Friday, September 25, 2015

Does Russia-U.S. Tension in Syria Foreshadow Military Confrontation?

russiaamericaBrandon Turbeville
Activist Post
September 20, 2015

More than an at any other time in the Syrian crisis, the situation on the ground presents an incredible threat to international peace and security. Indeed, the Western-backed plot to overthrow the secular government of Bashar al-Assad has now placed the world in a precarious position where two nuclear powers are acting in such close proximity to one another militarily that one trigger happy soldier could now plunge the globe into a nuclear holocaust.

If the general public of Russia and the West are not aware of the dangers of further meddling in the Middle East by the United States and NATO, the state actors of the two sides are clearly aware of the potential ramifications. Of course, it cannot go without mentioning that the entire confrontation now taking place in Syria between the United States, NATO, and Russia is entirely the making of the West since it was NATO and the U.S. that created the crisis to begin with.

As the military chess pieces continue to be set across the world, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has already stated that the United States should engage in bi-lateral military-to-military communication with Russia over military operations in Syria in order to avoid “unintended incidents.”

While Lavrov did not spell out exactly what he meant by “unintended incidents,” his meaning was clear – “unintended incidents” are a direct military confrontation between the United States/NATO and Russian forces.

"We are always in favor of military people talking to each other in a professional way. They understand each other very well," Lavrov added. "If, as (U.S. Secretary of State) John Kerry has said many times, the United States wants those channels frozen, then be our guest."

The Western mainstream press has, of course, pounced upon the statement as if it were a veiled threat to the United States. Lavrov, however, made his statement in the course of explaining the importance of military-to-military communication so as to avoid such incidents in the course of simultaneous operations on the same field. In other words, it was not a threat but it was a cautionary warning.

Still, Lavrov’s words address a very real possibility of direct military confrontation between Russian and American forces in the skies or on the ground in Syria. As I mentioned in my article, “Are Russians Sending Military Support To Syria? Potential Conflict With NATO?,” while a Russian military presence in the Syrian capital will undoubtedly provide an important boost to the Syrian military’s battle against ISIS and other Western-backed terrorists, it will also provide the world with the potential for direct military confrontation between the two major world powers, both of them armed with nuclear weapons.

But, while the western press has seized upon Lavrov’s statement as provocative, it should be pointed out that ISIS Czar General John Allen has gone much further in terms of hinting at the potential for a real fight to break out between the US and Russia over Syria.

In an interview with Jake Tapper of CNN, Allen was asked about the recent Russian involvement in Syria. Part of that interaction is provided below:

QUESTION: The Russian foreign ministry just finally acknowledged that they do have some personnel in Syria aiding Assad, aiding Bashar al-Assad’s regime in its fight against ISIS. Do you have a problem with Russian forces in Syria on Assad’s side, but fighting ISIS?

GENERAL ALLEN: We’ve been watching this closely over the last several days, watching the buildup to see what it might mean.

QUESTION: So we don’t know whether or not it’s a good thing or a bad thing?

GENERAL ALLEN: Well, I think it’s a bad thing —


GENERAL ALLEN: — if the Russians use combat forces to prop up the regime of Bashar al-Assad.


GENERAL ALLEN: Bashar al-Assad is singularly responsible for the death of tens of thousands of his people. Much of the instability in the region is a direct result of the actions of Bashar al-Assad, and to prop him up with military force creates an additional crisis in the region, and in fact, could bring Russian forces in confrontation with Coalition forces that are fighting Daesh in Syria.”[i] [emphasis added]

Notice Allen states that, amidst absurd and ridiculous claims that fighting in the Middle East is largely attributable to Assad (in reality, it is attributable to the United States, NATO, GCC, Israel and people like Allen himself), he states that the Russian involvement in Syria “could bring Russian forces in confrontation with Coalition forces.” Allen’s rhetoric is not only disingenuous, it is incredibly dangerous. It was also largely unreported in the media in contrast to Lavrov’s statement.

Yet the disagreements between Russia and the United States (the anti-ISIS coalition vs the anti-anti-ISIS coalition) have gone beyond mere words. While the United States has committed money, arms, training, special forces personnel, and air cover for terrorists, Russia has supplied the Syrian government with arms, missiles, military vehicles and fighter jets.

