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Thread: Syria in 2015

  1. #201
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    Seems #Russia are threatening, attempting to intimidate Bulgaria on SM.
    Fits a pattern of bullying tactics by Russia
    https://twitter.com/GorseFires/statu...49578131648512

  2. #202
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    Russian humanitarian aid waiting to be flown to Syria. pic.twitter.com/imoZ5WqbyQ

  3. #203
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    Footage
    #Nusra captured several (probably non-operational) AA missiles at #AbuDuhur air base

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kntWaxPr79s … pic.twitter.com/QiktAcimEe

    Footage
    J.a.#Nusra (90% sure) child soldier with a poem after capture of #AbuDuhur air base.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R4W1bqWsx7I … pic.twitter.com/H5iGdkSoIq

    Footage
    Some of the (broken) Mil Mi-8 and MiG-23, captured by #Nusra in #AbuDuhur.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TScRrRJREDE
    #Syria pic.twitter.com/u3ug2QQNNn
    Last edited by OUTLAW 09; 09-09-2015 at 07:36 PM.

  4. #204
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    Quote Originally Posted by OUTLAW 09 View Post
    This administration IE Obama, Kerry and the entire 700 person NSC has no strategy--OTHER than pull back and disengage--THIS truly does remind me more and more of the Wilsonian FP period in the US. It was dangerous then and it is now just as dangerous as it leads to Putin missing clearly our intentions as he "cannot read the US".

    OH by wait.....he does read Obama clearly and concisely---he has come to the decision that Obama is a very weak President and fearful of any confrontation that distracts from the legacy that he trying to establish---a moralistic view of foreign affairs where we are disengaging and allowing others to take the lead.

    Remember in the WaPo Ann Applebaum article I posted here--he made a fatal mistake in viewing the Ukraine as a regional issue ie the EU--NOT fully realizing it was a superpower confrontation only occurring in Central Europe just as he viewed Syria as a regional problem.

    Well he has made the same exact mistake in Syria---and now if he does not act the creditability of the US in the ME and other locations will be badly damaged for years to come.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opini...b11_story.html

    Mr. Putin makes moves in Syria, exploiting America’s inaction

    By Editorial Board September 8 at 8:08 PM
    A US official is comparing Russian buildup in Syria to Crimea http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2015...officials-say/ … …

    "This is definitely a build-up straight out of Russia's military doctrine," said one official."
    Last edited by OUTLAW 09; 09-09-2015 at 07:32 PM.

  5. #205
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    Syria #Russia #Latakia communication sites (Hill tops, antenna etc) w/sudden expansion/construction last 10 weeks pic.twitter.com/k3GxeSiXsF

  6. #206
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    The Al Qaeda-ISIS rivalry is heating up — via @Vocativ http://read.bi/1OcYGDv pic.twitter.com/VMN2sNfUaF

  7. #207
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    Appears that no one is taking Kerry, the US WH, the US NSC seriously these days---if they really thought Putin would listen to them--I have a very small bridge in the middle of Mongolia to sell them----


    Russia sends transport planes into #Syria defying #US request not to increase support for #Assad | @newscomauHQ http://www.news.com.au/world/middle-...-1227519117302

    StoptheWar was foaming at mouth when #US wanted to intervene in #Syria...
    Now #Russia intervenes and Stop-the-War has not one word to say.

  8. #208
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    Social media identified this Russian airborne unit yesterday as being the first Russian military unit that invaded into eastern Ukraine in August 2014 and took loses and had 10 captured by the UAF.

    Pskov paratroopers now in Syria http://goo.gl/z612if

    Putin is serious enough to send the best not conscripts----

  9. #209
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    Who are these Russian fighters posting pics of themselves in Syria? ��

    http://bbc.in/1FxturF

    They're brandishing guns, smiling and posing in front of posters showing Presidents Assad and Putin. But who exactly are the Russian soldiers and fighters posting pictures of themselves inside Syria?

    The presence of Russian soldiers in Syria is nothing new. As long ago as 1971, Moscow leased a small naval installation in the Mediterranean port city of Tartus. But as talk of further Western strikes against Syrian targets increases, there's been intense speculation that Russia will now go beyond just training President Bashar al-Assad's forces. Indeed some people already think there's evidence that Russian troops are fighting on the ground, although there's no hard evidence of that so far.

