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    http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/...94A05S20130511

    A series of car bombs have gone off near the Turkey-Syrian border, Assad's government is being blamed.

    What are the odds do we think that with Israel on one side and Turkey on the other, Assad could be attacked by both sides.
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    It won't be long before Syria gets raped.
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    The Syrian conflict needs to end and quickly. It's going to set the entire region alight.
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    (Original post by Rakas21)
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/...94A05S20130511

    A series of car bombs have gone off near the Turkey-Syrian border, Assad's government is being blamed.

    What are the odds do we think that with Israel on one side and Turkey on the other, Assad could be attacked by both sides.
    Israel will not move into syria, it doesn't want Islamists to take over so it will not get involved in the conflict. It will send airstrikes to stop advanced weapons getting into the hands of terrorists like hezbollah but it will not try to destroy the assad government.

    Turkey on the other hand is itching to get involved. Turkey has aims of regional hegemony and would relsih the chance to install a government in syria that it can have influence over.

    We should be skeptical about the validity of the claim that assad is responsible for these car bombs. Assas is not suicidal he knows he can't defeat turkey, especially whilst still fighting the rebels. What would be a more believable scenario is that some of the opposition elements are trying to draw Turkey into the fight.
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    I don't really see the logic behind the Assad regime setting off two ****ty car bombs in a border town. There is no logic, even warped behind it, Turkey isn't friendly to Syria but it isn't an out-right enemy yet and I don;t see what antagonising Turkey and possibly drawing them further into the conflict would do for Assad.

    I'm more inclined to believe it a false-flag type scenario (Turkey perhaps looking for a causus beli to enter the Syrian quagmire, though I imagine even the Turks aren't confident about the sucking cost in blood and treasure of that) or most likely it was an independent action carried out by some other small group of Syrians (even rebel, perhaps islamist) or Kurdish nationalists.

    Agreed with the sentiment Israel is unlikely to get involved on the ground with Syria beyond air-strikes on bio-chem weapons and shipments to Hezbollah.

    We shouldn't be so eager for the fall of Assad either, yeah we don;t like him he isn't a nice clean respectable western MP or senator. He and his regime is however filling a hole that will leave a huge power vacuum if/when he falls. What will replace him? Either nothing but chaos or likely a rising and vibrant Al Queda linked islamist regime.



    In my opinion Syria is in for a prolonged civil war, and the fall of the Assad regime may well be just the closing of the first half, with the second being even more chaotic and messy. None of the foreign backers of either side have the ability to wade in there and enforce their own vision for a new Syria.

    This is especially so for the west, so don't hold your breaths for American carrier groups to steam in playing the Star Spangled Banner and a legion of air cav choppers to storm in and bring democracy and country-rock.

    And as ever Europe doesn't have the desire, unity of purpose or military capabilities to run the scale of invasion and post-conflict peace-keeping, rebuilding, education and financial burden required.


    Effectively this is just like a forest fire that the world must watch burn itself out and try and do what it can, with different countries trying little nudges ehre and there to push Syria in a direction they'd vaguely prefer.
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    I don't get people who want Assad to stay in power. What happens to the majority population who are against him? He won't just let them protest, he'll slaughter them, beat them, imprison them. It'll be another Balkans in the 1990's all over again, or bombardment of Hama in the 80's. The regime has lost legitimacy. In the long run it is doomed, socially and economically if not militarily.
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    (Original post by Squidgyness)
    I don't get people who want Assad to stay in power. What happens to the majority population who are against him? He won't just let them protest, he'll slaughter them, beat them, imprison them. It'll be another Balkans in the 1990's all over again, or bombardment of Hama in the 80's. The regime has lost legitimacy. In the long run it is doomed, socially and economically if not militarily.
    One of the most annoying sound bites to come out of this whole thing. What defines legitimacy? Surely if Assad is now defined as illegitimate, then so to is the monarchy in Saudi Arabia? Surely so to have numerous past administrations in Israel? What about the Uzbekistani President that has no problem with massacring hundreds of peaceful protesters in one sitting and boiling political opponents alive? What about Indonesia's occupation of East Timor that saw 100,000 deaths but whose leader was still the US's "kinda guy"? Are these regimes also legitimate and deserving of the covert funnelling of weapons which only make the situation worse and more deadly and draws an even more veracious response from a state trying to hold its grip on power?
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    Being a Turk I know exactly what Assad was thinking.

