Skip to comments.Syrian Military Conducts Large-Scale Exercises
Posted on 07/08/2012 8:10:32 AM PDT by edpc
DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) Syria's military began large-scale exercises simulating defense against outside "aggression," the state-run news agency said Sunday an apparent warning to other countries not to intervene in the country's crisis.
The exercise began Saturday with naval forces in a scenario where they repelled an attack from the sea, and will include air and ground forces over the next few days, SANA said. State TV broadcast footage of missiles being fired from launch vehicles and warships.
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From a territorial standpoint, China has been making pretty bold moves in the South China Sea, but the rest are pretty much doing what they used to do. In Syria's case, I wouldn't call either fighting an insurgency or conducting military exercises to ward off invasion a bold move. I'd say Syria carried out its boldest moves during Bush's term of office, by not intervening to stop Sunni jihadists from entering Iraq. But even that was an act of omission rather than facilitation.
In fact, even the act of omission is explicable in terms of internal politics. If Assad had moved against Sunni jihadists, the domestic Sunni Arab majority in Syria could have accused him of being biased against Sunni Arabs (and for the Shia majority in Iraq) and used that to whip up support for an armed insurrection a whole decade earlier. For 40 years, the facade of Arab nationalism has kept Sunni Arabs in Syria from revolting against their Alawite rulers. The end of the conflict in Syria will see either (1) if the Alawites win, the large scale deportation of Sunni Arabs, or (2) if the Sunni Arabs win, the large scale massacre of Alawites, Shias, Druze and Christians. Either way, Arab nationalism, which attempted to paper over religious differences in the name of a common ethnicity and language, is now a dead letter in the Middle East. Islamism is the wave of the future.