Monday, July 06, 2015

Syrian army 150k half earlier size

...More than 80,000 soldiers and other pro-regime fighters have been killed in the four-year conflict, out of a total of roughly 230,000 dead, says the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based monitoring group.
    In addition to this, many Syrians – even those who support the regime – have been reluctant to show up for mandatory two-year military service, with up to 70,000 failing to enlist, the Observatory says.
    The combination of casualties, defections, and draft-dodging has seen the country’s 300,000-strong military halved in size since the conflict began in March 2011....

    Why US Human Intelligence on ISIS so bad given all the hate ISIS generates?

    Here is an article that says ISIS has abducted 1400+ children and arrested the parents that protested.

    http://www.iraqinews.com/iraq-war/isis-militants-abducted-111-children-mosul-city-says-kurdish-official/
    "(IraqiNews.com) Nineveh – An official of the Kurdistan Democratic Party said Sunday, that the ISIS militants kidnapped 111 children from the city of Mosul and has entered them in military and intellectual training, noting that the ISIS abducted more than 1420 children since last year in order to use them in terrorist and intelligence operations.
    Saeed Mamouzini, an official of the Kurdistan Democratic Party, stated in a interview for IraqiNews.com, “The ISIS kidnapped 111 children from Mosul City and entered them in military and intellectual training,” pointing out that, “The children are aged between 10 and 15 years old.”
    He also added, “The ISIS militants has detained 78 parents of the abducted children for the opposition to the kidnapping of their children,” indicating that, “ISIS kidnapped more than 1420 since its control over Mosul and has trained them militarily and intellectually.”

    So with hundreds if not thousands of families seeing their loved ones abducted by ISIS, held hostage or brutalized, why is US human intelligence so evidently bad in Sunni Iraq? If ever a group could generate retaliation it would be ISIS.

    Perhaps ISIS has very deep popular support in Sunni Iraq.  Perhaps ISIS has utterly terrorized the population. For an occupying army the US performance at absolutely historic levels of sensitivity to the local populations and surely we had and continue to have good relations with thousands of people in areas now ISIS dominated or threatened.

    Yet even with families abducted and traumatized by ISIS, the US (at least publicly) doesn't seem to have a clue about how to take ISIS down -  Guesses on number of combatants, financial structure, organization structure (political and military), differences between Syrian and Iraqi ISIS, troop concentrations, headquarters, stolen tank locations and so on are just abysmal by every indication.

    If congressional testimony is to be believed we are left to third party sources, Jordanians, Iraqi government, Kurds, Turks all of whom have other agendas with only partially congruent interests. This is after spending a decade there.

    Perhaps it really is the case that the local Sunnis prefer the terror of ISIS to the terror and injustice of Shia gangs and corrupt Iraqi government officials. If so wouldn't that taint all human intelligence sources?  One is left to wonder why and why not.

    Consolidation of current news on implications of Turkey's possible incursion into Syria

    This is a rough aggregation of recent news on Turkey's possible incursion into Syria to create a buffer zone. Turkey is increasing its military capacity to intervene though military leaders may be dragging their feet. Domestic party politics in Turkey may encourage intervention. Turkish politicians are laying out triggering events.  NATO would be involved due to treaty commitments and there is a threat from Iran offset by secret deals with Qater, Saudi Arabia and the future of the Muslim Brotherhood in play.

    Turkish Stepping Up Military Capacity Along Syrian Border

    http://www.todayszaman.com/diplomacy_military-bolsters-presence-on-border-as-commanders-summoned-to-ankara_392902.html "...
    The Turkish military has deployed additional missile launchers and artillery pieces to reinforce its troops along the Syrian border, raising the likelihood of an incursion amid the media buzz of a long-debated military intervention in Syria, as senior military commanders visit the border area to inspect the readiness of forces stationed there and draw out plans for an operation.
    The commanders of troops deployed along the border will take part in a high-level meeting to hammer out all contingency plans for a possible intervention in Syria, a Turkish daily reported on Sunday.
    According to the Hürriyet newspaper, Land Forces Commander Gen. Hulusi Akar and Commander of the 2nd Army Adem Huduti sent an order to attend the meeting to the commanders of armored brigades of border troops, after they conducted inspections on Turkey's border with Syria last week.
    The military will discuss which steps will be taken during a possible operation and how many troops will be deployed in Syria if the government finally gives the go-ahead. The meeting will take place this week in Ankara.
    Advanced weaponry, including missile launchers and other heavy weaponry, from Ankara were sent to the border in the southern province of Kilis on Saturday, in the latest dispatch of equipment to the region...."

