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View Diary: BREAKING: Russian troops headed to Syria (91 comments)

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  •  I mean will they oppose or excuse Russian troops (1+ / 0-)
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    being sent in to support Assad. While Russians to guard the base are one thing the reports of

    In March, Moscow reportedly sent elite units of Russian marines and special-operations forces to Syria to conduct anti-terrorism missions in the country.
    if true, are another thing entirely and one that has been discounted by much of the discussion here.

    Here is more on that from the Hill, March 19, 2012:

    Moscow has sent elite units of Russian marines and special-operations forces to Syria to conduct "anti-terrorism" missions in the country, according to reports by Al Arabiya.

    The troops were reportedly aboard two Russian warships that arrived at the country's naval base in the Syrian port city of Tartus on Monday, the news agency reports.

    The ships joined up with “a Russian naval reconnaissance and surveillance ship" already anchored in Tartus, the report adds, citing sources within opposition forces in Syria.  

    The Russian base in Tartus is the country's only naval installation outside the borders of the former Soviet Union. A Russian naval squadron conducted a port visit in January, just as violence between rebel forces and government troops loyal to Syrian strongman Bashar al-Assad was coming to a head.

    The port call was interpreted by many regional observers as a show of support by Moscow for the Assad regime.

    Russian military advisers are currently stationed in the country to help train Syrian troops. It is unclear exactly how many Russian troops are now on Syrian soil due to the new deployment.

    Last Friday, Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov dismissed claims that Moscow would send special-operations units to Syria to support Assad's crackdown on rebel forces. “There are no [Russian] special forces with rifles and grenade launchers running around,” he told The Associated Press.

    Remember history, Clay Claiborne, Director Vietnam: American Holocaust - narrated by Martin Sheen

    by Clay Claiborne on Sat Jun 16, 2012 at 10:26:20 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  fair point (0+ / 0-)

      Although it's worth pointing out that those "anti-terrorism" missions being conducted by marines and special-operations forces may in fact be purely defensive in nature. Those ships are targets, and the longer this goes on, the more FSA is going to lean towards making a statement by sinking one of them. I expect that there will be divers arriving there, along with equipment and soldiers to guard from above.

      The Russians sent their ships in to keep NATO from going all Libya again. Not that anyone was considering doing that but Putin's not stupid, either. Sailing his ships in was likely less about directly supporting Assad than ensuring things didn't boil over, lest they lose the port outright. I think they might be ok with Assad gone as long as the political class remains largely the same and they keep a big stake in the government. The problem is, the regime runs deep, so i don't think too many of Russia's "New Syria" friends in high places would last very long.

      So the easiest choice for the Russians is to stall for Assad. I've no doubt there are Russians quietly advising the Syrians on putting this thing down. But even just what's been out in the open, at the UN and in the news, makes their ships start looking like a big target. The Russians would be crazy not to consider that the FSA might hit them, if only to make a point. And the FSA might just gamble that the Russians wouldn't call WW3 on us.

      All things in the sky are pure to those who have no telescopes. – Charles Fort

      by subtropolis on Sat Jun 16, 2012 at 11:13:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  "they" (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Claudius Bombarnac, protectspice

      There is a group of people of concern in your mind, this "they" who are "anti-interventionist", and "left". It remains to me a mystery as to why this is the case.

      You are apparently not concerned with the interventionist left, or the anti-interventionist right, or the interventionist right, or other groups such as centrists and independents, 'interventionist" or otherwise, as you have not mentioned them. Why?

      As for "foreign boots on the ground", are you advocating for them, or not? Where, when, why, how, and for what purpose?

      Are you suffering from a condition of interventionist envy, I wonder?

      Is your point to get this group of "anti-interventionist left", to transform itself into an interventionist left, or perhaps into an interventionist right? Is so, why, and exactly what argument do you make to this group in favor of your idea?

      H'mm. I'm not terribly into this, anymore.

      by Knarfc on Sun Jun 17, 2012 at 09:13:15 AM PDT

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    •  That report originated from the Saudi government (1+ / 0-)
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      mouthpiece "Al Arabiya". As the Saudi's are the main instigators of the destabilization of Syria for the purpose of regime change, they are hardly a good source of factual news.

      Moscow has sent elite units of Russian marines and special-operations forces to Syria to conduct "anti-terrorism" missions in the country, according to reports by Al Arabiya.
      •  But they aren't the only source (0+ / 0-)

        Remember history, Clay Claiborne, Director Vietnam: American Holocaust - narrated by Martin Sheen

        by Clay Claiborne on Sun Jun 17, 2012 at 10:08:29 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  How many "elite units of Russian marines and (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          special forces" can you bring in on this ship? One?

          How does that compare to US Vietnam era troop ships?

          •  Where do you get this crap? (0+ / 0-)

            Your argument on the facts is no longer with me but with the NY Times and a host of other publications, from the NY Times today, as cited above:

            Introducing an unpredictable new element into the Syrian crisis, a news agency said on Monday that two Russian naval vessels with marines on board were ready to head for Syria to protect Russian citizens and a naval base there, in what would be the first known reinforcement of Moscow’s military presence since the start of an uprising against President Bashar al-Assad.

            The Interfax news agency quoted a Russian naval official, who was not identified, as saying that the two amphibious assault ships would head for the Mediterranean port of Tartus, where Russia has its only warm-water naval base in the region.

            Now where did you get the crap you are trying to peddle to the effect that its just this one old rusty tanker ship is all?

            More to the point, why are you here on the pages of the Daily Kos with over 6k comments and no diaries, posting bull shit in defense a dictator that is massacring his own people as we write?

            Have you no shame?

            Remember history, Clay Claiborne, Director Vietnam: American Holocaust - narrated by Martin Sheen

            by Clay Claiborne on Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 11:53:54 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  The MSM were full of it last March (0+ / 0-)
              Russia denies reports of 'anti-terror' forces sent to Syria

              Russia denies reports of 'anti-terror' forces sent to Syria
              March 20, 2012 | 11:39 am
              Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov

              REPORTING FROM MOSCOW -- Russia's foreign minister denied reports Tuesday that his country had sent special forces to help its ally Syria, calling media reports "sheer fairy tales."

              Sergei Lavrov said he surmised that the reports must have arisen because an oil tanker was sent to the Gulf of Aden to help refuel Russian navy boats positioned to protect the sea routes in the area from pirates.

              Several Russian and Western news outlets reported Tuesday that the Iman tanker, at the Syrian port of Tartus, had an "anti-terror squad" on board. The Syrian regime often refers to the forces rebelling against President Bashar Assad as terrorists.

              Lavrov said the tanker had a "protection unit" on board to protect against pirate attacks, "like any other civilian vessel."

              The Russia Today news channel reported that the Russian Defense Ministry issued this statement:

                  There are no Russian combat ships on missions off Syrian shores. The Iman auxiliary vessel (tanker) has been in the port of Tartus for the last 10 days with the task of providing supplies to the ships of the Black Sea Fleet and the North Sea Fleet that are currently protecting the navigation through the Gulf of Aden. The crew of the Iman is manned by civilians with a security formation joined with them.

              Russia sneaks anti-terror military unit into Syria

              A Russian military unit has arrived in Syria, according to Russian news reports, a development that a United Nations Security Council source told ABC News was “a bomb” certain to have serious repercussions. Now the Russian Black Sea fleet’s Iman tanker has arrived in the Syrian port of Tartus on the Mediterranean Sea with an anti-terror squad from the Russian Marines aboard according to the Interfax news agency.

              Let us know when Russia actually does send troops to fight in Syria.

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