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UK Parliament; Syria Aircraft Bombing Vote - Part Deux?

(25 Posts)
Isitmebut Thu 02-Jul-15 11:19:57

The so called ‘Islamic State’ or caliphate, mainly straddles two countries, Syria and Iraq, with the Headquarters being in the former.

The main anti ISIS coalition is free to attack BOTH locations from the air, with the exception of the UK.

As around 2-years ago when the Conservative’s asked parliament for permission to help the majority Sunni population of Syria being slaughtered by their own Alawite (Shia) President Assad – using his aircraft, tanks, large Field Guns and chemical weapons and mercenaries – the permission to specifically help from the air, was refused.

Here is the story so far and it did not getting better for the Sunni people of Syria;

“Arab uprising: Country by country – Syria”
“The wave of popular unrest that swept the Arab world came late to Syria, but its once peaceful uprising has evolved into a brutal and increasingly sectarian armed conflict."

UN: 9 million Syrians now displaced as conflict ticks into fourth year

“Syrian civil war death toll rises to more than 191,300, according to UN”

That UK parliamentary refusal to help the Sunni ‘rebels’ of Syria, gave a reason/excuse for Obama to keep the U.S. from intervening by ‘taking out’ President Assad’s military hardware when attacking his own population.

As a consequence Sunni ISIS on the one hand still faced Shia Assad within Syria with his military kit intact, but on the other, would have benefited two-fold;

- The Sunni countries within the Gulf, seeing (to them) the lesser of two evils, stepped up financial help to ISIS’s safe Sunni caliphate.

- An ISIS force of estimated to have been 25,000 over 2-years ago, is now estimated to be over 100,000, no doubt joined by many Sunni Syrians seeing ISIS as the only anti Assad game in town.

Now lets see how this pans out the second time, any views????

AnyoneForTennis Thu 02-Jul-15 12:25:18

my view is simple....something needs to be done.and it needs to be done NOW.

they are growing,getting bigger,they are allegedly in every country as 'sleepers'. so already spreading.

meditrina Thu 02-Jul-15 12:41:58

"my view is simple.... something needs to be done.and it needs to be done NOW."

What sort of somethings do you think need to be up for consideration?

Isitmebut Thu 02-Jul-15 13:06:42

The way I see it is that it won’t be a ‘game changer’ - other than the RAF would be far better than most within the coalition at precision bombing in heavily populated Syrian areas – but just seems silly to have one hand behind our backs.

While ‘no boots on the ground’ should again be a proviso UNLESS things change – in which case the government needs to come back to parliament for further authority - if targeting Syria, it might mean we have the option of putting Special Forces boots on the ground, mainly for intelligence and laser guiding plane dropped missiles.

Looking at the bigger picture I suspect the formation of a ‘safe’ Islamist caliphate is what is drawing in more support, home and away.

To my mind that is the ONLY reason why whole multi generational families are ‘immigrating’ to an ISIS caliphate (walts ‘n all), is that they see Syria as a new life – so the sooner that caliphate no longer exists as such, the better. IMO

GatoradeMeBitch Thu 02-Jul-15 13:28:21

I'm not incredibly well informed when it comes to current events, but haven't ISIS and related groups become such a big problem partly because of past military interventions? Blow up peoples innocent friends and relations with drones, and destabilize societies, you create terrorists. I don't see how killing more people would do anything to dampen that down.

SomethingFunny Thu 02-Jul-15 14:40:21

From my understanding of it, two years ago parliament voted against bombing Assads regime to support the Sunni Rebels.

Now, two years on, they are going to vote whether or not to bomb ISIS who are the Sunni rebels we were going to support only 2 years ago. We will therefore effectively be supporting Assad (assuming he is still around??)

In two years, we have effectively switched sides?!

Isitmebut Thu 02-Jul-15 14:49:05

SomethingFunny .... the target may have changed but not the objective, as whether the moderate Sunni population is killed by their own President, or ISIS, they are STILL being killed.

Clearly our own agenda is more evident with the current target as NO ONE is safe of any religion, sect, gender, or sexuality if ISIS exists - but go back 2-years and look up what Assad did, is still doing, using his military hardware (including helicopters with 'barrel bombs') to empty large towns and cities.

“UN Says Syria May Have Used Chemical Weapons”

“The United Nations has said it believes the Syrian regime used chemical weapons in civilian areas eight times in April.”

Isitmebut Thu 02-Jul-15 14:50:48

GatoraidMeBitch … and you would be right to say that the West has been responsible for much of the ‘stuff’ going on in the Middle East, but the biggest and most irresolvable problem within the Gulf is the centuries old differences between the two main Muslim sects, the Sunni’s and the Shiite’s.

Iran is Shia, Saudi Arabia and similar ‘friendly’ States are Sunni, but the ‘good guys and bad guys’ label is somewhat blurred, as Sunni tends to be the more strict/radical sect, as evidence by the fact that ISIS, Al Qaeda (and even dear Hamas) are Sunni.

And as the Muslim faith is stateless, if a Shia regime attacks a Sunni population anywhere in the Gulf, rich & influential people within the main Sunni Saudi, Kuwaiti, UAE and Qatar States, will look to respond.

And 2-years ago in Syria when Alawite (a branch of Shia) President Assad started murdering his mainly Sunni people, when the West led by the UK failed to help, rich people within those Sunni States (that doesn’t have be the government) did what they could to help Syria’s Sunnis via the back door.

So even if the West had not been involved, the region whether having ‘Arab Springs’ or not, would still be using their Sunni and Shiite sandals to kick shite (yes the correct spelling), out of each other. IMO

Isitmebut Thu 02-Jul-15 15:51:40

SomethingFunny ... excuse me, looking back at my answer to you post I didn't make it clear, the Syrian Rebels are not the same as ISIS, although how many 'experienced' Rebels have since gone over to the 'Dark Side', no one will know, versus the percentage from the general population.

Syria is a democratic barrel bomb of political worms, with President Assad, ISIS, different Syrian Rebel leaders and others - but as ISIS's influence looks to grow both within Syria, Iraq and into other North African States, they are the CURRENT clear and present danger to ALL concerned.

OurDearLeader Thu 02-Jul-15 17:04:03

I think the decision not to bomb Assad was the right one. We've seen in Iraq and Libya how bad things get when the West starts to engage in 'regime change'.

Assad was a brutal dictator, yes, but he kept a lid on things and for a long time people of different faiths/sects lived in relative harmony.

I think the West made a massive miscalculation in not realising that it might not be a good idea to impose our western values of democracy on these states. These dictators were brutal, but I suspect their brutality was the only thing stopping even worse violence exploding.

It's a difficult thing to say, but if you have a populace who have no regard for democracy and believe in taking matters into their own hands with weapons then using weapons on them is sometimes the only way to stop them massacring each other.

AnyoneForTennis Thu 02-Jul-15 17:12:27

leader I agree with that.

meditrina if I knew the answer.... What 'something' was I'd have said! I'm not too sure what our options are to be honest, but it needs to be taken very very seriously

Having said that, I'm sure our armed forces and government are busy thinking of options

Isitmebut Fri 03-Jul-15 10:35:01

OurDearLeader ….. Re your ”I think the decision not to bomb Assad was the right one. We've seen in Iraq and Libya how bad things get when the West starts to engage in 'regime change'.”
And you don’t think lessons were learned about those conflicts, or that the IMMEDIATE mass murder of Syrian Sunni civilians, wasn’t DIFFERENT to the other Western military action e.g. with Iraq using a made up ‘dodgy dossier’ on WMDs as an excuse to invade?

Western or alliance bombing does not facilitate ‘regime change’, and in Syria case a few years back it was to take away Assad’s military advantages against the Syrian ‘rebels’ wherever they lived, not just confined to the battlefield.

You can see in my OP that old figures showed that 9 million Syrians were displaced and nearly 200,000 killed, it wasn’t long ago that the Syrian population was 23 million, the Assad ‘ruling’ Alawite (Shia) made up around 16% of the population, and the Sunni ‘rebels’ 73% - so due to UK parliamentary ‘politicking’, millions of Syrian civilians were left in immediate danger by the West because we were not allowed to ‘take out’ Assads military hardware MAKING those attacks.

And clearly it is STILL going on, I wonder what the figures are NOW for Sunni Syrians displaced, as refugees, or killed?

May 2015 Report: ”Syrian government dropping barrel bombs on Aleppo civilians”

"(CNN)Syrian government forces have caused death and devastating injuries to civilians by dropping barrel bombs on schools, hospitals, mosques and crowded markets in opposition-controlled areas of Aleppo, rights group Amnesty International has alleged in a new report."

