Monthly Archives: December 2015

Where did ISIS fighters go to before the battle of Ramadi? The United States is imposing radical changes on Baghdad

 

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By Elijah J. Magnier (@ejmalrai) –

Published article here: via 

Iraqi Army, the Counter Terrorism units, the Federal police, and Anbar tribes entered the city of Ramadi that was occupied by the self-proclaimed “Islamic State” group (ISIS) for several months. To their biggest surprise, only few bodies of the terrorist group were found when intelligence gathering by the U.S led coalition and the Iraqi intelligence service confirmed the presence of around 2000 fighters in the city until days before the final assault. Six ISIS were arrested while trying to flee Ramadi among the 442 civilians who left the city one day before the final assault on the city center.

The same phenomena of “ISIS evaporation” was registered in Sinjar when 7500 Kurds, supported by the U.S Air Force, occupied the key northern Iraqi city, finding a very small number of ISIS fighters in it.

 

So where did all these ISIS fighters go too?

 

A high-ranking source within the Iraqi government told me “the US forces operating in Iraq within the military operation room in Baghdad are the one who define the units and the time (day and hour) of attack against ISIS. If we want to benefit from an Air Force to defeat the terrorist group, we should bow to the American command. It is not unlikely for a possible American – Turkish coordination to communicate with “ISIS” and give a free way out to fighters to withdraw in the direction of the Syrian – Iraqi borders. That’s the information our drones collected in the last few days prior the attack of Ramadi. Our signal and Human Intelligence informed the Americans and us about ISIS movement of troops. We were not allowed to engage against these and no one in the government can contradict the Americans for the moment. The U.S ordered Baghdad to keep al-Hashd al-Sha’bi (PMUs) away from the battlefield of Anbar perhaps to ensure a free passage to ISIS and to reduce the Iranian influence and credit of victories in Iraq”.

“America has asked decision makers in Baghdad to change the heads of anti-terrorism, intelligence and security services of the army and Interior Ministry. Moreover, the Secretary General of the Council of Minister was also kind of suggested by the Americans and in consequences he has been appointed to this position. The U.S wants a homogeneous team that is friendly to its policy and presence of these (US forces) on the ground in Iraq. The hostile Era – created by the former Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki that led to a withdrawal of the forces from Mesopotamia – is over and the policy adopted at the moment consists in reducing the influence of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani over few Iraqi armed groups. What is contributing to the success of such a policy is the fact that the Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi is in a bad terms with Soleimani. Since the start, PM Abadi believed that Soleimani was planning to remove him from power, supporting al-Maliki and promoting other choices to replace the actual Premier”, said the source.

 

The source concluded:”Iran controls various military organisations fighting within the Popular Mobilisation Units strongly present in the battlefield in Iraq and in Syria. Such an influence convinced al-Abadi to choose the path that leads to ” Uncle Sam ” instead of choosing the one of Welayat-el- faqih. This is why Abadi rejected, following an explicit American demand, to reject any Russia military assistance in the air, in Iraq, unlike the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The Iraqi Prime Ministre is aware of the possibility that the U.S would like to see 3 Iraqi cantons, one for the Kurds, one for the Sunni and another one for the Shia. The Americans are also supporting the Turkish presence in Iraq, to meet the say of the French Intelligence Service director who said: The Middle East will never be the same as before. What is becoming more clear now that ISIS is a toy used by players for their agenda and plans to reshuffle the map of the Middle East”.

 

A fine line between journalistic analysis and the “Islamic State” group’ propaganda

 

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By Elijah J. Magnier @ejmalrai –

The self declared “Islamic State” is producing daily propaganda material for various reasons, above all to misguide non-combatant followers and overseas watchers in order to promote itself as a “state”, to recruit, and  also to hide defeats in the battle field.

