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Thu Oct 1, 2015, 05:30 PM

Russia admits targeting non-Isis groups in Syria as airstrikes continue

Source: Guardian

<snip>

Significantly, Russia’s official line appeared to change on Thursday, with a spokesman for Putin saying Russia was going after other groups in addition to Isis. “These organisations are well known and the targets are chosen in coordination with the armed forces of Syria,” the spokesman said.

Russia, like Syria, says all opponents of Assad are terrorists. Sergei Lavrov, Russia’s foreign minister, earlier dismissed reports of targeting non-Isis positions, describing “the rumours” as unfounded. “Our targets are solely the positions of objects and equipment belonging to the armed terrorist group Isil,” Russia Today quoted Lavrov as saying.

Syrian civil defence volunteers put the total civilian death toll from Wednesday’s strikes on Homs and Hama at 40, including eight children. The volunteer group said thermobaric missiles had been used and claimed that they struck a public market, bread distribution point and administrative buildings in Homs, as well as civilian homes.

“We can’t believe an even more advanced military power has arrived in Syria to kill civilians,” said one civil defence volunteer in a statement issued by his organisation.

<snip>

Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/oct/01/russia-targeting-non-isis-groups-syria-airstrikes

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Reply Russia admits targeting non-Isis groups in Syria as airstrikes continue (Original post)
bananas Oct 2015 OP
JustABozoOnThisBus Oct 2015 #1
lark Oct 2015 #2
Warren Stupidity Oct 2015 #7
bananas Oct 2015 #10
Warren Stupidity Oct 2015 #12
bananas Oct 2015 #13
Name removed Oct 2015 #22
karynnj Oct 2015 #23
Name removed Oct 2015 #25
HERVEPA Oct 2015 #26
geek tragedy Oct 2015 #32
HERVEPA Oct 2015 #39
geek tragedy Oct 2015 #40
karynnj Oct 2015 #27
Name removed Oct 2015 #29
karynnj Oct 2015 #31
Name removed Oct 2015 #33
karynnj Oct 2015 #34
Name removed Oct 2015 #35
karynnj Oct 2015 #36
PATRICK Oct 2015 #20
JackRiddler Oct 2015 #19
jamzrockz Oct 2015 #21
JackRiddler Oct 2015 #24
JustABozoOnThisBus Oct 2015 #18
geek tragedy Oct 2015 #3
BlueEye Oct 2015 #5
geek tragedy Oct 2015 #9
uhnope Oct 2015 #4
Cheese Sandwich Oct 2015 #6
Warren Stupidity Oct 2015 #8
Purveyor Oct 2015 #11
NuclearDem Oct 2015 #17
Maineman Oct 2015 #14
Xolodno Oct 2015 #15
IronLionZion Oct 2015 #16
oberliner Oct 2015 #28
frizzled Oct 2015 #38
frizzled Oct 2015 #30
frizzled Oct 2015 #37

Response to bananas (Original post)

Thu Oct 1, 2015, 05:38 PM

1. So they will target all enemies of Assad

which, presumably, includes the U.S. forces.

This should be interesting.

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Response to JustABozoOnThisBus (Reply #1)

Thu Oct 1, 2015, 05:45 PM

2. I'd use the word scary.

As if just fighting countries in the middle east isn't enough, now we could also have our 2 airforces going at it. That can't be a good thing for anyone, except maybe the megalomaniac, Putin and the war machine makers.

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Response to JustABozoOnThisBus (Reply #1)

Thu Oct 1, 2015, 06:19 PM

7. we don't have any forces in Syria.

 

If you mean the 5 people we managed to train for 1,000,000,000 dollars, yes, them too.

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Reply #7)

Thu Oct 1, 2015, 06:32 PM

10. Those 5 were DOD, not CIA. We have a lot more CIA. nt

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Response to bananas (Reply #10)

Thu Oct 1, 2015, 06:42 PM

12. Look, I'm no fan of Assad, but...

 

round one in our Syrian adventure to topple him our DOD and CIA funding and training basically went to ISIS and al qaeda aligned sunni jihadist groups as we are unable to figure out which of the batshit crazy sunni jihadists were the 'good guys' and which were the 'bad guys'.

round two of our Syrian adventure was essentially a repeat of round one, only difference is that there aren't any non-sunni jihadist groups left opposing Assad except the Kurds and we are once again fucking them to keep on terms with the Turks.

