WATCH: Russia Introduces A New Deadly Toy In The Syrian War

As Western Journalism reported today, Russia has moved the Sukhoi SU-35 S super flanker to its airbase in the Syrian Latakia Province. The SU-35 is the world’s most dangerous fighter plane after the US-made F-22.

The move came as the Russian/Iranian coalition is seeking to win its first major victory in Syria by recapturing Aleppo, the largest city in the country.

The SU-35S arrived in Syria last week and on Sunday fresh video evidence was released that showed the fighter jet already participates in the airstrikes against opposition forces in the warn-torn country.

To get an idea about the plane’s impressive capabilities, the video below, published in January 2015 shows the introduction of the fighter plane during Russia’s biennial super air show and arms bazaar MAKS.

Russia has already installed the S-400 surface to air missile system that virtually controls all air traffic in Syria’s airspace. It uses two airbases in Syria to carry out an increasing number of airstrikes that prepare the way for ground offensives in northern and southern Syria.

The Russians have also equipped their SU-34 fullback fighters with air to air missiles after the downing of a Russian warplane by Turkish F-16 fighter jets in December 2015. The deployment of the SU-35S increases the striking capabilities of the Russian air force in Syria and must be seen as a warning to Turkey, as well. Russia will not tolerate another attack on its air force by Turkey.

You can watch video images of the SU-35S in northern Syria here:

h/t: Foxtrot Alpha

Russia’s Syria Strategy Is Paying Off: Anticipated Fall Of Syria’s Largest City Will Be Turning Point In The War

More than twenty thousand new Syrian refugees are trapped at the Bab al-Salam border crossing with Turkey in northern Syria after they fled the Syrian city of Aleppo at the end of last week.

The Syrian citizens left Aleppo during intensive Russian airstrikes, and after Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s army and its allies started to close in on the eastern side of the city that has been controlled by rebels since the summer of 2012. An estimated 40,000 other residents are on their way from Aleppo to the Turkish border or have found shelter in the Kurdish Canton Afrin, local media reported on Sunday. Afrin is relatively safe because the Russians and the American-led coalition planes don’t carry out airstrikes there.

The EU has called upon Turkey to open its borders to the refugees, and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has promised to do so; but for now, Turkey is delivering aid to the refugees in Syria. The governor of the Turkish border province of Kilis has said that only in the event of an “extraordinary crisis” will the refugees be allowed to enter Turkey; he did not elaborate. Turkey is already hosting more than 2,5 million Syrian refugees and wants other countries to do more to elevate the unprecedented humanitarian crisis in Syria.

The battle for Aleppo could be the turning point in the almost five-year-old Syrian war and comes on the heels of the failed peace conference in Geneva last week. The opposition accuses the Assad regime of deliberately undermining the conference and points to the timing of the offensive in the vicinity of Aleppo that coincided with the beginning of the conference in Geneva. Assad is now more interested in securing a military victory than in a negotiated settlement of the conflict, they claim.

The opposition is probably right.

Since the Russian intervention in Syria, Assad’s chances of surviving the rebellion against his regime have significantly risen, and his Russian/Iranian-led coalition has even succeeded in regaining the initiative in the war.

The Russians have used the period between September 2015 and January 2016 to build up their forces and to bring in large quantities of arms and other military equipment that replenished the depleted arsenals of Assad’s army and Hezbollah. Just last week, the Russians flew in the Sukhoi SU-35S, the most dangerous fighter plane in the world except for the U.S. made F-22, according to Western media.

The Russians are also building a large military base for ground forces south of the city of Latakia in Syria, the Israeli Hebrew language paper Yediot Acharonot reported on Friday. Analyst Alex Fishman wrote that the base would be, in fact, a Russian autonomous area in Syria where Russian personnel will be in full control of everything. Fishman says that this shows that the Russians intend to stay in Syria and will try to expand their influence over parts of the Middle East from there.

The successful Russian strategy is now becoming visible in Aleppo and elsewhere in Syria.

