Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
August 16, 2016

Massive Russian Air Campaign To Stop U.S.-Al-Qaeda Attack On Aleppo

The west of Aleppo city has always stayed under control of the Syrian government. It inhabits about 1.5 million people. Over the last two weeks it has come into imminent danger of falling into Jihadi hands.

With large U.S. and Gulf supplies of new weapons, ammunition and intelligence some 10,000+ radical Jihadis, led by al-Qaeda in Syria, attacked Aleppo city. After several days they managed to break the south-eastern defense and created a small corridor into east-Aleppo. The area is besieged by government forces and under Jihadi control.

Aleppo as reported by "western" media

Several other large attacks followed but could barely be held back. The government forces are a mix of local defense units and auxiliaries from Afghanistan and Iraq. Their defenses seemed little prepared for the onslaught of suicide vehicles followed by mass infantry attacks. Moral was low and positions were given up without proper coordination.

The Syrian government and its allies could not use helicopters to support the defense as newly arrived MANPADs used by the Jihadis endanger any aircraft that flies low and slow.

To stop attacks and to prepare for counter moves valuable reserves had to be activated. Elite forces of the Lebanese Hizbullah and the Tiger brigade of the Syrian army were thrown into the battle. They managed to hold the Jihadi attacks for now but lack the mass to respond in kind.

The Russians have warned since April that such a large Jihadi offense was imminent, but it held back from any response while in talks with the U.S. administration. But the U.S. willingness to talk was largely a deception in support of the now ongoing attack.

The Jihadi campaign aims to occupy all of Aleppo city. It was named after a man who, in 1979, mass murdered a group of cadets belonging to a religious minorities. Should the Jidadis manage to win in Aleppo thousands of civilians will likely die. This would not only effect minorities. Aleppo is a Sunni city and the war is, contrary to "western" propaganda, not between religious minorities and the general Sunni population but between radical Sunni sects and their mainstream brethren.

About two weeks ago the Russian military openly prepared an appropriate response. Their most modern spy plane, a Tu 214R was send to Syria to collect targeting information. This in addition to two Il-20M reconnaissance planes already deployed there. Navy maneuvers along the Syrian coast as well as in the Caspian sea were prepared. Agreement with Iran about support measures were arranged.

At least seven Russian ships, all capable of launching Kalibr cruise missiles, were positioned in the east-Mediterranean and in the Caspian Sea. Yesterday long range Tu-22M3 strategic bombers and Su-34 tactical bombers deployed to Hamedan airbase in Iran. The route from Hamedan to Syria is 60% shorter than from Russia. The planes will thus be able to fly more often and with additional load. Iraq granted overflight rights. This open cooperation, publicly announced with pictures from the Iranian base, sends a loud message to the "international community" of Jihadi supporters. China adds to it by announcing tighter cooperation with the Syrian military.

Today a large scale bombing campaign against all support, supply and reserve assets of the Jihadis attacking Aleppo was launched. All major communications points, headquarters, depots and assembly areas between Aleppo and the Turkish border west of it will be bombed. Any reconnoitered fixed target will be attacked, probably multiple times, and destroyed. Then moving convoys and other targets of opportunity will come under attack. The campaign will continue for several days.

Such large scale attacks in the rear of attacking forces have no immediate influence on the front-lines. Expect some renewed Jihdai attacks on Aleppo city proper to divert from the slaughter of their assets in the rear. But after a few days their front-line supplies will run out and no new supplies will be there to arrive. The general attack on Aleppo will then falter.

All of this will only stall the situation in Syria. The Syrian government currently lacks the capability to retake and secure the large area between Aleppo, Idleb and the Turkish border. Additional changes in the strategic situation will be needed to turn the war into either direction.

But the then likely failed attack on Aleppo will have chewed up a large amount of assets and personal the U.S. supported Jihadis and their allies are able to deploy. The center of gravity of the war will probably move elsewhere, away from Aleppo proper.

All this of course depends on luck and all the other imponderables of war.

Posted by b on August 16, 2016 at 9:49 UTC | Permalink

next page »

The Saudi's will not take kindly to a Russian air base in Iran, especially one hosting planes that are cruise missile capable.
Janes should have some interesting commentary as to the nature of the new air feild and its capacities.

Posted by: wwinsti | Aug 16 2016 10:36 utc | 1

Good work B, thanks. Much more informative than a months worth of NYT reporting.

Posted by: euclidcreek | Aug 16 2016 11:10 utc | 2

At some point, possibly already reached, the Russians will realise that when the U.S. wants to talk; hell follows.
Russia should and probably already has, planned to just destroy the jihad's, and ignore the U.S.'s further crap.

Posted by: V. Arnold | Aug 16 2016 11:22 utc | 3

So how is Saudi Arabia taking the Russians being based in Iran, are they calling on Israel for back up, especially since they seem to be losing their war in Yemen? How far will the U.S. go to save face? Questions, yes, answers, ???

Posted by: originalone | Aug 16 2016 11:31 utc | 4

If helicopters can't fly over Aleppo why there are no drones with hellfire? I'm affraid that Aleppo will be liberated by Kurds and it's a key part of the Kerry's plan B.

Posted by: green beam | Aug 16 2016 11:31 utc | 5

In a not insignificant developement, Russian Tu-22M3 long range bombers are flying from Hamedan airbase in Iran. From Russia it's 2,000k (1300 miles) and from Hamedan it's 700k (430 miles). A huge tactical advantage for the Russian airforce in turnaround time between sorties.

Posted by: V. Arnold | Aug 16 2016 11:46 utc | 6

Those 10,000 mercenaries and all their supplies, including manpads, came from ... Turkey? In addition to Kerry, Putin ought to disregard anything Erdogan says as well. Listen, sure. But assume that if their lips are moving, they're lying.

Posted by: jfl | Aug 16 2016 12:05 utc | 7

Great report.Lots of insight and info.What gets me is where do the Terror groups get all their kit from,i recall,late 2014 there were credible reports,the railway tracks in Turkey,that run to the Syria Border,near Kobani,train loads of Tanks were unloaded at night.
Its seem no matter how many air attacks the terrorist outfits keep popping up with a convoy of Tanks,ever the Wehrmacht couldn't have kept popping up with fresh tanks.With all the spy planes,how can terrorist tanks move freely,..

Posted by: Watchfield | Aug 16 2016 12:36 utc | 8

@ b

Speaking of the Saudis, interesting article ( first part)

Posted by: Yul | Aug 16 2016 12:59 utc | 10

China says seeks closer military ties with Syria

China wants to have closer military ties with Syria, state media on Tuesday cited a senior Chinese officer as saying during a rare visit to the war-torn Middle Eastern country. Guan Youfei, director of the Office for International Military Cooperation of China’s Central Military Commission, met Syrian Defense Minister Fahad Jassim al-Freij in Damascus, China’s Xinhua state news agency said. Guan said China had consistently played a positive role in pushing for a political resolution in Syria. “China’s military is willing to keep strengthening exchanges and cooperation with Syria’s military.” Guan also met a Russian general in Damascus, the news agency said, without giving details. (Reuters)

Posted by: Mann | Aug 16 2016 13:00 utc | 11

Moscow said on Monday it was on the brink of forming a military alliance with the United States to carry out joint operations in Syria.
"We are now in a very active phase of negotiations with our American colleagues," Sergei Shoigu, the Russian defense minister, said in comments broadcast on state television.
The US response.
"We speak regularly with Russian officials about ways to strengthen the cessation of hostilities, improve humanitarian access, and bring about the conditions necessary to find a political solution to this conflict," the official added.
i.e. Lets have a cease fire to stop bombing hospitals, and negotiate a future without Assad.
Can't believe the Russians, or are they just playing the Americans.

