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#15301 KV7

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Posted 22 October 2019 - 1953 PM

Well, the CDU/CSU foreign policy spokesman in the German Bundestag, Roderich Kiesewetter, pointed out yesterday that if people really wanted to protect the Kurds, diplomatic maneuvers wouldn't help as much as a UN humanitarian security zone guarded by the EU with a mere 30-40,000 troops, including German. Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer followed that up with the announcement that she would seek talks with France, the UK and US at the upcoming meeting of her NATO colleagues for a solution in coordination with Turkey and Russia; though she was evasive on possible German military commitments, saying that would be a question for parliament (in fact the Bundestag can merely vote yes or no on deployments proposed by the government, without modification).

 

I'm not sure if those are serious intentions or merely trolling the coalition partner and most of the opposition, who have talked a good deal about how bad the Turkish intervention is and that Erdogan should not be let get away with it, complaining that Germany is acting impotently - but are typically reluctant when it comes to military action of its own. Most demands have been for various sanctions, and in fact Angela Merkel has announced that no arms will be delivered to Turkey under present conditions.

 

It would be fun to see how the Left Party in particular, which has always been the loudest champion of the Kurds, would try to handle the proposal of German soldiers protecting them when they are also pretty strictly anti-military deployment, and anti-military period. Though I don't doubt they would come up with a completely paradox position having it both ways, like when MP Christine Buchholz (Hezbollah, Offenbach) famously called for solidarity with resistance in besieged Kobane, and stopping US bombing in their support. That triggered no end of ridicule, of course.

 

10606063_736143033106622_891918182899417

 

30-40,000 troops per Kiesewetter is of course either playing it very safe, or deliberately raising the stakes very high; I can't see a Europe that's just reorienting towards the East again - or in fact any other actor - bringing up that kind of numbers. As the protection factor of the removed US troops was political rather than military anyway (that is, until Trump showed he'll readily yield to demands of a third-rate sorta-ally to get out of the way), a high four-digit number would probably be sufficient for this role. That might actually be doable, but I'm not holding my breath just yet.


There is no necessary inconsistency here at all, if your position is that IS and HTS etc. should be defeated by the Syrian government and their allies, and that the best thing the west can do is cease supporting opponents of the government and frustrating it with sanctions etc. - and to just generally get out of the way.

The Russian involvement is consistent with medium term peace in a way that US/NATO/EU etc. involvement is not, because only the latter has some interest in keeping some anti-government insurgency going or at least some threat of one on the table.



 


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#15302 Nikolas93TS

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Posted 23 October 2019 - 0227 AM

Turkish forces in areas seized since the start of the 9 October offensive will remain in situ, and Russian troops and the Syrian army will control the rest of the frontier.

Chapeau.
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#15303 Daan

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Posted 23 October 2019 - 0327 AM

More like a joint Russo-Turkish control of the border:

4crMEIA.jpg


Edited by Daan, 23 October 2019 - 0329 AM.

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#15304 glenn239

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Posted 23 October 2019 - 1207 PM

https://www.msn.com/...ocid=spartandhp

 

Turkey halts its advance.  

 

The media has been crying loud tears for the Kurds suffering for over a week now.  Anyone care to bet whether the same sources will now thank Putin for his efforts to protect the Kurds from further attack?  Or should we be cynical and wonder whether the anti-Trump crowd would have preferred more Kurd suffering so that they could hit Trump over the head with the pictures?


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#15305 BansheeOne

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Posted 25 October 2019 - 0446 AM

Well, whatever becomes of the Kurds, the oil must be safe!

 

October 25, 2019 / 12:16 AM / Updated 9 hours ago

 
Eyeing oilfields, U.S. aims to reinforce position in Syria: official
 
 
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States is committed to reinforcing its military position in Syria with additional assets to prevent oilfields from being taken over by remnants of the Islamic State militant group or others, a U.S. defense official said on Thursday.
 

The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, did not disclose what military assets were under consideration.

