The question of who the Syrian rebel “good guys” are has been a matter of weeks of discussion across the Vienna talks, and Russia has faced repeated allegations of hitting the wrong rebels. Efforts to come up with some sort of proper list, however, haven’t going very well.
But Russia seems to believe France is in a good position to do that, and yesterday’s meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin has asked Francois Hollande to provide him a map that lists where all the rebels who aren’t Islamists and who are fighting ISIS are, so they can avoid bombing them.
It’s a tall order, with a lot of the US-coalition seemingly estimating a rebel faction’s “moderate” nature on whether or not it is anti-Russia. Yet Hollande’s efforts to come up with a grand coalition puts him in a position more interested in coming up with a settlement and, because of recent US deference in the wake of the Paris attacks, means if France comes up with a proper list, the US probably won’t vehemently disagree.
The big question though is whether France actually can come up with such a map, as like most nations they don’t appear to have a great handle on the goings-on inside Syria, and the rebel-interrelations are often complex, with groups like the Free Syrian Army (FSA) split into literally hundreds of factions, some secular moderates and some al-Qaeda-backed suicide bombers.
12 thoughts on “Putin Asks France for Map of Syria’s Anti-ISIS Rebels to Avoid Bombing Them”
Think you could just start bombing every 'Syrian Rebel' that isn't Syrian. I'd certainly be content if that were the solution to any future identical situation within the US. Unfortunately, there's also the practical problem of, e.g., supply routes to terrorists from Turkey. http://www.telesurtv.net/english/opinion/Why-Turkey-Stab... So everyone but NATO terrorists (and the foreigners they field) are better off with heavy 'policing' of the Turkish border.
I suspect that Putin and Lavrov are still laughing about this request to the French. They could just as easily have asked for a map of the parts of Paris to be avoided in a bombing campaign to avenge the Mistral screw job.
That could be but since Putin has recently lost all the strut, swagger and smirk of earlier days, I doubt if Putin's laughing (the Gromyko clone never laughs!).
The determination with which the US want to protect and use IS is disastrous. Now we need to reassess all the events that led to this situation. That includes the terrorist factories like Abu Grahib, which incidentally kept going for years, while it was known that torture was no good for intelligence. How many tens of thousands of PTSD'd iraqis did they produce? And it includes of course 9/11.
Putin is grovelling! He's licking Hollande's boots! He's bogged down in Syria and now, taking advantage of that, the Ukrainians have put the screws on him. Everyone knows why he is so desperate to be included in the coalition: he hopes to get his "reward" by being allowed to keep his ill-gotten gains in Ukraine. Since he has made clear that Ukraine isn't the end of the story and that he wants to break up the EU and replace it with a "Lisbon to Vladivostok" free trade area (controlled, naturally, by guess who!), he's unlikely to get much sympathy from EU leaders. In fact, if Putin's intelligence services are so bad that he has to beg a map from Hollande, then he must really be on the skids!
You're wrong on so many points, that's it's difficult to know where to start. Russia is Syria's ally and, as such, “the west” should expect Putin to come to Syria's defense. Assad is Syria's duly elected president. True; certain people, who have nothing whatsoever to do with Syria, have “decided” that Assad must be removed, but these people are far too accustomed to having their way. You see, Michael; real statesmen understand that when military action / intervention takes place in or against a nation, that nation's allies are to be expected to enter the fray on behalf of the duly elected government of said nation. Outside manipulators say some rebels are moderate, but allies defend the duly elected government and its territory from all threats. It's obvious that none of the other players involved in the intervention into Syria truly comprehend what is happening with Russia's participation there. These fools are about to learn a lesson in geopolitics.
Putin is clearly not groveling, and he's not bogged down. His forces have quickly done more damage to enemy of Russia's ally than the forces of any other nation or coalition. Putin is intelligent (unlike you, Sir), and he's thinking many moves ahead. The request of Hollande is clearly a calculated move to prearrange political cover for the inevitable whining that will come from those who have men on the ground aiding the terrorists. When the casualty reports start coming in, Putin will not be without a well-considered response. More importantly, Putin will not be in a position where he can be accused of targeting the wrong people, having gotten this information from “the west”. He's intelligent – you're not. Sorry, Michael; that's just how it is.
It's evident, from your recent posts, that you dislike Putin. That's fine. However your criticisms of him, his ethics, and his political / military decisions, make you appear demented. Thus far, in the Syrian debacle, Putin has conducted himself as a true statesman, a dependable ally, and a worthy adversary of evil. In summary; other than true imbeciles, only terrorists and those who support terrorists could find fault with what Putin has done in Syria thus far.
This is funny. I'm fascinated to see what the French come up with. It's like asking for a description of the colour of a chameleon. Whether a Syrian terrorist group is ISIS or something else depends on whether the US/Turkey/Israel/Saudi axis is offering to supply arms. I suspect the Russians are going to have a good laugh at this "map".
This is as much, or more, a political move than a military expedient to save 'friendly' lives. Putin knows good and well France- nor anyone else- can come up with such a map, and the inability to do so is bound to be characterized as a lack of coordination and intelligence on the part of the US and associated forces. If we can't supply our target list to the Russians, what are WE using to determine targets?
Putin, just by asking the question, has dealt a huge propaganda loss to 'The West'.
Perhaps he should ask Cameron as well -since Cameron seems to think there are 70,000 moderate rebels in Syria – with a force that big, ISIS would be gone in days.
Nov 27, 2015 Putin Puts Arrogant Reporter in his Place
Russia’s President Putin found himself having to ask BBC journalist John Simpson if he has any common sense at all, as he pushed the establishment line that Russia is an aggressor in the world.
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