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Here it comes: Syria

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Here it comes: Syria

Old 24th Aug 2013, 15:52
  #401 (permalink)  
 
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I cannot see any huge problem with limited strikes on government command and control centres and on a few military targets, like airfields and missile sites. Apart from acting as a warning against the use of (further) chemical attacks, it would even the fight a little and let Russia know it cannot have its own way. It would be nice to have a UN resolution, but Russia and China will never let that happen.

Give Assad a bloody nose and then stand back for a while.
So you think we should 'even' the conflict up a bit then, what happens if more Sarin is deployed and we don't know who used it some days ago, both sides have the rocket based systems to deploy the gas.

So who do you hit, we have no confirmation of a) where all the regimes CW stockpiles are, b) has security on any been compromised c) have the FSA captured any, d) is it 'bathtub Sarin' as used in the Tokyo attack. What about the consequences after a strike, do we allow mass slaughter by the rebel forces of those seen as either unbelievers or not believing enough, which has happened in the past look at Iraq and it is happening now in Syria and has happened in Egypt before the military got involved.

What would the Russians and Chinese do, Russia could cut off gas supplies to the west and China call in all the US debt it owns, the rule of unintended consequences. What happens if the rebels won then they had Sarin and the means to attack, would they go after Israel at a later date, and the consequences of that are even worse, with the potential of nuclear weapon release as would have happened in GW1 with the Samson option. Remember, James Baker via Tarriq Assiz warned the Iraqi's off quietly through the UN about the potential consequences of a CW attack on Israel.

Time to stand on the sidelines and watch, help Jordan and Turkey with the refugee situation by all means but get involved inside NO NO NO.
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Old 24th Aug 2013, 16:19
  #402 (permalink)  
 
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The Syrian conflict pits Hezbollah and Iran against Al-Qaeda, which is a result for the west.
Very many of the world's moslem nutters are there now. Killing each other. Including over 600 from the West. So British jihadists are there instead of here, which has to be good.

One good option would be to seal the country off and supply no more arms or fuel. Then they would eventually be reduced to throwing stones at each other. Already the number of armoured vehicles and combat aircraft is significantly depleted.

It will be very interesting to see the nature of Obama's strike. Will he attempt to decapitate the regime, go for C4ISTAR, take out the threats to Israel which means scuds and chemical weapons stores or will he just go after military assets on the ground? Or some combination. He is forced in a corner by his "red line" speech and has no option but to act.
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Old 24th Aug 2013, 16:39
  #403 (permalink)  
 
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Obama is indeed in a corner and is looking like lame duck President in particular with the dispute between the Senate and the House of Representatives and the US forces budget. The American public like the British public will be and in fact are, against any intervention in this situation and look as if they want them to sort it out themselves, without having forces in harms way in particular with CW around. Imagine having to work in CBRN suits and respirators in the heat of the day then the cold of the night.

If he orders the strike, and if he uses cruise missiles, how many MANPADS, SAMS and ZSU 23/4s has Assad got available to defend his sites. Are US intel sources up to date in view of places to target and by giving this sort of warning the Syrians would be foolish not to play a 'shell game' of moving stocks and C4ISTR where possible to other sites.

Airstrikes require tanker C4ISTR SEAD and a base or bases to operate from, that's another problem.

Eclectic: unfortunately being on the border of Iran means you can move supplies without difficulty and they will not want to loose their supply line to Hezboullah in Lebanon. The Saudi's Qatari's on one side and Iran on the other, maybe a good time for them to attack each other, draw in all the idiots and crazies and leave the rest of the world alone. What's not to like about that scenario.
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Old 24th Aug 2013, 17:41
  #404 (permalink)  
 
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Ronald,
Alex Jones is a conspiracy nut. He will find any snippet from an 'expert talking head' purely to get hits and suck in the gullible. The world is certainly not in need of money making conspiracy peddlars like Alex Jones.

Press released from Doctors without borders.

Brussels/New York, August 24, 2013 -- Three hospitals in Syria's Damascus governorate that are supported by the international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) have reported to MSF that they received approximately 3,600 patients displaying neurotoxic symptoms in less than three hours on the morning of Wednesday, August 21, 2013. Of those patients, 355 reportedly died.....

“Medical staff working in these facilities provided detailed information to MSF doctors regarding large numbers of patients arriving with symptoms including convulsions, excess saliva, pinpoint pupils, blurred vision and respiratory distress,” said Dr. Bart Janssens, MSF director of operations.

Patients were treated using MSF-supplied atropine, a drug used to treat neurotoxic symptoms. MSF is now trying to replenish the facilities’ empty stocks and provide additional medical supplies and guidance.

