Syria

So you prefer not to give direct answers to my questions. It is your right to answer or not to answer.
Which part of unanimous UNSC Resolution 2249 are you having problems with?

You tried to compare the coalition acting under the auspices of that Resolution with Russia (again) parking a Tank Army in the Baltic countries. You are comparing apples and turnips.
 
Syria rejects OPCW report on 'toxic chemical' used in attack: SANA | Reuters
Assad’s govt refute the findings of the OPCW FFM on finding the use of a toxic chemical weapon in Douma:
“The Syrian Arab Republic categorically rejects the conclusions of the mission team,” the foreign ministry said in a statement carried by state news agency SANA. “(The report) was no different to previous reports from the mission, which were full of blatant distortion of facts.”
The OPCWs FFMs remit isn’t to assign blame but said there were ‘reasonable grounds that the use of a toxic chemical as a weapon has taken place on 7th April 2018’.

Assad’s govt say they ‘ignored statements from witnesses who experienced this incident and who described the claim that chemical weapons had been used in Doumaas having been a play put on by armed terrorist groups’.

No mention on how the two cylinders ‘magically appeared’:
The OPCW investigation did not assign blame, but the information gathered provided “reasonable grounds that the use of a toxic chemical as a weapon has taken place on 7 April 2018”.

Syria’s foreign ministry said the investigation “ignored statements from witnesses who experienced this incident and who described the claim that chemical weapons had been used in Douma as having been a play put on by armed terrorist groups.
 
Endgame in Baghuz begins.

'The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have launched an assault on the Islamic State group's last enclave in Syria. Head of SDF media office Mustafa Bali told Reuters news agency their forces "are now clashing with the terrorists". Islamic State militants are centred in the town of Baghuz in eastern Syria.'

Assault on last IS Syria enclave begins
 
Despite the chap shown being Daesh, I can't help feeling for him at the end. Left well high and dry by his mates. Not a good way to go.

That’s some pretty poor debussing and IA drills on contacts and weapons imo. I gathered from the video he wasn’t popular. Abandoning the RPG and ammo as well.

Interesting that they are said to come from nominally Assad govt controlled space and went to join their comrades fighting around Deir al-Zor. December ‘18 was a the relaunch of the assault by the SDF from memory and the taking of Haijin
 
That’s some pretty poor debussing and IA drills on contacts and weapons imo. I gathered from the video he wasn’t popular. Abandoning the RPG and ammo as well.

Interesting that they are said to come from nominally Assad govt controlled space and went to join their comrades fighting around Deir al-Zor. December ‘18 was a the relaunch of the assault by the SDF from memory and the taking of Haijin
You have made the point a few times that ISIS will be in Syria and Iraq for years to come. I agree and firm government control of the largely empty parts of the country will be notional rather than actual. The filmed actions seemed a bit shambolic and at the end the chap was spending more time than is healthy trying to get his weapon to work.
 
You have made the point a few times that ISIS will be in Syria and Iraq for years to come. I agree and firm government control of the largely empty parts of the country will be notional rather than actual.
Which makes me wonder what actions Assad's govt and allies are taking against the spaces notionally controlled by IS in Syria 'west of the Euphrates'. There was an Op in about October from memory, but I don't recall seeing much after that. After all, they've had a break from their impending assault on Idlib. It also makes me wonder what steps the Iraqi and Syrian govt's are doing to prevent IS-2.

The filmed actions seemed a bit shambolic and at the end the chap was spending more time than is healthy trying to get his weapon to work.
At the end he seemed to have a right arm injury and he worked around that. His handling of the PKM was appalling (imo) and his IAs on the M16 were pretty poor. I think his first round showed he's not aware of 'muzzle clearance.
 
Which makes me wonder what actions Assad's govt and allies are taking against the spaces notionally controlled by IS in Syria 'west of the Euphrates'. There was an Op in about October from memory, but I don't recall seeing much after that. After all, they've had a break from their impending assault on Idlib. It also makes me wonder what steps the Iraqi and Syrian govt's are doing to prevent IS-2.


At the end he seemed to have a right arm injury and he worked around that. His handling of the PKM was appalling (imo) and his IAs on the M16 were pretty poor. I think his first round showed he's not aware of 'muzzle clearance.
I think that Assad still has huge resource issues, as you've referred to previously. Idlib needs a large covering force and more than NDF if it is to hold. Many SAA have also been demobilised. Although it's gone quiet in media terms, the RuAF and SAA seem to be keeping parts of Idlib under regular bombardment and there is still a risk of attacks from within the area into government-held territory. I think Assad will have to put up with areas of govt. control, in the less populated parts of the country, fluctuating for many months; possibly years.
 
I think that Assad still has huge resource issues, as you've referred to previously. Idlib needs a large covering force and more than NDF if it is to hold. Many SAA have also been demobilised. Although it's gone quiet in media terms, the RuAF and SAA seem to be keeping parts of Idlib under regular bombardment and there is still a risk of attacks from within the area into government-held territory. I think Assad will have to put up with areas of govt. control, in the less populated parts of the country, fluctuating for many months; possibly years.
Fair one, there was an attack by the militants a while ago. Covering/guarding forces indeed, but bearing in mind the resources used to take Aleppo.......I’m not wholly convinced he doesn’t have the resources to deal with IS ‘west of the Euphrates’ outside of Idlib. Plus if he hasn’t the resources now, how will he have the resources to cover ‘east of the Euphrates’?

