Russian paratroops move to Syrian border triangle

Military tensions on Syria’s borders with Iraq, Jordan and Syria jumped another notch Monday, May 21, on Day 2 of Donald Trump’s foreign trip, with the arrival of the first Russian ground troops in southern Syria for taking up position opposite US and coalition elite units.

DEBKAfile’s military sources report that, as the US president was preparing to cap his two hectic days in the Saudi capital with a major speech on Islam, before flying to Jerusalem, a Russian contingent of paratroops and special forces arrived at Suweida. It linked up with the Syrian army, Hizballah and other pro-Iranian allies already poised to take on the US, Jordanian, British and Norwegian elite units for control of the strategic 600km long Syrian-Iraqi border and its key crossings. Continue reading

Killing C.I.A. Informants, China Crippled U.S. Spying Operations

An honor guard outside the Great Hall of the People in Beijing last month. The Chinese government killed or imprisoned 18 to 20 C.I.A sources from 2010 through 2012. Credit Wang Zhao/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

 

WASHINGTON — The Chinese government systematically dismantled C.I.A. spying operations in the country starting in 2010, killing or imprisoning more than a dozen sources over two years and crippling intelligence gathering there for years afterward.

Current and former American officials described the intelligence breach as one of the worst in decades. It set off a scramble in Washington’s intelligence and law enforcement agencies to contain the fallout, but investigators were bitterly divided over the cause. Some were convinced that a mole within the C.I.A. had betrayed the United States. Others believed that the Chinese had hacked the covert system the C.I.A. used to communicate with its foreign sources. Years later, that debate remains unresolved.

But there was no disagreement about the damage. From the final weeks of 2010 through the end of 2012, according to former American officials, the Chinese killed at least a dozen of the C.I.A.’s sources. According to three of the officials, one was shot in front of his colleagues in the courtyard of a government building — a message to others who might have been working for the C.I.A. Continue reading

Iraqi officers land in Syria, stir Israeli concern

Iraq switching sides to the Iranian-Syrian-Russian axis is now official:

 

Israeli security chiefs were gravely concerned Wednesday, May 17, when they learned that a high-ranking Iraqi military delegation had arrived in Damascus, the first in decades during which the Iraqi and Syrian ruling regimes were at odds, for a discussion on the situation unfolding on the Syrian-Iraqi border – in particular the Al-Tanf crossing.

DEBKAfile’s military sources reported on May 15 and May 16 on the potential for a clash of arms over this strategic crossing, which is situated at the intersection of the Jordanian, Iraq, and Syrian borders and commands the No.1 Route linking Baghdad with Damascus and the Jordanian capital of Amman. Continue reading

Space Wars? Moscow Seeking ‘Qualitative Parity’ With Washington – US Intel Chief

 

“Moscow is pursuing a wide range of nuclear, conventional, and asymmetric capabilities designed to achieve qualitative parity with the United States,” Coats told the US Senate Intelligence Committee. “These capabilities will give Moscow more options to counter US forces and weapons systems.”

On April 20, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said the country was developing hypersonic weapons on par with the United States. Continue reading

Turkey Seeks Advanced S-400 Anti-Air Missiles From Russia

Russian S-400 air defense missile systems roll along Red Square during a rehearsal for the Victory Day military parade in Moscow, on May 7, 2017. Ivan Sekretarev/AP

 

Turkey and Russia are haggling over the price for Turkey’s purchase of advanced long-range S-400 anti-air missiles, billed as F-35 killers by Moscow.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan agreed on the outlines of an S-400 deal in May 3 meetings in the Black Sea resort town of Sochi. Continue reading

Turkey Turns To Russia’s Most Advanced Air Defense System Instead Of Buying From NATO

Turkey has declared itself an enemy of not only NATO by purchasing Chinese military hardware, but an enemy of America when it decided to hold American soldiers hostage at Incirlik airbase… and more than once.

What Turkey is now doing is strengthening their defense positions in preparation of jumping ship from the western alliance and in turn jumping on board the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, Russia and China’s world-war axis and counterweight to NATO and the West.

For further information, see the following articles:

US combat units on “high alert” after Incirlik surrounded

TURKEY TO U.S.: “Give Turkey Your Nuclear Weapons at Incirlik Air Base or Turkey will Take Them!”

Reports Turkish troops have sealed off Incirlik US/NATO nuclear air base

Erdogan locks US airmen, nuclear arms in Incirlik

Ankara threatens to ground US fighters at key Turkish air base

U.S. Nukes at Turkish Airbase at Risk of Being Seized by ‘Hostile Forces,’ Report Says

Turkey could choose China’s missile defense system by end of year: report

Ankara’s move to Chinese air systems appals NATO allies

 

Russian S-400 Triumph medium-range and long-range surface-to-air missile systems drive during the Victory Day parade, marking the 71st anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany in World War Two, at Red Square in Moscow, Russia, May 9, 2016. REUTERS/Grigory Dukor

 

NATO ally Turkey is in the midst of finalizing a deal with Russia to purchase the S-400 air defense system, as tensions between the U.S.-European alliance and the Kremlin are reaching a fever pitch.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan are expected to discuss the S-400 contract during a visit to Sochi, Russia, on May 3, according to Turkish Defense Minister Fikri Isik.

“I suppose after Erdogan’s talks with Putin a joint decision will be made on further steps for purchasing Russia’s missile system,” said Isik, as quoted in Russia’s TASS news agency Monday. Continue reading

The Sanctions Debate

BERLIN/MOSCOW (Own report) – In the prelude to Chancellor Merkel’s visit to Russia, German business associations and foreign policy experts are urging that the policy of sanctions be ended. They argue that sanctions practically have become ineffective, since Russia’s economy has withstood these trade restrictions and is now even recovering. The boycott has also damaged the EU’s image and that of the USA in Russia and, even though intended to weaken, it has helped to stabilize the Russian government. Moreover, Russian orders, that German businesses had once expected, were increasingly going to competitors, for example in China – and are ultimately lost. However, German economists still see Russia as a lucrative market. According to an analysis by the Bertelsmann Foundation and Munich’s ifo Institute, a free-trade agreement between the EU and the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), congregated around Russia, would generate a growth of 45 billion euros. Government advisors recommend that the sanctions policy be gradually ended. This would not eliminate the prospect that Moscow, at any time, could be forced to its knees with an arms race. Continue reading

Russian Senator: U.K. Will be ‘Wiped off the Face of the Earth’ if it uses Nuclear Weapons

You can read further about Michael Fallon’s comments in yesterday’s post:

Britain could use ‘nuclear weapons as a first strike’

 

The mushroom cloud from the first hydrogen bomb test, as photographed on Enewetak, an atoll in the Pacific Ocean, in 1952, by a member of the United States Air Force. Russia has begun developing the R-28 Sarmat or Satan 2, which could produce a nuclear charge of at least 40 megatons, or four times that of the first hydrogen bomb. AIR FORCE/REUTERS

 

A senior Russian politician responded aggressively Monday to comments by the U.K.’s defense minister suggesting pre-emptive use of nuclear weapons against Russia is an option for London, claiming the U.K. would be completely annihilated by Russia’s nukes in response.

Russia’s Frants Klintsevich, who heads the defense and security committee in Moscow’s upper house of parliament, said the U.K. would be “literally wiped off the face of the Earth by a counter strike.” Earlier that day, U.K. Defense Minister Michael Fallon said during a radio show that the U.K. could consider a preemptive nuclear attack amid recent political tensions between Russia and Western governments, according to The Moscow Times. Fallon said the U.K.’s military would only make combat use of its Trident nuclear program in extenuating circumstances, but refused to say exactly what those conditions would be. Continue reading

US THAADs to South Korea. China launches carrier

Please see the source for the video.

 

The US early Wednesday, April 26, began moving the THAAD missile defense system to central South Korea opposite the border with the North – months ahead of schedule. A South Korean military official said two road-mobile launchers had arrived at the Osan Air Base. One THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense) unit includes six launchers.

Later Wednesday, all 100 US senators are scheduled to gather at the White House for a briefing by US security and military chiefs on the North Korean crisis, as the buildup to meet North Korean belligerence continues apace.

Continue reading

Russia sends aircrafts to SPY on Canadian military bases as relations deteriorate

Russia Canada spy plane military

The nuclear-capable planes were identified 700 nautical miles southwest of Anchorage [Getty]

 

RUSSIA is sending aircrafts to spy on Canadian military facilities as relations between Moscow and the West continue to deteriorate.

The unarmed planes conducted a five-day aerial surveillance mission across Canada, ending on Saturday.

Their instructions include taking photos and documenting the country’s military institutions and Canadian Forces bases.

The mission is being carried out under the Treaty on Open Skies, signed by Russia, Canada and 32 other countries in 1992, which allows each members to inspect others’ military capabilities and activities to foster an atmosphere of mutual trust.  Continue reading

Russia Hopes Iran’s SCO Membership Process Starts in June – Foreign Minister

https://cdn3.img.sputniknews.com/images/104183/30/1041833099.jpg

© Photo: Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation

 

ASTANA (Sputnik) — Moscow hopes that Iran’s Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) membership process would be launched in June, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Friday. Continue reading

Syria moves all its fighter jets to Russian base

 

Syria has moved all its fighter aircraft to the Russian Hmeimim air base in Latakia three weeks after 59 US Tomahawk cruise missiles knocked out one-fifth of its air force at the Shayrat base, in retaliation for a chemical attack on civilians in Idlib. This was reported Wednesday night, April 19, by the Pentagon. The Russian high command in Syria has its seat at that base.

debkafile’s military sources report that the Syrian air force will operate henceforth under Russian protection and behind the advanced Russian S-300 and S-400 air defense shield without fear of US reprisals. Continue reading

Russian bombers fly near Alaska; Air Force scrambles jets

A pair of Russian nuclear-capable bombers flew near Alaska Monday night, two U.S. officials told Fox News, coming as close as 100 miles from Kodiak Island — the first time since President Trump took office that Moscow has sent bombers so close to the U.S.

The two Russian Tu-95 “Bear” bombers flew roughly 280 miles southwest of Elmendorf Air Force Base, within the Air Defense Identification Zone of the United States. Continue reading

Russia: ‘Trump is more impulsive and unpredictable’ than NK

Russia: ‘Trump is more impulsive and unpredictable’ than NK

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin gestures during an interview with Time magazine in the presidential residence Novo-Ogaryovo outside Moscow

 

According to Dmitry Kiselyov, the Kremlin’s top TV mouthpiece, it isn’t going to be the evil dictator Kim Jong-Un who could possibly bring about WW3. The opinion of Russian TV outlets is that, Donald Trump is the wildcard that could spark the next war. Continue reading

Russia to modernize weaponry for Crimea, Arctic forces

 

The Kremlin plans to modernize weaponry and equipment issued to Russian forces in Crimea and the Arctic regions.

Russian defense officials disclosed the move during a Defense Ministry Board meeting in Moscow on Wednesday. Discussions focused on an armament program set to take place from 2018 through 2025. Continue reading