Sep 05

Putin Confirms Scope Of Russian Military Role In Syria (ZeroHedge, Sep 4, 2015):

Over the past 48 hours or so, we’ve seen what certainly appears to be visual confirmation of a non-negligible Russian military presence in Syria. For anyone coming to the story late, overt Russian involvement would seem to suggest that the geopolitical “main event” (so to speak), may be closer than anyone imagined.

russian ground forces

Russia’s excuse for being in Syria is the same as everyone else’s: they’re there, ostensibly, to fight ISIS. As we mentioned yesterday, and as we’ve detailed exhaustively as it relates to Turkey, the fact that ISIS has become a kind of catch-all, go-to excuse for legitimizing whatever one feels like doing is a dangerous precedent and Turkey’s crackdown on the Kurds proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that Islamic State will serve as a smokescreen for more than just the preservation/ouster (depending on which side you’re on) of Bashar al-Assad. 

Having said all of that, going into the weekend Russia had yet to confirm publicly that it had commenced military operations in Syria despite the fact that it’s the next closest thing to common knowledge that at the very least, the Kremlin has provided logistical support and technical assistance for a period that probably spans two or more years.

But on Friday, Vladimir Putin looks to have confirmed the scope of Russia’s military role, even if he stopped short of admitting that Russian troops are engaged in combat. Here’s The Telegraph:

Russia is providing “serious” training and logistical support to the Syrian army, Vladimir Putin has said, in the first public confirmation of the depth of Russia’s involvement in Syria’s civil war.

And while the highlighted passage there is actually impossible to prove given that the term “depth” is subjective, it certainly does appear that Putin is now willing to concede that support for Assad goes far beyond “political”. Here’s AFP as well:

Asked whether Russia could take part in operations against IS, Putin said: “We are looking at various options but so far what you are talking about is not on the agenda.”

“To say we’re ready to do this today — so far it’s premature to talk about this. But we are already giving Syria quite serious help with equipment and training soldiers, with our weapons,” RIA Novosti state news agency quoted Putin as saying.

And back to The Telegraph briefly:

Speculation is growing that Russia has significantly expanded its involvement in recent months, including with deliveries of advanced weaponry, a raft of spare parts for existing machines, and the deployment of increasing numbers of military advisers and instructors.

Last week Syrian state television released images showing an advanced Russian-built armoured personnel carrier, the BTR-82a, in combat. Videos have also appeared in which troops engaged in combat appear to shout instructions to one another in Russian.

Of course whether or not the troops Russia has on the ground were sent to Syria with explicit orders to join the fighting is largely irrelevant when the bullets start flying. As Pavel Felgenhaeur, an independent commentator on Russian military affairs told The Telegraph, “it was quite conceivable that members of the advisory mission occasionally found themselves in combat or had even suffered casualties.” 

So in other words, they’re at war, and even as Putin is now willing to admit, with a two year (at least) lag, that Russian boots are indeed on the ground, it may be a while before he admits to their role in direct combat and if Ukraine is any guide, he might never acknowledge the extent of Russia’s involvement. But make no mistake, the Russian presence has nothing to do with the “threat” ISIS poses to the world and everything to do with ensuring that Assad’s forces can fight on – at least for now.

The absurd thing about the whole effort is that ISIS itself is now just cannon fodder both for Russia and for the US led coalition flying missions from Incirlik that Turkey has suggested may soon include Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Jordan. Even more ridiculous is the fact that since none of this has anything to do with eradicating ISIS in the first place, and because ISIS itself got its start as a CIA “strategic asset” in the quest to destabilize the Assad regime, the bombing of ISIS targets by the US, Turkey, and Russia doesn’t really serve much of a purpose at all.

That is, everyone’s just biding time to see how far the other side is willing to go in support of their vision for Syria’s political future – a political future which, as we noted yesterday, almost certainly will not be decided at the ballot box, that is unless it’s after US Marines have stormed Damascus at which point the US will benevolently allow whatever civilians are still alive in Syria to choose between two puppet leaders vetted and supported by Washington.

And lest anyone should forget what this is all about…


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3 Responses to “Putin Confirms Scope Of Russian Military Role In Syria”

  1. Marilyn Gjerdrum Says:

    So, is this another proxy war? The US created ISIS, it was obvious it was such as soon as the ISIS initials were used…………much easier than the eastern names that GW Bush beat into the ground………”AL-Kaida gonna git you!” People were sick of hearing it, so the CIA crated ISIS….easier to remember…

    Now, we are at war with our own creation? This is madness.

    By the way, I disagree with the writer Syria will end up controlled by the US……If Japan dumps the dollar, it will be down to the Saudis and Euro to keep the concept of the world reserve currency alive………most of the world has adopted electronic currencies instead. Since Russia and China adopted the model of the Sucre, it has been spread around the world.

    Right now, Russia & all former Soviet countries, China, Brazil & much of South and Central America, India, Turkey, Iran, Australia, South Africa, most emerging African economies, and Canada have adopted this electronic currency in lieu of converting to the dollar before conducting international trades.

    The electronic currency cuts out the need for any world reserve currency to base trade upon. Each nation can now trade directly with each other, using their own currencies. The electronic currency (no media will mention) translates the value of each nation’s currency at the time of trade, leaving the dollar out.

    This incredible loss of economic dominance was commenced by Hugo Chavez in Spring of 2010 for his little South American Trade Alliance. The SATA had such a tiny annual GDP, that it flew under US radar, but Russia and China monitored it carefully, and adopted an identical system in November of 2010. China spread it around the world; the rest is history.

    The dollar used to be used in 100% of international transactions, now it is used in less than 50%. Right now, the foreign nations still using the dollar to trade internationally are the foundering Euro Zone, Japan, Saudi Arabia, and a few others.

    Last week, thanks to the fool sanctions on Russia, Japan is considering dumping the dollar to trade with Russia and the east. If we lose Japan, the economic consequences for the dollar will be huge.

    Japan was the largest lender and US treasury buyer until Fukushima changed their financial conditions forever. That is another huge issue the media won’t discuss. Since March 11, 2011, Japan has gone from the most stable economy to one with growing debt to GDP…..

    Why do we have economic sanctions on Russia? Because we have fools in power. I cannot emphasis how dangerous to the dollar these idiots have become……The US leadership seem oblivious to the growing economic weakness’ facing the US.

    The US now has debt in excess of 100% of GDP. That means every cent that comes in is owed elsewhere leaving no money for capital improvements. In 1995, financials made up 16% of our GDP, today they make up well over 60%……..Financials are bloated paper versions of debt, no substance…..

    About two months ago, I went to the US Census site and averaged the population of working age Americans to be slightly over 200 million. The true number of working age Americans struggling with long term unemployment just hit 94 million….That is close to 50% unemployment. The statistics don’t count them, they claim we are at FULL employment, unemployment is now down to 5.1%……

    I read somewhere that 79% of Americans no longer believe these government claims……but that is all they have left, propaganda and false numbers. Everything else, our MFG and development have gone overseas.

    Up to 40% of Americans now suffer “food insecurity” every month. Need for food stamps has skyrocketed. Food stamps barely cover 14 days thanks to the unbelievable inflation in food prices; one more aspect of the economy that isn’t included in the inflation statistics.

    The so-called inflation model does not include food, energy and housing costs……they claim they are barely at 2%, and we need a FED rate hike.

    Homelessness is growing thanks to the rising costs of housing. Is it covered by US media? Of course not, and Americans look through them as if they were invisible. Denial is everywhere.

    One last observation regarding the falling power of the US dollar…..the rising interest rates for consumers continue, never mentioned in media. The cry for higher rates from the FED continue…….

    Perhaps it is my advanced age, but to me, this is madness……….

  2. pAUL Says:

    Please let us know who obola can surrender to… HE has destroyed our military, and lost the respect of EVERY nation out there.

  3. Marilyn Gjerdrum Says:

    Paul: It was GW Bush who destroyed our credibility and lost the respect of every nation by invading a nation in March of 2003 that had done nothing to us……NOTHING…..Not Obama.

    I am no fan of Obama’s, but I was paying close attention at the time….

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