    Now, a series of striking pictures, including selfies that seem to have been posted by Russian troops in Syria, are being shared on Russian social media - and prompting an intense debate.

    The solider selfies are being re-shared by Russian opposition activists, in particular the opposition War In Ukraine (WIU) group, which first came to prominence investigating Russia's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine.

    After analysing social media posts from Syria, WIU activist Ruslan Leviev summarised his findings in a blog post - from which perhaps the most striking element was photos of Russian soldiers or fighters who, according to their profiles on Facebook and the Russian-language social networking site Vkontakte, have been deployed to Syria.


    facebook photo inside syriaImage copyright Facebook

    facebook photo inside syriaImage copyright Facebook
    What can we tell from these photos? Well, many are geo-tagged - they include location information. Almost all, Leviev says, were taken in or near the Russian naval installation at Tartus. Nothing so far, then, to contradict Moscow's officially stated policy.

    But some of the photos are tagged with locations in Syria's huge Homs province, which includes areas which have seen intense fighting. Additionally, the WIU researchers looked at a YouTube video from August apparently showing fighting to the north of Latakia, Syria's main port city which lies to the north of Tartus. They also say they found footage of drones flying in Syrian airspace. Russian words are audible on the battle footage.

    "The video we've analyzed prove that it was a Russian armoured personnel carrier [that was involved in the fighting], supplied from a Russian military unit (not straight from the factory) and had a Russian-speaking crew," Leviev told BBC Trending.

    But does that actually mean these are Russian soldiers fighting? Actually, not quite. Leviev urges caution. These pictures and videos "wouldn't be enough to conclusively say the crew consists of active Russian servicemen," he says. "They could be Russian mercenaries sent to Syria, among other things. We believe there is not 100% proof that Russian servicemen are taking part in combat operations in Syria.

    Instead, he says, what the social media posts do show is a "sharp change of approach", with troops being deployed to Syria for longer stretches rather than simply stopping for resupply on passing ships.

    "Before this spring Russia's government had a completely different position. They stressed that the Tartus depot has no military or strategic importance," he says.

    Last week Russian President Vladimir Putin said it was "premature" to talk about his country's forces getting involved in direct fighting in Syria. And on Monday, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said that Russia has never concealed the fact that they supply military equipment to Damascus.

    Still, the possibility of increased Russian support for Bashar al-Assad has so worried the West that US Secretary of State John Kerry has expressed his concerns directly to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov last week. US officials told The New York Times that Russia has despatched an advance military team to Syria, as well as housing units and an air traffic control centre.

    The photos have provoked many comments from inside Russia, although not much chatter from a usually vocal pro-Kremlin contingent on social media. "Multipolarity is when in Syria Russian army battles against local militiamen, but fights instead of them in Donbass (in Ukraine)," one user wrote, while another satirical account tweeted: "Syria is ours."

  10. #210
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    With Idlib out of his grasp, Assad is losing badly. The Russians are NOT in Syria to fight ISIS https://twitter.com/ReutersWorld/sta...81544277946369

    Syrian Express---military cargo vessel----
    Ktachenko heading straight4 Tartous pic.twitter.com/h9U272821s

    Exactly. In 2012 Hizb arrived in a critical moment 4Assad, 3 years later Russia joins bcz Hizbollah & Iran militias rnt enuf

  11. #211
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    Second identified Russian combat unit that has fought as well in the Ukraine—appears Russia is sending only their combat experienced units—not simply trainers---

    The 810th Brigade's Marines in the Fields of Donbas:
    https://en.informnapalm.org/5314-the...lds-of-donbas/ … via @en_informnapalm pic.twitter.com/xjlL8T1p2G

    More Russian lies—as the BTR 82a has never been given to any country outside of the Russian Army----Trying to badly cover the Syrian combat video released that showed the 82a and Russians speaking in the combat video.

    Russian media quote sources in defense industry who confirm that Russia currently supplies RPGs, BTR-82a, Ural trucks & firearms to Assad

    Stratfor has the first recent satellite image of work on the airport of #Latakia (#Syria) https://twitter.com/hdevreij/status/641918522092855296

  12. #212
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    700+ Islamists left #Germany to join #ISIS, 100 were killed. Many are now returning, according to @KASonline report. http://www.kas.de/wf/doc/kas_42469-5...f?150909095551

    UAV-launched Mikholit? Haven't heard of any Israeli strikes against IS in Sinai @green_lemonnn pic.twitter.com/LJFWks42dK

    Satellite imagery reveals #Syria airport in #Latakia is being enlarged after Russian support - @moscow_ghost
    pic.twitter.com/7l7Ny2f69o

  13. #213
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    Notice more evidence of nothing but lip service by DoS Kerry---also further evidence of a lack of any strategic strategy whatsoever in the ME and to some degree confirms moves made by the WH are done so as to not damage the historical legacy.

    This again proves we are in a deep Wilsonian withdrawal phase of US foreign policy to the point of hiding behind the Atlantic and Pacific "walls" and letting the rest of the world do what it wants following the mantra "a US President cannot resolve all the world's problems". But wait is that not what one gets a Nobel Peace prize for??

    Appears as well that Obama, Kerry and the entire NSC fail to fully understand Putin's three geo political goals which he just expanded to actually four.

    1. discredit and damage NATO
    2. discredit and damage the EU
    3. totally disconnect the Us from Europe
    NOW the fourth one--
    4. totally disconnect the US from the ME

    Michael Weiss

    09.10.151:05 AM ET

    Putin Sends His Dirty War Forces to Syria

    The Kremlin isn’t sending just any troops to prop up the Assad regime. It’s dispatching units that spearheaded Russia’s slow-rolling invasion of Ukraine.

    Reuters confirmed Wednesday what The Daily Beast first reported last week—not only have Russian troops been deployed to Syria but they are indeed taking part in active combat operations, although against which of the manifold enemies of the Assad regime remains unclear.

    U.S. government sources told the news agency that two tank landing ships, aircraft and naval infantry forces have arrived in Syria in the past 24 hours, with the largest buildup occurring in Latakia, the northwest coastal province—ancestral home of the Assad family—which Islamist rebels have been fiercely contesting of late. Russia, Reuters confirmed, is constructing a new airfield in Latakia, which would represents its second military installation in Syria after its decades-old naval supply base in Tartus, also its only warm-water port since the end of the Soviet Union.

    One U.S. intelligence official told The Daily Beast that Moscow likely taken the decision to directly intervene in the four-and-a-half-year civil war following opposition gains, contrary to what Vladimir Putin told reporters last week—that any such talk was “premature.”

    “Russia’s military involvement raises a number of concerns, especially because it does not appear to be coordinated with the other countries operating in the area,” the official said. “It is not clear what Russian intends to actually do. However, Russia has generally not exercised restraint in military confrontations.”

    A oft-cited fear in the U.S. is that Russia won’t target ISIS, or only ISIS, but also Free Syrian Army rebels who may be working with the CIA or Pentagon.

    But what’s most interesting about this news isn’t that Putin has unilaterally decided to rescue his embattled client in Damascus—it’s the kind of Russian troops he’s using to do it. Some of them are from the same units that spearheaded Russia’s year-and-a-half-long dirty war in Ukraine, which may now be in abeyance.

    “It is not clear what Russian intends to actually do. However, Russia has generally not exercised restraint in military confrontations.”

    An investigation by Ruslan Leviev, a specialist in social-media intelligence, the soldiers are from the 810th Marine Brigade, which is based in Sevastopol, Crimea. The 810th is one of the few units of the Black Sea Fleet known to have played an active role in Russia’s military takeover of the Ukrainian peninsula 18 months ago.

    The deployment of an elite unit from Crimea, which inaugurated Russia’s standoff with the West, is an intriguing choice. Moscow has spent enormous resources moving troops into Crimea and eastern Ukraine over the past year. Moving even some of them out of the area to a different conflict zone, particularly one outside of Europe, gives the lie that sanctions and diplomatic isolation have forced the Kremlin into compromise; rather, Russia appears ready and willing to take on multiple wars at once.

    Doing so requires a delicate balancing of the ledger, however. Moscow’s belligerence in Syria coincided almost exactly with its (relative) enforcement of a year-old and serially violated ceasefire in Ukraine.

