News Iranian troops now on the ground in Syria under Russian cover

Discussion in 'The Howard Stern Show' started by dawg, Oct 14, 2015.

  1. dawg

    dawg In The Dog House Staff Member

    Reputations:
    540,053
    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2010
    Messages:
    119,433
    Likes Received:
    90,638
    561e6f7d1400002b003c8369.jpeg

    BEIRUT (AP) — Hundreds of Iranian troops are being deployed in northern and central Syria, dramatically escalating Tehran's involvement in the civil war as they join allied Hezbollah fighters in an ambitious offensive to wrest key areas from rebels amid Russian airstrikes.

    Their arrival, a regional official and Syrian activists said Wednesday, highlights the far-reaching goals of Russia's military involvement in Syria. It suggests that, for now, taking on Islamic State extremists in eastern Syria seems a secondary priority to propping up President Bashar Assad.

    The development is almost certain to increase pressure on Western-backed rebels, who are battling multiple foes, and push more civilians out of the areas of fighting, potentially creating a fresh wave of refugees.

    Russia began its air campaign Sept. 30, and Syrian troops and allied militiamen launched a ground offensive against rebels in central Syria a week later. Russia says its airstrikes are meant to weaken the Islamic State group and other "terrorists" in Syria, but Western officials and Syrian rebels say most of the strikes have focused on central and northern Syria, where the extremist group does not have a strong presence.

    The official, who has deep knowledge of operational details in Syria, said the Iranian Revolutionary Guards — currently numbering around 1,500 — began arriving about two weeks ago, after the Russian airstrikes began, and have accelerated recently. The Iranian-backed group Hezbollah has also sent a fresh wave of fighters to Syria, he told The Associated Press.

    Iranian and Syrian officials have long acknowledged Iran has advisers and military experts in Syria, but denied there were any ground troops. Wednesday's statements were the first confirmation of Iranian fighters taking part in combat operations in Syria.

    The main goal is to secure the strategic Hama-Aleppo highway and seize the key rebel-held town of Jisr al-Shughour in Idlib province, which Assad's forces lost in April to insurgents that included al-Qaida's Nusra Front.

    The loss of Jisr al-Shughour, followed by the fall of the entire province, was a resounding defeat for Assad, opening the way for rebels to threaten his Alawite heartland in the coastal province of Latakia. The official suggested the Syrian army's alarmingly tenacious position around that time is what persuaded the Russians to join the fray and begin airstrikes two weeks ago.

    The Syrian government and Iran had been asking Russia to intervene for a year, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss military affairs. He said the Russian "tsunami wave" has given allies such as Iran the cover to operate more freely in Syria.

    His account of Iranian troops arriving ties in with reports from Syrian opposition activists, who reported a troop buildup in the northern provinces of Idlib and Aleppo. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also reported Wednesday that Iranian troops were arriving and being transported to a military base in the coastal town of Latakia, in the town of Jableh outside the provincial capital.

    At least two senior Iranian commanders were killed in Syria in recent days, including Gen. Hossein Hamedani, a senior Revolutionary Guard commander, who died Oct. 8 near Aleppo.

    "Syria will witness big victories in coming days," said Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari, chief of Iran's Revolutionary Guard, speaking Monday at Hamedani's funeral.

    "Sending more troops from Hezbollah and Iran only increases the shelf life of the Syrian regime, which is destined to end," Maj. Jamil Saleh, the leader of Tajammu Alezzah, a CIA-backed Free Syrian Army faction, told the AP. "It will only add more destruction and displacement."

    He said their presence in Syria is not new but had been kept quiet.

    "Now they are taking cover behind Russia since it is a super power and strengthens their position," Alezzah said.

    The Syrian army began its offensive a week ago against rebels on three major fronts in areas between Idlib and Hama. To the north, the Islamic State group capitalized on the strikes against rebels in northwestern and central Syria to capture a string of villages and a main military base from insurgents that brought them closer to Aleppo, Syria's largest city.

