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Russian Il-20 downed by Syrian missile. Russia blames Israel. Israel blames Syria (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 110.

Alex Christoforou

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The unthinkable has happened in Syria.

The world now teeters on the brink of all out war in Syria as a Russian Il-20 was downed by Syrian missile after Israeli F-16s used it as cover during attack, according to statements made by the Russian Ministry of Defense.

President Vladimir Putin, answering a reporter’s question during a press conference with Hungarian PM Viktor Orban, said the downing of the Russian Il-20 plane looks like “a chain of tragic circumstances.” 

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss the tripwire triggered that has the potential to tip the fragile balance in Syria towards conflict between Russia, Iran and Israel.

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The Russian military says an Israeli raid on Syria triggered a chain of events that led to its Il-20 plane being shot down by a Syrian S-200 surface-to-air missile. Moscow reserves the right to respond accordingly.

Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said…

“Israel did not warn the command of the Russian troops in Syria about the planned operation. We received a notification via a hotline less than a minute before the strike, which did not allow the Russian aircraft to be directed to a safe zone.”

The statement by the Russian Defense Ministry said that four Israeli F-16 fighter jets attacked targets in Syria’s Latakia after approaching from the Mediterranean.

The Israeli warplanes approached at a low altitude and “created a dangerous situation for other aircraft and vessels in the region.”

The statement further said that 15 Russian military service members have died as a result…

“The Israeli pilots used the Russian plane as cover and set it up to be targeted by the Syrian air defense forces. As a consequence, the Il-20, which has radar cross-section much larger than the F-16, was shot down by an S-200 system missile.”

According to reports from RT, the Russian military said that the French Navy’s frigate ‘Auvergne,’ as well as a Russian Il-20 plane were in the area during the Israeli operation.

Map of the incident on September 17 in Syria provided by the Russian defense ministry.

The Russian ministry said the Israelis must have known that the Russian plane was present in the area, but this did not stop them from executing “the provocation.” Israel also failed to warn Russia about the planned operation in advance. The warning came just a minute before the attack started, which “did not leave time to move the Russian plane to a safe area,”the statement said.

The statement gives a larger death toll than earlier reports by the Russian military, which said there were 14 crew members on board the missing Il-20. It said a search and rescue operation for the shot-down plane is underway.

A later update said debris from the downed plane was found some 27km off the Latakia coast. The search party collected some body parts, personal possessions of the crew, and fragments of the plane.

Meanwhile Israel has come out to blame the Syrian government for the downing of the military plane, according to an IDF statement.

Israel said that it “expresses sorrow for the death of the aircrew members” of the Russian plane. However, it stated that the government of Bashar Assad “whose military shot down the Russian plane,” is “fully responsible” for the incident.

Israel further blamed Iran and Hezbollah for the incident.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) explained that its jets were targeting a Syrian facility “from which systems to manufacture accurate and lethal weapons were about to be transferred on behalf of Iran to Hezbollah in Lebanon.”

Israel claimed that the weapons were “meant to attack Israel.”

Via RT

The IDF assumed that the Syrian anti-air batteries “fired indiscriminately” and didn’t “bother to ensure that no Russian planes were in the air.” The Israelis said that when the Syrian military launched the missiles which hit the Russian plane, its own jets were already within Israeli airspace. “During the strike against the target in Latakia, the Russian plane that was then hit was not within the area of the operation.”

According to the Israeli military, both IDF and Russia have “a deconfliction system,” which was agreed upon by the leadership of both states, and “has proven itself many times over recent years.” The system was in use when the incident happened, the IDF stated. The IDF promised to share “all the relevant information” with Russia “to review the incident and to confirm the facts in this inquiry.”

The military presented a four-point initial inquiry into events in Latakia. It insisted that “extensive and inaccurate” Syrian anti-aircraft fire caused the Russian jet “to be hit and downed.”

The Russian Il-20 aircraft, with 15 crew on board, went off radar during an attack by four Israeli jets on Syria’s Latakia province late Monday. Later on Tuesday the Russian Defense Ministry said that an Israeli raid on Syria triggered a chain of events that led to its plane being shot down by a Syrian S-200 surface-to-air missile.

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David BowlasBrad IsherwoodCat PillarGhifari AL MukhtarTEP Recent comment authors
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Donna
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Donna

Putin may “forgive” Israel, but the Russian people will not. And no sane person believes that Netanyahu is “sorry” for what his murderous military does.

Hes
Guest
Hes

This plane was quite important for Russian operations in Syria. They did it intentionally.

Brad Isherwood
Guest
Brad Isherwood

The Russian Military was way to quick to say S 200 before Proper Investigation. That’s a possible cover up which often happens when Israel has done something criminal …using its global media reach to control the story/damage control. Looking at the claimed flight track of the IL 20m…it is flying while missiles slam into Latakia. Syrian Airdefence is lit up…there’s no way the IL 20m is flying around unawares of the threat level occuring. 4 IAF F16i on stand off attack suddenly know a IL 20m is near, Adjusting their speed and altitude to that of the slower IL 20m,… Read more »

TEP
Guest
TEP

Yes, one has to wonder why such irreplaceable EW assets were not escorted, and since the RuAF AD and SAAF AD are integrated one also has to conclude that, based on the current cause conclusion, that Russian AD was also involved. It all seems a little odd to say the least.

Brad Isherwood
Guest
Brad Isherwood

There are posters saying the IL 20m had No IFF transponder. Some 2nd hand mumbo jumbo from Russian DoD …that the IL 20m had no IFF Transponder. What? SR-2M Khrom: IFF transponder (Khrom – Chromium) IL 18/Wiki/Avionics. The IL 20m is Uber ELINT with top of the line Avionics! The Web publish which pushes the official narrative of S 200 shot the Russian plane down by accident is full court press. Numerous Web forums have posters calling them out on it…saying things are not…”Certain” Coments that things don’t add up is evident in growing public pause of official story. This is USS… Read more »

Sally
Guest
Sally

That type of talk only plays into the Democrat playbook, holding grudges, resentment anger without proof or evidence of intent early on is exactly how the Russians were smeared tainted and blamed for hacking without proof, evidence or facts. Sanctions were actually put on by the senate early on without a single bit of evidence to justify such actions. Its truly insane how fast we are willing to jump on the hate bandwagon and risk our own survival and war versus measured responses and leveled out emotions.

Simon
Guest
Simon

Well said! You’re absolutely bang on!

Sally Snyder
Guest
Sally Snyder

As shown in this article, two American politicians have shown the world that they clearly do not believe Washington’s narrative on the war in Syria:

https://viableopposition.blogspot.com/2018/09/american-politicians-and-syria-what-if.html

When we read reports about the situation in the Western mainstream media we have to ask yourself one simple question: “Has the person that wrote this report spent any time on the ground in Syria?”. If not, then their views are likely not to be trusted.

Courtney
Guest
Courtney

In my travels on social media today I have been struck,though not surprised,really,by how many people are commenting on this with things like “Putin is weak,he’s a Netanyahu bitch,he should nuke Israel immediately” etc.Not too many saying he is doing the right thing by waiting for all of the facts. As of now,it appears to be an accident,Bibi has apologized & I am sure that Russia is investigating exactly what happened & why. I am American,but I,for one,believe Putin’s response is absolutely correct.This is what makes him,in my mind, a great leader & earns him the respect of his people… Read more »

john mason
Guest
john mason

Won’t be any war, Russia will do what it excels at and that is crawl their way out of a confrontation. What makes this so alarming is that the Israelis have had Russian OK to violate Syrian air space and carry out their attacks. This has been going on all along, most likely same agreement with the US and coalition, too bad about International law, Syrian sovereignty and those killed, injured and loss of property let alone possible annexations by the Turks and the US. Seems like Russia has been in collusion with the Turks, US and Israelis all along.… Read more »

JNDillard
Guest
JNDillard

Many intelligent people are of the opinion that Putin’s response to the downing of the Russian surveillance aircraft is a sign of weakness. I am not. Putin was trained in the martial arts; he does not play by the win-lose competitive rules the West inherited from ancient Greece. The West does not understand, much less appreciate his mindset and therefore is constantly caught flat-footed by him. When you meet children at their own level you demean yourself and justify them making your immature behavior the issue instead of their own. The more I observe Putin, the more amazed I am.… Read more »

Elin Ohlsspn
Guest
Elin Ohlsspn

I am tired of all this “putin playing chess & judo” stuff. Its a storyline pushed by weak men never been on the streets, mamas boys.You can NEVER shown the slightest sign of weakness to potential Predators in the Wild, if you do, you are DONE.

Wayne Blow
Guest
Wayne Blow

Don;t “kid” yourself, this “little” bugger has been on the streets, and knows his way around, “TNT” comes in small packages and also bides it’s time (fuse)!!!!

john vieira
Guest

Damn well believe you are right…however EVERYBODY has their limits and methinks the aggressors are pushing his…

7.62x54R
Guest
7.62x54R

Putin now sounds as an Israeli apologist. An Il-20 is an expensive and highly specialized aircraft- of which there are few- and the loss of that crew is significant. Putin is overrated as a nationalist and in ‘martial arts’ diplomacy.

Wayne Blow
Guest
Wayne Blow

I feel as you do and (I agree) and have also respect for yourself !!!

Tom Welsh
Guest
Tom Welsh

Just think for a moment about that headline: “Israel Blames Syria”. It reminds me of the mugger who kills his victim, and then reasons that it was the victim’s fault for resisting. How can Syria be to blame? A Russian aircraft, sent to Syria to protect Syria (and Russians) against enemies which obviously include Israel, was shot down in the act of defending against an Israeli attack. If Israel had not attacked Syria, the Russian plane would not have been shot down. That is obvious. For anyone to blame Syria – the victim – is surreal. The truth is that… Read more »

Michael Green
Guest

What you wrote is sensational, but not true: “The unthinkable has happened in Syria. The world now teeters on the brink of all out war.” What happened is hardly unthinkable–it’s just like the September 16, 2016 “accidental” USA bombing of the Syrian military base coordinated with a jihadist attack in Deir Ezzor, followed by a false-flag attack on a humanitarian caravan. The only differences is that it came from the Zionist end of the Anglo-Zionist empire. Nor is the world teetering on “all out war” because Putin has walked back the threats from the Russian military, calling the incident an… Read more »

Tom
Guest
Tom

American sailors should be well familiar with the hazards of ‘playing’ with Israeli forces.. REMEMBER THE USS LIBERTY .. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Liberty_incident] The Russian generals have voiced their displeasure and assessment and are not going to change anything they have said.. It is by contract and essentially the Russian NO FLY ZONE is up and operational. Furthermore .. Israel should watch their words and statements and offer more than a condolence, more like a retraction of certain statements of claim to certain airspace and what such weapons here to be deployed against certain territories.. making false claims does not further their cause.

Mathew Neville
Guest
Mathew Neville

Tom ,
you say “essentially the Russian NO FLY ZONE is up and operational.”
this is nonsense or the “No fly zone” does NOT apply to Israel.
Israel attacks Syria with their “micky mouse” excuse that they are attacking Hesbolah or Iran & Israel OPENLY admits to attacking Syria using probably US planes & bombs & of course has US support which is ALL totaly illegal under “International Law”.
Distruction of Syria is Israel’s Plan to secure a Kurdistan to control while
the USA will continue to be Israel’s Poodle & obey instructions .
Go to “Blackstone Inteligence Network” . com to educate yourself.

A.F.
Guest
A.F.

Well done, Assad, kiling Russian soldiers is no crime!

Simon
Guest
Simon

Rubbish. Putin brazenly lies by showing no respect for the lost lives of 15 servicemen. The Russian aircraft was downed by Israeli jets. Syria strongly denies any involvement. Moreover, Syrian Air Defence had delivered to Russia, its registrated radar data of 17/9/2018, just a few hours after the incident. These data prove that Syrian Air Defence is not responsible for the fall of the Russian aircraft.

