Unrest in the Middle East (esp Libya, Gaza, Syria)

Libya

>

IT has to be the most exciting time in the Middle East since, well, I don’t know when. Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, Syria and Libya all flaring up in the call for political reforms and personal freedom. But whilst the Coalition is busy tackling Gaddafi, Israel go in and stomp all over Gaza.

>

The coalition aircraft have been continuously pounding Gaddafi’s anti-aircraft systems, aircraft and thier facitlties and command and control systems. They are mandated to protect civillians from military attack, and in an effort led By Britain, France and the US, they have been destroying armour, artillery and rocket systens primarily in and around Tripoli and Bhenghazi. The rebels, who are only lightly armed were on thier last legs and cornered until the coalition forces came in to even the odds a bit. Now, Gsddafis’ airforce is almost completely destroyed, and the threat from the intergrated surface to air missile systems has been all but removed. This is an ongoing operation, and information is liable to change, so I will be updating this blog as things happen. A lot of people ask why we are there, and to me, it’s pretty obvious. I’ve seen videos of Gaddafis victims, and they tell thier own story.

>

>title

Knocked-out Army Tank

>

This was my prediction as to how it would all start (18th March)

>

Well, with the UK and Canada preparing to fight, who will take control of the air-war? I think it will be a loose coalition, as I am not aware of anything that would trigger a NATO response. The Arab states have plenty of aircraft in the vicinity, and the US has cruise missiles in the Med. My hunch is that the first strike will be a missile strike, following the Gulf war “Shock and awe” pattern. This is time for the west to get some payback for past grievencies like Lockerbie I think. This is going to be a seriously complicated matter, so a clear C&C structure will be necessary. This link gives an idea of the task in hand as seen by the Pentagon and others http://t.co/yfiBQrg. BBC news is saying the air-war may start in “hours”, but is that really feasable? France might be in a position to send in its Mirages anytime, but who will command the airspace? We don’t want to be shooting each other down, so we can’t go in willy-nilly.
>
As it turns out, I wasn’t far off. I later wrote:
It looks like my suggestion that Gaddafi might be looking for a way out, might actually be fairly close to the mark. TV news reports are beginning to suggest he might be looking for an exit strategy dispite his defiant rant. He clearly feels things are not going his way and is probably wondering why Arab nations are not supporting him. His position is becoming untenable with his airforce impotent and his armour being whacked whenever it joins an attack. His depots and compounds are being degraded by air attack and there is speculation that he might actually be a target after all.
>
And so far we’ve only lost one jet. The F-15’s are getting very old now, it could have been any number of mechanical failiures. I always thought the ’15 was a very capable aircraft, only it was never in the limelight ‘cos the F-16 was so good. They were more in a ground-attack role than the ’16’s were I think, which are a “multi-role” platform.
I’d also add that Libya only produces 2% of the worlds’ oil anyway, and most of that goes to Italy. There are really only strategic and humanatarian reasons for this campaign. It could be argued that the Libyans we’re killing have a right to life, but under resolution 1973 the balance is swung firmly towards the rebels.
“Civillians” and “Non-combitants” are an important distinction that hasn’t been clearly made. This leaves quite a bit open to interpretation, and the allies have to make the call on a situation-by-situation basis.
So far, “innocent” civillian casualties seem to have been very light. I still recieve a lot of intercepts calling for an airstrike here or a missile there, but we’re not here to fight the war for the rebels, well, not officially anyway.
>
>
Battle Plans
>
Update: The war is still quite fluid as of today, the 26th of march. Coalition aircraft have destroyed the air-force and the integrated air defence system. Radar and SAM sites have all been targeted in wave on wave of airstrikes. Some video:
>
>
A serious in-depth analysis of Americas’ involvement can be found in this article by the Wall Street Journal: http://goo.gl/fb/jLiFu
>
Absolutely terrible scenes as pro-Gaddafi forces shell a block of flats…WARNING: GRAPHIC FOOTAGE: Even I found this to be upsetting even though I’m no stranger to death and destruction. I was wondering whether to post it at all, but then decided that it was important to know what the enemy was doing.. Don’t watch it if you’ve got kids..  http://on.fb.me/f2Q007 Taken in Misrata. This English language report almost defys belief.. A maternity hospital on the front line..  http://bit.ly/fTD2YA
>
 I Have a commentary running at: http://www.sciforums.com/showthread.php?t=106988 My User name is Ultra
>
>
28/3/2011
Today as been an interesting day as far as the war is concerned. Al Jazeera has uncovered what it believes to be evidence that rape is being used as a weapon of war by Gaddafis’ troops.http://deck.ly/~inDpu In an unprecedented display of desperation, a woman, Eman al-Obeidy ran into a hotel occupied by foreign journalists to say she’d been raped by men of Gaddafis’ regime. there is fottage and an article covering the event: http://edition.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/africa/03/27/libya.beaten.woman/ She was then abducted by Gaddafis’ security forces, and journalists have been campaigning to get her released.
>
>
The situation im Misrata is apparently getting desperate. It’s been under siege for 11 days now, and reports say that the city is desperately shotr of food, medicines, anaesthetics and has no running water. French warplanes have hit artillery and armour, but cannot penetrate the city for fear of causing unnecessary civillian casualties.
Rebel forces have taken the towns of Zawiya and Ajdabyia and an oil refinery. This makes two refineries in rebel hands, and it is thought they will be looking to do deals with oil for military hardware, food, fuel and medicine. Some are worried that AlQuada have infiltrated the rebels, and I’m sure a few have, but not enough to worry NATO just yet. Thier training and expertise might just come in very handy for the rebels.
A great piece of footage from the rebels, after a battle at Zintan! http://www.youtube.com/user/zintan2011#p/u/4/D4RvFAYpJYQ
>
>
Gaddafi has been sending in busloads (literally) of snipers and loyalists to infiltrate the towns and cities. These appear to have killed more people than the acuual set battles have. However, rebels are getting used to thier tricks and are slowly rolling them up.
Today, (28/3/11) the Pentagon revealed that A-10 Warthogs
http://www.airforce-technology.com/projects/a-10/ and C-130 Spectre http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bKROOt07ieQ&feature=related aircraft have been operating in Libya.  They are devastating weapons platforms made to take out armour and ground-forces..  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Imd1HOjKD2w&feature=related
>
Benghazi2
>
Rebels on an old Russian tank
>
20+ strategic and air defence targets have been struck. The ministry of defence released this just now: The Chief of Defence Staff’s Strategic Communications Officer Major General John Lorimer said: “I can confirm that British Armed Forces, as authorised by the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973, have participated in a co-ordinated strike against Libyan Air Defence systems.”The UK has launched guided Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles (TLAM) from a Trafalgar Class submarine as part of a coordinated coalition plan to enforce the resolution.”
>
The coming battle, the battle for Sirte is going to be pivotal to the whole campaign. If Gaddafi can hold on to his home town, the rebels will not be able to advance onto Tripoli. I expect the battle to commence after tonights air-raids, probably at first light. There will be probing attacks to test the defences at first, but as the rebels are fairly disorganized it will probably build quite slowly.
They dont have the dicipline to move in formations, and they have a lack of specialists such as sappers and combat engineers. But they do have high morale, and enthusiasm. To fail is to die, so everything is there to play for. Sirte has a number of military installations, and will be a particularly tough nut to crack.
<
The number of TLAMS fired have reduced now to about 15 per day, and one of the US submarines left the area aster it was decided it was no longer needed in-theatre. British and American TLAM ships and submarines still lurk offshore however.
>
Gaddafi forces attack a block of flats in Misrata, STILL under siege right now..

“In the course of these patrols the aircraft launched Paveway IV and Brimstone missiles against military assets of pro-Gaddafi forces in the Misurata area.

“These missiles hit three main battle tanks, two armoured fighting vehicles and a surface-to-air missile site.

“RAF VC10 tanker aircraft, Nimrod R1, Sentinel and E3-D aircraft from Akrotiri and Trapani supported these missions at the same time as providing support to RAF Typhoon operations to patrol the no-fly zone and other coalition strikes.

>
Today, 31/3/11 the M.O.D. released some information about current operations, throwing some light on the types of targets now being concentrated on by NATO forces who have now taken control of combat operations in Libya. They said,”In the course of these patrols the aircraft launched Paveway IV and Brimstone missiles against military assets of pro-Gaddafi forces in the Misurata area.
 
