Syria is undergoing serious shifts within its borders. With civilian deaths numbering more than 4,000, and stories of human rights horrors pouring from the country on a daily basis, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad called upon Barbara Walters, 82, to come to Syria for an interview where he declared he’d never authorized the killing or abuse of any Syrian citizens. Regardless of whether this is true or not, The Arab League and its 22 member states suspended Syria from the league in November, and imposed a series of sanctions on al-Assad’s regime that are unprecedented in the 66 year history of the group.
On top of this, UPI reports that Russia reportedly delivered 72 supersonic Yakhont SS-N-26 anti-ship cruise missiles to Damascus in complete disregard of U.N. sanctions.
Russian’s Interfax news agency mentions an unidentified source who says the 2007 contract, worth $300 million, “was completely fulfilled, almost ahead of time.” The agency went on to note that “this weapon allows coverage of the entire coastline of Syria from possible attacks from the sea.”
With a range of nearly 200 miles and a top speed of almost 2,000 mph, the SS-N-26s and their 440 pound warheads are also a concern to Israel.
With the Jewish state threatening a strike at Iranian nuclear facilities, and Iran maintaining its alliance with Syria, it isn’t a stretch to see the Russian missiles as an indirect deterrent to an Israel airstrike in Iran.
Finally, Iran’s Presstv reports that the U.S. is training Syrian rebels to return to their country to fight. Obviously, it’s impossible to trust an Iranian report, and they cite former FBI agent Sibel Edwards as a source, but the area has their attention for a reason.
The BBC reports that Colonel Riyad al-Asad, a very high-profile Syrian defector is in Turkey and maintains about 100 or so defectors close to him, and many would likely take up arms and deliver them to mutinous soldiers in Syria.
At some point Syrian defectors may decide their country is battling a civil war and race to take part in overthrowing the President. With the Colonel as a possible replacement President sitting in Turkey, and a large U.S. airbase at Incirlik — Syria has reason to assume that support, equipment and training could very well come from NATO and U.S. forces in Turkey.
Author : Robert Johnson
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