The first hint came early last year when the jihadi mercenaries took large swathes of Iraq and Syria, and the West did nothing but wring its collective hands and fret, and resolve to bolster the fighting capability of the wonderful "rebels".
The second hint came this year when the U.S. and their partners began piecemeal airstrikes against "ISIS" that appeared to merely spur the head-choppers on to more success.
The third hint came with reports that weapons supplies being sent to "Syrian rebels" were 'accidentally' ending up in the hands of the head-choppers.
The most recent confirmation that Western politicians and military types effectively view "ISIS" as 'their guys' came in the last few weeks when the Pentagon reacted to news that Russia was in the process of establishing an air base in western Syria, from which to attack all foreign forces in Syria involved in the four-year-long attempted coup against the Syrian government.
Putin's speech at the UN two days ago appears to have been the signal (one that was apparently missed by the Pentagon, perhaps because it was couched in clear, honest language) that Russia was about to 'get real' and make good on its intention to prevent the overthrow of Assad, defend the civilian population of Syria against ISIS, and solve the European 'refugee crisis' in the process.
On the same day as Putin's speech, the Russian government revealed that Iraq had decided to sign an intelligence-sharing accord with Syria, Iran and Russia as part of the mission to wipe ISIS from the pages of history. They even set up a center in Baghdad to facilitate this information-sharing and have invited other nations interested in joining the counterterrorism effort in Syria to sign up.
Today, with a speed that indicates the result of the vote was a foregone conclusion, the Russian parliament unanimously agreed to allow the Russian military to engage in Syria. The decision was rubber-stamped by the Duma on the basis that the Syrian government had invited the Russian military to help in their fight against terrorists, and with the rationale that ISIS terrorists and the 2,000 (give or take) Russian nationals that have joined them "must be defeated there and not allowed to return to their home countries [e.g. Russia] with battle experience and ideology adopted in the war zone." Russian involvement in Syria is, therefore, very much in keeping with international law, a quaint notion long since dispensed with by the "international community" of Washington, London and a few EU capitals.
But just in case anyone was still in doubt, Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov today pointed out at the UN Security Council debate that "ISIS" possesses "elements of Weapons of Mass Destruction", a claim which is decidedly more plausible than the U.S. claim that Saddam had WMDs back in 2003.
With a consistency between word and action that exposes Western governments for the liars they are, the Russian military, on the orders of Putin, today began carrying out air strikes against Jihadi targets in Syria:
"In accordance with the decision of the Supreme Commander of the Russian Federation Armed Forces, Vladimir Putin, Russian airforce planes today began air operations with surgical strikes against identified ground targets of the terrorist group ISIL in the Syrian Arab Republic."By all accounts, the Pentagon appears to have been caught with its pants down, which is not surprising given that so many of its employees spend their time watching child porn on their computers.
told a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing that he was "surprised" at the decision by Iraq's Joint Operations Command to share intelligence with Syria, Iran and Russia in an effort to coordinate action against the Islamic State. The problem for the Pentagon here is twofold:
1) Iraq, Syria, Iran and Russia combining their resources to defeat "ISIS" puts the US and NATO firmly out of the picture.
2) The Pentagon had, in its hubris, believed that the Iraqi government was sufficiently 'owned' that it could share sensitive US military intelligence about US military activities (and US proxy forces) with the Iraqis. There is now a risk that that intelligence may be made available to the Russians, allowing for the better targeting of US and Saudi proxy forces in Syria, and even Iraq.
The next surprise came this morning, when Russia effectively told the U.S. it had one hour to leave Syria:
"A Russian official in Baghdad this morning informed US Embassy personnel that Russian military aircraft would begin flying anti-ISIL missions today over Syria.Despite the fact that Russia, Iran and Syria are targeting terrorist groups in Syria, Deputy Work said: "Obviously, we are not going to share intelligence with either Syria, or Russia, or Iran, so we are in the process of working to try and find out exactly what Iraq has said."
"He further requested that US aircraft avoid Syrian airspace during these missions," U.S. State Department spokesman John Kirby said.
In further evidence that things have gone a little 'pear-shaped' for the Pentagon, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia, Evelyn Farkas,
By carefully choosing which type of military aid to give to Syria, Russia has effectively created a 'no-fly' zone for NATO war planes above large swathes of Syria, unless of course pilots more accustomed to engaging in turkey shoots want to risk being blown out of the sky.
It is almost certain that the Russian S-300 anti-aircraft missile system is now operational in Syria. "ISIS" has no air force, so this system was clearly intended to protect against a NATO bombing campaign aimed at the Syrian army. This is, perhaps, one of the reasons that Western military attacks on "ISIS" have been so ineffective. Not that Russia or Syria ever wanted to stop Western bombs falling on "ISIS" positions; they just wanted to stop NATO using the excuse of attacking "ISIS" to target the Syrian military.
There is, however, one down side to this new development; Europe is already dealing with a large influx of refugees from Syria. It's really unreasonable of the Russians to risk adding about 30,000 more "ISIS" jihadis into the mix, most of whom, as I speak, are frantically shaving off their terrorist beards and heading for Turkey and 'safe passage' to Germany.