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Regional geopolitics

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  • Re: Regional geopolitics

    ASSAD ADVISOR: 'TACIT' DEAL BETWEEN RUSSIA AND US WILL END WAR IN SYRIA
    24.09.2015

    According to a senior adviser to President Bashar al-Assad, the United
    States and Russia have come to a "tacit agreement" for ending the
    violence in Syria.

    "The current US administration wants to find a solution to the crisis
    in Syria. There is a tacit agreement between the US and Russia to
    reach this solution," Bouthaina Shaaban, a close adviser to Assad,
    told Syrian state television on Wednesday.

    © AFP 2015/ JEWEL SAMAD Syria Crisis Main Topic at Putin-Obama
    Meeting, Ukraine Issue Secondary

    "The US recognizes now that Russia has profound knowledge of this
    region and a better assessment of the situation," she added. "The
    current international climate is heading towards détente and towards
    a solution for the crisis in Syria."

    Still, a statement from US Defense Secretary Ash Carter casts doubt
    on such an accord.

    "We will continue to work with Russia on issues where our interests
    overlap," he said, according to Reuters. "It is possible but not yet
    clear that such an overlap might exist in Syria."

    Over 240,000 people have been killed since the crisis began in 2011,
    and millions have been displaced, creating the refugee crisis in
    Europe. While Russia has advocated for diplomatic discussions to
    bring about calm, the US and other Western nations have resisted,
    insisting on Assad's removal from office as a prerequisite for peace.

    © SPUTNIK/ MICHAEL KLIMENTYEV Putin, Netanyahu Reach 'Preliminary
    Agreement' to Share Info on Syria

    "Russia has provided and will provide adequate support to the
    legitimate government of Syria in the fight against extremists and
    terrorists of all kinds," Ilya Rogachev, head of Russian Foreign
    Ministry's Department for New Challenges and Threats, told RIA Novosti
    on Thursday.

    Amidst the ongoing conflict, a number of US allies have begun to take
    note of the need for cooperation with both Russia and the legitimate
    government of Assad.

    "We need to talk to many participants, including Assad," German
    Chancellor Angela Merkel said following an EU summit on Thursday.

    On Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin met with Israeli Prime
    Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Conferring in Moscow, the two leaders
    reached a "preliminary agreement" to share information on Syria.

    © FLICKR/ KWONG YEE CHENG Russia Reiterates 'Adequate' Support to
    Syria in Counterterrorism

    "In regard to the channels of exchanging information and agreeing
    possible activities, then yes, this topic was discussed and preliminary
    agreements were reached during the meeting with Netanyahu," Kremlin
    spokesman Dmitry Peskov said during a news conference.

    The West has also been critical of the Kremlin's long-standing policy
    to provide the Syrian government with equipment, weaponry, and training
    in its fight against terrorism. While Russia has made no secret of its
    actions in the region, Washington has repeatedly accused Moscow of a
    "military intervention."

    Read more:
    http://sputniknews.com/middleeast/20...#ixzz3mhBRBM9B

    Comment


    • Re: Regional geopolitics

      Originally posted by Vrej1915 View Post
      NB: What is not said clearly, is that the EU is perfectly aware, that the sudden invasion of migrants in huge and pretty organised formations is not a hasard at all.
      It is just that, organised, by Turkey.
      It is a new blackmail tool, pretty efficient.
      By the way, they make money on every aspect...
      Money from refugees, plundered... payink 5000 euros for a place, from EU, ...


      ------
      Migrant crisis: What will Turkey want for helping EU?
      By Chris Morris
      BBC News, Brussels

      "Money is not the big problem," admitted European Council President Donald Tusk. "This is not as easy as expected."
      He was talking about Turkey.

