International Military Review – Syria, May 18, 2016

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Saudi Arabia has threatened to use military force against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad if ongoing political talks fail to bring peace to the conflict-stricken nation. The announcement followed an International Syria Support Group (ISSG) meeting held in Vienna on Tuesday. “We believe we should have moved to a ‘Plan B’ a long time ago,” Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said.

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said some members of the ISSG view al-Nusra Front, linked with Al Qaeda, as a useful tool to put pressure on the Syrian government. The Russian FM added that no one is stronger that the Syrian army “on ground” in Syria and noted that Kurds should be allowed to participate in the talks on the conflict.

Unofficially, all the sides involved in the negotiations say that they had no high expectations from this round of talks. The sides failed to agree a new date to resume Syrian peace talks and the so-called “opposition” said it would not come back to Geneva negotiations unless conditions improved on the ground. In a joint statement after the meeting the powers called for a full cessation of hostilities and access for aid.

On May 18, the Russian Defense Ministry has denied allegations that Russia is constructing an army base in the city of Palmyra, which has recently been freed from ISIS. Earlier in the day, the AP news agency reported that the Russian military is building an army base in Palmyra within the zone listed by UNESCO as a world heritage site, and without permission from authorities. The agency used satellite images and cited an “American heritage organization” and a “top Syrian archaeologist” as its sources. According to the Russian MoD, the satellite pictures of this area show the temporary camp of the International Demining Center of Russia’s Defense Forces.

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  • Hisham Saber

    I hope Saudi Arabia’s lazy, ineffective army goes into Syria because it will speed up the House of Saud’s downfall more quicker. Please go in…please. Another thing. After Syria is liberated of terrorists; with the Syrian Arab Army and Hezbollah being so battle hardened and determined, the liberation of the Golan Heights should be no problem and then on to Jerusalem. The Israeli army is strong in equipment but the personnel are weak and cowardly who are only good at bombing from high above and in killing defenseless populations , i.e, woman and children.

    • Barry

      You sure are bloodthirsty for a guy sitting at home in his pajamas. the moment you lead the charge up the Golan, then I will believe it. Til then, why not reconsider your blood lust and desire to see (possibly millions of) people die.

      • Hisham Saber

        Oh poor Barry..If that’s what it takes to get rid of the abomination that is Israel, otherwise millions more will die anyways, so long as this (once again) abomination continues to exist and plot against humanity . Pajamas? lol,is that a Freudian slip or ur subconscious mind giving you away. Where were you during the time when millions of Arabs-Muslims died and are dying as a direct result of Zionist dreams.

    • fairplay

      you are crazy.
      1st, who will fight with saudis? because the russian army not.
      2nd, israel is strong. stronger than all arab countries around.

      • Hisham Saber

        Is that why Hezbollah, a rather small militia, defeated Israel. After Israel’s defeat in 2006; they shut down the Plant producing the over-estimated Merkava Main Battle Tank which were shredded by Hezbollah regulars..i.e foot soldiers. Please !

        • fairplay

          hezbollah did not defeated israel. that is mythos. in 1 battle destroyed some merkavas. thats all. in all other cases lost everything.
          otherwise, israel has nuclear weapons. in the case of emergency will use them. such amateur groups like hezbollah have no chance.

  • New User

    I’m sure I’ve read somewhere that the Palmyra region has not only sites of antiquity, but sites of oil and gas wealth, a central location upon the battlefield map, and a significant military complex (with airfield) that was overrun by salafist/ takfiri backed forces up until the recent liberation by Russian air power in conjunction with SAA and Damascus friendly, coalition forces.

  • AntiTerrorist

    I love the Syrian Support Group. That name is hilarious.