So Czer is ISIS really just a Saudi front created to mess w/Iran?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Utumno, Jun 14, 2014.

  1. Czer

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    The German government: We have no troops on the ground in Syria and we have no intention of sending troops

     
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    Majorities of U.S. veterans, public say the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were not worth fighting
    JULY 10, 2019

    https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2019/07/10/majorities-of-u-s-veterans-public-say-the-wars-in-iraq-and-afghanistan-were-not-worth-fighting/

    Nearly 18 years since the start of the war in Afghanistan and 16 years since the U.S. invasion of Iraq, majorities of U.S. military veterans say those wars were not worth fighting, according to a new Pew Research Center survey of veterans. A parallel survey of American adults finds that the public shares those sentiments.

    Among veterans, 64% say the war in Iraq was not worth fighting considering the costs versus the benefits to the United States, while 33% say it was. The general public’s views are nearly identical: 62% of Americans overall say the Iraq War wasn’t worth it and 32% say it was. Similarly, majorities of both veterans (58%) and the public (59%) say the war in Afghanistan was not worth fighting. About four-in-ten or fewer say it was worth fighting.

    Veterans who served in either Iraq or Afghanistan are no more supportive of those engagements than those who did not serve in these wars. And views do not differ based on rank or combat experience.

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    Views do differ significantly by party, however. Republican and Republican-leaning veterans are much more likely than veterans who identify with or lean toward the Democratic Party to say the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were worth fighting: 45% of Republican veterans vs. 15% of Democratic veterans say the war in Iraq was worth fighting, while 46% of Republican veterans and 26% of Democratic veterans say the same about Afghanistan. The party gaps are nearly identical among the public.

    Views on U.S. military engagement in Syria are also more negative than positive. Among veterans, 42% say the campaign in Syria has been worth it, while 55% say it has not. The public has very similar views: 36% say U.S. efforts in Syria have been worthwhile, while 58% say they have not.

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    Among veterans, these views are consistent across era of service, rank and combat experience. Republican veterans are significantly more likely than Democrats to say the Syrian campaign has been worth it (54% vs. 25%).


     
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    So Iran and the shia militias are sitting out the Idlib assault and moved to different locations outside of a few areas that were reinforced borders on non active fronts

    My assumption is either they negotiated something with Turkey and hope the SAA can handle it with Russian airpower, or they are trying to make a statement to possibly Russia for some reason by showing the immense difference in ground force capabilities, or they are maneuvering into positions that would allow immediate reactions to any hostile US/Israeli forces

    I believe a deal with Turkey is the most likely answer.

    Assad hits a wall in Syrian war as front lines harden
    JULY 10, 2019

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-syria-security-northwest-analysis/assad-hits-a-wall-in-syrian-war-as-front-lines-harden-idUSKCN1U51TC?utm_source=reddit.com

    More than two months of Russian-backed operations in and around Idlib province have yielded little or nothing for Assad’s side. It marks a rare case of a military campaign that has not gone his way since Russia intervened in 2015.

    While resisting government attacks, the insurgents have managed to carve out small advances of their own, drawing on ample stocks of guided anti-tank missiles that opposition and diplomatic sources say have been supplied by Turkey.

    “They’re even targeting personnel with these missiles ... it means they are comfortably supplied,” a rebel source said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was discussing rebel military capabilities. Turkey’s foreign ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment on reports that Ankara has stepped supplies of arms to rebels.

    With Turkey committed to the rebels, the battle for the northwest stands in stark contrast to a campaign in the southwest a year ago, when Western and Arab states stood by as Assad and his Russian- and Iranian-backed allies took the area.

    Despite Russian backing in the latest fighting, questions have arisen over whether Assad and his allies are entirely on the same page when it comes to the northwest, where Turkey has deployed forces in agreement with Russia and Iran.


    Moscow has appeared keen to preserve its ties with Ankara even as its air force bombs in support of Assad: Turkey says Russia has intervened to stop attacks on Turkish forces from Syrian government-held territory.

    And this time there has been no sign of a major role for Iranian-backed Shi’ite forces that have helped Assad to victories in parts of Syria that are of greater interest to Iran, including territory near Iraq, Lebanon and Israel.

    The capture of the southwest a year ago remains Assad’s last big gain. The prospects of further advances have been obstructed not only by Turkish interests in the northwest but also the presence of U.S. forces in the east and northeast.

    American troops are still supporting Kurdish-led fighters following a reversal of President Donald Trump’s decision last December to pull them all out.

    After more than eight years of war, this leaves Syria carved up into areas of U.S., Russian, Turkish and Iranian influence that seem unlikely to be stitched back together any time soon.

