Syria: Russia arrested 11 Iranian spies based on Khmeimim

What is actually going on in the Latakia province?

In the Russian media there was information about the alleged detention in the Syrian province of Latakia by our special services of a group of soldiers and officers of the Guard Corps of the Islamic Republic (IRGC). According to Ebaa News, “11 Iranians were arrested in the Sheikh Badr area in Tartus. They found radio equipment with which they were listening to the Hmeimim Russian military airbase.


Attempts to enter the specified site are blocked, but Ebaa News news is duplicated in the Intelligenge Group blog. Nothing like this could not be found, however, the site is updated irregularly. Given the fact that the leading Western news agencies have not reported a “sensational arrest,” it can be assumed that this is a fake.


Nevertheless, a similar silence in the media space was also observed around the incident with tankers in the port of Al Fujairah (in one of the largest sea harbors in the UAE). Information about this was even refuted at first. Later, foreign publications wrote about the attack on oil tankers as a minor incident, although the White House was threatened to punish Tehran for the actions of pro-Iranian non-state forces.


We also note that not so long ago, Syria Call reported a clash between Russian troops and pro-Iranian militia in the city of Aleppo. The conflict, they say, occurred amid growing tensions between the two allies of Damascus. Although the Russian Federation and Iran support the government of Bashar Assad, there is a growing competition for influence between them in the territories controlled by official authorities. By the way, newspapers spoke about the complicated relations between Moscow and Tehran back in February. It seems that by May on the Syrian fronts they only became aggravated.


Will 120 thousand American soldiers be able to “pacify” Tehran according to the Iraqi scenario

  • After the Israeli bombardment of Iranian facilities near Aleppo, groups supported by Tehran, accused Russians of coordinating with Tel Aviv, who hope to benefit from weakening the Iranian presence, – writes the Middle East newspaper Memo Iddleeast Monitor.
  • Last month, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu confirmed that Russian President Vladimir Putin would also like all Iranian forces to be withdrawn from Syria.


According to the editor of the publication Ibrahim Hewitt, the contradictions between Moscow and Tehran lie in a purely economic plane. Despite the fact that the IRGC suffered the greatest losses, Syria granted Russia exclusive rights to extract oil and gas in the SAR. Of course, the obligations to restore power plants, gas pumping stations and the construction of factories over the next 25 years should have provided Russian contractors with lucrative contracts, and the Kremlin leverage pressure on Damascus.


Against this background, the construction of a road from Tehran through Iraq to Damascus can be considered as a gnawed bone thrown from the master’s table.


However, a very serious problem is brewing here. The abandoned destroyed cities of the SAR, in which Sunnis prevailed before the civil war, are now intensively settled by Shiite immigrants, who, apparently, expected to receive treaties intercepted by Moscow. In addition, these people create a powerful religious base of Iran in the SAR. If you look at the news of Ebaa News, you can see numerous scenes of executions of “ISIS fighters and spies”.


For Moscow, and for Damascus, such emigration is a time bomb.


As you know, “The East is a delicate matter,” which is probably why at the end of January 2019, the deputy head of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Sergei Ryabkov, answering a question from a CNN journalist if Russia is an ally of Iran, said he would not use the word “ally” here. And he added that Israel’s security in this context is “one of Russia’s priorities.”


However, this has long been an open secret, as well as the fact that the Israeli Air Force maintains operational contacts with the Hmeimim airbase, including to prevent a repetition of the tragedy that occurred on September 17, 2018, when our plane was shot down electronic intelligence Il-20M. Then, we recall, 15 Russian officers were killed. The Russian Defense Ministry accused Jewish pilots of provoking the incident.


There was no effective response from Moscow. As time has shown, it would be a mistake to consider sending three divisions of S-300PM-2 anti-aircraft missile systems to Syria as a punishment. On the territory of the SAR, Jewish fighters are still bombing objects that, according to Tel Aviv, belong to the Corps of Guards of the Islamic Revolution and the Hezbollah movement.


Most likely, the Kremlin’s anger was designed for an internal audience, and the transfer of additional military equipment from the Assad army was aimed at installing under its full control Syrian air defenses, which probably had strong Iranian influence.


Thus, it is logical to assume that Tehran might be interested in intercepting conversations between the operators of the Khmeimim airbase and the IDF (Israeli Defense Forces) headquarters. Of course, technically it is hardly feasible, unless, of course, there was a leakage of the encryption codes.


In addition, the moment of throwing in “news about the arrest of 11 fighters of the IRGC” is striking – on the eve of the visit to Russia of the head of the US foreign affairs department Michael Pompeo. The news from the alleged Ebaa News agency could have been a sounding of Russian public opinion to change Moscow’s policy on Tehran.


Clearly, Iran categorically does not want such a development of events. To make it clear why, we give some information. If there is a war between the United States and Iran, then at first there will be a battle for air supremacy. However, according to the analytical services of the Pentagon, of the 17 squadrons of the Air Force of the Islamic Republic in combat readiness is only two, consisting, by the way, of old American F-14 Tomcat fighters.


Yes, Tehran still has MiG-29A and MiG-29UB, but they are not equipped with modern Russian air-to-air missiles R-77 and R-27. As for the Su-22M4 / Su-22UM-3K and Su-24MK, these aircraft were delivered to Iran strictly as bombers. That is, for aerial combat, they are not a priori suitable.


It is no coincidence that the Pentagon transferred the F-15C Eagle squadron of the 48th Fighter Wing of the United States Air Force to the Persian Gulf region. These aircraft, along with the 5th F-18E Super Hornet squadrons based on the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln, will certainly ensure victory in the air, since they have already conducted training battles against the F-14 Tomcat.


They are not afraid of the Yankees and the overlap of the Strait of Hormuz, through which about 18.5 million barrels of oil and oil products pass daily, which is approximately 20% of world production. By-pass pipelines have already been built in Saudi Arabia, with enough capacity to fulfill export contracts with America. In addition, the parties agreed to stabilize prices for the near term. So first of all China, which buys up to 50% of Iranian hydrocarbons, will suffer.


Washington is not aiming at conquering Iran; the task is most likely to be planning to destroy the military and civilian infrastructure. The White House is confident that the Iranians, left without light, water and food, will themselves shift the current anti-American government. Under these conditions, it would be a huge mistake for Tehran to go on aggravation with Moscow, sending spies to the Russian air base.