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The Russian Hare

US, Russia announce ceasefire in SW Syria

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The United States and Russia struck an agreement Friday on a cease-fire in southwest Syria, crowning President Donald Trump's first meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. It is the first U.S.-Russian effort under Trump's presidency to stem Syria's six-year civil war.

The cease-fire goes into effect Sunday at noon Damascus time, according to U.S. officials and the Jordanian government, which is also involved in the deal.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who accompanied Trump in his meeting with Putin, said the understanding is designed to reduce violence in an area of Syria near Jordan's border and which is critical to the U.S. ally's security.

http://www.cnbc.com/2017/07/07/us-russia-prepared-to-announce-cease-fire-in-southwest-syria-starting-sunday-report.html

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12 minutes ago, The Russian Hare said:

The United States and Russia struck an agreement Friday on a cease-fire in southwest Syria, crowning President Donald Trump's first meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. It is the first U.S.-Russian effort under Trump's presidency to stem Syria's six-year civil war.

The cease-fire goes into effect Sunday at noon Damascus time, according to U.S. officials and the Jordanian government, which is also involved in the deal.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who accompanied Trump in his meeting with Putin, said the understanding is designed to reduce violence in an area of Syria near Jordan's border and which is critical to the U.S. ally's security.

http://www.cnbc.com/2017/07/07/us-russia-prepared-to-announce-cease-fire-in-southwest-syria-starting-sunday-report.html

Good news, I hope.  Putin has gained FAR more in Syria and Ukraine than his predecessors ever did.  I doubt he will chance losing it over Iran's insistence of gaining a continuous path from their border to the Golan.

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Posted (edited)

Unfortunately, it's not the U.S. and Russia fighting one-another in Southwest Syria. I think it's no more than feel-good diplomacy and like other such agreements will flounder and ultimately break down from the intransigence of the actual combatants.

Edited by Hammerclaw
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4 hours ago, and then said:

Good news, I hope.  Putin has gained FAR more in Syria and Ukraine than his predecessors ever did.  I doubt he will chance losing it over Iran's insistence of gaining a continuous path from their border to the Golan.

Iran is last weeks bread. Putin needs to consolidate his win in the Crimea and Ukraine and now that he has an understanding with Trump on Syria, Iran is on its own. 

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3 hours ago, Captain Risky said:

Iran is last weeks bread. Putin needs to consolidate his win in the Crimea and Ukraine and now that he has an understanding with Trump on Syria, Iran is on its own. 

Possibly, but remember that Iran just got over a 100 billion in cash to spend on, among other things, weapons systems.  The Russian economy badly needs the business.

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7 minutes ago, and then said:

Possibly, but remember that Iran just got over a 100 billion in cash to spend on, among other things, weapons systems.  The Russian economy badly needs the business.

Point taken about Iran. If the U.S. and Europe loosens the trade restrictions on Russia that would also go a long way in not just normalising ties but help Russia ween itself off oil and gas dependency.  

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Posted (edited)

18 hours ago, and then said:

Good news, I hope.  Putin has gained FAR more in Syria and Ukraine than his predecessors ever did.  I doubt he will chance losing it over Iran's insistence of gaining a continuous path from their border to the Golan.

The ceasefire is simply a pragmatic decision from both sides. If the Syrian Army, the SDF or even Jordan should clash together in southern Syria, this will only give an opportunity to ISIS to rise again and undo much of the efforts on that front.

Edited by Be.cause

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41 minutes ago, Be.cause said:

The ceasefire is simply a pragmatic decision from both sides. If the Syrian Army, the SDF or even Jordan should clash together in southern Syria, this will only give an opportunity to ISIS to rise again and undo much of the efforts on that front.

I wonder about the absence of any reference to the Saudis being onboard with this plan.  If they aren't, it will all fall apart soon enough.  They are the primary suppliers/paymasters for ISIS.

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13 minutes ago, and then said:

I wonder about the absence of any reference to the Saudis being onboard with this plan.  If they aren't, it will all fall apart soon enough.  They are the primary suppliers/paymasters for ISIS.

We can view the "ceasefire" as a clear waning of Saudi (and therefore ISIS) influence in the region.  In fact, the entire plan to re-draw the ME in the vision of Saudi, US Neocon, and certain other regional interests appears headed for the trash-heap.

