SMALL WARS COUNCIL
Go Back   Small Wars Council > Conflicts -- Current & Future > Other, By Region > Middle East

Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 01-03-2017   #41
Azor
Council Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 791
Default After the Syrian Regime Recaptures a Neighborhood, the Reconciliation Begins

But political settlement comes with some big catches

by BENEDETTA ARGENTIERI

In early November 2016, Syrian regime officials were clear. “Once Aleppo is retaken, there is going to be a turn in the war,” a source said on the sidelines of a conference organized by the British Syrian Society at Damascus University.

“President Bashar Al Assad is ready to start a peace process throughout the country,” the source continued.

The turning point for Al Assad came in September 2015, when Moscow decisively boosted its support of the Syrian regime. Without Russians troops, Al Assad would have lost the country.

Now it’s the opposite. Now he’s winning the war.

But to actually bring Syrian territory back under full state control, Al Assad must embark on some kind of political reunification process. It’s already beginning.

On Dec. 23, 2016, the Syrian Arab Army retook Aleppo. A week later, Moscow and Damascus brokered a new, albeit fragile, ceasefire with rebel forces. Russian president Vladimir Putin was even able to convince Turkey and Iran to back the ceasefire.

Russia claimed the ceasefire was part of the reconciliation process.
While Syrian and Russian forces advanced and recaptured swathes of the country, the Ministry of National Reconciliation — established in 2012 — worked behind the scenes to hash out compromises and end the fighting in some neighborhoods.

“There can’t be peace without a political solution,” Elia Samman, a political advisor to Minister of National Reconciliation Ali Haider — who is also the leader of the Syrian Social Nationalist Party — told War Is Boring.

The SSNP, which has also branches in both Lebanon and Palestine, was established in 1932. Historically right-wing — although in 1967 the party made an ideological shift toward the left — the SSNP is secular and advocates for a unified Syria. The group fought in Lebanon during that country’s civil war.
In fact, the first female suicide bomber in the region was affiliated with the SSNP. Sixteen-year-old Sana’a Mehaidli blew herself up among Israeli soldiers in southern Lebanon in 1985, killing two people.

According to Samman, in 2011 the party took to the streets in Syria with the anti-Al Assad protestors — although some critics claim that’s a lie. When violence broke out, the SSNP decided to back the regime and the much-hated Ba’ath party. No fewer than 6,000 SSNP fighters have fought on the side of the Syrian regime.
Nonetheless, most of the SSNP’s detractors believe the group is a regime puppet. “They do nothing without the regime’s permission,” one informed source said on condition of anonymity. People are still getting arrested, some disappeared. The reconciliation ministry has forced young men to enlist in regime forces.

Yes, the minister is an opposition leader. But the ministry’s bureaucrats are all from the regime’s dominant Ba’ath Party. “This reconciliation process is a farce,” the source said.

The ministry’s description of the reconciliation process is, well, different — needless to say. “Since I started working in the ministry, I’ve had at least four attempts on my life by terrorists who didn’t want us to succeed,” Haider said at the Damascus conference.

The reconciliation ministry claims to have worked with two million people inside of Syria — and likes to tout examples of its self-described “success.”
One is the town of Qudsaya, which the Syrian army recaptured in mid-October 2016 following a five-year siege. The neighborhood is a 20-minute drive from the center of Damascus. Several checkpoints control the uphill road that leads into the neighborhood.

Although granted permission by the Defense Ministry to visit, War Is Boring was refused entry at the last checkpoint. Soldiers claimed there were security problems. In fact, it’s likely the refusal was the result of some internal power struggle.

As part of the reconciliation process, some moderate and secular rebels man checkpoints alongside the Syrian police. According to the ministry, this arrangement gets sorted out on a local basis. As military pressure intensifies on a neighborhood, special envoys from the ministry work to forge a local peace agreement.

As leverage, the ministry offers to restore electricity and water services. In Modamayeh in the Damascus suburbs, the reconciliation deal included the promise that “the city will become like paradise after the settlement and will be serviced with everything,” according to the regime.

“In normal circumstances the process for the fighters is divided into three parts,” Samman explained. The first step is for combatants to stop fighting. Then the regime offers offer amnesty to secular rebels who aren’t under suspicion of committing war crimes. Islamist fighters supposedly get safe passage to Idlib.

