Posts Tagged ‘ Syria ’

No “regime change” in Syria: After talks in Moscow, Kerry accepts Russian stance on Assad

December 16, 2015
posted by

Minneapolis Star Tribune    

"U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Tuesday accepted Russia's long-standing demand that President Bashar Assad's future be determined by his own people, as Washington and Moscow edged toward putting aside years of disagreement over how to end Syria's civil war. 'The United States and our partners are not seeking so-called regime change,' Kerry told reporters in the Russian capital after meeting President Vladimir Putin. A major international conference on Syria would take place later this week in New York, Kerry announced." (12/15/15)

http://www.startribune.com/kerry-in-moscow-for-talks-on-syria-ukraine/362223591/  

No Comments »

Cruz vs. the Syria hawks

December 15, 2015
posted by

Daniel Larison The American Conservative
by Daniel Larison  

"The idea that the U.S. has to fight both sides of a civil war is why many Republicans and most Americans continue to recoil from the sort of reflexive interventionism that Cruz is criticizing. Even if the Syria hawks' argument made any sense (it doesn't), most Americans look at a foreign civil war between an awful regime and monstrous jihadist groups and reasonably conclude that this isn't a fight that the U.S. needs to have. Syria hawks look at an intractable conflict where the U.S. has nothing at stake and reach the opposite conclusion. It is not a coincidence that there has never been strong public support for siding with anti-regime forces in Syria. To the extent that the public thinks the U.S. has anything at stake in the conflict, they don't think it has anything to do with toppling the regime." (12/15/15)

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/larison/cruz-vs-the-syria-hawks/  

No Comments »

Syria opposition groups set framework for proposed talks

December 11, 2015
posted by

Arizona Daily Star    

"A powerful Syrian insurgent faction pulled out of an opposition conference on Thursday in protest over the role given to groups it said are close to the Syrian government, signaling continued divisions among rival factions ahead of proposed peace negotiations with President Bashar Assad's government. Ahrar al-Sham, a Saudi-backed ultraconservative group that operates mainly in northern Syria, said in a statement that it was withdrawing also because the conference failed to 'confirm the Muslim identity of our people.'" (12/10/15)

http://tucson.com/news/world/syria-opposition-groups-set-framework-for-proposed-talks/article_b00f2f4d-a287-535a-838a-a8fdd7d61cfe.html  

No Comments »

Syria: British bombers launch first airstrikes in support of al Qaeda

December 4, 2015
posted by

Business Insider    

"British bombers made their first strikes on Islamic State in Syria on Thursday, hitting oil fields that Prime Minister David Cameron says are being used to fund attacks on the West. Tornado bombers took off from the Royal Air Force Akrotiri air base in Cyprus just hours afterBritish lawmakers voted 397-223 to support Cameron's plan for air strikes, a Reuters witness said. They returned to base safely several hours later." (12/03/15)

http://www.businessinsider.com/british-bombers-launch-first-airstrikes-in-syria-against-islamic-state-oil-fields-2015-12  

No Comments »

Germany: Merkel cabinet backs providing support for al Qaeda in Syria

December 1, 2015
posted by

Reuters Reuters    

"Chancellor Angela Merkel's cabinet approved plans on Tuesday for Germany to join the military campaign against Islamic State militants in Syria, a big step for the country, which had long resisted a direct role in the conflict. In response to an appeal from France after the Nov. 13 attacks in Paris which killed 130 people, Merkel's government agreed to send Tornado reconnaissance jets, refueling aircraft, a frigate to protect a French aircraft carrier, and up to 1,200 soldiers to the region." (12/01/15)

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/12/01/us-mideast-crisis-germany-idUSKBN0TK3ON20151201  

No Comments »

The “broad coalition” and the war on ISIS

November 30, 2015
posted by

Daniel Larison The American Conservative
by Daniel Larison  

"The administration's desire to cast the war as having the support of dozens of nations is understandable, but after a while it becomes difficult to take seriously. Obama would prefer it if the public didn't realize that the air war is being waged mostly by the U.S. and that contributions to the war from allies and clients are limited or non-existent. As long as the war can be spun as something that the U.S. is doing in concert with lots of other nations, it seems less like an example of being expected to take care of other nations' security problems at our expense. It makes the campaign seem like something that has broad international backing when the real support for it in Iraq and Syria is shallow in the extreme." (11/30/15)

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/larison/the-broad-coalition-and-the-war-on-isis/  

No Comments »

