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Thread: SYRIA thread

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    Horse Archer Senior Member Sarmatian's Avatar
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    Default SYRIA thread

    We haven't really had a dedicated Syria thread, we mostly talked about it in other threads. I do think that it deserves a thread of its own so I'm starting one.

    Recently, Syrian army launched an offensive into Aleppo and is threatening to encircle the city. The loss of Aleppo would be a major defeat for Al-Nusra and ISIS, apparently.

    According to this article on Huffington Post, written by Alastair Crook, the former MI6 member, this means the end of the war is close.

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    master of the pwniverse Member Fragony's Avatar
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    Default Re: Syria

    The war is just begining I think, I hope I am wrong
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    Senior Member Senior Member Othello Champion Montmorency's Avatar
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    Default Re: Syria

    To put it baldly then, as things stand, Syria seems to be heading not towards a "quagmire" as many western politicians have suggested, but rather to a clear military outcome. As one knowledgable commentator noted, the negotiating table is not in Geneva. The true negotiations are taking place on the battlefields of Idlib and Aleppo -- and what has just been negotiated is the near encirclement of rebel forces into a cauldron.
    That's rather silly, and it makes out 5-year-old news sound as a brilliant analysis. There will be a clear military outcome, just as there was a clear military outcome in some other states in the region. The military component is not in question - the quagmire has simply been the fact of the matter. There is no indication that this will change.

    As for the "cauldron", that has more to do with what territory those rebels are actually based in. rather than any particular facts of military deployment on the ground. Are they expected to break out into the arms of IS?

    Nor, it seems, is Syria heading toward a low-intensity guerrilla war in the aftermath of any military victory on the ground.
    Clever equivocation, but the question is less of "low-intensity guerrilla war" in this or that city block, but of such throughout reclaimed areas.

    I also expect Syria to soon again constitute a strong regional state. The meaning of this will be evidenced in a powerful, cohesive northern arc through the region -- and perhaps closer relations with Iraq. Correspondingly, certain Gulf states will find themselves eclipsed.
    Now the author dives into pure fantasy. For Syria to reassert power in the region to the point of overshadowing Iraq and "certain Gulf states", all IS territory in Syria-Iraq would have to be overrun with main force, followed by long-term occupation and mop-up of resistance from the hinterland and sporadic terrorist activity. Then, the Syrian government would have the task of re-establishing governance and authority over all this area, reintegrating refugees, rebuilding infrastructure, and attracting foreign (not just Russian or Iranian) investment.

    At this point, forget about rebels or IS - Turkey could break Bashar's regime simply by repatriating a million refugees.

    Peoples who undergo the kind of trauma to which Syrians have been subjected either emerge as a psychologically defeated nation or they are strengthened by the crisis through which they have passed.
    It's clear that Iraq's experience in the war against Iran strengthened its regime and its nationhood. Nevertheless, both were still far too fragile to survive more pressure. Syria's catastrophe, on all levels except perhaps debt incurred and proportion of armed forces service members killed, is considerably worse.

    The 4+1 coalition (Syria, Iraq, Iran, Russia and Hezbollah)
    The basic error here is that these no more constitute a coalition than do: Syria, Iraq, Iran, and the United States.

    Assad is happy to align with Iran for survival, but he is much more comfortable as a client of Russia, as Russia can bring more international influence and Iran is just too close to home to tolerate its dominance. Iraq is a rump state in its current form, and to that extent a client of Iran. Most importantly, Iran is not inclined to be friendly with Russia. Russia counts as a major competitor to Iran in terms of its national security, and where it aligns with Russia it does so to counterbalance American coercion. Russia is no more a partner of Iran than it is a partner of China.


    In fact, the author of the article is not merely sloppy and ignorant, but is an active advocate for political Islam.
    Last edited by Montmorency; 02-09-2016 at 21:28.
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    Horse Archer Senior Member Sarmatian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Syria

    His ponies and rainbows scenario after the war does seem a little far fetched, but I'm mainly interested in the military aspect - will taking of Aleppo cripple ISIS and is Turkey really preparing an intervention in Syria? Russia seems to be getting ready for it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Montmorency View Post
    In fact, the author of the article is not merely sloppy and ignorant, but is an active advocate for political Islam.
    What do you mean by political Islam?

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    Member Member Greyblades's Avatar
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    Default Re: Syria

    I trawl through the guardian from time to time; reading the raw ideological stupidity of the articles being called out in their own comments sections never fails to entertain, however I stumbled upon a rare nugget of (almost) complete sanity today that you may be interested in.

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentis...ent-assad-west
    Last edited by Greyblades; 02-09-2016 at 23:12.
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    Member Member Gilrandir's Avatar
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    Default Re: Syria

    Quote Originally Posted by Sarmatian View Post
    Recently, Syrian army launched an offensive into Aleppo and is threatening to encircle the city. The loss of Aleppo would be a major defeat for Al-Nusra and ISIS, apparently.
    ISIS has nothing to do with Aleppo.
    I have been following for a month or so what's going on here:
    http://syria.liveuamap.com/


    Haven't noticed any changes in (the city of) Aleppo. In other places some villages are reported to change hands, but there is no clearly marked tendency in such events - sometimes Assad's forces capture a village from the Sunni opposition, sometimes Kurds from the same, sometimes it is vice versa.

