Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
February 10, 2018

Syria - Is War With Israel Imminent (Updated)?

Around 6 am GMT the Syrian air defense shot downed an Israeli fighter jet that was attacking the country. There is now the chance that a larger war will ensue. (The whole story behind this will surely be covered in Elijah Magnier's upcoming book on Hizbullah.)

[This is a developing story that will be updated below as new information comes in. - The latest update (below) is a video interview with Elijah Magnier on the implications of today's developments.]

This escalation comes after a series of recent provocations against the Russian forces in Syria, yesterday's U.S. attack on Syrian forces, last week's Israeli threats against Lebanon and dozens of Israeli air attacks on alleged Hizbullah or Iranian installations in Syria.

Tonight's events developed after Israel shot down what it called an "Iranian drone" allegedly in air space over the Israel occupied Syrian Golan Heights. Syria denies that its drone violated Israeli air space. Israel then attacked ground targets in Syria. One attacking Israeli F-16 fighter jet was taken down by Syrian air defense. The pilot ejected and parachuted into Israeli territory. He is wounded but survived. It is the first downing of an Israeli jet by Syrian air defense since 1982!  Further Israeli "retaliation" followed. This is another paragraph in the long history of Israeli aggression against Syria.

Older map with an approximate timeline of events - Source: LeBeck- bigger

There are some unconfirmed vague reports of a second damaged F-16 and a destroyed Israeli Apache helicopter.

Today's development as covered in Eljiah Magnier's timeline (emphasis added):

Elijah J. Magnier‏ @ejmalrai - 5:06 AM - 10 Feb 2018
Missiles launched over #Damascus; Rockets over the Golan Heights and a drone downed over #Israel: all in the last hour.
Israel said it is "an #Iranian drone". If that is the case, it is a "forced reconnaissance" to exhaust the Israeli defence system, #Hezbollah's style.

#Israel F-16 downed by what seems to be #Syria air defence system

#BreakingNews: Private source
All Syrian military and intelligence and their allies (#Hezbollah) positions in #Syria and #Lebanon on full alert

Source: #Israel recognition of downing an F-16 means Syria is on alert waiting for any Israeli violation, as is #Hezbolah and #Iran. Would Israel be dragged to war? How #Russia will react in #Syria? The front is very hot now.

#Israel changing version from "an #Iranian drone" to admit the downing of an F-16 was a first attempt to accuse #Tehran but later had to admit the reality showing a confusion in decision makers in the first hour.

#Syria is used to war as its leadership has been engaged in it fully for the last 6-7 years. Therefore #Damascus's Gov is ready for another front following the liberation of #ISIS last pocket in the north (except the one under #USA control).

Level of escalation in #Damascus response was a warning to #Israel that #TelAviv didn't take onboard. #Israel may limit itself bombing few Syrian positions from afar (flying over #Lebanon) or be dragged into escalation on a front from #Lebanon to #Syria

#Israel can't ignore the downing of its F-16, never happen in the last decades over #Syria and #Lebanon. Therefore what is important is the level of response: will the response bring a retaliation? If so, the long waited war may began.

This is a new Rule of Engagement and a new situation where #Israel is finding itself incapable of dominating the #Syria/n air space. It also shows #Damascus freedom (unlike many analysts believed) to respond regardless what #Russia's position is.

#Syria/n officials believe more than 1 F-16 were hit by its anti-Air missiles, showing the Syrian air-defence capability and the challenging attitude of #Damascus towards #Israel (not accepting the Israeli version of only 1 F-16 downed).

One conclusion: The Sky over #Syria is no longer an #Israeli/i promenade and the Syrian Army is now ready for another confrontation. This blows up all (ridiculous) assessment by analysts that "the Syrian Army stretched..., skinny..., few thousands only...)

#Israel admitted, indirectly, of the efficiency of the #Syrian Air-defence system by saying:"We study a retaliation". The question is and remain: How #Russia will behave? Allow #Israel to hit its Syrian ally and remain on the side? Or stop the escalation?

It is in the disadvantage of #Russia to see another war in #Syria on the southern front, with a #USA intervention, #Hezbollah #Iran the #Palestinians... all that may lead to a general war unless the Israeli response is limited.

#Hezbollah, on full alert in #Syria and #Lebanon, expected the reaction. Its leader Said Hasan Nasrallah warned to open a general war from Naqoura to the Golan Heights in the forthcoming war.

This escalation coincide with the approval of #Lebanon to start its oil exploration in Block 9.

Just a thought: If this is a #Russian tit-for-tat, we could say that it is #Russia response to the downing of the Russian jet over #Idlib. Russia accused the #USA of providing anti-air missiles to #AQ allies.

It is likely that #Damascus issues a communiqué to confirm its air defence fired the missiles against the F-16 hitting more than one jet to counter the #Israeli version claiming that #Iran is directly involved in this event.

It seems #Israel warning Sirens blare in Northern #Israel over the Golan, the Galilee and the northern of Israel, closing the airspace over the north of Israel.

7:35 AM - 10 Feb 2018
#BreakingNews: A second #Israel/i air bombing against #Syria. #Damascus open fire again against Israel Jets and Golan Heights positions. Siren over Israel continue. Escalation (for now).

Should Israel escalate to a bigger war it will be covered with hundreds of missiles per hour. Hizbullah has enough reserves to submit Israel to weeks of uninterrupted fire. Normal civil life will come to a stand still. Lebanon and Syria would also be under severe attacks but they are better positioned to endure such a situation.

A downed F-16 is already a bloody nose for Israel. It is not in its interest to further escalate.

Russia as well as the U.S. could become involved and into direct conflict. This must be avoided at all cost. But the current personal in White House, especially the military triumvirate behind the president, is of dubious quality. Moscow is hopefully aware of this.

[Update 12 am GMT]

The parties are now deescalating. In the last round Israel claimed to have hit several Syrian air-defense positions and "Hizbullah depots" while Syria claimed to have shot down more incoming missiles. Israel signaled that it is not interested in further escalation and Russia called for both sides to calm down. There has been no statement from Washington.

If this outcome persists we can state that there are now new "rules of engagement" and new "red lines". Further Israeli attacks on Syria will be responded to by effective means. The Russian officers who are co-located with the Syrian air defense will not intervene to Israel's advantage. That fact is in itself a message from Moscow to Israel to stop its open and its clandestine provocations.

[Update: 1:30 pm GMT]

Elijah J. Magnier‏ @ejmalrai - 1:03 PM - 10 Feb 2018
This is the end of it guys: #Israel decided to stand down and de-escalate. #Russia received an Israeli request to mediate to stop the escalation. Israel has lost the first battle against #Damascus when Syria was ready, after eliminating ISIS in central Syria

Commander in #Syria confirmed to me: It was not an S-200 that hit the F-16. "It was a prepared ambushed". Read more tomorrow via @AlraiMediaGroup

[Update: 7:00 pm GMT]

Elijah just gave an interview (video) to 108morris about the implications of today's development.

Posted by b on February 10, 2018 at 04:29 AM | Permalink

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Ghost Ship 88
In most of the pics, the relatively intact nose cone can be seen at the uphill edge of the wreckage. Looks more like F16 than F35

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Feb 10, 2018 6:26:54 PM | 101

@all regarding Israeli F35. Remember late last year when Syria claimed to have hit a F35 bombing Syria, which Israel denied. Then, two weeks later, Israel said that one of their F35s was taken out of commission by a bird strike two weeks earlier?

