Russia, Iran prepare multi-level response for US-led precision strike on Syria

 

Moscow acted swiftly to boost its ties with Tehran and beef up the Syrian military in reaction to the US-British-French surgical missile strike on Syria’s chemical sites on Saturday, April 12. DEBKAfile’s analysts report that when Russian and Iranian officials warned of “consequences,” they were already on the move:

  1. Saturday morning, while cruise missiles rained down on Syrian chemical sites, a Syrian-Hizballah force, backed by Russian mercenaries, renewed their push to cross the Euphrates River and snatch from US control the east Syrian Konok gas and Al-Umar oil fields. There were initial clashes with the US-backed Syrian Democratic Army (SDF). Two days earlier, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s close adviser Ali Akbar Velyati pointed the way when he told a news conference in Damascus: East of the Euphrates is “a very important area. We hope big steps will be taken in order to liberate this area and expel the occupying Americans.
  2. While media reports abounded about Moscow’s non-reprisal for the US-led attack, Moscow was quietly getting ready to confront the US and its allies. Heavy Russian strategic Tu-95 and Tu-22M bombers were deployed Thursday to air bases in Iran, thereby cutting their flying time to Syria and Iraq by at least four hours; and Russian freighters were transiting the Bosporus Straits Friday and Saturday in full sight of intelligence surveillance, laden with new military equipment for the Syrian army. Continue reading