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Bashar al-assad and the Syrian conflict Watch

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    You guys need to stop watching too much BBC (or Al-Jazeera) it tells you nothing. Long live Assad and secular Syria we don't want no "mujahideen" anywhere around there.

    The actual FSA has the smallest percentage of actual "rebel Syrians". Wake up! And stop being a liberal!
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    A person who supports a mass killer is not normal no matter how loyal they are or might want to believe. You are either deluded or another future Hitler. Because if you support an act of violence you must have an interest in carrying out such acts in the future.
    What bashar is doing is just as bad and even worse than what Hitler did....so if you want to support hitler go ahead. Its a FREE world Bashar has committed crimes that have never been committed before in the entire history. He has targeted specific sections of syrians, humiliates them for 40 years, tortured their fathers and dragged their sons naked across the streets.


    So...Which channel do you suggest we watch so we can see the real "mujaheden" bombing cities with MIGs and chemical weapons....funny that is when they are only armed with simple military equipment which are 90% hand made using their knowledge and individual expertise.

    It doesn't matter what the BBC,CNN, DONYA or ALJAZEERA say! 100,000 people have been murdered while sitting at home, millions made refugees and the world is letting bashar carry on for reasons that are so obvious that people are becoming deluded with this nonsense about "mujahadeen" taken over the arab world. LOL the only terrorist in syria is Bashar al assad and his father and if you cannot see that then God help you come to your sense

    To be honest the BBC is doing you a big favour...mostly publish load of crap about syria only 5% true so yeah which channel shall we watch so we can see the government secret forces barging into homes to rape young teenagers in front of their families?? I would like to know :rolleyes:
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    (Original post by Ama2007)
    A person who supports a mass killer is not normal no matter how loyal they are or might want to believe. You are either deluded or another future Hitler. Because if you support an act of violence you must have an interest in carrying out such acts in the future.
    What bashar is doing is just as bad and even worse than what Hitler did....so if you want to support hitler go ahead. Its a FREE world Bashar has committed crimes that have never been committed before in the entire history. He has targeted specific sections of syrians, humiliates them for 40 years, tortured their fathers and dragged their sons naked across the streets.
    You don't seem to understand, preferring one option does not mean you agree with it. In the second world war see allied ourselves with Stalin against Hitler, two of histories most bloody dictators. We didn't do so because we thought he was a great guy only he was preferable to the alternative. Most people who support Assad do so because they believe he is the closest or closer to the secular democracy. Assad is a nasty piece of work but he's hardly worse or even comparable with the top tier of brutal rulers.
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    (Original post by doggyfizzel)
    You don't seem to understand, preferring one option does not mean you agree with it. In the second world war see allied ourselves with Stalin against Hitler, two of histories most bloody dictators. We didn't do so because we thought he was a great guy only he was preferable to the alternative. Most people who support Assad do so because they believe he is the closest or closer to the secular democracy. Assad is a nasty piece of work but he's hardly worse or even comparable with the top tier of brutal rulers.
    I understand very well whats going on in syria, Thank You!


    Really? preferring someone who has killed so far 100,000 over a group which has been invented to scare the western countries of helping syria and we dont even know how many they have killed so far, maybe you can enlighten us with the number? It seems very stupid to prefer someone who has already committed and continues to commit horrendous crimes over someone who may or may not commit crimes in the future. Its absurd, VERY!

    Anyway you can support who ever you like and so can anyone but bear inn mind it makes no difference to the daily massacres happening right now this second in syria while we are talking on TSR.


    Its very sad how all those lives lost are totally ignored while we sit and focus on some non-existing issue that we want to invent so we have in excuse in years to come (in history books) where we stood and what we did..to the children who have lost their fathers and mothers and have no where to go. It will all be there how we deceived the needy, how we let Bashar kill them one by one because we dont agree with some of their culture and ideologies :confused:. So pathetic!


    The facts speak for themselves, I dont need to go any further.
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    See below link...Can you spot anything unusual? Can you see those child terrorist?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?featur...v=Ccbi-mizsaU#!
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    (Original post by Ama2007)
    I understand very well whats going on in syria, Thank You!
    Thats not what I said, I said you don't understand people position.


