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

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Dotini

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The pretend war.
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Snippet:

...Erdogan and Putin give the world a glimpse into how all this could spin out of control.

The threat posed by terrorism is merely symptomatic of larger underlying problems. Crush Isis, whether by bombing or employing boots on the ground, and those problems will still persist. A new Isis, under a different name but probably flying the same banner, will appear in its place, much as Isis itself emerged from the ashes of al-Qaeda in Iraq.

Does the West possess the wherewithal to sustain another long war?

http://new.spectator.co.uk/2015/11/sorry-but-just-bombing-isis-in-syria-wont-help-anyone/
 
R

ralfellis

Some background historical info on the Syria conflict, which does not seem to be mentioned here.

This is not a recent dispute. Bashar Assad's father had exactly the same uprising in 1982, and put it down in exactly the same forceful manner, with some 40,000 casualties. So we know that the current Syrian civil war has nothing to do with oil pipelines, global warming or the tooth fairy. Please see the Hama Massacre.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1982_Hama_massacre


In fact, this is a 1,300 year old dispute. Bashar Assad's Alawites were the most grievously persecuted minority in all of Syria, alongside the Yazidi. This is because they are half Christian and celebrate Easter and Christmas, and this makes them kuffer unbelievers to the Sunni majority. But the French saw the Alawites as allies and put them in control of the army, and from there they took control of Syria. And the Sunnies want to return the Alawites to the gutters of Syria, or worse.

So the Alawites are simply the Yazidi with guns. Would anyone condemn the Yazidi if they defended themselves against Sunni aggression? So why do Western governments condemn the Alawites of Bashar Assad? If Assad ceded power, all 4 million Alawites would be eliminated, and if the Alawites went then all 4 million Syriac Christians would be eliminated too. Which is why the Syriac Christians have backed Bashar Assad all this time.

The situation is much more complex than the Western media like to claim.

R
 

Evo

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In fact, this is a 1,300 year old dispute. Bashar Assad's Alawites were the most grievously persecuted minority in all of Syria, alongside the Yazidi. This is because they are half Christian and celebrate Easter and Christmas, and this makes them kuffer unbelievers to the Sunni majority. But the French saw the Alawites as allies and put them in control of the army, and from there they took control of Syria. And the Sunnies want to return the Alawites to the gutters of Syria, or worse.

So the Alawites are simply the Yazidi with guns. Would anyone condemn the Yazidi if they defended themselves against Sunni aggression? So why do Western governments condemn the Alawites of Bashar Assad? If Assad ceded power, all 4 million Alawites would be eliminated, and if the Alawites went then all 4 million Syriac Christians would be eliminated too. Which is why the Syriac Christians have backed Bashar Assad all this time.
Please post the source for this.

Thank you.
 
In fact, this is a 1,300 year old dispute. Bashar Assad's Alawites were the most grievously persecuted minority in all of Syria, alongside the Yazidi. This is because they are half Christian and celebrate Easter and Christmas, and this makes them kuffer unbelievers to the Sunni majority. But the French saw the Alawites as allies and put them in control of the army, and from there they took control of Syria. And the Sunnies want to return the Alawites to the gutters of Syria, or worse.
The sad truth is that for the entire region this is SOP: you win and seize power, you oppress all other groups using whatever means available, up to and including use of WMDs (chemical weapons). Shia, Sunni, Alawites, ..., Lebanese Christians are almost indistinguishable in their methods.
 
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So the Alawites are simply the Yazidi with guns. Would anyone condemn the Yazidi if they defended themselves against Sunni aggression?
I'm sorry what sunni aggression and what defence? I wouldn't really call deploying tanks to meet anti-governement protesters in Deraa and Homs as a defence of a persecuted minority.

