AuthorTopic: Syria - superpowers eye-ball to eyeball  (Read 27655 times)

Offline Palloy

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Re: Syria - superpowers eye-ball to eyeball
« Reply #30 on: October 12, 2016, 05:46:06 PM »
https://www.rt.com/news/362554-putin-west-syria-war/
Putin: West responsible for Middle East instability and terrorism in Europe
12 Oct, 2016

Washington and its allies are using the Syrian crisis to play politics, instead of providing real solutions, Vladimir Putin told French TV. He said that Moscow has put forward an offer to send troops to safeguard aid convoys in Aleppo, while the West accuses Moscow of committing war crimes.

“This is political rhetoric that does not have great significance and does not take into account the real situation in Syria,” Putin told French TV channel TF1 during an interview in the central Russian city of Kovrov, when asked about the accusations that have been leveled by Francois Hollande, UK Foreign Minister Boris Johnson, and the Obama administration.

Putin then accused the West of destabilizing the region – citing the Arab Spring in 2011 as a key flashpoint for tensions that still dominate the Muslim world.

“I believe deeply that some of the responsibility for what is happening in the region in general and in Syria in particular lies especially with our western partners, above all the USA and its allies, including the main European countries,” said Putin. “Remember how everyone rushed to support the Arab Spring? Where is that optimism now? How did it all end? Remember what Libya or Iraq looked like before these countries and their organizations were destroyed as states by our western partners’ forces?”

Putin linked the volatility in the region to the recent spate of large-scale terrorist attacks in the West, which have either been planned or inspired by jihadist groups such as Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL), which have thrived in the chaos.

“[Before the Arab Spring] these Middle Eastern countries were not examples of democracies as we understand the word today, and there probably was a need and possibility to influence these societies’ organization, the state organization, and the nature of these regimes,” said Putin, who was attending a festival dedicated to Sambo, a Russian combat sport.

“But whatever the case, these states showed no signs of terrorism. They were not a threat for Paris, for the Cote d’Azur, for Belgium, for Russia, or for the United States. Now, they are the source of terrorist threats. Our goal is to prevent the same from happening in Syria.”

Putin also detailed his version of the breakdown of the long-negotiated joint operation between Washington and Moscow in Syria, claiming the key turning point was the September 16 US-led coalition strike on a Syrian army unit, which the Pentagon maintains was accident.

“Our American colleagues told us that this airstrike was made in error. This error cost the lives of 80 people and, also just coincidence, perhaps, ISIS took the offensive immediately afterwards. At the same time, lower down the ranks, at the operations level, one of the American military service personnel said quite frankly that they spent several days preparing this strike. How could they make an error if they were several days in preparation?” said Putin. “This is how our ceasefire agreement ended up broken. Who broke the agreement? Was it us? No.”

Several western powers have since blamed Russia for what they claim was a retaliatory strike on a UN convoy on September 20. Washington has now broken off any bilateral talks with Moscow over Syria.

But Putin says that Russia is still open to helping resolve what the UN has termed the worst humanitarian crisis since the war – which has likely killed over 400,000 people – began five years ago.

“It has been proposed that our armed units, Russian military personnel, be deployed on the road to ensure transit safety [for aid convoys to Aleppo]. The Russian military, who are courageous and decisive people, have said they would do it,” said Putin, who said that the initiative, which had not previously been made public, was an “exotic proposal.”

“But I told them that this could only be done jointly with the US, and ordered them to make the proposal. We have proposed this, and they [the Americans] promptly refused. They do not want to deploy their troops there, but they also do not want to pull back opposition groups – who are, in fact, terrorists. What can we do in this situation?”

Despite the downbeat tone of the interview, Putin insisted he was still “optimistic” about a diplomatic solution in Syria, and claimed that the offer to “reschedule” next week’s visit to France, which was canceled following a diplomatic snub by Francois Hollande, was genuine.

