West Asia News and Discussions (YEMEN, gulf)

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby Singha » 11 Mar 2015 15:52

from link above , I guess its inevitable a belt of warriors from boko haram in nigeria, to chad-mali faithfuls to libyans to egyptians finally link up a arc of true faith in north africa

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby Singha » 11 Mar 2015 15:54

^^ the "other jihadists" is funny...there are so many jihadi and tribal factions in the world now its hard to keep count and classify properly.

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby Singha » 11 Mar 2015 15:57

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby Singha » 11 Mar 2015 16:00

NYT

North of Tikrit, Kurdish pesh merga forces have intensified their action against ISIS, pushing back against the militants south and west of Kirkuk while supported by American airstrikes. The Kurds also took control of a key route from Kirkuk to Mosul, according to Kurdish officials. ISIS fighters withdrew toward the town of Hawija, where residents said the militants killed a number of their own fighters who had been trying to flee.

With those new operations, ISIS is being pushed from several directions at once, and Kurdish forces are signaling that they want a role in any fight for Mosul. As well, the Kurds are seeking to strengthen their hold on Kirkuk, an oil-rich area that has long been the subject of a tug of war between Kurds and Arabs.

American airstrikes in northeastern Syria also have allowed Kurdish forces there to take back dozens of villages that had been seized by ISIS in recent weeks, according to the United States Central Command.

In Anbar Province, a vast and heavily Sunni area west of Baghdad, security officials said Iraqi forces continued to battle ISIS, gaining ground but losing two senior officers, a deputy army commander and the leader of a Sunni anti-ISIS militia in the area.

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby Singha » 11 Mar 2015 16:02

sniper named abu abdullah al hijazi capture alive

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby Singha » 11 Mar 2015 16:06

around 10 x 10 block area of central tikrit is surrounded from all sides and ISIS is trapped there.

rest have all run away.

iraqi forces are going street by street in a cautious way since there is no rush to finish the op...they can take time and methodically clean the pus from the wound. 152mm towed howitzers are available to pound targets from close range. so are helicopters including the night capable ones.

from looking at the hummers with manned turrets (BP glass) and some with RWS pulled from IFVs and wheeled armoured cars, the iraqi army has better scout and recce vehicles than indian army.

we do not have a proper replacement for the ancient jonga. the gypsy is too small and the stallion 4x4 is too big. Huffy and Tuffy went nowhere. neither did the trials between Mahindra axe(israeli), russi Tiger and a Bae vehicle via Tata.

we seriously need to pull our pants up on this. maybe buying a few 1000s MRAPs and hummers from surplus boneyard stock in the US is a easy path and will attract no controversy.

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby svenkat » 11 Mar 2015 19:43

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/toxic-legacy-of-us-assault-on-fallujah-worse-than-hiroshima-2034065.html

Dramatic increases in infant mortality, cancer and leukaemia in the Iraqi city of Fallujah, which was bombarded by US Marines in 2004, exceed those reported by survivors of the atomic bombs that were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, according to a new study.

Iraqi doctors in Fallujah have complained since 2005 of being overwhelmed by the number of babies with serious birth defects, ranging from a girl born with two heads to paralysis of the lower limbs. They said they were also seeing far more cancers than they did before the battle for Fallujah between US troops and insurgents.

Their claims have been supported by a survey showing a four-fold increase in all cancers and a 12-fold increase in childhood cancer in under-14s. Infant mortality in the city is more than four times higher than in neighbouring Jordan and eight times higher than in Kuwait.


Dr Busby says that while he cannot identify the type of armaments used by the Marines, the extent of genetic damage suffered by inhabitants suggests the use of uranium in some form.


Researchers found a 38-fold increase in leukaemia, a ten-fold increase in female breast cancer and significant increases in lymphoma and brain tumours in adults.


nfant mortality was found to be 80 per 1,000 births compared to 19 in Egypt, 17 in Jordan and 9.7 in Kuwait. The report says that the types of cancer are "similar to that in the Hiroshima survivors who were exposed to ionising radiation from the bomb and uranium in the fallout".


