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Author Topic: Civil War in Syria  (Read 132767 times)
palandio
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« Reply #725 on: December 11, 2015, 11:17:25 am »
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I believe it when I see it. "Western sources" have not proven to be reliable very often over the last five years when it comes to interpreting the situation in Syria. It could also be that Iran was using its own IRGC forces for immediate response after the fall of Idlib and Jisr-ash-Shogur and that the plan was from the beginning to replace the lower ranks with Iraqis, Afghans and Pakistanis when available.
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ingemann
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« Reply #726 on: December 11, 2015, 01:47:23 pm »
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I believe it when I see it. "Western sources" have not proven to be reliable very often over the last five years when it comes to interpreting the situation in Syria. It could also be that Iran was using its own IRGC forces for immediate response after the fall of Idlib and Jisr-ash-Shogur and that the plan was from the beginning to replace the lower ranks with Iraqis, Afghans and Pakistanis when available.

Yes, I can't really see the sources as reliable, plus Putin have the entire time sought a negotiation solution (just one which included Assad and ensured a pro-Russian regime in power afterward). We also have the problem that the two strongest rebel fractions (I don't count the Kurds as rebels) are JAN and ISIS, which the West won't and can't accept taking part in negotiations. In fact in ISIS case not even the Gulf states would accept them taking part in negotiation (Turkey may)

Also the largest non-ISIS non-JAN Islamist group (Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham) taking part in negotiation have here set up its 9 demands. The group are a major part of Islamic Front, the Saudi supported coalition.



Quote from: translated summary
1:All Iranian and Russian military personnel must leave Syria.
2:The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) should be disbanded, along with their paramilitary units – they reference the Shabiha.
3:All of Syria shall be united – no partition.
4:Syria will become an Islamic state.
5:No negotiations with the Syrian Government.
6:Fighting ISIS is secondary because rebels have lost family members because of the war with the Syrian Army.
7:Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham asserts – once again – that Syria will be an Islamic state.
8:A secular Syria will only empower ISIS.
9:Any agreement without Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham will be considered “unsuccessful” and “unofficial”.

I don't speak or read Arab, so if the summary is wrong please tell me.
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Mr. Morden
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« Reply #727 on: December 13, 2015, 11:58:11 pm »
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USA Today has a graphic on the respective number of allied airstrikes in Iraq vs. Syria:


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« Reply #728 on: December 19, 2015, 06:41:48 pm »
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Bashar al-Assad's future is still up in the air:

After Years of War in Syria, U.N. Passes Resolution on Talks

By SOMINI SENGUPTA and DAVID E. SANGER
DEC. 18, 2015


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UNITED NATIONS — For the first time since the nearly five-year-old Syrian civil war began, world powers agreed on Friday at the United Nations Security Council to embrace a plan for a cease-fire and a peace process that holds the distant prospect of ending the conflict.

A resolution adopted unanimously by the Security Council reflected a months-long effort by American and Russian officials, who have long been at odds over the future of Syria, to find common national interests to stop the killing, even if they cannot yet agree on Syria’s ultimate future.

But there remain sharp disagreements to be reconciled between the American and Russian positions, and huge uncertainty about what the plan will mean on the ground. A dizzying array of armed forces have left Syria in ruins, killed 250,000 and driven four million refugees out of the country, threatening to destabilize the nations where they are seeking new homes.

“This council is sending a clear message to all concerned that the time is now to stop the killing in Syria and lay the groundwork for a government” that can hold the country together, Secretary of State John Kerry said at the Security Council.

Later on Friday, he added: “No one is sitting here today suggesting to anybody that the road ahead is a gilded path. It is complicated. It will remain complicated. But this at least demands that the parties come to the table.”

The resolution makes no mention of whether Syria’s president, Bashar al-Assad, would be able to run in new elections, which it says must be held within 18 months of the beginning of political talks. That process will begin sometime in January at the earliest, Mr. Kerry and his Russian counterpart, Sergey V. Lavrov, conceded. Privately, officials believe it may take significantly longer.
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ingemann
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« Reply #729 on: December 25, 2015, 06:29:42 am »
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A interesting report about Syrian rebel groups from the Tony Blair Faith Foundation

http://tonyblairfaithfoundation.org/sites/default/files/If%20the%20Castle%20Falls.pdf

I know that Blair is really not very popular right now, but the rapport are a interesting look into the ideology of the different groups. So read it with a open mind.



« Last Edit: December 25, 2015, 11:40:50 am by ingemann »Logged
palandio
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« Reply #730 on: December 25, 2015, 11:33:35 am »
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Interesting read. Fits together with the ISW report I linked to in the other thread a week ago:
http://understandingwar.org/sites/default/files/Syrian%20Opposition%20Guide_0.pdf

The conclusions are both times questionable, but both reports give a good overview on the situation, much better than what one might extract from the usual news agency articles.
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« Reply #731 on: December 27, 2015, 12:59:34 am »
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Do you still stand behind your assessment that Assad is slowly losing the war?
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« Reply #732 on: December 27, 2015, 06:34:16 am »
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Honestly I didn't see the Russian intervention coming when I stated that Assad was losing slowly on August 07. (And it was in preparation at least since July, in coordination with Iran.)

Assad's fate depends on the commitment of both Russia and Iran (+ its proxies). For the next months I would expect them both to stay in Syria and maybe even expand their forces. As long as no other foreign force (Turkey? Not too likely...) intervenes directly against Assad (not counting supporting rebels), I expect continued advances for the regime. (Remember that I might be proven wrong again.) For the moment Russian and Iranian interests in Syria are not the same, but perfectly reconciliable, let's see what happens on the long run.
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« Reply #733 on: December 27, 2015, 12:09:44 pm »
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If Obama didn't hesitate at first to bomb Syria & went ahead with the initial war, like advisors told him too, this would of been avoided. But, Libya was mishandled.
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ingemann
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« Reply #734 on: December 27, 2015, 12:18:46 pm »
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Honestly I didn't see the Russian intervention coming when I stated that Assad was losing slowly on August 07. (And it was in preparation at least since July, in coordination with Iran.)

Assad's fate depends on the commitment of both Russia and Iran (+ its proxies). For the next months I would expect them both to stay in Syria and maybe even expand their forces. As long as no other foreign force (Turkey? Not too likely...) intervenes directly against Assad (not counting supporting rebels), I expect continued advances for the regime. (Remember that I might be proven wrong again.) For the moment Russian and Iranian interests in Syria are not the same, but perfectly reconciliable, let's see what happens on the long run.

I personal think one of the most interesting development in the last month are not the regimes successful but glacial advances, but the Kurdish conquest of Tishreen Dam and their crossing of the Euphrates, which Turkey have set as a red line for the Kurds. The Kurds seem to have decided that it's better to keep ISIS alive as a bogeyman, while they expand their area of control rather than decapitate ISIS by taking Raqqah, losing western support and having to deal with the post-ISIS warlords. At the same time they place Erdogan in a situation where he either have to show himself as impotent or official support ISIS.

The Kurds have historical been lousy players on the international scene, but now... wow... they have shown themselves to be masters of strategy, the Syrians, Iraqi and Iranian all dance after their melody, and all the Turks attempts to limit the Kurds result in them losing face or alienate their allies and friends. Of course a element are that the Kurds simply are better people than the Sunni Arabs (who right now come across as orcs out of a Tolkien book). But it's also because the ideology (a form of left libertarian decentralism) the Syrian and Turkish Kurds sell, while threatening under the Cold War, simply come across as both nicer but also non-hypocritical, compared to what most national liberation movements usual sell, and to make it even better, the Iraqi Kurds have now begun to attempt to get Iraqi/Kurdish Jews to migrate back to Kurdish areas (it will fail, but the message are more important than success).
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ingemann
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« Reply #735 on: December 27, 2015, 12:27:43 pm »
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If Obama didn't hesitate at first to bomb Syria & went ahead with the initial war, like advisors told him too, this would of been avoided. But, Libya was mishandled.

It would have been a bigger failure than this miserable war have been. Just look at LIbya and imagine that Libya had 4 times as many people plus simmering ethnic and religious conflicts. If you think this conflict have been bad, iot would have been nothing compared to the mess Obama's advisors suggestion would have caused.

 But you want to know how this conflict could have been a lot less bloody? If we had said to Assad "we look the other way while you end this conflict". The result had been another Hama Massacre, but several hundred thousand fewer people would have died, we would not have millions of refugees in Syria and abroad and it would all have been over in 2012.

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« Reply #736 on: December 27, 2015, 12:42:46 pm »
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Do Syrian and Iraqi Kurdistan in any way act like a single entity?
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« Reply #737 on: December 27, 2015, 12:47:05 pm »
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Do Syrian and Iraqi Kurdistan in any way act like a single entity?

Not at all.
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ingemann
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« Reply #738 on: December 27, 2015, 01:08:35 pm »
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Do Syrian and Iraqi Kurdistan in any way act like a single entity?

Not at all.

Their leaders are in fact quite hostile toward each others, the Iraqi Kurds have always been close to Ankara (the ruling KDP had it own civil war with PKK backed PUK in the 90ties), while the Syrian Kurds are part of Turkish Kurdish movement (PKK) and rather close to the Assad regime. But here's the thing while the leaders of the Iraqi Kurds don't like PKK/PYD, the common Kurds doesn't share this antipathy and feel a strong national brotherhood, which mean that the ruling KDP in Iraqi Kurdistan have had to support Rojava.

Put in another context KDP are conservatives, while PKK/PYD are libertarian socialist and PUK social democratic/democratic socialist.
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« Reply #739 on: December 28, 2015, 12:08:45 pm »
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Ramadi has been liberated from ISIL.
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« Reply #740 on: December 28, 2015, 12:40:15 pm »
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So only Fallujah left, and then Mosul awaits (I don't believe that Mosul liberation actually will be next goal as Iraqi authorities says)
Good, Iraqi Army with Iranian support actually can do something positive. Although I heard that
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The city of Ramadi was recaptured by federal forces, with the Popular Mobilisation -- a paramilitary force dominated by Tehran-backed Shiite militia groups -- remaining on the fringes.

it's not true and any militias were not supporting army in this final offensive. Anybody knows which one is true?
« Last Edit: December 28, 2015, 12:45:44 pm by kataak »Logged




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« Reply #741 on: December 30, 2015, 12:15:45 pm »
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[...]
Western (and Russian) countries will for sure push for a post war regime that 80% of the fighters of the ground disapprove. We have many more years of mess in front of us...
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« Reply #742 on: December 30, 2015, 01:53:04 pm »
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So only Fallujah left, and then Mosul awaits (I don't believe that Mosul liberation actually will be next goal as Iraqi authorities says)
Good, Iraqi Army with Iranian support actually can do something positive. Although I heard that
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The city of Ramadi was recaptured by federal forces, with the Popular Mobilisation -- a paramilitary force dominated by Tehran-backed Shiite militia groups -- remaining on the fringes.

it's not true and any militias were not supporting army in this final offensive. Anybody knows which one is true?

The absence of militias was reported on Newshour last night as well.
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« Reply #743 on: January 02, 2016, 06:23:10 pm »
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[...]
Western (and Russian) countries will for sure push for a post war regime that 80% of the fighters of the ground disapprove. We have many more years of mess in front of us...

Any government in Syria are likely to have 80% disapproval.
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ingemann
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« Reply #744 on: January 02, 2016, 06:35:12 pm »
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So only Fallujah left, and then Mosul awaits (I don't believe that Mosul liberation actually will be next goal as Iraqi authorities says)
Good, Iraqi Army with Iranian support actually can do something positive. Although I heard that
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The city of Ramadi was recaptured by federal forces, with the Popular Mobilisation -- a paramilitary force dominated by Tehran-backed Shiite militia groups -- remaining on the fringes.

it's not true and any militias were not supporting army in this final offensive. Anybody knows which one is true?

The absence of militias was reported on Newshour last night as well.

Okay this is complex, there's suspicions that the reason that we don't hear about Shia militias are because they have been "integrated" into the army (de facto they have just gotten a more military sounding name instead being named after some martyr). Of course at the same time it's believed that the army integrated militias which was used in Ramadi was tribal Sunni ones from the Saudi border. These Sunni tribal groups have been loyal to the Iraqi government, since Salafists/Al Qaeda/proto ISIS took over their area around a decade ago, their behaviour pissed the local (very conservatives) tribes off enough to, that they drove them off and allied with the Shia government, who have treated them with kid's gloves ever since, and now use them when they reconquer Sunni areas. Of course there's not enough off them when Iraq are going to retake Mosul, so it may be Shia and Sunni units who will retake that areas, worst case are that the Kurds use Yadizis and Assyrians militias.
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Frodo
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« Reply #745 on: January 10, 2016, 05:52:12 pm »
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I hope they're right:

Syria's chemical weapons destroyed, monitoring group says
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ingemann
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« Reply #746 on: January 17, 2016, 04:43:28 pm »
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Honestly it doesn't make a lot of difference, it haven't been used on large scale in this conflict (for PR reasons and because chemical weapons are lousy to anti-partisan warfare, it's mostly useful as part of a MAD doctrine) and the Syrian regime have all the know how to make new ones, when they doesn't have to deal with this civil war anymore.
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ingemann
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« Reply #747 on: January 17, 2016, 04:52:34 pm »
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Also in other news the Kurds are making gain in northeastern Aleppo Governorate, while the regime are doing well in Latakia Governorate, where the rebels are in disorder in the Turkmen Mountains. Getting rid of the rebels there will free up government forces.

Also ISIS have had to cut their warriors salaries in half. The only reason ISIS may survive this year are because no one are really interested in their Syrian territories.
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« Reply #748 on: January 17, 2016, 05:54:49 pm »
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The only reason ISIS may survive this year are because no one are really interested in their Syrian territories.


I've heard that SAA is planning offensive on Al-Qaryatayn so probably not that "not interested".
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palandio
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« Reply #749 on: January 18, 2016, 02:22:31 pm »
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Al-Qaryatayn is a small town in the desert and the front in this area is more or less where it was at the beginning of the Russian intervention. (Remember that ISIS temporarily captured Maheen after the intervention until the SAA recaptured it.)

At the moment the SAA and its supporters are heavily invested on other fronts, in particular Latakia governorate (against non-ISIS rebels) and Greater Aleppo (against both ISIS and non-ISIS rebels), but also to a lesser degree Greater Damascus and Daraa. If Al-Qaryatayn plays a role, then mainly due to the danger that an ISIS presence there presents to the connections between Damascus, Homs and the Central Syrian oil/gas fields.

Priorities for the SAA are securing the coastal region and Greater Aleppo and weakening the Northwestern rebel alliance. Assad's nightmare is that otherwise the rebels with Turkish and Saudi support could try to seize Aleppo and endanger Latakia while the SAA stands in Raqqa and Deir ez-Zor.
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