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Thread: Syria

  1. #401
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    Default Re: Syria

    Iran, Syria, Russia, China plan naval drill in Mediterranean

    Countries' militaries to stage large-scale maritime maneuvers off Syrian coast. Drill to include 90,000 soldiers, submarines, aircraft, tanks and warships

    Ynet

    06.19.12, 12:37 / Israel News


    Joint military drill amid violent crackdown – The armies of China, Russia, Iran and Syria are planning to hold naval maneuvers in the Mediterranean Sea over the next few weeks, Iranian news agency Fars reported Tuesday.

    According to the report, 90,000 soldiers from the four countries will take part in the large-scale maritime war games, which will be held off the Syrian coastline.

    Related stories:


    The military maneuvers will include naval and anti-aircraft forces, as well as 400 aircraft, 900 tanks, Iranian submarines, minesweepers, warships and Russian destroyers.


    Russian MIG fighter jet used by Syrian army (Photo: CC Cropbot)


    The report also stated that Egypt has agreed to allow 12 Chinese warships to pass through the Suez Canal, adding that the military convoy is scheduled to dock in Syrian ports over the next two weeks.

    Meanwhile, negotiations between the six powers and Iran are not yielding progress, and could end sooner than scheduled. Russian and Iranian diplomats speaking to the press hours after talks kicked off in Moscow said that the sides are grappling to iron out differences and that the atmosphere was "not positive."

    The EU delegation spokesman told reporters that world powers were sticking by a previous demand for Iran to halt enriching uranium to 20% – a level approaching that needed to make an atomic bomb.

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  2. #402
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    Default Re: Syria

    Syria denies war games with Russia, China, Iran

    Published Tuesday, June 19, 2012

    An adviser to Syrian President Bashar Al Assad has denied an Iranian media report that Syria would host Russian, Chinese and Iranian military forces for joint exercises, the Russian news agency Interfax reported on Tuesday.

    An Iranian news agency, Fars, reported that 90,000 troops and hundreds of ships, tanks and warplanes from the four countries would take part in the war games on land and sea in Syria soon.

    "There will be nothing like that. This is one of those (pieces of) false information that are distributed about (Syria)," Interfax quoted Bouthaina Shabaan, an adviser to Assad who was in Moscow on Tuesday, as saying.

    Interfax said she was referring to a report on Al Arabiya television that was similar to the Fars article.

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  3. #403
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    Default Re: Syria

    The Russian embassy in London has not yet commented.


    They can't figure out what to say.
    Libertatem Prius!


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    Default Re: Syria

    This is getting pretty damned serious if you ask me.

    When Russia and the US are vying for top dog... someone is gonna come out on the bottom.
    Libertatem Prius!


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  5. #405
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    Default Re: Syria

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Donaldson View Post
    This is getting pretty damned serious if you ask me.

    When Russia and the US are vying for top dog... someone is gonna come out on the bottom.

    Obama keeps bending over to bow and to pray to his moon god Allah, he's used to being a bottom.
    "Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat."
    -- Theodore Roosevelt


  6. #406
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    Default Re: Syria

    Sounds likely.
    Libertatem Prius!


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  7. #407
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    Default Re: Syria

    Russia denies reported Russian-Chinese-Iranian exercise in Syria

    Tags: Tartus Syrian port, Syria, Russian-Syrian relations, News, Politics, Russia, World

    © Flickr.com/ syrialooks /cc-by-nc-sa 3.0

    Russia has denied media reports about forthcoming Russian-Chinese-Iranian war games in Syria.


    The assistant to the Russian Navy Chief, Igor Dygalo, referred to them in an interview with the Voice of Russia as delirious nonsense.

    The Dubai-based Pan-Arabist TV Channel Al-Arabiya said in a recent report that Russian, Chinese, Syrian and Iranian troops would hold a joint military exercise shortly.

    Interfax

    In other news...

    Russia Floats Out Large Landing Warship

    Press Release
    Monday, May 21, 2012


    Ivan Gren: Photo credit RiaNovosti 'Victor Guseynov'

    The Yantar shipyard in the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad has floated a new large landing ship for the Russian Navy

    The $160-million vessel has a displacement of about 6,000 tons and will be able to carry up to 13 main battle tanks or 36 armored personnel carriers or 300 naval infantry troops.

    Along with Mistral-class amphibious ships being built in France, Ivan Gren class ships will form the core of the Russian Navy's landing forces.

    The construction of the landing ship Ivan Gren started in 2004, but has been delayed due to the lack of financing and skilled workers.

    The ship's completion is expected by 2013. Plans to build three more ships of the same class are under consideration.


    Not by “Mistral” alone: new landing ship for Russian Navy


    Tags: Mistral, Commentary, Military news, Russian Navy , Russia
    Ilya Kramnik
    May 22, 2012 16:04 Moscow Time

    Mistral. Photo: EPA

    The new large landing ship “Ivan Gren” has come off the production line of the “Yantar” plant. The ship, named after the famous Soviet Admiral and scientist-artilleryman, is the chief ship of Project 11711. Ships of the project, along with the French/Russian-made “Mistral” helicopter carriers, are to form the basis of the Russian Navy’s landing force in the near future.

    Currently, the landing forces of the Navy consist of 18 large landing ships.

    The basis of this fleet consists of 15 ships from Project 775 constructed in Poland, and three ships from project 1171 “Tapir” built in the USSR in the 1960s.

    Although the project of the new large landing ship has a number similar to its predecessor – 11711 – there is nothing left from “Tapir” in it. According to available information, a similar project number was assigned for purposes of secrecy.

    The new large landing ship differs from its predecessors in its lesser radio visibility due to modified forms of add-ons. The design of the dock-camera and the bow ramp was modified in order to facilitate the landing of troops and enhance its security, whether it is conducted by means of boats, or directly on shore.

    The “Ivan Gren” has been under construction for quite a long time, from 2004 to 2012. It is expected to start operating only in 2013. This delay in construction was due both to the uncertainty of the landing forces’ role in the structure of the Fleet, and the project’s incompleteness. The second reason is still the problem of today: before issuing an order for a large series of ships, the Navy intends to put the “Ivan Gren” to the test in order to make a decision concerning the equipment and armament of prospective large landing ships. Today the second ship of Project 11711 is at the initial stage of construction. The work began in 2010, but it is unlikely to be sped up before 2013-14 i.e. before the conclusions are made basing on the results of the lead ship’s tests. After that an order can be made for a series of ships, improved according to the test’s results.

    Altogether, including the order for four “Mistral” universal amphibious ships (UAS) – each of which can replace two large landing ships in regards to the accommodation of troop capacity – the Navy needs approximately 9-10 ships from Project 11711. The state armament program for the period of 2011-2020 lays down plans for the construction of six such ships. The rest will probably be built after 2020.

    However, the “Ivan Gren’s” fate is not quite clear yet. It is possible that after the tests the lead ship of the new project will be used as a military transport “with landing potential.” First of all, it depends on the kind of weapons that will be placed on the newly built ship.

    The contract for the construction of two UAS “Mistral” in France and two more under license in Russia has caused a heated reaction in the West and in some post-soviet states – especially in Georgia and Baltic countries.

    Versions concerning the use of the new UAS in the Baltic Sea and the Black Sea were seriously discussed there. These publicly stated concerns, however, can be regarded only as “demonstrative actions”, because it is obvious that a 21,000 ton UAS with a sailing range of about 20,000 miles is not intended for sailing in “ponds” like the Black or Baltic Seas. The actual renewal of the landing forces in these theaters of military action means that large landing ships of average dimensions and range of sailing will be added to the armory.

    These ships are able to land a reinforced company of marines (or a battalion, but without equipment), and to support the landing by means of artillery fire and multiple launch rocket systems. It is optimal to use them in conflicts, such as the August War of 2008. It should be noted that the UAS of project 11711 – alongside a larger accommodation of troops capacity – have a smaller sailing range than their predecessors, which suggests their use primarily in coastal zones.

    The new UAS is not enough to maintain full-fledged assault forces of the Fleet. The marines of the Russian Navy need new armored vehicles, including floating ones, and landing boats, both conventional and on air cushions, which can be applied both from the board of the amphibious ships and on their own.

