Military Events in Syria and Iraq thread #3

Discussion in 'World Events' started by Yazata, Apr 5, 2016.

  1. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    Reports say that ISIS has entered Palmyra and are fighting Syrian army troops inside the town. Syria says that it is rushing in reinforcements.

    There are also reports that a Syrian airforce Mig 23 has been shot down over Palmyra.
     
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  3. CptBork Robbing the Shalebridge Cradle Valued Senior Member

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    Looks like Russia used up all its cruise missiles on Aleppo's kindergartens. Not to worry, they'll whip up some cruise barrel bombs real quick and everything will be ok.
     
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  5. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

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    Well, they had better do it fast because their aircraft carrier will be soon out of aircraft. Apparently, Ruskies are not very good at taking off and landing.

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    Their pilots keep crashing their aircraft and their old dilapidated coal burning aircraft carrier can only support 15 aircraft.
     
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  7. CptBork Robbing the Shalebridge Cradle Valued Senior Member

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    Yeah but so what? That whole mission is about showcasing Russia's impressive fleet of tugboats to prospective buyers.
     
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  8. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    Conflicting reports about whether ISIS has taken Palmyra. The Syrian provincial governor says that the town has fallen. But the real situation seems more complicated than that. ISIS penetrated into the center of town, were pushed back out to the edge where they regrouped, then fought their way in again, pushing the Syrians out this time. It appears that the Syrian army forces are regrouping at military encampments near the town, and are receiving reinforcements. So they will presumably be trying to fight their way back in, in coming days.

    The Tiyas (T-4) air force base located west of Palmyra has come under attack too, and several helicopters based there have been destroyed. Unclear if these were Russian or Syrian, but I'm guessing Russian, since Russian attack helicopters have earlier been seen operating over Palmyra. There were a number of Russian troops (advisors/spetsnaz) deployed in Palmyra until yesterday, but they were apparently evacuated on Saturday. (Were they flown to the Tiyas base?)

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiyas

    In Aleppo, the rebel collapse continues. The biggest news is that the Karam al Daada district has apparently fallen. (Both the Syrians and the rebels seem to be saying this.) Talks about a conditional rebel surrender apparently continue.

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  9. Schmelzer Valued Senior Member

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    Today there are additional claims that only the Sukkari and Bustan Al-Qasir districts remain under terrorists control.
    https://www.almasdarnews.com/articl...jihadist-rebels-negotiate-possible-surrender/

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    There is no point for using cruise missiles for Aleppo at all. The only point of using them in Syria are tests on a real battlefield.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2016
  10. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    There are reports today (Monday) that Bustan al-Qasir has fallen. That's pretty much all the rebel held districts east of the river. (There's may still be some fighting in Karam Da'da.) It looks like the rebels are going to make their last stand in Sukkari and Mashhad west of the river.

    This should be over in just a few days.
     
  11. Schmelzer Valued Senior Member

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    There is not yet complete agreement that Aleppo is completely liberated, various sources talk about some fighting yet, but it looks like there are only a few remaining terrorists in some houses or blocks, no longer about whole districts.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2016
  12. Schmelzer Valued Senior Member

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    I have found an actual map which assigns yet some small region, approximately a square kilometer, to terrorist control:

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    but I do not really trust it. It looks more like a substraction of all districts which are already officially completely cleared, so that this is more like the region which is not yet completely cleared of terrorists.
     
  13. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    I think that it's probably reasonably accurate. It looks like the map in post #386 with the projection to the northeast across the river to Bustan al-Qasir removed. The rebels seem to still be holding out in a small area west of the river in the Sukkari and Mashhad districts.

    I think that the total victory map was premature. Apparently a false rumor of the rebels final defeat was going around west Aleppo yesterday and people were celebrating. But it certainly seems that the final elimination of the rebels' east Aleppo enclave is hours and at most a few days away.

    There's lots of concern about civilians there. Estimates/guesses are that maybe 50,000 remain in that little pocket. Shelling and bombing are intense as the rebels fight to the death and there's fear of many casulties.
     
