Very Dangerous Escalation In Syria

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Very Dangerous Escalation In Syria

Russian Special Operations Forces service members are in Syria. Source: TV Zvezda

Written by The Saker; Originally appeared at his blog

By now many of you must have heard the news: a Russian Lieutenant-General, Valery Asapov, and two Colonels have been killed in what appears to be a very precisely targeted mortar attack.  Just as in the case of the Russian military police unit recently attacked near Deir ez-Zor, the Russians are accusing the Americans of being behind this attack.  To make things even worse, the Russians are now also officially accusing the Americans of actively collaborating with ISIS:

US Special Operations Forces  units enable US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces units to smoothly advance through the ISIS formations.  Facing no resistance of the ISIS militants, the SDF units are advancing along the left shore of the Euphrates towards Deir-ez-Zor.  The aerial photos made on September 8-12 over the ISIS locations recorded a large number of American Hummer vehicles, which are in service with the America’s SOF.  The shots clearly show the US SOF units located at strongholds that had been equipped by the ISIS terrorists. Though there is no evidence of assault, struggle or any US-led coalition airstrikes to drive out the militants.  Despite that the US strongholds being located in the ISIS areas, no screening patrol has been organized at them. This suggests that the US troops feel safe in terrorist controlled regions.

These are the maps and aerial photos provided by the Russians (for higher resolution, click here)

Very Dangerous Escalation In Syria

What this all seems to point to is that the Pentagon has now apparently decided to attack Russian forces directly, albeit unofficially.   From the Pentagon’s point of view, this (almost) makes sense.

First, by now it is pretty darn clear that the “good terrorists” and the “bad terrorists” have lost the civil war in Syria.  Simply put, the USA has been defeated, Syria, Russia, Iran and Hezbollah have won and the Israelis are now freaking out.

Second, the American plan to use the Kurds as foot-soldiers/canon-fodder has failed.  The Kurds are clearly too smart to be pulled in such a losing proposition.

Third, the American plan-B option, the partition of Syria, is now itself directly threatened by the Syrian military successes.

Last and not least, the Americans by now are deeply humiliated and enraged at the Russian success in Syria.

Very Dangerous Escalation In Syria

Lieutenant-General Valery Asapov

Hence they have now apparently taken the decision to directly target Russian military personnel and they are using their considerable reconnaissance capabilities combined with US Special Forces on the ground, working side by side with “good” and “bad” terrorists, to target and attack Russian military personnel.

This is not the first time, by the way.  There is pretty good evidence that a Russian hospital near Aleppo was targeted using means not available to the local Daesh franchise.  This time, however, the Americans are not even trying to hide.  The message seems to be this all-time American favorite “watcha gonna do about it?“.

There is a lot the Russians could do about it, in fact.  I wrote about this in my article “Using plausible deniability against a systematically lying adversary“.  If the folks at CENTCOM really believe that their generals are all safe and out of reach they are deeply mistaken.  Unlike the Russians and, even more so, the Iranians, US Generals are mostly risk averse and hard to get to in Syria.  But who said that Russia would have to retaliate in Syria?  Or, for that matter, that Russia would have to use Russian forces to retaliate.  Yes, Russia does have special units trained in the assassination of high-value targets in hostile countries, but that does not at all mean that they would decide to use them.  Accidents can happen anywhere and the roads are notoriously dangerous in the Middle-East.  Why do I mention that?  To illustrate that Russia does have options short of overtly going to war.

Of course, the Russians could simply fire a volley of Kalibr cruise missile at any of the ISIS positions shown in the photos above and then go “oops, you had personnel embedded with these al-Qaeda types?  Really?  We had no idea, no idea at all“.  Syria also have a pretty solid arsenal of tactical ballistic missiles.  The Syrians could mistakenly hit any such ISIS+US positions and express consternation at the presence of US military personnel in the midst of terrorists.  There is also Hezbollah who, in the past, has even seized Israelis soldiers in raids across the border and who could decide to capture themselves some US SOF types.    And let’s not forget the Iranians who have not had such an golden opportunity to finally get their hands on US military personnel since many years.

The three key weakness of the US force posture in Syria are: first, their own force in Syria is too small to make a difference, but big enough to represent a lucrative target and, second, all the boots on the ground which matter are against them (Syrians, Iran, Turkey, Hezbollah and the Russians).  Finally, the only two real US allies in the region are too afraid to put boots on the ground: Israel and the Saudis.

