Military Events in Syria and Iraq Thread #4

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

  1. Schmelzer Valued Senior Member

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    A new round in Syria has been started, looks like it is time to revive this thread. Here is the starting position.

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    The initial battles were about so
    me heights and nearby unimportant villages, and it was not really clear if this was really an offensive or just the low scale more or less permanent thing of violations of the ceasefire and retaliation.

    It became clear that it is more than a local battle when Kafr Nabuda has been taken by the Syrian army:

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    After this, the town Qalaat al Madiq was essentially taken without a fight, the terrorists had made a failed attack in the outscirts and after this have given up the town, while the locals have made an agreement with the Syrian army.

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    The Syrian army now goes toward the North, taking the mountains and the street, the important agrarian region of the Al Ghab plains will be probably not defended heavily if the mountains East of it have been taken.

    The other direction of fighting is toward the East. Actually, there was a big counterattack against Kafr Nabuda, which has failed, and the Syrian army has taken an important hill South-East of Kafr Nabuda, which secures the town. The next big target in the East would be Khan Sheikhun. There is information about negotiations of the Syrian army with locals of Khan Sheikhun.

    There has been also an attack against the positions of Hatesh in the North, in Latakia, against the most important strategic village in the mountains, Kabane. Some nearby heights have already been taken.

    The general political situation is that the quite long ceasefire in Idlib was a compromise negotiated by the Russians with Turkey. The compromise was the establishment of a demilitarized zone, and Turkey offered to destroy Hatesh (renamed Al Qaida). This failed, in the infight in Idlib the winner were not the pro-Turkish (or simply Turkish paid) groups, but Hatesh. They now control most of Idlib.

    Turkey seems to have accepted this failure and is in the process of withdrawing its observers of the ceasefire. It recommends the pro-Turkish groups not to fight the Syrian army. Nonetheless, many groups have now shared with Hatesh a coordination center to fight together against the Syrian army. Given that they have essentially unified with Hatesh, the Syrian army does not have to care if they were sort of pro-Turkish or not. In particular, Qalaat al Mudiq was a known SSA stronghold some time ago.
     
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  3. CptBork Robbing the Shalebridge Cradle Valued Senior Member

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    The plunder from Idlib will surely pay for the reconstruction of Russia and Syria while cementing the alliance with Turkey. Let the hospitals burn!
     
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  5. Schmelzer Valued Senior Member

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    LOL, in Idlib nothing remains to be plundered, everything is already plundered by the "moderate rebels". This is, btw, a difference one has to understand: Different from the IS, and in part Hatesh and other fundamentalists, who tried to create an Islamic state, but nonetheless a state of (Islamic) law, so that they had to fight any attempts to plunder, the non-fundamentalist "rebels" had no such intentions and did plunder much more. It is this difference which essentially destroyed all secular "moderate" rebel forces. Some switched back to Assad, others shifted toward the fundamentalists.

    Idlib was during the last years the place to collect all those rebel forces which did not accept reconciliation agreements. Among them many of those "moderate" plunderers and mercenaries, but also a lot of fundamentalists. There was already not much left to plunder, but this inflow of additional plunderers has destroyed the remains. The infight was won by the fundamentalists, by Hatesh. But Hatesh is also not the Islamic State, their territories are not their state to be defended at any costs, but temporary gains, which can be left if necessary. This makes them more tolerant of plundering too.

    Idlib is of interest only because it is a dangerous collection of terrorists from all over the world, ready to move to other locations to start to terrorize other people. That's all.

    The Syrian army has continued its advances toward the North, as explained yesterday, taking the mountains first and then clearing the Al Ghab plains:

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  7. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    And as soon as they "switched back" to Assad, they ceased being "terrorists".
    Because State terrorism does not exist, within the Russian alliances. See Orwell for guidance on vocabulary.
     
  8. CptBork Robbing the Shalebridge Cradle Valued Senior Member

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    Terrorists hate borscht. Therefore anyone who is friends with a borscht lover or at least acknowledges the overwhelming genetic superiority of borscht lovers, cannot be considered a terrorist, because that person does not self-identify as a terrorist.
     
  9. Schmelzer Valued Senior Member

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    The recent progress of the Syrian army is quite interesting, in conflict with what I have told - namely, it is the Al Ghab valley which is now taken first and not the mountain range East of it:

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    I'm not sure what this means. Let's mention that it may be an artifact of what becomes known, so taking villages in the valley is one thing, taking some mountains without villages another one, which may go unnoticed. I have seen another map where some part of the mountain range East of the new taken villages has been taken too.

    LOL, even in such a simple case you are unable to do your job in an accurate way - I have not named them "terrorists" in this post too. Then, to name only those terrorists which are not state forces is the standard form used everywhere. I'm libertarian but not such a fanatic libertarian that I would regularly name all state forces terrorists, even if states are essentially nothing but terrorist organizations.
    And these polemics are completely nonsensical too. Russia was the origin of anarchist political terrorism, so there are (or at least have been) enough borscht-loving terrorists too. And genetic superiority never played any role in Russian politics. The exceptions are a few guys who after 1990, following the general trend of loving everything coming from the West, admired Hitler, but they have always been only an ignorable minority.
     
  10. Schmelzer Valued Senior Member

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    The operation of the Syrian army was stopped for some time for political reasons.

    This is something which has to be expected in this fight all the time. The reason is that the Turks are involved on the side of the terrorists (even if they officially support only some "moderate" ones), and Russia does not want a serious conflict with the Turks. The sabotage of NATO with Turkey on their side is far too interesting to throw it away for the liberation of an uninteresting mountainous region in Syria.

    So, there was some ceasefire (the terrorists did not care about it), the bombing stopped a few days. This was used by the terrorists to move a lot of reinforcements toward the main success up to now, the town Kafr Nabuda.

    Just to clarify the general situation on the ground: This "town" is essentially a collection of ruins with nobody living there already before the start of this operation.

    Whatever, after this Hatesh (al Qaida) started heavy attacks against Kafr Nabuda. Once the Tiger forces have been already able to build their defenses, this was not easy at all and caused heavy casualties on the side of the attackers. Nonetheless, on the second day of the heavy attacks, the Syrian army left Kafr Nabuda. After this, Kafr Nabuda was full of terrorists and heavily bombed. from the air and from land, namely the nearby heights under Syrian control.

    Yesterday Kafr Nabuda was taken again by the Syrian army. After this, a new wave of reinforcements was directed toward Kafr Nabuda, and a new big counterattack started. The fighting in ongoing.

    Russian military commentators like all this, they think that it is quite optimal if the terrorists fight heavily for such a quite unimportant place, moreover, if they even counterattack instead of simply defending themselves in towns where many civilians live. Casualties are mentioned in relations 4:1 to 5:1 for terrorists vs. SAA soldiers. Moreover, the terrorists seem to use elite forces, with many foreigners fighting among them.
     
  11. CptBork Robbing the Shalebridge Cradle Valued Senior Member

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    So you're saying Russia would prefer to let Turkey support terrorists while drawing it away from NATO, as opposed to forcing Turkey to relinquish support for terrorists while pushing it closer to the rest of NATO in the process? I think most NATO members at this point would be happy to let Turkey go over to the Russian side, terrorists and all; you guys can be bankruptcy buddies.
     
  12. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    Not everywhere. It is a common form used by rightwing corporate authoritarian propagandists, in the US, to frame media feeds as a tactic for denial of US sponsorship of terrorism by allied States and the US itself. Such propaganda feeders routinely change their designation of various groups, such as the MEK in Iraq, as the State alliances change. They also routinely label the forces of other States "terrorist" - such as the Revolutionary Guard of Iran - according to the propaganda needs of the moment.

    Your posts of course align with that propaganda feed in general, even in matters such as who is designated a "terrorist" in foreign countries.

    Among libertarians in the West - actual libertarians, of the left and right both - State terrorism is routinely discussed, named, analyzed, etc. That analysis includes the recognition that State propaganda often refuses to name State allied forces "terrorists", regardless of their behavior, without adopting that framing themselves.

    Meanwhile:
    Will Trump's recent symbolic handover of the Golan Heights to Israel - backing the Israeli occupation with US approval and implicit aid, and of course representing the domestic political interests of the US Republican base - affect the military events in the rest of Syria, do you think?
     
  13. CptBork Robbing the Shalebridge Cradle Valued Senior Member

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    Israel has claimed the Golan for 50 years and the US has supported it almost unconditionally during that time in every way that makes an actual difference on the ground. Symbolic moves like this won't do more than raise a few eyebrows and make everyone in the Middle East outside Israel like him even less, but hardly anyone deals with Trump for his likeability anyhow. I'd be more worried about rumours of this shit deal he's supposedly cooking up with Netanyahu and Putin, too many basic principles of human civilization being sidelined just to get Iran out.
     
  14. Schmelzer Valued Senior Member

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    Actually, there is some sort of ceasefire on the ground - not really, the terrorists attack, the Russian and Syrian airforces too, but no major operations on the ground. All that is worth to be mentioned during the last week is that a mountain village North of Kafr Nabuda, Qasabiya, was taken by the Syrian army. This secures Kafr Nabuda from the North. Some nearby villages in the valley have been taken too.

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    No, this would be too much in this direction. Russia has simply a conflict of interests here, on the one hand, it likes the conflict NATO-Turkey which weakens NATO, on the other hand, it does not like the Turkish support for the terrorists in Syria. There are also own economic projects of Russia in Turkey (Turkstream, some nuclear power plant). So it is reasonable for Russia to try to find some compromise with Turkey. But this will be a compromise, not a one-sided decision.

    Of course. In this context, I discuss it too. Unfortunately, libertarians are an almost irrelevant minority, and my postings here are not directed toward this minority, but to the general public which follows the standard framing.
    Here I agree with CprBork, this is mainly symbol politics, without much influence on the ground.
     
  15. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    You are not addressing the "general public" as classified by the framing you accept as "standard". You are posting on this forum. The "general public" your chosen framing conjures into existence has only fractional presence here - a plurality, at most. A substantial fraction of the posters and readers here do not frame their thinking or analysis or perceptions according to the US rightwing corporate authoritarian media feed, and they are drawn from a large fraction of intellectuals and interested parties in America who never have. Not just "libertarians" - in America a much larger group in reality than your framing allows for - but rockribbed conservatives and religious thinkers and liberals and pragmatic hometown citizens and so forth, exist.

    You of course have always - for your entire tenure here, in all your posting on every topic - accepted the American fascist propaganda feed framing as "standard". You don't need to remind us of that.
    I defer to information (hence the question mark)
    - but can't help noticing that the difference between "claiming" things formally, publicly, and officially, and "claiming" things by obvious inference from behavior and circumstance, has been critically significant for the entire history of Israel. Its existence has depended on such distinctions, in many arenas and over many years. That distinction has made ground level differences, in the past. And the current regimes - Trump, Netanyahu - are not treading lightly. They are approaching "slipshod", and they appear to feel confident and safe.
     
  16. CptBork Robbing the Shalebridge Cradle Valued Senior Member

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    I presume you're mostly referring to Israeli settlements in the West Bank, and I think that's the far most consequential issue in any case. The Golan is sparsely populated, most of its indigenous inhabitants have accepted Israeli citizenship, and prior to Israel's occupation it was used as little more than a Syrian artillery base to shell Israeli farmers. Israel has occupied the Golan for 52 years and formally annexed it 39 years ago, if I have my dates correct, and in practice the US has been nothing but supportive over that entire duration. Most of the people protesting Trump's stance on the Golan are far more upset that he recognizes Israel's claims on Tel Aviv, so it ain't gonna do nothing to them, and for those moderates who simply want a chance for the Palestinians to have a viable state of their own, the Golan never had any impact on that issue since it's never had any significant number of Palestinians living there.

    As far as Assad and Russia are concerned, if Russia wants to complain about Israel annexing a tiny piece of territory, it will result in another Holocaust, because the Jews, especially those with a direct memory of Russian land theft, will be laughing so hard that their kidneys will be falling out through their noses. From Assad's P.O.V., number one he can't do anything because he's basically Putin's personal bellhop and chauffeur at this point, and secondly the U.S., for the time being, does not recognize Assad's right to any inch of the country, so whether they recognize Syria's claim to the Golan or not is more an issue for whoever might potentially succeed Assad once Russia goes bankrupt and can no longer afford to support his regime.
     
  17. pjdude1219 The biscuit has risen Valued Senior Member

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    Funny how you forget to mention israels annexation of the golan heights is patently illegal and no but israel, the us and some states the us bullied recognize it. Why does israel always get a pass for its warcrimes and crimes against humanity?


    also it should be noted is in fact illegal for trump to recognize the golan heights as Israeli territory not that the fat fuck gives 2 shits about the law.
     
  18. Schmelzer Valued Senior Member

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    The "general public" simply means "non-libertarian public", which is clear from the context. I have not seen here deliberate libertarians. You have sometimes played with describing yourself as libertarian, but I do not recognize this given your vehement support for the government in one particular discussion.

    Your fantasies about what I accept as standard are, as usual, defamation.

    If I would like to specify this framing, it would refer to the framing shared by right-wing as well as left-wing Western media. And all that is necessary for this is the frame that the state (in particular the police) can do things not allowed to other citizens. And that such other citizens doing such things are named criminals or terrorists, even if they only do what the police is legitimate to do too.

    The variant where some evil states are, despite this, named "terrorist states" is in this context simply part of the propaganda war against these particular states, presenting them as a sort of non-states. The police of these states do not have any of the rights the police of "good" states (= US vassals) have. So, what their police forces are doing will be also named "terrorism". This propaganda variant is shared by left-wing and right-wing propagandists too, the aim is in both cases not libertarian, but the justification of US aggression against these states.
     
  19. CptBork Robbing the Shalebridge Cradle Valued Senior Member

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    I said nothing about it being legal under international law, I said Trump recognizing it makes virtually no difference to its de facto status or anyone else's diplomatic stance. Israel already declared sovereignty 39 years ago and the US has never, to my knowledge, punished any of its citizens for doing business or traveling there or .

    From a humanitarian point of view I don't personally have any problem with Israel owning the territory rather than Assad, but that's just me. As for getting a pass on other crimes, that's for Trump to answer along with the people who give financial aid to Israel's military despite it having plenty of excess cash to spend on West Bank settlements and perks for the most religious Jews.
     
  20. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    You are posting on this forum. The PC avoidance of the word "terrorism" in describing the behavior of State agents is not "standard" here.
    It is "standard" in the US rightwing corporate capitalist authoritarian media feed, of course. It's their propaganda usage. Which may or may not explain your adoption of the practice, and your delusion of its being "standard" for "the general public" everywhere.
    Ascribing all tyranny to government, and all government as injurious to liberty, is a defining characteristic of the American faux "libertarian" -
    and so they act and speak consistently in support of the rightwing corporate authoritarian political establishment, repeating even the crudest absurdities of its media feed, because it is "anti-government". So do you. This has approached comedy at times - whenever they, or you, speak about slavery and racism, for example. Or climate change.

    You of course repost the media feed from that source consistently here, and you also join them in regarding support for government regulation of corporate capitalism as injurious to liberty. That may be because all the tyranny you have personal experience with has been governmental in reality, or maybe because you have been filtering your perceptions into the standard wingnut bubble according to the US propaganda feed you consistently repost here. I can't tell. The evidence supports either.
    You have no information about American leftwing media - you cannot even identify it, apparently:
    There is no US leftwing propaganda aimed at justifying US aggression. The left in the US - especially the libertarian left - has long regarded US military (and most economic) efforts as being more or less completely in the service of corporate capitalist authoritarian interests, and opposed them.

    That includes the US efforts in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, and Iran. The US State terrorism involved - drone strikes, torture prisons, support of mercenary and paramilitary hit squads, fraught history with MEK and AQ, etc - is standard US leftwing fare.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2019
  21. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    And the nukes, the borders, the abuse of the Palestinians, the international terrorism, etc.
    It's got water.
    Israel's various expansions and annexations, never formally admitted, always coercive and backed by military violence, currently ongoing, have not been random. The exact status of the Golan Heights has always been left vague, by Israel, for good reasons - the same reasons so much of Israel's boundaries have been left officially unfixed and uncertain.

    Trump is way out of his depth here, and proceeding with confidence. The best hope is that nobody take him seriously.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2019
  22. Schmelzer Valued Senior Member

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    At the 6. June Hatesh started an offensive, directed at the towns of Kernas and Mhahradeh. They succeeded to take some small villages, a strategic hill, and to cut an important street. But then reinforcements arrived. Actually, everything they have taken during the attack has been taken back.

    Iceaura distributes the usual defamations. Part of this is, also, confusion about what media are left resp. right. Sorry, but media which are consistently against all of the many US wars are a negligible minority not worth to be mentioned outside the negligible readership (iceaura is probably part of it). Whatever, the media I have in mind if I write "left-wing as well as right-wing" are simply all the Western mass media (ignoring media which do not deserve the "mass" specification).
     
  23. CptBork Robbing the Shalebridge Cradle Valued Senior Member

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    The only border Israel hasn't committed to recognizing is the one between the West Bank and Israel proper. There's no dispute with Egypt or Jordan, in Lebanon it's Hezbollah that refuses to negotiate on recognizing borders. There's no evidence of any "Greater Israel" project beyond settling the West Bank which has already been under military control for 52 years just like the Golan, unless someone like Syria or Lebanon starts another major war.

    And what international terrorism are you referring to? Beyond Israel's own borders and hostile neighbours, even cocaine smugglers from Cuba, Venezuela and Lebanon kill more people than Israel does. If you're referring to some alleged conspiracy of Israel sponsoring false flags to attack American targets and deliberately kill American citizens and soldiers, I see no evidence that anyone in the Israeli military or intelligence apparatus is that utterly stupid.

    If it's about the USS Liba-tay yet again, gee yeah it's totally impossible for an unmarked spy ship in hostile waters to be mistaken for an enemy ship. The only reasonable conclusion is that it was sank on purpose so it could be prevented from listening to prisoners begging for their lives inside a closed building hundreds of miles away, and only 2 planes were sent so it would be a challenge just like blowing up the Death Star.

    And Syria already violated international law prior to 1967 by attempting to divert the flow of that water away from Israel.

    The only territories Israel is currently looking to "expand" into are the same territories it's been occupying since 1967, which were both previously owned by hostile powers who refused to negotiate peace or accept the UN's rulings on Israel's right to exist. An international pariah it may be; it is not, however, a mass-murdering expansionist occupying and ethnically cleansing millions of square kilometres of stolen land like the US, Russia, China and Iran all do, or like Europe has been doing for millenia and continues to do to this day.

    My point is that I don't think anyone will take him seriously. Golan is de facto already Israel's and has been for decades, unless someone wants to start another war over it and risk losing even more territory as a result.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2019

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