Syria - Stepping into the Void

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Re: Syria - Stepping into the Void

#126

Post by Addie » Sat Jan 07, 2017 2:08 pm

Associated Press
Blast in Syrian Town on Turkish Border Kills Nearly 50

BEIRUT — A car bomb ripped through a busy commercial district in a rebel-held Syrian town along the Turkish border Saturday, killing nearly 50 in a huge explosion that damaged buildings and left rescuers scrambling to find survivors amid the wreckage, opposition activists said.

Rescuers and doctors said the explosion was so large there were nearly 100 wounded and burned. Over 50 wounded were transported to the Turkish border town of Kilis for treatment, as local hospitals couldn't cope.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility. Locals said a rigged tanker caused the explosion and blamed Islamic State militants, who have carried out attacks in the town before. The militant group has been increasingly pressed in Syria and Iraq, and has escalated its attacks against Turkey — which backs Syrian opposition fighters in a campaign against the group in northern Syria.

Azaz, only a couple of miles from the Turkish border, is a key town on a route used by opposition fighters moving between Syria and Turkey, and is a hub for anti-government activists as well as many displaced from the recent fighting in Aleppo city. Activists say its pre-war population of 30,000 has swelled.

It is also sandwiched between rival groups, including Kurdish fighters to the west and Turkey-backed opposition groups to the east. Islamic State militants, who have tried to advance on the key border town before have been pushed back farther east in recent months in the Turkey-backed offensive.


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Re: Syria - Stepping into the Void

#127

Post by RTH10260 » Fri Jan 20, 2017 2:58 pm

21st century barbarians at work again
Isis destroys tetrapylon monument in Palmyra
Syrian antiquities chief says militants have demolished structure and part of Roman theatre after seizing city for second time

Kareem Shaheen
Friday 20 January 2017 13.28 GMT First published on Friday 20 January 2017 09.17 GMT

Islamic State militants have destroyed a tetrapylon and part of a Roman theatre in the ancient city of Palmyra in the group’s latest attack on Syria’s heritage.

“This is a horror film and we will see more of it, as long as the city is under their control it will remain a hostage,” said Maamoun Abdulkarim, the country’s director of antiquities.

“This is a scandal. Palmyra is occupied and there is no outrage from the international community. We are trying to protect a civilisation. It’s beyond political considerations. There needs to be international solidarity.”

Syrian and Russian forces reclaimed the city from Isis in March, only to lose it to a counter-offensive in December.

Isis first captured Palmyra, once a Silk Road oasis that boasted some of the best-preserved ruins of antiquity, in May 2015.

Militants rampaged through the city’s museums and ruins, blowing up the 2,000-year-old towering Temple of Bel and the Arch of Victory along with other priceless artefacts. They also killed Khaled al-Asaad, a leading archaeologist.

Abdulkarim said on Friday Isis had destroyed the tetrapylon, a collection of monumental pillars on a raised platform near the ancient city’s entrance, and part of the facade of the Roman theatre, where musicians from St Petersburg’s Mariinsky orchestra had performed at a victory concert.
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/ ... myra-syria



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Re: Syria - Stepping into the Void

#128

Post by maydijo » Sat Jan 21, 2017 6:42 am

I spent a magical couple of days in Palmyra in February 1996. The entire trip to Syria was incredible; Damascus is (or at least was) a beautiful city, and everyone we met was so very kind and generous. But Palmyra will always hold a special place in my heart. I remember going into the amphitheatre - a group of Syrian teenagers were folk dancing there in the middle - I had just taken a Folk Dancing of the Middle East class my last term of uni, and I wanted so badly to join them, but lacked the words to ask and the courage to interrupt. And so instead I moved closer to the centre of the amphitheatre, hoping they would ask me to join. Then suddenly a young woman was in front of me, holding out her hand and saying, "Come!" I took her hand and followed her down. They made the circle larger for me, these smiling Syrian teenagers who felt just as awkward as I did, and we danced, laughing and holding hands. And then I thanked them and left. I don't know if they understood what they gave me that day. Now, I think of them and wonder what happened to them. They will always be in my heart, even though I never knew their names.



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Re: Syria - Stepping into the Void

#129

Post by Addie » Sat Jan 21, 2017 9:20 am

Beautiful, maydijo :(


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Re: Syria - Stepping into the Void

#130

Post by RTH10260 » Sat Feb 04, 2017 11:04 am

In first, US gives anti-IS Syria force armoured SUVs

AFP Ayham Al-Mohammad AFPJanuary 31, 2017

Hasakeh (Syria) (AFP) - The United States has provided Syrian fighters battling the Islamic State group with armoured vehicles for the first time, a US official and a spokesman for the anti-jihadist force said Tuesday.

The delivery appears to be the first under President Donald Trump's administration, though the original decision pre-dates his January 20 inauguration, and comes after he gave the US military 30 days to deliver a plan to "defeat" IS.

Washington has long partnered with the Kurdish-Arab Syrian Democratic Forces alliance to battle IS in Syria, which has been ravaged by conflict since an anti-government uprising that began in March 2011.

But SDF spokesman Talal Sello said Trump's administration had now promised "extra support".
https://www.yahoo.com/news/us-provides- ... 45431.html



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Re: Syria - Stepping into the Void

#131

Post by RVInit » Sat Feb 04, 2017 11:18 am

The only thing that stopped Obama from being able to anything effective in Syria......Russia. Think they will stop Trump in the same way? It'll be tit for tat. Russia will allow Trump to fight ISIS in Syria and it'll save his Presidency from it's current position in the toilet. hey, didn't Trump recently relieve some of the sanctions against Russia? Trump, of course, has promised to leave Assad alone, I'm sure.


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Re: Syria - Stepping into the Void

#132

Post by Dan1100 » Sat Feb 04, 2017 12:05 pm

RVInit wrote:The only thing that stopped Obama from being able to anything effective in Syria......Russia. Think they will stop Trump in the same way? It'll be tit for tat. Russia will allow Trump to fight ISIS in Syria and it'll save his Presidency from it's current position in the toilet. hey, didn't Trump recently relieve some of the sanctions against Russia? Trump, of course, has promised to leave Assad alone, I'm sure.
Turkey and their hatred of the Kurds certainly didn't help Obama.


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Re: Syria - Stepping into the Void

#133

Post by RVInit » Sat Feb 04, 2017 12:19 pm

Dan1100 wrote:
RVInit wrote:The only thing that stopped Obama from being able to anything effective in Syria......Russia. Think they will stop Trump in the same way? It'll be tit for tat. Russia will allow Trump to fight ISIS in Syria and it'll save his Presidency from it's current position in the toilet. hey, didn't Trump recently relieve some of the sanctions against Russia? Trump, of course, has promised to leave Assad alone, I'm sure.
Turkey and their hatred of the Kurds certainly didn't help Obama.
OK, yes. I retract the word only...that was lazy. The real point IMO is that Trump, not encumbered by any sense of ethics whatsoever, has nowhere near the problems in Syria as Obama had. A very large part of those problems being Russia. I cringe to think that much of what stymied Obama in Syria will not be the same for Trump, for a variety of reasons, yes. That won't matter. His supporters aren't into nuance.


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Re: Syria - Stepping into the Void

#134

Post by RTH10260 » Sat Feb 04, 2017 12:26 pm

RVInit wrote:The only thing that stopped Obama from being able to anything effective in Syria......Russia. Think they will stop Trump in the same way? It'll be tit for tat. Russia will allow Trump to fight ISIS in Syria and it'll save his Presidency from it's current position in the toilet. hey, didn't Trump recently relieve some of the sanctions against Russia? Trump, of course, has promised to leave Assad alone, I'm sure.
What Obama did not want to undertand is the fact that Syria is Russian playground. They will not let the USA displace Assad. Supporting anti-Assad dissident fighters was to fail from the start. Not even taking into account that the ant-Assad forces are splintered into a myriad groups with their own very local tribal interests. As long as these anti-Assad groups take up the fight with ISIS in Syria, Russia is happy with it, it doesn't have to sink any Rubel into that cause (I understand that all anti-ISIS efforts have been only paid by the US tax payer). If these anti-Assad groups suddenly think they could take up their original fight against the Syrian government, Russia will transform the US delivered hardware into a recyclable heap of scratch metal. Once the Assad regime has stabilized its control over the dissident regions again, Russia will start supporting the fight against what remains of ISIS in Syria at that time.



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Re: Syria - Stepping into the Void

#135

Post by RVInit » Sat Feb 04, 2017 12:48 pm

RTH10260 wrote:
RVInit wrote:The only thing that stopped Obama from being able to anything effective in Syria......Russia. Think they will stop Trump in the same way? It'll be tit for tat. Russia will allow Trump to fight ISIS in Syria and it'll save his Presidency from it's current position in the toilet. hey, didn't Trump recently relieve some of the sanctions against Russia? Trump, of course, has promised to leave Assad alone, I'm sure.
What Obama did not want to undertand is the fact that Syria is Russian playground. They will not let the USA displace Assad. Supporting anti-Assad dissident fighters was to fail from the start. Not even taking into account that the ant-Assad forces are splintered into a myriad groups with their own very local tribal interests. As long as these anti-Assad groups take up the fight with ISIS in Syria, Russia is happy with it, it doesn't have to sink any Rubel into that cause (I understand that all anti-ISIS efforts have been only paid by the US tax payer). If these anti-Assad groups suddenly think they could take up their original fight against the Syrian government, Russia will transform the US delivered hardware into a recyclable heap of scratch metal. Once the Assad regime has stabilized its control over the dissident regions again, Russia will start supporting the fight against what remains of ISIS in Syria at that time.
That is exactly my point. I absolutely believe that is exactly what is going to happen. Syria's dissidents are already all but defeated at which point yes, Russia will be happy to join Trump in fighting ISIS. And, we will have our faces rubbed in the fact that see what a hero Trump is - he succeeded where Obama failed. That will be the narrative I will hear all day on Faux news.The last sentence....but not all the rest of it.


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Re: Syria - Stepping into the Void

#136

Post by RTH10260 » Sat Feb 04, 2017 1:05 pm

RVInit wrote:
RTH10260 wrote:
RVInit wrote:The only thing that stopped Obama from being able to anything effective in Syria......Russia. Think they will stop Trump in the same way? It'll be tit for tat. Russia will allow Trump to fight ISIS in Syria and it'll save his Presidency from it's current position in the toilet. hey, didn't Trump recently relieve some of the sanctions against Russia? Trump, of course, has promised to leave Assad alone, I'm sure.

What Obama did not want to undertand is the fact that Syria is Russian playground. They will not let the USA displace Assad. Supporting anti-Assad dissident fighters was to fail from the start. Not even taking into account that the ant-Assad forces are splintered into a myriad groups with their own very local tribal interests. As long as these anti-Assad groups take up the fight with ISIS in Syria, Russia is happy with it, it doesn't have to sink any Rubel into that cause (I understand that all anti-ISIS efforts have been only paid by the US tax payer). If these anti-Assad groups suddenly think they could take up their original fight against the Syrian government, Russia will transform the US delivered hardware into a recyclable heap of scratch metal. Once the Assad regime has stabilized its control over the dissident regions again, Russia will start supporting the fight against what remains of ISIS in Syria at that time.


