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

Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 02-26-2015   #21
davidbfpo
Council Member
 
davidbfpo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 11,351
Default Dateline Damascus: fighting on all fronts

Via Open Democracy:
Quote:
For 12 days, two Dutch journalists travelled all over Assad’s Syria. They spoke with high-ranking officials in government and generals at the front lines. A unique look behind the scenes.
Link:https://www.opendemocracy.net/opense...-on-all-fronts

Citing an un-named 'general-in-the-field:
Quote:
Did he have prisoners of war? “We don’t keep prisoners. We kill them immediately. Either they flee or we kill them. We shoot them on the spot and shovel them with a bulldozer under the ground. They are not men. I don’t consider them as human beings. They are less than animals to me. Down the road from where you came, 19 are buried in a mass grave. Do go to have a look on your way back—terrorists from Egypt, Sudan, Algeria and Saudi Arabia.” He threw a few IDs on the table. And how about the destroyed villages along the road—had he blown them up? “The villagers collaborated with the Free Syrian Army. Some villagers were used as human shields. We had no other option.”


On the NDF and Syrian Army, with my emphasis:
Quote:
The regime increasingly relies on the National Defence Force established in 2013, a pot-pourri of 100,000 locally organised and highly motivated volunteers. In 12 days travelling some 1,200km, except for special forces in Aleppo we hardly saw any anything of the regular army. The bands of Assad’s soldiers at the roadblocks in Homs and Damascus were for the most part members of that force, obviously rooted in the local community.
__________________
davidbfpo
davidbfpo is offline  
Old 03-04-2015   #22
AdamG
Council Member
 
AdamG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Hiding from the Dreaded Burrito Gang
Posts: 2,333
Default Syria in 2015 (new thread)

Temporary separate thread for maximum visibility.
Quote:
In northern Syria, is the US running out of rebel allies?

Harakat Hazzm, a US-armed group vetted by the CIA for training, has fallen to an Al Qaeda affiliate that is targeting moderate rebels.
http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Middl...f-rebel-allies
Quote:
The U.S. backed “moderate” rebel militia “Harakat Hazzm” (Movement of Steadfastness) has faced an abrupt end to their one year old existence after a war broke0ut between their forces and the Syrian Al-Qaeda branch “Jabhat Al-Nusra” in the northern Syrian province of Aleppo.

While U.S. State Officials attempted to depict Harakat Hazzm as a moderate rebel force combatting the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and Syrian President, Dr. Bashar Al-Assad, they failed to garner much support from the Syrian populous, as their alleged 4,000 strong organization folded in the same province they found their genesis in this Syrian conflict.

Oddly enough, Harakat Hazzm was one of the first “moderate” rebel forces to receive the much anticipated TOW (anti-tank) missiles to combat the SAA’s armored divisions in the provinces of Idlib and Aleppo; however, these weapons were irrelevant against the swarming Jabhat Al-Nusra contingents at Regiment 46 Base in southwest Aleppo – their forces disbanded one week after the latter declared war against them.
http://www.almasdarnews.com/article/...oin-islamists/
__________________
A scrimmage in a Border Station
A canter down some dark defile
Two thousand pounds of education
Drops to a ten-rupee jezail


http://i.imgur.com/IPT1uLH.jpg
AdamG is offline  
Old 03-14-2015   #23
CrowBat
Council Member
 
CrowBat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Haxbach, Schnurliland
Posts: 1,519
Default

Monitoring the war in Syria of the last few weeks has had its usual elements of tragedies (like JAN's overrunning of Hazzm), but those of irony and even some sarcasm too.

Namely, the flow of this war has once again shown that - for the time being, at least - it's primarily a 'everybody, and especially foreigners vs Syrian moderates' conflict. On the other hand it has clearly shown limitations of regime's military, regardless how much support this is meanwhile receiving from Tehran.