      And if one thing became clear at this week's emergency EU summit, it was that Turkey is rapidly emerging as the key ally Europe needs, if it is to have any hope of stemming the vast flow of refugees and migrants on to European soil.
      You only need to glance at a map to know that a country long described as the bridge between East and West has now become the bridge between the Syrian civil war and the European Union.
      And the narrow sea lanes between Turkey's Aegean coast and the Greek islands have become the EU's most porous border.
      So can anything be done to change that, and what does Turkey want in return?

      Well, so far, money is precisely what is on offer from Brussels - the European Commission has proposed giving €1bn (£700m; $1.1bn) to help the Turks deal with the consequences of having an estimated two million Syrian refugees on its territory.
      Turkey also figures prominently in the summit conclusions, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel went out of her way to emphasise the huge challenge Turkey faces.
      "We must make sure that (aid) programmes there are properly financed," she said, "and that we can jointly maintain better security at the borders."
      EU leaders avoid punch-up but fail refugee test

      But Turkey wants more than just money. The government says it has already spent nearly €7bn looking after Syrian refugees, so another billion from Europe is hardly a game-changer.
      The goals of the government in Ankara are more ambitious.
      In a long letter sent to all EU leaders at the summit, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu set out proposals for a buffer zone - and a no fly zone - stretching for 80km (50 miles) in northern Syria.

      If it could be made safe, the letter suggested, it could be used as an area for the "voluntary return of refugees".

      Or to put it another way, if you don't want them all heading west towards Europe, how about helping us send them back east, into a safe zone in Syria?
      At first sight it might sound like a viable solution. But it is fraught with danger, difficulty and geopolitical complications.
      Turkey has floated the idea before, and it may see the current migration crisis as another opportunity to press its case.
      But the Turks also want the buffer zone to split Kurdish militias fighting against the Islamic State group in Syria, from Kurdish PKK rebels fighting against the security forces in south-eastern Turkey.


      Visa requirements

      In the circumstances, it is hardly surprisingly that there is little enthusiasm for the idea in the EU.
      So what else could Turkey get in return for greater co-operation on the refugee issue?

      One potential carrot is progress on visa liberalisation - with the eventual goal of lifting visa requirements for Turkish citizens travelling to Europe.
      "That is certainly on offer," one official in Brussels said, although some countries would be more hesitant than others.
      All of this will be the subject of a series of high-level meetings in the coming weeks.
      Angela Merkel will meet Prime Minister Davutoglu at the UN General Assembly in New York next week, and then Turkey's powerful President, Tayyip Erdogan, will travel to Brussels for a mini-summit with the presidents of the European Council and the European Commission.
      "There could be some robust conversations," said one senior EU official. "And if the Turks refuse to play ball we will have to think again."
      Off course
      EU officials think Turkey is not doing enough to crack down on the profitable business of smuggling people across the Aegean to Greece.

      But Mr Erdogan will argue that Turkey has been shouldering the burden of Syrian refugees on its own for far too long.
      It does not help matters that relations between Ankara and Brussels are often strained.
      Turkey's negotiations on future EU membership have drifted off course, and President Erdogan has been criticised recently on a range of issues, from press freedom to what his critics see as his increasingly autocratic tendencies.
      But now the EU needs him more than ever, as it faces up to the scale of the refugee crisis.
      And one thing can be guaranteed - Mr Erdogan will strike a hard bargain.

      But but I thought it was Russia that saved Turkey...
      Hayastan or Bust.

      Comment


      • Re: Regional geopolitics

        An Israeli-Russian team will coordinate aerial and sea operations
        DEBKA

        September 24, 2015,

        An Israeli military officer reported Thursday that an Israeli-Russian coordination team set up to prevent the countries accidentally trading fire in Syria will be headed by their deputy armed forces chiefs and hold its first meeting by Oct. 5. Speaking on condition of anonymity, the officer said the talks would focus on aerial operations in Syria and "electromagnetic coordination” – referring to agreement not to scramble each other’s radio or radar-tracking systems and identifying each other’s forces in the heat of battle.
        Israel and Russia will also coordinate sea operations off Syria's Mediterranean coast, where Moscow has a major naval base. DEBKAfile reported earlier that the two deputy chiefs would operate a hot line between them and meet in person to maintain contact.