    In any case only an intervention of other players (involving land operations) can bring any side to a decisive military victory. Otherwise it will last for quite a longish time with no palpable results for anyone.
    Last edited by Gilrandir; 02-10-2016 at 09:38.

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    Senior Member Senior Member Othello Champion Montmorency's Avatar
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    Default Re: Syria

    I trawl through the guardian from time to time; reading the raw ideological stupidity of the articles being called out in their own comments sections never fails to entertain, however I stumbled upon a rare nugget of (almost) complete sanity today that you may be interested in.
    This terrible war must clearly fight to some sort of finish. But it is not our war, and will not be our finish. The thesis that humanitarian goals are best served by grandstanding, by taking sides in foreign conflicts and pretending to “resolve” them, is the madness of our age. It has reduced much of the Middle East to bloody chaos.

    Our sole obligation to the Syrian people is humanitarian. It is to relieve suffering with charity, not increase it with bombs. It is to send aid to bordering countries, and take in those refugees that fate washes, quite literally, on to our shores. It is to do good, not to pretend to do good by doing harm.
    Solid enough.
    @Sarmatian I will reply later, I have to complete my itinerary for today.
    Last edited by Montmorency; 02-10-2016 at 12:33.
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    master of the pwniverse Member Fragony's Avatar
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    Default Re: Syria

    Not that you are going to be responding anyway, but what good is robbing them from their young (unqualified) males who don't stand a chance here, and will never be anything but a burden.
    Last edited by Fragony; 02-10-2016 at 15:06.
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    Horse Archer Senior Member Sarmatian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Syria

    While we're discussing refugees to no end, things have not been quieting down in Syria. Ankara now blames the Kurds for the terrorist attack and is looking to exploit that claim and intervene militarily in Syria.

    With Kurds entering into a de facto alliance of convenience with Assad, there is a very real possibility of an actual, truly autonomous Kurdish region in Syria, which in fact may link up with Kurds in Iraq and Turkey. Interesting article about it in the Independent.

    According to them Obama didn't manage to persuade Erdogan to drop the plans for invasion, and that means things could get really ugly, really quickly. Some other articles suggest that Turkey wouldn't dare perform an invasion unless they get US support, which they apparently aren't getting, but I'm not 100% sure Erdogan will be able to ignore his ego.

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    Senior Member Senior Member Brenus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Syria

    Hmm, that and the probability some Russian pilots might be eager to see if Turkish pilots are keen to engage Russian air planes fully aware that they are under rules of engagement. And then, what id the Assad Forces, still legitimate President of Syria, decide that is an invasion, so it is a war started by Turkey.

    NATO will not have the legal right to side for Turkey, as Turkey would have to cross an internationally recognised borders (not that did stop NATO before, I grant you this), but this is coming with a possibility of war wit Russia.
    I am not sure that the Turkish Mussolini is ready for this, as first he has a opposition in Turkey, and for sure the PKK will received modern equipment... If some incidents arrived between Russian and Turkey, the Russian can move troops along the borders (sea).
    So, it looks that Putin keeping Sevastopol was a good move, after all, even if, of course, he lost everything.
    Last edited by Brenus; 02-21-2016 at 22:40.
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    Member Member Gilrandir's Avatar
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    Default Re: Syria

    Quote Originally Posted by Brenus View Post
    If some incidents arrived between Russian and Turkey, the Russian can move troops along the borders (sea).
    If that happens Turkey will close the Straits for Russian ships and it would endanger the supply problems for Russian forces in Syria. And moving troops along borders has no sense unless you want to cross them some day at some place. Russia will never land any expedition forces on Turkey's coastline. It would be suicidal.

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    Senior Member Senior Member Brenus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Syria

    "If that happens Turkey will close the Straits for Russian ships and it would endanger the supply problems for Russian forces in Syria." Really? How Turkey would implement this? Shooting at Russian navy when, well, it is still not a war?
    As aggressor, Turkey wouldn't be able to ask for help (we speak here of Turkish Forces invading Syria, Syria having a defence agreement wit Russia).
    Last edited by Brenus; 02-22-2016 at 13:58.
    Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. Voltaire.

    "I've been in few famous last stands, lad, and they're butcher shops. That's what Blouse's leading you into, mark my words. What'll you lot do then? We've had a few scuffles, but that's not war. Think you'll be man enough to stand, when the metal meets the meat?"
    "You did, sarge", said Polly." You said you were in few last stands."
    "Yeah, lad. But I was holding the metal"
    Sergeant Major Jackrum 10th Light Foot Infantery Regiment "Inns-and-Out"

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    Member Member Gilrandir's Avatar
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    Default Re: Syria

    Quote Originally Posted by Brenus View Post
    "If that happens Turkey will close the Straits for Russian ships and it would endanger the supply problems for Russian forces in Syria." Really? How Turkey would implement this? Shooting at Russian navy when, well, it is still not a war?
    As aggressor, Turkey wouldn't be able to ask for help (we speak here of Turkish Forces invading Syria, Syria having a defence agreement wit Russia).
    First of all Turkey can issue to Russian ship a prohibition to pass through. If Russian ships nevertheless try to enter Bosphorus, Turkish ships from the three basis in and around the Sea of Marmara may use against Russia the same tactics Russia used while overrunning the Crimea: blocking the way of entrance with the ships. No shooting first and no aggressor status. And it would be not violating the Montreux convention:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Montre...of_the_Straits

    Turkey was authorised to close the Straits to all foreign warships in wartime or when it was threatened by aggression; additionally, it was authorised to refuse transit from merchant ships belonging to countries at war with Turkey.

