Russia’s military intervention in Syria has expanded radically in two directions.
Military and intelligence sources report that China sent word to Moscow Friday, Oct. 2, that J-15 fighter bombers would shortly join the Russian air campaign that was launched Wednesday, Sept. 30. Baghdad has offered Moscow an air base for targeting the Islamic State now occupying large swathes of Iraqi territory. Russia’s military intervention in Syria has five additional participants: China, Iran, Iraq, Syria and Hezballah.
The J-15 warplanes will take off from the Chinese Liaoning-CV-16 aircraft carrier, which reached Syrian shores on Sept. 26.
This will be a landmark event for Beijing: its first military operation in the Middle East as well the carrier’s first taste of action in conditions of real combat.
BELGRADE – DEBKAfile’s military and intelligence sources report that China sent word to Moscow on Friday, October 2, that J-15 fighter bombers would shortly join the Russian air campaign that was launched Wednesday, September 30. Baghdad has moreover offered Moscow an air base for targeting the Islamic State now occupying large swathes of Iraqi territory, debka.com reports.
The J-15 warplanes will take off from the Chinese Liaoning-CV-16 aircraft carrier, which reached Syrian shores on September 26, according to DEBKAfile. This will be a landmark event for Beijing: its first military operation in the Middle East as well the carrier’s first taste of action in conditions of real combat.
Thursday night, China’s foreign minister Wang Yi, made this comment on the Syrian crisis at a UN Security Council session in New York: “The world cannot afford to stand by and look on with folded arms, but must also not arbitrarily interfere (in the crisis).”
A no less significant development occurred at about the same time when Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, speaking to the US PBS NewsHour, said he would welcome a deployment of Russian troops to Iraq to fight ISIS (Islamic State / ISIL) forces in his country too. As an added incentive, he noted that this would also give Moscow the chance to deal with the 2,500 Chechen Muslims whom, he said, are fighting with ISIS in Iraq.
Baghdad and Moscow have just concluded a deal for the Russian air force to start using the Al Taqaddum Air Base at Habbaniyah, 74 km west of Baghdad, both as a way station for the Russian air corridor to Syria and as a launching-pad for bombing missions against ISIS forces and infrastructure in northern Iraq and northern Syria.
A joint Russian-Iranian-Syrian-Iraqi war room has been working since last week out of the Iraqi Defense Ministry and military staff headquarters in Baghdad to coordinate the passage of Russian and Iranian airlifts to Syria and also Russian air raids. This command center is also organizing the transfer of Iranian and pro-Iranian Shiite forces into Syria.
Russia has thus gained a military enclave in Iraq, just as it has in Syria, where it has taken over a base outside Latakia on the western coast of Syria. At the same time, the Habbaniyah air base also serves US forces operating in Iraq, which number an estimated 5,000.
“Israel concerned with build-up of Iranian forces in Syria near Golan border’
Likud Minister Steinitz says Israel will make it clear to US, Russia and other world powers that Iranian forces must not be allowed to mass on Israel’s border.
Israel is concerned with the build-up of Iranian forces in Syria, near the border with Israel, National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Minister Yuval Steinitz (Likud) said in an interview with Army Radio on Tuesday.
Steinitz’s comments came amid the recent addition of Russian troops to Syria to bolster President Bashar Assad in his fight against Islamic State and other rebel groups challenging his rule in Syria. However, the Likud minister was more concerned with the infusion of troops from Assad’s other central backer, Iran.
“Nobody wants to see Russian forces in the area of the Golan Heights, but we definitely don’t want to see Iranian forces near Israel,” Steinitz told Army Radio.
A senior Israeli security source said earlier this month that an Iranian Islamic Republican Guards Corp force, comprised of hundreds of soldiers,recently entered Syria to assist the embattled Assad regime.
Tehran dispatched its force “in light of Assad’s” ongoing distress, the source stated, adding that the deployment is part of a wider Russian-Iranian coordinated effort to prevent what remains of the Assad regime from collapsing.
According to Israeli assessments, the Assad regime currently controls 25 to 30 percent of Syria, consisting of Damascus and the Syrian coastline, where the regime’s minority Alawite support base is centered.
The source described a meeting last month between Quds Force commander Qassam Suleimani and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow as an event preceding the Russian- Iranian military initiative to rescue Assad.
Yaakov Lappin contributed to this report.
Russia Sends in Ground Troops
The Russian leader Putin is reportedly mounting an enormous military mission to take control of the terror group’s stronghold of Raqqa.
“And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I amagainst thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal: And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company withbucklers and shields, all of them handling swords:”Ezekiel 38:3,4 (KJV)
EDITOR’S NOTE: While America sleeps and Obama does nothing, Putin and Russia have been a beehive of frenetic military activity. In just one week, Russia has seized control of the entire nation of Syria, partnering with Iran, and is pouring in ground troops at this very moment. Using the pretext of waging war with ISIS, Vladimir Putin is committing the perfect crime. While ostensibly taking on everyone’s mutual enemy, he is in fact creating a battlefront with Israel. You didn’t really think this had anything to do with ISIS, did you?
The city is the self-declared capital of ISIS in Syria and is patrolled by as many as 5,000 jihadi members.
Putin is set to mobilise 150,000 reservists who he conscripted into the military earlier this week.
An insider revealed: “It is very clear that Russia wants to sweep up the west of the country, taking Raqqa and all the oil and gas resources around Palmyra. “This is fast becoming a race to Raqqa – to secure the oil fields they need to cleanse the region of insurgents, and the IS capital is vital to do that.”
It comes a day after Russian jets obliterated nine ISIS outposts in just 24 hours using bunker-busting bombs.
Russian jets pounded terrorist targets and blew up a command centre, potentially killing dozens of fighters. Confirming the successful raids, Andrei Kartapolov from the Russian army vowed to ramp up the pressure, saying: “We will not only continue strikes… We will also increase their intensity.”
And Russian Defence Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said: “Over the past 24 hours, Sukhoi Su-34 and Su-24M fighter jets have performed 20 sorties and hit nine Islamic State installations.”
“A bunker-busting BETAB-500 air bomb dropped from a Sukhoi Su-34 bomber near Raqqa has eliminated the command post of one of the terror groups, together with an underground storage facility for explosives and munitions.”
“These and other highly exact means of attack in recent days have been used to target objects of Islamic State terrorists. “Command posts, stores of weapons and oil products, workshops where weapons of suicide bombers are made.”
Meanwhile a terrorism expert revealed to Express.co.uk that ISIS have vastly exaggerated their military strength and called on Western leaders to launch a co-ordinated fightback which would obliterate the hate group.
Dr Afzal Ashraf said ISIS has become its own worst enemy with its campaign of terror against the West, which has prompted an international backlash.
He said: “This mythical state will disappear in a matter of hours once the international community decides to act.
“It won’t take very long at all to drive them, if not out of all of Iraq or Syria, then certainly the majority of their territories. “They will hide in towns, but I would say do not to follow them as they would use innocent civilians as human shields.”
David Cameron initially gave the Russian air strikes a cautious welcome and said the UK would need to look “very carefully” at Putin’s operations. But yesterday he warned the intervention is making the situation worse and helping to support the “butcher” president Bashar Assad.
Seperately Mr Cameron pledged to “beef up” the SAS and double the number of British drones to combat ISIS militants in an interview ahead of today’s Conservative conference. The Prime Minister said investment in special forces and surveillance was essential to meeting the terrorist threat facing the UK.
He revealed that the UK will buy a fleet of 20 new Protector drones capable of targeting IS extremists in Iraq and Syria. source