Syria Daily, Jan 31: Opposition-Rebel Bloc Finally Arrives for Geneva Talks

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PHOTO: Salem al-Meslet, spokesman of Syria’s opposition-rebel bloc, talks to the press on Saturday night (Basma Atassi/Al Jazeera)


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Syria’s opposition-rebel bloc has finally arrived in Geneva for talks about a political resolution to the five-year crisis; however, it has threatened to leave if the “crimes” of the Assad regime are not addressed.

The 17-member negotiating team and other bloc officials reached Geneva late Saturday after a delay of several hours over visa issues.

The bloc had held out from attending the talks, which began on Friday, because preconditions — ceasefires, detainee releases from regime prisons, and access to aid for besieged areas — were not being addressed. It changed its position when the UN agreed that discussions would focus on ceasefires and aid, rather than an attempt at “proximity talks” between the opposition and the Assad regime’s group, led by Syria’s Ambassador to the UN, Bashar al-Ja’afari.

Bloc spokesman Salem al-Meslet said late Saturday:

We want the peace talks to work, but there is no seriousness on the part of the regime….

We are keen to make this negotiation a success. But we should ask the other side. The other side is pretending to represent the Syrian people. In fact, he is killing the Syrian people.

Meslet said that the HNC would meet UN envoy Staffan de Mistura on Sunday to consider its preconditions.

On Saturday, a “concept paper” from de Mistura for UN monitoring of ceasefires circulated. The paper indicated that the mission would be restricted to areas with “appropriate local, national, and international security guarantees”. It would not monitor human rights issues, investigations of war crimes, or release of detainees.


Activists: Almost 100 in Damascus Suburb Suffering from Regime “Gas Attack”

Opposition activists report that 97 people in the besieged Damascus suburb of Moadamiyeh are being treated for breathing difficulties after regime warplanes and helicopter gunships dropped barrel bombs and missiles.

Moadamiyeh has been besieged by the Syrian military since late 2012, with scores dying of malnutrition, and supplies are still cut off despite a ceasefire in January 2014. The suburb, southwest of Damascus, was also one of the areas struck by the Assad regime’s chemical weapons attacks of August 21, 2013, which killed more than 1,400 people.


Video: Kerry Appeals to “Both Sides to “Make Most” of Talks

US Secretary of State John Kerry has issued a video statement, “I appeal to both sides to make the most of this moment, to seize the opportunity for serious negotiations in good faith”:

Kerry addressed the opposition-rebel bloc’s demand for an end to sieges, noting that the Assad regime approved only 13 of 113 UN requests last year for delivery of humanitarian aid:

People are dying, children are suffering — not as a result of an accident of war, but as the consequence of an intentional tactic: “Surrender or Starve”. And that tactic is directly contrary to the law of war.

Let me be clear. The Syrian regime has a fundamental responsibility, all the parties to the conflict have a duty to facilitate humanitarian access to populations in need.

The Secretary of State also cited the obligation under last month’s UN resolution for a cessation of bombing.


State Media: Double Bombing Kills 45 Near Shrine in Damascus

State media is reporting that 45 people have been killed and 110 injured in a double bombing near the Sayyida Zeinab shrine in southern Damascus.

A car bomb was followed by a suicide bomber’s detonation of an explosive belt.

DAMASCUS BOMB 31-01-16

The shrine, with the grave of a granddaughter of the Prophet Mohammed, is revered as a pilgrimage site by Shia Muslims.


Kurdish Militia Warn: We Will Respond to Turkish Army “Continual Attacks”

The Kurdish militia YPG has warned that it will respond to attacks by the Turkish Army in northern Syria.

The YPG said on Saturday that Turkish units had crossed the border near the village of Sermisax, 13 km (8 miles) west of the Turkish town of Derik. It claimed that the Turkish Army fired on civilian protesters, although there were no casualties.

The armed wing of the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) said:

We will no longer remain silent in face of growing aggression of the Turkish Army who are desired to cause provocations. We intend to be fully clear in warning the Turkish leadership and their military that if they continue violating our borders, we shall defend our land and people.