Considering all the problems with the F35, when it was announced the US was selling some to Israel, I quipped maybe it was a plan to degrade Israel's air superiority in the ME.

Posted by: Daniel | Feb 10, 2018 6:37:59 PM | 102

rockwool @99:

It wouldn't make any sense to self-terminate their missiles.   IF the stories are true of multiple fighters damaged, but survived to return back to base, it's because of the pilots airmanship.

Posted by: Ian | Feb 10, 2018 6:49:49 PM | 103

@Peter AU 1 #79: you're welcome! I stand corrected. It is for the power systems indeed!

@Ian #96: Thanks for the pics. I remember quite well that with every crash from the F16 (we've had quite a few over the years, all training flights) it was always treated as a possible chemical spill. If I look at the extent of the damage on the pics I doubt the container survived intact.

Posted by: Gehennah | Feb 10, 2018 6:49:53 PM | 104

A photo of the crash site.

The plane is upside down and the weapons pylons under the wings are clearly visible. The pylons on the left wing (in the right of the picture are relatively intact and match those of F16
The engine is detached from the aircraft and at the very bottom right corner of the pic.
The intact nose cone that is clearly visible in other pics also matches F16

Picture of F16 wing pylons and nose cone.

F16 engine pic

F35 pic.
Wing pylons and nose cone of the crashed aircraft do not match F35.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Feb 10, 2018 7:30:44 PM | 105

@ 60 (BraveNewWorld)

You're right about:
"I keep repeating it, but people in the West really need to start reading Israeli news papers. Pretty well every thing people in the West think they know about Israel is white washed BS. Read Israeli papers and let Israeli Jews tell you some thing much closer to the truth than you will ever be allowed to hear in the West.

You can start here."

Fantastic how outspoken that article was. Tel Aviv and Kairo is obviously also out to provoke Hamas by starvation in to responding with missiles. Then the Talmudists and Kabbalists can blame it on Iran and invade Lebanon, Syria and Gaza. Iran will probably only respond if bombed massively, and Hamas obviously does everything not to give Tel Aviv a faux "casus belli".

This shows the Resistance knows the West is fishing for WWIII.

Moscow probably knows an IDF AMRAAM 120-D downed the Russian airliner in Sinai two winters ago, but chose to blame ISIS. It happened during the by Israel hosted Blue Flag air force exercises, conveniently attended by several NATO countries...

Beijing knows it was a tiny nuclear blast that happened in one of its port 2-3 years ago (the one with rows of blown up cars waiting for export). They claimed chemical explosion but IIRC an Israeli Dolphin sub was tied to it.

Israeli news papers, than you for the tip!

Posted by: rockwool | Feb 10, 2018 7:47:48 PM | 106

james | Feb 10, 2018 6:21:34 PM | 100

So OK,

At present, ISRAEL-USA-ISIS-AQ are fighting against the Syrian Army. How very interesting.
On top of that, Nusra and FSA are also clashing with the Syrian Army in Idlib.
Turkish proxy FSA is a different kettle of fish. At the beginning of the OpOlive they were called some National Army but for some reason that was dropped and they are still called FSA.

Now I have to be very careful not to get deconfused. I'll cease to exists.

We have the PKK (YPG/SDF/ETC) and their enemy is the Turks up north and they are collaborating with the SAA and their proxies in that part of Syria. Legal/Illegal Marxist groups have gathered under one roof - YPG Enternasyonel - PKK. They get their arms and training from the USA which is a country whose elections were hacked and influenced by another communist entity, Russia. That explains why Russia is the only country that can gather virtually all parties involved in the conflict in Sochi?

Down south, PKK or SDF, Marxist revolutionaries, along with the USA, can taken on the SAA or their proxies.

So basically, Israel-USA-ISIS-AQ-Nusra and sometimes the PKK are fighting against the SAA and Iranian groups?

Posted by: ConfusedPundit | Feb 10, 2018 7:55:30 PM | 107

Yes, rockwool, BraveNewWorld is exactly correct in recommending reading Israeli newspapers (and other Israeli publications). The best of all are those written in Hebrew if one can get a translation. They are remarkably frank when speaking to members of "the tribe."

Haaratz is the major "liberal" Jewish newspaper, but it's hidden behind a paywall now.

Posted by: Daniel | Feb 10, 2018 8:06:46 PM | 108

rockwool @110:

Beijing knows it was a tiny nuclear blast that happened in one of its port 2-3 years ago (the one with rows of blown up cars waiting for export). They claimed chemical explosion but IIRC an Israeli Dolphin sub was tied to it.

Nuclear?!   No!   Although the IAEA showed up to investigate the Tianjin (2015) explosion, there were no evidence.   I'll admit the string of chemical explosions in Eastern China (Tianjin [Aug 12], Hengtai [Aug 22], Lijin [Sept 1] and Lishui[Sept 7]) in that period is highly suspicious.

Posted by: Ian | Feb 10, 2018 8:26:54 PM | 109

I had been interested in Magnier's revelation that the Syrian strike against the plane was an ambush.

The only place I've seen this explained is by Alexander Mercouris at the Duran today. He points to the "uncanny" similarity between today's successful strike and an unsuccessful attempt at the same thing by Syria back in March 2017.

Military balance shifts: Syria shoots down Israeli F-16

If the Syrians shot down the F-16 in an ambush when it was returning to its base then they have also demonstrated a previously unknown level of tactical skill.

Moreover this development has not come from nowhere. Here is what I wrote on 20th March 2017 following an uncannily similar incident when Syria also tried to shoot down Israeli aircraft over Israel following an Israeli air strike on a military facility near Palmyra

There seems to be a very long-range planning and testing operation going on here, where methods and means are being prepared, by many parties. Magnier's point is well taken (in the interview with Morris linked in b's update to his article above) that Syria is saying: it is now ready for war with Israel, and is Israel ready for war with Syria? One gathers that the answer by Israel is, NO.

Russia will not intervene in such a war, this much is now clear - unless it should spill over into larger concerns. And the US is powerless to intervene, we think - for a multitude of reasons that would be a whole discussion in its own right.

It has been a very good day. Much gratitude, b, for a great report.

Posted by: Grieved | Feb 10, 2018 8:27:11 PM | 110

@111 confused pundit... first thing - the ''russia stole the usa election' is a heap of steaming bullshite.. either that, or lets just say countries try to undermine other countries all the time.. it's been a foreign policy feature of the usa for umpteen years.. this is the pot calling the kettle black...

now, back to your buddy erdogan... sorry, but he is still not getting a pass, in spite of what you read at the daily sahab!! why, just a day or two ago he continued to rant about what a murderer assad was... he is like a stopped clock! he will be right twice in one day!! meanwhile, he has supported the overthrow of assad by any means, including letting ''moderate'' headchoppers from many different countries, use turkey as a gateway country into syria... this is one of the reasons for what we see in idlib - right next to turkey...

pkk - is a separate story... that is another attempt on the part of the usa-israel-coalition - to partition syria... so, erdogan can claim he is going after them - i am sure he would like to, so as to make like he is the hero the apk continue to believe he is.. i think he gets his orders from the diyanet myself.. read this for more insight into what i think is erdogans game plan here.. another religious nut is what he is - the most dangerous kind..

