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Old 04-30-2017   #1
davidbfpo
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Default Syria in 2017 (April onwards)

Time for a new thread starting tomorrow.

The Syria in 2017 (January to March) had 2,105 posts and 86.8k views:http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...ad.php?t=24850

The previous thread from September-December 2016 had 2683 posts and 64.2k views.
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Old 05-01-2017   #2
OUTLAW 09
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Russian Syrian Express....


Watch this RORO: From Novorossiysk, flag RORO Sparta III transits Bosphorus en route to #Tartus #Syria carrying military equipment 01:30Z
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Old 05-01-2017   #3
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For a complete list of links to my coverage of Assadist and Russian aerial operations over Syria in period 15 March - 30 April 2017, please see here.

In essence, and with exception of air strikes flown on 30 and 31 March, and 1 April 2017, all the figures are there. The link above also provides a number of links to related articles published at WarIsboring.com.

A much bigger - indeed, a 'major' feature on the SyAAF, its current condition, ORBAT, capabilities and intentions - is planned for publishing in the June 2017 volume of the magazine Air Forces Monthly.
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Old 05-01-2017   #4
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Russian Syrian Express......

Ф #ЧФ BSF Tapir class LST Nikolai Filchenkov 152 transits Med-bound Bosphorus en route to #Tartus #Syria for its 5th deployment in 2017

BUT she is riding a tad high for a resupply run....
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Old 05-01-2017   #5
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Damascus: #Assad forces shelling #Irbeen in Eastern #Damascus with heavy artillery. Many civilians were killed or wounded.

Damascus: 100 rebels wasted for nothing in Eastern #Ghouta in 3 days, while the #Assad regime bombs nonstop & tries to advance.
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Old 05-01-2017   #6
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NEW - In a new report, @hrw says #Assad regime has conducted x4 nerve agent attacks in #Syria since December 2016:
https://www.hrw.org/sites/default/fi...0517_web_1.pdf

AND the next Trump TLAM Response for crossing his "redline" will occur when???????

Videos of suspected chlorine IRAMs in Eastern Ghouta are here (1/31):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3HXZjvHxdJE
and here (2/21):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kNF8aHxsOHo

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Old 05-01-2017   #7
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Azor....heads up.....

This morning, #Russia’s military openly positioned itself with #YPG/#PKK forces in #Afrin, to deter any future #Turkey military action:

Senior INGO official told me last week how #Russia & #Assad are giving #YPG access to S #Aleppo, to unite #Afrin-Kobane-Jazira cantons.

So in one way, you’ve got to be impressed with #YPG’s political maneuvering; using #Russia *and* U.S. to protect its territorial gains.

On the other hand, you’ve got to also see the irony - an organization that detests “imperialism” is now dependent on #Russia & the U.S.
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Old 05-01-2017   #8
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When questioned on why @CENTCOM officers were sharing company with senior PKK figures, @statedeptspox was not particularly supportive

Seeing a U.S. SOF officer walking side-by-side with a well-known PKK Commander Sahin Cilo is just a little more THAN problematic especailly since PKK is a US named terrorist group....:
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Old 05-01-2017   #9
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On America’s intimate ties w. the #YPG/#PKK & ratcheting of tensions with #Turkey:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...P=share_btn_tw
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Old 05-01-2017   #10
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11 #FSA groups + Menagh Revolutionary Council of #Aleppo statement supporting Jaysh al-Islam vs. #HTS—advise Al Rahman Corps to side w/ JaI
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Old 05-01-2017   #11
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Azor.....HIGHLY worth reading as it goes to heart of what CrowBat and myself have been posting here......

Really read it.....
https://kyleorton1991.wordpress.com/...nd-propaganda/

PKK and Propaganda

By Kyle Orton (@KyleWOrton) on 29 April 2017

The West’s Syria policy is beginning to unravel of its own contradictions.
Quote:
The Turkish government launched airstrikes against the positions of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in north-eastern Syria and the Sinjar area of north-western Iraq in the early hours of 25 April. There were international ramifications to this because the PKK in Syria, which operates politically under the name of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) and militarily as the People’s Defence Units (YPG), is the main partner of the U.S.-led Coalition against the Islamic State (IS). Turkey has protested the U.S. engaging the YPG/PKK so deeply and exclusively as its anti-IS partner, being displeased at the U.S.’s uncritical (public) stance toward the YPG, even after the YPG violated U.S.-brokered agreements on its operational theatres and used Russian airstrikes to attack Turkey- and CIA-backed rebels.