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    Iron Fist Senior Member Husar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Syria

    If they don't have a long chain they can raise, they can still lay a mine field. Or build a wall.


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    Senior Member Senior Member Brenus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Syria

    when it was threatened by aggression Russia is not "aggressing" Turkey, that the flaw of your argument. It was not a Turkish plane that was sot-down by a Russian plane. It is not Russian troops that might cross Syrian border against the will of the recognised government. The lands Turkey want to invade were never part of Modern Turkey (unlike Sevastopol was part of Russia before Communist dictator Khrushchev gave it to his wife, oops, sorry Ukraine). And Turkey even claimed they want to fight the populations who are there...

    “refuse transit from merchant ships belonging to countries at war with Turkey.” So, Turkey would have to declare war on Russia to do so legally. At the moment when Russia and USA signed a cease fire on Syria… Tsk tsk tsk, I don’t think USA will allow that…
    Especially, if I have to believe the news (cease-fire Feb-27), Russia and USA Air Force will now work together and finally share maps…
    Mmmm, that leave Recepo Erdoglini little options to attack now. Will he take the narrow window and take the risk to be left alone on a potential low level war against Russia/Assad/Kurds?

    blocking the way of entrance with the ships” No offence but the Ukrainian army/navy was not match for Russia. Russia is more than a match for Turkey, especially with Turkey behaviour. So, what if the Russian boats bloke the Turkish boats blocking their boats? That will look like Istanbul roads, traffic jam…
    Last edited by Brenus; 02-22-2016 at 19:59.
    Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. Voltaire.

    "I've been in few famous last stands, lad, and they're butcher shops. That's what Blouse's leading you into, mark my words. What'll you lot do then? We've had a few scuffles, but that's not war. Think you'll be man enough to stand, when the metal meets the meat?"
    "You did, sarge", said Polly." You said you were in few last stands."
    "Yeah, lad. But I was holding the metal"
    Sergeant Major Jackrum 10th Light Foot Infantery Regiment "Inns-and-Out"

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    Intelligent Idiot Member Tuuvi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Syria

    Quote Originally Posted by Sarmatian View Post
    While we're discussing refugees to no end, things have not been quieting down in Syria. Ankara now blames the Kurds for the terrorist attack and is looking to exploit that claim and intervene militarily in Syria.

    With Kurds entering into a de facto alliance of convenience with Assad, there is a very real possibility of an actual, truly autonomous Kurdish region in Syria, which in fact may link up with Kurds in Iraq and Turkey. Interesting article about it in the Independent.

    According to them Obama didn't manage to persuade Erdogan to drop the plans for invasion, and that means things could get really ugly, really quickly. Some other articles suggest that Turkey wouldn't dare perform an invasion unless they get US support, which they apparently aren't getting, but I'm not 100% sure Erdogan will be able to ignore his ego.
    It's pretty certain the bomber was a Kurd, the real question is whether or not he was involved with the YPG. A Kurdish terror organization called TAK (Kurdistan Freedom Falcons) has claimed responsibility while the YPG denies it was involved, however like you said Turkey is itching for an excuse to invade Syria and destroy the YPG so they claim the bomber was a Syrian Kurd who entered Turkey from Kobani.

    I think it's unlikely that the YPG carried out the bombing, their goals are to establish an autonomous zone within Syria and defend themselves against ISIS and Islamist rebels, they haven't fired back when Turkey shells their positions and they are trying to appeal to the West for support. Carrying out a terrorist attack against Turkey would give Turkey a real reason to invade and ruin everything.

    Meanwhile TAK is a PKK splinter group which has a history of carrying out terrorist attacks against Turkey, and a lot of Kurds are upset about Turkey's crackdown in the southeast.

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    Member Member Gilrandir's Avatar
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    Default Re: Syria

    Quote Originally Posted by Brenus View Post
    when it was threatened by aggression Russia is not "aggressing" Turkey, that the flaw of your argument. It was not a Turkish plane that was sot-down by a Russian plane. It is not Russian troops that might cross Syrian border against the will of the recognised government.

    “refuse transit from merchant ships belonging to countries at war with Turkey.” So, Turkey would have to declare war on Russia to do so legally. At the moment when Russia and USA signed a cease fire on Syria… Tsk tsk tsk, I don’t think USA will allow that…
    Especially, if I have to believe the news (cease-fire Feb-27), Russia and USA Air Force will now work together and finally share maps…
    There is no flaw in my arguments, because we were discussing might-have-beens. This is what you had said:
    Quote Originally Posted by Brenus View Post
    If some incidents arrived between Russian and Turkey, the Russian can move troops along the borders (sea).
    My above mentioned speculations bore on what might happen next. Moving Russian troops along the border or the coast might as well be considered by Turkey as an aggression and it is entitled to react the way I assumed it could.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brenus View Post
    The lands Turkey want to invade were never part of Modern Turkey (unlike Sevastopol was part of Russia before Communist dictator Khrushchev gave it to his wife, oops, sorry Ukraine).
    And that gives Russia a right to annex it? Then we might remember that the Crimea was once almost a part (as a vassal) of the Ottoman empire. Whose claim on it is more justified then?

    Quote Originally Posted by Brenus View Post
    blocking the way of entrance with the ships” No offence but the Ukrainian army/navy was not match for Russia. Russia is more than a match for Turkey, especially with Turkey behaviour. So, what if the Russian boats bloke the Turkish boats blocking their boats? That will look like Istanbul roads, traffic jam…
    You exaggerate the power of Russian Black Sea navy (which consists of out-of-date Soviet ships) and belittle the power of the Turkish navy whose principal base is right nigh in the Sea of Marmara. Turks will fight (if it comes to blows) on their own ground with their supplies and reinforcements at hand. Russia will have to drag whatever they can across all the expanse of the Black Sea.

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    Horse Archer Senior Member Sarmatian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Syria

    Quote Originally Posted by Gilrandir View Post
    And that gives Russia a right to annex it? Then we might remember that the Crimea was once almost a part (as a vassal) of the Ottoman empire. Whose claim on it is more justified then?
    Whoever gets to say "Stop quoting laws, we carry swords". Historically, those guys always have the strongest claim.

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    Senior Member Senior Member Brenus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Syria

    Moving Russian troops along the border or the coast might as well be considered by Turkey as an aggression and it is entitled to react the way I assumed it could.” Nope. If manoeuvring troops near a border was enough for a war, Russia (and before USSR) would have attack NATO or vive-versa long time ago.
    I was referring to a move, during the Falklands, by Chile, that Argentina couldn’t ignore, reason why the British didn’t have to fight the best Argentinians troops and all the Argentinian Air Force, reason why until the end Maggy Thatcher did call the bloody Chilean dictator a friend.
    So a blockade would be an act of war, not movement on the sea. Some can even imagine some air trespassing…

    And that gives Russia a right to annex it?” No it didn’t. But our discussion about Crimea when it stated was about the outcry of indignation from NATO/EU countries whereas the same took part at a similar operation in Kosovo. Then you decide we (I and some others) were pro Putin, pro-Russia and so and so…

    Whose claim on it is more justified then?” Hmmm, hard call: Ottoman Empire doesn’t exist anymore, Turkey want to kill the inhabitants of this region of Syria under probably false pretext (remind me a bit of Hitler’s polish attack, this one), whereas Russia still exists, Ukraine was given by a dictatorship’s act, and, I didn’t heard of fighting during and after the annexation… In fact, I vaguely remember someone (perhaps you) telling that Putin was doom because he will have to pay the pensions to the elders (one of the multiple reasons I was told he lost).

    You exaggerate the power of Russian Black Sea navy” You might be right, but as I said, it is not the question of war, but put a pressure impossible to ignore…

    Turks will fight (if it comes to blows) on their own ground with their supplies and reinforcements at hand” Err, NATO material, and no NATO involvement? A good blockade and Turkey’s supplies will go down very fast. Again reference to the Falklands, but Argentina lost this war at sea because (but not only) their missile Exocets AM39 and maintenance parts for the Dassault-Breguet Super ╔tendard were put on hold by the French suppliers. And they did quite a good use a small amount they had…
    Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. Voltaire.

    "I've been in few famous last stands, lad, and they're butcher shops. That's what Blouse's leading you into, mark my words. What'll you lot do then? We've had a few scuffles, but that's not war. Think you'll be man enough to stand, when the metal meets the meat?"
    "You did, sarge", said Polly." You said you were in few last stands."
    "Yeah, lad. But I was holding the metal"
    Sergeant Major Jackrum 10th Light Foot Infantery Regiment "Inns-and-Out"

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    Horse Archer Senior Member Sarmatian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Syria

    Quote Originally Posted by Brenus View Post
    You might be right, but as I said, it is not the question of war, but put a pressure impossible to ignore…
    That's true. Didn't think of that. In the scenario where Turkey intervenes in Syria, on modern pretext like averting a humanitarian disaster or fighting terrorists, Russia can move a fleet through Dardanelles. If Turkey blockades it, Russia just parks its ships there. No one passes through the straits, and that puts Turkey at an enormous international pressure. That cuts only access to the Med and beyond for Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine and Georgia. Not to mention just how idiotic would be to have a fleet of potentially hostile warships right next to your main city. Turkey would probably have to cave in eventually.

    If Turkey declares war, it can't invoke article 5.

    Turkey in general doesn't have a very strong hand here. At best they might get a few concessions, but they will probably be left with their influence diminished overall after this in the best scenario.

    Might be good for them in the long run, cause it might undermine Erdogan's position.
    Last edited by Sarmatian; 02-23-2016 at 22:45.