“This is not the best moment for official meetings, given the lack of mutual understanding, to put it mildly, that we have over events in Syria, particularly the situation in Aleppo. But we are always open, of course, to any consultations and dialogue on this matter,” said Putin.
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Offline Palloy

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Re: Syria - superpowers eye-ball to eyeball
« Reply #31 on: October 12, 2016, 05:57:25 PM »
If that's not an admission that ISIS is a Saudi creation, and being used by the US against Syria, I don't know what is.

https://www.rt.com/news/362559-syria-iraq-mosul-isis/
US, Saudis to grant 9,000 ISIS fighters free passage from Iraqi Mosul to Syria – source
12 Oct, 2016

The US and Saudi Arabia have agreed to grant free passage to thousands of Islamic State militants before the Iraqi city of Mosul is stormed. The jihadists will be redeployed to fight against the government in Syria, a military-diplomatic source told RIA Novosti.

"More than 9,000 Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS, ISIL) militants will be redeployed from Mosul to the eastern regions of Syria to carry out a major offensive operation, which involves capturing Deir ez-Zor and Palmyra,” the source said.

According to the anonymous diplomatic source, US President Barack Obama has already sanctioned an operation to liberate Mosul, due to take place in October.

During the storm of the city in northern Iraq the US-led coalition’s planes would only strike detached, vacated or uninhabited buildings, while keeping terrorists as targets, he said.

In September, US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter confirmed that Washington would send an additional 600 troops to Iraq to help liberate Mosul at the request of the local authorities.

The source suggested that redeployment of IS militants is necessary because “Washington must somehow counter Russia’s achievements in Syria, try to diminish their importance.”

"Apart from the purely political dividends, the other purpose of this operation, obviously, will be to discredit the success of Russian Airspace forces. And, of course, it’s an attempt to undermine Syrian President (Bashar) Assad,” he said.

The leadership of Saudi Arabia’s General Intelligence Directorate will be the mediators and guarantors of the agreement on safe passage for the jihadists from Mosul, he claimed.

The source added that a similar scheme had been used by the US and its allies during the liberation of the Iraqi city of Fallujah.

Damascus has accused Washington for coordinating with IS after an airstrike against the Syrian government troops near the city of Deir ez-Zor on September 17. Washington said that the bombing, in which 83 soldiers were killed and over 100 injured, was a mistake.
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Offline Palloy

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Re: Syria - superpowers eye-ball to eyeball
« Reply #32 on: October 12, 2016, 11:07:16 PM »
US disapproval of Saudi airstrikes didn't last long, did it?  Not only do they sell them the planes, maintain them, train the pilots, sell them the munitions and refuel the planes in-flight, but they also have to hang around in warships off the Yemeni coastline for "intelligence" purposes and targeting assistance.  And when, as a clear combatant force, they are fired upon by Yemeni missiles (which missed), they fire back with cruise missiles.  But only because there was "little risk" of hitting any civilians, of course.  And we know this because ... they said so.

https://www.rt.com/usa/362582-yemen-radar-sites-airstrikes/
"Limited self-defense strikes": US military destroys 3 ‘radar sites’ in Yemen
13 Oct, 2016

The US military has carried out a series of “limited self-defence strikes” in Yemen, the Pentagon has announced. The attack, authorized by President Obama, was carried out in retaliation to recent attacks on the US naval destroyer, USS Mason.

According to the Pentagon’s initial assessments, three “radar sites” in the Houthi rebel-controlled area of Yemen were destroyed in the attack.

The attack on coastal targets was carried out by Tomahawk cruise missiles launched from the destroyer USS Nitze, NPR reported. According to US officials all targets were “in remote areas, where there was little risk of civilian casualties or collateral damage.”

“These limited self-defense strikes were conducted to protect our personnel, our ships, and our freedom of navigation in this important maritime passageway,” the statement reads.