"Attacks using barrel bombs -- oil drums filled with explosives and shrapnel and dropped by aircraft -- killed more than 3,000 civilians in Aleppo governorate last year, the report said, and have helped create a climate of fear."

P.S. Clearly we KNOW the difference airpower makes in ground wars, hence supplying it against ISIS in Iraq, so why not in Syria where they have their main bases?

Isitmebut Fri 03-Jul-15 11:20:50

I've just heard on the Daily Politics that it would have been "illegal" for the UK to use air strikes in Syria AGAINST Syria's President Assad, in order to have protected the millions of Sunnis he was attacking - as we would have NEEDED President Assad's permission to enter his airspace to attack his murdering military. Marvellous.

Yet we didn't need Iraq Saddam's permission to invade Iraq on the basis that he had Weapons of Mass Destruction - when Saddam TOLD us that he didn't have them and NOT ONE was found AFTER we invaded.

Under Blair/Bush Iraq was a 'Holy War', but the fight with the Islamist head cases called ISIS, killing anything with a pulse, isn't?

Got it.

meditrina Fri 03-Jul-15 11:41:33

"if I knew the answer.... What 'something' was I'd have said! I'm not too sure what our options are to be honest, but it needs to be taken very very seriously "

I would say that the 'do something' approach is wrong, and was a factor in all the things that went wrong in the war-mongering years.

And that it might just be better to instead have a 'do nothing' approach, unless there is an actual plan, with stated aims and reasons (and proportionate force if required) and - what has been missing - what it is intended to bring about.

That requires the politicians to devise the purpose of the mission, so I hope they are the ones doing the thinking and negotiating. The Armed Forces should have no role in that, other than advising the politicians (if their plans include the application of force) whether their plans are feasible, how long it would take to be ready to go, and what the likely casualty level would be; plus, like any other branch of government, answering any questions that the politicians think would assist in their planning.

OurDearLeader Fri 03-Jul-15 12:14:56

So what you seem to be saying, itismebut is that we should always support a majority against a minority and that the Sunni's deserved help purely on the base that they are a majority. By that reckoning we should have been on the side of the Nazis against the Jews.

The alternative you're not considering is that if the West hadn't got involved then Assad might have relatively quickly put down the rebels and a state of relative calm restored.

Dictators being over thrown hasn't led to peaceful democratic Shang-Ri-Las being created. It's led to power vacuums which have been exploited by dangerous and sinister sources who were worse than Assad.

Although I'm not sure you'd agree with that because after all, ISIS are Sunni so they must be the majority and therefore right?

Isitmebut Fri 03-Jul-15 12:32:28

meditrina ... so are you are saying that the "do nothing" approach is the best strategy against ISIS?

The current anti ISIS 'plan' is for the Western alliance (including Middle Eastern countries) to support regional ground troops via training, equipment and strikes from the air, initially to defend their lands - and then go on the offensive, driving ISIS back to ever smaller areas - and this is thought to take years.

There is no Western plan for 'invasion' with Western boots on the ground, the Iraq government insisted that there shouldn't be, we can assume Syria's Assad wouldn't be a happy bunny if Western boots were on his sand pile - and last but not least, there is no WESTERN appetite to commit an army of ground troops.

The UK Parliament is likely to be asked for permission (again) to do what every other Alliance air force already has; the option to strike Syria as well as Iraq.

meditrina Fri 03-Jul-15 12:45:29

No, of course I wasn't: I said "a 'do nothing' approach, unless there is an actual plan" and then went on to talk about what I thought needed to be in that plan, and who is responsible for it.

Isitmebut Fri 03-Jul-15 12:49:04

OurDearLeader ..... that is not what I said at all, my POINT was that innocent civilians were being murdered and displaced in their millions and that due to the SIZE of the Sunni population within Syria, how many more millions were at threat.

Re Syrian involvement by the West, currently fighting ISIS not President Assad;

- Clearly (from the recent link above) thanks to the UK 2-years ago, Assad has been unchallenged in killing Sunnis rebels & civilians, especially from the air, pray tell how did our Iraqi guilt ahead of an election leaving him alone LIMIT his ability to murder Sunnis?

