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Chronus
10th Apr 2018, 19:08
According to foreign press reports the US aircraft carrier Harry Truman, with its escort of 7 ships will be sailing tomorrow for the Med. The US strike force will be accompanied by the German Sachsen Class guided missile frigate FGS Hessen.

https://www.rt.com/usa/423744-us-aircraft-truman-syria/

There does not appear to be any UN involvement in this deployment and it is also curious that the US has not considered requesting Turkey to allow use of its airbases rather than deploy a carrier borne combat group.
It does raise the question whether the deployment of this powerful military force is a move to deter any reaction to the alleged Israeli missile attack on the Syrian air base.

Let`s hope this move does not set alight the tinder box that is the Middle East today. The conditions are ideal for the perfect fire storm.

ORAC
10th Apr 2018, 19:28
A stupid ignorant post.

A routine deployment. If the USA decides any action is required the in place European deployed USAF assets plus the USN forces already in the Med and Gulf are more than adequate. Before you did add any B-52, B-1 or B-2 assets of course.

Chronus
10th Apr 2018, 19:37
A stupid ignorant post.

A routine deployment. If the USA decides any action is required the in place European deployed USAF assets plus the USN forces already in the Med and Gulf are more than adequate. Before you did add any B-52, B-1 or B-2 assets of course.

Arrogance may be ignored, but stupidity and ignorance are to be feared.

flash8
10th Apr 2018, 19:40
The conditions are ideal for the perfect fire storm.

Indeed they are, S-400's are hot in Syria apparently, unlike previous activations they (the Russians) might decide to use them this time. These aren't crappy third-rate SAM's but arguably the best in the world and more than capable of taking out any US/Allied air power, they fear them as they rightly should.

The Bear should not be poked.

pr00ne
10th Apr 2018, 20:32
The bear should not support brutal dictators and condone the callous murder of children.

It should also tread very carefully...

KelvinD
10th Apr 2018, 20:45
And who is supporting the murder of children? Clue: The West is supporting ISIS, Al Qaeda et al. They may be termed "opposition" but they are still Islamic head bangers.
And the Us & UK wouldn't support the murder of Yemeni children by supplying the weapons to Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Would they?

racedo
10th Apr 2018, 20:51
The bear should not support brutal dictators and condone the callous murder of children.

It should also tread very carefully...

Strange you are quiet on Yemen, the dismemberment of Libya etc

Nemrytter
10th Apr 2018, 20:57
I get the impression that some people on here are just itching for this. Odd to get a hard-on over war.

Lonewolf_50
10th Apr 2018, 20:58
According to foreign press reports the US aircraft carrier Harry Truman, with its escort of 7 ships will be sailing tomorrow for the Med. The US strike force will be accompanied by the German Sachsen Class guided missile frigate FGS Hessen. Chicken Little much, Chrnous? During the 80's, that would be considered a small CVBG. We deployed from Norfolk with some regularity Carrier Battle groups with more ships than that for six month deployments to the Med. Oddly enough, war didn't start.
Why would it start now?

The USN still deploys CVBG's to the med, each year, like clockwork. When you don't know what you are talking about, it is easy to say some really stupid things. ORAC's response to you was spot on.

@Kelvin/racedo: do try to stay on topic. Your knee jerk responses to cut and paste "what about this" to anything to do with the US is pretty transparent. Raise your game, would you please?

As to war, there is already one in Syria. It's been going on since 2011, and a lot of people have chosen to participate to one extent or the other. Fun in the sand box for all of the kiddies.

VP959
10th Apr 2018, 21:04
And who is supporting the murder of children? Clue: The West is supporting ISIS, Al Qaeda et al. They may be termed "opposition" but they are still Islamic head bangers.
And the Us & UK wouldn't support the murder of Yemeni children by supplying the weapons to Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Would they?

Specifically who in the West, and where is the evidence to support this view?

Certainly companies in the West have sold arms to many states that some of us would rather they haven't, but the same is true of arms manufacturers in many non-Western states too.

When it comes to the intervention of governments around the world then frankly I don't think there are many states that haven't directly or indirectly interfered in affairs that we might be critical of.

Personally, I think that we should stay well out of direct military intervention in Syria, UNLESS there is solid, independently verified, evidence that proves beyond reasonable doubt that the Syrian government have used WMD. All this talk of taking military action now is highly premature when all we have are reports that are untrustworthy at best, and have been spun in all directions by those with vested interests in the region.

Highway1
10th Apr 2018, 21:07
And who is supporting the murder of children? Clue: The West is supporting ISIS, Al Qaeda et al.

Are you sure - we spent all last year bombing ISIS, when did this change?

https://inews.co.uk/news/uk/raf-denies-iraq-syria-civilian-casualties/ (https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/british-air-force-attacks-isis-drone-teams-first-time-syria-mod/)

TEEEJ
10th Apr 2018, 21:30
Chronus,

This is a routine deployment. The carrier strike group has been working up over the past couple of months. See the FB page for the pre-deployment preparations and briefings.

USS Harry S Truman Carrier Strike Group gets underway for pre-deployment training exercise | WTKR.com (http://wtkr.com/2018/02/03/uss-harry-s-truman-carrier-strike-group-gets-underway-for-pre-deployment-training-exercise/)

https://www.facebook.com/USSTruman/

Effluent Man
10th Apr 2018, 21:51
And who is supporting the murder of children? Clue: The West is supporting ISIS, Al Qaeda et al. They may be termed "opposition" but they are still Islamic head bangers.
And the Us & UK wouldn't support the murder of Yemeni children by supplying the weapons to Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Would they?

Personally I wouldn't want to risk war for Islamic head bangers of any stripe. I think this attempt to intervene is likely to go very wrong. This is turning very dangerous indeed now.

ethicalconundrum
10th Apr 2018, 22:00
everything I've read so far on US policy over there is we want to get out, and stay out. Trump seems to be tired of this continuous low-level engagements that have little or no chance of success, and no real definition of success. Syria isn't going to be the economic miracle capitalist society in my lifetime. Israel has shown with vigor it is able to defend themselves from any kind of tin-pot muslim dictator. Can't see any more US involvement on the horizon. meh

galaxy flyer
10th Apr 2018, 22:02
Indeed they are, S-400's are hot in Syria apparently, unlike previous activations they (the Russians) might decide to use them this time. These aren't crappy third-rate SAM's but arguably the best in the world and more than capable of taking out any US/Allied air power, they fear them as they rightly should.

The Bear should not be poked.

You are a Russian troll. The S-400 that Russia used to shoot down an airliner cruising at F350. If you don’t think countermeasures have been designed and tested, you are crazy. The Israelis just attacked an airbase in Syria without so much as a launch.

The Bear poked at the Syrian deconfliction line last month and its teeth knocked out. Perhaps dozens of Russian-controlled “little green men” killed.

GF

flash8
10th Apr 2018, 22:12
You are a Russian troll.

you are crazy.

Ahhh GF, don't hold back :) :)

galaxy flyer
10th Apr 2018, 23:08
I won’t, you’re a Putin apologist, too.

GF

flash8
10th Apr 2018, 23:36
I won’t, you’re a Putin apologist, too.

To be honest I am not insulted easily Mr GF, and perhaps I don't even view your comments as insults actually :) The best defence though is not via ad hominem but facts, and I like dealing with those, because the only thing that is valid ultimately is truth. Sometimes that gets lost.

galaxy flyer
11th Apr 2018, 00:17
I gave facts, the S-400 is great for killing airliners.

GF

NutLoose
11th Apr 2018, 00:21
https://www.pprune.org/military-aviation/607634-4-us-e-6b-s-airborne.html

TEEEJ
11th Apr 2018, 01:58
I gave facts, the S-400 is great for killing airliners.

GF

I think that you are mixing up your Russian SAMs, GF. What airliner are you referring to?

MH-17 over Ukraine SA-11 Buk.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buk_missile_system

SAF-1812 over Black Sea S-200

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siberia_Airlines_Flight_1812

No airliner has been shot down by an S-400.

TEEEJ
11th Apr 2018, 02:40
The Israelis just attacked an airbase in Syria without so much as a launch.

GF

The Israeli's have a memorandum of understanding with Russia involving Syria. The S-400s and other SAMs protect the Russian bases and as long as the Israeli's are only targeting Syrian bases, for Iranian and Hezbollah targets then the Russians keep out of it.

“We don’t interfere with them and they don’t interfere with us,” Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon said in a radio interview, tersely summing up Israel’s accommodation with Russia.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-russia-israel-analysis/israel-quiet-over-hotline-with-russia-on-syria-idUSKCN0SG1G320151022

Israel and Russia agree military coordination on Syria
Vladimir Putin and Benjamin Netanyahu agree to consultations to avoid "misunderstandings" amid fresh reports of a Russian military build-up in Syria

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/syria/11880585/Israel-and-Russia-agree-military-coordination-in-Syria.html

Officials indicated before the visit that Israel was seeking a similar “deconfliction” mechanism to the US and its allies – a term referring to the avoidance of accidental military clashes to allow Israeli jets to operate in Syrian airspace.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/sep/21/netanyahu-meets-with-putin-over-concerns-of-russian-support-for-assad

Ethel the Aardvark
11th Apr 2018, 06:48
Interesting article by ex British ambassador to Syria Peter ford suggesting the attack never happened and was simply a ploy to engage this sort of reaction maybe he is Russian troll too. Assad’s forces had won that area so what was their to gain by deploying CW. Make sure that red cap is not too tight on your noggen GF

troppo
11th Apr 2018, 07:24
I've said this before...the UN are as useless as tits on a bull in the same way the League of Nations were. 'Talking and dialogue' whilst innocents die isn't the answer. Unilateral or multilateral action is.
Everyone sits there condemning Russia without resolution. It's a proxy war and time to target Assad. It won't escalate to anything more than just another fuct up nation.

ATNotts
11th Apr 2018, 07:27
Specifically who in the West, and where is the evidence to support this view?

Certainly companies in the West have sold arms to many states that some of us would rather they haven't, but the same is true of arms manufacturers in many non-Western states too.

When it comes to the intervention of governments around the world then frankly I don't think there are many states that haven't directly or indirectly interfered in affairs that we might be critical of.

Personally, I think that we should stay well out of direct military intervention in Syria, UNLESS there is solid, independently verified, evidence that proves beyond reasonable doubt that the Syrian government have used WMD. All this talk of taking military action now is highly premature when all we have are reports that are untrustworthy at best, and have been spun in all directions by those with vested interests in the region.

Right at the outset, during the height of the (abortive) "Arab Spring" the west (or as they are also referred to the "international community") waded into Syria, amongst others - not always directly, to assist in destablising the existing government, which, we should recall is / was not a fanatical Islamic republic, but religiously one of the more tolerant regimes. Assad's is most certainly a dynastic quasi democracy however, not the kind of regime we like in the west bur probably tolerable.

Many of the groups that the USA, UK and other blindly supported were, or have become radicalised, and openly supported Al Qaeda, but by the time that was evident, at least to we the poor uninformed public arms and support had already been given. Sadly, the same can be said of our (misplaced) intervention in Libya, and the egging on of revolutionaries in Egypt.

We (the "international community") have made a dreadful mess in virtually all our interventions in the Middle East in recent years, I can't think of one that has gone well.

Therefore I would agree that the UK and France should steer well clear of intervening again, especially given that there is an unstable man at the helm in Washington, and one who has little experience in international crises, but equally doesn't like to to advice from advisors unless it's advice he wants to hear, which will come from "yes men" in his inner circle.

The easiest and quickest way to resolve the Syria crisis would have been to support the Russian support of the legitimate government in Syria, to enable them to regain control of their country, that would then have involved no chemical weapons (there would have been no need) and fewer atrocities - from both sides. I for one don't believe everything I hear from the rebels and their propaganda machine, no more than I believe what comes out of Damascus, both sides are guilty as hell.

VP959
11th Apr 2018, 08:17
Assad's is most certainly a dynastic quasi democracy however, not the kind of regime we like in the west bur probably tolerable.

Just to put the status of the Syrian government into context with the rest of the world, out of 167 states rated by the Economist Intelligence Unit Democracy Index it is rated number 166, just above North Korea in last place.

To put some of the other states in the region into the same democracy rating context, with some other states in the international community, then here's a short list for comparison:

Saudi Arabia is in joint 159th place (with Tajikistan)
Yemen is in 156th place
The UAE is in 147th place
China is in 139th place
Russia is in 135th place
Egypt is in 130th place

(All of the above states, including Syria and North Korea, are rated as "Authoritarian", with no appreciable level of democracy)

Palestine is in 108th place
Lebanon is in 104th place
Turkey is in 100th place

(The above three states are rated as having a "Hybrid Regime", again with no appreciable level of democracy)


Israel is in joint 30th place with Estonia
France is in 29th place
The USA is in joint 21st place with Italy

(The three states above are rated as having a "Flawed Democracy")


The UK is in 14th place
Germany is in 13th place
Canada is in joint 6th place with Ireland
Norway is in 1st place

(The above states are rated as having a "Full Democracy")


I'm not suggesting here that the Democracy Rating is an absolute guide as to the worthiness or level of trust that we should place on the politicians from any of these states, but it seems a reasonable guide as to how big a divide there may be between the wishes of the people and the actions of their government for each state in the index.

In particular, I would be personally far more wary of placing significant weight on any statement made by a state that falls into the "Authoritarian" category (i.e all those states below 115th place in the Democracy Index), than I would from the government of any state that is above 20th place, and falls into the "Full Democracy" category.

Dan_Brown
11th Apr 2018, 08:37
If the American's and their hangers on, don't clobber Assad over this chemical attack, the Isrealis will, again. When he does get his [email protected]@e kicked, Putin is not going to stand around and just watch. The allies doing nothing will also have serious consquences for us all. Either way the situation looks ugly indeed.
The final nail was the Russian veto yesterday evening.
The OP is not too wide of the mark.

ATNotts
11th Apr 2018, 08:39
Not something I'd heard about, so I've had a look, and very interesting it is.

Checked some other nations. Belarus, which is most certainly authoritarian, and regularly "re-elects" the incumbent head of state with ridiculous shares of the vote never gets lambasted the way that Russia does, which I always find rather curious, much as Kazakhstan largely "gets away with it".

However the whole premise of the index is that democracy is on the whole a good thing, and in essence suited to all societies, which I believe is somewhat of a flawed premise.

Any nation that is built and governed around tribal lines (people voting along religious or ethnic rather than political lines), for example Northern Ireland - perhaps more so a couple of decades ago, perhaps not; or say, Rwanda, Congo, and yes, the EU - there is no way that the EU could (even if it wanted to be) be a single democratic state in the sense of one-man-one vote, since the various ethnic and racial groups would vote for president along ethnic, possibly religious lines. None of the Middle Eastern countries can / could hack it either as which candidate you vote for is dictated by which branch of Islam you follow and which mosque you attend on a Friday, which again is partly why Iraq is such a mess. As for China, don't even go there.

It's horses for courses and where we in the west have gone wrong successively is to try and nation build countries in our own image. The Soviet Union had similar ideas, none, apart from perhaps Cuba, appear to have been particularly successful.

The only man that is going to keep Syria together is Assad (or "son of Assad"). You only have to look at what happened to the disparate states of the Former Yugoslavia, and how they fell apart following Tito's death with no strong successor to prove that. Fair enough some of the fragments haven't turned out too badly, but you can hardly say that from a stability perspective the Balkans are safer now than before.

troppo
11th Apr 2018, 08:45
Bear in mind religious, cultural and ethnic wars have been fought for centuries if not millenniums. Western civilization and values are merely passing through. Live in the third world for long enough you begin to understand that some things can't be changed no matter how hard you try

VP959
11th Apr 2018, 08:52
Several times in the past I've posted here my view that democracy is not a "one size fits all" solution for the government of every state in the world, and I have said that, in my view, a benign dictatorship can be a very good form of government for some states.

The point here, though, is about the level of trust we place on the words spoken by governments, as much as anything else. Why should we believe that the Syrian government, under an authoritarian regime that is only just above that of North Korea, is reasonable, when a sizeable proportion of the people of Syria are fighting to escape from it?

The main difference between Syria and North Korea (ignoring geography for one moment) seems to be that Syria has been an open authoritarian state, whereas NK has been very firmly closed for decades. As a consequence we know more about what has been going on there, and combined with it's sensitive geographic location, it seems inevitable that it attracts more attention in the media.

