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Author Topic: Civil War in Syria  (Read 132826 times)
The Last Northerner
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« Reply #675 on: August 07, 2015, 01:08:57 am »
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Am I correct in my impression that things are starting to look rather bad for Assad?


Are you ready for the Alawite Genocide?
« Last Edit: August 07, 2015, 01:12:35 am by The Last Northerner »Logged
palandio
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« Reply #676 on: August 07, 2015, 08:35:03 am »
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Am I correct in my impression that things are starting to look rather bad for Assad?

On the international/diplomatic level I'm not sure, the situation is complex.

On the military level his troops are over-stretched, the losses in the past four years were too high and he is increasingly running out of recruits. In many Alawite villages one third or so of the male part of the age cohort 18-30 years is dead. Hezbollah is focussing on the Syrian-Lebanese border region (Western Qalamoon, now Zabadani and coming soon Madaya and Wadi Barada). Iraqi voluntaries have gone back to Iraq to fight Daesh there. The Aleppo salient is costly and prevents Daesh and non-Daesh rebels from fighting each other, but giving it up would be a disastrous signal to parts of his middle-class passive support base. The break-down of the Idlib salient was kind of natural, the problem for Assad now is that the rebel offensive continues in the Al-Ghab plain (and soon Northern Latakia province?) and the Alawite core support regions are endangered. The permanent loss of the Palmyra region with its oil and gas resources would be an economic problem.

On the other hand you can compare the situation from 2 years ago to the current situation and see that the non-Daesh rebels have achieved very little since then (conquering the Idlib salient and some territorial gains in the South). They still control at most 15% of Syria and it doesn't depend on counting area or population. The strongest regional rebel alliance is now that in the Idlib region but on the other hand this is exactly the region where the Nusra Front has purged the "moderate" rebels in the last year and the US would probably have difficulties cooperating with what has remained.

So overall Assad is losing, but very slowly.
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« Reply #677 on: August 11, 2015, 04:39:04 pm »
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Am I correct in my impression that things are starting to look rather bad for Assad?

On the international/diplomatic level I'm not sure, the situation is complex.

On the military level his troops are over-stretched, the losses in the past four years were too high and he is increasingly running out of recruits. In many Alawite villages one third or so of the male part of the age cohort 18-30 years is dead. Hezbollah is focussing on the Syrian-Lebanese border region (Western Qalamoon, now Zabadani and coming soon Madaya and Wadi Barada). Iraqi voluntaries have gone back to Iraq to fight Daesh there. The Aleppo salient is costly and prevents Daesh and non-Daesh rebels from fighting each other, but giving it up would be a disastrous signal to parts of his middle-class passive support base. The break-down of the Idlib salient was kind of natural, the problem for Assad now is that the rebel offensive continues in the Al-Ghab plain (and soon Northern Latakia province?) and the Alawite core support regions are endangered. The permanent loss of the Palmyra region with its oil and gas resources would be an economic problem.

On the other hand you can compare the situation from 2 years ago to the current situation and see that the non-Daesh rebels have achieved very little since then (conquering the Idlib salient and some territorial gains in the South). They still control at most 15% of Syria and it doesn't depend on counting area or population. The strongest regional rebel alliance is now that in the Idlib region but on the other hand this is exactly the region where the Nusra Front has purged the "moderate" rebels in the last year and the US would probably have difficulties cooperating with what has remained.

So overall Assad is losing, but very slowly.

He'll be fine. If the Iran deal passes Congress, Iran will send small arms over to Syria to shore him up. Iran won't let him fall unless they control the successive leader, at which point it wouldn't matter, nothing would change.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2015, 04:42:37 pm by StateBoiler »Logged
Mr. Morden
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« Reply #678 on: August 11, 2015, 10:13:44 pm »
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World powers now trying to make a new diplomatic push:

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/12/world/middleeast/new-diplomacy-seen-on-us-russian-efforts-to-end-syrian-civil-war.html?_r=0
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palandio
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« Reply #679 on: August 12, 2015, 04:34:48 am »
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[...]
So overall Assad is losing, but very slowly.

He'll be fine. If the Iran deal passes Congress, Iran will send small arms over to Syria to shore him up. Iran won't let him fall unless they control the successive leader, at which point it wouldn't matter, nothing would change.
He'll be fine in the sense that Damascus and Latakia won't be overrun within the near future. From what I read I get the impression that his main problem isn't a lack of small arms, but of manpower. Iran is reluctant to send large numbers of Revolutionary Guard fighters to Syria (they are sending Afghan Shia fighters under Iranian command, though). But as Mr. Morden pointed out, there's movement on the diplomatic level.
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ingemann
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« Reply #680 on: August 12, 2015, 02:18:53 pm »
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There's no doubt that the war have hit Alawites hard, but the number of the percent of Alawites who died have been overrated. First of all they're not the only ones fighting for Assad, the army are also made up of other groups (including Sunni, who is suspected to make up half of his forces), and even if all the estimated government losses was Alawites, and the Alawites was as small a group as the smallest estimates, the losses would be significant but not even close to disasterous.

But there's no doubt manpower is serious a problem, simply because Assad need to both fight, keep control over his territories and still run the Syrian state. Of course he shortening of fronts could help this. Of course we should also remember that while Assad have lost some territory this year, it's not even close to what he gained last year. The Syrian state have gotten much better control over its core territories, but at the same time many of its enclaves and bases in the rest of the country have been lost. The great rebel triumph in the south have not been a great success when we look at the de facto result.
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The Last Northerner
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« Reply #681 on: September 24, 2015, 10:38:59 am »
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Russia confirms involvement in Syrian Civil War, claims fight against Islamic extremists

US trained 'moderates' defect to Al Qaeda associates.
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« Reply #682 on: September 30, 2015, 07:50:52 am »
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Russia conducts airstrikes in Syria:

http://us.cnn.com/2015/09/30/politics/russia-syria-airstrikes-isis/index.html
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politicus
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« Reply #683 on: September 30, 2015, 08:58:32 am »
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Might be a game changer. Lets hope so.
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ag
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« Reply #684 on: September 30, 2015, 09:38:36 am »
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At best, it would have some positive impact in Ukraine.
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The old see the young die.
The foolish see the wise die.

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« Reply #685 on: September 30, 2015, 11:46:51 am »
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Well, they'll probably do a lot against IS, but the civilian casualties will probably be high.
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ag
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« Reply #686 on: September 30, 2015, 03:04:21 pm »
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Well, they'll probably do a lot against IS, but the civilian casualties will probably be high.

They will, probably, do even more against the pro-US anti-Assad groups.

In any case, Putin, as is common for him, is simply implementing the old (anti-)Soviet jokes. They used to ask: "How to get our troups from Czechoslovakia without losing prestige?" The proper answer was: "Through Romania".
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This is the year which people will talk about
This is the year which people will be silent about.
The old see the young die.
The foolish see the wise die.

The earth no longer produces, it devours.
The sky hurls down no rain, only iron.

Bertolt Brecht
ag
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« Reply #687 on: September 30, 2015, 09:36:30 pm »
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Hm. Given the first day of Russian action, it seems that the best we can hope for in this case is that the additional waive of refugees caused by it will not be too large.
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This is the year which people will talk about
This is the year which people will be silent about.
The old see the young die.
The foolish see the wise die.

The earth no longer produces, it devours.
The sky hurls down no rain, only iron.

Bertolt Brecht
TheDeadFlagBlues
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« Reply #688 on: September 30, 2015, 11:02:56 pm »
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Russia is bombing the FSA, not ISIS.
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jfern
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« Reply #689 on: September 30, 2015, 11:05:27 pm »
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Russia is bombing the FSA, not ISIS.

The US will be really sad if they kill that one guy who wasn't a jihadist and wanted western style democracy.
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« Reply #690 on: September 30, 2015, 11:08:30 pm »
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Congratulations Russia, you've succeeded in making this clusterf*** even worse.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2015, 11:34:16 pm by Mehmentum »Logged
Frodo
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« Reply #691 on: September 30, 2015, 11:09:09 pm »
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Russia is bombing the FSA, not ISIS.

I don't honestly care anymore if the FSA is smashed.  What distinctions I thought existed were erased after the few rebels we did train and arm handed over their weapons post-haste to the nearest Islamist outfit.  

 
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jfern
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« Reply #692 on: September 30, 2015, 11:15:38 pm »
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At this point, the only reasonable thing for the US to do would be to pressure Assad and Putin that in exchange for the US and the Kurds not attacking Assad or funding those that attack Assad that the Kurds be left alone in an autonomous region.
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TheDeadFlagBlues
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« Reply #693 on: October 01, 2015, 12:12:10 am »
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Russia is bombing the FSA, not ISIS.

The US will be really sad if they kill that one guy who wasn't a jihadist and wanted western style democracy.

No one is under the illusion that the FSA desires "western-style democracy" but the idea that the Syrian rebels are jihadis is inane garbage, peddled by fools who don't recognize the distinction between the political Islam of the Muslim Brotherhood and the political Islam of ISIS or the Al-Nusra Front.
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« Reply #694 on: October 01, 2015, 01:05:49 am »
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At this point, the only reasonable thing for the US to do would be to pressure Assad and Putin that in exchange for the US and the Kurds not attacking Assad or funding those that attack Assad that the Kurds be left alone in an autonomous region.

That's already the Russian position.
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ingemann
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« Reply #695 on: October 01, 2015, 07:53:57 am »
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Russia is bombing the FSA, not ISIS.

The US will be really sad if they kill that one guy who wasn't a jihadist and wanted western style democracy.

No one is under the illusion that the FSA desires "western-style democracy" but the idea that the Syrian rebels are jihadis is inane garbage, peddled by fools who don't recognize the distinction between the political Islam of the Muslim Brotherhood and the political Islam of ISIS or the Al-Nusra Front.

Okay if you say so... so  enlighten us.
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Hnv1
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« Reply #696 on: October 01, 2015, 09:43:43 am »
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I guess we'll see Russia supporting a joint ground effort by Hizz\Iran\Assad in retaking lots of ground to create a ISIS vs Assad 1 on 1 game that will force the west to accept the survival of the old regime. US moves are very much limited now
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ingemann
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« Reply #697 on: October 01, 2015, 10:07:56 am »
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I guess we'll see Russia supporting a joint ground effort by Hizz\Iran\Assad in retaking lots of ground to create a ISIS vs Assad 1 on 1 game that will force the west to accept the survival of the old regime. US moves are very much limited now

Let's see what USA get:

They avoid a Islamist regime in Syria.
They avoid a genocide, through not a general mass murder.
American ME allies who have supported anti-western terrorism, waste their money and young men in Syria.
Russia and Iran get the blame and get to pay for it.

I personally think Obama have played his cards very quite well.
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Hydera
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« Reply #698 on: October 01, 2015, 05:30:30 pm »
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Im hoping the RF-AF creates shock and awe amongst the rebel groups. Letting the Assad government fall will just lead to 1990s Afghanistan, a heaven for terrorist groups.
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Frodo
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« Reply #699 on: October 01, 2015, 09:59:37 pm »
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I guess we'll see Russia supporting a joint ground effort by Hizz\Iran\Assad in retaking lots of ground to create a ISIS vs Assad 1 on 1 game that will force the west to accept the survival of the old regime. US moves are very much limited now

Let's see what USA get:

They avoid a Islamist regime in Syria.
They avoid a genocide, through not a general mass murder.
American ME allies who have supported anti-western terrorism, waste their money and young men in Syria.
Russia and Iran get the blame and get to pay for it.

I personally think Obama have played his cards very quite well.

I'm not so sure of that.  While the Assad regime may have been given another reprieve by its Russian and Iranian allies, it will never reclaim the bulk of the territory it lost to the rebels (including the Islamic State).  The Sunni-dominated areas will either see continued chaos or rule by Islamists. Much like the situation in Iraq.   

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