Of particular significance was the finding that the sex ratio between newborn boys and girls had changed. In a normal population this is 1,050 boys born to 1,000 girls, but for those born from 2005 there was an 18 per cent drop in male births, so the ratio was 850 males to 1,000 females. The sex-ratio is an indicator of genetic damage that affects boys more than girls. A similar change in the sex-ratio was discovered after Hiroshima.

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby vijaykarthik » 11 Mar 2015 21:32

good point reg the "other jihadists". The other aspect is this. Derna [other spelling is Darne] is also a staging ground and a transit point for all kinds of Islamist militancy ranging from moderate to fundamentalist. So, its really difficult to define a staging area like that.

Pretty much like how Greece was the melting point of a mix of cultures earlier.

Derna might easily be the most important staging point in the African region so terrorists / militants could move into the Iraq Syrian theatre and get wasted.

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby Austin » 11 Mar 2015 23:12

Looks like the bankrolling of Sunni Nuke will be now put to good use by Saudi

Saudi Arabia prepares for Iran nuclear deal

Riyadh's most crucial ally is Pakistan, the only Muslim nuclear weapons state. :lol: Last year, for the first time, the Saudis publicly displayed their vintage Chinese-made intermediate-range ballistic missiles — the only ones they have that can reach Tehran — at a military parade. In the reviewing stands was Pakistani Chief of Army Staff Gen. Rahul Sharif, the man who controls Pakistan's nuclear arsenal. It is the fastest growing nuclear arsenal in the world, and the Saudis have been helping to pay for its development since the 1970s. It was a very calculated signal.

Salman, in late February, summoned the Pakistani prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, to Riyadh. The highly unusual and urgent public invitation was linked in the Pakistani press to "strategic cooperation" against Iran. Salman visited Islamabad a year ago as crown prince and gave Sharif a $1.5 billion grant to reaffirm the Saudi-Pakistani strategic accord. Sharif spent three days in the kingdom last week in response to the king's invitation. He received a royal reception.

One immediate result of the talks is a plan for Pakistan to move its embassy in Yemen to Aden.

The speculation in Islamabad is that the king sought assurances from Sharif that, if the Iran negotiations produce either a bad deal or no deal, Pakistan will live up to its longstanding commitment to Saudi security. That is understood in Riyadh and Islamabad to include a nuclear dimension.

Sharif also visited the kingdom in January of this year. He was apparently told that then-King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud was at death's door, and Sharif came to pay his respects and meet with Salman before the king died. No other leader was given this advance notice — another sign of the critical importance of the Saudi-Pakistani axis.

​The exact details of what the Pakistani nuclear commitment to the kingdom includes is, of course, among the most closely held secrets of our world. Both Riyadh and Islamabad prefer to maintain ambiguity and deniability.

The Saudis have not given up on Obama; the United States is still their oldest ally. Washington is too important to irritate with speeches. The Saudis prefer a more subtle approach.

Read more: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/origina ... deal.html##ixzz3U6SM76TJ

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby KrishG » 11 Mar 2015 23:57

Austin wrote:Looks like the bankrolling of Sunni Nuke will be now put to good use by Saudi

Saudi Arabia prepares for Iran nuclear deal
In the reviewing stands was Pakistani Chief of Army Staff Gen. Rahul Sharif, the man who controls Pakistan's nuclear arsenal. It is the fastest growing nuclear arsenal in the world, and the Saudis have been helping to pay for its development since the 1970s. It was a very calculated signal


Rahul Sharif?? :lol:

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby Tuvaluan » 12 Mar 2015 03:34

http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2015/Mar-11/290386-saudi-arabia-recalls-ambassador-after-sweden-cuts-military-ties-sweden.ashx

Saudi barbarians miltary ties with sweden broken by Saudis blocking HR speech from swedish official in a arab conference (and Saudis won't be buying any more swedish weapons)

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby vijaykarthik » 12 Mar 2015 05:02

^Saudi wont be buying any more weapons because the Swedes tore the agreement up. Hence the KSA recalled its ambassador.
KSA recently even overtook India as the largest weapons importer. So a small shipment of weapons from the swedes might not matter or so might be the prevailing thought process.

