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Author Topic: Civil War in Syria  (Read 132753 times)
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« Reply #650 on: May 16, 2015, 10:44:21 pm »
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Syrian government continues to use chemical weapons despite 2013 deal.
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« Reply #651 on: July 01, 2015, 02:20:07 am »
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*bump*

So, is this conflict going to continue forever?  Can any side be said to have "momentum" right now?
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« Reply #652 on: July 01, 2015, 02:42:54 am »
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*bump*

So, is this conflict going to continue forever?  Can any side be said to have "momentum" right now?


Right now, momentum is with the Kurdish forces in their battles against ISIS and with the rebels fighting the government, although that situation could turn around at anytime.
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« Reply #653 on: July 01, 2015, 02:43:45 pm »
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*bump*

So, is this conflict going to continue forever?  Can any side be said to have "momentum" right now?


"Momentum"? No, not really. The Kurds made big gains recently, but the Arab population around Tal Abyad doesn't seem particularly happy to be added to the Kurdish confederation; there appears to be an ongoing ISIS insurgency in that area. And if Turkey actually follows through and invades the strip from Jarablus to the Afrin border, that would most certainly halt Kurdish momentum, and be a great boost to Al Qaeda (Al-Nusra and Friends) and the other paramilitary groups we call "the rebels" fighting in the Aleppo region.

If I had to make a prediction, I'd guess that Assad will abandon his "four corners" strategy and pull back to a more easily defensible line from Damascus to Latakia, leaving the rebels to squabble over interior Syria. But interior Syria and western Iraq will probably be a hellhole of one kind or another for years to come.
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« Reply #654 on: July 02, 2015, 05:17:30 am »
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*bump*

So, is this conflict going to continue forever?  Can any side be said to have "momentum" right now?


"Momentum"? No, not really. The Kurds made big gains recently, but the Arab population around Tal Abyad doesn't seem particularly happy to be added to the Kurdish confederation; there appears to be an ongoing ISIS insurgency in that area. And if Turkey actually follows through and invades the strip from Jarablus to the Afrin border, that would most certainly halt Kurdish momentum, and be a great boost to Al Qaeda (Al-Nusra and Friends) and the other paramilitary groups we call "the rebels" fighting in the Aleppo region.

If I had to make a prediction, I'd guess that Assad will abandon his "four corners" strategy and pull back to a more easily defensible line from Damascus to Latakia, leaving the rebels to squabble over interior Syria. But interior Syria and western Iraq will probably be a hellhole of one kind or another for years to come.

This is a rather good analyse, Assad are loking like he's beginning to focus on his core territories, and leaving "government" areas outside this to loyalist Sunni tribes and the random religious minority (mostly Druzes, as the Assyrians outside the core territories have mostly joined the Kurds). So what we're de facto seeing are a split up of Syria into several state-like structures. From a Druze run As-Suwayda Governorate, the Kurdish areas (who seem to be in alliance with the last "moderate" FSA units and the Assyrians), Al Nusra (Al Qaeda) around Aleppo and ISIS. With areas near the Iraqi border being fought over by Sunni tribal loyalist and ISIS and Daara being a cluster fought over by a ISIS, Al Nusra (includes FSA), the Druzes, local Shias etc.
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« Reply #655 on: July 04, 2015, 09:20:02 am »
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*bump*

So, is this conflict going to continue forever?  Can any side be said to have "momentum" right now?


"Momentum"? No, not really. The Kurds made big gains recently, but the Arab population around Tal Abyad doesn't seem particularly happy to be added to the Kurdish confederation; there appears to be an ongoing ISIS insurgency in that area. And if Turkey actually follows through and invades the strip from Jarablus to the Afrin border, that would most certainly halt Kurdish momentum, and be a great boost to Al Qaeda (Al-Nusra and Friends) and the other paramilitary groups we call "the rebels" fighting in the Aleppo region.

If I had to make a prediction, I'd guess that Assad will abandon his "four corners" strategy and pull back to a more easily defensible line from Damascus to Latakia, leaving the rebels to squabble over interior Syria. But interior Syria and western Iraq will probably be a hellhole of one kind or another for years to come.

This is a rather good analyse, Assad are loking like he's beginning to focus on his core territories, and leaving "government" areas outside this to loyalist Sunni tribes and the random religious minority (mostly Druzes, as the Assyrians outside the core territories have mostly joined the Kurds). So what we're de facto seeing are a split up of Syria into several state-like structures. From a Druze run As-Suwayda Governorate, the Kurdish areas (who seem to be in alliance with the last "moderate" FSA units and the Assyrians), Al Nusra (Al Qaeda) around Aleppo and ISIS. With areas near the Iraqi border being fought over by Sunni tribal loyalist and ISIS and Daara being a cluster fought over by a ISIS, Al Nusra (includes FSA), the Druzes, local Shias etc.

How you put up all of the above text without a map? Sad
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« Reply #656 on: July 04, 2015, 09:30:39 am »
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*bump*

So, is this conflict going to continue forever?  Can any side be said to have "momentum" right now?


"Momentum"? No, not really. The Kurds made big gains recently, but the Arab population around Tal Abyad doesn't seem particularly happy to be added to the Kurdish confederation; there appears to be an ongoing ISIS insurgency in that area. And if Turkey actually follows through and invades the strip from Jarablus to the Afrin border, that would most certainly halt Kurdish momentum, and be a great boost to Al Qaeda (Al-Nusra and Friends) and the other paramilitary groups we call "the rebels" fighting in the Aleppo region.

If I had to make a prediction, I'd guess that Assad will abandon his "four corners" strategy and pull back to a more easily defensible line from Damascus to Latakia, leaving the rebels to squabble over interior Syria. But interior Syria and western Iraq will probably be a hellhole of one kind or another for years to come.

This is a rather good analyse, Assad are loking like he's beginning to focus on his core territories, and leaving "government" areas outside this to loyalist Sunni tribes and the random religious minority (mostly Druzes, as the Assyrians outside the core territories have mostly joined the Kurds). So what we're de facto seeing are a split up of Syria into several state-like structures. From a Druze run As-Suwayda Governorate, the Kurdish areas (who seem to be in alliance with the last "moderate" FSA units and the Assyrians), Al Nusra (Al Qaeda) around Aleppo and ISIS. With areas near the Iraqi border being fought over by Sunni tribal loyalist and ISIS and Daara being a cluster fought over by a ISIS, Al Nusra (includes FSA), the Druzes, local Shias etc.

How you put up all of the above text without a map? Sad

This map, from yesterday, should help you make sense of the situation



Feel free to ask if you have any questions. The situation is quite complex, but I've been following it long enough to have a decent understanding at least of the factions involved.
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« Reply #657 on: July 04, 2015, 12:09:26 pm »
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How many of the boundaries are dynamic (for lack of a better word) and are more prone to skirmishes; and how many are largely "settled".

Also what's the deal with that government territory within Kurdistan?
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« Reply #658 on: July 04, 2015, 12:45:14 pm »
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How many of the boundaries are dynamic (for lack of a better word) and are more prone to skirmishes; and how many are largely "settled".

The YPG government borders and to lesser extent the (green) rebels in the north west and YPG

Beside that the government and ISIS rarely attack each others, as the regime focus on the heavier populated north west. ISIS do attack government enclaves in the east and the government ISIS enclaves in the west, but mostly they ignore each other.

Quote
Also what's the deal with that government territory within Kurdistan?

The Kurds are not really rebels, they're more neutrals (between SAA and FSA) and they do have something of a pro-Assad bias. SAA and NDF several times retreated into Kurdish areas, where they gave the Kurds their heavy weaponry. The government areas in north east are Sunni Arab (loyalist tribes) and Assyrian areas. There have been some conflict between NDF and local pro-Kurdish militias, but everytime the YPG and SAA have stopped the fighting and mediated between the groups.

Ironic further west local remnants of FSA have joined the Kurds, but that's more a common hatred of ISIS which unite them.

The Assyrians in the east have mostly changed loyalty from the government to the Kurds, because the Kurds deliver better protection of them. They have their own militias, but they're inferior to YPG.

YPG have also stopped the Yadizi militias from murdering every Sunni Arab they come across, but there's some indications that YPG look the other way, when the local Arabs cooperated too much in the massacres of Yadizi and sex slavery of their women. Some pro-ISIS tribes have left areas conquered by the Kurds, through that's just as much because of the local anti-ISIS tribes.

