Published On: Tue, Aug 27th, 2013

Greater Middle East War May Be Imminent. West Builds Up for Syria War

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Christof Lehmann (nsnbc) , –  After the recent deployment of the cruise missile ship USS Mahn and three other US Navy ships within striking range of Syria, the military buildup continues. Warplanes and military transporters have been moved to the British Akrotiri airbase in Cyprus. Besides the buildup up in plane sight, major Saudi Weapons deliveries via Jordan began reaching the insurgents during the recent visit of the U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Army General Martin Dempsey in Jordan.

A Palestinian intelligence source has warned already in June and July that a large scale military attack on Syria was planned for August and September, using large scale chemical weapons use as a pretext. Iran warns Washington not to cross the red line in Syria. Israel considers a limited war on Syria possible. Russia warns against grave mistakes. A wider Middle East war with global consequences may be imminent.

Hercules C-130 in rapid deployment operation.

Hercules C-130 in rapid deployment operation.

British warplanes and military transporters have been moved to the British Akrotiri airbase in Cyprus. The deployment is the latest indication for the preparation of a military attack on Syria by the anti-Syrian alliance. The British newspaper The Guardian reports, that commercial pilots claimed to have observed Hercules C-130 transport planes from their planes and formations of what could have been European fighter jets on their on-board radar.

Cyprus was until 2013 the only member of the European Union that was neither a member of NATO of NATO´s Partnership for Peace program (PfP). However, on 24 February 2013, a majority of the Cypriot parliament voted in favor of the country to join NATO´s PfP program, thus making it more likely that the British Akrotiri airbase could be used for launching military attacks against Syria. The likelihood of strikes being launched from Cyprus increased further due to the Italian position with regards to launching a military attack against Syria.

cyprus-location-mapThe bellicose statements from the sides of the UK, France and the USA and the increasingly aggressive military posture of the anti.Syrian alliance have prompted the Italian Foreign Minister, Emma Bonino, to stress the necessity of reconsidering an intervention in Syria “a thousand times” as any international move against Syria could have catastrophic repercussions. The Italian news agency AKI quoted Bonino as saying:

If we could reach consensus at the UN Security Council, we can adopt other ways, not necessarily the military one…. The probable repercussions of any initiative, not stemming from the UN Security Council would be extremely dangerous”. 

​Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mashaal Al Zaben met with US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey.

​Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mashaal Al Zaben met with US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey.

Residents near the airbase have reported activity, much higher than normal at the airbase over the last 48 hours, although Reuters reports that the Cypriot Foreign Minister, Ioannis Kasoulides has stated that he doubts that the airbase would be used if Western powers would take action against Syria. On Cypriot radio, the Foreign Minister said:

“I have the impression that the British bases won´t play any primary role . . Because they are not needed, but we will have to see”. 

Attacks on Syria from Jordan have been prepared for months. In the case that an overt military aggression would be launched against Syria, it is highly probable that air raids and special operations will be launched from NATO bases in Turkey as well as from Jordan. The U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff has recently visited the Hashemite kingdom to coordinate operations between the Jordanian and U.S. Forces as well as with the opposition forces which operate from Jordan.

Al Mafraq NATO Mercenaries in Buffer ZoneOn 29 June nsnbc international reported, that 300 U.S. Special Forces in Jordan are training insurgents, among other in cooperating with U.S. Forces during air strikes on high profile military and political targets in Syria. Already on 29 June, nsnbc international wrote, that a renewed, major military and political campaign was planned to take place against Syria in August and September. By 7 July, nsnbc international issued an additional report, stressing the likelihood that a major military campaign against Syria in August and September would include large scale chemical weapons use to justify renewed calls for humanitarian corridors, a no-fly-zone and eventually a military intervention.

Within this context, it is important to stress the fact, that any attempt to enforce a no-fly-zone against Syria would have to include military strikes against all of the country´s air bases, all radar installations, as well as all air defense systems. The attempt to enforce a no-fly-zone is, to use a less euphemistic term, an act of war that is directed against both military and civilian infrastructure, assets and personnel.

File - PNN

File – PNN

Also Israel appears to be readying forces to launch a war against Syria. On 26 August, the International Middle East Media Center, IMEMC, and nsnbc international reported, that Israeli sources believe, that a limited war between Israel and Syria is possible, should Washington decide to launch strikes against targets in Syria. The reports quote Israeli sources as saying, that once the Syrian Army is facing a war with the U.S. and other countries, it will not be able to operate along the border, and that a likely scenario is that missiles will be fired into Israel. The source also stated, that Israel would be capable of intercepting and destroying Syrian missiles.. Warnings were however, issued to Israel´s civilian population, to take alarms and the guidelines regarding protective measures and gas masks serious.

Iran´s Assistant Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs, Hossein Amir Abdullahian, has hailed the Syrian government´s cooperation with the UN Investigation Team and stressed, that the “only viable mechanism for solving the crisis in Syria is political, including comprehensive national dialog”. Abdullahian met with the UN Under Secretary General for Political Affairs, Jeffrey Feltman, saying to Feltman that some side´s support of the political opposition in coincidence with their support to takfiri terrorist groups was a strategic mistake. Feltman for his part, said that he hoped that the upcoming Geneva 2 meeting would succeed. After the U.S. postponed a U.S. – Russian preparatory meeting for the Geneva 2, which was meant to be held on 28 August in The Haague however, it is very unlikely that the Geneva 2 meeting can be held in September, if at all. Feltman described the current situation in the region as dangerous.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Arraqchi. Photo courtesy of Al-Alam

Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Arraqchi. Photo courtesy of Al-Alam

The Spokesman for Iran´s Foreign Ministry, Abbas Araqchi, warned against the repercussions of any wrong interpretation of the situation in Syria, saying that it would complicate the situation in the entire region. IN a statement to international media, Araqchi reiterated, that dialog and political understanding as well as a peaceful solution are the only ways to solve the crisis, stressing that settling the crisis by military means is impossible.

With regards to the U.S. Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel, and statements that Washington is preparing military options and strikes against targets in Syria, Araqchi said:

“Talk about a military attack on Syria, without a Security Council resolution is very dangerous and could lead to tensions”. 

Araqchi pointed out, that there are documents that prove, that the terrorist groups in Syria are the ones that have used chemical weapons.

Warnings against any unilateral act of war against Syria continue to come from Russia, which sharply criticizes the USA, UK and France for their support of the militants. Already during the 31st Russia – EU Summit on 4 June in Yekatarinburg, Russia´s President Vladimir Putin warned, that “any attempts to influence the situation in Syria through direct military intervention are futile and doomed to failure”. 

Russian aid arrives at Lattakia Airport, Photo by SANA

Russian aid arrives at Lattakia Airport, Photo by SANA

Yesterday, the Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman, Alexander Lukashevich, said that Russia calls upon the USA and other states to rationalize and to “be reasonable” regarding the Syrian issue. Lukashevich commented on the United States´ Decision to postpone the meeting in The Haague, warning:

“That seeking different baseless pretexts for a military intervention in Syria and bypassing the UN Security Council would lead to disaster”.

Russian and Former Soviet Citizens evacuated. In the early afternoon, while Western, Israeli and Gulf-Arab nations continue preparing overt and covert military operations, a Russian cargo plane, reportedly carrying humanitarian aid, has landed in Syria.

The plane, states the Russian Emergency Ministry, has delivered some 20 tons of food aid to the Mediterranean port city Latakia, and will evacuate 180 citizens from former Soviet countries “who have made a clear desire to leave the country”. Among them, are 100 Russian citizens.

The crisis about Syria is deteriorating by the hour and the risk that the situation develops into a Sarajevo – like situation, where events begin dictating political and military decisions, rather than, that clear-minded policy makers are making decisions about the course which the events shall take, is high.

During the early afternoon of 27 August, French President Francoise Hollande said that France is “ready to punish those behind the chemical massacre in Syria” and that his government “believes that Damascus has carried out the attack”. 

About the Author

- Dr. Christof Lehmann is the founder and editor of nsnbc. He is a psychologist and independent political consultant on conflict and conflict resolution and a wide range of other political issues. His work with traumatized victims of conflict has led him to also pursue the work as political consultant. He is a lifelong activist for peace and justice, human rights, Palestinians rights to self-determination in Palestine, and he is working on the establishment of international institutions for the prosecution of all war crimes, also those committed by privileged nations. On 28 August 2011 he started his blog nsnbc, appalled by misrepresentations of the aggression against Libya and Syria. In March 2013 he turned nsnbc into a daily, independent, international on-line newspaper. He can be contacted at nsnbc international at nsnbc.wordpress@gmail.com

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  1. Gitte Jensen says:

    Be advized that the British operate from Sovereign Base Areas (SBA) in Cyprus. These are Akrotiri (Air Force) and Dhekelia (Land Force)plus Joint Services Signals Unit GCHQ facilities for electronic intercept and warfare. These SBAs are effectively British territory and the Cyprus government has NO authority on their use. These SBAs are vital and used for British operations from 1956 Suez invasion onwards. Be in no doubt whatsoever that these SBAs have been in high tempo for months preparing to attack Syria. The Cypriot government is irrelevant.

    • Hello Gitte.
      Thank you very much for this:

      VERY IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR ALL PEACE ACTIVISTS

      I presume that these bases need to be supplied with daily groceries and stuff from the local communities ?

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