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TOPIC: Whisper it in Washington but Putin may have been right about Syria all along

Whisper it in Washington but Putin may have been right about Syria all along 25 Aug 2014 02:30 #1

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Whisper it in Washington but Putin may have been right about Syria all along
Many cautioned against the earlier insistence of the Obama administration that Assad must go


Source: http://www.independent.co.uk/
What a difference a year makes. Around this time last year, the West was gearing up for military action against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who was accused of carrying out chemical weapons attacks on his own people. That intervention never came to pass, not least because domestic public opinion in countries such as Britain and the US was opposed to further entanglements in the Middle East.
Now, the US is contemplating extending air strikes on Isis militants operating in Iraq and Syria – fighters belonging to a terrorist organisation that is leading the war against Assad. Isis’s territorial gains in Iraq and the continued repression and slaughter of religious minorities there and in Syria have rightly triggered global condemnation.

The irony of the moment is tragic. But to some, it doesn’t come as much of a surprise. Many cautioned against the earlier insistence of the Obama administration (as well as other governments) that Assad must go, fearing what would take hold in the vacuum. One of those critics happened to be Russian President Vladimir Putin, who warned against US intervention in Syria in a New York Times op-ed last September.

He wrote: “A strike would increase violence and unleash a new wave of terrorism. It could undermine multilateral efforts to resolve the Iranian nuclear problem and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and further destabilise the Middle East and North Africa. It could throw the entire system of international law and order out of balance.”

Some of the crises Putin catalogued have worsened anyway, but his insistence was couched in a reading of the conflict in Syria that is more cold-blooded than the view initially held by some in Washington. “Syria is not witnessing a battle for democracy, but an armed conflict between government and opposition in a multi-religious country,” he wrote, suggesting that the nominally secular Assad regime, despite its misdeeds, was a stabilising force preferable to what could possibly replace it.

Putin decried the growing Islamist cadres in the Syrian rebels’ ranks: “Mercenaries from Arab countries fighting there, and hundreds of militants from Western countries and even Russia, are an issue of our deep concern. Might they not return to our countries with experience acquired in Syria?”

That is a concern publicly shared now by US and European officials, who are alarmed by the considerable presence of European nationals among Isis forces. A British jihadist who spoke with a London accent is believed to have carried out the shocking execution of American journalist James Foley.


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Cross link to relevant thread: http://truth-zone.net/forum/news-and-current-affairs/64129-the-isis-option.

"Whenever you're in conflict with someone, there is one factor that can make the difference between damaging your relationship and deepening it. That factor is attitude." William James
Last Edit: 25 Aug 2014 02:33 by Frog.
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ISIS Militants Capture Air Base From Syrian Government Forces 25 Aug 2014 03:08 #2

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ISIS Militants Capture Air Base From Syrian Government Forces

Source: http://www.nytimes.com/
BAGHDAD — Extremist fighters from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria seized a military base in northern Syria on Sunday from forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad, further solidifying control inside their self-declared Islamic state spanning the Syria-Iraq border.

The fall of the Tabqa air base followed the group’s seizing of two other Syrian military bases and gave it effective control of Raqqa Province, which abuts the Turkish border and whose capital city, Raqqa, has long served as the group’s de facto headquarters.

Recent military advances by ISIS in northern and eastern Syria have highlighted the lack of local military forces that can effectively battle the group, which President Obama last week called a “cancer” that must be eradicated from the Middle East.

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"Whenever you're in conflict with someone, there is one factor that can make the difference between damaging your relationship and deepening it. That factor is attitude." William James
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