        Comment


        • Re: Regional geopolitics

          Russian marines join Hizballah in first Syrian battle – a danger signal for US, Israel
          DEBKA
          25 Sept 2015

          Before dawn on Thursday, Sept. 24, Russian marines went into battle for the first time since their deployment to Syria, DEBKAfile’s military and intelligence sources reveal. Russian Marine Brigade 810 fought with Syrian army and Hizballah special forces in an attack on ISIS forces at the Kweiris airbase, east of Aleppo.
          This operation runs contrary to the assurances of President Vladimir Putin to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Sept. 21 – just three days ago - that Russian forces in Syria were only there to defend Russian interests and would not engaged in combat with the Syrian army, Hizballah or Iranian troops.
          The ISIS force defending the air base is dominated by Chechen fighters under the command of Abu Omar al-Shishani, who is considered one of the terrorist organization’s leading commanders in the last two years. The 27-year-old al-Shishani hails from the Chechen enclave of Pankisi in Georgia, like many others who joined ISIS from 2012.
          However, targeting Chechen fighters was not the only reason for the order given by Russian command in Syria to attack the air base. In DEBKA Weekly 678 of September 11, we predicted that the first Russian mission in Syria would be to break the Syrian rebel siege on Aleppo, Syria’s second-largest city.
          As their first step, the Russians would have to prevent the cutoff of highway 5, running from Aleppo to Damascus, and keep it open for Syrian army reinforcements and military equipment to the city.
          The offensive to regain Kweiris airbase that fell to ISIS in mid-June is the first step in the implementation of Russia’s operational plan for the Aleppo area.
          Meanwhile, little substance was to be found in the reports appearing, mainly in the United States, suggesting that Putin, disappointed by the Obama administration’s unwillingness to send the US Air Force to collaborate with Russia in the fight against ISIS, would try to talk Obama round if and when they meet on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly on September 28.
          According to DEBKAfile’s sources, these reports were spread to cover up the serious crisis in the US war against ISIS.
          While Russia poured troops and advanced hardware into Syria, establishing bases and launching offensive action, the US anti-Islamic State effort suffered a heavy blow with the decision of Obama’s ISIS war czar, Gen. John Allen, to step down in early November.
          Sources close to the general were quoted as referring to his frustration “with the White House micromanagement of the war and its failure to provide adequate resources.”'
          The fact that the Russian forces launched their attack on ISIS shortly after the announcement of Allen’s upcoming resignation shows that Putin is not waiting for US cooperation in the war on the Islamist terrorists. That said, DEBKAfile’s military sources point out that the most ominous aspect for the US and Israel of the Russian attack on the Syrian airbase is that Russian marines were combined with Syrian and Hizballah special forces.
          For the first time in 41 years, since the 1974 war of attrition against the IDF on the Golan, Russian troops are fighting alongside Syrian forces. It is also the first time that a world power like Russia is willing to go into battle with an acknowledged terrorist group, such as Hizballah.
          Our sources point out that the joint attack was completely counter to the tone and the content of the comments exchanged by Putin and Netanyahu at their summit.

          Comment


          • Re: Regional geopolitics

            Originally posted by Vrej1915 View Post
            Russian marines join Hizballah in first Syrian battle – a danger signal for US, Israel
            DEBKA
            25 Sept 2015