President Barack Obama authorized the strikes on the recommendation of Secretary of Defense Ash Carter and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs General Joseph Dunford, Pentagon press secretary Peter Cook said in a statement.

The US military vowed to respond to “any further threat to our ships and commercial traffic.”

Earlier on Wednesday, USS Mason fell under fire for the second time in four days. At least one rocket was fired at the destroyer, causing “no damage to the ship or its crew,” Cook said.

Until now Washington, a major ally of Saudi Arabia, has limited its engagement in Yemen to intelligence sharing, reconnaissance and aerial refueling of Saudi-led coalition jets. The US has also supplied weapons to Saudi Arabia.



Fragments of US-supplied munitions were recently found at the scene of a Saudi strike on a mourning hall in the Yemeni capital Sana’a.

Human Rights groups have repeatedly criticized the US and the UK for supplying arms to Saudi Arabia which continues to bomb civilian targets in Yemen. Critics continue to accuse the Saudi-led coalition of using cluster munitions, which are banned in most countries.

Last year Noble Peace Prize winner President Barack Obama authorized US forces to provide support to the Saudi-led coalition by creating a “Joint Planning Cell.” The State Department admitted to providing the Saudis with “intelligence sharing, targeting assistance, advisory and logistical support”.

“As part of that effort, we have expedited weapons deliveries, we have increased our intelligence sharing, and we have established a joint coordination planning cell in the Saudi operation centre,” Deputy Secretary of State Tony Blinken said in April 2015.

However, in light of heavy civilian casualties and international pressure, Washington has promised to “reconsider” its assistance to Riyadh.
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Re: Syria - superpowers eye-ball to eyeball
« Reply #33 on: October 12, 2016, 11:28:24 PM »
What made a Deputy Prime Minister of Turkey come out with a big statement like this?  Obviously he was just "floating" the idea of WW3, and since he is only DPM he can be ignored as "not in the loop" if later on things change, but the signal is still sent, and received.

https://www.rt.com/news/362572-us-russia-syria-proxy-war/
Russia & US will engage in ‘global war’, unless ‘proxy’ Syria conflict resolved – Turkey’s deputy PM
12 Oct, 2016

The Syrian conflict has now become a “proxy war” between the two Cold War superpowers, believes Deputy Prime Minister of Turkey, Numan Kurtulmus, who warned that that the conflict could escalate beyond the Middle East.

“If this proxy war continues, after this, let me be clear, America and Russia will come to a point of war,” Kurtulmus told the state’s Anadolu news agency, adding that the world was “on the brink of the beginning of a large regional or global war.”

Kurtulmus described the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad as a “pawn” in the conflict, and urged it to seek peace, claiming that there would be no way to overcome the alliance of forces that opposes it.

The politician insisted that Assad has no place in any future political system in the country, as the opposition will “not negotiate with a bloody dictatorship.”

Turkey has been one of the leading advocates of Assad’s removal since the conflict, which has resulted in more than 400,000 deaths, broke out in 2011.

But Russia, a staunch Syria ally, which has intervened in the conflict at the request of Damascus, has refused to contemplate Assad’s unilateral removal unless Syrian people decide so.

In an interview with French television broadcast on Wednesday night, Russian President Vladimir Putin reiterated that the Syrian president would agree to develop a new, more democratic and inclusive constitution, and overhaul the political system – but only if he was allowed to stand in a future election.

“If the people do not vote for President Assad, there will be a democratic change of power, but without the help of armed intervention from outside and under strict international control, under UN supervision. I do not understand who could find this proposal unacceptable. It is a democratic solution to the question of power in the country,” said Putin.

Meanwhile, calls in the West have grown louder for Russia and Syria to be punished for alleged war crimes, pertaining to the ongoing battle between government and rebel forces in the key city of Aleppo, in the north of Syria.

French President Francois Hollande called for the International Criminal Court to investigate Russia, and curtailed his involvement in a planned diplomatic visit to France by Putin, who has since “rescheduled” his trip. UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has also urged punishment, echoing similar accusations from senior US officials.

A proposed joint cooperation deal between Moscow and Washington was scuppered last month, following a US airstrike on a Syrian army unit, which Pentagon says was accidental, and a bombing of a UN aid convoy, which most Western powers insist was carried out by Russia, which denies responsibility.

Top diplomats from Russia, the US, Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Iran will meet in Lausanne in Switzerland this weekend to try and hammer out a new framework for peace.
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Offline RE

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Re: Syria - superpowers eye-ball to eyeball
« Reply #34 on: October 12, 2016, 11:57:10 PM »
US disapproval of Saudi airstrikes didn't last long, did it?  Not only do they sell them the planes, maintain them, train the pilots, sell them the munitions and refuel the planes in-flight, but they also have to hang around in warships off the Yemeni coastline for "intelligence" purposes and targeting assistance.  And when, as a clear combatant force, they are fired upon by Yemeni missiles (which missed), they fire back with cruise missiles.  But only because there was "little risk" of hitting any civilians, of course.  And we know this because ... they said so.

The question is, when will one of these cruise missiles actually HIT the target and sink it?

A few hundred (thousand in the case of a carrier) dead Swabbies and a few $Million$ ($Billion$ for a carrier) down at the bottom of Davey Jones Locker will have J6P foaming at the mouth to go bomb the towel heads back to the stone age.

It is kind of remarkable to me that up to now even with all the various missiles available that have a few hundred mile range and can be moved about on trucks that nobody has yet hit an FSoA Navy ship, which is a fucking sitting duck in the Persian Gulf.

One of these things has to hit the target eventually.

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Offline Palloy

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Re: Syria - superpowers eye-ball to eyeball
« Reply #35 on: October 13, 2016, 12:49:23 AM »
Quote
The question is, when will one of these cruise missiles actually HIT the target and sink it?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Mason_(DDG-87)



USS Mason (DDG-87) is an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer.  [US$1.843 billion]

On 9 October 2016 Mason, operating near the Bab-el-Mandeb strait off the coast of war-torn Yemen was targeted by two missiles fired from Houthi-controlled territory. Both missiles fell short and crashed into the water.[7][8] The Houthi insurgency denied launching the attack on the warship.[9] Mason was deployed to the Yemeni coast along with two other US ships in response to an earlier Houthi attack on a UAE high-speed ship.[10] The United States Naval Institute reported that Mason fired two SM-2 Standard missiles and one RIM-162 ESSM missile to intercept the two missiles as well as deploying its Nulka missile decoy. One of two U.S. defense officials cited anonymously added that it was not clear whether the incoming missiles had been shot down or crashed into the water on their own.[11]

On 12 October 2016 Mason was again targeted by several missiles from the territory of Yemen, forcing the destroyer to fire defensive missile salvos. The Yemeni missiles did not reach their target and no damage or casualties were reported.[12] This marked the first instance of ship-based missiles being fired from vertical launching cells in combat in response to an actual inbound missile threat.[13] On 13 October 2016, the US attacked three radar sites in Houthi-held territory which had been involved in the earlier missile attacks with cruise missiles launched from USS Nitze, the Pentagon assessed that all three sites were destroyed.[14]
=====

So the Mason was forced to defend itself on both occasions, and hasn't claimed it shot the missiles down.  The retaliatory attack was by Nitze (also an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, but with AEGIS) - result: 3 radar sites "assessed" as destroyed.

