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08 October 2016


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Lord Curzon


Charles Lister is reporting, via Twitter, that

- selected "vetted" opposition groups in northern #Syria are receiving additional weapons supplies through the US & regional state-run MOM ops room

-“vetted” FSA units are receiving new Czech & Bulgarian 122mm Grad rockets & MRL launchers

- TOW antitank missiles are also still flowing

- at least two shipments of MANPADS have arrived into northern #Syria, to “vetted” FSA groups

While I can't independently verify the above, it would appear the Administration has cast it lot with the jihadis.


Worried by the reported events I have just read in Wikipedia the narration of the Byzantine Sassanian war. Both big powers were weakened to such a degree that then the Arabs overwhelmed both empires.
Who will be the picker of the nuts from the shaken trees?


Obama must be under a lot of pressure to follow the CIA and Pentagon's advice to escalate. But it's clear he just wants to wrap up his 8-year stint and hit the links.

He probably made concessions on the MANPADS so he wouldn't have to approve airstrikes on Syrian troops (which is Putin's "red line")

Konashenkov's statement was a very wise decision on Putin's part. It removes all ambiguity about what will be accepted and what won't. The neocons need to realize that if they cross the line, it will mean war. That should take the steam out of Carter's plan to try to escalate secretively.

Now that all the cards are on the table, people can make whatever choice they want--war or no war, what's it going to be?

God help us.

Bill Herschel

What kind of military strategy is it to expose American fighters to destruction by the Russians. In Iraq I, the very first thing the U.S. did was to suppress Hussein's SAM's. Wasn't it? Based on the quote above, suppressing Russia's SAM's is going to be very difficult, bordering on impossible.

What the hell is going on? Is this a "Martyr Mission"?

FB Ali

May well be correct. Sounds like a typical Obama compromise.

The Russians will certainly respond. I doubt if anyone in the administration has thought realistically about the next few steps in the escalation (for that's what it is).

Peter L

More interesting than the existing S-400 battery is the recently deployment of the S-300V system, which is hardly related to the S-300 line; it's more of a dedicated anti-ballistic missile system capable of engaging even hyper-sonic re-entry vehicles cruising at up to 4.5 km/s and more importantly, low-RCS stand-off glide bombs that the USAF has recently fielded. Now these are claims, from marketing brochures, but if they can deliver a fraction of that performance, it would be a costly system to engage.

This is in direct response to the leaks which emerged Monday of the US re-considering "kinetic" options against the SAA.

Combined with the point defense systems like the Panstir and Tor, as well as the newly upgraded Syrian legacy S-200 and Buk systems and several missile cruisers off the Latakia coast, this will create a rather difficult multi-layered umbrella for any wayward USAF aircraft to commit mistakes upon.

More about the S-300V:


Chris Chuba

Agreed, while we leak statements that we consider a Pearl Harbor style attack within our purview, the Russian Gen. is warning us what their response will be in order to dissuade us. The problem is that I am not convinced that our leadership is living in reality. Our MSM is totally disconnected from reality.

I just saw the host of FOX's 'Journal Editorial Report' say to Kasparov in disbelieving tones how is unprecedented for the Russians to issue such a direct threat. Really? He, along with just about everyone else I hear commenting publicly on this topic assume that the U.S. has the absolute right to fly in another country's airspace and threaten their forces with impunity. How dare anyone shoot at our planes!

We are not talking about international airspace hear. In fact, the same people who are appalled at the Russian threat cheered when the Turks shot down a Russian Jet that possibly strayed into Turkey's airspace for a mere 17 seconds.

If we have people who cannot decipher the very clear and legal warning issued by the Russian General then we have people who have a weak bond to reality.


Northwest of Hama a Russian MI-8 helicopter dodged a MANPAD.

"According to a statement of the Hmeymim Reconciliation center, a Russian helicopter was attacked by ISIS terrorists.
The helicopter was attacked by manpads as it attempted to deliver aid in Hama. The crew successfully avoided the missiles.

"Due to the high altitude, early launch detection and the crew's skill in maneuvering, the missile was dodged. Nobody on board of the helicopter was injured," the statement read.

Sputnik reported that the ISIS terrorists reportedly received two MANPADS from Iraq on October 6 to ensure the air defense of the terrorists fighting government forces trying to take control of the M5 highway that connects Hama to Aleppo."


An excellent technical analysis of the S-300 family is here:


"The highly mobile Antey S-300V and S-300VM remain one of the most lethal area defence SAM systems ever developed, firing hypersonic missiles designed to engage aircraft, cruise missiles and ballistic missiles.

