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Old 6 Hours Ago   #581
CrowBat
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OUTLAW 09 View Post
Damascus : Regime helicopters have dropped 16 barrel bombs on the #Beit_Jann area so far today.
Not sure if the same place is meant, but Bayt Jinn was a major battlefield during the second/late phase of the October 1973 Arab-Israeli war. Syrians defended the place against an Israeli onslaught for nearly two weeks: the IDF pushed in direction of Damascus, further south, but defences of Bayt Jinn held out. Quite a number of air combats took place above that village (meanwhile a town) too.

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

Here something that should be a must read for every visitor of this thread: What western Ďexpertsí get so wrong about the conflict in Syria
Quote:
...Even for someone who was born and raised there, such as myself, the situation cannot be packaged in a 1,000-word newspaper article. If a Syrian cannot provide a pithy assessment of the country, what does that say about someone who makes grand claims based on a short tour with government forces?

A number of general slogans have made the rounds among those who are supposed to be helping the western reader to understand the conflict and are often called "Middle East experts".

Here I analyse some of them:

"It is a regime change conspiracy through a non-existent revolution sponsored by the US."

Given a brief history of the Syrian government, you will understand that this was never a regime-change conspiracy and Syrians had every reason to revolt against the Asaad government.

Hafez Al Assad, the father of Bashar Al Assad, came into power in 1970 after a military coup. After his death in 2000, Bashar became president.

So, for almost 60 years, Syrians have not known what it is like to vote. My generation, and the past several generations, donít know what itís like to have a choice of candidate. Syria was always Syria Al Asaad.

Those who accuse the opposition to Mr Al Asaad of being puppets of the West donít know what it is like to grow up in a police state where you believe that the walls have ears and anything you say might lead you to jail.

Itís very important to note here that the first chants of the Syrian uprising called for fair elections and reformation of the system.However, the police brutality and the killing of protesters escalated the situation and people started to call for overthrow of the government. Then they started to take up arms to defend themselves and their towns.

"Itís extremist Islamism against a secular government. Who do you want to rule? Al Qaeda?"

Islamists are so strong today because the government has fostered them. During the early days of the revolution, it released the most hardened jihadists from prison. It targeted the secular opposition while allowing ISIL in Iraq and Syria to grow. Worse, it has colluded with it, buying oil and other commodities. Its scorched-earth policies favoured the most extreme groups that called for a war of extermination against the Alawis. This was all part of its grand plan to paint the revolution as a binary conflict between a secular government willing to work with the international community and jihadists bent on destroying it.

Examples of activists who were detained and killed by radical groups are always absent from such arguments.

Ahmad Al Abdo, for example, was detained by the Syrian government in 2012, when he was filming a protest in his hometown, Jisr Al Shughur. In 2015, he was detained for almost 90 days by former Al Qaeda affiliates Jabhat Fateh Al Sham.

Al Abdo was one of the lucky ones who was released, but hundreds of activists remain detained in Jabhat Fateh Al Shamís prisons. Nobody even knows if theyíre alive.

Those who revolted against the government in 2011 also revolted against Al Qaeda and ISIL.

When the dust settles and the fighting stops, Syrians will not welcome anyone who wouldnít support what they stood up against since the very beginning. Every time there is a ceasefire, protests against extremists groups and the Assad regime spread around the country.

But for some reason, these protests are considered either "fake" or non-existent, because some experts donít think our testimonies are valid.

"I visited Syria and many Syrians support Assad."

In America, president Donald Trump has many supporters. The Egyptian government also has supporters. It does not mean that the entire population supports them or even that half of it does. Similarly, to claim that all Syrians oppose Mr Al Assad is a reductionist view that has little merit.

Under Mr Al Assadís rule, only government supporters can voice opinions. You can hear their voices easily: just turn on state TV. Or read the newspapers. But dissenters have no public space. Instead, they have been detained and face violent intimidation. This is not a post-2011 phenomenon but a staple of Baath politics for the past 54 years.

During the revolution, the Baath party upped the stakes. No longer did it threaten dissidents with imprisonment. Government supporters responded with the slogan "Assad or we burn the country" and the regime followed up by unleashing its most lethal weapons. What the Syrian revolution called for was for a system that allows all voices to speak equally, and participation in politics.

"No secular opposition exists and those in exile donít count."

This is akin to saying that Palestinians in the diaspora have no right to protest Israeli policies. It is unjust to write-off exiles merely because a repressive government forces them to leave their country with the threat of imprisonment and even death.
...
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Old 4 Hours Ago   #582
OUTLAW 09
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Russian Syrian Express....


Russian Navy's Cargo ship "DVINITSA-50" southbound on the İstanbul Strait en route to Tartus Syria (11:20 am local)

She is looking a tad ragged.....was previously Turkish owned and then reflagged as Russian naval vessel....

Again strange that she is riding high on a resupply run????

Russians are notorious for this lack of ship maintenance and they are sailing them into the water right now...
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Old 26 Minutes Ago   #583
OUTLAW 09
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Syria #FSA try to advance deeper into #alBab town
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kuvTrsTm1r0#

Location of Water Tower on map?
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Old 21 Minutes Ago   #584
OUTLAW 09
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http://www.reuters.com/article/us-mi...-idUSKBN1601BD

Exclusive: CIA-backed aid for Syrian rebels frozen after Islamist attack - sources

Quote:
CIA-coordinated military aid for rebels in northwest Syria has been frozen since they came under major Islamist attack last month, rebel sources said, raising doubts about foreign support key to their war against President Bashar al-Assad.
Rebel officials said that no official explanation had been given for the move this month following the jihadist assault, though several said they believed the main objective was to prevent arms and cash falling into Islamist militant hands. But they said they expected the aid freeze to be temporary.
The halt in assistance, which has included salaries, training, ammunition and in some cases guided anti-tank missiles, is a response to jihadist attacks and has nothing to do with U.S. President Donald Trump replacing Barack Obama in January, two U.S. officials familiar with the CIA-led program said.
The freeze reflects the troubles facing Free Syrian Army (FSA) rebels in the almost in the almost six-year-old revolt against Assad, who now appears militarily unassailable in his core western region largely thanks to direct intervention on his side by Russia and Iran.
"The reality is that you have changes in the area, and these changes inevitably have repercussions," said an official with one of the affected FSA rebel groups. He said no military assistance could "enter at present until matters are organized. There is a new arrangement but nothing has crystallized yet".
The support funneled to vetted FSA factions has included contributions from Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia - states that have opposed Assad. It is one of several foreign aid channels to rebels. Others still function.
The CIA declined comment on the reported freeze in support. A Qatari official said his government had nothing to say on the matter. Turkish officials said only they could not discuss "operational details". There was no word from Saudi Arabia.
Reuters confirmed the freeze with officials from five of the FSA groups that have been recipients of financial and military support from the so-called "MOM operations room". It was also confirmed by two other senior FSA figures briefed on the matter.
They spoke on condition of anonymity given the covert nature of the CIA-backed program and the sensitivity of the subject.
Several rebels believed the aid halt was temporary, with new arrangements expected, but there was no clarity yet. Confirming the freeze, two senior FSA sources said donor states were aiming to send the aid to one, unified fighting force - a coherence that has eluded rebels throughout Syria's civil war.
One of the FSA officials said he did not expect the rebels to be abandoned as they represent the best hope for blocking a further expansion of Sunni jihadist influence in Syria, and to fight back against the growing role of Iran there.

