When Zero Hedge first reported ten days ago that Russian troops, in their bid to support the Assad regime in its ongoing confrontation with various ISIS, Al Nusra, and other US-supported groups in what has become the proxy war of 2015 (one which even comes with thousands of refugees for dramatic media impact) had been quietly massing in Syria and have set up a forward operating base near Damascus, there were those who were openly skeptical.
Then, just a few hours ago, Bloomberg finally confirmed that “top officials were scheduled to meet at the National Security Council Deputies Committee level to discuss how to respond to the growing buildup of Russian military equipment and personnel in Latakia” and that Russia is “set to start flying combat missions from a new air base inside Syria.”
So yes, for whatever reason (and the reason as we explained is clear: natural gas pipelines) Russia is making not only its increasing support for Assad known, but also that it is in Syria and that any further US-funded and supported incursions by ISIS or whatever is the media scapegoat terrorist organization du jour, will not be tolerated.
To be sure, none of this is in any way a surprise to the US – just as the US is using ISIS as a pretext to invade or pressure any mid-east nation it desires “in order to hold the jihadist terrorist scourge”, so Russia is now using ISIS as a comparable excuse to intervene. After all, if ISIS is the friend of humanity, then surely Russian aid will be welcome. That it is not, had made it abundantly clear that not only is ISIS just a convenient diversion, but the reasons for a Syrian invasion and deposition of Assad, are purely political and entirely in the realm of real-politik. Also, Russia’s return to Syria in greater numbers is no surprise to anyone in the Pentagon – this was merely the long-awaited escalation of the foreplay that started when ISIS mysteriously emerged on the scene just over a year ago.
But in the latest twist in what we have been warning for months has the makings of the biggest proxy shooting war in years, one that will come as a major humiliation to the Obama administration, today we find out that none other than America’s most recent diplomatic sweetheart in the Gulf region, Iran, has deployed ground soldiers into Syria in the past few days in cooperation with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin.