First there was a lot of talk about the USA and others finally getting directly involved in the Syrian conflict, beyond the help they are already giving to the Sunni rebels with regard to intelligence and satellite imagery. They are only helping in a limited way though, they tell the rebels directly which targets they will help with and which they wont. Now it seems the USA and UK are back-tracking as they realize that the minimum action required to have any sort of effect would actually have to be a major military operation, it would mean having to get into a war that they would not be able to win.
Syrian air defense systems are strong and the Russians are sending some of their navy to the Syrian coastal area and would probably also use these to shoot down any missiles that are targeted at Syria. Then there is Iran, they are pretty much in charge of Syria now and running the show. Assad has become little more than a figurehead, he is paying the price for allowing the Iranians to have so much influence since he came to power. It was the Iranians who were the masterminds of the chemical weapon attack in Syria and have control over the country’s stockpile of CW. I would not be at all surprised if they aren’t also moving some of their long range ballistic missiles into Syria. These have a range of up to 3000km. Strategically and operationally this would open up a lot of new possibilities for them.
What we are seeing now is the development of an axis of power, Russia and Iran are fully prepared to protect their interests in the middle east and have the full capability to resist any efforts by the USA to challenge them. I don’t know if Syria has taken delivery of the S-300 system yet but if it has then this would make any action by the USA much more risky. It is very similar to the Patriot air defense system run by the USA The S-300 missile system is designed to shoot down aircraft and missiles at a range of 5-to-150 kilometers. It can also track and strike multiple targets simultaneously at altitudes ranging from 10 meters to 27,000 meters. It is a serious bit of kit. If the Syrians have got any of these then attack options are going to be limited. The other danger is that if Syria do have this new system then there will be Russian advisers showing the Syrians how to use it, it takes time to learn how to use it and Russia always sends people to the country that has bought it. Imagine what could happen if the USA were to destroy one of these as a prelude to flying its planes over the country. If any Russian advisers were killed then the situation would bring the USA and Russia into a very dangerous place. This is my hypothetical musing but Syria has a contract to buy these things with a delivery of no later than spring 2014 so it is worth asking the question “what if”
Iran has long held hegemonic ambitions, it is in control of large areas of Iraq, President Maliki of Iraq is in the pocket of the Iranians, Lebanon is also ripe for the taking, Hezbollah is a proxy Iranian operation, the country is essentially without government and is seen by the Iranians as a country they should have control over. So what’s next? You need to get inside the heads of the Iranians to understand their ambitions. They really want to re-establish the Persian empire and will work in all sort of cunning ways to achieve their goals. Jordan is one of the countries in its sights. Let me explain what I believe to be their strategy. This is my personal opinion and I am aware I could be totally wrong so here goes.
First: The war in Syria is creating huge numbers of refugees, many of these are going to Jordan, this is creating a strong destabilizing effect on the country and putting enormous pressure on its resources, economy and population, Jordan is not a rich country. The way the war in Syria is being executed by the Iranians has a deliberate aim of creating as many refugees as possible with the knowledge that many will go to Jordan.
Second: The south of Syria is slowly being abandoned by the Syrian regime and Iranians. They are still fighting the rebels but they are not concentrating their efforts here, they are however creating as much damage as possible which is driving the ordinary Syrians out and toward Jordan. The impression is being given that the only part of Syria that is truely important is the west of the country, from Damascus to Homs, Tartus and Latakia as far as the Turkish border with everything else slowly being abandoned.
Third: This is where I get to what I believe this is all about. In the south of Syria there are huge fresh ground water resources. Jordan under huge strain, politically and economically due to the refugee situation will see, at some point in the not so distant future, that the south of Syria has been abandoned by the Syrians and Iranians and attempt to annex this land. They will do this because of the water that they need and also to repatriate many of the refugees. But this is a trap, when Jordan tries to do this the Iranians will be waiting. I believe that the appearance of giving up on the south of Syria to the rebels is a trap to draw in the Jordanians. Jordan has long been part of an international plan to split Syria into different parts and the Iranians will use this plan against them. There is absolutely no intention of giving up land, it is seen as part of the future Persian empire. So when Jordan makes its move it will be hit very hard by the Iranians, who will also have the support of the Russians. The effect of Jordan having its military destroyed inside Syria as well as its bases attacked inside Jordan will be devastating. And because Jordan made the first move, believing the south of Syria had been abandoned, the Syrian regime and Iranians will be able to say that they were protecting Syrian sovereignty. The Jordanian monarchy will collapse without the use of its military and the country will be thrown into chaos. The monarchy controls pretty much everything in the country, when they go there will be a huge vacuum which the Iranians will use to assert themselves through the figurehead of the Syrian regime. They will have a ‘legitimate’ excuse, Jordan invaded first.
Assuming things happen this way then the entire northern border of Saudi Arabia will be surrounded by countries under the control of Iran, Iraq and Jordan. Iran’s ultimate ambition is to take over the Gulf states, gaining control of Jordan will be the first step in that game. Also Israel will be surrounded to the north and east. We live in interesting times.
For those of you who are new to my blog, I was in Syria for a month back in March/April. I’m very well connected in the country and still have regular contact in order to get updates on what is happening. This blog post is a little different. I have been analyzing the situation for some time and decided to stick my neck out and give my opinion on where I think all of this is going. I know I might be wrong but hopefully I have given you something to think about. If you have any questions, comments or need something clarified then please ask me.