Our Syrian adventure is an unmitigated fucking disaster. Assad ain't going away. The Russians and Iranians have made it official. Now is the time to stop with the program to use military force to kick Assad out of power and eat the shit sandwich and negotiate an end to the civil war and form an at least tacit alliance that includes Assad's forces that will defeat Isis in both Syria and Iraq. Plus we should really stop fucking the Kurds.

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Reply #12)

Thu Oct 1, 2015, 06:47 PM

13. Just pointing out we have more than 5.

These are the ones Russia is bombing:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/four-five-fighters-pentagon-syria_55f9ad27e4b0d6492d63ed49

Only '4 Or 5' U.S.-Trained Rebels In Syria? Not Exactly.

A top general's remarks don't tell the whole story.

<snip>

What Austin did not mention Wednesday is that there is a significantly larger and more successful U.S. rebel-training operation run by the CIA in southern Syria. Austin could not publicly acknowledge that effort, and neither could the senators questioning him, but others who follow the Syrian civil war helped set the record straight:

<snip>

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Response to bananas (Reply #13)


Response to Name removed (Reply #22)

Fri Oct 2, 2015, 11:42 AM

23. One of the first US strikes were against the same people in that same area

From wikipedia:

On September 22, 2014, the United States, Bahrain, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates began to strike targets of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) inside Syria,[12][79] which included the Khorasan group in the Idlib Governorate to the west of Aleppo, and the al-Nusra Front around Ar-Raqqah,[18][80] as part of the Military intervention against ISIL.

If you remember, there were tons of questions back then as to why this group was attacked and why no one had ever heard the name Khorsan before. It was explained as a virulent AQ group. In a more detailed article, the Washington Post explained more about them and where there name comes from. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2014/09/25/the-strange-story-behind-the-khorasan-groups-name/ Look at the map included -- and it becomes clear why - just as we did - the Russians attacked them.

This also suggests that the Russian involvement is not motivated just on power politics to make Putin look big, support of Assad, or even support for the Russian bases. These terrorists AND ISIS are at least as big a threat to to Russia as to the US. (Other accounts suggest that there are Chechens have joined with Al Nusra - if true, it is no surprise that they would be target number 1.

Here is an interesting article - likely too optimistic - as Tom Friedman always is - that does go further than the more fact basted, diplomatic comments of John Kerry that there could be a point where Russia helps with getting a transition government. (Obviously that could happen only if it was in their interest - or perception of their interest.) http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/30/opinion/thomas-friedman-syria-obama-and-putin.html?_r=0

Likely too optimistic, while in one instance disgusting. Both John Kerry and President Obama are better than allowing Putin to stew for a few months (while thousands die) after he sees the need to help on a transition.


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Response to karynnj (Reply #23)


Response to Name removed (Reply #25)

Fri Oct 2, 2015, 12:12 PM

26. Back from our trip to the west I see.

 

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Response to HERVEPA (Reply #26)

Fri Oct 2, 2015, 01:24 PM

32. and I predict this poster will be going there once again, in youthful spirit nt

 

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #32)

Fri Oct 2, 2015, 06:06 PM

39. And gone

 

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Response to HERVEPA (Reply #39)

Fri Oct 2, 2015, 06:47 PM

40. well, you know, what goes around comes around, so I imagine

 

the young man will rise in the east tomorrow

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Response to Name removed (Reply #25)

Fri Oct 2, 2015, 12:43 PM

27. It is always easy to show pictures of devastation - we did the same

Clearly big strikes have an impact, but though it would be great if ISIS could be eliminated - that has not been done by air strikes. Part of the problem is that as many warriors that have been killed even more new jihadis have been attracted.

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Response to karynnj (Reply #27)


Response to Name removed (Reply #29)

Fri Oct 2, 2015, 01:15 PM

31. Explain the Iran deal -- that was on Clark's list as well

It is easier to argue that Obama has worked against the intrenched neo con foreign policy in his second term than to argue that he is following it.

You have really not paid attention if you think that Obama has been anything but reluctant to enter Syria's civil war. Note that HRC criticizes him for NOT even backing covert actions to the degree she and Petraeus want.

