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Syria - civil war incoming?

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Re: Syria - civil war incoming?

Post by Scoop20906 » Mon May 15, 2017 9:29 pm

I can't even understand why the U.S. puts out this information if we have no interest in doing something about it? A decade ago we would have sought to put a coalition together to intervene. The outrage would have lead to some sort of consequence or action. Today, no one cares at all. The U.S. doesn't stand for anything anymore. And this started before Donny took office. Obama also avoided the responsibility of action in Syria as well.
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Re: Syria - civil war incoming?

Post by Combustible Lemur » Mon May 15, 2017 9:39 pm

Scoop20906 wrote:I can't even understand why the U.S. puts out this information if we have no interest in doing something about it? A decade ago we would have sought to put a coalition together to intervene. The outrage would have lead to some sort of consequence or action. Today, no one cares at all. The U.S. doesn't stand for anything anymore. And this started before Donny took office. Obama also avoided the responsibility of action in Syria as well.
The answer is still going on in Iraq and Afghanistan.

And iirc this is explicitly one of the arguments against Iraq. Don't start an unnecessary war that will get ugly, drawn out, and sour the American people against future more worthy engagements.

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Re: Syria - civil war incoming?

Post by Scoop20906 » Mon May 15, 2017 9:45 pm

I understand that point but is that it? Do atrocities just get a free pass now?


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Re: Syria - civil war incoming?

Post by Isgrimnur » Mon May 15, 2017 11:40 pm

They always have until they start crossing borders. Eddie Izzard could have told you that.
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Re: Syria - civil war incoming?

Post by Daehawk » Mon May 15, 2017 11:58 pm

Why are we the ones who have to intervene? Why doesn't someone else? Better yet why do we at all anyways? Why not let sovereign countries handle their own business.
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Re: Syria - civil war incoming?

Post by Kraken » Tue May 16, 2017 12:31 am

So...what? Send in the Marines? That'll fix Syria, you betcha. I'm sure they'll be greeted as liberators.

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Re: Syria - civil war incoming?

Post by gbasden » Tue May 16, 2017 1:04 am

Daehawk wrote:Why are we the ones who have to intervene? Why doesn't someone else? Better yet why do we at all anyways? Why not let sovereign countries handle their own business.
Sure. Why did we intervene in Germany at all? Hitler had things well in hand.

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Re: Syria - civil war incoming?

Post by Daehawk » Tue May 16, 2017 1:36 am

gbasden wrote:
Daehawk wrote:Why are we the ones who have to intervene? Why doesn't someone else? Better yet why do we at all anyways? Why not let sovereign countries handle their own business.
Sure. Why did we intervene in Germany at all? Hitler had things well in hand.
Well in that particular instance it was because Japan attacked us and they were allied with Germany. Otherwise we were not going to do anything.

But why us? It just makes everyone hate us more and causes more terrorist attacks upon our people and holdings.
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Re: Syria - civil war incoming?

Post by gbasden » Tue May 16, 2017 2:36 am

Because sometimes things are too heinous to shrug your shoulders and do nothing? That's pretty much the lesson of the holocaust in a nutshell. If others won't act, that doesn't absolve us from the moral duty to help.

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Re: Syria - civil war incoming?

Post by Rip » Tue May 16, 2017 3:03 am

Moral duty to help can different things to different people.

Sometimes trying to help can cause more damage than the immoral conduct you are seeking to dissuade.

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Re: Syria - civil war incoming?

Post by gbasden » Tue May 16, 2017 3:50 am

Rip wrote:Moral duty to help can different things to different people.

Sometimes trying to help can cause more damage than the immoral conduct you are seeking to dissuade.
For sure. Having a duty doesn't mean blindly charging in. It may mean trying to gather a coalition, or use other methods than warfare to accomplish the goal. And sometimes we might make the determination that trying to do something may hurt rather than help. But just blindly saying that we are going to ignore whatever atrocities occur outside our borders is moral cowardice, IMO.

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Re: Syria - civil war incoming?

Post by Scoop20906 » Tue May 16, 2017 4:44 am

That was my point.


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Re: Syria - civil war incoming?

Post by Remus West » Tue May 16, 2017 8:07 am

Daehawk wrote:
gbasden wrote:
Daehawk wrote:Why are we the ones who have to intervene? Why doesn't someone else? Better yet why do we at all anyways? Why not let sovereign countries handle their own business.
Sure. Why did we intervene in Germany at all? Hitler had things well in hand.
Well in that particular instance it was because Japan attacked us and they were allied with Germany. Otherwise we were not going to do anything.

But why us? It just makes everyone hate us more and causes more terrorist attacks upon our people and holdings.
We were already working pretty hard against Germany by supplying training and materials to Britain. Saying we were not going to do anything is ridiculous. Our entry into WWII was pretty much a foregone conclusion. Japan simply upped the timeline.
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Re: Syria - civil war incoming?

Post by noxiousdog » Tue May 16, 2017 8:56 am

gbasden wrote:
Rip wrote:Moral duty to help can different things to different people.

Sometimes trying to help can cause more damage than the immoral conduct you are seeking to dissuade.
For sure. Having a duty doesn't mean blindly charging in. It may mean trying to gather a coalition, or use other methods than warfare to accomplish the goal. And sometimes we might make the determination that trying to do something may hurt rather than help. But just blindly saying that we are going to ignore whatever atrocities occur outside our borders is moral cowardice, IMO.
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Re: Syria - civil war incoming?

Post by Rip » Tue May 16, 2017 11:20 am

gbasden wrote:
Rip wrote:Moral duty to help can different things to different people.

Sometimes trying to help can cause more damage than the immoral conduct you are seeking to dissuade.
For sure. Having a duty doesn't mean blindly charging in. It may mean trying to gather a coalition, or use other methods than warfare to accomplish the goal. And sometimes we might make the determination that trying to do something may hurt rather than help. But just blindly saying that we are going to ignore whatever atrocities occur outside our borders is moral cowardice, IMO.
Since when do we ignore atrocities?

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Re: Syria - civil war incoming?

Post by Isgrimnur » Tue May 16, 2017 11:54 am

Rip wrote:Since when do we ignore atrocities?
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Re: Syria - civil war incoming?

Post by Max Peck » Tue May 16, 2017 11:15 pm

So, does Trump fuck the Kurds now, or does he wait until after they bleed for cause in the assault on Raqqa?

Turkey will never accept US alliance with Kurds - Erdogan
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has indicated after talks in Washington that he will never accept a US alliance with Kurdish forces fighting in Syria.

"There is no place for terrorist organisations in the future of our region," he said at a joint news conference with President Donald Trump.

He was referring to the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia, following a US decision earlier this month to arm the group.

Despite this, the two leaders pledged to strengthen bilateral relations.

"We've had a great relationship and we will make it even better," President Trump said.

Mr Trump also "reiterated the commitment of the United States to the security of our Nato ally Turkey and the need to work together to confront terrorism in all its forms", the White House said in a statement issued shortly afterwards.

Turkey views the YPG (the Kurdish Peoples' Protection Units) as terrorists and wants to stop them taking more territory in Syria.

"It is absolutely unacceptable to take the YPG-PYD into consideration as partners in the region, and it's going against a global agreement we reached," Mr Erdogan said on Tuesday.

Ankara says the YPG is as an extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), a group it has been fighting for decades in south-eastern Turkey.

The US sees the YPG as distinct from the PKK and also as a key partner in the fight against so-called Islamic State (IS).

On 9 May, the Pentagon announced that Kurdish elements of the Syrian Democratic Forces, including the YPG, would be given weapons to help drive IS militants from their Syrian stronghold of Raqqa.

SDF forces, which also comprise Arab militias, are already being supported by elite US forces and air strikes from a US-led coalition.

The SDF is currently battling for control of the city of Tabqa, an IS command centre just 50km (30 miles) from Raqqa.

At Tuesday's talks in Washington, Mr Erdogan also said he had raised the issue of US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen.

Ankara blames him for the failed coup last July, pressing for his extradition.

Mr Gulen has denied the accusation.
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Re: Syria - civil war incoming?

Post by Moliere » Wed May 31, 2017 1:54 pm

Deadliest month for Syria civilians in US-led strikes
US-led air strikes on Syria killed a total of 225 civilians over the past month, a monitor said on Tuesday, the highest 30-day toll since the campaign began in 2014.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the civilian dead between April 23 and May 23 included 44 children and 36 women.
Trump trying to prove he's better at killing civilians than Obama?
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Re: Syria - civil war incoming?

Post by Max Peck » Sun Jun 18, 2017 4:51 pm

U.S. says it downed Syrian warplane that attacked U.S.-backed fighters
A U.S. warplane on Sunday shot down a Syrian military aircraft that dropped bombs near U.S.-backed fighters in Syria, the U.S. military said.

The U.S. Central Command issued a statement saying the plane was downed "in collective self-defense of Coalition-partnered forces," identified as fighters of the Syrian Democratic Forces near Tabqah.

The Syrian army said earlier that the U.S.-led coalition shot down one of its planes during a combat mission against Islamic State militants. Washington is leading an alliance in the fight against Islamic State in Syria.
Time and tide melt the snowman.

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Re: Syria - civil war incoming?

Post by Max Peck » Mon Jun 19, 2017 8:47 am

Russia issues warning after US coalition downs jet
Russia has warned the US-led coalition fighting in Syria that it will view its aircraft as targets, after a Syrian military plane was shot down.

The coalition said it had shot down the Syrian SU-22 after it bombed US-backed rebels in Raqqa province on Sunday.

Russia, Syria's main ally, said it was also halting communication with the US aimed at preventing air incidents.

Syria condemned America's "flagrant attack", saying it would have "dangerous repercussions".

"Any aircraft, including planes and drones belonging to the international coalition operating west of the Euphrates river, will be tracked by Russian anti-aircraft forces in the sky and on the ground and treated as targets," the Russian defence ministry said.

It denied the US had used a communications channel before the SU-22 fighter bomber was downed.

The memorandum of co-operation with the coalition aimed at preventing air incidents and guaranteeing flight safety was ending as of Monday, the defence ministry added.
Time and tide melt the snowman.

There are worlds out there where the sky is burning, where the sea's asleep and the rivers dream, people made of smoke and cities made of song. Somewhere there's danger, somewhere there's injustice and somewhere else the tea is getting cold. Come on, Ace, we've got work to do.
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Re: Syria - civil war incoming?

Post by Max Peck » Thu Sep 07, 2017 4:42 pm

'Israeli jets hit Syria's Masyaf chemical site' - reports
The Syrian army says Israeli jets have attacked a site in the west of the country where Western powers suspect chemical weapons are being produced.

An army statement says rockets fired from Lebanese airspace hit a military post near Masyaf, killing two soldiers.

A monitoring group says they struck a scientific research centre and base storing surface-to-surface missiles.

Israel, which has carried out clandestine attacks on weapons sites in Syria before, has not commented.

An Israeli military spokeswoman declined to discuss the reports, saying it did not comment on operational matters.

The attack comes a day after UN human rights investigators said they had concluded a Syrian Air Force jet had dropped a bomb containing the nerve agent Sarin on a rebel-held town in April, killing at least 83 people.
Time and tide melt the snowman.

There are worlds out there where the sky is burning, where the sea's asleep and the rivers dream, people made of smoke and cities made of song. Somewhere there's danger, somewhere there's injustice and somewhere else the tea is getting cold. Come on, Ace, we've got work to do.
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Re: Syria - civil war incoming?

Post by Max Peck » Sun Oct 08, 2017 2:10 pm

Civilian casualties spiral in Syria as air raids target areas marked for cease-fire
Civilian casualties have spiraled across Syria in recent weeks as pro-government forces launch hundreds of bombing raids across areas marked for international protection.

Groups monitoring the conflict have recorded hundreds of strikes since the end of a sixth round of peace talks among Russia, Iran and Turkey in mid-September. On Friday, the White Helmets rescue group reported that 80 percent of those attacks targeted civilian areas.

September was the deadliest month on record this year in Syria, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group, with almost 1,000 civilians killed across the country.

“Now the planes are back, there is just terror all the time,” said Tim al-Siyofi, an activist from the besieged Damascus district of Douma.

Analysts took the violence as a sign that piecemeal cease-fires struck in the Kazakh capital of Astana have done little to change the core objectives of the Syrian government. With support from Russia and Iran, President Bashar al-Assad’s military is ascendant and on course to reclaim most of the territory that slipped from its grasp during six years of war.
Time and tide melt the snowman.