  14. Schmelzer Valued Senior Member

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    What I certainly don't believe is that large number of civilians in the remaining pocket. This is fantasy, projected down from the equally fantastic 250 000 for the whole of East Aleppo which was repeated over and over in the media. It is quite obvious that the civilians, given that it is already clear at least during the last week that the terrorists will loose, will try to leave the terrorist-held areas even if they would personally favor the terrorists, simply for personal security, as well as for finding a way to go to Idlib (which would be quite easy, if one is in the government-held areas, given that that border is long and much less protected, and easy for civilians to cross). So, only those very close to the terrorists themselves (I would guess only their nuclear family members) will remain in the areas yet under terrorist control.

    There is information that some of the terrorists have agreed to leave Aleppo, in particular the childheadcutters of Al Zinki. I personally would prefer if the Syrians would make an exception for this gang, but, ok, this is emotions after seeing that video. Its better if even these childheadcutters leave Aleppo, in Idlib it will be easier to punish them appropriately, without endangering civilians.

    PS.: Additional support for the information that terrorists leave Aleppo. Not clear if all of them, or with some exceptions, but sounds like all of them.
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2016
  15. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    Reports are coming in that an Aleppo cease-fire agreement has been reached, brokered by Russia and Turkey, allowing the rebels and any civilians that want to accompany them to leave for Idlib or someplace like that. Both the Syrian government and rebel sources confirm this. The Russian UN ambassador has announced it at the UN. Reports are that the handful of remaining rebel-held neighborhoods left have been quiet for several hours and there is no longer any shooting.

    I believe that the Russians and the US have had a similar offer on the table for weeks, but the rebels have refused to accept it. Things have apparently become so desperate that they had no choice.

    This seems to be the end of the long Aleppo battle.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-38308883
     
  16. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

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    It appears the "deed is done" and I guess now comes the big cover ups...
     
  17. CptBork Robbing the Shalebridge Cradle Valued Senior Member

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    You say you have a hard time believing there were 250,000 civilians in East Aleppo just prior to this latest assault. For my own part, I have a hard time believing that you're actually "emotional" about any genuine terrorists who might be allowed to escape. Did they burn a Russian flag, or something? There are hundreds of online videos available at the click of a mouse showing terrorist Assad forces and allies torturing and murdering civilians, the elderly, women and children. How come you're not emotional about those, too?

    You can't say that one video proves millions of Syrian opposition forces are all terrorists, and then claim that hundreds or thousands of videos only prove that Assad's regime has a few bad apples. Well, not unless you're a lying fascist Ruskie colonist, at any rate.
     
  18. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    Reports are saying that the cease-fire has broken down and fighting has resumed in Aleppo.

    Both sides are blaming the other. The Russians and the Syrians are saying that when busses entered the tiny rebel enclave as arranged in the cease-fire to start moving the rebels to the west, they were fired upon, presumably by rebel factions who haven't agreed to the ceasefire. Meanwhile rebel spokesmen say that the busses were prevented from entering by Shi'ite militiamen from Iraq that have been fighting on Assad's side. Personally, I wouldn't be surprised if both are right. There are hard-liners on both sides who seemingly weren't consulted and didn't sign on to the deal.

    Latest news seems to be that Syrian government forces, whether the regular army or its semi-out-of-control radical militia allies, are attacking from the south and there's fighting in the Sukkari district, squeezing the rebels into an even smaller area. (Mashhad and the remaining parts of Sukkari.) Air strikes on the rebel pocket have reportedly resumed, suggesting the Syrian air force and hence the regular Syrian military is indeed involved.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aleppo_offensive_(November–December_2016)

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/201...ns-blocked-leaving-aleppo-pro-assad-militias/
     
  19. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

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    It will be interesting to see how many billions of dollars Russia is now going to invest to rebuild the Syria it helped to destroy.
    ...and this is the best Assad and Putin could do... their only solution...well done boys!

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    If fair democratic elections were held years ago this utter catastrophe could have been completely avoided.
    The sheer cost in dollars and human terms of Assad's ongoing interest in Syrian leadership is truly staggering...
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2016
  20. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    The cease-fire may (or may not) be back on track.

