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    Default Re: Syria


    Chinese Troops Arrive in Syria to Fight Uyghur Rebels

    December 20, 2017


    Chinese special forces arrive in Syria’s Tartous Port

    The Syrian conflict has an endless capability to surprise analysts as seemingly every other day a new element, unprecedented in the Syrian civil war, comes to the surface. Such is the case with the arrival of the first Chinese Army special forces unit, “the Night Tigers,” to Syria’s Tartous port on the Mediterranean, according to reports in Arab media close to the Assad and Tehran regimes (the Al-Mayadeen TV channel). The Night Tigers were dispatched by Beijing to fight the Uyghurs, the Muslim Chinese ethnic group fighting with the rebel forces against the Assad regime.

    According to these press reports, Beijing planned to send two units from the Special Operations Forces – the “Tigers of Siberia” and the “Night Tigers” – to assist Assad’s regime against Chinese Uyghurs fighting with radical Muslim organizations in Syria. However, unlike the news reporting about the arrival of the “Night Tigers,” no confirmation has been received yet on the second unit.

    According to the Syrian ambassador to China, some 5,000 ethnic Uyghurs from China’s Xinjiang province are presently in Syria. President Assad stressed the “crucial cooperation” between Syria and Chinese intelligence against Uyghur militants last year. Following the visit of Chinese Admiral Guan Yufi mid-2016 to Syria, the Chinese military has been present in Syria to train Syrian forces on Chinese-made weapons, intelligence gathering, logistics, and field medicine.


    Veteran Uyghur ISIS fighter in Syria in an ISIS film with an ISIS song in Mandarin.

    Since the beginning of the civil war in Syria and Iraq, Uyghurs have flocked to the Middle East and joined the rebel forces fighting the Assad regime and the Iranian-backed Shiite regime in Iraq. The Uyghurs joined various jihadist militias, such as the Jabhat al-Nusra Front, Hayaat Tahrir el-Sham, and ISIS.

    The first reports that Uyghurs returned home to Western China from Syria emerged in July 2013, revealing that Uyghurs were present in the combat areas long before. The Chinese government has alleged that “more than 1,000” Xinjiang separatists have received terrorist training in Afghanistan and claims to have arrested 100 foreign-trained terrorists who made their way back to Xinjiang.

    Fearing the irredentist currents provoked by the separatist Uyghurs and facing the increased violence in Xinjiang Province, the Chinese central government has pursued a policy meant to neutralize the separatist tendencies in that region of China.

    It is obvious that the Chinese government has not succeeded in containing the Uyghur separatist threat in the Xinjiang province. The measures adopted against the Uyghurs have boomeranged to such an extent that more terrorist attacks occurred in the provinces and outside China since the end of 2016. Moreover, as reported in July 2016 by New America, a U.S. think tank, Chinese religious restrictions on Muslims in Xinjiang may have driven more than 100 to join ISIS. The attacks perpetrated by the Uyghurs follow almost the same patterns as those conducted by Islamic radicals (ISIS and others) in other places worldwide such as car-ramming, suicide bombers, and knife-wielding attackers. But, unlike other places on the globe, the attacks are not publicized by the Chinese government, which keeps a tight grip on the information. As a Reuters correspondent put it: “The government has delayed reporting some previous incidents in Xinjiang, and limits on foreign journalists working there make it almost impossible to reach an independent assessment of the region’s security.”


    Screenshot from jihadist video featuring Chinese foreign fighters in Syria

    The defeat of ISIS in Iraq and the recent successes of Assad’s troops in Syria against the rebels seem to have created a crisis to which Beijing is trying to find solution before hundreds of Uyghurs fighters return home after fighting in the ranks of the rebels, fully trained for guerrilla warfare. Their experience may have a great impact in the manner the separatist Uyghurs are waging their war today. Added to the latest Uyghur threats to“shed blood like rivers,” one can anticipate that the Uyghur problem has grown to a dimension unknown in the past.

    With this in mind, these exceptional circumstances may have pushed Beijing to deploy its elite troops to Syria to contain the possible flow of Uyghur fighters back to China. In parallel and as a quid pro quo, Beijing has expressed to the Syrian regime its interest in participating in the reconstruction effort of Syria and its readiness to invest billions of dollars to that effect.