“In the course of these patrols the aircraft launched Paveway IV and Brimstone missiles against military assets of pro-Gaddafi forces in the Misurata area.
>Tornado GR4
A tornado GR-4 refuells over the Mediterrainian
>
 
The Rebels are having severe problems with Gaddafis’ regular forces at present, and have ceded a lot of territory. Thier lack of training and heavy weaponry puts them at a serious disadvantage. But the allies cannot just arm them. It is not mandated in the UN resolution. They can be given weapons for the protection of civillians, but who’se to say they won’t use them to attack Gaddafi with. That wouldn’t be allowed.
 
2/4/11 Today is a sad day as coalition airstrikes accidentally target libyan rebels by mistake. http://yhoo.it/gzsXbM
The situation in Misrata is increasingly difficult and snipers continue to infiltrate the city. The cease-fire offered by the rebels yesterday was totally unrealistic, and was laughed off by the regime. They called for the armed forces to vacate rebel held territories, cities in particular, and this was never going to happen.
 
Coalition forces have destroyed an estimated 25% of Gaddafis’ military forces which, of course leaves 75% intact. The rebels are outnumbered 10-1. They have no training or heavy weapons. If they are to have any chance, an Arab nation is going to have to give them material support. The best thing would be fot NATO to send Gaddafi a TLAM. This would save lives on both sides.
 
There is a danger with leaving Libya crippled and without a functional army now that thier airforce has been destroyed, they will be very vunerable to attack from outside. Thier weakness will affect the balance of power in the whole of north Africa and the wider middle east.
 
Reports say Al Quiada are on the ground, and I believe there are small numbers there giving military advice and training. It makes me wonder how the CIA guys on the ground are getting on with them. Maybe they can all swap old war-stories and find some common ground. I certainly hope so.
 >
Edit: 09/04/11
>
Today saw a stepping-up of NATO airpower with as many as 19 enemy tanks being hit. This comes after a long spell of relative inaction during which Gaddafi and rebel forces have been in a virtual stalemate. The situation in Misrata is bad, with about 30 rebels being killed in clashes with the army.
 
>

The Israeli Palestinian conflict

>
 

has kicked off again with the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) attacking Gaza with F-16 fighter jets, Apache helicopter gunships, Special forces troops and armed and spy drones. The recent conflict was allegedly in response to mortars and rockets being fired into the Occupied Teritories by Hamas militants. I am of the opinion that the Hamas organisation is a popular party for the people of Palestine, and not the terrorists that the Zionists would have us believe. The ultra-right Israeli govenment has a number of UN security Council mandates against it which it refuses to honour, including a ban on building on occupied Palestinian land. If any other country than Israel were to behave like this, then they would just be a smoking hole in the ground by now, but with powerful zionist allies in the United States congress, there is little chance of any of these mandates being implemented.

>

The Horror..

The Israeli military confirmed one of Monday’s air raids, saying several Hamas-affiliated militants were targeted in northern Gaza, as well as a tunnel used to smuggle weapons. Witnesses in Gaza said Israeli warplanes fire a missile after three mortars were shot at Israel, and the Israeli missile landed harmlessly in a bin for animal feed. Israel fired four other missiles at as many targets later in the evening, aiming at a Hamas security compound in Gaza City, a training camp north of the city, and a brickworks and metal foundry in northern Gaza, witnesses said.
(Reporting by Nidal al-Mughrabi; Writing by Allyn Fisher-Ilan)
http://reut.rs/fYaE85

 

>Home Bulldozed<

>

Israel has today called for Iran to get the same treatment as Libya. Banging on about nuclear ambitions, paranoia over Iranian world domination no less. I was joking when I said Israel was feeling left out of the killing-spree engulfing the middle east ~ never realising how prophetic those words would be. Since then we’ve seen a number of hostile incursions, fighter strikes, helicopter gunships, drones and special snatch squads. Not to mention the planned upcoming offensive and aforementoned sabre-rattling.
One of the best armed, wealthiest, western-supported expansionist regimes dictating to and bullying one of the most impoverished overcrowded peoples anywhere on earth.