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby Tuvaluan » 12 Mar 2015 06:42

I am sure everyone who produces weapons is more than happy to take saudi money and given them toys they are never going to use. The swedish arms deal was in the order of 30 million US $, which is a pittance by arms deal standards. I am all for the saudis burning up all their cash reserves as fast as possible.

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby Singha » 12 Mar 2015 09:51

the battle may have moved on since this map, but a pocket of ISIS is trapped in central tikrit while the lucky ones outside the engulfing operation tried to escape north in vehicular convoy. the iraqi AF is said to have spotted and attacked them, but surely some would have escaped as limited sorties were available vs a full on usaf style attack.
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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby Singha » 12 Mar 2015 09:56

twitter has pix of a birthday cake for Gen Suleimani , women being taken to safety, Sunni civilians welcoming the militias in the streets as liberators, one of saddam presidential palaces regained and a cross being re installed on top of a church after tearing down the isis flag.

the ISIS meantime has launched attacks on all other fronts like ramadi west of baghdad to regain some prestige.

from Kirkuk side also the peshmerga and american air support is chasing them back to hawija which is a Jn of sorts, one road to kirkuk in east, one to tikrit in south.

thats where ISIS will make their next stand on the road to mosul.

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby vijaykarthik » 12 Mar 2015 14:35

When both roads lead to hell, which will be the road not taken?

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby Singha » 12 Mar 2015 15:19

with losses like this, it will be tough to attract new recruits. forced recruitment will be used but they will desert at first chance and need addl resources to keep a watch.

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby Virupaksha » 12 Mar 2015 16:50

so which has the US designated to be the new ISIS?

It will be interesting to see which faction is fighting which faction. What are the areas or factions which are attacked by iranians, which ones by peshmerga. what is happening in syria.

Is syrian isis being allowed?

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby Singha » 12 Mar 2015 17:17

syrian isis is being attacked by peshmerga with american air support in north east syria ... they have lost some recent gains there.

in the west near aleppo the govt and hezbollah have made some gains against isis + other jihadis. but the govt seems to lack manpower and resources to make big gains. the battle line continues to move back and forth without either side delivering a decisive hit.

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby Virupaksha » 12 Mar 2015 18:00

does isis still have a working chain of command? if they withdrew and battle a guirella for a few weeks while these attacks slow down the intensity - it will be interesting.

It seems peshmarga and iraq state are trying to coordinate their attacks so that the mobile battle becomes an issue for isis.

The problem is I dont see any pitched battles as of yet, so isis seems to be conserving their strength and as of somebody has noted escaped to north. I dont think the coordination can work for lot longer, there are divergent interests.

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby Singha » 12 Mar 2015 19:47

I believe the plan is for more sunni tribes/militias to replace some of the shia militias now forming the bulk of manpower. they will act as 'beaters' to herd and drive the ISIS into the face of the national army/SF which are better equipped in terms of personal weapons and mobility/artillery etc.