    The way Reuters is reporting it, the fighters shooting at the busses were Hezbollah. These Lebanese Shi'ite militants (who were fighting for Assad) were unhappy about two Shi'ite majority towns in Idlib province that have been besieged by the Sunni rebels for many months and wanted some quid pro quo in exchange for letting the Aleppo rebels go. The rebels say that an agreement to evacuate wounded from those towns who need medical attention was reached and the cease-fire is back in effect. Hezbollah hasn't yet confirmed that they are satisfied and say that there are still "big problems", but the busses should be back to pick up rebel fighters and their families tomorrow (Thursday) morning.

    It looks like the shooting, bombing and shelling is stopping again. The new flare-up today resulted in the rebels losing about half of the Sukkari district.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-syria-idUSKBN143317
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2016
  21. Schmelzer Valued Senior Member

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    Very simple, I have not seen them. Feel free to post some links. And some evidence that the persons presented there torturing and murdering civilians are Assad forces.

    You have to expect that I require very high standards of evidence for this. In the particular case of those Al Zinki child head cutting, it was that Al Zinki gang itself which has made the video, distributed it, and the explicit talk during the execution leaves no doubt on which side these guys were fighting. These high standards of evidence are a consequence that all sides tend to present their enemies as evil as possible, and, therefore, it makes no sense to believe accusations made by one side and denied by the other side.

    No. But I can say that the US openly supports child head cutting terrorists. Why? Because the US has supported that Al Zinki gang, and they have not stopped to support it even after this video became well-known.

    And, BTW, I support that even those child head cutters from Al Zinki, one of the leading gangs in Aleppo, will be transferred, with their hand weapons, from Aleppo to Idlib, instead of continuing to fight them in Aleppo, simply because fighting in Aleppo will cause more collateral damage than fighting them later in rural Idlib.

    The Russians are clearly interested in such orders, and I think they have good chances to get them. I would guess some Russian oligarchs will use this possibility to transfer some money out of already not that safe Western tax havens, but don't want to transfer them back to Russia, will also use this possibility. That's capitalism as usual, communist time in Russia is over.

    To present pictures from Aleppo to blame Putin makes no sense, simply because it was already in ruins in 2015 when Putin started to participate. Feel free to use it against Assad, but even this is not really easy, because there was another side in this civil war too, and it has also destroyed a lot. Who has destroyed more? A difficult question, but it is clear that a picture cannot prove anything about it.
    It was the Western requirement "Assad must go" (especially from the bulletin in the democratic elections to be hold) which prevented fair democratic elections from the start. And do you really think that the costs matter for all those Christians, Alewites, Shiites who fight for their very survival? And the Sunni who fight for not living under Sharia law but in a secular state?

    I agree, the catastrophe could have been completely avoided. Simply by the West not supporting jihadist terrorists, or preventing their Saudi and Qatar vassals doing it.
     
  22. Schmelzer Valued Senior Member

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    I have seen similar claims, also without much certainty.
    I would not believe that Hezbollah is shooting at the busses, which are, whoever is inside, Syrian busses. But, ok, that's Reuters. That the Iranians have not agreed with the evacuation and tried to get (and finally got) an agreement for evacuation of wounded/civilians/whatever from the Shia enclaves Fua and Kafrija (whatever the spelling) seems correct. This may correspond to reports that some busses have been stopped at checkpoints controlled by Shia forces.
    What I have heard is that Sukkari is already completely free. But this does not really matter, if the evacuation really starts, the fight for Aleppo is over. (Almost, the Syrian army has yet to clear the Western suburbs to make Aleppo save from terrorist attacks.)
     
  23. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    It appears that the evacuation of the rebel pocket has successfully commenced early Thursday. About 1,000 people have already been bussed out, across pro-government western Aleppo to rebel held territory to the west. BBC calls the people evacuated "civilians", but since rebel fighters don't wear uniforms, if they are males of fighting age, who really knows who they are? But they are out of the urban part of Aleppo.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-38329461
     

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