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Regional geopolitics

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  • Re: Regional geopolitics

    Syria conflict: Aleppo offensive threatens peace talks

    A Syrian government offensive on rebel-held areas around Aleppo is threatening to derail UN efforts to persuade the warring parties to start peace talks.
    Rebels said the new assault, backed by heavy Russian air strikes, was unprecedented and that the divided northern city might soon be encircled.
    The UN special envoy declared on Monday that the talks in Geneva had begun.

    But government and opposition officials contradicted Staffan de Mistura on Tuesday, as the fighting escalated.
    Mr de Mistura acknowledged on Tuesday evening that the collapse of the talks was possible during what he described as "the preparatory phase".
    Displaced Syrians struggle to survive

    "The level of trust is close to zero between the two sides," he told the BBC.
    "A ceasefire for me is essential. In fact it is the test that shows the talks are successful," he added, urging Russia and the US to help bring it about.
    In an interview with the BBC, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urged the international community to show the same unity of purpose and political commitment to resolving the conflict in Syria as it had with the Iranian nuclear issue.

    "We have seen the power of diplomacy in the case of the Iranian nuclear deal. Can we not do the same way?" he asked.
    More than 250,000 people have died in almost five years of war in Syria.
    Eleven million others have fled their homes as forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad and those opposed to his rule battle each other, as well as jihadist militants from so-called Islamic State (IS).
    'Concrete changes'
    Activists said the assault north-west of Aleppo was the first major government offensive there since Russia launched an air campaign in support of Mr Assad in September.
    Protesters carry signs during a demonstration in Aleppo against Russian air strikes and an offensive by government forces (2 February 2016)Image copyrightReuters
    Image caption
    The Syrian opposition wants air strikes on civilians to end before starting negotiations
    UN headquarters at Palais des Nations in Geneva (2 February 2016)Image copyrightEPA
    Image caption
    The talks in Geneva are part of a peace process outlined by a UN Security Council resolution
    A Syrian army colonel told the AFP news agency that it planned to break a long-running rebel siege of two pro-government Shia villages, Nubul and Zahraa, and also to cut a rebel supply route from Turkey to opposition-held parts of Aleppo.
    The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that Russian warplanes had carried out more than 320 air strikes in the area since Monday morning.
    At least 18 civilians, including three children and two emergency workers, were killed in the raids on Tuesday, the UK-based monitoring group said.
    "The regime's and Russia's actions gravely threaten the political process," said Farah Atassi, a member of the opposition High Negotiations Committee.


    • Re: Regional geopolitics


      • Re: Regional geopolitics

        'Weakest position in years': Russia and Assad may have just delivered a decisive blow to Turkey in Syria

        Pro-government forces in Syria have reportedly
        broken a rebel siege of two villages northwest of Aleppo, effectively cutting off Turkey’s supply line to opposition groups operating in and around Syria’s largest city.

        Government troops, accompanied by Iran-backed Shiite militias and Hezbollah forces, apparently reached the cities of Nubul and Zahraa with the help of heavy Russian airstrikes on Wednesday.

        Russian airstrikes across northern Syria had been steadily shifting the epicentre of the

        war toward the corridor north of Aleppo since late November, in retaliation for Turkey’s decision to shoot down a Russian warplane it said violated its airspace.

        A stepped-up Russian bombing campaign in the Bayirbucak region of northwest Syria, near the strategically important city of Azaz, had primarily targeted the Turkey-backed Turkmen rebels and civilians — and the Turkish aid convoys that supply them.

        As a result, Turkey’s policy in Syria of bolstering rebels fighting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime — and establishing a “safe zone” for displaced Syrians that might hinder the regime’s efforts to take Aleppo — has been unravelling for months, and now appears to have been defeated entirely.

        “It cuts Turkey off from Aleppo via Azaz,” Aaron Stein, a Turkey expert and nonresident fellow at the Atlantic Council, told Business Insider on Wednesday.

        “Ankara can still access Aleppo via Reyhanli, through Idlib,” Stein said in an email. But “Turkey is on the backfoot in Syria and is at a disadvantage now that Russia is deterring them from flying strike missions,” he added.

        Indeed, Turkey’s ability to retaliate against the Russian bombing campaign in northern Syria was severely limited by the de facto no-fly zone Russia created in the north following Turkey’s downing of the Russian warplane in November.

        “This has to be Turkey’s weakest position in Syria in years,” David Kenner, Foreign Policy magazine’s Middle East editor, noted on Twitter. “Shooting down of that Russian jet was a pivot point — backfired in a major way.”

        After the incident, Russia reportedly equipped its jets flying in Syria with air-to-air missiles for self-defence and sent a state-of-the-art S-400 missile system to the Russian Hemeimeem air base near Latakia — about 30 miles south of the Turkish border.