Posted by: james | Feb 10, 2018 8:32:53 PM | 111

Not surprised that the Israelis want to de-escalate.

Their gaze is firmly placed on starting a war on Hezbollah inside Lebanon to "remove" the threat to Hezbollah's rockets. Even their attacks inside Syria have (mostly) been about preventing Hezbollah gaining access to precision weapons.

So when Israel does decide to go all ape-shit on Lebanon they want that fight to be between the IDF F-16s and whatever mobile air defences Hezbollah itself can muster, with Assad hiding in the corner too afraid to say "Boo!".

But this?

Escalating from this risks the worse possible outcome: Hezbollah raining rockets down on Tel Aviv, and any Israeli jet that sorties to suppress those rocket-sites finds itself dodging Syrian S-200 and Pantsir missiles.

That's a terrible prospect, so from the Israeli PoV it's best not to go there.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Feb 10, 2018 8:33:36 PM | 112

@115 "And the US is powerless to intervene, we think - for a multitude of reasons that would be a whole discussion in its own right."

One reason being that there is no appetite for war in the US at the moment. And even less for protecting Israel in spite of what elected officials and the media say. The only thing that would change that would be a large number of dead US servicemen. There are several potential targets and Iran would be blamed.

Posted by: dh | Feb 10, 2018 8:43:21 PM | 113

>>>> Peter AU 1 | Feb 10, 2018 6:26:54 PM | 102

Someone over at SST mentioned that his nephew flies F-16s out of the same base as the one that was shot down which was from a different squadron that also flies F-16s, so it probably wasn't an F-35I. Sad.

BTW, the Angry Arab is reporting much joy on the "Arab Street" at this event.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Feb 10, 2018 9:05:20 PM | 114

OT- possibly not
Back in the 90's it was public information within the industry that the entire budget for the IDF was a line item covered by India. I have no idea whether it remained so, or even if they have a relationship today. But, I've been pondering the details of whom and how and came across these which might explain motives.
I don't want to bust the margins, so I removed the 'dot'

FIM 92 Stinger

India to Buy 245 US Stinger Air-to-Air Missiles
The acquisition is part of a $3.1 billion India-U.S. defense deal.

By Franz-Stefan Gady
April 01, 2016

And this:
Which doesn't state it directly but does imply a relationship of some sort remained into 2013.


15 JANUARY 2013
Why are there so many Israeli ex-soldiers in India?

For the moment India and Israel are consorts, co-operating on things like space programmes, defence and trade. But the Israeli government needs to get its act together. India is no longer the docile nation of yesteryear, to be taken for granted by the west. Given the large number of ex-military Israelis in India, the country has the potential to become the next proxy-war playground, as was clear from the early 2012 incident.

Posted by: mrd | Feb 10, 2018 9:38:28 PM | 115

Ghost Ship 119.

Yeah, I would like to see one brought down as well and am sure the Russian defenses are more than capable.
From what I cam make of the F35 at this point, its only combat capabilities are cannon and electronic.
I have read the Israeli's are using theirs for surveillance and perhaps electronic warfare.
Writing the code for the thing seems a headache. Every line of code for an added capability has to mesh with every one of the other 24 million lines of code, otherwise it will have an electronic brain fart.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Feb 10, 2018 9:58:01 PM | 116

Newsweek reporting rationally like MoA or as though Robert Parry’s spirit had gone back there.
Amazing. This piece by Ian Wilkie could just as easily be from Consortium News.
Read it - Mattis says no evidence Assad used poison gas.
The article portrays the White Helmets in a dubious light, uses word “actors” to refer to them.

However some editors in NW don’t like the article, judging by pop up video about Nth Korea allegedly giving sarin to Syria.

Posted by: apHarri | Feb 10, 2018 10:10:40 PM | 117

Yeah Right @117:

Not surprised that the Israelis want to de-escalate
Well I think the way they de-escalateded is important and worrisome. They basically told Russia to reign in Syria, didn’t they? I think Israel still wants to conducts ops against Hez and Iran. Next time they strike, the Israelis might be prepared to escalate if they meet similar resistance.

<> <> <> <> <> <> <> <>

Grieved @115:

“US is powerless to intervene”
I don’t know why this would be true. US could intervene indirectly after the start of a war with sanctions, embargo, or blockade (look at a map). Yes a blockade is an act of war but if Syria and Israel are already at war, US will almost certainly do what they can to help Israel.

And if Hez responses, that will be blamed on Iran. (Prompting more servings
of chocolate cake by the orange genius.)

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 10, 2018 10:17:50 PM | 118

@125 "Next time they strike, the Israelis might be prepared to escalate if they meet similar resistance."

The underlying equation doesn't change even if Russia "reigns in" Assad this time around i.e. escalating to a full-blown war with Syria makes absolutely no sense from the Israeli perspective if Hezbollah responds by raining rockets into Israel.

The Israeli's might well calculate that a full-scale war against Hezbollah is "winnable"
They may also calculate that an air-war against Syria's air defences is also "winnable".

Each one in isolation may well be within Israel's capabilities.

But trying to suppress Hezbollah's rockets while simultaneously attempting to suppress Syria's air defences?

That's way, way more than twice as difficult.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Feb 10, 2018 10:38:57 PM | 119

I am confused by the claims

From Syria
But Syria's allied forces, mainly the Iranian-backed ones, slammed the Israeli claims that an Iranian drone was launched into Israel, saying the drones were sent to observe the movement of the Islamic State militants in the Syrian desert.

from Israel
The Israeli army intercepted the drone with an Apache helicopter over Israeli territories, and then launched an attack on the control facility of the drone located in Syria, it added.

I would like to know what Israel territories are and their associated air space.....please and thanks

Posted by: psychohistorian | Feb 10, 2018 11:10:51 PM | 120

Thanks b, and all, for all the relevant opinions and links. We do live in interesting times.

This response has been a long time coming. Self defense is any countries right...

Posted by: ben | Feb 10, 2018 11:52:46 PM | 121

Thanks b. Great work as usual.

Posted by: integer | Feb 11, 2018 12:07:45 AM | 122

@128 The Israeli press are showing videos of the shootdown, and they are reporting that the drone was downed near Beit She'an.

If that is true then the drone was very clearly intruding inside Israeli territory (that town was allocated to the "Jewish state" in the UN Partition Plan).

So, no, that drone wasn't downed over the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights or the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories. It was shot down over Israeli territory.

The interesting wrinkle that I have read is that the Syrians deliberately allowed the Israelis to see the preparations for its launch.

Why? Because that airbase was beyond the range of Israeli stand-off missiles launched from inside Lebanese airspace.

So if the Israelis wanted to retaliate (and the Israelis do loooooove their retaliatory raids) then they had to fly into Syrian airspace and - obviously - if you do that then you risk a Big Arse S-200 right up your tail-pipe.

Or, in short: it's a trap, Luke!

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Feb 11, 2018 1:03:24 AM | 123

"Israels F16 Downed And Nothing Iranian Hit - Elijah J Magnier.mp4"

If anyone still doubt the damages to Israel with Hezbollah and Syria in another war.... Not sure if any MoA came across an excellent 108morris108 interviewed Elijah J Magnier - more or less repeating b posting.

