Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
September 18, 2018

Syria - Israel's Provocation Kills Russian Soldiers - Moscow Will Take Political Revenge

Yesterday Turkey and Russia agreed on a further de-escalation in Idelb province in Syria (see the update here). This agreement takes away the chance of an imminent wider war in which the U.S. and some of its allies would use a fake 'chemical attack' as a pretext to launch missiles against a large number of Syrian government targets and military positions.

A peaceful solution of the Idleb situation is unsatisfying for Israel. The successful Syrian defeat of the Jihadi enemy inside the country would allow Syria and its allies to concentrate their forces against Israel. Israel wants the Syrian government destroyed and the country in chaos.

On Sunday September 16 Israel tried to hit an Iranian Boeing 747 freight plane at Damascus airport. The plane allegedly carried an Iranian copy of the Russian S-300 long range air defense System for the Syrian army.

On Monday around 10:00pm local time 4 F-16 jets of the Israeli airforce, coming from the sea, launched missiles against at least three targets on Syria's coast. The strike came only hours after Israel released satellite images of what it called "strategic targets" in Syria. The integrated Syrian and Russian air-defenses responded.

The Israeli air force had warned the Russian forces in Syria only one minute before the strike. A Russian IL-20 electronic warfare airplane (red line) was preparing to land at the Russian airport near Latakia just as the Israeli attack (blue) happened.

Source: Russian defense Ministry - bigger
The IL-20 was hit 35 kilometers off the coast by a S-200 air-defense missile fired by the Syrian military towards the Israeli attack. There were 15 Russian soldiers on board of the plane which were likely all killed. Russian ships search for survivors. Some wreckage of the plane was found at sea 27 kilometers west of the village of Banias.

IL-20 electronic warfare version - bigger

The Israeli attack came out of the same direction as the Russian IL-20. The large 4 propeller plane creates a much bigger radar reflection than the small F-16s fighter jets. The S-200 missiles have a semi-active radar homing seeker. These are passive detectors of a radar signal which is provided by an external source, in this case the Syrian and Russian radars on the ground. While the missile was aimed at the F-16 its seeker likely mistook the larger radar reflection of IL-20 for the intended target.

At the same time as the Israeli air force attacked, a Russian frigate (red) near the coast detected missile launches from the French Frigate Auvergne (blue) nearby. The French frigate carries air, ship and land attack missiles. France denied "any involvement in the incident." But it seems that this only referred to the IL-20 incident and was not a denial of missile launches.

Even more was going on says Haaretz:

Not only Russian and (allegedly) Israeli and French aircraft and missiles were in the air. Civilian radar also tracked British Royal Air Force aircraft, which, unusually, had switched on their transponders and gone into holding patterns – most likely to avoid being somehow involved in the exchange of fire over Latakia.

The Russian Defense Ministry accuses the Israeli government of a deliberate set up:

"Israel did not warn the command of the Russian troops in Syria about the planned operation. We received a notification via a hotline less than a minute before the strike, which did not allow the Russian aircraft to be directed to a safe zone," Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said.

After the Israeli attack the Syrian state TV showed the headquarters of the Technical Industries Agency near Latakia on fire. Other targets were near Jableh, south of Latakia, and Homs. At least ten people were wounded due to these attacks.

The Russian military spokesman also accused Israel of "hostile action" against Russian forces:

"We see these provocative actions of Israel as hostile," Konashenkov said, adding that 15 Russian servicemen were killed as a result of the "irresponsible actions" of Israel's Defense Forces, which violated "the spirit of the Israeli-Russian partnership."
According to the spokesman, the Russian Defense Ministry reserves the right to an "adequate response" following the Israeli attack.

Israel (and France?) are deliberately provoking the Syrian and Russian forces. It hopes for a response that allows it to play the victim and to call on U.S. President Trump for help and protection. The help would come in the form of a U.S., British and French attack on the Syrian government and Syrian military targets.

Russia will certainly take revenge for the Israeli provocation, but will likely do so in the political arena. On Netanyahoo's personal request Russia had stopped the delivery of original Russian S-300 long range air-defense missiles to the Syrian military. These would have been less likely to veer off towards the wrong target. In consequence an Iranian 747 was damaged and 15 Russian soldiers were killed. Netanyahoo can forget about any further such 'favors' from Moscow.

Posted by b on September 18, 2018 at 10:09 UTC | Permalink

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CarlD | Sep 18, 2018 11:53:37 AM | 80
Putin does not gamble his relations with Israel. Hor him Israel is a much & more important than the surrounding all Arab countries, because its networks represents the world's financial, political, military, scientific and intelligence depth. In addition, there are 1. 5 million Israeli russian speaking citizens.

Posted by: ALAN | Sep 18 2018 17:15 utc | 101

And furthermore, this might be a WTF moment for those in the Russian military (as others have noted), as well as those in SAA, IRGC & Hzb...

Not looking good Vladimir...

Posted by: xLemming | Sep 18 2018 17:17 utc | 102

I read an excellent post on SouthFront that I think is worth posting here:
" John Brown • 2 hours ago

This deal with Erdogan is better than I thought, as the Russian army will enter Idlib in large numbers escorted by the Turkish army without even having ot fight any battles at all.

This is why Israel downed the Russian military transport plane to try to wreck this deal which is huge victory for Syria.

The S-200 was fired at the F-16 earlier which drew the missile out towards the IL-20, then the F-16 kept the IL-20 in a line-of-sight between it and the missile, probably till the missile was out of range of identifying friend or foe, and used the heat signature to kill the nearest thing..

The deal also helps Russia and Syria by Erdogan is giving them a shield to free the rural areas of Latakia Idlib and Homs which they would have to do first any way. The Oct 15 deadline gives the Russians plenty of time to bomb the crap out of the militants. The buffer zone will also be territory Syria won't have to fight for as the Israeli terrorists will have to pull back and Russia has more time to greatly strengthen Syrian air defenses.

The fact that Israel attacked today in Latakia in a temper tantrum proves this was a good deal to make for Syria. If the militants don't cooperate, they get hammered anyway. Nothing to lose. A very smart move by Putin again as well as Erdogan. I am sure China is helping financially by helping Turkey out with USSA Israeli sanctions and to get out from under the IMF."

Posted by: frances | Sep 18 2018 17:18 utc | 103

i agree with these posts below..

"I don't believe this attack had anything to do with the Idlib agreement. Just another Israeli attack on Syria."
Posted by: Jackrabbit | Sep 18, 2018 8:42:21 AM | 31

"Russia has its own S-400 systems defending Latakia, so it can defend itself and doesn't need Syria's S-200s.
They would have been watching the Israeli F-16s on radar, and then they get a phone call saying an attack is happening in one minute. Russia must have said "OK", because they didn't blow the F-16s out of the sky. All they have to say to Israel is "Next time it will NOT be OK." and Israel will have to stop it's invasions.

The hairy-chested Americans here are calling Putin weak, but he can't afford to make any over-reaching mistakes, and all decent, responsible human beings are glad of that. Do you want to have WW3 just to show how much "balls" you've got?"
Posted by: Palloy | Sep 18, 2018 10:09:01 AM | 54

Posted by: venice12 | Sep 18, 2018 10:09:18 AM | 55

"Quite an infestation of pro-Israeli trolls today, much more than usual. I guess they're trying to put over a point."
Posted by: Laguerre | Sep 18, 2018 10:19:40 AM | 58

@80 carld... i don't share your view on that!

Posted by: james | Sep 18 2018 17:21 utc | 104

It seems that most agree with my assessment that Russian policy is primarily at fault as I wrote @81. There's really no avoiding that fact, especially for Russians, which is likely to act like a stick stuck in the throat. The Zionists offer help with an "investigation" of the event, which is pure BS as the event's already been investigated, the facts revealed, and the responsible party and its criminal motive named. I'm sure numerous members of Syria's General Staff are privately--perhaps--saying "we told you so" regarding Russia's non-engagement policy. Maybe even Assad too.

Need to see Russian language media and Duma member reactions as Putin will need to address them. I wonder if the Kremlin Security Council discussed how they'd respond to such an event as another shootdown was very likely to occur.

On the question: Would having the S-300 system made any difference? Only if it had previously been used successfully to down Zionist aircraft and thus become seen as a credible deterrent to such attacks. But I doubt in this situation if its targeting system would have been able to differentiate between the larger and smaller targets.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 18 2018 17:24 utc | 105

This is perplexing. While Putin evidently whitewashes the Israeli act of war, he also dictates a firm message to Israel via MOD Shoigu. Russia used to be more consistent and firm when it was part of the the socialist USSR. Today everything is about capitalist profit and "win-win." However, the U.S. population believes it is entitled to the world's resources by divine right, like Israel, and has indeed viewed itself as the New Israel. Nevertheless, much of the blame also goes to Iran for exaggerating its influence in Syria and Iraq and thus playing into Israeli propaganda. Iran has also refused to defend its own assets in Syria and has deferred to Russia and/or Syria for protection. Hezbollah likes to boast about its victories but is ineffectual (or more probably unwilling to retaliate) against Israeli use of Lebanese airspace to attack Syria. Russia is infested with the Zionist lobby and a fifth column of Christian Zionists who work with George Soros on the left to pass superstitious anti-gay laws and then attack Russia for foreign-financed "human rights violations," leading to CIA-backed extremism on the left (Pussy Riot) and right (anti-immigrant white supremacy). The FSB seems content to facilitate the destruction of its own country; one cannot blame institutional treason and/or spinelessness on one man (Putin). The bottom line is that "World War III or bust" has always been the NATO/Israel endgame and is a natural outgrowth of deep-seated, centuries-long tendencies in Western civilisation. Citizens of the West are guilty for passively voicing useless resistance against a ruthless oligarchy that only respects force. If Westerners and their victims are unwilling to take up arms against the oligarchy (not that I would advocate that), then they shouldn't complain about the ceaseless wars and corruptions. They should just accept their status as slaves unto death without the faux protesting.

Posted by: Daniel | Sep 18 2018 17:31 utc | 106

Defence minister Sergei Shoigu's statement on the shootdown at Russian military website here.

Putin's public comment on the shootdown, which was in answer to a journalists quest is at the Presedent of Russian Federation website here.

Thread seems to be full of troll and couch potatoes spewing crap. Putin makes it quite clear the statement by the Russian military that Israel is responsible is Russia's official position.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Sep 18 2018 17:40 utc | 107

@105 karlof1... did you see what @54 palloy wrote? here it is again that i would like to emphasize..

"Russia has its own S-400 systems defending Latakia, so it can defend itself and doesn't need Syria's S-200s.
They would have been watching the Israeli F-16s on radar, and then they get a phone call saying an attack is happening in one minute. Russia must have said "OK", because they didn't blow the F-16s out of the sky. All they have to say to Israel is "Next time it will NOT be OK." and Israel will have to stop it's invasions."

@107 peter au... fully agree.. israel is responsible for this.. anything else is obfuscation!

Posted by: james | Sep 18 2018 17:45 utc | 108

What seemed like a big mistake by Israel has, in the space of a few hours, been turned into a victory for Israel and a humiliation for Russia courtesy of the Russian president. I don’t think Putin is going to live this down. He looks weak and hesitant. Netanyahu just punched him in the mouth and he’s slunk off to a corner, his reputation as a tough guy shot to pieces. While he has done a great job redeveloping Russia clearly his time has come. I don’t believe this is about the Israeli 5th column. It’s more about how Israel manages to bend all politicians to its will. All except Kennedy of course who had been well schooled in such matters by his father. And which is why he and his brother had to be taken out. Nixon was a borderline case which is why he only got Watergated.

Posted by: Lochearn | Sep 18 2018 17:46 utc | 109

In any complex chess position, one does well to maintain the possibility of the other side to make a blunder.

Posted by: Guerrero | Sep 18 2018 17:46 utc | 110

@ 107

There also seems to be a concerted propaganda effort by the MSM to claim that Russia supports Israel's attacks on alleged Iranian infrastructure in Syria, including Lebanese Hezbollah. The New York Times is asserting that Russian restraint has facilitated hundreds of Israeli airstrikes on Syria over the past year, and goes on to aver that Israel and Russia closely coordinate activities to limit Iranian influence in Syria. The MSM clearly hope to drive a wedge between Russia and its regional partners, even though equal or greater blame should go to Iran for its own hesitancy to confront Israel. Hezbollah could have easily used its ever-growing post-2006 expertise to target Israeli electronic and air assets over Lebanon but has not done so, though Israel always utilises Lebanese (or Jordanian) airspace to attack Syria. Everyone likes to blame Putin but lets Iran, Syria, and the rest of the Russian military/diplomatic establishment off the proverbial hook. Besides, Hezbollah has not done itself any favours by promoting anti-Semitic "Jews-control-the-world" canards on its al-Manar TV channel, which only discredits the otherwise worthy cause of anti-Zionism and only plays into hard-right Zionist hands. Bashar al-Assad, for his part, made numerous flawed efforts to appease Israel and the West in the years prior to the 2011 intervention. He privatised certain sectors of the economy; allowed Syria's arch-enemy, the pro-Zionist Muslim Brotherhood (Hamas), to set up offices; and in general tried to compensate for his inferiority and lack of experience. When his father Hafez died in 2000, even the MSM paid grudging respect, something they have not done to Bashar. Bashar, like Gaddafi, Khrushchev, and other revisionists, was always trying to abandon the pan-Arab, anti-Zionist, socialist agenda of his father and seek "peaceful coexistence" with the West. Yet everyone blames Putin. Sigh...

Posted by: Daniel | Sep 18 2018 17:50 utc | 111

@P36 jackrabbit... i have a few problems with the quote from you below.. first off, it suggests that the path syria-russia-iran has taken to regain syria could have been done differently and more effectively.. that is a 64,000 question that ignores a number of events that could or might have happened along the way to change everything at the place syria is now.. so, i disagree with you on this and think banding all the 'moderate headchoppers' and families in idlib was a smart move and one that is still being worked out.. pat lang was wrong on this from day one and doen't look at more right at this point as i see it..

"Pat Lang said that R+6 should have moved to take Idlib after Aleppo. He has now been proven right."

Posted by: james | Sep 18 2018 17:52 utc | 112

"Syria - Israel's Provocation Kills Russian Soldiers - Moscow Will Take Political Revenge"


Posted by: partizan | Sep 18 2018 17:58 utc | 113

@ james it was the same in the leadup to the southwest offensive - trolls swamping the threads saying Russia had sold out Syrian ect and many of the regulars joining the troll chorus.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Sep 18 2018 18:05 utc | 114

Vladimir Putin calls it a "tragic mistake". This was a deliberate provocation that made fools out of the Russian side for allowing the Israeli attacks on Syria. Russian servicemen die and Putin stands with the Israeli provocateurs, ridiculous.

Posted by: truthcrusades | Sep 18 2018 18:13 utc | 115

Segy Shoigu - "The head of the Russian defense Ministry reported that it had informed the defense Minister of Israel Avigdor Lieberman that Russia will not leave unanswered actions of the Israeli air force in Syria, which killed Russian soldiers."

Putin - "Our attitude towards this tragedy is set forth in a statement by our Defence Ministry, and has been fully coordinated with me."

partizan 112 it you that is fake, not the news.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Sep 18 2018 18:18 utc | 116

james @111

You are probably right. Hindsight is 50-50 and this hasn't fully played out.

My point larger point is just that if Putin had been more distrustful of Erdogan, then maybe he would've done things differently. If Erdogan doesn't keep his part of the bargain that has just been struck and never relinquishes Idlib, then Putin will have lost his Turkish gamble. It's already looking pretty dicey.

Some counter this view by saying that Putin is "playing the long game". I disagree. The Empire has awoken and is defending its hegemonic vision. This is a 'race' (at times a game of chicken) that neither side can afford to lose.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Sep 18 2018 18:20 utc | 117


Yes, what the cause of this attitude is is hard to say, some post above mention israel lobby in Russia.
Bullies shouldnt be met with acceptance, if you are a leader of big power like Russia and someone cause the deaths of 20 people from your army, you cant just say, it was a mistake.

Posted by: Zanon | Sep 18 2018 18:20 utc | 118

The downing of the Russian plane was premeditated.

Most likely, the holo-biz 'survivors' used electronic rerouting, which the Russians should have done long time ago against the nest of the bloody Bolshevik progeny and supremacists madmen like Miliekovski (Bibi) and the former night-club bouncer Avi Lieberman.

The Jewish Fifth Column in Russia should feel the heat. Their Israeli relatives and best friends are guilty of the premeditated murder of Russians.

The Jewish Power in action:
"Combat vessels from the Second Standing NATO Maritime Group (NATO Maritime Group 2) moved closer to Syria’s borders on the 16th of September, according to monitoring data from Western naval forces. In retrospect, we can see this sudden buildup as related to the French/US/Israeli strike on Lattakia and the downing of the Russian il-20 aircraft carrying 14 Russian soldiers
In particular, the eastern Mediterranean is now being patrolled by the Canadian Navy frigate HMCS Ville de Quebeс, by the Greek navy ship Elli and by the Dutch Navy frigate HNLMS De Ruyter, the latter being the group’s flagship.
In addition to the aforementioned vessels, three American destroyers (USS Carney, USS Ross and USS Winston S. Churchill) are already in the region, as well as the USS 6th Fleet Admiral USS Mount Whitney. The waters are also being patrolled by at least three Los Angeles-class US nuclear submarines. According to Western observers, the armament of the current US naval group in the Mediterranean includes more than 200 Tomahawk cruise missiles."

Posted by: Anya | Sep 18 2018 18:21 utc | 119

correction @118

I disagree ... with the notion that Putin has the luxury of time.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Sep 18 2018 18:22 utc | 120

The agreement on Idlib reminds me of the Minsk agreements, of 2015.

