Assad Pulls Ahead in Syrian War. Putin, Khamenei Are Co-Vic - Page 82 - Politics | PoFo

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Dagoth Ur wrote:Islamists are an enemy of Islam and most of the Muslims in the world know this and reject their entire platform out of hand. In fact it's pretty well known among Muslims that "Islamism" is just code for Al-Saud funded.

And no while I do not speak for all the Muslims, or any outside of myself, but I have a sense of what the consensus is. Only wahabbi supporters and western liberals support the Syrian rats.

That is exactly my view and there is nobody else I know that supports the "rats"

al-CIAda > < Assad
Dagoth Ur wrote:In fact it's pretty well known among Muslims that "Islamism" is just code for Al-Saud funded.

I'll say that I've begun to notice that a lot of them know it too. In Leicester I've been looking out to see if there are any Muslim shops that actually support the rebels (shops owned by Muslims - and there are quite a number around here - usually have flyers about whatever it is that they want people to support at the time, near the checkout counter), but thus far I haven't seen even one leaflet in any of their shops that supports the rebels.

So I've had to conclude that maybe there is just no support for rebel rats.

Jihsan wrote:That is exactly my view and there is nobody else I know that supports the "rats"

al-CIAda > < Assad

There we go then.
From what I've seen it is entirely supported by western Liberals, liberal Zionists and liberal Muslims (who pretty much only exist in the west). That's it. Foreigner Muslims all seem to oppose the rats as far as I've seen and I live in Oklahoma's liberal university enclave (hence why there are other Muslims).

Rats are just the bumpkins of imperialism, doing the bidding of their avowed "enemies".
Jihsan wrote:They are mainly supported by governments of U.S, U.K, Israel and The House of Saud axis and a few other Sunni puppet Regimes.

Yes, that's a given, but I mean among the general Muslim population they seem to have not much support, as Dagoth is saying.

Dagoth Ur wrote:From what I've seen it is entirely supported by western Liberals, liberal Zionists and liberal Muslims (who pretty much only exist in the west). That's it. Foreigner Muslims all seem to oppose the rats as far as I've seen and I live in Oklahoma's liberal university enclave (hence why there are other Muslims).

Rats are just the bumpkins of imperialism, doing the bidding of their avowed "enemies".

Well said. So I think this is one of those issues where the common denominator is pretty much that only liberals support the rebels.
In the meantime, in the parallel world of our French comrade Cedric Lebrousse, the Battle of al Qusair continues. The rebels are still fighting, instead, all the civilians are escaping.

"The battle is not over until the last soldier considers it to be over" is likely his motto. Like the Japanese holdouts in the pacific, fighting valiantly for years after the Empire's surrender, Cedric Lebrousse is that last soldier, continuing the battle for Qusayr probably somewhere from his apartment in Paris.

Could he just be a couple of days late and unaware of the latest developments, after all, just a few days ago the map would have looked much more plausible? Maybe. But for someone who draws maps of that battlefront so frequently (practically every other day) and with THAT level of detail, to be completely unaware of such a major event as the fall of Qusayr, making rounds all over the media for two days straight, is just inexcusable.

Also, I may not be a military strategist but a government offensive in Aleppo right now still seems like a reaaaaaally bad idea, so I sure hope it's just bluff. Unless the SAA suddenly got like 10 new full strength divisions over the past few days, there's no way it would work.
There are several factors which enabled the government to succeed in Qusayr, the same factors are not in place in Aleppo.
First, Qusayr was very close to the Lebanese border, specifically the region of Hermel which is Hezbollah's base, which made it easy for Hezbollah to reinforce and resupply the area. Aleppo is about as far away from Lebanon as it could be.
Second, Qusayr also had a direct and relatively short route for government forces to access and reinforce the city coming in by highway from Damascus or Latakia equally. Aleppo barely has a single land connection with either the coast or Damascus and that is a huge and dangerous desert road. Getting supplies to Aleppo is very very difficult.
Third, Qusayr was flanked by government-held Shia and Christian villages from West and South respectively, and by the city of Homs with its numerous bases in the north, making encirclement relatively easy to achieve. For the rebels to resupply Qusayr was a very difficult and dangerous task, as they'd have to cross through large swaths of government-held territories. Aleppo is almost surrounded by rebels from three sides, the fourth is contested territory. It is also very close to Turkey from which they can easily bring reinforcements or supplies if they need to.
Fourth, Qusayr was a relatively small city which did not require too much manpower to clean or hold, while Aleppo is huge by comparison. There is no way that the SAA could actually have enough manpower to surround or capture a city that big.

My theory is that they're trying to get the rebels to flood back to Aleppo while the real major attack will be in Rastan or Ghouta area maybe.
Pikachu, you may be right. Rastan seemed like the next stop on tour several weeks ago, before sources began announcing an intention to flush the rats out of Aleppo (it bears mentioning that most sources indicate they only hold about half the city), but maybe it is a bit of psyops.

How is the situation around Daraa and the Jordanian border? From what it seems like a large part of Syrian initiatives this summer may involve winning back contested areas along the country's five borders and cutting off the flow of men, weapons, and supplies. The Israeli border at the Golan was never under serious threat and is of minimal concern anyway at the moment, the Lebanese border region has now been retaken (and with it security in much of Homs Governate will be gradually restored and brought to bear on holdouts as in Rastan), so that leaves the others. It seems they have made gains around Daraa and it is unclear how much is flowing from Jordan. Iraq is a nominal ally, but has only moderate control of Baghdad, nevermind the border, and the Turkish border is the primary threat and too lofty a goal at the present, as far as it seems.

Jihsan wrote:They are mainly supported by governments of U.S, U.K, Israel and The House of Saud axis and a few other Sunni puppet Regimes.
We're finally seeing the big picture of who is actually supporting terrorism.

Indeed, the same people who are funding and enabling terrorism daily against Syria are the same ones who threatened "the loss of British lives on British streets", which apparently the British government and its puppetized cohorts couldn't be bothered caring about. It really is a despicable little crew that has become the driving force in these countries.

Meanwhile, here is a pretty telling analysis of the Battle of Qusayr and its aftermath as the smoke clears:

Syria: Qusayr Battle’s Unofficial Story


With surprising speed, Syrian government forces overran the last opposition positions in northern Qusayr on Wednesday morning. Al-Akhbar reveals the unofficial story behind this strategic battle.

The last night in Qusayr was unlike any other the armed groups experienced in the embattled Syrian city, which has pitted regime forces supported by Hezbollah against thousands of dug-in opposition fighters.

During the day, the talk among the mainly Islamist and Salafi groups, who had turned Qusayr into a military base for the opposition, was of heroic steadfastness in the face of the invading army.

But by nightfall, all signs of activity in the remaining opposition pockets in the northern part of the city had ceased. There are rumors that under pressure, many betrayed their comrades and surrendered or fled, leaving them to fight a losing battle.

This was not however the picture in the early days of the fighting that took place around Qusayr. Opposition fighters’ morale was at its peak after hearing news that their comrades managed to ambush and kill 24 Hezbollah fighters on the very first day of clashes. In fact, in the first two days of fighting the Lebanese party paid a heavy price in terms of dead and injured.

While some opposition sources say that they managed to lure Hezbollah into a trap, thus inflicting such a high number of casualties, others attribute it to an underestimation of the fighters in the city and a hurried advance on the part of the regime and Hezbollah.

The latter group suggests that the regime’s initial plan to take Qusayr involved a quick attack from three directions, which it calculated would take the fighters by surprise and cause disarray in their ranks.

The armed groups, however, surprised Hezbollah with their fighting capabilities, showing a high level of skill and experience that many of them had gained in other jihad-related conflicts.

This forced the regime to reconsider its plan of attack, instead taking a slower approach that involved softening enemy positions with artillery and air strikes before sending in ground forces. The Syrian army also decided to take more time to surround the city from all directions in order to cut off any support from reaching the fighters.

