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Thread: Syria

  1. #46
    Former Staff Senior Contributor Ironduke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LongLurker View Post
    So whats the take here on Turkey invading Manbij with US forces present? Will it happen?
    Manbij is not in the Afrin enclave, where the current Turkish offensive is taking place. It is 61 miles due west of Afrin, as the crow flies, on the opposite side of Turkish/TFSA* held territory in the 'Euphrates Shield'.

    *TFSA is the 'Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army. Not to be confused with the Free Syrian Army.

    For those who want to keep track of the situation on the ground in Syria, this is probably the best site out there.

    https://syria.liveuamap.com/

    Turkish/TFSA advances through February 4th:

    Last edited by Ironduke; 05 Feb 18, at 07:40.

  2. #47
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Uhh, this is news to me, I was most definitely referring to the incident back in 2015 : (

  3. #48
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    You cannot fight successfully with a terrorist organiszation by making use of another terrorist organization. This is the mistake the American administration is doing for the time being in Syria

    Last edited by Double Edge; 05 Feb 18, at 13:45.

  4. #49
    Senior Contributor SteveDaPirate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toby View Post
    Hard to know what triggered the Arab spring...was it social media led? i.e taking full advantage of the negative undercurrents within the Arab sphere of influence. I don't for one minute pretend to know. But yeh it does look like a perfect storm. One which the US is also fully responsible for ..not just the UK and France and everybody else that is flavour of the month to blame!
    The Arab Spring was largely driven by rising food and commodity prices along with a big drop in oil prices.

    The social contract holding much of North African/Middle Eastern society together is that the masses agree to accept corrupt authoritarian regimes and autocrats in return for getting a share of the oil wealth, which is used to fund social programs and government jobs programs.

    However, populations in this part of the world have surged to the point that almost none of the countries in the region can actually produce the food to feed their own people. It has also spread the proceeds of hydrocarbon exports ever thinner across larger numbers of people.

    The exporting of oil has been so profitable historically that this region has severely underdeveloped economies. This isn't so much of a problem when the price of crude is at $140 and has been steadily climbing for decades. But when it drops to $40 a barrel after the global recession and the world's largest importer has discovered a cheap way to extract oil from shale formations it's suddenly a big issue.

    Oil exporting countries in the region were left looking down the barrel as they had huge segments of the population that were either unemployed or unproductively employed. After all, why would build widgets when a connected family member can get you a cushy job that pays twice as much while doing effectively nothing? This was illustrated when the ruler of Dubai decided to conduct surprise inspections of government offices only to find them empty...

    As the recession developed, oil exports were no longer sufficient to subsidize the mass importation of food and commodities, and suddenly the masses were feeling the impacts of being unable to afford the basic necessities for family life.

    That led to a huge regional wave of dissatisfaction. The political leadership was no longer holding up their end of the bargain... thus the people naturally decided that they should no longer be held to their side either, and that perhaps more democratic forms of government would serve them better.

    Thus the protests, revolts, and civil wars.

  5. #50
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WABs_OOE View Post
    First off, the US is not Russia nor Turkey. It's rich enough to make sure that Mexico would not become a failed state.
    Bailed out Mexico in 1994

    Quote Originally Posted by Toby View Post
    But not rich enough to stabilise Syria.
    Question of will. The Thais were wondering the same when they went bust in 1997 with no help forthcoming
    Last edited by Double Edge; 06 Feb 18, at 10:40.

  6. #51
    Former Staff Senior Contributor Ironduke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveDaPirate View Post
    The Arab Spring was largely driven by rising food and commodity prices along with a big drop in oil prices.

    The social contract holding much of North African/Middle Eastern society together is that the masses agree to accept corrupt authoritarian regimes and autocrats in return for getting a share of the oil wealth, which is used to fund social programs and government jobs programs.
    Oil doesn't have anything to do with what happened in Tunisia or Egypt. Tunisia has been a net importer of oil since 1998. Egypt also dried up and what oil exports there were had always been pretty inconsequential in terms of the overall economic picture. The last peak year for them was 471 tbpd in 1995 (Saudi Arabia produced 65 times as much per capita that same year) and it's pretty much all been downhill from there.
    Last edited by Ironduke; 06 Feb 18, at 06:46.

