Full Spectrum (Dumb)Ash Carter: U.S. To Send Special Operators to Syrian Kurds Fighting ISIS, Infuriating Turkey’s Erdogan; Washington Caught Sending Arms to ISIS by Syrians/Russians

In August we wrote an article which correctly forecast that Turkey, after trying unsuccessfully to play the Americans and Russians off against each other, would get thrown under the bus by Washington. As we wrote then somebody has to take the fall for the spectacular rise of ISIS, and Erdoğanis the perfect fall guy.
After years of profiting from the Afghan heroin trade and serving as a partner in crime to Washington and the Persian Gulf Arab states’ destruction of Syria, the man who would have been sultan of the new Ottoman Empire Erdoğan discovers that there’s no honor among thieves. In just a few short years Erdoğanhas found a way to alienate or anger the governments of not only of Syria but China (cancelled SAM arms deal), Russia (backing out of Turkstream and lowballing Gazprom on price), Iran (its top natural gas supplier after Moscow, whose soldiers are being killed with Turkish weapons outside Aleppo), Israel (2009 Gaza flotilla/MV Mavi Marmama stunt), Egypt (support for the Muslim Brotherhood takeover that Sisi’s military coup crushed), and now the entire EU, thanks to the Turks opening the floodgates for Mideast migrants in what European Union President Donald Tusk calls a campaign of ‘hybrid warfare’ to extract concessions or even membership from the transnational bloc.

Whatever else you want to say about Erdoğan, the man sure knows how to make enemies. Since the United States is both Turkey’s NATO ally and at odds with Ankara over the Kurdish issue (with Vice President Joe Biden famously asking why not create a Kurdish state out of Iraq and possibly Syria), you can add Washington to the list of ‘frenemies’. Particularly now that Obama pulled a classic Barry Zero stunt, by sending just enough soldiers to the Syrian Kurds to piss Ankara off…but not enough make any difference or satisfy Sens. John McInsane and his mini-me, Ms. John McCain from South Carolina Lindsey Graham:

“Half-assed” — Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) rages against the Secretary of Defense and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Dunford over their unwillingness to start World War III with Russia in Syria. ‘Light in the loafers’ Lindsey should be happy at least some jihadists intent on overthrowing Assad got U.S. weapons, even if they happen to be members of the Islamic State

This weekend the question is: with both Western and Russian news and propaganda outlets highlighting Recep Tayyip’s suppression of the Kurds, cartoonish war on free speech and the press, and not so secret dealings with ISIS, are we going to see the Sultan fall at the polls this weekend? Or will Erdoğan’s ruling Law and Justice (AKP) coalition pull out a victory this Sunday because no Turk wants to support the Kurdish party and the opposition cannot agree?

Either way the polls go in Turkey, relations between Washington and Ankara are entering a deep freeze. There’s no way any Turkish government could interpret President Barack Hussein Obama’s announcement of 30 U.S. special operations soldiers deploying to Syrian Kurdistan on the Friday before Turks go to the polls as anything other than a slap to Ankara’s face.

Whether the Turks will start to create logistical or other headaches for U.S. and ‘anti-ISIL coalition’ forces operating out of Incirlik AFB in southern Turkey in retaliation is an interesting question. One thing the Turks have vowed to do is keep bombing the Kurdish YPG — the same force Washington para-dropped many tons of ammo to a week ago, whenever they threaten ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra (aka Al-Qaeda in Syria) supply lines by crossing the Euphrates River:

Istanbul, October 28 (Reuters) – Turkey will “do what is necessary” to prevent U.S.-allied Syrian Kurdish rebels from declaring autonomy in the town of Tel Abyad near the Turkish border, including conducting further military operations, President Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday.

NATO member Turkey is part of the U.S.-led coalition fighting Islamic State militants in Syria, but it sees advances by autonomy-seeking Kurds, led by the Democratic Union Party (PYD), as a threat to its own national security, fearing they could stoke separatism among Turkish Kurds.

Turkish jets recently hit the Syrian Kurds’ armed People’s Protection Units (YPG) targets twice after they defied Ankara and crossed west of the Euphrates River.

“This was a warning. ‘Pull yourself together. If you try to do this elsewhere – Turkey doesn’t need permission from anyone – we will do what is necessary,’” Erdogan said, signaling he could defy Washington’s demand that Ankara avoid hitting Syrian Kurds and focus its military might on Islamic State targets.

No doubt numerous negotiations are underway between the Pentagon and Turkish militaries to ensure the lucrative business of faux warmaking on ISIS continues. But the problem remains that the force Washington is counting on to actually show some results in the ISIS war lest the Russians steal all their thunder has been threatened and treated as sworn enemies by Ankara. And new revelations about an alleged secret oil pipeline from ISIS-held parts of Syria to Turkey plus stepped up Iraqi bombing of these lucrative crude channels for the super terrorist group are only going to add to the pressure in Ankara to come clean about what role Turkish intelligence and military played in ISIS rise.

NATO’s Twitter troll army swings into action, including a few Soros plants on the so-called ‘Left’ all insisting Turkey and Saudi Arabia couldn’t possibly have manufactured and delivered sarin nerve gas to use for a falseflag attack blamed on Assad in August 2013. Eventually somebody’s going to leak the location and photos of Turkey’s Saudi-funded secret sarin plant and Mr. Kazseta and Bellingcat’s Eliot Higgins are going to look pretty stupid

Certain sacrificial lambs in the form of lower level crude oil traders in Istanbul may have to be offered up by a newly formed (post Erdoğan?) government as a sign of Turkey’s good faith. Meanwhile, the usual US/NATO government sock puppets and shills will keep on denying Turkish opposition activists’ allegations that Ankara and Riyadh were behind the 2013 East Ghouta chemical attack falseflag — and their own sources of funding.

Remember, there’s no honor among thieves or as they’re known in Iraq ‘Ali Babas’. Therefore if the Obama Administration believes it can throw the wily Turks under the bus and not be embarrassed by Turkish leaks on the CIA’s own efforts to direct or arm ISIS against Assad Washington and Langley have got another thing coming.

If the SAA and its Iranian/Hezbollah allies can keep the road to Aleppo open rebel held parts of the city will almost certainly fall within weeks to months, and Daesh/Jabhat al-Nusra will get slaughtered by the Russian air force and Syrian artillery/MLRS vainly trying to attack the Aleppo highway

This week the Russian air force continues to increase the number of daily sorties and targets hit, including jihadist positions not far from the Israeli held Golan Heights.  Fortunately, we’re confident Fox News did not report on the proximity of these Russian strikes to Israel and thereby spared many of its neocon guests and ‘friends of Israel’ GOP base viewers from any cognitive dissonance from this development. No one in Washington after all wants to think that Benjamin Netanyahu has either been defanged or has made a deal with Putin’s military to take out the human trash the IDF helped pile up on Syria’s southern border.

Russian bombing of the Islamic State helped Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and National Defense Forces (NDF) loyalist militiamen take back parts of a vital highway to Aleppo. The Khanasser-Ithriyah highway came under attack from a combined ISIS-Jabhat al-Nusra assault.

While Washington has tried to separate al-Nusra from Daesh and claim the two groups have fought each other and thereby try to depict Russia’s bombing of Nusra targets as ‘targeting moderates’ this narrative failed to withstand the reality of the two jihadist gangs joining forces in their failed bid to stop the SAA’s advances. While the SAA had to delay some operations around Aleppo due to less ammunition, the highway assault opened the jihadists up to Russian air strikes on Wednesday and Thursday. More importantly, ISIS and al-Nusra’s failed counterattack may have revealed far more than Washington would want the world to know about how ISIS has been resupplying and sending more fighters to the Syrian front from Iraq without any interference from U.S. airpower whatsoever.

As German blogger Moon of Alabama reports:

During the last days a large attack on the Syrian government supply line to Aleppo city was carried out by Jabhat al-Nusra (aka al-Qaeda in Syria) and the Islamic State seemingly in coordination with the U.S. military.

During September the U.S. anti-IS coalition carried out an average of 4.2 airstrikes on IS in predominately east Syria. This after an average of 6.8 per day in August. The rate in October was about the same as in September until Thursday October 22. Then, according to the U.S. Military Times, the strike rate decreased markedly

The Islamic State used the lull in airstrikes in east Syria to move hundreds of fighters and heavy equipment towards the supply line that connects Damascus with the government held areas (green) of Aleppo.

alepporoadcut-s
alepporoadcut-s

After two days of no U.S. airstrikes in east Syria the Islamic State (purple) attacked the government supply corridor from the east while at the same time and at the same main point Jabhat al-Nusra (orange) attacked the supply corridor from the west. The attacks started with suicide car bombs against Syrian army checkpoints which suddenly had to defend themselves to the front and the rear.

On Saturday October 24 Almasdar news reported:

For the first time in three months, the Syrian Arab Army’s (SAA) main supply route along the Khanasser Highway was closed due to an obstruction by the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS); this chaotic situation forced the pro-government forces to call on hundreds of reinforcements from the Aleppo Governorate to help push back the encroaching terrorists.

Initially, the Syrian Armed Forces were successful in repelling both ISIS and the Syrian Al-Qaeda group “Jabhat Al-Nusra” after they attacked from different axes in the Hama Governorate; however, ISIS regrouped near the Al-Raqqa Governorate border in order to launch another massive assault on the Khanasser Highway.

ISIS’ second assault on the Syrian Armed Forces’ defensive positions proved successful, as they cutoff the Khanasser Highway and pushed further west towards the strategic city of Ithriyah in east Hama.

The Islamic State fighters killed about a dozen government troops and captured several armed vehicles (gruesome photos here). [The Russia Analyst can insert here that the sickening Ukro-Nazi propagandist ‘Jihadi Julian’ Roepcke of the German tabloid Bild cheered on the Daesh attacks on his Twitter account – JWS]

The Syrian army send reinforcements from the Palestinian resistance militia Liwaa Al-Quds to help clear the road. This was only somewhat successful as bad weather and a sandstrom on the 25th prevented air support.

The operations room in Damascus was not too unhappy with the situation even though the road was still cut. The thought was that having IS and Nusra fighters concentrated in an otherwise wide open rural area would help to eliminate them. On the 26th and 27the Russian and Syrian air forces flew some 90 attacks within 24 hours against the enemy held parts of the road.

These attacks cleared the IS held parts of the road but the Islamic State concentrated more forces on another part of the road further north and on October 27 it suicide-bombed another government checkpoint and again blocked the road. Additional support from Hizbullah arrived during the next days and the road is now mostly cleared though still endangered.

The closed supply route led to hardship for the nearly two million people inthe government held parts of Aleppo as prices for produce and gasoline exploded.

According to the Syrian Arab Army command, which earlier this week had accused Washington’s allies Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar of flying 500 ISIS terrorists from Iraq to Yemen, there’s even more damning evidence of coordination between the Pentagon and Daesh. As it turns out a great deal of the widely advertised 50 tons of ammo and supplies dropped from C-17s to a brand new Arab coalition bordering Kurdish held territory actually ended up with — surprise! — ISIS.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=42VsyPCTviM

America the duplicitous: this is what millions of Russians saw on the number one nightly news show in the country, First Channel (Pervy Kanal)

This latest ‘oops’ American supply drop to ISIS came on the heels of U.S. jets destroying a power plant in Aleppo supposedly occupied by ISIS fighters that plunged parts of the city into darkness and knocked out power for the soon to be recaptured polity’s water and sewage treatment facilities. It also comes after U.S. jets accidentally bombed Iraqi troops who were advancing against Daesh near Ramadi, while pro-Syrian rebel sources accuse Russia of deliberately targeting rebel field hospitals. Moscow angrily denies the accusation saying that neither the rebels nor U.S. government run media citing them like RFE/RL have offered any proof that nine hospitals were hit.

As Russia Insider reports:

Both the Red Cross and Medecins Sans Frontieres have rejected claims that Russia is responsible for bombing their medical facilities in Syria. So why does the U.S. State Department stubbornly insist otherwise? (You know why.) Here is an entertaining anecdote:

On Thursday, spokesman for the US State Department John Kirby was asked to provide sources to substantiate its grave allegations that Russia was responsible for damaging hospitals.

Kirby said that “we have seen some press reporting to that end,” and referred to “Syrian civil society groups” and “other operational information” which led the US administration to make the allegations, but was unable to provide any evidence.

Kirby was asked for substantiation after Red Cross Director Dominic Stillhart said that its personnel on the ground had not reported any airstrikes by Russian planes on civilian targets, including hospitals.

The war of words continued as the Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Gen. Maj. Igor Konashenkov told his counterpart, Pentagon spokesperson Col. Steve Warren, to put up evidence that Russia was hitting civilian areas with cluster munitions or shut up. Moscow also told Washington its plans to send troops to fight ISIS inside Syria’s sovereign territory were illegal and a violation of international law, since it had no permission from Damascus to operate inside the country. Zerohedge summed up the increasing absurdity of Washington’s moves this way:

Alright, so let’s see if we can untangle this. Washington intends to send in the Apaches to bolster Iraqi forces both Peshmerga and otherwise. Or at least that’s what it sounds like. The Pentagon is also considering the placement of American ground troops with “moderate” rebels and with the YPG in Syria.

As we’ve detailed extensively (and this isn’t exactly a secret), Iran effectively runs the Iraqi military via its various Shiite militia proxy armies. That’s not an exaggeration. As Reuters reported earlier this month, “the Fifth Iraqi Army Division now reports to the militias’ chain of command, not to the military’s, according to several U.S. and coalition military officials.” So when the Apaches and their crews aren’t supporting the Kurds, they’ll be openly supporting Iran-backed fighters.

Ok, fine.

Only that isn’t at all consistent with placing US ground troops with Syria’s “moderate rebels” like the Free Syrian Army because after all, they’re fighting the very same Iran-backed Shiite militias. So the US would be bolstering the militiamen in Iraq with Apache gunship support and then firing on those exact same militiamen across the border in Syria in support of the “moderate” rebels battling to oust the Assad regime.

It’s beyond absurd.

And then of course there’s the whole Kurd/Turkey problem. The US is, i) fighting alongside the Peshmerga in Iraq and intends to support them going forward with Apache helicopters, ii) paradropping guns and ammo to the YPG in Syria (as part of a ridiculous ruse that involves the largely made-up SAC mentioned above by WSJ), and now iii) may even send in ground troops to fight with the YPG. But Turkey just bombed the YPG yesterday. Additionally, the US is flying sorties from Incirlik which sets up the insanely ridiculous possibility that if the US embeds troops with the Syrian Kurds, US jets could be taking off from the same base as Turkish warplanes only the US warplanes would be supporting the YPG, while Turkish warplanes bomb them.

So, yeah. This is should all go swimmingly.

Finally, there’s the possibility that if the US puts boots on the ground in Syria in support of the “moderate” rebels, those troops will be killed by Russia and Iran (which Dunford said on Tuesday likely has “more than 1,000 [soldiers] on the ground in Iraq [and] something less than 2,000 in Syria”), and with that, we close with several comments from Chairman of the Russian Upper House committee for foreign affairs, Konstantin Kosachev (via RT):

Commenting on the potential involvement of US ground troops against ISIS in Iraq and Syria, Kosachev once again highlighted that, when it comes to Syria, the US-led anti-ISIS campaign is already violating international law. Potential troops on the ground, Kosachev believes, will further violate international regulations

Um, wait, what? Iraq says Pentagon simply announced a plan to send more troops and Apache gunships to their country without any consultation

The Iraqis declared this week that they had not been consulted on any Washington plans to send more troops or Apache attack helicopters to their country. The Iraqi statement illustrated the level of distrust between Washington and Baghdad, which has led to the Iraqis inviting Russia in to their air space for ‘hot pursuit’ strikes of Daesh fighters crossing the Syrian border and could eventually lead to a Russian presence in Iraq similar to Moscow’s force in Syria.

As the Russia Analyst has forecasted in previous posts, a Russian presence in Iraq in addition to the successful joint operations center with the Iraqis, Iranians and Hezbollah in Baghdad could open the door for Chinese air strikes against Daesh and other forms of intervention in Mesopotamia later.

The roots of the mistrust run deep, and include the Shi’a government’s knowledge of ex-Saddam loyalist Baathists now running ISIS operations who were on Washington’s payroll for the so-called ‘Surge’ (mostly of pallet loads of cash to pay off Sunni tribesmen) or ‘Anbar Awakening’ under Gen. David Petraeus in 2006. Washington for its part blames Iraqi Shi’a ‘sectarianism’ and Iranian domination of Baghdad for driving Sunnis into the arms of Daesh. Adding to the suspicions this week, an American air strike ‘accidentally’ killed over 20 Iraqi servicemen who were advancing on Daesh near Ramadi.

Minsk2 for Syria? A photograph of the statement of basic principles underlying the negotiations between Russia, the U.S. and their respective allies over Syria this weekend in Vienna, Austria
Minsk2 for Syria? A photograph of the statement of basic principles underlying the negotiations between Russia, the U.S. and their respective allies over Syria this weekend in Vienna, Austria

Meanwhile, the Iraqis cannot feel great about the competency or chain of command in Washington if Secretary of State John F. Kerry appeared to not know about the White House announcement Friday that 30 special forces troops were being sent to fight ISIS in Syria. Russia Today has the video from Vienna, Austria where peace talks are being held over the future of Syria.

Either John F. Kerry is once again admitting he’s clueless, or he wants the world to think so after making a cry for help — not unlike his plea several months ago for an Iran deal or else the petrodollar goes poof!

The business end of a Mi-24P from #Brutalistan…

24 comments

  1. James,
    This is off-topic but it’s not. Rick Wiles had a guest Carl Teichrib. who I’ve listened to off and on over the years. He is talking about this:

    http://www.parliamentofreligions.org/parliament/salt-lake-2015/major-speakers

    With all the wars and rumors of war and international intrigue, this is the agenda behind all of the chaos.

    If you look at the players and know anything about their backgrounds it’s just mind-blowing that at this time a group like this is gathering. Some of these players were part of the UN’s Alliance of Civilizations ( which Erdogan was part of) You have the New Agers, joining the Muslims, the Hindus, Buddhists, Apostate Christians and Jews all in the name of saving the planet.

    After enough war, death and displacement, people will be deluded into believing in this agenda.

  2. The good news is the Cheetah units of the Syria’s Tiger force are just a couple miles away from breaking the siege of Kuwieres Air Force Base for the first time in 2 years. All that is left for them to do is to secure the section of the Aleppo-Raqqa highway. (Source: The Arab Source)
    The reason why Nut-Yahoo is quiet is because of ol’ Typhoon (real name Project 941 Akula) TK-208 Dimitri Donskoy, the only Typhoon in active service and carrying up to 200 nuclear warheads mounted on 20 Bulava SLBMs is stalking his waterfront. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=96PI0PUxa9w

    1. SOF: The Dmitry Donskoi does not need to risk itself in the confined waters of the Med when it normally cruises on the edge of the continental shelf in the northern Barents Sea and in the winter further south in the Norwegian Sea (though that class can break through sea ice perhaps less than a meter thick to fire its SLBMs).
      I saw the Times of Israel was bragging today IAF jets hit a Hezbollah position with impunity despite the Russian Air Force and Pantsir (plus offshore S300s on the Moskva) SAM presence. I suspect either the strike didn’t happen or was very limited. The IAF and neocons were embarrassed when the world noticed that Israel did nothing the other day as Russian jets pounded jihadi targets just a few kilometers from the Golani Brigade’s observation posts.

      1. The direct distance from the Barents Sea to the Levant is about 5,200 km, well within of the RSM-56 Bulava’s maximum range of 9,500 km, so that makes sense.
        Turns out most of the trial-runs of the Bulava of its launch stages, cruise flight and splashdown was done on the Dimitri Donskoi, with Project 941 (Akula)’s successor, the Borei-class, inheriting the SLBM.

        Its a different era that we are living since Russia intervened in Syria.

        Any conflict zone in the South China Sea will immediately affect the eastern half of container shipping traffic to Southeast Asia, including Singapore’s. It couldn’t happen in a worse place. The shipping lines here are like the High Tension electric cable plugged straight to Japan, South Korea and China’s markets from Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia, the western half of this ‘cable’ goes to Sri Lanka/India and then to the Middle East and Europe.

        Cutting this cable will cause some serious short-circuiting, creating a cascade of events that might trigger the Big One. Its a remote possibility with unlikely chance but since it still exists given the hair-trigger level of the financial markets, I figured I put it out here.

  3. World War 3 rhetoric continues to ratchet up in the South China Sea after the first, of many, blatant violations of China’s newly claimed territorial waters in the Spratly archipelago.
    Published in black and white for the world to see, China made it very clear that they’re not afraid of fighting a war against the United States.