        “Turkey lost its capacity to change the strategic situation both on the ground and in Syrian airspace as an independent actor” following the incident, Metin Gurcan, a Turkish military expert, told Business Insider at the time.

        Paul Stronski, a senior associate in the Russia and Eurasia Program at the Carnegie Endowment, agreed that the close proximity of Russia’s airstrikes to the Turkish border — a “matter of minutes” for fighter jets — has made it much more difficult for Turkey to defend its airspace and retain northwestern Syria as a Turkish sphere of influence.

        On Twitter, Stein noted that another aspect of Turkey’s Syria policy is on the brink of total collapse — namely, restricting the movements of the Kurdish YPG, with whom Turkey has clashed, to east of the Syrian city of Marea.

        “Weapons and aid now must be sent through Bab al Hawa via Idlib,” Stein wrote. “Turkish efforts to secure Marea line in trouble. Huge implications.”

        To Turkey’s chagrin, Russian President Vladimir Putin offered to help the Kurds consolidate their territorial gains in northern Syria by linking the Kurdish-held town of Kobani with Afrin in September. He a
        pparently began to make good on his after Turkey shot down a Russian warplane, offering to arm and support the Kurdish YPG in the name of cutting Turkey’s rebel supply line to Aleppo.

        In December, “Moscow delivered weapons to the 5,000 Kurdish fighters in Afrin, while Russian aircraft bombed a convoy of trucks that crossed the Turkish border into Syria at Bab al-Salam,” the Washington Institute’s Fabrice Balanche wrote in an analysis of the Azaz corridor’s strategic importance.

        As Stein noted on Twitter, “A viable way for Kurds to connect Efrin with territory East of the Euphrates now in play. Route is out of range of TR [Turkish] artillery.”

        Aykan Erdemir, a nonresident fellow at the Foundation for Defence of Democracies and a former member of Turkish parliament, told Business Insider in December that Turkey trying to intervene to stop the Kurds’ expansion westwards would “undoubtedly have serious drawbacks.”

        Any intervention, Erdemir said, “could further escalate the Turkish-Russian crisis, prompting heavier sanctions, and even new episodes of clashes between the two armies.”
        General Antranik (1865-1927): “I am not a nationalist. I recognize only one nation, the nation of the oppressed.”


        • Re: Regional geopolitics

          Originally posted by Azad View Post
          They are at it again. Hahaha

          And the fruit loop in the video showed no sign of embarrassment.
          The USA/soody/yahoody/Europa/dimwits are clutching at straws.
          I read this morning, the peace talks have been suspended after two whole days.
          Read also, that Russia said there will be NO suspension of the Syrian offensive to destroy the terrorist.
          My opinion is the peace talks (shameless ploy) was only initiated in an attempt to slow Russian/Syrian offensive.
          Didn't work.
          The united states of America, Saudi Arabia, europe/NATO couldn't stop stop the rag head terrorists, but Russia comes in and in 5 months is getting ever so close to destroying the terrorists and making them run for their sickening lives.
          Forgot to mention the hominoid (turc). These genocide commiting cowards aint seen nothing yet. They still got their commins due to them.


          • Re: Regional geopolitics

            Originally posted by Artashes View Post
            NATO couldn't stop stop the rag head terrorists, but Russia comes in and in 5 months is getting ever so close to destroying the terrorists and making them run for their sickening lives.


            • Re: Regional geopolitics

              ‘Dangerous precedent’: Turkey denies Russian observation flight along Syrian border.

              Turkey has set “a dangerous precedent” by denying an observation flight over its territories bordering Syria, the Russian Defense Ministry said, vowing a “relevant reaction” to Ankara’s violation of its obligations under the international Open Skies Treaty.



              • Re: Regional geopolitics

                Al-Nusra Front destroys Armenian churches in Al-Ghanimeh village

                13:43, 02 Feb 2016
                Siranush Ghazanchyan

                The Al-Nusra Front has destroyed the churches in the Armenian
                populated village of Al-Ghanimeh to the north of Lattakia, Arevelk
                reports, quoting the Lebanese Al-Manar TV.

                Footage shows that the Armenian and Evangelical Churches in the
                village have been destroyed, the cemeteries have been desecrated.

                `The roots of this evil come from Turkey, they have destroyed
                churches. The rebels follow the example of Turks, who have no
                religion,' says a man, who visited Al-Ghanimeh after the Syrian forces
                pushed the terrorists back from the village.


                Hayastan or Bust.