Constantine
Guest
Constantine

Is that so? That seems to be quite serious, as I haven’t seen anywhere Syria’s response on the issue. Could you post a link or a reference?

spike
Guest
spike

who fired the weapon? who id’d the air target?

not israel, but syrian monkeys who shouldn’t be allowed within 1000m of a functioning air defence set-up

and all the non-russian, but pro-russian fools; have a read of andrew koryboko’s article and stfu about what you would do!

Ghifari AL Mukhtar
Guest
Ghifari AL Mukhtar

Hora Hora ! Israel was FORCED to make a rare admission…..We’ve taken the Criminal for all he’s done/Got….Could my President consoled me with such fantastic Bereavement, I’d wiped my tears and bust into Evangelical joy, speaking in Hebrew tongues – Justice alas Justiceeee

Cat Pillar
Guest
Cat Pillar

Come on Alex – why don’t you bring Mark Sleboda on for this one?

David Bowlas
Guest
David Bowlas

So what are you going to do about this Russia? Just sit on your hands again?

Latest

Russia calls on US to put a leash on Petro Poroshenko

The West’s pass for Mr. Poroshenko may blow up in NATO’s and the US’s face if the Ukrainian President tries to start a war with Russia.

Seraphim Hanisch

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Russia called on Washington not to ignore the Poroshenko directives creating an active military buildup along the Ukrainian-Donbass frontier, this buildup consisting of Ukrainian forces and right-wing ultranationalists, lest it “trigger the implementation of a bloody scenario”, according to a Dec 11 report from TASS.

The [Russian] Embassy [to the US] urges the US State Department to recognize the presence of US instructors in the zone of combat actions, who are involved in a command and staff and field training of Ukraine’s assault airborne brigades. “We expect that the US will bring to reason its proteges. Their aggressive plans are not only doomed to failure but also run counter to the statements of the administration on its commitment to resolve the conflict in eastern Ukraine by political and diplomatic means,” the statement said.

This warning came after Eduard Basurin, the deputy defense minister of the Donetsk People’s Republic noted that the Ukrainian army was massing troops and materiel for a possible large-scale offensive at the Mariupol section of the contact line in Donbass. According to Basurin, this action is expected to take place on 14 December. TASS offered more details:

According to the DPR’s reconnaissance data, Ukrainian troops plan to seize the DPR’s Novoazovsky and Temanovsky districts and take control over the border section with Russia. The main attack force of over 12,000 servicemen has been deployed along the contact line near the settlements of Novotroitskoye, Shirokino, and Rovnopol. Moreover, more than 50 tanks, 40 multiple missile launcher systems, 180 artillery systems and mortars have been reportedly pulled to the area, Basurin added. Besides, 12 BM-30 Smerch heavy multiple rocket launchers have been sent near Volodarsky.

The DPR has warned about possible provocations plotted by Ukrainian troops several times. Thus, in early December, the DPR’s defense ministry cited reconnaissance data indicating that the Ukrainian military was planning to stage an offensive and deliver an airstrike. At a Contact Group meeting on December 5, DPR’s Foreign Minister Natalia Nikonorova raised the issue of Kiev’s possible use of chemical weapons in the conflict area.

This is a continuation of the reported buildup The Duran reported in this article linked here, and it is a continuation of the full-scale drama that started with the Kerch Strait incident, which itself appears to have been staged by Ukraine’s president Petro Poroshenko. Following that incident, the president was able to get about half of Ukraine placed under a 30-day period of martial law, citing “imminent Russian aggression.”

President Poroshenko is arguably a dangerous man. He appears to be desperate to maintain a hold on power, though his approval numbers and support is abysmally low in Ukraine. While he presents himself as a hero, agitating for armed conflict with Russia and simultaneously interfering in the affairs of the Holy Eastern Orthodox Church, he is actually one of the most dangerous leaders the world has to contend with, precisely because he is unfit to lead.

