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-   -   Here it comes: Syria (https://www.pprune.org/military-aviation/513470-here-comes-syria.html)

Dak Man 24th Jun 2013 19:09

Hi LW50, thanks for the response, although I have no idea how you conclude bias from ramblings (opionionated or otherwise) on a cyber forum. Sometimes it's good to play good cop and bad cop in order to strike a balanced opinion.

Lonewolf_50 24th Jun 2013 19:23

But for all their liberal values, I would just ask the politicians to answer one question: how did we, UK plc, feel when it transpired that the Libyans were arming the IRA? Because this is a carbon copy - we are seeking to arm a section of society in another country because we believe they are right, whilst the sitting government believes that very same section of society to be terrorists.
Melchett01: good point

Also Iraqi Shiite militias are now poring in on the side of the rebels. Making the conflict even more sectarian.
The trick is to find them, target them, and kill them. Likewise with the Sunni militias coming in to support the Al N faction.

Problem is, you can't protect the innocents when the crossfire is still going on. At the root of this is not a desire to get involved on either side per se, but the problem of whether involvement will stop said crossfire. My take is that any foreign intervention will just get both sides shooting at you, and the innocents will still get killed.
Fox 3, well said. :ok:

As perhaps with many civil wars, the only options for the innocents are to flee the warzone or to cease being innocents and choose sides.
Yes. That's an option.

Vlad says it makes no sense to arm terroristic Islamists
At least 600 Russians and Europeans fighting alongside Syrian opposition ? Putin ? RT News

I mostly agree with him, but there's one small bit he's not mentioning.

This whole dick measuring contest has to do with regional strategy, which means Iran. The US did Iran a huge favor by taking out Saddam. So, now that has to be corrected for. Looked at through that lens, a few hundred thousand dead Arabs of various sorts in the middle east doesn't matter, does it? See 8 years of war between Iran and Iran for an interesting parallel on what price is deemed suitable to give Iran the mickey.

ORAC 25th Jun 2013 08:02

Dozens dead as Syrian war spreads to Sidon in Lebanon

Snipers out on the streets as Lebanese army scours city for anti-Hezbollah cleric

Lonewolf_50 27th Jun 2013 13:50

The Washington Post reported this morning that the Russians are pulling what few of their citizens remain in Syria, at Tartus, out.

Their task force will, when needed, make port calls in Cyprus. (I imagine elsewhere as well, depending upon political things ... )

The article implied that this isn't a sudden move, but a culmination of slowly removing some 30,000 Russian citizens from Syria over the last year or so.

It also makes me wonder: removing a potential source of friction between UN/NATO and Russia should our pols get a bit more froggy? :confused:

Not sure what to make of this.

downsizer 27th Jun 2013 14:05

Apparantly there were only 4 permanent servicemen at Tartus anyway....

TEEEJ 27th Jun 2013 20:13

Interesting report, Lonewolf.

The report has appeared in the Russian media.

All personnel withdrawn from Russian navy base in Syria - diplomat

Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister says all personnel had been evacuated from the navy resupply base in Tartus, Syria, adding that not a single Russian military serviceman remained in the country.

Mikhail Bogdanov made the announcement in an interview with the Al-Hayat newspaper. “Presently, the Russian Defense Ministry has not a single person stationed in Syria. The base does not have any strategic military importance,” the newspaper quoted the Russian official as saying.

Russian media have verified the statement and the business daily Vedomosti quoted an unnamed source in the Defense Ministry as saying that this was true as all military and civilian personnel had been evacuated from the Tartus base and there were no Russian military instructors working with the Syrian military forces. The source added that the withdrawal was prompted not only by the increased risks caused by the ongoing military conflict, but also by the fact that in the current conditions any incident involving Russian servicemen would likely have some unfavorable reaction from the international community.
All personnel withdrawn from Russian navy base in Syria - diplomat ? RT Russian politics

The Black Sea Fleet Amur Class Repair Ship PM-138 is still hove to at Tartus. She arrived there during late April 2013. PM-138 regularly sends a Morse weather message. I just checked the 18Z transmission on 8345 Kilohertz. The weather report contains a lat long, course and speed.

