After a lengthy period of absence the Syrian President Assad has come out and called the Syrian people to war against the rebels as it becomes clear that the Syrian revolution has been hijacked by foreign powers.
Several hours ago, Syrian president delivered his first public speech in months, addressing the internal military conflict that has gripped his country, and whose key excerpts can be found here. In it he called for a “full national mobilisation” to fight against rebels he described as al Qaeda terrorists. “We meet today and suffering is overwhelming Syrian land. There is no place for joy while security and stability are absent on the streets of our country,” Assad said in a speech at the opera house in central Damascus. “The nation is for all and we all must protect it.” Assad once again blamed the west for provoking and “facilitating” the rebellion, which even the NYT admits is being orchestrated by Al Qaeda, which naturally begs the question: just what is Al Qaeda to the US and to its intelligence agencies – foe or ally? But while providing fodder for the pundits, the speech was largely irrelevant. What does merit attention is the follow up to the story from two weeks ago the Russia sent two squadrons of ship to Syria in mid-December. It appears they have arrived, and just in time to offset the positioning of NATO Patriot missiles along the Turkish-Syria border.
From Jerusalem Post:
Russia has concentrated five landing ships in the eastern Mediterranean in a show of force meant to deter Western nations from intervening militarily in Syria, The Sunday Times quoted a Russian diplomat as saying.
According to the report, the ships are carrying military vehicles and hundreds of Russian marines, and are being accompanied by combat vessels.
Remember when the official party line was that ships are being sent to assist in the evacuation of Russian citizens? Looks like not even Russia is going with that anymore.
While officially Russia has claimed the ships have been deployed to partake in an exercise to “improve the management, maintenance and testing of the interaction of naval forces,” the Times quoted the diplomat as saying the marines were meant to deter the West from deploying ground forces in the uprising against Syrian President Bashar Assad.
Meanwhile in Turkey from Al Jazeera: