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Bashar al-assad and the Syrian conflict Watch

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    (Original post by Clessus)
    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. Provoke further intervention? Russia and Iran are already intervening, and have been doing so since the start.
    You're forgetting about Syria also, they could do substantial damage to Israel.

    Plus British soldiers will die in a conflict that a large number of Brits would see as a complete waste of life, and fuel extremist agendas of the West constant presence in middle eastern countries.
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    (Original post by Apocrypha)
    You're forgetting about Syria also, they could do substantial damage to Israel.

    Plus British soldiers will die in a conflict that a large number of Brits would see as a complete waste of life, and fuel extremist agendas of the West constant presence in middle eastern countries.
    I mentioned Syria (sorry, I edited the comment).

    I don't see how British soldiers would have been killed, I am not advocating direct ground intervention.
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    (Original post by Clessus)
    I mentioned Syria (sorry, I edited the comment).

    I don't see how British soldiers would have been killed, I am not advocating direct ground intervention.
    Alas, i mean if the whole supplying and training of rebels is meant with the idea that the rebels need to win, if the rebels continue to lose, it would probably provoke ground intervention, otherwise all the training and cost was for nothing.
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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.
    But as I said, you do need to pursue political avenues and form international backing before moving to that. In Libya the UN security council was able to act swiftly (due to China and Russia abstaining), but in this case China and Russia blocked action in late 2011 and again in 2012. That is what I mean by hasty, the only other option would have been to abandon the UN and proceed without them, which is hasty and legally uncertain. Even laying the groundwork for further action send the message the decision has already been made, not that it would take much for a no fly zone considering Turkey, Cyrus, Israel as staging areas. But Russia's actions with their missile system suggest they would block such a resolution anyway. So perhaps the world should have acted, but we, as in the countries that operate together the west, I don't think we could have done anything at that stage or indeed now.
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    (Original post by doggyfizzel)
    But as I said, you do need to pursue political avenues and form international backing before moving to that. In Libya the UN security council was able to act swiftly (due to China and Russia abstaining), but in this case China and Russia blocked action in late 2011 and again in 2012. That is what I mean by hasty, the only other option would have been to abandon the UN and proceed without them, which is hasty and legally uncertain. Even laying the groundwork for further action send the message the decision has already been made, not that it would take much for a no fly zone considering Turkey, Cyrus, Israel as staging areas. But Russia's actions with their missile system suggest they would block such a resolution anyway. So perhaps the world should have acted, but we, as in the countries that operate together the west, I don't think we could have done anything at that stage or indeed now.
    True, for some form of intervnetion we would have needed a broad coalition incorporating Arab states, Turkey and (informally) Israel, and enjoying at least the passive approval of a significant part of the international community as a whole, which would have put pressure on Russia. The 'missile defence system' should not be overestimated, and it's important to remember they only arrived very recently.

    I agree that intervention without the UN's approval is legally uncertain, but there are precedents e.g India in Bangladesh in 1974, Vietnam in Cambodia in 1978, Russia itself in Abkhazia in 1993, NATO in Kosovo in 1999. And let's face it, Russia is the last country to be lecturing others about violating international law.
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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.
    You make some very sound points!

    Totally agree with the fact that early intervention in the ways you have stated would have changed the outcome, there would have been less blood and no "extremism" We would have also had the support of the FSA and any future islamic group, because in simple terms the syrians were just looking for freedom, and anyone who can provide them with freedom and safety they are happy to join them and support their cause. So yes I do believe we have failed in this aspect by letting it escalate, and I wouldn't say that this is not foreseen...This was bound to happen. Its not like Syria is the 1st country to go at war with its people...we already know, we have experiences and we know what happens when we support the oppressor. Its all there!


    The part about the KSA and UAE giving arms is garbage, am afraid so! This is all put into the media, countries (the KSA themselves) say that they are supporting the FSA but in REALITY they are providing very little help if any!

