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

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mheslep

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Wow. "Candor" indeed, but I don't know that I'd use the word "refreshing".
Well, in the same sense that emerging from a spell inside a particularly foul outdoor portable toilet is refreshing.
 

Astronuc

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In Aleppo, jewel of Syrian rebellion faces possible collapse
https://www.yahoo.com/news/aleppo-jewel-syrian-rebellion-faces-possible-collapse-111448454.html [Broken]

Aleppo is/was Syria's largest city. Not much left of the eastern side now.


Meanwhile in Iraq - the Iraqi Army is advancing on Mosul, Iraq's second largest city, currently under IS control.
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/17/world/middleeast/in-isis-held-mosul-beheadings-and-hints-of-resistance-as-battle-nears.html

Iraq Rejects Turkish Bid to Participate in Mosul Fight
http://www.voanews.com/a/iraq-carter/3561874.html

Mosul battle: Hundreds treated over toxic fumes in Iraq
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-37738667

Mosul battle: IS launches Iraq counter-attack at Kirkuk
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-37725108
 
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Astronuc

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Turkey on a land grab in Syria, Iraq?
https://www.yahoo.com/news/latest-nasrallah-rebels-trying-change-map-142201292.html [Broken]

What if the Turkish military moves into Syria and doesn't leave? Ostensibly, they have an interest in the region, e.g., supporting Turkomen and opposing the Kurds.
 
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mheslep

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What if the Turkish military moves into Syria and doesn't leave?
I imagine roughly the same that happened when Russia moved into Crimea and did not leave.
 

Astronuc

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In the past few weeks, a conflict between Ankara and Baghdad over Turkey’s role in the liberation of Mosul has precipitated an alarming burst of Turkish irredentism. On two separate occasions, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/erdogan-comments-on-historic-treaty-irks-opposition-greece/2016/09/30/343e0efc-8713-11e6-b57d-dd49277af02f_story.html [Broken] the Treaty of Lausanne, which created the borders of modern Turkey, for http://hsrd.yahoo.com/RV=1/RE=1478481703/RH=aHNyZC55YWhvby5jb20-/RB=/RU=aHR0cDovL3d3dy55ZW5pc2FmYWsuY29tL2d1bmRlbS9jdW1odXJiYXNrYW5pLWVyZG9nYW4tMTkyMy1wc2lrb2xvamlzaXlsZS1oYXJla2V0LWVkZW1leWl6LTI1NTAxNzAA/RS=%5EADArri3N5grcWi6WZYQqZRgnlCVX3w- [Broken] the country too small. He spoke of the country’s interest in the fate of Turkish minorities living beyond these borders, as well as its historic claims to the Iraqi city of Mosul, near which Turkey has a small military base. And, alongside news of Turkish jets bombing Kurdish forces in Syria and engaging in mock dogfights with Greek planes over the Aegean Sea, Turkey’s pro-government media have shown a newfound interest in a series of imprecise, even crudely drawn, maps of Turkey with new and improved borders.
https://www.yahoo.com/news/turkey-maps-reclaiming-ottoman-empire-200053589.html

Turkey has been has been agitating to be involved in the battle for Mosul, and Iraq has declined the offer.
 
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mheslep

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And from the RT (@2:50), Russian bombings in Aleppo and the US-Iraqi fight against ISIS in Mosul are "virtually the same" thing, like pushing an old lady out of the path of an incoming bus and pushing one into the path of a bus are virtually the same thing.
 

nsaspook

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And from the RT, Russian bombings in Aleppo and the US-Iraqi fight in Mosul are "virtually the same" thing, like pushing an old lady out of the path of an incoming bus and pushing one into the path of a bus are virtually the same thing.
The bottom line is that the allied coalition will have to bomb targets with a high probability of civilian deaths because that's the nature of urban combat vs terrorist. The old lady will be just as dead in either case when large parts of the city have to be destroyed to save it from Daesh.
 

mheslep

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The bottom line ...
Euphemisms are assertions of what you consider important, not deep truths. The same assertion has been made that Nazi atrocities were the about the same as the Allied bombing and shelling of France because people died in both instances. The assertion was deplorable then, deplorable now.
 

nsaspook

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Euphemisms are assertions of what you consider important, not deep truths. The same assertion has been made that Nazi atrocities were the about the same as the Allied bombing and shelling of France because people died in both instances. The assertion was deplorable then, deplorable now.
That's a little much. The last time I checked, officially Russia is on 'our' side in the battle vs Daesh just like they were back them.
 

mheslep

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That's a little much.
I was thinking the idea that the only thing that matters is that granny is dead, regardless of the point of the conflict, was a little much.