    Firstly my government, heck the state since the first world war has a traditional stance of preventing any military engagements with anyone as much as possible. It took 10 years for Turkey to interfere in Cyprus, they can't even properly engage the terrorists in Northern Iraq and so on.

    Secondly this isn't just a one off thing.

    1. Stray bullets reaching Turkish towns
    2. Artillery fire falling on Turkish towns costing lives
    3. Shooting down plane
    4. Car bombs on Syria Turkey border costing lives

    Syria has done all these things with Turkey just essentially filing a very strongly worded letter. Not even sabre rattling. So it knew any such bombing would not prompt any action.

    Turkey already provides refuge to refugees and provides weapons to the rebels. It is actively against Syria in the global stage and the only thing it doesn't do is attack it directly. Syria knows it won't do this and so feels free to do as it wishes.

    By doing so it wishes to prompt even more resistance to governments stance on Syria within the country where the opposition is already calling for a change in Syrian policy.

    Essentially it was a win, win.
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    (Original post by Gray Wolf)
    Being a Turk I know exactly what Assad was thinking.

    Firstly my government, heck the state since the first world war has a traditional stance of preventing any military engagements with anyone as much as possible. It took 10 years for Turkey to interfere in Cyprus, they can't even properly engage the terrorists in Northern Iraq and so on.

    Secondly this isn't just a one off thing.

    1. Stray bullets reaching Turkish towns
    2. Artillery fire falling on Turkish towns costing lives
    3. Shooting down plane
    4. Car bombs on Syria Turkey border costing lives

    Syria has done all these things with Turkey just essentially filing a very strongly worded letter. Not even sabre rattling. So it knew any such bombing would not prompt any action.

    Turkey already provides refuge to refugees and provides weapons to the rebels. It is actively against Syria in the global stage and the only thing it doesn't do is attack it directly. Syria knows it won't do this and so feels free to do as it wishes.

    By doing so it wishes to prompt even more resistance to governments stance on Syria within the country where the opposition is already calling for a change in Syrian policy.

    Essentially it was a win, win.
    I've noticed that more than any country, Turkey has taken this situation and used it to its advantage in strengthening it's alliance with the West so i've just got a few questions...

    1) You say the opposition wants a change in policy, is the sentiment leading towards war if the west were to back you up (we know that the UK and France want war, so would Turkey take this chance to further strengthen their alliagence by joining us).

    2) A separate question i suppose but how serious are the Turkish people about joining the EU, the government seems very pro.
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    Why do we (western countries) continue arming rebels that we know nothing about!

    And to answer your question, Assad is not that stupid to get the.turkish gov against him whilst he is fighting, so I don't for a second believe that his side is esponsible for the bombing. It makes no logical sense.

    Why after so many years is Assad suddenly the 'bad guy' I mean we were perfectly 'OK' doing business with him
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    (Original post by kidomo)
    Why do we (western countries) continue arming rebels that we know nothing abot!
    Because there's no other option right now.

    Syrians are being slaughtered so we cannot do nothing but Russia and China have too much interest to allow a swift and decisive NATO intervention be that in the form of air support or a ground assault (personally i think air support would be enough to see him fleeing). As such we are engaging in the worst possible thing, a half measure. Like many half measures the long term effects are not good.
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    (Original post by kidomo)
    Why do we (western countries) continue arming rebels that we know nothing about!

