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  • Bets on Syria?

    AFP: Syrian forces kill six as US 'readies for Assad fall'

    Syrian forces kill six as US 'readies for Assad fall'
    (AFP) – 5 hours ago
    DAMASCUS — Syrian security forces killed six civilians on Tuesday during a raid on anti-government protesters amid reports the United States expects the fall of President Bashar al-Assad and more violence after.
    Meanwhile, an activist group inside Syria announced its backing for a recently named National Council of opposition figures, underscoring the need for unity in the campaign to overthrow the regime.
    Four civilians were killed in the central city of Homs, including a woman and an 11-year-old boy who died when their bus was fired on, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
    Another two died during searches carried out in the Damascus region.
    The security forces closed roads into the city, where huge anti-regime protests were staged on Monday.
    The demonstrations were dedicated to Zainab Homsi, whose mutilated body was handed to her family by the authorities, the activists said.
    And state news agency SANA said the army had deactivated a 25 kilogramme (55 pound) bomb placed near the oil pipeline that feeds the refinery in Homs.
    Elsewhere, a policeman was shot dead by unknown attackers in the northwestern Jabal al-Zawiya region, and a civilian wounded on Monday died of his injuries, the Observatory said.
    It also reported that according to residents, Kiswe just south of Damascus was cut off by security forces after around 40 vehicles transporting troops entered the town on Monday.
    As the killing carried on, the New York Times said the United States was increasingly convinced that Assad's regime would fall and was preparing for a possibly violent aftermath.
    The newspaper said Washington was quietly working with Ankara to plan for a post-Assad future that could see Syria's various ethnic groups battle for control of the country, potentially destabilising neighbouring states.
    It said that despite calling on Assad to step down, the United States had yet to withdraw its ambassador, Robert Ford, because it viewed him as a vital conduit to the opposition and Syria's disparate ethnic and religious groups.
    The Times said intelligence officials and diplomats in the Middle East, Europe and the United States increasingly believed Assad would not be able to quash the months-long revolt against his family's four-decade-long rule.
    "There?s a real consensus that he?s beyond the pale and over the edge," the Times quoted a senior official in US President Barack Obama's administration as saying. "Intelligence services say he?s not coming back."
    Assad has deployed tanks and troops in an increasingly violent response to anti-government protests inspired by the Arab Spring, with at least 2,600 people, mostly civilians, killed since March 15, according to UN figures.
    Obama was to discuss the Syrian crisis and wider turmoil throughout the Middle East in talks with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.
    On Monday, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urged longtime Damascus ally Russia to support a "strong statement" at the UN Security Council over the crackdown.
    In her talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Clinton expressed US "interest in seeing the Security Council go on record with a strong statement on Syria," a senior administration official said on condition of anonymity.
    Last month, Russia proposed a resolution that would omit Western calls to impose sanctions on Assad's regime for its deadly crackdown.
    Meanwhile, the Local Coordination Committees, which have been organising the almost daily protests on the ground, gave their backing to the new Syrian National Council, whose membership was announced at an opposition meeting in Turkey last week.
    Despite "reservations" over the way in which it was formed and the forces that comprise it, the LCC said it backs the "national council, which has set as its objective supporting all Syrians, whatever their confession or ethnicity, to overthrow the regime and establish a multi-party, democratic and civil society".
    "We support it because we hope to unify the opposition and overcome its divisions," it added, urging "all political groups and revolutionaries to support the national council."

  • #2
    I BET they will continue to promise to make things better for the people and give them more say in government while chasing down those that dipose dictators and kill them and others.

    Thats my BET!
    Fortitude.....The strength to persist...The courage to endure.


    • #3
      Sounds like another job for the 'Hague team'


      • #4
        Turkey may slap sanctions on Syria --Erdogan | Reuters
        By Ibon Villelabeitia

        ANKARA, Sept 21 | Wed Sep 21, 2011 6:06am EDT

        ANKARA, Sept 21 (Reuters) - Turkey has suspended talks with Syria and may impose sanctions on Damascus, Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said, the clearest sign yet that Ankara has parted ways with President Bashar al-Assad over his bloody crackdown on anti-government protesters.
        Trade is about 2.5 billion dollars between the two countries. - Turkey may slap sanctions on Syria --Erdogan
        Bilateral trade between Turkey and Syria was $2.5 billion in 2010
        IF it happens its around 8% of exports+imports of Syria. Which are somewher around 26-27 bill and 3% of gdp which is around 60 bil. Doubt it happens though.

        Oil export ban is the thing to watch for, if they cut off that funding from Syria it will be very painful. But would be very hard to do.
        Last edited by cyppok; 22 Sep 11,, 17:04.
        Originally from Sochi, Russia.


        • #5
          Syrian oil exports is ~$5bn/year, 90+% going to the EU and 5% to Turkey.
          Last edited by Doktor; 23 Sep 11,, 00:10.
          No such thing as a good tax - Churchill

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


          • #6
            This author sees the end of dictatorships as not ushering in democracy but rather Islamism

            Love of ‘democracy’ takes West towards Islamisation in Syria | The Sunday Guardian | Oct 17 2011

            The luxury bus leaves downtown Cam hotel to Qassion Mountains for a panoramic view of the world's oldest, continuously inhabited city, Damascus.

            There are diplomats, journalists, scholars, some NGOs too, invited by a Syrian think tank to study the current situation. Edward Lionel Peck, former US ambassador to several Arab countries was in the group. From the Ahlatala Café at the Qassian heights, the vast expanse looks the very picture of tranquility. The city's calm is all the more noticeable because, thanks to the media, we have been conditioned to expect tension, conflict, street protests.

            "No fireworks here," the manager of the Café intervenes. Derra, Aleppo, Homs, Hama — "those are the cities where you might see some action".

            An Indian businessman invites me to spend the evening with a Syrian Sunni family he has known for long years. The husband is a retired civil servant; the wife dons a white chiffon scarf. She has a sad, beatific smile on her face. Her two daughters in frocks are constantly replenishing the centre table with fruits, baklavas, scones, soft drinks, Turkish coffee — endless hospitality.

            The negative media focus on Syria in recent months has erased from minds the continuing reality: the country is among the few remaining parts of the Arab world where elegant, gracious living is still possible.

            "But it may end soon," the wife says, wiping her tears. "Can you imagine — I have to wear this scarf now." She is Sunni who are supposed to be with the Islamist rebels opposing the Alawi ruling elite. Then why is she unhappy wearing a scarf? Syrian social order is in turmoil.

            The population of Syria consists overwhelmingly of Sunnis, say 80%. The biggest minority are Alawis, in their origins a Shia sect but as a result of decades of Baath party training, have shed their religion.

            Until the Ayatollahs came to power in 1979, Tehran, Istanbul, Beirut, Cairo, Amman, Damascus, Baghdad, Algiers, Tunis and any city in Morocco, and even Tripoli had among their populations the most secular elites. The secular enclaves may have been few but emphatic secular presence was a check on mindless religiosity. How was the secular stamp rubbed out in most of these societies in the space of three decades? Each city has a different narrative. The narrative of Damascus is currently in the making.

            With the world's media arrayed on the other side, it is difficult to persuade those who would care to listen, that it is secularism which is fighting with its back to the wall in Syria.

            But the narrative the media beams about Syria is: Assad brutalises his people.

            It can be nobody's case that Arab monarchies and dictatorships, Kemalist Turkey and Shah's Iran were paragons of liberal democracy, if that be such a non negotiable value. But a certain elegant urbanity was available in these enclaves. In Cairo and Beirut, this urbanity came along with a sparkling intellectual life. Mubarak's Cairo stilled the fizz. An anti intellectual aridity crept in which gradually overwhelmed most of the cities listed above. Damascus, believe it or not, is the last bastion where one can sit with friends and discuss ideas.