The Syrian army together with Hezbollah has repeatedly tried to recapture Aleppo – or Halab in Arabic – which is the largest city in Syria, but all efforts failed. But now, the situation looks different. This became apparent last week when after heavy Russian airstrikes, the Assad coalition succeeded in cutting off a crucial supply route from Aleppo to the Turkish border. The reinforcement of troops by Al Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra in eastern Aleppo was not enough to stop the advances of government forces, and some fear that Assad’s army will impose a siege on the city instead of trying to drive out the rebels by urban battle.

The city has been split in half since the rebels captured eastern Aleppo in mid-2012, and had been the scene of intensive fighting and bombardments ever since. A local Syrian journalist painted a bleak picture of the future of the rebels in Aleppo.

“The rebels have light weapons, and they are facing literal armies: Iran, Russia, the [Syrian] regime, Hezbollah … ISIS. They’re up against warplanes and surface-to-surface missiles. And meanwhile, Turkey won’t even let in the refugees. How do you think it’s going to go?” Mohammed al-Khatib told NPR.

The siege and the fall of Aleppo will probably deliver a decisive blow to the opposition in Syria, experts think. It probably will be the turning point in the war, not only because of the loss of Aleppo but mainly because the supply routes of the opposition forces are now under increasing threat.

“The full encirclement of Aleppo City would fuel a humanitarian catastrophe, shatter opposition morale, fundamentally challenge Turkish strategic ambitions, and deny the opposition its most valuable bargaining chip before the international community,” according to the Washington-based Institute of the Study of War.

The latest reports from the Aleppo region make mention of a massacre among Jabhat al-Nusra forces in the city of Retyan, close to Aleppo. Three hundred al-Nusra fighters were killed during fierce fighting with Assad’s army there over the past few days, Russian media reported.

The turning tide of the Syrian war has not only become visible in the northern and western part of the country, but in the south as well.

In the area of Daraa, the southern town that was the scene of the first demonstrations against the Assad regime in 2011, government forces are on the march as well.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported on Friday that the Syrian army, backed by Hezbollah and foreign Shiite militias, seized the town of Ataman,1.3 miles from Daraa, the capital of the province with the same name.

Here, the pattern was the same: Russian warplanes carried out intensive air raids ahead of a ground offensive; and within a short time, government forces recaptured Ataman.

The recapture of the northern part of the Daraa Province is probably the beginning of a long-anticipated offensive that aims to bring Assad back in control of southern Syria.

But it won’t stop there. Israel fears that this offensive will end with a push by Hezbollah and the Iranian Al-Quds Brigades to set up camp next to the Israeli border on the Golan Heights.

Meanwhile, Russia warned Saudi Arabia not to intervene in Syria after the Saudi government had announced it was willing to send ground troops to assist the U.S. led coalition in a possible future ground offensive against Islamic State.

The Saudi decision was welcomed by the U.S. State Department, but Pavel Krasheninnikov, the head of the Russian State Duma Committee, threatened war over the Saudi decision.

“Syria has to give official consent, to invite. Otherwise, it will be war,” Krasheninnikov said on Friday.

51 Refugees Molest Women In Night Club, Get Blindsided By Instant Russian Justice

As reports of mass molestation and assaults by refugees continue to surface, the general response among those in Western Europe has been to kindly educate said refugees on acceptable behavior and to warn law abiding citizens against provocation.

Apparently, Russia didn’t get the memo.

When a group of 51 refugees were expelled from Norway for “bad behavior,” they decided to make their way to Russia. What they didn’t know is that the Russian system of justice is seemingly far less tolerant and far more painful than that of their European neighbors.

After groping and harassing several women at a nightclub in Murmansk, the group of refugees was taken aside by a few Russian men and informed that “Cologne is 2,500 kilometers south of here.” But the lesson didn’t stop with the not so subtle jab against the Germans.

Before the refugees had a chance to flee, the Russian men took them out to the street and gave them the beating some might say they deserved. Although police arrived to break up the fight, local reports claim that the officers threw a few punches of their own.

