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The Current Conflict In Syria

Discussion in 'Geostrategic Issues' started by kurama, Jan 12, 2018.

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  1. Firn

    Firn Active Member

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    Great news as this death and earlier and later hits will disrupt the organization to some degree and might result in inner conflict. While many rightly point out that this might not be the end of it we should not forgot that this person was a decisive factor in creating out of the chaos an Entity which controlled the lives of millions and destroyed so much for so many of them. Deriding him as a coward does not change the fact that he was able to obtain a level of influence and power almost unimaginable after sitting in an Iraqi prison thanks to his personal abilities which thrived in that shattered area. The black banners of ISIS will lose more of it's allure to vulnerable minds and it is likely that fewer will be pushed to carry out terror acts to their acclaim.

    According to this article quoting senior SDF officials. As the tasked team did make a DNA test on site they had obviously had his DNA before from somewhere. There are covert SDF operations in Afrin and as SDF fought so long against the Daesh and captured so many of them they should have a considerable interest as well as a wealth of knowledge on it's workings.

    LINK

    It certainly fits the mold of the last years, with the Turks letting manpower and supply through, the Russians focusing on what is left of the syrian opposition forces and hospitals while part of the West, foremost the US, the Iraqi forces and the SDF had to carry the fight against the Daesh. But of course we don't know.



    LINK




    As the compound was so close to the Turkish border in a region at least heavily influenced by Turkey and Turkish military intelligence at least tolerated some Daesh activities there are of course a lot of question concerning Turkey. That we do not even longer wonder that the task force was not at least returning to a Nato ally a couple of km away speaks volume.


    In any case a victory has many fathers and there will be much noise, many claims and even more attempts to muddy the water in the vein of the fantastic Russian stories around the plane downing over Ukraine.
     
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  2. Firn

    Firn Active Member

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    Just a couple of thoughts on the Turkish question which has become increasingly important in this conflict...

    Turkey has been an important, perhaps even key NATO member in the Cold War. While it was a fragile democracy with much military influence and indeed many coups it fit very well into NATO due to it's historical opposition to Russian/Soviet geopolitical interests, Atatürks western orientation and the economic interests of the elite. The turn to the West has brought many benefits to the Turkish economy, people and state. Emigration to Central Europe greatly lowered youth unemployment and pressure and enabled additional access to capital and knowledge and deepened with some conflicts the relationships.

    This changed with the later years of Erdogans rule. The AKP and increasingly his personal clique have captured more and more of the branches of the Turkish state, the media and the economy. While his particular interests are sometimes aligned with traditional Turkish reasons d'ètat they oppose the ones of almost all NATO members in some areas. The support of Islamist groups is for example no longer as hot in the West as it was in the Afghanistan of the eighties...

    It is of important to remember that while Erdogan, just like Putin has ruled for such a long time he isn't eternal. Islam and religion in general play a less important role in many areas of North Africa and the Middle East, despite and perhaps due to strong Islamist activities in Syria among others. Turkey is arguably overall far more nationalistic then religious and it is no surprise that Erdogan uses a military operation for the usual drumming up of sentiment of support, splitting the opposition which won Istanbul. However even Erdogan seems to know that every deeper conflict with the West would be devastating for the economy and create him long term political problems. Even simple travel warnings could already cut deep.

    All this puts NATO in a bit of bind. In the case of the transatlantic relation things are much easier despite the Trumpian chaos as practically all institutions understand the win-win nature of the political, economical and military alliance system°. Broadly speaking the populations share common values. Turkey is no longer a normal democracy and has some key difference to your European entity. So what can be done? This is for the next post..
     
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  3. Ranger25

    Ranger25 Active Member

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    Si Vis Pacem. Para Bellum
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  4. Firn

    Firn Active Member

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    Doubtless a murderer, rapist, all-around horrible person and much more. Getting away from an attack on the other hand is still generally what political leaders do.

    What surprises me is just how low-key his presence was, I would have expected a couple of men more then just three. Then again any additional person involved would have increased the possiblity of getting information on his location and given the absolute overwhelming overmatch the US brought to bear on the target they wouldn't have made much if any difference.

    It shows once again that the final act itself is thanks to the vast allocated ressources and the experienced professionalism of those involved the far easier bit compared to the intelligence part aka finding the guy....
     
