colonel cassad today (at end of post) again raises the question of the “auvergne” missile frigate

Russia, Pindostan, Israel, Iran And Syria:
A Continuous Struggle To Trigger Or Avoid War

Elijah J Magnier, Sep 18 2018

On Monday evening, the Syrian air defence system shot down a Russian Ilyushin IL-20M surveillance plane by mistake, with 15 servicemen on board. This came the day after an Israeli F-16 destroyed an Iranian military cargo plane on the Damascus airport runway, killing the co-pilot. Simultaneously with the downing of the Russian plane, four Israeli F-16s attacked Syrian and Iranian military targets around the northern city of Latakia. The Syrian air defence system responded against the incoming missiles and hit the Russian plan, which was coming in to land at Khmeimim military airport. This took place only hours after the signing of a deal between Putin and Erdogan to halt the battle of Idlib and defuse the possibility of seeing SAA barracks and military airports destroyed. Who is pushing for a wider war, and why are Russia and Iran refraining from responding to the many provocations in Syria? War drums sounded loudly over the Levant in the last few months after Syria and its allies, principally Russia, liberated the south of the country and directed all military resources towards the northern city of Idlib. This city is under Turkish control. It has fewer than 2 million inhabitants, but tens of thousands are Jihadis or heavily-armed Turkish proxies. Pindostan & Eurostan voiced their will to bomb Syria “if CW are used against the city.” That was a clear invitation for specialised groups in Idlib to stage an attack and give an excuse for Pindo-Euro forces to unleash their firepower and destroy the SAA’s air power and airports. That is indeed the key to the lack of reaction from Russia, Syrian and Iran to Israel’s many provocations and to the Russian-Turkish deal to suspend the war in Idlib. Decision-making sources said:

Russia was seriously concerned about the Pindo & Euro intention to destroy the SAA in the event of a staged CW attack. Pindostan had managed to gather behind it a coalition including Britain, France and Germany to bomb Syria, making it very difficult for Russia to react militarily. Putin is aware of Pindo intentions, and is not in Syria to start WW3 but to stop the war. It goes against Pindo interests to see Syria recovering and Russia expanding its control in the Middle East.

The Turkish-Russian deal to postpone the battle of Idlib, blessed by the central government in Damascus and arrived at following several Iranian mediations, aims to keep Ankara close to the Moscow-Tehran-Damascus line and to prevent a wider war in Syria. It took the SAA three years to prepare and equip the Shuay’rat military airport, and three minutes for Pindostan to put it out of commission for another 3 years. Russia, Syria and Iran would like to avoid any further burden on Syria’s economy and capabilities. A weak SAA would give more incentives for over 60,000 or 70,000 Jihadis and rebels in Idlib and environs to break their siege and move upon Aleppo, widening the war and creating more opportunities for the enemies of Syrian unity to regain strength. Damascus is happy to calm down the war atmosphere and to give more time for Ankara either to disarm the Jihadis, to attack them, or to merge many of them with its proxies. The Syrian government benefits from the deal, if it is respected, by seeing all heavy weapons confiscated by Turkey, as stipulated by the deal, greatly reducing the military capability of the Jihadis and rebels. What was not announced officially is Turkey’s guarantee that no CW attack will be allowed in Idlib, to provide the casus belli for the long-heralded Pindo-Euro bombing of Syria. On Sunday evening, Israel fired missiles at an Iranian cargo plane on the Damascus airport apron. They didn’t aim directly at the plane, and struck the ground next to it, but they were close enough to incinerate the plane and kill the co-pilot. This was an unprecedented act by Israel, the first of its kind against such a target in the 7-year war in Syria. According to decision-makers in Syria, the Israelis had asked Russia to “prevent the flow of weapons from Iran to Hezbollah and Syria.” Moscow answered Tel Aviv that this struggle is none of its business and it is not ready to police the movement of weapons from Iran to its allies. Equally, when Iran asked Russia to force on Israel the cessation of attacks against its allies and its forces in Syria, Moscow gave the same answer:

We are not ready to take part in your struggle with Israel.

Russia refrained from delivering the S-300, but after the Iranian defence minister promised to supply Syria with anti-air missiles capable of endangering Israeli jets over Syria and Lebanon, Israel decided to move a step forward. This is why Israel decided to bomb any cargo that might improve Syrian capabilities and any weapons factories in Syria developing precision missiles. Nevertheless, according to sources in Syria, Iran has provided enough technology and missiles to its allies that Israeli jets are not able to damage Syrian missile capabilities nor those of Hezbollah in Lebanon. The source said:

Even if Iran loses 15 cargo planes in Syria, this won’t stop it from providing the necessary help to its allies.

A few hours after the Russian-Turkish Idlib deal, Israeli jets fired against a military facility working on developing Syrian military capabilities. Four missiles hit the target, and others were intercepted by the Syrian defence system. The Russian surveillance plane was also hit by a Syrian missile while manoeuvring for landing 27 km from Banias (where its debris were found). The source, who is a member of the Russian command in Syria, said:

Russia has paid a heavy price for its unwillingness to exploit its superpower position in Syria, and for its failure to prevent any external force from bombing its allies in a theatre under its own control and dominance. In order to protect a perimeter where its forces were deployed, Pindostan attacked and killed hundreds of Syrians in the al-Tharda mountains under Obama, and hundreds more in Deir ez-Zor and al-Badiya. By contrast, Israeli missiles flew over the Khmeimim Russian-Syrian airport and the Pindo Tomahawks which hit the Shuay’rat airport travelled over the heads of Russian forces.

The downing of the Russian plane is expected to lead to Israel being required to provide full coordination and approval for its flights over Syria hours before the strike, in order for Russia to maintain its neutral position. This will also give Syria and its allies the possibility to anticipate Israeli missiles and jets and remove sensitive weapons to limit damage. Moscow has paid a certain price, but Israel has lost the advantage, which is to the benefit of Russia’s allies. The Israeli cakewalk over Syria may not end there, because Israel has stinted itself in “defending its national security,” as Tel Aviv always says to justify any act of war or aggression against another state or group. Israel’s violations of Syrian airspace may not cease completely, but will slow down for a few days, enough to allow Iran and allies to rebuild any capability destroyed. Iran, Russia and Syria did not avert the battle of Idlib, thereby avoiding one war, in order to be trapped in another war triggered by Israel or Pindostan. This is what prevents Russia, Iran and Syria from giving Pindostan, Israel and Europe any pretext for triggering a war, at the cost of looking weak in front of the world. These very risky decisions are made to allow Syria to stand on its feet again. They are essential to thwart warmongers in the Pindo establishment, and they are necessary if the economies of the three countries are to flourish rather than wasting all their resources on a useless war with Syria as its platform.

The Idlib deal and the Iran-Israeli conflict
Colonel Cassad, Sep 19 2018

Elijah J Magnier in my opinion is too optimistic that the deal on Idlib eliminates excuses for external aggression. As the Defense Ministry already said, militants with CW will not disappear from Idlib and the risk of CW provocation persists. The CW itself (chlorine cylinders – RB), the White Helmets, the required press and foreign experts, all there and ready. Whether Erdogan is able to fulfil his commitments to eliminate Nusra, to create a buffer zone, to disarm militants and to prevent any CW provocation, we have yet to learn. While Pindostan has repeatedly shown that the reason for aggression can be arbitrarily ridiculous to others, but it will be used if it is the desire of the White House. Interested parties are now looking at what Russia will do outside of the official rhetoric associated with the loss of the aircraft. The Kremlin announced some retaliatory measures, but they are not specific and it is likely part of the negotiation part with Israel will remain outside public sources. Obviously, after the incident, Moscow will be even less interested in fulfilling the desire of Pindostan and Israel, to put pressure on Iran to leave Syria. The death of Il-20 was the result of Israeli policy and it will be remembered, just as the death of the Su-24 was a result of the policies of Erdogan, who had to pay a substantial price to turn the page in relations with Russia. And the second point which Magnier missed is this: If the rebels refuse to comply with the terms of the transaction and Erdogan is not able to fulfill his obligation, the attack on Idlib will go ahead, and thus no radical change in the situation will have happened. The attack will just move from September to October. The militants have refused to implement the deal, and now the issues of war and peace in Idlib are in the hands of Erdogan, who will either fulfill his obligations, what will accelerate the onset of a political settlement, or he will fail and then the attack starts, even despite the protests of Turkey and possible CW provocation.Russia, Iran and Syria intend to complete the military phase of the conflict in the coming year, but not risking a confrontation with Pindostan while doing it (но не рискуя столкновением с США и Ко этого не сделать.)

In relation to the conflict of Israel and Iran, Moscow is likely to continue to try to stay above the fray. but given the fact that Russia will remain in Syria for years to come, this conflict will be subject to and sit on two chairs will be more difficult, because the existence throughout the region of a hybrid war involving Iran, Israel and the Toads will interfere with Russian interests often enough, and not only in Syria. The recent unrest in Basra against Iran and backed by Pindostan and the Toads, indirectly impacted Russian oil interests in southern Iraq. And there is no guarantee that new provocations against the Russian military in Syria, or against Russian oil (companies) in Iraq, will not be repeated. Russia will not of course flee from the region in terror, because Russia has expended considerable resources to restore some of the positions it lost after the collapse of the Soviet Union, but a toothless policy of “just war” here will not work. Russia’s positions need to be protected in one way or another. Further manifestations of weakness or lack of solidity can entice opponents to more aggressive provocations of a direct nature against Russian positions in the region. The case of Israel has turned out to be quite revealing. It shoed that Russian disrgard or neglect of the conflict between Israel and Iran has led to this situation, in which Israel used a Russian plane against Syria and Iran, bringing about the deaths of 15 Russian citizens. This is more than enough reason to reconsider some of Russia’s approaches.

Red zone in the Eastern Mediterranean
Colonel Cassad, Sep 20 2018

Announced zone of the rocket firing exercise by Russian Aerospace Forces & Navy in the Eastern Mediterranean. Judging by the issued warning, the specified area is valid between Sep 19-26. Some pay attention to the curious “bottleneck” in the direction of Beirut. The warning was issued the day after the death of Il-20. An interesting point: in the background of the discussions of the Israeli attack, there are still many blind spots regarding the launch of missiles by the French frigate “Auvergne,” at what and in what direction it was shooting. The ship carries both anti-aircraft and cruise missiles. Unfortunately, the Defense Ministry is not specifying this information.

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