As for the ambush version of the story, opposition sources claim that they set a trap for Hezbollah by luring them into the city on the basis that the armed groups were prepared to surrender, only to unleash a deadly surprise attack on the unsuspecting Lebanese fighters.

Opposition sources put it differently. They say they were engaged in negotiations with Hezbollah as the siege tightened around Qusayr to facilitate the exit of the remaining civilians in the city. They told the Lebanese party that they were prepared to surrender, but could not do so without a few face-saving, symbolic skirmishes.

As the first clashes progressed, it appeared as if the armed groups were abiding by the agreement, gradually withdrawing from some of their positions. But, having lured the Hezbollah fighters deep into their territory, the opposition fighters ambushed them, killing two dozen and injuring many more.

The fighting continued for another 16 days and the tables were slowly turned against the Qusayr fighters. After the fall of the city into government hands, the opposition admitted defeat and published the names of 431 fighters they said died in the battle.

More reliable opposition sources, however, put the number at over 1,200 dead and 1,000 injured. Al-Akhbar also learned that Hezbollah and government forces managed to capture around 1,000 fighters, including a number of female Chechen snipers and an Australian national, among others. As for Hezbollah, estimates are that it lost 93 fighters, with dozens more injured.

It seems there are always a few Chechen stragglers to mop up no matter where you go. It is difficult to determine whether all captured foreign nationals should be executed on the spot without exception (barring those whose information may prove valuable) or whether an exception should be made for these Chechens to be handed over to the gentle care of the FSB.

Good write-up from USA Today:

Key Syria town of al-Qusayr falls to government troops

AMMAN, Jordan – Syrian rebel fighters and wounded civilians were forced to flee al-Qusayr Wednesday, as Syrian troops, supported by Hezbollah militia, advanced on the strategic city close to the Lebanese border.

"Yes, al-Qusayr fell to regime control," said 25-year-old Muhammad Awad of the Free Syrian Army's al-Farouk Battalion in Qusayr. "Let the world, the regime and all the people against us be happy. We retreated because we could not take them on anymore."

The Free Syrian army, which had held on to the city for months through increasingly fierce bombardment and attacks by the regime, killing hundreds, conceded that they had to make a retreat from the town that lies on a key supply route.

Locals reported a chaotic and tense situation.

"Things are very bad in here right now," said Abu al-Walid, a 23-year-old schoolteacher. "Many (rebel) battalion leaders have been killed, and the airport has been occupied by Hezbollah again."

At 10 miles west of the Syrian-Lebanon border in the Homs province, al-Qusayr is a lifeline for the Syrian regime, a key crossroad on the road running from north to south between the coast and Damascus. It is also a strategic point in the supply route of the regime's ally, Hezbollah, Lebanon's Shia military organization, as it moves weaponry and fighters from east to west.

In recent months, rebels had held the important city, blocking Hezbollah's access to the road as well as the regime's route to Homs and the coast.

But, late on Tuesday, Syrian state-run TV said that troops were in "full control" of the southwestern part of the town.

The loss of the city comes as a huge blow to the rebels, as many had said the fall of the city could foretell the outcome of the conflict in the war-torn country.

"If al-Qusayr falls, the revolution will fall along with it in most of Syria — because people will lose all hope," said Mohammed al-Abdullah, 27, who before the revolution broke out used to sell agricultural equipment with his father.

Two months ago, the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and its Sunni Islamist allies said they held two-thirds of the territory around al-Qusayr, a city of 30,000 before the start of the war. The FSA said it had "liberated" the sprawling Dab'aa Military Airport directly south of nearby Homs and were lobbing shells at Hezbollah supply routes into the area.

But in recent days, the rate of shelling had increased to 50 shells a minute in al-Qusayr as war planes droned overhead and missiles slammed into already heavily bombarded buildings. Insurgents had begun to face shortages of ammunition and medicines and supply roads were cut.

While the Syrian opposition had distributed video-footage of rebel reinforcements arriving in the surrounding Homs province, some admit the fresh troops had no way to join the fierce battle.

"They have been cut off from access," said al-Walid. "They are like an audience for the battle, not fighters. And their numbers are overstated."

