Battle of Syraq SITREP 5: No More 'Accidents' Like Deir Ez Zor -- Russia Warns U.S. It Will Shoot Down Any 'Unidentified' Aircraft Attacking Syrian or Russian Forces

'S-300, S-400 air defenses in place': Russian MoD warns US-led coalition not to strike Syrian army Credit Russian MoD Russia's Defense Ministry has cautioned the US-led coalition of carrying out airstrikes on Syrian army positions, adding in Syria there are numerous S-300 and S-400 air defense systems up and running.

1) Russian and Syrian forces are working so closely together all over the country that there can be no illusions about striking the latter without hitting the former. This may also be an indirect reference to the possibility, previously mentioned by Eurasianist ideologue Alexandr Dugin, that the deliberate U.S. air strikes on Syrian Army units fighting ISIS at Deir Ez Zor killed or wounded an unknown number of 'our guys', meaning Russian advisers or forward air controllers operating in the city besieged by Daesh.

2) Russian air defense units including the powerful long range S400/300 system operators are ready to shoot down any aircraft deemed hostile or attacking Russian/Syrian forces. Furthermore, neocons and liberal interventionists such as the Brookings Institution should lose their illusions about standoff weaponry or stealthy F-22s being able to suppress these air defenses, as Konashenkov stated flatly that the S400/300s have longer range than the Americans believe and are capable of engaging so-called 'invisible airplanes'.

While U.S. tactics and technologies for use of stealth jets like the F-22 are far ahead of those for the subsonic F-117A in 1999 when one was shot down by 1960s vintage Serbian SAMs of Yugoslav/Soviet design, Russian and Chinese radars/SAMs are far better capable of detecting stealth aircraft at distance then they were at that time. And the S300/400s are in a completely different category in terms of range and counter-jamming capabilities than the old SA2s and SA3s the Serbs were able to keep intact by moving them around almost every other hour to avoid attack from NATO anti-radar missile carrying jets. China recently announced the debut of a 'quantum radar' capable of spotting stealth aircraft at great distances. The notion that the quantum radar is ready for any battlefield much less the skies over Syria or the South China Sea may be a bluff, but the fact that WWII vintage long wave radars can at times detect stealth aircraft at particular angles or in rainy conditions when stealthy material coated surfaces get wet has been known for years.

Konashenkov also made it clear that the Syrian Arab Army's own BUK and S200 SAMs have been upgraded with the assistance of Russian technicians in the past year, implying that these systems are networked with Russia's own more powerful and longer range radars. Meaning that U.S., Turkish or Israeli jets initially tracked by Syrian-manned BUKs or S200s can be engaged by the Russian SAMs at the Kheimmim air base outside Latakia.

3) The Russian Embassy in Washington D.C.'s official Twitter account trolled White House spokesman Josh Earnest and implied Washington supports terrorism and deliberately gave air support to ISIS on September 17, 2016: "USA wonder why Russia would want to carry S300 to Syria...because you never really know what kind of assistance terrorists might get". This latest humiliation of the tough-talking but wimpy Obama White House was prominently featured at Fox News website and received plenty of clicks thanks to a link on the Drudge Report. The Russians telling the White House to essentially put up or shut up about attacking Syria, needless to say, is likely to draw the attention of Donald J. Trump as yet more proof that no one around the world, be they friend or foe, respects American foreign policy anymore thanks to Obama and his former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Here we go again. The Obama administration is caught in the same debate that seems to repeat itself about every six months: is it time for the United States to intervene militarily against Assad in order to save the opposition from petering out? The National Security Council reportedly reviewed that question this past Wednesday when options ranging from more economic sanctions on Russia to selective airstrikes on Syrian air force bases were discussed.

