"Why Assad's army hasn't defected"

Discussion in 'The War Room' started by MicroBrew, Feb 22, 2016.

  1. MicroBrew

    MicroBrew Steel Belt

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2007
    Messages:
    30,502
    Likes Received:
    20,047
    I know there is an ISIS/Syria thread but I felt this particular article deserves to be read , and putting it in the ISIS/Syria thread might not get noticed.

    The Saudis, Qataris,Emiratis and Turks have spent billions of $ trying to defeat Assad, including trying to bribe the Syrian elites but it hasn't worked. The article explains why.


    " Four years ago, Turkey’s then prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said that within in a few weeks he would be praying in Damascus’s Umayyad Mosque, as Assad was about to fall. Similarly, Israel’s most decorated soldier, former Defense Minister Ehud Barak, predicted that Assad and his military would be toppled within weeks. That was at the beginning of 2012, when there were no Iranian soldiers on the ground or Russian planes in the skies.

    As another round of Geneva peace talks collapses and the world wonders what’s next for Syria, it is time to begin with the warnings of Henry Kissinger and Zbignew Brzezinski. Kissinger and Brzezinski, the most seasoned and influential U.S. policymakers on the Middle East since World War II, have gone against popular opinion and stated that President Bashar al-Assad has more support than all the opposition groups combined. "


    -

    " It is no secret that the Saudis and Qataris, with full U.S. support, have tried to bribe some of Assad’s innermost circles to defect. The all-important professional military cadre of the Syrian Arab Army, however, has remained thoroughly loyal. "

    The Syrian Army is less sectarian than the impression given by mainstream media . That's not to say Alawites aren't the main power in the military.


    " At the start of the war, much was made of the “defections” of thousands of officers, but these were mere conscripts who never wanted to be in the army in the first place, and would also have done anything to escape conscription in peacetime. The professional ranks, meanwhile, are still very strong and religiously pluralistic. "


    Sunnis in the upper eschelon of the Syrian security forces.


    " The Syrian Arab Army has held its own for more than five years. Its numbers might have been depleted, as is normal for any wartime military, but a close glance at its military reveals that its core, perhaps unexpectedly to many, is Sunni. The current minister of defense, Fahd al-Freij, is one of the most decorated officers in Syrian military history and hails from the Sunni heartland of Hama. The two most powerful intelligence chiefs, Ali Mamlouk and Mohammad Dib Zaitoun, have remained loyal to the Syrian government—and are both Sunnis from influential families. The now-dead and dreaded strongman of Syrian intelligence, Rustom Ghazaleh, who ruled Lebanon with an iron fist, was a Sunni, and the head of the investigative branch of the political directorate, Mahmoud al-Khattib, is from an old Damascene Sunni family. Major General Ramadan Mahmoud Ramadan, commander of the Thirty-Fifth Special Forces Regiment, which is tasked with the protection of western Damascus, is another high-ranking Sunni, as is Brigadier General Jihad Mohamed Sultan, the commander of the Sixty-Fifth Brigade that guards Latakia. "

    " The history of the Syrian Army that Hafez al-Assad built is instructive today. As president, the elder Assad brought senior members of the Syrian Air Force into the military high command. Naji Jamil (another Sunni) served as air force chief from 1970 to 1978 and was promoted to the General Staff committee overseeing defenses on the Iraqi border. Another air force commander was Muhammad al-Khuli, who until 1993 held coveted logistical positions between Damascus and Lebanon. Other prominent officers above the rank of Brigadier in military and civil defense positions post-2000 were Sunnis, including Rustom Ghazaleh, Hazem al Khadra and Deeb Zaytoun. Since 1973, the strategic tank battalions of the Seventieth Armored Brigade, stationed near al-Kiswah near Damascus, have had rank-and-file Alawis under the command of Sunni officers. As well, two of the most decorated officers who rose to be Chief of General Staff under Bashar al-Assad were Sunnis: Hassan Turkmani and Hikmat Shehabi. "

    ---



    " The Syrian Arab Army is also the only Arab army with multiple Christians serving as generals. The most famous of these was Daoud Rajha, the Greek Orthodox army chief of staff. The two most influential Lebanese Christian leaders, now on the verge of becoming the next president of Lebanon, are Michel Aoun and Suleiman Franjieh, who are also allies of the Syrian Arab Army and President Assad. Deir al-Zour is an entirely Sunni city which has held out against ISIS encirclement for two years—and is commanded by the Druze General Issam Zahreddine. "

    ---

    " When the Syrian opposition talks about a future pluralistic Syria, they fail to realize that while they may theoretically be pluralists in Geneva, Washington and Vienna, their representatives on the ground are allied with the most sectarian terrorist groups the Middle East has ever seen. "

    " The fact remains: The moderate Syrian opposition only exists in fancy suits in Western hotel lobbies. It has little military backing on the ground. If you want to ask why Assad is still the president of Syria, the answer is not simply Russia or Iran, but the fact that his army remains resilient and pluralistic, representing a Syria in which religion alone does not determine who rises to the top. The military also represent as challenge against the spread of terrorism, which is why three of the top British generals of the last five years have openly called for the recognition that the Syrian Arab Army, loyal to President Assad, is the only force capable of defeating ISIS and Al Qaeda in the Levant. "

    http://nationalinterest.org/feature/why-assads-army-has-not-defected-15190
     
  2. JohnnySagebrush

    JohnnySagebrush Purple Belt

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2014
    Messages:
    1,848
    Likes Received:
    2,515
    Good article, now where is whougonnacall at?
     
    lfd0311 and LionExMachina like this.
  3. elmo_1968

    elmo_1968 Black Belt

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2007
    Messages:
    6,050
    Likes Received:
    367
    Puzzled by the claim that all of the defectors are conscripts, wiki has a list of officers and defense officials who defected.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Syrian_defectors

    As for the quote that Assad is the only hope for defeating Daesh, he seems to lack motivation and the Iraqis are making headway in that department.
     
