Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Bypassing the Bosphorus

Reuters --

Russia and Syria carried out what appeared to be the first major coordinated assaults on Syrian insurgents on Wednesday and Moscow said its warships fired 26 missiles at them from the Caspian Sea, a sign of its new military reach. ... The rockets would have passed over Iran and Iraq to reach their targets, covering what Shoigu described as a distance of almost 1,500 km (900 miles), the latest display of Russian military power at a time when relations with the West are at a post-Cold War low over Ukraine ... But in Iraq, the head of parliament's defense and security committee said Baghdad may request Russian air strikes against Islamic State on its soil soon and wants Moscow to have a bigger role than Washington in fighting the group. Iraq's government and powerful Iranian-backed Shi'ite militias question the United States' resolve in fighting Islamic State militants, who control a third of the country, saying U.S.-led coalition air strikes are ineffective. “We might be forced to ask Russia to launch air strikes in Iraq soon ... and that depends on their success in Syria," Hakim al-Zamili told Reuters.

That should be the definitive falsification of Barack Obama's claim -- dubious even when uttered last week -- that Russia's coalition consists only of the Assads and Iran. And by the way, those missiles crossed battle space that the US coalition is trying to control. Of course from the crisis=opportunity perspective, isn't this now the ideal time to completely exit Iraq?

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