Author Topic: Syria reported to have use Chemical Warfare  (Read 31533 times)

Junkenstein

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Re: Syria reported to have use Chemical Warfare
« Reply #45 on: May 20, 2013, 03:49:03 pm »
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Petro-Islamist jihadism

Why do I suspect this phrase will sum up this century?
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Cain

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Re: Syria reported to have use Chemical Warfare
« Reply #46 on: May 21, 2013, 05:24:26 pm »
The US is, apparently, trying to take steps to combat al-Nusra, or as they are now calling themselves, the "Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham" since their merger/takeover with Al-Qaeda in Iraq.

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Then, by the rebel commander's account, the discussion took an unexpected turn.

The Americans began discussing the possibility of drone strikes on Al Nusra camps inside Syria and tried to enlist the rebels to fight their fellow insurgents.

"The US intelligence officer said, 'We can train 30 of your fighters a month, and we want you to fight Al Nusra'," the rebel commander recalled.

Opposition forces should be uniting against Mr Al Assad's more powerful and better-equipped army, not waging war among themselves, the rebel commander replied. The response from a senior US intelligence officer was blunt.

"I'm not going to lie to you. We'd prefer you fight Al Nusra now, and then fight Assad's army. You should kill these Nusra people. We'll do it if you don't," the rebel leader quoted the officer as saying.

It's getting to the point that the US would be better off allying itself with Assad if it wants to combat Islamic extremism.

Cain

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Re: Syria reported to have use Chemical Warfare
« Reply #47 on: May 22, 2013, 08:33:58 am »
Of course, if the US looking for a local ally willing to combat jihadism, it could always look at a well armed, professional and disciplined force that is already operating in the country: Hezbollah.

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He said he supported Hezbollah’s intervention in Syria because it would deter the rise of Sunni extremist groups like Al Nusra Frontamong the rebels. “If we don’t defend our villages,” he said, referring to Shiite villages in Syria, “Al Nusra will be outside our homes the next day.”

They have to fight them over there to prevent them fighting them over here!  Although, to be fair, given how, historically, Lebanon was part of Syria, and Syria was part of Iraq (and Iraq was part of the Ottoman Empire), and the cross-border trafficking in extremism which led to the rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, and the geopolitical situation between Saudi Arabia and Iran, it's not entirely implausible that a certain Lebanese Shiite group would be next on the hit list.

Especially given current operations seem to be designed to cut off Damascus from the Alawite dominated coastline and the supplies coming in from there.  Once Damascus falls, the coastal regions would be the next phase of operations, and those operations would almost certainly spill over into Lebanon as well, not least due to Saudi Arabia's "let her rip!" attitude towards the Sunni insurgents.  They're going to ride this strange beast to the wall, and hope the last Sunni insurgent and last Hezbollah soldier manage to kill each other off in the process.

That's the thing here: Saudi Arabia's attitude is entirely consistent with a country which distrusts and clamps down on Islamic extremism in its own borders, yet supports it overseas.  By embroiling Sunni insurgents in ever larger conflicts and disruptions, not only does Saudi Arabia emerge as a regional power broker, it also causes large numbers of them to die or get imprisoned in places other than Saudi Arabia.  Of course this is going to backfire horribly on them, the Kingdom is not hermetically sealed against the rest of the region and so that influence will eventually seep through into their own country.  But by the time they realise that, it will probably already be too late.

Cain

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Re: Syria reported to have use Chemical Warfare
« Reply #48 on: June 03, 2013, 02:41:46 pm »
Not entirely unpredictable:

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Syrian rebels have fought with Hezbollah gunmen in a deadly clash on Lebanese soil, a security official and local media said on Sunday, in the latest sign that Syria's civil war is spilling over the country's borders.

It was the worst clash between the two sides on Lebanese territory since the outbreak of the Syria conflict more than two years ago. The violence highlighted the growing risk that the fighting in Syria poses to Lebanon, whose volatile sectarian makeup mirrors that of its neighbour.

Tensions between Hezbollah and Syria's rebels have risen sharply since the Lebanese militia stepped up its armed support for President Bashar al-Assad's regime last month.

Rebel fighters have threatened to attack Hezbollah bases in Lebanon, and on Saturday 18 rockets and mortar rounds hit the eastern Baalbek region, a Hezbollah stronghold.

