Saudi Arabia Makes "Final" Decision To Send Troops To Syria As US, Russia Spar Over Aleppo Strikes

Tyler Durden's picture

As you might have heard, the opposition in Syria is in serious trouble.

Last summer, Bashar al-Assad’s army was on the ropes, as the SAA fought a multi-front war against a dizzying array of rebel forces including ISIS. Then Quds commander Qassem Soleimani went to Russia. After that, everything changed.

As of September 30 the Russian air force began flying combat missions from Latakia, rolling back rebel gains and paving the way for a Hezbollah ground offensive. Once Moscow had stopped the bleeding for the SAA (both figuratively and literally), Iran called up Shiite militias from Iraq who, alongside Hassan Nasrallah’s forces, pushed north towards Aleppo.

Now, the city is surrounded and the rebels are cut off from their supply line to Turkey. In short: it’s just a matter of time before the opposition is routed.

So much for President Obama’s “Russia will get itself into a quagmire” line.

The only thing that can save the rebels at this juncture is a direct intervention by the groups’ Sunni benefactors including Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar, and Turkey.

That, or an intervention by the US.

Both the Saudis and the Turkey have hinted at ground invasions over the past two weeks and just this morning, a sokesman said Riyadh's decision to send in troops was "final."

But direct interventions are tricky. Russia has never denied it intends to bolster Syrian government forces against the rebels, all of whom Moscow deems “terrorists.” On the other hand, Washington, Riyadh, Doha, and Ankara cling to the notion that while they don’t support Assad, they’re primary goal is to fight ISIS. Well ISIS is in Raqqa, which is nowhere near Aleppo, meaning there’s no way to help the rebels out in their fight against the Russians, Iranians, and Hezbollah under the guise of battling Islamic State.

Against that backdrop we found it interesting that Moscow and Washington are now delivering conflicting accounts of airstrikes in Aleppo on Wednesday. The Pentagon, without specifying what time the strikes allegedly took place, says Russia destroyed the city’s two main hospitals.

Defence Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov notes that Warren didn’t provide either hospitals’ coordinates, or the time of the airstrikes, or sources of information. “Absolutely nothing,” he said, describing Warren’s report.

The Kremlin, on the other hand, says US warplanes conducted strikes at 1355 Moscow time. “Two U.S. Air Force A-10 attack aircraft entered Syrian airspace from Turkish territory,” Konashenkov said in a statement. “Reaching Aleppo by the most direct path, they made strikes against objects in the city.”

“Only aviation of the anti-ISIS coalition flew over the city yesterday,” he added.

“When asked on Wednesday whether the U.S.-led coalition could do more to help rebels in Aleppo or improve access for humanitarian aid to the city, Pentagon spokesman Colonel Steve Warren said that the coalition's focus remained on fighting Islamic State,” Reuters wrote on Thursday. The group is "virtually non-existent in that part of Syria,” Warren said.

Right. Which makes you wonder what two US Air Force A-10 attack planes were doing bombing in and around Aleppo. Is the US set to conduct airstrikes in support of the rebels, thus marking a fresh and exceptionally dangerous escalation of hostilities in the country?

As for what exactly it was that the US warplanes struck, Konashenkov will have to get back to us. He’s too busy winning a war to care right now:

“I’m going to be honest with you: we did not have enough time to clarify what exactly those nine objects bombed out by US planes in Aleppo yesterday were. We will look more carefully."

*  *  *

Below, find excerpts from “Will Russian Victories In Syria Spark A Regional War?” by Yaroslav Trofimov as originally published in WSJ

Defying U.S. predictions of a quagmire in Syria, Russia is achieving strategic victories there with this month’s Aleppo offensive. The question now is whether this is a turning point that hastens the five-year war’s end or the trigger for a counter-escalation that will drag other regional countries into the conflict.

Few expect that Moscow’s main target—the moderate rebels backed by Turkey, Saudi Arabia and the U.S.—would now be forced settle the conflict on the Kremlin’s, and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s, terms.

“Their victory in Aleppo is not the end of the war. It’s the beginning of a new war,” said Moncef Marzouki, who served in 2011-14 as the president of Tunisia, the nation that kicked off the Arab Spring, and who recently visited the Turkish-Syrian border. “Now, everybody would intervene.”

To be sure, Turkey and Saudi Arabia have few easy options to counter Russian military might in Syria. But because of national pride—and internal politics—neither can really afford to have the rebel cause in which they have invested so much wiped out by Moscow and its Iranian allies.