In total, 33 refugees were arrested, but 18 were in such bad condition they had to be taken to a hospital for treatment. To add insult to injury, no charges were filed against the Russians who inflicted the beating.

While many European countries apparently continue to sacrifice the safety of their people on the altar of multiculturalism and tolerance, it is becoming increasingly more evident that some people have had enough. And while some may say that cases of assault against women will more than likely continue until the refugee crisis has been resolved, hopefully this group learned to keep their hands to themselves.

h/t: The Daily Caller

Russia Just Did Something Big ‘We Haven’t Seen Before’- US On High Alert

A new NATO report makes it clear that a resurgent and bellicose Russian military is increasing military tensions in Europe to levels not seen since the end of the Cold War.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Russia has conducted at least 18 large-scale exercises over the past three years, “some of which have involved more than 100,000 troops.”

Among them were simulated nuclear attacks against NATO allies and partner nations, such as Sweden in March 2013.

“We haven’t had to worry about this for 25 years, and while I wish it were otherwise, now we do,” said Defense Secretary Ash Carter Tuesday. The administration has proposed spending $3.4 billion on its troops and training in Europe.

British Vice Admiral Clive Johnstone, Commander of NATO’s Maritime Command, said NATO has observed “a level of Russian capability that we haven’t seen before,” and that there is “more activity from Russian submarines than we’ve seen since the days of the Cold War.” This is “very different from the period of quiet submarine activity that perhaps we’ve seen in the past,” he said.

“Russia in the last few months has returned to, I would say, nearly a Cold War level of activity that goes towards our homeland, with long-range attacks, exercises and those types of things,” former U.S. Navy Commander, Admiral Samuel Locklear, told the House Armed Services Committee in April 2015, adding that Russia was reasserting itself politically and militarily.

Russia actions are provoking reactions.

This week, Sweden re-activated a former Cold War base on the island of Gotland to address the potential Russian threat.

Sweden’s Supreme Commander, General Mikael Byden, said, “This is one of the great challenges right now: What are they up to, and why do they do it?”

The responses come as an analysis by the RAND Corporation released this week said Russian tanks could overrun NATO’s existing forces in the Baltic nations. The report warned NATO’s ground forces are no match for Russia’s.

“The … findings are unambiguous: As currently postured, NATO cannot successfully defend the territory of its most exposed members,” the report said.

h/t: Fox News

Russia Just Made A Bold Military Move Toward The U.S.- American Officials Furious

A Russian Fighter jet sped within several feet of a U.S. spy plane over the Black Sea on Monday according to the Pentagon.

“An RC-135 aircraft flying a routine route in international airspace over the Black Sea was intercepted by a Russian Su-27 in an unsafe and unprofessional manner,” said Navy Capt. Daniel Hernandez, chief spokesman for the U.S. European Command.

“US defense officials claim the an aggressive banking turn was performed and the thrust of the SU-27 ‘disturbed the controllability’ of the RC-135 (a modified Boeing 707), the Express reported.

Defense Department spokeswoman Lt. Col. Michelle L. Baldanza told Fox News outlet that the incident is being investigated. 

“The Pentagon held a video conference Thursday with Russian military officials to discuss flight safety over Syria ‘to avoid accidents and unintended confrontation between coalition and Russian forces whenever the two sides operate in close proximity,’ according to Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook. There was no mention of the ‘unprofessional’ intercept in his statement.” Fox reported.

Earlier this week, Japan’s Defense Ministry revealed that Japanese interceptor jets were scrambled to chase two Russian Tu-95 Bear bombers that approached the northern end of Japan,” according to the Express. 

Putin has been taking increasing aggressive moves towards the United States and Western powers over the last several months. Last July 4th, the United States scrambled fighter jets to intercept Russian bombers coming close the the coastlines of Alaska and California.

As reported by Western Journalism, U.S. Navy officials revealed in the fall that they have been tracking Russian naval activity near vital underseas communication cables in the Atlantic. The Navy is concerned that the Russians may be searching out secret locations of special cables used by the U.S. government for military operations.