Ankara considers the PYD as a front for the Turkish Kurdish insurgency PKK. It has warned the YPG not to move west of the Euphrates Rivers, a prospect heightened by recent Kurdish advances against the Islamic State in northern Syria.


Russia Denies Violation of Turkish Airspace

Russia’s Defense Ministry has denied claims by Turkey that another of its warplanes entered Turkish airspace.

“There have been no violations of Turkey’s airspace by aircraft of the Russian air group in the Syrian Arab Republic,” the Ministry said.

Turkish officials said earlier on Saturday that an Su-34 fighter had crossed its territory in a “concrete indication of Russian acts aiming to escalate problems”.

Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan warned Moscow would “face consequences if it continues such violations”. He cited concerns about civilians and said, “It is evident that Russia’s operations in the region have no relevance with counter-terror efforts, and is solely designed to keep the Assad Regime in power.”

The warning follows attacks by Russian warplanes and regime rockets and artillery on displaced persons camps, including members of Syria’s Turkmen minority, in Latakia Province near the Turkish border.

On November 24, Turkish jets shot down a Russian SU-24 fighter, claiming that it had entered Turkey’s airspace en route to bombing Latakia Province in northwest Syria. The pilot was killed and a navigator was rescued by Syrian regime troops.

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42 COMMENTS

  1. IF GENEVA III FAIL–AS IS LIKELY–REBELS CAN FIGHT FOR DECADES BUT THEIR ENEMIES CANNOT
    ….
    For some time after Putin invaded Syria in early September, the Bad Guys made minimal gains at high cost. Lately they’ve been doing better, causing some folks to conclude “Assad is winning.” Genocide Forces have not improved that much overnight so that can’t be the explanation. TRebels have begun to abandon positions that make no sense in the face of massive air attacks and they are returning to classic guerilla war. The majority of victims of stepped up air attacks have been Sunni civilians which is what you’d expect given their choice of targets. A second factor, a cut off of arms by backstabber Obama, may or may not be reversed after Geneva III fails. If not, others will contribute what the West refuses to contribute, and tell Obama to go to hell.

    Even if the Bad Guys could capture every city and town on the map (fat chance) the rebels can’t be defeated so long as most of their forces survive. A manpower-short regime must then man more garrisons–all of which will be vulnerable. For their own security, Sunnis worldwide and their regimes cannot allow a victory by the Orthodox Russian-Alawite-Shia Genocide Crusaders, In consequence, those who provided help in the absence of the West will have far more say than the latter once Assad falls. Meanwhile the rebels know Russia and allies can’t afford to dump endless resources into Syria for decades so they’ll want to maximize costs and frustrate invaders. Rebels also know that Putin’s behavior in Syria is adding to pre-existing discontent on Russia’s southern borders. Once the latter explodes, many Russian resources now employed in Syria will have to go elsewhere. Iran may have to do likewise.
    ….
    RELATED ARTICLE: “Lights Out for the Putin Regime: The Coming Russian Collapse

    As the smug majority of Sovietologists howled, Marshall Goldman wrote a book in the early eighties predicting the USSR could not long survive. Whose laughing now? The same intractible problems trouble Putin today and in some ways the situation appears to be worse. Nor is any move being made to address it. All Putin does is dig bigger holes. Final note: Putin’s control is much less extensive than the tools available to the Politburo then. Even Khamenei in Iran has far more institutional safeguards and a much smaller, more open territory. How long would Assad have lasted if Syria were the size of Russia?
    ….
    https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/russian-federation/2016-01-27/lights-out-putin-regime

    • At the moment the manpower issue for the rebels is far worst than the regime. Rebels have plenty of weapons, true, but not much manpower left. The regime can count on massive injections of shia militas, the rebels numbers are depleting. This will not affect short term but if nothing changes it will in the medium/long term.

      • I kind of agree with Caligola. The internationalist Shi’ite jihad has saved Assad and provides a secure pool of foreign manpower that’s more reliable than the depleting Alawites. Rebels’ access to foreign manpower doesn’t compare.
        .
        Do not discount the effects war exhaustion and mass displacement has on the rebels. The bombing campaign Assad conducts on the civilian population isn’t senseless violence; it has several clear goals in mind.

