Monthly Archives: September 2015

WW4/Middle East Files: Russia begins air strikes against regime opponents in Syria, Su-24 fighter-bombers from makeshift air base in Latakia fly ops over towns in Homs, Hama provinces, where principal rebel groups include US-backed Free Syrian Army, Islamist Army of Conquest, but not Islamic State; Kremlin gives advance notice of strikes to Washington, Jerusalem , says Russian pilots targeted ISIS positions, in particular comm facilities, arms depots, ammo, fuel supplies, however FSA cmdr maintains Russian warplanes bombed his fighters in Hama; Syrian oppositionists assert Russian warplanes hit 5 towns, resulting in deaths of 36 people, including 5 children; US State Dept.: “The US-led coalition will continue to fly missions over Iraq and Syria as planned and in support of our international mission to degrade and destroy Isil [ISIS]”; Russia’s Federation Council rubberstamps Putin’s decision to bomb Syria, while Assad tweets request for Moscow’s intervention against “terrorism”; Hezbollah guerrillas in Syria welcome Russian mil intervention on behalf of common ally Assad, accept gift of 75 Soviet-built T-72, T-55 tanks from Syrian army to create armored division (possibly to overthrow Lebanese government)

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WW4/Middle East Files: 6 Su-34 Fullback fighter jets arrive at makeshift Russian air base in Syria, join 28 Sukhoi combat aircraft recently flown to ME country, latest additions skirted NATO member Turkey, traversed Iranian, N. Iraqi airspace (i.e., with complicity of governments in Tehran, Baghdad); US intel: 1) says Moscow conducting UAV recon over Latakia, Idlib, Hamah provinces, but not over areas held by ISIS, Russians help Syrian regime est. coordination center in inland Hamah province, purpose unclear; 2) observes possible onloading of MRLS onto ships at Russian ports, deployment of “small number” of long-range bombers to airfields in S. Russia, i.e., within striking distance of Syria; NATO’s Gen. Breedlove: “We’re a little worried about another A2/AD [anti-access/area denial] bubble being created [by the Russians] in the E. Med. We see some very sophisticated air defenses going into these airfields”; Baghdad defends intel-sharing, “anti-terrorist” agreement with Russia, Iran, Syria; Putin in UN speech urges formation of “genuinely broad international coalition against terrorism,” Daily Beast cautions: “The Russian president is hoping to snare his American counterpart [Obama] by forcing him to accept Assad’s legitimacy”; Chinese naval expert denies reports Red China sending warships, mil advisers to help Assad

WW4/Middle East Files: Western intel: Russian, Syrian, Iranian mil cmdrs set up coordination cell in Baghdad to direct Shia militias fighting ISIS throughout region, Quds Force cmdr Soleimani spotted in Iraqi capital on Sept 22., probably met Russians, unclear whether Iraqi government involved; US official: Russian pilots flew fighter jets to Syria in “tight formation” with An-124 strategic airlifters, switched off transponders, used jamming pods, Sukhois appeared as “big blip” with Condors, refueled at Hamadan, Iran; same source confirms Russian destroyers positioned off Syrian coast, awaiting Moskva missile cruiser; Israel, Russia form joint cmte to avoid confrontation over Moscow’s mil ops in Syria, deputy chiefs of staff to coordinate countries’ naval, aerial activities, EW, Netanyahu: “This is very important for Israel’s security, and this is the first, clear outcome of this conversation [with Putin in Moscow]”; Syrians oblivious to Kremlin denials, thrilled Russian servicemen in country: “Every morning, between 6 and 7, I see several Russian planes flying, and I really feel better,” “For me, it’s the best thing that can happen because the Russians will keep the extremists from advancing”; Syrian mil expert: “All of the ultra-sophisticated equipment is operated by the Russians, like flying the drones. They’re the ones who train the Syrian pilots, and they’re in command”

WW4/Middle East Files: Putin plans unilateral air strikes against ISIS if Washington rejects joint mil ops in Syria, preps for speech at UNGA on Sept. 28; Syrian ambassador to Moscow coyly says he would welcome Russian mil base at Latakia to “fight terrorism”; Daily Beast cites US defense officials: Russian combat pilots, UAV are conducting recon over W. Syrian provinces of Idlib, Latakia, “We still don’t know what their intent is. [The flights] suggest they are planning to conduct some kind of air operation”; Russian Air Force evaded US intel, probably flew Sukhois from Budyonnovsk, SW Russia to Syria via Hamadan, NW Iran in radar shadow of An-124 strategic airlifters; meanwhile, newly delivered Russian fighter jets pound ISIS positions in Aleppo prov., allegedly flown by Syrian pilots as in recent Palmyra air strikes, Syrian army launches yet another ground offensive to break ISIS’ 2-year-old siege of Kweiris air base; Muhajireen Brigade, consisting of 1,500 Chechens, Uzbeks, Tajiks fighting against Assad, pledges allegiance to Al Qaeda’s Jabhat al-Nusra, as Pentagon denies reports US-trained rebels of New Syrian Forces/Division 30 defected, handed over weapons to Nusra Front

