Last month, the Obama administration squealed and complained to the Kremlin, when Iranian Quds Force commander, Qassem Soleimani, visited Moscow in an apparent violation of a U.N. travel ban due to Soleimani’s sponsorship of terrorism. Now the results of the meetings with senior Russian officials are coming to fruition. As the Obama administration dithers in the Middle East, Iran and Russia are taking advantage of the lack of American leadership and implementing their agenda.
Syria is a longtime Russian ally and is the anchor for the Russian navy in the Mediterranean, and Russia maintains a small, permanent naval base in Tartus, Syria, used mainly to resupply Russian vessels. The Assad government has long been a Russian-backed regime, acting as a counterweight to the American hegemon in the Levant, Israel. Many have wondered over the last year if Mr. Putin would allow the Assad government to fall. That scenario has always been dubious, but now the Russian president has put boots on the ground to prop up Assad and remove any doubt as to Russia’s commitment.
A Russian expeditionary force including fixed and rotary-wing attack aircraft, support equipment, and personnel are now arriving in-country and establishing a forward-operating base near Damascus at a Syrian-controlled facility. The stated primary mission will be to attack anti-Assad forces including anti-Assad rebels and forces of the Islamic State.
Obviously this effort is being coordinated with Iran, the world’s-largest state sponsor of terrorism and a staunch supporter of the Assad Shia regime. Mr. Assad’s government is also key to help support and supply Hezbollah in Lebanon, the Iranian terrorist, anti-Israeli military force.
The silence from the Obama administration is deafening. Perhaps President Obama would gladly give his new Iranian friends control of Iraq and most of the Middle East in exchange for Iran and Russia doing the dirty work against ISIS for him, the long-term consequences to American national security be damned? And don’t forget that Russia is chomping at the bit to sell Iran a plethora of weapons, including advanced anti-aircraft systems, which will radically alter the balance of power in the Middle East. And finally, Mr. Obama has clearly taken obstacles to Iran eventually acquiring a nuclear weapon off the table (after he leaves office of course). It seems Mr. Obama’s Rasputin, Iranian-born Valerie Jarrett, will have completed her agenda once Mr. Obama leaves office.
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