How Russia Expedited Syria’s Victory

 

On Monday, Vladimir Putin unexpectedly interrupted his journey to Egypt, stopping off at Russia’s Hmeymim airbase in Syria and announcing the windup of Russia’s most successful military campaign abroad. Thousands of combat sorties have been flown, tens of thousands of terrorists and their infrastructure have been destroyed, and hundreds of Syrian cities and towns have been liberated. We have previously published accounts of how Russian pilots, special ops, marines, doctors, and diplomats spent two years helping the lawful president of Syria, Bashar al-Assad, hold his country together and rid it of terrorists.

Russia enters the conflict

By the fall of 2015, the war in Syria had already dragged on for four long years. The mass anti-government demonstrations that began in March 2011 had quickly escalated into skirmishes with the military. And terrorist factions immediately “hijacked” these popular protests. Soon, the leading role in the battle against the ruling regime was being played by extremists from the Islamic State, Jabhat Al Nusra, Al-Qaeda, and many factions within what has been called the “moderate opposition” – mainly in the Free Syrian Army that has been so championed by the West. Continue reading

Saudi Arabia says it’s ‘Ready to Send Ground Troops’ to Syria

[Mosa’ab Elshamy/AP]

 

Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister, Adel al-Jubeir, has said the kingdom is ready to send ground troops to Syria to “fight ISIS” following the meeting between US Senator John McCain and the Saudi King, Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.

The Saudi foreign minister said Saudi forces could battle ISIS alongside US special forces in Syria, Süddeutsche Zeitung repoted on Tuesday.

Saudi Arabia is a long-term supporter of various radical jihadi groups, including Jabhat Fatah al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra, the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda), opposing the Syrian government.

Any involvement of Saudi forces in the conflict in Syria will clearly lead to the escalation of the war. Continue reading

Missiles for the Jihad

DAMASCUS/BERLIN (Own report) – Berlins demands for a renewed ceasefire are being accompanied by reports of the possible initiation of a program to supply insurgents in Aleppo with man portable anti-aircraft missiles. The Syrian government and Moscow must immediately return to a ceasefire, admonished German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The combat in Aleppo is intolerable. Even though the combat is becoming increasingly gruesome, the ceasefire had been doomed to fail from the beginning, because important insurgent militias – partisans of the West – rejected it and continued their combat. They even refused to accept a key element of the ceasefire, rejecting the demand that they halt their collusion with al Qaeda and its Syrian affiliate, the Jabhat al Nusra / Jabhat Fatah al Sham. That demand was considered particularly important because, as experts have been warning for months, al Qaeda is establishing a jihadi emirate in northern Syria. Confronted with the eventuality that the Syrian army may recapture Aleppo, Washington is now considering supplying man portable air defense systems, or “MANPADS,” to insurgents allied with al Nusra – similar to the ones the US had previously provided the mujahidin fighting the Soviet military in Afghanistan. The German government remains silent because its own preferences will benefit – even though the missiles could wind up in the hands of al Qaeda.

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Washington is letting the Russians win in Syria

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Just days after the deadline set by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry for President Bashar Assad to begin a political transition in Syria, fighting is raging in Aleppo, the last urban stronghold of the rebels opposed to the regime. The United States, however, is not coming to their rescue, because the wrong kind of rebels are involved in the battle. In terms of helping to end the war, the U.S. inaction may be worse than the scenario touted by Donald Trump — an alliance with Russia to defeat Islamic State — but it’s more politically acceptable. Continue reading

Matt Drudge: ‘America has been arming ISIS’

If you’ve been following Global Geopolitics for the last two years or so, this would be a no-brainer. The good news is that the mainstream picked up on it.

 

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Rare tweet by media giant alludes to sinister Obama policy

Matt Drudge’s first tweet in months came with a cryptic message: “A shocking truth is unfolding: America has been arming ISIS.”

The Obama administration has been plagued for weeks over news U.S. weapons supplied to Syrian rebels were inadvertently winding up in the hands of terror groups. The media giant’s tweet on Tuesday alludes to something far more sinister.

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Cynical Options

Out of all this mess, nobody is certain exactly what’s going to happen next. However, one thing is certain: Damascus will fall.

Whether it’s today, tomorrow or next year, by bombs and sudden war or slow destruction, Isaiah 17:1 will absolutely be fulfilled.

 

DAMASCUS/NEW YORK/BERLIN (Own report) – In New York, Germany’s foreign minister will take part in talks this week to seek possible alignments of interests between the major powers in reference to the war in Syria. Parallel developments have made it appear advisable for western powers to accept ending – or at least freezing – the war. Russia has grown stronger and can no longer be ignored in Middle East affairs. Simultaneously, the US administration would like to proceed with its announced global political “pivot to Asia” and would like to avoid over-stretching its forces in the Middle East quagmire – as the Bush administration had done. Berlin, and the rest of the EU are currently doing everything to halt the flow of refugees. It can no longer be afforded to bleed Syria dry with this war, according to one author. A similar alignment of interests would already have been possible back in February 2012, reported the diplomat and former President of Finland, Martti Ahtisaari. At the time, according to his account, Russia had proposed to the West that the Syrian government and opposition reach an agreement, following a period of grace, President Bashar al Assad would be forced to step down. According to Ahtisaari, the West, turned down the proposition, based on the assumption of Assad’s assured overthrow and a complete takeover of Syria. Berlin also followed this line of action. The theme discussed in the current talks resemble Moscow’s proposition at that time – three and a half years and hundreds of thousands of deaths later.

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Petraeus accuses Putin of trying to re-establish Russian Empire

Washington (CNN) One of America’s top former generals compared the situation in Syria Tuesday to a historic nuclear disaster, implicitly criticizing the U.S. for allowing it to worsen, and accused Russia’s President of trying to re-establish an empire.

Retired Gen. David Petraeus, testifying before the Senate Armed Service Committee, also recommended that the U.S. establish safe zones for Sunnis inside Syria and potentially put American boots on the grounds in Iraq to stop the spread of ISIS.

The former commanding general of U.S. forces in both Iraq and Afghanistan equated the situation in Syria today with one of the most deadly nuclear accidents in history. Continue reading

Top German Diplomat Calls for Bundeswehr Engagement in Syria

BERLIN (Own report) – Wolfgang Ischinger, Chairman of the Munich Security Conference, is calling for the Bundeswehr’s deployment in Syria. It is high time, to discuss “seriously” the creation of so-called safe havens and “no-fly zones in and around Syria,” according to Ischinger. This “of course” would call for the participation of the German Armed Forces and in relationship to the deployment of ground forces, “nothing can be ruled out.” Ischinger is also providing justification for going to war. Whereas Syria has been submerged in war, because of the arms supplies furnished by the West and its regional allies to insurgent militias – including Al Qaeda and the “Islamic State” (IS), this influential diplomat claims that the current “conflagration” is the consequence of Western non-intervention. These war plans are, however, a reaction to Russia’s growing influence also in the Middle East. In recent months, Moscow has been holding extensive negotiations in view of settling the Syrian war. In his speech before the UN General Assembly on September 28, President Putin is expected to propose a new anti-IS coalition, with inclusion of the Syrian government. Therefore, in the framework of the Western Alliance, Berlin would like to counter Russia’s growing role in international politics.

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Syria civil war: Russian reinforcements arrive as al-Qaeda-linked rebels crush President Assad’s army in Idlib

Russian tank landing ships, aircraft and troops were claimed to have arrived in Syria to bolster the flagging regime of Bashar al-Assad, as the last remaining Syrian army base in Idlib province fell to al-Qaeda-linked rebels after a two-year siege.

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Russian troops ‘fighting alongside Assad’s army against Syrian rebels’

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Russian troops are fighting alongside pro-Assad forces in Syria, state television in Damascus and several reports have claimed.

The video footage claimed to show troops and a Russian armoured vehicle fighting Syrian rebels alongside President Bashar al-Assad’s troops in Latakia.

It is reportedly possible to hear Russian being spoken by the troops in the footage.

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Obama Administration Unprepared if Assad Falls

U.S. training program for Syrian rebels criticized as slow, ineffective

The Obama administration has yet to outline a strategy for responding to the potential downfall of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, even as his hold on power grows tenuous in the fourth year of a civil war.

President Obama has so far avoided intervening in the Syrian war, which he says is a fulfillment of his pledge to not become ensnared in another land conflict in the Middle East. He sided against his top advisers in 2012 when he declined to arm the nationalist rebels battling Assad, and he reversed a decision in 2013 to strike the Syrian regime after it was accused of launching a chemical weapons attack that killed almost 1,500 people. The administration later reached a deal with Russia to remove much of Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile. Continue reading

China Knife Attack Suspects Linked To ISIS; Some Chinese Extremists Returning From Middle East, Communist Party Boss Says

News reports suggest that Chinese extremists with links to the Islamic State group were responsible for a knife attack at a rail station in China last week. The news comes as the Communist Party boss for the far western Xinjiang province, which borders several Middle East countries, announced that several Chinese extremists were returning to the country after fighting with the so-called Islamic State abroad. Continue reading

Islamic State To Target Saudi Arabia Next

The meteoric rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, which has since styled itself the Islamic State in an affirmation of its broader aspirations of dominion over a self-declared caliphate beyond the territories where it exercises control, has aggravated the Middle East’s already treacherous geopolitical landscape. Having emerged out of conflict and instability in Iraq and Syria, the Islamic State has arguably matched or otherwise exceeded the capabilities of fellow extremist groups such as al-Qaeda, its regional affiliates and other violent Islamist organizations. Despite its recent setbacks—notably in Syria’s Kurdish-majority town of Kobane (a.k.a. Ayn al-Arab), located in the northern Aleppo province—the Islamic State has demonstrated an impressive ability to capture, control and consolidate its hold on territory and sustain its insurgent and support cadres. It also operates a sophisticated information and propaganda wing that exploits social media as a force multiplier alongside its scorched earth campaign. It has also drawn support from independent sympathizers and ideological allies throughout the broader Middle East and around globe—including among locally focused extremist factions in Afghanistan, Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Pakistan and Yemen. These attributes are reminiscent of al-Qaeda’s at the pinnacle of its influence. However, they also reflect the simmering competition between the Islamic State and its al-Qaeda precursor as well as the latter’s regional affiliates such as Jabhat al-Nusra (Terrorism Monitor, February 20). The Islamic State’s increasingly strident discourse and threats also illustrate its rising ambitions; in addition to confronting the incumbent regimes in Iraq and Syria and rival militants and insurgents, the Islamic State has an ambitious set of goals that include challenging Saudi Arabia. Continue reading

Russian spy base in Syria used to monitor rebels and Israel seized

In the video footage logos of Syrian intelligence and Russian military intelligence can be seen on posters hung up on the wall. Photo: Youtube

 

Syrian rebels have seized a joint Russian-Syrian spy base which was used to gather intelligence on the movements of rebel groups and Israel.

Located in southern Syria close to the Israel border, the base on the Tel Al Hara mountain known as ‘Centre C’ by Russian intelligence was taken over by the Free Syrian Army – the largely moderate, Western-backed rebel group – on Sunday.

The capture of the base, which was abandoned prior to the rebels’ arrival, came after weeks of fierce fighting involving Syrian government troops as well as Jabhat al-Nusra, al-Qaeda’s Syrian branch.

In video footage of the base released by the Free Syrian Army, a rebel officer is shown pointing out maps, photographs and information in Russian and Arabic, as well as the logos of Syrian intelligence and Russian military intelligence (GRU), which deals with signal intelligence.

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Islamic State fighters seize key Syria oilfield after rival faction switches allegiance

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LONDON — The extremist Sunni jihadist group that declared a caliphate in parts of Syria and Iraq has seized control of one of Syria’s most important oilfields after fighters from other factions switched their allegiance to support it.

In a crucial strategic advance for the Islamic State (IS), the organization that is tearing Iraq apart, anti-government rebels in Syria who had been loyal to the rival Jabhat al-Nusra switched sides, handing over Al-Omar oilfield, which has the potential to produce up to 75,000 barrels of oil a day.

The development represents a huge step up for the group — formerly known as the Islamic State of Syria & Al-Sham (ISIS) — in its struggle against Al-Nusra, which is backed by Al-Qaeda but regards the new grouping as dangerously extremist.

This means its caliphate now stretches from Deir al-Zour, central Syria, to Abukamel on the Iraqi border. Within neighbouring Iraq, to the east, it holds the cities of Mosul and Tikrit, has free rein in Anbar province and is threatening to attack Baghdad. Continue reading