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| | |-+  Civil War in Syria
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Author Topic: Civil War in Syria  (Read 132799 times)
palandio
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« Reply #800 on: August 23, 2016, 05:14:37 am »
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Recent devolopments:

In Aleppo the Syrian Army was able to complete the siege of East Aleppo at the end of July, cutting the last rebel supply line in the north-west.
But within the next few days a long-prepared, massive rebel offensive, headed be the ex-Nusra Front (now Levant Conquest Front), resulted in a rebel breakthrough in the south-west, establishing a new (unsafe) supply line and cutting the main regime supply line towards West Aleppo.
The result is that now both sides have only unsafe new supply lines through recently conquered territory and the fighting is far from being over. The north-western rebels (Army of Conquest, Conquest of Aleppo) have once again shown that they are one of the strongest military actors on the ground.

Continued government advances in the Damascus suburbs (nothing new).

Heavy clashes are going on between regime forces and Kurds in al-Hasakah. In principle these are similar to the clashes in Qamishli in April which were ended by a ceasefire, but now there is the potential to develop into an all-out war with serious repercussions in other parts of Syria. In al-Hasakah it is probably the Kurds who have the upper hand, but this may not be the case in Sheikh Maqsoud and Afrin, when fighting against everyone else. A useful background article might be this:
http://carnegieendowment.org/syriaincrisis/64375

Which leads us to the recent diplomatic developments between Turkey and Assad's foreign backers. As a result Turkey might not support the rebels anymore (except for its proxies in the Azaz-Marea pocket), and in turn Russia, Iran and Assad might become very hostile towards the Syrian Kurds in general. But this would both be a 180 degree turn-around, I don't know how likely this is.
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palandio
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« Reply #801 on: August 24, 2016, 04:21:33 am »
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It seems that I missed the news of the week by a few hours:

Turkey and some of its proxies have started an offensive on ISIS territory near Jarabulus in Aleppo province. While Turkey has supported its proxies earlier by artillery from Turkish territory, it is the first time that Turkish tanks and special forces have entered Syria for fighting purposes.

Things will get interesting when Turkey+proxies meet the SDF/YPG a few miles further south in the recently captured Manbij area.
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Angel of Death
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« Reply #802 on: August 24, 2016, 06:22:52 am »
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Maybe this is a bit semantic, but that would make this the first overt invasion of Syrian territory by a sovereign country in this civil war, does it not?
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« Reply #803 on: August 25, 2016, 02:33:09 am »
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I guess the big question is, does Turkey continue to advance into ISIS/Kurdish held territory or are were they just grabbing the low hanging fruit in Jarabulus.
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palandio
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« Reply #804 on: August 25, 2016, 04:33:43 am »
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Maybe this is a bit semantic, but that would make this the first overt invasion of Syrian territory by a sovereign country in this civil war, does it not?

This is indeed a bit semantic. The event that I had in mind when I wrote "for fighting purposes" was the following: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tomb_of_Suleyman_Shah#Second_relocation_.282015.29

Apart from this one might of cause argue that the overt presence of Iranian and Russian troops in Syria is an invasion. But since they are fighting on the sides of the nominal government, it is in my opinion a different thing.

I guess the big question is, does Turkey continue to advance into ISIS/Kurdish held territory or are were they just grabbing the low hanging fruit in Jarabulus.

I'm quite sure this is part of a bigger campaign aimed at impeding the connection of the Kurdish cantons of Kobane and Afrin. Capturing the border crossing in Jarabulus is not worth much when it was closed anyway.
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Kalwejt
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« Reply #805 on: August 31, 2016, 06:15:27 am »

Another ISIS leader bites the dust

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-37224570
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palandio
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« Reply #806 on: August 31, 2016, 10:27:28 am »
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Recent developments:

The Turkish offensive in the Jarabulus area has turned into Turkey+proxies vs. SDF/YPG, as many had been expecting. The Kurds' relations with both the US and Russia have soured.

The rebel pocket in Darayya south of Damascus has surrendered, rebel fighters and their families are transferred to Idlib, many civilians are preliminarily relocated to regime-held areas.

ISIS-friendly al-Nusra split-off Jund al-Aqsa and some FSA groups have started an offensive against regime-held areas north of Hama, so far resulting in the capture of the towns of Halfaya and Taybat al-Imam.
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Nhoj
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« Reply #807 on: August 31, 2016, 01:36:20 pm »
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Another ISIS leader bites the dust

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-37224570
He wasn't just the spokesperson either. He was a early follower of zarqawi and second-in-command of the organization. 
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« Reply #808 on: September 04, 2016, 04:33:00 pm »
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I guess the big question is, does Turkey continue to advance into ISIS/Kurdish held territory or are were they just grabbing the low hanging fruit in Jarabulus.
It seems that Turkey backed FSA announced their goal to move towards Al-Bab and Manbij. Interesting to note that Turkey was already proposing to create a "buffer zone" in this area 2 or 3 years ago, and didn't receive much support. A lot of time was wasted.
Turkey is also planning to "normalize" its relations with Assad. Maybe this will lead to an agreement not to attack each other if/when the FSA and Assad army meet south of Al Bab.
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palandio
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« Reply #809 on: September 05, 2016, 05:11:17 am »
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Two or three years ago ISIS was stronger, hence it would have been more difficult to gain ground against them.
YPG was weaker and an attack against ISIS would have helped the YPG, which was and is clearly not the Turkish intention. But now there is the danger of YPG/SDF actually linking up Afrin and Kobane, which was not there two or three years ago.
Assad did not yet have Russia's open support. Without a big buddy in the background he might have felt more endangered by the Turkish invasion and an all-out war between Syria and Turkey might have been the result. Of course the Turkish Army would have been stronger, but there would have been losses and unrest in Hatay province. The risk would have been high.

Now of course the "buffer zone" has a price tag, and in my opinion it might be East Aleppo. Turkey has already bought away some of the more "moderate" rebel factions from the Aleppo front, which are now fighting against ISIS and YPG/SDF instead. During the last days the Syrian Army and other pro-regime forces like Hezbollah have succesfully recaptured the Artillery Academy in South-West Aleppo, reverting the gains of the last rebel offensive and completing the encirclement of East Aleppo again.
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« Reply #810 on: September 09, 2016, 01:22:52 am »
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Not sure if this has been posted already, but here's an interesting constantly-updated map of who controls where:

http://syria.liveuamap.com/

(click the legend on the top right for the color code)

You can also scroll over to other areas to see where ISIS has footholds, i.e. Iraq, Egypt, Libya, Afghanistan.
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« Reply #811 on: September 09, 2016, 10:50:52 am »
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We are betraying the Kurds for Erdogan and will almost certainly come to regret this.
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« Reply #812 on: September 09, 2016, 01:48:02 pm »
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We are betraying the Kurds for Erdogan and will almost certainly come to regret this.

Unlikely while I despise Erdogan and think the Kurds are the best faction in the entire region (including Israel). The Kurds are used to be betrayed, and doesn't have a tradition of terror outside the region. Also USA seem (to for once) smart enough that they keep supporting the Kurds, they just limit the Kurdish influence, until they have a excuse to nsupport YPG again. Also the Germans seem to have decided to simply throw their vallet after the Kurds.
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« Reply #813 on: September 09, 2016, 04:38:56 pm »
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We are betraying the Kurds for Erdogan and will almost certainly come to regret this.

Unlikely while I despise Erdogan and think the Kurds are the best faction in the entire region (including Israel). The Kurds are used to be betrayed, and doesn't have a tradition of terror outside the region. Also USA seem (to for once) smart enough that they keep supporting the Kurds, they just limit the Kurdish influence, until they have a excuse to nsupport YPG again. Also the Germans seem to have decided to simply throw their vallet after the Kurds.

That's probably because Erdogan hasn't done much to endear Germany.
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« Reply #814 on: September 09, 2016, 06:41:13 pm »
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"US, Russia reach cease fire deal":

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/russian-foreign-minister-lavrov-says-he-was-thinking-of-calling-it-a-day-on-syria-talks-with-the-united-states/2016/09/09/f37ca320-75ff-11e6-9781-49e591781754_story.html
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« Reply #815 on: September 09, 2016, 11:45:03 pm »
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Not many people are taking into account that Erdogan may have flipped sides. Or at least triangulated between the Western bloc and the Russia-Shia bloc.
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palandio
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« Reply #816 on: September 13, 2016, 04:42:53 am »
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There has certainly been a rapproachment between Turkey and Russia. Turkish-Western relations on the other hand have become much more complicated. But international diplomacy on the Syrian question is far more complex than two sides or a triangle. Everyone has his own interests and engages in temporary alliances, cooperations or nonaggression pacts.

In other news: Syrian-Israeli escalation.
Jihadist rebels have started a new offensive against regime-held areas in Quneitra province, with Israel bombing some Syrian artillery positions. The Syrian air defense claims to have downed an Israeli fighter jet and an Israeli drone. Israel confirmed the attacks, but said they missed their targets. This might become interesting.
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Nhoj
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« Reply #817 on: September 14, 2016, 01:23:47 pm »
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There has certainly been a rapproachment between Turkey and Russia. Turkish-Western relations on the other hand have become much more complicated. But international diplomacy on the Syrian question is far more complex than two sides or a triangle. Everyone has his own interests and engages in temporary alliances, cooperations or nonaggression pacts.

In other news: Syrian-Israeli escalation.
Jihadist rebels have started a new offensive against regime-held areas in Quneitra province, with Israel bombing some Syrian artillery positions. The Syrian air defense claims to have downed an Israeli fighter jet and an Israeli drone. Israel confirmed the attacks, but said they missed their targets. This might become interesting.
If they had taken down a jet they would have proof and a bigger retaliation from Israel , a drone is possible though.
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palandio
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« Reply #818 on: September 15, 2016, 04:27:33 am »
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That's what I think, too. Still clearly a sign of rising tensions.
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« Reply #819 on: September 15, 2016, 01:15:34 pm »
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Not sure if it's going to last.
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« Reply #820 on: September 15, 2016, 01:54:33 pm »
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These ceasefire deals are frankly stupid and counter productive.

All they do is offer the different factions time to reground and get their sh**t together.

Why is no one working on a lasting political solution? Especially when it's clear what that political solution will be to everyone involved.

Assad in exile in Russia. Half Baath/half FSA coalition government with a Christian and/or former Communist as president. I can kind of see why Russia/Assad don't push for this, since they have a chance of winning outright if they just power though, but why aren't the Americans pushing harder for this?
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« Reply #821 on: September 15, 2016, 03:11:35 pm »
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It's time for sanctions against Syria until Assad is gone.  We should be inviting Israel to help us with the pressure.  Iran's threat will lessen once he's out of power.  As I said before we need to be bringing refugees here and sending humanitarian aid to those in harms way over there.
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« Reply #822 on: September 17, 2016, 06:02:29 pm »
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The Coalition apparently hit Syrian Regime forces with an (accidental?) airstrike, killing 80+ of their troops.

http://www.cnn.com/2016/09/17/middleeast/syria-claims-coalition-airstrike-hit-regime-forces/index.html
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« Reply #823 on: September 17, 2016, 11:07:43 pm »
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Why is no one talking about this? This is a problem.
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« Reply #824 on: September 18, 2016, 11:44:13 am »
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Let me get out the world's smallest violin...
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