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    Sovereign Oppressor Member TIE Fighter Shooter Champion, Reactor Champion, Starcastle Champion, Turkey Shoot Champion, Juggler Champion Kralizec's Avatar
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    Default Re: Syria

    Quote Originally Posted by Tuuvi View Post
    It's pretty certain the bomber was a Kurd, the real question is whether or not he was involved with the YPG. A Kurdish terror organization called TAK (Kurdistan Freedom Falcons) has claimed responsibility while the YPG denies it was involved, however like you said Turkey is itching for an excuse to invade Syria and destroy the YPG so they claim the bomber was a Syrian Kurd who entered Turkey from Kobani.
    I read that Turkey's prime minister said today that TAK falsely claimed the attack, and that it was really the YPG.

    I've wondered about this puzzle before. Is there any logic at all in carrying out a terrorist attack and then denying responsibility for it? To me that would seem pointless. Unless it's a false flag operation by intent, but I don't see why the YPG would want extra military action against Turkey's Kurds.
    The simplest conclusion I can see is that TAK really did it, and that Turkey's government is just spinning lies to justify retribution against YPG.
    The other possibility is that YPG's leadership was ignorant about the attack, but that some isolated cell under the YPG umbrella did it without consulting the leaders of the organisation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sarmatian
    Turkey in general doesn't have a very strong hand here. At best they might get a few concessions, but they will probably be left with their influence diminished overall after this in the best scenario.

    Might be good for them in the long run, cause it might undermine Erdogan's position.
    Turkey has managed to alienate almost every country in the region, plus Europe, since Erdogan has gained power. I agree that their influence will probably deteriorate further, regardless of the outcome in Syria. Sadly past experience suggests that Erdogan will just wallow in isolation, caring even less about what the world thinks of him. Maybe imprison some more journalists, professors or whoever else hurts his feelings
    Last edited by Kralizec; 02-24-2016 at 16:55. Reason: fixed quotation

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    Intelligent Idiot Member Tuuvi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Syria

    Quote Originally Posted by Kralizec View Post
    The simplest conclusion I can see is that TAK really did it, and that Turkey's government is just spinning lies to justify retribution against YPG.
    This is what I think is the case, because as far as Turkey is concerned the YPG is the Syrian branch of the PKK (they do have ties but whether or not they're the same organization is debatable) so Turkey is concerned that if the Syrian Kurds gain autonomy they'll harbor and support PKK fighters who will attack Turkey.

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    Member Member Gilrandir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sarmatian View Post
    In the scenario where Turkey intervenes in Syria, on modern pretext like averting a humanitarian disaster or fighting terrorists, Russia can move a fleet through Dardanelles.
    Dardanellas is the southern one of the Straits. To move a fleet THROUGH it one has to either pass Bosphorus from the Black Sea or move northward from the Mediterranean. The first option is easily preventable by Turks and the second will mean moving Russian ships FROM the Mediterranean.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sarmatian View Post
    If Turkey blockades it, Russia just parks its ships there. No one passes through the straits, and that puts Turkey at an enormous international pressure. That cuts only access to the Med and beyond for Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine and Georgia.
    So you mean that Russia will say: "We wouldn't let anyone through Bosphorus. If you want to know why, ask Turkey"? That's rich. Denying everybody else access through THE TERRITORY OF A DIFFERENT COUNTRY? It would be one more argument in favor of Russia's stance.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sarmatian View Post
    Turkey would probably have to cave in eventually.

    Turkey in general doesn't have a very strong hand here. At best they might get a few concessions, but they will probably be left with their influence diminished overall after this in the best scenario.
    All those are arbitrary conclusions/speculations prompted by a wishful thinking.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brenus View Post
    Moving Russian troops along the border or the coast might as well be considered by Turkey as an aggression and it is entitled to react the way I assumed it could.” Nope. If manoeuvring troops near a border was enough for a war, Russia (and before USSR) would have attack NATO or vive-versa long time ago.
    Tell it to the Turks who shot down the Russian plane. They seem to have their own mind as to what is allowed and what is not.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brenus View Post
    And that gives Russia a right to annex it?” No it didn’t. But our discussion about Crimea when it stated was about the outcry of indignation from NATO/EU countries whereas the same took part at a similar operation in Kosovo.
    We have been through with the invalid comparison. Kosovo was not annexed. Period.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brenus View Post
    Whose claim on it is more justified then?” Hmmm, hard call: Ottoman Empire doesn’t exist anymore,
    Neither does Russian empire nor the USSR. Yet it doesn't cancel Putin's aspirations to grab back what the two had lost.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brenus View Post
    Turkey want to kill the inhabitants of this region of Syria
    I have always asked myself what was Turkey's ultimate purpose in Syria. Thank you for making it clear.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brenus View Post
    In fact, I vaguely remember someone (perhaps you) telling that Putin was doom because he will have to pay the pensions to the elders (one of the multiple reasons I was told he lost).
    I would be obliged if you gave a proof to it - the thing that you enjoy to demand from others.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brenus View Post
    Err, NATO material, and no NATO involvement? A good blockade and Turkey’s supplies will go down very fast.
    Sure. It is more difficult for a country to provide logistics for it s own army on its own ground that for Russia to supply its distant garrisons and ships.
    And NATO can surreptitiously supply and support Turkey and pretend that it doesn't, in a word, to play the game that Russia has been involved in in Donbas for a couple of years.
    Last edited by Gilrandir; 02-24-2016 at 09:06.