The bottom line is that if the Americans think that the Russians and their allies don’t have options they are deeply mistaken.  They also should seriously consider the consequence of having US SOF operating in forward positions.  The Syrians are closing the distance fast and this might not be the best time to hunt Russian military personnel.

So far the Russians have only limited themselves to protests and expressions of disgust.  This has clearly not been an effective strategy.  The Russians apparently don’t realize that very few people care and that the more the complain, the less credible their warnings sound.  This is not a sustainable approach and the Russians will so “have to do something about it”, to use the American expression.

Things might become very dangerous, very fast and very soon.

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  • MD Ranix

    shameless zio satanic terrorists will pay for all their war crimes on earth …. perm hell will be theirs – losers

  • Zainab Ali

    disgusting to the core, yankees are doomed in syria for their blatant arrogance …. an eye for an eye … a fast, quick response will be coming more from the russian led coalition

    • Bru

      let s hope the invaders and supporters of terrorist groups be wiped out…

  • Bru

    remembers me of when during the liberation of Aleppo, the US backed terrorist very precisely targeted from a long distance a field hospital, murdering the Russian nurses… always the same pattern by the evil Israel-US-NATO-jihadi-wahabi satanic axis.

    • ruca

      Seems to be the same fingerprint doesn’t it. We’ll know the reaction soon enough.

  • alexis

    Long fingers of CIA…the US-ISIS deal to make SAA/Russians busy i Dajr Az Zaur town, to allow the Kurdish US-backed forces to capture Syrians oil fields and create the wedge between Syria and Iraq to block the inter-country cooperation, it is another attempt to full control of this region…remember the escape of 20 ISIS leader from Dajr Az Zaur region with the help of US choopers last week…

  • Rakean Jaya

    At UN speech, Netanyahu said, will do everything to prevent Iranian growing influence in Syria, I believe this is just bogus reasons, the real one is revenge to Russian, as the one that responsible for ruining their evil plan to destroy Syria as part of “Greater Israel” project.

  • The Bandalar

    Let me get this straight – ISIS is collapsing and retreating. US special forces move in to occupy former ISIS positions (ie local strongpoints), and that is considered equivalent to “embedding” with ISIS troops?

    The only potential argument is the fact that ISIS is resisting more against the SAA than against the SDF in Deir Ezzor province. However, that doesn’t mean much either upon reflection.

    In WW2, many Germans preferred to surrender to the Americans instead of the Soviets. Thus, in the last days of the war, they stopped resisting in the West and simply held the Eastern front as long as possible.

    This article is full of unreasonable speculation. Unsurprisingly, it’s not a South Front piece (the worst ones never are).

    • ruca

      Are you sure you read the article? The Saker in general is the most accurate source of information you can find.

      • dutchnational

        most accurate?

        In any case not the most impartial.

        But then, who is impartial on this site? Not even me.

        • ruca

          Are you and Solomon dating?

          • Solomon Krupacek

            Thou shalt not take the name of the Solomon thy Lord in vain

      • The Bandalar

        I’ve never been to this Saker website. I just checked it out and to be honest I’m surprised it’s not an Egyptian, Pakistani, or Balkan source. Usually newspapers from these of societies are full of conspiracies and nonsense. IE: Rampant (and unreasonable) speculation presented as fact.

        My favorite was the Egyptian accusation that a shark attack off the coats of Egypt was organized by the Mossad, who mind-controlled or micro-chipped the sharks to harm Egypt’s tourism.

        Ultimately what bothers me about this type of article is that it is fueled by confirmation bias. It fuels a lack of critical thinking, and those with paranoid schizophrenia are particularly vulnerable to such content.

        EDIT: I should point out that as a Jew (albeit the atheist variety), it always drives me nuts to see people in the comments who just cant help blaming everything on Jews.

        • ruca

          Hi Analysis articles are the best I have read anywhere. I recommend reading his articles as well the articles from Scott Humor (SitReps) on that site. I personally do not dislike Jews, I am absolutely against zionism. Thanks for the reply! Cheers

    • javier

      Did you not see the high resolution photographs displaying US and daesh forces in close proximity? Did you not see that sdf/us moved in without a shot being fired? you moron

      • The Bandalar

        This is as persuasive as the American’s “evidence” that Iran provided weapons to Alqaeda, ISIS and the Taliban. Not only is that completely illogical, but the evidence is unbelievably weak.

