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Old 12-15-2014   #821
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http://www.cbsnews.com/news/inside-syrian-civil-war/

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/syrian-c...tes-bob-simon/

Inside Syria's Civil War was a 60 minutes special that aired last night. Much like the Frontline special on the Syrian conflict, it is quite moving. There are many heroes in this film, but two will stand out. Ordinary people standing up in times of extraordinary challenges. It also explains why more and more rebels are turning to the Islamists. Assad's brutality seems to know no limits, so it is becoming harder to imagine a negotiated settlement with the level of hatred that has emerged. His behavior will likely result in a terrible response against the Alawites and other minorities in Syria.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...-fighters.html

Al Qaeda-linked jihadists seize two strategic bases from Syrian army after two-year siege by mainstream rebel fighters

Symbolic and perhaps significant strategically, time will tell.

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Old 12-15-2014   #822
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...ah well, 'strategic' is really relative here.

Ma'arat an-Nauman is 'strategic': it's a historic place at the cross-road of seven different strategic routes, connecting (clockwise) Idlib, Aleppo, Hama (and thus Homs and Damascus) with ports like Lattakia and Banias...

Wadi ad-Dayf and Hamadania bases nearby have lost their relevance at latest in June-July this year, when the last regime offensive to relieve them run out of steam when the glorious 'SAA' thugs captured Moarek - and then got busy looting it.

The 700 or so surviving regime troops that have fled these two bases and are presently trying to punch through jihadists lines to reach Moarek, about 15km south, were mere victims of regime's insistence on 'holding out to the last bullet': Iranians... excuse me: IRGC-QF that is in charge of the 'Syrian military', have long since recommended a withdrawal.

Somebody sane could now go and try to tell the JAN idiots to stop slaughtering dozens of regime troops captured when they were left behind: this is only making the rest more eager to really resist to the last bullet....

*************

What is really 'strategic' here: three years of fighting by disunited insurgents, poorly and rather haphazardly supported by various powers from outside (lately the USA) have not managed what a better-supported JAN has managed now in only three weeks.

Yup gentlemen: just three weeks since the JAN has overrun the US/Saudi-supported SRF and took over all of its bases in the Idlib Province, forcing about 10,000 survivors (including their families) to flee to Turkey, the Jihadists are now on advance in this small pocket of Syria...

For orientation, see the map attached below - and keep in mind that the terrain in direction in which the surviving regime troops are fleeing is largely flat... Only 'cover' is that provided by the Ba'ath Party's... erm.... 'Syrian' and 'Arab' air force...

***********

Talking about 'poorly' or 'better' supported factors here: while insurgents of the IF are getting between 60 and 100 bucks a month, those of US-supported groups used to get 150 bucks a month - until November, when, following the collapse of the SRF, Obama cancelled all the aid provided to them....

In comparison, JAN Jihadists are cashing up to 500 bucks, those of the Daesh often much more...

Makes me wonder about several things: how comes the jihadists can get better paid than state-supported insurgents? Shouldn't somebody there within responsible circles simply get ashamed (especially considering the fact that persons in positions in question are usually very good at pocketing quite a lot of supposed 'aid')? And I have to question logic of certain people too, i.e. ask once again if being dumb in silliest fashion is meanwhile the ultimate qualification for people getting certain jobs in the DC and surrounding areas?

Namely, as explained so often before, simple maths is dictating the way of life in such poor countries like Syria: the side that pays more is more attractive too.

**********

But you know what's really 'strategic'?

A topic you all seem to have completely missed during my absence.

Namely, back in October certain Maj Gen Hossein Hamadani (ex C-in-C Basiji Corps IRGC) was appointed the new C-in-C IRGC-QF, and thus of the entire Syrian military.

And then he launched that offensive of his new military - the Basiji-like 'NDF', spear-headed by the Hezbollah and IRGC-troops - all the way around eastern Aleppo and to the north of the city.

The offensive in question went something like this: Hamedani first spent the Afghan Hazaris of the IRGC's Liwa al-Fatimum to capture Hindarat (town about 15km NE of Aleppo). These were nearly overrun and mauled in a counterattack by the IF and the Hazzm, but meanwhile Hamedani moved two brigades of Hezbollah around their flanks and punched further west. Meanwhile, his fourth brigade, the IRGC's Liwa al-Quds (primarily Palestinians) has turned south and is now approaching the Kurdish-held Sheikh Masqood district of northern Aleppo.

Few 'strategic BTWs' here...

- What's left of FSyA and IF insurgents in eastern Aleppo are about 500 metres short of getting encircled and put under a siege since yesterday. And that just at the start of the winter...

- Curiously, the eastern flank of Hamadani's offensive went all the way along the areas held by the Daesh. Do you think the supposed 'arch-/sworn enemy' of the regime moved a small finger and tried to spoil that offensive but at least some nuance attacks into its flank?

- ...as mentioned above, the JAN has meanwhile liquidated the most powerful moderate (and US-supported) insurgent group in that part of Syria (the SRF), and badly damaged the second most important such group (Harakat Hazzm)... causing up to 1,000 of combatants from these two, plus some other of allied groups to defect to the Daesh...

- ...and then the JAN withdrew its forces out of eastern Aleppo, and began ramming its head against well-entrenched and -supplied Shi'a enclaves of Nubol and az-Zahra (about 35km NW of Aleppo), apparently in hope of achieving some kind of major victory against 'infidels'...

Bottom line: thanks so much Obama, the moderate insurgency in northern Syria is next to destroyed.

The US logic seems to be to drive Syrians into the hands of Jihadists and/or beast of the Daesh - and then bomb them. Fantastic idea, really: I'm sure that all those convinced that 'all Syrians are terrorists, anyway', are feeling more than confirmed now...

...this is so absurd, I cannot imagine that either Assad, or Khamenei could ever dream about Obama doing them such a big favour!

Though, one should keep in mind one thing too: this is not only the end of moderate insurgents in northern Syria, but is really the start of turning that country into a better breading ground for extremists of all sorts than even Afghanistan ever was. And if anybody thinks doing things this way is going to solve the situation in a matter of even 2-3 years, the person in question needs to consult the nearest psychiatrist. At best right now.
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Old 12-15-2014   #823
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Silly me, almost forgot the two other 'strategic' affairs in Syria of the last few weeks....

Somebody at WINEP raped a ton of electrons at a futile exercise of 'studying' recent SyAAF ops against the Daesh: Syrian Air Force Operations: Strategic, Effective, and Unrestrained.

By side the fact that this piece is unusually poorly researched (then, SyAAF losses are usually well-documented and rather easy to track - all provided one is doing so; and the number of SyAAF losses is nowhere near '200 combat aircraft' even if one adds the nearly 50% loss of SyAAF helicopters in three years of war...)...

But, who said they are 'unrestrained'? After letting the SyAAF to bomb all of Syria back into stone-age for three years, the mighty EU came to the idea to impose an embargo on export of kerosene to Syria: EU tries to ground Bashar al-Assad's warplanes by banning fuel supplies.

Ha! I bet Assad's knees are shaking now! This is going to deliver the message! It's going to kill him...

**********

Nah, seriously now (at least I'll try, please enjoy the following with a big dose of sarcasm and some Southern Comfort too)...

To say that the Daesh is not attacking the regime, or the regime is not attacking the Daesh, would be unfair. They're so much at odds with each other, I can't say. They have a big dispute there, really.

It's about oil and gas supplies.

Namely, everybody knows, even sparrows on my roof (not to talk about all the crows there) - although there is 'no evidence', of course - that the Daesh is selling Syrian oil to the Syrian regime. But those stinking US-led airplanes bombed Daesh's makeshift refineries into oblivion, back in September and October. So, Daesh was now in trouble: it needed a new source of oil and gas it could sell to the regime.

Solution? Attack the biggest gas field in Syria - the Sha'er - which, by pure accident, of course, was held by the regime. Nobody said the Daesh-beasts know no logic.

So, in late October, they by-passed Dayr az-Zawr and drove all the way 'down' to attack Sha'er and T.4 AB. Almost took the regime by surprise, mauled the famous 'Tiger Force' of Col Sohail (Ba'ath Party Militia's 'special force'), and then became bogged down.

Of course, neither Assad nor Hamadani were happy about this treachery. Soi, they hit the Daesh very hard. The SyAAF was bombing ar-Raqqa and other places wide and far - prompting that poor gent from the WINEP to write his article, although he never got the grasp of the context.

Anyway, the SyAAF air strikes (up to 30 a day), eventually made the Daesh mad, so it launched an offensive on Dayr az-Zawr. A very interesting operation there, with two prongs: one from NE, other from SE. Led by plenty of VBIEDs, this almost overrun the local air base, few days ago. At least the regime wouldn't have a reason to claim it has regained control of Dayr az-Zawr airport - if it didn't lose it, first and foremost.

Now, the regime had its SAM-site and much of the 64th Artillery Regiment overrun when the Daesh took that hill NW of the air base, but it still found enough tubes and gunmen around to fire back a better part of that garrison's supply on chemical weapons. These were supported by about 20 Iranian- and Russian-made SSMs (attached bellow is a photo showing wreckage of a 9K79 Tochka (aka SS-21 Scarab)... apparently a variant equipped with 9N123K cluster-bombs warhead...

Result: the Daesh was beaten back with about five dozens of truckloads of dead at that posit alone, plus several hundreds of KIA elsewhere around the place and Dayr az-Zawr AB is now 'safely' in regime hands... 'thanks to heroism' of (Druze) Brig Gen Essam Zahreddine and his '104th Airborne Brigade', of course.

Who said the regime can't have its heroes in this war - even when using CWs...
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Old 12-15-2014   #824
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...and the promised photo of the winner of this year's '9K79 Tochka/SS-21 Scarab in Syria' contest...
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Old 12-15-2014   #825
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...but wait: the story is still not over. On the contrary: it's getting better and better!

Ever heard of something called 'ash-Shaietat'?

Yup, that's that silly Sunni tribe living all over Syria and Iraq - so often declared for 'Islamist extremists' all over the last 10 or so years, that they are fiercely at odds with al-Qaida and now the Daesh too.

Well, few years ago, somebody within the CENTCOM finally came to his senses and used to cooperate with ash-Shaietat, provide them with arms and help them in their fight against the AQI. (Don't worry: the 'US-friendly' gov in Baghdad would never do anything of that kind nowadays.)

But, since they have been overrun by the Daesh in Dayr az-Zawr area, and had about 700 of their members massacred for launching several uprisings against the beasts, back in August... well, who in the DC would ever come to the idea to provide some help to them? After all, they are 'extremist Islamists' and thus cannot pass the vetting...

And then think about all the uproar and discussions if somebody wold try to get the Congress to grant some US$2-3 billion that would be required for such an operation, and then take the CIA - or whoever else - some 2-3 years to organize and run...

And thus, instead of leaving them get massacred by the Daesh, the IRGC came to the idea to recruit about 200 of them, re-train them in Palmyra, and send them back to the frontlines in Dayr az-Zawr. As 'NDF Battalion'. Bellow the photo of the first group that arrived at the local air base, courtesy transport aircraft of the 'Syrian Arab Air Force'...
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Old 12-18-2014   #826
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Ok... the withdrawal from Wadi ad-Dayf turned into a rout. Sort of....

As can be seen here, majority of remaining T-55s, T-62s, and BMP-1s run out of fuel and were given up (not even sabotaged; simply abandoned). The JAN, Ahrar & CO captured about 20 of them.

There are plenty of videos of troops ambushed and killed during their attempt to withdraw towards Hama.

Regime-fans report about 1,000 troops that got away (and that's all that was left of the former 11th Armoured Division), with around 100 KIA, plus some 80 rebels KIA... But, it turns out that at least 200 regime troops were captured, and fate of 'few hundred others' remains unknown....

Overall, 'total loss' in terms of equipment, and at least '30% loss' in troops...

The M5 highway between Hama and Aleppo is now definitely blocked. Means, the regime must waste plenty of fuel to haul all the supplies from Homs, via Palmyra, to Aleppo.
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Old 12-18-2014   #827
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...ah, and according to official releases, following officers of the 11th Armoured Division are already 'confirmed as KIA':

1. Brig Gen Mou'az Waakad Abu Assaaf (Deputy CO, came from Suweida)
2. Col Wasseem Al (from Maysaf in Hama)
3. Capt Arwa Haatim Taraaf (from Baniyas in Tartous)
4. 1st Lt Mohammad Khalil (from Aleppo)

So far the only 'higher' ranking officer known to have managed it back to Moarek is Col Ahmad Afouf (from Aleppo): he and Lt Rami Issa are WIA.
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Old 12-23-2014   #828
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...to 'complete' (well, almost) the story about flight of regime troops from Wadi ad-Dayf, here the IDs of some that didn't manage it:
https://twitter.com/archicivilians/s...09845831766016

**********

...further to my critique of that WINEP-article about Syrian Arab Air Force's supposed 'offensive' against the Daesh, here a list of actual targets of most of air strikes:

About 3000 air strikes by al-Assad air forces in 60 days
Quote:
SOHR documented 2973 air strikes by regime warplanes and helicopters around Syria since 20th of October/2014 until yesterday’s midnight in the 10th of December/2014.

...warplanes went in 1611 air strikes targeted areas in Damascus, Dar’aa Aleppo, Idlib, Reef Dimashq, al-Quneitra, Homs, Hama, Der-Ezzor, Lattakia, al-Hasakah....

...helicopters dropped no less than 1362 explosive barrels on areas in Damascus, Dar’aa Aleppo, Idlib, Reef Dimashq, Homs, Hama, al-Hasakah, Lattakia...
***********

...another issue that rose quite a few eyebrows the last few days was article An influential, unpublished report looks to radically revise notions of how to achieve peace in this war-torn country
Written by somebody who is unlikely to have at least even went through the customs at Damascus IAP, this is full of entirely misguided conclusions, like:

Quote:
Rosen... attempts to partially rehabilitate the image of the Syrian regime. “While the Syrian state was not the most attractive one even before the 2011 uprising, it also was not the worst regime in the region,” he writes. “It has strong systems of education, health care and social welfare and compared to most Arab governments it was socially progressive and secular…. It had a solid infrastructure and a relatively effective civil service.”
Such are making me wonder about what Syria is he talking? The one on Earth or perhaps some on Jupiter....?

'Not the worst' = has detained and/or murdered most of political prisoners in the entire Middle East
'Strong system of education' = that's why everybody who only could was sending kids abroad for education
'Health care' = yup, if one could pay for it
'Social welfare' = in what form? Employing thousands in useless jobs to keep them loyal?
'Socially progressive' = sure, if one is either Alawite or Ba'athist
'Secular' = while even Bashar 'converted' (pro-forma) to Sunni Islam, his followers - and they are those making the 'regime' - consider him a 'God'...
'Solid infrastructure' = guess, Rosen never travelled any of the highways in Syria, or saw all the construction sites that remain unfinished for decades...
'Effective civil service' = if this means 'all the intelligence/security services' responsible for maintaining regime in control of population... then yes, he's finally right.

**********

...Russia continues providing new armament to Syria. Between others such like BM-27 Uragan MLRS, some of which can be seen in action against insurgents in Jobar:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bHQiKGGCNwQ

...while the future of Iranian ability to continue providing aid for Assad is anything but certain:
Iran's support for Syria tested by oil price drop
Quote:
If it had not been for Iranian support we could not have survived the crisis," a senior Syrian trade official said from Damascus, requesting anonymity.

"It was Iranian support that has been the most important. In return, we are promising them more and more, and opening more and more doors for them to invest in Syria," he said.
...

“The 50 percent steep fall in oil prices will break Iran’s back, not just the level of support for Assad,” a prominent member of the Damascus Chamber of Industry said, also requesting anonymity.

Iranians have delivered turbines for power plants and have been promised contracts to rebuild housing, roads and other infrastructure destroyed by the war on the understanding that Tehran would finance them in return for equity shares.
...
Growing power cuts have hit government-controlled areas as more gas fields go out of action, forcing the authorities to rely even more on imports of fuel for its power plants.

Islamic State militant control of some of the border crossings with Iraq has disrupted the flow of tens of thousands of barrels of crude from Iraq that were delivered overland by oil tankers, an oil trader based in the region said.

Four Iranian tankers have discharged cargoes of gasoline products in the last two months in Syria's ports, traders said. But they did not end shortages accentuated by higher demand in the winter season, prompting small protests in Alawite villages near the port of Latakia, the heartland of Assad support.
There are already rumours about some sort of rift between Rouhani and Khamenei, with the former insisting on stopping deliveries of crude and cash to Assadist regime.

**********

On the other hand, a Daesh-operated UAV was shot down by regime forces over Dayr az-Zawr, and an Israeli UAV over Qunaitra:
Unmanned reconnaissance aircraft crashes near Syrian town of Quneitra, Syrian state-run news agency reports
Quote:
...
An Israeli drone was 'brought down' near the Golan Heights town of Quneitra, Syrian state TV reported Sunday night.
...
The report described the drone as a Skylark.
...