  24. #24
    Horse Archer Senior Member Sarmatian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Syria

    Quote Originally Posted by Gilrandir View Post
    Dardanellas is the southern one of the Straits. To move a fleet THROUGH it one has to either pass Bosphorus from the Black Sea or move northward from the Mediterranean. The first option is easily preventable by Turks and the second will mean moving Russian ships FROM the Mediterranean.
    Yeah, I've should have written Bosphorus and Dardanelles, but regardless, one has to pass both to go from Black Sea to the Med or vice versa. So, the point still stands. Needless mental acrobatics on your part...

    So you mean that Russia will say: "We wouldn't let anyone through Bosphorus. If you want to know why, ask Turkey"? That's rich. Denying everybody else access through THE TERRITORY OF A DIFFERENT COUNTRY? It would be one more argument in favor of Russia's stance.
    Turkey is legally obliged to let Russian ships pass the straits unless officially at war. If the straits are closed, Russian ships can remain parked, waiting for the blockade to be lifted. Until they move, no one can pass. Since the Russian line will be "we're not blocking anything, were waiting to pass. We will move instantly when the passage is opened" and Turkish line will "we're not letting them pass, the straits remain closed" I can assure you everyone will blame Turkey.

    All those are arbitrary conclusions/speculations prompted by a wishful thinking.
    Possibly. This isn't an exact science, but regarding Russia, I've actually been right so far quite often, while your doom and gloom theories haven't came to pass.

    We have been through with the invalid comparison. Kosovo was not annexed. Period.
    Neither was Crimea. There was a plebiscite and people overwhelmingly decided to secede from Ukraine and join Russia.

  25. #25
    Senior Member Senior Member Brenus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Syria

    "Kosovo was not annexed. Period." Really? Check Bondsteel on your favourite research engine... Then, it was still taken from the country which is was in in Internationally recognised borders, wasn't it? So, if you take a part someone else territory, put a puppet regime based on ethnicity and installed a very powerful base on it, how do you qualify it, if not annexation?
    And you are the one telling I have double standard.

    "Tell it to the Turks who shot down the Russian plane." Oh, yeah, and I think, if Erdogan is not entirely stupid, he learned his lesson. NATO told him off (see agreement between USA and Russia, without Turkey) and he probably knows now he will be on his own...

    "It is more difficult for a country to provide logistics for it s own army on its own ground that for Russia to supply its distant garrisons and ships" In the Black Sea? Check on a map...

    "And NATO can surreptitiously supply and support Turkey and pretend that it doesn't" Sure, at the age of satellite (and successor of KGB is till regarded as one of the best), you can do this, especially with Greece in NATO...
    You read too much spy novels...
    And why NATO would do this, when NATO doesn't do it for Ukraine which has a much better case to present? Retaliation?

    "Neither does Russian empire nor the USSR" Russian Empire doesn't exist, but, geographically, Russia, now a Republic, is.
    It is as valid to pretend that France doesn't exist because the Kingdom of France went in the bin of History... A change of regimes is quite different than a complete territorial disappearance.
    The Ottoman Empire and Republic of Turkey don't cover the same geographical space, nor the same populations...
    Last edited by Brenus; 02-24-2016 at 15:34.
    Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. Voltaire.

    "I've been in few famous last stands, lad, and they're butcher shops. That's what Blouse's leading you into, mark my words. What'll you lot do then? We've had a few scuffles, but that's not war. Think you'll be man enough to stand, when the metal meets the meat?"
    "You did, sarge", said Polly." You said you were in few last stands."
    "Yeah, lad. But I was holding the metal"
    Sergeant Major Jackrum 10th Light Foot Infantery Regiment "Inns-and-Out"

  26. #26
    Moderator Moderator Fisherking's Avatar
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    Default Re: Syria



    Education: that which reveals to the wise,
    and conceals from the stupid,
    the vast limits of their knowledge.
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  27. #27
    Member Member Gilrandir's Avatar
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    Default Re: Syria

    Quote Originally Posted by Sarmatian View Post
    Yeah, I've should have written Bosphorus and Dardanelles, but regardless, one has to pass both to go from Black Sea to the Med or vice versa. So, the point still stands. Needless mental acrobatics on your part...
    If you (or other orgahs) correct the mistakes of others, it testifies to the fact that they are engaged in discussion which presupposes proving your point and overthrowing the opponent's argument. If I have the cheek to do it, well, it is just mental acrobatics. Unbiased and uninvested.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sarmatian View Post
    Turkey is legally obliged to let Russian ships pass the straits unless officially at war.
    Some more mental tumbling: I have cited the Montreux Convention (post # 13). It says that Turkey can close the Straits if it is threatened by aggression. A valid excuse if Turkey decides to do it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sarmatian View Post
    If the straits are closed, Russian ships can remain parked, waiting for the blockade to be lifted. Until they move, no one can pass. Since the Russian line will be "we're not blocking anything, were waiting to pass. We will move instantly when the passage is opened" and Turkish line will "we're not letting them pass, the straits remain closed" I can assure you everyone will blame Turkey.
    Are you deep in counsels of the EU, the USA, Germany and the Pope to claim that they would blame Turkey? So let me repeat: All those are arbitrary conclusions/speculations prompted by a wishful thinking.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sarmatian View Post
    Possibly. This isn't an exact science, but regarding Russia, I've actually been right so far quite often, while your doom and gloom theories haven't came to pass.
    1. Quite often =/= always.
    2. I would be greatly obliged if you specified with pertaining evidence what theories of mine you mean.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sarmatian View Post
    Neither was Crimea. There was a plebiscite and people overwhelmingly decided to secede from Ukraine and join Russia.
    I see. The Kosovo resentment is still rankling.

