Russia, U.S. Lock Horns Over Syria

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Elsewhere in Syria, the FSA battled Assad’s forces in Homs, Deraa and Idlib, as well as in villages near Latakia on the Mediterranean coast. One Latakia village — Haffeh — has roused the concern of the UN and State Department as Assad’s forces have been pulverizing the town with mortars and helicopter gunships, and UN monitors have been prevented from entering. “People will be held accountable,” said spokesperson Nuland, referring to the gathering of forces outside of Haffeh, reported by UN monitors at the scene. As the monitors pulled back, local townspeople threw rocks at the UN vehicles and several shots were fired in their direction. Whatever is going to happen in Haffeh, it is apparent that the Syrian government doesn’t want any witnesses.

One expert believes that more massacres of civilians makes the establishment of “humanitarian corridors” more than a possibility. Andrew Tabler, a fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, a policy group, told Bloomberg News, “The creation of safe havens has become inevitable and is relatively imminent. It’s not a question of if but when.”

These “safe havens” would have to be established and defended by troops on the ground — something that the UN would never vote for given Russia’s adamant opposition to using military force against Assad, and prospects for which no Western nation is eager to explore.

The real danger of a civil war is that it would spill over into neighboring countries with the potential for starting a general Middle East conflict. Syrian forces are massing near the Turkish border outside the country’s second largest city, Aleppo. Secretary Clinton says such a deployment could be a “red line” for Turkey, who has harbored the FSA as well as hosting the Syrian civilian opposition. “We are watching this very carefully,” she said.

It seems clear that the Syrian rebellion has entered a new phase. President Assad has stepped up the violence and brutality of his attacks while the FSA is fighting back with increasing skill and ferocity. As the war escalates, the chances of Western intervention of some kind rise substantially, despite reluctance in capitals from Bonn to Washington to undertake a humanitarian mission.

And Syrian civilians, caught in the crossfire and murdered indiscriminately by Assad’s regular and irregular forces, continue dying in the hundreds and thousands.

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  • David

    Good idea. Let's give the Syrian opposition Stinger missiles. That way they can use them to shoot down civilian aircraft.
    Better idea. Let's not give them weapons that they will use against Israelis.
    With the Muslims, the enemy of my enemy is still my enemy.

    • joy52

      Glad you clarified that. Let's not forget we supplied the Taliban in the 80s with the means to kick out the Russians. Ouch!

    • Asher

      This administration is no longer in control…they think they are…but bad policies do not enable peace. They have enabled the Muslim Brotherhood in Libya, Egypt, and Syria is in limbo. The United States is no longer trusted because of their security leaks, can anyone guess who this benefits….its the Islamic Brotherhood to Form a One World Caliphate. Syria is the last stepping stone before the Russians and Islamic nations go after Israel and the U.S. Not hard to figure out the next moves.

      • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLNn2YflwNs Roger

        Hillary will probably ask the for the 'overcharge' 'reset button' they gave Russia a couple of years ago.

        And Putin will send it back in a box, in pieces. Little tiny pieces.

        And knowing this clueless administration they'll call it a victory and leak about how they scared Putin into giving it over.

  • http://apollospaeks.blogtownhall.com/ ApolloSpeaks

    OBAMA COWERS BEFORE PUTIN AS RESET POLICY CRUMBLES

    "The 15 month old conflict in Syria has grown into a full-scale civil war," says UN peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous-with an armed and deadly Assad regime ready to double the mountain of corpses and kill thousands more. And what does Obama do? Does he move for a security council resolution to impose an arms embargo on Assad? No! Why? Because the awesome killer of Osama bin Laden, the liberator of Libya from Kadday, the greatest war leader in centuries, fears Russian strongman Vladimir Putin; fears he won't comply; fears a confrontation; fears he'll look like the weak, cowardly, pathetic amateur that he is and hurt his chances of reelection. Obama's reset policy is a shambles as his foreign policy goes down the drain.

    Click my name to continue reading

  • Amused

    Oh what a croc ,..the US should stay the hell out of Syria …PERIOD . No ARMS , no NOTHING .If ythe Russians want to supply attack helicopters , let'em . That's on them . Nobody's " cowering" before Putin , tghat's syucvh a bullssheet notion , we DEFEND ISRAEL …..that's it . All the critics spnd half their time criticizing US policy if it edges towards military support , and the other half if the US policy is to employ sanctions only .YOUR ASSSSUMPTIONS , on what and why this Administration is doing what it is doing , are childish and irresponsible .
    Put aside your Obama Hate Syndrome for a moment and you may be capable of some RATIONAL thoughts . That's the main PROBLEM with REPUBLICANS and CONSERVATIVES , play brinksmanship , desyroy the country and the world in the process , for that matters not as long as the last man standing is a Republican or Conservative . What a bunch of foolish Assssholes .

