Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
January 08, 2020

Iran's Missile Launch Against Two U.S. Bases in Iraq Calls Trump's Bluff - Updated

Updated below

Last night Iran fired 22 Qiam missiles towards two U.S. bases in Iraq. Between 1:45 and 2:15 local time (~22:00 UTC) seventeen missiles hit the Ain al Assad airbase west of Ramadi. Five missiles were aimed at Erbil airport in the northern Kurdish region of Iraq. There were no casualties.

The Swiss embassy in Tehran, which represents the U.S., was warned at least one hour before the attack happened. Around 0:00 UTC the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration issued a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) which prohibited civil U.S. flights over Iraq, Iran, the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman.

This attack was the "open" and "proportional" response for the U.S. assassination of Major General Qassem Soleimani which Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei had promised. It will certainly not be the only response but represents the opening shot of a long and much more silent campaign to kick the U.S. out of the Middle East.

U.S. President Donald Trump, who had threatened to destroy 52 targets in Iran including cultural sites if Iran would take any revenge, seems to have understood that this attack was intentionally limited to avoid a larger war:

Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump - 2:45 UTC · Jan 8, 2020
All is well! Missiles launched from Iran at two military bases located in Iraq. Assessment of casualties & damages taking place now. So far, so good! We have the most powerful and well equipped military anywhere in the world, by far! I will be making a statement tomorrow morning.

The Qiam missiles Iran launched are a derivative of the Soviet Scud type. They are liquid fueled with a warhead of about 700 kilogram. They have a range of some 800 kilometer. Iran has more capable and precise solid fueled missiles it could have used.

The Ain al Assad airbase which was hit is where the drones that killed Soleimani and the Iraqi leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis were launched from. Erbil airport is the logistic center for the U.S. forces in Syria.

Videos show the launch and the impact of the missiles.

No U.S. air or missile defense against the incoming projectiles was observed.

The message from Iran is thus: "We can attack all your bases and you can do nothing to prevent that."

Iran's leader said that the attack was "slap in the face" for the U.S. and that this military reaction to the U.S. crime is not the only one that will happen:

Ayatollah Khamenei addressed the nation live on TV in a meeting with a large group of people from Qom, in commemoration of the 42nd anniversary of the January 9, 1978 uprising in Qom against the Pahlavi regime.

The live address also took place hours after the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) targeted the US airbase of Ain al-Assad in Anbar province in western Iraq after launching a wave of attacks in early hours of Wednesday to retaliate the US assassination of IRGC Quds Force commander, Lt. Gen. Qasem Soleimani.
...
“What is important in addition to retaliation is that military operations do not suffice. It is important to end the US corrupting presence in the region,” the Leader stressed.

“Americans are insisting on bringing corruption and destruction into our dear Iran. Talks of sitting down at the negotiating table is a preface to interventions, which must end. Regional nations do not accept the US presence and its meddling measures,” he added.

“The US enmity toward Iran is not temporary; it’s inherent. It is a ‘gross mistake’ to think if we took a step back and comprised, the US would stop its enmity,” he stressed.

Hours after Iran had launched the missiles a Ukrainian airliner crashed three minutes after it had taken off from Tehran airport. All 176 people on board died. The passengers were mostly from Iran, Canada and the Ukraine. The airplane was a three years old Boeing 737-800 NG operated by Ukrainian International Airlines, the country's flag carrier. Video shows the burning airliner coming down on a glide path. Photos from the crash site show shrapnel like impacts on the fuselage. The evidence is consistent with an uncontained turbine disc rupture but other potential causes can not be ruled out. The incident will be investigated like all other airliner crashes.

The Iranian military revenge was less intensive then I had expected. But it was also a clear sign that Iran is capable and willing to openly attack U.S. bases in the larger area. The missile attack came despite Donald Trump's threats to Iran. It called his bluff.

Further reactions will depend on the U.S. reactions to the demand of the Iraqi parliament that all foreign forces leave Iraq. Should the U.S. leave Iraq peacefully all will be well. Should it insist on staying U.S. soldiers will die.

Update - 17:00 UTC

Additional information has come in which corrects or adds to some of the above made claims.

The 17 missiles launched against Ain al Assad airbase were of the Qiam-2 type which is an updated version of the original Qiam with a guided warhead and much better accuracy. The missiles launched towards Erbil airport were solid fueled Fateh 313 missiles which have a 500 kilometer range and additional anti-interception devices.

Damage pictures of Ain al-Assad airbase show that the hits were well targeted and extremely precise.


Source: ArmsControlWonk - bigger

Source: ArmsControlWonk - bigger

Trump confirmed that there were no U.S. casualties. The situation is thereby de-escalating as the U.S. will now stand down. Trump called the damage on the base "minimal" even while several airplane/drone hangers were obviously hit and completely destroyed with everything they contained. Iran must have had very good intelligence about the site. Trump also lauded an early warning system that, he said, prevented casualties. The Swiss embassy in Tehran will have a good laugh at that comment.

Higher quality daylight pictures of the crashed Ukrainian plane show that at least some of the "shrapnel impact holes" are not holes at all but are debris or dirt lying on top of the aircraft pieces. Additional pictures also show no evidence of an externally induced event.

The Flight Data Recorders of the airplane were found. Iran will download the data from them or, if it does not have that capability, will ask some other country (France?, Germany?) to do so. A preliminary accident report will be published after one month.

Posted by b on January 8, 2020 at 11:45 UTC | Permalink

Comments
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Maybe you’re right saying there were no casualties, but the Pentagon has still said nothing, 12 hours later. Iran claims 80 deaths, citing observation of the base. Britain defense minister said he was concerned about “reports of casualties,” but now “sources” are telling the British press he only meant injuries. It’s all very odd.

Posted by: outerreef | Jan 8 2020 11:51 utc | 1

yeah.."no casualties" can be interpreted in two ways: 1. We don't want to take this further. 2. For political reasons(much like the IDF) - they always hide their numbers and drip feed them one by one.

Regardless of whether there were casualties or not, a message has been sent and Trump better listen. We're not dealing with some goat herders here.

Posted by: Zico | Jan 8 2020 11:56 utc | 2

US masters, the occupied land(Israeli) Zionists will push trump to respond. The Zionist mouths were probably foaming last night and wanted Trump to retaliate so they can finally get their wish.

Iran should push the Zionists crazy!

Posted by: Keys | Jan 8 2020 11:58 utc | 3

The Boeing 737-800 Ukrainian Airlines was most likely shoot down by one of these fine shoulder launched missiles. The plane has no problem flying on one engine even on take-off. Most of these missiles are heat seeking, so they would hit the engine and start that fire that we saw in the video.

With just the video and radar information at this time it is all about statistics. Pilot error or mechanical problems are statistically unlikely compared to an eternal missile attack right after the Iranian attack on US bases.

As far as who did it? Just ask who benefits?

Posted by: meshpal | Jan 8 2020 12:08 utc | 4

Only time will tell if this "eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth" stage continues. If is does continue then I think this will spiral out of control. If China is coming in and taking the major infrastructure engineering projects in Iraq from the US the all hell is going to break loose.


Posted by: dltravers | Jan 8 2020 12:11 utc | 5

How come there are no casualties?

Posted by: AG17 | Jan 8 2020 12:12 utc | 6

Still not out of the woods. US might believe most Iranian soldiers were on alert. Might as well wait until they are sleeping and tired to counter.

Posted by: Ebolax | Jan 8 2020 12:19 utc | 7

The message was in the medium in this case. The aim was to demonstrate current Qiam 1 efficiency and accuracy. Dropping 22 of these was just a "slap" meaning there are two fists full waiting if needed. The missile is not expensive but sufficient. The list of impact coordinates will tell its own story combined with the choice of warhead. It's very similar to Trump's 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles attack although comparing material damages will take a while. But the overall message appears to be similar.

Posted by: John Dowser | Jan 8 2020 12:20 utc | 8

A cable was sent over night to US embassies, telling US diplomats not to meet with (Iranian Opposition groups) Mujahedeen-e-Khalq (MEK) or five other groups because it could damage the United States' chances to negotiate with Iran: “Direct U.S. government engagement with these groups could prove counterproductive to our (US) policy goal of seeking a comprehensive deal with the Iranian regime that addresses its destabilizing behavior,” the cable said, according to Bloomberg.

Looks like suddenly they want a 'deal' - instead of war. I keep wondering how and why they killed Suleimani if they are willing to take this approach? Why did Trump goad Iranians with bombing 52 cultural sites - invoking Reagan's secret deal with Iranian mullahs to delay the release of the 52 US hostages?

What is going on?

Posted by: ayatoilet | Jan 8 2020 12:24 utc | 9

an over-view of Qiam missile give interesting implications of Persian capabilities...there's a wiki and so forth.

The explosive capacity seem to be about 700 kg. see yt "Pulwama me hua 300kg Ka Rdx blast"

17 rockets x 700 kg = 11,900 kg of bangstuf, or about 13 tons.

It's reasonable, even though, yes, bases are big, that there's lots of damage. They have a 6 mw diesel plant - 8 big skid mounted gensets, cat or GM I expect. I wonder if that got hit.

There are some sites that detain the base, wiki kinna stuff, and the gensets are in "images" under search term base name.

Posted by: Walter | Jan 8 2020 12:30 utc | 10

We're not dealing with some goat herders here.

Posted by: Zico | Jan 8 2020 11:56 utc | 2

Yup. This is 21st century, goat herders can shoot down helicopters, USA already has troubles with them. Somalis also breed camels, cattle... perhaps if they were limited to goats, the government supported by USA would win already.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jan 8 2020 12:31 utc | 11

The Iranian attack can be called a face saving attack by Iran as much as Trumps face saving missile on Syria was back when the “chemical attack” happened. Lets call a spade a spade. They even warned the US an hour before? When did US warn Iran about Soleimani?

Face saving attack. A mere tap on the chin and now the Iranian plane going down the will take any “statement” the Iranians were trying to make very tiny. Its like as if David tapped Goliaths chin while Davids mother in law gets killed hours later.

Dont get me wrong if this all leads to temporary peace as opposed to war Im ok with it. But US warmongers wont even let this tiny attack slide Im afraid. Not even with Davids mother in law kaput on the ground.

Posted by: Comandante | Jan 8 2020 12:33 utc | 12

@ Posted by: meshpal | Jan 8 2020 12:08 utc | 4

Unless you're assuming Iran killed 140 of its own citizens just to create a very bad false flag, then you're talking about American-sponsored terrorist attack.

This is possible. However, we should have in mind that would mean the USA has at least a small, well-trained, terrorist cell in the heart of Tehran (and thus of Iran itself). If that's the case, then this is a huge blunder by the Iranian intelligence.

Posted by: vk | Jan 8 2020 12:35 utc | 13

Trump thought he was showing who was boss in the Middle East by killing Soleimani as well as several Iraqi PMU soldiers. But now both Iraq and Iran will make him look weak by kicking the American terrorists, sorry, soldiers out of Iraq. That includes those in the Ayn al-Asad air base which Iran just attacked and which Trump talked about on CBS last year, saying how valuable it was:

" (...) well, we spent a fortune on building this incredible base. We might as well keep it. And one of the reasons I want to keep it is because I want to be looking a little bit at Iran because Iran is a real problem.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Whoa, that's news. You're keeping troops in Iraq because you want to be able to strike in Iran?

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: No, because I want to be able to watch Iran. All I want to do is be able to watch. We have an unbelievable and expensive military base built in Iraq. It's perfectly situated for looking at all over different parts of the troubled Middle East rather than pulling up."

Posted by: Brendan | Jan 8 2020 12:40 utc | 14

meshpal@4 - With just the video and radar information at this time it is all about statistics. Radar? ADS-B that FlightRadar24 uses is not ATC radar. Nobody has seen the radar data, and PS752 was only transmitting ADS-B messages every six seconds before the end of the flight.

https://twitter.com/PavewayIV/status/1214802709792149505

Pilot error or mechanical problems are statistically unlikely compared to an eternal missile attack right after the Iranian attack on US bases.

Your statistics suck then. If you're going to invoke probability before the dead crew and passengers are even identified and buried, at least have the courtesy to include other relevant publicly available information. Skew this into your distribution:

https://www.flightradar24.com/data/aircraft/ur-psr

That aircraft rarely sat on the ground more than four hours between flights. That, from an airline that was raided by the anti-corruption police a couple years ago. And an airline operating under the even more corrupt Ukraine Civil Aviation Authority. Toss in Boeing and the FAA.

I'm not trying to be a smart ass, but - statistically - nobody has any idea what happened yet. Except Twitter and Facebook.


AG17@6 - from b's post, "...The Swiss embassy in Tehran, which represents the U.S., was warned at least one hour before the attack happened..."

There is no US embassy in Iran. Tehran told the Swiss embassy intentionally an hour beforehand so they could warn the US and allies (and ISIS) at the base to crawl into a cave or get the hell out. Apparently they took the advice. Missiles launched, hit the evacuated base, nobody died. Typical inhumane Iranian terrorist tactics. Unlike the heroic, humane US assassination of a target lured out during diplomatic peacemaking business.

This is sure to infuriate the treasonous Israeli-firster chickenhawk Pentagon and DoD chair-polishers. How are they going to genocide all 82 million Iranians if those bastards refuse to kill Americans?

Posted by: PavewayIV | Jan 8 2020 12:58 utc | 15

Any chance Iran downed the plane believing it was a cruise missile response to air attack? AKA Russian recon flight downed by SAA.
I agree with Commandante @13 : the missile attack is laughable, a face saving act of submission to Trump. Air bases are big chunk of empty space. 11 tons of tnt launched at random on the whole site, have little chance to produce any noticeable effect. Most chance is to dig a hol in field.

Posted by: murgen23 | Jan 8 2020 13:00 utc | 16

NYT says Joint Command, repping coalition in Iraq, released “short statement” saying coalition had not “recorded any losses.” Bit of a dodge there, since it leaves room for casualties that haven’t yet been found/recorded.

Newspaper also says a missile made a direct hit on the Erbil base’s HQ: “Five of the missiles were aimed at an air base in Erbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan, and hit the headquarters building. Damage assessments were ongoing on Wednesday.”

Damage assessments were ongoing... what does that even mean?

Posted by: outerreef | Jan 8 2020 13:08 utc | 17

What if the Ukrainian Airlines was the planned false flag? You don't need to shoot it down, you just pre-place a bomb (in Ukraine) and set it to go off after the plane takes off from Tehran. You can make the damage look like someone shot it.

Take the missile attack out of the picture and imagine how western media would spin this story today. It may be the case that the real attack was a lucky coincidence for Iran because it completely changed the narrative.

Posted by: Erlindur | Jan 8 2020 13:12 utc | 18

@ murgen23 | Jan 8 2020 13:00 utc | 16

von Braun, in developing A4 (V2) once positioned himself and other engineers at the calculated LZ, as the A4 was so inaccurate that this was a reasonable risk. Not now. That's over.

Accuracy in Qiam rocket is said to be 500 meter circular error. Others say that the new models of Qiam are "The Qiam-1 is the 1st finless missile built by the IRGC with a range of 800 kms (497 miles). The upgraded version of the missile enjoys the capability of guidance upon impact (10m CEP).

10 meters.

With 17 of these the odds get pretty good, or bad, depending on if you want to repeat Werner's little trick. The bangsite at 750 kg would obliterate the target, or Werner and his boffins.

Whatever they hit, open space, air, the garbage dump, or the gensets or the radars, they hit what they targetd.

Posted by: Walter | Jan 8 2020 13:16 utc | 19

FOX News

Curious if the viewers of FOX are that stupid or if their ratings will start to decline like CNN did after their viewers caught on. Even if you are flag waving zealot, there comes a point where you just have to know you are hearing total crap. Even if you hate Iran, you have to eventually notice that the 'experts' are consistently wrong and start to question their authority.

1. Killing Sulameini will embolden the people of Iran to rise up against the regime, the exact opposite happened.

2. Iran will never respond with a conventional military strike so we can do whatever the hell we want.

3. Iran is the one doing all of the escalation, we are innocent lambs encouraging peace. Even the biggest dimwit cannot hear the bragging about 'maximum pressure' and simultaneously believe this BS forever.

There are so many other nonsensical statements, just hoping against hope that there will be a turning point. That even FOX viewers will remember that FOX also was a cheerleader for the Iraq WMD war. BTW I nominate Sean Hannity for the biggest imbecile but the competition is fierce.

Posted by: Christian J Chuba | Jan 8 2020 13:21 utc | 20

IRAN vs. USA: THE DOOMSDAY GAME

The Iranian "retaliation" was partly fake. It was agreed upon between Iran and the US. The game theoretical problem has been played out a thousand times in simulations. The only solution is 1-for-1: US nukes one Soviet city, the Soviets nuke one US city.

It is explained in the situation room segment of Dr. Strangelove. An American B-52 bomber is about to "accidentally" nuke the Siberian city of Omsk (population 1.1 million). President Merkin Muffley proposes to the Soviet Ambassador Alexei de Sadeski that the Soviet Union destroys one US city in retaliation. Everyone agrees that that would be the correct course of action, except for one thing: the Doomsday Machine has already been activated!

P.S. - I still maintain that the US had already decided to leave Iraq - before they assassinated Soleimani.

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Jan 8 2020 13:22 utc | 21

Interesting that Ukrainian International Airlines is partly owned by the thuggish oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky.

Posted by: Brendan | Jan 8 2020 13:23 utc | 22

All the news agencies and commenters say more or less: "some old fashioned iranian missiles have hit the middle of the desert as "retaliation" for the killing of Qassen Suleimani...""they advice the americans way before the strike, they did not want US retaliation because they are scared, and they need to save the face...", "fake attack", etc...
We´ll see how this end

Posted by: Dave | Jan 8 2020 13:24 utc | 23

b, great article, fully concur with your and many posters comments on this matter. Face saving for everybody, the next key milestone is Trump's TV appearance, he will threat, he will blame blah blah but if he does not escalate then it is the sign of backstage deal. Lets keep in mind Putin was in Syria and Turkey yesterday, and Merkel is traveling to Russia today or tomorrow. Things are fitting in on the theory that Trump got his "wish" to remove US troops from Iraq, Syria and maybe Kuwait. Next milestone will be key, soon we will hear the Orange Man.

For folks trying to hear some excellent chat on the event last nigh, recommend to watch the last two videos from The Duran, Alex Christoforu, Peter Lavelle and Alex Mercouris delivered great discussions, one is live, and still on, but they should save it for listening anytime. A must watch.

Posted by: Canthama | Jan 8 2020 13:24 utc | 24

I think this was a brilliant stroke by Iran. It sent a powerful message to the US without starting a full-on war, but it sends a more powerful message to the world. This wasn't a very hard punch on the nose for the Hegemon, but it was a punch on the nose after all. It was a leveling moment that the world desperately needed to see. Now it is time for Russia and China to step up, if they truly believe in a multi-polar world. Many other nations too need to start treating the US differently. It's not that nations should gang up on the US. It's that they need to stop groveling.

The airplane going down is a chilling reminder, though, of the ruthlessness of the push towards fascistic global rule that we all face from the Hegemon. No doubt Iran is riddled with 'assets' the Hegemon can count on; it seems likely that such an 'asset' committed a monstrous act, possibly with a missile from the Libya stash. If so, messages were sent both ways last night.

It means we must be strong and determined, understanding that the Hegemon won't be singing kumbaya any time soon.

Posted by: paul | Jan 8 2020 13:25 utc | 25

@vk #13:

Unless you're assuming Iran killed 140 of its own citizens…

The “140 Iranians” figure is wrong. The latest data on victims: 82 Iranians, 63 Canadians, 11 Ukrainians (2 + 9 crew), 10 Swedish, 4 Afghanis, 3 Germans, 3 British.

Posted by: S | Jan 8 2020 13:25 utc | 26

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Jan 8 2020 13:22 utc | @21
"P.S. - I still maintain that the US had already decided to leave Iraq - before they assassinated Soleimani."

Sounds plausible, leave with a stink. Who knows, maybe the Mullahs were also in on this? Surely Soleimani was way too popular for their liking.

Posted by: fritten | Jan 8 2020 13:27 utc | 27

Wonder who the Canadians were flying from Tehran to Ukraine. Seems odd. I wouldn't think that Tehran and Ukraine were tourist destinations for your average Canuck particularly one after the other.

Posted by: arby | Jan 8 2020 13:38 utc | 28

@ : Petri Krohn | Jan 8 2020 13:22 utc | 21

Also the end game in "Fail-Safe" movie. I think the two flicks are conflated - they were released at about the same time.

Posted by: Walter | Jan 8 2020 13:43 utc | 29

Hmmm, if I want to indulge into tinfoil hat territory, then the most logical option if the plane was deliberately targetted is that *someone* wanted to make Kolomoisky pay for being lukewarm against Russia, undermining US excuses to push for a hotter conflict in Ukraine, and hit Iran at the same time.
Though that's clearly not the likeliest hypothesis, imho, at the moment.

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Jan 8 2020 13:47 utc | 30

As usual b, you excel.
Last evening the Iran Missile launch was an aperitif taunt. Just the first wave of the menu.

Iraqi Militia Leader Says Their Response to US Will Not be Lesser Than Iranian Retaliation - Reports

"The initial Iranian response to the assassination of the martyred commander Soleimani has happened. Now it is time for the initial response to the assassination of the martyred commander Muhandis. And because Iraqis are brave and zealous, their response will not be any less than that of Iran's. That is a promise", al-Khazali was quoted as saying.

I endorse this view from Shedlock:
Trump is caught bluffing again-Fortunately. Iran's measured response puts Trump in a no win Scenario

LINK

Posted by: Likklemore | Jan 8 2020 13:47 utc | 31

Posted by: arby | Jan 8 2020 13:38 utc | 28

Getting out on the first available plane before the balloon went up perhaps. Can't believe Kiev was their final destination.

Posted by: JohninMK | Jan 8 2020 13:47 utc | 32

Turbine disk rupture? Some say. Years ago I did gas turbine overhauls on turbogenerators. Somebody left a mag-base dial indication in the intake plenum, where they were measuring the slack in the intake vane pitch. It ran ok for several days before it tore itself to bits... Not saying it was foreign material ingestion in example 737...I rather think so though, when they blow, they blow at full power, generally. I have no idea what the minimum controllable airspeed for 737 is, but losing power on a twin at take off below a critical airspeed is a terminal failure, especially if you try to turn. You can't turn. You "land" and have to accept whatever you crash into.

Posted by: Walter | Jan 8 2020 13:51 utc | 33

@28:

There is a lot of Iranians in Canada, who fly back and forth via Kiev

Posted by: ebolax | Jan 8 2020 13:53 utc | 34

So even though the Iranians gave advance warning of their missile attack, and though they used only old Scud derivative missiles, not one was intercepted by the Amerikastani war criminals, so it is more than obvious that Amerikastan has got the message that its war criminals in Iraq are sitting ducks. Hence the lack of Amerikastani response. Basically the Trump gang are military illiterates, like all Amerikastani politicians, so they think Hollywood is reality. Must have got one hell of a shock there.

Posted by: Biswapriya Purkayast | Jan 8 2020 13:54 utc | 35

Posted by: Dave | Jan 8 2020 13:24 utc | 23

It is difficult to do perception management in a globalized world. Neither the US nor Iran want full out war, but politically they have to convince their people that they "win", to justify the cost (and unite, though Trump seems to be incapable of this). Actually, Iran has an advantage here, because martyrdom or victory, psychologically they can win either way. They have demonstrated this by the huge - unifying - funerals. They also don't have this stupid Hollywood good guy bad guy thing or if you want to go into protestant religious psychology that god will make the good guys win in this world. It is a huge problem as the reverse perception is that if someone is successful he must be good.
Fact is that Iran has been the first country since WWII to challenge the US directly and not via proxy. They were rational to do it in a way that leaves the US an off ramp. By warning beforehand and not killing anybody (officially, I have my doubts about this Ukrainian plane), they also have the moral high ground.
They managed to make the US stop the escalation. It is quite impressive.

There will be a lot of diplomacy now.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 8 2020 13:54 utc | 36

Interesting "tweet" Elijah J. Magnier Retweeted
Misión Verdad
‏ @Mision_Verdad
9m

La base de los Estados Unidos en Ayn al-Assad en Irak, bombardeada anoche por Irán, es la base donde despegaron los drones que asesinaron a Qassem Soleimani y Abu Mahdi al Muhandis. Así lo informó el corresponsal de guerra

MT> The US base at Ayn al-Assad in Iraq, bombed last night by Iran, is the base where the drones that killed Qassem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al Muhandis took off. This was reported by the war correspondent

Posted by: Walter | Jan 8 2020 13:55 utc | 37

"We're not dealing with some goat herders here."

Yes, i noticed this too. A beyond ZeroHedge Standard? I do recall "those fucking camel drivers sitting on the world's oil resources" I guess there may have been something about "sheer dumb luck" too. But that was in the early post 9/11 universe, where Bannon found his hollywood "documentary" funders. Ok, I digress.

******
B, you noticed Tyler Durden's article late last night concerning the Ukrainian 737? It feels last night he offered thinner insinuations link? The event he suggested coincided with the Iranian foreign minister's reference to the shot down Iranian airliner ages ago: 52 vs 290? If I recall it correctly ... No chance to get the cache file. It seems, he updated.

******
beyond that, admittedly I was a bit puzzled you got that much attention by Eric Zuesse on Strategic Culture. I do have mixed feelings concerning that author.

otherwise, I may send you a private message. I am wondering about a leak coincidence too. ...

Posted by: moon | Jan 8 2020 13:59 utc | 38

Somebody - 36: That's what I was thinking. Assuming things calm down from now on, and even if US were alerted and evacuated people or planes, or even if Iran targetted empty parts of the base, that would, it would be the first time in decades that any country willingly targets the US military without serious reprisals.
As for the good guys winning, this is the stupid interpretation of Calvin, which was already in essence in Augustine's thoughts, and which some Muslim radicals seem to adhere as well - but which definitely wasn't the original Christian view and isn't the Shia one. Early Christians assumed that the world would end badly and they would lose in this world, which was to be basically undone and then remade anew by God and Christ reborn - the real glory and victory would come in the afterlife and in the new world, after the Apocalypse.

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Jan 8 2020 14:05 utc | 39

I caution Netiyahoo not to crow. His prison time is on the horizon.

China's Global Times has a piece noting Israel gave assistance.
And this editorial:
Has the US lost direction in Middle East?

"US national power is on the wane [;/]now considers China as its primary rival and wants to use its resources from Europe and the Middle East to contain China. If it is so, its presence in the Middle East will be surely diminished."[./]

After a US drone strike killed top Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani in Iraq, it was expected that Iran would retaliate. But the way it fought back - launching missiles against US bases in Iraq - was unexpected. Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps carried out the mission.

Since Iran did not target US soil, the move cannot be viewed as a declaration of war. Iran did aim at US troops, but the troops are stationed in Iraq. This showed Tehran is well aware how far it should go and has left some ground. Iran doesn't want a fierce clash or a war with the US. As Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif claimed on Wednesday morning after the attack, the country was taking measures in self-defense. "We do not seek escalation or war, but will defend ourselves against any aggression," he said. [.]

How should the US react, the White House must be deliberating, because what it does next may directly determine whether Washington and Tehran would reduce tensions or storm into a war. Currently, it is the lull before the storm.
US military killed Iran's most powerful military commander on Iraq's soil, which is an act of state terrorism although the US itself does not think so. [.]
https://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1176167.shtml

The U.S. collapse is not one event. It is a slow, slow process and then the $250 trillion debt pile goes out with a bang.

Posted by: Likklemore | Jan 8 2020 14:07 utc | 40

"where Bannon found" correction: when Bannon founded his ...

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2020/01/07/how-iran-can-checkmate-trump/
Eric Zuesse to or via b.

take care ... LeaNder

Posted by: moon | Jan 8 2020 14:08 utc | 41

About the plane, I wondered for a time if Iran could've hit it, with reference to their downed plane near Bandar Abbas in the 1980s. But that makes no sense since it was full of Iranian people - some locals and some from Canada apparently. No way they would kill dozens of most probably loyal citizens. So the only sure thing is that the Iranians didn't shoot it knowingly.

Walter: Yup, it's been reported already that the drones that killed Suleimani came from that airbase. Makes sense that they would hit it. Now, I wonder if the US evacuated it or if Iran just hit around the base; form Iran's point of view, cratering the runways would tactically make sense - even if such damages can be repaired.

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Jan 8 2020 14:12 utc | 42

Maybe the agreed sand bombing exercise will be followed by an agreed asassination of a US general.

Posted by: Johny Conspiranoid | Jan 8 2020 14:17 utc | 43

Welcome to this evening's episode of World War Three Theater.

Everyone has returned to their original narrative without skipping a beat. Whatever happened last night came too close for comfort so we just won't go there. The plane crash is added distraction and confusion. Look over there>>>>>shiny object.

Posted by: oldhippie | Jan 8 2020 14:23 utc | 44

The reason the Qiam rocket, a derivation of the nazi A4, is built is that it is cheap and has the capability to be modified such that the "pay-load" comes in very fast and within 10 meters of zero-zero-zero. It's not an old rocket. But I assume the Persians used the oldest first. Inventory managements is vital to logistics and ammunition reliability. The cheap version is 500 meter accurate at range, but the range was not exteem, so probably < 500

Posted by: Walter | Jan 8 2020 14:31 utc | 45

B, great article. You and Elijah Marnier and a few others are my first go to's for information as to what is going on on the middle east.
One of my favorite reporters out of Syria said the US abandoned Deir Ezzor oil fields yesterday leaving the SDF there alone and totally open for Russian and Syrian forces to go in and to secure. If so this attack would have been well worth it. Obviously, I can't verify it but do trust the source.

Hezbollah is also well within reach of Israhell and can launch ballistic missiles upon it should the US attack Iran. People tend to forget that this was not just about Soleimani, but an entire resistance. His death has just made that resistance much stronger and unified.
The US will have to leave. And soon.

Posted by: Annie | Jan 8 2020 14:35 utc | 46

We're still in the negotiation phase. This attack was to demonstrate Iranian capabilities so why use fully loaded warheads and why hit real targets. If they have precision-guided warheads direct them at a point where they will do no real damage but looking at the pattern will demonstrate exactly what could be hit next time.
Every American base within 2,000 km of Iran is vulnerable so the typical American build up including SAED is very unlikely to work because all the airbases used for SAED will be destroyed within the first couple of hours of any such operation. The United States can't invade Iran with any real chance of success. If you use war as extension of politics then the Iranians would understand that killing Americans would force Trump to go to war - this way, they scare the easily scared American public and Trump can withdraw from Iraq with a shred of honour and dignity.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Jan 8 2020 14:40 utc | 47

@ PavewayIV
Exactly right. As predicted on the No Agenda podcast, this is all just Kabuki theater. Rouhani gets what he wants, the elimination of destabilizing political rival Solemani . Trump gets wHat he wants, a way forward to pull troops out of Iraq.

Note that Iran’s missiles are accurate enough to have caused massive US casualties. Iran chose not to.

Also, it appears that Iran is refusing to release the Ukrainian Airlines black box which likely means that Iran accidentally shot it down.

Posted by: CognitiveDissonance | Jan 8 2020 14:42 utc | 48

Funny and a good mock

https://twitter.com/i/status/1214641652498866176

Posted by: arby | Jan 8 2020 14:48 utc | 49

My advice to Trump before he speaks.: Don't fcuk this up! Don't read from the hasbara Zionist playbook. Put Nutyahoo on mute. Show common sense. The Iranians are offering a window of opportunity. So GET OUT OF IRAQ AND SYRIA! (And then the rest of the region.) Don't resort to a hint of hubris, because the truth is that last night you were shitting your pants and this is the best possible outcome. Consider yourself lucky.

All that being said; no matter what he says, he made a fatal mistake. Trump had Soleimani murdered, a man a hundred times better than he, and brought us to the brink of war--HE'S FINISHED,

Posted by: Circe | Jan 8 2020 14:51 utc | 50

BTW, I wish some civil servant in London would tell that moron, Ben Wallace, Secretary of State for Defence Pissing In The Wind to STFU.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Jan 8 2020 14:54 utc | 51

From UIA, there are reports on citizenship of travellers referring to the one used by purchasing the tickets, likely not the Iranian one (for ppl holding more than 1 passport), because their credit cards/ bank accounts from Iran wont fit for payment. The Iranian side will record the passengers according to the passports when leaving Iran, Iranians will use their Iranian passport to avoid trouble with visa. So, I believe, that both numbers referring to citizenship can be correct. There are a lot of Iranians living outside the country.
IKA has several daily flights at night, arriving at 2...3 AM and leaving 4...5 AM, among them Aeroflot, UIA, Pegasus from Turkey ... No way, air defense could get that wrong and shot a scheduled leaving passenger jet over inhabited territory. Either another Boeing failure or bombing, not to be forgetten, that any bomb could have been planted already in Kiev KBP. And the Ukraine is a kind of failed state.

Posted by: BG13 | Jan 8 2020 14:54 utc | 52

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Jan 8 2020 14:05 utc | 39

Christianity used to be the religion for Roman empire slaves, the way it was preached - when protestants started to have different ideas about it - was to suffer in the world to be redeemed in after life.

After 300 years of enlightenment people's psychology is still founded in religion, even when cultures have stopped being religious.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 8 2020 14:54 utc | 53

Posted by: Johny Conspiranoid | Jan 8 2020 14:17 utc | 43

I wondered too, what would be appropriate. Had the same idea. But "how dare you" or "me" to assume an American general would be sn American general could ever be a terrorist or state sponsor of terrorism.

Interestingly, no US politician would dare to say that of a Russian general. Although for close to two decades they conveniently forgot to recall that Russia fought the Islamists first.

*******
Conspiratorialist: Timing and the Iran Cable leaks?

Posted by: moon | Jan 8 2020 14:55 utc | 54

Today Tass (or Tacc) gave a big update on Nord Stream-2.

Number one, Academic Cherskiy will remain in the Far East, because it is essential in completion of far more important projects than Nord Stream. Pipes from Sakhalin (and through Amur river? I am not sure on that) together have to deliver 80 [huge units] per year, and they will be laid by Tschersky (Nord Stream 2 has capacity 55 HU)

Number two. Danes softened their requirements. Concerning the specs for a pipe laying vessel, they can be satisfied by Fortuna that is finishing some bits in the German sector. Danes added requirement that the sea has to be sufficiently calm during the work, seems like weather when swimming is forbidden on Baltic beaches, but on summer usually it is permitted. So Fortuna will finish the job on the Baltic.

A bit weird how Danes oscillate between obstructing and just harrassing. Both USA and Germany seem to have influence.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jan 8 2020 14:55 utc | 55

@48
IMO, no, Iran keeping the black box means they are smart enough to know that Boeing and the west will lie about anything they find in it. 0% chance the west wouldn't try to blame this on Iranian military incompetence/inhumanity rather than Boeing or distracted ground crew/Ukie mischief.

Posted by: Sorghum | Jan 8 2020 14:56 utc | 56

Who knows what brought down the Ukraine 737 in Teheran, but a number of elements seem to coalesce:

1) If missiles were flying, a lot of rats would be trying to get out of Dodge worried that those 6 B-52s might be imminent - so who would be flying out in a panic to Deep State controlled Kiev?

2) Gosh, *another* Boeing 737NG 'accident' - maybe Airbus planted a bomb?

3) MH17 - Kolomoiski has often been fingered as the mastermind behind this

4) Iran Air 655 - perhaps the Iranians still remember.

Now maybe this whole airbase hit is Kayfabe, but other factors coalesce:

1) The hastily canceled Trump address seems to indicate escalation may have just been avoided (and/or Trump & handlers are just *very* sloppy and uncoordinated) - so what happened at the last minute? Was a vaunted F35 secretly shot down by Iran? Did Xi threaten Mar-a-Lago (late acting indigestion from the chocolate cake perhaps)? Puppet master Netanyahoo got cold feet? Putin the Great convinced Trump that WWIII was not a good campaign theme?

2) The precision of the Iranian strike may be the main takeway from all of this. This hit by Iran seems to have been very well executed, very professional. Even if there was a warning, the US certainly had the right to try to shoot down some of these missiles without affecting the narrative (e.g. if kayfabe, allowing the Iranians to declare victory via a partially success). Apparently *NONE WERE SHOT DOWN*. If so, this is a Lebanon 2006 moment for the US, an existential event if the US Dollar is propped up by a supposed overwhelming military might. A lot of people now try to paint these Iranian missiles as lumbering 1990 vintage Scuds. If they had 10m accuracy, they were basically precision weapons.

This would hopefully be a wakeup call to the US/Israeli MIC that perhaps they should leave Iran alone and go pick on Somalia, Yemen or Bangaladesh - they might be more successful there.

If these strikes show that Iran has world class defences, the whole calculus changes. The Iranians gave the US/Israel the excuse to light off their war against Iran, yet the US/Israel seem to have gotten cold feet. Good news for the rest of us it would seem, but it ain't over yet.

Kudos to 'b' and the many quality posters on MoA...
seem to coalesce:

1) If missiles were flying, a lot of rats would be trying to get out of Dodge worried that those 6 B-52s might be imminent - so who would be flying out in a panic to Deep State controlled Kiev?

2) Gosh, *another* Boeing 737NG 'accident' - maybe Airbus planted a bomb?

3) MH17 - Kolomoiski has often been fingered as the mastermind behind this

4) Iran Air 655 - perhaps the Iranians still remember.

Now maybe this whole airbase hit is Kayfabe, but other factors coalesce:

1) The hastily canceled Trump address seems to indicate escalation may have
just been avoided (else Trump & handlers are just *very* sloppy and uncoordinated) - so what happened at the last minute? Was a vaunted F35 secretly shot down by Iran? Did Xi threaten Mar-a-Lago (late acting indigestion from the chocolate cake perhaps)? Puppet master Netanyahoo got cold feet? Putin convinced Trump that WWIII was not a good campaign theme?

2) The precision of the Iranian strike may be the main takeway. Even if there was a warning, the US certainly had the right to try to shoot down some of these missiles without affecting the narrative (e.g. if kayfabe, allowing the Iranians to declare victory via a partially success). Apparently *NONE WERE SHOT DOWN*. If so, it means this is a Lebanon 2006 moment for the US, a really existential event if the US Dollar is propped up by supposed overpowerging military might. A lot of people try to paint these Iranian missiles as lumbering Scuds. If they had 10m accuracy, they were basically precision weapons. This would hopefully be a wakeup call to the US/Israeli MIC that perhaps they should leave Iran alone and go pick on Somalia, Yemen or Bangaladesh - they might be more successful there.

If these strikes show that Iran has world class defences, the whole calculus changes. The Iranians gave the US/Israel the excuse to light off their war against Iran, yet the US/Israel seem to have gotten cold feet. Good news for the rest of us it would seem, but it ain't over yet.

Kudos to 'b' and the many quality posters on MoA...

Posted by: gadzooks | Jan 8 2020 15:02 utc | 57

To some commenters, what matters is preserving face, and without blood, Iran looses it. "Typical Western feeblemindedness". The topmost need is removal of Americans, taqfiris and other toxic trash (I am paraphrasing the Supreme Leader) from Syria, Iraq, and, in time, West Asia. Clearly, Iran, Iraq and Syria have huge synergetic potential.

So if this is achieved before the fall, the Martyr may smile from his place in the other world.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jan 8 2020 15:06 utc | 58

#48 ... they are not releasing the black box to the US, is what I read. Of course they would not do that, because the US would then ‘find’ whatever it wanted to find.

Posted by: SteveK9 | Jan 8 2020 15:10 utc | 59

63 Dead Canadians

Most were students apparently

Posted by: Blue Dotterel | Jan 8 2020 15:11 utc | 60

Posted by: Christian J Chuba | Jan 8 2020 13:21 utc | 20
3. Iran is the one doing all of the escalation, we are innocent lambs encouraging peace
*******
You don't need Fox for that. Really. Ray Takeyh on Politico will do, www.politico.com/news/magazine/2020/01/03/iran-loses-its-imperial-strategist-093175 innocent lamb-wise:

Then came Qassem Soleimani—the shadowy commander of the elite Quds Force within the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps—and the convulsions that transformed the Middle East. Soleimani was the right man for the times. In the aftermath of the 9/11 tragedies, the Middle East state system essentially collapsed, creating its share of vacuums and opportunities. Iraq imploded in the midst of a sectarian conflict that Iran did much to inflame. Syria was destroyed by a civil war that Iran prolonged. And the Gulf states’ princely class seemed petulant yet vulnerable. The Islamic Republic wanted to take advantage of all this, but despite its grand pretensions, it was still a second-rate power with a mismanaged economy. If Iran was to embark on an expansionist venture, it had to be imperialism on the cheap. Soleimani did not pioneer the use of proxies, but he took that age-old practice to a new level.

The middle East essentially collapsed all by itself?

https://militarist-monitor.org/profile/ray-takeyh/

The Shadowy Commander is of course a reference to "The Shadow Commander" by Dexter Filkins, New Yorker 2013

Posted by: moon | Jan 8 2020 15:15 utc | 61

At Gateway Pundit, Kristinn Taylor reports that Iranians online and in the streets of Iran are applauding the death of Soleimani, and are thanking President Trump for removing the killer who had not only fomented violence in the Middle East, but who had overseen the deaths of thousands of Iranians. Under the hashtag #TnxPOTUS4Soleimani, we find comments such as these:

Posted by: Jimmy Kilpatrick | Jan 8 2020 15:15 utc | 62

Looking at the passenger list, most of those Canadians were probably dual Iranian/Cdn citizens or 1st gen Cdn. Many may have been students. So doubly doubtful Iran would have shot down or sabotaged this plane. Maybe a bird strike, but why the loss of cockpit radio with air control?

A few hours after the Iran missiles hit nothing much? Probably Mossad being opportunistic. And don't think for one second a clever technician couldn't plant something small to damage an engine shortly after take-off. As but one option, a small remote-controlled bomb that would give the engine rotor "a haircut" (the term used by a former aerospace engineer I knew, meaning the turbine blades shatter and fly out of and back through the engine stages).

Nuttyyahoo wants the war with Iran to be fought to the last US/NATO soldier. Can't have Iran looking more civilized than the US, deliberately shooting low-tech Scuds where there would be no US casualties...

Posted by: A P | Jan 8 2020 15:18 utc | 63

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7857497/Iranian-cleric-says-fictional-heroes-like-spongebob-spiderman.html

An Iranian cleric has mocked the US saying it can't strike back as hard as the late Qassem Soleimani because it only has fictional heroes.

Cleric Shahab Moradi, posted a video to Twitter on Saturday night, a little over a day after the assassination of Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corp Major General Qassem Soleimani.

In the segment the cleric called in to a presenter and said the Islamic Republic would have a hard time taking the revenge that they have promised since the general's death.

He said: '[In the situation] that we take one of theirs now that they've got one of ours — who should we consider to take out in the context of America?

'Think about it. Are we supposed to take out Spider-Man and SpongeBob?

'They don't have any heroes. We have a country in front of us with a large population and a large landmass, but it doesn't have any heroes.

'All of their heroes are cartoon characters — they're all fictional.'

Posted by: John Doe | Jan 8 2020 15:21 utc | 64


@Piotr Berman 55

Thank you for the info. The reason for Denmark's changing policy is presumably that it has a new social-democratic government since July 2019. Before it was (neo)-liberal-conservative. The solution with the Fortuna is certainly the most reasonable one. I expect NS 2 finished in 2,3 months.

Posted by: mk | Jan 8 2020 15:23 utc | 65

It looks like this is all Iran is going to do, based on news reports. Which is not an equitable price for the life of the Iranian general. At the very least it should next issue a date by which all ZioAmerican forces must leave Iraq, including the giant green zone and the region, otherwise this nonsense will just continue.

Posted by: Fog of War | Jan 8 2020 15:24 utc | 66

@ Cognitive Dissonance: Iran is not guilty of this simply for not handing over the black box to the potential perpetrators or their minions. After the BS the US/Dutch continues to pull regarding the MH17 "investigation", no way is Iran going to let Boeing or any Western agency have at the black box before a true copy is made of the contents.

Just check Nuttyyahoo's outbox if you want to see who ordered this hit.

Mossad motto: By deception make war.

Posted by: A P | Jan 8 2020 15:26 utc | 67

Kabuki Theater as some are observing? Here is a blow back in real terms and will be felt at the gas pump: Never mind the oil glut because thuggery will advance the price take profits.
Tanker Operators Suspend Travel Through Strait Of Hormuz

Following Iran's decision to lob missiles at US-Iraqi bases last night, several major tanker operators have suspended sailing through the Straits of Hormuz, the site of several tanker attacks last year.

Petrobras, Bahri - Saudi Arabia's state-run tanker operator - and other tanker companies have suspended sailing through the Straits of Hormuz, WSJ reports, citing unidentified people familiar with the matter.

Meanwhile, Gulf officials are already trying to convince the world that there's nothing to worry about in what's essentially a tinderbox inside another tinderbox. United Arab Emirates’ Energy Minister Suhail al-Mazrouei said on Wednesday he saw no immediate risk to oil passing through the critical gateway through which 20% of the global supply of crude travels. al-Mazrouei made the comments on the sidelines of a conference in Abu Dhabi, the UAE capital.

The source of their concerns is clear: Iran carried out its "retaliation" for the killing of General Suleimani last night - though the Pentagon has confirmed that there have been no American casualties from Iran's strikes. However, many fear that Iran isn't finished with its retaliation.

Yes they are not done.

Posted by: Likklemore | Jan 8 2020 15:29 utc | 68

walter@45,ghost_ship@47 believe Iran is using "old stocks".

I respectfully disagree. This is Iran's debut in showing off their technical prowess - they are trying to scare off the US from escalating the conflict.

IMHO they would make sure the US got the message that they pulled their punches and could have caused *much* more damage if they wanted to. Using older stock would make sense, but only after you establish your cred - otherwise, you are sending exactly the wrong message, the US could read the hit as "gosh, 500m is the best you can do?"

Posted by: gadzooks | Jan 8 2020 15:29 utc | 69

mk | Jan 8 2020 15:23 utc

So new progressive Danish government issued the permission in November, after full three months. And now they still make a gesture as if the wanted to inflict huge extra cost. That said, they were perhaps a bit slow in correcting disinformation.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jan 8 2020 15:31 utc | 70

Reported that Iran gave Iraq notice, likely so they could notify U.S. as well.
Seems they were shooting blanks?

Went OK except for downing own plane - that will be complicated.

Posted by: jared | Jan 8 2020 15:31 utc | 71

@ Posted by: murgen23 | Jan 8 2020 13:00 utc | 16

No, zero chance.

Posted by: vk | Jan 8 2020 15:33 utc | 72

This Potemkin exercise, if that's what it was, looks unimpressive.

1. It's not remotely "proportional" to the US crime. I'd be very surprised if the Iranian people and Shiites everywhere don't find this to be insulting, unless the leadership assures them this is only the beginning.

In the meantime we'd be left where we started, in the world of fakeness. Is anyone ever going to figure out that that's the US home field, the world it depends on for the entirety of its position? "The dollar" is only the beginning of it.

2. Why would the Iranians want to tip off the US about any of their capabilities ahead of the real thing? I see there's disagreement about to what extent the missiles fired are representative of the Iranian arsenal, but it seems that given the US preponderance of weaponry it's best not to show anything.

The US evidently made that calculation in refraining from attempting to shoot down the incoming. Why give anyone an object lesson in how well (or not) your defenses work, if it's not a real attack? (Granted, in that case you yourself also don't know how well they'll work under reality conditions.)

As for the plane crash, it's interesting to get a demonstration of the hierarchy of themes at MoA. Evidently conspiracy theories about downed aircraft take precedence over condemning Boeing for its idiotic designs and mass-homicidal negligence. (I haven't formed an opinion yet but will wait for more information. Obviously it would be absurd for Iran to give the black box to anyone from the West.)

Posted by: Russ | Jan 8 2020 15:33 utc | 73

Posted by: Jimmy Kilpatrick | Jan 8 2020 15:15 utc | 62

Yes, there are bits and pieces botn in Iran and Iraq, not a surprise, I would assume. Iraq? Iran Cables?

The question is if Trump aligned by some pure "four dimensional chess", as the Gateway Pundit and a series of others may assume the relevant opposition behind himself for the upcoming race. ;)

One of his early declared supporters just closed (blog)shop. ...

Posted by: moon | Jan 8 2020 15:36 utc | 74

CognitiveDissonance@48 - Sorry, Cog. I'll have to go with Sorghum@56 here. Sure, there's always a possibility that Iran shot down a regularly scheduled airline on a daily flight on a well-traveled flight path while climbing normally a few miles off the end of Tehran's main airport runway. They're always looking for B-52s to use that old trick, so the SAMs are always at the ready there, operators waiting for targets with hair-trigger fingers. How do we know it wasn't ghosting on a SPY-1 and the US shot it down? Maybe we fixed that after taking out the last Iranian passenger aircraft. Or not.

They're not hiding the black box from everyone. They just refused Boeing's lawyer's immediate demand to give it directly to them. Like the US has any credibility after MH17. What's next - an impartial Dutch investigation into the Tehran crash?

These are modern digital black boxes. No Boeing technical Voodoo necessary to read an unambiguous copy of the data and make a technical determination (if it shows anything). Why would Boeing also demand the voice recorder? Boeing: "Uh... the sound just stopped. See? It couldn't have been our junk aircraft or the shady Ukraine carrier. Iran SAM, case closed."

No, best move for Iran is to find a competent neutral third party to oversee the opening and reading. And for Iran to grab their own copy of the REAL data for verification at the same time before releasing the black boxes for analysis. Could Iran use that in some kind of elaborate attempt to change the data themselves? Yeah, if they were trying to cover up shooting it down themselves.

But the engines phone home, too using satellite links. There's got to be a lot of witnesses on the ground. Maybe other unseen video. Seems implausible Iran could contain that kind of screw-up. Does it matter though? The US will ALWAYS try to spin this against Iran no matter what. Even if we hear the captain screaming that he can see the engine is tearing itself apart.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Jan 8 2020 15:38 utc | 75

"All is well! Missiles launched from Iran at two military bases located in Iraq. Assessment of casualties & damages taking place now. So far, so good! We have the most powerful and well equipped military anywhere in the world, by far! I will be making a statement tomorrow morning."

The US has the most expensive and losingest military in human history. Hasnʻt won a war since 1945 unless you count Panama and Grenada. I do wish the Iranians would do Trump personally as in his hotels etc. This is not "our" war it is Trumpʻs. let him suffer the harm. put his skin in the game.

Posted by: stevelaudig | Jan 8 2020 15:44 utc | 76


To think, things we looking so promising until donald trump stumbled onto the world stage rootin', tootin' and rousing the rabble

Posted by: Bubbles | Jan 8 2020 15:44 utc | 77

On the plane crash:

Given the passenger manifest, it seems very unlikely that Iran shot it down or sabotaged it intentionally. So either it was shot down by accident, or it indeed suffered a mechanical problem, or it was sabotaged by non-Iranian-government actors. Now the most likely time for an engine failure is on take-off, when the engines are putting out their peak thrust for the flight profile. But if an "intelligence" agency wanted to sabotage a plane and make it look like an accident, they'd try to cause a catastrophic engine failure.

On the attack:

A lot of commenters seem to be engaging in a lot of wishful thinking. Many didn't expect Iran to retaliate at all, let alone so soon and in the way it did (so far). It seems that many people's desire for peace is still clouding their judgement, because now they're claiming that this is all theater. If it was all theater, then Trump would be continuing his bellicose rhetoric, in order for "the show to go on". Instead he's become very subdued, along with the rest of the US government. They seem to be in damage-control mode (literally and figuratively), which strongly implies that the attack was not theater. And if it was not theater, then what was it? Most likely it was Iran calling the US's bluff - successfully.

One cannot understate the importance of this. Air supremacy has been the cornerstone of US military operations since World War II. The one thing that would give the US pause, if not shake them up, would be for an adversary to launch a decisive and successful attack against US air-supremacy infrastructure. Iran seems to have just done that, and they indicated that last night's attack was just a taste. Even if there really were no casualties, even if the troops were evacuated beforehand, there was a lot of hardware at the bases that could not be easily replaced. Plus one of the bases (Ain Al-Assad) was the "big, beautiful airbase" that Trump's been crowing about for a while. So it seems most likely that last night's attack was Iran starting to pull back the curtain on the "great and powerful Oz".

Posted by: Cynica | Jan 8 2020 15:48 utc | 78

9/11: CIA Likely Built Remote-Controlled Commercial Jets in Aircraft Boneyard

This would explain how 9/11 hijackers were able to “fly” commercial jets with little experience

https://www.infowars.com/report-cia-likely-built-remote-controlled-commercial-jets-in-aircraft-boneyard/

Posted by: Mao | Jan 8 2020 15:48 utc | 79

USA propaganda ops will turn this into a flaceplant for Iran

1) CNN reports that Pentagon is now saying that Iranians deliberately missed

As I wrote last night:

Pretending the attack was arranged as a ploy by weak/scared/compromised Iranian leadership will turn the people's anger from USA to Iranian leadership.

Maybe it was arranged. Maybe not. But Trump MUST KNOW that his "All is well" response to Zarif's "concluded proportionate measures" tweet - along with declaring no US casualties tomorrow - will cause Iranians to believe that the attack was arranged. USA will be sure to distribute this message: Soleimani was not avenged, he was betrayed - just as your hopes and aspirations as a people have been betrayed.

I'm thinking that Trump chose this path over retaliation and that's why he canceled the address to the nation (in which he would have announced retaliation).


2) Zarif's tweet about IR655 before the attacks will be used as evidence that Iran wanted to down a civilian airliner.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 8 2020 15:49 utc | 80

What's with this earth quake report?

Posted by: Lozion | Jan 8 2020 15:51 utc | 81

What sorcery is this that has prevented any pictures of damage being available on the internet in this day and age after so many hours of daylight in Iraq?

b4real

Posted by: b4real | Jan 8 2020 15:51 utc | 82

Neocon traitor Patrick Clawson openly suggests the US provoke Iran into firing the first shot, or failing that, a false flag deception operation to make it look like Iran attacked first -- all in order to start the genocidal war that Netanyahu has been egging us on to.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b7RuaHDOcdU

Posted by: Mao | Jan 8 2020 15:52 utc | 83

Correction @80

It was PM Rouhani's tweet, not FM Zarif's.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 8 2020 15:55 utc | 84

Following up on the end of #78, the point is that it seems very unlikely that the air defenses would be shut down even if the bases were evacuated. In that case, the success of the attack (however limited its objectives) shows Iran's ability to penetrate US air defenses and disable or destroy US air-supremacy infrastructure.

