Cuban troops have arrived in Syria. The military forces from the communist nation President Barack Obama recently decided to normalize relations with are believed to be preparing to staff Russian tanks. The Cuban soldiers are also reportedly going to advise the armed forces under the control of President al-Assad and may be going to fight the U.S.-backed Syrian rebel forces in Damascus.
The head of the military in Cuba, General Leopoldo Cintra Frias, recently visited Syria and led a group of military personnel to join forces with Russia, Fox News reports. A United States official confirmed on Wednesday that paramilitary and special forces units from Cuba were indeed on the ground in Syria, according to intelligence reports. The Cuban troops might have arrived in the civil war-torn Middle East nation via Russian planes, NewsMax reports.
Cuban paramilitary forces on the ground in Syria fighting alongside Russian troops. Trained & manning Russian tanks pic.twitter.com/WJskNKMDPa
— Rahsaan (@RahsaanBall) October 14, 2015
Two Russian planes arrived in Damascus with men wearing full Cuban military uniforms on Monday, according to an Arab military officer stationed at the airport. When the officer stopped and questioned the Cuban troops, the men reportedly told him that they were experts on the operations of Russian tanks and were there to aid President al-Assad. Russia has long supplied military weapons and equipment to Cuba. The island nation offered assistant during the African offensive led by the former Soviet Union during the 1970s.
— PanAm Post (@PanAmPost) October 14, 2015
The Syrian civil war has been going on for four years and reportedly caused approximately 250,000 people to lose their lives. The ongoing refugee crisis has burdened surrounding nations, with countries from around the globe being pressured to offer humanitarian immigration status to thousands fleeing the region. Concerns about terrorists posing as refugees have surfaced and prompted heated debate among lawmakers in the United States.
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, Russian President Vladimir Putin has vowed to make his military the most powerful in the world by 2020. Cuba’s military is reportedly ranked the 110th most powerful in the world. Although small in size, the Cuban armed forces are often regarded as “very well trained.” U.S. were reportedly not expecting Cuban soldiers to become active in Syria.
Earlier this year, President Obama removed Cuba from the list of state sponsors of terrorism. America and Cuba had not engaged in diplomatic relations since 1961.
“This is a historic step forward in our efforts to normalize relations with the Cuban government and people, and begin a new chapter with our neighbors in the Americas,” President Obama said during a Rose Garden speech after the controversial decision in July.
“If this information about the presence of Cuban troops in Syria now is confirmed, it would indicate that General Raul Castro is more interested in supporting his allies, Russia and Syria, than in continuing to normalize relations with the U.S.,” the Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American Studies stated in a release earlier this week. “Raul Castro has expressed publicly his support for the Syrian regime and his solidarity with Russian and Iranian objectives in the Middle East. This new Cuban internationalism reaffirms one more time that the Castro’s brothers are more interested in their role in the world in opposition to the U.S. than in modernizing Cuba and helping the Cuban people rise above their current misery.”
This is not the first time there have been Cuban boots on the ground in Syria. In 1973, Fidel Castro’s military went to support the Syrian government in the Yom Kippur War against Israel.
What do you think about Cuban troops arriving in Syria? Are mounting World War 3 fears valid?
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