While the Obama administration has long been determined to minimize U.S. involvement there, for Turkey and Saudi Arabia the prospect of Syria falling under the sway of Russia and Iran would be a national-security catastrophe.

“The whole situation, not just for Turkey but for the entire Middle East, would be reshaped. The Western influence will fade away. The question is: Can we accept Russia, and the Iranians, calling the tune in the region?” said Umit Pamir, a former Turkish ambassador to NATO and the United Nations.

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kato's picture

the man Soros has broad scope of vision, is brilliant and has more balls than you and the vast majority of men.

PR Guy's picture



Despite all the modern killing technology they have, the Saudis will get their asses kicked if they go anywhere near Syria with troops. They are pussies.

Bumpo's picture

Uninvited guests shall be tossed to the curb by Vlad "The Bouncer"

Dental Floss Tycoon's picture

Sounds like the beginning of World War III to me.

Bumpo's picture

Syria is a Sovereign Country. GTFO

Leopold B. Scotch's picture

Let me just say, FUCK the neosconservatives for starting this quagmire.  Every last one.

Manthong's picture

Maybe somebody will finally label the Saudis as “terrorists” and take care of the problem over there.

I hope we are smart enough to keep our distance in this CF and not assume the label officially.

847328_3527's picture

the Saudis ae too busy for war; after all, they're busy building those 20,000 mosques in Germany for the moslim rapefugees.

Miles Ahead's picture

@847328_whatever... that's dumb.  But even if it's valid it will give the so-called 'rapefugees' something to do so the Saudis should be commended.  20,000?  Whoa.  That's impressive!

@Keyser: that's the problem with Google.  You can find a link to anything and then appear insightful.  Too bad there's a large Empire that's making you look like a fool.

The Muslim (read: Arab) empire stretched from the borders of China and India, across Central Asia, the Middle East, North Africa, Sicily, and the Iberian Peninsula (Spain, fool), to the Pyrenees (France border).

The Muslim conquests brought about the collapse of the Persian Empire and a great territorial loss for the Byzantine Empire.  As you see Turkey and Iran today - not Arab, but ... I think you know.

 Muslim armies in the space of a hundred years established the largest pre-modern empire until that time. It was more than thirteen million square kilometers making it larger than all current states except... Russia

BarkingCat's picture

So what is your fucking point?

That the disease spread and infected many organs until the immune system kicked in???

Miles Ahead's picture

+1.  That was impressive.  I thought the topic was Arabs, but you want to talk about the muzzies. 

But so much for immune systems. There are still over 60 Muslim countries are there not?  Methinks another shot of B12 may help.  Better hurry; from what I hear there are 1.6 Billion muzzies in the world today (which means it's probably higher if the West is counting) and secondly - it's the world's largest Religion.  Moreover looks like it's grown faster than any religion since the chrissies knocked down those two (or 3) buildings back in 2001.  

So I made my point Ape, but in case you missed it:  They can win wars.  Every dog has it's day.  Give it time.  Or perhaps "war" is not all that it's cracked up to be, but I dare not burden your little mind with such a lofty premise.

TruthHammer's picture

Actually, Christianity is the world's largest religion, at over 2.1 billion, but please continue....

Miles Ahead's picture

(continue...) OK, but I just have a hard time seeing Catholicism and Baptists/Protestants having much in common once you scratch below the surface.  But OK, so be it.  Being #1 is not always what it's cracked up to be anyway so enjoy.

Meanwhile the muzzies are set to meet you in the middle since you're both are heading there from 180 degrees out.  And remember... you're on top.  Simple math says 30-50 years, give or take.

Surviver22's picture

It's the greatest threat global security has ever faced.

All the weapons in the world won't matter once ISIS army kick into gear!

Herd Redirection Committee's picture

You know where you went wrong, Miles?  Muslims = read Arab.  Thats incorrect.  You are describing the Ottomans, and completely leaving out the Orthodox Christian Slavs!  Of, you know, the Balkans!  They aren't Arabs and they certainly aren't Muslim either!   But they did comprise the JANISSARIES (who were 'forced' to convert, but in name only)and who were, in fact, running things in the Empire (esp. in the cities, the country side was ruled by Muslim war lords generally).

Here's an interesting word for you, Ataman: "Ataman (variants: Otaman,[1] Wataman, Vataman; Russian: ??????, Ukrainian: ??????) was a title of Cossack and haidamak leaders of various kinds. In the Russian Empire, the term was the official title of the supreme military commanders of the Cossack armies."

So to me, that indicates Russian influence, at the very top of the Ottoman Empire, on top of the already mentioned Balkan and Orthodox Christian influences!  But oh yeah, we 'stopped the islamization of Europe' at the Gates of Vienna, as the popular saying goes...  Yeah, a tad oversimplified, but very convenient when trying to rewrite history, to make it seem like "Eurasia has always been at war with Oceania".

Herd Redirection Committee's picture

Ottoman sultans are famous for their HAREMS.  Except, the most famous of all was Suleiman the Magnificent.  He decided to have a WIFE, instead of just concubines.

His WIFE was Roxelana = the Russian/Ruthenian one.

"Suleiman freed and married Hürrem in a magnificent formal ceremony, making him the first Ottoman Sultan to wed since Orhan Ghazi (reign 1326–1362), and violating a 200-year-old custom of the Ottoman imperial house according to which sultans were not to marry their concubines.[15] Never before was a former slave elevated to the status of the sultan’s lawful spouse, much to the astonishment of observers in the palace and in the city"

So again there is a Slavic/Russian/Ukrainean (there was no Ukraine in 1502) connection, to the very highest pinnacles of the Ottoman Empire.

Miles Ahead's picture

Dude... you're too heavy for me.  I majored in Beer...

Herd Redirection Committee's picture

My point is, there is this thing called the Don River.  You could just coast down it, in a boat, and it would take you to a place called the Crimea and Black Sea.  From there you could NOT HELP but go to Constantinople.  Literally.  Your boat could not take you any further, without taking you right to the gates of Constantinople.

The West (France, Great Britain, primarily) have rewritten history to downplay the role of the Russians/Slavs in the building/origination of the Ottoman Empire.

BarkingCat's picture

So what is your fucking point?

That the disease spread and infected many organs until the immune system kicked in???

Miles Ahead's picture

Look... I answered you above APE.  Read!  Look up.  From your vantage point it should be the default.

greenskeeper carl's picture

The oil market must be well and truly fucked if all this noise still leaves oil at. 26 handle. There must really be massive overcapacity. From down here, a brief rally up to 33 or so would be a 20% jump, pretty mig move in a commodity like oil, but nope, nothing.

JohninMK's picture

Just to make a point I said yesterday. Unlike the claim in the article above, Aleppo is NOT surrounded yet.

There is still access out, albeit tortuous, to Turkey via Idlib province, virtually all of which is in the hands of the terrorists.

Here is a map from today

or yesterday's non PBS hosted map incase you don't like them.

KnuckleDragger-X's picture

During my time on active duty I've actually seen the Saudi army in action, and this will be interesting in a clusterfuck kind of way. Also, what country are they planning to go through to get to Syria? I don't see either Jordan or Iraq giving passage......

joe6px's picture

I met a couple of Arab NCO's worth a damn, but the officers - all of them I met - were too busy with posturing and preening to be of any use.  Then when they had to make timely decisions the officers wouldn't blink without express orders from on high.  Their armed forces on-the-ground leadership is hopelessly broken.

KnuckleDragger-X's picture

I watched a Saudi tank battalion get lost while using GPS, but wouldn't admit it till the M-1's started running out of fuel......

Jethro's picture

KnuckleD---we had to go find a Chadian officer when he got lost on the land nav course at night in Benning. Nearest we could tell, he got lost as soon as he hit the treeline.

And we had two Turks in that class. The officer was a complete tard, but his senior NCO handler was good to go. Turkey is fucked in a real war. They'll just pour in sacrificial conscripts until the other side runs out of ammo

Freddie's picture

Don't forget the Iranians are Persians not Arabs.  Many Syrians do not consider themselves to be Arabas either. 

The Saudis are just swine like the Turks.  The people may be okay but their rulers are the worst just like Germany and the USSA.

Miles Ahead's picture

"many Syrians...".  Not that many.  Regardless.  They are Arab.  100%.  Except the ones that are not.

The Iranians are not "Persians", They are Kurds, Azeris, Tajiks, Pashtuns, etc.... and Persians (60% or so).

Miles Ahead's picture

-5???  Geez.  A prophet is not without honor except in his own town.

TruthHammer's picture

and ignorant arrogance is not without its public shaming in all towns....

Miles Ahead's picture

Anyone who gets publicly shamed on this board needs a reality check.  I mean look at you; you get away with not capitalizing the first word in your sentence.  And the ellipsis is only 3 dots but you couldn't control yourself.  The bar is low kid. But you already have that figured out - obviously.  Fuck off now.

Socratic Dog's picture

When it ends a sentence it's 4 dots.  The fourth is the period.  He got it right.

So fuck off in your shameful ignominy.