 

The remarks were some of the clearest signs yet that the United States had not just halted plans for now for a full withdrawal from Syria but may add some new capabilities to strengthen those American forces that remain in the country.

 

“One of the most significant gains by the U.S. and our partners in the fight against ISIS was gaining control of oilfields in eastern Syria - a crucial source of revenue for ISIS,” the defense official said, using an acronym for Islamic State.

 

“We must deny ISIS this revenue stream to ensure there’s no resurgence.”

 

A second U.S. official, also speaking on condition of anonymity, said U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Army General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, “continue to prepare options to take to the president.”

 

President Donald Trump has been softening his pullout plans for Syria after a backlash from Congress, including among key Republicans, who say he cleared the way for a long-threatened Turkish incursion against Kurdish forces in Syria who had been America’s top allies in the battle against Islamic State.

 

The vacuum left by Trump’s partial withdrawal also created an opening that Russia capitalized on by moving forces into the area. U.S. officials worry that Iran-backed forces in Syria could also capitalize on the chaos.

 

Amid fears that Islamic State could stage a comeback, Trump said on Wednesday a small number of U.S. troops would remain in the area of Syria “where they have the oil,” a reference to oilfields in the Kurdish-controlled region.

 

Any significant U.S. military presence on the ground would need to be properly defended from potential attack, particularly in oil-rich areas of Syria that could become targets of not just Islamic State militants but potentially, Russian-backed or Iran-backed forces operating in the country.

 

[...]

 

https://www.reuters....l-idUSKBN1X32QN

 

"Newsweek" reported earlier that half an armored battalion might be deployed. In addition to a task force of heavy stereotypes, obviously.


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#15306 BansheeOne

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Posted 25 October 2019 - 0632 AM

Meanwhile there are some rough sketches for the German initiative for a security zone in Northern Syria. They envision multiple national sectors each about 40 kilometers wide and 30 deep. The Bundeswehr would provide about 2,500 troops - three combat battalions with artillery, engineer and SOF support, an air component with Recce Tornados and Eurofighters. Supposedly that could be sustained for two years without neglecting other commitments. Allied support would be needed regarding helicopters and medical - which is ironic, since Germany has long preferred to deploy medical and other support rather than combat troops overseas, apparently to the point of overextension.

 

It's doubtful whether it'll happen though. Defense minister Kramp-Karrenbauer seems to have only sent a text message to her colleague foreign minister Heiko Maas before launching the idea via media, without telling anybody else at home or abroad. There has been lukewarm domestic support from CDU/CSU only, and polite interest from partners at the NATO meeting, including Turkey and the US - though the latter is of course neither willing nor intended to participate. But people have pointed out the thing is sorta moot after the recent Putin-Erdogan agreement anyway. Russia, which would need to assent to the necessary UN mandate, has certainly given no indication that it would.


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#15307 JasonJ

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Posted 25 October 2019 - 0711 AM

2,500 troops sounds like a lot for a starter.

 

 

 

Unrelated but just an observation but, in the past week or two, whenever I have checked the Syria live map, the area south of Idlib, the area just southwest of Nu'man, was usually getting bombed by Russian airplanes. They have been doing a lot of bombing in that area ever since the start of the Turkish offensive.


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#15308 glenn239

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Posted 25 October 2019 - 0723 AM

Meanwhile there are some rough sketches for the German initiative for a security zone in Northern Syria. They envision multiple national sectors each about 40 kilometers wide and 30 deep. 

 

I like it.  Europe needs Germany to take charge a bit.

 

Russia, which would need to assent to the necessary UN mandate, has certainly given no indication that it would.

 

 

Oh, I'd bet Moscow is all ears when it comes to German-Russian military cooperation outside a US framework anywhere... 


Edited by glenn239, 25 October 2019 - 0724 AM.