Mosul area is mostly sunni and kurd so iran and shias might not be so keen on moving that far north.

one can guess there must be a few US SF units embedded with the kurds to direct air strikes and do damage assessment. the media has been given a story perhaps true that some US/UK ex-servicemen have voluntarily gone to fight with the kurds. a nice cover should any journalists spot the gaijin moving around with peshmerga units

but I think Hawija will still see the Shias in action. it is around 100km north.

there is some areas west of Baghdad (ramadi, falluja, haditha) where the ISIS is positioned and where shia militias will surely be deployed next to hammer them out.

but with Samarra and Tikrit to north of this zone now in govt hands these western bandits might feel their backside jangi is about to get torn and run away through the desert to the north. a good kick or two from the north should arouse some panic they might be trapped and left behind.

https://www.google.co.in/maps/place/Ram ... 865855f0cc

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby Singha » 12 Mar 2015 19:56

the iraqi AF is throwing all its effort into the fight....though US planes would not help this iranian led group, the open nature of terrain and limited number of major highways make air attacks fairly easy on convoys there.

its not vietnam for sure

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby Chinmayanand » 13 Mar 2015 00:31

NATO supplies weapons to ISIS . :)
NATO trains ISIS. :D
NATO bombs ISIS. :eek:

When did ISIS become bad taliban from good taliban ?
How does the transition happen from Free Syrian Army to rebels to moderate rebels to ISIS then suddenly the WMDs go missing from the airwaves ?

Ever since Obama got Nobel Peace Prize , he has been pissing all over Libya, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Ukraine . Did the Europeans forget to tell him the difference between Peace and Piss or Obama became a victim of European accent?

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby Singha » 13 Mar 2015 07:13


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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby Singha » 13 Mar 2015 11:40

around 150 IS are still holed up in a small downtown pocket and saddams palace. progress is slow to minimize casualties and watching out for booby traps and suicide attacks.

russian made TOS1 thermobaric rockets were seen in use for 1st time in tikrit ops.

the battle is basically over and this pocket will be eliminated in a few days .... the scene new shifts to hawija and beiji in the north and ramadi and falluja in the west..how to roll up the ISIS from both ends.

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby Singha » 13 Mar 2015 20:53

Take a look at @JeffersonObama's Tweet: https://twitter.com/JeffersonObama/stat ... 34977?s=09

Impressed by this iranian made mlrs.
Cheap simple ideal for every platoon

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby Supratik » 13 Mar 2015 20:57

Even if ISIS is defeated it will not bring peace to the region. The reason is Syria is a Sunni majority country ruled by a Shia minority and Iraq is about 40% Sunni with western Iraq being Sunni majority. I don't see how Shia and Sunni can get back together after so much animosity.

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby member_23370 » 13 Mar 2015 21:28

No one said peace in middle east was the goal.

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby Philip » 14 Mar 2015 13:01

Sunni regimes sh*tting bricks!

Iran's advances create alarm in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf
Arabs believe Baghdad, Damascus, Beirut and Sana’a are in effect under Iranian control – and power may shift further if US sanctions are eased
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/m ... d-the-gulf
Ian Black Middle East editor

@ian_black

Friday 13 March 2015

The commanders of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) have been working overtime recently, flaunting their achievements across the Middle East and flexing muscles as international negotiations over the country’s nuclear programme enter their critical and perhaps final phase.

On Wednesday it was the turn of Major-General Mohammad Ali Jafari, the IRGC’s most senior officer. “The Islamic revolution is advancing with good speed, its example being the ever-increasing export of the revolution,” he declared. “Not only Palestine and Lebanon acknowledge the influential role of the Islamic Republic but so do the people of Iraq and Syria. They appreciate the nation of Iran.”

Last month a similarly boastful message was delivered by General Qassem Suleimani, who leads the IRGC’s elite Quds force — and who is regularly photographed leading the fightback of Iraqi Shia miltias against the Sunni jihadis of the Islamic State (Isis) as well as against western and Arab-backed rebels fighting Bashar al-Assad in southern Syria. “Imperialists and Zionists have admitted defeat at the hands of the Islamic Republic and the resistance movement,” Suleimani said.

Iran’s advances are fuelling alarm in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf, where Tehran has been a strategic rival since the days of the Shah, and which now, it is said with dismay, in effect controls four Arab capitals – Baghdad, Damascus and Beirut and in the last month Sana’a in Yemen – which is uncomfortably close to home.