Posted by: harrylaw | Aug 16 2016 13:24 utc | 12

@9 hl, 'We are now in a very active phase of negotiations with our American colleagues'

The negotiations are taking place in Aleppo, Palmyra, and Deir-ez-Zor.

Posted by: jfl | Aug 16 2016 13:29 utc | 13

@ 10


"Negotiations from air" are presently going on in those areas and may be over Idlib also.

Posted by: Yul | Aug 16 2016 13:36 utc | 14

Love the Map pre-empting the Judeo-Christian Media's Syria balderdash.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Aug 16 2016 13:38 utc | 15


“The interesting and multidimensional application of this move, is that Russia (Vladimir Putin) has single-handedly secured the safety of Iran and its people from attack by NATO, Israel, the U.S.--or its rambunctious ISIS-ISIL-Al Nusra (or other Wahabi Salafists). By placing Russian bombers (and other military vehicles and "advisors") in Iran and launching from Iran attacks against ISIS, Russia essentially establishes a base in Iran and thereby claims that any attack upon Iran is an attack on Russian interests, and simultaneously establishes that the purpose for this base is to conduct joint operations with Iran against the enemies of civilization, history, and the future--and any government, country, or bank funding these ISIS enemies (U.S., Israel, NATO, Saudi Arabia-Gulf States) will find themselves without a future....CHECK.

China and the South China Sea will be the next joint national operation with Russia-Iran-China then securing the loyalty of India, similar to Turkey.

Turkey now seems to be taking the advice we wrote in December 2015...that it become the Switzerland of the Middle East, and not the servant of NATO. Truth is stranger than fiction.”
(Scott Bennett on FB)

Posted by: x | Aug 16 2016 13:42 utc | 16

x | Aug 16, 2016 9:42:37 AM | 13

Yes, your first paragraph reflects my views as well; although I didn't go into that detail.
Russia has carved out a sizeable portion of the M.E. as allies and an effective foil to the U.S.'s violent hegemon, thereby making it (the U.S.) an adversary, not an ally.
Turkey is a very big question mark; a future course not yet defined. Erdogan is an unstable entity, not defined or certain in his alliances.
Until and unless Erdogan leaves NATO, no bet can be made...

Posted by: V. Arnold | Aug 16 2016 13:59 utc | 17

Putin deliberately surrendered the advantage that he had helped Syria achieve in the war. Iran also dithered, failing to provide troops. The Syrian army has been ground down by years of war against an Enemy that could recoup numbers and supplies constantly, constantly upgrading in both areas. Putin continues to pretend that this is a war against terrorism when he knows it is a proxy war.

So what is Putin's real game? This bombing campaign won't change the outcome in Aleppo, much less in Syria as a whole. Putin claims that he is a defender of sovereignty, but it looks like another failed state will be the outcome, thanks to Putin's 'strategy'. Strategy for what? For pretending to oppose the Hegemon but actually helping it?

Posted by: paul | Aug 16 2016 14:08 utc | 18

paul | Aug 16, 2016 10:08:31 AM | 15

Your post? Pffft is the worth therein...

Posted by: V. Arnold | Aug 16 2016 14:22 utc | 19

It is evident that Syrian Forces were lax in preparing for an advertised attack and did not in any way organise the base
for a siege that could be lost. So the ennemies now have a treasure trove of military equipment to add to those they already
have. Bunkers and the like add to the importance of the base.

I surmise, as many do, that Putin's decision to withdraw partially and allow for a cease fire is now seen as a mistake that will make victory more painful and less complete.

So I guess this was the Gettysburg of the Russian intervention and one with similar results.

It should be clear to Putin that Syria is dealing with an enemy that favours any means to win a dirty game. The US just
cannot be trusted and has (publicly) not renounced to its avowed intention of ousting Assad.

Unless Russia wants to face a new Ukraine in Syria, it must stop taking America's words as trustworthy.

Posted by: CarlD | Aug 16 2016 14:42 utc | 20

@14 -- clearly recent meetings in Baku and with Erdogan indicate something is afoot as the lame duck empty suit in DC (who can't even shut down Gitmo Bay) pivots out of office for a lunatic hair piece, or a half demented war criminal harpi.

It's likely the next logical step will be S400's to 'protect' the new base (or are the S300's already there?). Lots of strategic 'no fly zone' there and a knife in the back of occupation forces. Erdogan, Kurdistan and the Golan Heights have to be the key factors in the next phase. I'd not be surprised if Erdogan and Putin both see some strategic advantage in Turkey remaining inside the NATO tent. But how long it lasts is anyone's guess. NATO economics is not sustainable without a war (to the last European) -- and I don't think Putin is going to give them one too easily.

It looks like China is signalling as well. The SCO region is coming online it seems. Link to South China Morning Post

Posted by: x | Aug 16 2016 14:50 utc | 21

12;Judeo"Christian"media?Hahahahahaha....They probably have more Hindus and Muslims writing for the Zionists,than actual Christians.Judeo Christian?How many Christians are principle owners of Western and Australian Media?Murdoch is a Zionist,despite his name.Even the Christian Science Monitor aint Christian.
Yes,the lying times says Russian planes took off from the (evil)Iranians bases to attack Americas headchoppers for Zion.Guilt by association.
And they say the Hell Bitch has an 87% chance of election,in their ongoing manufacturing of dissent campaign re Trump.
And they panned his Muslim screening and his call for a war on their own headchoppers.I'm curious why he walked back that obvious IsUS angle re Obomba and the HB.Maybe he wants to save his ammo,until closer to the election,this way the media can't obfuscate that truth as well with their serial lies.

Posted by: dahoit | Aug 16 2016 14:52 utc | 22

I hate to say it but I think Putin phucked up by not blowing these bastichs to smithereens when he had them on the run.
Then the Syrians dropped the ball by not fortifying their positions enough if I read the dude above correctly.
The Iranians seem to be tiptoeing alot in Syria, their timidity is mystifying to me. If they want the Nuclear deal then win on the battlefield. Smash the terrorists and show you have a big cock, the Americans will understand this but the pussyfooting just makes you (Iran) look weak. I don't like being an armchair general but this is so annoying to see Syria, Russia, Iran and China being made fools of by a bunch of bearded, sandal wearing mofo's.

Posted by: Fernando Arauxo | Aug 16 2016 15:07 utc | 23

KSA trying to link both conflicts and expand it
they bombed the MSF hospital in Hajja as a retaliation for the Russian bombings in rebel Aleppo, and now they just take the script provided by their enemies in Syria...

no brain... and no imagination. these people need to be stopped before it is really WW3

Posted by: Mina | Aug 16 2016 15:19 utc | 24

@ X 13

Very insightful. Good points

@ paul 15.

“So what is Putin’s real game?”

While many arm chair cadets from their keyboard perches were criticizing Putin, quiet preparations were being implemented:

1. The Russians are expanding the Hmeimim military air base in Syria. It will be made permanent and is being expanded.
2. The military agreement with Iran and Hamedan air base is seen as very strategic

Sit up and watch; the gloves came off
= = = =

Russia accommodated U.S. talks and the fraud is exposed. Deep regret the U.S. has proven it can’t be trusted or, to be generous, conflict between groups in D.C. and Langley continues.

US 'Trying to Discredit Russia's Efforts in Syria' and Ruin Aleppo Operation

[Aleppo]…For the analyst, this is not merely a battle between Damascus-led forces and rebels, but rather a "standoff" between the Russian and US-led coalitions.
This is why Washington and its allies are increasingly active in Syria.
The United States "is trying to undermine the Syrian Arab Army's (SAA) operation aimed at freeing Aleppo, the city that the US views as the capital of 'moderate' Syrian opposition. They also want to fuel tensions in Damascus suburbs and strengthen their positions in areas close to Raqqa and northeastern provinces," the analyst said.

