Well, now it seems it's official, at least according to this story from last month, in Russia's RT: China will be sending military advisors, and probably much more, to Syria:
One notes that the Chinese commitment to the campaign against ISIS is anything but a symbolic presence, involving not only a guided missile cruiser, but a Chinese aircraft carrier:
“The Chinese will be arriving in the coming weeks,” a Syrian army official told the Lebanon-based news website Al-Masdar Al-‘Arabi.
The report claims that a Chinese naval vessel is on its way to Syria with dozens of “military advisers” on board. They will reportedly be followed by troops.
The ship is said to have passed the Suez Canal in Egypt and be making its way through the Mediterranean Sea.
According to the website, the advisers will be joining Russian personnel in the Latakia region.
Meanwhile, an Israeli military news website, DEBKAfile, has cited military sources as saying that a Chinese aircraft carrier, the Liaoning-CV-16, has already been spotted at the Syrian port of Tartus on the Mediterranean coast. It was said to be accompanied by a guided missile cruiser.
For our high octane speculation purposes, the significance of this development can hardly be overlooked from any number of vantage points. Firstly, it symbolizes an effort of Mr. Putin to make the struggle against Islamic terrorism a truly international effort. And it is a geopolitical coup, for if the intention of the western oligarchs was, as I have suggested on occasion, to create the requisite conditions for Samuel Huntington's "clash of civilzations", then a direct confrontation with an Islamic world of a billion of inhabitants would require a commensurate counterweight: Enter China. With both Russia and China having significant Muslim populations, the war on terror could conceivably be spread by Washington and its allies to their own countries, and in this sense, what one may be looking at is a kind of BRICSA pre-emptive response, ala the USA's own unipolarist Bush doctrine, in reverse: if you harbor terrorists, then you're against us.
So where's the high octane speculation here? What's the next move for Mr. Putin's growing coalition?
I suspect the answer to that question is rather obvious: in order to demonstrate a true international effort, nations like India, with its own long history of struggle against terrorism, might also be on board for at least a symbolic commitment to the effort in Syria, and, one imagines, soon-to-come intervention in Iraq. Already Baghdad has communicated its openness to a Russian intervention in that country, one that additionally, Baghdad clarified by emphasizing the point: a Russian intervention, not an American one.
But there's something else afoot in the article:
Russian President Vladimir Putin was recently asked about Russia’s presence in Syria, to which he replied that Russia’s activities are limited to supplying weapons to the Syrian government, training personnel and providing humanitarian aid for the Syrian people.
“We act based on the United Nations Charter, i.e. the fundamental principles of modern international law, according to which this or that type of aid, including military assistance, can and must be provided exclusively to the legitimate government of one country or another, upon its consent or request, or upon the decision of the United Nations Security Council,” Putin told CBS’s ‘60 Minutes’ show.
Putin reiterated his support for Syria’s regular army – the army of President Bashar Assad. “He [Assad] is confronted with what some of our international partners interpret as an opposition. In reality, Assad’s army is fighting against terrorist organizations,” Putin said.
Russia’s president added that US attempts to train a Syrian opposition to take on Islamic State have failed. The US had aimed to prepare up to 12,000 fighters, but only 60 managed to complete the training and only four or five actually fought with the opposition, while others fled to IS with American weapons, Putin said, citing US Senate hearings.
“In my opinion, provision of military support to illegal structures runs counter to the principles of modern international law and the United Nations Charter,” he said. (Bold-italics emphasis added)
In other words, for Mr. Putin's Russia, part of the exercise is to expose American policy for the folly it has been, and he's not afraid to cite American sources to make his case. The clear message, as I indicated a few days ago, is an end to the unipolarist Bush-Wolfowitz doctrine of unilateral action and "regime change" through so-called private NGOs (non-government organizations) and groups posessing no diplomatic recognition in international law.
Or, to put it country simple, Moscow and Beiking are saying "enough is enough.'
There's a final point to notice here, and it's this:
In one of the latest atrocities committed by IS, the terror group used an online magazine to post pictures of two hostages, one Norwegian and one Chinese, putting the men up “for sale.”
One has come to expect all sorts of brutality and nonsense, and thus the implication of slavery should come as no surprise. The mistake, here, was to do so with a Chinese man. Woops. Not the brightest thing to do while Russian planes are bombing you into the stone age, with Chinese guided missile cruisers and aircraft carriers nearby. Unless, of course, there's an even deeper hidden agenda in play, namely, to suck Russia and China into a Middle Eastern vortex, and smash them. After all, it would play well to the home crowd with their noses in the Bible Maps of the Ages and endless Book of Revelation dispen(sen)sationalist "fulfillments of prophecy."
So what might lie in store for the future? If my high octane speculations are correct, then we can expect an expansion of the effort to encompass perhaps India, and even other BRICSA nations. One can also expect, and probably sooner rather than later, nervous visits of Saudi princes and Iranian mullahs to Beijing. And after that, one can expect more nervousness out of London, Paris, Rome, and Berlin. And finally, If Mr. Putin is to remain consistent in his invocations of international law, the rights of sovereign nations to effect policy through anything but non-recognized "groups: then sooner or later, Iranian support for Hezbollah must be addressed. My suspicion is eventually this will happen. If not, then I suspect the message to Tehran will be the same as to Riyadh: you can either be cooks, or entrees. If not, then Mr. Putin will have handed the USA and its dwindling and nervous allies a final diplomatic card by which both to extricate themselves, and to reinject themselves, into the mess.
See you on the flip side...