    Not that the war in the Donbas has stopped completely. On Tuesday, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe’s Monitoring Mission in Ukraine noted that in Schastye, a fulcrum town in Lugansk, one of the two regions occupied by pro-Russian rebels in east Ukraine, “16 explosions assessed as heavy artillery at a location south-west of its position” were recorded. Moreover, there were close to 100 more explosions registered in Donetsk City as “outgoing,” meaning fired by rebels. Oleksandr Turchynov, the secretary for Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council, has said that the lull in fighting is a feint by Russia to build up materiel and troops behind the front-line in preparation for another big offensive, which, he said, could occur “at any time,” though Turchynov doesn’t expect this to happen before the three-week U.N. General Assembly in New York, which starts on September 15.

    Indeed, as Reuters also reported today, Russia’s Defense Ministry is currently building a 6,000 square-meter military complex to house “3,500 soldiers, warehouses for rockets, artillery weapons, and other munitions” in Valuyki, a village about 15 miles away from Ukraine’s border. Bases such as these, NATO has alleged, are how Russia trains its proxies in Ukraine and keeps them steadily resupplied with tanks and anti-aircraft and radar guidance systems.

    Also telling is Putin’s move to call a snap drill of a reported 95,000 troops in the Central Military District—and to mobilize assets for it, including attack helicopters, in the Southern Military District, which abuts Ukraine. Significantly, the exercise includes airborne and air transport forces.

    The move comes just before the “Centre-2015” exercise, also to be held in the Central Military District, and also to include tens of thousands of troops. While such tests of readiness are not in themselves unusual in the Russian military, their effect is to give Russia a broad pool of forces able to move immediately, without having to provide any other explanation than, “It’s just an exercise.”

    Putin previously called just such an exercise on February 26, 2014, creating a massive and ready military force just four days after he had decided on the annexation of Crimea. At that time, his Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said almost exactly, “It’s just an exercise,” when questioned by observers.

    Moreover, one of relatively few units from outside the Central Military District to be named as taking part in the drill is the 98th air-assault division based in Ivanovo, east of Moscow. Elements of the 98th are known (PDF) to have fought in Ukraine, and to have sustained significant losses there. It is thus not just highly-trained but battle-hardened. If Putin had decided to reinforce Russia’s combat presence in Syria quickly, the 98th would be a logical choice.

    That Putin may be keeping one conflict frozen but oven-ready to start cooking another is also suggested in his diplomatic maneuvering and messaging in the last week. He has reportedly negotiated overflight rights to Syria for Russian military transport planes with Greece and with Iran and called for the creation of an “international coalition against terrorism and extremism,” to include the U.S., knowing that his definition of terrorism and extremism encompasses many American partners in Syria.

    Furthermore, building up a garrison in Syria absent any coordination with Washington but coinciding with talk of future coordination is a hallmark of a KGB president looking to get the better of his counterparts: establish a fait accompli, then negotiate the terms of the West’s surrender to it.

    Putin knows that the U.S. may be tacitly OK with seeing Russia directly safeguard “state institutions” in Damascus—i.e., the Syrian army and the security services responsible for the bulk of the country’ carnage—especially as ISIS creeps ever closer to the capital. He need only read U.S. newspapers, which cite anonymous White House officials objectively supporting Assad’s longevity, to glean as much. He also knows that calls for Russia to “stop arming and assisting and supporting Bashar al-Assad” can be met with an implied, “Yeah, yeah” because the U.S. will never come close to arming and support Assad’s opposition in a commensurate manner.

    Finally, anti-Americanism is now a central plank of Russian foreign policy which depicts Russia as the only nation brave enough to stand up to American hegemony. Rebuffing and outfoxing Washington is a now a national pastime.

    It was U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, after all, who went to Sochi last May to cinch Putin’s assistance in reanimating the corpse of a Syria peace process—and ended up criticizing Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko, a putative U.S. ally, while there. Now Putin has returned the executive gratitude by redoubling his support for Assad, and daring the U.S. to stop him. That he has done so quickly, and with the help of the Islamic Republic—another anti-American regime he’s meant to be helping the U.S. constrain—is just the cherry on top.

    As ever, the heads-I-win-tails-you-lose conundrum only pays off because the West is so willing to play along. Any number of European leaders have not so subtly indicated that they’d be quite happy to barter for an end to an older Russian war in Europe in exchange for a newer Russian war in the Middle East.
    Last edited by OUTLAW 09; 09-10-2015 at 12:26 PM.

  14. #214
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    Really good set of Russian social media photos along with the article------

    https://en.informnapalm.org/tartus-a...riendship-hub/

    Tartus As The Russian-Syrian Friendship Hub


    Everyone is talking about the ‘Russian-Syrian friendship escalation’ lately and we would like to explain what it is all about. More and more often the Russian servicemen are seen in Syria; the presence of the Russian weaponry was not a secret, but it seems to scale up nowadays. As it is well-known, Russia has the only base in the Mediterranean Sea – the 720th sustainment center of Russia’s naval forces, located in the Syrian Tartus harbor, where the support point of the Mediterranean squadron is deployed since 1971. However, after the USSR breakup Russians almost stopped any activities there, having just 4 employees and a repair team. It seemed to be a common case – there were plenty of abandoned military bases throughout Russia. But it was a little bit different here due to NATO countries presence and it was Russia’s only stronghold in the Mediterranean Sea – all that resulted in the fact that the base was not closed, and even it was planned to expand.

    GRU Major General Yuri Ivanov inspected the Tartus base in the end of 2010. But he never returned home – his body was found near a Turkish village. Was it an incident or ..?

    Then the civil war in Syria started in March, 2011. The rapid advancement of Islamists could have endangered the only Russian base in the Mediterranean. Therefore, the medias started to exaggerate rumors about Russia’s assistance the regime of Bashar Assad. Steshin and Kots, the ‘Komsomolskaya Pravda’ reporters, were choosen to calm down the general public. These are the same brave journalists whom we will know by Donbas reports.

    No matter how Russian authorities deny their participation in the Syrian conflict, the fact remains that the Russian ships started actively visit Tartus. And here comes ‘Nikolai Filchenkov’ – a landing platform/dock built in 1964-1975. An ‘old tub’, in fact, assigned to Russian Navy with main purpose to deliver cargoes. More information about LDPs in the Russian fleet can be found here (in Russian) – ‘According to experts, most LPDs will be decommissioned in coming 10 years‘.

    Of course, the Russians could use civil ships, but they would start sinking sooner or later. Just like general Ivanov. So, it was decided to use warships.

    This is ‘Nikolai Filchenkov’ carrying something to Syria in 2012-2013… The media frenzy calmed down, but according to the Russian seamen’s photos ‘Filchenkov’ used to call the port of Tartus on constant basis.

    From the article about the maintenance of ‘Nikolai Filchenkov’ and ‘Novorossiysk’ LPDs after the mission completion off the Syrian coast (published by the Russian state news agency ‘RIA Novosti’ in January, 2013): “According to him ‘Nikolai Filchenkov’ had made around 8 thousands sea miles for the last half a year, having passed the Bosporus strait for 10 times and the Dardanelles strait for 8 times”.

    Based on the information and comments in VKontakte public group “I served on LDP ‘Nikolai Filchenkov'” (archived): the ship regularly visited Syria starting from summer of 2012. And this year the LPD has been to the Mediterranean Sea for 3 times (in Russian): “The landing platform of the Russian Black Sea Fleet ‘Nikolai Filchenkov’ went to the Mediterranean Sea on its third combat service this year.“. Here are the photos of this ship passing the Bosporus in August, 2015:

    VKontakte stores 2 similar pictures of this warship – one made in September, 2015, and signed ‘Back to Syria’ and the other one from December, 2014, signed ‘do you remember our trip with paratroopers?’.

    Most of the photos of the Russian seamen in Tartus appeared between 2013 and 2015 – these were the moved marines from Sevastopol (occupied Crimea, Ukraine) and soldiers from Maykop (Republic of Adygea, Russia). The training for the case of… I think such case might happen soon (it looks like this is the photo of that boarding during the Syrian trip in Decemeber, 2013).

    Sailors of the following ships are the most frequent photo uploaders: landing ships ‘Nikolai Filchenko’, ‘Caesar Kunikov’ and ‘Novocherkassk’, submarine chaser ‘Severomorsk’, guard ship ‘Yaroslav Mudry’ and so on. As we can see, Tartus is visited by ships of the Black Sea, Baltic Sea and North fleets. One of the serviceman published the full training map as for December, 2014:

    Speaking in general, out of the Syrian context, we can easily understand the Russian military activities in the Mediterranean. Nevertheless, Russia openly stands for Bashar Assad in this war and the continuous attending Tartus by the Russian warships definitely will not stop the bloodshed in Syria. The role of Russia in this war becomes clear as never before when the Russian military equipment appears on the side of Assad’s army.

    Eventually, Russia supplies Assad’s regime with the weaponry and equipment through the Tartus outpost for the last 2-3 years. In such a situation the Middle East will long be restless. Refugee flows will occupy the minds of European bureaucrats and the general unrest in this oil-producing region will spur the price of oil.

    The press has long been rumored that Russian military experts are helping to keep the port of Latakia, which is located north of Tartus. However, the real purpose of the Russians – to keep Tartus at all costs. Slowly the rebels are getting closer to Latakia, and when it falls the next target would be the ‘Russian’ Tartus. The city of Homs is located 100 km to the East of Tartus and borders Islamic territories – in the worst case scenario Russians may loose Tartus in few hours.

    Russia has decided to get involved in the conflict to uphold their only stronghold in the Mediterranean Sea. The goal is clear, and the Russian marines will have to pay the price. Well, they do not have to get used to die for the imperial ambitions of their leaders.

    P.S. Could the former Ukrainian servicemen sided with the Russians in 2014 think that in a year they will have to die at Tartus and Homs in the interests of Putin? However, there is no sense to spare the traitors…

  15. #215
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    Syria: Head of Jaysh al Fath's Shari'a Council (Abdallah al-Muhaysini) from inside the Abu al-Duhur airbase in Idlib. pic.twitter.com/NUWJzlPJtN

  16. #216
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    I would not want to talk about Russian soldiers fighting in Syria either after “I stated it is too premature to talk about them to the entire world”.

    http://uk.businessinsider.com/the-kr...#ixzz3lL1qY3SD

    The Kremlin refuses to talk about Russian soldiers reportedly fighting in Syria

    Reuters

    Gabriela Baczynska, Reuters

    The Kremlin declined to comment on Thursday on whether Russian troops were fighting in Syria, after sources in Lebanon told Reuters that Russian forces had begun participating in military operations there.

    Bashar al-Assad's opponents in the West and among Gulf Arab states fear a considerable Russian military buildup is taking place in Syria to support the Syrian president.

    Moscow says all its military assistance to the Syrian army is in line with international law.

    "The threat coming from Islamic State is evident... The only force capable of resisting it is the Syrian armed forces," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, reiterating Russia's position that its long-time ally Assad should be part of international efforts to combat the ultra-hardline Islamists.

    Peskov said Putin would talk about Syria and Islamic State during his speech to the U.N. General Assembly in New York later this month.

    No meeting between Putin and U.S. President Barack Obama in New York has yet been scheduled, he said.

    On Wednesday, Russia said it had "military experts" on the ground. Two U.S. officials told Reuters that Moscow had delivered a small number of forces to Syria in recent days. Defence analysts in Moscow say Russian intelligence must also be present on the ground.

    Russia's respected Kommersant daily on Thursday said Moscow's advanced BTR-82A armoured personnel carriers were among arms supplied to Damascus.

  17. #217
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    Lavrov: 'Russian planes are sending to Syria both military equipment in accordance with current contracts and humanitarian aid'

    Russian officials make no secret of these arms transfers, saying all deliveries are carried out within the framework of pre-existing agreements. These shipments include Russia's S-300 long range surface-to-air missile systems.

    Notice these Russian officials quoted above made no mention of “humanitarian aid” as part of the shipments.

  18. #218
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    From my armchair I do wonder what role Russia envisages for its new expanded "boots on the ground" presence in Syria, alongside some form of air cover (fixed wing and armed helicopters).

    The civil war is not neat and tidy, so the Russians could be facing ISIS or other groups, some of whom are not Islamist extremists.

    Could the presence complicate if not prevent further use of Western air power, including the often mooted, yet to be seen "no fly zones"?

    At a minimum could the ground presence enable redeployment of the assad's regime reducing manpower? Around Latakia / Tartus taking on security duties and providing a QRF for example.

