WW4 File: Kremlin agrees to revive NATO-Russia council after N. Atlantic alliance meets in Warsaw in July, even as Putin applauds Britain’s pending exit from EU, accuses West of provoking new arms race, vows to respond to NATO military buildup in ex-Soviet Bloc/ republics; DM Shoigu says Russia will counter NATO’s deployment of 1,000 troops, 1,200 pieces of combat hardware, 30 warplanes near W. border by equipping Russian military with 2,000 pieces of new/upgraded equipment in 2016, hiring 10,000 recruits for contract service, building/renovating 10 garrisons in W. Russia, Russian Air Force to utilize experience acquired in Syrian campaign; Italy’s radical right leads charge against anti-Russia sanctions as Liguria follows Veneto in recognizing Putin’s forcible annexation of Crimea, both regional governments dominated by pro-Moscow, anti-EU Northern League, LN member in Italian Senate urges colleagues to reject EU’s anti-Russia stance
June 30, 2016Posted by on
In 2000 Gorbachev, who is persona non grata in Ukraine, called the European Union the “New European Soviet.” In this light, Putin’s apparent approval of a “Brexit” could simply be part of the neo-Soviet plan to divide and conquer Europe.
Neo-Sandinista File: Washington Free Beacon maintains Russia’s planned GLONASS facility near Laguna de Najapa, N. of Managua, actually electronic “spy base,” Pentagon, Nicaraguan embassy in DC refuse to comment on T-72 tank deal between Cold War allies, State Dept. plays down Ortega’s old/new subservience to Moscow; Sandinista supermajority in Nicaraguan legislature passes measure authorizing Russian military to train Nicaraguan soldiers on use of tanks, permit Russian SVR intel officers to legally enter country; Ortega cracks down on main party in opposition coalition ahead of Nov. re-election bid, cronies on Supreme Court remove Montealegre as leader of Independent Liberal Party, smaller parties already stripped of legal status by compliant electoral officials; regime expels 2 US Customs and Border Protection agents, US Army College prof., latter critical of secrecy surrounding interoceanic canal, unidentified Nicaraguan officials arrive at Ellis’ hotel room at 11:30 p.m., revoke permission to research Hong Kong-backed megaproject; 1000s of Nicaraguans take to the streets on June 14 to protest signing away of sovereignty over canal corridor to Red China
June 28, 2016Posted by on
WW4 File: UKRAINE-RUSSIA WAR: Moscow-backed separatists in Donbas continue to violate Minsk 2, amass 30 tanks near government-held city of Avdiivka; NATO chief Stoltenberg: “Russia needs to stop supporting the militants and withdraw its forces and military equipment from Ukrainian territory [i.e., Crimea]”; meanwhile 30,000 troops from 20 NATO states wrap up Anakonda 2016, largest exercise since Cold War held in Poland, 60,000 US troops permanently stationed in Europe, down from 500,000 in 1980s; NATO to hold symbolic summit in Warsaw in July 8-9, deploy four battalions to Poland, Baltic states to deter Russian aggression; Canadian spy agency says Moscow “mobilizing for war,” Trudeau government mulls larger contingent of Canadian troops in E. Europe’s new NATO states; Putin irked by West’s fortitude, moves 23rd and 28th Independent Motor Rifle Brigades near Ukrainian, Belarusian borders; Belarusian dictator, Russia ally Lukashenko says country successfully tested home-grown missile system; EU extends investment ban, economic sanctions against Crimea’s collaborationist regime
June 17, 2016Posted by on
Gray Terror File: Orlando massacre perp apparently both homosexual and Muslim, clouding intent behind Omar Mateen’s rampage; Mateen attended local mosque, also patronized Pulse gay nightclub “many times” over past 3 years, FBI believes killer conducted surveillance trips to Walt Disney World; nightclub performer: Mateen was a “nice guy… Maybe he got radicalised and hated who he was” (implying he was gay); another Pulse patron met Mateen through gay dating app; fiance of Mateen’s ex-wife alleges Omar had “homosexual tendencies,” while Sediqque Mir Mateen insists son “normal family man”; police shot 29-year-old Mateen dead after he barricaded himself in bathroom, taking several people hostage; Mateen toting legally purchased Sig Sauer MCX (“Black Mamba”) assault rifle, also carried Glock 17 handgun; meanwhile, FBI Director James Comey warns: “strong indications of radicalisation and of potential inspiration by foreign terrorist organisations”; US Islamic clergy scrambles to condemn shootings
June 14, 2016Posted by on
Possible scenario: Mateen was indeed a radicalized Muslim who may have infiltrated Orlando’s LGBT community for the purpose of carrying out this atrocity. If he was a frequent patron of the Pulse, his arrival at the nightclub before the attack would not have initially alarmed anyone. The fact that he may have also been a self-hating gay would not necessarily preclude this scenario. However, it is clear this story is still unfolding.
Gray Terror File: US-born ISIS sympathizer armed with assault rifle, pistol storms into gay nightclub in Orlando early Sun. a.m., shoots 49 patrons dead, wounds 53; 3-hour standoff ensues with police, followed by APC assault on the “Pulse” nightspot, pro-Islamist gunman killed; Omar Mateen was “radical Muslim” who followed Marcus Dwayne “Abu Taubah” Robertson, founder of Orlando’s Fundamental Islamic Knowledge Seminary, Robertson ex-US Marine, ex-bodyguard to “Blind Sheik” involved in 1993 World Trade Center attack; Mateen’s wife says he was mentally ill, Mateen’s father supporter of Taliban, hosts anti-American TV program for Afghan diaspora in USA; FBI admits Mateen, 29, of Fort Pierce, FL, interviewed in 2013, 2014 but not found to be threat, not under investigation, surveillance at time of attack; Orlando police chief says attack “organized and well-prepared”; Pres. Obama calls shootings “act of terror, act of hate” against LGBTs; Pulse massacre deadliest mass shooting in US history
June 13, 2016Posted by on
WW4 File: UKRAINE-RUSSIA WAR: ATO: Combined Russian-separatist forces in Donbas launch 49 attacks against government troops overnight, violating Minsk 2 cease-fire yet again; Dep. Sec. of NSDC addresses lawmakers from Ukraine, Lithuania, Poland: “The Russian troops are preparing for the resumption of active offensive operations in order to advance to the administrative border of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, as well as penetrate the land corridor to Crimea”; Ukrainian MI: “. . . [O]n the territory of occupied Crimea . . . [Russia has deployed] delivery systems of nuclear weapons, nuclear tactical weapons, and aviation-surface vessels which are able to carry and use nuclear hardware”; meanwhile, Putin rails against US anti-missile battery in Romania, prospect of same in Poland, “. . . [W]e will be forced to carry out certain measures to ensure our security. It will be the same case with Poland”; Kremlin denies reports 28th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade redeployed from Urals to Belarusian border, but local admin blabs: Mil engineers to build perm. base; 28th SMRB previously deployed to Ukrainian border in Nov. 2014; Russian “peacekeeping” brigade arrives in Belarus 2 months ahead of CSTO’s Unshakable Brotherhood 2016 exercise; Poland to enlist 35,000 men into Territorial Defense Force to counter feared Russian (re-)invasion
June 3, 2016Posted by on
WW4/Middle East Files: ISIS suspected behind destructive terrorist attack against new Russian mil base near recaptured ancient city of Palmyra, satellite imagery reportedly shows 4 Mi-24 (Hind) helos, 20 ammo trucks obliterated in assault; Kremlin denies both attack and establishment of permanent base at Tiyas, troops only de-mining UNESCO heritage site after Syrian army, Russian Air Force thrust ISIS out of Palmyra in March; meanwhile, Russia’s Ministry of Defence calls for temporary truce in N. towns of Tartus, Jableh after extremists kill at least 150 people on May 23, also calls for 72-hour truce in Daraya, E. Ghouta, outside Damascus, where Russian officials report Al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front “preparing an advance on the [national capital] region”; convoy of 54 trucks from Syrian Arab Red Crescent, UN deliver humanitarian aid to four Damascus suburbs blockaded by Assad’s troops