I don't know what kind of missiles the Yemenis would have, but surely not Russian supersonic, swerving, anti-ship cruise missiles.  They could have been ancient Scuds for all we know.  Still, the UAE ship fled, to be replaced with $3.6+ billion's worth of kit.
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Offline Petty Tyrant

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Re: Syria - superpowers eye-ball to eyeball
« Reply #36 on: October 13, 2016, 04:14:39 AM »
https://southfront.org/houthi-forces-destroyed-us-made-military-vessel-leased-by-uae/

Check also live leaks story,  there are several others destroyed.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2016, 04:20:17 AM by Uncle Bob »
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Offline Palloy

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Re: Syria - superpowers eye-ball to eyeball
« Reply #37 on: October 13, 2016, 07:24:17 AM »
Oh right, I remember now.  The report I saw said the ship was towed away for repairs.  I didn't realise it was a former US Navy ship.  It looks like a block of flats and is unarmed.  The Houthis say it sank, and they also say it was a Noor anti-ship cruise missile, which was built by Iran around 2000, copying the Chinese C-802.  Hezbollah used one to hit an Israeli warship blockading the Lebanese coast in 2006.
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Re: Syria - superpowers eye-ball to eyeball
« Reply #38 on: October 13, 2016, 03:36:44 PM »
This could be the end of the road for me, because I identify sexually as an Exocet Missile. Probably obsolete now, so I might dodge the draft after all, all you explodophobes will have to check your spontaneous combustion privilege and put up with me.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2016, 04:15:42 PM by Uncle Bob »
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Offline Palloy

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Re: Syria - superpowers eye-ball to eyeball
« Reply #39 on: October 13, 2016, 05:04:34 PM »
Quote
UB: ... I identify sexually as an Exocet Missile. Probably obsolete now ...

Yes, the good old Exocet is well past its use by date.  The Noor has gone through at least 5 upgrades since the Mark 1. 

Still, this does show that Iran is actively assisting Yemen with supplying sophisticated weapons, even if they are out of date.  I think that's a first.

Now Iran is sending two "fleets" of warships to the Yemeni coast, using mirror-image wording of the US's reason for being there.

https://www.rt.com/news/362643-iran-warships-yemen-aden/
Iranian warships deployed off Yemen coast after US bombs Houthi targets
13 Oct, 2016

Iran has deployed a fleet of warships to the Gulf of Aden, the republic's naval commander has confirmed. The deployment follows US cruise missile strikes on Yemeni positions thought to be under Houthi rebel control.

The Iranian Navy has sent the warships to international waters for a mission that includes entering the area off the southern coast of Yemen, Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari confirmed on Wednesday. The area is among the world’s busiest maritime trade routes. 

“The fleet will provide security to sea ways for Iranian vessels and protect Iran’s interests on the high seas"
, Sayyari told Press TV.

“The 34th Fleet is comprised of the Bushehr logistic vessel and Alborz destroyer, and will conduct a three-month mission.”

The commander said the fleet had departed from the southern port city of Bandar Abbas in Iran. He dismissed claims the fleet has been deployed to intervene in the conflict in Yemen.

Iranian ships have been tasked with providing security for civil boat traffic and protecting commercial vessels and oil tankers from pirates in the region
, the rear admiral told Iranian television on Thursday.

Saudi Arabia, which has fought a long war with Yemen’s Houthi rebels, accuses Iran of supporting the group – a charge denied by Tehran.

“The Iranians have a permanent presence in that part of the world ... [as] there is a lot of instability in the Red Sea and Iranian ships are there to prevent pirates from boarding Iranian ships and they've been doing that for a number of years now, having also protected the ships of other countries,” political analyst and Tehran university professor Mohammad Marandi told RT, adding that the “real problem is the US presence” in the region.

The US military carried out “limited self-defense strikes” in Yemen on Thursday, in retaliation for recent attacks on an American naval destroyer, USS Mason, which has been operating north of the Bab Al-Mandab Strait.

According to the Pentagon’s initial assessments, three “radar sites” in the Houthi rebel-controlled area of Yemen were destroyed in the attack.

The attack on coastal targets was carried out by Tomahawk cruise missiles launched from the destroyer USS Nitze, NPR reported.

