Syria

Syrian government forces recover area in northwest - Reuters
Some more ‘see saw’ fighting around Idlib. Two villages lost to rebels have been recaptured by Assad’s forces according to both sides:
Rebel fighters captured the villages of al-Jabin and Tel Melah in northern Hama province in early June during a counter attack against government forces that have been waging a Russian-backed offensive in the area since late April.

A rebel commander in the area said opposition fighters had withdrawn from al-Jabin after heavy bombardment.

The Syrian state news agency SANA said the army had established full control over both villages and was continuing operations against “terrorist organizations” in the northern Hama and southern Idlib areas.
400 civilians have also been reportedly killed along with displacing 440,000 according to a UN source. Barrel bombs and the like are continuing to be used:
More than 400 civilians have been confirmed killed in the escalation of violence in northwestern Syria over the last three months and more than 440,000 displaced, the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said last week.

Ongoing shelling and air strikes included the use of “indiscriminate weapons, such as barrel bombs”, it said. The use of these weapons, which are dropped from helicopters, by the Syrian army has been widely recorded in the eight-year conflict.
 
R&U video of some of the events referred to by @scalieback.
I am genuinely shocked at the level of destruction in the rebel-held towns. The RuAF and SyAAF is leveling these places.

The amount of destruction isn't that different from what we've seen in the rest of Syria or northern Iraq over the past few years. I think it was Raqqa or Mosul which the press described as "a pile of rubble covering rotting corpses", or words to that effect. We're just seeing a lot more footage from the source you are following that we have been able to see from elsewhere in the region, and vastly more than we see from most wars. Look at how little news is coming out of Yemen for example.

It is a good example though of how war in general is not good for the people who live there. It's all very easy for outsiders to say that "we don't like government 'x' and so we are justified in doing anything to try to overthrow them", but the people who have had their life's work destroyed in an instant are not necessarily going to agree with you on that.

There is an argument by Kant which is sometimes summarised as "if you will the ends you will the means". It basically means that if you want a certain end and you know what the means to achieve it are, then you can't get away from your moral responsibility for the consequences of what happens in the process of achieving your ends. It's something to keep in mind when talking about starting a war or rebellion.

To go back to the actual video, the bit with the near miss of the guy making the video from his car is rather exciting. I imagine it was even exciting for the guy on the spot.
 
The amount of destruction isn't that different from what we've seen in the rest of Syria or northern Iraq over the past few years. I think it was Raqqa or Mosul which the press described as "a pile of rubble covering rotting corpses", or words to that effect. We're just seeing a lot more footage from the source you are following that we have been able to see from elsewhere in the region, and vastly more than we see from most wars. Look at how little news is coming out of Yemen for example.

It is a good example though of how war in general is not good for the people who live there. It's all very easy for outsiders to say that "we don't like government 'x' and so we are justified in doing anything to try to overthrow them", but the people who have had their life's work destroyed in an instant are not necessarily going to agree with you on that.

There is an argument by Kant which is sometimes summarised as "if you will the ends you will the means". It basically means that if you want a certain end and you know what the means to achieve it are, then you can't get away from your moral responsibility for the consequences of what happens in the process of achieving your ends. It's something to keep in mind when talking about starting a war or rebellion.

To go back to the actual video, the bit with the near miss of the guy making the video from his car is rather exciting. I imagine it was even exciting for the guy on the spot.
Agreed about the Kant quote. It is a, sobering thing to see.
Re the car, the occupiers were v lucky as there is plenty of footage online of RuAF aircraft attacking single vehicles. There was a video which I did not post, from R&U, where it seemed that any visible movement in the target area was met with aircraft strikes. I will find and post it. Edit:

 
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Agreed about the Kant quote. It is a, sobering thing to see.
We’ve seen it in Aleppo. We’ll see it again in Idlib. As for ‘the ends justifying the means’, that would surely depend on posters supporting SAAF/RuAF strikes of indiscriminate ordnance dropping and trying to compare it to direct targeting at Mosul, Raqqa etc. The latter two did indeed end up as piles of rubble with dead bodies as it was IS, who used human shields. These areas have had the population displaced as above.

I’d like to think we have moved on from Machiavelli’s ends justifying the means:
the end justifies the means - Wiktionary

...where it seemed that any visible movement in the target area was met with aircraft strikes. I will find and post it. Edit:

A good example of their RoEs

Edit ‘cos I hit ‘post’ not ‘preview’ :)
 
English subtitled version to follow when up. Video more or less follow - able if you recognise the place names.