In recent years, the regime has extended 50,000 pardons, according to Samman. On a few occasions rebels have begun working alongside Al Assad’s police and army. They also get a government stipend of $50 a month.

Displaced civilians from reconciled communities must go through a background check, after which the regime allows them to return to their homes.

The real problem is for men between the ages of 18 and 25. Since 2011, the Syrian government has extended the standard, two-year military conscription to five years. A stop-loss policy is also in place — preventing, on an emergency basis, conscripts from leaving military service.

The only way to avoid military service is to enroll in a school or university. Education in Syria is free, technically — but space in any given institution is limited. As a result, young men with money rush to register at one of Syria’s private schools. Thousands more young men simply leave the country to avoid conscription.

The regime gives young men six months to sort out their education status — after which they’re subject to arrest if they don’t enlist.

One of the most controversial aspects of the reconciliation process is the safe passage to Idlib that the Syrian government claims to offer to Islamist rebels. Safe passage was the brainchild of U.N. Special Envoy to Syria Staffan De Mistura, who originally fought to get Al Nusra fighters in Aleppo a way out of the city. “I am ready to physically accompany you,” De Mistura said on Oct. 6, 2016.

The regime decided to extend the same invitation to all rebels in Aleppo — and indeed, even organized several convoys of green school buses. Idlib became a sort of haven for Islamic fighters. Many others fled Aleppo for nearby Turkey.

“They can either going to Idlib and be killed later or fight and be killed now,” Fares Shehabi, Aleppo representative in Syria’s parliament, told War Is Boring during the regime’s siege of the city in the fall of 2016.

In Aleppo a Syrian general, a Russian general and a local sheikh jointly oversee the reconciliation process. Before the end of the fighting, the regime compelled all the civilians in East Aleppo to go to Jebrin, just outside the city. The government transformed empty hangars into security centers where Syrian intelligence agencies and the army ran background checks on everybody.

Some people were arrested. Several men got drafted into the military.
In parallel with the regime’s main efforts, Russia has been running its own, allegedly more aggressive, reconciliation process. While the Syrian government claims to have closed 76 reconciliation deals in four years, the Russian government says its own tally is much greater.

“The total number of inhabited areas, the leaders of which had signed reconciliation agreements, remained 1077,” the latest Russian informational bulletin claimed. “The number of ceasefire application forms signed with leaders of armed groups remained 94.”

Experts in Damascus said they are skeptical of the number, although none dared challenge the statistics in public.

But even Samman admitted that reconciliation is, at best, a band-aid. A permanent peace requires changes to the Syrian constitution, he said. “Otherwise in two years’ time, we will have a new conflict.”

Still, Samman said he’s confident Al Assad’s regime will negotiate any fundamental legal changes from a position of strength. “On the political level, nobody has a chance of beating Assad and the Baath Party,” Samman said. “After winning the war, he will be a national hero.”
Azor is offline  
Old 01-03-2017   #42
OUTLAW 09
Council Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 35,749
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Azor View Post
But political settlement comes with some big catches

by BENEDETTA ARGENTIERI

In early November 2016, Syrian regime officials were clear. “Once Aleppo is retaken, there is going to be a turn in the war,” a source said on the sidelines of a conference organized by the British Syrian Society at Damascus University.

“President Bashar Al Assad is ready to start a peace process throughout the country,” the source continued.

The turning point for Al Assad came in September 2015, when Moscow decisively boosted its support of the Syrian regime. Without Russians troops, Al Assad would have lost the country.

Now it’s the opposite. Now he’s winning the war.

But to actually bring Syrian territory back under full state control, Al Assad must embark on some kind of political reunification process. It’s already beginning.

On Dec. 23, 2016, the Syrian Arab Army retook Aleppo. A week later, Moscow and Damascus brokered a new, albeit fragile, ceasefire with rebel forces. Russian president Vladimir Putin was even able to convince Turkey and Iran to back the ceasefire.

Russia claimed the ceasefire was part of the reconciliation process.
While Syrian and Russian forces advanced and recaptured swathes of the country, the Ministry of National Reconciliation — established in 2012 — worked behind the scenes to hash out compromises and end the fighting in some neighborhoods.

“There can’t be peace without a political solution,” Elia Samman, a political advisor to Minister of National Reconciliation Ali Haider — who is also the leader of the Syrian Social Nationalist Party — told War Is Boring.

The SSNP, which has also branches in both Lebanon and Palestine, was established in 1932. Historically right-wing — although in 1967 the party made an ideological shift toward the left — the SSNP is secular and advocates for a unified Syria. The group fought in Lebanon during that country’s civil war.
In fact, the first female suicide bomber in the region was affiliated with the SSNP. Sixteen-year-old Sana’a Mehaidli blew herself up among Israeli soldiers in southern Lebanon in 1985, killing two people.

According to Samman, in 2011 the party took to the streets in Syria with the anti-Al Assad protestors — although some critics claim that’s a lie. When violence broke out, the SSNP decided to back the regime and the much-hated Ba’ath party. No fewer than 6,000 SSNP fighters have fought on the side of the Syrian regime.
Nonetheless, most of the SSNP’s detractors believe the group is a regime puppet. “They do nothing without the regime’s permission,” one informed source said on condition of anonymity. People are still getting arrested, some disappeared. The reconciliation ministry has forced young men to enlist in regime forces.

Yes, the minister is an opposition leader. But the ministry’s bureaucrats are all from the regime’s dominant Ba’ath Party. “This reconciliation process is a farce,” the source said.

The ministry’s description of the reconciliation process is, well, different — needless to say. “Since I started working in the ministry, I’ve had at least four attempts on my life by terrorists who didn’t want us to succeed,” Haider said at the Damascus conference.

The reconciliation ministry claims to have worked with two million people inside of Syria — and likes to tout examples of its self-described “success.”
One is the town of Qudsaya, which the Syrian army recaptured in mid-October 2016 following a five-year siege. The neighborhood is a 20-minute drive from the center of Damascus. Several checkpoints control the uphill road that leads into the neighborhood.

Although granted permission by the Defense Ministry to visit, War Is Boring was refused entry at the last checkpoint. Soldiers claimed there were security problems. In fact, it’s likely the refusal was the result of some internal power struggle.

As part of the reconciliation process, some moderate and secular rebels man checkpoints alongside the Syrian police. According to the ministry, this arrangement gets sorted out on a local basis. As military pressure intensifies on a neighborhood, special envoys from the ministry work to forge a local peace agreement.

As leverage, the ministry offers to restore electricity and water services. In Modamayeh in the Damascus suburbs, the reconciliation deal included the promise that “the city will become like paradise after the settlement and will be serviced with everything,” according to the regime.

“In normal circumstances the process for the fighters is divided into three parts,” Samman explained. The first step is for combatants to stop fighting. Then the regime offers offer amnesty to secular rebels who aren’t under suspicion of committing war crimes. Islamist fighters supposedly get safe passage to Idlib.

In recent years, the regime has extended 50,000 pardons, according to Samman. On a few occasions rebels have begun working alongside Al Assad’s police and army. They also get a government stipend of $50 a month.

Displaced civilians from reconciled communities must go through a background check, after which the regime allows them to return to their homes.

The real problem is for men between the ages of 18 and 25. Since 2011, the Syrian government has extended the standard, two-year military conscription to five years. A stop-loss policy is also in place — preventing, on an emergency basis, conscripts from leaving military service.

The only way to avoid military service is to enroll in a school or university. Education in Syria is free, technically — but space in any given institution is limited. As a result, young men with money rush to register at one of Syria’s private schools. Thousands more young men simply leave the country to avoid conscription.

The regime gives young men six months to sort out their education status — after which they’re subject to arrest if they don’t enlist.

One of the most controversial aspects of the reconciliation process is the safe passage to Idlib that the Syrian government claims to offer to Islamist rebels. Safe passage was the brainchild of U.N. Special Envoy to Syria Staffan De Mistura, who originally fought to get Al Nusra fighters in Aleppo a way out of the city. “I am ready to physically accompany you,” De Mistura said on Oct. 6, 2016.

The regime decided to extend the same invitation to all rebels in Aleppo — and indeed, even organized several convoys of green school buses. Idlib became a sort of haven for Islamic fighters. Many others fled Aleppo for nearby Turkey.

“They can either going to Idlib and be killed later or fight and be killed now,” Fares Shehabi, Aleppo representative in Syria’s parliament, told War Is Boring during the regime’s siege of the city in the fall of 2016.

In Aleppo a Syrian general, a Russian general and a local sheikh jointly oversee the reconciliation process. Before the end of the fighting, the regime compelled all the civilians in East Aleppo to go to Jebrin, just outside the city. The government transformed empty hangars into security centers where Syrian intelligence agencies and the army ran background checks on everybody.

Some people were arrested. Several men got drafted into the military.
In parallel with the regime’s main efforts, Russia has been running its own, allegedly more aggressive, reconciliation process. While the Syrian government claims to have closed 76 reconciliation deals in four years, the Russian government says its own tally is much greater.

“The total number of inhabited areas, the leaders of which had signed reconciliation agreements, remained 1077,” the latest Russian informational bulletin claimed. “The number of ceasefire application forms signed with leaders of armed groups remained 94.”

Experts in Damascus said they are skeptical of the number, although none dared challenge the statistics in public.

But even Samman admitted that reconciliation is, at best, a band-aid. A permanent peace requires changes to the Syrian constitution, he said. “Otherwise in two years’ time, we will have a new conflict.”

Still, Samman said he’s confident Al Assad’s regime will negotiate any fundamental legal changes from a position of strength. “On the political level, nobody has a chance of beating Assad and the Baath Party,” Samman said. “After winning the war, he will be a national hero.”
Let's just see where one is to begin with this so called article....

1. there is no "current ceasefire that is actually working"...was just a distraction to allow Assad and Iran using Russian support to continue fighting

2. to believe Assad with the current level of troops which are largely Iranian ...Iraqi Shia militias and Hezbollah can recapture the entire country is an outright farce of a myth

3. even if Assad took the cities all the country through which the LOCs to each of those towns would be rebel controlled and open game for a true guerrilla war that would last decades

4. the country is so destroyed as well as the critical infrastructure and agriculture it would take BILLIONS to reconstruct BILLIONS ehich neither Iran and or Putin have to spend on Syria when they need every dime they have themselves....

5. Assad and his merry band will eventually be charged with war crimes under ICC and if they ever stepped foot in a Western country they would be arrested...

6. so exactly how is FSA then to reconcile with Assad....actually never.....

The two core issues removal of Assad a genocidal dictator and a one sided Constitution is not discussed in this article.....
OUTLAW 09 is offline  
Old 01-03-2017   #43
OUTLAW 09
Council Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 35,749
Default

Why did you WikiLeaks withhold key Russian documents in the Syria files?
http://gizmodo.com/wikileaks-may-hav...om-1786445992#
OUTLAW 09 is offline  
Old 01-03-2017   #44
OUTLAW 09
Council Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 35,749
Default

Damascus: Rebels have repelled all #Assad regime attacks on #Wadi_Barada and killed many pro-#Assad forces today.

BTW...there is not a single JFS and are IS in this town.....

The #Wadi_Barada rebels are tough fighters.

Last edited by OUTLAW 09; 01-03-2017 at 04:26 PM.
OUTLAW 09 is offline  
Old 01-03-2017   #45
OUTLAW 09
Council Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 35,749
Default

Latakia: #Russia|n airstrikes on Jabal al-Akrad in Northern #Latakia this evening.

Palmyra: #ISIS has repelled another #Assad regime attempt to recapture #Sharifah village. Heavy fighting at #Tiyas Airbase. #Homs

Idlib: Heavy #US airstrikes on #JFS Headquarters near #Sarmada in #Idlib Province today. Many were killed.

Damascus: #Russia|n TV shows #Assad regime attacks on #Wadi_Barada during the "#ceasefire".

Last edited by davidbfpo; 01-03-2017 at 06:37 PM.
OUTLAW 09 is offline  
Old 01-03-2017   #46
OUTLAW 09
Council Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 35,749
Default

Idlib: Rebels shelling #Fuah and #Kefraya with Grad rockets after nonstop #ceasefire violations by the #Assad regime.

Hama: #Assad airstrikes have destroyed a mosque in Northern #Hama today.

