. That, to me, made perfect sense. Very strange.

  3. #2388
    Contributor NUS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amled View Post
    With the exception of the inhabitants and victims of Khan Sheikhoun, it seems like a win/win scenario for everybody!
    Even moderate headcutters win, they are inspired by the strike and now have all reasons to use chemical weapons against civilians (even if they have not done this before)!

    Last edited by NUS; 09 Apr 17, at 13:01.
    Winter is coming.

  4. #2389
    Senior Contributor Doktor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gun Boat View Post
    It makes no sense for Assad to use chemical weapons. He would know the eyes of the world are on Syria and that there's no way of hiding a chemical strike. Russia is standing with him, ISIS has run out of steam and an Assad regime victory is now more likely than a defeat.

    Initially I heard that the warehouse the Syrian airforce hit contained chemical weapons and the explosion sent some of it airborne. That, to me, made perfect sense. Very strange.
    I thought Russians were the guarantors that there wont be any ChemWeps in Syria. So, how is it possible that there are any?
    No such thing as a good tax - Churchill

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  5. #2390
    Senior Contributor Amled's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doktor View Post
    I thought Russians were the guarantors that there wont be any ChemWeps in Syria. So, how is it possible that there are any?
    (scandalous shocked amazement!)”You mean to imply that the Russians might be fibbing?(scandalous, shocked, amazement!)
    When we blindly adopt a religion, a political system, a literary dogma, we become automatons. We cease to grow. - Anais Nin

  6. #2391
    Senior Contributor Doktor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amled View Post
    (scandalous shocked amazement!)”You mean to imply that the Russians might be fibbing?(scandalous, shocked, amazement!)
    What? Never! All they say is completely true. Even when they say that only 23 of the 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles reached the Shayrat air base. Funny thing how Americans are so good, they managed to hit at least 39 targets.

    Same goes with the gas. They guaranteed there isn't any, yet, we saw images of people suffocating from the damn thing.
    No such thing as a good tax - Churchill

    To make mistakes is human. To blame someone else for your mistake, is strategic.

  7. #2392
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    ... you don't suffocate from sarin.

  8. #2393
    Senior Contributor Doktor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kato View Post
    ... you don't suffocate from sarin.
    Did I say sarin?

    "It's just indescribable," Othman al-Khani, local activist and witness said. "We saw people suffocating while their lungs were collapsing. The hardest was watching the children as we stood there unable to provide any sort of assistance, and medics sprayed them with water" to disperse the chemical substance, Khani told Al Jazeera.
    Besides, wiki disagrees with you.

    Sarin is an organophosphorus compound with the formula [(CH3)2CHO]CH3P(O)F. It can be lethal even at very low concentrations, where death can occur within one[7][8] to ten minutes after direct inhalation of a lethal dose, due to suffocation from lung muscle paralysis, unless some antidotes, typically atropine and an oxime, such as pralidoxime, are quickly administered
    Last edited by Doktor; 09 Apr 17, at 20:11.
    No such thing as a good tax - Churchill

    To make mistakes is human. To blame someone else for your mistake, is strategic.

  9. #2394
    Senior Contributor Amled's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doktor View Post
    What? Never! All they say is completely true. Even when they say that only 23 of the 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles reached the Shayrat air base. Funny thing how Americans are so good, they managed to hit at least 39 targets.
    They were lucky! As good an idiotic answer as any!
    Same goes with the gas. They guaranteed there isn't any, yet, we saw images of people suffocating from the damn thing.
    Since Sov…(Oops!) Russian spokespeople are not known to prevaricate (lying sounds so gross!) when making statements to the press, it must be true that the chemicals involved belonged to the rebels.
    When we blindly adopt a religion, a political system, a literary dogma, we become automatons. We cease to grow. - Anais Nin

  10. #2395
    A Self Important Senior Contributor troung's Avatar
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    Magically now some people have discovered the US government turned a blind eye to the growth of AQ

    http://www.salon.com/writer/max_blumenthal/
    [...]
    The media has helped spread the war fever. New York Times columnist and Iraq war cheerleader Thomas Friedman reflexively proposed that Syria be partitioned, with U.S. troops if necessary. On CNN, correspondent Arwa Damon wept over the lack of U.S. resolve, suggesting that a bombing campaign against Damascus would somehow salve the wounds of Syria.

    But there was one issue the mainstream media have refused to touch, and that’s the nature of the rebels who would gain from any U.S. military offensive. Who holds power in Idlib, why are they there, and what do they want? This is perhaps the most inconvenient set of questions for proponents of “humanitarian” military intervention in Syria.

