by FG

I am intrigued by a map of Syria and the opportunities it seems to offer. The catch, as I’m well aware, Is that I’ve never been in Syria and could be missing something critical which would make the strategy discussed here unworkable. If so, can someone point it out?

When Aleppo and northern fall to the rebels Assad will have two remaining bases of support: Damascus and the eastern Mediterranean coast. In that case should the rebels go after the coast before Damascus? While still keeping the pressure on Damascus why not attack and seize control of the place where most of Assad’s heavy weapons and best troops are not—in the process grabbing control of the hometowns of his most loyal troops? Given any successful rebel campaign there, the consequences for both sides would be huge.

This strategy exploits a major Assad vulnerabily while temporarily bypassing Assad’s military strength except for harassing and surprise attacks to wear down his troops. It would deprive his forces in Damascus of men, food and equipment. It would increase demoralization as air assets continue to dwindle and troops are tied down in Damascus. Patently, the latter are too limited forces to be in two places at once and remain effective. By contrast the rebels can be everywhere and increasingly control the countryside except for isolated bastions.

Until then the rebels can continue what they are already doing, isolating troops in the North, cutting off their supplies, eliminating Assad’s aerial assets everywhere and encircling Damascus. While moving against his coast assets, sufficient forces should remain ready to seize on adventageious developments in Damascus. Thus, if troops move toward the coast, they weaken defenses in the capital while becoming increasingly vulnerable to blocking forces and hit and run tactics.

The loss of the coast on top of Aleppo would be an immense regime setback, militarily and psychologically to an already tottering regime—one likely to instill panic. It opens Damascus further to encirclement and supply problems of all sorts. The situation would be similar to that of Saigon in 1975. I suspect resistance would crumble just as fast.


more from FG

What Amir ignores

by FG on

You are correct in one respect--nations, democratic or otherwise, do follow their self-interests rather than go against them.   

re:  What the West, lead by the USA/UK/France/Germany want is to meet their national interests..

It's wrong in that case but not wrong if Iran were to do the ame regardless of who rules thee. 

re:  They have no interest in helping countries be democratic

The opposite is so.  Countries that are stable, prosperous and democratic are in our self-interest.  Authoritarian and totalitarian regimes (the IRI, Saddam) tend to be loose cannons.  Of couse when confronted with a situation where we must choose between them, we'll pick the lesser of two evils (Saddam in the eighties vs. the mullahs) or the ally of convenience (the USSR in WW II) against the greater immediate threat.  So would any nation with common sense.

re: pursuing national interests

Amir seems totally unaware that pursuing national interest need not be a zero sum gain in which only one side must benefit and the other side must lose.  There is a distinction between narrow self-interest and enlightened such interest, as in the Marshall plan. 

re: Amir's xenophobic tendencies, his blame game, his phony anti-imperialism and his conspiracy theories.

Only nut cases believe in conpiracy theories and Amir is a perfect example.  To listen to him the USA and the West created the 1979 rather than got caught up in it--surprised like everyone else includeing the Shah himself.  

To listen to Mr. Wizdo, we "caused" the Shah's downfall by refusing to sent bombers, tanks and troops (expensive in manpower and blood) to rescue him.  Imperialistially we should have intervened against the will of the Iranian people--even if we felt they were making a mistake.

This from a man who claims to be anti-imperialistic except when imperialism may work to his benefit (as above).   I'll bet your one of that first genreration of Iranian exiles who fled after the Shah's downfall and still refuses to recongnize your role and that of folks like you in facilitating the event.

You even blame the USA and the West for the Arab spring and bemoaned the fall of the "statesmanlike" Mubarek, Khaddafi, Samoza (in Nicaragua) etc.   We obviously ousted them all and the people of these countries played no role at all just as Iranian adored the Shah in 1979 and none of them wanted revolution. 


In your reliance on conspiracy theories as the promotion of anti-western xenophobia to promote your own goals I see not an ounce of difference between yoou and the mullahs who play the same game.  Sorry, buster, but it's beneath contempt.  Try tp be more rational.

Having been swindled by one group of scumbags (the ruling mullahs) why would Iranians want someone who  sounds like an identical twin? 


Analysis for the region/north africa and middle east is wrong FG

by amirparvizforsecularmonarchy on

What the West, lead by the USA/UK/France/Germany want is to meet their national interests, in terms of reduced competition and cheap resources their economies need.  They have no interest in helping countries be democratic and their number one goal as a result of their national interest is to thwart any power that would try to make this happen.  The wests approach is to support extremists covertly (which itself proves they are not after supporting pro-democrats) and overthrow powers not under their control, under the plausiable excuse of being for democracy, while they oppose it with all they have.  This Politics is based on the idea of divide and rule, it is where anti-intellectuals among pro-democracy supporters are of value to the west, the are used to divide the societies and in practice the west really doesn't support them at all it discards them at the end of reaching their number one goal, thwarting the societies that it divided against themselves using the ideal of democracy, bringing about greater poverty, corruption, violence and tyranny.  Iranians who are not aware of what the USA did to the late shah or how anti-intellectuals were used in pursuit of democracy to bring the mullahs to power are among the minority these days.  Most Iranians know how divide and rule was used against the entire society and how they are their human rights means less than nothing to the west in practice. 

