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Thread: Syrian Civil War Developments

  1. #2536
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big K View Post
    actually it is very simple.

    Turkey will not allow any new state within the borders or Syria and/or Iraq. Especially one that is founded by a terrorist organisation like PKK.

    So Turkish operation is not for acquiring land from Syria but at first to prevent any new "state" to reach mediterranean. The second objective will be to ensure what ever necessary to stay that way.
    Except Turkey is the bittiest of the bit players in this drama. She can only dance where the Russians and Americans are not. Russia pounded the snot out of the Turkomen rebels and Turkey wept but did little else. Turkey's initial invasion saw its vaunted leopard tanks slaughtered and she contributed almost nothing to the fight against IS and acted as the conduit for jihadis. Its not been a good war for Turkey. Turkey would be better served by re-starting the peace process with the PKK.

  2. #2537
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    Quote Originally Posted by citanon View Post
    I think this is very interesting.

    Russia is backing Assad but has no interest in seeing he and the Iranians control more oil fields. Makes perfect sense. Russia doesn't want more oil production and more fields under Iranian control means more bargaining power for Iran in OPEC.

    Just shared interests after all.

    We just found a wedge issue between Russia v. Iran+Syria.

    Another possible Russian consideration: Russian is the interlocutor Syria and Iran needs during the current fragmentation and chaos. If Iran and Syria consolidates control, Russia won't be so necessary anymore and it won't be so important to Turkey and Israel either. So maybe the current situation suits Moscow just fine.

    I disagree with your assertion that Russia doesn't want Syrian oil under Iranian control because its supposed clout with OPEC. Syrian production at most never reached 1 million bbd at its pre-war peak (if i recall). Today probably is less than quarter than that. Just not enough to help push Iranian oil production beyond its 4 m bbd or so. Iran has already captured the low hanging fruits in its own production when sanctions were lifted and its searching for that incremental improvement for a diminishing return is not yielding results as fast as it wants. Said differently it has enough on its plate with its own oil infrastructure.

    Personally doubt if an additional 0.25 million bbd will give any leverage against the giant production levels of Saudi Arabia, Russia and US. Each of which are north of +9.5 million bbd. Iran's leverage in OPEC evaporated when it chose to maximize its production post-sanction. In other words, it fired its gun, and now is empty and the overhang is gone.

    In fact, i would say both Moscow and Tehran would be happy that all possible oil production should fall under Assad control, so that it can finance itself to a degree, pay for its re-constrcution cost (and guess who will be doing the reconstruciton*) and become more self reliant.

    * Nope not Dick Cheney (that was the Iraq War). But possibly his Russian or Iranian counter using the old age playbook. There are scums everywhere I guess. Just with different flags and Constitution.

  3. #2538
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    Quote Originally Posted by Double Edge View Post
    Weird thing about this war ? where are the Arabs

    The actors are all non-arabs. Israelis, Americans, Turks, Russians & Iranians fighting in it.
    There are Arabs.
    The Qataris are backers of Ankara but not directly involved.

  4. #2539
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    YPG has withdrawn from the Sheikh Maqsood neighborhood in northern Aleppo and turned it over to the Syrian government, with YPG fighters there leaving to reinforce Afrin. Meanwhile additional NDF (Iranian/Soleimani-created, Syrian government militia) forces have arrived in Afrin, in addition to those that arrived in Afrin a couple days ago and Jandaris in southwestern Afrin province yesterday.

    YPG forces have captured from ISIS the Al-Bahrah village along the Euphrates River near the border with Iraq today. The Syrian government/Russian/Iranian heavy bombardment and shelling in East Ghouta (Damascus suburbs) continues. The Turks and the TFSA continue their slow advance, captured several villages in the Olive Branch operation.
    Last edited by Ironduke; 22 Feb 18, at 18:13.

  5. #2540
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    Russia has deployed a pair of Su-57s (T-50s) to Syria.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...otted-in-syria

    This has prompted speculation over the reasons for such a deployment when the jet is in such an early stage of development and Russia only possesses a few pre-production models. As it stands the Su-57

    • has an inadequate and incomplete sensor suite
    • has an incomplete fire-control system
    • has an incomplete self-protection suite
    • has no integrated avionics suite that could be considered 'operational'
    • is powered by unreliable engines
    • has hardly undergone any weapons separation testing (except for two types of dumb bombs),
    • lacks any kind of other operational armament bar an internal 30mm cannon
    • is designed to be stealthy but prototypes appear to be anything but, due to poor build quality, which can be seen by the extensive use of rivets, lack of insulation around the rear part of engine nacelles etc.