Posted by: OJS | Feb 11, 2018 1:39:22 AM | 124

Yeah, Right 132
Sounds feasible and also seems to fit the thinking/asymmetrical tactics of the current Russian bear.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Feb 11, 2018 1:39:26 AM | 125

@ Yeah Right with more data.

Thanks for that. I read that the drone was taken out by a helicopter but the jet was going after the launch source.

Does Israel claim air space over Golan Heights? Isn't that next point of regional contention to be fought over?

Posted by: psychohistorian | Feb 11, 2018 1:49:23 AM | 126

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 10, 2018 10:17:50 PM | 125

Only an American could argue like this. They live where the rockets will rain down, remember.

Posted by: somebody | Feb 11, 2018 3:04:46 AM | 127

News+Articles+Comments on MoA

Thank God I'm very confused.

1) US hits SAA because Iranian militia attacked SDF
2) Israel bombs Russian/SAA targets becuase Iranian flying pipe with a sharp tip downs an F-16

It is confusing.

Rabbis and Mullahs are good friends or something? Controlled Conflict?

Posted by: ConfusedPundit | Feb 11, 2018 3:25:03 AM | 128

Dear james | Feb 10, 2018 8:32:53 PM | 116

Quite honestly, I find the MERIP's (kind of MEMRI?) or rather Ceren Lord's (she is from OX-Ford, lol) article on Turkish Diyanet rather pathetic.

From a non-religious local's point of view, I much prefer Diyanet to religious sects in the country. Actually most of the people who complain about Diyanet are the members of stupid Islamic sects. And Merip + Ceren seem to be supporting the views of the Turkish David Koreshs'.

To you, things may sound different though. Respect.

Posted by: ConfusedPundit | Feb 11, 2018 4:04:45 AM | 129

@ ConfusedPundit | Feb 11, 2018 4:04:45 AM | 138

Different opinion: the articel of Ceren Lord is great and everybody who lives and works in Turkey and is observing things since some years will confirm it. The diyanet tries, in typical Muslim Brotherhood style, to move things towards islamization in an indirect, quasi secret style to reach the point when it will be irreversible. The tool is not open violence but smiling iron-fisted social conformism. It is adviseable then to declare the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization and to dissolve diyanet immediately. Imagine you are an Alevi Turkish taxpayer. Why should you want to give any dime for your enemies? A shocking thing most people outside of Turkey do not know: the Sunni imams are paid by the state, the Alevi people get nothing. The majority of Turks is not very religious anyway. They have trouble and must use a lot of soft power to fill the mosques on friday.

Posted by: Hausmeister | Feb 11, 2018 4:32:13 AM | 130

@ ConfusedPundit | Feb 11, 2018 4:04:45 AM | 138

Opposite opinion. This article of Ceren Lord is great. Anybody who lives in Turkey and has an open eye will confirm it. They try to change the country using "soft power", daily unescapable social conformity pressure, to an islamistic status. It would be best to declare the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization and dissolve the diyanet immediately. Many people outside of Turkey do not know that the state, all taxpayers, pay for building Sunni mosques and that the state pays all Sunni imams. The Alevi get nothing. The majority of the population is not much religious anyway (unless in the public sphere the Islam is insulted) and they constantly apply soft pressure to fill the mosques on Friday.
Posted by: Hausmeister | February 11, 2018 at 04:40 AM

Posted by: Hausmeister | Feb 11, 2018 4:56:36 AM | 131

@135 "I read that the drone was taken out by a helicopter but the jet was going after the launch source."

Apparently. The Israelis were terribly embarrassed once when they attempted to intercept a drone with some F-16 fighters, which couldn't achieve a missile-lock on the damn thing. Eventually they brought it down with gunfire, but even that was made very difficult because of the disparity in speed between the jet and the drone.

So an attack helicopter makes perfect sense: basically, just treat it as a truck and let the Israeli Apache pilots shooting it up......

"Does Israel claim air space over Golan Heights?"

Well, yes, they do: the 1973 ceasefire stipulated two lines of control with the UNDOF area in between. Everything to the west of the Alpha Line is under Israeli control.

That doesn't mean making any judgement call on what "rights" the Israelis ultimately have to the Golan Heights (which to my mind are "none"), but if Israel is the occupying power then by definition it has "authority" over the airspace above that occupied territory.

"Isn't that next point of regional contention to be fought over?"

Oh, yeah, not much doubt about that.

The Russians may beg to differ, but Assad can point out that *if* this war re-establishing the central authority of the recognized government of Syria *then* the Golan Heights should be part of that mix.

And, frankly, he does have a point.

And, even more frankly, if the IDF loses control of the sky above the Golan then I'd fancy the Syrian Arab Army's chances of taking the powder-puff bully-boys of the Golani Brigade and wiping the floor with them.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Feb 11, 2018 5:23:48 AM | 132

Dear Hausmeister | Feb 11, 2018 4:56:36 AM | 139

So basically this is what you are saying Hausmeister,

Ceren Lord is good, Graham Fuller loves MERIP, Diyanet must be closed.

There is no alternative way, no room for alternative thinking like I have.

To me MERIP sounds like an orientalist propaganda mechanism and I'm not allowed to think like that?

I'm not religious for one thing. Secondly, I remember a passage in Edward Said's book, Orientalism.

The orientalist describes an Arab woman with a veil. He talks and talks and talks and talks. But the Arab woman doesn't utter a single word.

Hausmeister, why did the Gulenists set up 13 Alewites guilds? And were you when they did that?

Posted by: ConfusedPundit | Feb 11, 2018 5:44:19 AM | 133

I can't understand the reasoning of Putin, when he is prepared to sell the S400 defence system to Turkey and Saudi Arabia, almost anyone including the US, all three countries have been trying to destroy Russias allies Syria and Iran for the past 6 years, since this is a purely defensive system how come Iran and Syria, two countries who need it more than anyone, cannot buy it?
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Russia could sell S-400 air defence systems to the United States if the US side was interested, Russia's security would not be compromised, CEO of Russia's Rostec state corporation Sergey Chemezov told the Washington Post newspaper in an interview.

Posted by: harrylaw | Feb 11, 2018 5:46:25 AM | 134

@ ConfusedPundit | Feb 11, 2018 5:44:19 AM | 141
„There is no alternative way, no room for alternative thinking like I have.“
This is a debate. There is always room for other opinions. Turkish acquaintancies that read Ceren Lord cannot stop to praise this article. Why the Gülenists set up 13 Alewites guilds, if that is true (!), I do not know. All I know is: the Erdogan crowd plus the Gülenists together tried with legal and illegal means to kill the (illegal and legal) Kemalist repression and then the gang leaders got in trouble about how to share the prey. Being very rich Gülen did not like corruption, which is like bread for Erdogan. Without it he would have no powwer as he could not pay his people. Having obtained the power the (Erdogan-) AKP uses Diyanet for this illegal islamization on the track of the anti-democratic Muslim Brotherhood path. Against the constitution, no doubt. In this case one should forbid both. Where is the problem?

Posted by: Hausmeister | Feb 11, 2018 6:01:36 AM | 135

It's all rhetoric, someone is trying to make the point, those systems are purely defensive, that's why they would be willing to sell them even to uncle Sam, besides, uncle Sam could pay for them, I'm not sure the ones you mentioned could. War is a racket, forgot the name of the illustrious US general who said that.

