The Internet is flooded with rumors about a Russian military intervention in Syria. It all began with an article by Thierry Meyssan in Voltaire Net and now this rumor made it to Zero Hedge. Finally, the Israeli website Ynet also joined the rumor mill. Here are the two main assertions made by these sources:
- Russia has just created a Russo-Syrian Commission and has begun supplying weapons, sharing intelligence, and sending advisors. All of this is more or less coordinated with the White House.
- Russia has begun its military intervention in Syria, deploying an aerial contingent to a permanent Syrian base, in order to launch attacks against ISIS and Islamist rebels; US stays silent.
What is interesting in these rumors is that they appear to come from two very different sources. Meyssan gets his information from Syrian sources while Ynet quotes “western diplomatic sources”.
Finally, I will readily admit that there could be a Russian rationale for an intervention in Syria: the Russian security establishment is united in the belief that the US plan is to eventually turn Daesh (aka ‘ISIS’) against Russia and this one of the reasons it is so important to assist the Syrians: it is better to fight Daesh in Syria than it is to fight it in southern Russia.
So the rumor about a Russian intervention is at least credible. And yet, I don’t buy it.
I will gladly admit that I cannot prove a negative and that I have absolutely no privileged access to any special Russian sources. All I can offer are my conjectures and nothing more, and there is a good chance that I might be wrong. But having said that, here is my personal reaction to this rumor.
First, I don’t believe that there is much public support in Russia for a foreign military intervention. It is one thing to be ready to defend your own country or your own citizens when the latter are directly attacked (as in 08.08.08) and quite another to intervene 1’200km away from your national border. And we are not talking about just anywhere 1’200km away from Russia, but very much inside US controlled territory: the US controls Turkey via NATO and the entire Middle-East (except for Iran) via CENTCOM. Do you remember when the Russian paratroopers moved from Bosnia to Kosovo and took over the Pristina Airport? Russia was unable to resupply them because the US basically controlled the entire airspace between Russia and Serbia. The situation is similar today in the sense that the resupply and support of a Russian contingent in Syria would largely depend on the US goodwill. Yes, the Russian could also use their Navy to resupply and support any Russian contingent through the Mediterranean, but that could be very time consuming and difficult. I have said it many times on this blog: the Russian military is not designed to operate further than roughly 1’000km from the Russian border and a military intervention in Syria, while possible, would definitely stretch this self-imposed limit.
Second, while the first part of the rumor (sending advisors, sharing intelligence and supplying weapons) does not represent a major Russian commitment, the second part of the rumor would represent a major political and military commitment from Russia.
Russia still has a very painful and, I would say, even traumatic recollection of what a “limited military intervention” looks like. After all, this is exactly how the Soviet military intervention in Afghanistan was presented to the Russian public, as a “limited military intervention” to protect a friendly country from subversion, foreign intervention and destabilization. How is that different from what is happening today in Syria?
“Limited military intervention” have a strong tendency to lead to an open-ended escalation, and the Russians are quite aware of this. I strongly believe that the Russian withdrawal from Georgia after 08.08.08 is largely explained by this awareness: the Russians could have easily invaded all of Georgia (the Georgian military had basically ceased to exist and there was nothing standing between Russian paratroopers and Tbilissi) in 24 hours or less, and yet they chose to stop and turn back. And when the Russians recognized the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia they still withdrew most of their forces from these two republics and worked hard to put most of the responsibility for the defense of these two countries on the local people. The same approached was used in Chechnia were Russia has a powerful and capable Federal military contingent, but where 99% of the responsibility for security is placed on local, Chechen, forces.
In purely military terms, much of what these rumors claim make no sense to me. For example, Meyssan and Ynet both mention the deployment of MiG-31s to Syria. The problem with this is that the MiG-31 is a pure interceptor designed to protect a huge volume of Russian airspace from a US Air Force attack involving low flying cruise missiles and strategic bombers. As a counter-insurgency weapon the MiG-31 is simply useless. True, the six MiG-31s rumored to be sent to Syria would provide a formidable deterrent against any US, NATO, Turkish or Israeli aircraft entering the Syrian air space, but this is also why I would expect these countries to protest such a delivery with utmost outrage and determination rather than “more or less” coordinate it or “remain silent”. It would be much more logical to send SU-24s and SU-25s to Syria if the goal is to support Syrian army operations against Daesh. But these rumors do not mention these aircraft.
Finally, Ynet speaks of a major military operation. Here is a quite from the article:
“A Russian expeditionary force has already arrived in Syria and set up camp in an Assad-controlled airbase. The base is said to be in area surrounding Damascus, and will serve, for all intents and purposes, as a Russian forward operating base. In the coming weeks thousands of Russian military personnel are set to touch down in Syria, including advisors, instructors, logistics personnel, technical personnel, members of the aerial protection division, and the pilots who will operate the aircraft.”
A quick look at the recent news out of Syria will tell you that Daesh is already operating in the suburbs of Damascus. So where exactly would Russia deploy “thousands” of military personnel “in an area surrounding Damascus”? This makes no sense at all.
Ever since the crisis in Syria began I have been repeating that the Russians are not, repeat, not coming!! (see here, here and here) and, so far, the Russians never showed up. Of course, it is possible that this time around they might. Again, the first part of the rumor about sending advisors, sharing intelligence and delivering weapons makes more sense to me. But the notion of Russians flying MiG-31s out of Damascus to somehow change the course of the civil war makes no sense to me at all. Neither does the idea of “thousands” of Russians being deployed to Syria. In fact, last time I checked, the Russians were evacuating their citizen from this country, not sending more in.
Again, everything is possible and I cannot prove a negative. Maybe this time around the Kremlin decided that a major military effort against Daesh was needed. And maybe the US does not object to it. But the logical distance between “possible” and “likely” is a very long one and, at least at this point in time and with the information I have, I don’t see any reasons not to dismiss these rumors as wishful thinking.
IF they did send troops, would they not use Kadyrov’s Chechens?
Since ISIS is now said to be commanded by Wahabbi Chechens, it seems logical to use the force that destroyed them before.
It is dangerous to draw conclusions from an invalid premise and in this case we would be speaking for a ground forces operation, which I really doubt will ever happen. But in next door Lebanon, the Russians did send Chechens as peacekeepers once, and the notion of sending Muslims to a Muslim country is a sound one. This is, in part, how the Soviets took Kabul with their famous “Muslim battalion”.
Salam dearest brother Saker,
There is no ISIS, as it a figment of imagination, just like 9/11 and Boston Marathon Bombing.
Netanyahu is scratching his head, wonder how can Obama and Putin be such good friends, while he is rapidly sinking in oblivion.
Sweet dreams with love brother,
Just because its secretly funded by the United States doesnt make it a ‘figment of imagination’.
When the US did the 9/11 false flag attack, people died. It wasnt a ‘figment of imagination’.
ISIS kills people and destroys historical monuments, while being backed by the United States. You saying that theyre a ‘figment of imagination’ is offensive. Those people and monuments are gone and theyre not coming back.
It is not ISIS that destroys the monuments, it is the Wahhabis. They have been doing it for the last 200 years since the inception of Wahhabism. However, with both Obama and Putin help, Wahhabism is on dying bed as in its present form.
Even the Yemen War is figment of imagination.
are you sure, “Salam” is an ideal greeting?
Even Wikipedia admits: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/As-salamu_alaykum “In the closely related Hebrew, the cognate and roughly-equivalent greeting is shalom aleichem with the response aleichem shalom.”
Just my 5 Kopeken
Salam Martin from S.E.B.,
Is it al-Salam or as-Salam? Is “S” a sun letter or a moon letter? Is the moon have to do with Islam? You will never write as-Salam, but you will always pronounce as-Salam!
Salam Martin from S.E.B.,
When I told my Jewish friend that Hebrew was dead during the times of Jesus and was revived from Arabic in 19th century. He agreed with me but he corrected me that it was not dead, but dormant.
Do you think it was dead or dormant?
Before you answer this, keep in mind that Hebrew didn’t have written short vowels. These written short vowels were introduced to Hebrew from Arabic in TaNaKh (Old Testaments) during 12th to 15th centuries. Thus, during the times of Jesus, there were no written TaNaKh, they were only memorized by the Rabbis due to lack of short vowels.
Even, any Rabbi who wrote TaNaKh wrote it without the short vowels and only he could read it, no one else could read it.
Remember, Hebrew was dead or dormant!
BTW, YHWH is not the name of G-d. Jews don’t write the name of God, they still write till today as G-d. So I told my Jewish friend that what YHWH Elohim meant, by inserting short vowels into YHWH.
Ya’Huwah Elohim! …… O’ He Elohim!
BTW, you can do search on sun and moon letters. It has nothing to do with Islam, as sun and moon has nothing to do with Islam, but it has to do with Arabic language.
I believe it is illegal for Russia to send its armies to other countries.
But I very much doubt Russia would commit any ground forces to the grinder, what I would believe is that Russia could perhaps send 50-150 planes and number of attack helicopters with pilots, maintance and logistic personall as well as trainers, advisors and such. And the chance of that increases even more if Russia can get Assad to pay for it, either directly or perhaps by loans that Assad will pay off in the future.
I’am also very skeptical of these rumors, but in the end everything is possible if a broad coalition is established as they claim whit Iran and possible involving china in some way? Maybe as Saker said, Russia has credible information that these terrorists would be used in both the Caucasus and Iran after Syria, hence they consider it better to fight them and defeat them in Syria, then in your own back yard, who knows, time will tell in the end …
Russian Army and weapon producers need a real war practice,
not in minor civil local (in Russia) conflict,
Syria could be a solution.
ideologically it is against terror (IS),
it can be limited to air strikes/bombing, no boots-on-ground,
easy withdrawal. Hey, this premises work for the US for decades! Why not for Russia?
Wait and Europe will beg Russia for intervention and help,
within a few years the migrants will become not a few suicide bombers but a regural IS jihad force in Europe! Russia will intervene with pleasure as to stop the immigrants from western Europe, I mean the original white population.
I hope they will limit hte help to Slavic nations and let the Germans and English etc. eat their own s..t.
Russia has the world best air defence in the world.
And the us needs to up grades it half a century old readers .right now the us has no proction against Russian ballistic missiles.
The whole Syria issue is rapidly becoming a riddle wrapped in a mystery to me (thanks Mr. Churchill).
Firstly, we were told not that long ago, that Russia would never allow Syria to be taken down by US Neo-con forces. It is too important to Russia, which does have a docking facility there; it would lead to further incursions closer to Russian borders (Ukraine, anybody?); it would leave Russia’s ally, Iran, alone in the wind. And so forth. Undeterred, the Bad-Mad Neo-Cons encouraged, financed, and armed a group called by a variety of initials, but which seem to have settled on ISIS. [Neat, an ancient Egyptian queen and God]. These guys, armed only with rifles, swords, some stolen cars and insane violence have proceeded to “take” half of the Middle East, obtain oil supplies, and have the world on the run.
Russia didn’t do much to stop them, nor did it appear to do much to protect it’s ally Syria, to the acute disappointment of many. The Bad-Mad AmeriMullahs decided this means Putin is weak, and so they would persevere.
However, America is supposedly pouring arms in to help “Syria” [or fight ISIS as though there’s a difference there], which includes war aircraft, Russia is sending mighty jets, yet these stone age peasants, with their mediaeval armour [I hadn’t heard they have a big fighting airforce with bombers and so forth] are still there, still gaining ground and causing trouble? And all the 21stC airpower of 2 big powers cant blast them of the face of the earth in a month??? (given that care to not kill innocent Syrians must be taken).
I just don’t get it.
@ Anonymous: My thoughts exactly :(
Yepp. It is an alternate reality in ME, where 800 ISIS soldiers can drive off 30 000 Iraqi soldiers and capture Mosul, and were 10 000 ISIS soldiers can fight 200 000 soldiers of Syria, 200 000 soldiers of Iraq, a 100 000 shia militas, 10 000 Hezbollah elite fighters, 50 000 kurds and be bombed by NATO and still gain ground..
NATO has never showed any bombing progress reports or held any news conferences? The only news which comes out of the areas which ISIS controls are the destruction of antiquity, when civilians are hit, and when and if – a big ISIS honcho is killed with a drone?
Wonder why? Any country whose air forces are in the bombing coalition hasn’t even estimated the costs for the bombing ops? Nothing was presented in Parliament. No not since it started last September a year ago? Mine didn’t and there is a news blanket on the whole issue?
Think again my friends as the foreign Minister of Iran said on a PBS interview with Charlie Rose…. “Ask yourself how the Syria issue started, by whom and why?
Yes that has me stumped as well. Must have more than those Toyota pick up trucks and guns surely. We just arent allowed to see their real war weapons. Probably US manufactured so no photos folks.
Anon up there with the bag of doubt…you have so many of the facts wrong that my guess is that is why Saker hasn’t replied to your post.
Firstly, yes, we were told that the whole middle east is dependent on Assad…and this is still true…why do you think that Putin feels differently or has changed ?. Seeing how Putin responded to Ukraine which is Russian, why would he be expected to suddenly change so drastically ? The truth of the fact that Assad is essential to the ME does not automatically mean that Putin sends in the army.
Secondly, these ‘Stone Age’ monster men are driving a few cars ? Try thousands of Toyotas and even Humvees too if I’m not mistaken… All the ISIL employees are handling the most modern American made weapons with the skills learned from American military intelligence in Turkey…hardly stone-age buddy.
And finally, as far as the news I heard up until 3 or so days ago…the Americans are not helping Syria to bomb ISIL…I refuse to call that cult by the name of the Egyptian Sophia. The Americans are helping ‘the moderate rebels’ who are joining Al Nusra and ISIL and are not even different from it. ISIL is a corporate mercenary army, and its ‘soldiers’ are all receiving paychecks for their work. Signed by American Military intelligence sources. CIA in other words.
@Anonymous Sept 01,2:36
You can add this to the ‘riddle’:
And this, finally, might help you to get it:
And – big surprise! – the Barzani clan (who ‘represent’ the Iraqi Kurds, like Porky ‘represents’ the Ukrainians) have a long-time connection with Mossad:
It has become painfully apparent to me that Russia has presented no program beyond that of pacify, and retreat. Russia could have ended the issue in the Donbass by incorporating the area of ethnic Russians into the Russian Federation. Or course, the so called West would have whined, and moaned, and sanctioned, but they would have gotten over it. As it is, Donbass will be a festering sore to Russia for many years to come. A festering sore, that is, unless Russia simply leaves the region to its fate.
The “Allies” have introduced their forces into Syria, and Russia, as usual, has done nothing. The “Allies” will continue to advance on Damascus until they are engaging the Syrian Arab Army in decisive combat, and the SAA will be defeated. The “Allies” air power, combined with ISIS ground power, will insure the destruction of Syria, and the following blood bath will ensue while Russia does nothing. If Russia does not move to counter America in Syria then Russia will have allowed the entire middle east to become a staging ground for ISIS. An ISIS invasion of Russia will then be imminent.
