Britain To Arm Syrian Rebels; Russia Retaliates By Shipping 10 MiGs To Assad

Tyler Durden's picture

Following Russia's first shipment of S-300 Rockets and the CNN-reported deaths of American and British citizens, it seems the situation in Syria is escalating 'behind-the-scenes' with little attention being paid in general. Whether it is the deaths or not, but according to the FT, the 'war-by-proxy' is growing in numbers as the UK is poised to ship arms to some rebel factions in Syria as soon as this summer. "The precise timing has not yet been finalized and no decision has yet been taken. But we are likely to be ... shipping arms to the rebels by August," one official noted, adding that "the rebels need ammunition, and a lot of it, just to keep fighting." The US had secretly undertaken significant lobbying efforts of EU member states to get the EU arms embargo amended and this week Britain and France forced through that deal opening the door for the supply of weapons. Adding to the angst, Russia's MiG aircraft makers said on Friday that it planned to sign a new agreement to ship at least 10 fighter jets to Syria.


Via The FT,

Britain and France this week forced through an amendment to an EU arms embargo that opened the door for the supply of weapons to opposition forces.




Britain’s Foreign Office insists that no final decision on whether to arm the rebels has yet been made. But a senior UK diplomat told the Financial Times that Britain could be in a position to arm the rebels this summer if, as many expect, the planned peace conference in Geneva fails to make headway.


“The precise timing has not yet been finalised and no decision has yet been taken. But we are likely to be ... shipping arms to the rebels by August,” the official said. “What I expect is that over the next two or three months western powers will move low-grade arms supplies in bulk to the rebels. The rebels need ammunition, and a lot of it, just to keep fighting.”




Syrian rebel sources are also saying they are expecting the first new arms supplies to come from Britain as early as this summer.




Russia’s MiG aircraft maker said on Friday that it planned to sign a new agreement to ship at least 10 fighter jets to Syria, a move that comes amid international criticism of earlier Russian weapons deals with the Assad regime,




Russia has said it is only providing Assad with weapons intended to protect Syria from a foreign invasion, such as air defence missile systems.




Syria now is Russia’s last remaining ally in the Middle East and hosts the only naval base Moscow has outside the former Soviet Union.

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NoDebt's picture

Popcorn's up!  Who wants some?  Syria is going to end up a glassy plain before this is over.

Oh regional Indian's picture

What a humongous farce.

It's all about the Mil Ind complex.

And the bankster simplex.

And the energy conondrum, which "owns" us all.

And of course these times, a change of the ages, the end of the maritime dominant world.... it's all about Air power in the age of aquarius, strange as that may sound at first glance, if you'll pardon the hashed, brown, meta-phor.

Arms and the Man.


ACP's picture

I thought it was illegal to give aid & comfort to al qaeda, er the "freedom fighters" in Syria?

Oh yeah, it's the government. Do as I say not as I do.

NotApplicable's picture

What's a sick bird have to do with any of this?

caconhma's picture

Military Analyst review

May 24, 2013

The strategic nuclear forces is in a state of irreversible degradation. Dying nuclear industry. The collapse of the Strategic Air Command. Rusty nuclear strategic missile submarines.  Antediluvian strategic ballistic missiles.  We all know the country in question. Of course - this is the United States.


Although the basic information on the US nuclear arsenal is strictly secret, some key elements are already widely known. Hold to your chair-from what you'll see it will be a grand revelation to many.


When evaluating the State of US strategic nuclear forces (SNF) over the past 20 years, the conclusion can be drawn about their ultimate and deepest degradation, which since 2005 became irreversible and uncontrollable. The uncontrollable means that this process cannot be any longer controlled by the military & political leadership of the United States and cannot be stopped.

Nuclear Warheads

Now the facts:

·         The last US nuclear warhead was built ?? in 1991. And it is not everything. Even more amazing is the fact  that the last real nuclear test explosion was conducted back in 1992. And this despite the fact that the average age of US nuclear warheads is more than 30 year old and many of them were built and deployed before the Reagan presidency. Where is the confidence that these warheads are still capable of exploding? Or do you think that these systems are so stable that 30 years is a no time for them? So you are very wrong. Thermonuclear device is an extremely complex device and subjects to a rapidly degradation.  Due to the decay of fissile materials, the active nuclear material is reduced. Even worse - the radiation emitted during this time lead to degradation of other system components from fuses to electronics. 

·         U.S. scientists specializing in nuclear weapons grow old and retire at an alarming rate. Already by 2008, more than half of the nuclear scientists in national nuclear laboratories in the United States were older than 50 years, and among scientists under fifty, very few have the know-how. And where will this know-how will come from if the nukes have not been built for more than 20 years  and no new were designed even a longer time?  According to the former Secretary of Defense Gates, in a few years, approximately three quarters U.S. nuclear scientists would reach the retirement age and retire. But it is already such a mess and disgrace going in the U.S. National laboratories that the government was forced to remove out all fissile materials from the Los Alamos National Laboratory since these materials were simply stolen and sold to God knows who.

