Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
January 11, 2018

Syria - Erdogan (Again) Switches Sides - Delivers New Supplies For Terrorist Attacks

Turkey, in line with U.S. services, decided to block the current Syrian advance in south-east Idleb. Yesterday an ad-hoc alliance of jihadi "rebels" launched a counteroffensive to stop the Syrian army from cutting off a big chunk of "rebel" held territory in east-Idleb.

The Syrian army attack


The area of the "rebel" counterattack (green)


The Turkish and U.S. supplied "rebels" (see below) made a few local advances capturing some 12 villages of the 150 villages the Syrian army had recently liberated. They were soon beaten back. Some 50 Ahrar al-Sham fighters were killed or wounded after they ran into a trap. Some 10 Syrian soldiers have been captured by the enemy. Syrian and Russian air support is very active in the area and the Syrian army is again moving forward.

There is no mention or picture (yet) of al-Qaeda in Syria, currently labeled HTS, taking part in the "rebel" counterattack. Four days ago HTS published photos of its leader Joulini meeting with his military commanders to assess the situation. It looked bad for them. The squabble with other "rebels" increased. Two days ago Jouliani issued a statement that HTS would stop fighting other factions in Idleb to enable all to confront the advancing Syrian government forces. It seems that this was a condition for the renewed Turkish/U.S. support.

The counteroffensive could only proceed because Turkey (again) delivered hundreds of tons of weapons to the jihadis. New supplies of TOW anti-tank missiles, distributed exclusively by the CIA, have also been seen. (Turkey is also again supplying jihadists in Libya. The Greek navy just caught a ship going from Turkey to Libya with 29 containers full of bomb precursors, detonators and other bomb making parts.)

Here are some relevant tweets from the last few hours:‏ @Terror_Monitor 9:54 AM - 11 Jan 2018
#SYRIA #AlQaeda Affiliate #Uyghur #Jihadi Group Turkestan Islamic Party (#TIP) Releases Pictures Showing Its Fighters Against #SAA In Southern #Idlib. #TerrorMonitor
(pictures attached)

The Uygur terrorists were brought from west-China to Syria on official Turkish passports issued by the Turkish embassy in Thailand. On September 18 2015 al-Qaeda (Nursra, HTS) and the Uyghur jihadist group Turkistan Islamic Party stormed the long besieged Abu al-Duhur airbase and executed 56 Syrian soldier. It is this airbase the current Syrian attack in east-Idleb is aiming at. This time it will be the Uygurs who will lose their lives.

More on the today's events:

Ali Özkök‏ @Ozkok_ - 10:06 AM - 11 Jan 2018
#Turkey supplied Feylaq el-Sham militia with at least six armoured vehicles. This is a major indicator that Turkey also supports the massive counter offensive of rebels and islamists in #Idlib and #Hama against Syrian army and allies! I guess we will see soon some ATGM strikes.

Carl Zha @CarlZha - 1:36 PM - 11 Jan 2018
Syria: Jihadists launching the counter-offensive against the Syrian government forces in Southern Idlib with APCs, heavy artillery and rockets this morning. APC were provided by Turkey earlier
(video attached)

The Syrian army captured one of the the new armored personal carriers. The various pictures and videos show a variant of the Armored Panthera F9 produced by the company Minerva SPV which resides in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Ali Özkök‏'s remark, "I guess we will see soon some ATGM strikes," was prophetic:

Carl Zha‏ @CarlZha - 1:58 PM - 11 Jan 2018
#Idlib: Syrian Rebel group Jaish Nasr TOW attack on Syrian Army Tank in Maraq Hill this morning. Wonder who provided them with TOW missiles?🤔CIA is suppose to account for all TOW missiles supplied by Saudi 🧐
(video attached)
Carl Zha‏ @CarlZha - 2:38 PM - 11 Jan 2018
#Syria Al Zenki Movement (Jihadist who beheaded a Palestinian child in Aleppo) firing ATGM hitting T72 tank today. Turkish support have been crucial for this rebel counter-offensive against #SAA
(video attached)

There was some early announcement of new Turkish and U.S. supplies by the Gulf propagandist Charles "Jihad" Lister:

Charles Lister @Charles_Lister - 5:58 AM - 11 Jan 2018
Sources - #Turkey has provided new supplies of: - Turkish armored vehicles - SALW ammo - RPGs - Mortars - Grad rockets & launchers - Tank shells & more… … To all major non-#HTS factions, for the express purpose of today’s new offensive vs. #Assad/#Iran/#Russia.

Two days ago Turkey protested to the Russian and Iranian ambassadors against the Syrian army moves in Idleb. According to the deescalation agreement it is Russia and Iran that are responsible for the south-eastern third of the Idleb deescalation zone while Turkey is supposed to control the north-western part. That Turkish part was recently used to attack the Russian bases in Syria though the Russians believe that the attack itself was launched not under Turkish but under U.S. command:

Russia said it held Turkey accountable for the drone attack, calling it a breach of their cease-fire agreement in northern Syria, while Turkey accused Russia and Iran of jeopardizing the entire peace process by launching an offensive to take control of an opposition-held air base in the area.

The Russian Defense Ministry named the opposition-controlled village of Muwazarra in southern Idlib province as the location from which a swarm of at least a dozen drones armed with crude explosives was launched Saturday, attacking the Hmeimim air base and the nearby naval base of Tartus in northwestern Syria. Under the cease-fire deal, Turkey is supposed to restrain opposition forces in Idlib province.
The [Muwazarra] village remains loyal to the moderate opposition, but military positions surrounding it belong to the Nusra offshoot Harakat Tahrir al-Sham, or HTS, said another man who lives in the village and did not want his name to be used. The closest HTS base, lying in a valley to the east of the village, was destroyed in a Russian airstrike earlier this week, he said — after the attacks on Hmeimim.
Many Syrians and also Russians have speculated that foreign intelligence agencies with reasons to provoke the Russians may have helped a local group conduct the attack. “There’s a lot of fishy stuff going on in Idlib — agents running around, and groups working with groups they shouldn’t work with,” [Aron Lund, who analyzes Syria for the Century Foundation,] said. “It’s very, very murky.”

The "rebels" in Idleb also set up a website with 150 pre-scripted tweets about killed children and barrel bombed hospitals which their fans can distribute at will. In the next few days we will hear news of the destruction of at least eight "last hospitals" in the Idleb governorate ...

One wonders what the wannabe-Sultan Erdogan is thinking. He had tried to provoke Russia before by shooting down a Russia jet. Turkey paid a huge price when Russia stopped all tourism and trade with it. A year later Erdogan had to go to Moscow to apologize and to beg for relief. Does he believe that Russia will react less sharply now when he allows attacks on their bases and again supplies their enemies?

What was he promised by the White House or the Pentagon for taking that risk and for again changing sides?

Posted by b on January 11, 2018 at 19:15 UTC | Permalink

next page »

Russia states that Turkey was not involved in the drone swarm attack against Hymeim, but it was a provocation intended to put a split between Turkey and Russia. The explosives used in the weapons (RDX) cannot be made by amateurs and are only produced at a few sites, including one factory in Ukraine.

Posted by: Anonymous | Jan 11 2018 19:24 utc | 1

says in the headline

"Russia Knows Perpetrators of Attack on its Syrian Bases, It's Not Turkey - Putin"

They furthermore say

"Firstly, these are provocations aimed at the collapse of the earlier reached agreements. Secondly, that is also an attempt to destroy our relations with partners — Turkey and Iran. We clearly understand that, and therefore we will show solidarity," Putin said.

Posted by: Oliver K | Jan 11 2018 19:24 utc | 2

thanks b..

"One wonders what the wannabe-Sultan Erdogan is thinking."
"What was he promised by the White House or the Pentagon for taking that risk and for again changing sides?"

erdogan is not rational which makes him especially unpredictable... i am sure the usa would like to put a wedge between russia and turkey, as would a few other countries.. russia has to continue to play this game in the masterful way they have.. at some point erdogan is going to lose it and his position on the world stage.. but he has hung in longer then i thought he could..

