« "... blowing up in its face." John Podhoretz | Main | 2016 election forecast - 19 September »

18 September 2016


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Chris Chuba

"This was a complete mistake on US part IMO, as there are precedents for them targeting massed up IS formations in the area"

I don't buy this explanation. Unlike 2014, the RuAF is now available and capable of handling mass concentrations of ISIS formations at Deir Ezzor, especially now that they are not conducting operations in the Aleppo area. In fact, they are better suited because they have ground spotters and don't have to rely exclusively on UAV's. There was absolutely no reason for coalition aircraft to be in this area.

If this was intentional, I also feel bad for the pilots because chances are that they were not in on it and were likely setup to do something that they had no intention of doing.


In reply to eakens 18 September 2016 at 07:32 PM

On the basis of her past performance and stated policies Clinton by a country mile.

Chris Chuba

Here is a story from Southfront claiming that the ceasefire is now over

Sometimes early reports end up being wrong but I think it also provides an excellent summary of the original known terms of the ceasefire. In fact, I was so impressed that I posted it on a forum where people are generally ignorant of the Syrian civil war asking them to contrast this explanation to the drivel that they will hear on CNN or FOX.

This explanation is clear and straightforward while the news we get on our cable networks will use emotive terms to get us to feel anger and mistrust towards the Russians and Assad govt but if you think about the explanation that they offer on cable, it isn't even especially logical or even coherent.

From the Southfront story you immediately understand that the Russians wanted the U.S. sponsored rebels to separate from Al Nusra. In the U.S. reports ask yourself, can you even divine a logical motive why the Russians wanted a ceasefire?


Iraq yes, but Iraqi Kurdistan. Something has changed. The strike was a message that we no longer fear your air defenses. they are nullified. Of course, there were no s400's at Deir ezZor. But the message is we can do it here, and we can do it elsewhere. It's like that strike on the alleged nuclear facility at the same location 9 years ago. Ironic. The Israelis with NSA help figured out how to spoof the Syrian radars thus giving them control of the skies.

With the air defenses ineffective, no aircraft in the world can match the F-22 Raptor in establishing air supremacy.

As a side note this shows that the F-35 Lightning 2 is a huge mistake. We should have been building more F-22's and A-10's.




Once again, do we know what air defenses at Deir al-Zor consisted of? If the place was not defended then there was no "lesson" for the Russians. I believe we are using Iraqi air bases both in and outside Iraqi Kurdistan. pl

FB Ali

To add to my previous comment.

The real question to be asked is: Why was the A-10 there? The only combatants at Deir al-Zor were the Syrian army and IS. The last reported US action in that area was an air attack in 2015 that the Syrians claimed killed some of their soldiers (the US denied the attack took place). The US has never attacked IS in that area (presumably because it would aid the Syrian army). Why now?

Who ordered the air attack on 17 Sept?

That is where suspicion should be focussed.


FB Ali

My SWAG would be that SECDEF himself ordered the strike as a way to thwart a possible cooperation with Russia. pl



"The Israelis with NSA help figured out how to spoof the Syrian radars thus giving them control of the skies." I don't think this would be an NSA mission. it would probably be some part of USAF's technical organization. pl

Chris Chuba

This is actually an interesting reference. I am not endorsing the claims but it is a clever defense.

The Dailybeast (Borg Central) claims that the troops killed were conscripts who lacked uniforms so this would explain the mistaken identity. Even more interesting the article cites'defense sources' that Deir Ezzor is a frequent target of U.S. airstrikes, an average of 20 per week (more likely the province).

This prompted me to do a little searching and on this page you can actually get a daily report of all U.S. airstrikes.

I am really very sorry but it requires a little navigation.
1. First click on the name 'Syria' on the second map titled 'Strikes in Syria'
2. Then click on 'View information on Previous Airstrikes' and then a window will pop up where you can scroll through well over a year for a daily report. I wish I could give you one link to get to it but I couldn't figure it out.

In any case, the first 20 or so airstrikes that I found "Near Dayr Az Zawr", as they put it, were almost always on oil trucks or oil infrastructure. There might have been one or two on 'ISIL staging area'.


This is just a hypothesis but if you look at the attack of Mosul that will take place soon or is taking place, then the US needs this attack to go forward easily. The US needs to offer an exit way to ISIS from Mosul and Deir El Zor is the way out of Iraq and right now the SAA have still full control of the way out so we try to weaken them.

Babak Makkinejad


Yes, more Maria, less Samantha -



I find the relative 'evil' of Nazi Germany and the USSR illustrated by their relative treatment of each other's POW:

3.3 million Soviet POWs died in German captivity, out of 5.5 million taken. Death rate about 60%.

0.3 million German POWs died in Soviet captivity, out of 2.3 million taken. Death rate about 15%.

Someone will bring up Stalingrad, with ~6000 German survivors from ~91,000 taken prisoner. These men had fought for months while encircled, with only a trickle of aerial resupply. Typhus had broken out in the garrison due to the horrifically unsanitary conditions under which the German troops were living. The fact that many of them were dead men walking when Paulus capitulated was the fault of Paulus.


Indeed. In his "The Road to Berlin" John Ericson was given access to the voluminous records of field tribunals held for Soviet soldiers who committed crimes against German civilians. Erickson specifically noted that when a soldier pleaded that the Germans had killed his entire family as a mitigating circumstance, the tribunals rejected the idea that this mitigated the crime.

And yes, the sentences of these field tribunals were dire.


If indeed the bombing was an intentional sabotage by those high in the US decisionmaking structure to advance their own political agendas, this would seem further evidence that we are slouching towards old Imperial Japan in 1930s.

The Japanese imperialists were a strange lot: they were simultaneously deeply racist, but also believed genuinely in "liberating" Asian peoples from both their own ignorance and from oppression of the the Western Powers, and that it was irrational for other Asians to resist them. Consequently, they were simultaneously cruel and kind to their subject peoples, sometimes in course of the same policy, and elicited bizarre combinations of reactions: I had brought up the story of Korean pilots in the Japanese military who flew off on their final mission singing banned Korean nationalist songs (this recently became controversial because Japanese nationalist groups produced a movie about them some years ago that made these pilots look like unambiguously loyal Japanese soldiers, while their very existence is not spoken of in polite company in Korea). In a sense, this is echoed in our own liberinterventionism today: the advocates of bombing and invading for democracy(tm) and human rights(tm) are quite sincere in their own way, but are also given to, eh, a peculiar set of blinders that keep them from realizing how absurd their beliefs and actions are.

Of course, the Japanese were also infamous for not having their act together at the high command level: civilian politicians, navy high command, army high command, and regional military commanders (most notably, their commanders in Manchuria and China proper) all pursued their own agendas and sabotaged the agendas of their rivals. This is how Japan started invading China--the local Japanese commander began the fight in Manchuria in 1931, then with China in 1937--and almost fought a full scale war against USSR in 1939 (when the local Japanese generals started a border war without informing Tokyo). So are we repeating their follies now?

Chris Chuba

The strike was a message that we no longer fear your air defenses. they are nullified.

After scanning through the daily report summaries, it was just a simple subterfuge. The U.S. gives the Russians a deconfliction notice that we are going to do one of our semi-regular sorties in the Deir Ezzor Governate. They think, oh, they are probably sending out one or two F18's to take out a few oil tankers somewhere well outside Deir Ezzor city. This allowed the coalition to send them into Deir Ezzor proper without much notice for a surprise attack.

After reading all of these comments and parsing the public statements I am very much inclined to believe that this was a deliberate act on the part of the U.S.

1. Yes, I agree that this was leaving a horse's head in Assad (and Russia's) bed (cit. the Godfather).

2. I do NOT believe that the message is that 'we are technically superior' because the Russians could up the ante by adding S400's. The message is 'go pound sand, we are not going to work with you ever'. The Pentagon, especially Carter, was having a fit over the agreement so I think that the Col's theory makes a lot of sense.


Chris Chuba

But was there a defense over Deir al-Zor during the attack and if so, what? pl


This wasn't addressed to me, but as a lefty, no, I haven't noticed.


As our Host is saying, the fact this attack got through does not prove anything about Syrian (or Russian) air defences. The US and Russia have a Deconfliction agreement, which probably includes not using SAMs in Eastern Syria where the "Coalition" is active. That may all be about to change.


Well, the Brits and Danes seem to have been in on the action at Deir Ezzor too.



Raises the question- did the USA apprise the Australian, British and Danish governments of any ulterior motive prior to the raid, or were they left in the dark? If the latter, then at least they can plead plausible deniability, but it isn't conducive to continuing trust and cooperation- but then, neither is a targeting stuff-up.



The Daily Beast is ah, um reporting, that those who were killed were really prisoners forced to dress like soldiers!!!!
Higher and deeper!

Babak Makkinejad

At that time, Japanese though, like their Euro-American counter parts, in terms of Race and Race Destiny. They thought, as far as I can tell, that the time of White Races was over and it was the epoch of Oriental Races - under the tutelage of the Japanese, to steal the march on Euro-Americans.

If Ignorance had a Prize, they would have been its highest recipient as well as exponent; a group of Medieval men strutting around as though they are Prussians.

The contemporary discourse in US is ideological and not racial - anyone can become a Euro-American, it is claimed, but this sentiment was not shared by Western people during 1920s - as far as I can infer from their writings of that period. They were racialist as well.

I was told recently that among well-to-do Northern European countries (Germany, UK, Denmark, France, Austria etc.), there is a new ethos; that EU is not built on the imprint of Christianity and the Classical Civilization but on the even older (and ill-defined identity)- the Celtic identity!

It's about ...German-ness!! The German-centered Holy Roman Empire! But the Germanic people have a hard time to accept the barbaric past. Where do you think Wagner came about with the whole resurrected Nordic mythology? The envy of a glorious past they cannot claim and a religion that they evidently cannot fully grasp.

It's in fact racial supremacy masquerading as revisionist history.

This also has echoes in the division of the world of Islam between the Seljuks and non-Seljuks.


I believe the crisis was sparked by Kennedy first positioning Jupiter missiles in Turkey. K responded w/tit for tat, and backed down after Kennedy finally said he'd remove the Jupiter missiles.


If Hillary wins I think she'll stay.


Israel is buying their oil through Turkey. Would be classic Big Lie.


The Danish Minister of Defence as confirmed that the F-16's were Danish planes.

Danish State Television: DR

The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo

February 2021

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
Blog powered by Typepad