Posted by: Paco | Feb 11, 2018 6:41:02 AM | 136

@ 142 harry law

I concur. Yeah alot of people love putin, but lets be real here some things just do not add up. S300 was blocked to iran 10+ years ago. Only delivered now when s400 is out, which Irans regional opponents are buying

Seems like short end of the stick to me.

Posted by: Deebo | Feb 11, 2018 6:42:36 AM | 137

@142 To put it crudely, both Turkey and Saudi Arabia are firmly in the US orbit. If Putin wants to nudge them out of that orbit then he needs to stroke their dicks to win their hearts.

But Syria and Iran are different: he already has them by the balls. There is no need for him to do anything but put the squeeze on them if that is what takes his fancy - their hearts and minds are sure to follow.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Feb 11, 2018 6:46:45 AM | 138

I have a question regarding the retaliatory raids that Israel launched following the shoot-down of its F-16, and I'd be grateful if anyone can give a definitive answer.

The question is this: were those air raids into Syria, or did Israel use standoff weapons?

I noticed that the wording was very vague, even including the Syrian statements that they intercepted some of the "missiles".

If it's the latter then Israel's puffed-chested "retaliation" looks pretty gutless to me.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Feb 11, 2018 7:11:10 AM | 139

@ Ian 114

Thanks. Did not know that, only what VeteransToday showed at the time and they have a good network of ex-professionals in that area that beyond doubt could say that was a nuclear blast.

@ Golda My Ears 122

You're right, I'm antisemilogic, but I get confused sometimes.

Posted by: rockwool | Feb 11, 2018 7:18:44 AM | 140

Dear Hausmeister | Feb 11, 2018 6:01:36 AM | 143

Turkey is more democratic than for example the USA or Germany.
Unlike Americans or Germans, the Turks can print their own banknotes and they have their own media and their army doesn't act as mercenaries on behalf of a third party (not anymmore) and Turks now have their own payment methods (outside visa, mastercard etc) and the Turks got rid of the CIA controlled Gulenist organisation, unlike the Americans and the Germans.

For you and MERIP Ceren Lord is good
For Graham Fuller (a warrant for arrest has been issued for him in Turkey) MERIP is good.
Erdogan is a dictator, there is an illegal islamization in Turkey and Muslim Brotherhood is anti-democratic and the dictator Erdogan is a member of the organisation like Mursi in Egypt who has been replaced with General Sisi who loves MEMRI which is owned by a Mossad agent.
Erdogan has a track of illegal islamization against the constitution which was written by General Evren after the 1980 coup.

Hausmeister "This is a debate."
ConfusedPundit: What debate?

I love these 2 bits the most:

"Being very rich Gülen did not like corruption"
"the Gülenists set up 13 Alewites guilds, if that is true (!)"


Posted by: ConfusedPundit | Feb 11, 2018 7:39:18 AM | 141

@ ConfusedPundit | Feb 11, 2018 7:39:18 AM | 151

„Turkey is more democratic than for example the USA or Germany.“

Impossible to top that. ROFL! But you could make an easy test, not that I advice to do it: open public dissens! If you can! ;-)
Look: if people do not speak up there are 2 chances. They share your opinion. They are silenced.

Posted by: Hausmeister | Feb 11, 2018 8:03:22 AM | 142

Syria seems to be a major transitional point in so many ways.

I think we are seeing the difference of Russian imperialism vs US imperialism.

US imperialism is winner (US) take all and is being shown to be shamelessly and cowardly barbaric. Hopefully this will destroy the deep state as is also being attacked more domestically.

Russia imperialism seems to be more hands off and multi polar. I don't think they are trying to completely control Turkey and Iran but just trying to keep them within certain limits. This is giving Russia more credibility in dealing with the complex problems in the area including Israel.

They also, importantly, are interested in working with China in a mature way rather than US bellicosity.

I think the Russia, China, Iran, Iraq, Syria, India, Turkey economic axis is the way of the future.

Posted by: financial matters | Feb 11, 2018 8:10:09 AM | 143


Is it correct that (according to Michael Klarman) the introduction of the principle of "representative democracy" during the constitutional convention was a coup by the slaveowners and farmers?

Posted by: Gesine Hammerling | Feb 11, 2018 8:14:05 AM | 144

S-400 sales to the US? What the TROLLiest..

As for the plane that crashed in Russia today being a retaliation from Tel Aviv, they could not possibly have had the time to prepare for that.

Posted by: rockwool | Feb 11, 2018 8:17:28 AM | 145

Is this for real?

Ria analysis:

"Israel has to give up on it's Syria policy or enter into arm conflict with Russia"

Posted by: ConfusedPundit | Feb 11, 2018 8:19:04 AM | 146

Can somebody explain what Israel actually gains from the bombing?

Bombing is done in war so to prepare the ground for the armed foot-soldiers to advance.

Posted by: redrooster | Feb 11, 2018 8:27:44 AM | 147

Major intelligence agencies no doubt have "standing plans" and people already in position and ready to go with a few hours notice. Both the Israelis and the US are quite capable of an act of sabotage of a routine soft civilian target.

Posted by: Southern Kiwi | Feb 11, 2018 8:29:19 AM | 148

Posted by: Just Sayin' | Feb 11, 2018 8:56:31 AM | 160

Ok, but you didn't answer my question either. What does Israel actually gain from the bombing without the follow-up of armed troops advancing?

Posted by: redrooster | Feb 11, 2018 9:27:01 AM | 149

But trying to suppress Hezbollah's rockets while simultaneously attempting to suppress Syria's air defences?
That's way, way more than twice as difficult.
Posted by: Yeah, Right | Feb 10, 2018 10:38:57 PM | 126

Agree 100%.
And Grieved's interpretation.
And Al Jazeera's...
"Israel is fond of 'drawing red lines' around things. But it would seem that Syria has now decided to draw some red lines of its own."

Imo "Israel" has set a dangerously stupid precedent.
Shooting down a reconnaissance drone which encroached on territory claimed by "Israel" is more or less OK and bad luck for the owners of the drone. However, attacking and destroying the imagined source inside Syria is escalation AND an act of war. Exacting retribution for shooting down the F16 responsible for the illegal Syria incursion is unjustifiable escalation.

Saturday's F16 shootdown was a warning that the next "Israeli" incursion into Syria will be severely punished. Bibi thinks Putin has a soft spot for "Israel" but he's VERY wrong about that.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Feb 11, 2018 9:34:31 AM | 150

Hausmeister | Feb 11, 2018 8:03:22 AM | 153

According to the person (Ceren Lord) you favor

2 putschists, General Sisi and General Evren, are democratic but Mursi and Erdogan are anti-democratic.

What's she on, MK-Triplehypermegasuperultra?

Posted by: ConfusedPundit | Feb 11, 2018 9:49:08 AM | 151

@ Bulsh... Sayin' | Feb 11, 2018 9:45:35 AM | 165

„...Judeo-Nazi racist supremacists...“

Not more food for the Troll. Go to your place.

@ ConfusedPundit | Feb 11, 2018 9:49:08 AM | 166
„2 putschists, General Sisi and General Evren, are democratic but Mursi and Erdogan are anti-democratic.“
No, she does not. Sisi is no democrat, of course. But he prevented Morsi from making his election victory irreversible. Using a coup, of course. What does it mean: both side are sh..., antidemocratic. Evren ist no democrat either. But he suppressed islamists, of course. Not bad as these people try to subjugate others. It is not possible to get a peaceful status quo with people who insist that the moralic attitudes of some majority must be the rules for all people in a society. This claim is a declaration of war in itself.

Posted by: Hausmeister | Feb 11, 2018 10:09:47 AM | 152

@6 BX Regarding Trump: Look up Putin's assessment of him after their first meeting. Said the man is very sharp. Real Estate business is very difficult. For Trump to become a billionaire at it he must be very good at reading, understanding and formulating legal documents, contracts etc. minutiae is very important in that business. This fits with assessments of the man from people who have direct personal knowledge as opposed to propaganda.

As to Israel/Syria: Very smart for US to wait and see, since Trump does not want war with Russia and Russia is in position to close off Syrian airspace. Imagine, embarrassment for US if it rushes to intervene only to be forced to stand down because Russia closes Syria airspace with S400. Better wait and see and work behind the scenes at least initially.

Posted by: emk | Feb 11, 2018 10:14:53 AM | 153

Posted by: Just Sayin' | Feb 11, 2018 9:45:35 AM | 165

You're deliberately forgetting the dumbfuckery factor.
"Israelis" are so obsessed with all of their own bullshit that it takes them at least 24 hours to sober up in the wake of a SNAFU.

"It seemed like a good idea at the time" is a lousy way to run a country, even it's only a Shitty Little Country.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Feb 11, 2018 10:16:21 AM | 154

Thanks to b, and thanks Grieved for calling attention to the ambush aspect.

Posted by: juliania | Feb 11, 2018 10:43:03 AM | 155

@161 [blah][blah] "the SAA Air-defences failed completely to secure Syrian Airspace from the 2nd, completely predictable, Judeo-Nazi bombing run." [blah] [blah]

That statement appears to be untrue. The initial bombing attack was an incursion by IDF F-16 fighters *inside* Syrian airspace, and during that bombing run an F-16 was swatted from the sky.

It appears that the 2nd Israeli "bombing run" was, indeed, very predictable - the planes restricted themselves to Lebanese airspace and fired their missiles into Syria from there, and at least some of those missiles appear to have been intercepted by Syrian defences.

Notice the difference: in the morning the Israelis were flying around *inside* Syrian airspace without a care in the world, and by the afternoon they were launching standoff weapons from *outside* Syrian airspace.

The Syrians can't hope to claim a 100% success-rate, but I would think they were mighty pleased with how the day panned out.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Feb 11, 2018 11:10:44 AM | 156

Over at SST, there is a mention that the Russians are trying to integrate Lebanese and Syrian defences against their common local enemy, Israel. Back when Syria had troops in Lebanon to keep the peace after the Lebanese civil war, they had a radar base atop Mount Hermon which allowed them to see what was happening across the length and breadth of Israel. Perhaps the Russians are going to place one of their anti-stealth radars on the top of Mount Hermon with a feed to Damascus.

Also, I'm guessing that once the current phase of the war in Syria is over and Al Qaeda in Idlib is liquidated, the Russians are going to be in no hurry to go home because they know damn well that if they did withdraw, the United States, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Israel would see that as a sign of weakness and would immediately restart their regime-change shit in Syria straight way. So expect the Russians to be making active use of their bases in Latakia for years if not decades to come.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Feb 11, 2018 11:44:10 AM | 157

Magnier now has a article on the shootdown at his website with the version as told by Syrian officers and map Showing where the Israeli's were hit. Making a lot more sense than the al Sukhnah version which apparently was the Israeli story.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Feb 11, 2018 11:45:53 AM | 158

Ghost Ship 177
The Saudi attempted regime change may have been a wake up call for Lebanon helping unite the country a little. And Syria is a good show piece to see who they need for protection.
Russia has also been putting out feelers in Afghanistan and Libya, though I guess these will be a work in progress for some time.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Feb 11, 2018 12:04:07 PM | 159

@177, Peter AU 1

Indeed, an absolute brilliant article from Magnier!

Posted by: maningi | Feb 11, 2018 12:25:54 PM | 160

Re: seymour @172

If true (and we cannot yet rule out that possibility yet) it is another sign of weakness and wretchedness on the part of the retaliators.

Posted by: Activist Potato | Feb 11, 2018 12:54:53 PM | 161

OT The Russian plane crash. By some of the pics and video debris looks to have come apart in air, but possibly helicopter wreckage there as well.

Hopefully Russian ambassadors wont start dying off again as they did in the last year of Obama rule.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Feb 11, 2018 1:03:08 PM | 162

Re: F16-I wreckage, guys in moon suits: Yes, hydrazine for the Emergency Power Unit as other commenters said. The F-16 has 25 liters of it in a reinforced tank with self-sealing connections. The EPU can provide all essential electricity and hydraulic pressure for about 10 minutes by itself using its hydrazine-fueled turbine. Much longer than that if the aircraft's engine is still running.

The inconsistency with regard to protective gear or not is that almost nobody knows about hydrazine or why its used on aircraft. Typical soldiers' reaction to fresh crash site is to look for bodies. If none found, then poke around wreckage and take some pics because it's exciting! Live ammo? Who cares. Chase away any curious civilians. Eventually get booted off site (or forced to guard perimeter) by sane person of higher rank. The surgical masks are useless for almost every toxic substance in aircraft wreckage, but they may help protect against colds and the flu from other infected, sneezing gawkers.

Air force will always respond with Explosive Ordinance Disposal guys and HAZMAT stuff, who will chase everyone else far, far away. Then stuff as shown in this video will happen. Other exploding aircraft things are secured. Then the guys in moon suits look for the F-16s hydrazine tank or its remains. Hydrazine-soaked junk goes into the yellow bucket and anything else hosed down with soapy water. The AF usually has special containers to hold the tank itself during transport.

The military is particularly paranoid about hydrazine even during normal aircraft maintenance. The stuff is toxic, flammable and a known carcinogen, but there was a time back when the USAF wasn't too concerned about it. Crew chiefs were initially more worried about getting bleached-out spots on their uniforms from it more than anything else. It wasn't too smelly and evaporated fairly quickly. Then someone figured out that hydrazine could spontaneously burst into flames when it contacts something organic - like a uniform. Ground crews were instructed to strip off any saturated clothing on the spot and get hosed down (although I never heard of anyone bursting into flames). After the military figured out how hazardous it could be, the moon suits became mandatory for handling it.

So, yeah - I wouldn't let my kids play in it or clean paint off my dog with it (although I'm assured it's an excellent latex paint remover). No idea if all the old-timers that got splashed are dead now, but hydrazine exposure has seriously screwed up *some* AF guys. Better safe than sorry.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Feb 11, 2018 1:18:45 PM | 163

Oh, hell...

Posted by: PavewayIV | Feb 11, 2018 1:20:24 PM | 164

Thanks Paveway. When I saw the first photos of people in military uniforms in the wreckage without any protective gear, F16 being around in big numbers for a lot of years, I thought all or most military types would be aware if F16 was fitted as standard with something toxic, but obviously not the case.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Feb 11, 2018 1:37:43 PM | 165

redrooster @158:

I'm of the opinion that Israel discovered a last minute juicy target, expecting an easy kill; someone or some thing like an SAM site or munition depot. Maybe that famous Iranian General, high ranking Hezzie commander or Assad himself, was in the area. Killing one of them would be considered a gain for Tel Aviv, especially Assad. It certainly would be worth the risk of a few jet fighters. You could ask, why not send a few thugs instead? First, it would require them to know, well in advance, of the coming event. They also probably don't want to risk capture of them. Hubris is likely the culprit, as IDF commanders were accustomed to walking into Syrian airspace with no repercussions. The question is, was the Israeli tricked into attacking? A possibility.

Looking at the article that Peter AU1 posted @177, it contained a map showing the general flight path and target area. I don't believe the Israelis were planning to place "boots" on the ground. It's far too risky given the situation, as those ground troops have no way of getting any meaningful support. You might be correct if the bombings were near the border but it wasn't.

Some would say that the Israelis are looking for a casus belli to launch a wider war or distract the unwashed masses from his corruption scandal. I don't believe either of these scenarios. Israel is already neck deep in this giant mess, everyone knows this, so they're not fooling anyone (i.e. medical help to ISIS fighters). And, there's too many people in Israel that knows of Bibi's scandal given suppressed news of protests against him.

Let's see if the IDF is desperate enough to use their brand new, shiny F-35 for similar missions. It would be a huge loss of face for both Israel and the US, if one was blasted from the Skies of Damascus.

Posted by: Ian | Feb 11, 2018 1:51:57 PM | 166

Posted by: Ian | Feb 11, 2018 1:51:57 PM | 166

I find the Israeli move highly irrational. I too don't believe that Israel will actually put boots on the ground, but then the bombing of Syria by Israel is meaningless, whatever short-term result it might have.

All the other participants in this conflict combine the bombing of enemy targets with boots on the ground capturing said positions from the enemy. That is true for the USA and it's allies, Russia and Iran with the Syrian government, even Turkey with it's thugs on the ground.

Posted by: redrooster | Feb 11, 2018 2:17:48 PM | 167

@166 Killing high ranking officers would be a short term objective. Long term Israel wants to stop Iran building bases. Either way it's unlikely to discourage them. But they may get better at concealing their radar facilities. Hard to imagine Israeli boots on the ground.

Posted by: dh | Feb 11, 2018 2:52:06 PM | 168

There are 2 main factions in Iran as in the USA.
Nobody should rule out a possibility of a 'controlled conflict'.

Posted by: ConfusedPundit | Feb 11, 2018 2:57:06 PM | 169

IAF Chief of Staff confirms they planned the attack:

"Bar added that at no point was Russia involved in the operation and following interception."
"We informed the Russians about our activities, but I will not say at what stage of the operation," he said.

Now, one should never trust Tel Aviv...but be true when they choose to. If true this means "Moscow was punished" for sanctioning Damascus' AAA action. And how could Mossad have managed to plan and execute AND retreat successfully without FSB and all of Russia being on alert for terrorists?

Has any evidence AT ALL been presented in the thread supporting the "Moscow was punished" claim?

Posted by: rockwool | Feb 11, 2018 3:02:27 PM | 170

redrooster | Feb 11, 2018 2:17:48 PM | 167

"I find the Israeli move highly irrational. I too don't believe that Israel will actually put boots on the ground, but then the bombing of Syria by Israel is meaningless, whatever short-term result it might have."

You have to keep Hezbollah busy in Syria. Would Israel want them to go back to Lebanon? No! Would they stay in Syria if Iran told them to go back? No.

Who did Israel retaliate against after F-16 went down? Iran? Russia and Syria?

Posted by: ConfusedPundit | Feb 11, 2018 3:36:17 PM | 171

Re: Depleted uranium ammunition - none ever produced for the US F-16 or similar US fighter's 20mm cannon. I doubt the Israelis ever bothered either. The gun is meant for air-air combat and the pilots want high-explosive rounds, not armor-piercing ones.

Standard US 20mm aircraft ammo now is the PGU-28 SAPHEI (Semi-Armor Piercing High Explosive Incendiary) round. It depends entirely on its steel body and explosive filler for the weak armor-piercing effect. The 'Semi-Armor Piercing' label is for marketing - it does not have a dense metal armor-piercing slug or rod inside. I suppose it's marginally better against thin armor than the older, standard M-56 HEI round, but an F-16 pilot just isn't going on any armor-strafing runs. That puts him well within MANPADS range and he'll have a hell of a time hitting a piece of armor a mile away. That's why the F-16s have bomb racks - the things they can strap to those work way better against armor than their 20mm gun using any ammo.

Even if the downed Israeli F-16I had DU ammo, it would pose little radiation risk even if engulfed in flames. DU dart-shaped slugs in armor-piercing ammo will not burn at rest. Maybe with and oxy-acetylene cutting torch, but not in aircraft wreckage. Slamming DU into hardened steel armor at Mach 5 will make some of it burn. It's the metalized vapors and micron-sized uranium oxide particles produced that become the radiation problem when inhaled. That said, it would be detrimental to your health in general to be around any burning ammunition, DU or not. An exploding, loose 20mm round, just like a Captagon-fueled Saudi-Wahhabi nutjob, can take your head clean off.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Feb 11, 2018 3:46:28 PM | 172

...That they planned the attack means that Syria acted on self defense.

But how does that go with the Syrians claiming (or MoA creation?) that them flying the drone over ISIS territory was a planned trap by them to lure IAF in to Syrian air space - to be ambushed upon?

This makes no sense because the Axis, Moscow, Beijing and obviously also Hamas knows Tel Aviv and NATO are actively out trying to provoke casus belli for WWIII. The Israeli minister of education has noted that and antagonizes Tehran for being chicken:

"[Iranians are] very generous when it comes to sacrificing the lives of Gazans. But when it comes to Iranians paying with their lives [in Syria], he tucks tail and runs."

This clear irritation under-builds that Tel Aviv (and Talmudists and Kabbalists worldwide) that they are getting desperate for WWIII. Seems like a Yemeni-like starvation and misery by further sanctions are awaiting the Gazans.

"It's a fact they don't have divisions, brigades or even battalions in Syria. They don't have airports and sea ports,"

This shows that the Axis of Resistance is almost a polar opposite NATO - Article 5 - where all members are responsible for the collective defense of an attacked member. Tehran has only sent advisors, they claim. How many IRGC? More importantly, what a sucky alliance/axis. Yet all this massive tip toeing has kept humanity away from WWIII since late 2011.

"There's no basis to that," ...regarding Iranians trying to trap the IAF with the drone.

Again proving the IAF was the aggressor. Note the Syrians are taken out of Tel Aviv's discourse. Sana News Agency is quite but Fars News or Al-manar ran the drone bait story (IIRC).

'[In] order to achieve stability and calm, "the way to go is actually with systematic offensives /.../ if you don't do anything and enjoy a few months of quiet /.../ Iran will establish a base on the frontline."'

There you go, systematic offensives is the strategy of the Hegemon. A prosecutor would call that "confirmed intent", and in order to have a case three more criteria has to be met: purpose, aim/goal, and ability. With a prosecutor's framework one can easily make a case the Talmudists and Kabbalists want WWIII.

'Israel "has been peeling the layers of defense of the Syrian anti-aircraft (apparatus) around Damascus. We've exposed (Syrian President) Assad, so he's naked and vulnerable. And this is really just an example of what we can do."'

Think I've read 8 hours ago that IAF also had done a third raid. For sure Syria is quite easy pray for IAF as long as Tehran does not fill it with AAA and EW systems. As long as Moscow's men are not hurt they will keep being passive in Syria and is certainly not worthy of seeing as an "ally". The definition of "ally" is NATO Article 5.

"Israel has "full freedom of operations" in Syria, /.../ from Russia".


Posted by: rockwool | Feb 11, 2018 3:56:07 PM | 173

Israel claims to have taken out much of Syria air defense System. Any Truth to this or just more lies?

Posted by: Ragheb | Feb 11, 2018 4:07:17 PM | 174

Posted by: Hausmeister | Feb 11, 2018 10:09:47 AM | 152

"the moralic attitudes of some majority must be the rules for all people in a society. This claim is a declaration of war in itself."

Thank you. Exactly. People in some countries often complain that the US or the EU, a group of super rogue states, does just that, they display a barbarian 'moralic attitute' towards other societies as you admittedly described above.

That's why I told you that Turkey was more democratic than the US and Germany. Bolshies.

Posted by: ConfusedPundit | Feb 11, 2018 6:33:35 PM | 175

@174 Well, they would say that, wouldn't they.

Since they very obviously didn't know the full capabilities of Syrian air defences prior to the shootdown of the F-16 then why, exactly, would anyone accept their claims w.r.t. Syrian air defences now?

After all, how much is "much"?

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Feb 11, 2018 6:53:30 PM | 176

psychohistorian, Israel actually claims to have annexed occupied Golan, though I don't find a single other country that recognizes that.

Yeah Right, Shortly after this "regime change" "revolution" began, Israel shooed off the UN observers along the cease fire line. Clearly, they preferred ISIL to Syrian forces along their pretend border.

Posted by: Daniel | Feb 11, 2018 7:21:24 PM | 177

@177 "Yeah Right, Shortly after this "regime change" "revolution" began, Israel shooed off the UN observers along the cease fire line."

That must have come as something of a shock to "Ambassador David Satterfield Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs", who made a visit to UNDOF HQ just one week ago. He must have been very surprised to find that his hosts were Fijian, Nepalese, Indian and Irish Jihadists, rather than the UN troops that we was expecting to see.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Feb 11, 2018 7:42:01 PM | 178

@177 "psychohistorian, Israel actually claims to have annexed occupied Golan, though I don't find a single other country that recognizes that."

Actually, the Israeli claim is far more cowardly than that.

The Golan Heights Law doesn't make any claim that henceforth the Golan would be "Israeli territory", which is what "annexation" is.
What that law does is claim that henceforth Israel will apply its own domestic law to that territory.

Or, in short: the Golan Heights Law merely claims that Israel has the right to treat it **as-if** it were Israeli territory, even though, err, it isn't.

Typical Israeli obfuscation, and the sleight of hand has been going on for so long that even the Israelis are confused.

But the legal status is clear: Israel has never made a de jure claim that the Golan has been annexed.

Its claim to this territory is purely de facto and its chosen means of doing so is (legally-speaking) ludicrous, for the simple reason that a state can't extend its own domestic laws to any place that isn't..... domestic.

If that were valid then the Israelis could claim anywhere and everywhere merely by passing a bit of domestic legislation that says so. Which, obviously, is preposterous.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Feb 11, 2018 8:03:25 PM | 179

You're correct, Yeah, Right; some UN countries returned. I can't find the original articles I read about UN pulling out early on, but this explains their reason at the time.

"During the Syrian Civil War, the buffer zone between Israeli and Syrian forces became a scene of the Quneitra clashes, forcing many UN observer forces to reconsider their mission due to safety issues. The fighting between Syrian Army and Syrian Opposition came to international attention when on March 2013, Syrian rebels took hostage 21 Filipino UN personnel, who had been a part of the UN Disengagement Observer Force in the neutral buffer zone between Syria and Israeli-occupied territory."

Of course, UN mostly blames Syria, even later when aircraft flew from Israel across the "Alpha Line."

I'm assuming you're also aware of the UN report that substantiated claims that Israel was aiding the "rebels."

Posted by: Daniel | Feb 11, 2018 9:07:21 PM | 180

@ Yeah Right with the histerical context for the Golan Heights...pun intended

So we are back to the might makes right meme which seems to only hold within certain contexts currently

Is this when we hear about the exceptionalism of another group of folks and their mythological claim to destiny?

Posted by: psychohistorian | Feb 11, 2018 9:09:57 PM | 181

>>>> Yeah, Right | Feb 11, 2018 6:53:30 PM | 176

After all, how much is "much"?

Probably less than the Israelis think!

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Feb 11, 2018 9:13:50 PM | 182

Let me add that anthropological basics should be taught in grade school.

You don't get to matriculate until you grok the concept of sharing and understand where monotheistic religions "fit" in human evolution.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Feb 11, 2018 9:14:39 PM | 183

'IDF performed 1000s of operations in Syria over past year'

According to the head of IAF Air Division, Brig. Gen. Amnon Ein Dar. Also claims the "Iranian drone" shot down was a reverse-engineered version of the American RQ-170 model that the Iranians somehow landed back in 2011.

But states the reason IDF used a helicopter was to match the drone's speed, which would make sense with the common, propeller-driven drones, but does it with the high speed jet drone?,7340,L-5107305,00.html

Posted by: Daniel | Feb 11, 2018 9:39:58 PM | 184

"Former Qaeda leader in Syria ‘welcomes’ Israeli airstrikes"

Several tweets down, you'll find a terrorist praising Israel last year, saying "We wouldn't have survived without Israel's assistance."

Posted by: Daniel | Feb 11, 2018 10:03:19 PM | 185

psychohistorian @183--

I'll second that idea with a reminder that religious institutions are more deeply embedded and powerful thanks to their mind control than the Banksters and their financial houses. If babes while still diaper shod would be taught we are all members of the Human Family--that there is only one entity known as the Human Race; that we all belong to the same Human Tribe--then humanity might have a chance at proving Zager and Evans wrong.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 11, 2018 10:21:11 PM | 186

@181 "So we are back to the might makes right meme which seems to only hold within certain contexts currently"

*sigh* Proof positive that while the psychohistorian can read he isn't capable of comprehension.

I'm pointing out that Israel's "claim" to the Golan Heights doesn't even rise to the level of "might makes right".

That is axiomatic, because when you actually look at what the Israelis are claiming w.r.t. the Golan it doesn't even amount to "I've grabbed it, so it's mine now".

They don't actually make that claim. They have never made that claim.

They simply insist on playing a kindergarten game of let's-pretend amongst themselves and then express outrage when nobody else jumps in the sandpit with them.

Be honest: you haven't actually read the Golan Heights Law, have you.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Feb 11, 2018 11:59:52 PM | 187

@181 "Is this when we hear about the exceptionalism of another group of folks and their mythological claim to destiny?"

No, this is when I point out - one more time, yet again - that the Israelis are playing a game of let's-pretend amongst themselves, while everyone else tells them to stick their head out of their arse.

Honestly, it's like I'm explaining things to a child.....

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Feb 12, 2018 12:02:39 AM | 188

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