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Mon Aug 26, 2013, 04:15 PM

Syria crisis: warplanes spotted in Cyprus as tensions rise in Damascus

Source: The Guardian

Warplanes and military transporters have begun arriving at Britain's Akrotiri airbase on Cyprus, less than 100 miles from the Syrian coast, in a sign of increasing preparations for a military strike against the Assad regime in Syria.

Two commercial pilots who regularly fly from Larnaca on Monday told the Guardian that they had seen C-130 transport planes from their cockpit windows as well as small formations of fighter jets on their radar screens, which they believe had flown from Europe.

Residents near the British airfield, a sovereign base since 1960, also say activity there has been much higher than normal over the past 48 hours.

If an order to attack targets in Syria is given, Cyprus is likely to be a hub of the air campaign. The arrival of warplanes suggests that advanced readiness – at the very least – has been ordered by Whitehall as David Cameron, Barack Obama and European leaders step up their rhetoric against Bashar al-Assad, whose armed forces they accuse of carrying out the chemical weapons attack last Wednesday that killed many hundreds in eastern Damascus.

Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/aug/26/syria-warplanes-cyprus-tensions-damascus

22 replies, 3364 views

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Reply Syria crisis: warplanes spotted in Cyprus as tensions rise in Damascus (Original post)
Bosonic Aug 2013 OP
dipsydoodle Aug 2013 #1
Sand Wind Aug 2013 #2
strikeforce Aug 2013 #13
happyslug Aug 2013 #15
jakeXT Aug 2013 #3
Sand Wind Aug 2013 #7
Catherina Aug 2013 #4
Sand Wind Aug 2013 #6
red dog 1 Aug 2013 #11
strikeforce Aug 2013 #14
happyslug Aug 2013 #16
happyslug Aug 2013 #5
democrat2thecore Aug 2013 #8
King_David Aug 2013 #10
TomClash Aug 2013 #17
leftynyc Aug 2013 #20
SidDithers Aug 2013 #21
RKP5637 Aug 2013 #9
red dog 1 Aug 2013 #12
T_J Aug 2013 #18
happyslug Aug 2013 #19
Sand Wind Aug 2013 #22

Response to Bosonic (Original post)

Mon Aug 26, 2013, 04:17 PM

1. Good find.

Yes - Cyprus is just a hop, skip and jump from Syria. Not that I approve.

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Response to dipsydoodle (Reply #1)

Mon Aug 26, 2013, 04:19 PM

2. Yes, a great research...nt

 

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Response to dipsydoodle (Reply #1)

Mon Aug 26, 2013, 07:10 PM

13. please remove che's

picture. i find it offensive, and so do thousands of innocent cubans he killed.

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Response to strikeforce (Reply #13)

Mon Aug 26, 2013, 08:07 PM

15. Sorry, the deaths attributed to Che appears to be combat related OR punishment for war crimes.

"I have yet to find a single credible source pointing to a case where Che executed an innocent. Those persons executed by Guevara or on his orders were condemned for the usual crimes punishable by death at times of war or in its aftermath: desertion, treason or crimes such as rape, torture or murder."

A Comment by Biographer Jon Lee Anderson.

http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20091230060828AACW1gh

War is nasty, and Batista was a thug. Batista hired a lot of thugs to do his bidding, which included mass executions of civilians. This lead to two things:

1. Castro and Che had to be as bloody, in regards to their own troops. Deserters were executed, as were spies.

2. Once Castro was in charge of Cuba, the issue of what to do with Batista's supporters came up. Che ran the trials and apparently was moderate in the number of people he ordered executed for war crimes. You may disagree with who and how many people he killed, but he appears to have had a trial in all such cases and executed those people convicted of various war crimes (he seems to have done the same to any of his own troops who committed similar crimes, so he was equal to all people in that regard).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Che_Guevara

At the time of the executions, a lot of people in Cuba wanted people dead who was associated with Batista. One survey said 93% of the population APPROVED of the number of people executed. Thus many of the execution were considered required to calm down the people.

Other then the above two sets of killing, I can find NOTHING that shows he killed for killing sake, nor that he killed anyone who did NOT either desert his own forces during the rebellion OR had committed a war crime during the War.

You may dislike how he operated and the results of his being a revolutionary (and that includes his acts involving the executions of war criminals), but I can find no reputable cite that shows he killed anyone who did not fit into one of those two categories.

Sorry, that seems to be the consensus on Che (except for people who opposes Castro and blame Che for the death of their relatives, many of who committed what we would call war crimes).

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Response to Bosonic (Original post)

Mon Aug 26, 2013, 04:38 PM

3. Strange, the distance between Limassol and Akrotiri is like 15 miles

For decades the sole Russian naval installation was the maintenance facility in the Syrian city of Tartus, which has since been quickly evacuated and all but shut-down.

But there has been increasing movement with the Russian Navy opening up shop in the Cyprus port city of Limassol as well as possibly headquartering a forward deployed air power component at the Cypriot Air Force base at the Andreas Papandreou Air Base at Paphos.

http://www.examiner.com/article/possible-naval-showdown-u-s-6th-fleet-vs-russian-mediterranean-task-force

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Response to jakeXT (Reply #3)

Mon Aug 26, 2013, 05:32 PM

7. An Israel radio reported the departure of the Russians warships nt

 

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Response to Bosonic (Original post)

Mon Aug 26, 2013, 04:47 PM

4. From a 2011 Wikileaks cable.... (Thank you Chelsea Manning!)

From the thread Inside the beginning of plans for military intervention in Syria

Inside the beginning of plans for mlitary intervention in Syria

INSIGHT - military intervention in Syria, post withdrawal status of forces

Released on 2012-03-06 07:00 GMT
Email-ID 1671459
Date 2011-12-07 00:49:18
From bhalla@stratfor.com
To secure@stratfor.com

A few points I wanted to highlight from meetings today --

I spent most of the afternoon at the Pentagon with the USAF strategic
studies group - guys who spend their time trying to understand and explain
to the USAF chief the big picture in areas where they're operating in. It
was just myself and four other guys at the Lieutenant Colonel level,
including one French and one British representative who are liaising with
the US currently out of DC.

They wanted to grill me on the strategic picture on Syria, so after that I
got to grill them on the military picture. There is still a very low level
of understanding of what is actually at stake in Syria, what's the
strategic interest
there, the Turkish role, the Iranian role, etc. After a
couple hours of talking, they said without saying that SOF teams
(presumably from US, UK, France, Jordan, Turkey) are already on the ground
focused on recce missions and training opposition forces
. One Air Force
intel guy (US) said very carefully that there isn't much of a Free Syrian
Army
to train right now anyway, but all the operations being done now are
being done out of 'prudence.' The way it was put to me was, 'look at this
way - the level of information known on Syrian OrBat this month is the
best it's been since 2001.' They have been told to prepare contingencies
and be ready to act within 2-3 months, but they still stress that this is
all being done as contingency planning, not as a move toward escalation.

I kept pressing on the question of what these SOF teams would be working
toward, and whether this would lead to an eventual air campaign to give a
Syrian rebel group cover. They pretty quickly distanced themselves from
that idea, saying that the idea 'hypothetically' is to commit guerrilla
attacks, assassination campaigns, try to break the back of the Alawite
forces, elicit collapse from within
. There wouldn't be a need for air
cover, and they wouldn't expect these Syrian rebels to be marching in
columns anyway.

They emphasized how the air campaign in Syria makes Libya look like a
piece of cake
. Syrian air defenses are a lot more robust and are much
denser, esp around Damascus and on the borders with Israel, Turkey. They
are most worried about mobile air defenses, particularly the SA-17s that
they've been getting recently. It's still a doable mission, it's just not
an easy one.

The main base they would use is Cyprus, hands down. Brits and French would
fly out of there. They kept stressing how much is stored at Cyprus and how
much recce comes out of there
. The group was split on whether Turkey would
be involved, but said Turkey would be pretty critical to the mission to
base stuff out of there. Even if Turkey had a political problem with
Cyprus, they said there is no way the Brits and the French wouldn't use
Cyprus as their main air force base.
Air Force Intel guy seems pretty
convinced that the Turks won't participate (he seemed pretty pissed at
them.)

There still seems to be a lot of confusion over what a military
intervention involving an air campaign would be designed to achieve. It
isn't clear cut for them geographically like in Libya, and you can't just
create an NFZ over Homs
, Hama region. This would entail a countrywide SEAD
campaign lasting the duration of the war. They don't believe air
intervention would happen unless there was enough media attention on a
massacre, like the Ghadafi move against Benghazi. They think the US would
have a high tolerance for killings
as long as it doesn't reach that very
public stage. Theyre also questioning the skills of the Syrian forces
that are operating the country's air defenses currently and how
significant the Iranian presence is there. Air Force Intel guy is most
obsessed with the challenge of taking out Syria's ballistic missile
capabilities and chem weapons. With Israel right there and the regime
facing an existential crisis, he sees that as a major complication to any
military intervention.

The post 2011 SOFA with Iraq is still being negotiated. These guys were
hoping that during Biden's visit that he would announce a deal with
Maliki, but no such luck. They are gambling ont he idea that the Iraqis
remember the iran-iraq war and that maliki is not going to want to face
the threat of Iranian jets entering Iraqi air space. They say that most
US fighter jets are already out of Iraq and transferred to Kuwait. They
explained that's the beauty of the air force, the base in Kuwait is just a
hop, skip and jump away from their bases in Europe, ie. very easy to
rapidly build up when they need to. They don't seem concerned about the
US ability to restructure its forces to send a message to Iran. They gave
the example of the USS Enterprise that was supposed to be out of
commission already and got extended another couple years to send to the
gulf. When the US withdraws, we'll have at least 2 carriers in the gulf
out of Centcom and one carrier in the Med out of EuCom. I asked if the
build-up in Kuwait and the carrier deployments are going to be enough to
send a message to Iran that the US isn't going anywhere. They responded
that Iran will get the message if they read the Centcom Web Site. Starting
Jan. 1 expect them to be publishing all over the place where the US is
building up.

Another concern they have about an operation in Syria is whether Iran
could impede operations out of Balad air force base in Iraq.

The French representative was of the opinion that Syria won't be a
Libya-type situation in that France would be gung-ho about going in
. Not
in an election year. The UK rep also emphasized UK reluctance but said
that the renegotiation of the EU treaty undermines the UK role and that UK
would be looking for ways to reassert itself on the continent
( i dont
really think a syria campaign is the way to do that.) UK guy mentioned as
an aside that the air force base commander at Cyprus got switched out from
a maintenance guy to a guy that flew Raptors, ie someone that understands
what it means to start dropping bombs. He joked that it was probably a
coincidence.

Prior to that, I had a meeting with an incoming Kuwaiti diplomat (will be
coded as KU301.) His father was high up in the regime, always by the
CP's/PM's side. The diplo himself still seems to be getting his feet wet
in DC (the new team just arrived less than 2 weeks ago,) but he made
pretty clear that Kuwait was opening the door to allowing US to build up
forces as needed. They already have a significant presence there, and a
lot of them will be on 90-day rotations. He also said that the SOFA that
the US signs with Baghdad at the last minute will be worded in such a way
that even allowing one trainer in the country can be construed to mean
what the US wants in terms of keeping forces in Iraq. Overall, I didnt get
the impression from him that Kuwait is freaked out about the US leaving.
Everything is just getting rearranged. The Kuwaitis used to be much
better at managing their relations with Iran, but ever since that spy ring
story came out a year ago, it's been bad. He doesn't think Iran has
significant covert capabilities in the GCC states, though they are
trying. Iranian activity is mostly propaganda focused. He said that while
KSA and Bahrain they can deal with it as needed and black out the media,
Kuwait is a lot more open and thus provides Iran with more opportunity to
shape perceptions (he used to work in information unit in Kuwait.) He says
there is a sig number of kuwaitis that listen to Iranian media like Al
Alam especially.

On the Kuwaiti political scene - the government is having a harder time
dealing with a more emboldened opposition, but the opposition is still
extremely divided, esp among the Islamists. The MPs now all have to go
back to their tribes to rally support for the elections to take place in
Feb. Oftentimes an MP in Kuwait city will find out that he has lost
support back home with the tribe, and so a lot of money is handed out.The
govt is hoping that with a clean slate they can quiet the opposition down.
A good way of managing the opposition he said is to refer cases to the
courts, where they can linger forever. good way for the govt to buy time.
He doesn't believe the Arab League will take significant action against
Syria - no one is interested in military intervention. they just say it to
threaten it.

http://wikileaks.org/gifiles/docs/1671459_insight-military-intervention-in-syria-post-withdrawal.html


7 Countries. Syria among them before we get to the grand prize of them all- Iran.


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Response to Catherina (Reply #4)

Mon Aug 26, 2013, 05:31 PM

6. Great post ! Nt

 

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Response to Catherina (Reply #4)

Mon Aug 26, 2013, 06:33 PM

11. Thanks Catherina for posting this

It's VERY interesting.
So the Brits & the French will fly out of Cypress.
I wonder if the Germans will join the "alliance" and, if so, I wonder where they will fly from?

(Also, thanks to Chelsea)

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Response to Catherina (Reply #4)

Mon Aug 26, 2013, 07:25 PM

14. thank you bradley manning

for revealing our battle plan to the whole world. now would someone please tell me why he wasn't brought up on treason charges ?

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Response to strikeforce (Reply #14)

Mon Aug 26, 2013, 08:23 PM

16. You mean this was a secret???

I hate to tell you, in the reports I have read, there are nothing but planning that Military people do all the time. Most such plans involved known attack routes, for those are the best (and in some cases the only) routes.

When it comes to Syria, unless we use Carriers, the options are limited. There is no way you want Israel is Join in on the attack, Assad will claim he is fighting Israeli aggression and demand support from all Arabs INCLUDING those attacking him. Worse, those Arabs attacking him would have to switch sides just to show they still oppose to Israel AND support the Palestinians. Thus Israel is out, so are any bases in Israel.

Iraq has said it will NOT permit any attack from its territory, and given how little control the central Government of Iraq has over Iraq, I have my doubts if they could give permission if they wanted to. Saudi Arabia bases are to far away, thus you have to look to Iran (who will NOT agree), Greece (who has reason to disagree, mostly starting with the word "Turkey"), Cyprus and Turkey.

Egypt is to far away, and under its own problems, being a base for a US attack on Syria will NOT help Egypt in its present condition. Libya is to far away, so is Italy. Russia wants no part of it, so anything north of Turkey and Iran can not be used as base of attack. Thus it comes down to Cyprus and Turkey.

Turkey is still involved in Cyprus which makes these two countries NOT willing to talk together and worse will NOT want to work together. On the other hand Turkey wants a freer hands as to its own Kurds and willing to extent its power over the rest of Kurdistan, including parts in Syria, Iraq and Iran.

Sorry, Cyprus and Turkey are the two possible bases, and thus the comments about the Turks and they refusal to work with the rest of NATO as to Syria. If you read the report, that is all it says, and anyone who understand geography and politics could see that for themselves without reading this paper.

Thus this was NOT much of a Secret, to anyone who understand geography, politics and modern military capacity.

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Response to Bosonic (Original post)

Mon Aug 26, 2013, 05:09 PM

5. What is Greece and Cyrpus position on this attack?



Mortar fire from the Greek Cyprus could end the usefulness of these bases. Now, Cyprus is independent of Greece, but Greece supports the Greeks on Cyprus. Both can object, and object enough to prevent the use of either base.

The range of M101A1 105mm Howitzers is over 11 KM, Greece is known to have them, No reports on Cyprus but I would not be surprised:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M101_howitzer

But Cyprus does have 54 Italian Model 56 pack 105mm Howitzer, which uses the same Ammo as the M101A1 but can be broken down to be hauled by mules:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OTO_Melara_Mod_56

Cyprus also has 12 155 mm TRF-1 Howitzers, with a range of 24 KM:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TRF1

Now, these do sound like very small numbers, but enough to drop enough rounds to close down both bases if Cyprus wants to.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cypriot_National_Guard

The issue is given the hostility between Greece and Turkey AND Greek Cyprus and Turkish Cyprus, what will NATO offer to Greece and Cyprus to stay "Neutral"? Now, both know they can be hit hard if they object to NATO flying out of those bases by firing into those bases, but it is the strongest card both hold as to Turkey. Remember Greece OPPOSED the war against Qaddafi and thus Greek Bases could NOT be used in that attack (But Greece did NOT use its veto over outside military action by NATO against Qaddafi).

Thus Greece AND Cyprus are question marks in any attack on Syria. I suspect the reason neither were mentioned in the report cited, was that was already understood and thus ignored in the hope NATO could bring them along (or that they would NOT do anything to prevent such an attack, such as calling out the Cyprus National Guard and putting its Artillery in concealed position near the bases, forcing NATO to make a decision, take them out OR accept the veto of Cyprus).

Note, NATO may believe that Cyprus is more afraid of being hit by NATO and thus would NOT veto using the bases for such an attack.

Now, the treaty with Britain gives Cyprus no veto over how the bases are to be used, but that is minor if Cyprus decides to object anyway. Cyprus has enough of an Army to do the damage needed to make those bases useless until its own artillery is taken out. Will NATO want to attack Cyprus for objecting to the use of the Bases in the attack on Syria? I suspect NATO is hoping they can buy Greece and Cyprus off, but what will both settle for? Remember Greece is in economic crisis thus aid to Greece and Cyprus may buy them off.

The above is the carrot, the stick is NATO will support Turkey over the Division of Cyprus. something both Greece and Cyprus will not want. Thus Greece and Cyprus may NOT object, but I am pointing out they can for they have the means.

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Response to Bosonic (Original post)

Mon Aug 26, 2013, 05:57 PM

8. Stay OUT of Syria!

If the President takes us to war over this chemical weapons attack, he should give the Peace Prize back.

This president cannot respond to violence with more violence.

Please, DUers, don't let the Mossad, and their dirty tricks, get away with dragging the U.S. into THEIR wars. AGAIN.

As For Ted Cruz and his dual citizenship, I don't really care. Right now we should be concerned about the top staffers at our own State Department having dual citizenship with Israel.

No more wars for Israel.

No more. NO MORE.

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Response to democrat2thecore (Reply #8)

Mon Aug 26, 2013, 06:27 PM

10. Alerted,

YOUR COMMENTS:

'the top staffers at our own State Department having dual citizenship with Israel. '

Is an anti-Semitic canard, being Jewish does not make one an Israeli citizen ,nor the classic anti-Semitic 'duel loyalties' accusation.


JURY RESULTS

A randomly-selected Jury of DU members completed their review of this alert at Mon Aug 26, 2013, 06:25 PM, and voted 2-4 to LEAVE IT ALONE.

Juror #1 voted to HIDE IT and said: No explanation given
Juror #2 voted to HIDE IT and said: Post is anti-Semitic with a board brush.
Juror #3 voted to LEAVE IT ALONE and said: To the alerter: If you don't agree with the post, then call out what you think is bullshit in the post.
Juror #4 voted to LEAVE IT ALONE and said: No explanation given
Juror #5 voted to LEAVE IT ALONE and said: No explanation given
Juror #6 voted to LEAVE IT ALONE and said: it's his or her opinion

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Response to King_David (Reply #10)

Mon Aug 26, 2013, 08:40 PM

17. LOL

Hilarious post.

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Response to democrat2thecore (Reply #8)

Tue Aug 27, 2013, 12:40 PM

20. What a bunch of moronic crap

You should be embarrassed and ashamed of this drivel. But that would require intelligence. Do you not understand that Israel is in the most danger if we attack Syria? Is that too complicated for your two brain cells to handle? You aren't a Democrat. You're barely human.

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Response to democrat2thecore (Reply #8)

Tue Aug 27, 2013, 09:42 PM

21. Fire Walk With Me? Is that you?...nt

Sid

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Response to Bosonic (Original post)

Mon Aug 26, 2013, 05:58 PM

9. Wow, this is an excellent find! n/t

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Response to Bosonic (Original post)

Mon Aug 26, 2013, 06:38 PM

12. Kicked!.....Thanks Bosonic.

Excellent post!

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Response to Bosonic (Original post)

Tue Aug 27, 2013, 05:21 AM

18. Guardian report

That Guardian report is an example of journalists relying on eye-witness sightings without doing any research. In this case it is 2 plus 2 equals 5.

Yes RAF Typhoons and RAF Hawks are at RAF Akrotiri, Cyprus but the Guardian journalists didn't do any research into those squadrons.
The C-130s were the support to the the training units deploying to Cyprus for their summer camp.

29 (Reserve) Squadron is the RAF Typhoon training unit and 100 Squadron fly Hawks (Same type as the Red Arrows). The Hawks are used for target towing and dissimilar air combat training.

29 (Reserve) Squadron deploy on summer training

As part of routine annual summer exercises, 10 Typhoon aircraft, pilots, and supporting engineers from 29 (Reserve) Squadron at RAF Coningsby will shortly deploy to Akrotiri in Cyprus on exercise, continuing the long tradition of RAF personnel taking advantage of the training facilities and the almost guaranteed good weather that the base offers.

The primary role of 29(R) Squadron is to train pilots from other aircraft types to fly and operate the Typhoon. During training the pilots will undertake a variety of missions, giving them the skills they need to fully utilise the world beating capability of the multi-role Typhoon aircraft.


The students come form a range of backgrounds from those who have just completed pilot training to officers of 15 years experience about to take over a Squadron. The majority of personnel will be from 29(R) Squadron. A small number of personnel from other units will be deployed in support of the exercise including Hawk aircraft from 100 Squadron.

Sqn Leader Rowena Frewin, Officer Commanding Mission Support Flight, 29 Squadron, said:

“Overseas deployments for the Operational Conversion Unit are a key part of training – allowing pilots to fly in an unfamiliar environment. Primarily it’s a great opportunity to take people out of their comfort zone and allow them to test themselves against new situations and give our engineers and pilots practice and experience in the kind of issues that arise when deployed on operations”.

The squadron and their Typhoon aircraft are due to be in Cyprus for approximately three weeks.


http://www.raf.mod.uk/rafconingsby/newsweather/index.cfm?storyid=E93DBC12-5056-A318-A8BA4F4F3542554D|

Will the Guardian update and accurately report the story. Somehow I don't think so. They got the headlines that they wanted without checking the real facts.

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Response to T_J (Reply #18)

Tue Aug 27, 2013, 12:34 PM

19. Sounds about right, Cyprus would not object to such training

Last edited Tue Aug 27, 2013, 04:53 PM - Edit history (3)

As I commented above, Cyprus CAN veto what is done from those bases, by simply putting rounds from its Artillery onto the base (or more accurately, showing that it can and is willing to do so). NATO would then knock those artillery pieces out (or at least try to), but that would divert air power from hitting Syria, which may be worth it for Cyprus. i.e. take the hit for Syria, thus spread out the attack so Syria can better deal with the effect of that attack.

Now, Iran is the main source of oil for not only Turkey, but Greece AND Cyprus, Thus all three have a good reason (to keep those oil supplies coming) to oppose any attack on Syria.

Now, my understanding of the treaty in regards to those two bases, Cyprus can NOT object to how Britain uses them. The problem, modern jets need a relatively clean runway and Artillery hitting the air base will through enough FOD (Foreign objects and debris) to make the runway unusable). That would violent the treaty with Britain. but Britain is NOT supplying Greece and Cyprus with oil (Iran is).

Before any attack is made from Cyprus, not only Cyprus but Greece will have to be on board and that requires Europe to bale them out of their present economic problems (Something Germany does not want to do, for the rest of the PIIGS, Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece and Spain will demand similar assistance).

In some ways, the US and Europe are caught in a bind, they do not want to help the PIIGS, but that may be the price to pay to attack Assad. The problems of Italy appears to have eased over the last couple of years, did that have something to do with the need for Italian bases for the war against Libya? Was that aid enough? It appears it was enough to prevent Italy from dropping the Euro, but that may just be a temporary situation. Portugal, Ireland and Spain are to far away to be able to use Syria to their advantage, but Greece in many ways is the key, followed by Italy. Can the US convinced Europe to provide what Greece, Cyprus and Italy wants in exchange for supporting the war against Syria?

Remember, Greece is the worse case in regards to its economy. It is dependent on Iranian oil. Will Greece and its closest ally Cyprus risk that oil? Will Turkey? I always give the example of Italy during WWI and WWII. Prior to WWI Italy had an alliance with Germany, but decided NOT to honor the treaty in 1914, instead joining the Western Allies in 1915. Various reasons for this has been given, but that Italy's main source of energy t that time period, Coal, came from British mines seems to have been the biggest factor.

British coal production peaked right after WWI, and started to fall afterward. In the mid 1930s, Italy saw its coal supply shift from Britain (where Italy was finding it harder to obtain the coal it needed from) to Germany. Italy opposed Germany's first move on Austria in 1934, but as Italy's coal supply shifted, Italy stopped its opposition to Germany annexation of Austria and became a loyal ally of Germany, for Germany had become Italy's main source of energy. During the US invasion of Italy, Italy was able to obtain coal and oil from the US and switched sides. Southern Italy, the least dependent on foreign coal supplies quickly fell to the Western Allies, but Northern Italy took a lot longer, due to that area of Italy was heavily dependent on German Coal (In fact Germany held more territory in Italy on the day Germany Surrendered then Germany held in Germany).

While other factors were involved in Italy's shifts in allies from 1914 to 1945, energy seems to have been the single most important factor. The same with Greece, Turkey and Cyprus today. Energy is they main concern and today that means oil. and right now that is Iranian Oil. This may also explains Turkey's position, it is also dependent on Iranian Natural gas and oil supplies. That does not want to upset its energy supplier.



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Irans_Oil_Exports.png

Turkey

http://www.presstv.com/detail/2013/05/03/301604/turkeys-iran-oil-imports-hits-new-high/
http://www.presstv.com/detail/2013/04/30/301006/turkey-to-continue-iran-gas-imports/

Thus, while the leadership of Turkey hates Assad, they are dependent on Iranian oil, They may want Assad out, but NOT at the cost of losing their supply of oil. Russia exports a lot of its oil via the the Bosporus and Dardanelles, but most of that oil it bound for western Europe not Turkey or Greece. If Turkey has to turn off its supply from Iran, it must then switch to Russian oil, which means less oil for Western Europe. Western Europe will NOT want that, especially, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Southern France, where most of that Russian oil is heading for. Those same countries were willing give up their supply from Libya in exchange for supplies from Russia and Saudi Arabia, but will they accept a cut back of Russian and Saudi Arabian Oil, so that Turkey can be convinced to support an attack on Syria??

Sorry, Turkey can NOT afford to attack Syria. Nether can Greece or Cyprus afford such an attack. US Carriers can launch a short attack but sooner or later the long supply line from the US to those carriers will cut back the level of the attack.

Furthermore, Libya has been called the Tactician's dreamland and the Quartermaster's hell. It is open desert, with one road along the coast. Except along that Coast Road, the only way to maneuver is by foot, horse Camel or tracked vehicle (i.e. Tanks and Armored Personal Carriers). Since supplies must come by truck, whoever controls that highway controls Libya for any maneuver unit needs supplies thus control of the highway is the key to Libya. Defenders in a desert have a lack of cover, thus defenses are easily detected and bombed from the air. This was the problem with Qaddafi, every time he sent up a defensive line, it was quickly detected and bombed. If the defenders did abandon one defensive location and set up another near by, there was no way to hide it from aerial observation and subsequent bombing, Worse, once in a defensive position, the attack force had enough track vehicles to maneuver around the Defensive position and attack it from the rear. At that point the defenders either had to surrender or abandon the defensive position.

Syria is different, first you have mountains and trees. Both provide cover for land forces. The ground is fairly solid, so ground forces are NOT forced to stay close to the sea and the only paved road, thus ground forces can maneuver. Air Power is still important, but it is possible to undo most of the advantages of air power given the ability to find cover AND the ability to move in all directions, not just along a coastal highway. Worse, the population most loyal to Assad are those closest to the Coast, his opponents are in the far desert. Syria will NOT be another Libya, but another Afghanistan. A quick victory, followed by the real war, a long guerrilla war till some sort of deal is made between the people of the various groups in Syria and whoever ends up ruling Syria.