“MSF can neither scientifically confirm the cause of these symptoms nor establish who is responsible for the attack,” said Dr. Janssens. “However, the reported symptoms of the patients, in addition to the epidemiological pattern of the events—characterized by the massive influx of patients in a short period of time, the origin of the patients, and the contamination of medical and first aid workers—strongly indicate mass exposure to a neurotoxic agent.
Syria: Thousands Suffering Neurotoxic Symptoms Treated in Hospitals Supported by MSF | Doctors Without Borders

Last edited by TEEEJ; 24th Aug 2013 at 17:45. Reason: Additional info added
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Old 24th Aug 2013, 18:51
  #405 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by air pig View Post
So you think we should 'even' the conflict up a bit then, what happens if more Sarin is deployed and we don't know who used it some days ago, both sides have the rocket based systems to deploy the gas.

So who do you hit, we have no confirmation of a) where all the regimes CW stockpiles are, b) has security on any been compromised c) have the FSA captured any, d) is it 'bathtub Sarin' as used in the Tokyo attack. What about the consequences after a strike, do we allow mass slaughter by the rebel forces of those seen as either unbelievers or not believing enough, which has happened in the past look at Iraq and it is happening now in Syria and has happened in Egypt before the military got involved.

What would the Russians and Chinese do, Russia could cut off gas supplies to the west and China call in all the US debt it owns, the rule of unintended consequences. What happens if the rebels won then they had Sarin and the means to attack, would they go after Israel at a later date, and the consequences of that are even worse, with the potential of nuclear weapon release as would have happened in GW1 with the Samson option. Remember, James Baker via Tarriq Assiz warned the Iraqi's off quietly through the UN about the potential consequences of a CW attack on Israel.

Time to stand on the sidelines and watch, help Jordan and Turkey with the refugee situation by all means but get involved inside NO NO NO.
Simply this.
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Old 24th Aug 2013, 20:07
  #406 (permalink)  
 
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Eclectic you make a great point about Hezbollah and Iran vs Al-Qaeda.
Letting it play out is probably a good idea though one does worry about the civilian population who probably just wish to live their lives and hate both extremes. While I strongly dislike the Iranian regime and certainly Hezbollah I find them both atleast one magnitude better than Al-Qaeda. Under the right circumstances one could sit down and talk to the Iranian regime, to conduct business and trade deals with them like Russia and China do. But Al-Qaeda, as far as I am concerned are the true bad guys. Evil incarnate. The idea that after Sept 11th 2001 we (UK, USA and France) could even remotely be on the same side as them is just mad! To engage in military action on the side that they are!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We should really keep out of it, but if we wanted to do anything it should be to help Assad destroy Al-Qaeda.
Our leaders have truly lost the plot. What a bunch of useless morons they really are. I thought the war on terror was supposed to be about destroying Al-Qaeda, not launching airstrikes on there behalf!

Last edited by Ronald Reagan; 24th Aug 2013 at 20:11.
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Old 25th Aug 2013, 00:31
  #407 (permalink)  
 
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Agree with Broadsword.
Go to war with Tomahawks - knock out C&C.
BTW it's Sunni versus Alawite.
Trying to airstrike at this point would be very risky given the number of manpads.
China's not going to call in its debt, and Russia is not going to cut off gas supplies to the west
The degree of coordination - the number of sites involved only points to one perp I reckon.
The tone of what MSF is saying points to the scale of this.
Mrs T is a TV producer.
She emailed me on Friday about the unedited raw pics of the gassing that are coming in off the satellites to news organisations worldwide.
The ones you guys don't see.
Not something you can sit by and ignore I'm afraid.

Last edited by tartare; 25th Aug 2013 at 00:40.
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Old 25th Aug 2013, 00:52
  #408 (permalink)  
 
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Ronald,
It plays both ways. If Assad is removed and the rebels seize control then Al Qaeda is not going to last long in Syria and certainly not hold any position of power. Only a proportion of rebels within Syria are Al Qaeda or the rest of the extremist nut jobs.

You only have to look at Iraq when Al-Q started pushing their luck and took over suburbs. That resulted in the the US and some insurgents combining forces and taking over those areas where Al Q had tried to set up controlled areas. Yes Al-Q are in Syria but you can't broad brush the majority of Assad opposition in the same light. Al Q and other extremists are always going to be in the background of such conflicts but they are never going to have majority popular support.
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Old 25th Aug 2013, 01:00
  #409 (permalink)  
 
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So you wish to help hand Syria to radical terrorists tartare? clever move
If this article is correct then two governments are to blame for loss of life in Syria:-
Former French Foreign Minister Roland Dumas: West was preparing attack on Syria before crisis started | Global Research

Here is a video link of him saying the same.
France's Former Foreign Minister: UK Government Prepared War in Syria Two Years Before 2011 Protests - YouTube

If the UK and France had not stuck their noses in to begin with then Syria would probably be a stable, safe and functioning country right now. If the above is true then those in our nation who planned this are war criminals.

