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khmeimim-drone

Russian Ministry of Defense:

Security system of the Russian Khmeimim air base and Russian Naval CSS point in the city of Tartus successfully warded off a terrorist attack with massive application of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) through the night of 5th – 6th January, 2018.

As evening fell, the Russia air defence forces detected 13 unidentified small-size air targets at a significant distance approaching the Russian military bases.

Ten assault drones were approaching the Khmeimim air base, and another three – the CSS point in Tartus.

Six small-size air targets were intercepted and taken under control by the Russian EW units. Three of them were landed on the controlled area outside the base, and another three UAVs exploded as they touched the ground.

Seven UAVs were eliminated by the Pantsir-S anti-aircraft missile complexes operated by the Russian air defence units on 24-hours alert.

The Russian bases did not suffer any casualties or damages.

The Khmeimim air base and Russian Naval CSS point in Tartus are functioning on a scheduled basis.

Currently, the Russian military experts are analyzing the construction, technical filling and improvised explosives of the captured UAVs.

Having decoded the data recorded on the UAVs, the specialists found out the launch site.

It was the first time when terrorists applied a massed drone aircraft attack launched at a range of more than 50 km using modern GPS guidance system

Technical examination of the drones showed that such attacks could have been made by terrorists at a distance of about 100 kilometers.

Engineering decisions applied by terrorists while attacks on the Russian objects in Syria could be received from one of countries with high-technological capabilities of satellite navigation and remote dropping control of professionally assembled improvised explosive devices in assigned coordinates. All drones of terrorists are fitted with pressure transducers and altitude control servo-actuators.

Terrorists’ aircraft-type drones carried explosive devices with foreign detonating fuses.

The Russian specialists are determining supply channels, through which terrorists had received the technologies and devices, as well as examining type and origin of explosive compounds used in the IEDs.

The fact of usage of strike aircraft-type drones by terrorists is the evidence that militants have received technologies to carry out terrorist attacks using such UAVs in any country.

The “one of countries with high-technological capabilities” is of course referring to the US, Israel, and maybe Turkey.

If this is true, then I think the suspicions that I expressed have basically been confirmed:

Frankly, I have a hard time buying that this is the sort of thing that can be manufactured, smuggled in, and organized by deep cover rebel operatives.

However, there are forces in the region who are credibly capable of such operations.

Is it true?

Well, there’s no reason it can’t be – and I say this as someone who hardly has a reputation for conspiracy theorizing or uncritically buying the Kremlin’s version of events.

There are basically several counter-arguments to this, but they are all rather weak.

It’s a primitive contraption, it couldn’t have flown that far/or autonomously.

Except that both things have been done 15 ago, and over transcontinental distances:

By 2003, a hobbyist launched a GPS-guided model airplane/drone that flew autonomously from Newfoundland to precisely the right landing point in Ireland. Built of balsa and plywood with a tiny gasoline engine that burned less than one gallon of fuel in the 26 hour flight, it was cheap enough that the hobbyist built 23 to ensure he could be the first hobbyist to fly across the Atlantic. … Today [hobbyists and businesses] are routinely flying smart systems with intercontinental range — they lack only a payload to be a precision weapons system. Their composite construction and very low energy usage mean they will be very difficult to detect.

It’s a primitive contraption, period.

Well, it has to look home-made for it to be deniable. Maybe you could call them “little green drones.”

The sophisticated internals (navigation, control, etc.), and the swarm nature of the attack, is much more impressive, requiring a degree of logistics, testing, and technical expertise that one suspects might be beyond the capabilities of 80 average IQ Islamists, who are currently losing and hard pressed enough as it is.

Assuming this is true, this could mean one of, and probably both of, these things.

1. The US/Israel want to (cheaply, deniably) probe the Russian AA systems at Khmeimim, in case they’re thinking of resuming the regime change program.

And if it wildly happens to succeed in temporarily disabling Russian air power, as the first round of attacks on Dec 31 seems to have done so, then all the better.

2. Telling Putin he should start thinking about packing up his bags in Syria.

EDIT 01/10:

Alexander Mercouris – Drone attack on Russian bases launched from Turkish controlled area

 
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  1. The Saker reports it was a combined mortar/rocket attack and that seven aircraft were damage (shows picture of one) and 10 people were wounded.

    http://thesaker.is/rumors-about-an-attack-on-the-russian-airbase-khmeimin-syria-initial-analysis/

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    The Saker refers to the Dec 31 attack which I covered here, the latest drone-based one occured during Jan 5-6.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  2. OK, I should be clear from the outset that I have no objection in principle to the idea that this could represent direct US/Israeli/Saudi/Turkish assistance. Indeed, I think it quite likely. The following is devil’s advocacy.

    The sophisticated internals (navigation, control, etc.), and the swarm nature of the attack, is much more impressive, requiring a degree of logistics, testing, and technical expertise that one suspects might be beyond the capabilities of 80 average IQ Islamists, who are currently losing and hard pressed enough as it is.

    This reminds me of the argument by the US occupying forces in Iraq that sophisticated EFPs used by the resistance forces came from Iran (U.S. Sees New Weapon In Iraq: Iranian EFPs), only to be countered later by sceptics pointing out that such warheads had been being made in Iraqi garage machine shops for some time (US Military Ignored Evidence of Iraqi-Made EFPs).

    In the end, people mostly ended up believing what they already wanted to believe.

    Similarly in this case, does it really need active external state assistance to knock up and operate these kinds of devices? I’m not a hobbyist, so my technical expertise in the area is non-existent, but is there necessarily anything in these systems that could not be bought in hobbyists’s stores in the west and smuggled in easily (being, inherently, mostly small components)? Does any of it really require expertise beyond one or two hobbyist volunteers from the second generation muslim immigrant communities in the west?

    My suspicion is that, as in the Iraq case, people will just end up believing what suits their own established positions.

    Of course, the US military’s firm belief that Iran helped kill American [occupying] soldiers in Iraq colours US policy today, via the Iranophobic attitudes of some of the most senior regime figures, including its SecDef. So in a sense it doesn’t really matter what can and can’t be proved – what matters is what senior Russian military and government figures believe and how they act upon that belief.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Sean
    Flynn exaggerated when he said there were 500 US troops killed by Iranian armour piercing IED supplied for that purpose, but it happened more than you are willing to accept

    https://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/patrick-goodenough/revealed-iranian-supplied-armor-piercing-ieds-killed-least-196-us

    http://www.newsweek.com/donald-trump-tweets-iran-protests-774224

    Mattis and McMaster—the two key figures trying to guide Trump through this crisis—are no friends of Tehran. Both were in Iraq when Iranian-trained militias and Iranian-made improvised explosive devices killed and maimed U.S. servicemen there. And as the principal architects of Trump’s Middle East policy, they also sense opportunity. The Iranian government instantly blamed the protests on “foreign actors”—by which it meant the United States, Saudi Arabia and Israel. They offered no proof of that, and none will likely come. Few outside the Iranian government dispute that the anger spreading throughout country is homegrown. But one of the demonstrators’ most frequent complaints, to the regime’s surprise, could be called Iran First: They want their government to stop spending the country’s money and resources on foreign military adventures. The U.S. supports that message too, and the generals around Trump want see if Tehran bows to those demands.
     
    , @Andrei Martyanov

    OK, I should be clear from the outset that I have no objection in principle to the idea that this could represent direct US/Israeli/Saudi/Turkish assistance.
     
    OK. Let's pretend I am a jihadi who needs to "guide" a drone:

    I will need (I deliberately will obfuscate and distort "prescription"--who knows who reads this:

    1. Gyroscope. I don't even need gimbals and three degrees of freedom--one axis will be enough since it will work as gyro-azimuth. You can by this staff on-line from 100 to 2000 (laser) USD, easy. I just will need to know the so called "drift" (also easy).

    2. Feedback device (controller) for actuators on wings and rudder;

    3. Simplest radio-communications (radio-command)--it may be used once only for release of the explosives.

    4. Safe location outside the range of third ring of any base defense.

    5. Luck.

    All this is totally within technical capability of very many jihadis in Syria since many of them are actually military and some engineering professionals. Surely, people who can create remotely detonated devices can figure out something of this primitive nature. tHis pretty much blows out of the water all this "big game" crap. US and Saudis, plus some are behind many things in Syria--this is not the news.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  3. @bob sykes
    The Saker reports it was a combined mortar/rocket attack and that seven aircraft were damage (shows picture of one) and 10 people were wounded.

    http://thesaker.is/rumors-about-an-attack-on-the-russian-airbase-khmeimin-syria-initial-analysis/

    The Saker refers to the Dec 31 attack which I covered here, the latest drone-based one occured during Jan 5-6.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  4. But it seems that while the first attack on December 31 seems to have been largely successful (perhaps because the Russians weren’t watching), this second one was unsuccessful.

    Couldn’t some hitherto unknown jihadists claim responsibility for attacking certain Israeli bases in the near future..?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov

    But it seems that while the first attack on December 31 seems to have been largely successful
     
    It was not "successful", especially not the way this incompetent moron Saponkov lied about it, later spread around by this rag Kommersant and, as was expected, picked up by the Western "media". Couple of guys got killed, sad, but the war is still ongoing there and à la guerre comme à la guerre. People die in operational zones for a whole host of reasons.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  5. @Randal
    OK, I should be clear from the outset that I have no objection in principle to the idea that this could represent direct US/Israeli/Saudi/Turkish assistance. Indeed, I think it quite likely. The following is devil's advocacy.

    The sophisticated internals (navigation, control, etc.), and the swarm nature of the attack, is much more impressive, requiring a degree of logistics, testing, and technical expertise that one suspects might be beyond the capabilities of 80 average IQ Islamists, who are currently losing and hard pressed enough as it is.
     
    This reminds me of the argument by the US occupying forces in Iraq that sophisticated EFPs used by the resistance forces came from Iran (U.S. Sees New Weapon In Iraq: Iranian EFPs), only to be countered later by sceptics pointing out that such warheads had been being made in Iraqi garage machine shops for some time (US Military Ignored Evidence of Iraqi-Made EFPs).

    In the end, people mostly ended up believing what they already wanted to believe.

    Similarly in this case, does it really need active external state assistance to knock up and operate these kinds of devices? I'm not a hobbyist, so my technical expertise in the area is non-existent, but is there necessarily anything in these systems that could not be bought in hobbyists's stores in the west and smuggled in easily (being, inherently, mostly small components)? Does any of it really require expertise beyond one or two hobbyist volunteers from the second generation muslim immigrant communities in the west?

    My suspicion is that, as in the Iraq case, people will just end up believing what suits their own established positions.

    Of course, the US military's firm belief that Iran helped kill American [occupying] soldiers in Iraq colours US policy today, via the Iranophobic attitudes of some of the most senior regime figures, including its SecDef. So in a sense it doesn't really matter what can and can't be proved - what matters is what senior Russian military and government figures believe and how they act upon that belief.

    Flynn exaggerated when he said there were 500 US troops killed by Iranian armour piercing IED supplied for that purpose, but it happened more than you are willing to accept

    https://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/patrick-goodenough/revealed-iranian-supplied-armor-piercing-ieds-killed-least-196-us

    http://www.newsweek.com/donald-trump-tweets-iran-protests-774224

    Mattis and McMaster—the two key figures trying to guide Trump through this crisis—are no friends of Tehran. Both were in Iraq when Iranian-trained militias and Iranian-made improvised explosive devices killed and maimed U.S. servicemen there. And as the principal architects of Trump’s Middle East policy, they also sense opportunity. The Iranian government instantly blamed the protests on “foreign actors”—by which it meant the United States, Saudi Arabia and Israel. They offered no proof of that, and none will likely come. Few outside the Iranian government dispute that the anger spreading throughout country is homegrown. But one of the demonstrators’ most frequent complaints, to the regime’s surprise, could be called Iran First: They want their government to stop spending the country’s money and resources on foreign military adventures. The U.S. supports that message too, and the generals around Trump want see if Tehran bows to those demands.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Randal

    Flynn exaggerated when he said there were 500 US troops killed by Iranian armour piercing IED supplied for that purpose, but it happened more than you are willing to accept
     
    I haven't denied it, or expressed any view here on how much it happened.

    My view, fwiw, is that it doesn't matter whether or to what degree the Iranians were assisting resistance forces in Iraq - the Americans were there as a result of an illegal war of aggression and resistance was legitimate as was assisting it. If Americans don't like their military getting killed occupying foreign countries then they should stop their leaders from invading foreign countries in the first place. And there's no reason to give hypocritical cry-babies like Flynn any respect whatsoever.

    I don't know how much direct assistance was provided (and don't care for the reasons set out above). My only concern is that the US regime and military failed to provide any actual proof of their allegations, which mitigated their ability to use them for war propaganda purposes.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  6. @Sean
    Flynn exaggerated when he said there were 500 US troops killed by Iranian armour piercing IED supplied for that purpose, but it happened more than you are willing to accept

    https://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/patrick-goodenough/revealed-iranian-supplied-armor-piercing-ieds-killed-least-196-us

    http://www.newsweek.com/donald-trump-tweets-iran-protests-774224

    Mattis and McMaster—the two key figures trying to guide Trump through this crisis—are no friends of Tehran. Both were in Iraq when Iranian-trained militias and Iranian-made improvised explosive devices killed and maimed U.S. servicemen there. And as the principal architects of Trump’s Middle East policy, they also sense opportunity. The Iranian government instantly blamed the protests on “foreign actors”—by which it meant the United States, Saudi Arabia and Israel. They offered no proof of that, and none will likely come. Few outside the Iranian government dispute that the anger spreading throughout country is homegrown. But one of the demonstrators’ most frequent complaints, to the regime’s surprise, could be called Iran First: They want their government to stop spending the country’s money and resources on foreign military adventures. The U.S. supports that message too, and the generals around Trump want see if Tehran bows to those demands.
     

    Flynn exaggerated when he said there were 500 US troops killed by Iranian armour piercing IED supplied for that purpose, but it happened more than you are willing to accept

    I haven’t denied it, or expressed any view here on how much it happened.

    My view, fwiw, is that it doesn’t matter whether or to what degree the Iranians were assisting resistance forces in Iraq – the Americans were there as a result of an illegal war of aggression and resistance was legitimate as was assisting it. If Americans don’t like their military getting killed occupying foreign countries then they should stop their leaders from invading foreign countries in the first place. And there’s no reason to give hypocritical cry-babies like Flynn any respect whatsoever.

    I don’t know how much direct assistance was provided (and don’t care for the reasons set out above). My only concern is that the US regime and military failed to provide any actual proof of their allegations, which mitigated their ability to use them for war propaganda purposes.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mitleser

    If Americans don’t like their military getting killed occupying foreign countries then they should stop their leaders from invading foreign countries in the first place.
     
