Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Utumno, Jun 14, 2014.
rumor foreign intelligence agents captured in syria
SAA headed to Hama in Idlib
PM said to ask US to recognize Golan sovereignty to compensate for Syria pullout
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly asked the White House recently to formally recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, as a form of compensation for the withdrawal of US troops from Syria, Channel 10 reports.
The TV report says Netanyahu has sent a letter to the White House seeking the diplomatic gesture, and that he had raised the subject last week, during his meeting in Brazil with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and today, in his meeting in Jerusalem with US National Security Adviser John Bolton.
My favorite part is the actual reveal that the entire SDF is a neocon strategy
No Syria withdrawal without Turkish pledge not to attack Kurds, Bolton says
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan would have to guarantee Turkey won’t attack Kurdish forces after Americans exit, the national security adviser said.
Jan. 6, 2019
JERUSALEM — President Donald Trump will not withdraw American troops from northern Syria until the Turkish government guarantees it won’t then attack Syrian Kurdish forces that have been critical allies in the fight against ISIS, national security adviser John Bolton said Sunday.
Bolton said a commitment from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that protects the Kurds after American forces exit is something Trump is demanding, and that it’s just one of several conditions that have to be met before U.S. troops leave.
“There are objectives that we want to accomplish that condition the withdrawal,” Bolton said.
He spoke to reporters traveling with him to Israel and Turkey as he tried to clarify Trump’s Syria withdrawal policy for allies. He’s meeting with Israeli officials Sunday and Monday, and with Turkish officials, including Erdogan, on Tuesday.
Since Trump abruptly announced on Dec. 19 that all U.S. forces in Syria would exit immediately, administration officials have shifted the timing to say it would happen more slowly. Officials are now setting a series of conditions for withdrawal that must first be met, which Bolton described as “policy decisions that we need to implement.”
“This is a cause and effect mission,” Bolton said. “Timetables or the timing of the withdrawal occurs as a result of the fulfillment of the conditions and the establishment of the circumstances that we want to see. And once that’s done, then you talk about a timetable.”
Bolton also indicated that the U.S. troop withdrawal will not be a complete drawdown, as Trump had promised. Instead, he discussed a withdrawal of American forces from northern Syria, where most of the estimated 2,000 U.S. troops are based, while leaving some of them in the southern part of the country.
Stressing that despite conditions for withdrawal,the continued presence of U.S. forces in Syria is not unlimited.
“The primary point is we are going to withdraw from northeastern Syria," Bolton said.
“So it’s going to be a different environment after we leave, there is no question about that,” he added. “But there is no desire to see Iran’s influence spread that’s for sure.”
Trump also commented Sunday on the timing of the withdrawal. "I never said we’d be doing it that quickly," the president said from the White House. "We won’t be finally pulled out, until ISIS is gone.”
The remark came in contrast to the president's statement from Dec. 19., when he said the withdrawal would happen quickly and that the U.S. had defeated ISIS. "Our boys, our young women, our men, they're all coming back and they're coming back now," Trump said at the time. "We won."
In his remarks delivered abroad, Bolton also touched on a key base where the U.S. and other allies have a couple hundred troops stationed.
"Then there is the Al Tanf garrison, which is still very strategically important in connection with our determination that Iran not achieve this arc of control stretching from Iran through Iraq into Lebanon and into Syria," he said.
Al Tanf started out as a base to train fighters against ISIS but has morphed into playing a critical role in the U.S. effort to diminish Iran's influence in the region.
It’s unclear what the U.S.’s legal justification would be for maintaining troops there, although Bolton cited Article II of the Constitution, which names the president the Commander-in-Chief of the country's armed forces.
“I think there’s plenty of legal justification about concern for the resurgence of ISIS,” he said. “But I’m a strong believer in Article II, and I think that what that means is the president has full authority to protect American and allied interests anywhere around the world.”
Iran is the main focus of Bolton’s meetings in Israel. Al Tanf is located along a critical road that stretches from Tehran to Baghdad to Damascus and sits in the heart of what Iran hopes will be part of a "Shiite Crescent” — a continuous land bridge linking Iran through Iraq and Syria to Lebanon.
While Trump's withdrawal announcement was greeted with dismay in Israel, which sees U.S. involvement in the region as key to constraining Iran, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed Bolton warmly and called him an "old friend."
"I will discuss with his people efforts to stop the Iranian aggression in our region, the situation in Syria — following President Trump's decision," he said at the start of a Cabinet meeting Sunday. "Our position is clear — we continue to act against the Iranian military buildup in Syria, including these days, and we are acting against anyone who undermines or tries to undermine Israel's security."
In Turkey, Bolton will face a defiant Erdogan, who considers the Kurdish forces in Syria to be terrorists who threaten Turkey's stability.
He warned Turkey against taking any military action in Syria without consent from the U.S.
"We don't think the Turks ought to undertake military action that's not fully coordinated with and agreed to by the United States, at a minimum so they don't endanger our troops, but also so that they meet the president’s requirement that the Syrian opposition forces that have fought with us are not endangered,” Bolton said.
He said the U.S. has “told the Kurds our best judgment is that you stand fast now.”
Erdogan's spokesman said on Sunday it was irrational to claim Turkey targets Kurds, saying Ankara's targets were ISIS militants and the Kurdish groups YPG and PKK, state-owned Anadolu news agency reported.
Bolton will be joined in Ankara by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford and Ambassador James Jeffrey, who was named Friday as the Special Envoy for the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS.
He said Dunford will remain in Turkey after Tuesday to continue discussions with Turkish officials.
Turkish military leadership is extremely worried about Erdogan's idea of actually occupying North East Syria. It won't happen, Russia isn't going to allow it and neither will Iran.
Turkish military know that and they don't want to be stuck surrounded by overwhelming attritional forces that will bleed them to withdraw.
For example, HTS is the non Turkish controlled entity in Idlib, if HTS takes over Russia is going to personally march into Idlib and up the the Turkish border.
So it's in the interest of Assad to have HTS take over all the other TFSA factions, they can go in and decimate them.
Christians are protected under Hezbollah
After the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982 in support of the Free Lebanon State, Israel occupied a strip of south Lebanon, which was controlled by the South Lebanon Army (SLA), a Lebanese Christian militia supported by Israel. Hezbollah was founded in the early 1980s as part of an Iranian effort to aggregate a variety of militant Lebanese Shi'a groups into a unified organization. Hezbollah acts as a proxy for Iran in the ongoing Iran–Israel proxy conflict. Hezbollah was conceived by Muslim clerics and funded by Iran primarily to harass the Israeli occupation. Its leaders were followers of Ayatollah Khomeini, and its forces were trained and organized by a contingent of 1,500 Revolutionary Guards that arrived from Iran with permission from the Syrian government, which was in occupation of Lebanon at the time. Hezbollah's 1985 manifesto listed its objectives as the expulsion of "the Americans, the French and their allies definitely from Lebanon, putting an end to any colonialist entity on our land", submission of the Phalangists to "just power" and bringing them to justice "for the crimes they have perpetrated against Muslims and Christians", and permitting "all the sons of our people" to choose the form of government they want, while calling on them to "pick the option of Islamic government".
After the 2006–08 Lebanese protests and clashes, a national unity government was formed in 2008, with Hezbollah and its opposition allies obtaining eleven of thirty cabinets seats, enough to give them veto power. In August 2008, Lebanon's new Cabinet unanimously approved a draft policy statement which recognized Hezbollah's existence as an armed organization and guarantees its right to "liberate or recover occupied lands" (such as the Shebaa Farms). Since 2012, Hezbollah has helped the Syrian government during the Syrian civil war in its fight against the Syrian opposition, which Hezbollah has described as a Zionist plot and a "Wahhabi-Zionist conspiracy" to destroy its alliance with Assad against Israel. It has deployed its militia in both Syria and Iraq to fight or train local forces to fight against ISIS. Once seen as a resistance movement throughout much of the Arab world, this image upon which the group's legitimacy rested has been severely damaged due to the sectarian nature of the Syrian Civil War in which it has become embroiled.
Iran plans naval drills with Russia in Caspian Sea
JANUARY 5, 2019
DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran and Russia are preparing to hold joint naval exercises in the Caspian Sea, including rescue and anti-piracy drills, the commander of the Iranian navy was quoted on Sunday as saying.
“Tactical, rescue and anti-piracy war games between Iranian and Russian naval forces are being planned and will be implemented in the near future,” the semi-official news agency Mehr quoted Rear Admiral Hossein Khanzadi as saying.
Iran and Russia have held several naval drills in the Caspian Sea, including in 2015 and 2017.
Iran and Russia have close ties, including in Syria where they both back President Bashar al-Assad in the country’s civil war.
Khanzadi reiterated Iran’s opposition to the military presence of any country from outside the region in the Caspian Sea, saying: “All countries around the Caspian have the same approach,” Mehr reported.
Russia said last year it was firmly committed to deepening ties with Iran despite a U.S. decision to quit an international nuclear deal and reimpose sanctions on Tehran.
Red: Syrian Arab Army
Light green: Hayat Tahrir al Sham
Green-blue: Idlib rebel groups (Zinki, Ahrar al-Sham, and others)
Blue: Syrian National Army (Hamza Division, Suleiman Shah brigade, and others)
Purple: Turkish Armed Forces
Two British soldiers injured in Islamic State attack in Syria
6 January 2019
British special forces are believed to be operating in Syria but the Ministry of Defence would not confirm this.
Social media reports said the two British soldiers were attacked by a missile near the town of Deir al-Zour.
They were reportedly evacuated by US forces on Saturday morning. A Kurdish fighter is thought to have been killed.
A Ministry of Defence spokesman said: "We do not comment on special forces."
In December, US President Donald Trump announced he was withdrawing troops from Syria and claimed the IS group had been "defeated".
His decision to withdraw troops was met with surprise and strong criticism. The UK government distanced itself from the president's comments, saying "much remains to be done".
The UK has been part of a coalition of several countries - led by the US and including France, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Turkey - launching air strikes as part of efforts to push IS out of Syria.
And in April of last year, the UK was involved in air strikes against the Syrian regime in response to an alleged chemical attack on Douma on 7 April.
Speaking in Parliament after the strikes, Prime Minister Theresa May said it was "legally and morally right" for the UK to step in to prevent "further human suffering".
The British government never comments on the deployment of special forces - but they are believed to be on the ground in Syria.
In March 2018, UK soldier Sgt Matt Tonroe, 33, from the 3rd Battalion the Parachute Regiment, was killed by a roadside bomb while in combat against IS.
Turkey is far stronger than the British military 1 on 1.
It would be rape.
Separate names with a comma.