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  #1  
Old 09-25-2016, 09:38 PM
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Exclamation WAR Drums Over Syria

WAR Drums Over Syria
US and Europe ramp up pressure on Russia over Syrian conflict
by: Erika Solomon


https://www.ft.com/content/cdd5f09c-...c-6e7d9515ad15


Europe and the US ramped up diplomatic pressure on Russia, accusing Moscow of supporting the Syrian regime’s offensive on Aleppo that has derailed international efforts to revive Syria’s ceasefire.

The UN Security Council held an urgent meeting on Sunday at the request of the UK, the US and France to discuss the intensifying attacks on the strategic northern city, which is suffering the fiercest bombing of the five-year civil war, apparently with support from Russian warplanes.

Jean-Marc Ayrault, France’s foreign minister, told the meeting that Russia and Iran, which also backs the Syrian regime, would be accomplices to war crimes if they did not press President Bashar al-Assad to stop the violence.

He said the Syrian government “has clearly made the choice of a military escalation”.

“I am calling on Russia and Iran to pull themselves together and show responsibility, by putting a stop to this strategy,” Mr Ayrault said. “If not, Russia and Iran will be accomplices in war crimes committed in Aleppo.”

Foreign ministers from the US, the UK, France, Italy and Germany — along with the EU’s foreign policy chief — have accused Russia of violating a ceasefire intended to halt the fighting.

Moscow’s support for attacks carried out by Mr Assad’s forces “blatantly contradicts Russia’s claim that it supports a diplomatic resolution”, the US and European ministers said in a joint statement on Sunday. “The burden is on Russia to prove it is willing and able to take extraordinary steps to salvage diplomatic efforts.”

Vitaly Churkin, Russia’s UN ambassador, told the security council that peace in Syria was “almost an impossible task now”.

More than 200 civilians have died in three days of near-constant shelling that has pounded rebel-held districts, according to medical professionals in the area. Aleppo — the biggest strategic and political prize of the conflict — is divided between regime forces on the west and rebels in the east, where a quarter of a million people are trapped under a government siege.

“We have exhausted all the options of civilian protection — we’ve even dug hospitals underground and in caves, as if we are living in the Middle Ages,” said Raed al-Saleh, head of the rescue group in Aleppo known as the “White Helmets”.

Aleppo residents say the latest bombing has even damaged these underground clinics, with what they call “bunker-busting” weapons.

Several hospitals have also been destroyed in strikes that have caused so much destruction that many roads and districts have been blocked by debris as aid workers struggle to reach people trapped under rubble. Medical workers said rescuers have had to walk on foot for several kilometres to reach bomb sites — and back out again with wounded survivors.

The ceasefire was brokered earlier this month by Moscow and Washington, which backs Syria’s opposition. But it collapsed last Monday, just seven days after it began, derailing a multi-step deal meant to allow for the delivery of humanitarian aid, pave the way for political talks and initiate US-Russian military co-operation against jihadi forces in the country.

Russia and Mr Assad now appear determined to break a years-long stalemate and try to take Aleppo. If the regime succeeds, the offensive could be a turning point of the war — the city is the opposition’s last urban stronghold, and without it, they fear their uprising will fade into a rural insurgency ignored by the outside world.

Rebel groups said efforts by western powers to pressure Russia to help implement the ceasefire is worthless, arguing that Moscow could no longer be seen as a legitimate international broker of the deal.

“The negotiations process based on the current system is no longer meaningful in the wake of the bombing and killing and destruction that needs to stop completely,” rebel factions from northern Syria said in a joint statement. “We do not accept the Russian side as a party to oversee negotiations given that it is the regime’s partner in its crimes against our people.”

The warring sides were locked in fierce battles on Aleppo’s main supply routes on the northern and southern outskirts of the city at the weekend as regime forces tried to strengthen their blockade.

Activists and medical workers shared pictures on social media of clinics crammed so full of victims that they had been laid out for treatment along bloodied hallways. One of the most uploaded was a haunting photograph of their rescuers uncovering a woman and her two children buried alive in the rubble.

However, Damascus appears emboldened despite the international condemnation of the devastation in Aleppo.

“Our belief in victory is even greater now that the Syrian Arab Army is making great strides in its war against terrorism, with the support of the true friends of the Syrian people, notably the Russian Federation, Iran and the Lebanese national resistance,” Walid al-Moualem, the foreign minister, told the UN General Assembly on Saturday.

But even with Moscow’s help, Mr Assad’s forces will struggle to take the city. Rebels have for years dug fortifications and underground tunnels, meaning any ground invasion is likely to be long and costly.

https://www.ft.com/content/cdd5f09c-...c-6e7d9515ad15
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  #2  
Old 09-25-2016, 10:01 PM
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Exclamation Top US General Warns Syrian 'No-Fly' Zone Means War with Russia

Top US General Warns Syrian 'No-Fly' Zone Means War with Russia


https://www.rt.com/usa/360317-carter...russia-senate/


Speaking to the US Senate, the Pentagon’s leaders blamed Russia for the Aleppo aid convoy attack, but admitted they “had no facts.” Only US coalition planes should be allowed over Syria, they said, though that would require war against both Syria and Russia.

Defense Secretary Ash Carter and General Joseph Dunford, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, faced the Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday to report on the ongoing military operations and “national security challenges” faced by the US. They also asked the senators for more reliable funding, saying the uncertainty was hurting the defense industry.

“Not only our people – our defense industry partners, too, need stability and longer-term plans to be as efficient and cutting-edge as we need them to be,” Carter told the senators.


Nebojsa Malic @NebojsaMalic
Speaking about #sequester at #SASC, Ash Carter said it was unfair to "defense industry partners" too.
12:48 PM - 22 Sep 2016
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The lawmakers were far less interested in the war against Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) than about the future of the Syrian government, Iran’s “malign influence,” and “aggression” by China and Russia – all ranked far ahead of terrorism on Carter and Dunford’s list of security challenges.

The Pentagon had “no intention” of sharing intelligence with Russia when it came to Syria, Dunford told the lawmakers unequivocally. Secretary Carter explained that the joint implementation councils envisioned by the ceasefire proposal negotiated in Geneva wouldn’t share intelligence, just coordinate efforts – but that they were a moot point anyway, since the ceasefire was effectively dead.

Both the lawmakers and the Pentagon chiefs blamed that development on Russia, focusing on the alleged airstrike against the humanitarian convoy in east Aleppo while the US-led airstrike against the Syrian Army fighting IS in Deir ez-Zor went unmentioned.

“I don’t have the facts,” Dunford said, when asked about the convoy attack by Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut). “It was either the Russians or the regime,” he added.

“There is no doubt in my mind that the Russians are responsible,” whether directly or because they backed the government in Damascus, Dunford said, describing the attack as “an unacceptable atrocity.”

Carter explained Dunford’s logic in a response to Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina), saying that “the Russians are responsible for this strike whether they conducted it or not, because they took responsibility for the conduct of the Syrians by associating themselves with the Syrian regime.”

The latest proposal by Secretary of State John Kerry involves grounding only Syrian and Russian airplanes, Carter told Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-New Hampshire).

“There can be no question of grounding US aircraft” over Syria, he said, adding that US jets conduct their strikes “with exceptional precision… that no other country can match.”

Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Mississippi) asked about what it would take for the US to impose a no-fly zone over Syria, using the phrase “control the airspace.”

“Right now… for us to control all of the airspace in Syria would require us to go to war against Syria and Russia,” Dunford replied, drawing a rebuke from committee chairman John McCain (R-Arizona), who argued a no-fly zone was possible without war.

Asked about the video of US-backed Syrian rebels insulting US Special Forces in Al-Rai and running them out of the northern Syrian town, Carter and Dunford shrugged it off.

A “very small minority took verbal action” against US troops, said Dunford, who admitted he did not watch the video but had discussed it with US commanders. He said the incident was “irrelevant” because the US-backed forces and Turkey were making “great progress” along Syria’s northern border.


RT America ✔ @RT_America
What could go wrong? #Obama mulls arming Syrian #Kurds against #ISIS http://on.rt.com/7pxe
2:30 PM - 21 Sep 2016
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In their exchange with Graham, Carter and Dunford confirmed there is a plan to arm the Kurdish militia (https://www.rt.com/usa/360194-obama-arming-kurds-syria/) in Syria, over Turkish objections, as a way of advancing on the IS stronghold of Raqqa. Once Raqqa is taken, however, an Arab force would be required to hold it. “We have a plan,” Dunford said, but described it as “not resourced.”

Dunford agreed with Graham’s assertion that the US had two objectives – to destroy IS and to “remove Assad,” referring to the Syrian president – but admitted the Kurds were not interested in the latter.

“If the main fighting force inside of Syria is not signed up to take Assad out, where does that force come from?” Graham asked. Neither Dunford nor Carter had an answer to that.

Both the Pentagon heads and the lawmakers agreed throughout the hearing that caps on military spending mandated by sequestration were harmful and needed to be repealed. Lack of funding posed a significant threat to readiness and maintenance, Carter and Dunford argued, before pointing out that the US military was still the strongest, most powerful and most competent in the world.


https://www.rt.com/usa/360317-carter...russia-senate/
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Old 09-30-2016, 04:31 PM
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Exclamation War drums: Syria flares

Regime Forces Amass Around Aleppo As Diplomacy Falters
By Barbara Starr and Elise Labott, CNN


http://www.cnn.com/2016/09/29/politi...sis/index.html


Washington (CNN)As an estimated 10,000 Syrian-led ground troops amass east of Aleppo, the US is considering a tougher response to Russia over its support for the Assad regime and its role in the bombardment of the city, senior administration officials told CNN.

The troops have gathered in advance of what is believed to perhaps be a final ground assault over the coming days by Syrian government forces against rebels holding the key city, in what one US official described as an unprecedented degree of firepower to be unleashed on the besieged area.

While no decisions have been made about moving against Russia, American consideration of more aggressive actions comes amid a threat by Secretary of State John Kerry Thursday to halt diplomacy with Moscow over Syria.

With diplomacy failing, US officials say initial brainstorming sessions are taking place throughout the government at the staff level on alternatives to working with Russia, ranging from economic to military measures.

They stress no recommendations have been presented to the White House. One official said the US is looking back to the "Ukraine playbook," a reference to the non-military measures the West used to pressure Russia for its aggression toward its eastern neighbor.

In Syria, the US is looking at holding Russia accountable for the brutal assault on rebel-held areas of Aleppo this week, some of the worst violence since the start of the five-year war. Some US officials are already suggesting war crimes have been committed.

After speaking for the second time in 24 hours with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Kerry told an audience at the Washington Ideas Festival that the US is "on the verge of suspending the discussion" with Russia, which was aimed a brokering a ceasefire that would have grounded Syrian aerial attacks on the city and paved the way for greater US-Russian cooperation on attacking terror groups who have taken hold during the civil war.

"It's irrational in the context of the kind of bombing taking place to be sitting there and trying to take things seriously," Kerry said, calling the assault on Aleppo "inexcusable" and "beyond the pale."

Verge of collapse

US officials estimate Aleppo, bombarded by Syrian and Russian strikes, could collapse in the coming days, with up to 300,000 civilians trapped in the city with what the US believes is "little clean drinking water" and no medical care available.

One official said the US is "seeing indications" of preparations for a possible ground assault. The amassed troops, which may include Iranian and other militias, are backed up by Russian aircraft and regime helicopter-launched barrel bombs, which the US said includes cluster munitions and phosphorous bombs.

"It's a degree of firepower that can be unleashed that is going to be the worst we have seen yet," one official said.

On Wednesday, State Department spokesman John Kirby said administration officials across various agencies were discussing other options for Syria "that don't revolve around diplomacy."

Officials say the possibilities under consideration include allowing Gulf allies to supply more sophisticated weaponry to US-backed rebels.

But officials across the administration fear that ramping up the arming of Syrian rebels would be disastrous because of the risk that, if anti-aircraft weapons were provided, they could easily fall into the hands of terrorists and be used to shoot down civilian airliners.

Military intervention?

A limited military intervention could include actions such as shooting down Syrian planes or striking regime air bases, but the White House has been reluctant to consider such measures, which risk a military confrontation in which Moscow shoots down US planes or draws in Iran to the fight.

Privately, US defense officials are emphasizing that there is no internal planning for military action at the Pentagon. They say there must be a formal policy decision before they can even assemble new options for the President, and there is no indication that President Barack Obama has asked for them.

Should Obama order such an operation, US officials said it could begin quickly as the US is well aware of airfields and bases both Syrian and Russian forces are using as a result of overhead surveillance and monitoring of communications.

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said this week the US is looking for "creative ways" to expedite delivery of humanitarian assistance. However, such a move could put US pilots potentially at risk of being attacked by Russian and Syrian jets -- the same problem in trying to enforce a no-fly zone.

Sanctions

Further sanctions against the Syrian regime, and even Russia, is also an option, officials said.

The White House publicly has said it's still working on the possibility of expanded sanctions against the Syrian regime and officials said existing executive orders could provide the authority to sanction Russian individuals and entities supporting Damascus.

In order to be effective, however, the US would need the support of its European allies to take similar measures.

When asked about possible sanctions or other measures against Moscow, Earnest said this week, "Russia will have to account for their actions in the context of the consequences they are likely to provoke."

In declaring Russia "responsible" for the situation in Aleppo, the US could also seek to hold Moscow accountable legally. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon Wednesday called deliberate attacks on hospitals and healthcare workers "war crimes."

On Wednesday, French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault proposed a new UN Security Council resolution for an Aleppo ceasefire, saying, "Those who don't vote for it risk being held responsible for complicity in war crimes."

http://www.cnn.com/2016/09/29/politi...sis/index.html
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  #4  
Old 10-01-2016, 08:45 AM
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I like that you have posted from both Financial Times and Russia Today so members may read of developments from both sides and reach to their own conclusions.

The West is blaming Russia but increasingly US-Turk backed and vetted FSA associates are being linked to Jihadis and deserting en masse with valueable training and equipment.

It appears that flawed and morally dubious though they may be, Jihadis, rebels, FSA, Turkey, Assad, Iran , Russia and even other bit players etc. have their own strategies they are working towards in Syria while USA is increasingly making tactical decisions and acting reactively as they go along.
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Old 10-01-2016, 03:56 PM
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Exclamation The New Middle East

The New Middle East
By Caroline Glick



http://carolineglick.com/the-new-middle-east/


A new Syria is emerging. And with it, a new Middle East and world are presenting themselves. Our new world is not a peaceful or stable one. It is a harsh place.

The new Syria is being born in the rubble of Aleppo.

The eastern side of the city, which has been under the control of US-supported rebel groups since 2012, is being bombed into the Stone Age by Russian and Syrian aircraft. All avenues of escape have been blocked. A UN aid convoy was bombed in violation of a fantasy cease-fire. Medical facilities and personnel are being targeted by Russia and Syrian missiles and barrel bombs to make survival impossible.

It is hard to assess how long the siege of eastern Aleppo by Russia, its Iranian and Hezbollah partners and its Syrian regime puppet will last. But what is an all but foregone conclusion now is that eastern Aleppo will fall. And with its fall, the Russian-Iranian-Hezbollah-Assad axis will consolidate its control over all of western Syria.

For four years, the Iranians, Hezbollah and Bashar Assad played a cat and mouse game with the rebel militias. Fighting a guerrilla war with the help of the Sunni population, the anti-regime militias were able to fight from and hide from within the civilian population. Consequently, they were all but impossible to defeat.

When Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed to join the fight, he and his generals soon recognized that this manner of fighting ensured perpetual war. So they changed tactics. The new strategy involves speeding up the depopulation and ethnic cleansing of rebel-held areas. The massive refugee flows from Syria over the past year are a testament to the success of the barbaric war plan. The idea is to defeat the rebel forces by to destroying the sheltering civilian populations.

Since the Syrian war began some five years ago, half of the pre-war population of 23 million has been displaced.

Sunnis, who before the war comprised 75% of the population, are being targeted for death and exile. More than 4 million predominantly Sunni Syrians are living in Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan. More than a million have entered Europe. Millions more have been internally displaced. Assad has made clear that they will never be coming home.

At the same time, the regime and its Iranian and Hezbollah masters have been importing Shi’ites from Iran, Iraq and beyond. The process actually began before the war started. In the lead-up to the war some half million Shi’ites reportedly relocated to Syria from surrounding countries.

This means that at least as far as western Syria is concerned, once Aleppo is destroyed, and the 250,000 civilians trapped in the eastern part of what was once Syria’s commercial capital are forced from their homes and property, the Russians, Iranians, Hezbollah and their Syrian fig leaf Assad will enjoy relative peace in their areas of control.

By adopting a strategy of total war, Putin has ensured that far from becoming the quagmire that President Barack Obama warned him Syria would become, the war in Syria has instead become a means to transform Russia into the dominant superpower in the Mediterranean, at the US’s expense.

In exchange for saving Assad’s neck and enabling Iran and Hezbollah to control Syria, Russia has received the capacity to successfully challenge US power. Last month Putin brought an agreement with Assad before the Duma for ratification. The agreement permits – indeed invites – Russia to set up a permanent air base in Khmeimim, outside the civilian airport in Latakia.

Russian politicians, media and security experts have boasted that the base will be able to check the power of the US Navy’s Sixth Fleet and challenge NATO’s southern flank in the Mediterranean basin for the first time. The Russians have also decided to turn their naval station at Tartus into something approaching a full-scale naval base.

With Russia’s recent rapprochement with Turkish President Recip Erdogan, NATO’s future ability to check Russian power through the Incirlik air base is in question.

Even Israel’s ability to permit the US access to its air bases is no longer assured. Russia has deployed air assets to Syria that have canceled Israel’s regional air superiority.

Under these circumstances, in a hypothetical Russian-US confrontation, Israel may be unwilling to risk Russian retaliation for a decision to permit the US to use its air bases against Russia.

America’s loss of control over the eastern Mediterranean is a self-induced disaster.

For four years, as Putin stood on the sidelines and hedged his bets, Obama did nothing. As Iran and Hezbollah devoted massive financial and military assets to maintaining their puppet Assad in power, the Obama administration squandered chance after chance to bring down the regime and stem Iran’s regional imperial advance.

For his refusal to take action when such action could have easily been taken, Obama shares the responsibility for what Syria has become. This state of affairs is all the more infuriating because the hard truth is that it wouldn’t have been hard for the US to defeat the Iranian- Hezbollah axis. The fact that even without US help the anti-regime forces managed to hold on for four years shows how weak the challenge posed by Iran and Hezbollah actually was.

Russia only went into Syria when Putin was absolutely convinced that Obama would do nothing to stop him from dislodging America as the premier global power in the region.

As Michael Ledeen recalled earlier this week, Obama chose to stand on the sidelines in Syria because he wanted to make friends with Iran. Obama began his secret courtship of the mullahs even before he officially took office eight years ago.

After the war broke out in Syria, midway through his first term and in the following years, the Russians and the Iranians told the obsessed American president that if he took action against Assad, as strategic rationality dictated, he would get no nuclear deal, and no rapprochement with Tehran.

So Obama let Syria burn. He let Iran and Hezbollah transform the country into their colony. And he let Putin transform the Mediterranean into a Russian lake.

Obama enabled the ethnic cleansing of Syria’s Sunni majority, and in turn facilitated the refugee crisis that is changing the face not only of the Middle East but of Europe as well.

And as it turns out, the deal with Iran that Obama willingly sacrificed US control of the Mediterranean to achieve has not ushered in a new era of regional moderation and stability through appeasement as Obama foresaw. It has weakened US credibility with its spurned Sunni allies. It has undermined the strategic position of Israel, the US’s only stable and reliable regional ally. It has financially and strategically fueled Iran’s hegemonic rise throughout the region. And it has facilitated Iran’s development of a nuclear arsenal.

Far from causing the Iranian to become more moderate, the nuclear deal has radicalized the regime still further. On Wednesday Ray Takeyh wrote in The Washington Post that Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei is now grooming Ibrahim Raisi, a fanatic who makes Khamenei look moderate, to succeed him in power.

On Monday night, for the first time, Israel Air Force jets flying over Syria were shot at by Syrian anti-aircraft ordnance.

Air force sources told the media that the aircraft were never in danger and the munitions were only shot off after the aircraft had returned to Israel and were in the process off landing.

The fact that no one was hurt is of course reassuring.

But the fact that Russia targeted the planes makes clear that Putin has decided to send Israel a very clear and menacing message.

He is now the protector of the Iranian-Hezbollah colony on our northern border. If Israel decides to preemptively attack targets belong to that colony, Russia will not stand by and watch. And with the US no longer well-positioned to challenge Russian power in the region, Israel will have to deal with Russia on its own.

To face this challenge, Israel needs to look beyond its traditional reliance on air power.

There are two parts of the challenge. The first part is Iran.

As far as Israel is concerned, the problem with the Russian- Iranian takeover of Syria is not Putin.

Putin is not inherently hostile to Israel, as his Soviet predecessors were. He is an opportunist. Obama gave him the opportunity to partner with Iran in asserting Russian dominance in the Middle East and he took it. Israel is threatened by the alliance because it is threatened by Iran, not by Putin. To neutralize the alliance’s threat to its own security, Israel then needs to degrade Iran’s power, and it needs to emphasize its own.

To accomplish these goals, Israel needs to operate in two completely separate arenas. To weaken Iran, Israel should take its cue from Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, and from its own past successful military ties to the Kurds of Iraq in the 1960s and 1970s.

Israel needs to deploy military trainers beyond its borders to work with other anti-Iranian forces. The goal of that cooperation must be to destabilize the regime, with the goal of overthrowing it. This may take time. But it must be done. The only way to neutralize the threat emanating from the new Syria is to change the nature of the Iranian regime that controls it.

As for Russia, Israel needs to demonstrate that it is a power that Putin can respect in its own right, and not a downgraded Washington’s sock puppet.

To this end, Israel should embark on a rapid expansion of its civilian presence along its eastern border with Syria and with Jordan. As Russia’s air base in Syria undermines Israel’s air superiority and reliance on air power, Israel needs to show that it will not be dislodged or allow its own territory to be threatened in any way.

By doubling the Israeli population on the Golan Heights within five years, and vastly expanding its population in the Jordan Valley, Israel will accomplish two goals at once. It will demonstrate its independence from the US without harming US strategic interests. And it will reinforce its eastern border against expanded strategic threats from both the Golan Heights and the new Jordan with its bursting population of Syrian and Iraqi refugees.

It is ironic that the new Middle East is coming into focus as Shimon Peres, the failed visionary of a fantasy- based new Middle East, is being laid to rest. But to survive in the real new Middle East, Israel must bury Peres’s belief that peace is built by appeasing enemies along with him. The world in which we live has a place for dreamers.

But dreams, unhinged from reality, lead to Aleppo, not to peace.

Originally published in The Jerusalem Post.

http://carolineglick.com/the-new-middle-east/

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Asymmetric Warfare It’s not just for the “Other Guys”


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Old 10-16-2016, 05:44 AM
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Exclamation Russian flagship aircraft carrier departs for Syria coast

Russian Flagship Aircraft Carrier Departs For Syria Coast



Russia's flagship aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov to be deployed in the eastern Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Syria


Moscow (AFP) - Russia's flagship aircraft carrier set off Saturday for the Mediterranean Sea where Moscow's naval forces are supporting its bombing campaign in Syria, the defence ministry said.

The deployment of the Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier comes weeks after Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said the ship would be sent to the eastern Mediterranean to boost the country's naval forces in the area.

The Admiral Kuznetsov is travelling with the Pyotr Veliky battlecruiser, the Vice-Admiral Kulakov destroyer and large anti-submarine ships, the ministry said.

In addition to safeguarding maritime navigation, the ships are meant to "respond to new types of modern threats like piracy and international terrorism," the ministry said.

Russia has been flying a bombing campaign in Syria for the past year in support of President Bashar al-Assad and has deployed a naval contingent to back up its operation.

This is the first time that the Soviet-era Kuznetsov -- Russia's only aircraft carrier part of its Northern fleet based in Murmansk -- will join the Russian deployment after undergoing a refurbishment.

The defence ministry did not specify how long the aircraft carrier's mission would last.

Russia has a base in government-controlled Syrian territory from which it has flown most of its bombing raids in the country.

This week President Vladimir Putin approved a law ratifying Moscow's deal with Damascus to deploy its forces in the country indefinitely, in a move seen as firming their long-term presence.

The defence ministry said earlier this week that Moscow was poised to transform its naval facility in the Syrian port city of Tartus into a permanent base.

Moscow has flown long-range bombing raids from bases in Russia and fired cruise missiles from ships in the Caspian Sea and a submarine in the Mediterranean.

https://www.yahoo.com/news/russian-f...151259449.html

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Last edited by Paparock; 10-16-2016 at 05:58 AM..
  #7  
Old 10-16-2016, 06:00 AM
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It is not only Northern Fleet's but also Russian Federation's only A/C, ballsy move to risk deploying it in the Med region.
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Old 10-16-2016, 06:48 AM
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Exclamation It is a Threat!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Knaur View Post
It is not only Northern Fleet's but also Russian Federation's only A/C, ballsy move to risk deploying it in the Med region.
It is a Threat! It is putting the United States on notice who the power is in the Middle East now and daring the USA to challenge them knowing full well Obama does not have the spine to do so!
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Old 10-16-2016, 03:43 PM
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Exclamation The Perils of War by Proxy

The Perils of War by Proxy
And how they illuminate what the U.S. should do in Syria.
By Mike Konrad


http://www.americanthinker.com/artic..._by_proxy.html


If there is one common trait among great powers, it is that they wage war by proxy. If there is one common yet unlearned lesson from this practice, it is that such wars almost inevitably backfire. The record of history is clear: the West, and particularly we in America, should not be engaging in this.

As the Syrian Civil War starts to enter its sixth year, with no end in sight, one should reflect that whatever the internal brutalities and contradictions in the Syrian government, it soon became a battleground for everyone else and his relatives.

The Saudis, fearful of the Iranian Shi'a, armed the Sunni rebels, as much to deflect al-Qaeda from toppling the corrupt Saudi regime as to fight Iran. The Iranians, determined to keep their Alawite pratboy in power, and to humiliate the Saudis, sent in Shi'a Hezb'allah troops to assist Assad.

As if this were not bad enough, the West armed proxies to assist in the overthrow of Assad – which in turn gave rise to ISIS.

Why? Assad, as bad as he was, was no menace to us, and he was the lesser evil of anyone who would replace him. Yet, in spite of common sense, we started arming proxies.

The Syrian mess we see now is the result of this dirty business. And we have only to look at some of the more famous debacles of this nature in history to see that rarely does anything good come of this.

We could go back to the Anglo-Spanish War of the late 16th and early 17th centuries. Given that we live in an Anglophonic culture, we tend to think of England as winning that war when it sank the Spanish Armada.

England did not win. Lesser known is that a mere year after the Spanish Armada was thwarted, the English raised a counter-armada (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_Armada) that went down in equally horrific destruction (See video #1 at bottom of this post). The English-speaking world forgets that inconvenient Hispanic reply. The war, which went on for five decades, was incompetently waged by both sides, and it ended in a status quo ante draw – one of the reasons that two thirds of the New World still speaks Spanish or Portuguese.

What is even less appreciated is that Britain, always looking to wage war on the cheap, made full use of privateers, whose job was to prey on the Spanish Main. Unwilling to fully pay for a national navy to do the job and reap the rewards, England subcontracted the job to what were essentially proxy pirates.

When the war ended, the pirates, unwilling to end their lucrative careers and retire, then decided that the newest and richest source of prey was English shipping. The proxy war had returned to bite England. Pirates would plague the Caribbean for centuries. Worse yet, these pirates were often better armed and trained than the official British navy. They were certainly better paid.

We could go back farther. The Celtic Britons hired Anglo-Saxon mercenaries to protect them from their non-Romanized Celtic cousins in Ireland and Alba (Scotland). But who would protect them from the Saxons?

According to Bede (http://www.ancient.eu/Saxons/), the famous British monk who lived in the early Middle Ages, the Britons were suffering attacks from the Scots [the Irish] and the Picts, so they decided to hire some of the Saxons as mercenaries to fight their enemies.

For the fastest turnaround, we could look at World War I. Germany was fighting a two-front war against the Western Allies and Russia. The Germans authorized that Vladimir Lenin be snuck in a railroad car from neutral Switzerland back to Russia. Thence, the Germans expected, Lenin could foment a revolution that would overthrow the Russian government. Russia would have to sue for peace, and Germany could train all of its energy on a quick victory in the West.

Lenin did not disappoint. Within a year, the Russian government had been overthrown twice. Eventually, Lenin's government sued for peace in March 1918. What the Germans had not anticipated is that these same Russian Soviets would propagandize the German troops. Eight months later, German soldiers and sailors – yes, they called them Soviets – overthrew the Kaiser.

In the case of Germany, it would take German troops returning home in defeat, the Freikorps, to stop the leftists from taking over Germany. The nascent Weimar Republic would set the Freikorps against the leftists. Ironically, these Freikorps would morph into brownshirts and be responsible for setting up the Nazi regime a decade later, overturning Weimar.

What goes around comes around.

Red China armed the Vietnamese to fight Americans by proxy. In 1979, the Vietnamese handed China a defeat in the Sino-Vietnamese (http://time.com/100417/china-vietnam...uth-china-sea/) war. Now the Vietnamese, who fought us Americans, want protection from the Chinese in the dispute (http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-pacific-13748349) over the South China Sea islands. They want America as a proxy?

In the '70s and '80s, Israel, faced with an interminable war with the PLO, decided to support an Islamic resurgence among the Palestinians in the hopes of weaning Palestinian youths away from the violent, secular PLO toward a religious inclination. This religious group became Hamas and proved worse than the PLO.

Hamas launched in 1988 (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/...-create-hamas/) in Gaza at the time of the first intifada[.] ... But for more than a decade prior, Israeli authorities actively enabled its rise.

At the time, Israel's main enemy was the late Yasser Arafat's Fatah party, which formed the heart of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO). ...

The Israelis saw Qutb's adherents in the Palestinian territories, including the wheelchair-bound Sheik Ahmed Yassin, as a useful counterweight to Arafat's PLO.

"When I look back at the chain of events I think we made a mistake," one Israeli official who had worked in Gaza in the 1980s said in a 2009 interview with the Wall Street Journal's Andrew Higgins. "But at the time nobody thought about the possible results."

They should've seen it coming. As the Wall Street Journal noted (http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB123275572295011847):

Israel's military-led administration in Gaza looked favorably on the paraplegic cleric, who set up a wide network of schools, clinics, a library and kindergartens. Sheikh Yassin formed the Islamist group Mujama al-Islamiya, which was officially recognized by Israel as a charity and then, in 1979, as an association. Israel also endorsed the establishment of the Islamic University of Gaza, which it now regards as a hotbed of militancy. The university was one of the first targets hit by Israeli warplanes in the recent war.

Of course, we Americans gave weapons to Osama bin Laden to fight the Russians in Afghanistan. The rest is history.

Do I need to go over all the times that Europe has used Islamic proxies to fight its enemies?

- Imperial Germany armed the Turks in WWI.

- The British made promises to the Arabs that are at the very heart of the present struggle in the Mideast.

- France in the 16th century had an alliance (http://historum.com/european-history...-alliance.html) with Ottoman Turkey against the Hapsburgs.

