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Syria - civil war incoming?

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Re: Syria - civil war incoming?

Post by Isgrimnur » Fri Jul 06, 2018 3:26 pm

OPCW
The Fact-Finding Mission (FFM) of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), issued an interim report on the FFM’s investigation to date regarding the allegations of chemical weapons use in Douma, Syria on 7 April 2018.
...
Along with explosive residues, various chlorinated organic chemicals were found in samples from two sites, for which there is full chain of custody. Work by the team to establish the significance of these results is on-going. The FFM team will continue its work to draw final conclusions.
...
In response to persistent allegations of chemical weapon attacks in Syria, the OPCW Fact-Finding Mission (FFM) was set up in 2014 with an on-going mandate “to establish facts surrounding allegations of the use of toxic chemicals, reportedly chlorine, for hostile purposes in the Syrian Arab Republic”.
...
The FFM has previously confirmed with a “high degree of confidence” the use of chlorine, sulfur mustard, and sarin as weapons.
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Re: Syria - civil war incoming?

Post by Max Peck » Wed Dec 19, 2018 12:28 pm

Apparently we've reached the point where the US abandons it's Kurdish allies in Syria.

Syria conflict: US announces withdrawal of troops
The White House has confirmed US troops are being withdrawn from Syria, after President Trump said the Islamic State (IS) group had been "defeated" there.

The Trump administration said the US stood ready with its allies "to re-engage at all levels to defend American interests whenever necessary".

Some 2,000 troops have helped rid much of north-eastern Syria of IS, but pockets of fighters remain.

It had been thought defence officials wanted to maintain a US presence.

Just a few days ago, Brett McGurk, Mr Trump's special presidential envoy for the global coalition to defeat IS, said: "Nobody is saying that [IS fighters] are going to disappear. Nobody is that naive. So we want to stay on the ground and make sure that stability can be maintained in these areas".

But President Trump promised earlier this year that US troops would leave Syria "very soon".

The confirmation of the withdrawal comes after Turkey said it was preparing to launch an operation against a US-backed Kurdish militia in northern Syria, something that risks confrontation with the US.
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Re: Syria - civil war incoming?

Post by Isgrimnur » Wed Dec 19, 2018 12:36 pm

The more I see of modern events and studying history is the idea that no government can be trusted to support anything that does not meet the expediencies of the moment. We have helped overthrow legitimate governments, abandoned allies, and left people to die because we no longer have an interest in the current situation.

I love the military. I loath those who use it.
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Re: Syria - civil war incoming?

Post by Daehawk » Wed Dec 19, 2018 12:40 pm

President Trump said the Islamic State (IS) group had been "defeated" there.
Seems our government never learns that these types of enemies are something you never defeat. Moron.
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Re: Syria - civil war incoming?

Post by Sepiche » Wed Dec 19, 2018 12:44 pm

This is one of the many problems with a President who is still taking payments from foreign governments... is it a bad idea to pull our troops out of Syria? Not necessarily. But when President Emoluments does it right after Turkey announces it's plans for an offensive against our allies in the region, it raises many questions...

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Re: Syria - civil war incoming?

Post by Daehawk » Wed Dec 19, 2018 12:49 pm

US has been for a long time the type to lob a few missiles and kill 1 or 2 enemies out of 100 while the rest go into hiding in plain sight and then yell "We won! PARTAAAYYYYYY WOOOOOO!! Wheres my pants!!??>? Wooooooo America! 'MURICA!!!
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Re: Syria - civil war incoming?

Post by Holman » Wed Dec 19, 2018 6:08 pm

It's being said that Trump has talked up Syrian withdrawal before, but that he has always been talked out of it by Mattis and others. The way this is being done (taking various agencies and apparently even the Pentagon by surprise) suggests an erratic lurch, not a strategy.

Maybe Trump hopes "bringing the troops home" will shift the narrative away from everything happening to him in the investigations, but I don't think most Americans even know our involvement in Syria is a thing.

I'm sure it's just a coincidence that Putin's major annual press conference is tomorrow.
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Re: Syria - civil war incoming?

Post by Isgrimnur » Wed Dec 19, 2018 6:09 pm

Holman wrote:
Wed Dec 19, 2018 6:08 pm
I'm sure it's just a coincidence that Putin's major annual press conference is tomorrow.
Миссия выполнена

or should it be Шалость удалась?
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Re: Syria - civil war incoming?

Post by Sepiche » Wed Dec 19, 2018 6:35 pm

Apparently Drumpf had a call with Erdogan last Friday... I suspect some of this is a result of that conversation.

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Re: Syria - civil war incoming?

Post by Holman » Wed Dec 19, 2018 8:03 pm

Right-wingers are spinning this as declaring victory against ISIS. It's V-I Day or something.

You'd think the actual military would have noticed winning the war, but of course Trump is smarter than the generals.

EDIT: Ah, here it is. The conqueror himself.



You have to watch this. It's lame and appalling in equal measure.

The use of dead Americans here is infuriating.
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Re: Syria - civil war incoming?

Post by Daehawk » Wed Dec 19, 2018 8:31 pm

Sorry I made it 7 seconds. Thats my limit on hearing his voice.

I may get banned from Twitter but I posted "We haven't won jack or shit you moron" on that post ..its nice to see myself calling the President of the US a moron on his own Twitter feed for all the world to see.
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Re: Syria - civil war incoming?

Post by Holman » Wed Dec 19, 2018 8:44 pm

Today Senator Corker (Foreign Relations Chair) got a meeting at the WH to talk to Trump about Syria. Except he didn't.



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Re: Syria - civil war incoming?

Post by Holman » Wed Dec 19, 2018 10:14 pm

Making military strategy without including the Joint Chiefs.

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Re: Syria - civil war incoming?

Post by Kraken » Wed Dec 19, 2018 10:24 pm

As much as I loathe Trump and automatically assume that everything he does is wrong, I'm going to be contrarian here and say that I'm glad those troops are coming home. The Pentagon always finds a reason to "maintain a presence" indefinitely wherever troops have been injected. Unless there was a good reason to keep them in the never-ending clusterfuck that is Syria, I'm glad they're out. If I'm wrong, and they were something more than pawns in a multiplayer game of 3D chess, enlighten me.

Yeah, his "mission accomplished" victory lap is grating nevertheless.

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Re: Syria - civil war incoming?

Post by GreenGoo » Wed Dec 19, 2018 11:04 pm

Kraken wrote:
Wed Dec 19, 2018 10:24 pm
As much as I loathe Trump and automatically assume that everything he does is wrong, I'm going to be contrarian here and say that I'm glad those troops are coming home.
The troops should never have been there in the first place. Obama was right to stay out of it as much as he did. He never should have changed his policy. It's beyond hilarious to hear Obama criticized for not sending troops into Syria soon enough while Drumpf is celebrated for bring them home too soon. Chances are high he's doing it at the behest of Putin, especially when he fails to include the people responsible for it in his decision, or even consult them.

Humanitarian aid was the right approach. America has got to get better at picking and choosing when to get involved. You guys were still reeling from the Afghanistan and Iraqi wars, not to mention buried in debt paying for it. Assad was a monster and doing monstrous things to his own people. America can't save the world from itself though, every time a country breaks into civil war. There's not even a good realpolitik reason for being there. But once your committed, you should follow through.

I too am glad your troops are coming home. Not because I'm critical of the decisions Obama and Drumpf have made, I'm glad because Americans don't have to die for no purpose. Even one American dying in Syria is too many.

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Re: Syria - civil war incoming?

Post by Fireball » Thu Dec 20, 2018 12:09 am

I'm not sure how I feel about this. I don't like giving Putin what he wants, and I find it abhorent to leave our Kurdish allies in a situation like this. Yet on the other side, I really don't like the twisting of the 2003 AUMF to authorize this, and if we're not going to authorize a war we shouldn't be fighting it.
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Re: Syria - civil war incoming?

Post by GungHo » Thu Dec 20, 2018 2:21 am

Fireball wrote:
Thu Dec 20, 2018 12:09 am
I'm not sure how I feel about this. I don't like giving Putin what he wants, and I find it abhorent to leave our Kurdish allies in a situation like this. Yet on the other side, I really don't like the twisting of the 2003 AUMF to authorize this, and if we're not going to authorize a war we shouldn't be fighting it.
Yeah same. But I'd add 'as long as he's consistent and stops our war in Yemen'. Though I suppose that is more of a 'war-enabler' role there but still we shouldn't be there.

And yeah the optics are just terrible between talking to erdogan last week, a putin speech tomorrow and half a dozen raging scandals at home. Good thing trump is so bad at this president thing; someone else who is corrupt as he is, but is also moderately competent would never draw such direct lines to their bad behavior.
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Re: Syria - civil war incoming?

Post by Daehawk » Thu Dec 20, 2018 2:30 am

Now if he will just pull our troops out of the war on drugs.
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Re: Syria - civil war incoming?

Post by Max Peck » Thu Dec 20, 2018 8:59 am

GungHo wrote:
Thu Dec 20, 2018 2:21 am
Fireball wrote:
Thu Dec 20, 2018 12:09 am
I'm not sure how I feel about this. I don't like giving Putin what he wants, and I find it abhorent to leave our Kurdish allies in a situation like this. Yet on the other side, I really don't like the twisting of the 2003 AUMF to authorize this, and if we're not going to authorize a war we shouldn't be fighting it.
Yeah same. But I'd add 'as long as he's consistent and stops our war in Yemen'. Though I suppose that is more of a 'war-enabler' role there but still we shouldn't be there.

And yeah the optics are just terrible between talking to erdogan last week, a putin speech tomorrow and half a dozen raging scandals at home. Good thing trump is so bad at this president thing; someone else who is corrupt as he is, but is also moderately competent would never draw such direct lines to their bad behavior.
It isn't just a matter of optics, at least with regard to Turkey. On Monday Erdogan publicly stated that he had discussed a military operation east of the Euphrates with Trump and that Trump had approved, then Trump announced the US withdrawal two days later.
Turkey may start a new military operation in Syria at any moment, President Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday, touting support from U.S. President Donald Trump even though the Pentagon has issued a stern warning to Ankara.

Last week, the Pentagon said unilateral military action by any party in northeast Syria, where U.S. forces operate, would be unacceptable.

But Erdogan suggested that Trump was more receptive to Turkish plans to move east of the Euphrates river than his own U.S. Department of Defense.

“We officially announced that we will start a military operation to the east of the Euphrates,” Erdogan said in a speech in the central province of Konya. “We discussed this with Mr Trump and he gave a positive response.”

The White House did not respond to requests for comment on Erdogan’s assertion but last Friday acknowledged that Trump and Erdogan spoke about Syria during a telephone conversation.
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Re: Syria - civil war incoming?

Post by pr0ner » Thu Dec 20, 2018 9:48 am

According to Trump today, ISIS isn't defeated, we're pulling out to leave the fight to Russia, Iran, Syria, and others.





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Re: Syria - civil war incoming?

Post by Isgrimnur » Thu Dec 20, 2018 10:58 am

Well, I'm glad that we can come home to do 'here' work so that they can do 'there' work.
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Re: Syria - civil war incoming?

Post by YellowKing » Thu Dec 20, 2018 11:40 am

We've been relatively lucky in regards to Trump's detachment from reality these past two years, but I think this move is a prime example of the extremely dangerous situation we're in with a Commander-in-Chief who just lives in his own fantasy bubble.

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Re: Syria - civil war incoming?

Post by LordMortis » Thu Dec 20, 2018 11:55 am

I'm not smart or informed enough to be serious in my opinion but 1) My default position is to be in favor of drawing down our presence throughout the world but 2) I'm sick to death of us abandoning the Kurds, not just for the sake of global reputation but most importantly because it's puppies for its own sake.
But once your committed, you should follow through.
The situation goes much deeper than my understanding but these are two things I always seem to return to ever since, what? 1990 in Bush the elder years? You'd think I'd have a greater understanding after nearly 30 years but throughout Bush, Clinton, Bush, Obama, and now Trump, my ignorance and desire not waste away our children coming of age and our money is at odds with not being a shit for standing with a people and then leaving them to die for our own political purposes.

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Re: Syria - civil war incoming?

Post by pr0ner » Thu Dec 20, 2018 12:03 pm

Isgrimnur wrote:
Thu Dec 20, 2018 10:58 am
Well, I'm glad that we can come home to do 'here' work so that they can do 'there' work.
I'm glad I'm not the only one who saw that.

Also, his tweet about Russia being unhappy is, as usual, wrong - Russia tweeted out yesterday that they approve of the US pulling out.
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Re: Syria - civil war incoming?

Post by Smoove_B » Thu Dec 20, 2018 12:04 pm

Cost of troop support in Syria can now be re-routed to build a border wall to protect us against Mexico. Because that's how this works. See if I'm right.

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Re: Syria - civil war incoming?

Post by GreenGoo » Thu Dec 20, 2018 12:05 pm

pr0ner wrote:
Thu Dec 20, 2018 12:03 pm
Also, his tweet about Russia being unhappy is, as usual, wrong - Russia tweeted out yesterday that they approve of the US pulling out.
That can't be true. Now Russia has to fight others, who they hate.

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Re: Syria - civil war incoming?

Post by LordMortis » Thu Dec 20, 2018 12:16 pm

Smoove_B wrote:
Thu Dec 20, 2018 12:04 pm
Cost of troop support in Syria can now be re-routed to build a border wall to protect us against Mexico. Because that's how this works. See if I'm right.
I don't doubt it but I'll have trouble reconciling how Mexico, up to this point, had been paying for US presence in Syria.

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Re: Syria - civil war incoming?

Post by Kraken » Thu Dec 20, 2018 2:11 pm

Fireball wrote:
Thu Dec 20, 2018 12:09 am
I'm not sure how I feel about this. I don't like giving Putin what he wants, and I find it abhorent to leave our Kurdish allies in a situation like this. Yet on the other side, I really don't like the twisting of the 2003 AUMF to authorize this, and if we're not going to authorize a war we shouldn't be fighting it.
Even after reading up on it today after last night's initial reaction, I remain ambivalent. What I said earlier still stands: troops should not be used as a bargaining chit, or a tripwire, or to demand a seat at the table. If they have no military mission there, they should not be there. OTOH, I am not entirely naive about how geopolitics work, and a decision like this should not be made without consulting relevant experts in the diplomatic corps and the military, as well as allies who will be affected. Back on the first hand, I question whether the US has any real leverage in Syria with or without 2,000 troops on the ground; it's never been within our sphere of influence, and that isn't going to change. Back OTOH, Putin's approval, and the green light to Erdogan, make me blanch.

So yeah, still ambivalent. My gut says bringing the troops home is a good thing, while my head thinks it's probably a mistake. My head usually wins these conflicts, but it's not a foregone conclusion.

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Re: Syria - civil war incoming?

Post by malchior » Thu Dec 20, 2018 3:02 pm

YellowKing wrote:
Thu Dec 20, 2018 11:40 am
We've been relatively lucky in regards to Trump's detachment from reality these past two years, but I think this move is a prime example of the extremely dangerous situation we're in with a Commander-in-Chief who just lives in his own fantasy bubble.
Plus the story here is even more outrageous. Suddenly our National Security apparatus is irrelevant because he spoke to a foreign leader (to wit Erdogan). And we're essentially again doing dirty work for a petty dictator who might be enriching the President. This is insanity. People are going to look back on this period with intense shame.

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Re: Syria - civil war incoming?

Post by GreenGoo » Thu Dec 20, 2018 3:19 pm

malchior wrote:
Thu Dec 20, 2018 3:02 pm
This is insanity. People are going to look back on this period with intense shame.
Not the people who were in a position to do anything about it. My hope is that a number of players are lumped in with Drumpf in the history books. Let's see how their families like being compared to Arnold and such for the rest of time. The chances of any other consequences for these enablers is tiny.

Voters too, but as we know no one takes responsibility for their vote. At the same time, no one will admit to voting for him in a few election cycles, except in hushed tones during white supremacist meetings. They're the only ones who will remember his presidency fondly.