The media in general are very selective about what they choose to report; they are, after all, in the business of making money by selling stories. A story about Kazakhstan is not going to get much attention, so the media won't sell as many papers or gain so much advertising revenue, by reporting on it as they would by reporting on Russia, Syria, North Korea etc. Cynical, I know, but the big media barons didn't get rich by reporting every story with equal weight.

ATNotts
11th Apr 2018, 09:03
The media in general are very selective about what they choose to report; they are, after all, in the business of making money by selling stories. A story about Kazakhstan is not going to get much attention, so the media won't sell as many papers or gain so much advertising revenue, by reporting on it as they would by reporting on Russia, Syria, North Korea etc. Cynical, I know, but the big media barons didn't get rich by reporting every story with equal weight.

Therein lies the problem, it makes it all too easy for governments to demonise one despotic nation, and create a whole foreign policy, largely supported by the population around it, whilst conveniently ignoring the ones it "likes". Saudi Arabia comes readily to mind. in reality there is little difference between Iran and Saudi, you'd think, the read the media they are chalk and cheese. Ironically, Iran is probably a little more democratic, and therefore, you would think, more favoured in the west, but because, largely of the political hatred of Israel gets the worst treatment of the two.

What is worse is that news outlets that aren't wedded to revenues (such as, but not exclusively, the BBC) don't rise above that agenda. Channel 4 news occasional does, much to their credit. With people consuming news from unverified, online sources so much today peddling half truths and lies is becoming all the easier - on all sides of the fence.

Stan Woolley
11th Apr 2018, 09:12
Craig and others attempt to make sense of it all, behind the insanity of our so called leaders. :(

https://www.craigmurray.org.uk

VP959
11th Apr 2018, 09:20
Craig and others attempt to make sense of it all, behind the insanity of our so called leaders. :(

https://www.craigmurray.org.uk

It's just a pity that he himself is so biased as to be untrustworthy, and is in the business of posting stories for those who seek out conspiracy theories. if he actually did some genuinely unbiased research, and used (and referenced) a balanced range of sources, then he might gain some credibility, but he's found a niche where a couple of thousand regular followers in the world read what he writes, and he's as entitled to his biased views as much as anyone else.

I did spend a couple of hours checking his sources last time his name came up on here, and found that he only selects sources that already align with his preconceived opinions, which makes me deeply suspicious of the veracity of anything he writes.

Stan Woolley
11th Apr 2018, 09:28
I’ve very good reason to suspect others MUCH closer to JB to be untrustworthy than Craig Murray.

You’re becoming tedious with your immediate reactions to my posts VP.

Here is another ex-ambassador giving his opinions to Radio Scotland yesterday.

Peter Ford Dropping Truth Bombs on BBC Radio Scotland

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3j_Z1f84Ps8

VP959
11th Apr 2018, 09:28
Therein lies the problem, it makes it all too easy for governments to demonise one despotic nation, and create a whole foreign policy, largely supported by the population around it, whilst conveniently ignoring the ones it "likes". Saudi Arabia comes readily to mind. in reality there is little difference between Iran and Saudi, you'd think, the read the media they are chalk and cheese. Ironically, Iran is probably a little more democratic, and therefore, you would think, more favoured in the west, but because, largely of the political hatred of Israel gets the worst treatment of the two.

What is worse is that news outlets that aren't wedded to revenues (such as, but not exclusively, the BBC) don't rise above that agenda. Channel 4 news occasional does, much to their credit. With people consuming news from unverified, online sources so much today peddling half truths and lies is becoming all the easier - on all sides of the fence.

The Iran versus Saudi Arabia point is a good one. Many arms manufacturing states in the West have done very well out of selling to Saudi Arabia, so are reluctant to do anything to harm that relationship. Saudi Arabia and Israel seem to have come to an agreement that they will, at least to some extent, work together to try and maintain their mutual interests in the region, especially with regard to the threat that both see as coming from Iran. With both Saudi Arabia and Israel receiving support from the West, and, in the case of Israel, having very strong ties to the West, it seems inevitable that our media and governments should focus on Iran as the threat, rather than treat all of the states in that region equally.

vapilot2004
11th Apr 2018, 09:45
Syria is not merely Assad v jihadists. There are moderate forces at work here as well and the entire shameful (on all sides) affair seems to be turning into another proxy war.

Bear in mind religious, cultural and ethnic wars have been fought for centuries if not millenniums. Western civilization and values are merely passing through. Live in the third world for long enough you begin to understand that some things can't be changed no matter how hard you try

No doubt.

Hasn't stopped our trying, for the best (human rights) and worst reasons (natural resources), the latter of which has caused no small harm to those 'values' of ours.

roving
11th Apr 2018, 09:45
Iíve very good reason to suspect others MUCH closer to JB to be untrustworthy than Craig Murray.

Youíre becoming tedious with your immediate reactions to my posts VP.

Here is another ex-ambassador giving his opinions to Radio Scotland yesterday.

Peter Ford Dropping Truth Bombs on BBC Radio Scotland

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3j_Z1f84Ps8

A very impartial source.

The British Syrian Society is an association set up to promote relations between Syria and the United Kingdom. It was established in 2003 by Fawaz Akhras, father-in-law of Bashar al-Assad. Its current director is former UK ambassador to Syria Peter Ford.

As part of its lobbying work, the Society has over the years hosted visits to Syria by several supportive MPs.

In September 2011, the HSBC bank said it would no longer represent the Society.

Its co-chair Sir Andrew Green, a former British ambassador to Syria, resigned after emails showed Dr Akhras had advised Assad on how to rebut evidence of civilians apparently being tortured. Dr Akhras had used a private email channel to the Syrian leader to offer advice on how the regime should handle criticism of its suppression of the opposition uprising, including how to counter video footage appearing to show the torture of children

Other resignations included the society's treasurer, Brian Constant, and Sir Gavyn Arthur, a former Lord Mayor of London.

In 2016, the BSS organised a controversial international conference in Damascus, described by the Council for Arab-British Understanding as a regime ďPR exerciseĒ. Speakers included Bouthaina Shaaban, Ali Haidar and Fares Shehabi.

ExXB
11th Apr 2018, 10:00
War is inevitable. Trump's domestic problems are just screaming to divert the media.

Stan Woolley
11th Apr 2018, 10:04
A very impartial source.

I hesitate to even bother responding, but Iíll try...

Why do you think that two ex-ambassadors who no longer cow tow to their establishment masters, when we are to assume that they were once seen as intelligent trustworthy people by those same masters, get a bad press?

Give you a little clue. Who controls the press?

Itís a tricky one. :ugh:

VP959
11th Apr 2018, 10:07
I’ve very good reason to suspect others MUCH closer to JB to be untrustworthy than Craig Murray.

You’re becoming tedious with your immediate reactions to my posts VP.



If you bothered to track down and provide evidence, rather than just dubious opinions spouted forth on the internet, often from a well known, and more than slightly disgruntled political activist who was dismissed as a British ambassador, then perhaps I, and others, wouldn't feel the need to react.

Craig Murray is a self-declared political activist, and has been for some time. In part it was his political activism that resulted in him being sacked from the Diplomatic Service after being dismissed as ambassador to Uzbekistan. I don't disagree with what he said whilst ambassador, but he knew that he was breaching the political neutrality of the Diplomatic Service as he said it, so for him to then later claim that he was dismissed for his views on human rights breaches is disingenuous; he was dismissed as ambassador for breaching the terms and conditions of his employment, something he knows full well.

The shame of his complete lack of credibility is that there are some points he has raised that are worthy of being heard, if only he could rein in his tendency to include these points with so much total BS. Sadly, he let's his political activism and personal hatred of certain governments colour everything he reports, which then taints everything he writes.

troppo
11th Apr 2018, 10:09
War is inevitable. Trump's domestic problems are just screaming to divert the media.

Dreamworld.
The 'media' are the biggest scrutineers and you think conflict is going to divert any domestic attention?
How naive

vapilot2004
11th Apr 2018, 10:13
War, with Putin's covert help, might just be what the current US president's doctor ordered. It may be interesting to note that Netanyahu is facing some 'touchy' issues at home and would also benefit from such a diversion - possibly one steeped in the likes of John Bolton's "new world order".

Truth be told, however, there may not be enough sympathetic eyes averting their gaze away from the specter of presidential and PM improprieties, towards spilt Syrian blood to make a difference. This kind of distract and deflect operation would surely require another country to join the fray.

pulse1
11th Apr 2018, 10:41
Like many of us I imagine, I have been a bit puzzled of late as to why the West are so anti Assad. So I have spent a few of the last wet days learning about Syria. In particular I have been trying to see what Syria was really like before the current civil war erupted. What, I wondered, was so bad about Assad that provoked such hostility from the West.

Certainly, Syria was an open authoritarian state, as VP describes it. Certainly Assad ran a tough regime which was very quick to punish anyone seen as a threat. cf. Russia, North Korea, Iraq (under Saddam), Egypt etc.

The problem is that, for any State which includes a significant section of population which is driven by, or uses religion to build up hostility towards it, any perceived threat has to be dealt with ruthlessly for the benefit of the vast majority. This is what Assad has appeared to do before the Civil War for the benefit of of a significant part of the population who were not even Moslem. It was a very open and tolerant country as far as I can see, with a number of Christians holding fairly high places in the Government.

In the Arab world especially, there appears to be a choice between order, provided by an authoritarian government, or chaos. Too many factions are ruthlessly bringing about chaos in order to create their own brand of religious order.

If we are to believe the West's slant on this, as the war has built up, Assad has resorted to even more extreme methods to restore order, and it is these methods to which the West rightly objects. But again, the alternative is chaos. Have we learned nothing from Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan?

What really worries me now is that the West itself, with its liberal PC ideas blind to reality, is beginning to face the same issues with a growing part of the population sympathetic in varying degrees to creating this new order and, if it cannot achieve it peacefully through the ballot box, we will see the same thing happening here. It may be a long way off, but unless we wake up, it will happen.

flash8
11th Apr 2018, 10:58
fascinating that conversation with an ex UK ambassador for Syria stating the extremely biased state of the BBC... and that the whole scenario was staged! thanks Stan.

Unbelievable.

Andy_S
11th Apr 2018, 11:04
Syria war: WHO demands access to 'chemical attack site' - BBC News (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-43725352)

VP959
11th Apr 2018, 11:35
fascinating that conversation with an ex UK ambassador for Syria stating the extremely biased state of the BBC... and that the whole scenario was staged! thanks Stan.

Unbelievable.

Probably also somewhat untrue, hence it being unbelievable.


I can understand where former ambassador Peter Ford's feelings came from, like some here I share them - that atrocious "dodgy dossier" that discredited the government he worked for. I think it's fair to say that anyone who had even the slightest connection to what the weapons inspections teams were reporting in Iraq was at least a bit sceptical, if not outright outraged, by the gross distortion of fact it contained. It will take years, perhaps decades, before those deliberate lies, created to start a war in Iraq with a different intention altogether, will be forgotten, It has, in my view, permanently undermined the credibility of government, especially with regard to foreign affairs.

Ford was right in stating his view that the Assad regime, whilst deplorable in the eyes of the West for it's authoritarian and ruthless suppression of any opposition, did keep the country reasonably stable, and as far as foreign policy is concerned, stability is often seen as a good thing, even if it means turning a blind eye to human rights abuses, or worse.

Unlike Craig Murray, he waited until he had retired before becoming a pro-Assad political activist. Certainly he has highlighted that the British government were inept in choosing to support opposition forces in Syria, without paying enough attention as to who else was supporting those same forces. However, he has ignored evidence that does not support his own position as a supporter of Assad, instead choosing to focus on areas where there was insufficient evidence to prove, beyond reasonable doubt, who was to blame, inferring that the Syrian government was rarely, if ever to blame.

We know, beyond reasonable doubt, that in some cases the Syrian government have been to blame for what would normally be referred to as war crimes. He knows this from his time in Syria as ambassador, which ended several years before the current conflict started (he left Syria on his retirement in 2006, the current conflict started 5 years later, in 2011). Syria had a record for gross human rights breaches for the whole time it was under emergency rule from 1963 to the current conflict. Peter Ford seems to have overlooked the human rights breaches within Syria during his time there, instead preferring to concentrate on supporting Assad's regime by his own inaction as ambassador. It was his last tour before retirement, though, so perhaps he was already planning ways to pursue his second career as an activist, supporting Assad.

TEEEJ
11th Apr 2018, 11:39
fascinating that conversation with an ex UK ambassador for Syria stating the extremely biased state of the BBC... and that the whole scenario was staged! thanks Stan.

Unbelievable.


It isn't "Unbelievable". The question is who is lining Ford's pockets? Assad can do no wrong in his eyes!

Now the Telegraph can reveal that just weeks before the April 4 attack Mr Ford had become a director of the controversial British Syrian Society.

This was founded by Fawaz Akhras, a London-based cardiologist whose daughter Asma is married to President Assad, and is closely linked to the regime, frequently accused of acting as its mouthpiece in the west.


https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/04/22/former-uk-ambassador-linked-to-assad-lobby-group/

flash8
11th Apr 2018, 11:57
Ford was right in stating his view that the Assad regime, whilst deplorable in the eyes of the West for it's authoritarian and ruthless suppression of any opposition, did keep the country reasonably stable

So we, in our infinite wisdom, decide to let those opposition overrun the country and what will that lead to? Sharia, beheading of infidels (the significant Christian and secular minority), a Libya "style" country, *completely* out of control, many thousands slaughtered, no rule of law... an utter catastrophe.

What I absolutely fail to see is why Assad has to go? Because all of the alternatives are a hundred times worse.

Nobody, but nobody in the liberal media has EVER answered that question... it is that big white elephant in the room they all utterly ignore, hey... we have a bunch of bloodthirsty Wahhabi Islamists in control.... mission accomplished.

Stan Woolley
11th Apr 2018, 12:00
Nobody, but nobody in the liberal media has EVER answered that question... it is that big white elephant in the room

Thatís an easy one.

Because Israel says he has to, so the US complies.

VP959
11th Apr 2018, 12:13
So we, in our infinite wisdom, decide to let those opposition overrun the country and what will that lead to? Sharia, beheading of infidels (the significant Christian and secular minority), a Libya "style" country, *completely* out of control, many thousands slaughtered, no rule of law... an utter catastrophe.

What I absolutely fail to see is why Assad has to go? Because all of the alternatives are a hundred times worse.

Nobody, but nobody in the liberal media has EVER answered that question... it is that big white elephant in the room they all utterly ignore, hey... we have a bunch of bloodthirsty Wahhabi Islamists in control.... mission accomplished.

It was a typical government cock-up, in my view, at least as far as the UK government were concerned. Cameron didn't want a repeat of the tragic decision that Blair made, but was almost certainly under pressure from the US to do something. Direct military intervention was ruled out, and the cock-up was to make the decision to support Syrian opposition groups, as a compromise, without either having done enough research as to understand who they really were, or having the common sense to realise that doing this would immediately make the UK a justifiable target as far as Assad's government were concerned. In turn, because the UK was a part of the international humanitarian aid provision to Syria, aid convoys became, in the eyes of the Assad regime, legitimate targets.

My own view is that we should have stayed out of any form of intervention in Syria, declared ourselves to be neutral and that our only involvement would be to support neutral humanitarian aid organisations. I'm not entirely sure this would have made much difference, as we are so closely allied with the US in the eyes of many in that region that our declared neutrality may not have helped much. It might well have got the bloody Russian government off our backs a bit, though.

Lonewolf_50
11th Apr 2018, 12:25
That’s an easy one. Because Israel says he has to, so the US complies. Stan, you might want to back that up with a bit of evidence. The Israelis have over the years figured out how to deal with the various Arab strongmen in their region. They are keenly aware of the chaos that will erupt on their own borders should Syria go belly up.
The Salafists who opposed Assad (on the Sunni side) are not people whom one can work with. The Israelis have their issues with Syria and the Assad family, to be sure, see that air strike about ten years ago on a nuclear site that was being built with North Korean help (reported well in the German press) but they also have to be wary of their neighbor becoming a power vacuum. Who fills it? They (whomever comes after) could be worse.
The Assad regime, former and current, are at least rational actors, if opposed to Israel in general.

The US involvement in Syria lately was a result of the mess made in Iraq that spread into Syria. Your assertion is made from pure ignorance. Back in 2003, Assad's relationship with Washington improved. When I was dealing with stuff in the middle east in the years after that, there was no driving objective to "get him out." It was interesting to me to see something of a thaw, in sharp contrast to what I'd see in the 80's.

There was a striking change to that thaw with President Obama's "red line" wheeze: he really bought the "Arab Spring" as a positive movement toward bringing democracy into the Middle East. (And as with a few other things, he was wrong about that). You may wish to recall that President Obama was no friend to Israel, and yet he was all for seeing the Assad regime fall or abdicate. What he believed would replace the Assad's remains to me a mystery, and I'm not sure if he actually had a clear idea.

In a nutshell, American policy towards Syria since about 2003 has been at best schizoid.

As to the current noise coming from the White House, I tire of President Trump's bombast.
(http://abcnews.go.com/US/trump-taunts-russia-tweets-syrian-missiles/story?id=54387687) about shooting Missiles at Syria in retaliation. TR had a better template on that score.

Quite frankly, I tend to agree with the Russian spokesman depending upon what one means by "terrorists" in that sentence. That term's meaning seems to shift depending upon who utters it.
Russia's foreign ministry said that any missiles launched in retaliation should target terrorists, not the Syrian government. “Smart rockets ought to fly toward terrorists and not at a lawful government, which has been fighting for several years with international terrorism on its territory,” spokeswoman Maria Zakharova wrote on her Facebook page.

Stan Woolley
11th Apr 2018, 12:57
In a nutshell, American policy towards Syria since about 2003 has been at best schizoid.

Thatís strange timing, isnt it? Well, I bet Israel were very happy to hear the news that the Ďneoconsí thought up!

https://youtu.be/9RC1Mepk_Sw

Andy_S
11th Apr 2018, 13:01
So we, in our infinite wisdom, decide to let those opposition overrun the country and what will that lead to? Sharia, beheading of infidels (the significant Christian and secular minority), a Libya "style" country, *completely* out of control, many thousands slaughtered, no rule of law... an utter catastrophe.

What I absolutely fail to see is why Assad has to go? Because all of the alternatives are a hundred times worse.

Flash,

A pragmatist (I like to think I am one) would agree that however much our liberal sensitivities are offended, sometimes itís better to deal with an authoritarian leader. The West did themselves no favours by trying to initiate regime change in Syria.

However, as has been clearly demonstrated here, Peter Fordís links with the Assad regime mean that he simply canít be taken as an objective commentator. Youíve always insisted you only want the truth; I would suggest you should be looking elsewhere.

troppo
11th Apr 2018, 13:25
Ho hum. Everyone has their own position. Send in a few hundred tomahawks and wait for the dust to clear.
To be honest and all things aside I'm surprised that Russia or the US want anything to do with this problem.

galaxy flyer
11th Apr 2018, 13:31
Tacitus,

To ravage, to slaughter, to usurp under false titles, they call empire; and where they make a desert, they call it peace.

Modern leaders, under a false sense of humanity, refuse to make it a desert when doing so would solve the instant problem.

GF

flash8
11th Apr 2018, 13:31
To be honest and all things aside I'm surprised that Russia or the US want anything to do with this problem.

If Syria falls, the Russians most likely suspect Iran will be next in the hegemonic drive. I'd argue if Syria falls, Russia will move in to support Iran, opportunistic for Russia yes, and Iran will have little choice for their very survival may be at stake.

Irony is the fall of Syria will lead to even greater instability.

ATNotts
11th Apr 2018, 13:43
Irony is the fall of Syria will lead to even greater instability.

That is obvious, but something that many in the west, starting with Trump, who actually don't think understands very much of how the world works politically, and running down through the UK, France and most of the other usual suspects who's hidden goal is to recreate the cold war - they're doing a pretty good job of that, aided and abetted by Vladimir Putin.

Turkey would make a land grab (which they are really trying to do now), to give themselves a buffer between Turkey and the new state of Kurdistan. I suspect that there would then be two messy states set up along factional Islamic lines - Sunni and Shi'ite; this could in turn spill over into another "artificial" country - Iraq.

The west's efforts to punish Syria, and by association Russia for alleged use of chemical weapons could lead to a very unwelcome and undesirable, potentially uncontrollable conflagration in the Middle East - something that has been forecast for 40-odd years now.

It's a real shame there is such an inadequate incumbent in the White House at a time when what is needed are level heads. Had a person of Trumps intellect / ability been in power in 1962 one wonders how the Cuban missile crisis may have ended. Badly I fear, and in all likelihood we wouldn't be around discussing this latest crisis today.

troppo
11th Apr 2018, 13:53
I think Russia and Putin are smarter than that. It's chest beating, but at the end of the day who really gives a f about Iran or Syria for that matter. Proxy war is exactly that...they don't want to get directly involved. Globally there is much more at stake than sand in the middle east

Andy_S
11th Apr 2018, 14:09
Proxy war is exactly that...they don't want to get directly involved.

But Russia is. Directly involved. They have military assets in Syria.

ATNotts
11th Apr 2018, 14:09
I think Russia and Putin are smarter than that. It's chest beating, but at the end of the day who really gives a f about Iran or Syria for that matter. Proxy war is exactly that...they don't want to get directly involved. Globally there is much more at stake than sand in the middle east

Sure Russia and Putin are smarter, but then there is the USA and Trump. The latter frightens me a deal more than Putin; since the UK is very inclined to do what the USA asks (tells) us to do and I have little confidence in the strategic decision making of President Trump.

flash8
11th Apr 2018, 14:55
Trump is unstable. Period. As can be seen from just viewing his tweets... my god, George Bush Jr was bad, but he wasn't mad. And what the heck is State doing? Hiding away?


Stan: Your mailbox is full and not accepting messages.

West Coast
11th Apr 2018, 15:16
Sure Russia and Putin are smarter,

Back to that very British habit of ascribing brilliance upon the opposition.

ExXB
11th Apr 2018, 15:43
Dreamworld.
The 'media' are the biggest scrutineers and you think conflict is going to divert any domestic attention?
How naiveHey, play the ball please.

TEEEJ
11th Apr 2018, 15:54
Syria war: WHO demands access to 'chemical attack site' - BBC News (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-43725352)

Excellent analysis by Bellingcat. Analysis of video footage reveals a geo-location of a canister on a rooftop apartment. The same apartment that the Russians have been seen visiting and claiming that nothing was found. Have Assad forces cleaned the area and removed the canisters? Looks like the OPCW inspectors have some sleuthing to do?

https://www.bellingcat.com/news/mena/2018/04/11/open-source-survey-alleged-chemical-attacks-douma-7th-april-2018/

racedo
11th Apr 2018, 17:12
If the American's and their hangers on, don't clobber Assad over this chemical attack, the Isrealis will, again. When he does get his [email protected]@e kicked, Putin is not going to stand around and just watch. The allies doing nothing will also have serious consquences for us all. Either way the situation looks ugly indeed.
The final nail was the Russian veto yesterday evening.
The OP is not too wide of the mark.


Strange nobody is mentioned US veto in relation to civilians shot by IDF in last 2 weeks.................. US used Veto twice but MSM never mentions this.

racedo
11th Apr 2018, 17:13
Just to put the status of the Syrian government into context with the rest of the world, out of 167 states rated by the Economist Intelligence Unit Democracy Index it is rated number 166, just above North Korea in last place.



What was its position in 2010 prior to the war.

ORAC
11th Apr 2018, 17:25
Number 156 (http://graphics.eiu.com/pdf/democracy%20index%202008.pdf) in 2008.

Number 152 (https://graphics.eiu.com/PDF/Democracy_Index_2010_web.pdf) in 2010.

Not that they were doing anything better - those above and below seem the same, just that a couple of others dropped even lower.

racedo
11th Apr 2018, 17:30
Excellent analysis by Bellingcat. Analysis of video footage reveals a geo-location of a canister on a rooftop apartment. The same apartment that the Russians have been seen visiting and claiming that nothing was found. Have Assad forces cleaned the area and removed the canisters? Looks like the OPCW inspectors have some sleuthing to do?

https://www.bellingcat.com/news/mena/2018/04/11/open-source-survey-alleged-chemical-attacks-douma-7th-april-2018/


So we are to believe that the yellow cylinder was dropped from a great height and landed safely on the roof with no damage.

ORAC
11th Apr 2018, 17:37
Well, yes.

Here is a photo of one thrown 1.2km by an explosion. They are, after all, designed to take such treatment both to contain their internal pressure and as a safety measure.

https://www.ctif.org/sites/default/files/inline-images/Indianapolis%20garbage%20truck%20tank_Fotor.jpg

https://www.ctif.org/index.php/library/indianapolis-gas-cylinder-explosion-cng-flies-12-kilometer-lands-school-yard

VP959
11th Apr 2018, 18:04
So we are to believe that the yellow cylinder was dropped from a great height and landed safely on the roof with no damage.


The key thing here seems to be that these cylinders have improvised bomb hooks, attached via the steel strapping, and this seems to be a consistent design from previously recovered gas munitions. Compare these stills from the videos:

https://s17.postimg.cc/8zopjxy7z/Gas_cylinder.jpg

https://s17.postimg.cc/54lbgtwwf/Gas_cylinder_2.jpg

with these photos of cylinders used in earlier gas attacks:

https://017qndpynh-flywheel.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/DaVjs2KX0AAZsKO.jpg

https://017qndpynh-flywheel.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/SN4HR-cylinders-1.jpg

Who dropped them remains unproven, but there does seem to be some evidence that suggests they were released from an aircraft and that the design and construction of all looks to be pretty consistent to me. The question to be answered is "Which force was flying the aircraft?"

Until we have firmer evidence as to exactly what the attack consisted of, in terms of any possible chemical agent, and who conducted it, the international community needs to hold fire, IMHO. Publicly declaring retaliatory missile attacks before we have firm evidence seems exceptionally foolhardy to me. If the international community do decide on military action, then there needs to be a robust plan as to how to deal with the aftermath, particularly the humanitarian risks and the inevitable power struggle for that region that could end up being worse, by far, than the current situation. We need to learn the lessons from Iraq and Afghanistan that post-conflict restoration is something we are collectively bloody hopeless at.

KelvinD
11th Apr 2018, 18:09
VP959: Good post! With sensible sentiments. Look out for incoming!

VP959
11th Apr 2018, 18:21
Having spent some time looking at the design, I think I can guess at how these were supposed to work, and that it looks like the one seen in the video and being recovered hadn't actually detonated.

If I'm right, then I believe there is probably a small explosive charge under the heavy duty end cap, that's visible around the valve end of what looks to be modified butane/propane cylinders, and that charge is intended to blow open the valve end after release. The end cap seems designed to direct the main force of the charge back towards the cylinder.

In the last photo there look to be four circular impact indentations, that would be consistent with something like demolition charges. There doesn't seem to be any safety and arming system, nor any conventional fuze, so my guess (and it's only a guess) is that the charges may have been fitted with standard manually activated delay fuzes, with the timers activated just before release, perhaps.

Chronus
11th Apr 2018, 18:51
Tony Blair said we should unite with the US President Trump and strike Syria and it is not strictly necessary to gain parliamentary approval before launching strikes on Syria. He must have been speaking from experience. Its amazing that the experience still remains sweet, much to be said for his taste buds.

https://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/943904/Tony-Blair-institute-BBC-news-Iraq-Syria-chemical-attack-Donald-Trump-Russia

On the subject of the US carrier strike fleet on its way to this little hot spot, it is reminiscent of the 1988 Vincennes incident during the Iran -Iraq War. It was a time of high tensions and twithcy fingers then, as is now. The difference now, is that Russia is on the other end of tugging rope and not Iran or Iraq.

flash8
11th Apr 2018, 18:58
The support of Blair is the kiss of death, and if Theresa May goes ahead without parliamentary approval it will confirm everything I've ever thought about this government.

vapilot2004
11th Apr 2018, 19:00
On the subject of the US carrier strike fleet on its way to this little hot spot, it is reminiscent of the 1988 Vincennes incident during the Iran -Iraq War.

Let's hope all commercial air traffic listens on guard frequency, and everyone has their IFF systems in line. I wouldn't put it past Putin to set something like this up - his regime seems to have a far worse record when it comes to shooting down unarmed airliners full of civilians - a record that comes with absolutely no excuses even close to being valid.

Chronus
11th Apr 2018, 19:13
VP959 the gas cylinder shown lying on what appears to be an ornate bed in the photo, has been fitted in some sort of fairly crude strap cradle with a couple of similarly crude stabiliser fins. The whole contraption has the look of a DIY job rather than a military grade weapon to be dropped from a military aircraft. Would it not be reasonable suspicion that it was placed on the bed of an already bombed out building by some agent provocateur.
By the way the improvised hooks you mention, look more like the ornate scrolls normally found on steel garden railings and fences. I would have thought, if they are to be under-wing/ fuselage attach points, they are likely to be a greater danger to the aircraft than the target. Unless of course they were dropped from something agricultural, like an AN2.

Lonewolf_50
11th Apr 2018, 19:21
Irony is the fall of Syria will lead to even greater instability. Yeah, as true in 2011 as in 2013 as today. heck, the attempt to oust Assad has led to instability (that's a kind term for it) that I'll call a civil war that has seen about 350,000 killed in about seven years.

@StanWoolley: do try to stay on topic. The topic is Syria.

Sure Russia and Putin are smarter, but then there is the USA and Trump. The latter frightens me a deal more than Putin; since the UK is very inclined to do what the USA asks (tells) us to do Really? Like when Obama was ginning up support to go into Syria and the UK said No! Maybe you ought to get over that 2003 decision in London and catch up a bit to current events. From today's news (http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-43721057).
French President Emmanuel Macron said any strikes would target Syrian government chemical facilities. But The Times reports that the UK's Prime Minister Theresa May has urged Mr Trump to provide more evidence of the suspected chemical attack.

What is the UN doing?
On Tuesday the UN Security Council failed to pass any measures to set up an inquiry into the alleged attack.
As permanent members of the council, Russia and the US both have the power to veto. They both blocked each other's proposals to set up independent investigations.
and I have little confidence in the strategic decision making of President Trump. The man is not subtle, and is more or less the opposite version of Teddy Roosevelt's "walk softly and carry a big stick" style.

jindabyne
11th Apr 2018, 19:23
VP959

A good post with which I agree.

Suppose that it becomes evident that Assad was the perpetrator (possibly, but unproven, that it was with Putin's knowledge), would you agree with an Alliance decision to take military action of some kind? And if so, of what nature. And would you have a regard for the retaliatory threats from Russia?

Not being provocative. At present, my own position is similar to yours but I am unusually reticent over the scale of response: be it political or military.

VP959
11th Apr 2018, 19:34
VP959 the gas cylinder shown lying on what appears to be an ornate bed in the photo, has been fitted in some sort of fairly crude strap cradle with a couple of similarly crude stabiliser fins. The whole contraption has the look of a DIY job rather than a military grade weapon to be dropped from a military aircraft. Would it not be reasonable suspicion that it was placed on the bed of an already bombed out building by some agent provocateur.
By the way the improvised hooks you mention, look more like the ornate scrolls normally found on steel garden railings and fences. I would have thought, if they are to be under-wing/ fuselage attach points, they are likely to be a greater danger to the aircraft than the target. Unless of course they were dropped from something agricultural, like an AN2.

Anything is possible, as we have no independently verified evidence, but there were several reports of two helos flying over the area, not that this is any more likely to be true than anything else we see or read in the media.

The barrel bombs are just rolled out of open doors, for example, after having manually lit a fuse or set a manual timer fuze.

Crude stuff like this is pretty normal in that part of the world. Look at how crudely modified the surface-to-surface rockets containing Sarin, that were recovered from the earlier attack on Al-Ghouta, were, for example.

ORAC
11th Apr 2018, 19:39
Lonewolf 50,

Theresa May opens the door for UK to join US in missile attacks on Syria (https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/may-opens-the-door-for-uk-to-join-us-in-missile-attacks-on-syria-0cfxxb25n)

Theresa May has blamed the Assad regime for the Douma gas attack on Saturday, clearing the way for Britain’s involvement in US-led missile attacks expected within days.

