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Russian Expeditionary Force in Syria?

by Pat Lang
Russian Expeditionary Force in Syria?
01 September 2015
“Although Russia sees Assad as “spent,” Moscow still does not want to see the regime crumble. But it seems unwilling to insert itself into Syria’s geopolitical nightmare, at a huge political and economic cost, to support a figure that it ultimately believes is on the way out.
“It is willing to see a settlement in which Assad goes into honorable exile, likely in Russia itself,” Galeotti said. “Obviously Russia would not want the regime to fall, but what can they really do? The Russians could surge in Damascus, say approximately 5,000 troops. But they’re actually probably deploying and cycling as many troops as they can in Donbas [eastern Ukraine] without overstretch.””

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/russia-assad-syria-civil-war-2015-9#ixzz3kVykgPU6
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“In the coming weeks thousands of Russian military personnel are set to touch down in Syria, including advisors, instructors, logistics personnel, technical personnel, members of the aerial protection division, and the pilots who will operate the aircraft.

Past reports have stated that the Russians were in talks to sell the Syrians a package of MiG-29 fighter jets, and Yak-130 trainer jets (which can also serve as attack aircraft.) The current makeup of the expeditionary force is still unknown, but there is no doubt that Russian pilots flying combat missions in Syrian skies will definitely change the existing dynamics in the Middle East.” YNET
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4696268,00.html
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“The Patriot missiles had been installed by NATO in Turkey as from January 2013, in order to prevent the Syrian Air Force from deploying on the frontier. As a result, the jihadists of the al-Nusra Front (al-Qaïda) were able to seize the North of the country, and as from the summer of 2014, this no-fly zone was occupied by the Islamic Emirate.
Thus, during the battle of Kobane, the Syrian Air Force were unable to bomb the Islamic Emirate, and Syria was obliged to attempt a land attack to save the city. Since it was unable to advance the last thirty kilometres, the Atlantist Press presented the Kurdish forces of the YPG as being independent of Damascus, although the Syrian Arab Republic had supplied it with weapons and was paying its soldiers.
The Patriot missiles, initially deployed by Germany and Holland, are today German and Spanish. They will first of all be revised and modernised, then redeployed in Lithuania, at the Russian frontier.” Voltairenet
http://www.voltairenet.org/article188522.html
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I can’t confirm any of this yet – Soon. It makes a lot of sense to me in this situation. If there is real WH consent to this, then that is indicative of 1- weakening Israeli/AIPAC policy power in the US government. Bibi and company have wanted Assad destroyed in order to pursue their vendetta against Hizbullah and Iran 2- USMC General (ret.) Allen will probably soon be gone having made a fool’s bargain with Erdogan in which Erdogan completely duped him into supporting Erdogan’s war against Kurds (America’s allies) 3- The NATO installation of Patriot missiles on the Turkish/Syrian border assisted the Nusra led Islamist and other rebels to occupy Idlib Province and the area between Aleppo and the Turkish border north of the city. How? NATO in effect provided air defense for the rebels against the Syrian Air Force who might have prevented the takeover. The Western media and the R2Pers also bear responsibility for this through constant propaganda about “barrel bombs,” and “chlorine gas.”
In a related matter, it appears that David Petraeus, the disgraced four star general (one of the Great Captains according to Joe Scarborough) still has an audience among the cretins in the NSC staff and State Department. He is pushing the idea that the US should back the “moderates” in the Nusra Front (al-Qa’ida) That these people are the sworn enemies of the US means nothing to him. I wonder where he got that “idea.”
Russian Expeditionary Force in Syria – Part 2
03 September 2015
“Just how far is Russia prepared to go to back the Syrian regime of President Bashar al-Assad?
Recent sightings of brand new Russian armoured vehicles in Syria, of types never previously supplied to its ally, suggest that with the Assad regime suffering serious reverses, Moscow is intent on redressing the military balance.
On 20 August, a heavily-laden Alligator class landing ship of the Russian Navy, the Nikolay Filchenkov, was seen passing southwards through the Bosphorus.
On board, according to experts who have analysed the images, were trucks and armoured vehicles.
The ship was believed to be on its way to Syria.” BBC
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-34131573
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I suppose that the BBC’s people qualify as “real journalists.”
I have been probing the available access in Washington and New York and the following points have emerged:
