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Syria Crisis: News, Updates & Discussion

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

  1. Averageamerican

    Averageamerican Colonel ELITE MEMBER

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    The Syria Strike Deals Putin a Double Blow
    By Nolan Peterson On 4/10/17 at 8:36 AM


    Last Thursday was a bad day for the Kremlin.

    In the span of a few hours, Russia’s two foreign policy mantelpieces—its military adventures in Ukraine and Syria—were both dealt body blows.

    One came from a United States cruise missile attack on a Syrian regime air base where Russian military forces were deployed. The strike was in retaliation for a deadly Syrian chemical weapons attack against civilians on Tuesday, in which the U.S. said Russia was complicit.

    “I think that [Russian President Vladimir] Putin had expected anything, except the American attack on the Syrian air base,” Marcel Van Herpen, director of the Cicero Foundation, a Dutch think tank that specializes in Russian and European affairs, told The Daily Signal.

    “By a prompt military response [U.S. President Donald] Trump has sent the message that he would not let himself be pushed around,” Van Herpen said.

    Meanwhile, in Brussels on Thursday, only hours before U.S. cruise missiles were inbound to Syria, the European Union dealt Russia another setback when the economic bloc approved a measure granting Ukrainians visa-free travel, a move that Russia and its proxies have long opposed.

    The European Parliament voted 521 to 75 in favor of the measure, which is likely to go into effect by June. In a televised national address on Thursday, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko called the vote “a symbol of Ukraine’s belonging to a common European civilization.”

    [​IMG] Vladimir Putin at Konstantin palace in St. Petersburg, Russia April 3. Nolan Peterson writes that the Russian people’s admiration for Putin largely depends on the strongman persona he has cultivated through state media. However, with new leadership in the White House, Putin’s penchant for military aggression abroad to shore up his domestic popularity may need a rethinking. Dmitri Lovetsky/Pool/reuters

    The war in Ukraine hit its third anniversary on Thursday. In his address, Poroshenko cast the EU vote as a Ukrainian victory in its ongoing conflict against the “Russian aggressor.”

    “Low bow to glorious Ukrainian warriors who defend not only Ukraine’s territorial integrity and European choice, but also the entire system of values of the Old World in the struggle against the Russian aggressor,” Poroshenko said.

    Combo Punch
    On Thursday, the U.S. military launched a barrage of 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at a Syrian air base. The facility, jointly used by Russian forces, was the launch point for a chemical weapons attack on Tuesday that killed more than 100 people, including children, U.S. officials said.

    “[Syrian President Bashar Assad] choked out the lives of helpless men, women and children,” Trump said Thursday from his family estate in Palm Beach, Florida. “It is in this vital national security interest of the United States to prevent and deter the spread and use of deadly chemical weapons.”

    Syria denied using chemical weapons. And Russian officials have offered another version of events, claiming that a Syrian regime airstrike hit a “terrorist” chemical weapons depot, which then spread deadly gas, causing casualties.

    “Syrian aviation carried out an airstrike on the eastern outskirts of Khan Sheikhun, targeting a major ammunition storage facility of terrorists and a cluster of military hardware,” Major General Igor Konashenkov, a Russian Defense Ministry spokesman, said Wednesday, according to the Russian news agency TASS.

    “We assure that this information is completely unbiased and true,” Konashenkov added, according to the report.

    Related: Nolan Peterson: The trench war being waged on Europe's doorstep

    Speaking to reporters Thursday evening following the U.S. strikes, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson rebuked Russia’s version of events and laid blame on both the Kremlin and the Assad regime for Tuesday’s chemical weapons attack.

    “Either Russia has been complicit or Russia has been simply incompetent,” Tillerson said, according to news reports.

    “I think it does demonstrate that President Trump is willing to act when governments and government actors cross the line,” Tillerson said. “It’s clear that President Trump made that statement to the world tonight.”

    A civil war has raged in Syria for six years, killing about 400,000 people, according to United Nations estimates.

    Identity Crisis
    Altogether, Thursday’s events signal a rebuke of Russia’s attempts to influence outcomes in Syria and Ukraine with military force.

