Both here and in the comments section at the Unz Review, I am noticing a steady stream of hostile comments directed at those who, like Rambo and myself, who are urging caution and realism about the entire Russian operation in Syria. A week ago I felt compelled to post a rant entitled “answer to a disappointed reader” but apparently, this was not enough. So today I want to share with you some of the views of Konstantin Sivkov whose credentials are, I hope, impressive enough for everybody:
Konstantin Sivkov: Doctor of Military Sciences, the first vice–president of the Academy of Geopolitical Problems, a military expert. He was born in 1954. In 1976 he graduated from the Naval College. He served in the Navy. He graduated from the Military Medical Academy. In 1992 he graduated from the Academy of the General Staff. From 1995 to 2007 he served in the General Staff of the Armed Forces. A specialist in the field of military political science. He participated in the development of doctrinal documents determining the development and use of the Armed Forces.
Good enough? He was recently interviewed by Svobodnaia Pressa (free press). I hope to bring you the full text of the interview in the next couple of days. In the meantime, here are some of the highlights of what Sivkov had to say:
- The Syrian Army offensive has grinded to a halt
- In several locations Daesh successfully counter-attacked
- The airbase at Latakia is maxed out or will very soon be
- The Russians are not providing close air support, but only strikes on operational-level fixed targets
- There are signs that the Syrian military is running out of ammunition
- The USA are supplying Daesh with ammunition to compensate for the ammo dumps destroyed by Russian airstrikes
- Russia will probably have to engage long-range aviation to compensate for the small number of aircraft in Lakatia
- The Russian flotilla in the Caspian has used up almost all its cruise missiles
- Dash forces are commanded by very skilled officers from the ex-Iraqi army
- Russia needs either another airfield in Syria or, better, the agreement of the Iranians to let the Russian deploy more or less 120-130 aircraft on Iranian airfields
- The Russian force in Latakia is very vulnerable and the base will have to be urgently reinforced
Sivkov said many more interesting things, but I will wait for the translation before commenting on them. My point is that we most stop the stupid flag waving under the pretext that we are pro-Russian or pro-Syrian! The Russian operation so far has been very successful, but the fact remains that the Syrian offensive is stalling. Yes, the performance of Russian pilots has been superb, but the Russian force in Syria is so small that it cannot, at this point in time, break Daesh’s defenses. Why? Because there are not enough aircraft to do bombing on operational level targets (command posts, ammo dumps, infrastructure) and close air support.
Guys, please make no mistake, the Russians are very good, yes, but their operation is extremely daring, dangerous and difficult and, as for right now, the deciding factor is not the Russians in the skies, but the Syrians on the ground and they are having serious difficulties: several successful counter-attacks by Daesh have prevented the Syrian forces from concentrating on key offensive directions and, instead, they had to move elsewhere to stop the advance of Daesh. In other words, the initial plan has failed. Yes, Russia has options, especially if the Iranians give their full support, but right now the situation is very difficult.
At the end of the day, I suppose that it all boils down to this: do we trust Putin and the men around him. I do. Completely. But all that flag-waving and high-fiving is totally premature and, frankly, indecent. Just in the last couple of days, an Iranian general and a senior Hezbollah commander have died and the best way to honor them is not to act like Dubya did and not to declare “mission accomplished” when there is a long and hard struggle ahead. The best way to honor these men is to recognize the heroic nature and great difficulty of their struggle.
Right now, it could go either way. In theory, Daesh could break under pressure and basically collapse. This is possible, but this is not what I expect will happen. I expect Daesh to show flexibility and adapt to the new environment at which point the Russians will have to bring in more forces (although a Russian ground offensive is not on the table). As for the Iranians, they cannot afford to allow Daesh to prevail, so if the Syrian military continues to be over-extended and lacking supplies, they will have to move in. If that happens, the Americans and their Arab stooges in the region will go ballistic. So make no mistake, there next couple of weeks will be extremely dangerous.
In conclusion, here below is some recent footage of a Russian SU-30SM meeting a US MQ-9 Reaper drone over Syria. I expect a lot of that will be happening in the near future. So let’s quit the stupid flag-waving!
mod.comment: Could you please in future include a brief comment with your link, referring to it’s content. I forgive you this time because it’s truly funny!
Hi mod, howareyou:-! Your brief comment was: “Hail To The Flag”:-!
Borat, that was pretty funny I thought..those dum americans drank the potion until the song…they didn’t like the song…booo.
Poor Albino horse going backwards and falling on its rider was a special effects extra….it got scared from the booing and the dum rider didn’t know what to do…but did not drop the flag….hurray…
I don’t think Borat is at all funny… he is demeaning and insulting everything about Kazakhstan.
He and his mob are part of the AZ Empire who use ‘humour’ to insult. Especially the ‘mankini’ yuk and double yuk.
I agree with you.Though,I do think he also demeans the US with his satire as well.I’m not fond of him either, usually (except of course when he is exposing the hypocrisy of the empire).You would think that the promoters of the rodeo,would have known about him.They truly are stupid to not have figured out what he would do at their event.
Assad’s Syria was in a much worse situation than most were aware of. Syria was literally weeks if not days away from total collapse before Assad asked Russia to move in.
We live in Orwellian times. The war against terrorism is WW3 through agency, i.e. terrorism. This is the new US military doctrine! Therefore ISIS – used here as a term covering all the hundreds of illegal mercenary-outfits funded, trained, equipped and orchestrated by CIA/Mi6/Gladio/Mossad all over the world – is much larger, much more structured, much more sophisticated, far better funded (100+ billions USD per year?) than even experts are aware of.
As long as mercenaries and their equipment can freely move in and out of Syria by the thousands through Turkey, Iraq and Jordan long-lasting success in restoring Syria’s territory is obviously impossible.
Knowing all this and many more facts we other can guess at, Russia still decided to take up Assad’s request and support the SAA directly. Frankly, nobody with a ‘sane’ mind would have done this, except for Putin.
This is what people makes so excited, even over-exited. Fighting the just fight against all odds. The whole world has long ago lost hope that something like this would happen in our lifetime.
The flag waving part is just a naturally occurring side effect. As long as the Russian Military Command is not infected with this particular virus, all is good.
Your over-exaggerating how close Syria was to collapse. It was in dire straights to be sure but the time remaining was measured in months, not days or weeks. Russia has tipped the scales back to neutral, but I think they will need to do more for victory. Syria can’t win a war of attrition, they need enough support to win a decisive victory on at least one front.
Thank you !
Borat was a shameless ripoff of MAHIR, one of the first internet celebrities – remember him? “I kiss you!”
Mahir even sued Sacha RIPOFF Cohen, but I’m not sure what came of it
Sasha Baron Cohen will always be accused of promoting zionism for some reasons. But if you watch his movie The Dictator, there’s an epic criticism of America’s “democracy” near the end of the movie which is well worth the watch.
Baron-Cohen over-achieved in vicious hypocrisy by falsely accusing the Kazakhs of ‘antisemitism'(TM) using the vilest racist stereotyping and vilification. Yet the grovelers worshipped at his grubby feet. He specialises in a style of arrogant contempt for his victims, while ever-ready to commence whining about bigotry directed at Jews, that is intensely despicable, and perhaps the very outer limit of human hypocrisy achievable.
I found Borat tasteless and disrespectfull of human nature all the way. As a human being I felt ashamed
This is a displeasing phenomenon I have experienced several times, at fortruss, thesaker and Russia insider, often when trying to be realistic and reporting anything remotely negative you’ll get attacked. You do not even need to be very negative, just say things are not perfect and you will often find yourself under vicious attack, carrying on a normal debate and exchanging information is impossible without suddenly being accused of being a traitor or a troll or a Strelkov spy and so forth. This tend to makes the comment fields very boring at some pro-Russian sites.
It looks kinda like this.
Comment 1 : Russia is perfect hurrah!
Comment 2 : Russia is brilliant huraah!
Comment 3 : How is Russia so superior in everything they do?
Comment 4 : I heard that the offensive is going rather slow, here are the sources for my claims :
Response : Someone please banned this dumb troll.
Response : lol lol cry ameripig
Response : You are just a Strelkov agent spreading lies.
re: defensive posturing. Oh, I just don’t post anything that will elict a response here like rule #1 conspiracy theory vis a vis the Hegemon is OK but not against China or Russia .Big example is what happened to a certain person in Lugansk in May #2. military performance of cruise missiles : there is a certain percentage expected rate of misfire/accidents especially if you are flying them low over long distances and your surface maps may or may not be super current so ? any questions about possible Russian misfires do not get brought up on this site. period.
It is Human nature to be defensive. Now outright cynical nilhilism or lying: that is the mark of Satan and we must oppose it in ourselves and others.
See CrossTalk today 10/21/15 to see an example of cynical nihilism in action in such a way that even the moderator did not recognize it.
Yes, I feel sorry for people that are so defensive they cannot handle the truth. Personally I am sicken by propaganda or just one-sided information, I come from Sweden, here there is no hint of alternate media and everything said in MSM is hard culturalmarxist-neoliberal propaganda. Objectivity, the notion of media that does not share the political elites views are described as “threats to democracy.”
So when I visit online sites, I do not want to be flushed by the same subjectivity and propaganda as I am by daily Swedish MSM. For Russian insider and Sputnik are too pro-Russian, they are sickly pro-Russian. Fortruss and thesaker are optimistically pro-Russian, and Cassad is pessimistically pro-Russian.
I prefer the last two and cannot stand the first two.. RT is is good of course, thought sometimes they can be a bit to PC for my taste.
“Yes, I feel sorry for people that are so defensive they cannot handle the truth.”
Perhaps you should access the various official sites of the Russian Federation.
They come in various translations and the general policy is, subject to security considerations, to be as succinct and as open as possible, using more than one form of corroboration/validation before broadcasting/publication.
Alternatively contact the Russian Embassy in Stockholm and ask for links.
Trying to second guess the Russian Federation is acknowledged even by opponents to be a less than worthwhile pursuit, although such pursuits are still engaged in.
However always test hypotheses as far as is practical, expecially ex post facto to establish levels of confidence, veracity and professionalism of source.
It’s a simple matter, and can be likened to sports, and the sporting culture. If you like the New England Patriots, and you go to a New England Patriots fan website, guess what? Those who frequent the fan site will cast aspersions your way for being generally negative if the team appears to be doing well. Being positive while carefully pointing out points of possible improvement will carry the day just fine, while being negative or pessimistic about the outcome, will cast you in the light of one aiding and abetting the enemy.
It is no different right now for team Russia, who is on an extended winning streak. Team Russia fans are feeling the groove, and rightly so, just as an undefeated Patriots team has fans which are rightfully positive about the future. Its not all that hard to understand. In many cases sentiment and fan support bolsters a team, even providing fuel for further victories, and encouragement during temporary set backs.
Human beings are emotional beings, thus sentiment is very important. If you want to understand a team, look at the score cards, the fact sheets, the players stats, but if you want to engage the fans, your perspective must reflect the current standings lest you been seen as an enemy agitator. There are always those who remain negative regardless of the score or standings, awaiting their eventual moment of contrarian victory when greatness falls, such is human nature.
A concept often relied on by the opponents who suggest that a constant and all-encompassing phenomenon exists there by deflecting/precluding criticism of the status-quo and its transcendence.
Human development including in perception refutes the existence of this phenomenon both as a constant as as all-encompasing.
Well, Liz, your reasoned and fact-based response may teach them a better way.
“The airbase at Latakia is maxed out or will very soon be”
-What does maxed out mean? Is the bombs running out? Or is it just not able to perform all the missions due to lack of aircraft?
the base currently supports 50 Russian aircraft for only one runway. there is just not enough space to base many more aircraft. maybe another 5-10 but that is, according to the Russians, the limit. So by “maxed out” I mean that Latakia cannot be used for all the needs of the Russian operation.
Yes, thanks for the explanation.
Perhaps a future Iraqi request for Russian air support will allow Russian to use some airbase in Iraq. Russian aircrafts in Iraq could support the SAA as well as the IAF, that would allow Russia to naturally expand their air force presence in Syria without it looking like failure and mission creep.
I am not sure that there even is an adequate airfield for Russian needs in Iraq. Just the security there would be a huge challenge. But in Iran, Russia would have a powerful and sophisticated friend and ally who could offer a lot more than just some space. Besides, what better way to (finally) get Iran into the SCO than have Iran help both Syria, Iraq and Russia at the same time :-)
Base in Iran is a great idea… That is, if Iranians are enthusiastic to go along – after that epic double-triple-quadruple-quintuple-…-cross with the S-300 system “deliveries” (since 2007 (!!!) … and still not delivered…)…
The bottom-line “is”,Iran has no other friend (with power) than Russia.Its really as much (if not more) of a benefit to Iran for Syria to survive,than to Russia.So Iran should do “anything and everything” they can to see that Russia is successful in Syria.And “anything and everything” they can to see that ISIS is defeated there.They don’t have to like everything Russia does or not,but their interests are served by Russia helping destroy their enemies.If they fail to see that fact,then Iran may not survive much longer for anyone to need and worry.I’m hoping the Iranian government is smart enough to understand that.
Tehran and Moscow have been supporting the Syrian leadership and the people since the very beginning of the crisis in this country, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian notes
Also we must all remember its about timing. Iran is having to deal with the lifting of sanctions and the P5+1 deal which I think comes to be finalised this Sunday (read this somewhere). Once this is done – I think the Iranian involvement will grow.
Assad is also in Moscow today – so there is a lot going on.
RT is also reporting live on their news that the major coalition in Iraq have asked the Iraqi supreme commander that Russia be allowed to use its airforce in Iraq. So Iraq is moving too.
At the same time foreign mercenaries have entered Idlib province – no doubt paid for by US/Saudi coalition – so things on the ground will get even worse for Syrian Army.
Not yet clear what is going on with Iraq:
TASS, 20 October 2015, http://tass.ru/mezhdunarodnaya-panorama/2362713:
“… In the US they claim that Washington has convinced the Iraqi prime minister not to ask Russia for help
According to General Joseph Dunford, the government of Iraq is not asking the Russian air support during operations against ISIS …”
There may be a good reason for the stalling on the S-300s. I’m looking at what we saw with the cruise missiles whose range was listed in all the military analyses as 300 km and turns out to be more than 1500.
Russia “dumbs down” export versions of some of her weapons. I extrapolate from this, Russia has a policy of selling arms that can not contribute to a break-out of a limited local war into a broader regional conflict.
Subsequent to the S-300 commitment, there were a number of scenarios developed in which the S-300s could defeat the policy I’m theorizing has been adopted.
What about other bases in Syria.Doesn’t the Syrian air force have bases that could be shared.Or maybe Russia could expand that base (double or triple,its size).One would think that problem would/should have been thought about when the plan was conceived to begin with.With as much planning and consideration they put into this operation.That appears to be a glaring problem not to have been anticipated by someone in the military structure of the RF.
Looking on Google maps there are two runways 17-35 left and right and 300 operations a day would be a takeoff/landing every 5 minutes at Latakia -theoretically. Pretty intense. The bottleneck I see is that there is no taxiway so a landing aircraft will potentially clog up a runway backtracking, likewise if fit has to taxi to the far end for takeoff.
There’s room and building a taxiway should not be that difficult or time consuming. There may be other logistical problems such as fuel storage/transport and ATC control and maintenance facilities/pilot fatigue. Rotating aircraft/crews in would alleviate the last but I am sure the Russians are way ahead of me on all this.
Maybe there are a couple of old aircaft carriers that could be joined together to give a suitably long runway? -Crazy idea maybe but thinking outside the box could be what’s needed.
My thinking is that the Russians got involved precisely because if the Iranians got involved other parties would get (more) bat shit crazy. On the other hand, at some point the deliberate destabilization has to be stopped.
I’ve heard a rumor that Latakia’s civilian air port was going to be closed and used as a Russian air base so they can increase the number of sorties per day to 200. Have you heard anything confirming that?
Maxed out sounds weird.
There are alot of space in the surroundings.
And there were 1 runway. If i remember correctly they added 2nd runway about one month ago.
They also added extra towers, extra place for additional aircrafts, helipads, etc.
