Moscow. A source close to Russian President Vladimir Putin has informed award-winning journalist Robert Parry that Putin has warned Israel that any attempted ground invasion of Syria will be met with the defensive use of tactical nuclear weapons on the battlefield.
A tactical nuclear weapon also known as non-strategic nuclear weapon refers to a nuclear weapon which is designed to be used on a battlefield in military situations. These differ from strategic nuclear weapons, which refers to weapons that are much larger in destructive power and are typically delivered by ICBM or SLBM missiles (though there are some that are air-dropped).
Parry’s background as a respected investigative journalist includes reporting on the Iran-Contra scandal for the Associated Press and Newsweek. In addition, he’s also received the George Polk award for reporting on intelligence matters, suggesting that this information should be treated as a credible warning.
Turkish-Saudi threats of a ground invasion have ratcheted up in the past month, as the finalization of a negotiated Syrian political settlement came closer to fruition, which would potentially usurp the group’s goal of regime change in Syria.
As Vice President Joe Biden pointed out during a speech at Harvard in 2014, that Israel and Saudi Arabia had “poured hundreds of millions of dollars and thousands of tons of weapons into anyone who would fight against [Syrian President Bashar al-] Assad,” going on to point out that “the people who were being supplied were Al Nusra and Al Qaeda and the extremist elements of jihadis coming from other parts of the world.”
According to the report, written by Parry, for Consortium News:
If Israel (with hundreds of thousands of troops massed near the Syrian border) and Saudi Arabia (with its sophisticated air force) follow through on threats and intervene militarily to save their rebel clients, who include Al Qaeda’s Nusra Front, from a powerful Russian-backed Syrian government offensive, then Russia will have to decide what to do to protect its 20,000 or so military personnel inside Syria.
A source close to Russian President Vladimir Putin told me that the Russians have warned Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that Moscow is prepared to use tactical nuclear weapons if necessary to save their troops in the face of a Turkish-Saudi onslaught. Since Israel is a member of NATO, any such conflict could quickly escalate into a full-scale nuclear confrontation.
The Russian threat to use tactical nukes in the event of a joint Turkish-Saudi invasion should be taken extremely seriously given the duo’s recent failed attempts to garner U.S. support for a ground invasion under the guise of aiding refugees and assisting “moderate rebels.” In reality, this is simply a non-threatening label for the group’s preferred Islamic extremist organisations in the Syrian theatre of war.
Moscow’s warning comes on the heels of Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir telling CNN that Syrian President Assad must be removed “by force” if a diplomatic solution fails.