May 24, 2016Posted by on
WW4 File: NATO to deploy 4,000 troops, mostly US, UK, German, to Poland, Baltic states, respond to Russian aggression in Ukraine, soldiers, equipment begin arriving at Polish port of Szczecin, Wroclaw airport on May 17, shipped to W. test range in Zagan for Joint Task Force exercise; 6 NATO states participate in Strong Europe Tank Challenge in Grafenwoehr, Germany, Deutsches Heer tank crews grab top honors; US activates US$800 million Aegis missile shield in Deveselu, S. Romania; Kremlin offended by modest display of West’s backbone: “This would be a very dangerous build-up of armed forces pretty close to our borders. I am afraid this would require certain retaliatory measures, which the Russian Defence Ministry is already talking about”; DM Shoigu announces formation of 3 new divisions to counter NATO moves, Russian, Belarusian FMs in Minsk declare intent to develop joint military response to US missile shield in former Soviet Bloc; Russia to restore missile attack warning station near Sevastopol, in occupied Crimea, “counter increasing NATO activity in the Black Sea”
May 17, 2016Posted by on
WW4 File: UKRAINE-RUSSIA WAR: Moscow-backed rebels in Donbass celebrate Allied Powers’ May 9, 1945 victory over Nazi Germany, then promptly violate Minsk 2 cease-fire by attacking Ukrainian troops near Avdiivka, Mariupol, use mortars, assault rifles, grenade launchers, anti-tank missiles, IFVs; video shows rebels driving at least 35 Soviet-made armored vehicles through city of Lugansk, heading for frontline with Ukrainian troops on Apr. 29; more than 1,300 Russian servicemen, 30 military vehicles take part in Victory Day parade in Sevastopol, in occupied Crimea; Ukrainian region’s collaborationist prosecutor bans Mejlis, Crimean Tatars’ representative body, labeling it “an extremist organization”; Russia lays third power cable to Crimea under Kerch Strait, bringing total power supply to peninsula to 600 MW on Apr. 14, fourth cable installed by May 1; Ukraine terminates power supply to Crimea in Jan., follows bombings of power pylons by unknown saboteurs last Nov.; 12-mile, US$3.2 billion “Putin’s Bridge” to link Crimea to Krasnodar region by end of 2018
May 10, 2016Posted by on
Neo-Sandinista/Bolivarian Revolution Files: “Ex”- Marxist dictator Ortega, leader of W. Hemisphere’s 2nd poorest country scrounges up US$80 million to buy up to 50 Russian T-72B main battle tanks, putatively to combat “narco-terrorists,” but possibly to suppress civilians, resurgent Contras after expected (fraudulent) Nov. 2016 re-election; army-less Costa Rica casts nervous glance at Moscow’s growing military tentacles around Managua; Venezuela’s opposition-controlled National Assembly secures nearly 2 million signatures, submits petition to oust socialist Pres. Maduro, Chavez successor presided over most recent of 17 years of catastrophic “21-st century socialism,” Venezuela wracked by shortages of water, food, fuel, basic consumer items, regime announces face-saving 2-day workweek
May 3, 2016Posted by on
WW4 File: UKRAINE-RUSSIA WAR: Ukrainian parliament appoints first Jewish PM amidst festering Moscow-backed insurgency in Donbass; Volodymyr Groysman replaces Arseniy Yatsenyuk, ally of Pres. Poroshenko, previously completed stints as mayor of Vinnytsia, Rada speaker, praised as efficient administrator; White House swift to congratulate Groysman, US VP Biden holds phone conversation with Ukrainian leader on April 15; 2 Russian nationals withdraw testimony in Kiev court, deny being GRU officers, active-duty soldiers when captured in Donbas in May 2015, maintain Ukrainian SBU forced earlier admissions; Saakashvili presents demands to Poroshenko, urges formation of corruption-free cabinet, dismissal of SBU chief, criminal investigation of mayor of Odessa city; former pro-West president of Georgia granted Ukrainian citizenship, appointed Odessa Oblast governor in 2015; Donbas rebels launch 100 attacks against government troops over past 24 hours, 1 Ukrainian soldier killed
April 15, 2016Posted by on
WW4/Middle East Files: Russia’s most advanced helo gunships making combat debuts in Syria, even after Moscow’s official military pull-out; Mi-28N “Havoc” carries out sortie near Palmyra in late March, while Ka-52 Alligator engages rebel targets near Homs in early April; Mi-28N crashes near Homs, both crew killed, bodies recovered, returned to Russian air base in Latakia, Kremlin denies chopper came under fire from rebels, alleges “technical error”; Syrian dictator Assad fetes Russian parliamentary delegation, tells Communist Sergey Gavrilov: “Putin commands such respect among Syrians he could take any state position in the country”; in Feb. article Spanish national daily El Pais reported many Syrians, especially in regime-held Damascus, “experiencing Putin-mania”; Russian Academy of Sciences fronts for Kremlin: “The deployment of US long-range missile-carrying [B-52] bombers [in Qatar] may be aimed not only against Daesh [ISIS]. This may also serve a signal to Russia because those bombers can easily reach the Russian borders . . .” [i.e., USA is a threat to Russia]
April 12, 2016Posted by on
WW4/Middle East Files: Cease-fire brokered by Washington, Moscow on verge of collapse between Assad regime and rebels, ISIS, Al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front excluded from Feb. agreement as Russian Air Force preps for joint op against rebel positions in Syria’s largest city Aleppo, supports Syrian army, allied Iranian troops, Hezbollah guerrillas; Syrian PM al-Halaki to visiting delegation of Russian lawmakers: “We, together with our Russian partners, are preparing for an operation to liberate Aleppo and to block all illegal armed groups which have not joined or have broken the ceasefire deal”; Russian delegation includes United Russia, Communist legislators; USAF deploys venerable B-52 to Qatar on Apr. 9, undisclosed number of Cold War-era strategic bombers to fight ISIS in Syria, Stratofortress played “prominent role” in Desert Storm in 1991; German journalist: Systema self-defense schools in Germany, elsewhere in W. Europe front for GRU, VDV, covert Russian “battle groups” to carry out sabotage ahead of war against NATO
April 11, 2016Posted by on
So, while Russia distracts the West with its military operations in Syria and Ukraine, the Kremlin still preps for European war against NATO. This is actually old news (ala Viktor Suvorov’s Spetsnaz: The Story behind the Soviet SAS), going back to the Soviet era.
WW4/Middle East Files: Pentagon contests Putin’s March announcement concerning military withdrawal from Syria, multiple sources reveal Russia actually building up forces in war-torn ME country; Kremlin TV shows convoy of Russian sappers heading for Palmyra to clear mines after Russian Air Force joined Assad’s troops in routing ISIS from city; US defense officials have seen no Russian aircraft fly back to homeland since March 19, more than 20 fixed-wing fighter-bomber aircraft, more than 12 attack helos, including advanced Mi-28N Havoc, remain in Syria; Pentagon to Fox News: “The Russians installed underground fuel tanks in their air base in Latakia. This was not a temporary move, but a permanent one”; Moscow deployed T-90 battle tanks, rocket-propelled artillery to Syria last autumn, S-400 air defense system to protect Russian air base north of Tartus in Dec.; US-led coalition spokesman in Iraq comments on potential attack on ISIS HQ: “Nobody’s going to get to Raqqa anytime soon, frankly, neither the Russians nor the SDF [US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces]”
April 5, 2016Posted by on
We’re back. This is our first post since before Christmas. We will try to resume regular posts, at least several times monthly.
March 5, 2016Posted by on
Various responsibilities still making it difficult to blog on a regular basis. Hope to resume posting again in near future.