Fourteen reasons not to bomb Syria

November 30, 2015
posted by

Libertarian Alliance Libertarian Alliance
by Tim Pendry  

"Fourteen reasons against bombing in Syria ... there are many others ... pick the one you like most ... it may be your kid and friend turned into mush by the arrogance of our rulers so take responsibility ..." (11/30/15)

http://thelibertarianalliance.com/2015/11/30/fourteen-reasons-not-to-bomb-syria/  

No Comments »

Syria: Russian air strikes kill at least 30 in stepped up raids

November 30, 2015
posted by

Reuters Reuters    

"Air strikes believed to have been carried out by Russian jets killed at least 30 people in the town of Ariha in northwestern Syria on Sunday, rescue workers in the rebel-held area said, part of an escalation of Russian strikes near the Turkish border. In separate air strikes closer to the frontier with Turkey, jets believed to be Russian hit a truck depot that was also struck on Thursday, destroying 10 trailers and killing five people, a rebel in the area said. Officials at the Russian defense ministry could not immediately be reached for comment." (11/29/15)

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/11/29/us-mideast-crisis-syria-ariha-idUSKBN0TI07K20151129#qGrB1suKeVe1Z0H0.97  

No Comments »

Putin: “Serious consequences” coming after Turks shoot down Russian jet

November 25, 2015
posted by

Independent [UK]    

"Vladimir Putin has said there will be 'serious consequences' to Turkey's shooting down of a Russian fighter jet. The Russian President repeated his military's claim that the Su-24 plane was inside Syrian borders but Ankara has insisted it violated Turkish airspace and ignored repeated warnings. 'Today's loss is a stab in the back by the accomplices of terrorists,' Mr Putin told a press conference as he hosted King Abdullah of Jordan in Sochi." (11/24/15)

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/vladimir-putin-warns-of-serious-consequences-following-turkey-shooting-down-russian-jet-a6746836.html  

No Comments »

Turkish forces down Russian military aircraft near Syrian border

November 24, 2015
posted by

Washington Post    

"Turkish military aircraft shot down a Russian jet Tuesday after Turkey says it violated its airspace near the border with Syria, a major escalation in the Syrian conflict that could further strain relations between Russia and the West since Turkey is a NATO member. Russian officials confirmed that a Russian Su-24 warplane, one of more than three dozen fixed-wing aircraft flying sorties in Syria as part of Russia's two-month old bombing campaign there, had been shot down but insisted it had not violated Turkish airspace. ... Video footage of the incident showed a warplane on fire before crashing on a hill and two crew members apparently parachuting safely." (11/24/15)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/turkey-shoots-down-russian-military-aircraft-after-border-breach/2015/11/24/9e8e0c42-9288-11e5-8aa0-5d0946560a97_story.html  

No Comments »

US regime: Russian regime gave advance notice of Syria airstrikes

November 17, 2015
posted by

Reuters Reuters    

"Russia gave the United States advanced notice before launching a 'significant number' of strikes in Syria on Tuesday targeting the Islamic State stronghold of Raqqa but a U.S. official said the former Cold War foes were still not coordinating militarily. France has appealed to Washington and Moscow to join in a grand coalition to fight the Islamist group that controls swathes of Syria and Iraq and has claimed responsibility for Friday's attacks in Paris. But Washington, which fiercely opposes Russia's support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, has been at pains to stress that any communication with Moscow was aimed at ensuring pilot safety. The two countries struck an agreement on air safety protocols in October." (11/17/15)

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/11/17/us-mideast-crisis-syria-russia-cruisemis-idUSKCN0T61C420151117  

No Comments »

US, Russia unveil “transition plan” for Syria

November 15, 2015
posted by

Bloomberg    

"Seventeen nations, spurred on by Friday's deadly attacks in Paris, overcame their differences on how to end Syria’s civil war and adopted a timeline that will let opposition groups help draft a constitution and elect a new government by 2017. As a first step, the United Nations agreed to convene Syria's government with opposition representatives by Jan. 1, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Saturday at a joint press conference in Vienna. A cease-fire between the government in Damascus and recognized opposition groups should be in place within six months, according to their statement." [editor's note: I wonder if anyone bothered consulting the, um, SYRIANS about the plans being made for them? - TLK] (11/14/15)

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-11-14/syrian-transition-plan-achieved-by-u-s-allies-kerry-says  

No Comments »

Russia calls for new Syrian constitution in 18 months

November 11, 2015
posted by

Associated Press    

"Russia has circulated a document on ending the nearly five-year-old Syrian conflict that calls for drafting a new constitution in up to 18 months that would be put to a popular referendum and be followed by an early presidential election. The document, obtained Tuesday by The Associated Press, makes no mention of Syrian President Bashar Assad stepping down during the transition -- a key opposition demand. It only mentions that 'the president of Syria will not chair the constitutional commission.'" (11/11/15)

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/UN_UNITED_NATIONS_SYRIA  

No Comments »

Syria: Regime troops break two-year siege at Aleppo airbase

November 10, 2015
posted by

Reuters Reuters    

"Syrian soldiers fought their way into an airbase in northern Syria on Tuesday, state television said, breaking a nearly two-year siege by Islamic State insurgents at the facility and freeing military personnel holed up inside. A military source close to the government said the army was working to secure the Kweires airbase in Aleppo province, where soldiers and officers have been under attack since 2013. ... It is the most high-profile victory for Syria's army since Russia launched an air campaign in support of Assad on Sept. 30. Syrian troops have also been supported by Iranian forces and Lebanese Hezbollah fighters in a push to regain territory, largely in the north, lost to insurgents during almost five years of conflict." (11/10/15)

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/11/10/us-mideast-crisis-syria-idUSKCN0SZ15E20151110#UxpEI2wQXvryOou7.97  

No Comments »

Syria will be the next Vietnam-style war if Obama doesn’t learn from history

November 8, 2015
posted by

Cato Institute Cato Institute
by A Trevor Thrall and Erik Goepner  

"Syria has the potential to become America's new Vietnam -- so, as Barack Obama sends the first 50 special operations troops to Syria to engage the Islamic State, we must be wary of history repeating itself. The original mistake with Syria, as with Vietnam, was for leaders in Washington to believe that civil wars and insurgencies taking place halfway around the world represent a critical national security interest." (11/06/15)

http://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/syria-will-be-next-vietnam-style-war-obama-doesnt-learn-history  

No Comments »

France deploys aircraft carrier to support al Qaeda in Syria

November 6, 2015
posted by

Akron Beacon Journal    

"France will deploy an aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf to assist the fight against the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The Charles de Gaulle, France's only aircraft carrier, will boost the air power of the U.S.-led coalition conducting airstrikes in Iraq and Syria." [editor's note: The US airstrikes in Syria seem more aimed at "regime change" than at "fighting the Islamic State." The US and its allies have objectively allied themselves with al Qaeda in the region - TLK] (11/05/15)

http://www.ohio.com/news/world/france-deploying-aircraft-carrier-to-help-fight-against-islamic-state-1.638208  

No Comments »

Russia sends anti-aircraft missiles to Syria to protect jets during airstrikes

November 5, 2015
posted by

Fox News Fox News    

"Russia has sent anti-aircraft missiles to Syria in order to safeguard its jets involved in airstrikes against militants in the war-battered Arab country, the commander of the Russian Air Force was quoted as saying Thursday. Russia has been carrying out airstrikes on Islamic State fighters in Syria since the end of September at the request of President Bashar Assad, Russia's long-term ally. Russian officials have insisted that their military involvement in Syria will be limited to an air force operation. Col. Gen. Viktor Bondarev said in an interview with the daily Komsomolskaya Pravda that the anti-aircraft missiles are there to project Russian fighter jets from a possible attack or hijack while on mission." [editor's note: Given continuing US talk about imposing a "no-fly zone" over Syria, clearly aimed at the Russian presence, the real reason for this is fairly obvious; can't say I blame them, but it's yet another escalation of US/Russian military tension - TLK] (11/05/15)

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2015/11/05/russia-sends-anti-aircraft-missiles-to-syria-to-protect-jets-during-airstrikes/  

No Comments »

Iran: Regime may quit Syria talks, in worsening spat with Saudi regime

November 2, 2015
posted by

NDTV [India]    

"Iran said today it would quit Syria peace talks if it found them unconstructive, citing the 'negative role' of Saudi Arabia, in the latest twist in a spat between the regional rivals that bodes ill for efforts to ease turmoil across the Middle East. ... World and regional powers including Iran and Saudi Arabia met in Vienna on Friday to discuss a political solution to Syria's civil war but failed, as expected, to reach a consensus on the future of President Bashar al-Assad. Iran backs Assad in the war while Saudi Arabia supports rebels seeking to oust him." (11/02/15)

http://www.ndtv.com/world-news/iran-says-may-quit-syria-talks-in-worsening-spat-with-saudi-rival-1239253  

No Comments »

Obama’s Syria strategy is doomed to fail

November 1, 2015
posted by

Emma Ashford Cato Institute
by Emma Ashford  

"The U.S. will send about 50 U.S. special forces troops to Syria, the White House announced Friday. The Pentagon has billed 'direct action on the ground' as a remedy to the current stalemate between U.S.-backed ground forces and ISIS. Yet this approach is not likely to solve the underlying problems of the Syrian conflict. Instead of this consistent mission creep -- committing ever more U.S. troops and equipment to the conflict -- U.S. leaders should focus less on military solutions. They should accept the de facto containment of ISIS, and instead prioritize non-military approaches, humanitarian support for the refugee crisis and aggressive pursuit of diplomatic options." (10/30/15)

http://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/obamas-syria-strategy-doomed-fail  