So “maxed out” if refering to litterary space available i dont buy.
If refering to capacity of the runways, the space where the aircrafts stand on etc. That is easily expandable (if Russians wouldnt even been able to do that, then it woud be a joke as a military and would have collapsed under ww2 in short time).
The coordination, all the necesity that comes with increasing an airport is another story.
And regardless it is still the ground troops that are the inevitable important part.
The aircrafts are the “support”, and important to wreak havoc in enemies supply lines etc.
Out of missiles in the ships? Sounds weird.
Out of ammo in SAA army? Sounds strange. That would mean great INCOMPETENCE! Russia is even one of the 2 biggest military exporters. And they can not even supply ammo? Sounds like incompetence on some peoples part if so.
(Temporary low on ammo could be another matter. Or specialized ammo).
Hey man…. even the US ran out of ammo during the Iraqi invasion and occupation. Israel, of course, was more than happy to sell the US their own ammo back to them at a mark up.
I am no general, but I felt the Syrian offensive was a bit bold, how many offensive do they have going on now? Like 4? or 5? In the capital, in the Rastan pocket, in Hama and Latakia province, in Aleppo, wouldn’t it have been better to focus all their military resources at one front at a time and all Russia aircraft attention at one front? Win that one, get a moral boost, and move on, the most obvious one being the Rastan pocket and other pockets that disturbs the Syrian governments continuity.
My thinking too.They need to secure Latakia province,the area around Damascus,and defeat the pockets of enemy forces in Western Syria,securing all the West.Then advance to the other regions.While those operations are being accomplished they should bomb the other areas to degrade the rebels.And supply their surrounded garrisons in the other regions so they don’t fall.But unless you have thousands of fresh well equipped troops at your disposal.All out offensives everywhere are not going to succeed.As to Daesh having ex-Iraqi officers helping them.These are the same officers that weren’t able to stop the US invasion forces in two wars.So again,as I mentioned months ago,its not a question of how good of soldiers Daesh has.Its a question of how good are the soldiers they are fighting.The Syrian army has lost a lot of troops over these 4 years of war.And their army was not at anytime considered a “top of the line” army before that.What they need are professional well trained and equipped troops to help them.I’m not sure without that they can win this war.It may just be stalled in inch-by-inch,back and forth,fighting.I can’t believe the Russians on the ground there haven’t understood that.So either Moscow isn’t listening to the reports.Or the advisers,aren’t telling that to Moscow.Or,there is a plan we don’t know about to fix that problem.Maybe,Iranian troops,in mass coming to help.Or maybe a Russian force of some kind coming to help.I know Putin said he won’t commit troops.But there may be ways around that (volunteers?).The only other thing I can think of.And I hesitate to even bring it up.I think it is totally a wishful thinking idea.With only a “tiny” chance to work.But it night be the plan.If so,we are in trouble (I believe).That Putin is thinking to contain the rebellion.Push them away from some small areas.Stop the collapse of Syria.And get peace talks with the “opposition” going.And that that will end the war.That he thinks he can get all the opposition groups,the Turks,the Gulf Arab states,the Saudis,and the Western states,to make a deal to end the war.Leaving the Syrian government (with or without Assad) in power.If “so”,the saying a “snowballs chance in hell” comes to mind to describe that idea.But from some things I’ve heard,talks with the West and other Arab states.Talks with the opposition.And after seeing Ukraine.I have a deep seated nightmare that that is what he is thinking about.I pray,I’m mistaken and that is totally an error on my part.
Re Uncle Bob “My thinking too.They need to secure Latakia province,the area around Damascus,and defeat the pockets of enemy forces in Western Syria,securing all the West.”
I thought that was the plan.
Part of it.But they seem to be acting in other areas as well.
“And get peace talks with the “opposition” going. And that that will end the war. That he thinks he can get all the opposition groups, the Turks, the Gulf Arab states, the Saudis, and the Western states, to make a deal to end the war [etc]”
Once again Uncle B, if I’m reading you correctly here, I think your fears are being realized:
US seeks talks with Russia, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Turkey on Syria
The above link is from a couple of days ago, but right now, RT is reporting [on air] that the aforementioned countries actually agreed to have talks about Syria (checked the RT website and I can’t find an article to that particular piece of news they’re reporting on today, but they’re even dubbing them ‘the new quartet’, that is: Russia, US, SA and Turkey).
My point is; why is Russia insisting on diplomatic “talks” with the devil? You don’t negotiate with the devil, you call a bunch of exorcists and throw crucifixes and holy water at it, Constantine style:
These are talks about Syria, where the hell is Syria in the talks? How is it fair for talks ABOUT Syria, for Syria not to be included?
Where is Iran or Lebanon or Iraq, for that matter? After all, two of those three countries share a border with Syria itself and therefore legitimate concerns on the matter, just like Russia’s legitimate concerns on bordering Ukraine.
Why talk to Turkey and SA, when they are active members in all the chaos and misery being rained on Syria? What is there to talk about with these lunatic states besides; back off or prepare yourself to meet your maker. And don’t even get me started in the US. They have no business in the region, being thousands of miles away from it, and I don’t care if they do have ‘national interests’ in this race, they can grab those ‘interests’ and shove them up their #$@&%*!
I am also no General but I guess that “offensives” can be real offensives, or just probing offensives or distractions to confuse and diffuse the power of enemy forces. My second guess is that Russian strategists are working closely with the Syrian army and setting up medium and long-term objectives. If the American-backed forces don’t cave-in, then this battle may go on for several years with the Syrian government slowly taking key strategic locations one at a time. This will be an expensive war for Russia but it will provide excellent practice for a major war with the failing American Empire which, alas, I fear we will see all too soon.
— “not to declare ‘mission accomplished’ when there is a long and hard struggle ahead. The best way to honor these men is to recognize the heroic nature and great difficulty of their struggle.”
Point taken. This is reminiscent of Putin when he first took up the presidency, with the Caucasus war raging and going very badly. He went to Dagestan and convened team leaders in a general’s tent and raised a glass to the memory of all who had died. But he said they would wait to drink that toast, because they had important work to do, and could not allow themselves a moment of weakness, not a moment. Otherwise, all those dead would have died in vain.
So they would definitely drink, he said, most definitely, but not now. And he put his glass back on the table, untasted, and suggested people grab a bite to eat and then get to work.
This wonderful story is told in the first part of The President
Russia Insider has a page with all 8 parts in if you haven’t seen it:
I should add that while I agree with being calm and waiting on events to manifest, I don’t believe anything is stalling, in the sense we use that word. In other words, nothing has hit unexpected setbacks. The Syria army believed it could go on the offensive and it has, and now it must prevail. But this is one of the fiercest forces in the Middle East, as battle-hardened as they come.
Even if it is true that the enemy is fighting back strongly, nothing can take the smiles off the faces of the Syrian children, that the Russia help has restored. This speaks of miraculous increase in morale. A fighting man facing evil, knowing that his children are safe and smiling at home if he prevails, is a force that I don’t believe can be beaten.
What is the endgame? If it is Desert Storm triumph, then of course people are right to be disappointed, and the Russians are fools. If the the endgame is multi-polarity, then even a heroic gesture will work wonders.
Where are the Quds force? Lots of talk but they have gotten the Hezbollah forces seriously decimated, at least 500 dead and probably twice that wounded. Quds was supposed to be part of the offensive.
The TOW missiles from US and SA are stopping Syrian tanks. Thus, it’s time for the Syrians to give up their own plans, get Russian planners to design the battlefield with GRADS and start shredding the ISIS defenses.
And why is it such a big thing for Iran to allow Russian planes to use their airfields? Syria is Iran’s satellite and it must be saved.
Clearly, the US, SA and Qatar are pouring in men, money and munitions. Good Intel should soon be captured by the Russians and lead them to cut those reinforcements.
Also, Syria has been serous weakened after four years of a murderous war. Why expect great things from their army? They have lost tens of thousands of men.
This is a proxy war of Russia-Iran versus US-SA-Turkey-Qatar.
Syria and the Syrian Army is the political side dish. The war and the weapons are what is going to matter. Inevitably, the Russians will have to take charge of strategy and tactics.
Where are the Quds force?
Maybe a beginning of an answer here: https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/iran-backs-battle-for-syrias-aleppo-with-proxies-ground-troops/2015/10/19/b8bec268-765f-11e5-a5e2-40d6b2ad18dd_story.html
Saker, Daniel, UncleBob et al —
I am in agreement with those who believe these logistical bottlenecks have been anticipated. Either the Latakia base gets expanded once the Russians are satisfied the perimeter has been expanded and secured, or we will likely see a new runway at Tartus while the floating dock becomes a proper naval base with air assets as well. Also while I don’t believe China or Russia intend to commit ground troops in significant numbers we will probably see the Chinese bombing Daesh in Iraq from Iranian bases, as Southfront speculated, and we may see the first expeditionary deployment of long range Russian aviation with the Backfires from Saratov deploying to an Iranian base. Iran has plenty of dumb bombs compatible with both the Backfires and Chinese H-6Ks that can provide an effect on the battlefield similar to the B-52s hammering the Taliban in November 2001.
One other thing — yes it seems Al Nusra et al have been getting very good intel on locations of Hezbollah commanders. I think at some point the way to counter that is for the Russians to use their ELINT to take out the very top Saudi/Qatai/Turkish assets. One more thing: I don’t believe for a moment a commander as devious and feared by the West as Soleimani would attract so much attention to himself in Syria deliberately unless he had something up his sleeve. Expect a Houthi/Yemeni offensive against the Saudis and a lot of KSA bases in southern Saudi Arabia to get hit soon with severe casualties for the defenders.
The Chinese? When was the last time the Chinese bombed anybody? I don’t think they will. They’ve gotten where they are today with trade, defensiveness, and very cautious diplomacy. To the extent they do anything useful it will be subtle and hands-off. Maybe they’ll accelerate economic deals with Iran, to bolster Iran’s economy while it does military stuff. Maybe they’ll do trade-backed diplomacy with smaller players like Qatar etc. to try to peel them off so the Saudis end up isolated in their determination to back the terrorists. Maybe they’ll even quietly give Syria a big line of credit. But they won’t do any fighting half a continent away from their borders. They don’t do that.
“”get Russian planners to design the battlefield with GRADS and start shredding the ISIS defenses.”
You mean like this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=85WC-HsnnZ4
“This is a proxy war of Russia-Iran versus US-SA-Turkey-Qatar”
Don´t forget Chinas support on economic bases for Russia also that Iraq ist fighting well against ISIS from the East of Syria. So Russia is not allone with Iran in Syria even it might appears so. And also not to forgot that SA is in trouble in Yemen, which weakens their economic capaticies and maybe could lead to developements in the next months which will force them to concentrate on their own soil rather than fighting a war on neighbors territory.
The whole Analysis has a to much negative attitude. It is not white and it is not black – just grey. Which grey is a matter of debate, denpending on the strategic goals Russias that we all really not know.
Are there any figures on the population of the areas controlled by ISIS AQ ect. Figures are available for internally displaced, externally displaced, and Kurds which come to about 13 million that are not with ISIS. I have found no figures for the resident population in government controlled areas but I am guessing 6-8million.
That leaves 2-4 million in ISIS AQ controlled areas? Plus imported fighters.
Of those in ISIS AQ controlled areas, how many support them? and how many would be glad to see the back of them?
An old demographic map of Syria here. interesting to compare this to current maps of who holds what territory in Syria. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Une_carte_des_communautés_religieuses_et_ethniques_de_la_Syrie_et_Lebanon_(1935).jpg
A big part of how successful, or how quickly Syria retakes ground depends on how much civilian support there is for ISIS and al Nusra in the territory they hold.
MSM paints them all as people oppressed by Assad and fighting for freedom/democracy.
Pro Syria side paints ISIS al Nusra as occupying forces and when they take back ground the people are liberated. In a lot of cases this will be true, But for ISIS and al Nusra to be successful as they have been means they are also supported a fair number of locals/civilians.
I agree, no flag waiving but lets not be pessimistic either.
With all due respect to Sivkov, I found some of his comments amateurish:
-The Russian flotilla in the Caspian has used up almost all its cruise missiles (26 missiles is almost all? And they would use all of them in one day? Silly comment)
-The Syrian Army offensive has grinded to a halt (not true, according from reports from Syria)
-The USA are supplying Daesh with ammunition to compensate for the ammo dumps destroyed by Russian airstrikes (we know that, but the amount of destroyed ammunition cannot possibly surpass the amount of resupply from US)
-Dash forces are commanded by very skilled officers from the ex-Iraqi army (so is Syrian Army, Hezbollah, etc)
-The Russians are not providing close air support, but only strikes on operational-level fixed targets (true, but this is still initial airstrikes phase, I assume priorities are all set correctly by Russian Ministry of Defence)
and so on. Lets wait and see how is this going to progress.
Russia has a lot more surprises up her sleeves I am confident about the final result of Russia’s involvement.
Sivkov, I found some of his comments amateurish
WOW, Sivkov *amateurish*?!
Wow, just wow…
I am speechless…
Well, look at resumes of
and some the other professional clowns in US military and government. Professional and resume does not necessarily mean that much, or preclude someone from being way off base on issues.
I’ve never been impressed by ‘credentials’ alone, and know of many with impressive credentials who are virtually idiots or lunatics (as do we all) — and that includes high ranking politicians, including presidents, and it doesn’t mean that an real expert can’t be very wrong on something.
So far, however, it looks like the experts on the US side are rather upset at developments (as opposed to the bravado from the clueless politicians) and indeed show a fair bit of pessimism, and some bewilderment as to what to do next. .
So let’s wait and see what the article says and compare it to what other sources have to say, and what happens on the ground. I’m thinking that the US is likely to declare victory and pack it up, like happened in Vietnam.
I am sorry to say, but your comparison clearly shows that you don’t understand what, for example, “Doctor of Military Sciences” entails, if only because such a degree does not even exist in the USA. Just like Observer who apparently does not realize that the full complement of cruise missiles of the Caspian Flotilla is 32 (or why that is more than enough for that small formation).
There is nothing wrong with ignorance, but when silly statements come delivered with the full gravitas of authority they become too irritating for me to deal with.
Same thing when fact based and professional analysis is qualified as “defeatist”. This is when throw in the towel.
I am seriously contemplating the option of banning stupid/ignorant comments.
Maybe I will expand the moderation rule #3 to include such comments.
take it easy – you’ve still got a little bit of holiday left :-)
You are quite within your rights to ban my comments as stupid and ignorant — and I am within mine to ignore your blog and elitist academics, and have my own judgements as to what is stupid and ignorant.
If you choose to get angry from people disagreeing with you, or posting something expressing doubt concerning one of your guest posters, that’s your affair, but after almost 70 years of watching highly credentialed authoritarian people screw up royally, prove to be utterly wrong in their pronouncements, and make a total mess of the world, I have little respect at all in the correctness of the academy, institutions, or established ‘wisdom’, or human cognitive faculties or predictive ability in general. I’ve also become accustomed to people saying I am stupid, ignorant or crazy and have learned to pretty much ignore it.
Ithought you were 65?
That was 3 years ago. 68 is almost 70 — nearest decade. But the point is it’s plenty of time to see people who are supposed to know things, including those with doctorates and other advanced degrees, in action. But even a young person can look at a room of 10 doctors with a dozen opinions in vehement disagreement to see that the degrees alone don’t mean much, or look at history to see all those who were proven dead wrong on what they were saying — even when they were in the mainstream at the time. The old saying ‘does he have 30 year’s expereience or 1 year’s experience 30 times’ comes to mind, since it is especially prevalent in academics to set off on some basic assumptions and path early on and just reinforce that over time with a mix of both confirmation bias and becoming embedded in the same group think as his peer group. (consider the Austrian or Chicago schools of economics, educational or psychological philosophies, or any of the other academic or intellectual ‘schools’ of thought). Then somebody comes along and invalidates the whle shebang, and 50 years of cultural lag later people finally announce it was all obvious from the start anyway. Tribal stuff…
We’ve disagreed on plenty – but 100% agree here.
“You are quite within your rights to ban my comments as stupid and ignorant ”
You appear to be entangled in “property” and “rights” which is understandable given prevalent ideologies and practices.
Blogs are broadcasts with potential audiences with potential purposes.
In the age of monitoring the broadcasts are made on transmission and hence the broadcasts are not dependent upon “publication” on this blog.
However it is likely that the limitation of comments will impact on potential audiences and other facilitators.
Although not often perceived as such, this blog is facilitated by many people including but not necessarily restricted to, volunteer labour in administration, content donated by contributors, and the potential audience.
From analysis it would appear that a policy of ” banning stupid/ignorant comments” – the definition sometimes expanded to include the embarrassing, has been a relatively consistent practice on this blog.
Interesting point on group think, but perhaps you should extend the perception to cults.
Peter Lavelle has a way to deal with people who parrot the western lies in his program. This allows the viewers to focus on the substance of the discussion.
In your case, to eliminate the opinions that generate useless debates and distract from the key issues is the equivalent of Peter filtering the parrots.
I like to listen to you because of your knowledge and balanced views. You sometimes makes me nervous because a “dream” is shattered. Reality then goes its own way, and most often matches your views.
Saker, come on dude – I’ve been reading your blog for years – even before the Ukrainian crisis. We are all here because we seek truth – the guy you’ve responded to isn’t even a troll. We are all on the same side. If you ban stupid/ignorant comments how will you educate people? Isn’t that why you set this blog up in the first place? Peace and love.
Its a sad (but true) fact that many of the Russians that support the West also come from backgrounds like that.I’ve read many articles in the MSM that are full of quotes or interviews from ex-Russian government,military and intelligence people that have gone over to the “dark side”.Is he one of them? I don’t know.But while I agree that we shouldn’t be too “gung-ho over the news.And that we haven’t won yet.Still,some of the points he made certainly appeared “defeatist”.And could have easily come from an article in the NYT.
The Caspian Flotilla are Patrol Boats, at the most Corvettes of 1500 to 2000 tonnes. They’re not FFGs of 6000 plus tonnes! The Septics are aghast that such small vessels can fire long range missiles. They can fire such missiles but are too small to carry excess war stocks.
Four vessels, 26 missiles seems about right. Use them all in one day, of course, if you want to send a message. Message sent, and I’m quite sure that the message was received in the Pentagon!
‘It was earlier reported that the(Iranian) frigate Damavand and the missile-carrying boats Joshan and Paykan had departed for Astrakhan from the city of Bandar-e Anzali. Iranian Squadron Commander Ahmad Reza Bakeri said in an interview with Fars news agency that the visit had been planned before.”
Mainly just a social visit to the Rus Caspian Sea Fleet, but maybe they are planning joint action also? Note ‘missile carrying boats’………….
you are absolutely correct!
and they did fire 26 missiles out of 32.
to have such small vessels with strategic cruise missiles is already an amazing feat
32 is a HUGE number for such a small formation.
and, yes, they can re-load, but it will take time.
Saker – don’t know if you go for this sort of thing. The 26 missiles sent a specific message to the US. The following day the USS Theodore Roosevelt left for unscheduled maintenance. The 26th president of the US was?
“Observer who apparently does not realize that the full complement of cruise missiles of the Caspian Flotilla is 32 (or why that is more than enough for that small formation).”
Then you refill with new ammo.
Just like when your gun is out of ammo. You do not imply that then one is out of ammo (as if its impossible to refill).
I assume Russia has some ammo to their wespons somewhere in their big country.
Russia has been legendary to have big stockpiles. So out of ammo sounds just absurd.
While I’m sure Russia as a whole has many more than 26 cruise missiles, I would suggest that the huge stockpiles are more of old stuff. This is new stuff.
Cruise missiles are no ordinary ammo. It takes a long time to manufacture these extraordinarily expensive highly complicated things, so, yeah, you can run out of your stockpile fast. Anybody who owns stock in the US defense industry cheers very loudly when cruise missiles are shot off, like in Iraq. That’s a lot of taxpayer money. They can’t wait to shoot off some more, but they will have to wait for Bush or Hillary to give the order, because Obama is no true friend of Raytheon.
UK/ usa are arming Daesh and are flying in Syria uninvited to resupply Daesh and Russia is so stupid to make arrangement with anglos as to how to avpid crossing the oath rather than warning and then killing American and western planes?
In the middle of war you concentrate in winning the war by ANYmeans because only that changes the fact on the ground. You do not distract yoursrlf by talkibg and hobnobbing with your enemieswho want you to Fail. When will Russia learn? Are they predispised tobeloser nationdespite all of their good tskents?
Look the coward British who slways inditigate war and get others to fight for them so that that fourth rate country called England still enjoys its usual past tine of mobey laundering from the world ove.
Russia acts like loser because it does not know what she really wants,
Sorry, that’s complete nonsense. It would be as idiotic for Russia to start a shooting war with the US as it would be for the US to start one with Russia. Shooting American planes? Are you on drugs?! This isn’t a video game.
A familiar song, done as music video with a young talent as voice.
“Кукушка” has been an youth anthem for 30 years.
The video itself is high end production.
Mats thanks, I wonder what the words mean ?
Ann, here’s a link to the lyrics in Russian and English.
Victor Tsoi, writer, performer of original version for his group KINO.
He was half Korean, half russian. Died very young, 28. James Dean-esque.
so I guess its a war song. That last video of Kino was kind of violent I didn’ watch the whole thing…
Youthful defiance. Street tough. Anti-authoritarian. Rebel With a Cause. What cruised through the US in the post-war fifties hit USSR many decades later.
Of late, the song has been used in the militia short and the Russian feature film.
It was the song Saker posted a while back “My hand turned to a fist”.That some NAF supporters used in a great video.
Kino has a lot of brilliant, deeply philosophic songs, like “Star called Sun”, “Blood Group”, “Still night” etc etc. IMO Kino is by far the single and best ever Russian “pop” group.
I have noticed a very distinct change in the comments sections.
Some of the regulars that I so enjoyed (you know who you are ;-) ) have gone. Why?
Some of the newbies are so full of hot air, and hide behind the anon tag. Why?
But, some of the newbies are awesome.
Oh well the life of an armchair observer.
Keep up the good work Saker.
Guarding one’s optimism is well and good, but I hesitate to trust the judgement of Sivkov, who advocates dropping nukes on Yellowstone and the San Andreas fault, as leading to anything other than total nuclear destruction of the world.
I can’t say I’m real impressed with the Academy of Geopolitical Problems either.
Of course, there are any number of western guys with doctorates, and various institutions, who I don’t have much time for either.
I’m inclined to think that the Russian intelligence and military, and Putin, have a very good idea of what they are doing and how to adjust moves to meet whatever problems emerge, with several resources and possibilities still up their sleeves — while on the other hand I have no confidence at all that the US has the slightest realistic idea of what they are doing.
There is much more than just military equipment or even military tactics, involved in the outcome. For all the destruction the US has inflicted on the world over the past decades, the result is not only a worse situation for the world, but the the US as well, which continues to disintegrate and weaken.
Of course there is much struggle ahead, but the tide has turned, and the anti-imperialist forces are still gathering. Rome was not un-built in a day.
The next phase I believe will involve Chinese air strikes — not in Syria proper, but certainly against Daesh in Iraq, plus another influx of Iranian troops. Hell, the Iraqis are already flying Chinese drones (and I expect the Syrians to get some of those Predator knockoffs equipped with Russian missiles soon).
It will be a big first test for the PLA’s aviation. Putting more pressure on Daesh lines in Iraq and incinerating them with major Chinese bombing attacks and TOS-1s will force ISIS, no matter how clever their ex-Baathist turned jihadi commanders are, to have to pull some men off the Syrian front. I don’t believe the myth the neocons bought that the supply of Sunnis willing to become Salafi cannon fodder is essentially limitless. Especially now with Germany beckoning for those who will shave off their beards and come up with a sob story about how evil Assad made them run to Europe.
I agree with the Saker Iranian bases are probably safer from Daesh suicide bombers and suicidal infiltrators with satellite maps from you Know Who than Iraqi bases would be. The U.S. couldn’t keep suicide bombers from getting into the Green Zone and several FOBs in Iraq and Afghanistan, as I recall.
The assault on Aleppo is probably a feint, like how Porky and co were scared s–tless in early September 2014 that the NAF would roll enough armor and arty into Mariupol to flatten the Azov Nazis. I can’t believe Soleimani is just going to grind down his troops in heavy urban combat when he can seize a lot of ground fast with Russian airpower surrounding the city, and trying to cut off the supply lines from Turkey (plus the Houthi/Yemeni offensive I expect to inflict embarrassing losses on the Saudis soon, such that even the MSM/GCC whores at CNN/AlJazeera won’t be able to entirely ignore it).
Cut the supply lines and kill enough Turkish, Saudi and Qatari operatives who thought their Langley supplied encrypted satphones couldn’t be triangulated by Russia’s ELINT aircraft and send the message the shiploads of TOWs might not be safe in Saudi or Turkish harbors, and even the DoD realists will have to deliver the bad news to even the most fanatical neocons that it’s over. No American pilots want to or will die to save a ‘no fly zone’ for AlNusra and Daesh.
The Yellowstone caldera going off would finish us all in a volcanic winter. Not a great idea.
Not just a volcanic winter, but it would hardly stop a retaliatory strike from the US, which would fill Russia with both blast and radiation — a general nuclear holocaust. Talking about that as a deterrent is suicidal, neither smart nor realistic, but could end up with the final unintended consequence while playing into the delusions of the empire’s crazies. This was a very foolish thing to say; Putin’s approach, urging for peace, is much wiser and saner.
Blue, that’s the difference between a military solution and a political solution
Nuking Yellowstone is not a solution of either sort: militarily the US would retaliate within minutes (or the war mongers would think the the Russians were going to do it and do a first strike), and any major nuclear strike would likely disrupt the planet so much that civilization would be lucky to survive anywhere. Politically it no solution either to make such a threat and just escalates an already very dangerous situation. Political vs military doesn’t break down in that way — they merge together, and an idea’s smartness or dumbness runs through both views of the situation.
“Political vs military doesn’t break down in that way”
I’m not going to broadcast materials in corrobration, but in some locations poltical v military sometimes breaks down that way, although likely not in the way that “Ann” perceives it.
“Politically it no solution either to make such a threat and just escalates an already very dangerous situation. ”
You are old enough to remember the Nixon/Kissinger “strategy” of appearing to be mad enough to use “weapons of mass destruction”.
Even at that time there was significant mismatch in political v military, although for reasons including facilitating “face saving retreat” this was not overly publicised.
Remember Colonel General Kartapolov’s remarks on not embarassing opponents?
I would suggest that it is also less than perceptive to hold that political v military is restricted to within one nation state and that this binary does not transcend nation states.
As the Beatles used to sing – likely we’ll get by with a little help from our friends – especially if encouragement is shared.
Well the tenor of this post is needed I think. One could go further – the US has just been pretending to bomb Daesh (whilst secretly arming them) in order to threaten the existence of Assad (and the Russian bases). Its been a drip by drip approach until the pressure is irresistible and Russia is forced to commit. Then the US ups its arms supply to anti-Assad forces, rubs its hands in glee and sits back and watches.
On the other hand, Russia has an ideological weakness. It asserts that the world should be multipolar but because it has no real alternative social model any more (the US is also christian conservative and capitalist) it tries to copy the US in order to show that it too can be like them (shock and awe, CNN like embedded media, cruise missile photo Ops).
I’m a bit playing devil’s advocate – but only a bit. Russia should think its way through this very carefully.
I am sorry to have to inform you but the USA long ago ceased to be a Christian country. You now live in what scholars polietly refer to as a “post-christian” society. The Christian religion and the values that go with it have been driven from all facets of your society. Sodomy, Decadence, Porn, Filth and Satanism have long been brought in to replace it. And as for Conservative? Dont make us laugh! Same Sex Marrige and Gays and Transgenders in the Military are the stuff that now pre-occupy your public officials. Even the Boys Scout have been told to accomodate Gays or else!!!
@Adam…“the USA long ago ceased to be a Christian country.”
Here’s what someone wondered about the omniscient, omnipotent, omnibenevolent “Christian” God:
“Question: “Why did God command the extermination / genocide of the Canaanites, women and children included?”
Those liver eating IS chaps start to seem tame in compare.
***Anon, you’re talking to people that know the difference between old testament Hebrew religion and Christianity – New Testament – modaa
“***Anon, you’re talking to people that know the difference between old testament Hebrew religion and Christianity – New Testament – modaa”
And yet, of the two kinds of people causing the most trouble in the USA, one is fundamentalist Christians (the other is obviously plutocrats, and then there’s the overlap).
As to gays and all that stuff–you know, in Canada, the supreme court legalized gay marriage over the majority’s objections years ago. NOTHING HAPPENED. Nobody gives a damn any more, even most of the Christian right that were sure at the time the skies would fall. The only difference is the pride parades got a bit less raunchy because all the gays were starting families in the burbs just like everyone else. Oh, they still try, but it’s kind of quaint now, a kind of day of nostalgia for when gay culture was edgy and rebellious. The whole “Oh No The Queers!” thing was always just one more tool to divide us, along with “Oh No the Blacks!” and “Oh No the Muslims!” and “Oh No the People Who Have Abortions!” and lately the reprise of “Oh No the Russians!” and all the other “Be afraid! Be Very Afraid of the outside world and each other!” gambits to make sure we don’t unite against the bosses taking our lunch money like schoolyard bullies grown big.
Here is the anthem song of 1989 Tiananmen students
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XHwfCf2spTk “Nothing To My Name”
Cui Jian is the writer-performer. Lyrics: https://eastasiastudent.net/china/mandarin/cui-jian-nothing-to-my-name/
His appearances in Beijing are huge. Sometimes the government gets very concerned about his TV appearances. The song reverberates until this day.
He seems to never challenge the government, yet has a power to unnerve them.
One day, President Xi could end the whole Tiananmen sorrow by dealing through Cui Jian. Probably will never occur but Putin would do it if it was a Russia tragedy that needed closure.
I researched this deeply for use in a book I’ve been writing for three years.
The song is powerful.
Another of his videos. “A Piece of Red Cloth” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GZwYX6s55H0
I like this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ubBDKL86rTA
Larchmonter, Tian An Men was the prototype ‘Colour Revolution’, with Gene Sharp even visiting to see that preparations were going well. The USA took advantage of social disruption, and, a trade-mark ever since in these regime change operations, ignorant youth full of exuberance but short on experience and wisdom. The Tian An Men Massacre never happened, with Chinese troops peacefully removing the last die-hards during the early morning, as was reported by Chilean Embassy officials and Italian journalists amongst others at the time.
The killings, hundreds probably, occurred around the Square as the Colour Revolution reached the type of violent climax that worked in Belgrade, Tbilisi and Kiev, but which was met by a determined counter-blow. Many foolish students were sacrificed as the hit-men, Taiwanese intelligence, Hong Kong triad gangsters etc, violently attacked troops, murdering unarmed soldiers until armed forces intervened.
The Chinese Government will never and must never apologise for protecting the country from the aggressive subversion of the Evil Empire. A proper accounting for the deaths would be good, but in the face of total Western MSM unscrupulousness, is bound to be misrepresented for propaganda purposes.
Thank you Mulga & Nussiminen.
btw there’s a major unreported victory in Iraq: “Western” Media Silent As Iraq And 4+1 Inflict Huge Islamic State Defeat — Moon of Alabama
I pointed out as an aside to this year’s 70th anniversary celebrations in Tiananmen Square of China’s victory in World War 2 that we also owe the Chinese government and its armed forces a high debt of gratitude for putting down the colour revolutionary stunt right in that very same square in the summer of 1989. A successful Western regime change operation in China — especially against the backdrop of an all but totally defeated USSR — would have rapidly brought absolute darkness all over the planet. Plain worldwide Banderite rule of invincible strength,
Prettifying this or any of the similar putsch attempts (successful or unsuccessful) that were to follow elsewhere could, in my view, be debunked as counter-revolutionary romanticism. It has indeed become the post-modern hallmark of the totally disgusting Western Left.
Last but not least: As long as Russia stays the course, there will never be a Maidan in Moscow.
