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

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Jan @301
The report of Canadian students on the Ukrainian flight is here from the Toronto SunCanadians killed in Iran plane crash include bridal party, profs and students.
"The flight was a popular transit route for Canadians traveling to Iran, in the absence of direct flights, and carried many students and academics heading home from the holidays. Canada broke off diplomatic relations with Iran in 2012.
“I’ve had family take the Tehran-to-Toronto route via Kiev in the past year. It’s been a new, affordable route for many Iranian-Canadians,”"

Posted by: Blue Dotterel | Jan 9 2020 7:02 utc | 401

Should be WJ 301

The report of Canadian students on the Ukrainian flight is here from the Toronto SunCanadians killed in Iran plane crash include bridal party, profs and students.
"The flight was a popular transit route for Canadians traveling to Iran, in the absence of direct flights, and carried many students and academics heading home from the holidays. Canada broke off diplomatic relations with Iran in 2012.
“I’ve had family take the Tehran-to-Toronto route via Kiev in the past year. It’s been a new, affordable route for many Iranian-Canadians,”"

Posted by: Blue Dotterel | Jan 9 2020 7:04 utc | 402

PavewayIV 392

I would rather you keep the nutters there. Enough here without adding US nutters. Besides, they may make a nice feature if US becomes a stained glass scenic landscape. Second thoughts, if they were incorporated into the stained glass, it may look like a used nappy or diaper as they are called in the US. But keep them there regardless.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 9 2020 7:16 utc | 403


Spelling and I writing are something I have never been good at. All spell checkers seem to have yank spelling which really messes me up. Non US countries spelt it metre, yank spell checkers spell it meter so - when in rome, I do as the romans do.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 9 2020 7:25 utc | 404

And yeah, for the word nazi's it should have been spelled.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 9 2020 7:26 utc | 405

Earthquake reported yesterday around Bushehr, passenger jet going down, missile strike on US bases, I am not a coincidence theorist is a bit much to consider given the timeline of events. We have a resolution from part of the Iraq Parliament for the US to leave Iraq that has no force of law. Trump is talking nice again. Iran is happy that it bitch slapped the US.

Where does that leave us? Back to the normal strategy of tension mode until the next round. Pass some more cash around to kill the Chinese infrastructure deal then we can get on with the next 71 years of conflict in the region.

Posted by: dltravers | Jan 9 2020 7:36 utc | 406

Laguerre | Jan 8 2020 16:28 utc | 100


Posted by: haze | Jan 9 2020 7:38 utc | 407

- I never for one minute thought that the crash of the ukrainian plane was the result of a bomb or a surface-to-air missile. That was simply an accident. Since the Ukraine is rife with corruption I think it's more likely that maintenance of the plane was (more than) a bit shoddy.

Posted by: Willy2 | Jan 9 2020 7:45 utc | 408

Guest1 | Jan 9 2020 6:18 utc | 398:

Well, let's hope Patrick Clawson's suggestion doesn't become a reality.

Posted by: Ian2 | Jan 9 2020 8:05 utc | 409

Posted by: Willy2 | Jan 9 2020 7:45 utc | 411

"Since the Ukraine is rife with corruption I think it's more likely that maintenance of the plane was (more than) a bit shoddy."

It would have been last subject to maintenance in Tehran. But I don't doubt if Kiev is its home airport where it's most often maintained, the quality there probably is relatively low.

And who is responsible for the fact that Iranian-Canadians had to keep flying thru Kiev? The lackey/self-colonial Canadian government which forbids direct flights to Tehran on US orders. The same government today crying crocodile tears and murmuring about something rotten in Iran.

Yes, Iran would be crazy to entrust the black box or the investigation to the West.

Posted by: Russ | Jan 9 2020 8:18 utc | 410

Posted by: haze | Jan 9 2020 7:38 utc | 410

Thanks for confirming the technology does exist. I always thought it did. There's no difference between automatic landing of a hijacked plane, and simply destroying the plane, just a variant.

Posted by: Laguerre | Jan 9 2020 8:23 utc | 411

The Ukraine air company began flying to Iran in 2014 2015 when the US coup was in full swing. Why would a US proxy start flights to Iran at that time.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 9 2020 8:23 utc | 412

Then there was this photo,some months ago from the party thrown for the 100 years of german newspaper Bildzeitung where we see Joshua Wong,Andrei Klitschko,a Syrian White Helmet,and yes ,an iranian woman,who were drinking to their conspiracies.What if all the passengers were from the rat-pack that prepares the destruction of countries?

Posted by: willie | Jan 9 2020 8:24 utc | 413

US bombed the shit out of its ISIS proxies along with Iraqi's, Syrian's and state infrastructure.
Having proxies flying to Iran is perhaps a chance for the Trump US that is too good not to act upon.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 9 2020 8:26 utc | 414

Russ |
The question is - why is a US vassal state running flights to Iran. Ukraine began its flights to Iran under Obomber, but the current Ukraine regime seems to get on well with Trump who is Iran's arch enemy.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 9 2020 8:33 utc | 415

Paul Damascene 345

The combination of Ukraine and canada means there is much bullshit and bellingcat investigations to come.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 9 2020 8:43 utc | 416

And who is responsible for the fact that Iranian-Canadians had to keep flying thru Kiev?

Posted by: Russ | Jan 9 2020 8:18 utc | 413

What, not who. The answer is cheap tickets. Ukrainian were by far the cheapest, as I noticed when I was booking a ticket to Iran.

Posted by: Laguerre | Jan 9 2020 8:48 utc | 417

Why would a US proxy start flights to Iran at that time.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 9 2020 8:23 utc | 415

Business opportunity is the simplest answer.

Posted by: Laguerre | Jan 9 2020 8:51 utc | 418

Meanwhile in Libya LNA has captured Sirte and is now fighting close to Abu Qurayn road crosssing (see map at ). Sirte residents are waving a green flag of Jamahiriya and a portrait of Qaddafi: .

Posted by: S | Jan 9 2020 9:13 utc | 419

Jackrabbit 289

Trump doesn't believe in costly nor endless wars. At the moment, the only thing I can see preventing the Trump US from hitting Iran is Putin's warning. Trump has downplayed the Iranian strike and said all is good while readying a bigger hammer.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 9 2020 9:17 utc | 420

#83 Mao
The Patrick Clawson video you mention is used by an antiwar comedian, Jimmy Dore. Dore has a one hour radio program on radio Pacifica, KPFK, in Los Angeles and it may be on nationwide. Dore also has a Youtube channel, a night club act, and performs around the country. He is criticized by the MSM, cable news, and the Democratic establishment and there are back and forth battles. He also criticizes the MSM when they lie or distort the facts. It is surprising that a Youtube comedian would garner so much attention, but they appear to be threatened by the attention he gives to their lies because they would rather be considered news people or reporters than lying stenographers for the establishment.

Posted by: realtime | Jan 9 2020 9:20 utc | 421


My government were happy to sacrifice over fourty on MH17 for US aspirations. The Dutch were out did us and offered up a couple of hundred.
Now Ukraine and Canada are putting offering up their sacrifices. Obama's vassal state starting business With Iran simply as a business opportunity does not fit. CIA flew the US flag alongside the Ukraine flag at SBU headquarters.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 9 2020 9:31 utc | 422

@Laguerre, vk, Haze re Boeing remote control:

Boeing planes had this function already before 9/11. Lufthansa, before 9/11, didn't like it and requested it be removed/deactivated for their fleet - quite prescient and plucky for a vassal flag carrier. Remote control technology is old news and has been available at least since the 1960s. Remember it was a central element of the Operation Northwoods plan to crash US passenger planes via taking over remotely, then as a pretext for war blame it on Cuba to have shot them down.

Posted by: Leser | Jan 9 2020 9:37 utc | 423

Sometimes and aircraft engine catches fire and the aircraft heads to the nearest airport and lands.
Concord ruptured a tank on takeoff, burst into flames and crashed. The iran crash... the aircraft catches fire after takeoff glides down and smashes into the the ground leaving the aircraft and passengers in many small bits and pieces. A rare occurrence and perhaps something like this has happened before but I am not aware of it.. but this happening within a few hours of Iran hitting the US bases in Iraq is a bit like me winning a lottery when I haven't bought a ticket. It could happen but the the odds are long.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 9 2020 9:41 utc | 424

S 423

I think there is a big untold story going on in Libya watching Erdo and Putin. Seems like Erdo is removing Jihadists from Syria and sending them to a graveyard in Libya away from MSM attention.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 9 2020 9:51 utc | 425

Seems like Erdo is removing Jihadists from Syria and sending them to a graveyard in Libya away from MSM attention.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 9 2020 9:51 utc | 429

Is Erdogan trying to get rid of Jihadists? News to me. Kind of unwise to get rid of people your electoral base like. (NB the militia being sent to Libya are Syrian Turkmens, I believe.)

Posted by: Laguerre | Jan 9 2020 10:14 utc | 426

karlof1 @ 298

in regard to whatever mr. Sadr says...

what a difference a day makes.

Sadr expressed support for expelling foreign troops from Iraq, but said the country should be patient, and use political, parliamentary, and international methods to accomplish this

Posted by: john | Jan 9 2020 10:19 utc | 427

john 431

Sounds like he's more worried about losing control to rivals or to sheer fanaticism (always subversive of existing leaders) than he is about the US occupation. Very common motivation.

Posted by: Russ | Jan 9 2020 10:27 utc | 428

Sounds like he's more worried about losing control to rivals or to sheer fanaticism (always subversive of existing leaders) than he is about the US occupation. Very common motivation.

Posted by: Russ | Jan 9 2020 10:27 utc | 432

I doubt it. Sadr is very nationalist. He's just recognising that the US can't be expelled by military means, and is rather calling for political pressure.

Posted by: Laguerre | Jan 9 2020 10:34 utc | 429

Lets compare the US attack on a Syrian airfield and the Iranian attack on Ain al-Asad and Erbil. The US informed the Russians to avoid Russian causalities. The Russians inform the Syrians and they are ready. Most missiles are shot down. Pictures of the base are available quite quickly showing some damage. The runway is repaired and is back in business the same day. No chemical weapons detected.

The Iranians inform the Iraqi's to avoid Iraqi causalities. The Iraqi's inform the US and are ready for the attack. Most missiles hit their target, none are shot down. I find it hard to believe that this base had no Patriot systems deployed. Taking a bucket full of salt, Veterans Today mentions that Patriots are located at the base. couldn't that be confirmed from satellite pictures? No reporters on the ground showing damage? Who has a lot to hide?

What is worse for moral, using the Patriots and finding them to be not up to the challenge, or not using them and let them get destroyed or missiles hit important targets on the base. Is the US so stupid as to not have Patriots to protect their assets? Don't answer that, it's rhetorical. Several other interesting questions arise. One is who has the free press? Who isn't scared of announcing deaths as a result of these raids? What was the real desired outcome? Who has long term goals? Who is going from one disaster to the next? Who looks like a clusterfuck and who looks to be in charge?

The US is scared of to many soldiers returning home in coffins. This not over until the US have left Iraq and Syria. Who knows where it will stop. Eventually I expect the US will leave the Gulf altogether as regional security will become the job of countries of the Gulf (HOPE). I suspect this is why the assassination of Soleimani happened. Peace was about to break out. Can't have that. Team Depends will be leaving Iraq, either horizontal or vertical, it's their choice.

For those who think in terms of theater, the pistol is on the wall, will it be used by the final act?

"If in the first act you have hung a pistol on the wall, then in the following one it should be fired. Otherwise don't put it there. Chekov's gun

Posted by: Tom | Jan 9 2020 10:39 utc | 430

Is Iran a true enemy? Or is this more fake wrestling? The latter is looking more likely after this.

Every match needs a Heel (bad guy) to oppose the Face (good guy). The hegelian dialectic process, repeated over time and at many levels, drives the progress of evolution of the World Order, culminating in what will be a One World Government run by the Elite as called for by Platos Republic, but an idea that really was hatched 2600 years ago in Babylon.

Ideologically it works as thesis, antithesis, followed by synthesis. Event wise it works as action, reaction followed by solution. Much , but not all of the former is natural, but more of the latter is arranged, so as to arrive at the pre planned solution. You can think of your own examples. Of course the PTB will insist arranged events are only done by the bad guys , bad being defined as the current enemy of the day.

Anyways, lets zoom in to look back to how an Islamic Theocratic Socialist State came into being. Just as a young Bibi was preparing an international conference on Terrorism in Jerusalem to gain support for the coming war on terrorism , and Brzezinski was executing his plan to train Saudi Sunni extremists to fight in Afghanistan against Russia (including OBL and those who went on to form Al Qaeda), the former US puppet Shah of Iran was getting cocky and preparing against US wishes to be energy sufficient by using nuclear power (lots of oil but no refineries) , a goal which was frowned on by a US that wanted to phase out nuclear power globally to support the petrodollar (helped by TMI hysteria created by the newly established FEMA)

The future Ayatollah who had been in exile in Baghdad under Saddam’s protection for a time (our friend then) went to France where the BBC began broadcasting his speeches in Iran, and what looks to be a color revolution with the US backed Iranian military standing down which allowed Khomeini to fly to Tehran from Paris and take over with the Shah fleeing Iran for the US

