New satellite imagery from AllSource Analysis. Istamo Weapon Facility in Syria (southeast of Latakia). Evidence of new paving/clearing operations, logistics/storage, and both Mi-17 and Ka-27/28 helos in newly-paved areas.
More Russian work at Al-Assad Airbase in Latakia, Syria. New images of multiple aircraft – both fixed and rotary wing. Multiples of these: SU-30SM (multi-role fighter)/SU-24 (all-weather attack/interdictor)/SU-25 (close air support)/ HIND-24 (attack helo), and an IL-76 (strategic airlift). Images: AllSource Analysis
A close-up view of 4x SU-30 (Flanker) Russian aircraft at al-Assad Airport on September 19, 2015.
Satellie image of al-Assad Airport September 20, 2015 showing 4x SU-30s (Flanker), 12x SU-25s (Frogfoot), as well as a possible fuel depot being established and a new logistics/vehicle park.
Multiple Russian transport aircraft, as well as helicopters, tanks, trucks, and armored personnel carriers arrived at al-Assad Airport between September 4-15, 2015
Satellite imagery of Latakia's Al-Assad Airport from September 4, 2015 reveals increased construction, possibly in preparation for Russian troops and equipment arrivals.
Grand strategic objectives:
• Establish an Islamic Emirate in Syria that is a future component of the envisioned al-Qaeda Caliphate
• Unify the global jihadist movement
• Destroy the Assad regime
• Transform Syrian society from secular nationalism to an Islamic theocracy
• Establish locally-accepted governance as a precursor to an eventual Islamic Emirate
• Build an army to protect the Islamic Emirate by partnering with Syrian rebel groups
• Resolve the fitna, or schism, with ISIS
• Counter U.S. influence in Syria
Grand Strategic Objectives:
• [Syrian Regime] Preserve the rule of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in a post-war Syria encompassing the entire pre-war Syrian state
• [Iran] Preserve a viable Syrian regime led by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad as a key member of the ‘Axis of Resistance’; achieve strategic positioning against Israel
• [Russia] Preserve the Syrian state – not necessarily Syrian President Bashar al-Assad – as a key foothold in the Middle East and an ally against terrorism
• [Hezbollah] Prevent the spread of the Syrian Civil War into Lebanese core terrain
• [Syrian Regime] Maintain Syrian territorial integrity through an ‘army in all corners’; consolidate Syrian civilian population in regime-held areas; bolster international and domestic legitimacy as ruler of Syria.
• [Iran] Position against Israel in southern Syria along the Golan Heights; preserve access to supply lines from Syria to Hezbollah in Lebanon; develop network of Syrian proxies to maintain Iranian influence if regime falls
• [Iran/Russia] Enable Syrian regime to defend core terrain along Syrian central corridor
• [Hezbollah] Secure Lebanese border region against incursion by militant groups
The trajectory of the Syrian Civil War may fundamentally shift within the 90 day timeframe. Russia escalated its military assistance on behalf of the Syrian regime in early September 2015, deploying armored vehicles and hundreds of personnel to the Syrian Coast in preparation for the establishment of at least one forward air operations base.
Satellite imagery provided by AllSourceAnalysis confirms the recent arrival of Russian main battle tanks, armored personnel carriers, helicopters, and other military equipment at an airbase in Syria’s coastal Latakia province, indicating that Russia has deployed troops inside Syria. Concurrent military exercises inside Russia suggest that Russia may intend to deploy additional forces, possibly further inside Syria.