I’m ambivalent about this. Frankly, I don’t really like the Chinese government. It’s economically effective, so far, and it’s nationalist, which means it’s not willing to let the US dominate it. So those are good things, fine. But it’s authoritarian and kind of creepy and all too willing to look at its citizens as eggs whose breakage can be shrugged at if omelets result. Corrupt too, but probably no more than everyone else.
But . . . one of the tragedies of US imperialism is that they really do tend to co-opt every revolutionary movement they can get their hands on, which is most of them. Look at Ukraine–the government of Ukraine badly needed some genuine reform. There were plenty of people with real grievances. If it weren’t for the Americans pouring in their billions of bucks to make sure the movements that formed were free of real ideology and backing up quislings and Nazis, the unrest might have developed a real mass movement that could have created some positive change.
So, Tiananmen. I liked the student movement. I still like them. They were expressing real grievances and had some good ideas and many, probably most of them were idealistic young people trying to make things better. But were there CIA infiltrators, CIA money influencing the whole thing? I have no doubts there were. It enrages me that I find myself not in a position to back idealistic revolutionaries because those goddamn imperialist bastards are taking advantage of them.
Most media / blog post forgot that this is not 2 sided war of russia vs US supported rebels.. people got trapped into a tendency to blow up russia’s contribution outside of proportion..
the fact is that this is a joint effort between syrian goverment, iranian goverment and russian goverment , against a rebel force funded supplied armed trained by american, turks, saudi/qatar, and israeli..
while watching russian air force bombed the rebels might make some people happy , they forgot that reality on the ground always depended on the ground troops.. and this is where Syrian army (depleted and tired as they was in long fight) and iranian militias come in..
so focus on the whole campaign , and not nitpick on day to day push and shove… expect to have a covert offensive against russian airfield soon , expect to see the rebels use that turkish supplied sarin gas weapon ..
Watch Turkey , Watch Iran
mainstream media will soon ‘insult’ russian effort , calling their bombing ineffective , while conveniently forgetting to mention iranian ground force contribution., Western bloggers/analyst tripped over themselves in repeating the false narrative that this is russia’s next afghanistan.. also conveniently forgetting the 3rd actor the iranian , who have more to lose than russia if syria falls..
i totally understand the sickness of many people watching western leaders and their media cronies spout endless lies and propaganda even when the reality and facts on the ground is so totally the opposite (‘moderate rebels’ ???) , but as with a chess game , this is a long game, not just wham bham thank you ma’am style game..
Sivkov’s points raise all kinds of questions. For starters, weren’t those all known issues at the beginning? So, for example, one imagines that the Russians are working on expanding or finding airports. Whether this is going well or not is hard for us to estimate. And the idea that cruise missiles from the Caspian might be limited is not exactly bad news. Most of us didn’t even expect cruise missiles from there. It is hard to be disappointed about that which we had limited expectations.
By the way, all the videos with Russian helicopters in low are not close air support? What is that called? Not being sarcastic, I really don’t know the terms for different types of operations.
Also, if the initial plan failed, why are all the pro-Syrian guys so happy? They seem to think things are going quite well. What was the initial plan, and what caused it to fail? An inadequate number of Iranian troops? For that matter, we really don’t know how many Iranians are in there now.
Is Sivkov on active duty now?
Here’s a glimpse of the Saudi point of view,
Warning – Hypocrisy… Meter.. Broken!!!
More like ‘Saudi Arabia.’
The House of Saud is in trouble:
More on the Divided House of Saud:
The Syrian Army offensive has grinded to a halt
Where is the evidence for this sweeping statement? There is considerable, logically *verifiable* evidence to the contrary (for example, almost no new ISIL head chopper videos, likely due to disarray within CIA/terrorist ranks).
In several locations Daesh successfully counter-attacked
So what? Saying the enemy has counterattacked is meaningless. It must have happened dozens or even hundreds of times since the offensive began.
The airbase at Latakia is maxed out or will very soon be
It was maxed out on day one. Preparations for the use of Latakia Int’l airport are already underway. Additional escalation of the air war by Russia must come via bases in Iran. Anything less would be suicidal in a direct confrontation with NATO and Israel, which is an obvious possibility which Putin and his extremely competent team could not overlook. NATO and Israel are many times the logistical superior of the Russians in the region, nothwithstanding any new or secret weapons they may possess. Latakia can be taken out in one shot and not necessarily by a tactical nuke.
The Russians are not providing close air support, but only strikes on operational-level fixed targets
Right. I believe this will change now that Russian Officers are reported to be involved at the squad level.
I can practically guarantee, wherever there are Chechens, Russian boots will be on the groud stalking them. Caucasian groups will also be heavily infiltrated. Russia has no intention of allowing any of these CIA trained terrorists to leave Syria alive. Moreover, this is a stated objective!
Does anyone seriously believe Russia is ready to give up after just three lousy weeks?
There are signs that the Syrian military is running out of ammunition
Ha! Is this a serious analysis or weak propaganda meant to downplay expectations? Who launches a massive offensive lacking sufficient supplies to carry it forward for the full duration? This thing has only just gotten underway.
Or were the Russian military advisors so utterly incompetent as to NOT be aware of the supply situation of the Syrian Army?
Iranian Forces have barely entered the fray. So far it seems mainly the exhausted Syrian Army and Shia militias are doing most of the fighting.
What we are witnessing, I believe, is a softening of the enemy before the real show gets underway. The Iranians will appear out of nowhere and begin flanking and flanking until the terrorists turn tail and make a desperate break for Turkey. It has already begun with the so-called moderates.
This process will accelerate, Just you watch.
The USA are supplying Daesh with ammunition to compensate for the ammo dumps destroyed by Russian airstrikes
This is different from before in what way? If anything ISIL’s ability to communicate, move and resupply have been seriously downgraded.
Russia will probably have to engage long-range aviation to compensate for the small number of aircraft in Lakatia
Escalation is the order of the day. Obama has lost control of the US military and the Russian president knows it. Vladimir Putin did not go all-in on Syria misunderstanding the weakness of his counterpart and partner. He knows he is confronting NATO as is the case in Ukraine.
The Russian flotilla in the Caspian has used up almost all its cruise missiles
The Russian objective in launching cruise missiles from the Caspian Sea onto targets 1500 kms away has already been achieved. They have demonstrated their capability to the world and any further use of these precious weapons would be uncharacteristically wasteful, especially for Putin’s new Russian military machine.
Dash forces are commanded by very skilled officers from the ex-Iraqi army
Those who survived from the days of Saddam (the Iran-Iraq War ended 25 years ago) are relatively few and those who remain are more gangsters and collaborators than soldiers or warriors. Almost all of ISIL’s best commanders are from Western special forces or Israel.
And very suddenly the Iraqis seem to be having considerable success against these supposedly ‘skilled’ ex Saddam loyalists.
Russia needs either another airfield in Syria or, better, the agreement of the Iranians to let the Russian deploy more or less 120-130 aircraft on Iranian airfields
Is this a leak? I hope so and given the no show of the Iranians so far, I would expect the Revolutionary Guard to be very shortly making their appearance supported by a hundred or so Russian aircraft based in Iran!
The Russian force in Latakia is very vulnerable and the base will have to be urgently reinforced
I believe the Russians have prepared for this possibility. Putin’s strategy depends on Turkey and Erdogan remaining more or less frozen and unable to properly respond so as to save their sorry ass terrorist proxies. The Turkish election is on Novemeber 1st. Anything is possble before or after.
Does anyone remember what happened to the Germans in late 1941?
Bearded Siberians will soon be on the march.
This is what I believe Soleimeini promised to Russia if Russia agreed to create the necessary space for the Iranians to move in and ultimately destroy ISIL.
Bottom line, given the nature of the crisis and what is at stake, the defeatist tone of these barely coherent ‘points of analysis’ could very possbly encourage the terrorists backers and convince them that Russian resolve is weak.
Those who proclaim themselves NOT NEUTRAL should be careful not to offer aid and comfort to the enemy.
News just coming in is that Assad is in Moscow for a meeting with Putin.
For Syria, Iran, Hezbollah, Russia and China, this conflict is to varying degrees -in the order listed- an EXISTENTIAL one. If Syria folds the consequence for each would be dire.
Syria would become a US Puppet/failed state, another Libya, so to speak. Iran would lose its foremost Arab alley, be cut off from Hezbollah and be forced to contend with another hostile regional entity fomenting troubles for Tehran. Hezbollah now cut off from its main patron would be faced with encirclement from Israel in their next confrontation because the new entity that would emerge would most likely grant Israel free rein or be too weak to stop it.
Russia for its part, would be promptly kicked out of its naval base at Tartus and be forced to contend with Jihadists pouring into the Caucuses with full Western backing to create chaos for Moscow.
China would not escape unscathed either. The West have been covertly courting China’s muslim Uiygers hoping to use them to stir trouble for Beijing, and they too are present in Syria fighting with ISIS.
All these actors have much to lose if Syria is allowed to fall and so for Putin and the rest of the group, they have to declare to the US and its allies that Syria is a Red Line and to that extent- “ALL OPTIONS ARE ON THE TABLE”!
Iran is already promised to join the zio camp, what were those meeting med zio US were all about? Iran will sell out its allies syria and hizbullah in return it will join the zio camp. Saudia arabia is no longer needed anyway,
I don’t buy that for one minute.
You are correct, but I would also like to add that things are even more dramatic than you make it sound.
If Syria falls, then obviously that country is gone for good and probably forever, massacres will be order for the day, no Christian, Druze, Maronite, Allawite will remain alive and even in one piece. For Hezbollah, it will be game over. The Zionists will then be free to bomb them into ash.
What about Iraq? Iraq will be shred to pieces, with the Shia majority of that country running for their lives from Daish. Iran will be placed under even more pressure and quite possibly attacked by the AZs.
Russia will lose her position on the European gas market along with the leverage that goes with it. Moreover, ISIS will then make a dramatic entry into places like Central Asia and the Caucasus.
China will lose the opportunity of ever having Iran in her sphere of influence and be at the mercy of the Empire in relation to energy supplies. Uighours and Tibetans will be emboldoned/enhanced by the CIA/MI6 etc
Retreat is not an option from Syria.
Well said, man! :)
I agree, part of winning any battle is to win the mind war. Being decisive requires a lack of hesitation, too much cautious sentiment can lead to paralysis.
Sometimes a rallying cry is exactly what is needed, regardless of whether that cry my appear irrational, or overly ebullient. Sentiment is high right now because decisive action is taking place, to wrap oneself in worst case scenarios is not the way to win over an audience.
This is an information war, and though the weapons must be factually pertinent, the task is indeed to win over minds. Thus any argument by those engaged in this information war that they are not seeking to win over an audience is simply self delusion.
The comment by ‘See I eh?’ (great name by the way) is like the mirror reflection of the cautious position, it sees the facts, but views them through a glass half full perspective. THIS is how to win minds, by seeing the facts, but by being positive about the prospects.
Some will argue that being pessimistic is more truthful, like some stoic martyr for the miserable truth, yet the ‘good news’ is what enlivens. We can shed light on the imperfections, but we must remember to focus on the positive, the good, and the victories.
To be pessimistic in these times of information war is to broadcast ones own depression outward, unto others. Clothing this pessimism, born of self depression, as a reflection of the ‘facts on the ground’ does not automatically make the points more relevant.
Many highly decorated individuals, men and women of the highest caliber, have been deadly wrong about some very important outcomes. Decorations are nice, accomplishments being what they are, they do not remove the frailty of human nature, namely the habit of succumbing to persistent pessimism.
When Russia bombs relatively fixed positions used by attackers on the move, is that close air support or operational-level targeting? Something like this recent report:
I guess one question is when the Syrian/Iranian/Hezbollah/Iraqi troops on the ground call for Russian helicopter or jet support, is that operational-level targeting or what term would be used in which circumstances?
When ground troops call in air strikes during combat that is “Close Air Support” or CAS.
Operational level targeting is targeting logistics centres, depots, command and control facilities, workshops. It are targets previously identified and being bombed to degrade the overall operating capabilities or before an attack starts.
Has everyone heard of that Chicago ‘off the books’ rendition place ? here is a story investigating it.
the Chief of the Main Operations Directorate of the General Staff, who is directing the operation in Syria
“You know, it is difficult for me to judge how ready the Syrian army is for offensive operations.”
What more needs to be said? If I was Putin I would sack this guy. He needs to get off his fat butt and get down there and find out.
This war in Syria is huge for Russia. Its a must not fail. If it does fail Russia will be a laughing stock. They need to take seriously. A long winded war of attrition is not good enough, in the end thats going to be a loosing a hand.
The problem here is the longer it goes on the the more ISIS will think theyre still in this with a chance. It is essential that the Syrian forces are concentrated and inflect knockout blows where ever theyre directed.
This piecemeal attack in all directions needs to stop now.
There are easy pickings available. They need to be taken. Putting scores on the board are good for moral and the enemy needs to be given the firm impression they have no chance.
***I don’t think you understand Russian diplomacy – modaa
Sivkov is saying pretty much what I said in response to your Unz Review article:
(1) It is critically important, both in a long term strategic sense and to shore up current vulnerabilities to establish a tight Russian-Iranian alliance and get Russian aircraft and state of the art AA into Iran. It needed to be done before the Russians moved; It is desperately urgent to do it without further delay.
(2) While the Americans are unlikely to attack the Russian expedition, they will have little compunction about attacking Iranians if they appear in sufficient force to break the stalemate.At the moment Iranian ‘volunteers’ (though hardly in sufficient force to carry the day) are moving against enemy held villages just south of Aleppo.Al Akhbar says another Iranian force will try to push through NW Latakia to the Kurdish enclave,
(3) It was/is delusional to try to imagine the tired Syrians and magnificent, but worn out, Hez militia could/can get very far with a slogging attack on deeply tunneled in forces north of Hamas and on the Al Ghab plain.
(4) It was surely a mistake for the Russians not to bring ground troops, optimally a couple brigades, into Latakia and Tartus. If the Russians had employed their own air mobile and armor backed people in concert with the opening of air attacks, the shock of the sudden attack might have stampeded the enemy. The chance for that is gone.
I must admit, however, to being surprised to learn that “Daesh” came out of cover to counter attack. Especially since the people involved in the disputed sectors are not Daesh but Ahar al Sham, Al Nusra, Fallag al Sham, etc.
Also I must agree with Blue that titles, honors etc mean very little in war. Commanders who had never seen the inside of a school out thought and out fought St Cyr and West Point trained officers in Viet Nam. The only way to know whether a commanding officer is worth a damn is to serve under him. Believe me!
Best regards, Tom
A small piece of good news today.Harper is gone in Canada.And Trudeau is saying they were withdrawing from the “US bombing coalition” in the ME.Of course he hasn’t been “talked” to by the US yet.So I won’t celebrate until that’s final.But at least the worse Russophobe there is gone.Other’s that might side with the US would do it from fear reasons.While I always thought Harper did it from conviction as well.Making his actions worse because of that.
Well one Harper leaves another one in office when it comes to israel:
From Vox Populi Evo
Special | War tale of Kievsky Avenue:
Listen to the rant of truth @ the closing minutes
Konstantin Sivkov is involved in the high art of deception.
Let’s leave it there and wait for the next move by the Russians. My guess, a new suprise for everyone.
davidius on October 21, 2015 · at 11:06 am UTC wrote:
Konstantin Sivkov is involved in the high art of deception.
the comment had nothing whatsoever to do with the Kievsky article
Sorry. I put my comment in the wrong place
are we supposed to refrain from laughing out loud at all this-
Great,great,video.In simple homespun language that Babushka said everything about the crisis in the former Ukraine.
With all due respect Saker, this sounds a bit too much like defeatism. Whatever credentials this Sivkov has, the points he makes are frankly ridiculous and childish. It’s like he’s trying to deliberately grasp at any straws to make the Russian/Syrian campaign look hopeless. It’s a bit suspicious actually.
Not really. It’s successfully advancing both SW and SE of Aleppo. Overall progress is slow, yes, but this is to be expected because the SAA fights so as to minimize its losses, not to recapture everything in a week so that outside observers can have an exciting picture to watch. Besides, there is information that the main offensive has not even started yet – that the number of troops involved and the amount of airstrikes is planned to be much higher than at present.
It seems Sivkov doesn’t even know what he’s talking about, since there is no Daesh in the main areas of SAA’s current advance. Sure, there have been some minor counterattacks – several villages retaken at most – but that’s war, things change hands. Overall the SAA is advancing.
That’s why they’re converting the civilian airport for military use, and have announced the building of a new base. There’s other airbases in Syria too. For God’s sake, they can use the aircraft carrier if they need to. These are all problems which are being solved. There’s no need to be alarmist about this.
I’ve seen reports to the contrary. And again, there is information that the main offensive has not even started.
And what will stop Russia and Iran from supplying more, just as they have been doing for the past four years?
The US doesn’t directly supply Daesh, which again, is not the main target of the current offensive. It’s true the other terrorist groups are being supplied by the Gulf states, but they have been supplied for the past four years and the army has somehow held on even without Russian air cover. Why is this suddenly important now?
And the problem with this is?
How is this even an issue? Why exactly can they not get more? Has Sivkov forgotten that missiles can also be launched from the Mediterranean? Why is he portraying this trivial detail as some sort of fatal flaw in Russia’s operation?
So what? This won’t help them in a Russian airstrike. And are the Syrian, Iraqi, Hezbollah, Iranian, and Russian commanders all idiots who were born yesterday? Should everyone just give up just because Daesh has some skilled officers?
Yes, blind flagwaving is stupid. But what I see in this article is pessimism. Russia is not sitting on its hands, it has the resources and the will to see this through properly, and its capability should not be underestimated. The offensive has just started and neither Russia nor anyone else has played all the cards up their sleeve. So saying things like “the initial plan has failed” is just ridiculous. You mention the recently killed Iranian general and Hezbollah commander. Of course that’s bad, but it’s not any significant blow to the overall effort in Syria. Tens of thousands have been dying for years, but there are many ready to stand in their place and nobody is about to give up. For one, Hezbollah has not lost any significant part of its fighting force contrary to some claims, not to mention Iran. If one was going to be pessimistic it should have been before the Russian intervention, when the SAA was definitely at a low point and suffering a string of setbacks. Yet the Russian campaign has completely changed the situation and turned the initiative over to the Syrian side. The forces on the ground themselves are saying that it has given them more morale and optimism than they’ve had in a long time. There’s no better time than now to be optimistic, and there’s nothing “indecent” about this or about expressing support. Of course, we should maintain realism and keep in mind the enormous and heroic sacrifices that are being made, but we should also have some faith in our side. If the Syrians didn’t believe in their own victory they wouldn’t be fighting in the first place.
“But this is to be expected because the SAA fights so as to minimize its losses”
-What is your source for this?
“Besides, there is information that the main offensive has not even started yet”
-Interesting if so, what is your source for this?
“”The Russians are not providing close air support”
I’ve seen reports to the contrary. ”
” If the Syrians didn’t believe in their own victory they wouldn’t be fighting in the first place.”
-Well, they don’t have a choice, they are under attack, they can’t stop fighting and walk away.
There were ANNA News reports embedded with the SAA which described this as the tactic used by the army. It makes sense given that the SAA’s manpower is not unlimited and it cannot afford as large of a casualty ratio as the terrorists, so charging head first into terrorist controlled areas which are 99% of the time heavily mined and fortified is suicidal. It doesn’t guarantee control of an area either due to their heavy use of tunnel warfare. So any advance has to be slow and deliberate, and backed by heavy fire support. They would rather take their time than sacrifice manpower, which is why they still haven’t taken all those rebel-controlled pockets around Damascus.
I also read something a while ago about how the SAA’s overall strategy in the war has changed. In the first several years they were trying to hold onto as much land as possible and as a result suffering heavy casualties, but later on they decided to shift their focus towards killing as many terrorists as possible while conserving their own manpower, and instead of keeping every inch of land they essentially let the rebels have the countryside and focused on holding onto strategic areas like the coast, large cities and transport corridors. I can’t find the source anymore, but the focus on holding strategic areas has been mentioned often in the media.
This was reported by a journalist with sources on the ground and later by the mainstream media as well.
Like this one of Russian helicopters coordinating attacks with ground forces. I think I’ve also seen a report on the ground by LifeNews or Komsomolskaya Pravda but I can’t find it right now.
Tell that to the military-age refugees fleeing to Europe. The point is that their belief in their country has given them the strength to fight on the way they have for the past four years. It would have been different if they were fighting with no hope for victory.
Spot on Mike!
If the SAA has to minimize casualties what the hell is going on with all the slaughter of armored units on the front lines?
I’m skeptical the SAA can sustain these kind of losses. There are plenty of old T-72’s that can be brought in from Russia, but they must have a limited supply of tank crews after 4 years and 7 months of civil war. Russia needs to provide close air support soon.
You are right that the SAA shifted tactics and consolidated, but that tactic has only led to a temporary stalemate. I say temporary because no matter how favorable the kill ratio there are a lot more Wahhabi radicals that can be imported to fight against them then there are manpower reserves left in the parts of Syria Assad controls.
Reports today that Russia is indeed planning a drastic increase in it’s air presence and activity….
Borat is very hit and miss humour-wise for me. He uses vulgarity like a sledgehammer when he should use it like a scalpel.
By taking aim so indiscriminately, he fails to be a worthwhile satirist. Both George Carlin and Bob Newhart had more political acuity in their little fingers than Cohen has in his entire cranium. The best of the English satirists – maybe the only one – is Chris Morris.
All of them are essentially idealists/realists who are telling the emperors they have no clothes. And they never forget its the emperors who should be targeted – something Cohen does not ‘get.’
That said, his Ali ‘Is it coz I is black?’ G was a comic/satirical classic.
And the flag clip was funny – so thanks Borat. :)
the flag clip was accidental I think…poor horse.
I don’t think you are mistaken about Putin seeking a political solution through dialogue. Both he and Lavrov have been saying that all along. it’s no secret.
So why does that approach alarm you?
Because the other actors – Turkey, Saudi etc are a treacherous crew? The leadership in those countries is certainly that. But how secure are those leaders on home turf?
Erdogan is president of a restive and divided country. And he is in conflict with the US over the Kurds, who believe that if they can manufacture a Kurdish ‘unity’ they can control the oil-wealth in the region. That plan is in turn complicated by the PKK -Marxists will nationalize resources. And the US is becoming sidelined in Iraq.
Saudi has both internal problems and the Yemen to contend with. Not to mention Iran pressing for explanations about the loss of high-ranking personel (the bodies have not been returned to Iran) in the Hajj disaster. Even by the low standards of the KSA, the current mob in control are chaotic and incompetent.
The KSA would be extremely unwise to tangle with a resurgent Iran, who is currently beating off trade suitors from everywhere and which has an excellent relationship with China.
And China will weigh in as a decisive player – she has the money and she needs the oil. Both Putin and Xi are on the same page. Don’t you think they have studied who is to be trusted and who is not? They know Iran is key.
All of which leaves space for alternatives to emerge and do business with.
So I guess your post confuses me – I can’t see how a military solution could ever be possible in such a fractured region, much less decisive. Is that what you think?
I don’t trust any of those Western leaders (and their stooges).Every “deal” Russia has ever made with them they have betrayed (we could go back to the Congress of Vienna if need be).I don’t see that this modern bunch would keep a deal any better than the others.And with their zionist ideology,even worse.Bush used to say he liked to deal with Putin because once Putin made a deal he kept it.Well we can’t say the same for the other side at all.They lied to Gorbachev.Then they betrayed Putin.Why on earth would we trust them to honor a fair deal over Syria.The only way to deal with the opposition in Syria is from a position of strength.And to separate them from the West.If the West is speaking for them,a deal is worthless.So that is why I’m alarmed.I’ve seen Russians get screwed in these deals before.You’d think it would “finally” sink-in that you can’t trust the West.But so far it doesn’t seem it has.I’m reminded once again of the saying “Fool me once,shame on you.Fool me twice (or a dozen times),shame on me”.
“’ve seen Russians get screwed in these deals before.You’d think it would “finally” sink-in that you can’t trust the West.”
Thank you for your confirmation that dissimulation continues to enjoy a potent half-life.
Thanks for your response. I partly agree.
But I think we not dealing with national entities, so much as a globalist mafia. We call them ‘Anglo-Zionist’ because those are their recent historical roots. But they are basically the Sopranos on steroids.
Reshetnikov (sp.? – don’t have the link, so apologies for error Mr R, should you ever pass this way :) – a leading Russian analyst – said as much in a recent Fort Russ interview.
Curious: do you think if it was Kennedy (either Bobby or Jack) in the White House you would say the same thing?
al jazeera is running two part docu today in uk, each 1 hour, only jusrt seen a bit seems ok in depth study
enemy of enemies, rise of ISIS,
might be well worth a look?
Interviews with Iraqi politicians etc etc, Syrian alliances etcetc
Al Jazeera is CIA. ISIS is CIA.
Shit… sorry, – Sivkov – happens.
In general, I adore your analysis, Saker, but sometimes you trust opinions of wrong people, – those, who are not trusted in my country, in Russia. And for good reason.
This is the breaking point of empire, the US will get desperate the hard core mercenaries will fight, for they know their fate. Russia started with the most difficult front first.
In the Ukraine Russia needed and needs to be restrained. Howere, in ME it has to take a leading military role, that is going to costly in materials and lives. The Syrian Army will need to reenforced the cities must be liberated and frankly the SA has been too long at war. I expect that during the Alepo relief, Sunni muslim volunteers will join in the digging out of urban forces. A fully armed wvery experienced body, but only when requested and allowed.
Russia should not and will not send in its ground troops. Soon there will be an enforced no fly zone over north west Syria there is no choice, a second airfield will be esablished, I dont expect any more cruu se missiles they have achieved their purpose. A change of Government in Turkey, elections soon, is needed.
This is political war, the success is not finally measured on the battlefield and the risks are huge for they are not confied either … but it has to be done nontheless.
I believe the saker is right to warn us to be cautious, however he should not exaggerate the level of ultra-optimism e.g flag waving, singing victory songs etc. Many of us know that the victory is not near future, and complete eradication of Islamist fascists is impossible. Assad will have to negotiate with his enemies, and this is what Putin has told him. The recent operations are to rescue Assad from total collapse. Without Iranian ground stop the war will only go further and further, and may would risk Russia’s position. The Latakia air base must absolutely be strengthened, and another airbase should be opened be it in Syria, Iran or even in Iraq. Another important aspect is the YPG forces and other small socialist Syrian Arab rebel groups. If they are given extra air support a A Persian-Arab-Kurd triangle will absolutely crash the ISIS and Al Qaeda.
As the publishing Deutche Welle, the US put forward an ultimatum to Iraq over the use of the Russian aviation group in the fight against “Islamic State”.
This was stated by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the US armed forces, General Joseph Dunford after meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Iraqi Haider al-Abadi in Baghdad on Wednesday, 21 October.
“The United States cut off aid to Iraq if Baghdad will turn to Moscow to participate in the Russian air strikes on militants” IG “on Iraqi territory,” – he warned.
He added that the United States would be difficult to provide the necessary assistance if the Russians will also carry out military operations in Iraq.
“We will not be able to conduct operations in Iraq, if there will be at the same time to act and the Russians” – said D.Danford
The general said that the reports about the intention of al-Abad ask for help from Russia caused concern in the United States, but Iraqi Prime Minister assured him that Baghdad will not do it.”
The exceptional world – “do what we want or we will bully you and threaten you”.
RT on its news today say Iraqi lawmakers – biggest bloc/alliance – have asked for Russian help and Sputnik news says a vote to take palce at the end of the month. If we all look back to last year this new Iraqi leader, Haider al-Ibadi, has the US nod of approval and was the one who asked the US to come in. Maliki had been resisting and was removed as Prime Minister. Now even the Iraqi’s see the US “help” hasn’t added up to much and want Russia to help.
Top US general may be out voted by the Iraqi parliament. Haider al-Ibadi should watch his back – he can be removed too…..
Jeez, seems to me like the USA withdrawing “aid” to Iraq might be a “make my day” kind of offer. For Iraq. I mean, do the Iraqis want the USA occupying thier country and setting up huge bases, CIA spying and provocation and maybe torture centers in the embassy, etc. ?
What does Iraq get out of USA “aid”? I am sure this is extermely naive of me, but it seems like the fastest way to get teh USA to leave Iraq “voluntarily” would be to ask Russia for help in ridding teh country of ISIS, which the USA refuses to do, or is unable to do, and/or will not help the russians do This sounds like kind of a dog-in-the-manger position for the USA.
This has to be way to simple-minded, though.
Has Nutty-yahoo finally jumped the shark?
Netanyahu under fire for Palestinian grand mufti Hitler claim: Israeli PM accused of trivialising the Holocaust for saying grand mufti of Jerusalem gave Hitler idea of exterminating Europe’s Jews.
Summary: It was really the Palestinians (!) that caused the Holocaust; the Germans were merely their ‘willing executioners’.
Wonder what O’Bomber will say? In fact, I wonder if he’ll say anything at all! Probably just let it drop and hope nobody asks him.
Startling in the extreme to find comments here condescending to both the Saker AND Dr. Sivkov. Talk about chutzpah! I’ve learned Socrates’ first lesson in wisdom: I know that I don’t know. I think others should too. Then they might have the humility to accrue the benefits of studying what the truly knowledgeable have to say.
Just caught myself in blatant hypocrisy. It’s a bit like walking into a glass door. I’m just finished being severe on the Saker and Mr. Glasiev about economics. Perhaps some of those commenting here are professional military analysts, in which case carry on debating and I’ll sit shtum and listen.
Well, I was just going to mention the H-word all around.
And it always turns out to be a good idea, just in case one is wrong . . .
A genuine ignoramus
Russia had to go in on the 30th because a few days later it would have been too late but it could not go a day earlier either because thing were not right. The Saker is right, this is the danger period, a few things needed are yet to gel. The deck is heavily stacked. Russia is showing in incredible skill in the fractions of history seconds between the fall of each of the cards. By rights it should be impossible to change the targeted outcome of such a stacked game but Russia has played with death and won in the stacked game which was The Patriotic War. I think we will see the Swans carrying heat before this is done.
To me one of the most significant points made by Colonel Kartopolov was the info that many of Daesh commanders are ex Iraq military. Not to be trifled with nor underestamated.I don’t know what their political agenda would be, but obviously, they are professionals. Are they mercenaries or do they have a political agenda? They are individuals, so they will no all think alike. But they need a job, too. It would be nice if Iraqi officers and soldiers could be persuaded to align with the Iraqi government, but by fanning sectarian flames the USA has probably made that unlikeky. But, what might be the political agenda of Iraqi military fighting in Syria?
Who made the decision to dissolve the Iraq military? Was that Paul Bremer? Whoever made this knucklehead decision deserves to be court-martialed, and worse.
Professional Iraqi military won what war?
They massacred Kurds and Shiites and fought a standoff using poison gas against Iran, and knocked off Kuwait.
When the US came, they ran. Twice.
They joined Petraeus in the Surge, using tribal militias.
These guys are gangsters like we see running National Guard in Ukraine.
In fact, the Republican Guard from whence they come in Iraq was overrated by a factor of 100x because the US wanted to make a great victory over something that was a pushover.
This argument that these guys are Ridgeway, Patton and Montgomery in head rags is laughable.
The core fighting force, from many reports, is Chechen. The tactics the ISIS uses is no different than the tribes used in Libya overthrowing Gaddafi which came from what Gaddafi and the Tauregs used fighting France and the CIA in Chad. Swarming ‘technicals’, pickups with anti-aircraft guns used as machine guns. Go look at he swarm over his compound (thought invincible).
No one thought those guys were Hannibal or Eisenhower.
This is all BS. When the ISIS forces get a good taste of GRADS and other MRLSs they will get into their “wives” dresses and run like hell. Only the “bachelors” will fight to the end. And the Russians will provide the ending.
Can you spell Cauldron, Johnny?
What Putin spoke to the King of SA about might be very interesting. Perhaps, he suggested that those hordes will be driven back into SA, giving them a two front war to fight. A door in the Cauldron could be opened at the SA border.
Russia certainly has recent proof of how they can herd tens of thousands of enemy using just field artillery. Imagine what air assault with close formation jets and helos would look like to follow up eight or ten hours of shelling and rocketing.
The next few months in Syria and Iraq are the test for Iran, Russia and China. They get to kill off the largest proxy force in ideal circumstances. Much better than Pakistan or Afghanistan or Ukraine or the Caucuses. 80,000 targets.
It is in the perfect time of history. Turkey is in turmoil, NATO is paralyzed with real fear of real war, the US presidential campaign is under siege by Trump (who keeps building momentum) and Obama is on drugs thinking he can control events of geopolitical and national politics.
The US is repositioning into Africa and trying to use Japan in East China Seas. It has already failed with Australia in South China Sea gambit.
Only the neo-cons think they can continue with their strategy for the ME, destabilization of Russia and containment of China.
To use a stock market metaphor: the arrows are pointing down for them.
Red Ryder on October 21, 2015 · at 3:32 pm UTC wrote:
“Professional Iraqi military won what war?”
Thanks for a very good synopsys.
Always the greedy bite off more than they can chew,this is why I come here,intelligent comments,giving the benefit of decades of sifting of the chaff from the wheat!
No argument with Red Ryder’s analysis and comments.
But it does raise another question regarding the comment of Colonel
Kartopolov which strongly implies that these guys, qua ex-Iraq military, are serious contenders. So, if they are not, does that downgrade the value of Kartopolov’s analysis? Is he off-base on this issue?
Or is it maybe intentional misdirection on his part?
Maybe what he is saying is that for the “ME” they are a professional force.They probably compare with any other military officer class there (minus Iran,Turkey,and Israel).And since the armies they are fighting are Syrian and Iraqi,that would mean its even.The difference now is the Russian air power,and possibly the Iranian military (which we don’t really know their level of ability “yet”).I posted a long time ago that the armies in those states weren’t highly trained.And the officer class were in many cases “political officers”.They got their rank,and kept it or advanced by politics.The “wrong” political move meant they could lose it (and their lives too).That is a lot to overcome.I think in Syria,desperation has forced them to get better.But with the war,its hard to reform an entire military while constantly fighting.
I don’t know how it is, but I heard this before:
“Saddam Hussein has also shown his tyrannical ways in his dealings with his own military. It has been reported that many of the commanders who survived his war with Iran were systematically purged and murdered to eliminate them as a political threat to his rule. He has surrounded himself with a cabinet that supports his every move and, it is belived, had shielded him from many of the facts regarding U.S. and Allied troop strength.”
So who are the Iraqi leaders who have joined with IS — are they really that good?
I would argue that, man for man, the most effective and professional force in the Middle East is with little doubt Hezbollah. They took the Israelis in pretty convincing style.
The US is in a momentous double-bind and there is no way out.
ISIS is a CIA production.
The US pretends to fight ISIS.
The right hand fights the left hand.
The cat chases its tails.
Joke of the century!
Putin drove his sword right into it.
All Western politicians will be forced to lie even more.
All Western media will be forced to lie even more.
The CIA will be forced to go even deeper underground.
The Pentagon will be forced to do even more absurd gymnastics.
Joke of the century!
Isn’t that the guy that is used by western media as a boogieman since his proposal of activating Yellowstone Caldera? Sorry Saker, but despite the listed credentials, Mr. Sivkov does not impress me at all. I would be very cautious in evaluating his motives.
That doesn’t mean that I support the premature flag-waving. Exerting caution is always a good idea.
I read that Russia has jamming equipment that completely wrecks the electronics of its adversary, as we saw with Donald Cook. With that kind of domination of the airspace, denying NATO or US or Israel from entering Syrian airspace, how can there be resupply?
Basically, the narrative pretty much contradicts, not rah rah stuff, but battle field reports. So the article it is confusing to me, at least.
Is the USA totally flummoxed and ISIS is in total disarray, and about to collapse, or is it this narrative?
Unfortunately, flag waving seems inevitable. Having been a child in a land where a war was going on, I think it is a flaw of modern culture, movie consciousness: in come the good guys, appropriate music and voila – all is good and slick in execution drama notwithstanding. Nobody likes always cautious realism, since to modern tastes it feels like defeatism (I would guess that is the reason RT is often reporting on Russia in Syria in an almost american-movie way, the times demand it). The problem however is not just one of tastes and perception, but of the fact that wavers do not see all the toil involved and how easily the situation can turn bad, they dislike thinking about it and since unwilling often are unable to do so properly. If one depends on them in some way, that is bound to make problems harder to deal with when they arise. And when a situation turns bad the flag waver turns defeatist in a way an always cautious realist never does.
My people was once predominantly one of always cautious realists, to them the saying “it can always get worse” was a motivating one. The notion behind it kept them vigilant and ready for action in spite the odds. It was not a consolation but a reminder of the fact that situation is never as bad so as not worth a fight, neither is it ever as good so that one is allowed to drop guard. Modern cultural reality is different, it is not a way to deal with reality, pests and challenges of it, but to (de)construct it with the ultimate goal to make oneself feel better. Feelings aroused in such a way are by definition of shallow kind and dispearse in a second once someone shakes the construction a bit, and then comes the deep feeling of anger, despair…
It is likely that the Russian leaders have considered well their recent Syrian rescue.
The Vladimir Putin government decisions bear the operational patterns of the carefully prepared and coordinated counterattacks of the famous World War II General Georgy Zhukov.
The Russian Armed forces enter the fray after the fascist enemy has extended themselves in their political and military offensives, such as in Georgia, in the Ukraine, and, now, in Syria. The counterattacks in Syria, and possibly Iraq, against dug in and experienced and well supported fascist foes are not a walk in the park; in WW II, Zhukov’s counter attacks were not certain of success; often his forces were outnumbered (as they were during the Battle of Moscow – a fact often forgotten by historians), or surrounded by far superior forces, (as they were at Leningrad). Zhukov and the Russian people under his command, nevertheless, won all those battles.
The Zhukov Russian counterattacks themselves were politically as well as militarily meticulously well planned. The Putin era operations, as with Zhukov’s, are also delivered surgically and with great panache.
The course of the next months (this winter season) will clarify the gains achieved in the rescue of the Arab Peoples and the revival of their historic fortunes.
I stand by my previous observations that the speech of Russian President Vladimir Putin (last month) at the United Nations was not worth his breath.
But his and his countrymen’s heroic rescue of the Syrian Nation this month (against all odds and against all expectations) has taken my breath away.
For the Democratic Republics!
As if timed to prove my point:
The Vanguard of the world liberation forces (I did not say perfect, or possessing a finely tuned VISION), are in contention, as they oppose the imperialist Zionist world Banking Oligarchs.
Here, Russian President Vladimir Putin hosts a visit by Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad. This Formal Political Visit visit was accomplished under the guns of the imperialist terrorist war offensive. The leaders of the 2 allied nations met, exchanged views, and, more importantly, displayed Mutual Respect. Al-Assad’s visit to Moscow was totally unexpected by the imperialists. It was a daring political blow against the terrorist oligarchs; it was “delivered surgically and with great panache.” [Is it permitted for an anarchist to quote himself?]
This was the first time in 4 years that the Syrian President was able to leave his besieged country. This was a small victory; they are beginning to add up.
“Zhukov’s counter attacks were not certain of success; often his forces were outnumbered (as they were during the Battle of Moscow – a fact often forgotten by historians), or surrounded by far superior forces, (as they were at Leningrad). Zhukov and the Russian people under his command, nevertheless, won all those battles.”
Neither sole agency or essences exist.
According to the records the planning of the Battle of Moscow was done by Stavka including General Zhukov with Mr. Stalin told to be quiet after the debacles of Kiev and Smolensk, and fought by the Russian people.
Mr. Stalin and his coterie were nothing if not opportunists and seasoned self-publicists, and their involvent after it was clear that Moscow would not fall significantly contributed to strategic errors and outcomes into circa September 1942, when Stavka including General Zhukov once more gained the upper hand.
Stavka then planned the encirclement of Stalingrad, Kursk and Bagration with less interference.
The “influence” of Stalin and his coterie became more pronounced in the planning of the Battle of Berlin where “Socialist competition” was tested.
At the 1945 victory parade in Moscow the role of the Armed forces and the Russian people were de-emphasised, and the role of Stalin and his coterie emphasised, although General Zhukov was permitted to ride a white horse.
At the 2015 victory parade in Moscow all were recognised and given credit, the “leadership” not restricting themselves to waving from on top of a mausoleum, but going with the people carrying photographs remembering who really won the “Great Patriotic War”
This myth creation and removal of opponents continued until March 1953 and included the Leningrad affair, the demotion and exile of General Zhukov and others, to the gulag for some.
Russia is not the Soviet Union.
There is no more Daesh. They were defeated long time ago, in both Syria and Iraq. Therefore, Hezbollah has already packed their bags and left.
Yes, both high level Iranian and Hezbollah Military Leaders are in Syria in the fog of Daesh, to establish Russia’s Air, Land and See bases in Syria on the doorsteps of Israel.
So, Russia is going to be there for long, long time to come. There will be excuses made time after time to extend their stay, until eventually they are there for good without questions.
No wonder USA has already left and given Syria in good hands.
What do I know, I am only an Ahab! :)
Mohamed. your theory of one world government is only a theory…and I don’t go for it.
Ann, I never said one world government. Maybe 3 or 4 but not being in cold war and cooperating with each other. The world had enough with both AIPAC and Israel.
Good days are here, so enjoy as they won’t last very long.
Dude … comment removed moderation policy #2 All comment have to be impeccably courteous to me (eg saker) ..
I have been following this war since the beginning and almost on a daily basis.
To say that Syria was ‘maybe days away from total collapse before Assad asked Russia to move in’ is completely ABSURD AND FALSE.
Even with the setbacks in Idlib and East Homs, the Syrian forces were in fact in a much more solid position than they had been in late 2012.
They were FAR from falling.
As a matter of fact the presstitutes have been claiming the SAA was on its last legs and Assad about to fall in a matter of days since 2012.
Interestingly, the fact was that the Syrians were slowly making gains and by late 2014, even the msm liars began to say that Assad(meaning Syria) was looking to be the strongest of all fighting parties.
This is also the reason for constant attempts/pressure by the ZUSA led coalition to impose buffer zones and no-fly-zones.
If their terrorists had really been so close to victory, this would not be necessary.
With massive help from the Zusa led coalition, the terrorists launched their Idlib offensive which suceeded and ISIS took PAlmyra and a few other locations in East Homs.
Since then, all of the terrorists other offensives basically failed. The ones to take Aleppo, supported by Turkey, the ones based out of Jordan in the south and the various ISIS attacks in Deir-Ezzor and Hasakah.
All failed with heavy casualties. At the same time the SAA and Hezbollah were conducting their own operations, the ones by Hezbollah with SAA in support were very successful.
Then came the “refugee crisis”, totally engineered.
Starikov talks about it;
Zusa and its partners in crime were going to use the ‘refugees’ to try to impose those pesky buffer zones, maybe a no-fly-zone.
Salam Luca K,
Well said! Excellent Post!
Yes, Russia have now come to stay at Israel’s doorsteps for a very long time, after SAA, Hezbollah and Quds Forces have cleaned up the mess. There are no longer Daesh left. Neither in Syria and nor in Iraq.
You make the very valid point that the presstitudes in the MSM have been predicting since Day 1 that “Assad’s days are numbered”… McCain made a similar prediction back in 2011.
Moreover, there is one little thing that many in here have not seemed to notice.
The entire Ukraine crisis, plus the sanctions, maybe even the oil price collapse have all been in relation to Syria. Russia made it very clear from the beginning that they would not drop their support for Syria, and even shot 2 US missiles down back in the summer of 2013.
It was only after the success of Russian intervention back in 2013 that the Empire of Scum had to come up with:
a) The Euromaidan shitstorm.
b) The sanctions against Russia so as to “bring Russia to her knees”
c) The oil price collapse, which is not entirely manufactured, but at least partly so.
The Ukraine crisis is nothing but a secondary and a diversionary front to the absolutely vital one we have now in Syria.
For Russia of course, Ukraine is far more important (emotionally) than Syria. But strategically, Syria takes precedence. Ukraine will only be deloused after Syria (and Iraq) have been cleansed from NATO proxies.
God willing that is.
Stavros, while I agree 100% that Syria takes precedence over the Ukraine “for all interested parties”, I don’t view the Euromaidan in Kiev primarily as a spiteful response to Western imperialist setbacks in Syria. Arguably, aforesaid setbacks made the prospect of a Russophobic, Western fascist colony right on Russia’s doorstep seem more plausible and promising, but the Kiev Nazi putsch would most likely have materialised anyway. Unlike Russia, Ukraine had an ominously weak, wavering, and corrupt — yet legal — government alongside a much more reactionary, chauvinistic population. It was precisely these weaknesses that whetted the predatory appetites of the Zionazis in general and the Eurocrats in particular. Their totally unacceptable Association Agreement did the trick.
As for the refugees, they are “Russia’s fault” indeed. Syria and Assad weren’t expected to hold out against the Takfiris.
Like Netanjahu kept warning the world the past 20 years that Iran was in the process of completing a nuclear bomb, and was expected to complete it in 1 year, 3 max. Who listens to someone still making that claim after five years have passed. After they finished off Iraq’s nuclear program.
Ah well, it’s their job, professional LIARS.
“Where are the Quds force? Lots of talk but they have gotten the Hezbollah forces seriously decimated, at least 500 dead and probably twice that wounded. Quds was supposed to be part of the offensive.
The TOW missiles from US and SA are stopping Syrian tanks.[…]”
500 hezb dead? If u mean in the entire war, ok, if since the Russian intervention, no way Jose.
SAA tank losses to TOW missiles have been exaggerated.Total write offs much less than what has been advertised.
When people keep talking about Iran sending regular troops into Syria, do people even stop to consider the implications?
Iran has been under sanctions since the revolution and on much tighter sanctions since 2006, with UN Security Council Resolution 1696.
Russia and China went along with THAT.
Iran has been trying to get them lifted. What would happen if Iran sent regular forces into Syria?
There r other considerations as well. More later.
If the attack against Turkey by “ISIS” really wasn’t facilitated or false-flagged by Turkey’s MIT we might begin to see Turkey wake up as to her real position: Her dream of expansion has been overturned & she is instead faced w a threatening expansionist ISIS next door. Prudence wd dictate joining the Russian coalition. I guess that’s why Angela is suddenly promising Erdogan EU membership.
What a dummy Erdogan is! Very soon now EU will come under pressure to become the Transatlantic Economic Union. And this is a guy who likes to act independently.
The last time they suckered Erdogan Turkey was forming a trade agreement w 5 other mid east nations & everything was going swimmingly. Turkey’s policy of “Let’s Get Along W All” was just starting to pay dividends. Then disastrous temptation struck: France promised Turkey her support in getting into EU– if she would only join in taking down Libya & Syria.
Erdogan’s Mom never taught him that A Bird in Hand Is Better Than Two in the Bush. I’m sure the Russians are trying to turn him, but I think he’s too stupidly stubborn to see that his interest is in defeating ISIS.
Russians are starting to apply pressure against Turkey while ensuring that the Syrian Kurds stay w the program:
10/20/15 The Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union (PYD) plans to open a mission in Russia, a move that would anger Turkey which sees the party as a terrorist group, Russia’s Kommersant newspaper reported on Oct. 20.
Leaders of the Kurdish group will hold consultations with the Russian foreign ministry in Moscow on Oct. 21, Kommersant said, including talks about further steps toward the opening of a Russian office.
The purpose of the mission is to strengthen cooperation with Moscow in fighting the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), the newspaper said.
Turkey suspects Russia, which launched air strikes in Syria three weeks ago, has been lending support to the PYD and its armed wing YPG. –Hurriyet
On principle, I would agree with the Saker that undue optimism and “hurrah patriotism” are the things we should be avoiding at all costs.
However, I would add that Sivkov appears to be excessively restrained in his analysis. This is not so much because his knowledge on military matter is not good, but for any other possible reason. Maybe he is part of a deliberate plan of deception (or “maskarovka”) on the part of the Russian intelligence agencies (that’s I would have done) Maybe he has some disagreements with other senior military analysts within Russia and expresses them in this manner, maybe he is by nature very cautious, or maybe he is mostly correct.
But let’s examine the situation point by point. First with what Sivkov says:
a) The SAA offensive has stalled.
Maybe so. But that on its own means very little. Do we know the reasons why? Maybe it’s because the rats (Daesh) are putting up fierce resistance and inflicting tremendous casualties on the SAA and Hezbollah. Do we have reliable sources that confirm this? Not even the pro-rat media in the West are making such claims. But maybe there is another reason. It could be that the SAA and allies were only probing the rats defenses. Or it may also indicate that the SAA along with the RuAF are awaiting for the new rat reinforcements to arrive so that they can again blow them up into the Syrian skies! All this movements along multiple fronts maybe are only designed so that the rats have to put their reserves on the move hence making them more vulnerable, or to generally dramatically raise the rate of attrition for the rats themselves. Do we even know how many fighters they have lost (let alone C&C centers and ammunition) since the RUS strikes commenced?
I think the truth is that none of us know, and these things won’t ever become clear until long after this brutal war has ended.
b) In several locations, the rats successfully counter-attacked.
I only heard of one or two places where this happened to be honest. I maybe wrong, but I need someone to provide a comprehensive list of where this successful counters took place along with an explanation of their strategic value. The reason I say this, is that even the pro-rat types on the internet have not made such claims (aka Charles Lister)
c) The airbase at Latakia is maxed out.
I think we knew this from the very first day of the airstrikes. This is why the RuAF will soon be using the civilian airfield of Latakia, if I am not mistaken. We are certain to see more Russian sorties per day in the very near future, if need be. This can be done through several ways as many have pointed out.
d) The issue of close-air support.
Are those Mi-24s and now Mi-28s just going out alone to hunt down rats? I thought they were providing close air support. I maybe wrong though. Also, what are the SU-25s doing? Precision strikes? Please someone help me on this one. Maybe I do not understand the meaning of close air support too well.
e) The SAA is running out of ammunition?
Well, I find that unlikely, but if so, Iran/Russia and China are more than able to massively step in and deal with that. I know there is the issue of transport and logistics but I am sure it can be arranged. If our side on this WWIII (cos that’s what this is, in its own post-modern way) is unable to provide its most vital proxy with enough ammunition, then just surrender to the Empire and be done with this.
f) Not only that, but the US is more than able to covertly fully compensate for the rats massive loss of ammunition?
I find that absurd to be frank. Kartapolov has been on the record several times claiming that the rats are running low on ammo. I am sure he was not bluffing when making such claims. To be sure, the US along with its savage friends in the GCC+TUR should definitely be able to partly compensate, but under constant RUS bombardment I would very much doubt that the rats can be fully supplied with ammo.
g) Russia having to use long-range aviation?
Maybe, but isn’t it easier just to create another strip in Syria or maybe even use Iran’s airbases? But of course, Sivkov may be right on that one.
h) The Caspian flotilla.
The naval forces in the Caspian have already completed their mission which was nothing but to send a stern message to friends and foes alike: “We are much stronger than you think”.
i) Rats forces have very skilled officers.
I am sure that is 100% true. I would also add, and this is my main worry over this conflict, their foot-soldiers (some of them at least) are extremely brave. And I mean Viet-Cong type of bravery.
I have seen several youtube clips in which these lunatic rats are getting hammered by the SAA (and now the RuAF) but their spirit is not broken. They heroically try to save their comrades in many instances, they sometimes calmly pick up the pieces of their blown up comrades etc etc etc. This worries me just as much as the capability of the AZ Empire to come up with even more devilry.
j) I 100% agree on the point about at least one extra airfield, or Iran allowing the use of its facilities.
k) The Russian Expeditionary Force is vulnerable.
I agree 100%, this being CENTCOM-land, plus Israel, plus Turkey, plus GCC, plus rats.
But, having said that, I am sure that all of the above (except the rats) are genuinely worried/scared about how Russia would react if any Russian assets were directly hit by them. Hence the bold move by Putin.
Moreover, do we really know what the Russian forces really include over there in Syria? They may include any number/types of missiles that the Empire of Scum is terrified of. Just saying.
The attack wasn’t against “Turkey” per se, rather it was against a pro-Kurdish opposition party in Turkey. It was most likely carried out by ISIS operatives at the request of the Erdoghan regime..
Sivkov is the same military genius who suggested earlier this year to blow up Yellowstone with nukes.
I think, after watching him on some videos just now, that he is one of many Russian voices not listened to by Putin.
He may have college credentials that separate him from us armchair generals, but that does not lead me to believe he is on the inside. He’s an academic. They write histories. They have no armies.
His background inside the military is scholarly, not practical. It is entirely possible that Motorola knows how wars should be fought than this guy.
West Point produces dozens of the same assholes who write monographs and PDFs and PowerPoints on all sorts of military stuff. They lose every war of any scale.
When I see him next to Shoigu across the table from Putin, I’ll take him as a real authority.
He may be correct on every point. We have poor Intel on the ground to dispute it. In other words, we don’t really know how it is going until the map really significantly changes.
Even Mohamed claims Daesh is dead and gone. (Ruined my great respect for him with that. Hopefully, he will supply some proof, or expound on the statement in some sufficient way.)
Salam General Skepticu,
I have been saying this for past 2 years. USA created Daesh and it appeared in the first term of Obama, that Assad had to go, and Syria to become like Libya.
But, I think in Obama’s second term under this fog of Daesh, Russia is brought back at the doorsteps of Israel, with the best of military hardware. Russia is to stay for a very, very long time. They will not only have a sea base, but both land and air bases too.
Assad has very first time left Syria to visit Putin, so he (Assad) is back in saddle. USA seems to had enough of AIPAC and Netanyahu. They have given Middle East to Russia on a silver platter and moved on.
Netanyahu has now become like a mad dog, and he seems very, very scared. So, we should be scared too.
Just listens to world leaders and connect the dots. Especially, listed to Hassan Nasrallah in his own language and hear him what he says between the lines.
Salam General Skepticus,
Just saw one of the ex-General of UK on CNN. To paraphrase him:
“USA, UK and West have two goals. One goal is to defeat ISIS and the second one is for Assad to go. He said, that both these are conflicting goals. Where as, Russia has only one goal to defeat ISIS, which is achievable. So a military man and not a politician, his advise is for us to join Russia to defeat Daesh”
Understand your comment regarding Daesh now. Thanks.
Israel and Russia have cut a deal. Nothing launched from Syria toward Israel, no major armaments to Hezbollah. Israel supplies Intel and accepts Russian hegemony over Syria and Lebanon (if needed). And then, both work on gas offshore. Russia will have a piece of all gas from Egypt’s recent huge discovery, and will be involved with the Palestinian share of the gas from Israel’s development. There are big commercial trade considerations as well as military security. Money talks as big as cannons.
I don’t know if the US leaves the Syria Iraq battlefield, it leaves the ME. There is Turkey they seem to be willing to screw up and the Gulf States which they need for naval operations. And they are still heavily involved with North Africa.
Finally, dear Omani(if I recall correctly your country), Mohamed, the Jews in US government will do a color revolution in Tel Aviv if necessary to harmonize policies between the Israelis and the American 2nd Government (sometimes called the Double Government).
That is sensed by Netanyahu and why he would ally with Putin in the short term. Better to have a seat at the table and piece of the action than to be kicked to the curb.
Salam General Skepticus,
With respect, I disagree. I believe that events have caught Netanyahu with his pants down. Please see my posting on the next page.
“A beautiful article at Information Clearing House (ICL), which exactly says what I have saying for the last two years on this blog:
Russia Destroys The Greater Israel Dream
The grand plan was going swimmingly….”
Though, I agree with the color revolution in Israel, but they will be taking away Netanyahu in “Straight Jacket” :)
From refusing contact with the Medevev (sp.?) – led Russian initiative , to US *seeking* talks with Russia..strikes me as significant.
Assad will not go to them – not now. Nor does he need to – he and Putin have already got the proposals worked out.
“From refusing contact with the Medevev (sp.?) – led Russian initiative , to US *seeking* talks with Russia..strikes me as significant”
No, no, I’m with you on that, but on the other hand; I still insist that three out of those four [the new quartet] shouldn’t even be involved in the talks, like, at all.
“Assad will not go to them – not now. Nor does he need to – he and Putin have already got the proposals worked out”
I do honestly and sincerely hope you’re right on that :)
I thank my lucky stars for guiding me to this vineyard. The Saker rant and the 104 comments that I just read illustrate the blessing of a community based in reality which has room for naive newbies like myself. The Saker is a catalyst who is not afraid to set off sparks even when they question his “authority.”
I waver continually between engagement and retreat/defeat. Someone suggested I stay the course. Someone else questioned my use of a certain poet, for excellent reasons. I now reflect that music is a common theme here so why not poetry?
I find myself reflected in this community more than any other at this point in my life. The fact that it is virtual does not seem to make it less real. I also live in a physical community that is less real virtually/mentally.
I suppose this is off topic for many. But for me the personal is the global. The global war is a relative of my personal war.
As for flag-waving, the gentle vineyard has run quite a number of hurrah-patriot pieces. It all depends. It’s a mixed bag. Words are always two-faced, double-dealing interlopers into reality. Like the liar’s paradox: “I am lying.” I wouldn’t dream of giving up rational analysis, nor of dismissing music and poetry.
“The lunatic, the lover and the poet are of imagination all compact.”
“We won the war after losing every battle.”
“I’m glad we fought; I only wish we’d won.”
Contradictory statements all to the mind but make perfect sense to the heart.
Even if nobody else reads them it feels good to be able to express them in a safe community.
Dennis Leary, stay with the community your comments are appreciated. Stay true to yourself.
Thanks for the support. Much appreciated and needed.
…lovely very nice…
How this one adds-up into Dr. Konstantin Sivkov’s rather grim calculations…
Dr. Strangelove is Naked – by: Pepe Escobar
“[..] In his own words: “We’re a little worried about another A2/AD bubble being created in the eastern Mediterranean.”
In Pentagonese, A2/AD means anti-access/area denial: Translation: a mix of surface-to-air missiles and anti-ship missiles that can be deployed to prevent any player from entering or crossing a certain area.
Breedlove/hate goes as far as to admit this is Russia’s “third denial zone” around Europe. The first is in the Baltics – via the Kaliningrad base. The second – based in Crimea – covers the Black Sea. In his own words: “Their cruise missiles range the entire Black Sea, and their air defense missiles range about 40 to 50 percent of the Black Sea.”
He is convinced the deployment of these “very sophisticated air defense capabilities” is not about purging Syria from the Salafi-jihadi constellation. It’s about “something else.”
“[..] NATO is also terrified that all its state-of-the-art C4i software – command, control, communications, computer, intelligence – has been totally jammed by Russian technology, all across Syria and southern Turkey. Essentially, reduced to sitting ducks”
Further reading here:
The Russian army asserts its superiority in conventional warfare
“A system of generalised jamming: We know, since the incident of the USS Donald Cook in the Black Sea on the 12th April 2014, that the Russian Air Force has at its disposition a weapon which enables it to jam all radars, all control circuits, all systems for the transmission of information, etc. Since the beginning of its military deployment, Russia had installed a jamming centre at Hmeymim, to the North of Latakia. Then, suddenly, the USS Donald Cook incident occurred, but this time within a perimeter of 300 kilometres – which includes the NATO base at Incirlik (Turkey). And this is still going on. Because the event happened during a sand-storm of historical proportions, the Pentagon first thought its measuring equipment had malfunctioned, but then discovered that it had been jammed. Completely [..]”
And just in case if any of the above sounds too good to be true, here’s a link from the Washington Post on the matter…
Top NATO general: Russians starting to build air defense bubble over Syria
PS: And I’m agreeing with Saker; we shouldn’t be going overboard and be prematurely rejoicing before the ‘fat one sings,’ but there’s nothing wrong with a toast here and there for the battles won.
People need it… humanity’s been losing for long enough as it is.
Nout wrong with celebrating the battles won so far. – My two cents :)
russian said it will take 4~5 months to reach goals. i think, despite good intelligence, russians and SAA just moved IS/daesh from static positions by destroying them partialy. that is very important pushing them brutally off balance toward edge of existence. as far we know that former iraq military are part of daesh including CIA trained and who know who else involved, they will in this critical moment for them show what they know, have and what strategy will use to confront SAA and allies. of course, russians/iranians/SAA are watching and they will have ultimate answer for terrorists final formation. i believe that they will succeed to terminate terror in Syria.
A beautiful article at Information Clearing House (ICL), which exactly says what I have saying for the last two years on this blog:
Russia Destroys The Greater Israel Dream
“The grand plan was going swimmingly. The concept of endless wars for Greater Israel was working and producing impressive results. Opportunistically, through aggravation of war after war, chunk by chunk of Arab land was usurped and the map of Greater Israel was slowly materializing. No matter the unstable chaos surrounding the State of Israel for the past seven decades, and no matter the undying Palestinian resistance and the violent Intifadas that erupted internally, the Zionist dream of Greater Israel remained consistently intact and was progressing unabated and unchallenged by anyone.
But dreams, by their diaphanous nature are easily interruptible – can easily turn into sudden nightmares. Indeed, dreams do, in the blink of an eye, simply end.
Nobody expected the Zionist dream to come to a sudden halt like this. …….”
I read the comments from many of us who critique the various sources posted here on the Vineyard regarding the state of the Syrian War. As an interested party I tend to look at things from a perspective shown in maps drawn by those entities who have a great deal of intimate knowledge of the advances and setbacks that are being made and by whom over time.
I have found this high-level map to be a reliable source of ground zero activity as measured against other published sources (see: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cities_and_towns_during_the_Syrian_Civil_War).
I take a snapshot each week and compare it to the previous week to see what changes has been made and where. I can say the SAA is making progress given the existing size of its fighting force but the government needs more personnel engaged in the war in order to completely defeat ISIS/ISIL, FSA, et. al. in my opinion. It cannot be done with what is on the ground now. The logistics support for the opposition has to be disrupted which means airdrops have to be stopped.
The Russians know where the CJTF-OIR air corridors are that fly into Syria to resupply with weapons, ammo, food, etc. and surface-to-air missiles have to be rapidly deployed to those locations to down them. CJTF-OIR has to be disrupted and one plane knocked out of the sky will send a message that war has no favorite son.
The fact the U.S. and Russia have acknowledged “safety rules” (see: http://russia-insider.com/en/politics/us-russia-sign-syria-air-safety-deal-keep-quarreling-over-war-aims/ri10628) is not a free pass to continue to resupply the opposition. This is ridiculous and falls into the playbook of U.S. control. Assad needs to speak out that ANY support for the opposition will be considered hostile to the Syrian government and the sovereignty of the people.
This war is not only for the survival of Syria, its culture and history. It is a pivotal conflict that will decide the fate of the entire Middle East. The Iraqis, Hezbollah, Persians and even the Palestinians must be fully engaged with a sense of great urgency to fight against the western hegemony that will ultimately enslave them all if they are allowed to operate with impunity.
Can ASsad, as the legitimate head of the Syrian government, declare something like a no-fly zone over his country except for “invited” guests? And all others will be shot out of the sky, legally, by the Syrian sheriff.
If a Russian or a Syria or any unknown or foreign aircraft gets anywhere within, what?, 50 miles of the coast of the USA, fighter jets or something will be scrambled (except, of course in teh case of 9/11. . . . but that is another topic . . . ). Each county controls its own air space. It is only the USA that illegally claims and bullies to invade or control others’ air space. That was made patently obvious, in a reverse fashion, when the USA forced Austria not to permit Morales to proceed through its airspace, or other countries cannot dare allow Assange to travel through theirs. Also, implicitly, when Russia had to coordinate with Iraq and Iran to send missiles through their air space.
So I don’t understand how come other countries such as FRance and USA get to violate Syrian air space with impunity and with the expectation that they will continue to be able to do so. Why doesn’t Assad declare the inviolability of Syrian air space–at the UN, or just in a presser, or from his bathtub, fer chrissakes.
