Syria: the extent of the Russian offensive worries Westerners

Des civils tentent de trouver des survivants sous les décombres d'un site visé par des missiles russes, mercredi à Maasran, au sud d'Idlib.

Civilians trying to find survivors in the rubble of a site targeted by Russian missiles on Wednesday in Maasran, south of Idlib Photo credit:. KHALIL ASHAWI / REUTERS

GRAPHICS / VIDEO – NATO condemned the “escalation” of Moscow military in the region. But the United States and its allies are struggling to find an appropriate response.

Russian bombings and a return to the offensive troops Assad leave Westerners almost speechless. NATO, which is not directly involved in Syria, denounced “an alarming military escalation.” But neither the Americans nor the Europeans have advanced another replica that verbal assurances given to the Turkish ally and a renewed commitment to a hypothetical political settlement in Syria.

After the spectacular attack from the Caspian Sea via a flight of Russian cruise missiles Kalibr, the new situation on the Syrian drama dominated the regular appointment of 28 ministers of defense of the Atlantic Alliance. The army of Damascus, long reduced to the defensive, took the initiative to the northwest. The Kremlin no longer hides its direct military support to a regime that the West seeks to break down since 2011.

Russia in Syria, “Those who have no contact with the terrorists nothing fear “

No hope of coordinating the bombings against the IE

In Brussels, is Ashton Carter, the US defense secretary, who tore the last doubt on the reality of Russia’s commitment. “I expect that in the coming days, Russia began to suffer losses” human, he advance. Clearly, Moscow would also have dispatched combat troops on Syrian soil. The reaction of the Alliance remains nevertheless modest. The capitals of NATO visibly worried perhaps as the Russian naval building in the Mediterranean as additional fuse that lights up in the powder keg of the Middle East. But in public, the secretary general Jens Stoltenberg has merely regretted that the bombings in Moscow decided “support the regime” in Damascus and target the Western-backed rebels, as far as Daech, the real opponent. “It is not a constructive contribution to a peaceful and lasting solution,” he said. The hope would not be lost altogether to rally Russia to the prospect of a Syria without Assad.

 Click to enlarge computer graphics

In Camera, the tone is both more realistic and more serious. Vladimir Putin’s commitment alongside Assad’s disillusionment over. He buries any Western hopes of coordinated bombings against the Islamic state, kept waiting until the last few days. Repeated violations to the Turkish border by the Russian fighter are decrypted as a menacing guard setting: the Kremlin does not want to hear about the “security zone” that Ankara, Washington and Paris are considering to establish in northern Syria. “The Russians do we know that they now consider it home,” says one diplomat.

“NATO is able and ready to defend its allies, including Turkey, against all types of threats ”

Jens Stoltenberg, head of NATO

Specifically, the only replica for the time envisaged relates not Syria, but measures of “re-insurance” that could be lavished on its northern neighbor. “NATO is able and ready to defend its allies, including Turkey, against all types of threats,” says the boss of the Alliance. It does not rule out troop deployments. But he added that the Turkish army, the second NATO in number, perfectly has the means to defend itself.

Ankara as a token request the continuation beyond 2015 of Patriot missile batteries deployed by the United States and Germany, which itself plans to disable next week. They are not anti-aircraft missile weapons but and their value is above all political. If tensions persist with Russia, other options might be available: the commitment of NATO aircraft in monitoring the Turkish sky (as it already does in the Baltic States) or, more strong signal, sends appropriate anti-aircraft batteries. But it is clearly not in the agenda.

Another challenge is the surprise that Moscow is once again to impose the military alliance, eighteen months after the bombshell that constituted annexation – First disguised – Crimea. The latest missile launches cry Kalibr, 1500 km away and without warning, have surprised many. But the true confession of unpreparedness came from the British side. Since the Ukrainian crisis, it is becoming “increasingly difficult to discern who advises, resulting in fights and” in “hybrid” wars unmanned by the Kremlin recognizes the British defense minister, Michael Fallon. This topic will be imposed next meeting of NATO in December.

Lors de ces frappes, 26 missiles de type Kalibr-NK (photo) de haute précision ont été lancés depuis la mer Caspienne. Ces missiles de croisière, longue portée, ont survolé l'Iran et l'Irak avant d'atteindre 11 cibles de l'État islamique en Syrie, quelque 1500 kilomètres plus loin.

During these strikes, 26 type missiles Kalibr-NK (photo) precision were launched from the Caspian Sea. These cruise missiles, long range, flew over Iran and Iraq before reaching 11 targets of the Islamic state in Syria, some 1,500 kilometers away Photo credit:. DR

Les forces aériennes russes effectuent, depuis le 30 septembre, des frappes ciblées contre les sites de l'EI en Syrie à la demande du président Bachar el-Assad. Le groupe aérien comprend une cinquantaine d'avions dont des nouveaux Su-34 polyvalents (photo).

Russian air forces conducting since September 30, targeted strikes against the EI sites in Syria at the request of President Bashar al-Assad . The airline group includes fifty airplanes with the new Su-34 multipurpose (photo) Photo credit:. Ministry of the Russian defense

Des missiles de type KAB-500 ont été utilisés lors des frappes aériennes russes. Cette bombe dite intelligente est guidée à l'aide du système de navigation par satellite russe GLONASS, l'équivalent du GPS américain. .

The KAB-500 type missiles were used during the Russian air strikes. This so-called smart bombs guided with the Russian satellite navigation system GLONASS by the equivalent of the American GPS.
Photo credits: the Russian Ministry of Defense

Une possible implication de militaires russes sur le sol syrien a aussi été dénoncée après la diffusion de photos de soldats russes sur les réseaux sociaux. Ces photos auraient été prises près de Tartous, mais aussi à Homs et à Damas. Le gouvernement russe n'a toujours pas confirmé officiellement la présence de forces terrestres en Syrie.

A possible involvement of Russian troops on Syrian soil also terminated after the release of pictures of Russian soldiers on the social networks. These photos were taken near Tartous, but also in Homs and Damascus. The Russian government has not officially confirmed the presence of land forces in Syria Photo credit:. Facebook

Le 27 septembre 2015, les forces françaises ont mené leur premier raid aérien en Syrie contre Daech. Cinq Rafale, un Atlantique 2 et un avion de ravitaillement C-135 ont été engagés dans cette mission qui visait un camp d'entraînement de l'organisation terroriste.

The September 27, 2015, French forces conducted their first air raid in Syria against Daech. Five Rafale, an Atlantique 2 and a supply C-135 aircraft were involved in this mission which targeted a training camp of the terrorist organization Photo credit:. STAFF OF THE ARMED / AIR FORCE

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