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Thread: Syria in 2018

  1. #61
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Four jihadists, one prison: all released by Assad and all now dead

    I missed this article in May 2016, so yes it is historical. Just why the four were in Syrian custody in 2011, as the civil war began, is not 100% clear (possibly two were rendered there by the USA). What is clear is their release had an impact:
    If President Assad’s Sednaya amnesty was indeed a considered plan to subvert the revolution, it worked.
    Link:http://s.telegraph.co.uk/graphics/pr...mic/index.html
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  2. #62
    Council Member AdamG's Avatar
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    As images of sick or dying children flooded global media all week, the U.S. guided-missile destroyer USS Winston Churchill churned toward the Mediterranean to join a flotilla of allied warships, including another U.S. destroyer, the USS Donald Cook.

    It was a ruse.

    While both vessels carry as many as 90 Tomahawk missiles -- the main weapon used in the Friday evening strike on Syria -- neither ship in the end fired a shot. Instead, according to a person familiar with White House war planning, they were part of a plan to distract Russia and its Syrian ally from an assault Assad’s government could do little to defend itself against.
    As the president addressed the nation at 9 p.m. Washington time, on Friday, a barrage of 105 U.S., U.K. and French missiles converged on Syria. They came from the Red Sea, the Arabian Gulf and the Mediterranean, homing in from three directions to overwhelm whatever missile defenses Assad’s regime might deploy. Russia’s more advanced air defense system didn’t engage the allied weapons.

    According to the Pentagon, the allied weaponry included 19 new “Extended-Range” stealthy Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Attack Munitions launched by two B-1B bombers based out of Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, and six Tomahawk cruise missiles launched from the Virginia-class USS John Warner submarine. The bomber-launched missiles, built by Lockheed Martin Corp., had never been used in combat.
    The cruiser USS Monterey fired 30 Tomahawks and the destroyer USS Laboon fired seven Tomahawks from the Red Sea. The destroyer USS Higgins fired 23 Tomahawks from the North Arabian Gulf, according to McKenzie.

    The weapons also included French SCALP-EG cruise missiles and British Storm Shadow standoff missiles launched by Tornado and Typhoon jets. Nine SCALP missiles were fired at what the Pentagon said was a chemical weapons storage complex at Hims-Shinshar, along with two SCALPS, nine Tomahawks and eight Storm Shadows.
    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/artic...attacked-syria
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  3. #63
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    Default The Aviationist on the US-UK-France Airstrikes

    The strikes themselves: https://theaviationist.com/2018/04/1...ikes-on-syria/

    Claims about successful strikes/missiles lost: https://theaviationist.com/2018/04/1...ing-to-the-us/

  4. #64
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default The Russian military’s ‘permanent’ commitment in Syria and the Eastern Mediterranean

    A scholarly overview of Russia's place in Syria and nearby - presumably written before the latest allied air attack, as it is not mentioned.
    Link:https://defenceindepth.co/2018/04/20...mediterranean/
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  5. #65
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default The Syria Attack: Motives and Consequences

    Professor Paul Rogers overview after the three allies action:
    The 14 April missile strike by the United States, France and the UK on three Syrian chemical weapons facilities aimed to enforce a much-scuffed red line on use of chemical weapons. But it was achieved in breach of international law and accompanied by a coordinated political message that the Western allies had no wider intention to oppose the Assad regime or its Russian and Iranian allies in Syria. As such, Trump is already advocating new actors like Egypt take the place of US troops in northeast Syria. While little has changed for Assad, Russia, or Iran in Syria, Israel and Turkey are increasingly dissatisfied with the West’s lack of apparent post-Islamic State strategy there and will act accordingly,
    Interesting comments on the French strike:
    . In logistic terms the French component was far more complex and wide-ranging, even though it only involved eleven cruise missiles.
    Link:http://www.oxfordresearchgroup.org.u...d_consequences
    davidbfpo

  6. #66
    Council Member AdamG's Avatar
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    IDF claims to have clobbered Iranian missiles on the ground.

    https://www.timesofisrael.com/syria-...tack-missiles/
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  7. #67
    Council Member AdamG's Avatar
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    ISIS might be an Army of drooling 7th century Troglodytes, but you do have to hand it to them in the Creativity Department.