    * * *

    Notes

    1 https://www.baladi-news.com/ar/news/...وس

    2 http://www.syrianews.cc/chinese-nigh...-arrive-syria; https://mirastnews.net/2017/12/01/de...n-djihadiste/; See also JCPA article, Jacques Neriah, Chinese Approach to Radical Islam, http://jcpa.org/article/chinese-approach-radical-islam/

    3 https://www.alaraby.co.uk/english/ne...igers-to-syria

    4 http://thediplomat.com/2014/06/chine...-global-jihad/

    5 http://www.reuters.com/article/us-ch...-idUSKCN0XX1NT

    6 Nate Rosenblatt, “All Jihad Is Local – What ISIS’ Files Tell Us About Its Fighters,” https://na-production.s3.amazonaws.c...ISIS-Files.pdf

    7 http://www.reuters.com/article/us-ch...-idUSKBN14T0CI

    8 http://www.presstv.com/DetailFr/2016...kfiri-Xinjiang

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    Default Re: Syria

    Oopski!


    Russia Confirms Syria Attack But Denies Seven Aircraft Got Destroyed As Photos Emerge

    Key questions about the incident are still unanswered and no group has claimed responsibility

    January 4, 2017

    The Russian Ministry of Defense has acknowledged an attack on its Khmeimim air base in Syria, but has disputed key details from an initial report, denying that seven aircraft had been destroyed in the incident. At the same time, unconfirmed pictures have begun emerging on social media showing significant damage to at least one Su-24 Fencer attack plane.

    On Jan. 4, 2017, the Russia’s Ministry of Defense, by way of state-run media outlet TASS, said militants had attacked Khmeimim, also known as Hmeimim or Hmeymim, and killed two Russian service members in the process. The Kremlin did not say if there were any other casualties, but insisted that earlier reports that the assault had destroyed seven aircraft were categorically false. On Jan. 3, 2017, independent Russian daily Kommersant had reported this detail and that the enemy force had wounded 10 individuals, citing unnamed diplomatic sources.

    "On December 31, 2017, at nightfall, the Hmeymim airfield came under a sudden mortar fire from a mobile militant subversive group,” the Russian Ministry of Defense said, according to TASS. “A report in the Kommersant newspaper on the alleged destruction of seven Russian warplanes at the Hmeymim airbase is fake. Russia’s air group in Syria is combat ready and continues to accomplish all its missions in full.”

    It is important to note that this denial does not say militants were not successful in destroying any aircraft, just that the report of seven aircraft destroyed in total is inaccurate. And the reported loss of aircraft would hardly render the Russian air contingent in Syria combat ineffective.

    According to Kommersant, militants had destroyed four Su-24 Fencer attack planes, two Su-35S fighter jets, and an An-72 tactical transport. Past satellite imagery has shown as many as six Su-35s and nearly a dozen Su-24s, along with a variety of other fighter and ground attack aircraft, such as the very active Su-25 Frogfoots, on the ground at the base.

    As we at The War Zone have already noted, this imagery also shows the aircraft parked very close together without any defensive bulwarks between them. As such, it is not at all implausible that a very limited attack could have set off a chain reaction of sorts leading to a number of aircraft ending up with severe damage. Live munitions have also often been seen stored in close proximity to tactical aircraft at the base.

    Additional unconfirmed reports and images have begun to appear on social media, most notably a post from war correspondent Roman Saponkov on the site VKontakte, or VK, a Russian-language analogue to Facebook. His post indicated that as many as a dozen of Russia’s fixed wing aircraft and helicopters had ended up with at least some damage, but that at least some of the Su-24s and Su-35s were back in action.




    Saponkov attached a set of photos that appear to show an Su-24 armed with live bombs and leaking fluid from where a piece of shrapnel had punctured the fuselage. Other pictures show the mangled tail section of an Su-24.





    The jet’s tail number, White 29, is reportedly the same as an aircraft that deployed from Shagol air base in Russia to Syria in the past. The images show a rainy environment, and the local weather has included precipitation as of late, and especially on the next morning following the attack.

    Significant questions about the incident still remain, however. Khmeimim is situated deep inside territory that Syrian dictator Bashar Al Assad and his Russian and Iranian allies firmly control and rebel groups and terrorists lack the means to strike the site directly from areas in which they operate freely. The lack of revetments or other defenses at the base separating individual aircraft would seem imply that the Russians felt the site was essentially immune to a direct assault.