    • jhon malakiat

      the main reason usa come to syria.is under pretext to fight against isis.

      seeing fact that there is no war between usa and isis is unacceptable. remember when usa hard protest to hezbollah/syria when there is agreement to transfer isis from syria-lebanon border to DZ?

      remember when usa deliberately attack syria and kill 100 soldiers last year?

      remember usa accidentaly drop weapon and amunition to isis troops?

      do you remember since when usa “really” fight isis?

      yes, since russia come to syria. before that, usa just watching terrorist destroy syria.

      no need to become genious to understand that isis is usa puppet. period.

    • dutchnational

      Beyond this all, the SDF/kurds just are better and more motivated fighters.

      Kurds were able to fight off, almost without arms at the time, the islamists of FSA, AAS, JAN, IS, after SAA abandoned them 2011/2012.

      Now they have numbers, arms,ONE external ally, many internal allies and beat the cr*p out of IS.

      • Solomon Krupacek

        bullshit! your kurds ran as rats before tsunami. the first their vitory was in kobani, whem 30+ countries help them to win the battle. kurds are the same shit like saudi soldiers. with one exception: kurd bring also their whores as concubines everywhere. and then bredd everybody with everybody. finally have more children than vahabbits. ugly! mountain gipsies.half animals!

  • Nigel Maund

    We all know that the US is utterly hypocritical and dishonest in the extreme. We also know that the US, UK and Israel are the world’s greatest rogue states making Kim Jong Un look like an amateur. The SAA, Iran, Hezbollah and the Russians have no option left but to smash the SDF and their US backers. This cannot be a half hearted skirmish and the gloves now have to come off to get the message home to the US “Deep State” and the Zionists that it’s game over or else.

  • Mountains

    The recent airstrike on SDF on this day only spices things up and the kurds will definitely be united and merge stronger. The Kurds are highly emotional and motivated beyond belief due to their upcoming separation.. This could easily gather 50mio+ kurds

    • Wahid Algiers

      You are a stupid dreamer. The kurds are not united. The are devided in several fractions with different opinions. Like many gypsy tribes fighting each other.

    • Alex

      Than the russian will offer good delas to other kurds to keep them separated

    • Terra Cotta Woolpuller

      Where do you come up with these numbers even Barzani has split his Coalition already as the other parties are not supporting the referendum. The Feyli tribes have always been considered outsiders but they are both to Kurds and Persians, like many in the Kurdish conglomeration their own people but they are Shia and other religions.

  • Akar

    lets be honest,,,, Lastest
    report suggest that the Kurds have captured most of the oilfields in
    Deir Ez-Zoor province. Russia needs excuse to bomb them, these generals
    killed by ISIS is a scapegoat to bomb the kurds.this is true story which none of you SAA supporters will admit to it.

    • Alex

      Eh, there are plenty of comments here in SF saying that Russia should bomb SDF for taking those fields :)

    • Wahid Algiers

      lets be honest,,,, The US has nothing to search for in Middle East and the kurds are invaders in Syria. So blow them up. In the meanwhile you could dry your tears.

    • Ronald

      The Kurds have no business attempting to claim sovereign Syrian territory ,
      The Kurds have no business inviting a foreign power the USA onto Syrian soil .
      The USA has no right enter Syria , on the ground , or in the air .

  • gareththomasnz

    Syria is no longer on the western news radar & nor is ISIS

    • Tarciso Ribeiro

      True.

    • SKY

      Daesh is 90& exterminated

      • Ronald

        That’s why its time for the final 10 % ,Godspeed .

  • FlorianGeyer

    The only comment I can add to the latest excellent Saker review is that in my humble opinion the Russian strategists have long realised the completely Orwellian Double Speak of the US coalition with regard to terrorism but due to the Western MSM blackout of REALITY the Russian planners decided to give the US all the rope she needed to hang herself.

    The USA now has the rope.

    • URSULARICHES

      Russians are very nice people who do not spread wars and they are aware of how terrible escalation and WWIII would be. Their restraint has been incredible.

