Connect with us

Latest

Analysis

News

Russia to respond after massive drone attack hits Syrian base

Irrespective of any possible US role, the attack further confirms that the Syrian war is not over and that the Russians still have a fight on their hands

Alexander Mercouris

Published

on

8,623 Views

At the time of Russian President Putin’s December announcement of the partial withdrawal of Russian forces from Syria, I wrote an article for The Duran saying that the war in Syria was far from over and that the announcement should not be treated as an indication that it is over or even close to being over:

BREAKING: Drones used in attack on Russia’s bases “could only be shipped from US”

The war in Syria is not over and it is not won.  Though ISIS’s back has been broken, it is still a force under arms in rural Deir Ezzor where it has recently taken the offensive against the US’s Kurdish allies.

In addition hundreds of ISIS fighters are still roaming free in the desert regions of central Syria even if they no longer control any important towns there.  These bands of fighters still pose a significant security threat, and will continue to do so for some time.

Further west Syria’s Idlib province remains under Jihadi control.

Worse still, there is now growing evidence that ISIS is trying to redeploy as many of its fighters as it can from central and eastern Syria to Idlib province.

With the Syrian military as always heavily over-stretched and still not in full control of much of the countryside it seems that this apparently planned redeployment of ISIS fighters from central and eastern Syria to Idlib province is not only taking place, but that it is actually meeting with some success.

Recently there have been reports of bitter fighting in Idlib province between Al-Qaeda – previously in undisputed control of the province – and the ISIS fighters who are being redeployed there from central and eastern Syria.  Moreover it seems that with Al-Qaeda severely weakened because of the massive losses it suffered last year in the Great Battle of Aleppo, it is ISIS which is gaining the upper hand in this fighting.

Whilst it is probably still alarmist to say that ISIS’s caliphate which has been driven out of Raqqa, central Syria and Deir Ezzor is now in the process of reconstituting itself in Idlib, the possibility that something like that might happen is certainly there, and the Russians cannot be unaware of it.

Elsewhere there are still significant pockets of Jihadi resistance in south western Syria, especially in the Golan Heights and near Damascus, whilst the Syrian government still faces a serious problem with the US-backed Kurds who currently control around a fifth of Syria’s territory in the north.

Last but not least there are still thousands of US troops in Syria, uninvited and potentially dangerous, with no one outside the Pentagon and CENTCOM knowing exactly how many of them there are.

If it does nothing else the recent drone attack on Russia’s two Syrian bases and an earlier mortar attack on Russia’s Khmeimim air base which killed two Russian soldiers and which caused some damage to some Russian aircraft confirms this (South Front has incidentally provided a detailed and definitive analysis of the mortar attack).

Photos believed to show damage to aircraft following a previous attack on New Year’s Eve

That the Kremlin is embarrassed by these attacks in light of the overly optimistic comments President Putin made at the time of the withdrawal announcement is shown by the unusually defensive language used in a press briefing following the drone attack by President Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov

The remaining contingent and military infrastructure at Hmeymim and Tartus have the necessary capabilities to counter sporadic terrorist hit-and-run raids, which will regrettably continue. This merely emphasizes the need for stepping up political settlement efforts.

[In making the decision to pull out its military personnel from Syria] Russia proceeded from the assumption there are no grounds for conducting major offensive operations.

Everybody, including the president, were aware that terrorists’ attacks would not come to an end overnight, but will continue.

The usually well-informed Al-Masdar news agency is attributing the drone attack to ISIS, and it is possible that ISIS was responsible for the earlier mortar attack also.

If so then ISIS’s attacks on Russia’s two Syrian bases are clearly intended to bring home to the Russians as well as to ISIS’s own supporters that reports of its destruction are premature.

ISIS does indeed remain a significant force in eastern Syria, where groups of its fighters remain under arms in Deir Ezzor province and where ISIS retains a residual structure and command organisation.

ISIS is also an increasing presence in the Jihadi fastness in north west Syrian centred on Idlib province, where it is taking on Al-Qaeda and making a strong come back.

If ISIS was responsible for the attacks on Russia’s Syrian bases then they would indeed show that the organisation is still a force to be reckoned with in Syria, even if the attacks themselves were no more than pinpricks.

Since the Russian withdrawal announcement in December the Syrian army has remained on the offensive, making significant gains against various Jihadi holdouts near Damascus and on the Golan heights, and slowly encroaching on the main remaining area of Jihadi activity in Idlib province.

The attacks on the Russian bases might be a sign that the Jihadis in north west Syria in and around Idlib province are coming under pressure, in which case the attacks might be intended to pressure the Russians to get the Syrians to call their offensive in north west Syria off.

However the overall picture in Syria remains extremely complicated.

The diplomatic process in Geneva and Astana remains deadlocked. Despite the devastating military defeats it has suffered the Syrian opposition continues to insist on the removal of President Assad as a precondition for it agreeing to a peace settlement.  The US is now talking of arming a new Syrian insurgent group in north east Syria whilst the Turkish military – now present in northern Syria in large numbers – has been spotted installing anti-aircraft missiles on Syrian territory (aimed at whose air force?) and is said to be preparing to attack the US backed Kurds.

A successful Turkish offensive against the US backed Kurds should not be seen as a development which is favourable to the Syrian government.

Though it would pit two US allies against each other, any territory the Turks capture from the Kurds will be handed over by Turkey to President Erdogan’s Jihadi allies, not to the Syrian government.  The extent of Syrian territory under Jihadi control would in that case start to increase again.

Adding to this already overly complex Syrian picture are the two ongoing geopolitical conflicts which continue to rage in Syria: the one between Israel and Iran, and the one between the US and Russia.

Part of the purpose of President Putin’s December withdrawal announcement was to reduce military activity in Russia’s Syrian bases so that they could be enlarged and converted to make them fit to be placed on a permanent footing.

Over the last few weeks scattered reports have appeared which suggest that the major building work needed to convert these bases is now finally getting underway.

Given the dramatic shift that completion of the massive planned Russian base complex in western Syria might cause to the military and geopolitical balance of power in the eastern Mediterranean it is entirely understandable that the US might be acutely concerned about this development, and might be taking steps to try to stop it.

If the US was in any way involved in the drone attack on the Russian bases – and despite strong Russian hints that has not been confirmed – then concern about the planned Russian base complex might provide the reason.

The attack would in that case be a warning to the Russians that the US will not stand by and let the base complex be completed, and the Russians will have a fight on their hands in which they must expect to suffer casualties if they press on.

If so then the open use of US technology for the attack, and the Russian reported presence of a US Poseidon surveillance aircraft near the bases during the attack, is presumably intended to tell the Russians that it is the US they are up against and who they will have to face if they disregard the warning they have just been given and press on with their plan to build the base complex.

This complicated mix of players and motives makes it difficult to say with certainty who was behind the two recent attacks on Russia’s Syrian bases and what the reasons for the attacks were.

The Russians will however be seriously concerned.  Already there is information that they are stepping up security around the bases.

Undoubtedly the Russians’ formidable intelligence operation in Syria will be working flat out to establish who was responsible for the attacks and what the reasons for the attacks were, with the Russians obliged to reassess their plans in Syria in light of them.

Liked it? Take a second to support The Duran on Patreon!
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

avatar
  Subscribe  
Notify of

Latest

Russia’s economy continues to outperform as gold takes center stage (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 118.

Alex Christoforou

Published

on

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris examine how US and EU sanctions have continued to provide a huge boost to Russia’s economy. Russia’s food sovereignty has practically been achieved, as the Russian central bank continues to buy gold and lower its exposure to western financial markets.

Remember to Please Subscribe to The Duran’s YouTube Channel.

Follow The Duran Audio Podcast on Soundcloud.

Via TASS…

Outside pressure in the form of sanctions has become an incentive to resolve various issues of Russia’s economy, Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev stated in an interview with the Izvestiya daily.

He noted that through introducing sanctions against Russia, “the West aims to destabilize Russia’s economy and to create social and political tensions in society.”