Last edited by davidbfpo; 01-03-2017 at 06:37 PM.
OUTLAW 09 is offline  
Old 01-03-2017   #47
OUTLAW 09
Council Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 35,749
Default

Russian Syria Express.....

Russian Navy Ropucha class landing ship Aleksandr Shabalin 110 southbound on the bosphorus, heading towards Syria.
OUTLAW 09 is offline  
Old 01-03-2017   #48
Azor
Council Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 791
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by OUTLAW 09 View Post
Let's just see where one is to begin with this so called article....

1. there is no "current ceasefire that is actually working"...was just a distraction to allow Assad and Iran using Russian support to continue fighting

2. to believe Assad with the current level of troops which are largely Iranian ...Iraqi Shia militias and Hezbollah can recapture the entire country is an outright farce of a myth

3. even if Assad took the cities all the country through which the LOCs to each of those towns would be rebel controlled and open game for a true guerrilla war that would last decades

4. the country is so destroyed as well as the critical infrastructure and agriculture it would take BILLIONS to reconstruct BILLIONS ehich neither Iran and or Putin have to spend on Syria when they need every dime they have themselves....

5. Assad and his merry band will eventually be charged with war crimes under ICC and if they ever stepped foot in a Western country they would be arrested...

6. so exactly how is FSA then to reconcile with Assad....actually never.....

The two core issues removal of Assad a genocidal dictator and a one sided Constitution is not discussed in this article.....
Note that I didn't post this article because I necessarily agreed with it...

RE:

1. It seemed to me that the latest abortive ceasefire was never adhered to by either Damascus or Teheran, despite their supposed inclusion, and that this was merely a political stunt by Ankara and Moscow to embarrass the United States.

2. Agreed. In hindsight, the only faction capable of conquering Sunni Arab Syria and perhaps all of Syria, was Daesh. I say this strictly from the perspective of organization and resources (Iraqi manpower, eastern Syrian oil and gas), as Daesh's ideology was its own undoing. Now, I can't see any one faction succeeding, although there is a coalition of sorts between the secular or moderate Sunni Arabs and the Islamist ones, on the basis of oppression by Alawites and Shias on the one hand, and Kurds on the other. I doubt that the opposition will be able to mobilize enough undecided Christians and Druze, or turn those on Assad's side...

3. Also agreed. Assad couldn't hold both the cities and lock down the borders to prevent supplies aiding a rural insurgency.

4. Remember the "Pottery Barn rule"? I hope that Russia and Iran have been contributing to a reconstruction fund...

5. Which is why if he steps down, he will be offered asylum in Iran most likely.

6. There is no one capable of imposing a ceasefire in Syria in order for truth and reconciliation to begin, and certainly neither Iran nor Russia want to deal with the truth of the matter that Assad is dependent upon foreign support...
Azor is offline  
Old 01-04-2017   #49
OUTLAW 09
Council Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 35,749
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Azor View Post
Note that I didn't post this article because I necessarily agreed with it...

RE:

1. It seemed to me that the latest abortive ceasefire was never adhered to by either Damascus or Teheran, despite their supposed inclusion, and that this was merely a political stunt by Ankara and Moscow to embarrass the United States.

2. Agreed. In hindsight, the only faction capable of conquering Sunni Arab Syria and perhaps all of Syria, was Daesh. I say this strictly from the perspective of organization and resources (Iraqi manpower, eastern Syrian oil and gas), as Daesh's ideology was its own undoing. Now, I can't see any one faction succeeding, although there is a coalition of sorts between the secular or moderate Sunni Arabs and the Islamist ones, on the basis of oppression by Alawites and Shias on the one hand, and Kurds on the other. I doubt that the opposition will be able to mobilize enough undecided Christians and Druze, or turn those on Assad's side...

3. Also agreed. Assad couldn't hold both the cities and lock down the borders to prevent supplies aiding a rural insurgency.

4. Remember the "Pottery Barn rule"? I hope that Russia and Iran have been contributing to a reconstruction fund...

5. Which is why if he steps down, he will be offered asylum in Iran most likely.

6. There is no one capable of imposing a ceasefire in Syria in order for truth and reconciliation to begin, and certainly neither Iran nor Russia want to deal with the truth of the matter that Assad is dependent upon foreign support...
Azor.....seems we agreed across the board for a change....hope your slide into the New Year was great.

