Military Events in Syria and Iraq Thread #4

Discussion in 'World Events' started by Yazata, Apr 12, 2017.

1. SchmelzerValued Senior Member

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The Syrian army has taken Al Naimah, the last village on the road between Daraa and Saida, which has been taken yesterday. There is further advance toward the South, the road between Daraa and Um Mayatheen has been already reached. And the advance near the Jordanian border from the East is continuing too, the village Mitayah near the border has been taken. So, the important border crossing near Naseeb is now approached from two sides - less than 8km from North-West, around 3km from the East. The distance directly from the North via the M5 road is also the same distance, but there are yet the villages Um Mayatheen, and, East of it, Tayyiba, defended by the jihadists. So, we see another example of the preferred tactic of surrounding towns and villages instead of taking them directly, forcing the jihadists either to leave the towns without a fight (preventing civilian victims) or encircling them and then negotiating about surrender.

While in the region of Naimah, Saida, Um Mayadin and Al Tayyibah there has been information about fights, the information about the advance along the border is different - some say, after an intial breaking of the defense line the jihadists simply run away, leaving the region unprotected, other claim that there was not even an initial fight, but that this is the result of a local surrender agreement. So, one can expect the Eastern pocket (or almost pocket - ) may be already left by the jihadists and will be taken without any fight.

PS: There is information that SAA is close to taking Al Tayyibah.

3. SchmelzerValued Senior Member

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Last edited: Jul 6, 2018

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7. CptBorkRobbing the Shalebridge CradleValued Senior Member

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Fact: 11.5 million Syrians internally and externally displaced, 1/2 of the original population. Assad and his allies claim the war is nearly over. Why do so many refugees prefer to live in tents with no legal status or support, rather than returning to their homes or coming back to rebuild?

8. SchmelzerValued Senior Member

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There is now an official confirmation that the Naseeb border crossing is under Syrian control:

Because the "paranoid idiot" has good arguments, much better than your namecalling.
By the way, the big numbers may have a much simpler explanation: They may be simply the total numbers of refugees in that region, instead of the new ones. In this case, it makes sense that most of them are not near the regions of the fighting, but near the Israel border.

According to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Refugees_of_the_Syrian_Civil_War people are returning. "As of mid-2017, an estimated 260,000 refugees returned to Syria since 2015 and more than 440,000 internally displaced persons returned to their homes". Of course, this will take time.

9. CptBorkRobbing the Shalebridge CradleValued Senior Member

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A mere drop in the bucket. What will your excuse be, if millions of refugees totaling nearly half of Syria still feel unsafe to return to areas under Assad's control, a year from now?

10. SchmelzerValued Senior Member

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So, here is the map which shows the first half of the Daraa operation finished. Of course, the Eastern part of Daraa is not yet completely under Syrian army control, but what remains is to realize the agreements which have been accepted. What I have heard today supports that the advance along the border was made in full cooperation with the FSA (named Southern front or so) following a reconciliation agreement, up to some place where the FSA guys have told the SAA guys that they should be careful now, because there may be attacks from Al Qaida. As far as I understand, the Syrian army attacks in Saida and Al Naimah were directed mainly against Al Qaida forces in that region. It seems to have played an important role that yesterday one of the hardliners of the FSA leadership opposing the reconciliation was killed (according to one source running away toward Jordan).

The possibility to reopen the M5 from Damascus to Jordan was the main advance of this first half of the operation. This is quite important for trade with Jordan - while there was some part of the border with Jordan controlled by the Syrian army, it was somewhere in the desert, without roads except some local ones sufficient for smuggling, but not for normal trade.

The second half may, in principle, become more complicated. There is, first of all, the Southern part of Daraa itself. Fighting in a big town is always much more complicated. Then, there is the IS enclave - the fighters in this enclave can be expected to be much more fanatic than the FSA, and even more than Al Qaida. Then, there is the closeness to Israel. Israel is known to give a lot of fire support to various terrorists, with claims that some shot has reached the territory they occupied as a cheap (and mainly unbelievable) excuse. The territory is also more densely populated.