    "They took advantage of the vacuum," said Lt. Colonel Ahmed Saoud, commander of 13th Division, a rebel group that is part of the Free Syrian Army. The group is a staunch IS opponent and operates in Aleppo.

    J.M. Berger, a nonresident fellow at the Brookings Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World, said the moderate rebels "are in a pretty bad spot, unless the West is prepared to sponsor them over the long term in a full-on proxy war against the Russians."

    Such support would be "a complicated proposition," he added, given that a lot of the materiel the U.S. has sent to moderate rebels has ended up in the hands of jihadists.

    Mathew Henman, head of IHS Jane's Terrorism and Insurgency Centre, said the Russian airstrikes against more moderate, nationalist elements of the opposition has facilitated IS territorial gains in these areas, ultimately "leaving the government and its allies principally in a conflict with hard-line, fundamentalist actors."

    The official who spoke to AP all but confirmed that the Islamic State is not the priority for the Syrian troops and their allies, saying most areas held by the group in eastern Syria are desert regions considered to be on the periphery.

    A week into the multipronged offensive, insurgents say they are overstretched, exhausted and their ammunition is depleted. There have been hundreds of sorties in an area that stretches for about 60 kilometers (about 35 miles), and a significant mobilization of ground troops.

    And yet, rebel commanders say the offensive has failed to dislodge the various insurgent groups from territory they control that leads to the heartland of Assad's power. The rebels are backed by the U.S., Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar, including some ultraconservative groups and al-Qaida affiliates.

    Instead, the rebel groups are still pushing back. Some are using U.S.-delivered TOW anti-tank missiles, while others are resorting to tactics such as booby-trapped cars.

    Charles Lister, a Syria expert at the Brookings Doha Center, said much will depend on how quickly and efficiently the rebels' weaponry can be replenished by the states supporting them.

    The CIA-backed rebels shrugged off criticism of cooperating with al-Qaida.

    Saoud, the 13th Division commander whose fighters received TOW missiles, said he worked in the same trench with a faction from the Army of Conquest. That umbrella group includes militants from the Nusra Front.

    "There is now something bigger than our differences and disagreements. It is the Russian invasion," he said. "It is an emergency situation. Everyone would understand that."

    Saoud said only one of his bases was hit by the Russians, with few casualties. The rebels have kept a lid on their casualty figures, just like the Syrian government.

    "With all that firepower, with new launchers and a hail of airstrikes ... they were not able to advance," Saoud said of the government troops. "In my mind, that is a victory."

    http://bigstory.ap.org/article/f46d...-lawmaker-cooperation-russia-syria-successful
     
  2. HowieStearn

    HowieStearn HateClub

    Reputations:
    80,080
    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2011
    Messages:
    14,490
    Likes Received:
    14,263
    that Putin. what a rascal
    [​IMG]
     
    KDK12 likes this.
  3. HowieStearn

    HowieStearn HateClub

    Reputations:
    80,080
    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2011
    Messages:
    14,490
    Likes Received:
    14,263
  4. peterfonda

    peterfonda Well-Known Member

    Reputations:
    9,996
    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2012
    Messages:
    6,697
    Likes Received:
    5,417
    Thanks, Obama.
     
    sfgirl, KDK12 and The Snork like this.
  5. MilkyDischarge

    MilkyDischarge Se suelto el diablo Gold

    Reputations:
    69,302
    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2013
    Messages:
    8,059
    Likes Received:
    13,628
    What does it mean for the U.S.? I haven't unraveled this crazy web of allies. Are we being pitted vs. Russia and Iran (and soon China)? Scary times
     
    reno likes this.
  6. dawg

    dawg In The Dog House Staff Member

    Reputations:
    540,053
    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2010
    Messages:
    119,433
    Likes Received:
    90,638
    WW3 bother, sorry.
     
    MilkyDischarge likes this.
  7. fredrogers

    fredrogers Well-Known Member

    Reputations:
    10,981
    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2012
    Messages:
    1,441
    Likes Received:
    2,277
    Ya beat me to it. This cannot end well.
     
    WHTHS likes this.
  8. chapped

    chapped Well-Known Member

    Reputations:
    384,616
    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2012
    Messages:
    55,632
    Likes Received:
    61,906
    good... lets pull our ppl and let the reds deal with that bullshit
     
  9. chapped

    chapped Well-Known Member

    Reputations:
    384,616
    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2012
    Messages:
    55,632
    Likes Received:
    61,906


    this is why puttin gets all the bitches

    [​IMG]
     
    Xent, honestmaxx, KDK12 and 5 others like this.
  10. dawg

    dawg In The Dog House Staff Member

    Reputations:
    540,053
    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2010
    Messages:
    119,433
    Likes Received:
    90,638
    Russia is not going to give up there only allies in the middle east. And with the CIA backing the other sides rebels, it cannot end well. you are correct.
     
    MilkyDischarge and WHTHS like this.
  11. The Snork

    The Snork Well-Known Member VIP Gold

    Reputations:
    2,537
    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2012
    Messages:
    5,550
    Likes Received:
    8,623
  12. AmishGirl

    AmishGirl Well-Known Member VIP

    Reputations:
    147,105
    Joined:
    May 12, 2012
    Messages:
    24,431
    Likes Received:
    20,764
    Well, this is going to be interesting ... :depressed:
     
    CrucifiedAGT likes this.
  13. Zyro

    Zyro Well-Known Member

    Reputations:
    28,060
    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2010
    Messages:
    2,453
    Likes Received:
    5,645
    We need to just redo all the school textbooks to show water for that part of the world. That way no North American child will grow up with any desire to go there since they think its just water. Then we can pull everyone out of there and just ignore it.
     
  14. crackerjackson5

    crackerjackson5 Well-Known Member

    Reputations:
    13,301
    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2012
    Messages:
    595
    Likes Received:
    584
    I'll take Persians over Arabs all day
     
  15. HigherPrimate

    HigherPrimate Well-Known Member

    Reputations:
    29,127
    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2014
    Messages:
    1,185
    Likes Received:
    2,142
    And just the other day the US dropped off 50 tons of weapons to the rebels there. It's a proxy war going on between US and Russian interests. Russia is backing the government there and US I guess is backing the terrorists?
     
  16. dawg

    dawg In The Dog House Staff Member

    Reputations:
    540,053
    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2010
    Messages:
    119,433
    Likes Received:
    90,638
    We are arming the rebels, whoever they are. thats what the report says.
     
  17. Getoninja

    Getoninja Well-Known Member

    Reputations:
    11,289
    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2015
    Messages:
    1,303
    Likes Received:
    2,694
    the middle east is a no win situation, no matter how much funds, infrastructure, different supposedly better governments and leaders, etc, etc, etc....the place still falls apart.
    and the main reason for this is religion, remove that element from the middle east and you got people complaining of gluten food
     
    Homerj123, reno, WHTHS and 2 others like this.
  18. dawg

    dawg In The Dog House Staff Member

    Reputations:
    540,053
    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2010
    Messages:
    119,433
    Likes Received:
    90,638
    When you mix Religion and Government this is what you end up with, spot on,
     
    reno, WHTHS, funnymoney and 1 other person like this.
  19. yahoo

    yahoo Well-Known Member

    Reputations:
    102,164
    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2014
    Messages:
    4,478
    Likes Received:
    8,696
    Let the Iranians and Russians duke it out with ISIS. Fine by me.
     
  20. HigherPrimate

    HigherPrimate Well-Known Member

    Reputations:
    29,127
    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2014
    Messages:
    1,185
    Likes Received:
    2,142
    Anyone know why Syria is so important to Russia and US? I admit I have no idea.
     
    AmishGirl likes this.