Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
November 24, 2015

Open Thread 2015-44

News & views (not fitting in other threads) ...

Posted by b on November 24, 2015 at 19:32 UTC | Permalink

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Sukhoi - the new idiot on the block..

Posted by: james | Nov 24 2015 19:38 utc | 1

the west - turkey in particular - want to escalate here.. i guess they are unhappy with isis being bombed.. says a lot about turkeys leadership skills..

Posted by: james | Nov 24 2015 19:40 utc | 2

Sergey Rudskoy, a top official with the Russian General Staff, condemned the attack on the Russian bomber in Syrian airspace by a Turkish fighter jet as “a severe violation of international law”. He stressed that the Su-24 was downed over the Syrian territory. The crash site was four kilometers away from the Turkish border, he said.

Rudskoy said the Russian warplane did not violate Turkish airspace. Additionally, according to the Hmeymim airfield radar, it was the Turkish fighter jet that actually entered Syrian airspace as it attacked the Russian bomber.

The Turkish fighter jet made no attempts to contact Russian pilots before attacking the bomber, Rudskoy added.

Posted by: harry law | Nov 24 2015 19:53 utc | 3

One of the latest propaganda videos regarding refugees sent to me via email from a very republican friend. Even if partially true, who thinks a bunch of very angry arabs and africans could easily assimilate into european culture. Is the refugee issue an "unintended" outcome of the oil/Israeli/Saudi wars, "or what"? Short term thinking? Planned destruction?

Posted by: shadyl | Nov 24 2015 19:58 utc | 4

On the previous post I called for Obama's impeachment over his statement at the joint press conference with Hollande. There is not yet a complete transcript available on this that I could find. Here is the AP version, which I can verify to be something like what I heard Obama say in the excerpt on

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama says the downing of a Russian warplane by Turkey points to an “ongoing problem” with Russia’s airstrikes in Syria.

Obama says Turkey “has a right to defend its territory and its airspace.” And he says that Russia is operating very close to the Turkish border as it goes after moderate opposition groups that are supported by Turkey and a wide range of countries.


Why the AP did not use a complete quote is an interesting question, when that is done for the unobjectionable phrases. The objectionable one is of course that malarky about Russia going after moderate opposition groups that are supported by Turkey and a wide range of countries.

(I would have put half quotes around 'supported by Turkey and a wide range of countries' as I don't know if Obama actually said that or whether it was a clarification the AP felt needed to be in there.)

Posted by: juliania | Nov 24 2015 20:13 utc | 5

shadyl @4

IMO, the refugees are being used by the exceptional! never let a crisis go to waste crowd.

Note: The extremists, as terrible as they may be, are also used by certain states as a means to an end.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Nov 24 2015 20:19 utc | 6

Turkey will lose its control over the Kurdish territory, which has long been under the Turkish flag!

Posted by: ALAN | Nov 24 2015 20:27 utc | 7

Not surprisingly, NATO using Russian focus on Syria to escalate tensions in Ukraine. Cutting off power to Crimea just the latest manifestation of this. If Russia does not make Ukraine pay a price , more provocations are inevitable.

Posted by: Andoheb | Nov 24 2015 20:41 utc | 8


* Rudskoy said the Russian warplane did not violate Turkish airspace. Additionally, according to the Hmeymim airfield radar, it was the Turkish fighter jet that actually entered Syrian airspace as it attacked the Russian bomber.

* Russia posted their own radar data, which shows jet wasnt in Turkish airspace.

It seems Turkey thinks "extended border zone" is Turkey's territory, much like Israel in Golan.

* The Turkish fighter jet made no attempts to contact Russian pilots before attacking the bomber, Rudskoy added.

It seems Turkey has problem with math as well, they claim they contacted jet 10x over 5 minutes, but jets were supposedly in Turkish airspace for only 17 seconds (Turkey's letter to UNSC). So either Turkey is lying (as underlined in Russias response), or they were spamming warnings to Russian jets while they were flying in Syrian airspace.

* Efforts of Rus MoD specialists to organize coopertion with Turkish party by emergency communiction link were unsuccessful.

Not only Turkey didnt really send warnings over Emergency channel like they claim, they werent responding to this channel either.


* Rudskoy said the Russian warplane did not violate Turkish airspace. Additionally, according to the Hmeymim airfield radar, it was the Turkish fighter jet that actually entered Syrian airspace as it attacked the Russian bomber.

* Russia posted their own radar data, which shows jet wasnt in Turkish airspace.

It seems Turkey thinks "extended border zone" is Turkey's territory, much like Israel in Golan.

* The Turkish fighter jet made no attempts to contact Russian pilots before attacking the bomber, Rudskoy added.

It seems Turkey has problem with math as well, they claim they contacted jet 10x over 5 minutes, but jets were supposedly in Turkish airspace for only 17 seconds (Turkey's letter to UNSC). So either Turkey is lying (as underlined in Russias response), or they were spamming warnings to Russian jets while they were flying in Syrian airspace.

* Efforts of Rus MoD specialists to organize coopertion with Turkish party by emergency communiction link were unsuccessful.

Not only Turkey didnt really send warnings over Emergency channel like they claim, they werent responding to this channel either.

Posted by: Harry | Nov 24 2015 20:45 utc | 9

Sorry for double post, MoA was bugging.

Posted by: Harry | Nov 24 2015 20:45 utc | 10

Russia will now bring in more HW and target the Turkmen at the syrian border, and will shoot down any Turkish plane that attempts to intervene. I think puppet Erdogan made a terrible move, that will hasten Turkey's failure in Syria

Posted by: bbbb | Nov 24 2015 20:46 utc | 11

BTW how many more 'refugees' could Turkey potentially dump on Europe?

Posted by: bbbb | Nov 24 2015 21:04 utc | 12

Remember when in 2012 Syria shot down Turkey's spy jet when it entered its air space?

Erdogan then said: Although the Turkish jet did briefly stray into Syrian airspace, “this kind of short-term border violation can never be regarded as a pretext for a hostile attack.”

While NATO said: its "a completely unacceptable act."

Both Turkey and NATO in this context show an absolute hypocrisy, but as there is saying, nothing new under the sun.

Posted by: Harry | Nov 24 2015 21:12 utc | 13

WWIII is already under way. It is just a matter of escalation and escalation is happening at a rapid pace.
Pretty soon the MOSKVA will down some turkish or other jet/s. Russia will keep pounding rebel positions, and will eradicate all tanker trucks in rebel territory, whether they be blessed or not by the US. The US will furnish more manpads and more TOWs to rebels of any ilk.

Pretty soon it will be a free for all.
And from there on, nukes will be on their way.

Starting a war is easy and every war starter is sure he will win.

But wars have a life of their own and just as children behave in their own ways, so do wars.

The outcome of this is sure to hurt humanity as a whole. But the Hawks in DC think they will prevail and all will be fine.

Those that are still alive when this ends, will know how and when it stops.

Posted by: CarlD | Nov 24 2015 21:16 utc | 14

Can we have less of the hyperbole about world war 3

Posted by: James lake | Nov 24 2015 21:30 utc | 15

the FSB must be compiling a rather nondeferential hitlist.

Posted by: john | Nov 24 2015 21:34 utc | 16

This thing
allegedly guided F-16Cs to the Russian jet.

What I do not understand is Moskva is in the territorial water of Syria and it has 3D radar and all kind of EW systems and yet did nor warn the pilots. Maybe just prof more that the jet was in Syrian air space.

Posted by: Neretva'43 | Nov 24 2015 21:40 utc | 17


Just wait and see.

Posted by: CarlD | Nov 24 2015 21:45 utc | 18

Obama on downing of Russian plane: "Turkey like every country has a right to defend its territory & its air space."
Obama just gave Syria thumbs up to shoot down the next US warplane that violates SYRIAN territory & airspace

Posted by: ALAN | Nov 24 2015 22:02 utc | 19

Could the disputed violations of Turkish territory be becaust turkey unilaterally moved its border 5 miles south.
"One Russian plane may even indeed have slightly crossed the border [in October] while maneuvering. But the real reason why the U.S. military official and Turkey claim the above “violations” is because Turkey unilaterally “moved” the Turkish-Syrian border five miles south:
Turkey has maintained a buffer zone five miles inside Syria since June 2012, when a Syrian air defense missile shot down a Turkish fighter plane that had strayed into Syrian airspace. Under revised rules of engagement put in effect then, the Turkish air force would evaluate any target coming within five miles of the Turkish border as an enemy and act accordingly.

Posted by: harry law | Nov 24 2015 22:20 utc | 20

I think Russia has pretty much ignored Turkey's claimed extended airspace from the start, harry law. That was only to threaten Assad and justify Turkey shooting at his jets.

An interesting aspect of this nobody seems to mention is how on earth could Turkey have been warning a Russian jet that it was going to violate Turkish airspace TEN minutes before the fact. That would put the Russian jet something like 50 miles away from the border. Turkish warnings are pure butt-covering BS. Everyone monitors the VHF and UHF emergency frequencies and everyone knows Turkey didn't ever broadcast any such warning.

Consider how unlikely it would be that a Turkish jet would be within a few miles of a Russian jet during the precise 17-second window it supposedly transited Turkish airspace. It's not a coincidence - Turkey planned to intercept and shoot the Russian jet at the exact moment it (supposedly) violated Turkish airspace. It was an ambush, plain and simple. Turkey had to make it look like they were protecting their airspace, so they had to make sure to shoot the Sukhoi only when it was over Turkish soil. It didn't use a long-range radar-guided air-to-air missile one would expect. That would have shown up on the Sukhoi's instrumentation and warned the Russian pilots they were being targeted. Being 'painted' by another aircraft's radar is usually warning enough to leave the area - the Russian pilots wouldn't have ignored such an indication. Instead, the Turkish F-16 used an infrared heat-seeking missile at a relatively close range in that 17-second window. They would have had to plan and time such an attack before the F-16s ever took off. Anyone familiar with air combat can tell you that.

There is zero evidence that Turkey merely had some F-16s on patrol and suddenly came upon the Sukhoi violating their airspace. They made damn sure they were there at the right time, and that the Russian pilots had no idea that the F-16s were going to shoot them down. This was Erdogan's feeble and cowardly attempt to stop the Russians from bombing his Turkmen al Nusra head-choppers and their villages in the Syrian mountains.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Nov 24 2015 23:00 utc | 21

Thank you everyone for interesting info and insightful commentary.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Nov 24 2015 23:08 utc | 22

Now Russia will NEVER allow Assad to step down. Turkey has made a huge mistake. Putin can and will make Erdogan pay a steep price for this. The man was on thin ice before, the ice has just cracked.

Posted by: Fernando | Nov 24 2015 23:19 utc | 23

It's about time Russia leaked/ published some maps showing which Turkish cities/ military installations would be blown to bits by Russian nukes in the event of a new Russo-Turkish War.

A few scattered yellow-black nuke symbols on prominent Turkish cities.

I'm not that familiar with Turkey, but off the top of my head that would clearly include a few directed at Istanbul, Incirlik, Ankara, Antalya, Ceyhan, Izmir and no doubt several other military bases scattered around the country..........

Maybe if the citizens of Turkey were made aware Erdogan was really playing with fire they'd pressure Erdogan to be reigned in.....

Maybe not, but surely it's better to try this sort of thing.

Posted by: Julian | Nov 24 2015 23:28 utc | 24

I've been blathering on the other thread. Considering the opposing interests of the two parties, would someone provide a logical justification for a Russian warplane to breach Turkish airspace?

Posted by: IhaveLittleToAdd | Nov 24 2015 23:32 utc | 25

Even if no "logical justification" for russia violating turk airspace is forthcoming, clearly the Russians have their reasons for doing so, and clearly they think their reasons are "logical".

Irrespective of which version of events ultimately turns out to be true, one thing is certain: Russia has repeatedly violated Turkish airspace over the past few weeks, and this is the sad inevitable result of such brinkmanship.

Posted by: Sukhoi | Nov 24 2015 23:40 utc | 26

IHaveLittleToAdd @25,

Whose reckoning of Turkish airspace, Turkey's or the UN's?

Posted by: Jonathan | Nov 24 2015 23:41 utc | 27

My understanding is that Turkey claims a strip of territory just past the international boundary. If Putin is right that the plane was 1 km from the boundary, that would put it in that strip of territory.

Posted by: lysias | Nov 24 2015 23:47 utc | 28

just to play along with this stupidity, lets say a russian plane actually went into turkey airspace - can the local bozos tell us the justification for shooting it down, or is this just par fa the course for the war party as presently represented by turkey? resolving this diplomatically would've been the first step if you were coming from a civilized place..

Posted by: james | Nov 24 2015 23:47 utc | 29

Erdogan says: Assad has to go.

Posted by: Sun Tzu | Nov 24 2015 23:47 utc | 30


Good question, is the region definitively in Turkey's dubious extended border, or was it within the historical border?

Posted by: IHaveLittletoAdd | Nov 24 2015 23:48 utc | 31


Greece gets its airspace violated by Turkey like every year and they've never shot anything down.

Also have you seen the map? The part of Turkish airspace it violated was sticking into Syria like a goddamn penis.

Posted by: Massinissa | Nov 24 2015 23:49 utc | 32

@25 Have you seen the map? That part of turkey was like a peninsula jutting into Syria.

Posted by: Massinissa | Nov 24 2015 23:49 utc | 33

The F-16's would have known at all times where the SU-24 was if they were being guided by an AWACS plane. U.S. AWACS planes, or at least one of them, is stationed at Incirlik Air Base. However, since the Turkish Air Force also had AWACS planes, it could have been a Turkish AWACS.

Posted by: lysias | Nov 24 2015 23:50 utc | 34


He says that but if Afghanistan, Pakistan or Yemen had anti air capability and started blowing up his drones he would start a hissy fit. And those dont even have people in them.

Posted by: Massinissa | Nov 24 2015 23:53 utc | 35

lets say a russian plane actually went into turkey airspace - can the [people obvious much smarter than james] tell us the justification for shooting it down.@

The question actually answers itself. If it entered turk airspace, especially after the turks repeatedly warned russia about violating its airspace, then that is all the "justification" required.i

If it was shot down because it violated turk airspace then what do the turks even have to "justify"?

Resolving this diplomatically would've been the first step if you were coming from a civilized place..

Much as i dislike turkish actions against Syria, No honest person can claim the turks didn't try to resolve the problem of Russians violating turk airspace. For weeks now they have publicly warned them about it.

You already know this tyough, so clearly you're just trolling.

Posted by: Sukhoi | Nov 24 2015 23:55 utc | 36

Sukhoi @36:

No honest person can claim the turks didn't try to resolve the problem of Russians violating turk airspace.

They couldn't show some restraint about a minor violation a day before scheduled talks with Lavrov?

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Nov 25 2015 0:03 utc | 37


What greeks do is up to them and has nuttin to do with nuttin.

Why introduce completely pointless strawman arguments?

Telling me turkey violated greek airspace is pointless, since this has absolutely norhing to do with greece. It did not occur in greek airspace nor was greece a party to it.


So what?

Legally A violation is a violation.

Your argument is like a man accused of rape saying he didnt really rape her because he only stuck the tip in, not the whole thing"

Posted by: Sukhoi | Nov 25 2015 0:05 utc | 38


Oh i'm sure they could have had they wanted to.

Clearly they didn't want to.

Posted by: Sukhoi | Nov 25 2015 0:06 utc | 39

WikiLeaks ‏@wikileaks 6h6 hours ago

Turkish Army: Airspace violated 112 times by Greece, Italy and Israel in 12 months

Posted by: bbbb | Nov 25 2015 0:07 utc | 40


About a year ago turk AF scrambled against Brit, a supposed "ally", aircraft operating out of Cyprus

Clearly the Turks are very touchy about violations of turk airspace. It ain't like the russians didnt know this before they decided to play "chicken"

If Turks will scramble against a supposed "ally" like the Brits, then what the f%ck were the Russians doing playing such a stupid game and thinking there would be no consequences?

Posted by: Sukhoi | Nov 25 2015 0:13 utc | 41

PavewayIV at 21 --

"This was Erdogan's feeble and cowardly attempt to stop the Russians from bombing his Turkmen al Nusra head-choppers and their villages in the Syrian mountains." Since this was what the Sukhoi was doing at the time, I think this correct.

It will be interesting to see where the debris actually landed. How far inside Syria would speak to when and where the jet was hit.

Assorted reports, noting the radar track presented, state that the plane was over that southern sliver of Turkey for about 10 secs. Doesn't sound like there was time to have sent 10 warnings, and it hardly seems like justification for shooting it down.

Especially when you consider that the Nato flights over Syria are technically an act of war. Not only are they in Syrian airspace without authorization by either Syria or the UNSC, they are actually conducting hostilities. It makes this sudden fastidiousness about airspace violations quite poignant.

Sukhoi at 26 --

No, it would be the result of the West's ongoing attempt at regime change. A source on these alleged violations would be appreciated.

Posted by: rufus magister | Nov 25 2015 0:16 utc | 42


I dont run a catch up service.

They have this thing called "the net" now. I hear its useful for that sort of stuff

Posted by: Sukhoi | Nov 25 2015 0:19 utc | 43

@41 - keep hammering on that deflection dude.. it won't do much for the fighters that Russia will target heavily now in order to secure the pocket

Posted by: bbbb | Nov 25 2015 0:21 utc | 44

Yes indeedy, talking about the Turkish attitude toward airspace violations is clearly nothing but a deflection from talking about the consequences of a violation of turkish airspace

Truly genius-thinking there @44

Posted by: Sukhoi | Nov 25 2015 0:25 utc | 45

@38 Fascinating argument, did your lawyer suggest that defense or did you come up with it all yourself.

Following that line that even a simple, short errant violation should result in military action and death, maybe China should sink the next US destroyer that intentionally and belligerently sails near the Chinese base in the South China Sea.

Posted by: Guest77 | Nov 25 2015 0:35 utc | 46

I maintain that Turkey has made it clear that they are both volatile and uninterested in having their airspace violated by Russian warplanes. It's not a defense to say that they usually do not attack intruding aircraft. It is their sovereign territory and they are free to treat unwelcome guests as they choose. None of this makes their action appropriate or palatable. I would advise Russian airplanes to avoid this mistake in the future and strongly advise people who value their safety to egress from Syrian areas populated by Turkmen. Stupid decisions do not go unpunished when one has chips on the table, I may be wrong but that is the whole point of acting with foresight.

Posted by: IHaveLittleToAdd | Nov 25 2015 0:36 utc | 47

"Stupid decisions do not go unpunished when one has chips on the table, I may be wrong but that is the whole point of acting with foresight."

First, it is in dispute whether the Russian jet actually violated Turkish airspace.

Second, the same rules then apply to Turkish jets. They having been bombing Kurds in northern Syria for several weeks now.

This event, one of zero-tolerance, seems to have effectively established a Russian no-fly zone over Syria.

Posted by: paulmeli | Nov 25 2015 0:43 utc | 48

@46 Guest77

You have inadvertently made a great point. China has made it clear they do not want US warships patrolling the South China Sea, thus they could take military action if a US ship were within their territorial waters. The problem is that the US is a very powerful country and China has assets exposed that would be ripe for retaliation. The point is that these decisions are not made in a vacuum, but are married to power, risk, and justification.

If the jet was in Turkish airspace, they had a right and precedent based on their overtures to shoot it down. The problem, as above, is that Russia is a very powerful country with many opportunities to take revenge.

Posted by: IHaveLittletoAdd | Nov 25 2015 0:46 utc | 49

From another thread (a post by Bruno Marz):

I'm new here, but even I can spot those looking to cause trouble as opposed to share and/or learn. Wayoutwest, RTE, Sukhoi, and IHaveLittleToAdd are so blatant in their delivery that it makes me question if there anything we can do well here in the United States anymore. I mean, we can't even hire competent sock puppets? What's this world coming to?

Posted by: From The Hague | Nov 25 2015 0:48 utc | 50


Agreed twofold. Totally useless discussion if there was no violation. And, Turkish planes in Syria are fair game, seems like Syria would be happy to deputize Russia to act as their proxy in that regard.

@50 Hague

Thanks, very insightful.

Posted by: IHaveLittletoAdd | Nov 25 2015 0:57 utc | 51

Following that line that even a simple, short errant violation should result in military action and death, maybe China should sink the next US destroyer that intentionally and belligerently sails near the Chinese base in the South China Sea.

Posted by: Guest77 | Nov 24, 2015 7:35:39 PM | 46

Maybe the Chinese should, but it would be illegal for them to do so.

Under the applicable laws of the sea, as long as the US stays outside the 12mile legal limit, and as long as they can plausibly claim to be "just passing by", then they are doing nothing illegal in sailing those waters.

In fact the Chinese themselves did almost exactly the same thing to the US, several months before the US did it to them.

The chinese navy performed a sail-through of the Aluetian Islands off the Alaskan coast. As far as i can remember the U.S didnt even make much of a fuss about it at the time.

Should the US have attacked the Chinese in that instance?

Well yes, according to you.

Good thing you're not a diplomat aint it?



Some people really just cant stand the fact that others form their own opinions and not only that, the treacherous mob might even have the gall to form opinions different from yours! Must be very distressing for you i'm sure.

Posted by: Sukhoi | Nov 25 2015 1:07 utc | 52



Your mom did

Posted by: Sukhoi | Nov 25 2015 1:17 utc | 53

Paulmeli @ 48, I think you're right. Plus Turkey routinely violates Greek airspace and the part of Cyprus that they are not yet occupying.

I know you're interested in matters financial Don't know if you caught my post yesterday about these two links: This one is 20 pp. Glazyev is LaRouche-inspired.

Plus this one:

Posted by: Penelope | Nov 25 2015 1:38 utc | 54

Turkey had unofficially encroached into a 5 kilometer buffer zone in Syria in the summer of 2012 treating it like its own airspace and territory. As the RuAF bombardment of the official Syria-Turkey border intensified last week, Turkey loudly protested against what it saw as Russian jets hitting Turkmen near the border just last Friday. Then Turkey AF declared that they will not make any difference in treating violations of "their" airspace regardless of aircraft flags. Turkey shots down a Su-24 RuAF ground attack jet well within Syrian airspace Oops!. This is like a Su-27 shotting down an A-10 warhog. Russia deploys its largest missile cruiser to the coast near the border. It is defended with an S-300 SAM battery equivalent on board and will cause a virtual no fly zone for Turkish planes. Furthermore, Russia will escort bomber raids with air to air fighter planes going forward. This is a Judo move. Putin can now arm the Kurds with impunity. Well armed and protected Kurds can destabilize and threaten Turkey's territorial integrity. Opposition leader questions the Russian plane downing. Knowing the risks, Turkey's Erdogan downplays the incident internally for domestic politics. Erdogan calls the opposition leader for private talks. But Turkey escalates it to convene NATO emergency meeting and the UNSC for rallying international support. NATO is split with some members even giving cold shoulder to Turkey. Analyzing the actions of the Turkish government, this act of bravado surely looks as desperation. Russia will play cool until it can safely repatriate thousands of Russians currently in Turkey like it did in Egypt. Turkey stands to lose lucrative tourism and trade with Russia as a minimum. Turkey government links to ISIS and ISIL will be publicly exposed. Expect a backlash from Europeans weary of paying extortion money to Turkey for not exporting its Syrian refugees.

Posted by: Sun Tzu | Nov 25 2015 1:43 utc | 55


BTW how many more 'refugees' could Turkey potentially dump on Europe?

Last time I checked, there were @ 1.7 million refugees, UN official figure, but you can be sure there are hundreds of thousands who are not registered by any institution, not even the Turks.

A conservative estimate, they could dump between 1 and 1.5 million refugees at any given time.

Posted by: Lone Wolf | Nov 25 2015 2:08 utc | 56


Thanks... affirmation of what a few others have said. I'm so thankful that Putin is so centered, calm and calculating.

Posted by: crone | Nov 25 2015 2:14 utc | 57

@From The Hague@50

From another thread (a post by Bruno Marz):

I'm new here, but even I can spot those looking to cause trouble as opposed to share and/or learn. Wayoutwest, RTE, Sukhoi, and IHaveLittleToAdd are so blatant in their delivery that it makes me question if there anything we can do well here in the United States anymore. I mean, we can't even hire competent sock puppets? What's this world coming to?

Is there a way b can free us from these useless idiots posting drivel, or would they be born again under another nick? After a while, it becomes annoying to scroll an entire page to find some intelligent comment. It's like walking in a park full of dog shit, no chance to appreciate the flowers.

Posted by:

Posted by: Lone Wolf | Nov 25 2015 2:16 utc | 58

It took the deaths of several Russian military people to finally expose to the world the fundamental fact that Turkey fully supports the terrorists who recently bombed a Russian airliner, made several bombing attacks in Lebanon, and attacked several targets in Paris, as the oil flows North and supplies go South into and out of Turkey--and in no way can Erdogan say he knows nothing about those activities. Turkey's a member of NATO, so since turkey's been supporting Daessh for 3+ years, NATO is also supplying its support as it cannot say it knows nothing--and that would certainly include the Outlaw US Empire: There cannot be any Sgt. Schultz Excuses Anymore!!! Those unwilling to see are those allied with Daesh and its sponsors. All are now subject to the newest UNSC Resolution and can expect to pay the price for their behavior. But will France really join with Russia and China in the UNSC?

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 25 2015 2:17 utc | 59

you can't find gems without digging through dirt.

Posted by: lizard | Nov 25 2015 2:23 utc | 60

NATO wants to provoke Russia into a war with turkey for this reason as last chance to stop the allies advance in Syria, I don’t think Russia, Russia will fall for this.

“By controlling the straits Turkey controls most of the supply of our military group in Syria. Montreux Convention makes the peacetime regime of the straits free for all the Black Sea countries, but in time of war Turkey gets the legal right to block the straits to the enemies and open them to the allies.”

Posted by: kooshy | Nov 25 2015 2:31 utc | 61

@57 thanks :) the laugh I got from your comment compensated for the dog shirt!

Posted by: thirsty | Nov 25 2015 2:36 utc | 62

Paul Craig Roberts:
If the attack was cleared with Washington, was Obama bypassed by the neocons who control his government, or is Obama himself complicit? Clearly the neoconservatives are disturbed by the French president’s call for unity with Russia against ISIL and easily could have used their connections to Turkey to stage an event that Washington can use to prevent cooperation with Russia.

Washington’s complicity is certainly indicated, but it is not completely out of the question that the well-placed Turks who are purchasing oil from ISIL took revenge against Russia for destroying their oil tanker investments and profitable business. But if the attack has a private or semi-private origin in connections between gangsters and military, would Turkey’s president have defended the shoot-down on such spurious grounds as “national defense”? No one can believe that one Russian jet is a threat to Turkey’s security.

---From Scott's sitrep @ Saker:
German Vice-Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel called Turkish actions unpredictable.
“This incident shows for the first time that we are to dealing with an actor who is unpredictable according to statements from various parts of the region – that is not Russia, that is Turkey,” Gabriel said, as cited by DPA news agency. He added that Turkey was playing “a complicated role” in the Syrian conflict.

Posted by: Penelope | Nov 25 2015 2:39 utc | 63

Relevant for MoA, every now and again:

Posted by: ben | Nov 25 2015 2:44 utc | 64

bbbb @ 12
Lone Wolf @ 55,

Erdogan won't be dumping migrants or refugees on EU because he has a very well-paid deal w them to keep them in Turkey & this is his "Get into EU Free" card. Everyone else wants out, but he is dumb enough to want IN. With his "I'm the dictator here" personality I can't imagine how he could possibly endure the regimentation.

Posted by: Penelope | Nov 25 2015 2:45 utc | 65

@ 60 Any blockade of the straits can be "softened" with a barrage of conventional Iskander & Kalibr.

Posted by: Sun Tzu | Nov 25 2015 2:46 utc | 66

Turkish intelligence chief: ISIS is a reality and we must stop Putin from crushing the Islamic revolution

“ISIS is a reality and we have to accept that we cannot eradicate a well-organized and popular establishment such as the Islamic State; therefore I urge my western colleagues to revise their mindset about Islamic political currents, put aside their cynical mentalité and thwart Vladimir Putin's plans to crush Syrian Islamist revolutionaries,” - Anadolu News Agency quoted Mr. Fidan as saying on Sunday.

Fidan further added that in order to deal with the vast number of foreign Jihadists craving to travel to Syria, it is imperative that ISIS must set up a consulate or at least a political office in Istanbul. He underlined that it is Turkey’s firm belief to provide medical care for all injured people fleeing Russian ruthless airstrikes regardless of their political or religious affiliation.

Erdogan's daughter runs a hospital for Da'esh wounded, Erdogan's son fences Da'esh oil stolen from Syria, Obama & Oland defend Erdogan ... could it be any more obvious just whose army Da'esh actually is?

I guess now we see if US/EU/NATO all own up, as Turkey has, to their step-child Da'esh, and declare war, as Turkey has, on Russia?

No way do I see Turkey as the 'loose cannon' in all this. They're backed by US/EU/NATO. The war is on two fronts now, in Syria and in Ukraine in earnest, where US/EU/NATO and Al-CIAduh/Da'esh North - the 'Crimean Tatars' - are now operating independently of the so-called government.

Have those murdered and their familes been so quickly dismissed in Paris? Can Penelope's hoax theory actually be true?

Or will Paris and Berlin rise up against Oland/Merkel/Obama/Erdogan? I'm afraid I've written off my fellow Americans entirely. I imagine the Turks will rise against Erdogan before we Americans will rise against Obama.

It's true that we need reasoned analysis and oughtn't be crying WWIII like wolf. But events keep leading to larger and larger war.

Posted by: jfl | Nov 25 2015 2:51 utc | 67

PavewayIV @ 21,

As you say, Paveway, it was preplanned. Here's Tony Cartaluci on the subject & more:

"In addition to having a camera rolling as the plane went down in flames, terrorists operating in region had allegedly surrounded the dead pilot shortly after the incident according to Reuters.

While Turkey maintains that it was only reacting in self-defense - it was against a nation's planes that it knew had no intention of attacking its territory - and what looks like instead was Turkey targeting planes operating along reoccurring routes and shooting one down once the pieces were in place to maximize the event politically.

For Russia's part, it claims its plane had not even entered Turkish territory which would reveal Turkey's actions as an outright act of war.

Russia Continues Toward the Finish Line

In recent weeks with Russian air support, Syrian troops have retaken large swaths of territory from ISIS, Al Qaeda, and other terrorist fighters. The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) has even begun approaching the Euphrates River east of Aleppo, which would effectively cut off ISIS from its supply lines leading out of Turkish territory
Once Syrian troops retake this territory, the prospect of the West ever making an incursion into Syria, holding territory, or compromising Syria's territorial integrity would be lost forever. Western ambitions toward regime change in Damascus would be indefinitely suspended.

The endgame is at hand, and only the most desperate measures can hope to prevent Russia and Syria from finally securing Syria's borders. Turkey's provocation is just such a measure..--Tony Cartalucci

Posted by: Penelope | Nov 25 2015 2:54 utc | 68


They couldn't show some restraint about a minor violation a day before scheduled talks with Lavrov?

Why should have they? Theirs was a message to Russia and the 4+1, and the day of delivery was chosen carefully, one day after Putin's visit to Iran, during Jordan's king visit to Russia, and, slap in the face, a day before Lavrov's scheduled visit to address issues such as the alleged violation of borders.

As I said earlier, Turkey's noise about the so-called "Turkmen," protests to the Russian envoy, and macho-man threats, were all part of an orchestrated choreography, aimed precisely at the downing of a Russian plane. I fully agree with b at the former thread who aptly called it an ambush, and with PavewayIV@21, "it was an ambush pure and simple."

The message and its delivery were carefully studied, no doubt. Now is time for the Russians to study their response, time for reckoning.

And payback is always a bitch.

Posted by: Lone Wolf | Nov 25 2015 2:55 utc | 69

@71 Based upon your reasoning abilities, please stay far away from any car traffic

Posted by: bbbb | Nov 25 2015 3:09 utc | 70

@45 - The consequences are ALL that matter now, and Russia will likely respond at a time and place of its choosing. I guess until that time you can keep splitting hairs over who did what

Posted by: bbbb | Nov 25 2015 3:11 utc | 71

Some great comments and summaries folks, thanks. And thanks again to b for hosting and posting.....grin

There is some serious shit going down these days. I hope it leads to humanistic results.

The US side is trying to save the positions ISIS has against Syria and so they want a ceasefire or some way to stop Russia's march to eliminate fanatics from Syria. And it doesn't seem to be working so we will see further escalation or capitulation. It is evident that sides are being drawn in this conflict and I expect we won't know until it evolves further where true allegiances lie with various countries.

And hopefully when this situation resolves itself there will be a global call for another Bretton Woods type of meeting and private finance can be deprecated or eliminated from our world.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Nov 25 2015 3:14 utc | 72

Siemens - Sukhoi version 2..

@54 Sun Tzu.. thanks for your post..

@58 karlof1.. that is much as i see it too..

Posted by: james | Nov 25 2015 3:35 utc | 73

@ 57

I second that these trolls should be IP banned (+new nick, Siemens):

Wayoutwest, RTE, Sukhoi, and IHaveLittleToAdd are so blatant in their delivery that it makes me question if there anything we can do well here in the United States anymore. I mean, we can't even hire competent sock puppets? What's this world coming to?

Its your house 'b', paid trolls are trashing it.

Posted by: Harry | Nov 25 2015 3:37 utc | 74

@IHaveALittleToAdd: "You have inadvertently made a great point. China has made it clear they do not want US warships patrolling the South China Sea, thus they could take military action if a US ship were within their territorial waters. The problem is that the US is a very powerful country and China has assets exposed that would be ripe for retaliation. The point is that these decisions are not made in a vacuum, but are married to power, risk, and justification."

I see your point - but I'm making a different one. See, you're making the point that - assuming the Turks are telling the truth - Turkey legally is within its rights. That is maybe so, again if they're telling the truth entirely (I wouldn't bet on that) but I'm making a point that actually factors in justice and human emotion.

Here just two days ago, Russia was bombing ISIS positions with "For Paris" written on their bombs and today Turkey is shooting down their jets for a hairs width of a navigational error and hiding behind legalistic nonsense. No one is going to say "well, that sounds legitimate!". In fact, Erodgan has just again lowered himself in the esteem of the people of the West who actually do want to fight terror.

Slowly but surely, people are seeing once popular Erdogan as a killer, a dictator, and an enabler of the terrorists. That's the point, not wether a Russian jet zipped through Turkish airspace for five seconds.

The puny attempt to rationalize this attack with some esoteric legal deflection is just that.

Posted by: guest77 | Nov 25 2015 3:47 utc | 75

Asia Times on the downing of the Russian plane.

Turkey’s downing of Russian warplane may have Kurdish or pipeline angles: Source

[...] An informed Russian intelligence source who asked not to be identified told Asia Times that it’s too early to draw solid conclusions about the shoot-down of a Russian warplane by Turkish F-16 fighter jets near the Syrian border on Tuesday. However, the source outlined the following scenarios as possible contributing factors:

-Russian planes could be providing support for detachments of Kurds — a move that might have underscored fears in Ankara that Moscow is supporting Kurdish rebels in Turkey;

-Russian pilots may have attacked the villages of Syrian Turks situated along the border. Such attacks are said to have occurred in the last week — causing extreme irritation in Ankara;

-Over the past week the Russian Air Force was actively attacking oil/petroleum convoys delivering “illegal” oil products from ISIS to Turkey. The people involved are said to have made a fortune on this trade and given the purported level of corruption in the Turkish society including Turkish military, it was a serious blow upon certain “interests” in Turkey including the military;

In addition, the source speculates that the real motive for the jet downing might have nothing directly to do with Russia’s military intervention in Syria [...]

[...]IHS analysts Ege Seckin and Firas Abi Ali also said in their assessment that the jet downing’s immediate impact will likely be limited to a diplomatic crisis. “However, future such incidents between Russia and Turkey are highly likely, as neither side is willing or able to back down,” they said.

More plane downings and occasional exchanges of artillery fire between Syrian and Turkish troops are increasingly likely, the analysts said. At the same time, Putin’s decision to refer the plane downing to the UN Security Council is said to signal his effort to contain the escalation for now.

“However, in the medium term, Russia and Turkey both have escalation options against one another. Russia can increase the price of Russian gas, while Turkey can provide support to insurgents within Russian Caucasian republics and in Crimea. Russia is also likely to retaliate indirectly by increasing support for the Syrian-Kurdish Democratic Union Party (Partiya Yekîtiya Demokrat: PYD) and its Turkey-based counterpart, the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (Partiya Karkerên Kurdistan‎: PKK),” the analysts said.

Posted by: Lone Wolf | Nov 25 2015 4:03 utc | 76

This article was written by Mike Whitney on 10/9, and is kinda interesting in retrospect.
Russia doesn’t want to fight a war with Turkey, so Russian generals devised a simple, but effective plan to discourage Turkey from taking any action that could lead to a clash between the two nations.

Last week, Russian warplanes intruded into Turkish airspace twice. Both incidents caused consternation in Ankara and send Turkish leaders into a furor. On both occasions, officials in Moscow politely apologized for the incursions claiming they were unintentional (“navigational errors”) and that they would try to avoid similar intrusions in the future.

Then there was a third incident, a more serious incident, that was not a mistake. It was clearly intended to send a message to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Here’s a short summary of what happened from an article at the World Socialist Web Site:

“Turkish officials claimed a third incident on Monday, when an unidentified MiG-29 fighter jet locked its radar for four and a half minutes on eight Turkish F-16 jets that were on patrol on their side of the border, in apparent preparation to open fire.” (“US, NATO step up threats to Russia over Syria“, World Socialist Web Site)

This was no mistake. The only time a fighter pilot adopts these protocols is when he plans to take down an enemy plane. This was a message, and while it might have been over-the-heads of the politicians and the media but, I assure you, every general in the Turkish High-Command knows what’s it means. This is a wake-up call. Moscow is indicating that there’s a new sheriff in town and that Turkey had better behave itself or there’s going to be trouble. There’s not going to be any US-Turkey no-fly zone over North Syria, there’s not going to be any aerial attacks on Syrian sites from the Turkish side of the border, and there certainly is not going to be any ground invasion of Turkish troops into Syria. The Russian Aerospace Defence Forces now control the skies over Syria and they are determined to defend Syria’s sovereign borders. That’s the message. Period.

This is a good example of how “preemption” can actually prevent conflicts rather than starting them.

Posted by: Penelope | Nov 25 2015 4:04 utc | 77

Asia Times on Turkey-Russia ties after jet shoot-down.

Turkey-Russia ties reel from jet shoot-down; Pilots shot by Turkmen rebels?

[...] The shooting came amid intense diplomatic efforts by Turkish and Russian diplomats to avert a confrontation. Last week Turkey handed Russia a note explaining its fears of a possible collision between the two countries over Syria and suggesting ways of preventing it. Sergei Lavrov, the Russian Foreign Minister, was due to meet his Turkish counterpart, Feridun Sinirlioğlu in Istanbul on Wednesday, in the hope that some sort of agreement could be reached. In the wake of today’s events, Lavrov’s visit has been called off and Russia has even taken the unprecedented step of warning its nationals to stay away from Turkey because of the danger of terrorism there.

President Vladimir Putin speaking soon afterwards described the downing as “a stab in the back by the accomplices of terrorists,” his strong language suggesting that Russia is increasingly inclined to accuse Turkey of involvement in terrorism in Syria and in no mood to seek an early agreement.

The Russian President was in Teheran on Monday this week, evidently working on ways to step up military and political cooperation over Syria between the two countries. It will not have passed unnoticed in the discussions that the two countries are also Turkey’s major energy suppliers, accounting for about three quarters of its gas imports between them and over a third of its oil.

Geography means that Turkey will always be a crucially important transit country for both Iranian and Russian exports, so any kind of squeeze on exports to Turkey would hit both countries, especially perhaps Iran as its starts to recover after the lifting of US sanctions. Nonetheless it looks as if for Russia at least, its foreign policy and strategic interests are currently at odds with its energy policy – and that President Putin will put strategic interests first. Turkey faces the further problem that its first nuclear energy plant is being built by the Russians and will be partly Russian-managed for decades after that.

In the US and among some of Turkey’s other western allies, the shooting down was being seen on Tuesday evening as the failure of a brinkmanship policy by Putin, suggesting the Russian leader underestimated the determination of Turkey’s president. Yet in Syria, it is Russia which seems to enjoy flexibility of action, with planes, bases, troops on the ground—and the support of an internationally recognized government–albeit a beleaguered one.

The loss of one jet does not upset this pattern or undo the fact that Russia’s presence in Syria makes Turkey’s bid for regime change there look even more expensive and risky.

Posted by: Lone Wolf | Nov 25 2015 4:10 utc | 78

@Sukhoi "Should the US have attacked the Chinese in that instance? Well yes, according to you."

In case you've forgotten - you're the one defending the use of dangerous military actions on very flimsy pretexts, not me. I'm merely using the anecdote to point out the hypocrisy of the "exceptional nation" that you're laying down a propaganda smokescreen for. A smoke screen you just coincidentally happen to be laying on this day of controversial actions where it is very much needed!

There's one fact that those who defend this cravem aren't going to be able to get around, and that's that this is clearly another escalation coming from NATO. The citizens of the West have made it absolutely clear that they want no part of another Middle Eastern war - yet here we find our "leaders" not only dragging us into one, but dragging us into one that involves Russia, Iran, and probably China.

If the Western elite thinks that their populations are imbecilic enough to weep for the people killed in an ISIS attack in France on one day, and then cheer an attack on the Russians fighting ISIS the next - I think they're making a big mistake. Those lies that the Iraq War was based on are burned into our memories. The facts of al Qaeda's provenance are well known. People are well aware that our "allies" in the region are criminal regimes responsible for the rise of ISIS. As a result, our "leaders" have never been less trusted. Though most probably don't know exactly all the details of what's going on in Syria, they certainly knows that whatever is going on there is not quite right. They' aren't buying this "Assad Must Go!" nonsense - most especially when it means boots on the ground. That hesitation and distrust was expressed loudly when the people of the US and UK said NO the proposed 2013 attack on Syria after the "chemical weapons attack".

And no amount of DoD sockpuppets can change the fact that people are sick of war and sick of our "leaders" ambivalent stance towards Middle Eastern terrorism. Especially when their points are as dumb as these.


Your defense may have been that you only put the tip in, but sadly for you that's balls deep.

BTW, do you get paid extra for mom rape jokes? Keep it classy.

Posted by: guest77 | Nov 25 2015 4:16 utc | 79

Penelope@69 - I think Tony Cartalucci's latest article at NEO is off on one point - the suggestion that Syria retaking the Afrin-Jarabalus corridor will somehow be the end of conflict there. Tony is imagining a kind of grand defeat of an innate opposition in that part of Syria without recognizing it is a proxy war with a psychopathic Erdogan and his proxy army: JaN and ISIS.

Syria is making progress, but JaN and/or ISIS will simply melt away and flee to Turkey to regroup if they get beaten up too badly in Syria, then return later whenever they decide the time is right. They don't see the loss of either the Turkoman Mountains or the Afrin-Jarabulus corridor as any kind of abject defeat of their cause. It's just a temporary shift of the battle lines. They'll be back to both places eventually, either in force or with car bombs and IEDs. They have nothing else to do - this is what they live for, and Erdogan exploits that.

Turkey will always provide safe refuge for them, and Qatar and Saudi Arabia will always keep the cash and arms flowing. The Syrian war may appear to end some day, but Erdogan's designs on Syria will never just disappear. As long as his mafia clan is in charge, al Qaeda derivatives will be protected and operate out of Turkey to attack Assad.

I don't understand where Cartalucci thinks Jabhat al Nusra or ISIS will go if driven (temporarily) out of Syria. A few of the Chechen and North Caucasus mercs will probably take a vacation back home, but they're not going to settle down and get a job. Jihad IS their job. Needless to say, the Uighurs have no such vacation plans. The Syrian homes they stole in Jisr ash-Shugur are their home - China will execute them and their entire families if they return. They're not going to re-settle in the Turkish Uighur slums. They're almost worse than China.

The Turkoman, Chechen, Uzbek and Uighur jihadis ARE the backbone of Jabhat al Nusra and ISIS. For obvious reasons, the Western press is avoiding calling them al Nusra. They all WERE ISIS a year and a half ago before the big internal war. The Division 10 Coastal Battery killed the Russian pilots and the Russian marine on the Search and Rescue chopper. They are ostensibly FAS when they need more U.S. TOW-2As, but they work for and ARE, for all practical purposes, JaF/JaN head-choppers.

Cartalucci mentions the Afrin-Jarabulus corridor, but seems oblivious to the fact that JaN - right at this moment - is slaughtering Yazidis and Kurds in the little villages around Afrin. They intend to take over Afrin city and ethnically cleanse it of Kurds. Afrin Rojava and their canton are (and always were) slated for extermination by Erdogan. He fully intends to extend his head-chopper safe zone all the way to the Mediterranean and repopulate it with Turkoman, Chechens, Uzbeks and Uighurs. He's pretty much promised them Afrin canton as well as the Afrin-Jarabulus corridor for their homes after they kill or displace the Kurds. The Turkoman Mountains was only one part of Erdogan's overall Syrian land-stealing scheme.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Nov 25 2015 4:19 utc | 80

@Harry - In his "defense" (not sure why I'm bothering) "IHaveLittleToAdd" has been here for a while. Not so for the others though. They're clearly here to lay the propaganda line because of the recent shootdown.

Posted by: guest77 | Nov 25 2015 4:20 utc | 81

thirdeye on the previous thread makes astute commentary especially in the first paragraph.. here is the whole post for this thread as well...

"The plane was brought down after, not during, the alleged violation of Turkish airspace. That makes the shooting an act of retribution, not defense. After-the-fact retribution is not in accordance with accepted non-belligerent rules of engagement for defending national airspace. It takes the lid off a huge can of worms.

If Russia were "testing" Turks over their airspace, a ground attack aircraft would not be the one to do it with. Ground attack aircraft do not threaten control of airspace. No pilot in his right mind would contest airspace against air superiority fighters with a a ground attack fighter. After this incident, it is more likely that Russia will use air superiority fighters to provide security for their ground attack craft.

I think what this is all about is Turkey seeing the prospect of "safe zones" for their Al Qaeda/ISIS clients in the border regions glimmering with the onset of the Russian air campaign. Turkey could face down Syria but not Russia. They're looking for some way to induce Russian aircraft to avoid the border regions. They can't according to international law, so they appear to be looking to leverage their position with NATO. Unless NATO gets involved (breaching international law), the countermoves on the Russian side are simple. They have a very competent, up to date fighter force and a formidable area denial air defense system that Turkey lacks. Turkey's move could expose some real fault lines within NATO, with western Europe up in arms about Turkey's role supporting Al Qaeda/ISIS and France roughly aligned with Russia. Attempting to leverage a multilateral alliance for one power's local objective is risky for the alliance under the best of circumstances, which these are definitely not.

Posted by: Thirdeye | Nov 24, 2015 10:55:10 PM | 225"

Posted by: james | Nov 25 2015 4:20 utc | 82

Bhadrakumar at Asia Times on Putin's pivot to Iran.

Putin’s pivot to Iran is a strategic decision

[...] Clearly, a Russian-Iranian rift over Assad’s fate is not on the cards. On the fundamental principle that a future government in Syria ought to be elected by the people of that country through free democratic choice, Moscow and Tehran are unwilling to compromise. Obama’s diplomatic strategy on Syria is in shambles. Putin even took a dig at Obama that America should not fear the prospect of democratic elections in Syria.

Looking ahead, the US stance that Russia’s participation in an international coalition against the Islamic State is linked to its “strategic adjustment” over Assad’s fate is likely to become untenable. Obama expected Putin to dump Assad. But Putin has made it clear that it is not for Russia to dictate the terms of a settlement in Syria. On the other hand, Obama will be on shaky ground if he continues to caricature the war against the IS in Clausewitzean terms as ‘politics by other means’.

However, the most extraordinary thing about Putin’s visit to Tehran is that it takes the veil off a strategic decision taken by the Kremlin to elevate Russia-Iran relationship to a qualitatively new level. Putin had deputed one of his most trusted aides to Tehran last week to choreograph the new trajectory for the bilateral relationship with Iran, which is suffused with solid strategic content of a kind that the West cannot hope to match. Interestingly, Putin’s choice fell on Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin to undertake this mission, a Kremlin politician whom Washington loves to hate and is on the State Department’s ‘black list’ for visa.

Put differently, Russia intends to outstrip the western countries scrambling for a share of the Iranian pie by offering to Tehran a vastly superior relationship that is attuned to its sense of destiny as an emerging power. The ideas that Rogozin projected to the Iranian interlocutors whom he met in Tehran last week included proposals regarding space and satellite cooperation – remote sensing satellites and space navigation systems, GLONASS system and satellite-assisted navigation and mapping – defence production, co-production of Sukhoi Superjets in Iran, establishment of a free trade zone in Iran by the Eurasian Economic Union and so on.

Significantly, in the immediate run-up to Putin’s visit to Tehran, reports began appearing that Russia has started the delivery of the S-300 missile system to Iran. The Russian reports mentioned that the deal involves “about 300” units of the missile system, which of course will go a long way to strengthen Iran’s air defense even as the nuclear deal signed in July is advancing to the tricky implementation stage.

Suffice it to say, the Kremlin appears to have reached the conclusion after careful consideration – and an off-and-on dalliance with Saudi Arabia – that Iran is key to stabilizing the Middle East and is a pivotal regional power for Russia. It should not be overlooked that the Russian official media have openly discussed a possible Saudi and/or Qatari hand in the crash of the Russian Metrojet Flight 9268 in the Sinai on October 31.

Posted by: Lone Wolf | Nov 25 2015 4:21 utc | 83

Obviously, there is some haste in shutting off the arms supply pipelines from Turkey and Jordan. And also in cutting off the possibility of partitioning Syria or Iraq. Yet, two days ago Iran outright denied that she has Basij or IRGC forces in Syria. Iran said she had only advisers in Syria. Putin held a 2-hour conversation yesterday with Khameini. I've been concerned for a long time about whether Iran is committing sufficient forces. Today I researched it & this is what I found. It's dated Oct 4, but is the best I can come up with. It's hard for me to believe that there are so many men fighting against ISIS, et al. What do you think?

Iran is expanding its already sizable role in Syria’s multisided war in the wake of Russia’s airstrikes, despite the risk of antagonizing the U.S. and its Persian Gulf allies who want to push aside President Bashar al-Assad.

Politicians in the region close to Tehran as well as analysts who have been closely following its role in Syria say a decision has been made, in close coordination with the Russians and the Assad regime, to increase the number of fighters on the ground through Iran’s network of local and foreign proxies.

The support also could involve more Iranian commanders, military advisers and expert fighters usually assigned to these units, these people said.

Wiam Wahhab, a former Lebanese minister allied to Iran and Mr. Assad, stressed that Iran wouldn’t be dispatching troops in the conventional sense. Instead, they were likely to be officers and advisers from the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, or IRGC, he said.

“I know there is a major battle upon us and everything needed for this battle will be made available,” said Mr. Wahhab, who has some members from his own political party fighting in Syria alongside the regime. “There is a plan to carry out offensive operations in more than one spot.”

Experts believe Iran has some 7,000 IRGC members and Iranian paramilitary volunteers operating in Syria already.

Separate from the regular army, the IRGC was founded in the aftermath of the 1979 revolution as an ideological “people’s army” reporting directly to the supreme leader, Iran’s top decision maker.

The more than 100,000-strong force controls a vast military, economic and security power structure in Iran and is in charge of proxies across the region. Its paramilitary organization, the Basij, was the lead force in the crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators in 2009.

Since late 2012 Iran has played a lead role in organizing, training and funding local pro-regime militias in Syria, many of them members of Mr. Assad’s Alawite minority, a branch of Shiite Islam. Experts believe they number between 150,000 and 190,000—possibly more than what remains of Syria’s conventional army.

What’s more, some experts estimate 20,000 Shiite foreign fighters are on the ground, backed by both Shiite Iran and its main proxy in the region, the Lebanese Shiite militia Hezbollah.

About 5,000 of them are new arrivals from Iraq in July and August alone, said Phillip Smyth, a researcher at the University of Maryland. He said this figure was compiled through his own contacts with some of these fighters, flight data between Baghdad and Damascus as well as social media postings. “It looks like it was timed out to coincide with the Russian move,” Mr. Smyth said.

Yes, it certainly does “look like” that, and it wasn't hard to see this coming. Here's another excerpt from our recent analysis:

Back in June, the commander of Iran’s Quds Force, Qasem Soleimaini, visited a town north of Latakia on the frontlines of Syria’s protracted civil war. Following that visit, he promised that Tehran and Damascus were set to unveil a new strategy that would “surprise the world.”

Just a little over a month later, Soleimani - in violation of a UN travel ban - visited Russia and held meetings with The Kremlin.

Posted by: Penelope | Nov 25 2015 4:30 utc | 84

from turkeys zaman press "Despite being warned 10 times in five minutes because it was coming towards our border, it insisted on continuing its violation. This plane was downed in an intervention by our F-16s," Erdoğan said in a speech in Ankara, adding the actions were fully in line with Turkey's rules of engagement....

and further down.."Erdoğan also said that Turkey, together with its allies, would soon realize a "humanitarian safe zone" between Syria's Jarablus and the Mediterranean coast."

Posted by: james | Nov 25 2015 4:36 utc | 85

in re 26, 43

"Russia has repeatedly violated Turkish airspace over the past few weeks." That would seem to be twice. They look less serious than this 10-seconds-over-Turkey flyby. Which is not to call any of them serious.

The Oxford Dictionary defines "repeatedly" as "over and over again; constantly." Three times in two months would not seem constant.

I thought Russian incursions were exaggerated, and I expected something lame when no helpful link was forthcoming.

Posted by: rufus magister | Nov 25 2015 4:39 utc | 86

Turkey’s new darlings have a strangely familiar stench about them…

Posted by: Vintage Red | Nov 25 2015 4:56 utc | 87

This one's a must read IMO.

Posted by: Penelope | Nov 25 2015 4:58 utc | 88

@87 Interesting and important. I never ever understood how exactly the United States expected a 180 degree turn in the US-Iran relationship just by signing the nuclear agreement. After a decade of threatening war? After a decade where the Iran and the US faced off in more and more local conflicts? After a decade of the US letting its allies run rampant and antagonize Iran in every way? No, I never could see it. Russia and Iran are firm allies. And this phenomenon is, in terms of geopolitics, a huge event that has never occurred before (far as I know). Since the days of the Czar the West has been seeking to keep Russia for making a formal alliance with a unified, independent Iran. And now it has happened.

The final irony is that the US supported the Islamists in Iran when it was clear the Shah was sick and on his way out, knowing that the Islamists could never align themselves with the USSR. But with the collapse of the USSR, that strategy has now completely obsolete.

@91 - Thanks for that, I love the historical connections. Just like the Ukrainian fascists we're supporting, all of the CIA-US connections go back - through the Gehlen Org - to the Nazi collaborators. No shame about it anymore, the US is wedded to the strategy first developed by American fascists and the surrendering Nazi high command in the 1940s - an alliance against the USSR. With the USSR now obviously gone, its proof that "anti-communism" was a lie covering for the real strategy - hyper-imperialism aimed at resubjugating the Third World (including Eastern Europe). Amazing that even the Nudelman's, Kagan's, and Friedman's of the world have not just made peace with it, but are an active component of it. But hey, times change and who isn't overjoyed at making the "honorary Aryan" cut...

Posted by: guest77 | Nov 25 2015 5:24 utc | 89


Erdogan won't be dumping migrants or refugees on EU because he has a very well-paid deal w them to keep them in Turkey & this is his "Get into EU Free" card.

Penelope, Erdogan is a street thug heading a cartel mafia whose greed give him no understanding of the limits of power. He has a record of being mercurial and unpredictable, that means at any time of his personal/political convenience, he can do away with any agreements on the refugees and use them again when necessary.

Erdogan's dumping the refugees in Europe was transferred to him from the CIA book, a vulgar copy of the drug cartels human trafficking through Mexican borders, who use the illegal immigrants, aka economic refugees fleeing poverty, crime and hopelessness, as tools for their drug trafficking. Recently there was a flood of children to the US, more than 60,000 of them arrived at US borders, many with their mothers/fathers, mostly from Central America and Mexico. Interviewed by US Border agents, their story was they had been told the US would legalize children under 18, if they were able to cross the Mexican/US border. The real reason is, while US Border Patrols are busy dealing with an abnormal quantity of illegal immigrants crossing the border, the drug cartels use that diversion to smuggle drugs, or use the same illegal immigrants as drug "mules."

As soon as Erdogan dumped the Syrian (and many other nationalities) refugees in Europe, the similarity between the Mexican drug cartels human trafficking and Erdogan's human trafficking was evident. The reasons for the Mexican narco-state to allow that human trafficking are the same for Erdogan's -Mexico receives billions of dollars from the US to contain immigrants before reaching the US border, Erdogan just got 3 billion euros (3.2 billion dollars) to squander on funding more terror, enrich his corrupt family, and throw a few crumbs in the direction of the Syrian refugees.

Refugees in Erdogan's hands have become a tool for perpetual blackmail of Eurostan. If Eurostan think 3 billion euros will allow them some control on Erdogan and his handling of the refugees, they are dreaming. They are in the hands of a Turkish mafia boss, not different from any of Mexico's drug cartels, and for them extortion is the name of the game.

Posted by: Lone Wolf | Nov 25 2015 5:36 utc | 90

At this point, the Russians (all of them) are not happy. Something ugly will happen to Turkey. Probably some stealthy false flag/psy-op thingie. But rather harsh. Europe is probably being flooded with Russians.

The game players are in high gear.

(Also the trolls here. Stealth trolls can destroy anything.)

Posted by: blues | Nov 25 2015 5:44 utc | 91

Israel seems to be riding Turkey's coattails. Report: Israel strikes Hezbollah positions in Syria, killing 13

Unconfirmed Syrian media reports said Tuesday that Israel carried out some four airstrikes on Syrian regime and Hezbollah positions in the area of Syria’s Qalamoun mountains on Monday night.

A report by Al-Souria Net, a pro-opposition outlet, said eight Hezbollah fighters and five Syrian soldiers were killed in the raids, which hit the border region between Lebanon and Syria.

“After several hours of reconnaissance flights above the area, Israeli planes suddenly launched two raids on a joint Assad forces and Hezbollah position,” Al-Souria Net reported. “This was immediately followed by a third raid.. The Israeli planes resumed their attack with a fourth air raid after several minutes, targeting a Hezbollah position in western Qalamoun.”

The report said there were “dozens” injured in the airstrikes, four of them critically. The wounded were transferred to local hospitals for treatment.

Syria/Russia are going to have to get Kuweires and the airbase just east of Damascus back in shape ... or be forced to use the missiles on the cruiser in the Med. They seem to have had plenty of time to do just that in this case.

It seems as though the Israeli jets could have been escorted back to Israel - first time - and warned off of future such adventitious attacks in Syria if, in this case, that airbase east of Damascus were operating and staffed by Russian jets.

Posted by: jfl | Nov 25 2015 5:46 utc | 92

Since this is an open thread- I'd like to ask ""b and "somebody" and any other German citizens that might be here the following question: is the history of the Gehlen Organization well known and accepted?

Its origins as the Nazi intelligence apparatus on the Eastern Front, to becoming in whole the US CIA's Department of Russian and Eastern European Affairs, and finally becoming the West German Intelligence Organization is, to me, one of the most important threads in historical era that most informs our own - that of the Cold War.

Or is this history treated, as it is in the US, as a sort of dirty secret?



@91 - "The main body of the division surrendered near Padua in May 1945 and was dispatched to Taranto. In accordance with the agreements signed by the British and Americans at the Yalta Conference, the soldiers were repatriated. According to a later witness, they received a twenty-year sentence of slave labor."

Check out the source on that one, an ultra-right "Yalta was the world's greatest crime!" screed. But even that lie is tame by today's standards. Now we'd here how they were all murdered by Stalin in some Polish far-right "history" book.

I did actually pick up Grover Furr's "Blood Lies" (the book that claims that Timothy Snyder's influential anti-communist "Bloodlands" is full of lies and misrepresentations). I'd recommend it. Now, Furr makes his political views clear and he has strong views, though perhaps there's something to be said for this - certainly better than to be hiding them and pretending to be "unbiased" "Yale professor" like Snyder. But Furr's scholarship is pretty flawless and most importantly it is 100% transparent and right there. He actually provides reprints of all of the primary sources he discusses (its a real thick book...).

It's amazing what he found in Timothy Snyder's work - Snyder uses all of these obscure Polish and Ukrainian sources, and does the typical job of making every "maybe" a "certainty" by leaving out key segments in the primary sources. Furr just goes down Snyder's claims one by one, presenting Snyder's text and the primary text and notes the dishonesty. Its all there in black and white. It's quite an amazing presentation IMHO.

Stalin shouldn't be compared to Hitler, there's just no comparison. End of story. But that'll never do for the Ministry of Truth of course. How could it? After all, the only excuse for all of the USA's shady connections with the children of the Nazi remnants are that Stalin was such a monster we just had to get in bed with the Hitlerites. And from there, of course, we don't want to offend our allies - which as we've seen even show their ugly face in Syria not to mention the Ukraine - becuase they still fondly recall that Nazi collaborating history. So best thing to do is just make Stalin worse than Hitler. In fact, as long as the Israelis seem to be cool with it (and since the Jabotinsky faction seems to have gained preemminance in that country) we can even rehabilitate Hitler just a smidge. We'll keep him bad, but not as bad as Stalin! Hell, we might even get away with saying Stalin was going to attack Germany, and that Hitler really had no choice!

Oh! How the times and the crimes have changed....

Posted by: guest77 | Nov 25 2015 5:59 utc | 93

relevant quote from a poster on the zaman site.

"It is typical that Turkey seems to want a special position for turkmens in Syria, a small minority of maybe 1% of the population.

At the same time, they are heavily opposed to a special position for kurds in Syria, comprising around 15% of the population.

They are also against a special position for kurds in Turkey, now 20 to 25% and soon 30 to 35% of the population.

Am I missing something?"

Posted by: james | Nov 25 2015 6:01 utc | 94

@96 - I'd be interested to hear the discussions about these raids between the Russians, Syrians and Hezbollah, that's for sure. Can the Russians really let that kind of stuff go on unanswered without creating some friction? Though, I suppose Syria has never itself taken the bait either. It just seems to be a fact of life that the settler state murders with impunity. Though I would imagine that the war in Syria and the building up of Hezbollah means this is the beginning of the end of that situation...

I seem to recall, though, from some earlier Israeli raids - weren't they firing long range missiles from inside Israeli airspace? If so, it is difficult for the Russians to prevent such attacks without going on the offensive and shooting down Israeli planes in the airspace of settler state itself.

Posted by: guest77 | Nov 25 2015 6:10 utc | 95

@97 - for the link, just click the search button again. Google seems to not like the apostrohe in the links

Posted by: guest77 | Nov 25 2015 6:12 utc | 96


Times of Israel..."According to unconfirmed reports..."..."A report by Al-Souria Net, a pro-opposition outlet..."

Mmmmm....nothing at Al Manar TV, nothing at SANA, nothing at Al Masdar News, nothing at Fars News...I recently debunked another neozionist attack on Hezbollah, of the same characteristics: "Unconfirmed Syrian media reports..."

I don't think this is different, it won't fly.

Posted by: Lone Wolf | Nov 25 2015 6:27 utc | 97

obvious motive
3 day ago
#Turkey deploying soldiers in #Turkmen_Mount due the massacres of it's people by #Russia and #SAA #Latakia #Syria

Posted by: james | Nov 25 2015 6:29 utc | 98

that and a good overview from this article..

Posted by: james | Nov 25 2015 6:42 utc | 99

Below is a link to the Reuters story about Obama and Hollande meeting today.

It is mostly expected screed but this caught my eye
Hollande said the two leaders agreed on the importance of closing the Turkish border to limit the movement of extremists into Europe. The French official pointed to a small stretch of the border that Turkey had still not closed north of Aleppo and which Islamic State was using to traffic goods and men.

Is this not the stretch where the Russian plane was downed? Is this not saying that Turkey is supporting the Islamic State?

Hollande is meeting in Germany tomorrow and Russia on Thursday. What interesting tidbits will come out of those meetings?

Posted by: psychohistorian | Nov 25 2015 6:55 utc | 100

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