Mmoghand While I agree about the responsibilityof others I think the Kurds and others must take some responsibility.
Posted 22 December 2015 - 08:54 AM
Now we're seeing the Iranian Foreign Minister committing truth in public. That is, stating what his country sees happening in Syria and what they expect to see in the immediate future:
What do you think the prospects are that this Syrian peace process will actually produce something tangible and enduring?
Zarif: Our purpose here is to facilitate a process of national unity and reconciliation between those Syrians who are interested in finding a peaceful resolution—and not those who are bent on destroying Syria for a perverted ideology. This is a tall order.
What role does Iran see for President Assad during the six-month transition government?
Zarif: It’s not for us to decide what would be the role of anybody in the process. Nor is it the role of anybody else to decide.
The peace process talks about convening the Syrian opposition and the government by January 1st, a ceasefire, the creation of a transitional government that is “credible, inclusive, and non-sectarian” within six months, leading to a new constitution and democratic elections within eighteen months. The agreement also requires all countries involved in the negotiations to insure that their allies honor the ceasefire.
Zarif: It is important for everybody to insure that the process will go on, that the ceasefire will hold. Of course, there is no ceasefire against Daesh [the Islamic State], Jabhat al Nusra, and Al Qaeda. . . . So there are two separate tracks. One track is for the Syrian government and the opposition that is interested in a peaceful future of Syria to come together for national unity, for the political process. At the same time, it is a requirement for everybody to stop supporting the extremist groups, to stop allowing them safe passage, to stop allowing them to receive weapons, to stop allowing them to receive financial assistance, and to come together in actually fighting them.
Is Iran prepared to insure that President Assad and his forces engage in a full ceasefire, stop dropping barrel bombs, and stop the campaign against rebel groups?
Zarif: People have been fed misinformation. The fact is that the fighting that is going on on the ground in Syria is with Al Qaeda, with Jabhat al Nusra, with Daesh. The pockets, small pockets, of other groups are usually surrounded by these various extremist groups. . . . Once they stop fighting, there is nothing for the Syrian government to hit other than the terrorist organizations.
That's from the New Yorker. Robin Wright interview. "Perverted ideology" refers to the State religion in Saudi Arabia. That's the Wahhabi Salafi system. DAESH, al-Nusrah, Muslim Brotherhood are well-funded expressions of that system. Falling oil prices are not going to impact that support significantly. KSA plays both sides and that's unlikely to change.
Meanwhile, the various tribes in Syria that have their own militias also have local, non-Salafi variants of Islam. The country blends Druze themes, Christian and Muslim saints, and more than a little whiskey. Some grow olives, somes grow grapes.
Assad's Ba'athist system was always a majority-Sunni operation. He still pays salaries to tribal and municipal officials, even deep inside the DAESH-controlled eastern part of the country.
Also, apparently, U.S. SoS Kerry has backed off on Syrian "regime change." That's in response to Russia's Putin asking publicly how exactly the United States expected to beat DAESH without the Syrian Army?
And since the most of the tribal leadership are Ba'athists to the core -- their system tripled Syrian real per capita income over 20 years -- the same logic will apply to Syrian politics going forward.
[Tech fact: the U.S. used "barrel bomb" thermobaric vapor-air bombs all through the Vietnam War. It's hard to kill 2,600,000 people without 'em. Typical nomenclature then went to BLU-72/B for a pure air blast TB. We're up to such as the one-ton BLU-96 today. All of these toys kill by a combination of the initial pressure wave for impact and then a decompression event that ruptures both lungs. Impressive Kill Zone. Since Syria uses 55-gallon drums, maybe they could call them "BLU/55" in honor of America and be done with it.]
Here's where Russia has been active:
Edited by mmoghand, 22 December 2015 - 09:24 AM.
Posted 22 December 2015 - 06:10 PM
Mmoghand. I agree it is a messy situation.Tribal loyalities guide most. I am not sure Asaad Shite government is as genrous to Sunnies as you suggest. He just tries to keep the tribal leaders on his side
In the end any worakable peace treaty must be agree by the majoriety in each country. Thw West can only propose that the minorities be treated fairly. Taken sides as Russia has done would be counter reductive.
Posted 27 December 2015 - 06:59 PM
Mmoghand. I agree it is a messy situation.Tribal loyalties guide most....
Arabs in the southern states often put tribe ahead of nation. That is certainly the case in Iraq, which was created artificially. But the flow of KSA and other GCC money into Syria over the last 5 years has put the foreign-funded militias in power over traditional tribal structures.
One example: the resulting war lord tranche included Zahran Allouch, the Jihadi leader of a band called Army of Islam. He got his guns from Nusrah, his local connections from Brotherhood. Altogether he put together 20,000 militiamen. Then the Syrian Air Force took him out with a bombing attack based on GPS technology.
Allouch will be remembered for advocating killing Druze, Christians, Shiite and other Syrian minorities. Perfect tool of the Salafi.
Allouch was also on the list for CIA support back in 2012. A favorite of John McCain, who picked Palin the Bigot for his V.P. running mate.
Palin and Allouch -- matched par.
Posted 09 February 2016 - 10:05 AM
Here's what is happening around Aleppo that has changed the local outcome for what is now a 5-year war.
Manned by Lebanese Army non-coms with Iranian spotters. Made in America decades ago. "Fueled" with American and Russian shells. Reports place the heavy 155mm guns in groups of from 6 to 15. The individual guns can fire off 24/7 at intervals of 2 minutes per outgoing shell. The limit, there, goes to "fuel" supply. A single pallet of airlifted 155mm shells gives 800 shots, so a single shipload out of Russia or America can be expected to support more than a month of anti-Sharia operations all across Syria.
These artillery units run out of targets long before they exhaust firing capacity or ammunition.
Artillery is what matters taking out the Islamist, pro-Sharia forces in Syria and Iraq. Probably for the like of Ansar al-Sharia in Libya. What matters is not the 60 airstrikes a day with "iffy" drone-based spotting from the Russian Air Force. 60 hits a day is not going to shatter irregulars. It's old-fashioned artillery.
For example, Aleppo in Syria has been unlivable for two years. No central water system. No electricity. Between snipers and rape gangs, pro-Sharia forces trapped as many as 100,000 civilians inside the metropolitan area. The old and the very young have died by the thousands. But once the anti-Sharia coalition got its M198s to firing range at the northwest quadrant, one pass walking the grid on a line out from the train station cleaned out pro-Sharia blockade units and freed up a mass egress.
As soon as the pro-Sharia units were knocked out, civilians in and near Aleppo escaped, heading off for the Turkish border. So far 70,000 or so have made it to relative safety.
A Saudi propaganda operation reported this series of events through their English front operation as a defeat for the Alawite-led Syrian Army. You can find their reports under "Syrian Human Rights Observatory." There's a "Baghdad Bob" quality to these pronouncements.
That operation publishes maps weekly showing the areas west of Aleppo under "rebel control." Yeah, they're doing "Baghdad Bob."
Posted 09 February 2016 - 12:37 PM
Here's a current map. The middle region Al Nusrah units are still alive but they have no active C&C HQ. Their HQ took an hour of Russian airstrikes.
That area at the southwest corner of Syria looks to be in line for the next big push. They have been protected to an extent by the Syrian government wanting to stay back away from the border with Israel's area of control.
For years the U.S. avoided activity in western Syria, then last April a shipload of artillery and ammunition arrived Beirut. Add the Russians and maybe there's enough going to put an end to the craziness.
Posted 09 February 2016 - 06:29 PM
And here is something that no one in Arab military command has seen before. These are gas rockets, but not common poisons such as Sarin or mustard gas. They are gas thermobaric bombs that set off massive clouds of explosive gas producing lethal shock waves.
220mm rockets. TOS-1A Solnitsa rocket launcher,mounted on the T-72 chassis.
That setup fires 24 rockets. There's a super-size TOS-1A that adds another 6 rockets along the top row for 30 total.
Either way, when these 220mm rockets are fired in groups of 4 or 6 the effect on the ground goes to crushing the lungs of victims in the targets area.
Nasty stuff, sure thing. Artillery is mechanical killing. Nothing else. But possibly the only way to stop a war where Saudi/GCC resources can provide means from outside the country to continue mass slaughter for ever.
Posted 09 February 2016 - 07:08 PM
Is it true that Assad slogan is surrender or Starvation. You have not ecxplain why so many people are fleeing. Surely in our final peace treaty Assad will not be there.
The war is dirty on all sides but no one of the present combations will win all they want. If you are not prepare to compromise the war will just continue and other radical groups like ISIS will emerge
Posted 27 February 2016 - 11:36 AM
The map two postings above shows status of forces at the start of February. Since then the manpower situation for Muslim Brotherhood in Syria reflects a complete collapse. Units as large as 20,000 militiamen have disappeared from the fight. Their areas of control have reverted to Syrian Arab Army / the government.
Muslim Brotherhood is the organization that attacked the World Trade Center in New York City in 1993. They have carried out dozens of lethal attacks on Westerners over the years, mostly out of Egypt but also involving Syrians. The strangest part of American propaganda since 2011 goes to calling this bunch "Moderate Rebels." And more recently "Secular Nationalists" which is false on both points.
In central Syria the whole of Lake Assad is surrounded. That gives control of the Euphrates to Kurdish YPG. The DAESH pocket up on the Turkish border is cut off from Raqqa.
Anti-Sharia forces around the southern shore are a mix of Kurd and SAA units. That expansion went through with no more than a dozen airstrikes. What the Kurds did that changed the outcomes of their battles with DAESH/ISIS is that they got smart all in a leap at using their handful of mobile howitzers. The Kurds captured these new toys from DAESH which had gotten them out of Iraq.
The trick is applying mobile howitzers to assault scenarios where DAESH/ISIS rely on suicide-bombers in vehicles to hold off Kurdish forces. A "Frankentruck" works just fine for DAESH against small arms fire. Even a .50 cal won't stop a vehicle with an inch of slant armor up front. DAESH loves these things.
Now the Kurds deploy what is an M113 chassis with a 90mm or 105mm howitzer up top. That's perimeter defense when they want to advance under normal mortar fire to disorient DAESH defenders. Taking out a "Frankentruck" is pretty much automatic for a howitzer.
All we hear is "howitzer" but you would think that the Kurds could also use an M113 or equivalent chassis with a 60mm rapid fire cannon for this role. Muzzle velocity of 1,600+ meters per second, penetrates the front armor of a main battle tank at 2,000 meters. Can fire in three round bursts. A first-time gunner using iron sights is deadly with the 60mm at a quarter-mile range -- all and more for Kurds or Iraqis or Syrians to take out the Johnny-One-Note suicide creeps.
One guess on the team work that brings this together: the Kurds are getting cooperation with the Lebanese and Syrian governments for delivery of howitzer shells. The ammo comes in to Beirut by ship, helicopter lift goes up north, then it's out to eastern Syria in fixed wing transport planes. Quick guess makes a pallet of 90mm shells good for a month of K/YPG rolling up DAESH. Good for more than 500 square miles of territory in February.
DAESH's love of suicide has kept them from developing modern military skills. It's all about heroism and Paradise. Bye-bye DAESH.
Professional use of artillery and Suleimani's surround-and-annihilate grand tactic are combining with their own stupidity to wipe out pro-Sharia forces in Syria. I don't know what "Cease Fire" means in this environment. Muslim Brotherhood in Syria is what goes for "Moderate Rebels" and they're 90% invisible since the middle of February. (Somebody got bought off ???) Killing DAESH and Nusrah forces is explicitly off the "Cease Fire" table.
Nusrah might could hold out in a dozen areas for another six months. But that's the end of it for war in western Syria. Pro-Sharia/anti-Ba'athist/anti-Kanun military action is now limited to minimal troop replacement and what little material can be smuggled in over the Turkish border. Jordan and Lebanon are walled off. Same of points east.
Between the burning death of Mu'ath al-Kasasbeh and the new military adaptations we see with the Syrians, Iranians, and Kurds this war is moving to a different conclusion from what the propagandists were telling us all through 2012-2015. A different conclusion from what Sec. Kerry is telling us today. O.K., fine.
Posted 22 March 2016 - 07:46 PM
You have to see this: the disconnect between what the fighters in Syria think they're doing and what professional war-fighting requires.
Here you see a pro-Sharia/anti-Assad group managing to fire a Russian field gun. Text at YouTube says this is an M46. It might be a skosh older.
That URLs as this:
See why the Russians responded positively to Gen. Suleimani's proposal. They got proof from him that the pro-Sharia fighters lack basic artillery skills. (Along with detailed intel on organization and ties to their financial resources.) That and the surround-and-annihilate plan to minimize the value of their skills as irregular infantry.
Russians and trained artillerymen with drones for spotting -- not the naive crew in the video whose main impact on the day was likely drawing down counter-battery fire on themselves.
Examples of Russian actions:
-- Tankers here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=vYQUgknqGNg -- where Pentagon weenies were afraid to hit "civilian" DAESH tanker drivers. There's dozens more.
Ну, суки экстремисты, держитесь.
Edited by Helice, 23 March 2016 - 07:27 AM.
video URL fix
Posted 23 March 2016 - 07:49 PM
mmoghand Thanks for your vedio. It does show some attempts t co operation among the anti IS forces. But also much confusion. It would be better if Russian man the big guns but they prefer not to. In the end IS will be defeated. Them the winning faction will fight over the spoils.