We will see. That was for a year ago. The battle which has been decisive for this war - the battle for Aleppo - is now 1.5 years ago, thus, in the middle of that period, and at that time it was not yet clear that this has been the turning point. And a year ago, IS was yet very powerful. I would not expect that many emigrants will return already in such a situation, even if they in principle want to return. For those who emigrated for the simple reason to avoid conscription, it is obviously too early to return - they would wait for the end of the war. Some other refugees will also remain where they are now - those who have found a way to live there, better than what they have left in Syria. Let's not forget in this context that there have been a lot of internal refugees already before the civil war started - because of crop failures during the time before this. This contingent of internal refugees played a quite big role in the start of the civil war. Would you expect that they will return now? I wouldn't. I would also expect a lot of those who have found a way to Europe will remain there, simply because the living standards are higher there.

But, ok, we will see how the situation is one year after the end of the war.

sculptor likes this.
11. iceauraValued Senior Member

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It is a US source, which means one you are not normally capable of evaluating - in this case you have some information, as the issue is not a domestic US one but rather one you have real world knowledge of, but you should still be wary. You have been suckered before, very badly, by US sources including this one if I recall.
The war is unlikely to "end", in that sense - right?
In Afghanistan most of the refugees that returned after the first wave of fighting have been displaced again, made refugees twice.
AGW change is probably permanent, on human life scale, in Syria (it's at a distance from the equator predicted to be directly and almost immediately affected).
And the Assad government is of course what it is - a despotism, unable to govern other than by State oppression, beholden to Putin, adjunct to the oil fields, and caught in an incoming implosions of world trade and economics still without effective financier or militarization restrictions.

12. sculptorValued Senior Member

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Dear mister gloom and doom:
Would you rather be ruled by one tyrant, or hundreds of tyrants who sit on the boards off major corporations and their minion horde of lobbyist?

...................
Oh, and
If the SAA manages to chase the Israeli sponsored terrorists onto Israeli controlled territory, what will Israel do then?

13. CptBorkRobbing the Shalebridge CradleValued Senior Member

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Let me save you the suspense. The majority of the refugees won't be back in one year, nor two, nor three, because they know that Assad and his supporters will massacre them if they do. I think you're well aware of that fact. In Lebanon alone there are a million Sunni refugees who refuse to return to areas under Assad's control even as the country tries to force them out with Hezbollah breathing down their necks and no legal status or decent paying work; that should be more than enough of an indicator that something's wrong with your narrative.

The war won't be over for decades, Syria won't be rebuilt under Assad. He'll spend a few billion dollars on refurbishing famous landmarks and restoring basic national infrastructure (highways, electrical grids). Most of the areas destroyed were inhabited by Sunnis, and he'll feel no obligation to rebuild them, just leave them in ruins. Regime supporters from minority sects who lost their homes and property will be compensated with confiscated homes and property left behind by Sunni refugees. The state will likely accept the loss of Idlib and Kurdish areas in the east, making the remaining population and territory easier to control. Syria 2.0 will be a shell of its former self and completely dependent on long-term Russian economic and military support for its basic survival.

European and US taxpayers aren't going to pay for Russia to have a middle east playground, and rebuild it for them whenever they throw tantrums and smash it up. Russia obviously doesn't have much cash to throw around, and China doesn't give things away for free, so all these hundreds of billions that would be needed to rebuild the country will never materialize and will never be spent.

Neither scenario is desirable, but... Being ruled by hundreds of tyrants is a far, far, far better situation than having a single tyrant, because then there's actual competition for your support, and internal competition for power means the dictatorial status quo is never stable.

I don't have a crystal ball. My guess is Israel would (and damn well should) annex or occupy additional Syrian territory in order to house the hundreds of thousands of refugees you cruelly and blindly label as terrorists, because it hasn't shown any signs of letting any of them in, other than a couple thousand refugees it took in over the last few years, and the several thousand who've received medical treatment before being sent back.