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Response to karynnj (Reply #31)


Response to Name removed (Reply #33)

Fri Oct 2, 2015, 02:38 PM

34. You mean the Russians who worked with the other countries on the deal?

Your tin foil hat is showing.

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Response to karynnj (Reply #34)


Response to Name removed (Reply #35)

Fri Oct 2, 2015, 02:52 PM

36. Well ... there were the lies that Lavrov told on intentions re Crimea

In fact, Secretary Kerry is the more diplomatic one of the two in their various interactions.

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Reply #12)

Fri Oct 2, 2015, 08:57 AM

20. the aftermath

it seems to me would be a fairly certain bloodbath for the sectarian minority ruling party propped up originally, artificially, by...France?

Russia clearly wants to support the regime, not just take on ISIS and is for once getting to all its goals in the ME with the US stuck with its hapless non-dealing with the cancer we helped create with an illegal war in Iraq. Connected much to our digging at Russia in Europe? Certainly, and with strong national interests of longstanding critical concern to Russia, more so than our own far flung imperial ploys.

No way is America even imagining losing face as much as to stop ISIS following the Russian lead.

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Response to bananas (Reply #10)

Fri Oct 2, 2015, 07:45 AM

19. That bit worked well as propaganda, didn't it?

 

A heavy U.S. involvement (directly and even more so indirectly through the Saudi/Turkish axis) on behalf of the worst of the "rebels" (some of whom, the ones labeled ISIS, are also being bombed by the U.S., now out of Turkey) was transformed into "five guys" by the general's incomplete testimony. So they traded reality of involvement for an incompetence narrative. No problem, "incompetence" is a great excuse, it even gets used for the Bush war of aggression on Iraq.

Problem is, what's more important about all armed sides here (except the poor Kurds), Syrian and foreign, is not that they're incompetent (they usually are) but that they're violent and crazy. Most of them don't even know what the purpose of the killing is, so what's the big difference if they're incompetent? I find it more interesting that the same Turkish military bases are being used to launch Turkish attacks on Assad's side and American attacks on ISIS. Or that the global antagonists, Russia and U.S., are both claiming to be bombing the same side.

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Response to JackRiddler (Reply #19)

Fri Oct 2, 2015, 09:10 AM

21. "except the kurds"

 

You know, I never understood this love affair we have with the kurds especially among liberals. Yea, they helped the US illegally occupy a secular Iraqi state. What else is special about them? and if you believe the war in Iraq was wrong, how does that make them the good guys? If anything they are traitors to the majority of the innocent citizens of those countries who are suffering today by their actions.

For me, I support all the secular and religious peaceful members of all of Iraqi and Syrian societies and that includes all the people fighting against terrorism and occupation of Syria by western backed mercenaries regardless of race, religion or tribe with NO exceptions

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Response to jamzrockz (Reply #21)

Fri Oct 2, 2015, 11:48 AM

24. The Kurds are as "real" a nation as any other

 

Large population with a language and distinct culture dating back centuries, currently divided among four nation-states, and oppressed by the state within all four. Their identity is ethnonational, not sectarian. (Whether that qualifies as secular is a matter of context; all the European secular states were originally ethnonational.)

One can understand why Kurdish factions engage in armed resistance against the tyrannies their people have suffered, in other words, and this resistance predates all of the current conflicts by decades. That doesn't make the armed groups automatically into good guys, of course. There is no doubt they've been employed (and abused) by Great Powers as proxies, especially by the U.S. And whether an independent Kurdish nation-state is a just and lasting solution is also doubtful, since this always raises the majority-minority enclave question. Almost makes one nostalgic for the relative harmony of the multicultural Ottoman empire, before it went rotten.

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Reply #7)

Fri Oct 2, 2015, 04:57 AM

18. Well, there are our expensive trainees, of course

We might have a few pilots in the area at times, and of course we don't have any special operations forces to identify targets for the pilots, and there are the CIA agents who are not there monitoring the billion-dollar trainees.

Any of which could be unintentional collateral damage of Russian help. Somehow, we'll spin it as "Friendly Fire".

edit to add: I salute you, sir, for that Purple Heart!

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Response to bananas (Original post)

Thu Oct 1, 2015, 05:47 PM

3. Russia's not going to enjoy the blowback this produces nt

 

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #3)

Thu Oct 1, 2015, 06:05 PM

5. Do they have much to lose?

I read an interesting conspiracy theory today suggesting that Putin is willfully trying to destabilize the Middle East in order to drive up global oil prices, which would benefit the Russian economy greatly.

