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Thread: Protests in Syria - Discussion Thread

  1. #56371

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    Quote Originally Posted by fiorellabel View Post
    They must have certainly something like this as I 've seen other images of similar sets of applique armors on tanks.

    Some of the latest shown are quite peculiar as they sport both an outer slat armor than a inner plate armor placed so high on the turret ring (on T-62 and T-72) that only commander cupola can be seen.
    They have been reported as being made in Adra.
    Thanks for the info - and do those "add-ons" work? Have they been reported as being effective?

  2. #56372

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    Any thoughts on this? The google translate says that it is Ahrar Al Sham with vehicles captured from a group of regime soldiers who tried (and might have succeeded but on foot) to make Mork from Wadi Deif / Hamadiya. Interesting thing about the video is that Ahrar are moving all of the vehicles, which do not look damaged to me, around by pushing them with a bulldozer. I would think ran out of fuel but strange that would happen to all of them so perhaps the regime soldiers emptied the fuel tanks somehow or otherwise sabotaged them before leaving.

    Also am I right in thinking the Shilka at 1.25 has its radar attached or are those just open hatches glinting in the sun? Edit: Have just looked at some images and doesn't look like the radar.


  3. #56373
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heintje View Post
    Thanks for the info - and do those "add-ons" work? Have they been reported as being effective?
    Effective they surely are, in the sense that they add some protection to an existing chassis anyway, surely not so efficient compared to ERA bricks.
    Slat and plate are needed for a dozer that has not an armor of their own, no sense to arrest the HEAT charge and not bullet, I wonder why both of them on a tank.
    They were applied anyway to T-62 and T-72M, that have not been provided of any enhancement before, so not much of a choice.
    Slat are lightweight but works only against heat charges, a steel panel is more flexible but weight considerably more, so probably they have made half and half to get the best of two worlds.

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    UN: Syrian fighting in buffer zone escalates tensions with Israel

    U.N. Security Council urges warring Syrian factions to keep violence out of buffer zone between Syria and Israel, condemns use of heavy weapons there • Resolution extends mandate of UNDOF in zone until June 30.

    Associated Press and Israel Hayom Staff

    The U.N. Security Council on Thursday urged Syrian government forces and rebel groups to stop fighting in the buffer zone between Syria and Israel and withdraw from the area which is patrolled by U.N. peacekeepers.

    The council strongly condemned recent intense fighting including the use of heavy weapons in the buffer zone, a spillover from the war in Syria.

    A resolution adopted unanimously by the council extends the mandate of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force until June 30.

    CONTINUED: http://www.israelhayom.com/site/news...e.php?id=22237

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    Exclusive: Iran's support for Syria tested by oil price drop

    (Reuters) - Syrian businessmen and trade officials say they are worried the economic lifeline provided by Iran is under strain from plunging oil prices, despite public messages of support from Syria's strongest regional ally.

    Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has relied on oil-producing Iran to help him fight a nearly four-year-old civil war and also prop under a currency under pressure.

    “If it had not been for Iranian support we could not have survived the crisis," a senior Syrian trade official said from Damascus, requesting anonymity.

    "It was Iranian support that has been the most important. In return, we are promising them more and more, and opening more and more doors for them to invest in Syria," he said.

    […]

    The Syrian pound, which fell around 70 percent since the civil war began in 2011, lost another 10 percent over the past fortnight alone.

    Dealers said the fall was driven by several factors, including a realization that U.S. strikes on Islamic State were not helping Assad as much as had been expected. But a major one was that a falling oil price had made them fear Iran would be less able to help shore up its ally's economy.

    Shi'ite Iran has deep ties with Syria. Assad is an Alawite, an off-shoot of Shi'ism, and Tehran sees him as a bulwark against Sunni Saudi Arabia's influence in the region.

    In the past, Assad streamed Iranian support to Shi'ite Hezbollah in neighboring Lebanon, while now, the militia gets funds directly from Iran to fight Assad's enemies at the front.

    Damascus-based businessmen and bankers say the Syrian Central Bank is worried about the drop in oil prices affecting Iranian support for Syria.

    Iran deposited $500-$750 million in Syria's Central Bank more than a year ago that has been used by the authorities to help stabilize the pound, according to two senior bankers with close ties with central bank officials.

    In recent weeks, the bank sold dollars shore up the pound in some of the largest market interventions since the start of the crisis, the two bankers said.

    Syrian officials could not be reached for comment on Thursday or Friday.

    There is a general consensus by traders, bankers and businessmen that the drop in Iranian oil earnings will have untold consequences on level of economic support in the long term despite little impact on business ties so far.

    “The 50 percent steep fall in oil prices will break Iran’s back, not just the level of support for Assad,” a prominent member of the Damascus Chamber of Industry said, also requesting anonymity.

    Iranians have delivered turbines for power plants and have been promised contracts to rebuild housing, roads and other infrastructure destroyed by the war on the understanding that Tehran would finance them in return for equity shares.

    All this could be jeopardized. Much, however, will depend on how long oil prices will continue to stay depressed, they say.

    Two Syrian businessman who sell products including olive oil and garments to Iranian private traders are worried they may defer payments.

    A member of the Syrian Chambers of Industry from the city of Aleppo said he understood the main item on Prime Minister Halqi’s shopping list in Tehran was bigger quantities of petroleum products imports.

    Growing power cuts have hit government-controlled areas as more gas fields go out of action, forcing the authorities to rely even more on imports of fuel for its power plants.

    Islamic State militant control of some of the border crossings with Iraq has disrupted the flow of tens of thousands of barrels of crude from Iraq that were delivered overland by oil tankers, an oil trader based in the region said.

    Four Iranian tankers have discharged cargoes of gasoline products in the last two months in Syria's ports, traders said. But they did not end shortages accentuated by higher demand in the winter season, prompting small protests in Alawite villages near the port of Latakia, the heartland of Assad support.

    http://www.re
    uters.com/article/2014/12/19/us-mideast-crisis-syria-iran-idUSKBN0JX21420141219

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    Syrian Bomb Plot Marked Deadly Turn in Civil War

    The July 2012 bombing indeed marked a turning point in Syria’s conflict. But rather than the downfall of Mr. Assad, it ushered in a new, more deadly phase of Syria’s civil war that allowed him to cling to power. Any regime voices still open to accommodating the opposition went silent, and, within a year, pro-Assad forces deployed chemical weapons against rebels and civilians.

    Now, new revelations point to a startling theory about the bombing that killed Assef Shawkat, an army general who was Mr. Assad’s brother-in-law and the deputy defense minister: It was an inside job.

    Two dozen people, including past and current regime officials, opposition leaders, activists and rebels, and politicians in neighboring countries with ties to Mr. Assad told The Wall Street Journal the bombing grew out of a split between the Assad family and its hard-line allies on one side, and officials seeking negotiations with opposition groups on the other.

    […]


    Former Syrian army general Manaf Tlass believes the regime was connected with the bombing. Mr. Tlass defected two weeks before Mr. Shawkat was killed—after guards found six explosive devices planted outside Mr. Tlass’s office on a military base in Damascus. He accused the regime of wanting to kill him, too.

    Mr. Tlass said he and Mr. Shawkat were among those calling for talks with both peaceful and armed regime opponents, a position contrary to Mr. Assad and his intelligence and security agency chiefs, who sought to crush the insurgency.

    “Bashar never opted at any time for serious and credible reforms, but instead chose to destroy the country rather than lose power,” said Mr. Tlass, who is living in Paris. “He sold Syria to the Iranians.”

    The attack opened the door for Iran, Mr. Assad’s principal regional ally, and Hezbollah, its proxy militia in Lebanon, to play a greater role in defending the regime, according to members of Syria’s security forces and pro-regime militias. Within weeks, foreign Shiite militiamen flocked to Syria. The fighters joined homegrown militias trained by Iran and Hezbollah to help prop up the overstretched Syrian army.