Back in mid-February, C-in-C IRGC-QF in Syria, Maj Gen Hamedani, has rushed one of his units consisting of Afghan Hazaras to the north of Aleppo and then into an attack that I sincerely expected would finish the process of putting insurgents in eastern Aleppo under a siege. In cooperation with at least one similar-sized Hezbollah outfit (it's still unclear if this was an 'original', Lebanese-, or one of recently established Syrian-Hezbollah units), the unit in question - Harakat an-Najba Brigade - enthusiastically launched an attack from positions north of the city towards an-Nubol and az-Zahra in the west.

The latter two are Shi'a enclaves, more or less 'besieged' by insurgents since early 2012...

Anyway, this attack ended in such a catastrophe, that only about 30 exhausted survivors reached their aims: the rest was killed (at least 130) or captured (around 100) by a conglomerate of FSyA, IF and JAN groups...

That was when the JAN decided to - in cooperation with Ahrar ash-Sham (which lost all of its leadership in Daesh suicide attack, earlier, and is ever since increasingly leaning towards the JAN for leadership), and Suqour ash-Sham - finish the Harakat. And did so, in a matter of something like three days...

In return for this, rumour has it, somebody from the Hazzam then revealed details of a major meeting of all possible JAN-leaders to the regime. The SyAAF hit the place with two MiG-29s toothing Kh-29s (ASCC code 'AS-14'), killing at least 18 top JAN idiots.

...except al-Jawlani (the founder), of course...

To make matters trully ironic: Harakat was unable to request such (air) support from the CENTCOM, because its unit of 50 US-trained FAC was dissolved too. Reason: USA stopped supporting it.

Ah well..

Meanwhile, the regime deployed a conglomerate of IRGC-QF units (led by the Fatemiyun Brigade), Hezbollah (this time from Lebanon), and two 'divisions' of the NDF for another offensive against insurgents in Sheikh Mishkin area, in southern Syria.

This attack began in quite a spectacular fashion, with the IRGC-QF and Hezbollah infiltrating insurgent positions and then attacking them from multiple directions - all of this by night. As usually, they dragged the NDF in their wake, the latter providing tank- and artillery support.

Now, initially, the Iranians (and their Iraqi and Lebanese 'volunteers') have captured a number of villages and even some important peaks north of Kfar Nassij and Kfar Shams. However, the SF recovered surprisingly quickly. As usually, they applied the tactics of using the JAN idiots as cannon-fodder: few pockets of these held the regime troops busy enough for the SF to launch counterattacks and this offensive was thus stalled too. Since early March, there are only positional battles for few places, some of which changed hands multiple times...

But, much worse for Hamedani (and relations between Damascus and Tehran) was the third failure. Namely, in early March, few of local pro-regime dickheads (one really can't call them any other way), launched a 'major offensive' of regime troops into northern- and north-eastern Lattakia. As far as I can say, this was undertaken without any kind of coordination with Hamedani, at discretion of local Syrian commanders who are keen to 'show they can'. Well, it proved they can't.

Surely, they've captured Mt Durrin and a village with the same name, and then intended to continue with a bold advance... Sufficient to say that the JAN and Coastal Division FSyA are meanwhile back inside that and this despite the fact that the Jihadis are bitterly complaining about activity of 'Syrian warplanes' (of which there was actually nothing, because the weather was cloudy and there was much rain in this area, the last twoweeks).

Overall, I would say this round is showing that, no matter how big-mouthed, Hamedani is simply not of Soleimani's calibre (and Soleimani is busy in Iraq). He's split his forces and meagre resources, and rushed them in two opposite directions. Then he grossly underestimated his opposition, and this resulted in two 'promising' offensives ending in costly draws. Assad's relatives then delivered the cream on that coffee...

Indeed, although everybody is claiming that the regime has 'at least 300,000 men under arms', neither the IRGC-QF - even when combined with (Lebanese AND Syrian) Hezbollah, plus all possible 'militias' fighting 'pro' regime - nor the NDF can scratch enough manpower and supplies to run at least one 'major' offensive any more. All one can see of them on the battlefields are 'brigades', even 'divisions' of anything between 400 and 1,000 combatants at most. And most of attacks are meanwhile spearheaded by units composed of Afghan Hazaras, paid for by the IRGC...

