by Kakaouskia for The Saker blog
Greetings to the Saker community and readers.
This sitrep covers a series of events in recent weeks in Eastern Mediterranean that point to a possible arms race. Note that I deliberately do not cover the recent Douma affair as it has been extensively covered elsewhere and merits articles of its own.
22nd March 2018 – U.S. Congress announces the provision of $460,000,000 as FMF funding to help start Greece’s F-16 upgrade program covering the upgrade of 84 planes to the F-16V standard. This program was originally intended to cover 125 planes, but Greece was unable to secure the down payment needed.
Excerpt from Congressional Records: FOREIGN MILITARY FINANCING PROGRAM
The Act provides $5,671,613,000 for Foreign Military Financing Program in this title, and an additional $460,000,000 in title VIII under this heading is designated for OCO/GWOT pursuant to BBEDCA. Countering Russian Influence Fund.–Funds made available for the CRIF under this heading are provided to assist countries in Europe and Eurasia in enhancing the capacity of their security forces, including for the modernization of systems of North Atlantic Treaty Organization partners, such as Greece. The Secretary of State is directed to consult with the Committees on Appropriations on the proposed uses of such funds prior to the submission of the spend plan required by section 7076(b) of the Act. Greece.–Not later than 30 days after enactment of the Act, the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Secretary of Defense, shall submit a report to the appropriate congressional committees detailing the proposed upgrades to the Greek F-16 fighter jet program and recommending specific actions to be taken to support such upgrades, including with funds made available under this heading.
It should be noted that the funds will essentially help Lockheed Martin as it is the main contractor for the F-16 upgrade program. Greece has until April 22nd to accept this offer.
The U.S. government also authorised the transfer of four Mark V Special Operations Craft to Greece as Excess Defence Articles. These craft are used by Navy SEAL teams and are scheduled to be delivered to Greece around the end of 2019. Boats of this kind have been requested by Greece for years however this is the first time U.S. government authorised provision of such equipment.
29th March 2018 – Senior Navy officials tip off press specialising in military affairs that the Hellenic Navy has decided to procure 2 FREMM class and 1+1 [email protected] class frigates from French group DSCN. While the need to replace ageing frigates of S class is there, the idea was to modernise existing inventory. Rumours have it that the funding for these new frigates comes after France announced to Greece that it will pay any money owed to Greece due to excessive interest on bailout funds provided (EU decided earlier to return some money back to Greece) “in kind”, namely in military hardware or else.
4th April 2018 – Greece has signed with Russia contracts to extend the service life for Russian systems in Greek service as well as recertification of missiles, spare parts and follow-on-support. Greece maintains a number of Russian made anti-aircraft missile systems which are in need of support.
7th April 2018 – Reports of interception of ANKA UAVs over the Aegean by the Hellenic Air Force. ANKA is a UAV made in and used by Turkey.
10th April 2018 – The guard of Ro Island (a small Greek island about 8Km from the Turkish coast) has fired warning shots at a Turkish helicopter that supposedly approached during night. According to sources speaking to Sputnik, these actions were taken under new engagement rules after two Greek officers were apprehended by Turkey in an incident on the northern border between the two countries.
22nd March 2018 – Israeli website DebkaFile reports that the U.S. plan to withdraw from Incirlik and Al-Udeid military bases. While such a drastic move would have made headlines, it appears that now the U.S. is testing the waters by relocating smaller assets to other locations. In recent days MQ-1B UAVs have been withdrawn by USAF and MQ-9 UAVs have been moved to Afghanistan, with two units confirmed being moved to a Hellenic Air Force base on mainland Greece. Also, according to Turkish website Kokpit.Aero, a 40t mobile arms depot has been airlifted out of Incirlik for deployment to another area of operations. Depots of this kind usually are deployed in bases to provide small arms storage and maintenance facilities to serving personnel.
3rd April 2018 – After Putin’s visit to Turkey, the schedule for deliveries of S400 Batteries has been moved forward; Turkey is now scheduled to receive the first systems July 2019.
8th April 2018 – Turkish press reports that Turkey is interested in the urgent procurement of a number of 9M133 Kornet ATGMs from Russia. Turkey already uses the system and has around 800 missiles and 80 launchers. It is also reported that Turkey is discussing options to enhance the armour of its tanks using Russian systems. It is worth noting that in the past Turkey turned to Israel for tank armour upgrades which resulted in the M-60 SABRA model.
11th April 2018 – The editor of Yeni Safak newspaper published an article that ponders on the possibility of sinking a Hellenic Navy ship by Gioulen sympathisers in an action similar to the downing of the Russian SU-24 to cause Greece to attack Turkey.
Syria / Lebanon / Saudi Arabia:
22nd March 2018 – Defence Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA, official U.S. government body to facilitate arms exports) published the approval of a request by Saudi Arabia for up to 6600 TOW 2B ATGMs. Saudi Arabia also got approval on April 5th for the provision of 180 kits to upgrade its M109 Paladin mobile artillery systems to the A6 standard. One can understand the artillery upgrade although to be fair the Saudis do not need the A6 standard, much less so they do not need 6600 ATGMs to fight Houthis. Note that these two new deals are not part of the infamous $110B deal Trump singed last year.
Readers can monitor major arms sales via this link, keeping always in mind that DSCA reports the maximum possible order quantity approved.
28th March 2018 – Cyprus announced the provision of €15,000,000 of military assistance to the Lebanese armed forces. The two countries have cooperated in defence matters in the past, with Cypriot officers and NCOs travelling to Lebanon for training. This move is intended to help relations between the two countries especially now as they try to finalise the Exclusive Economic Zone boundaries in East Mediterranean.
30th March 2018 – French newspaper Le Parisien reported that France will dispatch ground forces (read Special Forces) in Syria, supposedly as assistance to the Kurds. On April 3rd, the Turkish State News Agency Anadolu published a map that supposedly showed the locations of the French troops in Syria.
Re the cooperation between Cyprus and Lebanon, they need to defend their prospective gas fields from the local bullies, Turkey and Israel.
There are so many strands and factors to that corner of the world, alliances and rivalries shift according to the topic.
I think France has been inserted into Syria so it can receive Afrin, be encauldroned there, be false flag struck by (novichok) which gets traced to Iran-OPCW (novichok) developments and elucidations carried out in 2016. France is the NATO proxy sitting in the bull ant nest. Iran is the target. Once Iran is fingered probably repeatably as the source of CW attacks on the French the West will say “since Iran has stooped to CW we can use nukes to deal with them”. I don’t think the West want war this second. They want to cement the inserted French with a longer term goal of occupying until that fateful day when it will sacrifice truck loads of personnel as a prop for the frame up of Tehran and Damascus CW attacks on the French. I could be wrong tho. Obviously. I may have another theory in a moment. Things are fluid and murky.
I commented a few years ago that Russia cannot allow the U.S. to conquer Syria for if Syria falls without challenge, so will Crimea and then Donbass as well. The Iranian government will be crushed, too. A pause in the war will happen as the U.S. rearms and begins to position itself to attack Chinese defenses.
Syria is “the battle space” that must be held at all costs. The loss of Syria will be more than Russia’s investment in the oil and gas infrastructure for its future economic growth. If the U.S.-NATO is allowed to conduct a campaign of destruction unimpeded like they’ve done in Iraq and Libya, there will be no stopping them.
President Putin has resurrected the “Stavka” war cabinet created by Joseph Stalin to manage the war against the Nazi fascists (see: http://johnhelmer.net/good-friday-resurrection-sunday-russias-new-war-cabinet-to-be-headed-by-sergei-sobyanin/#more-19030 ). These are serious, disciplined military men, students of combat tactics and possess a depth of knowledge that exceeds the combined western faction of armchair generals and admirals who for the majority of their careers have not fought a prolonged conflict on a hemispherical scale. Men such as these do not finesse like the diplomats and statesmen of the Foreign Ministry Service. They create caldrons of lethality that will lay waste to every enemy asset viewed as a direct or indirect threat. They will not fail in their duty and will strike repeatedly until the opposition is neutralized whether in the air, at sea or on land.
The U.S. strategy is to launch hundreds of missiles into Syria which will overwhelm Russia’s mobile defensive batteries and force the commanders on the ground will capitulate. The flying projectiles are like bullets shot from a soldier’s gun. You don’t knock down the bullets, you kill the soldier and in this case the surface warships, submarine boats and high altitude aircraft that are the launching platforms.
An aircraft carrier has a crew complement of over 5,000 sailors in addition to its air wing. A carrier cannot launch and recover fighter-bomber aircraft while under direct attack no matter how much confidence the theater commander has in the ability of the support ships in the carrier’s battle group to protect it. The floating airstrip will be seriously wrecked by anti-ship missiles and the crew will have to respond to damage control first to bring the fires aboard ship under control.
