Tag Archive: Russia

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A Sukhoi 25 airplane © Vladimir Astapkovich
There isn’t a grain of truth in John Kerry’s statement the Assad government isn’t trying to stop ISIS; the Syrian army has been fighting terrorists, while the West watched the country being destroyed, says Syrian presidential adviser Bouthaina Shaaban.

RT:Russia has joined the fight against Islamic State. How long have you been negotiating the move with Moscow?

Bouthaina Shaaban: The dialogue between us [Damascus] and Moscow has been ongoing since the beginning of the crisis. And, as you noticed, that Russia and China took a double veto four times against all that the West was trying to impose on Syria. Because the West didn’t understand what’s happening in Syria, while Russia understood all the way along. So, the dialogue between Damascus and Moscow is ongoing… [since] a decade ago; but during this crisis it has been intensive, it has been real, it has been continuous.


READ MORE: Russian Air Force in Syria deploying over 50 planes & choppers – Defense Ministry


RT:Is the involvement of Russian aviation a game changer in the fight against IS?

BS: Well, there are no Russian troops on the ground as you heard Putin and Lavrov [saying] – “our assistance is only [fighter jets].” But it’s not only against IS. I don’t know why people… forget about Jabhat Al-Nusra, although the [UN] Security Council resolution spoke about or considered both Al-Nusra and ISIL as terrorist organizations.

Besides these, there are tens of terrorist organizations in Syria. There are thousands of mercenaries and terrorists coming from all over the world. So, we certainly hope that with the help of the Russian assistance we will be able to undermine terrorism in Syria and we’ll be able to restore peace and security in our country.


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The Irish Times

The Syrian conflict has lasted more than four years, displacing 11m Syrians and killing 250,000. Russia’s intervention this week raises the dim prospect of an end to the conflict

The timeline of Syria’s grinding civil war is dotted with illusory turning points. These were atrocities or grim milestones that the world assumed would usher the conflict towards an endgame but served only to reinforce its horrendous, unswerving trajectory. The use of chemical weapons was one. The advance of Islamic State was another.

The pattern has held with almost every town that has fallen (Raqqa, Palmyra) or been razed (Aleppo, Homs), and with each new intervention by a foreign power. None has been decisive.

Instead the dynamic of the conflict has held firm. Four and a half years after it began amid the optimism of the Arab Spring, the war’s aftershocks are still pulsing outwards, across the Middle East and into Europe, and the outside world is steadily and with varying degrees of reluctance being drawn further in.

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The World Post


Putin Scores Another Much-Needed Win in Syria

Posted: 10/02/2015 9:18 am EDT Updated: 10/02/2015 9:59 am EDT

When Boris Yeltsin appointed Vladimir Putin prime minister in 1999, Putin had an approval rating in Russia of 31 percent. About 37 percent of Russians didn’t even know who he was. After a series of mysterious bombings in Moscow, Putin blamed Chechen separatists and promised to flush Chechens down their toilets (his words). Bombing began in October of that year. By 2000, Putin’s poll numbers hit 84 percent. Putin needed a win, and he got one. That was a formative political experience.

Times are hard in today’s Russia. Falling oil prices have taken a serious toll, and Western sanctions haven’t helped. Prices have surged 16 percent since August, and the ruble has fallen 5.5 percent against the dollar. Russia’s economy will shrink 3.4 percent this year. No one, not even Russian state officials, expects economic conditions to improve much anytime soon.

With power comes responsibility. That’s the downside of being as powerful as Putin is in Russia. He can blame others for Russia’s problems but he needs to keep putting wins on the board. On Feb. 22, 2014, Ukrainian protesters infuriated the Kremlin by ousting then-President Viktor Yanukovych, Moscow’s man in Kiev, and Putin moved quickly to flex his muscles. By Feb. 27, the streets of Crimea were filled with men in ski masks carrying automatic weapons. Locals then voted in a referendum to trade Ukrainian for Russian citizenship, and Putin held aloft his trophy for all to see. Within a few more days, his domestic approval numbers spiked from 65 percent to 80 percent, and he is still riding that wave of popularity.