Last edited by CrowBat; 03-14-2015 at 12:15 AM.
CrowBat is offline  
Old 03-15-2015   #24
CrowBat
Council Member
 
CrowBat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Haxbach, Schnurliland
Posts: 1,519
Default

Further to reports about 'donation' of 10 ex-Iraqi Su-22s by Iran to Syria, this video is probably showing one of aircraft in question:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tCOT7qG8YN4

Reason: entirely unusual camo pattern for SyAAF Su-22s (it does not correspond to anything known as applied on them so far), and appearing very fresh, plus commentary by the poster that cites, 'a new kind of warplane' - which Su-22 is actually not the least (at least not for Syria).
CrowBat is offline  
Old 03-15-2015   #25
davidbfpo
Council Member
 
davidbfpo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 11,351
Default

Jsut spotted this UK charity 90 second video on Syria's children, very effective, well it makes you think:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OmDr...ature=youtu.be
__________________
davidbfpo
davidbfpo is offline  
Old 03-17-2015   #26
CrowBat
Council Member
 
CrowBat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Haxbach, Schnurliland
Posts: 1,519
Default

...it's really hard to remain serious when discussing Obama's/Kerry's foreign politics in the Middle East, and particularly Syria.

Even harder not to get sarcastic.

Namely, right on heels of reports about deliveries of 10 ex-Iraqi Su-22s provided by Tehran to Syria, (and that on direct order from Khamenei)...

...there follow reports about SyAAF bombing civilians in Insurgent-held areas of Damascus, killing dozens...

...followed by about a dozen of gruesome videos showing scenes of regime's large-scale attack with chemical weapons against Sarmin, in Idlib province:
https://www.youtube.com/embed/ovPKtOjOx7g

^^That, BTW, is just one, less graffic, take posted online this morning.

Gauging by the number of gased children, it's 'another Halabcheh' - and that right on the anniversary of the infamous Iraqi attack...
CrowBat is offline  
Old 03-17-2015   #27
OUTLAW 09
Council Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 35,749
Default

More from the chlorine attack: an Obama's "red line" is where this time as the last time I checked it applied to all uses of chemical weapons by Assad and was never rescinded.

Chlorine bombs in Syria are not used for their military potential ("low"), but for their political significance: "We still do what we want"

No doubt other dictators are taking notes on how many toddlers you can kill with chemical weapons before the world cares. They also note the flaccid reaction of international community to the Syrian government's use of chlorine as a chemical weapon Worth noting in the recent report from the UN's commission on Syria they clearly state they believe the Syrian government has used chlorine

More videos RT @rConflictNews Did the Assad regime just use chlorine bombs in Idlib? #Syria http://www.conflict-news.com/did-the...ombs-in-idlib/ … pic.twitter.com/Ao8klsKKjd

Chlorine gas attack reported on #Syria's #Sarmin yesterday. Videos v @SyriaCivilDef http://youtu.be/MmNBLUtP3hw https://youtu.be/ovPKtOjOx7g

Field doctor talks of at least 70 suffocation cases following a regime chlorine gas attack in Sarmin, #Idlib, #Syria http://youtu.be/MmNBLUtP3hw

The #Assad regime attacks #Sarmin with two barrel bombs filed with Chlorine gas, in defiance of UNSC resolution

Nice and yellow.
Just another #Assad terror attack in the town of Al-Tamanah today.
pic.twitter.com/u1WQAV10A5

TERRIBLE MASSACRES WITH #BOMBS OR #GAS HAPPENING EVERY FEW MINUTES NOW IN SYRIA
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kywOVI5xGzM … pic.twitter.com/6cgJ12Mms5

Rescuers searching for victims in just another #Assad regime terror attack in northern #Syria
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U5u3fyD9LdU … pic.twitter.com/bnQ3vMoFg7

Yesterday alone #Syria regime carried out 126 aerial attacks of which 74 were barrel bombs according to @syriahr http://amn.st/60142rzr

Last edited by OUTLAW 09; 03-17-2015 at 10:58 AM.
OUTLAW 09 is offline  
Old 03-17-2015   #28
flagg
Council Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 87
Default

Are any SWJ members aware of any current open source economic and infrastructure assessments on Syria that come recommended?

