The Israeli intelligence source DEBKAfile claims China is preparing to join Russia in airstrikes against the CIA’s jihadist forces in Syria.
“DEBKAfile’s military and intelligence sources report that China sent word to Moscow Friday, Oct. 2, that J-15 fighter bombers would shortly join the Russian air campaign that was launched Wednesday, Sept. 30,” the website reported on October 2.
The J-15 warplanes will take off from the Chinese Liaoning-CV-16 aircraft carrier, which reached Syrian shores on Sept. 26… This will be a landmark event for Beijing: its first military operation in the Middle East as well the carrier’s first taste of action in conditions of real combat.
Thursday night, China’s foreign minister Wang Yi, made this comment on the Syrian crisis at a UN Security Council session in New York: “The world cannot afford to stand by and look on with folded arms, but must also not arbitrarily interfere (in the crisis).”
“The Syrian crisis has been going on for five years now. The international community cannot look on without lifting a finger, but also ought not to interfere arbitrarily,” the Chinese Foreign Ministry Wang Yi told a U.N. Security Council meeting on Thursday.
Additionally, according to DEBKAfile, the Iraqi government has offered the Russians an airbase to strike ISIS targets in the country.
A no less significant development occurred at about the same time when Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, speaking to the US PBS NewsHour, said he would welcome a deployment of Russian troops to Iraq to fight ISIS forces in his country too. As an added incentive, he noted that this would also give Moscow the chance to deal with the 2,500 Chechen Muslims whom, he said, are fighting with ISIS in Iraq.
On September 30, according to Reuters, a Russian official said his country has established a military coordination center in Baghdad.
The Russian Defense Ministry, however, said the center would be used to coordinate airstrikes in Syria. He did not mention strikes against ISIS inside Iraq.
On Thursday the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said his country has been coordinating with Kurdish forces battling the Islamic State in Iraq and has sent arms to them through the central government in Baghdad, according to Rudaw, a Kurdish media network.
“Military representatives from Iraq, Iran, Syria and Russia and the Kurdish government are with this information center which we established in Baghdad,” Lavrov said.