President Obama has never particularly cared what his critics think of his foreign policy or his Syria policy, but calls for greater and deeper military involvement in the conflict are now beginning to emanate on Capitol Hill from both parties. A plea for the U.S. to stop the slaughter in Aleppo and hold Bashar al-Assad accountable for his crimes of humanity is no longer an argument simply being made by the likes of Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham—although McCain is certainly the most consistent advocate for more aggressive American action in the war. Instead, it’s now a call made—or at least suggested—in coded terms from the Obama’s biggest foreign policy allies on the Hill: Sens. Tim Kaine, Jeanne Shaheen, and Ben Cardin.

The question that has yet to be answered, however, is whether this increasingly hawkish rhetoric on Syria is pervasive enough in both parties and in both houses of Congress to allow Obama to order U.S. airstrikes on Syrian military installations without severe political blowback at home. The horror and shock of the chemical weapons attack on civilians in the Damascus suburbs in the summer of 2013 was a galvanizing moment for many in Washington—the worst chemical weapons attack since Saddam Hussein’s gassing of the Kurds twenty-five years earlier.

Recognizing that any military action against the Syrian government would need buy-in from America’s elected representatives, the Obama administration correctly decided to ask Congress for a statutory authorization before the first missiles were fired in retaliation. Less than two weeks after the chemical attacks, it became obvious that congressional support simply wasn’t there for providing the White House with that kind of authority. All of this, despite heartfelt statements issued by members of Congress about standing up for international human rights and humanitarian law and the absolute necessity to hold a war criminal responsible. When it came time to vote, the votes for action simply weren’t there.

Meanwhile, the neolibcon rag The Daily Beast reported some nameless, faceless bureaucrats in Washington's disappointment that a White House meeting for Wednesday hyped by The Bezos/Washington (Com)Post earlier this week did not result in any decision by President Obama to authorize force against combined Syrian/Russian forces. More tears for team 'WahhabiZioCon' as Michael 'Daesh-bag' Weiss jokingly refered to himself and his pro-Syrian jihadist colleagues, as in September 2013 when it became clear there would be no American aerial blitz on Damascus.

Former U.S. Ambassador to Syria and jihadist supporter Robert Ford as well as Atlantic Council Saudi/Qatar lobby shill Frederic C. Hof were left to lament that Obama wasn't even considering sending their beloved 'moderate' terrorists more heavy weapons, including surface to air missiles capable of striking Russian jets at altitudes above the 12,000 to 20,000 foot range of MANPADs. The fact that Obama may be hesitant to do so because the Yemeni Houthis would almost certainly receive such systems from Russia and Iran in retaliation and use them to blow Royal Saudi Air Force jets out of the skies over Sa'naa (and do so with far greater efficiency than al-CIA-eda could use such systems in Syria) is not mentioned in this ABC/Yahoo News article. ABC News never mentions the fact that the Atlantic Council has eagerly taken contributions from the Syrian jihadist-backing governments of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey, making them in effect unregistered foreign agents who get around the FARA law using the polite fiction that they don't directly lobby Congress. CNN also doesn't mention that the Mideast Institute's Charles Lister is a shill for the Qataris too.

This week Lister received a tweetful of scorn from many people including Australia-based activist Mimi al-Laham aka Syria Girl (@PartisanGirl) for claiming that Moscow's S400/300s are 'suppressible' in any U.S. strikes on Assad's forces. Naturally the question of how 'suppressible' American special forces and F-15s/16s/A10s are inside Syria, or U.S. Navy ships in the eastern Mediterranean or Black Sea are when not if the Russians retaliate is not mentioned by Lister, who flagrantly lies by omission about what the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Joseph Dunford actually said regarding the American military's ability to strike Syrian forces without going to war with the Russians  (warning: strong language in the Syria Girl tweet below).

As the Russia Analyst expected given that Obama is only four months away from chooming on the beach at his house in Hawaii and $250,000 to $1,000,000 a pop rubber chicken speeches to Goldman Sachs bankers, Commander in Chief Barry punted. Just to be clear, since elements of the CIA and over fifty State Department career foreign service officers (FSOs) seem to have forgotten, only the President can authorize military strikes in the absence of standing orders to respond to attack or perhaps, a Gulf of Tonkin-style false flag blamed on the Russians/Iranians/Syrians.

 RT's Syria correspondent Murad Gazdiev notices the U.S. Navy has been oddly painting their F/A-18 jets to resemble Russia's SU-34 strike fighters. Could this be setting the stage for some situation in which Russian pilots will not trust their IFF devices but close to make visual ID in some aerial confrontation...or a situation with U.S. Navy planes  being mis-identified as Russian, say if they were to bomb American special forces inside Syria (while being told they were bombing an ISIS target or dropping bombs 'danger close' during a firefight between JSOC soldiers and Daesh terrorists)?

Speaking of whom, not only have reliable sources like al-Rai's Elijah J. Magnier been hinting at a Russian troop surge into Syria after the American elections this November, but the Iranians have stepped up their Shi'a militias support for the SAA offensive grinding down the jihadists of east Aleppo. It remains unclear how many actual Iranian soldiers/Revolutionary Guards are engaged as combatants as opposed to trainers or intelligence officers. But Southfront reports, citing Orient News, between 8-10,000 IRGC and 5 to 6,000 Iranian Army soldiers are inside Syria. They in turn, support a force of up to 60,000 Lebanese Hezbollah troops plus Iraqi and Afghan Shi'a militiamen who have been part of Gen. Qassem Soulemani's 'surge' supported by Russia's air and artillery-power.

Now the question of whether Iran's troops have actually learned from tactical defeats and heavy casualties battles with the jihadists at places like Khan Touman is being put to the test, as is their ability to effectively use Russian close air support in the heavily contested urban terrain of Aleppo-grad.

President Bashir al-Assad gave an interview to Danish television this week in which he affirmed that the U.S. does not appear capable of negotiating in good faith, the American air strikes on SAA troops at Deir Ez Zor were deliberate acts of aggression, and the 'moderate armed opposition' is largely a myth. Assad also said that after many ceasefires Syrian government forces have no choice but to liberate east Aleppo to stop the hell cannons, mortars and artillery shells being fired by the 'moderate' terrorists into government-controlled west Aleppo, where most of the city's population lives.

One such attack killed or wounded several students just this past week, including a female Syrian Christian swimmer athlete of Armenian origins. So the next time RogueMoney readers hear Senator John McInsane or Samantha 'humanitarian war hag' Power ranting about Assad's barrel bombs and war crimes, someone should ask them why Washington isn't responsible for the indiscriminate and deliberate terror-shelling of civilians particularly Christians and Kurds in west/central and northern Aleppo. Assad also said that Russia had done everything possible to avoid confrontation with the Americans and give diplomacy a chance to work in Syria, but that he and other Syrians had learned to 'expect the worst' from Washington's current crop of 'weak leaders':

Russia is doing everything to avoid direct confrontation with the US in Syria, said president Bashar al-Assad in an interview with Danish channel TV 2.

”But do the Americans, or the “hawks” in the ranks of the US administration, do everything to avoid confrontation, or, on the contrary, do everything to ensure confrontation with Russia?” — rhetorically asked the Syrian leader.

Answering the host’s question about the risk of a direct confrontation between the US and Russia, he noted that the situation is unpredictable. “As for direct confrontation, this has not happened since WWII except that it almost happened during the Cuban missile crisis. But now the situation is different. The United States doesn’t have strong leaders and you can expect anything, and should always expect the worst,” — said the Syrian President.

Closer to where Team Rogue Money's fearless simian leader the economic great ape works in New York City, somebody or some small group of activists on Thursday hung a banner from the Manhattan Bridge with Vladimir Putin's face and the word 'Peacemaker' adorning the Russian flag. The NYPD are reportedly looking for the individuals who committed this act of thoughtcrime in the Cold War 2.0 waging U(S)SA. Here's the Guerrilla Economist's take on the current state of U.S.-Russia tensions, as well as his latest chat with Harley Schlanger (for some reason you will need to sign in using a Gmail account to access the Schlanger interview).

Russian military drills, thermonuclear alerts, and now Libya has asked for Russia's help: