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Syria Superthread [merged]

The Bread Guy

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Aaaaaaaaaaand ... break (via RUS MoD Info-machine) ...
Russian Defence Minister General of the Army Sergei Shoigu announced the stop of airstrikes in the area of Aleppo

Today, the Russian Defence Minister General of the Army Sergei Shoigu held teleconference with the leadership of the Russian Armed Forces.

Issues of implementation of the State Defence Order and realization of 2020 Activity Plan of the Defence Ministry in military districts and the Northern Fleet were discussed in course of the teleconference. 

Before listening to reports of the leadership, the Head of the defence department informed the participants about decisions aimed at situation stabilization in the area of the Aleppo city (Syrian Arab Republic).

“Today (18 Oct), strikes by the Russian Aerospace Forces and the Syrian Air Force are finished at 10:00 (MSK)* in the area of Aleppo. Early termination of the airstrikes is essential for holding a “humanitarian pause” on October 20, 2016”, said General of the Army Sergei Shoigu.

According to him, it will allow to guarantee security of civilians leaving the city through 6 humanitarian corridors and to prepare casualty and medical evacuation from the eastern part of Aleppo.

“We apply to the leadership of countries influencing on armed formations active in the eastern part of Aleppo with a proposal to convince their leaders to stop warfare and leave the city,” stated the Minister of Defence.

According to General of the Army Sergei Shoigu, by the start of the “humanitarian pause” the Syrian troops will have been withdrawn to the distance safe for insurgents to leave the city with weapons through two special corridors: one – along the Kastello road, second – in the area of Suk al-Hai market. 

“We believe that the Russian initiative is to promote success of work held by military experts from different countries, which starts tomorrow in Geneva,” said General of the Army Sergei Shoigu.

In accordance to the Defence Minister, the work is mainly aimed at dividing terrorists from the “moderate opposition” and their withdrawal from the eastern part of Aleppo. A group of Russian military specialists have already arrived in Geneva. 

“Everyone who is really interested in the early situation stabilization in the Aleppo city is to launch real practical activities instead of political red taping,” said the Minister of Defence.
* -- 0300 Eastern Daylight Time, 0700 UTC
 

a_majoor

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The Obama Administration's handling (or lack thereof) of the Syrian Civil war is poised to spin out of control, according to Turkey. What is really ironic is the situation the Obama Administration has put itself into; on one hand they side with the Shiite Iranian regime, including allowing them to continue with their nuclear program and paint over a billion dollars in cash to ransom Americans, yet on the other they support forces which seek to overthrow Iran's ally Assad. While the region's fractured religious, political and ethnic nature is bound to be confusing (Turkey is willing to use ISIS as a club to beat the Kurds, while still being in the fight against ISIS, to name one example), stumbling into war due to lack of foresight or having no strategic plan is quite another thing:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/us-russia-third-world-war-syria-conflict-aleppo-turkey-deputy-prime-minister-numan-kurtulmus-a7366571.html

US and Russia could 'start Third World War over Syria conflict', says Turkey
'If this proxy war continues, let me be clear, America and Russia will come to a point of war'

The US and Russia could drive the world into a global war if the conflict in Syria is not resolved, Turkey has warned.

Tensions have become increasingly heightened between Washington and Moscow in recent weeks. Last week, the US and UK warned Russia and its ally the Syrian government that new economic sanctions could be imposed if the bombing of Syria's besieged Aleppo continues.

On Sunday, Russia condemned Washington for making “unprecedented” threats of cyber attacks following accusations by the Obama administration that Moscow had hacked computers belonging to American political organisations.

Turkish deputy prime minister Numan Kurtulmus said: "If this proxy war continues, after this, let me be clear, America and Russia will come to a point of war," the Daily Mail reports.

He suggested the Syrian conflict could be the beginning of World War Three, saying it had put the world "on the brink of the beginning of a large regional or global war".

Earlier this month a Russian newspaper warned that Russian President Vladimir Putin is playing an "astonishingly risky game" in the Syrian conflict that could lead to a Third World War.

Popular tabloid, Moskovsky Komsomolets, ran an article that suggested hostilities in Syria could spark a “direct military confrontation" between the nations of a similar scale to the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis.

Russia's military announced on Monday that Russian and Syrian forces would halt hostilities for eight hours in the eastern districts of Aleppo.

It did not include any promises of an extended cease-fire and followed a bloody day of air strikes on rebel-held districts in and around the city.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at least 50 civilians, including 18 children, were killed in air strikes on the eastern part of the city in the 24 hours before the Russian announcement.

READ MORE
Boris Johnson raises prospect of further UK military involvement in Syria
US and Russia 'will go to war' unless proxy Syria conflict resolved, Turkey warns
The number of civilians killed by Russian and Coalition air strikes in Syria
Boris Johnson’s speech on Syria is a bad case of the pot calling the kettle black
Monday's air strikes coincided with the launch in neighbouring Iraq of a major operation by Iraqi and Kurdish forces, backed by the US-led coalition, to retake the northern city of Mosul from the so-called Islamic State group.

Mr Kurtulmus announced on Monday that Turkey is ready for hundreds of thousands of refugees from Mosul if the operations fuels sectarian violence.

"If the Mosul operation is handled correctly, there won't be a refugee wave into Turkey," Mr Kurtulmus told a news conference in Ankara.

"[But] if something goes wrong in Mosul, hundreds of thousands will put their migrant bags on their backs, they will be miserable and worn out, and come with their belongings to the only place they can go to, which is Turkey," he said.

The United Nations refugee agency said up to 100,000 Iraqis may flee to Syria and Turkey to escape the assault on Mosul, a city of 1.5 million people where Isis have declared a "caliphate".

Turkey is home to more than three million Syrian refugees, however its refugee camps can only house around 200,000 people.

Additional reporting by agencies
 

Journeyman

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Thucydides said:
The Obama Administration's handling (or lack thereof) of the Syrian Civil war is poised to spin out of control, according to Turkey.

The article actually states "US and Russia could 'start Third World War over Syria conflict', says Turkey.  It goes on to state, citing a Russian newspaper, that "Russian President Vladimir Putin is playing an "astonishingly risky game" in the Syrian conflict that could lead to a Third World War.


Facts don't fit with some repetitive narratives and lame IA attempts here, but if you're going to bullshit in the hopes people will only read a 'headline' you provided, at the very  least don't include the article that shows what is actually stated.    :not-again:
 

a_majoor

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With the stationing of the Russian naval battlegroup off the coast of Syria, the Russians may have effectively created a "No Fly" zone of their own. Putin may have taken a gamble (as suggested upthread), but he evidently read the lack of American any clear strategic aims and will correctly, so now any American attempts to intervene in Syria will require overcoming the Russian AD shield, and more ominously, direct confrontation between US and Russian forces.

So the US now is in essentially a reactive posture, lacking clear goals and having few regional allies to rely on to project force in Syria for whatever aims they may have left. Like I noted, the entire policy seems insane, the right hand provides the Iranians billions of dollars and freedom to continue their nuclear program, while the left half heartedly attempts to remove a close Iranian ally.

Hillary talking about establishing an American "No Fly" zone under these conditions seems the "astonishingly risky game" now.
 

CBH99

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Any attempt to create a "No Fly" zone over Syria is a non-starter, with all of the diplomatic and legal baggage a move like that would bring with it.

I'm still at a loss here...honestly, if someone can explain this to me, I would very much appreciate it.

Why does the US give a s**t about what is happening in Syria? 

-  No WMD threat. 

-  A-hole President that needs to go, sure.  But we've seen many times now, forcible regime change without a follow-on strategy doesn't lead to anything better.

-  Conflict has created a huge refugee crisis which, quite frankly (in my own, cold hearted opinion) has created a HUGE problem that won't go away anytime soon unless we forcibly send them packing.  (I'm referring to the migrant crisis in Europe, to be clear.)

^^Seems to causing a lot more trouble than its worth^^


I'm just not understanding why Syria is of such significant strategic value here.
 

a_majoor

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More on the Russian created "No Fly Zone" over Syria. There is one air force which it is particularly intended to keep out....

http://observer.com/2016/10/there-is-a-no-fly-zone-in-syria-one-russia-created/

There Is a No-Fly Zone in Syria—One Russia Created
By Micah Halpern • 10/31/16 7:42am
Russia now bases advances missiles in Syria.

The world has given Vladimir Putin carte blanche to do whatever he wants in the Middle East. It’s been that way ever since September of 2015 when Russia began its intervention on the ground in Syria. It was all part of a larger Russian plan that few—if anyone bothered to pay attention to.

The objective of the United States was to try to stop Syrian and Russian planes from causing civilian damage, especially in Aleppo. But the tables are now turned. Now the supposed protectors of innocent Syrians—the US and her coalition partners—will need to ask permission to fly their planes over Syria because they would be flying in the new, Russian, multi-layered, missile shield known as the “Integrated Air Defense System.”

This was the Russian plan from the beginning. Putin was (and still is) intent on keeping Bashar Assad in power until ISIS and al Qaeda are removed and calm is restored to Syria. Russia has established its Mideast base of operations in Tartus.

Here is how the Russian no fly zone works.

The first thing the Russians did was to bring in and install a massive deployment of the sophisticated and integrated anti-aircraft weapons system called the S-300 at their $3 billion naval base in Tartus The S-300 is, by the way, the same system they are selling and delivering to the Iranians. That move took place on October 3rd. The new S-300 deployment augmented the S-200s that were already in place throughout Syria.

Next, the Russians added a series of very effective short range surface-to-air missiles. The PantsirS1 and the Buk missiles are part of the naval weapons on Russia’s guided missile cruisers which sit anchored off the Syrian coast.

Now, add to that the Integrated Defense System which links all these systems plus others like the most advanced and newest of all missiles, the S-400 missile system which has a range of 350 miles and, voila, a Russian-operated no-fly zone is born.

Why is there a threat that would require having such an advanced, layered, anti-aircraft defense system in Syria? After all, ISIS doesn’t even have an air-force.

The zone has an overlay of air defense levels at 110 miles, then 220 miles and finally, at 300 miles. That is, by all standards, very, very extensive.

The question begs asking: Why is there a threat that would require having such an advanced, layered, anti-aircraft defense system in Syria? After all, ISIS doesn’t even have an air-force. And there is no other threat to Syria other than the 14 nations that are flying (or were flying until the no-fly zone went up) through Russian-controlled airspace. Two of those air forces fly there with impunity—Russia and Syria.

Israel and Russia have gone to great lengths to make certain that, at least when it comes to their air-forces flying over Syria, they are on the same page and there will be no problems. There have been face-to-face meeting between Putin and Netanyahu to iron out any issues and to secure lines of communication. Putin has said that Israel can and should defend herself. Israel has said that they are not taking a side, but they will certainly prevent weapons from being transferred into the hands of Hezbollah. If need be, they will also retaliate when necessary. Russia will be informed by Israel in advance but may not pass a warning on to Israel’s target. These are the terms of Israeli and Russia’s agreement.

That leaves 11 other countries, including the United States. The US and Russia are on opposite sides of almost everything when it comes to Syria. And given the current status of the Russian defense system, the other air forces are, effectively, now grounded.
 

Flavus101

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It appears the Russian's have lost a jet. Pilot made it out safely.
http://www.foxnews.com/world/2016/11/14/russian-fighter-jet-crashes-near-its-aircraft-carrier-in-mediterranean-us-officials-say.html

Russian fighter jet crashes near its aircraft carrier in Mediterranean, US officials say
By Lucas Tomlinson  Published November 14, 2016  FoxNews.com

A Russian fighter jet crashed in the Mediterranean Sea shortly after launching from its aircraft carrier near the coast of Syria Sunday, two U.S. officials told Fox News.

Three Russian MiG-29 fighter jets took off from their Soviet-era aircraft carrier, Admiral Kuznetsov, and flew in the direction of Syria. Once airborne, one of the Russian jets appeared to have mechanical difficulties and turned around in the direction of the aircraft carrier.

The Russian jet splashed down in the water while attempting to land. A Russian rescue helicopter picked up a parachute and the pilot, who'd bailed out safely, Russian defense officials said.