– The US Government believes that Russia has decided to raise the level of its intervention and risk in the Syrian Civil War.
– The ultimate scope and size of that increased role are unclear as yet.
– Russian motivation for this increased role is directly related to Russian discontent with Iran’s focus in Syria.
Russia sees a need to maintain the existence of the government of the state of Syria believing that the alternative to the present multi-confessional dictatorship would not be a secular and liberal regime. The Russian belief is that the inevitable replacement government would be another jihadi state run by IS or Nusra (AQ)
Russia believes that Iran in its efforts in Syria is not sufficiently focused on the absolute need for governmental survival with or without Bashar Assad. The Russians believe that the Iranians in their policy and power projection in Syria are more concerned with protection of the Shia population of Lebanon than with the survival of secular government in Syria. To that end the IRGC Quds force in Syria and their Lebanese Hizbullah allies are intent on holding the line of the anti-Lebanon range against Sunni jihadi invasion of Lebanon. This is reflected in the recent maximum effort by these Shia forces and to some extent the Lebanese Army in the Qalamoun sector and especially around the town of Zabadani.
The media often describe the Alawi sect as Shia. It is not. The sect represents beliefs and doctrines so heterodox that they can only be described by orthodox Sunni or Shia ‘ulema (scholars) as heretical. The Syrian constitution had to be modified to allow the elder Assad to be president because the constitution required that the president be a Muslim and the opinion of all but the Alawis was that Alawis are not Muslims let alone Shia. The present Syrian government while multi-confessional is dominated by Alawis. The Iranians are acutely aware of this.
– To rectify this situation the Russians will increase their “stake” in the survival of the Syrian government. It is believed that the Russian will introduce air units to provide close air support for the Syrian Army. The Russians will build another maritime facility in the Latakia area on the Syrian coast in the heart of Alawi home territory. This facility could have many useful functions but the need for Russian possession of sufficient throughput for sea transported goods in an expanded Russian presence is obvious. Air transported supply for a large presence is never sufficient.
– The Israeli Air Force has been engaged in providing air support to the Nusra (AQ) led rebel forces south of Damascus. The situation of these rebels is now complicated by the entry of IS forces in the southern Damascus suburbs. They came in from the east and are now as much engaged in fighting the Nusra Front led rebels as they are in fighting Syrian government forces.
-The entry of Russian air units into this struggle south of Damascus will present significant de-confliction problems between them and the Israelis.
– It is increasingly clear that the mere presence of NATO manned Patriot air defense missiles in Hatay Province in Turkey was a significant factor in enabling the Nusra (AQ) jihadi capture of Idlib Province in Syria and that portion of Aleppo Province north of Aleppo city. The mechanism for this effect is easy to understand. Patriot battery radars reach far across the border between Turkey and Syria. Syrian Air Force aircraft entering that space are “painted” by these radars. For any pilot, to be painted by the target acquisition radars of an air defense battery is a profoundly discouraging experience. as a result Syrian air did not play a major role in holding back jihadi advances in the area. This is, of course, precisely what Erdogan had in mind in demanding NATO air defense of Turkey’s border.
– The Obama Administration continues to demonstrate an inability to comprehend the simple truth that life and policy making are both things that require the ability to choose between unpalatable alternatives. In this case the WH, NSC and State Department continue to insist that their desires to destroy Assad’s government AND to destroy IS are compatible.
-It is increasingly clear that President Obama is disengaged from foreign policy and concentrating on what he sees as his revolutionary domestic agenda. His victory over Bibi/AIPAC in the Iran nuclear deal fracas is likely to be his last serious foreign policy action. The foreign policy apparat is running on auto-pilot and is in the hands of incompetents like General Allen. It is reported to me that every interagency foreign policy meeting in the WH begins with a a competitive harangue against Putin and the Russians in what has become a mythic self-generated “struggle” against an imagined rival. In that atmosphere the ultimate US reaction to increased Russian activity n Syria can nor be predicted.
Pat Lang is a veteran US intelligence professional

http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2015/08/httpwwwynetnewscomarticles07340l-469626800html.html
http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2015/09/httpwwwbbccomnewsworld-europe-34131573.html

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