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  5. Pentaprism

    Pentaprism New Member

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    Russia is apparently considering opening another Air base in Syria. Would be a substantial investment but probably a good move if they want to consolidate their interests in the Region. Their single Air Base in Latakia has always seemed a bit weak & vulnerable to me compared to the Resources others in the Region have at their disposal.

    Any comments on how much strategic value this second base would provide? Would they install another S400 there to improve Air Defence coverage?

    Russia mulling lease of Qamishli Airport to challenge US influence in eastern Syria: report
     
  6. Feanor

    Feanor Super Moderator Staff Member

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    The source is SOHR, less than reliable. I mean, it might be true. It but it just as easily might not...
     
  7. Feanor

    Feanor Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Updates.

    Joint Russo-Turkish patrols have been pelted with rocks in northern Syria. It seems to have mainly been aimed at the Turks, but not exclusively.

    Российско-турецкий патруль закидали камнями

    There are reports of US forces taking artillery fire from Turkish proxies, possibly by mistake.

    Обстрел у Таль-Темера

    There are reports that the Turks have captured al-Baghdadi's sister.

    "Золотая жила": в Турции задержали сестру ликвидированного главаря ИГ* вместе с семьей

    Low level fighting is continuing around Latakia, it's possible that the Syrians are building up for a local offensive. At least one Tochka was fired, and they lost a small hodge-podge of vehicles.

    Error
    Gur Khan attacks!: Неудача: в горах армия Сирии потеряла "штурмовой танк" и бронебульдозер
    Gur Khan attacks!: Бой за горную крепость в Латакии засняли от первого лица из танка САА

    There are claims that the Russian MPs in northern Syria are actually service members of the 15th Motor-Rifle Brigade, which is specially trained for peacekeeping duties.

    Wall

    Some amusing photos of Russian service members shopping at local stores in Kobani. It's unclear why, since some of the product appear to be basic food items. I think it's highly unlikely that they don't have enough food supplies, so perhaps they've been issued money and ordered to spend it? This was a move the Russian military employed when they took Crimea.

    За покупками в Кобани
     
  8. Firn

    Firn Active Member

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    The clashes between the SAA and the TSF were of course not a surpise for those who followed the conflict and know their military history. War is war is war, with all its confusion and characteristics.

    Frankly the whole Syria situation is even far more of the usual mess with Islamist militias maraudering around and Turkish forces unable or unwilling to discipline them or even participating in said activities. The Turkish troops themselves did generally bring the usual support assets to bear, but regular casualities are obviously to some degree hidden by the authoritarian leadership. The regime forces which have did their own bloody business on other battlefields seem to be mostly, as I suggested before, bussed in local defence forces with not exactly stellar training, performance and equipment. Heavier assets have been brought up but much depends on the men leading and using them and the coordination with the SDF can not be smooth from the go, if at all. Oh and the other side controls the skies.

    The SDF retreated of course unsurprisingly considering the almost complete set of Turkish advantages and the political climate, but put up more then a decent fight considering the circumstances and once again confirmed that they might be broadly the most competent Syrian infantry. Remember how quickly plenty of Iraqi and Syrian formations crumbled in arguably less difficult situations. I'm pretty sure that some elements stayed behind and are responsible for the guerilla actions a la Afrin. It is important to point out that they may also be behind the indiscriminate car bombings..

    Then you have a superpower scampering through and its units sent to guard the oil to make the worst possible impression about US policies in general and units of a limping middle-rank economy put into the merry mix between their allies and elements of a potential buddy of their president while their airforces bombs those guys militas in the western part of the same country.

    Amazing stuff if the whole thing would be not so bloody.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2019
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  9. Feanor

    Feanor Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Protest activity seems to be increasing in northern Syria, with another attack on a Russo-Turkish convoy by Kurdish civilians, after a funeral of several SDF members killed in recent fighting. This incident got ugly with protested not only throwing rocks but climbing on top of Turkish and Russian armored vehicles. At least one protester was run over by a Turkish MRAP, and later died of his injuries. While their dissatisfaction is understandable, they need to be careful with this behavior. Russia could temporarily withdraw their MPs past the 32km line, and give the Turks and their proxies a free hand in the area, for a few weeks...

    https://colonelcassad.livejournal.com/5410008.html
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