Two minutes to midnight: 300,000 NATO troops on high alert over escalating tensions with Russia


300,000 NATO troops have received readiness orders over growing fears of a military confrontation with Russia.

Around 15 divisions on front line states are now on a status of ‘high alert’ as tensions escalate between opposing sides.

NATO General Secretary, Jens Stoltenberg, has confirmed that the executive order hopes to achieve a faster reaction status should conflict break out.

The heightened state of alert is in direct response to Russia’s own display of military might in recent times, and particularly over its intervention in war-torn Syria.

Russia has provided a large amount of weaponry and specialized equipment to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who has used it to quell rebel forces in Aleppo and elsewhere.

A large number of Russian citizens actually believe that their country’s intervention in Syria could easily lead to World War III.

The military buildup in the region has also arisen due to grave concerns among western strategists that the Russian military might may overrun NATO forces in the area in a matter of hours, should armed confrontation start.

NATO analysts also fear that Russia may attempt the annexation of Baltic states such as Lithuania or Latvia, just like it did in Crimea two years ago. Such move could have grave repercussions indeed for the geo-political stability in Europe.

Fanning the flames of war: Russian warships set to sail through the English Channel on their way to Syria


There is a heightened state of military readiness among NATO countries, as fleet of Russian warships will soon steam towards the English Channel.

Two Royal Navy destroyers are on station, ready to intercept the Russian taskforce, which is suspected to be heading for Syria to bolster military assets on the ground. Airborne NATO assets are also on alert.

The taskforce includes Russia’s only aircraft carrier, the Admiral Kuznetsov, and a number of other capital ships. A number of Sukhoi Su-33 Flanker multirole fighter aircraft are on board the carrier. These aircraft are likely to be used to carry out bombing operations on rebel-held areas of the besieged city of Aleppo in Syria.

The Russian warships’s intended course will bring them right through the English Channel, a route that has been deemed to be used as a show of force. It is not usual for Russian ships to navigate this route, instead they usually sail down the Black Sea and on to the Mediterranean through the Bosphorus Strait.

The military buildup is the largest Russian deployment since the Cold War, and it coincides with a period of heightened tensions between opposing factions in Syria and elsewhere. This latest move by the Russians is likely to inflame the situation even further.

Once on station in the Mediterranean, the Admiral Kuznetsov will likely initiate combat operations against targets in Syria, a short flight time away.

Analysts warn of Third World War fears over escalating tensions between US and Russia in Syria


The US and Russia have been fighting a proxy war in Syria for some time, using their military might to aid rebel militia and the Syrian Army, respectively.

Not since the bloody struggle in Afghanistan back in the 1980s has the world witnessed such indirect military confrontation between the old foes. Rebel factions on the ground in Syria are receiving CIA-sanctioned shipments of weapons, particularly TOW anti-tank missiles. President Bashar al- Assad, on the other side, has full military co-operation from Russian aircraft and special forces personnel.

The rebels had some initial successes, using the TOW weapon systems to devastating effect against Russian armor, and for a time it seemed that President al-Assad’s grip on power would wane. But then the Russian air force began operations in the area, pounding the rebels from the air. Rebel militia, lacking any anti-aircraft weaponry, were soon beaten back.

The US-supplied equipment had an unintended consequence, also.

The rising Nusra Front faction used American-made armament to gain footholds across northern Syria. This in turn handed the Russians the justification for their intervention. Under the pretense of ‘fighting terrorism’, Russian aircraft began an indiscriminate bombing campaign that has reduced the city of Aleppo to a heap of ruins, and claimed thousands of lives.

The situation has reached a stalemate, and now the US has officially severed ties with Russia over the heavy airstrikes in Syria in recent days, which many international observers have referred to as ‘war crimes.’ Russian aircraft and cruise missiles have targeted five hospitals around Aleppo, for instance, thus depriving the rebel-held areas of vital medical aid.

Some analysts are also expressing concerns that a more direct military intervention by US forces in Syria could trigger World War Three.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is deliberately provoking an US response through its intervention in the Syrian conflict, and with the rebels on the back foot, Putin has now achieved stronger leverage in Syria, and in the volatile Middle East as a whole.

