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Syria Superthread [merged]

The Bread Guy

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Jarnhamar said:
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). 

(...)

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.
Hey, according to pro-Syrian media, the original gas attack may not have involved a nerve agent at all - if one cares to believe that sort of thing ...

And I'm still waiting for someone from "the rebels did it" faction to tell me how many airplanes the rebel air forces have to have dropped the stuff.
 

Eye In The Sky

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I guess barrel-bombs are okay for killing your own citizens.  Or *insert way to kill people here, minus chemical weapons*. 
 

Altair

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Jarnhamar said:
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.


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.
Responded to? Like Obama did after he gas attacked a suburb in 2013? Trump has been onside with Russia for a while, he said he didn't believe in taking out Assad, he said in the past he wouldn't get involved in Syria.

Assad probably thought there would be zero price to pay for doing it now. He simply miscalculated.
 

The Bread Guy

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Eye In The Sky said:
I guess barrel-bombs are okay for killing your own citizens.  Or *insert way to kill people here, minus chemical weapons*.
C'mon, now - the Syrian government says they're dealing with terrorists ...
 

Jarnhamar

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[quote author=Altair]

Assad probably thought there would be zero price to pay for doing it now. He simply miscalculated.
[/quote]

Because the US doesn't have a history of making stuff up in order to justify military action and their further involvement?

Assad needed chemical weapons (giving him a super villan status) to kill 89 civilians?  That's quite the miscalculation. Doesn't make sense IMO.

That's
 

Altair

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Jarnhamar said:
Because the US doesn't have a history of making stuff up in order to justify military action and their further involvement?

Assad needed chemical weapons (giving him a super villan status) to kill 89 civilians?  That's quite the miscalculation. Doesn't make sense IMO.

That's
First of all, I doubt they were all civilian.

Unless the definition of civilian means they dropped their gun before they dropped to the ground.

Funny how we never see the bodies of dead fighters, always only civilians bodies make the news. Women and children, I'll by that for the most part, but I doubt all the men killed were just minding their own business.

That said, Assad has used chemical weapons in the past, for whatever reasons, so I wouldn't be surprised if he used them again now, especially if he thought that Trump was turning a blind eye to his country and his conduct, figuring that if the Russians were providing him cover he could get away with it like he did with Obama.

A very bad miscalculation, because unlike Obama, it appears trump is willing to blow stuff up when his red lines are crossed.
 

Cloud Cover

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Altair said:
A very bad miscalculation, because unlike Obama, it appears trump is willing to blow stuff up when his red lines are crossed.

I think he will only do that as long as it is safe to strike with the illusion of impunity. If a US ship gets blown to pieces (which is not an implausible scenario), he will have to really lay down his cards, at which point Congress will almost certainly bail on him.    He might do better with a kill or capture order for Assad sooner rather than later (or the lesser option of forcing him to flee by sending another 60 missiles to obliterate several of the houses he (Assad) possesses, his offices, the places of his mistress(es) etc.). 
 

Altair

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Cloud Cover said:
I think he will only do that as long as it is safe to strike with the illusion of impunity. If a US ship gets blown to pieces (which is not an implausible scenario), he will have to really lay down his cards, at which point Congress will almost certainly bail on him.    He might do better with a kill or capture order for Assad sooner rather than later (or the lesser option of forcing him to flee by sending another 60 missiles to obliterate several of the houses he (Assad) possesses, his offices, the places of his mistress(es) etc.).
Do you honestly think that congress is hyper partisan enough to bail on the president after an act of war is committed against the United States?
 

GR66

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Cloud Cover said:
I think he will only do that as long as it is safe to strike with the illusion of impunity. If a US ship gets blown to pieces (which is not an implausible scenario), he will have to really lay down his cards, at which point Congress will almost certainly bail on him.    He might do better with a kill or capture order for Assad sooner rather than later (or the lesser option of forcing him to flee by sending another 60 missiles to obliterate several of the houses he (Assad) possesses, his offices, the places of his mistress(es) etc.).

With regard to the part in yellow, I want to be clear as to what you are suggesting.  Are you saying that in your mind it's quite possible that Russia could respond to an American attack on Syrian forces/facilities by attempting to sink a USN ship?

I personally have my doubts that Russia would initiate a war with the US over their Syrian proxy state.  That would be a VERY big escallation and Russia would have much more to lose than it might possibly gain.  Is it IMPOSSIBLE that a rash decision or miscalculation might result in direct conflict between US and Russian forces?  Of course not, but I think that there would be a lot of pressure to maintain restraint.

For example, the US notified the Russians of their missile strike in advance in order to avoid possible Russian casualties.  When Turkey shot down the Russian SU-24 in 2015 Russia didn't launch military strikes against Turkey.  Russia even had their fighter pilots flying against the Americans in Korea and Vietnam and that didn't result in a direct nation to nation military confrontation.
 

Cloud Cover

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You are right, I should have been more clear.

One of any of Syria, Iran or Iran through Hezbollah, certainly not Russia although Medvedev is now saying the US and Russia are the closest to war since the Cuban missile crisis.

I think Assad has become a liability to Putin  after the past 10 days.
Congress will not support a macho rootin' tootin' shootin' Trump at the cost of a successful direct engagement on a large USN vessel.  They would distance themselves from the humiliation of such a loss even though the military response would be overwhelming (but not decisive of the matter).

The 'strategic confusion' of the past few days from the Trump administration signals there is still too much top level volatility.

 

The Bread Guy

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Cloud Cover said:
... Congress will not support a macho rootin' tootin' shootin' Trump at the cost of a successful direct engagement on a large USN vessel.  They would distance themselves from the humiliation of such a loss even though the military response would be overwhelming (but not decisive of the matter) ...
In spite of partisan infighting among the Republicans, if I had to bet, I'd put a loonie on a firm hit on a U.S. vessel bringing a lot of House GOP folks together pretty damned quickly, whether they like POTUS45 or not.
 

The Bread Guy

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Jarnhamar said:
Because the US doesn't have a history of making stuff up in order to justify military action and their further involvement?

Assad needed chemical weapons (giving him a super villan status) to kill 89 civilians?  That's quite the miscalculation. Doesn't make sense IMO.
I know this'll make some people's heads explode, but now, we have intelligence information shared by the POTUS45 administration with MSM saying it was Syria ...
The Trump administration took the unusual step Tuesday of unveiling intelligence discrediting Russia’s attempts to shield its ally, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, from blame in last week’s deadly chemical attack.

The newly released details of a U.S. intelligence assessment, which officials said demonstrated Syrian culpability in the April 4 assault that killed at least 70 people, added to rapidly escalating tensions with the Kremlin and signaled a move away from hopes for U.S. rapprochement with Russia.

Officials said their case against the Syrian government included signals and aerial intelligence — combined with local reporting and samples taken from victims of the attack — that showed a Russian-made, Syrian-piloted SU-22 aircraft dropped at least one munition carrying the nerve agent sarin ...
And if you don't trust MSM or U.S. intelligence, here's what the Whitehouse shared Tuesday (also attached in case the link doesn't work for you).
 

Attachments

  • whitehouse.gov-Background Press Briefing on Syria 4112017.pdf
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The Bread Guy

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Jarnhamar said:
I still have a hard time believing the Syrian government would choose now to attack their own citizens with chemical weapons ...
You're not the only one wondering about that - here's the Whitehouse's explanation ...
... in the middle of March, opposition forces launched an offensive from Southern Idlib province toward the major city of Hama, which is a strategic city in Syria.  It’s Syria’s third city, and it’s also the location of a key Syrian regime airbase that has been crucial for the regime and the forces that support it for projecting power from central Syria, both along the western spine, from Aleppo down to the south, and also further to the east to support operations in Palmyra.  So that is an airbase that the regime had to calculate that it could not lose.

The opposition offensive approach was able to penetrate to within just a couple of miles of that strategic airbase and also threatened the Hama population center within just a few miles.

At that point, the regime we think calculated that with its manpower spread quite thin, trying to support both defensive operations and consolidation operations in Aleppo and along that north-south spine of western Syria, and also trying to support operations which required it to send manpower and resources east toward Palmyra, we believe that the regime probably calculated at that point that chemical weapons were necessary in order to try to make up for the manpower deficiency. 

That's why we saw, we believe, multiple attacks of this nature against locations that the regime probably determined were support areas for the opposition forces that were near Hama -- for example, in the town of Al-Tamanah and then in the town of Khan Sheikhun, both of which are in what would be, in military terms, the rear area for the opposition forces that were on the front line. 

So we believe certainly that there was an operational calculus that the regime and perhaps its Russian advisors went through in terms of the decision-making ...
 

Eye In The Sky

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Altair said:
First of all, I doubt they were all civilian.

Unless the definition of civilian means they dropped their gun before they dropped to the ground.

Funny how we never see the bodies of dead fighters, always only civilians bodies make the news. Women and children, I'll by that for the most part, but I doubt all the men killed were just minding their own business.

If you think that men aren't also in the *innocent victims* category in Iraq and Syria, you have no idea what is going on there then.  Its just that simple.
 

Altair

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Eye In The Sky said:
If you think that men aren't also in the *innocent victims* category in Iraq and Syria, you have no idea what is going on there then.  Its just that simple.

but I doubt all the men killed were just minding their own business.

I'm sure some of them were civilians, I doubt all of them were civilians.
 

Colin Parkinson

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Cloud Cover said:
And BTW, the US committed an act of war against Syria, did it not?

and? Syria has been doing the same to Lebanon for 20+ years, plus it's still technically at war with one of the US allies.
 

Altair

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I'm curious as to what Trump would do if the Syrians launched another chemical attack.

They relocated all their air assets to bases with Russian planes and personnel.
 
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