Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
October 09, 2018

Syria Sitrep - The Turkish-Russian Agreement Holds - S-300 Air Defense Arrives

The situation in Syria is relatively calm. The government (red) has consolidated the areas it retook during the year. The Syrian army received new air defense (see below) and other materials and is busy integrating it. Some Syrian army units are currently moving east to Al Bukamal on the border with Iraq. Others have been sent to their home bases.


The only place where the Syrian army is still actively engaged is in the southern desert near As-Suwayda where some 1-2,000 ISIS fighters (grey) hold on to a small enclave in the mid of a large area of volcanic rock. The terrain is difficult to cross with tanks and the infantry fight there is bloody.

The Turkish Russian agreement over a demilitarized zone in the 'rebel' controlled Idleb government seems to hold.


The 'rebels' controlled by Turkey have moved their heavy equipment (tanks and artillery) out of the demilitarized area (ocher). The jihadi factions, Tahrir al Sham and the Turkmens around Jisr al Shugur, are not following the agreement. The Syrian Observatory reports that they dug ditches to hide their weapons in place. It is Turkey's responsibility to remove them. The assassination campaign in Idleb governorate continues with now more than 380 casualties. Some mid-level commander of this or that group gets killed each day. It is not know who - ISIS sleeper cells, the Turkish MIT or Russian spetsnaz - is behind the campaign.

A similar troubled area is the Kurdish canton Afrin in the northwest which Turkish troops and associated 'rebel' gangs occupied. There is an immense amount of looting going on and the various groups fight each other.

In the eastern Deir Ezzor governorate the U.S. military and its Kurdish proxy force (yellow) is still fighting against entrenched ISIS forces (grey).


Those forces had been left alone for nearly a year and used the time to dig in. The attackers take casualties from IED's and ISIS sleeper cells. U.S. and British forces bomb the area several times per day and French and U.S. artillery is adding to the carnage. Still, the progress seems to be extremely slow. There are unconfirmed reports that U.S. marines came in to reinforce the unwilling Kurdish proxy force. Some of the ISIS fighters crossed the Euphrates to attack government controlled (red) areas but were defeated.

While the overview map shows triangle south of Deir Ezzor city as ISIS held (grey) there have been no reports of any recent activities in that desert area.

The U.S. controlled al-Tanf zone in the south east (marked green) is relatively quiet. The U.S. soldiers there still train some local goons but there is no reasonable future for that position. The ten thousands of family members of 'rebel' and ISIS fighters in the nearby Rukban refugee camp on the border to Jordan are desperate. Jordan does not allow any supply for them. Food is smuggled in from government controlled areas but the people ran out of money and can not pay for it:

When the US cut funding for FSA-affiliated factions operating in the eastern Badia desert last year, hundreds of fighters lost their primary source of income, which had often been used to support family members living in Rukban, Ahmad al-Abdo Brigade spokesperson Seif says.

There have been negotiations with the Syrian government to move some 'rebels' and their families from Rukban to the north into the Turkish controlled zone but several announcements of such a move passed without any transfer happening.

Russia donated three battalion sets of S-300PM air defense systems to Syria. Each battalion headquarter has an acquisition radar and a command post. There are two companies (batteries) to a battalion. Typically each company has a fire direction radar and a fire control vehicle. There are four missile launchers in a company with four missile canisters each. Two additional vehicles carry spare ammunition and have cranes to reload the launchers. Each battalion will receive 100 missiles, enough to fight off several waves of attacks. The spares can be transported on normal truck trailers. The system is very flexible. Additional launchers can be added to a company and radar information can be shared.

The systems are relatively modern and still widely used within Russia's own air defense. The systems Syria received are used ones from Russian battalions which recently upgraded to the new S-400 systems. They were refurbished before being delivered to Syria. The S-300PM systems are mounted on wheel based vehicles. They arrived by air transport (vid) from Russia. To protect the long-range S-300 air defenses each company will likely be accompanied by a Pantsyr-S1 short range air defense systems. In addition to the air defense systems Syria also received Karsukha-4 electronic warfare systems which allow to detect and jam enemy radio traffic and radar.

One of the battalions will likely stay in Latakia governorate and reinforce the Russian air defense already stationed there. Another battalion will protect Damascus. The third battalion is a bit of a wild card. It could either stay in west Syria near Homs to reinforce the other units or move east to Palmyra or even to Deir Ezzor to give the U.S. contingent there some thought.

The newly positioned 96 ready-to-launch S-300 missiles will make it difficult for Israel to continue its attacks on Syria. Israel would love to to do so but the only way it might be able to continue its attacks is by flying its jets very low over Lebanon to be covered by the mountain range towards Syria. They would then have to 'pop-up' to fire their missiles into Syria but there is no guarantee that the firing jets would survive. Flying low over Lebanon also entails the risk of a surprise meeting with one of Hezbullah's short range air defense missiles.

The Syrian president Bashar al Assad just issued a decree that grants amnesty to those who deserted the army or ran away from serving their conscription time. If the deserters and draft dodgers turn themselves in within the next six month to fulfill their service they will escape all punishment.

The Gulf Arabs, except Qatar which is allied with Turkey, have given up on removing President Assad and are making nice:

In one of the more surprising developments amid a flurry of diplomatic meetings surrounding the U.N. General Assembly, Bahraini Foreign Minister Khalid bin Ahmad al-Khalifa was seen greeting Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem with hugs and kisses at a pan-Arab meeting last week. Bahrain, a close ally of Saudi Arabia, has been a vocal critic of Assad and other regional allies of Iran, but the top diplomat said: "the Syrian government is the ruler in Syria and we work with countries even if we disagree with them."

Days later, Assad conducted his first interview with an Arabian Peninsula newspaper since 2011, telling Kuwait's Al-Shahed that he had reached a "major understanding" with a number of Arab states and that "Western and Arab delegations have already begun to come to Syria to arrange their return, whether diplomatic, economic or industrial."

This change in the Arab rulers sentiment might well influence the U.S. position in Syria.

Posted by b on October 9, 2018 at 16:42 UTC | Permalink



Posted by: christy | Oct 9 2018 16:53 utc | 1

thanks b.. your note at the bottom is encouraging, even if unrealistic..

Posted by: james | Oct 9 2018 16:58 utc | 2

After doing a little research, my fear is this; Israel's F-35s are sitting ducks for the
S-300s equipped with advanced long wavelength and AESA(phased array) radar. Israel, therefore
will not deploy their F-35s in isolation. Rather, they will launch an all out attack throwing
every asset they have across the complete spectrum of their naval, land-based,and airborne EW
and counter-battery technologies. The US will join in, launching salvos of missiles from the sea.
Israel will only use the F-35s to light up the S-300 batteries. Once they are located, they will
be overwhelmed by sea and land-bases missiles.

Posted by: evilempire | Oct 9 2018 17:17 utc | 3

Posted by: christy | Oct 9, 2018 12:53:07 PM | 1


So now, she can go back to giving $40.00 lapdances! For that, she is eminently suited.

Posted by: joeymac | Oct 9 2018 17:31 utc | 4

The Israeli regime has been effectively neutered and put in a box. Any terror attacks against Syria or other countries by the Israeli regime are nothing but irrelevant sideshows.

The single most important wildcard that continues to fail to be covered or discussed is the battle for control of Iraq. If Syria, Iran, and Russia can effectively cut off the US regime control in Iraq everything else being discussed is irrelevant and nothing but cleanup.

If that doesn't happen then every other bit of analysis is completely worthless and a waste of time discussing.

* The US regime will continue to control the skies above the Iraq-Syria border
* Terrorists will continue to flow across the border
* Arms and supplies will continue to flow across the border
* The US regime forces will continue to occupy major parts of Syria

These pointless situation summaries about Syria are like someone discussing how much progress a wet floor has been mopped up while the broken and leaking pipe continues to be ignored.

The Israeli regime is irrelevant - they dare attack Syria or Lebanon and they Hezbollah and Syria will crush them and take land way beyond Syria's Golan.

The Turkish regime is irrelevant - the performance of the Turkish troops has been almost as laughably bad as the Israeli regime troops.

And the dimwitted Kurds see the writing on the wall and their only future is part of Syria.

Iraq is all that matters. Everything else is a waste of time to discuss.

The entire western half of Iraq has been effectively handed over to the US regime and companies by Iraqi political stooges over the past few years.

The US regime isn't going anywhere.

Posted by: Veshan | Oct 9 2018 17:33 utc | 5

#3 - And what will Israel gain by that? They'd risk losing planes (which they don't like to do) and the US would be inviting WW3. Even Israel bases its decisions on what it can get out of the deal, and I don't see a win for them with Syria, Russia, Iran, and Hezbollah gunning for them. Russians would be directly killed by the US and Israel in such a scenario and the US wouldn't want to risk that either.

Posted by: worldblee | Oct 9 2018 17:35 utc | 6

I once said Trump appointed Haley in order to eventually get rid of her - looks like it finally happened.
I like her replacement at South Carolina governnor, Henry McMaster..I hope that somebody good replaces her, although Bolton and Bibi probably have both of Trump's ears

Posted by: aaaa | Oct 9 2018 17:37 utc | 7

Posted by: christy | Oct 9, 2018 12:53:07 PM | 1

Yet another "Assad must go!" victim! LOL!

Posted by: Wolle | Oct 9 2018 17:55 utc | 8

#6- I'm just taking Israel at its word and trying to imagine the strategy they would employ. The Syrian/Russian
AD had better be prepared for the tactics I described because it is the most likely scenario. The reason Israel
will use the F-35s is that they might think that the L-band radars won't be able to get a lock and the risk was therefore minimal.

Posted by: evilempire | Oct 9 2018 17:57 utc | 9

Nikki Haley is gone! Good riddance to bad rubbish! If I had my druthers, I would have put an old WW2 steel pot on her head, put an M-16 in her hands, given her a basic load of 100 rounds and had her kicked out of the ass-end of a C-130 transport over one those places in the middle East, or some Latin American jungle where the US and it's goons are busily instructing the local population on how Amerikkkan democracy works. And there is a simple reason why she resigned. Haley is a rat leaving a sinking ship.

Posted by: GeorgeV | Oct 9 2018 18:05 utc | 10


Unlikely that Nuttybooboo would risk another Lebanon, when his wife and himself are being indicted for (very minor) corruption charges (as compared to Marcos, Khashoggi, Noriega, Rodham or Trump).

All's quiet on the Syrian front. The Pentagonic Satanists are focused like a laser beam on Iran contingency planning.

Posted by: Anton Worter | Oct 9 2018 18:05 utc | 11


Also USArya is watching like a hawk the 3Q18 actual, employment statistics, and the Fed tithe-tribute tax haul on 15OCT. If Congress has to issue Emergency Omnibus Debt Bill Three, and push the 2018 Deficit to $3000B, you can stick a fork in any foreign adventurism. Banksters don't like Pentagon skimming their skim.

Posted by: Anton Worter | Oct 9 2018 18:14 utc | 12


Avoid personality politics and transitory feelings of triumph, would be General Nguyen Giap's advice. Wind your watches and watch the horizon. Haley was just a baton twirled for the yclept State-CIA UN wing. But behind her will come a drum major and a shrill psyop marching band. And then behind them, faint, in the near distance, the scream of tank treads and low buddah buddah buddah of helicopters.

Posted by: Anton Worter | Oct 9 2018 18:39 utc | 13

I said to myself i would pop a bottle of champange if that witch would be gone. I just didnt think it would come so soon.. Who would believe that being corrupt could endanger the career of a US politician?
But being a "clean" alcoholic, i will enjoy a good joint instead tonight.
McCain, then Barb Bush, and now Nutjob Nikki.. Any hope for dick cheney to leave us in 2018?? That would be the best christmas present!

Sadly HC, Bolton, and thousands of others left.. ;)

To all those who already miss Nikki: We will see her again in 2020. Where republicans can enjoy that diversity and multiculturalism does not exclude neoconism and neoliberalism.. ;) THATS empowerment!
Who said that women cant be as evil, destructive and maniac as men?? ;)

Interesting times indeed!

Posted by: DontBelieveEitherPropaganda | Oct 9 2018 18:44 utc | 14


The tale of the tape:

Rich, well-connected husband ... Check
Governor of SC pension for life ... Check
UN Ambassador pension for life ... Check
Pentagon lobbyist for Boeing India ...

They'll have to pay Haley $20,000 a day to stump for Trump in 2020.

Posted by: Anton Worter | Oct 9 2018 18:50 utc | 15

christy @1:

Ambassadors are meat puppets. Will Bolton return to the UN?

Posted by: Ian | Oct 9 2018 19:25 utc | 16

3 - evilempire
Sure, that's what they did when they invaded Lebanon. But still, Israel does that and the US will be pissed off. These few S-300 aren't merely there to protect Russian assets or even Syria at large. They're also a nice bait waiting for some Western airforce to be stupid enough to launch a full-scale attack, so that Russia can test their degraded weaponry and gain a ton of experience against Western top fighter jets - and most probably a lot of valuable data on F-35's real abilities.
A full-scale attack on Russia's own S-300/S-400 defenses would make sense, because once that defense is down, the main enemy base is then open and you don't care anymore if the enemy knows what you're capable of. Doing it on a minor proxy is ludicrous and foolish for the main Western powerbase, it would give away many of its precious secrets.
Not that Netanyahoo would care, mind you. But the Pentagon and the Military-industrial complex surely would.

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Oct 9 2018 19:36 utc | 17

Soros is starting a new campaign for civil war in Syria. The usual suspects are being used to spout the untrue story that Assad's presidential decree about secularization is instead a pro-Sunni pro-Shariah ordinance and they are trying to get people riled up about that faced. Syria is notoriously divided into religious factions.

Posted by: Mischi | Oct 9 2018 19:52 utc | 18

Somebody posted this link a couple of days ago (sorry, I can't remember who), Look for post number 43, which clears up a lot of points about the recent S-300 UPGRADE.

As far as I understand, by introducing the S-300 with it's updated and terribly efficient radars, all of the S-200 system benefits. It is an "integrated" system. The 200 version missile (liquid fueled) is sensibly the same in performance as the 300 and may have even a slight advantage. The big difference are the radars.

43 is worth a read, as it is written by someone who knows what they are talking about. (The Saker is always worth reading too)
It is prefaced by a description of the "stealth" gimmick and why it is more than likely that Israel will NOT use the F-35 as it is slower and heavier and the stealth aspect is only useful head.on !

Training; The Syrians made some basic blunders withe the S-200 at the beginning of the war, lack of mobility etc. There were reports of some Syrian forces being trained a couple of years ago at the date of "purchase" - to use the S-200 and probably the S-300. I suspect that the S300 will be operational well before the dates mentioned by the Russians and Syrian Mod's.

Posted by: stonebird | Oct 9 2018 20:01 utc | 19

I sure hope Syria blacklists any US, UK, and French companies from any reconstruction contracts.

Posted by: Soft Asylum | Oct 9 2018 20:05 utc | 20

@ 5

If this was a student essay I would give it zero for content and a few marks for sheer audacity for dismissing our host’s always well-informed comments in such a forthright fashion and a few more marks for making me laugh. That the Israeli regime is irrelevant now really made me chuckle. What with 200 or more nukes and de facto control of the US establishment with regard to the Middle East?

Posted by: Lochearn | Oct 9 2018 20:09 utc | 21

After watching so many movies and so much sport many of us in the West seek resolution to perceived injustices within small time frames. Russia is half Eastern and there is a whole other concept of time frames there, such as the concept of grinding down the enemy and waiting for it to falter even though months, years go by. Israel faltered with IL20. It was a huge strategic mistake and the one maybe Russia had been waiting for and in a subtle sense had been encouraging to get the S-300 in (which surely is not that far from s-400) into Syria without incurring the wrath of the chosen.

Posted by: Lochearn | Oct 9 2018 20:37 utc | 22

Excellent Comment from FB at Unz Review: .. especially the bit about the "integration of systems especially in regards to Syria's numerous S200s. Israel really "stepped in their own poopoo" ... correction "Picked up the poopoo and put it in their mouths"

Posted by: Maximus | Oct 9 2018 21:30 utc | 23

The decree that Mischi @ 18 refers to is discussed by Ghassan Kadi in more detail at his blog (which he shares with his wife Intibah) and at The Saker's blog.

Ghassan Kadi, " Analysis of Syrian Legislative Decree No. 16 on the Ministry of Awqaf"

Ghassan Kadi, "Soros color revolution in Syria?"

In both pieces, Kadi notes that the Presidential Decree extends the powers of the Ministry of Awqaf, which deals with the family trust fund entitlements of Sunni Muslims, over Sunni Muslim institutions. The aim is for the government to regulate religious activities, teaching and preaching, so as to prevent the infiltration of Wahhabism and Salafism into Sunni Muslim institutions from abroad.

Posted by: Jen | Oct 9 2018 22:10 utc | 24

Certainly a valid perspective not read every day from Sharmine Narwani: "Fewer of us die under Trump than Obama." Please note chandra Prakash's comment down thread too.

The combat calm is being replaced by the din of politics within Syria as the recently elected Parliament sets to work.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 9 2018 23:06 utc | 25

What about this b: Al Jazeera: Turkey will not lead Syria Until Elections are Held?!?

I thought what was agreed in Sochi was to resume the operation to take Idlib on December 15th?

This development seems to favor 'Assad must go! doesn't it?

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 9 2018 23:47 utc | 26

NYT commentary and my stupid reaction:

Opinion, The Editorial Board
Nikki Haley Will Be Missed
The U.N. ambassador has managed to represent President Trump and the United States.

That brings me memory of a song:

Attack of the killer tomatoes!
Attack of the killer tomatoes!
They'll beat you, bash you,
Squish you, mash you
Chew you up for brunch
And finish you off for dinner or lunch!

I know I'm going to miss her
A tomato ate my sister

Sacramento fell today
They're marching into San Jose
Tomatoes are on their way!

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Oct 10 2018 0:07 utc | 27


According to game theory of nuclear war the 200 nuclear warheads are irrelevant. If Zionists want to fire them off in hopes of going to their evil false god then all bets are off.

As for Israel attacking targets in Syria, this is up to the Russian war council to allow it or not. If Russia wishes for Syrians or Russians to shoot down any and all fighter jets launched by Israel then it will be a turkey shoot. Israel does not have a standoff capability against the S-300/S-400 as they will be detected once they get airborne.

Likewise the comment by Anton Worter@11 only mentions L-band radars does not take in the wide array of other radar systems integrated into the Russian commanded defense network.

A deep analysis of the Russian defensive capabilities would show that Russian forces could takeout the combined assault of all ten US carrier battle groups and all the fighter jets that Israel could launch as well as the ships that launched them. The net result would be that Israel and the US would go nuclear war. game over!

Posted by: Krollchem | Oct 10 2018 1:07 utc | 28

Russia donated three battalion sets of S-300PM air defense systems to Syria. Each battalion headquarter has an acquisition radar and a command post. There are two companies (batteries) to a battalion. Typically each company has a fire direction radar and a fire control vehicle. There are four missile launchers in a company with four missile canisters each.

3 battalion X 2 companies/battalian X 4 missile launchers/company X 4 missile canisters/launcher = 36 missile canisters.

Is that correct?

Posted by: SteveK9 | Oct 10 2018 1:14 utc | 29

@1. Kanye West for the spot..shoopy poopy

Posted by: Tannenhouser | Oct 10 2018 1:28 utc | 30

Thanks b. I especially like the news of daesh middle management taking dirt naps weekly.

It would make sense unfortunately to control to a reasonable extent the activities within Sunni congregations as per Jen's links.

Thanks to all .....

Posted by: Tannenhouser | Oct 10 2018 1:41 utc | 31

@ SteveK9 who wrote:
3 battalion X 2 companies/battalian X 4 missile launchers/company X 4 missile canisters/launcher = 36 missile canisters.

Is that correct?

I don't think that is the total but just the new and does not include upgrades. If the strategy is to overwhelm the system as Krollchem provides as scenario then I think that Russia/China may wade into the fray.

I don't think the folks that set the clock geopolitically close to midnight meet often enough....grin Got Fear?

Glad to read that Syria continues to piece itself back together in spite of all iFUKUS efforts to the contrary.

Which will lock up first? the geo-economic or geo-political? Which will be blamed on the other?

Posted by: psychohistorian | Oct 10 2018 1:52 utc | 32

@3,@9 evilempire

The situation is asymmetrical as between US and Russia. It's conceptually simpler to concentrate on defense and force protection as Russia does; than to have 101 different conflicting missions, as U.S. forces do, all the while trying to be the hegemon.

And, chess players that they are, Russians are good at thinking ahead. They may have already considered the scenario you outline. For example, how about having cheap decoy devices that mimic the E/M signature of the S300 systems, in order to confuse and misdirect attackers? And simultaneously adding randomness to the signatures of actual s300 components with each launch, to the same end?

Posted by: rackstraw | Oct 10 2018 2:06 utc | 33

Thanks god, and congratulations to the planet, that Niki the asshole will bite the dust, the very embarrassing day that the egomaniac Trump chaired the UNSC I knew she will be a goner. People around trump should know, that he wouldn't take it lightly being embarrassed in front of whole world and will blame it on who ever organized such an event. I remember he end up leaving that UNSC meeting early with his head down, thinking how and when he will be embarrassing her in front of the whole world.

Posted by: kooshy | Oct 10 2018 2:16 utc | 34

The question for today is what is Venezuela going to stave off the invasion with?

Posted by: Don Task | Oct 10 2018 2:19 utc | 35

@ Don Task who asked:
The question for today is what is Venezuela going to stave off the invasion with?

The answer is China who just loaned Venezuela over $5 billion dollars and will likely want to protect their investment

Posted by: psychohistorian | Oct 10 2018 4:02 utc | 36

Haley ain't going anywhere. She pulled the pin so suddenly because of the decision in South Carolina to investigate her 'liaisons' with SC billionaires. The investigation would have been unlikely to end with her in an orange jumpsuit but it would have left a big hickey on her neck for ever more, making her getting the job of being the first, first gash, highly improbable.
Now that she is no longer in the front row of agent orange's trophy cabinet, at least some of the pols gunning for her guts will lose interest so that (she hopes), her indiscretions with SC citizens' revenue may never become an issue. Right now as we consider this, some mob of media massagers will be hard at work bribing the bribeable, threatening the scaredy-cats and maybe even offing the really stubborn recalcitrants.

A bloke like agent orange is always a strong chance of coming undone, I'd rate him slipping on a banana skin before 2020 about even money, so Haley is biding her time.
If Trump does stumble and fall Haley will claim she was being prescient when she quit and surely that proves she'd be a top prez. If trump is secure with the rethug nomination she will do just enough spruiking for him to keep her profile "up there", some waiting, then she will throw her hat in the ring for prez 2024.

Interesting that no one ever seems to call her out on her major flaw. Haley is as cunning as a sh1thouse rat no argument, but setting aside that low animal cunning, this is a pol who is seriously stupid. In the UN where she merely delivers 'the word' framed by state department apparatchiks who create windows for her to expose her alleged thoughts as written by highly paid state department tv drama script kiddies turned speech writers.

We've all seen the trumpet screw up standing flat when he needed to be dancing on his toes, Haley will make donny appear to be the gene kelly of 21st century politics, the michael jackson of mendacity by comparison.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Oct 10 2018 4:15 utc | 37

Love to see some positive events in Syria, but my best guess would be, we'll all be talking about events in Syria this time next year, without much change. ( hope I'm wrong)..

Nikki Haley? Next stop U$ Senate..

Posted by: ben | Oct 10 2018 4:36 utc | 38

As for positioning of the S-300 systems, it seems that positioning of radars is the most important aspect in an integrated air defense. Overlapping radar coverage seems key to to picking up stealth aircraft early. If a stealth aircraft is pointed directly at a radar, it gives a very small return, but a radar view from any other angle gives a larger return that registers.

This is a copy and paste from a pdf - submission 35 to the Australian government on the joint strike fighter (F35) that I downloaded some time ago.

Retired Lieutenant Colonel from the Royal Danish Air force Anker Steen Sørensen
"We also simulated Joint Strike Fighter against Russian fighter aircraft where we flew two against two.
In the forenoon I and the Danish test pilot was flying Joint Strike Fighters against two Russian fighters. In the afternoon we swapped, so we flew Russian fighter aircraft against the Joint Strike Fighter.
In the afternoon the first thing the test pilot and I noticed was that the Russian fighters was not loaded with the best air-to-air missiles as the Russians have in real life. We therefore asked about getting some better.
It was denied us. We two pilots complained but it was not changed.
My test pilot and I decided in our simulated Russian combat aircraft to fly “line abreast”, but with 25 nautical miles distance. Then at least one of us could with radar look into the side of the Joint Strike Fighter and thus view it at long distance. The one who “saw” the Joint Strike Fighter could then link the radar image to the other. Then missiles could be fired at long distance at the Joint Strike Fighter.
It was also denied us, although we protested this incomprehensible disposition.
It was now quite clear to us that with the directives and emotional limitations simulations would in no way give a true and fair view of anything. On the other hand, it would show that the Joint Strike Fighter was a good air defense fighter, which in no way can be inferred from the simulations. We spoke loudly and clearly that this way was manipulating with the Joint Strike Fighter air defence capability"

I also read a pentagon (I think) report, perhaps in a news article sometime ago, that f22's may be able to attack a single S-300 400 but have no chance against overlapping systems. Then there is comment 43 at the UNZ Review that somebody on a previous thread linked to.

On top of the side view aspect, there is also the possibility that Russia, using low frequency radar, can direct active homing missiles to within range where the missile itself can detect the stealth aircraft.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Oct 10 2018 4:43 utc | 39

Posted by: Debsisdead | Oct 10, 2018 12:15:59 AM | 35
(If Trump does stumble and fall...)

That's a big If.
Trump wasn't sent to military academy by accident. He was sent to learn about conflict and functioning under pressure. Whilst there he passed all his tests, was Captain of Everything, and inspired fellow students.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Oct 10 2018 4:47 utc | 40

@33 DT

The willingness (or lack there of) to resist any intruder:
If a reasonable number of Venezuelans decide to fight, then terrain will be their strongest and most capable ally.
I'm not talking El Tigre oil fields, those are mostly open lands with little to no cover - but- any invading force needs to get there first and then sustain their presence.
To the East there's the Orinoco basin, south the Orinoco itself with the Gran Sabana stretching all the way down to the Brazilian border, southwest there's the Amazon, Further west the Andes and to the North the coastal mountain range with its steep ravines and dense forests.
Anyone who's ever visited these places can't help but pity any occupying force charged to control the country, that is if the locals decide to resist forcefully.

Will a meaningful part of the Venezuelan population take up arms in the event an invasion? I'd guess so. No doubt, for a large part of the population things changed for the better dramatically after Chavez came to power, and I'd expect they are not going to surrender these achievements without putting up a serious fight.

For the time being I don't believe an invasion is imminent because there's to many wild cards the proponents of freedom and democracy can't evaluate properly. Besides armed resistance of the local population and potential foreign support for Venezuela there's another factor to contemplate, that is their inability to destroy FARC in Colombia over a period of 5 decades.
No, for the foreseeable future, I believe, they will stick to the Brazilian model of sorts, spiced with sanctions, degradation of confidence and asymmetric violence.

My hope for Venezuela is that that big gorilla from Asia finally comes out of the woodwork and puts an end to the deliberate destruction of entire countries and their societies.

Disclaimer: I'm thoroughly biased towards Venezuela - beautiful country, great people (most of them)!

Posted by: Hmpf | Oct 10 2018 5:11 utc | 41

Since we discussed Nikki Haley and her lamented departure from her post as US representative to UN (in NYT Editorial), we can touch upon news tangential to Russia. Russia borders with Ukraine. Ukraine just experienced a major series of explosions of ammunition, something that besets that country quite regularly. One can see some progress, previously they evacuated 24,000 inhabitants of surrounding villages, now mere 10,000. They suspect sabotage.

Strangely enough, NYT and The Guardian did not make a note of this yet. As I was searching what did they reported on Ukraine, I found a piece of news of paramount importance that I missed before. Valiant Defense Minister of the United Kingdom visited Ukraine and inspected the frontline at the exact spot where a month before that Ukrainian soldier was shot dead by a rebel sniper. The visit was performed with highest caution, the helicopter carrying the minister from the capital hugged the ground and avoiding expose to the rebel fire. Ukrainian escorts made sure that the minister stays on paved ground, dirt being full of mines. Undaunted, Gavin Williamson made a defiant speech: “The Kremlin is trying to undermine our values, destroy our way of life, and reverse the outcome of the Cold War,” said Mr Williamson, 42. “Its behaviour only increases the risk of miscalculation and the prospect of crisis turning to chaos.”

The minister also promised British marines to be sent before the end of the year to do something, Odessa was mentioned in the next sentence, but in the light of the most recent events, perhaps they will guard munition depots, native soldiers somehow being unable to prevent the sabotage. But this is my personal speculation.

These heroics took 20 minutes and the helicopter took "Mr Williamson, 42" back to the capital (Kiev? Kiiv? Kiyiv?).

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Oct 10 2018 5:34 utc | 42

Niki really was a puke-a-thon, but look at Bolton and Pompeo; a microcosm of team Trump. She seemed to excell at trash talking, so why would Trump dump her? Is there a replacement in the wings who could be more unhinged than Niki? I just think about how Bolton came aboard in the second coming of Trump, each replacement worse than their predecessor.

Posted by: Bandit | Oct 10 2018 6:08 utc | 43

Ding Dong the Witch is Dead

Posted by: Adamski | Oct 10 2018 8:19 utc | 44

This according to RI;
Russia has donated to Syria three battalion sets of S-300PM missile systems of eight launchers each, a military diplomatic source told TASS on Monday.

"On October 1, three battalion sets of S-300PM systems of eight launchers each were delivered to Syria," the source said.
Thats 96 S-300's ready to launch together, if need be.
Additionally, Russia supplied 100 S-300's for each battallion as replacements for those fired.

Here's a link to the article;

Posted by: V | Oct 10 2018 8:39 utc | 45

"Soros is starting a new campaign for civil war in Syria."

Posted by: Mischi | Oct 9, 2018 3:52:46 PM | 18

Yep, and right on cue the BBC ran the first of a three part documentary titled "A Dangerous Dynasty: House of Assad" last night. The tagline read "Understand their saga and you understand why their country lies in ruins."

Not because of Israel, Oded Yinon, neo-conservatives, Saudi, neo-Ottomanism etc, it's them pesky Assads.

All together now:

"Assad must go!
Assad must go!
Assad must go!"

Posted by: Ross | Oct 10 2018 9:01 utc | 46

Nasty article in the Guardian from Bethan McKernan this morning, pushing the UK/US line. It would have been true in 2015, but not today. It's unusual to see such heavy distortion of the facts. Her masters must be getting desperate.

Assad's exhausted army in need of reinforcements as Idlib battle looms

Posted by: Laguerre | Oct 10 2018 11:03 utc | 47

Looking at the Idlib map I notice two things:

1) The De-escalation zone appears to be wider than previous maps, and by area is really huge - definitely more area than the remaining enclosed area. It would be of great interest to know how many civilians there are in this zone, who are presumably no longer under jihadi control and therefore free to leave if they wish - and are in any case henceforth largely free (or at least substantially more free) of the risk of being collateral damage in a strike against the jihadis. I wonder how many civilians are left now in the green coloured part of Idlib?

Related, as I pointed out soon after the de-escalation agreement was announced, it is hopefully now a certain measure easier and less dangerous for civilians still inside the main (green) jihadi zone to escape to the de-escalation zone, if they so wish. Not only are they closer to non-jihadi territory, but also I imagine the risks of crossing an active military frontline between jihadi and Syrian government/Russia would be massively greater than crossing into the de-escalation zone (and especially the danger of being shot in the back by the jihadis). Idlib city itself is now not that far from the de-escalation zone. How free to travel or otherwise such civilians are I don't know - I imagine it will vary considerably depending on the jihadi group concerned.

2) Interesting that the Turkish source - presumably a Turkish news source, unless it is military or academic - makes no distinction between the jihadi zone in Idlib and the Turkish occupied zone in the Afrin enclave - it is all one green zone. However from what B describes of the looting in Afrin zone and the Turkish use of proxies there, there is maybe indeed not so much difference in the jihadi nature, unfortunately. If one day Turkey (is forced to) order them to leave, will they obey? Probably not without being forced out militarily by the Syrians and Russians/Iranians/Hesbollah, i.e. another jihadi zone to combat after Idlib, even if Turkey cooperate.

Posted by: BM | Oct 10 2018 11:31 utc | 48

There is an excellent article by Justin Raimondo on the true foreign interference of Russiagate here: The Final Truth of Russia-gate - As the hoax unravels, the real story of “foreign collusion” comes out.

I have just read the Ghassan Kadi, "Soros color revolution in Syria?" article linked to above @25 by Jen - it is highly recommended. Here is an alternative link to the same article: Soros color revolution in Syria?. Note: the other link Jen gave above is exclusively in Arabic. Maybe Jen reads Arabic, but I can't.

3 battalion X 2 companies/battalian X 4 missile launchers/company X 4 missile canisters/launcher = 36 missile canisters.
Is that correct?
Posted by: SteveK9 | Oct 9, 2018 9:14:16 PM | 30

Strangely, neither SteveK9 nor psychohistorian | Oct 9, 2018 9:52:41 PM | 33 appear to have noticed the glaring arithmetic error!

3 x 2 x 4 x 4 = 36, Is that correct?
No, but 3 x 2 x 4 x 4 =96 is correct! That is the number of missiles ready to fire at one instant, plus 100 recharges available on standby. Apparently what may be more important is (a) the integrated multi-level networked radar of the system as a whole, and (b) the networked system as a whole enhances the far more numerous S200 systems to the S300 level by networking the S300 radars. That is, instead of using its outdated parabolic radar to guide the missile to its target, each S200 can use the far more accurate and reliable digital phased array radar of the S300 system - and the S200 missile also has a range of 375km! All that is according to the very detailed comment by FB on the UNZ article TWICE linked above on this thread (note, important is the FB comment not the article itself; there is a good reason why it was already linked to twice on this page and already in a recent thread!).

All that is in addition to the short-range Pantsir S1's and the powerful EW devices that diverted or destroyed virtually all the missiles Trump lobbed at Syria in April, so really the above formula only gives the tiniest tip of the iceberg, as far as I can see. All the components complement each other, so the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.

Posted by: BM | Oct 10 2018 13:14 utc | 49

"the risk of a surprise meeting with one of Hezbullah's short range air defense missiles."

There's no comment on any blog that illustrates IsraHell's situation better than this. What a wonderful possibility. MSM might whitewash a S300 shootdown of a F35. But the MIC would be devastated if a MANPAD took one out. Here's hoping!

Posted by: Ralph Conner | Oct 10 2018 14:49 utc | 50

Haley ain't going anywhere. She pulled the pin so suddenly because of the decision in South Carolina to investigate her 'liaisons' with SC billionaires. The investigation would have been unlikely to end with her in an orange jumpsuit but it would have left a big hickey on her neck for ever more, making her getting the job of being the first, first gash, highly improbable. Posted by: Debsisdead | Oct 10, 2018 12:15:59 AM | 38

Wow. Impressive. This sounds like the opening paragraph of a 1950's science fiction story.

And, chess players that they are, Russians are good at thinking ahead. Posted by: rackstraw | Oct 9, 2018 10:06:25 PM | 34
I'm only a duffer (ELO 1600); still able to appreciate high-level chess (whether historic matches such as Capablaca versus Lasker, Alekine vs Boguljubov, or Fisher versus Spassky etc., modern tournaments (Magnus Carlsen, Nakamura, Anand, Caruana, Hou Yifan, Wang Yue, Wesley So, etc.) as well as the modern Computer Matches of Alfa Zero and Stockfish...).

Based on my experience and what I have learned from interviews of top players: "thinking ahead" (calculation, in chess terms) is NOT the single most important thing that chess players, even grandmasters do. IMO Pattern recognition is more important than the forseeing of moves. At least it is for human players. It is absolutely true that there are great moves that a computer is blind to. At least, I have seen some chess videos purporting to demonstrate this.

Posted by: Guerrero | Oct 10 2018 16:55 utc | 51

38DID any links to your claim of an investigation of Hailey's private life or is this just another example of democrats putting all their marbles in a 'less than credible' basket?

Posted by: Tannenhouser | Oct 10 2018 17:13 utc | 52

Posted by: evilempire | Oct 9, 2018 1:17:05 PM | 3

“Israel, therefore will not deploy their F-35s in isolation. Rather, they will launch an all out attack throwing every asset they have across the complete spectrum of their naval, land-based,and airborne EW and counter-battery technologies. The US will join in, launching salvos of missiles from the sea.”

This sounds as a dream of a Jewish-Ukrainian teenager.

Posted by: Anya | Oct 10 2018 17:20 utc | 53

Ross | Oct 10, 2018 5:01:43 AM | 47

"The tagline read "Understand their saga and you understand why their country [Syria] lies in ruins."

Not because of Israel, Oded Yinon, neo-conservatives, Saudi, neo-Ottomanism etc, it's them pesky Assads.
All together now: "Assad must go!”

The UK royalty is a bunch of mediocrities, the younger generation in particular.

The M16 has become a Steelized asylum for opportunists, with no intelligent and patriotic persons in sight.

The UK government is a theater of farce, featuring Mrs. May and her demented fairy tale of Skripal affair; a collection of war profiteers bought by the Friends of Israel in the UK, and the amazing Sec of Defense Mr. Gavin Williamson (an expert in fireplaces) famous for his puerile bad manners.

The City is, of course, in charge. The presstituting eunuchs are always at hand for the City's directives: Luke Harding, George Monbiot, Bethan McKernan and such would say and write anything to prove their usefulness for the deciders.

Posted by: Anya | Oct 10 2018 17:32 utc | 54

Attention: Porcine Theresa May

“From the 100 000 page document published by the former Georgian Minister for National Security, Igor Guiorgadze, it appears that the Gilead Sciences lab at the Richard Lugar Centre, Tbilisi (Georgia) pursued chemical and biological weapons tests for the Pentagon.

These experiments, supposed to fight Hepatitis C, have cost the lives of 73 patients, of which at least 49 have been deliberately sacrificed.

… the strains found in the animals that died from the “porcine plague” epidemic in Russia in 2007-18, are identical to those of the Richard Lugar Centre known by the name Georgie-2007. The “porcine plague” epidemic has spread during the decade from Georgia to China on the one hand and Russia and the Baltic countries on the other. It could therefore originate, intentionally or by chance, from the experiments carried out by Gilead Sciences.

The “porcine plague” epidemic continues to thrive in Belgium. It did not seem to be linked to this phenomenon because of the distance separating Belgium from the contaminated areas. However the Minister of Agriculture of the Belgian region of Valonia, René Collin, has revealed that the Belgian epidemic originates from the military base in Lagland, in the Belgian province of Luxembourg. This is where some of the soldiers that participated in the NATO drills carried out in the Baltic countries, live.

The documents that form part of the study, could also allow a connection to be made between the Gilead Sciences trials and the mosquitos that carry the haemorrhagic fever Crimea-Congo, which is currently spreading in Southern Russia.

Russia has sought explanations from the United States and, in anticipation that these are not produced or are lacking, is getting ready to go to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OIAC)."

Compare the May's demented story of the survived but invisible Skripals to "These experiments, supposed to fight Hepatitis C, have cost the lives of 73 patients, of which at least 49 have been deliberately sacrificed." Is Theresa May ready to sanction the US for the barbaric bio-chemical experiments on people and for spreading the deadly deceases?

The Baltic States (and Belgium) surely enjoy the special status of a vassal and beneficiary of the US' special gifts: "the Minister of Agriculture of the Belgian region of Valonia, René Collin, has revealed that the Belgian epidemic originates from the military base in Lagland, in the Belgian province of Luxembourg. This is where some of the soldiers that participated in the NATO drills carried out in the Baltic countries, live."

The US has been actively involved in the development and application of biochemical WMD. See Lugar lab in Georgia and Porton Down in the UK (in addition to dozens more in other vassal states such as Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan...).

Again, are the EU and UK ready to sanction the US for the criminal enterprise?

Posted by: Anya | Oct 10 2018 18:00 utc | 55

A sober article about the degradation of British intelligence community:

"British intelligence as a whole had not been very successful in making sense of crucial areas where technical military analysis and political analysis are inextricably intertwined.

The continued relevance of these arguments has been made dispiritingly apparent over the past few years by claims by one Colonel Hamish de Bretton-Gordon, and the way that the British MSM has been prepared to accept him, and what he writes, at face value.

Formerly commanding officer of Britain’s Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) Regiment and Nato’s Rapid Reaction CBRN Battalion, and assistant director of Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance Land Forces, Colonel Hamish de Bretton-Gordon retired from the Army in 2011.

Since then, he has emerged as a key figure in British ‘information operations’ in relation to CW [chemical warfare], in Syria and elsewhere.

... having started off telling what they thought were either not lies at all, or ‘white lies’, people like Hamish de Bretton-Gordon have gone down a route which has meant they have to tell some very ‘dirty’ lies.

People who start with delusions can end up going down roads which leave them with little alternative but to deceive others, and themselves.

... a central element in ‘Russiagate’ may well have been the fear of such people, on both sides of the Atlantic, of having their lies exposed."

In short, Hamish de Bretton-Gordon, the leading UK expert in Syrian affairs, is a liar and opportunist.

Comically, the name of Hamish de Bretton-Gordon has become inseparable from "Novitchok."’s_’45_Minute_Moment’

Posted by: Anya | Oct 10 2018 22:25 utc | 56

The witch is dead?hrc is did the dem.

Posted by: dahoit | Oct 10 2018 22:48 utc | 57

Kashooggi talks as an US operative.
Kashoogi is said to oppose the war in Yemen. That is a fantasy. He wants the 'fanatic' Houthis to be crushed and the USA or the French to invade and hand Yemen to the Saudis. The guy accuses Iran to be 'sectarian'
The guy is certainly a big loss for the USA but not to anyone else.

Posted by: Virgile | Oct 10 2018 23:21 utc | 58

@56 Anya

Thanks for those links. Given that diseases have already broken out and and spread inside Russia as well as outside, it begins to look as if the US has already begun trial warfare against Russia. In other words, these labs encircling Russia are not simply developing things for the possible future, they're well into the stage of deployment.

And as with the US schematics for color revolution, its bio-warfare appears to include numerous organizations and front companies. Russia will have to unravel and neutralize this warfare, and I have no doubt that it will. How much of it breaks to the surface remains to be seen.

This is a timely alert to what will increasingly manifest as a major global war crime threatening all countries. I wonder how much of this will blow back to the US mainland?

Posted by: Grieved | Oct 10 2018 23:21 utc | 59

Grieved @60--

The US populous has had chemical warfare waged on them since the legalizing of lead as a gasoline additive during the 1920s. Better Living Through Chemistry was the 1950s mantra that gave us all sorts of carcinogens. Then there was the multiple 'Cides developed to aide the Green Revolution. There's a Cure for Cancer: Stop polluting the environment with carcinogens! Then there's the nuclear fallout war, and numerous other experiments done by CIA domestically. Anthrax and bubonic plague were used on Koreans. And of course the infamous Agent Orange. The Outlaw US Empire has lots of blood on its hands, face and body, but too few know the truth so it keeps happening. Read Pepe's latest here and the linked interview with Jason Stanley. I also suggest reading the article by Pepe he refers and links to when finished.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 10 2018 23:42 utc | 60

Add to 61--

Forgot to mention the book Killing Our Own which documents the attacks by the US government on its citizens.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 10 2018 23:53 utc | 61

@ Lochearn 23, watching khabib's take down of McGregor was a picture of the way Russia has pinned the US/Nato et al to the mat .. we just await the choke out and subsequent tap out

Posted by: Maximus | Oct 11 2018 3:50 utc | 62

Eat less pork and other meat products:

Posted by: Krollchem | Oct 11 2018 3:59 utc | 63

BM @ 50:

I don't read Arabic, I used Google Translate on Intibah and Ghassan Kadi's blog. The English-language translation is a bit awkward but still readable.

Posted by: Jen | Oct 11 2018 4:58 utc | 64

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