·         Components of U.S. nuclear warheads are aging even more rapidly than the scientists. The United States no longer have the technological capabilities and the ability to produce some of the key elements for warheads. So much so, that the older warheads are used as spare parts for keeping others in working condition. 



U.S. nuclear weapons delivery vehicles are also in decline. 


 Strategic Air Force

 It was assuming that by 2000, there would be 230 modern strategic bombers (130 - B-2 and 100-1B).

By 2011, the U.S. managed to keep only 65 of which 44 are ancient B-52, who were scheduled to retire back in 1996! 

·         But B-52 are the backbone of the today U.S. Strategic Air Command. B-52 bombers are the only one in the U.S. Strategic Air Force capable of carrying and launching long-range cruise missiles with nuclear warheads. But these planes are very old. Last B-52H serial number 61-0040 came from the assembly line in October 26, 1962 - almost 50 years ago.  There are no B-52 spare engines or spare parts. To maintain these aircrafts in flying condition , in some instances, technicians had to disassemble parts of the written off bombers. There was even a project of remaking the B-52 for engines and avionics using components of the civilian Boeing 747  but the project did not work out. B-52 has yet to fulfill its task. Americans suggest to use them until 2040. But the numbers are going down.

·          Moreover, the U.S. has 19 strategic bombers B-2 and B-67 intercontinental B-1B. The funny part is that there is a big problem using them against a capable enemy. These supersonic B-1B bombers were designed using a fatal miscalculation. These bombers can carry only free-falling bombs and short-range missiles. Therefore, the latest advances of air defenses have made ??the B-1B meaningless target even before the deployment. The production was discontinued, and the already built are rusting. 

·         Then the U.S. had hoped for a stealth bomber B-2. But the opportunities to carry long-range missiles were not designed in. It was calculated that it would overcome the enemies  air defense using  their "invisibility". However, the price of B-2 (by $ 2.1 billion apiece) was unaffordable even for the U.S.  And most importantly,  after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the United States got from the former GDR the latest MiG-29 with N-019 radar.  During their tests, with great horror Americans discovered that these radars can perfectly see the "invisible» B-2 even against even the Earth background . This suggests that a more modern radars on Russian MiG-31 and Su-27 are also capable of finding such target at even much greater distances. In other words, the B-2 invisibility does not exist, and it was not clear why to pay $ 2 billion for such quite vulnerable bombers. Consequently, their production was stopped.  So, B-2 and B-1B cannot carry long-range nuclear cruise missiles. And using tactical missiles or free-fall bombs (including nuclear), these fantastically expensive aircrafts must be inside the area of enemy air defenses. Their effectiveness is inversely proportional to the level of enemy air defenses. The utilization of these aircrafts against Libya and Afghanistan are just fine. But if one tries to attack Russia or China, they will be instantly converted into a fabulously expensive metal scrap. 

·         Overall, over the past 20 years, the U.S. fleet of strategic bombers has dropped more than 80%, indicating a complete decomposition of the components of U.S. strategic nuclear forces. And there is no prospect of its recovery. Replacements of this terribly outdated  B-52 are not expected any time soon. Now, there are discussions about having a new perspective bomber.

·         Comparing with the United States, Russia situation is just perfect. In addition to the Tu-160, they have a Tu-95MS ("Bear"), the main components of their strategic air force. The "Bears" is just a little younger than the B-52, but recent modification Tu-95MS released in the early 90's is still quite young compare to B-52. And most importantly, Russian aircrafts are equipped with long-range nuclear-capable Kh-55 and Kh-55SM missiles capable of attacking from distances up to 1,500 miles, therefore, without entering in a range of enemy air defenses. 


Intercontinental ballistic missiles

·         The United States have only one type of land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM). This is the "Minuteman-3", the item from the Vietnam Era. They are morally and technically outdated.

·         "Peacekeeper", the US attempt to create a response to the Soviet "Satan" type heavy ICBM, has failed miserably.  This strategic missile system, whose creation, according to various estimates, consumed up to a trillion dollars (including the costs of production and deployment for combat duty of 50 ICBM), lasted less than 20 years and was removed from combat duty without any replacement!

·         Also, the attempts to create a railroad version of the "Peacekeeper" missile (similar to Russian "Stiletto") ended in a complete failure as well as the widely publicized campaign to build 500 light ICBMs such as "Midgetmen" - an analog of our "Polaris." There have been only two test launches, one of which was a completely failure - the rocket was destroyed by the flight control center after it went out of control, the second was only partially successful. After that, all the further activities on this project were completely frozen. 