Overnight, Hezbollah apparently encircled and ambushed a group of Syrian rebels and allied Lebanese fighters they suspected of firing on Baalbek, the Lebanese security official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

He said a Hezbollah fighter and several rebels were killed in the clashes in a remote area between Baalbek and the Syrian border.

The Lebanese TV station Al-Mayadeen, seen as sympathetic to the Syrian regime, quoted Lebanese security officials as saying 17 fighters from Jabhat al-Nusra, a rebel group linked to al-Qaida, were killed in the fighting.

The Free Syrian Army's commanders, who have been begging for a Western intervention into the Syrian Civil War, have also been asking for intervention into Lebanon.  So this is not entirely out of the blue.  There is a widespread consensus among the Syrian rebels that the fight has to be taken to Lebanese territory, and that is a whole different kind of clusterfuck since:

a) it's Hezbollah's home ground, and
b) Hezbollah wiped out the CIA/Saudi intelligence network in the country a couple of years back.

This should also be worrying Israel, since al-Nusra are no more sympathetic to Jews than they are to Shiite Muslims.  But can Israel see past it's desire to crush Hezbollah to understand that?  I doubt it.

Junkenstein

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Re: Syria reported to have use Chemical Warfare
« Reply #49 on: June 03, 2013, 02:48:56 pm »
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Hezbollah wiped out the CIA/Saudi intelligence network in the country a couple of years back.

Got to be said, that's pretty fucking impressive.

Can the rebels make similar claims? I'd doubt it. There's also the question of which genius decided it was a good idea to fuck with Hezbollah when you've not yet settled the Assad issue. Pretty sure "forgive and forget" is not their motto.

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Junkenstein

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Re: Syria reported to have use Chemical Warfare
« Reply #50 on: June 04, 2013, 02:52:26 pm »
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-22765692

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Syria's war has reached "new levels of brutality", the UN says, with evidence of fresh suspected massacres, sieges and violations of children's rights.

Children have been taken hostage or forced to watch torture, it says, while others have been killed while fighting.

It says it suspects there are "reasonable grounds" to believe chemical weapons have been deployed.

And it urges foreign powers not to increase the availability of arms in Syria.

The issue of arms has been high on the international agenda of late, with the EU lifting an embargo on the sale of arms to Syria while Russia has insisted it is going ahead with the sale of an advanced S-300 surface-to-air missile defence system to Syria.

On Tuesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said the contract had not yet been fulfilled and Russia did not want to "disturb the balance in the region".

He said he was "disappointed" by the EU move.

The international powers are struggling to set a date for a peace conference on Syria, where the conflict is believed to have cost at least 80,000 lives.

HA.

Edit - Also, Child soldiers are a great way to screw your country up for future generations. Will be watching that angle closely.
« Last Edit: June 04, 2013, 02:54:47 pm by Junkenstein »
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Re: Syria reported to have use Chemical Warfare
« Reply #51 on: June 05, 2013, 08:54:44 am »
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-22778310

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Syrian pro-government forces have taken full control of the strategic town of Qusair, state TV and the rebels say.

The town, near the Lebanese border, has been the centre of fighting for more than two weeks between rebels and Syrian troops backed by fighters from the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah.

Syrian state TV said a large number of rebels had died and many had surrendered.

It comes as key rebel leader said his men were ready to fight inside Lebanon.

Gen Selim Idriss of the Free Syrian Army - the main umbrella rebel group - told the BBC that Hezbollah fighters were "invading" Syria and Lebanon was doing nothing to stop them.

Syrian pro-government forces, including Hezbollah fighters, have been battling rebels for control of Qusair for more than two weeks.

The town lies just 10km (six miles) from the Lebanese border and along major supply routes.

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Re: Syria reported to have use Chemical Warfare
« Reply #52 on: June 05, 2013, 11:09:19 am »
Somewhat related:
http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2013-06/03/ancient-us-weapon-in-syria

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Watch enough YouTube videos of the fighting in Syria, and you'll start to notice it: a long-tubed gun, mounted on the back of either a jeep or large, fast pickup. Usually it's blasting bunkers, blockhouses, fortified positions, or places where snipers are hiding. It even goes after tanks. And whenever it fires, the gun seems to kick up way  more hell behind it than what it sends out the barrel's front end. It's the M40 106mm recoilless rifle, an American-made, Vietnam-vintage weapon that got dropped from the Army and Marine inventory back during the early 70s. Until recently, the 106mm hadn't seen much action in the irregular wars that have swept the globe. Then M40s somehow came into the hands of rebels in Libya and Syria. Suddenly, the 106mm -- light, cheap, easily transportable, simple to operate, and packing a punch all out of proportion to its modest size -- has emerged as a possible Great Asymmetric Weapon of the Day.