            Before dawn on Thursday, Sept. 24, Russian marines went into battle for the first time since their deployment to Syria, DEBKAfile’s military and intelligence sources reveal. Russian Marine Brigade 810 fought with Syrian army and Hizballah special forces in an attack on ISIS forces at the Kweiris airbase, east of Aleppo.
            This operation runs contrary to the assurances of President Vladimir Putin to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Sept. 21 – just three days ago - that Russian forces in Syria were only there to defend Russian interests and would not engaged in combat with the Syrian army, Hizballah or Iranian troops.
            The ISIS force defending the air base is dominated by Chechen fighters under the command of Abu Omar al-Shishani, who is considered one of the terrorist organization’s leading commanders in the last two years. The 27-year-old al-Shishani hails from the Chechen enclave of Pankisi in Georgia, like many others who joined ISIS from 2012.
            However, targeting Chechen fighters was not the only reason for the order given by Russian command in Syria to attack the air base. In DEBKA Weekly 678 of September 11, we predicted that the first Russian mission in Syria would be to break the Syrian rebel siege on Aleppo, Syria’s second-largest city.
            As their first step, the Russians would have to prevent the cutoff of highway 5, running from Aleppo to Damascus, and keep it open for Syrian army reinforcements and military equipment to the city.
            The offensive to regain Kweiris airbase that fell to ISIS in mid-June is the first step in the implementation of Russia’s operational plan for the Aleppo area.
            Meanwhile, little substance was to be found in the reports appearing, mainly in the United States, suggesting that Putin, disappointed by the Obama administration’s unwillingness to send the US Air Force to collaborate with Russia in the fight against ISIS, would try to talk Obama round if and when they meet on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly on September 28.
            According to DEBKAfile’s sources, these reports were spread to cover up the serious crisis in the US war against ISIS.
            While Russia poured troops and advanced hardware into Syria, establishing bases and launching offensive action, the US anti-Islamic State effort suffered a heavy blow with the decision of Obama’s ISIS war czar, Gen. John Allen, to step down in early November.
            Sources close to the general were quoted as referring to his frustration “with the White House micromanagement of the war and its failure to provide adequate resources.”'
            The fact that the Russian forces launched their attack on ISIS shortly after the announcement of Allen’s upcoming resignation shows that Putin is not waiting for US cooperation in the war on the Islamist terrorists. That said, DEBKAfile’s military sources point out that the most ominous aspect for the US and Israel of the Russian attack on the Syrian airbase is that Russian marines were combined with Syrian and Hizballah special forces.
            For the first time in 41 years, since the 1974 war of attrition against the IDF on the Golan, Russian troops are fighting alongside Syrian forces. It is also the first time that a world power like Russia is willing to go into battle with an acknowledged terrorist group, such as Hizballah.
            Our sources point out that the joint attack was completely counter to the tone and the content of the comments exchanged by Putin and Netanyahu at their summit.
            xxxx yeh! I hope its true and some balance will occur in the region.
            Hayastan or Bust.

            Comment


            • Re: Regional geopolitics

              http://lratvakan.am/?p=45273&l=am/an...anvel+sargsyan

              Comment


              • Re: Regional geopolitics

                http://www.lorientlejour.com/article...me-syrien.html

                Les milices, désormais une force vitale pour le régime syrien


                "La présence des groupes parallèles ne signifie pas que l'armée se soit effondrée, mais que le fardeau est devenu si lourd qu'elle a besoin de forces de soutien", explique une source de sécurité.
                OLJ/AFP
                25/09/2015


                Avec plus de 150.000 hommes entraînés et armés, les milices sont devenues une force essentielle pour le régime syrien de Bachar el-Assad et un appoint indispensable pour son armée saignée à blanc par plus de quatre ans de guerre contre les rebelles.

                "Il y a plus de 25 principales milices, de taille différente, qui combattent aux côtés de l'armée", a confié à l'AFP une source de sécurité, avec des effectifs se situant entre 150.000 à 200.000 combattants.
                Créées en 2012 après les revers de l'armée dans les provinces de Damas, Homs (centre) et Alep (nord), les Forces de défense nationale (FDN) sont la plus importante avec 90.000 combattants de toutes confessions sous commandement du général de brigade Hawach Mohammad.