Reports that cover electrification, water service, sewerage, roading, commercial infrastructure, etc.?

The Lebanese have displayed considerable resiliency and have managed to rebuild their economy and infrastructure several times, and seemingly with great velocity, since the 1970's.

Are any members aware of reports that cover Lebanese recovery from their civil wars?

But anecdotally, the Syrian Civil War seems to have destroyed an unknown but staggering amount of infrastructure that looks like it may require many decades and hundreds of billions just to return to a pre-Syrian Civil War average quality of life and standard of living.

With limited natural resources to self-fund future recovery, is Syria the new Afghanistan? Only able to tread water via foreign aid focused on the geopolitical whims of external actors?

It would be interesting to see how propping up Syria fits(or doesn't) into Iran's budgets over the next 25 years.

Is Egypt's experience in Yemen in the 1960's relevant to Syria?
flagg is offline  
Old 03-17-2015   #29
davidbfpo
Council Member
 
davidbfpo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 11,351
Default

Flagg,

I found numerous UN, NGO and even USG documents by searching Google with 'Syrian Infrastructure 2013'. Presumably repeated searches using slightly different terms will find more.

A friend has referred to some NGOs planning basic service provision, but he is not available. I'd look for some of the well known NGOs, e.g. MSF and others who were active in country, by 2015 I expect that is far less.

My recollection of Egypt's role in the Yemen, now long ago, was that it was all military. Egypt then was in no position to make massive investments.
__________________
davidbfpo
davidbfpo is offline  
Old 03-18-2015   #30
CrowBat
Council Member
 
CrowBat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Haxbach, Schnurliland
Posts: 1,519
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by flagg View Post
Are any SWJ members aware of any current open source economic and infrastructure assessments on Syria that come recommended?
Except for what can be found through googling, not really. But, there are quite a few not from 'open source' domain.

And none is the least promising.

That said: Syria is actually neither poor, nor lacking natural resources. Rather 'debilitated by Assads'. It has immense potentials in tourism, agronomy, and plenty of experience and tradition in regards of trade, transit, furniture industry etc. There are at least as many wealthy Syrians abroad as there are Lebanese. The workforce might not be as skilled as somewhere else, but it's relatively well-educated. Foremost: Syrians are resourceful and willing people, capable of adapting.

...or at least they used to be.

I'm seriously concerned that they'll never get a chance: the country is first going to get raped and ripped apart by whoever only can.

So yes, 'new Afghanistan' - in terms of at least half the population living abroad as refugees and the rest serving as a breeding ground for all sorts of extremism. Unlikely to get sorted out in time of our lives...

Quote:
Is Egypt's experience in Yemen in the 1960's relevant to Syria?
I'll have to think about this for a day or two, but my first reaction is: not the least, there are immense differences.
CrowBat is offline  
Old 03-18-2015   #31
CrowBat
Council Member
 
CrowBat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Haxbach, Schnurliland
Posts: 1,519
Default

Ah yes, and there was one more - particularly interesting - question:

Quote:
It would be interesting to see how propping up Syria fits(or doesn't) into Iran's budgets over the next 25 years.
Prior to the war, Iranians were present in the country in two ways:

- liaison (military) officers, serving as links to the Hezbollah,

- genuinely pious pilgrims (thousands of them, every year).

Nowadays, they're in charge of regime's finances and the military. My most conservative estimate is that Tehran has already squandered at least US$ 46 billion (and counting!) to keep Assads afloat. It's unlikely to spend less to bring this war to anything like 'point from which one can see a horizon' (which is still going to be very distant from 'clear-cut victory')....

But OK, for the sake of 'reasonable discussion', let's say they 'win', or at least retain control over something like one third of Syria...

