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21 January 2016

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Luis

Here are some Tweets made by ‏@KhaledgAlkhateb, he is in Damascus.

i) "#Syria #Aleppo #EasternAleppo #SAA #SyrianArmy Soldier messaged me 2 hours ago #Russian #Russia S-300 Arrived @Kuweires Military Airbase"

ii) "#Syria #Aleppo Just got confirmed news by someone in Syria that #NDF Groups outside of #Aleppo Region are preparing for a Huge Aleppo Battle"


i. https://twitter.com/KhaledgAlkhateb/status/690311105063829505
ii. https://twitter.com/KhaledgAlkhateb/status/690310727509372928

Is this related with the Russian base at Qamishli?
Thanks, L.

The Twisted Genius

Luis,

No. Qamishli is far to the east of Aleppo, closer to Iraq.

The Twisted Genius

The US has been upgrading a former agricultural airfield at Rmeilan for months for their own use. This airfield is 30 to 40 miles east of the airfield at Qamishli. I wonder if this is a case of the Bear tweaking the Eagle or the two working together at a level we just cannot see.

kao_hsien_chih

While I have very little sense of geography, it almost sounds like Russians, if they go this route, are practically daring the Turks to do something!

The Twisted Genius

Qamishli International Airport was active for civilian flights at least through last October. SAA also used it as a military airfield for supply missions. The field can handle 747s. I would think the Russians could occupy the airport fairly quickly by air with enough ground/air defense to make it secure fairly quickly. It could quickly be used for Russian or Syrian attack aircraft or helicopters. It could also bring in one or two VDV divisions for a lighting strike to Raqqa, but that's just crazy talk from an old man.

Chris Chuba

I am so sick of U.S. public officials. Everything the Russians do always 'further complicates the situation' in Syria. Yeah, like we had it under control before then and the Turks, Saudis, Al Nusra, and ISIS weren't 'complicating the situation' before. Arrogance seems to breed stupidity.

Fred

The R+6 have been pretty audacious so far why stop now? Of course they've been rather methodical about it too. You would think their strategic plan is to crush ISIS. Perhaps we should join the winning side in this conflict for once.

Brunswick

As far as I can tell, so far, the reports on Rmeilan Base are all based on a single, unconfirmed SOHR report.

bell

thanks for the post.. this topic was mentioned in b's article from yesterday in a couple of links he provided here - https://now.mmedia.me/lb/en/NewsReports/566513-russia-considering-airbase-in-syrias-qamishli-monitor and one on a usa airport here - http://syrianobserver.com/EN/News/30420/Hassakeh_American_Forces_Operate_of_Remelan_Airport

i suppose if the usa is going to explore the idea of an airbase in north east syria, russia can too... i refer the readers to b's post from yesterday for more talking points around this, an important one of them being israel calling for an independent kurdish state..

turcopolier

bell
I reserve the right to myself to make any comment the subject of a front page article. if you want to be snotty about this I can ban you again. pl

bell

geez.. ban me then... i wasn't being snotty... you have a good imagination though and it always works against me too!

The Twisted Genius

Brunswick,

The first reports of US activity at Rmeilan were on 4 December 2015 from the Lebanese daily "Al-Akhbar and a local Kurdish outlet "Kurd Street News." Al Jazeera has also reported this.

https://now.mmedia.me/lb/en/NewsReports/566329-us-preparing-airbase-in-northeast-syria-reports

turcopolier

bell

So what was the point of you pointing out that b had linked these articles if you were not being snotty? pl

bell

pat - why not think a positive thought for a change? does everything have to come down to some sort of threat to your ego? looks like it.. i posted it for you and others to know about - for anyone that wasn't already aware of it...

turcopolier

bell

I run this place by my rules and my ego judges you to be rude. You are gone. pl

Jack

All

Looks like the Russians are learning from Latakia and now reportedly have many marines who have arrived at Kuweires airforce base with heavy weapons.

http://www.almasdarnews.com/article/russian-marines-expand-into-east-aleppo/

Will be interesting to see where all this leads in the next few weeks.

different clue

bell,

Where? In Syria? That would be to split up and divide the counter-rebel coalition just now ( not likely to happen), and if actually implemented for Syrian Kurdistan, would simply keep a post-rebellion Syria weak enough to delay its efforts to recover Golan Heights. The concept of an Independent Syrian Kurdistan goes against the restoration of good order throughout a single-country Syria and one hopes it is not considered by anybody and not seized on as some kind of "promise" by the Syrian Kurds themselves.