Syria is well within Russia’s area of influence. If Russia can’t project power over a distance of 1,200 kilometers then Russia is not a major regional power, much less a global power. If Russia cannot protect its allies, within its supposed area of influence, it can’t expect to have the respect of other nations within the region. If Russia doesn’t push back in Syria then Russian will be pushed out of the middle east.
Russia can deploy, and support a military presence within Syria. The Russian military would gladly accept the mission, and logistics would be simple. The Black Sea is a Russian lake, and there’s no way that the US/NATO will engage Russia in the Med. Russia has outstanding air, and sea capabilities combined with a professional, and effective military so what’s the problem?
The problem is will. Russia lacks the will to react to any situation that does not involve a direct attack on the Russian Federation. Russia’s lack of will is allowing the western powers to surround the Mother Land, and either force it into WW 3 or strangle it. I constantly read the litany of diplomacy, and negotiation. History has conclusively proven that diplomacy, and negotiation does not determine the fate of great nations. The ingredients necessary for the survival of a nation are blood, and iron, but above all, will.
I agree. Tired of this Russia only protects its territory nonsense. When you look at the entire chessboard, intervening in Syria IS protecting Russian interests and Russia’s survival in the long run.
That being said, the rumor they are moving into Syria is probably false. Meyssan is the disinformation king.
Many folks here conflate the size and power of the USSR with the RF. Other than its nuclear deference, there are no analogies in Power Projection.
Russia is doing what it can do. And that is mighty. They stopped the Obama war against Assad with the chemical weapons deal. They have ended the isolation of Iran. They have forged a Eurasian partnership with China. They are very tight with Egypt, with India, and share influence with China in Pakistan. They have helped nullify color revolutions in Central Asia, have begun the EAEU despite the loss of Ukraine to nazism (and in time, the best parts of Ukraine will be in the EAEU). They have required Crimea and safeguarded the Black Sea as a Russian lake. They own the Arctic.
But they are not a naval power that can project power like the USSR. And their foreign policy is to forge new alliances and partnerships, not to spread an ideology, but to establish trade and secure peaceful regions.
Russia is not Soviet Union scaled down. It is Russia, continued, interrupted by the 20th Century, but now back on course.
The people of Russia have an understanding of what they are and where they are going and who they want leading them. And it is not the USSR reconstructed.
Mmmmmm… they OBVIOUSLY did not stop Obama’s war on Assad.
Mmmmm. Guess you don’t know diddly about NATO revving up to bomb Syria into the same shape as Libya. That was days away from happening.
Mmmmm. Guess you think Putin does not know what he accomplished by getting the Chemical Warfare capability out of Syria.
Mmmmm. Guess you think you’re a very bright Anonymous one.
Assad is in much better shape now. It does not matter whether an official declaration of war has been issued.
> The people of Russia have an understanding of what they are and where they are going and who > they want leading them. And it is not the USSR reconstructed.
Mhh, maybe certain 5th column folks, but this doesn’t mean all Russians.
Those who preferred Coca Cola and Burgers over their motherland caused all the problem we have now. Wasn’t this price a bit too high for the few glass worthless pearls in return???
The question is: How is it pssoible that not one resonable person brought Gorbachev to justice when this was still possible!
The costs for rescuing Russia gets more expensive by the day. In 1985 a single pill would have been sufficient.
BTW: On Russian Cassad I saw an article some weeks ago (must look it up) where they state, that many of not most Donbass residents do want the CCCP 2.0 – and it ends in: The Soviet Anthem we still do know, so …
That list of achievements is great,of that there is no doubt.But is it enough to protect Russia,that I’m not sure of? True Russia is not the USSR.But it is the largest country on earth.With close to 70% of the USSR area.If you include its allied states,more like 85% of that area.And with a population almost the population of the largest 2 EU states combined.As well, as you said,with the nuclear power of the USSR (possibly even better than the USSR had).So we aren’t talking a “weak sister” here.While I don’t totally agree with what XRGRSF said above,there was a lot of truth in his comment.Especially this sentence I agree with, “The ingredients necessary for the survival of a nation are blood, and iron, but above all, will”.Yes,as he said history shows that,more than not.Bismarck wasn’t just slinging words together when he said that Germany was created by “Blood and Iron” he could have added “will” as well.And that is true of all great nations,and many not so great nations.The age old problem in Russia is that its always taken a powerful “Tsar” to have built Russia and kept her together.I don’t see a change there today.Had Putin not come along (or someone like him) Russia would be Ukraine.And the West would have used that weakness and lack of “will” we see in Ukraine today to destroy Russia.No matter whether Russians love or hate Putin (and most love or at least respect him),they “owe him” for saving Russia (so far) from Ukraine’s fate.Is Putin,the awaited “Tsar”,or not,I don’t know.But in the meantime until we find out,he has served well until now.There is a new theory talked about in Ukraine and among Russian traitors (the saddest part) that side with the Ukrainians.They claim Ukraine is the “beacon”,the European Russia.The answer to take Russia to Europe and away from her “Asianess”.That they are “Russia’s Aryans”,and the rest of “Russia” has been Asianized.The silliness of that is easy to point out of course.Today’s Russia includes half of the area of old Rus,just as one example.And that by saying that they tacitly admit what they always try to deny at other times, “Ukraine is part of Russia”.But in dealing with the insane,reason doesn’t relate with them.And so, Putin and Russia,face not only foreign enemies,but also internal ones.And the way to deal with those enemies is “never” retreat and a lack of will.
@ Red Ryder,
Very well said, sir. This is not an ordinary street fight we’re in. If someone pushes the wrong buttons, we’re in for an early winter [or again Down Under].
P.S. if you’re a lady, you have my permission to molly whop some sense into me.
MOSCOW, August 31 /TASS/. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Monday met Hasan Abdel Azim, the general coordinator of the Executive Office of the National Coordination Committee for the Forces of Democratic Change (NCC); representatives of the leadership of the Popular Front for Change and Liberation and the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union as well as members of the Assyrian community.
“On behalf of a group, which observes the implementation of an appeal to the UN secretary-general made by participants in the second round of inter-Syrian consultations held in Moscow, the Syrian opposition members praised Russia for its political and diplomatic efforts exerted in the interests of reaching a peaceful settlement in Syria via the inter-Syrian dialogue without any foreign interference on the basis of provisions of the Geneva communique dated June 30, 2012,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said.
“In this context and in a bid to promote the inter-Syrian consultations held in Moscow in January and April 2015, the sides considered concrete steps in the interests of unifying the Syrian opposition on a constructive basis for the purpose of working out the general platform for a meaningful dialogue with the Syrian government,” the Russian Foreign Ministry went on to say.
Lavrov, in turn, told the Syrian opposition members about Russia’s efforts to implement the initiative of Russian President Vladimir Putin to form a broad anti-terror coalition that will unite the Syrian and Iraqi armies, detachments of moderate Syrian opposition, the Kurdish volunteer forces and the main regional and international players involved in the Syrian conflict in the interests of joint counteraction to the growing terrorist threat,” the ministry stressed.
The representatives of Syrian opposition also had consultations with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov, the Russian president’s special representative for the Middle East and Africa, held at the Russian Foreign Ministry.”
Having seen the rumor sources above, and paying close attention to Syria in recent years, I’ll be shocked if the proposed “intervention” materializes. The Ynet article was the last straw. :-)
Off Topic, I’d like to offer an article readers may enjoy, and quote a bit:
“Arguably, the signing of this agreement to ban foreign militaries has been the biggest game-changer to take place in the Caspian over the last 20 years. The West not being able to be involved in the region not only decreases energy development and security in the oil and gas-rich Caspian sea basin, but also wounds in several other respects: it reduces the ability to deter adversaries in the region against attacks; it weakens what were growing U.S. alliances; it allows Moscow to project its power over the other Caspian nations with little interference; it cuts off access to ports for deployments to the Middle East; it does not allow for responses to humanitarian crises in the region; and it does not allow for the U.S. to project its own power and reach as easily as it once did.
All of these make the United States and NATO much weaker than before the Summit began.
“Round One in this heavyweight prize fight has clearly gone to the Russian bear.”
I read Meyssan’s article and thought that if it were true, it would be unfortunate. So now I am thinking that it is disinformation put out by the US trying to “think like Russia” but really just thinking like the US– caught up in the “escalation to extremes — to borrow a phrase from Rene Girard.
I saw this rumour reported as news in the Canadian press, and I came here to try to get more confirmation. It seems like Saker is also sceptical, thus I am too.
If there is to be any foreign military intervention by Russian forces, it would make far more sense to intervene in Ukraine. Furthermore, the premise by the so-called mainstream media that the whole world “owes” the West is extremely arrogant! Why would Putin want to bail out the West, who relentlessly defame him and support his lethal enemies, by fighting the Western-created ISIS? I agree with what Sergei Lavrov has stated repeatedly: the UN must declare war on ISIS before Russian troops fight in Syria.
Checked the Deutsche Wirtschaft Nachrichten, they are reporting from the same Israeli sources. Long article, but it does have a ripe smell.
Russia not intervening in Syria confirmed by Russian military via RT:
Dear The Saker,
I was going to post this – RT has had a very clear “not true” from the Russian military. Again showing, as the Forbes article last week, that the West’s sources can’t be substantiated but they publish any tosh without backing it up.
The queston is why put out these rumours?
You ask “Why put out these rumors?” One possible reason is to get a strong denial just before Israeli or other forces do something which might actually call for a Russian response. (speculation)
Israeli press constantly put out transparent lies– even quotes that they ascribe to important US officials, which of course are imm’y denied.
It should be understood that US hegemon is projecting war against Russia from their own mindset expecting that possible casualties would turnaround support that Putin enjoys. Alas, very wrong. If there is clear objective with predictable outcome, Spetsnatz brigade would be mopping up ME already.
This help unpack media strategy (10min).
“Untangling Media from Reality – Russian Boots Syria? – Joaquin”
I think Saker’s analysis is spot-on here. The Russian government is adverse to direct intervention in Ukraine, where it has strong historical, ethnic and economic interests AND where it would be quite easy logistically to support intervention. Russia is even less likely to intervene directly in an area of more peripheral interest where intervention would be more difficult and costly, and with less likelihood of success.
I agree with this when it comes to sending troops, but surely a aircraft and helicopters with various logistical and maintance support would not seem unlikely would it? Espically if Russia could get Assad or Iran to pay for maintenance and fuel and ammo/bombs/missiles and maybe even the paychecks for the pilots, then it would basically means free experience, free training, free test of new equipment and technology and free chance to develop new tactics.
That Russia would send grounds troops seems very unlikely, and perhaps also illegal under the Russian constitution, but for them to send perhaps a few planes and helicopters with support personal does not seem so unlikely, does it?
The Saker wrote:
So, maybe, that’s why athis time is underway – as in, exactly as in 2008 in Ossetia.
The situation in Damascus is more like in Ossetia than in (1979) in Afghanistan, thus – last exit.
[BTW: the new russian airforce couldn’t be stopped like in Bosnia/Kosovo. Remember your report of a russian major explaining what would happen when the Russians are comming.]
Saker with all due respect… Mr.Putin never will go upfront of the World with bullhorn to scream we ending arms and troops to Syria…
Meyssan’s articles seem intelligent, however his predictions just never happen.
Many commentors seem frustrated by Russia’s inaction in Syria and other places. It is easy to think military actions will fix anything, but as america has shown- it usually has the opposite effect and makes matters worse. Russians have a mindset of diplomacy and strategic long term moves, which they do quite well.
They surely realize that isis is an american mercenary unit, and will be glad to blast their pickup trucks when they approach their borders. In the meantime, they are letting everyone else waste money and resources fighting while they modernize their military. It all seems pretty smart to me.
beerkat, good comment! I’m still not sure about Meyssan; haven’t been following him long enough.
Penelope, I’m surprised to hear you say that about Meyssyan…as that link to his site…Voltaire.net or whatever is the one you post the most.
A few notes:
– the YNet article talks about Mi-29s. It has a picture of the Mi-31 but that is not mentioned in the article.
– there has been a lot of diplomatic activity recently around Syria. See for example http://www.debka.com/article/24796/ So these reports may play a role as a kind of pressure.
– Finally, there is this article that contains several claims of direct Russian involvement in Syria:
Meyssan ironically here is likely the best person to be believed of any of the names, as he is the closest thing to ‘boots on the ground’ of any.
He was one of the very first to call 911 an inside job, within days I believe, but for his outspoken honesty was forced into exile from France to… SYRIA!
Least that’s what I read about him.
Others are reporting that lesser militarily entwined variant meme weeks old now, that Russia is supplying top jet fighters & pilots, painted in Syria AF colors, to counter ISIS (who apparently traded in their Toyota pickups for something faster).
According to Lavrov, the war against the various terrorist groups is best fought by the Syrian Aram Army (SAA). In the same statement, he underscored Assad’s legitimacy and continued support from Russia, dismissing the West’s statements about him as ‘harmful’ and untrue. In addition, he pointed to the destruction of the Palmyra temple and the murder of the Syrian antiquities expert as evidence of need for increased urgency re tackling the Syrian conflict.
News from SANA that 25 Chechens were among terrorists flushed out from their locations by the SAA certainly shows the willingness of terrorists to travel far from their origins – and that ‘ISIL’ is nothing more than a front for an international mercenary army.
So I don’t see a ‘boots on the ground’ approach making much sense from the Russian pov, even if they were prepared to do so.
NATO is heavily involved in the arming, training and supply of terrorists on behalf of the energy cartels/military contractors, while ‘officially’ denouncing them: the Russians know that. A direct intervention would not tackle the root causes – including the poverty that fuels much of the terrorist enlistment – and ironically caused by the very upholders of the system bankrolling them.
And that, along with intelligence – particularly in relation to origins and transborder movement would most likely be the Russian focus.
So I think you are right Saker – for the moment.
Because once there is enough international support (which can only come from increased awareness) there may well be a visible and decisive Russian presence in a number of Middle East locations – including Syria – in the not-so-distant future.
Ps I think the Israeli Ynet source is a (rather crude) attempt to ‘shape’ Russia’s Syrian policy in their terms, perhaps in the hope of ‘heated denials’ ( which they would promote as ‘Russia aggression’ …zzz )
I thought it was nonsense as soon as I read the story.
Russia is desperately trying to avoid any situation that could be seen as antagonising US/NATO. Russia knows US/NATO is looking for an excuse to go to war with Russia. Why then would Russia commit to activities in Syria that could potentially bring them in to direct contact with US/NATO, it makes no sense to me. Russia has appeased US at every opportunity whether it be in Yemen, no fly zones over Libya, Iran sanctions etc. Even Failing to honour arms contracts with Iran, Syria.
In my opinion Russia has already let Assad go. Hence inviting opposition factions to Moscow for discussions on Syria. This story could be cover to hide the real story. Russia has repeatedly shown she can never be fully relied on, or trusted. I am not convinced China fully trusts Russia either.
You are wrong in your assumption.
Assad is the soul of the Syrians. They fight and die for him. Russia understands that the only way he can go is by losing an election.
All the ethnic and religious groups who are being persecuted are protected and have been for a hundred years in Syria.
Assad is Syria. There is no Syria without Assad.
That is the message the “anti-Assad” groups heard over and over from Russia, Putin and Lavrov.
It is that simple.
The coalition Russia is building to fight and destroy ISIS understands that message. It is elementary but escapes some folks who think they know more than Putin or want to put down whatever Putin does.
I suggest you read Robert Fisk’s book, The Great War for Civilization.
You nailed it with your comment! I’m half Syrian myself and what you wrote is the essence of everything. Why if not for Assad has the Syrian Army been fighting for 4 years now?
And it is not only Alawites who support him. It has nothing to do with religion. The common ground is that they are all Syrians, they love their homeland and the achievements and those who doubted and who followed the traitors path and sympathised with terrorists have come to realise the prize Syria is paying and what they have lost. They have lost a homeland that offered -if only that- a home, bread, education and medical treatment and peace. If you listen to many Syrian refugees arriving in Europe now many of them say that they had a good life in Syria.
I would like to add -and please don’t misunderstand this as an attempt to idealise a person- that Bashar Al Assad is in fact a humble man. He lives with his wife and children in a nice neighbourhood in Damascus but nothing over the top. He appears to be clean (like someone not taking bribes) and committed to his convictions and principles and people see that. You can not pay people to sing odes to praise him. For many Syrians he is a hero. He could easily have sold Syria to Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey and US a few years ago when Turkey put pressure on Syria with regard to more influence of the moslem brotherhood. His steadfastness shocked the Saudis, Qataris and Turks and enraged them to such an extend the results of which we are witnessing today. The hatred of the representatives of these countries against Bashar al Assad is insane and unimaginable. They think money can buy them everything and then there is this young politician who simply refuses and says no to them!
This could not go unpunished. But it is exactly this standing up to blackmailing and resisting that makes the Syrians support Assad and I don’t even want to think about what happens if he was not there. The Russians know very well how many followers he has and that the army is behind him. So to exclude Assad from a future Syria is out of the question and illusionary.
Also can anyone name just one opposition member who could be a fair contester in future elections and who has enough followers within Syria to begin with? I can’t.
So as you said…..Syria is Assad.
I don’t recall Fisk being much of a fan of either Assad, or for that matter, any mideast politician except Walid Jumblatt.
Russia doesn’t “worry” about NATO going to war against Russia.NATO is the one worried about Russia,not the other way around.The appeasement as you call it,comes from Russia not wanting to break relations with the West,not out of fear.There are some in Russia that mistakenly believe the West can’t really be foolish enough to want a new “Cold War”.They are slowly learning that is wrong.But they aren’t worried over a “hot war”.NATO isn’t stupid enough for that.And I think Russia knows that.NATO likes to bluff “big”.But the only fighting they would dare try with Russia is with proxy armies,they could drop at any time,i.e.Ukraine and ISIS.
Also from SANA (Syrian Arab News Agency
The terrorists are using chemical weapons in their attacks, including mustard gas – wonder how they managed to get hold of them?
1 hour ago
Aleppo, SANA – Local sources from the
town of Mare’a in Aleppo province’s
countryside confirmed on Tuesday that ISIS
attacked the town once again with dozens
of shells containing toxic materials.
Activists on social media sites said that ISIS
uses toxic gas in its attacks on the town on
Tuesday, including mustard gas, delivered
via heavy artillery shells, and that these
attacks caused dozens of cases of
asphyxiation among locals and that the
town became filled of strong, unpleasant
ISIS attacked Mare’a with shells containing
chemicals on August 22nd, causing causes
of asphyxiation, and recent reports by
international investigators and technicians
revealed that ISIS had also carried out two
chemical attacks on Tal Barrak and Hasaka
General Allen and Erdogan’s plot to impose a no fly zone on Syria to aide Daesh is what is alleged to have prompted such a move (sending MiG 31’s to syria) http://tarpley.net/. However I do agree that beyond this I do not see the Russians intervening further militarily. Safest Bet would be to finance Mercenaries to Bolster Assads forces. Furthermore I think all assumptions regarding greater regional war in the middle east is now not a question of if but when. The recent Yuan devaluations and further sell off of over $100Billion in US Treasuries within 2wks, despite them being a defensive mechanism against Wall St financial warfare, has started a chain reaction which will ultimately end with the closing off of the Straits of Hormuz. Babylon is afoot.
beerkat on September 01, 2015: “Meyssan’s articles seem intelligent, however his predictions just never happen.”
I agree. I take his stuff with a large grain of salt.
However, one reason Russia might have send some Mig-31s is the possibility that their intelligence has heard that the US and NATO are revving up to take a more direct offensive against Assad. As I’ve said before, it is absolutely clear that the US and NATO (especially Turkey) want Assad gone and the Syrian military degraded so that Israel can attack Hizballah in Lebanon via Syrian territory without worrying about having to engage the Syrian military at the same time. All of which, as I’ve said, is intended to lay the groundwork for an Israeli attack on Iran which will drag the US into a war with Iran.
It may be that Russia decided to send some of its aircraft as a “warning” to the US and NATO not to escalate the Syria crisis any further by direct intervention. Of course, six aircraft aren’t a significant threat to the US and NATO should they decide to ignore that warning, but such aircraft do serve the purpose of indicating that Russia may decide to up the ante if the US and NATO attack Syria directly.
Russia may have also issued this story about Russian troops as a ploy to back up its back channel warning to the US and NATO. I agree with The Saker that it’s doubtful Russia would ever do such a thing, but US and NATO planners can’t assume that. So again it serves as a warning that Russia might take further action – possibly not even in Syria but in Ukraine – if the US and NATO escalate matters in Syria.
I think this is correct.
The news about Mig-31’s should be viewed in the context of the deployment of Aegis warships.
“The additional deployment of US Aegis-equipped warships in the Mediterranean Region could be considered a precondition for further offensive against Syrian leader Bashar Assad, security analyst Dmitry Efimov told Sputnik Radio.
The US will send an additional warship equipped with the Aegis combat system to the Mediterranean Sea to protect Turkey and its NATO allies against ballistic missile threats, Anadolu reported. The redeployment is scheduled to take place this fall, Navy spokeswoman Commodore Pamela Rawe told the agency.
Thus, a total number of US Aegis-equipped ships in the Mediterranean Region will rise to four.”
You wrote “However, one reason Russia might have send some Mig-31s is the possibility that their intelligence has heard that the US and NATO are revving up to take a more direct offensive against Assad. As I’ve said before,”
But does this have anything to do with hat is happening right now or just a coincidence? I read somewher (cant find source right now) that these planes was ordered in 2007-2008 and got delivered now with trained syrian crew. It take a lot of time to train a crew (Pilot and weapon officer)
I Think it´s just a coincidence that the delivery occured now, maybe they mad the delivery a Little bit earlier than they intended to do
That’s quite possible, too. This is another one of those situations that we can’t know the truth of until 1) someone (believable) officially confirms it, or 2) later events prove it to be true.
Thanks for weighing in on the question of whether there are or are not six Russian Interceptors in Syria. Makes sense to me. I hadn’t heard about expected Russian groundtroops; doesn’t seem likely– in fact rather immoral to expect troops to risk their lives while their opponents’ supply line is left wide open.
There is an in-between position on the Russian Interceptors. I read, probably on Voltaire, that the Interceptors had been ordered by Syria years ago & not delivered even though they weren’t UN-sanctioned, since they weren’t bombers. I think there may have been some sort of sanction against delivering bombers to Syria– on the grounds that Assad was using them against his own population. Anyway, I guess it’s possible that the Interceptors belong to Syria, although the Russian facility that makes them denied it very promptly.
I cannot take seriously for a moment any claims that the US and Russia are uniting to fight ISIS. ISIS appears to be a US asset. If Assad goes down, though, Putin looks more and more like the kind of ally no one wants to have.
The story about the Migs never made sense. 6 stand alone fighters wouldn’t be effective. That would be like sending main battle tanks without infantry support. Now the story about the Kornet missiles really would make sense when their incredible effectiveness is realized. Those with well supported S300s would be very goo. Put them in the hands of a well supplied Hezbollah and the ISIS mercenaries and the US/Israel “help” would be stopped.
Russia will not act like US, openly blundering around globe with mighty military taking sides in conflicts, creating chaos purposely or not. i think it is wrong making assumptions about Russians from US point of view of the world. Russians will help Syria as a state, but that does not mean they will stick with Assad. keeping Assad in power despite all other syrians would be meddling in internal affairs of Syrian state. they will not do that. nor in Ukraine or elsewhere. of course, there is allways invisible line and russians like to cross it when is necessary. by words or by deeds. i think west is desperatelly in need of russian actions/war in full motions, carpet bombings, Buratino BBQ with islamists, every nasty weapons they may have to show to whole world they can make real hell on Earth like americans do…i bet, west would imediatelly drop sanctions against Russia because he join family of “international community” accepting real “values” not some noble about int. law etc…. i think russians would not bite that. maybe i am writing nonsense… it is late.
I’ve heard Lavrov say over and over that Assad is the sovereign elected leader of Syria. Its Hezbollah and other Lebonese that say the Assad’s fall would destroy the whole area.
But I believe that Putin is helping Assad….I saw a picture of them together a few days ago.
you are absolutely right. Always like your comments.
Syria is a cornerstone in the middle East. Removing Syria and destroying it – which is what the Wahhabis are trying to do – means taking the heart and soul of the Arab world. Assad was elected in 2014 by a majority of Syrians and this can not be ignored. The army stands behind him and the security apparatus. There is no way that Putin thinks of letting Assad down.
Not after 4 years of full support in the UN and other levels as well.
Syria, Russia, Iran, China this is one united front. Full stop.
There are very good reasons for President Putin not to intervene in Syria in a big style:
1. As long as ISIS terrorists have their will in the Middle East (and in parts of North Africa) , the flooding of Europe with refugees will go on – this is weakening the West and the NATO and could lead in the last consequence to a faster bankruptcy of the West. Riots, terrorist attacks, if not civil war will rock Europe.
2. ISIS will not stop, when they are successfull in taking over Syria and Irak, next are Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuweit etc., because their goal is a “world calliphate”.
3. As “good” followers of Sharia Law, ISIS will not accept Euros or Dollars for oil and gas payments on the long run. The West will have to come up with gold and silver. This weakens the US-Dollar and the Euro even more.
It could very well be, that Russia has the following point of view: “Let the West eat his own sh*t.”
@Herbert: Interesting, thanks.
Although I’m myself a victim of this then, let’s hope it will come like this.
The majority of EU citizens wanted to stay blind, although we all here tried to warn them.
Those 80% called and still call me and those like us “conspiracy nerds”
Shall they eat their own dumbness.
That’s what they deserve due to their (in)action(s).
Although not even then they will grasp anything.
But at least they get something of the cake of suffering.
Actually I don’t wish this to anybody.
But they let it happen, they are those who found it more convenient to have a beer watching TV or to call us “Kremlin Nazis” or before that 911-truth moonlanding fools, rather than showing solidarity with Donbass or Gaza.
As simple as that.
They live in a world of illusions. Sleepwalking into the catstrophe :(
But they are guyilty, because they ignored and denied all warnings!
Herbert, you said: 2. ISIS will not stop, when they are successfull in taking over Syria and Irak, next are Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuweit etc., because their goal is a “world calliphate”.
you could have put it better way, instead of world caliphate, greater israel….isis is doing the dirty work for israel to materialize their dream of greater israel…its not world caliphate, isis is no islamic my friend.
When the hegemon’s pipe dreams turn to utter crap, that is when they will say (just like in the Ukraine) that Russian aggression ruined everything.
A wise wo/man never puts all his/her eggs in one basket; furthermore, s/he will also make sure the fox won’t make it into the hen house.
Russia’s chicken run isn’t in the Donbass, at the moment, it’s in Syria. Putin/Russia uses this situation as a double-edged sword; protect its own interests [Tartus] and help secure Assad’s position [as he is Russia friendly].
The end result is a firmer, strategic grip on FUKUS’ ‘New World Strategy,’ because, let us not forget, we’re dealing with uncle Sam here, a board certified psychopath, an entity bereft of emotional feelings, with an unassailable appetite for ever more military endeavors [and given the past 5 decades, not set out to actually win them].
thanks Saker for sensible possibilities and non-sensible possibilities…It doesn’t really seem like Putin to spend all that money now, when he’s just trying to stabilize Russia and switch from Western based economy to Eastern based…and he’s a frugal and pragmatic money guy…
I know Thierry Messan was one of the very first to blow a whistle on 9/11…that was the first time I heard of him, but whenever I go over to Voltaire.net…(Voltaire was the most famous pupil of the Jesuits, by the way), I have to say, I find the website to be ‘out there’ somehow…I can’t really put my finger on it, but for me….it doesn’t ring with the same truthfulness, as here.
I should have added this from the Sputnik News story.
“As for Aegis-equipped ships, each of them has 96 launch sites for missiles. But they can be armed not only with ABM missiles but also with the Tomahawk cruise missile. It is possible the Tomahawk would be used against Assad forces,” Efimov concluded.
Read more: http://sputniknews.com/middleeast/20150823/1026095956/us-may-use-tomahawk-missiles-against-assad-regime.html#ixzz3kXoG1B00
Something IS happening:
– A Russian warship with the latest Russian BTR-82A armored personnel carriers on open deck was spotted southbound in the Bosporus on August 20.
– The same type of BTR-82A was seen on the Syrian battlefield in Latakia on this video from August 23rd, 2015.
Vasiliy Zaitsev on Facebook claims to hear Russian speech on the video, but I can only hear noise:
2:03: ”Давай!” – Give me/Come on!
2:06: ”Бросай!” – Throw!
2:10: “Ещё раз! Ещё давай!” – Once again! Do it again!
2:30: “Павлин, павлин, мы выходим” – Peacock, Peacock [callsign], we are moving out.
Interesting name on his FB. I’m always a fan of the more famous Vasiliy Zaitsev.Anyone killing 400 nazi troopers holds a warm spot in my heart.
In addition to the rationales expressed by Saker, three additional factors not addressed by him compel me to agree with his opinion that Russia is not actively intervening in Syria.
First, of all the major nations only Russia is expending significant diplomatic capital in attempting to draw the legitimate Syrian opposition (i.e. real Syrian’s still opposed to Pres. Assad but now seeking to end the destruction of their nation by foreign backed jihadis, not the AZ and GCC proxies that the RF negotiations are essentially ignoring) into serious negotiations to reach a diplomatic resolution with the government. At least 3 major meetings to date have been held in Moscow, and others in Geneva, under the auspices of the Russian Foreign Ministry, and more are contemplated. Active Russian military intervention in the conflict would likely terminate those efforts, unless all such participants have given a “green light” for Russia to do so in order to save their country. This factor may ultimately be the most significant of all, as Russia desires ending the war with the least loss of life in the most expeditious manner possible.
Secondly, there is absolutely no chance, none whatsoever, zero, zip, nada, that the Russian president, foreign minister or defense establishment want to be in the news every day with claims that “Russian air forces killed XXX civilians in a crowded market” and “Russian air attacks have caused a flood of refugees who sought shelter in dearest Turkey but who died of thirst in the desert before then drowning in the Med”, ad infinitum. Since we all know that would happen, so too do the competent leaders of Russia, and they have no need to defend themselves on yet another front against yet another incessant propaganda barrage by the AZ media and political mafias railing against Russian “adventurism” or “resurgent militarism”.
Finally, the only way that I see Russia becoming actively engaged in military action in Syria is under the auspices of an international agreement, i.e. under a UN resolution or mandate authorizing UN member state to undertake military operations against ISIS. Such a mandate would conform to Russia’s consistent position calling for compliance with international law before intervening in civil conflicts. While the US and its vassals consistently ignore such international law, most recently and blatantly in the US backed Saudi-GCC genocidal intervention in Yemen, the Russian Federation has stood fast in its adherence to the UN Charter to date, and is unlikely to deviate from that steadfast position in Syria. Barring that, I cannot see Russia becoming actively engaged in fending off the AZ and GCC invasion of Syria. Since any such resolution will never see the light of day given likely US/UK/FR opposition, Russia is unlikely to actively intervene in Syria.
While I personally would support any nation, group or person willing to help fight and destroy the alphabet soup collection of western jihadi proxy armies (not to mention neo fascist militias elsewhere) to have carte blanche to do so, the RF has more at stake than this lonely voice in the wilderness.
I like Thierry Meyssan and I trust his analysis. He doesn’t always cite his sources, and he thinks at a fairly subtle level, at a French level of nuance. I read the story Penelope linked here originally, and it didn’t sound like boots on the ground to me – although it was definitely a significant advance in the great game.
The Israeli story seems be be a large fistful of sand thrown in the eyes. As some have suggested, there are two stories here, and the Israeli psy-op took the lead over the subtleties of Meyssan.
Meyssan’s story as I recall sounded like an analysis that couldn’t easily be proved, of a tactical, temporary collaboration between US and RF based on the concept that either ISIS was out of control, or that the US cover story simply couldn’t stretch to boycotting the anti-terrorism initiative that Russia has been putting together. In other words, RF has called the propaganda veil of US, and US has to pretend to play anti-terrorist.
There seems to be more collateral appearing for this from other sources that I don’t have to hand right now. But the trial balloon sent up by Petraeus about aiding Al Quaida in a fight against ISIS is again an illustration of the tangled web that the US has woven here. No wonder nothing makes sense, at the level of appearances.
But beneath appearances, Assad is gold, and Russia’s unwavering support for Syria is gold. I would entrust my life to either one of them. And Syria is winning without the need for Russian boots on the ground, just as Donbass is winning, equally so. And in both areas, US, NATO and Israel have lost. Anyone who doesn’t think this doesn’t understand the right side of history from the wrong side.
There are also two stories about what the US strategy is, which MAY represent two US factions. One is:
July 20, 2015 (Tony Cartalucci – NEO) – It was recently reported that US policymakers have signed and dated plans drawn up for the US invasion and occupation of Syria. The plan as described by the Fortune 500-funded Brookings Institution – a corporate think-tank that has previously drawn up plans for the invasion, occupation, and “surge” in Iraq – is to occupy border regions of Syria with US special forces to then justify a nationwide “no-fly-zone” if and when Syrian forces attempt to retake these “safe zones.”
The second is an entire re-drawing of US middle east strategy as outlined in 3 Meyssan articles. I posted a summary of his analysis (knowledge of ongoing negotiations?) but I don’t know how to flag my summary here. His articles are of course on Voltaire.net in about 6 different languages.
Throughout Russia covered herself in glory by championing international law and by the greatest efforts in diplomacy– all for peace. Truly she is a peacemaker, and this must some day redound to her advantage if we are all to survive:
7/21/15 http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2015/07/21/421232/Iran-Russia-ISIS-Ilya-Rogachev-Zarif-Lavrov Excerpts: (no mention of military yet)
Russia has voiced interest to team up with Iran to fight the Takfiri ISIL terrorists operating in the Middle East region.
“We can develop anti-terror cooperation with Iran, first of all, in the Middle East region,” Ilya Rogachev, the director of Department of New Challenges and Threats Issues of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said on Monday.
“The notorious international terrorist organization as Islamic State (ISIL) can be and has to be the object of our cooperation with Iran,” the Russian official said.
“On July 14, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the conclusion of Iran’s nuclear talks with world powers has paved the way for a “broad” coalition to battle the ISIL Takfiri terrorist group.”
I agree with Saker too.It would be totally out of character for Russia to do that.As he said the “first” part of the rumor might be partly true.And would make a great deal of sense.But not the troops on the ground.Before doing that I’d think they would try to get Iran to send troops.But it seems to me the way to defeat ISIS isn’t in Syria,its in Iraq.Most of the fighters came into Syria through Iraq in the beginning.Their first purpose there was to join the Eastern Syrian area to their occupied Iraqi areas.If they are destroyed in Iraq they will be destroyed in Syria too.They will have to start retreating from Syria to continue fighting in Iraq.So,by the Syrians working with the Iraqis on join attacks I’d think they would be better off.And of course its in Iraq that the Iranians could be most useful.Iraq borders Iran,so the movement of troops and war material (even Russian war material) would be simple.I posted a while back that it was the quality of the troops (training) that was the problem in fighting ISIS.I don’t see any change to that.ISIS has much smaller forces than their enemies.Yet they are (seemingly) well supplied and the core well trained.It is going to take well trained and equipped troops to defeat them.I don’t see that coming from the West,and not from Russia.That only leaves Iran,in the region.It’s possible in a war of attrition the hundreds of thousands of Iraqi troops “might” in the end win against ISIS.But I don’t know.One other force besides Iran I can think of might be available,Egypt (maybe that’s one reason they are chummy with Putin right now?).But they have troubles inside Egypt,and may actually be needed in the future in Libya.So I really don’t see them getting involved.Though it wouldn’t be the first time that happened.Egypt fought in the 1960’s in Yemen.And under Muhammad Ali of Egypt they fought in Syria and Saudi Arabia for the Ottomans.
The Russians have denied these rumours officially:
The Oryx blog claims to have evidence of Russian speaking individuals inside Syria during military operations directed against the human organ eaters or their [Russian] presumed presence elsewhere inside Syrian territory.
Links to Oryx blog [2x] and youtube [1x]
My understanding is that Russia has supplied 6 Mig-31 long range fighter/interceptors. These will be flown by Syrian pilots, hence no Russian troops.
Saw this latest rumour making the rounds- And would not touch it with a ten foot pole, while holding my nose.
I’ve lost all confidence in Theirry M @ Voltaire. His claims should be fact checked before being spread.
It seems sensible that Russia is advising possibly providing intelligence etc but…
Russia would have to preserve it troops to defend itself- There is a destabilization heading their way- Certainly they are aware of that. And that have much territory to defend
Our new peaceful humble highly educated new Doctors, engineers, IT hackers, and new Einsteins”
Budapest: « Allah Akbar » « Germany, Germany » : Hungary NO, Hungary NO. We want this. We want that. We blackmail you.
What does your video have to do with the topic?
Russian never supports its allies firmly.
Russia’s support to allies never stretches beyond votes in the UN, political chatter and sporadical material aid, but almost never enough to matter in the long run.
Russia is very weak in terms of deterring USA to destroy its allies and destabilising its very own borders.
A strong power, would have taken control of ALL of Ukraine long ago – USA would have if Russia installed it’s puppets in Mexico, just to get your imagination going.
I too think a Russian intervention is a bad idea. It could make sense only under the following conditions (and I’m not sure even then)
1) Iran is prepared to send tens of thousands of ground troops…enough to really change the balance of power and to make sure areas where Russian forces are staying are completely under government control.
2) Russian troops are ***not*** there to take part in fighting ISIS in any capacity at all. Neither on the ground or from the air. In other words, Russian forces would be there to deter any attack by Turkey or Israel. In that sense MIG 31 interceptors would make sense.
3) Other parties (Iran) are chipping in for the costs.
And even then I’m not sure if it is a good idea, but I can see how intelligent people can differ.
To actually do bombing runs with “no boots on the ground” Is a very bad idea, because the last thing we need is to see a captured Russian pilot beheaded or burnt alive by “ISIS” (and the US and Israelis would love it and may “help” ISIS shoot down a Russian plane.) Also, the last thing we need is Russian pilots bombing some poor grandma and her family. It will be all over the news minutes after it happens. And even if Russia avoids doing it…well someone can do the bombing for them and blame Russia.
The “fighting ISIS over there so as not to fight them here” is the same rational that lead the USSR into Afghanistan. Russia wont fall into the same trap twice. Besides, sometimes it’s better to let the enemy come to you and fight him where you are strongest.
Lastly, Russia is in for a very long fight with the “West.” It needs to ration its resources very carefully.
Meyssan is usually reliable, but when his sources are not, his information will not be. YNet is often a propaganda are for guess who? Thanks, Saker, for an informed (military) assessment of the rumors! It is obvious that Putin does and will support Assad logistically (as he does the people of east Ukraine), but “boots on the ground” (YNet) is on its face absurd!
“Meyssan is usually reliable, but when his sources are not, his information will not be”
When his sources are not reliable, Meyssan, should not be relying on them
IMO he has made some questionable claims as of late- That’s all I’m saying
It is now widely-known, at least in alternative media circles, that ISIS is a US-created and US-supported group. I believe even Ron Paul said something of the like. As such, I am very wary about any news concerning ISIS. We think that they are operating independently, but day by day proves that they are actually chess pawns. Two things crossed my mind when I read that article by Thierry Meyssan. First is that since ISIS is a US-created mess, then Russians coming into Syria means that they’re doing the work of cleaning up after the US. Why can’t the US just orchestrate itself with the Syrian government and let them do the cleaning? The second thing I‘m wary about is that this may be a distraction, if not a chance to divide Russia‘s military forces. I‘m not sure if once Russia goes in, she‘ll be able to get out. The chess pawns will just keep coming. Oh my goodness!!!
Apparently Syrian TV and Al-Quaeda in Syria talking about it now.
Whatever is happening, it seems to me that the evidence of Russian troops in Syria is already a lot stronger than the evidence of Russian troops in E Ukraine – I wonder how long the Western press will take to notice that.
CIA created monster, the Taliban & Al Quaeda – Russia helps logistically the US fight that in Afghanistan.
CIA created monster ISIS – Russia seems to be helping Syria to fight that in Middle East (Obviously Nato forces can hardly help Syria – they’d have their throats cut as they slept).
CIA created monster in Ukraine – the US helps Kiev against the Nazis
Putin helps Assad against ISIS and Obama helps Poroshenko against the Nazis – seems like a fair deal. But then I have been convinced that the US/EU/Russia have been in pretty much strong agreement over Ukraine since Minsk1
‘Don’t believe these reports’: Putin’s spokesman on Russian fighter jets in Syria claims
Published time: 2 Sep, 2015 18:07
The Kremlin has dismissed media reports alleging that Russian jets are to participate in attacks against Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) in Syria.
“One shouldn’t believe these reports,” said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Wednesday.
On Monday, Israeli news site Ynet news reported that a Russian “expeditionary force” has arrived in Syria to set up a camp at a government airbase near Damascus in order to conduct air strikes against IS positions.
The report, which cited unnamed Western diplomats, added that “thousands of Russian military personnel are set to touch down in Syria, including advisers, instructors, logistics personnel, technical personnel, members of the aerial protection division, and pilots who will operate the aircraft.”
READ MORE: ‘No Russian jets sent to Syria’ – military source on ‘expeditionary force’ report
The author of the report, Alex Fishman, told RT that he cannot comment on the legitimacy of his source.
On Wednesday, unverified images surfaced on Twitter suggesting that Russian-made jets and drones were sighted in Syria.
On Tuesday, RT contacted a military source who also denied Russian troops involvement in Syria.
“There has been no redeployment of Russian combat aircraft to the Syrian Arab Republic,” the source said. “The Russian Air Force is at its permanent bases and carrying out normal troop training and combat duty.”
Earlier media reports suggested that Russia has supplied Syria with Mig 31 fighter jets under a bilateral contract signed in 2007. In August, Turkish media outlet BGNNews.com reported that six jets have landed in Damascus. The report was quickly dismissed by the CEO of the Russian Aircraft Corporation Mig Sergey Korotkov.
Daniel McAdams of Ron Paul Institute just published his research of the “Russian troops” in Syria rumors.
White House Warns Against Russian Military Action Against ISIS
White House relies on the rumor mill to warn Russia off of something Moscow has no intent of doing anyway
US says Russian intervention would be ‘destabilizing’ – presumably unlike the ongoing US intervention in Syria
“Today’s lesson in how propaganda works: The rumor mill turns a trickle of astory early this week about “thousands” of Russian soldiers deploying to Syria any day – a wholly unsourced story originating on an Israeli website – into a torrent of hyperventilating about the “Russian invasion” of Syria.”
“Now the White House has gotten into the game. According to an article by Agence France Press, the White House is “monitoring reports” that the Russians are active in Syria.
What reports? The article does not say nor does the White House. Presumably the White House is referring back to the original (unsourced) Israeli article.”
The Russians have long ago come to understand that Assad may be key to saving Syria from the kind of jihadist chaos that has engulfed Libya after its “liberation” by the US and its allies.
That is why the US government is flirting with the (unsourced Israeli) rumors of a massive Russian invasion of Syria. Regurgitated cries that the Russians are coming may serve to divert attention from another failed US intervention in the region. “
You’re right, Scott. Or there cd even be a nice fat false flag attributed to the Russians, since “everyone” knows they are there. Someone suggested maybe it’s a distraction to keep us from paying attention to what’s happening in Lebanon.
Looks like saker Oceania has also joined the rumor mill :-)
let russian come in in-full force to protect the legitimate regime.
In my opinion, US/NATO is hoping Russia would step in. Russian boot in syria will be for longtime and Russia knows this, Russia will not risk it, Russia needs all what it has for its borders as NATO is encircling it. Russia in syria is a trap, Putin is no stupid.
If you consider that Israel has been itching to attack Iran for years and you wish to protect Iran without sending material and weapons to Iran, creating more roadblocks to the normalization of relations, then sending interceptors to Syria makes sense. They would certainly be capable of running down Israeli war planes before they could bomb Iran. Just a thought.
Sep 10, Hmm, I guess you were wrong on that.
If the west can support brutal dictatorships like Saudi Arabia,Bahrain, and others I don’t see the problem with Russia supporting its allies also. Please let me know when the west is going to campaign for democracy in Saudi Arabia.
Within a month of this writing Russia is bombing rebel targets in Syria. Care to provide an update?