Putin Countering America’s Counteroffensive in Syria

Putin Countering America’s Counteroffensive in Syria
by Stephen Lendman
Putin’s geopolitical agenda is carefully crafted, fully in accord with international law. It’s focused on protecting Russian interests, lawlessly targeted by America’s imperial agenda. 
Its aim is replacing Putin with a pro-Western puppet, balkanizing Russia for easier control, stealing its resources and exploiting it people – the same ruthless agenda bipartisan US policymakers have in mind worldwide.
Putin intervened in Syria to combat ISIS and other terrorist groups, prevent their spread, especially to Central Asia and Russia – what Washington intends unless stopped.
He’s committed to stay the course until accomplishing his mission. With formidable Russian air power and sophisticated S-400 missile defense systems controlling Syrian airspace, he’ll tolerate no one interfering with his righteous mission.
On Friday, he told participants at a Defense Ministry collegium: “I (issued an) order to act very tough. Any targets that threaten Russian forces or our infrastructure on the ground should be immediately destroyed” – giving fair warning he won’t tolerate another incident like Turkey downing a Russian Su-24 bomber, complicit with Washington, part of Obama’s campaign, unsuccessfully trying to subvert his anti-terrorist mission.
“We have already taken additional measures to ensure security of Russian servicemen and air base,” Putin explained. “It was strengthened by new aviation groups and missile defense systems.” 
“Strike aircraft will now carry out operations under cover of fighter jets” – armed with deadly accurate air-to-air missiles, able to destroy any potential threats.
He praised the effectiveness of Russia’s military, saying “(t)he combined operation of the Aerospace Defence Forces and the Navy, the use of newest high precision weapons systems has caused serious damage to the terrorist infrastructure, thus qualitatively changing the situation in Syria.”
“Our actions there are not due to any unclear and abstract geopolitical interests and the wish to get training and test new weapons systems” in real time. 
“This is not the most important thing. The goal is to avert the threat (to) the Russian Federation itself” – combating terrorists in Syria, not waiting for them to infiltrate the homeland before acting.
Their intention is very clear, Putin explained. They want their scourge expanded to as many countries as possible. They’ve already established terror cells in Russia.
Putin called this a direct threat vital to eliminate. Russia’s Syrian force is relatively small – about six dozen strategic bombers, fighter aircraft and attack helicopters, supported and supplemented by drones flying reconnaissance missions, Russian Caspian and Mediterranean surface and subsurface warships, as well as long-range strategic bombers, operating from inside Russia, flying missions, then returning to their home base nonstop.
Forces can be increased whenever Defense Ministry officials believe it’s opportune to do so. Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said ISIS still controls about 70% of Syria – with about 60,000 fighters, including numbers operating in Iraq.
Since September 30, Russian aircraft conducted about 4,000 sorties, striking around 8,000 terrorist targets in Syria, inflicting heavy casualties, causing significant destruction and damage, as well as changing things dramatically on the ground.
Assad thanked Putin for operating in Syria “based on (moral) values and principles,” along with respecting its sovereignty – without asking for anything in return for his support.
Both nations have been allies throughout the post-WW II period. They have a common interest in defeating the scourge of terrorism – polar opposite Washington’s agenda.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 

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