    Really? preferring someone who has killed so far 100,000 over a group which has been invented to scare the western countries of helping syria and we dont even know how many they have killed so far, maybe you can enlighten us with the number? It seems very stupid to prefer someone who has already committed and continues to commit horrendous crimes over someone who may or may not commit crimes in the future. Its absurd, VERY!
    100,000 people have died, unless the opposition forces possess a skill beyond anything we have ever seen not all of those can be attributed to Assad. Unless to 40,000 policemen and pro government soldiers were killed by their own side or themselves, that number cannot be wholly attributed to Assad. The rebels must be the only force in history to wage a war without killing anyone let alone civilians. Not to say he is acting righteously but to say the opposition is is just as silly. You are the only person I have seen who is claiming groups who have been seen with flags and making declarations they are involved in anti-Assad fighting are in fact an invention.

    Anyway you can support who ever you like and so can anyone but bear inn mind it makes no difference to the daily massacres happening right now this second in syria while we are talking on TSR.
    There is no support, its simply a discussion of how our government should act to achieve the favoured end result. Previously this forum was very pro intervention in favour of helping the rebel forces, but the general attitude has shifted. That isn't because people's view of Assad has changed. The idea that removing any remnants of government and replacing it with a loosely organised coalition with will struggle for power in a country with sectarian tension is way to end massacres is not something everyone agrees with. People are looking to Iraq and asking if that is the best path to go down.

    Its very sad how all those lives lost are totally ignored while we sit and focus on some non-existing issue that we want to invent so we have in excuse in years to come (in history books) where we stood and what we did..to the children who have lost their fathers and mothers and have no where to go. It will all be there how we deceived the needy, how we let Bashar kill them one by one because we dont agree with some of their culture and ideologies :confused:. So pathetic!
    They are hardly totally ignored, the violence in Syria is one of the most heavily covered topics in the press with any serious action and death tolls updated daily. What exactly would you like to see happen in Syria just out of interest.
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    (Original post by Ama2007)
    I understand very well whats going on in syria, Thank You!


    Really? preferring someone who has killed so far 100,000 over a group which has been invented to scare the western countries of helping syria and we dont even know how many they have killed so far, maybe you can enlighten us with the number? It seems very stupid to prefer someone who has already committed and continues to commit horrendous crimes over someone who may or may not commit crimes in the future. Its absurd, VERY!

    Anyway you can support who ever you like and so can anyone but bear inn mind it makes no difference to the daily massacres happening right now this second in syria while we are talking on TSR.


    Its very sad how all those lives lost are totally ignored while we sit and focus on some non-existing issue that we want to invent so we have in excuse in years to come (in history books) where we stood and what we did..to the children who have lost their fathers and mothers and have no where to go. It will all be there how we deceived the needy, how we let Bashar kill them one by one because we dont agree with some of their culture and ideologies :confused:. So pathetic!


    The facts speak for themselves, I dont need to go any further.
    You heard what happened when we invaded Iraq to overthrow Saddam Hussein?

    The country has descended into Sectarian violence, with suicide bombings and death every single day.

    You say Assad massacred 100,000. No he didnt, there is a civil war in Syria and guns are fighting guns.

    Civil War, people die, happens all the time.

    People are beheaded daily in places such as Mexico, you gonna blame the UK for not intervening there?

    When people say they prefer Al-Assad, they say this because they look at places such as Iraq, places that have effectively been turned into no-go zones because of the western invasion.

    What are you asking for, that we send tropps to Syria to contribute to the death rate? What happens after? do we setup a western democracy only for the radical islamist party to be elected?

    You must look at the bigger picture.
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    (Original post by Apocrypha)
    You heard what happened when we invaded Iraq to overthrow Saddam Hussein?

    The country has descended into Sectarian violence, with suicide bombings and death every single day.

    You say Assad massacred 100,000. No he didnt, there is a civil war in Syria and guns are fighting guns.

    Civil War, people die, happens all the time.

    People are beheaded daily in places such as Mexico, you gonna blame the UK for not intervening there?

    When people say they prefer Al-Assad, they say this because they look at places such as Iraq, places that have effectively been turned into no-go zones because of the western invasion.

    What are you asking for, that we send tropps to Syria to contribute to the death rate? What happens after? do we setup a western democracy only for the radical islamist party to be elected?

