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Clashes intensify in Syria from Russian-backed offensive

33 Comments
By ALBERT AJI and SARAH EL DEEB

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“They have initiated a joint ground offensive with the Syrian regime, shattering the facade that they’re there to fight ISIL,” Carter said.

How is it a facade? Assad does not like ISIS, Russia like Assad, Russia targets ISIS and any other opponents of Assad, nothing contradictory there. However, when NATO says they dislike ISIS, but are caught directly helping ISIS, then that's what shattering a facade is all about.

saying Ankara could look elsewhere for gas supplies Russia supplies 60 percent of Turkey’s gas needs.

Good luck with that one Erdogan.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

I never figured out why Obama says Assad has to go? Qaddafi had to go also, but I don't think the people of Libya would say they are better off now......

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Actually they are Joe. They are in Europe now.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

Obama to Putin : What are you doing ? Stop airstrikes right now ! There are good guys among Syrian opposition forces !

Putin : Not to worry. Those good guys will be buried in good coffins.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Interesting how our western media is publishing daily details of civilian ( women and children in particular) causalities caused by the week long Russian airstrikes but are much more vague about details of the NATO strike civilian casualties... ( except hard to hide blunders like Kunduz hospital in Afghanistan a few days ago). And what's with the unnecessary NATO sabre rattling ie. " we,ll defend TURKEY against any threats from Russia" ... Just because Russian plane strayed into TURKEY,s self declared airzone other border for a couple of minutes? FFS, if NATO used the same amount of " steely resolve" in their year long wishy washy campaign against IS, those guys wouldn't be anywhere near the force they were allowed to become. Put your energy into fighting the terrorists, not Russia.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

ThePBot, Burning Bush: US bombs bad and Russian bombs good?

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

" “They have initiated a joint ground offensive with the Syrian regime, shattering the facade that they’re there to fight ISIL,” Carter said. "

No, Mr. Carter, they are fighing with the Syrian armee against the jihadis. The "facade" is your government claiming that some of those jihadis are different from ISIS, because you spend a billion dollars "vetting" them. Liar!

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Turkey and the United States need to keep their aircraft out of Syrian airspace. They are the aggressors and breaking international law. By what legal means are they supporting rebels and Turkey attacking the Kurds?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@paulinusa

All bombs that kill ISIS - Al Qaida - Nusra (whatever the names) are good. Russians use their bombs very actively, Syrian troops are happy with their air support. What about US? Where are the much-vaunted USAF, carrier air groups? Iraqi ground troops constantly complain they get very little support from US aircraft.

Hurrah to the Russian Air Force! Good hunting, guys!

5 ( +6 / -1 )

"

Hurrah to the Russian Air Force! Good hunting, guys!"

I guess you missed this:

"The Violations Documentation Center, a Syrian rights group, said at least 43 civilians, including nine children and seven women, were killed Sept. 30, the first day of Russia’s airstrikes, in central Homs province."

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

US bombs bad and Russian bombs good?

The morale of those russian fighter pilots in those cockpits are 10 times higher than that of US pilots.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

The Center for Documentination of Violations (CDV) or sometimes Violations Documentation Center (VDC) (Arabic: مركز توثيق الانتهاكات في سوريا ) is another almost-one-man organization like the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), but with a different approach (they're more stridently anti-regime and less concerned with Islamists and sectarianism), and different results. Its one-man leadership answer to Rami Abdulrahman is a woman, actually, Razan Zeitouneh, general coordinator, described by the Daily Star (Lebanon) as "prominent human rights lawyer and opposition activist " [1] Less influential than SOHR by a long shot, the VDC is still worth a bit of examination

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Asakaze:

" Hurrah to the Russian Air Force! Good hunting, guys! "

There are indications that Russians seek out and destroy the Chechen terrorists who have joined ISIS. The Chinese, soon to arrive with their aircraft carrier, intend to do the same with their Uigur terrorists in ISIS terror country.

And what does the West do with their home-grown Jihadis? In the UK, they can return and get coddled by the welfare system and swooned over by the media. Expect the same in Euroland.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

@paulinusa

I guess you missed this

Wrong guess. I heard about this so-called "news", published by an obscure organization and later confirmed as a hoax.

Anyway, you want to discuss the subject of casualties? After the air strike at Kunduz? Seriously?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

In the UK, they can return and get coddled by the welfare system and swooned over by the media. Expect the same in Euroland.

Good point. I saw (on-line news, forgot which one) supporters somewhere in London holding a sign "Refugees welcome in, Tories Out!!"

I nearly puked.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

CrazyJoe: I never figured out why Obama says Assad has to go?

The US isn't going to get our hands dirty helping to defeat an enemy in order to return the country back over to Assad. If he wants international help, which he does, he should step aside. We can help the people of Syria but no thanks to helping Assad go on another rampage in the future.

By the way, how many refugees is Russia, Syria's ally, taking in?

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Superlib:

" The US isn't going to get our hands dirty helping to defeat an enemy in order to return the country back over to Assad. "

Oh yeah, right. The US will leave it to the local clerics to install a secular democracy, right? Like they did so wonderfully in Afghanistan, Iraq, Tunesia, and Libya, right? How many times do you want to repeat the same mistake, expecting a different result?

And you do realize that Assads Alevite regime is the most secular in the region, where women have equal rights and minorities like Yazidis and Christians are protected. And you do realize that Assad actually changed to Syrian constitution to allow a non-muslim to become president? Or was that not mentioned in the news you were reading?

How do you think America`s "vetted rebels" like Al Nusra would change Syria for the better if they are allowed to take power? Does ISIS sound familiar to you at all?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

"U.S. defense officials said as many as four of the 26 long-range cruise missiles that Russia said Wednesday it fired at Syria landed instead in Iran, but it was unclear if they caused any significant damage. Russia said all of its missiles fired from warships hit their targets"

Somebody is lying/has wrong information.

"The Russians maintain no civilians were killed."

Whew!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Serrano:

" "The Russians maintain no civilians were killed."

Whew! "

Sure, and ISIS and Obama will insist that only civilians were killed. Probably 26 wedding parties, why not, that is the usual media spin.

Has it ever occurred to you that in these situation you should critically at all information, regardless who feeds it to you?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Willi:

I see my "Whew!" went right over your head. I don't believe that zero civilians were killed in these Russian attacks, the probability of that is near zero.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

as i see it: assad is evil, isis is more evil, and therefore rebels against assad and isis are less evil. putin loves assad and kills more rebels than isis. usa kills isis and supports rebels. and the result? non-stop war, atrocities, so many dead innocents. with russia and usa at odds, the only thing that is sure is that the war will last forever, and many more innocents will die.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

The Islamic State — also known as ISIS, ISIL or Daesh — has strongholds in Raqqa and Aleppo provinces,

while Syria’s al-Qaida affiliate, the Nusra Front, has a strong presence in Idlib

So - who is a good guy and who is a bad guy?? I'm confused.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Seems the Russians get more work done in few weeks than NATO can in 6 months.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Syria will become another Afghanistan if US and its alliance armed Syrian Freedom Army with modern weapons. Russian is clearing its old weapons and testing new weapons in Syria.

Obviously Assad and Putin have taking advantage over inexperienced and indecisive US President Obama. US may be only kind of powerful military nation but bad decision by President has making laughing stock for its opponents.

Obama said in UN general assembly "I lead the strongest military that the world has ever known, and I will never hesitate to protect my country or our allies, unilaterally and by force where necessary". President Obama was good talker and also he was indecisive person as well. Putin knows how to full inexperienced and indecisive Obama. Putin doesn’t bother by Obama’s complaint.

If President Obama does not want to use full US military operation in Syria and then he needs to stop complaining about Russian assisting Assad. Now Putin has said the Russian Military involvement in Syria was legal and US and its alliances bombing in Syria was not.

President Obama was not stopping ISIS in Iraq or Syria and he was just bombing for look – good himself. ISIS will not be defeated without full military operation in Iraq and Syria. Iraqi Army is not ready to fight ISIS. The reason for Iraqi men becoming soldiers was salary and they do not interest to fight ISIS.

Also UN was helpless and useless with super power Governments. UN Secretary Ban Ki-moon needs to prove UN was useful by doing something decisive in Syria. He should be leading vocal for calling non-flying zone over Syria freedom Army controls areas and establishing safe haven zone for refugees inside Syria. UN Secretary do not have power to order but he can seek support and forward idea like creating of safe haven zone within Syria and non-flying zone over Syria freedom Army control areas with Security Council and super power nations.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I just love all you right wingers whining about Obama.

What do you suggest we do? Hm? Any suggestions?

Didn't think so....

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

So in the crazy world in which we live, the Russian dictator supports both Assad and the IS MadBeards, and the West wants Assad gone and supports rebel groups that are also by and large MadBeards?

The West should bug out and let the Russians have the Quagmire. Fortify the borders and put on the blinkers.

We all know the Russians will take in the refugees /sarc

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

@Chop Chop "Obama said in UN general assembly "I lead the strongest military that the world has ever known"".

If you lead the the strongest military,at least you MUST respect your servicemen and NEVER salute them with a tea cup in your hand. The whole world considers you merely an irresponsible, badly educated fool who likes to speak pretty nonsense in front of wide public.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Burning Bush, the use of the idiom "as many as" indicates a surprisingly large number. In this case a surprisingly large number of the weapons missed.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Olegek:

" So - who is a good guy and who is a bad guy?? I'm confused. "

Well, with Obamas new policy of dropping the billion-dollar support for the "vetted rebels" and instead spending similar money on the "existing" rebels, we now supposed to believe that Al Nusra are the good guys.

Now I am just waiting for Obama to decide to give military protection for Al Nusra.... don´t think for a moment that is too far-fetched, looking at the past policy record.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

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