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Monday, September 3, 2012

Syria: Russia Runs Out, Iran Rushes In

Port of Tartus

The Middle Eastern chess game continues and there are many players. Recent events have become more evident of a big picture event is about to happen. Russia pulls it's Mediterranean Navel contingent out of the port of Tartus. The Russians have spent years and millions of rubles modernizing and rehabilitating their Tartus port facility that was actuality mothballed after the fall of the Soviet Union. Just when Russia was about to finalize the ports five year renovation they pull out and announce that weapons and military support for Bashar al-Assad's military effort has been curtailed.
Quds Forces with very outdated German rifles 

Iran has recently confirmed that Quds forces have boots on the Syrian soil. This is something that Syrian opposition forces have known since hostilities broke out seventeen months ago. Most reports state that the Iranian commander of Iran’s elite Quds Force, Qassem Suleimani “slipped up” during an interview with Teheran’s ISNA news agency by stating that his forces are assisting the Syrian forces. It is hard to believe that a “disciplined” military commander would make a comment like that if it was not meant for public consumption. According to some reports the Quds Force will be setting up at least one military base near the capital Damascus that will house 15,000 elite soldiers, who operated in Iraq and other wars. The force will be reportedly in charge of training Hamas and Hezbollah operatives as well as Syrian forces to deal with opposition fighters that have been giving al-Assad a pain in his al-ass. Of course this base can be used as a staging point for a cross border attack and possibly the preparation for an assault on Israel. 

Israel has been preparing the civilian population of a nation wide missile attack. The construction of bomb shelters, the issuing of gas masks and the testing of a early warning system that sends text messages to cell phones in the event of a missile attack. The Israeli Defense Force (IDF) has fortified its border defenses along the northern frontier by the addition of mine fields, reinforcing fencing and adding additional razor wire. The IDF also has completed a Multi Sensory System (MSS) along the border with Lebanon. The system integrates electronic censors, cameras and radars in the most advanced combat intelligence gathering system known in the defense industry today. Clearly the Jewish state is anticipating a problem unfortunately this problem may be a multi-prong event coming from many directions.
Israeli border with new fencing 

The Egyptian Sinai Peninsula is becoming a larger problem for Israel. al-Qaida terror elements have killed sixteen border guards August 5. In response the defense minister and head of the armed forces, General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi launched a security force to root out the militants. During the operation the Egyptians captured 23 and killed 11 terrorists however the Egyptian security force consisted of troops in 11 Bradley armored personnel carriers and the Camp David Peace Accords prohibits the use of mechanized forces in the Sinai. Israels PM Netanyahu called Egyptian President Morsy to remind him of that fact and by September 29th the 11 Bradleys were loaded onto flatbed trucks on their way back to their base. Since President Hosni Mubarak was booted out of office the al-Qaida terrorists have been responsible for many infrastructure and border attacks. The current operation yielded many small arms, rockets, missiles and explosives.

Turkey has not escaped the terror threat either Kurdish militants have been crossing into Turkey from Iran and Syria for attacks on civilian and government targets. Known as the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) established itself in 1978 as a Marxist Communist group looking to found it's own state. They have carved out a portion of Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Syria claiming the territory to be their ancestral homeland. Currently the PKK have been on a mission to disrupt the Turks during the Syrian uprising. With funding and intelligence from Iran and Syria the PKK has launched large scale attacks within Turkey. Sunday 9/2/12 about 20 PKK terrorists attacked a Turkish security complex at Beytussebap 40 kilometers from the Iraqi border Government forces lost 9 solders in the skirmish and all 20 of the PKK attackers were killed. Last month 10 people including civilians were killed in a car bomb attack blamed on the separatist Kurds in the southeastern city of Gaziantep which caused national outrage. The Turkish government had launched a large-scale military offensive against the PKK on July 23 that it said early last month had killed a total of 115 PKK militants. In one of the deadliest recent single incidents, fighting in June between Turkish soldiers and Kurdish rebels killed 28 people after an attack by PKK members on an army post near the Iraqi border.
Damage after the bombing in Al-Bab

The actions and rhetoric have ramped up to the point of out and out threats. Special fortified hospital facilities have been dusted off in Israel. The Americans have deployed medical facilities to Jordan, Turkey and Israel that specialize in Bio/Chemical warfare injuries. Syrian air force jets and helicopters strike indiscriminately in populated arias as the the ratio of dead noncombatants to opposition solders bear this out. 9/3/12 a building was bombed in Al-Bab not far from the Turkish border killing 18 noncombatants. The day before Syrian warplanes bombed towns in various locations killing a total of 132 people 96 noncombatants, 9 opposition fighters and 27 Syrian regular army soldiers. For the first time the strategy of carpet bombing has been employed in the Syrian town of Azaz, more than 80 noncombatants were killed and 150 wounded. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights claim that 5,000 people have been killed across Syria in August and at least 26,283 people have been killed in Syria since the revolt began in March last year. The numbers reflect the the governments rules of engagement, that is to kill with out discrimination, The Observatories breakdown of the dead is “18,695 civilians, 1,079 defectors and 6,509 troops.” President al-Assad also warned his counterparts in Ankara through back channels that if any more Turkish FIM-92 Stinger anti-aircraft missiles were supplied to the oposition forces, he would arm 2,500 PKK Kurdish terrorist fighters with Russian SA-8 anti-air missiles and let them loose along the Syrian-Turkish border for use against Turkey.
A Russian built Syrian Air Force fighter plane fires a rockets during an air strike on the village of Tel Rafat,  north of Aleppo, August 9, 2012

So the Russians got out wile the getting was good and the Iranians got in to form a suicide pact with the al-Assad government. If in fact Syria is invaded Iran will attack Israel and if Iran's nuclear facilities are attacked Syria will attack Israel. It seams as though the suspected attacking forces are willing to wait out the Syrian situation. With proxy forces fighting the Sunni-Shite ideological battle and the opposition forces infiltrating the government forces supported by American intelligence sources Iran will find themselves standing alone and al-Assad dead. The wild card is of course is the WMD stock piles.

In the event that al-Assad does meet his 72 virgins the country will completely fall under the control of Iran leaving Hamas and Hezbollah with a free hand to operate within Lebanon and Syria. At that point all bets are off and coalition forces that are staged in the surrounding countries will deploy their fast attack special forces to secure and eventually destroy the WMD stock piles. However cleaning up the Islamic extremists that have come for their pound of flesh will complicate an already complicated situation.

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