January 17, 2016Posted by on
We’re still alive. Just busy. Hope to post again soon.
WW4/Middle East Files: Russian DM Shoigu says Rostov-on-Don submarine deployed to Syrian coast, fired unspecified number of 3M-54 Kalibr (“Club”) land-attack cruise missiles at ISIS targets: “[The missiles] targeted two major terrorist positions in the territory of Raqqa. We can say with absolute confidence that significant damage has been inflicted upon ammunition warehouses and a mine production plant, as well as the oil infrastructure”; NATO dubs Improved Kilo-class (Project 636) diesel-electric sub “black hole” for super-silent capability, Rostov-on-Don launched in Jan. 2015, commissioned by Black Sea Fleet; Shoigu also reports on punishing air campaign against anti-Assad rebels, entering 10th week: “In the past three days, the operation involved Tu-22[M3, “Backfire”] planes as well as warplanes from the Khmeimim airbase [near Assad stronghold of Latakia]. In total we [Russian Air Force] carried out 300 sorties and hit 600 various targets”; Soviet/Russian military setting historical precedents in Syrian civil war, i.e., first-ever use of ship-launched cruise missiles in warfare (from Caspian Flotilla), first-ever deployment of Tu-160, Tu-95 strategic bombers in overseas combat, first-ever use of LACMs in warfare
December 8, 2015Posted by on
Gray Terror File: Aftermath of ISIS terror attack in San Bernardino, CA: Federal investigators treating Tashfeen Malik as possible mastermind behind worst Islamist terror attack on US soil since Sept. 11, 2001, probably planned multiple attacks along with husband Syed Farook, but uncertain where Malik grew up, radicalized as Pakistan, Saudi Arabia distance themselves from massacre; Farook possibly in contact with former Minneapolis-based ISIS recruiter, Mohamed Hasan presently fugitive overseas; details of terror attack: Tashfeen fired at husband’s coworkers first, Syed hesitated; although both suspects masked, emergency radio transmissions reveal police quickly identified Farook; firearms instructor at Riverside Magnum Range, 20 miles from Inland Regional Center where Dec. 2 massacre occurred, affirms Farook visited range for target practice on Nov. 29, 30; feds also looking into funding for terror couple as Farook owned “large arsenal of semi-automatic guns, hundreds of rounds of ammunition and pipe bombs,” US Rep Michael McCaul: “I believe on his salary, he was not able to buy this on his own”; San Bernardino County employees head back to work, environmental health division, where many victims employed, off until next week
December 8, 2015Posted by on
Gray Terror File: Aftermath of Dec. 2 ISIS terror attack at environmental health department in San Bernardino, CA: Islamic State’s official al-Bayan radio station claims Pakistan-born Tashfeen Malik, US-born husband Syed Rizwan Farook supporters of Sunni extremist group that controls swathes of Iraq, Syria: “We pray to God to accept them as martyrs”; FBI considers Malik, Farook “self-radicalized” but mass killings “act of terrorism” with “evidence of extreme planning”; while massacre underway at Inland Regional Center, female shooter posted pledge of allegiance to ISIS chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi on Facebook; summary of terror attack: Islamist couple dropped off 6-month-old daughter with grandmother on morning of attack, drove to Syed’s workplace where husband briefly attended holiday party for coworkers then left, couple donned combat dress, armed themselves with assault rifles, semi-automatic handguns, burst into conference center, shot dead 14 people, injured 21; couple flees, manhunt ensues, Malik, Farook killed in shootout with police in Redlands neighborhood that afternoon; police raid Farook’s residence, find pipe bombs, more guns, 1000s of rounds of ammo, hard drive missing from home computer; ATF: Husband-and-wife killing team used legally purchased weapons; Syed made 2 trips to Saudi Arabia since 2013, once for hajj, another to marry Tashfeen
December 5, 2015Posted by on
Just another day for theologically consistent Muslims . . . You would have thought September 11, 2001 would have been a wake-up call to Americans on the dangers of Islam, a bloody religion of conquest since the 7th century. But no, a large portion of the American electorate chose a crypto-Muslim to lead them, while the US and Canadian governments continue to admit people of this “faith” into North America’s security perimeter. Real bright or maybe it is God’s judgment on a wicked society (i.e., ours).
It’s only the beginning folks . . . don’t expect the authorities to protect you and your family. All public venues in North America are wide-open targets for jihad: military bases and other government facilities, airports, shopping malls, restaurants, places of worship, sporting events, movie theaters (i.e., Star Wars 7 premiere on December 18), etc.
WW4/Middle East Files: Aftermath of Turkey downing Russian warplane near Syrian border: PM Erdogan refuses to apologize for Nov. 24 shootdown: “Those who violated our airspace are the ones who need to apologize”; Kremlin retaliates by preparing economic sanctions, may scrap Turkish Stream pipeline project, Rosatom’s plan to build Turkey’s first NPP; Ankara claims Su-24 tactical bomber flew inside Turkish airspace for 17 seconds, passing through thin strip of territory protruding S. into Syria, received 10 warnings from Turkish Air Force; pilot, navigator bail, parachute to ground, Lt. Col. Peshkov shot dead by Syrian Turkmen, Capt. Murakhtin eludes rebels for 12 hours, rescued by Russian, Syrian commandos, later on Russian TV insists “there were no warnings — not via the radio, not visually,” while Russian FM Lavrov refers to downing of “Fencer” as “planned provocation”; Turkey deploys 20 tanks to Syrian border, 18 fighter jets patrol border with war-torn neighbor, while Russia announces deployment of S-400 air defense units to Syria, 10-12 more fighter jets to Latakia air base, escort strategic bombers; Free Syrian Army’s 1st Coastal Division reportedly used US-made TOW anti-tank missile to destroy Russian Mi-8 helo on mission to rescue Peskov, Murakhtin, 1 Russian marine killed
November 27, 2015Posted by on
WW4 File: UKRAINE-RUSSIA WAR: Ukraine responds to Moscow’s food embargo by halting gas purchases from neighbor, closes airspace to commercial flights from Russia, PM Yatsenyuk: “This is an issue of our country’s national security — a response to the Russian Federation and its aggressive actions. Russia might use Ukrainian airspace to stage provocations”; Kiev also terminates trade with Russian-occupied Crimea, paralyzed by 4-day power outage after pylon bombings; meanwhile, persecuted Tatars secure support of Ukraine’s state-run energy company, Ukrenergo repair crew suspends work on 4 damaged pylons of 220 kV Kakhovka-Titan power grid; Ukrainian MP, Tatar rep Mustafa Dzhemilev presents ultimatum to Crimea’s illegitimate, pro-Moscow government, demands release of Ahtem Chiygoz, deputy head of Mejlis (ethnic assembly), other key Tatar leaders in exchange for restoration of power to peninsula; Russian FSB/KGB (operating illegally on Ukrainian soil) arrested Chiygoz in Jan. 2015, charged with “organizing mass disorder” on eve of Russian invasion (Feb. 2014); Simferopol backs Russia in conflict with Turkey over downed Su-24 tactical bomber in Syria, freezes 30 Turkish investment projects worth US$500 million
November 26, 2015Posted by on
WW4 File: UKRAINE-RUSSIA WAR: Russian-occupied Crimea enters fourth day without permanent power supply after Ukraine halts energy transmission due to Nov. 20/22 electrical tower bombings in Kherson Oblast, state-run Ukrenergo repairs one downed pylon on Nov. 25; Russian FSB/KGB, Crimea’s illegitimate pro-Moscow government open “criminal proceedings” of sabotage against organizers of electrical blockade, Kremlin-backed prosecutor: “Suspects may be put on the international wanted list”; Russian general contractor SGM Group working 24/7 to build 19-km bridge over Kerch Strait, target date for road link 2018 but 400 MW electrical line from S. Russia’s energy grid to be activated by Dec. 25, 2015; Putin judo partner Arkady Rotenberg awarded contract to build multi-functional Kerch Strait Bridge, Rotenberg’s SGM Group has no previous experience in bridge building; latest Russian military build-up in Crimea apparent response to pylon bombings, Russian Ground Forces deploy 12 tanks at “line of contact” between Crimea, mainland Ukraine