    A renewal of the helicopter fleet is also badly needed. It is supposed to solve this problem by purchasing the upgraded Ka-29 (transport- combatant) helicopters and the latest Ka-52К (deck combat helicopters).

    Meanwhile we are to wait for the results of the “Ivan Gren” tests. In the next two years the structure of the Russian Navy landing forces will become clear.

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  8. #408
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    Default Re: Syria

    'The Two Men Barely Looked at Each Other'

    8:12 AM, Jun 19, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER

    CBS reports that when Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin met with the press after their long private discussion, "The two men barely looked at each other. You could just feel, sort of, the tension between them. And the body language really represented how far apart the two leaders remain on the issue of Syria."



    "It is clear that President Obama did not get an agreement from Russian president Putin [on Syria]," CBS reports.

    "And interestingly," CBS adds, "Apparently President Obama got a bit of a lecture from Putin about some other failed transitions that are going on around the world."

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    Nikita Khrushchev: "We will bury you"
    "Your grandchildren will live under communism."
    “You Americans are so gullible.
    No, you won’t accept
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    outright, but we’ll keep feeding you small doses of
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    until you’ll finally wake up and find you already have communism.

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    We’ll so weaken your
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  9. #409
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    Default Re: Syria

    "And interestingly," CBS adds, "Apparently President Obama got a bit of a lecture from Putin about some other failed transitions that are going on around the world."
    Of course he did, because he can chew the ass of a mere peon journalist, but he has to let himself be dressed down by a Communist leader.

    Reagan would have gotten up and flipped off Pukin and walked out.

    What the fuck happened to men... and their balls?

    God. I'm sickened.
    Libertatem Prius!


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  10. #410
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    Default Re: Syria

    Syria Civil War Deepens as Russia Deploys Warships and Marines to Support Assad



    Syria Civil War Deepens as Russia Deploys Warships and Marines to Support Assad

    According to an unidentified Russian naval official, two Russian warships with an accompanying force of marines will head to Syria under the pretext of protecting Russian citizens in the country. But the real purpose for this naval expedition is likely for the purpose of bolstering Assad's increasingly isolated regime in Syria.

    The two warships, which the New York Times has identified as "amphibious assault ships" laden with a unspecified number of Russian marines, are scheduled to land in Tartus, the second largest port in Syria, to dock at a Cold War-era naval base. The mission of the Russian marines is not clear, though one may speculate that they will likely provide support to the Assad regime and serve as a deterrent to Western powers who are tempted to intervene in Syria.

    The Russian naval official explained that the naval mission "jointly with the marine units they carry are capable of protecting the security of Russian citizens and evacuating a part of the property of the logistics base." This makes it seem like Russian intervention in favor of Assad will become a stronger possibility.

    A comparable instance occurred in the 2011 NATO airstrike as China evacuated its citizens from Libya prior to the start of the campaign. In that instance, China's evacuation was limited to military transports and civilian charter ships from Greece with one warship acting in a protective role.

    Though some pondered the implications of such an efficient military-like operation, the operation went off with little hints of Chinese support for the Gaddafi regime.

    Russia has a vested interest in the survival of the Assad regime, especially given the large volumes of arms that Russia sells to Syria and the importance that Syria plays in Russia's Middle East policy. Russia is Syria's biggest supplier of arms and munitions, including powerful attack helicopters, which the Assad regime has used to suppress the Free Syrian Army.

    This isn't the first military expedition Russia has mobilized in support of Assad since the unrest in Syria began last year. Towards the end of November Russia sent its flagship aircraft carrier to Tartus in a "show of solidarity with the Syrian people," a move which Western media saw as seeking to deter Western powers from openly intervening in Syria and potentially toppling the Assad Regime.

    To be sure, one cannot say with any great certainty that the Russians plan to get involved in the suppression of the rebel forces in Syria, but the presence of Russian warships and ground forces will certainly make the West likely hinder any form of open support in the Free Syrian Army's fight against the Assad regime.

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    “You Americans are so gullible.
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  11. #411
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    Default Re: Syria

    Middle East File: Kremlin equivocates over Clinton comment, denies shipping new combat helicopters to Assad, only “refurbished”; Russian General Staff admits naval task force with marines “ready” to secure facility at Tartus, denies ships already under sail, berates Washington’s “poor” intelligence

    Leave a Comment Posted by periloustimes1 on June 16, 2012



    - UPDATE: Voice of Israel: Russian Commandos to Escort Assad from Syria
    (source)

    - Rosoboronexport General Director Acknowledges Current Shipment of Missile Defense Systems to Syria, Offers Subtle Warning to NATO


    - Communist Bloc’s “One Clenched Fist”: Shanghai Cooperation Organization Wraps Up Peace Mission 2012 “Counterterrorism” War Game in Tajikistan


    Today, Syrian government troops shelled suburbs of the capital Damascus, killing at least 12 people in a wider offensive against rebel positions throughout the country. Most of the deaths occurred overnight in the restive suburb of Douma. There regular forces fired mortars that struck a residential building, killing eight people. In the central city of Homs, government troops kept up their relentless months-long shelling of rebel-held districts, including Khaldiyeh and Jouret el-Shayyah.

    There are nearly 300 United Nations monitors currently in Syria to follow up on a peace plan brokered by former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan, which now seems to be disintegrating. The head of the toothless UN observer team, Norwegian Major General Robert Mood, said Friday that a spike in bloodshed is derailing the mission. “Violence over the past 10 days has been intensifying willingly by the both parties, with losses on both sides and significant risks to our observers,” he told reporters in Damascus.

    Syrian oppositionists and activists say some 14,000 people have been killed since the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad began in March 2011 as part of the wider Arab Spring phenomenon. Syria’s Arab Socialist Ba’ath Party has been in power since 1963.

    Meanwhile, this past week US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton asserted that Russia had sent a shipment of “new” attack helicopters to Assad, but later backpedalled, calling the aircraft “refurbished.” In reply, the Russian Foreign Ministry huffed on its website: “As we said before, there are no new combat helicopters supplies to Syria. Our military and technical cooperation with Syria is limited to delivery of defensive arms. As for helicopters, earlier we did a planned maintenance of equipment that had been supplied to Syria many years ago.”

    US officials also maintain that Russia is deploying a small contingent of troops, presumably marines, presumably to secure the Kremlin’s only naval base in the Mediterranean region, the Syrian port of Tartus, a facility that Moscow obtained more than 40 years ago. CNN, citing US intelligence and classified satellite imagery, states that the Russian Navy’s landing ship Nikolay Filchenkov began loading in the Black Sea port of Sevastapol on June 7. The Nikolay Filchenkov is capable of carrying up 1,700 tons of military cargo and 300 troops.

    In response to the latest US accusation, the Russian General Staff equivocated, admitting that it was indeed readying a flotilla with marines to secure its base at Tartus but, at the same time, denying that the task force had already departed. A “source” in the Russian high command told ITAR-TASS:

    The Mediterranean Sea is a zone of the Black Sea Fleet’s responsibility. Hence, warships may go there in the case it is necessary to protect the Russian logistics base in Tartous, Syria. Several warships of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, including large landing ships with marines aboard, are fully prepared to go on the voyage.

    The Cesar Kunikov large landing ship of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, which is returning from Italian Messina to base, passed the Bosporus Strait on Friday. It will return to Sevastopol on Saturday.

    All the ships are staying in Sevastopol except the Cesar Kunikov large landing ship. Either the U.S. intelligence service works poorly or they have a poor knowledge of geography.

    The Russian General Staff made no mention of the Nikolay Filchenkov, the landing ship identified by US intelligence. Russian warships are pictured above.

    This is not the first time that Russian warships and troops have showed up at Tartus. In January, for example, a Russian naval task force, under the command of flagship aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov, made a port of call at Tartus. At the time, the Russian Defense Ministry denied that the presence of the Russian warships at the Syrian port was related to that country’s internal crisis.

    In March, news outlets announced the arrival of Russian “anti-terrorist marines” aboard a tanker in Tartus, prompting the Kremlin to explain that the civilian-manned Imam, with its “security unit,” was actually en route to the Gulf of Aden to support Russian warships participating in a UN-sanctioned anti-piracy mission. At the time, Russian Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov retorted: “Russia’s supply of weapons to Syria is in line with international law and will continue. Russian-Syrian military cooperation is perfectly legitimate.”