    The reality is that Idlib is substantially controlled by al-Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate, which has gone through a series of rebranding schemes but remains the same jihadist group it always was: Jabhat al-Nusra. In the province it rules, al-Nusra has imposed what a leading scholar has described as a Taliban-like regime that has ethnically cleansed religious and ethnic minorities, banned music and established a brutal theocracy in which it publicly executes women accused of adultery.

    Even analysts who have repeatedly called for U.S.-led regime change in Syria have described Idlib as the “heartland of al-Nusra.”

    The “Talibanization of Idlib”

    Joshua Landis, the director of the University of Oklahoma’s Middle East Studies Center, is among the country’s leading scholars of Syria and lived in the country for several years. In a January 2016 article in Foreign Affairs, Landis provided a chilling survey of life in Idlib:

    “To judge how incompetent the rebels have been in providing a viable or attractive alternative to Assad, one need merely consider the situation in the province of Idlib, where the rebels rule. Schools have been segregated, women forced to wear veils, and posters of Osama bin Laden hung on the walls. Government offices were looted, and a more effective government has yet to take shape. With the Talibanization of Idlib, the 100-plus Christian families of the city fled. The few Druze villages that remained have been forced to denounce their religion and embrace Islam; some of their shrines have been blown up. No religious minorities remain in rebel-held Syria, in Idlib, or elsewhere. Rebels argue that Assad’s bombing has ensured their failure and made radicalization unavoidable. But such excuses can go only so far to explain the terrible state of rebel Syria or its excesses. We have witnessed the identical evolution in too many other Arab countries to pin it solely on Assad, despite his culpability for the disaster that has engulfed his country.”
    on Assad, despite his culpability for the disaster that has engulfed his country.”

    More hawkish experts have acknowledged the same. On a panel in January at the Atlantic Council, a pro-regime change think tank that is funded by Western governments and their allies, Nancy Okail, executive director of the Tahrir Institute, acknowledged that Syria is today the “newest and most important safe haven for [al-Qaeda’s] ideology.”

    “There is a new generation of Syrian children that is growing up with al-Qaeda’s ideology in some parts of rebel-held Syria as the norm,” added Jennifer Cafarella, a lead intelligence planner at the neoconservative think tank the Institute for the Study of War, which has received funding from the biggest names in the military industry, including Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, General Dynamics and DynCorp.

    Charles Lister, perhaps the foremost advocate of regime change and the arming of Islamist rebels in Syria, sounded a similar note. He explained, “People on the ground in different areas of Syria are increasingly willing not just to accept al-Qaeda operating within their midst, but are actually willing to overtly support the fact that they are in their midst.”

    He later warned, “Al-Qaeda’s relative success in Syria has seen its ideology and its narrative mainstreamed, not just in parts of Syria, but also in parts of the region.”

    Lister noted local populations have protested not just the Syrian government, but also the al-Qaeda extremists terrorizing them. People living under rebel rule in Idlib, Lister indicated, have been lamenting, “This place is hell; we don’t want to live under this Islamist rule, under all this oppression.” In Idlib, “they see what life would be like under this organization, and they don’t like it.”

    In 2016, Amnesty International published a report documenting an array of “serious violations of international humanitarian law” committed by militant groups in Idlib and elsewhere, including summary killings, torture, abductions and sectarian attacks. The report detailed how extremist Syrian rebels have imposed harsh Sharia law in the areas they control.

    With music officially outlawed in Idlib, the U.S.-funded media outlet Radio Fresh has resorted to novel measures. Instead of music, station director Raed Fares has been reduced to broadcasting the sound of bleating goats and bird chirps. Ordered by Idlib’s authorities to fire all his female employees, Fares instead relied on a computer program that auto-tuned their voices to make them sound male.

    “They now sound more like robots,” he said.

    [....]

    When Al Nusra and its ally, Ahrar Al Sham, took Idlib’s Abu al-Dhuhur Air Base in 2015, a cleric appeared on the scene in camouflaged battle dress uniform. Standing among a group of blindfolded, exhausted captives, all Syrian army regulars, the cleric blessed their mass execution, cursing them as takfir for fighting on the government’s side.

    “I don’t like to call them Sunni. They were once Sunni but became apostatized once they enlisted in the Alawites’ regime,” he said of the 56 captives. Moments later, they were lined up and riddled with bullets.

    The cleric was Abdullah Muhaysini, a 33-year-old zealot from Saudi Arabia, who was a student of Sulayman Al-Alwan, the Wahhabi cleric who oversaw what his Muslim critics have called a “terrorist factory” in Saudi Arabia’s Al-Qassim Province. Al-Alwan was also the instructor of the 9/11 hijacker Abdulaziz Alomari.

    Today, Muhaysini commands an almost mystical status among the Islamist armed groups rampaging across northern Syria. According to Bilal Abdul Kareem, an American-born rebel propagandist currently in Idlib, Muhaysini is “probably the most loved cleric in the Syrian territories today.”

    After moving to Syria in 2014, Muhaysini embedded himself among the rebels’ most powerful factions and worked to unite them under a single banner. At first, he helped cobble together the coalition known as Jaish al-Fatah, or the Army of Conquest. Drawing on his connections in the Gulf, he successfully oversaw the “wage jihad with your money” fundraising effort that raised some $5 million for the rebels’ push to take the northern Idlib governate from the Syrian army in 2015.

    [...]
    Last edited by troung; 10 Apr 17, at 00:13.
    To sit down with these men and deal with them as the representatives of an enlightened and civilized people is to deride ones own dignity and to invite the disaster of their treachery - General Matthew Ridgway

  11. #2396
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    Quote Originally Posted by citanon View Post
    Besides the points raised about the practical usage of these systems, I still fail to see why Putin would spend hard earned Russian money defending Assad's crappy air field and decrepit planes.

    The Russians were clearly told which targets would be struck and given time to get their personnel out of harm's way. They even got most of the Syrians out. They had time to re-park a lot of the planes. Why would they risk embarrassing their super duper wonder SAM system to shoot million dollar missiles at Tomahawks they have a low chance of intercepting?

    Even accepting Russian numbers for the capabilities of the system, the chances of a system at Latakia being able to track and intercept cruise missiles flying nap of the earth ingress routes from 50 mi or more away are not great. If they expended all their missiles defending Shayrat, where does that leave Latakia?
    Well that is certainly possible, as is Pari's theory (which I agree has some validity) about the capabilities of the Muscovite systems in Syria. My point at the start was whether they tried to use their systems or not (and it appears they did not) the results and reasons why they chose act as they did matters.

  12. #2397
    A Self Important Senior Contributor troung's Avatar
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    Goofball at nyt not realizing the beloved Obama administration let AQ town free there.


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    OP-ED COLUMNIST
    Why Is Trump Fighting ISIS in Syria?
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    President Trump arriving at the White House on Sunday.
    AL DRAGO / THE NEW YORK TIMES
    APRIL 12, 2017
    Thomas L. Friedman
    Thomas L. Friedman
    The Trump foreign policy team has been all over the map on what to do next in Syria — topple the regime, intensify aid to rebels, respond to any new attacks on innocent civilians. But when pressed, there is one idea everyone on the team seems to agree on: “The defeat of ISIS,” as Secretary of State Rex Tillerson put it.

    Well, let me add to their confusion by asking just one question: Why?

    Why should our goal right now be to defeat the Islamic State in Syria? Of course, ISIS is detestable and needs to be eradicated. But is it really in our interest to be focusing solely on defeating ISIS in Syria right now?

    Let’s go through the logic: There are actually two ISIS manifestations.

    One is “virtual ISIS.” It is satanic, cruel and amorphous; it disseminates its ideology through the internet. It has adherents across Europe and the Muslim world. In my opinion, that ISIS is the primary threat to us, because it has found ways to deftly pump out Sunni jihadist ideology that inspires and gives permission to those Muslims on the fringes of society who feel humiliated — from London to Paris to Cairo — to recover their dignity via headline-grabbing murders of innocents.

    The other incarnation is “territorial ISIS.” It still controls pockets in western Iraq and larger sectors of Syria. Its goal is to defeat Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria — plus its Russian, Iranian and Hezbollah allies — and to defeat the pro-Iranian Shiite regime in Iraq, replacing both with a caliphate.


    Challenge No. 1: Not only will virtual ISIS, which has nodes all over the world, not go away even if territorial ISIS is defeated, I believe virtual ISIS will become yet more virulent to disguise the fact that it has lost the territorial caliphate to its archenemies: Shiite Iran, Hezbollah, pro-Shiite militias in Iraq, the pro-Shiite Assad regime in Damascus and Russia, not to mention America.

    Challenge No. 2: America’s goal in Syria is to create enough pressure on Assad, Russia, Iran and Hezbollah so they will negotiate a power-sharing accord with moderate Sunni Muslims that would also ease Assad out of power. One way to do that would be for NATO to create a no-fly safe zone around Idlib Province, where many of the anti-Assad rebels have gathered and where Assad recently dropped his poison gas on civilians. But Congress and the U.S. public are clearly wary of that.

    So what else could we do? We could dramatically increase our military aid to anti-Assad rebels, giving them sufficient anti-tank and antiaircraft missiles to threaten Russian, Iranian, Hezbollah and Syrian helicopters and fighter jets and make them bleed, maybe enough to want to open negotiations. Fine with me.


