Friday, August 31, 2007

It sure looks like the Empire is getting ready to strike

I have said it many times since I started this blog but the Russians have chosen sides and it is not ours. The Jerusalem Post reports in more detail on what I blogged about little over a year:
Russia is expanding its military presence in Syria, developing an advanced naval port at Tartus and providing Syria with sophisticated missile technology. The story of Russia's return to Tartus, Syria's second most important port after Latakia, broke a year ago. It is Moscow's only foreign naval outpost situated outside the former Soviet Union.

In June 2006 Russian media reported that Moscow had begun dredging at Tartus with a possible eye to turning what was largely a logistical base into a full-fledged station for its Black Sea Fleet, soon to be redeployed from the Ukrainian port of Sevastopol. But Tartus is much more than just a new home for the fleet; it allows projection of Russian power into the entire eastern Mediterranean, and, by extension, a flexing of military might before Israel and the West.

Russian sources said the country's military planned to form a squadron to operate in the Mediterranean within three years, built around the Moskva missile cruiser. In addition, several respected Russian newspapers have reported that Moscow planned to deploy an S-300PMU-2 Favorit air-defense system to protect the base, with the system being operated by Russian servicemen rather than by Syrian forces.

According to these reports, the system would provide air defense protection for a large part of Syria. Moscow and Damascus have also reached an agreement to modernize Syria's anti-aircraft network by upgrading medium-range S-125 missile complexes that were sold to Syria in the 1980s.

Another instance of secret activity at the port came on March 9, 2005, when yet another Russian Black Sea Fleet vessel, the Azov, supposedly carrying machinery for rebuilding the moorage at the Tartus technical base and replacements for obsolete items in the base's storage, left for Syria. When it arrived at the port, several suspicious meetings between local authorities and Russian Navy officers took place, Russian media reported.

Less than two months later, Syria test fired new Scud missiles. The Syrians launched one Scud B missile with a range of 300 kilometers, and two Scud D missiles with a range of 700 kilometers. It is tempting to suggest that technologies for these projectiles were among the "equipment" brought on board the Azov. The Russians have not stopped at moving missiles in their attempt to make an impression in the region. On one occasion they sent fighter planes into Israeli airspace.


Neo Conservative said...

Things are heating up all over...

"Alexis Debat, director of terrorism and national security at the Nixon Center, said last week that US military planners were not preparing for “pinprick strikes” against Iran’s nuclear facilities. “They’re about taking out the entire Iranian military,” he said."

Just in case you were wondering... yes, there is a "Plan B."

"Israel, which has warned it will not allow Iran to acquire nuclear weapons, has made its own preparations for airstrikes and is said to be ready to attack if the Americans back down."


Kateland, aka TZH said...

Sorry, I just don't see a US offensive launched against Iran under the waning days of the Bush Admin. I see a great deal of high handed rhetoric, I see posturing but ultimately is all comes to naught with the Bush Admin.

If the Bush Administration was serious about fighting global terrorism it would have sent the marines into Syria in the spring of 2005 and by late spring (2005) the Marines would have been mobilzed on the Iranian borders from all sides, poised to roll but did that happen? No, instead the Bush Admin has decided to concentrate and lose Iraq to barbarians.

And the Israelis, well, contrary to the myth, they have their own issues. Currently, Olmert is busy begging Fatah to take over Israeli security and outsourcing Israeli foreign policy to foggy bottom. He is absolutely incapable of issuing the order for the IDF to take out the Iranian nuclear program - especially, in light of last summers misadventures in Lebanon. Besides, Olmert only issues orders to beat up on Jews.

Ehud Barak, of Labour - the man who was responsible for the notorious IDF retreat from Lebanon? No. He's not going to send anyone into harm's way unless Iran came knocking and Iran won't come directly. And why should Iran put itself out to take out Israel when it has Hezbollah acting as the Iranian Foreign Service?

Bibi "Wye River" Netanyahu, the man without a G-d, and who insisted on giving control of the second most holy city in all of Israel to the Palestinians without getting at least Medina in return? Bibi talks the talk but after all these years he's a little low on the street cred's. Then there is the technicality that Bibi isn't PM and Olmert's reign looks pretty secure.

nger the country of giants but a country governed by putzs.

Michael said...

And of course, there is Russia's history of arming Syria, and then egging them on to spark a war with Israel. They did in 67 and 73.