November 25, 2015Posted by on
WW4 File: UKRAINE-RUSSIA WAR: Confrontation between Turkey, Russia over downing of latter’s warplane near Syrian border redirects world’s attention from “frozen conflict” in Ukraine, further Russian military build-up on occupied peninsula; Crimea without power after saboteurs bomb electrical pylons in Ukraine’s neighboring Kherson Oblast on Nov. 20, “Ukrainian activists” (i.e., nationalists) and Crimean Tatars try to prevent repairs next day, clash with police, towers hit by new explosions after midnight on Nov. 22, 2 million Crimeans affected by blackout; Russia reports electricity restored to Crimea’s main cities by Sun. afternoon, using mobile gas turbine generators; Ukraine’s NSDC reveals 5 Russian IL-76 cargo planes landed two paratrooper battalions from Ivanovo to Crimea’s Dzhankoi on Nov. 24, Russia also deploys 97th Regiment of 7th Alpine Assault Division from Black Sea port of Novorossiysk to Kalynivka, 3 km N of Dzhankoi, NSDC: “This considerably increases the attack potential of the Russian troops in Crimea”; Moscow promptly terminates gas supply to Ukraine, citing failure to pay up front, threatens to halt coal supply over pylon bombings
November 24, 2015Posted by on
WW4/Middle East Files: Aftermath of Turkey downing Russian warplane near Syrian border: Russian Navy’s Moskva missile cruiser sailing off Syrian coast, ordered to “destroy any target posing danger,” Russian Defense Ministry suspends mil co-op with Turkey, summons Turkey’s military attache in Moscow, presents official protest calling shootdown “unfriendly action,” reiterates contention Su-24 did not violate Turkish airspace; head of Just Russia party in State Duma requests Federal Air Transport Agency to “immediately stop all flights to Turkey due to the increased risk of terrorist attacks on Russian aircraft”; Russia Today admits: “The letter was made public soon after the crash on Tuesday of a Russian Sukhoi 24 fighter jet near the Turkey-Syria border”; analysis: If Russia responds to this incident by launching military reprisals against Turkey and/or other NATO states, Russian airliners will have to be grounded under some pretext; French Pres. Hollande at White House for ISIS talks with Obama, joining forces with Russia against Islamic State now greatly complicated by tense situation between Ankara, Moscow, Obama avoids alarm: “Turkey, like every country, has the right to defend its territory and its airspace”; Russian capital Hollande’s next stop
November 24, 2015Posted by on
WW4/Middle East Files: North Atlantic Council (NATO) calls extraordinary meeting after Turkish Air Force shoots down Russian warplane near Syrian border; Putin in Sochi, preparing to host Jordan’s King Abdullah, castigates Turkish government, calls downing of two-man Su-24 “stab in the back carried out by accomplices of terrorists,” Kremlin spokesman Peskov refers to shootdown as “very serious incident”; conflicting versions of event: Ankara’s Anadolu Agency says downed Russian fighter jet was engaged by two Turkish F16s after “Fencer” violated Turkish airspace, received warning, video from Anadolu Agency shows two crew parachuting out of plane; Russian Defense Ministry rejects Turkey’s explanation, while Putin, as quoted by Reuters, insists Russian plane was attacked 1 km south of Turkish border, crashed 4 km inside Syria; Free Syrian Army’s 1st Coastal Division reportedly retrieved body of dead Russian airman, offered to exchange for prisoners held by Assad regime, rebel spokesman: “This is the body of a Russian member of the military who was killing Syrian people”; FSA conducting search to find second Russian airman; last time NATO state shot down Soviet/Russian plane during Korean War
November 24, 2015Posted by on
So, since November 17 Russia’s Blackjack and Bear bombers have been carrying out their first-ever combat missions in Syria, including flight paths over Iran and Iraq, as well as more unusual ones over the Altantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea.
Got CD? Probably not. After all, we are told, the Cold War “ended” 24 years ago.
Meanwhile, Portugal, like Greece, is embracing the anti-austerity hard left, but hand-wringing over the new Socialist-Communist-Left Bloc government in Lisbon will definitely be eclipsed by fears of war between Russia and the West.
WW4/Middle East Files: Russian Blackjack bombers intercepted by Royal Air Force over Atlantic Ocean carrying out 8,000-mile combat mission to Syria, Tu-160s circumnavigate W. Europe from Olenegorsk air base on Kola Peninsula to E. Med. Sea via Gibraltar, launch cruise missiles (probably Kh-101s) at ISIS targets; The Aviationist website: Russian Defense Ministry video shows Tehran’s F-14 fighter jets escorting Tu-95 Bear from S. Russian base through Iranian airspace en route to Syrian bombing run; Russian Navy’s Caspian Flotilla once again hurls missiles at Islamic State in Syria, ship-launched land attack Klubs presumably fly over N. Iran, N. Iraq to targets, Nov. 20 barrage consists of 18 missiles, 7 militant targets; Baghdad reportedly not given advance notice of Oct. 7 missile launches from Caspian Sea, which traversed Iraqi airspace; our analysis: Russian strategic aviation is preparing to fight NATO under guise of Syrian op
November 22, 2015Posted by on
WW4/Middle East Files: Russian Air Force’s Tu-160, Tu-95 strategic bombers make historic combat debuts in Syrian theater as Putin challenges West with image of post-Soviet Russia as revived superpower; 5 Blackjacks, 6 Bears, 14 Tu-22M3s carry out third day of missile strikes against ISIS strongholds in N. Syria, 12 cruise missiles hit Sunni militants’ fuel depots, oil refineries, ammo depot, explosives factory, previous 2 days of bombing destroyed 500 ISIS fuel trucks; meanwhile, Royal Air Force scrambled out of Lossiemouth to intercept 2 Blackjacks over Atlantic Ocean, MoD: “At no time did the Russian military aircraft cross into UK sovereign airspace”; post-Soviet Russia proves ability to simultaneously deploy at least 7 Tu-160s in 2 theaters, follows DM Shoigu’s April 2015 order to resume production of world’s largest combat aircraft, 50 Tu-160Ms to feature improved electronics, avionics, hypersonic Kh-90 missiles; Russia’s new stealth PAK-DA bomber also slated for maiden flight in 2019; Tu-16 Badgers carpet bombed Mujahideen during Soviet-Afghan War, Tu-22M introduced to Afghan air war in 1987, Tu-22M3 conducted bombing raids over Chechnya in 1995, Tu-22MR shot down by Georgian air defenses during Aug. 2008 war
November 21, 2015Posted by on
WW4/Middle East Files: Russia unleashes second wave of long-range bombers over Syria, Blackjacks, Backfires pound ISIS stronghold of Raqqa with 12 cruise missiles, munitions on Nov. 18, follows initial barrage of 34 missiles previous day; Kremlin-run Sputnik after Nov. 17 bombardment: “This marks a truly historic moment for the Russian Air Force. Now, the Bear and the Blackjack have taken part in an actual battle for the first time in their history” [!]; Western mil analysts say Kremlin’s war against Syrian rebels largest air campaign since Soviet-Afghan War (1979-1989), speculate on Moscow’s strategy, tactics; US Navy Cmdr. (ret.) Chris Harmer: “In the aftermath of the Paris attacks – Putin saw some opportunity for propaganda strikes so that is what he did . . .their number one priority is preserving the Assad regime”; Col. Steve Warren, Baghdad-based spokesman for Op Inherent Resolve: “We don’t even use those type of tactics anymore. The idea of putting, you know, ten ships [i.e., planes] in the air at one time, or 12 or even more, is very old fashioned . . . The Russians have not bombed Raqqa [before] . . . it’s been coalition planes bombing Raqqa”; France’s, Russia’s top generals discuss by phone joint anti-terror ops in Syria, follows departure of France’s sole aircraft carrier from Toulon, Russian General Staff: “With the arrival of the Charles de Gaulle warship to the Syrian shore we will organize joint military operations”
November 19, 2015Posted by on
