Ah! MANPADS! We’ll show those Rooshans!


"MANPADS were developed in the 1940s to provide military ground forces with protection from enemy aircraft. They have received a great deal of attention, partly because armed groups have used them against commercial airliners. These missiles, affordable and widely available through a variety of sources, have been used successfully over the past three decades both in military conflicts, as well as by terrorist organizations.[1]

Twenty-five countries, including the United Kingdom, the United States, Sweden and Russia produce man-portable air defense systems.[2][3] Possession, export, and trafficking in such weapons is officially tightly controlled, due to the threat they pose to civil aviation, although such efforts have not always been successful.[4][5]

The missiles are about 1.5 to 1.8 m (5 to 6 ft) in length and weigh about 17 to 18 kg (37 to 40 lb), depending on the model. Shoulder-fired SAMs generally have a target detection range of about 10 km (6 mi) and an engagement range of about 6 km (4 mi), so aircraft flying at 6,100 metres (20,000 ft) or higher are relatively safe.[6] However, the FIM-92 Stinger (1996 version) has a range of 26,000 feet (7,900 m). "  wiki on MANPADS


 It appears that US +NATO frustration with Russian unwillingness to surrender Syria to the jihadis will express itself in US + NATO sponsored Gulf Arab purchase of MANPADS for the jihadis in Syria.  26 countries make some variation on the theme of these weapons systems.  They vary widely in capability but are readily available through grey and black arms merchants or through white market purchases by states.  They are not hard to buy one way or another.

A major disincentive for provision of these weapons in the past was the threat these weapons pose to airliners near destination airports.  It should be expected that some of the MANPADS provided to jihadi groups in Syria will be re-exported to their comrades abroad.  They would be a particular threat to Israeli airliners. 

Would the introduction of such weapons to the Syria Civil War on the rebel side be a game changer?  I doubt but do not know enough about the particular weapons available to have a valid opinion.  pl      




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133 Responses to Ah! MANPADS! We’ll show those Rooshans!

  1. Ghostship says:

    It not just the civil airlines that should be concerned, perhaps the Coalition air forces should be as well, not forgetting how much certain Gulfies have invested in their state-owned airlines.
    Isis militants attempting to shoot down British jets in Iraq and Syria as coalition pounds group ahead of major advance
    And on the day that the Russians are regretting their decision to lend Donetsk and Luhansk some heavy SAMs.

  2. Abu Sinan says:

    If the Saudis give them to the “moderates” in Syria, the Russians could supply a couple of dozen to the Houthis in Yemen. It would, I think, have an immidiate impact on the Saudi air war in Yemen. Let’s see if the Saudis would then be willing to take on the barefoot Houthis on the ground in the mountains of Sadaa without CAS.

  3. Babak Makkinejad says:

    If it would stop only there; likely this will be escalating with civilian airliners being targeted all over the world until the antagonists come to the realization that the whole thing was not such a good idea. It could take years and during that time people will die.

  4. Lemur says:

    “It should be expected that some of the MANPADS provided to jihadi groups in Syria will be re-exported to their comrades abroad. They would be a particular threat to Israeli airliners.”
    If that happens, it will simply be an opportunity for Israel to demand more Western diplomatic, military, and financial aid.

  5. kooshy says:

    IMO they (the west) will not be concerned with that, or attack on civilian airliners, if they were, their behavior, policy, posture must have changed by now with what happened in Paris, Nice,Brussels etc.
    IMO they will not give up until they are defeated on the ground. as matter of fact, IMO no longer the Western civilian life is a concern or any more valuable then that of middle easterners to western policy makers.

  6. mike allen says:

    I saw no reference in either the Reuters or Almandar links to the US sponsoring the Gulfies efforts to send MANPADS to the jihadis. What did I miss?
    Was the un-named US official sending a veiled threat to the Russians, or just giving a heads up warning to the Turks and Gulfies not to send MANPADS? Since he refused to give his name perhaps it was the former?
    In any case, if the Turks provide MANPADS to their jihadis, it would put American warplanes in Syria in danger. If that happens then perhaps someone might give MANPADS to the Kurds?

  7. steve says:

    The folks running the world are nuts.

  8. Matthew says:

    Prediction: the Russians will just drop bigger bombs. Result: more civilian casualties. So the plan must be either Assad leaves, or the Humanitarian Interventionalists will ensure that Syria itself does not survive.

  9. Fred says:

    Absolutely correct. Which is why Barack the Brave will look the other way while these gifts are handed out and the mess is left for whoever gets elected after him.

  10. jld says:

    “And on the day that the Russians are regretting their decision to lend Donetsk and Luhansk some heavy SAMs”
    You mean you DO believe the “official” report on the MH17?

  11. Jake from Farm State says:

    I’m curious how a few select commercial flights being downed would affect global business? And it’s not like they can’t download a $2 app and get all the useful information. But this is crazy speculation. I’m sure all the CIA and military wizards arming the jihadis know what they’re doing.

  12. kao_hsien_chih says:

    Quite possibly, the same manpads will show up in Western Europe or North America, and “nobody saw it coming.”

  13. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Hardly – please see here:
    Those threatening to give man-pads to jihadists will be reaping the whirlwind; in my opinion.

  14. turcopolier says:

    mike allen
    I guess I was extrapolating my belief that the Gulfies are so inept that someone would have to buy the weapons for them. pl

  15. Kooshy,
    I say this tentatively, but I think it possible you may be being too ‘rationalistic’.
    It seems to me that the retreat and collapse of Soviet power produced, among large elements in Western élites, a kind of delirious sense of absolute power and self-evident virtue. It is a kind of drug – surrendering it courts a very bad case of ‘cold turkey’.
    Accordingly, the prospect of being as it were ‘crossed’, and, in particular, being ‘crossed’ by the Russians, is absolutely intolerable.
    I suspect that the belief that, if enough of show of force is made, Putin will back down, is absolutely fundamental to the thinking of much of the ‘Borg’ – and, among others, Hillary Clinton.
    Precisely because it is a belief which is so difficult for them to surrender, there has always been a large risk that at some point they would escalate in a particularly stupid fashion.
    As to consequences for peoples lives, be they in the Middle East or the West, when people are absorbed in their own psychodramas, such things simply aren’t real to them.

  16. irf520 says:

    Or maybe they could call the Saudi and Qatari ambassadors for a little chat in the Kremlin where it could be explained to them that for every Russian aircraft hit by one of their toys a member of one or other royal family might meet with an unfortunate accident.

  17. Jake from Farm State says:

    “In any case, if the Turks provide MANPADS to their jihadis, it would put American warplanes in Syria in danger. If that happens then perhaps someone might give MANPADS to the Kurds?”
    No matter what happens it’ll be Russia’s fault with complicity from the Syrian government. You could have Cmdr. Abu al-Ezz of Jabhat al-Nusra giving a full interview with Der Speigel and showing them selfies with the MANPADS firing at the aircraft (while holding a copy of that day’s Jerusalem Post) and you’d still have some perfumed Pentagon prince threatening Russia for the shootdown.

  18. Willy B says:

    Slightly off topic: The Syrian army has advanced into the Farafira district of central Aleppo. It looks to me like they’re trying to cut the jihadi enclave into two pieces. Do I perceive this accurately?

  19. turcopolier says:

    Willy B
    Seems right to me. pl

  20. Tom says:

    One thing is certain: if a Western airliner ever gets downed by a manpad nobody will fly anymore. That s why we will never hear of an airliner being downed by a manpad even if it really happens. (I believe it already happened)
    That is if it happens once or twice or even thrice. But there is a certain treshold. I don´t know where it is but I certainly know there will be a moment when people will realise they are being lied to. That will be the end of civil aviaton for a while. Not that I think that statistically a few airliners will make much of a difference in aviation being the safest form of travel. It is just that human beings are totally irrational about the dangers of flying.Let us see if the US supporting Syria jihadis will finally let the genie out of the bottle.

  21. VietnamVet says:

    ‘Aleppo must not fall’: US allies to flood city with anti-aircraft missiles
    I read that the Russians have already cut back on helicopter support after one was shot down. R+6 has only two options; allow the jihadists evacuate with their families or kill them block by block. With laser spotting and guided munitions, Russian Air Force can still provide close air support plus the rocket and artillery barrages. Having the planes and helicopters overhead hitting the enemy is a morale booster but not necessary in concrete and rebar rubble.
    The above dire predictions are correct. The world war is escalating for no good reason.
    Elon Musk is colonizing Mars. The hell with the rest of us.

  22. b says:

    The “rebels” also received (at least three) truck mounted BM-21 Grad multiple rocket launchers with up to 40km reach over the last days.
    There is probably more to come.
    MANPADs – believe it when I see it. But there are more groups interested in getting MANPADs. Hizbullah, Houthis, PKK, Taliban, Shabab …
    There was one “PKK” demonstration shot against a Turkish helicopter a year or so ago. It should not be difficult to repeat such. To see a dozen or more over Sanaa would be a delight.

  23. Babak Makkinejad says:

    You wrote:
    “… no longer the Western civilian life is a concern…”
    That was my sense of it too after the French ignored the second letter of Ayatollah Khamenei; which had furnished them the political cover to initiate a discussion with Iran and other enemies of Jihadists on how to destroy that scourge.
    That is when I concluded that France certainly was not interested in destroying Jihadists – she was still trying to see how she could manipulate them to oust the Assad Government in Syria.
    Last May, France blocked Russia’s bid to blacklist Syria militant groups as terrorists. See here:
    Even today, 09/28/2016, France is doing all she can to protect the Jihadists in Aleppo; please see here:
    How can one hope to work profitably with France, a victim of Sunni Muslim terroristic attacks herself, when her own government does not seem to care about the blood of the French?
    And it is not like US has put a gun to the head of Mr. Hollande either; the French are doing this quite willingly.

  24. Valissa says:

    Congress defies the Borg!?!
    Congress overrides Obama’s veto of 9/11 bill https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/wp/2016/09/27/senate-poised-to-vote-to-override-obamas-veto-of-911-bill/
    Congress on Wednesday voted overwhelmingly to override President Obama’s veto of legislation that would allow 9/11 victims’ families to sue the Saudi Arabian government over its alleged support for the terrorists who carried out the attacks. … The Senate vote was 97 to 1 and the House tally was 348 to 77. The bill would allow courts to waive claims to foreign sovereign immunity in situations involving acts of terrorism on U.S. soil. …
    The sharp rebuke of the president’s veto is a sign that Saudi Arabia’s fortunes are waning on Capitol Hill. … Last week,  the Senate voted on a resolution to restrict arms sales to Saudi Arabia until it stops targeting civilians in Yemen. “This is not a time when U.S.-Saudi relations have much popular support on either side,” said F. Gregory Gause, head of the international affairs department at Texas A&M University’s Bush School of Government and Public Service. Just as the Saudis think the administration has tilted too closely to Iran, he said, many U.S. politicians blame Saudi Arabia for the globe spread of Sunni extremism. “I think that’s really simplistic.”
    Yup, sometimes “really simplistic” says it best 🙂
    A more complicated reality…

  25. turcopolier says:

    Willy B
    To be clearer, the Farafira district is a narrow piece of land just to the west and NW of the government controlled Citadel height. The Crowne Citadel hotel was there. I stayed at the hotel once. Nice place. The Farafira is fairly low topographically speaking and I imagine that the government forces are cleaning that up to have an area to act as a secure terrain base for the drive across the waist of East Aleppo. pl

  26. Kooshy says:

    David, I agree, and if I comprehend correctly, you mean the west (still) is so drunken on the Cold War victory that even, the death and destruction on her own wouldn’t bring back the sobriety. I understand that, but I am not sure if average westerner walking in London, Paris or NY understand that. IMO, in this case, sobering only can come back, with a big slap on the face.
    I thank you.

  27. Babak Makkinejad says:

    People are not so irrational, they are rational when they think that they have a handle on the risks; or trust the technical experts and corporate aviation leaders to be doing their utmost to reduce technical risks inhering in aviation.
    They do not like it when they have no control over the risks.
    I agree, however, with your general conclusion.

  28. Ghostship says:

    Yes, I’ve always thought it was the Donetsk/Luhansk rebels but I qualify that by saying that I believe they had no intention of shooting down a civilian airliner. Instead, the available evidence suggests they thought they were shooting down a military transport In the previous month a number of Ukrainian military aircraft had been shot down by the rebels, so the important question is why did the Ukrainians, the responsible authority, continue to allow civilian airliners to fly over a war-zone where they knew SAMs were present and could be capable of reaching the height at which civilian airliners normally fly? Also, why was the aircraft routed about 220 kms south of the Great Circle route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpar?
    The other question that should be asked is how much did the crew of the BUK launcher know about the target? The BUK launcher itself only has target acquisition radar, the full complex is required to really know what you are shooting at and the Dutch have made clear that only a single launcher was present, so the operators had enough information to fire the missile but not enough to know what they were shooting at. The crew were reckless but I’m not sure they were murderous.
    Whenever I think of MH17, I’m also reminded of Iran Air Flight 655 which was shot down under somewhat similar circumstances by the USS Vincennes.
    When the media starts demanding of Russia that it accepts responsibility for the shooting down of MH17, something it was only indirectly involved in, ask how long it took the United States to accept responsibility for the shooting down of Iran Air 655 and the deaths of the 290 passengers and crew.

  29. Ghostship says:

    Nah, the State Department have got there first.
    US warns Russia ‘extremists’ in Syria will exploit vacuum, attack Russian interests, cities
    The US State Department has said that unless Russia “stops violence” in Syria, extremists would “exploit the vacuum” to attack Russian interests and even cities.
    “Extremist groups will continue to exploit the vacuums that are there in Syria to expand their operations, which could include attacks against Russian interests, perhaps even Russian cities. Russia will continue to send people home in body bags, and will continue to lose resources, perhaps even aircraft,” said John Kirby, the State Department’s spokesperson.
    Kirby said if the war continues “more Russian lives will be lost, more Russian aircraft will be shot down.”

  30. Tigermoth says:

    Here is a article that gives an overview from of the Aleppo campaign. It looks like there are three areas of SAA attacks. One in the south, west (middle) and north.
    “September 24th – Aleppo, Syria – Pre-dawn around 4 am, the Syrian Arab Army and allied forces launched the largest phase of an all out offensive in Aleppo, which was declared on September 22nd. At the time of publication, this is an ongoing offensive in the form of a three pronged attack. The map below shows us the starting points of the three pronged attack – in boxes. ”

  31. Walrus says:

    Firstly, I am hoping against hope that any MANPADS that reach Syria are “chipped” via GPS or suchlike and made “region specific” at the factory like DVD players. Preferably they explode on launch, killing the user, outside the designated region.
    If “unchipped” MANPADS reach the jihadis, Col. Lang understates the case – loose MANPADS in the Middle East will not just be a “major disincentive” to airline transport, they will kill it stone dead.
    The mechanism for the demise of air transport will, first, be the unavailability of private insurance for hull loss and second, a lack of passengers once a demonstration is made.
    There is no counter for civil aircraft that I am aware of against MANPADS apart from some fancy threat warning and jammers used by the Israelis and probably VIP fleets. The flare defence and similar military technologies are out of the question because commercial jets are not designed for violent manoeuvring flight.
    As for opportunity, the footprints of the approaches to major airports across the world below ten thousand feet cover thousands of square miles and cannot possibly be secured. Redesigning airspace and requiring commercial jets to adopt a “combat” approach and departure profile is likewise out of the question.
    In our wisdom the world has adopted unencrypted ADS-B (Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast) surveillance as the main tracking technology for all aircraft, meaning the call sign, airline, make, course, speed and position of any aircraft can be received and decoded by anyone with a cheap receiver and a laptop. A not stupid jihadi with an airline timetable is going to be able to pick and choose any target they like.
    To put that another way, our entire air transport system is predicated on a non threatening environment.
    If MANPADS are released, they will escape from the “moderates”. If that happens make sure you fly to secondary airports that use approach paths well away from major cities. The jihadis are not stupid and will try to drop a B747 or A380 into the heart of a major city.

  32. James Loughton says:

    Or, manpads my show up in great numbers in Afghanistan where the US is heavily dependent on helicopters. Once begun, it’s Katy bar the door.