In response to Turkey’s anti-PKK operations this week, The Washington Post has hosted an op-ed by Ilham Ahmed, identified as “a co-president of the Democratic Council of Syria”.

The Democratic Council of Syria (or Syrian Democratic Council (SDC)) is the political wing of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). The SDF is a front-group for the PKK, mostly designed to assist the United States in circumventing her terrorism laws since the PKK is blacklisted; the PKK is also registered as terrorist by Turkey, the European Union, and NATO. The SDF has some Arab units attached to it, but this multi-ethnic composition is not allowed to threaten the PKK’s political monopoly within the SDF. Ms. Ahmed is also formally the chairwoman of the Movement for a Democratic Society (TEV-DEM), the ruling authority in the areas under YPG control that they call “Rojava”. Though TEV-DEM is formally a coalition, most of the ostensibly-different organizations within it are either outright PYD fronts or individuals and parties that have so little support they cannot hinder the PYD.

If these acronyms are beginning to get confusing, that is by design. As a paper for NATO’s Centre of Excellence Defence Against Terrorism noted in 2015, this is part of the “PKK’s continuous effort to escape its terrorist designation”. Ms. Ahmed’s political role, for example, makes much more sense once it is understood that she is a senior official in the PYD. That was only one of the things not mentioned in her op-ed, which was a skilled piece of propaganda that repays some study, since it helps underline some of the misconceptions currently at play over Syria.

Ms. Ahmed’s op-ed was entitled, “We’re America’s best friend in Syria. Turkey bombed us anyway,” and the entire framing of the piece is that the SDC, SDF, and YPG are “democratic, egalitarian and progressive” forces whose main mission is combatting IS in alliance with the West. Nobody denies the YPG/PKK’s success in clearing IS from areas of northern Syria—nor the massive U.S. airpower that has enabled this. The framing is deceptive, however. The YPG’s key strategic aim is the carving out of a statelet; the anti-IS mission was complementary to that, both in terms of gaining territory as the YPG displaced IS and in gaining the political credit from the West of fighting IS.

Rana Marcel recently wrote for Chatham House of the ways the PYD/YPG has tried to gain legitimacy, inside Syria and abroad. The legitimation strategy is significantly based on messaging, Marcel concluded, very carefully “tailored to different audiences”. The PYD/YPG “present[s] its fight against ISIS as a battle between universal liberal values and extremism,” and puts a particular emphasis on gender quality (its female fighters having been much sensationalized in the Western press), environmentalism, and collectivist economics. Inside its territories, the PYD/YPG plays on Kurdish nationalism. Keeping these messages separate is among the reasons the media is so heavily controlled in PYD/YPG-run areas, with independent reporting on either the party or its militia regarded as “an attempt to deliver information to terrorists”.

The op-ed, of course, contains a considerable amount of messaging against Turkey. Ms. Ahmed detects a “stark contrast” between the progressive, democratic Rojava and Turkey, which President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is “turning … into a totalitarian state,” while “turning a blind eye to terrorism and supporting groups that overtly espouse jihadist ideals.” Allowances made for rhetorical excess, Ms. Ahmed has a point.

There is no doubt, as Michael Koplow pointed out, that—even if there were not, as it seems there were, irregularities in the referendum itself—the recent vote to give Erdogan executive authority was grossly unfair, and the internal trend in Turkey is certainly toward a more authoritarian government. The only qualifier is that some perspective on the violence and repression of the governments overseen by secular military in the 1980s and 1990s, which the West found compatible with its interests, is helpful.

The Turkish government’s Syria policy has proven disastrous, including to itself. There is plenty of blame to go around for this. Ankara had a right to expect greater support from its NATO allies for its interests in Syria—and that these allies would not actively work against her. At the same time, while Erdogan’s turn from the West has been accelerated by Turkey’s shabby treatment over Syria, it is not reactive in origin, and Turkey’s support for Islamist rebel groups in Syria, notably Ahrar al-Sham, even when powerful nationalists were available, has contributed to the diminishing options the West now has in Syria.