William R. Cumming

A brilliant Russian move IMO since book-ending Turkey as it radicalizes this century has to be a Russian need as it continues to have fears for its near abroad.

Reading an interesting book entitled THE BLACK DRAGON River [the tributaries and main stream AMUR which is a principal border between China and Russia in the far east. The river flows east to the Pacific not north to the Arctic Ocean. This book makes clear that before 1650 Russia as a nation-state barely extended to west of the Ural Mountains.

Chris Chuba

The SAA is making a drive to Al Bab and then after that will probably most likely to Manbij to link with the Kurds.
Russian marines, in keeping with how they have been doing things, would defend Kuweires allowing the SAA more freedom to pursue advances as well as potentially more Russian air assets local to the area.
1. To support a Syrian controlled corridor between the Turks and ISIS.
2. To prevent the Turks from intruding further into Syria just in case the reports of the Turkish crossing into Jarablus are true.

I don't think that these things will necessarily develop quickly. Everything that the Russians have done look to be the result of a careful, long term, methodically well planned operation; unlike the plan Du Jour that we have had.

jld

Meanwhile the relentless "Assad must go" propaganda keeps going:
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/735b4746-c01f-11e5-9fdb-87b8d15baec2.html#axzz3xydoJxKd

Barish

Meanwhile, it's important to note which government heads continue to explicitly sing that song and which don't:

http://www.focus.de/politik/ausland/pressekonferenz-im-live-ticker-jetzt-verkuenden-merkel-und-davutoglu-wie-es-in-der-fluechtlingskrise-weitergeht_id_5231126.html

At 16:29, summary says:

"As long as Assad is staying and living in Damascus, no Syrian will want to return", says Davutoğlu. Other than that he blames Putin for not just killing Pupils with his bombardments, but for creating instability in the region. Merkel adds that there have been activities to again enter into talks with Russia."

These statements were made during the Q&A-session. General gist of the press conference was that both governments would get to work as regards influx of migrants in the context of the "refugee crisis", combating people smugglers, etc.

Davutoğlu Paşa and Erdoğan Padişah probably can kiss their NATO-ace as part of their regime change plans goodbye. Her Highness Merkel is primarily concerned about damage control of her self-inflicted, thoughtless refugee-policy.

bth

Is there a practical radius of operation for these craft from that base? If so can we project intent? For example in WWII, potential allied invasion locations could be narrowed down by the Germans based on allied aircraft coverage.

robt willmann

Today, 22 January, Secretary of Defense Ash Carter has an article on the Politico Internet website in which he says, "Soldiers in the storied 101st Airborne Division will soon deploy to Iraq to join the fight against ISIL. They will head there with the support of the American people and armed with a clear campaign plan to deliver the barbaric organization a lasting defeat...."

http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2016/01/ash-carter-isil-fight-213554

"Deploy" to Iraq? "With the support of the American people"? I do not recall that the "representatives" of the American people in Congress authorized any such deployment.

Back on 10 September 2014, 16 months ago, president Obama said the U.S. had a 4-part strategery to degrade and ultimately destroy ISIL--

https://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2014/09/10/president-obama-we-will-degrade-and-ultimately-destroy-isil

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KvRd17vXaXM

Now Ash Carter says that there is a "coalition military campaign" that the U.S. has developed that has the objective: "to destroy the ISIL parent tumor in Iraq and Syria by collapsing its two power centers in Mosul, Iraq and Raqqah, Syria". Raqqah is well inside Syria, away from Iraq. If the 101st Airborne is not going to deploy to Syria, who is going to "collapse" Raqqah? The R+6? This is quite unclear, because Carter does not even mention Russia, the Syrian government, Iran, or Assad.

Thirdeye

I think installing a Russian airbase in eastern Kurdish territory 40 miles from an illegal US airbase is a pretty strong statement that the US is not going to be the sole arbiter for the Kurds in Syria.

alba etie

TTG
"It could also bring in one or two divisions for a lightning strike to Raqqa, but thats just crazy talk from an old man " ... from your lips to God's Ear . And slightly off topic - do you have an opinion about the end state for the Kurds once the Liver Eaters are exterminated ? Erdogan is saying that the Kurds cannot come to the Peace Talks .

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