    You must look at the bigger picture.
    Thanks for your advice but I have been looking at the bigger picture long enough

    The so called "terrorist" are presumably in syria because we did not take the right stand from the beginning, we have let it escalate to this level because we didnt help when it was possible. I totally understand that its very messy now but that's because we as well as the UN were very slow to act. Have you heard Hague talk? You should listen to his speeches early one. He said, he wanted to help early in because if he had helped the "normal syrians" the "terrorist" wouldn't have formed? OKay? so by leaving the innocent civilians to be killed and slaughtered daily by bashar, they are not left with much choice, are they? They are facing death day in day out, what do you suggest they do? what do you think they should have done when they lost their mums, dads, no home, no school.? Help me out here...They are on there own.

    Number 2. This is not a civil war. You might want to believe that, thats what the media is trying to convey but thats not whats happening if you speak to any journalist who has gone to syria or reporter.

    A civil war, is where you have two sides fighting and killing, yeah? According to stats confirmed by the US human rights, not me or my neighbor ...
    that bashar has killed 100,000 in a space of 2 years, now if it was a civil war then you would see similar numbers from the other side. I mean how can you believe such drivial? :rolleyes: Look at this way, bashar has MIGs, all sorts of equipment and a bloody army against some armed untrained personnel, what would you expect?


    He has planes which can destroy a city in seconds, they have pistols, you call that civil war? I dont think so. It is a Genocide, unless you are an assad loyalist then whatever assad does is "okay".

    Anyways better get some work done


    P.S I dont suggest UK intervene now, its too late! The best thing we can do is call ourselves democratic country while watching a whole nation get wiped out by a maniac!
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    (Original post by Ama2007)
    Thanks for your advice but I have been looking at the bigger picture long enough

    The so called "terrorist" are presumably in syria because we did not take the right stand from the beginning, we have let it escalate to this level because we didnt help when it was possible. I totally understand that its very messy now but that's because we as well as the UN were very slow to act. Have you heard Hague talk? You should listen to his speeches early one. He said, he wanted to help early in because if he had helped the "normal syrians" the "terrorist" wouldn't have formed? OKay? so by leaving the innocent civilians to be killed and slaughtered daily by bashar, they are not left with much choice, are they? They are facing death day in day out, what do you suggest they do? what do you think they should have done when they lost their mums, dads, no home, no school.? Help me out here...They are on there own.

    Number 2. This is not a civil war. You might want to believe that, thats what the media is trying to convey but thats not whats happening if you speak to any journalist who has gone to syria or reporter.

    A civil war, is where you have two sides fighting and killing, yeah? According to stats confirmed by the US human rights, not me or my neighbor ...
    that bashar has killed 100,000 in a space of 2 years, now if it was a civil war then you would see similar numbers from the other side. I mean how can you believe such drivial? :rolleyes: Look at this way, bashar has MIGs, all sorts of equipment and a bloody army against some armed untrained personnel, what would you expect?


    He has planes which can destroy a city in seconds, they have pistols, you call that civil war? I dont think so. It is a Genocide, unless you are an assad loyalist then whatever assad does is "okay".

    Anyways better get some work done


    P.S I dont suggest UK intervene now, its too late! The best thing we can do is call ourselves democratic country while watching a whole nation get wiped out by a maniac!
    I dont buy the suggestion that the rebels all turned extremist because of lack of western intervention, doesnt make sense at all, how can one person be normal one day and then all of a sudden a radical the next, with the fault being with those who arent even part of the conflict?

    We probably have arms dealers selling arms to the rebels, some rebels do indeed have very high tech equipment, they have shot down SAA airplanes and have been caught on video. The rebels are supplied by Arab countries surrounding Syria, they dont have pistols, they just have no idea how to engage in the art of war, numerous videos showing rebels blindfiring around corners screaming their heads off saying 'god is great', failing to move and then getting blown apart by Assad's forces.
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    (Original post by Apocrypha)
    I dont buy the suggestion that the rebels all turned extremist because of lack of western intervention, doesnt make sense at all, how can one person be normal one day and then all of a sudden a radical the next, with the fault being with those who arent even part of the conflict?

    We probably have arms dealers selling arms to the rebels, some rebels do indeed have very high tech equipment, they have shot down SAA airplanes and have been caught on video. The rebels are supplied by Arab countries surrounding Syria, they dont have pistols, they just have no idea how to engage in the art of war, numerous videos showing rebels blindfiring around corners screaming their heads off saying 'god is great', failing to move and then getting blown apart by Assad's forces.