    Acknowledging the presence of Russian military personnel in Syria, he continued: “The only thing that worries us today is the security of our citizens. It’s part of our contractual obligations. When we supply weapons, we have to provide training.” Antonov scoffed at previous allegations that Russia has sent special forces to assist Syrian regular forces: “There are no [Russian] special forces with rifles and grenade launchers running around.”

    More recently, on Friday, Russia’s chief arms exporter stated that his company was shipping advanced defensive missiles to the Middle East country that could be used to shoot down or sink NATO warplanes or warships if the alliance intervenes in the Syrian conflict. “I would like to say these mechanisms are really a good means of defense, a reliable defense against attacks from the air or sea,” Anatoly Isaykin, general director of Rosoboronexport said in an interview. “This is not a threat, but whoever is planning an attack should think about this.”

    In a related story that confirms military cooperation is well advanced within the Communist Bloc, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization wrapped up its ninth joint “counterterrorism” exercise in Khuzhand, Tajikistan, on Thursday.

    Peace Mission 2012 involved 2,000 military personnel from Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan. The Red Chinese media praised the war game: “The performance was highly appreciated by the SCO observation mission, which included Tajik President Emomali Rahmon, Deputy Chief of the General Staff Ma Xiaotian of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army and senior defense officials from other participating countries.”

    Previous “Peace Mission” war games took place in 2005, 2007, 2009, and 2010.

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    Default Re: Syria

    The signs of escalation are pretty evident to me. Anyone else?
    Libertatem Prius!


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  13. #413
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    Default Re: Syria

    Companion Articles:



    The Russians don't want to give up their base in Syria.

    Was the MV Alaed vessel a decoy?
    What about the troops already there?

    If there's no showdown...what deals did Obama offer Putin? Technology, More reductions in our nuclear weapons capabilities, access to Missile Shields, Influence over former soviet states? etc...?

    Was there a compromise, if so, who, what, where and when?

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    Nikita Khrushchev: "We will bury you"
    "Your grandchildren will live under communism."
    “You Americans are so gullible.
    No, you won’t accept
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    outright, but we’ll keep feeding you small doses of
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    until you’ll finally wake up and find you already have communism.

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  14. #414
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    Default Re: Syria

    US says 3 Russian ships to head to Syria

    By LOLITA C. BALDOR, Associated Press – 4 minutes ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — A Pentagon official says the U.S. believes that three Russian ships carrying supplies and possibly personnel are now preparing to depart for Syria.

    Capt. John Kirby, a Pentagon spokesman, says the U.S. has no reason to believe the supplies are headed anywhere other than Russia's naval base in the Syrian port city of Tartus. There have been ongoing questions about whether Russia was using the ships to provide arms to Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime, a move the international community would oppose.

    Initial reports were that Moscow was preparing to send two ships. This was the first time officials suggested there were more.

    Kirby says the U.S. has made it clear that any move to provide support or arms to the regime would be "intolerable and unacceptable."

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    Nikita Khrushchev: "We will bury you"
    "Your grandchildren will live under communism."
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    Default Re: Syria

    "intolerable".

    Wow.

    Things are gonna get worse.
    Libertatem Prius!


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    Default Re: Syria

    More Rhetoric to Encourage Syria Intervention

    Written by Raven Clabough



    So anxious, it seems, are Washington officials to get involved in Syria that they have admitted falsifying information to manipulate nations into getting onboard.

    Recently, the United States has made claims that Russia is shipping weapons to Syria, but the New York Times reports that a senior Defense Department official admitted that U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton intentionally made false claims regarding a shipment of Russian weapons in order to “put the Russians in a difficult position.”


    The Times reports, “Mrs. Clinton’s claim about the helicopters, administration officials said, is part of a calculated effort to raise the pressure on Russia to abandon President Bashar al-Assad, its main ally in the Middle East.”

    In response to Clinton’s allegations, Russian foreign minister Sergy V. Lavrov accused the United States of hypocrisy, asserting that it has been supplying weapons to be used against demonstrators in other areas of the Middle East. He also stated that Russia is not supplying weapons that could be used in the civil war.

    “We are not providing Syria or any other place with things which can be used in struggle with peaceful demonstrators, unlike the United States, which regularly supplies such equipment to this region,” Lavrov said.

    In defense of Clinton’s statements, White House press secretary Jay Carney said, “What Secretary Clinton said was a continuation of what we’ve been saying.”

    “The situation in Syria is obviously terrible. Assad’s brutality is unacceptable. He will go down in history as a tyrant who will be loathed by generations of Syrians who are the victims of his brutality,” he added.

    Members of Congress and of the Obama administration have been looking to get involved in Syria, mostly citing humanitarian causes such as the recent massacre of over 90 people in Houla. Immediately, the United States, France, Great Britain, and Germany blamed al-Assad for the massacre and expelled Syrian’s ambassadors from their countries in protest.

    But later reports increasingly pointed to evidence that the massacre was not in fact caused by al-Assad, but by anti-al-Assad rebel forces. The

    National Review
    writes:

    But according to a new report in Germany’s leading daily, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ), the Houla massacre was in fact committed by anti-Assad Sunni militants, and the bulk of the victims were member of the Alawi and Shia minorities, which have been largely supportive of Assad. For its account of the massacre, the report cites opponents of Assad, who, however, declined to have their names appear in print out of fear of reprisals from armed opposition groups.

    At the time, the United States unquestionably blamed Assad’s regime for the slaughter.

    State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said, "We hold the Syrian government responsible for this slaughter of innocent lives, This massacre is the most unambiguous indictment to date of the Syrian government's flagrant violations of its U.N. Security Council obligations.”

    Likewise, the United Nations, Human Rights Watch, and Amnesty International jumped on board with anti-Assad rhetoric.

    Meanwhile, a number of lawmakers were using that massacre as a means to push for military intervention in Syria.

    Senator John McCain was outraged by the news of what took place in Syria and has called for greater international intervention. Calling Obama’s policies in Syria “feckless,” McCain said, “This is a shameful episode in American history. And it's really an abdication of everything that America stands for and believes in. And on Memorial Day, we should be especially moved by this incredible inaction and failure to assert American leadership."

    Presidential candidate Mitt Romney was also banging the war drum, and used the entire incident to question President Obama’s leadership in the Middle East.

    ''After nearly a year and a half of slaughter, it is far past time for the United States to begin to lead and put an end to the Assad regime. President Obama can no longer ignore calls from congressional leaders in both parties to take more assertive steps,'' Romney said. ''The United States should work with partners to organize and arm Syrian opposition groups so they can defend themselves. The bloodshed in Houla makes clear that our goal must be a new Syrian government.''

    Unfortunately, it seems it was those opposition groups with whom Romney recommended that the U.S. military work that caused the massacre.

    But despite this, the Washington Post confirmed that Syrian rebels have received an “influx of arms with Gulf neighbors’ money” through U.S. coordination:

    Syrian rebels battling the regime of President Bashar al-Assad have begun receiving significantly more and better weapons in recent weeks, an effort paid for by Persian Gulf nations and coordinated in part by the United States, according to opposition activists and U.S. and foreign officials.

    A senior State Department official said, “We are increasing our nonlethal assistance to the Syrian opposition, and we continue to coordinate our efforts with friends and allies in the region and beyond in order to have the biggest impact on what we are collectively doing.”

    But despite claims of nonlethal assistance, there are already reports that the United States has been involved in covert warfare in Syria.

    A leaked e-mail, written by Reva Bhalla, director of analysis for the Austin, Texas-based global intelligence firm Stratfor, reveals details of a December 6 Pentagon meeting attended by members of the U.S. Air Force Strategic Studies Group, as well as other military officers.

    Bhalla learned that despite official assertions by the U.S. government, there were already NATO powers on the ground in Syria. The e-mail states:
    After a couple hours of talking, they said without saying that SOF [Special Operations Forces] teams (presumably from US, UK, France, Jordan, Turkey) are already on the ground focused on recce [reconnaissance] missions and training opposition forces.

    [The mission's purpose is to] commit guerrilla attacks, assassination campaigns, try to break the back of the Alawite forces, elicit collapse from within.

    According to Bhalla’s e-mail, the goal was to “prepare contingencies and be ready to act within 2-3 months.”

    Russia’s relationship with Syria has been an obstacle to overcome, however. The New York Times reports:

    Syria has long been a staunch Russian ally and is home to Russia’s only naval base on the Mediterranean Sea. But American officials have warned the Russians that Mr. Assad’s exit is inevitable, and that if Russia wants to preserve its influence in Syria, it needs to be part of the effort to arrange a political transition. If Russia is viewed as complicit in the Assad government’s attack on its own people, these officials said, it would be shunned by any new Syrian government, as well as by the rest of the Arab world, which is increasingly appalled by the violence.

    The U.S. government has relied heavily on fear, humanitarianism, and a sense of urgency to advocate for intervention in Syria. Secretary Clinton has stated that the United Nations Security Council must make a decision by mid-July because “if there is no discernible movement by then, it will be very difficult to extend a mission that is increasingly dangerous for the observers on the ground.”

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    Default Re: Syria

    A Cut Too Far
    Obama set to seek deeper cuts in nuclear arsenal

    AP

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    BY: Bill Gertz -
    President Obama has decided to seek deeper cuts in deployed strategic nuclear weapons to as few as 1,000 warheads, sharply below the target of 1,550 warheads required under a 2010 U.S.-Russia arms treaty, U.S. officials said Monday.

    Critics say the steep cuts, which the administration will seek in new talks with a growing anti-U.S. government in Moscow, would undermine U.S. strategic deterrence for the United States and its allies in Asia and Europe.

    The lower warhead levels also would be contrary to recent congressional testimony from a strategic forces commander who said further cuts would weaken the ability to deter nuclear states like Russia and China.

    A U.S. strategic nuclear force posture of 1,000 strategic warheads has not been seen since the early 1950s. At the height of the Cold War, both the United States and the Soviet Union had as many as 30,000 nuclear weapons.

    The deeper nuclear cuts are outlined in a forthcoming report the Pentagon calls the Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) implementation study, dubbed the mini-NPR, and reflect President Obama’s announced 2009 effort to completely eliminate all nuclear weapons. The announcement comes despite reports that Russia and China are engaged in a major buildup of their nuclear forces, and North Korea and Iran are developing nuclear arsenals.

    A Pentagon spokesman declined to comment on the mini-NPR study results.

    Other officials said the study results would be made public in the next few days.

    The officials confirmed the new projected warhead levels after they were first reported Friday by Japan’s Kyodo news agency.

    U.S. officials also said the forthcoming mini-NPR report will rule out steeper cuts of between 800 and 300 warheads. The lowest number is fewer than are currently estimated to be in China’s warhead arsenal.

    Before retiring in 2011, U.S. Strategic Command commander Gen. Kevin P. Chilton told Congress that warhead levels of around 1,550 warheads under New START are needed for strong deterrence against nuclear threats. “I think the arsenal we have is exactly what is needed today to provide the deterrent,” he said.

    Gen. Robert Kehler, the current Strategic Command leader, said last month that he is worried about cuts in both warheads and funding needed for modernizing aging nuclear weapons and infrastructure.

    Under difficult fiscal constraints, nuclear forces that need modernizing include delivery systems, weapons life extension programs, stockpile monitoring, naval reactor design work, and upgrades for nuclear command and control, Kehler said during a talk at the Council on Foreign Relations.

    If further cuts are made, “we will have to go back and do what we did with this round of reductions: completely review what those impacts could be and make the appropriate recommendations,” the four-star general said.

    “Of all the elements of the nuclear enterprise, I’m most concerned with the potential for declining or inadequate investment in the nuclear weapons enterprise itself, some declining investment that would result in our inability to sustain the deterrent force,” he said.

    “Our weapons are aging, and we face the continued erosion of the nuclear enterprise’s physical and intellectual capital.”

    Without investments for modernizing nuclear arms and infrastructure, “maintaining the long-term credibility and viability of the nation’s nuclear deterrent will not be possible,” Kehler said.