Meanwhile, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad downplayed the importance of the city in an interview with Hezbollah's Al Manar TV last week.

"They say al-Qusayr is a strategic border town but all the borders are strategic for the terrorists in order to smuggle in their fighters and weapons," he said.

However, now Assad forces have regained the city, activists say it opens the gateway for more weapons to make their way into the hands of the regime.

"They will secure their arms supply route to Hezbollah on the Lebanese border, which is also used to move arms from Hezbollah to Syria," said Khoudair Khafcheh, 27, a member of the Homs Local Coordination Council.

Meanwhile, the battle at al-Qusayr has pushed Syria's already fragmented opposition to a breaking point. Supporters of the revolution question the wisdom of plans for Syrian opposition to attend talks with the Syrian regime next month.

"With the balance of power on the ground shifting against the rebels to Assad, Syrian (opposition supporters) have no interest in a political solution, despite the sacrifices, because any partial solution will end the revolution, and enable the regime to stay and continue killing its people," said Mowafak Zuraiq, a longtime opponent of the government speaking from exile in Saudi Arabia.

The number of people killed as a result of the continuing bombardment of al-Qusayr is not known. One estimate is 237 people from the beginning of the military attack on the city and more than 2,400 wounded, according to the Syrian Network for Human Rights. But, other activists say the death toll is far higher.

The Free Syrian Army's Awad blamed the international community and the Syrian National Coalition, which he said did not represent all Syrian people, for the fall of the city.

"No one helped us," he said. "We requested safe corridors to evacuate the wounded and the civilians but no one helped us. Now you can expect a large massacre."

On Sunday, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed the "gravest concern" about al-Qusayr and the International Committee of the Red Cross pleaded for access and permission to evacuate those injured.

But Syria's Foreign Minister Walid Moallem said the Red Cross would only be allowed to enter the town once "military operations" were complete.

"The purpose is to control the area in a broken bones battle for both the regime and the rebels," said Asaad a-Zoubi, a staff brigadier general from the Syrian Air Force who defected to the rebels.

Meanwhile, the international community remains torn on how to deal with the ongoing conflict, now in its third year.

On Saturday, Russia vetoed a U.N. Security Council declaration of alarm over al-Qusayr provoking an official rebuke from the SNC, which called it a "threat to the lives of tens of thousands of innocent civilians living in the region."

Russia has been a consistent advocate for talks to resolve the Syrian crisis while delivering an advanced S-300 air defense system to Damascus.

Still, the real turn on fortunes for the regime has come through the influx of thousands Hezbollah fighters in the region.

Analysts say the Lebanese militia has its own agenda for trying to keep the Assad regime in power.

"Hezbollah probably assesses that if the Sunnis in Homs link up with the Sunni communities in northern Lebanon, that would threaten areas that it considers of core strategic importance, including Hermel, the northern Bekaa and Ba'albek," said Firas Abi Ali, a Middle East analyst at IHS in London, referring to Hezbollah strongholds in Lebanon. "So they are going to commit resources to ensuring Assad's control of Homs province."

And activists are losing hope.

"Syria will fall soon," said al-Walid. "I feel very bad saying that but when al-Qusayr falls, we will have to retreat to Beirut and die there, there is no other option."

While some activists are losing hope and said Syria's fall to the regime would come soon, others said the fight would go on.

"We've lost this battle, but this is an attack and retreat type of war," said Awad.

It seems fitting to take Awad up on his owner and be very happy - merry and gay as well, to see his ilk in the rubbish bin.
If Syria were to collapse, the region goes with it. The best way to establish lasting security in Lebanon and Iraq beyond installing more competent governments in Beirut and Baghdad is to take a mop to the muck that has been flushed out of Saudi and Qatari toilets into Syria.
No, some seem to be twisting a word with a dual meaning.

Let us try to keep such inappropriate stuff contained.

More information has actually apparently come out about Syria's intentions:

After Qusair, Syrian army sets sights on heartland

DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — With fresh momentum from the capture of a strategic town in western Syria, President Bashar Assad's forces have turned their sights to driving rebel fighters from the country's densely populated heartland, including the cities of Homs and Aleppo.

The latest battlefield success, due in large part to Lebanese Hezbollah fighters' increasing role and the West's continued reluctance to arm the rebels, raises the possibility that Assad can cling to power for years, even if he won't be able to recapture all of the country.

Government troops pressed ahead Thursday with an aggressive military offensive in Homs province, seizing control of the village of Dabaa just north of Qusair, near the border with Lebanon. Hundreds of rebel fighters who had been entrenched in Qusair for more than a year fled Wednesday after a punishing three-week assault, retreating to surrounding areas.

The regime triumph in Qusair, a key crossroads town of supply lines between Damascus and western and northern Syria, showcased the potentially game-changing role of Hezbollah in Syria's civil war and was openly celebrated in the militant group's strongholds in Lebanon and in Damascus, the seat of Assad's power.

Syrian state-run media portrayed Qusair's fall as a turning point in the more than two-year civil war that has killed more than 70,000 people.

In reality, though, it's unlikely that Assad will be able to roll back rebel gains across the country. Dozens of rebel fighter brigades have taken unquestioned control of huge swathes of territory in the country's north and east, setting up local councils and Islamic courts to administer affairs in towns and villages. Kurds have all but carved out their own separate existence in the country's northeast.

At best, Assad will continue to preside over a divided country, with armed militias ruling over ethnic fiefdoms. A violent insurgency is likely to continue even in areas where the regime regains control.

But if the regime continues to enjoy the strong backing of allies Hezbollah, Russia and Iran, Assad could try to reassert himself in much of Syria, even if he can't win back all of the country.

Josef Holliday of the Institute for the Study of War, a Washington think tank, said he believes Assad is not aiming for outright victory over the rebels in all of Syria. "The objective is survival in what they (regime loyalists) consider the strategically important parts of Syria, with the majority of the population," he said.

Following the victory in Qusair, the regime's next targets are rebel-held areas in and around the city of Homs, a government official told The Associated Press. As Syria's third-largest city and one-time epicenter of the uprising, Homs holds both strategic and symbolic importance for the regime.

In April 2011, one month after the uprising against Assad began, protesters gathered at central Clock Square in Homs, bringing mattresses, food and water in hopes of emulating Cairo's Tahrir Square during the Egyptian revolution.

The peaceful, mass protests eroded Assad's narrative that the uprising was the work of "terrorists" and "armed thugs," and were quickly put down. Since then, the predominantly Sunni city, with Christian and Alawite minorities, has come under crushing attack on numerous occasions.

"The (army) command has put forward a plan, which is being executed," said the government official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to divulge details about ongoing military operations.

He said the army was carrying out "quick, successive attacks" to secure the northern entrance of Homs city and seized the village of al-Khaldiyeh along the way Thursday. It also intends to regain the rebel strongholds of Rastan and Talbiseh, towns just north of Homs city.

Securing Homs could boost the momentum for Syrian troops in rolling back rebel gains in other parts of the country, including northern Syria, where the sides have been locked in a stalemate for months. Pro-regime media outlets have said government forces are preparing to move to retake the contested northern city of Aleppo next.

Aleppo, Syria's largest city and commercial hub, was overrun by rebels last summer, and remains one of the country's bloodiest battlegrounds as rebels and regime forces fight over it.

Hezbollah fighters were instrumental to the regime victory in Qusair, but it's not clear whether they will participate to the same extent in future battles deeper inside Syria.

Qusair is close to the Lebanese borders, making it easier for Hezbollah to ship fighters and weapons from the Lebanese side of the border. The militia has also sent fighters to two areas near Damascus, just a two-hour drive from the Lebanese border, while many of the rebel-held areas are more remote and more difficult for Hezbollah to reach.

The level of Hezbollah's future involvement might depend, at least in part, on the backlash in Lebanon. The militia's involvement, particularly since the start of the Qusair offensive, has led to growing clashes between Assad opponents and supporters in Lebanon, raising fears of a spillover into a fragile country scarred by its own 15-year civil war.

