Syria: Thoughts On The Russian Air Support
By Moon Of Alabama
October 01, 2015 "Information
Clearing House" -
Some things that happened today:
- The Syrian government asked the Russian
Federation for air support in its fight against the foreign
- The Russian parliament agreed to a Russian
government request for a legal mandate to do so.
- Russian officers in Iraq informed the U.S.
embassy in Baghdad of upcoming strikes and recommended that U.S.
planes stay out of the area and that U.S. forces on the ground
- Russian planes started to bomb insurgency
held fixed positions in Homs and Hama governate in west Syria.
Both governates are next to Latakia where the Russian forces are
Immediately after news of the first Russian strike
the U.S. payed "Syrian Civil Defense" organization "White Helmets"
posted propaganda claims of killed children. The picture it used
to prove its claims had
also been used on September 25, before the Russians started to
Next came claims that the Russian had hit
"moderate rebels" which the U.S. says are its good guys.
To which Mark Adomanis
The US couldn't find "moderate" rebels in 3
years. Apparently the Russians did in 24 hours
Indeed. Even back in 2012 the U.S. Defense
THE SALAFIST, THE MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD, AND AQI ARE
THE MAJOR FORCES DRIVING THE INSURGENCY IN SYRIA.
"Moderates"- my ass.
The neocon Institute for the Study of War
identifies the target the Russian planes hit:
An alleged Russian airstrike hit the rebel-held
town of Talbisah north of Homs City. Talbisah is home to Syrian
al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra, hardline Islamist Ahrar
al-Sham, and a number of other local rebel groups, all of which
are active in local governance efforts in the area. Both Jabhat
al-Nusra and the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) have
claimed a number of vehicle-borne IEDs (VBIEDs) in Homs City,
located only 12 kilometers south of Talbisah.
The Russians themselves claim
8 ISIS targets hit as they do not differentiate much between the
various groups of violent jihadi organizations.
The U.S. and its European lap dogs are now
outraged, OUTRAGED that the Russians did not hit the Islamic
State but al-Qaeda. "They claimed to fight the Islamic State. How
could they hit our moderate rebels and their friendly
al-Qaeda cooperation partners?"
One of the eight Russian targets was in Rastan in
Homs governate. No Islamic State there claims the "western"
propaganda. Except that just nine days ago the Islamic State
shot dead seven men in Rastan for being allegedly gay.
Human Rights Watch and its
ISIS promoting boss Kenneth Roth have not yet complained that
Russia is NOT using their beloved "barrel bombs". But we can be sure
that they will soon come up with some other dull bullshit.
The Russian will first clear, as much as possible,
the area between their base in Latakia and the Turkish border. That
is pretty much a self defense measure as some insurgent groups have
already tried to hit the Russian base with improvised rockets. It
also has the advantage that the targets are only a few flight
The bottleneck here is intelligence. The Russians
have UAV drones as well as manned signal intelligence aircraft in
Syria and will use those to find targets. The Syrian government will
help with its on-the-ground intelligence.
The Russians now have at least 24 ground attack
fighters on their base. Each could fly at least six sorties per day
(and night), with double crewing even more. When the Russians have
settled in we can expect a regular 100-150 air attacks per day on
the "moderate rebels" with surges of up to 250 per day. This is
about the same amount as the Syrian air force is currently
delivering. But the Russian planes are better equipped and have
better accuracy. For those CIA paid "moderate rebel" TOW shooters
and their al-Qaeda allies life will soon become very uncomfortable.
Only after the immediate danger to the base and to important Syrian
government positions in west Syria is pushed away will Russia start
to hit Islamic State targets further east. This may require moving
some of its planes to another airfield further east.
I also expect that the Russians will do much more
than just bombing rebel headquarters and the like. A main task will
be direct ground support for the Syrian army when it starts to
reclaim insurgent held areas. The Russians will have forward air
controllers on the ground embedded with the Syrian forces.
Effectively directed, all weather air support will make upcoming
ground campaigns much easier.
The "western" anti-Syrian governments will
continue to play outraged over the Russian help for the Syrian
government. But I do not expect them to take any serious
countermeasures. What can they do? Give anti-air missiles to their
"moderate rebels" so that these can be handed over to al-Qaeda?
The Gulf dictatorships though
may make such a grave mistake:
Adel al-Jubeir, Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister,
said Tuesday that there were no circumstances in which his
country would accept the Russian effort to keep Mr. Assad in
He hinted that if a political solution that
led to his departure could not be found, the shipment of weapons
and other support to Syrian rebel groups would be increased.