Just to be clear:

a) Non-despicables - their memories will fail them.
b) Despicables - back under rocks and reminiscing.

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Re: Syria - civil war incoming?

Post by Max Peck » Fri Dec 21, 2018 11:44 am

Kurdish Fighters Discuss Releasing Almost 3,200 ISIS Prisoners
America’s Kurdish allies in Syria are discussing the release of 3,200 Islamic State prisoners, a prominent monitoring group and a Western official of the anti-Islamic State coalition said on Thursday, a day after President Trump ordered the withdrawal of all American troops from the country.

Top officials of the Syrian Democratic Forces, the Kurdish-led and American-supported militia fighting the Islamic State in eastern Syria, met on Wednesday to discuss the option of releasing about 1,100 Islamic State fighters and 2,080 relatives of the group’s members, according to Rami Abdul Rahman, the head of the Syrian Observatory on Human Rights.

Mostapha Bali, the spokesman for the Syrian Democratic Forces, or S.D.F., denied that there had been any discussion of releasing prisoners from the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL. “Any news coming from such sources is not reliable and is not coming from us,” he said.

But a Western official from the United States-led coalition fighting in Syria, which includes more than a dozen countries, confirmed that such discussions had taken place.

“The best result of terrible options is probably for the Syrian regime to take custody of these people,” said the official, speaking on the condition of anonymity because he was not permitted to discuss the matter on the record. “If they are released, it’s a real disaster and major threat to Europe.”
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Re: Syria - civil war incoming?

Post by malchior » Fri Dec 21, 2018 11:49 am

This makes total sense. They need to buy as much protection as they can with the assets they have left. Plus, they need to focus on Turkey now that we've abandoned them. Providing for and protecting prisoners hardly does that.

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Re: Syria - civil war incoming?

Post by Skinypupy » Fri Dec 21, 2018 12:05 pm

Because Erdogan told him to, basically.
“The talking points were very firm,” said one of the officials, explaining that Trump was advised to clearly oppose a Turkish incursion into northern Syria and suggest the U.S. and Turkey work together to address security concerns. “Everybody said push back and try to offer (Turkey) something that’s a small win, possibly holding territory on the border, something like that.”

Erdogan, though, quickly put Trump on the defensive, reminding him that he had repeatedly said the only reason for U.S. troops to be in Syria was to defeat the Islamic State and that the group had been 99 percent defeated. “Why are you still there?” the second official said Erdogan asked Trump, telling him that the Turks could deal with the remaining IS militants.

With Erdogan on the line, Trump asked national security adviser John Bolton, who was listening in, why American troops remained in Syria if what the Turkish president was saying was true, according to the officials. Erdogan’s point, Bolton was forced to admit, had been backed up by Mattis, Pompeo, U.S. special envoy for Syria Jim Jeffrey andspecial envoy for the anti-ISIS coalition Brett McGurk, who have said that IS retains only 1 percent of its territory, the officials said.

Bolton stressed, however, that the entire national security team agreed that victory over IS had to be enduring, which means more than taking away its territory.

Trump was not dissuaded, according to the officials, who said the president quickly capitulated by pledging to withdraw, shocking both Bolton and Erdogan.

Caught off guard, Erdogan cautioned Trump against a hasty withdrawal, according to one official. While Turkey has made incursions into Syria in the past, it does not have the necessary forces mobilized on the border to move in and hold the large swaths of northeastern Syria where U.S. troops are positioned, the official said.

The call ended with Trump repeating to Erdogan that the U.S. would pull out, but offering no specifics on how it would be done, the officials said.
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Re: Syria - civil war incoming?

Post by malchior » Fri Dec 21, 2018 12:15 pm

That is worse than I thought it was in a perverse way. I thought Erdogan wanted to go hard against the Kurds. Instead, Erdogan just wanted some cover to go after the Kurds "lightly" (for domestic political purposes most likely). In the end, Erdogan ended up creating a huge problem for himself too because he underestimated how much of a fucking moron he was dealing with. He definitely didn't want a power vacuum. You have to wonder if the Turkish offensive even happens now.

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Re: Syria - civil war incoming?

