Author Topic: Syria Superthread [merged]  (Read 637231 times)

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Offline tomahawk6

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Re: Syria Superthread [merged]
« Reply #1800 on: July 28, 2017, 08:48:59 »
The US seems to be achieving its strategic goal of destroying IS.The flow of foreign fighters has been cut off,and those that are still alive in Syria are increasingly cut off with no escape.

http://www.defenseone.com/news/2017/07/flow-foreign-fighters-isis-stopped-trump-tactics-working-mcgurk-says/139801/

Quote
On the strategic front, McGurk credited Defense Secretary James Mattis’s strategy of “surround, constrict, annihilate.” Mattis, in May, announced the U.S.-coalition’s plan to surround ISIS in pockets and not permit fighters, particularly foreign fighters, to escape. “Our intention is that the foreign fighters do not survive the fight to return home to North Africa, to Europe, to America, to Asia, to Africa. We’re not going to allow them to do so. We’re going to stop them there and take apart the caliphate,” said Mattis.

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Re: Syria Superthread [merged]
« Reply #1801 on: July 28, 2017, 10:01:18 »
I like it.  Too bad it wasn't done far sooner to prevent the trash from escaping back to the west.

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Re: Syria Superthread [merged]
« Reply #1802 on: August 29, 2017, 13:06:30 »
A reminder that no situation is static, stabilizing Syria under Russian and Iranian protection raises the possibilities of renewed conflict between Iranian proxies and Israel:

https://www.thecipherbrief.com/article/middle-east/israel-hezbollah-eye-next-war

Quote
Israel and Hezbollah Eye Their Next War
AUGUST 29, 2017 | FRITZ LODGE

On August 15, Israel’s Channel 2 news revealed satellite photos of an Iranian missile production facility near the town of Baniyas in northwestern Syria, capable of producing long-range rockets. Iran’s formidable military presence in Syria is nothing new, but the revelation of this production facility underlines how deeply the war in Syria has changed the balance of military power in the eastern Mediterranean.

Faced with the possible collapse of Syrian President Bashar al Assad’s regime, Iran and its regional proxies have poured millions of dollars and thousands of soldiers into its Syrian ally. Now, with Russian help, that investment has paid off, and the regime has reestablished control over much of central Syria, and is stabilizing the front along “de-confliction zones” guaranteed by Russia, Turkey, and Iran.

This is a problem for Israel. As the battle lines in Syria begin to stabilize, Iran and its allies will be able to focus more energy and attention on the Jewish state. Nowhere is this threat clearer than in Lebanon, where the Iran-allied and financed group of Hezbollah boasts thousands of soldiers, deep political influence in the Lebanese government, and an arsenal of up to 150,000 rockets. At the moment, Hezbollah deploys roughly 5,000 fighters in Syria – roughly one quarter of its standing forces. If and when those fighters return to Lebanon, Hezbollah leaders may feel emboldened to step up attacks on Israeli soil. The question for Israeli leaders is not only how to face this threat when it appears, but whether to strike now while its enemies are still distracted in Syria.

Tensions along the border between Lebanon and Israel have already provoked violence. Following an Israeli airstrike on a Hezbollah arms convoy in 2015, the group responded with rocket and artillery fire against Israeli military positions, which killed two soldiers. However, the incident did not escalate further. This restraint is partially the result of memories from the last major conflict between Israel and Lebanon in 2006, which exacted a high toll on both sides and effectively resulted in stalemate.

Looking back on the lessons of 2006, the problem for Israel is that Hezbollah is even stronger and better prepared today than it was then. The group’s involvement in Syria has cost roughly 1,300 dead over the past five years but, says Tony Badran, Fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, “in exchange for that tradeoff, Hezbollah was gaining military experience on the battlefield and via cooperation with Russia.” Now the group’s roughly 20,000-strong standing army is battle hardened by rotation through Syria, its 25,000 reservists receive more advanced training, and the land bridge to Iran through Iranian proxy forces in Iraq and the Assad regime in Syria is swiftly becoming a reliable supply pipeline for advanced military hardware.

At the same time, the explosion in Hezbollah’s rocket arsenal since 2006 – now larger than the supply of most NATO countries – means that the group can launch salvoes of roughly 1,000 missiles per day, anywhere within Israel, during a future conflict. The group’s anti-ship missile capabilities – as demonstrated in the crippling 2006 strike on the Israeli corvette INS Hanit – might also allow Hezbollah to establish an effective naval blockade of Israel. Finally, most experts assume that Hezbollah maintains a vast network of tunnels under the border, allowing it to disgorge fighters into Israeli territory for raids behind the lines. Hezbollah’s leader, Hassan Nasrallah, boasted of these new capabilities in May, saying that “Israel is afraid of any confrontation… [and that] there will be no place that is out of reach of the rockets of the resistance or the boots of the resistance fighters.”

Nevertheless, says Badran, “Hezbollah is probably not in a position where they’d want to initiate a conflict.” The Syrian war is still hot, and “Iran and its proxies especially need time to connect its Iraqi, Syrian, and Lebanese assets. Hezbollah will then use that territory for, among other things, striking Israel, transforming its presence in Syria from a constraint to an enormous advantage.”

This is the strategic dilemma that Israel faces. Despite Hezbollah’s increased strength, Israel still holds decisive military advantage over the sub-state actor. The Israeli Defense Force (IDF) has roughly 175,000 active personnel with 445,000 reserves, some of the most advanced military hardware in the world, and air supremacy over Lebanon. Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system can also be relied upon to blunt at least some of the threat posed by Hezbollah’s rocket arsenal. As of 2014, the system has successfully intercepted over 1,400 rockets.

At a time when a quarter of Hezbollah forces are still wrapped up in Syria and the overland supply pipeline to Iran is still incomplete, Israeli policymakers might be tempted to use this military superiority to strike now while their enemies are distracted. As Badran points out, “the clock is ticking for Israel.”

However, at the end of the day, a true war with Hezbollah will cost Israel dearly. Even if the Iron Dome works as expected, many missiles will likely break through to both military and civilian targets, while an assault on southern Lebanon could potentially claim the lives of hundreds of IDF soldiers and thousands of Lebanese civilians. In order to effectively subdue Hezbollah, Israel would need to launch a sustained ground invasion against an enemy that is well-trained and well-prepared to defend its territory in depth. In addition, such a war would almost certainly include far more strikes against Hezbollah targets in Syria, potentially dragging the Syrian government, Iran, and possibly even Russia, into direct conflict with Israel.

David Schenker, Director of the Program on Arab Politics at the Washington Institute, notes that “while many people [in Israel] might support whacking Hezbollah, there is the basic fact that the last time this happened [in 2006], it took 34 days… this could drag on for some time and, like last time, it could not only cripple the economy throughout the north of Israel, it could cripple the economy of the whole state.” In addition to the human toll of war, Israeli leaders may not be willing to risk the political consequences of a major conflict. Meanwhile, says Schenker, “Hezbollah doesn’t want another full-scale war with Israel in Lebanon,” which means that the general status quo of mutual military deterrence between Hezbollah and Israel could endure in the near future.

Still, as U.S. policy in Syria continues to focus almost solely on combatting ISIS, the basic calculus between Hezbollah and Israel along the Lebanese border and the Syrian border near the Golan Heights is unlikely to change. War is not inevitable, but the threat is growing.
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Re: Syria Superthread [merged]
« Reply #1803 on: August 29, 2017, 14:21:20 »
However it's likely that Trump will have Israel back if they do strike and might even use US military assets to defend Israel.

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Re: Syria Superthread [merged]
« Reply #1804 on: September 10, 2017, 07:33:50 »
We'll see soon, I guess, what Russia/Syria'll do about the convoy, right?  ???
Quote
The U.S. military on Friday pulled back surveillance aircraft that had been watching an 11-bus ISIS convoy filled with hundreds of militants and their family members -- at the request of the Russian government.