I’m sure he has a reason, but it’s not obvious at the moment
 
'Tomorrow we'll be in paradise': Islamic State followers speak from besieged enclave | Reuters
Latest rhetoric video from IS. I can think of a few things and people which will make them get to 'paradise' quicker:
“Tomorrow, God willing, we will be in paradise and they will be burning in hell,” said an Islamic State member whom the video identified as Abu Abd al-Azeem, whose speech is peppered with Koranic recitations.
Reminding me of some other rhetoric, clearly their earlier exhortations to kill infidels by whatever means at hand were taken out of context, as all they wanted to do was live by Sharia law:
“Why are we bombed by planes, why do all the nations of the unbelieving world come together to fight us? ... What is our guilt? What is our crime? We (just) wanted to apply the sharia of God,” he said.
Still, they think this is just one battle and its not over, probably trying to say they may have lost this battle but the war isn't over. Notably they believe al-Baghdadi is still alive:
“The infidels laughed at, humiliated us in this world, but war has its ups and downs and the battle is not over,” al-Azeem said, adding that IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is the only Muslim leader on earth today.


On the picture itself:
Azeem, wrapped in a thick winter cloak, sits on the ground around a steaming cooking pot. Next to him is a bored-looking boy of around 10 years old, peering out from a thick coat hood.
----------------------------
Over the course of the video, dozens of men with faces wrapped in scarves, young boys and the occasional woman dressed in black robes are seen milling around the encampment.
 
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No mention of LBGTQWERTY Muslims, they will surely incur the wrath of the woke generation
 
Fair one, there was an attack by the militants a while ago. Covering/guarding forces indeed, but bearing in mind the resources used to take Aleppo.......I’m not wholly convinced he doesn’t have the resources to deal with IS ‘west of the Euphrates’ outside of Idlib. Plus if he hasn’t the resources now, how will he have the resources to cover ‘east of the Euphrates’?

I’m sure he has a reason, but it’s not obvious at the moment
Aleppo is v interesting as, iirc, the SAA and pro-govt forces had difficulty holding the line run other parts of Syria during the Aleppo operation. In the South West, some local opposition offensives took territory and it took the government 2-3 weeks to get forces on hand for containment. I think these problems were worst where NDF were the main pro-govt forces.
A fair part of Assad's strength is in reconciled opponents (many quite recent reconciliations). The extent to which they are reliable and useful for anything other than local defence is open to question.
Re. 'East of the Euphrates', the regime does have support from tribal groups and there have been pro-Assad demonstrations in Kurdish / SDF controlled areas. Arab and non-Kurdish Syrians don't all seem to be pro-SDF/US.
It is complex however. Assad needs to return to the East in a meaningful way and that isn't happening at present.
 
Aleppo is v interesting as, iirc, the SAA and pro-govt forces had difficulty holding the line run other parts of Syria during the Aleppo operation. In the South West, some local opposition offensives took territory and it took the government 2-3 weeks to get forces on hand for containment. I think these problems were worst where NDF were the main pro-govt forces.
A fair part of Assad's strength is in reconciled opponents (many quite recent reconciliations). The extent to which they are reliable and useful for anything other than local defence is open to question.
I guess Israel's analysis is wrong then? Let alone Hezbollah, other Iranian sponsored militias and of course the Russians inc PMCs:
Israel sees Syrian army growing beyond pre-civil war size | Reuters
“Across the way we see the Syrian military, which is not satisfied with just taking over all of Syrian territory but is expressly building a broad-based, new ground army that will return to its previous proportions and beyond,” Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman told reporters during a tour of the Golan Heights.
Re. 'East of the Euphrates', the regime does have support from tribal groups and there have been pro-Assad demonstrations in Kurdish / SDF controlled areas. Arab and non-Kurdish Syrians don't all seem to be pro-SDF/US.
I'm not sure any region in Syria can be called wholly pro one side or another, it all seems to be who they definitely don't like. Be it Jihadi's, Assad's govt, rebels or SDF etc.
It is complex however. Assad needs to return to the East in a meaningful way and that isn't happening at present.
If he is to remain, I'd like to see him sort out the rest of his country first, rather than go on about bits of Syria under SDF control. I suppose Turkey is too tough a nut to crack at the moment, hence Tr pushing for the US to leave and Assad reiterating he wants his whole country back. He will get it back and personally I'd like to see some part of that area given autonomy as it is in Iraq, for them actually defeating IS rather than running away.

It'll be interesting if/when Erdogan pee's off Vlad again. You just need another Ambo to be assasinated (which the trolls seem to have ignored for now, funnily enough).
 
