Sunday, September 13, 2015

My Take on the Increased Russian Military Involvement in Syria

A Short Comment

By Tony Sayegh

The Increased Russian military involvement, including direct participation by ground "advisers," is no longer a secret. Airfields are being expanded and new air defense systems are being installed. In the meantime the US response has been mute, timid and almost supportive!

This has led to many theories such as the US conceding Syria to Russia in some global grand bargain. Another explanation is that Russia does not want Iran to single-handedly control  what emerges out of a destroyed Syria and that Russia wants to safeguard its naval presence in the eastern Mediterranean and its base in Tartus.

My hunch is that the US is "inviting" an increased Russian military involvement in the same way it did not object to (even encouraged) an increased Iranian involvement, including no objection to the thousands of Hizbullah fighters (whom the US officially labels as terrorists) and other Shiite militias from Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The US/Israel strategy has been to invite the "adversaries" into Syria and have them destroy each other and the Syrian state while they are at it. Iran has been bleeding as well as Hizbullah and all other "Islamic" fighters including ISIS.

Why stop there? Why not have Russian pilots and soldiers fight and die in Syria? Bleed Putin as well as Iran.

Is this Afghanistan II for a revitalized Russia? It could very well become. Just as Al-Qaeda was established to fight the Soviets in Afghanistan, the Syrian revolutionaries AND ISIS  will fight the Russians in Syria.

One indication to confirm this hypothesis is if and when the opposition will be allowed to get anti-aircraft missiles. This could be done directly by the US, or more likely by Saudi Arabia while the US looks the other way. Until now that has been a red-line  by the US.

Anti-aircraft (STINGER) missiles brought the Soviets to their knees and forced them out of Afghanistan. Some believe that that defeat contributed greatly to the demise of the Soviet Union.

We started to hear more and more from the Syrian opposition that Syria could become the new Afghanistan for the Russians. Is this the latest phase of the US plan?

Please let me know your thoughts in the Comments section.

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