- Massive Russian military deployment into Syria and Iraq continues
- China’s military heads for Syria, supposedly to join Russia
Massive Russian military deployment into Syria and Iraq continues
Russian SU-25 jets on runway at al-Assad airbase in Syria last week (Telegraph)
In addition, Russia is setting up offices in Baghdad to coordinate military operations with Iran and Syria, and probably Iraq. According to Russia, the purpose of its military buildup is to fight the so-called Islamic State (IS or ISIS or ISIL or Daesh).
Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, the head of Hezbollah, Lebanon’s Iran-allied militia, on Friday explained the Russian military deployment as follows:
The failure of America and the international coalition to bring defeat to Daesh [ISIS] was one of the reasons which called or pushed Russia to also come, and to get directly involved.Some reports indicate that the warplanes in Syria include SU-27 jets and SA-22 air to air missiles. These weapons have no use against ISIS, since ISIS has no air power. It’s likely that these weapons are directed at the United States coalition or at Israel.
This large Russian military deployment in Syria and Iraq, in alliance with Iran, is going to raise alarm bells throughout the Mideast, especially in Saudi Arabia, who see Syria and Iran as existential threats, and in Turkey, which now sees itself isolated from its historical allies in the Mideast. Jihadist groups, including al-Qaeda and ISIS, will see it as a repeat of the 1980s Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.
It is amazing how quickly things are changing in Syria. A month ago, we were still talking about how the US-led coalition was failing at conducting air strikes at ISIS. Today, Russia is coming close to pushing the US-led coalition out of Syria and Iraq entirely. Fox News and Reuters and Telegraph (London)
China’s military heads for Syria, supposedly to join RussiaEarlier this week, Chinese naval vessels have traveled through Egypt’s Suez Canal and entered the Mediterranean Sea. According to a senior officer in the Syrian Arab Army, and confirmed by a Russian Senator, the naval vessels are headed for Syria’s Port of Tartus, and that “China has joined [Russia’s] military operation in Syria.” The reports indicate that the Chinese vessels will reach Tartus within six weeks. No explanation is given for the long time frame.
From the point of view of Generational Dynamics, Chinese military cooperation with Russia in the Mideast is strongly counter to the predicted trends. As long-time readers are aware, the prediction is that the US and China would be the principal enemies in the approaching Clash of Civilizations world war, and that the US would be allied with India, Russia and Iran, while China would be allied with Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and other Sunni Muslim countries.
Such a strong counter-trend development — China joining Russia and Iran in defense of Bashar al-Assad, Saudi Arabia’s enemy — cannot continue indefinitely. In my opinion, there is something else going on that is not in the news reports — namely that it is much more likely that China’s military is entering the region to protect Saudi Arabia’s interests. China may cooperate with Russia for a while, but in my opinion it would not take a great deal for China to turn on Russia, in order to protect the Saudis. This will be an interesting development to watch. Pravda (Moscow) and Al-Masdar (pro-Syria) and MINA (Macedonia)