Six Russian MiG-31 Foxhound interceptor aircraft from Moscow landed Tuesday, Aug. 18, at the Mezze Airbase situated in Damascus international airport, debkafile’s military and intelligence sources disclose. They were followed shortly after by giant An-124 Condor transports, which delivered 1,000 Kornet-9M133 third-generation anti-tank guided missiles.
The Russian airlift of advanced weapons for Bashar Assad’s army will last for several days. It betokens Moscow’s intention to keep up its support for the Syrian ruler and counter – by military means if necessary – any secret Iranian diplomatic machinations for terminating the Syria war and with it the Assad regime – such as have been reported in the past week in Western and Arab capitals, especially in the Gulf. Continue reading
Russia is printing bank notes and sending them by the plane load to Syria to help the besieged regime pay its soldiers and civil servants, a new report suggests.
Flight records obtained by the investigative website ProPublica showed that at least 120 and up to 240 tons of bank notes were delivered during a ten-week period between July and September.
On eight round-trip trips between Moscow’s Vnukovo airport and Damascus international airport, the “Type of Cargo” is listed as “Bank – Notes (30 Ton)”. Neither their denomination nor value was specified however.
Seven of the eight Syria Air flights were confirmed through international plane-tracking services, photographs from amateur plane-spotters and official air traffic control records.
Each manifest detailed a circuitous route over Iran and Iraq, countries that are friendly to the Syrian regime, rather than the most direct route over Turkey, which has become a foe of President Bashar al-Assad. Continue reading
NICOSIA — Iran was said to have poured thousands of elite troops
The Syrian opposition said thousands of members of Iran’s Islamic
Revolutionary Guard Corps have arrived in Syria. Opposition sources said the Iranian troops came from special operations units, with many of them skilled in sniper and explosives.
Al Oqueidi, chairman of the rebel military council in Aleppo, said the
Iranians were meant to replace the tens of thousands of Sunni who deserted the Syrian Army. He said at least 3,000 of the IRGC troops were trained in sniper missions.
The Iranians were said to have been participating in Assad military
campaigns in both Aleppo and Damascus. In Aleppo, an estimated 20,000 Syrian Army troops were awaiting orders to invade the nation’s business capital and largest city.
The military has reported that it regained control over the Damascus
area. In an unusual move, the Army led a tour for journalists of former
rebel positions on Aug. 3.
“We have cleansed all the districts of Damascus, from Al Midan to Mazeh,
from Al Hajar Al Aswad to Qadam to Tadamun,” a Syrian Army officer said.
The Free Syrian Army said many of the IRGC personnel in Syria were in
civilian clothes. FSA said it captured 48 IRGC officers outside Damascus
International Airport disguised as pilgrims and part of a 150-man
“During the investigation, we found that some of them were officers of
IRGC,” an FSA officer said in a video statement. “They were on a
reconnaissance mission in Damascus.”
Full article: Iran to the rescue: Thousands of special ops troops said arriving in Syria (World Tribune)