There are worlds out there where the sky is burning, where the sea's asleep and the rivers dream, people made of smoke and cities made of song. Somewhere there's danger, somewhere there's injustice and somewhere else the tea is getting cold. Come on, Ace, we've got work to do.
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Re: Syria - civil war incoming?

Post by Max Peck » Wed Jan 10, 2018 1:03 am

Who is attacking Russia’s bases in Syria? A new mystery emerges in the war.
A series of mysterious attacks against the main Russian military base in Syria, including one conducted by a swarm of armed miniature drones, has exposed Russia’s continued vulnerability in the country despite recent claims of victory by President Vladimir Putin.

The attacks have also spurred a flurry of questions over who may be responsible for what amounts to the biggest military challenge yet to Russia’s role in Syria, just when Moscow is seeking to wind its presence down.

In the most recent and unusual of the attacks, more than a dozen armed drones descended from an unknown location onto Russia’s vast Khmeimim air base in northwestern Latakia province, the headquarters of Russia’s military operations in Syria, and on the nearby Russian naval base at Tartus.

Russia said that it shot down seven of the 13 drones and used electronic countermeasures to safely bring down the other six. It said no serious damage was caused.

The drone attack, however, came less than a week after two Russian servicemen were killed in a sustained mortar assault on the same base, which appears to have caused some damage to Russian military assets.
It ain't over 'til it's over.
Time and tide melt the snowman.

There are worlds out there where the sky is burning, where the sea's asleep and the rivers dream, people made of smoke and cities made of song. Somewhere there's danger, somewhere there's injustice and somewhere else the tea is getting cold. Come on, Ace, we've got work to do.
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Re: Syria - civil war incoming?

Post by Moliere » Sat Jan 20, 2018 2:15 pm

Airstrikes pound Syria's Afrin as Turkey launches 'Operation Olive Branch'
Turkey opened a new front in Syria’s war on Saturday, launching airstrikes against a U.S.-backed Kurdish militia in Afrin province that raise the prospect of deeper strains between Ankara and NATO ally Washington.

The operation, which the Turks dubbed “Operation Olive Branch”, sees Ankara confronting Kurdish fighters allied to the United States at a time when relations between Turkey and Washington - both members of the coalition against Islamic State - appear dangerously close to a breaking point.

The attacks could also complicate Turkey’s push to improve ties with Russia. Moscow will demand in the United Nations that Turkey halt the military operation, RIA news reported, citing a member of the Russian parliament’s security committee.
I'm not sure "Olive Branch" is a good name for a military airstrike operation.
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Re: Syria - civil war incoming?

Post by Max Peck » Sun Feb 04, 2018 9:03 pm

In Turkey, soaring support for Syrian offensive and rising anti-Americanism
On a celebrity gossip show here, the hosts recently projected the Instagram profiles of Turkish actors and pop stars on the screen and berated those who had not yet posted support for Turkey’s military offensive in Syria.

“There are those celebrities who even post when they go to the bathroom,” one host quipped. “They could just post a little thing saying, ‘I prayed and would pray again for the soldiers.’ ”

Disdainfully, the hosts flashed through more accounts, calling out those they faulted for ignoring the operation, which seeks to oust Kurdish fighters officially portrayed as terrorists.

Since the offensive began last month in the Afrin enclave just over the border, Turkish media and public opinion have rallied around the government, stirring nationalist sentiment and giving a boost to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is up for reelection by next year.

On newsstands, headlines have blared support, and imams in mosques throughout the country have prayed for a military victory. Authorities have detained hundreds of people — including doctors and writers — for criticizing the assault. Even opposition leaders have fallen in line.

Erdogan has deftly framed the Afrin battle as an extension of Turkey’s war with Kurdish insurgents at home, tapping into years of public anger with the militant Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, which is linked to the Kurdish fighters in northern Syria.

In waging what has been dubbed “Operation Olive Branch,” he is also exploiting a surge of anti-Americanism among Turks, arising in part from U.S. military support for the Syrian Kurds. The Syrian Kurdish militia, called the YPG, or People’s Protection Units, has been a crucial American ally in the campaign to oust the Islamic State from Syria.

Since the operation began, public opinion polls have shown a large majority of Turks supporting the offensive. One poll, conducted by Turkey’s MAK research company and cited widely by pro-government media, said 82 percent of respondents believed that the operation will succeed. Ninety percent said the United States is “behind” the PKK and YPG.

That broad distrust of the United States comes at a time when, Turkish commentators say, relations between the two longtime allies have sunk to their lowest point since Turkey joined NATO in 1952.
Time and tide melt the snowman.

There are worlds out there where the sky is burning, where the sea's asleep and the rivers dream, people made of smoke and cities made of song. Somewhere there's danger, somewhere there's injustice and somewhere else the tea is getting cold. Come on, Ace, we've got work to do.
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Re: Syria - civil war incoming?

Post by GreenGoo » Sun Feb 04, 2018 10:09 pm

On the plus side Erdogan seems to think he can go it alone, having alienated the EU and the US as well as most of the UN. While Russia and Turkey do a lot of oil and gas business together, I don't think they are too fond of each other right now either.

But hey, at least they have unbiased public servants and democratic elections.

*cough*

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Re: Syria - civil war incoming?

Post by Sepiche » Mon Feb 05, 2018 11:45 am

The word I've been reading about the fighting is that the Turks have a lot of troops in the fighting, and are making steady progress, but they're relatively green troops going up against Syrian Kurds who are well equipped veterans of the last few years of fighting in Syria, and they're taking some heavy losses.

Among other things the Kurds have anti-tank weapons and have managed to take out a number of Turkish Leopard tanks, and there are reports that some parts of Assad's coalition have been firing on Turkish troops and providing heavier weapons to the YPG, as they are unhappy the Turks crossed the border and are worried about their long term intentions.

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Re: Syria - civil war incoming?

Post by Isgrimnur » Mon Feb 05, 2018 1:42 pm

DW
Germany's government agreed to push back the decision on upgrading German-built tanks used by the Turkish army, according to the magazine Spiegel. The freeze follows uproar over Turkey's use of Leopard tanks in Syria.

German authorities decided to wait for the new government to take office before making any new moves on arms exports to Turkey, Spiegel magazine reported on Thursday.
...
The freeze comes amid a slew of criticism toward the government after images from northern Syria showed the Turkish army using German-made Leopard tanks in its anti-Kurd offensive.

Specifically, the freeze affects German companies upgrading Leopard tanks used by Turkey and providing them with better protection against mines and IEDs. Berlin was reportedly very close to approving this specific proposal after Gabriel met with his Turkish colleague Mevlut Cavusoglu earlier this month, where both sides seemed eager for a thaw in relations. This meeting predated the Afrin offensive.
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Re: Syria - civil war incoming?

Post by Paingod » Mon Feb 05, 2018 1:57 pm

Read a quick article stating that a Russian pilot was shot down over Syria, and instead of being captured he opted for a grenade-suicide. Last words: "This is for our guys"
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Re: Syria - civil war incoming?

Post by PLW » Mon Feb 05, 2018 2:00 pm

Paingod wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 1:57 pm
Read a quick article stating that a Russian pilot was shot down over Syria, and instead of being captured he opted for a grenade-suicide. Last words: "This is for our guys"
I have some questions about the trustworthiness of an article that includes the line
The 33-year-old pilot, who was still in radio contact with his Khmeimim base, is reported to have shot dead two rebels with his Stechkin handgun as fanatics closed in on him.
Sounds like a lot of propaganda to me.

Here's a list of other articles by the same author. They are all basically about how awesome and tough Russians are, including this one entitled "Russian man survives five days in a wolf-infested forest in minus-30C by eating snow and using his cigarette lighter to light a fire"

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Re: Syria - civil war incoming?

Post by Max Peck » Mon Feb 05, 2018 3:58 pm

Other reports that I've seen claim that he was captured and killed by (former AQ-aligned) rebel fighters.
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Re: Syria - civil war incoming?

Post by Isgrimnur » Mon Feb 05, 2018 4:18 pm

There is video out there purported to be of his last moments.
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Re: Syria - civil war incoming?

Post by Max Peck » Thu Feb 08, 2018 9:01 am

US bombs government forces after Deir al-Zour attack
The US has carried out rare air strikes on Syrian pro-government forces after what it called an "unprovoked attack" on allied Kurdish and Arab fighters.

