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US Coalition Grows, Russia Opens Two New Bases in Syria

Next Cold War Roundup 12-4-15

Published M/W/F

Syria and Iraq

_ Iraqi Prime Minister: Don’t send troops.

_ Syria and Russia are seriously beefing up defenses in Damascus area and military bases in the Homs region. vS-300 air defense being deployed and a warning issued that any aircraft flying in Damascus air space without first getting clearance will be considered hostile and will be shot down. Only those “willing to fight terrorism and coordinate with the military leadership will be granted safe corridors.” One military source said there would be “‘an important advance’ within 72 hours.”


_ In the Homs region In the Homs region, two new air bases will open: Al-Sha’ayrat (reportedly the most important military base in Syria) and a third air base called “T4”, in Tiyas, near Palmyra. Two squadrons from Iran flying Russian fighter jets will operate at T4. Newly deployed Russian air force jets will operate at Al-Sha’ayrat (also referred to as Shayrat.

The alliance of Russia, Iran, Syria and their allies like Hezbollah, the Iraqis and others are all directly involved in the battle. Russian armed forces, including ground troops, the Navy and the Air Force are supported by air defense system using TOR M 1 / M2 medium-range missiles, accompanied by Pantsir S- along with their most advanced S-400 missiles to create an air umbrella coverage over the Russian forces in the country.  — Elijah Magnier

_ White House no longer denying US conducting combat operations in Iraq

COL. WARREN: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, a raid is a combat operation. There is no way around that. So, yeah, more Americans will be coming here to Iraq, and some of them will be conducting raids inside of both Iraq and Syria.


But this is not, you know, a major ground combat operation. I mean, we’re talking, you know, a double-digit number of personnel inside Iraq conducting very precise, very surgical, and by the way, very limited operations against exceptionally well-planned and very well-targeted objectives.


_ Is Turkey’s Erdogan trying to “hoodwink the NATO allies into a confrontation with Russia” or has NATO been inching toward war with Russia and is simply using Turkey as a vehicle to do that?

_ Whatever Erdogan is doing, Russia does not seem to care who is behind it. At least not publicly, where Putin and other Russian officials are carefully making speeches, statements and releasing information every day to show that Erdogan is not fit to lead. This is escalating, quickly and I’m not sure the American people have any meaningful idea what is happening,


_ Iran’s military paying a high price in Syria.

_ Iran will deploy two air force squadrons in the new T4 base in Tiyas in coordination with the Russian forces.


_ During the debate over Britain’s re-entry to the long war in the Middle East, Cameron had a military attack helicopter flying over the Parliament building while #DontBombSyria protesters chanted outside.

_ No lessons learned here.

“David Cameron has achieved his long-held goal … But for the prime minister, with this, his third big foreign intervention — Libya, Iraq, now Syria — pulling together a wider plan to achieve real peace is a far more complex task, one he acknowledges the UK cannot complete on its own.”

_ The triumphant pro-war Brits waste no time in marching off to war. Within an hour or so, they were bombing from an air base in Cyprus.

_ There was quite a boisterous but short celebration from the hawks and war profiteers but the anger and frustration from those who have learned lessons and don’t stand to profit from more war was louder. After all, the majority of UK citizens strongly opposed the new war authorization.


_ Also a lot of questions remained unanswered “Instead of dodgy dossiers, we have bogus battalions”

_ In France, the martial law-like state of emergency enacted after the Paris attacks appears to be indefinite now.

Germany’s BND foreign intelligence agency warned that Saudi Arabia is becoming “impulsive” in its foreign policy.

If that becomes a reality, the BND analysts write, the whole region would also face constant unrest because of a mounting rivalry with Iran. “Strategic struggle between the two countries based on religious and ideological hostility” is likely to unleash conflicts across neighboring Iraq, Lebanon and Bahrain, with Riyadh not fearing to take “serious military, financial and political risks,” the memo warns. In Syria, it is a top priority for Saudi Arabia’s new royal family to make President Bashar Assad go, along with adding fuel to ongoing Syrian war, according to BND’s assessment. — RT


_ Houthis, always on the move, fighting in southern Saudi Arabia, destroy tanks and heavy equipment then celebrate.  Several videos were posted on Wednesday of similar types of operations. Meanwhile, Al Qaeda is taking over in parts of southern Yemen, Zinjibar, and  Jaar, east of the chaotic Aden. Residents identified them as Ansar al-Sharia, a local affiliate of al Qaeda.


_ Another waste, fraud and abuse report from Office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction.

One of Bush’s undersecretaries of defense created “investor villas” in Afghanistan that were also used by DoD govt employees.

Office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction “SIGAR’s preliminary review indicates that TFBSO leadership rented specially furnished, privately owned “villas”3 and hired contractors to provide 24-hour building security, food services, and bodyguards for TFBSO staff and
visitors traveling in country. The contractors lived in TFBSO facilities, arranged transportation, and provided security details when TFBSO personnel traveled outside their compounds.4 If TFBSO employees had instead
lived at DOD facilities in Afghanistan, where housing, security, and food service are routinely provided at little
or no extra charge to DOD organizations, it appears the taxpayers would have saved tens of millions of dollars.”

* Defense Department’s Task Force for Business and Stability Operations (TFBSO).

More war and peace news and analysis

Bacevich: Beyond ISIS: The Folly of World War IV

_ It’s really just a slower, more subtle way of lying the country into war.  In Syria Obama Treads a Well-Worn Path From ‘No Boots’ to intervention.

The president earnestly replied, “You know, when I said no boots on the ground, I think the American people understood generally that we’re not going to do an Iraq-style invasion of Iraq or Syria with battalions that are moving across the desert.”


It is difficult to imagine that the American people misinterpreted Obama’s pledge of “no boots on the ground,” which he only made publicly sixteen times between August 2013 and July 2015.


Obama was simply following the precedent of his predecessors by first downplaying a U.S. military commitment, then incrementally increasing that commitment and approving new missions, all while consistently claiming that there has been absolutely no mission creep and no violation of previous pledges. Each gradual accretion of personnel, weapons, and missions is announced in a “nothing new to see here” manner and packaged as a wise and minor policy adjustment that will bring the United States closer to achieving its strategic objective[…]


Joanne Leon

Joanne Leon

Joanne is a blogger with focus on issues of war and peace, a mom, engineer, software developer and amateur photographer.