Syraq SITREP 42: Trump Says U.S. Will Leave Syria 'Soon', While Israelis Boast of F35 Flights Through Syraqi Airspace to Iran

Israelis Claim to Have Flown their New F35 Jets Through Syria and Iraq to Iranian Air Space

Perhaps the desire to maintain funding from pro-Israel billionaire Sheldon Adelson, who has long rumored to be a power behind the throne in the Trump campaign and White House, supporting the most rabid neocons on the President's team like Haley or Bolton, can explain some of this muddle. Or perhaps as our friend London Paul says the cabal really is cracking up, Trump is truly fighting them, and the infighting in this Administration reflects the utter failure of U.S. Mideast policy. That would concur with the assessment of experienced Mideast correspondent Elijah J. Magnier, who has recently taken to publishing his analyses via his own blog and Gab as a result of potential censorship regarding Hezbollah on Twitter. The current chaos in the Trump White House is coinciding with a raft of negative stories about social media outlets like Facebook, some of whom stand accused of not only imposing social justice warrior (SJW) censorship on the President's core American nationalist supporters, but also anti-Israel activists.

Into this maelstrom, with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recovering from a health crisis while facing indictment for corruption, comes the report from a Kuwaiti media outlet that Israeli Air Force (IAF) F35 jets have not only flown combat missions through Syrian, but also Iraqi air space en route to the skies over Iran. The implied threat being that even if President Trump is tiring of the American commitment to Syria and wants no part of direct military confrontation with Damascus and its Russian backers, tearing up the nuclear deal with Iran may not be sufficient to appease the Sheldon Adelson funded hard liners of what Pat Buchanan derisively calls Israel's 'amen corner' in the U.S. Instead, Israel may choose to act on its own without first consulting the Americans -- a threat that Israeli hard liners have made since the mid-2000s when it comes to striking Iranian facilities related to the country's IAEA certified and inspected peaceful nuclear energy program. To underscore their threats, the Israeli military declassified this week details of an air strike on what it says was a nuclear weapons developing research facility inside Syria linked to Iran in 2007. A strike to which Damascus at the time, even before the Syria War, did not officially acknowledge or respond -- until President Bashir al-Assad dismissed the Israeli claims many months later as illogical.

The question remaining though, after so much time has passed and Iran has grown economically and militarily stronger than it was before the U.S. and EU began lifting sanctions with the nuclear deal, if anyone should believe the Israelis threats this time. Or the words of a President who has been stymied on so many fronts by the deep state desperate and willing to stop at nothing it seems to block the detente with Russia he promised during the campaign.

With that being said, the surprise visit of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un to Chinese President Xi Jinpeng in Beijing, at least one global crisis that had threatened to break out into war appears to be deescalating. As Trump said in the same speech in Ohio that he used to call for a U.S. pullout from Syria, "Certainly, the rhetoric has calmed down just a little bit, would you say?” Trump said of North Korea. “We'll see how it all turns out. Maybe it will be good. Maybe it won’t. If it’s no good, we’re walking. And if it’s good, we will embrace it.” If 'the cabal' aims to start World War III as soon as possible, it doesn't appear to be on a winning streak, despite the diplomatic tit for tat row the British provoked through the Sergey Skripal case. Perhaps as QAnon says we should 'trust the plan'?

How Credible Are Israel's Latest Boasts of Sending F35 Jets to Taunt Iran? Not Very

While we've known for the better part of a decade about secret Israeli-Saudi cooperation against Iran that is now in the open, it seems far fetched that the F35 jets could fly to Iran and back without landing for refueling at bases inside Saudi Arabia. Air to air refueling by U.S. or Israeli tanker planes could be done using Saudi air space, but that isn't what The Jerusalem Post article claims happened. The F35s themselves do not have the capacity even with external fuel tanks that compromise their nominal stealthy-ness to fly to Iranian air space and back from Israel without refueling by air or land -- much less to do so twice. No wonder the thoroughly mainstream Aviationist is calling BS on the JPost story.

The Aviationist writer David Cenciotti is rightly skeptical that Israeli F35s can evade detection by the long range Russian S350+/S400 radars based at Kheimmim and Tartus in Syria -- whose calibration is no doubt informed by data Moscow obtained from the Serbs after they shot down an F117A stealth fighter in 1999. From the Russian Analyst's perspective, even allowing for Russian-Israeli deconfliction agreements, it would strain relations between Moscow and Tehran if the Russians did not at least give the Iranians a heads up regarding IAF jets darting through southeastern Syria and thence into Iraqi air space on the way east towards Iran. The Iranians also have their recently purchased from Russia S300 systems around Tehran which can be data linked to Russia's air defense network. One of the 'invisible' F35 Adirs also reportedly suffered a bird strike incident several months ago that required extensive repairs, which pro-Russian and Syrian analysts concluded was actually shrapnel from a 1970s vintage S200 SAM that came very close to bringing the $100 million plane down.