When the Minsk agreement was signed, many people called Putin a traitor and a weakling for abandoning the Lugansk and Donetsk republics. However looking back over the last 3 1/2 years we can see the true sense of the Minsk agreement.

1. Legitimization of the republics.
2. Commitment of Ukraine to federalization, which Ukraine had no intention of carrying out.
3. Tying the hands of the West because of 'The Minsk Agreement'.

Since then the conflict has been frozen. And every day Ukraine gets weaker and its Western owners throw away more money and credibility on a lost cause.

The Idlib agreement looks similar. What are likely results of this agreement?
1. Consolidating the exclusion of the U.S. from western Syria.
2. Positioning Turkey as the actor with responsibility to fight the U.S. coalition's Jihadis in Idlib. When combined with the situation with the Kurds, it consolidate's Turkey's position as a Russian ally and American foe.
3. Opening up transportation routes linking Damascus with Aleppo.
4. Freezing the conflict while a diplomatic solution is achieved, without the participation of the U.S. coalition.

It looks like a good deal for Syria and Russia. No wonder Israel was so furious.

Regarding Putin's reaction to the Il-20 downing, it looks like vintage Putin to me. He will not make a show of it, but will address the issue firmly, with action, not words, but on the terms and timing of his choice.
All of the commentators on this blog who denigrate Putin do not properly appreciate recent history.

Posted by: dh-mtl | Sep 18 2018 18:22 utc | 121

Correction @121

I disagree ... with the notion that SCO has the luxury of time.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Sep 18 2018 18:25 utc | 122

@T and all the experts. Russia is in a very difficult position. It has absolutely treacharous enemies quite apart from supposed allies on all sides. The U.S.A. is even trying to destroy Orthodox Christianity to further isolate Russia. I have no doubt that there has been some very intense diplomacy behind the scenes. Remember, vengence is a dish served cold, the western attitude for immediate gratification, e.g. Russia taking immediate and probably recklessly stupid retalitatory action won’t serve either their or Syria’s agendas, doesn’t mean that action won’t be taken. Putin is only human, we all make mistakes, if the situations were reversed, the U.S.A. Wouldn’t even make it to 3rd world level.............

Posted by: Beibdnn. | Sep 18 2018 18:25 utc | 123

@107 & 113 p

I understand what you and other like-minded individuals are saying...

There are some in the blogosphere, like Brandon Smith, who have been quite accurate regarding how current geopolitical events have unfolded, although admittedly I had trouble with his viewpoint on Russia/China being part of the charade

And then there are others, like Jim Stone, God bless him, who has blinders on regarding Trump, in whom I believe his faith is misguided

I try to listen to and read many sources, draw conclusions from that and mete out my trust accordingly & sparingly, as I try to navigate my own place in this crazy world

I gave Putin the benefit of the doubt for the longest time, biting my tongue on many occasions & to be happily proven wrong, and I wish to be proven wrong here again...

*IF* Putin indeed said, "it was only an accident", then the optics of such are not good, as they excuse evil, and undermine the good and those who are in harms way.

Other than that, totally enjoy your comments & those of others... as they say, "iron sharpens iron"

Posted by: xLemming | Sep 18 2018 18:27 utc | 124

I studied the incident of the downed ILYUSHIN in LATAKIA, SYRIA, and after confirming the location of the ISRAELI JETS, when they fired their missiles, from multiple journalist sources, South East of Cyprus with a direct line of sight with the AKROTIRI BRITISH NAVAL SPY BASE, it seems that the Israeli Air Force has the following technology which according to my oppinion was responsible for the downing of the Russian airlane: FUEL ADDITIVES WITH ELEMENTS THAT CAN LATCH ON TO METALIC OR OTHER SURFACES UPON BEING SPRAYED IN THE ATMOSPHERE, ACTING AS FALSE TARGET/FALSE SIGNAL IDENTIFIER. If the Russian plane flew through the wake/plumes the Israeli jets left behind with deliberate manuevers, in order for the plume to be intercepted by Russian flight path, then you can have some type of technology to make use of this extra signal/return multiplier to confuse S-200 Syrian air defense not programmed to counter such a threat, therefore electronically "painting" the Russian plane as an "Israeli jet". I believe that other enablers were used, the type of weather control/microwave for the creation of and or handling metalic additive plume particles as a standing wavethat can later could be moved around or dispersed in patterns for a brief amount of time in order to create a "curtain" of nano material that could latch on to surfaces in order to "paint" them as targets regardless of what kind of material it is.

Posted by: Greece | Sep 18 2018 18:31 utc | 125

I studied the incident of the downed ILYUSHIN in LATAKIA, SYRIA, and after confirming the location of the ISRAELI JETS, when they fired their missiles, from multiple journalist sources, South East of Cyprus with a direct line of sight with the AKROTIRI BRITISH NAVAL SPY BASE, it seems that the Israeli Air Force has the following technology which according to my oppinion was responsible for the downing of the Russian airlane: FUEL ADDITIVES WITH ELEMENTS THAT CAN LATCH ON TO METALIC OR OTHER SURFACES UPON BEING SPRAYED IN THE ATMOSPHERE, ACTING AS FALSE TARGET/FALSE SIGNAL IDENTIFIER. If the Russian plane flew through the wake/plumes the Israeli jets left behind with deliberate manuevers, in order for the plume to be intercepted by Russian flight path, then you can have some type of technology to make use of this extra signal/return multiplier to confuse S-200 Syrian air defense not programmed to counter such a threat, therefore electronically "painting" the Russian plane as an "Israeli jet". I believe that other enablers were used, the type of weather control/microwave for the creation of and or handling metalic additive plume particles as a standing wavethat can later could be moved around or dispersed in patterns for a brief amount of time in order to create a "curtain" of nano material that could latch on to surfaces in order to "paint" them as targets regardless of what kind of material it is.

Posted by: Greece | Sep 18 2018 18:32 utc | 126


That’s about the same assessments I’ve made. At this moment I don’t blame the Zionists in Israel and why should anyone blame them. Putin has allowed freehand to the Zionists and Nato to attack Syria and Iran often forestalling the progress of his troops and that of his allies made. Why did Putin and his policy makers think that the Zionist regime attacks was going to be confined to targets of SAA/Iran/Hezbolah? If he’s not going to protect his troops and that his allies, Putin should quit/withdraw from the Syrian arena and leave the country to it’s fate.

Posted by: Al-Haza | Sep 18 2018 18:32 utc | 127

125 "*IF* Putin indeed said,"

if if if... why not read the official fucking transcript of what Putin said and then "if" is no longer needed along with the other gossip.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Sep 18 2018 18:33 utc | 128

@115 peter au.. indeed!

@118 / 123 jackrabbit.. thanks.. i agree with your last line @118.. hard to know what putin is thinking here, but i am sure he sees the inevitability of what is going on.. their is no stop to this as i see it.. the whole world is going to be brought into this conflict..

in the past it was saddam had weapons of mass destruction.. it is now assad has chemical weapons and is going to gas his people.. basically it is the same pitch and many will go along with it, for all sorts of different reasons..

international law as practiced by the west is now a complete joke.. for israel to not be held accountable for it's actions yesterday is to continue with this joke/facade about international law..

@122 dh-mtl - i agree.. i think the deal is good.. however, no amount of good deals is going to stop the warmonger nations from pursuing their ambitions in syria as witnessed yesterday.. israel continues to get a pass for whatever it does, so that it can claim the golan heights or whatever whacked in the head thing it is thinking here..

Posted by: james | Sep 18 2018 18:34 utc | 129

"SARH (semi-active radar homing seeker) missiles require tracking radar to acquire the target, and a more narrowly focused illuminator radar to "light up" the target in order for the missile to lock on to the radar return reflected off target. The target must remain illuminated for the entire duration of the missile's flight."

So what are the chances that s-200 "...missile was aimed at the F-16 its seeker likely mistook the larger radar reflection of IL-20 for the intended target." as is stated in an article?

Of course a possibilities are endless, in theoretical domain. But it would require sloppy operators (unlikely that would be a Syrians in this case) to mistook the airplane loaded with all kind of electronics for an interceptor.

Posted by: partizan | Sep 18 2018 18:35 utc | 130

"Netanyahoo can forget about any further such 'favors' from Moscow." and "Russia will certainly take revenge for the Israeli provocation, but will likely do so in the political arena." Nonsense. The Israelis as usual have the upper hand and will play Russia as their little bitch. Putin is no match for Netanyahu and the IDF. The Russians always come across as a slow-witted giant who nobody really likes or respects. The Israelis always have better strategy and better connections. Look at the USS Liberty attack. Or look at 9-11 which was a Mossad operation, and how that 'terror attack' played so very well for the Zionists (at America's expense!). The Israelis are masters at false flag attacks to frame another target, be it playing Palestinian terrorist to justify more attacks on them; dressing up as Arab ISIS terrorists to further paint Muslims as evildoers who must be crushed; or in this instance getting Syria to shoot down the Russian plane then blame it all on the Syrians. Israel can pretty much do as it pleases over Syria, and nobody can stop them: they fly wherever they want, blowing up buildings, airports, military outposts etc and nobody so much as lifts a finger to stop them. When will somebody grow some balls and seriously kick some Israeli ass? Maybe never? Holy crap.

Posted by: Deschutes | Sep 18 2018 18:36 utc | 131

Putin won't lift a finger against his moneymen in Tel Aviv. Most of Russia's moneymen have homes in Tel Avi. He has a soft spot for them.

For starters, the whole deal between the Russian military and the IDF was a BS one. I'm surprised the Syrian military command didn't make noise about it. Basically, the two militaries agreed for Russia to turn a blind eye on any Israeli military agression on Syria. With friends like this, who needs enemies.

I sometimes think Syria/Russia's alliance restricts Syria's ability to deal decisively against the IDF. I hope now this incident changes that. But I won't hold my breathe.

Bibi will fly over to Moscow and moan about some Iranian presencc in Syria(which Russia doesn't like, btw) and all will be forgotten.

Syria seriosuly NEEDS to look elsewhere for her air defence needs. Heck, even Turkey's getting S-400 but Syrian can't have it because....reasons.

Posted by: Zico | Sep 18 2018 18:42 utc | 132

I think the real target of israel was not Ilyushn but Putin, considering all the weird posts that flooded the internets, blaming Putin for everythink.
Iranians calimed that israeluses heavy weather control on them, the other day, I DIDN'T SEE ANYONE EVEN REPOSTING THAT STUFF.Such hypocrisy in this world...

Posted by: Greece | Sep 18 2018 18:47 utc | 133

How can the Russians provide AD to Syria without incorporating automatic friend-or-foe recognition that allows only hostile aircraft to be targeted?

Was the relevant transponder in the IL-25 not working for some reason? Was it a software glitch? Was the Syrian equipment so old that it could not provide this safety measure without further modification? Or did the Syrians turn off this feature deliberately because they did not understand how to use it?

The answers will probably never be publicly known but the Israelis have shot themselves in the foot here by violating their de-confliction agreement with Russia.

Posted by: kral | Sep 18 2018 18:47 utc | 134

yet more Israeli trolls, eg 131

Posted by: laguerre | Sep 18 2018 18:49 utc | 135

karlof1 earlier in the thread linked to some pieces on the shootdown by Korybko

His take on the blogosphere is spot on but also his theory that and american Israeli faction in Israel engineered the situation to move deliberately put Israel on bad terms with Russia might have something.
Israel has never joined the US sanctions against Russia and Netanyahu told Trump to stand down in southwest Syria after Russia had worked its diplomacy.
I believe there is also a large voting block of ethnic Russians in Israel that may be a little pissed off about the shootdown.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Sep 18 2018 18:57 utc | 136

kral | Sep 18, 2018 2:47:37 PM | 134

i doubt that the Syrians handle this given the type of aircraft involved. IL-25 is allegedly shot down just off the Syrian coast where Russian have state of the art radars. In addition bunch of naval ships similarly equipped.

Posted by: partizan | Sep 18 2018 18:58 utc | 137

Well, with 136 comments as I write, this thread took remarkably little time to scan, but it did involve seeing who was the poster before reading. You can always tell when military actions are the topic because the troll budget goes up. When it's Israel to blame, there's no limit to the lies.

I do wish people would follow the Internet's earliest learned lesson - do not feed trolls, because they make more points when you engage, and all they want is to fill the quota. Learn to ignore.

Good to see some of the regular and proven commenters coming in now. Lochearn at #110, is that really you, or an impostor?

Israel has crossed a line. Russia had every reason to trust that line, the same as we don't check our alarms every 10 minutes but simply wait for them to go off.

Anyone who believes that Russia will forget or forgive the deliberate death of 15 Russians has no idea who they're dealing with.

The responses (there will be more than one) will be whatever Russia decides is best for its interests.

I shall wait.

Posted by: Grieved | Sep 18 2018 19:07 utc | 138

forgot to check for typos before posting my last comment.

kral 134 From what I read some time ago the S-200 warhead has a kill range of 150 meters and is armed with a proximity fuse. If that is right, the missile would only need to pass with 150 meters of the Russian plane while tracking the Israeli planes or missiles to take it out.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Sep 18 2018 19:09 utc | 139

There is more to this than meets the eye. Putin not only has to look after his troops, but he has to play politics, too, and in Russia there is a very strong 5th column of liberals and Jewish commentators who are now falling all over themselves trying to explain away Israeli actions to the Russian public. From The Saker:

"I am watching the Russian media and I have to report that Zionist propagandists (Russian liberals and Jewish commentators) look absolutely *terrible*: they are desperately trying to blame everybody (the Syrians, Hezbollah, and even the Russians) except for Israel. This will not sit well with the Russian public."

Without the public firmly behind him, taking actions that could quickly escalate will not go down well in Russia. Let people laugh and talk trash. I remember the shootdown of the Russian jet by Turkey, and everyone was screaming for Turkish blood. The Sultan eventually came back with hat in hand. It's a very tricky situation for Putin regarding Israel. This will take time to play out. The Russians will probably have the last laugh.

Posted by: m | Sep 18 2018 19:11 utc | 140


Indeed. The brilliance of the Israeli strategy of provocation is that it will make the domestic political scene in Russia increasingly difficult for Putin to navigate in Syria. The more often Russian troops are killed or injured, the more quickly one half of the Russian populace demands action or withdrawal; the more they demand it, the harder it will be for Putin to maintain their support. For Israel and others are betting that he will never actually retaliate. They are creating a situation which is designed to make Russia's presence in Syria an impossible political situation for Putin himself.

Posted by: WJ | Sep 18 2018 19:12 utc | 141

@140 - very insightful post. Kudos!

Posted by: Deschutes | Sep 18 2018 19:18 utc | 142

Doesn't Putin operate a 'three day rule'?

Posted by: et Al | Sep 18 2018 19:19 utc | 143


Putin's not Jesus.

Posted by: WJ | Sep 18 2018 19:24 utc | 144

Another interesting point to note. Russia, Iran and Turkey recently had a meeting on the situation in Syria. The agreed to get rid of the rats in Idlib. Suddenly Putin turns around and makes a deal with ONLY Turkiye.

It's becoming clear that Turkiye , Russia and (behind the scenes)Israel, are on the same side when it comes to Iran's presence in Syria. Syrians themselve don't have a say in their own country anymore.

The Syrian army now needs permission from a foriegn power to liberate their own land. Turning the other cheek only invites more slaps.

At this rate, Syria may well forget about Idlib. Turkey won't leave. The US won't leave either. Welcome to bulkinazation 101.

Posted by: Zico | Sep 18 2018 19:24 utc | 145

@138 MoAites in the know adhere to our own BDS movement, so to speak..

Posted by: Lozion | Sep 18 2018 19:24 utc | 146

Attention Zionist trolls: please go sell your bullshit someplace else, everyone here knows you're the problem on this planet.

Posted by: SlapHappy | Sep 18 2018 19:26 utc | 147

@128 p

My statement was based on that "if", which was rhetorical

But as Caitlin Johnstone aptly put it recently, unless we can embrace something with one of our 5 senses, we have no choice but to trust, or not, as we all engage in a "shared, consensual narrative". The trick is discerning the correct narrative, and that, in part, is why I am here

BTW no need for vulgarities - it undermines your argument

Posted by: xLemming | Sep 18 2018 19:34 utc | 148

It is very unfortunate that Putin said what HE said because not saying anything
would have been way better than what he said.

I was very unhappy when Pres Putin dismissed the killing of Russian Mercs by
the US by saying that they were "unauthorized individuals", if I am not mistaken.
But lets face it, these were Russians! Working for the good side, at that. Wasn't
their unnecessary deaths worth some solidarity?

Why should Putin be more sensitive to the "plight" of Russian Israelis than to that
of these Russian citizens that became soldiers of fortune through necessity?

I do admire Putin, but I have to grasp the reality that his compass shows a different
North than ours who would like to see the Beast reined in.

What will Zhirinowsky say or think when he hears Putin's statement? What will the
rank and file servicemen think? How will the Douma react?

Truly, there Putin is on his own. Either he doesn't realize how much his words are
hurting him, or he is a man that can swim against the current and demonstrate
great courage.

Some say Netanyahu and Putin are friends. It must have come about recently
because on Victory day Parade. Putin did distance himself from Benyamin.
He was definitely rude to Netanyahu.

This deconfliction line between Israel and Russia's militaries point to the fact
that Israel has been bombarding Syria with the blessings of the Kremlin all
these times.

Iranians are obviously not well seen by the Kremlin and should not count on
the Russians as allies. If Russia knows every time an Israeli attack is going
to occur on Syria and looks the other way so as not to hinder Israel destructive
work, how much of an ally are they to Bashar el Assad?

Their presence is therefore limited to fighting the Takfiris and other potential
threats to the Russian Motherland. Thinking that it is better to fight them
away from home.

Jordan, Israel, Turkey, the US, France, England, Saudi Arabia, Qatar et tutti quanti
may abuse Syria ad libitum and ad nauseam. This is of no concern to the Russians.

Seen with these glasses, then all Putin's actions and omissions become predictable.

Russia will retaliate only if it is directly and unequivocally attacked. Not as a collateral
casualty but as a primary target.

This may hurt our feelings as we see it as treason to the cause. But we must remember
that Russia has it's priorities and aims.

Posted by: CarlD | Sep 18 2018 19:36 utc | 149

Dear all, guys & girls, дамы и господа,
first of all let me express my deepest condolences for the tragic loss of the 15 Russian SPECIALISTS who perished as the result of the Il-20 shootdown. I want to stress that I'm deeply surprised, shocked, and disturbed, not only by this horrendous provocation, but also by the incredibly *inaccurate* and *dismissive* description of what happened and of the ultimate victims of this whole tragedy.
Why are these 15 Russian casualties summarily described just as "servicemen" or "crewmen"?
These were not "simple" прапорщики or privates - what we are all forgetting is that these 15 servicemen were:

1) Highly experienced engineers and technicians
2) Electronic Warfare specialists
3) SIGINT Experts

It literally takes *decades* in order to induct, train, and build the skills and experience of such highly prized military personnel. Merely calling them "crewmen" or "servicemen" is highly inappropriate and inaccurate - let's therefore pay due respect to these fallen - as these were not "ordinary soldiers"!

Next - the loss of the Il-20 is nothing short of *devastating* for both the Russians and the Syrians. That plane was a specialized electronic warfare asset regularly patrolling (and securing) the surrounding airspace - and...Il-20s don't grow on trees!!! Let me underscore this - the loss of this aircraft is an absolutely *devastating* loss that will cost the Russians and the Syrians dearly - notwithstanding the fact that Israel certainly won't offer any compensation for this human and material loss.

Final points and hard questions (and I haven't seen many questions being raised about this so far....happy to hear/read your take on this!):

1) The Russians saw the Israeli F-16 way before they got so close to Latakia and to the Il-20. Why did they allow the Israelis to get *so dangerously close* to their prized asset - the Il-20 - and the the Khmeimim airbase?

2) What about the Russian EW-systems? While it is understandable that the Il-20 was on a landing approach and maybe not actively using its EW/radar systems - what about the other defensive assets deployed in the area? What about the Khmeimim-based EW systems like the Krasukha? What about the array of surveillance/tracking radar systems that Russia operates?

3) Why was the Il-20 not escorted??? I thought that after the downing of the Su-24 by Turkey, the Russians had decided to mandatorily escort major air assets such as bombers, tankers, surveillance planes etc? How come the flight of 4x F-16s could approach the Il-20 unimpeded with no interception/shadowing taking place beforehand?

4) What about Russian-Syrian coordination??? We know that the S-200s operated by the Syrians had been upgraded/serviced - this *must* have included the surveillance/tracking radars, as well as the IFF systems. So how could the Syrian SAM crews even fire the missile? Even if the Israelis claim that they informed the Russians just short of a minute or so before the strike, the Russians *must have seen - AND - tracked* the flight of the F-16s well in advance and even from their take-off, so they *should have informed* the Syrians.

5) What about Israeli EW-capabilities? Are Israeli F-16s now equipped with systems that allow them to fool Russian & Syrian radars and EW systems to the point where they can fly and approach a highly hostile area literally *undisturbed*, and be so confident that missiles fired at them will miss the target and hit the "friendlies" instead???

6) What about the role of the French here? What about the "Auvergne" frigate? Did it fire any munitions as indicated by the Russians? If yes, then why and at which target? Shouldn't Russia lodge an official complaint and demand explanations from Paris? Did the Israelis coordinate the strike in any form or way with the French?

Food for thought folks...we all need to get to the bottom of this - too many questions - and too few answers...
My message to the Russian (political) leadership: LISTEN to the Konashenkovs, to the Shoigus, to the Gerasimovs...and do whatever is necessary to STOP THIS.
'Nuff said.....


Posted by: Grom | Sep 18 2018 19:37 utc | 150

@138, Grieved,

With wisdom again . . .

I concur.

Israel broke the bond of trust. They will see in many ways and means that they bought the S-300 for Syria and eventually, a NO FLY over Lebanon, Jordan, Syria and Iraq and Turkey. The S-400s will be linked and all anyone in a military aircraft has to do is call and ask for permission from Moscow/MOD/VVP. It's coming. Russia is in Syria to stay for 50+ years. And thus, it and its neighbors will be under the Russian missile defenses, integrated as a whole network.

In this Levant neighborhood, all the leaders want peace. Only Israel wants war.

The ME is wider and includes the psychos and sociopaths of Israel and Saudi Arabia and UAE. They want proxy war and US Centcom wars. But Russia has taken Turkey away and soon Iraq will be removed from US hegemony, also.

The Chinese are finishing an exercise as "ally" of Russia in Vostok 2018. They are seeing and feeling how Russia fights wars. This may give them the confidence to militarily join anchoring the ME for OBOR Silk Road development. They have much at stake in securing a peace. And just may join with a stout presence of the PLA. They should and now they might finally come.

The Chinese will be operating the port at Haifa, so it means they hold stakes in Syria and Iraq as well as Israel. In their own commercial interests and in President Xi's dream of BRI they have to invest a military presence. The time is perfect.

They intend to invest billions in reconstructing Syria. They should build their own military infrastructure base in Syria.

Their work with Russia in Vostok 2018 will make their presence inside Syria feel very comfortable.

Posted by: Red Ryder | Sep 18 2018 19:38 utc | 151

well you go and let israel attack 'iranian' targets inside Syria some 200 times in two years or so, and ya don't expect any of your forces to ever get caught in the cross-fire?.....Well, russia, ya finally got caught.

more info here

"....But the ministry said it held Israel responsible because, at the time of the incident, Israeli jets were attacking Syrian targets and had only given Moscow one minute's warning, putting the Russian aircraft in danger of being caught in cross-fire..."

Posted by: michaelj72 | Sep 18 2018 19:40 utc | 152

Free ride for Israel again. NutYahoo plays the fiddle and Putin dances to the lively tune.

Posted by: rcentros | Sep 18 2018 19:50 utc | 153

#138 Grieved.

I wholeheartedly agree.

Posted by: et Al | Sep 18 2018 19:57 utc | 154

Perhaps Israel deflected the SAMs and shot the Russian aircraft down themselves?

Posted by: Pete | Sep 18 2018 19:58 utc | 155

"Putin showed weakness" is silly.

He can't talk about secret accommodation for Israel - but he can end it.

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

The 'accomodation' stemmed from Putin's view that Russia had no interest in getting involved in the Israel-Iran conflict. A wise choice because drawing Russia into that fray could lead to WWIII.

Who is directly responsible for the downing of the plane is irrelevant. Israel clearly fucked with Russia by not giving them adequate warning.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Sep 18 2018 19:58 utc | 156

@ 135 L

How is Deschutes an Israeli troll? He despises Zionists.

Now c.summers is an Israeli troll, as he excuses and/or ignores their evils

Posted by: xLemming | Sep 18 2018 19:59 utc | 157

Now Moon Over Alabama is censoring ... so I'll repeat the deleted post ...

Free ride for Israel again. NutYahoo plays the fiddle and Putin dances to the lively tune.

Posted by: rcentros | Sep 18 2018 20:25 utc | 158

would be nice to see Syrian and Russian forces attack Israel launching sites. AA defenses not nearly sufficient. Especially when most targets are cheap cruise missiles and not expensive aircraft.

Posted by: Ragheb | Sep 18 2018 20:26 utc | 159

My apologies. Moon Over Alabama did not delete my post — it was on the second page. I guess my emotions are running high. If I could delete the 2nd post I would.

Posted by: rcentros | Sep 18 2018 20:27 utc | 160

Israel controls Russia as much as it does the USA. Putin is a philo-semite. The Chief Rabbi of Russia is known as Putins Rabbi , he is from Brooklyn, a rabbi of the same orthodox sect as Kushner, Felix Sater and a couple of Putins biggest oligarch suporters . Many of Russias top oligarchs also have Israeli passports. Putins already met Bibi 3 times this year and trade and tourism between the 2 countries is booming with more than 60 flights from Israel to Moscow daily. A Russian academic is being tried for holocaust denial for daring to question some of the numbers. The media in Russia is just as pro-Israel as in US. The powerful Israeli lobby is global.

Bottom line, IMO there will be no revenge taken other than a token response to appease Russias military. Putting aside his pro Israeli stance, Putin knows an attack on Israel is the same as an attack on the Israeli controlled US . Not going to risk that for Syria, not for 14 soldiers. Thats just being smart. Weak, but smart.

Posted by: Pft | Sep 18 2018 20:32 utc | 161

Only thing Russian should do is place snipers all over the place and enable the Arabs to kill 15 Israeli soldiers. Once that is done, no more bullets. Blood demands blood. Russia has to punish the Jews somehow, if not the bear is WEAK.

Posted by: Fernando Arauxo | Sep 18 2018 20:41 utc | 162


Indeed no response will be given - this is probably already buried in Russia.
Putin admitted that there as only a "mistake", only problem Putin will run into these "mistakes" unless he take pre cautions (i.e. S300) to defend SAA/Russian army, or how many will die next time? Could he afford it?

Posted by: Zanon | Sep 18 2018 20:41 utc | 163

So it appears to be true … Bibi Netanahau send a Yom Kippur warning to Israel’s foes in Syria with “accomplices” Russia, Turkey and Iran.

At the same time, Israel is constantly working to prevent our enemies from arming themselves with advanced weaponry. Our red lines are as sharp as ever and our determination to enforce them is stronger than ever.

This week we will mark, in synagogues and cemeteries, Yom Kippur, the holiest day of our people, and the day on which, 45 years ago, we absorbed a bloody attack that cost us thousands of victims.

Posted by: Oui | Sep 18 2018 21:01 utc | 164

Posted by: Russ | Sep 18, 2018 12:12:18 PM | 84

I thought Syria's goal was to redeem its territory.

From whom? Syrians? With 5 million refugees outside of Syria?
From a nation of 22 million. With 3 million refugees in Turkey alone.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 18 2018 21:02 utc | 165

If Israel did not attack Syria without any legal pretext, none of this would have happened. Why do the USA and its NATO allies stand by and watch as Israel commits so many acts of naked aggression?

Because USA and NATO are wholly owned subsidiaries of Israel. Besides, the USA does not sit idly by - it actively supports Israel.

Posted by: Zachary F Goldberg | Sep 18 2018 21:06 utc | 166

Thanks to karlof1 for the 3 links, to PeterAU1 for the two links to Russian response to the mishap, also to Grieved for reminding us how seriously Russia will be assessing a response, and b, of course, for bringing the matter before us in his always competent posting.

Here is a translation of part of what Putin had to say:

"...First of all, I would like to express condolences to the families of the dead.

As for your comparison with the downing of our plane by a Turkish fighter, this was a different situation. The Turkish fighter deliberately shot down our aircraft.

In this case, it is more a chain of tragic circumstances because an Israeli fighter did not down our aircraft. It goes without saying that we must get to the bottom of this. Our attitude towards this tragedy is set forth in a statement by our Defence Ministry, and has been fully coordinated with me.

As for reciprocal action, this will be primarily aimed at ensuring additional security for our military and our facilities in the Syrian Arab Republic. These steps will be seen by everyone..."

Because of the phrasing Putin has carefully used, I would place considerable emphasis on the fact that only one minute warning was given by the Israelis of this dangerous situation occurring in the region of a busy Syrian airport such as Latakia has to be. Israel certainly knows that Russian planes are using that airfield. Why only a one minute warning? would be my question. And from the answer to that would flow measures taken to avoid the occurrence which would detract considerably from Israel's freedom to operate in that manner in that region in future. Whether that will be Russia's only response is at the moment a matter of speculation. We shall have to wait and see.

Lets have some patience, and in the interim it wouldn't hurt to pray for peace. And also for the families of those airmen.

Posted by: juliania | Sep 18 2018 21:09 utc | 167


From whom?
Have you missed that Idlib is occupied from the Syrian state?

U.N. Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura said there was a high concentration of foreign fighters in Idlib, including an estimated 10,000 fighters designated by the U.N. as terrorists, who he said belonged to the al-Nusra Front and al Qaeda.

Posted by: Zanon | Sep 18 2018 21:10 utc | 168

Grom @149--

Must agree with you about the loss of such invaluable specialists. You asked excellent questions. Presumably the Zionist jets were over international waters and may have been their often in the past without incident. The lack of escort presence is important, but we don't know current RuAF SOP. Did Russian air defense assets open fire? Some locals say yes; some say no. Only Russia knows for certain; I don't recall them saying so in their briefing. Some of your questions I've already addressed in previous postings, so won't comment on them again.

However, I will reiterate that besides Zionist aggression ultimately being at fault, Russian policies share some of the blame. For example, what legal difference is there really between a Zionist air raid and a terrorist rocket barrage? Both are illegal, terror attacks on the Syrian populace. Russia stated its reason for intervening was/is to stamp out terrorists and their ism. Zionism is one of those isms as it's based on the application of terror; a look into Zionist history proves that--even Zionists admit they're terrorists!!! This thus begs the question: Why the double standards--something Putin and Russians have stated they abhor on numerous occasions--in response to Islamic Terrorism and Zionist Terrorism? That's my question for Mr Putin. If I could, I'd ask him directly.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 18 2018 21:11 utc | 169

@ 138 Grieved

I have no idea where that comment came from. Thanks for letting me know and for seeing it was not the sort of thing I would write. I wrote a while ago that I had been hacked.

Yes, those of us who have been here a long time now are not suddenly going to dismiss Mr Putin for one remark. I think it's his style to understate, to row back a bit from strong language, but that doesn't mean there won't be consequences for this action. I looked at Saker's blog and he is very critical as he has been for some time now - hence the link with Paul Craig Roberts. Fort Russ, which is run by Joaquin Flores took issue with Saker. I find Joaquin an interesting intellect. I thought his analysis of Turkeys plans for Idlib quite brave in the sense of forecasting (please Google fort russ this is how Syria will seize Idlib).

I think Israel was furious its hopes for a confrontation of the Syrian alliance with Turkey in Idlib had been dashed by an agreement the contents of which we are still not quite sure.

Posted by: Lochearn | Sep 18 2018 21:13 utc | 170

oldenyoung @3

J. Flores @ FortRuss agrees with you in an article to be posted after the site he edits recovers from an attack:

Written within the context of the disinfo wars the author analyses more fully in the yet to be posted article:


"Secondly, readers will take note of the inclusion of the French denial. This French denial is bizarre and entirely out of place, since no one accused France.

. . .

The French 'early denial' when no accusation was made, means that the West had planned for France to be blamed, the French authorities were prepared to carry out their script and deny the accusations that the Russians were 'obviously' going to make.

Then something happened, and Russia didn't make that accusation. But there were the French authorities, going forward with the script, and in an incoherent way which really exposes what they were up to, and tells us all quite clearly what was planned, and yet all the while Russia doesn't at all blame France. Ridiculous, brilliant, absurd.

. . .

The aim of the Atlanticists is to have France do it, have France be blamed, and to cause a massive public relations problem, that Putin would have to respond to, by naming, blaming, the French, and seeking to hold them accountable. How will the French and Russian publics, respectively, take this? Not well, and it doesn't work well for the Eurasia project either. Macron will eventually be out, and it's politically near-impossible to hold the leader of a country, although temporary, responsible without blaming a whole people for something. Once you throw in the work of French media spin-doctors, they will absolutely succeed in twisting it not as a Macron problem but a problem that Russia has with blaming France and all the French by extension.

. . .

The IFF system, and the situation in Syria, is not at all like the situation in the Georgian war ten years ago, when at the time there were some official Russian reports of there being difficulties separating Georgian from Russian aircraft. This is because MiGs are identical to MiGs. IFF systems at the time are not the same as today, with integrated transponders which make auto-locking impossible from the start. The Syrian Army at Lattakia does not, in reality, operate as a separate army. There, they have what is known as an integrated command, at least insofar as these issues are concerned. So the SAA couldn't have attacked or locked onto a Russian plane, because the transponder data in real time that is part of newer IFF systems actually would mean there would have to be an intentional manual override over the computerated 'no-lock possible' response the S-200's computer system would have automatically generated for a Russian plane of any kind.

The S-200 has an extremely high accuracy, not more than a bit different from the S-400 for a single target, and specifically a target of this size and speed, it would have had to 'miss' the Israeli plane in question, which only has a 10-15% chance of doing, but then proceed to then actually hit the Russian plane. But not only hit the Russian plane, but critically so. This is all we can ascertain once we realize that auto-locking without manual override onto the Russian plane with the IFF transponder in direct connection with the SAA (Russian joint command) at Lattakia, is practically impossible unless we say there was an American asset working at the controls of the SAA's Lattakia computer.

. . .

The Putin-Erdogan deal reached yesterday indeed offers the strong probability for Syria to win without engaging in a needless conflict, and the promises of FUKUS attacks to be realized. Still, though they were anyhow, for no discernible reason given. Israel and France simply attacked in response to Turkey's cunning move. So time is on Russia's side.

That the aim of yesterday's surprise attack is punishment for the Turkish 'about face', which FRN stated as a very likely possible outcome, (for the record), is evident in that stories from RT and Sputnik reporting on the event had official statements, and not randomly so, saying that these attacks will not deter or reverse the Turkish-Russian agreement on the final resolution of Idlib.

What's needed now for the Atlanticists of FUKUS is to damage these relations as much as possible, Turkey vs. Russia, and Russia vs. France, and to cause Russia to blame France instead of blaming Israel.

This was a calculation, that Russia would not blame Israel due to the successful media hologram that Russia created that Israel has an inviolable special relationship (they do not, to this extent), and that instead that Russia will blame France. They did not expect Russia to accept the Western MSM Atlanticist narrative that the SAA had shot down the Russian plane either.

Between blaming France or Israel, the US expected Russia to blame France. Between blaming Syria or France, the US expected Russia to blame France. Between blaming Syria or Israel, the US expected Israel to be blamed.

They did not expect this hybrid of 'somewhat' blaming Israel for doing 'tricky stuff' in the air, the motives being hard to prove or qualify.

If Russia was to avoid an MH-17 situation in reverse, they had to think with agility. Russia has the physical evidence, the flight data, and the missile launch data. If they were going to blame France, which was mostly expected, it would have been a UNSC charade, a General Assembly charade, and a media charade with 'Putin blaming France' and Russia being accused of having possession of the evidence from which their case is made, and therefore the evidence being dodgy or even manufactured entirely.

The crash remains of the IL-20 are going to absolutely show that it was hit with a missile, any fragments etc. required to establish that, will show that's an Aster missile, or similar, like the missiles used in the S-200's. But they aren't going to show that the impact is consistent with a small missile carried by Israeli planes, or by gun strafing from an attack plane.

This is why Russia could not blame Israel,

Posted by: pogohere | Sep 18 2018 21:28 utc | 171

Apologies: Flores' article - this is how Turkey will seize Idlib. I was overcome by the intelligence of the hack, copying and pasting things I had said in different contexts.

Posted by: Lochearn | Sep 18 2018 21:32 utc | 172

Meanwhile, some initial results of the Idlib deal: "Al-Nusra Front, Jaish al-Izza, Islamic Turkistan Party and Hourras Addin refused the Russian-Turkish deal." That implies they will not withdraw as they're supposed to as agreement stipulates. So, it appears that unless the Turks can get them to change their mind, that come Oct 10, they'll be attacked. Oh, as I noted on yesterday's thread on this topic, related Syrian offensives in the region will continue--the war on the Outlaw US Empire's terrorists hasn't stopped. Indeed, the intensity of ongoing operations is likely to escalate. I haven't yet watched Almassian's video linked at the above tweet.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 18 2018 21:36 utc | 173

I very much doubt that the Russian leadership will somehow seriously answer Israel. The spinelessness of Russian politics sometimes simply amaze (it's worth recalling, for example, the epic with the seizure of Russian diplomatic property by the US authorities - there was no intelligible answer from Russia, and still(!) there's no answer).

Well, maybe Israel will make some statement that everything that happened is a "pure accident". Maybe Netanyahu will fly to Putin to talk "like friends". But not more.

Certainly, there will not be a disruption of diplomatic relations with Israel (now many in Russia call for it), no retaliatory attacks on Israeli forces, nor the withdrawal of Russian military police from the Golan Heights (who provide there security for the Israeli "zone of interests"). S-300 ADS complexes will still not be delivered to Syria.

By the way, many "link" this incident with 17 September breakthrough agreements between Putin and Erdogan. I don't know, maybe there is some sense in this. But I would pay attention to the other. Against the backdrop of this tragic incident, everyone somehow "suddenly forgot" the recent extremely important event - the media briefing of the Russian Defense Ministry in connection with the establishment of the belonging of the missile which shot down Boeing MH17 in 2014. Russian Ministry of Defense provided more facts, unconditionally determining the fault of Ukraine for the downed Boeing. Western curators of the Ukrainian regime were shyly silent, MSM "did not notice" this important news. Look at the first pages of CNN, BBC, The Guardian, The Telegraph, The New York Times etc... There's not even a word about the new findings that indicate the direct fault of Ukraine. The tragedy with the downed Russian plane somehow "very successfully" and "in time" diverted the attention of the "world community" away from the sensational data provided by the Russian Defense Ministry.

Just an observation...

Posted by: alaff | Sep 18 2018 21:37 utc | 174

Looking at the flightpaths of the Israeli aircraft and missiles, it seems likely the Russian plane would not have been in the target radar when the S-200 missiles were launched. The targets have the flown across behind the Russian aircraft causing it to be illuminated by the targeting radar after the missiles were launched. According to wikipedia the S-200 travel aT 2.5km per second. At 35km offshore that is a minimum of 14 seconds from launch, most likely longer depending how far the S200 batteries are from the coast. Plenty of time to pull the targeting radar across so it also illuminates the Russian plane after missile launch.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Sep 18 2018 22:18 utc | 175

Aha! Finally found a partial copy of the Memorandum of Understanding arrived at in Sochi, which only shows the first 6 points thus its partialness. As noted in previous comment, the terrorists have already rejected abiding by it, so points 5&6 will not be undertaken, meaning the SAA's free to begin Idlib Dawn. Any barflies think Turks will convince terrorists to alter their stance?

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 18 2018 22:27 utc | 176

Red Ryder @150:

China isn't coming to the shit storm without a UN resolution. Far too many chefs in the kitchen. Besides, the OBOR can always be adjusted to the situation.

Posted by: Ian | Sep 18 2018 22:31 utc | 177

@ Jose Garcia | 85

Some here express that Putin should do this or why he didn’t do that. It’s easy to express those opinions from the comforts of home. Never having bullets fly over their heads, or having to pick up the remains of their comrades, blown to bits right in front of them. And to confront the families of those killed and explain to them why they will never return.

Lets ignore for a second keyboard warriors. However always turning second cheek doesnt work in geopolitics and wars. If not overtly, then covertly Russia should have said to Israel: Niet! And either MADE SURE that Israel never attacks Syria again (and put Russian soldiers in harms way), OR provide the means to Syria to defend itself.

Russia hasnt done either. End result? There will be MORE dead Russian soldiers in the future. Why Israel thinks it can bomb Syria 200x in last few years and get away with it? Because Russia doesnt allow Syria to defend themselves. Why Israel doesnt bomb Lebanon since 2006? Because they KNOW they would be in the World of hurt if they do. Russia should have done the same in Syria, but they overplayed "but Israel are our best buds!" hand and got screwed in the process. If Russia doesnt stop Israel even now, guess what happens next? Exactly, more dead Russians (and Syrians, Iranians, etc).

Posted by: Harry | Sep 18 2018 22:32 utc | 178

Harry @177--

Yes, we agree; it's Russian policy that must change.

OT--Korean Summit--

Southfront provides this report about what's happening North of the DMZ, and provides a glimpse at what the US-driven propaganda line is as published within RoK. FYI, Moon and wife just completed a tour of RoK children's hospitals prior to heading North. Please note that Moon and Kim are on the same page when it comes to dealing with Outlaw US Empire.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 18 2018 22:43 utc | 179

One possibility of revenge is to kill FUKUS/Israeli spooks in Idlib, I'm sure that Russia knows where they are & that there can't be a big MSM splash when a few Kalibr's are fired into Idlib.

Posted by: Enrico Malatesta | Sep 18 2018 22:52 utc | 180

"Not only Russian and (allegedly) Israeli and French aircraft and missiles were in the air. Civilian radar also tracked British Royal Air Force aircraft, which, unusually, had switched on their transponders and gone into holding patterns..."

Like AG17 /#32 I am particularly interested in further information or confirmation of French, British RAF or other NATO involvement in this ambush. If anyone spots anything further to the above quote from Haaretz used in b's piece, please post.

Posted by: John Gilberts | Sep 18 2018 22:55 utc | 181

Finian Cunningham pushes all the right buttons, but the tree he's trying to bark up instead is an unclimbable greased pole. So, despite his finely worded argument, nothing of substance will change--the UN will remain mute over Outlaw US Empire illegalities and serial Zionist aggression. But, I'll admit his words needed to be published, despite his being a lone voice in the wilderness known as Truth.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 18 2018 22:56 utc | 182

The reaction guided by the initial emotional state is almost always the incorrect one. This case is no different. Every regular reader of this blog would love the emotioanlly satisfaction of watching an immediate display of Russian firepower. But Elijah Magnier is correct in his most recent essay. Russia, Syria and Iran must keep their eyes on the prize, which is a reunified Syria. Notice how despite numerous provocations over the last e years, Syria is closer to that goal than ever. Russia should never be goaded into a war against the entire NATO alliance, which is exactly what could happen here.

That does not mean Russia must sit back and take it. It means its responses must be carefully thought out and deliberate. Not an emotional knee jerk.

Posted by: lysander | Sep 18 2018 23:00 utc | 183

ALL of this connects to the necessity to have taken out Kiev and asserted explicit control IF the Ukrainian polity was soaked - as we were told and have seen - in extreme Fascism , 2014 The situation was complex in the late 1930's too regarding the world situation !
Sometimes one feels the Russian sense of ' fatalism ' is well earned , sadly ?

Posted by: ashley albanese | Sep 18 2018 23:00 utc | 184

I said it many times, it is Putin's fault for not putting an adequate defence force in Syria. Including S-300 for the Syrians.

Not for fighting the terrorists but simply to be able to defend themselves and the skies properly.

If you have only a small force then everybody is going to f. around with you and will be shooting down your planes and periodically bombing the country.

Why not make Syria impenetrable for foreign planes and missiles by deploying a large amount of anti-air until the job is done (Idlib is taken), then witdraw most of the force and leave a few S-300s to the syrians when everything is done?

Posted by: T | Sep 18 2018 23:13 utc | 185

Frances @ 104

Very clear-headed analysis you posted, unlike most of the posters here today!

Posted by: kgw | Sep 18 2018 23:36 utc | 186

Enrico Malatesta @179

There may be a few unfortunate road accidents (or similar) in the near future. Out of the limelight. Painful to the bereaved.

“There is more than one way to skin a cat.”

Posted by: Cortes | Sep 18 2018 23:44 utc | 187

@185 kgw.. i agree!

Posted by: james | Sep 18 2018 23:47 utc | 188

According to Magnier's latest, sources within Russia's Syrian command don't agree with Russian policy:

"'Russia has paid a heavy price for its unwillingness to exploit its superpower position in Syria, and for its failure to prevent any external force (US, EU or Israel) from bombing its allies in a theatre under its own control and dominance. In order to protect a perimeter where its forces were deployed, the US attacked and killed hundreds of Syrians in the al Tharda mountains under Obama, and hundreds more in Deir-Ezzour and al-Badiya. By contrast Israeli missiles flew over the Hmaymeen Russian-Syrian airport and the US Tomahawks which hit the Shuay’rat airport travelled over the heads of Russian forces', said the source which is part of the Russian command in Syria." [My emphasis]

Magnier thinks Russia will be able to wring a concession from the Zionists, but like the Outlaw US Empire, I don't see Zionists as "agreement capable" anymore than their Neocon cousins. There's more in his essay, but I'll allow others to discover those items.

The Idlib agreement and following Zionist crime seems to close another chapter in the ongoing Syrian Saga so a new one can begin tomorrow. One thing I believe to be certain: Never will the Zionist Abomination and Syria have normal relations; one or the other will eventually vanish from the pages of time. It remains extremely ironic that they worship the same God.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 18 2018 23:49 utc | 189

@188 karlof1... israel has already displayed a complete disregard for the agreement it had with russia, in giving russia notice.. 1 minute notice, when you are using the russian surveillance plane as a decoy to boot, doesn't suffice.. i do believe russia has to address this by giving israel something in return, and more then a warning..

actually there are a number of good posts from many thoughtful posters today.. grom in particular asks good questions and expresses my thoughts as well.. i don't have answers to those questions..

Posted by: james | Sep 18 2018 23:52 utc | 190

kgw @185 & james @187--

The problem with Frances's @104 analysis is the terrorists have already said, no, they won't abide. So, all that territory will need to be fought for anyway, and the agreement gained nothing.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 18 2018 23:56 utc | 191

@190 karlof1.. i think it was a given the jihadis were going to veto the russia-turkey agreement.. it doesn't change the pressure on turkey and the jihadis to go to step 2 here with the oct 15th, or 10th deadline.. actually the jihadis were always far game as i understand it, just that turkey is trying to get them to convert to good moderate jihadi opposition to assad, lol..

smoothie has a good article up on the topic of last nights israel raid... the comments are also informative..

Posted by: james | Sep 19 2018 0:06 utc | 192

karlof & james

1) We still don't know exactly how the demilitarized zone is supposed to work.

2) Alliances can be overt and covert. Only taking note of visible alliances is dangerous.

I sense that USA, Turkey, and their proxies (aka 'Assad must go!') want to make Idlib into such a thorny hairball that Russia-SAA never go there. De-facto Turkish annexation.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Sep 19 2018 0:21 utc | 193

Geez, what a read. I still believe the worlds real rulers don't want any boats rocked, that's why this Syrian thing drags on. Putin, Trump and the rest of the "front men" for mega-business do what they're told. Things ($), are looking good for the world's 1%ers, and they can't afford a disruption.

If a few little people die, well, that's just the price of business uber alles.

Posted by: ben | Sep 19 2018 0:23 utc | 194

Russia looks weak because they are in a weak position. It appears the Anglo American Zionists want to demolish Syria completely. They have been goading Russia into firing back and and starting the war with NATO. The Russians have not because they know it will be all out demolition time.

The Russians can hit back but NATO, Israel, and Turkey have the overwhelming force and all want a piece of Syria in partition. Israel and Turkey are talking about restoring diplomatic relations over the last few days. The Kurd's in a joint alliance with Israel and NATO may get a piece of the action as well. Israel wants the old kingdom back and will never settle for Iran on its borders in force. NATO wants to kill of all of Russia's ally's and Turkey wants to be the old Ottoman Turks again. What a toxic mess.

Unless the Chinese come in with a very large contingent the Russians do not have much of a chance in the long run. Lets hope this is not the flashpoint to WW III.

They have backed a bear into a corner with her cubs and are poking it with a stick. This will not end well.

Posted by: dltravers | Sep 19 2018 0:26 utc | 195

If Russia wanted to make an asymmetrical attack on Israel how about doing something for the Palestinians?

Posted by: Chas | Sep 19 2018 0:31 utc | 196

Anyone know what the French frigate was firing at?

Posted by: Ike | Sep 19 2018 0:50 utc | 197

No mention, in all of the geopolitical chatter and chest-thumping and hasbara in all of this, that the Israelites (see their antecedents and forefathers, to whom they look for inspiration and “history,” in the first 10 or 12 books of the Old Testament, replete with deceit and murder and falling away from YHWH and claiming to have been excused and returned to grace) have something between 100 and 600 nuclear weapons. Attached to balllistic missiles, sub-launched cruise missiles on board the nice U-boats the Krupp works built for them and got paid forthem by nice Uncle Sucker, and air-dropped and air-launched weapons too. And it gets Pooh-poohed any time anyone mentions it, but their leaders happily leave it open to conjecture that there really is a “Samson Option,” where the Likudniks will send all those weapons on their way to a wide variety of potentially planet-killing targets.

So given that these folks, these “very subtle and intelligent folks,” living and conducting their often corrupt business/political activities in one of the more corrupt “democracies” in the Mideast, trading in ISIS oil and stuff, while practicing their art as “the biggest espionage threat to the US in the Mideast,” people for whom the 11th Commandment is “thou shall not be a Freir (sucker) but make suckers of others at every opportunity,” have these nuclear and other weapons, like serious cybertoys, and their leaders apparently are willing to pull the temples of the world down around themselves if things start to look grim for their own little imperial ventures, might one ask what Putin and his diplomats and military and advisers best ought to do? The asp is already in our collective bodices — what’s the best way to keep from being fatally bitten by the little snake? Which has such big friends, also with planet-killing weaponry to hand, and “doctrine” and OPLANS in place to launch them off, with much of the chain of command including people who think bringing on Armageddon will hasten the return of their Godhead?

The best comments here, to my mind, are the short ones that end “we shall just have to wait and see what happens.” We mopes can try to follow the state of play, assisted by reporters and analysts like bernard and our favorite other “sources of intelligence and wisdom,” and pound our keyboards in frustrations of various sorts, but we don’t have squat to say, or do, with what is going on “over there,” or in the halls of the Pentagram or Foggy Bottom or Langley or even the Kremlin or No. 10 Downing... The Big People are playing what looks to me like some mashup of Monopoly (tm) and RISK! (tm), and we mopes are just little cannon fodder and serfs, awaiting the bidding and pleasure of our lords and masters.

Too bad us feckless mopes can’t get together around some kind of organizing principle that leads in the direction of what one might call species homeostasis and planetary stewardship, and dethrone the SOBs that are playing these games with our lives and families and treasure...
I’m hoping that my recurring dream of getting incinerated in a nuclear blast coming out of nowhere is just a bit of bad chicken, maybe left over from a long-ago meal in Chu Lai, Vietnam...

Posted by: JTMcPhee | Sep 19 2018 0:52 utc | 198


I don't think anyone knows right now but some think that the French may have fired defensively because missiles were coming in their direction.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Sep 19 2018 0:54 utc | 199

@100 . Your statistics indicate 10% 0f Russian voters are Jewish. In that case maybe one of the airmen killed was jewish so the Israel's are killing their own. It also implies Putin is not going against his popular support assuming some jews vote for him so maybe things are not as bad for him as some commenters believe.

Posted by: Ike | Sep 19 2018 0:55 utc | 200

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