Posted 26 March 2016 - 08:54 PM
Back in May of 2015 the influx of DAESH mercenaries continued at two or three thousand a month which resulted in expansions in far northern Iraq and the Palmyra area of central Syria.
The slaughter in Palmyra started on the 14th with 26 murders. The next day brought 14 adult and 9 child murders. A week later a bloodbath began that continued at 100 a month through 2015.
Now the DAESH force at Palmyra is surrounded. This group includes hundreds of DAESH and Nusrah fighters who fell back from Homs over the last month. Palmyra had been a safe area for them, the place to go for R&R.
Palmyra has turned into fluid battle in and around the town center, which as done nothing to inhibit movement of government forces for exterior flanking operations. Russian airstrikes continue apace. The big point is that Assad's artillery has been re-lo'd to a hill site up from Route M20 with what look to be three battalions of mixed guns with infantry and dozens of support vehicles.
Setting up a siege in desert terrain should take everything SAA & Friends have learned over the last six months action. But so far the DAESH commanders inside Palmyra look clueless. They've lost troops and keep trying to retake the same buildings over and over. DAESH have an armory of heavy weapons but aiming artillery reflects their desire to copy all things 7th Century.
DAESH and Nusrah could lose more fighters at Palmyra than at the debacle at Aleppo.
This was spread around earlier. Not verified (in-town fighting) and it is done without access to the drone resources.
So DAESH got flanked with tanks and a Panzer style end run. Enough of a break through to move towed howitzers by the dozens. But they're still playing around inside the town.
Posted 05 April 2016 - 01:33 PM
Putin supports democracy and pluralism ??? Goes to war for them?
Here's something called Atlantic Council with a piece from Frederic Hof: :Assad: Total Defiance
"Without minimizing for a moment those things dividing Washington and Moscow over Syria, there is at least agreement in principle on three fundamental points: all-Syrian peace negotiations in Geneva should focus on United Nations-mandated political transition leading to democracy and pluralism; that a “cessation of hostilities” in western Syria should boost these negotiations by suppressing violence; and that reduced mayhem should allow the rapid delivery of humanitarian aid to desperately needy Syrians as demanded by multiple Security Council resolutions."
Moscow... agrees... to democracy and pluralism.
Really? Putin has Russians killing and getting killed for democracy and pluralism. In what universe?
And in passing this is what Atlantic Council wants you to believe is the April 2016 political map of Syria:
The text of the piece focuses on Bashar al-Assad, of course. He's the bad guy for not agreeing to bow down and run away in the service of "democracy" and "pluralism."
That map misses the Kurd explosion west and south to Aleppo. It misses taking the west shore of Lake Assad and pushing east. It misses the "rebel" Muslim Brotherhood collapse in Idlib and environs. (Tribes have reversed course all over western Syria.) The map also confuses Nusrah and DAESH/ISIS.
Anybody here think there can be functioning democracy where militias and armies are the players, not political parties ??? There's one functioning party (Ba'athist), the "Syrian Arab Army" anti-Sharia coalition, and the two major pro-Sharia insurgent armies. That's all. There's also way too much foreign money and 25,000 foreign mercenaries in Syria -- death on any notion of pluralism.
The propaganda meme has Assad "a remorseless killer." But of course Putin is the one identified as the big killer in the photos attached to the piece. Bombing aftermath, eh?
There is humor here. Unintended. "Syrian opposition" in practice started with the Muslim Brotherhood in Syria crew. Nusrah and DAESH/ISIS got their major financing a year later along in the 2010-2013 drought. Now that's to be pitied, to be felt sorry for. The mass murderers of the 21st Century:
"For the Syrian opposition options are few and unattractive. It feels bound to devote time and to behave professionally in Geneva, even as the regime soils the process. It fears that a walkout would inspire Assad—with the full support of Tehran and Moscow—to do his absolute worst in terms of targeting and terrorizing civilians. It hopes—albeit without a scintilla of faith—that the West will put its proclaimed values into action and help Syrians defend themselves against mass murder. They expect nothing good of Assad and his external backers. Sadly, they expect nothing at all of the West."
That is "the opposition" that showed up in Geneva manned by a couple dozen Saudi nationals with no family ties to Syria. Photo op stuff. Not a Syrian passport in the lot.
Thankfully the flows of foreign mercenaries into Syria have been stanched. It's down to idiot Europeans and the odd Chechen. Dozens a month not hundreds. They're the killers and without them this war is winding down apace.
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