Posted by: james | Jan 11 2018 19:30 utc | 3

"Firstly, these are provocations aimed at the collapse of the earlier reached agreements. Secondly, that is also an attempt to destroy our relations with partners — Turkey and Iran. " [Putin]

In diplomacy, it is typical to state wishes as if they were facts. The agreement, with secret details presumably, was breached, perhaps by both sides, perhaps only by Turkey, but Putin prefers to give Erdogan a chance to behave again, which would be better on two counts:

1. On the ground in Syria, at the minimum, it is preferable that Turkey breaches the agreement in a deniable mode, which means, not too much.

2. Economic agreements between RF and Turkey, suspension would be expensive to both sides.

But the reality is that while CIA was probably "instrumental", Turkey had to agree to larger scale violations. "Deniable drones" surely will pop up in very different places in the future.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jan 11 2018 19:52 utc | 4

Putin, just smash the erdogan pupil.

Posted by: augusto | Jan 11 2018 19:52 utc | 5

It is indeed a mystery since there is nothing Turkey can do to change the strategic situation in Idleb. The Syrian government is going to win it back and there seems to be no advantage for Turkey in delaying the inevitable by a short while and annoying Russia in the process. Presumably, Erdoghan wants to throw his own jihadists under the bus, but doesn't want to make it appear that way. And so he gives the some weapons to avoid appearing to have betrayed them.

At least that is my guess, and He has probably told Putin exactly that.

Posted by: lysander | Jan 11 2018 19:59 utc | 6


In diplomacy, it is typical to state wishes as if they were facts.

Good cop--bad cop. This is exactly what Putin and MoD play right now. The issue of non-cottage industry (that is allegedly some hi-tech) origin of drones is PR (justified) by Russia's MoD. The issue of "targeting" is not an issue at all and many good level hobbyists can manufacture such types of drones. This, of course, does not automatically precludes any external and highly technologically competent side, but Putin today gave Erdogan some opening. The attack on Khmeimim was most likely instigated by Turkish element.

Posted by: SmoothieX12 | Jan 11 2018 20:17 utc | 7

As a Brit "educated to rule an empire", I would suggest that Erdogan understands that the Syrian proxy war is coming to an end and he is now cleaning up Idlib. Within Turkey itself there is no place for the Syrian, Uyghur and other foreign jihadists so he needs them all dead. What better than to send them on a fool's errand and attack the SAA, provide them with a handful of distinctive armoured vehicles that are only armed with a heavy machine gun and some ATGMs and send them on their way to death and glory - hopefully a great deal of death and very little glory. Meanwhile, by seemingly offending Putin and Assad, he makes the fuckwits in Washington happy and they don't bring up the NED/IRI/NDI big guns. I'd say this was a zero sum game except for the dead jihadists but who beyond their mothers care one iota for them?

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Jan 11 2018 20:18 utc | 8

>>>> lysander | Jan 11, 2018 2:59:10 PM | 7

I quite agree with your hypothesis but would like to point out that I started my post before you posted your comment.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Jan 11 2018 20:23 utc | 9

#1. Since when has Erdogan / Turkey ever been a "reliable partner".
#2. Russia would you please hurry the delivery of the S400's to your reliable partner.
#3. An onlooking nobody's thought for V.Putin: Your love of terrorist created & maintained Israel will gift you never ending war in the Middle East and beyond, and will enable your's and Russia's final demise....on your own territory. + Please pay attention to your ethnic's ethics any remaining sane USA folks for this thought also refers to you....In fact it is work in progress.

Posted by: sadness | Jan 11 2018 20:31 utc | 10

I agree with Lysander that a Syrian victory in Idlib is inevitable...

Erdo may or may not be fully committed to the terrorist cause...but either way any help he can deliver to them in terms of weapons and logistics is not going to tip the outcome one way or the other...

It has been clear for a long time that transferring the terrorists to Idlib as they were rolled up in other areas over the past two years, was simply the prelude to having them all in one place before wiping them out...

That's happening now that ISIS has been routed...

I believe Russia is fully invested in this operation...and they control the airspace over these rats will be pounded to smithereens from the air...

As for the US and Erdo...sure they have a common cause in Idlib...the whole 'moderate rebel' slash terrorist operation in Syria was a mainly US and Syrian cooperative...

What can the US give to Erdo anyway...?

The Kurds and the former ISIS tribes that constitute the SDF Frankenstein is a house of cards anyway...the US has to grasp that last straw in its cold dead hand...

I also agree that Putin's diplomatic words regarding Turkey do not mean that Erdo is innocent here...

It's just the best way to manage the situation...which is in fact very much under control...

There is no need to worry...the rats' days in Idlib are numbered...

The most hopeful sign is that the general populace in Idlib seems to have had their fill of the bearded fanatics and the abuse they have suffered under same...

SAA and company will be welcomed as liberators as the populace seeks a return to normalcy...

This alone will make any kind of agit-prop like we saw in the Aleppo liberation fall flat...they can yap all they want about 'last hospitals' and they can even invent another Banana Abed...won't mean a thing this time around...

Posted by: FB | Jan 11 2018 20:48 utc | 11

@5 piotr and @7 lysander... i read it that way too.. thanks..

Posted by: james | Jan 11 2018 20:56 utc | 12

@12 FB

Very well articulated.

The whole "exposed" left flank of the current operation was an invitation to the greens they could not not accept, even if it was clear to them it is a trap to get them in the open, where they will be at the mercy of the VKS.

If you remember Aleppo "Mother of all batlles" which was a real meat grinder. Abu Duhur is a primary objective of course for its strategic as well as symbolic value. The more greens put to rest while closing and covering the salient, the better. It will act as honey to flies - they just can't resist it. Much better than storming fortified settlements/cities with lots of innocent civilians.

The 13 UAVs incident will give new impetus to the Russians to prepare for this (unfortunate) type of future combat. Putin sounded quite ominous when he said that they know who, why and wherefrom did that.

Posted by: BG | Jan 11 2018 21:14 utc | 13

"They were soon beaten back. Some 50 Ahrar al-Sham fighters were killed or wounded after they ran into a trap. Some 10 Syrian soldiers have been captured by the enemy."

Regarding the London Based SOHR, have you ever noticed that no matter what the time frame, they always report a balance of casualties that reflect, 25% Islamists, 25% FSA, and about 50% Syrian army + allies killed. That's right, no matter what the time frame is, or circumstances, the Syrian Army gives up 1 soldier for every militant they kill. This is just one more sign that they are pulling numbers out of their rear end.

Posted by: Christian Chuba | Jan 11 2018 21:17 utc | 14

SmoothieX12 @ #8

I agree with you that the drones could have been made by a competent amateur but the USAF electronic EB3 (or 4 or whatever they are called)lurking in the area strongly suggests Pentagoon /C.I.A. involvement. They were probably there to sweep up the attempts to hack - successful - the surviving drones. After the USS Donald Cook episode in the Black Sea back in '15 or '16 (& the largely failed Trump cruise missile attack last year)the US must be very nervous of Russian electronic warfare capabilities

Posted by: Kiwikris | Jan 11 2018 21:19 utc | 15

"a variant of the Armored Panthera F9 produced by the company Minerva SPV"

Minerva? Like the owl at Bohemian Grove and Epstein's pedophile island? They might as well call the APV the model "666".

Posted by: Heros | Jan 11 2018 21:29 utc | 16

Here is a slightly more extensive version of what Putin said:
Concerning the high-tech nature of the drone it is quoted there:

The unmanned aerial vehicles used in the attack on the Russian base in Syria were only disguised as homemade but were actually furnished with high-tech equipment, according to Putin.
"As for these attacks, they were undoubtedly prepared well. We know when and where these unmanned vehicles were handed over [to the attackers], and how many of them there were. These aerial vehicles were disguised - I would like to stress that - as homemade. But it is obvious that some high-tech equipment was used," Putin said.

Posted by: Oliver K | Jan 11 2018 22:33 utc | 17

Well that going really well.

Is there something in the back ground were missing. Is turkey getting weapons from the west and giving them to bad guys to only have Russia blow them up. Will the west catch on before the weapons are gone? Then again Amerikas merchants of death love this $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$.

Posted by: jo6pac | Jan 11 2018 22:50 utc | 18

Insane videos from the fighting in Abu Duhur area coming in.
Do not know on what side this reporter stands, but he was "reborn" at least once this day.