WW4/Middle East Files: Newly delivered Russian warplanes used to pound ISIS positions in rebel-held Palmyra, allegedly flown by Syrian (not Russian) pilots; Jaish al-Islam rebel group lifts playbook from Afghan Mujahideen in 1980s, declares war on Russian soldiers fighting alongside Assad’s troops; meanwhile, sat images reveal Russian mil building two new bases N. of Latakia; Russian Navy deploys 4 warships to E. Med., including Moskva missile cruiser, spy ship Yantar makes Caribbean port of call after lurking near SSBN base in Kings Bay, Georgia; FSB/KGB interrogates Russian soldiers refusing secret deployment to Syria, mil prosecutors threaten charge of “high treason,” as Kremlin redeploys 190 Russian mercs presently serving in Donbass separatist-terrorist formations to Syria; Tehran denies Israeli media reports of Iranian troops in Syria, Yemen, Quds Force purportedly sending 100s of commandos to fight for Assad

WW4/Middle East Files: Russian troops, firepower keep pouring into Syria over weekend, prop up Ba’athist regime as Assad’s hold on country reduced to Damascus, limits of historic French mandate known as the Alawite State; NYT cites senior US official, reports Russia’s makeshift air base at Latakia, main city in Alawite heartland, now hosts fleet of 28 fighter planes, including 12 Su-24 Fencers, 12 Su-25 Frogfoots, previously reported 4 Su-30SM Flanker-Cs, total of 15 Mi-24 Hind, Mi-17 Hip helos; Russian air base at Bassel Al-Assad IA protected by at least 9 post-Soviet T-90 main battle tanks, 2 or 3 Pantsir-S1 SAM/antiaircraft artillery systems; NYT source: “The equipment and personnel just keep flowing in. They were very busy over the weekend”; Moscow finds pretext to openly strike all anti-Assad forces after rebel shell hits embassy in Damascus, urges “action”; Putin to Netanyahu during Monday’s Moscow meeting: “All actions taken by Russia in the region have always been and will be very responsible”; Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps deploys advisers, soldiers to Latakia to defend failing Ba’athist regime, Hezbollah guerrillas announce withdrawal after helping Assad recapture town near Damascus; Saudi-led Gulf Cooperation Council condemns Russian mil escalation in Syria

Will Syria become Putin’s “Afghanistan,” just as Afghanistan became Gorbachev’s “Vietnam”? For Bible prophecy enthusiasts (i.e., Ezekiel 38-39), Russia’s military involvement in the Syrian civil war looms large, probably warranting an “End Times File” post.

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Alawite State (1920-1936)

WW4/Middle East Files: YouTube video captures Russian adviser/soldier atop Syrian army T-54/55 tank, participating in battle near Latakia, second tank fires at mountain outpost held by Jabhat al-Nusra, Al Qaeda’s regional affiliate; Russia launches aerial drone surveillance ops from makeshift air base at Latakia, sat images shows 4 Russian Sukhoi Su-30SM multirole fighters conspicuously parked on tarmac; Syrian FM to Russia Today: “Russia’s doing something new, above-and-beyond supplying us with weapons, and that’s sharing in the fight against the Islamic State and Jabhat a-Nusra”; 75 US-trained rebels of New Syrian Forces/Division 30 slip into Aleppo province from Turkey on night of Sept. 18-19, US$500 m program to train total of 5,400 rebels by end of 2015 in doubt after NSF chief of staff resigns next day, follows July debacle in which 54 NSF rebels were attacked by al-Nusra after infiltrating Syria; Israeli PM meets Putin in Moscow, coordinates mil action on Syria to “avoid accidentally trading fire,” Netanyahu: “My objective was to prevent misunderstandings between IDF units and Russian forces,” “[We] agreed on a mechanism to prevent such misunderstandings”

WW4/Middle East Files: US Def. Sec. Carter, Russian DM Shoigu hold 50-min. phone call to defuse East-West tensions over Syrian civil war, countering ISIS, Russian mil activities in ME country; Shoigu insists Russian weapon shipments, advisers simply “honoring previous commitments” to beleaguered Assad regime; even as US spy sats finally spot Russian fixed-wing combat planes at makeshift air base near Latakia, Pentagon IDs 4 four Sukoi attack aircraft, total of 8 Russian combat helos (Mi-24, Mi-17), massive Condor airlifters disgorge enough modular housing to support 2,000 troops; US officials also say Russia now has 500 naval infantrymen on the ground in Syria with more on the way; Kremlin evasive on subject of Russian troops fighting on behalf of Assad, Putin spokesman Peskov: “If there is a request, then within the framework of bilateral contacts, a bilateral dialogue, it will be, certainly, discussed and considered”

Latin America File: Colombian military captures 3 FARC intel operatives as 3-year-old peace talks press ahead in Havana, guerrillas propose turning five-decade-old insurgent army into political party under UN/Unasur-monitored ceasefire; tensions between Moscow-allied Venezuela, US-allied Colombia spike after ambassadors recalled, Venezuela deports 1,400 Colombians, closes border to halt smuggling, extends state of emergency to 3 border states; Colombia says two Venezuelan air force jets flew 2 miles over its territory on Sept. 12, approached army unit, Venezuelan DM denies incident, says Bogota trying to “frustrate” planned meeting between Presidents Maduro, Santos to discuss border issues, i.e, paramilitaries, narcotrafficking, etc.; Venezuelan fighter jet crashes near Colombian border on Sept. 17 for reasons unknown, status of pilots unclear, Russian-built Sukhoi Su-30 allegedly pursuing Colombian aircraft in violation of Venezuelan airspace

WW4/EU/Middle East Files: US spy sats spot 2 Russian Mi-24, 2 Mi-17 attack helos on tarmac at Syrian airport, yet to commence combat ops; Russia’s hulking An-124 strategic airlifters making 2 runs per day into Latakia, Pentagon tracks total of 20 flights; no Russian fighter jets detected yet, in spite of early Israeli news reports; Kremlin media interviews Bashar al-Assad, Ba’athist dictator calls on US-backed Syrian National Council to end rebellion, join forces with regime to defeat ISIS, refuses to comment on Russian mil moves in his country; Turkey swamped by 2 million refugees from Syria’s civil war, EU countries deploy soldiers, police to thwart refugee invasion, Greeks turn back 100s of Syrians at Turkish border, Bulgarian DM pledges 1,000 troops to close down its border with Turkey, 1000s of Syrians seeking asylum in Europe encounter new border control regimes in Germany, Austria, Netherlands, Slovakia; Hungary overwhelmed by migrants, declares emergency, seals border with Serbia, plans to build razor-wire fence along Romanian border; 10,000 nationalists march through Warsaw on Sept. 12, chant “Today refugees, tomorrow terrorists!” “Poland, free of Islam!” Polish Catholics reject Pope Francis’ appeal to welcome refugees

WW4/Middle East Files: Pentagon source tells Fox News Russia has transported 6 “highly sophisticated” T-90 battle tanks, 15 artillery pieces, 35 APCs in addition to “dozens” from previous shipment, airlifts more troops to Syria to bolster failing Assad regime; latest Russian deployment “first clear sign of offensive weapons arriving in Syria”; up to 1,500 Russian troops could launch offensive from Latakia’s Bassel Al-Assad International Airport “very soon”; Pentagon source adds “This is the largest deployment of Russian forces outside the former Soviet Union since the collapse of the USSR”; US military tracks total of 15 Antonov-124 Condor flights into war-torn ME country; Kremlin spokesman Peskov says Moscow-Washington “dialogue indispensable” to resolve Syrian crisis

WW4/Middle East Files: Russia 1) ships missile defence systems to embattled Assad regime, Pantsir-S units to be operated by Russian (not Syrian) troops even as USA launches airstrikes against ISIS; 2) “intensifies” on-going drills off Syrian coast, “source close to Russian Navy” tells Reuters: “They will train to repulse an attack from the air and to defend the coast, which means firing artillery and testing short-range air defence systems”; Moscow alludes to war with West over Syria, calls for mil coop with Washington “in order to avoid unintended incidents,” lifts objections to UN probe into use of chemical weapons in Syrian civil war after securing guarantees of “Syrian sovereignty,” ISIS suspected of deploying sarin gas against Kurdish fighters in Iraq, N. Syria, Assad’s troops reportedly used chlorine gas against rebels

WW4/Red Terror/Middle East Files: Russian military build-up in Syria part of secret deal with Quds Force, proves Kremlin still terror HQ of world as terrorist chief Soleimani holds clandestine meeting with Putin in Moscow in July, discussed joint military plan to save beleaguered Assad regime; intel official: “The Russians are no longer advising, but co-leading the war in Syria”; “stream” of huge Antonov-124 Condor cargo aircraft, two landing ships have delivered aviation, intel and comm facilities to Syria, deployed more than 1,000 Russian combatants, some from same plainclothes special forces units sent to Crimea, SE Ukraine in 2014; Russian FM Lavrov urges world powers to arm Syrian military: “You cannot defeat Islamic State with air strikes only. It’s necessary to co-operate with ground troops and the Syrian army is the most efficient and powerful ground force to fight the IS[IL/IS]”; Russian Foreign Ministry: “Russia has never made a secret of military-technical cooperation with Syria . . . There are also Russian military advisers in Syria who provide training in the use of the arriving equipment”

Fighting Sunni Islam terror with Shi’a Islam terror? Quds Force against ISIS? Only the neo-Soviet strategists in the Kremlin, with their toadies in Tehran, could concoct such a deception based (ultimately) on theological hairsplitting.

