Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
September 21, 2016

Syria - The Aid Convoy Attack Points To Further Escalation

The show-down over the damaged aid convoy west of Aleppo is reaching comedy level.

The UN/SRC convoy came from the government held west-Aleppo. It had reached a Syrian Red Crescent center in Umm al Kubra in the "rebel" held area further west where it started to unload. Something happened and many of the trucks burned or where otherwise damaged. Allegedly some 20 people were killed. The incident happened shortly after the ceasefire had officially expired. U.S. sponsored "White Helmet" propaganda teams where there when or shortly after the incident happened.

Here are various claims that were made about the incident (I am time restricted and will for now not provide links for each of these):

The U.S. and its allies claim that the convoy was bombed in an air attack. The Russians deny that they or the Syrians executed any such attack.

The "rebels" had various version. Syrian jets AND helicopters did it; "Barrel bombs" were used; a sustained attack over hours ...

U.S. Secretary of State first claimed that the Syrian did it, than that the Russians did it; helicopters had attacked. The Pentagon then came up with two Russian SU-24 fixed wing aircraft as the culprits. But the U.S. then claimed that the attack went on over two hours which is longer than a pair of SU-24 could sustain.

The Russians said neither they nor the Syrians attacked. They alleged that "rebels" attacked the convoy; that there had been no bombs, only damage from fire.

The pictures of some trucks show damage that is mostly from fire, but there also seem to have been some explosions and shrapnel impacts though no big direct hits. For me that leaves both possibilities open - an air or artillery attack or a simple local sabotage operation.

I don't know what really happened.

But independent from what happened is the question of motive.

Why would the Syrian Air Force attack the Syrian Red Crescent with which it has good relations and which also works in all government held areas? Why would the Syrian or Russian forces attack a convoy which earlier had passed through government held areas and checkpoints and was thereby not carrying contraband? I find no plausible reason or motive for such an attack. Nor has anyone else come forward with such.

A few days ago the "rebels" had accused the UN, which had goods on the convoy, of partisanship and said they would boycott it. "Rebels" in east Aleppo had demonstrated against UN provided help and said they would reject it. There was a general rejection of the ceasefire by the "rebels" and they were eager to push for a wider and bigger war against Syria and its allies. Al-Qaeda in Syria even made a video against the ceasefire. A part of the ceasefire deal is to commonly fight al-Qaeda. They naturally want the deal to end. The attack on the aid convoy seems to help their case.

The motive argument makes an attack by the "rebels" plausible and an attack by Syria and its allies implausible.

Kerry spoke at the UN today and performed some funny stunts that had the silly purpose of blaming Russia.

He said that Jabhat al-Nusra and Jund al-Aqsa are al-Qaeda and U.S. enemies and must be fought. He did not explain why the U.S. -for the last five years- provided al-Qaeda with weapons and munitions (via its sponsored "rebels"). He did not explain why the U.S. so far did not do anything about al-Qaeda in Syria. He did not explain why the U.S. did not order and forced its proxy "rebels" to distance themselves from al-Qaeda as it had promised at the begin of the ceasefire. Laughable nonsense.

Kerry then demanded a no fly zone over north-west Syria to prevent attacks on aid convoys. The whole UN erupted in laughter (silently). Surely he would love that. His "rebels" could then rearm, regroup and openly prepare for new attacks as they did under the first ceasefire in February. No, Russia and Syria will not again agree to that, nor will the UN Security Council. The demand was a lame joke.

But the gloves are coming off. The Syrian/Russian side is convinced that the U.S. willfully attacked Syrian forces in Deir Ezzor to hand the city to ISIS. The "rebel"/U.S. side (or their relevant public) will convince itself (despite lack of evidence) that the Syrian/Russian side is willfully attacking hospitals and humanitarian convoys. The words in front of the UN got markedly sharper.

I am afraid that we will soon see another serious escalation of the conflict. An incident between U.S. and Russian planes or something like that. This is playing with fire in a room full of dynamite.

This show is no longer about Syria. The conflict is now part of the U.S. election campaign. It is also about some very stupid need of some adolescent nations to prove to the world that their balls are the biggest. Stupid and deadly nonsense that will kill many bystanders and solve nothing.

Posted by b on September 21, 2016 at 17:04 UTC | Permalink

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How convenient. Russia/Syria just happen to attack an aid convoy only days after the US attacks, kills, Syrian soldiers in Deir Ezzor. Enough the keep Samantha Powers in a spinning tantrum for at least a week about nasty, evil Russia. The US only has good intentions, when grins.

Posted by: Quentin | Sep 21 2016 17:10 utc | 1

I believe that the Russians are about to take the gloves off and that they are not going to be concerned just who they hit back at. It will be a devastating strike showcasing their weapon systems sending a message to friend and foe alike. This time the world will know they are not playing and that they will not turtle before the Borg.

Posted by: Morongobill | Sep 21 2016 17:29 utc | 2

This show is no longer about Syria.

It never was.

Posted by: SmoothieX12 | Sep 21 2016 17:31 utc | 3

What if it was a US drone that did the bombing? After all those "pilots" playing on their Xboxes in those dark room in Langley are known to make mistakes?

BTW: From the Guardian:
The US is not revealing what evidence it has to support its claim that Moscow was responsible for the strike. However, northern Syria is one of the most intensively monitored parts of the world, with advanced military and civilian radars plotting every flight near the Turkish border.

Turkey has used its radar to track Russian planes in the area, one of which it shot down last November after it strayed across the frontier. Nato listening posts in Turkey and in Cyprus, where the UK also maintains a base, have been actively surveilling the conflict.

The dark arts of signals intelligence, which are used by all sides in this conflict, are rarely revealed. But they have been extensively used in private discussions to corroborate events that, often for political reasons, have never been revealed.

CIA screwed up or did it on purpose to divert from the Deir-Ezzor killing of 100+ soldiers on Saturday.Oh yes they are ready to pay compensation , how much $1000 per victim like Samatha Power did in Cameroon.

The US flag is already flying on some buildings in Northern Syria (Kurdish part).

Posted by: Yul | Sep 21 2016 17:38 utc | 4

Blaming Russia allows the U.S. to push the Deir Ezzor incident (proof collusion with ISIS) out of the news.

Posted by: Mike Maloney | Sep 21 2016 17:39 utc | 5

Saw this over at DW - A medical clinic was hit in the Southern Aleppo village of Khan Tuman killing at least 14 people today

Also, here's a link to an 'Unofficial' Translation by Al-Monitor of US Syria envoy Michael Ratney’s Sept. 3 letter to Syrian rebels on emerging US Russia deal with Syria -

NOTE: the first letter makes no mention of 'U.S. rebels' separating from AQ but the second one does.

Posted by: h | Sep 21 2016 17:42 utc | 6

Oh here comes BoJo:

Yep his country killed soldiers on Saturday and now he is becoming another poodle à la Blair.

Posted by: Yul | Sep 21 2016 17:43 utc | 7

b, thanks for finally getting to this story, which is probably going to be more significant than Deir Ezzor in the long run.

When I say “finally” I am not be facetious. I think most of us don’t come here to find out what the news is but to get some thoughtful posts and comments regarding the news. And it takes time to collect the facts and put them together, which you do really well. My comment in the prior post about who prioritizes around here was meant to be facetious but it came across really dickish – apologies.

Anytime “no fly zone” or any of its euphemisms go public, my blood pressure jumps 10 points. That is what’s going to spark the all out war here. The entire game now is about who will be the first to call NFZ, and then this conflict will explode like an ISIS Uber driver on his last run.

Hilton is already on the record for saying she’s going to impose a NFZ, because, hey, Bilton’s NFZ worked so well in killing 500,000 Iraqi toddlers, which was, in Madeleine’s words, “worth it.”

Kerry limited his NFZ comment to SAA and to places where the insurgents are operating. The irony is staggering. It was US who just bombed SAA troops – the troops of the sovereign government. It is the insurgents who are trying to take out that sovereign government, and Kerry is demanding that government be denied the right to protect itself. Makes any honest, objective person want to throw-up.

But Kerry is not the only one calling for NFZ this week. Edrogan has called for one in the north.

As for the convoy attack itself, according to RT, the UN is back-tracking on its characterization of the convoy attack as an “air strike.” The way to find out who is responsible is to go back and find the first internet post that claims it was an air strike. Whoever is lying about this thing is likely guilty.

It’s like Ghouta, you can be pretty well damn certain that the insurgents were responsible for the massacre because they were concocting the sarin myth within 2 hours. Nobody could have ID’d the toxin that soon after the attack. It would take many hours if not days to do that. It wasn’t sarin. Even the UN/OPCW idiotic and completely discredited report took weeks to come up with it's BS.

So when bullshit starts for flow, ya’ gotta’ go back to its source to see who the culprit is. I believe the White Helmets were first out of the gate on this one. If they are spinning the initial lies about an air strike, what does that tell you?

Posted by: Denis | Sep 21 2016 17:57 utc | 8

There are demands that ALL Syrian aircraft be banned from "areas of Humanitarian need".
I think this whole incident is one way or another related to stopping the Syrian (and possibly the Russian) Air Force from conducting missions, and thereby helping tip the balance in favour of the anti-government armed opposition. Possibly the start of creating a "Safe Haven/ no flight area" that the Turks in Particular are keen to have, in order to protect the forces that they back.

Posted by: hay | Sep 21 2016 18:06 utc | 9

I had, until the US attack on Syrian forces occurred last week, thought that there might have been some last vestige of sanity in Washington, despite decades of contrary evidence. What scares the shit out of now is the stark, unambiguous realization that all hell is about to break loose because a bunch of ignorant Beltway fuckheads and greedy ideologues in the Capitalist oligarchies simply can't understand a fucking thing. If they had one brain between them they would see this results in their own collapse. Granted, only after long suffering of others. The word for it is "evil."

Posted by: Shh | Sep 21 2016 18:07 utc | 10

Instead of trying to ceasefire, just wrap up the rat infestation in Aleppo, Idlib and Deir Azzaur to finish the job. Postpone all meetings, clean up and eradicate the terror centers quickly. Forget about west and GCC/Turkey to finish the work quickly. There will be no talk if work is completed.

Posted by: ChamCham | Sep 21 2016 18:08 utc | 11

As long as no one at the UN brings south sudan, yemen or erythrea (largest boat people contingent) on the table, it is a Western success

Posted by: Mina | Sep 21 2016 18:17 utc | 12

So here we go again.

i) Both the Syrian and takfiri ground forces were supposed to move 3km from the convoy route to prevent exactly this kind of incident. The SAA complied but the takfiris did not.

ii) Russia released a video segment claiming to show a takfiri heavy mortar team accompanying the convoy on part of the route inside takfiri-held territory.

iii) Video of the attack show it happened iat night. The SAAF does not have sufficiently modern aircraft to allow for precision bombing by night. There is no sound of aircraft passing over head during the attack. Takris were in position to film the convoy being attacked. White Helmets were there almost immediately to do their usual bs.

iv) The aftermath shows the trucks were all off the road and parked up at the time of the attack. This would facilitate pre-planned attack by those who knew where the convoy was going.

vi) Russia claims a US drone was in position to monitor the convoy and left shortly after the attack.

v) Western MSM were primed with an airstike story, even though there is no evidence to support it.

vi) The US changes its story of what happened multiple times.

The evidence supports pre-planned attack on the stationary convoy with the intent to blame Russia and/or Syria.

Posted by: Yonatan | Sep 21 2016 18:18 utc | 13

@13 Darn - screwed up my Roman numerals! I blame unlucky 13.

Posted by: Yonatan | Sep 21 2016 18:19 utc | 14

Just came across this excellent analysis by Felicity Arbuthnot on Dissident Voice

Posted by: Denis | Sep 21 2016 18:21 utc | 15

If you missed live RT broadcast, available now complete Sergey Lavrov and Kerry speeches and other UN Security Council members, September 21, 2016.

Starting Sergey Lavrov in 57.19, with liar Kerry 1.36:55 minutes.

Now available in Mashpedia LIVE: UN Security Council holds high-level meeting on Syria

Posted by: Jack Smith | Sep 21 2016 18:26 utc | 16

US-Military-Industrial-Complex Going Strong and Doing Fine.

Also Thanks UNSCR 2249!

Reaffirming that terrorism in all forms and manifestations constitutes one of the most serious threats to international peace and security

Posted by: From The Hague | Sep 21 2016 18:30 utc | 17

Also available in YouTube

Posted by: Jack Smith | Sep 21 2016 18:31 utc | 18

Negotiating with the US is a waste of time, they have one objective 'regime change' and they will use any means to achieve it, including saving the skins of the most obnoxious, reactionary, sadistic group of individuals on earth. Because the Russians where invited into Syria, they have international law on their side and should attack 'any' group using arms against the Government, including so called 'moderates' and any western embeds. If Russia backs down on this one not only will Syria be lost, but so also will Iran and Russia itself.

Posted by: harrylaw | Sep 21 2016 18:34 utc | 19

Has anyone heard anything else about this? Fact or fiction:

Posted by: jsn | Sep 21 2016 18:36 utc | 20

Can't believe some leftist writers are saying there's a divergence or breakdown of political/military command after Deir Ezzor mass muder between the Pentagon and the 'peacemaker' Kerry.

Kerry is selling a PR sham in the way the good cop bad cop routine works always with bad cops plans in place.

Ban ki moon - whore is the US, was hammering the as yet unsure "airstrikes" implicitly blaming Russia and Syria.

this convoy attack was a distraction for me for what the US did in Deir Ezzor, all it's also used to quickly turn back on Western Wall crime propaganda back onto attacking Syria in Russia.

And it's got nothing to do with big balls at all. If you don't know of the evil US Empires multi genocidal record in service of its hegemony and domination, then you got no idea. And especially with power rivals coming up like China and Russia.
That's why the idiocy of Russia inviting the US into Syria was self-defeating nonsense.

Posted by: tom | Sep 21 2016 18:45 utc | 21

With potential zero communications between Al Qaeda/ ISIL/other jihadist, and then the western media, all these terrorists could potentially commit an atrocity, and then the certainty comes in with the immediate western media will begin their warcrimes propaganda by absolving/not blaming the terrorists and then blaming Russian and Syrian government, Without investigation or evidence.

Of course a lot of planning goes on between the US Empire, it's allies with Its Syria proxy terrorists. But the western media is so criminal that it's not really for previous co-ordination needed.

Posted by: tom | Sep 21 2016 18:59 utc | 22

expecting the US to play by the rules is naivety of the highest order. See history for details.

Posted by: jezabeel | Sep 21 2016 19:03 utc | 23

I have a separate link that is reporting on that:

Posted by: ohmyheck | Sep 21 2016 19:03 utc | 24

I don't know if this is a pathetic attempt to show some backbone at this juncture or not ...
nyt: Obama Administration Considers Arming Syrian Kurds Against ISIS.
(note: I certainly would never expect anyone here to read the NYT, but I generally provide a link for anyone wanting confirmation/more on the story)

Elsewhere Stephen Cohen said that Clinton met with Poroshenko ?Monday (who was visiting D.C.) while Trump did not. Cohen says (aside foretelling from six more weeks or years of winter/new cold war), this was probably dumb move for Clinton since the Europeans (Merkel and others) see Poroshenko as dead-man-walking because of his refusal to honor Minsk (Noticed none of my usual sources even mentioned the meeting.) Has Clinton deigned to comment on Syria at all recently? If so, I missed it.

New word is that Iraq may be ready to strike Mosul in early October france 24 (which Politico dubbed "Obama's October surprise) -- which may create another wave to the syrian/migrant crisis to complicate things IN SYRIA (if nothing else) -- and WaPo says ISIS is facing "panic and rebellion" -- Wapo (09/21/2016) Signs of panic and rebellion in the heart of Islamic State’s self-proclaimed caliphate with allegedly an emerging resistance movement.

I remain vaguely hopeful that Obama and Kerry may preempt a Clinton foreign policy global victory stomp by "gumming up the works" with diplomacy -- be it ever so half-hearted.

Suddenly wondering about those 30,000 syrians massed on the Turkish border a couple of month ago ... more vague threats (even without mention of Mosul) of another surge of migrants, which given the European hostility/wariness could be an uncontrolled disaster -- big fire at Greek migrant camp and a border wall is being erected around Calais bbc: Calais migrants: Work begins on UK-funded border wall
(Calais now holds 10,000)

Looks like push may come to shove even before the election and the first snows. It is utterly infuriating how the United States experiences so little of the blowback from our aggressions ...

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Sep 21 2016 19:10 utc | 25

jsn @20, ohmyheck @24

Another report

Some time ago, Ziad Fadel (Syrian Perspective) has reported ~14 US SF advisors trapped inside Aleppo city.

Posted by: Yonatan | Sep 21 2016 19:12 utc | 26

At least Russia has gotten the UN to back off the assertion of it being an airstrike. Of course, that hasn't stopped the US's yammering, but take whatever success you can, right?

This attack, coupled with the Deir ez-Zor airstrike, has changed the character of the war. It reminds me of the days following the MH-17 attack. This is worse, though, with direct US involvement.

Putin & Lavrov must by now be firmly disabused of any notion of co-operation with the US. Very dangerous times as they move forward, and they must move forward. There will be no frozen conflict in Syria.

Posted by: woogs | Sep 21 2016 19:17 utc | 27
"US officials" insist that it was Russian planes, that the US had no planes in the area, and that US planes only attack ISIS. BUT US planes attacked Syrian forces in Deir Ezzor so that ISIS could move in. (Note the White Helmet man in the picture.)
Asia Times questions US motives
And Deir Ezzor "rebels" defected to ISIS

Posted by: Curtis | Sep 21 2016 19:20 utc | 28

#8 Denis
"The way to find out who is responsible is to go back and find the first internet post that claims it was an air strike..."

This NY Times story was not the first internet post, but the story was still breaking at time of publication.

This paragraph rang the BS detector:

"Witnesses and rescuers said the convoy appeared to have been hit by multiple airstrikes, first destroying trucks and then two more hitting rescue workers as they helped the wounded.

The tactic, known as a “double-tap” strike, has been used by Syrian and Russian warplanes. The rebels have no aircraft."

Referral to a "double-tap strike" had not been part of the common discussion of air attacks in Syria, but Samantha Powers specifically brought it up during her rant on Saturday night, and then coincidentally the tactic was alleged less than 48 hours later. Cannot tell if the "witnesses" used the term or it was inserted by the NY Times reporters.

Posted by: jayc | Sep 21 2016 19:21 utc | 29

There was a CNN article: previously linked ... ""No one has claimed responsibility for the attack, and it is unclear whether an airstrike hit the convoy or whether it was shelled.""
Apparently the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights declared it an aerial attack (same article)
cnn: UN chief calls convoy attackers in Syria 'cowards'.
This article was updated 15 minutes later (apparently) to say that the U.S. had declared it an aerial strike ...

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Sep 21 2016 19:30 utc | 30

And now:

(TASS) A predator drone capable of hitting targets on the ground was registered in the area where the UN humanitarian convoy came under attack in northern Aleppo on the evening of September 19th, the Spokesman for the Russian Defense Ministry, Igor Konashenkov, said on Wednesday.

"The Russian Defense Ministry has at its disposal, objective air situation monitoring data gathered on the evening of September 19th, when the humanitarian convoy was attacked," Konashenkov added.

"On the evening of September 19th, an attack drone belonging to the international coalition was registered in that area at an altitude of 3,600 meters."

"It was flying at a speed of about 200 kilometers per hour. The drone had taken off from Turkey’s Incirlik air base. Our air situation monitoring means identified the drone as a Predator," Konashenkov said.

Posted by: Dean | Sep 21 2016 19:46 utc | 31

@2 Morongobill:

The gloves are probably off already.

Posted by: rarevisitor | Sep 21 2016 19:55 utc | 32

Susan Sunflower @25 "I remain vaguely hopeful that Obama and Kerry may preempt...."

The only difference between Obama/Kerry and the more in your face war hawks, is that Obama/Kerry have understood the need for a fig leaf. Other than that, the US admin is as one. The fig leaf now seems to have been tossed aside.

Posted by: Peter AU | Sep 21 2016 20:01 utc | 33

@27, woogs

It reminds me of the days following the MH-17 attack

Actually, it is much closer to the template of 08-08-08 where there are substantial reasons to believe that Saakashvili was acting on behalf of John "We are all Gerogians Now" McCain. Albeit later Condoleeza Rice had an audacity to tell that she was the one who warned US stooge Saakashvili against his attack in Osetia. Since then, the situation changed dramatically and not in US favor. Some people call it October Surprise, others--something else, but it is much more than just pre-election ploy. US desperately needs Russia in some sort of fairly large scale combined arms operation. Anywhere. Again, people here completely ignore the other side of this whole play, which is Ukraine. The fact that there is no large scale hostilities yet (they are coming) doesn't mean that Ukrainian side doesn't try, it does. People die there every day and heavy armaments are near the front lines. How far US will go to provoke Russia? Very far but again, for all those who come to this blog--Russians are keenly aware of those fairly simple plans and Russia will continue to take "blows", but Russia is ready for that. Now, anyone here ever asked oneself a question on how European configuration would look like if Kiev junta, which is a US creation, will be able to provoke Russia? I can tell you one thing, Syria would look like a paintball battle between 6th graders. There is NO understanding of Syrian situation without keeping a very clear perspective of the overall state of the affairs along Russia's borders. Those here who call on Russia to "step up", to "respond" etc. you better ask yourself a question if you are ready to see your families burned to death, your houses destroyed, cities demolished? Russians are extremely well aware that most US political establishment, especially now is a collection of wannabes, who watched too much war propaganda and who have no clue about what real war is, Russians know everything about real war. And because of that Russian side will continue to act firm but rationally understanding that it deals with the bunch of crazies. Right now Russia is saving the world from the war.

Posted by: SmoothieX12 | Sep 21 2016 20:11 utc | 34

I don't think that either Kerry or Obama are willing to risk the sort of showdown in advance of an all-out World War that Clinton seems hell-bent on provoking ...Clinton has the arrogance (as does the Pentagon) that they will make everyone else "blink" ... but if another migrant surge sends European armed "ordinary citizens" (bouyed by negative polls and election victories) to guard the borders, conflicts with actual state military in those countries could be incendiary ... A full-on escalation to war also will lead to more migrants immediately (even unrest in the camps).
Too many battle lines. The ceasefire was/is everyone's best hope of maintaining some sort of status quo. Mosul may be upset enough. Will arming the Kurds "tip" Erdogan again (if it happens, rather than being a threat to get Erdogan to get his cooperation -- or just sop to McCain and Biden, WTF)

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Sep 21 2016 20:15 utc | 35

I do not yet know what happened, but our investigation is here:
Attack on Red Crescent convoy in Urm al-Kubra - ACLOS

So far I have found little proof for an airstrike. This is typical "activist say" disinformation. I would really like to hear from the survivors. Or are there any? It is weird that the SARC compound is suddenly full of White Helmets propagandists, with no SARC people to be seen or heard. Where did the eight SARC victims supposedly die? I am not even sure they were at the site when the "attack" happened.

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Sep 21 2016 20:18 utc | 36


The gloves are probably off already.

You will know immediately when the gloves will be off and not from some semi-official Iranian "news" agency.

Posted by: SmoothieX12 | Sep 21 2016 20:21 utc | 37

Well I'm a broken record but the holes in these in these stories of airstrikes are big enough to drive an IED laden truck through.

FARS says 30 US and Israeli advisors killed by Russian missile strike... bwah.

What we have now is dueling propaganda memes. What truly happens in Syria stays in Syria. For the rest of us it's all down to our imaginations.

Besides, when have you ever been wrong NOT believing news reports from any source whatsoever?

Posted by: C I eh? | Sep 21 2016 20:22 utc | 38

I'm with B on this -- the rebels have been holding their territory in part by "subjugating" the population ... by maintaining their dependence on the rebels to dole out things like food. Aid convoys upset that hold ... the "rebels" fighters have food and ammo. They likely also control the black market/smuggling operations.

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Sep 21 2016 20:30 utc | 39

The Daily Beast proclaims case closed based on "open source" information:

The article endorses a witness account saying there were three separate "barrel bomb" attacks by helicopters, six bombing strikes by military jets followed by two separate strafing runs by "jets with guns". The article also mocks the notion that expected damage from such an intense attack is not seen in the video and photographs taken afterwards.

Posted by: jayc | Sep 21 2016 20:33 utc | 40

More on the US drone from RT:

"“On the evening of September 19, in that specific region, a drone belonging to the international condition, which had taken off from the Incirlik air base in Turkey, was flying at a height of 3,600 meters and traveling at around 200 kilometers per hour,” said Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov.

“The object was in the area around the town of Urm Al-Kubra, where the convoy was a few minutes before it caught fire,” Konashenkov added. “It left after about 30 minutes.”

"...The Defense Ministry spokesman said he wanted to point out that, as was the case with the tragedy on September 17 which saw US-led coalition airstrike kill and injure 200 people, the Russians would not be making any unfounded allegations.

“Only the owners know what exactly the drone was doing at this particular area at that exact time,” he added.

"... In a statement Konashenkov said Moscow was compelled to disclose the “sensitive details” in response to the accusations made by US deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes, who has laid the blame for the attack on the aid convoy on Russia.

“This type of drone can not only monitor the situation, but also guide ground weapons to their targets and inflict surgical airstrikes at objects located on the ground by itself,” the Russian spokesman explained.

“Our western colleages are putting their best efforts to hype up the situation and 'blur' the tragedy in Deir ez-Zor and to distract the international community from Al-Nusra’s advance on Aleppo and thus cover the US incompetence in distinguishing between the 'moderate' opposition and terrorists in Syria.”

The US-led coalition air forces did not carry out any missions over the Aleppo area where the UN aid convoy was hit, Adrian Rankine-Galloway, a Pentagon spokesman, told RIA Novosti."

Posted by: Dean | Sep 21 2016 20:36 utc | 41

"I am afraid that we will soon see another serious escalation of the conflict. An incident between U.S. and Russian planes or something like that. This is playing with fire in a room full of dynamite."

MoA is right, and many others are starting to realize that the West' war on Syria is tipping into a much bigger war.

The East has drawn red lines but the West will not stop. The days of the East bending its knees to the West are over and for the East defeat is not an option. If the West does not stop its push to rule the world then nothing will be left after they bring on another world wide catastrophe.

Posted by: AriusArmenian | Sep 21 2016 20:36 utc | 42

@34 Smoothie - yes, agreed. Russia is saving the world from war.

There are plenty of western supporters, including in this forum, who want to urge Russia into irreversible actions, simply to satisfy their own impatience. They should spend more time studying how massively Russia is preparing for war, and how completely the true experience of real war, as you say, is completely alive in today's Russian culture.

It's obvious I'm a fan of Russia. But only because I see what she is accomplishing with such elegance and spiritual balance. It's very rare that we get to see her fight in a way that we in our armchairs can recognize as combat. What we've seen is a tiny, tiny fraction of what there is to be seen - and if we see the full measure, it's perhaps the last thing we ever see.

We all agree that the US is tangling itself up in its own lies. Does anyone note that the more the US enters into agreements with Russia, the more these entanglements become constricting on the US? Agreements and ceasefires are far from over. This last time, Russia won so many concessions that the US had to hide the terms. This will only increase. Russia is pushing the US into daylight. More accurately, Russia is enabling the US to do this to itself. Never interrupt your opponent when he is making a mistake. In fact, loan him your pen. All this is fighting, but it doesn't make good television and many people don't see it.

Posted by: Grieved | Sep 21 2016 20:37 utc | 43

@35, Susan Flower

.Clinton has the arrogance (as does the Pentagon) that they will make everyone else "blink"

True but only to a degree. Let me hone your otherwise good point: HRC and Pentagon desperately NEED somebody to blink and much of it comes from a bizarre mix of (yes) arrogance and increasingly subversive fear and lack of confidence. One can only BS someone through media and narratives for only so much but eventually even the average Joe has to ask the question: "where are the victories"? US cannot win conventional war in Russia's vicinity--NATO will sustain losses there, if the conflict remains conventional, on such order of magnitude that there will be across the borders revolt in Europe. I can give some spread on possible casualties in first month of that war--Vietnam will look like a stroll in the park compared to it. US can not attack and win China, hell, let's speak in broadsides--what about Afghanistan, what about Iraq? US squandered its image of military superpower in the last 15+ years, as Lt. Colonel Davies correctly observed it all became "tasteless arrogance" after beating fourth rate Arab military of Saddam in 1991. Any confrontation today between US and peer-to-near-peer or peer-to-peer adversary will result in a military catastrophe for the US. There is understanding of this fact in US but American hegemony is build around this (greatly exaggerated) military omnipotence. Take it away and what's left? Ukraine showed all that in full and then came Syria with Russia demonstrating the range of military technologies which US thought it only had. Well, ask a question what is the mood in Pentagon and its handlers?

Posted by: SmoothieX12 | Sep 21 2016 20:47 utc | 44

First, an article in a similar vein (the title explains it all) by Alexander Mercouris on TheDuran: Making up the news: How the Western media misreported the Syrian convoy attack. I'm not familiar with TheDuran but the article is informative and well-written like the ones produced here by b.

Second, the blessing/curse of being ex-military is sounding like a nut to most of you when I bring up these minute details that I think are terribly significant. Given that, take this for what it's worth:

There are several variations of the Hellfire missile fired from U.S. drones like the Predator. As evidenced by vidoes of Hellfire strikes beginning with the Iraqi war, one very popular flavor seems to be the AGM-114N variant. It contains a pretty energetic PBX-112 explosive charge surrounded by a layer of metal particles. Fine-mesh fluorinated aluminum in case you were curious. Without getting into the physics of it all, I'll just say that this design came out of research to produce a 'better' fuel-air explosive.

The Metal-Augmented Charge (MAC) Hellfire AGM-114N belongs to the thermobaric category of weapons - ones designed to kill/destroy by an extended blast overpressure wave rather than conventional explosive's overpressure spike. A secondary effect of a MAC/thermobaric weapon's hotter, longer-duration blast wave is that it's more likely to set things on fire than a conventional explosive. Not as much as a incendiary-purpose weapon, but more so than conventional explosives.

Isn't killing people efficiently by more clever designs fascinating? It is to Lockheed-Martin shareholders, but I digress. At any rate, plenty of info out there on the AGM-114N and theromobarics if you're interested.

Now, the MAC-enhanced blast of the U.S. Hellfire missiles produces an interesting visual effect at night. After the decay of an intensely-bright and well-consolidated blast flash, you can see what look like little sparkles at the edge of the receding explosion. The sparkles are residue of the burnt fluorinated aluminum that undergo a secondary burning, of sorts. It's very distinctive once you notice it. The Russians have thermobaric bombs as well, but they are of a different design and the blast usually looks different - non-existent sparkles because of a micronized metal powder, or long-duration sparkles on very large charges for whatever reason.

So (sorry, TL:DR already) I notice that many of the MSM-replays of the supposed rebel convoy attack video was edited in a particular way to mask what is plainly (to me) a MAC blast. The BBC reports are a good example. Their version is enlarged, shaky and blurry consistent with the poor head-chopper production standards. But it is an edited version of the much clearer original video. ABC must have produced their report before the censorship memo went out. If you look at only the first second of this ABC video and try to pause it during the blast, you can see a few frames with the visual effect I'm talking about.

So what am I yammering about that has any relevance here? This: If this video was shown to me outside the context of the convoy attack, I would guess it was a Hellfire strike somewhere. Now we hear from Russia that a Predator drone (typically Hellfire-armed) was loitering around the 'bombed convoy' area immediately before and after the attack. An attack that produced no crater (typical of the air-blast of a thermobaric Hellfire) and numerous fires (also more likely from a thermobaric Hellfire). Then I see the curiously-edited video on most MSM seemingly intended to obscure the signature blast of a thermobaric Hellfire. [adjusts tin-foil hat] I think you know where I'm going here.

Just to set the stage for the next chapter of lies, CENTCOM or the U.S. DoD will undoubtedly deny that a U.S. drone attacked the convoy (not that any journalist will bother asking). AS we saw in the SAA/Deir EzZor attack though, it's not necessarily a U.S. aircraft. The U.S. can deny responsibility if needed because 1) any of a number of 'coalition partners' have Hellfire-armed Predators violating Syrian airspace every day, and 2) all Predators of coalition partners are not necessarily under the command of their military or the CJTF-OIR coalition. The CIA, for instance, has plenty of armed drones in the Middle East. Not that these potential loopholes will be needed or used - the U.S. isn't bashful about flinging outright lies when convenient and difficult to disprove.

This isn't offered as any kind of proof the U.S. did it - it's just reasonable speculation. I'm sure our inquisitive and unbiased investigative journalists in the press will get to the bottom of this in no time.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Sep 21 2016 20:49 utc | 45

@jayc #40
The guy who wrote that article, Pierre Vaux is an editor at Interpreter Magazine
nuff said

Posted by: dan of steele | Sep 21 2016 20:57 utc | 46

I'd argue that the small number of casualties suggests something smaller and closer ... a drone strike, I think, given that the convoy was in the process of being unloaded, would have resulted in mass-casualities, rather than the reported handful.

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Sep 21 2016 21:02 utc | 47

Looks to me like the US has just manufactured a casus belli to regain both righteousness and belligerence, and by doing so to fortify its severely weakened negotiating position. Also, it makes everyone instantly forget that American "coalition" just killed 60 Syrian soldiers and maimed 100 more.

Posted by: telescope | Sep 21 2016 21:09 utc | 48

thanks b..."This is playing with fire in a room full of dynamite." exactly...

"This show is no longer about Syria." it never was..

@13 yonantan.. thanks..

@34 smoothie.. thanks.. yes, ukraine is just another ongoing area where the bear is being prodded.. ordinary people don't want war... unfortunately it is the ordinary people who suffer thru all of this.. there is still no accountability with regard the usa and company.. at some point there is going to be. i am a fan of patience and feel russia is doing the best it can here, but it can't last forever.. there will be hell to pay on the part of the west.. that is so very obvious..

@39 susan.. that is a given (moderate terrorists holding the people in east aleppo hostage), and that is just what the usa wants them to do, so they can scream about it 24/7... that is part of what these 'moderates' are paid for..

@45 paveway.. thanks... any lie will have to be covered up as best as possible.. i doubt we are going to find out the many details of these acts of war until way later in the game, sort of like finding out saddam didn't have the wmds that supported the usa's justification for the iraqi war in the first place.. the lying never stops.. i am too cynical to believe the usa wasn't behind this..

Posted by: james | Sep 21 2016 21:09 utc | 49

More info from Ziad Fadel on the Kalibr strike against the Anglo-Zionist C&C center in the west Aleppo mountains

"A Russian missile warship off the coast of Latakia fired 3 Kaliber cruise missiles at a site where a “massive” amount of electronic communication was monitored. It was near Daaret ‘Izza in the shadow of Mt. Sam’aan north of Aleppo and Barakaat Mountain to the west. It appears that the liars at the American State Department who were claiming they were in favor of a cease fire had over 70 terrorist spies operating out of caves and safe houses in the area directing terrorists in the war against the people of Syria and its great army."

He also confirms the RuAF airstrikes enabled the SAA to recapture the high ground overlooking Deir ez Zor. "Moreover, it appears the Russians were in direct contact with American military liaisons all throughout that episode."

Posted by: Yonatan | Sep 21 2016 21:24 utc | 50

Charles Lister now is offering talking points in Foreign Policy, lambasting the negotiated ceasefire and presenting advice of what to do next for the Beltway warrior class. To sum: Assad must go; all chaos in Syria is result of US failure to fully use its military assets; US military must directly attack and ensure regime change. He also claims that al Qaeda is not actually a problem to be confronted militarily, but should, at a later time, be challenged politically by offering the Syrian public "a better choice" in some form of elections. This lends credence to the idea that the source of the virulent opposition to the negotiated ceasefire was indeed the requirement to identify and attack al-Qaeda in Syria.

Posted by: jayc | Sep 21 2016 21:29 utc | 51

Was it Mutiny? U.S. Rulers Split Over Syria

The war hawks in the State Department feared that Russia and Syrian successes on both the battlefield and in world political forums threatened to doom their jihadist enterprise. In June of this year, more than 50 co-called “diplomats” signed an internal memo calling for “a judicious use of stand-off and air weapons, which would undergird and drive a more focused and hard-nosed U.S.-led diplomatic process” – diplo-speak for a bombing campaign against Syrian government targets. It was a Foggy Bottom mutiny of the militarists, on an unprecedented scale, by people who would not take such political risks unless they believed they were protected by comrades in high places and would soon serve under a more jihadist-friendly president.

The contradictions inherent in sponsoring international jihad have caught up with America, splitting its ruling circles and fomenting defiant insubordination within its military. Last weekend, the United States acted as an air force for ISIS, helping them to overrun a Syrian army base. It was not a mistake, not an elaborate ploy orchestrated at the White House; it was the result of a mutiny by the War Party, which refuses to wait for Hillary’s arrival to assert its will. Jihadism has wrecked the Empire’s system of government -- bin Laden’s revenge -- and brought humanity to the very brink of obliteration.

Mutiny is on the Bounty ... in governments it's called a coup.

@35 Suzie, 'I don't think that either Kerry or Obama are willing to risk the sort of showdown in advance of an all-out World War...'

Doesn't make much difference what Kerry or Obama are willing to risk ... they're not 'in charge' any longer.

Ash Carter

For his service to national security, Carter has on five occasions been awarded the DOD Distinguished Public Service Medal. He has also received the CJCS Joint Distinguished Civilian Service Award, and the Defense Intelligence Medal for his contributions to Intelligence.

Seems to me that Carter was a CIA mole at the DoD, activated by Brennan to get his way at the Pentagon. Brennan has always been Obama's 'mentor', no trouble for him to have his boy appoint his man - the CIA has simply taken control of the Pentagon.

@45 Paveway

You once expressed hope that some stand-up guys in the military would be the coupsters who saved us ... looks like the opposite has come to pass.

Posted by: jfl | Sep 21 2016 21:29 utc | 52

PaveWayIV @ 45--

Thanks for your exposing so much! Looks like the ember remains from a 4th of July firework right at the 0:01 mark.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 21 2016 21:33 utc | 53

Posted by: PavewayIV | Sep 21, 2016 4:49:44 PM | 45

Well, considering the DIME (Dense Inert Metal Explosive) weapons used by the Jews to inflict horrific subcutaneous burn injuries on Palestinian children 6 or 7 years ago, I have no trouble accepting that Yankees have similar high-temperature particle-cloud weapons available. And the fact that the Khristian Koalition Killers rusted themselves onto the "airstrike" theory before any other theory was even considered, let alone explored, is highly suspicious.

But, unlike b, I'm confidant that Syria will soon ask the KKK to dis-invite themselves from Syrian airspace - or else. The basis for this confidence is that the Russians all but accused the Yankees of deliberately targeting the SAA at Deir Ezzor and as b pointed out, the toll from that attack killed more Syrian troops than the number of IsUS goons the the Yanks have killed in the recent past.
The fact that the Syrian Govt, not Russia, announced the end of the COH is hugely significant, imo.
The Russians need to start reinforcing the legitimacy of the elected Syrian Govt. A good way to do that would be for Syria to tell the KKK to get out of Syria and for Russia to act as enforcer. Also, according to CCTV, Russia is in the process of deploying an aircraft carrier to Syria and aircraft carriers, being vulnerable to many kinds of attack need a huge amount of offensive and defensive support. So the carrier is just the tip of a very large iceberg.

Russia is taking the gloves off and we'll all need earplugs to mute the whining indignation from the Khristian Koalition Killers.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Sep 21 2016 21:40 utc | 54

Seems like, despite the furor, the aid convoys will continue.

It's starting to read (between the lines) that a rogue element did this and that Kerry and Lavrov agree with that.


The UN announced Wednesday that it is gearing up to resume aid deliveries to civilian population in Syria.

"The preparation for these convoys has now resumed and we are ready to deliver aid to besieged and hard-to-reach areas as soon as possible," the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said, Reuters reported.

The outlet also cites a member of the World Health Organization (WHO), Elizabeth Hoff, as saying that humanitarian goods are also being prepared for delivery to the people in the Damascus suburb of Moadamiya.

“The convoy is being loaded today and scheduled for tomorrow," Hoff said.

Despite the existing difficulties both Lavrov and Kerry agreed that there can be no alternative to the peace process.

"We should not give in to this blackmail. The talks must be resumed immediately," Lavrov said.

Posted by: woogs | Sep 21 2016 21:42 utc | 55

@20 jsn, @24 omh, @32 rv, @38 CIA

The Southfront story was from AMN. The AMN report was from Sputnik. The story from FARS has similar wording regarding the other nationals 'hit', in addition to the Israelis. Has more information, perhaps it has the same source as Sputnik.

You'd think that there'd be some confirmation from someone of Russian missile launches in the Mediterranean. The alleged victims' countries can be counted on not to say anything at all on such a story - neither to confirm nor deny, as they say.

I'm skeptical. I have zero faith in Sputnik. Southfront openly bills the story as 'unconfirmed' in it's headline.