                "Il n'y avait pas assez de jeunes pour faire face aux rebelles qui commettaient des massacres dans la province de Lattaquié (ouest)", fief à majorité alaouite du clan Assad, explique à l'AFP Assef Hamdouche, 28 ans, qui a rejoint les FDN. "On n'avait pas plus le choix: combattre ou mourir", assure cet étudiant.
                L'adhésion de son ami Karim, 31 ans, est plus prosaïque. "J'ai perdu mon travail, je n'avais plus les moyens de survivre qu'en portant les armes".

                Car les miliciens perçoivent de relativement bons salaires, comparés à ceux des militaires. Ils se situent entre 100 et 300 dollars selon les groupes, tandis que la solde des conscrits n'est que de 10 dollars.
                "C'est ce qui a poussé beaucoup à fuir l'armée et à s'inscrire aux FDN", affirme l'avocat Alaa Ibrahim. "C'est pour cela que l'armée a interdit aux soldats de devenir membres de ces groupes et stipulé que combattre dans les milices ne dispensait pas du service militaire".

                La majorité de ceux qui s'engagent dans la milice le font pour protéger leur région, pour le salaire, pour éviter d'être appelé par l'armée pour de longues périodes de réserve loin de chez eux et pour le pouvoir que cela procure localement.


                (Lire aussi : Cessez-le-feu de six mois à Zabadani, Foua et Kafraya)



                Milices étrangères
                "La présence des groupes parallèles ne signifie pas que l'armée se soit effondrée, mais que le fardeau est devenu si lourd qu'elle a besoin de forces de soutien", explique la source proche du bureau de la sécurité nationale en Syrie.

                Des experts militaires occidentaux estiment que cette armée a perdu la moitié de ses effectifs combattants, qui s'élevaient à 300.000 hommes avant le début du conflit en mars 2011, en raison des morts, des défections et des insoumissions. Récemment, M. Assad soulignait l'importance de ces "volontaires", sans lesquels "l'armée n'aurait pas été capable de tenir quatre ans et demi dans une guerre aussi difficile".
                "Tous ces groupes parallèles (relèvent) de la même direction centrale, en liaison avec le bureau de la sécurité nationale qui est en contact direct avec la présidence", explique la source de sécurité.

                Outre les milices liées à des formations politiques, il existe des milices à caractère tribal ou confessionnel: alaouite sur le littoral, druze du côté de Soueida (sud), ou chrétienne vers Hassaké (nord-est).
                A ceux-là s'ajoutent des milices venues d'Iran, du Liban, surtout le Hezbollah, d'Irak ou d'Afghanistan.
                "Toutes les milices reçoivent les ordres de la direction de l'armée syrienne", explique un haut responsable de la sécurité. "Leurs membres sont assignés à des endroits précis et perçoivent une prime s'ils acceptent des missions difficiles ou loin de chez eux, ce qui n'est pas le cas des soldats".

                Rivalité
                Dans le quartier chiite d'al-Amine à Damas, sont placardées les photos de six jeunes ayant perdu la vie dans le combat à Alep.
                "Les milices suivent les directives de l'armée, tout en étant indépendantes au niveau administratif, de l'entraînement et de l'organisation", ajoute le responsable.
                La majorité ont été entraînées par l'armée syrienne mais certaines l'ont été par les Iraniens ou le Hezbollah. Une partie des milices est financée par l'Etat syrien, et une autre par l'Iran.

                La multiplication des milices a toutefois son revers, car selon la loi syrienne, les miliciens ne sont pas considérés comme des soldats. Ils ne relèvent pas des tribunaux militaires, ce qui veut dire qu'ils échappent aux sanctions s'ils commettent des abus, explique Me Ibrahim.
                La rivalité entre militaires et miliciens est palpable. Pour Fadi, un soldat de 24 ans, "les groupes armés prétendent soutenir l'armée, mais en fait gâchent souvent nos victoires et portent atteinte à notre réputation en commettant des abus", allusion notamment à l'étalage de leurs armes dans les lieux publics.

                Comment


                • Re: Regional geopolitics

                  Syria conflict: Diplomatic goals behind Putin's military build-up
                  By Jonathan Marcus
                  Defence and diplomatic correspondent
                  BBC


                  With some 24 strike- and close-support aircraft and about a dozen attack helicopters on the ground at its new airbase outside Latakia, Russia is poised to be able to make a significant impact on the fighting in Syria if it so wishes.

                  So far most of the ground troops deployed are there to protect the airbase, but satellite evidence suggests that at least two other Syrian bases are being prepared to receive additional Russian troops.

                  The Russian build-up is being closely monitored - not least by the Israelis, who have been flying intelligence-gathering aircraft off the coast between Cyprus and Lebanon on a regular circuit.

                  Most of the information available to the media comes from images from civil satellites, but of course US military satellites will also be watching developments, seeking any detail that might give a hint of Russian intentions.

                  Imagery analysts will be looking for evidence of weapons stores; of munitions being loaded on to aircraft or for any other signs of jets being prepared for operational sorties.

                  The electromagnetic spectrum will also be monitored from Western bases in Cyprus and from Israel, where the military has no shortage of Russian speakers.

                  Reports suggest that some of the Russian aircraft have already been undertaking familiarisation flights in Syrian airspace. But the question remains - what will Moscow do next?
                  Is this all preliminary to a direct Russian intervention in the fighting? Or is this something else - military theatre on a grand scale to achieve wider diplomatic objectives?

                  Military gamble

                  What President Vladimir Putin appears to be doing in Syria is to use at least the threat of military force to pursue his wider diplomatic goals.

                  To see what is going on, one must pull back from the close-up images of Russian warplanes on the tarmac and look at the wider diplomatic picture.

                  Russia - isolated and confronting Western sanctions due to its behaviour in Ukraine - is genuinely concerned about the rise of Islamist fundamentalism, which threatens to spread ever closer to Russia's own borders.

                  It wants to see the so-called Islamic State defeated and some order restored in Syria, where it has long maintained a strategic interest. It believes Western policy in the region has been self-serving and wildly naive.

                  Existing regimes have been toppled leaving little more than chaos in their wake.

                  With the UN General Assembly in New York fast approaching, Mr Putin is eager to embark upon a new initiative on the world stage; one that will highlight Russia's distinctive voice, but one that also will underline what he sees as Moscow's irreplaceable role in the international system.

                  So seen in this light, the Russian deployment to Syria may already have achieved much of what Mr Putin is seeking.


                  For a start Russia has demonstrated that it is a strategic player in the region and is prepared to put its military might behind its diplomacy.

                  It has also demonstrated that its support for President Bashar al-Assad, at least for the short- and medium-term, is solid and a factor with which all other actors must contend.

                  On the purely diplomatic front, the US has reopened military talks with Moscow. Mr Putin is due to meet President Barack Obama shortly - an encounter that will have been highly unlikely if Ukraine alone was top of their agenda.

                  Even more significantly, key actors like the Americans and some of their Nato allies, have altered their rhetoric. They are now careful to speak about Mr Assad having no "long-term" role in Syria - leaving open what might happen in the short- and medium-term.


                  There are certainly risks in Mr Putin's military gamble in Syria. But there are clearly opportunities for Russia too. And that is what Mr Putin is counting upon.

                  Comment


                  • Re: Regional geopolitics

                    Show of power.....We should follow their lead and send troops.

                    For now the baboons are making trouble.
                    B0zkurt Hunter

                    Comment


                    • Re: Regional geopolitics

                      Originally posted by Eddo211 View Post
                      Show of power.....We should follow their lead and send troops.

                      For now the baboons are making trouble.
                      You mean we should sent troops to die for other's war?? to show power to whom?
                      Would you sent your son, to die in the syrian deserts?
                      Last edited by Vrej1915; 09-25-2015, 11:49 PM.

                      Comment

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