Russia has doubled the number of arms ships heading for Syria’s Tartous from the Black Sea through the Bosporus, DEBKAfile’s military sources report. The acceleration of Russian arms traffic to Syria has been noted in the last fortnight. The vessels are loaded with containers holding military hardware. It is believed that they contain quantities of advanced S-300 air defense missiles bound for Bashar Assad’s army and short-range Pantsir-S1 systems capable of intercepting UAVs and cruise missiles. The consignments also include large quantities of automatic 30mm cannons and radar equipment. Continue reading
On May 23, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow. However, Duterte had to suddenly return back to Manila, due to a terrorist attack that hit the southern island of Mindanao. Nevertheless, his ministers signed close to $1 billion worth of business deals with Russian firms. The Philippines and Russia have also signed an Agreement on Defense Cooperation. The defense cooperation will expand “exchanges in terms of training, seminars and best practices between the two countries, with the end to develop relations in the field of military education, including military medicine, military history, sports, and culture as well as experiences in consultation, observer participation in military training exercises, and military port calls.” Continue reading
“I won’t conceal that there are also contingents of our special operations forces in Syria,” said Alexander Dvornikov, who serves as commander of Russian troops in Syria and recently received top military honours from President Vladimir Putin.
“They are carrying out additional reconnaissance of targets for Russian airstrikes, they direct aircraft to targets in far-flung areas and solve other special tasks,” he said in an interview to Rossiyskaya Gazeta state newspaper. Continue reading
The military pros and cons for the leaders of Sunni and Shia Islam
In the Middle East, two Muslim powerhouses are squaring off. In one corner is Saudi Arabia and the Sunni Muslims. Relatively unseasoned yet well equipped, the house of Saud and its allies have been working feverishly to curtail the rise of their adversary. Shiite Iran stands in the opposing corner. The battle-hardened, though slightly less technologically advanced nation has stunned the Middle East with a string of victories that have seen Iranian hegemony grow to record levels.
Unfortunately, such expansion is quickly leading to confrontation between the two powers. In the event of a conflict, what would the two sides bring to the battle?
The Middle East is rich with all sorts of Russian-made anti-aircraft systems. Most of them were delivered to the Arab countries opposing Israel and, in the time of the Soviet Union, to other clients on a political pretext.
The flow of modern anti-aircraft systems to the area continues, although in lesser quantities. Russia is often viewed as a preferable supplier for that sort of weaponry due to the long story of success of its anti-aircraft systems. It has been estimated that anti-aircraft missiles made in the Soviet Union and now Russia have seen more launches than such weapons made in all other countries combined. Continue reading
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu start a two-day visit to Cairo Wednesday, Nov. 13, to wind up a major sale of advanced Russian weaponry for the Egyptian army and the Russian Navy’s access to port facilities on the Mediterranean.
debkafile’s military sources, which first revealed the coming transactions in the last week of October, now amplify that report by disclosing that Moscow has agreed to equip Egypt with a sophisticated combined double-layered system which covers both its defensive and offensive requirements. Continue reading
BRASILIA (Reuters) – Brazil is pushing ahead with a planned $1 billion purchase of anti-aircraft missile batteries from Russia in a deal that will cement a strategic defence partnership between the two BRICS nations, the Brazilian Defence Ministry said on Wednesday.
Brazilian officials said they expect to sign a contract by the middle of 2014 for short- to medium-range surface-to-air Pantsir S1 missile batteries and Igla-S shoulder-held missiles. Continue reading
OKTYABRSK PORT, Ukraine — On Jan. 5, the Ocean Fortune, a 380-foot-long workhorse of the global arms trade, left this Black Sea port with unknown cargo concealed in its cavernous hold. The ship steamed south, slipped through the Bosporus Strait and turned toward the eastern Mediterranean. Then it disappeared.
The ship’s transponder, which normally sends automated signals to other vessels and harbor masters along busy sea lanes, went mysteriously silent Jan. 9, just as it was rounding Turkey headed toward open waters, maritime records show. Not a trace of the ship was seen for two months, until it surfaced in the southeastern Mediterranean in mid-March.
The ship’s apparent vanishing act repeated a pattern seen by other freighters embarking from the same Black Sea port — a known point of origin for weapons shipments — over the past year. Recently, such behavior has begun drawing the attention of investigators tracking the flow of arms and supplies to the combatants in Syria’s 21 / 2-year-old uprising. Continue reading
In what can be considered today’s bizarre news, Washington is buying military helicopters from Russia. “International law” (no such thing) aside, this compromises national security, let alone increases dependency on an enemy nation like the US now does via NASA to bring our astronauts into orbit.
From the state-run (FSB/KGB) propaganda outlet, RIA Novosti:
WASHINGTON, April 4 (By Maria Young for RIA Novosti) – The US Department of Defense said Thursday it plans to sidestep a Congressional ban to purchase 30 helicopters from Russian state-owned defense firm Rosoboronexport, despite objections from US lawmakers who allege that the firm has equipped the Syrian government to commit brutal crimes against civilians.
“The Department of Defense (DOD) has notified Congress of its intent to contract with Rosoboronexport for 30 additional Mi-17 rotary-wing aircraft to support the Afghanistan National Security Forces (ANSF) Special Mission Wing,” Pentagon spokesman James Gregory told RIA Novosti in emailed comments. Continue reading