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Assad-Putin meeting signals push to end Syria crisis

27 Comments
By NATALIYA VASILYEVA and ALBERT AJI

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27 Comments
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Assad is the best bad option - the Wahabis in the gulf may have been salivating at the idea of a Syrian Islamic emirate but a secular strong man is the only model that works in the middle east.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

They got together for a meeting of the slimes.

That handshake picture reminds me of the handshake picture between Donald Rumsfeld and Saddam Hussein. Why can't humanity rid themselves of these inhuman individuals?

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

Joe, I hate disagreeing with you as I like what you write but you are wrong on this one. This is the guy dumping barrel bombs on his people. He has to go. Better yet, he should be arrested and tried inthe Hague.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

@Aly Rustom "He has to go".

May I ask a simple question? Who gave to western people a holy right to determine 'who has to go' in certain countries?

4 ( +9 / -5 )

@Aly Rustom

This is the guy dumping barrel bombs

Why this fascination with "barrel bombs"? Do you mean that these bombs are particularly cruel in comparison with other bombs, missiles and old good artillery shells? You think that "smart bombs", so loved in the West, kill people in a smart way?

And what the difference between Afghani, Iraqi government forces, bombing "their" terrorists, with Syrian forces, bombing "their" terrorists?

4 ( +6 / -2 )

May I ask a simple question? Who gave to western people a holy right to determine 'who has to go' in certain countries?

Simple answer: the people of syria decided he has to go. Why do you think there is a "civil war"?

Simple question to you Yamashi: who gave Russia the right to determine he must stay?

Why this fascination with "barrel bombs"? Do you mean that these bombs are particularly cruel in comparison with other bombs, missiles and old good artillery shells? You think that "smart bombs", so loved in the West, kill people in a smart way?

No, but 2 wrongs don't make a right. And if I had it my way, Assad, Bush, and Blair would ALL be in the hague for war crimes.

And what the difference between Afghani, Iraqi government forces, bombing "their" terrorists, with Syrian forces, bombing "their" terrorists?

By your definition anyone who opposes their government is a terrorist. That could include anyone here opposed to what Abe and his policies. Very slippery slope.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

@Aly Rustom

the people of syria decided he has to go

Seriously? You asked the whole Syrian people?

who gave Russia the right to determine he must stay?

Russia does not have any pretensions to this right (unlike the West, who repeatedly says "Assad must go"). Putin already said that Russia defends not Assad, but the Syrian state. When you people start to learn lessons from the destruction of statehood of Iraq and Libya?

And if I had it my way, Assad, Bush, and Blair would ALL be in the hague

Wonderful. Let's start from Bush and Blair, after all they started the mess. And don't forget Clinton, for Yugoslavia / Serbia bombings.

By your definition anyone who opposes their government is a terrorist

OK, give your definition. What's the difference between Al-Qaeda - ISIS - Al-Nusra groups in Iraq and Syria?

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Seriously? You asked the whole Syrian people?

I'm actually half syrian myself. My father was from Aleppo. I have cousins who I speak to by Viber in Syria and Yes they pretty much told me that everyone hates him in Syria but no one knows how to get rid of him. I have been visiting syria on a yearly basis since I was a child. I doubt you could have found it on a map before the arab spring.

Putin already said that Russia defends not Assad, but the Syrian state

obviously you and putiin are both extremely ignorant of syria. Assad IS the syrian state. the syrian people want a democratic state.

OK, give your definition. What's the difference between Al-Qaeda - ISIS - Al-Nusra groups in Iraq and Syria?

Convenient that you left out Hesbollah which is ALSO a terrorist organization and fighting alongside Assad and Putin. Shows your hypocracy.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Why do you think there is a Syria civil war?

The root cause of Syria civil war was toppling of Saddam and demolishing of Iragi Arm forces back in 2003. Bush who exaggerated WMD wanted to wipe out all Saddam disciples from the planet. He did not realize unemployed Iragi military servicemen have crossed Into Syria territory. Bush did not want to topple Saudi prince and his associates who are supplying cheap oil. Beloved friend Saudi royals financed unemployed and experienced military servicemen and unsatisfactory Sunni sect of Syrians for establishing evil cult ISIL.

During Arab Spring, U.S has toppled many dictators like Mubarak of Egypt and Gaddafi of Lybra for spreading western ideology in medieval culture of Middle East. Not only Saudi but also US has supplied weapons and training for IS for hoping Syria regime will be dethroned quickly. So far it has not become the reality.

When IS has showed true color and start beheading innocent people, both US and Saudi realized that they have groomed monster who will bite the hand feeding to them. Obama changed strategy for training moderate rebels hoping for toppling Assad and defeating IS without single drop of blood from US.

After many years and spending more than 500 millions, Syrian civil war is still going nowhere to end. US supplied weapons have ended up in the hands of IS terrorists. Many US and coalition military trainers were butchered by their students instead of enemy. Currently only 5 or 6 of US trained rebels are fighting with IS. One US trained rebel opened and ate Syrian soldier heart. They are disgusting, barbaric and inhuman as IS.

Syria is not Irag, Egypt and Lybra. Iran and Russia are willing to shed their blood for helping Syria will not become the caliphate of IS. Assad may be a bad guy. However he is a lesser evil comparing with IS. He and his wife did not eat their enemy hearts as Syrian Rebels. They are friendly to west.

When US occupied Japan after WWII, they did not arrest and trial emperor Hirohito who had some blood in his hands. The reason was US wanted to maintain the stability and order of postwar Japan. Assad may become another emperor Hirohito.

Changing unwanted leaders and crowning puppet leaders have caused instability, chaos and sectarian violence in Middle East. If US can not defeat IS, let Russia and Iran give a try!

Arab Spring has become Chilling Arab winter.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

they pretty much told me that everyone hates him

Before the Russian planes arrived Assad fought for four years (since 2011) against groups, well armed and well trained by US, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey etc. Do you believe that if "everybody hates him", Assad would survive for such a long time. And who fights for him?

the syrian people want a democratic state

Look at Iraq and Libya, people there were also promised democracy. You want the same for Syria?

Convenient that you left out Hesbollah which is ALSO a terrorist organization and fighting alongside Assad

I'll be glad to name all the terrorist organizations who fight against Assad, but it will take too much time.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

During Arab Spring, U.S has toppled many dictators like Mubarak of Egypt and Gaddafi of Lybra for spreading western ideology in medieval culture of Middle East.

The US did not topple them. Their people did. Mubarak was a very close ally of Saudi Arabia.

Assad may be a bad guy. However he is a lesser evil comparing with IS. He and his wife did not eat their enemy hearts as Syrian Rebels.

No under his father Hafez, the syrian regime's soldiers ate the necks of israeli soldiers during the 1973 war of attrition with Israel. Moustafa Tlass under orders from Hafez Al Assad, awarded medals to soldiers who did so. Its public knowledge and I was amazed to find that in Wikipedia. So please do your research before you talk to me. The syrian army's barbarianism is well documented and comes from the Assad family. They are animals. Again, how many people posting here could find Syria on a map before this much less have been there and have family there? Who else?

The kind of fear the people lived under during the years of the regime and their shabbiha are well known in the middle east. There is a reason the rebels went up against this guy.

Another thing: it is highly offensive to assume that the people of the middle east dont want democracy. they do. they can function very well under it. What they need is Russia and US out.

By the way, Assad was on his way out when Iran and Russia begann arming him and now fighting alongside him. both nations are not going to win. eventually he will be taken out, syria will have a democratic government, and both russia and iran will have lost a great deal of diplomatic clout for theri troubles.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

If Assad goes then it's ISIS that will take over, without a doubt. Sorry to say this, and I don't want to offend, but except for Israel the Middle East just doesn't do democracy.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

My Russian sources told me that Russia would destroy ISIS in a matter of days. Not sure what happened to that...

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Er, what "sources" were those, SuperLib?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Russians on Japan Today.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

That makes them YOUR sources?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

There's obviously no shortage of Syrians willing to fight to the death to defend their president and country, and how come there are no defections or coup attempts within Syria itself.

In fact, the entire government structure is intact, there's no civil disobedience in Damascus, and almost all the refugees are from areas controlled by the rebels.

What does all that tell you?

Assad has support among the Syrian people. It's undeniable.

