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Syria Superthread [merged]

GR66

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No...it just means that just because someone is the enemy of your enemy it doesn't make them your friend.  They can both be "bad guys".
 

Jarnhamar

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Yup, never suggested they're our friends. All things considered wouldn't you say the Syrian government is less of a threat than ISIS?  If Syria is fighting Isis then attacking Syria is also aiding Isis in a round about way, no? 

The former us secretary of state admitted the US is aware Saudi Arabia is secretly assisting ISIS,  how come the US didn't give them the tomahawk treatment?
 

GR66

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It's exactly this kind of muddled complexity and the confusing web of interconnected and opposing interests that has many on here suggesting that we should just step back and let them fight it out among themselves and just focus on containing the "leakage" to the surrounding areas. 

Despite what many university professors might suggest, the world is a very complex place and there are no black and white solutions.  ANY action you take will have consequences that are counter to your original intentions, no matter how "moral" your motivations.  Even doing nothing will have negative impacts. 

There is no "correct" solution that has only good results and no negative consequences. 
 

SeaKingTacco

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Like a lot of people way smarter than I am, I viewed this strike having less to do with altruism (ie , protecting Syrian civilians from their own government) than straight out realpolitik.

IMHO, this Tomahawk strike was a lesson to Iran, North Korea and to a lesser extent Russia and China that this particular US administration is not to be trifiled with.

You can love Trump or hate him, but there is now no mistaking his willingness to act- for good or ill.
 

tomahawk6

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There is a disturbing story going around that McMaster is cooking up a scenario where up to 150,000 troops would go into Syria. I find the story hard to believe but Cernovich did expose the Susan Rice unmasking story. The US doesnt have 150,000 troops to send into Syria. Maybe if we could get the Turks to lead a coalition it could happen.

https://medium.com/@Cernovich/h-r-mcmaster-manipulating-intelligence-reports-to-trump-wants-150-000-ground-soldiers-in-syria-83346c433e99
 
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jollyjacktar

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SeaKingTacco said:
You can love Trump or hate him, but there is now no mistaking his willingness to act- for good or ill.

He's not a ditherer, as I strongly suspect our current PM is.  Cut from Paul Martin's cloth, he is.
 

Cdn Blackshirt

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If I were Trump, I wouldn't do that.

I'd provide logistics support, but if the Gulf Arabs want to protect the Sunni minority (who are not western-friendly from all reports), they should be providing the bulk of the troops for stabilization forces.

The threat to Russia is if they oppose the Sunni safe zones, the Gulf Arabs will again flood the world market with oil and bankrupt Russia in the process.

The hard part is Russia and Iran desperately want to maintain the Shia crescent to the Med, so having an independent Sunni state on the main transport routes is going to go over like a lead balloon.  Not to mention trying to keep the Sultan in-check.  I can see him flip-flopping "sides" if it gave him a free hand to occupy all the Kurdish zones in the North.


M.
 

Kirkhill

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tomahawk6 said:
There is a disturbing story going around that McMaster is cooking up a scenario where up to 150,000 troops would go into Syria. I find the story hard to believe but Cernovich did expose the Susan Rice unmasking story. The US doesnt have 150,000 troops to send into Syria. Maybe if we could get the Turks to lead a coalition it could happen.

https://medium.com/@Cernovich/h-r-mcmaster-manipulating-intelligence-reports-to-trump-wants-150-000-ground-soldiers-in-syria-83346c433e99

I'm with you T6.  Sending in gunners, Apaches and Tomahawks (not the retired kind) to support the locals is one thing.  Sending in Divisions is something else again.

Having said that I strongly suspect that the story is one of continuing press wars with various players spinning like crazy.

McMaster could be cooking the books.  Just like Clapper and Rice could have cooked the books.  And Flynn.

On the other hand he and Mattis could have both been tasked with, or offered, two options - small wars or D-Day - which the Donald will then get to pick.

I believe that the only thing we can be sure of is what happens after it happens.  And maybe that is the whole game.
 

Kirkhill

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On the other hand, there is this from the Telegraph:

Syria crisis: Russia raises prospect of war if it is given G7 ultimatum as it mocks Boris Johnson's no-show

Boris Johnson will lead talks with the G7 nations over Syria CREDIT: REUTERS

Gordon Rayner, political editor  Kate McCann, senior political correspondent
9 APRIL 2017 • 8:59AM

Russia has raised the prospect of war with the West as it mocked Boris Johnson for cancelling a trip to Moscow in the wake of the Syrian nerve gas attack.

The Russian Embassy in London posted a series of provocative tweets on its official account in which it suggested that "a conventional war" could be one outcome if the G7 group of nations presents it with an ultimatum later this week.

The Embassy also said it was "deplorable" that Mr Johnson was "unable to stand Western ground" by attending talks with his Russian counterpart.

(Russian Tweet)
Russian Embassy, UK ✔ @RussianEmbassy
If yesterday's statement by @BorisJohnson to be trusted,RTillerson will deliver G7 ultimatum to Moscow next week.What are probable outcomes?
5:08 AM - 9 Apr 2017
war of clowns
war of muses
a conventional war
a mix of the above
Vote
1,921 votes • 17 hours left
109 109 Retweets  50 50 likes


It came as Michael Fallon, the Defence Secretary, warned Russia it is responsible for the deaths caused by the Syrian chemical weapons attack "by proxy".

Is there a need to have an "all-in" gambit on the table?  Retaliatory missile strikes only work against Assad and if the Russians are willing to let the situation be limited to Assad.  If the Russians up the ante and take Assad under active protection against the US - shooting down missiles?  targeting aircraft?  targeting ships? - is there a need for a credible response to be on the table?
 

a_majoor

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Jarnhamar said:
Isn't the Syrian government  opposed to (and fighting) ISIS?

Why would the US oppose a government that's fighting against ISIS?

They Syrians and Russians say they are fighting ISIS, but the bulk of their actions are against domestic Syrian rebels who have been fighting the Assad Regime since 2014 or so. ISIS is more like a rabid pit bull. The Gulf States and the Turks were content to let ISIS run free so long as they fought the Shiites (Iranians) and the Kurds respectively, but now ISIS has long since slipped the leash and is a threat to everyone.
 
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jollyjacktar

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And I really hope Daesh turn around like the rabid turd it is and tears into the hands that have fed them.
 

PPCLI Guy

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jollyjacktar said:
And I really hope Daesh turn around like the rabid turd it is and tears into the hands that have fed them.

Sadly, I think the KSA is safe.....
 

Gunner98

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Jarnhamar said:
So we should have concentrated on Russia instead of Germany?

No, we should have finished the fight - in WWII and Gulf War - treaties are made between tired warriors and lead to peace which unfortunately is a temporary situation.
 

Altair

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tomahawk6 said:
There is a disturbing story going around that McMaster is cooking up a scenario where up to 150,000 troops would go into Syria. I find the story hard to believe but Cernovich did expose the Susan Rice unmasking story. The US doesnt have 150,000 troops to send into Syria. Maybe if we could get the Turks to lead a coalition it could happen.

https://medium.com/@Cernovich/h-r-mcmaster-manipulating-intelligence-reports-to-trump-wants-150-000-ground-soldiers-in-syria-83346c433e99
Considering Cernovich is the source I doubt we have anything to worry about.
 

daftandbarmy

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PPCLI Guy said:
Sadly, I think the KSA is safe.....

Unlike An Tanf Garrison, apparently. Looks like the boogey man was seen off handily though; well done chaps....

American Troops Helped Repel Brazen ISIS Assault On Joint Base In Syria

http://taskandpurpose.com/american-troops-helped-repel-brazen-isis-assault-joint-base-syria/
 

The Bread Guy

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A few tidbits from the U.S. info-machine ...
Statement by Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis on the U.S. Military Response to the Syrian Government’s Use of Chemical Weapons

Press Operations
Release No: NR-129-17
April 10, 2017

The U.S. military strike against Shayrat airfield on April 6 was a measured response to the Syrian government’s use of chemical weapons.

The president directed this action to deter future use of chemical weapons and to show the United States will not passively stand by while Assad murders innocent people with chemical weapons, which are prohibited by international law and which were declared destroyed.

The assessment of the Department of Defense is that the strike resulted in the damage or destruction of fuel and ammunition sites, air defense capabilities, and 20 percent of Syria’s operational aircraft. The Syrian government has lost the ability to refuel or rearm aircraft at Shayrat airfield and at this point, use of the runway is of idle military interest.

The Syrian government would be ill-advised ever again to use chemical weapons.
Trump Calls Commanders of Ships That Executed Syrian Strike

By Cheryl Pellerin DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON, April 10, 2017 — President Donald J. Trump yesterday made congratulatory calls to the commanding officers of the two Navy destroyers whose personnel executed the April 6 missile strike against the Shayrat Air Base in Syria, according to a White House statement.

Trump thanked Cmdr. Andria Slough of the USS Porter and Cmdr. Russell Caldwell of the USS Ross and their crews for their speed, precision and effectiveness in carrying out the operation against the airfield from which U.S. Central Command said was directly tied to the April 4 chemical weapons attack launched against civilians by the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

The strike was conducted using Tomahawk missiles launched from the Eastern Mediterranean Sea.

Commanders’ Comments

"The success of this mission hinged upon our sailors' excellent training, technical knowledge, and dedication to their work," Caldwell, the commander of the USS Ross, said in a U.S. European Command news release. "It was a distinct honor to hear firsthand from our commander in chief that these operations had a direct impact in support of his national objectives."

The USS Porter, forward-deployed to Rota, Spain, departed on its third forward-deployed patrol Nov. 30, 2016, and is conducting routine patrols in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations in support of U.S. national security interests in Europe, according to the Eucom release. Slough took command of the USS Porter on Jan. 28, 2016. In February, the USS Porter went to the Black Sea and participated in the Romanian led exercise Sea Shield.

