The destabilisation of the Mideast in 2011

Discussion in 'West Asia & Africa' started by Ray, Jan 11, 2012.

  1. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    The headline appears to be misplaced unless of course, it is felt that the US should have hung around so that all these issues mentioned would not have happened.

    The author, Dr. Fariborz Saremi is a commentator on TV and radio (German ARD/NDR TV,SAT 1,N24, Voice of America and Radio Israel) on Middle East issues, misses out the fact that the US has merely withdrawn from Iraq, but are very much in the vicinity and have based themselves in Kuwait, which is a safer place than Iraq and hence will not draw adverse reaction from the world as it was drawing owing to the Shia Sunni internecine seesaw and bombing that is raging in Iraq and which could put the US soldiers in harm's way warranting military strong reaction.

    Nonetheless, the issues that are mentioned are pertinent to indicate how the Middle East is gearing up for disaster.

    The age old historical religious or sectarian divide between the Muslims i.e. Shia Sunni is once again ready to be unleashed to the detriment of the people of the region and the stability of the world.

    It is believed that the Saudis are also embarking on a nuclear quest to balance Iran.

    Therefore, is it necessary for the US to be around the area to maintain harmony amongst the near belligerents?

    What is the guarantee that other superpowers (nearly) will not muck in to queer the pitch further?

    It is believed that a Russian carrier has entered Syria and Assad has refused to step down while the US, French and the British military assets are home into this area.
     
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  3. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Russian carrier arrives in Syria


    January 9th, 2012

    NICOSIA — The Russian Navy has sent warships to Syria.


    The Russian Navy has sent at least three ships led by the Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier to the Syrian port of Tartous.


    The naval delegation was led by Cmdr. Yakushin Vladimir Anatolievich in what was reported to have been a non-combat mission in the eastern Mediterranean.


    “The arrival of the Russian vessels to Syria is to shorten the distance between the two countries and enhance the friendship between them,” the official Syrian Arab News Agency said on Jan. 8.


    The Syrian news agency did not report the number of Russian ships that anchored off Tartous, the only full-time Russian naval port outside Russia.


    Anatolievich is said to have met Syrian officials, including Tartous Gov. Atef Al Nadaf, during the six-day visit.

    This marked the first Russian Navy visit to Syria since the revolt against President Bashar Assad in March 2011.

    In November, Moscow delivered coastal defense systems as well as long-range surface-to-surface rockets to the Syrian military.

    http://www.worldnewstribune.com/2012/01/09/russian-carrier-arrives-in-syria/
     
  4. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Syria's President Says He Won't Give Up Power


    BEIRUT – Syrian President Bashar Assad vowed Tuesday to respond to threats against him with an "iron hand" and refused to step down, insisting he still has his people's support despite the 10-month-old uprising against him.

    In his fourth speech since the revolt began in March, Assad repeated claims that a foreign conspiracy and terrorists are behind the unrest -- not true reform-seekers.

    "Our priority now is to regain security which we basked in for decades, and this can only be achieved by hitting the terrorists with an iron hand," Assad said in the speech at Damascus University, where he stood at a podium flanked by Syrian flags. "We will not be lenient with those who work with outsiders against the country."

    Assad also lashed out at the Arab League, saying the Cairo-based bloc failed to protect Arab interests. The League has suspended Syria and sent a team of monitors to assess whether the regime is abiding by an Arab-brokered peace plan that Assad agreed to on Dec. 19. The moves were humiliating for Syria, which considers itself a powerhouse of Arab nationalism.

    "The Arab League failed for six decades to protect Arab interests," Assad said. "We shouldn't be surprised it's failed today."

    The president has made few public appearances since the anti-government uprising began in March, inspired by the revolutions sweeping the Arab world. The regime's crackdown on dissent has killed thousands and led to international isolation and sanctions.

    Tuesday's speech differed little from his previous appearances, in that Assad struck a defiant tone and reiterated claims of conspiracy.

    Assad, 46, inherited power 11 years ago from his father and has largely followed the playbook of other autocratic leaders in the region who scrambled to put down popular uprisings by offering similar claims of conspiracy while unleashing a relentless crackdown on their people.

    The formula failed in Tunisia and Egypt, where popular demands increased almost daily -- until people accepted nothing less than the ouster of the regime. But Syria's conflict has gone on far longer, and the death toll is mounting daily.

    "We will declare victory soon," Assad said. "When I leave this post, it will be also based upon the people's wishes," he added.

    Also Tuesday, Assad also accused hundreds of media outlets of working against Syria to "push us toward ... collapse."

    "They failed, but they have not given up," he said in the speech, which was broadcast live on state television.

    Since the start of the uprising, Assad has blamed a foreign conspiracy and media fabrications for the unrest -- allegations that the opposition and most observers dismiss. The regime has banned most foreign news outlets and prevented independent reporting.

