Syria - Stepping into the Void

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Syria - Stepping into the Void

#1

Post by SueDB » Mon Sep 21, 2015 3:06 pm

I noticed we didn't have a Syria thread...

Syria - where the Russians are gearing up to challenge the 25 year reign of the US Forces active in the Mid-East. Everyone is getting upset as the Russians seem to be sending combat aircraft (fixed/helo) to support the Legitimate and World Recognized government of Syria.

We've have them there flying around for 25 years and are actively bombing folks.

Some one mentioned Russian Tanks - ask the Israeli's & Iraqis about Russian armor.
The first dangerous anti-tank missile the Soviets/Russians fielded was a missile in a briefcase called a Sagger. From that moment on...the nickname of all armored vehicles at that time became "Sagger Salad".

If you notice a bunch of junk (looks like racks/storage etc) hung off of the US armor in the Mid-east - it's to keep the RPGs and other antitank rockets from destroying our stuff.

The Russians are coming!!! (even though they can't really afford it - but money never stopped them before).


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Re: Syria - Stepping into the Void

#2

Post by SueDB » Wed Sep 23, 2015 9:34 pm

Why is Russia bothering with Syria right now???

What's Up With Those Enigmatic Russians???
MOSCOW — Vladimir Putin's alleged murky moves to shore up Syria's embattled government militarily appears to be Russia trying to gain leverage amid isolation from the West, according to analysts.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters Thursday that planes have delivered military goods and humanitarian assistance to Syria in recent days, but insisted this was in line with current arms contracts.

"We have always been frank regarding the presence of our military experts in Syria who help the Syrian army in training and learning how to use the equipment," Lavrov told a press conference in Moscow. "And if further steps are needed we will stand ready to fully undertake those steps."

However, the scale of Moscow's involvement in Syria has triggered speculation in the West of a military build-up — with U.S. defense officials telling NBC News on Wednesday that two Russian military ships were headed th...
So far in the US, the children (RWNJs) have been running around with their panties on fire while the adults continue to talk and deal with the Russians.

Some folks also don't think Russia will do all that much except a little demonstration of Russian Power in Syria as they are really busy trying to subvert Ukraine at the moment.


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Re: Syria - Stepping into the Void

#3

Post by SueDB » Sat Sep 26, 2015 9:21 am

Just What The Heck Do The Russians Want With Syria???
MOSCOW — When Russia's Vladimir Putin addresses the U.N. General Assembly on Monday, all ears will be attuned to one issue: Syria. From this high-profile pulpit, Putin will have the chance to defend the Kremlin's staunch support for Syria's President Bashar Assad, who has not only been fighting a four-year civil war but been battling Western attempts to topple him.

Russia's determination to stick by Assad may seem baffling to some, but experts say Putin has deep-rooted — and personal — reasons for backing the dictator. NBC News reached out to Russia's leading foreign policy experts to help explain Moscow's commitment to Assad, and why the Kremlin is not letting Syria go.

Fear of Islamism

ISIS, which has conquered swathes of Syria as well as neighboring Iraq, is not a direct threat to Russia — yet. Russia's security service FSB estimates that about 2,400 Russians fight for the terror group, most of them veterans of Russia's own Islamist insurgency in Chechnya.

The Chechen uprising is quiet for now, but may flare up again if those veterans return to their home country, which has a 7-million Muslim minority, according to independent Middle East expert Georgy Engelgardt. ...
Personally, I think they are trying to ensure the Chechnya Rebels have an opportunity to meet Allah on someplace other than Russian claimed soil.


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Re: Syria - Stepping into the Void

#4

Post by Addie » Wed Sep 30, 2015 9:10 am

New York Times
Upper House of Russian Parliament Approves Use of Military Force Abroad

MOSCOW — President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia sought and won approval from the upper house of Parliament on Wednesday to use military force abroad, in what officials said was another step toward Russian troops joining the fight in Syria.

Mr. Putin has repeatedly emphasized that the use of Russian ground forces was not envisioned in the near term. But Russia has moved at least 32 combat aircraft to Syria, according to United States intelligence sources, and the measure quickly approved by the upper house, the Federation Council, on Wednesday authorized them to join the fight.

The Kremlin has stepped up its aid to Syria over the past few months, mainly to bolster the position of President Bashar al-Assad of Syria, Russia’s main ally in the Middle East. On Wednesday morning, Mr. Putin’s chief of staff, Sergei B. Ivanov, said the authorization was for Russia’s Air Force, not ground troops, and was for an open-ended period.

“It will be air support for the Syrian forces in their struggle with ISIS,” Mr. Ivanov said, referring to the Islamic State. He added that it respected international law because Mr. Assad had requested the help.

Although approval by the Federation Council is generally considered a rubber stamp, a similar vote preceded the deployment of Russian forces in Ukraine in March 2014.


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Re: Syria - Stepping into the Void

#5

Post by Addie » Wed Sep 30, 2015 9:15 am

WSJ
Arabs Spurn Military Push by Moscow Inside Syria ...

Top officials from Arab states attending the U.N. General Assembly this week in New York said it was impossible for them to support any coalition that doesn’t seek to remove Mr. Assad, who is an ally of Iran and whose forces are accused of killing tens of thousands of civilians since fighting broke out in 2011.

“It’s inconceivable that there will be a political solution with President Assad remaining in power,” said Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister, Adel al-Jubeir, in a meeting with journalists on Tuesday. He said Mr. Putin’s offer to other Middle East countries to join his coalition was a “non-starter.”

“There is a moderate Syrian opposition that is fighting against President Assad,” Mr. al-Jubeir said. “We expect this support [for those rebels] will continue and be intensified.” ...

But while Mr. Obama said he was prepared to cooperate with Russia and Iran, Mr. al-Jubeir made it clear that Saudi Arabia sees Iran, its longtime nemesis, adding fuel to the conflict in Syria.

Iran has deployed military advisers from its elite military unit, the Revolutionary Guards, inside Syria and mobilized thousands of fighters from the Lebanese Shiite militia, Hezbollah.


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Re: Syria - Stepping into the Void

#6

Post by Addie » Wed Sep 30, 2015 9:28 am

New York Times
John Kerry Rushes In Where Obama Will Not Tread

WASHINGTON — For four years, President Obama has watched the civil war in Syria with deep frustration. It is, he tells advisers, an intractable situation, though he uses a grittier word. The best the United States can do in the short term, he says, is manage it as much as possible.

But to Secretary of State John Kerry, the mushrooming crisis cries out for American attention. No less aware of the challenge, he seems willing to go anywhere, anytime and meet with anyone in pursuit of a resolution. The idea that it may be elusive, perhaps even impossible, is no deterrent.

The disparate outlooks define the administration’s approach as the crisis metastasizes from a blood bath that has cost more than 200,000 lives and fueled a resurgence of Islamic radicalism into a refugee crisis engulfing Europe and a fresh confrontation with Russia. The Obama and Kerry views are not incompatible, advisers say, but they shape the internal discussions that drive the American response.

“There’s probably a psychological difference between the two,” said Frederic C. Hof, who worked on Syria as a State Department official during Mr. Obama’s first term. “The president is at peace determining that something is just a loser, that if he touches it, he’s going to make it worse. Whereas Kerry has the typical American engineering approach to things — there’s a problem, there’s a way to fix it, somehow.”


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Re: Syria - Stepping into the Void

#7

Post by SueDB » Wed Sep 30, 2015 11:34 am

The Russians are Coming! The Russians are Coming!

Now the US and the allies will be able to watch the Russians practice and get some precision weapons drop training in. These experienced pilots will be very valuable when the Russians decide to try to crush Ukraine.

Putin just got himself a little practice war for his now weak and inexperienced forces. (in this scenario, nukes don't count).


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Re: Syria - Stepping into the Void

#8

Post by Addie » Wed Sep 30, 2015 1:52 pm

Associated Press
US Warns Russia Against Striking Non-IS Groups in Syria

UNITED NATIONS — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said the United States would have "grave concerns" if Russia used its airstrikes in Syria to support President Bashar Assad against groups other than Islamic State or al-Qaida.

Kerry spoke as Russia launched its first airstrikes in Syria targeting what it said were Islamic State positions. U.S. officials and others cast doubt on that claim, saying the Russians appeared to be attacking opposition groups fighting Syrian government forces. On Wednesday, some U.S.-backed rebel groups claimed they were hit by Russian airstrikes but those claims could not be confirmed.

At the White House, presidential spokesman Josh Earnest also expressed concern over the Russia's actions.

"We are seeing the Russians ramp up their support for President Assad," Earnest said. "They've been supporting him for quite some time. It's clear they've made a significant military investment now in further propping him up."

Earnest said the new action "calls into question their strategy, because when President Putin and President Obama had the opportunity to meet at the U.N. earlier this week much of their discussion was focused on the need for a political transition inside Syria."


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Re: Syria - Stepping into the Void

#9

Post by Addie » Wed Sep 30, 2015 2:02 pm

New York Times
France Opens Criminal Investigation of Torture in Syria Under Assad

PARIS — France has opened the world’s first criminal inquiry into torture under President Bashar al-Assad of Syria, officials and rights advocates said Wednesday, an indirect rebuke to Russia and its efforts to rehabilitate Mr. Assad as part of an international anti-Islamist coalition.

Based upon tens of thousands of harrowing photographs of torture victims taken by a Syrian defector, France’s investigation is in the early stages, a spokeswoman for the Paris prosecutor’s office said. It will require the discovery of a French victim, or the arrest of a Syrian official, to move forward, said the spokeswoman, Agnès Thibault-Lecuivre.

“Faced with these crimes that offend the human conscience, this bureaucracy of horror, faced with this denial of the values of humanity, it is our responsibility to act against the impunity of the killers,” the French foreign minister, Laurent Fabius, said in a statement to Agence France-Presse announcing the investigation. ...

Much in that view is informed by the photographs that form the basis of the case, taken by Caesar between 2011 and 2013. A former police photographer recruited by Syrian officials to take pictures of detainees, Caesar shot about 55,000 photos of victims — people with eyes gouged out, emaciated from starvation, beaten and maimed — and took them with him when he fled. Western governments have accepted his photos as authentic, and have said they reveal the scale of the abuses committed by the Assad government.


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Re: Syria - Stepping into the Void

#10

Post by Addie » Wed Sep 30, 2015 2:15 pm

New York Times
Refugee Crisis in Europe Prompts Western Engagement in Syria

UNITED NATIONS — Over the last four years, as four million Syrian refugees poured into neighboring countries and slipped inexorably into poverty, António Guterres, the United Nations high commissioner for refugees, said he had pleaded in vain with world leaders to take their plight more seriously.

But suddenly, at the United Nations General Assembly this week, leaders of the world’s most powerful countries want to meet with him, all of them deeply worried about the refugee crisis.

So what has changed? Well, nothing, Mr. Guterres said, “except refugees came to rich countries,” expanding the crisis from nations like Lebanon, Turkey and Jordan to those in Europe. ...

France, which backed the idea of airstrikes against the Syrian government after accusing it of conducting chemical weapons attacks two years ago, is now carrying out airstrikes against his enemies on the battlefield, hitting Islamic State forces. The French foreign minister, Laurent Fabius, said on Tuesday that France was willing to “coordinate” its military operations with Mr. Assad’s main ally, Russia, so long as Mr. Assad’s air force stopped using barrel bombs and he was willing to agree to a political transition.

Secretary of State John Kerry echoed that sentiment, saying Tuesday that he hoped Russia and another Assad ally, Iran, could persuade the Syrian president to give up on barrel bombs. “I did talk with Lavrov about it and I talked with the Iranians about it,” he said in an interview with MSNBC, referring to his Russian counterpart, Sergey V. Lavrov.

Even on the question of Mr. Assad’s departure, there has been a discernible shift. Western diplomats on the Security Council are saying that Mr. Assad would not have to step down right away, but rather at the end of a political transition process. They are also taking pains to say that, having learned from the experience of Iraq, they are keen to avoid a wholesale purge of his government, preferring to sideline “tens, not hundreds,” of his associates, as one Security Council diplomat put it, to maintain stability.


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Re: Syria - Stepping into the Void

#11

Post by Addie » Wed Sep 30, 2015 2:52 pm

WaPo
Russia begins airstrikes in Syria; U.S. warns of new concerns in conflict

MOSCOW — Russian warplanes began airstrikes in Syria on Wednesday, adding an unpredictable new element to a multi-layered war that has already drawn in the United States and allies, created millions of refugees and expanded the reach of the Islamic State.

Washington quickly criticized the airstrikes — warning that they bring added risks to Syria — but said Moscow’s moves would not change a U.S.-led air campaign targeting Islamic State strongholds in Syria.

The Russian strikes also sharply raised the stakes over competing visions for Syria outlined earlier this week at the United Nations, with Russian President Vladi­mir Putin insisting that Syria’s embattled government is the key to stability, and President Obama saying the “status quo” cannot stand after more than four years of bloodshed.

The introduction of Russian air power — just hours after Russia’s parliament authorized the use of military force — is certain to deepen American concerns over possible escalations on Syrian battle fronts.


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Re: Syria - Stepping into the Void

#12

Post by Addie » Thu Oct 01, 2015 8:41 am

WSJ
Russian Airstrike in Syria Targeted CIA-Backed Rebels, U.S. Officials Say

WASHINGTON—A Russian airstrike Wednesday targeted an area in western Syria primarily held by rebel forces backed by the Central Intelligence Agency and allied spy services, U.S. officials said.

The direct targeting of U.S.-backed rebels by Russian aircraft could escalate tensions with Moscow, which said it deployed attack aircraft to Syria to help the regime of Bashar al-Assad in the fight against Islamic State. U.S. officials said they believed Moscow’s primary military focus was shoring up the Assad regime and targeting rebels which threaten areas which the regime controls.

Russian airstrikes hit locations in the central Syrian provinces of Homs and Hama. The Syrian state news agency said the areas targeted were under Islamic State control.

U.S. officials disputed that the airstrikes were targeting Islamic State. One of the areas hit by the Russians was a location primarily held by rebel forces which receive funding, arms and training from the CIA and allies. The U.S. spy agency has been covertly arming and training rebels in Syria since 2013 to fight the Assad regime.

U.S. officials said it was unclear if CIA-backed fighters were directly targeted by Moscow because of their association with the covert program. Officials said it was also unclear if any U.S.-backed fighters were killed in the strikes.

A CIA spokesman declined to comment.


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Re: Syria - Stepping into the Void

#13

Post by SueDB » Thu Oct 01, 2015 9:30 am

It's a matter of semantics - to the legitimate and worldwide recognized Syrian Government and those underhanded lying Russians, all opposition groups are terrorist groups.

From the reports, the Russians are using the SU-25 Frogfoot - an aged knockoff of the USAF A-10. So you can see they are able to do quite a bit of damage to whatever they are used on.

I was wondering what the Russians were up to as they don't have a lot of cash to throw around on military misadventures.


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Re: Syria - Stepping into the Void

#14

Post by Addie » Thu Oct 01, 2015 11:12 am

There doesn't seem to be much clarity, just Assad and then this mashup of fighter groups. I can't imagine a political entity emerging from there to lead, if Assad weren't still in place. If they have a de Gaulle figure ready, I'm not aware of it.


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Re: Syria - Stepping into the Void

#15

Post by Addie » Thu Oct 01, 2015 11:49 am

Not to be forgotten.

The Guardian
‘They were torturing to kill’: inside Syria’s death machine

For two years, between 2011 and 2013, the former Syrian military photographer known only as Caesar used a police computer in Damascus to copy thousands of photographs of detainees who were tortured to death in Bashar al-Assad’s jails. The media have run numerous stories about the man who managed to smuggle astonishing evidence of crimes against humanity out of the country – at great risk to himself and his family – but he had never been interviewed.