    Even more importantly, don't hint that their neighbors are next once they are done with their current target.
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  7. This will give more justification for the Russians to continue their attacks on the “opposition’s army”. The Syrian opposition is been rewarded with funds and weapons by Saudi Arabia and the USA for torpedoing the Geneva meeting, their declared boycott of the Sochi conference and their insistence of Bashar Al Assad’s removal.
    After the first attack and now this one, the Russians have now an excellent pretext to totally annihilate the Syrian opposition military arm, thus depriving the opposition and their sponsors, Saudi Arabia, Israel from the only power they still have to stay on their position and reject Sochi.
    I expect decisive Russian military and diplomatic actions on the sponsors of the Syrian opposition before Sochi.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  8. These are the types of situations that can spark a major conflict and get us all killed.

    The fact of usage of strike aircraft-type drones by terrorists is the evidence that militants have received technologies to carry out terrorist attacks using such UAVs in any country.

    Is it just me, or does that sound like a not-so-thinly-veiled threat of retribution?

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  9. Obviously, nobody here heard of COTS–Commercial Off The Shelf. Yet, somehow everybody here so far misses the fact that Jihadists in Syria were getting much more complex systems, how about TOW missiles for one, than some cottage industry made drone.

    The sophisticated internals (navigation, control, etc.), and the swarm nature of the attack, is much more impressive, requiring a degree of logistics, testing, and technical expertise that one suspects might be beyond the capabilities of 80 average IQ Islamists,

    Utter BS.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Alden
    That’s what I was going to say, that they could easily have been bought somewhere either needing assembly or assembled. Probably were stolen from a military warehouse.
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  10. One theme worth noting, is how despite these bits of big-power wrangling … these big powers are yet continually strange bedfellows

    Look who China has just hired to do security for the Belt and Road initiative, particularly in the Xinjiang Uighur region and Yunnan Province -

    The deadly CIA mercenary group that used to be known as ‘Blackwater’, then became ‘Xe’ in 2009 and ‘Academi’ in 2011 … Erik Prince runs this group, his married-into-billions sister Betsy DeVos, is Trump’s Education Secretary

    Erik Prince recently offered to lead an off-the-books outside-the-CIA assassination army, killing around the world for the US government

    China has hired Erik Prince and Academi, tho, into a Beijing-controlled company, the Hong Kong Frontier Services Group … as they say, WTF? … This self-avowed CIA assassin is trusted to provide ‘security’ for China’s main big international project? … China perhaps thinks this is a good way to learn all the assassination etc tricks from a pro?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    I think by now the CIA has disavowed him and he might be looking for a new employers. He was pretty heavily disavowed for his Christian ideas and called a "Last Crusader", IIRC.

    Beyond that, Erik Prince has had James Bond villain ambitions for a long time - perhaps China is letting it see if he can actually be competent this time with proper oversight, rather than build crop dusters with las0rs.

    https://theintercept.com/2016/04/11/blackwater-founder-erik-prince-drive-to-build-private-air-force/

    , @Andrei Martyanov

    One theme worth noting, is how despite these bits of big-power wrangling … these big powers are yet continually strange bedfellows
     
    And such they will remain. US and China are economically in sort of this death dance akin to two black holes circling each-other before merging in a huge explosion. China is nobody's "friend" it merely wants to supplant the US as a globalist economic power, granted with a Chinese twist and flavor and on a somewhat more "fair" bases, for now. Meanwhile US trade deficit with China for 2018 is a whopping 344 billion.

    https://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/balance/c5700.html

    In the same time, do you think China is ready to "lose" US market? They are not that stupid to lose the market which almost single-handedly in 1990s and 2000s gave China her economic boom. And even today it is by far the most important China's market. China thinks it can get all of Europe and that is where the whole shebang will be happening soon (actually, already).
    , @Verymuchalive
    Brabantian, you have been certified a looney by our own beloved leader himself, Prince Regent Ronald Unz. You didn't contest the description.
    Your source for this story is the conspiratorial Veterans Today. You can surely do better. Any corroboration ?
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  11. @Randal
    OK, I should be clear from the outset that I have no objection in principle to the idea that this could represent direct US/Israeli/Saudi/Turkish assistance. Indeed, I think it quite likely. The following is devil's advocacy.

    The sophisticated internals (navigation, control, etc.), and the swarm nature of the attack, is much more impressive, requiring a degree of logistics, testing, and technical expertise that one suspects might be beyond the capabilities of 80 average IQ Islamists, who are currently losing and hard pressed enough as it is.
     
    This reminds me of the argument by the US occupying forces in Iraq that sophisticated EFPs used by the resistance forces came from Iran (U.S. Sees New Weapon In Iraq: Iranian EFPs), only to be countered later by sceptics pointing out that such warheads had been being made in Iraqi garage machine shops for some time (US Military Ignored Evidence of Iraqi-Made EFPs).

    In the end, people mostly ended up believing what they already wanted to believe.

    Similarly in this case, does it really need active external state assistance to knock up and operate these kinds of devices? I'm not a hobbyist, so my technical expertise in the area is non-existent, but is there necessarily anything in these systems that could not be bought in hobbyists's stores in the west and smuggled in easily (being, inherently, mostly small components)? Does any of it really require expertise beyond one or two hobbyist volunteers from the second generation muslim immigrant communities in the west?

    My suspicion is that, as in the Iraq case, people will just end up believing what suits their own established positions.

    Of course, the US military's firm belief that Iran helped kill American [occupying] soldiers in Iraq colours US policy today, via the Iranophobic attitudes of some of the most senior regime figures, including its SecDef. So in a sense it doesn't really matter what can and can't be proved - what matters is what senior Russian military and government figures believe and how they act upon that belief.

    OK, I should be clear from the outset that I have no objection in principle to the idea that this could represent direct US/Israeli/Saudi/Turkish assistance.

    OK. Let’s pretend I am a jihadi who needs to “guide” a drone:

    I will need (I deliberately will obfuscate and distort “prescription”–who knows who reads this:

    1. Gyroscope. I don’t even need gimbals and three degrees of freedom–one axis will be enough since it will work as gyro-azimuth. You can by this staff on-line from 100 to 2000 (laser) USD, easy. I just will need to know the so called “drift” (also easy).

    2. Feedback device (controller) for actuators on wings and rudder;

    3. Simplest radio-communications (radio-command)–it may be used once only for release of the explosives.

    4. Safe location outside the range of third ring of any base defense.

    5. Luck.

    All this is totally within technical capability of very many jihadis in Syria since many of them are actually military and some engineering professionals. Surely, people who can create remotely detonated devices can figure out something of this primitive nature. tHis pretty much blows out of the water all this “big game” crap. US and Saudis, plus some are behind many things in Syria–this is not the news.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Randal
    I don't think we are particularly disagreeing here.

    We agree basically that this attack is not necessarily evidence of external interference.

    All this is totally within technical capability of very many jihadis in Syria since many of them are actually military and some engineering professionals. Surely, people who can create remotely detonated devices can figure out something of this primitive nature.
     
    Practical flight operations are a pretty specialist engineering area.

    But even if the expertise could not be provided by some former SAAF officer, it could easily come from some western-based volunteer with a basic science education and some hobbyist experience, so that doesn't seem significant.
    , @Eagle Eye

    and another three UAVs exploded as they touched the ground.
     
    The drones were booby-trapped precisely to prevent Russia obtaining evidence of their origin etc.

    Primitive jihadis have less motivation to add a level of complexity to their UAV's.

    The carefully crafted wording of the Russian announcement is basically saying that they know which state is involved, and that no repeat performance will be tolerated.
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  12. @reiner Tor
    But it seems that while the first attack on December 31 seems to have been largely successful (perhaps because the Russians weren't watching), this second one was unsuccessful.

    Couldn't some hitherto unknown jihadists claim responsibility for attacking certain Israeli bases in the near future..?

    But it seems that while the first attack on December 31 seems to have been largely successful

    It was not “successful”, especially not the way this incompetent moron Saponkov lied about it, later spread around by this rag Kommersant and, as was expected, picked up by the Western “media”. Couple of guys got killed, sad, but the war is still ongoing there and à la guerre comme à la guerre. People die in operational zones for a whole host of reasons.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mitleser
    Don't dis Saponkov . He did actually confirm that Kommersant was wrong.
    , @reiner Tor
    If - as you say - it was cheap commercial off the shelf technology, then probably killing a couple soldiers and doing some material damage at a well guarded Russian military facility could qualify as "success". I guess no one believed such a cheap attack well within the capabilities of low IQ gangs could destroy or disable the base or a large portion of its warplanes.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  13. @Brabantian
    One theme worth noting, is how despite these bits of big-power wrangling ... these big powers are yet continually strange bedfellows

    Look who China has just hired to do security for the Belt and Road initiative, particularly in the Xinjiang Uighur region and Yunnan Province -

    The deadly CIA mercenary group that used to be known as 'Blackwater', then became 'Xe' in 2009 and 'Academi' in 2011 ... Erik Prince runs this group, his married-into-billions sister Betsy DeVos, is Trump's Education Secretary

    Erik Prince recently offered to lead an off-the-books outside-the-CIA assassination army, killing around the world for the US government

    China has hired Erik Prince and Academi, tho, into a Beijing-controlled company, the Hong Kong Frontier Services Group ... as they say, WTF? ... This self-avowed CIA assassin is trusted to provide 'security' for China's main big international project? ... China perhaps thinks this is a good way to learn all the assassination etc tricks from a pro?

    I think by now the CIA has disavowed him and he might be looking for a new employers. He was pretty heavily disavowed for his Christian ideas and called a “Last Crusader”, IIRC.

    Beyond that, Erik Prince has had James Bond villain ambitions for a long time – perhaps China is letting it see if he can actually be competent this time with proper oversight, rather than build crop dusters with las0rs.

    https://theintercept.com/2016/04/11/blackwater-founder-erik-prince-drive-to-build-private-air-force/

    Read More
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  14. @Brabantian
    One theme worth noting, is how despite these bits of big-power wrangling ... these big powers are yet continually strange bedfellows

    Look who China has just hired to do security for the Belt and Road initiative, particularly in the Xinjiang Uighur region and Yunnan Province -

    The deadly CIA mercenary group that used to be known as 'Blackwater', then became 'Xe' in 2009 and 'Academi' in 2011 ... Erik Prince runs this group, his married-into-billions sister Betsy DeVos, is Trump's Education Secretary

    Erik Prince recently offered to lead an off-the-books outside-the-CIA assassination army, killing around the world for the US government

    China has hired Erik Prince and Academi, tho, into a Beijing-controlled company, the Hong Kong Frontier Services Group ... as they say, WTF? ... This self-avowed CIA assassin is trusted to provide 'security' for China's main big international project? ... China perhaps thinks this is a good way to learn all the assassination etc tricks from a pro?

    One theme worth noting, is how despite these bits of big-power wrangling … these big powers are yet continually strange bedfellows

    And such they will remain. US and China are economically in sort of this death dance akin to two black holes circling each-other before merging in a huge explosion. China is nobody’s “friend” it merely wants to supplant the US as a globalist economic power, granted with a Chinese twist and flavor and on a somewhat more “fair” bases, for now. Meanwhile US trade deficit with China for 2018 is a whopping 344 billion.

    https://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/balance/c5700.html

    In the same time, do you think China is ready to “lose” US market? They are not that stupid to lose the market which almost single-handedly in 1990s and 2000s gave China her economic boom. And even today it is by far the most important China’s market. China thinks it can get all of Europe and that is where the whole shebang will be happening soon (actually, already).

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mitleser

    China thinks it can get all of Europe and that is where the whole shebang will be happening soon (actually, already).
     
    Asian markets will be even more important than European market, and that is where China's position is stronger than elsewhere.
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  15. @Andrei Martyanov

    OK, I should be clear from the outset that I have no objection in principle to the idea that this could represent direct US/Israeli/Saudi/Turkish assistance.
     
    OK. Let's pretend I am a jihadi who needs to "guide" a drone:

    I will need (I deliberately will obfuscate and distort "prescription"--who knows who reads this:

    1. Gyroscope. I don't even need gimbals and three degrees of freedom--one axis will be enough since it will work as gyro-azimuth. You can by this staff on-line from 100 to 2000 (laser) USD, easy. I just will need to know the so called "drift" (also easy).

    2. Feedback device (controller) for actuators on wings and rudder;

    3. Simplest radio-communications (radio-command)--it may be used once only for release of the explosives.

    4. Safe location outside the range of third ring of any base defense.

    5. Luck.

    All this is totally within technical capability of very many jihadis in Syria since many of them are actually military and some engineering professionals. Surely, people who can create remotely detonated devices can figure out something of this primitive nature. tHis pretty much blows out of the water all this "big game" crap. US and Saudis, plus some are behind many things in Syria--this is not the news.

    I don’t think we are particularly disagreeing here.

    We agree basically that this attack is not necessarily evidence of external interference.

    All this is totally within technical capability of very many jihadis in Syria since many of them are actually military and some engineering professionals. Surely, people who can create remotely detonated devices can figure out something of this primitive nature.

    Practical flight operations are a pretty specialist engineering area.

    But even if the expertise could not be provided by some former SAAF officer, it could easily come from some western-based volunteer with a basic science education and some hobbyist experience, so that doesn’t seem significant.

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    • Agree: Andrei Martyanov
    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov

    Practical flight operations are a pretty specialist engineering area.
     
    Russian MOD and people such as Bondarev (former VKS C'n'C and now Federation Council Security Committee Chair) will continue to press home the point that US had a hand in it thus applying additional pressure on US through media to be more cooperative and, in case of Bondarev, for a domestic reasons. Possibly, budgetary ones included.
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  16. Bibi has no use for Putin after getting White House back on track with Trump replacing Obama?

    Israel was the precursor of military use of hobbyist drones.

    http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/drones-to-martial-arts-things-you-must-know-about-israel-ahead-of-modi-s-historic-visit/story-hPItuIu7jtb8qKKqUtYeEP.html
    Drones: The first military use of unmanned aerial vehicles was by the Israeli military in the Yom Kippur War. Their inventor, Baghdad-born Israeli Abrahem Karem, later developed a series of drones including Amber, the precursor to the most famous US armed drone, the Predator. Karem is today settled in the US where he has earned the title “dronefather”. Tens of thousands of drones are now made by nearly 40 countries around the world and they are widely seen as the future of aerial combat. After the US, Israel is seen as the world’s foremost drone maker. India has bought so many that its fleet of Israeli-made drones is larger than Israel’s own fleet. Israel has also launched the Protector, an armed unmanned boat that protects the country’s coasts and can be used to fight fires.

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  17. @Randal
    I don't think we are particularly disagreeing here.

    We agree basically that this attack is not necessarily evidence of external interference.

    All this is totally within technical capability of very many jihadis in Syria since many of them are actually military and some engineering professionals. Surely, people who can create remotely detonated devices can figure out something of this primitive nature.
     
    Practical flight operations are a pretty specialist engineering area.

    But even if the expertise could not be provided by some former SAAF officer, it could easily come from some western-based volunteer with a basic science education and some hobbyist experience, so that doesn't seem significant.

    Practical flight operations are a pretty specialist engineering area.

    Russian MOD and people such as Bondarev (former VKS C’n’C and now Federation Council Security Committee Chair) will continue to press home the point that US had a hand in it thus applying additional pressure on US through media to be more cooperative and, in case of Bondarev, for a domestic reasons. Possibly, budgetary ones included.

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    Apparently an American spy plane was circling around the bases while the attack took place. Moreover, a probably nonexistent Syrian rebel group took responsibility. These two data points indicate direct American involvement.

    Even if it was commercial off the shelf technology, it was well executed. Something which Arabs might be capable of doing occasionally, but they are more likely to screw it up, especially the first time they do it.
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  18. @Brabantian
    One theme worth noting, is how despite these bits of big-power wrangling ... these big powers are yet continually strange bedfellows

    Look who China has just hired to do security for the Belt and Road initiative, particularly in the Xinjiang Uighur region and Yunnan Province -

    The deadly CIA mercenary group that used to be known as 'Blackwater', then became 'Xe' in 2009 and 'Academi' in 2011 ... Erik Prince runs this group, his married-into-billions sister Betsy DeVos, is Trump's Education Secretary

    Erik Prince recently offered to lead an off-the-books outside-the-CIA assassination army, killing around the world for the US government

    China has hired Erik Prince and Academi, tho, into a Beijing-controlled company, the Hong Kong Frontier Services Group ... as they say, WTF? ... This self-avowed CIA assassin is trusted to provide 'security' for China's main big international project? ... China perhaps thinks this is a good way to learn all the assassination etc tricks from a pro?

    Brabantian, you have been certified a looney by our own beloved leader himself, Prince Regent Ronald Unz. You didn’t contest the description.
    Your source for this story is the conspiratorial Veterans Today. You can surely do better. Any corroboration ?

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    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov

    Your source for this story is the conspiratorial Veterans Today.
     
    Technically you are right. Veterans Today is a highly dubious resource. But the origin of the story is from a very respected author and resource:

    https://journal-neo.org/2018/01/04/major-beijing-bri-security-fiasco-emerging/

    VT simply re-printed it.
    , @Alden
    Veterans today LOL
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  19. @Verymuchalive
    Brabantian, you have been certified a looney by our own beloved leader himself, Prince Regent Ronald Unz. You didn't contest the description.
    Your source for this story is the conspiratorial Veterans Today. You can surely do better. Any corroboration ?

    Your source for this story is the conspiratorial Veterans Today.

    Technically you are right. Veterans Today is a highly dubious resource. But the origin of the story is from a very respected author and resource:

    https://journal-neo.org/2018/01/04/major-beijing-bri-security-fiasco-emerging/

    VT simply re-printed it.

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  20. Well…..I believe it’s quite possible that the attack was done without any explicit help from …..USA.

    I also believe that USA knew the attack was going to happen.Contacts, observations etc.

    So, the interesting question could be:
    Did USA tell Russia the attack was going to happen/imminent?

    If not, well, those could be seen, in effect, attacks by proxy.
    An escalation of sort.

    Not serious, but, not good either.
    Not good start of the year.

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  21. US spy plane circled between Russian airbase & port facility during Syria drone attack – MoD

    https://www.rt.com/news/415374-drones-syria-terrorists-russian-defense/

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  22. @Randal

    Flynn exaggerated when he said there were 500 US troops killed by Iranian armour piercing IED supplied for that purpose, but it happened more than you are willing to accept
     
    I haven't denied it, or expressed any view here on how much it happened.

    My view, fwiw, is that it doesn't matter whether or to what degree the Iranians were assisting resistance forces in Iraq - the Americans were there as a result of an illegal war of aggression and resistance was legitimate as was assisting it. If Americans don't like their military getting killed occupying foreign countries then they should stop their leaders from invading foreign countries in the first place. And there's no reason to give hypocritical cry-babies like Flynn any respect whatsoever.

    I don't know how much direct assistance was provided (and don't care for the reasons set out above). My only concern is that the US regime and military failed to provide any actual proof of their allegations, which mitigated their ability to use them for war propaganda purposes.

    If Americans don’t like their military getting killed occupying foreign countries then they should stop their leaders from invading foreign countries in the first place.

    Even more importantly, don’t hint that their neighbors are next once they are done with their current target.

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  23. @Andrei Martyanov

    But it seems that while the first attack on December 31 seems to have been largely successful
     
    It was not "successful", especially not the way this incompetent moron Saponkov lied about it, later spread around by this rag Kommersant and, as was expected, picked up by the Western "media". Couple of guys got killed, sad, but the war is still ongoing there and à la guerre comme à la guerre. People die in operational zones for a whole host of reasons.

    Don’t dis Saponkov . He did actually confirm that Kommersant was wrong.

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    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov

    Don’t dis Saponkov . He did actually confirm that Kommersant was wrong.
     
    We obviously live in different realities.
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  24. @Andrei Martyanov

    One theme worth noting, is how despite these bits of big-power wrangling … these big powers are yet continually strange bedfellows
     
    And such they will remain. US and China are economically in sort of this death dance akin to two black holes circling each-other before merging in a huge explosion. China is nobody's "friend" it merely wants to supplant the US as a globalist economic power, granted with a Chinese twist and flavor and on a somewhat more "fair" bases, for now. Meanwhile US trade deficit with China for 2018 is a whopping 344 billion.

    https://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/balance/c5700.html

    In the same time, do you think China is ready to "lose" US market? They are not that stupid to lose the market which almost single-handedly in 1990s and 2000s gave China her economic boom. And even today it is by far the most important China's market. China thinks it can get all of Europe and that is where the whole shebang will be happening soon (actually, already).

    China thinks it can get all of Europe and that is where the whole shebang will be happening soon (actually, already).

    Asian markets will be even more important than European market, and that is where China’s position is stronger than elsewhere.

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    • Replies: @JL
    They already own Asia, in that respect, though. Andrei's right, this is a hidden element in the Ukraine crisis that no one is talking about. Europe has essentially relegated itself to becoming an object of history, not a subject, and is now a battleground between the US and China for its market. Europe is still pretty sizable and rich, and will remain that way for some time.
    , @Andrei Martyanov

    Asian markets will be even more important than European market
     
    No. They will not. Add here Japan and S.Korea and the picture becomes way more complex. Then, there is the issue of Taiwan.
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  25. @Mitleser

    China thinks it can get all of Europe and that is where the whole shebang will be happening soon (actually, already).
     
    Asian markets will be even more important than European market, and that is where China's position is stronger than elsewhere.

    They already own Asia, in that respect, though. Andrei’s right, this is a hidden element in the Ukraine crisis that no one is talking about. Europe has essentially relegated itself to becoming an object of history, not a subject, and is now a battleground between the US and China for its market. Europe is still pretty sizable and rich, and will remain that way for some time.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov

    Europe is still pretty sizable and rich, and will remain that way for some time.
     
    Exactly-700 million people with extremely high standard of living and massive purchasing power.

    http://www.worldometers.info/world-population/europe-population/

    I guess the choice between some populous shithole in Asia and the most developed economically area of the world is not a difficult one for China, and that is what they crave above all. But wait for my article (I was extremely distracted this week) where I am trying to review the actual game and this is a big one. I can give a hint: Putin's conversation with young people at Valdai couple-there months ago;)

    , @AP
    China is investing heavily in Ukraine right now, dredging a port, building highways, etc.
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  26. Europe has essentially relegated itself to becoming an object of history, not a subject, and is now a battleground between the US and China for its market.

    I hope so.
    We deserve it.

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  27. @Andrei Martyanov

    But it seems that while the first attack on December 31 seems to have been largely successful
     
    It was not "successful", especially not the way this incompetent moron Saponkov lied about it, later spread around by this rag Kommersant and, as was expected, picked up by the Western "media". Couple of guys got killed, sad, but the war is still ongoing there and à la guerre comme à la guerre. People die in operational zones for a whole host of reasons.

    If – as you say – it was cheap commercial off the shelf technology, then probably killing a couple soldiers and doing some material damage at a well guarded Russian military facility could qualify as “success”. I guess no one believed such a cheap attack well within the capabilities of low IQ gangs could destroy or disable the base or a large portion of its warplanes.

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    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov

    If – as you say – it was cheap commercial off the shelf technology
     
    It was. New photographs from MoD merely confirm this:

    https://vz.ru/news/2018/1/10/902886.html

    I guess no one believed such a cheap attack well within the capabilities of low IQ gangs could destroy or disable the base or a large portion of its warplanes.
     
    Can you specify who are those "no one"? Semi-literate journos, population of Kongo, hot-dog vendors?

    then probably killing a couple soldiers and doing some material damage at a well guarded Russian military facility could qualify as “success”
     
    Well, if one defines this as success, then sure. Obviously, what follows after that "no one" will discuss, right?
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  28. @Andrei Martyanov

    Practical flight operations are a pretty specialist engineering area.
     
    Russian MOD and people such as Bondarev (former VKS C'n'C and now Federation Council Security Committee Chair) will continue to press home the point that US had a hand in it thus applying additional pressure on US through media to be more cooperative and, in case of Bondarev, for a domestic reasons. Possibly, budgetary ones included.

    Apparently an American spy plane was circling around the bases while the attack took place. Moreover, a probably nonexistent Syrian rebel group took responsibility. These two data points indicate direct American involvement.

    Even if it was commercial off the shelf technology, it was well executed. Something which Arabs might be capable of doing occasionally, but they are more likely to screw it up, especially the first time they do it.

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    • Replies: @Sean
    The US's proxies have been ineffective in Syria despite vast resources, and the attack seems too creative and cost effective for them. Anyway, I cannot see the deliberate killing of Russians being authorised by the US leadership . Russia are never going to leave Syria now because the danger on engaging Russian forces inhibits any US initiative against Assad. Covert nuisance attacks are more likely to lead to the Russians strengthening their presence than leaving. Syria is a disaster for the US and they are turning their attention to Iran.

    A swarm of small drones seems like a good strategy but one that would work only when it was a surprise so why waste it on a probe

    , @Andrei Martyanov

    Apparently an American spy plane was circling around the bases while the attack took place.
     
    The US conducts practically non-stop surveillance over Khmeimim and Tartus. P-8 Poseidon which was in the vicinity could have been merely for surveillance and had nothing to do with "guidance" of the drones and I already touched somewhat on what it takes to guide a primitive flying jalopy. As was expected, latest attempt failed completely. Latest Russian MoD clarification on where this attack originated points out to Turkey, which summon of Russia's Ambassador to Turkey to Turkish Foreign Ministry the other day confirms. Considering Turkey's chaotic and often sloppy and irrational actions in the past 3 years there is very little doubt that some rogue Turkish elements with proper technical background could have been involved. This, however, considering a mess which Syria currently is, especially around and in Idlib, is no surprise at all.
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  29. @reiner Tor
    Apparently an American spy plane was circling around the bases while the attack took place. Moreover, a probably nonexistent Syrian rebel group took responsibility. These two data points indicate direct American involvement.

    Even if it was commercial off the shelf technology, it was well executed. Something which Arabs might be capable of doing occasionally, but they are more likely to screw it up, especially the first time they do it.

    The US’s proxies have been ineffective in Syria despite vast resources, and the attack seems too creative and cost effective for them. Anyway, I cannot see the deliberate killing of Russians being authorised by the US leadership . Russia are never going to leave Syria now because the danger on engaging Russian forces inhibits any US initiative against Assad. Covert nuisance attacks are more likely to lead to the Russians strengthening their presence than leaving. Syria is a disaster for the US and they are turning their attention to Iran.

    A swarm of small drones seems like a good strategy but one that would work only when it was a surprise so why waste it on a probe

    Read More
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  30. @reiner Tor
    If - as you say - it was cheap commercial off the shelf technology, then probably killing a couple soldiers and doing some material damage at a well guarded Russian military facility could qualify as "success". I guess no one believed such a cheap attack well within the capabilities of low IQ gangs could destroy or disable the base or a large portion of its warplanes.

    If – as you say – it was cheap commercial off the shelf technology

    It was. New photographs from MoD merely confirm this:

    https://vz.ru/news/2018/1/10/902886.html

    I guess no one believed such a cheap attack well within the capabilities of low IQ gangs could destroy or disable the base or a large portion of its warplanes.

    Can you specify who are those “no one”? Semi-literate journos, population of Kongo, hot-dog vendors?

    then probably killing a couple soldiers and doing some material damage at a well guarded Russian military facility could qualify as “success”

    Well, if one defines this as success, then sure. Obviously, what follows after that “no one” will discuss, right?

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor

    Can you specify who are those “no one”?
     
    Would you be able to destroy the Russian base using cheap COTS technology operated by 80 IQ incompetent Arab hicks? And if operated by competent soldiers?

    If your answer is yes, than Russia is in a seriously vulnerable position. I didn't think that was your position before, but I live to learn.

    If your answer is no, then, well, no one with any expertise could've expected to destroy the base.

    Well, if one defines this as success, then sure.
     
    Killing Russian soldiers using cheap weapons is not something those rebels often did before. So doing it on December 31 is definitely a success: they did better than before.
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  31. @reiner Tor
    Apparently an American spy plane was circling around the bases while the attack took place. Moreover, a probably nonexistent Syrian rebel group took responsibility. These two data points indicate direct American involvement.

    Even if it was commercial off the shelf technology, it was well executed. Something which Arabs might be capable of doing occasionally, but they are more likely to screw it up, especially the first time they do it.

    Apparently an American spy plane was circling around the bases while the attack took place.

    The US conducts practically non-stop surveillance over Khmeimim and Tartus. P-8 Poseidon which was in the vicinity could have been merely for surveillance and had nothing to do with “guidance” of the drones and I already touched somewhat on what it takes to guide a primitive flying jalopy. As was expected, latest attempt failed completely. Latest Russian MoD clarification on where this attack originated points out to Turkey, which summon of Russia’s Ambassador to Turkey to Turkish Foreign Ministry the other day confirms. Considering Turkey’s chaotic and often sloppy and irrational actions in the past 3 years there is very little doubt that some rogue Turkish elements with proper technical background could have been involved. This, however, considering a mess which Syria currently is, especially around and in Idlib, is no surprise at all.

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  32. @JL
    They already own Asia, in that respect, though. Andrei's right, this is a hidden element in the Ukraine crisis that no one is talking about. Europe has essentially relegated itself to becoming an object of history, not a subject, and is now a battleground between the US and China for its market. Europe is still pretty sizable and rich, and will remain that way for some time.

    Europe is still pretty sizable and rich, and will remain that way for some time.

    Exactly-700 million people with extremely high standard of living and massive purchasing power.

    http://www.worldometers.info/world-population/europe-population/

    I guess the choice between some populous shithole in Asia and the most developed economically area of the world is not a difficult one for China, and that is what they crave above all. But wait for my article (I was extremely distracted this week) where I am trying to review the actual game and this is a big one. I can give a hint: Putin’s conversation with young people at Valdai couple-there months ago;)

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  33. @Mitleser

    China thinks it can get all of Europe and that is where the whole shebang will be happening soon (actually, already).
     
    Asian markets will be even more important than European market, and that is where China's position is stronger than elsewhere.

    Asian markets will be even more important than European market

    No. They will not. Add here Japan and S.Korea and the picture becomes way more complex. Then, there is the issue of Taiwan.

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  34. @JL
    They already own Asia, in that respect, though. Andrei's right, this is a hidden element in the Ukraine crisis that no one is talking about. Europe has essentially relegated itself to becoming an object of history, not a subject, and is now a battleground between the US and China for its market. Europe is still pretty sizable and rich, and will remain that way for some time.

    China is investing heavily in Ukraine right now, dredging a port, building highways, etc.

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    • Replies: @Philip Owen
    Huge farms.
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  35. @Mitleser
    Don't dis Saponkov . He did actually confirm that Kommersant was wrong.

    Don’t dis Saponkov . He did actually confirm that Kommersant was wrong.

    We obviously live in different realities.

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  36. @Andrei Martyanov

    If – as you say – it was cheap commercial off the shelf technology
     
    It was. New photographs from MoD merely confirm this:

    https://vz.ru/news/2018/1/10/902886.html

    I guess no one believed such a cheap attack well within the capabilities of low IQ gangs could destroy or disable the base or a large portion of its warplanes.
     
    Can you specify who are those "no one"? Semi-literate journos, population of Kongo, hot-dog vendors?

    then probably killing a couple soldiers and doing some material damage at a well guarded Russian military facility could qualify as “success”
     
    Well, if one defines this as success, then sure. Obviously, what follows after that "no one" will discuss, right?

    Can you specify who are those “no one”?

    Would you be able to destroy the Russian base using cheap COTS technology operated by 80 IQ incompetent Arab hicks? And if operated by competent soldiers?

    If your answer is yes, than Russia is in a seriously vulnerable position. I didn’t think that was your position before, but I live to learn.

    If your answer is no, then, well, no one with any expertise could’ve expected to destroy the base.

    Well, if one defines this as success, then sure.

    Killing Russian soldiers using cheap weapons is not something those rebels often did before. So doing it on December 31 is definitely a success: they did better than before.

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    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov

    Killing Russian soldiers using cheap weapons is not something those rebels often did before.
     
    Any IED, RPG or bullets are not particularly expensive.

    Would you be able to destroy the Russian base using cheap COTS technology operated by 80 IQ incompetent Arab hicks? And if operated by competent soldiers?
     
    Russian base was "destroyed"? First time I hear this. Again, it is really difficult to communicate with people who speak in journo platitudes instead of normal competent language. What is "destroyed"? Can you hit (if you are lucky) some aircraft or personnel on the base using drones? Yes. Can you "destroy", "damage", "take out of operation", "prevent flight operations", and on, and on, and on the base which is defended by Pantsir AD systems as Khmeimim is? Very doubtful.

    P.S. Please, leave this IQ=80 BS to Anatoly to "investigate". Obviously neither you nor him ever read Sun Tzu. I will only say this: operations by IS and JAN, among others, were conducted under the command and guidance of people who have normal IQ and, what is the most important, skills and knowledge to do so. Those people were not of European descent.
    , @bb.

    80 IQ incompetent Arab
     
    while they do have an iq 83 avg in Syria, they are not Arabs. (
    Yemenis and Saudis both associate strongly with Egyptians, whereas the Jordanian, Lebanese, Palestinian, and Syrian populations clustered together. Thus, the Arabian Peninsula population clusters were relatively differentiated from the more northern Levantine populations.
    (http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0054616#Y-Chromosome)

    and they also cluster with the various jewish groups tightly:
    Solid triangles represent Jewish populations, solid squares represent Middle Eastern populations, and open circles represent all other populations
    (http://www.pnas.org/content/97/12/6769.figures-only)

    http://www.pnas.org/content/97/12/6769/F2.large.jpg

    so the low iq score might be an eduction problem..fixable, with right motivation, which war is I suppose.
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  37. @reiner Tor

    Can you specify who are those “no one”?
     
    Would you be able to destroy the Russian base using cheap COTS technology operated by 80 IQ incompetent Arab hicks? And if operated by competent soldiers?

    If your answer is yes, than Russia is in a seriously vulnerable position. I didn't think that was your position before, but I live to learn.

    If your answer is no, then, well, no one with any expertise could've expected to destroy the base.

    Well, if one defines this as success, then sure.
     
    Killing Russian soldiers using cheap weapons is not something those rebels often did before. So doing it on December 31 is definitely a success: they did better than before.

    Killing Russian soldiers using cheap weapons is not something those rebels often did before.

    Any IED, RPG or bullets are not particularly expensive.

    Would you be able to destroy the Russian base using cheap COTS technology operated by 80 IQ incompetent Arab hicks? And if operated by competent soldiers?

    Russian base was “destroyed”? First time I hear this. Again, it is really difficult to communicate with people who speak in journo platitudes instead of normal competent language. What is “destroyed”? Can you hit (if you are lucky) some aircraft or personnel on the base using drones? Yes. Can you “destroy”, “damage”, “take out of operation”, “prevent flight operations”, and on, and on, and on the base which is defended by Pantsir AD systems as Khmeimim is? Very doubtful.

    P.S. Please, leave this IQ=80 BS to Anatoly to “investigate”. Obviously neither you nor him ever read Sun Tzu. I will only say this: operations by IS and JAN, among others, were conducted under the command and guidance of people who have normal IQ and, what is the most important, skills and knowledge to do so. Those people were not of European descent.

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    • Replies: @reiner Tor

    Russian base was “destroyed”? First time I hear this.
     
    I didn’t say that. Maybe I didn’t make my point clear enough.

    My point was that since no one could have expected the base to be destroyed, their goal must’ve been more modest, like sowing some confusion and killing a few soldiers. Damaging some equipment might have been a goal, too.

    By these metrics, the first attack was a success. They killed a couple of soldiers and damaged some equipment, nothing more could have been expected.

    Any IED, RPG or bullets are not particularly expensive.
     
    First, they couldn’t have damaged anything within the Russian base using these. And second, they didn’t kill many Russians using these or any other weapons either. The total Russian losses (including contractors) are probably around or below 200, the majority of them contractors. This was then 1% of all Russian losses in one attack, not bad. The fact that they were soldiers (politically way more valuable targets than contractors) makes it even more of a success.

    Not a great success, it won’t win them the war, a very modest success (inherently couldn’t have been more due to the modest scale and goals of the attack), but a success nevertheless.
    , @reiner Tor

    operations by IS and JAN, among others, were conducted under the command and guidance of people who have normal IQ and, what is the most important, skills and knowledge to do so.
     
    They might’ve been more competent than their counterparts in the Syrian (and, in the case of IS, Iraqi) military (militaries), but that’s what I call a low bar.

    Never before did they manage (or even try) such an attack.

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  38. Alexander Mercouris: Drone attack on Russian bases launched from Turkish controlled area

    Yesterday reports from Russia spoke of the drone attack using US sourced technology and of the attack coinciding with the presence of a US Poseidon surveillance aircraft close to the bases.

    Today Russia’s Ministry of Defence says is saying that the drone attack was launched from a Turkish controlled area in the heart of a so-called ‘de-escalation zone’ in north west Syria’s Idlib province.

    These two incidents should dampen optimism about the state of the Syrian conflict.

    Firstly, they highlight against what remains the single greatest weakness of Russia’s Syrian strategy. This is the extent to which it depends for its ultimate success on the cooperation of Turkey and of Turkish President Erdogan.

    President Erdogan is not however a reliable ally of Russia’s or indeed of anyone else, and in Syria he is pursuing a complex strategy based on calculations of his own and Turkey’s self-interest which do not necessarily correspond with Russia’s. By way of example, President Erdogan continue from time to time to restate his hostility to the Syrian government and to Syrian President Assad personally, both of whom the Russians are at present supporting. …

    The fact that Al-Qaeda was left undisturbed to launch the drone attack from the heart of a de-escalation zone supposedly controlled by the Turkish military shows that the links between President Erdogan’s government and Al-Qaeda have still not been fully severed and that the Turkish military is prepared to turn a blind eye to its activities.

    That of course assumes that the Turkish military and/or Turkish intelligence had no direct role in the attack. That they did is however unfortunately perfectly possible, and would not be out of keeping with the complex double-game President Erdogan has frequently played over the course of the Syrian war.

    President Erdogan has made it repeatedly clear that he considers Syria or at least northern Syria, to fall within what might be described as Turkey’s sphere of influence, and there have been longstanding concerns within Syria that he harbours longterm designs on Aleppo.

    The permanent presence of large Russian bases in north west Syria cuts directly across all this, and it would not be at all surprising if President Erdogan were secretly unhappy about it and countenanced pinprick military strikes in order to warn the Russians against it.

    Read More
    • Replies: @iffen
    If you can shoot them out of the air and suffer little in the way of adverse consequences, why wouldn't you shoot them on the ground?
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  39. @Anatoly Karlin
    Alexander Mercouris: Drone attack on Russian bases launched from Turkish controlled area

    Yesterday reports from Russia spoke of the drone attack using US sourced technology and of the attack coinciding with the presence of a US Poseidon surveillance aircraft close to the bases.

    Today Russia’s Ministry of Defence says is saying that the drone attack was launched from a Turkish controlled area in the heart of a so-called ‘de-escalation zone’ in north west Syria’s Idlib province.
     

    These two incidents should dampen optimism about the state of the Syrian conflict.

    Firstly, they highlight against what remains the single greatest weakness of Russia’s Syrian strategy. This is the extent to which it depends for its ultimate success on the cooperation of Turkey and of Turkish President Erdogan.

    President Erdogan is not however a reliable ally of Russia’s or indeed of anyone else, and in Syria he is pursuing a complex strategy based on calculations of his own and Turkey’s self-interest which do not necessarily correspond with Russia’s. By way of example, President Erdogan continue from time to time to restate his hostility to the Syrian government and to Syrian President Assad personally, both of whom the Russians are at present supporting. ...

    The fact that Al-Qaeda was left undisturbed to launch the drone attack from the heart of a de-escalation zone supposedly controlled by the Turkish military shows that the links between President Erdogan’s government and Al-Qaeda have still not been fully severed and that the Turkish military is prepared to turn a blind eye to its activities.

    That of course assumes that the Turkish military and/or Turkish intelligence had no direct role in the attack. That they did is however unfortunately perfectly possible, and would not be out of keeping with the complex double-game President Erdogan has frequently played over the course of the Syrian war.

    President Erdogan has made it repeatedly clear that he considers Syria or at least northern Syria, to fall within what might be described as Turkey’s sphere of influence, and there have been longstanding concerns within Syria that he harbours longterm designs on Aleppo.

    The permanent presence of large Russian bases in north west Syria cuts directly across all this, and it would not be at all surprising if President Erdogan were secretly unhappy about it and countenanced pinprick military strikes in order to warn the Russians against it.
     

    If you can shoot them out of the air and suffer little in the way of adverse consequences, why wouldn’t you shoot them on the ground?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Randal
    Why does your kind try to pretend Turkey suffered "little in the way of adverse consequences" from the shooting down of a Russian plane (which I assume is what you are coyly referring to here)?

    It's not the first time I've seen this fantasy, whereas in the real world I recall Erdogan was rather effectively and humiliatingly brought to heel (and for sure they were very careful not to do it again).

    If you are laughably suggesting a better response would have been military counter-strikes and perhaps in some playground kind of manner implying Putin or Russia showed some kind of inadequacy in not doing that, then I suggest you reserve your childish fantasies for the Washington elite where they might actually pass for the kind of policy proposals those serial incompetents would entertain.
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  40. @reiner Tor

    Can you specify who are those “no one”?
     
    Would you be able to destroy the Russian base using cheap COTS technology operated by 80 IQ incompetent Arab hicks? And if operated by competent soldiers?

    If your answer is yes, than Russia is in a seriously vulnerable position. I didn't think that was your position before, but I live to learn.

    If your answer is no, then, well, no one with any expertise could've expected to destroy the base.

    Well, if one defines this as success, then sure.
     
    Killing Russian soldiers using cheap weapons is not something those rebels often did before. So doing it on December 31 is definitely a success: they did better than before.

    80 IQ incompetent Arab

    while they do have an iq 83 avg in Syria, they are not Arabs. (
    Yemenis and Saudis both associate strongly with Egyptians, whereas the Jordanian, Lebanese, Palestinian, and Syrian populations clustered together. Thus, the Arabian Peninsula population clusters were relatively differentiated from the more northern Levantine populations.
    (http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0054616#Y-Chromosome)

    and they also cluster with the various jewish groups tightly:
    Solid triangles represent Jewish populations, solid squares represent Middle Eastern populations, and open circles represent all other populations
    (http://www.pnas.org/content/97/12/6769.figures-only)

    so the low iq score might be an eduction problem..fixable, with right motivation, which war is I suppose.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov

    Thus, the Arabian Peninsula population clusters were relatively differentiated from the more northern Levantine populations.
     
    Levant is the place where Islam met Christianity first big time. Islam WAS dazzled by Christian civilization then. It also tried to incorporate some of its features during first four Caliphs. Without great success.
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  41. @iffen
    If you can shoot them out of the air and suffer little in the way of adverse consequences, why wouldn't you shoot them on the ground?

    Why does your kind try to pretend Turkey suffered “little in the way of adverse consequences” from the shooting down of a Russian plane (which I assume is what you are coyly referring to here)?

    It’s not the first time I’ve seen this fantasy, whereas in the real world I recall Erdogan was rather effectively and humiliatingly brought to heel (and for sure they were very careful not to do it again).

    If you are laughably suggesting a better response would have been military counter-strikes and perhaps in some playground kind of manner implying Putin or Russia showed some kind of inadequacy in not doing that, then I suggest you reserve your childish fantasies for the Washington elite where they might actually pass for the kind of policy proposals those serial incompetents would entertain.

    Read More
    • Replies: @iffen
    your kind

    My kind? Please tell us more, Randy.