A aspect to look at is the Druzes in the south, in general the Druzes while loyal to the government have not taken much part in the fighting. But the local FSA/Al Nusra have massacred Druzes and tried to force convert them. The  Druzes in general have quite a reputation as soldiers and like the Kurds there's much which indicate that this reputation are not undeserved.
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« Reply #659 on: July 04, 2015, 04:29:10 pm »
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The FSA is holding an enclave on the doorstep of Damascus, that could imply Assad's control of the capital not as strong as he signals if he can't root out a rebel enclave in his capital's backyard 
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« Reply #660 on: July 05, 2015, 10:30:21 am »
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Is the way out of the box here some sort of de facto partition of Syria? That seems to be where Iraq is going. Everybody seems to hate everybody in the Middle East.
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« Reply #661 on: July 05, 2015, 03:51:07 pm »
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Is the way out of the box here some sort of de facto partition of Syria? That seems to be where Iraq is going. Everybody seems to hate everybody in the Middle East.

Yes and no, we could easily cut of a Kurdish state from Syria (if Turkey wouldn't make a hissy fit over it). But beside that western Syria are too mixed for a partition. While maps show that the Alawites live at the coast, half of them likely live spread out inland, together with different Christian, other Shia and Druze group. So a ethnic partition would take massive ethnic cleansings.

Another problem are that a partition basedf on the borders and factions on the map, would result in a Al Nusra (Al Qaeda) and a ISIS state. This are not a viable solution. The only solution of ISIS are the complete destruction of it, Al Nusra on the other hand, while connected to Al Qaeda are more moderate than ISIS but still horrible and it's mostly based on local Syrians rather than foreign adventures. So maybe a compromise could be reached. But still do anyone want a Al Qaeda Emirate in  northern syria.

A interesting aspect are that if we look on culture and dialects, a split are more possible. Eastern Syria are connected to the culture and dialects in Iraq and if Iraq was partitioned, it would make sense for eastern Syria and Sunni Iraq to join into one state. the western Syrian state would likely still have a Sunni Arab majority, but instead of 60-70% of the population they will barely make up 50%
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« Reply #662 on: July 05, 2015, 09:08:06 pm »
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Under Assad: Ballet in Palmyra

Under ISIS: Public executions in Palmyra

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« Reply #663 on: July 05, 2015, 09:12:56 pm »
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This map now shows some spillover into Lebanon.



Gray: ISIS
Yellow: Kurds
Green: Syrian opposition
White: Al nusra
Blue: Hezbollah
Orange/Pink/Red: Respective central governments
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« Reply #664 on: July 05, 2015, 10:01:23 pm »
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Is the way out of the box here some sort of de facto partition of Syria? That seems to be where Iraq is going. Everybody seems to hate everybody in the Middle East.

Yes and no, we could easily cut of a Kurdish state from Syria (if Turkey wouldn't make a hissy fit over it). But beside that western Syria are too mixed for a partition. While maps show that the Alawites live at the coast, half of them likely live spread out inland, together with different Christian, other Shia and Druze group. So a ethnic partition would take massive ethnic cleansings.

Another problem are that a partition basedf on the borders and factions on the map, would result in a Al Nusra (Al Qaeda) and a ISIS state. This are not a viable solution. The only solution of ISIS are the complete destruction of it, Al Nusra on the other hand, while connected to Al Qaeda are more moderate than ISIS but still horrible and it's mostly based on local Syrians rather than foreign adventures. So maybe a compromise could be reached. But still do anyone want a Al Qaeda Emirate in  northern syria.

A interesting aspect are that if we look on culture and dialects, a split are more possible. Eastern Syria are connected to the culture and dialects in Iraq and if Iraq was partitioned, it would make sense for eastern Syria and Sunni Iraq to join into one state. the western Syrian state would likely still have a Sunni Arab majority, but instead of 60-70% of the population they will barely make up 50%

I suspect that if colonial thinking were applied to today's situation there would have been an offer to grant Turkey control over Alawite Syria as a protectorate in exchange for the creation of Kurdistan and full partnership in war against ISIS.
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« Reply #665 on: July 16, 2015, 03:45:10 am »
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When you didn't think that ISIS could get more cartoonish evil.

Quote from: ISIS have blown up a BABY in terror group's most sickening act yet, sources claim
Senior Iraqi sources say IS forces wired up a baby with explosives and then blew the poor child up as part of a training exercise.

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/isis-blown-up-baby-terror-6059342
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« Reply #666 on: July 16, 2015, 08:18:06 am »
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« Reply #667 on: July 16, 2015, 12:49:49 pm »
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Another problem are that a partition basedf on the borders and factions on the map, would result in a Al Nusra (Al Qaeda) and a ISIS state. This are not a viable solution. The only solution of ISIS are the complete destruction of it, Al Nusra on the other hand, while connected to Al Qaeda are more moderate than ISIS but still horrible and it's mostly based on local Syrians rather than foreign adventures. So maybe a compromise could be reached. But still do anyone want a Al Qaeda Emirate in  northern syria.

You're not seriously suggesting Jabhat al-Nusra is the "moderate" option these days, right?
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« Reply #668 on: July 17, 2015, 04:26:38 pm »
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Another problem are that a partition basedf on the borders and factions on the map, would result in a Al Nusra (Al Qaeda) and a ISIS state. This are not a viable solution. The only solution of ISIS are the complete destruction of it, Al Nusra on the other hand, while connected to Al Qaeda are more moderate than ISIS but still horrible and it's mostly based on local Syrians rather than foreign adventures. So maybe a compromise could be reached. But still do anyone want a Al Qaeda Emirate in  northern syria.

You're not seriously suggesting Jabhat al-Nusra is the "moderate" option these days, right?

Ideologically, Nusra and the Islamic State are identical. But tactically they couldn't be more different. Where Daesh is open about their desire to establish a global caliphate, Nusra is framing their goal as one of "liberating" Syrian and establishing a caliphate within the borders of the Syrian Republic. Also, Nusra is much more open to coalition with other rebel groups, for instance, in Aleppo under Ansar al-Sharia. So its reasonable, I think, to say that Nusra tactics and aims are more "moderate" than the Islamic States', despite the other obvious similarities.
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« Reply #669 on: July 18, 2015, 01:00:59 am »
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who are the "Authenticity and Development Front"?
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« Reply #670 on: July 18, 2015, 01:23:38 am »
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who are the "Authenticity and Development Front"?

One of the many loose coalitions of non-ISIS rebel groups. A mix of Islamists and others it seems, reportedly funded by Saudi Arabia. I'm not sure if it still exits.
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« Reply #671 on: July 18, 2015, 02:00:17 pm »
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Another problem are that a partition basedf on the borders and factions on the map, would result in a Al Nusra (Al Qaeda) and a ISIS state. This are not a viable solution. The only solution of ISIS are the complete destruction of it, Al Nusra on the other hand, while connected to Al Qaeda are more moderate than ISIS but still horrible and it's mostly based on local Syrians rather than foreign adventures. So maybe a compromise could be reached. But still do anyone want a Al Qaeda Emirate in  northern syria.

You're not seriously suggesting Jabhat al-Nusra is the "moderate" option these days, right?

There are more "moderate" (or rather less extreme) groups outside the Kurdish areas, but honestly only JAN and ISIS are really the only rebel groups (beside the Kurds and their Arab/FSA auxiliaries) which truly matters, and here you can talk with Al Nusra and even reach compromises (which is why so many minor groups ally with them) while still being horrible people.ISIS on the other hand is a bunch of nihilistic monsters, the only deal you can reach with them, is when they burn in hell. As such JAN are the closest thing Syria have to a unified moderate force which matters. Which is why I think we should not support the rebels and stay entirely out of the conflict.
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« Reply #672 on: July 30, 2015, 08:40:39 pm »
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Am I correct in my impression that things are starting to look rather bad for Assad?
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« Reply #673 on: July 30, 2015, 08:43:41 pm »
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There were never any moderate rebels. Most of them were not Syrian. They are mercenaries for the West and Saudi Arabia and other corrupt Gulf States. Bashar Assad is one of the few sane leaders in that region who respects religious minorities such as Christians. The United States and all it's allies such as Turkey, Israel, and Saudi Arabia supported the rebels. The media doesn't tell you  the truth unless you listen to Russia Today.
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« Reply #674 on: July 31, 2015, 02:15:36 pm »
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There were never any moderate rebels. Most of them were not Syrian. They are mercenaries for the West and Saudi Arabia and other corrupt Gulf States. Bashar Assad is one of the few sane leaders in that region who respects religious minorities such as Christians. The United States and all it's allies such as Turkey, Israel, and Saudi Arabia supported the rebels. The media doesn't tell you  the truth unless you listen to Russia Today.

How much do you make on a per post basis? I'm honestly curious.
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