Thursday, August 18, 2016

For Syria, The Alliance Made In Hell

"It means that keeping Assad in power is very important for Iran, and for Iranian hardliners too, since they are allowing an infidel military on their sacred territory."
"The Iranian and Russian strategic intent in Syria seems much closer than the Russian and American strategic intent in Syria. I was a bit surprised that the Russian defense ministry so promptly [acknowledged] that we are in Iran…. The Russian military tends to be secretive, so that was a political decision to demonstrate to the world that Russia and Iran are militarily together."
"That is of course significant, because since they are carpet bombing Syria, the more bombs you take, the more land you cover. Right now at this pivotal point in the battle for Aleppo, it is very important that Russia has drastically increased bomb-carrying capability, to bring the bombs to the Syrian opposition."
Pavel Felgenhauer, defense columnist, Novaya Gazeta, Moscow

"[It is] true that taking the lead in battling and destroying Daesh [IS] in Syria and Iraq will have broader geopolitical consequences for rival states, but Moscow and Tehran have never wanted to exclude other actors from the Syrian scene."
"Their military cooperation is only aimed at accelerating the political solution and not winning the war in a zero sum manner. Therefore, Washington and its allies, if determined to defeat IS, should not feel concerned [about] possible long-term strategic consequences."
Kayhan Barzegar, director of the Institute for Middle East Strategic Studies in Tehran

"[The Iran-Russia bond is a result of] the crisis of terrorism that has been created by some destructive countries in the region and America, therefore we think that Russia has found the right treatment for the region."
"[It is] forbidden [by the Constitution to create a foreign military base in the Republic of Iran. Iran had not] given the base over to Russia in military terms."
Ali Larijani, Iran’s speaker of parliament
Photo published for RT International
RT International
Iran has made an enormous investment in attempting to ensure that Bashar al Assad's regime remains firmly in place. Without the Alawite Shiite government of Assad, Iran's greater plan for the influence and power of a Shiite crescent which would include Iraq and Yemen and Lebanon would go astray. And that investment must take note of the sacrifice of 400 Iranian soldiers of the Al Quds Revolutionary Guard and a number of generals who have died in the Syrian conflict. Let alone the number of Hezbollah militia members also martyred, as Iranian proxies.

The two countries have enjoyed a long and intimate working relationship. It was Russian expertise after all that built the Bushehr nuclear plant in Iran, and it is to Russia that Iran looks to support its case as an emerging nuclear Middle East power, and it is Moscow that has agreed to supply Iran with nuclear material, while storing its enriched uranium until such time as it can be released back to the nuclear-aspiring Iran, equating power and meaningful threats with nuclear-tipped missiles.

Russia has been a benefactor in other more conventional ways, as well, more than happy to sell advanced state-of-the-art weaponry to the Republic, like the S-300 anti-missile system, along with other conventional and advanced arms products Russia is pleased to share at a price to a value client. Russia has developed a somewhat supporting role with Israel in the face of the U.S. retreat from the Middle East and despite Israel's protests has already delivered "substantial" parts of the S-300, meant to defend Iran’s nuclear sites.

And, as Iran's National Security Council chief, Ali Shamkhani was pleased to point out the two countries already "enjoy strategic cooperation in the fight against terrorism in Syria, and share their facilities and capacities to this end." Needless to say, the "terrorists" of whom he speaks are the very rebel groups that the United States, NATO and Turkey have been supporting in their conflict against the murdering tyrant Bashar al-Assad. Under the transparent pretense of targeting Islamic State.

Islamic State gets a free pass, for reasons not entirely comprehended, while Syrian hospitals, schools, homes and medical centres do not. It's difficult to establish whether it is Syrian warplanes alone that drop barrel bombs, some laced with chlorine gas or whether Russian planes also exercise their franchise to do likewise. But since carpet bombing is more plentiful on the Russian menu of deliverables the destruction and death that has hollowed out the Sunni Syrian population is guaranteed to accelerate.

Residents inspect their damaged homes after an airstrike on the rebel-held Old Aleppo, Syria Aug. 15.

Abdalrhman Ismail/Reuters

Iran is trading its long-held proscription against foreign troops and planes on its sacred soil on a temporary trade to salvage Tehran's plans in support of the Shiite triangle of domination in a largely Sunni-majority Middle East. Russia's longe-range giant bombers needing longer airstrips than those available in their Syrian airbase in Latakia, now have a solution to the dilemma that required take off from Russian territory and a time-lag.

Traumatized, shell-shocked Syrian civilians will now be treated to increasing attacks with greater precision and foreign humanitarian workers can anticipate ongoing assaults against their operating infrastructure, while Syria's neighbours can continue to brace themselves for additional waves of Sunni Syrians desperate to escape the terrorizing bombs and their direct death threats targeting Islamic State, but somehow going astray.

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