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Thread: Syria in 2017 (April-December)

  1. #41
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    Default AQ leader calls for followers to change their strategy

    From an Israeli source, citing a speech on April 23rd 2017:
    Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri calls on his followers in al-Sham (greater Syria) to abandon the concept of territorial control and concentrate on guerilla warfare, joined by other Muslims around the globe
    Link:http://www.terrorism-info.org.il/en/article/21198
    davidbfpo

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    Default Testimony (Charles Lister): Syria After the Missile Strikes: Policy Options

    The following testimony was presented to the United States House Committee on Foreign Affairs on April 27, 2017, by Charles Lister

    http://www.mei.edu/content/article/t...policy-options

    Selected excerpts and my comments - Part 1/2:

    Quote Originally Posted by Charles Lister
    Whereas the U.S. decision not to act in August 2013 was justified at the time by a Russian-facilitated deal to remove and destroy Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile, events in Khan Sheikhoun demonstrated starkly that that deal had been a ruse. Israeli intelligence now assesses that Bashar al-Assad has secretly retained at least three tons of Sarin nerve agent, enough to kill many thousands more people, should he choose to do so. This was not much of a secret. Officials in the U.S. government and all of our principal allies have known as much for years.
    In August 2013, Assad had at least 1,000 tons of chemical weapons, including several hundred of Sarin. According to the DOD (https://fas.org/sgp/crs/nuke/R42848.pdf), securing Assad’s stockpiles by force would have required the deployment of up to 75,000 soldiers, including thousands of regular and special forces on the ground in Syria, and an air and naval campaign far larger than the 60 aircraft and 7 ships required for Operation Odyssey Dawn in 2011. Not only did the 2013 “Framework” destroy or remove nearly all of Assad’s CWs, it dismantled their infrastructure and delivery systems. The deal prevented Assad’s formidable arsenal from being transferred to Hezbollah for use against Israel, or falling under Al Qaeda or Daesh control, which U.S. military intervention may not have been able to achieve. Unfortunately, the deal ensured Assad’s survival and continued war against his own citizens, with increased Iranian and Russian support.

    Quote Originally Posted by Charles Lister
    The Syrian crisis is immensely complicated – I have spent virtually every single day since March 2011 trying my best to understand it. Despite this very clear complexity, one thing ought to be simple: the continued presence of Bashar al-Assad in Damascus as Syria’s self-proclaimed President does not promise any semblance of hope for the country’s future…the single biggest push and pull factor for both Al-Qaeda and ISIS in Syria, is the Assad regime’s continued survival and the brutal violence it unleashes upon its people.
    I agree. Yet behind Assad is Iran, much as Iran was behind Maliki’s efforts to marginalize the Sunni Arabs of Iraq. Therefore, we arrive at the second humanitarian compromise in order to minimize the threat of WMDs: permitting Iran to pursue a sectarian war in Iraq and Syria in return for an agreement on Iran’s nuclear weapons program.


    Quote Originally Posted by Charles Lister
    In April 2017, the Assad regime finds itself sat more comfortably in Damascus than at any point since the start of the crisis in the Spring of 2011. Its use of banned chemical weapons a few weeks ago is almost certainly a result of that confidence.
    I doubt Assad is comfortable, as he sits only at the pleasure of Teheran, whose calculus may well change. His recent use of Sarin was an unambiguous test of the new U.S. administration’s interest in Syria and resolve.

    Quote Originally Posted by Charles Lister
    It is also important not to forget history. To claim that Bashar al-Assad was never our enemy would be to brush over his extraordinary and widely documented role in empowering ISIS’s predecessor movements in Iraq, who fought against and killed American soldiers for years on end.
    This is in addition to Syria’s invasions of Israel and Lebanon, ties to U.S. adversaries Iran and North Korea, support for designated terrorist group Hezbollah, and attempt to develop nuclear weapons.

