15 February 2016

Saudi Arabia will deploy fighter aircraft

Saudi Arabia may choose to deploy its Typhoon aircraft which are at least as capable in the air superiority role, and have previously performed well in RSAF service dropping the extremely accurate British-made Paveway IV bomb against Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) targets in Iraq.

Of course, aircraft capable of confronting potential Russian provocations over Syria are already in the region.

The USAF already has small numbers of the unrivalled F-22 Raptor, France has deployed its formidable Rafale, and the RAF has deployed six Typhoons to assist in strike operations against ISIL in Iraq and Syria.

Russia wants President Assad to remain in Syria but Saudi Arabia and Turkey are determined that there will be no peace settlement in Syria which includes President Assad remaining in power. Riyadh is clearly determined to change the direction of events in Syria and the Kremlin values relations with the kingdom to a certain degree.

As a result, and the fact that Saudi aircraft are at least a match for its own, Russia may be forced to leave the Saudi contingent unmolested to conduct strikes against ISIL in areas of northern Syria where rebel forces are the main beneficiaries.

Of course, all this is unlikely to prove conducive to a ceasefire that has any lasting effect in Syria.