The Unz Review - Mobile
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
 TeasersRussian Reaction Blog
Idlib Dawn
🔊 Listen RSS
Email This Page to Someone

 Remember My Information



=>

Bookmark Toggle AllToCAdd to LibraryRemove from Library • BShow CommentNext New CommentNext New ReplyRead More
ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
AgreeDisagreeLOLTroll
These buttons register your public Agreement, Disagreement, Troll, or LOL with the selected comment. They are ONLY available to recent, frequent commenters who have saved their Name+Email using the 'Remember My Information' checkbox, and may also ONLY be used once per hour.
Ignore Commenter Follow Commenter
Search Text Case Sensitive  Exact Words  Include Comments
List of Bookmarks

map-syria-2018-idlib

Looks like we are seeing the final preparations for the Syrian offensive on Idlib.

Couple of noteworthy things:

1. Masses of Russian ships in the Mediterranean off Syria, with many dozens of Kalibr cruise missiles and hundreds of Tor anti-air missiles between them:

Also some reports of Mig-31′s patrolling the Caspian with the new Kinzhal missiles:

This reportedly represents the greatest concentration of Russian naval assets in the Syrian theater since the start of the war.

2. Meanwhile:

The US and its allies are preparing new airstrikes on Syria, the Russian Defense Ministry said, adding that militants are poised to stage a chemical weapons attack in order to frame Damascus and provide a pretext for the strikes.

The attack would be used as a pretext for US, UK and French airstrikes on Syrian targets, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman, Major General Igor Konashenkov said. USS ‘The Sullivans,’ an Arleigh Burke-class Aegis guided missile destroyer, was already deployed to the Persian Gulf a couple of days ago, he added.

This isn’t the first time a Russian warning of a chemical weapons attack was preceded by an actual strike, so a provocation seems quite realistic. Especially with John Bolton as good as egging them on.

 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Military, Syria, Syrian Civil War 
Hide 34 CommentsLeave a Comment
34 Comments to "Idlib Dawn"
Commenters to Ignore...to FollowEndorsed Only
Trim Comments?
    []
  1. One has to admire the brilliance of Kremlin’s “Grand Strategy” that brought Russia into a high-risk standoff with NATO over…some Middle Eastern shithole.

    Cause there is no better way to shore up support for your regime than to launch a small victorious war in the Middle East – this is what Stolypin taught. Or something.

    Now, an “irresistable question” needs to be asked: would such an “amasing achievement” be possible today, if the Kremlin had followed advice of various experts, patriots, and other smartasses, who told them to finish Ukrainian war first? Huh? That’s what I fucking thought!

  2. joun says:
    @Felix Keverich

    The Yankee Regime would have moved from Syria to Iran to the Caucasus and beyond.

    Russia had little choice.

    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
  3. peterAUS says:

    Well….most likely we’ll see repeat of the previous episode:
    Anti-Assad forces (with some external help, of course) will create a charade->it will get blown out of proportions by MSM in West->Trump will, again, be compelled to act->standoff weapons will be fired on Assad’s regime targets->Russia will issue strong statements->blabbing sphere will be, for a week, full of blabbing (including this site).
    That’s it.

    Of course, there is always that other possibility. Small, but with ultimate repercussions.

    Interesting times.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  4. @peterAUS

    Of course, there is always that other possibility.

    On a long enough timeline our chances of avoiding it will approach zero.

  5. @Felix Keverich

    Everything is better than a nuclear war (except those who will do anything to avoid a nuclear war will be unable to avoid it without fully submitting), but of course a major war in Europe (the conquest of a large country with ethnically cleansing millions; I guess that’s what you’re thinking about when you talk about “finishing the war in Ukraine”) would be even more likely to lead to a general conflagration. And possibly China wouldn’t support you much.

    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
  6. @reiner Tor

    reiner Tor , I understand full well what your angle is: as a Hungarian you are obviously wary of being on the receiving end of a European conflagration. But the reality is that Russia enjoys military dominance in Eastern Europe, and cannot be bullied the way it IS being bullied by NATO forces in East Mediterranean.