No Comments »

Syria: US sticks to demand Assad leave power at first peace talks to include Iran

October 30, 2015
posted by

Reuters Reuters    

"Washington stuck to its demand on Thursday that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad leave power, ahead of peace talks which will include Assad's main ally Iran for the first time, reflecting his stronger position since Russia joined the war on his side. Throughout four years of war that has killed 250,000 people and driven more than 10 million from their homes, Assad's main ally Tehran was locked out of a succession of international peace conferences, all of which ended in failure." [editor's note: How about a quid pro quo? Syria's regime goes, and in return so does the US regime. Sounds like a win-win deal to me ... - TLK] (10/29/15)

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/10/29/us-mideast-crisis-syria-talks-idUSKCN0SN1SS20151029  

No Comments »

The Syrian civil war: What?

October 29, 2015
posted by

The Atlantic The Atlantic
by Kathy Gilsinan  

"Syria's conflict has devolved from peaceful protests against the government in 2011 to a violent insurgency that has drawn in numerous other countries. It's partly a civil war of government against people; partly a religious war pitting Assad's minority Alawite sect, aligned with Shiite fighters from Iran and Hezbollah in Lebanon, against Sunni rebel groups; and increasingly a proxy war featuring Russia and Iran against the United States and its allies. Whatever it is, it has so far killed 220,000 people, displaced half of the country's population, and facilitated the rise of ISIS." (10/29/15)

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2015/10/syrian-civil-war-guide-isis/410746/  

No Comments »

Why peace activists should stop cheering for Russian bombs in Syria

October 18, 2015
posted by

OpEdNews
by David Swanson  

"There's a view of Syria, common even among peace activists in the United States, that holds that because the United States has been making everything worse in Syria and the entire Middle East for years, Russian bombs will make things better. While the actions of the United States and its allies will lead to victory for ISIS, horror for millions of people, and chronic chaos in Syria along the lines of post-liberation Iraq and Libya, Russian bombs -- this view maintains -- will destroy ISIS, restore order, uphold the rule of law, and establish peace. I've been informed repeatedly that because I'm opposed to Russian bombing I'm opposed to peace, I'm in favor of war, I want ISIS to win, I lack any concern for the suffering Syrian people, and my mind is either overly simplistic or somehow diseased." (10/16/15)

http://bit.ly/1Mx5VSp  

No Comments »

Turkey: Regime warns US, Russia against backing Kurdish militia in Syria

October 13, 2015
posted by

Reuters Reuters    

"Turkey has warned the United States and Russia it will not tolerate Kurdish territorial gains by Kurdish militia close to its frontiers in north-western Syria, two senior officials said. ... Turkey fears advances by Kurdish YPG militia, backed by its PYD political wing, on the Syrian side of its 900 km (560-mile) border will fuel separatist ambitions among Kurds in its own southeastern territories. But Washington has supported YPG fighters as an effective force in combating Islamic State." (10/13/15)

http://reut.rs/1Pd7rPm  

No Comments »

Syria: Russian embassy shelled during pro-government rally

October 13, 2015
posted by

Fox News Fox News    

"Insurgents fired two shells at the Russian embassy in the Syrian capital on Tuesday as hundreds of pro-government supporters gathered outside the compound to thank Moscow for its intervention in Syria. An Associated Press reporter was outside the embassy when the first shell slammed into the compound in central Damascus and smoke billowed from inside. As people started running away, another shell hit the area. No one was harmed in the shelling." (10/13/15)

http://fxn.ws/1Ls9Ljb  

No Comments »

Russia follows US script in Syria

October 12, 2015
posted by

Doug Bandow Cato Institute
by Doug Bandow  

"Vladimir Putin opened a new game of high stakes geopolitical poker, backing Syria's President Bashir Assad. But Washington has no complaint. America has been meddling in Syria's tragic civil war from the start. At the end of the Cold War Washington was anointed as the 'unipower' and 'indispensable nation,' and acted as such. The U.S. intervened anywhere anytime for any reason. But that world is gone. Russia's dramatic backing for Syria's beleaguered Assad government formally buries any illusion that 'what Washington says goes,' even in the Middle East." (10/12/15)

http://bit.ly/1R7gDSU  

No Comments »

Our Sponsors