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15 February 2016

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Babak Makkinejad

Thank you for your comments.

I understand the reasoning behind Iranians' hiding their active participation in the Syrian War on behalf of SAR.

I suppose that is a matter of judgment by Iran's political leaders.

Personally, I do not think it matters what Iran does or does not do; Iranians cannot appease - at any price except their own extinction - their enemies among Sunni Arab states.

turcopolier

rocketpreneur

IMO it is not a question of an "excuse" for Turkey. It is a question of whether or not they want to go to war with Russia in Syria. pl

Fred

JerseyJeffersonian,

One more reason to publish the redacted pages of the 9-11 commission report.

Dubhaltach

TTG, All,

Michael Ignatieff, a failed Canadian politician who has taken up a new career as an academic warmonger with a perch at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government has a piece in the Financial Times headlined "A Syria policy that dare not speak its name" (Paywall http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/97b863fe-d3ec-11e5-829b-8564e7528e54.html#axzz40Id4Wlm1 )

Ignatieff blames the current US administration for letting the Syrian government use chemical weapons against its population and says that this failure to enforce its "red lines" is the root of current American impotence.

"This is where risk avoidance has led a conscientious, prudent American president — to a diabolical transaction in which he and his allies regretfully sacrifice the lives of innocent civilians in the name of the mistaken belief that the west’s only overriding strategic interest in Syria is the defeat of Isis.

If this is the actual policy of the US the consequences should be spelt out. Russia and Iran will consolidate control of a rump state in the Middle East but the millions of Syrians who have fled the fighting will never return home and the region will never know peace.

Once the US abandons the rebels to their fate, those who survive will surely align with their Sunni brothers in Isis. Instead of reducing the number of America’s enemies, this betrayal is likely only to swell their number. "

He goes on to say that this will increase the number of America's enemies and that Europe too will suffer:

"If the war ends on Mr Putin and Mr Assad’s terms, with the dictatorship over Syria restored, the exodus will increase and even Germany may have to join other European countries in closing borders. This will not stop the desperate from trying and they will have to be turned back with razor wire, water cannon and brute force. "

In fact the end of the war in Syria will decrease and probably at least partially reverse the flow of refugees but since when did reality to say nothing of genuine humanitarian concerns ever stop a R2P warmonger from spewing their hypocritical nonsense?

This particular warmonger suggests that the USA and NATO should present Russia and Syria with what he describes as a "credible threat" which would include "further economic sanctions on Moscow", "rapid supply of anti-aircraft and anti-missile equipment to trusted rebel forces" and yup you guessed it a no-fly zone which would ensure that "the city is not cut off from its supply lines and protecting civilians seeking to flee the violence".

Really these people are shameless. And delusional. And reckless. But the recklessness is justified because:

"the stakes are nothing less than the credibility of the Nato alliance, the survival of Europe as a union and the lives of hundreds of thousands of innocent people"

Doesn't that make you feel better?


turcopolier

TTG

Yes, Russian staff advice has proven to be good so far and I would bet that they advise adherence to "the plan" which is clearly multi-phased. The SAA and friends today re-took the thermal electric plant in the pocket today. This is the pocket west of the Kuweiris air base. I presume that the grid power lines run west to the city through ground still held by IS. I imagine that the Syrians will want to get the lights back on in the parts of Aleppo that they hold. The political effect of having the power on would be considerable. How will they manage that? pl

Fred

Rocketrepreneur,

I suspect that the RFAF will hit the Turks where it hurts Erdogan's allies the most - in the wallet. I haven't heard of any oil tanker convoys being shot up lately so another such strike is overdue, as are some collective embargos on Turkish products and Russian's choose a different vacation destination. (Greece might be a good inexpensive and rather galling choice for the tourists).

turcopolier

All

In light of the Reuters story sourced to OPCW that IS has used mustard gas against the Kurds, maybe people should think about the likelihood that Turkey's other jihadi allies may have had mustard and Sarin for a long time. It is easy to make. pl

The Twisted Genius

pl,

The Kurds have already managed to bring electric power to Kobane from Tishrin Dam. I bet Aleppo will have electricity this Spring.

Dubhaltach

In reply to turcopolier 15 February 2016 at 11:32 PM

Colonel,

Is that this Reuters report?

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-iraq-chemicalweapons-idUSKCN0VO1IC

when I read things like that I'm reminded sharply that IS has a significant number of Baathists in its ranks. It is these men many of whom cut their teeth evading sanctions for Saddam's government who oil the wheels for IS' own oil-running operations. It's a sort of collateral confirmation to IS having chemical weapons and the will to use them.

If they've got the Ba'ath oil runners working for them I think it highly likely that they've also got Ba'athist's who developed an expertise in the use of chemical weapons both while working for Saddam and while fighting against subsequent Iraqi governments.

But I wonder how likely is it that Daesh would share that expertise with other allied factions.

They strike me as the sort of people who'd like to keep their edge, an ace in the hole so to speak. I need to think this through, but does a scenario in which Daesh share the knowledge of how to make such weapons with allied factions (or even supply them with them) but keep to themselves how to use them to best effect seem likely to you?

Amir

In your opinion, how can/should Syria deal with or retaliate against a country (Turkey) that attacks, when the latter is shielded behind NATO?
Do you think arming the Kurds to attack the artillery positions inside Turkey is a militarily feasible and diplomatically realistic option?

JerseyJeffersonian

Fred,

Why yes, now that you mention it, so it is.

Cui bono? Whose agenda was served, and by which means? A question asked by those ancient Romans, past masters of misdirection and subterfuge, andl one still worthy of being posed today.

aleksandar

Maybe I'am too optimist but seems to me that the shelling is just an
admission of helplessness.
Military effect on the ground is zero.That can delay retaking north syria but no more.
About Tabqah military airport,distance from Deir Ez Zur is only 150 km, it can be used by MI24 to counter attack on this enclave.

Ulenspiegel

"Greece might be a good inexpensive and rather galling choice for the tourists"

Already too many refugees on the beaches.

Martin Oline

All:

This is a report concerning Saudi Arabia's second front in Yemen. Perhaps a bit off-topic but of interest, Please see :

http://southfront.org/full-scale-war-in-yemen-will-resume-soon/

(Pat: If you are going to do a separate thread on this please don't post this comment)

kooshy

Question to folks in Germany, what’s up with Merkel? Is she willing to let in all Erdo’ demands and blackmails, just to put the lead on her refugee mistakes? I don’t understand this lady?

From RT- “In the current situation it would be helpful, if there could be such an area, where none of the parties are allowed to launch aerial attacks, that is to say, a kind of no-fly zone,” German Chancellor Angela Merkel Monday told the daily Stuttgarter Zeitung, when asked by the publication about opening up areas to host refugees.

William R. Cumming

What is the evidence Turkey has ever deployed boots on the ground in Syria outside of Kurdish areas?

Will Smith

SAA hunt for terrorists in the vicinity of the Kinsabba northeastern Latakia.

With Konkurs-M. ATGM obviously it's possible to use ATGM like hunting rifle.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0WwVltCoY2I

Barish

Stuttgarter Zeitung is more of a regional paper. Papers with greater reach and prestige are Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Süddeutsche Zeitung, Der Spiegel, among others.

Her uttering this is, on the one hand, a sign of her increasing desperation as regards her own policy mistakes.
On the other hand, the woman's an opportunist, no idealist. When the last Big Nuclear Disaster in Japan hit in 2011, she made a 180° turn on her committing to nuclear energy as part of Germany's electric power infrastructure - this was done to de-fang one of the key policies of the opposition Bündnis 90/Die Grüne - "the Greens" -, which could capitalize on this disaster in the local Baden-Württemberg elections at the time. Of course, one thing both Merkel and voters for the Greens in Ba-Wü ignored is that Germany, unlike Japan, isn't earthquake- nor tsunami-country, so obviously nuclear power stations are nowhere near as potentially exposed to natural disasters as that country, half a world away, is.
Even so, perceptions and making political capital trumped reality and facts in this regard, and hence, her majesty Merkel neatly stole one of the Greens' policies, to their detriment.