At the point when the Russian Defense Forces starts damaging U.S. naval assets either in the Mediterranean Sea, Red Sea or Persian Gulf, Washington will have to make a decision: escalate or withdraw their attack. If they choose to escalate, it means first flying aircraft from ally countries into the battle and then sailing more warships into the region. Russia will respond with its air force and naval fleet and and fully engage the U.S.-NATO enemy. The outcome is uncertain at this point but you can bet the U.S. will take a heavy, heavy toll in its military arsenal. Russia will be wounded but will not give up the fight, their will is too strong and the successful outcome of the great patriotic war is on their side.
Back channel diplomatic meetings between the U.S. and Russia will happen during the battle, very much like the Paris peace accords of the Vietnam war era. How long the war takes is unknown but I don’t believe it will rise to the level of a nuclear war despite the MSM talking up threats of using nuclear weapons.
How do I know the conflict won’t go that way? I’m praying to God Almighty that it won’t and I put my faith in him, always.
“Syria is “the battle space” that must be held at all costs. The loss of Syria will be more than Russia’s investment in the oil and gas infrastructure for its future economic growth. If the U.S.-NATO is allowed to conduct a campaign of destruction unimpeded like they’ve done in Iraq and Libya, there will be no stopping them.”
Indeed, and to add an element generally overlooked by those who have their eyes too close to geopolitics… The West, the Empire of Chaos (i’m referring to its 0.001% plus the 10% support base, made of intellectual and professional casts etc.) cannot stop, will not stop. Not only for cynical or ideological reasons, or the sheer immorality of this way of life-death.
What am i referring to here? The laws of physics and biology governing all past empires, both continentals or sea-based, this one more than any others, because its deadly weakness is its high caloric need.
Collapse of Complex Societies by Dr. Joseph Tainter https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G0R09YzyuCI
The western way of life, like the previous Roman Empire, requires a lot of energy units. Unlike the Romans, the Egyptians, Assyrians etc. it isn’t a low tech civilization based on solar energy (aka traditional agriculture at scale to feed its privileged classes and its soldiers). These empires always had to expand to extract more energy units to sustain a larger and more complex empire, repeat ad nauseam until implosion. They cannot stop at Syria, or Iran, they think they can buy a few more years by raping Russia, China, India etc.
The techno-industrial nature of this globalized euro-american-zionist beast makes more and not less in need of endless expansion (be it virtual through virtual money printing, financial bubbles, land-grabbing for industrial mono cultures…) Add to that the 6th mass extinction of all forms of life caused by the American Way of “Life” and all the “wannabee American” and the exponential curve is shouting in absolute silence, while madness tweets for more war, more lies, more psychotic denial of reality.
Since 1492 Europe, then their US of A mutant child, amassed gold and prestige through predation on all life forms, and through genocide of any and all ancient (wiser though never perfect) ways of life. They will not, cannot stop now.
They only have insane fantasies of “Übermenschen” pillaging Mother Russia, sending China back to the Opium dream, burning Old Persia and then surviving another day on a dying biosphere.
Aside from the deep immorality and satanic nature of this project, the brutal laws of physics and biology will wipe them out.
The irony: the “low tech” pockets of civilizations, living the simple and tough life of Africa or Russia in the nineties, may very well survive, not our brave homo consumeris.
In that sense time is not on their side, whatever insane move these western ruling classes plan, they share the fate of a dying roman empire.
PokeTheTruth and Arab Adighe, many thanks for your wise views. If the west had any sense, it would be now the time to start negotiations… Perhaps, they already know that it is too late to save nature, as for this reason are going for the last kill…
I just read here –
that Chinese missile ships are now off Syria supporting the Russian navy.
Anyone able to confirm this? Is it true?
This is the source:
“Russia Today, citing a write up that appeared in Al-Masdar Al-Arabi — a Lebanon based news website — reported that a Chinese naval vessel is on its way to Syria with dozens of “military advisers” on board.”
It appears to be a single vessel, but symbols are as important as anything in this war.
I don’t know this website – it might be worth observing.
Every few months we hear China has ships or soldiers here, there and everywhere in the Middle East, especially during moments of rising tension. These reports always turn out to be false and seem to be generated in pro Russian alt-media, likely because it is neccessary to convince the pro Russian cohort that China is onside with Russia to sustain a specific illusion about how the war of Oligarchs against Humanity is proceeding.
China is onside with itself and with the Neocon conceived Petro Yuan after that, as their three recent abstentions, failing to support Syria and Russia at the UN once again demonstrate. They stand to inherit the world when Behemoth and Leviathan wreck each others economies in an utterly pointless conflict except that is will serve as cover for a financial fraud a hundreds or more times elaborate than what occurred in 2008. If in doubt check the number of ‘Khazarians’ moving to Hong Kong and Singapore and finding for themselves a Chinese wife with which to spawn. Like Zuckerberg for example, LOL. These sociopaths are incorrigible and like those guys you see who always wear the jersey of the last world champion in any given sport thay plan to be on the winning team one way or another.
This is the double game being played by Atlanticists in Russia, who control RT, Russia Insider and etc. They don’t care what happens to Russia or Syria so long as their bank accounts in London and increasingly in Asia are secure.
The same goes for Iran, which is portrayed as an ally of Russia, which is absolutely untrue save perhaps a few Revolutionary Guards and there is a boatload of evidence to demonstrate this is the situation with the current government of Iran, from Rouhani’s days as point man in Iran-Contra ‘negotiations’ to the recent nuclear agreement which was effectively 100 billion dollar giveaway to Zionist bankers.
In any case, Russia and the holders of Donald Trump’s twitter account are giving us a show to bring in the NWO which they prefer. Although it will be less worse than what we would’ve got under Clintonite Zionists it is still corporatism and fascism in almost every respect.
Check back in 2 weeks and you’ll see everything has already blown over, even if one or two ships are sunk to convince us a World War has occurred. I am much more worried about repressive measures against our ability to communicate via the internet after the Syrian fireworks provide sufficient justification for already well prepared plans.
“I am much more worried about repressive measures against our ability to communicate via the internet after the Syrian fireworks provide sufficient justification for already well prepared plans.”
You make much sense, 2 weeks it is then.
the obvious question and implication is that if Leviathan and Behemoth fight is that both will not leave China standing…
in the case of Russia they will not leave Israel standing. and Israel., in anticipation would be ready for any eventuality with an agenda of its own which would include taking ran out at the same time as well. Israel will surely use such an opportunity to nuke Iran
and likewise Iran would be ready to let loose its massive conventional arsenal on Israel
how would this scenario be avoided in Where-wolfs scenario?
how woud a nuclear winter for the planet be avoided even if only Behemoth and Leviathan fight?
I mean… how would a nuclear winter be avoided if only India and Pakistani for example.. fight? what is there to inherit relative to the planet even from limited nuclear warfare? there are so many poisons and flame inducers in quantity on the planet that the nuclear strikes would maximise who would survive anyway..and in what shape?
and dont they all know this..all of the leaders, their political parties and academic elites,think tanks etc? and if they all know and are coordinated in creating Globalisation why fight, destroying the process the planet they all want to inherit and live in sweetly?
seems to me if the rich are all on the same page, they would save the planet and kill off most of the people. they are doing so already in mundane ways by poisoning the food – GMO and its poisonous culture, reducing male sperm count globally, poisoning the water supply, high levels of global pollution and on and on..
if they were all on the same page I dont think they would risk the planet by simple mistake that may trigger war? and they would not have to demonize Putin so extremely..would they? I mean can Putin even contemplate what the Anglo/Zionists will do to the Russian people if he capitulates hands over Russia to them?
doesn’t the tremendous Russian history and culture nothing to him..the tremendous Bolshevik achievements in quick historical time, the massive incredible Russian character that allow them to withstand Napoleon, then even more massively, Hitler and the Germans?
Yeltsin and Gorbachev did not seem to care about anything of the sort..yet according to a report I saw Yeltsin at the end was keen to make sure that Putin would pull the country back in the process of handing over to him.
Putin seems very oligarch, contemptuous of socialism,apparently calls the Russian communist period a waste of time. yet he fought in Georgia and has made some significant achievements as president of Russia..for Russia.
am looking for support for Where-wolf’s argument. too want to know, to be as certain as possible about what’s going on
that is contradictory where-wolf how can this be true if they are all on the same side:
“China is onside with itself and with the Neocon conceived Petro Yuan after that, as their three recent abstentions, failing to support Syria and Russia at the UN once again demonstrate. They stand to inherit the world when Behemoth and Leviathan wreck each others economies in an utterly pointless conflict except that is will serve as cover for a financial fraud a hundreds or more times elaborate than what occurred in 2008”
and this too..contradictory, they are on the same side according to you:
“In any case, Russia and the holders of Donald Trump’s twitter account are giving us a show to bring in the NWO which they prefer. Although it will be less worse than what we would’ve got under Clintonite Zionists it is still corporatism and fascism in almost every respect.”
you may be right but if you are it is inadvertent. you have not proved it with that comment above. in fact you read, sound like a confused person. they are all oligarchs for sure but it would take a whole lot of coordination to bring about what you claim. it is possible but you should try to prove that coordination place and produced what you claim.
in my estimation there are a million alternative ways to bring about globalization in easier less costly ways, still kill hundreds of millions of people very quietly..especially if they are all on the same page. the levels of resources they would command is mind boggling. and they are on the verge of commanding AI. imagine what they can do with that when they achieve some mastery over that science. taking over openly would be easy so why not just wait, placating the multitudes along the way?
Nice point about Iranian president Rouhani..seems powerful especially given that Khameni’s supreme council banned Amaninejhad from running for the Iranian presidency last time. Undemocratic that. and that decisison seems to amount to protecting Rouhani’s leadership. Why?
if you are right they are all in collusion with a globalist program. but how does strenuous Iranian defense of the JCPOA fit in with a globalist program?
This seems new – at least new in a mainstream newspaper.
It’s also here:
I’m suspecting it is a fact.
Yes, Yeni Safak editor Ibrahim Karagül (Kakaouskia’s link) definitely writes excellent articles.
Link in English: https://www.yenisafak.com/en/columns/ibrahimkaragul/what-if-this-time-a-greek-ship-is-struck-after-a-russian-plane-2045398
Of course, like in Russia, it takes some time for Turkish media to adjust from AngloZionist/NATO vassalage to Turkish sovereignty.
OT just to say the picture attached to this post I find deeply, deeply funny.
Could we have a high res version posted for wallpaper or a link to the original?
That American naval armada just may receive a much deserved “Sunburn” if they ain’t careful.
The Americans very good at running their mouths and peddling disinformation and propaganda–whether that be mainstream or “alternative” Anglophone mouthpieces.
But when it comes to a shooting war, they are only good for slaughtering civilians–like those joystick warriors who operate those Predator drones from the safety of Nevada or other godforsaken places.
The American Empire’s primary tactic is not military but disinformation–sowing confusion, deceit, and division to prevent integration between the major Eurasian nations (Russia, China, Iran), which is the fundamental enemy of the Anglo Americans in general since Halford Mackinder.
America is like the proverbial snake in the Garden of Eden, whispering in the ears of all who would listen in order to manipulate and mislead.
It’s ingrained into the political and cultural DNA of American national identity to seek to dominate, subjugate, and economically pillage–all to sustain the monstrosity that is the oh-so-precious American Way of Life and parasitic Dollar reserve currency.
This is *not* just a problem of the elites but also the American people themselves–who can be guaranteed to turn towards more aggressive nationalism, as they fear their evil empire and economy deservedly imploding. You can smell the thinly disguised panic from their words and actions.
This is how the American entity was spawned as a White colonizer nation with delusions of Manifest Destiny–and the enslavement of Blacks, the ethnic cleansing of Native Indians….
Today, American Manifest Destiny delusions have not died; they have only been repackaged and they will be aggressively pursued regardless of what regime in the Americans’ lily White House.
Russia and China are creating infrastructure to replace the crumbling infrastructure of the western failing system. It is a necessity. Time is very important, here. May be, the infrastructure is already there; but, Russia and China are just taking their time, waiting for the destruction of the last vestiges of the old way of doing things!
Transport infrastructure is an important issue. The wet still controls the distribution of food and goods around the world. What has been done to guarantee that there will be just minor interruptions when the whole system collapses? How badly would Russia, China, Iran be affected if trade with them was interrupted?
These are relevant issues (and certainly deadly weapons) in the hands of the western vultures in power… Let’s keep our eyes on any changes in this sector, as it is an indicator of changes ahead. Let’s see what happens.
Never said when an attack on Syria would take place. Could be very soon or not so soon at all! In any event, the United States, under my Administration, has done a great job of ridding the region of ISIS. Where is our “Thank you America?”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 12, 2018
Thanks Donnie America, for bringing the world to the brink of Armageddon.