    Chinese state run newspaper Global Times accused the United States of provoking China 24 hours after the USS Lassen crossed into the Chinese claimed waters.

    The bold statement read, quote, “In the face of the harassment by the United States, Beijing should deal with Washington tactfully and prepare for the worst”.

    “This can convince the White House that China, despite its unwillingness, is not frightened to fight a war with the US in the region, and is determined to safeguard its national interests and dignity.”.

    A defiant US defence secretary Ash Carter paid no attention to the Chinese warnings and doubled down declaring further “freedom of navigation” will continue.

    Speaking at a congressional hearing Carter stated, quote, “We will fly, sail and operate wherever international law permits.”

    A Chinese defence ministry spokesperson
    fired back Tuesday declaring the United States as “irresponsible,” and reasserted that China will quote, “take any measures necessary to safeguard our security.”

    And like a fortune cookie issuing an ancient proverb they uttered, quote, “I advise the US not to make a fool out of themselves in trying to be smart.”

    Source:
    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015…

    1. This might be relevant after the brief statement on Syria by Jim Stone:
      “I forgot to mention – America put boots on the ground in Syria due to Russia cutting off support for CIA agents fronting as ISIS. There is a strong possibility there is an evacuation of American agents underway RIGHT NOW.

      There is another really interesting development –

      China now has a ship killing cruise missile, and possibly a cruise missile that can carry a nuclear payload. It has a range of 290 miles and flies 600 miles an hour a few feet off the ground up until it gets 20 miles away from the target. After it gets within 20 miles the YJ-18 accelerates to mach 3 and does evasive maneuvers at up to 10G’s to avoid getting hit as it approaches the target.

      This is a confirmed missile system that is in excess of anything in America’s arsenal, and possibly Russia’s as well. On the heels of it actually becoming a success, the Pentagon issued statements such as: They could not even track us well enough to use the previous version with a range of 18 miles, how can they use one with a range of 290 miles, and DARPA stepped up to the plate offering a similar missile to the Navy, (which will probably work as well as that new F-35 fighter jet)

      Anyway, China will probably crank these out like $300 motorcycles and if they only last 20 minutes that will be long enough.”

      1. SOF: the Russian Kalibr cruise missile also can go supersonic in its terminal phase, and be equipped with the latest fuel air explosive warheads which like the hypersonic Iskander resemble mini-tactical nukes in their mushroom cloud effect. I don’t think the Kalibr is as fast as the Chinese missile but it is longer range.
        “I forgot to mention – America put boots on the ground in Syria due to Russia cutting off support for CIA agents fronting as ISIS. There is a strong possibility there is an evacuation of American agents underway RIGHT NOW.”

        http://fortruss.blogspot.co.uk/2015/10/russian-elite-units-in-zabadani-homs.html

        Regarding CIA and specops boots on the ground, Bloomberg’s Josh Rogin and Eli Lake reported that the U.S. has already has JSOC guys on the ground with the Kurds in northern Syria for some time which is probably why the Turks have hesitated to bomb anything other than the Kurdish spearheads not their cities or main bases. Elijah J. Magnier of Mideast publication “Al-Rai” with sources in the Syrian government and Hezbollah camps say Russian spetsnaz teams are already on the ground and the total number of troops is expected to grow from 2,500 to substantially more than that.

        http://www.france24.com/en/20151022-exclusive-video-russia-troops-syria-base-latakia-assad

        From either the admission or deliberate messaging of Russian troops interviewed without showing their faces on France 24 TV, we know that Russia’s crack Vladikavkaz-based 58th Army’s comanders are on the ground in Latakia directing the daily battles of the SAA/Iranians. Whether 58th Army T-90s equipped with the Shtora1 anti-ATGM system will be transferred to the Syrians soon with joint crews is an interesting question. Moscow knows they have to do more to defeat the TOWs. If things get really nasty I expect before too long we will see warehouses full of arms in Saudi Arabia get blown up with the Houthis or some Shi’a group nobody’s heard of taking credit. The Turks may not be safe on their soil either.

        Iran is also ramping up to reinforce its IRGC/Iraqi militia spearheads with more troops to fully secure the highway to Aleppo as the SAA lacks sufficient manpower to wage a battle for the city and secure its vital supply lines alone. The role of the spetsnaz is likely to guide Russian bombers to high value targets and especially go after the foreigners in Al-Nusra, Daesh and any Turkish, Saudi or Qatari embeds with them. If Langley’s guys haven’t already left their proxies in view of Ivan dominating the skies they are likely to get killed soon. Twitter source @A_J_S_B has already tweeted out a video of what looks like a Russian fuel air explosive strike and the effect is devastating, we’re talking craters 25-35 ft deep taking out bunkers and asphyxiating jihadis and advisers in tunnels or killing with shockwave for about a two or depending on structures three block radius. As for the front lines, Russia is going to engage its Tu-22M Backfire bombers in dropping a lot of ‘dumb’ bombs on ISIS held towns in the next few days:

        https://twitter.com/syria24english/status/660346660300697600

        Spetsnaz will not waste ammo and time on anything other than high value targets. That means decapitation strikes and yes sending Saudis, Qataris and possible Turkish liason officers home in body bags until Washington and its GCC bastards get the message. Al Masdar and pro-Shi’a Haider Sumeri accounts also saying Saudis took heavy losses this week at Houthi hands and more brazen raids inside KSA are underway. If the IAF keeps violating Syrian air space I suspect they’ll get lit up by the Moskva or Pantsir systems in Latakia as a warning and might be intercepted by Russian Su-30s. More likely, if they Israelis piss the Russians off they will simply get the chance to test out one of their ‘eye watering’ (Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges words) ground based jammers on an F-15I, and see how the Israeli pilots react to not only their radars but possibly heads up displays, radios and GPS all getting ‘zapped’ and scrambled at once.

    2. Mlytle0 — I expect we will see the Chinese up the ante by testing one of those hypersonic missiles into intl waters and showing the Pentagon how accurate the DF-21 ‘carrier killer’ can be (they will probably splash down to within a mile or so of the Chinese ‘research’ vessel observing the test). I also expect the Chinese to be bombing Daesh targets in Iraq by new year.

      1. Yes, I’ve been reading up on China’s high speed cruise missiles. Impressive, as is the newer Russian equipment, of various kinds.. That’s what you can do when you use your money for upgrading your capabilities, instead of squandering your money turning 3 or 4 countries into rubble over 10 years. :{

  4. So much depends on what the explosion in Tianjin really was, a severe industrial accident, or a Western based sabotage/attack. There have been about a half dozen smaller events since, which Chinese media tends to suppress. Most seemed to have started as explosions.
    Right now, all of the rhetoric on both sides is just that, posturing. But if the Chinese have concluded in their own minds that they have been compromised internally (and I don’t know the answer to that) there will be payback.

    1. “It seems like China’s reaction – at least initially – has been to respond in a restrained, operational way. The Chinese have absolutely no interest in sparking a tactical crisis or any kind of confrontation with the Americans,” said Ashley Townshend, a South China Sea expert from the University of Sydney’s United States studies center.
      Another ‘ex-spurt’ living in a partial bubble. Sydney must be a nice place for hookers and blow.

      China has a big chip on its shoulder not only from Japanese aggression and the lack of apology for WW2 atrocities (wonder if the western banking cartel giving the Japanese orders on that as well to keep prodding the 800-pound dragon) but also being carved up like pizza during the colonial era by the same western powers that are now drowning in refugees and saddled with trillions of debt. They have smelt blood and with their alliance with Russia and sharing of intelligence they would already know who has been behind the sabotage including the Tianjin incident.

  5. Jim Stone on recent Russian passenger jet downing in Sinai:
    “SUSPICIOUS: Russian passenger jet goes down with 224 aboard over the Sinai close to Israeli border

    UPDATE: CONFIRMED: PLANE SHOT DOWN BY MISSILE WHILE AT CRUISING ALTITUDE
    NO MATTER WHAT THE WHITEWASH IS, THEY WILL NEVER WIGGLE OUT OF THIS ONE

    Here is why: The plane, which “suddenly fell like a rock” was cruising at 30,000 feet right before it did, AND BODIES WERE FOUND OVER A FIVE KILOMETER RADIUS. Folks, there is only ONE WAY this can happen, and that is if an intelligent missile sought the plane’s center of mass, exploded, and threw bodies in all directions from far far up. That is the only way they could possibly be spread out over a five kilometer radius. A bomb in the cargo bay would have to get a lucky shot to do that, and be absolutely HUGE. Not probable. NO MATTER THE WHITE WASH, CASE CLOSED.

    Now Egypt’s “ISIS” is claiming responsibility. This means Israel or the U.S. did it. Since this happened within missile strike range of Israel, well, what do you think? This plane had only Russians aboard, which virtually assures it was only important people aboard because normal flights have people from more than one country on them. Who would know that before blowing this plane up? Certainly not ISIS, if ISIS was the rag tag band claimed, they would be clueless about what they were shooting at. How would they bag the perfect Russian aircraft, and where did such a missile come from?

    Forget the “engine problem” whitewash, it is unrelated and I looked into this, the crew only had problems starting the engines, once running they were fine and did not have a history of blowing people out of the airplane over a 5 KM radius . . . . . . which would be impossible anyway, an engine is not even able to get shrapnel into the passenger cabin, they are tested for that and France built the aircraft.

    Update: Israel has stated they had intelligence assets on the ground where the plane went down. This is likely to ruin any investigation and could actually be the cause of the crash to begin with.

    A Russian Airbus A321 went off radar while over the Sinai peninsula 23 minutes after takeoff with 217 Russian passengers and 7 Russian crew. RT has reported the plane had tourists aboard, but in addition to this the plane had only Russians aboard, which strongly indicates this was a very important aircraft flown out of Egypt for a purpose with important people aboard. Most likely they were either important to Russia’s government and/or Russian defense or business, this is the only probable way both the passengers and crew were entirely Russian. If the plane was not flown for a specific official purpose, the passengers would have most likely been of mixed origin.

    RT has reported that the crew complained of engine problems before takeoff, and that they requested to land in Cairo, HOWEVER, the crash characteristics match a missile strike and not engine problems for the following reason – obvious complete structural failure of the air frame caused the plane to drop like a rock IN FLAMES after it hit cruising altitude at 30,000 feet. A plane cannot just fall out of the sky from 30,000 feet like this one did unless the wings are missing, if this was an engine failure it would have taken this aircraft a half hour to crash from that altitude, with full dialog from the pilots all the way down.