The ISIS convoy was given safe passage over 10 days ago to travel from the Lebanon-Syria border across the Syrian desert to the Iraqi border in a deal struck between Syria and Hezbollah, which angered the U.S. military.

Since the convoy departed, U.S. drones have picked off ISIS fighters when they left the convoy to relieve themselves, according to U.S. officials.

"We were able to exploit it and take advantage," said Army Col. Ryan Dillon, a U.S. coalition spokesman Thursday during a press conference from Baghdad.

The Russian military requested U.S. drones depart the area through the "de-confliction" line, as Russian-backed Syrian forces battle to recapture the ISIS-held city of Deir ez-Zor, located in eastern Syria.

The U.S. official was confident the U.S. military would pick up surveillance of the ISIS fighters in the future and said they would not threaten U.S. military forces located in other parts of Syria.

A U.S. Army general said he would hold the Assad regime in Syria responsible for dealing with the convoy.

"The regime's advance past the convoy underlines continued Syrian responsibility for the buses and terrorists. As always, we will do our utmost to ensure that the ISIS terrorists do not move toward the border of our Iraqi partners," said Brig. Gen. Jon Braga, director of operations for the coalition ...
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Re: Syria Superthread [merged]
« Reply #1805 on: September 26, 2017, 12:16:32 »
Old news, but didn't see it in this thread. Looks like Turkey lost a few 2A4 (as many as 10) in Syria, courtesy ATGM's fired by ISIL.

https://misterxanlisis.wordpress.com/2017/03/12/achtung-leopards-in-syria-full-analysis-of-the-leopard-2a4tr-in-syria/

   

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Re: Syria Superthread [merged]
« Reply #1806 on: September 26, 2017, 13:04:17 »
Briefly reading it, looks like improper tactics and support is what lead to the loss of these tanks. Turkey may be the second largest armed forces in NATO, doesn't mean they are the most competent, especially after the "coup" aftermath cleared out a large number of officers. I'd say Turkey is in a similar situation to the Red Army after the purges in the 1930s
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jollyjacktar

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Re: Syria Superthread [merged]
« Reply #1807 on: January 21, 2018, 20:50:43 »
RT is reporting Turkey has crossed over into Syria to go after the Kurds.

https://youtu.be/tsLVRmPBLFg

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Re: Syria Superthread [merged]
« Reply #1808 on: January 21, 2018, 22:03:43 »

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Re: Syria Superthread [merged]
« Reply #1809 on: January 25, 2018, 12:43:38 »
Quote
Syria war: Germany suspends upgrade to Turkey tanks

The German government has put plans on hold to upgrade German-made tanks used by Turkey amid a public outcry over a Turkish offensive in northern Syria.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-42820151

Offline Cdn Blackshirt

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Re: Syria Superthread [merged]
« Reply #1810 on: January 25, 2018, 13:33:55 »
Is anyone else baffled by the lack of NATO support for the Kurds given their contribution in destroying ISIS?

First abandoning them to the Iranian PMF's in Iraq, and now to Erdogan whose ethnic-cleansing comments (as well as previous documented support for ISIS) are frankly quite terrifying.


 ???
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Re: Syria Superthread [merged]
« Reply #1811 on: January 25, 2018, 16:39:31 »
Is anyone else baffled by the lack of NATO support for the Kurds given their contribution in destroying ISIS?

First abandoning them to the Iranian PMF's in Iraq, and now to Erdogan whose ethnic-cleansing comments (as well as previous documented support for ISIS) are frankly quite terrifying.


 ???

Why would NATO support the Kurds?  Has Turkey left the alliance?  While there are a number of NATO members (including Canada) conducting military operations in conjunction with or in support of Kurdish forces, it is not under the auspices of NATO.  And Turkey's attitude to its Kurdish population (and its Kurdish population's attitude to Turkey) is nothing new.

