Are There or Aren’t there Russian Troops in Syria?

Well, things in Syria are getting a bit more complicated. Weeks after the news that special operators from NATO countries may be inside Syria advising the rebels, comes the news that Russia has dispatched counterterrorism troops to the embattled nation.

Now, some news reports say the Russian’s claim they’ve just sent a Navy tanker to support anti-piracy operations in Middle Eastern waters and that any troops aboard that ship are simply there to protect the tanker’s civilian crew and that there are no Russian counterterror troop in Syria. Now, the ship is docked in the Syrian port of Tartus on the Mediterranean Sea. That’s a very long way from ┬áthe Gulf of Aden in the Indian Sea — the site of most anti-piracy ops. Hey, it could just be making a brief port call. Oh wait, other reports say the ship, and its complement of Russian marines, is in Tartus “to demonstrate Kremlin concern over Syria’s stability, and to assist in case of a possible evacuation of Russian civilians from the region”

While Moscow says it’s officially neutral in the conflict between the Syrian government and its people, Russia continues to sell arms to the Syrian President Bashar al Assad’s regime.

Needless to say, if these Russian troops come ashore in Syria, it will make any intervention by the West a bit more difficult.


  • Tim

    Well… Why should it be complicated?

    Let’s put it this way: If they kept denying that there were “no” Russian counter-terror troops in Syria, then any Russian casualties occurred as a consequence of attacks by the West would also be deniable by the West.

    • blight_

      Maybe they’ll send OMON guys over as counter-terrorism “advisors”, and reinforce their naval facilities. Otherwise; any Russians you capture around Homs will be “lost”. Not sure if the Russians would want to be overtly seen suppressing Muslims, but considering how well they’ve clamped down on the Caucasus (and because of Putin) they’ll do the whole “bring it on” and see what happens.

  • Kski

    I think it makes things easier. The Russkis don’t give a rats ass about rules of engagment or any of those other worthless rules we make our troops abid by. That an thier more heavy handed when it comes to taking down enemies, i.e. shoot first ask questions if you want.

  • Sgt. Buffy

    I’m a little concerned here, anything with the Russians is a tricky situation, but this is the first time in a long time that NATO or any “Allied” country has been in a firing position on any of Russia’s troops. IF NATO finds itself in a situation where they are pressed to fire upon Russian troops, then we’re in trouble, regardless of the “Our tech smokes their tech” debates. It will probably (if all rumors are true) evolve into a second Cold War type, where we are both leering over each other over a 3rd party territory.
    So tread softly….. And carry a surgical instrument?

  • Frodo

    Dwos wascally wabbits!

  • -dp

    Whose to say there isn’t a contingent of “volunteers” consisting of Russians who are ethnically Syrian. This way, Russia can send troops but they don’t stick out.

  • Lance

    The Russian say one thing and do another history proves that. But let them the rebels are Islamic radicals who are worse than the dictator why keep undermining regimes in the region to make the Iranian dream of the Islamic revolution all over come true, bad decisions by our President is why.

  • KarlW

    Seems to me that Russia is sending a message to the West: leave Syria alone. Don’t take it away from us.
    Syria is one of the last allies it has in the area. Russia has been working against encirclement for centuries. The past 20 years have pushed NATO / American forces ever closer to Russia’s borders. Russians are sensitive and prickly, and resent American dominance (much like America would resent Russia’s dominance). Thus they need foreign bases like Syria, to reassert themselves.

  • Nick

    SWEET!!! Proxy wars! Let’s call it “Cold War II”

  • Fighting in the Middle East? Shocking! Who could have imagined? 100 years of oil money, decades of huge arms purchases and then someone actually uses them? Unimaginable.

  • RCDC

    I’d say just play it cool. And just be on the sideline and an observer while helping the Syrian opposition covertly to protect themself (Food, survellance and etc) from Turkey route.

    They (Russian) are on the the back of the ship liner. I think they were woking with allied troops (Europian allies) to press Assad on its problems with its people and working covertly against al-quida and other anti piracy mission while supporting Syrian government and selling arms.

  • DB-1

    Well I don’t know how good any of your memories are here but this could be a Russian repeat of the Balkan war in the early 90’s. When NATO was bombing there Serbian allies and to force NATO’s hand at the bargaining table. The Russians sent a contingent of there airborne troops to an airfield that NATO was suppose to occupy.The U.S. wanted them out but did’nt have the forces on the ground or the will to do it. when they ask the British if they could do something about it, because the had the ground forces in country and the British response was sure, if you’re ready to see a lot of dead russian soldiers on the evening news and all the political fall out that may cause and with that move the russians in effect checked NATO…

    • blight_

      Might you be thinking of Kosovo, where the Russian VDV beat us to Pristina?

  • Russia already provided military and technical support to the Syrian armed forces. And while Russia is happy to continue supplying Syrian forces, and talks of thousands of ‘foreign terrorists’ operating in the country, the noises out of Moscow seem quite clear that they have no intention of becoming embroiled in someone elses war.
    Any additional Russian specialists that may have been sent are likely to be there only to protect their citizens and facilities in Syria – as was less sensationally suggested.

  • ghostwhowalks

    of course the ‘uprising’ in Afghanistan doesnt have any American troops suppressing it. And 1000s of civilians arent being killed .

  • Gerardo Booth

    The presence of the Russians should not pose any complications at all so long as the Russians stick to their cover story regarding their presence in Syria.

  • OldFedVet1941

    This is great! Let the Ruskies get bogged down in a quagmire. It’s their time again,
    like the USA they will never learn. The Politicians are the ones calling the shots Stupid.
    While I am on the Ruskie thing! Where is the accounting for the American Troops that were shipped to Russia after capture from Korea and VN. Not a peep out of anyone on this subject is there.

  • Loco Veritas

    Ruskies are NATO buds – remember the Aleutian Islands handed over for Ulyanovsk?
    About as smart as sending food to N Korea so they could afford the missle launches! Or, placing sanctions on Iran and then letting 11 Euro countries off the hook to buy Iranian oil – go hillary!

    • passingby

      Hillary is a puppet (or political whore if you will) just like Obama. She and Obama do as their corporate master wishes.

  • There are ALWAYS some Russian troops stationed in Syria. First of all Russians have a base there, second since they are the primary arms supplier to Syria, they always have some personnel training Syrian troops to use the equipment that they buy. I really doubt there are any Russian troops on the ground tho.

  • Loco Veritas

    Of course “ALWAYS some Russian troops stationed in Syria” – but, “Are Middle East & African Wars Really About Protecting the Immoral Global Banking System & Fighting Gold?”
    Remember what General Wesley Clark had to say? Check it out at zerohedge(dot)com.

  • jamaica348

    I think this is Viet Nan again when russian ships were in North Vienan ports and prevented us from blowing them up now they are in Syria and here we go again NO FIRING zone. What else is new.

    • Mike

      We mined Haiphong, jamaica348…stopped Soviet shipping cold…and French, British, West German, Canadian, Italian, Dutch, Norwegian, Swedish and other international shipping, as well. I know. I was there with TF78 (Operation End Sweep) aboard the USS New Orleans (LPH-11) Feb-Apr. 1973…I saw the ships, and their flags. They don’t like to tell you about that part…

  • Wondering

    Sort of reminds me of when the US helped the opposition Taliban in Afghanistan defeat a Russian backed government. That certainly turned out well didn’t it? Anyone up for a repeat?

  • Korn

    I say let Turkey annex Syria

  • geoff

    we should have joined forces with hitler and taken out russia,
    this putin guy is he related to rasputin he was an evil bastard too