    To launch an attack with a mortar, the type of weapon that both Kommersant and TASS said militants used in the incident, would require the enemy force to get deep into a regime area, and near the highly patrolled air base itself, without detection.

    Aside from the primary narrative that this was an indirect fire attack, another possibility is that rebels or terrorists used a small quad- or hex-copter style drone with an improvised payload to launch the attack remotely. ISIS has already demonstrated this capability in both Iraq and Syria. There have also been rumors that Russian-backed insurgents in Eastern Ukraine, or the country’s own security services, used a very similar tactic to launch a devastating attack on an ammunition dump in the Ukrainian city of Balakliya.

    On the other hand, we do know that the base is defended by a very dense air defense network, including Pantsir-S1 point defense systems that are thought to be capable of detecting and taking down small, slow-moving drones. The system is also thought to be somewhat capable of shooting down incoming mortars and small artillery rockets as well, something Russia says it has done at the base multiple times in the past. That doesn't mean these types of targets couldn't have slipped by, or even that the system was online or in a spot to execute a firing solution at the time of the attack.

    The attack itself would seem to raise its own questions about whether Assad's position is truly as stable as it increasingly appeared in 2017. On Dec. 27, 2017, Chief of the Russian General Staff, General Valery Gerasimov, had said that Russia would keep a contingent in Syria for the foreseeable future "to maintain stability and territorial integrity," as well as promote the Kremlin's own interests in the Middle East.


    Regardless, it would be a major achievement for any such group, especially in light of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit in which he declared total victory over terrorists in the country. As yet, though, no anti-regime factions, including ISIS or Al Qaeda-linked groups, have claimed responsibility for the attack.

    There is also a remote possibility that the incident was actually an accident. Kommersant’s report said the attack had destroyed ammunition storage facility at the base, but this could have been the site of an initial explosion. This would seem unlikely, though, given the Kremlin’s decision to pin the attack on terrorists, despite Putin’s earlier claims about soundly defeating those groups. In addition, on Dec. 31, 2017, an Mi-24 gunship helicopter had crashed in Syria and the Russian government stressed that this had been the result of a technical failure rather than enemy action.

    Whatever the case, we will continue to follow this story and provide updates as additional information emerges.




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    Default Re: Syria


    US Denies Aiding Drone Attack On Russian Bases

    January 9, 2018

    The Latest on the conflict in Syria (all times local):

    10:30 p.m.

    The Pentagon has denied any involvement in a recent series of drone attacks on Russian bases in Syria after Russia’s Defense Ministry hinted that the U.S. military may have aided the attackers.

    Marine Maj. Adrian Rankine-Galloway, a Pentagon spokesman, said Tuesday that “any suggestion that U.S. or coalition forces played a role in an attack on a Russian base is without any basis in fact and is utterly irresponsible.”

    Russia’s Defense Ministry earlier said the attacks would have required assistance from a country possessing satellite navigation technology. It noted a “strange coincidence” of a U.S. military intelligence plane flying over the Mediterranean near the two bases at the moment of the attack.

    The ministry said its forces repelled a series of drone attacks Saturday on the Hemeimeem air base and a naval facility in Tartus. It said that out of the 13 drones involved, seven were shot down and six were forced to land without inflicting any damage.

    ___

    9:15 p.m.

    A Turkish government official says Turkey has summoned the ambassadors of Russia and Iran to complain about recent Syrian government advances.

    The official said Turkey conveyed its concerns Tuesday over the advances in northern Syria, which it says are in violation of a “de-escalation” agreement in Idlib province reached by Ankara, Moscow and Tehran.

    The ambassadors were asked to relay to Syria’s government that the violation must end immediately. The official provided the information on condition of anonymity in line with government protocol.

    Earlier, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu accused Syrian government forces of attacking moderate opposition fighters under the guise of fighting extremists and said the move threatened peace talks scheduled in Russia later this month.

    Turkey, Russia and Iran have taken the lead in Syria peace efforts over the past year. But while Turkey backs the opposition, Russia and Iran support Syrian President Bashar Assad.

    — Suzan Fraser in Ankara, Turkey

    6:15 p.m.

    Russia’s Defense Ministry says a recent series of drone attacks on its military bases in Syria would have required assistance from a country possessing satellite navigation technology.

