Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. Military Space News .

French strikes in Syria to reap political, but not military gains
By Michel MOUTOT, Hervé BAR
Paris (AFP) Sept 27, 2015

Missile kills 17 in rebel enclave in Syria's Homs: monitor
Beirut (AFP) Sept 27, 2015 - The Syrian army fired a missile into the last rebel-held neighbourhood of the central city of Homs killing 17 people, most of them civilians, a monitoring group said on Sunday.

Four children and four women were among the dead in Saturday's strike, the Syrian Observatory for Human Right said.

Nearly all of Homs has been under government control since rebel fighters pulled out of the historic heart of the city in May last year under a UN-brokered deal to end a devastating two-year siege.

There have been repeated efforts to organise a similar deal for the Waer neighbourhood where more than 100,000 civilians live under rebel control surrounded by government forces.

A number of temporary ceasefires have been arranged to allow in aid but a lasting truce has proved elusive, with each side accusing the other of hobbling the negotiations.

The missile strike on the enclave came as a UN-brokered truce deal to evacuate 10,000 civilians from two pro-government villages in northwestern Syria under siege by rebels ran into trouble on Saturday.

Protesters in neighbouring rebel-held territory in Idlib province blocked roads, preventing the planned evacuation by the Red Crescent from getting under way.

The rebels, who have laid siege to Fuaa and Kafraya for two months, agreed to their evacuation in return for safe passage for some 600 rebel fighters who have been surrounded by pro-government forces in the town of Zabadani near the Lebanese border.

Syria's third largest city, Homs was one of the first places where rebels took up arms against President Bashar al-Assad's rule in 2011.

But after years of fighting which killed tens of thousands of people and caused widespread destruction, the suburb of Waer is the last redoubt of the rebels.

French air strikes launched against Islamic State jihadists in Syria on Sunday may win Paris political capital, but are unlikely to yield serious military gains or stop terrorist attacks, analysts say.

The strikes were announced on the eve of the UN General Assembly in New York where Syria is back in the diplomatic limelight after four years of grinding war that has sent tens of thousands of refugees fleeing to Europe.

France, which has been the target of a series of jihadist attacks, has explained its change in strategy by saying it was acting in self-defence.

However analysts say that by sending fighter jets to Syria, France is mainly seeking to ease domestic political pressure, and remain relevant abroad in the latest scramble for a diplomatic solution to the conflict.

"To say that we will prevent terrorist attacks in France thanks to air strikes in Syria is, and I am weighing my words, absolute bullshit," said Eric Denece, the director of the French intelligence think-tank CF2R.

"When the Americans carry out thousands of strikes ... it can have a limited impact. But for France in Syria, it will only be a few symbolic strikes. It is gesticulation, smoke and mirrors to deceive the public."

- 'Symbolic, political impact' -

France has been part of the US-led coalition bombarding IS in Iraq since September 2014, and has carried out 215 out of nearly 4,500 strikes there, according to French and US figures.

However until now it refused to join the US, Canada, Turkey and Gulf states in Syria, where the coalition has conducted some 2,500 strikes.

But the latest attempted jihadist attack -- by a gunman on a Paris-bound high-speed train in August -- ramped up political pressure on Paris which ordered surveillance flights two weeks ago.

France has been on high alert since Islamic extremists gunned down 17 people, including cartoonists at the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, in a three-day killing spree in Paris in January.

"What we want is to know what is being prepared against us and what is being done against the Syrian population," President Francois Hollande said when he announced France's intention to carry out strikes.

However he ruled out sending French ground forces into Syria, saying it would be "unrealistic."

Denece said as the efforts were not accompanied by any ground troops, bombing from the air had limited impact.

"We can already see it in Iraq, where the majority of American planes return to base without having dropped their bombs. And we have just learned the result of these operations were manipulated to make us think they were working."

Francois Burgat of the Institute for Research into the Arab and Muslim world in Aix-en-Provence agreed that the French air strikes "have in fact very little chance of significantly affecting the military balance."

But the "symbolic and political impact could be considered more important," he told AFP.

- Jihadists 'have adapted' -

Faced with a highly mobile enemy dispersed among the population, the chances of destroying a training camp, command post or house where jihadists are sitting cooking up plans to attack France, are next to nothing, said a former high-placed official in French intelligence, speaking on condition of anonymity.

He said such camps no longer existed.

"Even if they have logistical or operational gatherings it is always fleeting. They know they are being observed continuously and they have adapted. They move all the time.

"What we (France) want is to show that we are present in Syria, that we must be included in the political solution that is being drawn up. In the same way the Russians are showing it by reinforcing their military presence" in Syria.

France's air strikes against what Prime Minister Manuel Valls called IS "sanctuaries" comes after a series of humiliating blows for the military campaign against the jihadist group.

In a shock admission on Friday, the Pentagon said a group of US-trained rebels had handed over ammunition and equipment to Al-Qaeda's Syria affiliate, the Al-Nusra Front, purportedly in exchange for safe passage.

The US has also battled rumours of defections of Syrian rebels it has trained to fight against IS as well as accusations it manipulated intelligence about the effectiveness of its operations against the jihadists.


Related Links
The Long War - Doctrine and Application

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Yazidis urge ICC to open probe into IS atrocities
The Hague (AFP) Sept 24, 2015
Iraq's Yazidi minority - the target of brutal attacks by the Islamic State group - on Thursday urged the International Criminal Court to investigate the militants for genocide and sexual slavery. Two Yazidi groups handed the court a new report and documents which show "that ISIS has systematically committed atrocities amounting to genocide and that these crimes fall within the jurisdiction ... read more

Raytheon to gather long-lead components for missile interceptor

Russian Anti-Missile Warning System Protects on Multiple Tiers

Russian Missile Warning System Can Detect Mass Launch of Ballistic Missiles

US runs missile defense wargames to break Russian jamming

U.S. Navy tests upgraded missile

Australia and Norway sign agreement for JSM development

Britain contracts MBDA for new ASRAAM missile variant

Poland to Receive U.S. cruise missiles

Puma unmanned craft tested on USS Gonzalez

China Unveils Next-Generation Wing Loong II Drone

To Watch and to Strike: Russia Developing Multi Role Heavy Drone

British Military to Buy Solar-Powered Drones Flying on Edge of Space

Skynet 5A satellite move to Asia-Pacific complete

Harris Corporation supplying ground-to-air radios to ANG

BAE Systems modernizing Australia's military communications

GSAT-6 military satellite put in its orbital slot

US defense agencies increase investment

US military women told it's good to 'Lean In'

Australian Army explores U.S. tactile technology for pilots

Slovakia procures Saab's M4 shoulder-fired weapon system

Japan to launch defense procurement agency

Indian court issues warrant for British man in chopper scam

U.K. Defense Ministry to industry: Focus on exports

Mega arms fair met with protest in Britain

Xi urges less 'suspicion' in US-China ties

U.S. A-10 jets arrive in Estonia to deter Russian aggression

Obama, Xi to hold superpower supper

Russia announces naval drills in 'east Mediterranean'

Nano-dunes with the ion beam

Science provides new way to peer into pores

Realizing carbon nanotube integrated circuits

Using DNA origami to build nanodevices of the future

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.