The last time I checked, officially Russia is on 'our' side in the battle vs Daesh just like they were back them.
Echos of Gary Johnson, ala "What's Aleppo"? There is no significant Daesh presence in Aleppo. Based on their actions, Russia is on Bashar al-Assad's side which means the like of air-attacks on UN aide convoys. The Russians oppose Daesh when it doesn't get in the way of the primary mission of opposing Syrian anti-al-Assad rebels. Despite their talk, there's little evidence of Russian efforts to do anything decisive about Daesh where Daesh does control territory.
 

nsaspook

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Echos of Gary Johnson, ala "What's Aleppo"? There is no significant Daesh presence in Aleppo. Based on their actions, Russia is on Bashar al-Assad's side which means the like of air-attacks on UN aide convoys. The Russians oppose Daesh when it doesn't get in the way of the primary mission of opposing Syrian anti-al-Assad rebels. Despite their talk, there's little evidence of Russian efforts to do anything decisive about Daesh where Daesh does control territory.
We both know there is more to the Russian involvement in Syria than Aleppo or even Assad and how the Russia sphere of influence with other major powers in the region is at stake. Yes, there is currently no significant Daesh presence in East Aleppo because it's held by other terrorist of the same flavor Army of Conquest who, we are to believe have a better plan for Syria at large. :rolleyes:
In an October 2015 publication, the Washington D.C.-based Institute for the Study of War considered Jaish al-Fatah as one of the "powerbrokers" in Idlib,Hama, Daraa and Quneitra provinces, though not in Damascus province, being primarily "anti-regime" and "anti-Hezbollah" but not necessarily "anti-ISIS".[12]
 

Astronuc

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nsaspook

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http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2016/11/syrian-army-captures-part-rebel-held-east-aleppo-161126214447646.html
The army said in a statement it had, alongside its allies, taken full control over the Hanano housing district, which is on the northeast frontline of the eastern sector.

"Engineering teams are removing mines and improvised explosive devices planted by terrorists in the squares and streets," the statement said.

The Syrian government calls all forces fighting against it "terrorists".

An official in an Aleppo rebel group said a map circulated by pro-government media showing government forces in control of the Hanano area was largely accurate.

The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the army had established control over Hanano, which was the first part of Aleppo taken over by armed opposition groups in 2012.
...
In the 12 days since the renewed bombardment on east Aleppo, at least 201 civilians, including 27 children, have died in the besieged sector, the Observatory said. There were 134 rebel fighter deaths.

The monitor also documented 19 civilian deaths, including 11 children, and dozens of injuries as a result of rebel shelling of government-held west Aleppo.

Rebel shelling into the Sheikh Maqsoud district, which is under the control of the Kurdish YPG militia, has killed three people, it said.

Syrian state news agency SANA said three people died and 15 were injured on Saturday when rebels fired rockets into government-held west Aleppo.
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-38123829
Syrian government forces have retaken a second rebel-held district in eastern Aleppo, military sources say.

They say the army and its allies had "fully recaptured" Jabal Badro.

Hours earlier, rebel sources confirmed that neighbouring Hanano district had fallen and was now under government control.
 

nsaspook

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http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2016/11/water-supply-cut-iraq-mosul-161129202802305.html
Water was cut to 650,000 people when a pipeline was hit during fighting between ISIL and the Iraqi government forces trying to crush them in their northern Iraq stronghold.

"We are facing a humanitarian catastrophe," said Hussam al-Abar, member of Mosul's Nineveh provincial council, adding that 1.5 million people were still inside Mosul.

"Basic services such as water, electricity, health, food are non-existent."
http://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-syria-idUSKBN13P1UN

Syrian rebels on Wednesday vowed to fight on in east Aleppo in the face of sudden government advances that have cut the area held by the opposition by a third in recent days and brought insurgents in the city to the brink of a catastrophic defeat.

Gains by the Syrian army and its allies since last week have brought whole districts back under government control and led to a human exodus as thousands have fled their pulverized neighborhoods near the rapidly shifting front lines.

With the rebels now reduced to an area just kilometers across, the leaders of Russia and Turkey, two of the most powerful supporters of the opposing sides in the war spoke by phone on the need for a ceasefire, according to sources in Ankara.
 

nsaspook

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mheslep

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Bernard-Henry Levy (journalist, French intellectual, author) reports surprisngly from Iraq that the Kurds and the Iraqi forces have developed a high degree of cooperation and camaraderie. Now they have also have the confidence born of success. If the alliance holds, though they move slowly, every ISIL fanatic detrmined to stay in Iraq is a dead man walking.

http://www.wsj.com/articles/inside-the-battle-for-mosul-1481153476
My team and I are present at a meeting between [Iraqi] Gen. Barwari and Sirwan Barzani, his Peshmerga Kurdish fighting-force counterpart. Their camaraderie is striking. Moving, too, is the evidence of the brotherhood of arms between their two elite units, their two golden divisions, about which previously I had my doubts.