The MiG-29 was designed in the late-1970s to counter the U.S. Air Force’s F-15 and F-16. It entered service in the early 1980s.

The news of the crash came a day after state media claimed Russia was preparing its Tu-95 and Tu-160 long-range bombers for imminent strike missions in Syria. 

The Russian Tu-95 “Bear” and Tu-160 “Blackjack,” according to their NATO call signs, have been operating in Syria since 2015 and are based at Engels Air Force base in southern Russia near Kazakhstan.  The Blackjack is a supersonic variable-sweep wing long range bomber and more advanced than its 1950s-era Bear counterpart, which is propeller driven. 

Last week, Fox News was first to report Russia was close to launching a new round of airstrikes in Syria from the aircraft carrier in the Eastern Mediterranean and southern Russia using long range bombers.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


Lucas Tomlinson is the Pentagon and State Department producer for Fox News Channel. You can follow him on Twitter: @LucasFoxNews
 
J

jollyjacktar

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Some good footage of French SF taking out a VBIED after a TOW misses.  I love happy endings.  ;D

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3935596/We-ve-got-Stunning-moment-French-special-forces-blow-suicide-truck-heading-allied-forces-Raqqa-seconds-wire-guided-missile-misses-target.html#comments
 

tomahawk6

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The presence of Russian KOS SOF has been revealed.The Russians do love their special forces. :D

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/checkpoint/wp/2016/12/13/new-battlefield-video-shows-how-russias-elite-kso-military-unit-is-fighting-in-syria/?utm_term=.bc87fde147cb

On Sunday, Russian state-run television ran a segment showing what appears to be one of Russia’s most elite military units fighting in Syria, putting an often secretive Special Operations detachment in the limelight, albeit briefly.

Footage of Russian troops in Syria is extremely uncommon. The nine-minute segment is composed of various clips, some of it focused on training, likely in Russia, while other parts take place in Syria. The unit is probably Russia’s Special Operations Command, or KSO, a group akin to the U.S. military’s elite Delta Force that has existed for only a few years.
 

suffolkowner

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Propaganda or not? I'm not a big fan of either
 

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jollyjacktar

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Chickenscratch, chickenscratch some numbers and graphics of whatever..... meh!
 

CougarKing

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From last month: Assad's Hezbollah allies have new armored vehicles!  :eek:

IHS Jane's 360

17 November 2016
Held to mark the group's annual Martyrs' Day, the parade involved dozens of armoured vehicles, including T-72 and T-54/55 tanks, BMP-1 infantry fighting vehicles, M113 and MT-LBu armoured personnel carriers (APCs), 2S1 Gvozdika self-propelled howitzers, and ZSU-57-2 self-propelled anti-aircraft guns.

Kuwait's Al-Rai newspaper reported in September 2015 that the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) had delivered 75 T-72 and T-55 tanks to Hizbollah.

Photographs of the parade showed M113s armed with 14.5 mm ZPU-2 light anti-aircraft guns.

p1692639.jpg

An 85 mm KS-1 anti-aircraft gun is seen mounted on a GM during the Hizbullah parade in Al-Qusayr on 11 November. Columns of M113 APCs and T-72 and T-55 tanks can be seen in the background. (Fars News Agency)

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Hezbollah has U.S. armored personnel carriers. But how did they get them? | washingtonpost

Over the weekend images surfaced online of a Hezbollah parade in Qusair, Syria, featuring U.S. armored personnel carriers affixed with antiaircraft guns. The images prompted a flurry of speculation about the vehicles’ origin and whether the group had pilfered the stocks of the U.S.-supplied Lebanese military.

The armored personnel carrier, known as the M113, is one of the United States’ most ubiquitous armored vehicles and has been in service since the 1960s. The tracked semi-rhombus-shaped vehicle comes in numerous variants and can be outfitted to carry troops and artillery; its chassis was even used as the basis for a nuclear-missile carrier. It has appeared in every major U.S. conflict since the Vietnam War and is used by U.S. police departments and dozens of others countries’ militaries around the world.

CxKkgB1WgAA62iB.jpg

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Hezbollah parade in Qusayr features multiple US-made M113 APCs with mounted ZPU-2 (left), most likely source: Lebanese Armed Forces (right).

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Photos taken from ynetnews

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Hezbollah tracked vehicles
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Hezbollah tanks and APCs on display
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Hezbollah heavy weapons on display
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Hezbollah ATVs with Kornet missiles mounted on them
 

MarkOttawa

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Good piece by Robert Sibley in the Ottawa Citizen on R2P and neo-colonialism:

Why the West can't be bothered to save Aleppo

More from Robert Sibley
http://ottawacitizen.com/author/robert-sibley

In 2001, Ignatieff was one of three members of the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty set up by the Canadian government and charged with finding a way that would justify nations violating the sovereignty of another nation to prevent, in the words of then UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, “gross and systematic violations of human rights.” Ignatieff is widely associated with the concept that emerged from this commission: “responsibility to protect,” or R2P.

“The idea of a responsibility to protect,” Ignatieff explained in a 2002 article, “attempts to invent, for a post-imperial, post-colonial era, a form of temporary rule that reproduces the best effects of empire (inward investment, pacification, and impartial administration), without reproducing the worst features (corruption, repression, confiscation of local capacity).”

The idea appealed to those who faulted Western governments for not preventing genocide in Rwanda and ethnic cleansing in Srebrenica in the mid-1990s. They saw “responsibility to protect” as a way to prod political leaders to respond to humanitarian crises even if they required military intervention.

Is it time to revisit this idea given the horrors of Aleppo? Last week, after a long siege that saw thousands of civilians killed, the Syrian army, backed by Iran, Hezbollah and Russia, retook the city from Islamist rebels. There have been numerous reports of atrocities, including the shooting of women and children.

Once again Western leaders – and Westerners – are being denounced for failing to prevent this...

This reality [what happened in Iraq] points up the difficulty of R2P. If it is to work it requires the West to have armies and administrators assume, in Ignatieff’s words, “temporary rule” of the failing state, but also the willingness of locals to be ruled by foreigners.

This is not an indefensible idea. In an increasingly chaotic world, Western countries might in their own defence need to invoke what theorist Robert Cooper refers to as “the imperialism of neighbours,” whereby they take charge of the failed state and provide good government, administrative competence and institutional order until the locals can do it themselves.

While plausible, the restore to empire lite, even to Cooper’s version, is unlikely given the anti-imperialist attitudes that prevail among Left-Lib progressives. They will wring their hands in self-righteous outrage at atrocities like those of Aleppo, but few would sully their ideological purity by assuming the responsibilities – and realities – of what used to be called the white man’s burden [ http://historymatters.gmu.edu/d/5478/ ]...
http://ottawacitizen.com/opinion/columnists/sibley-why-the-west-cant-be-bothered-to-save-aleppo

Earlier on neo-colonialism:

The West and the Middle East: No Guts
https://cgai3ds.wordpress.com/2016/04/11/mark-collins-the-west-and-the-middle-east-no-guts/

Plus more Kipling:

Syria, “Or lesser breeds without the Law”
https://cgai3ds.wordpress.com/2013/09/17/mark-collins-syria-or-lesser-breeds-without-the-law/

Mark
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The Bread Guy

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Look this way, look this way - shiny thing!!!!!!!! ...
Among other things, Al-Ja'afari explained the reason why certain UNSC members were pushing so hard to pass this resolution which provides for the access of UN monitoring group to the largest Syrian city.

According to him, Syrian government possess information about foreign military intelligence officers who are still inside the remaining terror-held pocket in the eastern part of Aleppo. And the main purpose of the resolution, as Syrian authorities believe, is to allow those foreign agents and advisers a safe passage out of the besieged area, along with the terrorists they were training ...
 

Colin Parkinson

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Syria and Russia are not the real concern in the region. The real questions are what does Iran and Hezbollah expect in return for their help and what will that do to the region? Also what becomes of the remaining Sunni's in Iraq and Syria? What will be the next stage in the Global Sunni-Shite Civil War? 
 
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