Last edited by Ronald Reagan; 25th Aug 2013 at 01:14.
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Old 25th Aug 2013, 01:07
  #410 (permalink)  
 
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But the key thing is that they are there at all TEEEJ. If we had not gone into Iraq or Libya at all and not planned this whole thing in Syria then they would not be in any of those nations. By doing what we have done, we have helped them via our actions. Our continued and repeated policy of failure has caused this to be the case.

To be honest I have doubts about many of the so called moderate rebels to, I wonder exactly how moderate they are. They are likely less fanatical than Al Qaeda but one wonders by how much. I hope we do not see a post Assad Syria but if we do I fear for all the minority groups.

As someone on here said, before our little wars came along one could safely visit Iraq, Libya and Syria, sure you would likely have a government minder but you would be safe. I would imagine its going to be a VERY long time before its safe enough to visit these nations again without the fear of being kidnapped or killed.
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Old 25th Aug 2013, 01:33
  #411 (permalink)  
 
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Agree with Broadsword.
Go to war with Tomahawks - knock out C&C.
BTW it's Sunni versus Alawite.
Trying to airstrike at this point would be very risky given the number of manpads.
China's not going to call in its debt, and Russia is not going to cut off gas supplies to the west
The degree of coordination - the number of sites involved only points to one perp I reckon.
The tone of what MSF is saying points to the scale of this.
Mrs T is a TV producer.
She emailed me on Friday about the unedited raw pics of the gassing that are coming in off the satellites to news organisations worldwide.
The ones you guys don't see.
Not something you can sit by and ignore I'm afraid.
Sunni vs Alawites - indeed but supported by the Shia in Iran.

Tomahawks for C&C - only have a small number of ingress routes and manpads and ZSU23/4 traps can be set up, and in 22 years since GW 1 don't you think governments have learnt both redundancy and dispersal of the C&C networks. Now in theory you could set up a system using PCs or laptops linked together.

China and debt - it could be called in or just make American manufacturers life extremely hard round the world as they have created a culture in the third world by their investment that they call the shots including the extraction of rare earth metals.

Russia and gas - Russia cut the gas off to Georgia when they had a dispute about cost, western Europe needs gas from Russia and Putin has it and is not afraid to use it as a weapon and winter will soon be upon us.

MSF - have only pointed to the scale of the deaths but have not apportioned blame.

TV coverage - if the coverage is graphic then it should be shown to improve the case for action but who shot the pictures and the veracity of the film.

More coverage coming out from the Assad side showing containers in tunnels, which I suspect are part of the Syrian Air Defence system. This may show the idea I postulated earlier about bath tub Sarin.

The UN is toothless in effect, and do you want to cause an even bigger atrocity by throwing Tomahawks around without suitable data, the Syrians still have an air defence system which we may believe is largely intact, we don't know of the S300s deployment and possibly Russian advisor's with them or within the Syrian air defence system as a whole . Satellite technology is wonderful but its only one club in the C4ISTAR golf bag and if you are unable to fly over or near your target area you have no or limited information. If you have to have targeting are we ready as we did in Libya to send in ground forces to act as JTACs in full CBRN equipment.

Any move by the Western countries is now being talked about openly, if you were Assad you'd be playing a shell game. The press is pontificating about the use of bases in Germany, with an election coming up will Merkel allow it, I don't think so, remember some of the 9/11 bombers were based in Hamburg, Italy is unstable politically.

I said earlier and I continue to think is that we stay out, look at the disaster we caused in Libya, and eventually the murder of the US Ambassador, in part due to the incompetence of the US administration. The people ie electorate in both the UK and US if asked would want NO part of this emerging disaster. Support the refugees in Jordan and Turkey only.

Last edited by air pig; 25th Aug 2013 at 01:55.
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Old 25th Aug 2013, 07:35
  #412 (permalink)  
 
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Tartare I have taken journo's into war and famine zones and they tell me that they have to look hard to find most of the pictures that they send back so to believe that it is all widespread needs to be taken with a pinch of salt. If it is that bad maybe they should show the pictures that they have, until then it is unconfirmed, let alone who dunnit!!!!!
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Old 25th Aug 2013, 08:37
  #413 (permalink)  
 
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Tartare

If you really feel so passionate about the rebel's cause, why don't you join them on the ground? From what you say, they need all the help they can get and would really appreciate your tactical military advice.

