World View: Syria Tensions Grow as al-Assad Claims He's Winning

World View: Syria Tensions Grow as al-Assad Claims He's Winning

This morning’s key headlines from

  • Claim of S-300 missile delivery to Syria is denied
  • Israel prepares to launch airstrikes at S-300s
  • Confident Bashar al-Assad says that his side is winning

Claim of S-300 missile delivery to Syria is denied

Al-Assad in tv interview (SANA)
Al-Assad in tv interview (SANA)

In a televised interview, Bashar al-Assad, the psychopathic presidentof Syria, appeared to be claiming that Russia has already deliveredadvanced long-range S-300 anti-aircraft missiles to Syria, and thatmore of them were on the way. However, that report was apparently putforth by an over-anxious editor at Al Akhbar, a Lebanese newspaper.Careful analysis of al-Assad’s words reveal that he hedged on thequestion. One possible explanation for the confusion is that a fewcomponents for the S-300 missile systems have already been delivered,but the main delivery is yet to come. Ria Novosti and VOA

Israel prepares to launch airstrikes at Russian S-300 missiles

During the 2006 Israeli war with Hezbollah in Lebanon, Hezbollahlaunched about 4,000 rockets at Israel. These rockets had limitedrange and no guidance systems, so their effectiveness was not great.

The S-300 missile systems that Russia is delivering to Syria are farfrom the purely defensive that Russia is claiming. They havesophisticated guidance systems and a range of 125 miles, in a climatewhere al-Assad is threatening war with Israel. With thosecapabilities, the al-Assad regime could destroy a civilian aircraftduring takeoff and landing, or could establish a no-fly zone overIsraeli territory.

If and when Russia delivers the S-300s to Syria, it’s thought thatthey will be installed and operated by hundreds of Russian militarypersonnel who would be killed in an Israeli air strike. Israel issaying that they will not be attacked until they’re deployed, whichwill be a few weeks or months after they’re delivered. Reuters and Reuters

Confident Bashar al-Assad says that his side is winning

Syria’s president Bashar al-Assad appeared confident duringhis televised interview that his side was winning inthe two-year-old Syrian conflict. Analysts agree thatin recent weeks the war has turned in al-Assad’s favor,for several reasons:

  • Russia and Iran continue to supply heavy weapons to the al-Assad regime, while the opposition forces are short of weapons.
  • Hezbollah has sent some 7,000 militia fighters to join the Syrian regime army.
  • The opposition forces are becoming increasingly fragmented, with some al-Qaeda linked groups and some “moderate” groups all competing for attention and poorly coordinating their forces.
  • The al-Assad regime supporter nations — mainly Russia and Iran — are unequivocal in their support, while Western nations supporting the opposition have confused, chaotic policies loaded with empty, meaningless “red line” threats.

VOA and McClatchy

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