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01 March 2020


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I would vote for a surprise rather than the latter. The Turks and their fiendish pets seem to have withdrawn from Saraqib without much of a fight. I interpret that to be because of attacks on their supply line and fire support units. I am going to shut up on Syria to make room for TTG's excellent analysis.


"You think the jihadis can do that?"

No, I don't and I never suggested it. The jihadis AFAIK have only mostly unguided rockets, badly manned artilleryy, and mortars.

It is definitely TKK rockets & artillery firing on the SAA. But reportedly Turkish drone strikes on the SAA are much more effective than artillery & MLRS. TAF drones have continued with deadly efficiency taking out Syrian armored vehicles. Turkey has hundreds, perhaps thousands of locally made killer UAVs:



In addition to barrel and tube artillery the Turks also have ballistic missiles, one of which has a 130km range. There are videos of them recently firing from a well laid out military camp so presumably in Turkey. It seems that the target was Safira military camp/arms factory/R&D labs (chemical of course!) SE of Aleppo, but according the the drone watching the site not much damage was done i.e. they missed.


@Ambrit: 'When did the Russians start to refer to Hatay Province as "The Stolen Province?" '

It was just a few days ago in an article on Sputnik news. In retaliation the Turks arrested the editor and three staffers of Sputnik's news bureau in Istanbul. I think they, or some of them, have since been released.



Ghost Ship

Turkish soldiers? Many of them are probably re-badged jihadists from northern Syria who have been trained and equipped by the TSK so they'll look like real Turkish soldiers.
As for the drones, I believe the TSK were allowed to use them for surveillance over Idlib which would have meant the SAA became used to them. Re-assigning them to artillery spotting would give the TSK a couple of days when they could cause mayhem but then they would be neutralized. FWIW, the SAA have recaptured Saraqib already. The TSK/terrorist Happy Time appears to be over.
The TSK are claiming they've destroyed a couple of dozen heavy self-propelled artillery pieces. The Russian Army has about 1,200 modern ones in service and 1,400 in storage. The SAA might have a temporary shortfall but that'll be made up very quickly.
I doubt Russia will indulge in counter-battery fire against TSK heavy artillery in Hatay, that's a political step too far for Putin but the Syrians will be supplied with more heavy artillery pieces so they can do the job themselves. Meanwhile, the "Syria Express" will keep operating through the Bosphorus, delivering the guns and ammunition to Syria.


Ghost Ship

Is there any reason to think that the sultan's conscripts led by the survivors of Islamist purges are any better than the jihadis themselves? These are not the Turkish Kemalist 'askar that I served with long ago. Erdo I has overestimated his position and his leverage. Russia has told him to f---k off. Trump has done the same in the matters of US Patriot units and the possibility of US air support in Syria. His forces are in retreat. A student of war in the abstract might think that an optimal R+6 move would be to trap a Turkish vehicle column out of the M-4, knock out the first few and last vehicles and then pound the s--t out of them Erdo's reaction would be interesting. BTW Excellent series on Netflix originals on the fall of Constantinople "The Ottomans"

Barbara Ann

Having Erdogan isolated is good news, but potentially very dangerous, if he feels he has nowhere to go. The student of war in the abstract you describe may inadvertently start WWIII. What would the much wiser student of war and of this specific predicament (yourself) advise Colonel?


It is impressive how drones and AD systems like Pantsir (which is relatively cheap) and S-300 or S-400 are shaping the results of this war everytime it heats. I hope my country`s military is paying attention...


Given the situation in IDLIB, Erdo has been forced to regularize his relationship with HTS, which continues to fight with and against the "moderate" jihadis. He is likely to get stuck with all of them and their families.

Hatay went to French-mandated Syria in the 1923 agreements. It had a very mixed population that included Sunni and Alawite and Christian Arabs, as well as what was left of the region's Armenians and Syriacs. There was also a significant Turkish presence, but small that the above. Thus they remained in Syria until the French prepared to leave. Turkey began moving thousands of Turks into the area so that they could shape the population deciding on their future. The French were in no mood the get into it with Turkey, so they just let them take over. This sent most of the Armenians and Syriacs across the new border, as did other Christians and, of course, the Alawites.

Despite all this there remains a small contingent of Christians, but of course four of the five of the heads of Eastern Orthodox and Catholic churches called "Patriarch of Antioch" had to set up shop in Damascus, except for the Armenian, who settled in Antelias, Lebanon. The Maronite Patriarch established his see in Bkerke, Lebanon centuries before.

Kilo 4/11

@ Leith | 01 March 2020 at 09:39 PM:

“how did she ever manage to tote and load 100 pound projos?”

Well, they lowered all the PT requirements for girls in Boot Camp, so maybe they made it a two person job for her? But that probably wouldn’t sit too well with the other cannon cockers, so perhaps she was slotted into the job after making E-4 in some other role.

“a 24-hour stint of loading shells back in 1968.” Awesome - worthy of John Henry! Sounds like you were caught up in Tet. I just missed it.

dean 1000

Slightly off topic. I didn't know counter battery fire was so fast now. Does it mean the US Army will convert its SP's into self-driving artillery and drop the armor to scoot fast enough to avoid CBF?

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