- Britain and France protected Turkey from a needed drubbing at tsarist hands during the Crimean War.

- Britain would later intervene to prevent then Christian Russia from liberating Constantinople from the Turks in 1878. Apparently, Britain, which controlled the Suez, Gibraltar, the Cape, Singapore, and India, felt that it was intolerable that Russia should have one, just one, warm-water port in the Mediterranean.

From these, and other innumerable examples, two lessons can be learned:

1) Unless you are willing to fight the war yourself, stay out of it. Proxy wars have a record of nasty blowback results. It is as if Providence rains judgment on such dishonesty.

2) The disaster is doubly magnified if the proxy is Islamic.

What has this got to do with Syria?

Everything. Stay out of Syria. Had the West not tried to topple Assad by proxy, we would not be stormed by millions of Islamic refugees. Had the West not toppled Gaddafi, as bad as he was, ISIS would not be in Libya.

Video #1



http://www.americanthinker.com/artic..._by_proxy.html
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Asymmetric Warfare It’s not just for the “Other Guys”


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Old 10-17-2016, 10:06 PM
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Exclamation US and Russia Could 'Start Third World War Over Syria Conflict', Says Turkey

US and Russia Could 'Start Third World War Over Syria Conflict', Says Turkey
'If this proxy war continues, let me be clear, America and Russia will come to a point of war'
By Alexandra Sims


http://www.independent.co.uk/news/wo...-a7366571.html


The US (http://www.independent.co.uk/topic/USA) and Russia (http://www.independent.co.uk/topic/Russia) could drive the world into a global war if the conflict in Syria (http://www.independent.co.uk/topic/Syria) is not resolved, Turkey (http://www.independent.co.uk/topic/Turkey) has warned.

Tensions have become increasingly heightened between Washington and Moscow in recent weeks. Last week, the US and UK warned Russia and its ally the Syrian government that new economic sanctions could be imposed if the bombing of Syria's besieged Aleppo continues.

On Sunday, Russia condemned Washington for making “unprecedented” threats of cyber attacks following accusations by the Obama administration (http://www.independent.co.uk/topic/BarackObama) that Moscow (http://www.independent.co.uk/topic/Russia) had hacked computers belonging to American political organisations.

Turkish deputy prime minister Numan Kurtulmus said: "If this proxy war continues, after this, let me be clear, America and Russia will come to a point of war," the Daily Mail (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...point-war.html) reports.

He suggested the Syrian conflict could be the beginning of World War Three, saying it had put the world "on the brink of the beginning of a large regional or global war".

Earlier this month a Russian newspaper warned that Russian President Vladimir Putin is playing an "astonishingly risky game" in the Syrian conflict that could lead to a Third World War.

Popular tabloid, Moskovsky Komsomolets (http://www.mk.ru/), ran an article that suggested hostilities in Syria could spark a “direct military confrontation" (http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-37558943) between the nations of a similar scale to the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis.

Russia's military announced on Monday that Russian and Syrian forces would halt hostilities for eight hours in the eastern districts of Aleppo.

It did not include any promises of an extended cease-fire and followed a bloody day of air strikes on rebel-held districts in and around the city.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at least 50 civilians, including 18 children, were killed in air strikes on the eastern part of the city in the 24 hours before the Russian announcement.

Monday's air strikes coincided with the launch in neighbouring Iraq of a major operation by Iraqi and Kurdish forces, backed by the US-led coalition, to retake the northern city of Mosul from the so-called Islamic State group.

Mr Kurtulmus announced on Monday that Turkey is ready for hundreds of thousands of refugees from Mosul if the operations fuels sectarian violence.

"If the Mosul operation is handled correctly, there won't be a refugee wave into Turkey," Mr Kurtulmus told a news conference in Ankara.

"[But] if something goes wrong in Mosul, hundreds of thousands will put their migrant bags on their backs, they will be miserable and worn out, and come with their belongings to the only place they can go to, which is Turkey," he said.

The United Nations refugee agency said up to 100,000 Iraqis may flee to Syria and Turkey to escape the assault on Mosul, a city of 1.5 million people where Isis have declared a "caliphate".

Turkey is home to more than three million Syrian refugees, however its refugee camps (http://www.independent.co.uk/news/wo...-a6969551.html) can only house around 200,000 people.

Additional reporting by agencies

See the video and many pics associated with this article here> http://www.independent.co.uk/news/wo...-a7366571.html

US and Russia 'will go to war' unless proxy Syria conflict resolved, Turkey warns> http://www.independent.co.uk/news/wo...-a7358691.html
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Asymmetric Warfare It’s not just for the “Other Guys”


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Old 10-18-2016, 02:38 PM
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Exclamation Russian warships headed towards English Channel as Royal Navy set to intercept

Russian warships headed towards English Channel as Royal Navy set to intercept
The Russian fleet is believed to be planning military drills off Scottish coast before heading towards the Med
BY DANNY COLLINS


https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/199949...cramble-fleet/


Russian navy flagship and nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov is leading a group of eight vessels towards the Syrian port of Tartus


A FLEET of Russian nuclear ships have been spotted steaming out of base – and it is heading for Britain.

Vladimir Putin‘s (https://www.thesun.co.uk/who/vladimir-putin/) policy of gunboat diplomacy continued as a giant aircraft carrier and nuclear submarine were among eight vessels snapped sailing south past Norway yesterday.

The fearsome fleet is headed for Russia's Mediterranean base in Tartus, Syria.

But first, the ships are set to pass through the English Channel (https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/198179...-syria-crisis/) in the latest act of sabre-rattling from Moscow.

Royal Navy (https://www.thesun.co.uk/topic/royal-navy/) warships are being readied to intercept the fleet which could pass within miles of the British coast.

Russia's flagship aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov was amongst the ships to depart from the Arctic port of Severomorsk on Saturday.

The 55,000-tonne colossus is travelling with the Pyotr Veliky battlecruiser, the Vice-Admiral Kulakov destroyer and large anti-submarine ships.

The convoy was caught on camera by Norwegian spy planes on Monday.

The ships are steaming down towards the North Sea and the English Channel before heading on to the Mediterranean and Syria


In addition to safeguarding maritime navigation, the ships are meant to "respond to new types of modern threats like piracy and international terrorism.".

The fleet is expected to carry out drills north of Scotland before sailing just miles from the English coast.

A Nato naval source told The Telegraph (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016...glish-channel/): “It’s not catching us by surprise, we are working up what to do and we are all over it. "The most likely thing is that they will go through the North Sea, down the Dover Strait and through the Channel.

“They might even stop off the North East coast to fly for a bit.”

The show of strength is the latest act of defiance from Moscow in the face of Western pressure over its bombing campaign in Syria.

Earlier this month Russia bombers went on a run around Western Europe (https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/191667...ntercept-them/), forcing the air forces of four Nato members to scramble their fighter jets.

President Vladimir Putin (https://www.thesun.co.uk/who/vladimir-putin/) has been supporting embattled Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad with air strikes.

The bombing of an aid convoy last month (https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/191414...an-air-strike/) saw a fragile ceasefire disintegrate and put even greater strain on relations between the US and Moscow.

Neighbour Turkey warned yesterday that Syria could become a proxy war (https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/199444...ws-over-syria/) for the two superpowers as they pile weapons and advisers into the Middle East.

View videos and many pics here> https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/199949...cramble-fleet/
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Asymmetric Warfare It’s not just for the “Other Guys”


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Old 10-19-2016, 06:05 PM
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Exclamation Moscow Media Says Putin Ready To 'Seize The Atlantic'

Moscow Media Says Putin Ready To 'Seize The Atlantic'

Royal Navy heroes stalk Putin’s nuke fleet as it heads for English Channel –
after Russian media mocked our ‘tiny’ and ‘weak’ forces
Putin's Northern Fleet is passing through the North Sea and English Channel on its way to the Mediterranean
BY DANNY COLLINS


Where Is Obama's Leadership in This? Is He Hiding Under His Presidential Desk? Paparock


Sailors on HMS Richmond are tracking the menacing Russian fleet as it carries out training drills in the North Sea today


https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/200568...d-weak-forces/


ROYAL Navy sailors track a menacing fleet of Russian warships as they carry out practice bombing sorties off the Scottish coast, in dramatic images released today.