            What, then, is our hostess that evening so distraught about? The growing religiosity travelling from across a post Kemalist Turkey and post Saddam Hussain Iraq have generated peer pressure for the scarf. And now, the impulses which brought in the scarf are providing hospitality for Islamism to topple the Baathist structure. Islamism is being preferred to secular Baathism by the US, Europe, Israel (Saudi Arabia), because the move removes Syria from the Iran, Syria, Hezbollah, Hamas chain. The regional chessboard changes.

            The "Arab spring" broke up into three theatres — North Africa up to Egypt. Britain and France are to this day trying to manage the mess they have created in Libya. The Saudis are at the wheel on Bahrain and Yemen. Syria appeared to have been spared. Then Turkey began to look like a good model for Arabs in search of the electoral route. Moreover, if Syria can be fitted into that scheme, Iran will lose an ally and Turkey will gain influence.

            The media has taken up the project with its concoctions and exaggerations. Double check this last fact with Ambassador Peck who is quite as puzzled. Meanwhile the lady with the scarf will swear that she and her family in Aleppo have seen arms being funneled in for the protestors from Turkey. Others talk of protestors being armed from Iraq and Jordan, a story the media will not investigate.


            • #7
              Syria plants land mines on Lebanese border

              Nov 1, 1:50 PM (ET)

              By BASSEM MROUE

              SERHANIYEH, Lebanon (AP) - Syria has planted land mines along parts of its border with Lebanon, further sealing itself off from the world and showing just how deeply shaken Bashar Assad's regime has become since an uprising began nearly eight months ago.

              Although Assad's hold on power is firm, the 46-year-old eye doctor is taking increasingly desperate measures to safeguard his grip on the country of 22 million people at the heart of the Arab world. A Syrian official confirmed to The Associated Press that troops were laying the mines, saying they were aimed at stopping weapons smuggling into the country during the uprising.

              "Syria has undertaken many measures to control the borders, including planting mines," a Syrian official familiar with government strategy told The Associated Press, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter. Witnesses on the Lebanese side also told the AP they have seen Syrian soldiers planting the mines in recent days.

              But the verdant mountains and hills along the frontier are used by refugees fleeing Syria's deadly military assault on protesters and by Syrians who have jobs and families on the Lebanese side. The decision to plant mines - terrifying weapons that often maim their victims if they don't kill them - suggests the regime is trying to contain a crisis that is spinning out of its control.

              The mines also are the latest sign that Syria is working to prevent Lebanon from becoming a safe haven for the Syrian opposition as the uprising continues and the death toll mounts. The U.N. says about 3,000 people have been killed by security forces since March.

              A Syrian man whose foot had to be amputated after he stepped on a mine just across from the Lebanese village of Irsal on Sunday was the first known victim of the mines, according to a doctor at a hospital in Lebanon where the man was treated. The doctor asked that his name not be published out of fear of repercussions because of the sensitivity of the case.

              Vali Nasr, a Middle East expert and former State Department official in the Obama administration, also said the mining shows Assad is taking every measure to choke off opposition to his family's 40-year dynasty.

              "Mining the borders is a way of tightening the noose. It cuts off flow of people both ways, and is also a warning to neighbors not to interfere," Nasr told the AP.

              He said the move also betrays fears that countries may want to move beyond the economic sanctions already in place to send support to the opposition by land.

              "The next step after sanctions could be more active material support for the opposition which would have to come over the borders," Nasr said.

              Assad already has warned world powers - fresh from their victory over Moammar Gadhafi in Libya - that the entire Middle East will go up in flames if there is any foreign intervention in his country. Assad regularly plays on fears that he is a bulwark against regional turmoil, sectarian violence and Islamic extremism.