Posted by: likklemore | Aug 16 2016 15:27 utc | 25

For a somewhat different view of what's happening in Aleppo and Syria, I suggest and its daily reports by Canthama and Ziad. Ziad's son, Leith, runs which along with and are the four top informational sites on Syria I utilize. According to Canthama, some bad info was published in The Saker's most recent Unz Review article about Syria, specifically websites with very close sounding URLs to the legitimate almasdarnews:

"Zio based site (Israeli/Saudi Barabaria PR) [and] Qatar PR BS - Al Qaeda supporter "

Here, Gareth Porter dissects Propaganda System spin on Syria,

People should certainly investigate for themselves, but the overall situation in Syria is better than described by b in this item. Russian use of Iranian air base ought to raise eyebrows along with China's more overt involvement. A new stack of chips have been pushed into the pot with this "raise" by the SCO. It's now up to the Outlaw US Empire to match the raise and call or bump the stakes higher.

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 16 2016 16:15 utc | 26

Good synopsis, b, and good comments (i.e.except for paul the troll), thx!

Good read NED, the Legal Window of the CIA, by Thierry Meyssan

...In December 2011, Egyptian authorities search the offices of the NDI and IRI in Cairo. The documents that were seized are most important to understand US interference since the "nest of spies" was removed from Teheran in 1979. Charged with spying, the NED leaders are tried. Here: Robert Becker (Director of NDI, Cairo) at the opening of the trial. The documents prove that NED is wholly responsible for and manipulated the pseudo revolution that took place in Tahrir Square. This resulted in more than 4,000 deaths to hoist the Muslim Brotherhood to power...

Meyssan's take on Turkey: La nouvelle doctrine stratégique turque

Re Russian's military moves around the ME Veterans Today points out that the Russians will transfer their Black Sea fleet into Mediterrean since they had developed their new fleet of smaller ships that pack the same punch.

Brilliant move with the new base in Iran, awaiting another one on Cyprus!

Posted by: ProPeace | Aug 16 2016 16:40 utc | 27


Moral was low and positions were given up

Morale was low and positions were given up

Posted by: Ronald | Aug 16 2016 16:52 utc | 28

b: "The Syrian government currently lacks the capability to retake and secure the large area between Aleppo, Idleb and the Turkish border.

Send in the Chinese! (and other SCO forces with the UN mandate)

Posted by: ProPeace | Aug 16 2016 16:53 utc | 29

@ Ronald You missed "effect" confused with "affect", so why bother?

Posted by: ProPeace | Aug 16 2016 16:54 utc | 30

The base in Iran is also good for Iran. It is sufficiently close to Syria to make a difference in Palmyra, Deir-Ezzor and other ISIS fronts.

The alliance of Syria and Iran was a bit frayed in the recent months. The main complaint I read was that Russians stopped supporting Iran-led forces in South Aleppo, so the latter experienced a string of losses that culminated with the "second corridor" to Eastern Aleppo. Actually, before that collapse those troops (part of them) moved to Palmyra. In any case, Syrian based air-force had too many targets to chase in the war of hundred fronts. In the logic of limited war, losses spur a larger efforts, and in this case, closer Russian-Iranian cooperations. Perhaps more ground troops from both countries (Russians allegedly have artillery units in Aleppo).

But another strategic importance is removing the last shred of thoughts of attacking Iran itself from the febrile minds on the Arab side of the Gulf, and also in Israel and in American Neoconia.

I am optimistic that the losses in South Aleppo will be recovered, because "SAA and allies" got a good record of recovery, especially in the directions of main priority, It is not just recovery of the siege, but currently the main water works of Aleppo are in the war zone, and the logistics of the main population center are stretch way too much.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Aug 16 2016 17:01 utc | 31

@27 Ronald isn't perfect.

Posted by: dh | Aug 16 2016 17:18 utc | 32

So many people seem to believe that "Putin was duped." Nah. The Russians, maybe all Russians, know better than to trust the US about anything. Putin went through these motions as part of his PR battle against the US in which he shows that Russia follows international law while the US violates it constantly and supports terrorism and Jihadists.

The PR component in all of these is critical. I'm not criticizing Putin. I personally also believe that Putin wanted this chaos and its destroying Turkey, Jordan, Europe and thus Neocon America.

Posted by: alaric | Aug 16 2016 17:26 utc | 33

I did wonder why the Russians are flying out of Iran, and not out of one of the bases in Syria itself. I suppose they're either full, or not sufficiently secure.

Posted by: Laguerre | Aug 16 2016 17:26 utc | 34

With Sandi Arabia supplying Jihadis with modern AA weapons, why do not Russia and Iran supply equivalent weapons to Yemen Houthis? Give Saudis a taste of their own medicine, They are already losing in Yemen, and improved Houthi AA weapons could rapidly lead to their total defeat.

Posted by: zucco | Aug 16 2016 17:55 utc | 35

Meyssan's latest piece on Turkey makes me feel really awkward. Apparently many pro-Russia informational outlets have been recently increasingly letting out thick fumes of "fog of war" sometimes resulting in a horribly twisted logic, bordering nonsense like in this case.

Claiming that there ever had been any "dispute" between Turkey and Israel during Erdogan's rule is absurd. It's pathetic for Meyssan to take the "freedom flotilla" event at its face value whereas it's obvious and already established that it was a joint Turkish-Israeli special forces operations against some Turkish dissidents (read e.g. Chris Lehman) aimed also at providing an illusion of spat between those countries. Since Meyssan is not an idiot, the explanation must be there is real desperation within his circles to obscure current situation.

I understand how important an element of surprise for Russia and her allies has been in their game ("seem weak when you are strong" by Sun Tzu), but except for some juicy info tidbits many claims by Meyssan ("Erdogan organized the coup with the US to purge the secularists"), Saker, ... recently are just embarrassing and annoying.

I and many here realize what is the goal of that disinfo but it's become real bore and tiring to maintain these appearances ("Russia surprised", "Russia naive", "Russia and Turkey disagree on Syria", etc...).

Or may be they just do not care anymore about how not convincing their propaganda has become because the end-game is within sights...?

Posted by: ProPeace | Aug 16 2016 18:03 utc | 36

# 31

The plane is a Russian Bomber and the bases in Syria can't handle it.

Posted by: jo6pac | Aug 16 2016 18:09 utc | 37

Putin always comes to the rescue of countries the Hegemon is picking on - usually with mealy mouthed words, but sometimes with military help too little too late.

Controlled opposition? The end result is always a devastated 'failed state' (wrecked state).

But wow does Putin speak well. He's the most statesmanlike 'national leader' I've seen in my lifetime. He can speak off the cuff for hours, he demonstrates excellent knowledge of what is going on in reality, he speaks with seemingly genuine moral passion and he is gutsy. Sometimes he says things that are so elegant one has to go back decades to find equal eloquence in the mouth of a 'world leader'.

He is a good actor? I'm sure the folks in Aleppo are glad he did that truce thing. I'm sure they are enjoying their great big helping of peace.

Posted by: paul | Aug 16 2016 18:13 utc | 38

ProPeace @33: good observation that betting that Russia is "surprised" or "naive" is more often than not, well, naive. Similarly, official Russian rhetoric has to be interpreted cautiously, even is more often literally true than, say, American official rhetoric. And in every case, it is good practice to interpret statements narrowly.

My recent favorite example is "You will never see me singing praises of a foreign dictator or a strongman who does not love America." It is safe to understand it a bit expansively, as pertaining to statements which are spoken in a normal way, and written statements. But one should see the operative phrase "who does not love America". So if that person recently said something nice about America than it is OK. Moreover, the term "terrorist" in American official language mean "as determined by the State Department". The department makes a least, checking it twice, which violent thugs are naughty, and which ones are nice (and drops gifts to the nice ones). Similarly, "dictator or a strongman" is determined by DoS (and the term is never applied to despotic royalty). Thus we can, on occasion, sing praises of Abu Sisi who, IMHO, is as good example of a fascist leader as they come. And who definitely is on the "nice list" of gift recipients. [Image from the Santa's Workshop: elves of Raytheon Corporation making gifts for nice thugs.]

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Aug 16 2016 18:48 utc | 39

The pathetic Putin;
-Agreed to fake cease fire deals in Syria that helped rearm the US proxy terrorists. Which B has already admitted to.
-WithDrew some Russian air support for his BS fake four-month initial schedule. Exposing soldiers on the ground and civilians to more slaughter.
-Reacting too late to the breaking the siege of Aleppo, which b, again above again admitted to, but fanbots in the comments put their fingers in their ears.
- Putin actually invited in the most evil state that ever existed - US empire - into Syria.
- if this increase in Russian support is only a few days long, then what is Putins long-term military plan ? Rely on Chinese diplomacy ?
- and so much more.

Also, The angry Arab on his blog had audio of Hezbollah fighters complaining about Syrian soldiers.
South front video had reports on how poorly trained Syrians soldiers, and poorly kept military equipment and vehicles, were problems.

Please grow up fanbots.

Posted by: tom | Aug 16 2016 19:32 utc | 40


Without a doubt, important part of Putin's popularity is his verbal agility. Magnified by the fact that he is not overusing it (i.e. not talking too much).

Posted by: telescope | Aug 16 2016 19:38 utc | 41


Does Putin owe you something or what? Russia - just as every other country - is in Syria to advance its national interest. Since you couldn't care less about such an objective, you'll never grasp what Putin is doing.

Posted by: telescope | Aug 16 2016 19:44 utc | 42

@32 Zucco

According to Elijah J. Magnier, that's what happening:

From his Twitter account:

"Downing of a russian helicopter and providing MANPADs to syrian rebels by countries of the region pushed Russia to sneak in Yemen war."

"Watch the intensity of Yemen Houthis anti-tank missiles since the downing of the russian heli in Syria. All connected."

Posted by: Jean | Aug 16 2016 19:45 utc | 43

Pentagon says US not fighting against al-Nusra Front in Syria, only Daesh -- Puppet Masters --

"...When asked whether he can confirm that Russia hits Nusra Front in Syria, Garver said, "No, we're not watching that. I'm not going to confirm that. The coalition is fighting Daesh."

"We certainly know that al-Nusra, or whatever they are calling themselves today, are operating there, but they are not who we are fighting. We are fighting against Daesh," the spokesman added..."


And this is funny:
SOTT Exclusive: CNN's latest anti-Putin 'hit piece' is a complete farce -- Puppet Masters --

[...] CNN delivered their 'lite' version of the West's paranoid hate-propaganda this week when on August 9th they published an interview with 'Platon,' the man who took the picture of Putin for his Time Magazine special. The photographer relates a wonderfully schizoid version of Russia under Putin worthy of his self-description as a 'story-teller'.

"As you arrive you see this giant, high, security wall covered in snipers. And then at gun-point I'm led into the building. And then Putin walks in, and he's surrounded by his translators, his team of advisers, and about ten body guards. It was pretty intimidating. And I said to him, "I'm a massive Beatles fan. Are you?" He speaks to me and he says, "I love the Beatles." So I said "What's your favorite Beatle?" and he said "Paul". And I said what's your favorite song? And he said, "Ah, Yesterday." Think about it. [...]

Posted by: ProPeace | Aug 16 2016 20:07 utc | 44

Re: Putin wants to demonstrate or does demonstrate that the West, the US specially, is acting in bad faith.

This would be of value if the Western population to whom this gesture is dedicated (Russia must have sanctions lifted)
were not so relentlessly force-fed neocon propaganda. It's hard to see the light if you have a blind over your eyes.

Admitting fifteen percent (I am being generous) of the more enlightened Europeans see the light, less than one percent of ten percent of
Americans see it.

In the end it boils down to the fact that the gesture is understandable but finally expensive because the goods do not reach
the targeted audience.

Posted by: CarlD | Aug 16 2016 20:12 utc | 45

@Piotr Berman | Aug 16, 2016 2:48:01 PM | 36

Also annoying is that the weaknesses in the narrative I pointed out are later exploited by the hasbara and the Brutish Empire Tavistock propaganda departments who send such pesky trolls like the "tom" above to torment readers with their phony arguments ad nauseam...

Posted by: ProPeace | Aug 16 2016 20:15 utc | 46

This being said, Putin must be commended for his actions and stance on Syria. I regret Medvedev
was the one at the helm when Lybya was being discussed. In any case, maybe Russia was not as well
prepared as she is now to stand up to the US.

The stand Putin has been making, and is making, is in favour of Mankind as a whole. I is not an easy stand
when one faces the Washington hyenas.

Besides, let's not forget that it would have been very difficult for Russia to be at odds simultaneously with
so many at the same time. No doubt that the new turkish attitude should permit more ease in maneuvring
to Russia and allies.

Posted by: CarlD | Aug 16 2016 20:26 utc | 47

@43 ..and the "Paul"..

Posted by: Lozion | Aug 16 2016 20:29 utc | 48

@ProPeace 41 - This nugget does not bode well, if true -

"This is the bogeyman mentality that the anti-Russian elite want the public to believe, and, if we believe Gallup polls, it's largely working. From 1989 to 2016 the percentage of the US public who saw Russia 'mostly favorable' has fallen from 55% to 25%."

If American's are truly that duped by the spew of lamestream propaganda on a subject matter that is so easily and quickly debunked, we might as well give up on any fanciful thoughts of anything like peace, prosperity or whatever. Are American's that easily duped?

Posted by: h | Aug 16 2016 20:33 utc | 49

Piotr Berman@28 - "...But another strategic importance is removing the last shred of thoughts of attacking Iran itself from the febrile minds on the Arab side of the Gulf, and also in Israel and in American Neoconia...

I would argue it simply makes it more complicated, Piotr. Israel must attack Iran in the next six months before they lose the window provided by the restarted Iranian S-300 deployment. That window will close early next year when the entire system is operational.

The attack routes map is rather dated. Israeli jets would violate Syrian airspace with impunity and couldn't use the Lebanon-Turkey route because Russia can easily see them with the S-400 at Hmeimim Air Base. Israel got their head-choppers to take out Russia's long-range radars in Southern Syria a couple of years ago, so they will probably have to use Jordan-Saudi Arabian routes and somehow turn North before the Iranian S-300 coverage. Now that Hamedan Air Base can't be cruise-missiled first, the U.S./Israeli schemes have to be adjusted.

They will attack Iran no matter what. Israel is still hoping to goad the U.S. or perhaps the Saudis into doing the job for them - that may still happen. Nettanyahu can't wait much longer, and the U.S. elections and presidential transition to Clinton provide the perfect opportunity/distraction. My guess: it almost certainly will be done on Obama's watch (and ultimately blamed on him) or done the first few months of Hillary's reign before she has to step down for health reasons. It's baggage no U.S. president is going to endure for four years, so it will be assigned to a past flunkee: either Obama or Hillary. I'll go so far as to suggest the Russian bombers have little to do with Syria. They will be used there, but they are mostly a chess move to make the U.S./Israeli plans more difficult.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Aug 16 2016 20:44 utc | 50

@h | Aug 16, 2016 4:33:37 PM | 46

The problems with polls in the West is that they've been largely discredited, especially regarding elections.

As I said some time ago recently I had some confusing signals from different US circles: on the one hand I was surprised how some teenagers are well aware about the sad state of affairs and do not believe the propaganda; on the other hand there are some corporate types (finance) who also are aware of the ongoing game, but WANT THE US EMPIRE TO WIN - they have that "just fuck other people", "I don't care about other countries", "might makes right",... mentality.

So recently I'm more and more convinced that this has to be fought out trough a civil war, marshal law, military coup, bu unfortunately not peaceful.

The situation is very similar to the Nazi Germany, or Bolshevik Russia - hundreds of thousands are just empty, soulless, zombie like vessels, blood thirsty and ready for another war to maintain their standards of living...

Posted by: ProPeace | Aug 16 2016 21:17 utc | 51

zucco@32 I agree, how about loaning the Yemeni navy some of those many small submarines the Iranians have been manufacturing. The Saudi perverts might die of heart attacks.

Posted by: harrylaw | Aug 16 2016 21:29 utc | 52

OT, but some good, interesting news related to Syria:

Date seeds used to absorb toxins - Pan European Networks

An international team of scientists have shown that date palm seeds can be used to absorb toxins.

The researchers found that by grinding the seeds into microparticles and putting them into water, the seeds naturally absorb some of the most deadly environmental toxins, including dioxins, and then float to the surface.

Professor Dennis Murphy, who led the study and is based at the University of South Wales, explained the environmental impact that the discovery could yield: “Across the world, this discovery could have dramatic benefits, as the toxins the date seeds ‘collect’ can cause cancer and birth defects and accumulate in meat, milk, fish and seafood due to contaminated soil and water … Date seed particles could be used to carry out an ecological clean up – getting rid of toxic spills or other environmental contamination that might threaten human health.”

The discovery, the team hopes, could be used to clean up some of the most polluted areas of the world. As well as Professor Murphy, the team consists of scientists from the University of Strasbourg, France, and the Atomic Energy Commission in Damascus, Syria, where date palms are especially common. Professor Murphy commended his Syrian colleagues, who have undertaken their research from within a country which remains embroiled in civil war: “We have been particularly impressed by the dedication of our Syrian colleagues who carried on with their research in some almost unimaginable conditions. We look forward to happier times for the people of Syria.”

The initial research was undertaken by Dr Abdulsamie Hanano in Syria and Dr Elizabeth Blee in France, with Professor Murphy providing DNA and protein analysis. The team is now looking for ways to make the product commercially available. The results will be published in Frontiers in Plant Science.

Posted by: ProPeace | Aug 16 2016 21:41 utc | 53


As a countermeasure, to insure it's supreme position as the world's food and chemical authority, with the aid of the US Congress and Supreme Court, Monsanto will produce GM date seeds which will NOT be capable of absorbing toxins, but instead create more toxins. That is all.

Posted by: fast freddy | Aug 16 2016 22:00 utc | 54

It is difficult to appreciate the actions that RU had taken re: its premature withdrawal from Syria. When it seemed to have the head choppers against the ropes.

Posted by: fast freddy | Aug 16 2016 22:02 utc | 55

Laguerre @21.

The Russians are using Hamadan for at least three reasons:

i) shorter flights for the TU-22s which means heavier bomb loads, less pilot fatigue, less wear and tear on the aircraft, etc.
ii) it places Russian assets in Iran effectively saying to the AngloZionists an attack on Iran is an attack on Russia.
iii) setting up the scenario for long term Russian-Iranian-Iraqi-Syrian-Lebanese(-Turkish) cooperation which totally scuppers the Yinon plan and any thoughts of pipelines from Takfiristan (aka Saudi Arabia and Qatar) to Europe.

Posted by: Yonatan | Aug 16 2016 22:25 utc | 56

@48 Pro Peace
OT but... It would appear the US is not that far away from the required civil unrest front. Financial and political corruption penalising society is pretty much an open wound for all to gaze at. Food stamps are currency. Street warfare and rural militia alike in large recent form.

At what point do the PTB just take a little bit too much...? At what point do token luxuries no longer mind trick the population...? At what point does the phrase 'ah it could be worse' no longer work...?

To stop the murder abroad, the healing has to begin at home. Unfortunately, they're waiting for you.

Posted by: MadMax2 | Aug 16 2016 22:32 utc | 57

"After several days they managed to break the south-eastern defense and created a small corridor into east-Aleppo. The area is besieged by government forces and under Jihadi control."

Whilst the takfiri breakthrough effectively cut the Syrian government southern supply route, it did not provide them with a secure link into east Aleppo. The gap was under full fire control from SAA and allied forces on the north and south sides of the gap. East Aleppo still remains vulnerable as a result of limited supplies and manpower replacements. The gap did create a supply weakness for west Aleppo. However, the SAA has created a secondary northern supply route to enhance the pre-existing weak northern supply route.

The takfiris committed a significant number of their best men to the attempted beakthrough. The survivors have been trapped in the gap, unable to get through to the east with significant supplies and themselves facing a supply shortage as a consequence ot RuAF and SAAF focussing on destroying rear support and logistics targets.

Posted by: Yonatan | Aug 16 2016 22:34 utc | 58

The important thing for now is that the Al Quedites are in stasis. They can't really project power, even with the current breach of the cauldron.
Keeping the situation tenuous might actually help the SAA and allies on a humanitarian basis, as it maintains the point of attack, which should offer much opportunity to degrade AQ more than an assault on fortfications would. That in turn minimizes civilian casualties. Hopefully the humanitarian corridors continue to be open, and hopefully civilians can make their way out

Posted by: bbbb | Aug 16 2016 23:34 utc | 59

@47 pw, 'They will attack Iran no matter what.'

You are so certain, Paveway. Why?

Posted by: jfl | Aug 16 2016 23:59 utc | 60

@MadMax2 | Aug 16, 2016 6:32:24 PM | 54

The best way to win a war is to avoid it - make the enemy understand that it's not worth it for to fight, and that the defeat in inevitable (Sun Tzu).

It requires a united front from all the "good people" in the US, to vote and act against the deep state war party on daily basis: exposing them, staying well informed, caring about one another, reacting to the wrongdoings, forming a united reform program, boycotting businesses and corporations living off wars,...

That would probably discourage the war mongers and their social base from pursuing their criminals agenda.

Alas, people are too divided and will probably fall...

I advice all the good people in the US to prepare for hostilities...

Posted by: ProPeace | Aug 17 2016 0:03 utc | 61

@53 Well said Yonathan. Point ii is especially important. A brilliant pre-emptive move by Russia which brings Iran closer to the SCO and must have beltway Israeli firsters going mad.. ;)

Posted by: Lozion | Aug 17 2016 0:09 utc | 62

Oups. Yonatan that is..

Posted by: Lozion | Aug 17 2016 0:10 utc | 63

thanks b.. very informative as always.. thanks..

kudos to russia for setting up in iran.. that's a shrewd move..

thanks also to paveway, yonatan, jean and many others.

@54 madmax.. scary article if indeed true, and i don't doubt that it is..

Posted by: james | Aug 17 2016 0:19 utc | 64

#46 it is unbelievable how American public is dumb down,russophobic..In theirs mind is Russia of 70's,60' is shame. Maybe pres. Trump will change it.

Posted by: sejmon | Aug 17 2016 0:26 utc | 65

B . thanks for the updates .. always the 1st site to check up on world situation here , i also read your comments on SST and it is rather telling that mr lang of SST instantly denounced turkish coup as not-from-CIA and making every possible retort to any post that push the possibility of CIA involvement in anything.. Lately he tried to counter your post by accusing you of american hating person..

be aware of the SST and it's supposedly anti borg posters , some are genuine but the colonel himself was ex intelligence in DIA and he will do what he think necessary to deflect any possible accusation to US intelligence , and try to put blame on civilian administration (eg State Dept, Obama, etc)..

The way i saw it , the colonel in SST are not to be trusted ..

Posted by: milomilo | Aug 17 2016 1:06 utc | 66

@ PWIV 47

Israel must attack Iran in the next six months before they lose the window provided by the restarted Iranian S-300 deployment. That window will close early next year when the entire system is operational….[.]They will attack Iran no matter what. Israel is still hoping to goad the U.S. or perhaps the Saudis into doing the job for them - that may still happen.[.]

PavewayIV, as with many barflies here I respect your comments. But your posit is the neocons' wet dream. It. Ain’t. Gonna. Happen. For the IDF Syria and Iran are now no- fly-zones.

The S-300 with air defense missiles is claimed in Israel to be operational. Iran expects system will be fully operational by year-end.

"Iran’s DF, Hossein Dehghan says Russian-made air defense batteries now in service, Tehran to start manufacturing similar system."

This strategic move by Russia and Iran means being joined at the hip. Btw, whatever happened with the recent shelling of Golan Heights by SAA with not a peep from Israel?

= = = =

This more than a chess move.

Posted by: likklemore | Aug 17 2016 1:15 utc | 67

Yes, love the map. Didn't actually read it the first time. Very droll :)

Posted by: DM | Aug 17 2016 1:21 utc | 68

@64 lm, 'whatever happened with the recent shelling of Golan Heights by SAA with not a peep from Israel?'

I saw notice of such an event at amn ... read more closely, it was shelling of the jihadis in the Golan inside Syria, not far from the Israeli occupied portion. Typical misleading headline from amn ... all the Russian oriented blogs/news outlets are addicted to cheap tricks. Doesn't contribute to their credibility.

Posted by: jfl | Aug 17 2016 1:26 utc | 69


Makes two of us! at least.

Posted by: jfl | Aug 17 2016 1:29 utc | 70

@64 Agreed, the window of opportunity for Israel as described by PwIV is imo closed if not only by S-300 deployment but Russia's access to Hamedan base.. Too late boys.

Posted by: Lozion | Aug 17 2016 1:53 utc | 71

@ jfl 66

re AMN, not in defence of these news outlets but it could be an EN translation nuance.

I observe Israel has been laying low since the RF said "enough of this conflict."

Russia’s “Permanent Military Base” in Syria: Moscow just tipped the Balance of Power in the Mediterranean
By Alexander Mercouris

[.] "That the Syrian government has wanted to grant the base to Russia on a permanent basis has been known for some time. From the Syrian point of view the Russian base not only guarantees Russia’s support for the present Syrian government but also provides Syria with a measure of protection it has never had before from Israeli air incursions. These have been a continuous reality for decades with Syria lacking the capability to prevent them. The Russians do have that capability and the Syrians will be hoping that because of the presence of the base they will now use it to protect Syria from Israeli air incursions. As it happens reports suggest that the number of Israeli incursions of Syrian airspace have fallen off significantly since the Russian Aerospace Forces deployed to Syria last autumn, with the Israelis now careful to keep the Russians informed of their flights.[.]

Establishing a permanent foreign base in Syria is for the Russians a major departure from their former policy given the Russian military’s overwhelming focus on defending Russian territory rather than projecting Russian military power far beyond Russia’s borders.[.]

= = = =
Connecting some recent statements on events.

“Establishing a permanent foreign base in Syria is for the Russians a major departure from their former policy.”

Imo, this is an opportunity taken over NATO’s encircling. RF indicated there would be a response.

Posted by: likklemore | Aug 17 2016 2:33 utc | 72

Russia is building a permanent air base at Hmeimim air base including upgraded living quarters for its personnel.

Posted by: V. Arnold | Aug 17 2016 3:01 utc | 73

Moral was low and positions were given up
Posted by: Ronald | Aug 16, 2016 12:52:37 PM | 25

People interested in figuring out what's happening in a world rife with cruel, cowardly, merciless conflict come here to find out what b is thinking. They do so because b is an excellent communicator who knows how to Keep It Simple, Stupid. They definitely do not come here for half-baked lessons in spelling and grammar.
The peccadilloes don't matter.
Pointing out how easy they are to decipher, to people interested in problem-solving (and not terribly fussy about their own spelling and grammar), is pointless and irritating.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Aug 17 2016 3:02 utc | 74

@64, @66 - 'whatever happened with the recent shelling of Golan Heights by SAA with not a peep from Israel?'

Syrian-Launched UAV Evades Israeli Air Defenses

Israel now knows that it can be penetrated and defeated. The Golan window has closed for Israel. Time to start learning to walk backwards. Time to start packing to move to Ukraine.


@40 Jean - "Watch the intensity of Yemen Houthis anti-tank missiles since the downing of the russian heli in Syria. All connected."

Thank you - and Magnier - for connecting those two important dots. I had wondered how the Russians would punish the Saudi introduction of MANPADS into Syria. I was watching some footage earlier of the Houthis destroying the Saudi army. Man, they don't waste ammo and they don't miss.

Posted by: Grieved | Aug 17 2016 3:06 utc | 75

The Russians are finally fed up with U.S. duplicity, especially in Syria.
This will play hell with Clinton's "no fly zone" among other neo-con bullshit.

Posted by: V. Arnold | Aug 17 2016 3:06 utc | 76

Good Enough is good enough.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Aug 17 2016 3:12 utc | 77

Whoa, and then there is this;

China actively involved inside Syria. This is getting really interesting, no?

Posted by: V. Arnold | Aug 17 2016 3:14 utc | 78

@64 & 68:

Both are utterly, completely correct. The entire gulf down to the southern Suez and even the Arabian sea are inside RAF stand-off weapons range now, so a decapitation strike against the house of Saud, however unlikely, is on the table. Haven't the gulf states been terribly silent on this deployment?

Posted by: wwinsti | Aug 17 2016 3:44 utc | 79

The Chinese overt involvement is a sign that something happened behind the scenes..

The chinese govt already angry with US vassals Japan and Australia , meddling in SCS debate.. Japan are led by warmonger that willingly become america's attack dog, australian govt is just embarassment , as they sell their nation to US for nothing..

The unwillingness of Saudi/Israeli to admit defeat in syria , and the stupidity of US in supporting them , will lead to a bigger regional war..

Think and Analyze why Erdogan was targetted to be removed by the coup ?

Posted by: milomilo | Aug 17 2016 3:46 utc | 80

And another article from RT on China in Syria.

Posted by: ben | Aug 17 2016 3:57 utc | 81
While agreeing that three-hour ceasefires are not enough to alleviate the humanitarian crises in Syria, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov pointed out that earlier short-term truces had only helped terrorists replenish munitions and their ranks.

“The main issue is not that there’s anyone unwilling to alleviate the humanitarian situation, but it is of utmost importance that terrorists would not be getting reinforced with militants, guns and munition supplies under the humanitarian aid disguise,” Lavrov said.

The Russian FM said that Moscow and Washington had managed to enforce 48-hour or 72-hour truces in various parts of Syria before.

“The main results of those pauses was an insignificant relief in the humanitarian situation, while terrorists added 7,000 people to their ranks, not to mention huge amounts of arms and munitions they received,” he said.

Lavrov made the remarks at a press conference following a meeting with his German counterpart, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, at Urals Federal University in Yekaterinburg on Monday.

Posted by: okie farmer | Aug 17 2016 3:58 utc | 82
Russia notified the US-led coalition about using an Iranian airfield and passing through airspace controlled by the coalition forces while conducting airstrikes targeting Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) terrorists in Syria, the Pentagon said.

Posted by: okie farmer | Aug 17 2016 4:16 utc | 83

jfl@57 "...You are so certain, Paveway. Why?"

I'm kind of doubting that Iran got the S-300PMU-1s as originally contracted years ago. They are going to be used to defend against Saudi Arabia, Israel and the U.S., all of whom already have somewhat effective jammers/countermeasures to those fossils and their older-generation radars. The Rostec CEO said that Iran insisted on the older models, but Iran would have been fools to fork over a billion dollars for an air/missile defense system their adversaries already have some idea how to defeat.

The contract was originally for five divisions of S-300s. A division is roughly the collection of dozens of launchers, various radars and command centers that work together as a complete system. A single division is spread out over hundreds of miles - there's nothing like a big SAM base that houses everything. All of a division's components are made to be mobile. Five divisions mean five complete inter-operable 'systems' and would provide adequate geographical coverage for Iran's borders considering coverage of their existing SAMs and air defense.

Iran claims it has just got the first division operational, so Israel and the U.S. probably just now have an idea of what they might have (and that's probably a guess on their part). Take 'operational' with a grain of salt - it will take the Russians months to train the crews to operate the entire division effectively. You don't just fire up the search radar and train the TELAR crews for a few weeks - it's way more complicated than that, even if Rostec started training the Iranian crews in Russia.

If the type of system was a surprise (I'm guessing it was), then Israel probably has little time left before Iran's air defenses become almost insurmountable - at least without great cost to Israeli/U.S. in terms of aircraft or missiles. The other four divisions will be delivered before the end of the year and operational/inter-operational by early 2017.

These are likely 'something' in the Antey-2500 family, but it may not match any particular existing well-known Russian export version. I'll just go with my hunch that it's anything but a plain vanilla old-school S-300 PMU-1. Nettanyahu is psychotic and paranoid enough to do something stupid before Iran has the entire five divisions trained up and working together. If he doesn't act now, it will take a couple of years to come up with a new strategy to get past Iran's air defenses. Israel won't wait that long - it sounds like Hezbollah will have plenty of free time on their hands in a few months.

Russian Tu-22s at Hamadan send an interesting message, but Israel isn't interested in taking out Iran's ancient F-4 armed air bases and certainly not any Russian bombers. They want to go after Iran's nuclear facilities, and the nuclear-tipped hard/deep target penetrators they need to use are not stand-off weapons. You can't fire them off from a hundred miles away - you have to get within miles of the target to use them. The alternative is some kind of ballistic missile, which Iran's new air defense systems may be able to stop.

I tried to tweet Nettanyahu for a clue on the exact attack date, but I think he has me blocked.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Aug 17 2016 4:46 utc | 84

Sorry about the italics in @81. I blame Mossad.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Aug 17 2016 4:47 utc | 85


It's obvious from the three Mossad probes into Crimea, the World Banks loans to upgrade E Ukraine roads and bridges to mikitary capacity, and the panmedia's daily squawk about the 'Russian attack' that in 5 months, whether Red Donald or Blue Stained Dress Hillary, your taxes will be supporting NATOs attack on Crimea, 'defending' (sic) those poor Israeli coup junta leaders in Kiev from Evil Bear.

Posted by: TheRealDonald | Aug 17 2016 4:50 utc | 86


You could be even more sardonic and observe that the NATO attack may be purely a diversion, and probing the new Russian TU-5 anyway, just to allow US Congress to approve $50B in 'war funding' to paper over illegal 'backstopping the verticals' to cover IMFs $35B in loan defaults and $15B in World Bank ear crime loans, that were never meant to br repaid, and all $50B looted from VA, MC Disability in July 2015 by illegal and unconstitutional THEFT by Congress, since Ukraine is NOT A NATO MEMBER.

We're gonna need a bigger lamp post!

Posted by: TheRealDonald | Aug 17 2016 4:58 utc | 87

The problems with polls in the West is that they've been largely discredited, especially regarding elections.
Posted by: ProPeace | Aug 16, 2016 5:17:17 PM | 48

It's called Push Polling. It's a well-defined procedure for hoodwinking voters (especially).

It's helpful, when assessing an opinion poll, to dismiss any poll which doesn't include certain specific information about the poll.

In no particular order, here's a list (probably incomplete).

a) Sample size.
b) Demographic - obviously cherry-picked targets, or not?
c) Precise wording of each question asked in the poll. i.e. open direct questions such as "What is your opinion of Candidate X?" seeks the target's honest opinion whereas leading questions such as "How much of an idiot is Candidate X?" does not.
d) Does the poll account for every answer received and list them in a summary ranking the strength of the pro & con answers?
e) Can you imagine the ppl who put their name to the poll adding bias to an unbiased question by using irony/sarcasm when asking it?

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Aug 17 2016 5:31 utc | 88

After bombers, Russian S-400s for Iranian base

This is reported exclusively by DEBKA file from its military and intelligence sources.

Moscow is getting set to explain to concerned Americans and Israelis that the sophisticated missile systems will not be put in Iranian hands but serve exclusively for defending the new Russian air base just established in Noji to house heavy bombers for air strikes against Islamist terrorists in Syria.

Our exclusive sources add that Moscow plans to fly over Spetznaz Forces to defend the new base.

DEBKAfile also reveals that the military and aviation accord reached between Moscow and Tehran covers the following clauses:

*Free rein for Russian jets in all parts of Iranian air space.

*License for Russia to operate long-range UAV’s from Noji air base.

*Permission to launch Russian cruise missiles through Iranian air space.

Given the tightening strategic cooperation between Russia and Tehran, one last step remains for Vladimir Putin to take as the final touch to the Russian-Turkish-Iranian alliance - and that is a visit by Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan to Tehran for concluding a military pact between Turkey and Iran.

Not sure I'd trust the accuracy of this story. For what purpose would the iranians give the russian free access to all of iranian airspace? Besides that, setting up S-400s in and around the airbase to defend their hardware makes perfectly sense.

Posted by: never mind | Aug 17 2016 6:02 utc | 89

Secure the populated regions. Wait for the Iraqi PMU to roll over the border and flush the jihadis into the Mediterranean

Posted by: Romulus | Aug 17 2016 6:05 utc | 90


Israel can launch a long range attack without Saudi support? I doubt it. The royals are risk averse and patriot is rumored to be allergic to kalibrs.

S-300 mpu1... Its a decent system, but not what the Iranians were really after. The Chinese turned the s300 into a patriot-favorit hybrid called the HQ-9 and Iran is supposedly in possesion of patriot radar tech. That's why the older version was insisted on.

F-4s? It's the tomcats that have kept the IAF at bay. They have little in the way of tactics that can counter an interceptor, especially given the bomb loads and ranges involved.

Posted by: wwinsti | Aug 17 2016 6:11 utc | 91

@never mind | Aug 17, 2016 2:02:29 AM | 86

"DEBKAfile also reveals that ....Not sure I'd trust the accuracy of this story. For what purpose would the iranians give the russian free access to all of iranian airspace? Besides that, setting up S-400s in and around the airbase to defend their hardware makes perfectly sense."

Check your sources, never mind if it's from DebAfile, it's fake an Israel's propaganda and disinformation. Me, including RT and many websites were fooled without first checking. I believed it was last year when DEBKAfile reported China's only aircraft carrier the Liaoning was seen in the Syrian port of Tartus.

Posted by: Jack Smith | Aug 17 2016 6:41 utc | 92

Elements of b's narrative just don't ring true. I'm not suggesting bernard is being deliberately deceitful, I'm sure he is repeating the story as it has been told to him, yet we know that the senior leadership of Iran's Pasdaran stressed to the Russian leadership that their experiences during the US' failed attempt to colonise Lebanon had taught them that the time that amerika claimed to be 'talking peace' was the most dangerous period.
That is when the amerikan imperial army seeks to establish a brutal war strategy while distracting the other side with a plainly lame offer, one that seems almost acceptable to amerika's opponents.

Russia needed to be doing the same back to the amerikans, but instead they have been behaving like a wage slave with $20 worth of lottery numbers, investing everything in an chance that is so remote it should never have been considered viable.

Too many Syrians have died because Russia wanted to believe in fluffy pink unicorns.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Aug 17 2016 6:41 utc | 93

@81 pw

You give the how but not the why ... Why would Israel bomb Iran's (non-existent) nuclear sites? You make it sound like it's over when Israel does so, but it's just begun ... here come the ballistic missiles on all of the cities in Israel. Just so Netanyahoo can pound his chest in between? I don't see it.