And this from the NATO Secretary General today in Spain is probably the most reaction you will see from NATO.
https://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/opinions_151089.htm?selectedLocale=en
Quote
QUESTION:  I have a question for the Secretary General.  Are you worried about the offensive by the Turkish army in Syria?  Do you think Turkey is entitled to deploying this offensive?  Don’t they realise that there are Americans supporting the Kurdish militia? Isn’t that a problem?  Aren’t you worried that there could be clashes there between two Allies?  And finally, is NATO going to take over the command in Iraq, the operation, and when would that be?

JENS STOLTENBERG:  NATO will not take over the role of the Global Coalition to defeat ISIS in Iraq but we will work together with the coalition, meaning that we will work together with the coalition partly because NATO is only part of the coalition but also because NATO is now in the process of scaling up, or at least considering to scale up our training and capacity-building activities in Iraq.

So NATO is partly in Iraq as part of the coalition but we are also in the process of doing more when it comes to training and capacity-building of Iraqi officers in Iraq but there is no question about NATO taking over. 

What we will do is we will be in close coordination with the Global Coalition and also with all their international actors as, for instance, the European Union.

When it comes to Northern Syria, as I said, NATO is a member of the Global Coalition to defeat ISIS but we are not present on the ground in Northern Syria.

We provide support to the coalition with our AWACS surveillance planes and training in Iraq, but we are not present on the ground in Northern Syria.

Turkey is the NATO Ally which has suffered most from terrorist attacks over many years and Turkey, as all of the countries, have the right to self defence, but it is important that this is done in a proportionate and measured way, and that is the message I convey every time I discuss this issue with different NATO leaders, including of courser with political leadership in Turkey.

I spoke with President Erdoğan last week and we are in regular contact with other Allies who are involved, including United States and I urge also direct contacts between United States and Turkey to try to find the best way to address the challenges we all see in Northern Syria.
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Re: Syria Superthread [merged]
« Reply #1812 on: January 25, 2018, 18:49:48 »
If you haven't seen anything fundamentally wrong (to the point of being despicable) in Erdogan's behaviour, nothing I type is going to change your mind.
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Offline Blackadder1916

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Re: Syria Superthread [merged]
« Reply #1813 on: January 25, 2018, 20:38:01 »
If you haven't seen anything fundamentally wrong (to the point of being despicable) in Erdogan's behaviour, nothing I type is going to change your mind.

And what in my previous post gives any hint of my personal opinion about Turkey's and Erdogan's policies concerning Kurds.  When I refer to "nothing new", I think back to 1991 when 4 Field Ambulance deployed to Turkey as part of the response to the Kurdish refugees who crossed from Iraq following the Gulf War.  To be overly generous, the best that could be said about the Turkish Army (and the Turkish administration) in the border area was that they allowed them in (or couldn't stop the flow) but were far from pleasant hosts.  I don't think the intervening more than a quarter century has improved their attitudes.

You asked a question about a lack of response from NATO.  Generally, NATO doesn't respond about the internal affairs of its member nations and, for Turkey (in their opinion), the Kurdish problem is primarily an internal security issue.  And again usually, they don't generally take a  position about member's external affairs, unless those external affairs somehow conflict with the security or border integrity of another member.  Not having paid much attention about the individual responses of the members to Turkey, I wouldn't be able to provide a comprehensive comment about whether there has been (or likely to be) significant discussion within the NATO council about Turkey's policies regarding Kurds.  Until such time as a consensus is reached among the members, there wouldn't be a position taken by NATO.  The Secretary General, nor the military command structure, doesn't get to express personal opinions as the organization's policy.  My opinion - some of the NATO members don't give a rat's *** about Turks and Kurds and the majority don't want the bother of raising the issue in the council.

The post I provided included an opinion from the Secretary General that will likely be as strong a rebuke that Turkey will receive from NATO.  So no, I wasn't baffled by a lack of response from NATO; it was exactly as I would have expected.
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angus555

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Re: Syria Superthread [merged]
« Reply #1814 on: January 25, 2018, 22:26:32 »
NATO had just formally joined the US led coalition against ISIS in 2017. Aside from NATO members participating in the coalition, the issue of the conflict in Syria and Iraq has been quite peripheral to its main concerns.
NATO leaders would naturally tread carefully here and follow the lead from the US. Turkey is obviously a militarily significant member.

Turkey is currently producing the center fuselage for every F-35, among other components.
It will also be heavily involved in F-35 maintenance.

It's also home to one of the few missile defense radar systems in the area aimed at Iran.

On verra...
« Last Edit: January 25, 2018, 22:35:09 by Til Valhall »

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Re: Syria Superthread [merged]
« Reply #1815 on: February 08, 2018, 11:25:44 »
Video report with some "gun camera" footage.

US-led forces kill 100 pro-Assad fighters


http://www.foxnews.com/world.html


https://news.sky.com/story/us-airstrikes-kill-100-pro-assad-fighters-after-unprovoked-attack-on-coalition-base-11240879

US airstrikes kill 100 pro-Assad fighters after 'unprovoked' attack on coalition base
Russia slams the move as an "act of aggression", but the US says it thwarted an unprovoked attack on coalition forces fighting I

Extract: More than 100 fighters allied with Syrian President Bashar al Assad have been killed in US-led coalition air and artillery strikes on pro-regime forces.

The air assault was launched after up to 500 pro-regime fighters backed by artillery, tanks, multiple-launch rocket systems and mortars targeted the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) headquarters in Deir al-Zor province in an "unprovoked attack".

Between 20 to 30 artillery and tank rounds landed within 500m of the HQ, where coalition advisers are working with SDF fighters battling Islamic State militants east of the Euphrates River in Syria.

The Syrian army, which is supported by Iranian-backed militias and Russian forces, are active on the other side of the river by the city of Deir al-Zor.

The US-led coalition had previously alerted Russian officials about the presence of SDF forces in nearby Khusham after seeing a slow build-up of pro-government forces during the last week.

Details of the thwarted attack were released by US officials who wished to remain anonymous.

Coalition officials were in regular contact with their Russian counterparts before, during and after the attack, who had assured them that they would not target US and SDF forces in the area.

No American troops were wounded or killed in the attack, however one SDF member was hurt.

Officials believe the attack was an attempt by pro-regime forces to take back land the SDF had liberated from IS fighters in September, including oil fields in Khusham.

Interfax news agency quoted Franz Klintsevich, a Russian parliamentarian, condemning the airstrikes: "The actions of the US coalition do not comply with legal norms, beyond all doubt it is aggression."
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Re: Syria Superthread [merged]
« Reply #1816 on: February 13, 2018, 10:26:30 »
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-02-13/u-s-strikes-said-to-kill-scores-of-russian-fighters-in-syria

U.S. Strikes Killed Scores of Russia Fighters in Syria, Sources Say - 13 Feb 18

American, rebel forces repel attack by mercenaries in the east.The 200-plus deaths dwarf official Russian toll in the war.


U.S. forces killed scores of Russian mercenaries in Syria last week in what may be the deadliest clash between citizens of the former foes since the Cold War, according to one U.S. official and three Russians familiar with the matter.

More than 200 contract soldiers, mostly Russians fighting on behalf of Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad, died in a failed attack on a base held by U.S. and mainly Kurdish forces in the oil-rich Deir Ezzor region, two of the Russians said. The U.S. official put the death toll at about 100, with 200 to 300 injured.

The Russian assault may have been a rogue operation, underscoring the complexity of a conflict that started as a domestic crackdown only to morph into a proxy war involving Islamic extremists, stateless Kurds and regional powers Iran, Turkey and now Israel. Russia’s military said it had nothing to do with the attack and the U.S. accepted the claim. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis called the whole thing “perplexing,” but provided no further details.

President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, declined to comment on reports of Russian casualties, saying the Kremlin only tracks data on the country’s armed forces. Putin talked with U.S. President Donald Trump by phone Monday, but the military action in Syria wasn’t discussed, he said.

“This is a big scandal and a reason for an acute international crisis,” said Vladimir Frolov, a former Russian diplomat and lawmaker who’s now an independent political analyst. “But Russia will pretend nothing happened.”

Putin, with Iran’s help, turned the tide of the seven-year war by committing air- and manpower to buoy Assad’s beleaguered forces in 2015, quieting U.S. calls for the Syrian leader’s immediate removal. With Islamic State, which once controlled large swaths of Syria, now largely defeated, rival powers and militias are fighting in various combinations to fill the vacuum. Russia, Iran, Israel and Turkey have all had aircraft shot down in or near Syria this month.

Artillery, Tanks


Last week’s offensive began about 8 kilometers (5 miles) east of the Euphrates River de-confliction line late Feb. 7, when pro-Assad forces fired rounds and advanced in a “battalion-sized formation supported by artillery, tanks, multiple-launch rocket systems and mortars,” Colonel Thomas F. Veale, a spokesman for the U.S. military, said in a statement.

The U.S., which has advisers stationed at the base alongside Syrian Democratic Forces troops, responded with aircraft and artillery fire.

“Coalition officials were in regular communication with Russian counterparts before, during and after the thwarted, unprovoked attack,” Veale said. No fatalities were reported on the coalition side and “enemy vehicles and personnel who turned around and headed back west were not targeted.”

It’s not clear who was paying the Russian contingent, whether it was Russia directly, Syria, Iran or a third party. Reports in Russian media have said Wagner -- a shadowy organization known as Russia’s answer to Blackwater, now called Academi -- was hired by Assad or his allies to guard Syrian energy assets in exchange for oil concessions.

“No one wants to start a world war over a volunteer or a mercenary who wasn’t sent by the state and was hit by Americans,” Vitaly Naumkin, a senior adviser to Russia’s government on Syria, said in an interview.

Yury Barmin, a Middle East analyst at the Russian International Affairs Council, a think tank set up by the Kremlin, said Russia supports Assad’s efforts to reclaim the “crucial” eastern region of Deir Ezzor to help fund his national reconstruction and reconciliation plan, which the U.S. opposes.

Russia signed a “road map” agreement with Assad’s government last month to assist in rebuilding the nation’s electricity network. On Tuesday, Energy Minister Alexander Novak told reporters in Moscow that Russian companies are interested in contracts to help refurbish damaged oil pipelines and wells.

‘Illegal Presence’

While Russia’s Defense Ministry didn’t mention mercenaries in its statement, it did say 25 “Syrian” fighters were injured, without elaborating. It accused the U.S. of using its “illegal presence” in Syria as an excuse to “seize economic assets,” even as it kept lines of communication with the U.S. open.

Assad’s government in Damascus called the U.S. military action “barbaric” and a “war crime.”

The death toll from the skirmish, already about five times more than Russia’s official losses in Syria, is still rising, according to one mercenary commander who said by phone that dozens of his wounded men are still being treated at military hospitals in St. Petersburg and Moscow.

Most of those killed and injured were Russian and Ukrainian, many of them veterans of the separatist conflict in eastern Ukraine, according to Alexander Ionov, who runs a Kremlin-funded group that fosters ties to separatists and who’s personally fought alongside pro-government forces in Syria.

Grigory Yavlinsky, a longtime Russian opposition politician who helped steer democratic reforms after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, called on the authorities to come clean about what happened.

“If there has been mass deaths of Russian citizens in Syria, then the relevant authorities, including the general staff of the Russian armed forces, have a duty to inform the country about this and decide who bears responsibility,” Yavlinsky said on Twitter.



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Re: Syria Superthread [merged]
« Reply #1817 on: February 13, 2018, 10:39:35 »
The Turkish President has issued lots of threats lately.

Erdogan Warns Greece, Cyprus Over Gas Search, Aegean Islets

US funding of Kurdish militants in Syria to impact Turkey’s decisions: Erdogan


TURKEY WILL CRUSH U.S. 'TERROR ARMY' IN NORTHERN SYRIA, PRESIDENT ERDOGAN VOWS



Erdogan Warns U.S. Troops in Syria to Keep Away From Kurd Forces - 13 Feb 18

Turk leader bashes U.S. general’s threat to retaliate if hit. Questions alliance and ‘strategic partnership’ with the U.S.


Turkey’s leader lashed out against U.S. support of Kurdish militants in Syria, brandishing the prospect of an “Ottoman slap” after an American general threatened retaliation if his forces were hit by Turkey.

“It’s obvious that those who say, ‘If you hit us, we’ll hit back hard,’ have never in their lives gotten an Ottoman slap,” President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in a speech at parliament on Tuesday, responding to remarks by the top U.S. commander in Syria to the New York Times. “If those who come and go as they like through Turkey think they’re going to go stirring things up in places without paying for it, they’ll soon see that’s not the case."

The comments mark an escalation in rhetoric against the U.S., whose backing of the Syrian Kurdish YPG has enraged Turkey, which labels the group as a terrorist organization and has invaded Syria to combat it. That incursion has created an unprecedented military faceoff between the two largest armies in NATO, with U.S. forces fighting alongside the YPG while Turkey attacks it.

“You hit us, we will respond aggressively. We will defend ourselves,” the U.S. commander, Lieutenant General Paul Funk, said in a direct warning to Turkey in the interview published on Feb. 7.

Tillerson Visit

Erdogan spoke two days before U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is due to visit Ankara for what he said would be “tough talks” about Syria and other issues. The U.S. has been trying to urge Turkey to rein back its offensive against the Kurds, who’ve been instrumental allies for the U.S. in helping to defeat Islamic State. On Sunday, U.S. National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster met in Istanbul with Erdogan’s aide Ibrahim Kalin, without word of a breakthrough.

“They can say whatever they want. Their security representatives came and their secretary of state is going to come, we’ll talk to them too,” Erdogan said. “But if things don’t go according to law and rights, this can’t be called a partnership or an alliance.”

While Erdogan said that Turkey wouldn’t deliberately target U.S. forces, he warned U.S. soldiers to keep their distance from the YPG on the battlefield.

“We’re going to destroy every terrorist we see,” Erdogan said. “Then they’ll understand that it’d be better for them not to stand beside them.”
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jollyjacktar

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Re: Syria Superthread [merged]
« Reply #1818 on: February 21, 2018, 15:07:02 »
It seems as if Russia is using their "green men" similar to Ukraine, in Syria.  They, and pro-Assad troops tried to overrun some American advisors and Kurds.  The green men reportedly lost 200 men in the assault.

https://youtu.be/XaeDMOWkCwU

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Re: Syria Superthread [merged]
« Reply #1819 on: February 22, 2018, 12:16:43 »
"Tourists"

jollyjacktar

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Re: Syria Superthread [merged]
« Reply #1820 on: March 03, 2018, 12:54:19 »
Video of a Turkish Leo being taken out by Kurdish Female YPGs.  The secondaries... ouch!

 https://youtu.be/YafzmkvVRiI

Offline Thucydides

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Re: Syria Superthread [merged]
« Reply #1821 on: March 21, 2018, 12:58:47 »
Israel finally declassifies the 2007 raid which destroyed a Syrian nuclear reactor. The long article at link describes some of the planning considerations, especially the need to destroy the reactor while limiting the ability of the Assad regime to escalate into a full scale war:

https://www.defensenews.com/global/mideast-africa/2018/03/20/just-declassified-how-an-israeli-operation-derailed-syrias-nuclear-weapons-drive/

Quote
Declassified: How an Israeli operation derailed Syria’s nuclear weapons drive
By: Barbara Opall-Rome 

TEL AVIV, Israel — Israel’s pre-emptive attack a decade ago on a plutonium reactor in the Syrian desert not only derailed Damascus’ drive for nuclear weapons, but spared the world the specter of mass destruction capabilities falling into the hands of the Islamic State group.