White Phosphorus falls on a UN school

>

Where is the justice for these people? who would make Israel abide by UN resolutions? Only Hamas stands up for these people. They provide food, medical aid, schools. All the necessities of a trapped ghettoized people, blockaded and deprived. Is it any wonder they fire missiles at thier tormentors? They, that ask only for thier land back, as decreed by the UN. When the US grows a concience, Israel will capitulate. Until then, war, with Americas’ blessing.

>

We need a sea-change in ingrained political thought in the region. In short, both sides need to break from the traditional tit-for-tat militarism besause for years it has led nowhere. The Israelis still build on stolen land, against the UN, supported by the US. The Palestinians still support Hamas and Hezbollah, and still have no prospects.

>

No-one is safe

>

I miss Yassr Arafat. I think he was finally leading them (the Palestinians) in a better direction. Something rare in that region. I think it’s about time the UN actually enforced its’ resolutions. You may notice that the Palestinians have not been sanctioned by the UN. So who is the aggressor? If you look at international law, it is Israel that is the transgressor. Yet they will not face up to thier internatonal responsibilities.

>

Warcrimes

>

Airstrikes continue:  Ma’an News Agency
Explosions reported in southern Gaza http://bit.ly/eRaDXc

>

Israel continues its illegal apartheid system in the West Bank by bulldozing Freedom Road (again). Article: http://bit.ly/fW12ka

>

On the 27/3/11 Israel deployed its’ missile defence system codenamed “Iron Dome” to counter Grad missiles shot at occupied Palestinian territories and illegal settlements. Whether it is effective or not, only time will tell.

>

America pays $$$ for Israel to do this.

>

I have opened a debate, My User-name is Ultra… http://www.sciforums.com/showthread.php?t=107056

>
>

>

Syria.

>

Civil unrest in Syria has been met with deadly force. Why the West is not taking Syria seriously I have no idea. I think with Gaddafi there were old scores to settle, but it’s not the same with Syria. The murder of civillians has been documented, along with the slaying of opposition figures, but the protests go on. More on this as it develops.  Syrian security forces storm Omari Mosque in southern city of Deraa, killing at least four people. Daraa is not a good place to be right now.. http://dlvr.it/LGB0Z

>

Even children aren’t safe:
BloggerSeif Ali Seif “France 24: detained children were released yesterday, fingernails torn off. BASHAR TORTURED CHILDREN” Although this is not confirmed.

>

Rebels brave gunfire

>

The president however, is seen as a reformer. He is much more moderate than his father was, and there have been counter-protests by supporters. I don’t think the president did himself any favours allowing the military to kill civillian protesters, it was not necessay. He was reasonably well liked, but now he has comitted these crimes his future is very uncertain. Change would be welcomed by the people who have lived in a “state of emergency” for 30 years now. I see Syria as central to the balance of power in the middle east, and I broadly agree with Syrias’ opposition to Israel. I hope this will not change, as the Palestinians have few enough supporters as it is. I sincerely hope Syria can find peace with itself, and without any more killing.

>

>

According to reports, the death toll in Daara was around 25 people.

>

28/03/11

>

The Syrian Government has reportedly released 260 political prisoners…http://www.alarabiya.net/articles/2011/03/26/143042.html … Another 20 people were killed on friday as protests continued.

>

The problem with Syria though is that analysts said foreign nations were “likely to tread carefully around Syria, which has a close alliance with Iran and links to Palestinian Islamist militant group Hamas and Lebanese Shi’ite political and military group Hezbollah”. None of this helps the civillians.

>

President Bashir Al Assad, A reformer in the Middle East

>

9/4/11

 The Siryan regime continues to cling to power dispite further demonstrations. A further 20 people have been killed in recent days alone. I get the feeling that people would let Assad stay if he only delivered the reforms they want. But the more people that are martyred in the name of this cause, the less likely that will be the result. Now Assad will find it difficult when dealing with the west I think, but the west has not threatened decisive action such as we have seen in Libya.  If the army would stand with the people it would be so much easier to make the transition, but that looks an awful long way off to me. I wish Assad would do the right thing, and not become a tyrant.

Well it looks as though Egypt and Syria are going to be severly troubled for some time to come yet. There isn’t an awful lot I could add just now as the situation is still fluid in both countries. I hope though that they find peace, and soon.

 

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s