    In recent months, Syria's conflict has turned increasingly violent as army defectors turn their weapons on the regime and some protesters take up arms to protect themselves.

    Syria agreed in December to an Arab League-brokered plan that calls for an end to the military crackdown on protesters, but killings have continued.

    About 165 Arab League monitors are in Syria to determine whether the regime is abiding by the plan to stop violence and pull heavy weapons out of the cities.

    The U.N. estimated several weeks ago that more than 5,000 people have been killed since March. Since that report, opposition activists say hundreds more have died.

    Adnan al-Khudeir, head of the Cairo operations room that the monitors report to, said more observers will head to Syria in the coming days and the delegation should reach 200. He said the mission then will expand its work in Syria to reach the eastern province of Deir el-Zour and predominantly Kurdish areas to the northeast.

    Assad also said he was implementing reforms -- but he emphasized the measures were not because of pressure from the crisis.

    "If reform is forced, it will fail," he said. "Reform for us is the natural path."
     
  5. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Russian, French warships off Syria, Iran, US drones over Iranian coast

    British air and naval forces streamed to the Syrian and Iranian coasts over the weekend on guard for fresh developments at the two Middle East flashpoints.

    The Russian carrier Admiral Kuznetsov anchored earlier than planned at Syria's Tartus port on the Mediterranean Sunday, Jan. 8, arriving together with the destroyer Admiral Chabanenko and frigate Yaroslav Mudry.

    To counter this movement, France consigned an air defense destroyer Forbin to the waters off Tartus.

    debkafile's military sources report a buildup in the last 48 hours of western naval forces opposite Iran in the Persian Gulf and Arabian Sea in readiness for Tehran to carry out its threat to close the Strait of Hormuz.

    Britain has dispatched the HMS Daring, a Type 45 destroyer armed with new technology for shooting down missiles, to the Sea of Oman, due to arrive at the same time as the French Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier.

    Our sources report too that Saturday, the giant RQ-4 Global Hawk UAV, took off from the USS Stenning aircraft carrier for surveillance over the coasts of Iran. The Stennis and its strike group are cruising in the Sea of Oman at the entrance to the Strait of Hormuz after Tehran announced it would not be allowed to cross through.

    This was the first time the US has deployed unmanned aerial vehicles over Iran since its RQ-170 stealth drone was shot down by Iran on Dec. 4. It was also the first time the huge drone was ordered to take off from an aircraft carrier for a Broad Aerial Maritime Surveillance Mission (BAMS).

    US military sources reported Monday, Jan. 9 that the Global Hawk's mission is "to monitor sea traffic off the Iranian coast and the Straits of Hormuz." The US Navy was ordered to maintain a watch on this traffic, another first, after Iranian Navy chief Adm. Habibollah Sayyari said in a televised broadcast Sunday night that the Strait of Hormuz was under full Iranian control and had been for years.

    Also Sunday, Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the US Chiefs of Staff, warned in no uncertain terms that Iran has the ability to block the Strait of Hormuz “for a period of time.” He added in a CBS interview: “We’ve invested in capabilities to ensure that if that happens, we can defeat that.” Gen. Dempsey went on to emphasize: "Yes, they can block it. We've described that as an intolerable act and it's not just intolerable for us, it's intolerable to the world. But we would take action and reopen the straits."

    Appearing on the same program, US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta warned of a quick, decisive and very tough American response to any Iranian attempt to close the Strait of Hormuz.

    They both spoke a few hours after a spokesman for the Revolutionary Guards said the supreme Iranian leadership had ruled the Strait must be closed in the event of an oil embargo imposed on Iran by the European Union.

    debkafile's military sources report the constant escalation of military tension around Iran and Syria in recent days as not just stemming from the rapid advances Iran is making toward production of a nuclear weapon, but from fears in the West and Israel that Tehran and Damascus are in step over their military plans for the Persian Gulf and Mediterranean sectors.

    After the Admiral Kuznetsov docked in Tartus Sunday with much fanfare, the Syrian Navy commander Dawoud Rajha was received on the deck by a guard of honor of marines under a flyover of Russian Su-33 and Su-25 fighter-bombers. This was taken as a signal of Moscow's willingness to back the Assad regime up against any Western military intervention as well as a gesture of support for cooperation between Syria and Iran in their operational plans.

    Sunday, the Iranian media issued divergent statements about the situation at Iran's underground uranium enrichment plant at Fordo, near Qom: In English, the site as described as going on stream soon, while the Farsi media reported it was already operational.

    The head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization Fereydoun Abbasi Davani declared furthermore," …the Islamic Republic is capable of exporting services related to nuclear energy to other countries."

    This statement showed that Tehran has no fear of raising the level of its threats to the West up to the point of offering to hand out its nuclear technology to other countries in a gesture of uncontrolled proliferation.