Yet, if the provocation continues with the intention of eliciting a direct military response, US forces may bypass their proxy allies and launch a limited-scale assault against the Syrian army. This action may trigger a counter-offensive by Russian units, acting in defence of their Syrian allies.
The likely outcome of this scenario would be an all out war between the US and Russia, first on the Middle East theater of war. The hostilities may then spread globally.

A recent ill-fated attempt to broker a ceasefire in the region came to an abrupt halt after a convoy ferrying aid into
besieged areas of Aleppo was attacked by Russian warplanes. Over 20 people were killed, and 18 out of 31 trucks were destroyed. This action signaled the continuation of the fighting, with Russian and Syrian Army leading the charge, carrying out savage bombardment on Aleppo.

The US has now broken off talks with Russia over the situation in Syria, and recalled its negotiators back from Geneva. There is a feeling of steady deterioration in US-Russian relations, to a degree not seen since the Cold War era.

Heavy ordnance dropped on rebel-held areas of Aleppo after ceasefire comes to fiery end


The war-torn city of Aleppo in Syria has come under heavy bombardment once again, after a fragile ceasefire collapsed.

Five aircraft, said to belong to the Russian air force, flew over the city yesterday, dropping heavy weapons on rebel-held areas. Local reporters said that cluster munition and incendiary ordnance were used during the latest attack.

The city of Aleppo has largely been under rebel control since 2012. Forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al Assad have maintained a constant siege ever since.

The latest ceasefire effort all but ended after a convoy ferrying humanitarian aid into the besieged city was bombed on Monday, killing 20 people.

Syria ceasefire all but over, after humanitarian convoy is hit, and four medical staff are killed in airstrikes


The ceasefire deal brokered through a joint US-Russia diplomatic effort appears to be all but over today, after renewed airstrikes destroyed a number of vehicles inside a humanitarian convoy, and killed four medical staff and a number of civilians in a clinic.

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the airstrikes occurred in a village near Syria’s second city, Aleppo, late last night. A makeshift medical center was hit, killing at least four doctors and a group of civilians.

This latest atrocity appears to lay waste to the tenuous ceasefire in the region. It emerged yesterday that a convoy ferrying humanitarian aid into war-torn territory around Aleppo was hit. Eighteen trucks out of a 31-strong convoy were destroyed, dealing a hammerblow to the ceasefire.

Airstrikes across Aleppo and Idlib in Syria kill dozens hours after ceasefire deal is agreed


A number of airstrikes across the Syrian cities of Aleppo and Idlib killed at least 58 people yesterday, with 13 children among the dead.

The airstrikes took place hours after US Secretary of State John Kerry announced a ceasefire deal reportedly backed by the Syrian Government.

It appears that both sides in the conflict are moving fast to consolidate their positions in the war-torn country ahead of the ceasefire, which is due to commence at sundown on Monday.

If the ceasefire holds for seven days, US and Russian military units may turn their weapons on al-Nusra, a terrorist group associated with al-Qaeda operating in the area.

There have been several ceasefire agreements in the past, but they have always failed after either side failed to uphold the conditions.

Unlikely alliance: Syrian Government-backed deal will see US and Russian become allies in war against al Qaeda’s affiliate group al-Nusra


Speaking in Geneva, Switzerland yesterday, US Secretary of State John Kerry said that the Syrian Government has now backed a ceasefire deal brokered by both the US and Russia.

The deal calls for a ceasefire in the war-torn city of Aleppo to start at sundown on Monday, September 12.

If the ceasefire holds for seven days, US and Russia forces will turn their sights against al-Nusra, an al Qaeda-affiliated terrorist organization.

Mr. Kerry, speaking alongside his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov, said “Today we are announcing an arrangement that we think has the capability of sticking, but it’s dependent on people’s choices.”

Meanwhile, violence still raged on across Aleppo, a now ruined city divided into sectors controlled by opposing factions.

So far, Syrian forces backed by Russian airpower have pounded the rebel-held strongholds, causing grievous losses to civilians in the process.

Syrian army units launched an offensive shortly after the ceasefire announcement was made, presumably in an effort to maximize territorial gains before the Monday deadline.

The Syrian conflict has so far taken the lives of an estimated 400,000 people.