Designed from the outset for high mobility and effectiveness against targets at all altitudes, the S-300V would have been a key player in any late Cold War conflict. This weapon was developed to provide not only long range area defence, but also to engage and destroy ISR assets like the E-3 AWACS, E-8 JSTARS and U-2, and tactical jammers like the EF-111A Raven and EA-6B Prowler.

There have been repeated reports since the beginning of the decade in the Indian media that a buy of this system was imminent, but to date none has materialised. Numerous reports have also surfaced that the PLA is operating either an S-300V or S-300VM variant under the designation of HQ-18, although no hard evidence to support this claim has emerged as yet.

From an Australian perspective the possible deployment of S-300V family of missiles in Asia is of major concern. Rapidly deployable, high survivable, and highly lethal, these weapons are especially difficult to counter and require significant capabilities to robustly defeat. The US Air Force currently envisages the F-22A Raptor as the primary weapon used to defeat these capable systems.

It is important to note that no F/A-18 variant, nor the Joint Strike Fighter, were designed to penetrate the coverage of the S-300V/VM systems. The survivability of these aircraft will not be significantly better than that of legacy combat aircraft."

mike allen

There are already Russian Igla Syria and Iraq. The Igla MANPADS are in use in over 30 countries that got exports from Russia. Libya had over 450 of the Igla-S version (SA-24) but they have disappeared. Looted, possibly by Daesh or by al Quaeda. Four years ago it was reported that Syrian rebels had Igla MANPADs.

The PKK just recently used them to shoot down two Turkish helicopters, and reportedly even an F-16 just recently. PKK may have gotten theirs direct from the Russians in retaliation for the Turkish shootdown of the Russian Sukhoi last year.

mike allen

Colonel -

Good move by the Russians. They get the appearance of being champions of justice against the "evil" Americans. Meanwhile knowing that the Der ez-Zor incident was an accident and that America has no intention of attacking Syrian government forces deliberately.

I give them credit. How do you say hutzpah in Russian?

But I do not believe they will try to use those S400's against US air. They know their limitations.


Lister is in touch with many rebel commanders, there is no better authority on this side than him.

Not to be confused with his policy advice, which is rather against his better knowledge.

We´ll see about the manpads. Maybe just rumour to put a little scare into the Russians. But if they opted for this madness, we shall also see how long it takes until Nusra and IS get them.


From a Clausewitzian strategic theory perspective . . . what has led us to this . . . ?


Putin's own words regarding upgrading of the Russian arsenal



Sorry, I really am slow.

The Pentagon's $500M gift to film "anti-ISIS" movies seems almost certainly a double-false-flag.

The Pentagon asks for $500M from Congress to "film false-flag movies". It spends $5M on actual filming & editing, burning to CD-roms, duplication. A "set-for-life" package of $5M @ 3% guarantees an income of $150K/yr forever for each producer, say 4 producers=>$20M. Small palace, $5M; Bill Gates' insanely huge palace, $63M; so we throw in four more small palaces, we're up to $45M above-the-line.

The other $455M would then be spent on "extras" and "props".

Average Iraqi makes under $7K/yr. An army of, say, 10,000 extras would cost out at $70M/year. Guarantee pay for four years (it's a long production), $280M for "extras".

But we gotta film dramatic sweeping vistas. 1,000 practical used pickup trucks @ $5K each, that's $5M. Gas given free on-site. Flags & fancy uniforms, $20@, $0.2M. AK-47 + ammo, $1K@, $10M. Food for 10,000 extras for 4 years, @$1.5K/yr, $60M. 10% holdback for petty cash, $50M. Advisors, $9.8M. That still leaves $40M extra for random things that go boom.

And here's the ingenious part: After a film, the props are all scrap. They're worthless. So you give them to the extras to take home. Perfectly legal for accounting.

And that's how the Pentagon could, theoretically of course, hide funding a group such as ISIS in plain sight. If they were to want to, for some reason.


I would be interested in thoughts and comments on the timing and content of this. It has been rather common knowledge, I believe for several years, both here and on other sites: http://tinyurl.com/zwl6guw


mike allen

1 - Do you have a reason to think that the Deir al-Zor attack was an accident other than the US assertion that it was? 2 - You are convinced that the Russians are afraid of us and therefore will not use their air defense set up against us and our allies? 3 - If this last is your opinion then you think we have a free hand to intervene in Syria? 4 - Are there are a lot of marines who are liberal Democrats? pl



A defective analysis of the interests of the US state and the strength of Russia as a possible opponent. pl


Your post implies that Russian Federation has been the main arm-supplier for ISIS and Al Nusra (Al Qaeda) and other "moderates" in Syria. Do you believe that Russians don't want to see the end of the Syrian war and restoration of peace in Syria?
The presstituting MSM looks away from Israeli generals Yalon and Halevy who are openly saying that they prefer ISIS to Syrian sovereignty: http://news.antiwar.com/2016/06/21/israeli-intel-chief-we-dont-want-isis-defeated-in-syria/ https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2016/01/19/israeli-defense-minister-if-i-had-to-choose-between-iran-and-isis-id-choose-isis/
Is it possible that this Israeli attitude influences the US deciders? Or perhaps, the Israeli deciders are indeed the main pushers for the US support of jihadis in Syria, that is, for more blood and destruction in Syria....?


Agree sir. The inability of the US to formulate a coherent strategy would reflect the confusion of domestic political relations . . .

FB Ali

I have just scanned through some of it. I have no idea why this, and why now. Could be just some reporter carrying out an investigative project, and an editor with space to fill up.

I do notice that the report is not completely honest. On Omar Khadr, a child and Canadian citizen at Guantanamo, he writes: "Years later, he would plead guilty to war crimes, including throwing a grenade that killed an Army medic". That is true, but not the whole truth. Omar pleaded guilty because it was his only remaining option to be transferred to Canada (instead of spending the rest of his life in Guantanamo). The author omits this.

Incidentally, after a few years in a Canadian prison, Omar was released on bail by a High Court judge into the custody of his lawyer, the remarkable Dennis Edney ("I walked into Guantanamo as a lawyer, and came out a broken father"), and is now learning how to bicycle, ski and become an emergency medical responder.


Comment section on UnzReview: "By all markers, Ashton Carter is a high-functioning psychopath: he has “superior intelligence, as demonstrated by observed behavior and IQ tests; possesses impeccable social skills and exudes charm; often comes from a strong family background; is driven—he knows what he wants, and he knows how to get it; is calculating, cleverly assessing a situation and purposely planning action; is patient and willing to work people and situations until the time is right for him to make his move” – and he has no conscience." http://www.unz.com/mwhitney/pentagon-begins-low-intensity-stealth-war-in-syria/#new_comments
Carter is no Hagel; the latter was pushed out by neocons to make Carter their man in charge of Dep of Def - i.e., to make the war-profiteers and Israel-firsters happy. Hagel was in combat and he understood the horrors of war. Carter has been shmoozing with neocons to promote his career. By being a high-functioning psychopath, Carter could easily make a risky and amoral decision that, considering his position of a sec of def, could be extremely dangerous for a lot of people. The plutocrats should have already got a whiff of understanding that Carter could well "arrange" their extinction. Interesting times.

Peter AU

The CIA and/or similar institutions have been a big supplier/middleman of ex soviet weaponry to many groups. Much of that weaponry "Russian made".

mike allen

Colonel -

1] No, but why should I believe the Syrian assertion that it was intentional? And there is the knowledge of history that unintentional air attacks on blue/allied/third party non-hostiles/civilians are common among all air forces, especially ours. I do not condone the accident. I believe it was a criminal act: involuntary manslaughter. We did it to ourselves in Iraq and Afghanistan - did it to the Chinese in Belgrade - did it to ourselves and the ARVN in Vietnam - did it to ourselves in Korea - and did it to 750 Americans and 350 Brits and Canadians in Normandy. 21st century technology makes no difference. There were no Blue Force Trackers with the Syrians at Deir ez-Zor. And cockpit displays are not the magical, all-knowing presentation of battlefield info that the defense contractors claim and that Hollywood portrays. Other than that there is the fact that we would have no reason to bomb Deir ez-Zor. As a message some say? Why not send the message direct to Assad? And what was the message? I call baloney on that theory.

2] No, the Russians are not afraid of us. I never said that and had no intention of implying that. What I said was they know the limitations of both the S300 and S400.

3] No, we should not be in Syria. I am sick and tired of this R2P stuff. Although I have to admit that our support of the Kurdish YPG in Kobane against Daesh was a bright spot.

4] No. As a young Marine I voted for Goldwater, Nixon (to my shame), Ford, and Reagan. I recall registering to vote as a Republican in Jacksonville NC in the early sixties and being told by the clerk that they did not appreciate Yankee N-lovers coming down to stir up trouble. I took that personal as my father was a Virginian and he taught me that all political parties are out for themselves and not for the country. So I never voted Democratic for nigh on 40 years after that. Junior Bush pushed me away from the GOP, and his endorsement of torture and the Tea Party has kept me away. Maybe when they get rid of the crazies I'll come back to the fold. But it probably won't happen in my lifetime.


mike allen

I buy all that wiht the exception of the thought that SECDEF may be evading the CinC's control. pl


fb ali

"I have no idea why this, and why now." Assuming you are speaking of the 2005 tape, I think this was queued up by Ft. Brooklyn for this moment. pl

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