    • reader

      Seriously, are you trying Tommy's act or you're mentally ill for real?

      • Amused

        you're irrelevant " reader " , by way of your utter ignorance ….run along little boy .

        • reader

          You mean, I'm not a doctor?

    • Ghostwriter

      So,Amused. You'd rather have Assad butcher his own people rather than do anything to stop it. You're a real piece of work,you know that?

      • Drakken

        Muslim killing muslims, so please explain the downside? I call it a touch of Darwin. Ghostrider, if you are so concerned with those muslim savages, why don't you go there then?

  • StephenD

    We have no dog in this fight; Nor did we in any of the others. We should keep our distance and let EVERYONE know in no uncertain terms that regardless of who prevails, Israel is not to be accosted. Going after Israel is the same as going after the USA and will be dealt with in swift and devastating response. This is what cave dwellers understand. The threat of brute force is all that moves them to action…or inaction.

    • joy52

      Agreed. Add Syria to the long list of messups for Hil and Obama. They are dangerously incompetent. No one respects them, which is why Russia is stepping in. It is not our fight and they will go after us no matter what.

      • Asher

        Their arrogance has caused their failures….Pride goes before a Fall!

    • mlcblog

      This is where I err on the side of US intervention. I still see those green banners waving in the streets (that was Syria, right?) as the Syrian people tried to get free of this murderous dictator. Granted, it may not be wise, as their regime may then be another military and/or Muslim force taking over, so maybe not a step forward. Thus, not wise for the US to intervene, but my heart is with the people and I wish there were a way we could show our support aside from prayer.

      • Drakken

        Let them slaughter each other to their little islamic hearts content, so no sympathy from me.

  • Flowerknife_us

    Russia using Syria to put the squeeze on Turkey.

  • Steve Chavez

    LOCKING HORNS like elk, deer, rams, etc… ? The Obama administration policy towards Russia has Putin's knees shaking. LOL!

    Where's the tough talk towards IRAN, THE BIGGEST THREAT TO THE U.S. and who funds SYRIA and who Iran uses as a proxy to aid terrorist groups, AS DEFINED BY THE SAME U.S. GOVERNMENT, whose eventual goal is to "whip Israel off the map?" RUSSIA AND CHINA, BOTH OUR FRIENDS, veto every meaningful sanction when it comes to Iran and Syria.

    PUTIN IS LAUGHING AT HILLARY AND OBAMA SINCE IN THEIR YOUNGER 1980'S DAYS, THEY WERE KGB DUPES WHICH LEADS TO THE QUESTION: WHO REALLY WON THE COLD WAR WHEN KGB DUPES NOW RUN THE UNITED STATES?

  • muchiboy

    We still haven’t learned many of the lessons from history (e.g.do Jews feel safe today,and are they)?.And it seems when we try,we get it wrong (e.g.Iraq,Afghanistan).In Syria,we need consider the internal and external sequalae before we take decisive actions.America and the West may be reluctant to support rebels ,fearing and uncertain of a more anti-Israel consequence,(e.g.replacing minority Alawite sect and Christian influence with an anti-Zionist Brotherhood.).So,look the other way when hundreds of Arab children are murdered,so a Zionist state can be protected.Bull$hit.muchiboy

    • Kendrick1

      Don't forget to apply the race card, the global warming card, the health card, and the hunger card!!!

      • muchiboy

        "Don't forget to apply the race card, the global warming…."

        Well,somewhere in the State Department they favored codling Zionist Israel over protecting hundreds of Syrian children.Decades ago I suspect a similar debate produced a policy favoring the gassing of hundreds of thousands of Jewish children.Tell me we've changed a lot,Kendrick1.muchiboy

        • Drakken

          If your looking for sympathy for those muslim arab children I am fresh out. I am a firm let them kill each other a let allah sortem out type. No matter what we do the muslims are still going to hate us so screw them let them rot.

    • Lan Astslem

      Dhimmi boy – it's the arab/muslim filth that's on a murderous rampage around the world murdering innocent men women and children every day. LAN ASTASLEM

    • Ghostwriter

      Filthiboy,why don't you go back to the ooze from which you were spawned? You're a disgusting Jew hater so why don't you go to a KKK site where your views would be more at home.

  • Looking4Sanity

    What is going on with the commenting system on this site? Half of these articles don't seem to have Intense Debate enabled. Very frustrating.

  • http://www.maghrebchristians.com Youssef

    Shafiq’s candidacy has dismayed many Egyptians who believe the Mubarak-era veteran will preserve the old regime’s authoritarianism. But even if some Christians share those reservations, they view his opponent in the race as far worse: Mohammed Morsi, of the Muslim Brotherhood, which Egypt’s Christian minority fears will turn the country into an Islamic state.

    Read more: http://www.maghrebchristians.com/2012/06/13/egypt

    Youssef

  • Mach1Duck

    The Middle East Muslim States are failures. Failure breeds discontent. Discontent civil unrest. As for the United States…Stay the Hell out , or you will be dragged into the largest mess imaginable.

    • BS77

      Do I care about what is going on inside Iraq or Syria? DId the US or anyone stop the hideous genocide in Sudan? No, nothing was done. What can we do in these horrible hell holes, anyway???. Today over 70 people were killed by car bombs in Iraq. , What can be done?. The great tragedy is knowing how HORRIBLE life must be for young children and their young mothers in these terrible places. Makes any thinking person sick to think about daily life in these wretched, terrible countries. Read Brigitte Gabriel's account of her experiences of growing up in Lebanon. .

      • mlcblog

        Of course we care. That is just the trouble. What, if anything, to do about it?

    • Kendrick1

      Smart man! You think like I do!! Leave them to their own devices!!

  • RoguePatriot6

    We are not the world's savior and never have been. One of the issues that many in the administration seem to purposely overlook is, Who are these rebels backed by? Who's yanking their chains? These are the same issues that the administration talked around when we dealt with the Libyan rebels. We have done this with just about every nation affected by Arab Spring (more like Islamic Typhoon). Worked out great hasn't it?

    Another observation that I've made is our administration's eagerness to jump into this conflict, like Libya and the scrutiny over decisions to deploy to Iraq and Afghanistan made by Bush. He was called, "War criminal, warmonger, typical trigger happy Republican"……yet when this administration spoke of the possibility of U.S. involvement in Syria and Libya's civil conflict……………(crickets).

  • Supreme_Galooty

    The United States has no hope of conducting any sort of coherent foreign policy until it has settled the score internally with its traitorous, un-American Democrats. With quislings in charge at the Department of State – even under Republican administrations – America has no chance to be but a laughing stock on the world stage. Forget dabbling in quarrels amongst those Jolly Musselmen. We have been set upon here at home by scoundrels and cheats posing as Democrats. After we get our own house in order, we MIGHT consider squandering our resources on those benighted rag-headed riff raff ruffians. Drill, Baby, Drill, and to HELL with Wahhabism.

    • Asher

      America doesn't need Arab, or Brazilian Oil we have enough of our own to be self-sufficient!

    • mlcblog

      Spot on! the US State Dept has been infiltrated since the 1950's, severely. They often run foreign policy, doing things at their will, rather than the way the public has chosen.

    • Kendrick1

      And our sovereignty is eroding to the UN!!

  • Looking4Sanity

    The Syrian question, in my mind, is two fold (and mulch-faceted).

    1.) Do we have the Right to interfere in another sovereign nation's civil war?

    2.) Do we have an obligation to intervene if another country (Russia) interferes with that nation's civil war?

    Aside from any possible Treaty agreements, can we really justify action on the grounds of "national security"?

    Without a doubt, it is wrong for Russia to be meddling in Syria's internal conflict to my way of thinking. But, considering that Syria has never been our friend or ally, might it not be better to sit this one out and let the situation resolve itself on its own momentum? We can always deal with Syria later if they become a legitimate threat to our national interests.

    • mlcblog

      right to interfere vs come to the aid

      • Looking4Sanity

        Simple question for a simple statement…

        How does the phrase "come to the aid of Syria" apply to a situation in which we would be fighting AGAINST the lawful government of Syria on the side of rebels who hate us as much. if not more than, the lawful regime does?

        I'm forced to question your thought process on this one. It reeks of emotional appeal.

        • mlcblog

          Come to the aid of the people, of course, not the Syrian govt.

          • Looking4Sanity

            I've met bricks that weren't as thick as you seem to be. Not only did you not answer the question, but you keep repeating yourself. What's up with that?