**********

Not everything is milk and honey for the Daesh any more:
http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/f1705...#axzz3MOAiWEPe
Quote:
Morale isn’t falling — it’s hit the ground,” said an opposition activist from Isis-controlled areas of Syria’s eastern Deir Ezzor province. “Local fighters are frustrated — they feel they’re doing most of the work and the dying . . . foreign fighters who thought they were on an adventure are now exhausted.”
...
Analyst Torbjorn Soltvedt, of Verisk Maplecroft, a UK-based risk analysis group, said morale may be taking a hit as militants grapple with the shift from mobile army to governing force.

They feel they are the ones going to die in big numbers on the battlefield but they don’t enjoy any of the foreigners’ benefits- Activist in Deir Ezzor

“Before they were seizing territory, forcing armies in Iraq and Syria to retreat,” he said. “Now they’re basically an occupying force trying to govern.”

After flocking to Syria and Iraq during Isis’s heady days of quick victories, some foreigners may also be questioning the long, gruelling fight ahead.

Mr Solvedt said his organisation has had many reports of foreign fighters, including Britons, contacting family members and state authorities seeking ways to return home.

Isis members in Raqqa said the organisation has created a military police to crack down on fighters who fail to report for duty. According to activists, dozens of fighters’ homes have been raided and many have been arrested. Militants told a local journalist that they must now carry a document identifying them as a fighter and showing whether they are assigned to a mission.

An opposition activist in close contact with Isis fighters in Raqqa showed the Financial Times a document listing new regulations restricting jihadis’ behaviour. The paper, which could not be verified and which did not appear to have been issued in other Isis-held areas, warned that those who did not report to their offices within 48 hours of receiving the regulations would be punished.

“In Raqqa, they have arrested 400 members so far and printed IDs for the others,” the activist said.

The identification document for one fighter from the Gulf consisted of a printed form stating “name, location, section and mission assignment”, with his details filled in by hand.
...
Activists in Isis-held parts of Syria said many fighters in Raqqa were angry about being sent to Kobani, a small Kurdish town near the Syrian border with Turkey that has become a focal point for coalition strikes. The fighters argued that the town was not strategically important enough to justify the losses they were incurring. According to a December 7 report by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based monitoring group with a network of activists across Syria, Isis lost about 1,400 fighters in 80 days of fighting. The US official said many Isis fighters have been killed in the town.

Foreign militants have often been the most active in major battles but opposition activists said as fighting intensifies, more demands are being made on local fighters who do not have deep-rooted loyalties to Isis.
IN that sense: IS said to execute 100 foreign fighters who wanted to quit

Rumours have it that the CENTCOM is claiming up to 1,000 killed Daesh in Ayn al-Arab/Kobane alone; YPG/PYD is claiming another 1,000, plus the FSyA about 500. That would make this the costliest Daesh battle so far. No wonder there isunrest.

Anyway, the YPG/PYD and FSyA are meanwhile in control of about 75% of that town.
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Old 12-23-2014   #829
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More about Assadist struggle to ascertain its own survival with help from Tehran and Moscow:

- From here:
Quote:
The Syrian delegation included mostly government officials in charge of financial and economic issues in Syria. It seemed that the purpose of the visit was mainly to get additional aid from Moscow. However, Syrian officials issued surprising statements afterward denying that Damascus had asked Moscow for any financial loans or a "line of credit."

The same diplomatic source said that this formal speech in Damascus aims to cover up that the demands of the Syrian economic delegation to Moscow included Russian loans, or a so-called line of credit of about $3 billion. However, the Russian side failed to meet this demand. This Syrian denial then arose merely to cover up the Russian rejection. Such a rejection can be justified because Moscow is dealing with other pressing priorities at the moment, including the Ukraine crisis and the global decline in the prices of energy resources; more important, Moscow must clarify some points with Damascus, not only on the level of economic aid and military logistical support, but also on the political level, in terms of the general behavior of the two allies regarding the ongoing events in Syria.
...
- Nevertheless, from here:

Quote:
...The report also claimed that Russia and Iran had opened a new credit line to Syria worth 6.4 billion dollars. Tehran has opened a credit line of 4.5 billion dollars and Russia opened a credit line of a billion dollars, in addition to 500 million intended for food and 400 million intended for flour.
With other words: as long as Iran can pay, Russians are happy to continue providing...
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Old 12-23-2014   #830
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Default What's left of Aleppo's old city

Via https://twitter.com/green_lemonnn/st...58544115531776.