    And to answer your question, Assad is not that stupid to get the.turkish gov against him whilst he is fighting, so I don't for a second believe that his side is esponsible for the bombing. It makes no logical sense.

    Why after so many years is Assad suddenly the 'bad guy' I mean we were perfectly 'OK' doing business with him

    1) I would hesitate to say that we know nothing about them. I imagine that MI6 have a pretty decent picture by now regarding the composition of the rebel forces and will certainly be coordinating their resources with the CIA and probably French and Turkish intelligence service as well. Granted there are definitely elements within the rebels which it certainly isn't in our interests to arm but we have to take a calculated gamble here - to do nothing potentially risks more than to intervene. If we provide arms to support the rebels then some of that will inevitably get into the hands of extremists which oppose the West but at least this way we have some degree of control over what equipment they get hold of (advanced anti-air weaponary would for instance be an extremely bad idea, in my opinion) and whose hands those weapons end up in. The longer this conflict drags on the more prominent radical groups seem to be becoming and if that trend continues then I would seriously worry about the real possibility of them capturing supplies of Sarin or long range missiles for example. I would also argue that Assad has no future even if he wins militarily and the West cannot possibly hope to (or be seen to) work with him in the future. If the Assad regime is not an option as an ally then it makes logical sense to support the only alternative and hope that they turn out to be preferable - supporting the rebels also gives us influence which we may be able to use to mould the new regime into something halfway palateable.

    2) I don't think anyone is suggesting that Assad personally sanctioned the bombings, it seems more likely that Syrian intelligence is responsible for supporting dissident groups within Turkey itself as opposed to being directly responsible. However it seems plausible to me that Syria would want to increase dissent within Turkey in retaliation for supporting the rebels - Turkey is not going to get involved on the ground, it has had several excuses to do so already. If the attack had been staged to provide Turkey with a casus belli then Damascus would already be under Turkish control. Frankly I am amazed that the Turks have been so restrained, I feel fairly confident that in their position (following the shooting down of two jets, civillian deaths due to artillery shelling and now this) we would have gone to war long ago.

    3) We dealt with Assad as we had to, when we had to. If you have no choice other than to live with someone then it makes sense to try to get along as best as possible, even if you don't see eye to eye on most stuff, all the time that they aren't actively causing you problems. The bottom line is that when Assad started sanctioning the wholesale massacre of his people he lost all credibility and it would have been politically impossible for the West to continue to work with him, in any capacity. The UK/US/France etc could have acted in no way other than to condemn him - granted the current situation is awful and post-Assad Syria is probably going to be even worse but what else could we do?

    The issue here is that this is a much wider conflict than Assad vs rebels. On the regional scale this is a proxy war for hegemony between Turkey and Iran with Israel and Lebanon somewhat roped in and on the global level this is arguably turning into something of a proxy war between NATO and Russia - with a load of chemical weapons thrown in just to add spice. The situation in Syria is bad but all it needs is for one of those actors to make a bad move and this could easily escalate into a far more serious conflict.
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    It makes sense for Assad's people to do this - it brings home to the Turks the message that getting involved in stuff like Arab infighting is painful for all those concerned.

    On the other hand, it could be al Qaeda trying to goad the Turks into a full confrontation with Syria.
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    (Original post by Dirac Delta Function)
    It makes sense for Assad's people to do this - it brings home to the Turks the message that getting involved in stuff like Arab infighting is painful for all those concerned.

    On the other hand, it could be al Qaeda trying to goad the Turks into a full confrontation with Syria.
    Assad would have to be insane to try send that message, if Turkey attacks it will only be painful for Syria.
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    (Original post by Rakas21)
    Assad would have to be insane to try send that message, if Turkey attacks it will only be painful for Syria.
    Turkey won't attack. Their government is already on thin ice with the general populace for its current degree of involvement. For them to send Turkish soldiers into what would be seen as an unnecessary war would be extremely unpopular.

    This is the point of the bombing - it says, if you get involved, expect more of this.
 
 
 
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