I mean 4 years isn't that long of a period to completely forget how the conflict started. But perhaps we need a quick refresher
https://news.vice.com/article/syria-after-four-years-timeline-of-a-conflict
https://www.washingtonpost.com/apps/g/page/world/timeline-unrest-in-syria/207/

You'll notice that the conflict didn't become fully sectarian until 2013. The original protests had more to do with the government being Baathist (stated in the Syrian constitution as "the leader of the state and society") than it being largely Alawite. You might remember that the last notorious Baathist was in fact Sunni.

The situation is much more complex
Indeed it is. Though I'm afraid that what you presented here is even more of an oversimplification than most accounts by the media.
 

mheslep

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The sad truth is that for the entire region this is SOP: you win and seize power, you oppress all other groups using whatever means available, up to and including use of WMDs (chemical weapons). Shia, Sunni, Alawites, ..., Lebanese Christians are almost indistinguishable in their methods.
The Israelis, at least, break the regional trend.
 
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Dotini

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The US is beginning to put real pressure on Turkey to close the border.
The US suspects Turkey of supporting ISIS. But Turkey has its reasons for doing so.
"US officials are quoted as saying that there could be “significant blowback” against Turkey by European states if it allows Isis militants to cross from Syria into Turkey and then carry out terrorist outrages in Europe."
All according to this article: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/w...-stretch-of-frontier-with-syria-a6753836.html

24-Graphic-Supply-Line-Turkey's-Border.jpg


3b2cac37146695351730333a5f28d553.JPG
 
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Westminster is voting tonight on the government motion to extend air strikes to ISIS targets in Syria.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-34980504

Most Tories and Lib Dems are expected to support the motion. Labour MPs are split, with Corbyn arguing against the motion, though he offered a free vote on the issue. SNP is mostly against.
 

mheslep

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The US is beginning to put real pressure on Turkey to close the border.
The US suspects Turkey of supporting ISIS. But Turkey has its reasons for doing so.
"US officials are quoted as saying that there could be “significant blowback” against Turkey by European states if it allows Isis militants to cross from Syria into Turkey and then carry out terrorist outrages in Europe."
All according to this article...
The wording using in the article was "long-term tolerance of, and possible complicity with". That is, I would use the word "support" to describe what, say, Iran does with Hezbollah. I don't like what Turkey is known to be tolerating in, or complicit with ISIS, but I don't think the relationship is the same as Iran-Hezbollah.

...The US move follows increasing international criticism of Turkey for what is seen as its long-term tolerance of, and possible complicity with, Isis and other extreme jihadi groups such as al-Qaeda’s branch in Syria, Jabhat al-Nusra Front, and Ahrar al-Sham. Not only have thousands of foreign fighters passed through Turkey on their way to join Isis, but crude oil from oilfields seized by Isis in north-east Syria has been transported to Turkey for sale, providing much of revenue of the self-declared Islamic State.

Last week a Turkish court jailed two prominent journalists for publishing pictures of a Turkish truck delivering ammunition to opposition fighters in Syria. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan claimed that the weapons were destined for Turkmen paramilitaries allied to Turkey fighting in Syria, but this was denied by Turkish political leaders close to the Turkmen...
 
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Westminster is voting tonight on the government motion to extend air strikes to ISIS targets in Syria.
British government wins support of the house for air strikes against ISIS in Syria by 397 to 223.
 

S.G. Janssens

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British government wins support of the house for air strikes against ISIS in Syria by 397 to 223.
Now it's time for the Dutch to also step forward with their (very modest) contribution.
 

mheslep

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Now it's time for the Dutch to also step forward with their (very modest) contribution.
When lives are placed in harms way, the contribution would not be modest but noble in my view. These would be Dutch pilots, Dutch lives at risk. And Dutch defense spending is one of the highest in Europe per GDP.
 