Meanwhile, the Kurds ...

Syrian Kurds: We Will ‘Cut ISIS’s Air Supply’ After Major Victory

“The SDF’s primary goal involves sealing the border. We will make every effort to cut ISIS’s ‘air supply’ by preventing them from smuggling fighters and weapons from Turkey. When we succeed in pushing the terrorists out of al-Bab – and this should not take much time – the SDF will be able to advance further west to the city of Afrin,” Abd Salam Muhammad Ali said.

Al-Bab has been viewed as a gateway to Aleppo that is currently divided into parts, controlled by the radical groups, including al-Nusra Front and Ahrar al-Sham, and the Syrian Arab Army (SAA). Abd Salam Muhammad Ali noted that Kurdish fighters are not going to clash with the SAA that cut all supply routes to the rebel-held areas in the city of Aleppo last month.

According to senior research fellow at the Center for Arab and Islamic Studies at the Institute of Oriental Studies, Boris Dolgov, the main purpose of the SDF’s offensive in northern Syria is expanding the de facto autonomous region of Rojava.

“The Kurds are openly saying that they intend to create an autonomous region,” Dolgov said.

In March 2016, the Kurds announced that a federal system of government in Rojava, a region that comprises three self-governing areas: province al-Hasakah, a part of al-Raqqa and Aleppo, has been established by them.

Looks like the Syrian Kurds are going for Rojava, no matter what the Russians, Turks, Syrians, or Americans say.

Is this going to the the US-Russian, Turkish combine operation? Against the Kurds?

Posted by: jfl | Aug 17 2016 6:55 utc | 94

Debsisdead | Aug 17, 2016 2:41:38 AM | 90

It would appear Russia's latest moves represent taking the bull by the horns (so-to-speak) and acting in Syria's (and Russia's) best interests.
Russia's moves in Iran lend a high degree of security for Iran and Russia both.
If this were a chess game; Russia just checked the U.S..
As I said way back, Clinton's "no fly zone" is a fantasy not realised...

Posted by: V. Arnold | Aug 17 2016 7:08 utc | 95

@ 92

Don't know about checked, but fine 'castle' move. Someone better get their cojones off that 'back 40'.

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Aug 17 2016 7:28 utc | 96

wwinsti@88 - "...Israel can launch a long range attack without Saudi support? I doubt it..."

Was this in response to one of my comments? In any case, it depends on what kind of support you mean. Saudi Arabia allowing Israeli overflight for an attack is unlikely to draw cruise missiles on the palace in response. Refueling Israeli jets gets a bit more dicey. Providing landing/staging on Saudi Airfields or directly participating in the attack is a different matter. I'm sure the Saudis would be enthusiastic supporters of an Israeli attack, but the Royals wouldn't stick their necks out too far. Iran will be quick to retaliate, and Riyadh or the Gawhar Field infrastructure are a lot closer than Tel Aviv. I'm not sure what to make of your kalibr comment. Why would Russia retaliate against anybody for an Iranian attack? They're not that kind of allies (yet).

"...The Chinese turned the s300 into a patriot-favorit hybrid called the HQ-9 and Iran is supposedly in possesion of patriot radar tech. That's why the older version was insisted on..."

Sounds reasonable. I'm just skeptical of Iran being able to clone or develop a native HT-233 and integrate it into the S-300 system. Maybe if it was just the fire control part, but even that seems like a stretch. That still brings up the problem of Iran paying for a number of Flap-Lid/Tombstone fire control radars that would be a normal part of an S-300 system. I can't imagine Iran negotiated the original purchase and somehow got Russia to sell them without their fire control radars. If Iran also managed to reproduce the HT-233's surveillance function and integrate that, then that means they have a few S-300 Big Bird radars collecting dust. I'm going on the assumption that Iran did purchase complete S-300 batteries, not just the TELARs. Does that sound right? I haven't seen much discussion of Iran intending to use their own PESA. I guess we'll find out soon enough. Still, I would think Iran wouldn't have insisted on fulfillment of the S-300 contract with Russia if China was willing to sell them cheaper HQ-9s.

"...F-4s? It's the tomcats that have kept the IAF at bay..."

My comment was in reference to Israel targeting the Hamadan Air Base for some reason. There are no F-14s there as far as anyone can tell. It has a squadron of F-4 D/E fighters and a squadron of RF-4s. Israel would have little reason to attack it, so the Russian bombers are not in any danger there. If Russian aircraft/personnel were not part of any Israeli attack on Iranian nuclear sites, then I doubt Russia would retaliate. They would be plenty pissed off at Israel (and/or the U.S. and S.A.), but it's hardly worth starting WW III over.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Aug 17 2016 7:41 utc | 97

@ V. Arnold and your chess game

It sure is interesting to feel the levers of power being moved in this global chess game of humanity. China stepping into Syria adds another dimension to the game or provides Russia with another queen, take your pick.

Given PavewayIV's scenario on the coming potential military moves of Israel, I would say that the pressure for a global restructuring of "power and control" has reached the critical stage. That said, us American viewers here at MoA are the only Americans watching. The rest are totally oblivious, atomitized and manipulable. The only communities in America anymore are those representing groups sharing common addictions to the consumptive behaviors of the day/week/month/second........back to the chess analogy, Americans make great pawns through the sick class structure and effective brainwashing/social manipulation tools.

Any guesses on timing of the big bang (what ever it will be)? Are we at T minus 6 months and counting? Maybe less? Maybe more? I have commented here before about the coming G20 meeting in China scheduled for September having the potential for being significant and I still believe that could be the case unless the US side precipitates a crisis that results in a non-nuclear war of some sort.

Another scenario that enters my mind is that the global elite have been arranging things since 2008 and now have their finances configured such that they win again when America is thrown under the bus as a war mongering nation and a few puppets are tried at the Hague. Since private finance controls the global movement of "money", the world remains their oyster.....and our chess game is for us little people.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Aug 17 2016 7:48 utc | 98

jfl@91 - "...Why would Israel bomb Iran's (non-existent) nuclear sites?..."

To stop their non-existent nuclear weapons development. Same reason they bombed Iran (and Iraq and Syria) before. They figure it would set the non-existent Iranian weapons development back maybe ten years. That gives them at least five more years before they need to start crying again about a new, secret non-existent Iranian nuclear weapons development effort.

"...You make it sound like it's over when Israel does so, but it's just begun ... here come the ballistic missiles on all of the cities in Israel..."

Israel would hide under the skirt of it's U.S. protector. Just like it did when it previously bombed nuclear facilities in Iran, Iraq and Syria. Any of those countries retaliating against Israel would have meant instant war with the U.S. That's the same dilemma facing Iran if their nuclear facilities were attacked today. Their retaliation would be viewed by most of the world as justified, but that wouldn't stop the U.S. cruise missiles from leveling Iran if they tried. Israel knows that. In fact, Israel is counting on that. Their missile defenses are enough to limit any damage from a brief, retaliatory attack. Flight time of the U.S. cruise missiles to Iran would be a matter of minutes, so any Iranian retaliatory attack on Israel wouldn't last very long. It's easy to be brave when you have the world's biggest bully to hide behind.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Aug 17 2016 7:59 utc | 99

@96 pw

I think they US/Israel ... and Paveway ... are all in for a big surprise if USrael were to attack Iran as you say.

I'm just on the sidelines, but maybe you're too fully envolved. You seem to have been drinking the same kool-aid the Israelis have.

I have no idea who's more nearly correct here. We'll see. I don't envision an Israel attack on Iran. If there is one, I see massive retaliation against Israel. Israel is a little country, There's nowhere to hide there.

Posted by: jfl | Aug 17 2016 8:36 utc | 100

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