        • The manpower issue is secondary to what I think is happening now. Rebel withdrawal from Latakia, the advance on Hama and the siege on Madaya are connected in a sort of de-facto partition. Strangely enough the vaccuum caused by the weakening of Isis seems like it will be filled by the US and it’s kurdish allies.

          One thing that means though is that never mind the rebels, Assad and his allies do not have the manpower or the resources to take back the whole country. It is an implicit admission of defeat on their part, and the rebels have understood it for a long time.

          • I wish i could be optimistic like you date palm. But honestly the same JAN has continuosly repeated in the past that manpower is the problem and this goes out to JAI and JAF as the FSA on many fronts. What Tundra said about the secondary if not primary goals of the indiscriminate bombings on civilians is true. This is not to do much with the battlefront or to gain strategic positions but rather to exterminate civilians in order to a) make the rebels loose popular support b) reduce the same influx of new fighters in the rebels ranks c) displace families, this too helps point b.
            Going back to your last part. In this exact moment i dont really agree with you, i think as of now the regime has more manpower to keep its gains then the rebels, maybe not the whole country ok, but they have more manpower to keep their gains. Its the rebels line that are thin. This has been in part shadowed by the fact that rebel forces are in many areas more capable than the IRGC cannon foder, so sometimes lager numbers dont mean victory. But for how much ??

            • It’s a bad omen for ‘rebel’ recruitment that their recent frantic calls to all [Sunni] Muslims in the world to rush light or heavy to their aid are going relatively unanswered. No doubt Tayyip’s interdiction efforts to stem the ‘Jihadi’ influx are having their evil effects, but even among the millions of Syrians parked in refugee camps around the border or in Europe, who are legally entitled to return at any time, the response has been decidedly muted, almost as if they’ve decided to sit this one out in the hopes of a cease-fire rather than become the last cannon-fodder of an already doomed enterprise.

              • PS: If this ‘hope for a cease-fire’ is truly a negative psychological factor in ‘rebel’ recruitment, its effects will be exacerbated by stringing out G3 for as long as possible before letting it fail, thus redounding to Assad’s military benefit. The Russian, Iranian and Syrian governments were probably delighted that De Mistura accepted their proposal for 6 months of ‘proximity talks’ before any actual negotiating would have to be done …

              • Scott, when/where exactly do you claim Russian warplanes attacked DP camps in Latakia Province near the Turkish border? Please link to any evidence to this effect.
                .
                And BTW, it was a RuAF Su-24 shot down by Turks.

      • WHY I DISAGREE ON RECRUITMENT POTENTIALS FOR EACH SIDE

        REASON #1: Bad Guy’s prospects for picking up victories and attracting wiling recruits is at its best now and in the near future–both morale raisers. As I noted above, those victories are deceptive. The Bad Guys are likely to follow the same early and late patterns we saw in Algeria, Vietnam and the Russian invasion of Afghanistan. Then what? Look closely and you can see many of these victories will come from rebels wisely abandoning positions before they can be driven out.

        The key to rebel victories is patience, based on recognition that their enemies cannot afford a prolonged, costly struggle for many reasons. The first goal should be to easy enough: to deprive the Bad Guys of a quick and decisive victory and thereby sour expectations. Next goal: stalemate. Final goal: turn the tide as opposing forces lose their will to fight. Creating the perception that long run victory is inevitable will fire up Sunni recruits, who will head off to both Central Asia and Syria. Since the former is more essential to Russian national security and since the latter’s economic and military resources are finite, Putin would have no choice but to shift priorities away from Assad which compounds problems for Iran.

        Bad Guy victories can’t be prevented for now but are affordable so long as rebels don’t play into regime hands with the wrong strategy. Iran and Russia may pledge to “do whatever it takes” in Syria but for reasons inside and outside Syria their capacity to do so has limits. The same applies to motives. For rebels, motives are much greater because far more is at stake. In the end Russia will lose its equivalent to Danang and Cam Ran Bay when the tide turns irretrievably. So what? Like Germany, France and Japan , the pair would be better off, not worse off, with loss of empire. If only their leaders had grasped that earlier.