    The ministry said its forces repelled a series of drone attacks Saturday on the Hemeimeem air base and a naval facility in Tartus. It said that out of the 13 drones involved, seven were shot down and six were forced to land without inflicting any damage.

    Without blaming any specific country, the ministry claimed data for the attacks could only have been obtained “from one of the countries that possesses know-how in satellite navigation.”

    In Tuesday’s statement, it noted a “strange coincidence” of a U.S. military intelligence plane flying over the Mediterranean near the two Russian bases at the moment of the attack.

    ___

    6 p.m.

    Syria’s state news agency SANA says rebel shelling of the capital has killed five people and wounded 30.

    Tuesday’s shelling came as opposition activists reported airstrikes and shelling of rebel-held Damascus suburbs that killed and wounded dozens.

    SANA said 15 shells struck the central, predominantly Christian neighborhood of Bab Touma. The capital has been shelled on a near-daily basis in recent weeks.

    The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said warplanes attacked several suburbs of Damascus, including Saqba, where a man and a child were killed and 13 others were wounded.

    The Observatory and the Syrian Civil Defense, first responders known as the White Helmets, reported airstrikes on other suburbs including Harasta and Douma

    ___

    12:30 p.m.

    The Kremlin says the number of Russian troops left in Syria is sufficient for fending off any attacks by militants.

    Russia’s Defense Ministry said late on Monday that its forces have repelled a series of drone attacks on its bases in Syria — the Hemeimeem air base and a naval facility in Tartus. It said that out of the 13 drones involved, seven were shot down and six were forced to land. The ministry said there was no damage.

    Russian President Vladimir Putin declared victory in Syria last month and ordered a partial troops pullout.

    Asked Tuesday whether the withdrawal could have been premature in view of the drone attack, Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the Russian forces in Syria have “all the necessary means” to counter any challenge.

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    Default Re: Syria


    A Massive Battle Between US And Syrian Pro-Regime Forces Reportedly Killed More Than 200 Russians

    February 13, 2018

    US airstrikes in response to what it called an "unprovoked attack" killed around 100 people in Syria earlier this month according to the Pentagon, but a new report from Bloomberg says that number may be as many as 300, and that they were Russian mercenaries.

    If true, the battle may mark the deadliest encounter between the Cold War rivals in decades.

    While the Kremlin has declined to comment, and no independent party has yet verified the reports, US and Russian aligned forces have fought on opposite sides of the Syrian conflict and in close proximity for years.

    If the US did kill Russian military contractors, it falls short of killing official Russian servicemembers, which could escalate into a larger war.

    But the loss of Russians in Syria may still blacken the image of the Kremlin's intervention in the six-year civil war, which it portrays as peace-keeping and inexpensive.

    Russian media said Russian private contractors and pro-government forces advanced on oil fields in the eastern Deir el-Zour province and were targeted by the United States.

    "Pro-regime forces initiated what appeared to be a coordinated attack on Syrian Democratic Forces east of the Euphrates river," Pentagon spokesperson Dana White said in a statement, referring to the SDF, which the US has trained, equipped, and backed for years.


    US Marines firing a howitzer in Syria

    The river acts as a border between the coalition and Russian and Syrian forces, and the Pentagon also described the SDF location as well-known, and that therefore the attack wasn't a mistake.

    Syrian regime forces launched a coordinated attack that included about 500 regime troops, 122mm howitzers, tanks and multiple launch rocket systems on the US-backed SDF headquarters in Deir al-Zor province approximately five miles east of the Euphrates River.

    Regime forces operating Russian-made T-55 and T-72 tanks fired 20-30 tank rounds within 500 feet of the SDF base, where some US troops were embedded, according to Pentagon press secretary Dana W. White.

    The US-led coalition responded with "AC-130 gunships, F-15s, F-22s, Army Apache helicopter gunships and Marine Corps artillery," according to Fox News reporter Lucas Tomlinson.

    The Pentagon said that the attack wounded only one SDF soldier. Days later, a US jet destroyed a Russian-made T-72 battle tank that had fired on US and SDF forces, the Pentagon told Business Insider.

    "Pro-regime forces initiated what appeared to be a coordinated attack on Syrian Democratic Forces east of the Euphrates river," Pentagon spokesperson Dana White said in a statement, referring to the SDF, which the US has trained, equipped, and backed for years.

