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24 September 2017


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Well that did not take long....



ISIS had besieged Deir Ezzor for three years and not once managed to hit the SAA headquarter there with precise mortar attacks.

We are now to believe that a much diminished ISIS in Deir Ezzor was able to precisely hit a Syrian headquarter just as a "target of opportunity" in form a Russian three-star general visited it?

No one will believe that. The incident replicates the precise hit on a just set up Russian military hospital near east-Aleppo. At that time Russia accused the U.S. of having coordinated with Jihadis by transferring the precise target coordinates (and more).

Over the last week Russia has again and again accused the U.S. of coordinating al-Qaeda (in Idleb) and with ISIS in Deir Ezzor. The accusations are very plausible. Now a three-star General and two Colonels get killed.

Russia says the attack was by ISIS. Doing so avoids the need to escalate immediately.

U.S. persons in the Middle East should be very careful. One doesn't tickle the bear with consequences.


The Russians are denying it.



I wondered when reading the post about the 42.5T as wikipedia list T90s at 45T+ (depending on version). Seemed like a bit of a problem going forwad unless there are plans to upgrade/replace it in the near future.



There are other ways to get these heavier tanks across the river. You can build rafts with the the pontons of the pontoon bridge sets or you can build a pontoon bridge. pl


I recall this report filed by AMN recently about a near-miss on top SAA-general Khadour around Dair as-Saur:


"High ranking Syrian general barely escapes death in Deir Ezzor
By Leith Fadel - 13/09/2017

BEIRUT, LEBANON (9:40 A.M.) – One of the highest ranking commanders in the Syrian Arab Army (SAA), General Mohammad Khaddour, barely escaped death on Tuesday after an Islamic State (ISIL) faction opened fire on his convoy in western Deir Ezzor.

According to a Syrian Army source in the Deir Ezzor Governorate, General Khaddour was being transported through the recently liberated Thardeh Mountains, Tuesday, when a group of ISIL terrorists shot-up the vehicles traveling in this military convoy.

The source added that the high ranking Syrian general was almost killed by the attack, as he was sitting in the front seat of the vehicle that was targeted by the Islamic State terrorists. [...]"

Granted, this happened at Mt Tharda to the south and west of the Euphrates, and can of course be explained away with ISIL having a spell of - in that case, not quite enough - luck. The plot thickens either way.



I am concerned that DJT has given CENTCOM too much "rope." pl


JJackson -

Still possible to get T90s across as the Colonel suggests.

Also at 45 tons, the T90 is only a very small percentage over the 42.5 limit. The Wiki specifications could be wrong, or old and understated? That PMM-2M has been ubpgraded many times since it first appearance several decades ago. It seems counter-intuitive that the Russian MoD would build tanks incapable of using available bridging equipment.

On the other hand, why bother sending T90s across? Omar oilfield is in open country and can be taken without heavy tanks. The more severe fighting will be done against Daesh diehards in Mayadin and al-Bukamal, both west of the Euphrates. Anyway the Tiger Forces and their T90s are reported to have been moving west towards the fight in Idlib province. The other SAA unit with T90s is the 4th Division, where they are I don't know but they are usually kept close to Damascus. Have more T90s been sent by Moscow to other Syrian units?


Asapov was leading from the front. A grand old principle of leadership. He has my respect. Repose en paix soldat.


b says once again that the US is aiding Daesh.

Meanwhile on yesterday and the day before there were 65 Coalition airstrikes on Daesh in Syria and another 20 against Daesh in Iraq:


Doesn't sound like aid to me.


Yes, way too much rope. He is following Obama in that. When CentCom bombarded the SAA in Deir Ezzor to sabotage Kerry's agreement with Russia Obama did ... nothing.
He should have beheaded CentCom for that. Then again - he probably disliked Kerry's agreement as much as the Generals.


A bunch of well updated T-62s has recently arrived in Syria.



"When CentCom bombarded the SAA in Deir Ezzor to thwart Kerry" You are guessing and it was outside the town. I am not sure why this sad thing happened. Misadventure in war is commonplace. When I am sure what happened I will say so. pl



Asapov has my respect as well. I have seen many US general officers on battlefields way up in front. pl


james "There are no accidents." Are you really that ignorant of what war is like? pl



It looks that way to you because you (like b) want to believe anything and everything bad about the US. p


b -

M models or something newer? GlobalSecurity.org says the SAA already has 1000 T62M and K versions. Do you know which SAA units are they going to?


My experience of river crossing in birthday suit -being first resulted in no leeches... seemed like they were attracted by our splashing. Half the guys had visitors...



Here is how that works. IS can have FOs in buildings within observation distance of this target. The FO phones the gun back a ways with the GPS coordinates after observing activity. The gun crew lay the gun for elevation, charge and deflection and drop three rounds down the tube in quick succession. They would then land inside whatever the CEP of the gun is. pl


pl and mike Thanks for the clarification.

I guessed, having no military experiance, that the nominal load carrying ability of this kind of kit would be conservative and in practice would vary considerably depending on the ease of access and egress from the water and the how rough it was. Would that be right?


Richard Stephen Hack-

Three rounds is more than any mortar or artillery crew should fire before they move - and move quickly. 'Shoot and scoot' is mandatory today unless you want to commit suicide. Russian counter-mortar tech is as good or better than what the US and NATO have.



Let us hope that the counter-mortar nailed them. Perhaps they had more than one gun? In the old Iraqi Army they would have had a section of three, and we seem to think that IS learned soldiering from the Iraqi soldiers they recruited. I watched the old guys shoot mortars in the IR/IZ war. They had one FDC and laid the guns as a section to fire a closed sheaf. They built a "measle sheet" with pre-registered targets and either fired those or adjusted from them. pl



You should know by now that I agree with you. pl


Here is video of an Euphrates crossing east of Deir Ezzor
According to the Russians the Bridge is 210m long and can serve 8000 vehicles per day. It is not a pontoon bridge but some construct on pillars.
The tracked ferry vehicles are also in that video.
It seems that a smoke screen is put up (badly) to prevent too early detection.


Perhaps? According to sources in Crimea the shells landed at the same time...3 tubes involved...all with pin-point accuracy on first strike.

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