Russian, Syrian and Iranian military commanders have set up a coordination cell in Baghdad in recent days to try to begin working with Iranian-backed Shia militias fighting the Islamic State, Fox News has learned.
Western intelligence sources say the coordination cell includes low-level Russian generals. U.S. officials say it is not clear whether the Iraqi government is involved at the moment.
Describing the arrival of Russian military personnel in Baghdad, one senior U.S. official said, "They are popping up everywhere."
The Russians already have been building up their military presence in Syria, a subject expected to factor prominently in a planned meeting between President Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin in New York Monday on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly.
While the U.S. also is fighting the Islamic State, the Obama administration has voiced concern that Russia's involvement, at least in Syria, could have a destabilizing effect.
Moscow, though, has fostered ties with the governments in both Syria and Iraq. In May, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi flew to Moscow for an official visit to discuss potential Russian arms transfers and shared intelligence capability, as well as the enhancement of security and military capabilities, according to a statement by the Iraqi prime minister's office at the time.
Iranian Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani also was spotted in Baghdad on Sept 22. He met with Shia militias backed by Iran; intelligence officials believe he met with Russians as well.
Meanwhile, a U.S. official described to Fox News how, over the weekend, the Russians were able to move 24 attack jets into Syria undetected.
The Russian military flew 12 Sukhoi Su-25 "Frogfoot" and a dozen Sukhoi Su-24 "Fencer" attack aircraft in "tight formations" under the "steady stream" of the large Russian An-124 cargo planes that have been ferrying supplies from bases in Russia through Iran before traveling on to Syria, the official said.
The large cargo planes appeared as "a big blip" on radar, but flying beneath them were "tight formations" of the smaller Russian fighter jets that used jamming pods and switched off their IFF, which would identify the aircraft to radar.
The leader of Lebanon Hezbollah terror group has welcomed what he described as Russia’s growing “combat presence” in Syria, saying it would have a significant impact on the war in the neighboring country.
Moscow has denied that it is building up its presence in Syria to protect its long-time ally, Syrian President Bashar Assad, but says instead that it wants to help him fight the Islamic State group.
Hassan Nasrallah said Friday that the deployment of Russian warplanes and precision missiles, as well as “resources with operating teams” was a “great development” that would influence the situation on the ground.
Nasrallah spoke on Hezbollah’s al-Manar TV.
He said Russia had been talking with allies about an expanded alliance against the IS after US-led airstrikes failed to uproot the extremists.
Russia has been building up its military presence at an air base in Syria, including fighter jets, tanks, helicopters, air defense missiles, personnel and other equipment. Russia is a traditional ally of Syria and has supported Assad, who has clung to power despite a US-led international effort to force him to step down.
In an interview taped with CBS’ “60 Minutes” for broadcast Sunday, Russian President Vladimir Putin was asked if his country was “trying to save the Assad administration.”
Putin responded, “Well, you’re right.” He said any effort to destroy Assad’s government “will create a situation which you can witness now in the other countries of the region, … where all the state institutions are disintegrated.”
The Russian leader added, “There is no other solution to the Syrian crisis than strengthening the effective government structures and rendering them help in fighting terrorism.”
US Defense Secretary Ash Carter said Thursday that he would talk to his Russian counterpart again about Moscow’s military intentions in Syria, but cautioned that if the Russians insist on fighting the Islamic State without simultaneously pursuing a political solution to Syria’s civil war they will be “pouring gasoline” on the conflict.
In comments at the Pentagon, Carter said the Obama administration is concerned that Russia could use the warplanes and other military force it has recently assembled in Syria to attack the Islamic State or the moderate Syrian rebels who are fighting against the government of President Bashar Assad. Carter declined to say whether he believes the Russian buildup is intended to undertake airstrikes or other offensive military action.
“We’re going to be talking to them about their intentions both on the political track and the military track,” Carter said.
In March 2011, Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi predicted what would happen to Europe if the stability of his country was undermined by the Western powers. In an interview with “France 24”, Qaddafi correctly predicted, “There are millions of blacks who could come to the Mediterranean to cross to France and Italy, and Libya plays a role in security in the Mediterranean”.
Qaddafi’s son, Saif al Islam Qaddafi, who has been sentenced to death by the radical Libyan regime that governs Tripoli, echoed his father’s comments in the same interview with the French news network. Saif said: “Libya may become the Somalia of North Africa, of the Mediterranean. You will see the pirates in Sicily, in Crete, in Lampedusa. You will see millions of illegal immigrants. The terror will be next door”. As seen with recent events, Saif was right on target.
Indeed, for Europe, the terror is literally next door. It is estimated that as many as 4000 radical jihadists, young men who are veterans of the terrorist holocausts of Syria, Iraq, and Yemen, have taken advantage of the absence of European Union external and internal Schengen border controls to either return to Europe or enter Europe for the first time. Many of the young male “migrants” have iPhones, bank ATM cards, multiple passports, and ample cash, hardly what would expect to be found in the possession of legitimate war refugees.
As a result of his programs to re-engineer nations, Soros first helped destroy the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia with the active help of the European Union and NATO. The seven independent republics that once constituted Yugoslavia, now serve as major transit routes for perhaps tens of thousands and an impending hundreds of thousands of non-European migrants. Greece, which is suffering under austerity “vulturism” directed by European central and private bankers, including Soros and his Rothschild overseers, can hardly deal with the massive influx of refugees. The bankers have ensured that Greece cannot even provide the basic social services for its own people let alone refugees from civil war zones and nations suffering from collapsed governments and economies.
Whether they are termed neo-conservative or neo-liberal, the policies that have resulted in the worst refugee crisis to strike Europe since the end of World War II have their roots in the political boiler shops funded by George Soros and CIA front groups throughout Europe and the United States. It is only a matter of time before their roles in what has occurred in Europe will be discovered by the nationalists of the right and left and their publishing houses and web site locations will go up in flames.
Throughout cities and towns in Europe, newly-arrived migrants sleeping in parks and on sidewalks have created a public health nightmare with human feces covering park grounds and the stench of urine permeating the walls of buildings and gutters. The situation is exacerbated by newly-arriving Syrian refugees in northern Germany mistaking poisonous wild “death cap” mushrooms for an edible variety that grows in the eastern Mediterranean. Although warning notices written in Arabic and Kurdish have been distributed to the refugees, the refugees have ingested the death cap mushrooms, which has resulted in uncontrollable vomiting and diarrhea, which has added to the public health dilemma facing Europe. It is only a matter of time before human waste-borne diseases like cholera and typhus make their first triumphant return to the cities of Europe since the deadly pandemics of the last millennium.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, EU Council President Donald Tusk of Poland, and EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker bear direct responsibility for the influx of what may total more than a million political and economic refugees into the heart of Europe. Merkel has made no secret of her desire to add to the ranks of the German guest worker, Gastarbeiter. However, as shown with other guest workers in Germany who have arrived over the last several decades, these workers never consider themselves as “guests” but as permanent residents and citizens. Meanwhile, Tusk and Juncker, the latter a native of tiny Luxembourg, have threatened to fine non-EU members Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Iceland if they do not absorb their share of refugees, a percentage dictated by the EU “Eurocrats” in Brussels. Although Tusk has demanded EU countries to open their borders and treasuries to the refugees, his native Poland is reticent to accept more than a few hundred. Poland’s opposition is joined by the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Slovenia.
Juncker’s successor as prime minister of Luxembourg, Xavier Bettel, who is Europe’s first leader to be in a gay marriage, has welcomed hundreds of refugees. Bettel does not believe in a Europe of borders and therefore, like Merkel, Tusk, and Juncker, he a hero to the Soros-funded NGOs who are turning Europe into a deadly social engineering experiment. Many Luxembourgers are in search of someone like Marine Le Pen in France to stop the refugee welcome wagon that threatens to obliterate the Grand Ducky of Luxembourg.
Eventually, Europeans will wake up and discover that Russia immunized itself from the refugee scourge by not playing ball with the EU and its contrivances. When newly-arrived migrants begin defecating, vomiting, and urinating on the streets of Tallinn, Riga, Vilnius, Helsinki, and Stockholm, refugee crisis-free Russia will not seem so bad after all.
A very sharp analysis of the Syrian situation from the New York Observer's John Schindler, who lays out a case that Russian influence in the Middle East is on the rise while America's is being frittered away by the incompetents at the White House.
The forces Mr. Putin has just deployed to Syria are impressive, veteran special operators backed by a wing of fighters and ground attack jets that are expected to commence air strikes on Assad’s foes soon. They are backed by air defense units, which is puzzling since the Islamic State has no air force, indicating that the Kremlin’s true intent in Syria has little to do with the stated aim of fighting terrorism and is really about propping up Russia’s longtime client in Damascus.
The White House is left planning “deconfliction” with Moscow—which is diplomatic language for entreating Russians, who now dominate Syrian airspace, not to shoot down American drones, which provide the lion’s share of our intelligence on the Islamic State. The recent meeting on Syrian developments between Mr. Putin and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who clearly finds dealing with the Russian strongman preferable to parleying with President Obama, indicates where power is flowing in today’s Middle East.
To make matters worse for the administration, new revelations regarding flawed intelligence assessments of the Islamic State, which I told you about last week, paint a troubling portrait of organized lying at the Pentagon. Some of the more than 50 analysts at Central Command in Tampa who blew the whistle on politicized intelligence reported feeling “bullied” to make their assessments of the U.S.-led war on the Islamic State appear more successful than the facts warranted. This is about much more than merely “cherry-picking” intelligence.
One named whistleblower has come forward about CENTCOM’s intelligence problems, explaining that he witnessed persistent, command-mandated low-balling of terrorist threats in Iraq since the killing of Osama Bin Laden. Rising terrorism in Iraq was “off message” for the White House, eager to pronounce jihadism there as dead as its leader.
It's not just cooked intel. It's the way the White House has been interferring in the prosecution of the war against ISIS, highlighted by the resignation of John Allen, Obama's "war czar," who quit in disgust because of micromanaging from national security aides:
The main culprit is micromanagement by White House staffers, especially on the National Security Council, which is bloated and regularly treats senior military officers and diplomats like hired help. Obscenity-laced tirades by senior NSC staff are not uncommon. To make matters worse, significant differences between the NSC and the Pentagon on how to defeat the Islamic State went unresolved for months, leading to lethargy inside the Beltway while U.S. theater commanders were close to panicking about the enemy’s rise. Mr. Allen eventually had enough.
Now the White House needs to find a replacement who’s up to the job, which looks to be no easy task. “Good luck with that,” stated a senior Pentagon official, “I doubt they’ll find another four-star eager to be the dog who catches that car.” A senior NATO official explained that Mr. Allen’s departure “is really a serious blow. We had little confidence before in President Obama’s ability to defeat Daesh,” the Arabic term for the Islamic State. “Now we have none.”
What happens next in Syria is the top guessing game among security experts the world over right now. Has Mr. Putin finally gone too far? Can anything be salvaged from that awful conflict that could serve Western interests while stopping the rise of the Islamic State—and perhaps even save innocent lives? What is the aim of Operation Inherent Resolve now that General Allen is leaving the stage? All that’s certain at this point is that President Obama’s flailing war against the Islamic State is looking for a strategy as well as a new czar.
It has been evident from the start that the president has not been serious about confronting the Islamic State and was interested only in doing the bare minimum necessary to give the illusion of action. When you pretend to fight a war, the results are predictable: failure. Vladimir Putin should be grateful for the gift President Obama has given him in Syria, as 70 years of U.S. policy to deny Russian influence in the Middle East appears to be unravelling.
So the pope came and addressed congress, and the u.n...yawn.....nothing earth shattering. Am I missing something?
Other than the fact that much of what he said about mythical global warming and redistribution of wealth sounds like parts of the communist manifesto?
And that he basically ignored abortion, Christian persecution, and the gospel message?
THE POPE, THE SELF-PROCLAIMED “VICAR OF CHRIST”, PREACHING A MESSAGE OF THE FAILURE OF JESUS ON THE CROSS.
This is the pope's message...
The cross shows us a different way of measuring success. Ours is to plant the seeds. God sees to the fruits of our labors. And if at times our efforts and works seem to fail and not produce fruit, we need to remember that we are followers of Jesus Christ and his life, humanly speaking, ended in failure, the failure of the cross.
Scott have you seen this article. If so what do you think?
I havent seen it yet thanks for the link
Ill post that when i get a chance
The NBC nightly news Love Fesst over the Pope in NYC was eye opening . No doubt the cult like atmosphere was a glimpse into the tribulation!
Come Lord Jesus!
My thoughts exactly. This is a warm-up act for the arrival of the AC. Imagine how the press will fawn over him
I don't know how seriously to take the Malachi Prophecies since they're not scriptural; but if they are true, and he is the last pope, he has done nothing to convince me that he isn't the one to fulfill them, especially since he seems to be more concerned about a hot panet than a hot Hell. Plus I'm leery of anyone that Obama would fawn over. So keep looking up! For our redemption is nigh!
We can see how the press will "fawn" over the ac by just looking how they have with the ac wanna-be-in-chief...aka the WH squatter
Scott, anyone, did you see any of the inter-faith service at the memorial at Ground Zero yesterday?!? It was CREEPY and demonic, IMO. Among other things, the pope was seated on stage with 12 people of other faiths. Hmmmmmm.....12 ....and the pope. Does this mimic anything you can think of from God's Word, because we KNOW this was satan-inspired!
I didn't see it - thanks for the heads up..I've been traveling since Friday afternoon so I have a lot of catching up to do!
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