Round-the-Clock Russian War on Terrorism in Syria
by Stephen Lendman
Russia continues waging effective war on terrorism in Syria round-the-clock – compared to America’s phony war, creating and supporting its scourge, used to advance its imperial interests.
After transforming a neglected Latakia, Syria airfield into the Khmeimim strategic hub, Russian aerial operations against ISIS and likeminded groups continue effectively without letup.
Moscow created capacity for dozens of combat aircraft, including state-of-the-art bombers, fighter jets, ground-support planes, helicopter gunships and support choppers.
Syrian operations are the first ones modern-day Russia conducted far from its territory, hundreds of miles from its nearest military base.
Infrastructure needed to sustain operations had to be developed from scratch – munitions, equipment, supplies, virtually everything needed brought in from Russia – either airlifted or sea transported. Ground travel through terrorist infested areas or close to them rules out this option.
Considerable planning and development preceded commencing sophisticated operations, hammering ISIS and other terrorist elements relentlessly nationwide.
Russian Aerospace Forces spokesman Col. Igor Klimov said “(w)e are actively using all combat aircraft at the Khmeimim airfield…(P)lanes are carrying out combat sorties day and night,” ongoing for over six weeks, continuing for as long as it takes to neutralize and eliminate the scourge of terrorism.
Since November 17, operations escalated significantly, Syria-based Russian aircraft are joined by state-of-the-art long-range bombers and support aircraft flying from Russia, completing their mission, then returning home, traveling thousands of miles round-trip.
On Thursday, General Staff spokesman Col. General Andrey Kartapolov said Russian bombers destroyed ISIS’ headquarters, “three depots with oil, lubricants and ammunition; a plant for the production of explosive devices; a command center, a workshop for the production and repairs of mortar launchers, three major oil facilities and an oil pumping station.”
Strategic and long-range bombers were involved – double the number of aircraft beginning this week, operating throughout Syrian airspace, creating the possibility of confrontation with US warplanes, supporting, not combating ISIS.
On Thursday, Kartapolov reported ISIS acknowledging the death of three prominent field commanders as a result of Russian air power. Heavy losses of weapons, munitions, facilities and manpower continue being inflicted daily.
“In order to conceal the true number of casualties, the evacuation of the dead and wounded militants is carried out in the dark,” Kartapolov explained.
“According to our data, due to heavy losses and the inability to bury all of the eliminated terrorists in accordance with Islamic tradition, the commanders decided to dump the bodies of ordinary militants in sewage pits” – disposing of them like garbage, the likely fate of many new recruits not explained.
Russian air power “completely disrupted” ISIS operations in Homs province. Some unit commanders refuse to carry out orders from superiors.
On Thursday, French magazine Valeurs Actuelles
interviewed Assad. His comments are always refreshingly straightforward. He bashed French President Hollande for arrogating to himself the right to speak on behalf of the Syrian people and make decisions for them regarding their leadership.
The first democratic principle is citizens of a nation alone have a right to choose their officials, not foreign powers, wanting their interests alone served.
France allied with Washington is part of the problem, not the solution, Assad explained. It’s relations with Saudi Arabia and other ruthless regional regimes alone destroys its credibility.
Assad also asked “did French policy during the past five years bring any good to (its) people?” None whatever, he stressed. His message to Hollande is “be serious when you talk about fighting terrorists.” His actions show he supports them.
Whoever fights its scourge in earnest anywhere “protect(s) the rest of the world,” Assad stressed. “(W)e always asked for an international coalition” against a common enemy.
Asked if he’d “leave power if it could be the best solution to protect Syria, he said he has no obligation to “respon(d) to any foreign request…small, big, important, not important, because” outside powers have no say over Syrian policy.
All they’ve done is support terrorism. They’re part of the problem, not the solution. “As a Syrian, I have to respond to” the will of its people. The only way to know “is through the ballot box…”
Assad blasted Turkey’s fascist regime for allying with Washington’s imperial agenda and “offer(ing) all kinds of support to (the) terrorists…with money, logistics, armaments, surveillance,” intelligence and more.
Erdogan is an enemy of the Syrian people. He wants part of Syria incorporated into a greater Turkey. He’s allied with Washington’s most destructive policies.
You cannot fight terrorism while supporting it, Assad stressed. He’s determined to continue confronting the scourge threatening his country – extremely grateful to Putin for his support against a common enemy.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
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