RUSSIA IN SYRIA… BUT WHAT’S THE GAME?

Mr. C.S. shared this article, and it made the "finals" cut this week because of the peculiarity of its implications and fertile ground for high octane speculation. To cut right to the chase, according to Zero Hedge, the Russians, it would appear, have arrived on the ground and in the skies over Syria:

Flashpoint: White House Confirms Russian Presence In Syria, Warns It Is "Destabilizing"

One first of all has to admit that reading certain sections of this article, those containing Washington's statements, are gag-inducing for their very hypocrisy. Take, for example, these:

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."

Of course, Washington's presence in the Middle East, from Libya, to Iraq, Egypt, Afghanistan, has been nothing but "productive" and "stablizing" of course, and let's not leave out "humanitarian." Think only of how remarkably well the international opium trade was stabilized by the American military presence in Afghanistan.

Needless to say, Zero Hedge doesn't hedge, and zeroes in on what the real issue in Syria really is: energy:

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.

Finally, while we have no way of knowing how the upcoming armed conflict will progress, now may be a safe time to take profits on that oil short we recommended back in October, as the geopolitical chess game just shifted dramatically, and with most hedge funds aggressively short, any realization that the middle east is suddenly a far more violent powderkeg - one which may promptly include the Saudis in any confrontation - could result in an epic short squeeze.

So where's the high octane speculation here? isn't it all fairly obvious what's going on?

Well, I suspect it's a bit subtler, and probably far more devious, than even Zero Hedge's astute analysis. There are, so to speak, ramifications within ramifications. And I suspect - strongly in fact - that this is as much about Saudi Arabia as it is about Syria. That "kingdom" is a conjuries of royal factions, and has just been through a bit of a succession crisis, and further domestic problems are looming. Despite its projections of strength and unity, it is a fragile regime, dependent on oil for its power and wealth, and offering little else of any value to the world. THus, one has to ask: is it to Russia's benefit to see the area stabilize, and allow Assad's regime to collapse, and for the region, in turn, to stabilize around the Middle East's oil supplies once again? Russia has been doing a land office business in energy contracts not in spite of but because of the instability. And, if one thinks about it, the American fracking and shale oil boom was aided and abbetted by Middle Eastern instablity.

And finally, we have the Iran nuclear deal hovering in the background...

So what does all of it possibly add up to?

Well, crawl on out to the end of the twig of high octane speculation with me, where the weight of the twig(the evidence) is not capable of bearing the huge load put on it, but nonetheless, the possibility has to be mentioned: the Saudis might be on the long-term menu. But to do that, one has to get all the players and pieces in order and assembled all the ingredients for the recipe (hence, perhaps, the deal with Iran, an only slightly less loathsome regime). After all, the Saudis want to buy arms from Russia, they've been through a succession crisis, and one wonders, again, why Russia? Are they not happy with their American airplanes and German tanks?  My bet is, there's been a sea change, and Riyadh is feeling some huge pressure, and knows there has been a sea change, and I strongly suspect the signal of that sea change was the "apprehension" and (umpteenth) "death" of Osama Bin Laden; the turn to Russia, while quietly executed, was perhaps a desperation move; it was clearly a major departure for the country's rulers. Would Iran object to "regime change" in Riyadh? Certainly not. Would Russia? Probably not, though that depends on the circumstances. Would the USA? Well, again, that depends on the faction one is talking about. But the bottom line is, everyone wants that oil, but no one - except Tel Aviv perhaps - would miss the kingdom. Without the oil, it is merely a mediaeval barbarism. The problem for the west is the huge Saudi entanglement in the Western financial system. So, if this high octane speculation is true, one can watch for two long term developments: (1) Saudi "diversification", meaning a curtailing of investments in the West, and an new openness to "the East," presaged, perhaps, by its recent decisions to seek arms from Russia; and (2) growing open mainstream media examinations of that country in the West, and growing pressures to disentangle Saudi influence in its finances.

In short, Syria isn't really about Syria, or Assad, or even ultimately oil(though that remains a principal motivation). It's about Iran, and Saudi Arabia.

See you on the flip side...

12 thoughts on “RUSSIA IN SYRIA… BUT WHAT’S THE GAME?”

  1. I honestly don’t understand all the conflicts the world over for oil. They don’t need it anymore with personal fusion on the horizon. Aside from ancient ruins and texts what else is left of any value in the regions in question? … Come to think of it, Afgahnistan had massive lithium reserves, ostensibly another reason for “intervention” there. What does Syria, Saudi Arabia and/or Iran have? Then again precious metal reserves might not be of any value if they are already out there mining asteroids.

  2. Its more about putting the squeeze on the Gulf states, the ones really funding ISIS, and Israel is in on it because they want to both use and sell all that swell Paladtinian gas off the coast; as well as secure their water supply by once again holding title to the Golan Heights

    1. …and Turkey.

      “The one person deemed responsible for transferring the [refugee] problem from the Middle East to the heart of Europe is Turkey’s former prime minister and current president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan…

      When he realized that the United States and other Western leaders were not acting with what he considered to be sufficient determination against the Syrian president, Erdogan pinned his hopes on what became IS. Every so often, the Turkish media divulged information about how Turkish intelligence supported IS…

      Erdogan believed that the larger the number of displaced Syrians, the better his chances of convincing the international community of the need to enforce a no-fly zone across northern Syria, where the refugees could ostensibly be settled…

      At first, Turkey did everything it could to block the sea routes being used for illegal immigration to Europe. Later, however, with NATO refusing to take action to overthrow Assad… Turkey decided to make things difficult for Europe by shifting some of the pressure there. Over the past few months, Turkey stopped blocking the refugees’ movement westward. The Israeli source said that it is quite possible that the same Turkish security forces that had helped IS are enabling the human smugglers.”

      http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2015/09/recep-tayyip-erdogan-bashar-assad-refugees-nato-syria.html#

      European elites are aware of this.

      Ambrose Evans-Pritchard: “That is exactly what I was told by Javier Solana. This is in part what caused latest surge. Western press missed it completely.”

      https://twitter.com/AmbroseEP/status/645154729924919296

      Turkish intel may have been behind the infamous sarin gas attack in Syria.

      “As intercepts and other data related to the 21 August attacks were gathered, the intelligence community saw evidence to support its suspicions. ‘We now know it was a covert action planned by Erdoğan’s people to push Obama over the red line,’ the former intelligence official said. ‘They had to escalate to a gas attack in or near Damascus when the UN inspectors’ – who arrived in Damascus on 18 August to investigate the earlier use of gas – ‘were there. The deal was to do something spectacular. Our senior military officers have been told by the DIA and other intelligence assets that the sarin was supplied through Turkey – that it could only have gotten there with Turkish support. The Turks also provided the training in producing the sarin and handling it.’ Much of the support for that assessment came from the Turks themselves, via intercepted conversations in the immediate aftermath of the attack. ‘Principal evidence came from the Turkish post-attack joy and back-slapping in numerous intercepts. Operations are always so super-secret in the planning but that all flies out the window when it comes to crowing afterwards. There is no greater vulnerability than in the perpetrators claiming credit for success.’ Erdoğan’s problems in Syria would soon be over: ‘Off goes the gas and Obama will say red line and America is going to attack Syria, or at least that was the idea. But it did not work out that way.”

      http://www.lrb.co.uk/v36/n08/seymour-m-hersh/the-red-line-and-the-rat-line

    2. Good article, thanks. It explains the worldly-results of the 1996 ‘study’, “A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm.” The article was light on a certain sect’s ambitions for world domination, but nevertheless provided needed historical-background. And, the article’s final words are right-on…

  3. I think it’s pretty obvious that the Saudis are two-stepping toward Russia because their oil fields are depleting at an increasing (-ly alarming) rate and they know that the Cabal will happily throw them under the bus when they can no longer “keep it flowing.”

    I.e., no honor among thieves.

  4. Whose been reading whose tea leaves? wow, gotta love Putin. He just checkmated Washington, and NO, there isn’t going to be any regime change in Syria, DRAT!!!
    With Russian troops, fighters and tanks now taking on ISIS, and every other raghead band of infidels (reverse ideology), the game just got a little mixed up, and now Washington is flummoxed. It seems that the wind in the ISIS sails just died, and one can only wonder what Washington is going to do next. There is only one word that describes what they should do, and it’s……….LEAVE.

  5. On the detail level, The Saker has a good article on where the Russians actually are in Syria:
    http://thesaker.is/so-what-are-the-russians-really-doing-in-syria/

    “…the Russians apparently have chosen the city of Latakia as their ‘delivery point’. Unlike Damascus, Latakia is an ideal location: it is safe but not too far away from the frontlines, and it is relatively near the Russian base in Tartus. The airport and naval port are also reportedly easy to protect and isolate. There are already reports that the Russians have lengthened the runways and improved the infrastructure at the Latakia airport and that heavy AN-124s have been observed landing there. As for the Russian Navy – it has been sending ships to the Latakia airport.

    In other words, instead of limiting themselves to Tartus or going into the very exposed Damascus, the Russians appear to have created a new bridgehead in the north of the country which could be used to deliver equipment, and even forces, to the combat area in the north of the country.

    This, by the way, would also explain the panicked rumors about the Russians sending in their Naval Infantry units from Crimea to Syria: Naval Infantry forces are ideal to protect such a base and considering that the front lines are not that far, it would make perfect sense for the Russians to secure their bridgehead with these units.”

    On the ‘hmmm’ level: While the Syrian proxy-war may indeed be about oil-pipeline bragging-rights on the mundane-level, there may be a deeper motive. Cast back to the ‘liberation’ of Baghdad, and the *ahem* looting of the National Museum of Iraq. One might note the ‘targeting’ of certain Sumerian materials, and speculate on ‘why’ they were physically absconded-with. (After all, they had been photographed to within an inch of their life, at least the cataloged materials.)

    In that light, one might note that the most-important “Ancient Aliens” site in the world, Baalbek (properly Baʿalbek), is in Lebanon’s Beqaa Valley, about 75 km (47 mi) north of Damascus. Any ‘victor’ in that region would have ‘sovereignty’ over Baalbek – and digging/demolition rights. Wouldn’t you like to know what was ‘under’ all that cyclopean stonework?

    (On a side note, the Saudi buying of Russian military materials – likely aircraft and/or anti-aircraft missiles – might be a ‘safety’ measure. The MH370 (and possibly Germanwings) ‘crashes’ could be interpreted as the West having perfected remote aircraft control. One might not want all their fighters and AA missiles from the same ‘camp’. In the beginning of the “Battlestar Galactica” series, think of the Colonial fighters in their first ‘confront’ with Cylon fighters…)

    1. More on the Russian build-up in Latakia, including satellite photos, “…proved by the report of the American private analytical agency Stratfor known around the world as ‘the shadow CIA’.”:

      http://thesaker.is/russia-is-constructing-a-military-base-in-syria/

      “Among all the flights to Syria listed above, the RA-82035 one from 8 September seems to be of particular interest. Having left its base (Seschi, Bryanskaya Oblast) on the previous day, this aircraft’s first destination was Pskov, where it got loaded up and only after that headed for Syria. For most Russians, Pskov is invariably associated with these three things – the Pskov fortress, the Trinity Cathedral, and the paratroopers. Accordingly, all the interested parties arrived at a not-surprising conclusion that it was the paratroopers the aircraft had transported to Syria.”
      ~however, a caveat~
      “Rather, under the current circumstances, the Russian aircraft in question might have transported engineering and repair and maintenance units.”

      In a different vein:

      “Given that the government troops’ fleet of wheeled and tracked vehicles has considerably thinned out in these four years of the ongoing warfare, the supply of Russian armored vehicles could give the war course a sharp turn.”
      ~and~
      “As practice shows, an An-124 can transport two aircraft with undocked wings. Military experts confirm the Syrian army is impatiently waiting for a couple of Su-25 planes to be delivered in order to considerably improve the situation at the front line in its favour.”

      Interesting times…

  6. The Arabians can only beat the future of descending into barbarism. By investing in their true capital of the minds and skills of their people the men and female and their tradition of scholarship. The sciences and diplomacy real trade not piracy and extortion masquerading as such.

  7. More on that “Humanitarian aid” from Russia. It’s quite a free-for-all there now and the beauty of it is the West’s hypocritical stance exposes their agenda.

    http://uk.reuters.com/article/2015/09/17/uk-mideast-crisis-syria-russia-exclusive-idUKKCN0RH16N20150917

    The West in its idiotocracy will keep on arming these radicals until, like a rabid dog, they turn on them and the fertilizer hits the rotary oscillator. If I were commanding religious fanatics who needed arms/ammunition for my long term goals I would allow the West, or anyone else for that matter, to arm me also and then go about what I am really after once I have them. The sheer stupidity of it mind boggling.

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