News Iraqi unrest, Syrian unrest, and ISIS/ISIL/Daesh

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mheslep

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About Russia hitting US backed extremists:



About Russia hitting ISIS - you can find several instances, but a quick search in reuters got me today's action:
Thanks for the references. How is it from these events that "Russia is fixing U.S. mistakes"? From the reports on Russian strikes, they are overwhelmingly (~95%) on Syrian rebels of all kinds.
 
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Thanks for the references. How is it from these events that "Russia is fixing U.S. mistakes"? From the reports on Russian strikes, they are overwhelmingly (~95%) on Syrian rebels of all kinds.
The mistake is training and providing weapons to extremists just because they oppose both Assad and ISIS.
Russia is hitting these extremists.
Had Russia not intervened, and Assad would have been removed - even if ISIS would also have been defeated, these extremists would have filled the vacuum, and they are worse than Assad in every respect.
These so called "moderate" rebels are hardline muslims who hate the west, do not believe in human rights, and wish to establish an Islamic dictatorship.
Had the U.S. and gulf states not intervened in the first place, Assad would have "resolved" this conflict with much less bloodshed (like his father did in the 80's - no one seemed to care then).
Where was the U.S. when Sudan murdered more than twice the people who died in the Syria conflict?
Has Anyone even mentioned anything about this? (just a recent example)
It's all about control, for both the US and Russia - but I think the outcome Russia is driving for is both more feasible, and a bit better for Syria (Not sure about the rest of the region, though... Iran is getting stronger by the minute)
 

Astronuc

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Where was the U.S. when Sudan murdered more than twice the people who died in the Syria conflict?
Has Anyone even mentioned anything about this? (just a recent example)
I was thinking about this recently, that Darfur had fallen off the radar screen of the international media. It seems attention shifted to the conflict between Sudan and South Sudan and more recently Boko Haram. But this is a subject of another thread.

We discussed it 8 years ago - https://www.physicsforums.com/threads/darfur-understanding.178903/
 
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lisab

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Astronuc

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Senior Iranian Revolutionary Guards general killed in Syria: IRGC
http://news.yahoo.com/iranian-revolutionary-guards-general-killed-syria-irgc-082850993.html

Oops - Four Russian cruise missiles fired at Syria from the Caspian Sea landed in Iran, unnamed US officials say. Not even close!
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-34479873

Iran's Irna news agency reported on Wednesday that an unknown flying object had crashed in the village of Ghozghapan in the Iranian province of West Azerbaijan, said to be under the missiles' flight path.
 

nsaspook

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So, are the rebels we're arming the same ones the Russians are bombing?

Are we at the beginning of a proxy war between the US and Russia?
No, our direct 'objective' is Assad. Russia just is a complication in the plan.
 

nsaspook

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Oops - Four Russian cruise missiles fired at Syria from the Caspian Sea landed in Iran, unnamed US officials say. Not even close!
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-34479873

Iran's Irna news agency reported on Wednesday that an unknown flying object had crashed in the village of Ghozghapan in the Iranian province of West Azerbaijan, said to be under the missiles' flight path.
I'm pretty impressed with the first operational use of the weapons system. The failure rate for a 26 missle 1000 mile trip in real combat conditions for the first time was pretty good. The battery launch speed from the VLS platform and vector thrust control into stable flight also looked very good.
http://defensetech.org/2015/10/08/strike-highlights-russias-advances-in-cruise-missile-technology/

We had about a 85% success rate for the Tomahawk during the first Gulf War and flew some over Iran without the permission that I'm sure Russia had for this launch.
 
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mheslep

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Russia is hitting these extremists.
Most of the Russian attacks have been on rebel held territory with the exception of a couple ISIS attacks. Many of the rebels are ex-Syrian military.

Had the U.S. and gulf states not intervened in the first place,...
As the US DoD has now admitted the US had not materially intervened in the Syrian civil war as of a few weeks ago, not even after Assad's use of chemical weapons. Only a handful of rebels have been trained, and US airstrikes, the few that were actually executed, have been against ISIS.

NYT said:
...those in the Pentagon and elsewhere in the administration have been saying in the wake of revelations that the program at one point last month had only “four or five” trainees fighting in Syria
] Assad would have "resolved" this conflict with much less bloodshed (like his father did in the 80's - no one seemed to care then).
There were some 200K fatalities in Syria before the US dispatched a single military resource towards the conflict. And the massacres of Assad's father Hafez are legendary.

]Where was the U.S. when Sudan murdered more than twice the people who died in the Syria conflict?
Where was the US supposed to be? The question was about US mistakes in Syria. The action/inaction of the US elsewhere in the world is immaterial to this question

]It's all about control, for both the US and Russia - but I think the outcome Russia is driving for is both more feasible, and a bit better for Syria (Not sure about the rest of the region, though... Iran is getting stronger by the minute)
The US wants to control Syria? Consider that the US, and many other countries, might simply not want another failed state in Syria that allows a fertile breeding ground for the like of ISIS. Otherwise you might have saved us both some time and cut to your point, a demonization of the US regardless of what it does or does not do.
 
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Most of the Russian attacks have been on ... ex-Syrian military.
Source? (I hope this shortened version of your reply is what you meant to say).
As the US DoD has now admitted the US had not materially intervened in the Syrian civil war as of a few weeks ago, not even after Assad's use of chemical weapons. Only a handful of rebels have been trained, and US airstrikes, the few that were actually executed, have been against ISIS.
Note that I was not speaking only about US intervention in the sentence you respond to, I mentioned gulf states too:

The Financial Times reported that Qatar had funded the Syrian rebellion by "as much as $3 billion" over the first two years of the civil war.[104] It reported that Qatar was offering refugee packages of about $50,000 a year to defectors and family.[104]

The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute estimated that Qatar had sent the most weapons to Syria, with over 70 weapons cargo flights into Turkey between April 2012 and March 2013.[104][105]

Qatar operates a training base in its territory, in conjunction with the CIA who run the training, training about 1,200 rebel soldiers a year on three week courses.[106][107]

The Financial Times reported in May 2013 that Saudi Arabia was becoming a larger provider of arms to the rebels.[104] Since the summer of 2013, Saudi Arabia has emerged as the main group to finance and arm the rebels.[113] Saudi Arabia has financed a large purchase of infantry weapons, such as Yugoslav-made recoilless guns and the M79 Osa, an anti-tank weapon, from Croatia via shipments shuttled through Jordan.[101] The weapons began reaching rebels in December 2012 which allowed rebels' small tactical gains this winter against the army and militias loyal to Assad.[101] This was to counter shipments of weapons from Iran to Assad's forces.[101]

Bashar al-Assad pointed at Saudi Arabia as the major supporter of terrorists and "leading the most extensive operation of direct sabotage against all the Arab world".[114]

In May 2015, The Independent reported that Saudi Arabia and Turkey "are focusing their backing for the Syrian rebels on the combined Jaish al-Fatah, or the Army of Conquest".[12] The Army of Conquest reportedly includes an Al-Qaeda-linked Al-Nusra Front,[11] which had been declared a terrorist organisation by the United States.[115]

US's part is admittedly smaller:

In June 2012, the Central Intelligence Agency was reported to be involved in covert operations along the Turkish-Syrian border, where agents investigated rebel groups, recommending arms providers which groups to give aid to. Agents also helped opposition forces develop supply routes, and provided them with communications training.[88] CIA operatives distributed assault rifles, anti-tank rocket launchers and other ammunition to Syrian opposition. The State Department has reportedly allocated $15 million for civilian opposition groups in Syria.[17]

In July 2012, the United States government granted a non-governmental organization called Syrian Support Group a license to fund the Free Syrian Army.[89]

In early March 2013, a Jordanian security source revealed that the United States, Britain, and France were training non-Islamist rebels in Jordan. In an effort to strengthen secular elements in the opposition as a bulwark against Islamic extremism, and to begin building security forces to maintain order in the event of Bashar al-Assad's fall.[90] In April 2013, also in Jordan, the United States had set up a $70 million program in the country "that is training the kingdom's special forces to identify and secure chemical-weapons sites across Syria should the regime fall and the wrong rebels look like getting their hands on them."[91]