I guess Israel's analysis is wrong then? Let alone Hezbollah, other Iranian sponsored militias and of course the Russians inc PMCs:
Israel sees Syrian army growing beyond pre-civil war size | Reuters


I'm not sure any region in Syria can be called wholly pro one side or another, it all seems to be who they definitely don't like. Be it Jihadi's, Assad's govt, rebels or SDF etc.

If he is to remain, I'd like to see him sort out the rest of his country first, rather than go on about bits of Syria under SDF control. I suppose Turkey is too tough a nut to crack at the moment, hence Tr pushing for the US to leave and Assad reiterating he wants his whole country back. He will get it back and personally I'd like to see some part of that area given autonomy as it is in Iraq, for them actually defeating IS rather than running away.

It'll be interesting if/when Erdogan pee's off Vlad again. You just need another Ambo to be assasinated (which the trolls seem to have ignored for now, funnily enough).
Interesting report there. Just based on news sources and social media, the best parts of the Syrian army (well, those that were mobile as opposed to on stable fronts) are now very experienced but exhausted and short of uniform standard equipments. If well - resourced, they could re-build as a good Arab army by regional standards. I hope to God that Assad has the common sense to leave Israel alone.
 
Interesting report there. Just based on news sources and social media, the best parts of the Syrian army (well, those that were mobile as opposed to on stable fronts) are now very experienced but exhausted and short of uniform standard equipments.
That's my view, experienced but fatigued. Need a bit of sorting out. Now had a decent break. Where next?
If well - resourced, they could re-build as a good Arab army by regional standards. I hope to God that Assad has the common sense to leave Israel alone.
They weren't that good before the civil war. Fighting 'peer on peer' or 'near peer' isn't the same as having total air supremacy and lobbing barrels and cannisters on anybody willy nilly. Most reports seem to push the PMCs and a couple of the better units in as the lead elements in any assault.

I suppose the Israel bit comes down to how much Iran wants to exercise its new power in Syria and also whether Hezbollah now want some quid pro quo for helping Assad out.
 
That's my view, experienced but fatigued. Need a bit of sorting out. Now had a decent break. Where next?

They weren't that good before the civil war. Fighting 'peer on peer' or 'near peer' isn't the same as having total air supremacy and lobbing barrels and cannisters on anybody willy nilly. Most reports seem to push the PMCs and a couple of the better units in as the lead elements in any assault.

I suppose the Israel bit comes down to how much Iran wants to exercise its new power in Syria and also whether Hezbollah now want some quid pro quo for helping Assad out.
I can definitely see Syria returning to the role of destabilising regional influence / bully. As you say, that would be against lesser/smaller forces. Safe haven for Hezbollah? Major influence in Lebanon? All check.
Linking to your earlier points, Syria's challenges are now in the East and North. Despite Trump's words, there no proof of Western withdrawal from the East and North East. And Turkey isn't going anywhere. They are political issues. Turkish Syria is the big issue for Assad. It is an out an out annexation and he cannot long be seen to accept it imo.
 
I can definitely see Syria returning to the role of destabilising regional influence / bully. As you say, that would be against lesser/smaller forces. Safe haven for Hezbollah? Major influence in Lebanon? All check.
Agreed on all of the above, but more (imo) a 'stepping stone' for Iranian attacks on Israel. Perhaps a new 'dispute' over the Golan is in the offing?
Linking to your earlier points, Syria's challenges are now in the East and North. Despite Trump's words, there no proof of Western withdrawal from the East and North East. And Turkey isn't going anywhere. They are political issues. Turkish Syria is the big issue for Assad. It is an out an out annexation and he cannot long be seen to accept it imo.
If the US had gone, imo Assad would have rolled east. If Erdogan annoys Putin, they'll go north and north east. The Kurds need to get Assad back to the negotiating table, but I just read a report that says their talks have stopped. Not sure on the next immediate objective but Idlib is a strong contender. Idlib or another push on the SDF controlled oilfields after IS has 'been destroyed' again, (Assad defeated them in November '17). We've seen the rhetoric from the trolls, so it'll be either Idlib or the SDF.

Whatever happens, sticking up new posters isn't the answer and the country needs $Bn's in reconstruction. Not least because 'you know who' haven't gone away.
 
Interesting footage coming out of Baghouz of IS fighters, possibly women, fighting in burkhas.

The prophet Mohammed said that jihad for women was hajj so no idea what these renegades are playing at.

Edited to clarify burkhas, not gurkhas.
 
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Interesting footage coming out of Baghouz of IS fighters, possibly women, fighting in burkhas.

The prophet Mohammed said that jihad for women was hajj so no idea what these renegades are playing at.

Edited to clarify burkhas, not gurkhas.
?

I thought hajj was the pilgrimage to Mecca.

Would appreciate clarification.

TIA
 
Russian defense minister flies to Syria, hands to Assad message from Putin | Reuters
I assume it’s not a P45. Maybe the all clear for Idlib?
Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu traveled to Syria on Tuesday where he handed a message from President Vladimir Putin to Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad, the defense ministry said.

The Russian ministry said Shoigu and Assad had discussed the fight against global terrorism in Syria and various aspects of security in the Middle East.
 

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