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01 October 2015


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FB Ali

Lavrov has now clearly said that they are targetting ISIS and "other terrorist groups".

It is amusing to see the US media attacking the Russians for not targetting ISIS, as they had "said they would do". Since when this purist adherence to strict accuracy in political/military statements?


Su-34 Fullbacks were also purportedly used in the raids. Here is footage of one returning to its base in Lakatia after a combat mission


Patrick Bahzad


Indeed, lavrov stated they had targeted ISIS positions near Deir ez Zor, but this is unconfirmed. Anyway, this was only day one. Media in the US made it sound like a full on assault agains moderates supported by the West, which is far from the truth.
Besides claiming everywhere that these were legitimate moderate groups might backfire, if it turns out they are in cahoots with the JaN Jihadis and Co (which they are in my view).



I notice that the Russians employ a number of different air platforms in order to accomplish their aims. I guess they've seen the US failure to turn one air frame into a master of all trades and understand that what makes a high speed interceptor doesn't make a ground attack fighter.

Fiorina constantly demonstrates why she needs to stay far away from the nuke codes with her declaration of a hot war Russia!

Totally OT: Bought the wife a Mediterranean cook book on a whim and got what amounted to a cultural textbook of the area. Thus inspired I bought some sardines and with the help of a food processor, lemon, scallions, olive oil, and garlic made an absolutely smashing anchoaide. Dignity restrained me from licking the bowl clean, but only just.


ISIS has never faced the A Team before, but now they will.
My question is this: Isn't it possible that --with the assistance of the Russian airforce--this campaign could go a lot faster than anyone expects???


How does this fit into the equation? http://www.timesofisrael.com/under-russian-cover-iran-troops-to-launch-syria-assault/

Earlier some advisors worked with Hezbollah. http://freebeacon.com/national-security/israel-threatened-by-iranian-ground-forces-on-northern-border/ Now, what happens if Iranian mechanized troops start fighting JAN nearby to Israel?

The plot seems to be getting really thick.

Russia's deep pocket and Iran's abundance of youth for soldiers and Israel's sensivity against fighting across its borders, some small inadvertence could set the whole thing to a real blaze of unintended chaos.

Mark Logan

FB Ali,

Humor alert only. Offered as a metaphor for the US press's utter inability to grasp the mind of "the bear" and the resultant shrillness...


FB Ali


You obviously haven't seen his latest press conference. Here is the relevant portion (see video):



You'll love this:
"Saudi Arabia, in UN speech deplores, world’s inability to end bloodshed in Syria"

Peter in Toronto

Those poor terrorists. The Department of State staffers must be crestfallen. :(

How dare the Russians dispatch the most immediate threats to the Assad government rather than chasing down ISIS in the Western deserts.

Don't the Americans have a carrier strike group, allegedly for that purpose? What are they waiting for?

William R. Cumming

French Foreign Minister tonight in a Charlie Rose interview flatly stated NO Terrorists in Syria as of June 2012 only anti-regime components. Is this accurate?

Patrick Bahzad

Yes I have seen it.

I was talking about the first day of airstrikes on Sept. 30th.
You're talking about a statement Lavrov made about what the Russians carried on doing the day after.

If I want confirmation of ISIS presence South-West of Idlib, or any other place, I'm not gonna go with a Lavrov statement only. I might as well ask Kerry about what's going on and take his word for granted.


Syrian born Turkish journalist Husnu Muallim who writes for Yurt newspaper claims that Russia's primary objective is the annihilation of Chechen and Caucasus jihadis concentrated around Idlib area. This journalist is known as the primary source of what is going on in Syria, since he is from Jarabulus and has extensive family and friend contacts around the area. Before the Syrian war, he was known for his journalism around the Arab world.

Makes sense to me, where else the Russians will have the opportunity to eradicate their radicals concentrated in a small area? I can see that they will be very nervous of any of them coming back. And if ISIS, JAN and even the moderates are in their way, well, so much the better.

Patrick Bahzad

That is indeed a possibility and it is likely the Russians will specifically target the Caucasus fighters, as we have said in several threads here on SST as well.

However, this post was about short term implications, not about the Russian strategy as such. That is why it wasn't mentioned specifically.


Returning fighters no doubt are a longer topic by now. Maybe it didn't cross our minds, or the minds of those that are meant to inform us on matters, that Russia has that issue too? ...

I appreciated your look at the military angle, and why it may make sense. I wish I had your knowledge to immediately visualize matters, though. ;)


I nominate the French foreign minister for the Baghdad Bob award :) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CXl1GkWWGmA



Just as I was getting depressed, you solved my appetizer conundrum for tonight...

Patrick Bahzad


That interview took place in 2014. A Jihadi group in Algeria, ex-AQ having joined with ISIS, had just decapitated a French tourist in the area. That is what they are referring to it the beginning.

I just listened in quickly, but didn't hear the passage about allegedly "no terrorists in Syria as of 2012". The French FM even makes the case for a settlement between the "moderate" rebels and parts of the regime. But you would have to ask him what he means by that and who would be included, or not.


Well, Ramzan Kadyrov, is bummed out that Russia only plans air operations. He is ready to take his Chechen battalions in on the ground to annihilate Chechen ISIS terrorists and apparently everyone else. I think Syria should let these good psychos have at it. I'm sure they won't have too much problem with the fierce ISIS fighters, like the Pakistani-Brit recruits I read about in The Daily Mail, who complain about their Arab brothers stealing their shoes and helping themselves to their food.

Here's the Kadyrov bit: https://mobile.twitter.com/shaunwalker7/status/649180414632968192?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

ex-PFC Chuck

FWIW, via Moon of Alabama I just saw this which offers an explanation of what induced the Russians to drop the other shoe. I know nothing about the site or the author:


The key part of what you said is "this campaign". I have to take this to mean what the Russian/Syria govt/Hizballah want



Here for you.


without following your advice, the author of the site is around occasionally under "b".

The site as "moon of alabama" was quite interesting in the post 911 universe, at that time its author appeared to be American, the current hunter for fast sensations seems to be German.



"b" or "MofA" if you prefer was always a German. He is a former oberleutnant of Panzergreandiers in the Bundeswehr and quite a valualble fellow. pl


Ok, you suggest he shifted from billmon to "b"? Could be, didn't keep records allowing me to compare style. But my instinct still tells me that billmon and b are not the same.

Apart from that, it was a stupid comment, no doubt. Shall not happen again, b:

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