The Syrian uprising has brought back the cold war with the Middle East as the current battleground. The sides consists of a pro-Syrian President cartel consisting of Russia, China, North Korea, and Iran vs. the Pro-Rebel backers consisting of United States, the European Union, Saudi Arabia, and the Arab League. Neither side is openly involved in the rebellion, of course, but they are both busy supplying the combatants.
Syria and Russia
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Syria has been a loyal Russian ally since the 1973 Yom Kippur War, when she used (or should that be misused?) Soviet manufactured weapons against the American-backed Israelis. In an effort to discourage Western nations from imposing a Libyan type no-fly zone/air strikes plan over Syria, the Russians have been building up Syria’s air defense and anti-shipping capability. Improvements to Syria’s long range radar system will allow the rogue nation to alert Iran to any impending air strikes from Israel. According to Syria’s former Defense Ministry auditor, 50 percent of all military support to Syria comes from Russia, 30 percent comes from China and North Korea, and the remaining 20 percent is from Iran and other nations. Iran has been sending arms to Syria via Iraqi airspace, most likely delivering weapons on the behalf of China and Russia.
The Russian government has been saying that it will protect the Arab nation from U.N sanctions as well as any military actions. They have recently delivered and employed the latest anti-shipping missiles as well as newer surface-to-air missiles to the troubled nation. This has to alarm those calling for a Libyan-style no-fly zone and cause them to rethink their rhetoric about taking military action. The Federation Government’s Foreign Ministry stresses that the sovereignty of Syria must be respected and protected from any external aggression. The West must not overlook the fact that the Russians have a naval facility in Tartus, Syria, and they wish to keep it.
In 2009, two of the players involved in this international drama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, pressed a symbolic reset button to renew the West’s relationship with Russia. During this Leftist kabuki dance, the United States managed to lose the respect of the former superpower and re-ignited a new cold war. This time, in poker terms, America is holding a losing hand.
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