June 20, 2012
Due to the rapidly evolving situation in the Syrian theater of war this weekend of mid June 2012, which follows precisely our predictions from the November-till-February series of reports, we have compiled and re-written that series into a single coherent analysis which can serve as a definitive guide on the Balkanization of Syria into neo-colonial spheres of influence controlled by NATO and the SCO.
Given the absence of actual incriminating evidence against Assad’s regime, thus the absence of legal grounds against it, thus the absence of political support to act against it, the USA decided to resort to a dispute with its dialectic brethren under the same ESF, i.e. Putin’s Russia, to be materialized in tangible form within geographic context of the Syrian sovereign domain. 30 years after the Hama massacre by Assad the elder, and many hundreds of dead renegades and civilians killed since this mutiny started – in the very same city – by the Syrian army, and the subsequent UN veto of the SCO leaders China and Russia against NATO “humanitarian” intervention, which leads NATO to a unilateral military intervention similar to the Serbian model of 1999 , Russia has decided to protect its naval interests in Syria by means of deploying in Syria Spetsnaz commandos to counter the predictable deployment of GCC \ NATO spec-ops units
Russian-US naval \ aerial mobilization underway
It seems like Russian Marines have already landed in the Tartus port this weekend (Mid June 2012), While US forces will probably arrive in the area sooner rather than later. Russia can operate its upper-end fighter jets from the Russian Caucasus in order to cover the Syrian air space (assuming Russia is willing to violate Caucasian border zones of small rivals like Georgia and Azerbaijan), thus overcoming the hundreds of cruise missile aboard the USN flotilla along the Syrian coastal line which threaten the Syrian air bases. Those Jets are Sukhoi35 as well as MiG-31 – both of which are tough challenges for the Israeli F15 and beyond the US Naval air power. Likewise, Russian Sukhoi-34 for deep penetration. This increases the operational tactical radius and amalgamates the Syrian Airspace with the Russian one. Anticipating such intervention of Russian fighter Jets, the U.S. Can deployF-22 squadrons in Greece and the UK can deploy Eurofighter Typhoon squadrons in Cyprus.
Theoretically, The USA can also utilize some of the airbases Israel left behind in the Sinai (where the US 82nd division is still deployed as part of the ‘peace-keeping’ force) , for a safe deployment of additional F22 fighters. This deployment is safe since it is far enough from Russia, i.e. beyond the unrefueled combat range of the Russian fighter Jets, takes advantage of Israeli and USN acute early warning and can be effectively protected from terrestrial threats given the wide expanses of empty desert plains around such airbases.
Possible Russian strategy on the ground in Syria
The prospects of the Spetsnaz saving Assad’s regime needs be reviewed in historic perspective. On the one hand the Spetsnaz saved the pro-soviet regime in Prague in spring 1968, 12 years after regular Soviet troops saved the pro-soviet regime in Hungary year 1956. On the other hand, 13 years still earlier i.e. years 1943/4, Mussolini’s regime was brought down forcibly by the allied armies invading from the sea which surrounds most of Italy, inspite of German reinforcements. Syria, in conjunction with Lebanon which it occupies since year 1976, is surrounded entirely by US dominated territories and by the sea where it outweighs the meager Russian flotilla.
Pantsir S1 Battery in action
The Pantsir-S1 mobile Flak allows the Spetsnaz to detect Helicopters at low level, thus can hunt western commandos ubiquitously. The Pantsir-S1 can also kill every normal type of missile fired at its direction thus is an essential cause for concern to the Israeli Air-Force. It employs both radar and EO(electro-optics) for detection, tracking targets and fire-control. This level of protection, stacking Spetsnaz reactions over Pantsir-S1 detections, is clearly intended to protect the Syrian nuclear reactors from a similar fate of the one destroyed by Israel on September 6th 2007 during Operation Orchard when the IAF’s Sayeret Shaldag (laser designator operators) and the IDF’s Sayeret Matkal (well acquainted with Syria) were sent in helicopters to the reactor site before it was attacked.
British SAS Commandos in the Arabian desert
An interesting case is a possible clash between Spetsnaz playing defense and between SAS (British elite commando) sneaking into the country. Since a commando unit sneaking behind enemy lines is very lightweight and very small then the decisive criteria for its effectiveness is keeping stealthy, i.e. even when its people are seen yet are not being conceived for what they really are, but rather for example for innocent civilians. This point is of interest since top elite commando perform not only ‘special operations’ but also covert operations while dressed like civilians. Once a commando unit or individual is detected, a man hunt is conducted e.g. a pursuing Spetsnaz would enjoy the decisive advantage of wide scale collaboration from the Syrian army and other Russian and Iranian elements in the area. The Spetsnaz would also trap insurgent commando, based on professional assessments which modes of operation would be attempted. The SAS may though enjoy one distinct advantage over the Spetsnaz , which is their long standing experience with deserts and Arabs. But then, for similar reasons the best asset in Langley’s possession for this job is Al-Qaeda who now assaults the Syrian regime. The classic Russian answer to Al-Qaeda would be a KGB style traffic control regime denying the freedom of travel between districts. Similarly, the Spetsnaz could destabilize Jordan and/or Saudi-Arabia. Since Russia is the only Christian power hosted by a Muslim regime and is a ruthless regime in itself, then in theory it holds the higher ground in Guerrilla warfare.
The role of the Russian flotilla, including the Aircraft carrier, frigate, submarines & naval bases along the Syrian coast are intended to neutralize the Heliborne commando modus operandi applicable to Operation Orchard. Historically, the Spetsnaz were trained to assassinate western pilots in their beds on the eve of a Soviet invasion. Presuming the Israeli Shin Bet will be able to avert this if necessary, this mode of operation may not be of highest concern in the conflict brewing between Israel and Iran and its conjugate-allies Syria and Lebanon.
Will the Israelis be dragged in ?
Israel used to have an edge in fighter jets, since its first deliveries of F-4E Phantom II in year 1969. This was augmented with F-15 Eagle since 1976. The Soviet 4gen Jets hardly made it to the scene till the USSR collapsed. These were 48 Mig-29 of an early version, which couldn’t outperform the Israeli F15C/D. This balance of power is now changing with the Su-35 & Su-34 having entered Russian front line service and with the Su-50 expected to outperform the F-22 ‘Rustor’ (i.e. the quickly rusting Raptor), and the incumbent flying target designated F-35.
Russian production rate of military aircraft is back to Soviet Levels of about 30 years ago, with 90 fighter and bomber jets + 55 attack and assault helicopters, to delivered this year 2012. With an airframe life expectancy of 40 years, this makes for 3,600 Jets and 2,200 helicopters.
(For a detailed analysis of stealth bombers arms race, see our landmark article the stealth sphere)