“But during the difficult times, Russians have always stuck together and mobilized their resources in order to ensure the country’s sovereignty. This is what is happening now – the outside pressure has become an incentive to resolve many problems in Russia’s economy,” he said.

“Before the sanctions, it seemed that we would never be able to feed ourselves and that we are doomed to be dependent on Western import. However, right now, Russia’s food sovereignty in crucial sectors has practically been achieved, and in some areas, Russia has become the leading exporter,” Patrushev noted.

Those who apply the sanctions “can see that they (the sanctions – TASS) are ineffective and often achieve the opposite goal,” the Russian security chief concluded.

Liked it? Take a second to support The Duran on Patreon!
Continue Reading

Latest

US Neocon Foreign Policy and the War Waged Against Serbia

The Serbian assault began first by a ‘financial war’; by sanctions and finished off by an aggressive unprovoked incessant NATO bombing campaign.

Richard Galustian

Published

on

The ‘witch-hunt’ against President Trump over Russian collusion has officially ended, following the submission of the Mueller Report, enabling us to now focus on the real problems of America that effects the whole world.

In the hope of a waining of the Russophobia in America, let’s look at the US’s recent war history by starting with the 20th anniversary this month of the NATO war on Serbia in 1999 which amounted to almost 100 days of bombing of historic cities and infrastructure.

Firstly, these problems are, in the main caused by the Neocons, or Deep State, whatever you wish to call them, and the continuing promotion, by the US Military-Security Industrial Complex, of wars and regime change and secondly, Trump’s unreserved support for Israel, regardless of war crimes they may continue to commit against the Palestinians.

Incredibly after that one sided unjust and illegal war that NATO executed, NATO has the audacity to invite Serbia to join it! Something that will never happen. What do they smoke in DC, in the Pentagon and Brussels based NATO?

To compound these overall problems, the US Military and Israeli Defence Forces collaborate on these US regime change policies on all continents evidenced most recently by the arrival of crack Israeli troops last month in Brazil, prepared to support an attack potentially by Brazil and Columbia on Venezuela.

As, has now come to be expected, America pursues its Venezuelan regime change with full main stream media (MSM) cooperation, using well proven sophisticated propaganda techniques along with a variety of pretexts.

From Serbia to Iraq to Libya, where does it end? Observe that Trump is now seeking a ‘NATO alliance’ offering NATO status, to President Bolsonaro of Brazil to back the invasion of Venezuela.

So it is important to remember, as an example, that after a long war of economic and financial destabilization ended with the bombing of Serbia.

Serbia was previously a part of Yugoslavia, a country which had successfully evolved after 1945 to solve the old rivalries of the 19th and early 20th Century Balkan ethnic animosities which was, prior to the advent of power of President Tito, its past history.

The United Nations, instead of supporting, in effect, so called ‘humanitarian wars’ and ‘regime change wars’ by the US, using NATO, helped and relentlessly driven home by MSM outlets like CNN and FOX NEWS into people’s heads, must finally take a stand.

So too, Yugoslavia, once the envy of many in the world, given its then ‘non-aligned’ status under President Tito, was destroyed and broken up; ‘Balkanized’ in the early 1990s.

The Serbian assault began first by a ‘financial war’; by sanctions and finished off by an aggressive unprovoked incessant NATO bombing campaign. That’s what we can expect in Venezuela next.

This ‘Balkanization’ strategy similarly applies to Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria et al. It serves US Neocon interests to dismember States in the world and create smaller more ‘manageable’ countries.

‘Regime change’ runs against the intent, the very words contained in the US Constitution. No one in MSM ever reminds us of that fact. Nevertheless America’s ambition to overthrow other States continues, which they arrogantly now make no secret of. The next States will probably be Nicaragua then Iran to name but two.

A very noteworthy most recent outrageous unilateral declaration was made by President Trump, not yet formally agreed by US institutions, ‘giving’ something he has no authority to give; Syrian territory, the Golan Heights to be precise, to Israel. Something that one day could trigger a full scale Arab-Israeli War.

This is of extreme importance yet no real outcry comes from world leaders; well not so far.

The main reason for that decision given by senior US Administration figures is that “God anointed Trump to save the Jews”.

Not forgetting Trump’s need (which we the people don’t understand exactly why) to support Prime Minister Netanyahu in his difficult upcoming elections in Israel – in part because both countries failed to ‘regime change’ Syria – but more importantly to help the ‘financial terrorists’ who formed a company jointly that has already started drilling for oil in the Golan Heights. You might like to know who owns such oil drilling company which should answer a plethora of questions in one go that you must be asking yourselves.

The shareholder’s names tells us everything; Dick Cheney; Baron Rothschild and Rupert Murdoch. The titular heads of neocons, bankers and media on the planet.

In ending there is no more evidence required for us, the people of the world, to rise up against the globalist dark forces wherever they exist, be it in Brussels, London, France or Washington. We must demand democratic elections or start revolutions, the latter has already begun in France in the form of ‘the yellow vests’. And Brexit, by definition, is a rejection by the British people of globalism and American Hegemony.

The pattern of US destabilization and destruction of States to loot them of their sovereign resources is the unseen history of the last 100 years, not taught in any university, anywhere in the West.

As far as Ukraine is concerned, its government was taken down by the CIA and replaced by an ultra fascist regime that has full backing from America. This is no secret. But the MSM simple don’t report it.

US led NATO is ‘the transnational war machine’ of the world, devouring almost all free countries wealth. It can extort to terrorize all into conformity to the global ‘carcinogenic’ US Neocon imperialistic strategy.

A total estimated 20m people around the world have died since the end of WW11 at the hands of US Forces. Think about that for a moment.

One of the most famous sayings attributed to America’s great President Abraham Lincoln is about deception: “You can fool all the people some of the time and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.”

Liked it? Take a second to support The Duran on Patreon!
Continue Reading

Latest

‘Dark day for internet freedom’: EU approves controversial copyright reform

Julia Reda, a German MEP with the Pirate Party, described it as a “dark day for internet freedom.”

RT

Published

on

By

Via RT


The European Parliament has voted to adopt the highly controversial Article 13 provision which would govern the production and distribution of content online under the auspices of increasing copyright protections.

Tuesday’s move will update the EU’s 20-year-old copyright rules and will govern everything from audiovisual content to memes, much to the dismay of many social media users who have already begun outpouring their grief online.

MEPs passed the legislation by 348 votes to 274 Tuesday. Opponents had hoped for last-minute amendments to be made but their efforts were in vain.

Julia Reda, a German MEP with the Pirate Party, described it as a “dark day for internet freedom.”

Article 13 or ‘The Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market’ makes all platforms legally responsible for the content hosted and shared on their platforms.

The process of updating the bloc’s copyright laws began in the European Commission two years ago, ostensibly to protect Europe’s publishers, broadcasters and artists and guarantee fair compensation from big tech companies.

By essentially forcing companies like Google, Facebook and Twitter to pay artists and publishers for the reproduction of their work online, include in meme format, the EU is effectively clamping down on online memery.

The onus will now be on tech companies to clamp down on content-sharing on their platforms, which will likely ensure yet more draconian policing of speech and content.

EU member states now have two years to pass their own laws putting Article 13 into effect.

Tens of thousands marched in protest across Germany ahead of the vote, decrying what they viewed as severe online censorship.

Tech giant Google said that while the directive is “improved” it will still lead to legal uncertainty and will damage Europe’s creative and digital economies.

Critics have argued that the only way for Article 13 to be effectively enforced would be through the use of upload filters which automatically check content to see if it’s copyrighted or not, at least in theory. However, the exact mechanics of such a system have yet to be fully debated and the potential for abuse is immediately clear.

Liked it? Take a second to support The Duran on Patreon!
Continue Reading

JOIN OUR YOUTUBE CHANNEL

Your donations make all the difference. Together we can expose fake news lies and deliver truth.

Amount to donate in USD$:

5 100

Validating payment information...
Waiting for PayPal...
Validating payment information...
Waiting for PayPal...
Advertisement

Advertisement

Quick Donate

The Duran
EURO
DONATE
Donate a quick 10 spot!
Advertisement
Advertisement

Advertisement

The Duran Newsletter

Trending