    Putin now faces two significant foreign policy setbacks while he cracks down on the fallout from recent anti-corruption protests across Russia, as well as Monday’s terrorist attack on the St. Petersburg metro, which killed 14.

    The question now, according to some experts, is what the Russian leader’s next play will be.

    “How will Putin react? It is a difficult situation for Putin, because the ally he thought to have in the White House has rather quickly turned into an adept of realpolitik,” Van Herpen said. “An additional factor is that Putin’s own trump card, his unpredictability, can now also be found in the White House.”

    For years, Russian state media has cast the U.S. as the vanguard of a Western, liberal world order that is morally debased, ideologically hypocritical and pushy—and a threat to Russia.

    Related: Nolan Peterson: How Putin uses fake news to wage war on Ukraine

    As a result, the Russian people’s admiration for Putin largely depends on the strongman persona he has cultivated through state media. However, with new leadership in the White House, Putin’s penchant for military aggression abroad to shore up his domestic popularity may need a rethinking, Van Herpen said.

    “New military adventures, for instance in the Baltic region or in Ukraine, have become more risky for the Kremlin, because with Trump things could quickly spiral out of control,” Van Herpen said. “The positive outcome of Trump’s action is therefore rather a more cautious Russian foreign policy. For the time being…”

    For his part, Putin said the U.S. strikes on Syria were an act of “aggression against a sovereign state in violation of the norms of international law under a far-fetched pretext.”

    The Russian president also said the strikes “dealt a serious blow to Russian-U.S. relations.”

    On Friday, according to news reports, a Russian warship entered the eastern Mediterranean in the direction of the two U.S. Navy destroyers that launched Thursday’s cruise missile barrage.

    After the Syria Strike, It’s Time to Put Putin Right
    As military tensions heat up between the U.S. and Russia, NATO made a strong statement of solidarity with Ukraine on Friday.

    “A democratic and prosperous Ukraine is the best response to Russia’s aggressive actions,” NATO Deputy Secretary-General Rose Gottemoeller wrote on Twitter Friday.
     
  2. Averageamerican

    Averageamerican Colonel ELITE MEMBER

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    Few other blows to Putin, the world associates Putin with gassing little babies and children and that the S400 is helpless to protect Syria.
     
  3. BMD

    BMD Lt. Colonel ELITE MEMBER

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    I don't believe for one second Assad did it.
     
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  4. Averageamerican

    Averageamerican Colonel ELITE MEMBER

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    Would appear to me to be a stupid thing to do. But in this world appearances are everything.
     
  5. YarS

    YarS Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

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    Sure. And level of "democracy" and "prosperity" of Ukrainian citisens is a best response to our "opposition".
    "Ukraine is Russia without Putin. Do you want such situation in Russia?" - ask proPutin trolls. Answer is "no" from 99,9%. Read statistic and it will be clear, that to be enemy of the West much more profitable that be their "friend".
     
  6. BMD

    BMD Lt. Colonel ELITE MEMBER

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    [​IMG]
     
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  7. Averageamerican

    Averageamerican Colonel ELITE MEMBER

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    [​IMG]
    Sebastien Roblin

    April 15, 2017

    TweetShareShare
    [​IMG]
    Russia and the United States are once again squaring off over Syria following the use of nerve gas in Khan Sheikhoun on April 4 and a U.S. cruise missile strike on Shayrat Air Base on April 6. This has led to renewed speculation over whether the potent S-400 surface-to-air missiles Moscow has deployed in Syria could effectively counter future U.S. air operations. The S-400, after all, has the range to shoot down aircraft operating over most of Syria, as well as parts of neighboring Turkey and Israel.

    Could the S-400 potentially shoot down U.S. war planes? Yes! Could the SAM systems withstand a concerted U.S. campaign to suppress them? No! The more pressing question is, under what circumstances would Russian troops actually fire missiles at American aircraft?

    Moscow would have a lot to lose from intentionally starting a war. The anti-aircraft missiles, however, might be authorized if a local commander believes Russian forces in Syria are under attack.

    Both sides have been careful to avoid direct hostile fire against each other. For example, Washington notified Moscow in advance of the strike on the Shayrat Air Base. Russia, for its part, did not attempt to shoot down the Tomahawk missiles as they approached the airbase, most likely at Putin’s command.

    http://nationalinterest.org/blog/th...the-most-dangerous-game-cat-mouse-earth-20200
     
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  8. brahmos_ii

    brahmos_ii Major SENIOR MEMBER

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    British MPs want to strip Assad’s wife of UK citizenship – reports
    The British-born wife of Syrian President Bashar Assad may have her citizenship revoked due to a social media post in which she accused western countries of lying about the use of chemical weapons by her husband.
    British MPs have put forward a suggestion to deprive Asma Assad – who hails from west London – of her British citizenship, after one of her social media posts that blamed western media of lying and propaganda stirred too much controversy, according to the Sunday Times.
    “The time has come where we go after [President] Assad in every which way, including people like Mrs. Assad, who is very much part of the propaganda machine that is committing war crimes,” Nadhim Zahawi, a Conservative MP on the Commons foreign affairs committee, told the newspaper.

    The Lib Dems are planning to file a letter to the Home Office officially stating their request to consider the matter.

    "If Asma continues defending the Assad regime’s murderous actions, the onus will be on the UK Government to deprive her of her citizenship," the letter seen by The Telegraph says.

    The party is also reportedly pushing for a debate considering Asma Assad's citizenship next week in the House of Commons.

    The question was raised after Assad’s wife posted a photo accompanied by text which came in response to the US missile strike on a Syrian airfield. The attack killed 14 people, including 9 civilians.

    “The presidency of the Syrian Arab Republic affirms that what America has done is an irresponsible act that only reflects a short-sightedness, a narrow horizon, a political and military blindness to reality and a naive pursuit of a frenzied false propaganda campaign,” Asma Assad, who holds dual British-Syrian nationality, wrote.

    The strike was purportedly in retaliation for the Syrian government’s assault on a rebel-held town in north-western Idlib province, allegedly carried out with the use of chemical weapons.

    Damascus has denied any such allegations, adding that its air forces attacked an arms depot where chemical weapons might have been stockpiled by Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) and al-Nusra Front militants.

    The social media accounts of the Syrian first lady on Instagram, Facebook and Telegram have around 500,000 followers in total.

    Asma Assad is already the subject of European Union sanctions, barring her from visiting the EU, except for the UK.

    The UK MPs’ demands are based on the British Nationality Act that outlines the possibility of citizenship deprivation in case a person poses a threat to “the public good.” The provision was enforced in June 2006 and is only applicable to people with dual-citizenship, since a person can't be left stateless.

    There have been around 40 cases of citizenship deprivation under the act in Britain since 2010, mainly against terrorist

    https://www.rt.com/uk/384957-assad-..._medium=aplication_chrome&utm_campaign=chrome
     
  9. brahmos_ii

    brahmos_ii Major SENIOR MEMBER

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  10. YarS

    YarS Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

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  11. Soumya

    Soumya Major STAR MEMBER

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  12. Averageamerican

    Averageamerican Colonel ELITE MEMBER

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    Russia: Embarrassing Cold War Reminders
    April 18, 2017: The government has an awkward situation in Syria. Immediately after the April 7 American cruise missile attack on a Syrian air base (in retaliation of earlier Syrian use of nerve gas) the Russian Internet lit up with embarrassing discussions about that happened to Russian boasts in late 2016 that the Russian air defense system in Syria was operational. Using these very current and high-tech air defense weapons (Tor 2, S-400 and so on) Russia controlled who could use Syrian air space. Thus the American use of 59 cruise missiles to hit that Syrian air base, destroy about 20 percent of the Syrian air force and not touch the Russian aircraft and troops there, was either done with Russian permission or these expensive new air defense systems were vulnerable to American countermeasures. That was a common source of humiliation during the Cold War when, time and time again, the West, usually the Americans, came up with some unexpected tech to neutralize Russian systems, especially air defense and aircraft electronics. The government was forced to note these embarrassing comments on Russian language Internet message boards and announced that Russian policy was not to use the air defense system against external air threats in Syria, or at least not the ones that were no threat to Russian troops. Other government officials commented that the Russian air defense systems could detect low-flying cruise missiles but not everywhere as these cruise missiles could be programmed to deliberately take advantage of terrain (hills) and also detect and avoid Russian radars. Older Russians then recalled hearing the same excuses during the Cold War. The people running Russia remember it as well and that seemed to account for the public displays (in the UN and to the international media) of anger at the Americans. It wasn’t just what the Americans did but how they did it.