Media and analysts, who have little presence on the ground, depend on war correspondents covering the ongoing war in the Middle East, on informants and also on social media information. Widespread animosity for some belligerents is pushing media to abandon its unbiased conduct and take sides. Inevitably, almost no one is unbiased. None the less, some analysts, unaware, fall into the category of supporting terrorist groups as they simply take a position against a given opponent. In Iraq favourite targets are mainly al Hashd al-Sha’bi (or Popular Mobilisation Units made of Shia, Sunni and Iraqi minorities) and Iran’s support of it, and in Syria, Bashar al-Assad and more recently Russian intervention. This biased reporting omits to often ISIS that is mentioned en passant. To the point that, ISIS and Al-Qaeda (Jabhat al-Nusra) are no longer terrorist groups but, for many, too simply “the products of Assad and either Saddam Hussein or (the ex-Prime Minister Nuri) al-Maliki”.

Analysts who spend their time translating FB or Twitter material are doing a fairly good job. These also can bring some beneficial information to the lot, no doubt. Nevertheless, fighting   “Islamic State” (ISIS) group propaganda requires maturity and awareness.

Desktop analysts need to investigate the consequences of what they publish before casting out information on the web that directly or indirectly support ISIS propaganda. It is important to think about how beneficial, how harmful this is to ISIS propaganda and the extend to which it is supporting decision makers of the danger of terrorism.

ISIS propaganda is powerful, within anybody’s reach, this is not due to its own network but to its manipulation of analysts and media. Without their reporting, who would know what ISIS is doing? The questions are:  Do we have a self censored attitude to using ISIS material? Are we just putting our head in the sand as we want to show our knowledge of ISIS material?

ISIS is feeding the web by the minute with propaganda material, genuine and false claims. ISIS accounts almost never speak of “defeat” but they propagate documents and information showing firing here and there, few suicide attacks, the social and Hisbah (police) activities, zakat…

Any analysed information which circumvents the fact that ISIS must be dismantled may need to be looked upon as potentially  playing into  ISIS propaganda machine and therefore inadvertently supporting the terrorist group. Media may need to develop new means to counter-act ISIS manipulative game.

There was no need, for analyst[1], to naively and secretly pretend to declare Ba’ya (loyalty) to ISIS fanboys – those who are living away from ISIS controlled land – in order  to gather information on the group that is readily available. Surely this is the job of intelligence service not analysts. Although a stupid and foolish move, it may well have been all about the pleasure of feeling the “love in Din al- Islam” [1] no more .

There is no need for analysts to be indirectly at the service of ISIS. For example: ISIS propaganda machine likes to portray institution’s as part of the constructions of “its” states. In effect it is only using institutions that were already in place before ISIS control by  keeping employees in place, in Iraq and Syria, and appointing its own trusted key people on top. A method long used by colonialists! When analysts spread documents saying “ISIS has many institutions and is  State-like”, they are just been fooled by the group, contributing in showing to  thousands of naive ISIS fans the-so-called-grandeur of ISIS. Aren’t these analysts naively becoming free of charge translators for ISIS?

There is no need to be impressed. Another example, ISIS’ booklet about “managing slavery according to the Islamic Sharia”: it refers back to the same study of Sheikh Ahmad Ibin Hanbal of the 9th century’s,  ISIS main reference in the topic as for many other religious issues. If one is interested in acquiring in-depth understanding of the ideology of non-state violent extremist religious organisations,  basic theological knowledge is required. No magic here. ISIS is not reinventing the wheel. It is blindly applying middle ages principles!

In short, it is indispensable that awareness and clear modus vivendi are defined to counter the ISIS propaganda machine. By sticking to facts, knowledgeable facts, it is possible to show that ISIS grandeur is mere fantasy.

[1] http://www.businessinsider.com/tamimi-2014-7?IR=T

 

Donald Trump is singing “Salil al Sawarem” in ISIS’ ears

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The West must apologize to Muslims for ISIS’ doing

 

Published article on @alraimediagroup : http://www.alraimedia.com/ar/article/special-reports/2015/12/16/643092/nr/nc

 

Elijah J. Magnier @ejmalrai

 

When the front-runner for the US Republican presidential nomination Donald Trump called for “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the U.S.”, ​​he is in fact singing the “clanging of the swords” (ISIS propaganda video) in the ears of the self-proclaimed “Islamic State” (ISIS). ISIS’ ultimate goal is to push the world to wage war on Islam, which represents a quarter of the World population. ISIS would like to see Muslims, living in western continents, where they were born or brought up or migrated to, leaving Dar al-Kufr (Land of disbelief) for the ill-treatment to find refuge only in Dar-al-Islam (Land of Islam). This is exactly what Trump is doing.

The group leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi announced, in his speech on 13th of May that the world will “soon begin to displace them (Muslims) and take them away either dead, imprisoned, or homeless” (read more below). He was planning to hit a potential target, and hoped harsh reaction against Muslims would be strongly manifested after the bloody planned event. He has predicted what Donald Trump would say.

It should not be on the Muslims – who make up a quarter of the world’s population – to defend themselves and apologise for what ISIS is doing because they are the first victims of terrorism in their own countries. ISIS is killing more Muslims, Sunnis and non-Sunnis, than non-Muslims. Muslims around the World are also living in fear of repercussion for ISIS doing and they also are the victims of the group.

If we count the number of Muslims killed by ISIS in one particular month adding Syria, Iraq, Egypt, Libya, Afghanistan, Tunisia, Lebanon and Nigeria, the figure exceeds the number of victims of the terrorist attacks of the U.S. 9/11, or the London 7/7 or the Paris attack last month.

Islam is a religion such as Christianity, Judaism or any other religions. Terrorism is not a religion. Even if the killing is made in the name of Islam, ISIS has ideological and dominance goals over the Middle East, in the first place, and other continents in the second place. ISIS is managing the savagery that the United States and its allies have initiated for ISIS to continue afterward.

There are about two and a half billion Muslims in different spots of the world. Salafist Jihadists represent a very small part, and the number of those killed by religious terrorist attacks is still inferior to those killed by “kings of drugs” anywhere in the World.

The media shares also a responsibility for creating fear in societies for ISIS doing, reflecting ill explanation of ISIS ideology and creed. On the ground, the “great victories” of the group are highlighted due to writers’ own political agenda that is hostile to the Iraqi government, the Shia militia and the Syrian regime.

Moreover, when the Kremlin declared “war on Terror” and “the protection of the Syrian regime” , the attention shifted on attacking the Russian strikes in Syria. Even when the Russian jets attacked ISIS oil tankers – unseen for 13 months by the U.S coalition bombing objectives in Syria and Iraq – the media shifted to accuse Assad regime, ally of Russia crippling ISIS oil revenue , as “the only buyer of ISIS oil”.

Now we hear about the Kurds, described as “the best army to fight ISIS” in Syria and Iraq. Media forget that Erbil screamed for help when ISIS came close to its borders in July 2014 and that 80% of Kobani was under ISIS control before the U.S intervention to recover it with the U.S and British Special Forces support. Just to promote the partition of Syria and Iraq like we don’t have enough of the U.S and allies mistakes and mess in foreign policy affaris. History is the best judge:

During the Soviet invasion to Afghanistan, the U.S supported the Mujahedeen and from their womb al-Qaeda was born. In 2003, when the U.S occupied Iraq and Ambassador Paul Bremer declared the de-baathefication law, hundred of thousands of civil servants where in the street, including security forces. Today. Many of these are part of ISIS military and leadership.

The western society is in need of Muslims to stand against ISIS narrative and ideology with a counter argument emanating from the same Quran and the Hadith. Muslims would listen to a scholar more than to a politician or a leader of a state, responsible for killing hundred of thousands of civilians in their country of origin or among their Muslim brothers. It is not up to these Muslims to apologise for ISIS doing. An apology would make them partner in ISIS terrorist attacks. It is up to the West to apology for contributing in creating and strengthening terrorist organisations that are putting Muslim in the west under scrutiny and fear. A “Sorry” to Muslims will not be a bad idea.

 

Read:

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi speech on the 14th of March 2015:” “And if the Crusaders today claim to avoid the Muslim public and to confine themselves to targeting the armed amongst them, then soon you will see them targeting every Muslim everywhere. And if the Crusaders today have begun to bother the Muslims who continue to live in the lands of the cross by monitoring them, arresting them, and questioning them, then soon they will begin to displace them and take them away either dead, imprisoned, or homeless. They will not leave anyone amongst them except one who apostatizes from his religion and follows theirs. And you will remember what I now say to you, and I entrust my affair to Allah.”

Turkish forces in Iraq to impose: The Gas versus the water

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Turkish forces in Iraq to impose: The Gas versus the water

Russia is ready to warm up the relationship if Ankara gives up on Syria

 

 

Published article: http://www.alraimedia.com/ar/article/special-reports/2015/12/08/641116/nr/iran via @alraimediagroup

Elijah J. Magnier @ejmalrai

 

The sudden uncoordinated presence of thousands of Turkish Special Forces supported by tens of tanks and armed vehicles in a new base in northern Iraq raised serious reaction not only from Baghdad but also among Iraqi allies. The Turkish government didn’t inform the central government of the increase of forces, neither the settlement in a new base, 100km away from the borders. Turkey is gaining more enemies and perhaps more sanctions could follow from neighbors. But Turkey has negotiation tools and demands from Baghdad to consider and agree upon before pulling out forces. It is the Gas versus the water.

But Russia also has a condition to restore its relationship with Turkey. Syria is the price.

 

“Turkey expressed to Iraqi visitors it readiness to pay whatever needed to allow the Qatari gas pipeline to go through their country and up to the Turkish borders to feed Turkey with the needed energy, fearing further Russian sanctions. Since it is n longer possible to use the Syrian territory for this purpose, Ankara needs to create an alternative for Qatar pipeline in case the Kremlin decides to increase its economic punitive as a reaction to the downing of the Sukhoi Su-24 last month over the Syrian borders and the killing of the Russian pilot. Turkey can provide and increase, in agreement with Iraq, all financial, economical facilities and engagement to raise the financial exchange and secure in any military support needed to fight terrorism. Ankara expressed willingness to release more water – or reduce it if necessary as insinuated – if Baghdad refuses to negotiate in order to resolve this crisis. Water levels on the Euphrates River flowing Eastern Turkey have already fallen more than half this year. As there is no international agreement for the Tigris with Iraq, the Llisu and Cizre dams on the Tigris (once concluded) and the Ataturk dam on the Euphrates can be regulated”.

 

“Turkey enjoyed zero problems with its surroundings before the Syrian war to zero friends and state of peace with the bordering countries and allies today. Forces crossed the borders into Iraq last week breaking all treaties, become an occupation force. The self proclaimed group called the “Islamic State” (ISIS) is considered as a terrorist organisation and Turkey will be considered a terrorist state if forces are not pulled out before the ultimatum (48 hours ending today) giving by the Iraqi government. Baghdad has agreed with Ankara to host trainers and experts. These can stay as part of the coalition forces, training Iraqis security forces and Peshmerga, as agreed previously. Both countries enjoy excellent relationship and co-existed in harmony. But the additional Turkish forces were pushed 100km into the Iraqi territory when the old treaty stipulated doesn’t allow more than 25km with the objective to pursue the Kurdish PKK in case of a punitive operation coordinated with Iraq. Moreover, the size of the Turkish force that penetrated in Iraq goes beyond any training or protection level. It is composed of a brigade of special units of around 1300 men, an artillery regiment and two squadrons of helicopters based in Ba’shiqa. The intent of the Turkish troops is unknown. This force positioned itself on a demarcation front with “ISIS” without revealing its objective to Iraq. Is it to protect the oil tankers line coming form Syria and Iraq as Russia can’t hit the convoy in Iraq? Is it to support ISIS or to blackmail Iraq? Baghdad accepts any military support in its fight against terrorism but is not in need of fighting troops on the ground”.

 

” At the moment, Iraq, as a state, is not in a position to engage with a war against Turkey. The war with ISIS is using the country resources and keeps its military force engaged. Therefore, declaring war on Turkey won’t be simple. Nevertheless, there are enormous economical projects that could be damaged. The Iranian-Turkish relationship is also at stake. Iran is also looking for alternative partners to Turkey’s economic relations in the field of energy. The situation is progressing for the worse in the Middle East and especially the style of Turkey blackmailing, not only Iraq, but also Europe. For the question of refugees President Erdogan is receiving $ 3 billion to stem the flow of displaced people. But today, Turkey enters the critical area of ​​security to Iran under a sectarian cover “to protect the Sunni” as “Iran is protecting the Shia”. Mr. Erdogan is escaping Russia in Syria towards the Iraqi Kurdish areas, which is considered the softer side. ”

In regard to Russia – Turkey relationship: “Russia has one condition to restore warmth to its relations with Ankara. A part form apologizing, on top of the condition is Turkey withdraw completely from the Syrian dossier and stop support for its proxy militias and cease all military and economical facilities offered to ISIS. Turkey is in need of the oil coming from ISIS occupied land and of the business exchanged with ISIS. Turkey is the first supplier to ISIS by all means. If Turkey cease this relationship, Russia is ready to put aside the Su-24 issue. The presence of the additional Turkish forces in Iraq today is a way to escape to an area where Russia is not operating. This can only be disturbed if Baghdad allows Russia to hunt down ISIS in Iraq as well. This is where Turkey will again have no upper hand”.

 

 

US confused foreign policy: After Iran, the West considers Assad’s position as potential partner

 

 

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Original article: http://www.alraimedia.com/ar/article/special-reports/2015/12/07/640822/nr/syria via @alraimediagroup

 

Elijah J. Magnier – @ejmalrai

To expand its military bases in the Middle East, the United States position was systematically against Iran, pushing the Gulf countries to purchase more weapons to “defend itself”. As Iran is now regarded as “moderate” in the U.S administration eyes, the nuclear deals has been struck. On the 4th of June 2014, Foreign Secretary John Kerry asked Iran, Russia and Hezbollah to intervene in Syria, to start a more effective war on terrorism in Bilad al-Sham with the help of the Russian Air Force.

What has happened since? The US is now focusing on Russia following its intervention in the war in Syria. Suddenly, for the US, the Salafist Jihadists, al-Qaeda fi bilad al-Sham (Jabhat al-Nusra), Ahrar al Sham, Jund al-Aqsa, Jund al-Sham, Jaish al Muhajereen wal ansar (pledge alliance to AQ) are claimed by the international community as potentially “moderate”. Even the danger of ISIS is at times omitted as over focused concern on Russia’s new deployment is shifting the attention.

Russia sent effective Air Force carrying thousands of attacks and agreed with Damascus, Tehran and Hezbollah Lebanon that they would be the ground force to benefit from the air strikes against terrorists. This is when the U.S and its related media directed the attack against Russia to hide the incompetent military campaign of 62 countries since over 14 months against ISIS. In fact, in 50 days, Russia has bombarded objectives of terrorists groups and their allies more than the U.S led coalition in 14 months.

Moreover, the U.S administration and western media suddenly woke-up after years of ISIS usage of stolen oil to initiate another attack on the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad claiming he is “the only one buying ISIS’ oil”.

However, facts claim otherwise: The Russian Air Force destroyed over 500 oil trucks carrying ISIS oil from around Palmyra, Deir-ezzour, Raqqa and Iraq to Turkey. The U.S led coalition never bombed any of ISIS oil trucks despite drones covering the sky of Syria. ISIS is selling its barrel for 17$ that is generating between $1.5 and $3m per day. They numbers are speculative as none of the analysts around have access to ISIS oil revenue books. One part of the oil is sold inside Syria for domestic usage and to Syrian distributors. The biggest part goes to Turkey. That was considered a substantial income for the Turkish economy that Russia began to destroy. Russia wasn’t aiming at Turkey but to cripple ISIS revenue and help Damascus recover the control over the oil fields. Russian Air Force imposed its control on the Syrian-Turkish borders, bombing the pro-Turkish Turkmem Syrian groups who fight along side al-Qaeda in Syria. Again, Russia wanted a safe perimeter to its forces in Latakia and in another airport, Basel al-Assad, under preparation to be used in due course to create more space for its newly coming air jets. Moreover, Russia helps the Syrian Government to recover its lost territory in reef Latakia.

But bombing its oil partner and the proxy militia were sufficient reasons for Turkey to react, seeing the danger coming from Russia that is blowing up the Turkish dream to annex a part of Syria and impose a non-fly-zone.

Turkey responded by ambushing and downing the Su-24 (On November 24, a Turkish Air Force F-16 jet shot down a Russian Su-24 bomber over Syria) as it was “approaching the border” according to the Turkish leaked radio warning issued by the Turkish ground tower control to the Sukhoi pilot, as claimed. One of the two pilots was captured by the pro-Turkish forces, killed and mutilated by the rebels. Pieces of the body, extremities and face, were taken away.

Russia has responded to the downing of one of its jets by destroying, to-date, a total of 1250 oil trucks transporting stolen Syrian and Iraqi oil from ISIS land to Turkey. It has imposed gradual, and still continue, sanctions on Turkey, cancelling some and suspending billions of dollars worth economic and gas deals between the two countries. The war in Syria is starting to take a different shape and size.

ISIS claim of the terrorist attack against the Russian Airbus 321 that crashed into the Sinai desert last Octobre – planned in Egypt – was followed by the 13/11 Paris attack – planned in Raqqa -. These attacks changed the course of the Syrian war. Russia wanted to “defend itself” and France has no other a choice but to show more efficient war on terror to slow down ISIS from planning possible further attacks on its soil. The “containment” war against ISIS, as declared by the US and partners for over 13 months, can no longer remain as such. Britain and Germany replaced Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrein, Jordan and the Emirates in the war on ISIS as these pulled out from the coalition. Yet, the war on terror is still ineffective from the air and needs ground troops with a define objective and enough determination to fight thousands of ideologist groups in Syria. The British Prime Ministre David Cameron surprised the world with the sudden existence of 70.000 “moderates”, disregarding the United States recognition, only few months ago, that there are only “4 or 5 rebels moderates” to rely on. Even if half of the number “70.000 moderates” is real, it could be enough to fight both ISIS and al-Qaeda. Britain’s incorrect number of “moderate” includes many al-Qaeda allies. The world forgets that the U.S declared war on Taliban for hosting and supporting AQ after the 9/11. The U.S is allowing AQ in the Arabian Peninsula to expand for the first time in Yemen, taking control of a big part of Mukallah, Rayan in Hadramount and have a direct access to the sea. Only a determined ground force supported by air strikes could be effective in the war against terror, on the basis that that a clear enemy is identified and a consistant policy is adopted.

Indeed France can’t walk along all the way with Saudi Arabia despite its billions of dollars deal in armaments. Moreover, Paris knows that it is not an option for its troops to land in Syria and engaged a fight with ISIS. As Russia, France needs the Syrian Army on the ground, ready to continue battling terrorists and accepts losses. This is how Assad becomes a “necessary evil” as he has an army and allies engaged in the war against terrorism. He is  also a vital ressource for the western intelligence services as he is holding a bank of information on many of the 20.000 foreign fighters, estimated by Damascus, on the Syrian soil. Some of these can turn into “lone wolves” and continue their private war regardless what is going to happen to ISIS. The San Bernardino attack in the U.S and the latest stabbing in London are part of the ideological war that has no borders but travels as long as terrorist organisations keep existing, giving a little push to radical Muslims to raise.

For now, Paris that never sleeps is sleeping from fear of another terrorist attack as long as the “war on terror” is not seriously carried out in Syria and Iraq to start with.

 

S-300 fully in service in the hands of Damascus and two Iranian squadrons to the T4 in Homs serviced by Russia

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After receiving and deploying the S-300, Damascus will announce: Any aircraft not coordinating with us will be considered hostile

Two Iranian squadrons ready to participate in the Syrian war.

 

Original article via @alraimediagroup :

http://www.alraimedia.com/ar/article/special-reports/2015/12/03/640040/nr/syria

Elijah J. Magnier: @ejmalrai

Syrian war is rolling like a snowball on the edge of the winter with additional new elements that are introduced in the conflict. The presence of new weapons and armies will impose a heavy weight on the various forces fighting on the ground and over the ongoing diplomacy in the attempt to shorten the life of the war in Syria.

A high-ranking officer within the joint operation room in Damascus (consisting of Russia, Iran, Syria and Hezbollah) said “Damascus received sets of S -300 advanced Russian missiles, ready to enter active service. Soon, Syria will announce that any country using the airspace without coordinating with Damascus will be viewed as hostile and will shoot the jet (s) without warning. Those willing to fight terrorism and coordinate with the military leadership will be granted safe corridors”.

In another development, according to the same source, “Iran is preparing two squadrons of Sukhoi to engage the war in Syria. These will be stationed at the T4 Syrian military airport in Homs, very close to Palmyra (Tadmur), previously known as Tiyas. The Iranian Air Force will join the Russian Air Force in their war against extremist terrorist Kafeeree in Syria”.

“The alliance of Russia, Iran, Syria and their allies like Hezbollah, the Iraqis and others are all directly involved in the battle. Russian armed forces, including ground troops, the Navy and the Air Force are supported by air defense system using TOR M 1 / M2 medium-range missiles, accompanied by Pantsir S- along with their most advanced S-400 missiles to create an air umbrella coverage over the Russian forces in the country. Another airport in Homs, al-Sha’ayrat, has been prepared to host newly arriving Russian Air jets. (https://twitter.com/EjmAlrai/status/671212547769540608)

Al-Sha’ayrat is one of the most important military airport in Syria. Ground troops are securing a wide parameter to allow a comfortable maneuver. Engineers and ground crew services are ready and began to receive inbound aircraft of the Russian Federation, led by advanced Su-34 equipped with air-to-air missiles to protect other Jets while bombing terrorists from another incident like the Su-24 downed by Turkey last week”.

The sources add “Iran sent 4000 IRGC (Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps) equipped with mechanisms grenades and rocket launchers with self-propelled cannons to support its offensive operations in Syria. Moreover two squadrons of the Iranian Air Force will be deployed in the T4 –Tiyas airport, located close to Al-Sha’ayrat, when the Iranian engineers will conclude their work at the site. Iran Air Force, trilled to raise the efficiency of pilots in real combat operation, will provide an air support for all ground forces from Palmyra to Raqqa. Moscow agreed to provide all maintenance and ammunition needed to the Iranian jets. ”

 

On the S-300, the source concuded: “Syrian air defense crew completed their training on the S -300 missile system in Russia and received the full sets agreed with the government the Syrian forces. The Russian-made S-300s, which can engage 12 targets simultaneously at distances of 200 kilometers and heights of up to 27 kilometers, will be deployed in the liberated areas to cover the full Syrian geography. Damascus is expected – said the source – to announce, soon, that every unidentified jet flying in the sky of Syria will be considered hostile and will be shot down if no previous coordination have been made with the Syrian authorities. Syria is ready to provided safe corridors for those willing to strike terrorism”.

It is unlikely that Syria would declare war in the sky on the western coalition hitting ISIS group despite the deployment of the S-300 and when it will be officially announced. Nonetheless, it is certainly a strong message to Turkey that is seeing its never lasting dream of “safe-zone” vanishing in the air now more than ever. It is also a way for Damascus to put pressure on the west, mainly France and the United Kingdom, to force a diplomatic coordination with the actual government, also in terms of security, intelligence and “war on terror”. However, sources in the Syrian capital confirm that Assad doesn’t expect a sudden return of the Blue/White/Red flag over the French Embassy and the return of an Ambassador, despite the Paris attack. But for the war on terror to be efficient, Paris needs Damascus, and not the other way around, for it’s own national security protection. There are over 1400 French Mujahedeen Takferees fighting along ISIS and al-Qaeda in Bilad al-Sham. Many of these are listed in Assad intelligence files. The DGSE, French external intelligence service, will have no access to these without a diplomatic price in exchange. It will be a challenge for France to fly its jets over Syria without any coordination with Damascus and with the risk of being shot down by the S-300, mistaken for a Turkish or unfriendly jet, like Israel.

 

  • Sha’ayrat airport:

http://wikimapia.org/#lang=en&lat=34.478260&lon=37.254639&z=10&m=b&show=/23180878/Shayrat-Military-Airbase

  • T4 Military Air Base (known as Tiyas)

http://wikimapia.org/23194225/Tiyas-Airbase-T4