Russian jets in Syria mean no-fly zone is 'out of the question', warn experts | World Defense

Russian jets in Syria mean no-fly zone is 'out of the question', warn experts

BLACKEAGLE

SENIOR MEMBER
Joined
Dec 5, 2014
Messages
3,623
Reactions
1,989 10
Country
Jordan
Location
Jordan
Russian jets in Syria mean no-fly zone is 'out of the question', warn experts
Vladimir Putin is carrying out Russia's biggest military intervention outside the old Soviet Union for almost 30 years


Russian Su-25 jets on the runway at at al-Assad airbase in Syria Photo: Александр Ермаков


By David Blair, and Tom Whitehead, Security Editor

6:18PM BST 22 Sep 2015


Russia’s deployment of jet fighters in Syria has effectively destroyed the West’s option of imposing a “no-fly zone” over the country, experts have warned, as the British Defence Secretary said the intervention risked deepening the crisis.

The Kremlin’s operation in Syria amounts to the biggest deployment of Russian forces outside the former Soviet Union since the withdrawal from Afghanistan in 1989.

So far, President Vladimir Putin has dispatched about 500 troops to the city of Latakia and the adjacent port of Tartous on Syria’s Mediterranean coast.

He has also deployed 28 warplanes, 15 military helicopters – including MI-24 gunships – and at least two batteries of SA-22 surface-to-air missiles. Four of the warplanes are SU-27 Flanker fighters, which are designed for air-to-air combat.


The air base at Latakia, Syria on September 4 and September 15 Photo: http://www.Stratfor.com/Reuters

Michael Fallon suggested the operation was an added obstacle to peace in Syria. “The Russian action in the last few weeks, putting ships and aircraft into the region, further complicates an immensely complicated situation,” he said.

Russia’s declared purpose is to help Bashar al-Assad’s regime to fight the terrorists of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil). But neither Isil nor any other rebel group in Syria possesses air power. The SU-27 jets and the SA-22 missiles have no military use against Isil.

Instead, their arrival is designed to send a pointed signal to the West, according to Jonathan Eyal, the director of international security studies at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI). “What the Russians are putting in now indicates an intent to be there for a long period,” he said.

The deployment of the SU-27s was the “key” to gauging Mr Putin intentions, added Mr Eyal. Their presence makes it impossible for the West to impose a “no-fly zone” over Syria, at least without Russia’s consent.


A Russian SU-27 Flanker Photo: RAF

“If you are talking about a no-fly zone over the whole of Syria, that’s probably out of the question now,” said Mr Eyal. “The effect of this is to make sure that Russia is locked in to any kind of deal that is going to take place there.”

The arrival of Russian firepower in support of Assad’s regime has already compelled America to deal directly with the Kremlin over Syria. Ashton Carter, the US defence secretary, has spoken to his Russian counterpart about the situation in Syria. President Barack Obama, meanwhile, is expected to meet Mr Putin at the United Nations General Assembly in New York later this month.

More evidence of the Kremlin's military build-up emerged on Tuesday when IHS Jane's, a defence consultancy, said that two more bases were being prepared to "receive Russian forces". Satellite pictures showed that construction work was underway at Istamo weapons storage complex and Al-Sanobar military base, both located north of the airport in Latakia where the Russian warplanes are located. "These new discoveries highlight how the rapid build-up of Russia’s expeditionary force in Syria is continuing apace, giving it a significant capability to target rebels opposed to the Syrian government and to secure the Latakia homeland of President Bashar al-Assad," said IHS Jane's.

Mr Fallon said: "Thousands of people have already been killed, millions are being displaced. You have a regime that is barrel-bombing its own citizens and you have Isil with its own brand of barbarity. So it is urgent that we find a way through to bring peace to that particular country. The Russian intervention certainly makes the situation even more complicated."


The Russian military hardware deployed to Syria includes MI-24 gunships, pictured Photo: Getty / RIA Novosti

Following the election of Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader, Mr Fallon indicated the Government would need the support of rebel Labour MPs to win any Commons vote on extending RAF air strikes against Isil into neighbouring Syria.

"The Prime Minister has made it very clear that to extend our operations into Syria we need the support of Parliament and we will not go and ask for that support until we are sure of getting it. We will have to make the argument on both sides of the House," he said.

