Russia says US is “pretending to fight ISIS”

Russian defense ministry spokesman Maj.-General Igor Konashenkov Tuesday accused the United States of deliberately reducing air strikes in Iraq, to allow the jihadists to stream across into eastern Syria and slow the Russian-backed advance of the Syrian army. As a result, ISIS in large numbers had reached Deir ez-Zour and were digging in on the left bank of the River Euphrates. The Russian spokesman said Syrian troops were in the midst of trying to push Islamic State out of the city of al-Mayadin, southeast of Deir al-Zor, but that ISIS was reinforcing its ranks there with “foreign mercenaries” pouring in from Iraq. Continue reading

Israeli intelligence denies first Russian S-300s arrive in Syria – contrary to Assad’s claim

Senior Israeli intelligence sources emphasized to debkafile Thursday May 30 that Syria had still not received the first consignment of Russian S-300 anti-missile batteries – contrary to Syrian President Bashar Assad’s claim.

Directly taunting Israel, Syrian president Bashar Assad said in an interview prerecorded for broadcast Thursday night, May 30, that the first batch of Russian S-300 anti-air missiles has arrived in Syria and a second consignment was on the way. The broadcast was scheduled to air simultaneously over Hizballah’s Al Manar and Syrian state television channels. Continue reading