sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Syria Today

The distracted (and often corrupt) US news media doesn't seem to make much effort to report on international issues that do create ripples worldwide. They are focused on how much they hate President Trump and his efforts to make America great/safe/prosperous once again. They're driven by ratings and in a sense, have created the largest reality TV show in history, starring President Trump to drive those ratings (and earnings) even higher. While the 24 news cycle responds to tweets and are driven into a froth of anxiety and hatred, which they try to pass on to viewers, there are other things going on in the world.

Lately, some of my blogging focus has been on Syria because so many national and international actors are playing on that stage. 

The Turkish Army in all its majesty, is still trying to take Afrin, a small but strategic city in Syrian Kurdistan. Their goal is to kill all Kurds, even though the Kurds haven't done anything in Turkey to warrant such hostility. President and strong man Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is using the invasion of Syria to try and mask his problems at home by rallying the people to the Syrian War against the Kurds. It flopped, but the Turkish Army is still there, unwilling to lose more tanks and men, but unable to sustain the loss of face that retreating back to Turkey would mean. They have a Kurdish tiger by the tail. Difficult to hold on, dangerous to let go.

Israeli aircraft attacked targets near Damascus. Israeli combat aircraft struck a Syrian military position in a rural area near Damascus on 7 February. The Syrian army said the attack triggered Syria's air defense system which destroyed most of the incoming missiles.

The statement said several missiles were launched by the Israeli jets from inside Lebanese airspace at 03:42 a.m. local time. "The general command of the armed forces holds Israel fully responsible for the dangerous consequences of its repeated, aggressive and uncalculated adventures”. 

In Jerusalem, Israel’s military spokeswoman said, "we do not respond to such reports”. According to Haaretz, the Israeli missiles targeted a "research center" in the town of Jamrayah, just north of Damascus.

Syria said this attack was the second in three months against the facility, which press sources describe as a military research center. Haaretz reported it is a rocket and missile development center. 

In the area occupied by the US Military, US aircraft killed an estimated 100 pro-government fighters in the Euphrates River Valley after some 500 armed men, supported by tanks, rockets and artillery, began firing at a headquarters of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). A US military spokesman said the US acted in self-defense because US soldiers were in the area. He also said the US maintained continuous communications with Russian forces, also in the area, to ensure no clash with the Russians. The US said the Syrian attack injured one SDF soldier.

The Russians are not directly helping the Syrian and allied forces recover territory liberated by the Syrian Democratic Forces, whom President Assad called traitors for working with US forces. More clashes are likely because Assad said he intends for his forces to recover all Syrian sovereign territory. The Russians, however, are not risking casualties or mission creep. Nevertheless, the security situation is chaotic and dangerous.


8 comments:

  1. Syria's far too unimportant for our honest media to cover. After all, they're working overtime to bury the COUP story.

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    1. The FBI coup d'etat doesn't play well into Barack's legacy as he builds his presidential library and monument to his glorious presidency. It also works against Hillary, who's planning to run for the presidency again in 2020.

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  2. Wonder what part colonial Britain's drawing arbitrary borders contributes to today's problems?

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    1. That's certainly part of it - but at this point things are so completely messed up that it's difficult to say.

      The deeper you dig into the granularity of the situation in Syria, the more impossible a solution is to find.

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  3. It seems that the smart weapons the Kurdish soldiers have access to manage to stall Erdogans courage. He probably prefer others do the Turkish army's job in the frontline to reduce the death of Turkish soldiers. That is interesting as long as it last. As long as US stays in the neighborhood the Russians, the Erdogans, The Syrians and the friends of Iran seems to prefer to be a little more reluctant than they are happy with. When the US leave I guess Israel will experience a different situation. But what should the US motivation be in the long run to spend money in the desert?

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    1. If the US can remain in place with a sustainable force (as guests of the Iraqi Govt.), it can train young soldiers in real-world combat rather than simply running scenarios at Ft. Bragg, Ft. Benning, Ft. Lewis, Ft. Bliss, and so forth. There is nothing like shooting and having the target shooting back to reinforce training.

      You asked what value there is to the US and that's it. It also allows us to keep from seeing the place go to pot the way it did with ISIS.

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  4. Have the Israelis "spoken" like this before? I don't seem to recall hearing anything about it.

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    1. It wasn't reported in the WE HATE TRUMP news.

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