Michael Snyder, Contributor
Everyone knows that the Obama administration has been steadily gearing up for a military campaign against Syria. Everyone also knows that Russia and China do not want to see this happen. Now Russia and China are sending military forces to Syria.
Apparently tens of thousands of troops will be involved. This will be the first time that the Russians and the Chinese have jointly deployed large numbers of troops in Syria.
A number of sources have reported that the Obama administration has been contemplating a military campaign in Syria similar to what happened in Libya. The U.S. would institute a no-fly zone, bomb the Syrian government and the Syrian military, and provide heavy military hardware for the rebel forces on the ground.
According to a recent Debka report, the plans for such a campaign in Syria are close to being finalized….
As the violence in Syria continued to go from bad to worse in scope and intensity, US official sources had this to say Saturday, June 16, about planned US military operations in the war-torn country:
“The intervention will happen. It is not a question of ‘if’ but ‘when.’”
A Syrian Free Army rebel delegation is now in Washington to talk about their requestsfor heavy weapons from the Obama administration. In their meetings with US Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford and the State Department’s expert on Syria Fred Hof, the rebel leaders handed in two lists for approval: types of heavy weapons capable of challenging Bashar Assad’s armed forces and selected targets of attack to destabilize his regime.
Debkafile’s Washington sources disclose that the administration is very near a decision on the types of weapons to be shipped to the Syrian rebels and when. Most of the items Washington is ready to send have been purchased by Saudi Arabia and Qatar and are ready for shipment.
The White House is also close to deciding on the format of its military operation in Syria. Some sources are defining it as “Libya lite” – that is, a reduced-scale version of the no-fly zone imposed on Libya two years ago and the direct air and other strikes which toppled the Qaddafi regime.
What the Obama administration fails to grasp is that Syria is not Libya.
For Russia and China, Syria is a red line that must not be crossed.
Now Russia and China are sending substantial military forces to Syria for “war games”. Obviously this is just an excuse to get troops into Syria. The following description of these upcoming “war games” is from a recent article in the Jerusalem Post….
According to ShamLife, China had gained Egyptian approval to allow 12 Chinese ships carrying military equipment to pass through the Suez Canal, and that these vessels would reach the Syrian ports of Tartous and Latakia in two weeks’ time.
ShamLife said Syrian air defense missiles and its coastal defense would be put to the test in the military exercises, and that 90,000 troops from the four countries would be involved in the war games along with 400 aircraft and 1,000 tanks and “hundreds of rockets.”
The exercises would be carried out after Syrian troops had ‘cleansed’ several cities where ‘armed groups’ – meaning Syrian opposition forces fighting against government troops loyal to President Bashar Assad – were gathering.
It is also being reported that the Russians are sending warships from the Black Sea Fleet to the Syrian coast to protect the Russian military base at Tartus.
The following is from a recent Los Angeles Times article….
Russia is preparing to dispatch a pair of warships carrying a contingent of Black Sea Fleet marines to its logistics base in the Syrian port of Tartus, the Russian Interfax news agency reported Monday, in what appeared to be another sign of the deteriorating security situation in the strife-ridden nation.
The report quoted an unidentified Russian naval source saying the amphibious ships Nikolay Filchenkov and Tsezar Kunikov, accompanied by the rescue tug SB-15, were ‘preparing for a non-routine departure’ for Tartus, Russia’s only Mediterranean base.
In addition, according to a recent article in the Telegraph, a Russian ship that was apparently taking attack helicopters to Syria has been stopped off the coast of Scotland….
A Russian ship believed to be carrying helicopters and missiles for Syria has been effectively stopped in its tracks off the coast of Scotland after its insurance was cancelled at the behest of the British government.
Obviously the Russians and the Chinese are trying to stop an attack on Syria.
Things are getting very tense, and that is not going to change any time soon.
Just check out how a recent CBS News report described a private meeting between Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G-20 summit in Mexico….
The two men barely looked at each other. You could just feel, sort of, the tension between them. And the body language really represented how far apart the two leaders remain on the issue of Syria.
Needless to say, it was not a pleasant conversation. In fact, Putin reportedly wasvery direct with Obama….
Apparently President Obama got a bit of a lecture from Putin about some other failed transitions that are going on around the world.
Instead, Obama has actually greatly expanded U.S. military action around the globe.
It isn’t reported on much in the mainstream media, but the U.S. military is actually at war in Yemen, in Somalia, in Pakistan, and in a whole bunch of other countries all over the planet.
The following is from a must-read Wired article that just came out….
The center of the US drone war has shifted to Yemen, where 23 American strikes have killed an estimated 155 people so far this year. But you wouldn’t know about it — or about the cruise missile attacks, or about the US commando teams in Yemen — by reading the report the White House sent to Congress about US military activities around the globe. Instead, there’s only the blandest acknowledgement of ‘direct action’ in Yemen, ‘against a limited number of [al-Qaida] operatives and senior leaders.’
The report, issued late Friday, is the first time the United States has publicly, officially acknowledged the operations in Yemen and in nearby Somalia that anyone with internet access could’ve told you about years ago. But the report doesn’t just fail to admit the extent of the shadow war that America is waging in the region. It’s borderline legal — at best. The War Powers Resolution of 1973 requires the president to inform Congress about any armed conflicts America is engaged in. Friday’s report isn’t just uninformative about Yemen. It doesn’t even mention the US campaign in Pakistan, even though the Defense Secretary says America is ‘at war‘ there.
Obama has shown contempt for Congress on so many levels. Not only does he not ask them when he starts a new war, he barely even informs them of what is going on.
In the past, Russia and China kind of stood aside as the U.S. imposed its will all over the Middle East, but that is no longer the case.
Russia and China are clearly saying “no” to military action against Syria.
Will Obama back down or will he defy the Russians and the Chinese?
It is going to be very interesting to watch.
And this emerging alliance between the Russians and the Chinese is going to be something to keep a close eye on. We have been seeing increasing cooperation between the two nations in a bunch of different areas.
If the United States is not very careful, it could find itself in a direct conflict with both Russia and China in the years ahead.
The Russian military and the Chinese military have been very busy preparing for such a conflict. The U.S. military has been focused on other things.
Sadly, most Americans know much more about “America’s Got Talent” and “American Idol” than they do about geopolitics these days.
This article first appeared here at the American Dream. Michael Snyder is a writer, speaker and activist who writes and edits his own blogs The American Dream and Economic Collapse Blog. Follow him on Twitter here.