Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
October 17, 2014

How To Create A No-Fly Zone Over Syria

So how does one get political momentum for the creation of a no-fly zone over Syria?


Just claim that the current boogeyman is using planes and one is free to shoot ALL planes, especially Syrian government ones, out of the sky.

Islamic State training pilots to fly in three jets -Syria monitor

Iraqi pilots who have joined Islamic State in Syria are training members of the group to fly in three captured fighter jets, a group monitoring the war said on Friday, saying it was the first time that the militant group had taken to the air.

The group, which has seized land in Syria and Iraq, has been flying the planes over the captured al-Jarrah military airport east of Aleppo, said Rami Abdulrahman, who runs the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Reuters was not immediately able to verify the report.

BTW - Who's secret service is funding this Rami Abdulrahman guy?

Afterthought: Isn't the threat of an Islamic State air force a good reason for Russia to finally deliver the ordered S-300 air defense system to Syria?

Posted by b on October 17, 2014 at 11:50 UTC | Permalink


Total folly. Matched only by your post 14 months ago showing the bloke with shaving foam around his mouth. Oh, how we laughed.

Until we realised that nobody else was laughing. That it in fact successfully laid the ground work for US bombs to come within a whisker of blitzing Syrian Army positions. Taken hook, line and sinker. Let's hope this is not another one.

The motives are unbelievably transparent, and the scheme stinks of Erdogan.

Posted by: Pat Bateman | Oct 17 2014 12:05 utc | 1

Those jets have Syrian government markings, so it's simple logic to destroy the rest of Syria's air force just to be sure. I'm so glad this united states mission is keeping the region safe.

Posted by: Crest | Oct 17 2014 12:08 utc | 2

"Reuters was not immediately able to verify the report."

No verification, yet launched across the globe …
when I read it in a local newspaper, I figured it was fiction! Add the ISAF (Islamic State Air Force) with the recent WMDs found in Iraq (NY Times), one has a potent weapon to destroy the population of any large suburban area. The false flag Ghouta attack would be seen as minimal damage.

Sourced via the Britain based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

The Reuters reporter Sylvia Weatall is located in Beirut, Lebanon. That explains a lot, did Saudi national Saad Hariri whisper the news in her ear?

Posted by: Oui | Oct 17 2014 12:28 utc | 3

Even commercial jets require constant service, difficult to source parts, and mechanical expertise to keep them in the air. Are we to presume ISIS came with ground mechanics and an intact supply chain?

Even if we concede that they do have these planes, they could be destroyed from long range with little difficulty. A no fly zone, as the post posits, is clearly for other ends.

It's interesting where the story is placed online. As of this morning it doesn't appear on sites that critical eyes peruse, but I did see it after logging out of an email account, alongside all of the other insidious garbage that's geared to circumnavigate the readers quality control measures. We see you let your guard down to read an email from you parents, well guess what, the uber rich are benevolent and ISIS has fighter jets. Thanks. Come again.

Posted by: IhaveLittleToAdd | Oct 17 2014 12:35 utc | 4

Local newspaper which carried this news quite early was "De Volkskrant".

"Sylvia Westall" Reuters stationed in Beirut

"Sylvia is based in Beirut, covering Lebanon and Syria. She joined Reuters as a graduate trainee in 2006 and has been based in London, Berlin, Frankfurt, Vienna and Kuwait and has reported from South Korea, Tunisia, Egypt and Iraq. She moved to Beirut in 2014."

Posted by: Oui | Oct 17 2014 12:37 utc | 5

Who's secret service is funding this Rami Abdulrahman guy?

According to what I read on AngryArab some months ago, the usual suspects : the GCC countries ( I mean those ones who keep a long tab at the Dorchester in London)

Posted by: Yul | Oct 17 2014 12:43 utc | 6

"BTW - Who's secret service is funding this Rami Abdulrahman guy?"

Posted by: Robert | Oct 17 2014 13:00 utc | 7

ISIS taking over an airforce base in Iraq is also good excuse to create a "No Fly"-zone.

- But does ISIS have pilots to fly those iraqi planes ? One needs extensive training to such complicated planes. Did these airplanes receive enough & the proper maintenance ?

- I read in the newspaper that ISIS also has aqcuired poision gas stockpiles left behind by one Saddam Hoeesein. Sure. Do whatever it takes to demonize ISIS & justify a new military attack on ISIS, right ?

Posted by: Willy2 | Oct 17 2014 13:13 utc | 8

@5 IhaveLittleToAdd
The logistical tail for jets, even little trainers, is massive.

There's a reason that only one guerilla force has ever had operated what you could call its own air force, the Tamil Tigers. They had huge controlled inaccessible territory for basing and logistics purposes.

You can also include the European volunteer air force of the Biafrans in Nigeria. But in general it's a rare thing, and has only been propeller craft, and a reason to believe this is utterly fake.

Posted by: Crest | Oct 17 2014 14:02 utc | 9

This is yet another disaster unfolding in slow motion. Nobody seems able to stop it and day by day it gets closer and closer to Libya 2.0

Posted by: WG | Oct 17 2014 14:46 utc | 10

Seriously? A ISAF? Gets funnier every day. Oh well, nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Posted by: ben | Oct 17 2014 14:50 utc | 11

What would happen if they put extra fuel tanks on those migs then flew to the US and beheaded a whole bunch of "folks" in their beds, you didn't think of that did you? Thank goodness we have Sue and Samantha and the whole trillion dollar security apparatus to look after us.

Posted by: harry law | Oct 17 2014 14:56 utc | 12

From RT:

Posted by: ben | Oct 17 2014 14:57 utc | 13

So our solution will be to spend billions on this no-fly zone, rather than allow delivery of the bought and paid-for S-300 systems. Most wasteful empire ever.

Posted by: Jon Lester | Oct 17 2014 15:11 utc | 14

Like most say, this is probably a bogus story. Even if it's not, any Syrian air defense whether planes or missiles would make short work of them, imho, before any no fly zone could be implemented.

Posted by: sleepy | Oct 17 2014 15:31 utc | 15

Gee. Imagine the threat. An Iraqi pilot (get yer Iraqi weapons here. Never been fired and only dropped once) training ISIS on aerial tactics and avionics? They're getting combat skills without drills. What a turkey shoot.

Posted by: Ben Franklin | Oct 17 2014 17:06 utc | 16

@11 WG.. ditto. libya 2.0

Posted by: james | Oct 17 2014 17:52 utc | 17

And just like that - poof! - ISIS is gone from Kobane.

Nobody could have predicted Islamic State’s retreat from Kobane (except me)":
KUWAIT CITY — A strange thing happened in Kobane, the Kurdish border town besieged by Islamic State: It didn’t fall.

In fact, today the BBC reported that Islamic State, the supposedly invincible jihadis who have been besieging Kobane, is retreating from the city.
". . . the US was waiting eagerly for the town to fall. There were all sorts of reasons for this, and none make any real sense. The two biggest are: (a) The hick Islamists running Turkey tilt toward IS and hate Kurds, all Kurds, with the same insane virulence that Turks hate all their neighbors, and especially any minority that dares to identify itself as non-Turkish; (b) The YPG militia defending Kobane is linked to the PKK movement, which is nominally “Socialist,” and American apparatchiks, no matter who’s officially in charge, have never un-learned the anti-Commie nonsense they learned at Georgetown; and (c) The “brave, doomed defenders of Kobane” were worth much more dead than alive, much more in defeat than in victory. If they lost, they’d be beheaded by the vicious loons in IS, and those severed-head videos would be great US agitprop, a great little way to put more pressure on Turkey over the theatre the US really cares about—Iraq."

Xymphora:'ISIS appears never to have won a real battle. They only 'win' when they are able to pre-negotiate the terms of a take-over of territory with local Sunni leaders who are friendly to them.'

Posted by: brian | Oct 17 2014 18:37 utc | 18

I read a report years ago about how robust and easy to maintain Russian Military aircraft are especially compared to over-sophisticated US aircraft but three aircraft does not make an airforce.

It is an interesting developement that the IS is beginning a pilot training program obviously looking to the future when the conquest of both Iraq and Syria will supply them with the equipment for a real airforce.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Oct 17 2014 18:39 utc | 19

Also, 3 1960s era jets owned by ISIS is more jets than the entire Iraqi airforce had before their emergency order of su-25s. Thank you, United States, for leaving Iraq utterly vulnerable out of nothing but spite.

Posted by: Crest | Oct 17 2014 18:57 utc | 20

Innercitypress just tweeted:

Now @AlJazeera asks if ISIL having jets makes a no-fly zone more likely, as Turkey has requested. #SilverJetLiningInCloud

Late to the game ...

Posted by: b | Oct 17 2014 19:00 utc | 21

Unpopular Turkey just lost out on a UNSC seat in a UNGA election, also reported by Inner City Press here.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 17 2014 19:22 utc | 22

Turkey's price for training 2,000 Syrian Turkmen to fight ISIS is a no-fly zone and a safe zone, as explained here. FM Davutoglu: “We have long been engaged in joint activities vis-a-vis Iraq from Incirlik. But if a country is expected to make contributions as grounds for a comprehensive operation, we’ve already explained our stance. A no-fly zone and safe zones should be set up.”

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 17 2014 19:49 utc | 23

meddling in others affairs.. some of these lesser players think it is okay given that the exceptional nation does it all the time.. i hope it comes back to bite them in the ass for there intransigence over international law which they only want others to uphold.

Posted by: james | Oct 17 2014 20:37 utc | 24

The Islamic State retreated from Kobane? OK? If we want to look at it that way?

I would actually suggest that the Kurds play a big role in the entire ISIS freakshow/psyop
But then hey, that's just me
Others like to pretend that ISIS is something it isn't
Me, I call it as I see it. And in ISIS I see PKK, Peshmerga, Sunni's and other assorted loyalists to the US/Israeli/UK nexus

Posted by: Penny | Oct 17 2014 22:07 utc | 25

It appears that ISIS is running a classic feint-and-strike operation against the US, and the US military commander has bought it.

from various current news sources:
in Kobani, northern Syria:
--The United States is focused mainly on the security of Iraq, but Islamic State fighters attacking the Syrian town of Kobani in recent days have made themselves targets of an opportunity too good to pass up
--General Austin, CENTCOM Commander: "In my assessment, the enemy has made a decision to make Kobani his main effort...The things that we’re doing right now in Syria are being done primarily to shape the conditions in Iraq.”
--This week, the U.S. dramatically upped its air power strikes against IS in and around Kobani, including 53 strikes over the last three days
-- The U.N. estimates that fewer than 700 of Kobani's residents remain as its people flee to safety in Turkey.

700 kilometers away, in Baghdad:
-- The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) urged its fighters to march to Baghdad where it said the battle will “rage"
--Isis targets Baghdad with wave of car bombs and mortar attacks killing 150
-- Militants unleashed a wave of attacks in Iraq on Thursday, mainly targeting Shiite areas in and around the capital Baghdad

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 17 2014 22:09 utc | 26

More worrying is a suicide attack with centex in all cubby holes flown into a soft target (aren't they all now?)

Posted by: Ben Franklin | Oct 17 2014 22:24 utc | 27

Don't post here usually, but I can't resist to show the incredible net around the so called opposition in Syria:
The Syrian opposition: who's doing the talking?

Posted by: AnaQ | Oct 17 2014 22:54 utc | 28

"Iraqi pilots who have joined Islamic State in Syria are training members of the group to fly in three captured fighter jets"

Pardon me? If you already have Iraqi pilots on your payroll then why do you need to train newbies to fly these jets?

Ya' already got ya' pilots, right there.

Get them to fly the damn things, not aim their little laser pointer at the whiteboard while they explain to the clueless what that stick-thingie does, and how that differs from those foot-pedal-thingies.

Honestly, how stupid can propaganda get?

Posted by: Johnboy | Oct 17 2014 22:54 utc | 29

In the fields where Crassus legions turned to dust, it is not surprising that our internet sniffing overlords are not masters of the mesopotamian desert. World class media dynamics to hide failure, kudos there. But Crassus just vanished . . .

Posted by: Jay M | Oct 18 2014 1:10 utc | 30

off topic but
Syd Walker ‏@SydWalker 8m8 minutes ago
Security alert! Someone in the US Press Corp must have skipped his dose of NATO Kool-Aid. … Kudos to @APDiploWriter

Posted by: brian | Oct 18 2014 1:19 utc | 31

This story about an ISIS airforce, and the prattle about a West-imposed no-fly zone over Syria is 24 carat hokum and wishful thinking. Russia can impose a no-fly zone over Syria so thorough it would make Obama & Cameron's eyes water.
And it can do so from Russia.
Let's not be too quick to forget that the West's half-assed no-fly zones can only be dropped onto pissy little countries with no friends, no defenses, and no counter-attack capability - and are imposed using aircraft. Russia can do it using radar and rockets.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Oct 18 2014 1:53 utc | 32

@31 brian... regarding matt lee at ap -they don't know how to respond to his straight forward questions and observations.. the reason is everything has to go thru the propaganda filter and sometimes it just doesn't work!

Posted by: james | Oct 18 2014 1:54 utc | 33

@31- Matt Lee has been forgetting to remember to forget to do his job for a little while now. I'm really surprised he's still allowed in...thanks for the link

Posted by: Nana2007 | Oct 18 2014 2:17 utc | 34

Whoops wrong link...

Posted by: Nana2007 | Oct 18 2014 2:24 utc | 35

After I posted about the feint-and-strike I said (to myself) wait a minute, perhaps this is what they WANT us to think, that the US military has been distracted away from the primary ISIS objective which is Baghdad, to waste time and bombs on strategically unimportant Kobani, 700 km away. Because what the US really wants is the dismemberment, and perhaps destruction, of the Iran ally it created with Operation Iraqi Freedom. But if the US military wanted to appear just a little bit inept, they're overdoing it.
--General Allen: Militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) have scored “substantial gains” in Iraq despite a continuous U.S.-led air campaign.
--General Austin: "The strategy against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant is working."

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 18 2014 2:41 utc | 36

@brian #31:

LOL. That guy reminds me of the president of the Telephone Company in The President's Analyst. Must-see movie, btw.

Posted by: Demian | Oct 18 2014 3:37 utc | 37

It's funny, if you review the Nazi directives to the German media during the war, it's quite similar to what we see today:

"Play up this aspect of a story"
"Avoid mentioning this at all"

And on and on, just like the phony ISIS air force - cue Wayoutwest's appraisal of its certain possibilities and sure future as the airforce of Syraq - and the phony Ghouta chemical attacks

Posted by: guest77 | Oct 18 2014 4:58 utc | 38

@38- It's not surprising that the propaganda looks the same- much of the third reich escaped death after defeat courtesy of the OSS and Allen Dulles "rat lines".

What's scary is the incompetence, corruption, and complete disdain for the rank and file of the current administration. It's interesting to note it was commonplace to denounce the Weimar Republic in it's last days as a fascist state. I'm not advocating for the status quo, believe you me, but what's likely to replace it?

Posted by: Nana2007 | Oct 18 2014 6:37 utc | 39

I usually don't post here, but I read it every single day. But this link explains very well how the net was woven:

Who is doing the talk

Posted by: AnaQ | Oct 18 2014 9:21 utc | 40

Just claim that the current boogeyman is using planes and one is free to shoot ALL planes, especially Syrian government ones, out of the sky.

A no-fly zone is more than shooting at planes. It must start with the destruction of all ground-based aircraft and anti-air assets -- radars, guns, missiles, control centers, etc. -- as in Libya, (where it then illegally proceeded beyond the UN Resolution to regime change).

General Dempsey, in a letter to Senator Levin, Jul 19, 2013:

Establish a No-Fly Zone. This option uses lethal force to prevent the regime from using its military aircraft to bomb and resupply. It would extend air superiority over Syria by neutralizing the regime's advanced, defense integrated air defense system. It would also shoot down adversary aircraft and strike airfields, aircraft on the ground, and supporting infrastructure. We would require hundreds of ground and sea-based aircraft, intelligence and electronic warfare support, and enablers for refueling and communications. Estimated costs are $500 million initially, averaging as much as a billion dollars per month over the course of a year. . .

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 18 2014 12:52 utc | 41

AnaQ @ 40: Thanks for the link.

Posted by: ben | Oct 18 2014 14:26 utc | 42

3 jets that's more than the whole of the Lebanese air force, although they did have a couple of vintage Hawker Hunters circa 1950's, from the UK. Here are what the US supply minus guns.

Posted by: harry law | Oct 18 2014 16:15 utc | 43

"Afterthought: Isn't the threat of an Islamic State air force a good reason for Russia to finally deliver the ordered S-300 air defense system to Syria?":

The fact that Russia is still trying to accommodate the US and Kiss bama's ass, and that the S300 systems haven't long ago been delivered already tells us everything we need to know about capitalist Russia. ( despite some occasional eloquent and perfectly, 100% true and accurate comments from Lavrov to the UN. )

Posted by: nomas | Oct 18 2014 17:34 utc | 44

@40 AnaQ.. good link. thanks.

Posted by: james | Oct 18 2014 17:44 utc | 45

@AnaQ - Despite that there are over 8 pages of hidden public comments - Here is how the "serious" Guardian editors present them: Only two comments are immediately apparent on this amazing article, these are the "Guardian Picks" (hand picked by guardian editors). One is this bunch of nonsense, about as sensible as Lewis Carrol's Jabberwocky:

12 July 2012 5:02pm

This comment has been chosen by Guardian staff because it contributes to the debate
Response to JimNolan, 12 July 2012 4:57pm
I never typed "tinfoil-hat"! Someone hacked my post, my original submission said how brilliant this article is! Spooky...
That's terrible! You want to get that sorted out.
Try setting light to a bunch of sage and wafting it three times round your computer.
Should do the trick.

And the other - unhidden and "handpicked" to appear along with the story - harps on about "conspiracy theorists". Of course that's all it takes to give the whiff of impropriety in the world of the MSM.

Pathetic, Guardian. Horrendous.

Posted by: guest77 | Oct 18 2014 17:58 utc | 46

It's quite amazing how well the Islamic State understands US politics, psychology and military hubris. Most every move they have made has produced their desired response from the reactionary Infidels of NATO and local despots.

Now, flying three old Russian jets may destroy the Syrian Airforce, the biggest deterent to their Syrian conquest, without them firing a shot. If this continues they may eventually find a way to manipulate the US into bombing Israel.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Oct 18 2014 18:02 utc | 47

@47 Don't forget the 'Guardian staff' concerned is probably an 18 year old pothead with multiple internet accounts.

Posted by: dh | Oct 18 2014 18:34 utc | 48

re 27 feint and strike and previous remarks about ISIS withdrawing from Kobani.

I've long thought it a mistake for ISIS to get too involved in a long-drawn-out fight for Kobani, a sort of mini-Stalingrad. The casualties would be too high for their small numbers. If they can't get it in a few days, better to withdraw and try again elsewhere. Leaving a couple of snipers, and lots of booby-traps in each village.

Of course the US would like ISIS to be drawn into such a long fight, not only for the casualties, but also to be able to say that ISIS has received a fatal blow, if they do withdraw.

Don is probably right that the accompanying move forward in Anbar, which has taken the rest of Hit, Ramadi and Falluja, and left fighters in Abu Ghraib, only 13k's from the airport, was the main offensive. Close Baghdad International would be a massive success, though it's not happening this time.

ISIS success depends much on settling into Sunni communities. I am not sure how Sunni Abu Ghraib is (I haven't done the research). I have a student from an Abu Ghraib family, and he's Shi'a, so not entirely Sunni. There are lots of maps around on the net. I'll have a look. Still finding a few missiles or rockets that will do 20-30 km is not that hard. So I wouldn't be surprised if BIA does get closed, apart from the Apaches in their presumably hardened shelters. And they could be retreated onto the helipads in the Green Zone.

Just to amuse you, a couple of weeks ago I got an invitation to a conference in Kerbela in November. I thought: great, just the thing. Only 90 K's of open road from the advancing spearheads of ISIS. Fortunately I haven't heard anything more about that one.

Posted by: Laguerre (formerly Alexno) | Oct 18 2014 19:10 utc | 49

re 47 re the Guardian.

You've misread the site. All the comments are still available. You may have read the so-called Beta site (horrible) destined for tablets, or read the wrong tab of only Guardian picked comments.

It's an article from 2012 about the sources on the Syrian revolt. I was impressed by it and he's right, but it was much criticized at the time as Skelton is not an expert on Syria, rather a comedy writer. It is a classic, which is why AnaQ brings it up.

Re the Guardian in general, it's wrong to lambast them. Much as though I've frequently suffered from their moderation (you ha

Posted by: Laguerre (formerly Alexno) | Oct 18 2014 19:37 utc | 50

Re the Guardian in general, it's wrong to lambast them. Much as though I've frequently suffered from their moderation (you have to be very careful what you say about Israel; it's a good training, how to get across acid, unanswerable, attacks without being moderated), I do think their policy is to be admired. At a loss of 30 million GBP per year, they are maintaining a relatively open mass comment platform, which encourages contributions of a moderately high level. You won't find that much elsewhere.

The danger we have at the moment is that "they" will find a way to shut down independent comment on the net.

Posted by: Laguerre (formerly Alexno) | Oct 18 2014 19:52 utc | 51

New book says France spun intelligence to suggest Syria rebels moderate, and to blame Assad for Ghouta

Posted by: brian | Oct 19 2014 0:42 utc | 52

Xona ‏@xonchanouri 7h7 hours ago
"...Turkey has been widely blamed for bombing the camps of Kurdish fighters and supporters in Kobane..." … #Kobane #ISIS

Posted by: brian | Oct 19 2014 1:49 utc | 53

Posted by: Laguerre (formerly Alexno) | Oct 18, 2014 3:37:05 PM | 51 & 52

Agreed. The Guardian, and often remind me of each other.
They publish/broadcast anything and everything, from unvarnished truth to some of the most appallingly dishonest and infantile crap from right-wing cranks. current affairs websites are heavily moderated for political correctness. SBS really only moderates excessively insulting or vulgar/crude comments.

SBS Dateline broadcast an idiotic (outsourced) episode two weeks ago called Getting Putin. It was about Navalny and his fruitcake splinter group and their pro-democracy, anti-Putin machinations and unsubstamtiated allegations. But they spoiled it all for the cranks by pointing out that Vlad's approval rating with Russians is circa 84% - in the intro.
(I'm almost certain I could hear ALL of the West's lying, deaf, bribed, traitorous, politicians turning GREEN with envy).

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Oct 19 2014 6:05 utc | 54

@hoarsewhisperer - i think b wrote, as far as i am concerned, the definitive post on the racist sludge Navalny.

You ought to make that a sticky post, b. its precisely the kind of thing that blows apart the mainstream conventional wisdom using easily verified truths alone.

Posted by: guest77 | Oct 19 2014 20:30 utc | 55

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