You read here yesterday that Greece seemed unlikely to grant a State Department request to deny Greek airspace to Russian military flights to Syria, and — surprise! — Athens will allow those flights.
But there’s more from Reuters:
Greece granted Russia the right to use its airspace for humanitarian flights to Syria on Aug. 31, TASS news agency quoted a Russian embassy official in Athens as saying on Wednesday.
The Russian agency added that the request covered the period from Sept. 1 to Sept. 24.
Separately, Russia’s Interfax news agency quoted a Russian embassy official in Tehran as saying Iran had approved all of Moscow’s requests on flights delivering humanitarian aid to Syria.
If we’ve learned anything in the last half century, it’s that “humanitarian” can be used to paper over all kinds of mischief.
And if you can’t find your Shocked Face over the news that Iran will allow Russia to use its airspace to reinforce its Syrian ally, I’ll try to understand.
DEBKA reports that Iraq has also agreed to become a part of Russia’s airbridge into Syria, completing Moscow’s ability to do what we wouldn’t. Baghdad will continue to take our money and military trainers — for now — but let’s accept the fact that Iraq is quickly aligning into a new orbit.
This looks like the beginning of the end for ISIS, and the beginning of the beginning of a new Russo-Iranian axis over most of the Levant. Iran will be free to export as much terror as it thinks it can get away with (whether the old fashioned kind or the new human wave variety now showing up in Germany and elsewhere), and Russia will play the part of the responsible peacebroker.
What price will we exact from Russia? Nothing. In fact, Putin’s Syria play will likely provide the leverage he needs to undo the Western sanctions put in place for his Ukraine adventure.
On the other side, a Saudi-Israeli-Egyptian alliance (aka Money-Tech-Manpower), with us playing the role of the rich, benevolent uncle who is no longer so rich or benevolent.
If this were a hand of Texas Hold’em, Russia bought the pot with a big bet — after we folded while holding pocket Jacks.
Who will be the next player to bet big?