Posted by: maningi | Jan 11 2018 23:09 utc | 19

@FB | Jan 11, 2018 3:48:23 PM | 12

But, you took a great trouble in the previous post in trying to prove that these UAV were homemade.... the same kind any hobbyist would use.... In fact you sounded like an "expert" on the issue....Yet Putin is stressing that the UAV were disguised as "homemade".....

Then, "b" insist in blaming Turkey.....( I wonder where do you get out from all those twitter accounts from enemy side )....Yet Putin discards it...

Thus, according to Putin´s words, your general line here seem to favour the goal of the promoters/executers of the attack.....Why do you do this?

P.S: Since I saw you here, I noticed that you have left another comment at that old thread about Snowden. I will answer you during the week-end, I just have a few minutes to make a comment or two in hurry during the week...Still had no time to view Spy Sorge..very bussy with the Iranian protests issue... that took all my time during last weekened....I will try it during this one....

Posted by: elsi | Jan 11 2018 23:32 utc | 20

Putin's website somewhat cryptically reports about the phone call today, 11 Jan, with Erdogan: "at the latter’s initiative."

There's also the beginnings of a transcript to the meeting Putin had with the heads of Russian media that Oliver K linked to @2 which will eventually be completed.

Lots of motivation to insert a spar into the wheel of Russian/Turkish relations. Putin was forcefully forthright about Russia knowing the who and how of the drone strike. These are the relevant quotes citied by Sputnik:

"Firstly, these are provocations aimed at the collapse of the earlier reached agreements. Secondly, that is also an attempt to destroy our relations with partners — Turkey and Iran. We clearly understand that, and therefore we will show solidarity," Putin said.

"Concerning the attacks, we have no doubts that they had been well prepared, we know when and where these drones were transferred, as well as the number of drones," Putin added.

My Yuan is on the Outlaw US Empire being behind all the intrigue.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 11 2018 23:57 utc | 21

....and they can even invent another Banana Abed....

@FB | Jan 11, 2018 3:48:23 PM | 12

Oh, wait, how did you know? Is it that you have a crystal ball? LOL....

Another Bana Alabed, this time in Ghouta, a terrorist stronghold in the province of Damascus. Let's see what it takes for the Western media to include it in its propaganda and make it viral.

Posted by: elsi | Jan 12 2018 0:13 utc | 22


Fire at Trump Tower, New York ...

He already has his copy of "Fire and Fury"....OMG!

Posted by: elsi | Jan 12 2018 0:18 utc | 23

US may well have made a deal with Erdogan. He gets what he occupies of Syria plus Idlib (with US/CIA backing - intel,logistics ect), US gets to build its puppet state on the section of Syria it holds.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jan 12 2018 0:18 utc | 24

Elsi...I stand by my comments on the other thread about the homemade UAVs...

I explained very clearly what can be done with DIY and off the shelf stuff because I do have technical knowledge about aeronautics...and I also backed up what I said by comprehensive citations...

There is no question that many people I know...myself included...could easily build an aircraft like this that could fly 100 is in fact quite easy...

I also said specifically that the explosives and fusing mechanism are the only part of this kind of vehicle that is outside the knowledge base of aforementioned capable hobbyists...

However...many terrorists would certainly have explosives knowledge...

Putin said this...

'...These aerial vehicles were disguised - I would like to stress that - as homemade. But it is obvious that some high-tech equipment was used...'

Actually...the obvious part is not so obvious...

I have said already that the Russians should show those parts that are not readily available off the shelf...or able to be fabricated by knowledgeable hobbyists...[and I repeat again that many such hobbyists are in fact highly qualified pilots and engineers...]

The Russians have not shown this 'high-tech' stuff...they have shown only pictures of the airplanes themselves...but not any of the electronics...

Now I certainly believe Putin is a man who does not make false statements...he is not that kind of man...

However...we must consider that he is not an aeronautical engineer and would rely on advice on these technical matters...

I also believe that technical advisers that have Putin's ear would be very serious people and would not mislead him...

That is why I specifically left open the possibility that there may be some components in there that are beyond the sophistication that you can go out and order online...

However...I stick to what I said...making something that can do what those UAVs did is in fact quite doable for a technically competent person...

Another thing that should be mentioned here is that the Russians would certainly have very good human intelligence on the ground...even informers inside some of these 'rebel' groups...

Putin is emphasizing here that he knows who was behind the plan...that is very believable...

He didn't point a finger directly at the US...we should note that many of these terrorist groups have close ties to the Saudis...certainly the Saudis have people who can build this kind of stuff...and also show their 'students' how to do it...

I also said right off the bat that it is quite possible that these terrorists could have received technical guidance on how to build such a craft...

This is the kind of information that Russian intelligence may well have received...which would explain why Putin is speaking with such certainty...

We note also that this attack occurred on the Orthodox Christmas day...a symbolic slap to the entire Russian people...

I hope I am making myself clear...

Posted by: FB | Jan 12 2018 0:30 utc | 25

From what I understand of Idlib during the last 15-16 months, it was an AQ stronghold later filled with al Nusra sent there from the SW and along the Golan and Lebanon, and recently sent ISIS fighters to mix in.

Turkey had its contingent, Israel and US/CIA had its, the Pentagon/SDF sent some ISIS, and the fight for turf was on. That's what was going on for most of the autumn and early winter.

Now, the SAA has moved against Idlib, created boilers, and the RF Aerospace has pounded whoever was clustered or storing large supplies of ammo and new weapons.

Remember, thousands were bussed there with just their AKs. So anything heavier was from Turkey, US, Israel, Qatar or Saudi.

Now we have introduction of large weapons systems (and some taken from Syrians).

This was to be the final battle of the Syrian War 1.0.

It may be morphing into the first battle of Syrian War 2.0

Whatever; Turkey needs Syria and Russia in order to control the new Kurdish Republic the US is fostering for the North and East.

No matter what Erdogan may be trying to do or not do in this DEZ, he absolutely must remain allied with Russia, Iran and Syria.

Give this a week or two more. The Russian Generals are working on a new war plan to adjust things for diplomatic goals Putin intends. Geneva is in a week and then at the end of the month Astana meetings where the rubber meets the road.

If things don't line up the way Putin wants, the Russians will reshape the battlefield of Syria.
They are not about to have victory and mission to be turned into defeat or political fragmentation of Syria. There is Russian blood from every border to every border.

Turkey was saved against Kurdistan in Iraq by General Souleimani. Erdogan needs big help against the Kurds and US in Syria.

Erdogan has everything to lose. And I mean everything, if he screws with Russia. He will lose to the Kurds, he will lose to the US, he will lose his life, Turkey will be divided, and even the memory of his name will be lost to history as the greatest disaster in Turkey's history. And all this he knows.

Posted by: Red Ryder | Jan 12 2018 0:56 utc | 26

@28 red ryder.. bang on.. thanks..

Posted by: james | Jan 12 2018 1:27 utc | 27

Good comment by Red Ryder...

I would also add that Erdo really has nothing to gain by betraying Russia...

He was all in on the original US-led proxy war...but when that turned to dust he quickly changed course...

There is nothing for Erdo or Turkey in Syria or even Idlib itself...other than some domestic political base that is hostile to Assad and friendly to the Al Qaeda types...

But this pales in comparison to the huge problem of the US building a Kurdish statelet on Turkey's soft underbelly...

That is an existential question as RR points out...

That does not mean things are clear cut...they never are...

Any major power can go in two different direction on two separate issues at any given time...especially the US...who makes a habit of sitting on two or more horses at the same time...

Turkey and Erdo do have an interest in having some political say in Syria...they do in fact have a lot of leverage just by the fact that they are the one of the 'guarantors' in Idlib...

That is a card they have...and they are not going to give it up without something of equal value in return...

I see the situation between Russia and Turkey this way...

Putin would like to see Erdo fall into line and bring whatever 'resistance' is left to come to their senses and be part of a political settlement in Syria...

Erdo has a different prize in mind...he would like to see Russia fold up its tent and go that he can be the big man on campus in Syria...

We have to admit to this reality...

