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15 February 2016


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How embarrassing is it going to be for Josh Earnest when R-6 takes Raqqa?


On a technical point, wasn't the Afrika Korps the name for the entire German expeditionary force in North Afica under Rommel?

I think you might be thinking of the British Long Range Desert Force (which later developed into the SAS) which deployed in a similar way to the one you describe?

Trey N

Instead of the Afrika Korps, using technicals to operate in the desert and shoot up supply convoys more resembles the British Long Range Desert Group transporting David Stirling's Special Air Service commandos on raids deep into the Axis rear areas. The best defense against such units is air power -- which, fortunately, is an asset the ISIS/Daesh liver eaters do not possess....


Pat, I doubt I would have enjoyed the comments of Harald Kujat in a talkshow yesterday, hadn't I read your blog for the last decade.


Thanks Pat.


TTG, thanks.

Preparing for a short absence, with all due respect for the sighs of relieve, it may not last, I should have added:
Big thanks of course to the whole SST community for everything they helped me learn here. Not least to open my mind on military matters.

alba etie

This is very good update - thank you . Do we have an idea about how long it might be before relief convoys begin to help civilians in areas secured by the R +6 forces ? And is there any updates concerning Turkish military activity in Syria beyond the shelling of the last few days ?


Good luck to them!

Bill Herschel

What are "technicals"?

OT The Jeffrey Sachs article linked to in previous comments is a must read. First, if one could design a Hilary Clinton supporter it would look like Sachs. He has all the qualifications. Which makes it all the more surprising that his article about her could convince Chelsea not to vote for her. Her shows exactly how dangerous, ignorant, and dishonest she is. Read it.



Bill Herschel

A "technical" in the 3rd world warfare sense is typically a pick-up truck with some sort of crew served weapon mounted in the bed of the truck. pl

The Twisted Genius

john f,

I was referring to the entire SAA force, including the 555th Brigade, as akin to the Africa Korps. This is not just a raiding force. It is seizing an important LOC with the final objective of the air base and dam at Tabaqa. Perhaps the Desert Hawks are being used as a LRDG-like raiding/recon force in this offensive, but that would be a guess on my part.



Do the Kurds have the north side of the Lake Assad parallel route secured against IS shipments? pl

The Twisted Genius


The Kurds hold Tishrin Dam at the north end of Lake Assad. Unless IS has a reliable way of ferrying men and supplies the lake, which I doubt, Raqqa will be cut off from Turkey with the taking of Tabaqa.

The Twisted Genius

alba etie,

I have seen photos/videos of supplies being distributed to civilians in R+6 held areas, most recently into the newly relieved towns north of Aleppo. The Russians have airdropped supplies into Dier az Zor which are distributed to civilians by the SAA. You won't hear about this in the MSM.


Hope all is well


Re: Technical
Here is a visual. They may not like our religion, government or society, but they do like our trucks!


Least they could do is translate the plumber logo to local language. My guess they are short on irony.

William Fitzgerald


Return soon. We'll miss your questions and comments.

Auf wiedersehn



Wow, I agree, it's one of the most relentless criticisms of HRC I've seen. 2 thumbs up for Sachs, forever repenting the mess he helped make of de-Sovietization.

Bill Herschel



Radar, a few dozen modern patrol boats, and some naval commandos from the Russian Black Sea fleet ought to be able to solve that problem. Just not sure how the patrol boats would get there. Sikorsky sky crane or Rus equivalent was my first thought but they are slow and have limited range. I guess that goes in the 'logistic challenges' category.

Tabqah dam might be trouble, I read a Defense One story recapping WSJ story (behind paywall) about IS bigwigs and high value captives inside the dam on the theory that no-one would bomb it because of flood danger.
I imagine a dam would be hard to bust into but what do I know? The Russians did help with construction tho, so presumably they have the plans, and know where the front/back door is.


I would think any boats on the water would receive quick attention from Russian Aerospace Services, day or night. Big boats, and docks, likely to attract cruise missile attention. ISIS submarines from Turkey?

The Twisted Genius


So IS is using the dam as a Führerbunker. That's a damned smart move. It will be a tough nut to crack. It also presents a unique opportunity if SAA and Hezbollah commandos, perhaps augmented by spetznaz, can seal the entrances before IS can evacuate the dam.


Maybe they don't evacuate the dam - wire explosives and a dead man switch up to the turbines and floodgates, then open negotiations for safe passage out of the war zone for all their comrades.
I probably watched to many movies when I was a kid.

Bill Herschel

It is also clear from Sachs' article that Syria was apparently Hillary's project from the beginning. She was Syria's Victoria Nuland. Who was she serving when she pulled this stunt? The American people? That is a stretch.

Making her President would be a disaster.


So that would leave ISIL with supply routes running into Iraq and then north. SoD Carter has been saying that elements of 101st would be going to Iraq but when and where are unspecified. Also in an interview on the 11th he says that the objective seems to be to support local forces that will stay in the area (by that I assume Sunni tribes) and to crush IS by targeting Mosul and Raqqa. So I am assuming that supply lines between Raqqa and Mosul will be cut on the Iraqi side of the border if they aren't all ready and that the Shia militias will continue to push out from Ramadi and perhaps retake Fallujah and so on from that more southerly quarter. So in essence it would sound like the Russians/Syrias will now come at IS (after meandering north instead of west as the US had planned) from the west, the Iraqi government from the southeast and the US, Kurds and Sunni tribes from the Iraqi north. As to timing, Iraqi government was saying June for Mosul and Russians are talking about a March ceasefire and attempted negotiation probably referring to western Syria and not IS. Here is a link to an interview Ashton Carter gave a couple of days ago that was interesting. What I said here is leaping to some conclusions using open source material so take it for what its worth.

Old Microbiologist

Easy, just use sarin in there and gas them out. They already have used it themselves so it is easy to just call it an accident.

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