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Syria Crisis: News, Updates & Discussion

Discussion in 'Greater Asia & Middle East' started by Hembo, Jun 9, 2011.

  1. BMD

    BMD Lt. Colonel ELITE MEMBER

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  2. brahmos_ii

    brahmos_ii Major SENIOR MEMBER

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    How the Syrian Conflict Could Turn Into a 'Hopeless War of Extermination'

    Russia and the US differ in their vision of the Syrian future: while Moscow insists that President Assad should stay as the only legitimate leader, the US stubbornly reiterates that he "must go." Russian media explain why the US stance is self-deceptive and why the conflict will turn into a "hopeless war of extermination' without Assad in power.

    "Moscow and Washington have a different stance on the future of Syria – one implies that President Assad stays in power in Syria while the other insists that the ousting of the "bloody dictator" is the only condition for peace and liberation of the country from terrorists," Russia's online newspaper Vzglyad writes in its analytical piece on the Syrian conflict.

    However it is a strangle dispute over an obvious choice, it further says. "With Assad [in power], we have a chance to unite and pacify if not the whole of Syria, then the major part of it. Without Assad, the civil war will turn into a war of extermination and won't abate for years to come, despite all efforts," it says.

    The outlet then delves into the deeper roots of the ongoing conflict.

    The divisions within Syrian society are far deeper than merely Assad's supporters and his adversaries, it explains, and they go back much further into Syria's history. After it gained independence back in 1945, the country was marred by a large number of military coups and coup attempts.

    The Arab Republic of Syria came into being in late 1961 and was increasingly unstable, with a long-term stand-off between the Muslim Brotherhood of Syria and the secularist, pan-Arabist Ba'ath Party.

    The Syrian Muslim Brotherhood was banned by the government of the Syrian Arab Republic after the 1963 coup. However the Muslim Brotherhood played a major role in dissent against the secular Ba'ath Party during the period 1976-1982.

    Following the Hama uprising of 1982 in the wake of the wider Islamist insurgency in Syria (1979–1982), when thousands of armed insurgents and civilians were killed, the Brotherhood was effectively broken as an active political force inside Syria. In 1982, it was Rifaat al-Assad, the younger brother of the former President of Syria, Hafez Assad and the uncle of the incumbent President Bashar al-Assad who crushed the rebellion in Hama. The battle later became known as the "Hama massacre."

    When Hafez al-Assad suffered from heart problems in late 1983, he established a six-member committee to run the country. Rifaat was not included. With the support of troops numbering more than 55,000, along with tanks, artillery, aircraft and helicopters he attempted an assault on Damascus.

    However by the middle of 1984 Hafez had returned from his sickness and assumed full control over the country. Rifaat was going to be put on trial and even faced questioning that was broadcast on television, but was later exiled abroad. "The mercy towards the uncle of the incumbent Syrian president has been backfiring on the country ever since," the newspaper says.

    "The elderly Rifaat now resides in Europe, mainly in France and Spain and assiduously blemishes his nephew Bashar, considering him a deadly enemy," it adds.

    It is Rifaat's sons that in fact control the major part of the Syrian opposition which the West calls "moderate." His eldest son Ribal has established and now leads the so-called "Organization for Democracy and Freedom in Syria." His youngest son Sumer is the head of a pan-Arab TV channel, the Arab News Network (ANN), which is based in London and which has turned into one of the major propaganda sources of the so-called Syrian "moderates" although initially it was a political mouthpiece of the estranged wing of the Assad clan.

    These are the very same people whom the various London-based "Friends of Syria" monitor groups associate with and the western media largely quote when reporting on the "atrocities of Bashar Assad and Russian aviation."

    However, the outlet notes, Rifaat's clan is just "the tip of the iceberg" of the Syrian civil war. The religious stand-off in the country has long reached its extremities and neither of the parties involved can reach a compromise without seeing it as some kind of failure. "By creating or trying to create lists of "trustworthy" representatives of the armed opposition, the US is looking at an ideal version of events while ignoring the practical reality that now exists," the newspaper says. However one should understand that the government of President Assad demonstrates miracles of humanity in a war where neither side can consider itself a winner until its enemy is totally eliminated, it states.

    Hence the war with the radicals will go on until the very end, regardless its effect on the international situation, it predicts.

    "Idlib province has already turned into a separate state under whoever's control and this problem is yet to be solved. Eastern Syria is sagging: it is possible to retake Raqqa and advance towards the border with Iraq, but it will take years to put it in order," the outlet explains. "The forecasts of another 10 years of war might become a reality if we back off from supporting the Assad government and his army in favor of some abstract "humanitarian interests," which have no support on the ground," it says. In fact, it says, there are no "humanitarian interests", only ideologies in the heads of western elites. And it is this mentality and not the actions of Damascus or Moscow which turns Syrian society into the hostage of the civil war which risks becoming an endless war of extermination, it finally states.
     
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  3. BON PLAN

    BON PLAN Major SENIOR MEMBER

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    If it is a war for the extermination of all the Djihadistes, it's not so bad....
     
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  4. somedude

    somedude Captain FULL MEMBER

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  5. Anees

    Anees Mod Staff Member MODERATOR

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    Any video ??
     
  6. somedude

    somedude Captain FULL MEMBER

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    Of the Kuz smoking like it's trying to get top billing for climate change?



    Of the MiG-29K crashing? Not as far as I know. But there are articles, for example on the Beeb. Pilot was rescued.
     
  7. brahmos_ii

    brahmos_ii Major SENIOR MEMBER

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    Single US-Russian Coalition in Syria Possible If Washington Meets Two Conditions
    Donald Trump's victory appears to have spoiled plans of those in the United States intent on deepening a standoff with Russia over Syria, with some, including former French President Nicolas Sarkozy, suggesting that Moscow and Washington could now join forces to tackle terrorist groups in the war-torn country.

    Last week, the French politician urged to create a single joint coalition to resolve the Syrian crisis. "The good news is that we will be able to do away with an utterly counterproductive atmosphere of the Cold War between the United States and Russia after Donald Trump's victory," he said.

    This is something that Russian officials have long advocated, even after the latest effort to resolve the nearly six-year-long Syrian war was shattered after radical groups fighting against President Bashar al-Assad ruined a fragile ceasefire, brokered by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and US Secretary of State John Kerry.

    Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee of Russia's upper house of the parliament Konstantin Kosachev told Izvestiya that Russia and the United States could be part of a single counterterrorism coalition. He mentioned two conditions that Washington has to meet to make this possible.

    "There are no insurmountable obstacles on this path," he said. If Washington "primarily aims at tackling terrorism in Syria, then I see nothing that could prevent us from being in a coalition with the United States."

    The Russian senator pointed out that under the Obama administration the United States was focused on a regime change, but Washington could alter its "strategic goals" when Trump's team comes to power. "This largely corresponds with Trump's pre-election rhetoric," Kosachev noted. The US president-elect said "that the United States will no longer meddle in the internal affairs of other countries."

    Kosachev mentioned another necessary prerequisite for Russia joining forces with the United States in a bid to rid Syria of radical groups, including Daesh and al-Nusra Front. This coalition, if it is established, "will fully adhere to international law," he said.

    This has been one of the key differences when it comes to Russia's military engagement in Syria and the US-led coalition's anti-Daesh efforts. Moscow launched its operation following a formal request from Damascus, which was struggling to contain a foreign-sponsored insurgency in mid-2015. Neither the UN Security Council, not the Syrian government has authorized the US-led operation in Syria, meaning it is at odds with international law.

    Senior Fellow at the Center for Arab and Islamic Studies at the Institute of Oriental Studies Boris Dolgov told the newspaper that Washington will not change its strategy towards Syria in an instant even if Donald Trump and his team are willing to focus on Daesh instead of Assad.

    "There will be no progress" until Trump moves into the White House, the political analyst said. "Trump will also have to overcome the resistance from national security, defense and law enforcement agencies, particularly the Pentagon and the CIA."

    Trump's foreign policy shift towards greater counterterrorism cooperation with Russia will encounter a pushback from hardliners in Washington, but US military officials and diplomats are rumored to be ready to go through with the plan if the new US president says so.

    "We were ready to go, and we can be ready to go again," an unnamed US defense official told the Washington Times last week. "It's all speculation at this point," a State Department official noted, saying that it was unclear "whether they're going to keep the strategy as it is, tweak it, revise it or do away with it completely."

    Read more: https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/201611211047669256-russia-us-coalition-syria/
     
  8. BMD

    BMD Lt. Colonel ELITE MEMBER

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  9. brahmos_ii

    brahmos_ii Major SENIOR MEMBER

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    Getting dressed for a combat mission in a U2 "Dragonlady" reconnaissance plane looks almost like the preparations for a space flight, the pilot in a yellow compression suit wearing a massive white helmet.

    The suits need to be cooled the entire time, otherwise the pilots would die of heat exhaustion in a matter of minutes, but they are necessary to protect the crew members as they fly surveillance missions over Iraq and Syria at more than 70,000 feet scoping out ISIS targets.
    The US Air Force gave CNN rare access to U2 crews flying out of a secret location in the Middle East. We can only identify the pilots by their rank, first name and their call sign.
    [​IMG]

    U2 pilots wear flight suits and helmets similar to those worn by astronauts.​
    The pilot getting suited up was named Capt. Steven. His call sign is "Meathead." He was brought to the plane in a bus similar to those that bring astronauts to their spacecraft. He was connected to a mobile cooling unit the entire time.

    Dozens of ground personnel were readying the U2 jet for a 10-hour mission.

    "You do things to keep your mind busy," Capt. Steven said, referring to the toll the long hours sitting in the cockpit take on them. "The radios are constantly going, there's constant communications with guys on the ground. So it keeps you busy."

    Cold War-era plane
    The "Dragonlady" lifted off soon after, quickly climbing into the Middle Eastern sun. The U2 is built for altitude. It can climb to well over 70,000 feet, making it an important asset in the effort to find and destroy senior ISIS fighters, safe houses and battle positions.
    [​IMG]

    US U2s fly reconnaisance missions, hunting for ISIS fighters.​
    "With the U2 we're able to get out there, find those guys and track them," said another pilot, Maj. Matt. "Then we get that information back to the fighters and bombers, so that way when they go out there they've got the best intel, the best information about where they are and can do what needs to be done."
    The U2 "Dragonlady" is a Cold War-era plane. It's been flying since the 1950s. But the planes have been modernized with new sensors and cameras, making them an important asset in the intelligence war against ISIS.

    But they are by no means the only ones. Drones also play a major role. From the massive Global Hawk that can stay in the air for well over 24 hours to the smaller predator and reaper unmanned aerial vehicles, all these platforms contribute to what is a gigantic airborne surveillance aimed at degrading and ultimately destroying ISIS.

    Critical impact
    "I am seeing continuous progress," said Col. Paul Birch, the head of the 380th Expeditionary Operations Group. "There's progress each day. From reports about what's happening to ISIS on the ground I know that we are having an absolutely critical impact."
    But despite the many surveillance assets and the major firepower of coalition aircraft in the skies over Iraq and Syria, ISIS remains a powerful and elusive group, offering stiff resistance to Iraqi and Kurdish forces as they try to storm the terror group's biggest stronghold, Mosul. Iraqi leaders have acknowledged it could be months before Iraq's second largest city might be liberated.

    That means many more missions for the crews of the U2 "Dragonlady."

    After about 10 hours we were on hand when Capt. Steve came in to land. The U2 is a very difficult aircraft to bring to the ground. Its landing gear is aligned like the wheel of a bicycle. Keeping one from running off the runway requires great skill and the help of a second pilot trailing the jet down the runway in a chase car and keeping radio contact.
    Peeling himself out of the plane, Capt. Steven was happy to leave the confines of the small cockpit and satisfied with the support he was able to provide forces fighting on the ground.

    "The things that we can do while we are up there, as well as how often we are up there. Thanks to our maintenance guys we are constantly up in the air providing that support for those who need it most," he said.

    And it looks like the demand for the U2 missions won't go away anytime soon, as the international coalition continues to ramp up the pressure and the firepower, trying to destroy the network for good.
     
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  10. Picdelamirand-oil

    Picdelamirand-oil Lt. Colonel MILITARY STRATEGIST

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    Why Did The Pentagon Use The B-2 Against Terrorists?
    Jan 19, 2017Dan Katz | Aerospace Daily & Defense Report

    USAF

    A pair of U.S. Air Force B-2s leveled two ISIS training camps in Libya on Jan. 18. The mission marked the first time the “stealth bombers” had been used in combat since the opening of the Libyan air campaign in March 2011, raising questions about why the costly, low-observable aircraft were employed for targets lacking sophisticated air defenses.

    The aircraft dropped 108 precision-guided bombs on jihadists who had recently arrived after being routed in the Libyan coastal city of Sirte, 30 mi. northeast of the camps. The militants who survived the bomb run were “cleaned up” by UAVs wielding Hellfire missiles. An estimated 85 terrorists, who Defense Secretary Ash Carter noted were “actively plotting operations in Europe,” were killed in the strikes.

    The two nuclear-capable bombers flew non-stop from Whiteman AFB in Missouri, refueling at least five times during their 30-hr. round trip. Carter said the strikes were intended to deliver “the lasting defeat it [ISIS] deserves.” The mission also marked a spectacular end to an administration that has made long-range airstrikes against terrorists a pillar of its defense strategy.

    Most of the commentary surrounding the action has centered on why the U.S. employed such advanced strike assets in a seemingly permissive air defense environment. Air Force Operations and Support spending data from fiscal 2015 show the Operational Cost per Flight Hour (OCPFH) of the B-2 at $128,805 in then-year dollars, compared to $58,488 for the B-1 and $67,005 for the B-52. Why then use the bomber with the highest OCPFH?

    Some news outlets have reported that Washington was sending a message. The Libyan general Khalifa Haftar, who has been fighting the Tripoli-based government supported by the U.S. and UN, recently visited Russia’s Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier in the Mediterranean Sea where he reportedly received a promise of weapons and financial support. The strike may have been meant to dissuade General Haftar from deepening this friendship and encourage him to join the Tripoli government. Other sources have called it a parting message from the administration to Russia and China, showing them the destruction that can be wrought by each of the U.S. Air Force’s 20 B-2s.

    Another possibility is the B-2 was the most cost-effective way to accomplish this particular strike, which apparently necessitated delivering 108 independently targeted weapons. In the mid-2000s, the B-2 fleet was upgraded with the Smart Bomb Rack Assembly (SRBA), which allows each bomber to carry 80 GBU-38s— the 500-lb. version of the Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) GPS-guided bomb family. B-52s can only carry 12 each and are currently being upgraded to carry 24. B-1s can only carry 15. Fighters unsurprisingly cannot match the B-2’s payload and suffer a bigger range penalty for every bomb they carry because the aircraft are lighter and carry weapons externally, where they create lots of drag.

    The cost difference between using the different bombers may also be less than the OCPFHs would lead one to believe. The marginal cost of operating an aircraft is not as simple as the OCPFH multiplied by the length of the mission. A significant portion of the OCPFH consists of annual, fixed costs that do not increase with additional usage, such as unit maintenance personnel and continuing system improvements. When one considers only the costs affected by utilization—such as operating material, depot-level maintenance and field spares—the B-2 costs an additional $30,000 per flight hour, not $60,000-70,000.

    Additionally, all pilots, even those that fly the expensive B-2, need a certain amount of flight time a year to maintain proficiency, accumulated either through training missions or real operations. And B-2 crews do periodically practice long-distance strikes from Whiteman. If there were a large number of terrorist structures in need of demolition and a flight crew in need of cockpit time, the B-2 could have been allocated for the strikes with no budget impact.

    One more potential rationale is the B-2’s sophisticated sensors. Designed in the 1980s to deliver nuclear warheads against mobile targets protected by the Soviet Union’s formidable air defenses, B-2s are equipped not only with broadband stealth but also with radars that detect and generate images of ground targets from over 100 mi. away. After the Cold War, GPS-guided weapons were integrated and the radar was made capable of updating the target coordinates in-flight. From 2007 to 2012, the passive electronically scanned arrays of these radars were replaced with active electronically scanned arrays. If the mission called for radar detection of mobile targets, radar imaging or independent retargeting of GPS-guided bombs, these criteria also would justify employing “the world’s most technologically advanced strategic bomber” against America’s most technologically unsophisticated opponents.

    http://aviationweek.com/defense/why...m=email&elq2=86b2df6aa2e648b39c5c3a1f1616b1bc
     
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  11. quantic1

    quantic1 IDF NewBie

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    Following up this subject, here is a piece of news from Russia: Moscow and Damascus signed an agreement on expansion and modernization of the Russian Navy’s support facility in Tartous.
    http://mil.today/2017/Syria17/
     
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  12. YarS

    YarS Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

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    [​IMG]
    Syrian soldier on the beach of Eufrates. First time since 2015.
     
  13. Inactive

    Inactive Guest


    Very good visibility indeed.
     
  14. Inactive

    Inactive Guest


    Beast logic of levelling infrastructure and killing only 85 with 108 PGMs. Cost to effect ratio is dismal at best.
     
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  15. Inactive

    Inactive Guest

    @PARIKRAMA Looks like IA surplus being provided to SAA ... or Indian exports going there :)
     
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