In March, the USS Porter participated in the multilateral Allied Maritime Command anti-submarine, anti-surface warfare Exercise Dynamic Manta 2017. Also in March, the Porter was awarded the 2016 Atlantic Fleet "Bloodhound" award, signifying the best ship in the fleet at anti-submarine warfare.

"In general, the president said he was impressed with Porter's precision and lethality,” Slough said. “It was obvious he was extremely pleased with our performance, and is glad we're out here patrolling in U.S. 6th Fleet.”

U.S. 6th Fleet, headquartered in Naples, Italy, conducts the full spectrum of joint and naval operations, often in concert with allied, joint, and interagency partners, in order to advance U.S. national interests and security and stability in Europe and Africa.

Syria Strike

During a briefing today at the Pentagon, Centcom spokesman Army Col. John Thomas said that 59 missiles targeted aircraft, hardened aircraft shelters, petroleum and logistical storage, ammunition supply bunkers, air defense systems and radars.

“We didn't crater the runway; we were not trying to make the airfield long-term inoperable. What we did was degrade the Syrians' ability to carry out chemical weapons attacks from that base in the short term,” Thomas told reporters.

He said the strike blew up “tens of thousands of gallons of fuel” and “destroyed or rendered inoperable” more than 20 aircraft.

“What we didn't strike were any areas that we believed Russian soldiers were operating out of,” Thomas added, “and we didn't strike what we believe was the munitions area where there may have been chemical weapons so we wouldn't create a plume [of toxic gases] or any further damage or harm to personnel.”

After the strike, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve commander Army Lt. Gen. Stephen J. Townsend positioned and called-in resources needed for force protection “in case anybody wanted to take retaliatory actions,” Thomas said.

Tanf Garrison

Also in Syria, coalition forces and partnered vetted Syrian opposition forces repelled an attack by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria of a partnered military base in southern Syria on April 8, according to a CJTF-OIR news release.

ISIS initiated the attack on the Tanf garrison near the Syria-Jordan border with a vehicle bomb, and that 20 to 30 ISIS fighters, some wearing suicide vests, followed with a ground assault, the release said.

Coalition and partnered forces defended against the attack with direct fire before multiple coalition airstrikes destroyed enemy assault vehicles and killed fighters with multiple coalition airstrikes.

Along with close air support, the coalition provided ground and medevac support, Thomas said.

“The vetted Syrian opposition repulsed a coordinated, complex attack,” he added. “Three partner-force soldiers were killed in that engagement, but it was successful in defeating dozens of attackers in that area.”

(Follow Cheryl Pellerin on Twitter: @PellerinDoDNews)
Readout of President Donald J. Trump’s Call with the Commanding Officers of the USS Ross and USS Porter

Yesterday, President Donald J. Trump called Commander Andria Slough, Commanding Officer of USS Porter, and Commander Russell Caldwell, Commanding Officer of USS Ross, to thank them and their personnel for successfully executing the strike against the Shayrat Air Base in Syria, the location the regime of Bashar al-Assad used to launch a heinous chemical weapons attack against innocent civilians.  The President commended the two commanders and their crews for the speed, precision, and effectiveness with which they carried out the operation.  The President communicated that, as the Commander in Chief, he could not be more proud of the crews of USS Porter and USS Ross and their flawless execution of the operation.
 

Jarnhamar

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I still have a hard time believing the Syrian government would choose now to attack their own citizens with chemical weapons. It doesn't smell right (heh). 

Bit of a long quite but it makes me think of the (fake)  testimony of a 15year old girl that the US drew upon considerably for their argument leading to Gulf war 1.

The Nayirah testimony was a false testimony given before the Congressional Human Rights Caucus on October 10, 1990 by a 15-year-old girl who provided only her first name, Nayirah. The testimony was widely publicized, and was cited numerous times by United States senators and President George H.W. Bush in their rationale to back Kuwait in the Gulf War. In 1992, it was revealed that Nayirah's last name was al-Ṣabaḥ (Arabic: نيره الصباح‎‎) and that she was the daughter of Saud Al-Sabah, the Kuwaiti ambassador to the United States. Furthermore, it was revealed that her testimony was organized as part of the Citizens for a Free Kuwait public relations campaign which was run by American Hill & Knowlton for the Kuwaiti government. Following this, al-Sabah's testimony has come to be regarded as a classic example of modern atrocity propaganda.[1][2]

In her emotional testimony, Nayirah stated that after the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait she had witnessed Iraqi soldiers take babies out of incubators in a Kuwaiti hospital, take the incubators, and leave the babies to die.

Her story was initially corroborated by Amnesty International[3] and testimony from evacuees. Following the liberation of Kuwait, reporters were given access to the country. An ABC report found that "patients, including premature babies, did die, when many of Kuwait's nurses and doctors... fled" but Iraqi troops "almost certainly had not stolen hospital incubators and left hundreds of Kuwaiti babies to die."[4][5] Amnesty International reacted by issuing a correction, with executive director John Healey subsequently accusing the Bush administration of "opportunistic manipulation of the international human rights movement".[6]

Strange that the Syrian government picked now to launch an illegal and internationally condemned chemical weapons attack which they had to have known would be responded to. 
 
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