8345 RCV DE RBIZ 27181 99349 10358 22200 @1813Z

34.9N 35.8E Hove to Tartus, Syria

34.9N 35.8E - Google Maps

Image of PM-138 on her way to Tartus to replace Amur Class (PM-56)

PM-138 Russian Floating Workshop Passing Through Bosphorus |

The following website is excellent for keeping track of Russian Navy movements through the Turkish Straits.

Russian Warship Movements Through Turkish Straits (Part 15) |

Lonewolf_50 28th Jun 2013 14:08

Teej, thanks.

The Russian task force remaining in the Med is the more important consideration, and I don't think it's going anywhere any time soon.

TEEEJ 1st Jul 2013 22:57

No problem, Lonewolf.

The Admiral Kuznetsov Carrier Group is scheduled to make a return to the Mediterranean by the end of 2013. The Russians are also seeking use of a Cypriot air base and port facilities.

Financially strapped Cyprus is looking at allowing Russian military aircraft to use an airbase in Paphos, the country's defense minister said this weekend.

Cypriot Defense Minister Fotis Fotiu told the Nicosia daily Fileleftheros the country was "studying the possibility of providing in certain cases" the use of the Andreas Papandreou Air Force Base for Russian military aircraft.

He also indicated allowing Russian warships to use the port of Limassol was under consideration, less than two weeks after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the restoration of a permanent presence for the Russian fleet in the Mediterranean.
Cyprus considering Russian use of Limassol port, Paphos airbase - UPI.com

The Admiral Kuznetsov heavy aircraft carrier will be ready to act as part of a Russian naval group in the Mediterranean by the end of 2013, Navy Commander Adm. Viktor Chirkov said.

"The cruiser will complete its planned maintenance at the end of the year. It is expected to put out and perform a number of missions in an offshore oceanic zone as part of a group.
Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier to start long-range mission in Mediterranean in late 2013 | Russia Beyond The Headlines

VinRouge 2nd Jul 2013 00:00

Another day, another atrocity...

Catholic Priest 'Beheaded by Al-Qaida Fighters' in Northern Syria - IBTimes UK

Robert Cooper 2nd Jul 2013 03:44

During a congressional hearing on Syria’s religious minorities on Tuesday last week, testimony came out that Syrians are asking why the Unites States is supporting the Islamic extremists who want to turn Syria into an Islamic state.
In an opening statement at Tuesday's hearing, Chairman Smith said statistics show "that Christians are even more fearful for their lives and safety than other segments of the Syrian population."
Nina Shea, director of the Hudson Institute's Center for Religious Freedom, testified that Islamic insurgents are targeting Christians for "ethno-religious cleansing."
Christian Solidarity International CEO Dr. John Eibner, recently in Syria and who also testified at the hearing, said the United States should work with Russia to negotiate a peace rather than help Sunni Muslims turn the country into an Islamic state.
Interesting concept there, work with the Russians to get a solution, but I doubt if Obama would go for that.

Bob C

500N 2nd Jul 2013 03:47

"Interesting concept there, work with the Russians to get a solution, but I doubt if Obama would go for that."

Nope, because he would have to share the limelight.

He also can't see that Russia might be a good party to use
as a negotiator as they have history in the country.

Eclectic 2nd Jul 2013 09:30

MANPAD attrition of regime helicopters continues + many destroyed on the ground.

Lots of government armour being destroyed by ATGMs. The rebels seem to have a plentiful supply of these.

On the government side there are lots of Iranians and Hezbollah who seem to be far more effective than Syrian troops.

Likewise the rebel fighting now seems to be mainly the Jihadist Al Nusra Front, who are largely foreigners. They are very effective firstly because many of them are experienced fighters from other conflicts such as Chechnya, Libya and Iraq. Secondly because their nutty religion says that their death caused by a war against fellow muslims is a very good thing. These salafists are attacking Syrian Christian civilians at random.

However bad things are now, they are going to get worse. Neither side thinks they can lose, or wants to negotiate. There is massive destruction in the country, infrastructure, buildings, military equipment and human lives. It is becoming a battlefield of rubble, like Beirut. The most effective weapons are man portable. Anything much bigger is vulnerable. Saudi, Qatar and now the USA are pouring man portable weapons into the country to keep the rebels effective. Most of these weapons end up with Al Nusra.