The problem is that Ms. Ahmed casts these stones from a glass house. The PKK is in a weak position to be hurling accusations of terrorism and extremism. Nor does the PKK have much footing in governance terms. The PKK followed one of its own leaders through three states in Europe to assassinate him after he suggested democratic reforms within the organization, for example, and many other Kurds who joined the PKK have fallen to these purges, carried out on the most arbitrary basis. In Syria, the PYD/PKK has run a harshly authoritarian system, inherited almost wholesale from the regime of Bashar al-Assad. The deep economic and political integration between the Rojavan project and the Assad regime is among the things that did not make it into Ms. Ahmed’s op-ed, but it is one of the reasons that some Kurds compare the PYD’s rule to that of the Ba’ath Party.

Last summer, Ibrahim Biro, the leader of the main Kurdish opposition group, the Kurdish National Council (KNC or ENKS), was expelled from Rojava by PYD security forces and threatened with murder if he returned. A wave of attacks on Kurdish opposition parties began after that: party headquarters burned down, anti-PYD operatives beaten up and even killed either by mobs or the police directed by PYD regime, and a large number of arrests. In recent weeks, this crackdown has intensified as the PYD moved to formally ban all parties but its own.

Ms. Ahmed continues the effort to obfuscate the relationship between the PYD/YPG and the PKK. “[A]ny attempt to equate us with the PKK is disingenuous,” says Ms. Ahmed. She concedes that the PYD and YPG “share a founder and many intellectual values with the PKK,” though the PKK “run contrary to our core value of decentralization of power”. Even the smoothest media operation can have a bad day.

The key claim from Ms. Ahmed is that “our political and military leadership is completely separate from that of the PKK.” This is simply a lie.

In a fortuitously-timed release, the International Crisis Group also had a piece out yesterday, which noted:

The YPG and [PYD] are the PKK’s Syrian affiliates, and there is little prospect for their organic link with the mother party to change in the foreseeable future. Qandil-trained and battle-hardened PKK cadres with years—in some cases decades—of experience in the organisation’s struggle against Turkey hold the most influential positions within the YPG and, by extension, within the SDF’s chain of command; within the PYD-run civil governing bodies that administer YPG-held areas; and within the security forces, such as the Asayesh (security police), which are the backbone of that governance. While most of these cadres are Syrian Kurds (though notable roles are also played by Kurds from Turkey and Iran), loyalty to the PKK’s internal hierarchy appears to override relations to local society. Many also operate largely behind the scenes, or with titles that understate their actual authority, while nominally responsible officials lacking direct ties to the organisation are reduced to placeholders. Though this gives the PKK presence in northern Syria a local face, the reality of who wields power is evident to those living there and should be to external observers as well.

The PYD was founded in 2003 in the Qandil Mountains of northern Iraq, where the PKK has had a base since 1982 when it established a camp at Lolan from which it launched its war against Turkey in 1984, by Osman Ocalan, acting at the orders of his brother, Abdullah Ocalan (Apo), the PKK’s leader. Osman has since explained his role in this after he defected from the PKK in 2005.

Continued.....

The invisible holders of power in Rojava above the YPG commanders are longtime PKK operatives to a man.
Continued......
AMAZINGLY NATO knows about YPG and PKK being one and the same BUT US SOF and CENTCOM does not????

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Old 05-01-2017   #12
OUTLAW 09
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The @HRW report on the Khan Sheikhoun attack has previously unpublished images of the filling cap from the bomb used
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cVGDcReFz9k

HRW also find's government's use of helicopter-dropped chlorine bombs more systematic; (b) pro-Assad ground-forces also now using chlorine.

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Old 05-01-2017   #13
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Suheil al Hassan with a Russian Major General, probably near Hama
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Old 05-01-2017   #14
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Turkish military digging trenches&setting up new positions in #Akcakale along #Syria border.Some parts of border walls removed
#TalAbyad
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Old 05-01-2017   #15
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Iran’s Diplomatic Corps: Between a Rock and the Quds Force
http://bit.ly/2oQ1uC4

YPG shelled #Azaz with artillery this evening. Probably to provoke #FSA and #Turkey.
YPG thinks they are under #US & #Russia|n protection and invulnerable now. Let's see what they try next.

A FSA Levant Front source just let me know that houses of civilians r being shelled in Azaz, shelling from Mar'anaz

Hama Battle: Central Division carried out an Inghimasi operation in area of Zalin checkpoint, killing 7 pro-Assad and seizing weapons.

S. #Aleppo: #HTS destroyed an #ATGM launcher in Tulaylat near Al-Hader firing a guided missile.

E. #Damascus: fierce clashes in #Barzeh and #Qabun where Regime made advances around Electric Station backed by shelling and airstrikes.

N. #Hama: #Lataminah area still intensively bombed, incl. by #RuAF Su-25.
http://wikimapia.org/#lang=en&lat=35....621552&z=12&m

Hama Battle: Jaish Al-Nasr shelling pro-Regime forces in #Helfaya with dozens of Grad rockets.
http://wikimapia.org/#lang=en&lat=35....609364&z=13&m

Hama Battle: Central Division took out with a #TOW a fuel tanker near #Maan.
http://wikimapia.org/#lang=en&lat=35....795616&z=13&m

Main deployment areas of #Hazaras (Afghans) from pro-Assad #Fatemiyoun Brigade past months, via @historicoblog4. https://twitter.com/historicoblog4/s...76716240424961
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Old 05-01-2017   #16
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New @bellingcat article with fully updated infographics for all factions in the #Syria-n Civil War:

https://www.bellingcat.com/news/mena...ian-civil-war/
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Old 05-01-2017   #17
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From yesterday....

Daraa: #Assad barrel bombs killed 10+ civilians and wounded dozens in #Daraa City today. Most victims are women and children.

Daraa: Al-Bunian Al-Marsous op. room launches retaliatory strikes vs Regime positions with artillery for civilians killed in Regime raids.

Hama Battle: many pro-Assad killed past days were from Regime strongholds (S. #Ghab, #Homs, #Latakia and #Tartus prov.).

N. #Hama: barrel bomb dropped by a #SyAF helicopter over #Lataminah, smashing building.

Syria: refugee camp for ppl from Al-Waer (#Homs) set up on Turkish border in W. #Jarablus CS. 300+ tents on 5th April, now 3 times bigger.

At least 7 Syrian @SyriaCivilDefe members were killed when pro-regime Russian jets bombed their HQ in Kafrzaita, rural Hama today.
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Old 05-01-2017   #18
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Default To CrowBat RE: Syria (1/2)

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrowBat
Ankara was - for years - negotiating with the PKK
And vice versa. It takes two to tango, no?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrowBat
…while at the same time calling for the USA and others of its Western allies to help it solve the situation in Syria. For years. In 2011, in 2012, in 2013, in 2014 etc.
And? If the narcotics-related conflict in Mexico destroyed the Mexican state and the violence sent millions fleeing into the United States, would Turkey lend a helping hand?

The United States is also being called upon to resolve the Russo-Ukrainian War, the ongoing wars in the D.R. Congo and Burundi, the transnational wars involving Boko Haram, the civil war in Myanmar, the unresolved Korean conflict, etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrowBat
The West refused, and - and against any logic - continued to ignore the situation in Syria even when millions of Syrians poured over the border into Turkey, an then continued pushing further west and north, putting the Turkish economy under immense strain.
They poured into Lebanon and Jordan as well. Turkey has been the single largest provider of aid (at 47% of total), but Turkey’s allies have pitched in, with the United States being the second-largest donor at 27%.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrowBat
And when this was not enough, the West ignored the Russians exporting at least 25.000 of their Wahhabists to Syria, where these joined the Daesh and Nusra - both of which came into being foremost thanks to the Assad regime.
You inflated the number of Russian citizens fighting for rebel groups in Syria by an order of magnitude, and did they all cross through Iran and Iraq, or take the direct route through Turkey? Yes, Assad sparked the war and yes, neither Daesh nor Nusra would have been possible without the lawless vacuum that the war created. However, Ankara allowed its southern border to be a sieve for foreign volunteers to join the FSA, Daesh and Nusra, because these were clashing with the YPG.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrowBat
And when that was not enough, the West - but the USA in particular - started acting as if Assad regime is entirely irrelevant, as if there is no popular uprising nor 'civil war' in Syria, as if there is no Iranian military intervention in Syria, and as if Turkey should neither have its own national interests inside Turkey, nor for its neighbourhood.
No, the West simply had no appetite for regime change and a major ground war. Prior to the 2013 arrangement with Russia, Assad’s deterrent complicated the situation as it was suggested that some 75,000 ground troops would be required to secure his chemical weapons.