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    Default Re: Syria

    This was posted by John Ringo (yes, that John Ringo) to his Facebook page yesterday in regards to what went down during the US strike against Syrian/Russian forces. I'm guessing he's got a source...

    John Ringo
    17 hrs

    Soooo...

    Further reporting, such as it is, on the Dair Ezzor Turkey Shoot.

    1. Sov... err... Russians built a bridge over the Euphrates which was the designated 'deconfliction line'. Why? Reasons. 'Commite of Nations' or something.

    2. 'Hybrid' force of mixed Russian contractors including multiple non-ethnic Russians (Serbs, Kossack, other non Slavics) as well as local Syrian Army 'commandos' attacked across temporary bridge. The 'Russian' side were 'Blackwater' equivalent mercenaries from a company generally called 'Wagner' which is the nom de plume of the boss. (Like if you called Blackwater 'Prince'.)

    3. Unit was partially mechanized, battalion strength. (One thing everyone agrees upon is 'about 600-700 personnel.') Had some towed artillery as well as 't-55 and T-72 MBT as well as armored personnel carriers.' (Type unknown.) Full on 'we're taking that position and you're not stopping us' full court press.

    4. Unit crossed bridge, arty deployed.

    5. Arty opened fire while most of unit was still in approach column formation. (Normal) One portion moved to flanking positions.

    5A. Minute the arty opened fire SHIT GOT REAL REAL QUICK.

    6. Reapers took out artillery and most of armor with Hellfire. From the few videos, pretty much before they knew what hit them. There had to be quite a few Reaper drones up or they were feeding guidance to Hellfire from Apaches (see below.)

    7. F-15E Eagles came in for clean-up and to check for anti-air defenses.

    8. Warthogs showed up just to go BRRRRRRT!

    9. AC-130 Spectre started fucking up their day for the hell of it.

    10. To add insult to injury, B-52s which, you know, just HAPPENED to be in the area, just minding our own business, just passing by from Diego Garcia which is a few thousand miles away, on our way to... somewhere... nothing to see here... decided to prove they could drop their entire load as precision guided weapons and just more or less DID A JDAM ARCLIGHT ON THEIR ASS. At that point, more or less because CENTCOM said 'Why not? ARCLIGHT is always pretty to watch...'

    11. The whole thing being so over it was ridiculous, AH-64 Apaches basically did 'hostile Bomb Damage Assessment' and complained there were no targets left.

    12. Oh, and then the Kurds, to just really FUCK with these guys, released water from a dam upstream and broke their bridge. So they had to ford back with their wounded.

    13. Nobody knows how many dead and wounded. Russians are saying 'only 8 Russian citizens' but that doesn't quite cover the whole of who may have been involved. One repeated number is 200 dead (remember, mixed Syrians, Russians and other ethnics) as well as pretty much the rest of the force wounded. (Not to mention pretty thoroughly demoralized.) One Kurd wounded. Probably fell off a stool laughing to tell truth.

    14. Military hospitals in Russia are reliably reported 'overflowing.'

    This was much less a 'battle' than a message. Towards the end we had to just be pounding ground to make sure they got it.

    Messages, really.

    A. Don't fucking cross that river.
    B. Hey, North Korea! LOOK WHAT I CAN DO!
    C. Hey, Putin, about Donbas... This is what we can do to your 'freedom fighters' (AKA: mercenaries) at any time.
    D. To everyone in general: You need to remember who's boss.

    Mattis is playing dumb. 'What Russians? There were Russians? Really? I'm seeing that in the media but I got no briefing on there being Russians in that column. Our bad. Sorry about that.'

    Then there's the fact that the strike was NOT approved by the President.

    Because he gave CENTOM the approval on things like that.

    And CENTCOM handled it like a BOSS.

    Oh, and when the forces crossed the river the Russians were informed and informed that we intended to take 'self-defense' actions.

    So they can't even say they weren't warned.

    I'm not sure we warned them we'd be using BUFF.

    This is more the sort of thing I'd expect in late summer.

    'Shit! We haven't expended our budget! Are there any Russians we can fuck up very badly with all these unexpended munitions?'

    Last thought: It had to be shitty being on the receiving end of that.

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    Default Re: Syria


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    Default Re: Syria


    Russia Appears To Have Deployed Its Next-Generation Fighter Jet To Syria

    February 22, 2018

    Videos on social media appear to show Russia's Su-57, a prototype of a new, fifth-generation fighter jet, operating in Syria — and it could be a direct threat to US stealth aircraft like the F-22.

    Justin Bronk, a combat aircraft expert at the Royal United Services Institute, told Business Insider that initial attempts to geolocate Su-57s shown in the video indicated the deployment may be authentic.

    He also said any deployment could be a cynical move to boost Russia's military sales while gaining valuable intelligence on the F-22.

    "Russia has deployed pretty much everything in its arsenal in Syria, whether they're prototypes or heavy strategic bombers in absurdly inefficient strike paths all around Western Europe and through the Mediterranean" to strike targets in Syria, Bronk said.




    Indeed, Russia often uses Syria as a showroom for its military exports.

    It has deployed advanced, complicated systems like submarine-launched cruise missiles, which are designed for high-end naval warfighting, against unsophisticated, basically defenseless targets in Syria.

    On more regular bomb runs, Russia simply drops unguided munitions from Cold War-era fighter jets, which are frequently accused of killing civilians in places like hospitals.

    Bronk assessed that Russia wanted to boost its position in the export market and that by deploying the Su-57, a prototype without its proper engines or stealth configuration, it could advertise the platform as "combat-proven."

    Though Bronk said the Su-57 was "certainly not combat-proven in the sense of showing it can take on Western fighters," which is its intended purpose, the plane technically will have participated in combat.

    But while the Su-57 poses no real air-to-air threat to Western fighters in its current, unrefined state, it has a diverse array of powerful radars Russia could use to perfect anti-stealth techniques and battle plans against the US's F-22.

    The Su-57 can't yet fight, but it can spy

    According to Bronk, one of the main challenges for the Su-57 is integrating the plane's "really quite innovative radar arrangement." He said it would be a great opportunity to test the configuration in Syria, where a large number of F-22 stealth jets operate.

    "The skies over Iraq and specifically Syria have really just been a treasure trove for them to see how we operate," Lt. Gen. VeraLinn "Dash" Jamieson said at an Air Force Association briefing hosted by the Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies in January.

    "Our adversaries are watching us — they're learning from us," Jamieson said. With the apparent deployment of the Su-57, Russia may be teaching its best pilots in its newest plane how to stalk and fight F-22s, which would rely on stealth as their major advantage in combat with more maneuverable Russian jets.

    But Bronk said deploying Su-57s in Syria would be a "double-edged sword" for Russia. That, Bronk said, is because not only would Russia be able to scope out the US's stealth fighters, but their presence in Syria would "give the US a chance to see how the F-22s respond" to Russia's new jet and "allow Western aircraft time to collect signals intelligence on what those radars are doings."
    Marketing ploy for a prestige plane?

    Overall, if Russia does have Su-57s in Syria, it's most likely a marketing ploy to increase exports as Russia's economy flags under weak oil prices. Though Russia often hypes the Su-57, it has ordered only 12 of them for its own use and "desperately" needs an investment from India to bump up production, Bronk said.

    "They're ordering 12 of them," Bronk said. "How can you sustain a genuine program when your order book is so tiny? In a state that has huge budget problems and a massive military bill," the Su-57 functions as a prestige item, Bronk said.

    So while the Syrian civil war rages on, and hundreds of civilians fall victim to airstrikes from the Russian-allied Syrian government, Moscow may be using the opportunity to show off shiny new hardware and gain a military edge against its US competitor.

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    Default Re: Syria

    Well, after getting fully caught up on everything after last night's events, I figured I'd share my thoughts on the situation.

    I don't think we need to be wasting our time, money, and already rode hard military on Syria. We don't have anything to gain by involving ourselves with Russia's client state.

    If we want to fight ISIS, we need to be cleaning out Iraq after Obama blew it all to hell with his hasty withdraw and, we need to be heavily reestablishing our presence there, doing as I've thought we should have from the beginning, and turning it into our own long term client state. Obliterate ISIS everywhere we can outside of Syria and funnel them into the place. Let Russia's Islamic terrorism monster they hatched become their problem.

    That said, I'm not at all bent out of shape we did what we did. It did have some positives in that it's sent a very clear message to Russia about what our capabilities are versus a "peer" combat environment.

    I suspect this is what we let loose on them, especially given the Russian S-400 ADA presence.


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    Default Re: Syria

    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan Ruck View Post
    This was posted by John Ringo (yes, that John Ringo) to his Facebook page yesterday in regards to what went down during the US strike against Syrian/Russian forces. I'm guessing he's got a source...

    John Ringo
    17 hrs

    Soooo...

    Further reporting, such as it is, on the Dair Ezzor Turkey Shoot.

    1. Sov... err... Russians built a bridge over the Euphrates which was the designated 'deconfliction line'. Why? Reasons. 'Commite of Nations' or something.

    2. 'Hybrid' force of mixed Russian contractors including multiple non-ethnic Russians (Serbs, Kossack, other non Slavics) as well as local Syrian Army 'commandos' attacked across temporary bridge. The 'Russian' side were 'Blackwater' equivalent mercenaries from a company generally called 'Wagner' which is the nom de plume of the boss. (Like if you called Blackwater 'Prince'.)

    3. Unit was partially mechanized, battalion strength. (One thing everyone agrees upon is 'about 600-700 personnel.') Had some towed artillery as well as 't-55 and T-72 MBT as well as armored personnel carriers.' (Type unknown.) Full on 'we're taking that position and you're not stopping us' full court press.

    4. Unit crossed bridge, arty deployed.

    5. Arty opened fire while most of unit was still in approach column formation. (Normal) One portion moved to flanking positions.

    5A. Minute the arty opened fire SHIT GOT REAL REAL QUICK.

    6. Reapers took out artillery and most of armor with Hellfire. From the few videos, pretty much before they knew what hit them. There had to be quite a few Reaper drones up or they were feeding guidance to Hellfire from Apaches (see below.)

    7. F-15E Eagles came in for clean-up and to check for anti-air defenses.

    8. Warthogs showed up just to go BRRRRRRT!

    9. AC-130 Spectre started fucking up their day for the hell of it.

    10. To add insult to injury, B-52s which, you know, just HAPPENED to be in the area, just minding our own business, just passing by from Diego Garcia which is a few thousand miles away, on our way to... somewhere... nothing to see here... decided to prove they could drop their entire load as precision guided weapons and just more or less DID A JDAM ARCLIGHT ON THEIR ASS. At that point, more or less because CENTCOM said 'Why not? ARCLIGHT is always pretty to watch...'

    11. The whole thing being so over it was ridiculous, AH-64 Apaches basically did 'hostile Bomb Damage Assessment' and complained there were no targets left.

    12. Oh, and then the Kurds, to just really FUCK with these guys, released water from a dam upstream and broke their bridge. So they had to ford back with their wounded.

    13. Nobody knows how many dead and wounded. Russians are saying 'only 8 Russian citizens' but that doesn't quite cover the whole of who may have been involved. One repeated number is 200 dead (remember, mixed Syrians, Russians and other ethnics) as well as pretty much the rest of the force wounded. (Not to mention pretty thoroughly demoralized.) One Kurd wounded. Probably fell off a stool laughing to tell truth.

    14. Military hospitals in Russia are reliably reported 'overflowing.'

    This was much less a 'battle' than a message. Towards the end we had to just be pounding ground to make sure they got it.

    Messages, really.

    A. Don't fucking cross that river.
    B. Hey, North Korea! LOOK WHAT I CAN DO!
    C. Hey, Putin, about Donbas... This is what we can do to your 'freedom fighters' (AKA: mercenaries) at any time.
    D. To everyone in general: You need to remember who's boss.

    Mattis is playing dumb. 'What Russians? There were Russians? Really? I'm seeing that in the media but I got no briefing on there being Russians in that column. Our bad. Sorry about that.'

    Then there's the fact that the strike was NOT approved by the President.

    Because he gave CENTOM the approval on things like that.

    And CENTCOM handled it like a BOSS.

    Oh, and when the forces crossed the river the Russians were informed and informed that we intended to take 'self-defense' actions.

    So they can't even say they weren't warned.

    I'm not sure we warned them we'd be using BUFF.

    This is more the sort of thing I'd expect in late summer.

    'Shit! We haven't expended our budget! Are there any Russians we can fuck up very badly with all these unexpended munitions?'

    Last thought: It had to be shitty being on the receiving end of that.
    It's looking like John Ringo was right on the money with what he passed along...

    How That Massive Battle Between US Troops And Russian Mercenaries In Syria Went Down

    May 25, 2018

    The Department of Defense has remained relatively tight-lipped on the February 7 firefight that saw U.S. military personnel deliver a kinetic spanking to hundreds of Russian mercenaries and Syrian pro-regime fighters in eastern Syria.

    But a new report from the New York Times provides a riveting tick-tock filled with new details about how the four-hour battle played out, based on Pentagon “interviews and documents” that, taken together, comprise “the Pentagon’s first public on-the-ground accounting of one of the single bloodiest battles the American military has faced in Syria” since the start of the anti-ISIS campaign there in 2014, as the article put it.

    Here are the juiciest bits.

    • The American forces: The U.S. military contingent consisted of 30 soldiers culled from the 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta and 75th Ranger Regiment deployed under Joint Special Operations Command in an advise-and-assist role to help out Kurdish forces near a crucial Conoco gas plant. According to the New York Times, that team was supported by a platoon of infantry Marines and Army Special Forces personnel feeding surveillance and reconnaissance information to the soldiers 20 miles away at the Conoco outpost.
    • The calm before the storm: Over the course of the day on February 7, that contingent of 30 Delta Force and Ranger soldiers was gradually encircled by more than 500 pro-regime fighters and 27 vehicles ranging from a trio of Russian-made T-72 main battle tanks to armored personnel. Observing the build-up through the ever-ubiquitous drones in the skies overhead, the Marines and Green Berets at the support site began putting together a quick-reaction force with a handful of MRAPs should the tensions at the Conoco outpost escalate.
    • Sh*t hits the fan: Around 10pm on February 7th, the joint Russian and Syrian force began bombarding the Conoco outpost with artillery and mortar rounds as the U.S. service members returned fire with Javelin anti-tank missiles. “The air was filled with dust and shrapnel,” the New York Times reports. “For the first 15 minutes, American military officials called their Russian counterparts and urged them to stop the attack. When that failed, American troops fired warning shots at a group of vehicles and a howitzer.”
    • Air support arrives … : Those Marine and Green Berets weren’t the only ones watching: military officials at the Combined Air Operations Center at Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar had observed the build-up as well and quickly deployed air support after the fighting started. “American warplanes arrived in waves, including Reaper drones, F-22 stealth fighter jets, F-15E Strike Fighters, B-52 bombers, AC-130 gunships and AH-64 Apache helicopters,” the New York Times reports. “For the next three hours, American officials said, scores of strikes pummeled enemy troops, tanks and other vehicles. Marine rocket artillery was fired from the ground.”
    • … but the quick reaction force wasn’t that quick: It took nearly three-and-a-half hours for the joint QRF of Green Berets and Marines to travel those 20 miles to assist their fellow service members The New York Times reports that drivers, relying solely on night vision equipment to avoid giving away their position with headlights, had to contend with roads “littered with felled power lines and shell craters.” Nearly halfway through the trip, the convoy had to stop: “the barrage of artillery was too dangerous to drive through until airstrikes silenced the enemy’s howitzers and tanks.”
    • The final push: The QRF finally arrived at the Conoco outpost around 1:30 AM as the Russian mercenaries ditched their burned-out vehicles and marched on the combined U.S. force on foot. What happened next, according to the Times, was a remarkable stand:


    A handful of Marines ran ammunition to machine guns and Javelin missile launchers scattered along the berms and wedged among the trucks. Some of the Green Berets and Marines took aim from exposed hatches. Others remained in their trucks, using a combination of thermal screens and joysticks to control and fire the heavy machine guns affixed on their roofs.
    A few of the commandos, including Air Force combat controllers, worked the radios to direct the next fleet of bombers flying toward the battlefield. At least one Marine exposed himself to incoming fire as he used a missile guidance computer to find targets’ locations and pass them on to the commandos calling in the airstrikes.

    It’s worth noting that this is the first mention of Air Force combat controllers in the entire piece. This means that while the Russia force consisted mostly of mercenaries hired by Vladimir Putin’s preferred private military contractor The Wagner Group, virtually every branch of the armed forces (minus the Navy and Coast Guard) was present and primed during this firefight.

    The mercenaries gave up and retreated around 2:30 AM after four hours of fighting. Zero American troops were harmed, and somewhere around 300 Syrian and Russia forces were killed. The rest, as they say, is history.


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    Default Re: Syria

    Some interesting videos...








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