Russia to supply S-300 air defense system to Syria

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Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov speaks to the media next to a graphic of an incident in which a Russian warplane was shot down by a Syrian air defense unit last week. Photo: Grab from video released by Defense Ministry / Sputnik /AFP

 

The move comes despite opposition from Israel, which carries out regular airstrikes against Hezbollah in Syria

Syria’s armed forces, long dependent on outdated S-200 air defenses, will now receive the modern S-300 system, Russia’s Minister of Defense Sergei Shoigu announced on Monday.

Russia’s decision comes one week after its Syrian allies, responding to an Israeli air raid on the coastal province of Latakia, mistakenly targeted a Russian Ilyushin-20 plane, killing the 15 military personnel on board. Continue reading

US, Turkish Troops Headed For Military Showdown In Syria

 

Two days after we reported that Turkey valiantly demanded that US forces vacate military bases in the Syrian district of Manbij, when Turkey’s foreign minister Melet Cavusoglu also said that Ankara is calling upon the US to cease any and all support to Syrian Kurdish forces and militias, not surprisingly the US refused, and on Monday a top American general said that US troops will not pull out from the northern Syrian city of Manbij, rebuffing Ankara demands to withdraw from the city and risking a potential confrontation between the two NATO allies.

Speaking on CNN, General Joseph Votel, head of the United States Central Command, said that withdrawing US forces from the strategically important city is “not something we are looking into.”

Last week Turkish troops crossed into Syria in an push to drive US-backed Kurds out of Afrin. As part of the Turkish offensive, which is grotesquely code-named ‘Operation Olive Branch’, president Erdogan warned that the offensive could soon target “terrorists” in Manbij, some 100km east of Afrin.

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House Dem: Obama Could Cause ‘Devastating Nuclear War’ With Russia

President Obama is sending an “expeditionary force” of U.S. military special operators to carry out raids against ISIS in Iraq and Syria, a move that expands on their decision to send about 50 special operators to Syria to coordinate air strikes.

“In full coordination with the Government of Iraq, we’re deploying a specialized expeditionary targeting force to assist Iraqi and Kurdish Peshmerga forces and put even more pressure on [ISIS],” Defense Secretary Ash Carter told the House Armed Services Committee in announcing the new deployment on Tuesday. Continue reading

Japan protests after ‘Russian’ plane enters airspace

Tokyo has lodged a protest with Moscow after it scrambled four fighter jets to intercept a foreign aircraft — believed to be Russian — which briefly violated its airspace, government officials said Wednesday.

The foreign ministry made the protest shortly after the plane entered Japanese airspace off the coast of the northernmost main island of Hokkaido, near a disputed island chain, Tuesday afternoon. Continue reading

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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Russian planes, U.S. warship have close encounter near Crimea

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Washington (CNN) The U.S. Navy took the unusual step Monday of releasing video of a Russian Su-24 aircraft flying past the right side of the guided missile destroyer USS Ross in the Black Sea.

The video was distributed to make clear that the airplanes and ship had a routine encounter, contrary to Russian reports. It shows a warplane approaching from the distance and then quickly zooming past the American vessel. Continue reading

​Latvia reports 2 Russian ‘black hole’ subs & research ship on edge of territorial waters

The Latvian armed forces claim they have detected two Russian Kilo-class submarines and a research vessel 27 and 30 nautical miles outside the country’s territorial waters, three days after a sighting of a Russian destroyer was reported off its coast.

The Kilo-class vessels, to use their NATO classification, have been deployed by the Soviet, and then the Russian navy since the early 1980s. Nimble and quiet, they have traditionally been named “black holes” for their stealth capabilities. Continue reading

Russia’s Newest Military Base In Europe Will Be Just 40km From NATO Facilities In Cyprus

“We want to avoid further deterioration in relations between Russia and Europe,” explained Cyprus’ President Nicos Anastasiades upon reportedly signing an agreement to offer Russia military facilities on its soil (that we noted previously). The air force base at which Russian planes will use is about 40 kilometers from Britain’s sovereign Air Force base at Akrotiri, on the south shores of Cyprus, which provides support to NATO operations in the Middle and Near East regions. As fault lines within the EU widen, Anastasiades said in his interview that Cyprus opposes additional sanctions against Russia by the European Union over Ukraine, “Cyprus and Russia enjoy traditionally good relations and that is not going to change.” Continue reading

Russian bombers, fighter jets ‘seen over Crimea’

A Russian Il-78 aerial refueling tanker (right) and Tu-160 supersonic strategic bomber (left) fly over the Kremlin cathedral during a rehearsal of the Victory Day parade in Moscow on May 7, 2013 (AFP Photo/Andrey Smirnov)

 

Simferopol (Undefined) (AFP) – Several dozen Russian planes including what appeared to be strategic bombers and fighter jets have been spotted in the sky above the Moscow-controlled peninsula of Crimea, witnesses and experts said.

According to Russian media, President Vladimir Putin is poised to visit Crimea on Friday after overseeing the main military parade on Red Square when Russia celebrates its victory over Nazi Germany in World War II.

A local aviation expert told AFP on Sunday that he had sighted a number of planes over the peninsula’s main city of Simferopol on Saturday, including supersonic heavy strategic bombers and heavy military transport aircraft. Continue reading

Japan Scrambles Fighters to Meet Russian Bombers

According to the ministry, a total of five Russian planes, including two Tu-95 Bear strategic bombers, two Su-24 Fencer reconnaissance planes and an A-50 Mainstay airborne early warning and control aircraft skirted Japanese territory on Wednesday.

“They flew over the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Japan off Hokkaido and the Tohoku region in northeastern Japan,” Japanese officials said, adding that it was the first time a Russian AWACS plane was spotted near Japan.

Russia resumed strategic bomber patrol flights over the Pacific, Atlantic and Arctic oceans in August 2007.

Full article: Japan Scrambles Fighters to Meet Russian Bombers (RIA Novosti)