    Russia has more to dislike about what the U.S. is doing in Syria. For example there are the bases the Americans are building in northern (Kurd controlled) Syria. Turkey and the Assads oppose these American bases but the bases remain because the Americans, and most of the world, no longer consider the Assads legitimate rulers of Syria. The Assads and their allies Iran and Russia disagree. As long as the American bases were there to support the fight against ISIL (Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant) Iran and Russia did not make an issue of these bases or the thousand or so U.S. troops in Syria. But now that the U.S. has, for the first time, carried out a major military attack on the Assad forces and may continue to do so, a suitable response is necessary. There is not much the Assads can do. They have not been able to prevent regular Israeli air attacks (to prevent Iranian advanced weapons from being moved to Lebanon) and it is no secret that the U.S. and Israel are close allies. The Russians have already made it clear that they will side with the Israelis if forced to decide between the Assads and Israel. This has put Iran in a difficult position and the latest American move makes that worse. All foreign forces operating in Syria are supposed to be there to deal with ISIL but Iran and Russia only pretended and were often criticized because most of the military activity in Syria was to weaken rebels (mainly non-ISIL) fighting to overthrow the Assads.

    While Russia is officially in Syria to defeat ISIL and keep the Assads in power they (semi-officially) also want to maintain good relations with Israel and Sunni Arab countries while doing it. This annoys Iran. Israel has made it clear that there can never be peace in Syria if Iran tries to establish a permanent presence there. The Iranians say they are in Syria to stay and the Russians (so far) have said they oppose that. Iran wants to stay in Syria as part of its decades old effort to destroy Israel and a centuries old effort to make the Shia form of Islam dominant in the Islamic world (that is over 80 percent non-Shia). Meanwhile Israel says it can live with the Assads as long as Iran is not maintaining a military presence in Syria. Many Turks agree with Israel on that point and newly elected U.S. government has come out strongly against any permanent Iranian presence in Syria. The Americans still want the Assads gone but despite that the U.S., Israel and Turkey agree on some key goals.

    The Russian intervention appears to be permanent (as far as the Russians are concerned) and the Assads are OK with that. Turkey and Iran are not so sure and Iran is openly opposed to Turkish troops being in Syria at all. At the same time Iran is demanding the right to establish a naval base in Syria. This is not a new idea. In 2011 Iran pledged to pay for the construction of a naval base on the Syrian Mediterranean coast. That proposal was put aside as the rebellion against the Assads grew but now Iran wants some payback for playing a key role in maintaining the Assads in power. All these overlapping and often contradictory goals and alliances may seem odd to an outsider but this is the Middle East, where such complex arrangements are the old normal. https://www.strategypage.com/qnd/russia/articles/20170418.aspx
     
  13. Averageamerican

    Averageamerican Colonel ELITE MEMBER

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    April 18, 2017: On March 13th the U.S. used one of its large (9.8 ton) MOAB (Massive Ordnance Air Blast) GPS guided smart bomb in combat for the first time. The MOAB was dropped on an ISIL (Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant) tunnel and cave complex in eastern Afghanistan. This area was guarded by hundreds of landmines and explosive traps in addition to several hundred of the Islamic terrorists. Officially known as GBU-43/B, the bomb performed as expected, leaving over a hundred visible dead. Some ISIL men may have been vaporized and others buried deep in the collapsed caves and tunnels. A large explosion likes this creates an overpressure that kills troops deep inside of bunkers. In addition to the shock wave and tunnel collapses the explosion also sucks up all the oxygen in caves and tunnels, asphyxiating those not killed by the blast or overpressure.
     
  14. YarS

    YarS Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

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  15. YarS

    YarS Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

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    Do you mean, that your journalists don't know chemistry and physics? (In addition to your ignorance in geography)
     

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