The Saudis are likely facing bigger problems of an 'internal' sort, now that the ISIS gambit has failed.

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Posted (edited)

9 hours ago, and then said:

I wonder about the absence of any reference to the Saudis being onboard with this plan.  If they aren't, it will all fall apart soon enough.  They are the primary suppliers/paymasters for ISIS.

The consensus is now clear: Assad will stay to govern most of Syria. The U.S and Russia seems to have reached an agreement, at last. There is really no other alternative, ATM to ensure stability. The Saudis will have to accept that at some point.

Edited by Be.cause
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I felt like this was worth the bump:  http://www.timesofisrael.com/netanyahu-meeting-putin-to-share-secret-intel-on-iran-threat/

Netanyahu and his Mossad chief have been trying to warn the Trump administration about the consequences of leaving Iranian IRGC, Hizballah and thousands of seasoned Islamic fighters entrenched on Israel's northern border with Syria.  McMaster and his deputy have basically ignored them.  Now Bibi has met with Putin to share the info.  I don't think this is the same old, same old.  If a peace agreement comes into effect that actually stops the fighting and Israel is faced with very large, well entrenched and seasoned fighters on their border, that's a bridge too far and it will lead to a serious outbreak of hostilities.  When it's over, I suspect that Lebanon and a large chunk of Syria will be in ruins and the Russians will be humiliated in front of the world.  Hopefully, Vladimir Vladimirovich understands this.  One can only assume that the ayatollahs believe that Israel is divided enough, politically, to allow such an encirclement.  I think they're going to find that they are mistaken.  If Israel starts massing armor, infantry and air power near the Syrian border, I suspect Vlad will have a chat with Khamenei and find a plan B.

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I do understand that Bibi will turn to other ways because isolating Iran the way he wanted proved impossible, especially after western debacle in Syria and especially because there is stronger Lebanon now, not just some 'crazy' 20 year old kids who fight the occupation as in 1980s.

Important to mention, Mr. Assad, just recently, after finally seeing possible end of tragedy in his country, said that Syria won't change it's stance against occupation of Palestine nor will it stop supporting ressistance to Israel's expansion ( mainly Hamas and Hezbollah ). That is why it's realistic to expect what you have said @and then, i mean, such steps taken by Israel ( to mass troops on Syrian border ).

Now, keep in mind that massing troops on Syrian border could be repetition of 2006 and i trully hope, for both Israeli and Syrian, Palestinian or Lebanesse civilians, i hope that Mr. Bibi will stop with provoking wars and hate. As Hezbollah's leader Nasrallah has said ( and he is only leader in ME who does what he says - remember the warship which terrorized Bairut civilians in 2006... ), : '' if you attack Beirut, we will attack your cities, if you destroy our homes we will destroy your homes... '' I would take that seriously. It has already happened and it was Israel who provoked it. 

All in all, there is no plan B. It's either diplomatic solution or an all out war where only civilians will suffer, on both sides man. Armor, tanks that is, they can't help Israel on that terrain ( as already was proven, see 2006 conflict again and Merkava tanks comedy ), airplanes hit only civilians and there are many troops ready to resist in the area. I just hope that dream of isolating Iran will finally come to end in Mr. Bibi's mind. Afterall, Iran is beautiful country where people live good lives it's only that MSM demonize it in every possible and impossible way, hell, i would even dare to say that Iran was sort of sancturay to Jewish people in both world wars and possibly earlier too, tho i haven't found reference to that ( period of 12th century Church 'ways' ).

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I saw just the first part of the title with the Syria bit cut off, and I'm like...gee...we were shooting at each other? I didn't even notice. How awkward. 

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I wonder how long this one will last. Why is this cease fire any different than the failed ones before?