  7. #52
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    Is chlorine classed as chemical weapons?

  8. #53
    Former Staff Senior Contributor Ironduke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by snapper View Post
    Is chlorine classed as chemical weapons?
    Yes.

  9. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toby View Post
    Hard to know what triggered the Arab spring...was it social media led? i.e taking full advantage of the negative undercurrents within the Arab sphere of influence. I don't for one minute pretend to know. But yeh it does look like a perfect storm. One which the US is also fully responsible for ..not just the UK and France and everybody else that is flavour of the month to blame!
    No credible political system in sight that allows all society members to contest and participate And loss of credibility by the long time corrupt regimes.

    Democracy is the system which allows everyone to contest and participate. In the ME, it does not work because of political islam and change of regime involves coup or guns.

    And the conservative islamic world is constrained by the entrenched ideology and beliefs of politcal islam. Too many people feel islam is a complete code of conduct and they have to live under God's laws. What happens is a half way compromise.

    The west and israel fear islamists will win elections more often than not. Regimes and elites like Mubarak promise "we will take care of islamists"
    and for satisfying their religious masses, they provide a limited form of sharia. SA and Iran ofcourse are hardline states.

    These autocratic regimes engineer the system only for their long term survival. Not to allow everyone to participate and facilitate peaceful transfer of power.

    Over time , when people get alienated, they find the transfer of power involves violence or revolution.Civil war can result in fragmentation
    when multiple parties are strong.

    It gets worse with foreign meddling and lack of centralised control like in Syria(different groups holding parts of country).

    No long term system in sight that allows universal participation and takes the sting out of revolts.

  10. #55
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by YoungIndia View Post
    Democracy is the system which allows everyone to contest and participate. In the ME, it does not work because of political islam and change of regime involves coup or guns.
    In Egypt i didn't find any problems with political Islam. Whatever party in office has to deliver on the basics or they are gone. The bigger problem is whenever a party comes to power they want to destroy the opposition. They think just like the previous autocratic regime. So there is chaos and in the end people just want stability in their lives and will support the option that delivers. Democracy to the common man in the arab world means nothing works.

    And the conservative islamic world is constrained by the entrenched ideology and beliefs of politcal islam. Too many people feel islam is a complete code of conduct and they have to live under God's laws. What happens is a half way compromise.
    No support for sharia but many vocal aspirants.
    Last edited by Double Edge; 06 Feb 18, at 10:48.

  11. #56
    Former Staff Senior Contributor Ironduke's Avatar
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    Syria war: US bombs government forces after Deir al-Zour attack

    The US has carried out rare air strikes on Syrian pro-government forces after what it called an "unprovoked attack" on allied Kurdish and Arab fighters.

    US officials estimated that 100 pro-government fighters were killed in the incident on Wednesday.

    They had allegedly tried to take ground east of the River Euphrates captured from the Islamic State group by the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces.

    State media said the US "aggression" left dozens of people dead or wounded.

    The Middle Euphrates River Valley serves as an informal demarcation line in eastern Syria, with the government controlling the western side and the SDF the east.

    There were several skirmishes in the valley last year, as both sides sought to drive IS militants from their last major stronghold in the country.
    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-42986089

  12. #57
    Former Staff Senior Contributor Ironduke's Avatar
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    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-42995027

    Last of British IS 'Beatles' gang captured by Kurds

    Two British men believed to be members of a notorious Islamic State group (IS) cell have been seized by Syrian Kurdish fighters, US officials say.

    Alexanda Kotey, 34, and El Shafee Elsheikh, 29, were the last two members of the cell to remain at large.

    The four, all from London, were nicknamed "the Beatles" because of their British accents.

    US officials said the "execution cell" had beheaded more than 27 Western hostages and tortured many more.

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