Although the US military no longer officially uses the M40, they still keep some around. A few found their way to Afghanistan where they were put to use by certain  Special Forces units. The Danish and Australian armies, which acquired them from the US decades ago under the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program, used them extensively during their ground operations there.

In Libya, the M40 was used primarily in urban warfare, killing tanks and fortified positions. How exactly it found its way into the hands of the rebels there is a bit of a mystery. The M40s showed up in Libya along with thousands of brand new Belgian FN rifles, apparently from Western arsenals. That lead many to suspect they were supplied by Western intelligence. The M40s currently being seen in Syria might be coming either from the same sources that supplied the Libyan rebels or even from the Libyans themselves.

There is also a strong possibility that these weapons might actually be of Iranian origin. Iran's state-owned weapons arsenal, the Defence Industry Organisation, has been manufacturing what was originally a licensed-version of the M40. Now called the "Anti-Tank Gun 106," it is being offered on the open market, and is probably being supplied to the Syrian Army, which have since lost them to the rebels.

I'm sure all arms and ordnance will be accounted for after everything is sorted out.
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Junkenstein

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Re: Syria reported to have use Chemical Warfare
« Reply #53 on: June 05, 2013, 11:27:21 am »
Highly related:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-22773268

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There is no doubt Syria's government has used sarin during the country's crisis, says France's foreign minister.

Laurent Fabius said lab tests in Paris confirmed numerous uses of the nerve agent, adding that those who resort to chemical weapons must be punished.

But he did not specify where or when the agent had been deployed; the White House has said more proof was needed.

The UK also says it has tested samples which give evidence of the use of sarin in Syria.

According to a Foreign Office spokesman, Britain "has obtained physiological samples from inside Syria which have tested positive for the nerve agent sarin".

The UK statement added: "There is a growing body of limited but persuasive information showing that the regime used - and continues to use - chemical weapons" in Syria.

In a new report, the UN commission of inquiry on Syria also urged foreign powers not to increase the availability of arms in Syria.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon described the atrocities listed in the report - which details evidence of fresh suspected massacres, sieges and violations of children's rights - as "sickening and staggering", said his spokesman.

Children have been taken hostage, forced to watch torture and even participate in beheadings, says the report.

Not looking good.
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Junkenstein

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Re: Syria reported to have use Chemical Warfare
« Reply #54 on: June 11, 2013, 08:56:54 am »
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-22852957

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A double suicide bombing has rocked the centre of the Syrian capital, Damascus, Syrian media say.

The blasts happened in Marjeh Square, causing casualties, according to state-run television channel al-Ikhbariya.

In April, at least 13 people were killed in a blast, reported to have been caused by a car bomb, at the square.

The latest attacks come as regime forces prepare an assault to recapture the city of Aleppo from rebels.

Images on al-Ikhbariya showed a scene of widespread damage, with shop fronts blown out and debris littering the street. Blood stains marked the pavement, while people milled around among broken glass and wreckage.

The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said the blasts had been caused by devices planted in the area, without giving further details.

Still breaking, chances are there will be a lot more of this in the foreseeable future.
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Junkenstein

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Re: Syria reported to have use Chemical Warfare
« Reply #55 on: June 11, 2013, 09:08:57 am »
On another topic, the Syrian Army actually seems to be making some decent gains.

No idea if these will last for any real length of time, but the speed and number of successes they've had is making me think there's been some assistance from beyond the border. Russian intel on the QT?
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Re: Syria reported to have use Chemical Warfare
« Reply #56 on: June 13, 2013, 10:30:09 am »
Oh wow:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2013/jun/11/nick-griffin-mission-syria-confusion

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Nick Griffin, the leader of the British National Party, has waded into controversy about the Syrian crisis by paying a "fact-finding visit" to Damascus as part of a delegation of far-right and nationalist European politicians.

Griffin, the MEP for North-west England, used his Twitter account to attack British government calls to arm the rebels who are seeking to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad. "Vile … smells like an abbatoir," Griffin tweeted after being taken to the scene of a suicide bombing that reportedly killed 14 people in central Damascus. "Hague wants your taxes to arm these terrorists!"

But there were signs that Syrian government supporters were embarrassed by the high-profile presence of the BNP leader. Loyalists described a "low-level media visit" despite Griffin's meeting with Syria's prime minister, deputy foreign minister and plans to meet the minister of information, who an official confirmed had invited the 28-strong European mission.

The foreign ministry did not take the political backgrounds of the visitors into account, insisted Yazan Abdullah, a UK-based Syrian activist who says he supports dialogue and reconciliation. But an official in Damascus contacted by the Guardian expressed surprise at the invitation.

BNP spokesman Simon Darby said Griffin was not being paid by the Syrian regime and did not want his presence to be seen as an endorsement of Assad. Anyone entering Syria, as Griffin and the rest of the party did by road from Lebanon, needs a visa. This requires government approval that can often take months to obtain.
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Junkenstein

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Re: Syria reported to have use Chemical Warfare
« Reply #57 on: June 13, 2013, 02:05:23 pm »
Same topic, from Vice:
http://www.vice.com/en_uk/read/whats-nick-griffin-doing-in-syria

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I then asked what he thought about the fact that many of his official positions regarding the situation were in line with the Syrian-Iranian-Hezbollah axis in the Middle East. He replied, "Well, if you ask me and them, ‘If you drop an apple, does it fall to the ground?’, we’re both going to say yes. Because it’s gravity, isn’t it? It’s just a fact.” Which seemed an overly complicated way of saying, "Yes, I suppose I do take many of the same lines as the Syrian-Iranian-Hezbollah axis."

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To me, the BNP and the al-Assad regime buddying up is kind of like those two weird kids at school, who'd do stuff like openly masturbate at the back of the classroom, joining together to find some kind of strength in numbers. Only they're now just a couple of sweaty-palmed men grimacing at a camera together, instead of alone and exposed.
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Junkenstein

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Re: Syria reported to have use Chemical Warfare
« Reply #58 on: June 19, 2013, 03:11:22 pm »
Claims from the G8 that Putin is has given the green light, just wants to know what the plan to replace the leadership is. CIA still claiming chemical weapons used.

Related HA HA
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-22965829

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MPs will get a vote on whether the UK should arm Syrian rebel forces before such a decision is implemented, Commons speaker John Bercow has said.

Foreign Secretary William Hague has said the government would not take such action "against the will" of MPs.

I'm sure all the MP's will vote according to their strong moral compasses. Right now I'd guess that may of them are pointing due BAE.

The only question to be asked is what kind of quantity of arms can the UK taxpayer be made to pay for?

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Re: Syria reported to have use Chemical Warfare
« Reply #59 on: July 17, 2013, 02:20:08 pm »
Wired delivering the goods:
http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2013/07/diy-arms-syria/

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Abu Yassin pulls open the heavy iron gate of the school and steps back. “Peace be upon you,” he says in Arabic, grinning and extending a hand, his arm stained to the elbow with aluminum powder. “Welcome, welcome.” He turns and waves for me to follow. We walk along a short pathway toward the front door, past an assortment of ordnance laid out on the concrete, bombs that fell from the sky but failed to explode: an ovoid 88-millimeter mortar shell, a big 500-pounder with twisted tail fins, a neat row of pale-gray Russian cluster bomblets, their nose fuses removed. “Later! I will open them later!” he says, eyebrows waggling with anticipation.

The four-story school is shaped like a C around a set of basketball courts, paved with stone tiles and pocked at the far end with small dark craters. A set of white plastic lawn chairs and a table have been arranged in the central courtyard near the door leading into the school. A young boy walks over in silence. “Let’s see, coffee or tea?” Yassin says, distracted, contemplating the plastic furniture. Another assistant, an older man in a filthy smock, comes out and stands beside us holding a silver cylinder the size of a soda bottle. It’s wrapped in clear plastic tape and sprouts a red fuse, which the man proceeds to light. The fuse sputters as he steps forward and pitches the cylinder underhand across the courtyard, where it bounces and rolls to a halt some 30 yards away.

“Explosion!” he yells as Yassin looks on.

With a deafening clap, the bomb bursts in a cloud of flame and smoke, buffeting our faces with a pressure wave. Yassin scurries forward and crouches on his haunches to examine the crater it leaves. Slowly he walks back, shaking his head. “Very bad, very bad,” he mutters—but then, remembering his guest, his expression brightens to a smile. “Please, sit down.”

Excellent article, shows how easy it is for practically anyone to be radicalised with the right situation.
Nine naked Men just walking down the road will cause a heap of trouble for all concerned.