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28 September 2016


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Willy B
To be clearer, the Farafira district is a narrow piece of land just to the west and NW of the government controlled Citadel height. The Crowne Citadel hotel was there. I stayed at the hotel once. Nice place. The Farafira is fairly low topographically speaking and I imagine that the government forces are cleaning that up to have an area to act as a secure terrain base for the drive across the waist of East Aleppo. pl


David, I agree, and if I comprehend correctly, you mean the west (still) is so drunken on the Cold War victory that even, the death and destruction on her own wouldn't bring back the sobriety. I understand that, but I am not sure if average westerner walking in London, Paris or NY understand that. IMO, in this case, sobering only can come back, with a big slap on the face.
I thank you.

Babak Makkinejad

People are not so irrational, they are rational when they think that they have a handle on the risks; or trust the technical experts and corporate aviation leaders to be doing their utmost to reduce technical risks inhering in aviation.

They do not like it when they have no control over the risks.

I agree, however, with your general conclusion.


Yes, I've always thought it was the Donetsk/Luhansk rebels but I qualify that by saying that I believe they had no intention of shooting down a civilian airliner. Instead, the available evidence suggests they thought they were shooting down a military transport In the previous month a number of Ukrainian military aircraft had been shot down by the rebels, so the important question is why did the Ukrainians, the responsible authority, continue to allow civilian airliners to fly over a war-zone where they knew SAMs were present and could be capable of reaching the height at which civilian airliners normally fly? Also, why was the aircraft routed about 220 kms south of the Great Circle route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpar?
The other question that should be asked is how much did the crew of the BUK launcher know about the target? The BUK launcher itself only has target acquisition radar, the full complex is required to really know what you are shooting at and the Dutch have made clear that only a single launcher was present, so the operators had enough information to fire the missile but not enough to know what they were shooting at. The crew were reckless but I'm not sure they were murderous.
Whenever I think of MH17, I'm also reminded of Iran Air Flight 655 which was shot down under somewhat similar circumstances by the USS Vincennes.
When the media starts demanding of Russia that it accepts responsibility for the shooting down of MH17, something it was only indirectly involved in, ask how long it took the United States to accept responsibility for the shooting down of Iran Air 655 and the deaths of the 290 passengers and crew.


Nah, the State Department have got there first.
US warns Russia ‘extremists’ in Syria will exploit vacuum, attack Russian interests, cities
The US State Department has said that unless Russia “stops violence” in Syria, extremists would “exploit the vacuum” to attack Russian interests and even cities.
“Extremist groups will continue to exploit the vacuums that are there in Syria to expand their operations, which could include attacks against Russian interests, perhaps even Russian cities. Russia will continue to send people home in body bags, and will continue to lose resources, perhaps even aircraft,” said John Kirby, the State Department's spokesperson.
Kirby said if the war continues “more Russian lives will be lost, more Russian aircraft will be shot down.”


Here is a article that gives an overview from of the Aleppo campaign. It looks like there are three areas of SAA attacks. One in the south, west (middle) and north.


"September 24th - Aleppo, Syria - Pre-dawn around 4 am, the Syrian Arab Army and allied forces launched the largest phase of an all out offensive in Aleppo, which was declared on September 22nd. At the time of publication, this is an ongoing offensive in the form of a three pronged attack. The map below shows us the starting points of the three pronged attack - in boxes. "


Firstly, I am hoping against hope that any MANPADS that reach Syria are "chipped" via GPS or suchlike and made "region specific" at the factory like DVD players. Preferably they explode on launch, killing the user, outside the designated region.

If "unchipped" MANPADS reach the jihadis, Col. Lang understates the case - loose MANPADS in the Middle East will not just be a "major disincentive" to airline transport, they will kill it stone dead.

The mechanism for the demise of air transport will, first, be the unavailability of private insurance for hull loss and second, a lack of passengers once a demonstration is made.

There is no counter for civil aircraft that I am aware of against MANPADS apart from some fancy threat warning and jammers used by the Israelis and probably VIP fleets. The flare defence and similar military technologies are out of the question because commercial jets are not designed for violent manoeuvring flight.

As for opportunity, the footprints of the approaches to major airports across the world below ten thousand feet cover thousands of square miles and cannot possibly be secured. Redesigning airspace and requiring commercial jets to adopt a "combat" approach and departure profile is likewise out of the question.

In our wisdom the world has adopted unencrypted ADS-B (Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast) surveillance as the main tracking technology for all aircraft, meaning the call sign, airline, make, course, speed and position of any aircraft can be received and decoded by anyone with a cheap receiver and a laptop. A not stupid jihadi with an airline timetable is going to be able to pick and choose any target they like.

To put that another way, our entire air transport system is predicated on a non threatening environment.

If MANPADS are released, they will escape from the "moderates". If that happens make sure you fly to secondary airports that use approach paths well away from major cities. The jihadis are not stupid and will try to drop a B747 or A380 into the heart of a major city.

James Loughton

Or, manpads my show up in great numbers in Afghanistan where the US is heavily dependent on helicopters. Once begun, it's Katy bar the door.

Peter AU

Why would Russia send in a single launcher? If they felt the rebels needed heavier air defence, why not send a system.
The rebels may or may not have had an operational launcher.
Four to six weeks before the MH17 shootdown, AP ran an article on Ukrainian BUK systems on the front lines with a photograph of a BUK launcher on a transport near Slovyansk being moved as the front lines moved forwards.
Why did Ukraine forces have BUK systems on the frontlines? This has never been addressed in the so called investigation.

Peter AU

Hollande was talking of working with Russia in Syria until called into the white house. Something was put to his head.

Also the same with Australian PM Turnbull. After not allowing AU aircraft to bomb in Syria and being too close to China on the SCS issue, he was also called to the white house from which point in time he toed the US line.

mike allen

Jake -

Abo al-Ezz is not the commander of al Nusra. He may claim to be, but the commander is Ahmed Hussein al-Shar’a also known as al-Golani.


Mike allen

No, this creep is a subordinate commander. pl

mike allen

He could be a subordinate commander. But what is eating at me is that if he is subordinate to the al Nusra commander then why does he contradict his boss, who just less than two eeks ago claimed that America was on the side of Assad, Iran, and Russia?



Oh yes, they will.... Similar to how "nobody saw" the coming of the swarms of sub-Saharan migrants to Europe - and the flood of desperate refugees from the EU/US-destroyed Middle Eastern countries.
Here is an interesting legal issue that had been completely shunned by all parties till now:
"The Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 was amended by the Symington Amendment (Section 669 of the FAA) in 1976. It banned U.S. economic, and military assistance, and export credits to countries that deliver or receive, acquire or transfer nuclear enrichment technology when they do not comply with IAEA regulations and inspections. This provision, as amended, is now contained in Section 101 of the Arms Export Control Act (AECA). The Glenn Amendment (Section 670) was later adopted in 1977, and provided the same sanctions against countries that acquire or transfer nuclear reprocessing technology or explode or transfer a nuclear device. This provision, as amended, is now contained in Section 102 of the Arms Export Control Act (AECA)."
By providing the economic and military assistance to Israel - which is a nuclear state that refuses to become a signatory to nuclear treaty: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-israel-nuclear-treaty-idUSTRE64S1ZN20100529) -- the US deciders have been violating the US law. Moreover, "Some 80.8 percent of Americans oppose the $38 billion in “aid” that the Jewish lobby-controlled U.S. Government:" http://newobserveronline.com/81-americans-oppose-aid-israel/


mike allen
They are lying sons of bitches who are engaged in a wall to wall IO campaign and this guy got off the reservation. pl


Honestly, I am prepared to believe that any of the three parties to the dispute in the Ukraine is capable of shooting down a civilian airliner if they think that serves a critical national policy need (although the bar is probably higher on the part of the Russians).

I am also prepared to believe that either the Ukrainians or the rebels are capable of having done so completely by mistake.

As to who actually did it, I withhold judgement as I really don't think it ever will be unambiguously sorted out.


Iran make their own manpads so i assume Hezbollah doesn't need Russian ones. But Yemen would be a great market.


Faking a GPS signal is not trivial but it is also not impossible for a terrorist group. For the Syrian state it is probably trivial. For Russia it is. So would i like to see manpads explode in Syria because they think they are in DC? Probably yes, but nobody is stupid enough to use a GPS for geofencing manpads. (in hope)

ps. If you don't want to fake a GPS signal but just jamming it than all you need is a credit card and ebay


Why would Russia send in a single launcher?
I think that's what the rebels asked for and it's all they needed to knock down Ukrainian military aircraft. It was difficult to make out what the translator was saying as the speaker was too loud.
Why did Ukraine forces have BUK systems on the frontlines?
I guess because they were worried the VVS would come back and blow them to pieces.

different clue


Not the "West" in general. More specifically, rather; the elite governators and overlords of Western societies. And their Borgist courtiers. The rise of Sanders and Trump were signs of revolt by parts of the public against this Overlord Governator view.

different clue


My purely speculative guess as to why the Neo Nazi Coup Regime in Kiev would allow, or even engineer, the flying of commercial air flights into a danger-of-shootdown warzone-airspace is that they wanted such a shootdown to use to agitate the West into supporting them militarily. Just as the rebels used kitchen sarin at Ghouta to try getting the West involved militarily.

Same basic morality at work.


Whatever did happen to MH17, I simply don't believe the Russians lent an SA11 to the DNR.

It isn't a manpad. It takes a hihgly trained crew to operate.

I don't want to hijack the thread, but the lack of information about ELINT intercepts of the SA11's radars renders the report of dubious value (from the summary that I have seen). A lot of emphasis is given to eyewitness reports from the puported launch . Compare that to the TWA800 report where the eyewitness reports (from aircrew and others regarding a SAM) were dismissed.


If the Americans are reckless enough to allow this to happen then it's hard to see it not having some effect - at least on helicopter operations.

Maybe it's the sort of gambit they might pull in the lame-duck session? Then when airliners fall out of the sky, the new administration can deny responsibility.



Does not the lack of Iranian made MANPADS indicate that the Iran supplies the Houthis meme is BS? pl


GPS can be spoofed with readily available, cheap, off the shelf, transmitters.

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