    Quote Originally Posted by Charles Lister
    So what now? Clearly the status quo is not working…Major foreign intervention in search of regime change, however, carries far too many risks and promises only further chaos. What is needed is a policy that sits in-between. Determined U.S. leadership backed up by the credible and now proven threat of force presents the best opportunity in years to strong-arm actors on the ground into a phase of meaningful de-escalation, out of which eventually, a durable negotiation process may result.
    Specifics will be needed. Is the U.S. supposed to partition the country into ethnic and sectarian enclaves and then use force to prevent one group from aggressing against another? What about the mixed areas on the frontlines? Should the U.S. be neutral except where Al Qaeda and Daesh are concerned, but ignore the foreign Shia mercenaries marauding on behalf of Assad? How can the U.S. ensure compliance from Iran and Russia? Currently, the regime is determined to reconquer the country, despite being reliant upon foreign funding, manpower and materiel to do so. How can its calculus be changed without changing the regime itself?

    Quote Originally Posted by Charles Lister
    More punitive military strikes and other assertive acts of diplomacy will be inevitable, but if anything is now clear, it is that the U.S. has more freedom of action in Syria than the Obama administration was ever willing to admit. Opponents of limited U.S. intervention who have long and confidently pronounced the inevitability of conflict with Russia are now faced with the reality that Moscow failed to lift a finger when American missiles careered toward Assad regime targets. This is not to suggest that Russia plans to sit back and watch the United States threaten or undermine its proxy, Assad.
    Exactly. Moscow will tolerate a slap on the wrist that does not materially alter the balance of forces, but not a decapitating blow.

    Quote Originally Posted by Charles Lister
    Beyond Russia though, Iran is arguably a far greater challenge and obstacle to progress…Keeping Assad in place also secures Iranian hegemony through Tehran-Baghdad-Damascus-Beirut and into the Palestinian Territories. Beyond being a great victory for Iran, that also represents a major defeat to American interests and influence in the region. It also risks inflaming further, existing great power competition involving Iran, Saudi Arabia and Turkey.
    Agreed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Charles Lister
    Russia’s intervention in Syria saved Assad from possible defeat, that is clear. However, the more secure Assad feels, the less he appears restrained by Russian instruction. In other words, Russia’s leverage over Assad may be declining…As one prominent Russian in Moscow recently told me in Europe, even Russia’s own Spetsnaz special forces have come to respect one such Iran-backed terrorist group — Hezbollah — more than the Syrian Army itself.
    Russia is likely interested in a negotiated settlement and a partitioned country with a “frozen conflict”, whereas Iran is determined to secure total victory over every inch of Syria.

    Quote Originally Posted by Charles Lister
    As things stand today, Syria can be divided up into dozens of semi-contained conflicts, every one of which is individually unique. Assad may be more secure than ever, but he is a very long way from a full territorial re-conquest of his country. That objective may take a decade, or not even be possible at all. Despite this dissolution into multiple conflicts, the solution to Syria is not to be found in partition. In fact, that is one of the only issues that the opposition and the regime currently agree on. Despite the intensity and complexity of conflict, Syrians on both sides of the conflict still share a shared sense of Syrian identity. Although hard to see through the bullets and gas, this is a crucially important realization. Syria’s non-jihadist opposition, as varied, complicated and imperfect as it is, remains a force of 80,000-100,000 heavily-armed men. A substantial majority of these men, and their sons, are not considering giving up their struggle anytime soon. That is also a crucially important realization. It will only be by addressing these kinds of realities that we will begin to define a meaningful policy.
    They may not have a choice. The Sunni Arab majority will not accept minority Alawi rule; neither will the Alawis, Christians and Druze accept a possible tyranny of the majority by way of democracy (such as in Iraq). Moreover, the Kurds are not about to surrender a de facto independent Rojava, which ideology aside is not dissimilar to Iraq’s KAR.

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    Default Testimony (Charles Lister): Syria After the Missile Strikes: Policy Options

    The following testimony was presented to the United States House Committee on Foreign Affairs on April 27, 2017, by Charles Lister

    http://www.mei.edu/content/article/t...policy-options

    Selected excerpts and my comments - Part 2/2:

    Quote Originally Posted by Charles Lister
    A holistic strategy is required that treats all the various symptoms as inter-linked components of a very big problem. The United States can choose to make big decisions and spend substantial amounts of resources now, or we can continue today’s strategy and face virtual certainty of having to come back and do even more to try to fix an even greater problem several years from now.
    Washington will go with choice “b”. Even if a commitment on the order of Western Europe, Japan and South Korea is the most sensible choice, Americans will balk at the up-front costs. The war in Afghanistan is not even over, but according to the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, development aid to Afghanistan has already cost the U.S. more than the Marshall Plan in equivalent U.S. dollars. That is a damning indictment of “leading from behind”, leaving a “light footprint” or whatever American bureaucrats call a limited and restricted intervention. Note that today, Japan, Western Europe and South Korea are all American allies and host U.S. forces; they all contribute to American and global freedom, peace and prosperity. Conversely, we all know what losing the peace meant in the former Confederate states, Germany, Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya, and what limiting the war effort meant in South Vietnam.

    Quote Originally Posted by Charles Lister
    There is no perceivable opening for a grand, nationwide settlement to the conflict in Syria. As such, the best available interim solution is to introduce calm to geographically distinct zones in Syria, in which local Syrian actors and external actors with influence in the area can agree to freeze existing lines of conflict...In today’s dynamics, five such zones come to mind: (1) the existing zone under Turkish influence in northern Aleppo; (2) a new zone under Turkish influence in northern Idlib; (3) the formalization of a zone of stability under SDF influence in northeastern Syria; (4) a new zone of stability in southern and southwestern Syria, under the influence of Jordan and Israel; and (5) a new, future zone of stability in eastern Syria, divided between the Assad regime and newly formed, local U.S.-backed anti-ISIS forces…These zones of calm would face multiple determined spoilers, particularly Assad himself.
    Regarding:

    (2) What about the existing pro-Assad zone around Aleppo and the Kurdish zone around Afrin? Assad would have to give up Aleppo to Turkish/FSA forces and the Kurds would be surrounded by Turkish or FSA forces on all sides of their enclave.

    (3) Yet there is evidence of ethnic and sectarian cleansing by the YPG against non-Kurds, and Turkey would not be particularly tolerant about a PKK-aligned statelet bordering its restive southeastern Kurdish region.

    (4) Why Israel? Nothing brings Syrians of all ethnicities and faiths closer together than the presence of Israeli forces on their soil.

    (5) This is a terrible idea. Having Shias and Kurds occupy Sunni Arab areas is a recipe for endless insurgency. It would be preferable to cede this area to Jordan as well. Assad should be confined to his western enclave.

    Quote Originally Posted by Charles Lister
    The United States must urgently acknowledge and act to confront the malign activities of Iran in exploiting pre-existing instability in the Middle East to undermine its rivals and to establish hegemonic influence for itself.
    Yet confronting Iran brings with it serious risks, such as the abrogation of the JCPOA with the looming cloud of war to disarm Iran, as well as a spoiling of the anti-Daesh efforts in northern Iraq, which are dependent upon Shia militias subject to a great deal of Iranian influence. In addition to Iraq, Iran could also make life difficult for the U.S. in Afghanistan and turn Hezbollah’s attention back toward Israel.

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    Azor...I had already seen the Lister comments via social media...BUT here is the interesting thing...outside of social media comments...US MSM and the Trump WH NSC basically ignored his comments...

    AND neither Trump WH NSC nor CENTCOM nor US MSM is actively questioning the American support to and for a Communist inspired and led Kurdish PKK a US named terror group...

    Example it took social media pointing out that a proRussian mercenary who had fought in the Russian mercenary army in eastern Ukraine and joined the US Army and was on active duty...then finally a single MSM outlet picked it up...and it ended there...