    Count how many nations acknowledged the legality of both referenda and their results and you will have your answer.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brenus View Post
    "Kosovo was not annexed. Period." Really? Check Bondsteel on your favourite research engine... Then, it was still taken from the country which is was in in Internationally recognised borders, wasn't it? So, if you take a part someone else territory, put a puppet regime based on ethnicity and installed a very powerful base on it, how do you qualify it, if not annexation?
    And you are the one telling I have double standard.
    No, just your misunderstanding of the term.

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

    Annexation (Latin ad, to, and nexus, joining) is the political transition of land from the control of one entity to another. In international law it is the forcible transition of one state's territory by another state or the legal process by which a city acquires land.
    Go argue wikidedia or polish your knowledge of basic terms in international law.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brenus View Post
    "Tell it to the Turks who shot down the Russian plane." Oh, yeah, and I think, if Erdogan is not entirely stupid, he learned his lesson. NATO told him off (see agreement between USA and Russia, without Turkey) and he probably knows now he will be on his own...
    Again ifs and probably. As Erdogan has shown he is on par with Putin as far as reclkess behavior is concerned. So, conclusion: one can never tell.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brenus View Post
    "It is more difficult for a country to provide logistics for it s own army on its own ground that for Russia to supply its distant garrisons and ships" In the Black Sea? Check on a map...
    Not IN the Black Sea, but ACROSS the Black Sea. We were discussing potential Russian campaign on the Turkish coast and near Bosphorus, remember?

    Quote Originally Posted by Brenus View Post
    "And NATO can surreptitiously supply and support Turkey and pretend that it doesn't" Sure, at the age of satellite (and successor of KGB is till regarded as one of the best), you can do this, especially with Greece in NATO...
    Russia's modus operandi is just like that: supplying the Donbas separatists with everything they need for warfare and denying it. When Lavrov is told about it he says: "You all lie, and your intelligence photos are photoshopped". I don't see why can't NATO respond in kind.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brenus View Post
    You read too much spy novels...
    Never read any of them. In fact, there are two types of movies and books I hate: those about James Bond (and all of the kind) and those about Superman (and his varieties - Spiderman, Lightningman and all other Bullsh*tmen).
    But, again, since you don't trust me....

    Quote Originally Posted by Brenus View Post
    And why NATO would do this, when NATO doesn't do it for Ukraine which has a much better case to present? Retaliation?
    It would be a surprise for you, but the reason is that Turkey is a NATO member and Ukraine is not.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brenus View Post
    "Neither does Russian empire nor the USSR" Russian Empire doesn't exist, but, geographically, Russia, now a Republic, is.
    The Ottoman Empire and Republic of Turkey don't cover the same geographical space, nor the same populations...
    Check the map of Russian empire and you will see that modern Russia doesn't cover all of that either.
    Although both empires probably wouldn't mind retrieveing what they have lost. Especially the northern one.
    Last edited by Gilrandir; 02-25-2016 at 14:01.

  28. #28
    Senior Member Senior Member Brenus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Syria

    "Check the map of Russian empire" Check on a map and you will see that a lot of country don't. However, none dispute their continuity...

    "but the reason is that Turkey is a NATO member" And have to comply to the treaty, in theory a defensive one. So if a NATO's country launches a war, other NATO countries don't have legal rights nor duty to help the aggressor.

    "I don't see why can't NATO respond in kind." For political and strategic reason. NATO certainly doesn't want the Talibans with modern weapons. Crimea/Kosovo was a lesson for the West, the game can be played by both side.

    "Not IN the Black Sea, but ACROSS the Black Sea" I was speaking of the fleet, and manoeuvres to put pressure impossible to ignore. Not a landing on Turkish soil... As far as I know, Russia have no armies in Syria, but few specialists support units for air forces and almost certainly special forces...

    "But, again, since you don't trust me" In fact, I do. With you bias and your anti-Putin stance (which I understand somehow)...

    "No, just your misunderstanding of the term." Nope:
    I followed your advice and look:
    annexation,ˌanəkˈseɪʃn,ˌanɛkˈseɪʃn/Submit,noun:
    the action of annexing something, especially territory.
    "the annexation of Austria by Nazi Germany in 1938"
    synonyms: seizure, occupation, invasion, conquest, takeover, appropriation, expropriation, arrogation; usurping
    "the annexation of Austria"

    Def of to annex:
    1. to attach, append, or add, especially to something larger or more important.
    2. to incorporate (territory) into the domain of a city, country, or state:
    Germany annexed part of Czechoslovakia.
    3. to take or appropriate, especially without permission.
    4. to attach as an attribute, condition, or consequence.

    Def of appropriate:
    3. to set apart, authorize, or legislate for some specific purpose or use:
    The legislature appropriated funds for the university.
    4. to take to or for oneself; take possession of.
    5. to take without permission or consent; seize; expropriate:
    He appropriated the trust funds for himself.
    6. to steal, especially to commit petty theft.