    Potential Triggering Pretense- Any single group controlling border crossings or threat to Turkish security

    http://www.todayszaman.com/diplomacy_military-bolsters-presence-on-border-as-commanders-summoned-to-ankara_392902.html
    ..."[But] no one should have the expectation that Turkey will enter Syria tomorrow or in the near term," he said. Some media had speculated an imminent cross-border operation was being planned.
    "If anything occurred that were to threaten Turkish security, we wouldn't wait for tomorrow, we would go right in," Davutoğlu added.
    "But it's wrong to expect that Turkey would undertake such a unilateral intervention in the immediate term if there is no such risk."
    A senior Turkish official told Reuters that Ankara was uncomfortable both with the presence of hardline ISIL militants there and the prospect of Kurdish forces controlling the whole border.
    He said Turkey's link to Aleppo was of critical importance and Ankara would act if Kurdish forces took control of Jarablus, a Syrian town just west of the Euphrates River across the border from Turkey's Karkamış. ...

    Power struggle in Turkey, elections, and the politics of a security buffer zone in Syria

    http://www.todayszaman.com/diplomacy_pondering-military-incursion-into-syria-ak-party-eyes-early-election_392808.html
    "...
    Veteran diplomat and a former main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) deputy Faruk Loğoğlu said the motive behind such a cross-border operation for the AK Party is “to score what they think would be a quick victory and translate it into gains in a probable early election.”
    Speaking to Sunday's Zaman, Loğoğlu said that without the explicit consent of the Syrian government or a mandate from the UN Security Council, the attempt to create a safe zone by Turkey would be tantamount to “Turkey's occupation of its neighbor.” Loğoğlu said Turkey has already accepted more than 2 million Syrians and the argument of stemming the further flow of refugees is not credible, adding that Turkey can accommodate more if need be.
    “The argument of preventing [the formation of] a Kurdish state in the north of Syria is akin to shedding crocodile tears. It was the PYD that the AKP [AK Party] collaborated with to move the tomb of Süleyman Şah and that helped it in its fight to reclaim Kobani. So the political motive of Erdoğan and [Prime Minister Ahmet] Davutoğlu for a safe zone is not what they say it is. The motive is most likely their wish to score what they think would be a quick victory and translate it into gains in a probable early election. This calculation is wrong and fraught with serious dangers,” he said.
    ...
    According to Turkish media reports in the past week, the Turkish military will not allow the PYD forces to attack in the cities of Jarablus or Idlib, where Syrian regime forces are clashing with the opposition. Such attacks would cause a huge flow of refugees toward Turkey. The military will act without waiting for an order from the government, according to a plan of action that was agreed upon by senior Turkish officials during the MGK meeting earlier this week, the reports said.
    WINEP's Çağaptay said Erdoğan could cast a speedy Turkish takeover of Syrian territory as a victory for his AK Party and this would help the party if Turkey is forced to undergo early elections. Should the coalition negotiations fail to produce a government with a vote of confidence, new elections will have to be held, Çağaptay pointed out.
    “In that scenario, a Turkish incursion in Syria would cost the AKP further Kurdish support at the ballot box. At the same time, however, such a ‘victory operation' would bring in conservative voters from the MHP [Nationalist Movement Party], with Erdoğan no doubt hoping that this surge in support would help the AKP win an outright majority,” said Çağaptay...."

    Other International Considerations in a Move on Syria by Turkey

    NATO
     ... "Çandar said Turkey is a member of NATO and the Turkish military cannot enter into another country just because President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan wants it without NATO's approval or support. He stressed that entering into Syria will mean opening a front against Kurds in Syria and this front will not be limited to covering a small corridor but may expand from Kobani all the way into Turkey....'http://www.todayszaman.com/diplomacy_pondering-military-incursion-into-syria-ak-party-eyes-early-election_392808.html

    Secret Deals with Qater and Saudi Arabia to overthrow Assad

    "...Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar had made a secret deal to remove embattled Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad from power in 2012, the founder of online whistleblower WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, has claimed.
    Speaking to Russian TV channel Russia-1 on Sunday, Assange said a secret agreement was made between Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar in 2012 to topple Assad. He added that the United States, Britain and France offered indirect support to the deal...." http://www.todayszaman.com/diplomacy_pondering-military-incursion-into-syria-ak-party-eyes-early-election_392808.html

    Threat to Turkey from Iran

    "In the latest revelation of the Saudi cables released by WikiLeaks, Iran threatened to hit Turkey if any of the air bases in Turkish territory are used to strike Bashar al-Assad's Syria.
    A Saudi cable sent from the Saudi Embassy in Tehran to the Foreign Ministry of Saudi Arabia reveals the bellicose rhetoric in Tehran against Ankara, which was accused by Iran of abetting the uprising in Syria.
    According to the cable, parts of which appeared in the Turkish media, the Iranian press launched a propaganda campaign against the Turkish government led by then-Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for allegedly adopting pro-Israel and American policies in its foreign policy.
    Iran worked hard, to no avail, to convince Ankara to change its course and stop backing the Syrian opposition seeking a regime change in Syria.
    An Iranian delegation sent by Tehran to Ankara threatened their Turkish counterparts that Turkey will become a target of Iranian missiles if any Turkish air base is used by Western powers to strike Syria...." http://www.todayszaman.com/national_wikileaks-turkey-involved-in-secret-deal-to-overthrow-assad_392422.html