  4. machidafan99

    machidafan99 Silver Belt

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2014
    Messages:
    13,495
    Likes Received:
    7,057
    I believe we should support Assad. He's protecting Christians & Catholics not killing them like his opponents.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2016
    lfd0311, in the, kuromusha and 2 others like this.
  5. StannisTheMannis

    StannisTheMannis Double Yellow Card Double Yellow Card

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2016
    Messages:
    533
    Likes Received:
    511
    Maybe just maybe....they are patriotic Syrians???
     
  6. MicroBrew

    MicroBrew Steel Belt

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2007
    Messages:
    30,502
    Likes Received:
    20,047
    I think the article was implying that the gist of the defectors weren't officers or high ranking officers.

    The article does answer some questions, namely how come Assad didn't fall fast considering the Alawites makes up around 8% of the population and Sunnis are around 74%. Hezbollah and Iranian help shouldn't have made a difference considering the number of Sunnis in Syria.
     
  7. Winstone

    Winstone Orange Belt

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2014
    Messages:
    367
    Likes Received:
    463
     
  8. MadSquabbles500

    MadSquabbles500 Steel Belt

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2011
    Messages:
    28,375
    Likes Received:
    12,821
    Location:
    New Jersey now Queens
    So apparently Assad is not that bad of a guy. But the Free Syrian Army did mutinee against Assad. What religion are they? Were they also paid to mutinee? Is Israel involved in any bribing?
     
  9. MadSquabbles500

    MadSquabbles500 Steel Belt

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2011
    Messages:
    28,375
    Likes Received:
    12,821
    Location:
    New Jersey now Queens
    I wonder why e don't?
     
  10. NelmarksGhost

    NelmarksGhost Brown Belt

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2012
    Messages:
    4,151
    Likes Received:
    2,205
    Assad's a good guy because his army is diverse?
     
    KILL KILL likes this.
  11. whougonnacall

    whougonnacall Silver Belt

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2009
    Messages:
    14,330
    Likes Received:
    3,593
    Simple
    They may only be 8% of the population but make up 70% of its non conscript troops and over 80% of itd officers with higher %s of alawites in the ghestapo like orgs and mass torture complexes
    The sunnis make up 74%of the population but that without enough arms or air support or haeavy weapons its hard to bring that advantage to bear
     
  12. Ayin

    Ayin Black Belt

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2005
    Messages:
    6,269
    Likes Received:
    1,436
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Not at all, nor is anyone seriously arguing this. That doesn't change the fact that the majority of the the most powerful military groups opposing him are worse, or would be worse to the diverse people's supporting Assad.
     
    Anung Un Rama and HockeyBjj like this.
  13. godking

    godking Purple Belt

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2003
    Messages:
    2,334
    Likes Received:
    650
    Yet he is still around and no russian and iranian support alone is not why he is still around. You know well enough that a sizable portion of the Syrian population including the sunni population still supports him.
     
  14. whougonnacall

    whougonnacall Silver Belt

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2009
    Messages:
    14,330
    Likes Received:
    3,593
    He has some support but it has been unquestionably foriegn support thats bailed him out time and again
    Now airpower,rebel disunity,selective use of isis, blind eyes turned to occasional use of chemical weapons and rebel lack of arms have helped too
     
  15. Are you serious?

    He is a dictator and it is anti-Christian and anti-Democratic against liberal progressive and modern western values to support a guy like Assad.

    Also, moderate Syrians and rebels aren't killing Christians or minority groups. It is a defeatist attitude to act like a determined people just because they face a large foe cannot win.
     
  16. ^^^ This times 100x. When all power and elites are Alawites then the moderate and rank file will fall on line hard to rebel when all the Generals who give orders are not on your true side and regard you as lower class.

    This is not true. The guy starves his own people and uses chemical weapons on them to maintain power. Let's throw away the old lessons of making do with such a brutal dictator.

    The truth is if we want true stability in Syria in the long term then we need to help the oppressed in Syria overthrow and remove Assad and his ruling government. In the short term things may be unstable but in the mid and long term things will be better. This I entirely different from Libya or Iraq for many reasons.
     
  17. Kafir-kun

    Kafir-kun not-so-grand mufti of Sherdog

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2011
    Messages:
    30,865
    Likes Received:
    27,909
    Location:
    Democratic People's Islamic Republic of Kekistan
    The OP isn't about him being good or bad, its about the loyalty of his army and the reasons behind it. His regime is horrible but its diversity has proven to be a strength.
     
  18. machidafan99

    machidafan99 Silver Belt

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2014
    Messages:
    13,495
    Likes Received:
    7,057
    You are incorrect. Christians are welcome there. I also do not wish to impose my way of life upon Syria.

    In this moment Assad and the US can be allies along with Russia to have a better outcome.

    It would be utterly naive to only work with countries that are in lock-step with progressive liberal views and foreign policy suicide.

     
    xcvbn likes this.
  19. I support working with Russia but I believe even Russia knows that Assad cannot last. It also is not imposing our way of life on anyone. Nobody is talking about colonizing Syria with Americans. All I am saying is if we help take out Assad then things will be better because he is a main reason for middle east instability. He fuels ISIS, and hurts innocents.
     
  20. Videer

    Videer Brown Belt

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2006
    Messages:
    4,924
    Likes Received:
    829
    Location:
    Sauna Inferno
    Enough of it has defected, killed off or just demoralized to the point of not fighting that Assad is not capable of holding current territory let alone go on the offensive without the manpower Hezbollah, PMUs from Iraq and Iranian provided cannon fodder.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.