WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. military on Sunday shot down a Syrian Air Force fighter jet that bombed local forces aligned with the Americans in the fight against Islamic State militants, an action that appeared to mark a new escalation of the conflict.
The U.S. had not shot down a Syrian regime aircraft before Sunday’s confrontation, said Navy Capt. Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman. While the U.S. has said since it began recruiting, training and advising what it calls moderate Syrian opposition forces to fight IS that it would protect them from potential Syrian government retribution, this was the first time it resorted to engaging in air-to-air combat to make good on that promise.
The U.S.-led coalition headquarters in Iraq said in a written statement that a U.S. F-18 Super Hornet shot down a Syrian government SU-22 after it dropped bombs near the U.S. partner forces, known as the Syrian Democratic Forces.
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
An interesting take that deserves attention.
Could President Trump have struck a deal with Russia before the strikes in a play to nullify his opposition and peacefully split up Syria?
(VERO BEACH, FLA) On Thursday evening at approximately 20:40 ET (04:40 AM, Friday, April 7th local time) the US reportedly launched 57 Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles (TLAMs) from the Arleigh Burke-class destroyers USS Porter and USS Ross located in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea.
Their target was the Shayrat Airfield in Homs, Syria, and according to Pentagon spokesman Captain Jeff Davis the missiles successfully struck aircraft, hardened aircraft shelters, petroleum, logistical storage, ammunition supply bunkers, air defense systems, and radars.
According to the Pentagon press release, Russian forces, as well as regional allies, were notified in advance of the strike using previously established deconfliction lines, and ‘precautions’ were taken to minimize risk to Russian or Syrian personnel located at the airfield. Continue reading
The US, Russia and the Syrian rebels started discussions this weekend over the composition of a list of Syrian generals who will be dishonorably discharged over war crimes they committed during the country’s civil war, debkafile’s military and intelligence sources say in an exclusive report.
The generals will not face trial at an international tribunal over their war crimes. They will be able to leave Syria along with their families and their possessions, just like President Bashar Assad and his clan. Continue reading
Armed with a nuclear anti-submarine bomb, this aircraft could spell trouble for Western subs.
Russian Helicopters, Russia’s sole rotorcraft designer, is in the process of evaluating whether to re-start production of the Soviet-era Mil Mi-14 amphibious helicopter, formerly equipped with a nuclear bomb capable of destroying any submarine within a 1-kilometer blast area, Flightglobal reported last week.
Russian Helicopters’ predecessor, Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant, designed the aircraft for Soviet Naval Aviation and Soviet allied countries including Cuba, Eastern Germany, Libya and Syria in the late 1960s.
Thursday, June 26, the day before US Secretary of State John Kerry was due in Riyadh, King Abdullah summoned a National Security Council meeting “upon the current security events in the region, especially in Iraq,” and ordered “all necessary measures to protect the kingdom against terrorist threats.” This meant a general call-up of military units for a high level of preparedness.
debkafile’s military sources disclose that Egypt is assembling an expeditionary commando force to fly to Saudi Arabia and bolster its border defenses.
This flurry of Saudi-Egyptian military steps comes in the wake of intelligence gathered by Saudi reconnaissance planes showing Iraqi Al Qaeda-linked Sunni fighters (ISIS) heading for the Saudi border and aiming to seize control of the Iraqi-Saudi crossing at Ar Ar (pop: 200,000). Continue reading
ANKARA — Turkey has been preparing for an air war with Syria.
The Turkish military said four U.S.-origin F-16 multi-role fighters were sent to the Syrian border on Oct. 5. Continue reading
As has been stated here many times: Expect war, not a peaceful resolution. The Assad regime realizes what happened to the leaders in Egypt, Jordan, Libya, Lebanon and Iraq, to name a few. They all wound up dead or imprisoned. When their last military stronghold gives way, which seems to be the Syrian air force in this case, expect the Assad regime to go “all-out” and for the conflict to likely ignite a powder keg engulfing the entire Middle East.
Furthermore, don’t expect the retaliation to just be “over there” in some far off region called the middle east. Both Syria and Iran have thousands of sleeper cells planted within the United States — and have been for well over a decade.
Lastly, events leading to an all-out regional war in the middle east could mean that Isaiah 17:1 will indeed be fulfilled during this generation.
Britain is planning to join forces with America and launch military action against Syria within days in response to the gas attack believed to have been carried out by President Bashar al-Assad’s forces against his own people.
Royal Navy vessels are being readied to take part in a possible series of cruise missile strikes, alongside the United States, as military commanders finalise a list of potential targets.
Government sources said talks between the Prime Minister and international leaders, including Barack Obama, would continue, but that any military action that was agreed could begin within the next week. Continue reading
This was not the first time a US drone was threatened by Iranian aircraft over the Persian Gulf, but in reporting the incident, the Pentagon revealed that the drones flying in the neighborhood of Iranian shores are now escorted by US jet fighters.
A couple of hours earlier that evening, DEBKAfile received an exclusive report from its military sources that the Syrian high command had just issued an ultimatum, on the orders of Bashar Assad, demanding that the Lebanese government put an immediate stop to the passage of armed Sunni fighters from Lebanon into Syria, else the Syrian Air Force would strike the Lebanese intruders’ convoys and also their home bases. Damascus claimed they were coming to fight the government alongside the al Qaeda-linked Jabrat al-Nusra. Continue reading
For Russia to come out and state that the Assad regime is losing control, being that it’s Syria’s biggest supporter, it speaks volumes. The tide has turned and it’s all downhill for Assad. The only variable missing is an indicator of when the regime is in its last throes. It’s been said the Syrian air force is the only thing keeping the ruling party alive. Once that goes, so goes Assad who is likely not going away without causing as much damage to the surrounding region as possible. Henceforth, the use of WMDs will be in play soon.
In the coming weeks (sooner than the Soviets are willing to admit) be sure to look out for news regarding key military installations, crucial cities, last strongholds, etc. being overtaken by rebels.
In the first acknowledgement by Assad’s main ally that he faces a likely defeat, Russia’s deputy foreign minister said Thursday that President Bashar Assad is losing control over Syria and that his opponents may win, as Lebanese media reported that 16 people were killed and more than 25 wounded in a car bomb near Damascus. Continue reading
Should air strikes against Syria come to fruition, has Obama prepared for any eventuality and/or consequences?
The concern lies in the fact that Syria and Iran share a mutual defense pact. Should one or the other be attacked, the other is obligated to join in the war. What’s more, terrorist proxies (Heybollah, etc…) from border countries (i.e. Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt) will more than likely be leveraged and wage war by firing thousands of rockets into Israel — and more than likely also use chemical or biological weapons. This will ultimately result in Israel retaliating to defend itself with the possibility of nuclear weapons being used. It has in the past mentioned all bets are off should chemical or biological weapons be used. Damascus will be razed. The middle east powder keg would have effectively been set off.
Add to this statements coming from Moscow and Beijing saying they will defend Syria and Iran by any means necessary (even nuclear if they have to) and the problem gets exponentially more serious. Will North Korea also take advantage of a distracted USA in the middle east and launch attacks on the South? They have tens of thousands of missiles pointed towards an already apathetic nation with its capital just 35 miles away from the North Korean border. Lastly, what of the hundreds, if not thousands of terrorist cells in America waiting for a “green light”? One can easily see how the domino effect will tumble out of control rapidly and open up Pandora’s box.
The entire world is at a turning point that can easily become hostile-dangerous. The world economy is in shambles and all it needs is one push to go off the cliff. War breaking out would do just that, and much more.
This is not intented to sound anti-war, nor alarmist, but to ask what is at stake. A regime change in Syria is surely needed but it won’t be easily done as was Iraq. This isn’t the Gulf War or the second invasion where you invade and the enemy lays dead or waves white flags instantly. There are more far reaching consequences and the Syrian-Iran axis has the capacity and capability to spread more damage in both the middle east and on the American homeland — a place that has never known war at home. Contrary to popular belief, America can be touched.
Again: Should air strikes against Syria come to fruition, has Obama prepared for any eventuality and/or consequences — including attacks on the homeland and putting lives at risk?
US President Barack Obama has ordered the US Navy and Air Force to accelerate preparations for a limited air offensive against the Assad regime and the imposition of no-fly zones over Syria, debkafile reports. Their mission will be to knock out Assad’s central regime and military command centers so as to shake regime stability and restrict Syrian army and air force activity for subduing rebel action and wreaking violence on civilian populations.
debkafile’s sources disclose that the US President decided on this step after hearing Russian officials stating repeatedly that “Moscow would support the departure of President Bashar al-Assad if Syrians agreed to it.” This position was interpreted as opening up two paths of action:
2. To select a group of high army officers who, under the pressure of the limited air offensive, would be ready to ease Assad out of power or stage a military coup to force him and his family to accept exile.
The US operation would be modulated according to the way political and military events unfolded.
Washington is not sure how Moscow would react aside from sharp condemnations or whether Russia would accept a process of regime change in Damascus and its replacement by military rule.
Full article: Obama speeds up limited air strike, no-fly zones preparations for Syria (DEBKAfile)