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  1. #1
    ENT
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    Syria conflict: Russia forces to begin withdrawal

    Syria conflict: Russia forces to begin withdrawal after Putin surprise move
    1 hour ago

    Russian forces are due to start leaving Syria after Monday's surprise withdrawal announcement by President Vladimir Putin.
    Western officials have cautiously welcomed the move, saying it could put pressure on the Syrian government to engage in negotiations.

    Peace talks aimed at resolving the five-year conflict are due to enter a second day in Geneva.
    Meanwhile, a UN commission will present a report on war crimes in Syria later.

    The Russian force reduction was announced during a meeting between Mr Putin and his defence and foreign ministers.
    Russia is a key ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and his office sought to reject speculation there was a rift between the two countries, saying the move was mutually agreed.

    The Russian air campaign started last September, tipping the balance in favour of the Syrian government and allowing it to recapture territory from rebels.
    No details were given on how many planes and troops would be withdrawn or a deadline for completing the pullout.

    Russia's military intervention bolstered president Assad's forces on key front lines where they were close to collapse.

    Russia now wants to see an end to this war - and it is known to be concerned about the Syrian government's tough line on talks which have just resumed in Geneva, as well as president Assad's recent comments in an interview that he would one day take back, militarily, all the territory he lost.

    That is not a war president Mr Putin can afford to be part of.
    And he has a bigger game here - his wider relationship with the West and most of all Washington which is also anxious to find a way out of this crisis in Syria - as hard as that is.

    It is not clear how many military personnel Russia has deployed, but US estimates suggest the number ranges from 3,000 to 6,000, AP reports.
    Mr Putin, however, said Russia's Hmeimim air base in Latakia province and its Mediterranean naval base at Tartus would continue to operate as normal.

    Russia had long insisted its bombing campaign only targeted terrorist groups but Western powers had complained the raids hit political opponents of President Assad.
    In a statement, the Syrian government said the plan was agreed between the two countries.
    "The whole subject happened in complete co-ordination between the Russian and Syrian sides, and is a step that was carefully and accurately studied for some time," Damascus said.

    What did Russia achieve in Syria?
    Russian military planes in SyriaImage copyrightAP
    Russian aircraft flew more than 9,000 sorties
    Destroyed 209 oil production and transfer facilities
    Helped Syrian government troops to retake 400 settlements
    Helped Damascus to regain control over more than 10,000 sq km (3,860 sq miles) of territory

    In Geneva, talks aimed at ending the conflict continue, with the UN envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura expected to meet the opposition umbrella group, the High Negotiations Committee (HNC).

    Mr de Mistura had earlier described the efforts as a "moment of truth", and warned there was no "plan B" should the talks fail, with the only alternative a return to war.
    Most participants in the conflict agreed to a cessation of hostilities, which has been largely holding despite reports of some violations on all sides.

    Meanwhile, the UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria will present its report on war crimes committed by all sides in Syria's war to the UN Human Rights Council on Tuesday in Geneva.

    In a phone call, Mr Putin and US President Barack Obama discussed the situation in Syria and the "next steps required to fully implement the cessation of hostilities" agreed last month, the White House said.
    The Kremlin said both "called for an intensification of the process for a political settlement" to the conflict.

    The Russian move received a guarded welcome from Western diplomats and the Syrian opposition.
    "If there is seriousness in implementing the withdrawal, it will give the [peace] talks a positive push," said Salim al-Muslat, spokesman for the HNC.

    An unnamed US official quoted by Reuters said Washington was encouraged by the Russian move, but it was too early to say what it means or what was behind it.

    UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said the move could be positive if it marked a real commitment to a political transition in Syria.

    The German Foreign Minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, said it would increase pressure on Mr Assad to finally and seriously negotiate.


    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-35809087

  2. #2
    ENT
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    Syria conflict: First Russian planes leave after Putin surprise move
    20 minutes ago

    Russian forces have started leaving Syria after Monday's surprise withdrawal announcement by President Vladimir Putin.
    The first group of aircraft left Hmeimim air base in Syria on Tuesday morning, the Russian defence ministry said (in Russian).

    Western officials cautiously welcomed the move, saying it could pressure Syria's government to engage in talks.
    Peace talks aimed at resolving the conflict are entering a second day.
    UN Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura, who is mediating in the talks, welcomed the Russian decision.

    "The announcement by President Putin on the very day of the beginning of this round of Intra-Syrian Talks in Geneva is a significant development, which we hope will have a positive impact on the progress of the negotiations," he said.
    The Russian force reduction was announced during a meeting between Mr Putin and his defence and foreign ministers.
    Russia is a key ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and his office sought to reject speculation there was a rift between the two countries, saying the move was mutually agreed.

    The Russian air campaign started last September, tipping the balance in favour of the Syrian government and allowing it to recapture territory from rebels.

    No details have been given on how many planes and troops would be withdrawn from the Hmeimim base, in Latakia province, or a deadline for completing the pullout.
    "The first group of Russian planes has flown out of the Hmeimim air base for their permanent bases on the territory of the Russian Federation," the defence ministry statement said.

    Russian TV earlier showed aircraft being refuelled and crates being loaded with equipment.
    Aircraft from the base would make the flight to Russia - more than 5,000km - in small groups each led by Il-76 or Tu-154 transport planes, the ministry added.
    They would then go their separate ways to their own bases after crossing the Russian border, it said.
    Su-24 tactical bombers, Su-25 attack fighters, Su-34 strike fighters and helicopters were returning home, the TV said.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-35809087

  3. #3
    Neo
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    Another example of a member who knows there are threads where this content could be added starting a dead thread and cluttering up the forum with pointless bollocks.

    I'm not talking about n00bs here, it seems to be the more hysterical 'look at me' types, blue, hermanzegerman, ent, ricknobber, black fart... Dirty Dog would be ripping them an new arsehole.
    Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride!"

  4. #4
    Molecular Mixup
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    hahaha all the classic signs recently of Gate Fever from Neo

    'Gate fever' is prison slang for the mixed feelings of excitement, hope and sheer terror that afflict those about to be released....

    'The worst week was the last before release when I suffered from something called “gate fever.” Every minute seems like an hour and every hour a day. Your mind is already free but not your body

    You may be worried about what lies in store, wondering if you will cope, and feel restless and even fearful. At the same time you might have grand plans for the future, and be tremendously excited. All these feelings are often mixed up together, and it can really do your nut.
    don't worry mate you will be at the airport soon enough

  5. #5
    Neo
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    Whereas you just have 'backdoor fever' eh blue..?

  6. #6
    Custom user Neverna's Avatar
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    I wonder if there is more to this "withdrawal" than a withdrawal. And I don't mean putting pressure on Assad. Something bigger, more strategic, more enticing, in a way, to some.

  7. #7
    I am in Jail
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neo
    Another example of a member who knows there are threads where this content could be added starting a dead thread and cluttering up the forum with pointless bollocks.
    And then there are those who constantly clutter up news threads with off-topic personal attacks, aren't there, Neo?

  8. #8
    Neo
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    Aww... Stroker, am I your new stalking obsession.?
    Last edited by Neo; 15-03-2016 at 07:18 PM.

  9. #9
    Molecular Mixup
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    Interesting Putin announced the withdrawal yesterday and today it starts.
    UK and USA give several years warning and even then drag their feet...

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by blue View Post
    Interesting Putin announced the withdrawal yesterday and today it starts.
    UK and USA give several years warning and even then drag their feet...
    Russia haven't exactly been keeping a lid on the powderkeg, have they?

  11. #11
    ENT
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    Syria conflict: Russia 'to continue air strikes' after withdrawal
    3 hours ago

    Russia will continue air strikes in Syria despite the withdrawal of most of its forces, a senior official has said.

    Deputy Defence Minister Nikolay Pankov said it was too early to speak of defeating terrorism, after a campaign that has bolstered Syria's government.

    Russian forces started leaving Syria on Tuesday after Monday's surprise announcement by President Vladimir Putin. Some have now landed in Russia.

    A second day of peace talks is being held aimed at resolving the conflict.

    UN Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura, who is mediating in the talks, welcomed the Russian decision.
    "The announcement by President Putin on the very day of the beginning of this round of Intra-Syrian Talks in Geneva is a significant development, which we hope will have a positive impact on the progress of the negotiations," he said.

    Syria conflict: Russia 'to continue air strikes' after withdrawal - BBC News

  12. #12
    Thailand Expat
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    A Genkis Khan strategy, retreat and let the enemy relax and try and escape then ambush them.

  13. #13
    ENT
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    What a mess that Turkey/Syria combo is!

    Erdogan and Assad, one's as megalomanic as the other.

    Those two leaders couldn't give a toss about human rights or freedom of speech and expression.

    Turkey wanting in on EU should be resisted, Greece in the EU is bad enough, but add Turkey and its violent sectarian Islamic bullshit, and that will effectively kill off the EU.

    There's absolutely no way that an Islamic country is going to espouse European cultural freedom, ever.


    I feel sorry for the refugees, but they're only escaping a problem they previously helped create, just by following an Islamic sect, and fighting another, as they believe that they must.

    Add the Muslim propensity for swapping allegiances at the drop of a hijab, and there's a nasty sticky mix created.
    Last edited by ENT; 16-03-2016 at 10:53 AM.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neverna View Post
    I wonder if there is more to this "withdrawal" than a withdrawal. And I don't mean putting pressure on Assad. Something bigger, more strategic, more enticing, in a way, to some.
    Or perhaps he can't afford expensive military adventures with his country's biggest source of income in the toilet.

  15. #15
    Custom user Neverna's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by harrybarracuda View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Neverna View Post
    I wonder if there is more to this "withdrawal" than a withdrawal. And I don't mean putting pressure on Assad. Something bigger, more strategic, more enticing, in a way, to some.
    Or perhaps he can't afford expensive military adventures with his country's biggest source of income in the toilet.
    I'm sure the cost was one of the factors in his decision.

  16. #16
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    doubt cost has much to do with the decision
    more likely the chaos now experienced in europe
    and the need to get syria back to some normality
    if thats ever possible.

  17. #17
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    What were Russia objectives, were they fulfilled, can he "expand" his efforts if "accidents" happen?

  18. #18
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    Well apparently they've said they will continue bombing, which is what I thought they were there for anyway.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by harrybarracuda
    Well apparently they've said they will continue bombing, which is what I thought they were there for anyway.


    They've also implied that, although some "forces" have been repositioned, a watchful eye never sleeps.
    The Nazgul will return, notwithstanding veiled threats or puny impositions, in an instant.
    From the Sea, beneath the ground, the air and space, North, South, East and West.




    The LORD has created an illusion the sheep without them realising, yes?

    Last edited by OhOh; 18-03-2016 at 11:00 AM.
    A tray full of GOLD is not worth a moment in time.

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