    Part of the reason is that FSA soldiers, demoralized by their shortage of arms, have been responding by defecting to the relatively well-equipped, (by KSA and Qatar) but fairly small Islamist militia Jabhat al-Nusra. Meanwhile, Iran and Russia systematically violate the arms embargo by sending arms to Assad, keeping the military balance in its favour.
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    (Original post by Clessus)
    Part of the reason is that FSA soldiers, demoralized by their shortage of arms, have been responding by defecting to the relatively well-equipped, (by KSA and Qatar) but fairly small Islamist militia Jabhat al-Nusra. Meanwhile, Iran and Russia systematically violate the arms embargo by sending arms to Assad, keeping the military balance in its favour.
    The part i dont buy is that these fighters become part of radical islamist groups purely because they wanted a better AK.
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    (Original post by Apocrypha)
    The part i dont buy is that these fighters become part of radical islamist groups purely because they wanted a better AK.
    How so? It seems fairly simple to me. The FSA is short of equipment and amunition with which to do was, and thus you join a group which does have equipment. That is the reason that most members gave for joining al-Nusra.
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    (Original post by Clessus)
    How so? It seems fairly simple to me. The FSA is short of equipment and amunition with which to do was, and thus you join a group which does have equipment. That is the reason that most members gave for joining al-Nusra.
    Because it only makes sense in terms of equipment and logistics. Switching from one group to another to get a better AK makes sense but its not a simple as that. You are saying that because one group offered a better weapons package, I changed my whole world view and joined them. It's more likely that those individuals already held similar views making such a switch as simple as stated. In which case the extremist rise was not caused and could not have been prevented by western interventionism because it already existed. If that is true, it's not a case of missing the boat, it's dodging a bullet.




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    (Original post by doggyfizzel)
    Because it only makes sense in terms of equipment and logistics. Switching from one group to another to get a better AK makes sense but its not a simple as that. You are saying that because one group offered a better weapons package, I changed my whole world view and joined them. It's more likely that those individuals already held similar views making such a switch as simple as stated. In which case the extremist rise was not caused and could not have been prevented by western interventionism because it already existed. If that is true, it's not a case of missing the boat, it's dodging a bullet.
    It's certainly possible (although I'm not suggesting that they changed their wolrd view overnight, and there is much more to it that just 'getting a better AK'), though it doesn't change that the rise of Islamist groups like the Al-Queda affiliated Al Nusra is a direct result of the shartage of arms in the FSA. The fact that it has taken so long for sizable defections to occur would attest to that. Again, I'm just going by what the actual defectees say themselves.
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    (Original post by Clessus)
    It's certainly possible (although I'm not suggesting that they changed their wolrd view overnight, and there is much more to it that just 'getting a better AK'), though it doesn't change that the rise of Islamist groups like the Al-Queda affiliated Al Nusra is a direct result of the shartage of arms in the FSA. The fact that it has taken so long for sizable defections to occur would attest to that. Again, I'm just going by what the actual defectees say themselves.
    I think it shows that if the west intervened and setup a democracy, groups such as Al nusra would be democratically elected anyway. It seems as if intervention would be a double edged sword regardless of how early it was. This is why more people are starting to believe Assad is the more stable alternative.

    An example of this being Assad's forces retaking the Golan Heights, a demilitarised zone near the Israeli border, Israel was more at risk (so they claim) of attacks from extremists whom previously controlled the region, this is why Israel has chosen not to retaliate to Assad's forces moving into the demilitarised zone.

    I believe the tide has turned in the way that Israel has deemed itself more at risk from the rebels than Assad's forces, and so, acting within its own interests, which will mirror that of the USA's, have effectively slanted more to the side of the SAA, as the suitable alternative.

    All in all i think the radicalisation of the rebels has effectively signed their own death warrant.
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    (Original post by Apocrypha)
    I think it shows that if the west intervened and setup a democracy, groups such as Al nusra would be democratically elected anyway. It seems as if intervention would be a double edged sword regardless of how early it was. This is why more people are starting to believe Assad is the more stable alternative.
    I doubt it. Al Nusra is still a minority amongst the Rebels, and only emerged in the context of a long and protrected civil war. During wars, extremists emerge and become more powerful. We frankly have absolutely no idea who the Syrian people would have voted for. All the horror stories about how Libya would turn into an Al-Queda caliphate were proved unfounded. I would not even equate the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt with Al Nusra.