Post by Sepiche » Fri Dec 21, 2018 1:31 pm

Sepiche wrote:
Wed Dec 19, 2018 6:35 pm
Apparently Drumpf had a call with Erdogan last Friday... I suspect some of this is a result of that conversation.
:coffee:

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Re: Syria - civil war incoming?

Post by GreenGoo » Fri Dec 21, 2018 2:56 pm

Sepiche wrote:
Fri Dec 21, 2018 1:31 pm
Sepiche wrote:
Wed Dec 19, 2018 6:35 pm
Apparently Drumpf had a call with Erdogan last Friday... I suspect some of this is a result of that conversation.
:coffee:
Lol, next you be telling us that the sun will probably rise tomorrow morning, and if your calculations are correct, in the east.

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Re: Syria - civil war incoming?

Post by Daehawk » Fri Dec 21, 2018 3:30 pm

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Re: Syria - civil war incoming?

Post by Max Peck » Sat Dec 22, 2018 3:40 pm

US envoy to anti-IS coalition quits over Trump’s Syria move
Brett McGurk, the U.S. envoy to the global coalition fighting the Islamic State group, has resigned in protest over President Donald Trump’s abrupt decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria, a U.S. official said, joining Defense Secretary Jim Mattis in an administration exodus of experienced national security figures.

Only 11 days ago, McGurk had said it would be “reckless” to consider IS defeated and therefore would be unwise to bring American forces home. McGurk decided to speed up his original plan to leave his post in mid-February.

Appointed to the post by President Barack Obama in 2015 and retained by Trump, McGurk said in his resignation letter that the militants were on the run, but not yet defeated, and that the premature pullout of American forces from Syria would create the conditions that gave rise to IS. He also cited gains in accelerating the campaign against IS, but that the work was not yet done.

His letter, submitted Friday to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, was described to The Associated Press on Saturday by an official familiar with its contents. The official was not authorized to publicly discuss the matter before the letter was released and spoke on condition of anonymity.
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Re: Syria - civil war incoming?

Post by Grifman » Sat Dec 22, 2018 6:02 pm

GreenGoo wrote:
Wed Dec 19, 2018 11:04 pm
Kraken wrote:
Wed Dec 19, 2018 10:24 pm
As much as I loathe Trump and automatically assume that everything he does is wrong, I'm going to be contrarian here and say that I'm glad those troops are coming home.
The troops should never have been there in the first place. Obama was right to stay out of it as much as he did. He never should have changed his policy. It's beyond hilarious to hear Obama criticized for not sending troops into Syria soon enough while Drumpf is celebrated for bring them home too soon. Chances are high he's doing it at the behest of Putin, especially when he fails to include the people responsible for it in his decision, or even consult them.

Humanitarian aid was the right approach. America has got to get better at picking and choosing when to get involved. You guys were still reeling from the Afghanistan and Iraqi wars, not to mention buried in debt paying for it. Assad was a monster and doing monstrous things to his own people. America can't save the world from itself though, every time a country breaks into civil war. There's not even a good realpolitik reason for being there. But once your committed, you should follow through.

I too am glad your troops are coming home. Not because I'm critical of the decisions Obama and Drumpf have made, I'm glad because Americans don't have to die for no purpose. Even one American dying in Syria is too many.
Americans were not involved in the Syrian civil war, they were there to destroy ISIS so that it is no longer a major threat. In this they have largely been successful - though there is still work to be done. Leaving ISIS with a major safe haven from which they could plan and launch terrorist attacks would have been a huge mistake. Remember we got here because ISIS took most of northern Iraq, including Mosul, one of the largest cities. That could not stand.

Obama was probably correct in staying out of the Syrian Civil War, but the campaign against ISIS was something entirely different and probably necessary.
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Re: Syria - civil war incoming?

Post by GreenGoo » Sat Dec 22, 2018 6:08 pm

Grifman wrote:
Sat Dec 22, 2018 6:02 pm
Americans were not involved in the Syrian civil war, they were there to destroy ISIS so that it is no longer a major threat. In this they have largely been successful - though there is still work to be done.
If you say so.

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