Iranians mistake was to not understand the basics of politics and to see american, british, french and german "people" and think they seem okay with out knowing of the inhumanities and crimes their governments committ against the world and humanity on the whole. Anti-intellectuals used to be a dime a dozen, though due to the experience of 1979 their numbers have dwindled and the younger generation living in western created tyranny in Iran understands that the west doesn't give a damn for their human rights at all.


Usually reliable LCC is making a bold claim on Assad air losses

by FG on

(The following is from Enduring America's daily roundup)

Today the Free Syrian Army downed 4 warplanes, 2 in Aleppo and 2 in Idlib, a helicopter in Damascus Suburbs, and treated a pilot who was injured when his plane was downed.


Beyond the single downed jet fighter, however, we have seen no visual evidence for the other claims. Also, yesterday, the LCC reported a jet fighter was shot down in eastern Damascus, and several other Arab media outlets, including Al Jazeera Arabic, reported that 2 additional helicopters were shot down besides the one incident that we documented yesterday.

Obviously the rate at which the opposition is shooting Assad aircraft out of the sky is increasing, but undocumented claims seem to be escalating faster than the documented ones.

Videos may surface soon.


Rebels now has 40 functional anti-aircraft missiles (or more)

by FG on

Excerpt from the Washington Post today (Wednesday)

Syrian rebels have acquired as many as 40 shoulder-fired missile systems in recent weeks tocounter assaults by Syrian military aircraft, introducing a possibly decisive new weapon into the conflict, Western and Middle Eastern intelligence officials say.

The potential impact of the missiles on the 20-month-old civil war was demonstrated Tuesday with the dramatic downing of a Syrian helicopter, blasted from the sky near Aleppo by what military experts say was almost certainly a portable antiaircraft missile.


The article also notes that not all these weapons were captured.  Some came from Qatar.  Neverthelesss Russia and China--as Assad's chief aiders and abettors--can hardly complain.

Are these weapons a potential "game changer" as the article claims?  I'd say so because the indiscimiate use of airpower--mainly to target and alienate civilians--is the only "effective" weapon Assad has left--if you can call that effective.   As I noted in a previous post here, Assad obviously didn't study his military history.  Terror bombing of civilians did not work as hoped in London or when used against Germany in retaliation. 


Another base falls. Does a day go by anymore...

by FG on

...without such news?   And how many months have passed since Assad's troops have won even a single battle?  Not one!

Today the regime lost a small air base south of Aleppo--the second in two days. It isn't the size of the base that's important nor the climbing losses.   Each caputred base brings captured anti-air equipment to the rebels and some of it is inflicting serious damage.  

The Guardian has this headline as I write on Wednesday evening:

 Syrian rebels turn looted missiles on Assad's aircraft


• Government jet and helicopter downed within 24 hours

•Surface-to-air attacks seen as major tactical development


Chulov writes:

Late on Wednesday, a Syrian rebel posing with a Russian-made heat-seeking missile launcher claimed credit for the attacks. He said the missile he claimed to have used had been part of a stash of weapons stolen during a raid on a nearby base.

Such rebel raids have increased dramatically over the past fortnight. At least four large bases are widely reported to have fallen: one in the east of the country, two in the north and one major air force facility near Damascus. Six other outposts are also believed to have changed hands in what is shaping up to be a pivotal phase of the civil war.

Aside from all that, I agree with Enduring America's analyists that the pattern of eliminating all these anti-air base suggests the possibilty that it has been enouraged by outside powers to eliminate one of several major obstacles to a "no fly zone."   The impending arrival of Patriot missiles on the Turkish border is an ominous sign that is bringing screams of protest from the two nations that have supplied Assad with weapons and advice on repression.  

A second concern that deterred the West from a "no fly zone" was fear that such weapons fall into the hands of militant Jihadis linked to Al Queda--a fear that existed before they appeared in large numbers   Now these jihadis are arriving in the thousands and acquiring such weapons without out help.  When Assad is gone, will these fanatics stick around to inundate the country with planted bombs and IED's as it tries to rebuild? with any government Al Queda/Taliban types disapprove of?

Blaming Western leaders for media miscalculations and underestimation of the rebels abilities.  For that reason EA notes, the West may have no choice but to intervene. Even then they have some catching up to do.   Will it be to late to win friends and influence in post-war Syria?  

The only consolation may be that no foreign nations are hated so much by Syrians--for good reason--as Russia and Iran without whom Saddam would be gone already and the destruction, death and casualties halved or better.  China--a consistent Assad backer in the UN--probably occupies the third spot on any Syrian hate list followed by western leaders guilty of inaction.