              Syria is indeed a regional nexus, bordering five countries with which it shares religious and ethnic minorities and in the case of Israel, a fragile truce that is key to regional stability.

              Syria's web of alliances also extends to Lebanon's powerful Hezbollah movement and Iran's Shiite theocracy.

              But the regime's crackdown has resulted in the most severe international condemnation the Assad dynasty has seen in decades. Sanctions from the European Union and the U.S. are chipping away at the ailing economy and many leaders have called on Assad to step down. Turkey, until recently an ally, has opened its borders to anti-Assad activists and breakaway military rebels.

              The 22-nation Arab League has been trying to help end the bloodshed, and Syria's state-run news agency said late Tuesday that Damascus had agreed to the league's plan on the crisis. There were no details on what the plan entailed. But an official announcement was expected Wednesday at the Arab League headquarters in Cairo.

              There was no immediate sign of Syria mining the Jordanian, Iraqi or Turkish borders, although most of Turkey's 545-mile (880-kilometer) frontier with Syria already has been heavily mined since 1950s.

              Syria and Lebanon share a 230-mile (365-kilometer) border, although it appears the land mines have been planted in two main areas in and around the restive province of Homs, which has endured some of the worst bloodshed. The mines have been seen in Homs province just across the border from Serhaniyeh, Lebanon, and in the Baalbek region bordering Homs and the Damascus countryside.

              Homs has seen violent clashes between Syrian troops and army defectors - a real concern for a regime that counts on the loyalty of its armed forces. Some 20 soldiers were reported killed over the weekend in Homs. The border villages also are inhabited mostly Sunni Muslims. Syria is predominantly Sunni, although Assad and the ruling elite belong to the tiny Alawite sect.

              Three residents of the Lebanese border village of Serhaniyeh showed an AP reporter a long sand dune barrier on the frontier where they said Syrian troops laid mines. Ahmed Diab said several trucks carrying about a 100 soldiers arrived Thursday and spent the entire day planting mines on the side of the barriers that faces toward Lebanon.

              "Since they planted the mines, no one dares to go to the border line," Diab said as he sat on his motorcycle near his home that overlooks parts of Homs province.

              Many Syrians cross the border into Lebanon regularly, including some 5,000 who have fled to Lebanon since the crisis began in March. Some of them are dissidents who feels a relative sense of security in Lebanon - but that might be changing. There have been at least three cases this year of Syrian dissidents being snatched off the streets in Lebanon and spirited back across the border, Lebanese police say.

              The abductions have raised alarm among some in Lebanon that members of the country's security forces are helping Assad's regime in its crackdown on anti-government protesters, effectively extending it into Lebanon.

              Syria had direct control over Lebanon for nearly 30 years before pulling out its troops in 2005 under local and international pressure. But Damascus still has great influence, and pro-Syrian factions led by the militant group Hezbollah dominate the government in Beirut.

              There also have been reports of Syrian troops crossing into Lebanon to pursue dissidents. In September, the Lebanese army said Syrian soldiers briefly crossed the frontier and opened fire at people trying to flee the violence in Syria.

              A senior Lebanese security official confirmed that Syrian troops are planting mines on the Syrian side of the border, but said Beirut will not interfere with actions on Syrian territory.


              Associated Press writers Elizabeth A. Kennedy in Beirut and Albert Aji in Damascus, Syria, contributed to this report.

              iWon News - Syria plants land mines on Lebanese border
              Fortitude.....The strength to persist...The courage to endure.


              • #8
                A)If there is foreign intervention Syria could be split. If it survives and Iraq destabilizes it will most likely end up with the Sunni part of Iraq joining to form a larger Syria after Iraq splits up.

                B)By foreign intervention I mean Turkey taking northern Syria for regime change and/or annexation creating a shift for Iraq being divided up between Turkey/Syria and Iran, with Kurds fighting to survive for a while. [Yes I know this is unlikely but the cause/effect chain reaction is there]

                These two article/blogs are good reads
                Syria Comment

                Robert Fisk: What the killing of Gaddafi means to Syria - Robert Fisk - Commentators - The Independent

                The page has trouble loading, but the jist of the article is that the Homs/Hama provinces are destabilizing and there is violence based on sectarian lines. Road security is falling and some parts of provinces are out rightly not under government control. Large segments of the population fear the absence of a strongman will create a civil war environment if Assad gets thrown out. To some degree the support for non-secular leaders by foreign countries is creating this likelihood higher.

                P.S. My belief is that option A up top is more preferable. I am assuming it will create 3+2 or 2+3 polarities ethnic and religious that would make the region more stable long term. I assume that Shiite Arabs in Iraq will remain separate as a sort of buffer state between Saudi/Iran and to some degree non-integrative into either due to religious/ethnic differences. Kurds would have a very high likelyhood of having Syria recognize them and perhaps even having no territorial claims upon Syria if the later gives up the Kurdish corner it holds in return for Sunni Iraq.

                Turkey/Iran/Syria become a more stable triangle balance of powers since Syria would be somewhat stronger while at the same time less stable. Kurdistan/Shiite Iraq would be Syria/Iran's client states to a degree to with Shiite Iraq playing off Saudis and Persians for benefits.
                Originally from Sochi, Russia.


                • #9
                  More trouble for Syria.....

                  AP Exclusive: UN examines Syria-Pakistan nuke tie

                  Email this Story

                  Nov 1, 3:29 PM (ET)

                  By DESMOND BUTLER and GEORGE JAHN

                  WASHINGTON (AP) - Satellite images have provided U.N. investigators with fresh evidence that the Syrian government once worked with A.Q. Khan, the world's most prolific nuclear weapons merchant.

                  The images reveal that a complex in northwest Syria appears to match Khan's designs for a uranium enrichment plant that were sold to Moammar Gahafi's government in Libya, officials told The Associated Press.

                  The U.N.'s International Atomic Energy Agency also has obtained correspondence between Khan and a Syrian government official, Muhidin Issa, who proposed scientific cooperation and a visit to Khan's laboratories following Pakistan's successful nuclear test in 1998.

                  Investigators don't believe Syria was ever close to building a nuclear bomb and there is no evidence it still has a secret program. The complex, in the city of Al-Hasakah, now appears to be used as a cotton-spinning plant.

                  But the unlikely coincidence in design suggests Syria may have been pursuing two routes to an atomic bomb: uranium as well as plutonium. IAEA investigators had already said they believe that a Syrian site bombed by Israeli warplanes in 2007 was a plutonium production reactor.

                  Details of the Syria-Khan connection were provided to the AP by a senior diplomat with knowledge of IAEA investigations and a former U.N. investigator. Both spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.

                  The Syrian government did not respond to a request for comment. The regime has repeatedly denied pursuing nuclear weapons but also has stymied an investigation into the site bombed by Israel. It has not responded to an IAEA request to visit the Al-Hasakah complex, the officials said.

                  IAEA officials contacted Tuesday also declined to comment. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said that Syria should cooperate with the IAEA.

                  "We remain concerned about whether Syria is meeting its obligations to the IAEA," she said. "Their clandestine nuclear program remains an issue of grave concern."

                  The IAEA's examination of Syria's programs has slowed as world powers focus on a popular uprising in the country and the government's violent crackdown. If the facility in Al-Hasakah was indeed intended for uranium production, those plans appear to have been abandoned and the path to plutonium ended with the Israeli bombing.

                  But Mark Hibbs, an analyst at the nuclear policy program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace who has spoken to IAEA officials about the Al-Hasakah complex, said it is important to learn more details about the buildings.

                  "What is at stake here is the nuclear history of that facility," Hibbs said. "People want to know 'what did they intend to do there?' and Syria has provided no information."

                  Syria has reasons to seek a nuclear weapon. It shares a border with its longtime enemy Israel, a country believed to have a sizable nuclear arsenal.

                  "A nuclear weapon would give Syria at least a kind of parity with Israel and some status within the region," said Anthony Cordesman, a national security analyst at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

                  For years, there has been speculation about ties between Khan and the Syrian government. Though he later recanted, Khan had publicly confessed to selling nuclear technology to Iran, North Korea and Libya, but he has never spoken of Syria. Investigators have suspected that he had other clients he had not revealed.

                  The former investigator said Syria acknowledged to the IAEA that Khan made at least one trip to Syria to deliver scientific lectures, as The Los Angeles Times reported in 2004.

                  The former official said he has seen letters from Issa, then a deputy minister of education in Syria, written on official letterhead shortly after Pakistan's 1998 nuclear test congratulating Pakistan for Khan's achievement. In subsequent correspondence, Issa suggested cooperation with Khan and requested a visit by Syrian officials to Khan's laboratory, the former official said.

                  Issa, who later served as the dean of the faculty of sciences at Arab International University, could not be reached for comment.

                  In a 2007 interview with an Austrian newspaper, Syrian President Bashar Assad acknowledged having received a letter that appeared to have been from Khan, but said his government had not responded and did not meet Khan.

                  IAEA investigators homed in on the Al-Hasakah facility after an intensive analysis of satellite imagery in the Middle East, sparked by a search for an additional Kahn client. They identified the site, the largest industrial complex in Al-Hasakah, after a 2006 report in a Kuwaiti newspaper claimed Syria had a secret nuclear program in the city.

                  Satellite imagery of the Al-Hasakah complex revealed striking similarities to plans for a uranium enrichment facility that were seized during a Swiss investigation related to Khan. The Swiss were looking into the Tinner family - Urs Tinner, his brother Marco and their father, Friedrich - who are suspected of playing a crucial role in Khan's smuggling network.

                  Another set of the same plans was turned over to the IAEA after Libya abandoned its nuclear program. Libya told the IAEA it had ordered 10,000 gas centrifuges from Khan, most of which it intended for a facility that was to be built according to the plans. Centrifuges are used to enrich uranium in the weapons-making process.

                  The investigator said the layout of the Al-Hasakah facility matches the plans used in Libya almost exactly, with a large building surrounded by three smaller workshops in the same configurations. Investigators were struck that even the parking lots had similarities, with a covered area to shield cars from the sun.

                  But the investigator said he had seen no evidence that centrifuges were ever installed there. The Hasakah Spinning Co. has a website that shows photos of manufacturing equipment inside the facility and brags about its prices.

                  The IAEA asked to visit the site more than two years ago. But it has not pressed the issue, focusing its efforts on the bombed site.

                  Nor has the agency ever cited the Al-Hasakah facility in its reports. Three other sites have been mentioned, but they are believed to have been related to the bombed reactor, not the Al-Hasakah plant.

                  IAEA inspectors were allowed to visit the bombed reactor site once, but have not been allowed back for nearly three years. They issued a strongly worded assessment in May that said the targeted site was in fact a nearly built nuclear reactor. The agency's board subsequently referred the issue to the U.N. Security Council, effectively dismissing Syrian denials as untrue.

                  Syrian officials again refused new inspections after talks with the IAEA in Damascus last week, diplomats told the AP. The officials said they would provide new evidence that the bombed site was non-nuclear. Agency officials remain skeptical because Syria did not describe the new information or say when it would be provided.


                  Jahn reported from Vienna.

                  iWon News - AP Exclusive: UN examines Syria-Pakistan nuke tie
                  Fortitude.....The strength to persist...The courage to endure.


                  • #10
                    some perspectives

                    International Institute for Strategic Studies Signs of civil war in Syria
                    Highway to Homs - By John Pedro Schwartz | Foreign Policy
                    Syria protests challenge Assad's peace pledge- Friday 4th November | World news |
                    Syrian opposition must make its vision clear to the Syrian people: Jeffrey Feltman
                    Syria agrees to Arab League plan - Middle East - Al Jazeera English
                    Syria Comment

                    What is really the stake in this game within Syria?
                    I'm going to mention some of my thoughts.

                    There were/are probably some pipelines proposed and would be built
                    Iran-Iraq-Syria for oil/gas exports which would create outlets for Iranian gas.
                    Railroad via Syria to go through Iraq-Iran and eventually China would create a more dynamic market in Europe/North Africa.

                    The other things is that there seems to be an undercurrent of a more nationalistic semi-secular desire and general discontent with economic opportunities for the youth. I severely doubt changing the regime will fix the problem. I actually think it will be far worse after.Best thing that could happen is scrapping economic constraints (officialdom and bureaucracy) on peoples' opportunity to do well without connections or high capital availability. Arab league agreement is seen as betrayal by people in Syria on the ground.

                    I am pondering the following question if the army is firing at the protesters some must be armed and resisting and because otherwise it makes no sense to exercise force against a non-violent group. But if violence exists on both sides what do the people fighting want? peaceful protesters cease to matter if a military group takes over those are the ones whom become the new dictators in essence.
                    Originally from Sochi, Russia.


                    • #11
                      The Tolerant Dictator: Syria's Christians Side with Assad Out of Fear - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International

                      What will happen with this people if/when ''democracy'' wins,is quite an easy guess.
                      Those who know don't speak
                      He said to them, "But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. Luke 22:36


                      • #12
                        There's been a few developments in this theatre recently.

                        - The Turks do not have any objections to intervening in Syria if necessary.

                        - Some of Libya's opposition fighters as well as weapons are being offered to strengthen the Syrian 'resistance'.

                        - The Russians are deploying their warships to the Syrian port of Tartus. The Russians are opposing the arms embargo on Syria and have not ruled out arming Syria with Russian weapons and have supplied them with supersonic anti-ship cruise missiles.

                        Russia does not want an intervention in Syria, either that or they want to make it expensive.


                        • #13
                          My uneducated guess.

                          Ass-as falls, but not too soon and not before things get dirty. The Salafi radicals instigate violence against Christian/Shiia/Allawi minorities who face the worst during the worsening turmoil. The Iranians think about saving Assad, but most likely do not have the balls to send IRGC in. It would also devastate their credibility as they protested the KSA backed Bahraini operations against the unpleased majority. Turks may be leading the Arab League supported peacekeeping mission while there won´t be much peace to keep, but a lot of disturbance to suppress. If the Turks are left out, or do not want to mess with this issue, whoever goes in, will most likely fail. Turks are only ones who have skills, balls and equipment/troops to take care of this. All of the others lack one or more of the relevant factors.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Double Edge View Post
                            There's been a few developments in this theatre recently.

                            - The Turks do not have any objections to intervening in Syria if necessary.

                            - Some of Libya's opposition fighters as well as weapons are being offered to strengthen the Syrian 'resistance'.

                            - The Russians are deploying their warships to the Syrian port of Tartus. The Russians are opposing the arms embargo on Syria and have not ruled out arming Syria with Russian weapons and have supplied them with supersonic anti-ship cruise missiles.

                            Russia does not want an intervention in Syria, either that or they want to make it expensive.
                            What's up with the Russian's buddy-buddy response here in Syria? It seems to me that they have something that they want which wasn't so in Libya. But in either case, money on Assad's downfall during the first half of next year. Russia may be persistent, but if they do get involved, NATO can be pretty persistent too, especially involving all that oil.

                            But in that situation one can't help but fear an inadvertent explosion of hostilities...
                            "Draft beer, not people."


                            • #15
                              Syria is not oil rich. They export modest amounts of oil and need gas imports. Production rates of oil have been in decline for 15 years or so-