For the Israelis, the only way to achieve surprise in bombing Iran would be to launch their Jericho missiles or strike from Saudi air space and using cruise missiles on its German built Dolphin class diesel electric submarines. Moscow cannot prevent any of that, but would be able to give the Iranians several minutes notice of the IAF armada from its network of radars and electronic sensors in and around Damascus, and possibly from its ultra long range early warning 'Voronezh' radar in southern Russia as well.

Aviation buffs may recall here that it was through modifying their 1960s vintage Soviet type radars to produce longer waves that the Serbs were able to detect and get some fuzzy missile lock on the F117 stealth jets at short distances due to the physics of the 'Nighthawks' radar cross section. A similar set up was likely used by the Syrian air defense officers advised by the Russians to achieve a near miss of an S200 rocket against one of the vaunted 'Adirs' last fall. As for the Russians and Chinese, they have long since developed after the 1999 wake up call of a B2 striking China's Belgrade embassy nearly nineteen years ago, systems capable of detecting stealth aircraft at hundreds of kilometers distance. All of which could be deployed and 'lend leased' to Iran overnight if the Iranians do not already have domestically produced knock offs of these Russian and Chinese systems.

After Victory in Ghouta, Syrian Government Vows to Liberate All of its Territory from Terrorists and Foreign Occupiers -- Which May Eventually Mean Confrontation with Turkey

The most likely motive for the Israeli saber rattling, besides domestic political factors for the long standing but increasingly shaky Netanyahu government, is Tel Aviv's anger over the defeat of its proxies in and around Damascus. Being able to supply groups shelling the Syrian capital gave Israel strong leverage over Assad when it came to his alliance with Hezbollah, and also limited the Lebanese political party and militant group's options for retaliation when the Israelis decided to assassinate a Party of God leader here and there. But with the SAA fully backed by the Russians demanding 'moderate rebels' in Dara’a surrender and accept the restoration of Syrian government control, Israel cannot save its 'moderate' and Al-Qaeda linked proxies near the Golan Heights without directly intervening. Sporadic harassment by Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) artillery fire after accusing the SAA of sending a shell into the IDF held Golan won't get the job done. The jihadis are headed for the grave, Israel, Jordan or the green buses to Idlib if the SAA's elite Tiger Forces are determined to take back Dara’a -- that is, unless the IDF comes across the demarcation line in force. Therefore the Israelis' hopes to stop Damascus from taking back all of its pre-war territory rest on the USA and their former good allies in Turkey.

Losing Hands in Tel Aviv and Washington, as Russia, China, Turkey and Iran Hold All the High Cards Inside Syria

With Trump -- perhaps the most pro-Israel Republican candidate in history -- suggesting that he intends to order U.S. troops out of Syria's Euphrates Valley soon, Tel Aviv can hope the Pentagon and State Department set Trump straight. Otherwise, we may see Netanyahu or his successor begin to suck up to the Turks, whose coastal waters they still may like for cheaper construction of the Leviathian gas pipeline from the offshore Mediterranean to Europe. The obvious obstacle for Israel to throwing the Kurds of northern Syria and Iraq they've invested heavily in under the bus is that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's increasingly Islamist base doesn't like the Jewish State all that much, and warm relations with the Israelis were the portfolio of the country's pro-US/NATO Kemalists/secularists. The bigger problem for the Israelis is that its enemies in Hezbollah and the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) plus allied Shi'a militias recruited by Iran from across the region are emerging tougher and battle-hardened from the seven years war Israel co-sponsored.

In trying to shatter their adversary and overthrow Assad as a step to tackling Hezbollah or cutting off 'the head of the snake' in Iran, the Israelis and Americans made their adversaries stronger. Syria was destroyed in physical and economic terms, but its prospects for emerging with a smaller, tougher, and better trained military look strong. Syria's hopes for any economic recovery, rest on Russia and China. As Elijah J. Magnier put it in the conclusion to his three part series published this past week, the big picture is the Americans being pushed out of the Middle East, accompanied by the death of the petrodollar that financially anchored their presence in the strategic region:

While the United States is selling for $110 billions weapons to Saudi Arabia to kill more Yemenis and threaten its neighbours (Qatar, Syria and Iran),  Russia has signed 10 year contracts with China worth 600 billion dollars, and with Iran worth 400 billion dollars. Also, China has signed contracts with Iran worth 400 billion dollars. These contracts are aimed at economic cooperation, energy exchange; they promise an advanced economic future for these countries away from US dominance.

The US believes it can corner Russia, China and Iran: Russia has a 7,000 kilometre border with China, Iran is not Iraq and Syria is not Afghanistan. In Syria, the destiny of that a world be ruled by unilateralism is over. The world is heading toward pluralism.

The question remains: Is Washington prepared to accept its defeat and acknowledge that it has lost control of the world and pull out of Syria?