We are seeing the smooth functioning, for now, of the strategy promoted by the Pentagon: the Kurds responsible for breaking through ISIS’s forward lines and opening the gates to the city; the Iraqis responsible for taking the eastern—and later the western—sectors of ISIS’s Berlin, street by street. The division of labor seems to be working. That is another pleasant surprise.
 

nsaspook

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http://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-syria-idUSKBN1420H5?il=0

Rebel resistance in Syria's Aleppo ended on Tuesday after years of fighting and months of bitter siege and bombardment that culminated in a bloody collapse of their defenses this week, as insurgents agreed to withdraw in a ceasefire.

Rebel officials said fighting would end on Tuesday evening and insurgents and the civilians who have been trapped in the tiny pocket of territory they hold in Aleppo would leave the city for opposition-held areas of the countryside to the west.

News of the deal, confirmed by Russia's U.N. envoy, came after the United Nations voiced deep concern about reports it had received of Syrian soldiers and allied Iraqi fighters summarily shooting dead 82 people in recaptured east Aleppo districts. It accused them of "slaughter".

"My latest information is that they indeed have an arrangement achieved on the ground that the fighters are going to leave the city," Russian U.N. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin told reporters. It could happen "within hours maybe", he said.

A surrender or withdrawal of the rebels from Aleppo would mean the end of the rebellion in the city, Syria's largest until the outbreak of war after mass protests in 2011.
...
However, while the rebels, including groups backed by the United States, Turkey and Gulf monarchies, as well as jihadist groups that the West does not support, will suffer a crushing defeat in Aleppo, the war will be far from over.

"The crushing of Aleppo, the immeasurably terrifying toll on its people, the bloodshed, the wanton slaughter of men, women and children, the destruction – and we are nowhere near the end of this cruel conflict," U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein said in a statement.
What a horrible achievement.
 
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nsaspook

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http://www.cnbc.com/2016/12/19/who-shot-russias-ambassador-to-turkey-it-could-be-a-lot-of-people.html
The vicious, entangled war involving Turkey, Russia, Syria and a dozen other combatants got more confusing on Monday when Russia's ambassador to Turkey was fatally shot. Andrey Karlov was gunned down while giving a speech at an art gallery in the Turkish capital.

A solitary gunman, whom Turkey's interior minister confirmed was a Turkish police officer, was killed by security forces following the assassination. Video from the scene showed a shouting man in a black business suit and tie standing over the ambassador with a handgun.
 

nsaspook

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Christmas in Aleppo.
The former rebel held part of the city.
 

Astronuc

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Not Iraq or Syria, but Daesh reaching out -
https://www.yahoo.com/news/australian-police-prevented-bombings-christmas-225149726.html
CANBERRA, Australia (AP) -- Police in Australia have detained five men suspected of planning a series of Christmas Day bomb attacks in the heart of the country's second-largest city, officials said Friday.

The suspects had been inspired by the Islamic State group and planned attacks on Melbourne's Flinders Street train station, neighboring Federation Square and St. Paul's Cathedral, Victoria state Police Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton said.
. . . .
I used to pass through Finders Street and by St. Paul's Cathedral on my way to my Dad's office - 50+ years ago.
 

nsaspook

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https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/dec/30/syria-ceasefire-remains-intact-despite-apparent-government-violations
A ceasefire across Syria appeared to be holding on Friday as its brokers, Russia and Turkey, sought support at the UN security council for the plan it hopes will trump failed peace proposals and end the six-year conflict.

Despite violations blamed on both sides in parts of the country, there were no reported civilian casualties by Friday night and diplomats were hopeful that the fragile truce would take root, despite all other attempts failing.

Russia, which has invested much political stock in ending the fighting after bombing the opposition relentlessly for the past 15 months, said it would ask the security council on Saturday to endorse a resolution backing its bilateral pact with Turkey – which makes aid access to besieged areas conditional on all protagonists downing weapons.
http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2016/12/iraq-resumes-mosul-operation-161229112136259.html
Iraqi troops backed by US-led air strikes have pushed deeper into eastern Mosul after a two-week lull in the operation to retake the city held by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) group.

Staff Lieutenant-General Abdulghani al-Assadi, a senior officer in Iraq's counterterrorism service, said the second phase of the operation, now in its third month, began on Thursday.
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Another coalition statement said an air strike on Thursday that targeted a van used by ISIL fighters in Mosul was later determined to have been located at a hospital's car park, "resulting in possible civilian casualties".

The coalition, it added, "takes all allegations of civilian casualties seriously and this incident will be fully investigated and the findings released in a timely and transparent manner."

It was not immediately known how many, if any, were hurt by the air strike.
http://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-iraq-mosul-idUSKBN14J14I
 
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I'm curious why the leaked John Kerry comments about letting ISIS grow as a strategy to oust Assad isn't a bigger deal. What am I missing?
 

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