@PavewayIV #75

The US will ALWAYS try to spin this against Iran no matter what. Even if we hear the captain screaming that he can see the engine is tearing itself apart.

Indeed! If there's one thing the US does all the time, it's spin. But especially with last night's attack, they're starting to resemble the Talosians of Star Trek, whose seemingly incredible powers were all, well, illusory.

Posted by: Cynica | Jan 8 2020 15:56 utc | 85

Really bad quality update. This is worst blog entry I've seen on Moon of Alabama.

- An empty gesture like this one is not retaliation. Trump's bluff was not called.
- The odds of a 737 going down are 1 in millions of flights. For this to during a period of intense tension points most likely to air defense malfunction.

Extremely disappointed in you b. for your lack of objectivity. I can no longer trust this blog as I did before. You are a brown noser for Iran.

Posted by: activate | Jan 8 2020 15:57 utc | 86

Iran refuses to give black box to Boeing:

Iran won’t hand over black box to the US, as Boeing offers help after Ukrainian airliner crashes near Tehran

A Boeing 737 operated by Ukraine International Airlines crashed shortly after taking off from Imam Khomeini International Airport in Tehran earlier on Wednesday, killing all 176 people on board. Ukraine initially suggested that the accident was due to mechanical failure, but later scrubbed its statement.

This basically seals the deal: Boeing is very worried the UIA plane fell because of its production defect that affects 5% of the NGs.

Iran has clearly stated it wouldn't retaliate against civilian targets. It doesn't matter if it was 82 or 140 Iranian nationals; the most important number is this: 0 American nationals.

People who believe some random guy on the CIA's payroll simply walked out on Tehran's public space (very close to the airport, since it fell right after the take off) and shot a missile to down the plane is either believing modern airports still use the security schemes of the 1950s-1970s or are in just plain denial the vaunted Boeing - America's Fifth Symphony - could be so irresponsible and incompetent to the point it is still doubling down on PR instead of focusing absorbing the damages to the brand and acting on saving lives.

Posted by: vk | Jan 8 2020 15:58 utc | 87


"At least five structures were damaged in the attack on the base in Anbar province, which apparently was precise enough to hit individual buildings. "Some of the locations struck look like the missiles hit dead center," says David Schmerler an analyst with the Middlebury Institute."
https://www.npr.org/2020/01/08/794517031/satellite-photos-reveal-extent-of-damage-at-al-assad-air-base
https://media.npr.org/assets/img/2020/01/08/ain-assad-1_wide-18d0e8e8422d5db24499246913ce7cf02e2c0720-s1100-c15.png
https://media.npr.org/assets/img/2020/01/08/ain-assad-2_wide-e01028baec721346fd7fcf6af819f99c0f02fd18-s1100-c15.png

Posted by: Brendan | Jan 8 2020 16:02 utc | 88

This comment of mine would best be place here,
https://www.moonofalabama.org/2020/01/blowback-from-the-soleimani-assassination-increases-as-iraq-reveals-how-trump-tried-to-steal-its-oil.html?cid=6a00d8341c640e53ef0240a4b2733f200c#comment-6a00d8341c640e53ef0240a4b2733f200c

Posted by: Walter | Jan 8 2020 13:16 utc | 19
Time to read Gravity's Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon Walter :-)

A trend I have noticed on some websites that tend to discuss Geopolitics and Iraq/Iran in particular is of an intense outbreak of short "useless comments". These comments then bury the more thought out comments. My suspicious is that this is Information Warfare. It be interesting what they pay them to do this. Minimum Wage + Free Internet.

Posted by: Tom_LX | Jan 8 2020 16:02 utc | 89

bubbles @77

good one

Posted by: arby | Jan 8 2020 16:02 utc | 90

Posted by: Brendan | Jan 8 2020 12:40 utc | 14

Now that's interesting. And indeed would be highly symbolic. If true, I love it.

Posted by: moon | Jan 8 2020 16:05 utc | 91

"Iran Refuses To Hand Over Crash Data, Stoking Speculation Plane Was ..." (ZH)

Given the levels of mendacity displayed by the Dutch and British after MH17 flight recorders were handed over, I'm not surprised Iran is holding onto them. Bring the experts into Tehran and let them do their work under strict supervision there etc. Otherwise the usual suspects will just run with a BS scenario. They may well anyway, but it would be a more manageable scenario undertaken locally.

Posted by: imo | Jan 8 2020 16:06 utc | 92

@ 84 b4real this is all I have seen so far. It is unusual to have this type of information blackout.
https://twitter.com/Brasco_Aad/status/1214936058502275072?s=20

Posted by: Sorghum | Jan 8 2020 16:06 utc | 93

Posted by: Cynica | Jan 8 2020 15:48 utc | 78

"If it was all theater, then Trump would be continuing his bellicose rhetoric, in order for "the show to go on". Instead he's become very subdued, along with the rest of the US government. They seem to be in damage-control mode (literally and figuratively), which strongly implies that the attack was not theater."

That was one of my first thoughts. But if it's not theater, what's with the report that Iran tipped off the US ahead of time thru the Swiss? Since when do you tell the enemy ahead of time about a real attack?

Posted by: Russ | Jan 8 2020 16:09 utc | 94

21
Petri
I still maintain that the US had already decided to leave Iraq - before they assassinated Soleimani.

Well that makes sense.
Why wreck the prime real estate Iraq/Russia/China would love to move into?
Maybe a quiet word.....?

Posted by: Emily | Jan 8 2020 16:10 utc | 95

What is significant for me is that Iran gave the US notice they were coming but the US could not intercept or shoot down the incoming rockets.

This is what will move the US out of Iraq and Syria and maybe even the ME. If it can't protect itself from known attacks then what chance do their troops have of surviving.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jan 8 2020 16:17 utc | 96

I find it highly improbable that Iran would down a foreign plane on its territory and in its capital to boot. Odds that it is the Iranian Government's work have to be close to ZERO, IMHO of course.

This is similar to that stunt with the most democratic politician that Russia ever saw called Boris Nemtsov. The word on the Internet Street was that evil Putin killed him. Yeh, had him shot on a bridge less than a kilometer from his Kremlin office.

Help I Need Somebody, Not Just Anybody , Help ....

Posted by: Tom_LX | Jan 8 2020 16:20 utc | 97

Yes, but is the red flag still flying over the Jamkaran mosque in Qom???

Posted by: TheBAG | Jan 8 2020 16:20 utc | 98

@93 Sorghum @88 Brendan

Thanks for that, but I've seen yemeni fighters chasing sauds across the desert on cell phone vids shortly after battles conclude. The lack of non-commmercial pics makes me think they have some technology I am not aware of, besides shutting down the internet....

b4real

Posted by: b4real | Jan 8 2020 16:23 utc | 99

I just had this idea on the plane crash, which you might like. Hope it's not repeating someone else.

There is another way the Iranian plane could have been brought down, that I find quite possible, as US hostile action is the most likely, more probable than the Iranians shot it down by mistake. The plane was a recent 737-800, three years old, with up-to-date electronics. It is certain that Boeing will have been requested to insert a backdoor in the software, for the US govt to be able to suicide a plane remotely, in the case of another 911, so traumatic was 911. So voilà, US pulls a switch and plane explodes over Tehran. There are nasty enough buggers in Washington who wouldn’t hesitate to do things like that. What do a few Canadian-Iranians matter? Same as happened with the bombing of the Shrine in Samarra in 2006, but the Iraqis agreed to cover it up. In the future, make sure you fly Airbus, not Boeing.

Posted by: Laguerre | Jan 8 2020 16:28 utc | 100

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