That is exactly my point. I absolutely believe that is exactly what is going to happen. Syria's dissidents are already all but defeated at which point yes, Russia will be happy to join Trump in fighting ISIS. And,we will have our faces rubbed in the fact that see what a hero Trump is - he succeeded where Obama failed.That will be the narrative I will hear all day on Faux news.The last sentence....but not all the rest of it.
I don't think that is likely to happen. The US is engaged in supporting Iraq on the ground, that they get their country cleared from ISIS. It seem that will take another twelve months or so. The best Trump can get is the Iraqi prime minister thanking him for not taking their oil at the same time. "Eradicating" ISIS in Syria will be a whole other proposition, and Trump may get his nose blodied if he thinks to move in with troops (it's not a SEAL operation). The Russians will not mind as long as the government in Damascus gets the region back under its control.

PS. I don't remember what position the Trump administration takes on the Assad regime itself.



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Re: Syria - Stepping into the Void

#137

Post by RVInit » Sat Feb 04, 2017 1:21 pm

[quote="RTH10260]
RVInit wrote: That is exactly my point. I absolutely believe that is exactly what is going to happen. Syria's dissidents are already all but defeated at which point yes, Russia will be happy to join Trump in fighting ISIS. And,we will have our faces rubbed in the fact that see what a hero Trump is - he succeeded where Obama failed.That will be the narrative I will hear all day on Faux news.The last sentence....but not all the rest of it.

I don't think that is likely to happen. The US is engaged in supporting Iraq on the ground, that they get their country cleared from ISIS. It seem that will take another twelve months or so. The best Trump can get is the Iraqi prime minister thanking him for not taking their oil at the same time. "Eradicating" ISIS in Syria will be a whole other proposition, and Trump may get his nose blodied if he thinks to move in with troops (it's not a SEAL operation). The Russians will not mind as long as the government in Damascus gets the region back under its control.

PS. I don't remember what position the Trump administration takes on the Assad regime itself.[/quote]

I do hope you are right. I fear that I am. My wager would be that Trump has no position on the Assad regime. Trump only cares about Trump. His opinion on Assad will have to wait until Bannon decides it's important for Trump to have a position, then he'll tell him what his position is. And we'll find out by a 4:30 AM tweet.


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Re: Syria - Stepping into the Void

#138

Post by RTH10260 » Mon Feb 13, 2017 9:17 pm

(Feb. 13, 2017) Russian Drone Films Ancient Palmyra Destroyed

As reported, the Islamic State destroyed 2 ancient roman monuments in Palmyra after they seized it for the 3rd time a month or so ago. A Russian military drone has just filmed the destruction from the air. The Tetrapylon and the Amphitheter lay in ruins.

[liveleak]c40c48e8d5f2[/liveleak]



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Re: Syria - Stepping into the Void

#139

Post by Addie » Wed Mar 01, 2017 2:28 pm

AF-P
Russian jets accidentally bombed US-backed forces in Syria: US general

On Tuesday, “we had some Russian aircraft and regime aircraft bomb some villages that I believe they thought were held by ISIS, yet … actually on the ground were some of our Syrian Arab Coalition forces,” Army Lieutenant General Stephen Townsend told reporters, noting that there were “some” casualties.

He added that US commandos were less than five kilometers (three miles) away and that the bombing stopped when the Americans called the Russians on a special hotline.


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Re: Syria - Stepping into the Void

#140

Post by RTH10260 » Wed Mar 01, 2017 4:16 pm

Addie wrote:AF-P
Russian jets accidentally bombed US-backed forces in Syria: US general

On Tuesday, “we had some Russian aircraft and regime aircraft bomb some villages that I believe they thought were held by ISIS, yet … actually on the ground were some of our Syrian Arab Coalition forces,” Army Lieutenant General Stephen Townsend told reporters, noting that there were “some” casualties.

He added that US commandos were less than five kilometers (three miles) away and that the bombing stopped when the Americans called the Russians on a special hotline.
"US-backed forces in Syria" aka fighting the Assad regime, so the Russians could care less, and the attack was likely with intention.



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Re: Syria - Stepping into the Void

#141

Post by SueDB » Wed Mar 01, 2017 4:32 pm

RTH10260 wrote:
Addie wrote:AF-P
Russian jets accidentally bombed US-backed forces in Syria: US general

On Tuesday, “we had some Russian aircraft and regime aircraft bomb some villages that I believe they thought were held by ISIS, yet … actually on the ground were some of our Syrian Arab Coalition forces,” Army Lieutenant General Stephen Townsend told reporters, noting that there were “some” casualties.

He added that US commandos were less than five kilometers (three miles) away and that the bombing stopped when the Americans called the Russians on a special hotline.
"US-backed forces in Syria" aka fighting the Assad regime, so the Russians could care less, and the attack was likely with intention.
It's not like 45 is gonna do anything to etc his best buds and money lenders. :crying:


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Re: Syria - Stepping into the Void

#142

Post by Addie » Wed Mar 01, 2017 7:31 pm

WaPo
Russia and the Syrian regime bombed U.S.-backed fighters in Syria, U.S. general says ...

Russia denied any involvement in the bombings afterward, saying neither Russian nor Syrian aircraft were involved, according to the Kremlin-funded news agency RT. “Not a single” airstrike on the areas Townsend cited were carried out by the two militaries, Russian defense officials said in a statement. Russia often denies involvement in military operations despite evidence to the contrary. ...

Townsend said the incident illustrates how complicated the battlefield has become near al-Bab, which is less than 20 miles from the Turkish border in northwest Syria and was seized from the Islamic State by Turkish-backed forces last month. Syrian fighters backed by the United States, the Turks as well as Syrian forces backed by Russia all are still active in the area.

The United States and Russia established a hotline in 2015 in which a U.S. colonel in Qatar and a Russian colonel in Syria work to “deconflict” operations and prevent aerial collisions. But senior U.S. officials have not cooperated directly with the Russians, in part because of legislation first passed in 2014 that forbids that kind of engagement because of Russia’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula. Senior U.S. military officials in the Middle East have advocated for increased deconfliction talks, citing the close proximity in which the militaries are now operating in Syria.

Townsend said Wednesday that the deconfliction hotline worked to stop the bombing, and that in al-Bab different kinds of forces are “literally within hand-grenade range of each other.”

“This is something that goes on daily in the air,” Townsend said of deconfliction. “Not every day on the ground, but daily in the air there’s a deconfliction arrangement with the Russians. And we used that mechanism and it worked.”


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Re: Syria - Stepping into the Void

#143

Post by RTH10260 » Fri Mar 10, 2017 6:45 am

Stepping into the void - US jumping from the frying pan into the fire ?
US marines sent to Syria to help assault on Isis' Raqqa stronghold
Deployment threatens to draw American personnel into 'proxy war' between US-backed and Turkey-backed rebels

Lizzie Dearden @lizziedearden 23 hours ago

Hundreds of US marines have arrived in Syria armed with heavy artillery in preparation for an assault on Isis’ de-facto capital of Raqqa.

A spokesperson for US Central Command told The Independent a Marine Corps artillery unit would provide “greater agility to enable and expedite our Syrian partnered forces defeat of Isis in Raqqa”.

“The strategy adopted by the Coalition remains the same – we will continue to work by, with and through partnered forces to defeat Isis in Iraq and Syria,” he added.

“Our partners in Syria face an entrenched foe and like the Iraqis, will require additional support.”

Col John Dorrian, a spokesperson for Operation Inherent Resolve, said the artillery unit and additional Army Rangers had arrived in recent days but would not have a frontline role.

“We are talking about an additional 400 or so forces in total, and they will be there for a temporary period,” he told Reuters.

The deployment bolsters around 500 special forces troops who are already on the ground to train and support the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), who have driven Isis out of swathes of territory in northern Syria.
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world ... 20236.html


I guess this explains the article above where US troops were nearly bombarded by Russian planes.



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Re: Syria - Stepping into the Void

#144

Post by SueDB » Fri Mar 10, 2017 11:24 am

Also it's the job of Army Rangers to be cutting edge front line folks.

Marine Artillery, not so much.

So, we have US forces invading a sovereign nation as an active combatant without invitation by the internationally recognized lawful government.

This will not end well. Where is the State Department in all this??? Oh yes, that's right - Kushner is nowhere in sight.


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Re: Syria - Stepping into the Void

#145

Post by SueDB » Sat Mar 11, 2017 1:16 pm

Internationally recognized legitimate government of Syria calls US troops "invaders".
Assad Calls US Invaders - "Invaders"
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said U.S. forces in Syria were "invaders" and he had yet to see "anything concrete" emerge from U.S. President Donald Trump's vow to prioritize the fight against Islamic State.

Assad has said he saw promise in Trump's statements emphasizing the battle against Islamic State in Syria, where U.S. policy under President Barack Obama had backed some of the rebels fighting Assad and shunned him as an illegitimate leader.

"We haven't seen anything concrete yet regarding this rhetoric," Assad said in an interview with Chinese TV station Phoenix. "We have hopes that this administration in the United States is going to implement what we have heard," he said.

The United States is leading a coalition against...
Trump talking out of both sides of Kushner's mouth.


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Re: Syria - Stepping into the Void

#146

Post by Addie » Tue Apr 04, 2017 8:39 am

BBC News
Syria conflict: 'Chemical attack' in Idlib kills 58

At least 58 people have been killed and dozens wounded in a suspected chemical attack on a rebel-held town in north-western Syria, a monitoring group says.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that strikes on Khan Sheikhoun by Syrian government or Russian jets had caused many people to choke.

Later, aircraft fired rockets at local clinics treating survivors, medics and activists said.

The Syrian government has repeatedly denied using chemical weapons.

If confirmed, it would be one of the deadliest chemical attacks in Syria since the civil war began six years ago.


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Re: Syria - Stepping into the Void

#147

Post by Volkonski » Wed Apr 05, 2017 12:58 pm

:? :? :? :? :?

US warns it may act in Syria if UN won't

http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/us-r ... a-46594463
The United States and Russia traded conflicting assertions Wednesday about who launched a chemical weapons attack in Syria that killed 72 people, as world leaders grasped for a response to the latest atrocity in Syria's intractable civil war.

The Trump administration stood by its charge that Syrian President Bashar Assad's forces were responsible. Not so, said Russia, Assad's most powerful ally. Russia's military insisted that the chemicals were dispersed when Syrian warplanes bombed a facility where rebels were building chemical weapons.

At the United Nations, President Donald Trump's envoy threatened unilateral U.S. action if the world body failed to act.

"When the United Nations consistently fails in its duty to act collectively, there are times in the life of states that we are compelled to take our own action," declared Ambassador Nikki Haley. She addressed an emergency meeting of the Security Council, which was weighing a resolution condemning chemical weapons use in Syria. Russia, which has veto power, is opposed.
Trump has now threatened unilateral action in Syria and North Korea. Time to be afraid, very afraid.


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Re: Syria - Stepping into the Void

#148

Post by Volkonski » Wed Apr 05, 2017 1:19 pm

At the United Nations, President Donald Trump's envoy threatened unilateral U.S. action if the world body failed to act.
That is really a very stupid thing to say out loud. It is a given that the UN won't act because Russia has a veto on the Security Council. Trump's threat will not change that. But now Trump has boxed himself into a corner. He either has to act or face criticism for not doing so. He didn't have to put himself in that position.


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Re: Syria - Stepping into the Void

#149

Post by Volkonski » Wed Apr 05, 2017 6:29 pm

Image

:roll:


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Re: Syria - Stepping into the Void

#150

Post by RTH10260 » Thu Apr 06, 2017 11:13 am

Trump has spoken as if he would like to mess in Syria. This interview with Obama from September 2016 was republished:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hDx089-KWBE



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