US Marines Deployed To Syria, Perhaps — Intel Blackout
Breaking news today: US marines deployed to Syria, perhaps, as they were seen heading north toward Syria from the assault ship just off Jordan’s shore.
Debkafile, in an exclusive report Wednesday, revealed that 1,000 members of the 24th Marine Expeditionary Force disembarked from the USS Kearsage amphibious assault ship in the Jordanian port of Aqaba and were seen heading north towards the Syrian border, under heavy Jordanian escort:
Washington and Amman have imposed a blackout on their arrival. The Pentagon has only let it be known that the annual joint US-Jordanian “Eager Lion 2013” military exercise is due to begin later in June and last two months, with the participation of US F-16 fighter jets and Patriot missile defense systems.
According to our US sources, the arrival of the US force in Jordan was not directly related to the regular exercise but decided on at an emergency meeting at the Pentagon on May 31, which was attended by top military and civilian Defense Department officials. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, who is away from Washington, took part by video conference…
The meeting decided that the military situation evolving in Syria and the threats it posed to Jordan were urgent enough to warrant the dispatch of extra American military strength to Jordan, over and above the contingents participating in the joint exercise.
The US Central Command spokesman Lt. Col. T.G. Taylor in a statement to the US media put it this way: “In order to enhance the defensive posture and capacity of Jordan, some of these assets may remain beyond the exercise at the request of the government of Jordan.”
That request, according to our sources, was for the US to leave behind when the exercise ended and the troops departed – not just some of the weapons systems but all of the equipment which arrived with the marines Wednesday, as well as the F-16 fighters and Patriot missiles.”
The arrival of US troops has coincided with reports that Hezballah, an Iranian proxy in the region recently recognized as a terrorist group by the [Persian] Gulf Cooperation Council, transferred over 1200 of their own ‘fighters’ from Lebanon to Syria in mid-May to support the Syrian regime of Bashar al Assad, which is having trouble drumming up support among the populace:
“The armed members who arrived from Lebanon to Syria committed “a hideous crime” in the town of Talkalkh, the [Saudi al-Watan] daily said, adding that tens of thousands of fighters entered from Iraq to aid the Syrian regime…
The daily quoted sources as saying that the Damascus regime “is resorting to the aid of fighters from Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan, which implies that the Syrian recruits’ desire to fight alongside the regime is decreasing.”
The source added that reservists are also not complying with the army command’s repeated calls to join the regime troops in their fighting.
The regime has also been arresting men in their forties and forcing them to join recruitment camps so they join the fighting between regime troops and the rebels, the daily added.”
The buildup of forces in the region is thought to be related to Iran nearing completion of its nuclear weaponization capabilities. Israel has promised to destroy such a capability, given public threats by the Iranian regime to destroy the Jewish state.
The Iranians have positioned Hezballah along Israel’s northern border with an estimated 200,000 rockets and missiles pointed at Israeli civilian populations and may once again resume active hostilities if Israel strikes the Iranian nuclear program. The Islamic republic has close ties with the Syrian regime and has been sanctioned by the US State Department for funneling weapons and money to Hezballah through Syrian territory.
The current positioning of international players in the Mideast is reminiscent of the Cold War, when the Soviet Union and United States squared off in the region using Arab countries and Israel, respectively, as proxies. Russia, which exports mainly weapons systems these days, is set to deliver an S-300 air defense system to Syria, but Israel has threatened to destroy the system if delivery is attempted out of concern the system would provide the Assad regime a military advantage preventing the effective defense of Israel. Such concern is not unfounded, as during the Cold War the Russian SA-6 system employed by Syria destroyed nearly 100 Israeli fighter jets in the 1973 Yom Kippur War.
Complicating matters are reports that the Syrian regime and/or rebel forces may be deploying chemical weapons, further escalating the 2-year conflict and prompting Israel to conduct homeland defense drills. The weapons were allegedly developed with Russian assistance, an allegation Moscow has vehemently denied. However, there are breaking reports from Britain and France, confirming the presence of sarin gas in samples taken from Syria.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has also allied with Iran, and in fact has provided much of the nuclear technology being implemented in the Islamic republic. There is real concern that either success or destruction of the air defense system in Syria, or the nuclear infrastructure in Iran, could spark a regional conflict with the potential to grow into global conflict, a catch-22 that will be difficult for the Obama Administration to navigate.by