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Syrian endgame near? (2016 Answer: No)

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Syrian endgame near? (2016 Answer: No)

Old 12-04-12, 08:00 PM
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Syrian endgame near? (2016 Answer: No)

Reports are that Assad has lost all hope as the battle for Damascus is set to begin. He feels he will be killed by opposition forces if he stays, by Alawites if he flees, hence the talk of the use of chemical weapons. I personally think it will not come to that, but he isn't a rational actor, so who knows. I pray it doesn't.

If the end really is nigh, it will underscore a major problem with US foreign policy; we will be on the outside looking in.

Is this finally it?

Last edited by Pharoh; 12-04-12 at 08:16 PM.
Old 12-04-12, 08:12 PM
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Re: Syrian endgame near?

Did you mean to post you personally think it will NOT come to that?
Old 12-04-12, 08:15 PM
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Re: Syrian endgame near?

Originally Posted by Dr Mabuse View Post
Did you mean to post you personally think it will NOT come to that?
Yes. I will edit.
Old 12-04-12, 09:37 PM
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Re: Syrian endgame near?

Should we have been supporting dictator Assad? That would make democratic allies uncomfortable. Should we have been supporting the rebels? That would have made other regional governments really uncomfortable. I'm okay with the US staying on the sidelines when we have no dog in a fight. Especially since any aid that we provided would simply give ammunition to the anti-American factions.

We'd been gunning for Khadafi since the 1980s. Egypt has been a client state since the 1970s. What is Syria to us?
Old 12-05-12, 06:46 PM
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Re: Syrian endgame near?

Syria loads chemical weapons into bombs; military awaits Assad's order
By Jim Miklaszewski and M. Alex Johnson, NBC News

Kevin Lamarque / AFP - Getty Images

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, speaking Wednesday, Dec. 5, at NATO headquarters in Brussels,, said the fall of Syrian President Bashar Assad's government was 'inevitable.'

The Syrian military is prepared to use chemical weapons against its own people and is awaiting final orders from President Bashar Assad, U.S. officials told NBC News on Wednesday.

The military has loaded the precursor chemicals for sarin, a deadly nerve gas, into aerial bombs that could be dropped onto the Syrian people from dozens of fighter-bombers, the officials said.

As recently as Tuesday, officials had said there was as yet no evidence that the process of mixing the "precursor" chemicals had begun. But Wednesday, they said their worst fears had been confirmed: The nerve agents were locked and loaded inside the bombs.

Sarin is an extraordinarily lethal agent. Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's forces killed 5,000 Kurds with a single sarin attack on Halabja in 1988.

U.S. officials stressed that as of now, the sarin bombs hadn't been loaded onto planes and that Assad hadn't issued a final order to use them. But if he does, one of the officials said, "there's little the outside world can do to stop it."

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton reiterated U.S. warnings to Assad not to use chemical weapons, saying he would be crossing "a red line" if he did so.

Speaking Wednesday at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Clinton said the Syrian government was on the brink of collapse, raising the prospect that "an increasingly desperate Assad regime" might turn to chemical weapons or that the banned weapons could fall into other hands.

"Ultimately, what we should be thinking about is a political transition in Syria and one that should start as soon as possible," Clinton said. "We believe their fall is inevitable. It is just a question of how many people have to die before that occurs."

Aides told NBC News that Clinton was expected next week to officially recognize the main opposition movement, the National Coalition of Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces, with which she is scheduled to meet in Morocco. Britain, France, Turkey and some key Arab leaders have already recognized the opposition.

Fighting intensified Wednesday in the 21-month civil war, which has left 40,000 people dead. The U.N. withdrew its personnel from Damascus, saying conditions were too dangerous.

The government said this week that it wouldn't use chemical weapons on its own people after President Barack Obama warned that doing so would be "totally unacceptable."

But U.S. officials said this week that the government had ordered its Chemical Weapons Corps to "be prepared," which Washington interpreted as a directive to begin bringing together the components needed to weaponize Syria's chemical stockpiles.

That process would involve mixing "precursor" chemicals for the deadly nerve gas sarin, which could be used in artillery shells, U.S. officials told NBC News, stressing that there was no evidence that process had as yet begun.

U.S. officials had long believed that the Syrian government was stockpiling the banned chemical weapons before it acknowledged possessing them this summer.

NBC News reported in July that U.S. intelligence agencies believed that in addition to sarin, Syria had access to tabun, a chemical nerve agent, as well as traditional chemical weapons like mustard gas and hydrogen cyanide.

