The spokesman for the John Birch Society describes the U.S. and Russian partnership in the video below.
The "International Military Review" (IMR) has excellent coverage of Syria; watch the IMR video below.
Russia announced on Tuesday that by the end of this month it will deploy the latest version of its giant command and control aircraft designated for use during nuclear war or national disasters. The flying command center will be able to coordinate the worldwide operations of its ground, naval, air and missile forces, including nuclear weapons, as well as the country's satellites. Russian military sources said that the Ilyushin-80 jet, pictured above, would be used when the command infrastructure is disrupted due to a nuclear war, or when ground communication systems are absent. The sources said the plane will be permanently staffed with senior generals, operational commanders and technicians.
After several incidents, in which 130mm shells fired by Syrian rebel groups, particularly the Al-Nusra Front, reached the center of the Russian Khmeimin military enclave outside Latakia, the general staff in Moscow decided to rush heavy artillery reinforcements to Syria. Russia has transferred two types of heavy weapons systems by sea and by air to the front near Latakia during the past few days.
First, a body of three battalions of 2S19 Msta-S self-propelled howitzers, pictured above, was deployed at Khmeimin and has already started pounding rebel lines and command centers in the area. This heavy artillery system, capable of firing 152mm shells at a rapid pace, is a veteran of Russia’s former campaigns against Islamic terrorist groups, especially in the Russian war against Islamic rebels in Chechnya in the 1990s.
The 2S19 Msta-S has a modified chassis of a T-80 tank and a diesel motor of a T-72. It is effective against fortifications as well as military and terrorist targets in wooded mountain areas, exactly the kind of geographical environment in which the rebels around Latakia area are operating.
This self-propelled howitzer is also expected to be effective in battles being fought in the Qalamoun mountains, in order to break the stalemate in which the combined Iranian, Syrian, Iraqi and Hizbollah forces have been bogged down for months in their efforts to knock over rebel strongholds.
Another heavy weapons system that Russia brought to Syria in recent days is the TOS-1 220mm multiple rocket launcher, pictured above and below. This system, which is mounted on the chassis of a T-72 tank, has been deployed near the embattled Syrian cities of Hama and Homs.
Even though Russian President Vladimir Putin and Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu continue to claim that Russian forces will not be engaged in Syrian ground warfare, the heavy artillery systems brought to the country and their use in battle tell a different story. They show that Russian ground combat in Syria is expanding.
The German cabinet Tuesday approved the consignment of up to 1,200 soldiers and reconnaissance planes, pictured above, to Syria to help in the fight against Islamic State without engaging directly in ground combat.. This step ramps up Germany’s involvement in the war, which was limited until now to arms and military training to Kurdish fighters. Parliament has still to confirm the decision, but its passage is certain as Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition has an absolute majority. A vote on the decision will be taken in the German parliament on Wednesday.
Although UK opposition Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn, pictured above, opposes British air strikes against ISIS in Syria, a majority of his party campaigned for, and Monday won, a free vote in parliament on the issue. This gives PM David Cameron a chance to gather sufficient parliamentary support for this action. However, Corbyn also won a delay in the vote: The shadow cabinet called on the prime minister to “step back from the rush to war” and hold a two-day Commons debate “on this crucial national decision.”