    It’s not the first time I’ve seen this fantasy

    Most of my fantasies include big tits, not ones like yours of "socially radical leftists" trying to take over Iran.
    , @peterAUS

    I recall Erdogan was rather effectively and humiliatingly brought to heel (and for sure they were very careful not to do it again).
     
    Well, as far as Turks are concerned there is but only one rule and that rule only:
    Do NOT trust the Turks.
    All the rest flows from there.

    Now, that probably doesn't work with West, Brits/Americans in particular, but as far as East is concerned, Russia in particular, I am quite sure that Putin and guys around him stick to that rule.

    Now, they didn't do that again.
    They did this.

    So, as far as


    a better response would have been military counter-strikes
     
    Actually....yes......

    Like shooting down one of Turkish jets. Just one.

    Or, in case like this bombing into dust the place where the attack originated.
    Failing that send SF and kill everyone and his/her dog on the ground.
    Failing that, which I expect will happen, "drone" somebody there of importance.
    Some other options too, but, a superpower MUST retaliate. Not defend....RETALIATE.

    The superpower protects its people by threatening serious retaliation. NOT by better defending own people on the ground. Just doesn't work that way.
    Attacker must be scared of trying. Not worried of failing when trying.
    Capital punishment as principle?

    Or, we'll see something else. Rule No.1.
    Not good for troops morale on the ground.

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  42. @Randal
    Why does your kind try to pretend Turkey suffered "little in the way of adverse consequences" from the shooting down of a Russian plane (which I assume is what you are coyly referring to here)?

    It's not the first time I've seen this fantasy, whereas in the real world I recall Erdogan was rather effectively and humiliatingly brought to heel (and for sure they were very careful not to do it again).

    If you are laughably suggesting a better response would have been military counter-strikes and perhaps in some playground kind of manner implying Putin or Russia showed some kind of inadequacy in not doing that, then I suggest you reserve your childish fantasies for the Washington elite where they might actually pass for the kind of policy proposals those serial incompetents would entertain.

    your kind

    My kind? Please tell us more, Randy.

    It’s not the first time I’ve seen this fantasy

    Most of my fantasies include big tits, not ones like yours of “socially radical leftists” trying to take over Iran.

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    Small or medium size tits are good, too.
    , @Randal
    So no excuse or explanation for the stupid fantasy, then.
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  43. @Andrei Martyanov

    Killing Russian soldiers using cheap weapons is not something those rebels often did before.
     
    Any IED, RPG or bullets are not particularly expensive.

    Would you be able to destroy the Russian base using cheap COTS technology operated by 80 IQ incompetent Arab hicks? And if operated by competent soldiers?
     
    Russian base was "destroyed"? First time I hear this. Again, it is really difficult to communicate with people who speak in journo platitudes instead of normal competent language. What is "destroyed"? Can you hit (if you are lucky) some aircraft or personnel on the base using drones? Yes. Can you "destroy", "damage", "take out of operation", "prevent flight operations", and on, and on, and on the base which is defended by Pantsir AD systems as Khmeimim is? Very doubtful.

    P.S. Please, leave this IQ=80 BS to Anatoly to "investigate". Obviously neither you nor him ever read Sun Tzu. I will only say this: operations by IS and JAN, among others, were conducted under the command and guidance of people who have normal IQ and, what is the most important, skills and knowledge to do so. Those people were not of European descent.

    Russian base was “destroyed”? First time I hear this.

    I didn’t say that. Maybe I didn’t make my point clear enough.

    My point was that since no one could have expected the base to be destroyed, their goal must’ve been more modest, like sowing some confusion and killing a few soldiers. Damaging some equipment might have been a goal, too.

    By these metrics, the first attack was a success. They killed a couple of soldiers and damaged some equipment, nothing more could have been expected.

    Any IED, RPG or bullets are not particularly expensive.

    First, they couldn’t have damaged anything within the Russian base using these. And second, they didn’t kill many Russians using these or any other weapons either. The total Russian losses (including contractors) are probably around or below 200, the majority of them contractors. This was then 1% of all Russian losses in one attack, not bad. The fact that they were soldiers (politically way more valuable targets than contractors) makes it even more of a success.

    Not a great success, it won’t win them the war, a very modest success (inherently couldn’t have been more due to the modest scale and goals of the attack), but a success nevertheless.

    Read More
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  44. @iffen
    your kind

    My kind? Please tell us more, Randy.

    It’s not the first time I’ve seen this fantasy

    Most of my fantasies include big tits, not ones like yours of "socially radical leftists" trying to take over Iran.

    Small or medium size tits are good, too.

    Read More
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  45. @iffen
    your kind

    My kind? Please tell us more, Randy.

    It’s not the first time I’ve seen this fantasy

    Most of my fantasies include big tits, not ones like yours of "socially radical leftists" trying to take over Iran.

    So no excuse or explanation for the stupid fantasy, then.

    Read More
    • Replies: @iffen
    So no excuse or explanation for the stupid fantasy, then.

    You are just pissed because it hasn't been tied to the US or any of our "boys" in the region.
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  46. @Andrei Martyanov

    Killing Russian soldiers using cheap weapons is not something those rebels often did before.
     
    Any IED, RPG or bullets are not particularly expensive.

    Would you be able to destroy the Russian base using cheap COTS technology operated by 80 IQ incompetent Arab hicks? And if operated by competent soldiers?
     
    Russian base was "destroyed"? First time I hear this. Again, it is really difficult to communicate with people who speak in journo platitudes instead of normal competent language. What is "destroyed"? Can you hit (if you are lucky) some aircraft or personnel on the base using drones? Yes. Can you "destroy", "damage", "take out of operation", "prevent flight operations", and on, and on, and on the base which is defended by Pantsir AD systems as Khmeimim is? Very doubtful.

    P.S. Please, leave this IQ=80 BS to Anatoly to "investigate". Obviously neither you nor him ever read Sun Tzu. I will only say this: operations by IS and JAN, among others, were conducted under the command and guidance of people who have normal IQ and, what is the most important, skills and knowledge to do so. Those people were not of European descent.

    operations by IS and JAN, among others, were conducted under the command and guidance of people who have normal IQ and, what is the most important, skills and knowledge to do so.

    They might’ve been more competent than their counterparts in the Syrian (and, in the case of IS, Iraqi) military (militaries), but that’s what I call a low bar.

    Never before did they manage (or even try) such an attack.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov

    They might’ve been more competent than their counterparts in the Syrian (and, in the case of IS, Iraqi) military (militaries), but that’s what I call a low bar.
     
    Debatable, albeit I have to give you this much--in general Sunni Islam in the area doesn't fare that well, especially in combined arms warfare, with some conditional exception of Turkey. Yet, there is very little doubt that in 2006 Hezbollah (which are Shiites, largely) leveraged their few technological advantages over IDF extremely well--a sign of a rather sophisticated mind(s). In the end, Arab military expertise obtained in Soviet times in Soviet military academies (and even later, in modern Russia) is still out there being infused and used both in tactical, operational and technological senses. Some, like "Russian" IS and JAN field big honchos carry at least Part 1 of Soviet/Russian Combat Manuals with them together with Quran and whatever else. But then again, I am the man who never subscribed to official BS that 911 required some "sophisticated" operation (a phony excuse to whitewash a catastrophic failure of US intelligence services), when in reality anyone with half-brain and some money could have done it. So, today these are drones, tomorrow they may try something else--attempts on Khmeimim will continue, people are aware of that and do what needs to be done. Expect more irrational behavior from Turkey, much more than just Turkish Syrian interests are at stake there.
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  47. @Randal
    So no excuse or explanation for the stupid fantasy, then.

    So no excuse or explanation for the stupid fantasy, then.

    You are just pissed because it hasn’t been tied to the US or any of our “boys” in the region.

    Read More
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  48. @Randal
    Why does your kind try to pretend Turkey suffered "little in the way of adverse consequences" from the shooting down of a Russian plane (which I assume is what you are coyly referring to here)?

    It's not the first time I've seen this fantasy, whereas in the real world I recall Erdogan was rather effectively and humiliatingly brought to heel (and for sure they were very careful not to do it again).

    If you are laughably suggesting a better response would have been military counter-strikes and perhaps in some playground kind of manner implying Putin or Russia showed some kind of inadequacy in not doing that, then I suggest you reserve your childish fantasies for the Washington elite where they might actually pass for the kind of policy proposals those serial incompetents would entertain.

    I recall Erdogan was rather effectively and humiliatingly brought to heel (and for sure they were very careful not to do it again).

    Well, as far as Turks are concerned there is but only one rule and that rule only:
    Do NOT trust the Turks.
    All the rest flows from there.

    Now, that probably doesn’t work with West, Brits/Americans in particular, but as far as East is concerned, Russia in particular, I am quite sure that Putin and guys around him stick to that rule.

    Now, they didn’t do that again.
    They did this.

    So, as far as

    a better response would have been military counter-strikes

    Actually….yes……

    Like shooting down one of Turkish jets. Just one.

    Or, in case like this bombing into dust the place where the attack originated.
    Failing that send SF and kill everyone and his/her dog on the ground.
    Failing that, which I expect will happen, “drone” somebody there of importance.
    Some other options too, but, a superpower MUST retaliate. Not defend….RETALIATE.

    The superpower protects its people by threatening serious retaliation. NOT by better defending own people on the ground. Just doesn’t work that way.
    Attacker must be scared of trying. Not worried of failing when trying.
    Capital punishment as principle?

    Or, we’ll see something else. Rule No.1.
    Not good for troops morale on the ground.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Randal

    Do NOT trust the Turks.
     
    A pretty good general rule.

    Like shooting down one of Turkish jets. Just one.
     
    Nope. At the time things were on an absolute knife edge, and shooting down a Turkish plane in almost any circumstances would have led directly to calls for a NATO response and would have provided exactly the pretext the warmongers wanted.

    Instead Putin exercised restraint and brought the Turks to heel by other means, including both stepping up attacks on their proxies in Syria and economic pressure, resulting in the apology Erdogan was eventually forced to make a few months later when the heat became too great. After that the Turks went very quiet about the whole thing and the Russians quickly returned relations to a profitable and business-like footing.

    A text-book example of high quality statesmanship defusing and dealing optimally with a potentially disastrous situation. Israeli lickspittles and others regularly for some reason seek to portray it otherwise, but fantasies about a direct tit for tat military response are just that. There are times when such a response is useful, perhaps even necessary, but Syria in November 2015 was definitely not one of them.


    Now, they didn’t do that again.
    They did this.
     
    If indeed "they did this", which is pure speculation, it's entirely different from the 2015 incident. This would have been a classic deniable operation by proxies.

    It's unlikely to succeed if it was indeed intended by Turkey to send some kind of warning message to Russia about their operations in Idlib. If anything the obvious likely result would be to cause the Russians to step up the level of their operations against Turkish proxies in the area. As such if there were some other external player involved it was quite probably not the Turkish government. The fact that it was apparently launched from Turkish controlled territory does not refute that possibility.
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  49. @reiner Tor

    operations by IS and JAN, among others, were conducted under the command and guidance of people who have normal IQ and, what is the most important, skills and knowledge to do so.
     
    They might’ve been more competent than their counterparts in the Syrian (and, in the case of IS, Iraqi) military (militaries), but that’s what I call a low bar.

    Never before did they manage (or even try) such an attack.

    They might’ve been more competent than their counterparts in the Syrian (and, in the case of IS, Iraqi) military (militaries), but that’s what I call a low bar.

    Debatable, albeit I have to give you this much–in general Sunni Islam in the area doesn’t fare that well, especially in combined arms warfare, with some conditional exception of Turkey. Yet, there is very little doubt that in 2006 Hezbollah (which are Shiites, largely) leveraged their few technological advantages over IDF extremely well–a sign of a rather sophisticated mind(s). In the end, Arab military expertise obtained in Soviet times in Soviet military academies (and even later, in modern Russia) is still out there being infused and used both in tactical, operational and technological senses. Some, like “Russian” IS and JAN field big honchos carry at least Part 1 of Soviet/Russian Combat Manuals with them together with Quran and whatever else. But then again, I am the man who never subscribed to official BS that 911 required some “sophisticated” operation (a phony excuse to whitewash a catastrophic failure of US intelligence services), when in reality anyone with half-brain and some money could have done it. So, today these are drones, tomorrow they may try something else–attempts on Khmeimim will continue, people are aware of that and do what needs to be done. Expect more irrational behavior from Turkey, much more than just Turkish Syrian interests are at stake there.

    Read More
    • Replies: @iffen
    much more than just Turkish Syrian interests are at stake there

    C'mon Obi-Wan, don't leave us hanging like this.
    , @reiner Tor

    Turkey... in 2006 Hezbollah
     
    Oh, they play in a different league. By the way Hezbollah is an important player in Syria, too.
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  50. @bb.

    80 IQ incompetent Arab
     
    while they do have an iq 83 avg in Syria, they are not Arabs. (
    Yemenis and Saudis both associate strongly with Egyptians, whereas the Jordanian, Lebanese, Palestinian, and Syrian populations clustered together. Thus, the Arabian Peninsula population clusters were relatively differentiated from the more northern Levantine populations.
    (http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0054616#Y-Chromosome)

    and they also cluster with the various jewish groups tightly:
    Solid triangles represent Jewish populations, solid squares represent Middle Eastern populations, and open circles represent all other populations
    (http://www.pnas.org/content/97/12/6769.figures-only)

    http://www.pnas.org/content/97/12/6769/F2.large.jpg

    so the low iq score might be an eduction problem..fixable, with right motivation, which war is I suppose.

    Thus, the Arabian Peninsula population clusters were relatively differentiated from the more northern Levantine populations.

    Levant is the place where Islam met Christianity first big time. Islam WAS dazzled by Christian civilization then. It also tried to incorporate some of its features during first four Caliphs. Without great success.

    Read More
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  51. @Andrei Martyanov

    They might’ve been more competent than their counterparts in the Syrian (and, in the case of IS, Iraqi) military (militaries), but that’s what I call a low bar.
     
    Debatable, albeit I have to give you this much--in general Sunni Islam in the area doesn't fare that well, especially in combined arms warfare, with some conditional exception of Turkey. Yet, there is very little doubt that in 2006 Hezbollah (which are Shiites, largely) leveraged their few technological advantages over IDF extremely well--a sign of a rather sophisticated mind(s). In the end, Arab military expertise obtained in Soviet times in Soviet military academies (and even later, in modern Russia) is still out there being infused and used both in tactical, operational and technological senses. Some, like "Russian" IS and JAN field big honchos carry at least Part 1 of Soviet/Russian Combat Manuals with them together with Quran and whatever else. But then again, I am the man who never subscribed to official BS that 911 required some "sophisticated" operation (a phony excuse to whitewash a catastrophic failure of US intelligence services), when in reality anyone with half-brain and some money could have done it. So, today these are drones, tomorrow they may try something else--attempts on Khmeimim will continue, people are aware of that and do what needs to be done. Expect more irrational behavior from Turkey, much more than just Turkish Syrian interests are at stake there.

    much more than just Turkish Syrian interests are at stake there

    C’mon Obi-Wan, don’t leave us hanging like this.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov

    C’mon Obi-Wan, don’t leave us hanging like this.
     
    OK, Luke, read my lips: CAU-CA-SUS. Also of value, will be to count how many times Ilham Aliev met and spoke to Putin lately. Latest one 2 weeks ago, in Moscow.
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  52. @peterAUS

    I recall Erdogan was rather effectively and humiliatingly brought to heel (and for sure they were very careful not to do it again).
     
    Well, as far as Turks are concerned there is but only one rule and that rule only:
    Do NOT trust the Turks.
    All the rest flows from there.

    Now, that probably doesn't work with West, Brits/Americans in particular, but as far as East is concerned, Russia in particular, I am quite sure that Putin and guys around him stick to that rule.

    Now, they didn't do that again.
    They did this.

    So, as far as


    a better response would have been military counter-strikes
     
    Actually....yes......

    Like shooting down one of Turkish jets. Just one.

    Or, in case like this bombing into dust the place where the attack originated.
    Failing that send SF and kill everyone and his/her dog on the ground.
    Failing that, which I expect will happen, "drone" somebody there of importance.
    Some other options too, but, a superpower MUST retaliate. Not defend....RETALIATE.

    The superpower protects its people by threatening serious retaliation. NOT by better defending own people on the ground. Just doesn't work that way.
    Attacker must be scared of trying. Not worried of failing when trying.
    Capital punishment as principle?

    Or, we'll see something else. Rule No.1.
    Not good for troops morale on the ground.

    Do NOT trust the Turks.

    A pretty good general rule.

    Like shooting down one of Turkish jets. Just one.

    Nope. At the time things were on an absolute knife edge, and shooting down a Turkish plane in almost any circumstances would have led directly to calls for a NATO response and would have provided exactly the pretext the warmongers wanted.

    Instead Putin exercised restraint and brought the Turks to heel by other means, including both stepping up attacks on their proxies in Syria and economic pressure, resulting in the apology Erdogan was eventually forced to make a few months later when the heat became too great. After that the Turks went very quiet about the whole thing and the Russians quickly returned relations to a profitable and business-like footing.

    A text-book example of high quality statesmanship defusing and dealing optimally with a potentially disastrous situation. Israeli lickspittles and others regularly for some reason seek to portray it otherwise, but fantasies about a direct tit for tat military response are just that. There are times when such a response is useful, perhaps even necessary, but Syria in November 2015 was definitely not one of them.

    Now, they didn’t do that again.
    They did this.

    If indeed “they did this”, which is pure speculation, it’s entirely different from the 2015 incident. This would have been a classic deniable operation by proxies.

    It’s unlikely to succeed if it was indeed intended by Turkey to send some kind of warning message to Russia about their operations in Idlib. If anything the obvious likely result would be to cause the Russians to step up the level of their operations against Turkish proxies in the area. As such if there were some other external player involved it was quite probably not the Turkish government. The fact that it was apparently launched from Turkish controlled territory does not refute that possibility.

    Read More
    • Replies: @peterAUS

    As such if there were some other external player involved it was quite probably not the Turkish government.The fact that it was apparently launched from Turkish controlled territory does not refute that possibility.
     
    Well....as you've noticed, probably, my approach is always from "bottom up".
    True, it's narrow, lacking finesse and, well....just .....low level.

    But, I guess, it adds value here to all that high level approach, from geopolitics to multidimensional chess.

    Because, when everything is said and done in corridors of power the execution does happen on the ground.
    And if people on the ground are.......confused.........well, they'll find their own ways to deal with realities on the ground; often in direct opposition to the centers of power. Which, ultimately, will make centers of power not having power.

    In this case I simply go from the postion of a trooper on the ground. Russian trooper.
    No amount of high tech waponry and his side competence will save him from losing life or limb. Fact.
    What will help him there is FEAR of potential assailant. Just FEAR.

    The powers that be must protect their underlings. The eternal relationship of power.
    And the underlings then have loyalty to their superiors.

    We know how it works in West re general population. It doesn't.
    But, in military stakes are higher. The highest.

    So, the bottom line here is simple:
    Nothing will protect Russian servicemen there but fear of retaliation.
    If/when they start feeling that the protection isn't there there will be a problem. From basic discipline, execution of orders, unit cohesion and .....more. That more is corruption, deal cuttings with local warlords.....etc. Maybe even something bordering on treason ("I'll tell you this if you guarantee me that won't be any attack from XX on my base/myself"). The very problem SAA has been having from the very beginning.

    At the end, in essence, rotting the soul of the Russian contingent there.

    Everybody likes to point how low morale of US troops in Afghanistan is. And they do "drone" and send SF into Pakistan.
    Or that can't apply to Russians?
    Yeah....

    Just my 2 cents.
    , @iffen
    A text-book example of high quality statesmanship defusing and dealing optimally with a potentially disastrous situation.

    Funny how the Brits spent the 1st half of the 20th Century doing “high quality statesmanship,” otherwise known as “letting your mouth overload your ass” then waiting around for the lickspittle to pull their chestnuts out of the fire.
    , @utu
    The timing of the shooting down of the Su-24 was critical, I think. It was 11 days after the Bataclan massacre in Paris which made Russian intervention in Syria and Putin himself extremely popular in France and in Europe. The French aircraft carrier was sailing towards Syria and there were talks about joining Russia in punitive action against ISIS. The shooting down of Su-24 immediately imposed the NATO discipline on France and Germany and any rekindling of good relations with Russia was extinguished. The line was drawn between all NATO member states and Russia. We still do not know who have ordered the hit and who planned it. During the coup in Turkey seven months later Erdogan announced that the pilots were arrested for the links to the Gülen.
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  53. @iffen
    much more than just Turkish Syrian interests are at stake there

    C'mon Obi-Wan, don't leave us hanging like this.

    C’mon Obi-Wan, don’t leave us hanging like this.

    OK, Luke, read my lips: CAU-CA-SUS. Also of value, will be to count how many times Ilham Aliev met and spoke to Putin lately. Latest one 2 weeks ago, in Moscow.

    Read More
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  54. @Andrei Martyanov

    They might’ve been more competent than their counterparts in the Syrian (and, in the case of IS, Iraqi) military (militaries), but that’s what I call a low bar.
     
    Debatable, albeit I have to give you this much--in general Sunni Islam in the area doesn't fare that well, especially in combined arms warfare, with some conditional exception of Turkey. Yet, there is very little doubt that in 2006 Hezbollah (which are Shiites, largely) leveraged their few technological advantages over IDF extremely well--a sign of a rather sophisticated mind(s). In the end, Arab military expertise obtained in Soviet times in Soviet military academies (and even later, in modern Russia) is still out there being infused and used both in tactical, operational and technological senses. Some, like "Russian" IS and JAN field big honchos carry at least Part 1 of Soviet/Russian Combat Manuals with them together with Quran and whatever else. But then again, I am the man who never subscribed to official BS that 911 required some "sophisticated" operation (a phony excuse to whitewash a catastrophic failure of US intelligence services), when in reality anyone with half-brain and some money could have done it. So, today these are drones, tomorrow they may try something else--attempts on Khmeimim will continue, people are aware of that and do what needs to be done. Expect more irrational behavior from Turkey, much more than just Turkish Syrian interests are at stake there.

    Turkey… in 2006 Hezbollah

    Oh, they play in a different league. By the way Hezbollah is an important player in Syria, too.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov

    Oh, they play in a different league.
     
    This, however, does not refute the fact of IDF sustaining a painful tactical and operational defeat which fast transformed into a strategic and political one. Again, isn't this very real and tangible (and globally publicized) success at least some evidence of a much more complex nature of human behavior and how people learn than merely tiresome invocation of IQ "argument"?

    By the way Hezbollah is an important player in Syria, too.
     
    I am keenly aware of that.
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  55. @reiner Tor

    Turkey... in 2006 Hezbollah
     
    Oh, they play in a different league. By the way Hezbollah is an important player in Syria, too.

    Oh, they play in a different league.

    This, however, does not refute the fact of IDF sustaining a painful tactical and operational defeat which fast transformed into a strategic and political one. Again, isn’t this very real and tangible (and globally publicized) success at least some evidence of a much more complex nature of human behavior and how people learn than merely tiresome invocation of IQ “argument”?

    By the way Hezbollah is an important player in Syria, too.

    I am keenly aware of that.

    Read More
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  56. @Randal

    Do NOT trust the Turks.
     
    A pretty good general rule.

    Like shooting down one of Turkish jets. Just one.
     
    Nope. At the time things were on an absolute knife edge, and shooting down a Turkish plane in almost any circumstances would have led directly to calls for a NATO response and would have provided exactly the pretext the warmongers wanted.

    Instead Putin exercised restraint and brought the Turks to heel by other means, including both stepping up attacks on their proxies in Syria and economic pressure, resulting in the apology Erdogan was eventually forced to make a few months later when the heat became too great. After that the Turks went very quiet about the whole thing and the Russians quickly returned relations to a profitable and business-like footing.

    A text-book example of high quality statesmanship defusing and dealing optimally with a potentially disastrous situation. Israeli lickspittles and others regularly for some reason seek to portray it otherwise, but fantasies about a direct tit for tat military response are just that. There are times when such a response is useful, perhaps even necessary, but Syria in November 2015 was definitely not one of them.


    Now, they didn’t do that again.
    They did this.
     
    If indeed "they did this", which is pure speculation, it's entirely different from the 2015 incident. This would have been a classic deniable operation by proxies.

    It's unlikely to succeed if it was indeed intended by Turkey to send some kind of warning message to Russia about their operations in Idlib. If anything the obvious likely result would be to cause the Russians to step up the level of their operations against Turkish proxies in the area. As such if there were some other external player involved it was quite probably not the Turkish government. The fact that it was apparently launched from Turkish controlled territory does not refute that possibility.

    As such if there were some other external player involved it was quite probably not the Turkish government.The fact that it was apparently launched from Turkish controlled territory does not refute that possibility.

    Well….as you’ve noticed, probably, my approach is always from “bottom up”.
    True, it’s narrow, lacking finesse and, well….just …..low level.

    But, I guess, it adds value here to all that high level approach, from geopolitics to multidimensional chess.

    Because, when everything is said and done in corridors of power the execution does happen on the ground.
    And if people on the ground are…….confused………well, they’ll find their own ways to deal with realities on the ground; often in direct opposition to the centers of power. Which, ultimately, will make centers of power not having power.

    In this case I simply go from the postion of a trooper on the ground. Russian trooper.
    No amount of high tech waponry and his side competence will save him from losing life or limb. Fact.
    What will help him there is FEAR of potential assailant. Just FEAR.

    The powers that be must protect their underlings. The eternal relationship of power.
    And the underlings then have loyalty to their superiors.

    We know how it works in West re general population. It doesn’t.
    But, in military stakes are higher. The highest.

    So, the bottom line here is simple:
    Nothing will protect Russian servicemen there but fear of retaliation.
    If/when they start feeling that the protection isn’t there there will be a problem. From basic discipline, execution of orders, unit cohesion and …..more. That more is corruption, deal cuttings with local warlords…..etc. Maybe even something bordering on treason (“I’ll tell you this if you guarantee me that won’t be any attack from XX on my base/myself”). The very problem SAA has been having from the very beginning.

    At the end, in essence, rotting the soul of the Russian contingent there.

    Everybody likes to point how low morale of US troops in Afghanistan is. And they do “drone” and send SF into Pakistan.
    Or that can’t apply to Russians?
    Yeah….

    Just my 2 cents.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Randal

    At the end, in essence, rotting the soul of the Russian contingent there.
     
    What you are talking about is the consequence of repeated unaddressed attacks, and that certainly isn't the case with Turkey.

    In this case, I suspect Russian forces will mostly be satisfied if the proxies used to launch the raid, or related ones, get hit hard, which is probably what will happen.
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  57. @Randal

    Do NOT trust the Turks.
     
    A pretty good general rule.

    Like shooting down one of Turkish jets. Just one.
     
    Nope. At the time things were on an absolute knife edge, and shooting down a Turkish plane in almost any circumstances would have led directly to calls for a NATO response and would have provided exactly the pretext the warmongers wanted.

    Instead Putin exercised restraint and brought the Turks to heel by other means, including both stepping up attacks on their proxies in Syria and economic pressure, resulting in the apology Erdogan was eventually forced to make a few months later when the heat became too great. After that the Turks went very quiet about the whole thing and the Russians quickly returned relations to a profitable and business-like footing.

    A text-book example of high quality statesmanship defusing and dealing optimally with a potentially disastrous situation. Israeli lickspittles and others regularly for some reason seek to portray it otherwise, but fantasies about a direct tit for tat military response are just that. There are times when such a response is useful, perhaps even necessary, but Syria in November 2015 was definitely not one of them.


    Now, they didn’t do that again.
    They did this.
     
    If indeed "they did this", which is pure speculation, it's entirely different from the 2015 incident. This would have been a classic deniable operation by proxies.

    It's unlikely to succeed if it was indeed intended by Turkey to send some kind of warning message to Russia about their operations in Idlib. If anything the obvious likely result would be to cause the Russians to step up the level of their operations against Turkish proxies in the area. As such if there were some other external player involved it was quite probably not the Turkish government. The fact that it was apparently launched from Turkish controlled territory does not refute that possibility.

    A text-book example of high quality statesmanship defusing and dealing optimally with a potentially disastrous situation.

    Funny how the Brits spent the 1st half of the 20th Century doing “high quality statesmanship,” otherwise known as “letting your mouth overload your ass” then waiting around for the lickspittle to pull their chestnuts out of the fire.

    Read More
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  58. @Andrei Martyanov

    OK, I should be clear from the outset that I have no objection in principle to the idea that this could represent direct US/Israeli/Saudi/Turkish assistance.
     
    OK. Let's pretend I am a jihadi who needs to "guide" a drone:

    I will need (I deliberately will obfuscate and distort "prescription"--who knows who reads this:

    1. Gyroscope. I don't even need gimbals and three degrees of freedom--one axis will be enough since it will work as gyro-azimuth. You can by this staff on-line from 100 to 2000 (laser) USD, easy. I just will need to know the so called "drift" (also easy).

    2. Feedback device (controller) for actuators on wings and rudder;

    3. Simplest radio-communications (radio-command)--it may be used once only for release of the explosives.

    4. Safe location outside the range of third ring of any base defense.

    5. Luck.

    All this is totally within technical capability of very many jihadis in Syria since many of them are actually military and some engineering professionals. Surely, people who can create remotely detonated devices can figure out something of this primitive nature. tHis pretty much blows out of the water all this "big game" crap. US and Saudis, plus some are behind many things in Syria--this is not the news.

    and another three UAVs exploded as they touched the ground.

    The drones were booby-trapped precisely to prevent Russia obtaining evidence of their origin etc.

    Primitive jihadis have less motivation to add a level of complexity to their UAV’s.

    The carefully crafted wording of the Russian announcement is basically saying that they know which state is involved, and that no repeat performance will be tolerated.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov

    The drones were booby-trapped precisely to prevent Russia obtaining evidence of their origin etc.
    Primitive jihadis have less motivation to add a level of complexity to their UAV’s.
     
    Again, this is NOT such a level of "complexity". Already in Afghanistan, and I have many acquaintances who went through it and, later, in Chechnya the level of booby-trapping was extremely high.

    The carefully crafted wording of the Russian announcement is basically saying that they know which state is involved, and that no repeat performance will be tolerated.
     
    See my post above from yesterday, once the word Idlib was pronounced, plus Turkey called up Russia's and Iran's Ambassadors to Turkish FM it was clear who was largely behind it. Considering the fact that SAA just now returned the control to the Air Base Abu-Dukhur and the pincers are about to meet... so, you can easily derive the picture. As they say--the revenge served best cold. Of course there are many unhappy campers in Ankara.
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  59. @Eagle Eye

    and another three UAVs exploded as they touched the ground.
     
    The drones were booby-trapped precisely to prevent Russia obtaining evidence of their origin etc.

    Primitive jihadis have less motivation to add a level of complexity to their UAV's.

    The carefully crafted wording of the Russian announcement is basically saying that they know which state is involved, and that no repeat performance will be tolerated.

    The drones were booby-trapped precisely to prevent Russia obtaining evidence of their origin etc.
    Primitive jihadis have less motivation to add a level of complexity to their UAV’s.

    Again, this is NOT such a level of “complexity”. Already in Afghanistan, and I have many acquaintances who went through it and, later, in Chechnya the level of booby-trapping was extremely high.

    The carefully crafted wording of the Russian announcement is basically saying that they know which state is involved, and that no repeat performance will be tolerated.

    See my post above from yesterday, once the word Idlib was pronounced, plus Turkey called up Russia’s and Iran’s Ambassadors to Turkish FM it was clear who was largely behind it. Considering the fact that SAA just now returned the control to the Air Base Abu-Dukhur and the pincers are about to meet… so, you can easily derive the picture. As they say–the revenge served best cold. Of course there are many unhappy campers in Ankara.

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor

    this is NOT such a level of “complexity”
     
    One argument for it being so complex is the fact that the rebels couldn’t have had the coordinates. The base itself is I guess fairly large. It could’ve hit concrete at the airstrip or even more likely the empty area near it. WW2 Germans didn’t manage to hit London reliably enough, how could these rebels – who just a short time ago didn’t even know where the holes on their asses are – suddenly find the place where the airplanes were parked..?

    It’s now the official Russian viewpoint.
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  60. @peterAUS

    As such if there were some other external player involved it was quite probably not the Turkish government.The fact that it was apparently launched from Turkish controlled territory does not refute that possibility.
     
    Well....as you've noticed, probably, my approach is always from "bottom up".
    True, it's narrow, lacking finesse and, well....just .....low level.

    But, I guess, it adds value here to all that high level approach, from geopolitics to multidimensional chess.

    Because, when everything is said and done in corridors of power the execution does happen on the ground.
    And if people on the ground are.......confused.........well, they'll find their own ways to deal with realities on the ground; often in direct opposition to the centers of power. Which, ultimately, will make centers of power not having power.

    In this case I simply go from the postion of a trooper on the ground. Russian trooper.
    No amount of high tech waponry and his side competence will save him from losing life or limb. Fact.
    What will help him there is FEAR of potential assailant. Just FEAR.

    The powers that be must protect their underlings. The eternal relationship of power.
    And the underlings then have loyalty to their superiors.

    We know how it works in West re general population. It doesn't.
    But, in military stakes are higher. The highest.

    So, the bottom line here is simple:
    Nothing will protect Russian servicemen there but fear of retaliation.
    If/when they start feeling that the protection isn't there there will be a problem. From basic discipline, execution of orders, unit cohesion and .....more. That more is corruption, deal cuttings with local warlords.....etc. Maybe even something bordering on treason ("I'll tell you this if you guarantee me that won't be any attack from XX on my base/myself"). The very problem SAA has been having from the very beginning.

    At the end, in essence, rotting the soul of the Russian contingent there.

    Everybody likes to point how low morale of US troops in Afghanistan is. And they do "drone" and send SF into Pakistan.
    Or that can't apply to Russians?
    Yeah....

    Just my 2 cents.

    At the end, in essence, rotting the soul of the Russian contingent there.

    What you are talking about is the consequence of repeated unaddressed attacks, and that certainly isn’t the case with Turkey.

    In this case, I suspect Russian forces will mostly be satisfied if the proxies used to launch the raid, or related ones, get hit hard, which is probably what will happen.

    Read More
    • Replies: @peterAUS
    Well....agree.

    It does appear that the finger can, safely, be pointed straight to a certain group within Syria.
    Of course they, most likely, had some outside help but, what's new there.

    I stand corrected, then.
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  61. @AP
    China is investing heavily in Ukraine right now, dredging a port, building highways, etc.

    Huge farms.

    Read More
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  62. @Randal

    Do NOT trust the Turks.
     
    A pretty good general rule.

    Like shooting down one of Turkish jets. Just one.
     
    Nope. At the time things were on an absolute knife edge, and shooting down a Turkish plane in almost any circumstances would have led directly to calls for a NATO response and would have provided exactly the pretext the warmongers wanted.

    Instead Putin exercised restraint and brought the Turks to heel by other means, including both stepping up attacks on their proxies in Syria and economic pressure, resulting in the apology Erdogan was eventually forced to make a few months later when the heat became too great. After that the Turks went very quiet about the whole thing and the Russians quickly returned relations to a profitable and business-like footing.

    A text-book example of high quality statesmanship defusing and dealing optimally with a potentially disastrous situation. Israeli lickspittles and others regularly for some reason seek to portray it otherwise, but fantasies about a direct tit for tat military response are just that. There are times when such a response is useful, perhaps even necessary, but Syria in November 2015 was definitely not one of them.


    Now, they didn’t do that again.
    They did this.
     
    If indeed "they did this", which is pure speculation, it's entirely different from the 2015 incident. This would have been a classic deniable operation by proxies.

    It's unlikely to succeed if it was indeed intended by Turkey to send some kind of warning message to Russia about their operations in Idlib. If anything the obvious likely result would be to cause the Russians to step up the level of their operations against Turkish proxies in the area. As such if there were some other external player involved it was quite probably not the Turkish government. The fact that it was apparently launched from Turkish controlled territory does not refute that possibility.

    The timing of the shooting down of the Su-24 was critical, I think. It was 11 days after the Bataclan massacre in Paris which made Russian intervention in Syria and Putin himself extremely popular in France and in Europe. The French aircraft carrier was sailing towards Syria and there were talks about joining Russia in punitive action against ISIS. The shooting down of Su-24 immediately imposed the NATO discipline on France and Germany and any rekindling of good relations with Russia was extinguished. The line was drawn between all NATO member states and Russia. We still do not know who have ordered the hit and who planned it. During the coup in Turkey seven months later Erdogan announced that the pilots were arrested for the links to the Gülen.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Randal
    Indeed, and it's unsurprising that Erdogan felt the need to distance himself from an event that had become something of an embarrassment for him.

    At the time there was a lot of talk in London and Washington, certainly, about potential NATO response in various Russian retaliation scenarios. Anti-Russian hotheads were talking about using it to impose a no fly zone along the Turkish border, an attempt which would likely have been disastrous. The situation was (intentionally, clearly, on the part of some parties as you suggest) extremely tense and it was definitely not a time for direct tit for tat. It had the potential to be one of those incidents you read about in the history books as having been the beginning of a chain of events leading to a disastrous war.

    That's one reason why these snide playground level comments about the Russian response are irritating.
    , @TT
    This is whati can recall in news that France was asking for Russia Navy to provide coverage for its aircraft carrier in ME for Syria operation(didn't know why it can't do itself). Russia agreed but later withdraw due to some incidents (plane shotdown) requiring its own Navy usage. So France was stucked.

    Turkey Erdogan didn't excuse itself from the responsibility of shooting down Russia plane. Its PM was very proud to declare he gave instruction personally to shoot down. And Turkey repeatedly justified its action with evidence that its pilot gave multiple warnings to Russia pilot that intrude into Turkey airspace(something like ridiculously 10 warning within few sec).

    So the conspiracy theory don't hold. But US factor is highly suspicious, Turkey won't dare to attack Russia assets openly without US backing. Doubt Europe wanted to escalate to such high level. Only US is highly probably. Look for who benefits most.
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  63. @utu
    The timing of the shooting down of the Su-24 was critical, I think. It was 11 days after the Bataclan massacre in Paris which made Russian intervention in Syria and Putin himself extremely popular in France and in Europe. The French aircraft carrier was sailing towards Syria and there were talks about joining Russia in punitive action against ISIS. The shooting down of Su-24 immediately imposed the NATO discipline on France and Germany and any rekindling of good relations with Russia was extinguished. The line was drawn between all NATO member states and Russia. We still do not know who have ordered the hit and who planned it. During the coup in Turkey seven months later Erdogan announced that the pilots were arrested for the links to the Gülen.

    Indeed, and it’s unsurprising that Erdogan felt the need to distance himself from an event that had become something of an embarrassment for him.

    At the time there was a lot of talk in London and Washington, certainly, about potential NATO response in various Russian retaliation scenarios. Anti-Russian hotheads were talking about using it to impose a no fly zone along the Turkish border, an attempt which would likely have been disastrous. The situation was (intentionally, clearly, on the part of some parties as you suggest) extremely tense and it was definitely not a time for direct tit for tat. It had the potential to be one of those incidents you read about in the history books as having been the beginning of a chain of events leading to a disastrous war.

    That’s one reason why these snide playground level comments about the Russian response are irritating.

    Read More
    • Replies: @utu
    You are talking abut what Russia did after the attack. What I am saying is that one has to look at what happened before the Turkey's AF attack to see why after the attack Russian reaction was rather toned down even though they were furious. After Bataclan there seemed to be a chance to bring, say France into cooperating with Russia in Syria which was the best dream Russia could have had. So obviously after the shooting down of the Su-24 Russia did not want to escalate and push some NATO members like France even further away than what the US wanted by the shooting down of the Su-24 which most likely the US has instigated. One may look at the incident that it was directed against France in order to discipline her and bring her back into the ranks of NATO political line. This made any cooperation between Russia and any Western country in Syria impossible.

    For 10 days Russia was the greatest benefactor of Bataclan massacre.
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  64. @Randal

    At the end, in essence, rotting the soul of the Russian contingent there.
     
    What you are talking about is the consequence of repeated unaddressed attacks, and that certainly isn't the case with Turkey.

    In this case, I suspect Russian forces will mostly be satisfied if the proxies used to launch the raid, or related ones, get hit hard, which is probably what will happen.

    Well….agree.

    It does appear that the finger can, safely, be pointed straight to a certain group within Syria.
    Of course they, most likely, had some outside help but, what’s new there.

    I stand corrected, then.

    Read More
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  65. @Randal
    Indeed, and it's unsurprising that Erdogan felt the need to distance himself from an event that had become something of an embarrassment for him.

    At the time there was a lot of talk in London and Washington, certainly, about potential NATO response in various Russian retaliation scenarios. Anti-Russian hotheads were talking about using it to impose a no fly zone along the Turkish border, an attempt which would likely have been disastrous. The situation was (intentionally, clearly, on the part of some parties as you suggest) extremely tense and it was definitely not a time for direct tit for tat. It had the potential to be one of those incidents you read about in the history books as having been the beginning of a chain of events leading to a disastrous war.

    That's one reason why these snide playground level comments about the Russian response are irritating.

    You are talking abut what Russia did after the attack. What I am saying is that one has to look at what happened before the Turkey’s AF attack to see why after the attack Russian reaction was rather toned down even though they were furious. After Bataclan there seemed to be a chance to bring, say France into cooperating with Russia in Syria which was the best dream Russia could have had. So obviously after the shooting down of the Su-24 Russia did not want to escalate and push some NATO members like France even further away than what the US wanted by the shooting down of the Su-24 which most likely the US has instigated. One may look at the incident that it was directed against France in order to discipline her and bring her back into the ranks of NATO political line. This made any cooperation between Russia and any Western country in Syria impossible.

    For 10 days Russia was the greatest benefactor of Bataclan massacre.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Randal
    I hear what you are saying, I'm just not necessarily convinced that convenience in timing and cui bono is necessarily sufficient to establish conspiracy, as far as the Bataclan incident itself is concerned. I don't dismiss the idea out of hand either, fwiw.

    Certainly the issue of the pilots being linked with the Turkish coup, if it's not just Erdogan distancing himself, is suggestive that they might have been working for someone other than the Turkish government at the time, and that could tie in with a Bataclan conspiracy, which I assume is what you were implying.
    , @Randal
    Been mulling over the exchange and it looks like I misinterpreted your comment in that last post (not sure quite why, now that I come to look over it again). I apologise for the inadequate concentration.

    Let me try again to respond coherently.

    You are saying the shoot-down came at a very bad time for the Russians, in that it closed off the potential for good outcomes from the atmosphere created after Bataclan. I agree with that, certainly.

    It makes sense that this would, as you suggested, help to make the Russians reluctant to jerk their knees too obviously in response to what might well have been a US-instigated provocation. This would jibe perfectly well with the related reasons I gave above for their not wanting to do that, surely?

    I suppose you're emphasising a Russian desire to mitigate diplomatic costs, whereas I'm emphasising a Russian desire to avoid a risk of direct escalation. Presumably both motivations would have applied, would they not?
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  66. @utu
    You are talking abut what Russia did after the attack. What I am saying is that one has to look at what happened before the Turkey's AF attack to see why after the attack Russian reaction was rather toned down even though they were furious. After Bataclan there seemed to be a chance to bring, say France into cooperating with Russia in Syria which was the best dream Russia could have had. So obviously after the shooting down of the Su-24 Russia did not want to escalate and push some NATO members like France even further away than what the US wanted by the shooting down of the Su-24 which most likely the US has instigated. One may look at the incident that it was directed against France in order to discipline her and bring her back into the ranks of NATO political line. This made any cooperation between Russia and any Western country in Syria impossible.

    For 10 days Russia was the greatest benefactor of Bataclan massacre.

    I hear what you are saying, I’m just not necessarily convinced that convenience in timing and cui bono is necessarily sufficient to establish conspiracy, as far as the Bataclan incident itself is concerned. I don’t dismiss the idea out of hand either, fwiw.

