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Did Syria Receive Russian Missiles?

Did Syria Receive Russian Missiles?

In an interview today, President Bashar Assad of Syria claims that Russia has delivered some of the S-300 missiles he bought.The Lebanse paper, Al Akhbar, quoted from an exclusive interview Assad gave to Hezbollah’s Al Manar television channel.

“Syria has received the first batch of Russian S-300 anti-aircraft missiles,” Assad declared in the interview to be aired Thursday night on the Lebanese channel al-Manar, pointing out that, “the rest of the load will arrive soon.

Officials in Israel and the US are disputing Assad’s claim, saying that there is no evidence that such a shipment has been received.

If true though, the delivery of these missiles would be a game changer for Israel. Earlier this week, Israel’s International  Affairs Minister, Yuval Steinitz outlined a number of threats that these missiles pose for Israel.

International Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz warned that the S-300 anti-aircraft system which Russia is set to send to Syria can also potentially be used as an offensive weapon to shoot down Israeli civilian planes over Tel Aviv. …

He said that the advanced weapons platform could end up in the hands of the wrong rebel groups or make its way to Assad’s Iranian allies. Steinitz stated that Israel still hoped to convince Russia to suspend the sale of the S-300 to Syria.

Because of the threat these missiles pose to Israel – as well as the region – Israel has said that it will take action to prevent them from becoming operational.

The other major claim in Assad’s interview though is disturbing.

Assad said that the Syrian army has made great achievements on the ground against the armed groups, adding that the military balance of power has completely turned in the army’s favor.

“Syria and Hezbollah are parts of the same axis. There are Hezbollah fighters in the border areas with Lebanon, but the Syrian army is the force that is fighting and managing battles in the face of the armed opposition groups,” Assad said.

This is apparently a boast about the Syrian/Hezbollah success in taking the pivotal town of Qusayr back from Syrian opposition forces.

“We have suffered heavy losses,” said Yazed al Hasan, a spokesman for the rebel Farouq Battalions, which have occupied Qusayr since last year. He also acknowledged that government forces had recaptured the military airport north of the city.

The Hezbollah fighter, who asked to be referred to only as Ayoub, a pseudonym, because Hezbollah’s leadership hadn’t authorized him to speak to reporters, said his group’s strategists had divided Qusayr “on a grid into 16 squares.”

“We have cleared 13 of them,” he said.

If this is true, Hezbollah may have helped Assad, but at a high cost. For one thing it appears that Hezbollah sustained a high number of casualties.

If Hezbollah needed help from Assad’s elite forces, it suggests that it isn’t as strong as it likes to boast.

Maybe Assad was in a good mood due to his troops’ apparent success in Qusayr, but it doesn’t mean that he’s received the weapons that he covets.

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Comments

Israel should cite their concerns as a reason to enter Syria in an act of war. Chemical weapons on their border, a civil war with numerous casualties, Russian missiles, nonstop weapons imports from Iran, multiple terrorist factions involved, attacks into Lebanon, etc.

As a caveat they should offer Russia a chance to perform the role of peacekeepers after Israel has knocked all sides down hard. Russia would be able to install a stable and capable puppet which is all they want and Israel would gain some ability to have Hezbollah be neutered for the time being.

    BannedbytheGuardian in reply to CREinstein. | May 30, 2013 at 7:03 pm

    Israel ( the Netanyahu side ) does not have poor relations with Russia. Whereas Kerry was left at the airport for 3 hours to let a civic parade practice on the roads – & further ignored by Putin for 8 hours – Netanyahu had an immediate audience one week later. They even promptly picked him up.

    Russia has an undoubted interest in its former one million citizens .

I say let all sides in Syria keep killing each other. Assad is bad, the ones looking to replace him are worse. If one starts getting uppity, arm the other.

But since scandal mania is on right now, Obama may do what the socialist president of France did and kill the foreigners, aka DISTRACTION. It is what Clinton did for Yugoslavia.

When psycho senile McCain is agreeing with dog eater in chief, its time to get worried.

Video from the Healing in the Heartland Concert and ways to help the OK Tornado Victims:

http://www.commoncts.blogspot.com/2013/05/video-healing-in-heartland-concert-for.html

It’s a human rights catastrophe for all the innocent civilians being caught in the various crossfires and chemical attacks. But there are no “good guys” in this fight anymore, if there ever were any “not so bad guys” we might have had an interest in supporting, they’ve been marginalized or killed already.

We have no dog in this fight. The USA should offer Israel our full moral support and whatever logistical or material support they require, and allow them to manage the situation for their own security (and that of the civilian population of Lebanon, who are at the mercy of Hezbollah militants now). And then stand aside.

    Owego in reply to Estragon. | May 30, 2013 at 5:49 pm

    Seems a pretty good analysis. Obama and Clinton have abandoned so many in the region over the past four years, including our own in Behghazi, that moral, logistical, and material support for Israel is about all we have left. In three short years Obama has neutered the west and managed to wipe out well over a generation’s work in the region-whatever one’s opinion of it. It will not be reversed in our lifetime, if ever. More and worse is coming. The man is a disaster for untold millions.

    Owego in reply to Estragon. | May 30, 2013 at 10:05 pm

    More in-depth from Caroline Glick in her May 24 post. A sober read from a serious person.

    http://carolineglick.com/

We’ll know the missiles are in Syria when we see photos of Jane Fonda over there straddling one.

Assad MUST know if any Israeli airplanes are shot down, his regime will be over I. A matter of a few hours. I don’t understand why he needs missiles in the first place, except to attack Israel. The re els have no Air Force.

So let’s see, Russia’s sending missiles to Syria that will be shot down by anti-missile rockets provided by America to the al-Queda linked “rebels.” What can go wrong?

I wouldn’t worry about the Assad regime trying to bomb Israel, they have enough on their plate at the moment. Unless they think it will bring all Syrians together in an evil, eliminate Israel frenzy? Seems a bit of a gamble, but it could work.

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