DECLINING REBEL FORTUNES
Idlib and nearby areas of Aleppo, Hama and Latakia provinces are among the last footholds of the anti-Assad insurgency in western Syria - the part of the country where he has shored up his rule by holding onto the main cities and the coast.
Islamists have long been seen as the more formidable insurgent force in the northwestern Idlib area though a dozen or more U.S.-vetted FSA groups have also operated there and nearby.
Last month's militant assault on the FSA groups was launched by a group formerly known as the Nusra Front, al Qaeda's official affiliate in the war until last year when it formally cut ties and renamed itself Jabhat Fateh al-Sham.
The jihadist onslaught led several FSA groups to merge with the powerful Islamist faction Ahrar al-Sham, widely believed to be backed by Assad's foreign adversaries in the region.
That will likely give pause to foreign donors: Ahrar al-Sham is set apart from the FSA factions by a strongly Sunni Islamist ideology and it has previously fought alongside the Nusra Front.
Military aid to rebel groups has ebbed and flowed throughout the life of the program, U.S. officials said, as Washington and its allies have kept a close eye on any leakage to more militant factions, something one official called "a constant problem".

TRUMP'S SYRIA POLICY NOT YET CLEAR
Before assuming office, Trump suggested he could end support for FSA groups and give priority to the fight against Islamic State (IS), whose well-armed jihadists hold large tracts of eastern and central Syria.
But Trump's administration has yet to declare a firm policy toward Syria and Iraq, despite his repeated vows to eradicate IS, so it has been "business as usual" with covert and overt training and military support programs, one U.S. official said.
Some FSA groups hope Trump's animosity toward Iran could yet result in enhanced U.S. support.
Jihadist forces attacked while FSA envoys attended Russian-backed Syria peace talks in Kazakhstan, accusing the rebels of conspiring with Moscow and Washington against Jabhat Fateh al-Sham. The United States has carried out a deadly series of air strikes against Fateh al-Sham in Idlib this year.
MOM-backed rebels had suffered a heavy blow in December when Syrian government forces ousted them from eastern Aleppo with decisive help from the Russian air force and Iranian-backed militias. Eastern Aleppo had been seen as an FSA stronghold.
An official with an FSA group that has received MOM aid said none came this month "and there are no signals". Another said a regular meeting of the MOM had been canceled this month.
"I expect a reorganization," he said, adding that there were still around 15,000 combatants with FSA groups in the northwest.
The CIA-backed program has regulated aid to the rebels after a period of unchecked support early in the war - especially from Gulf states - helped give rise to an array of insurgent groups, many of them strongly Islamist in ideology.
A similar program continues to operate in southern Syria with Jordanian backing. Some of the FSA groups backed through the MOM in the north continue to receive Turkish support as they participate in the Turkey-led Euphrates Shield offensive against IS and Kurdish groups to the northeast of Aleppo.
FSA groups have long complained that the aid provided falls far short of what they need to confront the better armed Syrian army. Their demands for anti-aircraft missiles have been consistently rebuffed.
U.S. intelligence and military officials said the leakage, sale and capture of U.S.-supplied and other weapons from units of the FSA to Islamic State, the Nusra Front, and other splinter militant groups have been a concern since the CIA and U.S. military began arming and training a limited number of rebels.
From the start, said one of the officials, some U.S.-backed rebels have migrated from groups that were battered by Syrian government forces to others such as IS that were seizing and holding territory at the time. Aid has slowed or stopped in Idlib and nearby areas, officials said, amid fears the pattern may be continuing after rebels lost ground there.
Another U.S. official said FSA groups continue to mount significant challenges to Assad. "Despite the setbacks and no assistance in fighting back against a brutal Russian onslaught, the fact is they remain a viable fighting force," the official said.

Last edited by OUTLAW 09; 18 Minutes Ago at 02:04 PM.
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Old 17 Minutes Ago   #585
OUTLAW 09
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Homs: All recaptured gas facilities are useless for the #Assad regime, because #ISIS destroyed them.

Syria #IS tunnel in #alBab town
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eRrW...ture=youtu.be#

IS has developed into the worlds greatest tunnelers....everywhere they are so goes the tunnels....

Last edited by OUTLAW 09; 11 Minutes Ago at 02:11 PM.
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Old 12 Minutes Ago   #586
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Syria Footage from RB near Sports Center of #alBab town
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h5RQgaP6aSY#
http://wikimapia.org/#lang=de&lat=36...9009&z=18&m=b#
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