I would rather send a thousand willing volunteers like yourself, than a single British or US serviceman - who will have no choice in the matter.

It's a total mess. Lets keep our boys and girls well out of it. We don't want any more body bags from yet another religious conflict.
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Old 25th Aug 2013, 10:14
  #414 (permalink)  
 
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The rebels have a good supply of ATGMs and an intermittent supply of MANPADs. They also have lots of explosives that they use in tunnels, home made weapons and IEDs. Some of this they have captured from the regime, but most has been supplied externally.

The Saudis and Turks have been involved to some extent, but by far the biggest benefactor has been Qatar, who have spent about $3 billion arming the rebels.
Initially a lot of the arms were sourced in Libya (by the CIA, who are organising everything) but the killing of the US ambassador in Benghazi halted this.
The next big source was Sudan and rumours are of Ukrainian aircraft freighting supplies.

But what has been very confusing is the vast preference that has been given to Jabhat al-Nusra over the Fee Syrian Army as recipients for all this kit. Early in the war the FSA were the dominant rebel force, but the supply of Qatar funded arms to al Nusra has seen them come from nowhere to become the biggest fighting force.
Al Nusra is an an Al Qaeda associate and is designated as a terrorist organisation by the UN, the UK, the USA etc. Yet the CIA has been organising their receipt of most of the Qatar funded arms.
Al Nusra are committing lots of atrocities, mass murdering regime prisoners and ethnically cleansing Christians and Kurds. A couple of weeks ago they took over some coastal villages and mass murdered the Alawites there. In all their captured territory they enforce strict sharia law.

So why are the CIA doing this? One theory is that the FSA are militarily ineffective. Consisting of local volunteers who want to protect their homes and deserters from the army they were unwilling to take up the bigger fight against the regime.
Al Nusra, in comparison, are extremely effective. Salafist extremists committed to Jihad with no concern for their own lives they are happy to throw themselves at the regime. For them the goal of establishing a caliphate is worth everything. Al Nusra have been reinforced with volunteers from many countries, hardened Chechen and Pakistani terrorists and lots of very experienced Sunnis from Iraq. As well as the British, Dutch, American etc islamic nutters.

Another thing that is surprising is the very low level of Iranian involvement. In Iran there are very many Shias who want to go to Syria to fight and their government isn't letting them go. The Iranian Revolutionary Guard is well over 100,000 strong and must be desperate to be allowed to get involved. There are a small number of Iranians in Syria, mostly guarding holy Shiite shrines. The restraint shown by the Iranian government has been impressive and surprising.

The USA and UK governments are planning their involvement right now. It could happen tonight or any time from now on. They are convinced (presumably by SIGINT) that Assad was responsible for the chemical attack. Some say he did this deliberately to terrorise his opponents, knowing that Russia and China would back him all the way, especially at the UN. But the USA/UK are bypassing the UN, using the Kosovo precedent. Just now they are putting assets in place and gathering target information. They have SF in place to help with the latter.

The USA have at least 360 Tomahawks in theatre and can easily deploy armed drones. As in Libya they will not put boots on the ground. The big question is whether they will bother using manned aircraft. LCRA is an unsinkable aircraft carrier and there are plenty of Turkish and Israeli (even Jordanian) bases that could be used. But to go down this route would take a huge commitment and if they just want to give Assad a bloody nose it isn't necessary.
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Old 25th Aug 2013, 12:09
  #415 (permalink)  
 
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They are convinced (presumably by SIGINT) that Assad was responsible for the chemical attack.
I'm pretty sure that if Hague had anything that indicated direct regime action in this attack he would be on every TV channel and newspaper front page with it. Even he can't be stupid enough to think that the public are supportive of the rumours and innuendo he's spreading.

If there was concrete evidence, we would already know about it. The fact that we can capture SIGINT isn't a secret and releasing it would probably swing public support behind some kind of action.

TTFN
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Old 25th Aug 2013, 12:17
  #416 (permalink)  
 
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Interesting point Eclectic, I wonder indeed why the Iranians are not doing more, they will likely be the next target on the list for the US, UK and France. I wonder who is next on the list of places to attack, Iran? North Korea? No wonder they both wants nukes for self defence!
If Iran wanted to they could fully swing this in favour of Assad and end the war sooner rather than later. In moral terms it would be the best course of action.

I really hope our nations do not launch military action, but they are just warmongers and cannot help themselves.

The UK, French and US politicians really are a pathetic bunch of losers. Unable to run their own nations properly but ready to stick their snouts into the affairs of other nations. Thank god for China and Russia, two voices of reason in this world, it gives me much comfort that our nations are in decline but China and Russia are on the rise. The future could interesting especially sometime down the road the USA, UK and France economically collapse. If that happens we will see China, Russia and India being the dominant military powers on Earth. Fun times ahead, just not for London, Paris and Washington

Last edited by Ronald Reagan; 25th Aug 2013 at 12:25.
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Old 25th Aug 2013, 12:25
  #417 (permalink)  
 
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Eclectic: I'm afraid you are far to gung ho for your own good and I might even say very one sided with an axe to grind. If, as other posters have stated and I agree with them, that if you feel so strongly about the situation, your flight could be leaving from Birmingham or Heathrow soon. It appears you have a desire for military intervention but I suspect that you will not be part of a UK response, just shouting from the sidelines unlike others who will actually push the release button.

To come back to the main point of the suspected agent being Sarin, I refer you to the report from the Guardia/Observer today:

Syrian hospitals treated thousands for poison gas symptoms, says charity | World news | theguardian.com

The potency of the agent released appears very low with a 10% mortality rather 85 - 90% you would expect with Sarin. This leads me to believe that this is 'bath tub Sarin' rather than industrially made.

As to intelligence available and stating that the decision has already been taken, in the UK, as it is not an emerging danger to the UK Parliament will have to be recalled and the situation debated and voted on. the perils of democracy mean we cannot just attack in this situation.

You also assert that Cyprus is an unsinkable aircraft carrier, which is true, but I suspect the Jordanians would be unhappy to be seen as such and your laughable conspiracy theory that Israel that would allow bases to be used is patent nonsense and will not allow SLCMs to overfly their territory. The Israeli's will just sit behind their border and let everyone kill each other, less of a problem for them and a politically neutral stance.

Eclectic, as I stated at the start, your flight leaves soon from an airport near you, go and join the fight, as if you go it may mean one less UK/US serviceman/woman who has no choice in going, or are you either a troll or a keyboard warrior who unlike many on here like myself served in HM forces. We should stay out and only help the refugees in Turkey and Jordan. NO NO NO to any involvement.

Last edited by air pig; 25th Aug 2013 at 12:31.
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Old 25th Aug 2013, 12:55
  #418 (permalink)  
 
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@ air pig

I think you are being unfair.
If you look back through this thread you will see that I have repeatedly said that we should not get involved. And I have consistently pointed out how nasty the rebels are.

All I am posing is facts on the ground and my analysis of them.
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Old 25th Aug 2013, 13:13
  #419 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Boy from Brazil
It's a total mess. Lets keep our boys and girls well out of it.
I'm not arguing for or against involvement, but your remark does make me wonder. I see that sentiment stated around here a lot these days. I would love that our boys and girls didn't have to be put in harm's way, but that is rather what they're for. WWI & WWII were total messes, the Falklands, GW1, GW2, NI, etc. The fact that there might be loss of life in a military action is probably not always the prime reason for not going. When our seniors faught the Nazis, the decission was taken (partly, at least) on the basis that the bad guys were wrong and we were obliged to try to stop them.

So this "total mess" (which I fully agree it is) and our potential military involvement there will need to be decided upon other criteria. That's not to say we shouldn't weigh up the possible losses - Charge of the Light Brigade springs to mind, Little Big Horn, etc.

That said, I too hope we don't have to face yet another senseless loss of life for the wrong reasons.

Last edited by Courtney Mil; 25th Aug 2013 at 13:16.
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Old 25th Aug 2013, 13:18
  #420 (permalink)  
 
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Eclectic: In that case I apologise if you think I am bring unfair, we just have different views of each other analysis. The fact that the rebels are nasty is not in dispute, but in my opinion throwing Tomahawks at the Assad forces may even make that country more unstable, allowing the rebels to fracture into smaller and even more violent groups. There are too many outside influences in this situation for this to be resolved around a table in a civilised matter, as no one will give way. Assad regaining control with an iron hand in a steel glove, whilst not the best idea or desirable, it may, by being a 'strongman' solution bring some peace in the area.

Unfortunately, religiously motivated groups all over the world commit atrocities without them being extensively reported in particular in central Africa and Asia.

The use of a CW is to be deplored and perpetrators should be brought before a legally constituted court on a charge of either a war crime or as an outside attempted genocide.

As I have previous stated, we need to stay out and watch from the sidelines, giving only refugee aid.

Last edited by air pig; 25th Aug 2013 at 13:33.
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