Straight from Former Swiss Military Consultant The Saker: Why Russia Bombing Syrian Targets from Hamedan is a Game Changer
The response from Washington this week has been mostly weak carping about how Iran's post 1979 Islamic Revolution forbids the basing of foreign troops on Iranian soil. Since Moscow and Tehran both insist the Russian bomber group's deployment is temporary and not permanent, and defeating ISIS while preserving an ally in Syria is widely viewed as a strategic imperative for the Islamic Republic, such whining is unlikely to get much traction with the Iranian people. Here's what my White Russian Floridian friend The Saker had to say about this development in an interview with Sputnik International:
“Sputnik: How will Tehran’s decision to share its facilities with Russia affect the Russian aerial operation against Daesh? What lies behind Moscow’s decision to use Iran’s “Hamedan” airbase to attack terrorists? Why is the West fuming over the Russo-Iranian move?
The Saker: Tehran’s decision to allow Russia to use the Hamedan airbase will greatly facilitate the operations of the Russian Aerospace Forces against Daesh. First, using Hamedan, as opposed to using airfields in southern Russia, will greatly reduce the flight time to targets in Syria, allow the Russian aircraft to use more fuel consuming mission profiles and to carry heavier weapon loads. No less important is the fact that using Hamedan will greatly complicate the US/NATO efforts to warn their “good terrorist” allies about an incoming Russian airstrikes: it will be harder for the US to detect Russian aircraft and when they do, they will have less time to warn their proxies on the ground. Furthermore, Hamedan is located in a very safe and well protected part of Iran which would be far safer to operate from than Khmeimim in Syria (which is located 1000km from Russia but only 50km from the Turkish border). I would say that Hamedan is an *ideal* location to operate from for the Russian Aerospace Forces.
The main reason for the Russian decision to use Hamedan is not only a technical one. The fact that the Iranians have now publicly made this base available to Russia indicates a deepening of the strategic collaboration between these two countries and a stronger Russian commitment to the defense of Syria against the foreign invaders, something which Tehran had been wanting the Russians to do for a long while. The Iranians have always been dubious, to say the least, about the Russian peace plans and now that the Russians are gradually coming to admit that Daesh did use this time to regroup, rearm and reorganize, the Russian move to Hamedan indicates that the Kremlin is serious about hitting Daesh as hard as need be to protect Syria from the Takfiri invasion.
The West is clearly unhappy about the boost in Russian capabilities the move to Hamedan represents. But the West is truly horrified at the deepening of the strategic partnership between Russia and Iran. At a time when the AngloZionist Empire is greatly weakened and generally clueless, the partnership between Iran and Russia has an immense potential, something which greatly angers and frightens the Neocons. This development also clearly seals Iran’s status as the most powerful country in the Middle-East, something which horrifies the Israelis and, even more so, the Saudis. For Iran to get the Russians to commit the way they now have is a major political success.”
Iran Must Send More Quality Troops to Fight in Syria in Order to Achieve Significant Battlefield Successes Ahead of 2017 Peace Talks to Resolve the Conflict
“Iran has reportedly formed what it calls the “Liberation Army” whose units will be deployed in Arab countries, according to a news website.
Currently, Iran is involved in multiple conflicts where Shia and Sunni Muslims are locked in a power struggle, notably Syria and Yemen.
Mohammad Ali Al Falaki, a retired commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, said in an interview published on Thursday by Mashregh News that Iran is fighting on three fronts: Iraq, Syria and Yemen.
Iran “created the Liberation Army in Syria under the leadership of Qassem Soleimani”, said Falaki, who leads forces in Syria.”
The quid pro quo implied in stepped up Russian air strikes carpet bombing Daesh and Jaesh al Fatah/ex-Al Nusra is Iran sending more competent IRGC or regular army troops to fight in Syria -- not just the often poorly trained Afghan Shi'a militias it has preferred to arm and advise. Granted the use of more Iranian troops implies taking casualties, as Israel and the U.S. always seem to supply very up to date SIGINT/ELINT collection to their proxies as to where the Farsi speakers are on the battlefield. But Langley is quickly learning proxy war goes both ways as the Houthis kill more Saudi soldiers inside Saudi Arabia with hidden support from Iranian, Russian and Chinese intelligence. For every TOW sent by the CIA and Riyadh to their 'moderate' Syria Salafists, there's an Iranain Toophan (TOW knockoff) or Konkurs/Kornet anti-tank missile ready to be delivered to the Houthis via Oman and the always present 'cigarette/qat boats' along the Aden/Gulf of Oman coast through a porous Saudi/GCC naval blockade.
China Stepping Up Its Military Aid to Assad Sends A Strong Message to Washington from the South China Sea to the Mediterranean Sea
China's enhanced military to military cooperation with the Assad government, already visible through the deployment of Chinese Humvee equivalents and other equipment by the SAA, also greately complicates any neolibcon plans for 'limited' strikes on Damascus forces. It's one thing for ex-CIA Deputy Director Michael Morell to threaten Russian and Iranian troops in Syria with death delivered via Langley proxies, and quite another for Washington to 'inadvertently' kill advisers sent by one of Washington's leading creditors and trade partners in China. Simply put, the Dragon has the power to inflict economic pain on Langley's Wall Street banker buddies at Goldman Sachs to a far greater extent than Russia can.
While the Russia Analyst's 2015 forecast that Beijing could get directly involved in dropping bombs on Syria has not yet come to pass, what we're seeing is the Chinese stopping just short of that threshold. China is sending arms, People's Liberation Army veteran or intelligence officer 'Dragonwater' private military contractors or 'volunteers' to fight Uighur jihadists alongside the Kurds, and now advisers. Presumably Beijing's military advisers are already or soon will be based out of Moscow's Khmeimim Air Base, as Dr. Ben Carson leaked during one of the GOP debates last autumn:
“Beijing and Damascus have agreed that the Chinese military will have closer ties with Syria, and provide humanitarian aid to the civil war torn nation, a high-ranking People’s Liberation Army officer said, adding that the training of Syrian personnel by Chinese instructors has also been discussed, according to Xinhua.
As has been historically the case, China tends to leave Middle Eastern diplomacy to the other permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, namely the United States, Britain, France and Russia, while relying on the region for oil supplies. But lately, for unknown reasons, China has been trying to get more involved, including sending envoys to help push for a diplomatic resolution to the violence there and hosting Syrian government and opposition figures according to Reuters.
The Director of the Office for International Military Cooperation of China’s Central Military Commission, Guan Youfei, arrived in Damascus on Tuesday for talks with Syrian Defense Minister Fahad Jassim al-Freij, Xinhua added.
Guan said China had consistently played a positive role in pushing for a political resolution in Syria.
”China and Syria’s militaries have a traditionally friendly relationship, and China’s military is willing to keep strengthening exchanges and cooperation with Syria’s military,” the news agency paraphrased Guan as saying.”
“Now that the battlefield in Syria has matured, and great powers like Russia and America have solidified policy decisions, not to mention taking on all the risks, the Chinese are again willing to dip their toes in the water. For the PRC, it is important to get their foot in the door before the ISIS conflict reaches its end game in order to regain access to important oil fields.
Based on the open source reporting on meetings between Syrian, Russian, and Chinese officials, we also have to wonder what personnel and assets China will be deploying to Syria and what other agendas might be at play. Rojava, the site of some of the previously mentioned Chinese oil fields is currently where around 300 American Special Operations soldiers are stationed. From combat outposts, these Americans are conducting their own train, advise, and assist mission in Syria alongside the Kurds.”
Lameduck Golfer Obama and Low Energy Hillary Look Pathetic and Weak
What has the 'Assad must go' neolibcons in a panic is simple. The 'correllation of forces' as the Soviets would've said is getting worse for them in the Middle East by the day. Broadening the use of Iraqi air space by the Russians and Iranians and China's announcement that it is sending the Syrian Arab Army military as well as humanitarian aid demonstrate the Eurasian axis is aiming for a decisive outcome in Syria in 2016. That is, before the next anointed President/War Queen of the United States Hillary Rotten Clinton can interfere after January 20, 2017. A lame duck Obama Administration, already caught lying over the release (illegal ransom payment) of $400 million in frozen Iranian funds on the same day four Americans were released by Tehran, is hardly in the position to suddenly turn more war-like when it has proven to be so weak.
— POLITICO (@politico) August 19, 2016
While often overstated in U.S. politics, 'I feel your pain' optics at times of disaster and national upheaval do matter, both at home and via perceptions of American policies abroad. Think back to President Reagan's decision to fire striking air traffic controllers and how that impressed the Soviets that he would be a tough negotiator in the early 1980s. While Donald J. Trump is visiting the flood ravaged people of Louisiana and delivering an 18-wheeler load of supplies to the victims, Obama is off golfing at Martha's Vineyard and Hillary Clinton is 'phoning it in' as her rapidly deteriorating health continues to be farcically denied by the lugenpresse. Don't think that Chinese leaders, who themselves often appear alongside Peoples Liberation Army soldiers and volunteers sandbagging along flooding rivers to enhance their image of unity between people and Chinese Communist Party, don't pay attention to such details.
The Trumpening and the Limits of the Establishment's Power
Washington seems to find its hands tied or increasingly limp as we enter an election season in which the neolibcon hawks' preferred candidate, Hillary Rodham Clinton appears to be barely functional if not borderline catatonic at times. Unless the Democrats have some secret brilliant plan to push forward the colorless hack Tim Kane as their standard bearer, the time to change horses in midstream and put Kane's name on the ballot as the Democratic nominee rather than Clinton's appears to be running out in most states. The tone of the mainstream media, convinced it had crippled Trump's candidacy with a series of manufactured scandals like the 'gold star father Khan' controversy as well as the predictable scandal of The Donald's campaign manager Paul Manafort having worked as a consultant for the U.S./EU overthrown Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, appears more shrill and desperate as possible presidential debate/s approach.
Stepping back from the election circus to the real '4th branch' of the U.S. government, tensions within the Pentagon and intelligence community 'Deep State' between hardliners determined to prolong the Syrian war and press the attack against Russia, Iran and to a lesser extent China and foreign policy realists persist. As my friend The Saker said in this week's interview with Sputnik, major parts of the American government or Deep State all seem to have their own, sometimes uncoordinated foreign policies. The CIA seems to have one policy, State and its superhawks and increasingly politicized neolibcon foreign service officers another, and the Pentagon has yet another approach to the world via attaches, military exchanges and arms sales. When operating together these various parts of the imperial apparatus remain a superpower, but as America's superpower status deteriorates along with the overall competency and trust in the authorities, like various parts of the same digestive tract failing to operate together the result is gas, pain and stress for the body politic.
“Leaking and hacking. Edward Snowden worked for the NSA and, appalled at what he saw, leaked. 50 analysts at the DIA, appalled at what they saw, leaked and a US Congressional hearing has validated their charges. Drone operators, appalled at what they’ve seen and done, leak. Assange has almost directly said that DNC insider Seth Rick, presumably appalled at what he saw, was the DNC leaker. And now more NSA leaks. More disgusted insiders I suspect. But Snowden disagrees: he thinks Russia did it to send this message: “This leak is likely a warning that someone can prove US responsibility for any attacks that originated from this malware server.”
In short, Dear NSA, we know exactly what you do to interfere around the world and we can prove it. NSA ought to be airtight; I sometimes think that the most underrated reality of the Obama period is out-and-out incompetence across the board. For example: US statement, Russian response.”
The Obama White House has one (obviously feckless) foreign policy, Obama and Hillary's patron George Soros as revealed from his Open Society organization's hacked emails dumped online this week by the mysterious D.C. Leaks organization, appears to wage his own 'soft power' Cold War against Russia. Soros organizations do this in tandem with and parallel to official Washington's goals (for example, discrediting Russophile politicians and media outlets in EU/German occupied Greece). We'll have more to write about the Soros leaks in the near future, including the leaked minutes of Soros' meeting with then U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoff Pyatt which apparently show the Obama White House and Democratic Party kingpin telling Pyatt what to do about the newfangled American satrapy that was and is post-Maidan Ukraine. Suffice to say, retired KGB/SVR Lt. Gen. Leonid Rashetnikov and other Russian Deep Staters assumption that figures like Pyatt and Undersecretary of State Victoria Nuland are merely errand boys and girls for those who exert real power behind the scenes
A House Divided Cannot Stand...America's Fractious Deep Staters
Meanwhile the CIA and NSA seem to be in chaos, with the latter Agency subject to its most humiliating insider leak since Snowden as Ft. Meade's prized TAO zero day exploit hacking tools and malware codes are spilled online and bitcoin auctioned to the highest bidder.
More leaks embarrassing to the CIA regarding its ties to jihadist terrorists, if not direct arming and funding of ISIS, would appear to be pending, particularly after ex-DDCI's 'kill Russians' remarks on the Charlie Rose show.
A Nasty October Surprise Involving a False Flag or Contrived Combat with the Russians?
As the brilliant and controversial Eurasianist ideologue Alexander Dugin recently said, the Empire of Chaos is wounded but still dangerous from Moscow's point of view. Dugin and expat Russia watchers such as Dances with Bears independent journalist John Helmer have both warned, that October surprise(s) involving attempts to get U.S. and Russian forces directly engaged at close quarters or provoke combat between them from Syria to the Crimean Black Sea coast cannot be excluded. This week's fighting between pro-Assad government Assyrians and Arabs against a U.S. Special Forces trained Kurdish faction in the town of Hasakah far from the frontlines of Aleppo, which involved U.S. jets supposedly scaring off the Russian backed Syrian Arab Air Force, may be one step towards such provocations.