The prime minister said “all the indications” were that the Syrian regime had carried out the “shocking, barbaric” attack in which at least 40 people, including children, died....... Mrs May said the “continued use of chemical weapons cannot go unchallenged” and that Britain would work with its “closest allies” to see how those responsible for the latest attack in Syria could be held to account.

Her statement backs the stance taken by Mr Trump and President Macron of France. She had previously said that evidence of responsibility for the attack was needed as a condition of UK support.

Downing Street insists Mrs May had not been seeking to delay action and her decision to apportion blame removes a major obstacle to joining the US and France in a military response......

Lonewolf_50
11th Apr 2018, 19:43
@ORAC: As I understand your post, she has revised her position? I understand that some MPs are making bellicose sounds. Is there a consensus or is it too early to tell?

ORAC
11th Apr 2018, 19:46
Top story on the online version of The Times.

Lonewolf_50
11th Apr 2018, 19:50
Paywall, but thanks for the update.

roving
11th Apr 2018, 19:53
Of course Britain has to stand shoulder to shoulder with France and the USA on this issue. Britain was quick enough to seek their support over the nerve agent poisoning. What goes around comes around when it comes to Russia.

VP959
11th Apr 2018, 19:57
VP959

A good post with which I agree.

Suppose that it becomes evident that Assad was the perpetrator (possibly, but unproven, that it was with Putin's knowledge), would you agree with an Alliance decision to take military action of some kind? And if so, of what nature. And would you have a regard for the retaliatory threats from Russia?

Not being provocative. At present, my own position is similar to yours but I am unusually reticent over the scale of response: be it political or military.

I'm not convinced, yet, that military action would resolve the many problems in Syria and the surrounding region, even if the Assad regime is proved to have used chemical weapons.

Military action by the West never seems to resolve problems in that region, plus practically every WWIII scenario in the military plans over the years since the end of the Cold War have assumed that it would start in that part of the world, so I think we have to gather a lot of evidence, engage with as many of the states in that region, and those using that region as a proxy theatre of action, as we can, find levers that we can collectively pull to end the conflict and push hard for anyone that has committed a war crime to be brought to justice.

If we hit Syria with a military attack hard enough to remove the Assad regime, as we did in Iraq, what would happen next?

Una Due Tfc
11th Apr 2018, 20:24
Itís not about ďfixingĒ Syria or the ME, itís about sending a message to dictators around the world that the use of chemical weapons against civilians will not be tolerated, and indeed would not be worth it, because the US/France/Israel will wipe out so much of your military hardware and infrastructure that you make a net loss in the conflict.

The reason chlorine gas was used is because itís heavier than air, and the Russians have said themselves that the rebels are using extensive tunnel networks to move around beneath the city, some large enough to take vehicles. IMO they were targeting these tunnels and the civilians cowering in their basements from conventional bombardment were collateral damage, but the Syrians and Russians didnít care.

racedo
11th Apr 2018, 21:55
Until we have firmer evidence as to exactly what the attack consisted of, in terms of any possible chemical agent, and who conducted it, the international community needs to hold fire, IMHO. Publicly declaring retaliatory missile attacks before we have firm evidence seems exceptionally foolhardy to me. If the international community do decide on military action, then there needs to be a robust plan as to how to deal with the aftermath, particularly the humanitarian risks and the inevitable power struggle for that region that could end up being worse, by far, than the current situation. We need to learn the lessons from Iraq and Afghanistan that post-conflict restoration is something we are collectively bloody hopeless at.

Wonder what happened to all the supposed dead and injured.

Seems strange they seem to have all been buried very quickly or got better..................... as Douma now in hands of Syrians and Russians and terrorists have been bussed out one wonders where did the people go ?

TEEEJ
11th Apr 2018, 22:47
Wonder what happened to all the supposed dead and injured.

Seems strange they seem to have all been buried very quickly or got better..................... as Douma now in hands of Syrians and Russians and terrorists have been bussed out one wonders where did the people go ?

The Syrians say that nobody was taken to hospitals suffering from the effects of a chemical attack. Surely the vast majority of those people in the videos can be identified so why haven't they been heard from again? Surely the Assad forces themselves would have been able to identify those people in the videos and presented and identified them as not actually suffering from chemical contamination as they fell into government hands? The horrific thing that crosses my mind is that those people that survived have been part of the clean up. Just the same as the OPCW inspectors will not be seeing those canisters.

KelvinD
11th Apr 2018, 22:55
If we listen to the rhetoric emanating from the clueless one in Downing St. about the need to punish someone (when nobody can show with any certainty who 'someone is'), should we encourage her to show the same flawed reasoning to the Skripal case and start launching UK forces in the direction of Russia immediately?
Nobody has been able to show, conclusively, who was responsible for any attacks in either the UK or Syria.
And all this nonsense of convicting on the basis of "highly likely" on the grounds of the stuff was invented by Russia or that Syria has form just will not do.
I don't believe anyone in this country has been convicted of anything on purely circumstantial grounds. No doubt circumstantial evidence has been used to convince a jury but I doubt circumstantial evidence on its own has ever been enough to convict without other supportive evidence. "Beyond reasonable doubt" is the yardstick for juries to convict.
If we are to maintain that standard, then it must apply equally to a burglar on trial for an offence that may carry 6 months prison time or an alleged offence that may result in the deaths of unknown numbers of people such as soldiers sent to carry out the 'punishment' or civilians killed as a by product of military action.
I use the term 'alleged offence' because we have no proof that either Russia or Syria even have the chemicals, let alone used them. We do, on the other hand, have the word of a US Senator that Al Qaeda had ample stocks.

galaxy flyer
11th Apr 2018, 23:05
ZeroHedge says UK and France begins the assault soon, perhaps tomorrow.

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-04-11/may-moves-uk-submarines-within-striking-distance-syria

racedo
11th Apr 2018, 23:13
The Syrians say that nobody was taken to hospitals suffering from the effects of a chemical attack. Surely the vast majority of those people in the videos can be identified so why haven't they been heard from again? Surely the Assad forces themselves would have been able to identify those people in the videos and presented and identified them as not actually suffering from chemical contamination as they fell into government hands? The horrific thing that crosses my mind is that those people that survived have been part of the clean up. Just the same as the OPCW inspectors will not be seeing those canisters.

Bearing in mind that journalists (Not MSM) have been all over the liberated areas including at the protest from family members relating to their kidnapped relatives by terrorists.

Spiriting supposedly 500 people away would get noticed plus all of the doctors and nurses that were treating them.

Strange that it appears in some media that the dying are in different poistions in rooms for photos.

BBC Twitter reporter called it and then forced to delete tweet.

galaxy flyer
11th Apr 2018, 23:19
Trafalgar and Astute class boats have cruise missile launch capability. Using the Vanguard boats would had a note brilliant sunshine, desperately needed by some views.

GF

flash8
11th Apr 2018, 23:21
Shortly after Theresa May declared that she could act in Syria without approval from Parliament

Oh, great.

Well she may get her wish... Brexit may be off the cards for ever... Corbyn to his credit did ask for a vote... which she knew she'd likely lose and have to resign...

Octane
12th Apr 2018, 04:18
How do you stop incoming Tomahawk missiles travelling at 600 mph 50 metres up? Do the Russians have air defences that can do that?

Dan_Brown
12th Apr 2018, 06:24
We're about to find out. Arms people and generals "love" a war. They are then in a postion to test, hardware, software, theories and stategies. In other words, more effecient ways of killing each other.

VP959
12th Apr 2018, 06:45
If we listen to the rhetoric emanating from the clueless one in Downing St. about the need to punish someone (when nobody can show with any certainty who 'someone is'), should we encourage her to show the same flawed reasoning to the Skripal case and start launching UK forces in the direction of Russia immediately?
Nobody has been able to show, conclusively, who was responsible for any attacks in either the UK or Syria.
And all this nonsense of convicting on the basis of "highly likely" on the grounds of the stuff was invented by Russia or that Syria has form just will not do.
I don't believe anyone in this country has been convicted of anything on purely circumstantial grounds. No doubt circumstantial evidence has been used to convince a jury but I doubt circumstantial evidence on its own has ever been enough to convict without other supportive evidence. "Beyond reasonable doubt" is the yardstick for juries to convict.
If we are to maintain that standard, then it must apply equally to a burglar on trial for an offence that may carry 6 months prison time or an alleged offence that may result in the deaths of unknown numbers of people such as soldiers sent to carry out the 'punishment' or civilians killed as a by product of military action.
I use the term 'alleged offence' because we have no proof that either Russia or Syria even have the chemicals, let alone used them. We do, on the other hand, have the word of a US Senator that Al Qaeda had ample stocks.

People have been convicted in the UK on the basis of circumstantial evidence only. I don't know how common it is, but I've been in court and seen someone convicted purely on the basis of circumstantial evidence, together with a linked argument that tied all of it together into an extremely convincing case. Watching the face of the man convicted as he heard the verdict convinced me that he was indeed guilty and the jury had reached the right conclusion.

Most forensic evidence is circumstantial, as although science can often prove, beyond reasonable doubt what happened, who had been in contact with a weapon or a victim, science can never prove when that contact took place or if the accused committed the crime.

Even with the most intimate of crimes, and the existence of scientific techniques like DNA comparison, the evidence is only circumstantial. Forensic science can prove, to a high degree of accuracy, for example, that a man had sexual intercourse with a victim, but science cannot prove whether that was with or without consent.

I doubt very much if there will be any direct evidence found in Syria at all, anything found, from witness statements, video and photographic evidence, forensic evidence, radar plots of aircraft movements, etc will be circumstantial.

The question is just one of being confident that the body of circumstantial evidence leads to one clear conclusion, and that any alternative conclusions don't fit well with that body of circumstantial evidence. This is where I think we need to be very cautious, as the stakes here are very high indeed, in terms of the consequences of reaching the wrong conclusion from the evidence we can find.

Pontius Navigator
12th Apr 2018, 06:59
Good interview in BBC of former Ambassador to Syria. He said there had been no independent evidence to validate the claims. Until verified, all we have seen could be deception trying to get western powers to attack Assad.

Seeing people being treated with buckets of water - no, get the contaminated clothes off and bagged up. But that would involve naked bodies which would offend religious susceptibilities.

Babies and children shaking and being injected - chill and shock a baby with cold water - they will shake.

Not saying that is what happened but we see 'horrific ' scenes in the movies all the time.

Pontius Navigator
12th Apr 2018, 07:16
OTOH Lord Dannatt seems quite confident that the Ambassador holds a controversial view.

I side with the Ambassador.

DaveReidUK
12th Apr 2018, 07:21
Good interview in BBC of former Ambassador to Syria. He said there had been no independent evidence to validate the claims.

Ford was actually quoted on BBC Breakfast as saying that the attack hadn't happened at all, which is rather different from saying that there is no independent evidence.

DaveReidUK
12th Apr 2018, 07:36
How do you stop incoming Tomahawk missiles travelling at 600 mph 50 metres up?

The smaller, faster Exocet can be brought down, so presumably a Tomahawk can too.

Do the Russians have air defences that can do that?Almost certainly.

Rather more scary than that is the Russian statement that they would also attack missile launch platforms.

Pontius Navigator
12th Apr 2018, 07:37
DR, that would be the logical conclusion if the videos and reports are fake. In contrast Dannatt seems confident that what we have seen is true.

VP959
12th Apr 2018, 07:37
Ford was actually quoted on BBC Breakfast as saying that the attack hadn't happened at all, which is rather different from saying that there is no independent evidence.

Ford is also, in my view, a very unreliable source, seeing as he has been an avid supporter of Assad since retiring from the Diplomatic Service in 2006.

He seems to be popping up all over the place right now, but that may well be because he's long been spreading propaganda in support of Assad, some of which has been shown to be untrue, and sees this as an ideal opportunity to further the cause that he believes in.

The only thing he's said that I agree with is that the fall of Assad would create a worse crisis in the region than there is at the moment. That's not to say that I in any way support the Assad regime, I most definitely do not, but before the international community take any action they have to have a robust and workable plan to deal with the after affects.

Pontius Navigator
12th Apr 2018, 07:48
VP, ah, thank you. However I remain sceptical on the decontamination aspects of the videos. I would accept they might be reconstructions.

VP959
12th Apr 2018, 08:05
VP, ah, thank you. However I remain sceptical on the decontamination aspects of the videos. I would accept they might be reconstructions.

Me too, they look staged, or at the very least reconstructions of what may have happened. I have doubts as to whether, in the midst of a gas attack crisis anyone would just film like this, rather than help those in distress.

Stan Woolley
12th Apr 2018, 08:10
Ford was actually quoted on BBC Breakfast as saying that the attack hadn't happened at all, which is rather different from saying that there is no independent evidence.

Why not have him on, so we can hear what he has to say again, first hand?

The BBC are worse than useless. It all comes down to who do we believe. I just donít believe anyone from the BBC, most of them donít have a clue, but just say what they are told to say. Independent minds that are off the wall are better than blind followers imo. I donít think Ford has anyone forcing him to say anything.

ORAC
12th Apr 2018, 08:45
I have doubts as to whether, in the midst of a gas attack crisis anyone would just film like this, rather than help those in distress. Unfortunately that’s the way of the modern world.

I recall a video of one of those helping carry away one of the victims from one of the recent UK terrorists attack screaming at the photographer to put down his f****ing phone and help.

Tankertrashnav
12th Apr 2018, 08:59
Beat me to it ORAC - we now have a generation whose first reaction when anything happens is to reach for their phone. That said I also find the decontamination scenes not quite right, although I am willing to believe that they may have been reconstructions of events that really did take place.

The trouble is that in this dispute, as in so many in this region, there are no goodies and baddies, just various shades of baddy, one of which happens to have the upper hand at the moment (with Russia's help). As always it's the poor sods of civilians, particularly women and children, who are the ones that always suffer.

Sallyann1234
12th Apr 2018, 09:15
Why on earth would the US want to interfere in Syria at this very late stage?

Assad and Putin have almost completed wiping out the opposition. They have already won the war and nothing is going to change it now.

Attacking Syria now can do nothing except act as 'punishment', and that is not the job of the US.

If the West had moved in at the start, perhaps they could have made a difference and perhaps not. But that is mere hindsight.

Krystal n chips
12th Apr 2018, 09:34
Thank heavens for JB and home to the finest geopolitical and military strategists on the planet.

Unfortunately, the last attack involving the alleged use of chemical weapons was hardly the first.

Whilst casting doubt on the veracity of the footage, and the worlds media being comprehensively if not universally duped thereafter, here on JB is no doubt satisfying for those whose expansive expertise never ceases to amaze , thankfully there are more reliable sources who can confirm previous attacks have been anything but staged or the reports fabricated.

https://www.channel4.com/news/factcheck/factcheck-assads-implausible-claims-about-chemical-weapons

With the above in mind, that this attack was not setting a precedent, why should the current footage now suddenly be described as staged.?

The last paragraph is especially relevant, in particular the comment about military retaliation and why....

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/apr/10/signs-of-tory-division-over-uk-support-for-us-assault-on-syria

Uncle Fred
12th Apr 2018, 10:42
According to the Guardian Mr. Trump just tweeted a back-pedal stating that he did not say an attack was imminent. He is also looking for a thank you from the world for beating back ISIS.

Consistently inconsistent seems to be his trademark.

TEEEJ
12th Apr 2018, 11:32
VP959 the gas cylinder shown lying on what appears to be an ornate bed in the photo, has been fitted in some sort of fairly crude strap cradle with a couple of similarly crude stabiliser fins. The whole contraption has the look of a DIY job rather than a military grade weapon to be dropped from a military aircraft. Would it not be reasonable suspicion that it was placed on the bed of an already bombed out building by some agent provocateur.
By the way the improvised hooks you mention, look more like the ornate scrolls normally found on steel garden railings and fences. I would have thought, if they are to be under-wing/ fuselage attach points, they are likely to be a greater danger to the aircraft than the target. Unless of course they were dropped from something agricultural, like an AN2.

The claim is that the canisters were dropped by Mi-8 Hip. Nothing unusual about the crude DIY look. You can see this in the production of the various designs of barrel bombs that the Assad forces have been deploying from Mi-8s.

https://diary.thesyriacampaign.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/57890e4bdc9c0ee92ab0b793c51fd43e.jpg

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rj1WJWcke4s

See following link for info on these crude improvised bombs.

https://www.bellingcat.com/news/mena/2015/07/08/a-brief-open-source-history-of-the-syrian-barrel-bomb/

Assad force have also been seen to be using improvised artillery rockets. These type of rockets were found at the scene of the Ghouta chemical attack.

See video of Assad forces loading and firing this improvised weapon.

See from 2:40

Watch Commentary | The Weapons Behind the Ghouta Attack | The New Yorker Video | CNE (http://video.newyorker.com/watch/the-weapons-behind-the-ghouta-attack)

pax britanica
12th Apr 2018, 11:56
Its not that many years since the world was at another crisis point with the fall of the Berlin wall and the collapse of the USSR.


The USA and the West had a wise and experienced leader and a man who had flown combat missions in George HW Bush.

Now we have an unstable idiot with no experience of the world of politics and geo politics or war who communicates via Twitter. Progress?

KelvinD
12th Apr 2018, 12:33
He's a funny old bugger, that Trump. 5 years ago he was berating Obama for talking in advance of an attack by the US on Syria, saying this sort of thing should not be advertised in advance and advocating silence.
Can we please beg our American cousins to do the world one favour in future; try not to elect a child as your next President?

treadigraph
12th Apr 2018, 12:42
Syria 'chemical attack': France's President Macron says he has proof - BBC News (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-43740626)

TEEEJ
12th Apr 2018, 14:34
How do you stop incoming Tomahawk missiles travelling at 600 mph 50 metres up? Do the Russians have air defences that can do that?

Point defence against the likes of cruise missiles will be by the Pantsir. Syrian forces also have it. It is claimed that such point defence systems were used to down some of the Israeli stand off weapons during the recent airbase attack.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TjsUCQ_nH80

KBP 2K22/2K22M/M1 Tunguska SA-19 Grison / 96K6 Pantsir S1 / SA-22 Greyhound SPAAGM / C????????? ???????? ???????-???????? ???????? ??? 2?22?/?1 ????????-?/?1 / 96?6 ???????-?1 (http://www.ausairpower.net/APA-96K6-Pantsir-2K22-Tunguska.html)

Pontius Navigator
12th Apr 2018, 14:58
I don't think anyone doubts that chemical weapons have been used. Certainly previous pictures suggested blister agents I think. The question now is the veracity of the claims now.

In fact thinking about it, the decontamination shown is what you would expect for tear gas contamination.

flash8
12th Apr 2018, 15:50
Trump is unstable. Period.

I fear him far more than adults like Putin and Lavrov. Whatever you think of the Russians consistency isn't lacking.

racedo
12th Apr 2018, 17:52
I don't think anyone doubts that chemical weapons have been used. Certainly previous pictures suggested blister agents I think. The question now is the veracity of the claims now.

In fact thinking about it, the decontamination shown is what you would expect for tear gas contamination.

Wrong

Many people have doubts.

https://www.stripes.com/news/mattis-tells-lawmakers-that-syrian-atrocities-have-got-to-end-no-decision-yet-on-us-attack-1.521726

Mattis said the United States has not confirmed the attack was sponsored by the Syrian regime and it could be a week or more before additional details are collected through international investigators.

VP959
12th Apr 2018, 18:31
With every passing day, any hope of getting hold of any evidence at all from this attack is fading fast. I am certain that there will be much essential decontamination and removal of materiel from the site, some of that makes a great deal of sense in terms of removing remaining hazards from UXBs (of which there seem to be quite a lot, not surprising given the crude construction of the devices that have been pictured), some of that may be the deliberate removal of evidence in order to reduce the probability of any independent inspection team being able to reach a firm conclusion as to if a chemical agent was used, if so what the agent was and who was responsible for delivering it.

The only lawful way (in the sense of international law) to prove who has chemical agents within Syria, and the facilities to deploy them, is for all of the parties involved in this conflict, and their sponsor states, to open their doors for a full and complete weapons inspection by an independent team.

I can't see that happening any time soon, somehow.

Pontius Navigator
12th Apr 2018, 18:56
Racedo, apologies for sloppy writing. I believe chemical weapons HAD been used. SARIN 2013, Chlorine 2014, Mustard 2015. PREVIOUS imagery had shown injuries consistent with blister agents.

NOW the latest alleged use of CHEMICAL weapons has not been VERIFIED. As I stated elsewhere, decontamination procedures did not appear consistent with any of the chemicals above. Reflecting on this, what we saw in the recent video was consistent with decontamination of Tear Gas.

cavuman1
12th Apr 2018, 20:09
https://imgc.cloud.art.com/img/print/u-g-PH8RCMV4F44.jpg?w=400&h=400&q=80&p=0

Franklin Delano Roosevelt, President of the United States of America, removes the cigarette holder from his mouth. In his inimitable Hyde Park, New York, accent, he intones: "I have been in wahwa. I have been in Eleanowah. Personally, I should prefer to be in WAHWA!"

- Ed :p

Chronus
12th Apr 2018, 20:33
Why on earth would the US want to interfere in Syria at this very late stage?

Assad and Putin have almost completed wiping out the opposition. They have already won the war and nothing is going to change it now.

Attacking Syria now can do nothing except act as 'punishment', and that is not the job of the US.

If the West had moved in at the start, perhaps they could have made a difference and perhaps not. But that is mere hindsight.

Sally`s question parts the curtains just a little, for us to catch a fleeting glimpse of what lies behind the US reaction.

My observation of what is revealed is. How would US prestige be affected if Russia was to gain the accolade for defeating Islamic extremists, ending the war in Syria, paving the way for the return of millions of refugees to their homes and relieving the whole of Europe from the enormous burden of housing these unfortunate millions. An accolade would not suffice, a huge debt of gratitude would be more befitting. Not just by the Syrians but the whole of Europe, the Middle East and beyond. How would it be possible to acknowledge Assad and his government as legitimate, whence up to know he has been cast in the head role of the bad guy of another one of those so called Regimes.

The whole affair is about power and influence, glory grabbing, all else is of no consequence. It is dictated by the fine art of international politics and foregin policy.

flash8
12th Apr 2018, 20:47
The US likely wants to retain even cursory hegemony over Syria on its path to Iran (the real goal), Iran currently provides much support to the Syrian government and Syria may well become Tehran's (as well as a Russian) client if the war goes Assad's way (which it is), something the US will stop at any cost.

Syria is simply a path to Iran, and Bolton and Trump together are scarier than you could ever imagine on this score.

Almost everything is proxied in this war.

galaxy flyer
12th Apr 2018, 20:58
Chronus,

Utter tosh, if you think the “refugees”, read: colonists, are ever returning to Syria voluntarily, you’re on cloud-cuckooland. They’re in Europe to stay. Putin could not care less about winning credits for defeating Islamic extremism, he’s trying to defeat the “West” and estabish Russian hegemony of a sorts. Call it Finlandization for the EU.

GF

racedo
12th Apr 2018, 21:15
Racedo, apologies for sloppy writing. I believe chemical weapons HAD been used. SARIN 2013, Chlorine 2014, Mustard 2015. PREVIOUS imagery had shown injuries consistent with blister agents.

NOW the latest alleged use of CHEMICAL weapons has not been VERIFIED. As I stated elsewhere, decontamination procedures did not appear consistent with any of the chemicals above. Reflecting on this, what we saw in the recent video was consistent with decontamination of Tear Gas.

Ok

I just wonder that if latest contamination was so bad then why are medical personnel not even undertaking the basics including wearing PPE.

Have Chemical weapons been used to move the agenda ?
Most certainly and the presence of 40 tons of Chemicals and gear was published weeks ago in East Ghouta but MSM don't want to know that as it doesn't fit the agenda.

Pontius Navigator
12th Apr 2018, 21:23
Racedo, exactly which is what we have been sayimg. Drenching with cold water is effective against tear gas.

racedo
12th Apr 2018, 21:27
Racedo, exactly which is what we have been sayimg. Drenching with cold water is effect against tear gas.

Not disagreeing..................

Ethel the Aardvark
12th Apr 2018, 23:04
There is only one group that is benefitting from a most likely false CW attack and i am sure it is not the Syrian government. Think about it. Not what Murdoch and his disciples want you to believe.

Effluent Man
13th Apr 2018, 03:31
The most worrying aspect of all this is that a decade ago I would have regarded the UK and the US as having the more responsible leaders than Russia. Today that situation is reversed and Russia still has the same leader.

ORAC
13th Apr 2018, 05:02
Moscow obviously paying overtime again.....

KelvinD
13th Apr 2018, 06:45
Some days ago, immediately after the attack in Douma, the Russians offered to escort inspectors into the area to conduct inspections. As I understand it today, the UN is still calling for access to the area! Meanwhile, yesterday's TV coverage of the area was a bit of an eye opener, with pro Assad citizens dancing in the streets and Russian soldiers lounging around their vehicles nearby. In the same clip, Russia stated that there was no chemical attack.
The BBC this morning has been full of it but I am starting to work myself up to a letter of outrage to the BBC. They have featured a handful of interviews with refugees, Syrian expats etc and every one has been anti-Assad. Where is the balance the BBC is duty bound to show?
Meanwhile, all this outrage from politicians here and there prompted me to wonder: Was Agent Orange a chemical? Was it a weapon? Or did I dream all that?

ORAC
13th Apr 2018, 06:56
Whataboutism (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whataboutism)

Whataboutism (also known as whataboutery) is a variant of the tu quoque logical fallacy that attempts to discredit an opponent's position by charging them with hypocrisy without directly refuting or disproving their argument, which is particularly associated with Soviet and Russian propaganda......

VP959
13th Apr 2018, 06:56
Meanwhile, all this outrage from politicians here and there prompted me to wonder: Was Agent Orange a chemical? Was it a weapon? Or did I dream all that?

Agent Orange was a mix of herbicides that was not classified as a chemical weapon, and the purpose in using it was to defoliate areas of dense forest/jungle where the Vietcong had bases, hidden from aerial view.

One of the herbicides in Agent Orange contained traces of dioxin as a consequence of its manufacturing process. It is this unwanted contamination that caused the tragic consequences on the populations of the area where it was used, not the herbicides themselves.

At the time, the traces of dioxin contamination, and its effects on people, weren't known or at least properly understood. The intention was to just kill the heavy jungle to create clear areas and prevent or reduce jungle cover being used to hide enemy bases or transport routes. Similar defoliant methods were used in earlier conflicts, including by the UK.

Pontius Navigator
13th Apr 2018, 07:12
Close up video news is the clips shown have little geographical identity.

Is it a genuine hospital scene or a film studio? Where is that heap of rubble? Only if we have a trustworthy reporter from a respected organisation can we take imagery as true.

On example of false video by none other than the BBC was during the firemen's strike. They created a 'fire station scene' at Pebble Milk Studios for a live news broadcast.

troppo
13th Apr 2018, 07:41
It's just posturing. Russia has too much to lose, but they don't want to lose face by walking away from Assad. The Russian economy is stuffed, they can borderline afford to remain a super power. Another deal will be brokered. No more unaffordable expansionism for Russia. Enable their economy. Assad has to go and Russia can deal with the aftermath.

Andy_S
13th Apr 2018, 07:56
There is only one group that is benefitting from a most likely false CW attack....

Where did you get the idea that this was "most likely false"?

stagger
13th Apr 2018, 08:25
Meanwhile, all this outrage from politicians here and there prompted me to wonder: Was Agent Orange a chemical? Was it a weapon? Or did I dream all that?

"Agent Orange" is a President (his FSB code-name).

:}

ShotOne
13th Apr 2018, 08:28
False or not, If we remove Assad, loathsome as he may be (assuming thatís even possible) then what? Any possible alternative means years, perhaps decades of war to the knife. And the ďvictorsĒ will probably hate us.

KelvinD
13th Apr 2018, 08:45
stagger: "Agent Orange" is a President (his FSB code-name).Great answer. Made Oi larff! ;)

KelvinD
13th Apr 2018, 08:53
VP959: A good answer, but not entirely. Herbicides are chemicals. The term 'herbicide' refers to the function, not the composition.
Interestingly, the Guardian was accusing the UK of waging chemical warfare during the application in Malaya in the 1950s.
When the UN was discussing whether or not the use in Vietnam by the US was chemical warfare, the main thrust of their argument seems to have been "Well, if you think we are guilty of that, what about the use by the UK? (Orac: Take note)
Let's be honest, it was, one way or another, chemical warfare by nature, if not by name. Oddly, I am not aware of human casualties in the Malayan conflict. At least, not to the extent of those seen in Vietnam. I presume there may well have been some but, if there were, they seem not to be widely publicised.

Effluent Man
13th Apr 2018, 09:01
But Orac is firmly committed to one side, so he won't countenance any other potential viewpoint. Those of us who require proof beyond reasonable doubt for these attacks are to him clearly Russian agents due to our unwillingness to believe any drivel that comes from BoZo's mouth.

VP959
13th Apr 2018, 09:13
VP959: A good answer, but not entirely. Herbicides are chemicals. The term 'herbicide' refers to the function, not the composition.
Interestingly, the Guardian was accusing the UK of waging chemical warfare during the application in Malaya in the 1950s.
When the UN was discussing whether or not the use in Vietnam by the US was chemical warfare, the main thrust of their argument seems to have been "Well, if you think we are guilty of that, what about the use by the UK? (Orac: Take note)
Let's be honest, it was, one way or another, chemical warfare by nature, if not by name. Oddly, I am not aware of human casualties in the Malayan conflict. At least, not to the extent of those seen in Vietnam. I presume there may well have been some but, if there were, they seem not to be widely publicised.

It's the right answer, in terms of the CWC.

Chemical Agents are defined as such, and the list of defined agents has grown over the years, against opposition from those who use some, very similar chemicals, for legitimate purposes. Perhaps the biggest area of conflict between what is defined as a chemical agent in warfare and CWC terms, are pesticides, as there are pesticides that are very close analogues of nerve agents that are defined as such by the CWC. The novichok programme was designed, in part, to take advantage of this loophole, especially with some of those chemical agents that, when in binary form, did not fall within the CWC definition of a chemical agent intended for warfare.

With specific regard to Agent Orange, it was not the herbicide mix that created the toxicity to humans, it was the dioxin contaminant in one of the herbicides in the mix that should not of been there. It was an accidental by-product of the synthesis of one of the herbicides, and at that time, little was known about it, or even that it was present within the stuff in quantities that were as toxic as they turned out to be. A significant issue that was missed was that, although the dioxin contamination concentration was pretty small, dioxin is a cumulative toxin, that effectively became concentrated in the food chain in those areas where it was used, reaching concentrations in food that led to very serious consequences for the population and a major clean up operation.

There are some similarities with Minimata disease, where low concentrations of mercury were discharged in industrial waste water, and this was then concentrated in local fish stocks, to a level where the fish caught and eaten by the population in that area suffered from chronic mercury poisoning. The levels of mercury that were discharged were fairly low, but the topography and tidal characteristics of Minimata Bay meant that the mercury stayed around long enough to be absorbed and concentrated by fish and shellfish, which were subsequently caught by fishermen in the area.

Different herbicides were used by the UK, and they, AFAIK, did not contain dioxin as a contaminant.

Ethel the Aardvark
13th Apr 2018, 09:45
Hi Andy S,
Have been following a journalist called Eva Karene Bartlett who appears a lot more believable than 95 % of the world press at the moment.
A lot of the red cap brigade here would regard her as a Putin and Assad sympathizer but she speaks the truth to me. And shes Canadian!

ORAC
13th Apr 2018, 09:56
Eva Bartlett? (https://www.channel4.com/news/factcheck/factcheck-eva-bartletts-claims-about-syrian-children)


“Eva Bartlett is a Canadian citizen who describes herself as an “independent writer and rights activist”. She writes a blog for the state-funded Russian media outlet Russia Today and is candid about her support for the regime of Bashar al-Assad, who is fighting Syrian rebels with Russian and Iranian help.”.......

VP959
13th Apr 2018, 10:05
ORAC, I sometimes think only you and I do background checks on sources quoted here.

I suspect this may be reasonably representative of the population as a whole, most of whom probably don't bother to take the time and effort needed to find out whether or not a particular source is either a biased political activist for ideological reasons, or just someone paid by one side that wishes to get their view across to the public at large. Add in the background noise from all the BS circulating on social media, and it is getting damned hard to find any reliable sources at all. Personally I'd never rely on just one source anyway, but would want to see several reliable sources reporting the same thing independently before reaching any firm view as to what the reality may be.