Posted by: FB | Jan 12 2018 1:39 utc | 28

“Don’t trust the three: don’t trust a woman, don’t trust a Turk, and don’t trust a non-drinker.”
Tsar Peter I

Posted by: Perimetr | Jan 12 2018 1:40 utc | 29

Red Ryder @28--

Most importantly, Putin has stated the Turks were not involved in the drone assault:

"There were provocateurs there but they were not Turks, we know who was it was… We know, how much and whom they have paid for this provocation."

It's possible some elements of the Turkish CIA were involved in providing the weapons and APCs used by the terrorists in their failed counterattack. Certainly, it's a most interesting kettle of fish. It would be marvelous to be privy to what Putin knows.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 12 2018 1:51 utc | 30

CIA the instigator and main mover, Erdo wants Idlib and weapons can only come in through Turkey. Rather than naming Erdo an accomplice in the crime, Putin allowing Erdo some face saving room prior to twisting his balls and bringing him back into line?

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jan 12 2018 2:07 utc | 31

Military matters are important, but so are talks.

On Russia's initiative, Russia, Turkey, and Iran have agreed to hold the postponed so-called Congress for National Dialogue in Sochi on Jan. 29-30. Moscow has stressed many times that the Congress is not an alternative to the intra-Syrian talks in Geneva, but is aimed at facilitating the Geneva process.

Who will attend the Congress? Lavrov: "The only way to resolve this crisis is to bring all the Syrian ethnic and religious groups, as well as political forces, together at the negotiation table, as required by the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2254, which stipulates that the Syrian opposition and government should make agreements through a consensus. This is the goal that the Congress will have to achieve," the Russian foreign minister said.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 12 2018 2:52 utc | 32

Everyone is jockeying and elbowing for position at the banquet table that is Syria.

Posted by: paul | Jan 12 2018 3:06 utc | 33

Never mind the high tech drones, it's the swarming tactic stupid! At night and in two waves on top of that while a US spyplane (command centre) is circling between tartus and latakia (kmeimin).

US's medieval cutthroat mercenaries with an average IQ below 60 wouldn't have the time or ability to learn that.

Now go on copy and paste what I just said as if it was your own ideas, parrots.

Posted by: mikhas | Jan 12 2018 3:18 utc | 34

@35 paul.. have you got a seat reserved?

Posted by: james | Jan 12 2018 3:54 utc | 35

@36 mikhas.. thanks for the russian mobs take, lol.. i was going to say i though mikhas was the name for a greek parrot, but apparently not!

Posted by: james | Jan 12 2018 3:57 utc | 36

Peter AU: War and rumors of war as the saying goes in the fog of war. However this I believe is incorrect "and weapons can only come in through Turkey". American bases are the weapons source for anti goverment forces whatever their name of the day is. Could Erdogan be funneling a traitorous double crossing proxy into the killing field is a possibility whether to atone to the Syrian alliance (Russia) or disposing of the former, that is what you do.

Posted by: GKing | Jan 12 2018 4:10 utc | 37

Turkey's 2018 elections could the explanation of Erdogan's latest flipe

The USA is preparing for serious sanctions on Turkey banking system after the indictment of a Turkish banker, Mehmet Hakan Atilla in the USA court. He has been convicted as guilty for have bypassed the sanctions on Iran, with the knowledge of Erdogan. This is a very serious case.
If the USA proceeds with sanctions, Turkeys economy will be shaken and Erdogan's party may surely loose the 2018 election.
The whole foreign policy in Turkey is rythmed by the elections. As the electoral support for the AKP party is loosing ground, these US sanctions will create a shockwave that may turn the voters against the AKP.

In the latest events in Syria, it appears that Erdogan made a deal with the USA to appease it and avoid that disaster, so he is again turning against Russia and Iran and obeying the USA. He also hope that this gesture will convince the USA to stop arming the YPG.
I think it is very naive. The Russians see clearly in Erdogan's infantile game and they will teach him a lesson by threatening to help the Syrian army to overrun totally the Turkish soldiers, kill them and kick then out.
Erdogan will surely suffer one more humiliation soon in Syria. An eventuel massacre of Turkish soldiers will signal the end of the Turkish adventure in Syrian. Hopefully that will make Erdogan loose the elections, finally.

Posted by: Virgile | Jan 12 2018 4:24 utc | 38

@40 I seriously doubt Syrian/Russian forces would target Turkish forces. There has to be some line of communication going at all time.
Erdogan has to walk a fine line to maintain stability. The Syrian situation is messy because there are in fact a lot of Syrians that detest the Assad regime. Let's not kid ourselves how Syria is run, when it was an outsourced location for 'intense' interrogation methods of captured jihadists while Afghanistan and Iraq wars were running hot. Assad might be a good leader or bad, depending on how you want to view timelines, decisions, and events, but those that are against the regime will probably stay against the regime.

I'm mentioning all of this because the Idlib region directly affects Turkey. There are lots of Syrian refugees, there are the Kurds, there are jihadists that could start to target Turkey if they strike out in Syria. Then there's USA,Europe, and whatever clandestine activities that they have going on. The coup was very close to succeeding, afterall.

Whether Erdo is playing both sides at this point is beyond me, because I simply don't know. I would think that his main interest is making sure that all of the main threats to his country/office are contained, while maintaining good-enough relations with USA and Russia. Russia's done a brilliant job of maintaining good regional relations while achieving their military objectives.

Posted by: aaaa | Jan 12 2018 6:46 utc | 39

I think the main problem is that Turkey and Syria don't see eye to eye. And are very unlikely to do that with Erdogan in power.

Syria has supported Kurds to threaten Turkey, same as Turkey has supported Jihadis. The Jihadis in Idlib are a problem for Turkey, too, except where they are "their" proxies. Both countries are linked by history, ethnicity, languages, religion.

Erdogan has to ally with Turkish nationalists so his options are limited. He is trying to get close to Europe again to counter the US (and Russia).

Posted by: somebody | Jan 12 2018 10:37 utc | 40

Very interesting, ghost ship!
From back lives incarnations, you´ve got sure a stream of turkish blood: your defense of Er--dog been wishfully brilliant.
But the average russian surely keeps thinking: well my ancestors were pretty wise in saying: never trust a turk.

Posted by: augusto | Jan 12 2018 11:37 utc | 41

Probably Erdogan is a Mossad/CIA agent. His mission is to destroy Syria, Iraq and Turkey because Israel wants to establish a pro-Israeli Kurdish state. Erdogan is a fake nationalist. In fact he looks more like an agent. Deeds, not words!

Posted by: deeds, not words | Jan 12 2018 11:41 utc | 42

somebody | Jan 12, 2018 5:37:13 AM | 42
Erdogan has to ally with Turkish nationalists so his options are limited. He is trying to get close to Europe again to counter the US (and Russia).

Again, utter rubbish; Erdogan needs Russia far more than it needs the U.S. or NATO.
Turkey is central to China's BRI; thus the west loses influence with Turkey.
Pay attention; things move fast these days...

Posted by: V. Arnold | Jan 12 2018 11:43 utc | 43

I would add to above: Erdogan is a playa; he knows his power and influence and wants to demonstrate his inependance; an illusory position, in the world of today; but the game must go on...

Posted by: V. Arnold | Jan 12 2018 11:56 utc | 44

Despite what Putin says for the official record, Turkey likely is responsible. It's election time and Putin tries to avoid sparking new diplomatic rows as much as possible.

Erdogan always has been an unreliable opportunist, nothing new. Except for Al Bab that seperates Afrin from the rest of the illegally US SDF occupied north eastern Syrian area, Turkish troops should completely be evicted from Syria. Erdo's behaviour probably just caused "some unforseen delays" in the factories producing S-400.

Posted by: xor | Jan 12 2018 12:00 utc | 45

Posted by: V. Arnold | Jan 12, 2018 6:43:26 AM | 45

There is equidistance between Russia, Turkey and Europe, I guess.

All of Europe plus Turkey depend on Russian gas.

Astana's conference "solution" to let Turkey sort out Idlib was never going to end well.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 12 2018 12:42 utc | 46

@47 the original article seems to be speculation on events. There could've been an ammo dump in Idlib for many months. There could be smuggling operations that the Turkish military didn't catch, or were forced to allow.
If Putin says that it wasn't Turkey, then it probably wasn't Turkey. There are multiple other countries that can design and deploy gps drones. It could be France for all we know

Posted by: aaaa | Jan 12 2018 13:28 utc | 47

@49 Right, not as farfetched as it might at first seem.

Posted by: Quentin | Jan 12 2018 14:16 utc | 48

>>>> augusto | Jan 12, 2018 6:37:07 AM | 43

This was nothing to do with incarnation, reincarnation or any of that shit. The headmaster of the English prep school I attended announced on speech day one year that he regarded his role as being to "educate pupils to run an empire". This would have been in the late sixties, quite some time after the British Empire had disappeared from the pages of history. There were various suggestions as to what his statement actually meant.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Jan 12 2018 14:24 utc | 49

South Front continues to chronicle Syria advances. We must remember that there are many thousands of refugees that are a factor in this warfare.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 12 2018 14:50 utc | 50

'aaaa' @ 41 said...

'The Syrian situation is messy because there are in fact a lot of Syrians that detest the Assad regime.'

Not as many as some in the West might have you believe...

There is no doubt that a sizable majority of Syrians do support Assad...this was evident even at the beginning of the so-called 'protests'...when these were dwarfed by huge pro-government rallies...

Now...after the ordinary people have been brutalized by the bearded fanatics for nearly seven years...the Assad support is greater than ever...

Also I have to note that you are conflating issues when you point out that Assad was outsourcing US torture of Muslim prisoners caught up in the US dragnet of the 'war on terror'...

This type of statement is is a meme of the West's agit-prop to demonize any leader whose regime shows any trace of authoritarianism...

Saddam was authoritarian...but that was necessary to keep order in the country...

Oftentimes...outside meddling and agitation from very powerful forces like the CIA and various NGOs...which routinely find various rebellious and even criminal elements to sponsor in their troublemaking... make it quite necessary to turn to draconian methods...

But what is America's excuse...?

This is a country where police routinely commit murder...and on in the cold-blooded execution recently of a young man named Daniel Shaver...who never harmed anyone...

A prominent law enforcement analyst and retired FBI agent commented on CNN that this was 'an avoidable execution...'

Daniel Shaver was a harmless, white young man...a salesman on a business trip...who made the mistake of getting inebriated and flashing a harmless pellet gun in his hotel window...

He was not some foreign-sponsored saboteur or political agitator of the kind that run afoul of the security apparatus in countries like Syria and Iraq...

This kind of comment like you made in regard to Assad and the torture really gets my dander up...because it is hypocritical bullshit...

The Guardian keeps a list of people killed by police in the US...every year it is over 1,000...

That is the definition of a police I don't need to hear any pipsqeuaking about Assad and his 'human rights' record...

No one can be possibly worse than the US...

Posted by: FB | Jan 12 2018 14:54 utc | 51

The Ukrainians are denying their involvement in the swarming drone attack although I haven't heard anyone accusing them of involvement yet. Ukraine did have an aircraft industry at one time so I guess the swarming drone attack was good experience for some Ukrainian aeronautical engineer to add to his CV.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Jan 12 2018 15:03 utc | 52

I never take Erdogan's rapprochements with Syria/Russia seriously. And I'd bet that Putin/Assad don't either. Erdo looted Aleppo and transferred the technology to Turkey. Reparations for Aleppo, alone, would cost Erdo a shipload of money. And that's not counting all the oil he stole. It's cheaper for Erdo to pursue the Syria Regime Change plot and try to quarantine some Syrian oilfields.
Putin/Assad are playing him like a fiddle with the ultimate aim of 'helping' him to become sufficiently unpopular to be de-throned by Turks with 21st Century aspirations, and more than half a brain...
Erdo is as crafty as Bibi, but he's also as stupid, greedy, and corrupt as Bibi.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jan 12 2018 15:13 utc | 53

Would be a tiny fraction of jihadis capable of building or flying even the simplest of drones. Not likely that jihadis rigged and flew the drones.

These soldiers of fortune are largely unskilled and uneducated (illiterate, perhaps) work for a few hundred dollars a month.

Many have likely have never held a gun. They do admire guns and they relish the opportunity to hold one and to fire one. And to earn money doing it - a dream come true.

There must be a team of smart guys to assemble, outfit and dispatch a set of drones like these.

Posted by: fastfreddy | Jan 12 2018 15:23 utc | 54

Furthermore, the excitement generated by being suited up and given a machine gun to carry; and to get on a bus and travel farther than you've ever traveled away from home in your life...

It's all part of the scam proffered by the paymasters.

Posted by: fastfreddy | Jan 12 2018 15:29 utc | 55

The US venture of the US in Syria is like diamonds -- forever (Washington thinks), and 'Assad must go' is back because he is "a magnet for terrorism."
Testimony Before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee
U.S. Policy Toward Syria Post-ISIS
Statement of David. M. Satterfield, Senior Bureau Official for Near Eastern Affairs, January 11, 2018

>The United States is committed to the total and enduring defeat of ISIS, al Qa’ida, and other terrorist groups in Syria and the region, ensuring that they cannot return.
>While defeating ISIS remains the reason we need to stay in Syria, our continued presence presents additional benefits.
>While Russia may consider the fight against ISIS in Syria over, the United States and our Coalition partners do not.
> A premature U.S. departure from Syria would enable ISIS to return,
>In eastern Syria, the State Department and USAID-led early recovery efforts are designed to help consolidate military gains, provide life-saving assistance to conflict-affected Syrians, and stabilize liberated areas.
>Until there is a credible political process that can lead to a government chosen by the Syrian people—without Assad at its helm—the United States and our allies will withhold reconstruction assistance to regime-held areas.
>Bashar al-Assad is a magnet for terrorism, and is incapable of democratically leading the whole of Syria.
>We seek to not only diminish Iranian foreign influence in Syria generally, but to protect our allies from the very real threat Hezbollah poses in southwest Syria to our allies.. .full testimony here


Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 12 2018 15:55 utc | 56


I would disagree with your characterization of these jihadists...

These guys come from all over the world...literally...from the former Soviet central Asian republics...the Caucausus...the Uyghur region in China...south Asia...even Africa...and not to mention the Arab countries...

Ever since the CIA started sponsoring the 'Mujahedin' in the 1980s in Afghanistan...these so-called 'Jihadists' have in fact been a kind of merceneray or militia army spread across many countries...

They have been deployed quite purposefully to many conflicts since Afghanistan...first to Bosnia and Chechnya in the '90s...then to Iraq as part of the 'fake' surge [in order to battle the Shia resistance]...then they turned up in Libya and Syria...

How do these guys jet around the world without any be deployed in their thousands in any given theater...?

There is ample documentation on how the same Afghan 'rebels' were deployed to Chechnya...the Russian security services have the whole bill of goods on that...I cvan list plenty of credible literature on this...

What we have here is the CIA and its Blackwater/Academi running a global mercenary army that is kept quite well trained and armed...very much like a the US National Guard...or the famous Swiss militia...

These guys are not hayseeds from the local area...where do their commanders come from...?

These must be officer-level trained...and they have shown themselves quite effective in combat...

Now we see them deploying UAVs that are actually able to be made with off the shelf components...but do indeed require aeronautical expertise...

This can be easily taught...

However...if the US is behind this...they will find that it is going to bite them in the ass...once these guys know how to make this stuff...they are going to turn it against the US too...

Posted by: FB | Jan 12 2018 16:06 utc | 57

Russia's MOD via Sputnik have published a very informative article about the nature of the drones used in the attack:

"'The General Staff carried out special research to identify the country, where these drones were produced,' Novikov noted.

"'The drones of this class could not have been produced in a hand-crafted manner. Specialists, who underwent special training in countries producing and using systems with UAVs, were involved in the development of these drones,' Novikov added.

"The Russian Defense Ministry called on journalists not to confuse the primitive assembly of these unmanned vehicles and the technical solutions applied to construct them.

"'One should not confuse the primitive assembly of the drones presented to you with the engineering and technical solutions used during their manufacture. The production of such deadly machines requires superior professional knowledge, practical skills and experience in operating drones,' Russian Defense Ministry's spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov explained."

In a separate article, the elimination of the attackers via guided artillery shell was announced.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 12 2018 16:08 utc | 58

Mercouris at the Duran has also chimed in on what Putin and Novikov said about the drone attack.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 12 2018 16:27 utc | 59

karlof1 @60...