Here is the kicker....Russia has a standard battle tactic whether in eastern Ukraine or Syria......get the other side to talk and talk and talk and then get them into a ceasefire which usually they tend to try to hold to in order then to not be accused by Russia and often the US of violating the so called ceasefire.......

We see that right now in eastern Ukraine where Russia claimed a Christmas ceasefire BUT the attacks have been massive and often and the UAF has been attempting to hold to it...

The same thing for the FSA right now...for the first three days the FSA held strictly to the Russian/Turkish ceasefire while within hours Assad with support from Hezbollah and RuAF started immediately to attack FSA positions.

IF and this is a big IF...if Russia and Turkey were truly interested in holding the ceasefire.....both could simply bomb Hezbollah and Assad positons a few times and you would see a sudden stop of the attacks....

BUT here is the next kicker...Russian and Assad positions are the same...they both are interested in destroying FSA regardless of how sweetly Russia talks at the UN about peace in Syria....

REMEMBER it was the Russian Damascus Ambassador who before the Assad attack on Aleppo publicly stated in a major interview that Assad would not be attacking Aleppo and then surprise surprise Russian bombed and attacked as much as Assad Aleppo....

I call this Russian tactic....simply "the talking attack".........

Last edited by OUTLAW 09; 01-04-2017 at 05:07 AM.
OUTLAW 09 is offline  
Old 01-04-2017   #50
OUTLAW 09
Council Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 35,749
Default

From a great social media open source analysis group....bellingcat......

Wadi Barada – What Happened to Damascus’s Water? via @bellingcat
https://www.bellingcat.com/news/mena...ascuss-water/#
OUTLAW 09 is offline  
Old 01-04-2017   #51
OUTLAW 09
Council Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 35,749
Default

Russian Syrian Naval Express

Project 733S, #ВМФ Okhtenskiy class rescue tug BSF #ЧФ SB-5 transits Bosphorus towards Black Sea after 70 days Mediterranean deployment

It was deployed to tow the Russian aircraft carrier if it broke down.....

Rumors persist that the Russian aircraft carrier will be returning to Russia at the end of this month....
OUTLAW 09 is offline  
Old 01-04-2017   #52
OUTLAW 09
Council Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 35,749
Default

HERE comes the Russian Chechen intervention into Syria....started with their so called MP BNs....but now "special BN troops".....

Chechen Special Battalions Sent to Syria as Reinforcements #Russia
https://jamestown.org/program/cheche...inforcements/#

They only answer to the leader of Chechnya .....as they are his own personal Pretorian Guard units.....
OUTLAW 09 is offline  
Old 01-04-2017   #53
OUTLAW 09
Council Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 35,749
Default

Turkey growing a backbone....seriously doubt it...they got fooled as much as the FSA did by Russia and now must live with the consequences of a typically failed Russian ceasefire plan they signed onto...

Turkish foreign minister calls on Iran to stop truce violations in Syria
http://reut.rs/2iGXGiX

The only thing that will get Assad's....Khamenei's and Putin's attention is if Turkish forces directly bombed Hezbollah and Assad positions as a warning that they are violating the ceasefire....
OUTLAW 09 is offline  
Old 01-04-2017   #54
OUTLAW 09
Council Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 35,749
Default

"Back to normal".
Four towns bombed in #Hama today.
Prequel to the pro-#Assad forces offensive northwards, I would say.


"In response to the ceasefire violations", rebel fired Grad missiles vs. pro-#Assad forces in #Jurin.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h0F6ZpPF7q8#

AND Russia really cares about their own ceasefire....not really as they are participating in those attacks by not stopping them as their are one of the ceasefire guarantors...

Idlib: #Assad helicopters dropped barrel bombs on #Khan_Shaykhun in Southern #Idlib.

Air strikes also hit #Hama province today. Morek seen in the video.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ymegGvN-ENo#

126th #SyriaCeasefire violation: regime helicopters drop large explosive containers on Kafrzeta in north rural Hama (6 hrs ago).

127th #SyriaCeasefire violation: regime artillery attack of 3 towns (Hazarma, Zreikia, & Hush al-Salhiye) in rural Damascus (5 hrs ago).

Last edited by OUTLAW 09; 01-04-2017 at 04:40 PM.
OUTLAW 09 is offline  
Old 01-04-2017   #55
OUTLAW 09
Council Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 35,749
Default

Russian Syrian Express....

Supposedly Haifa-bound but going to #Tartus #Syria , Russia flag Ro-Ro Alexandr Tkachenko transited Bosphorus carrying military trucks
Attached Images
File Type: jpg photo.jpg (48.3 KB, 13 views)
File Type: jpg photo1.jpg (61.4 KB, 13 views)
OUTLAW 09 is offline  
Old 01-05-2017   #56
Azor
Council Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 791
Default To Outlaw 09 RE: Syria

Quote:
Originally Posted by OUTLAW 09
Azor...seems we agreed across the board for a change...hope your slide into the New Year was great.
And you as wel!

Quote:
Originally Posted by OUTLAW 09
Here is the kicker...Russia has a standard battle tactic whether in eastern Ukraine or Syria...get the other side to talk and talk and talk and then get them into a ceasefire which usually they tend to try to hold to in order then to not be accused by Russia and often the US of violating the so called ceasefire...
I would say that the Russian ceasefires, as evident in Ukraine and now Syria, are seen by the Russians as a form of conditional surrender. Russia is amenable to these ceasefires only when its adversary is losing, and offers them when it is close to winding down its participation in the conflict, having achieved most of its objectives.

None of the ceasefire talks in question convinced an adversary to delay or abort what would have been a successful offensive; they are not ruses of war. Rather, these ceasefires mark the beginning of Russia consolidating its gains.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OUTLAW 09
We see that right now in eastern Ukraine where Russia claimed a Christmas ceasefire BUT the attacks have been massive and often and the UAF has been attempting to hold to it...
In this case, Russia is deterring Ukraine from launching an offensive, which would be reported as violating the ceasefire. Ukraine is in no position to make major gains against the insurgents, without a devastating response from Russia.

Unfortunately, the Russians not making a drive for Mariupol-Odessa-Transnistria and living with the daily fire from the insurgents are the best that Ukraine can hope for currently.

Since when does Russia believe in fair ceasefires?

Quote:
Originally Posted by OUTLAW 09
The same thing for the FSA right now...for the first three days the FSA held strictly to the Russian/Turkish ceasefire while within hours Assad with support from Hezbollah and RuAF started immediately to attack FSA positions.
I gather that the Iranian-led forces broke the ceasefire first, presumably because Teheran and Damascus believe that all of Syria can be reconquered, whereas Moscow would not be unhappy with a friendly Alawite enclave in Latakia.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OUTLAW 09
IF and this is a big IF...if Russia and Turkey were truly interested in holding the ceasefire...both could simply bomb Hezbollah and Assad positons a few times and you would see a sudden stop of the attacks...
If Turkey did not intervene against the Assadists prior to Russia’s intervention, why would they do so now?

Quote:
Originally Posted by OUTLAW 09
BUT here is the next kicker...Russian and Assad positions are the same...they both are interested in destroying FSA regardless of how sweetly Russia talks at the UN about peace in Syria…

REMEMBER it was the Russian Damascus Ambassador who before the Assad attack on Aleppo publicly stated in a major interview that Assad would not be attacking Aleppo and then surprise surprise Russian bombed and attacked as much as Assad Aleppo....

I call this Russian tactic...simply "the talking attack"...
I see this as private disagreement among the participants in the Assadist coalition, that is manifested in contradictory public statements and military actions.

I gathered from CrowBat’s commentary that the Syrians were flying almost all of the missions over Aleppo city while the Russians were concentrating elsewhere…

Regardless, Putin’s had his small war but Iran isn’t finished, so a smooth operator would exploit their differences…
Azor is offline  
Old 01-05-2017   #57
OUTLAW 09
Council Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 35,749
Default

Azor....we differ on the true Russian response if push comes to shove....

Quote:
In this case, Russia is deterring Ukraine from launching an offensive, which would be reported as violating the ceasefire. Ukraine is in no position to make major gains against the insurgents, without a devastating response from Russia.
Right now yes the Russians use their own mercenaries to agitate in eastern Ukraine and to conduct direct ground offensives...supply the tanks....ammo and fuel for those attacks......

BUT check the last Russian planned mercenary led offensive in the Svitlodarsk salient....a total failure and high loses on the Russian side.....

The UAF had picked up intel wise a large Russian military buildup in the area aimed at taking more "Minsk 2 grey zone territory" and basically ran a major ground offensive first taking the area from under the noses of the Russians and then defended it successfully.

While the fighting was truly heavy the Russians said not a single word....and tried to get their so called Christmas ceasefire in place to stop UAF actions.....

With every major Russian mercenary heavy ground attack in 2016....they basically went nowhere and the mercenary loses are now always high.

What many forget in 2014 when the Russian local separatists mad their moves to take Donbass...the UAF basically a low quality ill trained and equipped force starting to actually defeat the separatists and were on the verge of actually winning militarily....THEN the Russian military started massive cross border artillery attacks using everything in their artillery up to 152mm and BM21/BM27/BM30s and tactical missiles....

AND when that did not slow down UAF they opted for a Russian army ground invasion....

UAF has been basically totally rebuilt...rearmed and is now quite capable of defending itself and launching quickly large scale ground offensives when the opportunity presents itself......

Ukraine has largely held back attempting this because the IMF loan requirements indicates their loans cannot be made to a country at or in a "war".....and IMF then rewrote the regs to include the current fighting in eastern Ukraine as "not a war" in order to make the loans...

AND at the same time to appease the EU for Association Status and visa free travel......

UAF though does now have the capacity to go full out on the offensive and the Russians know it and do not want to risk an all out war.....when sanctions are hurting them badly....

BTW...all current Russian agreements and ceasefires are strictly as you point out..."for show only"....

Take their OPEC agreement made with great fanfare across the globe.....Russian oil figures released today indicate the Russians are pumping oil at a level never seen in the last five years....AND surprise there has been no cut back only production increases AFTER the so called OPEC agreements......in this case the Russians were trying to drive up the oil prices above 50 USDs which their announcement did in fact achieve as we are at now a price of 55 USDs...but slowly sinking again....but at least they get an earning bounce for their short fall budget....

Last edited by OUTLAW 09; 01-05-2017 at 08:18 AM.
OUTLAW 09 is offline  
Old 01-05-2017   #58
OUTLAW 09
Council Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 35,749
Default

Syria Regime dropped 4 Chlorine gas bombs on Barada Valley villages in western #Damascus

Last edited by davidbfpo; 01-05-2017 at 02:41 PM.
OUTLAW 09 is offline  
Old 01-05-2017   #59
OUTLAW 09
Council Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 35,749
Default

Highly recommended reading here on the Idlib situation in comparison with Aleppo:
https://twitter.com/AbuJamajem/statu...0906857865216#

Syria Reports: Shiite militias from #Iraq gathering at border for assault on huge Omar oil field btw #Hasaka & Euphrates river

Last edited by OUTLAW 09; 01-05-2017 at 03:59 PM.
OUTLAW 09 is offline  
Old 01-05-2017   #60
OUTLAW 09
Council Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 35,749
Default

Number of TSK soldiers deployed for al-Bab to increase to 8,000 (up from 3,000). Three garrisons to be built inside.
http://m.yenisafak.com/dunya/8-bin-a...liyor-2591721#

Car bombs in regime-held #Jableh (left pix) & opposition-held #Azaz (right pix) kill & injure dozens.

Last edited by davidbfpo; 01-05-2017 at 09:49 PM. Reason: Afghan item moved to that thread.
OUTLAW 09 is offline  
Closed Thread

Bookmarks

Tags
genocide, hezbollah, iran, isis, kurds, syria, turkey, usa

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Syria in 2017 (April onwards) davidbfpo Middle East 546 5 Days Ago 07:38 PM
Hizbullah / Hezbollah (just the group) SWJED Middle East 173 3 Weeks Ago 10:02 AM
Russo-Ukraine War 2017 (January-April) davidbfpo Europe 1093 04-29-2017 10:25 AM
Detection of radioactive iodine at trace levels in Europe in January 2017 AdamG Europe 17 03-01-2017 07:14 PM


All times are GMT. The time now is 03:54 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9. ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Registered Users are solely responsible for their messages.
Operated by, and site design © 2005-2009, Small Wars Foundation