    If the Assad regime is reduced to holding only those areas where it has local popular support, might the Russian presence be to establish a "protected area" - a new mini-Syria?
    davidbfpo

  19. #219
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
    From my armchair I do wonder what role Russia envisages for its new expanded "boots on the ground" presence in Syria, alongside some form of air cover (fixed wing and armed helicopters).

    The civil war is not neat and tidy, so the Russians could be facing ISIS or other groups, some of whom are not Islamist extremists.

    Could the presence complicate if not prevent further use of Western air power, including the often mooted, yet to be seen "no fly zones"?

    At a minimum could the ground presence enable redeployment of the assad's regime reducing manpower? Around Latakia / Tartus taking on security duties and providing a QRF for example.

    If the Assad regime is reduced to holding only those areas where it has local popular support, might the Russian presence be to establish a "protected area" - a new mini-Syria?
    Many say Putin is not a strategist but in fact he is a shrewd one and this move is aimed directly at Obama and designed to reduce US creditability and power in the ME.

    He views Obama as a weak President and he has only until 2017 to put his strategy in play--of returning Russia to a superpower and to reduce ie throw the US out of Europe and the ME in order to reestablish his Russian zone of influence.

    What we are now seeing is what I would call the UW perfect storm--if we accept that there is a generalized UW strategy of non linear warfare being used by Russia, Iran, China and yes even IS we now see two of those practitioners in Syria driving on the same narrative--destroy US power and creditability in the ME.

    We are now with the Ukraine in a phase of international relations that will drive which way the 21st century is headed.

    Will the West allow any player that wants to be a superpower to use force and nuclear threats to redesign international norms and laws or will it remain true to the values that it preaches of the rule of law, good governance and transparency that a large number of different civil societies claim they want to emulate since 2011.

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomac...emium-1.675567

    Gili Cohen Sep 10, 2015 5:21 PM

    Israeli Defense Source: Hundreds of Iranian Troops in Syria Helping Assad

    Israel confirms Russian troops are operating in Syria, and are preparing to deploy Russian military aircraft near Latakia.

    A force of hundreds of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards have been deployed in Syria in order to aid Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime, an Israeli defense source said on Thursday.

    LithuaniaEmbassyUK @LTEMBASSYUK

    Flexing muscles: #Iskander-M ballistic systems in #Kaliningrad. #Russia’s military presence in Europe grows. pic.twitter.com/mCmZwR5tSU

    AND this today is the perfect example of Russia doublespeak--we started the "new Cold War" by annexing Crimea, invading in August 2014 eastern Ukraine and now flooding seasoned combat troops and aircraft along with Iranian IRGC into Syria.

    YET it is everyone else's fault not Russia.

    From the Russian owned state information war news media Sputnik:

    http://sputniknews.com/politics/2015...#ixzz3lM9xCs4a

    A new Cold War is totally unacceptable and would be a tragedy for the entire world, Maria Zakharova, spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, said.

    On Thursday, Zakharova held a live chat conversation on BBC. Within an hour and a half, she managed to answer 50-60 questions covering various topics.

    "That would be a disaster. There are a number of truly important global issues which must be resolved. They are terrorism, epidemics, refugees, and so on. We don’t have time for Cold Wars," she pointed out.

    She also underscored she does not believe that Russia is currently in isolation.

    "What is happening today is forcefully imposed rivalry and Russophobia. But blame politicians for that, not ordinary people. Why do they do it? It looks like there are a lot of reasons. And the main reason is stupidity," Zakharova said.

    Speaking on the Ukrainian crisis, the spokeswoman assumed that it is a result of the destructive policy by those who seized power in Kiev in 2014.
    Last edited by OUTLAW 09; 09-10-2015 at 05:14 PM.

  20. #220
    Council Member
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    Embarrassing when a social media open source analyst points out failures by a major company--

    Amateur Stratfor analysis. Claim year old Syrian water tower is 'new' 'aircraft control tower' #Eyeroll pic.twitter.com/UQAV4comrt

    @finriswolf Seriously? A (Russian) A/C control tower being built as far from a runway as possible & within slingshot range of a public road?

    Zabadani: After embarrassing Assad troops & Hizbollah 4almost 3 months, Iran now sending IRGC to the battle field to help Assad take over.

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