Officials told NBC News at the time that the Syrian government was moving the outlawed weapons around the country, leaving foreign intelligence agencies unsure where they might end up.

Syria is one of only seven nations that hasn't ratified the 1992 Chemical Weapons Convention, the arms control agreement that outlaws the production, stockpiling and use of such weapons.

Bombshells filled with chemicals can be carried by Syrian Air Force fighter-bombers, in particular Sukhoi-22/20, MiG-23 and Sukhoi-24 aircraft. In addition, some reports indicate that unguided short-range Frog-7 artillery rockets may be capable of carrying chemical payloads.

In terms of longer-range delivery systems, Syria has a few dozen SS-21 ballistic missiles with a maximum range of 72 miles; 200 Scud-Bs, with a maximum range of 180 miles; and 60 to 120 Scud-Cs, with a maximum range of 300 miles, all of which are mobile and are capable of carrying chemical weapons, according U.S. intelligence officials.
http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2...ads-order?lite

Not so good.
Old 12-09-12, 06:14 PM
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Re: Syrian endgame near?

BEIRUT (AP) — Syria's civil war spilled over into neighboring Lebanon once again on Sunday, with gun battles in the northern city of Tripoli between supporters and opponents of President Bashar Assad's regime that left four dead,

Will it be NATO or the UN that sends forces to halt the violence?

I don't see it continuing without some action taken to end it.
Old 12-09-12, 06:43 PM
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Re: Syrian endgame near?

Originally Posted by classicman2 View Post
BEIRUT (AP) — Syria's civil war spilled over into neighboring Lebanon once again on Sunday, with gun battles in the northern city of Tripoli between supporters and opponents of President Bashar Assad's regime that left four dead,

Will it be NATO or the UN that sends forces to halt the violence?

I don't see it continuing without some action taken to end it.
When has the UN ever forced combatants to be peaceful? They have trouble patrolling the peace after a ceasefire. They already left because it was too dangerous,

The only NATO ally in the area is Turkey. Are they under attack?
We may "care" but we have no dog in this fight, nor does NATO, and the UN never has a dog in any fight.
Old 12-10-12, 06:11 AM
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Re: Syrian endgame near?

I hadn't seen a picture of Assad before. Very unimposing looking guy. But more importantly, he has a super hot wife. I wonder what will happen to her. I also wonder just how awful she must actually be.

<img src=http://simplestella.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/asma.jpg>
Old 12-10-12, 09:59 AM
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Re: Syrian endgame near?



On April 29, a chubby 13-year-old boy named Hamza Ali al-Khateeb was arrested during a protest in Saida, near Daraa.

On May 24, Hamza’s mutilated body was returned to his parents. The report by Al Jazeera said: “The child had spent nearly a month in the custody of Syrian security, and when they finally returned the corpse, it bore the scars of brutal torture: lacerations, bruises and burns to his feet, elbows, face, and knees. Hamza’s eyes were swollen and black and there were identical bullet wounds where he had apparently been shot through both arms, the bullets tearing a hole in his sides and lodging in his belly. On Hamza’s chest was a deep, dark burn mark. His neck was broken and his penis cut off.”
Old 12-10-12, 11:39 AM
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Re: Syrian endgame near?

Originally Posted by OldDude View Post
When has the UN ever forced combatants to be peaceful? They have trouble patrolling the peace after a ceasefire. They already left because it was too dangerous,

The only NATO ally in the area is Turkey. Are they under attack?
We may "care" but we have no dog in this fight, nor does NATO, and the UN never has a dog in any fight.
Ask the Turks. I bet the border residents think they're under attack.

We had no dog in the fight with Libya, and we intervened.
Old 12-10-12, 12:55 PM
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Re: Syrian endgame near?

Originally Posted by classicman2 View Post
Ask the Turks. I bet the border residents think they're under attack.

We had no dog in the fight with Libya, and we intervened.
As I said above, the US had a grudge against Khadafi since the 1980s.
Old 12-10-12, 01:00 PM
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Re: Syrian endgame near?

Originally Posted by classicman2 View Post
Ask the Turks. I bet the border residents think they're under attack.

We had no dog in the fight with Libya, and we intervened.
And NATO could use that as an excuse for war if they really wanted to. The truth is that it is minor spill over from fighting in Syria, and the Turks are capable of adequate retaliation.

We did have a dog in the Libya fight, Pan Am 103, and a LONG memory. We may have dressed up the pig and pretended to get along, but we didn't.
Old 12-10-12, 02:05 PM
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Re: Syrian endgame near?

Originally Posted by CRM114 View Post
On April 29, a chubby 13-year-old boy named Hamza Ali al-Khateeb was arrested during a protest in Saida, near Daraa.

On May 24, Hamza’s mutilated body was returned to his parents. The report by Al Jazeera said: “The child had spent nearly a month in the custody of Syrian security, and when they finally returned the corpse, it bore the scars of brutal torture: lacerations, bruises and burns to his feet, elbows, face, and knees. Hamza’s eyes were swollen and black and there were identical bullet wounds where he had apparently been shot through both arms, the bullets tearing a hole in his sides and lodging in his belly. On Hamza’s chest was a deep, dark burn mark. His neck was broken and his penis cut off.”
Syrian security forces claimed he sustained his injuries when he "tripped and fell down the stairs".
Old 12-10-12, 02:36 PM
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Re: Syrian endgame near?

Nice juxtaposition.


Originally Posted by CRM114 View Post
Quote:
On April 29, a chubby 13-year-old boy named Hamza Ali al-Khateeb was arrested during a protest in Saida, near Daraa.

On May 24, Hamza’s mutilated body was returned to his parents. The report by Al Jazeera said: “The child had spent nearly a month in the custody of Syrian security, and when they finally returned the corpse, it bore the scars of brutal torture: lacerations, bruises and burns to his feet, elbows, face, and knees. Hamza’s eyes were swollen and black and there were identical bullet wounds where he had apparently been shot through both arms, the bullets tearing a hole in his sides and lodging in his belly. On Hamza’s chest was a deep, dark burn mark. His neck was broken and his penis cut off.”
Old 12-10-12, 02:39 PM
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Re: Syrian endgame near?

Originally Posted by CRM114 View Post
On April 29, a chubby 13-year-old boy named Hamza Ali al-Khateeb was arrested during a protest in Saida, near Daraa.

On May 24, Hamza’s mutilated body was returned to his parents. The report by Al Jazeera said: “The child had spent nearly a month in the custody of Syrian security, and when they finally returned the corpse, it bore the scars of brutal torture: lacerations, bruises and burns to his feet, elbows, face, and knees. Hamza’s eyes were swollen and black and there were identical bullet wounds where he had apparently been shot through both arms, the bullets tearing a hole in his sides and lodging in his belly. On Hamza’s chest was a deep, dark burn mark. His neck was broken and his penis cut off.”
Torture works, remember? Maybe he should have just fessed up before the enhanced interrogation.
Old 12-10-12, 04:46 PM
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Re: Syrian endgame near?

Originally Posted by CRM114 View Post
On April 29, a chubby 13-year-old boy named Hamza Ali al-Khateeb was arrested during a protest in Saida, near Daraa.

On May 24, Hamza’s mutilated body was returned to his parents. The report by Al Jazeera said: “The child had spent nearly a month in the custody of Syrian security, and when they finally returned the corpse, it bore the scars of brutal torture: lacerations, bruises and burns to his feet, elbows, face, and knees. Hamza’s eyes were swollen and black and there were identical bullet wounds where he had apparently been shot through both arms, the bullets tearing a hole in his sides and lodging in his belly. On Hamza’s chest was a deep, dark burn mark. His neck was broken and his penis cut off.”
That's so, so sad.
Old 12-10-12, 04:52 PM
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Re: Syrian endgame near?

Originally Posted by CRM114 View Post
old news?
Old 12-10-12, 04:54 PM
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Re: Syrian endgame near?

Originally Posted by Nausicaa View Post
Torture works, remember? Maybe he should have just fessed up before the enhanced interrogation.
Maybe he had nothing to confess?

Also, isn't it likely we're actually helping the rebels via unscrupulous third party arms dealers?
Old 12-10-12, 05:07 PM
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Re: Syrian endgame near?

If he gets out alive, he will live off his stolen wealth in Venezuela. And that is even if he gasses half the country to death. Not sure why he would want to stick around, but he seems intent on it.
Old 12-10-12, 07:03 PM
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Re: Syrian endgame near?

Originally Posted by CRM114 View Post


On April 29, a chubby 13-year-old boy named Hamza Ali al-Khateeb was arrested during a protest in Saida, near Daraa.