Iran’s regional position has certainly improved. Its high-profile role fighting Isis in Iraq, Assad’s retention of control in Syria with the help of its Lebanese ally Hezbollah, and the Houthi rebel takeover in Yemen have all been deeply discomfiting for the Saudis. Anti-government protests in Shia-majority Bahrain are also often blamed on Tehran — though that ignores the domestic roots of the unrest.

In Riyadh King Salman has dropped his preoccupation with the Muslim Brotherhood in favour of building a united Sunni Arab front to confront the Iranians, diplomats say, though translating that strategy into action is another matter. The message from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates is that whatever the outcome of the nuclear talks, Iran is bent on expanding its power and influence. “The Iranians have scored major victories but only where there are Shia minorities,” a senior Gulf official told the Guardian. “Our concern is that the nuclear issue will become a tool of their foreign policy.”

Arab alarm is shared by Israel. Binyamin Netanyahu used identical arguments in his recent speech to the US Congress, timed to influence next week’s nuclear endgame in Geneva. “The Saudis will be incredibly worried that we are getting close to a point where the Iranians will be players because of the nuclear issue and the way the Americans have effectively ended up on the same side as the Iranians in Iraq,” said one veteran Saudi-watcher. “But the noise they are making is in inverse proportion to their ability to do anything about it.”

Arab governments are not reassured by the promises of John Kerry, the US secretary of state, that Washington is not seeking a “grand bargain” with Tehran that will allow it to “destabilise” the Middle East, bolstered by the easing of economic sanctions. Saud Al Faisal, the Saudi foreign minister, warned of Tehran’s “hegemonic” ambitions as the IRGC supported the military operation to retake the Iraqi town of Tikrit from Isis. In Gulf capitals Hassan Rouhani, the emollient Iranian president, is seen as less important than the hardline supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

It is hard to disentangle propaganda from reality. But independent analysts argue that Iran is inflating its gains for both foreign and domestic consumption. “If you listen to Suleimani there is a degree of exaggeration,” argues Ali Ansari of St Andrews University. “It’s rhetorical reassurance. He is saying to Iranians: ‘We are powerful and and everyone is worried about this’ – partly to make the point that they are not really under pressure. People outside can see what Iran’s strengths and weaknesses are. But there is this belief that you need to negotiate from a position of strength and that if you are weak you will be trampled on.”

Iran-watcher Hossein Rassam also detects a domestic calculation in the IRGC statements. “Critics of Rouhani’s policy of rapprochement with the international community inside Iran can turn to the supreme leader and say there wasn’t really much need for that softer tone because now we have more bargaining chips in our hands. Iran is the only power in the region which can actually fight Isis and the west needs us for that.”

Meir Litvak, an Israeli expert on Iran, sees both genuine belief and posturing in Tehran’s stance. “The Iranians believe they have been able to save the Assad regime from total collapse and there is at least stalemate in Syria,” he said. “That means they have been able to maintain the link with Hezbollah and maybe open a second front by proxy against Israel on the Golan Heights. The Houthi rebellion in Yemen was initially a genuinely domestic affair but the Iranian regime saw it as an opportunity. And it has become a bonus for it – even if they are not that active in Yemen. But if the Saudis are scared that’s a plus for the Iranians.”

Arab diplomatic sources say they expect to see an IRGC and Hezbollah presence in Yemen, helped by a new agreement on regular flights between Tehran and Sana’a.

Iran’s role in Bahrain, where the Shia majority remains locked in confrontation with the Saudi-backed Sunni monarchy, is more about scoring propaganda points than material support – despite claims in Manama about Iran’s sinister role.

Still, in the heartlands of Iranian influence, Iraq and Syria, there have been significant costs as well as benefits, including the deaths of two senior IRGC commanders. Continuing sanctions and low oil prices – seen in Tehran as a deliberate strategy by the Saudis – have also made it harder to shell out billions of dollars to subsidise the Assad regime.