Socratic Dog's picture

Yeah.  And this has the stink of a false flag about it.  I think that's what the author was alluding to.  Hospitals.

actionjacksonbrownie's picture

So... will the Russians finally publicly call the u.s. for what they are - "terrist" supporters - and deny them access to eastern Syrian airspace?

Blankone's picture


And what happened to all those articles that were put on here about Russia creating a defacto nofly zone with their S400 systems?

Turns out no one (other than Turkey) is in fear of those S400 being used even when Syrian people, military or infrastructure such as electrical plants are bombed freely.

The_Prisoner's picture

Yeah, right.

That must be why the U.S. Sent A-10s which can fly hugging the treetops.

Had they no fear of the S400 the U.S. Would had sent bombers which would make it easier to place the blame on Russia as they wouldn't be spotted by ground forces.

Looks like the Saa forces should start carrying manpads from now on to cover for the eventuality of some NATO cunts getting lost.

So shut up and eat your peas.

Blankone's picture

While the A10 can fly lower easier the other jets can fly low as well.  The A10 is better at making slower runs over enemy convoys and such.  The recent attack appears to have been A10's the others were regular jets.  And there are no claims they flew low over the city but instead made repeated runs on their targets. And as you pointed out the Syrian troops on the ground saw them and obviously would have informed Russia. So is the S400 not capable of seeing planes making attacks?

Either the S400 is not effective or Putin is too afraid to use it.  If you are correct that the S400 cannot be used against low flying planes then it is not a deterent.  Even Turkey could fly in low and render the S400 useless.

You mention manpads.  Why would the Russians have their "allies" conduct a concentrated attack on a major city controlled by the insurgents in northern Syria which has US/NATO planes above them and NOT provide manpads as insurance?  Same reason Putin has not supplied the S300 to Syria or Iran.  Fear they might actually be used in defense and used to take down a NATO plane.  FEAR.


Leopold B. Scotch's picture

And they try to convince us that our country is not all about hegemony...

Perpetual War is Peace!

africoman's picture

Agreed with common people,but those mother fuckers think in 'Might Makes Right' idiothology.

Nevertheless,even though the US and its terrorist,...etc are about to lose the game in Syria leaving the country & its people ruined, they never abandon conspiring for another continued death & destruction.So they(all countries except Russia and Iranians) are there for a long war and reason that i don't fully understand now.Surely there is also spiritual agenda as well. 

In the end i wish Syria liberated, but i doubt that seeing all these voulchers quacking with no business and right to be there.All but desolation of Damascus.

Latina Lover's picture

The Saudis are "trash talkers", typical Arab bullshitters.  If they were going to attack, they would not announce it.  The Saudis cannot even beat the lightly armed Houthi's in Yemen, much less stand against the Syrian Army. They also know that the Russian Aerospace forces will annihilate them.

Bumpo's picture

The Saudis will enter into Syria to show Russia who's boss, then cower as Russian fighters go straight past them to bomb the living shit out of Riyadh. Hey, you want a war, you got a war.

Miles Ahead's picture

I like your spirit. Unfortunately Vlad is way too smart to bomb Riyadh or any other part of S.A.  That's not how you do it.  And I don't know how you do it, but I certainly know it ain't that.

Bumpo's picture

I know, and I understand. But they would certainly have it coming. Cooler heads and all that.

Miles Ahead's picture

No... no cooler heads.  Yeah, they got it coming and it will be heads on spikes.  Then cometh the scythe.  Royals only.  No need to bomb the poor (and they are poor) people.

Not necessarily cooler heads; just need to read the relevant chapter on The Art Of War before making the right move.

The Saudi Royals are done.  This is the beginning of the end.  That's 100% guaranteed.  Grab some popcorn.

giovanni_f's picture

... and watching the dark sunglass-wearing pseudo-rambos from blackwater inc experince the hellfire these couragious warriors use to bring to unarmed civilians.

True Blue's picture

The announcements are dipping a toe in the water so to speak; a test to see how the Bear reacts. Notice how it is suddenly a "US led coalition" uninvited on the soverign territory of Syria. On the bright side, I do not see how the UN will survive the hipocracy.

The Saudis can't beat the Houthi's or anyone else; just like the French. But at the end of WWII France got 1/4 of Germany.

This is all about their damn oil pipeline through Iraq and Syria to the Med, Assad opposes the plan; which is why they feel he 'has to go' -and if they cannot oust him altogether, then this could be an excuse to demand 'territorial concessions'.

The whole thing is so juvenile and insane; our 'leadership' is like a class full of children with Down's Syndrome and guns; holding the rest of us hostage as they run the whole thing off a cliff.