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Russia Sends Over 75 Armored Trucks To Syria | Zero Hedge

Russia Sends Over 75 Armored Trucks To Syria | Zero Hedge.

While the US is debating which set of Al Qaeda “rebels” in Syria is the best local partner for the State Department to provide military support to, once Qatar’s demands for a trans-Syria pipeline return some time in 2014, Vladimir Putin – fresh from his diplomatic oup in the Ukraine – is reinforcing his other major victory in 2013: the preservation of the Assad state, this time however with more than words. As Reuters reports, Russia has sent 25 armored trucks and 50 other vehicles to Syria to help transport toxins that are to be destroyed under an international agreement to rid the nation of its chemical arsenal, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Monday. Or in other words, Russia just sent Syria more than 75 military vehicles.

From Reuters:

In a report to President Vladimir Putin, Shoigu said Russian aircraft delivered 50 Kamaz trucks and 25 Ural armored trucks to the Syrian port city of Latakia on December 18-20 along with other equipment, state-run news agency RIA reported.

“The Defence Ministry has very swiftly implemented actions to deliver to Syria equipment and materiel to provide for the removal of Syrian chemical weapons and their destruction,” Shoigu was quoted as saying.

Unlike Obamacare’s scheduling issues, Syria is expected to honor its commitment to transfer its chemcial weapons to external control by the deadline.

Damascus agreed to transport the “most critical” chemicals, including around 20 tons of mustard nerve agent, out of the northern port of Latakia by December 31 to be safely destroyed abroad away from the war zone.

“The Defence Ministry has very swiftly implemented actions to deliver to Syria equipment and materiel to provide for the removal of Syrian chemical weapons and their destruction,” Shoigu was quoted as saying.

And while the west may have bungled both the Syrian escalation and the more recent return of the Ukraine to the Russian sphere of influence, they were at least smart enough to realize that Russia adding more weapons in Syria will hardly allow the EU to benefit from Qatari gas in the near future.

Western powers has baulked at Syria’s request for military transport equipment to transport chemical weapons material to Latakia because of concerns it could be used to fight Assad’s opponents in the conflict or kill civilians.

Russia has been a major seller of conventional weapons to Syria and has given Assad crucial support during the conflict, blocking attempts to punish with sanctions and saying his exit must not be a precondition for a peace process.

Syrian government forces took control of a key highway connecting Damascus to the coast earlier this month, but the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons has voiced concern the deadline could be missed.

But for all intents and purposes, Syria and the Middle East may be yesterday’s news. The one “asset” that Putin is certainly focued on next, as is China, as is the US, is Africa: it is here that the geopolitical hotspots of 2014 are far more likely to generate significant headaches for the superpowers (unless of course Israel decides it needs the GDP boost and launches the Iranian attack on its own).

 

Syrian Army Base Rocked Again By Overnight Explosions, Israel Implicated | Zero Hedge

Syrian Army Base Rocked Again By Overnight Explosions, Israel Implicated | Zero Hedge. (source)

The last time major explosions were reported near Damascus, it was in May when Israel and its air force did everything in their power to provoke the Assad regime to escalate military operations both domestically and abroad. It almost succeeded when three months later Obama nearly led a falseflag-driven “liberation” force facilitating Saudi and Qatari energy interests in the region and their pipeline ambitions below Syria. Since then Israel had been largely dormant, seething in its (and Saudi) disappointment that it was unable to play Obama like a fiddle.

The unstable detente changed again overnight, when as Haaretz reports “a large explosion was heard at a Syrian army missile base in Latakia.  Eye witnesses told the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human rights that the explosion took place near Snobar Jableh, south of the city. It was not yet clear whether anyone was wounded in the strike.” And not surprisingly, it is once again Israel’ that was implicated in the latest regional provocation because as Haaretz adds, the “strike follows Lebanese media reports that Israeli aircraft circled above southern Lebanon.”

“The official Lebanese news agency reported that Israeli aircrafts were sighted on multiple occasions Wednesday in the south of the country. According to the report, which was based on a press statement by the Lebanese army, the airplanes entered Lebanese airspace at around 1:40 P.M. and circled over various places before leaving over the Mediterranean Sea near Tripoli and Naqoura at 5 P.M.”

From Haaretz:

A Facebook page run by Syrian rebels claimed that the strike occurred at around 7 P.M. According to the page, a missile was fired from the sea and struck the Syrian base but did not result in any casualties. Israeli sources declined to comment on the reports.

Last week, Kuwaiti newspaper Al Jarida reported that Israeli fighter planes had bombed a shipment of missiles in the border area between Lebanon and Syria. The report, which according to the paper was based on sources in Jerusalem, has no confirmation from any other source.

The source told the newspaper that the missiles that were destroyed were of an advanced model and were designated for Hezbollah, as part of the strengthening of the organization’s missile system. It is not clear whether the attack was carried out on Lebanese territory or on Syrian territory.

Israel refused to comment officially on the publication in the Kuwaiti newspaper, whose reliability is questionable.

While hardly surprising if Israel is confirmed as the offending party, a far bigger question is what are next steps: because unlike before, Putin has now very officially made Syria his protectorate, even as the US protective influence over both Syria and the region in general was waned substantially in the past few months. But perhaps more surprising is the desperation with which Israel is once again trying to destabilize the region. One thing that is clear: while such provocative actions may have yielded results as recently as half a year ago, Israel will need to put far more energy into comparable actions in the future, whether they target Syria or Iran, as the public opinion’s threshold for unwarranted Israel offensive action has dropped substantially since the bundled US foreign policy escapade in Syria which was an unmitigated disaster for the US-Saudi-Qatar-Israel axis.

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Israel bombs Syria from Turkish base – claim and counter-claim » Golem XIV – Thoughts

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