THE LEAD

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

LaRouche: Putin Can Change the Game with Syria Intervention

September 3, 2015

Amid widespread reports that Russian President Vladimir Putin is about to intervene militarily in Syria to defend the sovereign government of President Bashar Assad, against the genocidal lunatics of the Islamic State (ISIS), Lyndon LaRouche has thrown his support behind Putin. A Russian military intervention at this time would be a "strategic game changer," that would crucially frustrate President Barack Obama's plans for a military confrontation with Moscow.

Over the past 48 hours, news reports from a wide range of venues have all indicated that Putin is about to dispatch Russian fighter planes and as many as 2,000 Russian pilots and support personnel to Syria, to defend the country against the ongoing ISIS onslaught. A Syrian newspaper, close to the Assad government, reported that Russia is planning to build a new naval facility on the Mediterranean coast near the city of Latakia, and that Russian air force personnel are moving into air bases on the outskirts of Damascus, and are soon to launch air operations against ISIS and other jihadist rebels in coordination with the Syrian air force. According to one US intelligence source, Russia has been secretly negotiating with Israel to avert a confrontation, and has been also conferring with Iran over the coordination of support for the Assad government. In recent days, the Daily Telegraph has confirmed that ISIS has been using mustard gas and other chemical weapons in attacks on towns in both northern Syria and in the Kurdish Region of Iraq.

LaRouche noted today that "Putin is the only one with the authority to support Syria militarily. It is an immediate game-changer, on the table right now." LaRouche added that such an action by Putin would be in response to the fact that Obama has taken actions, "escalating the move to crush Syria. If Putin acts now to provide military support, Obama will be cornered. His entire policy of war provocation against Russia will fall apart."

LaRouche further noted that Putin has, in the past, shown the kind of leadership qualities to act decisively in the face of an existential threat. "I saw it personally in the 1998-99 period, when Putin was confronted with a major destabilization by Chechen terrorists."

The fraud of the US, Saudi, Turkish, and Qatari interventions in Iraq and Syria have been exposed by the fact that, after two years of continuous military operations, ISIS and other jihadist fronts like the Nusra Front, have continued to expand, grabbing more territory and drawing in foreign fighters who conveniently slip across the borders from Turkey into Syria and Iraq. Gen. Michael Flynn, former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, made clear, in a July 29, 2015 interview with Al Jazeera TV, that President Obama willfully gave his support to the jihadists, despite direct and detailed warnings from DIA and other US intelligence agencies about the consequences. A second former top DIA official pointed out that, when NATO, at the Turkish government's request, established Patriot missile batteries along the Turkish border with Syria, they, in effect, created a no-fly zone in which Nusra Front and ISIS could freely operate without threat of bombing from the Syrian air force.

Putin is in a position to fundamentally alter the strategic equation, globally, by taking this pre-emptive action in support of the Assad government. Putin is well aware of President Obama's commitment to provoke a general war with Russia.

LaRouche concluded:

" it is no longer possible to avoid a conflict. Under those circumstances, the only available option is the appropriate, pre-emptive flanking operation. I cannot say, with certainty that Putin will make the intervention in Syria. I consider it highly probable that he will act and will deliver a deadly blow to ISIS and shake up everything."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

SUPPORTING MATERIAL


Is Russia Preparing Military Intervention to Back Assad in Syria?

In the past 36 hours, Israeli and American media have been reporting that Russian President Vladimir Putin is preparing to dispatch Russian military forces to Syria, to bolster the Bashar Assad government and conduct new military operations against the Islamic State and other jihadist rebel forces. The original report on the planned Russian deployment of fighter jets, pilots, and support personnel came from the Israeli websites Ynet and Debka, both of which could normally be considered unreliable. But US intelligence sources pointed out that Russian officials have been secretly negotiating with Israel, on "deconfliction" protocols and overflight access in the event of Russian air force operations. The same US source indicated that Russian and Iranian officials have been meeting over the worsening Syrian situation. Russia, according to these accounts, has been critical of Iran's approach to the Syria situation, which has concentrated on protecting those areas of Syria near the Lebanese border that are vital to the security of Hezbollah, rather than defending the sovereignty of the country as a whole and the need to preserve a unified Syrian state under the duly elected Assad government.

The US source estimated that Russia would have to deploy at least 2,000 airmen and support personnel. The decision to directly deploy military forces in Syria against ISIS, if confirmed, reflects the conclusion by Putin and top Kremlin advisers that the diplomatic initiatives alone will not bring the conflict to an end and defeat ISIS. Putin is aware that the US military considers the defeat of ISIS to be the number one priority in both Syria and Iraq.

The Israeli news reports of the pending Russian deployment were bolstered yesterday by a lengthy article in the Daily Beast by Michael Weiss, a well-known Russia-hater. Under the headline "Russia Puts Boots on the Ground in Syria," Weiss cited recent press accounts of Russian deployments of ground forces into Syria, adding, "One report has even alleged that Russian pilots are gearing up to fly missions alongside the Syrian air force, dropping bombs not just on ISIS but on anti-Assad rebels who may or may not be aligned with the United States or its regional allies." Weiss quoted the Ynet article by Alex Fishman, who cited Western diplomatic sources, who say "thousands of Russian military personnel [sic] are set to touch down in Syria, including: Advisors, instructors, logistics personnel, technical personnel, members of the aerial protection division, and the pilots who will operate the aircraft."

Weiss had to admit that the Russian intervention would not be shocking, given the failure of the US-led operations so far. He also cited the Syrian government-linked Al Watan newspaper, which reported on Aug. 26 that Russia is planning to construct a second naval facility in Jableh, on the Mediterranean coast 15 miles south of Latakia. The paper reported that Russia is weighing direct military intervention or, alternatively, a UN-sponsored international peacekeeping force.


Syrian Human Rights Group Details ISIS Use of Chemical Weapons

The Syrian Network for Human Rights have documented at least four recent instances where Islamic State (ISIS) fighters have used chemical weapons in fighting in both Syria and Iraq. As reported today in the Daily Telegraph, ISIS fighters have twice used mustard gas in recent assaults on the pivotal town of Marea in northern Syria, north of Aleppo. In the past several days, ISIS has fired rockets filled with chemical weapons north of Mosul inside Iraq. An earlier attack against Peshmerga (Kurdish) forces in the Kurdish Region of Iraq also involved the deployment of chemical weapons, according to experts who surveyed the area and interviewed eyewitnesses and hospital personnel.

In a related development, indicating the intensity of the ISIS advances, Al Jazeera reported on intense fighting between Islamic State and rival rebel groups in the southern district of Damascus, just three miles from the center of the city.

The intense fighting in the outskirts of Damascus and the ISIS use of chemical weapons lends further credence to the reports that Russia is considering providing direct military backing to the Assad government, in addition to the diplomatic initiatives undertaken in the past month to revive the Geneva peace negotiations.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

Related