Israel has already bombed Syrian positions to enforce the demilitarized zone agreed upon in 1974, that would be a logical starting point for seizing territory.

14. SchmelzerValued Senior Member

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The Syrian army has now officially taken control of the whole M5 (the Damascus-Amman highway). There are now peace negotiations with a lot of towns also of the Western part of Daraa.

The boring "you have been played" disposed of.
No. If you have moved toward another place for economic reasons, there simply is no reason for you to return. War is something temporary, it ends, and you return. If it becomes clear that the fighting ends, and a stable regime is establishing itself, then you have to make a choice - either to return to the conditions of that regime (even if it is not the one you prefer) or to stay away forever.
Nonsense. There is even an amnesty for fighters if they lay down their weapons, with a few exceptions of war criminals. For those who simply emigrated there is nothing to be afraid of. But if they have found a way to live in, say, Germany, they have no reason to go home.
There is no difference for those living in Lebanon and living in Syria comparable to European nations. It is the same culture, the same language,so if you have found, as a Syrian, a way to live in Lebanon, there is no big difference which would motivate you to go home.
It does not look like this. If there would be no US troops on the ground, the war would be over this or next year. It is only a US involvement which could lead to such results.
Nonsense. Assad's wife is Sunni. The majority of the Syrian army is Sunni. He will care about Sunnis as well as about all the other religions. The jihadists try to present this was as Sunni vs. infidels, but not the Syrian side.
Feel free to dream about this. I doubt Israel will be that stupid to start an open war with Syria.
Nobody even wants there American money. Assad has, in a recent interview, clearly said that he will not take any money even from Europe. Don't worry, if Russian or Iranian money is not sufficient, China has enough. And, note, all of them get something for this. (As if the West would give money for nothing.) So, they all like to have the US and Europe out of this.

Last edited: Jul 8, 2018
15. iceauraValued Senior Member

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That would be nice, yes. Sometimes, it even happens.
Having one of these wars actually end would be an interesting event in itself.
The choices available to the refugee Syrians are likely to be a bit more fraught - including, if they stay away , where exactly that is.
Like what? What's in it for - say - China?

