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Syrian president: Russia campaign must succeed

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By ALBERT AJI and SARAH EL DEEB

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33 Comments
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"It's game over for the jihadist rebellion against Assad."

Just like it was "game over" for the Mujahaden in Afghanistan during the 1980s? LOL.

The Russians have crude technology and tactics. They wouldn't have a chance amid the complexity of Syria.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Poor Syrian people. Bet they would trade the "cruel dictatorship" of Assad for their current plight. blame for all of this can be laid firmly at NATO's door for starting this cycle of madness in the Middle East.

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Assad is correct. But it is simply too hard for the Western leaders to eat crow and admit that they have been disastrously wrong. So they will do their darnedest to hinder Russia and help ISIS.

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Syria is becoming the next Vietnam.

The crack troops defending Damascus are so airtight that none of Islamic rebels groups have been able set off even a tiny pipe bomb for the last two years.

Though the Russian embassy in Damascus already have significant mortar attacks the last several months.

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Syria is becoming the next Vietnam.

Iraq was the next Vietnam. Syria would be the next Iraq if anything.

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The campaign is dangerous. Already getting reports of Russian aircraft incursions into NATO airspace.

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"blame for all of this can be laid firmly at NATO's door for starting this cycle of madness in the Middle East."

Obviously, you never heard of the "Arab Spring." Look it up on Wikipedia. And there was plenty of "madness" in the ME long before NATO arrived.

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Hundreds of thousands of dead and millions displaced yet Russia refuses to take one sole refugee and Assad clearly doesn't give a poop about the rank and file citizen.

NATO and the US should pull out of the Middle East for good. Let the Russians handle it and bollocks to Israel.

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Strangerland Iraq was the next Vietnam. Syria would be the next Iraq if anything.

Nope - Syrian people on the side of Asad. In Iraq US had totally different situation.

SwissToni The campaign is dangerous. Already getting reports of Russian aircraft incursions into NATO airspace.

And when NATO aircraft every day coming in Syrian airspace - it is not dangerous ??

So Russian Air Forces gonna put an end to a such "visits" like an end to a ISIS....

Recent news - some "unidentified MiG-29" held at gunpoint, two Turkish F-16s near the border with Syria

Really dangerous... But it's a really great chance to determine which interceptor is better...

Russian or American.

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SwissToni:

" The campaign is dangerous. Already getting reports of Russian aircraft incursions into NATO airspace. "

Since when is it NATOs business to declare Syrian airspace theirs??

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WilliB:

SwissToni is referring to Russian Aircraft flying into Turkish air space, not Syrian. Please read up on the facts before saying something unfounded.

As for the actual conflict, it's a disaster waiting to happen (that is, if you don't consider the current a disaster already). It's only a matter of time until some Russian nationalist pilot gets trigger happy and decides to 'accidentally" shoot down an American (or other NATO) jet. Then the real shit will hit the fan.

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@JeffLee

The Russians have crude technology and tactics.

Really? ISIS bands have rather different opinion now. Russians deployed Su-34, their newest bomber with all modern weaponry. And the list of destroyed targets suggests that their weaponry and tactics are effective. Of course, you can share with us insights how US / NATO technology and tactics are superior, what wonderful results it brought.

@DTryPleX

It's only a matter of time until some Russian nationalist pilot gets trigger happy

And why you are not worried about some US nationalist pilot becoming trigger happy? Anyway, Russian military has working channels with USAF and Israeli Air Force in order to prevent any incidents. So "don't worry, be happy".

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Dtryplex;

" As for the actual conflict, it's a disaster waiting to happen (that is, if you don't consider the current a disaster already). "

I certainly consider the current situation a disaster. And if Putin can put an end to the Islamic State horror, I consider that a good thing. You do not?

" It's only a matter of time until some Russian nationalist pilot gets trigger happy and decides to 'accidentally" shoot down an American (or other NATO) jet. "

And what are American or NATO jets doing in Syrian airspace? Who invited them? The Syrian government did not. I tell you when something really hits the fan: When your brillant Commander in chief decides that the US military has to defend is precious "vetted rebels" aka ISIS in drag. I do not put that beyond him, do you?

Azkaze:

" Anyway, Russian military has working channels with USAF and Israeli Air Force "

From what I read, for Israel this is a mixed blessing. One one hand, they would like to see the ISIS horror go away, on the other hand they are (with good reason) concerned that the Hizb-Allah troops who are now coordinating with Russia take the opportunity to arm to install rockets pointed at Israel. And now they have Russian aircover.

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Russian air strikes so far have still only limited effect on ISIS because only 1 in 5 of their targets have been against ISIS. Most of their sorties are still only in northwestern Syria where there's no significant ISIS presence.

The real test will be if the Russian jets help the last Syrian military outpost in northeastern Syria that's being surrounded by ISIS right now. So far Russia hasn't sent any airstrikes in that side of Syria.

True, because the artillery that the rebels are equipped with is not fashioned out of spare tires and broken sticks like some people contend.

Yeah, like some people who said:

http://www.japantoday.com/category/world/view/islamic-state-ambushes-kills-up-to-50-iraqi-troops#comment_2040745

"They can't even hamper a defenceless army of poorly trained goons riding around in pickup trucks in a wide open desert."

Nope - Syrian people on the side of Asad.

Not the majority Sunni on northern Syria. Don't forget there's already a civil war even before the rise of ISIS.

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Olagek - "chance to determine which interceptor is better...Russian or American"

It's dangerous for Russian aircraft to enter NATO airspace. It could start a shooting war that Russia, for all its bluster, doesn't want and couldn't cope with. It could ignite the whole Middle East and pitch NATO and Russia into direct conflict. How clever do you think that is?

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A Russian aircraft entered Turkish airspace. Russia says the violation was a mistake but as we know from history such incursions can end badly.

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@WilliB

From what I read, for Israel this is a mixed blessing

Yes, it is. Israel can live with Assad ("known evil"), but very concerned about Hizballah getting modern Russian weaponry. Last week Israeli prime minister visited Moscow, and I think Russians and Israelis came to some kind of understanding. Israel, unlike US or Saudi Arabia, does not critisize present Russian air campaign, seems that they know it is not a threat to them. And Israel will be glad to see Hizballah detachments fighting ISIS, that will keep them busy from attacking Israel.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Asakaze:

" And Israel will be glad to see Hizballah detachments fighting ISIS, that will keep them busy from attacking Israel. "

Of course. The question is, what does an up-armed and successful Hizb-Allah do when they are done fighting ISIS? Make peace with Israel? Hardly. Especially when they are supplemented by Iranian advisors. So for Israel, this looks like a lose-lose situation; either the Islamic state murderers on its northern borders, or a Hizb-Allah with Iranian rockets and Russian air cover.

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@WilliB

Hizb-Allah with Iranian rockets and Russian air cover

Hizballah was there before the present deployement of Russian aircraft and will stay there when it ends. Conflict between Hizballah and Israel is a product of the general Arab-Israel confrontation. Russia does not want to be directly involved in this conflict. I think before the present Russian air campaign there was some kind of agreement between Moscow and Tel-Aviv: Russians do not provide Hizballah with modern weaponry, an Israelis do not interfere with the Russian activity. I think that Russians can provide air cover for Hizballah units when they fight ISIS, but would not do it if Hizballah again attacks Israel.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

SwissToni It's dangerous for Russian aircraft to enter NATO airspace. It could start a shooting war that Russia, for all its bluster, doesn't want and couldn't cope with. It could ignite the whole Middle East and pitch NATO and Russia into direct conflict. How clever do you think that is?

So the better decision for Turkey (to be safe and sound) - to leave Syria in peace and stop supporting of ISIL.

(A lot of ISIL boot camps situated in Turkey.)

But if NATO ready to start WW3 to protect ISIL - Russian can't help in such situation.

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Olegek:

" But if NATO ready to start WW3 to protect ISIL - Russian can't help in such situation. "

Incredibly, by the noises coming out of Washington and Brussels, that seems like a possibility. In order to protect their political fiction of "vetted rebels", Obama et al are once more willing to play airforce for Al Quaeda. Like they did in Libya.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Incredibly, by the noises coming out of Washington and Brussels, that seems like a possibility. In order to protect their political fiction of "vetted rebels", Obama et al are once more willing to play airforce for Al Quaeda. Like they did in Libya.

bad idea if russia wants to eliminate ISIL but I doubt about that

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

"So the better decision for Turkey (to be safe and sound) - to leave Syria in peace and stop supporting of ISIL."

So by your double standard Russia may respond to the perceived threat of NATO forces on its borders by invading and usurping foreign territory but NATO must allow Russian planes to overfly its territory when cherry picking its anti Assad targets? Interesting that you feel it would be NATO starting the conflict. Olagek, the countries in the region mean business, Turkey means business. Russia seems oblivious to what it's getting itself into. The Soviet Union couldn't handle Aghanistan when it had superpower resources to call on. In its diminished state, Putin is liable to get Russia into serious trouble. Bravado can bite back.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The Soviet Union couldn't handle Aghanistan when it had superpower resources to call on

How 'bout US ? in Afgani ?

So by your double standard Russia may respond to the perceived threat of NATO forces on its borders by invading and usurping foreign territory but NATO must allow Russian planes to overfly its territory when cherry picking its anti Assad targets?

Russian AF have closed Syrian air space for non - invited persons/planes.

If Turks have some plans - better to forget. To be safe and sound...

Turkish government has it's own problems in Turkey.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Swiss Toni:

" So by your double standard Russia may respond to the perceived threat of NATO forces on its borders by invading and usurping foreign territory "

Are we talking about a different conflict? Russia is in Syria by invitation of the Syrian government, and they are coordinating their actions with Iraq and Iran too. It is NATO that is illegally invading foreign territory, not to mention supporting terrorist groups in an another country.

What are you talking about?

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Olagek, the U.S. led coalition had more trouble quelling Iraq than Afghanistan. Where's your evidence that Russia has declared Syria a no go area for NATO aircraft? Do you think Russia is prepared to attack U.S. Aircraft? I can't think of a more dangerous proposition.

WILLIB, NATO hasn't placed any troops in Syria, they are however refusing to support the oppressive Assad government that is the cause of Syria's uprising. Of course The U.S. and its allies would have coordinated its airstrikes with Russia had Mr Putin not offered succour to Assad, an obvious attempt to gain influence in the region rather than suppress ISIS.

The double standard I refer to is Russia's willingness to invade Ukraine to create a buffer between itself and NATO, yet the country seems incapable of respecting a full NATO members border. Turkey does not agree with Russia's support of Assad.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Swiss Toni:

" NATO hasn't placed any troops in Syria, they are however refusing to support the oppressive Assad government that is the cause of Syria's uprising. "

The US has been sanctioning the Syrian government and supporting "rebels" in Syria with weapons and training. No matter what fancy label you put on these "rebels", they are always affiliated with ISIS. This is the disastrous Libya experiment repeated. And if the rebels win, you get Libya again.

" Of course The U.S. and its allies would have coordinated its airstrikes with Russia had Mr Putin not offered succour to Assad, an obvious attempt to gain influence in the region rather than suppress ISIS. "

OF COURSE Putin has to support the Assad government. That is the only force able to eliminate ISIS in Syria. Russia is supporting the legitimate government; a completely coherent approach. The US tries to fight both the government and the jihadi rebels fighting against the government, inventing fictional "vetted rebels" in the process. That is not a policy, that is insanity,

" The double standard I refer to is Russia's willingness to invade Ukraine to create a buffer between itself and NATO, yet the country seems incapable of respecting a full NATO members border. Turkey does not agree with Russia's support of Assad. "

How about your double standard of insisting that borders must be respected, and at the same time excusing NATOs ongoing illegal invasion of Syrian airspace???? Pot... Kettle.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Im not insisting borders are respected, Turkey is. Turkey has a legitimate government, it isnt a failed state. Its a nice try at deflection but it in no way represents what I was discussing.

The US has good reason to sanction the Assad government. Are the rebels always affiliated with ISIS? Say that to the Kurds who valiantly defended their homes in Kobani.

No one can say the US policy in Syria has been successful and Im pretty sure a more robust policy could have changed the course of Syrias war. But the situation is what it is and Putins Russia is maneuvering for power and influence by supporting an illegitimate oppressive regime. The results, whatever they may be wont be good for what remains of Syrias people. And you cant think its a good idea for Turkey to allow Russian aircraft to overfly its territory at will?

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