Russia recently provided Assad with a number of sophisticated missile defense systems and Russian made jets for the purpose of fighting the Western-backed terrorists. Russia has also begun construction of a military base inside Syria, particularly in Latakia that will most likely be used as a Forward Operating Base for operations against ISIS. In addition, Russia has recently committed 2,000 troops to Latakia as part of the “first phase” of its operations against ISIS.

According to the Financial Times,

Russia is to deploy 2,000 military personnel to its new air base near the Syrian port city of Latakia, signalling the scale of Moscow’s involvement in the war-torn country. 
The deployment “forms the first phase of the mission there,” according to an adviser on Syria policy in Moscow. 
The force will include fighter aircraft crews, engineers and troops to secure the facility, said another person briefed on the matter. 
Three western defence officials agreed that the Russian deployment tallied with the numbers needed to establish a forward air base similar to those built by western militaries in Afghanistan.

The New York Times also reported the Russian deployment. It reported

The deployment of some of Russia’s most advanced ground attack planes and fighter jets as well as multiple air defense systems at the base near the ancestral home of President Bashar al-Assad appears to leave little doubt about Moscow’s goal to establish a military outpost in the Middle East. The planes are protected by at least two or possibly three SA-22 surface-to-air, antiaircraft systems, and unarmed Predator-like surveillance drones are being used to fly reconnaissance missions. 
“With competent pilots and with an effective command and control process, the addition of these aircraft could prove very effective depending on the desired objectives for their use,”said David A. Deptula, a retired three-star Air Force general who planned the American air campaigns in 2001 in Afghanistan and in the 1991 Persian Gulf war. 
In addition, a total of 15 Russian Hip transport and Hind attack helicopters are also now stationed at the base, doubling the number of those aircraft from last week, the American official said. For use in possible ground attacks, the Russians now also have nine T-90 tanks and more than 500 marines, up from more than 200 last week. 
“The equipment and personnel just keep flowing in,” said the American official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss confidential intelligence reports. “They were very busy over the weekend.

Around the same time and shortly after the deployment, the Russian embassy in Damascus came under a mortar attack from jihadists, an interesting maneuver since the Russians are obviously aware of who is actually controlling the death squads in Syria. In other words, the mortar attack represents a proxy attack on the Russian state apparatus as punishment for entering Syria on the side of Assad and the Syrian people.

The Russian embassy issued a statement which alluded to the fact that the West was responsible for these attacks, stating that “We expect a clear position with regard to this terrorist act from all members of the international community, including regional players. This requires not just words but concrete action.”

The Ministry stated that the ultimate responsibility was with the fighters’ “foreign sponsors” who used their influence on the fighters for such purposes.

Notorious warmonger Secretary of State John Kerry then decided to one-up ISIS Czar Allen by stating that continued Russian action against ISIS could risk a confrontation with the “anti-ISIS” coalition.

In an interview with La Stampa, Kerry stated that “These actions could provoke a further escalation of the conflict and lead to the loss of more innocent lives, increasing the flow of refugees and risking a confrontation with the anti-ISIS (Islamic State) coalition operating in Syria.” [emphasis added]

At about the same time, Leith Fadel of Almasdar news (the Arab Source), reported that China has now decided to commit troops and military aircraft to Syria within the next six weeks. Although the reports have not been independently confirmed, the outlet cited a senior Syrian officer in the Syrian military for the claims regarding the Chinese plans. Fadel’s information has proven accurate many times in the past.

Fadel writes,

On Tuesday morning, a Chinese naval vessel reportedly traveled through Egypt’s Suez Canal to enter the Mediterranean Sea; its destination was not confirmed. 
However, according to a senior officer in the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) that is stationed inside the Syrian coastal city of Latakia, Chinese military personnel and aerial assets are scheduled to arrive in the coming weeks (6 weeks) to the port-city of Tartous – he could not provide anymore detail. 
Russia has made it abundantly clear that they are taking an active role in this conflict, but the news of the Chinese military to Syria provides more insight into their contingency.

The French, always willing to sink to the levels of the absurd while in the midst of a propaganda campaign, have now suggested that it will begin “reconnaissance” flights over Syria and retain the option to launch airstrikes against Syrian targets presented as “Daesh” but, in reality, are much more likely to be Syrian infrastructure. After all, the French airstrikes, as part of NATO, will be directed in the same manner as those conducted by the United States. All of this offensive bombing, of course, is only “self-defense.” French President Francois Hollande stated,

"We received specific intelligence indicating that the resent terrorist attacks against France and other European nations were organized by Daesh [Arabic derogatory term for IS] in Syria. Due to this threat we decided to start reconnaissance flights to have the option for airstrikes, if that would be necessary. This is self-defense."

Such ridiculous claims of self-defense harken back to the days of France standing together and supporting “free speech” after the Charlie Hebdo bombing, an institution that has not existed in France for decades.

Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter’s ridiculous “Gasoline” statements were also of a warning nature, although not to the extent of Kerry and Allen in threats of “confrontation.” On September 24, Carter stated that “To pursue the defeat of ISIL without at the same time pursuing a political transition is to fuel the very kind of extremism that underlies ISIL, and if that's the Russian view that's a logical contradiction. And the way out of that contradiction is to pursue both of those in parallel. And on that basis I think we're prepared to discuss a way ahead with Russia where the political and the military move in parallel."

He also stated that to avoid a political transition (i.e. the removal of Assad from power) is to “pour gasoline on the ISIL phenomenon rather than to lead to the defeat of ISIL. At another point he suggested that a “military-only Russian approach” would be the same as "pouring gasoline on the civil war in Syria."

Of course, the stream of Russian logic is easily able to be followed – in order to defeat ISIS, work with all parties currently fighting ISIS. The American logic presented by Carter is quite the opposite – in order to defeat ISIS, first defeat the enemy of ISIS and oppose interested parties who are having success against ISIS.

Russian President Vladmir Putin expressed this logic when he said that destroying Assad’s government “will create a situation which you can witness now in the other countries of the region, ... where all the state institutions are disintegrated." He also added, “There is no other solution to the Syrian crisis than strengthening the effective government structures and rendering them help in fighting terrorism."

The American logic as it presented publicly, however, is quite different from the reality of the situation. The truth is that the United States does not want to defeat ISIS, it is responsible for the creation, funding, training, arming, and directing of that organization and it aims to continue to use it for foreign policy, geopolitical, and domestic purposes.

If Russian pilots will be flying Russian planes in combat missions against ISIS in Syria, there is the very real potential that rogue nations like the United States and its “coalition” aircraft may find themselves in direct confrontation with Russian air forces.

Considering the aggressive manner in which NATO powers have engaged in military provocations in places like Ukraine, an “accidental” brush with Russian fighter jets could not be ruled out in Syria, as dangerous and potentially destructive as such an act might be.

With the United States engaging in airstrikes all across Syria, there exists the real possibility that lines of communications may become crossed – intentionally or unintentionally – between the United States and Russian forces, resulting in the downing of one or the other’s jets. If that happens, the level of tensions between the two powers will be increased to unprecedented levels, leaving open the question of whether or not the “victim” of the incident will opt to show restraint or engage in retaliatory measures.

Likewise with the Israeli forces that continually launch bombing missions in Syria, and act as air cover for death squad fighters operating on the ground. The Israelis are notoriously provocative in their military adventures, encouraged by the fact that they have the United States military to back them up whenever they find themselves in trouble. Both destabilizing and unpredictable, the Israelis always stand as a potential trigger for dragging the United States into a war. While the Russians are fully supportive of an Israeli (Zionist) settler state, by supporting the Syrians against the Israeli-supported terrorists on the ground, the Russians run the risk of an “accidental” (or otherwise) confrontation with Israeli aircraft.

With the question of Syria only one part of the Russia/Western divide, international peace and security – from Asia to Syria to Ukraine – is becoming increasingly destabilized by Western behavior. There are now two theatres where two nuclear powers have the distinct potential to be forced into direct conflict with one another, a confrontation that very well could end in thermonuclear war. The entire fate of the world could thus rest in the finger of a single soldier who may either prevent or cause a devastating conflagration that will alter life on this planet forever. Unless, of course, that was the plan all along . . .

Brandon Turbeville – article archive here – is an author out of Florence, South Carolina. He has a Bachelor’s Degree from Francis Marion University and is the author of six books, Codex Alimentarius — The End of Health Freedom, 7 Real Conspiracies, Five Sense Solutions and Dispatches From a Dissident, volume 1 and volume 2, The Road to Damascus: The Anglo-American Assault on Syria, and The Difference it Makes: 36 Reasons Why Hillary Clinton Should Never Be President. Turbeville has published over 500 articles dealing on a wide variety of subjects including health, economics, government corruption, and civil liberties. Brandon Turbeville’s podcast Truth on The Tracks can be found every Monday night 9 pm EST at UCYTV. He is available for radio and TV interviews. Please contact activistpost (at)

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