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On 8/24/2017 at 5:42 AM, Sir Smoke aLot said:

Afterall, Iran is beautiful country where people live good lives it's only that MSM demonize it in every possible and impossible way, hell, i would even dare to say that Iran was sort of sancturay to Jewish people in both world wars and possibly earlier too,

I have little doubt that you are correct about the Iran of the early 20th century being a haven for Jews.  Unfortunately, today's Iran is a Shiite theocracy whose rhetoric on Israel is quite plain for all to see and hear who are interested in the truth.  When this war happens, as I begin to fear it will, there will no longer be any fond remembrances among Islamist Hezballah over their stalemate in 2006.  Their much touted "victory" over the IDF was the result of self-imposed restraint due to a desire to save as many Lebanese civilians as possible.  Over the past 2 years, they have said in no uncertain terms that they will exercise no such restraint in the next Hezballah war in Lebanon.  They have shown hundreds of images of missile sites that are actually built within residential areas, even within residences themselves and they have warned the civilians of southern Lebanon that they need to evacuate as soon as the shooting begins or their deaths will be on their own hands.  Hezballah is an Iranian proxy army, of this there is no doubt among honest individuals.  If they launch a devastating array of accurate missiles into Israel, southern Lebanon will become a moonscape and this time, the UN will not force an early end so that Hezballah can regroup, rearm and strengthen.  Hizballah will be eliminated as a fighting force and if Russia tries to interfere, Putin will be humiliated.  He will not risk his country over Syria.  

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Another piece on the situation:  https://worldisraelnews.com/israeli-defense-minister-will-not-stand-iran-advances-syria/

It's going to be interesting to see how Russia and the Ayatollahs play this.  My guess is they will back away, but not very far.  I cannot see Iran or Russia risking open war against Israel at this point, especially with Trump in the Oval office.  

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3 hours ago, and then said:

Another piece on the situation:  https://worldisraelnews.com/israeli-defense-minister-will-not-stand-iran-advances-syria/

It's going to be interesting to see how Russia and the Ayatollahs play this.  My guess is they will back away, but not very far.  I cannot see Iran or Russia risking open war against Israel at this point, especially with Trump in the Oval office.  

it seems like an agreement of sorts has been worked out. Iran provides he shock troops and Russia the hardware. interestingly, Syria and Russia have just networked their air-defence networks together. so an attack on Assad is an attack on Russia. i guess Iranian troops are safe for now.

http://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/13836/its-official-russia-and-syria-have-linked-their-air-defense-networks 

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33 minutes ago, Captain Risky said:

it seems like an agreement of sorts has been worked out. Iran provides he shock troops and Russia the hardware. interestingly, Syria and Russia have just networked their air-defence networks together. so an attack on Assad is an attack on Russia. i guess Iranian troops are safe for now.

http://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/13836/its-official-russia-and-syria-have-linked-their-air-defense-networks 

3

That wouldn't be my first assumption.  If Vlad has made the calculation that he can impose his will on both the U.S. and Israel, the world may be in for a great shaking.  If he starts up with either of these forces, his assets would quickly be neutralized and he'd be left humiliated before his people.  THAT could lead to a global war.  Never underestimate the power of the IDF/IAF resolve to keep Israel alive.  Needless to say, were a U.S. aircraft and pilot destroyed, there would be hell to pay also.  These are some dangerous days ahead.

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3 minutes ago, and then said:

That wouldn't be my first assumption.  If Vlad has made the calculation that he can impose his will on both the U.S. and Israel, the world may be in for a great shaking.  If he starts up with either of these forces, his assets would quickly be neutralized and he'd be left humiliated before his people.  THAT could lead to a global war.  Never underestimate the power of the IDF/IAF resolve to keep Israel alive.  Needless to say, were a U.S. aircraft and pilot destroyed, there would be hell to pay also.  These are some dangerous days ahead.

i don't think that Putin has taken any unilateral actions in Syria with out some form of consultation with the U.S. or Israel.  It wouldn't be that impossible to imagine that all the protagonists have come to an arrangement that safe-guards the interests of all. Obama took a back seat to Putin in Syria and Trump is doing the same. Only Russia this time won't allow its policy in Syria being held hostage by American domestic interests like with the bombing of the Syrian airfields and arial attacks on Syrian army positions. 

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25 minutes ago, Captain Risky said:

i don't think that Putin has taken any unilateral actions in Syria with out some form of consultation with the U.S. or Israel.  It wouldn't be that impossible to imagine that all the protagonists have come to an arrangement that safe-guards the interests of all. Obama took a back seat to Putin in Syria and Trump is doing the same. Only Russia this time won't allow its policy in Syria being held hostage by American domestic interests like with the bombing of the Syrian airfields and arial attacks on Syrian army positions. 