    Syria has been destroyed by Bashar, it has been destroyed in every way. The destruction has been on going for the past 40 years, thus its not going to change magically, where 400,000 houses will be rebuilt in few days? kids who have been of school for the past 2 years, what happens to them? Its going to take time, effort and most of all, its going to take some courage which I believe the syrian can do!

    I think there is more to this than China and Russia, its not all about them and their VETO that's just the outside picture. Hezbollah is arming the regime in order to allow him to wipe out all the syrians and no one gives a toss, but when the FSA allegedly get some arms from the KSA and UAE or whatever country you can think of, the world goes mental. If the syrians manage to topple assad then they are truly the greatest nation that ever existed. China, Russia, Bashar, Hezbollah and Iran all ganging up on the syrians who have no weapons whatsoever and even if they did, its nothing compared to the MIGs.


    SO you need to give them some credit for their bravery and their courage, I totally respect them for that.

    Not everyone can do that!
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    (Original post by Bluffroom)
    He's a dictator, hundreds of thousands have died under him, he is using chemical weapons and is an absolute lunatic - definitely the best leader.

    They need to take the guy out already
    Do they? Do they need to take him out? That will go down very well won't it? The "rebels" are just as bad as the regime, with one notable rebel killing and eating a dead soldier both sides are scum killing innocent civilians . China and Russia have the right idea of maintaining a neutrality.
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    (Original post by Ama2007)
    You make some very sound points!

    Totally agree with the fact that early intervention in the ways you have stated would have changed the outcome, there would have been less blood and no "extremism" We would have also had the support of the FSA and any future islamic group, because in simple terms the syrians were just looking for freedom, and anyone who can provide them with freedom and safety they are happy to join them and support their cause. So yes I do believe we have failed in this aspect by letting it escalate, and I wouldn't say that this is not foreseen...This was bound to happen. Its not like Syria is the 1st country to go at war with its people...we already know, we have experiences and we know what happens when we support the oppressor. Its all there!


    The part about the KSA and UAE giving arms is garbage, am afraid so! This is all put into the media, countries (the KSA themselves) say that they are supporting the FSA but in REALITY they are providing very little help if any!

    Syria has been destroyed by Bashar, it has been destroyed in every way. The destruction has been on going for the past 40 years, thus its not going to change magically, where 400,000 houses will be rebuilt in few days? kids who have been of school for the past 2 years, what happens to them? Its going to take time, effort and most of all, its going to take some courage which I believe the syrian can do!

    I think there is more to this than China and Russia, its not all about them and their VETO that's just the outside picture. Hezbollah is arming the regime in order to allow him to wipe out all the syrians and no one gives a toss, but when the FSA allegedly get some arms from the KSA and UAE or whatever country you can think of, the world goes mental. If the syrians manage to topple assad then they are truly the greatest nation that ever existed. China, Russia, Bashar, Hezbollah and Iran all ganging up on the syrians who have no weapons whatsoever and even if they did, its nothing compared to the MIGs.


    SO you need to give them some credit for their bravery and their courage, I totally respect them for that.

    Not everyone can do that!

    Nice misrepresentation of the Chinese and Russian position, when in actuality they are doing nothing of the sought, it will be hyperbole from people like you that turn it into a full blown global war.
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    (Original post by Apocrypha)
    Syrian Army look like theyre turning this whole thing back around, have taken Qusair, and recently recaptured the Golan Heights. The Israeli's are more in fear of the increasingly extreme sects of rebels now:

    'Israeli officials have increasingly voiced fears the civil war in Syria could spill over their borders. They are worried the Golan Heights could be used to launch attacks against Israel, due to the number of Islamist extremists among the rebel forces.'

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-22795655
    The Israeli's are not scared, they are Israeli and so badass, what they are doing is preparation, Israel are undefeated and awesome.
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    (Original post by Rational Thinker)
    Do they? Do they need to take him out? That will go down very well won't it? The "rebels" are just as bad as the regime, with one notable rebel killing and eating a dead soldier both sides are scum killing innocent civilians . China and Russia have the right idea of maintaining a neutrality.
    Neutrality? LOL what world do you live in? Russia has been and continues to send ammunition to Bashar to kill the syrians, is that neutrality. I think not!

