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Thread: Protests in Syria - Discussion Thread

  1. #50101
    Banned User Laworkerbee's Avatar
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    Anyone seem this yet?

    West poised to join forces with Assad in face of Islamic State

    Covert co-operation may signal the beginning of a once unthinkable alliance

    Islamist forces are fighting their way into western Syria from bases further east, bringing forward the prospect of US military intervention to stop their advance. If Isis, which styles itself Islamic State, threatens to take all or part of Aleppo, establishing complete dominance over the anti-government rebels, the US may be compelled to act publicly or secretly in concert with President Bashar al-Assad, whom it has been trying to displace.

    The US has already covertly assisted the Assad government by passing on intelligence about the exact location of jihadi leaders through the BND, the German intelligence service, a source has told The Independent. This may explain why Syrian aircraft and artillery have been able on occasion to target accurately rebel commanders and headquarters.

    Syrian army troops are engaged in a fierce battle to hold Tabqa airbase in Raqqa province, the fall of which would open the way to Hama, Syria’s fourth-largest city.

    Further north, Isis has captured crucial territory that brings it close to cutting rebel supply lines between Aleppo and the Turkish border. The caliphate declared by Isis on 29 June already covers the eastern third of Syria in addition to a quarter of Iraq. It stretches from Jalawla, a town 20 miles from Iran, which the Iraqi army and Kurdish Peshmerga are trying to recapture, to towns 30 miles north of Aleppo.

    The question of possible US military action in Syria, such as air strikes, jumped to the top of political agenda on Thursday when the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in Washington, General Martin Dempsey, said: “Can they [Isis] be defeated without addressing that part of the organisation that resides in Syria? The answer is no.”

    He stressed that he was not predicting that the US was intending to take military action in Syria, but the US is very conscious that Isis can survive indefinitely if it has a large safe haven in Syria.

    Chas Freeman, the former US ambassador to Saudi Arabia, told The Independent that General Dempsey was pointing out that Isis straddles the Iraq-Syrian border and there should be a consistent policy towards it on both sides of the divide.

    General Dempsey “did not spell out the implications of that but, to me, they point in the direction of calling it off with Assad. It might also imply the sharing of intelligence with the opponents of Isis, even those from whom we ourselves are estranged. Odder things have happened in the Middle East.”

    Mr Freeman, who is retired, added he had no knowledge about whether intelligence-sharing with President Assad’s government was being considered.

    For the moment, the most pressing issue in Syria is not the elimination of Isis, but preventing its expansion after a series of victories in July and August.

    Firstly, it drove out Jabhat al-Nusra, the Syrian affiliate of al-Qa’ida, from the oil-rich province of Deir Ezzor on the Euphrates. Then it overran two important Syrian army bases, one held by Division 17 in Raqqa province and a second by Regiment 121 in Hasakah province where the Iraqi regimental commander was killed.

    Syria holds greater opportunities for Isis in terms of expansion than Iraq because the movement draws its support from the Sunni Arab community: 60 per cent of Syrians are Sunni Arabs, compared to 20 per cent in Iraq.

    The policy of the US, Britain and their allies in the region over the last three years has been to support “moderate” Syrian rebels who are supposed to fight Isis and other jihadists as well as the Assad government in Damascus.

    But the Western-backed Free Syrian Army is increasingly weak and marginalised while jihadi groups such as Jabhat al-Nusra, Ahrar al-Sham and the Islamic Front have been unable to halt the Isis assault.

    The Islamic Front is desperately trying to hold its stronghold in the city of Marea close to Aleppo against an unexpected Isis offensive that began on 13 August and is making headway. Isis held positions in Aleppo province and further west in Idlib province before its civil war with other rebel groups which began at the start of 2014 when it conducted a withdrawal, interpreted at the time as a retreat, but in reality a concentration of its fighting forces for use in Iraq and Syria.

    Though they have suffered a number of serious defeats at the hands of Isis, Syrian government forces were able to regain the al-Shaer gas fields near Palmyra in July and are still holding onto Tabqa airbase, where they claim to have killed many Isis militants, including an activist known as Abu Moussa.

    As with other Isis attacks on government strongholds in Syria, this one was heralded by two suicide attacks. Overall, the Syrian army has shown itself much more effective in combat with Isis than the Iraqi army that has yet to score a single success against them. A series of Iraqi army attacks against Tikrit north of Baghdad, the most recent this week, have all failed.

    Air strikes are not the only way in which the US, Britain and their allies among neighbouring states could weaken and isolate Isis, but in doing so they would necessarily undermine other rebel groups. Key to the growth of Isis and, in particular, the import of thousands of foreign fighters has been the use of Turkey as a point of entry.

    In pictures: The rise of Isis

    Determined to get rid of President Assad, the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has kept Turkey’s 550-mile border with Syria open, giving the jihadists, including Isis, a safe haven over the last three years. The Turks are now saying Isis is no longer welcome, but Ankara has not moved seriously to close the border by deploying troops in large numbers.

    A complete volte face by the US, Britain and their allies in their relations with the Assad government is unlikely because it would mean admitting that past support for the Sunni rebellion had contributed to the growth of the caliphate.

    Mr Freeman says that he doubted that “the liberal interventionists and neoconservatives who had pursued regime change in Syria were capable of reversing course. To do so would require them to admit that they bore considerable responsibility for legitimising pointless violence that has resulted in the deaths of 190,000 Syrians.”

    He added that he did not think it would be possible to bring down Isis by a direct assault and that it would be better to bottle it up and wait for it to be destroyed by its own self-destructive instincts.

    “I cannot see how it can be isolated without the co-operation of Syria as well as Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf Arabs, Iran, Russia and Turkey.”

    On the other hand, given the divisions in Washington and hatreds in the Middle East, such a degree of co-operation is unlikely to emerge as a declared policy.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/wo...e-9686666.html

  2. #50102
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    Quote Originally Posted by Laworkerbee View Post
    Anyone seem this yet?

    West poised to join forces with Assad in face of Islamic State




    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/wo...e-9686666.html
    Here's a buffoon politician giving his take on the matter:


    Speaking on BBC Radio 4's The World at One, the foreign secretary said to co-operate with the Syrian regime would "poison" what the UK was trying to achieve.
    He said: "We may very well find that we are fighting, on some occasions, the same people that he is but that doesn't make us his ally."
    contd

  3. #50103
    Senior Member Vorph's Avatar
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    I posted an article on the previous page stating we wont be backing Assad, Bee. However you know, that might be the official line but under closed doors? Who knows, if Turkey actually closes their border that will be a definite game changer...

  4. #50104

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    They are already working together - but they won't openly admit it ! I don't believe much the press says!

  5. #50105
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    Former top general calls on Obama to wipe out Isis in wake of Foley killing

    John Allen, who commanded Afghanistan war, writes op-ed amid varying US views on how to respond to journalist’s beheading
    Allen proposed attacking Isis in Syria as well as Iraq “across its entire depth”, an option the Pentagon has studied after the group overran Iraq’s second largest city in June but is yet to implement.
    ..
    ...
    ....
    Allen proposed attacking Isis in Syria as well as Iraq “across its entire depth”, an option the Pentagon has studied after the group overran Iraq’s second largest city in June but is yet to implement.

    TD: and further in the article:

    “We would not restrict ourselves by geographic boundaries,” said Ben Rhodes, a deputy national security adviser. “We haven’t made decisions to take additional actions at this time.”
    Rhodes indicated that the administration believes that the incoming government of Haider al-Abadi in Baghdad will aid US efforts in assembling and deepening an anti-Isis coalition. Rejecting a recent suggestion, Rhodes ruled out a rapprochement with Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad to confront a mutual foe.
    http://www.theguardian.com/world/201...-foley-killing