- If the Western Alliance (bar the UK) had left ISIS alone in Syria, they would have had more equipment and time to attack Assad, which wouldn't bode well for Syrian "calm".

As to your last question, if you can't tell the difference between an Islamist ISIS Sunni from all over the world BASED in Syria looking to expand into other States - and a moderate Syrian Sunni, looking for more rights in their Arab Spring (that worked in Tunisia) - then maybe you should read up a little more on ISIS. IMNSHO

Isitmebut Fri 03-Jul-15 12:54:48

meditrina ... so NOW you understand the anti ISIS 'plan' for the last few years and that the UK in using its several planes currently against Iraq, to include Syria, wouldn't need a new 'plan' - just new Sat Nav details? lol

OurDearLeader Fri 03-Jul-15 17:41:47

Isitmebut most of what you're saying makes very little sense. I assume English is not your first language but you're not getting your point across well at all.

Isitmebut Sat 04-Jul-15 14:17:36

Ha ha ha ... after your earlier "Although I'm not sure you'd agree with that because after all, ISIS are Sunni so they must be the majority and therefore right?"

If you think EVERY Sunni in Syria is of a sunny disposition, I'm not the one needing help.

As I've qualified nearly every main point I've made with a link, it is quite clear what I am saying - so getting 'eggy' with me because I don't agree with you, isn't the way forward.

Take time, read the post through, see where you're misinformed, and lets carry on the debate.

Isitmebut Sat 04-Jul-15 21:18:34

Just another down town day within the ISIS Caliphate; Syrian Branch

”Slaughter in the Roman amphitheatre: ISIS forces child executioners to brutally shoot dead 25 Syrian regime soldiers in front of bloodthirsty crowds at ancient Palmyra ruin”

• ISIS has released a video of a mass slaughter of regime soldiers in Palmyra
• The condemned men are lined up on their knees on the amphitheatre stage
• Child executioners, with pistols in hand, stand behind the condemned men
• A giant ISIS flag hangs in the background in the ancient monument
• A baying crowd of men and boys gathered in the amphitheatre to watch

Ubik1 Sat 04-Jul-15 21:35:21

I think isitme has clarified things quite well.

There are no easy answers.

I marched against the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. But I think we need to intervene against Isis. Perhaps that means arming the Kurds and supporting them through air strikes.

I don't know seems like there is no 'right' way.

Isitmebut Tue 07-Jul-15 11:52:25

A few items of news on this threads subject matter yesterday;

US campaign against Islamic State in Syria 'intensifying'

”The US-led coalition fighting the Islamic State group is "intensifying" its campaign in northern Syria, President Barack Obama says.”

”Speaking at the Pentagon, Mr Obama said the US would not send additional troops to Syria but would increase support for the country's moderate opposition.”

”He added that "an effective partner on the ground" was needed to defeat IS.”

”Iraqi air force jet accidentally bombs Baghdad”

While Obama’s is racheting up the air strikes against ISIS, he again states that the coalition providing those air strikes NEEDS an effective partner on the ground to make the difference defeating the Islamists, within Iraq and their Syria base.

In Iraq their own air force can drop bombs on Baghdad; thankfully this was not due to an Iraqi pilot not knowing where his own capital city is located.

But still, I’d suggest to any crack Iraqi troops guarding Baghdad that they should ask for a transfer and get their khaki clad arses to the ISIS front line, where it is probably SAFER.

Isitmebut Mon 20-Jul-15 10:07:39

I saw the Cameron interview on U.S. TV over the weekend, more than implying that he wants the UK to step up the fight to ISIS, but needed to "bring his parliament with him", which would mean the UK air force - rather than a few "embedded" UK pilots training within other air forces using other THEIR planes - to bomb ISIS in Syria where they have their base.

But ahead of any parliamentary vote, apparently he wants to announce today a crackdown on those at home who for some god known reason, seeing ISIS (or any other group) in a favourable light and want to join them in the Middle East.

As there are those who do NOT want the authorities to ever be able to see media traffic on a warrant (the same as if intercepting telephone calls etc) -or feel that 'big government' should not expect individuals, families or communities to have any social responsibility to keep us all safe - I hope Cameron also asks parliament to use our air force as a current UK citizens option, to transport all those who are already radicalized and WANT to go to join ISIS in the Gulf, one way, checking in their UK passports with their tickets at this end.

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