S.G. Janssens

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When lives are placed in harms way, the contribution would not be modest but noble in my view. These would be Dutch pilots, Dutch lives at risk. And Dutch defense spending is one of the highest in Europe per GDP.
Thank you, I appreciate your response. At the moment there is a small Dutch contribution in Iraq airspace, but the enemy is not deterred by borders. Usually I'm not such a "hawk", but in this case I think there is no alternative to a strong military answer. IS cannot be reasoned with, we have seen enough horrific evidence of that.
 

mheslep

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Usually I'm not such a "hawk",
I see. Hawk used to be the term for the shoot first, shoot some more, and after everyone's dead negotiate school. Now the entire discussion is falsely mis-framed, I think, when "hawk" is the default label for *any* proposal for military action, regardless of scope or justification.
 

S.G. Janssens

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Education Advisor
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I see. Hawk used to be the term for the shoot first, shoot some more, and after everyone's dead negotiate school. Now the entire discussion is falsely mis-framed, I think, when "hawk" is the default label for *any* proposal for military action, regardless of scope or justification.
I agree. When using the word "hawk" I was more thinking about the classical hawk-dove game, and it seems that while learning about the doings of IS I am required to adopt my "mixed strategy" to include more of "hawk" and less of "dove". Unfortunately, there seems to be no other way.
 

Astronuc

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Russia appears to have 'gone ballistic' in Syria — and it may be helping ISIS
http://finance.yahoo.com/news/russia-appears-gone-ballistic-syria-203310805.html
A stepped-up Russian bombing campaign in the Bayirbucak region of northwest Syria, near the strategically important city of Azaz, has primarily targeted the Turkey-backed Turkmen rebels and civilians — and the Turkish aid convoys that supply them.
It looks like Russia is mostly, if not exclusively, hitting rebel forces and Turkish interests. Maybe Daesh comes later.
 

mheslep

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... And Dutch defense spending is one of the highest in Europe per GDP.
I can't recall now where I got that idea, but it appears to not be the case. Per the graphic, the Netherlands spends 1.2% on defense, about middle of the EU countries, well below the NATO recommendation. So yes, modest in regard to spending.




WO-AW916_NATOSP_16U_20150622175709.jpg
 

Astronuc

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many of the ex-Baathists working with Islamic State are driven by self preservation and a shared hatred of the Shi'ite-led government in Baghdad. Others are true believers who became radicalized in the early years after Saddam's ouster, converted on the battlefield or in U.S. military and Iraqi prisons.

One former intelligence commander who served in Iraq's national intelligence service from 2003 to 2009 said some ex-Baathists pushed out of state agencies by Iraq's government were only too happy to find new masters. "ISIS pays them," he said.
http://news.yahoo.com/special-report-saddams-men-help-islamic-state-rule-100208506.html
 

mheslep

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After the Labor's election of Jeremy "[no] external intervention" Corbyn I had written off any further contribution of the UK to the fight against ISIS in Syria, as in Corbyn's mind ISIS and America are roughly the same thing:

"Yes they [ISIS] are brutal, yes some of what they have done is quite appalling, likewise what the Americans did in Fallujah and other places is appalling."
But then comes shadow foreign minister Hilary Benn's speech on Dec 2 in support of UK air attack in Syria, followed by an unheard of round of applause. Been really gets rolling after 6:30:

 
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After the Labor's election of Jeremy "[no] external intervention" Corbyn I had written off any further contribution of the UK to the fight against ISIS
Well, I think he deserves at least some credit for offering a free Labour vote on the motion. He could've whipped the vote, as many voices in the Labour party were asking him to. With the SNP mostly against the motion, a whipped Labour rejection of the motion could've changed the outcome.

Hilary Benn's speech was of course the highlight of the marathon debate. It was reported that about 16 Labour MPs voted for the motion primarily because of it.
 

mheslep

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Well, I think he deserves at least some credit for offering a free Labour vote on the motion.
Possibly, and possibly he had no (politically viable) choice. That is, other Labour leaders may have threatened some kind of excommunication if he failed to get out of the way.
 

Astronuc

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But then comes shadow foreign minister Hilary Benn's speech on Dec 2 in support of UK air attack in Syria, followed by an unheard of round of applause.
Benn provides a cogent and compelling speech.
 

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