As for Iran’s intervention, Washington couldn’t make war on Iran in Syria on the one hand, and arrive at a deal on Iran’s nuclear weapons program on the other. Obama clearly traded involvement in Ukraine and Syria for the JCPOA.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrowBat
And when that was not enough, the US military - violating US laws - entered cooperation with the PKK, while using bases inside Turkey.
No, the cooperation began with the PYD. Despite the PKK-PYD ties, the YPG is not fighting in Turkey, and I have seen no evidence of a major flow of Turkish Kurdish volunteers to the YPG or conversely, flows of Syrian Kurdish volunteers to the PKK.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrowBat
And when that was not enough, the Turks were told to shut up and tolerate the PKK, to shut up and tolerate 4 millions of Syrian refugees inside Turkey - and then also accused of cooperation with Nusra and Daesh, and this despite perfect clarity that Erdogan and his AKP are on the list of enemies of these two (visible also through the fact that the elements of Turkish society that do cooperate with the HTS, for example, stand in opposition to the AKP).
When were the Turks told to tolerate the PKK? I saw Turkish armor roll into southeastern cities weapons free and kill at least as many Kurdish civilians as PKK fighters, with little to no pressure from the West. If the Sultan and his Muslim Brotherhood are so high on the list of Daesh’s and Nusra’s target lists, then why did the Sultan place them below the YPG on his own list? Ankara was accused of collaboration with Daesh by Russia, a claim that was cried shrilly after the Su-24 was barbequed.

Of course, the West could have responded by highlighting Assad’s reliance upon commodities from Daesh-controlled parts of Syria, as the “Syrian Express” cannot keep the lights on in Damascus on its own, but then the Western publics would bay for intervention and how could the West then avoid regime change and conflict with Iran?

Supporting the YPG is dangerous for Moscow and Teheran as well, as Moscow wants to prize Turkey from NATO and has its own ethnic problems, and Iran has a chunk of “Kurdistan” as well. Few seem to be thinking this thing through.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrowBat
No, it is not. The blame for genocide of Armenians is on Turkey and Turks, no doubt about this. And, sooner or later, they'll accept their responsibility.
Yeah right. I cannot claim to know many Turks, but I have yet to meet one that believes that there was a genocide.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrowBat
It's just a piss-poor excuse, misused for demonizing Turkey and completely ignoring Turkish interests. An act that's ruining relations between the West and that country for decades in advance. Now tell me, please: in whose interest is that?
Should I care? As far as I am concerned, both Russia and Turkey should be walled off.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrowBat
sigh... Do I really have to waste even more time with discussing that topic further in-depth, too...? Get yourself at least 'Arabs and Israelis for Dummies', and read: everything is nicely based on documentation.
Well, when you can prove a Jewish genocide of Arabs, perhaps I’ll entertain this more. I went through my pro-Palestinian phase years ago.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrowBat
'Aborigines' - in the USA...? Well, thanks for a reminder, but I didn't even try to add them to the equation.
I used aboriginal in lieu of “Indian” or “American Indian”, which are inaccurate terms. Would you prefer “native” or “indigenous”? “Aborigine” is something else entirely. Again, no genocide happened. Everyone wants to have their own Holocaust it seems whilst denying the real one that took place.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrowBat
And you were wrong with thinking that way. My soft spot is humanity and freedom, and opposition to any kind of oppression. It just so happens that some of Sunni Arabs are between plenty of other people who are oppressed. But then, that's something you don't think about, and thus can't understand me.
Alright. So if the United States has one bullet for humanitarian intervention, where does it use it? D.R. Congo and Burundi or Iraq and Syria?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrowBat
Wrong. Their governments have such problems, because both of them need chauvinists to keep themselves in power.
In my experience, the Turks are more indoctrinated by their government than the Russians, and this includes the Turks that are secular nationalists as well. If there is one thing that Turks agree on, it is that there were no genocides and that there is an anti-Turkish conspiracy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrowBat
...What's wrong with that?
Because the West wants to specifically defeat Daesh and otherwise stay out of the war. I see leaving Assad in place and defeating Sunni Arab supremacism as mutually exclusive objectives. But I’m not on the NSC.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrowBat
Are you really that poor at 'connecting dots' as to fail to understand that the Daesh could've been easily prevented by supporting the FSyA and removing Assad on time?
The problem is far too complex to make that assumption. Again, a nuclear-armed Iran was considered a worse threat than Daesh and still is.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrowBat
...which wold change absolutely nothing. But then, it's meanwhile typical for you - yes, this time: 'for you' - to be unable to think beyond, 'replacing one dictator of the minority through another dictator from the same minority'.
I said “rump state”. An Alawi can never rule over the Sunni Arab majority in Syria again. However, neither will the Alawis accept possible tyranny of the majority. Another Alawi leader could enact a realarmistice so that the FSA can concentrate on Daesh and consolidate its control over Sunni Arab Syria. Of course, Russia may be content with that but Iran won’t be.

A weak and federalized state along the lines of Lebanon seems to be the answer for both Iraq and Syria, but are the Alawis and Shias disabused of the notion that they can win it all?

To paraphrase Gen. Sherman, the Iranians need to be made absolutely sick of war.
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Old 05-01-2017   #19
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Default To CrowBat RE: Syria (2/2)

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrowBat
What 'regular forces', PLEASE? Azor, would you like to tell me, you've really got not even that much clue about the Syrian civil war as to know a) it's not the Iranian military, but the IRGC - indeed: IRGC-QF - that's responsible for such Iranian operations like the one in Syria, b) this IRGC-QF deployed its first two 'regular' (IRGC) brigades to Syria already in 2012, and c) that Iran is running a full-blown military intervention in Syria at least since early 2013? If so, sorry, but we need not discussing this topic until you inform yourself properly.
I never said that Iran’s regular forces were involved. I am aware that this is a Pasdaran project. However, Iran could "surge" regular forces into Syria rather than just special forces and various Shia mercenaries. Their strategic lift capabilities leave much to be desired, but they could probably cobble together some sort of ad hoc naval lift if the way through Iraq is closed off, which is a big “if”. How can Iran have a “full-blown military intervention in Syria” without the regular Iranian military? That’s an Israeli riddle for you.

Suffice it to say, when someone constantly falls back on, “attend WestPoint” or “inform yourself”, the other party can be sure that they hit a nerve. Knowing the technical details of the SyAAF does not equate to knowing the weighing of options in the NSC or among the U.S. and its allies.

In conclusion, you seem to have trouble distinguishing between my discussion of the current state of affairs and my discussion of my own personal preferences. As both you and Outlaw are no doubt aware, risk-aversion often leads to negative effects, as was evident in American interventions in Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and now Syria. American foreign policy is typically successful when there is total and unlimited commitment, and often that commitment is far less “total” in the end than the grudging commitments made to supposedly “limited” initiatives.

It seems that the West wants Raqqa to fall and Daesh to be driven from the field as quickly as possible so that Operation Inherent Resolve can be wrapped up, and the Coalition can return home, repair the wear and tear on their aircraft and other equipment, and replenish their stocks of PGMs. This is about as permanent a victory as the Paris Peace Accords or "Mission Accomplished", but that is the way it is.
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Old 05-01-2017   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OUTLAW 09 View Post
Azor.....HIGHLY worth reading as it goes to heart of what CrowBat and myself have been posting here......

Really read it.....
https://kyleorton1991.wordpress.com/...nd-propaganda/

PKK and Propaganda

By Kyle Orton (@KyleWOrton) on 29 April 2017

The West’s Syria policy is beginning to unravel of its own contradictions.


AMAZINGLY NATO knows about YPG and PKK being one and the same BUT US SOF and CENTCOM does not????
Meh. This is like trying to stay out of a barroom brawl but just get a few kicks in on one of the brawlers. It doesn't work. Either you go in with some friends and a chair, or you stay out of it and sip a beer while you watch.
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