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WW4 File/Communist Bloc Military Updates: Amid West’s tensions with Russia over Syria, Ukraine, Putin orders surprise inspections for Central Military District during Sept. 7-12, airborne troops placed on “full combat alert,” CMD preps for Center 2015 drill later in month; Russian Navy redeploys N. Fleet’s ballistic missile sub Alexander Nevsky, Borei-class vessel to immediately join Pacific Fleet, while Akula-class Dmitry Donskoy begins ASW maneuvers in White Sea; Pentagon expands intel-gathering capabilities in Arctic after Russian spy ship detected near Shell Oil exploration vessel in Chukchi Sea, unprecedented, unannounced arrival of 5 Red Chinese warships in Bering Sea following joint drill with Russia, even as Pres. Obama visits Alaska to press “climate change” agenda

WW4/Middle East Files: Islamist rebels, Al Qaeda affiliate in Syria, seize air base in Idlib, Assad’s troops retreat after last regime-held position in NW province falls to “Army of Conquest”; Moscow admits “military advisers” in Syria, “assisting with arms deliveries” to embattled Ba’athist regime, refuses to comment on reported wider troop deployment, rebukes Athens, Sofia for prohibiting overflights; Pentagon tracking “multiple” flights of Russia’s An-124 (“Condor”) cargo planes to Syria, including port city of Latakia; Sec. of State Kerry phones Russian counterpart Lavrov to voice “concerns” about “imminent” buildup of Russian military in war-torn ME country, Kremlin accuses USA of “international boorishness”; Russian social media reveals presence of combat troops in Syria; CIA, US JSOC launch drone strikes against ISIS “high-value targets” (i.e., leaders) in Syria, Op Inherent Resolve includes French recon flights over terrorist-held territory; German ME expert tells Kremlin-run Sputnik website: “Russia, Iran and China trying to stop West from overthrowing Assad”

The neo-Soviet leadership in the Kremlin views US/NATO “meddling” in both Ukraine and Syria as existential threats to Russia. Cut to WW4.

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WW4/Middle East Files: US intel asserts Russian mil has set up air traffic control tower, transported prefab housing units for up to 1,000 personnel to airport serving Syrian port city of Latakia, Moscow has also requested rights to fly over neighboring countries with military cargo aircraft during Sept.; Putin on Russian TV offers partial confirmation of Western reports: “We are already giving Syria quite serious help with equipment and training soldiers, with our weapons”; Syrian state TV shows recent images of Russian-speaking troops involved in country’s civil war, Russian-built BTR-82a APCs in combat; Syria already home to Russian naval station in Tartus, Kremlin’s only base outside FSU; US State Dept. cites Secretary Kerry: “The secretary made clear that if such reports were accurate, these actions could further escalate the conflict, lead to greater loss of innocent life, increase refugee flows and risk confrontation with the anti-ISIL [or ISIS] coalition operating in Syria”

WW4/Middle East Files: Ukraine’s unprecedented new defense doctrine labels Russia “military adversary,” establishes conditions for “liberating” Donbass, Crimea, Pres. Poroshenko: “The goal is to ensure full compatibility of the Ukrainian Armed Forces with NATO . . . by 2020”; Israeli news cites “Western diplomats,” reports Russian Air Force contingent deployed to Syria as of Aug. 31, Kremlin plans to bolster failing Ba’athist regime, attack positions held by ISIS, US-backed rebels, “Assad’s army is in full-scale retreat in the strategic province of Idlib”; White House investigating reports of Russian mil ops in Syria, videos purportedly show Russian troops, APCs near Latakia, Russian aircraft, UAVs over Idlib, Russian vessel spotted in Bosphorus Strait “carrying large amounts of military equipment” southward; Free Syrian Army: “The Russians have been there a long time”; ISIS claims responsibility for lethal Sept 2. car bombing against military HQ in Russia’s Dagestan region; Pentagon monitors Russian spy ship lurking 300 miles off E. Coast, near SSBN base at Kings Bay, Georgia, “research” vessel Yantar equipped with deep-sea surveillance craft, cable-cutting equipment