Help me understand this, o Wise Ones of the Vineyard. Seems to me it cannot hurt to state this, even if he and his air force cannot enforce it. But it would highlight the banditry of the USA with its illegal, terrorist-friendly weapons drops, etc.
Ditto… I too have asked the same questions many blogs back but don’t think anyone has really answered.
So, why can’t Assad tell the illegal actors in Syrian airspace to rack off?
I don’t understand.
American planes are bombing Syria.
How do the bombs get there, by ESP or transubstantiation?
Question still unanswered.
There is no Daesh, no violation of Syrian Airspace. Once in a while the neighborhood bully (Isreal) violates the Syrian Airspace, but no more as Russia is now in control of Syrian Airspace.
If you remove Daesh out of the picture, then the fog becomes clear.
I don’t understand.
American planes are bombing Syria.
How do the bombs get there, by ESP or transubstantiation?
Salam Sister Katherine,
Where is the proof that American planes are bombing Syria? There is no Daesh, as they were defeated long time ago. Hezbollah has packed their bags and went home.
Under the fog of Daesh, USA has brought Russia at the doorsteps of Israel, along with the best Russian Military Hardware. Even Netanyahu cannot violate any more both the Syrian and Lebanese Airspace.
I think your question needs to be answered. If Mohamed is right that the US is not bombing per se that does not answer the question: are they dropping weapons to the terrorists? Soldier on, gentle souls.
I’m no Wise One of the Vineyard but I have an opinion about why Assad cannot declare a no fly zone for certain ones over his country. He and Russia do not have enough planes, etc. yet. But it’s coming anyway. Gen. Breedlove/hate is complaining that Russia is putting up a bubble over all of Syria.
Your questions are right on. Keep them coming until you get an answer that makes sense.
“Why doesn’t Assad declare the inviolability of Syrian air space–at the UN, or just in a presser, or from his bathtub, fer chrissakes.
Help me understand this, o Wise Ones of the Vineyard [..]”
I sure don’t consider myself to be one of ‘wise ones’ around here, but I’ll attempt to answer your very valid question.
In my humble opinion, the answer is simple; you can declare to have sovereign control over your own territory all you like, but you must be able to enforce it, and that means…
1- being able to chase away any intruders (whoever they are) 2- shooting down trespassers (whoever they are) if they refuse to comply, and finally; 3- you must be able to fend off any accusations of “illegitimately” for doing either #1 or #2 afterwards.
That last point is the one that most countries can’t effectively fulfill (not because it’s a matter of moral right/wrong, or even international law, but because they might not have enough ‘clout’ in the world stage, if you know what I mean…)
They [like for example Syria] might be able to chase the intruders off, or shoot down trespassers, but it’s the international demonization media campaign (headed by your usual suspects *wink-wink*) what they can’t fend against… and soon after that, you’ll get an international kangaroo court set up in order to punish the country defending their aerial and territorial integrity.
The current ‘unspoken’ international order we’re currently living under, works similarly to domestic laws. “Laws” mean nothing without an enforcing [muscle] department, usually, in domestic matters that falls to the police, internal special forces [etc], if it wasn’t for them: the courts, judges, lawmakers and lawyers can write all the fancy laws they want, but there comes a time when the ‘offenders’ will either: be non-compliant (to said laws) or they’ll just ignore such laws. That’s why you need what it’s called: “law enforcement” to begin with.
It’s no different in the international arena.
The burning question is… who assigned the Americans to be the ultimate “law enforcement” for the world [otherwise known as ‘World Police’].
Who voted for it, who signed-up to such a ludicrous arrangement?
[*] Correction: when I said; “illegitimately” should have read: “illegitimacy”
My contention with the Russian venture from the start was that the potential fruits would be spelled out in what gains the SAA are able to make in the first month of airstrikes. Never did I buy the increasingly oft-discussed argument that Russian involvement against the weakest of Daesh(idlib) will be a war of attrition. One cannot win a war of attrition against an enemy with a near-unlimited supply of manpower and weaponry when compared to yourself. As of writing it has been 3 weeks since Russian intervention, and as accurately summed up in this post the SAA offensives have ground to a halt on every front, with any gains being made being insignificant deserted farming outposts. This is against the weakest of daesh. What is left of the exhausted SAA has ceased to exist as a traditional army for years now. I personally only foresee a drastic escalation in Saudi Arabian and Turkish materiel support for the jihadis of all stripes, with these regional powers seeing the Russian escalation(never mind the potential Iranian one alluded to in the post) as a direct challenge and a threat to their very national stability. The USA will give them a blank cheque in their endeavour to fully reestablish Sunni supremacy in the levant.
Nice article form Kike Whitney, and he has a good handle on it. But Sam Husseini had some good things to say in the latest crosstalk, even if drowned out a bit: for the neocons, better a failed state than one not under their thumb, and destroying infrastructure and society has long been standard tact. We saw it in Iraq, Libya, and now in Ukraine and Syria, among other places previously — and Putin knows this.
Putin Forces Obama to Capitulate on Syria
But don’t think that this latest humiliation will derail Washington’s plan for destroying Syria as a functioning, sovereign state and carving it into a million powerless statelets that pose no threat to Big Oil’s pipeline corridors, or US military bases, or Israel’s sprawling Zionist Valhalla. Because it won’t. That plan is still right on track despite Putin’s efforts to crush the militants and defend the borders. The latest iteration of the Syria dissolution strategy was articulated by Council on Foreign Relations president Richard Haass who said:
“….the United States and others should pursue a two-track policy. One track would channel steps to improve the balance of power on the ground in Syria. This means doing more to help the Kurds and select Sunni tribes, as well as continuing to attack the Islamic State from the air.
Relatively safe enclaves should emerge from this effort. A Syria of enclaves or cantons may be the best possible outcome for now and the foreseeable future. Neither the US nor anyone else has a vital national interest in restoring a Syrian government that controls all of the country’s territory; what is essential is to roll back the Islamic State and similar groups.
The second track is a political process in which the US and other governments remain open to Russian (and even Iranian) participation. The goal would be to ease Assad out of power and establish a successor government that, at a minimum, enjoyed the support of his Alawite base and, ideally, some Sunnis.” (Testing Putin in Syria, Richard Haass, Project Syndicate)
Should have been Mike Whitney — just a typo.
Dubya was a cheerleader in college. He can’t help it.
It would be interesting to know how much are the ISIS militants (and other US supported militias) paid. Notwithstanding the spectacular shows of fanaticism, beheadings etc. by ISIS, there must be a pretty strong co-ordination of efforts in these formations, armies or however they can be called.
In turn, this requires intelligence, massive logistic support and a strategic plan, by people different from what we have seen in the short TV clips – who look more like non-thinking animals than men. Add to this that ISIS & Co. can operate oil wells/refineries (a skilled endeavor) with relative tranquility and sell it abroad.
Even allowing for the special situations etc. it still does not make sense. Men are not completely stupid, even if they belong to ISIS & Co. The mere presence of Russia’s support should have sent them packing in a hurry. Instead, as one Russia Today correspondent was broadcasting from the outskirts of Damascus, he had to protect himself from gunfight coming from the “rebels.” Somehow the whole thing does not make sense, or we are missing some key components of the story.
Jimmie, what do you think ?
What do you think?
There is an oil well sitting in the middle of the desert pumping oil. Now how would one will transport this oil to the sea terminals.
1. Through, continuous uninterrupted pipelines to sea terminals.
2. Trucking them in heavy vehicles. Almost impossible.
On the other end one should be also be in full control of sea terminals.
So, there is no Daesh. The world is sick of both Isreal and AIPAC, not willing for peace. Creating havoc throughout the world. Remove Daesh as it is a figment of imagination, and the fog will clear.
Don’t underestimate The Empire, USA Military, Obama and Kerry to be so incompetent.
And, don’t worship man such as Putin, as all men are created equal.
Peace, Brother Mohamed,
Help me understand. If there is no Daesh, who is fighting on the ground against Assad?
I have been thinking a lot lately that ISIS snuff movie Co, Bellingcat, SOHR are all related, all owned by the same parent company.
This is the age of information warfare, where much research has gone into the advertising program.
It seems that the point the Saker is trying to make is that any time there is any kind of escalation in any war zone, it is cause for caution and concern. Because, obviously, the situation is fluid and unpredictable. Is that so wrong…
Saker is just attempting to be interesting by going against the grain a little bit…and as a result encouraging discussion.
However the surprise was when he indicated that he might ban someone with who disputes his source’s opinion…..that is a little troubling.
pretty fair article. The Russians are doing a damn fine job with limited numbers at the moment but its going to become more entrenched, this whole plan revolves around the Syrian Army being able to get its act together and more likely the Iranian army entering the fray. There is still large scope for the Russians to become completely bogged down if ground assault fails. To give themselves the best chance they would really need to work with the US but yet again the americans are showing what their real agenda is by refusing to do so (and in fact working against the Russians where possible) typical ‘stupid stuff’ from the masters of the universe, petty concerns and ego issues getting in the way of dealing with the real problem, although, in all truth I dont think the US even know what their agenda is anymore .. beyond simply keeping the chaos going and making sure no coherent Arab unity prevails.
“There is still large scope for the Russians to become completely bogged down if ground assault fails [..]”
That is indeed a possibility, but – and I’m not flag-waver – why would Russia get bogged down? By who? A bunch of barbaric head-choppers? One would think the Russians have some of the best fighters and military strategists in the world. Is not inconceivable to think they’d be sharing their skills and advice with whoever is gonna fight the barbarians on the ground. On top of that you have Hezbollah, fine fighters on their own right.
What you have on the other side?
A horde of liver-eating inbreds, most of which are fine with switching sides at a drop of a hat. They ‘fight’ for money and the “right” to gang-rape women and little girls. Most are not even Syrians (hence they’re not fighting for their own country, so… loyalty and morale are probably skin deep, at best) and where do they get their battle ‘advice’ from? The likes of the CIA (and any other Hegemon-bred mercenary going), this is the same CIA [&Co] which is only ‘savvy’ about how to fight badly armed/trained peaceful peasants.
Never the less, they’re not to be underestimated, sure, that would be foolish, but in fairness; the US haven’t fought a truly professional trained force since when? WWII?
There’s a good chance what they know, or what they think they know is not suitable for this kind of new scenario.
You might want to read the following article with a pinch of salt or two, but potentially, this are the battle-ground “geniuses” Russia (and Syria) is up against:
The Best Way to Defeat Russian Airstrikes: Blow ‘Em Up With… Condoms?
“[..]Left with little recourse in the face of relentless Russian airstrikes, the self-proclaimed Islamic State terrorist group has apparently resorted to a fairly unique defensive strategy. According a video that surfaced online on Wednesday, the group has begun launching homemade condom bombs, hoping they’ll somehow veer into a Russian bomber.”
“[..]In a desperate move, the contraceptive contraptions are seemingly meant to drift into Russian bombers as they fly overhead. A clever – if fairly ineffective – strategy”
Meanwhile Russia engages more cargo ships into cargo route from Novorossijsk or Crimea to Syria
Surely every offensive can be roughly divided into stages
1) accumulating reserves nd concentrating forces (healing and training soldiers and letting them rest – one of those)
2) attempt at shock and overwhelm enemies defenses, spending the reserves rather fast
3) stopping offensive significantly before reserves run dry, “fixing profits”, preparing to repent counter-offenses
And then next hiatus – both sides go to stage 1.
If offensive side is stubborn and feeling lucky does not switch to 3 in time – it usually paays dearly for that. Examples are many from WW2 to many collapses of Kiev offensives.
What could be the goals of the operation in Syria?
1) political: displaying that Russian bear is angered and going to fight. Mercenary scum – run away. Corrupt politician – check the reality and prepare to bargain.
2) political: ISIS and Al Qaeda are not invincible
3) military: re-take Turkey/Syria border so NATO would have no safe route to supply terrorists
4) military: push terrorists further from Russian military bases and sites where new bases/depots can be built
5) military: destroy terrorists reserves so they would not be capable of their own strategic offense
6) military: test Russian weapons in real war. Including competing and principally different approaches to bombs targeting – which one should be chosen for military standard for next years?
Goals 1,2,5,6 are reached.
Goal 3 was not.
Goal 4 is somewhat reached.
Time to become humble and sturdy and stabilize the gains and prepare for the next round.
Forgot to say, Caspian missiles have NOTHING with Syrian war. N-O-T-H-I-N-G.
It was a tour de force, displaying potential performance of nuclear delivery to NATO puppets and warmongers. Successful or not, the show was executed and they learned what they could learn of it.
It also could be a real-war test of those.
Both goas are one-timers that only used ISIS as a convenient politically correct pretext.
There is no point to use those missiles any more nor to discuss them in context of Syrian war.
Thank u all for alot information which i find at this blog
After read all u coments i have one(very) strange idea.
-RF intervent with tiny forces
-there was room for make more in little time with deploy ground forces , at start was possible stamped enemy to turkey
But after all i’m sure that this operation was very long prepared and planed ( that is my impresion)
Here we come to my idea ( probably stupid)
What if key goal isnt only win? What if is goal also “kill them all”?
What i mean?
If u make fast victory , crush issil and make thay run in turkey u will achive alot but u will also generate future problem. Key figures, expirience fighter , comanders ect will escape and will start gerrila war at siria with fast strike from turkey, and probably make trouble in muslim republic RF ( dagestan , cecenija )
With slow advanced SAA , thay are exposed at battelfield and can be easer eliminated,also u give time to your spetz natc team to locate and mark or eliminate designateted target.
If u break pozition war,crush fast their line thay will go in shadow of gerrila and in long term u will have biger problem.
My impresion that Daesh fighter are motivated and determinated and key goal is make favorable condition to eliminated much more u can to avoid future problems.
1. my english is terrible sry for that
2.this is my first and probably last post
3. if is my idea to stupid, Saker( or any moderator) pls delete
in any way will continue read this extraordinary blog
Why would the mods delete your excellent post?
Your ‘idea’ (in my view) is definitely right.
The ‘healthy’ opposition has been called to the last-chance-saloon by Putin: they can keep their arms (and get ‘redemption) if they fight ISIL.
The refuseniks are mercenaries and will be eliminated.
Oh, Saker, you are sooooo missing the point!
Here you are saying “If my fallacious appeal to my own authority doesn’t beat you into submission, let me raise the ante by making a fallacious appeal to a different authority, one of the people who brought you the brilliant Chechen II.”
My own fallacious appeal to authority: Shoigu. Take that!
The Saker is pretty much correct in not being overly enthusiastic in my opinion.
Here are some pretty big challenges for the Russian air campaign:
1: They operate in tandem with an Arab army, when I served in the German army, we had some issues in coordinating well with the Dutch who mostly used the same equipment, and who had no shortage of German speaking or English speaking officers. For the Russians, cooperating well with the Syrian is orders of magnitude more challenging. Different languages, different cultures, and while there is a considerable degree of Soviet influence in the Syrian military, one should not assume that Arab are actually doctrinally Soviet (there was a pretty great paper “Armies of Snow and Sand” about that, the tldr is that all Arab armies were mixmatches of different doctrines, some Soviet, some French, some British, and especially Egypt got the Soviet parts quite wrong).
2: The Russians operate in a logistically challenging enviroment
3: All armies in that area, expect perhaps Daesh, are vastly better at defence then at offense, Russia is supporting/enabling and offensive operation. This is again vastly more challenging then supporting a defensive operation (i.e. US air support for Kurds in Kobane).
4: The Russians operate in a high political risk enviroment. I mean, they operate in air space shared with quite adversarial great powers, this is a quite dounting task.
5: The Russian effort is a coordinated diplomatic, political and military operation, this means that, on occassion, the military parts of the operation have to “wait” until certain diplomatic and political steps have been taken. This can decrease military efficiency.
So, dont expect wonders.
The biggest contribution to a success in Syria could well be Russia (who is not Shia) finding a Syrian Sunni Kadyrov equivalent (which Iran cannot really do).
Flag waving is a popular past-time among arm-chair warriors (Chicken Hawks) because it requires little effort and no personal risk are involved.