      • Bru

        Indeed, you are so right

  • Hrky75

    It would be very useful to know where exactly did the attack on Russian officers take place. If their HQ or a front line position were within range of 120mm mortars and observed by ISIL drones, then calculating fire solution was a matter of simple trigonometry and well within current ISIL capability. Russians are sometimes unbelievably careless and even their general officers prefere to lead from the front. I’d take these things in consideration before starting to call for retaliation against US…

    • palebluedot

      Agreed.

  • Igor Dano

    Dirty jews show once more their attitude ( all us generals there seem to be jews).

  • Wolfgang Wolf

    saker always has the same weak point in his articles: he tries to be objective, but sits on his sofa in Florida and is still thinking like an american. he has to understand, that RUSSIA decides how and when and where will be reacted. russians dont talk a lot about their actions. but you can be sure, that this actions will hurt… the typical american thinking “now the russians must react” shows it all… time to lean back and order popcorn and watch the sinking of the us empire))

    • AMHants

      I agree with you and do like Saker, but, do find when the gloves are taken off, including back in 2014, when he was reporting on events in Donbass, he goes down the US route. Normally doom and gloom, forgetting that Russia has had it strategically planned from Day 1 and knows her enemies, inside and out, backwards and forwards. Russia, is playing with the US and allies, letting them walk into traps of their own making, forcing them to expose themselves, on the world stage. The masses might be too dense to notice, but, those that matter can see how US/NATO run exactly the same script and look seriously stupid, when others find them out. Who wants to hang around with the losing team?

      • Solomon Krupacek

        boy, you ar totally irrealistic.

        what is trap in that situation, that ukraine was taken by proyanks????

    • Solomon Krupacek

      russia decides and life changes. this old russian disease was the reason, why lost both cold war and ussr.

    • Harold Smith

      “he has to understand, that RUSSIA decides how and when and where will be reacted.’

      Your comment doesn’t make much sense. Did he say differently? Of course he knows that; that doesn’t mean he can’t speculate.

  • SOF

    I agree, this could get ugly. At the same time the Russians should strike, in a way that does not escalate to nuclear war, and disable this duplicity and get these backstabbers out of Syria.

  • David Leach

    The trouble with Russia, is this obsession with resetting relations with US, a country that is actively preparing for war against Russia in Eastern Europe. Whilst Russian soldiers are being murdered,or doddging US Bullets in Syria, you have the likes of Lavrov, and that Russian diplomat over doing it with the US arse kissing at every opportunity. It matters not want US does, be it expel diplomats ,murder diplomats, kill Russian soldiers using complicity, Within hours it is always the same, “We still want to be good friends”.” we hope desperately for better relations” blah blah blah.

    Erdogan murdered a Russian Pilot and got sent another 1,000 000 Russian holiday makers. The Generals killers will probably get time shares for Villas in Sochi. Putin has proved to be too pro-West, very weak. I highly doubt these murders will be avenged. wanting to be loved by US rules the day.

    • FlorianGeyer

      Russian and also European civilians recognise the horrors of war. The US mainland was not subject to any such destruction in WW1 or WW2, or since then.

      The US public are generally so insulated from reality that they have little conception of the destruction and death a nuclear war with Russia or China would certainly bring to the mighty United States of America..

  • John Brown

    (Part 1) None o f this will matter a couple of weeks from now.
    Racist supremacist Jews are doing everything they can to provoke the SAA, so Israel can order more of its slave American Goyims to die for a greater racist supremacist Israel. None of this matters for the kurds As I predicted when Turkey invades very soon the Kurds will be running to the SAA for protection begging for their lives but with their recent behavior in Deir Azur they have most likely already destroyed themselves. The SAA may protect some of the Kurdish civilians but probably want the SDF to be wiped out by Turkey for their treachery. So while the idiot greedy Kurdish leadership races to occupy oil fields far from their supply lines the SAA and the Turkish army will be making a pincer attack to occupy all the major Kurdish cities in Syria such as Al-Hasakah, Qamishli, Tell Tamer, Kobanî, etc. What will it matter what oil field they claim to have then when their government is dissolved. I suspect the Turkish army and the SAA will then surround the American bases in Syria. If the USSA tries to attack the Turkish army or the SAA under orders from their racist supremacist Israeli masters I expect their bases to be wiped out. Any further escalation by racist supremacist Israel will most likely be met by an all out attack on Israel by Hezboah and Turkey which Israel will never risk and will back down and then initiate some kind of propaganda offensive as it is better to have all of American Goyims die then one Jewish fingernail to be broken etc.
    As for the goyim…Zalman’s attitude (was): “Gentile souls are of a completely different and inferior order. They are totally evil, with no redeeming qualities whatsoever.” …If every simple cell in a Jewish body entails divinity, is a part of God, then every strand of DNA is a part of God. Therefore, something is special about Jewish DNA. …
    If a Jew needs a liver, can you take the liver of an innocent non-Jew passing by to save him? The Torah would probably permit that. Jewish life has an infinite value,” he explained. “There is something infinitely more holy and unique about Jewish life than non-Jewish life. — Chabad Lubavitch Rabbi Yitzhak Ginsburgh in Jewish Week, the largest Jewish publication in the United States.
    Not one superior Jewish cell will be put at risk for Syria or the Kurds.
    If every simple cell in a Jewish body entails divinity, is a part of God, then every strand of DNA is a part of God. Therefore, something is special about Jewish DNA. …
    Turkey is preparing for a possible declaration of independene by the Iraqi Kurdistan Region following the September 25 referendum. On September 18, Anara kicked off military drills in the Silopi and Habur areas of Sirnak province, near the border with Iraq, the Turkish Armed Forces said in a statement. The drills area includes the Habur border crossing linking Turkey and Iraqi

  • John

    Well, it has begun. I didn´t know about the deaths of the Russian officers. When I awoke early and looked at the news coming out of Syria a few hours ago, none of this had been reported. I thank the Saker for his thoughts.

    Russia doesn´t want to do it, so to speak. So, they go the distance. They warn, communicate through official channels. They try to be reasonable and then ………………. things like Crimea take everybody by complete surprize. Almasdar is reporting shelling, artillary, by both the Syrians and Russians hitting SDF positions. Talking is on hold for now.

    I don´t think the US military, or anybody else for that matter, wants to be on the receiving end of what the Russians can offer. As the Saker said, they are way too exposed in too many countries. I do think that this is coming from way up top. The people running the show cannot afford to lose in Syria and in general on the Kurd issues but, that is what is happening. Powerful people, with relatively myopic thinking, are losing their shirts. So, they started to press the buttons. Welcome to Monday everybody. My best wishes to all.

  • Putin’s baby

    Typical of loser yanks…. when they get beaten, which is every time they illegally invade a country, they will lash out like a bully always does…. vile, contemptible A-holes.

  • χρηστος

    this was a precision strike-execution. a big provocation by the US.they used their ISIS uniforms this time…..im curious about the next steps taken by all sides after this

  • DJ Double D

    US bears full responsibility for the killing of a Russian General. The problem is Russian state officials will still be calling the Americans ‘our american friends.’

  • DJ Double D

    This article said it all. Good to have smart contributors at SouthFront.

  • Harold Smith

    Orange Clown is a Satanic Trojan horse that we let inside the gates. His campaign was a calculated “bait and switch” fraud from the beginning. This piece of jew-controlled, subhuman filth in the White House is clearly demon-possessed and apparently has an appetite for blood that makes Obama look like a man of peace.

    • ddduke

      What color is the sky on your planet, Harold? Trump is a bloviating barking dog, but all of our current numerous military engagements were started or extended by Obi Wan Nairobi. Perhaps you missed that.

      • Harold Smith

        ROTFL! So once the “government” starts down the wrong path, the only way out is nuclear war? Can’t change course? Have to throw gasoline on the fire?
        Only a jew would say something so stupid.

        • ddduke

          I am an Italian paleochristian and you’re obviously a xenophobic twat.

          • Harold Smith

            You’re obviously a jew liar, and only a jew would say something so laughably absurd.

  • Harold Smith

    With Satanic jews and their demon-possessed puppet rulers (e.g. Orange Clown) in complete control of the U.S. (“Mystery Babylon”), let’s face it, nuclear war is inevitable.
    The jews must have the whole world or there will be no world (as we knew it). The Satanic jew will never stop unless stopped; Isiah 14: 13,14 is not negotiable. Neither is Isaiah 14:15 negotiable.
    Since nuclear war is inevitable, Russia and China if they are to have a chance to survive, are going to have to make the best of it by striking first. There is no alternative.

  • Dod Grile

    There one has it. Murder Inc brazenly revealing itself. “The White Sheets” [hoodies] are coming off.
    The criminal shows itself for all the World to see.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/957a9c8266434de9a935f679ff06d0070f2bef1a2b6072557fe313d7227c4cb4.jpg

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b0796159f3651a77e422542e72ad2ac7c7e3c71b6ed915b2189e295da2cde726.jpg

    Time to level Langley

  • pet

    “The Russians apparently don’t realize that very few people care and
    that the more they complain, the less credible their warnings sound”

    This is something I and almost everyone else out there new all along. How is
    it possible that the Russians don’t know? This is exactly the kind of policies
    of sitting on two chairs, being timid and appeasing, going on for to long, not
    only regarding Syria but also Ukraine, North Korea, NATO etc. as all these
    other spots have also been fully prepared for the confrontation. If Russians carefully
    studied American scripts it should have been known to them that all these
    issues might very well be forced on them at the same time. It looks like the
    Russians are still terribly short on “knowing their enemy” after so
    many years of dealing with it.

    • FlorianGeyer

      You speak abject nonsense Pet. It is a fact that the Western MSM in its entirety a propaganda organ of the Zionist and Neo-Liberal controlled West.

      Russia realises this and plans accordingly. Hopefully the realisation of Reality and not US Fantasy will increase within the voters of the West . It is starting to do so, hence the censorship of YouTube , Facebook etc.

      Will the rump of Americans and Europeans wake up in time , or will it take a nuclear war that ends the lives of millions of them to realise that the US is run by evil people full of bluster and bullshit?

  • Terra Cotta Woolpuller

    There has been recent death of a French Paratrooper in Syria-Iraq area , so it seems there are more than just the US involved in this action against the SAA and Russians.

  • dutchnational

    Russia BS. Just like “the crossing of the Euphrates”.

    This is called a maskirova by the Russians.

    • Terra Cotta Woolpuller

      This called propergander which gives a closer look at the duplicity of the US, especially afte they cut of funding and weapon supplies and Aylet Shaked did threaten Russia. This threat had been given by the US along with the SDF just recently , those are just facts.

  • ihraç subay

    The rank of the general shows how much the Russia join the game in Syria. “a very precisely targeted mortar attack” means it is from US by means of terorist PYD or ISIS but more likely PYD kurds to take support of west before referendum.

  • palebluedot

    Where’s the proof that the U.S. was involved in the mortar attack? Look, I’m an American and am certain that Obama was training, arming, and funding jihadis. The American mainstream news media has been entirely guilty of pro-jihadi propaganda. I’d give anything for an investigation to determine the depth of the treason and war crimes, and who besides Obama is guilty. I also know that’s not going to happen. I’m 1000% pro-Bashar, pro-SAA, pro-Putin, and pro-Russia.

    But we know what jumping to conclusions does. I swear to god, I believe that most of the American war criminals ACTUALLY STILL BELIEVE that Assad and the SAA were guilty of sarin attacks. They never required any concrete proof to believe what by any objective analysis were absurd accusations. And I actually worry that Trump’s idiotic comments about “taking the oil” could be behind the SDF push for the oil fields. But accusing the U.S. of actually targeting Russian troops and officers? Right now I’m hoping that’s Russia’s way of warning the U.S. to stand the SDF down.

    • BL

      After watching this documentary all of your questions will be answered:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YC8j-uvZUI0

    • Solomon Krupacek

      no, there is no evidence, tha us was involved. the ruussians also did not tell this. they told crystal clerly, the politics of usa in syria allowed this happen. this is another level.

  • gustavo

    Totally in agreement with this article. Sorry, but it is not possible to believe that some stupid terrorists could kill a russian general just for having good luck, and in such type of weapon and precision. I am afraid that CIA and Pentagon were involved in this, but this is just a speculation right now. Certainly, this could be an act of desperation, frustration, anger of these psyco, which are seen how they wonderful plans for middle east going to the garbage. It is difficult to deal with madness people, but Russia must let USA-Israel know that they are doing something wrong, and stop complaining for the bad behavior of these little devils.