    ISIS butchers have carried out one of the most chilling executions in the terror group's history - by turning a captive into an airborne bomb. Images released on its propaganda channels show a captured and bound Syrian soldier being dropped head-first from a height and exploding on impact with the ground. His body is bound tightly with cords and straightened with long, wooden planks - seemingly to keep him upright and aerodynamic. He was then fitted with a helmet filled with explosives, complete with an impact fuse on the top to trigger the device when his head hit the ground. The man was then thrown off a building in ISIS-controlled territory in the Yarmouk area of Syria, close to the capital Damascus.
    Yes, there are photos.
    http://www.foxnews.com/world/2018/05...ssing-him.html
    Last edited by AdamG; 05-03-2018 at 08:05 AM.
    A scrimmage in a Border Station
    A canter down some dark defile
    Two thousand pounds of education
    Drops to a ten-rupee jezail


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  8. #68
    Council Member AdamG's Avatar
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    Reuters appears to have only this headline and no supporting text

    ISRAEL SAYS SPOTS IRANIAN MILITARY MOVEMENT IN SYRIA, ORDERS READYING OF BOMB SHELTERS ON ISRAELI-HELD GOLAN
    https://af.reuters.com/article/commo...1ALTJ7N1PG01N2


    BEIRUT — Syrian state-run media said Israel struck a military outpost near the capital Damascus on Tuesday, saying its air defenses intercepted and destroyed two of the incoming missiles. The reported attack came an hour after President Donald Trump announced he was withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal, calling Tehran a main exporter of terrorism in the region.
    The official news agency SANA said without elaborating that the attack occurred in the countryside in Kisweh, just south of Damascus, an area known to have numerous Syrian army bases. Syrian TV earlier reported large explosions in the area.
    The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the missiles targeted depots and rocket launchers that likely belonged to Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards in Kisweh, killing nine people. The group, which closely monitors the Syria war through a network of activists on the ground, said it was not clear whether those killed were Revolutionary Guard members or members of a pro-Iranian militia. The report could not be independently confirmed.
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/world...2ce_story.html
    Last edited by AdamG; 05-09-2018 at 11:51 AM.
    A scrimmage in a Border Station
    A canter down some dark defile
    Two thousand pounds of education
    Drops to a ten-rupee jezail


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  9. #69
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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  10. #70
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Dissecting a civil war

    An article from Open Democracy that starts to explain why Assad used / uses chemical weapons and offers an explanation of a civil war where nothing is simple. For once the few comments and the author's response are worth reading too.

    I'd not spotted this:
    In reality, there have been hundreds of chemical attacks in Syria reported since 2012 - including up to 85 merely in the past year since Trump’s ‘airfield strike’ of April 2017 (according to Human Rights Watch) - most of which only garner marginal media coverage and provoke little media and online commotion.
    Or how territory changes "hands":
    In reality, the military support provided by the US administration to the Assad regime, whether by allowing the influx of tens of thousands of fighters from the Popular Mobilisation Units (PMUs) backed by the Coalition in Iraq, or by returning former ISIS territories exclusively either to factions collaborating with the regime (the SDF) or the regime itself, has been infinitely more valuable.
    (Later) Indeed, one of the biggest ironies of the conflict is that in the fight against ISIS, there have been more recorded occasions of the US-led Coalition supporting pro-regime militias than there have been of active anti-Assad groups.
    Link:https://www.opendemocracy.net/north-africa-west-asia/omar-sabbour/why-would-assad-do-it-debunking-abstract-theories-surrounding-sy?
    davidbfpo

  11. #71
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Turkey has built a border wall / fence

    Border defences, whether in an insurgency - Algeria and Rhodesia come to mind - or to control border crossing are often controversial:
    In related news, Turkey has completed construction of a 764-km (475 mile) concrete wall along its border with Syria. Ankara launched the construction project in 2015 for a barrier along 826 of the 911 kms of the border. The modular walls consisted of seven-ton mobile blocks, two meters wide and three meters high, topped with a one-meter height of razor wire. A furhter electronic layer has close-up surveillance systems, thermal cameras, land surveillance radar, remote-controlled weapons systems, command-and-control centers, line-length imaging systems and seismic and acoustic sensors. There is also laser destructive fiber-optic detection, surveillance radar for drone detection, jammers, and sensor-triggered short distance lighting systems.
    Link:http://eaworldview.com/2018/06/syria...investigation/
    davidbfpo

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