Egypt: Islamists shoot down army helicopter with MANPAD

Islamic militants have shot down an Egyptian army helicopter with a heat seeking shoulder-fired missile:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-25915607
The BBC article seems to express „grief“ about this. Probably because the Egyptian regime (and army) is considered pro-western.

Interestingly western press reports of the Syrian rebels´ successes in shooting down Syrian army Migs and helicopters and killing hundreds of personell have been accompanied enthusiasm and joy.
Note: If you are a radical sectarian Islamist fighting a pro-Iranian or pro-Russian state you are good, you are probably a „freedom fighter“ and the US congress will somehow find a way to declare you „moderate“.
If you are however fighting a pro-western state you are a terrorist and one has to be worried if you have acquired and applied deadly weapons.

 

 

Syria – The bombings of „civilian areas“

Bombed houses, badly damaged buildings, destroyed cars in the middle of towns and cities. Western media and politicians are quick to be „shocked“ and condemn barbarian acts against „civilian areas“.

The truth is that with rebels firing from roofs and through windows of houses and apartments the formerly civilian nature of such places is not given anymore.

This video clip is a good example of rebels using heavy machine guns from the middle of a „civilian area“ and using peoples houses to find shelter and hide their armed vehicles:
http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=f97_1377384728

The syrian airforce hit them precisely which indicates that contrary to generalizing accusation the army is not deliberately shelling and bombing civilian areas with the sick intention to massacre the own people as rebel propaganda claims.

Following article supports the assertion about the relative accuracy of the syrian armys firing:
„But as constant, punishingly accurate, mortar, tank and sniper fire attested, President Bashar al-Assad’s soldiers on the other side, often just a room or a grenade toss away, are also well drilled, courageous — and much better armed.“
http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/2013/02/one-month-in-damascus.html

 

(Too) many open questions regarding the alleged chemical attack near Damascus

To start, here is a brief summary of arguments that highlight the unlikeliness of the syrian army being behind the chemical attacks around Damascus:

1. The syrian army has been making a number of military gains, especially in the Homs governorate but also in and around Damascus. The current military situation was not threatening at all. Resorting to chemical attacks in the midst of „normal“ military clashes does not make sense.
2. The syrian government for month has been threatened with military intervention by Nato countries in case the „red line“ of using chemical weapons would be crossed.
3. It has been the syrian government itself that invited a UN inspector team which arrived only 2 days before the alleged attacks.
4. Contrary to repeated accusations by western media and politicians from the US, UK and France (among others) the syrian government is not „insane“. Even after being subject to multiple attacks by the israeli airforce and artillery and in one case by the turkish army – acts that resulted in destruction and many casualties for the syrian army – the regime did not hit back, knowing well that any violent reaction would trigger a massive military attack that would be suicidal.

But there are more questions:
a) If it was the syrian army why did they not use „regular“ and much more deadly chemical weapons that they posses?
b) Why did they chose areas around Damascus for such an attack?
c) Why did the army not carry out a more massive chemical attack followed up by a major troop incursion, both to finish off the (remaining) rebel fighters and  – more important – remove the traces of the attack?
d) If it was the army, it must have been crystal clear to them that such a gas attack cannot be concealed. They would know that the victims would be brought to hospitals and clinics. It should not be difficult for the army to take control of those facilities in advance to avoid that medical reports „leak“ out and doctors give interviews that could implicate the army. Besides, the regime could break down the internet connection and block access to Youtube and co., while being prepared to spread their own (fabricated) story to the media before the „activists“ shape public opinion
e) It would be obvious to the army that the military value of apparently blind attacks on civilian areas supportive of rebels would be limited while the resulting outrage and revenge feelings would be huge

In addition there are a number of valid reasons why it is not just a conspiracy theory to suspect the rebels:
https://radioyaran.wordpress.com/2013/08/22/why-it-is-not-unlikely-that-the-rebels-could-have-used-chemical-weapons/

A good scientific analysis:http://strongpointsecurity.co.uk/site/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/Revised-Thoughts-on-Damascus.pdf