On May 24, Hamza’s mutilated body was returned to his parents. The report by Al Jazeera said: “The child had spent nearly a month in the custody of Syrian security, and when they finally returned the corpse, it bore the scars of brutal torture: lacerations, bruises and burns to his feet, elbows, face, and knees. Hamza’s eyes were swollen and black and there were identical bullet wounds where he had apparently been shot through both arms, the bullets tearing a hole in his sides and lodging in his belly. On Hamza’s chest was a deep, dark burn mark. His neck was broken and his penis cut off.”
Good thing that mankind is becoming more civilized. I'd hate to think what would've happened to that kid 200 years ago.

If that report is true, it is truly heartbreaking and infuriating... the depravity of man knows no limits.
Old 12-17-12, 04:28 PM
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Re: Syrian endgame near?

NBC's Richard Engel is missing in Syria:

http://gawker.com/5969029/richard-en...-news-blackout
Old 12-17-12, 06:24 PM
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Re: Syrian endgame near?

I certainly hope he's going to be found o.k. He is superb in coverning the real trouble spots in the world.
Old 12-17-12, 06:58 PM
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Re: Syrian endgame near?

Damn, that's awful news about Richard Engel. The fact that the networks wanted to keep it a secret (and now the secret's out) is really discouraging too, makes this look very serious.




Evening Edit: The media blackout still seems to be in effect, at least at the major websites & networks. I half-expected Maddow to break the story on her show, since it had already leaked and they're very close friends, but clearly they're still trying to keep the matter as hushed as possible, hoping that will improve the chances of a good outcome. So no news.

Last edited by adamblast; 12-17-12 at 09:13 PM.
Old 12-17-12, 08:07 PM
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Re: Syrian endgame near?

Originally Posted by Nausicaa View Post
Torture works, remember? Maybe he should have just fessed up before the enhanced interrogation.
Torture works. You just have to do enough of it. There were no mass protests against Stalin.
Old 12-18-12, 07:31 AM
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Re: Syrian endgame near?

Richard Engel and NBC News team freed from captors in Syria

By Mike Brunker, NBC News

NBC News’ Chief Foreign Correspondent Richard Engel and members of his network production team were freed from captors in Syria after a firefight at a checkpoint on Monday, five days after they were taken prisoner, NBC News said early Tuesday.

“After being kidnapped and held for five days inside Syria by an unknown group, NBC News Chief Foreign Correspondent Richard Engel and his production crew members have been freed unharmed. We are pleased to report they are safely out of the country,” the network said in a statement. The captors were unidentified.

Engel, 39, along with other employees the network did not identify, disappeared shortly after crossing into northwest Syria from Turkey on Thursday. The network had not been able to contact them until learning that they had been freed on Monday.
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The network said there was no claim of responsibility, no contact with the captors and no request for ransom during the time the crew was missing.

After entering Syria, Engel and his team were abducted, tossed into the back of a truck and blindfolded before being transported to an unknown location believed to be near the small town of Ma’arrat Misrin. During their captivity, they were blindfolded and bound, but otherwise not physically harmed, the network said.

Early Monday evening local time, the prisoners were being moved to a new location in a vehicle when their captors ran into a checkpoint manned by members of the Ahrar al-Sham brigade, a Syrian rebel group. There was a confrontation and a firefight ensued. Two of the captors were killed, while an unknown number of others escaped, the network said.

The NBC News crew was unharmed in the incident. They remained in Syria until Tuesday morning when they made their way to the border and re-entered Turkey, the network said. They were to be evaluated and debriefed, but had communicated that everyone was in good health.

NBC News said it “expressed its gratitude to those who worked to gather information and secure the release of our colleagues.”

Engel is widely regarded as one of America’s leading foreign correspondents for his coverage of wars, revolutions and political transitions around the world over the last 15 years. Most recently, he was recognized for his outstanding reporting on the 2011 revolution in Egypt, the conflict in Libya and unrest throughout the Arab world.

One of the only Western journalists to cover the entire war in Iraq , Engel was named chief foreign correspondent of NBC News in April 2008. He joined the network in May 2003.

The Syrian civil war began in March 2011, when demonstrators took to the streets to show support for the so-called Arab Spring uprisings sweeping across the Middle East and north Africa and to demand the resignation of President Bashar al-Assad of the ruling Ba’ath Party. The following month, Assad deployed the Syrian army to quell the uprising, ordering troops to open fire on demonstrators. But despite the harsh crackdown, Assad’s troops and militias loyal to the government were unable to quell what soon became an armed uprising.

In the intervening months, the security situation in the country has continued to deteriorate amid increasingly fierce fighting between Syrian troops and a loose confederation of outgunned but increasingly emboldened rebel forces. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights estimated in November that more than 40,000 people had died in the fighting.
http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2...ptors-in-syria

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