That’s the message behind Israel’s first-ever official account of its operation Outside the Box, the four-hour mission that began before midnight on Sep. 5, 2007, to destroy Syria’s top-secret and nearly operational al-Kibar nuclear facility just weeks before it went hot.

“Imagine if today there was a nuclear reactor in Syria, what kind of situation we would be facing,” said Israeli Air Force Commander Amikam Norkin, the man who led the planning and execution of the “precision, low-signature” strike mission when he was chief of operations.

“From an historical perspective, I think the Israeli government decision to act and destroy the reactor is one of the most important decisions that were taken here over the last 70 years,” he added.

***

“In 2007, I was very worried that the operation could trigger war with Syria,” recalled retired Israeli Air Force Maj. Gen. Amos Yadlin, who was the head of military intelligence at the time. “Our mission was to eliminate an existential threat to the state of Israel, while minimizing the risk of a broader war.”
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline MarkOttawa

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Re: Syria Superthread [merged]
« Reply #1822 on: April 09, 2018, 19:05:50 »
Near end of piece:

Quote
Here Is How Russia and America Could Go to War in Syria
...
The Washington national security community has largely forgotten the Cold War concepts of nuclear deterrence and managing confrontations with a nuclear-armed rival. Over the past twenty-five years or so, Washington has become accustomed to a world where there are no great-power challengers and the only real threat comes from terrorism.'

“People have sophomoric views on great power confrontation here,” Kofman said. “In fact a lot of people don’t even understand nuclear strategy and deterrence all that well anymore and the escalatory dynamics. And you can tell by the conversations—we have been in the terrorism/counterinsurgency game for way too long and people don’t understand what they are playing with at senior levels. I hear it all the time. That’s all a recipe for a 1950-1960s  type interaction with another great power.”

Indeed, it might take a new version of the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis for the American foreign policy establishment to grasp how dangerous a confrontation with a rival nuclear-armed great power can be...
http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/here-how-russia-america-could-go-war-syria-25292?page=show

Mark
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Ça explique, mais ça n'excuse pas.

Offline CBH99

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Re: Syria Superthread [merged]
« Reply #1823 on: April 10, 2018, 00:29:07 »
Neither Russia nor the USA will go to full scale war over a ******* like Syria.

Proxy wars?  Yes.  It's already happening.  American SOF, Russian mercenaries, American conventional units now, aircraft from both sides operating in Syrian airspace (albeit in their own zones for the most part), each side supporting various factions for their own political goals.

Full scale war?  Highly highly doubtful.  Not worth it, from either side. 


We also tend to forget that as much as the western media likes to demonize the Russians, they aren't anywhere near the evil, diabolical, up to no good villains we make them out to be.  Even Russian nuclear doctrine clearly defines the use of nuclear weapons is authorized only when the very existence of the Russian state is at grave risk...

Articles like this I find sensationalize situations.  And while the situation in Syria is complicated, and not without risk to the territories surrounding it - nobody cares enough about Syria to escalate it much further than it already has been.
Fortune Favours the Bold...and the Smart.

Wouldn't it be nice to have some Boondock Saints kicking around?

Offline GR66

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Re: Syria Superthread [merged]
« Reply #1824 on: April 10, 2018, 07:19:00 »
Who would go to war over Serbia?  Poland?  Cuba?

Unplanned and unforeseen things can happen when bullets start flying.

I agree that Russia almost certainly wouldn’t plan to go to war over Syria, but when tensions rise things can happen.

Let’s say in retaliation for American strikes the Russians decide to buzz a USN ship in the Baltic and in a horrible low altitude accident the Russian fighter plows into the ship sinking it. Could that be misinterpreted as a missile attack?  Then a Russian fighter strays into Latvian airspace due to navigational error and a jittery Latvian pilot shoots it down. Does that put us closer to the line?

Made up scenarios I know, but strange and unforeseen things do happen and events can change quickly when people are under pressure.