Thursday, December 10, 2015
Thursday, December 3, 2015
Military Times | New Russian surface-to-air missiles in Syria, DoD confirms
U.S. pilots flying over Syria and Turkey will be in range of advanced Russian-made surface-to-air defense systems, Pentagon officials said.
U.S. intelligence shows that Russia is following through on plans to send S-400 missile systems into its military base in Syria, the officials said.
With a reported range of up to 248 miles, those missiles could put at risk most U.S. combat aircraft flying over Syria.
Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the S-400 missiles to Syria one day after a Turkish F-16 aircraft shot down a Russian Su-24 jet last Tuesday. Turkish officials said the Russian aircraft veered into Turkish airspace for less than 30 seconds and was fired upon only after repeated verbal warnings.
Wednesday, December 2, 2015
Reuters | Russia says it has proof Turkey involved in Islamic State oil trade
Russia's defense ministry said on Wednesday it had proof that Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and his family were benefiting from the illegal smuggling of oil from Islamic State-held territory in Syria and Iraq.
Moscow and Ankara have been locked in a war of words since last week when a Turkish air force jet shot down a Russian warplane near the Syrian-Turkish border, the most serious incident between Russia and a NATO state in half a century.
Erdogan responded by saying no one had the right to "slander" Turkey by accusing it of buying oil from Islamic State, and that he would stand down if such allegations were proven to be true. But speaking during a visit to Qatar, he also said he did not want relations with Moscow to worsen further.
At a briefing in Moscow, defense ministry officials displayed satellite images which they said showed columns of tanker trucks loading with oil at installations controlled by Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, and then crossing the border into neighboring Turkey.
The officials did not specify what direct evidence they had of the involvement of Erdogan and his family, an allegation that the Turkish president has vehemently denied.
"Turkey is the main consumer of the oil stolen from its rightful owners, Syria and Iraq. According to information we've received, the senior political leadership of the country - President Erdogan and his family - are involved in this criminal business," said Deputy Defence Minister Anatoly Antonov.
"Maybe I'm being too blunt, but one can only entrust control over this thieving business to one's closest associates."
"In the West, no one has asked questions about the fact that the Turkish president's son heads one of the biggest energy companies, or that his son-in-law has been appointed energy minister. What a marvelous family business!"
Read more at Reutershttp://www.reuters.com/article/2015/12/02/us-mideast-crisis-russia-turkey-idUSKBN0TL19S20151202#F9QDWBUcG5fFtJdr.99