        REASON #2 AND #3: Demographics and “Staying power.” Putin & Co. have become to Sunnis what Hitler became to Jews–totally unacceptable. Justice and survival are at stake. When the only alternatives offered are genocide, or eternal submission to Russian-Shia-Alawite dominance or a rump Wasteland State, fighting on as long as the Vienamese or Algerians or Bolivians did makes sense. Obama and other western leaders, who wish to avoid a quagmire, show no concern for Sunnis when they twist arms to force rebels to accept one of the intolerable alternatives above.

        Even now demographics, especially among the military aged, are extremely unfavorable to Iran (lowest birth rate in the Middle East) and to Russia (145 million population, which includes many minorities and too many aged drunks). Ditto for a brain drain in both among the young. The gap among potential fighters of military age increases with each passing year and appears irreversible. Resistance in both countries is likely to grow fastest among those destined to fight: the young. Russia is no shape for a quagmire now. Even the perception that Russia faces another Afghanistan (which rebels can foster) will wreak havoc. Already Putin relies on forced recruitment and is passing laws making reporting of Russia deaths a crime. How long will that be popular?

        Thanks to Obama, Khamenei is better off economically than Russia. What balances that out are that most Iranians despise Assad to start with and are far more mistrustful of their leaders ever since 2009. How will they react as more cash and bodies are dumped into Assad’s bottomless pit? being dumped into saving Assad and too many coffins returning. Assad is deeply hated by the majority of Iranians. That’s not so in Russia…YET.. Anger over recent election rigging by the Guardian Council (Khamenei’s way of dashing hopes for the future) is likely to interact with anger over any quagmire in Syria. A volcano in Central Asia, siphoning off Russian help, would accelerate discontent.

        • PUTIN SPURS NATO MEMBERS TO PICK UP DEFENSE SPENDING

          NATO secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg said in 2015, 16 NATO countries not only stopped cuts to their defense budgets but increased expenditures in real terms. Twenty-three of the 28 NATO members boosted the amounts they spend on tanks, planes and other military hardware.
          ….
          “Over the past year, we have started to move in the right direction,” Stoltenberg told reporters in Brussels.
          ….
          http://news.yahoo.com/nato-chief-allied-defense-spending-102708781.html

          RED T: Past cuts proves any NATO threat to Russia was fictional to justify Putin’s aggression. The Russian dictator also had big plans for new and expensive weapons. GIven his one-dimensional, Italy-sized economy, he can’t outspend or out-produce NATO. Germany, whose army was a laugh, is finally investing in serious hardware which can’t make Putin and Russians happy. That would not be happening had Putin not pushed folks to it out of self-defense.

          Putin can ‘t win for losing. All his moves are short term and ignore long-term roll back.

        • NIFTY BREAKING NEWS FROM DEIR EZZOR

          1. Series of massive explosions rocking #DeirEzzor. Locals speak of multiple #ISIS VBIEDs struck #Assad’s army now.. Source: The Victory Series (five minutes ago).

          2. Reports,that several suicide-bombers have just attacked Assad´s Deir Ezzor pocket, loud explosions and heavy fighting now!–Nordic Warrior

          3. ISIS Seize Over Rushdia Neighborhood In Deir-Ezzor City
          Qasioun_News_Agency http://fb.me/2wkHYMlX1
          ,,,
          So much for a snail mail news report by pro-regime Leith Fadel at The Arab Source boasting of how an ISIS attack on Deir Ezzor “has filed again. Alas the three previous reports are just in, by contrast to Fadel’s article.

          GOOD NEWS FROM LATAKIA AS WELL?
          ,,,
          Pro-Assad Facebook says 9 regime army soldiers and 4 Russians killed during clashes with rebels in Latakia countryside. Activists say Ahrar al-Sham send reinforcements to Turkman/Akrad Mounts in Latakia countryside. Heavy clashes reported around #Salma.–Stork


          AND FROM HAMA TOO! :

          1. Reports that the regime Zalaqiyat & Shaliout sector commander in north rural #Hama was killed by a rebel TOW missile that targeted his car. youtu.be/AhPR4LAPUv0
          ,,,
          2. FSA Northern Division in action in the last couple of days in north rural Hama–Sami http://youtu.be/bWf2JFPBfx4

          3. Heavy Assad’s Regime Losses in Surprise Rebel Attack on Northern Rural Hama
          http://ow.ly/XJaOE

          JAMES MILLER ON PROSPECTS PEACE TALKS WILL GET ANYWHERE

          ….
          Anyone who thinks that Syrian peace talks have a snowball’s chance in hell of working should spend an hour taking to anyone in Syria

          • Syria’s armed opposition + Jabhat al-Nusra appear keen to retrieve momentum – new & upcoming offensives in Latakia, N. Hama & S. Aleppo.–Charles Lister.

            Obama’s open collusion with Putin, Assad and Khamenei is forcing rebels and JAN closer together. It could also up aid to rebels from Gulf states and Turkey in a self-defense move.

            DAMASCUS

            Re the Sayeda Zaynab double bombing today, lots of reports are claiming there was a large regime security presence prior to the bombings..Civilians were reportedly evacuated & kept away from the area by regime security prior to the explosions. Area were bombing took place is close to a prez guard HQ + IRGC + pro-Assad Shia militias–Sami.

  2. Kurdish YPG commander: Our units defend the region against ISIS; YPG is independent of political parties
    http://aranews.net/2015/11/kurdish-ypg-commander-our-units-defend-the-region-against-isis-ypg-is-independent-of-political-parties/ 11/26/2015

    mshelikoff
    https://www.reddit.com/user/mshelikoff 1/22/2016
    Jazira Canton Co-VP Sheikhmous Moses (Kurdish Left Party in Syria): The Syrian Democratic Council (MSD) must be present at any negotiation or conference. It represents a wide segment of the Syrian opposition and it is the sole politically legitimate representative of the SDF.

    http://www.hawarnews.com/%D9%85%D9%88%D8%B3%D9%89-%D8%A3%D9%8A-%D9%85%D8%AD%D8%A7%D9%88%D9%84%D8%A9-%D9%84%D8%A5%D9%82%D8%B5%D8%A7%D8%A1-%D9%85-%D8%B3-%D8%AF-%D8%B9%D9%86-%D9%85%D9%81%D8%A7%D9%88%D8%B6%D8%A7%D8%AA-%D8%AC/

    Sputnik
    http://sputniknews.com/ 1/29/2016
    [Russia’s envoy to the UN Office in Geneva Alexey Borodavkin:] “The Syrian opposition that met in Moscow and Cairo insists that the opposition delegation should include Syrian Kurds.”

    http://sputniknews.com/politics/20160129/1033944269/russia-kurds-syria-talks.html

  3. ISIS makes new gains against Assad-regime in Deir Ezzor city, and Russian planes perpetrate a massacre in Al-Hissan in the western countryside:

    “ISIS launched an attack yesterday and managed after heavy clashes to advance against Assad-regime in Al-Rushdiya and Al-Huwayqa districts of Deir Ezzor city.”

    http://en.deirezzor24.net/isis-makes-gains-against-assad-regime-in-deir-ezzor-city-and-russian-planes-perpetrate-a-massacre-in-al-hissan-in-the-western-countryside/

  4. The oppositions delayed arrival and not arriving on a long pre-planned flight meant that the Ruskies could not bomb their flight or shoot it down. I hope that they have similar short term planning for their return to Syria in order to ensure their safety.

  5. A meeting of 6 JaF senior leaders in village of Jedar Bikfaloun [S.W. Idlib province] hit by RuAF airstrike on SAA intel Saturday night. 5 bodies allegedly removed from debris. Unconfirmed claims [Saudi] Dr. Sheikh Abdullah al Muheyseni among the critically wounded/dead:
    http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941111000455
    .
    He was tweeting steadily right up to midnight yesterday, which ironically may have helped with pinpointing the confab location: https://twitter.com/muslmmuohd1
    .
    Last wounded by RuAF bombing in late December, it is unknown if he was being particularly targeted on that occasion: http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=9b6_1450674820
    .
    In any case, AQAP has been warning the Syrian JI-Joes recently that their frivolous communications habits will exact an increasingly unnecessary toll …

    • Donald Trump defends Vladimir Putin over Alexander Litvinenko murder

      The US Republican front-runner wades into the Litvinenko case to claim that “many people say it wasn’t Putin”

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/us-election/12123600/Donald-Trump-defends-Vladimir-Putin-over-Alexander-Litvinenko-murder.html

      Trump has also taken the position that Putin’s corruption is exaggerated and that he had nothing to do with the murder of more than 50 journalists critical of Putin. Again, requiring the impossible (proof beyond a REASNABLE DOUBT) Donald insists “there is no proof.” Suppose more than 50 journalists, all critical of Obama, had died during his term in office. Wouldn’t voters on all ends of the spectrum have reason to be suspicious of the president? Would anyone think it was a coincidence?

      • Proof beyond reasonable doubt is certainly not impossible. In every criminal trial the burden of proof is that of ‘beyond reasonable doubt’. Society simply requires a fairly high possibility/probability that the act or omission has occurred before it will convict.

  6. Update:

    #Hama: 1) “Heavy Regime Losses in Surprise Rebel Attack on Northern Rural Hama”

    http://en.etilaf.org/all-news/local-news/heavy-regime-losses-in-surprise-rebel-attack-on-northern-rural-hama.html

    This is how you fight a war.

    #Latakia: “Reports rebels have taken several positions near #Salma in #Latakia killing over a dozen Assad militants.” – Paradoxy13

    To any Turkish nationalist (only them and no other( who has had military training: Find like-minded fellow nationalist Turks with similar training as you and take them to help the Turkmen in Latakia or Aleppo province, if you don’t then Turkmen in those areas will either be ethnically-cleansed/murdered by Alawite militias or the YPG, now is the time that your intervention may make a difference. And if you are too old or poor then make and print pamphlets outside every town-hall/university/football-stadium encouraging Turks with military training to exactly this (ie help the Turkmen of Syria militarily) or at the very least encourage your local member of parliament to start challenging the government to be more forceful in defending the Turkmen of Syria.

    Question: If the rebels ever capture Masyuf (Hama province) and Latakia city (Latakia province) would that mean that they’d be close enough to Tartous to bombard it with IRAM missiles? If not then how close would they have to be to enable them to do so?

    #Damascus: “3 rebel brigades today merged with Jaish Al Islam: 1- Katibat Suqour Dimashq. 2- Katibat Madfa’iyah. 3- Katibat Nasim” – Malcolmite

    Interesting but this development will only became significant it if leads to better coordination (e.g. which brigades goes after which area as part of an overall plan to achieve a military objective) and better training (e.g. assaulting SAA/regime position, greater artillery practice and accuracy etc), if not it could risk being paralysed by internal differences.

    Advise to rebels anywhere in Syria: Don’t try to destroy (with TOWie?) a Shilka if you have plausible/realistic means (e.g. surprise attack/ambush) to capture a Shilka? Why? Because you guys need as many anti-aircraft weapons (ie until the CIA gets either the brains or the heart to give you MANPADs) you can get your hands on.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ZSU-23-4

    • Unfortunately Turkey’s security bureucracy is a disappointment. Forget the manpads in one of the videos leader of a volunteer group was begging for simple things like thermal cameras, night vision goggles.

  7. Who here thinks the Turkish government would be within it’s rights to place anti-aircraft weaponry in Turkmen refugee camps in Latakia province? Especially if it’s a site manned by UN? Anyone object? Me I’d consider such an act humanitarian in the sense that it’d humanely defend the lives of those without any means of defence let alone capability to launch offence against a regime (and her allies) that has complete aerial monopoly within that area.