Gray Terror File: France confirms suspected mastermind behind Nov. 13 mass shooting/bombing rampages in Paris, Morocco-born Belgian resident Abdelhamid Abaaoud (27 or 28), died during police raid in suburb of St.-Denis on Nov. 18; Abaaoud “suddenly” moved to Aleppo, Syria, in 2014, joined jihadist cause, returned to Belgium, organized terrorist cell in Verviers, police broke up org in Jan. 2015 raid, two associates killed, sentenced in absentia in July 2015 to 20 years in prison in connection with plot targeting Belgian security but eluded LE; French intel believes Abaaoud involved in at least 4 of 6 terrorist plots in France foiled since spring 2015; woman also died in Nov. 18 raid, Abaaoud’s cousin Hasna Aitboulahcen (26) detonated explosive vest; 3 suspected ISIS supporters on 2 scooters drive up to Jewish teacher on Marseilles street, insult, threaten, stab victim several times, flee, pedestrian survives with non-life threatening wounds; ISIS possibly infiltrating USA as border agents confirm apprehension on Nov. 16 of 8 Syrian nationals traveling in “2 family units” over Juarez Lincoln Bridge at Laredo, Texas, Breitbart refers to “reports from other federal agents about Syrians illegally entering the country in the Laredo Sector”
November 19, 2015Posted by on
WW4/Middle East Files: FSB/KGB confirms downing of Russian Metrojet airliner over Egypt result of on-board ISIS bomb, Putin responds with another punishing round of cruise missile strikes, 25 strategic bombers based out of Mozdok air base in N. Ossetia attack Islamic State positions in Syria’s Aleppo, Idlib provs., ISIS’ de facto capital of Raqqa; Nov. 17 sorties include 5 Tu-160 Blackjacks, 6 Tu-95MS Bears, 14 Tu-22M3 Backfires, Russian DM Shoigu says long-range bomber missions among 2,300 carried out by Russian warplanes over past 48 days, Moscow politely notifies Washington of missile strikes per newly drafted bilateral air safety protocol; Russian warships sailing in Med. Sea also launch missiles against ISIS targets, Putin drives wedge into NATO, instructs Russian Navy to treat France as ally, steps up mil, intel cooperation after Hollande phone call; France supports Russia’s assault on Raqqa, 10 Rafale, Mirage 2000 fighters drop 16 bombs; French DM Le Drian invokes EU’s mutual assistance clause for first time since 2009 Lisbon Treaty, mobilizes 115,000 personnel for domestic security following Nov. 13 terror attacks in Paris; Russia’s intervention in Syria showcasing military might, sending not-so-subtle message to NATO
November 17, 2015Posted by on
EU File: Coalition of Portugal’s Socialists, Communists, Left Bloc poised to assume power following Nov. 10 no-confidence vote, collapse of minority center-right government, accuse pro-austerity PM Passos Coelho of staging “constitutional coup”; country anticipating Pres. Cavaco Silva to appoint leftist regime, Constitution forbids holding another vote for 6 months, head of Communist-backed 700,000-member CGTP union meets Portuguese head of state, warns of revolution in Reuters interview: “The president cannot impose himself above the will of the people and the majority in parliament. If he did, it would create a serious institutional conflict that could lead to a dangerous radicalization of society”; Portuguese communists tried to seize power following Carnation Revolution, found key backers in left-wing Armed Forces Movement, “Comrade” Gen. Vasco dos Santos Gonçalves briefly PM between July 1974, Aug. 1975, died 2005; eurozone countries once again extend deadline to dispense more bailouts to debt-stricken Greece, amid ongoing deadlock between ruling Syriza party, Athens’ creditors
November 16, 2015Posted by on
Gray Terror File: Aftermath of ISIS terrorist attacks in Paris: Pres. Hollande addresses France’s National Assembly, Senate, announces plans to visit Washington, Moscow, urge Europe, Russia, USA to unite forces against ISIS, vows “intensification” of French air campaign in Syria; Obama, Putin meet on sidelines of G20 summit in Antalya, Turkey, discuss Syria’s civil war, Obama Admin believes Putin “coming around” on necessity of Assad’s departure from power, White House official says US, Russian presidents agreed on “Syrian-led and Syrian-owned political transition, which would be proceeded by UN-mediated negotiations between the Syrian opposition and regime as well a ceasefire”; ISIS implicated in 3 mass-casualty terror attacks over past 6 weeks: 1) Ankara Central railway station suicide bombings on Oct. 10, 102 killed during demo protesting conflict between Turkish military, Kurdistan Workers’ Party, Turkish Pres. Erdogan blames conspiracy of ISIS, PKK, Syrian Kurdish militias, Syrian intel; 2) crash of Russian Metrojet Flight 9268 over Sinai Peninsula on Oct. 31, 224 crew, passengers perish, ISIS’ Egyptian affiliate claims downing of airliner, Western govs strongly suspect on-board bomb; 3) Paris shooting/bombing rampages on Nov. 13, 129 killed, ISIS claims responsibility
November 16, 2015Posted by on
WW4/Middle East Files: Aftermath of ISIS terrorist attacks in Paris: French military makes good on Pres. Hollande’s vow to “ruthlessly” punish Islamic State for Nov. 13 bloodshed, fighter jets based out of Jordan, UAE pound ISIS positions around Syrian stronghold of Raqqa 2 days later, drop 20 bombs, destroy command post, training camp; French police conduct 168 raids over weekend, place 104 people under house arrest; French official names Belgian resident Abdelhamid Abaaoud as one of masterminds behind carnage, also reportedly implicated in foiled attack on high-speed Paris-Brussels train in Aug., believed to be in Syria; names of dead terror cell members: Omar Ismaïl Mostefaï, 29, French citizen, blew up self inside Bataclan theater; Samy Amimour, 28, blew up self inside Bataclan; Ahmad al-Mohammad, 24 (or 25), Syrian citizen, blew up self outside Stade de France; Bilal Hadfi, 20, lived in Belgium, blew up self outside stadium; Brahim Abdeslam, French citizen, blew up self outside café on Boulevard Voltaire, no victims; status of other attackers: Salah Abdeslam, 26, French citizen born in Brussels, brother of previous, ON THE RUN; Mohammed Abdeslam, third brother, involvement in plot unclear, RELEASED by Belgian police on Nov. 16
November 15, 2015Posted by on
Gray Terror File: Aftermath of ISIS terrorist attacks in Paris: 3 teams of Islamic gunmen/bombers killed 129 civilians, wounded 352 more at 6 sites throughout French capital, striking Stade de France, Bataclan concert hall, popular night spots, promenades; French media partially identified 2 attackers as Ismail M., Abbdul Akbak B., brother and father of former taken into custody; Syrian passport on body of suicide bomber near Stade de France, entered EU via Greece posing as refugee; ISIS militant wearing explosive vest presented a ticket, tried to enter Stade de France, suggesting possible assassination attempt against Pres. Hollande, attending football match inside with German FM; stadium security found explosive device after frisking man, Islamic militant bolted, detonating vest, 2 accomplices immediately blew up more devices near Stade de France, blasts heard by spectators; German players’ hotel subject to bomb threat, spend night at stadium, return to Frankfurt on Nov. 15; Bataclan hostage: “There were shots everywhere, in waves. I lay down on the floor. I saw at least two shooters, but I heard others talk. They cried, ‘It’s Hollande’s fault,’ ‘Allahu Akbar!’”; Paris think tank: France to review invoking NATO’s collective defense clause
November 15, 2015Posted by on
Gray Terror File: France rocked by coordinated terror attacks in Paris overnight, civilians targeted as gunmen, bombers storm at least 6 public venues across capital, death toll mounts to 127, France 24: “Deadliest violence to strike France since World War II”: targets include Bataclan concert hall where terrorists massacre 87 concert goers in hail of gunfire, explosions, elite police force storms building, kills 4 attackers; 11 patrons killed at Carillon bar in 10th arrondissement; 18 people gunned down on Boulevard de Charonne, 1 on Boulevard Voltaire, 5 on Rue de la Fontaine-au-Roi near République; at least 3 dead when bombs explode outside Stade de France, inside stadium Pres. Hollande attending football match with German FM Steinmeier; French leader declares state of emergency in Paris region, announces closure of France’s borders, blames ISIS, vows “ruthless” response; Bataclan lies 200 metres from former offices of Charlie Hebdo magazine, one of several targets of Al Qaeda’s January 2015 attacks; French airstrikes against ISIS in Syria underway, French Navy’s Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier sailing to region; pro-Moscow National Front leader Marine Le Pen ahead in polls for presidential bid, tweets “Islamic terrorism” after Paris bloodshed
November 14, 2015Posted by on
