1. Russian diplomats leaked to the London-based Arab press a report that the S-300 missiles had already arrived in Syria. According to Al-Quds Al-Arabi, Moscow had delivered 200 launchers (probably missiles) and the Syrian missile teams already knew how to use them.
By this leak, the Israeli prime minister was being informed that his journey to Sochi was a waste of time and that the use of S-300 missiles for shooting down Israeli Air Force planes was no longer controlled by Moscow but by Damascus.
Guilt of parlaying and recycling old news myself, I’m tiring of continuing, but then again, this may be the fate of bloggers watching the world from the Internet’s Second Row Seat to History.
The cool thing: we can gather a lot awfully fast.
Obama’s attempts to lure Putin into Syria by threatening him with a strengthened Islamist presence on his flank — another Chechnya in its anarchic potential — have gotten an answer by way of the fulfillment of the S-300 procurement: without “stepping in it”, Putin’s latest delivery of surface-to-air missiles to the Assad regime discourages the greater encouragement of revolutionary fervor and anarchy in contested Syria.
If the Assad regime holds out, consolidates its military’s control of military assets, and blocks or destroys its adversaries, democratic revolutionaries and Al-Qaeda types both, Putin wins, sort of — he’ll have to live with history noting him as one who chose to continue supporting a brutal dictatorship; if the Assad’s hold on power continues to fall apart, ah, then those SAMs may fall into hands swayed by the deepest animus toward Israel and the west.