Month after month, for two years, this man, who has remained anonymous, took photographs of tortured, starved and burnt bodies. His orders were to photograph the bodies in order to document prisoners’ deaths. He then secretly made copies and transferred them on to USB keys so that he could smuggle them out of his office, hidden in his shoes or his belt, and pass them to a friend who could get them out of the country.

The terrorists of Islamic State proclaim their atrocities on social networks; the Syrian state hides its misdeeds in the silence of its dungeons. Before Caesar, no insider had supplied evidence of the existence of the Syrian death machine. And these photos and documents were damning. ...

I am Caesar. I used to work for the Syrian regime, as a photographer with the military police in Damascus. I am going to tell you about my work before the uprising and during its first two years, but I can’t reveal everything because I am afraid the regime might recognise me through the details. I am a refugee in Europe. I’m afraid they will find me and eliminate me, or take revenge on my family.


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Re: Syria - Stepping into the Void

#16

Post by Addie » Thu Oct 01, 2015 12:29 pm

Reuters
Iran troops to join Syria war, Russia bombs group trained by CIA

Hundreds of Iranian troops have arrived in Syria to join a major ground offensive in support of President Bashar al-Assad's government, Lebanese sources said on Thursday, a further sign of the rapid internationalization of a civil war in which every major country in the region has a stake. ...

"Russia is challenging everyone and saying there is no alternative to Bashar," Haj Ali said. He said the Russian jets had been identified by members of his group who once served as Syrian air force pilots.

Two Lebanese sources told Reuters hundreds of Iranian troops had reached Syria in the past 10 days with weapons to mount a major ground offensive. They would also be backed by Assad's Lebanese Hezbollah allies and by Shi'ite militia fighters from Iraq, while the Russia would provide air support.

"The vanguard of Iranian ground forces began arriving in Syria: soldiers and officers specifically to participate in this battle. They are not advisers ... we mean hundreds with equipment and weapons. They will be followed by more," one of the sources said.

So far, direct Iranian military support for Assad has come mostly in the form of military advisers. Iran has also mobilized Shi'ite militia fighters, including Iraqis and some Afghans, to fight alongside Syrian government forces.


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Re: Syria - Stepping into the Void

#17

Post by Addie » Thu Oct 01, 2015 1:46 pm

LA Times
U.S., Russia open talks to avoid conflict in the skies over Syria

Pentagon officials are set to open their first round of military-to-military talks with Russian counterparts Thursday to avoid conflicts between their air forces in the skies over Syria.

With jets from both countries actively carrying out airstrikes over Syria, the talks will address an urgent need to divvy up the airspace to avoid a potentially deadly accident, Air Force Lt. Gen. Robert Otto told reporters Thursday.

“Any time you have an aircraft pointing at you that has air-to-air missiles, you’re concerned,” he said. “It’s almost like when you’re driving down the road and you see someone driving in your lane in the opposite direction – it immediately gets your attention.”

According to the Pentagon, the Russians on Wednesday gave U.S. forces only an hour’s notice before launching their first round of airstrikes in Syria. A Russian general delivered the message by showing up at the U.S. embassy in Baghdad and telling defense officials there that the U.S. needed to clear airspace above Syria.


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Re: Syria - Stepping into the Void

#18

Post by RTH10260 » Thu Oct 01, 2015 6:12 pm

About those US "trained" fighters, was this already mentioned in this thread a week ago?
U.S.-trained rebels in Syria hand over weapons to al Qaeda affiliate

By Kellan Howell - The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 22, 2015

U.S.-trained rebels in Syria have reportedly handed over their weapons to al Qaeda affiliates in Syria immediately after re-entering the country.

Fighters with the controversial Division 30, the first group of U.S.-backed moderate rebels tasked with combating Islamic State militants on the ground, allegedly surrendered to the al Qaeda-affiliated Jabhat al-Nusra, sources claimed Monday night.

In a statement on Twitter, a man calling himself Abu Fahd al-Tunisi, a member of the al Qaeda-linked group, said “A strong slap for America… the new group from Division 30 that entered yesterday hands over all of its weapons to Jabhat al-Nusra after being granted safe passage,” the Telegraph reported.

“They handed over a very large amount of ammunition and medium weaponry and a number of pickups,” he added.

Another member of Jabhat al-Nusra, Abu Khattab al-Maqdisi, tweeted Division 30’s commander, Anas Ibrahim Obaid, told the terrorist group’s leaders he had tricked the coalition to get the weapons.
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/201 ... -al-qaeda/



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Re: Syria - Stepping into the Void

#19

Post by Addie » Fri Oct 02, 2015 12:24 pm

The Guardian
Russia admits targeting non-Isis groups in Syria as airstrikes continue

Russian combat aircraft have carried out a second day of airstrikes against Syrian rebel forces as Moscow admitted it had targeted groups other than Islamic State in coordination with the government in Damascus.

As Vladimir Putin travelled to Paris for talks with French president Francois Hollande, the Russian president seized on US and western disarray and insisted that Russia was targeting Isis.

But Moscow appeared to admit it was striking more widely as American-backed rebels reported that they had been hit.

The US accused Russia of launching “indiscriminate military operations against the Syrian opposition” and the White House spokesman Josh Earnest said the airstrikes had targeted areas where there were “few if any” Isis forces.

Pentagon officials urged the Russian military on Thursday to focus its airstrikes in Syria on Isis fighters rather than opponents of Syrian president Bashar Assad, US administration officials said.


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Re: Syria - Stepping into the Void

#20

Post by Addie » Fri Oct 02, 2015 1:33 pm

BBC News
Syria conflict: Russia and France meet amid tensions over air strikes

French President Francois Hollande heads for talks with his Russian counterpart on Friday, amid fears Russia is carrying out "indiscriminate" air strikes on Syrian militants.

The White House says Russia is carrying out random air strikes against the Syrian opposition.

But Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said it was targeting the same terror groups as the US-led coalition.

France said it was crucial that Russia was true to its word.

The French military, like the US, is targeting Islamic State (IS) fighters with air strikes. ...

Talks in Paris on Friday involving Russian President Vladimir Putin and Mr Hollande are expected to be overshadowed by Syria, although the meeting was called to discuss peace efforts in Ukraine.


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Re: Syria - Stepping into the Void

#21

Post by Whatever4 » Fri Oct 02, 2015 3:17 pm

No, there are no rebels. Donald Trump told me today that all the refugees are military-aged men who should be fighting and therefore are ISIS trying to sneak into America. Or something. :roll:


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Re: Syria - Stepping into the Void

#22

Post by SueDB » Fri Oct 02, 2015 7:06 pm

If I was a military age man, I can think of many other places to be rather than Syria.


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Re: Syria - Stepping into the Void

#23

Post by ZekeB » Fri Oct 02, 2015 8:18 pm

SueDB wrote:If I was a military age man, I can think of many other places to be rather than Syria.
Yeah. I wonder if the NCO Club at Offutt still serves that Omaha Beef Steak for $2.25?


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Re: Syria - Stepping into the Void

#24

Post by SueDB » Fri Oct 02, 2015 8:38 pm

ZekeB wrote:
SueDB wrote:If I was a military age man, I can think of many other places to be rather than Syria.
Yeah. I wonder if the NCO Club at Offutt still serves that Omaha Beef Steak for $2.25?
the "Ground Zero Club"... :lol:


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Re: Syria - Stepping into the Void

#25

Post by ZekeB » Fri Oct 02, 2015 9:28 pm

SueDB wrote:
ZekeB wrote:
SueDB wrote:If I was a military age man, I can think of many other places to be rather than Syria.
Yeah. I wonder if the NCO Club at Offutt still serves that Omaha Beef Steak for $2.25?
the "Ground Zero Club"... :lol:
That place was 5 or 6 blocks away. :-D


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