Flashpoint: White House Confirms Russian Presence In Syria, Warns It Is "Destabilizing" | Zero Hedge
Two days ago we reported something which we had anticipated for a long time but nonetheless did not expect to take shape so swiftly: namely, that with Assad's regime close to collapse and fighting a war on three different fronts (one of which is directly supported by US air and "advisor" forces), Putin would have no choice but to finally intervene in the most anticipated showdown in recent history as "Russian fighter pilots are expected to begin arriving in Syria in the coming days, and will fly their Russian air force fighter jets and attack helicopters against ISIS and rebel-aligned targets within the failing state."
This was indirectly confirmed the very next day when an al-Nusra linked Twitter account posted pictures of a Russian drone and a Su-34 fighter jet - the kind which is not flown by the Syrian air force - flying over the Nusra-controlled western idlib province. .......................
...............Then earlier today we got the closest thing to a confirmation from the White House itself which confirmed that "it was closely monitoring reports that Russia is carrying out military operations in Syria, warning such actions, if confirmed, would be "destabilising and counter-productive."
Obama spokesman Joshn Earnest essentially confirmed Russia was already operating in Syria when he said that "we are aware of reports that Russia may have deployed military personnel and aircraft to Syria, and we are monitoring those reports quite closely."
"Any military support to the Assad regime for any purpose, whether it's in the form of military personnel, aircraft supplies, weapons, or funding, is both destabilising and counterproductive."
And another confirmation: "a US official confirmed that "Russia has asked for clearances for military flight to Syria," but added "we don't know what their goals are."
"Evidence has been inconclusive so far as to what this activity is."
Other reports have suggested Russia has targeted Islamic State group militants, who have attacked forces loyal to Russian-backed Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad.
Both the White House and the Pentagon refused to say whether they had intelligence suggesting the reports were accurate.
Of course, what is left unsaid is that since Russia is there under the humanitarian pretext of fighting the evil ISIS, the same pretext that the US, Turkey, and the Saudis are all also there for, when in reality everyone is fighting for land rights to the most important gas pipeline in decades, the US is limited in its diplomatic recoil.
Indeed as we sarcastically said last week: "See: the red herring that is ISIS can be used just as effectively for defensive purposes as for offensive ones. And since the US can't possibly admit the whole situation is one made up farce, it is quite possible that the world will witness its first regional war when everyone is fighting a dummy, proxy enemy which doesn't really exist, when in reality everyone is fighting everyone else!"
Which now effectively ends the second "foreplay" phase of the Syrian proxy war (the first one took place in the summer of 2013 when in a repeat situation, Russia was supporting Assad only the escalations took place in the naval theater with both Russian and US cruisers within kilometers of each other off the Syrian coast), which means the violent escalation phase is next. It also means that Assad was within days of losing control fighting a multi-front war with enemies supported by the US, Turkey and Saudi Arabia, and Putin had no choice but to intervene or else risk losing Gazprom's influence over Europe to the infamous Qatari gas pipeline which is what this whole 3 years war is all about.
Finally, it means that the European refugee crisis, which is a direct consequence of the ISIS-facilitated destabilization of the Syrian state (as a reminder, ISIS is a US creation meant to depose of the Syrian president as leaked Pentagon documents have definitively revealed) is about to get much worse as 2013's fabricated "chemical gas" YouTube clip will be this years "Refugee crisis." It will be, and already has been, blamed on Syria's president Assad in order to drum up media support for what is now an inevitable western intervention in Syria.
The problem, however, has emerged: Russia is already on the ground, and will hardly bend over to any invading force. ..............
So called "USA Interest Targets in Syria" that Russia may or may not Target in the Near Future is code for the Terrorist and Mercenary Proxy Forces, ISIS and others Waging War on Assad's Legitimate Military Forces at Washington’s Command;
Russia is being forced into War by Obama's Lunatic Administration of Warmongering Fascists; Moscow needs Syrian Air Space and Naval Facilities to Maintain the Balance of Mutually Assured Destruction in the Event of a Long Anticipated Nuclear First Strike from NATO Powers;
Russian Brass Have made Numerous Public Warnings that The Course We are Taking in Syria leads only to a World War Scenario;
DC Admin/CIA/JSOC/Centcom/NATO Command/NATO Member States/Major Non NATO Allies Ushering in Hellish March to Nuclear Annihilation;
War Planners Facing Escalating Threats of Their Own Conjuring Whether Awake to the Exterminist Agenda or Not Must Take a Step Back and Examine Their Own Humanity;
Reverse Course Now or Face Near Extinction Level Destruction of our Beloved Earth and her Billions of Sentient Inhabitants
|Syria in ruins under years of terrorist proxy forces waging a war on civilization under CIA/Israeli and DC Command|
|Israel dropped several enormous Bombs on Syria in recent Years|
|The Israeli bomb pictured above as the fireball turns into a giant horrifying mushroom cloud|
The most anticipated showdown in recent history or a load of bullcrap? (Saker rant)
So now we have the ‘evidence’.
First, we have 4 grainy photos from an al-Nusra linked Twitter account:
Second, we have this confirmation from the White House via Zero Hedge:
Then earlier today we got the closest thing to a confirmation from the White House itself which confirmed that “it was closely monitoring reports that Russia is carrying out military operations in Syria, warning such actions, if confirmed, would be “destabilising and counter-productive.” Obama spokesman Joshn Earnest essentially confirmed Russia was already operating in Syria when he said that “we are aware of reports that Russia may have deployed military personnel and aircraft to Syria, and we are monitoring those reports quite closely.”
I have a few questions about this “evidence”:
Since when are ‘tweets’ from an al-Nusra linked account a credible source of information?
Since when is the White House a credible source of information?
How can you tell when/where the photos above were taken?
What do you see on these photos – MiG-29, SU-27, SU-34s or MiG-31s?
As for the articles, they quote all these aircraft, but also Russian helicopters, Russian ships in Tartus, while the White House speaks of “military flights”. And on the basis of all that, Zero Hedge speaks of the “most anticipated showdown in recent history“.
Now I want to make something unambiguously clear: I am NOT, repeat, NOT affirming that there is no Russian military operation going on. It is *possible* that there is some kind of Russian military operation going on. But what I am saying is that there is a huge conceptual distance between “possible” and “likely” and that, at this point in time, there is exactly zero evidence for such an operation.
There is also the problem of Occam’s razor here. While the pseudo-evidence presented here could be interpreted as the sign of a Russian military operation, there is a much simpler explanation: Daesh is in trouble, the US and Israel are trying to muddy the waters and blame it all on Putin (what else is new?), these photos were taken somewhere in the Ukraine and as for the Russian military flights to Damascus, they are just the now routine military assistance which Russia has been providing for years. End of story.
Again, maybe tomorrow or in a week we will be shown some halfway credible proof of a Russian military operation and there will be some who will say that “haha, the Saker was wrong and we were right”. Okay, but I much rather be “wrong” because I refuse to accept pseudo-evidence from thoroughly discredited sources than to be “right” because I accepted such evidence. My “job” is to deal with the “right here, right now” – not make wild guesses and bask in self-congratulatory delight when once every now and then my wild guesses happen to be correct. I rather be wrong for the right reasons then be right for the wrong ones.
One more thing: on these photos I personally see what might be a MiG-29 and a SU-27 (both are almost useless for CAS, but nevermind that). I most definitely see no SU-34 or MiG-31. Not only that, but not a single article or photo ever mentions SU-24s and SU-25 which, in my humble opinions, would be much more logical choices.
At this point in time I am calling “the most anticipated showndown in history” a total load of bullcrap. And if tomorrow proves me wrong, at least it will be for the right reasons :-P
PS: I just checked the Russian media and they say that 2 things might explain these rumors:
1) There is Russian military personnel currently in Tartus unloading military equipment for delivery to the Syrian Army. Some Syrians might have mistaken this military personnel for a expeditionary force.
2) The Israelis are angry at Russia over Iran and they are retaliating by spreading these rumors.
Makes sense to me.