The Houthis have denied carrying out the attack, however. A military source reportedly told Saba news agency – a media outlet run by the group – that the assault did not come from areas under its control.

“These allegations are unfounded and the army as well popular forces have nothing to do with this action,” the source said.

“The US allegations just came in the context of creating false justifications to pave the way for Saudi-led coalition to escalate their… attacks against Yemen and to cover for crimes continually committed by the aggression coalition against the Yemeni people and to continue an all-out blockade,” the spokesman added.

He said the army is ready to confront any future aggression against the country, whatever the justification.
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Offline RE

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You SUNK my Battleship!
« Reply #40 on: October 13, 2016, 05:27:20 PM »
Quote
UB: ... I identify sexually as an Exocet Missile. Probably obsolete now ...

Yes, the good old Exocet is well past its use by date.  The Noor has gone through at least 5 upgrades since the Mark 1. 

Still, this does show that Iran is actively assisting Yemen with supplying sophisticated weapons, even if they are out of date.  I think that's a first.

Now Iran is sending two "fleets" of warships to the Yemeni coast, using mirror-image wording of the US's reason for being there.

An ancillary benefit here is that Iranian ships in the neighborhood can provide targeting data to Houthi rebels on the ground even if their ground based radar stations are destroyed.

So the FSoA needs to get rid of Iranian ships along with the radar stations.

Somebody's Battleship is going to get sunk here pretty soon.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/PrHs8CWDzmc" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/PrHs8CWDzmc</a>

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Offline Palloy

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Re: Syria - superpowers eye-ball to eyeball
« Reply #41 on: October 13, 2016, 07:04:00 PM »
Russia and China seem to have decided to stand up to US hegemony, and this has emboldened Iran, Syria, Yemen, and to some extent Turkey, Iraq and Philippines.  Meanwhile South Korea and Japan are flexing their muscles over disputed islands, and Saudi Arabia continues doing its own Wahhabist thing in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Libya and elsewhere in Africa.  For the US this must be tricky to handle.

Only 3 out of 9 aircraft carriers are currently deployed, 1 in the Persian Gulf, 1 in Western Pacific and 1 in the Caribbean.

http://www.gonavy.jp/CVLocation.html

Deployed
CVN-69 Dwight D. Eisenhower 27Sep-11Oct2016, Persian Gulf
CVN-76 Ronald Reagan            28Sep-11Oct2016, WestPac
CVN-73 George Washington    05Oct-11Oct2016, Humanitarian Assistance/Disaster Response operations in the Caribbean Sea

Not deployed
CVN-68 Nimitz                             10Oct2016, pulled in to San Diego (home port)
CVN-70 Carl Vinson                   15Sep2016, returned to San Diego (home port)
CVN-71 Theodore Roosevelt   09Mar2016, returned to San Diego (home port)
CVN-77 George H.W. Bush      03Oct2016, returned to Norfolk (home port)
CVN-72 Abraham Lincoln         Nov2016, Newport, RCOH is scheduled to be completed
CVN-75 Harry S. Truman          25Aug2016, entered the Norfolk Naval Shipyard in Portsmouth, Va., for 10-month PIA
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Re: Syria - superpowers eye-ball to eyeball
« Reply #42 on: October 13, 2016, 09:19:22 PM »
http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-10-13/obama-decide-friday-military-action-syria
Obama To Decide Friday On Military Action In Syria
Tyler Durden
Oct 13, 2016

Two weeks ago when the US broke off bilateral relations with Russia over the ongoing Syrian proxy war, we reported that as part of America's "next steps" would be a discussion on military options. As Reuters reported then, the "discussions were being held at "staff level," and have yet to produce any recommendations to President Barack Obama, who has resisted ordering military action against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the country's multi-sided civil war. "The president has asked all of the agencies to put forward options, some familiar, some new, that we are very actively reviewing," Blinken said. "When we are able to work through these in the days ahead we'll have an opportunity to come back and talk about them in detail."

Fast forward to today, when as Reuters once again reports, the time has come for the US to make a decision: on Friday President Barack Obama and his top foreign policy advisers are expected to meet to consider their military and other options in Syria as Syrian and Russian aircraft continue to pummel Aleppo and other targets.

The tensions here are well known: some of the more hawkish "top officials" told Reuters that the United States must act more forcefully in Syria or "risk losing what influence it still has over moderate rebels and its Arab, Kurdish and Turkish allies in the fight against Islamic State." Naturally, this means that one set of options includes direct U.S. military action such as air strikes on Syrian military bases, munitions depots or radar and anti-aircraft bases.

That is also the scenario which General Joseph Dunford warned may lead to war with Russia. Indeed, the quoted said one danger of such action is that Russian and Syrian forces are often co-mingled, "raising the possibility of a direct confrontation with Russia that Obama has been at pains to avoid." This is also known as the "world war" scenario.

Luckily, there are options.

One alternative, U.S. officials said, is allowing allies to provide U.S.-vetted rebels with more sophisticated weapons, although not shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles, "which Washington fears could be used against Western airliners." Like, for example, what happened above the Donestk region during the peak of the Ukraine proxy war in 2014.

As Reuters adds, Friday's planned meeting is the latest in a long series of internal debates - which have so far achieved nothing but escalate the situation which fast approaches a point of no return - about what, if anything, to do to end a 5-1/2 year civil war that has killed at least 300,000 people and displaced half the country's population. According to insiders, the ultimate aim of any new action could be to "bolster the battered moderate rebels so they can weather what is now widely seen as the inevitable fall of rebel-held eastern Aleppo to the forces of Russian- and Iranian-backed Syrian President Bashar al-Assad." The question is whether it was also "bolster" al-Qaeda linked jihadists whom the US has been supporting for the past several months as a result of the perverse merger of "moderate" rebel forces in Syria.

Apparently, there is also an element of pride:

    It also might temper a sense of betrayal among moderate rebels who feel Obama encouraged their uprising by calling for Assad to go but then abandoned them, failing even to enforce his own "red line" against Syria's use of chemical weapons.

    This, in turn, might deter them from migrating to Islamist groups such as the Nusra Front, which the United States regards as Syria's al Qaeda branch. The group in July said it had cut ties to al Qaeda and changed its name to Jabhat Fatah al-Sham.

In other words, having started the proxy war in Syria, with every passing day that Obama fails to resolve it - while ideally avoid a world war with Russia - is a day that more and more "moderate rebels" are likely to openly "migrate" to jihadist extremists, with all of the latest US military equipment so generously provided to them by the administration.

There is also hope that just like in 2013, Kerry and Lavrov will somehow cobble together another last minute peace agreement. The U.S. and Russian foreign ministers will meet in Lausanne, Switzerland on Saturday to resume their failed effort to find a diplomatic solution, possibly joined by their counterparts from Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Iran, but U.S. officials were said to have voiced little hope for success.

Complicating matters, however, is that as we reported this morning, the US is now officially engaged in another regional conflict, after US warships fired ballistic missiles targeting Yemen radar stations in proximity to the critical Bab al-Mandab Straight.

    Earlier Thursday the United States launched cruise missiles at three coastal radar sites in areas of Yemen controlled by Iran-aligned Houthi forces, retaliating after failed missile attacks this week on a U.S. Navy destroyer, U.S. officials said.

There is also the question of what to do in Iraq, where officials are debating whether government forces will need more U.S. support both during and after their campaign to retake Mosul, Islamic State’s de facto capital in the country. Some officials argue the Iraqis now cannot retake the city without significant help from Kurdish peshmerga forces, as well as Sunni and Shi'ite militias, and that their participation could trigger religious and ethnic conflict in the city.

* * *

For now, the best news is that according to Reuters, US officials said they consider it unlikely that Obama will order U.S. air strikes on Syrian government targets, and they stressed that he may not make any decisions at the planned meeting of his National Security Council. However, that will only be the case should the US not be further humiliated in Syria, and - of course - all bets are off if and when Obama is replaced, especially if his successor is a well-known warmonger, directly and indirectly responsible for much of the unstable geopolitical situation across most of the region.
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Re: Syria - superpowers eye-ball to eyeball
« Reply #43 on: October 14, 2016, 02:42:52 AM »
How can you possibly follow this shit?

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Offline RE

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Who is dropping Whose Weapons on Who?
« Reply #44 on: October 14, 2016, 03:10:14 PM »
I am confused.  :icon_scratch:

RE

http://www.cnn.com/2016/10/14/politics/yemen-us-role-in-war/

US missiles just made the war in Yemen even more complicated

By Muhammad Lila, CNN

Updated 4:21 PM ET, Fri October 14, 2016
Why are people dying in Yemen?

Why are people dying in Yemen? 02:26
Story highlights

    Conflict in Yemen is seen as a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and others against Iran
    The US has backed and supplied Saudi Arabia in the fight
    But this week, the US became directly involved

(CNN)Just when you thought the complicated, tangled web of who's fighting who in the Middle East couldn't get more complicated, the rules have changed. Again.
The latest twist comes in Yemen, where this week a USS warship launched Tomahawk cruise missiles into Yemen.

According to a Pentagon spokesperson, the missiles targeted radar sites in Houthi-held territory, sites the US claims were being used to launch missiles toward a different American warship (the USS Mason) in two separate incidents earlier this week. Neither incident caused any damage, according to the Pentagon, as the missiles fell into the water.
U.S. missiles pound rebel radar systems in Yemen
U.S. missiles pound rebel radar systems in Yemen

U.S. missiles pound rebel radar systems in Yemen 02:59
Independent verification is hard to come by in the Yemeni war. It's unclear who, if anyone, fired the missiles from Yemeni soil. The Houthis strongly reject the accusations, saying that they didn't fire any missiles at US warships. They claim the entire episode is meant as a distraction, to draw attention away from the horrible toll the war is taking on innocent civilians.
According to the UN, an average of 13 Yemeni civilians are killed every day by Saudi-led airstrikes. In the most recent example, a double-tap airstrike killed more than 150 people and injured hundreds more who had gathered at a funeral service.
The lack of independent, verifiable information notwithstanding, the US airstrikes still are a significant development. It marks the first time the US has directly targeted and attacked sites inside Yemeni territory using its own missiles from its own warships.
It effectively makes the United States an active combatant in the war.
The US had until now limited its role to providing intelligence, coordination and logistics to the Saudi-backed bombing campaign, plus providing airborne fueling tankers to enable Saudi jets to refuel in mid-air. Since the war began, the United States also has agreed to sell Saudi Arabia more than $22 billion worth of weapons, some specifically earmarked to replace those that have already been dropped on Yemen.
Humanitarian crisis worsening in Yemen&#39;s forgotten war
yemen forgotten war anderson pkg_00001505

Humanitarian crisis worsening in Yemen's forgotten war 02:51
Until now, Yemen has effectively been the Middle East's second biggest proxy war (with Syria being the first), pitting Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries against Yemen's Houthi minority and its Iranian backers.
READ: Yemen, the forgotten war
Now that the US is directly involved, it raises some difficult questions:
Does this mark a turning point, with the US prepared to take on a more active, long-term combat role?
How will it affect its relationship with the Saudis, after the State Department recently implied it would cut off funding if the Saudis didn't take stronger measures to avoid civilian deaths?
What happens if Iranian ships are targeted in international waters, and they choose to retaliate in the same fashion?
If the US pretext for launching missiles strikes into Yemen was on the grounds that it was an act of self-defense, could that provide a justification for Iran to do the same?
All of these are troubling prospects.
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