Iran’s great advantage, suggests Emile Hokayem, an analyst, is its commitment and competence, in Syria and beyond. “The expertise, experience and strategic patience it deployed in support of the Syrian regime to a great extent facilitated Assad’s recovery from serious setbacks in 2012. In contrast, the war in Syria has exposed not only the political and operational limitations of the Gulf states, but also the rivalries among them.”

Additional reporting by Saeed Kamali Dheghan.

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby Singha » 16 Mar 2015 12:41

around 500-1000 ISIS have hunkered down in downtown tikrit the most thickly built up area. some human shields may be in play. car bombs and EFP/land mines along the roads for sure.

iraqi militias have not moved forward in 3 days to keep casualties low.

instead, they are asking for coalition airborne drones and airstrikes on the ISIS.

these boys would have plenty of food and water and motivation to keep 1000s of iraqi forces tied down in the ring that circles them.
thats the plan to give ISIS time to regroup and gather new resources to fortify the north.

---

as Fallujah and Mogadishu has proven, there is not much that hi tech can do to help in such congested urban areas. the place can be flattened with heavy artillery but that would kill all the civilian human shields also.

perhaps lines of infantry carefully moving in at night, preceded by armoured bulldozers to detonate mines, and IFVs with high angle elevation cannons/HMG and helicopters surveying the rooftoops is the only way. needs a very well equipped and drilled army for such things and casualties are certain even then. the militias probably are not so well trained for this.

perhaps use some khan sensor to locate where the ISIS gather in bulk for food and prayers and send SDBs that way.

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby pankajs » 16 Mar 2015 15:05

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/new ... 577280.cms
US says will have to talk with Assad to end Syria war
As the devastating war in Syria entered its fifth year today, the US said it would have to negotiate with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad as it aims to "reignite" new peace talks.
.............
After years of insisting Assad's days were numbered, US Secretary of State John Kerry conceded Washington would have to negotiate with the iron-fisted leader to end the war.

"Well, we have to negotiate in the end. We've always been willing to negotiate in the context of the Geneva I process," Kerry said in an interview with CBS television aired Sunday.

Deputy State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf, however, denied there was any shift in US policy.

"@JohnKerry repeated long-standing policy that we need negotiated process w/regime at table - did not say we wld negotiate directly w/Assad," she said in a message on her Twitter account.

Kerry acknowledged that it would need increased pressure on Assad, "to make it clear to him that there is a determination by everybody to seek that political outcome and change his calculation about negotiating."

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby Singha » 16 Mar 2015 16:40

US's idea of negotiation involved a demand for Assad to step down and hand over the reins to the "freedom fighters" I think.
ie win on the table what they could not by destroying the country and killing 200K people on military means.

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby vijaykarthik » 17 Mar 2015 11:56

^^ and didn't the US promptly say that Assad has no role in the Syrian talks.

-- What exactly does the US want? Their ill timed statements and later retracting has been a tad too frequent in the Ukraine / Syrian theatres. Major **** up. Perenially.

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby Philip » 17 Mar 2015 16:52

Crucial Israeli poll on.Will Bibi N make it again?


Israeli elections: polls open as Benjamin Netanyahu faces biggest challenge

Benjamin Netanyahu made last minute pledge to prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state as he faces close race
Benjamin Netanyahu casts his ballot Photo: Getty Image
By Our Foreign Staff
GMT 17 Mar 2015

Israelis were voting in parliament elections on Tuesday, after a heated three-month campaign that focused on economic issues but ended with a dramatic last-minute pledge by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state.

Netanyahu's comments marked a reversal of long-standing promises to the United States and were seen as a last-ditch effort to appeal to hard-line voters as he fights for his political survival in a close race.

