Russia has stationed one of its advanced intelligence vessels in the Middle East in order to follow Western readiness for a potential strike in Syria
Last week, Israel conducted an extensive military exercise that saw the participation of the IDF ground forces, the Israeli Navy and the IAF. The precise goals of the exercise were not made public and remained a secret. However, assessments are that it was aimed towards Israel’s northern arena – towards the tension with Syria and Hezbollah.
What was not known was that at the same time, the Russian Navy vessel CCB-201 – one of the Russian Navy’s largest intelligence vessels – was present in the waters of the Mediterranean Sea. The CCB-201 is no ordinary intelligence vessel, but rather a naval intelligence gathering unit which is similar in its characteristics to Israel’s Unit 8200 – a SIGINT collection and decryption unit capable of intercepting and listening to military transmissions between naval vessels and aircraft in the Mediterranean Sea.
The vessel, which is also equipped with air defense systems, departed from one of the bases in the Black Sea and crossed the straits of Turkey on June 10 on its way to an area off the coasts of Syria and Cyprus.
From past experience, it appears that the purpose of the visit to the area is for gathering intelligence on NATO and US force activities, as well as Israel’s readiness with regards to the situation in Syria – where Russia has military interests and assets, and thus is concerned of military intervention.
Arming Syrian rebels could create a legacy as harmful as Sykes-Picot
As the West begins to gear up for the centenary of the outbreak of World War I in 1914, the Middle East is being convulsed as never before by the legacy of the breakup of the Ottoman Empire. Look no farther than Syria, where one part of that legacy – the Sykes-Picot Agreement, which divided the Middle East into British and French spheres of influence even while the Great War still raged – is coming to a brutally violent end. Likewise, the current turmoil in Turkey is, at least in part, a consequence of “neo-Ottoman” overreach by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government. In seeking to establish the type of regional influence that Turks have not had since the time Mustapha Kemal Ataturk founded the Republic of Turkey, Erdogan has fallen prey to some of the Ottoman regime’s hubris.
The Levant has, of course, been the scene of countless conflicts throughout the centuries. Sir Archibald Wavell, one of Britain’s greatest World War II generals and the penultimate Viceroy of India, wrote in his biography of the World War I field marshal Edmund Allenby, who led the Allies in the Levant: “The greatest exploit in the history of horsed cavalry, and possibly their last success on a large scale, had ended within a short distance of the battlefield of Issus, where Alexander the Great first showed how battles could be won.”
But peace still eludes the Levant. As Middle East analyst Murtaza Hussain recently observed: “Syria and Iraq, formerly unified Arab states formed after the defeat of their former Ottoman rulers, exist today only in name.” What will emerge from the present situation could be a fragmented, easily manipulated region.
This is why Syria’s civil war is now a geopolitical battle for regional domination, with multiple fractures along sectarian lines. As is now clear, no country is really free of the charge of interfering in Syria. While Shiite-majority Iraq has attempted to portray itself as neutral, it has permitted Iranian flights to use its airspace to carry weapons to the regime of President Bashar Assad.
Reliable Saudi Sources indicate Western Powers about to Implement a Syria No-Fly Zone & Orchestra a Military Coup against Assad!
Saudi news site Elaph, which recently reported that the imposition of a no-fly zone over Syria is imminent, repeats that report on Sunday.
According to the site, a number of secret decisions were taken by the participating countries, including a no-fly zone over Syria, the establishment of a buffer zone in the country’s south, and an attempt to orchestrate a military coup against Assad.