·         The bottom line is that the Strategic Nuclear Forces (SNF) has in service 450 completely outdated ICBMs without decoys. And given the recent failure of the test launches of "Minuteman", it can be concluded that the U.S. ICBM probably just about gone. The decision to cancel scheduled for 2012 modernization of the "Minuteman" indicates that, apparently, there is nothing to upgrade, the system is simply not combat ready. 

·         It is not an accident that there are discussions about the need for early development of a fundamentally new next-generation ICBM and convulsive attempts to create missile defense systems which will hopefully protect the USA from a nuclear missile attack at a time when America itself is no longer capable of making a preemptive strike, not to mention of firing missiles after an enemy nuclear attack.


Nuclear ballistic missiles submarines 

By 2000, the United States planned to have 480 submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs) placed on 20 nuclear submarines (SSBN). But for now, the U.S. Navy has only 14 SSBNs with 336 SLBMs. It is the most efficient part of the U.S. nuclear triad.  However, the "Ohio" class nuclear submarines were designed and built during the Vietnam War. A little later Trident-II D-5 missiles were installed on these submarines - but even they are more than a quarter century old.  Readiness of SLBM "Trident»-II, at this time, too, is highly questionable due to the fact that, as a solid-fuel missile, they have the same weaknesses as the "Minutemen." 


Where does the giant U.S. defense budget go? This is a good  question!

rubiconsolutions's picture

Wow. An expert in copy, paste and format. Thanks for all that. [/sarcasm]

TPTB_r_TBTF's picture



It sure would be a shame to see all those classic weapons go to waste.

I hope someone finds a useful purpose for them soon.

JohnnyBriefcase's picture

Using them would be much cost effective than having to decomission and store them at a nuclear waste disposal site for an indefinite ammount of time.


Lots of broken windows to restore the economy.

You know, after the banker elite come out of their bunkers in a century or so.

shovelhead's picture

Hotels in Hawaii and casinos in Las Vegas?

Running a junkyard is a stressful business.

RafterManFMJ's picture

Summary of the long post:

The only way for the US to win is not to play.

disabledvet's picture

leave it to the English to start something anyways...

francis_sawyer's picture

The "Windsors" are CheesePope lackeys... In fact ~ That's how they got to be the "Windsors" in the first place...

supermaxedout's picture

Now I know why the Israelies bought several U-Boats in Germany last year. The Us was not in a position to deliver such ships. So Germany had to do it. These ships are capable to carry rockets with nuclear war heads. This are relative small boats with state of the art stealth technology.

esum's picture

why would it be "illegal" to (aid and abet) provide cash, weapons, advisors and training to al queda (our sworn enemy) in syria? we are arming the sinaloa drug cartel, we did the same with Feb 17 brigade/ansar al sharia and al queda affiliates who controlled Benghazi before we pulled the rug out from under Khadaffy, we are arming and paying the muslim brotherhood (remember zawahiri/alqueda#2).... yes of course it is TREASON.... when will congress take action? ... Obama is one of them and he has said it himself. the problem is the media doesn't report facts and the "ill informed" masses are getting tons of free shit and dont care. 

Oh i forgot, obama told us he reset the clock and we are now in the pre 9/11 world again... the war on terror is over and al queda has been devastated (better tell them).. So in obamaworld he has moved on not only back to pre 9/11 but is toying with the same snake that bit us on 9/11. Allegedly using hem to advance our interests.. Anyone who believes this will ahve a happy ending is as delusional as the members of the current regime.,,,, or has a secret agenda. 

Ignatius's picture

I'm gonna root for the Syrian 'home team' on this one, though I can't say I ever liked 'em much.  Any bets on who makes the Finals?

otto skorzeny's picture

I've always rooted for the underdog

Canadian Dirtlump's picture

Otherwise known as the right side, indeed. Without NATO air support I can't see how these mongoloid irregulars can end up winning. I pray so anyways. IT is clear things aren't going well because the desperation of the West is going up by orders of magnitude and they are all fucking lies.



Rebels caught with sarin gas in turkey

Syrian Army detains ass loads of foreign military officers ( trained military).



tango's picture

MOngologid irregulars?   Why do we always have to resort to such lunacy when we can't make our point intellectually?  For the record, there is zero difference genetically between pro and anti Assad folks.  Until recently, most ZHers considered Assad the latest of a minority religious family dynasty who ruled by force with the secret police. But now that the 90% Sunni have taken arms he's suddenly a hero to the ZH  crowd.  And suddenly they're concerned with Al Qaeda after years of dismissing them? What I'd like is some consistency and less mob psychology.   I swear, if Tyler opined that what we needed was a good police state for a couple of years, you'd get instant calls of unqualified agreement.  