    Theories have largely centered around either using it's unique radar arrangement to observe F-22 employment and characteristics or a marketing strategy that allows Russia to claim the Su-57 as a "battle proven" fighter when hunting for export orders.
    Last edited by SteveDaPirate; 22 Feb 18, at 20:48.

  6. #2541
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    Might be testing elint, us responses, and of course marketing.

  7. #2542
    Former Staff Senior Contributor Ironduke's Avatar
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    Trump Administration Ready to Scrap Envoy to Anti-ISIS Coalition

    The Trump administration plans to scrap a special envoy position that coordinates the campaign against the Islamic State, a move that has raised concerns of a growing U.S. diplomatic vacuum in Syria and Iraq.

    The proposed move comes at a moment of renewed bloodshed and diplomatic chaos in Syria, with a NATO ally, Turkey, locked in combat with U.S.-armed and trained Kurdish forces. Some Western government officials and experts said it was too soon to consider withdrawing the envoy, particularly when the United States has struggled to articulate a coherent political strategy following military successes against the Islamic State.

    “Now more than ever, the U.S. needs some figure at the top who is out there doing this diplomatic work,” said Charles Lister, a senior fellow at the Middle East Institute.

    The possible change to the special envoy’s office, headed by veteran diplomat Brett McGurk, reflects changing realities on the ground, where Islamic State militants are on the retreat. The move also would fit into a broader reorganization led by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who has sought to rid the State Department of various special envoy positions, congressional staffers, and current and former government officials told Foreign Policy.

    Congressional aides with knowledge of the changes said the envoy’s duties will most likely be scaled back and folded into the State Department’s counterterrorism bureau, as well as other offices. Contracts for employees who are not career civil servants would not be extended, and the remaining career State Department staff would be assigned to other bureaus.

    The timing of the planned change remained unclear, as well as whether McGurk would take up another diplomatic post in the administration. “The idea is that [he] might be offered something else in some corner of government,” said a congressional aide familiar with the discussions.

    The State Department said the diplomat was still on the job and could not confirm any plan to dissolve the special envoy position. “ISIS remains a lethal threat and a top priority of Secretary Tillerson and this Administration,” said spokesperson Heather Nauert. “We will continue to ensure the effort receives the high-level attention and necessary resources required to achieve the enduring defeat of ISIS.”
    http://foreignpolicy.com/2018/02/22/...rrorist-daesh/

  8. #2543
    Former Staff Senior Contributor Ironduke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xerxes View Post
    I disagree with your assertion that Russia doesn't want Syrian oil under Iranian control because its supposed clout with OPEC. Syrian production at most never reached 1 million bbd at its pre-war peak (if i recall). Today probably is less than quarter than that. Just not enough to help push Iranian oil production beyond its 4 m bbd or so. Iran has already captured the low hanging fruits in its own production when sanctions were lifted and its searching for that incremental improvement for a diminishing return is not yielding results as fast as it wants. Said differently it has enough on its plate with its own oil infrastructure.

    Personally doubt if an additional 0.25 million bbd will give any leverage against the giant production levels of Saudi Arabia, Russia and US. Each of which are north of +9.5 million bbd. Iran's leverage in OPEC evaporated when it chose to maximize its production post-sanction. In other words, it fired its gun, and now is empty and the overhang is gone.
    Syria's production peaked in 1995 around 600,000 bpd, declining to 380,000 bpd in 2010. Net exports were maybe 100,000 bpd, perhaps less. It was firmly on track to becoming a net oil importer this decade even without the civil war. So yeah, pretty much a non-factor as far as OPEC is concerned.
    Last edited by Ironduke; 23 Feb 18, at 08:21.

  9. #2544
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    Putin ally said to be in touch with Kremlin, Assad before his mercenaries attacked U.S. troops

    A Russian oligarch believed to control the Russian mercenaries who attacked U.S. troops and their allies in Syria this month was in close touch with Kremlin and *Syrian officials in the days and weeks before and after the assault, according to U.S. intelligence reports.

    In intercepted communications in late January, the oligarch, Yevgeniy Prigozhin, told a senior Syrian official that he had “secured permission” from an unspecified Russian minister to move forward with a “fast and strong” initiative that would take place in early February.
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/world...8eb_story.html

  10. #2545
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    Hot tip: if WaPo is blocking you with the paywall, try using icognito mode in your browser. That resets your article count.

    Also, this is sounding depressingly like simple greed and Kremlin cronies not giving one f*** about Russian lives.

  11. #2546
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    A Russian source speaking to France24 has said that 218 Russians were killed in the vicinity of Deir-ez-Zour.

    The business of war: Russian mercenaries in Syria

    A paramilitary chief who serves as a contact for Russians who want to become mercenaries in Syria discusses the grim business of making war for profit. He spoke to FRANCE 24 only on condition of anonymity.

    If you live near Russia's Yekaterinburg and want to fight with pro-regime forces in Syria, there’s one man you need to speak to. He is a paramilitary chief who advises Russians wanting to work for Wagner, a shadowy Kremlin-linked private military contractor known for sending mercenaries to Syria.

    “Each week I receive five or six new requests,” he told FRANCE 24. “Some call me by phone, others come to see me. About a hundred people in the region are planning to go to Syria.”

    He said that interest has only increased since the Russian foreign ministry reported that five Russians died in a US bombing raid on pro-regime troops attacking opposition forces in Syria's Deir Ezzor province on February 7.

    “Now, it’s more about getting revenge than it is about money,” he said.

    But the chief warned that these revenge-seekers don’t know the whole story. According to him, it wasn’t just five Russians killed in the American raid – it was 218. (US officials have said about 100 pro-regime fighters were killed, without specifying whether they were Syrian army, Russian or other forces.)

    However, the paramilitary chief said only 150 bodies have so far been recovered.

    “There are 150 people in refrigerators on the Wagner base” back in Russia, he said. “Their state? 'Minced meat' is how they described them to me.”

    Even so, the chief doesn’t feel much sympathy for those who died; he believes it is a fate they chose.

    “If you sign up with a private military company, you have sold yourself to them for money,” he said. “The company can use you however it wants. What will happen to you after your death? If you’ve been turned into mincemeat, so what? They put you in a bag, close the coffin and – in the best-case scenario – send you home. In the worst, they bury you there. If you are ready to earn money by killing people and defending the commercial interests of others, then that’s fine.”

    Though the assault happened more than two weeks ago, the chief says that the families of the dead still don’t know what happened to their relatives.

    “Nothing will happen before the presidential election on March 18,” he told FRANCE 24.

    “We all know why. There’s no problem keeping the deaths secret.”


    The military chief told FRANCE 24 that these private contractors step in when the Russian government needs deniability.

    “What’s the main goal of any private military company? Defend the interests of a government if it can’t use the regular army,” he said.

    He says Wagner, which also sends mercenaries to fight in the Donbass region in Ukraine, is in the mercenary business for profit.

    “The goal is financial revenue and the possibility of taking control of a large market for oil resources so our country can control it,” he said. “I think that’s a good thing."

    "We didn’t start this war. But it’s up to us to finish it."
    http://www.france24.com/en/20180223-...agner?ref=tw_i
    Last edited by Ironduke; 24 Feb 18, at 04:30.

  12. #2547
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    Wall street journal's take:

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/russias...ops-1519429855

    In my view:

    A. They will try again. If not on the ground then in the air.
    B. The US so far has spoken the exact language that the Russians respect: force.

  13. #2548
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    https://www.theguardian.com/commenti...n-turkish-army

    I think the author has a pretty biased characterization of the conflict, but the longer the Afrin operations go on, the more these questions will arise.

  14. #2549
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    And in Ghouta, the biggest terrorists in Syria continue

    Citing local sources, a correspondent for Lebanese outlet Al Mayadeen, which is supportive of the Syrian government and its allies, wrote Friday on social media that Damascus was planning to announce a plan to evacuate children under the age of 12, men over the age of 60 and all women from eastern Ghouta via recently established safe passages. The correspondent said the Syrian government was awaiting the results of the U.N. Security Council resolution, but it planned to go on fighting ISIS, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham and their allies.
    Pretty clear what that means isn't it?

    http://www.newsweek.com/russia-iran-...s-afrin-818814

  15. #2550
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ironduke View Post
    A Russian source speaking to France24 has said that 218 Russians were killed in the vicinity of Deir-el-Zour.


    http://www.france24.com/en/20180223-...agner?ref=tw_i
    These bastards aren't even hiding the fact that they don't have a single care for the poor sops who died.

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