    DEBKAfile, Political Analysis, Espionage, Terrorism, Security
     
  6. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    In this highly charged arena, India has sent its weapon of mass instruction - SM Krishna!

    If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?
     
    parijataka and W.G.Ewald like this.
  7. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Given the reports above and the political upheavals, what will be the outcome?

    Is the Middle East getting ready to implode?

    Is there no way to clam the historical animosity between the Shias and Sunnis, which is the bedrock of most of the instability that is foreseen, wherein international powers that be are lining up behind their protégés!

    Are we returning to the Cold War days?
     
  8. asianobserve

    asianobserve Elite Member Elite Member

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    Nobody should fart in that region least everybody will be sorry... :scared2:
     
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  9. Minh

    Minh Regular Member

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    It's all about oils, every country will join in if it serve their intrest. But Syria will explode sooner rather than later,i don't think Russia is gonna do anything. It's there to show NATO,US we're BACK!!!!!!!
     
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  10. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    The presence of Russia will act as a deterrent to unilateral action by any other nation.

    Russia still has a large military and sophisticated weaponry.
     
  11. Arunpillai

    Arunpillai Regular Member

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    Its a cold war between Saudi Arabia and Iran in Middle East.. In Iraq as long as Americans were there the extremist elements had a common foe, the Great Satan. But after their withdrawal, the Shias, Sunnis and Kurds will be fighting among themselves.. The attacks are only going to worsen considering that 3 neighbouring countries Iran, Turkey and Saudi Arabia are actively involved in promoting their interests.. A breakup of Iraq along sectarian lines wont be surprising..
     
  12. asianobserve

    asianobserve Elite Member Elite Member

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    "we're BACK!!!!!!! to watch!" :lol:
     
  13. asianobserve

    asianobserve Elite Member Elite Member

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    Russia as a deterrence? You're giving them too much credit...
     
  14. Arunpillai

    Arunpillai Regular Member

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    Iranian regime led by crazy Ahmedinejad is senselessly provoking the americans with their laughable military power and Uranium enrichment.. Americans fresh from a pullout in Iraq will only be too happy to oblige Iran.. It must be remembered that Iran doesnt have any friends in the region where Saudi Arabia and Israel are fiercely determined to topple the regime togethor with Americans.. Also Iraq and Afghan have also american military bases. So Iran is basically surrounded without any allies, whole world condemning its nuclear program and oil market sent into tizzy over its Straits of Hormuz exercises..
    I think an Iran invasion will be highlight of year 2012
     
  15. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    If the Russians had not intervened with their show of force and maybe backdoor dialogue, Assad would have been history.

    The era of Gorbachev is over.

    Putin has to show machismo if he is to survive and that is what is making him survive.

    At one time, the CAR was slowly getting under the influence of the US. But now, they are edging towards Russia!

    Subtle, but discernible!
     
  16. Arunpillai

    Arunpillai Regular Member

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    Imho, Russians are merely posturing in Syria.. There isn't going to be any unilateral action by any country.. However Arab League might sent its forces in case civilian genocide continues..
     
  17. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Throughout the Cold war, including the Cuban crisis, the superpowers only undertook posturing.

    Anything more would have been disaster.

    MAD!
     
  18. Arunpillai

    Arunpillai Regular Member

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    this is the middle east.. Noone with nuclear weapons to threaten anyone.. So war is a reality here. It would be naive to expect Russia to militarily support an unpopular dictatorship for no tangible benefits whatsoever.. Remember NATO attacked Serbia in 90s yet Russia did not do anything. And Serbs were considered Southern Slavic Brothers of russians..
     
  19. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Whether it is ME or anywhere, when two powers that be confront each other, there is an armed peace. Georgia is an example when the US told that enough is enough and Russia supported Abkhazia. The Russia troops withdrew into Abkhazia.

    Nato is still holding back from offering Georgia a Membership Action Plan.

    In so far as Serbia:

     
  20. asianobserve

    asianobserve Elite Member Elite Member

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    It's not Russia that's preventing West from intervening there, it's the Syrian opposition who can't seem to agree among themselves on a strategy. The West definitely will not intervene by sending troops on the ground. This part has to be done by the Syrians.
     
  21. Arunpillai

    Arunpillai Regular Member

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    @ray.
    I dont understand the Georgian context. As far as i know, Georgia which had significant American support, attacked autonomous pro russian provinces of south ossetia and abkhazan.. Following Russian reprisals, georgian troops were pushed back into mainland Georgia. Following international condemnation Russian troops withdraw back into pre war position..
    As for Serbia, remember there was no security council resolution asking for war on Serbia.. NATO justified its attack based on articles on its Charter 4.. Yet Russia did nothing.. Serbia to Russia is like Britain to America.. Russia could have done more than planning to send anti aircraft gunnery specialists...
     

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