In April 2013, the Obama administration promised to double non-lethal aid to rebels, specifically to $250 million.[92]

On 13 June, government officials state that the Obama administration, after days of high-level meetings, has approved providing lethal arms to the Supreme Military Council (SMC).[93] The SMC is a rebel command structure that includes representatives from most major rebel groups, and excludes the Islamic extremist elements.[94] The decision was made shortly after the administration has concluded that the Assad government has used chemical weapons on opposition forces, thus crossing the "red line" drawn by Obama earlier in 2012.[95] The arms will include small arms and ammunition, and possibly anti-tank weapons.[96] However, they will not include anti-aircraft weapons, something repeatedly requested by the armed opposition.[96] Further such weapons would be supplied by the US "on our own timeline".[97] The United States is also considering a no-fly zone in southern Syria, which would allow a safe place to equip and train rebels.[98]

During September 2013, it was reported by US officials that under "a covert CIA program," small arms and anti tank weapons had begun reaching some moderate rebel groups. Although Free Syrian Army Commander Salim Idriss denied receiving lethal aid, some analysts commented that information on US arms may not have reached Idriss due to poor communications as the Free Syrian Army command was based in Northern Syria whilst weapons were reportedly reaching rebel groups in the south.[99]

There were some 200K fatalities in Syria before the US dispatched a single military resource towards the conflict.
Source?

And the massacres of Assad's father Hafez are legendary.
Yes, they are, and yet no one thought it should matter at the time, and he resolved the crisis without making Syria a failed state, and with less casualties.

Where was the US supposed to be? The question was about US mistakes in Syria. The action/inaction of the US elsewhere in the world is immaterial to this question

The US wants to control Syria? Consider that the US, and many other countries, might simply not want another failed state in Syria that allows a fertile breeding ground for the like of ISIS. Otherwise you might have saved us both some time and cut to your point, a demonization of the US regardless of what it does or does not do.
I'm not trying to demonize the US, I don't think the US wants to control Syria, It wants it's Sunni allies happy, and it wants Iran weaker (with the second objective I can sympathise).
My point is that morality is not a large part of the decision making of neither the US or Russia.
Both sides use morality related arguments, although it has little to do with their actions.

US's actions are more likely to cause Syria to become a failed state than those of Russia though, since once Assad's regime and ISIS are gone, the strongest player would be Al Nusra, and once\if they're gone the smaller factions would continue to fight among themselves over who gets to dominate.
All the other failed states so far were created through a similar process.
 

mheslep

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Source? (I hope this shortened version of your reply is what you meant to say).
See the Russian air strike maps here:
http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/09/30/world/middleeast/syria-control-map-isis-rebels-airstrikes.html
and this
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/01/world/europe/russia-airstrikes-syria.html?_r=0

I do not mean that all Syrian rebels are defectors from the Syrian army, but that many of them are, serving in key leadership positions. There are mix of rebels fighting against Assad, including ones like al-Sham listed in your references. Hence the publicized "color coding" attempts by the US DoD to distinguish among rebels.

WSJ said:
To identify rebel brigades eligible to receive support, the Americans created a color-coded ranking system. Green dots were assigned to brigades deemed acceptable to all parties. Yellow dots went to borderline groups. Red dots were for radicals. Since the system’s inception, the U.S. and its allies have continued to squabble over which groups belonged in which categories, officials said.
 
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mheslep

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There were some 200K fatalities in Syria before the US dispatched a single military resource towards the conflict.
For Syrian civil war fatalities? There are many sources. The UN put out an estimate, reported here in http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/01/15/syria-rebel-truce_n_6478226.html?ncid=txtlnkusaolp00000592 [Broken]:

...Western diplomats and local officials have championed local truces as a way of easing the suffering caused by Syria's four-year conflict, which the U.N. estimates has killed some 220,000 people.
which doesn't include the casualties from the IS spill over into Iraq. The war began in early 2011. Obama's first "degrade and ultimately destroy" statement that announced the beginning the US limited air campaign against ISIS was Sept 2014. US intelligence got involved earlier via training support of rebels, though their efforts have been reported more recently as insignificant despite the significant funding involved. That is, the publicized intelligence service actions have the earmarks of making the US appear publicly to be attempting to constrain Assad while actually doing very little.
 
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For Syrian civil war fatalities? There are many sources. The UN put out an estimate, reported here in http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/01/15/syria-rebel-truce_n_6478226.html?ncid=txtlnkusaolp00000592 [Broken]:



which doesn't include the casualties from the IS spill over into Iraq. The war began in early 2011. Obama's first "degrade and ultimately destroy" statement that announced the beginning the US limited air campaign against ISIS was Sept 2014. US intelligence got involved earlier via training though their efforts have been reported as insignificant despite the significant funding involved.
I wasn't talking about ISIS, I was talking about Assad, the air campaign is irrelevant in this context.. They started to get involved in the internal affairs of Syria on Q3 of 2012 - Can you find a source for how many rebels died up to that point? I don't think it was 200k back then (although considering what you've said regarding Darfur, I think the actual number is meaningless).

Regarding the bombing areas - I know most are "rebel territories" not ruled by ISIS - but as far as I understand it, these rebels are largely muslim extremists, not benign freedom fighters who fight for democracy and human rights in Syria.
I wanted a source that show what you claim, i.e. that these bombings are largely against "the good guys" (which means they're not western hating, Sharia law instigators)
I think we can both agree that Syria becoming a second Afghanistan is not a desired outcome (even if it is Afghanistan before NATO's invasion).
 
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mheslep

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My advice to Daesh and al-Qaeda is "Put down your weapons, and go away".
What's your advice to those capable of stopping them if Daesh and al-Qaeda decline to go away and continue chopping off heads instead?
 

Astronuc

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What's your advice to those capable of stopping them if Daesh and al-Qaeda decline to go away and continue chopping off heads instead?
I would prefer a less violent course, but I don't think Daesh or Al Qaeda will go away quietly or quickly.

Meanwhile - Fierce battles in central Syria amid Russian airstrikes
http://news.yahoo.com/fierce-battles-central-syria-amid-russian-airstrikes-125542467.html [Broken]
 
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Evo

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Was watching a tv show filmed in Turkey and was appalled as were the tv filmers (they were filming a coffee show) of the Turkish government's allowing ISIS terrorist trafficking back and forth without restrictions.
 
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Was watching a tv show filmed in Turkey and was appalled as were the tv filmers (they were filming a coffee show) of the Turkish government's allowing ISIS terrorist trafficking back and forth without restrictions.
Any idea when was that filmed? I would've thought that this behaviour stopped after the recent terrorists attacks in Turkey.
 
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Evo

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Any idea when was that filmed? I would've thought that this behaviour stopped after the recent terrorists attacks in Turkey.
It says 2015, can't find the month.
 

Maylis

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The former advisor on middle eastern policy to the secretary of defense came to give a seminar on American interests in the Middle East. I had the pleasure to ask him why we continue going into undeclared wars when he suggested that boots will be needed on the ground in Syria. His answer was that they couldn't do it politically, which is exactly my point! You need the people's consent through the congress to go to war!
 

mheslep

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The former advisor on middle eastern policy to the secretary of defense came to give a seminar on American interests in the Middle East. I had the pleasure to ask him why we continue going into undeclared wars when he suggested that boots will be needed on the ground in Syria. His answer was that they couldn't do it politically, which is exactly my point! You need the people's consent through the congress to go to war!
Congress did vote consent on the Gulf, Kosovo, Iraq, and Afghan wars. The current US air strikes on ISIS in Syria and Iraq, no at least for the first five months, the Libyan air strikes, no.
 

Maylis

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I'm confused, I always thought that you need a declaration of war to go to war with someone. How is congress voting consent on war without a declaration?
 

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