    “We could see the front lines harden and remain like that for some time, where either the appetite or capability to fight through them is not there on the part of the regime or its allies,” said a Western diplomat speaking anonymously in order to offer a candid assessment.

    “BONE-BREAKING BATTLE”

    The Idlib area is dominated by Tahrir al-Sham, the jihadists formerly known as the Nusra Front. Proscribed as a terrorist group by the U.N. Security Council, the group has set aside past conflict with Turkish-backed rebels to defend the northwest.

    Colonel Mustafa Bakour, a commander in the Jaish al-Izza rebel group, said coordination among rebels was a major factor in foiling government attacks.

    “I expect the battles to continue for a time because it has become a bone-breaking battle,” he said in written answers to questions from Reuters.

    The government campaign of air strikes and barrel bombing that began in late April was followed by the capture of around 20 villages. This led to a rebel counter-attack in early June that seized ground the government has been unable to recover.

    The Syrian government has described its operations as a response to militant violations of ceasefire agreements.

    Russia says action was needed to stop attacks from being launched from Idlib, including drone strikes on its nearby air base. President Vladimir Putin said in April a full-scale operation in Idlib was impractical for now.

    Though the government has not declared the goals of the campaign, rebel sources believe it was to capture two highways that pass through rebel-held territory.

    Some 300,000 people fleeing bombardment have moved toward the Turkish border since April, prompting the United Nations to warn that Idlib was on the brink of a “humanitarian nightmare”.

    For Ankara, the Syrian opposition’s last major state sponsor, preventing another major influx of Syrian refugees is of paramount importance: Turkey already hosts 3.6 million of them.

    While accusing the Syrian government of targeting civilians and its military observation posts in the Idlib area, Turkey has stopped short of blaming Russia, instead saying it would continue to cooperate with Moscow over the northwest.

    The Turkish foreign ministry, in a written response to questions from Reuters, also said “necessary messages have been sent to Russian officials to end the attacks on our observation points and civilians” in the Idlib area.

    Hundreds of civilians have been killed, as have many fighters on both sides, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

    Observatory Director Rami Abdulrahman described the operation as “a failure on all levels” for Russia and Damascus.

    A Russian private military contractor who was based near Idlib province told Reuters that rebel fighters there are far more professional and motivated than their adversary. Pro-government forces cannot win the battle for Idlib unless Moscow helps them on the ground, he said.

    A second Western diplomat said the government had suffered heavy casualties for minimal gains, which was “deeply embarrassing”. “Turkey is trying to tell them ‘you cannot take this militarily. You have to negotiate’,” the diplomat said.

    A regional source close to Damascus described the escalation since April as a limited confrontation, saying Russia’s ties with Turkey were the main brake on any full-scale assault to take the entire northwest.

    “Of course the regime has the desire to recover Idlib by force, but ... without the Russians it can’t, because there are many militants and the Russians are completely committed to the Turks,” the source said. “It is expected that the situation in Idlib will stay as it is for a long time.”


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    Last edited: Jul 11, 2019
  6. Czer

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    Iraq has an IRGC now, I guarantee no MEK/Shah supporting Iranian could have imagined this

    INTERPRETING THE IRAQI PRIME MINISTER’S PMF DECREE

    Jul 11, 2019

    http://1001iraqithoughts.com/2019/07/11/interpreting-the-iraqi-prime-ministers-pmf-decree/

    On July 1st, the prime minister issued a decree regarding the controversial Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF). In order to understand the decree better it is important to reflect on the content, realities, and timing. These were the major points mentioned in it:
    • The PMF is an indivisible part of the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) and hence, subject to the same regulations.
    • These forces work under the command of the Commander-in-Chief (CiC).
    • The Chairman of the PMF is appointed by the CiC and all PMF formations are linked under him.
    • All the names of different PMF groups must be given up permanently and replaced by military nomenclatures.
    • Members of the PMF will be given military ranks comparable to those in the ISF.
    • PMF personnel and formations shall sever any political or command affiliation with the previous organizations.
    • Groups that do not wish to join the ISF can transition into political organizations subject to the Parties Law.
    • Carrying arms is prohibited, except with a permit.
    • PMF camps shall be designated in the same manner as the ISF.
    • The existence of any armed group working overtly or covertly outside these instructions is prohibited and will be considered outlaws and will be prosecuted accordingly.
    • All the economic offices, checkpoints, presence, or interests established outside the new work framework and formations of the PMF shall be closed.
    • July 31st shall be the final date to lay down the final arrangements to finish the work in accordance with these regulations.
    The possibility that the PMF might be involved in a potential conflict between Iran and the U.S. made the Iraqi government step in, albeit quite late,in order to finally have a say in a matter that could put the stability of the country at risk. Apart from the issue of timing however, many acted surprised by the Prime Minister’s order to institutionalize the PMF when all indicators showed that this was inevitable.

    For starters, dissolving the PMF and leaving thousands without a job has never been a realistic option. No prime minister could get away with it as a large portion of the public sees them as heroes who put their lives on the line to save the country. Dissolving them would be regarded as betrayal and ungratefulness, especially when the danger of Da’ish is still present, as the PMF continue taking part in the fights against it.

    However, even merging the PMF in the Iraqi Army, proposed by some as viable solution, would have caused massive problems. Organizationally speaking, merging a large military organization with a distinct origin and culture into the ISF would cause a lot of instability. The PMF at the moment has wide-ranging issues, amongst the most important ones is ‘lack of discipline’ while the ISF itself went through lots of transformations in the last few years. Hence, ISF needs time, effort, and focus for the reforms introduced to take hold. Taking in 60,000 PMF fighters, at least in a short time span, would be overwhelming and might undo a lot of the progress the ISF has achieved, while taking in individual fighters as it has been suggested is not a fundamental solution for the PMF conundrum.

    Politically speaking, it would also be unlikely that the prime minister would in fact dissolve or merge the PMF when the government was formed based on an agreement between the ‘Al-Islah’ and ‘Al-Binaa’ alliances, with the latter consisting mostly of the political wings of the PMF. This is especially true when major factions in ‘Al-Islah’ are showing discontempt with the prime minister’s performance in governing and are gradually moving into the opposition, which would leave the prime minister with less support from both sides.

    At any rate, a law has been passed by the parliament that legitimizes and regulates the PMF. While in the beginning not applied in detail, the application of the law on the ground must eventually take place, and it would be a challenge for the prime minister to get away with not facilitating this. Therefore it would be rather surprising if the prime minister would have issued a decree different from what he issued a few days ago.

    While the prime minister seems not to have a stable political backing, he is trying to use, as any seasoned politician would do, the different internal and external pressures in Iraqi politics in favour of his own agenda. The current state of the PMF is not sustainable, especially when important factions of it threaten to get involved in a regional conflict between the U.S. and Iran, dragging Iraq down a path with unpredictable outcomes.

    Therefore, the logic of institutionalizing the PMF, or at least announcing to do so, is an attempt to satisfy part of the PMF factions demands for better pay and equal footing with the rest of the ISF, a reaffirmation that they are part of the state, and therefore any attack against them is also an attack against the Iraqi state. At the same time, integrating them further in the state by denying them the autonomy they are used to and prohibiting external economic activity will make it more difficult for the rogue parts of the PMF to act on behalf of it without facing consequences.

    Announcing these measures is something and applying them on the ground is another. In practice, things are going to be more challenging and it would be unrealistic to look for perfect solutions. Hence, it might make more sense to look at the decree as a ‘statement’ that reaffirms the official position of the state regarding the PMF and outlines certain details, rather than a ‘decision’ when there was hardly one to make. Nevertheless, the decree makes the line that divides what is part of the state and what is not darker, and this by itself will have some consequences on the ground.
     
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    Turkey is coming for the SDF

     
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    Hassan Nasrallah: any war on Iran will not just face the Iranians but also every country that are against the United States, and we are one of them. We have our mobility and intel in Iraq and we can engage the aggressors by targeting US bases.
     
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    Leader of Amal the largest Shia militia in Lebanon

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amal_Movement

    Lebanon’s Berri Describes US Sanctions against Hezbollah MPs as Aggression on Entire Country
    July 10, 2019

    http://english.almanar.com.lb/778802

    Lebanon’s House Speaker Nabih Berri described the US sanctions against two of Hezbollah MPs as an aggression on the Lebanese country and, thus, on all the country.

    The Presidency of the House of Parliament on Wednesday issued a statement responding to the fresh sanctions:

    “This is a blatant attack against the House of Parliament and most certainly against Lebanon as a whole. On behalf of the Lebanese Parliament, we wonder whether the US democracy has assumed the role of ‘presuming’ and ‘imposing’ attacks against world democracies. We appeal to the IPU to take the necessary measures countering this irrational behavior.”
     
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    Pompeo Seeks to Make Baghdad Embassy Pullout Permanent, Officials Say
    The abrupt evacuation in May left hundreds of diplomats in limbo and too few in Iraq to handle Iran’s influence and other pressing issues, according to State Department sources.
    JULY 12, 2019

    https://foreignpolicy.com/2019/07/1...st-iran-tensions-embassy-drawdown-evacuation/

    In May, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo ordered a partial evacuation of diplomats from the U.S. Embassy in Iraq amid escalating tensions with Iran. Now, several State Department officials say they are being told the drawdown in embassy staff will effectively become permanent, a move that could leave the U.S. Embassy short-staffed to undertake important tasks like countering Iran on the diplomatic front—and in the short-term has marooned hundreds of diplomats in the Washington area without an embassy to go back to.

    A State Department spokesman said this characterization of the drawdown is “inaccurate.” He said: “No decision on permanent staffing levels have been made, but a review of staffing is in process.”

    But three other State Department officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the staffing levels at the Baghdad embassy reached after the evacuation in May are being treated as a de facto permanent cap on State Department personnel in Iraq.

    “They’ve already quietly made the policy decision that they’re not sending these people back,” a senior State Department official familiar with internal deliberations told Foreign Policy. “But they’re not actually calling it a drawdown, they’re just saying they’re reviewing the ordered departure,” the official said.

    The embassy still has an estimated thousands of personnel in place, but only a small portion of staff at the embassy work directly on core diplomatic functions, including political officers, economic officers, and public diplomacy officers. The majority are contractors, security personnel, or officials from other federal agencies, including the intelligence community. After the partial evacuation, two officials told Foreign Policy, the embassy has less than 15 State Department officials left working directly on core diplomatic functions.

    “We took a powerful functioning embassy that was keeping Iranian influence at bay, and created space for the U.S. to exert influence, and we gutted it,” said the senior State Department official, speaking on condition of anonymity.

    Another State Department official, who has been impacted by the decision, said it felt like the State Department was “abandoning Iraq.”

    Pompeo ordered the drawdown of nonemergency embassy personnel in mid-May following what the Trump administration called threats from Iran that put American personnel in Iraq at “substantial risk.” Among those evacuated were some 275 State Department personnel working under the chief of mission, two officials said.

    The State Department spokesman did not confirm or deny the number of personnel remaining. It is State Department policy not to disclose staffing levels in an embassy for security reasons.

    When it was completed in 2009, the new $700 million U.S. Embassy in Baghdad was the largest and priciest U.S. embassy in the world. The sprawling new compound spanned over 100 acres with housing for more than 1,000 personnel, and it served as a testament to how central Iraq was to U.S. foreign policy for nearly two decades.

    That is changing, amid a wider debate within the Trump administration over how to wind down U.S. involvement in costly conflicts in the Middle East and Afghanistan, even as tensions grow with Iran. The Trump administration has discussed plans to cut the number of U.S. diplomats in Afghanistan and Iraq as part of the president’s longstanding pledge to extricate the United States from those conflicts and reposition the State Department to address other global priorities, such as growing competition with Russia and China.
     
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    Leaked UK memo says Trump axed Iran deal to spite Obama
    July 14, 2019

    https://www.yahoo.com/news/leaked-uk-memo-says-trump-083912665.html?bcmt=1

    LONDON (AP) — A U.K. newspaper has published more leaked memos revealing a British ambassador's blunt assessments of the Trump administration, including one in which the envoy to Washington claimed President Donald Trump pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal to spite predecessor Barack Obama.

    In the May 2018 cable published by the Mail on Sunday, U.K. Ambassador Kim Darroch called Trump's decision to abandon the international accord "an act of diplomatic vandalism, seemingly for ideological and personality reasons" because the pact "was Obama's deal."

    Darroch wrote the memo after then-Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson visited Washington in a failed attempt to persuade the United States not to abandon the 2015 nuclear agreement.

    He alleged the White House had no strategy for what would come after its withdrawal and "no sort of plan for reaching out to partners and allies."

    The newspaper published new details from confidential diplomatic cables despite a police warning that making the documents public might be a crime.

    Scotland Yard is hunting for the perpetrator who leaked confidential diplomatic cables to the Mail on Sunday. Last week the newspaper published memos from Darroch describing the Trump administration as dysfunctional and inept.

    The publication of the ambassador's unguarded views, meant for a small group of ministers and senior officials in London, cost him his job.

    Trump responded by calling Darroch "very stupid" and a "pompous fool" in a Twitter fusillade, and the White House cut off contact with the British envoy.

    Darroch announced his resignation Wednesday, saying "the current situation is making it impossible for me to carry out my role as I would like."

    He remains formally in the post while a successor is chosen for one of Britain's most important diplomatic jobs.

    British politicians and officials are embarrassed at the leak of Darroch's frank — though widely shared — opinions about Trump. And they are angry that a British ambassador was forced to step down because of pressure from a foreign leader.

    Some also blame Johnson, who is likely to become Britain's next prime minister, for refusing to publicly defend Darroch after Trump posted disparaging tweets about the ambassador for two days. Darroch has said Johnson's silence contributed to his decision to quit.
     
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    Czer I'm a poor person. The lambo is my cousin's.

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