Our boys have the eight-strong flotilla of Vladimir Putin well within their sights – just hours after Russian media mocked the ‘tiny’ British fleet (https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/200568...d-weak-forces/).

The giant Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier has been operating its Sukhoi Su-27 fighter jets near the Orkney Islands as it prepares to steam down the English Channel.

They will follow the fleet all the way down the North Sea, into the English Channel and on to the Straits of Gibraltar. The Admiral Kuznetsov can be seen in the background billowing smoke


The Russian fleet is expected to anchor in the Moray Firth off the Scottish coast tonight before heading down the North Sea tomorrow


The 300 metre-long Kuznetsov billows smoke in the background as a Brit sailor observes from HMS Richmond just a few hundred metres away.

Vladimir Putin's navy is understood to be carrying out the drills to prepare their pilots for combat missions in Syria.

The eight hi-tech ships (https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/199949...cramble-fleet/) will sail to the war-torn nation's Mediterranean coast, with the fleet passing through the North Sea and English Channel (https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/198179...-syria-crisis/) in the coming days.

First, it is expected to stop off in the shelter of the Moray Firth to re-fuel.

Earlier today, Russian broadcasters brazenly predicted iron man Putin is ready to "seize control" of the Mediterranean Sea.

A top Moscow military expert then mocked the 'tiny' Royal Navy, which has been tasked with tracking the threat.

Britain has been without an aircraft carrier since HMS Illustrious was scrapped in 2014 but will be commissioning the £3.1bn HMS Queen Elizabeth in May 2017 (https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/119838...dy-for-action/). The hi-tech carrier is 280m long and weighs over 70,000 tonnes, eclipsing the 43,000 tonne Kuznetsov.

The sabre-rattling move is Putin's (https://www.thesun.co.uk/who/vladimir-putin/) latest show of strength as he continues to prop up Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad against American wishes.

And insiders in Moscow's military circles say it marks a first step towards Russia asserting its dominance in the Mediterranean.

Defence expert for Russian news agency RIA, Alexander Khrolenko, said:[B] "While the North Atlantic bloc is stalling in the sands of the Middle East, the Russian Navy seizes control over the Atlantic, not to mention the Mediterranean and Black Seas."[/b]

The fearsome Northern Fleet is led by nuclear aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov and battle cruiser Peter the Great.

Russian navy flagship and nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov is leading a group of eight vessels towards the Syria port of Tartus


The ships are expected to pass through the English Channel, prompting the Royal Navy to prepare to scramble ships


The fearsome fleet is even expected to conduct naval drills off the coast of Scotland during the journey towards the Mediterranean


The former is expected to provide more Russian jets to the bombing campaign aimed at anti-Assad fighters in the city of Aleppo.

And Khrolenko warned their presence in the Med will tip the naval balance of power away from Nato nations, adding: "They have no equal in the Mediterranean."

The Mail (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...ish-coast.html) reported a source as saying: "The Admiral Kuznetsov is currently conducting flight operations off the east coast of the Orkneys.

"The pilots need to be certified for carrier take-offs and landings at day and night before it takes up station in the Mediterranean.

"They are free to do this in international waters, but once they are in the English Channel, the aircraft will be grounded."

Destroyer HMS Duncan is expected to tail the Russian fleet as it passes through the North Sea and English Channel


She is likely to be accompanied by frigate HMS Richmond, shadowing the eight-vessel convoy down to the Straits of Gibraltar


Admiral Kuznetsov's Sukhoi SU-27-K fighter jets are currently carrying out practice sorties in the sea off the Orkney Isles

Images emerged yesterday of the ships sailing past the Norwegian city of Trondheim towards the North Sea, where they are expected to pick up an escort from the Royal Navy (https://www.thesun.co.uk/topic/royal-navy/).

The frigate HMS Richmond and destroyer HMS Duncan will likely shadow the Russian fleet to the Straits of Gibraltar.

But dismissive Khrolenko poured scorn on "what little remains of the Royal Navy".

Speaking about the approach of the ships, a Nato naval source told The Telegraph (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016...ish-channel/): “It’s not catching us by surprise, we are working up what to do and we are all over it.

"The most likely thing is that they will go through the North Sea, down the Dover Strait and through the Channel.

“They might even stop off the North East coast to fly for a bit.”

The fleet was pictured leaving its base in the Arctic last week



The ships are steaming down towards the North Sea and the English Channel before heading on to the Mediterranean and Syria

Russian experts have warned Vladimir Putin is asserting his country's dominance in the Mediterranean


The show of strength is the latest act of defiance from Moscow in the face of Western pressure over its bombing campaign in Syria.

Earlier this month Russia bombers went on a run around Western Europe (https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/191667...ntercept-them/), forcing the air forces of four Nato members to scramble their fighter jets.

President Vladimir Putin (https://www.thesun.co.uk/who/vladimir-putin/) has been supporting embattled Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad with air strikes.

The bombing of an aid convoy last month (https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/191414...an-air-strike/) saw a fragile ceasefire disintegrate and put even greater strain on relations between the US and Moscow.

Neighbour Turkey warned yesterday that Syria could become a proxy war (https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/199444...ws-over-syria/) for the two superpowers as they pile weapons and advisers into the Middle East.


View the several more videos attatched with this article here>
https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/200568...d-weak-forces/
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Asymmetric Warfare It’s not just for the “Other Guys”

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Old 10-22-2016, 03:35 AM
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[quote=Paparock;148172]
Russian warships headed towards English Channel as Royal Navy set to intercept
The Russian fleet is believed to be planning military drills off Scottish coast before heading towards the Med
BY DANNY COLLINS


https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/199949...cramble-fleet/


Russian navy flagship and nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov is leading a group of eight vessels towards the Syrian port of Tartus
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Old 10-22-2016, 04:09 AM
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While, I certainly wouldn't write of the 'combat' ability of the Russian navy, I believe that 'Putin' is carrying out a complete game of 'BLUFF' with his 'massive' ( not ) navy squadron of 'obsolete' Russian 'warships'.

All the Russian 'super carrier' has as an attack and 'aerial defence element, is a small squadron of ' SU27k fighters' with basical no AEW aircraft and limit ASW 'helicopters;.

And with 'black smoke' bellowing out of the 'super carrier' which appears to be steaming at very modest speed ( I'd hate to see the ' black smoke' volume at full speed ), this indicates a 'major' problem with the propulsion turbines / machinery.

I would hate be the Engineering Officer responsible for the ' maintainance ' onboard. The ' gas turbines for the Russian Navy basically came from the Ukraine , not a lot of 'Ukraine spare parts' in the Mediterranean and Syria .

This, carrier and accompanying ' cruiser and destroyers ' would not last more then few hours if they were stupid enough to taken the USN/ and or Israeli military elements.

Putin knows that POTUS 'Barry' Obama is the most pathetic cowardly POTUS that the 'still mighty' USA has ever had, 'Barry' Obama is totally responsible for the entire Syrian debarcle, he cur and run out of Irak and now the totally evil 'Iran' are basically the major winner of the 'Syrian' bloodbath'.

And, after 'Syria' they will gobble up 'Irak'.
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Old 10-22-2016, 04:25 PM
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Considering what the Attack Poodle in the White House has done to the American military, the United States is in a very dangerous place to confront the Russians, Chinese, Koreans, etc. threatening America right now. While The Obama Administration has been neglecting our Strategic Nuclear forces Russia has been on a massive building and upgrade program. The S400 missile system is considered by many to be superior to our Patriot missiles. Our military has been Raped over the last 2 Obama Terms!!! America is in deep crap here! View the videos below!

While Obama has been spending his time out playing Golf; Putin has been figuring out his plans for the Middle East and taking control militarily there. While Obama was playing golf he let ISIS expand into over 30 countries while denying they are a "real threat". Personally it's too bad ISIS has not made at least an attempt on Obama (as an apostate) so maybe he would then take them seriously. Obama understands the subtleties of Islamic law as he has studied it.

For those of you who do not know Obama qualifies as an apostate under Islamic Law as he was born to an Muslim Father, under the strict laws of Islam. It is just an interesting side note for those of us who do know and understand the strict interpretation of Islam such as taught in Saudi Arabia to who Obama bowed. Considering how under strict Islam those who leave Islam (whether we think he is a Christian as he says or not) are to be treated and that under Obama's order how many Muslims have been killed I just find it interesting that there have been zero serious attempts by "radical Islamists' to enforce Islamic Law on Obama during all his travels in the Middle East over his 7+ years. It is just an interesting fact I will leave for others to interpret.


The US Government is long past sunlight to remove the corruption; we now need "flamethrowers"! Paparock
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Exclamation Russia Jamming NATO Electronics Over Syria

Russia Jamming NATO Electronics Over Syria


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Old 10-22-2016, 07:32 PM
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Exclamation Russia Humiliates America, Again

Russia Humiliates America, Again
Russia once again deliberately snubs America, this time by bombing U.S. allies in Syria, despite the presence of U.S. fighter jets.
BY RICHARD PALMER


https://www.thetrumpet.com/article/1...-america-again


It’s hard to find “good guys” in Syria. Many of the groups that America may want to support against Syrian dictator Bashar Assad have links to al Qaeda or other Sunni terrorist groups. And many groups fighting the Islamic State have links to Assad or to Iranian-backed terrorist groups.

But one group that comes closest to being “the good guys” is the New Syrian Army (NSA). The group focuses almost exclusively on fighting the Islamic State. It is funded by the Pentagon and has received training from British and American special forces.

“Throughout the fiasco of the Pentagon’s $500 million effort to train and equip a force of Syrian rebels (https://www.washingtonpost.com/world...87d_story.html) to take on the Islamic State, one small group endured,” wrote the Washington Post, describing the NSA. The Telegraph wrote that “experts say the NSA stands out as a rare success story (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016...syrian-rebels/).”

Then Russia bombed the NSA, repeatedly, despite the presence of United States fighter jets.

Even before Russia’s bombing of the NSA, America was losing patience with Russia’s behavior in Syria.

On June 15, a seemingly irritated U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry complained that Russia and the Assad regime were not sticking to the ceasefire agreement enshrined in United Nations Security Council Resolution 2254. “We are not going to sit there while Assad continues to offensively assault Aleppo and while Russia continues to support in that effort,” he said.

“Russia needs to understand that our patience is not infinite, in fact it is very limited,” he warned.

The NSA was protected by that ceasefire agreement. But the day after Kerry said America was running out of patience, Russia bombed the NSA in al-Tanf, near the Syria-Jordan border.

This was not an area Russia had bombed before. It’s not a hotbed of terrorist activity. Russia went out of its way to bomb one of America’s closest allies in the region.

American forces immediately used their hotline to the Russian command post—set up by both sides so that any misunderstandings could be resolved quickly. The Russians ignored American demands to stop bombing, the U.S. scrambled a couple of fighter jets.

When the F/A-18s arrived over al-Tanf, the Russians left, either to avoid the U.S. fighters or because they were out of fuel. While the F/A-18s remained over the area, Russia stayed away. But once the American jets left to refuel, Russian planes came back for another bombing run. American forces used the hotline to Russia again. No response. An American airborne command post radioed the Russian jets directly. No response.

Stratfor, an organization not prone to hyperbole, wrote, “No matter how one examines it, this is a brazen move on Russia’s part.”

But it gets worse. Now it looks like in conducting the bombing, the Russians used illegal incendiary “cluster bombs.” Russia has denied using these bombs on several occasions. In a spectacular own goal, Russian state-controlled broadcaster RT showed footage of these incendiary bombs loaded on Russian planes in Syria. It later deleted the footage—which led to accusations that it was covering up war crimes.

The NSA claimed that Russia used these illegal bombs (http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/ru...yria-810572089) against them. It published photos to back up this claim.

The New Syrian Army @NSyA_Official
The Russian aggression and bullying of the New Syrian Army camp, more details:https://www.facebook.com/The.NSAy.Of...55249531509776 …#NSyA #RuAf
4:33 PM - 18 Jun 2016
25 Retweets 13 likes

Former military pilot L. Todd Wood wrote in the Washington Times:

Frankly, there are several very troubling issues with this incident. The first is that American aircraft in the region could not hold air superiority over the target for very long. President Obama sent two aircraft carriers to the Med to make a point and beat his chest in front of Russian President Vladimir Putin. It looks like Putin beat back by killing American-backed forces, an in-your-face rejection of American military superiority. This makes Putin look really good and strong to his own population and that of the world.

How is it that two aircraft carriers could not deal with this situation? Was it rules of engagement? Was it interference from the National Security staff? Was it that the U.S. military is just worn out? Was it just bad luck? Something smells in Denmark, or Syria.

The fact that Russia just showed this administration who is boss in the Middle East is extremely disturbing and not being talked about in the media.

What was America’s response to this “brazen” move? CBS News reported, “Aides to Defense Secretary Carter described him as irate at the Russian action, although publicly he confined himself to calling them unprofessional.”

“Unprofessional” and “problematic” were the strongest words American officials used in public about Russia’s actions.

Despite Kerry’s warnings about America’s “very limited” patience, nearly two weeks later, there have been no consequences for Russia. The total extent of America’s response was a mild rebuke and a video conference, where U.S. officials “expressed strong concerns.” Maybe next time the U.S. will escalate things to a strongly worded letter.

With this bombing, Russia sends a clear message to groups in Syria and to nations around the world: There’s no point siding with the U.S. It can’t protect you. You’d be much better off coming to an agreement with Russia.

Stratfor noted that “the Russian strikes could undermine the New Syrian Army’s morale and recruitment by casting doubt on the U.S.-led coalition’s ability to protect the group.”

This is just the latest step in a Russian strategy that has been going on for at least a decade: chip away at America’s reputation; show the world that America doesn’t follow through on its promises.

That’s what makes this attack so dangerous. If this were a one-off, it wouldn’t be such a big deal. But it’s part of a trend. In 2008, Russia invaded Georgia (https://www.thetrumpet.com/article/5...gerous-new-era) despite the fact that Georgia was a Western-aligned friend of the U.S. President Putin showed the world that even if you are America’s friend, it’s not going to protect you. Then there was Ukraine. America had actually signed a treaty promising to protect Ukraine (https://www.thetrumpet.com/article/1.../dear-vladimir). Putin showed the world that even if you have a black-and-white guarantee from America promising to protect you, it’s worthless. Then Mr. Obama drew a “red line” in Syria. With Russia’s backing, Assad crossed it. Putin showed the world that even if America threatens you with consequences, it doesn’t mean anything.

“In the end, a superpower’s most valuable possession is credibility,” wrote the Telegraph’s chief foreign correspondent, David Blair, during the red-line debacle (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worl...US-to-act.html). “If the world’s preeminent nation makes a threat, offers a guarantee—or draws a ‘red line’—it must be prepared to enforce its will. Otherwise, this priceless asset will be tarnished, perhaps indelibly.”

“At this very moment, a range of terrible things are not happening largely because of the power of America’s word,” he wrote. “North Korea is not invading South Korea; China is not laying its hands on chains of disputed islands; Russia is not threatening the Baltic states.”

Now that credibility is greatly diminished. China is laying its hands on disputed island chains. People are genuinely worried that Russia could try to take one of the Baltic states.

International relations expert Hans J. Morgenthau wrote in his book Politics Among Nations that “a policy of prestige is … an indispensable element of a rational foreign policy.” Why? “What others think about us is as important as what we actually are.” If America is seen as powerful, it won’t have to prove that it is powerful by using its army to get its way. Its word will be enough. But if people doubt the nation’s power or will to back up its word, then the nation may have to use military force.

If you were to sum up one of Russia’s main foreign-policy strategies in just a few words, it would be: attack America’s prestige. In a way, it is astonishing that Russia is winning in this. California alone has a bigger economy than the whole of Russia. Put California and Texas together and you have an economy twice the size of Russia’s. If you just look at the numbers, Russia should not be able to dent U.S. prestige.

But it can and it is. And in diminishing America’s prestige and reputation, it is in reality decreasing America’s power. In Leviticus 26:19, God warns America that if it disobeys Him, “I will break the pride of your power.” America has power, but it lacks the will to use it. This weakness is emboldening America’s enemies around the world.

https://www.thetrumpet.com/article/1...-america-again
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Asymmetric Warfare It’s not just for the “Other Guys”


Last edited by Paparock; 10-22-2016 at 07:55 PM..
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Old 10-22-2016, 07:59 PM
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Exclamation Russia Humiliates America, And Risks Taking Our Place Globally

Russia Humiliates America, And Risks Taking Our Place Globally

http://www.investors.com/politics/ed...bal-ambitions/


Hegemony: The U.S. and its coalition partners, with admittedly no strategy, have been ineffective against IS despite 7,000 airstrikes. Russia, after just three days, reportedly destroys the terror network's Syrian command.

After only just entering the fray — uninvited — in the war against the Islamic State, Moscow claims it destroyed IS' headquarters in Syria. And it provided video claiming to show the hit.

"Headquarters of terrorist group and an arms depot were destroyed in the region of Ildib, as well as a militant three-level fortified command point in the region of Hama," Moscow's ministry of defense said.

It also said Su-24Ms and Su-25s, aircraft first put in service by the Soviet Union in the 1970s, made eight sorties against the IS targets, and succeeded in avoiding civilian casualties.

Meantime, the U.S. in over a year and three months can't make meaningful gains against IS.

But in Afghanistan, where we're in the process of pulling out all our forces by the end of next year, we bomb a hospital and kill 22 civilians, many of them patients. Now we're being accused of war crimes.

How is it that Vladimir Putin, the ex-KGB officer returning Russia to Soviet-style imperialism, whose rigged elections give him no democratic legitimacy as ruler, can swoop in and appear to be the man to save the world from its most monstrous terror state?

A new regime that, by the way, President Obama is responsible for bringing into being because of the power void left from the premature exit of U.S. forces from Iraq.

It's happening because Putin saw his opportunity in Obama's weakness, and acted. It's clear from his speech to the United Nations that Putin seeks to replace the U.S. as the dominant player in the Middle East — morally as well as militarily.

"The situation is more than dangerous," Putin told the General Assembly last week, speaking of the continuing IS menace.

Putin argued that U.N. members should be "guided by common values and common interests" in fighting IS in "a genuinely broad international coalition against terrorism" that would be "similar to the anti-Hitler coalition," of which Stalinist Russia was a part.

He proposed "coordinating the actions of all the forces that confront the Islamic State and other terrorist organizations . . . based on the principles of the U.N. Charter."

What happened next might as well have been scripted in the Kremlin: Russia's military literally tells the U.S. to get out of its way. Then, if Moscow's claims are to be believed, it destroys the IS command in Syria with aircraft far from state of the art.

And over in Afghanistan, where we've already thrown in the towel in the war against a resurgent Taliban, we fire on a hospital, killing numerous patients in a display of incompetence that elicits accusations of atrocities.

None of this was imaginable before Barack Obama came on the scene. Russia, while clearly ambitious for more global power under Putin, had apparently permanently lost its standing as a global superpower.

It took a U.S. president committed to revolutionary change in America's role in the world to reawaken the Russian bear and provide an opening for Putin's aggression.

When the U.S. fulfills its role as leader in the world, we are criticized, even ridiculed. But we are respected. Putin's Russia is not about to be loved, but it may begin to be greatly respected if it starts doing things that the U.S. is supposed to do but won't.

http://www.investors.com/politics/ed...bal-ambitions/
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Lightbulb Syria: The Political Solution Is Unfeasible; We Should Ignite All-Out War

October 19, 2016
Special Dispatch No.6646

Article On Syrian Opposition Website: The Political Solution Is Unfeasible; We Should Ignite All-Out War

'Ali Hamidi, a Syrian journalist opposed to the regime, called on regime opponents to abandon the political solution and ignite an all-out war in Syrian order to force the world to step in and end it. Writing on a Syrian opposition website, he said that the brutal offensive waged in recent weeks by the Assad regime and by Russia against the rebel-held eastern neighborhoods of Aleppo is nothing less than a holocaust and slaughter for its own sake. He leveled harsh criticism at the international community, headed by the U.S., for the situation in the city, saying that their failure to intervene does not stem from helplessness or a lack of influence but rather from a lack of willingness to stop Assad and Russia.

The following are excerpts from his article:[1]

[IMG][/IMG]
Devastation in Aleppo (image: Aljazeera.com)

"It would be absurd to write anything or make any comment about the all-out war of extermination currently being waged by Russia and the Assad regime against the 'besieged neighborhoods' of eastern Aleppo. This is [nothing less than] a holocaust; it is the ongoing indiscriminate killing of civilians without any military justification... Its objective was and is nothing but killing for its own sake. Many of us have made efforts to find definitions and reasons for this [military] action. We have heard, for example, that its objective is ethnic and sectarian cleansing; that it is an attempt to pressure the civilians in eastern Aleppo to leave or to disassociate themselves from the militants; that it is a holy war against the Sunnis, and many other analyses that are belied by the scenes of bombing and indiscriminate killing. At this point analyses and theories fail, and the main [insight] that emerges is that [it is nothing but] the killing of anyone opposed to the Assad regime...

"Can we really say today that the world is helpless? I think that would be the greatest and falsest compliment we could bestow upon this world – for the international community was not, is not and will never be helpless. It has ability and influence, if it only wanted [to use them]. But the simple [truth is] that nobody wants to stop Assad and Russia – neither the U.S. nor Europe nor anyone else...

"In the UN Security Council session on Aleppo [on September 25, 2016], UN envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura expressed concern about the firing of '[gas] canisters' from [rebel-held] eastern Aleppo into the [regime-held] western [parts of the city]. But he did not mention the kinds of missiles and mortars fired on the people [of the city], nor did he mention the over 300 victims [that are killed] every day as he delivered this miserable speech. Even more disturbing were the statements made by the representatives of the permanent Security Council members, who parrot hollow words of commiseration that are nothing but humiliating pleas [directed at] Russia, beseeching it to do its best to restrain Assad and restore the fragile ceasefire...

"Are we not being naïve when we wait for others to make their considerations, and hand them the keys to our cities [while we sit around,] waiting to be bombed? We wait for Barack Obama to [formulate] a policy [on Syria], when everyone is quite convinced that his departing administration will do nothing for those who are being killed in Aleppo and elsewhere, and that he and his team are not really doing anything to topple the Assad regime or to compete with Russia and Iran by supporting [the Syrian opposition]. If this is the position of the [world] leadership, there is no point in expecting anything from the countries it leads.

"Eastern Aleppo is in flames and its people are dying, and the entire world is party to this crime. Therefore, all the efforts that are currently being invested in renewing the dialogue with the Assad regime must be diverted to starting a war – an all-out war that will burn everyone. Then the world will hurry to stop it.

"The statements we hear, that only the political solution exists, are not realistic in the least. In fact, even the Assad regime does not accept them. Hence it would be folly to continue pinning our hopes on political [solutions] or on the 'friendly' countries. [Such suggestions] are tantamount to asking the people of Aleppo to surrender [just] in hope of being allowed to negotiating for the lives of those who still survive...

"To those who ask what alternative exists, [I say]: Why shouldn't everyone who is dedicated to the cause [of saving syria] divert his efforts from the political channel to looking for weapons, even on the black market, so as to deliver them to the fighters in order to start an [all-out] war[?]"

Endnote:
[1] Orient-news.net, September 26, 2016.
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The LORD make His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;
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Asymmetric Warfare It’s not just for the “Other Guys”


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