    Former United Nations Ambassador John Bolton, a former State Department arms control undersecretary, said he is very worried that deeper cuts will harm U.S. security.

    “Levels under the New START agreement are already too low,” Bolton told the Free Beacon. “Going below that reflects blind ideology, not strategic analysis of U.S. defense needs. This is what a second Obama term will bring.”

    President Obama was overheard during a meeting with then-Russian President Dmitri Medvedev telling the Russian leader that he would have “more flexibility” in strategic talks with Russia after his presumed reelection.

    The comment was widely viewed as the president offering additional concessions to Moscow beyond many already made as part of the administration’s conciliatory “reset” policy toward Russia.

    Frank Gaffney, head of the Center for Security Policy that advocates the Reagan administration defense policy of peace through strength, said the further warhead cuts would weaken U.S. security.

    “This is of a piece with the Obama administration’s program to rid the world of nuclear weapons, starting with ours,” Gaffney said in an interview.

    Gaffney said new warhead cuts would add to other national security problems caused by the administration, including what he termed a “defective” New START treaty; a failure to follow through on nuclear modernization promises; efforts to permanently prevent testing of new weapons; and the decline of the nuclear industrial base.

    “The Nuclear Posture Review implementation study will make plain that this is a matter of ideology and not national security,” Gaffney said.

    The Free Beacon first reported Feb. 14 that the president directed the Pentagon to examine cutting nuclear forces to as few as 300 warheads, less than communist China’s growing nuclear force.

    The presidential directive for the mini-NPR was sent from the White House in August and called for military and policy officials to examine three warhead levels: 1,100 to 1,000; between 700 and 800; and between 300 and 400 warheads.

    The study was the first time a president had ordered basing strategic warheads on specific levels. In the past, warhead levels were matched to maintaining deterrence against foreign threats, mainly the Soviet Union, later Russia, and more recently China and North Korea.

    There are currently an estimated 5,000 warheads in the U.S. arsenal. Under the 2010 New START arms treaty with Russia, U.S. deployed strategic warhead levels will be cut to 1,550. After the treaty was signed, the administration disclosed that Russian warhead levels had already been lowered to 1,550.

    Pentagon spokesman George Little said in February that the details for the mini-NPR were classified. However, he stated that the president had tasked the Pentagon to “develop several alternative approaches to deterrence and stability, to include illustrative force size and postures to best support those alternatives.”

    The Pentagon was evaluating the alternatives based on the 2010 Nuclear Posture Review.

    Retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Thomas McInerney said the administration is seeking to unilaterally disarm U.S. nuclear forces, something that is “the most dangerous thing I have ever seen an American President attempt to do.”

    “This is not the time to embark on such a dangerous path, with China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea increasing their nuclear forces,” he said.

    President Obama said in a major speech in Prague, Czech Republic in 2009 that the United States should eliminate all nuclear weapons.

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    Default Re: Syria

    I do not think the US (Clinton) was playing a game with Russia. She'd be stupid to do that, she's out of her league doing something like that and the Russians can outmatch her quickly and efficiently.

    No, I think she was being honest in this and perhaps she was trying to "manipulate" things, but isn't that truly what the "diplomatic corps" is about anyway? So I say "so what".

    That Assad is killing civilians is true, the UN has verified it and so have NGOs over there.

    That we're doing NOTHING to stop it is also true.

    That Russia is facilitating it is ALSO true.

    Where does it stop?
    Libertatem Prius!


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    Default Re: Syria

    I don't pay for cable or sat teevee so I have no idea what the 24/7 news channels are saying about this, sounds like not much. It was mentioned on the radio but only mentioned. The evening news has been brining it up every night but they only have so much time and is usually only this thing happened in that said place and now on to this other tragedy.

    If this big exercise is true then Syria is going to be invaded by the axis and that is all there is to it. That isn't an exercise thats a full on operation. I always assumed ww3 would take place for the most part in the desert and end once someone was losing and lets a nuke or two fly into participating countries.

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    Default Re: Syria

    I do know one thing someone better get control of the wmd in Syria before the line is crossed and there is no going back. If Israel gets intel that something is going to fly they are gonna hit it. Then everything happens so fast the blame game will be you hit me first.

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