Mr Fallon added that Russia’s ambitions had made the world a more dangerous place than it was five years ago. “We’ve seen a revanchist Russia reheating the Cold War, menacing its neighbours and increasingly using hybrid warfare to pursue its goals,” he said.
Russian jets in Syria mean no-fly zone is 'out of the question', warn experts - Telegraph
 

BLACKEAGLE

SENIOR MEMBER
Joined
Dec 5, 2014
Messages
3,623
Reactions
1,989 10
Country
Jordan
Location
Jordan
Russia begins military operations in Syria as Putin sends 28 jets
US says 12 fighter jets and 12 support aircraft have arrived in recent days in Syrian air base in Latakia, where four jets were stationed last week



A satellite photo taken on September 20 shows at least 16 Russian combat aircraft stationed at the Bassel al Assad air base near the Syrian town of Latakia Photo: Stratfor/Reuters

By Roland Oliphant, Moscow and Richard Spencer, Middle East Editor

8:49PM BST 21 Sep 2015


Russia has begun its first military operations in Syria, and poured in 28 fighter jets as it becomes more deeply involved in the conflict, US officials say.

The officials said 12 fighter jets and 12 close support aircraft had arrived in recent days in a Syrian air base in Latakia, where four jets were stationed last week.

On top of that, Russian drones had started surveillance flights, they said.

Earlier, Novaya Gazeta, an independent Russian newspaper had reported that Moscow might launch “demonstrative” strikes in support of Bashar al-Assad’s embattled Syrian government in the coming days, before President Vladimir Putin is due to speak to the United Nations general assembly next week.


A Russian AN-124 Condor transport plane at the air base at Latakia, Syria on September 15 Photo: Stratfor/Reuters

The apparent increase in the flow of Russian arms and personnel to Syria in recent weeks has prompted speculation that the Kremlin may be preparing for direct military intervention on Mr Assad’s side.

Russian military officials have confirmed that they are expanding and modernising a naval base at Tartous and an airbase in nearby Latakia, but have denied plans to intervene directly in the war.



It quoted an unnamed senior military source saying Russia is considering a limited operation “that confirms the seriousness of Russia’s intentions.”

The source, who the paper said was involved in high-level military planning, said the idea would be to carry out a small but effective and highly visible operation, possibly involving air or artillery strikes against Isil militants.


Russian tanks and armed personnel carriers at an air base in Latakia on September 15 Photo: GeoNorth/AP

Alexander Golts, an independent Russian military analyst, said such an operation, which would not put ground troops at risk, would be “the most rational approach” if the Kremlin is determined to use its military build up in Syria to score diplomatic points.

But he said the grand coalition envisaged by Mr Putin would be almost impossible to put together because of fundamental disagreements about whether Mr Assad is a legitimate leader of Syria.

All Russian policy in Syria is very clearly directed at overcoming international isolation because of Ukraine,” he said. “The idea is to prevent a repetition of the G20 summit in Australia in 2014, when Mr Putin found himself completely alone."

Mr Putin himself defended the military build-up, in a meeting with Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, who had arrived on an urgent mission with top generals and intelligence chiefs to discuss Syria.


Benjamin Netanyahu and Vladimir Putin at Vladimir Putin?s Novo-Ogarovo residence outside Moscow Photo: Ria Novosti/Reuters

Mr Putin said Russia’s actions in the middle east “have been and always will be very responsible”. He also insisted there was no threat to Israel from the Russia-Syria alliance.

"We know and understand that the Syrian army and Syria in general is in such a state that it isn't up to opening a second front - it is trying to maintain its own statehood," he said.

The two countries agreed to establish a coordination mechanism to prevent unintended clashes between their respective armed forces, Mr Netanyahu said.

"It was very important to come here in order to clarify our position and to do everything to avoid any misunderstandings between our forces," he told reporters at Vladimir Putin’s Novo-Ogarovo residence outside Moscow.

"It's enough to imagine the alternative – a dangerous confrontation with Russia, and dealing with these misunderstandings after the fact – to understand the importance of this visit,” he told reporters after the two and half hour meeting.

Mr Netanyahu said he had expressed concerns about weaponry finding its way into the hands of Hezbollah, a close ally of Mr Assad. Israel is believed to have carried out several strikes against suspected Hezbollah arms transfers inside Syria.

Meanwhile, the Russian foreign ministry called for international action after a mortar shell hit the Russian embassy in Damascus. "We await a clear standpoint on this terrorist act from all members of the international community, including regional actors,” a statement said.
Russia begins military operations in Syria as Putin sends 28 jets - Telegraph
 

Scorpion

THINK TANK: SENIOR
Joined
Nov 27, 2014
Messages
3,799
Reactions
4 3,140 52
Country
Saudi Arabia
Location
Saudi Arabia
What is Russia so eager to defend the child murderer? An economic war against Russia is the best way to deal with the situation.
 
Top