    I think Kosovo fit in the description/definition.
    Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. Voltaire.

    "I've been in few famous last stands, lad, and they're butcher shops. That's what Blouse's leading you into, mark my words. What'll you lot do then? We've had a few scuffles, but that's not war. Think you'll be man enough to stand, when the metal meets the meat?"
    "You did, sarge", said Polly." You said you were in few last stands."
    "Yeah, lad. But I was holding the metal"
    Sergeant Major Jackrum 10th Light Foot Infantery Regiment "Inns-and-Out"

  29. #29
    Member Member Gilrandir's Avatar
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    Default Re: Syria

    Quote Originally Posted by Brenus View Post
    "Check the map of Russian empire" Check on a map and you will see that a lot of country don't. However, none dispute their continuity...
    I don't dispute the continuity. I dispute equalizing modern Russia and Russian empire geographically and populationally, so to say. The latter, unlike the former, included Poland, Finland, the Baltic states, the Caucasian states, Middle Asia, Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova (and Alaska before 1867).

    Quote Originally Posted by Brenus View Post
    "but the reason is that Turkey is a NATO member" And have to comply to the treaty, in theory a defensive one. So if a NATO's country launches a war, other NATO countries don't have legal rights nor duty to help the aggressor.
    So far we have been speculating on how Turkey would protect itself against Russia's possible aggression, not vice versa.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brenus View Post
    "I don't see why can't NATO respond in kind." For political and strategic reason. NATO certainly doesn't want the Talibans with modern weapons. Crimea/Kosovo was a lesson for the West, the game can be played by both side.
    You can never tell. And besides, AFAIK, Turkey has the second most powerful armed forces among NATO states. I don't think they may feel the lack of any weapons.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brenus View Post
    "Not IN the Black Sea, but ACROSS the Black Sea" I was speaking of the fleet, and manoeuvres to put pressure impossible to ignore. Not a landing on Turkish soil...
    ... and this pressure may be qualified by Turkey (and perhaps by NATO) as an aggression. As was the case with the Russian plane. And if Russia really wanted to put any kind of pressure, it should be done near the Turkish territory, thus across the Black sea, and thus problematic supply-wise.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brenus View Post
    "No, just your misunderstanding of the term." Nope:
    I followed your advice and look:
    annexation,ˌanəkˈseɪʃn,ˌanɛkˈseɪʃn/Submit,noun:
    the action of annexing something, especially territory.
    "the annexation of Austria by Nazi Germany in 1938"
    synonyms: seizure, occupation, invasion, conquest, takeover, appropriation, expropriation, arrogation; usurping
    "the annexation of Austria"

    Def of to annex:
    1. to attach, append, or add, especially to something larger or more important.
    2. to incorporate (territory) into the domain of a city, country, or state:
    Germany annexed part of Czechoslovakia.
    3. to take or appropriate, especially without permission.
    4. to attach as an attribute, condition, or consequence.

    Def of appropriate:
    3. to set apart, authorize, or legislate for some specific purpose or use:
    The legislature appropriated funds for the university.
    4. to take to or for oneself; take possession of.
    5. to take without permission or consent; seize; expropriate:
    He appropriated the trust funds for himself.
    6. to steal, especially to commit petty theft.

    I think Kosovo fit in the description/definition.
    It doesn't. We were speaking not of existing meanings of the word (and you picked #3 ignoring #2). If we were we could apply the word in the sentences like: "The robber chased her down the street and annexed her I-phone" or "Hardly had he left the purse unwatched when a passer-by annexed it" and so on. We were speaking of the term of international law which doesn't extend to the Kosovo case.

    Sarmatian would have called it mental (or perhaps semantic) acrobatics. On a second thought he wouldn't. He would if I did it. You are fully protected from such derogatory statements by his attitude.
    Last edited by Gilrandir; 02-26-2016 at 12:49.

  30. #30
    Member Member Yesugey's Avatar
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    Default Re: Syria

    Quote Originally Posted by Kralizec View Post
    I read that Turkey's prime minister said today that TAK falsely claimed the attack, and that it was really the YPG.

    I've wondered about this puzzle before. Is there any logic at all in carrying out a terrorist attack and then denying responsibility for it? To me that would seem pointless. Unless it's a false flag operation by intent, but I don't see why the YPG would want extra military action against Turkey's Kurds.
    The simplest conclusion I can see is that TAK really did it, and that Turkey's government is just spinning lies to justify retribution against YPG.
    To clear the confusion: YPG established as the vassal organization of PKK, which takes orders from, and sent its men to PKK when necessary. About TAK, such a group simply does not exist.

    PKK likes to aim the women and children of the military staff as a vengeance. (Especially the jet pilots) At past, as an excuse they were simply claiming "Oh, some of our guerillas just went rogue and did the bombing by their own decision." which was not good enough to avoid responsibility.

    And now, to have a better excuse, they simply invented TAK. So if an attack kills more civilians than the military personnel, "TAK" claims it. If it doesn't, PKK does.

    In this particular case, the bomber is a YPG militia who joined YPG from Turkey, and then back to Turkey as to become PKK militia later. Still, it's impossible to tell if he is PKK or YPG at the time of the attack, because he is both.

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