Sorry, I think Obama wants to attack Syria, I think many of the people around him wants to attack Syria, but the Military see nothing but problems given that in addition to opposition from Iran, you will have opposition from Greece, Cyprus AND Turkey. All on dependent on Iranian oil. Russia also back Iran, and it can put restrictions on the attack by simply stop exporting oil. Russia will suffer severe problems for its main export is oil and natural gas and thus its main source of foreign currency (Which it needs) but such a cut back is its biggest weapon.

Thus I suspect the people in the Department of Energy and the Department of Defense keep saying NO, you crazy, but no one is listening to them for they see Russia, Turkey, Greece and Cyprus accepting the attack on Syria for the cost to object exceeds anything any of them will gain by objecting. The other side of the argument is, unless they object on Syria, but the time it comes to Iran, they may be out of time. i.e. If the US attacks Syria, is it time to force the world to make up its mind, either support US aggression OR fight for the concept of National Sovereignty.

If the nations of the World do not decide to do so over Syria, then the US will go to its next target, which is Iran and total control over the oil in the World (Which is the real aim of this campaign for who controls oil controls the world). Thus Russia is the key. Russia is to big and its oil fields to deep inside Siberia for the US to even hope of directly controlling them. Thus the constant attack on Putin and Russia since 2000 for with the election of Putin all hope of controlling Russian Oil died. Under Yeltsin, the control over Russia was weak and thus Russia barely controlled its own oil industry, let alone have a say in who control, and thus who gets Russian oil. Under Putin, he does have a say and can cut off who gets Russian oil and Natural Gas, if he is willing to accept the lost of funds such an action will incur (and the hardship in Russia that will incur due to the cut off of funds, AND the result of massive US funds going to opposition groups, except of course the Communist party, which is the largest opposition party to Putin, but would support a cut off of oil exports if that meant the long term benefit of Russia).

Thus, the real question is what will Putin do if the US attacks Syria? No one expects any military actions, but he can shut off oil exports and upset the world wide oil market. If Putin would do so, and had the support of Turkey, Greece and Iran (and Venezuela) then the US will face a disaster at home (a spike in the price of gasoline) as the price of attacking Syria. Obama would protest and make threats, but Russia is immune to most US threats except for a Nuclear Strike and the US would not do such a strike for that would make the price of oil go even higher. I can see Putin taking to Obama and Obama saying "I will order a Military attack on you". and Putin says "Go Ahead, but the way how will the American people like $20 for a gallon of Gasoline?".

I suspect that is what the Department of Energy and Department of Defense are saying, but no one wants to hear that. i.e. Putin's biggest weapon is an oil embargo, and any military attacks done to undo that embargo will drive the price of gasoline even higher. If Putin does an oil embargo and he gets Iran AND Venezuela to go along, what does the US do? Saudi Arabia can NOT replace all three oil suppliers and the US "Boom" in oil is only going to US Domestic supply.

The downside for Putin, is a loss of foreign revenue and a greater push for fracking in the US, with the resulting increase in US Domestic Oil Supplies. Thus a Russian oil embargo by itself probably will NOT be enough to get what Putin needs, but if Iran AND Venezuela joins in, that is to much for the rest of the world to replace (and Iraq may also join in, unofficially, but making sure "domestic terrorists" shut down the exports of Iraqi oil).

The biggest down side is the Countries that join in on the Embargo, will see every other oil exporter reap a huge profit at their expense. Thus an embargo will NOT last that long (90 days max, like the original Arab oil embargo of 1973). Cheating will be done, AND accusation of cheating will be made by all of the participates about each other, thus 90 days Embargo is about all that can be expected, but in my opinion that would be enough to throw the whole world into a Recession AND massive domestic unrest in much of the world.

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Response to happyslug (Reply #19)

Tue Aug 27, 2013, 11:40 PM

22. Very informative, thanks! Nt

 

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