    What else? We could simply back off fighting territorial ISIS in Syria and make it entirely a problem for Iran, Russia, Hezbollah and Assad. After all, they’re the ones overextended in Syria, not us. Make them fight a two-front war — the moderate rebels on one side and ISIS on the other. If we defeat territorial ISIS in Syria now, we will only reduce the pressure on Assad, Iran, Russia and Hezbollah and enable them to devote all their resources to crushing the last moderate rebels in Idlib, not sharing power with them.

    I don’t get it. President Trump is offering to defeat ISIS in Syria for free — and then pivot to strengthening the moderate anti-Assad rebels. Why? When was the last time Trump did anything for free? When was the last real estate deal Trump did where he volunteered to clean up a toxic waste dump — for free — before he negotiated with the owner on the price of the golf course next door?

    This is a time for Trump to be Trump — utterly cynical and unpredictable. ISIS right now is the biggest threat to Iran, Hezbollah, Russia and pro-Shiite Iranian militias — because ISIS is a Sunni terrorist group that plays as dirty as Iran and Russia.

    Trump should want to defeat ISIS in Iraq. But in Syria? Not for free, not now. In Syria, Trump should let ISIS be Assad’s, Iran’s, Hezbollah’s and Russia’s headache — the same way we encouraged the mujahedeen fighters to bleed Russia in Afghanistan.


    Yes, in the long run we want to crush ISIS everywhere, but the only way to crush ISIS and keep it crushed on the ground is if we have moderate Sunnis in Syria and Iraq able and willing to replace it. And those will only emerge if there are real power-sharing deals in Syria and Iraq — and that will only happen if Assad, Russia, Iran and Hezbollah feel pressured to share power.

    And while I am at it, where is Trump’s Twitter feed when we need it? He should be tweeting every day this message: “Russia, Iran and Hezbollah have become the protectors of a Syrian regime that uses poison gas on babies! Babies! Russia, Iran, Hezbollah, Assad — poison gas enablers. Sad.”

    Do not let them off the hook! We need to make them own what they’ve become — enablers of a Syria that uses poison gas on children. Believe it or not, they won’t like being labeled that way. Trump needs to use his global Twitter feed strategically. Barack Obama never played this card. Trump needs to slam it down every day. It creates leverage.

    Syria is not a knitting circle. Everyone there plays dirty, deviously and without mercy. Where’s that Trump when we need him?

    Frank Bruni is off today.

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    https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/04/1...hting_isis_in/
    To sit down with these men and deal with them as the representatives of an enlightened and civilized people is to deride ones own dignity and to invite the disaster of their treachery - General Matthew Ridgway

  13. #2398
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    Quote Originally Posted by snapper View Post
    Well that is certainly possible, as is Pari's theory (which I agree has some validity) about the capabilities of the Muscovite systems in Syria. My point at the start was whether they tried to use their systems or not (and it appears they did not) the results and reasons why they chose act as they did matters.
    So, Snapper, I have to ask: how do you like Trump now?

  14. #2399
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    Quote Originally Posted by citanon View Post
    So, Snapper, I have to ask: how do you like Trump now?
    My Friend, I think you mistake me; Trump as a person (though I doubt I would like him if I met him) is not my issue. The fact that Moscow at least attempted to interfere in the US elections in his favour troubles me deeply as of course the same enemy has been attacking my family homelands since basically the Mongols passed away. They are now at war with all the 'west', rule of law, acceptance of any diversity and even truth itself. If you think a few fireworks in Syria - for there was no military gain from the Syrian attack - allay my concerns one bit you are mistaken. I regard it rather as a distraction of the sort often used by the Mongol successor mafia in Moscow. If Assad were brought to justice - as he should be for his many crimes - and Syria pacified under a democratic non religious type of Ataturk type system - I would be happy of course; the 'Shia crescent' from Iran to Lebanon holds deep dangers as does Muscovite influence in Egypt and Libya; in my view Syria should be won now to save a worse future and if I were a President or Prime Minister would not hesitate to put 'boots on the ground'. But it is just a part of the greater whole into which the debts of your current President to the enemy must be also be weighed.

  15. #2400
    Dirty Kiwi Senior Contributor
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    Quote Originally Posted by troung View Post
    Goofball at nyt not realizing the beloved Obama administration let AQ town free there.

    https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/04/1...hting_isis_in/
    And the f**ker stole our expression "not a knitting circle". Death's too good.
    In the realm of spirit, seek clarity; in the material world, seek utility

    Gottfried Leibniz

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