    Britain should join America and start bombing militants from Islamic State (Isis), Richard Dannatt, the former head of the army, has suggested.
    In an interview on BBC Radio 4's Today programme on Friday, Lord Dannatt said he thought it was inevitable that Britain would eventually start launching air strikes against Isis.
    He also said the government should open talks with the Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad as part of the campaign against Isis.
    His comments about Assad were echoed by Sir Malcolm Rifkind, the Conservative former foreign secretary and chairman of the intelligence and security committee, who said it was sometimes necessary to work with "extremely nasty" people in order to defeat enemies who were even worse.
    http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2...tt-syria-assad
    There's a chorus of these calls (to work with Assad) now, but as already stated the official gov outlets are ruling it out. The bet for now would have to be on occasional special arrangements, special bombs and special guys appearing from time to opportune time. Who knows?

  6. #50106
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    Reports emerging that ISIS have entered Tabqa air-base and controlled the air-defense control center. - IS fighter @abusami1400 says https://twitter.com/abusami1400/stat...70259247472642

    Syrian Air Force warplanes + helicopters are still going strong dropping explosive barrels/missiles/shooting there guns at IS at the permiter of the airbase.

    https://www.facebook.com/raqqa.Media.Center?fref=photo
    https://twitter.com/RamiAlLolah/stat...78328869863427

    Syria24English is reporting



    Syria 24 English -
    There is no truth about the takeover rumors "Daash" on air Defense battalion or no progress of ISIS on Tabaqa Military airport

  7. #50107
    Senior Member LEB101's Avatar
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    What are the chances that the syrian army sent more fighters and not just supplies to the airbase in those transport planes

  8. #50108

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    Quote Originally Posted by LEB101 View Post
    What are the chances that the syrian army sent more fighters and not just supplies to the airbase in those transport planes
    Logically they are more likely to send extra troops and supplies as well.

  9. #50109
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    Was Putin right on Syria?

    What a difference a year makes. Around this time last year, the West was gearing up for military action against the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who was accused of carrying out chemical weapons attacks on his own people. That intervention never came to pass, not least because domestic public opinion in countries such as Britain and the United States was opposed to further entanglements in the Middle East.
    Now, the U.S. is contemplating extending airstrikes on Islamic State militants operating in Iraq in Syria — fighters belonging to a terrorist organization that is leading the war against Assad. The Islamic State's territorial gains in Iraq and continued repression and slaughter of religious minorities there and in Syria have rightly triggered global condemnation. "I am no apologist for the Assad regime," Ryan Crocker, a former U.S. ambassador to Syria, told NPR. "But in terms of our security, [the Islamic State] is by far the greatest threat."
    The irony of the moment is tragic. But to some, it doesn't come as much of a surprise. Many cautioned against the earlier insistence of the Obama administration (as well as other governments) that Assad must go, fearing what would take hold in the vacuum.
    One of those critics happened to be Russian President Vladimir Putin, who warned against U.S. intervention in Syria in a New York Times op-ed last September. He wrote:

    "A strike would increase violence and unleash a new wave of terrorism. It could undermine multilateral efforts to resolve the Iranian nuclear problem and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and further destabilize the Middle East and North Africa. It could throw the entire system of international law and order out of balance".

    Some of the crises Putin catalogs have worsened anyway, no matter American action or inaction. But Putin's insistence was couched in a reading of the conflict in Syria that's more cold-blooded than the view initially held by some in Washington. "Syria is not witnessing a battle for democracy, but an armed conflict between government and opposition in a multireligious country," Putin wrote, suggesting that the nominally secular Assad regime, despite its misdeeds, was a stabilizing force preferable to what could possibly replace it.


    Putin decried the growing Islamist cadres in the Syrian rebels' ranks:
    "Mercenaries from Arab countries fighting there, and hundreds of militants from Western countries and even Russia, are an issue of our deep concern. Might they not return to our countries with experience acquired in Syria"?

    That's a concern very publicly shared now by U.S. and European officials, who are alarmed by the considerable presence of European nationals among the Islamic State's forces. A British jihadist who spoke with a London accent is believed to have carried out the shocking execution of American journalist James Foley this week. That Western attention has shifted so dramatically from the murders carried out by the Assad regime to those carried out by the militants fighting it is a sign of the overwhelming complexity of the war, which is collapsing borders and shaking up politics in countries across the Middle East.
    Nor is it necessarily vindication for Putin, who in the past year has turned into the hobgoblin of the liberal world order. As my colleague Adam Taylor wrote this year, the Russian president's op-ed makes awkward reading for Moscow when held up against its own aggressive meddling in Ukraine. Putin's solemnizing over the integrity of international systems is hard to take seriously considering his government's controversial annexation of sovereign Ukrainian territory in March and continued obstruction of a diplomatic resolution to the Ukraine crisis in the U.N. Security Council.
    Others skeptical of Putin's stance on Syria point to Moscow's vested interests in the Assad regime, which furnishes Russia access to a naval base on the Mediterranean and is a frequent buyer of Russian military hardware.
    In March 2011, in the shadow of pro-democracy uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt, Syrian protesters took to the streets. Their largely peaceful demonstrations were met by heavy-handed, violent crackdowns by state security forces. Eventually, the upheaval turned into conflict and now a full-blown sectarian civil war that has claimed the lives of at least 191,000 people, according to the U.N. this week.
    Some in Washington argue that if only the Obama administration had started arming and empowering the "moderate" Syrian opposition sooner, the extremist forces now in the news would not wield such influence and power. But that, as Middle East scholar Marc Lynch explains over at Monkey Cage, is a hopeful and naive assumption. It's hard to imagine any scenario where more direct U.S. involvement in the Syrian conflict, aimed at toppling Assad, would not somehow also play into the hands of the Islamist factions committed to the struggle.

    More than three and a half years later, there is a lot of water — and blood — under the bridge. But it's worth considering what Putin's government insisted not long after the violence began. In his New York Times op-ed, Putin reminded readers that from "the outset, Russia has advocated peaceful dialogue enabling Syrians to develop a compromise plan for their own future." That "plan for the future," the Russians insisted, had to involve negotiation and talks between the government and the opposition, something which the opposition rejected totally at the time.
    In November 2011, Putin's foreign minister Sergei Lavrov criticized other foreign powers, including the United States, for not helping pressure opposition forces to come to the table with the Assad regime. "We feel the responsibility to make everything possible to initiate an internal dialogue in Syria," Lavrov said at a meeting of APEC foreign ministers in Hawaii.
    The Arab Spring was in full bloom and U.S. officials thought regime change in Syria was an "inevitable" fait accompli. That calculus appears to have been woefully wrong. Now, the conflict is too entrenched, too polarized, too steeped in the suffering and trauma of millions of Syrians, for peaceful reconciliation to be an option. Russia could very well have been window-dressing the Assad regime's crimes by parroting Damascus's calls for dialogue, which the opposition has long considered insincere. But the chance for that sort of earlier rapprochement, in hindsight, seems a thin ray of light in the darkness that has since engulfed Syria.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/...syria/?hpid=z1

  10. #50110
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    SOHR: is terrorists fail to break into tabqa for third time despite reinforcements

  11. #50111

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    Sry if this was allready:

  12. #50112
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    I see many pro FSA/rebel twitter and fb accounts cheering for IS in battle for Tabqa. How very pro Syrian of them. I guess Jihadist remains Jihadist no matter what...

  13. #50113
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    They are dropping like flies !!!!

    SOHR: Over 200 IS subhuman scum sent to hell in last night's failed attempt to storm tabqa.

    Also 15 more killed today in an airsttike on former hospital turned terrorist infestation

  14. #50114
    Senior Member nemowork's Avatar
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    200 down, 20,000 to go

    Still every little bit helps.

  15. #50115
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    The best thing about this is that SAA hardly engaged them man to men.. according to sohr they were killed using a combination of:

    - air strikes
    - barrel bombs
    - scuds
    - mortars
    - atgms
    - volcanoes

    hahahaha

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