    China and russia are just satisfying their economy by sending and buying arms with syria they don't give a dam about the syrians. Just savages! funny how you remember the heart "surgeon" (a single incident from the FSA) when a 13 years old boy had his genitals amputated by government forces and his body burnt while he was ALIVE not dead! His name was Hamza Al khateeb....ring any bells?


    Thought not.
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    (Original post by Rational Thinker)
    The Israeli's are not scared, they are Israeli and so badass, what they are doing is preparation, Israel are undefeated and awesome.
    Here in Israel, we are not worried about invasion from the north. Syria is a state and as such is deterred by Israel's overwhelming strategic superiority, whereas Hezbollah, although a fairly tough nut when ensconced in their pre-prepared positions amongst a friendly population (especially for an army that is bound by ethical considerations), has extremely limited expeditionary capability. Syrian rebels have even less in terms of equipment and organisation. The threat from the north is that it becomes another launching ground for indiscriminate rocket attacks like Gaza or staging point for terrorist infiltration like Sinai. Israel does not want the northern communities to be under daily rocket attack like the southern communities were until Pillar of Defense.
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    (Original post by Clessus)
    The 'missile defence system' should not be overestimated, and it's important to remember they only arrived very recently
    I don't think it has arrived, it was Assad bluffing, its supposed to be months away. My point about the system being its not the actions of a nation which are going to accept a UN no fly zone.

    I agree that intervention without the UN's approval is legally uncertain, but there are precedents e.g India in Bangladesh in 1974, Vietnam in Cambodia in 1978, Russia itself in Abkhazia in 1993, NATO in Kosovo in 1999. And let's face it, Russia is the last country to be lecturing others about violating international law.
    Post Iraq, I think both here and the US you would be a brave politician to do so without international backing. Russia is hypocritical but we can't criticise then undermine just that.
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    (Original post by Ama2007)
    Neutrality? LOL what world do you live in? Russia has been and continues to send ammunition to Bashar to kill the syrians, is that neutrality. I think not!

    China and russia are just satisfying their economy by sending and buying arms with syria they don't give a dam about the syrians. Just savages! funny how you remember the heart "surgeon" (a single incident from the FSA) when a 13 years old boy had his genitals amputated by government forces and his body burnt while he was ALIVE not dead! His name was Hamza Al khateeb....ring any bells?


    Thought not.
    Yes Ama's right and to prove her point, last month the road where I live was clogged with heavy security presence and that road leads directly to the main harbour/port in which a Russian ship was filled with ammo to Assad regime.
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    Both sides commit Crimes against Humanity and break the Geneva Convention... Why should we (as a nation) pick a side?
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    (Original post by Ornlu)
    Both sides commit Crimes against Humanity and break the Geneva Convention... Why should we (as a nation) pick a side?
    We have already taken sides, there is no point asking that?

    We pretend we are with syrians but under the tables we are supporting bashar, and how are we doing that you might ask?

    Well...When you see a crime being committed in front of you and you dont do anything about it then you are encouraging it. OK, So for example when someone gets raped in town on a friday night and the girl doesn't report it then nothing will be done about it, or when you see a guy in train station having a heart attack, what would you do? Would you just stand and watch? I dont think so, because normally we as human beings want to help others, only in certain cases, we become like animals.

    We only support those who we think will benefit us in the future (theres no point pretending that we are not taking sides, thats the reality) we no longer support those that are righteous no matter what their color or religion, If we are not happy with the "way they live their life then stuff them? "

    Its a catastrophe whats happening in syria. But the worst part of it is those poor souls have been deceived by every country in the world. And I mean here, world leaders not people themselves.
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    (Original post by Ama2007)
    We have already taken sides, there is no point asking that?

    We pretend we are with syrians but under the tables we are supporting bashar, and how are we doing that you might ask?

    Well...When you see a crime being committed in front of you and you dont do anything about it then you are encouraging it. OK, So for example when someone gets raped in town on a friday night and the girl doesn't report it then nothing will be done about it, or when you see a guy in train station having a heart attack, what would you do? Would you just stand and watch? I dont think so, because normally we as human beings want to help others, only in certain cases, we become like animals.

    We only support those who we think will benefit us in the future (theres no point pretending that we are not taking sides, thats the reality) we no longer support those that are righteous no matter what their color or religion, If we are not happy with the "way they live their life then stuff them? "

    Its a catastrophe whats happening in syria. But the worst part of it is those poor souls have been deceived by every country in the world. And I mean here, world leaders not people themselves.
    Fair points made.
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    (Original post by Ornlu)
    Both sides commit Crimes against Humanity and break the Geneva Convention... Why should we (as a nation) pick a side?
    You've already took sides and still stand by Assad regime, I mean, if the West really wanted to oust Assad from power, they would've done so ages ago, but God knows why the West covertly supports him. Because of your miscarriage of justice, Syria has turned from rise to demise, from order to chaos, from national interest to personal interest, from society to jungle, from modern times to middle ages, from pride to shame, from brother to other, and from Syria to sectarianism.
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    (Original post by Syrian Guy)
    You've already took sides and still stand by Assad regime, I mean, if the West really wanted to oust Assad from power, they would've done so ages ago, but God knows why the West covertly supports him. Because of your miscarriage of justice, Syria has turned from rise to demise, from order to chaos, from national interest to personal interest, from society to jungle, from modern times to middle ages, from pride to shame, from brother to other, and from Syria to sectarianism.
    I (personally) agree with all you've said. As a human, I couldn't give a hoot about democracy but I will support whatever allows for people to live in relative freedom without fear of death for merely speaking up... I don't know what the best solution is for Syria as I see both the FSA and Assad as providing governments that infringe upon that relative freedom in life...

    Edit: When I mention freedom, I'm not just on about freedom of speech, I'm on about just not too much totalitarianism; full democracy and totalitarianism are independent of eachother so you could still have this 'freedom' without democracy.
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    (Original post by doggyfizzel)
    I don't think it has arrived, it was Assad bluffing, its supposed to be months away. My point about the system being its not the actions of a nation which are going to accept a UN no fly zone.
    Whether or not Assad himself accepts it would be irrelevent, a no fly zone is not supposed to be consensual .

    Post Iraq, I think both here and the US you would be a brave politician to do so without international backing. Russia is hypocritical but we can't criticise then undermine just that.
    I would completely agree with that (though there are many differences between Syria in 2011 or even today, and Iraq in 2003), hence why I mentioned that it would have to be done via a coalition of Arab states and Turkey, and would have to have at least the passive acceptence of most of the international community (save Russia, China, and perhaps a few third-world genocidal dictatorships like Sudan). I do agree that the West would get criticised regardless of what action it took, and to be fair their own double standards do not help either (e.g Bahrain, and although I understand its necessity, I've always deplored out relationship with the KSA, a country which is, if anything, even more dangerous than Iran). That does not necessarily mean that the West should refrain from intervening, but it does mean that they should be extremely careful how they do so, studying the lessons of the disaster in Iraq as well as of the essentially successful interventions in Kosovo and Libya.
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    (Original post by Clessus)
    Whether or not Assad himself accepts it would be irrelevent, a no fly zone is not supposed to be consensual .
    I was talking about Russia. A country which despite international pressure is still sending an anti aircraft system, is not going to sign off an a no fly zone anytime soon. Russia clearly has a vested interest in ensuring no foreign planes fly over Syria. Any no fly zone would need to be done outside the UN.

    Despite what you said I still can't see that happening. It's all a whole heap of risk, opens you up for political criticism if you don't go via the UN for what? If any western leader felt that strongly they were willing to go via that route, I don't think we would be here 2 years later.




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