    Instead, radar tracked this plane falling like a rock, with no communication from the pilots while it did so, until it vanished from radar at 5,000 feet and fell in the mountains… This plane crashed in Egypt, which means the Israelis will be hindered in killing survivors to prevent testimony if they did shoot this plane down.

    UPDATE: Early rescue teams heard voices in the main wreckage, but are now reporting no survivors. THAT is suspicious. . . . . For now, Russia is playing it cool saying the plane went down due to an engine failure, but this simply does not wash, if it hit 30,000 feet it could have landed in Israel, Egypt, Jordan and possibly other places before it ran out of altitude, or at worst even in the ocean to improve it’s chances if it still had it’s wings.

    This one is suspicious to say the least and I would not doubt Israel did this one to settle a Syria grudge and will remain suspicious no matter what the “official story” ends up being. If the black boxes have bad news aboard, this could easily be the spark… If Israel did shoot this plane down, it will be a wrestling match between Israel and Russia for these black boxes, even if via Israeli infiltrators in Egypt’s investigation if Egypt does the investigation.

    The best possible course is for Russia to get there ASAP and handle this one because no one can be trusted to do this type of investigation anymore. If Israel shot this plane down, it would end up being be another “suicide pilot” story if Russia does not handle this correctly.”

    1. SOF: Jim Stone is getting carried away. I agree the timing (Halloween, Satanists holiday) and location (Sinai where ISIS and other jihadists have been active fighting the Sisi government and before that Mubarak) are suspicious. Planes do not just fall from the sky at 6,000 ft/minute or faster due to one engine failing and I know Airbus 321s and Boeing 737s equivalent have made emergency landings on one engine before.
      I cannot confirm what Jim Stone is saying about the bodies being spread out over a 5 km area in the desert as the Egyptians indicate they have already recovered over 140 of them and most were still strapped into their seats, so that now the majority of the bodies are in a Cairo morgue awaiting Russian autopsy experts arrival (no less than three Ministry of Emergency Situations Antonov jets took off for Cairo within 4-5 hours of the crash).

      The Egyptian (Army?) disaster response time has been commendable in terms of getting helicopters and rescuers on scene. The Russian Emergency Situations ministry and no doubt FSB explosives experts are already looking at the wreckage along with Russian military attache/specialists to investigate any foul play. The black (actually orange painted) boxes were found almost immediately.

      If there were any infiltrators there to tamper with them or the wreckage they would’ve had to have been quick. As we know Russian and Chinese influence under Sisi’s regime has been growing in Egypt while the U.S. and Israel have been losing control over that country so I think Jim should cool off and let the facts come in. The zero distress signal/no SOS and speed at which the jet plummeted to earth are all suspicious and make me think bomb/C4 placed near the cockpit in the luggage hold as even an engine exploding and fire spreading to the fuel tanks might’ve left time for a mayday.

      1. File under ‘disinfo’ until proven otherwise, especially with the mention of MANPADs. Not sure Ukraine has Strela systems, I saw ‘reports’ from Gordon Duff and Veterans Today which seems ‘tight’ with Iranian sources that Ukraine was trying to sell BUKs to Al-Nusra et al to use in Syria, which sounds like bulls–t as the ship would never make it through the Bosporus after leaving Odessa before being intercepted by Russian navy spetsnaz out of Crimea: http://thesaker.is/yemen-libya-egypt-israel-sitrep-october-31st-2015-by-john-rambo/#comment-165876
        Sputnik Intl and other Russian media say Moscow and Cairo have ruled out air to air shootdown (no Egyptian, Israeli or other nation’s jets in vicinity), and Western MSM reporting this too. Russian Transport Ministry also ruling out pilot error, and air to air collision (Ru media mentioned a biz jet in the vicinity) not supported by any evidence for this from radar or wreckage found nearby either. So that leaves:

        1) catastrophic mechanical failure (still seems hard to explain how fast the plane fell to earth and no mayday — on this I concur with @BanksterSlayer). This is the explanation offered by Egyptian authorities and Russian govmt/media lean toward especially with reports about pilots complaining an engine needed serious maintenance and it wasn’t done last week. There’s also this, mentioned over at Moon of Alabama regarding past crashes involving jets that had serious tail damage repairs that later failed due to (metal fatigue?) some reason:

        http://www.moonofalabama.org/2015/10/islamic-state-plane-attack-claim-could-be-helpful.html#c6a00d8341c640e53ef01bb088973eb970d

        @44.
        It is a massive assumption at this stage to assume foul play. This was an aircraft that was eighteen years old. It appears that it suffered a tail strike in 2001 (in Cairo) that was sufficiently serious to take it out of service for at least two months.

        We know from other accidents that there can be problems with repairs to tail strikes. China Airlines Flight 611 (a Boeing 747) fell out of the sky in 2002 due to a faulty tail strike repair carried out many years before. The large hole in the fuselage caused massive decompression and severed the rear part of the plane. Japan Airlines Flight 123 also crashed in 1985 due to a faulty tail strike repair.

        Posted by: Lochearn | Oct 31, 2015 6:27:20 PM | 50

        2) Bomb on board/in luggage compartment or C4 planted on fuselage by ISIS/terrorist infiltrators among ground crew. Here’s a MoA comment:

        If everyone can agree that the Malaysian airliner take-down over Ukraine was a blow against Russia, then this may be viewed as a much more personal assault.
        Keeping the Russians from vacationing in Dahab is not the same as denying Russia a base of operations, but the messaging is typically multi-fold.

        In no particular order:
        a) – Russian presence is not welcome in the ME.
        b) – Look we can take down aircraft, even if they fly very high. Bombs or missiles will do.
        c) – You cannot defend your people, and by extension your country and your interests.
        d) – Islamic militant proxies will continue to do our bidding.
        e) – We think nothing of striking civilians, although there may also have been target(s) of value on board.
        f) – Egypt better watch itself.
        g) – We won’t let you bomb our boys in Syria, and then take leave in the Sinai, where your families meet you for vacation!

        The question to ask is, where are, or were, the ‘usual’ suspects at the time of the criminal act? Hmm, let’s see.
        Response – wasn’t us, we’re all good choirboys attending a Syria ‘peace’ conference, arguing for peace.
        Blatant timing.

        Posted by: spinworthy | Oct 31, 2015 5:22:49 PM | 44

        3) Sabotage of fuel supply though this seems unlikely as fuel mixture may’ve been noticed by pilots on take off as being wrong from ‘hiccups’ of jet engines but I don’t know enough about fuel tanks and how they work on airliners to rule this one out. Assume RU Emergency Situations Ministry and aviation forensic experts will test fuel tank remnants.

        4) Exotic weapon (laser to engine? EMP causing electrical/radio problems?) used to bring down aircraft that somehow did not effect other jets flying not too far away and could elude Egyptian military radar/ground detection

        http://sputniknews.com/world/20151031/1029398153/russian-transport-minister-airbus-crash.html

        1. The speed which an affiliate of the Daesh can claim they shot down the plane is suspicious. Knowing how they have put out fake videos like McInsane’s sandbox studio filming of Jihadi John, I have doubts about the authenticity of this.
          Especially when children are involved in the deaths it relegates the minds of people into an emotional reactive state where ‘ends justifies the means’. Images of victims who are children or newly wed couples (example of bright futures cut short) are great for driving in the mental screws into peoples’ brains.

          Because mundane causes such as mechanical failure can become an act of war in an environment of high tension and the parties involved are connected by nationality or association to belligerents.

      2. That is why I take the effort to make it clear this is what Jim Stone says and mark it in quotation marks so that the unwritten disclaimer that his views do not necessarily reflect mine, but to a large part makes sense or assists in ‘war-gaming’ (i.e. strategy of predicting future moves)
        This is an inexact science and if not for the heavy implications for geo-politics and to tamp down the Fear of the Unknown would be a waste of time as its out of our control realistically.

        Anyway all forms of media are run by people and therefore some bias and limited perspective will seep in.

        1. SOF: I understand Jim Stone’s views aren’t necessarily yours, just like The Saker, Joaquin Flores or Ft. Rus aren’t necessarily mine. And at this point it would be foolish to rule out either catastrophic mechanical failure (like a tail snapping for example) and/or sabotage/foul play.

      3. Also the other reason why I post his stuff is that he claims his website can’t be seen in some parts, if not all of the United States because of his information, but here’s a direct link to his main Iceland server to test if this is so: http://jimstone.is, IP address: 82.221.129.208 add to the http prefix.
        Granted he’s a rather hyperbolic, but anyway I will take his summary statements (minus the rest of his elaboration) of his response to the other theories out there other than missile strike:

        “When anything big happens, such as the U.S./Israeli/whoever shootdown of a Russian airliner, troll teams test the water in think tanks trying to dream up whatever lie works. The two big lies are mechanical failure, and “tail strike damage” resulting in the tail falling off and causing the crash.”

        Here’s RT’s take:

        “Why Did it Crash?

        This is the big question, as of now. Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL)-affiliated militants, based in Sinai, stole a march on officials, when they claimed responsibility for the downing of the plane.

        Russian authorities – backed up by Egyptian officials – have dismissed the boasts as being out of hand, saying the terrorists in the region do not possess the specialized equipment necessary to shoot down a large passenger jet flying at cruising height.

        This does not necessarily rule out an act of terror

        “Early reports said that the aircraft split into two and that suggests a catastrophic failure, not a mechanical failure, but that suggests perhaps an explosion on board,” posited Michael Clarke, Director General of the Royal United Services Institute, an aviation think tank. “It’s much more likely to have been a bomb on board rather than a missile fired from the ground.” “

        Where’s Sherlock Holmes when you need him?

  6. All of this chaos in Syria and Iraq makes an effort like this even more ridiculous. Here are the sponsors of the World Parliament of Religions:
    http://www.kaiciid.org

    http://www.kaiciid.org/who-we-are/governance/faisal-bin-abdulrahman-bin-muaammar

    Headed up by those peace-loving Saudis who just chopped off 5 foreigners heads today according to RT.
    A while back Zero Hedge did a side by side comparison of ISIS and the Saudi Government’s practices and there were no differences.

    US allies ( at least formerly ) heading up the Human Rights Commission at the UN is even a bigger joke.

    but even funnier, here is the CFR’s Foreign Affairs assessment of Al Nursa Front. ( As if US had nothing to do with this group) If Al Nursa is trying to portray itself as a more moderate jihadi group.

    https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/syria/2015-10-05/druze-clues

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