The Syria Thread 2011 - Present

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Re: US troops surround Syria on the eve of invasion?

Postby JackRiddler » Mon Feb 06, 2012 12:17 pm

AlicetheKurious wrote:
Sounder wrote:By FRANK WISNER

The Assassinated Press


Frank Wisner? THE Frank Wisner?

Is this a satirical site, like The Onion?


Surely is. I just took some time (had to!) to look for "U.S. Receipt and Respond," "USRR" and variations on that, as well as sentences from the article (like the supposed Cheney quote).

The few hits ALL go back to this same article, without exception. It's satire modeled on the idea of, if only you could make those guys confess openly to what is actually true. I've done stuff like this myself, in alternate reality mode, but I don't like this one for including real history and making it seem fictional. The homepage of the site includes some other obvious fiction:

http://www.theassassinatedpress.com/

One wonders if there isn't a USRR just like the one described.

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Re: US troops surround Syria on the eve of invasion?

Postby compared2what? » Mon Feb 06, 2012 12:21 pm

AlicetheKurious wrote:It seems complicated on the surface, but it's really not. The regime in Syria is dictatorial, sclerotic, old, rigid, incapable of renewal and corrupt. Its slogans and claims to greatness all look backward to a real or mythical time that contrasts grimly with the mediocrity of today. The people of Syria are no doubt fed up with it, and want change.

But nobody gives a shit what the Syrian people want. Their discontent, and their hopeful uprising inspired by the revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt were treated as an opportunity for international predators to ruthlessly exploit, each for his own purposes, none of which have anything to do with "helping" the Syrians. Within weeks, NATO, the Gulf monarchies, a fruit salad of foreign intelligence agencies and their media had cobbled together a Frankenstein monster made up of the very worst elements opposed to the Syrian regime (rather than the best), armed them, financed them and provided them with the kind of dishonest public relations campaign that Goebbels could only dream of.

Both sides lie to justify their crimes, and neither side has any scruples about using terror to eliminate obstacles in its way. They're both really bad but the opposition's deliberate stoking of racism and religious/sectarian fanaticism, the fact that it is a tool of foreign powers that are deeply hostile to Syria as a nation and people, and its use of armed violence, make me sympathize with the millions of Syrians who have come out to demonstrate their support for the Assad regime in mass rallies that receive none of the media coverage that is lavished on the "unverified" fabrications of the opposition.

The Syrians are trapped in a terrible choice: opposing the Syrian regime and getting something much, much worse and even harder to dislodge, or supporting the Syrian regime that they are thoroughly sick of. Some chose the former, some chose the latter, but the bottom line is:

Nobody gives a shit what the Syrian people want.


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Re: US troops surround Syria on the eve of invasion?

Postby Nordic » Tue Feb 07, 2012 4:07 am

http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2012/02/ ... rated.html


Independent Report Contradicts Western Portrait of Syria

Arab League Report Shows that Syria Has Been Mischaracterized


While the Western media act like the Syrian government is wantonly and indiscriminately killing its own people without provocation, an independent investigation has found a different reality on the ground.

Specifically, over 160 monitors from the Arab League – comprised of both allies and mortal enemies of Syria – toured Syria and published a report on January 27th showing that the situation has been mischaracterized.

Initially, the report noted general cooperation by the Syrian government:

The Mission [i.e. the Arab League investigative team] noted that the Government strived to help it succeed in its task and remove any barriers that might stand in its way. The Government also facilitated meetings with all parties. No restrictions were placed on the movement of the Mission and its ability to interview Syrian citizens, both those who opposed the Government and those loyal to it.

The report noted that the media has greatly exaggerated the amount of violence in Syria:

The Mission noted that many parties falsely reported that explosions or violence had occurred in several locations. When the observers went to those locations, they found that those reports were unfounded.

The Mission also noted that, according to its teams in the field, the media exaggerated the nature of the incidents and the number of persons killed in incidents and protests in certain towns.

***

Since it began its work, the Mission has been the target of a vicious media campaign. Some media outlets have published unfounded statements, which they attributed to the Head of the Mission. They have also grossly exaggerated events, thereby distorting the truth.

Such contrived reports have helped to increase tensions among the Syrian people and undermined the observers’ work.