    The idea that Assad is a more 'stable alternative' is patently absurd. The claim that people like Assad and Saddam Hussein acted as Hobbesian leviathans keeping lids on political Islam, as well as smacking of a racist, colonialist mentality, is mistaken. These dictatorships, through preventing the emergence of healthy political pluralism and through opportunistic collaboration with Islamism, acted as the incubators of the very Islamist movements they claimed to keep in check. Indeed, their sectarian rule of a minority over a majority greatly inflamed sectarian tensions (many forget that Iraq was a deeply unstable country even before Saddam was deposed). There is a reason why political extremism tends to be strongest in authoritarian states.

    An example of this being Assad's forces retaking the Golan Heights, a demilitarised zone near the Israeli border, Israel was more at risk (so they claim) of attacks from extremists whom previously controlled the region, this is why Israel has chosen not to retaliate to Assad's forces moving into the demilitarised zone.
    Assad's forces did not take the Golan Heights, they took border crossings near the Golan Heights (which have actually been annexed by Israel). I can assure you that if they actually did cross into the Golan Heights, Israel would respond.

    All in all i think the radicalisation of the rebels has effectively signed their own death warrant.
    Perhaps, it is very sad to see. I think it's more likely the war will drag on for a very long time, unless a political agreement is reached (preferable by the ungoing peace negotiations. It's very clear that the current setup is no longer tenable, and lacks legitimacy there are indeed very legitimate fears about what will replace Assad. I would agree though, that there are a serious problems within the FSA and Syrian opposotion that we cannot ignore, and about which I share your concerns. That said, it is one thing to point to the unsavoury elements in the Syrian opposition, it is quite another to actively minimise and downplay the crimes of the Assad regime. Perhaps if we'd acted earlier, when it was a genuine struggle agaisnt Assad's tyranny, this would have been less complicated, and the transition to a post-Assad regime would have been smoother and less bloody, but we did not.
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    (Original post by Clessus)
    Perhaps if we'd acted earlier, when it was a genuine struggle agaisnt Assad's tyranny, this would have been less complicated, and the transition to a post-Assad regime would have been smoother and less bloody, but we did not.
    I think that its easy to say that but you have to look at the situation and ask what reasonably could have been done. You couldn't have reasonably done much but comment and informally condemn the actions around mid 2011. You didn't have coherent opposition until around then. Then as always you need at least an attempt at a political solution which was initially handled locally by the Arab league. You then had the UN with China and Russia not playing along. I don't think you could realistically have been talking about anything militarily until mid May 2012 without being accused over being overly hasty and interfering with another countries affairs.

    Tbh, even if things had moved quickly something a no fly zone or arming the rebels could really only have been put into action around later 2012 to early 2013 with the recognition of the National council. With things like the US elections of there, you aren't going to get movement realistically until 2013. Around those kind of times you are already getting concerns about extremist groups, Iranian and Iraqi assistance, not to mention in the second half of 2012 many didn't think that the rebels needed international assistance of the form we are talking now. With the loss of Aleppo and attacks in Damascus it looked very much like Assad would lose.

    I'm not quite sure where on the timeline of events you could say we should have acted based on the goings on at the time. Also considering how many countries would be involved in if we intervened at similar points.
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    (Original post by doggyfizzel)
    I think that its easy to say that but you have to look at the situation and ask what reasonably could have been done. You couldn't have reasonably done much but comment and informally condemn the actions around mid 2011. You didn't have coherent opposition until around then. Then as always you need at least an attempt at a political solution which was initially handled locally by the Arab league. You then had the UN with China and Russia not playing along. I don't think you could realistically have been talking about anything militarily until mid May 2012 without being accused over being overly hasty and interfering with another countries affairs.

    Tbh, even if things had moved quickly something a no fly zone or arming the rebels could really only have been put into action around later 2012 to early 2013 with the recognition of the National council. With things like the US elections of there, you aren't going to get movement realistically until 2013. Around those kind of times you are already getting concerns about extremist groups, Iranian and Iraqi assistance, not to mention in the second half of 2012 many didn't think that the rebels needed international assistance of the form we are talking now. With the loss of Aleppo and attacks in Damascus it looked very much like Assad would lose.