Merkel's "invitation" to refugees likewise was an opportunist move, and never a charitable act. Otherwise, there would have been charter-flights, bus-lines and ferries to make it easier for refugees to reach their destinations. Pointedly enough, none of that was done, in all likelihood to weed out those "able" to make the trip to Germany and those who were not.

The woman likely is under the illusion that by backing Padişah's demands, she can make the whole refugee-issue, which is blowing up in her face even within her own CDU/CSU-coalition, go away. Yet, to gauge public reaction, rather than make an official announcement to this effect she lets a trial balloon loose in a 2nd-to-3rd tier newspaper to see how this grandiose idea of yet another "humanitarian intervention" is received.

I would hope that, as far as the public is concerned, phone hotlines as well as inboxes fill up with citizens pointing out what a reckless, foolish enterprise this backing of Padişah is, and that those among her advisors that still court reality point it out to the woman as well.

BabelFish

Slight tangent and not that anyone on SST needs convincing of how serious the Russians are but this link from Janes provides evidence that they are flying their newest anti-ship missile from SU-34 Fullbacks. This is a serious Area Denial/Anti-Access weapon and continuous to up the game for anyone thinking they can invest part of the Syrian coastline to reinforce the Unicorns.

http://www.janes.com/article/57975/russian-bomber-shown-carrying-anti-shipping-missile-in-syria

Matthew

TTG: What is the actual relationship between the SDF and the SAA? The hashtag "#sdf" is all self-congratulatory today about SDF successes north of Aleppo. Is this the group cobbled together by our government to be the democratic (fighting) alternative to Assad?

kooshy

Thank you for your explanation, for life of me, I cannot see why would it be in Germany’s interest to further muddy her relation with Russia, Iran, Syria and Kurds on cunt of Erdo. By taking such a radical positions that not even US fallows any longer.

Fred

Ulenspiegel,

Greece can thank Turkey and Germany for that situation. Maybe they should have their navy start dragging boats back to Turkish beaches.

kooshy

Here is clip of Iranian FM forcefully explaining the Berlin agreement of last week.

http://www.presstv.com/Detail/2016/02/16/450657/Iran-Brussels-Syria-Zarif-Mogherini

kooshy

Amir IMO artillery shelling alone will not achieve much, like TTG said the important point is they don’t have the guts (without NATO Backing) to cross the border. Turks are embarrassing themselves and specially their NATO allies. You can see a lot of rolling eyes in Europe, except for Merkel. Erdogan’s stupid regional polices has put the prosperous Turkey in hole and he keeps digging.

The Twisted Genius

Matthew,

The SDF is comprised primarily of the YPG/YPJ Kurds with the Arabic, Turkman militias being the junior partners. The SDF grew out of the earlier Euphrates Volcano coalition. The non-Kurdish member of the SDF are an effective front for negotiating with the militias of the FSA north of Aleppo to lay down their arms or join them in the fight against IS. Being primarily YPG Kurds, the SDF is the enemy of Turkey and was not part of the disastrous US effort to arm the unicorns. There is clearly a relationship with the small, quiet effort of working with the Green Berets that began about the same time as the formation of the SDF.

The relationship between the SDF and the SAA is complicated. They are not allies, but they manage to coexist in their mutual fight against IS, al Nusra and the rest of the rebels supported by the Turks and Saudis. They coordinated with the SAA last year in the joint fight against the IS attempt to take Hasakah. There have also been occasional clashed between the two. The coordination between the SDF and the SAA in the battles north of Aleppo are, in my opinion, being encouraged and guided by the Russians. There will be time enough for negotiations between the YPG/SDF and the government in Damascus once the liver eaters and unicorns are eliminated.

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