FWIW, Wikipedia seems to be being manipulated, at least in the short term, by those with an axe to grind, so it's well worth checking the same Wikipedia entry several times over a period of time, and checking quoted references out, before believing anything it publishes on line. It tends towards the truth over time, but because it's open to anyone to edit, it can take some time for a reasonable balance to be struck in what it contains.

Andy_S
13th Apr 2018, 10:25
A lot of the red cap brigade here would regard her as a Putin and Assad sympathizer...

Well as ORAC demonstrated she is rather less than impartial and writes for the state controlled media flagship of one of the participants.

....but she speaks the truth to me.

And thereís the problem. Confirmation bias. For a lot of people, the truth is what it suits them to believe........

Ethel the Aardvark
13th Apr 2018, 10:27
Oh dear. Red cap brigade showing their tan lines, keep yer caps on guys.
Only journalist i have read reporting on the true positions of groups like the white helmets and other so called western reported helpers of the Syrian people.

VP959
13th Apr 2018, 10:40
Only journalist i have read reporting on the true positions of groups like the white helmets and other so called western reported helpers of the Syrian people.

How do you know she's reporting the truth, though?

I've tried to find verification as to what the "true" position of the White Helmets is and all I've managed to uncover are a great deal of contradictory stories. I suspect that in some areas they are partisan towards a particular cause, in other areas they may not be, or may support a different cause, or none at all. One things does seem clear, and that is that they do not seem to have a coherent policy with regard to who they may or may not support, it seems to vary a great deal from one group to another.

fitliker
13th Apr 2018, 12:23
A good strategist would be looking for the exits , before committing to a missile fight with a country that has city killing missiles.
Can you imagine the noise if everyone started to demand regime changes in countries they did not agree with ?
As for the use of poisons to soften up a country before invasion , Opioids are usually the best pre-invasion poison.
Cannabis products will also stupify and weaken the will to defend yourself .
Take a look around at Who the big drug dealers are, where the drugs are coming from . Those regions are also a source region for the invaders.
Coincidence ?
Trump will circle the wagons make some more noise and go and play golf .
Why worry about Syria when the youth of your country are being poisoned and your own country is being invaded by people who hate you ?
Talking Syria is just a distraction away from their own incompetence and inability to protect their homeland from poison and invaders :)

KelvinD
13th Apr 2018, 14:10
Orac: A bit more "fake news" from you. Eva Bartlett writes for many consumers and RT is simply one of those. I do admire her reporting on the Assad side of events in Syria.
VP959: The White Helmets are charlatans, using, as they do, the name of the Syrian Civil Defence. The "real" Syrian Civil Defence have been around for quite some time and resent this bogus use of their name.
How do I know this? Well, VP, by using your claim I sometimes think only you and I do background checks on sources quoted here.. Give that philosophy a go and you will come up with yet another of those pesky independent journalists who has interviewed the genuine Civil Defence.
(By the way, if you are implying I don't do any background research, try this is relation to my question re Agent Orange in Malaya and your reply concerning dioxin.
The contamination of 2,4,5-T with 2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzodioxin (TCDD Ė a dangerous form of dioxin) came about from the lack of temperature control in the production process. This was not understood for many years after its initial production by the British company Imperial Chemicals Industries (ICI).)
The genuine Syrian Civil Defence organisation is a member of the International Civil Defence Organisation, an inter-governmental organisation, convened under the aegis of the U.N. You can find one here: řś«  «ŠŌ›«ŕ «Š„ŌšŪ (http://mod.gov.sy/index.php?node=554&cat=3251#) and the other here: http://www.icdo.org/en/
Incidentally, as a former member of the Royal Corps of Signals, I resent this bogus use of the name White Helmets. The finest motor cycle display team i ever saw!

VP959
13th Apr 2018, 14:25
@KelvinD, once more you seem to have taken something I've written here in very general terms as a reply to ORAC as being aimed specifically at you, when it wasn't at all, and made no reference to you whatsoever.

I read your view of the white helmets to be similar to mine. There are some verified reports of them providing genuine humanitarian aid, as well as reports of them distorting facts and being partisan, but I'd not go so far as to say that they are always acting as proven charlatans. I'd certainly not inherently trust any publicity material they release, mainly because it's difficult to validate some of the things they do from any more reliable source.

TEEEJ
13th Apr 2018, 15:08
Close up video news is the clips shown have little geographical identity.

Is it a genuine hospital scene or a film studio? Where is that heap of rubble? Only if we have a trustworthy reporter from a respected organisation can we take imagery as true.

On example of false video by none other than the BBC was during the firemen's strike. They created a 'fire station scene' at Pebble Milk Studios for a live news broadcast.

See following. The Russians visited the exact same hospital after Assad forces took the area.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z-qfYQab1hc

As far as geo-location goes at least one cylinder claimed to have been dropped by a helicopter can be seen in the following link. That apartment block also features in the Russian video footage. No doubt the OPCW Inspectors will be well aware of open source imagery and its geo-location.

Does anyone really expect that cylinder to be still there or the damage it caused to the roof? Somehow I think that apartment block will have been "re-modelled" as part of the clean up.

https://www.bellingcat.com/news/mena/2018/04/11/open-source-survey-alleged-chemical-attacks-douma-7th-april-2018/

ORAC
13th Apr 2018, 15:12
Orac: A bit more "fake news" from you. Eva Bartlett writes for many consumers and RT is simply one of those. So she does?

The comment, from Channel 4 by the way, was that she writes a blog for RT - which she does (https://www.rt.com/op-ed/authors/eva-bartlett/).

Stan Woolley
13th Apr 2018, 15:32
I suppose he’s a Russian bot too now?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P1DhAfwp43E

Effluent Man
13th Apr 2018, 16:08
They could have tried to make it a little less obvious that he was being cut off for deviating from the government line. This sort of thing just confirms what us a Russian bots are saying, that no other line other than the Trump/May one is permissible.

VP959
13th Apr 2018, 16:12
I suppose heís a Russian bot too now?

https://skwawkbox.org/2018/04/13/watch-former-head-of-british-armed-forces-cut-off-for-going-off-script-on-syria/

He seemed to be just stating pretty much what we know to already, that the Syrian government have been gradually winning the battle against the opposition forces for some weeks now.

In typical media hype, he was never the "Head of the British Armed Forces" anyway, her retired as a 2*, two ranks down from that rank.

As he retired 5 years ago, I don't know how he could have any information on current military action or intelligence. Like all of us who have retired we are cut off from any sources we may have had when working, and just like the rest of us he has to rely on what he can glean from the media and any public domain information he can get from the web.

VP959
13th Apr 2018, 16:13
They could have tried to make it a little less obvious that he was being cut off for deviating from the government line. This sort of thing just confirms what us a Russian bots are saying, that no other line other than the Trump/May one is permissible.

How was he following any government line?

He's been retired for 5 years...............

Pontius Navigator
13th Apr 2018, 16:23
TEEEJ, I bow to your scholarship. Just the videos I have seen, clearly not as many or in detail, didn't, to my viewing, show a continuous link from A to B to C. Certainly the repeat clips on the media didn't show the connection.

fitliker
13th Apr 2018, 17:00
https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-04-13/russia-has-irrefutable-evidence-uk-staged-syrian-chemical-attack

Tales from the dark side. Not quite as biased as the "Germany Calling " media from Goebels , but it does raise some interesting points :)

Krystal n chips
13th Apr 2018, 17:03
As he retired 5 years ago, I don't know how he could have any information on current military action or intelligence. Like all of us who have retired we are cut off from any sources we may have had when working, and just like the rest of us he has to rely on what he can glean from the media and any public domain information he can get from the web.

And yet....

" I've had some interesting snippets of info on possible agents"



From whence came these snippets then ?....and the public domain has proved very fertile for expansive commentary has it not.

flash8
13th Apr 2018, 18:00
The General makes a valid point, one that anyone that is genuinely unbiased would conclude, however both the General and others have a valid narrative that is missing in any coverage. What is disturbing is a complete lack of discriminatory thought throughout the MSM - if the coverage was far more balanced I would be far less suspicious. But it isn't. Factoid.

Certainly if he were to "bat for the government" he would be all over the mainstream media. Mark my words, the general will not be asked for his opinion again in the Western media.

Pontius Navigator
13th Apr 2018, 18:04
TEEEJ, now looked at that YouTube clips. They were clips. I didn't see any continuous video connecting external and internal scenes and no date/time continuity. That is the sum of my comment.

Lonewolf_50
13th Apr 2018, 19:08
A Mandy Rice-Davies moment, perhaps? Russian sources report that there was no chemical attack. They would say that, wouldn't they? :E
The Russians have people there, and other organizations have people there. The stories don't match up.
Someone mentioned up thread the use of tear gas. Has that been ruled out for this case?

vapilot2004
13th Apr 2018, 19:52
It's helpful in muddy situations like these, to admit to our shortcomings, try to understand the many forces at work, and review the recent past with a wide angle lens.

What started as a covert proxy war, has expanded into a drip by drip humanitarian disaster with Russia, Saudi Arabia, Israel, and the US all tugging in different directions, for different reasons.

We cannot believe (nor trust) Assad or the Russians to do the "right thing", yet our own little covert war has no clear objective - all the while, Assad, with the Russian's help, has been willing to fight those terrorist groups the west is aligned against. While there is no appetite for 'nation building' or 'regime change', the rise of ISIS/ISIL is a direct result of our bumbling in Iraq - so there is a responsibility to do something.

History has shown us that any meddling the west pursues in the ME turns out badly, yet we rely on the region for sustained energy production, and also require security for the sake of Israel. Cowboy diplomacy (bombing campaign) is clearly not the answer, nor are clandestine shadow wars, yet these options seem to be the only ones worth pursuing - the only other choice is to sit on our hands - something the US and her allies are not very good at. (Unless brown people are involved and there are no natural resources nor strategic outposts at stake.)

Whoever is using chemical weapons knows it is provocative and will raise the ire of the global community - it is almost as if their use is intended to quash the little cooperation that exists amongst Syria's foreign interlopers. This kind of Machiavellian manipulation sounds quite Putin-esque.

flash8
13th Apr 2018, 20:18
Excellent post vapilot. Although whilst I don't disagree with "This kind of Machiavellian manipulation sounds quite Putin-esque." it could also apply equally to both the US and UK.

When I was younger (a few decades ago, same age as you) I implicitly trusted the US, the UK, it's media and the general outlook. Heck in those days the biggest scandal going was Ollie North, today he'd not even make the front page for a day. They were good days, even Ronnie's "bomb Russia" quip was taken in good humour, or at last didn't have the then Soviets at the launch pad.

Perhaps I am looking back with rose-tinted glasses however, today I see things much more broadly for what they really are, and the Western powers, especially given the escapades over the last nearly twenty years have really opened my eyes up to a lot of things, we have been utterly shameless on occasion, and outright lies, once a resignation matter and front page news are now just a matter of course.

DaveReidUK
13th Apr 2018, 21:16
Russian sources report that there was no chemical attack.

As of earlier today, the official Russian position (from Lavrov) appears to be that there was no chemical attack and if there was it was a false flag operation.

Hopefully they will make up their minds soon which of those it was, or wasn't, and let us know accordingly.

TEEEJ
13th Apr 2018, 21:32
TEEEJ, now looked at that YouTube clips. They were clips. I didn't see any continuous video connecting external and internal scenes and no date/time continuity. That is the sum of my comment.

PN, Watch the video on the Bellingcat link labelled as Video 6

It has full date and the camera pans out to show the surrounding area. That has been geo-located to Douma. The same apartment block that features in the Russian video and where they claim that nothing was found. The question is where did the cylinder go?

Direct Twitter link if you are able to access it.

https://twitter.com/SyriaCivilDef/status/983768284133806080

https://www.bellingcat.com/news/mena/2018/04/11/open-source-survey-alleged-chemical-attacks-douma-7th-april-2018/

racedo
13th Apr 2018, 21:43
See following. The Russians visited the exact same hospital after Assad forces took the area.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z-qfYQab1hc

As far as geo-location goes at least one cylinder claimed to have been dropped by a helicopter can be seen in the following link. That apartment block also features in the Russian video footage. No doubt the OPCW Inspectors will be well aware of open source imagery and its geo-location.

Does anyone really expect that cylinder to be still there or the damage it caused to the roof? Somehow I think that apartment block will have been "re-modelled" as part of the clean up.

https://www.bellingcat.com/news/mena/2018/04/11/open-source-survey-alleged-chemical-attacks-douma-7th-april-2018/

Amazing that a cylinder could do so much damage to a roof and none to the bed it was to end up laying on.

flash8
13th Apr 2018, 21:49
“It seems to be utterly ludicrous for the military that is in the process of taking over an area to go and do something with chemical weapons, which will draw the wrath of the larger enemy down upon them,” he said. “If I was advising the opponents of [Syrian President Bashar] Assad, I would be delighted to kill a few people there. Let’s face it, [the insurgents] don’t care if they kill women and children.”

“I am not willing to accept tweets. We need to see incontrovertible truth about what has happened there and make a decision on that basis,”

Now we have Sir Alan West... former First Sea Lord.... and Chief of Naval staff.... speaking out.

Who next? The Air Vice Marshall of the RAF?

Effluent Man
13th Apr 2018, 21:52
Theresa May will get involved in this at her peril. Latest YouGov polling shows a very large proportion of the electorate are against anything that might cause conflict with Russia. It looks like Corbyn is on a winner here. It is certainly making me reconsider my decision not to support him.

racedo
13th Apr 2018, 21:56
Now we have Sir Alan West... former First Sea Lord.... and Chief of Naval staff.... speaking out.

Who next? The Air Vice Marshall of the RAF?

Are parts of UK Intelligence sector acting on their own without Government sanction in an attempt to force PM's hand.

It has happened before.

flash8
14th Apr 2018, 01:12
Trump just approved strikes.

Oh dear.

Carbon Bootprint
14th Apr 2018, 01:14
Game on, according to the President’s remarks in his media statement a few minutes ago. Whether y’all know it or not, he said the UK and France are on the starting roster along with the US team.

CONSO
14th Apr 2018, 01:25
According to POTUS

b1lanc
14th Apr 2018, 02:03
UK, FRA, US

ORAC
14th Apr 2018, 02:26
Pentagon briefing

No response by Russian forces. No coordination or advance notice of targets given to Russians except usual daily airspace coordination message from the CAOC in Qatar last night.

Attack was made against three Syrian CW storage sites and command centres at 2100 EDT. Attack was made with both cruise missiles and manned aircraft.

BDR will take place overnight and a further briefing will be given tomorrow morning at 0900 EDT.

WingNut60
14th Apr 2018, 02:28
Pentagon briefing

No response by Russian forces. ......

....... so far.

Fliegenmong
14th Apr 2018, 02:28
I understand 4 x RAF tornados involved along with the US Tomahawks....anyone one know what the French used?

Adam Nams
14th Apr 2018, 02:33
Trump - Airstrikes on Syria (https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/04/14/syria-airstrikes-donald-trump-set-make-announcement-military/)

flash8
14th Apr 2018, 02:57
"The worst apprehensions have come true. Our warnings have been left unheard. A pre-designed scenario is being implemented. Again, we are being threatened. We warned that such actions will not be left without consequences," Antonov said on Friday. "All responsibility for them rests with Washington, London and Paris."

Doesn't sound reassuring.

cooperplace
14th Apr 2018, 03:28
about to fly Dubai to Madrid on Emirates as pax, will this affect the route taken?

Lonewolf_50
14th Apr 2018, 03:31
The strikes have been over and done for about an hour and a half. By the time you get that far, either things will have settled down or a new NOTAM will go up and perhaps your airline goes around a warning area.

Sit back, have a drink, and enjoy the flight.

Lonewolf_50
14th Apr 2018, 03:35
It will be an interesting wake up in about 8 hours. What will have changed, I wonder?

Betting on 'not much' and I'll check in then. Good night, and peace be with you.

troppo
14th Apr 2018, 04:08
Well that's a good deterrent for Kim and should serve as a reminder that Trump will take action

Krystal n chips
14th Apr 2018, 04:47
Interesting interview last night on C4

It's the body language during the exchanges that's the most revealing aspect....

https://www.channel4.com/news/russian-ambassador-alexander-yakovenko-douma-chemical-attack-was-staged

cappt
14th Apr 2018, 05:13
Well you warmongering fffr's got it, congratulations.

vapilot2004
14th Apr 2018, 05:30
Attack was made against three Syrian CW storage sites and command centres at 2100 EDT. Attack was made with both cruise missiles and manned aircraft.

