Thursday, 8 October 2015

Russia attacks ISIS with cruise missiles

Have a look at this Daily Mail graphic of Russian navy ships in the Caspian Sea launching cruise missiles last night at ISIS sites in Syria...

The significant subtly is the route taken by the missiles. Fired off Russian warships in international waters in the Caspian they passed through Iranian airspace, then Iraqi airspace, then arrived at various ISIS strongholds. Early indications are that none hit a hospital run by Medecins Sans Frontieres.

Both the Iranian and Iraqi governments gave prior permission for their airspace to be used. In the case of Iran this isn't surprising; they have been helping Assad since 2011. But Iraq? In theory they are supposed to be in the American pocket, and America hates Russia moving into the Middle East. So it seems Iraq has shed the US yoke and a new Russia-Iran-Iraq-Syria (RII S) axis is now in play.

The battle lines are now RIIS vs AISA (America-Israel-Saudi Arabia). Presumably over the coming days and weeks the pretense that "we are all fighting ISIS" will give way to more overt land grabbing, although I can't see the US 6th fleet in the Med or the aircraft carrier USS Roosevelt currently in the Persian gulf directly exchanging blows with the Russian fleet in the Caspian.

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