Posted by: jfl | Sep 21 2016 21:44 utc | 56

I have to say that when I heard Kerry might want a no-fly zone, I felt real fear, not as much as on 911, but not far off. A no-fly zone imposed by the US means war. Escalating from Syrian planes shot down to direct US-Russian confontation.

Let's hope that's not what Kerry wants.

Posted by: Laguerre | Sep 21 2016 21:48 utc | 57

@56 LG

Kerry lost at Deir Ezzor. He just wants to be on the side that's winnin'.

Posted by: jfl | Sep 21 2016 21:50 utc | 58

@55 Even if the Kaliber strike story is true I doubt it will ever be confirmed.

Posted by: dh | Sep 21 2016 21:54 utc | 59

Seems like, despite the furor, the aid convoys will continue.
It's starting to read (between the lines) that a rogue element did this and that Kerry and Lavrov agree with that.
Let's hope it is that. Not obvious from the US reaction.

Posted by: Laguerre | Sep 21 2016 21:58 utc | 60

"This is playing with fire in a room full of dynamite."

True ... the Americans love to have someone (surrogates trained and deployed by [who else] the Americans) play with fire in rooms full of dynamite ... so long as the rooms are not American (notable exception: 911) and the dynamite was manufactured by the American Military Industrial Complex.

Truly a win-win-win for the empire.

Posted by: rg the lg | Sep 21 2016 22:04 utc | 61

@8 d, ' thanks for finally getting to this story, which is probably going to be more significant than Deir Ezzor in the long run'

You may be right, but for the wrong reasons.

@47 t, ' Looks to me like the US has just manufactured a casus belli to regain both righteousness and belligerence ... Also, it makes everyone instantly forget that American "coalition" just killed 60 Syrian soldiers and maimed 100 more.'

With the TNC media behind it and somatic acceptance activated at the billion points of reception, the US noise may be more significant than the Russian signal. As it has been.

But I don't think so. I think the truly alarming thing that's gone down here is the broadcast fact that : the civilians are 'no longer' in charge in the heart of the evil empire. That's got everyone's attention. The calculation of the implications of that fact has everyone's head spinning. Everyone's looking to see who's gonna save 'em from the evil empire off its meds.

The Russians are, if anyone is. They're the only other ones here. In fact, this very case of the UN trucks burning, proves it. The US' case has faded fast. The Russians' case has already superceded it.

The Syrian-Russian(-Lebanese-Iranian) team has become the home team. The US' is the rogue monster to be slain, before it eats the children.

Posted by: jfl | Sep 21 2016 22:26 utc | 62

Hahaha, Australia, Denmark, UK...**slowclap** must have been feeling very filthy to allow your name to be used to soften the sponsor-a-headchopper PR campaign. Cant wait until I'm asked to donate 30c per month to the White Helmets on the back of the corn flakes packet.

What an ally to Syria Russia is. The Russian long game of labelling and identification, playing it with respect to international law, crossing the t's and dotting the i's would pay pay the point where it's a dead PR loss to release the rules of the a ceasefire in order to protect something that was forever uncontrollable...?

Maybe not checkmate, but John Kerry's pants are down...and on fire. What a twit. Him and the class clown Bumbling Boris...the modern western face of diplomacy hahaha.

Posted by: MadMax2 | Sep 21 2016 22:36 utc | 63

@jfl 51:

The mutiny theory in the article seems to hinge on anticipation of a Hillary win.

Could be, but I think it's more likely (if that is the case) designed to irrevocably ratchet up the heat before a Trump victory, leaving him to inherit a mess he can't walk back.

Posted by: woogs | Sep 21 2016 22:40 utc | 64

Let's face it: multiple powers operating in Washington. Obama is no longer in charge.

It's unwise to act as though Clinton will win. She could well loose.

Posted by: Laguerre | Sep 21 2016 22:51 utc | 65

Let’s see . . . the presence of a Predator and allegations of “double-tap” missile strike. Now whom does that bring to mind? CIA?

Petri Krohn | Sep 21, 2016 4:18:24 PM | 36


What’s with the Jun27 heading in your CLOS aritcle? That link is dead so there’s no explanation of what you mean. Are you suggesting the footage we’re getting in the last 24 hrs is from an earlier attack?

Kerry and Edrogan call for a NFZ and the next thing ya’ know Putin is sending the Admiral Kuznetsov, which is referred to as an “aircraft carrier,” but it is not for attack aircraft, rather aircraft (Su-33) for defense of fleet assets. Expected DOA: mid-October. RT

BTW, those articles making the unlikely claim that RuF ships threw 3 Kaliburs at a bunch of Yisralis holed up in a Syrian mountain all show photos of a ship firing, you guessed it . . . 3 missiles. According to RT article above, that photo was taken during a training exercise.

Posted by: Denis | Sep 21 2016 23:03 utc | 66

Dang!..u guys dont see that the neocons game is going off the road!

Posted by: Nur Adlina | Sep 21 2016 23:26 utc | 67

It's really too bad that the Russian military is not all powerful...Otherwise I would suggest they simply destroy any Turkish or Israeli or Saudi or US capability to pursue their hateful agenda...

Posted by: kgw | Sep 21 2016 23:33 utc | 68

Umm al Kubra is a rebel held village near Idlib..... The entire pre-war population of 5,000 was either exterminated, or fled. Only jihadists are there at this time.
This locale has been the site of many propaganda pieces including those purporting to show children killed/wounded by the SAA.

The convoy in question was bannered "UNICEF" and the trucks were different, too.
As the Russians have said, the only evidence visible in the photos is that of burned trucks. There is no evidence of high explosive detonation eg: from bomb, missile, shell.

The timing could not have been more convenient, could it.. shortly after the US/NATO got caught with it's pants down over the Der El Azzor attack...
What I don't understand is why the 6+1 (Syria, Russia, Iran, Iraq, Hezbollah) don't impose a "No Fly Zone" over Syria for all aircraft other than those explicitly following agreed mission profiles.
I also don't understand why the Syrians allow humanitarian convoys of any kind other than those they operate.
I also don't understand why the Syrians don't tell the US/NATO to their face that the SAA is out to kill all the Whabbists...... and starving them to death is as good a way to achieve this as any........


Posted by: Dr. George W. Oprisko | Sep 21 2016 23:40 utc | 69


I learnt something new today! Evidently Kalibr missiles are used to target NATO assets. The deconfliction rules agreed with the US mean that Russian airplanes cannot strike any target where they even suspect Americans are present. If they did, the U.S. would be forced to start shooting down Russian planes. The same applies to U.S. planes, they are not allowed to target Russians or Syrians, not even by mistake.

The deconfliction rules do not prevent Russia from striking US assets with cruise missiles that are launched fro outside Syria. Shooting down Russian planes "in revenge" would be an escalation and forbidden. It would serve no purpose of self-defense, as the Russian planes are not threatening the Americans.

One can naturally ask why do Americans not use cruise missiles to hit Russians and Syrians? They already did on August 31, 2013, but were stopped at the last moment by the Russian Navy. Today Russia has even firmer control over the eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea. The Persian Gulf is also excluded as a launch site, as U.S. ships attacking Syria would be targeted by Iranian land-based anti-ship missiles.


Some Iranian sources are reporting on a Russian strike on Americans:

30 Intelligence Officers Including Israelis Killed in Russia Missile Attack in Aleppo

The Russian warships in Syria's coastal waters targeted and destroyed a foreign military operations room in Dar Ezza region in the Western part of Aleppo near Saman mountain, killing over two dozen Israeli and western intelligence officers.
Several US, Turkish, Saudi, Qatari and British officers were also killed along with the Israeli officers.
The foreign officers who were killed in the Aleppo operations room were directing the terrorists' attacks in Aleppo and Idlib.

At first I thought the story and the reference to Sputnik was a hoax, but here is the story in Arabic on Sputnik: (I cannot find this anywhere in English)

صواريخ "كاليبر" استهدفت قيادات عسكرية أجنبية في ديرة عزة بمحافظة حلب

"According to the source field of the province of Aleppo, that the three rockets from Caliber kind launched by the Russian ships that recently targeted operations room for terrorists in Dera Izzat west of Aleppo in the Mount Simon, which is famous for the harsh nature of the mountainous and contains ancient caves area.

The source for "Sputnik", the operations room with 30 leading officers of the Turkish and the US and Saudi Arabia and Qatar and the British army and the Mossad, running terrorist operations in Aleppo and Idlib." (via Google translate)

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Sep 21 2016 23:57 utc | 70

#64 Thanks La Guerre

You never know who you'll be dealing next. In fact, you may never be entirely sure who you're really dealing with right now. This alone may help plenty of current reluctance of Tehran and Moscow to escalate right now.