Knowing the 'poor & slow' pace of post-Iran-Iraq War (and few earthquakes) pace of recovery of specific parts of Iran... sigh... that outlook is not the least promising. Primary problem of Iranians are neither money, nor skills, but endemic corruption and lack of skilled managers.

The IRGC-QF is more likely to develop whatever it might retain under its control as a base for its Syrian Hezbollah (already bigger than 'Lebanese origin', at least according to Hamedani), than start seriously investing there with intention of prompting something like economic recovery.

And even if (or if Syrians start investing): gauging by what is the IRGC doing at home (in the IRI), even should there be anything like 'successful economic recovery under surviving Assad/IRGC-regime', then we can expect that the IRGC is going to grab any successful/flourishing business it can put its fingers upon...
CrowBat is offline  
Old 03-19-2015   #32
CrowBat
Council Member
 
CrowBat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Haxbach, Schnurliland
Posts: 1,519
Default

Two more of 'ah yes, I forgot about it' issues...

A US MQ-1 Predator was shot down by Syrian air defences near Lattakia, two days ago (17 March 2015). Of course, CENTCOM says it's 'investigating reasons for the loss of contact', though the regime fans are more than proud to show photos...

And... there seems to be something like 'house cleaning' within Assad's Camelot:

- Bashar relieved Rustom Ghazali from the post of Director of the Political Security Branch

- Bashar relieved Rafic Chehade from the post of Head of Military Security.

These are some very intriguing news - even more so after recent death of Hilal Assad (see posts above). In the case of Ghazali even more so: he used to be Bashar's Heydrich, de facto in charge of Lebanon after Israeli withdrawal from there, in 2000, and supposedly responsible for Hariri's assasination in 2005. His removal is a culmination of his fail from grace, which started with torching of his palace, hospitalization and persistent rumours of his executions...

Some guess that this might be related to this affair: the syrian spy who fooled the regime
Quote:
...In a highly successful double-cross, a senior army officer from the Assad regime secretly gave Western-backed rebels vital intelligence that led to critical losses for government forces in southern Syria.

The defeat at Tal Al Harra, an electronic warfare station 50 kilometres south of Damascus, sent president Bashar Al Assad’s mukhabarat, or secret police, on a hunt for the source of the leaks and resulted in the killing of dozens of military personnel wrongly accused of treason.

The fog of conspiracy unleashed by the secret defection of General Mahmoud Abu Araj also helped spread discord between regime forces and their Iranian allies – and may have inadvertently played a role in the undoing of one of the Middle East’s most infamous intelligence chiefs, Syria’s Rustom Ghazalah.
...
...and I tend to agree that this was a 'drop too much'. Instead of securing Lattakia, Ghazali and Chehade lost a better part of this province to two insurgent + JAN offensives, in 2013 and 2014. Then they've lost Tel al-Harra under above-described circumstances and, two weeks ago - and despite objections from IRGC-QF officers who demanded reinforcements for Aleppo fronts - they launched a 'major offensive' to recover NE Lattakia, which de-facto failed too (they only recovered one mountain peak and adjacent village).

In a maffia-like organization like that of Assad family there is enough space for tollerance of incompetents. But, there is responsibility too. When actions of incompetents start hurting the entire system, it's time to remove them.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg CENTCOM MQ-1 sd Lattakia 17Mar15.jpg (44.3 KB, 32 views)

Last edited by CrowBat; 03-19-2015 at 08:38 AM.
CrowBat is offline  
Old 03-21-2015   #33
CrowBat
Council Member
 
CrowBat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Haxbach, Schnurliland
Posts: 1,519
Default

This should be the operator of the SAM-site that has shot that MQ-1, four days ago.

Environment looks like the CP of the Pechora-2M variant. That's slightly surprising, then the last news before the war began was that Syrians have lost interest in that system: Russians were advertising and offering, but proved unable to deliver fully-digitalized Pechora-2Ms...
Attached Images
File Type: jpg SyAAF Pechora-2M gunner sdMQ-1A 17Mar15A.jpg (17.6 KB, 26 views)
CrowBat is offline  
Old 03-22-2015   #34
Bill Moore
Council Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 2,998
Default

In Syria, Darkness Takes On New Meaning After Four Years of War

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontl...d=2489&elqat=1

Quote:
New satellite images, released by a coalition of 130 humanitarian and human rights organizations on Wednesday, show that 83 percent of the lights over Syria have gone black since the conflict began. Syrians fleeing the violence have left behind darkened homes, while fighting has destroyed buildings and power infrastructure, leaving broad patches of the nation without electricity.
Much more on the humanitarian crisis, a crisis that gets less coverage than the humanitarian crisis in Sudan received. An indication of the West's unwillingness to live up to its idealistic goal of "responsibility to protect?" Colin Gray was right, it will be another bloody century, and we'll sit on the sidelines and allow tens of thousands to be murdered.

Quote:
More than 210,000 Syrians have been killed since the war began, and according to a report by the SCPR this week, another 840,000 people have been wounded.

The destruction of Syria’s health care infrastructure has taken a disastrous toll on life expectancy, cutting it by 20 years, from 79.5 years before the war to 55.7 years in 2014.
Bill Moore is online now  
Old 03-22-2015   #35
davidbfpo
Council Member
 
davidbfpo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 11,351
Default Realism -v- R2P

Bill,

The much cited 'Responsibility to Protect' (R2P) has been debated here before and Syria in particular. Rwanda's genocide in 1994 preceeded SWC's arrival and the mayhem in Darfur, DRC, CAR and other places have seen external intervention - with different impacts.

Civil wars are never "black or white" and Europe has had a long history of them, sometimes with nationalism and religion adding to the mixture.

In Syria, at the beginning I do believe there were opportunities, sadly once the conflict became violent on both sides. Once the violent jihadists asserted themselves the West effectively stood back, relying on diplomacy and the 'red lines' episode.

Sitting on the sidelines is a choice and I have yet to see any shift in public opinion here to support military intervention.

Incidentally during the disintegration of Yugoslavia, notably when civil war came to Bosnia-Herzogovina, public opinion here supported a far more forceful intervention - then under UN auspices - which the politicians ignored, partly as they thought the casualties would be high. Finally the Dutch, French and British acted independently @ Mt. Igman, to end the Serbian bombardment of Sarejevo.

R2P should be "put to bed" ASAP. Alas it is now an established "do good" concept, even legal principle and that is unlikely to happen.
__________________
davidbfpo
davidbfpo is offline  
Old 03-22-2015   #36
CrowBat
Council Member
 
CrowBat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Haxbach, Schnurliland
Posts: 1,519
Default

Well... sigh... letting Syria... or letting others let Syria descend into a quagmire and breeding ground for all sorts of extremism and foreign influence was surely the worst imaginable 'concept'.

What happened and is happening there is meanwhile so bad, it's one of just a few cases where I trust myself to make any 'predictions': consequences of this conflict are going to be felt - and that almost everywhere around the world - well beyond the next 20-30 years. And majority of these consequences are massive failures of the so-called 'civilized World'.
CrowBat is offline  
Old 03-22-2015   #37
Bill Moore
Council Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 2,998
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
Bill,

The much cited 'Responsibility to Protect' (R2P) has been debated here before and Syria in particular. Rwanda's genocide in 1994 preceeded SWC's arrival and the mayhem in Darfur, DRC, CAR and other places have seen external intervention - with different impacts.

Civil wars are never "black or white" and Europe has had a long history of them, sometimes with nationalism and religion adding to the mixture.

In Syria, at the beginning I do believe there were opportunities, sadly once the conflict became violent on both sides. Once the violent jihadists asserted themselves the West effectively stood back, relying on diplomacy and the 'red lines' episode.

Sitting on the sidelines is a choice and I have yet to see any shift in public opinion here to support military intervention.

Incidentally during the disintegration of Yugoslavia, notably when civil war came to Bosnia-Herzogovina, public opinion here supported a far more forceful intervention - then under UN auspices - which the politicians ignored, partly as they thought the casualties would be high. Finally the Dutch, French and British acted independently @ Mt. Igman, to end the Serbian bombardment of Sarejevo.

