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  #701  
Old 06.01.2016, 22:56
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Re: Syria - It ain't over till it's over

Is that part of the 30%? Seems small compared to the desert wasteland. But I suppose it might be an accomplishment. Although I don't think it is useful to consider any of this as US progress. It is the Iraqi Army that has taken this on, and should get all credit for it ALL.

Keep in mind that ISIS has likely been reconfiguring its forces to respond to changing dynamics. They may have just redeployed elsewhere. Really though, none of these are real armies. They are more like Madmax warriors. It is more like gang warfare than conventional armies.

But yeah, good job Iraqi Army! Yeaaay.
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  #702  
Old 07.01.2016, 00:11
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Re: Syria - It ain't over till it's over

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Paris, Sinai, San Bernardino, etc.,... don't really affect Assad that much. ISIS makes a few incursions into western Syria now and again but they don't really make any significant headways.

Take a look at the following map if you are interested. Then take a look at google maps of the same region in satellite view.

Cities and towns during the Syrian Civil War

but ISIS is a fundamental threat to the Allawites
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  #703  
Old 07.01.2016, 00:41
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Re: Syria - It ain't over till it's over

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but ISIS is a fundamental threat to the Allawites
Absolutely!!
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  #704  
Old 07.01.2016, 07:55
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Re: Syria - It ain't over till it's over

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but ISIS is a fundamental threat to the Allawites
Long term: Absolutely.

Short term: not so much.

In reality, ISIS is currently helping the Allawites. Deflecting the West's concern from Assad to ISIS is strengthening international support for the regime.
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  #705  
Old 07.01.2016, 14:06
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Re: Syria - It ain't over till it's over

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Long term: Absolutely.

Short term: not so much.

In reality, ISIS is currently helping the Allawites. Deflecting the West's concern from Assad to ISIS is strengthening international support for the regime.
That is a little convoluted logic. ISIS isn't consciously helping Assad. In a sense, yes, you are right, but that is only accidental. Anyway, of the two Assad definitely is the lesser evil.
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  #706  
Old 12.01.2016, 22:43
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Re: Syria - It ain't over till it's over

Russia has been bombing Syria for over 3 months with little progress; disappointing early expectations.

Russia has released some videos of Hind helicopters bombing "the rebels".

This supports the view that Russia is mainly using dumb bombs rather than the precision guided stuff that minimises civilian casualties. Presumably for budget reasons since precision guided weapons can cost up to a thousand times more than the dumb bombs.

Dropping dumb bombs from helicopters is not an accurate delivery method and the chances of actually hitting the target are small.
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  #707  
Old 17.01.2016, 11:16
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Re: Syria - It ain't over till it's over

Syria conflict: Dozens killed as IS attacks Deir al-Zour
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-35334902
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  #708  
Old 17.01.2016, 11:24
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Re: Syria - It ain't over till it's over

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Syria conflict: Dozens killed as IS attacks Deir al-Zour
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-35334902

Just next door to Damascus; seems the Russian military efforts are as useless as the US coalition bombings?
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  #709  
Old 18.01.2016, 13:56
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Re: Syria - It ain't over till it's over

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Just next door to Damascus; seems the Russian military efforts are as useless as the US coalition bombings?
No, the SAA (Syrian regime forces), plus Shia militias and Hezbollah have been on a tear lately, as have the SDF (Kurdish plus some independent Arab forces). Russians have been bombing mostly 'moderate' rebels like Nursa (al-Qaeda) but also there have been a number of times when they bombed ISIS to enable the SDF to advance. "Moderate" rebels are those that only behead prisoners in the single-digits on any given day, but 90 % of them are Islamist (and the rest are Turkmen). Russian air strikes aren't nearly as accurate as American ones because they're cheap so they put the GPS on the plane rather than the bomb, but they're flying far more sorties per day than the US Air Force. The general option at www.reddit.com/s/SyrianCivilWar has been that the Russian intervention has reversed the course of the war.

It's not especially clear who's targeting airstrikes on the Kurdish side for the Russians. According to the Kurds, no-one, but they are probably just trying to be diplomatic for their American buddies. I have seen American A-10s fairly often flying close support on YouTube over the SDF front line.

Also the Turks started firing artillery over the border against ISIS positions last week. Previously they had been allowing ISIS to smuggle men and material back-and-forth over the boarder. People speculated that the Turks got mad when ISIS threatened their tourist industry with the suicide bombing.

The Iraqi army has also been advancing against ISIS but they seems to take more casualties than most. Overall Arabic armies don't really do 'blitzkrieg' style warfare.

Also, you can't read, Deir al-Zour is on the opposite end of the country to Damascus.
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  #710  
Old 23.01.2016, 16:26
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Re: Syria - It ain't over till it's over

According to the FT here
"Weeks before his death on January 3, Colonel-General Igor Sergun, director of Russia’s GRU military intelligence agency, was sent to Damascus with a message from Vladimir Putin for President Assad asking him to step aside."

Assad said no!

Looks like Putin is getting fed up with being bogged down in Syria, costing a fortune and not achieving much; he has been running this campaign for four months now.
Also I do not know how much longer he can keep those Russian museum piece planes in the air!
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  #711  
Old 23.01.2016, 23:11
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Re: Syria - It ain't over till it's over

Another point to consider is Iran's involvement. Iran wants Assad to stay and a bigger role to play in Syria. Not sure if Putin is happy with that.
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  #712  
Old 23.01.2016, 23:36
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Re: Syria - It ain't over till it's over

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Another point to consider is Iran's involvement. Iran wants Assad to stay and a bigger role to play in Syria. Not sure if Putin is happy with that.


I imagine Russia and Iran do not have complementary goals.
For example, how enthusiastic are Iran that Russia has a military port on the Med?
Iran has no such port and has to sail around Africa to get there; I assume they are blocked from using the Suez canal?
Maybe Russia will share
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  #713  
Old 24.01.2016, 00:01
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Re: Syria - It ain't over till it's over

Iran is allowed to sail thru Suez, Egypt is not allowed to bar any nation.

Both Russia and Iran want to have Syria as a satellite, hardly a recipe for success.
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  #714  
Old 24.01.2016, 01:05
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Re: Syria - It ain't over till it's over

Report today from BBC about a visit to the Russian bases in Syria
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-35391241
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  #715  
Old 24.01.2016, 13:41
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Re: Syria - It ain't over till it's over

Yet again BBC reporters taken for a ride. With the Russians and Iranians the citizens of Syria are blessed. Time for them to go home and enjoy their good luck.
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  #716  
Old 24.01.2016, 17:26
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Re: Syria - It ain't over till it's over

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Yet again BBC reporters taken for a ride. With the Russians and Iranians the citizens of Syria are blessed. Time for them to go home and enjoy their good luck.
"Blessed" with them or f***ed without them. Pretty easy choice.

And Marton, you seem to not want to see any positive news coming out of this but if you look hard enough, you might find something encouraging for the Russian/Hezbollah support.

What I find discouraging are the Biden/Turkey discussions.
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  #717  
Old 24.01.2016, 18:08
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Re: Syria - It ain't over till it's over

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"Blessed" with them or f***ed without them. Pretty easy choice.

And Marton, you seem to not want to see any positive news coming out of this but if you look hard enough, you might find something encouraging for the Russian/Hezbollah support.

What I find discouraging are the Biden/Turkey discussions.



I agree about the Biden/Turkey discussions, more encouraged by Carter in Paris this week; "US Defence Secretary Ashton Carter said Turkey "can do more" in the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group, particularly by tightening its border to stop the flow of resources and foreign fighters."


About "you might find something encouraging for the Russian/Hezbollah support" Well one thing Russia is very good at is propaganda but I fail to find the lists of successes I had expected to see.
Compare with the many newspaper column inches Russia obtained just by sailing two over 30 year old military rust buckets off the coast of Syria; one of them is the flagship of their Pacific fleet - one wonders about the state of the rest of the fleet?
Look at the USA; less than 4% of their fleet is so old!
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  #718  
Old 28.01.2016, 22:11
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Re: Syria - It ain't over till it's over

Syria peace talks start tomorrow, Friday, in Geneva.
Only problem is the opposition (rebels, freedom fighters, terrorists et al) will not attend.
Theatre of the absurd or what?


Putin must be desperate to extricate himself from this mess; already 4 months and little progress to show.


It was widely expected he would double down with his forces in Syria after his airliner was downed; did not happen - probably due to a combination of lack of cash combined with shortage of suitable aircraft in good condition.


So far the only visible extra action recently was to sail a couple of over 30 year old Russian navy rust buckets near the coast of Syria; if I was a Russian sailor I would also stick close to the coast - not so far to swim if they sink!
Newspapers failed to mention their tug boat escorts in case the warships broke down!
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  #719  
Old 29.01.2016, 00:11
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Re: Syria - It ain't over till it's over

Marton, you must have missed the following news...

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  #720  
Old 29.01.2016, 00:34
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Re: Syria - It ain't over till it's over

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Marton, you must have missed the following news...

Yes they are starting to make progress.


Probably more due to US pressure on the allies ahead of the peace talks to stop supplying the rebels with anti tank weapons than improved Russian bombing.


Looks like Assad will stay in place and the rebels are doomed if the US pulls support.
Will the Kurds be able to keep their territory?
Will there be a solution to the ISIS problem? Who knows?
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