Indeed, some of the observers themselves violated their oath of neutrality and exaggerated the violence:

Some observers reneged on their duties and broke the oath they had taken. They made contact with officials from their countries and gave them exaggerated accounts of events. Those officials consequently developed a bleak and unfounded picture of the situation.

While the government has exaggerated the number of detainees released, it has in fact thousands of detainees:

On 19 January 2012, the Syrian government stated that 3569 detainees had been released from military and civil prosecution services. The Mission verified that 1669 of those detained had thus far been released. It continues to follow up the issue with the Government and the opposition, emphasizing to the Government side that the detainees should be released in the presence of observers so that the event can be documented.

The Mission has validated the following figures for the total number of detainees that the Syrian government thus far claims to have released:
• Before the amnesty: 4,035
• After the amnesty: 3,569.
The Government has therefore claimed that a total of 7,604 detainees have been released.

The Mission has verified the correct number of detainees released and arrived at the following figures:
• Before the amnesty: 3,483
• After the amnesty: 1,669
The total number of confirmed releases is therefore 5152. The Mission is continuing to monitor the process and communicate with the Syrian Government for the release of the remaining detainees.

While the government has not withdrawn all of its forces, the military has withdrawn from many areas:

Based on the reports of the field-team leaders and the meeting held on 17 January 2012 with all team leaders, the Mission confirmed that all military vehicles, tanks and heavy weapons had been withdrawn from cities and residential neighbourhoods. Although there are still some security measures in place in the form of earthen berms and barriers in front of important buildings and in squares, they do not affect citizens.

Perhaps most importantly, the report notes that the Syrian people do not want foreign intervention:

However, the citizens believe the crisis should be resolved peacefully through Arab
mediation alone, without international intervention. Doing so would allow them to live in peace and complete the reform process and bring about the change they desire.

The report condemns violence by both sides, but stresses that much of the violence has been perpetrated by the rebels against government forces:

In Homs and Dera‘a, the Mission observed armed groups committing acts of violence against Government forces, resulting in death and injury among their ranks. In certain situations, Government forces responded to attacks against their personnel with force. The observers noted that some of the armed groups were using flares and armour-piercing projectiles.

In Homs, Idlib and Hama, the Observer Mission witnessed acts of violence being committed against Government forces and civilians that resulted in several deaths and injuries. Examples of those acts include the bombing of a civilian bus, killing eight persons and injuring others, including women and children, and the bombing of a train carrying diesel oil. In another incident in Homs, a police bus was blown up, killing two police officers. A fuel pipeline and some small bridges were also bombed.

***

Recently, there have been incidents that could widen the gap and increase bitterness between the parties. These incidents can have grave consequences and lead to the loss of life and property. Such incidents include the bombing of buildings, trains carrying fuel, vehicles carrying diesel oil and explosions targeting the police, members of the media and fuel pipelines. Some of those attacks have been carried out by the Free
Syrian Army [the main opposition group] and some by other armed opposition groups.

Why Hasn’t The Report Received Media Coverage?

Why hasn’t the Arab League report received any press, given that it provides a much more reassuring and less apocalyptic picture of what is going on in Syria?

Pepe Escobar reports in the Asia Times:

When the over 160 monitors, after one month of enquiries, issued their report … surprise! The report did not follow the official GCC [i.e Arab League] line – which is that the “evil” Bashar al-Assad government is indiscriminately, and unilaterally, killing its own people, and so regime change is in order.

The Arab League’s Ministerial Committee had approved the report, with four votes in favor (Algeria, Egypt, Sudan and GCC member Oman) and only one against; guess who, Qatar – which is now presiding the Arab League because the emirate bought their (rotating) turn from the Palestinian Authority.

So the report was either ignored (by Western corporate media) or mercilessly destroyed – by Arab media, virtually all of it financed by either the House of Saud or Qatar. It was not even discussed – because it was prevented by the GCC from being translated from Arabic into English and published in the Arab League’s website.

Until it was leaked.

***

Still [the U.S., Israel, Saudi Arabia and Qatar - what Escobar calls the NATOGCC], blocked from applying in Syria its one-size-fits-all model of promoting “democracy” by bombing a country and getting rid of the proverbial evil dictator, won’t be deterred. GCC leaders House of Saud and Qatar bluntly dismissed their own report and went straight to the meat of the matter; impose a NATOGCC regime change via the UN Security Council.

So the current “Arab-led drive to secure a peaceful end to the 10-month crackdown” in Syria at the UN is no less than a crude regime change drive. Usual suspects Washington, London and Paris have been forced to fall over themselves to assure the real international community this is not another mandate for NATO bombing – a la Libya. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton described it as “a path for a political transition that would preserve Syria’s unity and institutions”.

But BRICS members Russia and China see it for what it is. Another BRICS

member – India – alongside Pakistan and South Africa, have all raised serious objections to the NATOGCC-peddled draft UN resolution.

There won’t be another Libya-style no fly zone; after all the Assad regime is not exactly deploying Migs against civilians. A UN regime change resolution will be blocked – again – by Russia and China [this happened last week]. Even NATOGCC is in disarray, as each block of players – Washington, Ankara, and the House of Saud-Doha duo – has a different long-term geopolitical agenda. Not to mention crucial Syrian neighbor and trading partner Iraq; Baghdad is on the record against any regime change scheme.




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Re: US troops surround Syria on the eve of invasion?

Postby seemslikeadream » Tue Feb 07, 2012 11:36 am

Gulf nations pull ambassadors from Syria

Syria’s bloody turning point
Heavy bombing in Homs stirs memories of a decades-old massacre and marks a new phase of extreme violence
By Hugh Macleod and Annasofie Flamand, GlobalPost

BEIRUT, Lebanon — Abu Yaman used to work at the oil refinery in Homs, where production helped Syria maintain cheap subsidized heating oil and fuel, as well as free health care and 24-hour electricity.

Today, Abu Yaman’s refinery has become a military base, its main pipelines destroyed, state hospitals stormed by secret police, electricity cut and makeshift home clinics overwhelmed with casualties as Homs endures an onslaught of rockets and mortars in the regime’s worst massacre of civilians since the uprising began 11 months ago.

With rights group Avaaz reporting at least 258 people killed — including 72 children and 42 women — in a single night of shelling just hours before Russia and China vetoed a United Nations Security Council resolution condemning the government of President Bashar al-Assad, analysts warn the onslaught in Syria marks a new chapter in which further bloodshed appears inevitable.

In shelling by tanks, artillery and what several sources inside Homs said were multiple rocket launchers, Syrian security forces have killed at least 350 people since late Friday, prompting the U.S. to close its embassy in Damascus and withdraw its ambassador and remaining staff.

“Its own supporters believe the regime has shown too much restraint and they have been increasingly vocal in calling for a crackdown,” Peter Harling, the Damascus-based Syria Project Director at the International Crisis Group, told GlobalPost.

“The situation in Syria is now entering a phase of extreme violence. The regime has not until now made use of all the fire power at its disposal. Now that Russia torpedoed the one political mechanism on the table, the armed struggle will take greater importance.”

An activist from Khaldiyye, the first opposition-held neighborhood of Homs to be targeted in the onslaught that began Friday around 10 p.m., gave a graphic account of an almost apocalyptic night of terror in the city that is already the hardest hit by the government crackdown.

“We are used to shelling so when it started we thought it would only last a few minutes, so everyone stayed indoors,” said Waleed Fares. “But then we heard a terrible, loud sound.”

The sound was from a local apartment block, home to 36 flats, Fares said, collapsing after being hit repeatedly by rockets and shells.

Rushing outside to help recover the injured and dead, Fares said the sound of mosques calling out “God is great” mixed with the explosion of shells and the cries of those in pain.

“There were children crying, women screaming, standing in their nightclothes because they had not had time to dress,” Fares said.

“We took the bodies and the injured to a nearby park. I counted around 40 bodies from the building collapse. The injuries were appalling: People missing limbs; people crushed so badly you couldn’t recognize them; people pierced by metal.”

Even in the park, terrified residents said they were not safe. “Three bombs fell on the park and killed around 30 people,” Fares said, one of them his friend, Omar Zarour, who was also trying to rescue trapped neighbors.

Omar Shakir, an activist in Bab Amr, another Sunni-majority neighborhood in Homs, said the shelling was like, “random machine gun fire, only much, much heavier.”

“The bombs fell like rain,” said Shakir, whose best friend, 23-year-old Madher Tayyara, a student turned volunteer medic died on Friday at home from shrapnel in his chest and head. “You didn’t know where they would fall. You can only pray.”

Several hospitals treating the dead and dying were raided by security forces, according to reporting from activists in Homs gathered by Avaaz, which described the humanitarian situation inside the city as appalling.

Small field hospitals set up to treat protesters were suddenly overwhelmed with hundreds of injured, according to activists. With security forces laying siege to neighborhoods and preventing medical supplies from reaching the area, activists feared many of the up to 1,000 people injured would die because there was no way to treat them.

One of the hospitals targeted was the Hikmat in Homs’ Inshaat neighborhood, where a video uploaded to YouTube yesterday appeared to show a doctor walking through a hospital whose roof was leaking and and bloodstains on the floor.

“Fifth of February, the Hikmat hospital,” says the voice on the video. “The surgery room was hit by shells. Here is one injured person,” he says, lifting covers to reveal a man unconscious from anesthetic, apparently left mid operation.

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), medical staff and patients were gunned down when two field hospitals were targeted by Syrian forces Monday in Bab Amr, leaving three patients killed and a doctor needing an amputation.

“The hospitals were specifically targeted,” SOHR spokesman, Sami Ibrahim, told GlobalPost from close by Bab Amr.

“It’s a disastrous situation. People are losing their minds. When the bombing ceases we can hear them crying out for help.”

Interviewed by a GlobalPost reporter in Damascus on the day he fled with his family from Homs, Abu Yaman said his neighborhood of Inshaat had come under heavy fire, with no phone or mobile coverage for 11 days and no electricity and water for a week.

“We cannot walk in the streets so we made holes in the walls between each flat to reach a small shop at the end of the block open every day for just two hours,” he said.

“We are 10 families in the building and we all moved to the basement flat to use it like a shelter: 10 families living in a 150 square meter space underground.”

Abu Yaman said residents had begun to burn tables, chairs and other household wood to try and stay warm through winter nights without heating oil or electricity and that corpses were being buried in private gardens because graveyards were either full or impossible to access.

“My two children haven’t slept well for months,” he said. “My wife was pregnant but she lost the baby after she was shocked by a bomb hitting our building. No one in the world can imagine what Assad’s forces are doing in Homs since Friday.”

The Assad regime denied the assault on Homs, with state-run Syria TV claiming corpses shown in video footage — said by activists to be victims of the bombardment — had been people kidnapped and killed by “terrorist armed groups.”

The assault with heavy weapons initially appeared to have been triggered by the capture of more than a dozen soldiers by members of the rebel Free Syrian Army (FSA), which attacked a checkpoint and an airbase on Friday.

In a video released on YouTube and broadcast by Arab satellite channels, a man identifying himself as from the Farouq Battalion of the FSA is heard taunting the captured soldiers.

“How did we capture you and you have everything, arms and ammunition, at this checkpoint?” he asks. “If we had captured women it would have been more difficult. It did not even take us 10 minutes to capture you.”

The taunting takes a sectarian turn when each man is forced to admit he is from the minority Allawite sect, an offshoot of Shiite Islam from which the Assad family and much of the regime and loyalist security forces are drawn. Around three quarters of Syria’s population, and the overwhelming majority of the opposition, including the FSA, are Sunni Muslims.

A spokesman for the Free Syrian Army told GlobalPost the armed rebels had lost 27 soldiers in four days of fighting with Assad’s troops up to Friday, saying the regime had planned an assault on Homs before the capture and video of its soldiers.

“The regime is a killing machine. Four days ago the regime said it would finish the revolution but the revolution will not end,” said the FSA commander, known as Abu Ali. “We capture soldiers to show how weak the regime is. Their soldiers fight for one person, Bashar al-Assad. We fight for a cause: the nation.”

In interviews with half a dozen different residents and activists in Homs since Friday, it appeared the majority of Assad’s forces remain, for now, deployed around restive neighbourhoods, while heavy artillery and rockets pound the city from afar.

The fear of many though, is that a full scale ground assault is imminent, with dark memories of the massacre of up to 30,000 civilians in Hama after that nearby Sunni-majority city rose up three decades ago to challenge Assad’s father, Hafez.

“The Assad regime wants to finish us,” Abu Yaman said. “We fear the president wants to make Homs another Hama. We are living in a very hard situation and we need help from the world.”



Push for US Intervention in Syria Grows
Influential Senators and members of the Obama administration now openly talk about more covert interventions
by John Glaser, February 06, 2012

As the Syrian regime has continued its atrocities against civilians and the armed opposition becomes more emboldened, the calls for a U.S.-led intervention are growing louder.

Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman John Kerry (D-MA), reports Josh Rogin at Foreign Policy, urged for some kind of intervention in support of the opposition and against the regime of Bashar al-Assad, saying “[t]here are many different options as to how we can do that. There are the early beginnings of a civil war taking place in Syria. And if the government is going to kill randomly, people deserve the right to defend and fight for themselves.”

Kerry would not explicitly describe how a U.S. intervention would manifest, but did not mince words in suggesting that intervention was in the works. ”Syria is not Libya,” Kerry said. “But nobody should interpret that statement to suggest that it means that Syrian leaders can rely on the notion that they can act with impunity and not expect the international community to assist the Syrian people in some way.”

Journalists on the ground in the opposition’s stronghold of Homs have reported definite shelling by Syrian security forces of civilian areas. A recent UN Security Council resolution on Syria was voted down by Russia and China, partially out of concern that the U.S. and its allies would use the resolution to justify regime change in Syria, just as was done in Libya to oust Muammar Gadhafi.

But blocking intervention at the UN has paradoxically hardened the West’s calls for perhaps a quieter route. “This is not only a recipe for deadlock at the UN,” writes Daniel Larison, “but also for a clash of interests between Assad’s patrons and Assad’s enemies” that may put interested powers “on a path to make Syria’s internal conflict into a proxy war.”

Kerry spoke at a security conference in Munich along with a number of other influential members of Congress. ”There’s a lot we can do to provide moral support and to provide material support, along with Turkey and other nations, in assisting these people with medical care and other assistance,” added Senator John McCain (R-AZ).

Joe Lieberman (I-CT) said, “I hope the international community and the U.S. will provide assistance to the Syrian Free Army in the various ways we can. I hope we will work with Turkey and Jordan to create safe havens on the borders of those two countries with Syria.”

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, although she claimed military intervention “has been absolutely ruled out,” has also said, “[W]e have to redouble our efforts outside of the United Nations with those allies and partners who support the Syrian people’s right to have a better future.” Some take this as innuendo suggesting covert intervention.

The humanitarian concerns in Syria are very real and the Assad regime is very brutal, but Washington’s pretensions of concern for the Syrian people are questionable when balanced with its own veto record at the UN and its support for brutal dictatorships elsewhere in the region. Indeed, the U.S. and its Arab allies in the Gulf States would welcome the chance to remove Assad from power and eliminate Iran’s primary ally.

But the consequences of intervention are likely to be more dire than anything seen so far in Syria. Despite having no authority to go around instituting regime change, Washington lacks the understanding of how best to organize Syrian society and sectarian wars could be unleashed in the event of a power vacuum. As has happened in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya, the regimes Washington leaves behind are just a brutal as the ones with which they so savagely dispense.



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Re: US troops surround Syria on the eve of invasion?

Postby AlicetheKurious » Tue Feb 07, 2012 2:07 pm

seemslikeadream wrote:With rights group Avaaz reporting at least 258 people killed — including 72 children and 42 women — in a single night of shelling just hours before Russia and China vetoed a United Nations Security Council resolution condemning the government of President Bashar al-Assad, analysts warn the onslaught in Syria marks a new chapter in which further bloodshed appears inevitable.
...

Several hospitals treating the dead and dying were raided by security forces, according to reporting from activists in Homs gathered by Avaaz, which described the humanitarian situation inside the city as appalling.]


Very fishy: Avaaz is not a human rights group in the sense of, say, Amnesty International or even Human Rights Watch. Co-founded by MoveOn Org., it organizes the occasional demonstration but most of its activities involve circulating online petitions like this one, which breathlessly called for the UN to pass a No-Fly resolution against Libya.

That first article is full of rather spectacular claims, all seemingly based on this one extremely dubious source.

Avaaz has an interesting record concerning Syria. This was the statement released by Avaaz back on June 7, 2011. It's quoted here:

Dear Friends,

Yesterday Amina Arraf, a popular young Syrian American democracy blogger was abducted by three armed men in Damascus, Syria. The regime’s brutal crackdown on protesters is escalating and every hour that passes she is in greater danger of unimaginable persecution. Right now the best chance of getting her release is the Turkish government. Let’s urgently call on Turkey to use their influence to free Amina! Send a message now:

Yesterday Amina Arraf, a popular young Syrian American blogger was abducted by three armed men as she walked to meet a friend. Her high profile kidnapping is an ominous sign that the Syrian regime’s gloves are now totally off.

Amina is one of over ten thousand men and women who have been detained and tortured in the last few months just for calling for democracy. Security forces have shot dead over one thousand peaceful demonstrators, and are laying siege to entire cities to crush the non violent movement. But despite this brutality, a total ban on foreign reporting, and internet and phone blackouts, courageous Syrians, like Amina, refuse to be silenced.

Every hour that passes she is in greater danger of unimaginable persecution and experts say only Turkey’s diplomatic influence could get her out. Let’s demand Amina’s immediate release, and call for all political prisoners to be freed and an end to the violent crackdown. Click to send an urgent message straight to the inbox of the President and Foreign Minister of Turkey and send this onto everyone:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/free_amina_arraf/?vl

The regime has steadily escalated repression against protestors, with 80 civilians killed just this past Friday by security forces and dozens dying of gun shot injuries since then. The army has repeatedly fired on unarmed demonstrators in Dera’a, Hama and Homs and horrific tales of sexual torture of children, men and women, fingernail extraction and psychological torment are rampant. Given Amina’s forceful and frank platform as a gay blogger, her treatment by the regime could be terrifying, and her life could be in very serious danger.

So far, the Syrian regime has proven deaf to international pressure, including European Union and US sanctions. But, cracks are appearing in the regime and as we saw in the case of Iman al-Obeidy in Libya and Sakineh in Iran, Turkey can play a crucial role and massive global public pressure can save the life of an individual, even in times of chaos and violence.

Amina is a symbol for the extraordinarily brave Syrians struggling for basic rights. She has written extensively in her blog ‘A Gay Girl in Damascus’, about her family’s experiences during the oppression, about Islam, and about being a gay woman in Syria. And she has given voice to many demonstrators’ criticism of the regime. Two hours before her detention she posted a poem that ended:

Soaring and flying
Freedom is coming
Here am I wanting
To know it one day

Today Amina’s cousin posted, “I have been on the telephone with both her parents and all that we can say right now is that she is missing. Her father is desperately trying to find out where she is and who has taken her.” Let’s send an avalanche of messages now to Turkey to stop Amina’s torment and secure the freedom that she saw soaring and flying:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/free_amina_arraf/?vl

Together, the Avaaz community is supporting Syrian citizen journalists to break the blackout and get key footage to Reuters, CNN, BBC, Associated Press and Al Jazeera, and are right now supporting the efforts of peaceful, pro-democracy protesters. Let’s secure Amina’s freedom now and continue to stand with Syrians struggling for a free, inclusive future.


I don't know what kind of reputation GlobalPost has for accurate news reporting, but its dishonest portrayal of Avaaz as a human rights organization, with the implication that it has trained investigators on the ground and a credible (or even known) verification process, is hardly reassuring.
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Re: US troops surround Syria on the eve of invasion?

Postby seemslikeadream » Tue Feb 07, 2012 2:19 pm

^^^^^

I report....you let us know what's really going on :hug1:
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Re: US troops surround Syria on the eve of invasion?

Postby MinM » Wed Feb 08, 2012 9:56 am

Rigorous Intuition wrote:Debka is pretty much a psy-war clearinghouse, so this may be important, even if the story's false. Syria hasn't risen to the bait, so perhaps this will be the justification for a first strike...

viewtopic.php?f=31&t=7597

First foreign troops in Syria back Homs rebels. Damascus and Moscow at odds
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 8, 2012, 1:35 PM

British and Qatari special operations units are operating with rebel forces under cover in the Syrian city of Homs just 162 kilometers from Damascus, according to debkafile’s exclusive military and intelligence sources. The foreign troops are not engaged in direct combat with the Syrian forces bombarding different parts of Syria's third largest city of 1.2 million. They are tactical advisers, manage rebel communications lines and relay their requests for arms, ammo, fighters and logistical aid to outside suppliers, mostly in Turkey.

This site is the first to report the presence of foreign military forces in any of the Syrian uprising's embattled areas...

http://www.debka.com/article/21718/
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Re: US troops surround Syria on the eve of invasion?

Postby Nordic » Wed Feb 08, 2012 11:20 am

I can't figure out which is the feint -- Syria or Iran.

I guess we'll find out pretty soon.

It seems Syria is the more defenseless country, so I suppose that logic dictates that Iran is the feint and we'll all wake up some morning and realize we've invaded Syria.
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Re: US troops surround Syria on the eve of invasion?

Postby Ben D » Thu Feb 09, 2012 12:10 am

MinM wrote:
Rigorous Intuition wrote:Debka is pretty much a psy-war clearinghouse, so this may be important, even if the story's false. Syria hasn't risen to the bait, so perhaps this will be the justification for a first strike...

http://www.rigorousintuition.ca/board2/ ... =31&t=7597

First foreign troops in Syria back Homs rebels. Damascus and Moscow at odds
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 8, 2012, 1:35 PM

British and Qatari special operations units are operating with rebel forces under cover in the Syrian city of Homs just 162 kilometers from Damascus, according to debkafile’s exclusive military and intelligence sources. The foreign troops are not engaged in direct combat with the Syrian forces bombarding different parts of Syria's third largest city of 1.2 million. They are tactical advisers, manage rebel communications lines and relay their requests for arms, ammo, fighters and logistical aid to outside suppliers, mostly in Turkey.

This site is the first to report the presence of foreign military forces in any of the Syrian uprising's embattled areas...

http://www.debka.com/article/21718/

Yes, those British and Qatari special operations units would have cut their teeth in the Libya operation. Its the full spectrum of levels brought to bear on the Libya campaign, from the UN Diplomacy (gaining license to kill) right the way down to the cannon fodder. The same players, Israel, US, France, and Turkey would no doubt be involved as well.

With Russia trying to prevent the regime change, things could get ugly...
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** or Nirvana, Allah, Brahman, Tao, etc...
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Re: US troops surround Syria on the eve of invasion?

Postby AlicetheKurious » Thu Feb 09, 2012 4:57 am

From Syria; I found this on the Angry Arab blog.

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Down with the regime and with the opposition
Down with the Arab and Islamic nation
Down with the Security Council
Down with the world
Down with everything.


I totally understand.
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Re: US troops surround Syria on the eve of invasion?

Postby Ben D » Thu Feb 09, 2012 5:58 am

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This is an item from News About Syria Blog of 6 February that indicated something big was underway. I've snipped the mid section, but for those into intrigue, you may like to read it...

A Russian source: Directing the chief of foreign intelligence to Syria means that there is a significant security event will occur

by JaNo Souria

Syria Truth: The Russian presidential decision to send the chief of foreign intelligence "Mikhail Fradkov", and foreign minister "Sergy Lavrov" to Syria on Tuesday, raised big questions in the Russian security and media departments... Although all Russian media sources that we contacted, in Moscow and Crimea, agreed that they did not obtain any information about that, but they agreed in the same time that "a significant security event will occur in Syria and/or the region soon.. at a minimum, there are measures being worked out between Syria and Russia to prevent such an event from happening and facing it".. The sources mentioned that "the traditions of diplomatic work in their Soviet and Russian eras taught them that intelligence men, specially the chief of foreign intelligence, do not accompany diplomats in special visits outside the country, unless there is a security case larger than being a local one, which is the only explanation for Fradkov accompanying Lavrov to Syria"..

-snip-

A week for the "Military Termination" .. Followed by an international decision for a cease-fire?

The same source, regarding the visit of the Russian FM and the chief of the foreign intelligence, favored that among the objectives of the visit, will be discussions with the Syrian authorities about the possibility of achieving a "military termination" within a week or ten days, then Russian would convene an emergency meeting at the UNSC, which is her right, to declare an immediate cease-fire.. and in case the other side did not comply , the Syrian authorities will have the right then to move forward with its military operations without any deterrent, given that this will be as facing an armed uprising.. In this context, the source revealed that large units of the "Russian NRF / Spetsnaz Спецназ have been mobilized during the past few days in the naval base of "Sebastopol" in the Black Sea (Crimea), pointing out that these forces have already trained the "republican guards" ad the "special forces" in Syria is earlier periods.
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Re: US troops surround Syria on the eve of invasion?

Postby Ben D » Thu Feb 09, 2012 6:00 am

Russian Green Light to Military Option in Syria

Israa Al-Fass

Last updated 09-02-2012 - 09:06 Source: Al-Manar Website

A well-informed Syrian source denied Wednesday that a Russian green light to the Syrians for military action was recent, assuring that the Russian stance has always been supportive and determined that a strict action should be taken against the armed groups.

Speaking to Al-Manar website, the source said he had informed the Syrian leadership, five months ago, about a Russian desire to end the Syrian crisis militarily.

He further indicated that “the Russian officials have always assured that no country should bear having armed groups in its territories or having regions out of its control.”

While the source clarified that the Syrian leadership was late in initiating a military operation due to certain calculations that mainly involve avoiding civilian casualties, he assured that the operation will be over within a few days.

Moreover, the source pointed out that the gunmen in Baba Amro and in Madaya were “finished”, and that the region has become under the Syrian army’s control, after the armed groups’ main commanders were killed.

The Syrian army has waged Wednesday military operations in the Zabadani region as well as the Bloudan region near the Lebanese borders, after the armed groups refused to hand over their weapons.

The Syrian source reassured that the operations taking place in Syria will be “more than decisive” because the official decision today has adopted a “conclusive military option”, and said that the operation has begun three days ago, and should be over before the Ba’ath party conference takes place in the country.
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There is That which was not born, nor created, nor evolved. If it were not so, there would never be any refuge from being born, or created, or evolving. That is the end of suffering. That is God**.

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Re: US troops surround Syria on the eve of invasion?

Postby Ben D » Fri Feb 10, 2012 6:31 am

Iranian elite troops heading to Syria – report

Published: 10 February, 2012, 13:41

The regime of Bashar al-Assad in Syria is expecting up to 15,000 Iranian troops to help maintain order in the country’s provinces, a Chinese newspaper reports.

According to the central Chinese daily Jenmin Jibao, the Iranian special task troops are due to be deployed in Syria’s key provinces.
The Syrian opposition announced earlier that commander of Iran’s elite Quds Force, Qassem Suleimani, advises the Syrian authorities on quashing the country’s opposition movement, the Telegraph newspaper reports.

According to the Israeli daily Haaretz, the Quds Force includes 15,000 elite soldiers, who operated in Iraq and other wars on foreign soil. The Quds is reportedly in charge of training and funding Hezbollah.

The number of advisers and troops from the Quds in Syria could reach up to high hundreds or low thousands, the Telegraph reports. The newspaper said that they have set up at least one military base near the capital Damascus.

Israeli website debka.com announced earlier that the UK and Qatari forces are involved with the conflict in Syria, directing tactics of the opposition forces in the bloody battle for Homs. According to the website, the presence of the foreign troops topped the agenda of talks between Assad’s officials and Russian foreign intelligence chief Mikhail Fradkov which took place on Tuesday.

Syrian tanks and Assad’s troops reportedly massed outside Homs on Friday. Large offensive is expected to hit the city and its neighborhood in the nearest future.

Up to 110 people have reportedly been killed in Homs on Thursday. As of yet, it is impossible to verify the number of causalities.
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Re: US troops surround Syria on the eve of invasion?

Postby Ben D » Fri Feb 10, 2012 6:40 am

Russia raps West's escalation of Syrian unrest

Fri Feb 10, 2012 10:34AM GMT

The Western states are “accomplices in the process of inflaming the [Syrian] crisis.” Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov has accused the West of being an ‘accomplice’ in the aggravation of the Syrian unrest.

The Western states are ‘accomplices in the process of inflaming the crisis,’ he said on Friday and noted that the countries had pushed Syria’s “opposition into violence.”

He further noted that the “opposition's refusal” to enter direct talks with the Syrian government meant it "bears full responsibility for improving the situation."

Earlier on Friday, twin blasts rocked the northern Syria city of Aleppo amid continuing unrest in the Arab state.

The Syrian state television said ‘armed terrorist gangs’ were behind the attacks that left at least 50 civilians and military personnel dead and injured some others.

Syria has been experiencing unrest since mid-March 2011.

Damascus blames ‘outlaws, saboteurs, and armed terrorist groups’ for the violence, insisting that it is being orchestrated from abroad.

Last week, the US tried to pass a resolution against Syria at the United Nations Security Council as means of staging Libya-like military operations against the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Russia and China, however, vetoed the draft resolution.
There is That which was not born, nor created, nor evolved. If it were not so, there would never be any refuge from being born, or created, or evolving. That is the end of suffering. That is God**.

** or Nirvana, Allah, Brahman, Tao, etc...
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Re: US troops surround Syria on the eve of invasion?

Postby seemslikeadream » Fri Feb 10, 2012 11:08 am

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