… from Press TV, Tehran
Putin repeated many times that the Russia air defense power was brought into Syria to protect the Russian bases and personnel, a hint to the US coalition that their planes could become targets if they attacked Russian troops.
That is a hazy red line as Russia, taking after others, has used private military contractors (PMCs) to add backbone to some of the Syrian militia units like the one bombed last week in Deir Ezzor province. Moscow’s attacking Russian “troops” was not crossed, but the US showed it would kill these PMCs now.
So why did the US pull this escalation? The most obvious reason is it wants Russia to respond militarily, like taking down a US coalition plane or bombing SDF positions with US advisers embedded with them.
The NeoCons would then have their Russian Red Herring on the hook, and the US could then pour more military resources into Syria to defend against Russian attacks. And yes, the NeoCons do think the public is dumbed down enough to buy this, and that those who don’t would lose the vote.
Any “payback” would have to be done indirectly so as to not serve your own head on a platter to your adversary. We were suspicious of this yesterday when the Russian airliner came down a day after the Israelis lost their F-16 and had their second attack broken up due to Russian electronic warfare measures.
I would suspect that that capacity was deployed in response to its SU-25 being shot down, and the Deir Ezzor attack, which by the way is still a hazy issue as the US claims the Russians were informed of the attack before and after. And Russia’s first response used the term “regretful”,…a weak one indeed if Russian PMCs were killed.
It could also have been muted so as to not hint of anything they might due, like the Russian comman finally using its electronic warfare against the Israelis. This could get worse before it gets better, and the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister is saying so below, in plain English … Jim W. Dean ]
– First published … February 12, 2018 –
A senior Russian official has warned against further escalation in the Middle East after Israel carried out an airstrike in Syria, only to have one of its F-16s shot down for the first time.
Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov also said Monday Russia, Turkey and Iran have discussed a possible meeting of their foreign ministers on Syria, which could be held in Kazakhstan’s Astana in March.
“We call on everyone to be calm, to prevent a very dangerous escalation in countries of the region,” RIA Novosti quoted Bogdanov as saying.
Following the Israeli airstrike, President Vladimir Putin on Saturday asked Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during phone talks to avoid moves that could lead to “a new round of dangerous consequences for the region.”
The official announcement by the Russian Foreign Ministry objected to the violation of Syrian sovereignty and totally ignored Tel Aviv’s claims that it had responded to the infiltration of an Iranian drone into Israeli airspace.
The Russians are also concerned about the proximity of the Israeli bombings to sites where their soldiers and advisers are serving, including base T-4 near Palmyra.
Israel claims it bombed a post controlled by Iran near T-4 from which the anti-aircraft missile was fired and downed its jet.
Bogdanov said Russia has no information about Iran having a military base near Palmyra. “No, I do not have such information,” Bogdanov told reporters when asked whether Moscow was aware of such a post.
Israel released a grainy footage allegedly showing the downing of an Iranian drone by an Israeli attack helicopter and the subsequent airstrike on the Syrian soil.
Tehran has dismissed the allegations as “ridiculous,” while Damascus has said the Syrian army had launched the drone to track down Daesh terrorists when an Israeli helicopter violated its airspace and shot it down.
Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi said on Saturday the Islamic Republic has only an “advisory, not a military presence” in Syria.
On Sunday, Aida Touma-Sliman, an Israeli lawmaker, said Netanyahu was seeking to instigate a regional war to deflect attention from an ongoing investigation into his suspicious corrupt practices.
“Netanyahu is willing to instigate a regional war in which the peoples of the region will pay a heavy price just for his political survival,” she warned.