    P.S.: Maybe in 50 years China will become a superpower. Maybe. But for now China can barely muster its courage to vote with Russia on Syria UNSC resolutions. We cannot rely on China.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  7. @joun

    “Domino theory” was wrong when USA practiced it during the Cold war. It is wrong now.

  8. notanon says:

    a gas attack may be the initial precursor to create the context for US strikes but given the chemical attacks haven’t worked as a casus belli and we’re in the end game i think they’d need something bigger – i think they’ll be considering attacking a US ship and making it look like it was Russia/Syria.

    • Replies: @El Dato
  9. notanon says:

    addendum

    so it would be a good idea imo if those Ruski anti-missile ships were also looking out for unknown missiles being fired towards US ships.

  10. notanon says:
    @Felix Keverich

    “full spectrum dominance” is not going to go away until the neocons are purged from the state dept.

    so given that Syria->Iran->Russia is the inevitable sequence where best to fight?

    i’d say Syria was a good choice not because it’s important to Russia but because it’s *not* important to the USA i.e. it’s a purely neocon operation with very little public support in the USA which provided the best chance of a split int he US elite – which is ultimately the only way out of this spiral we’re in.

    • Replies: @peterAUS
  11. El Dato says:

    ‘Foreign specialists’ may stage chemical attack in Syria in 2 days to frame Assad – Russian MoD

    “Foreign specialists” have arrived in Syria and may stage a chemical attack using chlorine in “the next two days,” the Russian Defense Ministry said. This will be filmed for international media to frame Damascus forces.

    Defense Ministry Spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov said the operation is planned to unfold in the village of Kafr Zita in Syria’s northwestern Hama Province in “the next two days.”

    This sounds like a public warning to lay off this shit and call back the Dogs of Gas or else.

    They seem well informed, so I suspect this potential false-flag could be de-fused by a single 2-hour operation. Which may actually happen.

  12. El Dato says:
    @Felix Keverich

    “Domino theory” is the theory that international communist insurrection in country X will lead to international communist insurrection in country X+1. Of course, these were all nationalist insurrection, so the premisse was wrong.

    Suspecting that color revolutions on your doorstep and an increasingly safe-for-Israel Middle Eastern landscape (made safe with the help of Saudi Arabian killteams) with additional ever-ratcheting-up sanctions are actually related to semi-coherent planning and uncoherent but very nasty public pronounciations from neocons is NOT “domino theory”.

  13. El Dato says:
    @notanon

    i think they’ll be considering attacking a US ship and making it look like it was Russia/Syria.

    The hebrew lettering will give the game away.

    Then the MSM will find something biggly wrong with the Kardashians.

  14. @Felix Keverich

    I’ve been a history buff since my teen years and I realized early on that 99% of Communist gains were made in the chaos following WWII. Unfortunately, 90% of Americans are so ignorant of history that they believed the BS that the military-industrial-media complex fed them.

  15. ‘Foreign specialists’ may stage chemical attack in Syria in 2 days to frame Assad – Russian MoD

    RuAF should just bomb anybody who glows in the dark.

  16. peterAUS says:
    @notanon

    …the best chance of a split int he US elite – which is ultimately the only way out of this spiral we’re in.

    An interesting point.
    My impression is that’s the only thing the US elite agrees on.

    The only way out of it is a decisive action by Kremlin. A type of action that will SCARE American public into putting some pressure onto their elites.
    And the only thing that scares US public is a possibility of ICBMs falling on their heads.

    The problem is….how to send a scare without doing the deed? Or, worse, not creating a condition that the things spiral out of control?

    I am absolutely positive that both sides (and some other) have been doing extensive games and playing out scenarious.
    We do this…they do that….we do this…they do that….and fine tuning all that up to that moment when the first nuke gets launched. Having that as “red line” not to cross.
    The problem is….that’s a very, very fine line.

    I am not optimistic about all this. Not in this particular instance, but sooner or later……………………………………

    But, then, I am just nobody. We have much better people to take care about that. As current US decision makers and all those influencing them.
    All good then.

    • Agree: reiner Tor
  17. Chuck says:

    This has happened several times already. There will be no wider war. The conflict is winding down, not spinning up.

    • Replies: @notanon
    , @reiner Tor
  18. notanon says:
    @Chuck

    The conflict is winding down, not spinning up.

    yes – which is why they *might* try something desperate and reckless

  19. @Chuck

    The more it happens, the more likely a wider war will happen. On a long enough timeline, the chances of avoiding a nuclear war will drop to zero. And I’m probably not talking about millions of years, and not even centuries: it’s probably impossible to survive the current US policies without a nuclear war for just a few decades.

  20. mitrovdan says:
    @Felix Keverich

    You are absolutely right, spot on. Putin and his advisers knew they would strike Syria while the Russians would be busy with Ukraine. Never thaught of it that way but it sure is the truth. Chessplayer and a good one without a doubt, take care.

  21. Jon0815 says:

    Has there ever been another great power proxy war, where the losers had such a lopsided economic advantage?

    Total 2017 GDP of countries that have funded, armed, or provided direct military support to Syrian rebels (USA, UK, France, Turkey, Saudi, Israel, Qatar): $26 trillion

    Total 2017 GDP of Russia, Iran, & Syria: $2.1 trillion

  22. @Felix Keverich

    From a purely Russian perspective it’s insanity to think that annexing a large and disloyal population is good. You also don’t seem to understand the difference between offense and defense. You don’t care for international relations arrogantly (and stupidly) believing that you need no allies or can disregard international opinion altogether.

    You know, your proposed conquest of Ukraine would result in the dilution of the Russian population (which is already not homogeneous enough at barely above 80% Russian), it’d disregard international law (I’d bet even Lukashenka would need to be coerced to accept this), and as an aggressive action it’d make the neocons’ position way more acceptable to the broad public. Especially if you went ahead with your proposed ethnic cleansing program.

    You envy Hitler’s success so much that you’d actually like to copy it. You are a mirror image of the neocons.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
    , @for-the-record
  23. Dmitry says:
    @reiner Tor

    Lol, Reiner, I prefer Hungary’s army to take over management of the zoo.

    Afterwards, imagine your possibilities to use from the Hungarian budget to pay for Ukraine’s pensioners, or recapitalize Kiev’s banks and oligarchs. Actually one day it could become a reality, if EU is crazy enough to let them join.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  24. cassandra says:
    @Felix Keverich

    One has to admire the brilliance of Kremlin’s “Grand Strategy” that brought Russia into a high-risk standoff with NATO over…some Middle Eastern shithole.

    Political control of the “shithole” determines:
    Who will control pipelines built to carry oil across Iran, Iraq & Syria to the Mediterranean shore?
    Whose troops will be at the naval base at Tartus & military air base at Khmeimin?
    Who will have political influence in the Levant?

    Should the Kremlin just leave it to NATO & Saudi Arabia?

    (I bet you could come up with a few ethical and humanitarian considerations as well, if you care about that sort of thing.)

    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
  25. @Dmitry

    Hungary doesn’t really have armed forces to speak of, but it could easily change. When I was a child, we had an army of 100,000+ soldiers, well over a thousand battle tanks and over a hundred warplanes. Yes, it was mostly obsolete, but we were considered the slackers in the Eastern Bloc.

    Felix is advocating for policies which would result in Russia getting bogged down in an occupation regime in a large country and the neocons getting really strong in the whole of Europe.

    Training the Russian armed forces in a civil war at the request of the lawful government is much easier for Russia than conquering a large European country.

    Why is it that controversial?

    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
  26. @cassandra

    Who will have political influence in the Levant?

    Now, that’s a worthy prize. Worth risking a war with NATO for sure!

  27. @reiner Tor

    Honestly, I think occupying the Ukraine will be easier, because Ukrainians are less fanatical than Middle Eastern jihadists, and most likely would not be able to rely on American air support. Russia will also find it much easier to project power in the Ukraine.

    You don’t care for international relations arrogantly (and stupidly) believing that you need no allies or can disregard international opinion altogether.

    The fact is Russia doesn’t need allies to accomplish its goals in the Ukraine. In the initial stage we could rely on Russian ground troops plus the armies of LDNR. Once we have control of Novorossia, we could train and equip a lot of local proxies, who would handle the occupation.

    Felix is advocating for policies which would result in Russia getting bogged down in an occupation regime in a large country and the neocons getting really strong in the whole of Europe.

    But that’s a problem for Europe, is it not? Perhaps, things need to get worse in Europe before they get better?

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  28. @reiner Tor

    You are a mirror image of the neocons.

    The neocons would have multiple orgasms if Russia were to invade Ukraine, this is what they have been working for and dreaming about for years.

  29. @Felix Keverich

    Ukrainians are less fanatical than Middle Eastern jihadists

    Ukrainians are way more competent, though. I’m not even sure about the fanaticism. Arabs are not very fanatic, on average, only some of them. And some of the Ukrainians are also quite fanatical.

    The fact is Russia doesn’t need allies to accomplish its goals in the Ukraine.

    You need allies to survive the sanctions. Or else your own population will topple the nationalistic regime of President Keverich.

    But that’s a problem for Europe, is it not?

    Well, if military balance doesn’t bother you, then yes. But actually, it’s not a big problem, finally having large armies. I just thought it might bother you.

    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
  30. @reiner Tor

    They are more likely to invite another army of refugees, than create a capable European army. Remember, neocons hate *you* almost as much as they hate Russians. ;)

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  31. @Felix Keverich

    They will do both. And actually, from their Cold War track record, or their track record in Ukraine, they will tolerate even actual neo-Nazis (or during the Cold War actual former Nazis) and nationalism to facilitate stronger armies against Russia.

    But most likely there will be both very strong armies and anti-Russia hysteria AND a push for more refugees. And the anti-Russia hysteria will make it more difficult to fight against the refugees, because anti-immigration activists are already accused of being Russian agents, and it will only get much worse if you start a major war of conquest.

    So obviously NATO will have very strong armies right on your borders. If that’s not a problem, then why did you even bother with the Baltic states joining NATO? Why does it matter to you at all?

    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
  32. @reiner Tor

    The reason I’m sceptical is because “very strong army” is not something that you can simply wish into being. It will take years and hundreds of billions of dollars to alter the balance of power in Eastern Europe in a meaningful way. It is a major undertaking that will put great strain on Western societies – there is a reason why they are in no rush to militarise Eastern Europe.

    The big problem for US and “old Europe” is that they have admitted a whole bunch of countries into NATO, that they have no real hope of defending from Russia. Nor do they care about defending Eastern Europe. Expansion of NATO was a process driven to a large extent by bureaucratic inertia. Elites in the West never seriously considered how this is supposed to work in the event of an actual Russian invasion. Western societies are not prepared to make the necessary sacrifices.

    If that’s not a problem, then why did you even bother with the Baltic states joining NATO? Why does it matter to you at all?

    It could be because NATO’s expansion reduces Russia’s ability to use its military as a tool of foreign policy, and Russian foreign policy has few other effective tools?

    I suppose during 1990s, when Russian military was in its state of post-Soviet mess and struggling to defeat Chechen separatists, one could see a “humanitarian intervention” by NATO as a realistic threat to Russia, but that’s simply not the case anymore.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  33. @Felix Keverich

    It will take years and hundreds of billions of dollars to alter the balance of power in Eastern Europe in a meaningful way.

    Well, it probably takes a few years, but unlikely to take more than, say, five years. Regarding the money, it’s just a question of political will. By implementing the policies you propose here, you will easily create that political will with very little or no effort on the part of the former Eastern Bloc peoples. I cannot speak for Western Europeans, but in the countries closer to Russia military spending will jump to 4-5% of GDP almost instantaneously. And money goes farther for us than for the US (though not as far as for Russia), so if we start spending like 50 billion extra on an annual basis, it will show up pretty well.

    But it’s unlikely that Western Europeans won’t feel threatened, too: they will also increase spending. Which will be higher in absolute numbers than the increase in the former Eastern Bloc. And of course the neocons will have an easy job convincing the American public of still higher military spending.

Comments are closed.

Subscribe to All Anatoly Karlin Comments via RSS