US officials estimated that 100 pro-government fighters were killed in the incident on Wednesday.

They had allegedly tried to take ground east of the River Euphrates captured from the Islamic State group by the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces.

State media said the US "aggression" left dozens of people dead or wounded.

The Middle Euphrates River Valley serves as an informal demarcation line in eastern Syria, with the government controlling the western side and the SDF the east.

There were several skirmishes in the valley last year, as both sides sought to drive IS militants from their last major stronghold in the country.
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Re: Syria - civil war incoming?

Post by Sepiche » Thu Feb 08, 2018 11:21 am

I was just about to come here and post that. This is where our fuzzy policy in Syria, as well as lack of a plan now that Isis has been largely dealt with is going to get us in trouble. We have US troops embedded with what Syria's Russian-backed government consider rebels in their territory, and we just killed a large number of their soldiers both to defend our troops, and our allies. Not to mention two of our regional allies, the SDF and Turkey, are currently involved in heavy fighting in the northwest of Syria.

I'm not saying there are easy answers to what happens now in Syria, but we need to start asking and answering the questions of how we deal with the SDF, how we withdraw our troops, how to end the Civil war, etc. and very little strategic planning seems to be going on. With the current trajectory, it's only a matter of time before our troops will be put in situations where they might be shooting at Russians.

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Re: Syria - civil war incoming?

Post by AWS260 » Thu Feb 08, 2018 11:39 am

Sepiche wrote:
Thu Feb 08, 2018 11:21 am
With the current trajectory, it's only a matter of time before our troops will be put in situations where they might be shooting at Russians.
Or Turks.
Two senior American generals came to the front line outside the Syrian city of Manbij on Wednesday flying outsized American flags on their vehicles, in case pro-Turkish forces just the other side of the no man’s land, 20 yards away, did not realize who they were.

“We’re very proud of our positions here, and we want to make sure everybody knows it,” said Maj. Gen. Jamie Jarrard, the Special Operations commander for the American-led coalition in Iraq and Syria.

If the message to Turkey was not clear already, the overall coalition commander accompanying General Jarrard, Lt. Gen. Paul Funk, elaborated. “You hit us, we will respond aggressively. We will defend ourselves.”

The trip was the first by such senior United States military officers to the front in northern Syria since Turkey’s president threatened to attack the city of Manbij, calling it a bastion of terrorists and demanding that American forces leave.

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Re: Syria - civil war incoming?

Post by Max Peck » Sat Feb 10, 2018 3:31 pm

Israeli air strikes against Syria 'biggest since 1982'
The Israeli military says it has inflicted huge damage on Syrian air defences after one of its fighter jets was shot down during a raid over Syria.

The response was the "most significant attack" of its kind against Syria since the 1982 Lebanon war, said senior Israeli air force general Tomer Bar.

The F-16 jet was hit during operations that followed an Iranian drone launch into Israeli territory, Israel says.

The two pilots parachuted to safety before the crash in northern Israel.

Israel says it responded with a second wave of strikes on both Syrian and Iranian military targets.

Israeli air strikes in Syria are not unusual, BBC Middle East correspondent Tom Bateman says, but the loss of an Israeli fighter jet marks a serious escalation.

It is believed to be the first time Israel has lost a jet in the Syrian conflict.
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Re: Syria - civil war incoming?

Post by Sepiche » Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:52 am

Sepiche wrote:
Thu Feb 08, 2018 11:21 am
With the current trajectory, it's only a matter of time before our troops will be put in situations where they might be shooting at Russians.
Check that... we've already killed Russians...
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles ... s-in-syria
U.S. forces killed scores of Russian mercenaries in Syria last week in what may be the deadliest clash between citizens of the former foes since the Cold War, according to one U.S. official and three Russians familiar with the matter.

More than 200 contract soldiers, mostly Russians fighting on behalf of Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad, died in a failed attack on a base held by U.S. and mainly Kurdish forces in the oil-rich Deir Ezzor region, two of the Russians said. The U.S. official put the death toll at about 100, with 200 to 300 injured.
Anecdotally this adds up with a new US military analysis of modern Russian tactics which include using mercenaries to give deniability and to allow for more veteran troops than their conscription normally allows for.

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Re: Syria - civil war incoming?

Post by Sepiche » Fri Feb 16, 2018 12:37 am

Interesting write up about that attack where the Russian mercenaries were killed as well as reports of another attack in the same area:
http://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/18 ... s-in-syria
American forces in Syria, along with their local partners, have now weathered two separate attacks from troops fighting on behalf of dictator Bashar Al Assad, one of which almost certainly involved some number of Russian military personnel or contractors from a company called Wagner. Though the United States soundly defeated its opponents in both cases, the incidents could be another sign of increasingly worrisome tensions with Russia in Syria as the situation in the country careens toward a larger regional conflagration.

...

In Syria, it seems difficult to believe that Wagner, or the Syrian forces they were cooperating with, could have acted without at least tacit approval from the Kremlin. There's also the matter of how the force got across Euphrates without Russian support. The Syrian Arab Army does have its own mobile bridging equipment, but it appears to be very limited.

...

Secretary of Defense Mattis has described the idea that Russia might be looking to indirectly confront American troops “perplexing” on more than one occasion, noting that the Russians don’t necessarily have control over Syrian government security forces or their associated militias. But Russia has made it clear that it believes the U.S. military is operating in Syria illegally and that in doing so it is trying to carve out a de facto parallel state in the Eastern half of the country complete with its own proxy army in the form of the predominantly Kurdish SDF.

...

But at a certain point, regardless of the technical accuracy of Russia’s carefully worded denials and increasingly credulous American attempts to downplay the seriousness of the situation, it may be hard to deny that the two countries are actively engaged in a low-level conflict.

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Re: Syria - civil war incoming?

Post by Sepiche » Wed Feb 21, 2018 11:07 pm

Syrian Government troops are deploying to Afrin, while the Turkish offensive has slowed to a crawl.
https://warisboring.com/turkeys-offensi ... nd-bloody/
In spite of Turkey’s grounds for optimism, the Turkish military has failed to make serious gains during Olive Branch’s first month. An estimated 8,000 to 10,000 YPG fighters have held their own against 25,000 Turkish-backed FSA militiamen supported with Turkish artillery and aircraft. On the first day alone a reported 72 Turkish fighter-bombers attacked Afrin.
...
On the ground, progress has proven painstakingly slow for the Turkish-FSA assault.

During the first three weeks of the operation the YPG killed more than 30 Turkish soldiers and FSA militia fighters. YPG has used anti-tank missiles to destroy Turkish tanks, and the Kurdish fighters shot down one of Turkey’s domestically-produced T-129 ATAK attack helicopters – a symbolic blow since the state-run Turkish press highlighted that particular helicopter’s combat debut in Olive Branch as a sign of Turkey’s domestic arms industry’s growing prowess.
...
As of Feb. 14, the offensive has only captured 23 of Afrin’s 350 villages, or seven percent of the tiny territory. And even this figure only includes villages situated right on Turkey’s border, where it is difficult for the YPG to mount a sufficient defense. Villages deeper into the enclave will likely prove harder to capture.

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Re: Syria - civil war incoming?

Post by Isgrimnur » Mon Feb 26, 2018 4:54 pm

USA! USA!
Leaked audio recordings said to be of Russian mercenaries in Syria capture expressions of lament and humiliation over a battle in early February involving US forces and Russian nationals.

Published by Polygraph.info — a fact-checking website produced by Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, news organizations that receive funding from the US government — the audio recordings paint a picture of Russian mercenaries essentially sent to die in an ill-conceived advance on a US-held position in Syria. Polygraph says the audio recordings are from a source close to the Kremlin.

The Pentagon has described the attack as "unprovoked" and started by forces loyal to the Syrian government that crossed over the Euphrates River, which functions as a border between US-backed troops and Russian-backed ones.
...
Also apparent in the audio is displeasure with how Russia has responded to the situation. Initially, Russia denied that its citizens took part in the clash. Later, a representative said five may have died. Last week, Russia's Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the fight left "several dozen wounded" and that some had died.
...
The accounts in the audio also align with reports of how the battle went down, depicting an unprepared column of troops meeting an overwhelming air response before helicopter gunships strafed the remaining ones.
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