      • Snorbak

        & just who would the US becomming to the aid of?
        Even the most astute politicians & military planners would struggle to define & differentiate who was deserving of assistance & who was the enemy, as almost to a man, they all despise the west.
        Even if you were able to do so, where would you begin, especially given that the US would risk going up against Russian forces that would potentially come to the aid of Assad.
        In addition Assad has stated that should forign militaries intervene, Israel will become the target which would escalate the conflict into a regional affair.
        Syria is Syria's problem, it will only escalate shoud the civil war spread south of Syrias borders into Lebanon or worse Israel.

        • mlcblog

          I agree we can't make heads or tails of it.

          I was just thinking, as I often do, how we have such a rich country, fresh water everywhere, abundant resources, and a govt which benefits us — all this, as opposed to the exact opposite in so many areas of the world, and how To whom much is given, much will be required.

          Seems it is fitting that we come to the aid of some. Yet, the devil is in the details.

  • Looking4Sanity

    This entire situation reeks of an effort by Putin to boost Obama's chances of re-election. It would certainly be in Russia's best interest if he were re-elected. So…Putin "conveniently" gives Obama a justification to send more of our sons and daughters to die in a desert where not ONE Russian citizen is in harm's way.

    Very "convenient", indeed. Food for thought.

    • Amused

      You got rocks in your head ….continue "looking4sanity " because you have none .

      • Looking4Sanity

        …said the paid government troll.

  • Amused

    Glad you used the word "squandering " because THATS exactly what we did in Iraq , and are doing in Afghhjanistan . And it was more than just the "scoundrels posing as Democrats " that got us into those messes . The problem with Republicans and Conservatives is that they constantly proves themselves SCHIZOPHRENIC when it comes to involvement or non-involvement in these situations . And it's pretty damn obvious to predict which way they will swing – it will always be the opposite of what the present Administration does , and also quite clear , that doing 180's on policies to accomodate THAT mindset . Who ya kidding Gabooty

  • Kendrick1

    This would be a good time to start pulling out of all the countries in which we have our noses and U.S. taxpayer money. Cut off the funds we give them, reinforce our defenses here at home, get busy drilling for oil and natural gas, produce more coal, and strive for more renewable energy (with no taxpayer subsidies)! To a man, all countries of the world hate us!! So I say, let them go on their own and let's take care of our own people. We are now being held hostage by the Islamists!!

  • mrbean

    "Obambi" as Putin calls Obama doesn't have horns or cajones, and he considers Hillary Clinton the equivalent of a unkempt peasent charwoman.

  • Mark

    Who benefits from so-called civilian massacres in Syria? Certainly not Assad's regime! With every massacre, Western public opinion is being pushed closer and closer to give the green light for western military intervention. That is what the jihadi opposition wants and desperately needs in order to win against Assad's superior military power.
    Before rushing to judgement, we better really double-check WHO is really committing those massacres.

  • wctaqiyya

    Once again, we see the US eagerly rushing in to do Saudi Arabia's dirty work. Whats all that noise about Israel controlling our foreign policy?

  • Flowerknife_us

    Assad of Syria. Oh-what oh what should he do? Defend himself and his rule and possibly die. Or. Should he just surrender and die for sure. So many options for the man.

    Given the nature of those who really want to take over the place being no better if not worse. creates little room to wish getting involved.

    There is no "good guy" to root for.

  • mrbean

    Remember when Senator McCain, of course, got his wish for NATO bombing that paved the way for the rebels’ conquest of Tripoli in late August. It was only then that the broader American public got some idea of the central role that al-Qaeda had been playing in the rebellion all along. As Tripoli fell, it emerged that the commander of the rebel forces that had taken control of the capital was none other than Abdul Hakim Belhadj, the historical leader of the local al-Qaeda affiliate, the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG). In fact, no fewer than three al-Qaeda-linked militants who had at one time or another been in U.S. custody played key roles in the rebellion.
    Now Aenator dead man walking wants us to militarily support the Syrian Rebels which are al Qaeda dominated as well. We have all seen enough newsreels with "Allah lu Akbar " shouted by rebels to know this true.

  • Drakken

    Obummer and company can do nothing since Putin has obummer by the balls in realation to Putin controlling our supply line to Afghanistan which happen to go through Putins back yard. Pakiland has cut our supply chain through their country so that is that. As for the Russians? I'll give them credit, at least they know how to deal with their muslim problem. I hope the Russians sends lots of attack helicopters.

  • RUI

    This is one of those conflicts I wish would go on forever and no side would win. Can we have that?