He claimed that any state established alongside Israel would be controlled by Islamic extremists who "will attack us with rockets".

"Who wants such a thing?" Netanyahu said in a phone interview with Israel TV's Channel 10 after casting his ballot early on Tuesday.

Netanyahu appeared to be appealing to his hard-line base with these comments, after polls indicated his Likud Party is trailing slightly behind the Zionist Union of centrist challenger Isaac Herzog.


Herzog has said he would revive peace efforts with the Palestinians, repair ties with the US and reduce the growing gaps between rich and poor.

"Whoever wants to follow Bibi's (Netanyahu's) path of despair and disappointment will vote for him," Herzog said after casting his vote. "But whoever wants change, hope, and really a better future for Israel, will vote the Zionist Camp lead by me."

Isaac Herzog stands next to his wife Michal as he talks to the media after voting in Tel Aviv (AFP/Getty Images)

Israelis vote for a 120-member parliament, casting ballots for a party list, rather than individual candidates. After an election, it typically takes weeks of negotiation to form a governing coalition and determine who will be prime minister.

Several smaller centrist and religious parties that have not pledged support for either Netanyahu or Herzog will play an oversized role in such negotiations.

Netanyahu has governed for the past six years and has long been the most dominant personality in Israeli politics.

He has swung further to the right in the final stages of the campaign, appealing to his base.

In his interview with Channel 10, he ruled out a coalition with Herzog and said he would seek an alliance with the ultra-national Jewish Home party, which also opposes Palestinian statehood.

An ultra-Orthodox Jewish man stands behind a voting booth at a polling station in Jerusalem (Reuters)

Netanyahu portrayed Herzog as someone who would easily give up territory for a Palestinian state. The Palestinians want to establish a state in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem, lands Israel captured in the 1967 Mideast war.

"We have a different approach," Netanyahu said. "They (the Zionist Union) want to withdraw. I don't want to withdraw. If I put together the government, it will be a nationalist government."

Netanyahu's comments marked a political gamble.

For years, he assured the international community that he accepts the idea of Palestinian statehood and that he is ready to negotiate the terms of such a state. Netanyahu has portrayed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas as the main obstacle to a peace deal.

If Netanyahu were to be re-elected, it would be more difficult for him to argue that Israel is a partner in U.S.-led peace efforts. Washington views the establishment of a Palestinian state as a pillar of its Middle East policy.

Herzog, meanwhile, signaled he is going back on what had been perceived as an unpopular power-sharing deal with the co-leader of the Zionist Union, former Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni.

Under that deal, Herzog and Livni would each have served as prime minister for two years if they won the elections.

Singha
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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby Singha » 17 Mar 2015 17:57


vijaykarthik
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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby vijaykarthik » 17 Mar 2015 18:47

Now Kurds are alarmed at the show of force of Shia militias. Seems like a curious case of pot calling the kettle black. W/o the Shias they couldn't have captured Erbil or Kobane or Tikrit now... but somehow they think its a nice idea to also complain about the fact that the Shias could potentially cause sectarian violence.

Masrour Barzani needs to understand that he cant have it both ways. Surprised that someone this less astute ends up being the chief of Kurdish intelligence.

ramana
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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby ramana » 18 Mar 2015 03:41

Philip. Go back to Ralph Peters map of West Asia.
All according to plan made available long ago.

vijaykarthik
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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby vijaykarthik » 18 Mar 2015 06:53

looking at exit polls, looks like its Bibi's election to lose. Worst case mighy be Bibi-Bujji rotation rather than Bujji-Tzipi.

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby vijaykarthik » 18 Mar 2015 06:54

Forgot to add: Moshe Kalon could become FM, as he has been gunning for, regardless of which party he plans to support.

Singha
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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby Singha » 18 Mar 2015 07:15

Image

india will have to do its bit for the free baluchistan part

at the moment it is TSP that is carving depth into afghanistan and not vice versa.


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