So whether by design or accident the
Ayatollah takes over. Plans for Iran nuclear power are ended. Soon what is known as the Oded Yinon plan is hatched in Israel to break up and weaken Arab States to allow for a future Greater Israel. An enemy of Iran (Saudi Arabia ) is created based on the long standing Shia-Sunni schism which was not an issue when the secular Shah was in power. The secular leader Saddam with a population in which the Arab Shia were a majority was ordered to invade the Persian Shia theocratic state of Iran which weakened and depopulated both Iran and Iraq Shia populations (Persian and Arab) , with the US helping to arm both sides (for Iran it was via iran contra which included Israel)

The weakening of Saddams Iraq in the war proved useful when it was decided he was to become an enemy (duping him into thinking it was ok to go into British backed kuwait and stop them from stealing his oil) and set up the Gulf War , which was followed by a decade of bombing before the 2003 War that finished Saddam and may have cost over 2 million lives or at least resulted in 2 million fewer than people than expected without the bombings and subsequent war/occupation)

The Ayatollah controlled Iran also led to the forming of Hizbullah, a militant Shia group backed by Iran to defend Shias in Lebanon against Israeli aggression following the massacres executed by Sharon in the early 80’s. They provided Israels later justification to invade Lebanon, a failed invasion at that. The common enemy in Iran also caused Saudi Arabia and UAE to ally with Israel, something Israeli officials said would never have been possible without Iran

So basically Iran of today is one of those deals where if it didn’t exist someone would have needed to create it, and perhaps did create it 40 years ago as part of the dialectic process.

The major beneficiary of modern Iran (the Heel) is Israel with the progress made in the balkanization of the Middle East according to the Yinon plan. Such progress could not have been possible without making Iran and its organizations into an enemy

Without Iran playing the Heel, the US and Israel (which one is the poodle?) could not justify so many of their actions in the Middle East. Once Iran is gone someone will need to replace it. Saudi Arabia is probably next in line.

Perhaps he is standing down to protect Israel (in other words, Bibi told him no). Thats the only argument that would prevent the neocons from an all out revolt for nor retaliating. But wait, isn’t this what Bibi wanted all along, at least what we have been led to believe? Unless its just fake wrestling.

I cant help wonder if Trump is being set up if he stays the course of not escalating. A lot of hawkish neocons and the MIC will be very upset. Reminds me of JFK being set up by okaying the Bay of Pigs invasion and then not supporting an escalation when it went bad. (After I wrote this I saw on a disreputable site a video of a staged assassination blamed on Iran). Perhaps they have someone else they would like to take over. Just speculating here, no idea really. I am happy he is not escalating if this is real. You just cant tell with him. But if he stays the course I am grateful.

Anyways, another thing supporting Iran as a fake enemy is this. We all know Trump has been called Cyrus (as was Lord Balfour and Truman) by moving the embassy to Jerusalem, a step towards helping Israel building the 3rd Temple. As you know Cyrus was the Persian (now Iran) leader who freed them from Babylon captivity allowing them to return to Judea and build the 2nd temple. You would think Israel and its poodle would kindly disposed toward Cyrus descendants. Unlike Egypt, Syria and Iraq there is no historical (biblical) hatred there.

As for the Ukraine plane going down. Thats sad but interesting. Iran certainly does not benefit in anyway. Could the Ukrainians bring down one of their own planes following orders (suggestions) from the US and in return get that military aid which has been frozen by Trump and get back on his good side?.
Food for thought. At the very least it provides a distraction from Trumps stand down, but also may provide a reason allow Trump to justify changing his mind and go the other way given as how many Canadians were on board . Thats assuming they can convince people it was Irans fault . Lets face it, the herd can be made to believe anything. Something to watch just in case someone wants to turn fake wrestling into a UFC match (90’s UFC).

Posted by: Pgt | Jan 9 2020 10:40 utc | 431

Any jet-aviators here?
Why would a pilot turn the plane around after a compressor stall during take off - without notifying the tower nor limiting the fuel supply on that engine?

Posted by: Subsight | Jan 9 2020 10:42 utc | 432

Got this from German news concerning the airplane crash:

"Zeev Sarig, who headed Ben Gurion Airport in Israel from 2004 to 2010, has a different theory, as he said Ria Novosti. You have to wait for the investigation, but there are two options for him. There may have been a technical mishap, which he believes is unlikely, but there may also have been a bomb on board connected to a timer or an altimeter to detonate the bomb at a certain altitude."

Posted by: d. | Jan 9 2020 10:46 utc | 433

Posted by: Laguerre | Jan 9 2020 10:34 utc | 433

"He's just recognising that the US can't be expelled by military means, and is rather calling for political pressure."

Self-evidently no political pressure by itself will get the invader to leave. The world will be very lucky if it leaves just under moderate military duress.

Posted by: Russ | Jan 9 2020 11:09 utc | 434

@ Subsight | Jan 9 2020 10:42 utc | 436

Generally speaking if a twin loses an engine or thrust on one engine below minimum controllable airspeed attempting to turn is not possible, as turning reduces lift, and there isn't hardly enough lift after that engine quits. Attempt to turn and the aircraft stalls and falls to the ground out of control. I noted this previously, vide supra.

The pictures seems to suggest a turbine disk failure, not compressor stall. Right motor fail + hard left rudder = increased drag, and your best bet is to crash straight ahead with some control, nasty, but that's the "best".

My only flying, many years ago, has been in singles and w/o a license, and not much of that. But I did get to take a DC 3 up to 12,000 with a proper pilot, and did most (but not all) of the landing.

I would be delighted to hear from a qualified pilot with experience in 737 ng, particularly if he knows the proper procedure for dealing with an engine failure on take-off and can say what the MCAS for that model may be.

Posted by: Walter | Jan 9 2020 12:05 utc | 435

Amazing posting on ZH re. backstory of killing Sulemani.

Though ZH posts a lot of pro Trump crap they still come thru with the real deal at times.

There is no deescalation. Its only a matter of timing. War will be caused. Preparations are being made.

Posted by: jared | Jan 9 2020 12:10 utc | 436

I'm going to coin a phrase to describe what has been going on - (including the missile strike on Syria in retalliation for the fake chemical attack) - A Pantomime attack.

Posted by: Maracatu | Jan 9 2020 12:21 utc | 437

Posted by: Subsight | Jan 9 2020 10:42 utc | 436

Because he tries to crash the plane in uninhabited land? Which he seems to have succeeded in doing.

This now is another possibility. That the plane crash was meant to deliver a terrorist threat to Iran.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 9 2020 12:26 utc | 438

@ : john brewster | Jan 8 2020 22:39 utc | 323

Thanks, You've done a great service, John. Now you explain, I was tired.

Best wishes, Walter

Posted by: Walter | Jan 9 2020 12:29 utc | 439

@ Posted by: Subsight | Jan 9 2020 10:42 utc | 436

The pilot was allegedly trying to do a U-turn after he detected a technical problem:

Ukraine International Airlines Boeing 737 caught fire in flight — Tehran

Also according to the Iranian aviation authority, there are many eye witnesses of the event (which was expected, since the plane fell right after taking off, over a densely populated area) and none reported an explosion. That rules out a missile attack.