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Just in case anyone had any doubts as to the US and NATO’s true purpose in Syria.  Here is your response loud and clear!


Russia establishes ‘no fly’ zone for NATO planes over Syria, moves to destroy “ISIS” – Pentagon freaks out


Check-mate. Putin outfoxes U.S. warmongers

You may, or may not, have noticed the growing body of evidence over the past year or two that strongly suggests that the U.S. government and its European “allies” are not really serious about destroying “ISIS”.

The first hint came early last year when the jihadi mercenaries took large swathes of Iraq and Syria, and the West did nothing but wring its collective hands and fret, and resolve to bolster the fighting capability of the wonderful “rebels”.

The second hint came this year when the U.S. and their partners began piecemeal airstrikes against “ISIS” that appeared to merely spur the head-choppers on to more success.

The third hint came with reports that weapons supplies being sent to “Syrian rebels” were ‘accidentally’ ending up in the hands of the head-choppers.

The most recent confirmation that Western politicians and military types effectively view “ISIS” as ‘their guys’ came in the last few weeks when the Pentagon reacted to news that Russia was in the process of establishing an air base in western Syria, from which to attack all foreign forces in Syria involved in the four-year-long attempted coup against the Syrian government.

Putin’s speech at the UN two days ago appears to have been the signal (one that was apparently missed by the Pentagon, perhaps because it was couched in clear, honest language) that Russia was about to ‘get real’ and make good on its intention to prevent the overthrow of Assad, defend the civilian population of Syria against ISIS, and solve the European ‘refugee crisis’ in the process.

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Russian anti-terror op in Syria Live updates

A Sukhoi-34 jet © Vladimir Astapkovich
The Russian military has launched airstrikes against Islamic State militant targets in Syria. The move was approved after a request from President Bashar Assad to Vladimir Putin, who has also expressed concern about the number of Russian extremists in the country.
  • 01 October 2015

    21:52 GMT

    The Russian Ministry of Defense has released two combat footage tapes showing the precise striking of Islamic State targets in Syria, as the Russian Air Force continues to engage hostile targets for the second day running.

    The first piece of footage shows a surgical strike carried out by Su-24 M fighter jets on an Islamic State command post near the village of Al-Latamna. According to the Ministry, the target was destroyed.


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 On Monday the Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said that the isolated Kurdish enclave of Kobani was “about to fall” to a massive, sustained assault from ISIS.
Also on Monday, Rooz Bahjat, a Kurdish intelligence officer stationed in Kobani said the city would fall within “the next 24 hours.”
By now ISIS was expecting to be slaughtering civilians by the score.

Instead, something totally unexpected happened – ISIS has been forced to pull back.

 A local Kobani official, Idris Nahsen, told AFP that fighters from the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) had managed to push ISIS fighters outside several key areas after “helpful” airstrikes by the U.S.-led coalition.
“The situation has changed since yesterday. YPG forces have pushed back ISIS forces,” he said.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based monitoring group, confirmed that ISIS fighters had withdrawn overnight from several areas and were no longer inside the western part of Kobani.
They remained in eastern parts of the town and its southern edges, said Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman, whose group relies on a network of sources inside Syria.
The number of dead in the overnight fighting was not clear, but Mustafa Ebdi, a Kurdish journalist and activist from Kobani, wrote on his Facebook page that the streets of one southeastern neighborhood were “full of the bodies” of ISIS fighters.

Kobani has been under attack by 9,000 ISIS jihadists, armed with tanks and heavy artillery for nearly a month. This is the largest manned assualt by ISIS in its short existance.
They are being opposed by just 2,000 Kurdish fighters with the YPG, the armed wing of the Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK), without access to any heavy weaponry and short on ammunition.
To put this into perspective, 800 ISIS fighters routed 2 divisions of the Iraqi Army, totaling 30,000 heavily armed soldiers, in June.
In other words, the Syrian Kurds of Kobani weren’t supposed to stand a snowball’s chance in Hell.

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© Stringer
Russia, Iran, Iraq and Syria have agreed to establish a joint information center in Baghdad to coordinate their operations against Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIL/ISIS) militants, according to sources.

“The main goal of the center will be gathering, processing and analyzing current information about the situation in the Middle East – primarily for fighting IS,” a military-diplomatic source told Russian news agencies on Saturday.

The information center in the Iraqi capital will be headed by an officer of one of the founding countries on a rotating basis. Rotation will take place every three months. According to the source, Iraq will run the center for the next three months.

Russia, Iran, Iraq and Syria may also use the information center to coordinate anti-IS combat plans, the source said, adding that the agreement is a milestone for uniting the region’s countries in the war on terrorism – primarily on Islamic State militants.

The Iraqi army’s joint operations command confirmed the agreement on Saturday, saying that it came with “increased Russian concern about the presence of thousands of terrorists from Russia undertaking criminal acts with Daesh [Islamic State],” Reuters reported.

READ MORE: Upper House: No request from Putin to dispatch troops in Syria

Meanwhile, Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim Jaafari announced in New York on Friday that Iraq has not received any Russian military advisers to assist Baghdad’s operations.

On Friday, the US TV-Channel Fox News reported the four countries were establishing a “coordination cell” in Baghdad, but Dmitry Peskov, spokesman for Vladimir Putin, denied this. “We have already said there are many reports which are not true,” he told news agencies.

Recent media reports indicate Russia is boosting its cooperation with Syria and other Middle East countries in the fight against terrorism.


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‘US has been veto champion in UN for decades’ – Chomsky to RT

Samantha Power, the US ambassador to the United Nations © Andrew Kelly
As the UN reaches its 70th anniversary, the US has accused Russia of overusing its veto power and risking the legitimacy the Security Council. However, as prominent American linguist Noam Chomsky tells RT, the US has been “the veto champion” in the past, and has used its veto just as often.

READ MORE: 70th UN General Assembly aims to ‘end catastrophic wars & explosive refugee crises’

On September 23, Samantha Power, US Ambassador to the United Nations, claimed that Russia’s veto power in the Security Council was endangering the body’s legitimacy.

“It’s a Darwinian universe here. If a particular body reveals itself to be dysfunctional, then people are going to go elsewhere,” Power told the Guardian this week. “And if that happened for more than Syria and Ukraine and you started to see across the board paralysis … it would certainly jeopardize the Security Council’s status and credibility and its function as a go-to international security arbiter.”

Russia, along with China, has vetoed four Security Council resolutions on Syria. However, since 1991 when Russia took over the Soviet seat in the UN, it has not been Moscow taking the lead in exercising its veto power, but Washington – 13 versus 14 times.

“In the last couples of years Russia has caught up to the United States. They are roughly equal in the number of vetoes they have cast. But that is quite a recent development,” Chomsky, MIT Professor emeritus of linguistics and a renowned activist and philosopher, told RT.

While agreeing on the importance of the US in today’s world, Chomsky believes that the “UN in general” should not depend on “the particular needs and demands of the great powers.”


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UN Security Council would lose relevance without Russia’s veto – Churkin

RT Photo
Without Russia’s veto power, the United Nations Security Council would just be a rubber stamp for decisions made by the US and other Western powers, eliminating possibility for consensus on important international issues, Russia’s UN envoy Vitaly Churkin told RT.

“It so happens that the political structure of the world is such that the US and its allies almost always have nine votes to adopt a resolution. And they almost always have seven votes to abstain and block a resolution… without a veto,” Ambassador Churkin explained.

“The Security Council will lose its relevance” if Russia were not able to exercise its veto power, he stressed. If Russia had no veto power “the UN Security Council will simply be rubberstamping decisions, which would be made in Washington, Paris, London, Brussels, you know, in Western capitals. It will lose its relevance. It won’t allow the UNSC to do the important work of bringing about consensus decisions,” the envoy said.

Churkin spoke exclusively to RT’s Anissa Naouai ahead of Vladimir Putin’s arrival at the 70th session of the UN General Assembly in New York this weekend.

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Kremlin promises ‘counter-steps’ in reply to US deploying nuclear weapons to Germany

© Alexander Vilf
The planned deployment of the latest US nuclear bombs at the Buchel Air Base in Germany would disrupt the strategic balance of forces in Europe and could force a reaction from Russia, President Vladimir Putin’s press secretary has stated.

It may lead to the destruction of the strategic balance in Europe. Therefore it would definitely cause Russia to take corresponding counter-steps and counter-measures in order to restore the strategic balance and parity,” Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Wednesday.

This is another step and unfortunately it is a very serious step towards increase of tensions on the European continent. Such actions cannot be described as a step towards stronger trust and greater stability,” the Russian official added.

The statement was prompted by news this week circulated by the German television channel ZDF, which found out from US budget documents about the US Air Force’s plans to bring new B61 nuclear bombs to the Luftwaffe’s Buchel Air Base. It currently hosts Tornado multipurpose aircraft that are capable of carrying atomic weapons. Twenty older bombs are stored at the base under a nuclear sharing deal, while it is the only facility in Germany, which has kept nuclear weapons since 2007.

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© Mohammed Badra
German Chancellor Angela Merkel says Syrian president Bashar Assad should play a role in any talks aimed at ending the Syrian civil war. Her statement marks a softening in the stance of Western leaders towards the Syria’s current president.

“We have to speak with many actors, this includes Assad, but others as well,” Angela Merkel said at a press-conference following the EU emergency summit on the migration crisis.

This constitutes a marked departure from previous positions of most Western powers, which had consistently insisted that the Syrian leader’s resignation was an essential prerequisite for the conflict in the Arab country to be resolved.

“Not only with the United States of America, Russia, but with important regional partners, Iran, and Sunni countries such as Saudi Arabia,” she added.

Defeating terrorism must be top priority, Syrian FM tells RT (Op-Edge) http://on.rt.com/6ry1 

Earlier this month, the German Chancellor also stressed the need for Russia’s involvement in reconciling the Syrian crisis, German Deutsche Welle reports.

On August 31, she welcomed Iran’s potential participation in negotiations aimed at putting an end to the Syrian conflict.

“I think Iran has a lot of influence over what happens in Syria. And everyone is welcome to participate constructively in the negotiations,” she said at a news conference in Berlin at that time.

From demanding Assad go…

The US has repeatedly blamed Bashar Assad for the outbreak of violence in Syria as well as for its civil war, claiming that it was he who facilitated the rise of Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL).

“He [Assad] is the reason ISIL, and other terrorist groups, have been allowed to fester and grow and sustain themselves inside Syria. Assad regime has allowed groups like ISIL to fester and grow inside the country,” State Department spokesman John Kirby said at a briefing on September 16.


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U.S. Begins Military Talks With Russia on Syria

LONDON — As the first Russian combat aircraft arrived in Syria, the Obama administration reached out to Moscow on Friday to try to coordinate actions in the war zone and avoid an accidental escalation of one of the world’s most volatile conflicts.

The diplomatic initiative amounted to a pivot for the Obama administration, which just two weeks ago delivered a stern warning to the Kremlin that its military buildup in Syria risked an escalation of the civil war there or even an inadvertent confrontation with the United States. Last week, President Obama condemned Russia’s move as a “strategy that’s doomed to failure.”

But the White House seemed to acknowledge that the Kremlin had effectively changed the calculus in Syria in a way that would not be soon reversed despite vigorous American objections. The decision to start talks also reflected a hope that Russia might yet be drawn into a more constructive role in resolving the four-year-old civil war.

At Mr. Obama’s instruction, Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter on Friday opened a dialogue on Syria with his Russian counterpart, Defense Minister Sergei K. Shoigu, aimed at making sure that American and Russian forces avoid running into each other by mistake. The Russians have sent tanks, other equipment, marines and now combat aircraft to their new military hub near Latakia in western Syria. The Americans have flown hundreds of air missions in Syria striking the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL.


Aleppo, Syria, on Thursday after what activists said was an aerial bomb attack by forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad. Credit Reuters


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Leader of US war effort against Islamic State stepping down

Marine General John R. Allen © Susan Walsh / Pool
The retired Marine general chosen by President Barack Obama to head military efforts against Islamic State (IS, also known as ISIS/ISIL) is leaving the position, according to a new report.

John R. Allen, the Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL, will leave the job in November, according to Bloomberg, which cited four anonymous Obama administration officials when reporting on the yet-public information.

Allen is reportedly frustrated with a lack of resources to counter the jihadist group, according to US officials. Allen had unsuccessfully lobbied administration officials for increased tactical air control teams to more efficiently target IS on the ground in Iraq, Bloomberg reported. Meanwhile, administration officials have portrayed his decision as one made out of concern for his wife’s poor health.

After originally committing to six months, Allen stayed in the position for an additional six months at the request of US Secretary of State John Kerry. In the near term, his deputy, Ambassador Brett McGurk, is expected to assume his duties.

Allen has defended the Obama administration’s IS strategy, including on one occasion earlier this month when he told ABC News that airstrikes have been successful in some areas of Iraq and Syria, where IS controls large swaths of territory.

“Where we were a year ago today, I wasn’t sure how it was going to unfold,” said Allen, who took the envoy post in September 2014. “It was not clear to me even that Iraq would survive this. In the intervening months, we’ve seen remarkable progress in many respects.”


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Hold on. John Allen steps down as ISIS war czar. David Petraeus gets royal treatment before the Senate today. You don’t think… ???



Equating Assad & ISIS West helps to prolong conflict

©  Andrey Stenin
Russia’s military support for Syria can only be considered controversial or wrong to those who maintain that a moral equivalence exists between ISIS and the Assad government.

Prolonging the conflict in Syria and the suffering of the Syrian people is a direct result of the mendacity and perfidy that informs the West’s stance towards the region. Indeed the lack of any moral clarity, leadership, and competence on the part of Western governments has been nothing short of criminal, with scant evidence of it changing anytime soon. Only in an upside down world could any equivalence be drawn between ISIS in Syria and the Assad government. Yet this is exactly the equivalence that the West continues to make, thus hampering efforts to destroy a movement that is intent on turning the clock back in Syria to the seventh century, embracing inhuman levels of butchery and barbarity in the process.

ISIS is the Khmer Rouge of our time, holding to a similar objective of turning an entire nation into a cultural, human, and physical desert. It revels in its cruelty and bestiality, enslaves and rapes women on a grand scale, and has been allowed to grow to the point where it now constitutes a direct threat to centuries of human progress. Thus we are talking about an organization that has no program that can be negotiated with, nothing to offer except carnage and chaos, making its complete and total destruction a non-negotiable condition of saving millions of people from a horrific fate.

In contradistinction to ISIS the Assad government is secular, believes in modernity, and upholds the rights of minorities, both Muslim and non-Muslim. More crucially, regardless of the huge campaign of demonization that has been unleashed against it in the West, it retains the support of its people, who understand more than any Western diplomat, politician, or ideologue the nature of the struggle they have been engulfed in these past four and half years.

If Assad asks, China can deploy troops to Syria

September 19, 2015, 7:51 pm


Turkey-backed Chinese Uyghur terrorists are gaining a stronghold in Syria from which to launch attacks on China.


Chinese Uyghur terrorists establishing base in Syria

A new article reported that 3,500 Uyghurs are settling in a village near Jisr-al Shagour that was just taken from Assad, close to the stronghold of Turkistan Islamic Party (TIP) that is in the Turkey-backed Army of Conquest. They are allegedly under the supervision of Turkish intelligence that has been accused of supplying fake passports to recruit Chinese Uyghurs to wage jihad in Syria.