Thanks for linking to that Sputnik article on the Syria UAVs...

This is indeed a good technical breakdown...Here is Gen. Novikov...

'...The research conducted shows that the radio electronic equipment installed on the UAVs allowed their automated, pre-programmed flight and ammunition discharge...'

You will note this is exactly what I outlined in my previous comments...both here and on the other thread...

I specifically said...

'...Beyond line of sight flight can only be accomplished by means of an autopilot system...this too can be bought off the shelf...

...Some hobbyists are even building their own autopilots for autonomous flight...

I also dismissed the idea of remote guidance in the terminal phase as was suggested by self-described expert John Robb...

Clearly...I was correct about the autopilot [ie autonomous flight]...and the lack of remote control in the terminal phase...

I was also quite accurate on my estimate of explosive payload...

'...A model airplane of this size could easily carry an explosive payload of perhaps several kg...I would say maybe three or four tops...'

Well it turns out that this was quite's Novikov again...

'...Those are improvised explosive devices weighing about 400 grams...Each drone participating in the attack carried 10 pieces of such munitions... '

Ten of those = 4 kg...matching my estimate exactly...

You will also note that Novikov does not single out the autopilot electronics as something that is beyond the ability of off the shelf or hobbyist capability...

Instead he focuses on the explosives...particularly the chemical used and where that might be sourced...

I had likewise stressed that the explosives and triggering part was the only piece of this UAV technology that is outside the capability of the hobbyist...

Novikov also says that the coordinates entered in the UAV 'control program'...are 'more accurate' than what might be available on the internet...

This may well be the case...but none of this refutes what I had fact it confirms my technical assessment quite nicely...

Posted by: FB | Jan 12 2018 17:08 utc | 60

FB you seem very well informed about what is required to construct a drone from hobbyist material available on the free market. Your plausibility arguments that these drones were home made has merit. But the Russian military seems to have information that this was not the case for those drones used on Jan 5. The Sputnik piece cited by karlofi seems quite explicit on this point. I would be interested in your take on these new details.

Posted by: Toivos | Jan 12 2018 17:18 utc | 61

@41 aaaa quote " Let's not kid ourselves how Syria is run, when it was an outsourced location for 'intense' interrogation methods of captured jihadists while Afghanistan and Iraq wars were running hot."
my problem with this aaaa is that is was the usa that was doing the outsourcing... if you want to paint someone black, keep in the mind the context of who was calling the shots and happy to work with assad - before he was this evil murderous dictator that he was later pointed out to be.. again, the usa has to be the most hypocritical country on the planet, and i ain't saying anything with the word shithole in it..

Posted by: james | Jan 12 2018 17:39 utc | 62

Toivos @63...

I just my comment 62...

But you said this specifically...

'...But the Russian military seems to have information that this was not the case [built from hobbyist materials] for those drones used on Jan 5...'

Actually you are inferring something that was not stated by Gen. Novikov...

'...According to the Russian Defense Ministry's analysis of the drones, captured after attacks on the country's military bases in Syria, shows that the experts, who created them acquired training abroad, in drone-producing countries...'

This is exactly what I have said from the first...

'...The suspicion is certainly there that the US is perhaps helping to coordinate some of this stuff...perhaps giving some RC training to some of the so-called "rebels"...'

As for the 'drone-producing' countries part...note that he did not say military drone-producing countries...

'Drones' is a non-technical popular slang...

Properly unmanned aerial vehicles are called UAVs...

There is not much difference between many military UAVs and the radio-controlled hobby aircraft that are flown by thousands of hobbyists around the world...

The smaller military surveillance drones are basically RC model aircraft designed to carry sophisticated optical and other sensors...

Take the Russian Orlan 10...

It has a mass of 15 kg and a maximum payload of 6 uses a small gasoline engine and wood two-blade is virtually identical in terms of its propulsion and airframe technical characteristics to any number of off the shelf RC model aircraft...and in fact quite similar to those attack UAVs under discussion...

It is quite clear that my technical assessment was quite accurate...Novikov has confirmed all of my points...

Posted by: FB | Jan 12 2018 18:01 utc | 63

karlof1 @61...

I wish people would not point to the meathead Mercouris...

This guy is without a clue...and has been wrong on everything...

After the Khan Sheikun staged chemical attack...he predicted that Trump would not hit Syria...

When Mueller was appointed Special Counsel...he called this notorious deep state criminal an 'honest' and 'competent' investigator who would 'quickly' put the Russiagate nonsense to bed...

After that fire in the London public housing block...he incredibly defended May's 'austerity' program...

The guy is a Grade A Idiot...

Posted by: FB | Jan 12 2018 18:40 utc | 64


Some guesses are so accurate and so detailed they could be
from the expert's hand itself.

Posted by: CarlD | Jan 12 2018 18:49 utc | 65

sorry, 65 FB not 68

Posted by: CarlD | Jan 12 2018 18:53 utc | 66

CarlD...what are you trying to say...?

Posted by: FB | Jan 12 2018 18:58 utc | 67


I myself wonder at your intimate knowledge (guess) of the mysteries
surrounding these artifacts.

Did you at any time consult, taught, guided, back of a napkin contributed to
a similar design? While at a bar sippin' some brew? did you unwillingly
contribute to the design of these marvelous pieces of ingenuity?

Of course there are probably a zillion experts capable of doing this feat.

I would never occur to me that you, you, FB, would or could be the one
that did it.

Posted by: CarlD | Jan 12 2018 19:15 utc | 68

CarlD says...

'...I would never occur to me that you, you, FB, would or could be the one that did it...'

Well...i know facetious when I see it... you really think someone who was involved in those UAVs would be posting here and using his real email...?

And no there are not a zillion guys who could do this...but enough...

Of course there is nothing I can do about paranoid delusions...

Posted by: FB | Jan 12 2018 19:42 utc | 69


I take it that you were defending the position of a US official
that said (basically) anybody could have secured these pieces
from civilian commercial sources.

Then you, FB started proving the assertion of that US Officer
by a lengthy description of items that can be bought over the
counter in any Syrian Wal Mart in their RC department or bought
from Amazon and delivered by FedEx.

And there not being a "Zillion" people out there that can pull
that kind of stunt, designing these long range accurate
pre-programmed UAVs/drones -it's a small community, isn't it-
you might even very well know -even by reputation- one of the
not zillion people capable of doing it.

As far as your real email is concerned, we do trust "b" to keep us
anonymous. Anyway, he who works for our Uncle has no problem
since he (our Uncle) is the danger to others.

An anyway, no prob, you are entitled to choose sides and have your
opinions. We respect that.

Posted by: CarlD | Jan 12 2018 20:15 utc | 70

FB, thanks for your comments. You present your case very well. I am simply a naive spectator here. It does appear that the Russians know some specifics about this attack and how it was organized that they are not revealing but are certainly giving some strong hints.

As to your attack on Mercouris (i.e. This guy is without a clue...and has been wrong on everything...) this is totally uncalled for. In 2014 during and after the Ukraine coup his analyses were some of the best out there. I grant that his understanding of US politics is a bit weak but that is not where his strength lies.

Posted by: Toivos | Jan 12 2018 20:25 utc | 71

Yes, an agenda exposed, certainly. OT yet related, the Outlaw US Empire's Imperial Senate has published a whopping Big Lie report [very large pdf file] nicely timed with the drone swarm attack, and well dissected by The Duran's "Meathead" Alexander Mercouris. Here's the document's opening paragraph:

"DEAR COLLEAGUES: For years, Vladimir Putin’s government has engaged in a relentless assault to undermine democracy and the rule of law in Europe and the United States. Mr. Putin’s Kremlin employs an asymmetric arsenal that includes military invasions, cyberattacks, disinformation, support for fringe political groups, and the weaponization of energy resources, organized crime, and corruption. The Kremlin has refined the use of these tools over time and these attacks have intensified in scale and complexity across Europe. If the United States fails to work with urgency to address this complex and growing threat, the regime in Moscow will become further emboldened. It will continue to develop and refine its arsenal to use on democracies around the world, including against U.S. elections in 2018 and 2020."

It gets worse from there as the 2nd paragraph exposes the fact that the "report" is actually an attack against Trump [not that I like him]. And of course, you'll all have noted the massive amount of Projection displayed in the opening graph. Clearly, the senators and their staff that produced this massive Big Lie are worse than deluded; I'd say they constitute a danger to every living being on the planet--far more so than Trump and even McCain.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 12 2018 20:36 utc | 72

Canthama's end of day report:

"The day ends with a massive victory for the allied forces in Syria.
1) Over 30 villages liberated in al Hass plateau, nbrs are still counting, it could be more. Saturday may see consolidation and some gains again. Crossroads and roads are vital on the plateau.
2) The TFs defended a fierce attack on its western flank of Abu Duhur (two VBEIDs), holding the ground, while managed to liberate all villages east of the airbase, there is only 1 village on the NE corner that once it is controlled the airbase will be handed over almost without a bullet during the weekend.
3) Overnight, the coalition of blood thirsty terrorists sent VBIEDs around Sinjar western flank only to meet TOWs/ATGMs on its way, major losses on the terrorists side, ambushed and slaughtered to the last one.

"So far the line holds after 4 counter offensive, this strategy has been positive for the SAA, nbrs do support Syria’s effort, pool to recruit is huge vs limited rat pool.

"The last time we saw rats sending waves after waves of attacks was in western Aleppo city and we all know what happened there, thousands of dead rats and the city was fully liberated.

"Idlib will be no different, rats will die, they can choose to speed it up or not, but their fate will be death."

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 12 2018 21:15 utc | 73

Carl D said...

' prob, you are entitled to choose sides and have your opinions. We respect that...'

Look...I'm on the side of truth...and that means I am a hardcore opponent of the US...its fake media...its fake 'intelligence' BS...its fake 'democracy'...its fake hype about its useless weapons etc...

I have done a lot on many sites to expose many of these issues...particularly on the technical side where I can speak with authority...

On this UAV issue I was not siding with the US...

I merely pointed out what I know to be factual...which is what I have clearly laid out here in numerous posts...

Namely that creating this kind of vehicle is in fact possible for someone with the right skills...and there is no shortage of such individuals...

Also...there is in fact a lot of off the shelf stuff that is quite sophisticated...

I could go into a lot of technical details here about how some of the sensors that can be used to make an fact a miniature version of the inertial navigation system [INS] that is used on passenger jets, cruise missiles etc...

These kinds of sensors have become miniaturized and commoditized due to recent technology like MEMS...which stands for micro-electro-mehanical systems...

Every phone you buy today has both US GPS and Russian Glonass receiver built into the same chip...and costs peanuts...same thing with those sensors...

People with some basic expertise in aeronautics and electronics...even knowledgeable hobbyists...can and are making radio-controlled model aircraft that are functionally identical to what we saw in this attack...[except for the explosives]...

That is a is not a matter of siding with anyone...

You do not consider that news outlets in general...unfortunately including Sputnik and RT...are completely clueless when it comes to technical matters...

I often post on sputnik under the handle 'flankerbandit'...which I used to use here shortened to FB...

There is unfortunately poor education on technical matters...especially in the West...and the media like I said is unbelievably inept...

The Russian MoD has now come out with a quite technically precise statement from a specialist...Major-General Alexander Novikov...

Sputnik ran a story today that got it right...

This is great to see...

I was about to post similar comments on the sputnik site to what I posted here...because it is important to be precise when it comes to technical matters...

So stop talking nonsense about me 'taking sides'...I am a Canadian who has been on the Russian 'side' for many years...because Russia is the best hope for putting a stop to the US barbarism across the globe...

That's also why I post here...

Posted by: FB | Jan 12 2018 21:23 utc | 74

Toivos @73...

Many folks did great work on the Ukraine issue...especially Oliver Stone...

Also you don't have to be a rocket scientist these days to debunk anything the fakestream media talks about...

Mercouris is a right-wing nutjob in my opinion...anyone who can defend Theresa May...[he lives in Britain] is toast as far as I'm concerned...

Posted by: FB | Jan 12 2018 21:27 utc | 75


I fully support your comments on the UAV. From my experience as an airplane modeler in my youth, the drones shown by the Russian MoD look pretty primitive. From the mechanical point of view, they are very basic flying objects. Hobbyists around the world can do a much better job ! But not necessary in the desert, somewhere very close to a battlefield.
As for the electronics involved, it is difficult to know for sure what the Russians found, but your arguments are solid.

To CarlD

The fact that FB's arguments are close to the Pentagon's declarations, doesn't imply that FB writes from some warm office in Washington D.C.
Actually, the laws of physics apply in the USA, as well as in Russia or Syria.
And the fact that 99.9% of the people have no idea about how to build a RC model, doesn't imply that there are only a dozen officers in Washington, Moscow or Tel Aviv that are able to do it.

Thanks to FB for bringing to this blog some hard science

Posted by: Vulpes vulpes | Jan 12 2018 21:27 utc | 76

This is certainly OT. Did anyone know that in Baltimore, MD there's a group convening today in an attempt to revive the anti-war movement within the Outlaw US Empire? No, I didn't either until I opened this CounterPunch article. Yes, the MLK holiday weekend is being used to forward this revitalization. Unfortunately, the message is being very well muted as none of the activist networks I get email notifications from included this vital announcement in their letters. You'd think a website like would have a big banner at the top of its page announcing such an undertaking, but you'd be wrong to assume such as it doesn't! Veterans for Peace is the only site where I found any info.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 12 2018 22:41 utc | 77

Erdogan is no more reliable than Walid Jumblatt in Lebanon. Didnt he just condemn Assad as a terrorist- AGAIN- after becoming an ally? Spins like a top or an auctioneer sold to the highest bidder. To think he'd stay w/ Russia-Iran against all the offerings held out by NATO? No.
NATO opponents need start similiar proxy dirty war giving Turks their own medicine or this war of attrition will never end: clandestine training of freedom jihadis to be unleashed against Istanbul, Ankara, Adana and the top tourist spots. Fire w/ fire or this could be another 100 yrs War- unless Erdodog starts to take some REAL consequences.

Posted by: Icharus | Jan 12 2018 22:57 utc | 78

@Ghost Ship #9. Certainly plausible.
@ Horsewhisperer #54. Nice take.

Ergodan has no honor or soul, and is so egotistical that he can often be manipulated and baited, but never predicted or trusted. If everyone in this bar can see that, so can Russia. Really, considering what a borderline insane actor he is, it is astonishing how much Russia has been able to goad him into doing that is in their and/or Syria’s benefit (aided, admittedly, by some stellar missteps by the US). In this case, perhaps the simplest explanation would be that Turkey assumes that while the Kurds have been grabbing territory at the behest of their current US/Israeli masters, Turkey anticipates the Kurds may very well be playing the Zionists while they strengthen their bargaining position, because the Kurds see that Assad is now winning and eventually will be able to repatriate all of Syria. Turkey may be simply trying to make a bit of trouble themselves, as a counterweight of sorts, trying to ensure that Syria/Russia does not make TOO good of a deal with the Kurds (in exchange for the Kurds walking away from the Zionists). In other words, it might be Turkey’s ham-fisted way of saying “don’t forget about us, we can cause you more grief than the Kurds could dream of causing, so don’t even think about giving the Kurds a prize that would be unacceptable to Turkey.” They don’t want to strain relations with Russia too far, but they are making the case that their reward for ultimately abandoning their pets should be significant and the Kurds should be kept suitably weak.

FB, your argument from the start seems to have been “There are surprisingly sophisticated drones and control mechanisms freely available, so drones capable of doing what these did constructed by terrorists is not an impossibility.” Absolutely agreed. My point, from the start, was that the Pentagon stated that they knew EXACTLY how THESE PARTICULAR drones were constructed, knew every single thing about them, and could attest that all these parts were commercially available and they remembered paying in cash so….

Do you see my point? If the US wasn’t involved, how in the hell did they purport to know all of the details, including not just drone hardware and avionics but programming, data available, custom munitions, etc., PRIOR to the MoD having released any such info. That was my point.

Posted by: J Swift | Jan 12 2018 23:57 utc | 79

@77 Vulpes vulpes.. the fact your post and name tag - never seen here before, and following in fbs footsteps so quicky may or may not mean much either... i guess folks are left to conclude anything they want based on coincidences and the like..

Posted by: james | Jan 13 2018 0:06 utc | 80

J Swift @80...

Yes I see your point about the US saying prematurely that everything in those UAVs was off the shelf...before we even had any real technical info [which we got today via Gen. Novikov...]

And I agree fully...they did go off half-cocked didn't they...and I remember someone here [probably you] saying that yesterday...

Like I said from the should not surprise anyone that US helpers are up to their eyeballs in this operation...

However...we should also note the ease with which the Russians neutralized these little terror ships...

Posted by: FB | Jan 13 2018 0:33 utc | 81

@ Vulpes vulpes...

Thanks for your kind words...

And don't mind our little 'James" here...he is basically the village idiot...

Posted by: FB | Jan 13 2018 0:34 utc | 82

The Ottoman empire fell in the early 20th century; the British in the mid-20th (along with French, Dutch in Indo China etc); and now the US empire is falling in early 21st century. Common characteristics in post-empire phases include systemic core duplicity.

Posted by: x | Jan 13 2018 0:45 utc | 83

@fb - that's very sweet fb.. i knew you were an asshole before, but thanks for another confirmation of this..

Posted by: james | Jan 13 2018 1:05 utc | 84

Posted by: maningi | Jan 11, 2018 6:09:46 PM | 20

blockquote>Do not know on what side this reporter stands,...

You know exactly which side he stands on (hint, HTS doesn't have an airforce) as can be seen from him sitting with that fat fuck, Abdullah al-Muhaysini, victor of the battle of East Aleppo.

More here.

Given the way Abdullah al-Muhaysini fucked up the defence of East Aleppo, I reckon he might be an Assadist agent planted in HTS.

OT: Meanwhile, The Guardian is indignant that the Bosnian Serbs might not want to join NATO.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Jan 13 2018 1:18 utc | 85

>>>>> x | Jan 12, 2018 7:45:02 PM | 84

Off the top of my head, you left out the Belgian, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, German, Japanese and Russian (pre-communist) empires.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Jan 13 2018 1:37 utc | 86

Will Turkey Call Early Elections?

The next domino in Erdogan's consolidation of power may soon fall, and Washington should view any short-term spike in his nationalist rhetoric through this domestic political lens.

Posted by: Virgile | Jan 13 2018 2:29 utc | 87

"So stop talking nonsense about me 'taking sides'...I am a Canadian who has been on the Russian 'side' for many years...because Russia is the best hope for putting a stop to the US barbarism across the globe..."

"That's also why I post here..."

Posted by: FB | Jan 12, 2018 4:23:57 PM | 75

Enjoy your posts, they're informed and prescient. Agree with your hope for Russia putting a stop to U$ barbarism. However, I think your comment @ 83 is beneath you..

Posted by: ben | Jan 13 2018 2:36 utc | 88

I'm finding it hard to believe that Erdogan has acted simply from caprice. His turn to Russia carries a weight of realpolitik that I don't think he, or Turkey, can ever neglect. Red Ryder above has detailed numerous reasons for this.

However, if the threat of US sanctions that Virgile details @39 is as burdensome as it seems, then maybe Erdogan is caught in a tight spot, and has to act this way.

Why is Russia letting him off the hook? I do suspect that it's possible for Erdogan to act against Syrian tactical interests, and share the reasons for this with Russia, and that Russia can give him a pass. After all, Turkey is not yet a fully "landed fish" for Russia, and one cannot keep reeling in the line without having to pause or even let a little slack out sometimes to keep the fish in play. And Erdogan walks some delicate lines, including perhaps still in his own emotions and ambitions.

Putin specifically called it "showing solidarity" with Turkey, against the drone attack which was a ploy to drive a wedge. Fair enough, but why aren't Erdogan's other actions in Syria already driving that wedge? There seems to be a piece missing from the puzzle and still not revealed. One possibility then is that what keeps Putin in "solidarity" with Erdogan is a strong back-channel of secret, truthful communication.

2 cents of pure conjecture.

Posted by: Grieved | Jan 13 2018 3:25 utc | 89

@90: "what keeps Putin in "solidarity" with Erdogan is..." ==> TurkStream.

All this ME activity, apart from the tactical actions underlying local historical tribal animosities, is linked to strategic longer-term 'resource wars' centered on (1) assets in the ground (e.g., Persian/Arab Gulf); (2) the transit routes to European markets (Syria); and (3) the transport pipeline infrastructure (Russia).

Highly unlikely that Exxon's Rex Tillerson is in a key role by accident.

They are doing a job, not 'liking' each other.

"Tsar Peter I [Putin's favorite Russian leader - KR] used to say: "Don't trust the three: don't trust a woman, don't trust a Turk, and don't trust a non-drinker.""

Two of the above probably apply to Erdogan.

Posted by: x | Jan 13 2018 3:52 utc | 90

Why is Russia letting [Erdogan] off the hook?

Because Syria is only one Russian interest. There are also separate programs Russia has with Turkey, such as the Turkish Stream gas line from Russia (as x said) and the S-400 missile system Russia is selling to Turkey. Also Turkey controls entrance to the Black Sea, and Russia must continue to nudge Turkey away from the US and NATO.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 13 2018 4:28 utc | 91

FB @ 76: Mercouris may have said that Theresa May was the right person to head the Conservative party in a past Duran article and he did think well of her for opposing Sir Robert Owen's inquiry (which became an inquisition) into Alexander Litvinenko's death in a Duran article at this link:

but he is capable of changing his mind about May's character:

"... However [the British election campaign of 2016] also reflects an important truth about Theresa May. Quite simply she is not the strong and decisive leader her supporters in the Conservative Party and the media repeatedly say. On the contrary what the election campaign has done is expose once more her indecision and insecurity, and her lack of ideas ..."

Read this also:

It's Mercouris' style to proceed with caution, based on knowledge that he believes to be rock solid. He may be too cautious when perhaps he should go out on a limb more but that's how he is.

Posted by: Jen | Jan 13 2018 4:38 utc | 92

X @ 91: I'd say the bit about don't trust a Turk applies to Mrs Erdogan.

Posted by: Jen | Jan 13 2018 4:40 utc | 93

Thanks to FB for bringing to this blog some hard science.
Posted by: Vulpes vulpes | Jan 12, 2018 4:27:26 PM | 77

Gimme an effing break! What hard science!?
FB posted the same pointless and superfluous conjecture more than a dozen times. Anyone who feels the need to repeat the same thing ad nauseum is here to waste space, or convince itself how smart it is. The Russian MOD has said that the drone attack was sophisticated. No-one cares whether FB thinks the drones are hobby-grade or a product of CERN-grade genius.

They weren't good enough.
The Russians outsmarted the perps.
The Yankees got their nose out of joint.

FB, are you sure you're not Doofus Maximus aka Rufus Magister, the Verbose self-promoting narcissist, with a fake personality?

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jan 13 2018 5:24 utc | 94

FB | Jan 12, 2018 4:23:57 PM | 75

Dear FB,

You mention the drones flying beyond line-of-sight using an autopilot system.

Apparently, the Russian EW systems forced down six of these drones by taking control of them remotely.

How is it possible to remotely capture the navigation and control system of a drone that flies without a live datalink and only uses a preprogrammed autopilot system?

Posted by: Vaez | Jan 13 2018 5:27 utc | 95

Oh dear, I was sucked in by a fraud. At 83 FB says: don't mind our little 'James" here...he is basically the village idiot.. I retract any statements I made suggesting that FB was making a positive contribution to this thread. James happens to be one of the more sensible contributors to MoA threads in recent months. This last statement by FB brands him as one big piece of shit.

Posted by: Toivos | Jan 13 2018 7:11 utc | 96

Vaez @95:

Kalashnikov Unveils Anti-Drone Weapon

Posted by: Ian | Jan 13 2018 7:24 utc | 97

@96 Seconded..

Posted by: Lozion | Jan 13 2018 7:26 utc | 98

How is it possible to remotely capture the navigation and control system of a drone that flies without a live datalink and only uses a preprogrammed autopilot system?

You can forge the navigation signal the aircraft is using (e.g. GPS). Pretty much like it was done in "Die Hard 2 (1990)" with the crashed plane.

Posted by: togre | Jan 13 2018 8:45 utc | 99

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