R2P should be "put to bed" ASAP. Alas it is now an established "do good" concept, even legal principle and that is unlikely to happen.
Why should R2P put to bed ASAP? I understand the feasibility issue if we try to address underlying issues. In most cases we can't, but I believe we can establish safe zones, as demonstrated in Northern Iraq between the Iraq wars. I realize a lot of people want to live in the past, or maybe repeat the past and embrace a Chamberlain worldview of wishing problems away. Today we have numerous supranational organizations that we claim to support (to include UK in that we) to promote a better international order, and yet when push comes to shove we fail to act in a meaningful manner.

I don't think there were opportunities in the early part of war, the Islamists were always there. Assad's father was fighting them when Assad was a young boy. Perhaps we could have reached out to Assad and provided advice on how to handle his crisis, instead of promoting another Arab Spring that clearly wasn't going anywhere. After Assad's security forces committed a number of severe human rights violations that option was off the table (though apparently back on the table now according to Kerry). We could have established a safe zone around Aleppo. Letting people starve to death doesn't speak well of our collective ability to live by our values.
Bill Moore is online now  
Old 03-22-2015   #38
CrowBat
Council Member
 
CrowBat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Haxbach, Schnurliland
Posts: 1,519
Default

Ahrar ash-Sham announced its merger with Suqour ash-Sham, today:
https://www.youtube.com/embed/GOfAUTRMnws

That's now the third biggest insurgent group (or second, depending on status of various SF/SRF/FSyA formations), with about 20-25,000 combatants. Though probably the most combat effective of all.
CrowBat is offline  
Old 03-23-2015   #39
davidbfpo
Council Member
 
davidbfpo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 11,351
Default

Brookings have a comment on the merging of Islamist groups:http://www.brookings.edu/blogs/marka...alqaeda-lister

This passage is potent:
Quote:
In fact, while rarely acknowledged explicitly in public, the vast majority of the Syrian insurgency has coordinated closely with Al-Qaeda since mid-2012 – and to great effect on the battlefield. But while this pragmatic management of relationships may have secured opposition military victories against the regime, it has also come at an extraordinary cost.
__________________
davidbfpo
davidbfpo is offline  
Old 03-24-2015   #40
CrowBat
Council Member
 
CrowBat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Haxbach, Schnurliland
Posts: 1,519
Default

Aw please David...

That statement is such hogwash, I cannot believe anybody at Brookings came to the idea to formulate it.

The fact that nearly all of Syrian insurgents are cooperating or have cooperated with the JAN - which has subjected itself to al-Qaida - at one or the other point in time does not mean that they all would be 'closely coordinating their operations with al-Qaida' in sense of 'planning to vage a global Jihad against infidels, primarily the West'. Even less so they would even listen to AQ's nonsense.

That is: except the customer paying for that study is hell or bent on providing more argumentation pro reasoning that USA should not support Syrian insurgents, of course?

BTW, if just one US emissary carrying few 'bags of bucks' would have appeared there around the same time the AQ emissaries from Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia did... they could buy the JAN for as little as one or two million (at most).

Instead: I am yet to hear about a single FBI warrant for any of GCC-citizens in question... (minus Kuwaiti sheikh that was killed in one of SyAAF bombardments, of course).
CrowBat is offline  
Closed Thread

Bookmarks

Tags
chemical weapons, syria, united nations

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
Foreign fighters in Iraq & Syria davidbfpo Middle East 39 12-08-2015 08:52 PM
Afghanistan 2015 onwards: Moderator's Notice davidbfpo OEF - Afghanistan 3 12-30-2014 09:12 PM
Syria: The case for inaction Fuchs Middle East 33 09-10-2013 02:23 PM
War between Israel -v- Iran & Co (merged threads) SWJED Middle East 534 09-20-2010 02:18 PM


All times are GMT. The time now is 06:35 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9. ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Registered Users are solely responsible for their messages.
Operated by, and site design © 2005-2009, Small Wars Foundation