Syria is a hard choice.  Assad is a thug but he did keep the lid on things while enriching his buddies.  It's why Turkey and Israel were so eager for him to remain in power. Now we're going to get this maelstorm of Islamists, fundamentalists and a couple of secularists.

Canadian Dirtlump's picture

MOngologid? You some kind of mongoloid or something? :)

ACP's picture

A Missouri Mongoloid maybe?

@tango Some people, more than you think, have always had the same stance here. I never supported "Arab Spring" because I knew the Islamists would take power and persecute the minority (which they are doing NOW), and I don't support this. If Donald Dumsfeld made one intelligent comment in his life, it is, "There are known unknowns and there are unknown unknowns."

Syria with Asshat in power is a known unknown. Syria with al qaeda in power is an unknown unknown.

Probably the only country where it possible where a revolution would create something positive is Iran, where most of the people there don't like the jokers in power. There are people there who remember what it was like in the 70s, when women were allowed to wear miniskirts and bikinis without being tried in Islamic court and subsequently beaten.



Max Hunter's picture

 Assad is a thug but he did keep the lid on things while enriching his buddies.

And this is different from whom?  Ohh yeah.. way to throw in the "ZH'ers are this and ZH'ers are that.  That really makes you looks smarter than us and makes your point more valid. Not

Kirk2NCC1701's picture

Looks to me like Turkey is happy to position itself to benefit from this multi-sided 'trade' going on, but is nobody's fool or errand boy. 

They are shrewd business people and hagglers, and know "the game" that is being played by the US_IDF alliance:  1. ME in turmoil, 2. water rights from Syria, 3. pipeline through Syria, 4. Trade 'cheap' (Fed-subsidized) gold-for-oil with Iran.  If the NATO (i.e. the US, i.e. Israel) wants Turkey to play ball, they will have to let them into the EU, and thus eliminate all trade barriers to the EU.  The EU is more of a joke, day by day.

Ignatius's picture

Yes, but it gets tiresome seeing the team there every year.

shovelhead's picture

I suppose it would be too much to ask that the game turns into a riot and everyone ends up dead except the spectators trapped in the stadium.

Then they can leave a go about their business.

Best outcome but most unlikely.

Sparkey's picture

The winner may not the man with the plan! Just saying, once these things really start they take on a mind of their own!

AnAnonymous's picture

Taking the 'american' side is a sure bet.They use performance enhancing drugs.

'Americanism' at work.

onthesquare's picture

France, UK, and the US

Now known as the FUKUS

Anusocracy's picture

It's all about government and has been for 10,000+ years.

Government is the body, everything else is just its tentacles.

Jack Napier's picture

I see it differently. The populous is the body. The body is detrimental to itself because there is a parasitic hydra attached at the brain stem. Instead of just punching ourselves in the face, we are armed with the weapon known as government for enhanced effectiveness. Of course it's not in the hydra's interest to kill its host, rather to keep it weak and co-dependent. The hydra itself is the banking system enabled by the love of money that the members of the body unwittingly embrace.


Anusocracy's picture

So if government didn't exist at all, the banking system would be as destructive and evil as it is now.

A free market with competing currencies would spawn the banking system from hell that we now are saddled with?

JohnG's picture



Government Goldman, JPM, BOA is the body, everything else is just its tentacles.

the not so mighty maximiza's picture

Why are the British working with Al-Quida now?

FoeHammer's picture

Just conjuring up an enemy at the gates.

ACP's picture

As we've seen lately, an enemy already inside the gates.

InTheLandOfTheBlind's picture

pretty sure this is all larry of arabia type shit

Wile-E-Coyote's picture

Hey the Brits have worked with the US for years!!

RafterManFMJ's picture

Why are the British working with Al-Quida now?

Because only the planet's various Hill People have worse teeth than they do?

Edward Fiatski's picture

Denitely shaping up to be a hot Summer.

Rustysilver's picture

War: what's good for? Profits.

Kirk2NCC1701's picture

Sequester? What Sequester?  We don't need no stinking Sequester!  Time to rotate inventory, thanks to the 53% who pay Federal taxes and all the Unwashed Masses who keep the VoM (Velocity of Money) going.

Anusocracy's picture

Sounds like some Saudi and Qatari money heading to Britain's MIC.

Crtrvlt's picture

the bail-in of cyprus is all part of this geo-political game

VonManstein's picture

NoDebt you are a prick its not funny.

And second this will continue to be a complete failure, no war will happen. UKUS are desperate and Putin is keeping things straight.  Assad calm and rational.

This is chess no doubt, but its checkmate already

NoDebt's picture

Wasn't meant to be funny.  Big wars often start with small wars.  And there's nothing you can do about it but watch.  It's out of your control.  So have some popcorn and watch the show they have prepared for you.