Such men and women are dangerous because their desperation makes them short-sighted, only concerned about their power and standing.

An irony about this matter is that President Poroshenko appears to be exactly what the EuroMaidan was “supposed” to free Ukraine of; that is, a stooge puppet leader that marches to orders from a foreign power and does nothing for the improvement of the nation and its citizens.

The ouster of Viktor Yanukovich was seen as the sure ticket to “freedom from Russia” for Ukraine, and it may well have been that Mr. Yanukovich was an incompetent leader. However, his removal resulted in a tryannical regíme coming into power, that resulting in the secession of two Ukrainian regions into independent republics and a third secession of strategically super-important Crimea, who voted in a referendum to rejoin Russia.

While this activity was used by the West to try to bolster its own narrative that Russia remains the evil henchman in Europe, the reality of life in Ukraine doesn’t match this allegation at all. A nation that demonstrates such behavior shows that there are many problems, and the nature of these secessions points at a great deal of fear from Russian-speaking Ukrainian people about the government that is supposed to be their own.

President Poroshenko presents a face to the world that the West is apparently willing to support, but the in-country approval of this man as leader speaks volumes. The West’s blind support of him “against Russia” may be one of the most tragic errors yet in Western foreign policy.

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Latest

Second Canadian Citizen Disappears In China

According to the he Globe and Mail, the man was identified as Michael Spavor, a Canadian whose company Peaktu Cultural Exchange brings tourists and hockey players into North Korea.

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Via Zerohedge…


For a trade war that was supposed to be between the US and China, Canada has found itself increasingly in the middle of the crossfire. And so after the arrest of a former Canadian diplomat in Beijing in retaliation for the detention of the Huawei CFO in Vancouver, Canada said a second person has been questioned by Chinese authorities, further heightening tensions between the two countries.

The second person reached out to the Canadian government after being questioned by Chinese officials, Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said, at which point Canada lost contact with him. His whereabouts are currently unknown and Global Affairs Canada said they are in contact with his family.

“We haven’t been able to make contact with him since he let us know about this,” Freeland told reporters Wednesday in Ottawa. “We are working very hard to ascertain his whereabouts and we have also raised this case with Chinese authorities.”

According to the he Globe and Mail, the man was identified as Michael Spavor, a Canadian whose company Peaktu Cultural Exchange brings tourists and hockey players into North Korea. He gained fame for helping arrange a visit to Pyongyang by former NBA player Dennis Rodman, and he met North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on that trip, the newspaper reported. Attempts to reach Spavor on his contact number either in China, or North Korean went straight to voicemail.

Spavor’s personal Facebook page contains several images of him with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un including one of him with both Jong-un and former Dennis Rodman at an undisclosed location.

Michael P. Spavor, right, pictured here with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, second from right, and Dennis Rodman.

Another image shows the two sharing a drink on a boat.

The unexplained disappearance takes place after China’s spy agency detained former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig in Beijing on Monday, who was on leave from the foreign service. The arrest came nine days after Canada arrested Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou at the request of U.S. DOJ. While Canada has asked to see the former envoy after it was informed by fax of his arrest, Canada is unaware of Kovrig current whereabouts or the charges he faces.

“Michael did not engage in illegal activities nor did he do anything that endangered Chinese national security,” Rob Malley, chief executive officer of the ICG, said in a written statement. “He was doing what all Crisis Group analysts do: undertaking objective and impartial research.”

One possibility is that Kovrig may have been caught up in recent rule changes in China that affect non-governmental organizations, according to Bloomberg. The ICG wasn’t authorized to do work in China, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lu Kang said during a regular press briefing in Beijing Wednesday.

“We welcome foreign travelers. But if they engage in activities that clearly violate Chinese laws and regulations, then it is totally another story,” he said, adding he had no information on Kovrig specifically.

As Bloomberg further notes, foreign non-governmental organizations are now required to register with the Chinese authorities under a 2017 law that subjects them to stringent reporting requirements. Under the law, organizations without a representative office in China must have a government sponsor and a local cooperative partner before conducting activities. ICG said this is the first time they’ve heard such an accusation from the Chinese authorities in a decade of working with the country. The company closed its Beijing operations in December 2016 because of the new Chinese law, according to a statement. Kovrig was working out of the Hong Kong office.

Meanwhile, realizing that it is increasingly bearing the brunt of China’s retaliatory anger, Trudeau’s government distanced itself from Meng’s case, saying it can’t interfere with the courts, but is closely involved in advocating on Kovrig’s behalf.

So far Canada has declined to speculate on whether there was a connection between the Kovrig and Meng cases, with neither Freeland nor Canadian Trade Minister Jim Carr saying Wednesday that there is any indication the cases are related. Then again, it is rather obvious they are. Indeed, Guy Saint-Jacques, who served as ambassador to China from 2012 to 2016 and worked with Kovrig, says the link is clear. “There’s no coincidence with China.”

“In this case, they couldn’t grab a Canadian diplomat because this would have created a major diplomatic incident,” he said. “Going after him I think was their way to send a message to the Canadian government and to put pressure.”

Even though Meng was granted bail late Tuesday, that did not placate China, whose foreign ministry spokesman said that “The Canadian side should correct its mistakes and release Ms. Meng Wanzhou immediately.”

The tension, according to Bloomberg,  may force Canadian companies to reconsider travel to China, and executives traveling to the Asian country will need to exercise extra caution, said Andy Chan, managing partner at Miller Thomson LLP in Vaughan, Ontario.

“Canadian business needs to look at and balance the reasons for the travel’’ between the business case and the “current political environment,’’ Chan said by email. Chinese officials subject business travelers to extra screening and in some case reject them from entering, he said.

Earlier in the day, SCMP reported that Chinese high-tech researchers were told “not to travel to the US unless it’s essential.”

And so, with Meng unlikely to be released from Canada any time soon, expect even more “Chinese (non) coincidences”, until eventually China does detain someone that the US does care about.

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Multipolar World Order in the Making: Qatar Dumps OPEC

Russia and Qatar’s global strategy also brings together and includes partners like Turkey.

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Authored by Federico Pieraccini via The Strategic Culture Foundation:


The decision by Qatar to abandon OPEC threatens to redefine the global energy market, especially in light of Saudi Arabia’s growing difficulties and the growing influence of the Russian Federation in the OPEC+ mechanism.

In a surprising statement, Qatari energy minister Saad al-Kaabi warned OPEC on Monday December 3 that his country had sent all the necessary documentation to start the country’s withdrawal from the oil organization in January 2019. Al-Kaabi stressed that the decision had nothing to do with recent conflicts with Riyadh but was rather a strategic choice by Doha to focus on the production of LNG, which Qatar, together with the Russian Federation, is one of the largest global exporters of. Despite an annual oil extraction rate of only 1.8% of the total of OPEC countries (about 600,000 barrels a day), Qatar is one of the founding members of the organization and has always had a strong political influence on the governance of the organization. In a global context where international relations are entering a multipolar phase, things like cooperation and development become fundamental; so it should not surprise that Doha has decide to abandon OPEC. OPEC is one of the few unipolar organizations that no longer has a meaningful purpose in 2018, given the new realities governing international relations and the importance of the Russian Federation in the oil market.

Besides that, Saudi Arabia requires the organization to maintain a high level of oil production due to pressure coming from Washington to achieve a very low cost per barrel of oil. The US energy strategy targets Iranian and Russian revenue from oil exports, but it also aims to give the US a speedy economic boost. Trump often talks about the price of oil falling as his personal victory. The US imports about 10 million barrels of oil a day, which is why Trump wrongly believes that a decrease in the cost per barrel could favor a boost to the US economy. The economic reality shows a strong correlation between the price of oil and the financial growth of a country, with low prices of crude oil often synonymous of a slowing down in the economy.

