Friday, October 9, 2015

Who cares if Russian missiles aimed at Syria killed civilians in Iran?

After distinctive failure in Ukraine, Russian military forces shifted their disastrous criminal activities to the Middle East, in efforts to restore its downgraded reputation for having strong and efficient forces and to save its long-term ally Assad from being overpowered by the opposition.  

Russian involvement in Syrian bloodshed is getting deeper and more distinctive, and yesterday, it was outlined from somehow unexpected angle.  Yesterday, Russia fired at least 26 Kalibr cruise missiles from their ships in the Caspian Sea, aimed at the predefined 11 targets in Syria. Because of their launching location, the missiles had to fly through northwest Iran and northern Iraq to make it to their targets in Syria. Based on the CNN reports, at least four of the launched cruise missiles indeed crashed in Iran, harming several Iranian civilians.

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It is not exactly clear if these crashes occurred during a new round of attacks today or if officials are referring to yesterday’s launch, although they say there may have been casualties associated with the wayward missiles. Yesterday, Russian officials claimed that all the missiles they fired made their way to their targets precisely, over a range of almost 1,000 miles. This is unlikely as even the highly proven American BGM-109 Tomahawk, with over 2,000 uses, still experiences an occasional failure.

Therefore, the mere use of cruise missiles, launched from Caspian Sea against targets in Syria, is quite a questionable subject. Russia has sufficient air force, deployed in Syria and capable of striking harder than a Kalibr cruise missile ever can. Since there is no anti-air threat aimed at Russia in Syria, they could simply use their fighter and attack aircraft to strike these targets instead of sending expensive missiles through two of countries to do so. So, experts suggest that the only reason for such peculiar act is to show off its capabilities in the region and to fly over Iraq in defiance of the United States and its coalition partners. Additionally, all the ships and missiles used in these attacks are for sale. In other words, demonstrating their capability on the world stage is great marketing.

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Well, missiles hitting the supposedly friendly country to the spot, located extremely far from the original targets, cannot be considered as a successful marketing campaign. The same as Putin’s efforts to show that Russia is “wild and dangerous player” on the World political arena has turned into farce.

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Iran's Irna news agency reported on Wednesday that an unknown flying object had crashed in the village of Ghozghapan in the Iranian province of West Azerbaijan, said to be under the missiles' flight path. But conservative Iranian media described the reports of missiles landing in Iran as "psychological operations by the US against Moscow". Iran has huge hopes on Putin to save Assad presence in Syria, so destroying a single village is not a sufficient reason to spoil relationship with one of the few Iran’s supporters in the World.

As you may guess, Moscow, meanwhile, denied the U.S. allegations, with Russian Defense Ministry spokesperson Igor Konashenkov saying the accusation "more than vividly characterizes a current level of political culture of certain representatives of U.S. administration. More precisely it characterizes their level of cynicism as regards to the rest of the world."

Russia inadvertently revealed problems with seaborne missiles this summer when its navy conducted an errant launch. The episode happened during a military parade in Sevastopol, the Crimean port city annexed from Ukraine in 2014, when a missile blew apart on a ship during a demonstration firing. Spectators wondered aloud what had happened after pieces of the missile flopped into the sea.

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Some Russian analysts say the Kremlin is using the conflict in Syria to test a new generation of weaponry from a major procurement program that military officials began in 2010 after years of oil-boom profits.

There is one more theory, which you may consider as far-fetched, but do not waive it right away, no matter how strange it may sound today. Several experts mentioned that Russia deliberately goes to the open conflict with the West in Syria (incidents with Turkey, American Drones, and Israeli war planes) trying to create the situation when its military plane can be shot down by the coalition forces. The reason – to divert World attention from the independent report on the responsible for the Boeing destruction over the Ukrainian skies. The informational leaks suggest that the main responsibility for the terrorist act will be ultimately put on the Russia-supported rebels in Eastern Ukraine, at least, or direct involvement of the Russian military in the terrorist act might be pointed out. That would be extremely dangerous development for Putin as it may lead to the new round of sanctions against Russia, and could bring him and his circle one step closer to the Hague Tribunal.

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