world

Syrians flee Raqa as U.S.-backed assault nears

15 Comments

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© 2017 AFP

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.


15 Comments
Login to comment

I think we should consider other 'shadow' participants of US-led operations like the Bahamas and the Grand Cayman Islands and others for their secret banking support. However, they may be playing both sides of the same conflicts in pursuit of profits. There's one of these kind of places in your own backyard, Saipan.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@bush A war crimes investigation is warranted.

I agree, but the investigation would have to exclude anyone from or in any way associated with the governments of the US, Russia, Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia (and the other GCC nations), Turkey, the UK, France and other nations involved in any way with the conflict. Also exclude from the investigation anyone representing any oil corporation anywhere.

All foreign nations involved in the Syrian conflict should send their troops and 'observers' home and stop funding proxy fighters. There are no good guys fighting in Syria.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

'...Syria’s conflict began in 2011 with anti-government protests, but has since turned into a multi-front war that has killed more than 320,000 people and forced millions to flee their homes...' Are you sure? French ex-Foreign Minister Roland Dumas is on record saying he was told two years before the 'so-called' 'Arab Spring' by high British officials that Britain was going to overthrow Assad with the use of mercenaries: 'Former French Foreign Minister: The War against Syria was Planned Two years before “The Arab Spring”: http://www.globalresearch.ca/former-french-foreign-minister-the-war-against-syria-was-planned-two-years-before-the-arab-spring/5339112 and 4* General (Retd.) Wesley Clark: 'Global Warfare: “We’re going to take out 7 countries in 5 years: Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan & Iran..”: http://www.globalresearch.ca/we-re-going-to-take-out-7-countries-in-5-years-iraq-syria-lebanon-libya-somalia-sudan-iran/5166 Yet some people still believe the warmongers' evil propaganda that it's all 'Assads fault'. Regime change, filthy and simple, just like Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya. Evil rules, but they will pay in the after-life.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Seems they gonna reach Raqa first

Now Mosul, next Raqa

They've been doing the most against ISIS

1 ( +1 / -0 )

They've been doing the most against ISIS

The US did almost nothing in 2014 when the Iraqi Army crumbled under ISIS first major offensive in summer. The US did almost nothing in 2015 and in most part of 2016. Only after Russians intervened in Syria and it became clear they could pull the whole thing alone the US at last got its rear in gear and started to do some real fighting. Well, better later then never.

Good luck to Syrian, Russian, Iraqi, American troops in their fight against ISIS and others.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The push-back against ISIS started in Iraq at the Battle of Ramadi by the end of 2015, followed by the Battle of Fallujah in Spring 2016. And then of course they headed for Mosul where they are now, and it seems Raqa is next. Regardless, at the end of the day, they've still done the most against ISIS starting from Iraq into Syria.

Of course, Russia and Syria are also doing some against ISIS but mostly against the other rebels - though in the beginning, they tried to frame it like a fight against ISIS even though only about 1 in 9 attacks were against ISIS (but they eventually dropped that facade when nobody was buying and just started calling it with the more general term fight against rebels/terrorists).

Just a matter of different priorities

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The push-back against ISIS started in Iraq at the Battle of Ramadi by the end of 2015

Thank you! You just validated my thesis. For almost a year and half the US did nothing against ISIS, giving them time to consolidate their gains and get stronger.

Of course, Russia and Syria are also doing some against ISIS but mostly against the other rebels - though in the beginning, they tried to frame it like a fight against ISIS even though only about 1 in 9 attacks were against ISIS

For only one reason: in Syria there is a myriad (literally) of other gangs, such as Jabhat an Nusra, Nureddin an Zinki, Jebhat ash Sham who absolutely no better then ISIS and who present more direct threat simply because they are more close to vital parts of Syria. Had the US actually fought against ISIS in 2014-15 there would not be bloodbath in Mosul and ISIS would have not made such gains in Syria.

Just a matter of different priorities

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The push-back against ISIS started in Iraq at the Battle of Ramadi by the end of 2015

Thank you! You just validated my thesis. For almost a year and half the US did nothing against ISIS, giving them time to consolidate their gains and get stronger.

I didn't completely disagree with you; the US underestimated ISIS - if ya recall at the time 2015, the US was expecting to pull out most of its forces in Iraq, so they were trying to leave it for the Iraqi military to take care of (unfortunately the Iraqi military turned out to be a disappointment fleeing instead of fighting), but the US was reluctant to go back to Iraq, so it took them about a year to realize that they have no choice but to do it.

But once they started doing it by the end of 2015, they've been doing a lot - including throughout 2016, so they're not at all doing nothing most of 2016.

Of course, Russia and Syria are also doing some against ISIS but mostly against the other rebels - though in the beginning, they tried to frame it like a fight against ISIS even though only about 1 in 9 attacks were against ISIS

For only one reason: in Syria there is a myriad (literally) of other gangs, such as Jabhat an Nusra, Nureddin an Zinki, Jebhat ash Sham who absolutely no better then ISIS and who present more direct threat simply because they are more close to vital parts of Syria.

That's fine, but they were initially misrepresenting it as mostly a fight against ISIS, which it wasn't. Had they just stated with what ya said, then they wouldn't had to be called out on it.

Had the US actually fought against ISIS in 2014-15 there would not be bloodbath in Mosul and ISIS would have not made such gains in Syria.

As mentioned above, the US was wanting to pull out of Iraq by that time. They wouldn't want to be fighting ISIS in Iraq, much less Syria, if they didn't have to. But unfortunately for them, it turned out they had to. Once they commit to fighting, they have to stay.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

the US underestimated ISIS - if ya recall at the time 2015

Something is very wrong with the picture ya try to paint. I repeat, one more time: before 2015 there was 2014, and if ya recall the crisis of June 2014 (fall of Tikrit, complete rout of best Iraqi Army units, I still remember videos on Youtube of dozens captured tanks and Humvees), tell me what did the US do to help its ally? I'll tell ya - almost nothing, close to zero. It were Russians again who came to the rescue (yes, in 2014, before Syria) - in June they provided first batch of Su-25 ground attack planes, badly needed by Iraqis, and then Russians sent attack helicopters and armor. The US had to be absolutely blind to "underestimate" ISIS after it overrun half of Iraq. No, the US deliberately abandoned its ally and let ISIS get stronger.

That's fine, but they were initially misrepresenting it as mostly a fight against ISIS, which it wasn't.

They represented it (correctly) as a fight against terrorism, whatever the name of the gang is. I think the main reason for Western politicians to single out ISIS as "evil nimber one" is that this name is simpler to memorize and pronounce then, let's say Nureddin an Zinki, and not because this gang is less bloodthirsty then ISIS.

the US was wanting to pull out of Iraq by that time

Help your ally to win and then pull out! Without Russian help in 2014 it would have been repeat of Saigon-1975.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

the US underestimated ISIS - if ya recall at the time 2015

Something is very wrong with the picture ya try to paint. I repeat, one more time: before 2015 there was 2014, and if ya recall the crisis of June 2014 (fall of Tikrit, complete rout of best Iraqi Army units, I still remember videos on Youtube of dozens captured tanks and Humvees), tell me what did the US do to help its ally? I'll tell ya - almost nothing, close to zero.

You're right; they didn't do enough. They still depended on the Iraqis to do it for them; they thought the Iraqis could still handle ISIS - they underestimated ISIS and overestimated the Iraqi military at the time.

At the time, the Iraq government was amidst a political crisis too that eventually led to the ouster of the Iraqi PM. Then-PM al-Maliki and his people were being accused of being too sectarian - that they were favoring Shiites too much over Sunnis, and thus the Sunnis of NW Iraq were siding with ISIS over the Baghdad government. The US couldn't push too much support on the al-Maliki admin or risk accused of being complicit and thus lose the Sunni support leading to possible breakup of the Baghdad government.