It must be remembered that to keep oil prices low, OPEC countries are required to maintain a high rate of production, doubling the damage to themselves. Firstly, they take less income than expected and, secondly, they deplete their oil reserves to favor the strategy imposed by Saudi Arabia on OPEC to please the White House. It is clearly a strategy that for a country like Qatar (and perhaps Venezuela and Iran in the near future) makes little sense, given the diplomatic and commercial rupture with Riyadh stemming from tensions between the Gulf countries.

In contrast, the OPEC+ organization, which also includes other countries like the Russian Federation, Mexico and Kazakhstan, seems to now to determine oil and its cost per barrel. At the moment, OPEC and Russia have agreed to cut production by 1.2 million barrels per day, contradicting Trump’s desire for high oil output.

With this last choice Qatar sends a clear signal to the region and to traditional allies, moving to the side of OPEC+ and bringing its interests closer in line with those of the Russian Federation and its all-encompassing oil and gas strategy, two sectors in which Qatar and Russia dominate market share.

In addition, Russia and Qatar’s global strategy also brings together and includes partners like Turkey (a future energy hub connecting east and west as well as north and south) and Venezuela. In this sense, the meeting between Maduro and Erdogan seems to be a prelude to further reorganization of OPEC and its members.

The declining leadership role of Saudi Arabia in the oil and financial market goes hand in hand with the increase of power that countries like Qatar and Russia in the energy sectors are enjoying. The realignment of energy and finance signals the evident decline of the Israel-US-Saudi Arabia partnership. Not a day goes by without corruption scandals in Israel, accusations against the Saudis over Khashoggi or Yemen, and Trump’s unsuccessful strategies in the commercial, financial or energy arenas. The path this doomed

trio is taking will only procure less influence and power, isolating them more and more from their opponents and even historical allies.

Moscow, Beijing and New Delhi, the Eurasian powerhouses, seem to have every intention, as seen at the trilateral summit in Buenos Aires, of developing the ideal multipolar frameworks to avoid continued US dominance of the oil market through shale revenues or submissive allies as Saudi Arabia, even though the latest spike in production is a clear signal from Riyadh to the USA. In this sense, Qatar’s decision to abandon OPEC and start a complex and historical discussion with Moscow on LNG in the format of an enlarged OPEC marks the definitive decline of Saudi Arabia as a global energy power, to be replaced by Moscow and Doha as the main players in the energy market.

Qatar’s decision is, officially speaking, unconnected to the feud triggered by Saudi Arabia against the small emirate. However, it is evident that a host of factors has led to this historic decision. The unsuccessful military campaign in Yemen has weakened Saudi Arabia on all fronts, especially militarily and economically. The self-inflicted fall in the price of oil is rapidly consuming Saudi currency reserves, now at a new low of less than 500 billion dollars. Events related to Mohammad bin Salman (MBS) have de-legitimized the role of Riyadh in the world as a reliable diplomatic interlocutor. The internal and external repression by the Kingdom has provoked NGOs and governments like Canada’s to issue public rebukes that have done little to help MBS’s precarious position.

In Syria, the victory of Damascus and her allies has consolidated the role of Moscow in the region, increased Iranian influence, and brought Turkey and Qatar to the multipolar side, with Tehran and Moscow now the main players in the Middle East. In terms of military dominance, there has been a clear regional shift from Washington to Moscow; and from an energy perspective, Doha and Moscow are turning out to be the winners, with Riyadh once again on the losing side.

As long as the Saudi royal family continues to please Donald Trump, who is prone to catering to Israeli interests in the region, the situation of the Kingdom will only get worse. The latest agreement on oil production between Moscow and Riyad signals that someone in the Saudi royal family has probably figured this out.

Countries like Turkey, India, China, Russia and Iran understand the advantages of belonging to a multipolar world, thereby providing a collective geopolitical ballast that is mutually beneficial. The energy alignment between Qatar and the Russian Federation seems to support this general direction, a sort of G2 of LNG gas that will only strengthen the position of Moscow on the global chessboard, while guaranteeing a formidable military umbrella for Doha in case of a further worsening of relations between Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

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