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Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Making sense of Russian activity in Syria

I am indebted to the truly excellent and regularly updated maps produced by IUC Analysts - rapidly available on the Pietervanostaeyen blog.

There are two gateways into Syria through Turkey; through the eastern one, ISIS receive arms, equipment, volunteers, supplies and goods, all with Turkish compliance. Through the Western, the US, French and Saudi supported rebels, including the al-quaeda murderers of Christians, al-Nusra, who hold a number of border towns including Harem, Salqin and Armanaz (clicky to see big - they're the dark grey) do the same. From the news reports, Russian air activity is aimed at a precursor to ground troops first closing the western of the border gateways.

We must then rely on Russia to close the ISIS access to Turkey with the help of the Kurds (yellow on the map); encouraging the Kurds to take and occupy an in-depth zone right alomg the Turkish border will halt the terrorist supplies from the US, France, KSA and do more to bring peace to Syria than anything the UK has done. 

Make no mistake; Turkey and the KSA are our real enemies, and the real threats to peace. We need to pour money and troops into Greece to secure Europe's Eastern flank against Turkey, and give full support to Russia, Syria and the Kurds in blocking Turkey from the South. Only then will peace start to return to Iraq and Syria, and the tsunami of migrants into Europe actively facilitated by Turkey start to stem. Oh yes. We need to kick Turkey out of NATO.

Meanwhile, Russian pilots flying straight line sorties from bases around Latakia to al-Nusra border strongholds are safe to do so until the US gets missile defences in place - when they'll have to start detouring southwards a smidgeon to avoid Turkish territory.


Gordon the Fence Post Tortoise said...

Excellent work there.

Our media - through lazy shallowness and twisted partisanship refuses to do reportage and analysis.


It is clear the Turks are playing more games in Syria than they are publicly credited with - ditto for the beardy goons of The Peninsula.

Gordon the Fence Post Tortoise said...

"We need a Syria free of Assad and of Isil. That's why I think Russia has made such a mistake" David Cameron R4 today

OK Dave - so move there with Sam and the kids and show them how it's done eh?

Raedwald said...

Fraser Nelson in the Speccie on this R4 interview is very scathing about Calamity Dave's understanding of such things; Nelson says his position on Syria is dominated by his need to atone for his political defeat in 2013 rather than by military or strategic reasons.

Anonymous said...

Its not as if the US wasn't warned about the consequences of their Arab spring, the policymakers including Obummer and Hitlery chose to ignore it.
Western Middle Eastern foreign policy has definitely been crafted by complete idiots, Dave included.


Anonymous said...

Gordon. Everyone is playing games.

The Russians want to regain the prestige they had previously.
The Turks fear and loath the Kurds.
The Saudis and the Gulfies fear and loath the Iranians but otherwise seem pretty ineffective.
The Iranians want regional hegemony.
And ISIS want ... well, we know what they want but they seem to be sitting in a sweet spot where all their enemies are constrained by other enemies and the Russian adventure could mean that Sunnis come to see them as their only protection in the region.

Me, I have no clue what the answer is. If I was King for a day/week/year I'd boost my forces to be able to act when necessary but otherwise keep my powder dry.

BlueRunner said...

Nothing is clear - Israel has been talking with Russia and cooperating with Arab states. Israel is close to Azerbaijan; Azerbaijan has held military exercises with Turkey.

What is the use of Azerbaijan to Israel? It has airbases and look who is on its southern border. The yanks couldn't stop Israel flying that way into Iran.

Not everyone thinks Turkey will be a winner -

Israel and Saudi Arabia are beginning to work together -

We could be entering a very unusual situation. Clearly Cameron hasn't a clue, but do any of us?

Gordon the Fence Post Tortoise said...

Clearly Cameron hasn't a clue, but do any of us?

With the dissemination of information (like this post) and assorted logical analysis the juxtapositions of interests can be laid out. It's a tangled web and I'd hazard a guess that it's a web that conceals a few surprises.

There's clues around. In the meantime - a pass-time of zapping the ghastly nutters of ISIS is not a bad thing.

Budgie said...

Do we know whether Cameron's anti-Assad rhetoric stems from him, or from the FCO? Because if it is from the FCO, Cameron is just the mouthpiece, and his successor will continue with the same line.

Assad is the keystone in a very wobbly edifice. If he is removed Syria and the contiguous lands will dissolve into a dreadful civil war/general bloodbath far worse than the current war.

A very good post, Raedwald. Let us hope that with Cameron and Obama both on the way out, and Corbyn not in until 2020, that Russia will continue to help us out over the next 4 years.

Anonymous said...

Good evaluation Raedwald, concur with Gordon and Budgie on your post. You certainly have a handle on the facilitators of this mayhem:

'Oh yes. We need to kick Turkey out of NATO.'


Lilith said...

Excellent post. I want to ask David Cameron what happens to the 9 million Syrians in Government controlled areas if you get rid of Assad? Do you think they will hang around to be s!aughtered by Isis/Jabat al Nusra for not being the right sort of Muslim?

lilith said...

God it's heartbreaking. Syria was a bloody fantastic country. Beautiful, historic, family centred, young, educated, economically expanding, safe and above all, welcoming.

Cuffleyburgers said...

Radders - agree about Ksa not Turkey. N my experience Turkey is a fantastic country and I cannot think of turks as an enemy sure they have regional interests, and they hate the kurds(entirely irrationally in my view) but they are a country we should be looking to deepen our diplomatic relations with even while we reject the loathsome pedophile bastards of the gulf.

Cascadian said...

The muddle-headed response by UK and USA is probably best defined by their absolute belief that climate change is a prime threat to security. Both the camoron and Obama believe this kind of nonsense, is it therefore surprising that their efforts are dismal? Both have overseen a drawdown of forces, the UK to a more drastic level than the USA.

Now the solution in Syria has been ungratefully conceded to Russia, they know how to deal with muslim nutters from their experience in Chechnya, I for am glad that an adult is in charge. The petulant children need to be schooled.

Visceral said...

BlueRunner - the Saudi Israeli connection is not new.

Reading the Washington Institute link provided it is pushing for action against Assad / proxy Iran war .. with the line:

"[Russian bombing in support of Assad] threaten to debilitate the moderate rebels and boost the extremists in Syria's civil war"

I would ask which moderate rebels are these ? The weak / near fictitious ones marginalised by ISIL, perhaps more accuraltely described as the cover by which US/UK/NATO arms ISIL, as the moderate rebel arms "disappear" and end up in ISIL hands.