The jihadist rebels are primarily non-Syrians, who entered via Turkey and are receiving steady supplies of cash, weapon and ammo from the US and her proxies in the region, Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia.

My Russian sources told me that Russia would destroy ISIS in a matter of days. Not sure what happened to that...

Your Russian sources are correct, Russia has the capability, but since the rebels hide among the civilian population the resulting casualties would be too much to bear.

In actual fact, Russia has only dispatched a tiny squadron to the Syria campaign, only a few hundred people are involved. Much smaller than the billions that the US is spending, but who is having a greater effect?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

May I ask a simple question? Who gave to western people a holy right to determine 'who has to go' in certain countries?

Simple answer: the people of syria decided he has to go. Why do you think there is a "civil war"?

Real answer: Because it is in the best interest of the Zionist who rule Jewmerica

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Ali Rusdom:

" Simple answer: the people of syria decided he has to go. Why do you think there is a "civil war"? "

Who are "the people of Syria"? The Sunni islamists have decided he has to go, yes. And so have have the Wahabi kingdoms next to Syria. But they are not the only "Syrian people".

You say that you are half Syrian. From your strong opinion, I take it you are not a Syrian Alevite, Shiite, Druze, Yasidi, or Christian. But all those are also "people of Syria". And the alternative to Assad, the likes of Al Nusra or ISIS, are genociding them.

Please do not claim that radical Sunnis are the only "people of Syria".

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Burning Bush: Your Russian sources are correct, Russia has the capability, but since the rebels hide among the civilian population the resulting casualties would be too much to bear.

That's odd, you didn't mention that when talking about the coalition bombings. You kept mentioning over and over and over and over again that the coalition must not be able to blow up some untrained rebels in trucks since ISIS hadn't been defeated yet. Then you said that Russia would destroy ISIS in a matter of days.

I guess all of that changed.

So how are your talking points coming along? Remember I told you to spend some time creating reasons why ISIS is still around months after the Russian strikes. You'll have to reverse everything you've been saying for years and that won't be easy. But I have faith in you.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

But the terms of such an arrangement are uncertain, and questions remain about whether Moscow will seek the >departure of its longtime ally or try for a power-sharing agreement.

This is a laughably naive conclusion compared to, say ZeroHedge's. Basically, a surprise visit by Assad a month after Russia and Iran just went "all in" on their military support is Putin's way of saying "Assad belongs to me, and he's going NOWHERE unless I say so." Power-sharing agreement? Only in the West's dreams.

@Aly Rustom

Why do you think there is a "civil war"?

Nathaw covered it pretty well, but I'll reiterate it: because the US, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar have spent a fortune funneling weapons and foreign fighters into the country with the explicit purpose of overthrowing Assad.

Simple question to you Yamashi: who gave Russia the right to determine he must stay?

Well, the Russians were invited by what is still recognized by the UN as the legitimate government of Syria.

During Arab Spring, U.S has toppled many dictators like Mubarak of Egypt and Gaddafi of Lybra for spreading >>western ideology in medieval culture of Middle East.

The US did not topple them.

In Gaddafi's case, I'm confident he would have retained power if the NATO bombing campaign hadn't systematically destroyed all his tanks and other heavy ordnance. That conflict's balance of power was absolutely tipped by the intervention of the US and its allies.

By the way, Assad was on his way out when Iran and Russia begann arming him and now fighting alongside him. >both nations are not going to win

How do you figure? The combination of Russian air support + Iranian Revolutionary Guards + Hezbollah is shaping up as more effective on the battlefield than the opposing mass of imported and barely-trained foreign jihadis armed with US TOW missiles. Do you really think the Russians are going to let an ally of ~50 years and home to their only warm-water port collapse? Do you really think the Iranians will let their primary line of supply/communications to their Shiite allies Hezbollah get cut? These two nations have made a clear move to permanently disrupt the US-Saudi power axis across the entire Middle East, and Putin is smart enough to not make such a move without a damn good analysis of his chances of success.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Please do not claim that radical Sunnis are the only "people of Syria".

I never said that. You did. Don't put words in my mouth. And my family are 100percent secular.

Again, how many of you could have found Syria on a map before all this, much less BEEN there?? All of a sudden, You are all experts? Who here has family they care about there?

The syrian people are fighting this tyrant. Yes there are foreigners fighting alongside syrians against him, but what do you call the Russian Incursion?

Well, the Russians were invited by what is still recognized by the UN as the legitimate government of Syria.

Wrong. Again, 3/5 of the Permanent Council don't recognize him. But that's not important. IF anyone here had done their research you would know that the Arab League has suspended Syria's membership under the Assad Regime. That speaks volumes alone

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@AlyRustom

Again, how many of you could have found Syria on a map before all this,

It's more than a bit arrogant and presumptuous to assume that no one else amongst JT's readership has a knowledge of geography. You are not a special snowflake.

Yes there are foreigners fighting alongside syrians against him,

To the tune of ~25% of the end strength of anti-Assad forces. That has a huge impact operationally (think about the sort of freedom of maneuver you gain when you have 4 units instead of 3). Wiki gives FSA strength in June 2015 @ 45-60k. This article suggest ~15k foreigners to Syria in just the past year: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/27/world/middleeast/thousands-enter-syria-to-join-isis-despite-global-efforts.html

the Arab League has suspended Syria's membership

And Yemen's. Funny how they didn't suspend Bahrain's (brutal crackdown during Arab Spring) or Sudan's (oppression in Darfur/against South Sudan). It's pretty obvious the organization is dominated by Sunni states aligned with Saudi geopolitical interests.

http://www.arabamericannews.com/news/news/id_5122/Arab-League-Syria-suspension-illegal-under-organizations-charter-.html

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@Aly Rustom "the people of Syria decided he has to go"

Lol. Which exactly "people of Syria" you are talking about ? The terrorists of ISIS or Al-Nusra (a division of Al-Qaeda) ? And it doesn't matter whether you are "a half-syrian" or not. You have no right to speak for "Syrian people" or Assad.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

And it doesn't matter whether you are "a half-syrian" or not. You have no right to speak for "Syrian people" or Assad.

I have family there. So yes I have MUCH more of a right to speak than you.

It's more than a bit arrogant and presumptuous to assume that no one else amongst JT's readership has a knowledge of geography. You are not a special snowflake.

Again Noble, you dodged my question. Have you ever been there? Do you have family there? If ANY of you can answer yes to these questions you would be right. I am more special than you, cupcake, because I have lived there, I still have family there, and I actually care about the people there.

Again, who here knew anything about Syria before all this? your whole knowledge of syria comes from the internet so don't try to debate me. Unlike you, I talk with people there directly via viber and get a clearer picture of what's going on. Just keep googling Noble. Ignorance is bliss.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It's more than a bit arrogant and presumptuous to assume that no one else amongst JT's readership has a knowledge of geography. You are not a special snowflake.

Don't dodge my question. ANSWER it. Have you ever been there? Before the crisis, what did YOU know about syria?

And it doesn't matter whether you are "a half-syrian" or not. You have no right to speak for "Syrian people" or Assad.

Actually, it does matter and yes I have a right to speak as I have lived there, have family there, etc. Same applies to you: What gives you the right to talk about syria? have you ever been there? could you have told me the captial of the country before the crisis?

Don't dodge my questions. Answer them

Moderator: Sorry, no bickering allowed. Readers are not required to answer your questions.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

And it doesn't matter whether you are "a half-syrian" or not. You have no right to speak for "Syrian people" or Assad.

I do. I have syrian citizenship there, own land and have relatives there. That's why I speak. Tell me, what connection do you have to syria? It matters to me what happens to my cousins and relatives there. And like I said before the syrian people don't want him. How do I know? Because I talk to people THERE. That7s how I know. Family. Friends. They all say they want him out if for no other reason than for the fact that there can NEVER be a peaceful solution with him there.

The terrorists of ISIS or Al-Nusra (a division of Al-Qaeda) ?

In the early stages of the war, the FSA was being bombarded by Assad AND Al Nusra, who very curiously stayed away from each other until the FSA dissolved and MANY of their soldiers went and Joined Nusra for the only reason that they wanted to fight Assad but didn't have funding or equipment. The Nusra front did.

When Assad is out, and he will be, the moderates will then be able to take over. The syrian people rose up against a dictator not to install a islamist regime, but bring in democracy.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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