    Certainly the issue of the pilots being linked with the Turkish coup, if it’s not just Erdogan distancing himself, is suggestive that they might have been working for someone other than the Turkish government at the time, and that could tie in with a Bataclan conspiracy, which I assume is what you were implying.

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  67. @utu
    You are talking abut what Russia did after the attack. What I am saying is that one has to look at what happened before the Turkey's AF attack to see why after the attack Russian reaction was rather toned down even though they were furious. After Bataclan there seemed to be a chance to bring, say France into cooperating with Russia in Syria which was the best dream Russia could have had. So obviously after the shooting down of the Su-24 Russia did not want to escalate and push some NATO members like France even further away than what the US wanted by the shooting down of the Su-24 which most likely the US has instigated. One may look at the incident that it was directed against France in order to discipline her and bring her back into the ranks of NATO political line. This made any cooperation between Russia and any Western country in Syria impossible.

    For 10 days Russia was the greatest benefactor of Bataclan massacre.

    Been mulling over the exchange and it looks like I misinterpreted your comment in that last post (not sure quite why, now that I come to look over it again). I apologise for the inadequate concentration.

    Let me try again to respond coherently.

    You are saying the shoot-down came at a very bad time for the Russians, in that it closed off the potential for good outcomes from the atmosphere created after Bataclan. I agree with that, certainly.

    It makes sense that this would, as you suggested, help to make the Russians reluctant to jerk their knees too obviously in response to what might well have been a US-instigated provocation. This would jibe perfectly well with the related reasons I gave above for their not wanting to do that, surely?

    I suppose you’re emphasising a Russian desire to mitigate diplomatic costs, whereas I’m emphasising a Russian desire to avoid a risk of direct escalation. Presumably both motivations would have applied, would they not?

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    • Replies: @utu
    Thank you for your thoughtful answers. As far as the conspiracy angle obviously it is unprovable from what we have. All we have are cui bono, timings and feasibility. Personally I think that the Turkish incident was instigated to pour a cold shower on the budding romance between France and Russia. Russia was angered and shown its vulnerability, France was disciplined and recalled back to stand where its assigned place within NATO was and Turkey was just cynically used. Keep in mind that most significant improvements between Russia and Turkey already occurred before the attempted coup thus the shooting incident was put behind, meaning that Russia did not consider Turkey as a sole or even willing culprit. The coup might have been an attempt to prevent further rapprochement with Russia.

    Who was behind Bataclan is really a long shot. Clearly Russia was benefitting from it for 10 days until Turks brought everybody back to reality. Russia was forced back to play the role of the bad guy. Personally I do not believe that Russia has a know how, means and finesse to pull off a false flag event in the capital of a major European country, however, I am pretty sure there are "dial-a terror-attack" outfits that will do it for money and there is no question that FSB or GRU have connection to these outfits and their ex-Mossad handlers.
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  68. @Randal
    Been mulling over the exchange and it looks like I misinterpreted your comment in that last post (not sure quite why, now that I come to look over it again). I apologise for the inadequate concentration.

    Let me try again to respond coherently.

    You are saying the shoot-down came at a very bad time for the Russians, in that it closed off the potential for good outcomes from the atmosphere created after Bataclan. I agree with that, certainly.

    It makes sense that this would, as you suggested, help to make the Russians reluctant to jerk their knees too obviously in response to what might well have been a US-instigated provocation. This would jibe perfectly well with the related reasons I gave above for their not wanting to do that, surely?

    I suppose you're emphasising a Russian desire to mitigate diplomatic costs, whereas I'm emphasising a Russian desire to avoid a risk of direct escalation. Presumably both motivations would have applied, would they not?

    Thank you for your thoughtful answers. As far as the conspiracy angle obviously it is unprovable from what we have. All we have are cui bono, timings and feasibility. Personally I think that the Turkish incident was instigated to pour a cold shower on the budding romance between France and Russia. Russia was angered and shown its vulnerability, France was disciplined and recalled back to stand where its assigned place within NATO was and Turkey was just cynically used. Keep in mind that most significant improvements between Russia and Turkey already occurred before the attempted coup thus the shooting incident was put behind, meaning that Russia did not consider Turkey as a sole or even willing culprit. The coup might have been an attempt to prevent further rapprochement with Russia.

    Who was behind Bataclan is really a long shot. Clearly Russia was benefitting from it for 10 days until Turks brought everybody back to reality. Russia was forced back to play the role of the bad guy. Personally I do not believe that Russia has a know how, means and finesse to pull off a false flag event in the capital of a major European country, however, I am pretty sure there are “dial-a terror-attack” outfits that will do it for money and there is no question that FSB or GRU have connection to these outfits and their ex-Mossad handlers.

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  69. @Andrei Martyanov
    Obviously, nobody here heard of COTS--Commercial Off The Shelf. Yet, somehow everybody here so far misses the fact that Jihadists in Syria were getting much more complex systems, how about TOW missiles for one, than some cottage industry made drone.

    The sophisticated internals (navigation, control, etc.), and the swarm nature of the attack, is much more impressive, requiring a degree of logistics, testing, and technical expertise that one suspects might be beyond the capabilities of 80 average IQ Islamists,
     
    Utter BS.

    That’s what I was going to say, that they could easily have been bought somewhere either needing assembly or assembled. Probably were stolen from a military warehouse.

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  70. @Verymuchalive
    Brabantian, you have been certified a looney by our own beloved leader himself, Prince Regent Ronald Unz. You didn't contest the description.
    Your source for this story is the conspiratorial Veterans Today. You can surely do better. Any corroboration ?

    Veterans today LOL

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  71. @Andrei Martyanov

    The drones were booby-trapped precisely to prevent Russia obtaining evidence of their origin etc.
    Primitive jihadis have less motivation to add a level of complexity to their UAV’s.
     
    Again, this is NOT such a level of "complexity". Already in Afghanistan, and I have many acquaintances who went through it and, later, in Chechnya the level of booby-trapping was extremely high.

    The carefully crafted wording of the Russian announcement is basically saying that they know which state is involved, and that no repeat performance will be tolerated.
     
    See my post above from yesterday, once the word Idlib was pronounced, plus Turkey called up Russia's and Iran's Ambassadors to Turkish FM it was clear who was largely behind it. Considering the fact that SAA just now returned the control to the Air Base Abu-Dukhur and the pincers are about to meet... so, you can easily derive the picture. As they say--the revenge served best cold. Of course there are many unhappy campers in Ankara.

    this is NOT such a level of “complexity”

    One argument for it being so complex is the fact that the rebels couldn’t have had the coordinates. The base itself is I guess fairly large. It could’ve hit concrete at the airstrip or even more likely the empty area near it. WW2 Germans didn’t manage to hit London reliably enough, how could these rebels – who just a short time ago didn’t even know where the holes on their asses are – suddenly find the place where the airplanes were parked..?

    It’s now the official Russian viewpoint.

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    • Replies: @Randal

    One argument for it being so complex is the fact that the rebels couldn’t have had the coordinates. The base itself is I guess fairly large. It could’ve hit concrete at the airstrip or even more likely the empty area near it.
     
    The drones didn't hit anything though, that was the earlier mortar attack, which presumably was spotted. The drones were reportedly all either shot down or dealt with by EW countermeasures. As far as we know all they needed was rough coordinates for the base and if the Russians hadn't dealt with them they'd just have blown up some empty space.

    Here's an interesting little coincidence, though. In that piece you linked they report:


    Also notable in terms of the potential for US involvement, which also affirms that Russian suspicions are not mere "paranoia," is that one of the high level planners behind CIA operations in Syria, former CIA Acting Director Michael Morell, declared publicly that "we need to make the Russians pay the price" in Syria by "covertly" killing them via proxies.

    The CIA's Morell said the following in a televised Charlie Rose interview at that time:

    Morell: We need to make the Iranians pay the price in Syria; we need to make the Russians pay the price.

    Rose: We make them pay the price by killing Russians and killing Iranians?

    Morell: Yes. Covertly. You don't tell the world about it. You don't stand at the Pentagon and say we did this. But you make sure they know it in Moscow and Tehran. I want to go after those things that Assad sees as his personal power base. I want to scare Assad. I want to go after his presidential car. I want to bomb his offices in the middle of the night. I want to destroy his presidential aircraft. I want to destroy his presidential helicopters. I want to make him think we are coming after him.
     

    [Emphasis added]

    The highly suspect "Free Alawite Movement" reportedly linked with or claiming (according to some reports) these latest attacks on Khmeimim seems to have originated in 2016, and one of its earliest operations was reported to have been the assassination of the bodyguard of Assad's wife by bombing his car.

    Perhaps that's the closest they've been able to get so far to fulfilling Morell's organisation's tactical objectives, and they've been repurposed.

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  72. @reiner Tor

    this is NOT such a level of “complexity”
     
    One argument for it being so complex is the fact that the rebels couldn’t have had the coordinates. The base itself is I guess fairly large. It could’ve hit concrete at the airstrip or even more likely the empty area near it. WW2 Germans didn’t manage to hit London reliably enough, how could these rebels – who just a short time ago didn’t even know where the holes on their asses are – suddenly find the place where the airplanes were parked..?

    It’s now the official Russian viewpoint.

    One argument for it being so complex is the fact that the rebels couldn’t have had the coordinates. The base itself is I guess fairly large. It could’ve hit concrete at the airstrip or even more likely the empty area near it.

    The drones didn’t hit anything though, that was the earlier mortar attack, which presumably was spotted. The drones were reportedly all either shot down or dealt with by EW countermeasures. As far as we know all they needed was rough coordinates for the base and if the Russians hadn’t dealt with them they’d just have blown up some empty space.

    Here’s an interesting little coincidence, though. In that piece you linked they report:

    Also notable in terms of the potential for US involvement, which also affirms that Russian suspicions are not mere “paranoia,” is that one of the high level planners behind CIA operations in Syria, former CIA Acting Director Michael Morell, declared publicly that “we need to make the Russians pay the price” in Syria by “covertly” killing them via proxies.

    The CIA’s Morell said the following in a televised Charlie Rose interview at that time:

    Morell: We need to make the Iranians pay the price in Syria; we need to make the Russians pay the price.

    Rose: We make them pay the price by killing Russians and killing Iranians?

    Morell: Yes. Covertly. You don’t tell the world about it. You don’t stand at the Pentagon and say we did this. But you make sure they know it in Moscow and Tehran. I want to go after those things that Assad sees as his personal power base. I want to scare Assad. I want to go after his presidential car. I want to bomb his offices in the middle of the night. I want to destroy his presidential aircraft. I want to destroy his presidential helicopters. I want to make him think we are coming after him.

    [Emphasis added]

    The highly suspect “Free Alawite Movement” reportedly linked with or claiming (according to some reports) these latest attacks on Khmeimim seems to have originated in 2016, and one of its earliest operations was reported to have been the assassination of the bodyguard of Assad’s wife by bombing his car.

    Perhaps that’s the closest they’ve been able to get so far to fulfilling Morell’s organisation’s tactical objectives, and they’ve been repurposed.

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    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    I was under the impression that the December 31 attack was established to have been a drone attack, too. At least there was a lot of skepticism regarding the fact that mortars could not be carried that far into Assad loyalist territory, and by a non-existing organization, to boot.
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  73. @Randal

    One argument for it being so complex is the fact that the rebels couldn’t have had the coordinates. The base itself is I guess fairly large. It could’ve hit concrete at the airstrip or even more likely the empty area near it.
     
    The drones didn't hit anything though, that was the earlier mortar attack, which presumably was spotted. The drones were reportedly all either shot down or dealt with by EW countermeasures. As far as we know all they needed was rough coordinates for the base and if the Russians hadn't dealt with them they'd just have blown up some empty space.

    Here's an interesting little coincidence, though. In that piece you linked they report:


    Also notable in terms of the potential for US involvement, which also affirms that Russian suspicions are not mere "paranoia," is that one of the high level planners behind CIA operations in Syria, former CIA Acting Director Michael Morell, declared publicly that "we need to make the Russians pay the price" in Syria by "covertly" killing them via proxies.

    The CIA's Morell said the following in a televised Charlie Rose interview at that time:

    Morell: We need to make the Iranians pay the price in Syria; we need to make the Russians pay the price.

    Rose: We make them pay the price by killing Russians and killing Iranians?

    Morell: Yes. Covertly. You don't tell the world about it. You don't stand at the Pentagon and say we did this. But you make sure they know it in Moscow and Tehran. I want to go after those things that Assad sees as his personal power base. I want to scare Assad. I want to go after his presidential car. I want to bomb his offices in the middle of the night. I want to destroy his presidential aircraft. I want to destroy his presidential helicopters. I want to make him think we are coming after him.
     

    [Emphasis added]

    The highly suspect "Free Alawite Movement" reportedly linked with or claiming (according to some reports) these latest attacks on Khmeimim seems to have originated in 2016, and one of its earliest operations was reported to have been the assassination of the bodyguard of Assad's wife by bombing his car.

    Perhaps that's the closest they've been able to get so far to fulfilling Morell's organisation's tactical objectives, and they've been repurposed.

    I was under the impression that the December 31 attack was established to have been a drone attack, too. At least there was a lot of skepticism regarding the fact that mortars could not be carried that far into Assad loyalist territory, and by a non-existing organization, to boot.

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  74. @utu
    The timing of the shooting down of the Su-24 was critical, I think. It was 11 days after the Bataclan massacre in Paris which made Russian intervention in Syria and Putin himself extremely popular in France and in Europe. The French aircraft carrier was sailing towards Syria and there were talks about joining Russia in punitive action against ISIS. The shooting down of Su-24 immediately imposed the NATO discipline on France and Germany and any rekindling of good relations with Russia was extinguished. The line was drawn between all NATO member states and Russia. We still do not know who have ordered the hit and who planned it. During the coup in Turkey seven months later Erdogan announced that the pilots were arrested for the links to the Gülen.

    This is whati can recall in news that France was asking for Russia Navy to provide coverage for its aircraft carrier in ME for Syria operation(didn’t know why it can’t do itself). Russia agreed but later withdraw due to some incidents (plane shotdown) requiring its own Navy usage. So France was stucked.

    Turkey Erdogan didn’t excuse itself from the responsibility of shooting down Russia plane. Its PM was very proud to declare he gave instruction personally to shoot down. And Turkey repeatedly justified its action with evidence that its pilot gave multiple warnings to Russia pilot that intrude into Turkey airspace(something like ridiculously 10 warning within few sec).

    So the conspiracy theory don’t hold. But US factor is highly suspicious, Turkey won’t dare to attack Russia assets openly without US backing. Doubt Europe wanted to escalate to such high level. Only US is highly probably. Look for who benefits most.

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