If we know the location of any CW storage and manufacturing/research sites, Syria (and Syria via Russian intelligence sharing) surely must know that we know. What's more, this attack was telegraphed over a week ago. Seems to me anything of great value had been already moved, leaving the hulking machinery behind perhaps, but not research materials and data.

The actions outlined below seem a bit late for many Syrians as there have been at least 50 suspected chemical weapon attacks carried out since the rebels began fighting against Assad in 2011. But, it's something (as I alluded to in my earlier post (https://www.pprune.org/10117445-post164.html)) and perhaps all we have to work with.

From NPR:

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Joe Dunford said the three countries called on warships and piloted aircraft to hit the sites linked to Syria's chemical weapons program.

One site was a science research facility in Damascus, the Syrian capital, where residents said loud explosions rang out.

The other two were storage facilities around Homs, a city to the north of Damascus.

Dunford said the attacks would substantially reduce Syria's ability to research, develop and use chemical weapons.

There were no immediate reports on casualties or the extent of the damage. The Pentagon said it would provide a more detailed assessment on Saturday morning.

The sites were chosen to minimize civilian loss of life and possible release of chemical agents, the Pentagon officials said. Mattis said the number of weapons used was about double those employed in a strike in April 2017.

In that instance, 59 Tomahawk missiles were fired at a Syrian airbase in the western part of the country following a chemical attack blamed on Assad's forces.

Mattis said he was not aware of any U.S. losses, and added, "Right now we have no additional attacks planned."

From ABC:

The British Defense Ministry says four of its Tornado GR4 warplanes fired missiles at a military facility as part of the tripartite attack on Syria.

The ministry says the missiles were fired around 15 miles (24 kilometers) west of Homs, where it was assessed the Syrian regime keeps agents used to make chemical weapons.

The ministry said in a statement Saturday that the warplanes struck the former missile base with Storm Shadow missiles after "very careful analysis" to maximize the destruction of stockpiled chemicals and to minimize any risk of contamination to the surrounding area.

It said the facility is located "some distance from any known concentration" of civilian residential areas.

The ministry said a detailed analysis of how effective the strike was is continuing, but initial indications show a successful attack.



Meanwhile, diplomatic news via Twitter from the Kremlin:

Statement by the Ambassador Antonov on the strikes on #Syria:
A pre-designed scenario is being implemented. Again, we are being threatened. We warned that such actions will not be left without consequences.
All responsibility for them rests with Washington, London and Paris.

meadowrun
14th Apr 2018, 05:45
"To deter and degrade".


A couple on top of Assad's head might have been more effective. We'll see,


Some build-up eh? No one saw that coming.

West Coast
14th Apr 2018, 05:52
Seems to me anything of great value had been already moved, leaving the hulking machinery behind perhaps, but not research materials and data.


Why are your getting out in front of the BDA VAPA?

vapilot2004
14th Apr 2018, 05:58
It's not much, and Assad (thanks to Rump's ™ boss, Putin) knows that we know where the weapons and research facilities are (were?). I suppose it had to be done - sends a message of sorts.

Despite the attack's lack of potential, it's really all there is to do in answering the use of chemical weapons. We had to do something.

Meanwhile the Kremlin is none too happy, but then again, our president and their newly 'elected' president are buddies, so no real worries on the Russian front, despite this: (my underline)

Statement by the Ambassador Antonov on the strikes on #Syria:
A pre-designed scenario is being implemented. Again, we are being threatened. We warned that such actions will not be left without consequences.

All responsibility for them rests with Washington, London and Paris.

vapilot2004
14th Apr 2018, 06:03
Say again, WACA?

Just being realistic. We should stick to realism, despite the bizarre take on reality the guy tweeting from the White House toilet every morning seems to hold.

Maybe he's not getting enough fiber in his diet. He certainly looks and sounds constipated and his bowels seem to be backing up - there's a whole lot of shizzle coming from his pie hole (and tweeter fingers).

Back to reality, do you honestly think this will be the last chemical attack by Assad (or Putin's covert ops) in Syria? Do you think our attack will stop Assad's massacres? I admit, at this point it's all we've got, but it's pretty lame all the same.

ORAC
14th Apr 2018, 06:08
The comment was made during last night”s conference thatbthe sites had been kept under surveillance and that the contents had not been removed, suggesting that that was one reason they had been selected as the targets whilst others had been rejected.

West Coast
14th Apr 2018, 06:10
Vapa

Wait for the people whose job it is assess the damage to determine if anything of value was taken out.

vapilot2004
14th Apr 2018, 06:11
WACA:

How many days of warning did Assad (and Putin) have?

I hope I'm wrong and Assad will capitulate, or at least there will never, ever be another chemical weapon attack in Syria.

Uncle Fred
14th Apr 2018, 06:18
Well, well, well. I wake up and see that there has been a little shanking and blasting going on overnight. Message sent. No further attacks planned according to the U.S. defence leadership.

Fortunately there is a well thought out and carefully articulated Western strategy...oh, sorry, I guess there is not. Actually no snark intended with that as it is an intractable problem.

One thing I do wish though is for everyone's favourite thug Vlad to pipe down. Not sure which I tire of quicker, his proclivities for murder and base thuggery or his sycophants who populate such boards of these to serve up stale and fetid apologia on his behalf. Sure the West is a vessel with cracks, but the mob style whacking of all and any that he so clearly relishes is not an alternative.

So sure the Russians are threatening consequences, but when their toolbox only has thuggery and death in it I don't expect much.

Uncle Fred
14th Apr 2018, 06:41
West Coast

That might be a long wait. I doubt that any of the allied powers will release raw BDA for us to look over. This is when we enter that hall of mirrors of denial, no comment, etc.

I do hope the ophthalmologist gets the idea though the next time he thinks about violating his Hippocratic oath. To think, his ux was at one time the darling of the Western women's magazine set. I think the Yanks even sent a reporter over to be bedazzled by her and broadcast a fluff interview. Ah, how it all went so bad for the handsome dictator and the Mrs.

Pontius Navigator
14th Apr 2018, 07:00
I see they are saying the chemical weapons HAD been SARIN and Chlorine. Dousing with water was probably to wash out chlorine contamination, so drenching c!nothing would be reason too.

Accepting the use of SARIN, did we see any video of SARIN victims?

Pontius Navigator
14th Apr 2018, 07:02
Meadowrun, bad as he is, removing Assad would not be be a good thing.

KelvinD
14th Apr 2018, 07:07
A couple of questions that puzzle me:
1. How can anyone be destroying Syrian chemical weapon stocks when these were certified by the OPCW as having been destroyed a couple of years ago. A great deal of these were destroyed aboard a US ship, with the balance being destroyed at Veoila's facility in Texas. Similarly, the Syrian equipment and manufacturing facilities were certified destroyed by the OPCW in (I think) 2013. So where did these new supplies come from? Either the Syrians have discovered a chemical weapons mine or the all seeing, infallible eyes of the West have totally missed construction and installation of new production facilities.
2. Is it legal to attack a nation that is no threat to yourself, without the agreement/mandate from the United Nations? If not, then isn't an attack that results in fatalities surely a war crime?

meadowrun
14th Apr 2018, 07:09
Handsome? The chinless long drink of water?
Stop joshing.


As distasteful as Assad is to me, he won't resign. The Russkies like him. They can push him around while patting him on his shoulder.
Problem is not the figurehead, it's the apparatus and its mentality that supports him - his effete power reservoir in Syria.
This little bit of show biz will not change anything.

VP959
14th Apr 2018, 07:16
I see they are saying the chemical weapons HAD been SARIN and Chlorine. Dousing with water was probably to wash out chlorine contamination, so drenching c!nothing would be reason too.

Accepting the use of SARIN, did we see any video of SARIN victims?

Nothing I saw on any of the recent videos indicated symptoms consistent with the use of Sarin.

None of the "evidence" that has been widely spread by various factions showed delivery systems that are likely to have been able to effectively delivered Sarin, IMHO, although anything is possible, given the lack of detailed information in the public domain.

AFAIK, the only Sarin delivery system that has been used so far in Syria has used modified surface-to-surface rockets, and I've seen no evidence that they were used in the recent attack.

There has been some mention that the rebel forces have extensive tunnel networks in the areas they hold, and that the use of chlorine may have been at attempt to attack these. Chlorine is heavier than air and would tend to sink into the basements and any tunnels, if they exist and if they were hit. Basements are also the places where the civilian population tend to go to for shelter during an attack.

meadowrun
14th Apr 2018, 07:18
What - his underlings and hangers-on are worse than him?
The members of his party are worse than him?
Perhaps.
However, Syria would not fall apart. Islamic boy gangs would not rush in to fill a vacuum. It would lurch forward.
I don't see a down side to removal of this POS. Might have his replacement prone to more shaking in boots tho'

ORAC
14th Apr 2018, 07:27
KelvinD,

International law is a strange thing as, operating in an anarchic system, it is not codified and what is acceptable changes. R2P (Responsibility to Protect) is, or has, emerged as an new norm in international law - and as ever the only court is that of public opinion.

This blog is a good place to start.

https://www.ejiltalk.org/forcible-humanitarian-action-in-international-law-part-i/

Dan_Brown
14th Apr 2018, 08:24
So much for the Russian "ring of steel". Seems cruise missles aren't quiet obsolete, just yet.

KelvinD
14th Apr 2018, 08:28
Given the amount of anti-Assad rhetoric on here, I think it is time someone took a different view. So I volunteer for that.
When Hafez al Assad was growing up, he was a bright kid but had no hope of ever getting to university because of the medieval practices then in place in Syria. It was accepted custom that certain tribes (and by extension, certain religious sects) would control various aspects of life. So, only Sunni tribes/clans were allowed to conduct serious business operations; only certain tribes/clans were able to attend universities or other such further education facilities and so on. It was all carved up and the Alawi were at the bottom of the pile, mainly due to their being an offshoot of Shia Islam. They didn't belong to the looney tunes Islamists but had a different take on the whole religion thing. They even celebrated Christmas!
Anyway, Hafez resented this and never forgot it. He was obliged to join the Forces and apparently did very well. Eventually, when he came to power, he decided to do something about this ingrained inequality and changed things radically from education to business. As a sop to the vocal Sunni majority, he took care to include them in his government and I seem to remember many of his cabinet ministers were Sunni.
While he managed to create a much more egalitarian state, based on merit rather than privilege, this did not suit a lot of people, mainly Sunni, who had been used to a privileged life based on nothing more than birth. He set about managing this with an iron grip on the state and to be honest, it was brutal at times. There is no doubt torture was used; I have been in their Intelligence HQ and heard the screams! However, the people in the main were quite happy. The only real dissenters were the Muslim Brotherhood (Ikhwan Islamiya), arguably the first of the Sunni fanatics, and they were dealt with severely in Hama.
Hafez seemed to have 2 main aims; preservation of his own rule and suppression of the Islamist fanatics. Regardless of the Sunni presence in his government, he made sure the Alawites had the whip hand. Watched and listened when an officious station manager for Syrian airlines at Heathrow was sacked, over the phone, by an Air Force Warrant Officer. He literally told him to get on the next flight to Damascus. His crime? Holding up a package of spares being sent from UK to me in order to get some of their radios working. Despite being only a W.O., this bloke was an Alawi and his word went!
Once Hafez was gone and his son took over, I suspect the Islamic fanatics thought they saw weakness in him and set out to exploit it. Maybe, the initial protests in Daraa having met with Syrian troops wielding only clubs (initially) confirmed this and the fanatics saw an opportunity to get their own back. Who knows?
The bottom line now though is that the opposition to Assad is comprised mainly of Islamic fanatics and should Assad go ... well, be careful what you wish for! Personally, I hope Assad wins. He will be doing the West an immense favour with the inevitable "cleansing" that would surely follow, putting the likes of Jaish Al Islam, Al Nusr Front and ISIS back in their boxes.
Regarding my earlier comment re the screams in the Intelligence HQ, I should point out, in the interests of balance, that those screams sounded remarkably similar to those I heard at the equivalent premises of the Kuwaiti, Bahraini and Jordanian governments. And they are all our "good guy" pals, right? Mention to the average Jordanian "Fondok Azrak" (Blue Hotel) and they will be off for a change of underwear! The equivalent in Syria is "Department 211". When stopped at the Jordan/Syrian border customs many years ago, the customs officers were being a bit 'awkward' with my boss and I. The taxi driver knew what was in store so literally lay down on a bench for an hour or two's kip. A customs officer asked what we were going to do in Damascus and when my boss mentioned "Department 211", I was astonished at the change. The customs officers started repacking our bags, apologising, tipping their caps etc. The taxi driver looked as if he been galvanised with a couple of thousand volts and all the way into Damascus, he could be seen looking at the pair of us in the rear view mirror with a "who the bloody hell have I got in my taxi?" look on his face! Once past the customs, we had to go through immigration (yes, it seems backwards) and there were lorries parked all over the place, with one driver from London moaning he had been there for 3 days! We walked into the office where our visas were supposed to be waiting for us and were dealt with by an officious, sneering so and so (I think he was a Captain) who didn't want to go look for the visas. Eventually, we got fed up and told him to ring this number in Damascus. It was the number of a General at the head of Dpt 211. Once again, galvanic reactions, the visas appeared, someone junior got it in the neck for not having them ready and available for us etc. Exit one Captain with a look of abject fear all over his face!
Still, it kept the place peaceful.
I must admit to being baffled as to why the West seems intent on overthrowing the Assad regime when they must know what will replace it.

meadowrun
14th Apr 2018, 08:38
Just another Theocratic State.


Notice one common set of phrases from the various talking heads (gov&media) oft repeated -
"To deter the use of chemical weapons."
So far they have taken out (reportedly) one CW research facility, one CW production facility and one military bunker of some sort.


Will that deter the use of CWs?


Notice May's press conference? Her, symmetrically between two perfectly draped Union Flags, their upfront and centre St. George's Crosses, prominently flanking her.


Subliminal? Wonder what all the bad guys were focused on during the statements?
Maybe I'm over-thinking this one.


Good news is, it's overshadowing winnie's funeral in Soweto. They are giving her an official gun salute down there amid much festivities.

Krautwald
14th Apr 2018, 08:42
Some people apparently like the idea of Europe being surrounded by destabilized hell-holes. Libya was just an appetizer?

The realistic alternative for Assad is not a prosperous and democratic Syria, but a sunni Islamist para-state.

Rwy in Sight
14th Apr 2018, 08:45
Meadowrun, bad as he is, removing Assad would not be be a good thing.


Very wise words. My father with large experience in Middle East pointed out the day before yesterday how bad Americans are at finding a replacement of a bad leader in Middle East.

VP959
14th Apr 2018, 08:51
Meadowrun, bad as he is, removing Assad would not be be a good thing.

I wholeheartedly agree. Better the devil you know, and can exert limited control over, than the inevitable chaos that would ensue if he were to be removed from power.

Last night's antics were madness, that will have little or no effect on Assad and will only have served to piss off the Russians even more and invigorate the IS/DAESH rebels into fresh attacks.

Acting on moral principles is justifiable, provided that the outcome can be predicted with a fair degree of certainty, something that I very much doubt is possible with any action in Syria.

meadowrun
14th Apr 2018, 08:51
Another bumbling theocratic state in place of a bumbling wannabe king-dictator type thing could hardly be worse.
Syria has little to offer the world other than a lump of land in an awkward place.

Krautwald
14th Apr 2018, 08:54
KelvinD, thank you and +1.

Assad represents a minority-lead, semi-dictatorial regime balancing Syria with a firm hand. Those opposing him do NOT do so for democracy or liberty. They are trying to reinstall sunni dominance.

I hope everybody who frothers for his removal knows who they support and can commit to that side with a happy conscience.

Btw why are the chem attacks and other atrocities always discovered and documented by the (al Qaeda funded) White Helmets? They are ALWAYS on site when Western Airstrikes are being justified.

ATNotts
14th Apr 2018, 09:13
I must admit to being baffled as to why the West seems intent on overthrowing the Assad regime when they must know what will replace it.