As I said, never underestimate the IDF/IAF role here.  Allowing a devotedly hostile force with great capabilities to hang on their border, waiting for the most opportune time to strike isn't just something Israel doesn't like.  It is something they simply cannot allow, regardless the short term consequences.

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8 minutes ago, and then said:

As I said, never underestimate the IDF/IAF role here.  Allowing a devotedly hostile force with great capabilities to hang on their border, waiting for the most opportune time to strike isn't just something Israel doesn't like.  It is something they simply cannot allow, regardless the short term consequences.

Hmm.... I don't really see this, And Then ? Precisely WHAT "...force with great capabilities" are you envisaging ? 

Hizbollah is - essentially - light infantry, mostly involved in urban skirmishing. The Syrian armies are involved in holding on to Syria, their air-force is... well... SERIOUSLY overmatched by the IAF. You might envisage Russia giving them some MIG's, but... do they have the skilled pilots to fly them into combat ? 

So far as I understand, none of the 'actors' involved in Syria have armour, or even mechanised infantry. They are not trained in large-scale battlefield maneuvers against a hi-tech, integrated military like the IDF/IAF, who historically excel  in combined arms, communication and maneuvering. They don't have a logistics train in place.... even if Iran decided to directly involve its own armed forces on the ground, how would they GET to the border with Israel ? How would they be supplied, even with basics like food and water, let alone ammunition etcetera. 

The only scenario I could envisage would be some sort of provocation to try and lure Israel into invading Syria.. which could turn into another Lebanon-style morass.. which Hizbollah HAVE been good at in the past. 

Israel can't afford to be entirely complacent, but I really can't see an existential threat here ? 

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7 hours ago, RoofGardener said:

Hmm.... I don't really see this, And Then ? Precisely WHAT "...force with great capabilities" are you envisaging ? 

Hizbollah is - essentially - light infantry, mostly involved in urban skirmishing. The Syrian armies are involved in holding on to Syria, their air-force is... well... SERIOUSLY overmatched by the IAF. You might envisage Russia giving them some MIG's, but... do they have the skilled pilots to fly them into combat ? 

So far as I understand, none of the 'actors' involved in Syria have armour, or even mechanised infantry. They are not trained in large-scale battlefield maneuvers against a hi-tech, integrated military like the IDF/IAF, who historically excel  in combined arms, communication and maneuvering. They don't have a logistics train in place.... even if Iran decided to directly involve its own armed forces on the ground, how would they GET to the border with Israel ? How would they be supplied, even with basics like food and water, let alone ammunition etcetera. 

The only scenario I could envisage would be some sort of provocation to try and lure Israel into invading Syria.. which could turn into another Lebanon-style morass.. which Hizbollah HAVE been good at in the past. 

Israel can't afford to be entirely complacent, but I really can't see an existential threat here ? 

Iran is said to be trying to forge a land corridor

Since Iran already essentially controls Iraq, as soon as any peace agreement comes into force that provides a safe route through Syria, a supply train is guaranteed - unless interdicted by Israel.  Last I heard, your "light infantry" Hizballah has around 50K Missiles trained on Israel's military and industrial zones and those missiles aren't the mostly homemade version used from Gaza.  IOW, they hit what they are aimed at.  

RG do you seriously doubt Iran's stated intent against Israel?  As to existential threats, no, there is no conventional force in the region that can cause Israel to be destroyed, even if several came at once.  That isn't the point.  The issue here is a destabilizing move by a mortal enemy to stage ever strengthening forces directly on Israel's border.  

The IAF has already destroyed several convoys of advanced weapons that Iran has tried to deliver to Hizballah in Lebanon.  Do you suspect they will do less in the future?  And when they destroy or evade the vaunted S400 umbrella to eliminate these weapons transfers, how would you expect Putin to react?  For all the derision posted here against the F-35, Israel is the only other nation that has them actively deployed today.  We may soon see proof that either they are better than most give credit for or Russia's anti air miracles aren't so miraculous after all.

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1 hour ago, and then said:

Iran is said to be trying to forge a land corridor

Since Iran already essentially controls Iraq, as soon as any peace agreement comes into force that provides a safe route through Syria, a supply train is guaranteed - unless interdicted by Israel.  Last I heard, your "light infantry" Hizballah has around 50K Missiles trained on Israel's military and industrial zones and those missiles aren't the mostly homemade version used from Gaza.  IOW, they hit what they are aimed at.  

RG do you seriously doubt Iran's stated intent against Israel?  As to existential threats, no, there is no conventional force in the region that can cause Israel to be destroyed, even if several came at once.  That isn't the point.  The issue here is a destabilizing move by a mortal enemy to stage ever strengthening forces directly on Israel's border.  

The IAF has already destroyed several convoys of advanced weapons that Iran has tried to deliver to Hizballah in Lebanon.  Do you suspect they will do less in the future?  And when they destroy or evade the vaunted S400 umbrella to eliminate these weapons transfers, how would you expect Putin to react?  For all the derision posted here against the F-35, Israel is the only other nation that has them actively deployed today.  We may soon see proof that either they are better than most give credit for or Russia's anti air miracles aren't so miraculous after all.

Weeell... it all seems a bit sketchy. The Times of Israel article extrapolates from "Iranian backed fighters moving eastwards" to "Iran having a border with Israel"... 

I'm sorry, but a ragtag of tribal militiamen moving east does not constitute a "land corridor".

In regards to Hizbollah; again, I struggle to take some of the claims seriously. I mean.. 50,000 "missiles" ? Really ? Well, the Wikipedia article cites Israeli newspapers as suggesting between 120,000-150,000. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hezbollah_armed_strength#Rockets_and_missiles

And I'm sorry, but I really can't believe ANY of those estimates. Or at least, not without major caveats. 

Lets take the lower figure for the moment. How do you store 50,000 rockets ? How do you utilise them when you only have around 20,000 "trained" fighters, and another 25,000 'reservists'.  I would imagine even the Islamic Republican Guard doesn't have 50,000 artillery rockets. 

the numbers are simply not credible, And Then. Even 50,000 hand-held anti-tank rockets would challenge credibility. 

I think that elements within the Israeli state are exaggerating the capabilities of Hizbollah in order to mobilise public support for the IDF, or to promote a siege mentality within the State. 

Sure, Iran would like to destroy Israel; I have no doubt as to their intent. But they entirely lack the capability, until the point where they finally manage to build their atom bombs. (thanks mostly to their friend Barack Obama). 

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4 hours ago, and then said:

Iran is said to be trying to forge a land corridor

Since Iran already essentially controls Iraq, as soon as any peace agreement comes into force that provides a safe route through Syria, a supply train is guaranteed - unless interdicted by Israel.  Last I heard, your "light infantry" Hizballah has around 50K Missiles trained on Israel's military and industrial zones and those missiles aren't the mostly homemade version used from Gaza.  IOW, they hit what they are aimed at.  

RG do you seriously doubt Iran's stated intent against Israel?  As to existential threats, no, there is no conventional force in the region that can cause Israel to be destroyed, even if several came at once.  That isn't the point.  The issue here is a destabilizing move by a mortal enemy to stage ever strengthening forces directly on Israel's border.  

The IAF has already destroyed several convoys of advanced weapons that Iran has tried to deliver to Hizballah in Lebanon.  Do you suspect they will do less in the future?  And when they destroy or evade the vaunted S400 umbrella to eliminate these weapons transfers, how would you expect Putin to react?  For all the derision posted here against the F-35, Israel is the only other nation that has them actively deployed today.  We may soon see proof that either they are better than most give credit for or Russia's anti air miracles aren't so miraculous after all.

and then: 

IMO as long as Israel has nuclear weapons and Iran has not, i wouldn't worry too much. the future outcome in Syria looks rosy for Israel too. granted, Iran will have direct access to the Mediterranean but Russia and Assad don't want another war and will curtail any Iranian excesses. Just like the IDF destroyed those convoys (which i suspect was done on Russian intel to appease Israel) a more reliable Assad and Russia will settle Iran down. Turkish influence now stops at the Syria and Iraqi borders, thanks to Russia and the U.S. which is good news also. and more importantly Israel has developed friendly relations with the sunni Arabs in Saudi Arabia and Egypt thanks to this war.

3 outta 4 wins for Israel ain't to shabby.    

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