Let the war games begin. Hopefully this will serve as a deterrent to a real war launched by NATO et al against Syria and/or an Israeli or US strike on Iran. Original story appeared in the semi-official Iranian news agency, Fars News here, but has since been reproduced by mainstream Israeli media such as the Jerusalem Post here, Haaretz here and Ynet News here. It has also appeared in Arab and other media. It is worth noting here that this story was announced by an Iranian news agency in the midst of faltering talks over Iran’s nuclear program. But it clearly signals a shift from “soft” balancing to “hard” balancing, as comrade Hosam Mattar argues in this piece written days before the military drill: http://www.al-akhbar.com/node/95597. Such a shift to hard balancing is indeed a rarity in a unipolar world order.
Here is the full Fars story:
Iran, Russia, China, Syria to Stage Biggest Joint Wargames in Middle-East
TEHRAN (FNA)- The Iranian, Russian, Chinese and Syrian armies are due to stage joint amphibious exercises along the Syrian costs in coming weeks, informed sources revealed on Monday.
According to informed sources, 90,000 forces from the four countries will take part in the land and sea wargames due to be held in Syria.
Ground, air and sea forces as well as air defense and missile units of the four countries will take part in the exercises.
Sources also said that Egypt has acceded to grant passage to 12 Chinese warships to sail through the Suez Canal, adding that the military convoy is due to dock at the Syrian harbors in the next two weeks.
Russian atomic submarines and warships, aircraft carriers and mine-clearing destroyers as well as Iranian battleships and submarines will also arrive in Syria at around the same date.
Syria plans to test its coast-to-sea and air defense missiles in the wargames.
A sum of 400 warplanes and 1,000 tanks will also be used in the exercises.
A Syrian official, who asked to remain anonymous, had informed two weeks ago that the drills would be conducted in Syria soon.
Unofficial sources also said the four countries are now busy with taking swift preparatory measures for these biggest-ever wargames in the Middle-East.
Sham Life reported that the maneuvers will be stage in less than one month from now, that is early June.