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Old November 17th, 2015, 06:41 PM   #1
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Strikes on Raqqa in Syria Lead to More Questions Than Results

I admit, I have questions about the military operations in Syria. Yesterday, when the oil tanker trucks were hit by A-10s my first question was: Why not before now?

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Strikes on Raqqa in Syria Lead to More Questions Than Results


First France and then Russia answered Islamic State attacks on their citizens with a strategy of direct reprisal: intensified airstrike campaigns on Raqqa, the militants’ de facto capital within Syria, meant to eliminate the group’s leadership and resources.

But on Tuesday in the early hours of those new campaigns, there seemed to be more questions than decisive results. Chief among them: Why, if there were confirmed Islamic State targets that could be hit without killing civilians, were they not hit more heavily long ago? And what, in fact, was being hit?

More broadly, the Raqqa airstrikes are renewing a debate about how effective such attacks can be in defeating or containing the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, without more commitment to measures like drying up its financial support, combating its ideology or — what outside forces on all sides so far appear to have ruled out — conducting a ground assault.

Several people in Lebanon, Syria and Turkey who have been able to make contact with relatives in Raqqa say the recent French airstrikes — a barrage of about 30 on Sunday night and seven more on Monday — did not kill any civilians. But neither did they inflict serious military damage, those people said, instead hitting empty areas or buildings, or parts of the territory of factory complexes or military bases used by the Islamic State.

Abdullah, a Syrian concierge in Beirut who reached his sister in Raqqa on Tuesday, said that in the case of the seven French airstrikes on Monday, “all these strikes are targeting abandoned empty locations.” The day before, he said, the 30 French airstrikes hit mainly the outskirts of the city. “Thank God, no civilians died,” he said.

The activist group Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered Silently, which opposes both the Islamic State and the Syrian government, also insisted that no civilians had been killed in the French barrages. It had yet to post information about the Russian airstrikes that took place on Tuesday, lacking more recent updates.

More French airstrikes, reaching 25 to 30, struck Raqqa late Tuesday, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a monitoring group in Britain that has a network of contacts in Syria. Many of the strikes hit deserted areas that had already been struck, but casualties were reported in addition to property damage, the group said.

In a statement, the French defense ministry said that the fighter jets took off from Jordan and the United Arab Emirates, and that the strikes had destroyed two ISIS command centers in Raqqa.

Although the United States has conducted spot strikes within Raqqa, like the one said to have killed the Islamic State media figure known as Jihadi John, American officials say concern about the large civilian population remaining in the city has precluded heavier bombing. And even under the current rules of engagement, Syrians have reported numerous instances of civilian casualties from American airstrikes, including one in May in the town of Bir Mahli that killed at least 60 people.

Many of the group’s command posts in Raqqa were identified long ago, but they are in places that get heavy civilian traffic or where the Islamic State is holding civilian prisoners, like the main security office known as Point 11, inside a soccer stadium.
More: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/18/wo...ults.html?_r=0
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Old November 17th, 2015, 06:49 PM   #2
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The lessons of Korea and of Viet Nam have not been learned, even yet. You can not fight a limited war. You can't eliminate collateral damage.

Either don't go in, or go in all guns blazing, balls to the wall and with your main strategy being victory at all costs.

The wests efforts related to Daesh and Syria have thus far been a very limited war.
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Old November 17th, 2015, 07:23 PM   #3
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Warning the drivers?

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...

The official said previously the fuel trucks were off limits to U.S. military strike aircraft. When asked if the Paris attacks would bring about a change in the U.S. military’s rules of engagement, the official said that the truck drivers were warned first before the bombs fell.

“We dropped leaflets, warning the drivers to scatter,” said an official who had been briefed on the strike. “Next we strafed the area [with 30mm cannons] before the dropping bombs” from the warthogs.

...
US military: Air strikes destroy 116 ISIS fuel trucks, sharing target info with France | Fox News



Last edited by excalibur; November 17th, 2015 at 10:50 PM.
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Old November 17th, 2015, 09:38 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by RNG View Post
The lessons of Korea and of Viet Nam have not been learned, even yet. You can not fight a limited war. You can't eliminate collateral damage.

Either don't go in, or go in all guns blazing, balls to the wall and with your main strategy being victory at all costs.

The wests efforts related to Daesh and Syria have thus far been a very limited war.
"the rules of war" is a concept that makes no sense. its unfortunate, but its reality, in war, people die. if you are only going to bomb where there are no civilians, against an enemy that likes to use civilian human shields, there are no targets you will bomb.

the current air strike regime is not going to achieve much. it will where it is happening where there are also ground forces, and it is essentially air support for ground troops. thats happening in ramadi and it is working, slowly. but there are not enough ground forces to do more. and nobody is going to commit more ground forces. its politically unsaleable for western countries to go back into iraq, again, having only just got out. and its politically unsaleable for islamic countries to go to war against the caliphate. they might want it gone, but they want someone else to do it.

we might be doing air strikes for the next decade without achieving a lot.
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