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07 October 2015


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Colonel, you were curious about China in Syrian theater




On the hunt. http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/610143/Islamic-State-ISIS-Putin-Spetsnaz-Syria-special-forces-airstrikes?_ga=1.97670751.179128034.1444228134


I saw Lawrence Wilkerson on RT talking about how the United States should cooperate.
They also showed satellite images our jihadists trying to hide weapons near mosques in the hopes that the Russians would bomb them.
Watch RT news folks.


Last night, after Carter first rejected the Russian offer, the Russian airforce destroyed the weapon depots of the U.S. paid and armed Liwa Suqour al-Jabal.


That probably made a point Carter urgently needs to understand: Go with Russia now or you are out.

The cruise missiles and the earlier "offer" of TU-22M or even TU-160 to join the fight against ISIS are also a reminder that Russia is able to protect its base in Syria with "over the horizon" weapons based in Russia. This just to make sure that Erdogan, and the U.S., do not get funny ideas.

As for targeting for the cruise missile strikes. There are IL-20 recce planes in the air over Syria as well as Russian drones. The SU-30 and SU-34 have decent AESA radar and IR capabilities that can be used for recce. Syria will also have spies in those areas. I therefore doubt that the strike targeting is solely based on satellites.


To Turcopolier:

I feel like I'm watching the Russians play chess while the Children's Crusade is playing Go Fish. The Russians are saying tell us where the unicorns are grazing & we won't zap them. I expect that the unicorns may simply be wolves in unicorn skins.

If the American public finds that some US agency has been facilitating the training & arming of Al Queda in Syria, we'll have another Iran-Contra on our hands. I doubt that the WH really wants to know where the ISIS Toyotas came from.

I agree with you & the Russians, a jihadi is a jihadi no matter how much wool you put on them & how many times you sheep dip them. If the Russians want to be our boots on the ground to eliminate the jihadis (all names & labels) more power to them.



Why doesn't CNN start asking NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg where the European Legion of men willing to fight for "Free Syria" are? There are 4,000,000 'refugees' from Syria in Europe. Where are all the Free Syrian Army recruiting centers? Doesn't the leader of the FSA (which "moderate" rebel is that now?) have anyone in Europe getting the many, many able bodied men we see on t.v. to sign up to fight for their countries own freedom? If they won't fight why the hell should we?

Babak Makkinejad

Col. Lang:

The ship looks to be in the Iranian sector of the Caspian Sea.

A. Pols

This has been very interesting to watch. I don't watch TV news except at the tavern of the day, so I'm not seeing how much is being shown on TV. But, beyond what the Russians may accomplish in terms of neutralizing Anti-Assad forces (I have always considered them all to be "Jihadis" of one or another stripe), this unfolding operation is good propaganda for them. It's probably salutary for Americans to see familiar "gun camera" footage of smart weapons blowing things up, nocturnal launches of cruise missiles from warships, and high end jets coming and going. We are used to such footage, but it's always been American stuff. It's a good thing that we, our congress critters, and the cadre of "public intellectual" blowhards, get to see that someone else has this stuff. Images are powerful things.
I will spend the rest of this month in Coronado and expect some interesting conversations.
By the way, I read the Trilogy and it was a fun read. Stirred me up. The next time I'm in my home town in Maine, I may have to drape a CSA flag on the statue of Joshua Chamberlain. The town fathers had it erected after the Ken Burns inspired apotheosis of Chamberlain. I tend to view the Civil War from several different angles, but on the main I think the North should have let 'em go in peace.



Brunswick? He was a good man, one of many. "A poor thing but mine own." I put into it everything I had learned of life. pl


Russians are also playing a chess game along the Turkey-Syria border. Just today Russian or Syrian, not that there is a difference,S-300 air defense systems locked on 8 Turkish Air Force F-16s on border patrol for over a minute. I can see an "accidental shooting" over the horizon which will complicate things even further, as if the Russian cruise missiles is not enough. But these are all subtle messages, a challenge if you will, that Russian Bear is again growling. It is a posture, which should tell Turkey not to mess with the Russian program. The cruise missile strike from the Caspian could not have been made without Iranian knowledge and cooperation. As far as the Russian targeting, I am sure Iranians also cooperate and they know better than anybody who is who and where in Syria. Add that now the new Russian capabilities on air, I am satisfied that they are hitting the right Jihadis on their time table. ISIS can relax for now, but after that little JAS anclave falls between Hama and Hums, reinforced and reequipped Syrian Army, with also support from the Russian Navy in Med can clear northwestern Syria all the way to the Turkish border.

My two cents is, if the Russians start eradicating the Jihadis without regard to who's they are, more power to them, why argue with that. Except for those who want Assad gone period and who will have no problems with a Jihadistan filling in the vacuum. That would be Erdogan at the front of the line.

In response to Booby's comment "If the American public finds that some US agency has been facilitating the training & arming of Al Queda in Syria, we'll have another Iran-Contra on our hands. I doubt that the WH really wants to know where the ISIS Toyotas came from." This is entirely plausible, it is no secret for a while now that Turkey has been arming and facilitating the radicals, and why it has not been made to cease and desist over the last five years is more of an answer than a question. I have also been wondering about those Toyota mechanicals, how do they get into Syria?


Col. Chamberlain was a class act!

" The momentous meaning of this occasion impressed me deeply. I resolved to mark it by some token of recognition, which could be no other than a salute of arms. Well aware of the responsibility assumed, and of the criticisms that would follow, as the sequel proved, nothing of that kind could move me in the least. The act could be defended, if needful, by the suggestion that such a salute was not to the cause for which the flag of the Confederacy stood, but to its going down before the flag of the Union. My main reason, however, was one for which I sought no authority nor asked forgiveness. Before us in proud humiliation stood the embodiment of manhood: men whom neither toils and sufferings, nor the fact of death, nor disaster, nor hopelessness could bend from their resolve; standing before us now, thin, worn, and famished, but erect, and with eyes looking level into ours, waking memories that bound us together as no other bond;—was not such manhood to be welcomed back into a Union so tested and assured? Instructions had been given; and when the head of each division column comes opposite our group, our bugle sounds the signal and instantly our whole line from right to left, regiment by regiment in succession, gives the soldier's salutation, from the "order arms" to the old "carry"—the marching salute. Gordon at the head of the column, riding with heavy spirit and downcast face, catches the sound of shifting arms, looks up, and, taking the meaning, wheels superbly, making with himself and his horse one uplifted figure, with profound salutation as he drops the point of his sword to the boot toe; then facing to his own command, gives word for his successive brigades to pass us with the same position of the manual,—honor answering honor. On our part not a sound of trumpet more, nor roll of drum; not a cheer, nor word nor whisper of vain-glorying, nor motion of man standing again at the order, but an awed stillness rather, and breath-holding, as if it were the passing of the dead!
— Joshua L. Chamberlain, The Passing of the Armies, pp. 260–61 "


PL and All, I read today on Huffpost French PM Hollande's repetition of the talking point that "As for Syria, Hollande reiterated the Paris line that any solution for Syria had to be based on an alternative to President Bashar al-Assad "

What do u believe the motivation of the French to be?


Technical question? How do the Russians manage the targeting without the much discussed "spotters?" Are the targets different? are they ready to act with wider CEPs? Do they have on the ground sources of their own - and, if so, how did they put them in place so quickly while we still seem to lack their counterparts around Ramadi?

Ishmael Zechariah


tayyip cannot get "ideas" even in his dreams. With winter coming, do you know who his biggest natural gas supplier is? Or, the volume of trade between Turkey and Russia? tayyipistan is not an independent country...
Ishmael Zechariah


Quick check of news sites mid-morning PST:
- guardian.us top of page mostly US stuff - storms, presidential election. No prominent mention of Russian missiles in Syria.

- nytimes.com has top page mention - under "Developing" -- of cruise missiles from Russian ships, but no at-a-glance information those ships are almost a thousand miles away in the Caspian.

-McClatchyDC.com leading with the story, top of the front page of its website, with rather dramatic imagery of cruise missiles; sourced to "Russian Defense Ministry Press Service" via AP

A. Pols

Yup, Brunswick. He was president of Bowdoin after the war. he lived to a ripe old age, but, like Claude, suffered greatly from painful poorly healed wounds.
My Dad taught at Bowdoin for many years...


The Russian military explained its targeting process:

During his meeting with journalists, Andrei Kartapolov stressed that all the targets had been properly analyzed using the data received from space and radio reconnaissance, communications interception, and photos made by UAVs. Data collected by intelligence of Syria, Iran and Iraq, including human intelligence, was also used.

He also explained that the strikes were carried out only against verified targets. Each strike is preceded by a long and thorough preparation.

The special file on each facility is prepared before the strike.

Andrei Kartopolov said that the final decision on elimination of targets was made only after the analysis of all the data and computer simulation of the strikes. Aviation targeting was made according to the same algorithm.

He stressed that modern high-accuracy munitions were used in Syria. High-accuracy engagement is reached by complex use of such munitions with hi-tech armament systems.

Andrei Kartopolov stated that the maximum deviation did not exceed 5 metres.


came across this "official" looking video montage of cruise missile launch footage.


Babak Makkinejad

Turkey, in that sense, has not been an independent country since the time of the Ottomans - at least for 200 years; dependent on European credit.

She is not as much an economic appendence of Europe as Egypt has been.


To answer your rhetorical question, because they dont have the beard for it (or think that the FSA' fellow jihadi's will slit their necks).


For a naive reader, does is this article mostly nonsense or does it seem to explain the motivations of various parties in the region?



Walter: Contracts from Saudi Arabia and Qatar.


To Booby
With respect to your last paragraph, sir, I doubt the Russians or the Syrian Army soldiers see themselves as your, i.e. the U.S.'s, "boots on the ground".
In your dreams, in fact.


Great article! I love the following:

"The strikes, spanning almost 1,000 miles of precision flight, were by far the longest range attack by Russian forces in modern history.

The cruise missiles flew over the Caucasus Mountains, Iran and Iraq before veering toward Islamic State held areas in the eastern portion of Syria, shocking military analysts as the weapons systems used were not previously thought to have such long range capability."

Many messages here..

Larry M.


"This is just to make sure that Erdogan and the U.S. don't get any funny ideas".

Well, according to McClatchy's Roy Gutman reporting from Istanbul on 4 October, Erdogan had a pretty funny idea back in 2012 when he established a no-fly zone of his own in northern Syria.

"Turkey has maintained a buffer zone five miles inside Syria since June 1912, when a Syrian air defines missile shot down a Turkish fighter plane that had strayed into Syrian airspace," Gutman writes. " Under revised rules of engagement put in effect then, the Turkish air force would evaluate any target coming within five miles of the Turkish border as an enemy and act accordingly".

Moving the goalposts…

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