Israel is gearing up to act. Their air force have just finished a major exercise in Bulgaria against an integrated air defence. Israel have struck several times in Syria this year, mostly unreported. They don't want Syria to become an Iranian proxy on their doorstep.

NutLoose 2nd Jul 2013 10:11

Says it all really, one supposes these are the other lot that Haig isn't going to arm.

15-year-old boy executed for blasphemy by Syria jihadists - Telegraph

Horrific video shows Syrian Catholic priest being 'beheaded by jihadist fighters in front of cheering crowd' | Mail Online

Al-Qaeda calls on Syrian rebels to build anti-Western state - Telegraph

The current encumbant suddenly starts to look not that bad.

Ronald Reagan 2nd Jul 2013 12:00

Western support for these rebels is disgusting. I am totally ashamed at what our leaders are doing. We keep getting told about the terrorist threat we apparently face and yet our government are supporting the terrorists!
I am sure Libya was much the same.

Boy_From_Brazil 2nd Jul 2013 13:30

A definition of madness is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

Why on earth do the Western politicians once again believe that supplying arms to extremists is a good idea and the weapons will never be used against us?

We should follow the lead of Turkey, Brazil & Egypt, and organise mass protests to show our respective governments how much we despise them.

As an aside, imagine the uproar in the Islamic world if we beheaded a Mullah with a kitchen knife and allowed the images to go viral.

reynoldsno1 2nd Jul 2013 23:36

Arming islamist rebels in Syria = good :confused:
Elected islamist government in Egypt = bad :confused:

Arooba 3rd Jul 2013 01:02

If the major concern is that Syria's CW's will be used against the West, then why give military support to the so called "rebels", which include the salafists, and hence destabilizing the nation to the point where they could fall into the wrong hands?
The double-speak, propaganda, and hypocrisy of the West's involvement in Syria is despicable!

Madbob 3rd Jul 2013 10:00

I see al lot of parallels between the Spanish Civil War, which to various degrees involved Germany and Italy giving their support to Franco whilst an "international brigade" took sides with the Nationalists who eventually lost convincingly, after ten of thousands were killed either in combat or in multiple atrocities, carried out by both sides.

The main point is that then the League of Nations took no part and the major powers UK, France, USA just watched or tried to enforce a weak naval blockade, or did nothing. Just like the UN et al are doing now.

The whole of the Middle East is a tinder-box and parts have already been set alight and the "fire" is now out of control now and arming the rebels (whoever they are) won't stop the fire spreading or put it out.

The traditional super powers are weaker now in relative terms then they were during the height of the cold war and the threat of intervention is no longer a deterrent in the way it perhaps once was. Emerging powers in the region such as Saudi Arabia and Turkey are not ready to support intervention by a UN-backed coalition and in any event Russia and China have their own agendas and would veto even the introduction of a no-fly zone.

In short, the West is s*****ed! I am afraid IMHO that it will get a lot worse for the people of Syria (on both sides) before the killing and destruction will stop.:ugh::ugh:


Capot 3rd Jul 2013 10:18

It is by now fairly obvious that, within 30 days of the final handover to Afghanistan's security forces of all responsibility for maintaining order, the Taliban will have taken control of the whole of the country as opposed to the large swathes of it they presently control. The cabal of corrupt and ineffectual politicians nominally in charge will either join them or run.

That fact should penetrate through to Messrs Cameron, Hague et al, even through the barriers surrounding the Westminster village they inhabit, so that they think twice about initiating a third badly-thought out, extremely costly, pointless and ultimately useless intervention, with the inevitable death toll, between different sects of Muslims.

But maybe it won't.

ORAC 3rd Jul 2013 11:33

It is by now fairly obvious that, within 30 days of the final handover to Afghanistan's security forces of all responsibility for maintaining order, the Taliban will have taken control of the whole of the country as opposed to the large swathes of it they presently control.
I find that incredibly unlikely.

Remember the Northern Alliance was at war with the Taliban government for many many years, and it was their forces, with Allied air and SF support who defeated them.

With the arms and expertise they've built up over the years I can see no way the Taliban would make any substantial inroads into their homelands in the north. The question would be if they ended up in an uneasy national alliance or another prolonged civil war.

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