Russian Forces Deploy near Syria’s Border with Jordan

FARS file photo

… from FARS,  Teheran

The SE Al-Tanf border crossing is key to Damascus having a land bridge from Iran and Iraq for critical economic and military support

[ Editor’s Note: We have no confirmation from Syria on this, but that is not unusual. Deployments like this are usually leaked and not made official until some combat makes it obvious. It takes some time for them to get into position, and their size and make up would be an indication of what their mission would be, which they don’t want out too early.

For example, there have been previous reports that Russian Special Forces would be deployed to assist the Syrian forces clearing the SE Syria area of ISIS. The justification was that if US and British Special Ops could be operating there doing that, then how could the US Coalition object to the Russians helping Syria do it. So far the US has been quiet.

But today we hear not only that Russian Special Ops are being deployed, but an armored unit and a mountain brigade. If this is true we have crossed the line from Russian “advisors” to having regular Russian military formations now on combat. I don’t think the Russians would be doing this unless the US coalition also has such units already inside Syria and engaged, but not admitting it.

The Russians have played a conservative hand in Syria to protect themselves from being tagged as an aggressor. They wait for the US coalition to escalate, and then respond to the escalation. Moscow would have a strong hand in that case if the US wanted to bring up a “Russian aggression” claim before the US Security Council.

The Al-Bukamal crossing is more critical due to its access to water, infrastructure, agricultural and oil resources

VT is watching this potential escalation very closely, including the looming battle for control of the Syria/Iraq border which will play a critical role during the anticipated political negotiations. We see the opposition groups dragging out the peace talks to give the US coalition time to improve their negotiating hand.

If the Syria-Iraq anti-terrorism coalition has freedom of maneuver along interior lines, especially to be able to shift heavy equipment and combat forces back and forth across the border as needed, then the Balkanization of Syrian will have been checkmated other than what has already taken place with the Turkish terror proxies in Idlib and northern Syria, and the American-Kurds in the NE.

The Syrian coalition is showing with this move that it is not going to let the US coalition and proxy forces control the Syrian eastern border.  The Popular Militia Forces in Iraq are well armed and highly trained now in fighting militant forces.

Everybody understands the need to not let the foreign backed terrorists get safe haven bases or secure logistics lines established that will allow them to repeat the tremendous damage they have done. The lesson learned is that it is better to just have a war if need be on the front end as that incurs less losses than the devastation Syria and Iraq have suffered.

That is the long term danger that the terror war has left us. We have more of a hair trigger situation now in nipping a threat in the bud early, and accepting the risk of a major escalation as the lesser of two evils Jim W. Dean ]

Jim’s Editor’s Notes are solely crowdfunded via PayPal[email protected]

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Election day in Syria, June 4, 2014 seems much longer ago. I ducked out of the last polling station stop with an interpreter to visit with these checkpoint guys, and got the best interview of the day

–  First published  …  May 24, 2017  –

Russian armored units have entered regions along the Syria-Jordan border to fortify the Syrian Army’s border posts and positions and seal the borderline, Arab media outlets said. The sources said that a Russian Mountain Operation Brigade battalion has arrived in the Southern provinces of Dara’a and Sweida.

The sources further added that the Russian battalion is duty bound to fortify the Syrian Army positons in the region and seal the country’s border overlooking Jordan where the Syrian forces have recently gained the upper hand.

A military source confirmed on Sunday that a group of Russian paratroopers and special forces arrived in the Southern province of Sweida, after the US-led coalition fighter jets targeted heavily a military convoy of the Syrian pro-government forces near the town of al-Tanf at the border with Iraq.

The source told AMN that the Russian military personnel arrived in the region to advise the Syrian government troops in Southern Syria, while also helping to deter any potential response from the US and Jordanian forces that carved a niche in Sweida and Homs provinces.

According to some media activists, the Russian forces were planning to build a base along the Sweida province’s border with Jordan. Other media reports suggested that they were allegedly meant to engage the enemy forces and help the government troops capture the Iraqi border-crossing.

Lebanese Army General Charles Abi Nader, an expert in military strategy in the Middle East, told TASS on Saturday that the United States carried out a direct military intervention in Syria to prevent the establishment of the Syrian army’s control over the border with Iraq.

“There is no other explanation of the strike delivered by the US Air Force on the Syrian forces and units supporting them,” the general said, TASS reported.

He added that the border area in Eastern Syria, where the army units are carrying out offensive now, has major strategic importance.

“There is the only border crossing there, through which one can get to Baghdad now, taking into consideration that the Rutbah-Ramadi road has been cleared of terrorists of the ISIL,” the expert said.

“The goal of the US is evident – to prevent the restoration of transport links between Syria and Iraq and also Iran, which is the ally of Damascus,” he stressed.

The expert noted that a similar intervention of the US Air Force occurred in September 2016 in the outskirts of Deir Ezzur. Then, the ISIL militants used the airstrike of the US aviation to seize a defensive position on the Jebel-Sarda mountain near a military airfield, which serves as a major basis of the government forces.

As the US-led coalition headquarters reported, on May 18 the aircraft struck pro-Syrian government forces operating within the established de-confliction zone with Russia Northwest of al-Tanf. The statement claimed that these units posed a threat to the United States and its partners. Several servicemen were killed in the strike.

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8 Responses to "Russian Forces Deploy near Syria’s Border with Jordan"

  1. kaho  May 24, 2017 at 9:22 pm

    Al TANF is situated near the point where three borders meet. Such points are variously called Drielandenpunt / Dreiländerpunkt / =the point where three countries meet. Such points often have an important strategic significance. There is a well known one where Belgium, Germany and Netherlands meet near Vaals, where they have a labyrinth :

    « Already during the Roman period the area around Vaals was an important strategic, political and economic centre for the people who inhabited the region. »

    In today’s Syria the situation seems no different from what it was in Roman times. And for the present time I hope the local populations manage to prevail against the invaders. Which might be achievable if every one agrees to stick with international law.

    • Jim W. Dean, Managing Editor  May 25, 2017 at 4:56 am

      local populations are out of luck without good friends who hopefully are not stringing them along as cannon fodder. In Iran’s case, and Russia’s, they have openly stated that they know they are major targets for proxy terrorism destabilization, and borrowing a phrase from WWI, “it’s cheaper to fight them over there, than here”. Russia also knew it did not want highly experienced jihad fighters returning home to be able to set up cells. The last time I remember, as they have been keeping track, they have killed about 5000 from the Russian Federation.

  2. roger  May 24, 2017 at 7:08 pm

    As long as Turkey doesn’t exit NATO, moves have to be cagey, Turks are not people to be trusted upon. Any US promise to cancel debts, free aid or soft credits could switch Erdogan’s mind. Perhaps Moscow has already counted on that possibility and has operation plans encompassing the contigency.

  3. reinhart  May 24, 2017 at 11:47 am

    Let’s see if Lavrov suddenly doesn’t sprout another non-workable proposal for the US. and RF
    “mutual cooperation agreement” to “prevent” ISIS from the control of Syrian / Iraqi Jordan border
    area. US. could even agree to that, since their horse right now is so called “Democratic opposition”.
    However, if the RF army units are mostly composed of Chechen fighters (like in Aleppo), or and
    with the Chechen field officers, who seem to be responsible to Kadyrov, who doesn’t mince the words,
    we may see some tough and dangerous, no compromise actions in that area.

  4. Cold Wind  May 24, 2017 at 9:31 am

    Oh, the Russian deployment is such good news! But there is little illusion as to what would follow in the absence of these troops. The Russians are doing the right thing. Once again, they have seized the moral high ground, while the US (alas) slithers in the shadows. Better to risk the confrontation now than to face the same outcome later only over a ruined Damascus, demoralized Syrian troops and a martyred leader. Let’s not forget the US (regretfully) is playing its assigned role in a war architected by globalist/tyrants and Israel. Here’s to their defeat!

  5. joetv  May 24, 2017 at 9:11 am

    “It’s getting hot in here”. What excuse can the US military dream up now? Any coalition attacks on Russian troops will be labeled as a terrible accident followed by the worn out “sorry, and the thread bare; ” promise not to do it again” line.

  6. paul becke  May 24, 2017 at 8:46 am

    ‘Everybody understands the need to not let the foreign backed terrorists get safe haven bases or secure logistics lines established that will allow them to repeat the tremendous damage they have done. The lesson learned is that it is better to just have a war if need be on the front end as that incurs less losses than the devastation Syria and Iraq have suffered.’

    ‘That is the long term danger that the terror war has left us. We have more of a hair trigger situation now in nipping a threat in the bud early, and accepting the risk of a major escalation as the lesser of two evils …’
    ——————
    Interesting calculation in your conclusion, Jim, in addition to the need for Russia to finally put its foot down, anyway. The US and the UK’s finest have really been trying it on… push…push…push. Oh, I AM sorry Another little faux pas. Meanwhile, widespread destruction and desolation of a soveriegn state, minding its own business.

  7. US-First  May 24, 2017 at 8:16 am

    Latest FARS news indicates the US and acolytes have move in reinforcements to the same Al Tanf border area ostensibly to prepare attacks against Deir Ezzor and Albu Kamal. A strong Russian presence is a statement of intent and how the US finagles any advantage remains to be seen.

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