Trump's coming administration is a particularly interesting variable. We'll know by November if there will be more detente until the Syrian allies can work out if they are still dealing with an increasingly hostile Axis of terror (ie Clinton win) or maybe (and that's a big maybe) not come January 2017.

Posted by: Quadriad | Sep 21 2016 23:59 utc | 71

Some particularly horrible grammar (missing words and all) in that previous post of mine, my apologies to everyone. Going forward I'll check and edit more often before I commit.

Posted by: Quadriad | Sep 22 2016 0:01 utc | 72

@71 You should be OK. Ronald hasn't been around for a while.

Posted by: dh | Sep 22 2016 0:08 utc | 73

@45 (and following related responses)

The only problem I have with the "US did it..." is the implied underlying assumption that someone is in control at the top in the USA. I begin to think not. It may be more accurate to say "elements in the US" did it ... etc.

The empty suit stooge-in-chief (Wall St thief) is clearly on the 'golf course' while rogue and criminal elements in the control rooms are directing petty subversive agenda etc. The tone at the top!

I think this is the key recent message from the Russian foreign diplomat service -- not the USA per se, but rather the lack of civil and rational military control of it.

In a simplistic way I'd just say (by way of fact and metaphor): self funding CIA and drug running gun merchants ...

Posted by: x | Sep 22 2016 0:30 utc | 74

@63 woogs, @64 LG

I think the 'Hillary to follow' assumption is/was the neo-cons', not BAR's. Hillary is the neo-cons' girl, just as Obama was their boy. But, yes, if anything the 'need' for them to act now was even greater, if they see Trump winning. Carter will be gone with the wind that fails to fill Hillary's sails on 8 November. If Hillary does win Ash is in for the next four years. If not, he just continues, the moves ever more desperate, till the end of January.

@69 PK

The elimination of a foreign control room would be good if it were true ... so far just one source, though, as far as I can see. If not, it is a cleverly chosen piece of propaganda in that it is in no danger of being denied, or confirmed, by the target states themselves. It just pops up, reminds everyone that such a thing might have happened, then fades away, leaving a glow in the dark like the remnants of an 'enhanced' thermobaric explosion. Or whatever they're called. The fact that the Israelis are 'credited' with by far the biggest presence and so with the most deaths is interesting, in either case, isn't it.

Posted by: jfl | Sep 22 2016 0:38 utc | 75

It's really too bad that the Russian military is not all powerful...
Posted by: kgw | Sep 21, 2016 7:33:42 PM | 67

They don't have to be. With AmeriKKKa's record of cowardice, bluster and incompetence, the Pentagoons would be shitting themselves at the prospect of swapping counter-attacks with Russia. Vietnam was powerful enough to humiliate France and made AmeriKKKa look feebler than France.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Sep 22 2016 0:43 utc | 76

@74 Re, Russian cruise missile strike. I'll believe it when I see the grieving Israeli mothers in the Jerusalem Post.

Posted by: dh | Sep 22 2016 0:51 utc | 77

@76 that would come under the heading of 'never dismiss anything until it's officially been confirmed' for me

Posted by: jfl | Sep 22 2016 1:00 utc | 78

Battle for Deir Ezzor takes a turn for the worse as ISIS captures Jabal Thardeh

DEIR EZZOR, SYRIA (3:05 A.M.) - The Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS) launched a major offensive in southwest Deir Ezzor on Wednesday, targeting the strategic Thardeh Mountains at the western rim of the provincial capital.

ISIS launched their offensive from Point 3 at Jabal Thardeh, striking the Syrian Arab Army's (SAA) defenses along points 1 and 2 at the eastern slopes of the mountain.

Following a fierce battle on Wednesday, the Islamic State terrorists were able to establish full control over the entire mountaintop, leaving them within striking distance of both the Deir Ezzor Military Airbase and provincial capital.

In response to the Islamic State's advances, the Syrian Arab Army's 137th Artillery Brigade of the 17th Reserve Division has requested reinforcements from Deir Ezzor City, where the Republican Guard units are currently on the offensive near the Euphrates River.

Much of the Islamic State's success is a result of the U.S.' airstrikes that fractured the Syrian Arab Army's defenses at Jabal Thardeh.

Further escalation, the result of the joint IS/USAF strike against the Syrians at Deir Ezzor.

Posted by: jfl | Sep 22 2016 1:09 utc | 79

Re: Posted by: jezabeel | Sep 21, 2016 3:03:08 PM | 23

Expecting the US to play by the rules is naivety of the highest order. See history for details.

To be fair to the US here, there is a saying that is accurate. "All's fair in love and war."

This is war, so you have to expect they'll try anything and everything.

Surely everyone here has cut down a love rival in an unseemly manner. It gives a certain type of satisfaction to destroy a relationship one does not approve of for very personal reasons.


"All's fair in love and war."

Posted by: Julian | Sep 22 2016 1:09 utc | 80

Folks, I posted this on the Open Thread but want to talk more about it within this context

MoA readers & b

I saw the movie Snowden today and highly recommended it to all. Not all Americans are bad and hopefully this will wake a few more up.

James Clapper lied to the US Senate and the American public about spying but the real story is the TIA (Total Information Awareness) exists and is a weapon of human slavery.......Those that never read about the Nuremberg trials after WWII are allowing war crimes on that scale and worse to happen again.

If the movie Snowden is successful then maybe change for the better is possible......where is my hopium pipe?


So my comment to this thread is that I think we are living in a semi-permanent "Wag the Dog" world where the public is being told one thing while a totally different thing or things are happening. The other take away from the movie that I don't want to admit is that the public is dumbed down enough to take security over privacy.......gag!

Posted by: psychohistorian | Sep 22 2016 1:11 utc | 81

Iraqi finance minister sacked, risking economic fallout

Parliament voted 158-77 to withdraw confidence from Zebari, two lawmakers said, after questioning him last month about alleged corruption and misusing public funds, which he denies.

Zebari, a Kurd who previously served for years as Iraq's foreign minister, has recently led high-level negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a loan deal and with international lenders for a Eurobond.

Sarhan Ahmed, a member of parliament's finance committee, said the decision would "shake confidence" between the IMF and the Baghdad government.

"Today's move will undermine the ongoing efforts by Iraq to convince the IMF and other lenders it has a stable economic and political atmosphere," Ahmed told Reuters.

Now is the time to throw this whole boatload of compradors, working with the IMF to turn Iraq into Greece, overboard.

What country is more justified in abrogating debt to the West? Well, there's a long line of them now, devastated and destroyed by the West. Throw the traitors out, get with the Russians and Chinese and build a new financial foundation under the Iraqi economy, and throw the West out. Iraqis are awaiting your call, Muqtada al-Sadr.

Posted by: jfl | Sep 22 2016 1:20 utc | 82

This strike seems to have grown -- or I failed to realize how much the story had been updated
""Deliveries came to a halt after an air strike hit a convoy of Syrian Arab Red Crescent trucks in northwestern Syria Monday night. The bombing engulfed 18 of the 31 trucks in flames and killed 20 civilians, including Omar Barakat, the organization’s local director. The trucks were carrying UN-supplied food, medicine, and other aid to the 78,000 people of Urm al-Kubra, a rebel-held town near Aleppo. The attack occurred hours after Syrian forces called off a weeklong, nationwide cease-fire brokered by Russia and the U.S., who are on opposing sides of the civil war between Bashar al-Assad’s government and Syrian opposition groups.""
Associated Press (c/o ABC) is still updating

I had not realized it was so many trucks ... still the loss of life is smaller than I might have guess-ti-mated. Agree that the metal frame of the truck in the most seen photo does not appear much distorted

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Sep 22 2016 1:21 utc | 83

Don't think anyone's posted about this yet:

Russia asks for formal UN investigation of convoy attack

Colonel Lang notes, "I don't know what you see in this photo of the convoy attack site but I do not see evidence of an air attack unless the air weapon was something very precise like an armed UAV."

@jfl #51:

@45 Paveway

You once expressed hope that some stand-up guys in the military would be the coupsters who saved us ... looks like the opposite has come to pass.

I still think Obama signed off on this. Just because Kerry shows signs of wanting to end the conflict doesn't mean that Obama does. Black Agenda Report speculating that the generals are mutinying reminds me of Robert Parry writing for ages that there was an insurrection in the State Department, destabilizing Ukraine against Obama's wishes.

Posted by: Demian | Sep 22 2016 1:32 utc | 84

So then why not just tell the Americans to get out of Syrian airspace and territory?

Posted by: Jay | Sep 22 2016 1:51 utc | 85

@79 julian

The Nuremberg Principles

To initiate a war of aggression, therefore, is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.

Yeah, after you throw it all up there's no such thing a 'fair' or 'unfair' any longer, just devastation and evil. The US, as the aggressor, contains within itself at this point the accumulated evil of the whole.

Posted by: jfl | Sep 22 2016 1:56 utc | 86

I think the Kalibr missile strike may have happened already a month ago. Both strikes are said to have targeted a a command centre and a terrorist base in Dar Ezza = Dar-Taaza = Daaret ‘Izza.

See: Russian Warships Launch Cruise Missiles on al-Nusra Front Targets in Syria - Sputnik, August 19, 2016

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Sep 22 2016 2:31 utc | 87

@83 demian

You may be right, Obama may well be onboard. But he's not calling the shots 'anymore'. That last in quotes, because ... has he ever? That's not to dismiss him as the poor, manipulated dupe of the neo-cons. He's the potus and has the power to reverse all the evil he and his precedent psotus have done. He has never done it.

The difference now is that they are not even running this stuff by him any longer, he's slow-walking their plan - trying to 'repair' his 'legacy', he said that Israel cannot occupy Palestine forever the other day, so now they just do it. And now that's apparent to the 'civilized world' - the US/NATO world, the only one that counts to the TNC media and their targets. So now the rest of the 'civilized world' knows they're riding the neo-con tiger together, bareback.

The neo-cons have no compunction at all about starting 'a war' in Europe. It'll be 'just like the good ole days' to them ... 'over there'. The people 'over there' are the ones on the line with this neo-con gamble and they're going to bail out on Obama, Hillary and the neo-cons. They were nursing some fantasy about the tall, smiling black man in the White House, the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, but they're finally over it now, and the Danes at least should be cashiering their government, and the French and the Germans, not to mention Eastern Europe. The Willing Dupes have wakened and smelt the coffee. The US has been operating through its proxies, through its willing dupes, increasingly over the past decade until now it's incapable of acting alone, incapable of acting successfully alone.

To a great extent we Americans, willing dupes ourselves, have been buoyed along through all of this by the fraternal 'support' of the Europeans, by the solidarity of 'civilization'. The imperialists somehow masked their real program for decades. The support of Americans, too, has evaporated. The USAF as the ISAF is the irrefutable image of just how evil this neo-con crew really is. The real mutiny is a general counter-mutiny, and that's up to all of us. For us Americans it's no to Clinton, no to Trump.

Posted by: jfl | Sep 22 2016 2:37 utc | 89


I thought those mothers would have in fact been killed by the Kalibrs, giving them precious little opportunity to grieve.

Posted by: Quadriad | Sep 22 2016 2:58 utc | 90

@virgile | Sep 21, 2016 10:31:16 PM | 87

This is the correct link

Posted by: Jack Smith | Sep 22 2016 2:59 utc | 91

@45 paveway... do the russians have any hellfire missiles? or anything that acts like that?

Posted by: james | Sep 22 2016 3:01 utc | 92

Don't know if this has been reported on yet on this site but - according to this news item -


Posted by: curious | Sep 22 2016 3:16 utc | 93

it's official now...

"John Kerry wants Syria ceasefire extended to protect Al-Qaeda"

Posted by: Dario | Sep 22 2016 3:16 utc | 94

@ 93 dario.. quote from the link "The US says off-the-record that it was the Russian air force that attacked the convoy. However Kerry is demanding that the Syrian air force – which no one claims carried out the attack – should be the one to be grounded." funny that... grounding the us/coalition planes that collectively have taken responsibility for wiping out 80 or more syrian military personal would be the obvious answer here, but jackass kerry and his sycophant cheerleader samantha power are too thick and dripping with blood on their hands to consider such an option..

Posted by: james | Sep 22 2016 3:24 utc | 95


I know the question is not intended for me, but I hope the Russians don't have a $150k weapon which is more expensive than most targets that it's intended to likely hit and occasionally destroy. I know it's just a military Keynesian con but still it's too stupid even for Americans.

Ok, maybe not for them.

Posted by: Quadriad | Sep 22 2016 3:25 utc | 96

The whole attack on convoy is not important. This is only pathetic and boring propaganda. In Syria have been killed about 400.000 people since 2012. Who is to blame? The US, Obama, Kerry, NATO-gang, Israeli lobby and some US companies that make money on wars. Without permission and Obama's decision the 400.000 people would still be alive. Six years ago Syria was a normal country where about 2 million Palestinians found refuge fleeing from Israeli "democracy". We should just ignore the bs msm propaganda.

Posted by: imo nc | Sep 22 2016 3:32 utc | 97

Petri Krohn@69 - FWIW Petri, the reference to Saman Mountain and Mount Simon appear to be in the Mount Simon/Saman/Simeon Highlands/District, which is an entire section of hills/mountains around ~550m high. The tallest peak is labeled as the Summit of the Simeon mountains (625 m) in Wikimapia and sits about five kilometers north-northeast of Darat Izza [Dar Ezza, Dera Izzat in your quoted material but dozens of alternate spellings].

The significance of the territory is that both Mt. Simeon's peak and the peak of Sheikh Barakat (862m) are the highest two points north-northwest of Aleppo. They're about 25km or so away and would be the obvious points for both 'rebel communications' transmissions and SIGINT spying on Syrian government troops. If the U.S./GCC/Israel were setting up a comm shop for the head-choppers chopping around Aleppo, then either peak would be the obvious choice for antennas/equipment. These sites usually work by relay, so the 'ops center' part with foreign spooks wouldn't necessarily have to have been right on the side of the mountains with the transmitters. Somewhere in Dera Izzat would be my guess for that.

Without regard to the alleged strike, I'm sure Russia has been listening to them for months. Maybe they got tired of the chatter, extracted all the intel they could from the sites and decided it was time to shut them down. Or the Russians might have just been pissed after the Deir EzZor ambush and U.N. convoy-bombing ruse and decided it was time to punch the bully in the mouth. Whether or not the attack did occur, I would still expect that there were/are these sites in those mountains as a matter of course for mil/spooks.

In either case, the area is sparsely populated and it's not clear if anyone (but headchoppers) still inhabit the town of Dara Izzat. If this was a nighttime strike, then there's little hope of anyone being a nearby witness to the cruise missile impacts besides, perhaps, a few people noticing a series of large explosions 'in the mountains'. Rebel/Nusra sympathizers are unlikely to report it to the outside world. Russians are typically not boastful about their airstrikes, but they may come out and report it officially in the next few days. Barring that, we only have speculation. I simply offer the above because there most likely would have been these type of sites somewhere west of Aleppo, and a particularly good place would have been in those mountains.

As for cruise missiles, that's kind of a toss-up. If the Russians had accurate coordinates, then they could just as well have hit the sites with aircraft-dropped bombs or missiles. An aircraft-led effort would have been a few hundred thousand dollars cheaper than cruise missiles, but there could be other reasons they would chose to use cruise missiles instead. If the U.S./GCC/Israeli cronies managed to sneak radar equipment and SAMs up there capable of locating/detecting/hitting Russian (and Syrian) aircraft, then I imagine that would have provoked a pre-emptive Russian strike. Cruise missiles would have been a prudent choice. They are nearly impossible to find and take down without more sophisticated radars/SAMs.

[Just saw your post @86, Petri. Could be. The logical presence of these 'targets' for Russians would have applied then just as they would now.]

Posted by: PavewayIV | Sep 22 2016 3:38 utc | 98

The Americans are already killing the SAA, the only real escalation will be to kill the Russians. And I doubt even Ashton Carter is willing to go that far, well, at least I hope not.

Posted by: BiblesNBlowjobs | Sep 22 2016 3:49 utc | 99

@Dario #93:

"John Kerry wants Syria ceasefire extended to protect Al-Qaeda"

Well, I take back what I said above about Kerry maybe really wanting to end the conflict, unlike Obama.

@jfl #88:

I agree with everything you said, although I have reservations about following the usually valid vote third party rule. That's a long-term strategy, whereas we seem to be in a crisis situation.

Posted by: Demian | Sep 22 2016 3:55 utc | 100

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