Hezbollah has justified its involvement in the fight for Qusair by saying it was protecting Lebanon from Sunni extremists among the ranks of rebels fighting Assad.

It's unclear whether the Shiite militant group will be willing to stray so far from the Lebanese border, although there are unconfirmed reports that its fighters took part in an assault on two Shiite villages in Aleppo province.

Jeff White of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy said the rebels were in for trouble, unless they improve their military and political command structure and get more weapons.

"The regime has laid down the challenge, and the rebels will have to respond, or they will have a bleak future ahead of them," he said.

The West, particularly the United States, has been reluctant to send more sophisticated weapons out of fear they might fall into the hands of Islamic extremists fighting in the rebel ranks, including members of Jabhat al-Nusra, which has sworn allegiance to al-Qaida.

It remains to be seen whether Hezbollah's military engagement alongside the Syrian regime will prod the West to arm the rebels, who are no match for Hezbollah's military power and the regime's aerial superiority. A European arms embargo expired last week, freeing up individual nations to arm the rebels unilaterally.

The recent military gains are also bound to harden regime positions if talks on a peaceful transition ever get off the ground.

A U.N.-sponsored international conference that was to bring representatives of the Assad government and the opposition together for negotiations has now been put off to at least July.

The regime has confirmed it will attend, albeit with conditions, while the main opposition group has gotten bogged down in discussions over who might attend, in part a reflection of rivalries between backers Saudi Arabia and Qatar, instead of devising a strategy for talks. Turkey, another country backing the rebels, has been distracted by large-scale anti-government protests at home.

All the while, Assad ally Russia has never wavered in its support of the Damascus government.

Holliday, the analyst, said that although Assad may succeed in expanding his control and cling to power, the conflict in Syria is likely to go on for a long time.

"No one is going to win this war. It's going to go on for a while," he said.

Dabaa village has been entirely captured and secured today by Syrian forces, may God continue to strengthen their resolve in pushing forward.

Also, Austria will apparently be following Canada, Japan, Croatia, and the Philippines in pulling its forces out of the peacekeeping mission in the Golan Heights.
Why would Hezbollah choose not to support a state, Syria, which has been supporting it in Lebanon alongside Iran for years? It has nothing to do with any Iranian order. Hassan Nasrallah simply (correctly) believes the geopolitical map of the Levant and the broader Middle East would look worse for Hezbollah's interests and its position within Lebanon itself if Syria were to fall to an insurgency backed by the Gulf absolute monarchist Sunni theocracies and a few Western countries which have Hezbollah on a terrorist blacklist.
Igor my boy, thank you kindly for putting that video in here. Will be watching with my tea this morning. Russian journalism has thusfar efficiently done its work in Syria; it's a shame such accounts don't get out to a wider Western audience.

Impromptu parade - Syrians in Tartus celebrating the army's victory in Qusayr:




Far-Right Sage wrote:Why would Hezbollah choose not to support a state, Syria, which has been supporting it in Lebanon alongside Iran for years? It has nothing to do with any Iranian order. Hassan Nasrallah simply (correctly) believes the geopolitical map of the Levant and the broader Middle East would look worse for Hezbollah's interests and its position within Lebanon itself if Syria were to fall to an insurgency backed by the Gulf absolute monarchist Sunni theocracies and a few Western countries which have Hezbollah on a terrorist blacklist.

I can't help but laugh at these moronic posts by the fascists:

Its acceptable for hezbollah and iran to send in fighters and weapons and fight on behalf of syria, BUT it is NOT acceptable for the US to arm or aid israel.

It is acceptable for the fake assad regime to oppress 85% of the syrian population that is sunni, but it is a problem when the less than 20% of israel who is arab does not control the whole country.

It is acceptable that iran, russia and hezbollah fight for the alawite minority, but it is not acceptable for anyone to send in aid/fight for the 85% of the country that is sunni.

It is acceptable for the syrian fake assad regime to use any and all means at its disposal to win the civil war, but the rebels cannot violate any rules of war.

And these people expect to be taken seriously?
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