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Exclusive rights to build and run a new amusement park in Damascus, maybe? Who wouldn't pay $300 billion for such a privilege? 17. CptBorkRobbing the Shalebridge CradleValued Senior Member Messages: 5,778 You think it's more plausible that Israel, a nation of 7 million with roughly 6,000,000 Jews and 1,000,000 Muslims, will take in another 300,000 previously hostile refugees? They've been at war with Syria plenty of times before when its Soviet backers were comparably far more powerful; I don't think they're worried about having to do it again, nor about facing any serious UN backlash this time if they did. Even in a minimalist scenario, Israel already effectively controls the DMZ on Syria's side of the border, and can use that as a basis for hosting the refugees as is. Russia has three dozen jets mostly operating off a single runway, I think they'd be risking far more by picking a fight over borderlands they didn't control in the first place. I have to admit I'm struggling to keep up with your unapologetic lies. Haven't even gotten around to addressing your nonsense about not believing videos, while you still believe old videos from rt.com where they subsequently admitted to outright lying or not telling the whole truth. 18. SchmelzerValued Senior Member Messages: 4,086 There is information about negotiations with various towns in the Western part of Daraa, but there is no complete ceasefire - there seem to be only local ceasefires with those one negotiates with, which is mainly FSA, but not Al Qaida. Information about fighting comes from West of Daraa city, where an air defense base has been taken by the Syrian army. There are also advances beyond that near the border, and it is not completely clear who is in control of which part of the border around Daraa city now. The Syrian army is also now in control of Um Mayadin and Al Tayibah. These towns were taken over based local agreements. So, the most plausible map looks like this: Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image! with the blue region been taken under control yesterday. ???????????????? They have no reason to take in any refugees at all. Instead, they are known not to allow a lot of Palestinian refugees from Israel to go home. They may be not afraid of it, but they have no reason to start such things themselves. If they close their border for refugees, Syria has no problem with this too, so why would any of them want to start a war? I don't care about your lies at all. Read about "economic hitmen". This is, of course, about US "help" for various Third World nations, but some of the purely economic parts of this strategy can and will be used by everybody economically strong enough to invest. The Chinese may be more civilized and care more about economic gains, especially access to commodities, than political power. But don't worry, they find something useful. This may be a point where Iceaura's beloved oil and gas becomes important: Motivation for investments into Syria after the war. The Chinese need oil and gas, the Russians have firms with knowledge about how to get them, and there are some oil and gas in Syria. There is one example where such a war has ended: Chechnya. The level of remaining terrorism there is below that of neighboring Caucasian states where it has never been named a war even in times when it was higher than now, and lower than in Europe. So, the Russians have some very good experience in how to end such wars. And they use it: If you hear about "Russian military police" there, it is, with a large probability, actually Chechen one. (Chechens are also Sunni, as far as one counts Sufi as Sunni.) Indeed. That's my point. If they have found, say, a way to live in Germany on social security, they would be stupid to go home. 19. SchmelzerValued Senior Member Messages: 4,086 There is now information that the Syrian army has taken control over 27 border posts, numbers 36-62, on the Jordanian border. There is also information that it has taken control over several villages near the border, namely, Kharab Al-Shaham, Al-Tabriyat, Tell Shehab and Zayzoun. That means they now have control over the border almost up to the IS enclave, in correspondence with this map: Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image! And that means that the jihadists in the Southern part of Daraa city are now encircled completely, have no longer any access to the Jordanian border. There was no information about any fighting in relation with this, instead, some support by locals was claimed. The negotiations about reconciliation agreements with many towns, in particular also with the Daraa enclave, are ongoing, details unknown, but it looks like they happen on a local level, so that successful negotiations lead to a takeover by the Syrian army town by town. 20. iceauraValued Senior Member Messages: 26,922 Bingo. Nunc Dimittis. The Chinese have oil and gas interests in the region - especially market and financial power concerns, "economic gains" - far beyond the comparatively insignificant deposits actually under Syrian land. So do the Russians, and the US, and Iran, and Saudi Arabia. Israel, maybe, cares more about the water. 21. CptBorkRobbing the Shalebridge CradleValued Senior Member Messages: 5,778 I hear that hundreds of millions of newly-enriched Syrians in Assad's Syria 2.0 have a major craving for Chinese food. You could sell 100 billion in pork dumplings alone, lucrative market. Or maybe China wants to pay 300 billion to receive$5 billion worth of oil, since Schmelzer seems to think that's what "civilized" nations do.

Edit: Can someone please explain to me what's going on with the dollars symbol and how to use it here without triggering any scripts?

Last edited: Jul 10, 2018
22. SchmelzerValued Senior Member

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From the towns in West Daraa near the border, there is information that they have started to give their weapons to the Syrian army. There is essentially agreement that the Syrian army now controls the complete border to Jordan between the US-occupied zone around Al Tanf and the IS-controlled part in the West near the Israel border.

It is going into TeX mode, so that you can write formulas like $\int\sqrt{a}b^c_d\hbar$, and a \ before the \\$ should be sufficient to prevent this.
Nice to see such agreement.

23. iceauraValued Senior Member

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Joke?
Side comment on the oil and gas motivations:
the quick attention to Assad in the wake of Trump's Russian-aided electoral college win (Flynn talking to Assad's folks within 48 hours) highlights another motive for Putin: he wants slack on the annexation of Crimea and more injury to NATO, and Syria provides sources of pressure on the US (due to the disaster of Iraq, and the role of oil in the dollar economy, and so forth and so on) - bargaining chips.

Another aspect of the oil and gas factor that could appear in an evaluation of military events in Syria and Iraq.