Sounds insane, although it might happen anyway.

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Response to BlueEye (Reply #5)

Thu Oct 1, 2015, 06:23 PM

9. they certainly do have lots to lose. Large borders, lots of soft targets,

 

plenty of pissed off Chechens.

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Response to bananas (Original post)

Thu Oct 1, 2015, 05:59 PM

4. "Russia says all opponents of Assad are terrorists" as so do many DUers. Coincidence!

 

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Response to bananas (Original post)

Thu Oct 1, 2015, 06:06 PM

6. Turkey uses ISIS as an excuse to target Kurds in Iraq. USA seems OK with that.

 

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Response to Cheese Sandwich (Reply #6)

Thu Oct 1, 2015, 06:20 PM

8. That's different because words.

 

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Response to bananas (Original post)

Thu Oct 1, 2015, 06:39 PM

11. I appreciate Russia's candor. One thing for certain, the West's great 'democracy' crusade of

 

breaking ME countries and plunging them into chaos is over. I only wish Russia would have stepped up to the plate and put a check on this nonsense long ago.

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Response to Purveyor (Reply #11)

Thu Oct 1, 2015, 11:52 PM

17. What exactly is Russia's track record with defeating widespread Islamic insurgencies abroad?

 

Last time they tried, their entire transnational empire came crashing down.

I'm sure this will turn out much better, though, because reasons.

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Response to bananas (Original post)

Thu Oct 1, 2015, 07:11 PM

14. I think Russians are just as big liars as Republicans.

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Response to bananas (Original post)

Thu Oct 1, 2015, 10:38 PM

15. Well...at least they are being honest about it.

Not like Turkey..."We're going to attack ISIS"...then hits the Kurds.

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Response to bananas (Original post)

Thu Oct 1, 2015, 11:30 PM

16. Yeah, good luck with that

The Syrian civil war has no end in sight and looks to be a long drawn out battle....unless Russia oversimplifies things since they don't care about nuances or innocent casualties.

There were also reports that they were using the cheaper bombs that don't have advanced guidance systems since they didn't much care who they hit. That might speed things up even though it's horrifying for the casualties. How many Syrian refugees has Russia welcomed?


US should have never gotten involved (yet again). The people who deserve help and probably some political power are the Kurds. I would have gladly given them an independent country and told Turkey to go F themselves. Kurdistan could be at least one stablizing force that helps keep ISIS contained until someone figures out how to deal with them. Maybe Putin has a brutal solution for them too.

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Response to IronLionZion (Reply #16)

Fri Oct 2, 2015, 12:53 PM

28. How Obama can one-up Putin in the Syria crisis: Support an independent Kurdistan

 

Once again, the Kurds may be the odd man out.

The largest ethnic group in the world without a country of their own, the Kurds have been the West's most effective ally battling the Islamic State on the ground in Iraq and Syria. They've repelled ISIS from the borders of their semi-autonomous region in Iraq, and they've defeated them in key Turkish border towns, including the much-celebrated battle of Kobani.

Still, despite the Kurds' successes, their situation is looking familiarly grim.

Russia and Iran have been beefing up their military presences in Syria to help prop up their joint ally, President Bashar al-Assad. On Wednesday, hours after Russian President Vladimir Putin obtained formal authorization to deploy forces in Syria, purportedly to battle ISIS, Russian fighter jets instead reportedly bombed rebels trying to unseat Assad.

http://theweek.com/articles/580175/how-obama-oneup-putin-syria-crisis-support-independent-kurdistan

Along the same theme as what you are suggesting.

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Response to oberliner (Reply #28)

Fri Oct 2, 2015, 04:19 PM

38. Support Kurdistan = lose Turkey as a NATO member, lose Incirlik US base

 

Nobody is that insane.

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Response to bananas (Original post)

Fri Oct 2, 2015, 01:09 PM

30. So USA and Western media are openly backing Al Qaeda now?

 

Something, something, Eastasia...

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Response to frizzled (Reply #30)

Fri Oct 2, 2015, 03:30 PM

37. And if the US knows where ISIS camps are, why doesn't it bomb them?

 

'Russian jets were 6.5 miles away from ISIS camps.'

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