    I'm not quite sure where on the timeline of events you could say we should have acted based on the goings on at the time. Also considering how many countries would be involved in if we intervened at similar points.
    I agree with you that there were no easy options, that given the nature of the Assad regime, some form of sectarianism was probably inevitable, and that there were other political considerations at work (particularly the attitude of Russia and China). I would, with the benefit of hindsight, say that the best time to have acted would have been around the fall-winter of 2011, when it became clear that it was going to be a bloody, protracted conflict, and where there was a coherent opposition. Winter 2012 at the latest (when the Islamist groups had emerged but were still very weak and very much part of the lunatic fringe). I don't agree that it would have been hasty, we intervened in Libya in March 2011, less than 2 months after the uprising began. This was before Islamist groups really started emerging, and while the opposition was still united.

    At the time, Britain and other Western states that have should have recognised the Syrian National Council as the legitimate representatives of the Syrian people, withdrawen recognition from Assad’s regime and drawn up plans to provide arms, training and intelligence to the Free Syrian Army. The coalition should have prepared the ground for the eventual imposition of a no-fly zone over part or all of Syria, and for air strikes to defend cities liberated by the Free Syrian Army and other rebel forces, if and when this becomes strategically and diplomatically feasible. A no-fly zone could have been followed by the establishment of a liberated area in northern Syria under Turkish-led Western military protection, where Syrian civilians would be safe and where rebel forces could operate freely and begin to build a new administration for the country. None of this happened though, I can understand the reasons why, but it is a shame in hindsight.
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    (Original post by Clessus)
    I agree with you that there were no easy options, that given the nature of the Assad regime, some form of sectarianism was probably inevitable, and that there were other political considerations at work (particularly the attitude of Russia and China). I would, with the benefit of hindsight, say that the best time to have acted would have been around the fall-winter of 2011, when it became clear that it was going to be a bloody, protracted conflict, and where there was a coherent opposition. Winter 2012 at the latest (when the Islamist groups had emerged but were still very weak and very much part of the lunatic fringe). I don't agree that it would have been hasty, we intervened in Libya in March 2011, less than 2 months after the uprising began. This was before Islamist groups really started emerging, and while the opposition was still united.

    At the time, Britain and other Western states that have should have recognised the Syrian National Council as the legitimate representatives of the Syrian people, withdrawen recognition from Assad’s regime and drawn up plans to provide arms, training and intelligence to the Free Syrian Army. The coalition should have prepared the ground for the eventual imposition of a no-fly zone over part or all of Syria, and for air strikes to defend cities liberated by the Free Syrian Army and other rebel forces, if and when this becomes strategically and diplomatically feasible. A no-fly zone could have been followed by the establishment of a liberated area in northern Syria under Turkish-led Western military protection, where Syrian civilians would be safe and where rebel forces could operate freely and begin to build a new administration for the country. None of this happened though, I can understand the reasons why, but it is a shame in hindsight.
    I think it comes down to plausibility, Syria had some big allies whom were stern against intervention from western powers, Syria itself could've taken the intervention (Assad) as an act of war, and because its probably a NATO operation, Israel would be at major risk, from Iran Syria or whoever.

    People make it sound so easy saying how we shouldve gone in there, given the FSA all training etc, give them all weapons then see how it goes. Wrong, if we done all that and they were still losing it would provoke further intervention and possibly an all-out world war.
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    (Original post by Apocrypha)
    I think it comes down to plausibility, Syria had some big allies whom were stern against intervention from western powers, Syria itself could've taken the intervention (Assad) as an act of war, and because its probably a NATO operation, Israel would be at major risk, from Iran Syria or whoever.

    People make it sound so easy saying how we shouldve gone in there, given the FSA all training etc, give them all weapons then see how it goes. Wrong, if we done all that and they were still losing it would provoke further intervention and possibly an all-out world war.
    I very highly doubt that. Do you seriously think Russia is going to go to all-out war with NATO over Syria? And what the hell was Iran going to do to Israel? Oh no, Hezbullah might shoot a few rockets across the border. Syria wouldn't do anything to Israel, as it already has a civil war raging in its back yard. Provoke further intervention? Russia and Iran are already intervening, and have been doing so since the start.
 
 
 
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