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    As long as the Trump WH and Trump himself is in total chaos there will be no US FP on just about anything.....

    Trump called Obama weak on #SouthChinaSea patrols. 100 days in, he seems to have halted them entirely.

    Fmr AG Yates warned WH Jan26 that Flynn could be compromised by Russia. Did Trump lie on Feb10 when asked about it?

    Sally Yates to contradict White House about Flynn & Russia. She told WH on Jan 26; Feb 10 Trump said he knew nothing
    http://www.cnn.com/2017/05/02/politi...y-contradict/#

    Lies..bluffs and "Wag the Dog moments" are not FP....and Assad is still using chemicals...

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    Playlist of videos relating to the April 2nd 2017 bombing of Maaret al Numan national hospital
    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...gvDw66-1bYnGr#

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    Quote Originally Posted by OUTLAW 09 View Post
    As long as the Trump WH and Trump himself is in total chaos there will be no US FP on just about anything.....

    Trump called Obama weak on #SouthChinaSea patrols. 100 days in, he seems to have halted them entirely.

    Fmr AG Yates warned WH Jan26 that Flynn could be compromised by Russia. Did Trump lie on Feb10 when asked about it?

    Sally Yates to contradict White House about Flynn & Russia. She told WH on Jan 26; Feb 10 Trump said he knew nothing
    http://www.cnn.com/2017/05/02/politi...y-contradict/#

    Lies..bluffs and "Wag the Dog moments" are not FP....and Assad is still using chemicals...

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    Quote Originally Posted by OUTLAW 09 View Post
    Azor...I had already seen the Lister comments via social media...BUT here is the interesting thing...outside of social media comments...US MSM and the Trump WH NSC basically ignored his comments...

    AND neither Trump WH NSC nor CENTCOM nor US MSM is actively questioning the American support to and for a Communist inspired and led Kurdish PKK a US named terror group...
    We both know that the MSM rarely gets war and international politics right, if ever.

    By Lister on the Kurdish Question in Syria:

    The United States should use its significant diplomatic leverage with Turkey to push for consideration of a ceasefire with the PKK inside Turkey, which may help ease tensions with the YPG across the border in Syria. As part of a package deal with Turkey, the United States could offer to include a select portion of its anti-Assad forces – the majority of which have already been vetted either by the CIA or by CENTCOM – into a broader offensive on Raqqa. This would be a similar arrangement to that worked out for Mosul, where zones of responsibility were pre-arranged between rival or competing factions.
    Yet in his recommendations, Lister calls for:

    ...the formalization of a zone of stability under SDF influence in northeastern Syria.
    Well, which is it?

    Should the U.S. resolve the Turkish-Kurdish conflict first before advancing on Raqqa?

    If FSA units are to be included in the SDF to dilute the YPG's influence, then should the U.S. resolve the FSA-Assad conflict first? Or after the Turkish-Kurdish one?

    Lister has a very good grasp of the situation, but he is unable to proffer good recommendations because there are too many moving parts.

    He makes the mistake of suggesting a level of U.S. involvement "that sits in-between" regime change and the status quo. As you may have noticed in South Vietnam, and which younger Americans have noticed in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya, there is no "in-between".

    The U.S. had the ability to effectively deny all of these countries to their adversaries with little effort, but it could not establish strong and friendly states without making a total commitment. Note that the Marshall Plan was less expensive than the development costs for Afghanistan, adjusted for inflation.

    Moreover, the "zones of calm" that Lister calls for, backed ostensibly by U.S. airpower, are unprecedented in that such a dynamic with internal and external warring parties has never occurred before:

    • In Iraq, Iraqi forces had already been decimated by the war with Iran (financially) and then the Gulf War, both of which involved major ground combat
    • In Bosnia, the Bosnian Serbs were already under pressure to negotiate, including by Yugoslavia
    • In Kosovo, the Serbs believed that a land invasion was imminent and were under pressure from Russia


    What is wrong with the status quo, if supplies to the vetted FSA units are increased and efforts are made to reorganize the SDF to include more non-Kurds?

    From a public relations perspective, Daesh will probably need to be defeated on the battlefield first before the U.S. can quietly restructure the situation. If Daesh is not a priority, there will be domestic confusion and anger.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Azor View Post
    We both know that the MSM rarely gets war and international politics right, if ever.

    By Lister on the Kurdish Question in Syria:



    Yet in his recommendations, Lister calls for:



    Well, which is it?

    Should the U.S. resolve the Turkish-Kurdish conflict first before advancing on Raqqa?

    If FSA units are to be included in the SDF to dilute the YPG's influence, then should the U.S. resolve the FSA-Assad conflict first? Or after the Turkish-Kurdish one?

    Lister has a very good grasp of the situation, but he is unable to proffer good recommendations because there are too many moving parts.

    He makes the mistake of suggesting a level of U.S. involvement "that sits in-between" regime change and the status quo. As you may have noticed in South Vietnam, and which younger Americans have noticed in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya, there is no "in-between".

    The U.S. had the ability to effectively deny all of these countries to their adversaries with little effort, but it could not establish strong and friendly states without making a total commitment. Note that the Marshall Plan was less expensive than the development costs for Afghanistan, adjusted for inflation.

    Moreover, the "zones of calm" that Lister calls for, backed ostensibly by U.S. airpower, are unprecedented in that such a dynamic with internal and external warring parties has never occurred before:

    • In Iraq, Iraqi forces had already been decimated by the war with Iran (financially) and then the Gulf War, both of which involved major ground combat
    • In Bosnia, the Bosnian Serbs were already under pressure to negotiate, including by Yugoslavia
    • In Kosovo, the Serbs believed that a land invasion was imminent and were under pressure from Russia


    What is wrong with the status quo, if supplies to the vetted FSA units are increased and efforts are made to reorganize the SDF to include more non-Kurds?

    From a public relations perspective, Daesh will probably need to be defeated on the battlefield first before the U.S. can quietly restructure the situation. If Daesh is not a priority, there will be domestic confusion and anger.
    And again here is what you simply are not getting...you can "defeat" IS on the ground...BUT again in Iraq I watched the US military claim they "defeated" AQI by 2008/2009...only to have them disperse and go into a very good form of guerrilla warfare working together with the other Sunni insurgent groups....and actually began beating up on Army units in well
    carried out swarm attacks....

    Which is what both Lister and Orton are pointing towards again happening in both Iraq right now and is coming in Syria...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Azor View Post
    I will remain on my soap box as long as US FP is operating under the Trump Principle of "Wag the Dog".....which is neither a strategy or a FP and simply uses any action to deflect and or direct attention away from a lack of a strategy and or FP....on anything!

    Weeks After Massive US Bomb, IS Still on Air in Afghanistan
    by Voice of America

    An article here in SWJ.....

    Almost three weeks after the United States dropped its most powerful non-nuclear bomb in Eastern Afghanistan, the Islamic State group continues to show battlefield resilience as well as run its FM radio channel in the area.
    THIS Azor is exactly what I posted previously ..you simply cannot "defeat IS militarily on the ground".....they will simply fade as they did in Iraq back into guerrilla warfare....

    Actually if one really does reread Mao and his writings on guerrilla warfare....IS is in a phase two actually possibly a full phase three and when pushed hard simply backs back down to a phase two and or phase one guerrilla war..if pushed harder.

    AND here is the key in both Iraq and Syria...there will be a lot of disaffected Sunni's remembering the ethnically cleansing by Shia militias or sectarian genocide conducted by Shia's in general and West standing by doing nothing and they will then support quietly that new guerilla war...
    Last edited by OUTLAW 09; 05-03-2017 at 04:37 PM.