Also remember at the time, the US population was expecting and wanting to start getting out of Iraq, after years of starts and reverses. Politically, it's difficult to reverse again - some see ISIS (at the time still seen not as formidable as they turned out to be) as just another excuse to keep occupying Iraq; that's why they wanted Iraqis to do it instead. So politically, both Iraq and the US admins were caught in a paralysis.

That's fine, but they were initially misrepresenting it as mostly a fight against ISIS, which it wasn't.

They represented it (correctly) as a fight against terrorism, whatever the name of the gang is.

No, they misrepresented incorrectly as a fight against specifically ISIS initially. If they had put the same emphasis on other groups, they wouldn't had to be called out on it. Even Russia Foreign Minister Lavrov rejected accusations that Moscow’s air strikes in Syria are aimed at targets other than ISIS:

http://www.informationng.com/2015/10/russia-strikes-in-syria-exclusively-targeting-isil.html

So they're misrepresenting, or being disingenuous by putting everybody under the banner of ISIS.

Even ISIS --not a friend of NATO and wouldn't want to be seen as helping NATO-- saw through it:

http://www.interpretermag.com/putin-in-syria-even-isis-says-russia-is-not-bombing-isis/

Everybody saw through it - as Business Insider explained it:

http://www.businessinsider.com/5-huge-myths-about-russias-military-intervention-in-syria-2015-11

The Kremlin framed its intervention in Syria as a response to the growing ISIS threat, recognizing that the terrorist group posed a joint threat to Russia and the West. This false yet plausible narrative allowed Russia to curtail the West’s ability to unite against its efforts to bolster President Assad in Syria....

Moscow’s decision to disguise its intervention in Syria as a response to ISIS is an example of the Russian doctrine of reflexive control: the use of disinformation to alter an opponent’s perception of events and lead the adversary to respond in a manner that ultimately favors Russia.

Russia reinforced its narrative of events through its own legal structures. Putin received permission from the upper house of the Russian Parliament on September 30 to provide “exclusively air support for Syrian government forces in their operation against ISIS.”

So it's done purposely and strategically. They knew what they were doing when they specified ISIS in particular. Strategically, it was smart - until people figured out where they were mostly bombing, which were not ISIS but rather the other rebels.

It wasn't until later that they instead switched to the more general term of "terrorists" when that strategic facade wasn't being bought by people. Give Russia credit for being smart, but it was still a strategic facade. And also give people credit for seeing through it.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

So politically, both Iraq and the US admins were caught in a paralysis

Yes, I remember such expalanation and the whole mess about Maliki. Don't you think that this paralysis continued for too long? Maliki was out in August-2014, and did it help? Emphatically no! The mighty US military machine dragged its feet for the rest of 2014, then in 2015 and even 2016, with US planes flying less combat sorties in a month then Russian planes flew in a couple of days. Paralysis for years, wow!

the US population was expecting and wanting to start getting out of Iraq

Emotionally very understandable, but do you think that abandoning your ally in a middle of a crisis that threatens to destroy this ally is a really good idea?

If they had put the same emphasis on other groups, they wouldn't had to be called out on it

They would have been called out whatever the reason was. Saudi concern was particularly charming (thanks for the link, I had a good laugh). They invaded Yemen, but had brazenness to critisize Russia!

I remember several statements by Russian officials when they emphasized that they target all terrorist groups, ISIS as prime but not the only target.

Personally I don't care what Russians say, but I'm very interested in what they actually do. And they do really great. Sure they fight, first of all, for their own interests - it's normal, after all Putin is president of Russia and it is his duty to defend interests of his country. But the matter is that interests of Russia in the Syrian fighting coincide with interests of the Syrian people and most of other sane people from other countries. Even Americans began to do something at last! Before that they did in Syria other stuff:

https://consortiumnews.com/2016/09/29/how-the-us-armed-up-syrian-jihadists/

Give people credit for seeing through it!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

So politically, both Iraq and the US admins were caught in a paralysis

Yes, I remember such expalanation and the whole mess about Maliki. Don't you think that this paralysis continued for too long? Maliki was out in August-2014, and did it help? Emphatically no! The mighty US military machine dragged its feet for the rest of 2014, then in 2015 and even 2016, with US planes flying less combat sorties in a month then Russian planes flew in a couple of days. Paralysis for years, wow!

For the US, yes. Heck, there was largely paralysis for 6 years with a Democrat President and Republican Congress - one side would like to go one way; the other side would like to go the other way; and if one side gives up an inch, the other would take a mile, so nobody does anything.

For Iraqis, they didn't want to fight. I don't want to disregard the Russian help since I think it helped some, but I don't believe it would've made a difference in the end because the Iraqi military's issue was not the equipment --they had the NATO equipment-- they just didn't want to fight. The Iraqi military then was led largely by Shiites, even on the NW Sunni lands. Many Shiites didn't feel like protecting Sunni lands - heck, they didn't get their shat together until Baghdad started getting threatened, and the Shiite fighters from south Iraq finally realized they may lose it so they started moving north.

Yes, NATO and Iraq didn't do enough to help themselves militarily, but there were other issues going on that were beyond military too. But once they started going by the end of 2015, they've been marching on since. Yes if only they got started earlier, especially because now, they've been doing the most against ISIS.

the US population was expecting and wanting to start getting out of Iraq

Emotionally very understandable, but do you think that abandoning your ally in a middle of a crisis that threatens to destroy this ally is a really good idea?

It wasn't a good idea at all, but they weren't completely abandoning Iraq neither. They never left Baghdad and would not at least let it fall. And as I mentioned above, once the Shiites from south Iraq realized and started going north to finally fight back, and NATO working with the new Iraqi administration - all the equipment in the world wouldn't had turned the tide without that will to fight by both groups.

If they had put the same emphasis on other groups, they wouldn't had to be called out on it

They would have been called out whatever the reason was.

Well, they would've been called out for siding with Assad and fighting the rebels before the operation even began, yes - that's why I gathered it was kinda smart to put up that strategic facade. But still a facade nonetheless, and only would've lasted once the operation began since people would figure it out, but for some reason they tried to stretch it too long beyond its sell-by date (pun) like they're trying to play people again back when they pretended those green men in disflagged uniforms in Crimea were obviously not Russian troops.

Personally I don't care what Russians say, but I'm very interested in what they actually do. And they do really great. Sure they fight, first of all, for their own interests - it's normal, after all Putin is president of Russia and it is his duty to defend interests of his country.

Oh, I've no issue with that - after all, I said here that it's my belief that all governments do stuff for their own self-interest. But it's for that reason that there are no saints in international government politics, including every government is capable of lying if it'll suit their purpose. It's just when people believe anyone is infallible, that they're not capable of going low, when it has to be pointed out.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

 I see we can go on like that for a long time. I do not have such luxury, besides our differencies are not so big, so I sum up.

there was largely paralysis for 6 years with a Democrat President and Republican Congress

I do not buy it. This "paralysis" did not prevent the US from aggression against Libya. They can start bombing in Libya, but can not start an effective support in Iraq? I doubt it.

The reason for the sudden rush of US activity in Iraq in late-2016 was not a sudden miraculous end of the "paralysis", but the realization that Russians can win singlehandedly, fear of losing the vaunted "American leadership". With this realization the paralysis ended and even reluctant Iraqis began to fight.

there are no saints in international government politics

Agreed. But if we compare Russian and American actions we can see that Russians brought to the region much less harm and much more good then Americans, so I find it extremely disgusting the whole Western propaganda campaign about Aleppo while completely ignoring US - NATO atrocities in the region.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

No problem, Asakaze. BTW, my condolences on St. Petersburg

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites