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By Ollie Richardson

As a result of the Russian Mi-8 shootdown at the hands of “moderate” rebel MANPADS on August 1st of this year, the Russian Air Force was forced to fly even higher to evade a repetition – 3.5km to be precise – and to ground helicopters in the meantime. This minor inconvenience was offset by the relocation of long-range Tu-22m3 bombers to the Hamadan airbase in Iran, a move that was agreed between the leaders of Iran and Russia during their meeting on 9th of June after complaints about the lack of air support from Iranian and Hezbollah troops.

Meanwhile, outside of the Levant, the Houthis in Yemen are demolishing the Saudi Army and Hadi loyalists in what can be considered as a one-sided fight, although Al Qaeda dominate the east of the country. Despite the US sending bucket loads of cash to the Wahhabi Kingdom, the latest tranche being $1.5bn worth of tanks and equipment, the Houthis are smashing the US-made M1 Abrams and Boeing/Lockheed warplanes to pieces:

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The video below is a compilation of Houthi action in Najran from the 12th August 2016. Notice the use of Kornet launchers:

 


In this video from their official media outlet, the Houthis launch a Tochka ballistic missile – an event that is so frequent now that it is almost trivial:

 


And here is a video from January 2016 showing the Houthis activating an old Soviet Fan Song radar, ready to guide a S-75 Dvina missile:

 

Western media does not report about the Saudi losses much, if at all, and were throughly silent when Riyadh gave the order to bomb a Doctors Without Borders hospital near Sanaa:

State Department spokeswoman Elizabeth Trudeau said the following about the airstrike:

“So we’re deeply concerned by a reported strike on a hospital in northern Yemen. We’re gathering more information. As we’ve said in the past, strikes on humanitarian facilities, including hospitals, are particularly concerning. We call on all parties to cease hostilities immediately. Continued military actions only prolong the suffering of the Yemeni people.”

But the US can only shed crocodile tears, as the Saudi-led coalition did exactly the same thing back in 2015 without consequence.

So are the events in Syria related to the events in Yemen? Mathematical algorithms would almost certainly answer in the affirmative. Fourth generation warfare in its very nature revolves around the use of proxies by two military and financial powerhouses – Russia (with financial aid from China) and the US. As the sun is setting on the ‘exceptional’ period of the US empire, where millions of dead civilians in Iraq and Libya “was worth it”, the battlefields in Ukraine, Nagorno-Karabakh, Yemen, South Sudan, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, and others have become extremely interconnected – like a “grand chessboard”.

It is well documented that the Saudi army is relying on foreign mercenaries (mostly from Columbia) from Blackwater (now called Academi), who are paid in riyals or dollars, like this man here:

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And it is also well documented that the “moderate” rebels in Syria, mainly Ahrar al-Sham & Co, have been receiving MANPADS from the Kingdom (and Turkey) for some months now – Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said this in an interview with Der Speigel:

“We believe that introducing surface-to-air missiles in Syria is going to change the balance of power on the ground. It will allow the moderate opposition to be able to neutralize the helicopters and aircraft that are dropping chemicals and have been carpet-bombing them, just like surface-to-air missiles in Afghanistan were able to change the balance of power there.”  

So as Russia (and the Syrian Airforce) comes under threat from the means to shoot down helicopters and low flying jets, the Houthis receive Soviet Kornet/Konkers anti-tank missiles and radars from seemingly nowhere? From Iran? It’s possible but ‘coincidences’ like the one reported by TASS on 18th August 2016 – Russia deciding to send a ship (the same one the US aggressively approached earlier this year) to the Gulf of Aden – certainly points to the fact that what was previously covert has now become more overt:

The Russian Baltic Fleet’s frigate Yaroslav Mudry has left the port of Djibouti to start an anti-piracy mission in the Gulf of Aden, fleet spokesman Roman Martov said on Thursday.

“In Djibouti, the necessary supplies were replenished, maintenance work was carried out and the ship’s check was held. Currently, the Russian combat ship has embarked on an anti-piracy mission in the area of the Horn of Africa,” Martov said.

Looking at a partial list of observed Soviet military equipment in Yemen, is the sending of this ship a message to the US? Is this Russia’s way of dealing with enemy proxies? Will Turkey now favour Russia when making decisions, such as opening up Incirlik for Sukhois? Can Algeria be considered a Russian proxy in the fight versus Daesh in Libya? Is Russia’s main aim to isolate Israel’s network and prevent the further smuggling of arms into the region? Was Russia’s deliberate bombing of a US-jihad camp on the Jordanian border another warning to the US?

There are naturally lots of questions, but Putin knows that to truly slay the Takfiri beast in the Middle East, the tentacles of the monster must be severed before the head… enter Donald Trump! As the fluidity of the situation in Syria reaches its apogee, we can expect many more anti-tank missiles to magically fall into the Houthis hands…

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