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    Usage of Soviet-produced 240-mm rocket-assisted cluster mortar shells (3-O-8 "Nerpa") continues in Eastern Ghouta

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    Default To Outlaw 09 RE: Syria

    Quote Originally Posted by OUTLAW 09
    And again here is what you simply are not getting...you can "defeat" IS on the ground...BUT again in Iraq I watched the US military claim they "defeated" AQI by 2008/2009...
    Please read my comments fully before replying. I specifically and explicitly referred to defeating Daesh “on the battlefield”. If you have read my past comments, you will see that I have consistently asserted that Sunni Arab supremacism cannot be defeated by other ethnic and sectarian groups nor without resolving Sunni Arab grievances. I have also asserted that only Sunni Arab egalitarians, such as elements of the Free Syrian Army and Iraq’s Golden Division, can defeat Sunni Arab supremacists such as Al Qaeda and Daesh.

    However, there must be the perception of victory over Daesh before Americans will countenance efforts to deal with the Turkish-Kurdish conflict.

    As a historical parallel, in 1944 Stalin delayed the Red Army’s drive towards Germany in order to conquer Romania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia and Hungary. He did not have to justify this deviation, or his vision beyond Germany’s defeat. Yet what Briton would have tolerated Churchill pondering conflict with the Soviet Union, or Operation Unthinkable?

    Thus, we need a publicity stunt so that the real work can begin. Who better to deliver on that then the current president?

    Quote Originally Posted by OUTLAW 09
    I will remain on my soap box as long as US FP is operating under the Trump Principle of "Wag the Dog"...which is neither a strategy or a FP and simply uses any action to deflect and or direct attention away from a lack of a strategy and or FP...on anything!
    Lister is pleased with the airstrike on Shayrat.

    Regardless, millions of Americans now believe in a new lost cause: the “stolen” election of 2016. Prior to the campaign, I had considered the current president to be vain, vapid and venal. Now, I would say that his former opponent exhibits those qualities to a far worse degree.

    Quote Originally Posted by OUTLAW 09
    Almost three weeks after the United States dropped its most powerful non-nuclear bomb in Eastern Afghanistan, the Islamic State group continues to show battlefield resilience as well as run its FM radio channel in the area.
    And? One could question whether the MOAB is more powerful than the MOP. I didn’t realize that a single MOAB was supposed to defeat Daesh in Afghanistan. Why did Obama keep it in storage for so long, then?

    Quote Originally Posted by OUTLAW 09
    Actually if one really does reread Mao and his writings on guerrilla warfare...IS is in a phase two actually possibly a full phase three and when pushed hard simply backs back down to a phase two and or phase one guerrilla war. If pushed harder.
    Isn’t guerrilla warfare and subversion preferable to conventional mobile warfare?

    Quote Originally Posted by OUTLAW 09
    AND here is the key in both Iraq and Syria...there will be a lot of disaffected Sunni's remembering the ethnically cleansing by Shia militias or sectarian genocide conducted by Shia's in general and West standing by doing nothing and they will then support quietly that new guerrilla war...
    Curious. I would imagine that they would remember the bloody hands of Iran and Russia, to say nothing of China watching with disinterest, while the West at least made some effort. The leading Sunni Arab state is a U.S. ally, whereas Iran and Russia are adversaries.

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    Second Russian military death in Syria in as many days.
    http://www.interfax.ru/world/561062?utm_source=topmain#

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    Is it a surprise that the 2 least honest & reliable sources, Putin & Trump, would have 2 different versions of their phone call on Syria?

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    English translation of #Erdoğan's senior adviser's threats on #Chinese radio @criturk to hit U.S. forces in #Syria.
    http://www.criturk.fm/cevik-cri-turk...rinda-olacak/#

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    In recent weeks, #Assad (backed by #Russia) has pursued an escalatory campaign of bombing hospitals, IDP camps & civil defense in #Idlib.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Azor View Post
    Please read my comments fully before replying. I specifically and explicitly referred to defeating Daesh “on the battlefield”. If you have read my past comments, you will see that I have consistently asserted that Sunni Arab supremacism cannot be defeated by other ethnic and sectarian groups nor without resolving Sunni Arab grievances. I have also asserted that only Sunni Arab egalitarians, such as elements of the Free Syrian Army and Iraq’s Golden Division, can defeat Sunni Arab supremacists such as Al Qaeda and Daesh.

    However, there must be the perception of victory over Daesh before Americans will countenance efforts to deal with the Turkish-Kurdish conflict.

    As a historical parallel, in 1944 Stalin delayed the Red Army’s drive towards Germany in order to conquer Romania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia and Hungary. He did not have to justify this deviation, or his vision beyond Germany’s defeat. Yet what Briton would have tolerated Churchill pondering conflict with the Soviet Union, or Operation Unthinkable?

    Thus, we need a publicity stunt so that the real work can begin. Who better to deliver on that then the current president?



    Lister is pleased with the airstrike on Shayrat.

    Regardless, millions of Americans now believe in a new lost cause: the “stolen” election of 2016. Prior to the campaign, I had considered the current president to be vain, vapid and venal. Now, I would say that his former opponent exhibits those qualities to a far worse degree.



    And? One could question whether the MOAB is more powerful than the MOP. I didn’t realize that a single MOAB was supposed to defeat Daesh in Afghanistan. Why did Obama keep it in storage for so long, then?



    Isn’t guerrilla warfare and subversion preferable to conventional mobile warfare?



    Curious. I would imagine that they would remember the bloody hands of Iran and Russia, to say nothing of China watching with disinterest, while the West at least made some effort. The leading Sunni Arab state is a U.S. ally, whereas Iran and Russia are adversaries.
    You really need to rethink this comment...sorry but a conventional war one can in fact "militarily end" but guerrilla warfare....can take decades BTW...ask the US Army about VN experiences...

    Isn’t guerrilla warfare and subversion preferable to conventional mobile warfare?

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    Assad officially hands over Syrian army command / field troops/ to Iran, and he even signed it.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    US military official suffers slip of the tongue and says PKK is part of the SDF

    ...In response to a question regarding the Turkish attitude against the YPG during press briefing on Wednesday, Colonel John Dorrian, the spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition against Daesh, accidentally acknowledged that the PKK was part of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

    "But with regard to the PKK, they are a part of the Syrian Democratic Forces, and the Syrian Arab Coalition is a part of the Syrian Democratic Forces as well. The forces that are isolating Raqqa are now largely made up of Syrian Arabs, but they are a part of the Syrian Democratic Forces," he said.
    ...
    Ah, speaking truth is now called 'slip in the tongue' in Pentagon's jargon?

    Good to know that.

    Guess, this happened to the CENTCOM Because they are in a rush. Namely, the CIA seems to be active in Syria again:

    Analysis: The Free Idlib Army’s Role in the U.S. Battle Against Al-Qaida in Syria

    ...and that's 'no good news' for any of generals currently trying to run the US foreign politics in the Middle East.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OUTLAW 09 View Post
    Assad officially hands over Syrian army command / field troops/ to Iran, and he even signed it.
    Actually, that's the page 3 of a document stating the following:

    Page 1:

    Syrian Arab Republic
    General Command for the Army and Armed Forces
    Organization & Admin Branch
    Organization and Arming Division
    No. 1455
    Date: / /1438 AH
    Corresponding to 4 April 2017 CE
    Memorandum
    Dear Lieutenant General [/field marshal]: the general commander for the army and armed forces, president of the republic [Bashar al-Assad]:
    - Implementing the decision of the brigadier general, the deputy general commander, deputy head of the council of ministers, minister of defence, on the memorandum of the leadership of the popular army- operations and training division- no. 45 on date 19 January 2017 guaranteeing the formation of a committee headed by the organization and administration branch in order to organize the forces working with the Iranian side within the organization and propriety of the local defence units in the provinces and put forward suggestions to your excellence.