The news comes on the heels of TIP capturing a Syrian airbase and acquiring MIG fighter jets as well as other advanced weaponry, similar to ISIS capturing Iraqi army’s advanced US weaponry.

It also comes on the heels of the Bangkok bombing at the shrine frequented by Chinese tourists, with Thai authorities now drawing a link to Uyghurs “and the same gang that attacked the Thai Consulate in Turkey” in reference to Turkey’s Grey Wolves.

This seems to corroborate IHS Jane’s analyst Anthony Davis’s assessment that Grey Wolves are the likely culprit, given their anti-Chinese protests and violent demonstration back in July.

Through Turkey’s support for the Army of Conquest, TIP has risen to prominence within the anti-Assad coalition and played a key role in defeating the Syrian army at Jisr al Shughour earlier this year.


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Russia ready to consider sending troops to Syria if Damascus asks

MOSCOW: Russia would consider a request from Syria to send troops if Damascus asks for it, the Kremlin’s spokesman said on Friday.
“If there is a request (from Syria), then in the framework of a bilateral dialogue it would be, naturally, discussed and considered,” Dmitry Peskov told journalists on a conference call. “For now, it’s difficult to speak hypothetically.”
The Syrian military, which has lost ground to rebels recently in a four-year-old civil war, has begun using new types of air and ground weapons supplied by Russia, a Syrian military source told Reuters on Thursday..




Putin’s consistency on Syria has Washington fuming

Russian President Vladimir Putin. © Sergey Guneev
It is increasingly difficult to watch the most recent coverage of the Syrian war and not be struck by how utterly illogical and convoluted it has become. But look through the media spin and it’s clear: the Russian leader’s steady moves in Syria are perplexing the US.

Whether it’s the latest neocon claim that the way to ‘help’ refugees is to drop more bombs and train more Al-Qaeda-linked rebels, or the conveniently-timed mass hysteria over Russia’s (never secret) support for Bashar Assad — or even the strange (and completely false) notion floating around that the West has ‘done nothing’ in Syria, all of this nonsense is becoming very difficult to take seriously.

It’s fairly easy to tell when Washington is scrambling to keep control of a story, because two things usually happen: firstly, the media coverage becomes muddled and frazzled, and secondly, the White House quickly looks for somewhere to offload the blame. These days the scapegoat is usually Russia, and hey, why fix what ain’t broken?

Obama’s fumbling vs. Putin’s consistency

On September 11, Barack Obama warned that Russia’s strategy of continued support for Assad was “doomed to fail” and a “big mistake.” In a patronizing little addendum, Obama said Putin was “going to have to start getting a little smarter.”

Russian involvement in Syria would be “destabilizing” …says the US after backing radical groups and illegally bombing Syria for a year.

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U.S. asks Greece to deny Russian flights to Syria

By Renee Maltezou, Tom Perry and Lidia Kelly

ATHENS/BEIRUT/MOSCOW Sept 7 (Reuters) – The United States has asked Greece to deny Russia the use of its airspace for supply flights to Syria, a Greek official said on Monday, after Washington told Moscow it was deeply concerned by reports of a Russian military build up in Syria.

The Greek foreign ministry said the request was being examined. Russian newswire RIA Novosti earlier said Greece had refused the U.S. request, adding that Russia was seeking permission to run the flights up to Sept. 24.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Moscow would not give any official reaction until there was a decision from Athens.

Russia, which has a naval maintenance facility in the Syrian port of Tartous, has sent regular flights to Latakia, which it has also used to bring home Russian nationals who want to leave.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov on Saturday that if reports of the build-up were accurate, that could further escalate the war and risk confrontation with the U.S.-led alliance that is bombing Islamic State in Syria.

Lavrov told Kerry it was premature to talk about Russia’s participation in military operations in Syria, a Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman told RIA Novosti on Monday.

Lavrov confirmed Russia had always provided supplies of military equipment to Syria, saying Moscow “has never concealed that it delivers military equipment to official Syrian authorities with the aim of combating terrorism”.


Peace in Syria? It’s Putin’s fault: Escobar

All one needs to know about the intellectual caliber of the Obama administration is that it is still pondering whether to persist in “ignoring” Russian President Vladimir Putin, or invest in a real partnership to solve the Syrian geopolitical/humanitarian drama. After all, when in doubt between diplomacy or chaos, the Beltway weapon of choice still veers towards the simplistic group think uniting neocons and neoliberalcons: regime change. Vladimir Putin and Bashar Assad shake hands in Moscow in 2006











And then there’s the non-stop The Russians Are Coming! hysteria — the Cold War 2.0 remix, now switching from the invasion/military occupation of Ukraine to the invasion/military occupation of Syria. The White House — which, same as the Pentagon, does not do irony — actually appealed to the Kremlin to behave in a “more constructive” way side-by-side with the spectacularly inefficient coalition of the dodgy opportunists which is in thesis fighting ISIS/ISIL/Daesh.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest clarified that when Obama decides that the Sisyphean task of picking up the phone and dialing K for Kremlin is actually in America’s interests, he will do it. The Shakespearean doubt may last days — even as Putin reaffirmed, via Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov, he was always open to dialogue.

The White House at least is mulling an offer from Moscow to actually discuss the Russian buildup in Syria via direct military-to-military talks. The Pentagon will do the talking, seeking the “clarity” that so eludes the Obama administration.

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Starting a New Cold War With Russia a Big Mistake – Sarkozy

Nicolas Sarkozy

Sputnik International

© RIA Novosti. Ekaterina Chesnokova
09:05 10.09.2015(updated 09:09 10.09.2015) 

The world needs Russia to end the civil war in Syria and flush out the Islamic State, French ex-President Nicolas Sarkozy said in an interview Wednesday. He also urged the West not to start a new Cold War with Russia.


Could the West ACCIDENTALLY start a war with Russia? Warning over aggressive military exercises – as U.S. fears build-up of Putin’s forces in Syria could spark conflict

  • Diplomatic and military leaders call on Russia and the West to ‘urgently’ begin talks to prevent conflicts being accidentally triggered
  • Comes as Russia holds an increasing number of military exercises
  • US asked Greece to deny Russia the use of its airspace for flights to Syria
  • Washington concerned by reports of Russian military build up in country
The European Leadership Network, a group made up of members from both Russia and Europe, has warned that relations are heading towards Cold War levels of hostility following events in Ukraine

The European Leadership Network, a group made up of members from both Russia and Europe, has warned that relations are heading towards Cold War levels of hostility following events in Ukraine

Diplomatic and military leaders are calling on Russia and the West to ‘urgently’ begin talks to prevent conflicts being accidentally triggered by an increasing number of military exercises and encounters

The European Leadership Network, a group made up of members from both Russia and Europe, has warned that relations are heading towards Cold War levels of hostility following events in Ukraine.

Meanwhile, the United States has asked Greece to deny Russia the use of its airspace for supply flights to Syria, a Greek official said on Monday, after Washington told Moscow it was deeply concerned by reports of a Russian military build up in Syria.


US Wary, Not Surprised, by Russia’s Syria Efforts

FILE - Russian President Vladimir Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov, left, speaks during a meeting in Moscow, Russia.

FILE – Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov, left, speaks during a meeting in Moscow, Russia.

Top U.S. intelligence and security officials say Russia’s ramped up presence in Syria should come as little surprise though they remain concerned about Moscow’s increasingly aggressive posture.

“Russia has been very candid. There is some additional people and stuff that is on its way to Syria,” CIA Director John Brennan told a meeting Thursday of intelligence and security professionals in Washington.

“They are stating it is a dual purpose,” he said.

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