Saturday, September 5, 2015

U.S. Warns Russia Over Military Support for Assad

Secretary of State John Kerry today called Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to discuss U.S. concerns about reports suggesting an imminent enhanced Russian military buildup in Syria. (The New York Times, 5 September)

“The secretary made clear that if such reports were accurate, these actions could further escalate the conflict… and risk confrontation with anti-ISIL coalition operating in Syria,” the State Department said in a statement.

Russia has deployed military advance team and transported prefabricated housing units that could accommodate as many as 1,000 Russian military advisers and other personnel to an airfield near Latakia. It has also delivered air traffic station to the airfield and has filed military overflight requests with the Syrian government, the New York Times reported. There were also reports in Twitter today that Russian MIG-31s has been observed in the area.

Russia is apparently converting an airfield near Latakia into a major Russian airbase in Syria.

Map: Daily Mail

28 comments:

Piruz Mollazadeh said...

So, this is what Qasem Soleimani was doing at Moscow.

Anonymous said...

Things are getting exited. Israel has been continuously violating Syria's sovereignty by supporting insurgents and bombing SAA anytime anywhere at will, now with these Mig 31s It would be interesting to see their reaction. It was a good message to US and Erdogan.

Anonymous said...

As if Russia gives a hoot about what US thinks, especially after Ukraine. The S-300 at Tartus manned by Russians will take care of any "no fly" zone, being only applicable to US aircraft. Syria is a sovereign nation and has every right to defend its airspace and they will. The Pantsir S1 and S-300 combination is very deadly. The US will not be creating any "no fly zone" over any part of Syria.

Nader Uskowi said...

Syria already has S-300 system and the Syrian Air Defense Force teams have been trained by the Russians on handling of S-300 interceptor batteries. Other countries in the region including Egypt operate S-300s. Your predictions notwithstanding, I don’t believe the introduction of S-300 into Syria is either new or a game changer.

Anonymous said...

In addition to sending Mig 31s, they are in the process of establishing central air control system. It is a sign that they will not remain neutral should US and Turkey want to establish no fly zone as it can be consider the first step for a regime change in Syria.

Anonymous said...

Why so little news about recent parades in Iran? Is it true that it involved 28000 troops? How'bout the unveiling of a supersized drone ? Thanks .

Anonymous said...

Only S-300 components were delivered so far to the SAA and the whole batteriers were not operational, but now with Russian Spetznaz in Tartus it sure will be, along with top cover by MIG-31 and SU-35. President Putin confirmed what most grown-ups with military experience already knew that Russians are operating in strength in Syria and the there are videos of T-90 and Mi-35 operating with Russian crews. It is a no brainer that an emboldened and rearmed Russia is not about to let President Assad fall. Egypt has also made a 180 degree turn and is now supporting Assad and there is plenty of footage with Egyptian marked weapons and special forces operating in Syria. The US, Saudis and Turkey picked on the wrong guys again.

Vladimir Putin confirms Russian military involvement in Syria's civil war
Russian president talks of desire for "international coalition" to fight terrorism and extremism and does not rule out possibility of direct military intervention in Syria

Anonymous said...

Tochka SS-21
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OTR-21_Tochka

Ruissia forvever , a folk with a lot of genius

Nader Uskowi said...

As I said in a previous post on the subject, the Assad regime and Iran's Quds Force will benefit enormously from a direct Russian military intervention in Syria. My comments above were on S-300 and a cautionary note of not overestimating its invincibility.

Anonymous said...

Nader are you support a russian military presence against isil or not?

Anonymous said...

We have not heard any news abut engagement of the S-300 System with Israeli planes violating Syrian air space thus far. Don't you think there should have been a sort of engagement if S-300 were operational? Israelis would have tried destroying it and Syrians would have tried protect their air space from Israeli planes assault.

Nader Uskowi said...

The Syrian army, the NDF, and the Quds Force/Hezbollah/other foreign Shia militia forces in Syria mainly fight the Syrian opposition and not ISIL. Almost all major battles fought by pro-Assad forces throughout the Syrian civil war has been with groups other than ISIL, a policy that has been in place continually, even now when ISIL controls more territory than any other group in the country. There is no indication that policy is changing, and the Russians probably will not take a different approach and start an anti-ISIL campaign on their own.

The Russian are in Syria to prop up Assad. If and when they directly engage ISIL, I will support it.

Anonymous said...

Syrian army has been fighting ISIS in Hasakah along with YPG and in Palmyra as well as North of Alepo.

Piruz Mollazadeh said...

Mr. Uskowi I hope this doesn't mean you support Al-Nusra and its shadow organization Al-Fat'h?

As far as I can tell the only legitimate anti-Assad force is the FSA. The rest want to establish an Islamic caliphate and have been making it clear that they are against secular democracy.

Nader Uskowi said...

Anon 11:37 AM,
You're confirming my point. I said the Syrian army mainly fight the opposition and not ISIL. You give us two examples. Hasakah was a fight led by YPG against ISIL, with Syrian army participating, and at Palmyra, it was ISIL that attacked the city and the army withdrew. Compared with these two examples, there are hundreds of other battles that the Syrian army backed by the Quds Force/Hezbollah/Shia militia, has waged, and is waging, against the opposition

Priruz, Al-Nusra is an affiliate of Al-Qaeda, which I've spend the past two decades opposing. Unfortunately for the Syrians, the opposition is so divided and weak that allowed Al-Nusra to play such major role in the civil war, so much so that at times they have to tactically work with them in some places.

Piruz Mollazadeh said...

Very well.

It must be noted, however, that Al-Nusra's members/fighters are mainly Syrian Islamists who aren't doing anything which they don't want to do. Any political solution would have to recognize them as a reality, just like Assad. United or not, the opposition can't do away with them.

Many of my Syrian friends at London, who have fought in the Afghan war against the occupying Soviet forces, are now in Syria fighting with Al-Nusra, some of them became high-ranking members too. What I'm trying to say is that Al-Nusra type thinking was already deep embedded in Syrian society even before the civil war, and no amount of unity in the opposition can change that.

This is what makes the war unclear as to who's good and who's bad.

Anonymous said...

There has been one very important conclussion from this development, that one should have no doubts that Russia will defend Iran; by all and different means - including a military presence, if it is showing that kind of intervention and consistence, to retain its influence over that part of the world, including but not limited to the naval and land accesses in Syria...

+A

Nader Uskowi said...

In the region, the idea of creating Islamic states/caliphates has become the ideology of the day, supposedly capable of answering al the ills, including corruption and lack of hope in societies. It is this idea, this ideology, that should be opposed. Of course wars and military power are not the answer, as Assad's experience obviously show. Until and if we can get the youths in the region refute such ideology, the region will be in the same bad shape. Unfortunately so many educated youths are leaving the region, resulting in not much of ideological competition for the hardliners like ISIL and Nusra or their equivalents in Shia societies. In all the years I have followed the region, this is by far the worst situation. What's needed is showing the people that establishment of an Islamic state will not be the answer to their problems. And this might take a while.

Nader Uskowi said...

Don't overestimate Russian power. The country's economy is still mainly selling oil and gas, like a Third World country. And it is one of the most corrupt countries in the world. These characteristics do not translate into first-class power. Russia is no China. Putin might believe he could resurrect an empire, but there is a wide gap between that belief and the realities of the day. Let's hope the Iranian leaders do not think like you and put their country's future in the hands of the Russians, that would be dangerous.

Piruz Mollazadeh said...

Sorry Anon 7:50 but you don't know what you're talking about. The Iranian constitution forbids the presence of foreign troops/bases on Iranian soil even for "peaceful purposes" and that is unmodifiable as far as I know. Also, since when did Iran rely on anybody for protection even at the harshest of times (like invasion)?

You sound like you're talking about a country like Qatar or Saudi Arabia, not Iran.

Anonymous said...

We do not need Russian protection. If we can buy and transfer some of their technology, it would be sufficient for us.

Anonymous said...

The only reason the Al Nusra scums have any following in Syria is due to financial support of rich Arab Gulf states and degree of alienations and antipathy that many Syrians have towards their government .But it doesn't change the fact that elements such as ISIL , Nusra and the rest of the takfiri terrorists must be liquidated before any settlement could be reached in Syria .The only question is why don't we see a more coherent coalition against those takfiri terrorists .

Anonymous said...

Let me ask u in another way. If Russia want to fight even a single battalion of Isis / isil. Do you support this step or not. Do you support any effort against isis?

Nader Uskowi said...

It's always easy, and it has been the norm unfortunately in that region, to blame all problems of a country on foreign intervention, a sort of conspiracy theory that foreigners are after keeping the regimes like Assad weak. It doesn't work that way. The problem starts with the regimes, which mismanage their societies, are corrupt keeping the riches for their own circle, and exercise dictatorial powers, driving people against them. Of course the foreigners use the opportunity to maintain/expand their own interests under those conditions.

My recommendation to you, before trying to figure out who paid what to whom in Syria, try to understand why the civil war started. Could Assad handle the Arab Spring any differently? Now we have a country all but in name, with regime and tens of armed groups controlling different parts of the country. This should have been and could have been prevented. And Assad has a big role in it.

Piruz Mollazadeh said...

I agree, of course, but I just don't see how reform alone can push ISIL/Jihadi forces back on the battlefield. It most likely won't, not after all the atrocities committed by Iran to keep Assad in power.

Anonymous said...

I think we should support any responsible player. who is willing to fight the scourge of takfiri terrorism .By responsible player I mean members of international community who aren't prone to be dealing with our enemies behind our back .
Russia can and should play a more constructive role in Syria , its efforts so far have been terribly inadequate .The reason for that could be partially explained by Turkey's erratic position in this conflict .The Syrian conflict will have a more acceptable resolution if we see a re-alignment of Turkey and Russian's positions .By that I mean Russia and Turkey should be on the same side of this tragic and unnecessary conflict : Turkey should stop supporting the takfiris and Russia should start looking for a more democratic alternative to this Syrian regime which has long lost its legitimacy .

P.S.
I'd like to add a comment on the refugee crisis that is unfolding in Europe . It's ironic that states like Saudi Arabia and UAE who bear much responsibility for this crisis by exporting their terrorist jihadi citizens to Syria , are doing nothing to help the refugees .

Nader Uskowi said...

But of course, the damage has been done and the country now is in the middle of a civil war, no room for reforms. Two possible approaches now: find a political settlement, which most likely would require Assad's removal sooner than later, allowing a united front against ISIL; or continuing military confrontation, which is the preferred way for those actors who believe military victory is still possible. Until all combatants realize there would not be a military solution to this conflict, I am afraid that the civil war will continue as in the past five years.

Anonymous said...

In order to suplement my statement at 7:50 PM I add the following:

I recognize that Iran has sufficient power for a prolonged resistance and Iran will not probably need that kind of assistance, but in a case of hypotetical need - and upon Iran's request; and after amending constitution or other kind permissions, it can come to reality....sometime in the future.

Many 'political analysts' in the past, used the same kind of description that Russia will only be; for decades, second class world player, but if you look for Russia gains in Crimea, Ukraine, Abkhazia, South Osetia and its termination of Chechen conflicts and the Western mess around the world, the conclussion is obvious, that Russia outperforms the West with its gains and minimal investments to acguire those gains.

Iran as a Russia's neighbor, with its increasing population, may assist Russia in her development by providing scientific and labor forces.....and in a case of troubles, Iran may inherit from Russia not only licenses, but something MORE....

+A