Video about the Tiger Forces and RuAF attack to re-take Tall Maleh (sic) Hill and restore the front line in Northern Hama to it's pre rebel attack state.

 
We’ve seen it in Aleppo. We’ll see it again in Idlib. As for ‘the ends justifying the means’, that would surely depend on posters supporting SAAF/RuAF strikes of indiscriminate ordnance dropping and trying to compare it to direct targeting at Mosul, Raqqa etc. The latter two did indeed end up as piles of rubble with dead bodies as it was IS, who used human shields. These areas have had the population displaced as above.

I’d like to think we have moved on from Machiavelli’s ends justifying the means:
the end justifies the means - Wiktionary


A good example of their RoEs

Edit ‘cos I hit ‘post’ not ‘preview’ :)
It is a particularly brutal conflict. There are many reasons for each side to think the other completely beyond the pale and that's reflected in the manner of fighting. Civil War, which is a cliché type of explanation but also true.
This conflict is heading towards being longer than WW1 and WW2 combined!
 
It is a particularly brutal conflict. There are many reasons for each side to think the other completely beyond the pale and that's reflected in the manner of fighting. Civil War, which is a cliché type of explanation but also true.
No doubt with jihadists mixed in with ‘moderate’ rebels, mixed in with civilians. Turkey is still trying to (unsuccessfully) separate their rebels from the Jihadists. The majority of civilians have been displaced from other areas and no desire to be ruled by Assad. The displaced abroad aren’t returning in droves.

We’re still pumping £Bn’s into supporting the displaced abroad and when Idlib finally falls the millions of civilians won’t be going back to Assad’s govt controlled areas. The only ‘winners’ are Assad, his party, Russia (minus a few $Bn, but up a port in the Med) and Iran (minus a few $Bn, but up ‘Shia Crescent’).

IS were/are a particularly violent bunch but we didn’t deliberately target their civilians or use B52 equivalents and unguided munitions or lob barrel bombs let alone CW to winkle them out of their holes.

Whatever happened to that unanimous Resolution for a transition govt. Even Russia and China agreed on that.
This conflict is heading towards being longer than WW1 and WW2 combined!
The ECW was nine years, they’ve got another year to go to equal that. Civil wars tend to take years and leave long term after effects. You only need to look at southern US states for that
 
A senior Russian military official has accused the United States of stealing oil from parts of Syria held by allied insurgents and of using the revenue to sabotage the war-torn country's government.
Colonel-General Sergei Rudskoi, chief of the Main Operations Directorate of the Russian military's general staff, told reporters Monday that the U.S. has mobilized about 2,700 "militants"
"Aside from training militants, the U.S. structures in Syria are involved in plundering oil facilities and deposits in the area across the Euphrates that belongs to the legitimate Syrian government.
He argued that these companies had "organized the production and sale of Syrian oil from the Conaco, Al-Omar and Tanak oilfields located east of the Euphrates River" as part of "a criminal scheme" to "loot the national wealth of Syria." Much of these proceeds were said to be "spent on maintaining illegal armed groups, bribing the sheiks of Arab tribal unions and fomenting anti-government sentiments."
As I understand Washington keeps silence and doesn't comment the accusations in oil theft.
In my opinion all profits from oil business controlled by US structures should go to special funds controlled by the UN that could be used to help the refugees. Washington hasn't right to spent the profits at will. Though when Washington did follow any rules or principles?
 

Last evening's Anna News video with English subtitles.

Edit: An SAA attack on Kabani, North East Latakia, failed to dislodge its defenders, many of whom are reported to be Chinese Uyghurs (sic). Russian helicopters reported the assault but the Uyghurs are in caves, etc and also have no where to go if they are beaten. If the SAA can capture Kabani and the hills that border NE Hama and Idlib - the area is close to the Turkish border - and they could attack into Idlib from the North. IF, of course.
 
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As I understand Washington keeps silence and doesn't comment the accusations in oil theft.
In my opinion all profits from oil business controlled by US structures should go to special funds controlled by the UN that could be used to help the refugees.
When you strip away the rhetoric, it looks like the SDF are using any revenue gained to assist in their training and supporting their allies. Hopefully, some goes on rebuilding. This is the same SDF that have taken parts of Syria from IS that Assad’s govt and allies, allowed to come under IS control
Washington hasn't right to spent the profits at will. Though when Washington did follow any rules or principles?
Classic :) How many vetoes on Syria and related? 12? How many of the unaninimous ones on Syria is/did Russia comply with? How about 2254 for a start?
 
When you strip away the rhetoric, it looks like the SDF are using any revenue gained to assist in their training and supporting their allies. Hopefully, some goes on rebuilding. This is the same SDF that have taken parts of Syria from IS that Assad’s govt and allies, allowed to come under IS control

Classic :) How many vetoes on Syria and related? 12? How many of the unaninimous ones on Syria is/did Russia comply with? How about 2254 for a start?
So from your point of view US controlled organizations has right to extract Syrian oil, sell it and use profits at will? On what ground?
 
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So from your point of view US controlled organizations has right to extract Syrian oil, sell it and use profits at will? On what ground?
I don’t believe they’re ‘US controlled’. They’re ‘coalition supported’. The SDF have taken the area from IS. The ‘state’ which was (allegedly) selling oil to Assad’s govt.

Assad still has to say thank you I believe and hopefully negotiate some kind of ‘peace’ with the SDF. I doubt he will, no matter how much Syrian blood it costs.

Your mercs tried to take the oilfields a while ago and we know what happened then.
 
R&U video of some of the events referred to by @scalieback.
I am genuinely shocked at the level of destruction in the rebel-held towns. The RuAF and SyAAF is leveling these places.

What did you expect from the people who gave us Grozny?

1564599628728.png
 
Fair point. The RuAF seems committed, at least in Hama/Idlib, to kill anything moving and knock down anything standing. It's probably the only way Assad can 'win' and it's terrible that it's that way.
He can't win. He can destroy the country but he needs to look to Israel to see what a very large refugee population living close by can do.
 
Latest video from Anna News. The run up to the current ceasefire in Northern Hama between the Govt. and HTS. Eng subtitled version to follow when R&U videos get the translation done:


If the shots of RuAF attacks are representative of how difficult it is for the Jihadis to operate, their still doing so is impressive.
 
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Latest video from Anna News. The run up to the current ceasefire in Northern Hama between the Govt. and HTS. Eng subtitled version to follow when R&U videos get the translation done:


If the shots of RuAF attacks are representative of how difficult it is for the Jihadis to operate, their still doing so is impressive.
The extensive use of fortifications such as tunnels and bunkers is quite interesting. It does make me wonder whether the rebels do the digging themselves or whether they conscript the civilian population under their control to do the hard work for them.
 
The extensive use of fortifications such as tunnels and bunkers is quite interesting. It does make me wonder whether the rebels do the digging themselves or whether they conscript the civilian population under their control to do the hard work for them.
In Damascus, much of the tunnelling was done by prisoners (those captured or held hostage by the rebels). I often think, when watching these videos, of the practical difficulties the country will have when the war is over. It will be hard to keep young boys from trying to explore areas where fighting took place; farmers having to use orchards where live rocket submunitions are scattered around, etc.

Edit: large explosions from aircraft ordnance - any idea what sizes of ordnance is being used?

English subtitled version:

 
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Looks like Turkey’s third operation into Syria is likely to go ahead very soon. Third op in as many years. This time it will be ‘east of the Euphrates’ against the SDF. Last time, when it was around Afrin, many of the Kurdish Forces left the SDF to fight against the Turkish invasion. This halted operations against ground held by IS.

Both Russia and the US have been told about the impending op. The US says it is still in bilateral talks with the Turkish govt:
Erdogan said both Russia and the United States have been told of the planned operation, but did not say when it would begin. It would mark the third Turkish incursion into Syria in as many years.

“We entered Afrin, Jarablus, and Al-Bab. Now we will enter the east of the Euphrates,” Erdogan said on Sunday during a motorway-opening ceremony.

Asked about Erdogan’s comments, a U.S. official told Reuters: “Bilateral discussions with Turkey continue on the possibility of a safe zone with U.S. and Turkish forces that addresses Turkey’s legitimate security concerns in northern Syria.”
Turkey says they still have clashes with the YPG, with three of their FSA fighters reportedly killed recently:
Overnight, three Turkish-backed Syrian rebel fighters were killed during clashes with the YPG, state-owned Anadolu Agency reported on Sunday. It said the YPG tried to infiltrate the front lines in Syria’s al-Bab area, where Turkey carved out a de facto buffer zone in its 2016 “Euphrates Shield” offensive.

Clashes such as these are frequent in the area, but casualties tend to be rare.
The Kurds say this is opening the region up to the return of IS:
“These threats pose a danger on the area and on a peaceful solution in Syria, and any Turkish aggression on the area will open the way for the return of Daesh (Islamic State), and that aggression will also contribute to the widening of the circle of Turkish occupation in Syria,” the statement said.

It called on the international community to take a stance that stops Turkey from carrying out its threats.
Turkey’s MIT does have (alleged) form for aiding Islamic rebels:
 

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