Russia Spreading Lies About Its Campaign In Syria

A resident of Jerusalem wrote on social media today that if Israel had Vladimir Putin as president, the Arabs would quickly be defeated by the IDF.

She referred to what is happening in Syria, where Russia Wednesday evening introduced cruise missiles in what is said to have been a massive attack on ISIS targets.

Russian warships in the Caspian Sea – some 1,000 miles away from Syria – launched 26 cruise missiles on 11 targets in ISIS-held territory in Syria, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu told reporters.

The Russian Defense Ministry later released a video that showed the launch of the cruise missiles.

You can watch that here:

“The missiles were fired by the small-sized ships Dagestan, Grad Sviyazhsk, Uglich and Veliky Ustyug, targeting infrastructural facilities in the country. The ships used the Kalibr NK missile system; whichRussian officials say was able to engage all targets successfully. The system is capable of engaging targets within a 3-meter margin of error,” the Russian Defense Ministry said in a press release.

The news about the cruise missile attacks was followed by reports that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s army and its allies have launched a large-scale ground operation against Islamic State in Syria.

State-controlled media and Iranian news agencies reported that the head of the Syrian General Staff, General Ali Abdullah Ayyoub, had announced the large-scale offensive against Islamic State.

“The Syrian army this Thursday launched a massive offensive against the Islamic State group in the province of Hama aimed at recovering all cities, towns and regions besieged by those the government calls terrorists,” Ayyoub reportedly said.

VOX News, however, has evidence that the Russian airstrikes are not directed at Islamic State but rebel groups in Western Syria. VOX published a map by the so-called Levantine group, an organization that collects intelligence on security-related issues and which delivered the evidence that Russia is lying about its campaign in Syria.

Map Russian airstrikes in Syria

Michael Horowitz, a Syria analyst at the Levantine group, told VOX that “the Russian air campaign is not geared toward the so-called Islamic State. Russian airstrikes are focusing on opposition groups controlling northwestern Syria, including the al-Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Front, other Islamist groups such Ahrar al-Sham, and ‘moderate’ groups including the Free Syrian Army (FSA).”

“The map also shows that the first week of airstrikes was meant to ‘soften’ opposition targets along the coast as well as inside the rebel-held enclave between Homs and Hama. Russia is laying the groundwork for a ground offensive in these areas, likely involving Iranian and/or Hezbollah forces, given the depleted state of Assad’s troop reserves,” Horowitz added.

The Levantine group’s assessment of the Russian activities in Syria matches the conclusions of the State Department. Spokesman John Kirby said during a press conference on Wednesday that 90% of the Russian airstrikes have not hit ISIS targets.

“They’ve been largely against opposition groups that want a better future for Syria and don’t want to see the (Bashar) Assad regime stay in power.

“I wouldn’t call what they’re doing a strategy. It’s a failing tactic to take because keeping him in power, even if it’s because you want to get to mutual consent, propping him up only prolongs the conflict,” Kirby said.

It remains unclear what exactly Kirby meant by “opposition groups that want a better future for Syria.”

Almost all those opposition groups are Islamists like Jabhat al-Nusra, the Al-Qaeda branch in Syria. The Russian actions in Syria are mainly directed against the so-called “Army of Conquest,” an Islamist coalition led by Jabhat al-Nusra. All those groups want to turn what is left of Syria into an Islamist theocracy where democracy will have no place.

It is also clear that the ground offensive that was announced today will not be directed at Islamic State, but the Army of Conquest.

Several reports that have been published over the past few days show that this is indeed the case.

The ground offensive is taking place in the Idlib Province and in Hama, where Islamic State has no presence.

The news site NOW Lebanon reported today that rebels had caused a ‘tank massacre” in northern Hama. Many tanks of regime forces were destroyed by US-made TOW missiles, and the offensive has suffered a significant setback, NOW reported.

Regime forces and Hezbollah are also preparing for a major offensive in the northern Kuneitra Province, where Jabhat al-Nusra has set up camp along the border with Israel. More than 40 Hezbollah vehicles have arrived at the 90th Brigade Base of the Syrian army, and the offensive is expected to begin on Friday.

As for the sensational reports about the Russian cruise missiles hitting Islamic State targets, this seems to be a lie too. It just doesn’t make sense to attack Islamic State with cruise missiles from the Caspian Sea.

“There are very few Daesh targets for which the long-range cruise missiles would be suitable.  For airborne targeting, Daesh is almost entirely a “TACAIR” target set – best attacked using tactical air assets (strike-fighters, tactical bombers, armed drones, and helicopters),” naval intelligence and weapons expert Jennifer Dyer wrote to Western Journalism in an e-mail interview.

So Putin hasn’t changed his strategy, nor his plan for Syria. As Western Journalism reported at the end of September, “the Russian actions are consistent with the overall strategy by the Iranian-Russian dominated P4+1 coalition that aims to drive opposition groups out of the border area with Lebanon, western Homs Province and the coastal plain where Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s Alawite home base and Syria’s only ports are located. The newly-formed coalition wants to secure Assad’s rule over the Damascus area and the above-mentioned territories, plus the Kuneitra Province, which is bordering Israel on the Golan Heights.”

Something Massive Was Just Discovered Under Ground In A Key Region Of Israel That Could Ratchet Tensions Higher

Israel’s relationship with surrounding nations could change significantly because of a recent discovery in their nation.

Massive oil reserves have been found near their Syrian border.

“There is enormous excitement,” Yuval Bartov, chief geologist for Afek Oil and Gas, an Israeli subsidiary of Genie Energy, an American company, said Tuesday. “It’s a fantastic feeling. We came here thinking maybe yes or maybe no, and now things are really happening.”

The potential of the discovery is vast, Bartov said. The field could meet Israel’s domestic oil consumption needs for many years, eliminating any need to import oil from Arab neighbors. Israel uses about 270,000 barrels of oil per day.

“We are talking about a strata which is 350 meters thick and what is important is the thickness and the porosity,” Bartov said. “On average in the world, strata are 20-30 meters thick, so this is ten times as large as that, so we are talking about significant quantities. The important thing is to know the oil is in the rock and that’s what we now know.”

No timetable for actual drilling has been released.

The reserves were found in the Golan Heights, captured from Syria during the 1967 Six Day War and formally annexed by Israel in 1981. The region already contains vital underground water sources that provide Israel’s chief source of fresh water.

The location could pose a problem. Syria has never fully relinquished its claim to the region and the United Nations has urged Israel to return the land to Syria. At a time when Russian-backed forces are fighting rebels in Syria, the discovery of oil in a disputed region raises the potential for new conflict over ownership.

The region is already the subject of rocket attacks from beyond Israel’s borders.

h/t: Fox News

VIDEO: Russian Warships Launch Massive Naval Air Strike On Not Just ISIS

Backed by Russian cruise missiles, Syrian troops launched a major offensive in western Syria Thursday.

“Following the Russian military airstrikes that diminished the fighting capacity of ISIS and other terrorist groups, the Syrian armed forces maintained their military initiative,” Syrian army chief of staff Gen. Ali Abdullah Ayyoub said Thursday, announcing what Syria labeled a major military operation.

On Wednesday, four Russian ships in the Caspian Sea fired 26 missiles into Syria, hitting 11 targets, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu reported. The missiles flew 930 miles to strike their targets. It was the first use of cruise missiles in Russia’s escalating war in Syria.

Also on Wednesday, Syrian ground forces supported by Syrian allies worked in coordination with Russian air power to launch attacks in several western Syria villages.

The attacks are part of a coordinated strategy involving Syria, Iran, Russia and the Lebanese Shiite militant group Hezbollah, the New York Times reported, quoting an unnamed official with the alliance.

The actions sparked concerns that Russia was not seeking to target ISIS, as it has proclaimed, but instead is attacking groups opposed to Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad.

“What we’ve seen in initial airstrikes that Russia carried out beginning last week were primarily targeting places where ISIL (ISIS) wasn’t ensconced, didn’t exist, didn’t have a presence and frankly it was where moderate Syrian opposition forces are generally located,” said Mark Toner, the deputy spokesman for the U.S. Embassy in Syria.

“I’m also concerned that Russia is not targeting ISIL (ISIS) but instead attacking the Syrian opposition and civilians,” said NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

The Russian presence in the region is growing, said Douglas Lute, the U.S. ambassador to NATO. Lute said Russia is deploying its most advanced tanks, air defense systems and attack helicopters. Lute reports that Russia has also amassed a fleet of 10 warships in the Mediterranean Sea.

h/t: BBC

Wow: Look What Russian Fighter Jets Have Done To The U.S. In Syria At Least 3 Times

Image for representational purposes only.

Russian jets are stalking U.S. drones flying missions over Syria, an American official has said. Three incidents have taken place since last week’s start of the Russian air campaign in Syria, two U.S. officials told Fox News.

“The first time it happened, we thought the Russians got lucky. Then it happened two more times,” said one official.

Lt. Gen. Charles Brown, commander of the American air campaign, said Monday that the Russians have come close to both manned and unmanned American aircraft.

“The closest has been within a handful of miles of our remotely piloted aircraft,” said Brown. “But to our manned aircraft they’ve not been closer than about 20 miles.”

At that distance, American pilots could visually identify the aircraft on their targeting cameras, Brown said.

The Russians have not attempted to shoot down any of the American predator drones, one official told Fox News. The drones, which do not use stealth technology, are easily visible on radar. The incidents took place over parts of Syria controlled by ISIS, including one incident along the Turkish-Syrian border near Korbani.

The Turkish border was also the scene of two Russian incursions into Turkish airspace. Both Turkish and NATO officials have protested the actions, which took place Monday.

NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said, “[I]t’s unacceptable to violate the airspace of another country.” A Russian MIG-29 “harassed” at least eight Turkish F-16 jets on Turkey’s border with Syria, he said.

American officials have downplayed the incident.

“The Russians flew along the border and we still don’t know for sure what happened,” one official told Fox News.

h/t: Fox News

Trump: Syrian Refugees ‘Could Be The Great Trojan Horse’


Donald Trump: “I’m putting the people on notice that are coming here from Syria as part of this mass migration, that if I win, if I win, they’re going back. They’re going back. I’m telling you, they’re going back.”

Donald Trump is concerned that we know nothing about the 200,000 refugees coming to the U.S. from Syria.

We don’t know where they’re coming from. We don’t know who they are. They could be ISIS. It could be the great Trojan horse. I mean this could be one of the great Trojan horses ever, since the original. We don’t know where these people – they have no documentation. They have no paperwork. There’s no way they can prove where they’re coming from. And I said ‘I would absolutely not do it.’

Mr. Trump noted that most of the Syrian refugees were men.

When I heard that, I saw the migration. The migration was strange to me because it seemed like so many men, there aren’t that many women, there aren’t that many children. It looked like mostly men and they looked like strong men. These looked like physically strong people. I’m saying, ‘Where all the women? Where are all the children?’

Trump said that other countries should take in these refugees.

Look, they shouldn’t take them in. Europe should take some problems. You have the Gulf states. You have Saudi Arabia, you have Iran. You have Qatar, some of the richest countries. They’re not taking any and they’re right there. So, we’re supposed to take 200,000 people that we have no idea who they are?

Do you think the U.S. should take in these refugees from Syria? Share and comment below.