EU File: Fascism resurgent amidst Eurocrisis: Emboldened by rightist election victory, Polish ultranationalists hijack Independence Day commemoration, National Rebirth of Poland march draws up to 50,000 supporters, foreign neo-fascists, amid heavy police presence, protesters burn EU flag, denounce immigrants, Islam, praise Catholicism, Italy’s New Force, Hungary’s Jobbik attend rally; meanwhile “national conservative” Law and Justice (PiS) party secures first-ever absolute majorities in post-1989 Sejm, Senate, opposition parties also right wing as Left collapses, socialists, ex-communists completely shut out of parliament; PiS chief Jarosław Kaczyński’s brother died in air force Tu-154 crash over Smolensk, Russia in 2010, Lech president of Poland at time of demise, official probes in both countries denied foul play; “anti-communist crusader” appointed DM, Macierewicz criticized for: 1) publishing list of secret police informants, Soviet agents in early 1990s, accused Lech Walesa of collaborationism; 2) allegedly praising notorious forgery Protocols of Elders of Zion in 2002: “Experience shows that there are such groups in Jewish circles”; and 3) while dep. DM in previous PiS government, disbanding post-communist Military Information Services in 2006, citing links to Russian GRU; Kremlin media pours contempt on incoming DM Macierewicz, FM designate Waszczykowski
November 12, 2015Posted by on
WW4/Middle East Files: Syrian troops, backed by Russian airstrikes, launch “large-scale offensive” in Aleppo prov. on Nov. 10, break siege by ISIS over Kweiras air base, 1,000 soldiers holed up since 2013, bodies of “hundreds of dead extremists” litter area around military compound, AP: “first major achievement” by Assad’s forces since Russia instigated air campaign on Sept. 30; French airstrike hits Islamic State oil delivery depot in Deir Ezzor, on Syrian-Iraqi border, PM Hollande announces nuke-powered Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier to be soon deployed in region “to increase the French military’s capacity for strikes in Syria and Iraq”; Russian warplanes reportedly bombed targets in Damascus suburb on Nov. 8, 24 killed in Douma district’s Kouatly market; pro-regime, opposition media reports Israeli Air Force conducted pre-dawn airstrikes at “military sites” near Damascus International Airport on Nov. 11, “loud explosions at the airport,” “rising pillars of smoke,” “electricity went out completely,” 2nd wave of Israeli airstrikes against Syrian targets in as many weeks; coalition of 7,500 Iraqi Kurdish troops, 1000s of Yazidi fighters seize strategic highway in bid to reclaim town of Sinjar from ISIS, succeed in severing Islamic State’s key transportation corridor between Syria, city of Mosul in N. Iraq, PKK makes similar claims re. disrupting ISIS supply routes; US State Dept. salvages relationship with fellow NATO member Turkey, denies supplying ammo to Syrian Kurdish YPG militias, Toner: “We will not and we cannot … tolerate any help to any PKK-related groups in Syria or in Iraq”
November 12, 2015Posted by on
WW4/Middle East Files: Syrian civil war spark for regional war as Turkish FM announces army to begin ground operations against ISIS in N. Syria “within next few days,” follows Oct. 31 airstrikes by Turkish Air Force; Turkey’s widening intervention in Syria motivated by: 1) carnage of Oct. 10 suicide bombings in Ankara, ISIS blamed, 2) Syrian Kurds declaring town of Tal Abyad part of autonomous “Rojava” region in N. Syria, 3) Kurdistan Workers’ Party scrapping month-old cease-fire in response to ruling Justice and Development Party’s re-election, Pres. Erdogan’s vow to “liquidate” PKK; Turkey launched airstrikes against PKK positions in N. Iraq in July following 4-year hiatus, also ISIS positions in N. Syria, initially denied targeting PKK-affiliated PYD/YPG after tanks shelled Kurdish-held Tal Abyad; PM Davutoglu finally admits in Oct. 26 interview army attacked Syrian Kurds because YPG seized town from ISIS, Syrian Kurds insist Turkish forces have hit their positions in Tal Abyad as recently as Oct. 24-25; NYT notes Kremlin’s hand in confusing international alliances: “Russia’s ties to the P.K.K. and the P.Y.D. date to the days of the Soviet Union, and it is believed to be offering support to Syrian Kurds”; PYD leader Salih Muslim confirms: “We have had relations with Russia for the past three years. We go back and forth to Russia, to Moscow”
November 5, 2015Posted by on
WW4/Middle East Files: Syrian troops drive back ISIS, recapture key supply route heading to Aleppo, Sunni militants seized checkpoint on Oct. 23, still control “large swathe of territory to the east and north-east of the city”; 1,000 fighters from US-armed Syrian Arab Coalition capture 200 sq km of territory from ISIS in NE Syria, 80 Islamic State guerrillas killed; Russian Air Force’s top cmdr admits shipping anti-aircraft missiles to Syria to support campaign against anti-Assad forces, refuses to comment on type, quantity, but could potentially shoot down US, NATO warplanes in spite of safety protocols; US spy sats, ELINT, HUMINT: Number of Russian mil personnel in Syria has doubled since airstrikes launched on Sept. 30, now 4,000; Pentagon official: “Russian aircraft are now operating out of four bases, but [MRLS] . . . crews and long-range artillery batteries are deployed outside the facilities”; Russia’s main base for 34 fixed-wing aircraft at Bassel al-Assad International Airport near Latakia, helicopter gunships deployed to Hama, Sharyat, Tiyas; USA says on-board bomb likely downed Russian airliner, en route to St. Petersburg from Sharm el-Sheikh on Oct. 30, killing 224 over Sinai Peninsula; ISIS’ Egyptian affiliate claimed responsibility, but Kremlin dismisses bomb claim; follows threats by Syria’s Islamic rebels to attack Russian “occupiers,” previous threats by ISIS in 2014 to “liberate Chechnya,” assassinate Putin
November 5, 2015Posted by on
Communist Bloc Military Updates: Russia reasserts Soviet-era military presence in polar region, positions troops near Finland, Alaska, preps for oil grab on Arctic Ocean floor; developments include: 1) establishing fifth military district “Arctic Joint Strategic Command” in 2014, 2) doubling troop presence in Novaya Zemlya archipelago by 2020, Soviets tested nuke bombs in island chain during Cold War; 3) constructing permanent military base on Alexandra Land Island in Franz Josef Land archipelago, 150,000-square-foot “Arctic Trefoil” ready to house 150 soldiers, 18-month fuel/food stocks; 4) building second base, known as “Northern Shamrock,” on Kotelny Island in Novosibirsk archipelago, slated to house Russian Navy’s 99th Arctic Tactical Group; 5) planning to build 10 air-defense radar stations, 10 search-and-rescue stations, 13 airfields, 16 deep-water ports across Arctic, total of 57,700 tons of building materials delivered to sites in first half of 2015; 6) Russian Navy’s Pacific Fleet builds 34-structure base on Wrangel Island, near NW Alaska; Finnish military inspects Russia’s 3,600-man 80th Motorized Rifle Brigade at Alakurtti base in bilateral confidence-building mission, town located 50 km from common border, belonged to Finland before Winter War (1939)
November 4, 2015Posted by on
WW4/Middle East Files: SRCC-affiliated Ahrar ash-Sham rebels use landmines, rockets, artillery to halt ISIS advance in countryside N. of Aleppo city, even as strategic town in west-central Syria, near Homs-Damascus hwy., falls to ISIS, Sunni militants raid army depot at Mahin, push NW toward Sadad; majority of next town’s residents Assyrian Christians, face slaughter unless they flee (or the men stand and fight), ISIS beheaded 12 Christians, including boy, outside Aleppo city on Aug. 28; Putin’s air campaign over Syria continues to promote ISIS victories by pummeling US-backed rebel groups, not to mention civilians, Doctors without Borders (MSF) accuses Russia of bombing at least 1 hospital; tally of dead, wounded from Oct. 30 regime missile attack on Damascus market bumped up to 70 people killed, 550 wounded, MSF doctor: “This was an extremely violent bombing. The wounds were worse than anything we’ve seen before, and there were large numbers of dead. We had to do many amputations. And a lot of the wounded had massive blood-loss . . .”; Syrian Ba’athist says USA guilty of “aggression” in wake of special forces deployment: “When America sends ground forces into Syrian territories without an agreement with the Syrian government it becomes an intervention and aggression”
November 2, 2015Posted by on
WW4/Middle East Files: Lebanese media report Israeli Air Force sortie attacked Hezbollah missile convoy in Qalamoun Mtns. in W. Syria, stories vary on “exact targets and location of strikes”; Syria’s state media claims Israeli warplanes hit “several Hezbollah targets in S. Syria,” opposition claims IAF conducted 2 strikes against Hezbollah, pro-Assad forces near Damascus (city or prov. unclear); Israeli Defense Ministry tight-lipped (as usual) over news of strikes, first since Russia began air campaign against Assad’s enemies on Sept 30; IAF repulsed by Russian warplanes while flying over N. Lebanon on Oct. 1, follows deal by Putin, Netanyahu to set up military hotline, avoid clashes over war-torn Syria; Fox News cites “Western intelligence sources” in exclusive report: Russian cargo planes helped Iran deliver weapons to Syria‘s Assad, landed twice a day in Latakia during last 10 days of Oct., unregistered flights personally coordinated by Quds Force cmdr. Qassem Soulimeini, Putin, Russian DM Shoigu; Iranian airliner Mahan Air (as reported in previous posts) flying military personnel from Tehran to Latakia “several times a day”
November 2, 2015Posted by on
WW4/Middle East Files: US, Russian showdown in Syria comes into sharper focus as Moscow reacts to White House announcement re. deployment of 50 US mil advisers to N. Syria to aid Arabs, Kurds fighting ISIS; FM Lavrov: “I am not sure that neither the United States nor Russia want [the conflict] to become a so-called proxy war”; Kosachev, head of Duma’s foreign affairs cmte: “Any operations – air based operations, ground based operations – in Syria by American forces will be illegal”; previous reports over past month reveal Kremlin’s deployment of Spetsnaz units to Syria, super-secret Zaslon unit lately redeployed from SE Ukraine, likely tasked with flushing out “terrorists” (i.e., US-backed rebels) ahead of airstrikes, VIP security (Assad?), assassinations, hostage rescues, etc.; NATO’s top cmdr, US Gen. Breedlove, reminds West of Russian strategy: “Folks have taken their eye off of Ukraine . . . . because of what’s happening in Syria. It’s technique they’ve employed in the past, a couple of times. Invade Crimea. Take the world’s eyes off of Crimea by invading Donbas. Take the world’s eyes off of Donbas by getting involved in Syria. This is part of a larger construct by Russia and we need to be thinking holistically about our response . . . these are connected”
October 31, 2015Posted by on
WW4/Middle East Files: Syrian army launches missile barrage against rebel-held district of Damascus, kills 40 civilians, US-backed Syrian National Council blames Russian airstrikes on Douma “massacre,” alleging as many as 55 noncombatants perished; meanwhile, Iran for first time joins peace/transition talks in Vienna, summit also includes diplomats from UN, Russia, USA, UK, France, Germany, Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Egypt; Iran no longer able to hide war dead in Syria, state media admits generals, more than 400 “volunteers” from Iran, including Afghan refugees, have died in Syria; US DIA confirms since 2013 Iran has lost 8 sr. cmdrs. in Syria, including at least 6 generals, chairman of US Joint Chiefs of Staff Dunford estimates Iran has less than 2,000 troops in Syria, 1,000 in Iraq; Brig. Gen. Hossein Salami, dep. cmdr. of IRGC, responds to losses, reveals “Iran is increasing the quality and quantity of its presence in Syria”; London’s Sharq al Awsat newspaper: Hezbollah casualties in Syria top 1,280, Lebanese analyst: “Hezbollah’s losses in Syria exceeded expectations … and its elite Al-Radwan battalion has been greatly exhausted to the extent of disintegration after the loss of its commanders and professional fighters in the Zabadani battle” (July 3 -Sept. 24, 2015)
October 30, 2015Posted by on
Communist Bloc Military Updates: USS Ronald Reagan scrambles fighter jets to intercept approaching Russian Tu-145 ASW planes over Sea of Japan on Oct. 27, aircraft carrier carrying out exercise with S. Korean warships amid tensions with Moscow over Syrian crisis, Pentagon soothes: “There was nothing to indicate they were posing a direct threat”; Russian Navy holds “repel strikes” in Crimea, practices thwarting invasion of occupied Ukrainian region, drill includes guided missile hovercraft, Su-24 attack bombers, cruise missile launch; Washington worried by Russian subs lurking near underwater data cables, including N. Sea, near shores of NE Asia, CONUS, no evidence of cable cutting yet but US mil, intel officials “monitoring significantly increased Russian activity along the known routes of the cables”; Rear Adm. Roegge, cmdr of US Navy’s sub fleet in Pacific: “I’m worried every day about what the Russians may be doing,” sr. Euro diplomat: “The level of activity is comparable to what we saw in the Cold War”; Tokyo outraged by construction of Russian mil base on S. Kurils, Soviets seized islands at end of WW2, expelled Japanese residents, Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary: “[We] . . . will strongly protest it. We are unchanged in our stance that the islands are Japanese sovereign territories”
October 30, 2015Posted by on
WW4/Middle East Files: ISIS consolidates hold on countryside around Syria’s largest city, chokes supply line to Assad’s troops in Aleppo by seizing 19 checkpoints, blocking Aleppo-Hama highway, also killing 20 fighters of pro-Assad Liwaa al-Quds Palestinian refugee group, prices of fuel, food in regime-held parts of Aleppo soar; meanwhile, Russian warplanes hit record 118 rebel targets throughout Syria over 24 hours, pound ISIS, Nusra Front positions in Israel-occupied Golan Heights, Iranian state media gloats: “Russian . . . attacks have an important message for Israel while Tel Aviv is trying to pretend that it has reached an agreement with Moscow on Syria’s southern skies”; Russia redeploys special forces from Donbass to Syria (where Spetsnaz have already been sighted), dissident Syrian media quotes rebel cmdr: “The special forces were pulled out of Ukraine and sent to Syria in a bid to coordinate with Iranian military advisers against rebels”; Def. Sec. Carter suggest US ground troops coming to Syria: “We won’t hold back from supporting capable partners in opportunistic attacks against ISIL, or conducting such missions directly whether by strikes from the air or direct action on the ground”; Russian lawmakers have “Damascus road conversion” after meeting Syrian dictator, Communist Duma deputy Yushchenko: “He [Assad] is ready to conduct elections with the participation of all political forces who want Syria to prosper”; follows Assad’s surprise Oct. 20 visit to Moscow, tete-a-tete with Putin, Oct. 23 Vienna conference between US State Sec. Kerry, Russian FM Lavrov
October 28, 2015Posted by on
WW4/Middle East Files: Algeria shows “gesture of friendship towards Syria and Russia,” “discreetly” airlifts Polisario Front militiamen from Tindouf to Havana via Algiers, Cuba gives SADR insurgents “accelerated military training based on guerrilla techniques,” Russia flies Polisario militiamen aboard mil aircraft to Syria to fight “under the banner of Cuban troops [themselves] fighting alongside loyalists to President Bashar Al-Assad”; even as Damascus/ Latakia reiterates Havana’s denials concerning reported presence of Cuban special forces in Syria; meanwhile, ISIS advances in E. part of Aleppo prov., seizes “several key positions” near al-Sufeira, assumes control of mil bases in Tel Aran after “fierce clashes” with army, employs car bombs to wrest Khanasser-Othreya highway S. of Aleppo city from pro-regime forces, severs supply line to Assad’s troops in Syria’s largest city; Kremlin says Russian Air Force flew 164 sorties against ISIS, Al Qaeda’s Nusra Front over past 72 hours, hitting nearly 300 rebel targets in 6 provs., including Damascus; Russia out-maneuvers USA on issue of destroying ISIS in Iraq as Baghdad authorizes Moscow to launch airstrikes against “Daesh” convoys, follows Oct. 22 airstrike in which Russian warplanes destroyed bridge ISIS using to transport supplies into Syria from Iraq; chairman of US Joint Chiefs of Staff meets Iraqi PM, DM on Oct. 20, Dunford delivers démarche: “I said it would make it very difficult for us to be able to provide the kind of support you need if the Russians were here conducting operations as well”
October 26, 2015Posted by on
Nothing to see here folks . . . just a little revitalization of Cold War-era friendships in support of Assad, i.e., Russia, Iran, Cuba, Algeria, Hezbollah, Polisario Front, etc. and now Iraq is being drawn into this unholy alliance.
Even though Washington, Havana and Damascus/Latakia have all denied the presence of Cuban troops in Syria, the University of Miami’s Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American Studies stood by its initial report, which was picked up by some outlets in the MSM and social media. This new report, which originates with Sahara News, which is based in Laayoune in Morocco-occupied Western Sahara, not only asserts that Polisario Front militiamen are fighting for Assad, but corroborates the earlier ICCAS report that Raul Castro has deployed special forces to Syria. However, if Russian military aircraft are shipping both Cuban and Polisario Front troops into Syria from Cuba, then this must be a highly secretive operation, which is probably why the MSM for the most part is not touching the story with a 10-foot pole.
WW4/Middle East Files: Pentagon deploys at least 6 A-10 Thunderbolts at Incirlik, bolsters West’s anti-ISIS air war, USAF F-16s conducting bombing runs over Syria from Turkish air base since Aug.; NATO launches biggest exercise in more than a decade, 36,000 troops from 30 member states to hold drills over next 3 weeks, Dep. Sec. Gen. Vershbow : “We are very concerned about the Russian military build-up. The increasing concentration of forces in Kaliningrad, the Black Sea and now in the eastern Mediterranean . . .”; Oct. 23 summit in Vienna to resolve Syrian crisis off to bad start after USA, Turkey condemn Putin’s “red carpet welcome” for Assad, Turkish PM remarks: “If only he could stay in Moscow longer, to give the people of Syria some relief; in fact he should stay there so the transition can begin”; meanwhile, Qatar threatens to invade Syria in cooperation with Turkey, Saudi Arabia “to protect the Syrian people from the brutality of the regime,” Syrian dep. FM retorts angrily: “If Qatar carries out its threat to militarily intervene in Syria, then we will consider this a direct aggression … Our response will be very harsh”
October 22, 2015Posted by on
WW4/Middle East/End Times Files: Assad makes surprise visit to Moscow on Oct. 20, thanks Putin for military intervention, discusses coordinated action against rebels as Syrian army, Iranian troops, Hezbollah guerrillas, Russian Air Force prosecute offensive against rebel-held districts of Aleppo; sr. analyst at Carnegie Middle East Center: “The Russian move has allowed the regime to go on the offensive and made some limited gains possible, but it hasn’t turned the tide in terms of winning the war”; video from Russian UAV reveals shocking devastation in Jobar after Syrian warplanes, tanks pound rebel-held suburb of Damascus, hotly contested district in one of world’s oldest cities now described as “highway to hell” (see Isaiah 17:1-3); Turkish president accuses Syria’s Mukhabarat of masterminding Oct. 10 suicide bombings that killed nearly 100 peace activists in Ankara, alleges Assad’s henchmen collaborated with well-known terrorist orgs, Erdogan: “This was a collective terrorist action. ISIL [i.e., ISIS], the PKK, al-Mukhabarat and the PYD . . . in N. Syria, were involved in it. All of them jointly planned this action”; unclear which Mukhabarat Erdogan fingering since 3 Syrian agencies sport this name in their title, e.g., Military, Air Force and General Intelligence Directorates
October 22, 2015Posted by on
USSR2/Middle East Files: France sells Mistral-class helicopter carriers to Egypt for €950 million after Russia deal falls through in wake of Ukraine invasion, never-deployed warships to be delivered to Egyptian Navy (world’s 7th most powerful) in March-April 2016; HOWEVER Kremlin-run Russian Helicopters cuts US$1 billion deal with new/old “strategic partner” Egypt to equip Mistrals with Kamov Ka-52K combat helos, Russian-designed flight guidance system for “Alligators” to remain on board; French PM Valls in Cairo to sign Mistral deal with General/President Sisi on Oct. 10, follows previous deals to purchase 24 French-built Dassault Rafale fighter jets, Hammer air-to-ground missiles for Egyptian Air Force, 4 Gowind corvettes for Egyptian Navy; Sisi paid state visit to Russia (Sochi) in Aug. 2014, after Putin’s forces grabbed Crimea, Putin returned favor by showing up in Egypt in Feb. 2015 to promote economic, military coop, Russian, Egyptian navies held 8-day joint drill off Alexandria in June, Reuters: “Putin has been cultivating ties with Egypt, a Soviet ally for much of the Cold War and traditional export market for Russian arms”
October 20, 2015Posted by on
The French-Egypt Mistral warship deal is fishy (pun intended). Although the Egyptian Navy is the seventh most powerful in the world and the most powerful in Africa and the Middle East, it’s hard to understand why the quasi-military regime in Cairo would want these vessels, which aren’t cheap, unless it intends to attack its neighbors, like Israel, with which it is technically at peace.
On the other hand, we must consider another angle. Is it possible the Kremlin is using new/old strategic partner Egypt to surreptitiously prepare the Mistral warships for the Russian Navy after all, and then use them to launch an amphibious assault on Syria in support of the embattled Assad regime? The Egyptian Navy HQ at Alexandria isn’t located too far away from Russia’s naval maintenance base in Tartus, Syria.
The scheduled arrival of the Mistrals in Egypt next spring bears scrutiny, especially if the Ba’athist regime in Latakia/Damascus is still clinging to power and in need of still more Russian military intervention. The Kremlin has already used the Russian Navy (from the Caspian Sea) to attack Syrian rebels and indicated that it will use its Mediterranean task force do so as well.
Perhaps Sisi will suddently discover that he’s bit off more than he can chew with this large expenditure and offer to resell the Mistrals to Russia (if the fine print with Paris permits). We must remember, too, that the neo-Leninists in Moscow are masters of maskirovka (deception).