    These fighters took the lead in the regime’s recapture of rebel territory, helping push the death toll from less than 20,000 at the time to more than 190,000 as of August, according to the United Nations. Millions more Syrians have fled their homes amid the destruction.

    Iran’s embassy in Damascus and a spokesman for Hezbollah in Beirut refused interviews or comment.

    Mr. Ford, who now works with the Middle East Institute, a nonpartisan think tank in Washington, said top members of the Syrian opposition told him rebels weren’t responsible for the bombing but believed the regime was. “I’ve never seen convincing evidence that it was an inside job,” he said, “but the allegations were widespread.”

    A leading Syrian opposition activist, who had direct ties with rebel groups and was in Damascus the day of the bombing, said it would have been impossible for rebels at the time to carry out such an attack.

    “If you asked me then, I would have lied to you and told you, ‘Our heroic rebels did it.’ But now I can tell you, ‘No, we were amateurs back then,’ ” said the activist, now based in Turkey. The bombing boosted opposition morale after government reports credited the rebels, he said. It also spurred more Alawites, members of Mr. Assad’s Shiite-linked minority sect who opposed the Sunni-led revolt, to rally around the regime.
    http://www.wsj.com/articles/syrian-b...war-1419015331

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    Quote Originally Posted by Surenas View Post
    Exclusive: Iran's support for Syria tested by oil price drop

    http://www.re
    uters.com/article/2014/12/19/us-mideast-crisis-syria-iran-idUSKBN0JX21420141219
    The slide of the Ruble made the headlines, but the drop of oil price on Iran's economy and government's budget has far more severe results.

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    Turkey to 'start training' Syria's moderate rebels by March

    Turkey may begin training and equipping moderate Syrian opposition fighters before March, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Friday.

    A key part of US President Barack Obama’s strategy in Syria is to support moderate Syrian forces to battle jihadists from the Islamic State group. The State Department announced in October that Turkey had agreed to support the training programme.

    Turkish and US forces will train 2,000 moderate Syrian rebel fighters at a base in the central Turkish city of Kirsehir as part of the campaign against Islamic State insurgents, a Turkish foreign ministry official said in late November.

    The official said the Syrian rebel fighters would be among a total of 5,000 being trained in several countries as part of the US-led campaign.

    CONTINUED: http://www.france24.com/en/20141219-...ers-cavusoglu/

  9. #56379

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    Quote Originally Posted by Camera View Post
    Turkey to 'start training' Syria's moderate rebels by March

    Turkey may begin training and equipping moderate Syrian opposition fighters before March, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Friday.

    A key part of US President Barack Obama’s strategy in Syria is to support moderate Syrian forces to battle jihadists from the Islamic State group. The State Department announced in October that Turkey had agreed to support the training programme.

    Turkish and US forces will train 2,000 moderate Syrian rebel fighters at a base in the central Turkish city of Kirsehir as part of the campaign against Islamic State insurgents, a Turkish foreign ministry official said in late November.

    The official said the Syrian rebel fighters would be among a total of 5,000 being trained in several countries as part of the US-led campaign.

    CONTINUED: http://www.france24.com/en/20141219-...ers-cavusoglu/
    Instead of trying to reach an end to this war and after 4 years, now they have decided to train moderates, and what are they exactly going to do in this war except prolonging it?

    And if the new ones are moderates, who are the previous ones who rushed in to Syria in thousands through Turkish soil? I assume they are 'non-moderates' as the title suggests and as we witness on the ground reality in Syria. Many of those terrorists who joined ISIS and Nusra went to Syria through Turkey.

    Quote Originally Posted by Surenas View Post
    Syrian Bomb Plot Marked Deadly Turn in Civil War



    http://www.wsj.com/articles/syrian-b...war-1419015331
    It's just a theory coming out of opposition, and we know nothing even slightly neutral towards the regime will come out of their mouths, and vice versa. So better keep it at level of a theory. Chilling in Paris while people in his country are suffering, the best thing Mr. Tlass can do is stopping to act like an opposition member while not daring to set foot on Syria to fight alongside the rebels.

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