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#15309 BansheeOne

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Posted 25 October 2019 - 0824 AM

I don't know why they should be interested in letting European troops secure the suspension of Syrian government sovereignty in areas where the latter's forces are currently moving in, though. Yeah, it would stress the trans-Atlantic divide, and make Europe divert troops from facing East, but still.
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#15310 Nobu

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Posted 25 October 2019 - 1138 AM

2 years is unlikely to be enough time for the German Army's return to the desert to have a significant impact on the question of the Kurds, as Turkish intentions toward them appear to be multi-generational.

 

It sounds like just enough time for it to be pelted with slurs and rotten vegetables when its turn to be withdrawn for political and economic reasons comes, however.


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#15311 Simon Tan

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Posted 25 October 2019 - 2118 PM

Tornados.....🤣
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#15312 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 26 October 2019 - 0249 AM

And this is bad compared to Su24's and Su25's and Mig21's?


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#15313 Daan

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Posted 26 October 2019 - 0536 AM

German Eurofighters are strictly air-to-air, aren't they? This implies that the proposed force has no air-to-ground capability. From what airbase would the air component deploy? Muwaffaq Salti in Jordan? Will it bring any tankers or AWACS along or is the intent to rely on US / NATO assets in theater?


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#15314 BansheeOne

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Posted 26 October 2019 - 0555 AM

Eurofighter has been certified for GBU-48 since early 2018, and six each have been assigned to NRF this year and last as multirole. There have been only captive carry tests with Taurus so far, but while Tornado has been only mentioned in the reconnaissance role WRT these plans (which they are already doing in the theater, of course), I guess they could be used for ground support with that, GBU-24 and -38/54 too, if necessary. There is also a German tanker component based alongside them at Muwaffaq Salti, previously A310 MRTT, currently A400M. And of course when it comes to air assets, respective national contributions typically serve all partners on the ground. AWACS is obviously the one thing you would need to get from NATO/US.

 

Again, it's doubtful all this will happen, though.


Edited by BansheeOne, 26 October 2019 - 0602 AM.

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#15315 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 26 October 2019 - 0623 AM

There is a very good interview with a German Typhoon pilot, and the impression he gives is that most of the A/G capablity is pending. Kinda pissed me off a bit, the interviewer got the impression ALL Typhoons are like that. There is no discussion of Brimstone or Stormshadow for example.

https://www.fighterp...ighter-typhoon/

Dont see why the Luftwaffe couldn't use Cyprus.


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#15316 Daan

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Posted 26 October 2019 - 0632 AM

Yeah, I listened to that interview whilst driving to work some weeks ago. I thought it funny that he found the F-16C's pilot interface better than that on the Eurofighter. The RAF's F-16C exchange pilot on YT's 'aircrew interview', Paul Godfrey who later flew the RAF's Typhoon, was similarly impressed with the F-16C's pilot interface. When asked about his favorite fast jest, he chose the F-16. ^_^


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#15317 beans4

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Posted 26 October 2019 - 0930 AM

Barbara Starr now tweeting (yeah, I know) that 18 US Military vehicles are returning to Syria from Iraq.

 

https://twitter.com/...092221347766275


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#15318 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 26 October 2019 - 0937 AM

Its Saturday so it must be Syria....


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#15319 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 26 October 2019 - 0939 AM

Yeah, I listened to that interview whilst driving to work some weeks ago. I thought it funny that he found the F-16C's pilot interface better than that on the Eurofighter. The RAF's F-16C exchange pilot on YT's 'aircrew interview', Paul Godfrey who later flew the RAF's Typhoon, was similarly impressed with the F-16C's pilot interface. When asked about his favorite fast jest, he chose the F-16. ^_^

 

I cant say ive much familiarity with the Typhoons cockpit. But yeah, I can see the simplicity of the F16 cockpit. Its even easier than the one for the F18 (though not the Tomcat).


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#15320 Nobu

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Posted 26 October 2019 - 1817 PM

Erdogan has called for the extradition of General Mazloum as referenced in Trump's letter, where he will presumably face terrorism charges.

 

No word on whether the request included an iron cage stipulation or for the general to be stripped of his clothing before transport into Turkish custody, but based on the level of hatred involved, either or both eventually happening at some point would not surprise me.


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