Marilena Preda-Sânc, Globe (Glob, world globe, nails, 35 x 35 x 35 cm, 1999; via the Bucharest Biennale). Image Source: Pavilion.
The footage below of the ruined Syrian city of Homs below was circulated by RussiaWorks on Youtube on 2 February 2016. Business Insider cites the Center for Documentation of Violations in Syria, which states that 13,301 people have died in the city since 2011. Business Insider also reports critically on the Russian video source:
The Russians, with Iranian-backed Shia troops, are supporting Syrian government forces against Syrian opposition fighters and ISIS. On 20 April 2016, American analysts discussed these military movements into Aleppo, with Sunni civilians fleeing Aleppo ahead of the Russian, Syrian government's and Shia troops' advance:"The video has not been independently verified but is similar to previous RussiaWorks productions, such as a video from January shot in the Damascus suburb of Darayya.Speaking to Business Insider in October  Boris [Z]ilberman, a Russia expert at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, said: 'RussiaWorks is part of a slick campaign by the Kremlin to sell the war at home and project Russia as a military power.''The videos are put together by a number of Russian war correspondents/production folks that are tied to the Kremlin and probably have a lot of time on their hands — and some good drones — to make highly edited videos.'"
"Russian aircraft, helicopters and troops have also been moving toward Aleppo over the past several weeks, they say. At the same time, hundreds of Iranian-backed Shia militia fighters are converging on the area to bolster existing regime forces.'The Syrian regime seems to be driving towards the eventual isolation of opposition forces in and around Aleppo,' a U.S. intelligence official said on condition of anonymity.The official said at least in the area north of Aleppo, Russian actions appeared to be in support of the Syrian regime, aimed at cutting off the supply lines for moderate opposition forces.'We also see indications of fighting southwest of Aleppo between Syrian forces with Russian backing and opposition elements,' the official added.Russian officials have long said their actions in Syria have been aimed at terror groups such as Islamic State and al-Qaida-linked Jabhat al-Nusra, and U.S. officials admit Russia has picked up the pace of airstrikes on terror targets.But analysts caution the type of Russian equipment being sent to Aleppo suggests not just a different enemy in the short term but also a broader strategic endgame.'Russia has begun to alter the shape of its own deployment,' Institute for the Study of War analyst Genevieve Casagrande said during a panel discussion Wednesday [20 April 2016]."
2008: 800.000 Einwohner— Jan Geissler (@geisslersjan) February 4, 2016
Drohnenaufnahmen von #Russiaworks zeigen die Stadt Homs. https://t.co/Ux6vUmAERo via @voxdotcom
Some argue that the Americans, particularly the CIA, the British, sometimes the French, and the Israelis are behind a masterful New World Order bid to turn the whole Middle East into a batch of western puppet states, with countries falling domino by domino, after a social-media-driven succession of Arab Springs gone wrong. That gives the Americans and supposed Illuminati too much credit. Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad is very much 'like father, like son'; the Syrian civil war resembles the 1982 Hama massacre, in which Hafez al-Assad crushed a Sunni uprising by the Muslim Brotherhood which had been brewing since 1976. The failed American bid to topple Assad by joining the Saudis to fund Syrian opposition forces - and some argue, ISIS, despite American battles with the group - has led to a disastrous foreign policy mess, which brings the drone-slinging Americans to what The Guardian called, "plan B."
Déjà vu: similarities between Shia-led crackdowns on majority Sunni uprisings in Syria. Image Source: Georgetown University via Ben Davies.
Plan B involves cooling the American alliance with Saudi Arabia and tentatively supporting Iran, leaving one to wonder where the Saudis will pivot, perhaps toward Russia. The picture: ISIS in Europe; Russia and Iran in Syria; the Saudis alienated by the Americans to temper Iran's nuclear ambitions. All eyes turn to Jordan, now sharing anti-ISIS intelligence with the Israelis and Egypt, terrified of a nuclear Iran. If Iran has nuclear weapons, some argue that other Middle Eastern countries should have them too, or none at all. Beyond the usual astronomical expenditure on weapons in the Middle East, what would a nuclear arms race there look like and where would it lead? There is already a conventional arms race. In 2015, USD $1.7 trillion was spent collectively by all powers on weapons of mass, medium and minor destruction; you can see a worldwide comparative chart here. Of that amount, Saudi Arabia spent USD $87.2 billion in 2015; in 2013, the country spent USD $67 billion, and USD $56 billion in 2012, which gives an idea of the kingdom's escalating anxieties.