That single line sums it up so well.

This morning I saw footage of Syrian TV news, with the female newsreader in western dress, no headscarf, no austere clothing. If "the International Community" had got it's way and rebels had unseated Assad I wonder how the Syrian media would be seen - and for that matter how life, for example, for 50% of the Syrian population who aren't male might have been?

And another question:-

What is "The International Community". Who are it's members, how do you join? And did I get a vote in a referendum on whether we should or shouldn't join this eminent body.

I ask this as a rhetorical question, and believe the answer is that it's any country (usually western or anglophile) that shares the same "values", sometimes hypocritical values - ref. Saudi Arabia for example.

angels
14th Apr 2018, 09:38
balancing Syria with a firm hand.

Never heard murder called that before.

Poor old Assad will have to go back to murdering women and children with ordinary munitions for a while now.

I bet he's devastated -- rather like much of his country.

Stan Woolley
14th Apr 2018, 09:38
KelvinD, thank you and +1

Make that +2

These things are never as simple as we think. I honestly think that if we showed some compassion and understanding rather than acting out of ego then things would improve for everyone.

But I think that will take time.

KelvinD
14th Apr 2018, 09:41
meadowrun: Just another Theocratic State.
To which state were you referring? If you meant Syria then you are demonstrating you know nothing about the place.
If, on the other hand, you were referring to the UK, then you may have a point; a vicar's daughter standing before the crosses of St. George, St. Andrew and St. Patrick!

meadowrun
14th Apr 2018, 09:50
The alternative to no Assad is what then?
Does some Islamic hoard not rush in?
Or is Syria really a nice place in general terms, full of nice people just waiting to elect a real, democratic, sound government that will carry the nation forward towards peace and prosperity? What have they been waiting for then?


Do you really think the UK is a theocracy?

sitigeltfel
14th Apr 2018, 09:50
One thing is certain. Scanning various blogs shows that staff at the St Petersburg troll farms are getting plenty overtime this weekend!

pax britanica
14th Apr 2018, 09:51
Good to see some sanity here among the Bat Guano and Buck Turgison types lurking from the 1950s .

Certainly Stria is a complex country-I wonder why-nothing to do with colonialism surely and the 'pro western element support Assad even if their support for the west is bizarrely bolstered by Russia.

But then in fundamentalist terms Russia is the west and is the same as the USA and UK in their oft distorted view.

So now we ahve four politicians who could all do with a bit of jingoistic old school 'Our resolve is strong' politics .

Vlad has just got re-elected but has plenty of economic problems, he of course is the cartoon bad guy and therefore must be in the wrong to us in NATO world. He has all the qualifications, ex KGB fiendishly clever and likes the cult idea quite a bit.

Mother T , a hopeless useless PM with far bigger problems than Syria but they are getting bigger by the day so lets have a bit of distraction

M Macron, who is finding good looks, nice clothes and a liking for older women doesn't cut a lot of ice with Confederation Generale and the real world .

And , finally, Mr T., mad, bad and dangerous to know. He is still under investigation on every side by the Feds and has a executive staff turnover that would see any CEO sacked

All of them happy to put our futures on the line for short term personal gain.
Aren't politicians wonderful.

Then of course there is the issue that Putin has more experience than the other three put together of these situations and far better qualifications. He may be a bad guy but he isnt hopelessly inexperienced a a la Macron, just plain hopeless like our PM or insane like Trump. If anyone has through through the long game (the only one that matters in global politics) its him and his smart and polished ambassadors/ministers who make their western counterparts look like clowns - not hard to do with Boris (isn't that a a Russian name, its a lot more Russian than Jeremy surely)).

Is a resurgence of the cold war in any ones interest at all other than these few worried politicians , and some generals and industrialists with interests in selling weapons . For the rest of mankind , especially us in the West who spent so much money and effort 'fighting' and 'winning' it we should be aghast at what our leaders are doing , and doing it in our name too!!

Hussar 54
14th Apr 2018, 09:53
Macron, May and Trump might just be using the old diversionery tactic of hoping to take everyones' attentions off domestic ' problems '

But I have to admit that this time. and perhaps for the first time ever, I'm a bit worried about what's happening and where last night's attacks might eventually end.

I have no real feelings one way or the other about Assad - he's about par for the course for most Kings / Presidents / Leaders in 2nd and 3rd World countries.

But I do worry that his mate, Putin, is just about crazy enough to escalate this into something far, far more serious and dangerous.

I hope that France, UK and US have sufficient Intelligence Reports to be 200% sure that Putin's retaliation won't be a few missiles of his own.

ATNotts
14th Apr 2018, 10:21
But I do worry that his mate, Putin, is just about crazy enough to escalate this into something far, far more serious and dangerous.

I don't see Putin as crazy, closer to the clever and calculating end of the spectrum I think; his KGB training would have taught him that. I don't believe he is likely to try retaliatory attacks, since in the scheme of things Syria, whilst important to Russia probably isn't important enough for him to escalate traditional military action outside of that theatre.

The crazy one is Trump (if not crazy, then let's be charitable and say inexperienced and out of his depth), but thankfully the checks and balances that we are constantly told exist within the US system appear to have won the day, at least so far as last night is concerned.

Russia has said there will be "consequences" and obviously these could be either overt (perhaps cutting gas supplies to some countries - it's about the only economic sanction Russia could place on Europe that would hurt) or more likely covert, perhaps, a vicious cyber attack, either on a major western country, or perhaps more likely on one or more of the Baltic states.

meadowrun
14th Apr 2018, 10:27
Putin is playing a very long game when it comes to international relations.
He has his economy to protect first and foremost.
But, he likes to fight, to spar, to knock things around a bit, but just a bit.
To dance. It's the only way he gets to lead.
The dance will continue.

Barksdale Boy
14th Apr 2018, 10:30
If their electorates wish to get rid of May, Macron or Trump, they can, at the ballot box, and, almost certainly, no one will die.

racedo
14th Apr 2018, 11:11
The alternative to no Assad is what then?
Does some Islamic hoard not rush in?
Or is Syria really a nice place in general terms, full of nice people just waiting to elect a real, democratic, sound government that will carry the nation forward towards peace and prosperity? What have they been waiting for then?


Do you really think the UK is a theocracy?

So we had Call me Dave and Sarkozy proclaiming they were bringing Democracy to Libya.... still freely available on Youtube.

But we know now that UK stole (froze) the Libyan funds in London and will give them back to a legitimate (say never ) Govt in Libya.
Sarkozy heading to jail for getting $20 million to support his election campaign and his beef was that French Oil company at $100 plus a barrel were being asked to provide additional royalties for Libyan treasury.

As for Theorcracy...................... make your own call
Senior bishops from one religion only sit in 2nd house of parliement, Head of state can be only from one religion.
COE has less attending church / mosque each week than Catholics or Muslims.

racedo
14th Apr 2018, 11:13
What? After just entertaining the Crown Prince and flogging them £ billions of armaments, and that's before you even start on how much we cherish their oil supplies.

What is clear is that in the 21st century the great British public, and I suspect the public in most outwardlooking democracies are a deal less gullible than they were even 50 years ago. That I think is born out that even despite the jingoism in the UK press, support for last nights attack stands at around just 20%, according to one of the journalists who questioned Mrs. May after her Downing Street statement this morning.

It was rhetorical after all he got a full state visit and a fawning media......... course the fact he paid for this gets overlooked.

London sold out to Riyadh decades ago like a cheap hooker.

racedo
14th Apr 2018, 11:16
What - his underlings and hangers-on are worse than him?
The members of his party are worse than him?
Perhaps.
However, Syria would not fall apart. Islamic boy gangs would not rush in to fill a vacuum. It would lurch forward.
I don't see a down side to removal of this POS. Might have his replacement prone to more shaking in boots tho'


Remind us all how Libya is doing after the last time the 3 Stooges acted to bomb and remove a leader.

29Alpha
14th Apr 2018, 11:21
Lot of aul nonsense, so much for the 'big war' out of putin, sure they were talking about it 5 mins before it started! #all blow no go

racedo
14th Apr 2018, 11:29
Lot of aul nonsense, so much for the 'big war' out of putin, sure they were talking about it 5 mins before it started! #all blow no go

US and others had plans for big campaign................... Russia made it abundantly clear it was not going to happen.

The 3 backed down.

Fliegenmong
14th Apr 2018, 11:42
"The 3 backed down."

Didn't the US lob a heap of Tomahawks?....Didn't the Brits & French go in with 4 aircraft each?....Doesn't Syria have formidable air defences?...

So what of the Russian counter? They said they would?...No...

racedo
14th Apr 2018, 11:43
Unverified reports are that 71 out of 103 missiles were intercepted this morning.

No doubt the real figure will come out in due course but bearing in mind IAF had 60% of missiles fired last weekend at T4 Airbase intercepted it appears odds favour the defenders.

pax britanica
14th Apr 2018, 11:51
Oh yes -the electorates, well we are a democracy once every five years if the Government chooses that course, usually it ignores the public between elections whatever party it is from and in USA its every 4 years-similar in France but they always have the 'Aux armes citoyans' option.

Not quite the same in Russia but Putin is not Stalin and cannot do what he likes its just that he answers to a much smaller group of 'electors'.

We do have to accept that we and the USA and others have no real moral right to do this.

Assad, or more likely the hard line Ba'athist who support him and decide the military options, is obviously wrong to do this but then Britain and USA (and probably France) have all used chemical weapons in the past when it suited so the moral high ground is no longer there.

The biggest threat to Assad personally would be to make it clear he will go the same way as the Yugoslavian war criminals even if it takes 20 years and to reach agreement with the Russians that Syria is their responsibility and they can sort it out so long as this sort of thing doesnt happen.

ORAC
14th Apr 2018, 12:06
Unverified reports are that 71 out of 103 missiles were intercepted this morning.

No doubt the real figure will come out in due course but bearing in mind IAF had 60% of missiles fired last weekend at T4 Airbase intercepted it appears odds favour the defenders. Strange that someone insisting on hard proof elsewhere will willingly accept such fantasies as fact.

If they were very, very lucky they might have taken down 5%, and that would be above average for any SAM system.

ORAC
14th Apr 2018, 12:12
US and others had plans for big campaign................... Russia made it abundantly clear it was not going to happen. The 3 backed down.

https://youtu.be/ZmInkxbvlCs

Stan Woolley
14th Apr 2018, 12:17
The 3 backed down.

How many Russians were killed?

My guess is that they were told not to involve Russians, or very bad things might happen.

racedo
14th Apr 2018, 12:24
"The 3 backed down."

Didn't the US lob a heap of Tomahawks?....Didn't the Brits & French go in with 4 aircraft each?....Doesn't Syria have formidable air defences?...

So what of the Russian counter? They said they would?...No...

Last tuesday when the rhetoric started it was going to be a fully bombing campaign.

This morning they fired missiles at 3 facilities and 4 aircraft each is enough to claim they took part but diddly squat.

Reports are that 70% of missiles were intercepted and once fog clear the numbers will come out.

No attack was even close to Russian personnel last night.............. Russia had made clear it would respond if tht happened.

It was enough to attempt to save face by the 3 stooges and appear like they mattered.

In other news US admitted that it has paid US Mercaneries in Syria and Iraq.

Fliegenmong
14th Apr 2018, 12:25
Why am I "Online now and report post" ???:confused:

The Russians clearly indicated that if anything were to happen in Syria....nothing about if Russians were killed....just about if things started happening in Syria...as I understood it..

racedo
14th Apr 2018, 12:28
Strange that someone insisting on hard proof elsewhere will willingly accept such fantasies as fact.

If they were very, very lucky they might have taken down 5%, and that would be above average for any SAM system.

I guess the
"Unverified reports"
and
"No doubt the real figure will come out in due course"
which were both within the post are a tad beyond your comprehension.

VP959
14th Apr 2018, 12:32
Reports are that 70% of missiles were intercepted and once fog clear the numbers will come out.



I've done an extensive search, and all I can find is a Syrian government claim that they hit 13 of the 100 odd missiles fired last night. Given that the Syrian Government will have almost certainly exaggerated their claim, I make the percentage that got through, according to Syrian government reports, at of about 87%, and would expect, based on the probable effectiveness of the defence systems that we know Syria has, for that figure to be closer to 95%.

Where did the figure of "70% of missiles were intercepted", which implies that only 30% got through the defence systems, come from, please? I'd like to try and do a crude assessment, based on looking at as many public domain sources as possible, really just out of curiosity.

VP959
14th Apr 2018, 12:35
I guess the
"Unverified reports"
and
"No doubt the real figure will come out in due course"
which were both within the post are a tad beyond your comprehension.

This is now on two threads, I've asked a question on the other one about the source of this claim, as it would be interesting to try and do a rough assessment based on what's available in the public domain.

jindabyne
14th Apr 2018, 12:35
Well done to the RAF aircrew on dutifully carrying out their successful mission, and thankfully returning to base safe and sound.

racedo
14th Apr 2018, 12:51
I've done an extensive search, and all I can find is a Syrian government claim that they hit 13 of the 100 odd missiles fired last night. Given that the Syrian Government will have almost certainly exaggerated their claim, I make the percentage that got through, according to Syrian government reports, at of about 87%, and would expect, based on the probable effectiveness of the defence systems that we know Syria has, for that figure to be closer to 95%.

Where did the figure of "70% of missiles were intercepted", which implies that only 30% got through the defence systems, come from, please? I'd like to try and do a crude assessment, based on looking at as many public domain sources as possible, really just out of curiosity.


Posted on that site I sent you link to last week.

flash8
14th Apr 2018, 12:56
The really worrying this is the big white elephant in the room, what would happen if Syria were to fall?

We will have living hell on earth, beyond the Libya fiasco, when the US sponsored bloodthirsty Jihadists get their hands on the civilian population of Damascus. Did we learn *anything* from Libya? Like Libya there are *zero* plans for reconstruction. The civilians will suffer again hugely, through mass slaughter, beheadings, rapes, murders.

The sensible option (as Russia has done) is to back Assad against radical Islamic elements almost completed, invest in the country, reconstruct it, encourage democratic reform etc etc... not likely.

Of course this is never mentioned in the Western media, just as Libya is a distant memory. It really does defy belief.

Those that support the bombings and overthrow of Assad here should be made to explain what the plan is once he has gone.

PAXfips
14th Apr 2018, 13:13
https:// twitter.com /realDonaldTrump/status/985130802668294144

Breaking the law accomplished.

VP959
14th Apr 2018, 13:34
Posted on that site I sent you link to last week.

So where is the verification, as it seems markedly different from the figure the Syrian government are claiming?

One or the other must be in error by a serious margin, which to me tends to indicate that neither are accurate, and casts doubt on the veracity of both.

I doubt we'll get to see the official BDA, but no doubt there will be strong murmurings if any claims look suspiciously optimistic or pessimistic. We know the probability of kill for the weapons used on all sides with a reasonable degree of accuracy, so I'd expect over 90% of the missiles fires to have got through Syrian air defences and would be surprised if that figure was out by more than +/-5%.

India Four Two
14th Apr 2018, 13:36
thankfully returning to base safe and sound.

Probably a fairly short, low-risk mission:

ďAkrotiri Tower, missile away, downwind to land.Ē ;)

Pontius Navigator
14th Apr 2018, 13:39
Very wise words. My father with large experience in Middle East pointed out the day before yesterday how bad Americans are at finding a replacement of a bad leader in Middle East.

and remember who supported Castro whereas we were in favour of Batista.

Octane
14th Apr 2018, 13:42
What exactly were they hoping to achieve?

Pontius Navigator
14th Apr 2018, 13:45
What exactly were they hoping to achieve?

I imagine what they said.

Pontius Navigator
14th Apr 2018, 13:50
Now we have Sir Alan West... former First Sea Lord.... and Chief of Naval staff.... speaking out.

Who next? The Air Vice Marshall of the RAF?

Lord West. .

flash8
14th Apr 2018, 14:03
Lord West. .

OK,PN, formerly Admiral Sir Alan West...

Fitter2
14th Apr 2018, 14:04
This is not specifically about Assad, it's about chemical weapons. Obama, whatever else one might praise or blame him for, laid down a red line and then did nothing when itwas crossed. Now the precedent has been reset - poison gas is a no-no. Likewise nerve agents. However much Moscow officials (and trolls) deny the truth, I suspect the message has been understood.