Posted by: vk | Jan 9 2020 12:31 utc | 440

add to 443
Link for comment about the crash site

Another witness quoted by the news agency said he believed the pilot had steered the plane toward a soccer field and away from a residential area.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 9 2020 12:33 utc | 441

SyPer is back up

Posted by: TJ | Jan 9 2020 12:41 utc | 442

Since people seem to have calmed down a little I'll repeat the links I posted elsewhere, they look interesting but judge for yourself. The Wikipedia links are of course only for general reference.

Ukraine Int. Airlines flight PS752:
· radar track from flightradar24.
· 737 NG page on Wikipedia (likely somewhat outdated).
· CFM56-7 engine page on Wikipedia (likely somewhat outdated).
· 2 CFM56-7 failures "‘Uncontained’ CFM56-7 FBO Failures: Southwest B737-700s 27 August 2016 & 17 April 2018 (UPDATED)" 20160912 (three and a half years ago).
· link to "NTSB Recommends Partial Redesign For Boeing 737 Engines" 20191119 (not long ago).

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Jan 9 2020 12:46 utc | 443

Not OT, quite, but relevant is WSWS analysis "Trump bides his time, but the preparations for war against Iran will continue"

Walter's "take" is that Iran has demonstrated the ability to liquidate precise targets more easily and more accurately than the US can So, let's suppose US General Bunkburger is sitting at his desk and that the desk is within 2000 km of an Iranian controlled space, submarine, fishing boat, or road... The "message" Iran sent is that, as Jack Ripper famously said at Burpelson AFB "Two can plat at the game, soldier!"

(see YT > "Strangelove - Base Attack" @ about 1 minute)

WSWS quote> Why did Trump fail to act on his threats? It is more than likely that the Joint Chiefs of Staff warned Trump that precipitous action could result in a military disaster. [hence grim faces!]

The Pentagon needs time to prepare the defense of some 70,000 US troops deployed on Iran’s borders from Afghanistan to Turkey, along with tens of thousands more military contractors and naval personnel stationed in the region. The military knows that the next round of US attacks will probably be answered with a rain of Iranian missiles on US bases, airfields, battleships and aircraft carriers. In the run-up to the US wars against Iraq in 1990 and 2003, Washington needed several months to prepare against a far less potent enemy.

Posted by: Walter | Jan 9 2020 12:54 utc | 444

Posted by: vk | Jan 9 2020 12:31 utc | 445

I don't know about densely populated. The plane seems to have crashed near Shahedshahr. Look it up for yourself.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 9 2020 12:54 utc | 445

I call for vengeance for the 80 Americans that Iran claims it killed in the attack!!!

USA is obviously hiding that fact to its own people to avoid embarrassment so as not to show its vulnerability.

But this slaughter cannot go unanswered!!!

Posted by: ralphieboy | Jan 9 2020 12:56 utc | 446

@ Posted by: somebody | Jan 9 2020 12:54 utc | 450

Planes are very fast and are at a very high altitude: even some seconds to the fall would result in kilometers of difference. Alternatively, an eye witness can see it many kilometers of distance. What I mean is: this plane didn't crash in the middle of a vast desert of the ocean, so there are many eye witnesses, as expected.

Besides, as the other commenters have correctly pointed out here, pilots are trained to crash in empty spaces if they see it is inevitable.

Posted by: vk | Jan 9 2020 13:03 utc | 447

Iraq resumes negotiations with Russia on S-300

BAGHDAD, Jan 9 - RIA Novosti. Baghdad resumed talks with Moscow on the purchase of S-300 anti-aircraft systems, told RIA Novosti the head of the Iraqi parliament’s defense and security committee, Muhammad Rida.

He noted that this issue should have been resolved a long time ago.

"A few months ago, after attacks on the Shiite militia bases of al-Hashd al-Shaabi in Baghdad and other provinces, the need for these weapons arose and the responsible party resumed negotiations on a contract for the S-300," Rida said.

The interlocutor of the agency noted that he did not know what stage the deal was at, but the Iraqi leadership authorized it.

"We expect opposition from the United States on this issue," concluded Rida.

In August, a series of airstrikes against the militia bases al-Hashd al-Shaabi took place. As then, RIA Novosti was informed by a member of the Iraqi parliament Abdulhalik al-Isawi, the United States confirmed that Israeli drones struck.

(Machine translated from Ирак возобновил переговоры с Россией по С-300.)

Posted by: S | Jan 9 2020 13:12 utc | 448

@ Posted by: Walter | Jan 9 2020 12:54 utc | 449

Excellent analysis.
Preparation for war continues.
War was and remains the plan.

I would only differ in that I believe that Trump has lost control. Is behaiving more irratically than usual. Appears to me a signal of distress needing help.

Likely it cannot be stopped at this point and plan would be to take it nuclear as US cannot afford a drwan out war.

Posted by: jared | Jan 9 2020 13:14 utc | 449

Posted by: mnewyorker | Jan 9 2020 4:49 utc | 392

Any thoughts on the future air strikes on Iranian interest in Syria by Israel ?

Actually there is a developing story in the other direction. Quds forces officials talking about looking closer at the Israeli role in the Terror of Ghasem Soleimani.

Posted by: omid | Jan 9 2020 13:18 utc | 450

@ Sunny Runny Burger | Jan 9 2020 12:46 utc | 448

Those are very good link. Thanks. Since the machine has evidently substandard cowl and tends to throw blades at compressor stage - that sometimes puncture fuel tanks or cabin... Since that, the simple theory is compressor failure. I suppose that may also have caused a turbine disk failure as bits went on through. All my GT work was on heavy stationary turbines, both (steam and gas). Anyway, plenty of kerosene and fire and bits flying. Highly metastatic.

Posted by: Walter | Jan 9 2020 13:20 utc | 451

@ Posted by: omid | Jan 9 2020 13:18 utc | 455

Maybe is Israels role to be the lamb.
If Israel is attacked, Trump can legally respond.

Posted by: jared | Jan 9 2020 13:26 utc | 452

Iranian news reported the missile strikes caused numerous casualties. Trump said there were no casualties. Wherein lies the truth and how could it be confirmed?

Posted by: Carciofi | Jan 9 2020 13:27 utc | 453

No wonder the there no deaths from iranian strikes if this is oorrect:

"Iran’s attack on Ain Assad base was leaked to US: Iraqi Sources "

Which again of course shows how divided Iraq is.

Posted by: Zanon | Jan 9 2020 13:30 utc | 454

Posted by: vk | Jan 9 2020 13:03 utc | 452

There are some videos presumably showing the burning airplane. It was night. You don't see stuff in high altitude. Eye witness are not that reliable even when they watch what is happening in front of their noses - ask any hobby magician.

Yes, a missile is unlikely without anybody knowing about it. Which leaves explosion on board and/or engine failure.

Time and place - lots of events happening in one geographical area and one night, would suggest explosion. But these things do happen.

Iran was very fast to say it was technical.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 9 2020 13:32 utc | 455

"How does a CFM56-7B work ?" see YT. Pretty nice job.

Animated, and intended for non-technical audience.

In the trades the "genre" of exotic metals and coating of GTmacines are sometime referred to as "unobtainium".

After reading the NTSB fan failure reports that Sunny Runny Burger | Jan 9 2020 12:46 utc | 448 posted, I am inclined to the idea that it was a cascade of engine failure starting with "fan blade off" and ending in TCO (total crap out)

Posted by: Walter | Jan 9 2020 13:34 utc | 456

You had better learn the difference between REAL oil and frack oil condensate if you ever want to understand
why US policy appears insane if the US is energy independent.
Frack will never replace REAL oil or make a single dollar in profit.Its a stopgap measure at horrendous costs and
a geopoltical stick ONLY.TPTB know the truth,you don't.

Posted by: winston2 | Jan 9 2020 13:38 utc | 457

Peter AU1 @ 420
We have only just begun...

Posted by: Paul Damascene | Jan 9 2020 13:39 utc | 458

@Sunny Runny Burger #448: The “fan blade off” engine failure scenario is certainly very interesting, but what are the odds of it happening mere hours after Iranian missile strike? The coincidence is unbelievable. A more likely scenario is that the ground crew at the Tehran airport got distracted by the ongoing events—glued to their TVs and radios for the latest updates—and botched some important operation: spilled jet fuel, forgot to screw some cap, or something like that.

Posted by: S | Jan 9 2020 13:49 utc | 459

Posted by: jared | Jan 9 2020 13:26 utc | 457

Maybe is Israels role to be the lamb.
If Israel is attacked, Trump can legally respond.

If Trump is able to respond, why did he not respond after the historical humiliation by IRGC? … As I mentioned, it’s a developing story! … have a nice day.

Posted by: omid | Jan 9 2020 14:00 utc | 460

@ S | Jan 9 2020 13:49 utc | 464 "odds"

The same as previous "odds" when they did throw blades.

Is not a matter of odds, machines break. If there's good quality control they crap out within very close hours of operation. The engine (vide supra) is flawed. It craps out explosively and that's not well-contained. It can bring a cascade of failure.

Jet engine explosions have always been the problem with jets.

They have a high latent or potential energy. look up the rotational speeds and do the algebra about the energy in the flying bits. The engine are "contained bombs". Critical elements.

Be fair, piston engines have some redeeming qualities in my view, but I tend to flat-head fords.

Posted by: Walter | Jan 9 2020 14:03 utc | 461

@ Posted by: somebody | Jan 9 2020 13:32 utc | 460

Unless the missile pierced the plane, one should expect an explosion and two, not one, fireballs falling.

Iran didn't release any technical report yet: they just described what they saw in the radar and radio communication before they lost signal of it.

Posted by: vk | Jan 9 2020 14:06 utc | 462

Peter AU1:

"And yeah, for the word nazi's it should have been spelled."

The plural of "Nazi" is "Nazis." No apostrophe.

As for "when in Rome," we are on the Internet. That is not a country.
Both UK and US spellings are OK---esp. irrelevant since the site is owned by a German. Within my living memory both US and UK spellings were regularly used in the USA (e.g., grey/labour/favour, etc.).

Posted by: Really?? | Jan 9 2020 14:12 utc | 464

@ all

Must admit being mystified abt all this bashing, blaming and demoralising going on on this site during the last few days. Is it just nerves stretching and compensation of anxiety and despair? Or why this intense occupying in struggling ad hominem? Guess nobody has the final answer to all occurring questions and aspects.

Wouldn't it provide a sense of peace to discuss in a respectful manner, admitting one day or the other all of us can be mistaken?

Posted by: Paleene | Jan 9 2020 14:13 utc | 465

Walter that's a very nice video, adding link (YouTube) for anyone as lazy as me :D (it's less than 4 minutes).

It's easy to forget how much work the engines do and how badly it can go wrong when —very rarely considering how much flying is taking place— they do go wrong.

The investigation will find out one way or the other.

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Jan 9 2020 14:14 utc | 466

@Walter #466:

The same as previous "odds"…

Nope. The odds are not the same. Out of all 737NGs flying around the world, it had to be a plane flying out of Tehran several hours after a major Iranian airspace–related event (the missile strike). Such incident is statistically less probable.

Posted by: S | Jan 9 2020 14:30 utc | 467

Peter AU1 | Jan 9 2020 9:31 utc | 426


Not only " CIA flew the US flag alongside the Ukraine flag at SBU headquarters."

Comrade Texas posted picture Ukronazi flag being flown above the US flag in naziland. Above is major nono.

@ russelltexasbentley dot com/

Symbolism tells. Now who is it we are forbidden to criticize?

And about zionism and nazi-ism. Perhaps Trumpie can show me the qualitative difference, I forget.

Posted by: Walter | Jan 9 2020 14:36 utc | 468

Posted by: vk | Jan 9 2020 14:06 utc | 467

The way the news of the Iranian strike were reported in Germany by official media were - 1. the strike on the US air base, 2. the airplane crash at Teheran airport 3. an earthquake near Busheer (which was mild, did not cause damage, and is normal for Iran, ie. not news worthy).

The impression created was that Iran in some way had to pay for the attack. They may have used the event or someone created the event.

It smells bad.

From the memory hole: Spectre of ‘another 7/7’ led Tony Blair to block bribes inquiry, high court told - Tony Blair also got bribed, but that is another issue.

There has been a lot of dealing and blackmail going on in the background.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 9 2020 14:38 utc | 469

S: it could be even though it's not supposed to be that easy to do something wrong in check-ups/readying or maintenance. I'm sure they'll find out.

I'll rephrase what Walter is saying (and he's right): the odds are exactly the same as at any other time but of course statistic never decide anything and if it was a one in a million chance it can still happen on "one" and doesn't have to "wait" until it gets to a million. Statistics often isn't as useful or meaningful as they're portrayed as and they're certainly not prophecies, statistics/likelihoods usually works great for large numbers over longer time-frames but not for anything else.

So if it was a material failure in the engine it doesn't matter when or where, it breaks when it breaks, it's never "supposed to" until it's replaced or completely overhauled yet it still happens because even for large numbers etc.

Statistics never gets any final word and never dictates reality.

Paleene you're right however: a clear assassination, high stakes, threats involving war crimes, risk of world war or worse, almost no information (or at least next to no actual verification), large quantities of obvious propaganda (and bot activity), and a lot of righteous frustration and anger, considering it all people have behaved very well and should forgive themselves and others if some of it went askew or was misdirected.

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Jan 9 2020 14:49 utc | 470

No, the odds of an engine failure occurring on that plane are exactly the same as any other 737NG with similar maintenance. Just like my odds of winning the lottery on a day where I got struck by lightning are just the same as on any other day. The odds of both happening are, of course lower than just one, but one having occurred does not impact the probability of the other event.

Posted by: Yetanotheranon | Jan 9 2020 14:57 utc | 471

"Excuse me... I must have opioids and whiskey. Oh, you know why."

Posted by: PavewayIV | Jan 9 2020 1:31 utc | 368

"Extensive military knowledge with a conscience and funny! 2 thumbs up!" - Siskel & Ebert

Posted by: xLemming | Jan 9 2020 14:59 utc | 472

I don't mean to distract from the crash discussion, but do want to make two remarks prompted by post 'Likklemore | Jan 9 2020 4:02 utc | 385'.

1. Reuters is the main global purveyor of propaganda and misinformation that suits current UK/UK/West interests at any moment in time. I claim this based on a long-lasting observation of what the agency circulates and when. I omit examples because that's not the issue at hand. Reuters used to be a model in agency journalism. Maybe it once was. I recommend watching reuters news to be up to date with what the two eyes/five eyes are scheming and what's coming.

2. It is important to remember the US/Trump administration burlesque with North Korea 'negotiations' (and negotiations as such). The burlesque approach characterises the current US administration. Hence, any mention of preparedness to negotiate without preconditions should be treated accordingly. The US (head of state) told the world from the UN podium that it/he would destroy North Korea, and then |'negotiated'. Where are we now? This same US (head of state), just a few days ago, admittedly and proudly murdered in cold blood 10 people in Iraq, two of them high-ranking Iranian officers, and is now, allegedly, ready to negotiate without preconditions. Is there a pattern here?

Posted by: JB | Jan 9 2020 15:01 utc | 473

Or maybe one should put it this way:
it looks like it can't be a coincidence because the observer is intelligent and sees this happening within a few (four) hours. Simply by seeing both things relatively close in time a connection is formed in the mind, however it can be (but might not be) completely illusionary, it is merely the propensity of intelligence to search for a connection.

Exactly the same as seeing a face in a burnt toast, or more helpfully: something that looks like a person hiding in the dark, it can be a person but it can also simply be an accident of branches and shadows etc. (and this explains why we're so good at doing this, because if it's a person it could be important).

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Jan 9 2020 15:02 utc | 474

Posted by: somebody | Jan 9 2020 13:32 utc | 460

"Iran was very fast to say it was technical."

How fast were the French to say the similar Concorde crash was technical?

Posted by: S | Jan 9 2020 13:49 utc | 464

"what are the odds of it happening mere hours after Iranian missile strike? The coincidence is unbelievable."

What are the odds of it ever happening, in coincidence with whatever else is happening at that exact moment?

S 472

"The odds are not the same. Out of all 737NGs flying around the world, it had to be a plane flying out of Tehran several hours after a major Iranian airspace–related event (the missile strike). Such incident is statistically less probable."

Yes, the odds of mechanical trouble are the same, nor is it less probable. The most you can say is that the odds of a terrorist attack or military accident were greater than usual, which doesn't affect the odds of mechanical difficulty. Lots of superstition on this thread about that.

Posted by: Russ | Jan 9 2020 15:04 utc | 475

S @472

Unfortunately, statistics don't work that way, and Walter is correct @466. Statistically improbable events retain the same probability of occurrence even when other statistically unusual events have just occurred. The near simultaneous occurrence of two unusual events is the sort of thing that causes people to mistakenly link unrelated events, such as the belief that the passing of a comet causes wars and such like.

On the other hand, Eliot Higgins making claims about an event is not subject to statistics but rather CIA machinations, so his attempts to build a case for a shoot-down have me leaning towards simple mechanical failure. This is because the CIA wouldn't bother using a cut-out like Higgins if there were any truth to the narratives they want to promote.

Posted by: William Gruff | Jan 9 2020 15:20 utc | 476

JB @478

USA has been asking Iran to negotiate ever since Iran said they would not do so while sanctions are in place.

In Iran's view, USA broke an agreement and then punished Iran for keeping to the agreement. So they refuse to negotiate while USA maintains those sanctions.

This gives USA a propaganda "win" because Western media don't report the story fairly. They focus Trump's desire for negotiations. Then Trump apologists cry: Trump doesn't WANT a war! Trump hasn't STARTED any wars!

- An economic embargo is an act of war (US has a virtual embargo against Iran).

- Seizing Government assets to support a coup leader is an act of war (Venezeula).

- Occupying land of another country is an act of war (Syria).

- Providing key support for ally to wage war is an act of war (Yemen).

- Killing troops of another country for no reasonable defensive reason is an act of war (Iraq).

- Reneging on peace agreements while a state of war exists could be construed as an act of war (North Korea).


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 9 2020 15:26 utc | 477

@ : William Gruff | Jan 9 2020 15:20 utc | 481


I saw about 100 GM diesels fail in the same way within 10 hours of operation, back about 1980. They all had governor failure. A 10-32 nut fell off inside the pump.

Fan blades in GT are a zillion miles from those engines.

Of course there are outliers, sometimes.

Somebody mention Poisson distribution?

Posted by: Walter | Jan 9 2020 15:29 utc | 478

I screwed up > at about 200 hours, + / - 10 > failure.

Posted by: Walter | Jan 9 2020 15:33 utc | 479

Probability that a plane crashes anywhere in the world on any given day.

Probability that it goes down in flames.

Probability that the crash occurs in Tehran on the day that Iran attacks USA.

Probability that it was a plane of an airline majority-owned by Zionist schemer Kolomoisky.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 9 2020 15:37 utc | 480

@ Posted by: S | Jan 9 2020 14:30 utc | 472

That logic is only valid when both events are correlated. Otherwise, you're breaking one of the fundamental laws of physics - the law of information.

For example: a lot of things happened when the IRGC attacked the base in Iraq. Some random buy in France probably died from a heart attack at exactly the same moment. Doesn't mean his heart attack was part of the Iranian retaliation.

The world doesn't stop spinning just because Iran is going to retaliate. The universe doesn't care about humanity: a meteor could fall today and all life on Earth be extinct, and the universe will still be the universe.

Besides, we have empiricism to test our hypotheses. Eye witnesses didn't notice something we could associate with a missile attack. Radar and last moment communications indicate there was a grave technical malfunction detected by the pilot, who tried to do a U-turn or to crash/land in an unpopulated area. Photos of the debris don't indicate an attack from the outside.

In sum, even if we don't consider the logical fallacy, we have the material evidence that doesn't favor your "too much coincidence" hypothesis.

Posted by: vk | Jan 9 2020 15:39 utc | 481

Just who is "Lone Wolf"......??

He is a CIA TROLL !!!

He is deathly afraid of standing up and using his real name....!!

He cannot do so.... BECAUSE HE IS A CIA / MI6 TROLL !!

He is a yellow bellied low life coward! He never stood into harms way, and his only satisfaction in life is
putting down others to satisfy his poor self image and impotence!


Posted by: Dr. George W Oprisko | Jan 9 2020 15:43 utc | 482

Remarks by President Trump during surprise visit to Troops at Al Asad Air Base | Al Anbar Province, Iraq: Dec. 26, 2018

"The courageous men and women at Al Asad Air Base are on the leading edge of our fight to vanquish America’s terrorist enemies." ....

"There will be a strong, deliberate, and orderly withdrawal of U.S. forces from Syria — very deliberate, very orderly — while maintaining the U.S. presence in Iraq to prevent an ISIS resurgence and to protect U.S. interests, and also to always watch very closely over any potential reformation of ISIS and also to watch over Iran. "

"The dignity and glory of the American warrior is recorded on the fields of battle and in acts of valor that will live for all of time. You’re going to be remembered for all of time. And under my administration, we’re winning now. We’re not playing to lose slowly, like they’ve been doing for 19 years. We’re fighting in areas where we shouldn’t be fighting, and spending hundreds of billions of dollars doing it."

"There is no military more capable and, now, more lethal, more fearless, and more skilled than the United States Armed Forces. Nobody is even close. Our faith and confidence in you is absolute and total. You are the sentinels who watch over our nation. You are the warriors who defend our freedom. You are the patriots who ensure the flame of liberty burns forever bright. That’s who you are. That’s who you are."

From Wikipedia "The hardened aircraft shelters built here [at Al-Asad] and throughout Iraq by the Yugoslavs were nicknamed 'Yugos'. At the time they were considered state of the art...."

From the Washington Post: Feb. 4, 2019
"Iraqi President Barham Salih on Monday rejected a plan floated by President Trump that calls for keeping U.S. forces in Iraq to “watch” neighboring Iran...."

The question of casualties at the base from the Iranian missiles. Was it not reported that soldiers from other more exposed military camps had gone to Al-Asad for safety? Thus many more soldiers than usual?

The hardened bunkers at the base would have been used as shelter given the warning to the Americans.

If there were indeed dozens of dead and many more wounded, from a limited attack, with warning, in which 'safe' positions were sought, this does not bode well for the survival of US bases in a full attack. This would also partly explain why the Americans would not want to admit casualties.

Posted by: Robert Snefjella | Jan 9 2020 15:49 utc | 483

I was hoping for a new thread on developments in the Iran situation.

The Trump cabal are resorting to extremely bad faith since they've been exposed in a bald-faced lie on the imminent threat factor justifying an Act of War, namely, the assassination of Iran's second in command leader and revered military general, Soleimani.

First, they're demonizing Soleimani with smears, blaming him for everything bad in the world short of Katrina and the Challenger disaster failing to mention his help in Afghanistan and in fighting AQ and ISIS.

But now the Trump cabal, starting with General Milley yesterday, and Pence today are claiming that the Iranians had in fact intended to kill U.S. soldiers and destroy military infrastructure and equipment but failed or were thwarted in this aim by U.S. early warning systems. They totally fail to mention that had the Iranians intended to cause maximum damage they would have sent their most destructive missiles and would have started their strike operation without using the the Iraqis as a third party advanced warning to the Americans.

However, it doesn't help that the IRGC rightly state that they never intended to kill U.S. forces with this operation but then claim tens of soldiers were killed.

Of course no U.S. military personnel were killed as Trump is obligated to inform the families, Congress and the public of U.S. casualties.

But what really galls me is that Trump had Soleimani murdered, and the Iranians who had every right to retaliate forcefully to an act of war instead showed amazing restraint but Trump and his cabal instead of demonstrating good faith and moving in a positive direction are doubling down with grotesque lies intended to further demonize Iran with the American public.

And that's not all, the media are ironically assisting the Trump cabal not only enabling this bad faith but to make matters worse planting an inuendo, that mostly Ukraine seems to be pushing, that a short-range missile strike brought down the Ukrainian passenger aircraft.

It's all so disgusting that I have to mute the sound not to be contaminated by the wall-to-wall toxic propaganda against Iran.

Posted by: Circe | Jan 9 2020 15:51 utc | 484

Again, off topic, sorta.."US Foreign Policy by Assassination" Essay by Graham Fuller - he points out that the assassination business works in all directions, a thoughtful and relevant consideration.


About machine failure> Coincidence is not causation. There must be plausible agency. Is basic from undergrad logic and rhetoric class.

In example 737 causation plausible is fan failure by fatigue crack.

When causation >1 exist, use Occam's Razor and make hypotheses, gather evidence and disprove whatever you can... Duh!

Posted by: Walter | Jan 9 2020 15:53 utc | 485

Re omid 455, jared 457: The assassination of Soleimani is right out of the Israeli play book: Years ago, they provoked a war with Gaza by negotiating a "peace/ceasefire" deal with a senior Hamas operative to lure him into the open. While he was riding his motorcycle (with his son on the back) with Israel signed copies of the agreement, they rained down Hellfire missiles, killing both him and his son. Given that Netanyahu is tight with both Jared and Pompeo, I think well of Quds looking carefully into the Israeli role in potentially masterminding this operation. As is usual, none of the US/Israeli players predicted the massive unintended consequences.

Posted by: abierno | Jan 9 2020 15:55 utc | 486

Posted by: Russ | Jan 9 2020 15:04 utc | 480

The plane was technically checked on Monday. The plane crashed Tuesday. Correlated? Error? Intentional?

Statistics are no use, any single event can beat a statistic.

That plane crash is political now. Highly unlikely we ever will know the truth.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 9 2020 16:00 utc | 487

@Walter, @Yetanotheranon, @Sunny Runny Burger, @Russ, @William Gruff, @vk:

Okay, guys, my bad. The way I formulated my argument was wrong. The odds are the same if the events are statistically independent. Let me try again.

The Tehran airport ground crews were under stress on the night/early morning of the crash. Firstly, the planes in Iranian airspace had to be re-routed/delayed because of the missile strikes (PS752 was delayed by an hour), so the crews had to work faster to catch up with the schedule. Secondly, the airport workers must have feared possible U.S. response and could have been distracted by discussing the ongoing events with co-workers or being glued to their smartphones, frantically refreshing the news sites and Twitter feeds. Therefore, the odds of Tehran airport workers making a mistake that night when readying the engine or fueling the plane and thus causing the engine to fail or the plane to set itself on fire are higher than the odds of a similar mistake being made by workers in a different airport on a different day.

Posted by: S | Jan 9 2020 16:08 utc | 488

@ somebody | Jan 9 2020 16:00 utc | 492

Yeah. You're right It's all about the story, the myth. Facts matter, but not in the "political" (aka snake-oil old army game) arena.


Fatigue failure is highly non-linear. Read the links above to the engine failure analysis.

Posted by: Walter | Jan 9 2020 16:13 utc | 489

Iranian IRGC aerospace chief on missile attack intentions and results,etc:

Posted by: Robert Snefjella | Jan 9 2020 16:32 utc | 490

"IRGC Aerospace Commander: Wednesday Missile Strikes Mark Start of Major Operations Across Region
"The missile strikes on one of the United States' most important bases within the framework of martyr Soleimani operation was the start of big operations which will continue in the entire region," General Hajizadeh told reporters in Tehran on Thursday."

Posted by: Brendan | Jan 9 2020 16:43 utc | 491

Posted by: Walter | Jan 9 2020 14:36 utc | 473

My name is Russell "Texas" Bentley, and this is my blog about the war in the Donbass region of Southeast Ukraine. I am in Donetsk, and I have been here since December 2014. From January to June 2015, I was a soldier in the Essence of Time combat unit of the Novorussian Armed Forces (NAF). I served at the Donetsk airport and Spartak as a rifleman and RPG gunner.

I am now doing Information Warfare for the Donetsk People's Republic. The war in Donbass is only one Front in a global war. Fascism has again raised its ugly head, and we are here to fight and defeat it. Truth is one of our most powerful weapons, and my job is to get the truth to the people of the Western world. But I need your help.

This Tex guy is quite interesting. How did you dig him up ? Is he posting here (Information Warrior) ?

Having zero experience in how the intelligence agencies operated I can only rely on what I read. Apparently in their World there are no coincidences. So when I heard that it was a Ukrainian plane that fell out of the sky while the Iranians were busy sending Trump a telegram my red light lit up, "Warning: This is highly suspicious". With the information that is available to us I highly doubt that we here can untangle this can of worms. One thing is certain, the Iranian gov. gains nothing by shooting down this plane. Accidental shoot down ? Possible. The Iranians have recorded communication, radar and schedule of missile firings. They can narrow down the possibilities not we.

Interestingly today I am starting to see comments suggesting it was "A Russian missile", as in Ukraine case. Factually correct as Iran uses SKUD's technology but what to the average person is not obvious is that it was not Russia that launched it. CNN or BBC viewer will not pause to consider such scenarios but is very likely to jump to wrong conclusion.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 9 2020 15:37 utc | 485

Probability that the whole plane disintegrates into tiny fragment
Probability that upon entry through a building the plane leaves a nice round hole
Probability that as the plane crashes into the ground it leaves a small crater

Those nasty probabilities :-)

Don't forget to multiply those probabilities to get the final number.

Now a question: What happens to the Probability for rare events after we multiply them ?

Posted by: Tom_LX | Jan 9 2020 16:46 utc | 492

@vk #486: It’s true that “too much coincidence” is a logical fallacy for statistically independent events. However, it is often unknown a priori whether two events are statistically independent or not. Therefore, “too much coincidence” is still a useful heuristic for investigating various mysteries.

Posted by: S | Jan 9 2020 16:51 utc | 493

Zionistani reporter Jacques Khoury tweeted yet 224 injured Amerikastani war criminals were airlifted to Tel Aviv for treatment and then his account was mysteriously suspended with Khoury claiming, implausibly, that it was hacked. It's extremely likely that Amerikastani casualties *would* be evacuated to zionistan for treatment because of they were taken home or to one of the NATO slaves, word would leak out at once. I predict that in the next week's a remarkable number of Amerikastani troops will mysteriously "die in accidents" - a number corresponding exactly to the number killed in the Iranian missile barrage. Just a coincidence, of course!

Posted by: Biswapriya Purkayast | Jan 9 2020 17:10 utc | 494

In Germany they sell it like the case would be clear:
"Flugzeugabsturz im Iran: Schlimmer Verdacht droht sich zu bestätigen - Experten eindeutig" (Source
Shot down. As usual no chance to search for details. Just pushing a narrative.

Posted by: Hausmeister | Jan 9 2020 17:10 utc | 495

Let's not forget this important aspect of these events - the war profiteers:

As a woman I observe that the CEOs of the two top Pentagon contractors (out of five) are women.
It seems they have reached full equality - in the killing machine. What an achievement!
(Please do not start a lame gender discussion, that is not my intent, or the focus of the article).

Posted by: JB | Jan 9 2020 17:18 utc | 496

@ Posted by: S | Jan 9 2020 16:51 utc | 498

That's why you have the empyrical test.

To base an entire hypothesis on chance is not enough. It can trigger your curiosity to investigate further, and only then you can build your hypothesis on what you found or didn't found.

Otherwise you're putting the burden of proof on the debunker.

Posted by: vk | Jan 9 2020 17:18 utc | 497

@ Tom_LX | Jan 9 2020 16:46 utc | 497 (Dig up Texas)

He used to comment at Saker, until Tesas' stridency became a problem for the agenda or character of the dialogue desired by mderator's policy set.

They fell out.

Then he made some criticism of an essay by Golstein. I have posted that essay - MacBeth. Golstein is at Brown University. "V. Golstein: The End of Cold War and Shakespeare’s Macbeth (a mini-essay)". I disagreed with the criticism.

I sent him an email. He replied. We can't agree about his political efforts, subornation, essentially, - he's an officer in a foreign army at war with the US... But I do appreciate his character.

Working class Texans like Comrade Russ are ordinary and plentiful. But he's had unusual shaping, including a stint in the federal joint...where, I bet, he read Marx, and a moral resolution formed in him to take up arms against his enemy - which naturally inclined him to the place where direct combat (which he's had some experience already in the dope import business) was then underway. And he took his chances, for months under direct fire, thus proving his loyal adherence to the Commie cause, and his faith in Christ. Russ is a classical hero in the literary and historic sense. Flawed, and reaching beyond himself toward God. He said he'll visit the US when he can do it in a Red Army APC. His plans include opening a Tex/Mex restaurant in the Donbass. He married a local lady. In combat assuming coincidence gets you killed. His opinions may be real, or not, it's propaganda time...

He is not the first Texan to take up arms, is he?

That's all I know.

Posted by: Walter | Jan 9 2020 17:23 utc | 498

Re Los Angeles class USS Triton transiting Panama Canal to Persian Gulf...I find no USS Triton listed for LA class boats. Hmm

Posted by: don | Jan 9 2020 17:30 utc | 499

@ Saker the Iranian says, inter alia >

US forces transported its injured soldiers to Zionist entity (Israel) using 9 airplanes

The say they targeted the command center. Evidently it was crewed.

see Saher + "Iran’s IRGC Aerospace Chief on US casualties/damages/future retaliation steps"

Posted by: Walter | Jan 9 2020 17:36 utc | 500

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