                • Re: Regional geopolitics

                  Originally posted by Haykakan View Post
                  Al-Nusra Front destroys Armenian churches in Al-Ghanimeh village
                  The general decorates the terrorists – inside Syria. The photo was distributed by McCain’s office.
                  Click image for larger version

Name:	jabhat-al-nusra-general-inspects-his-troops.jpg
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                  • Re: Regional geopolitics

                    Islamist rebels reopen southern Aleppo supply line after seizing Al-Khalidiyah
                    By Leith Fadel - 04/02/2016

                    On Wednesday afternoon inside the southern countryside of the Aleppo Governorate, the Islamist rebels of Jabhat Al-Nusra (Syrian Al-Qaeda group), Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham, Harakat Nouriddeen Al-Zinki, and Liwaa Suqour Al-Sham launched a powerful counter-assault at the strategic village of Al-Khalidiyah in order to reopen their imperative supply route along the Aleppo-Damascus Highway (M-5 Highway). Following a four hour battle with the Syrian Arab Army (SAA), Kataebat Al-Ba’ath (Al-Ba’ath Battalions) and the National Defense Forces (NDF), the Islamist rebels – specifically, Jabhat Al-Nusra and Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham – imposed full control over the village of Al-Khalidiyah, resulting in the withdrawal of the government forces to the integral town of Khan Touman.

                    The Islamist rebels of Jabhat Al-Nusra, Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham, Harakat Nouriddeen Al-Zinki, and Liwaa Suqour Al-Sham were able to capitalize on the poor defenses of the Syrian Armed Forces in southern Aleppo, thanks in large part to recent transfer of Hezbollah and Iraqi paramilitary units to the northern front, where they lifted the three year long siege on the predominately Shi’i towns of Al-Zahra’a and Nubl. With the their capture of Al-Khalidiyah on Wednesday, the Islamist rebels are now able to resupply their fighters at the imperative towns of Al-Rashiddeen and Khan Al-Assal, while also attempting to push the Syrian Armed Forces east.

           | Al-Masdar News


                    ISIS threatens government supply route to Aleppo

                    By Leith Fadel - 04/02/2016 0

                    Once again, the so-called “Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham” (ISIS) is threatening to cutoff the Syrian Government’s only supply route to the Aleppo Governorate after launching another wide-scale assault in the eastern countryside of the Hama Governorate on Wednesday afternoon. The aforementioned terrorist group began the day by conducting a powerful assault on two imperative sites in eastern Hama, striking the Syrian Armed Forces’ defensive positions at the village of Al-‘Awaynat and the oil wells outside of Ithriya near the Khanasser-Ithriyah Road that stretches to the Aleppo Governorate.

                    According to a military source from the Syrian Arab Army’s 555th Brigade of the 4th Mechanized Division, the ISIS assault on Al-‘Awaynat was repelled after a long battle that resulted in the death of two dozen militants and the destruction of 4 armored vehicles mounted with a variety of anti-aircraft machine guns from the aforementioned terrorist group. The source added that firefights are still ongoing between ISIS and the Syrian Armed Forces at the oil wells to the east of Ithriyah; this is most critical of the two battles because if the terrorists seize this site, they will be in position to close off the government’s supply route to the Aleppo Governorate.

           | Al-Masdar News


                    • Re: Regional geopolitics

                      Battle for northern Aleppo far from over

                      By Leith Fadel

                      The Syrian Arab Army’s 4th Mechanized Division and their allies have successfully lifted the 3 year long siege on the predominately Shi’i towns of Al-Zahra’a and Nubl; however, the real battle for northern Aleppo has just started, as the Islamist rebels attempt to forestall the government forces from advancing along the Hariteen Highway that stretches to the Turkish city of Gaziantep. While the news in northern Aleppo seems promising for the Syrian Armed Forces and their allies, they are still involved in a violent battle with the Islamist rebels of Jabhat Al-Nusra (Syrian Al-Qaeda group), Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham, and Jabhat Al-Shamiyah at both Bayyanoun and Rityan.

                      Should the Islamist rebels hold on and secure the village of Rityan, they will be able to launch a counter-assault to cut the road between Al-Zahra and Mu’arasat Al-Khan, leaving the Syrian Armed Forces and their allies trapped once again. The reality is that the Syrian Armed Forces and their allies have a thin supply line to Al-Zahra’a – they can be attacked from the north and south flanks by the Islamist rebels, which could end up being a disaster if Hezbollah and the Iraqi paramilitary units become trapped. The pro-government forces took a risk to transfer several units from Syrian Arab Army’s 4th Mechanized Division, Hezbollah, and the Iraqi paramilitary units to northern Aleppo; if they become trapped at this front, the Islamist rebels could ultimately recover large swathes of land in the south.

             | Al-Masdar News