  8. 1. Maybe if his Contras would stop making refugee camps into legitimate military targets this problem would solve itself without poor Tayyip getting his Weenus further roasted?
    .
    2. Speaking of which, each time he gives any lip to Putin a new batch of Rooskie airpower is dispatched:
    e.g. 4 RuAF Su35s multi-role air superiority fighters arriving yesterday to Latakia, in case Old Oyster-Eyes does actually fancy a bit of dogfighting after his latest bout of hysterics:
    https://twitter.com/miladvisor/status/693766972996259840

    • Yeah! The nerve of old “oyster-eyes”(good one!) to dare to defend his own airspace from Russkie intruders, who in their own defense were probably hungover. It truly is hysterical to keep enemy planes out of your sovereign airspace. Can’t believe the sack on that guy. How dare him.

      • You know perfectly well, Kevin, that Tayyip is not seeking to defend Turkish airspace, which is not under any threat from RuAF even if they do occasionally stray a click into it to turn while doing strafing runs on his Contra pets who skulk about the border, although strictly speaking they would be perfectly entitled to destroy the ‘rebel’ training camps and weapons dumps he illegally hosts on his own side if so requested by the Sy.Govt. The Rooskies only became ‘enemies’ because Tayyip in his infinite wisdom decided he didn’t have enough of those already.

        • What are you talking about? I agree with you completely and I’m sure the Russian Czar would be much more understanding if Turkey repeatedly violated Russkie airspace while bombing Moscows little pets in Ukraine or elsewhere. I can’t believe Tayyip dared to make Russia an enemy by forcing the Czar to bomb ethnic turkmen whose great crime was opposing the tyranny of Assad. The nerve of Tayyip. SMH.

          • Tayyip is naturally free to start bombing people in the Donbas just as soon as he feels up to the task, however, I think he will prefer to stick with the traditional ‘safe’ Turkish target, to wit, any Kurds who oppose his tyranny.

            • Maybe Tayyip should take a page out of Putin’s playbook. He could fake a bunch of bombings on apartment blocks, blame the kurds, and then proceed to carpet bomb entire cities whilst killing any pesky journalists who try to uncover abuses committed by his forces.

              • No, Tayyip is a moderate and subtle [because NATO-approved] Dictator, so he just gets IS to bomb his internal political enemies, blames the Kurds and then proceeds to lay waste to their rebellious cities whilst jailing for life any journalist who looks at him sideways on Twitter.
                .
                And for this he is rewarded with hefty bribes from the EU and boatloads of fresh ordnance by the Yanki guardians of human rights and moral purity … or maybe that is just the pay-off for all his wonderful work in Syria?

              • Rather interesting that you call Tayyip a dictator when he has a democratic legitimacy that your boys Assad and Putin would literally kill for. Which journalists have been given life sentences in Turkey. Name them. It’s also interesting that now all of the sudden you’re pretending to be such a bleeding heart for journalists when just the other day you were defending the Iranian tyrant, who is among the world leaders in imprisoning journalists. It’s incredible.

              • And when Tayyip get IS to bomb his opponents? Name the attack and show the evidence that Tayyip was behind it. Also, which cities has he carpet bombed the way that Putin essentially flattened Grozny? The hypocrisy just oozes right out of you. What a joke.

  9. So far Turkey has shot down no less than four aircraft it alleges were violating its airspace (A syrian Mig 23 fighterbomber, Mi 8 transport helicopter, an unmanned shaheen 129 reconnaissance drone and the russian Su 24 strike aircraft). The wreckage of ALL FOUR of them was found INSIDE SYRIAN TERRITORY! By contrast, the wreckage of the turkish Phantom shot down by syrian air defence, which Ankara claimed to have been over international waters at the time of the downing, was located well inside syrian territorital waters.

    Given this track record, it is not hard to figure out who is lying here.

  10. IS video release regarding Paris Istishadi Operation by AlHayat Media Centre, 24 Jan 2016 [17min, 515MB, 1080P, ENG subs]
    .
    Et Tuez-Les Où Que Vous Les Rencontriez [And Kill them wherever you may find them]”
    .
    The following are the final messages of the nine Lions of the Khilafah who were mobilised from their dens to bring an entire country – France – to her knees. The raised the sword of Tawhid and lived the Ayat of the Quran by killing the Kuffar wherever they found them. And they continued doing so until the thirst for their own success was quenched with nothing other than their own blood …
    .
    [ends with PGP-encoded message containing orders for next attack]

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