    - The committee specified by admin order no. 562/67 date 11 February 2017 held a number of meetings and studied and discussed the situation from different angles, including organization, leadership, combat and material guarantee, rights of the martyrs, wounded and disappeared, sorting out the affairs of those commissioned who have avoided obligatory and reserve service and deserters, and the civilians working with the Iranian side. And it culminated in the following suggestions:

    1. Organizing the Syrian personnel (military and civilian) who are fighting with the Iranian side within the local defence units in the provinces according to the following table.

    2. Sorting out the affairs of the military personnel (deserters) and those commissioned who have avoided obligatory and reserve service, and transferring them, appointing them, and modifying the party of their summoning to the local defence units in the provinces and including those personnel who have sorted out their affairs and are working with the Iranian side within the local defence units according to the following table:

    Page 2

    3. Organizing recruitment contracts for the interest of the armed forces- the people's army, for a period of two years for the civilians working with the Iranian side for whosoever desires, regardless of the conditions of recruitment implemented in the armed forces (permanent matter no. 1 and its modifications/recruitment) and renewing it by agreement of the two sides according to the following table:

    4. Commissioning an administration of the affairs of the officers by sorting out of the affairs of session 69 of active officers and those who are working with the Iranian side currently in Aleppo province, their number being 1650.

    5. The leadership of the local defence units in the provinces that work with the Iranian side remain affiliated with the Iranian side while coordinating with the general command for the army and armed forces until the end of the crisis in the Syrian Arab Republic, or issuing of a new decision.

    6. Combat and material guarantee in all its types for Syrian military personnel and civilians working with the Iranian side on the shoulder of the Iranian side after organizing them into the local defence units in the provinces in coordination with the relevant parties.

    7. Guaranteeing the material rights for the martyrs, wounded, and disappeared who have been working with the Iranian side since the beginning of the events, placed on the shoulder of the Iranian side. As for the rest of the determined rights for the martyrs, wounded and disappeared according to the systems and laws as follows:

    a) Military personnel and those commissioned who have avoided obligatory service after sorting out of their affairs in principle.

    b) Civilians in the framework of the comprehensive solution.

    8. Issuing organization instructions guaranteeing implementation instructions for military personnel and civilians working with the Iranian side after organizing them into the local defence units in the provinces.
    Attached is a table of the combat equipment handed to the Iranian side from the popular army and that which is present with it.
    Please review and decide.

    Brigadier General Adnan Mahraz Abdo

    Head of the organization and administration branch.

    . Opinion of the major general, head of the general chief of staff for the army and armed forces.

    I agree to the suggestions: 5 April 2017

    . Opinion of the major general, deputy general commander, deputy head of the council of ministers, minister of defence.

    I agree to the suggestions: 5 April 2017.

    . Decision of the lieutenant general [/field marshal], general commander for the army and armed forces.

    Agreed- 11 April 2017.

    Page 3

    24 April 2017

    To: the national security office, the intelligence branch [military intelligence], general intelligence administration, air intelligence administration, political security branch, criminal security administration, migration and passports administration, military police:

    . Implementing the decision of the general, the general commander for the army and armed forces on our memorandum no. 1455, dated 4 April 2017, and the decision of the major general, the deputy general commander, deputy head of the council of ministers, the minister of defence on our memorandum no. 1681, dated 21 April 2017:

    - You are asked not to obstruct or detain personnel working with the Iranian side who are carrying temporary cards for the local defence forces as long as their affairs are being sorted out.

    - Attached is a copy of our memorandum no. 1455 date 4 April 2017 and our memorandum no. 1681 dated 21 April 2017.

    Major General Ali Abdullah Ayoub

    Head of the General Chief of Staff and the Armed Forces.

    With the mandate of:

    Brigadier General Adnan Mahraz Abdo

    Head of the branch of organization and administration.

    ****

    In essence, this gives a 'carte blanche' to the IRGC to continue organizing Shi'a militias in Syria as it likes: these are to be considered 'SAA', and the IRGC's work is not to be obstructed.
    Last edited by CrowBat; 05-04-2017 at 07:11 AM.

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