November 2010



-------

October 2014

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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #831
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Default It was only a matter of time

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2014/12...ilot-captured/

ISIS reportedly shoots down Jordanian plane over Syria, pilot captured

Quote:
Islamic State group fighters shot down a Jordanian warplane on Wednesday over Syria and captured its pilot, activists and the country’s military said.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the aircraft was shot down near the northern city of Raqqa, the Islamic State group's de facto capital.



Jordan’s state news agency, Petra, confirmed that the pilot was from Jordan and he has been captured, the BBC reports.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #832
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The CENTCOM and the Jordanian MoD have meanwhile denied a 'shot-down'. Without revealing any kind of details, they're talking about some sort of 'clear evidence' that the plane came down for other reasons.

Whatever was the case, the F-16AM (ex-Dutch, apparently) came down in a lake 11km east of ar-Raqqa. Lieutenant Muaaz Yusuf el-Kasasbah, its pilot, ejected safely and is now.... a 'hostage' (or 'POW'?) of the Daesh.

Few things are notable here:
- Generally, Coalition aircraft are flying high enough to avoid most of Daesh air defences; but sometimes they do get low to strafe. Whichever is the case, and despite some reports about the Daesh getting MANPADs from stocks captured from the Syrian military, or even from sources in Eastern Europe (see here for details), presently there is no evidence that any of these have been used.

- The RJAF is 'just another' of so many local air forces that de-facto represent USAF-clones: they were trained and are flying the same way, have the same procedures, tactics etc. The only difference between them and the USAF is that they are clocking more hours (they're not grounded for months because of political struggle over budgets though, contrary to the USAF).

- That said, it is notable that the plane in question is probably the oldest type in action against the Daesh: these F-16AMs were manufactured (primarily by Fokker) in the early 1980s. It is also notable that the F-16 has a history of engine-related crashes too...

One thing is interesting, though: the unit that captured the pilot seems better organized than most of the other Daesh units shown so far.

Overall, I'm sorry for the pilot, but somehow....can't put this into proper words (and certainly not into anything like 'politically correct expressions')... I'm not as concerned for his fate as if he would've been from some other state. Jordan is run by experts in turn-coating: the gov there is officially 'strongly against' the Daesh and the RJAF flying strikes against them, but at the same time they are tolerating 'Sunni revolutionaries', although these are openly collaborating with the Daesh. With other hands: the gov is likely to have its links to the beasts, and the pilot to get bought out in one way or the other.

************

Harrowing Journeys With Free Syrian Army’s Farmers and Fathers
Quote:
Abandoned mansions and Al Qaeda amusement parks were among the things Lindsey Snell saw in the fall of 2014, as she and her team spent time with factions of the Free Syrian Army and civilians in and around Aleppo. They chronicle life in rebel-held territories three years into the brutal civil war. The mansions left behind by the rich who fled Syria are now military bases. Abandoned amusement parks are war trophies. Some schools are open, but they’re frequently hit in bombing attacks by the Assad regime, often when students are inside. “The regime is clearly targeting schools. It’s in [Assad’s] benefit to keep the future generation illiterate,” a teacher tells us. Some displaced civilians have spent years in camps that routinely flood. In spite of the hardships, the Syrian people push on.
...
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #833
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Default Foreign jihadis change face of Syrian civil war

The title comes from an article in The Guardian. We have steadily grown used to the role of foreign jihadis in the Syrian civil war; this time it is the reaction of Syrians - outside state controlled areas - who get quoted:http://www.theguardian.com/world/201...P=share_btn_tw
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #834
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A WaPo article on a vexed issue here, Syrian regime manpower and the title does suggest the content:
Quote:
Desperate for soldiers, Assad’s government imposes harsh recruitment measures
Link:http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/...33b_story.html
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #835
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Default Year-end Predictions and Analysis: Somalia bound?

Not by me, rather Professor Joshua Landis, a US academic and IIRC sometimes criticised here:http://www.joshualandis.com/blog/yea...ecember-2014/?

He opens with:
Quote:
Syria will become increasingly fragmented in 2015. The Somalia-ization of the country is inevitable so long as the international community degrades all centers of power in Syria and the opposition fails to unite.
I found it coherent and sadly realistic.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #836
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Default Moderator's Note

This thread has run since August 2012, with 81.8k views and 834 posts. It is appropriate now as 2015 looms (in the UK) that it be closed and a new thread started.

The new thread, refelcting my previous post, is called 'Syria: the next Somalia?'.
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