  33. Peter AU says:

    Why would Russia send in a single launcher? If they felt the rebels needed heavier air defence, why not send a system.
    The rebels may or may not have had an operational launcher.
    Four to six weeks before the MH17 shootdown, AP ran an article on Ukrainian BUK systems on the front lines with a photograph of a BUK launcher on a transport near Slovyansk being moved as the front lines moved forwards.
    Why did Ukraine forces have BUK systems on the frontlines? This has never been addressed in the so called investigation.

  34. Peter AU says:

    Hollande was talking of working with Russia in Syria until called into the white house. Something was put to his head.
    Also the same with Australian PM Turnbull. After not allowing AU aircraft to bomb in Syria and being too close to China on the SCS issue, he was also called to the white house from which point in time he toed the US line.

  35. mike allen says:

    Jake –
    Abo al-Ezz is not the commander of al Nusra. He may claim to be, but the commander is Ahmed Hussein al-Shar’a also known as al-Golani.

  36. turcopolier says:

    Mike allen
    No, this creep is a subordinate commander. pl

  37. mike allen says:

    He could be a subordinate commander. But what is eating at me is that if he is subordinate to the al Nusra commander then why does he contradict his boss, who just less than two eeks ago claimed that America was on the side of Assad, Iran, and Russia?

  38. Anna says:

    Oh yes, they will…. Similar to how “nobody saw” the coming of the swarms of sub-Saharan migrants to Europe – and the flood of desperate refugees from the EU/US-destroyed Middle Eastern countries.
    Here is an interesting legal issue that had been completely shunned by all parties till now:
    “The Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 was amended by the Symington Amendment (Section 669 of the FAA) in 1976. It banned U.S. economic, and military assistance, and export credits to countries that deliver or receive, acquire or transfer nuclear enrichment technology when they do not comply with IAEA regulations and inspections. This provision, as amended, is now contained in Section 101 of the Arms Export Control Act (AECA). The Glenn Amendment (Section 670) was later adopted in 1977, and provided the same sanctions against countries that acquire or transfer nuclear reprocessing technology or explode or transfer a nuclear device. This provision, as amended, is now contained in Section 102 of the Arms Export Control Act (AECA).”
    By providing the economic and military assistance to Israel – which is a nuclear state that refuses to become a signatory to nuclear treaty: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-israel-nuclear-treaty-idUSTRE64S1ZN20100529) — the US deciders have been violating the US law. Moreover, “Some 80.8 percent of Americans oppose the $38 billion in “aid” that the Jewish lobby-controlled U.S. Government:” http://newobserveronline.com/81-americans-oppose-aid-israel/

  39. turcopolier says:

    mike allen
    They are lying sons of bitches who are engaged in a wall to wall IO campaign and this guy got off the reservation. pl

  40. PeterHug says:

    Honestly, I am prepared to believe that any of the three parties to the dispute in the Ukraine is capable of shooting down a civilian airliner if they think that serves a critical national policy need (although the bar is probably higher on the part of the Russians).
    I am also prepared to believe that either the Ukrainians or the rebels are capable of having done so completely by mistake.
    As to who actually did it, I withhold judgement as I really don’t think it ever will be unambiguously sorted out.

  41. charly says:

    Iran make their own manpads so i assume Hezbollah doesn’t need Russian ones. But Yemen would be a great market.

  42. charly says:

    Faking a GPS signal is not trivial but it is also not impossible for a terrorist group. For the Syrian state it is probably trivial. For Russia it is. So would i like to see manpads explode in Syria because they think they are in DC? Probably yes, but nobody is stupid enough to use a GPS for geofencing manpads. (in hope)
    ps. If you don’t want to fake a GPS signal but just jamming it than all you need is a credit card and ebay

  43. Ghostship says:

    Why would Russia send in a single launcher?
    I think that’s what the rebels asked for and it’s all they needed to knock down Ukrainian military aircraft. It was difficult to make out what the translator was saying as the speaker was too loud.
    Why did Ukraine forces have BUK systems on the frontlines?
    I guess because they were worried the VVS would come back and blow them to pieces.

  44. different clue says:

    Not the “West” in general. More specifically, rather; the elite governators and overlords of Western societies. And their Borgist courtiers. The rise of Sanders and Trump were signs of revolt by parts of the public against this Overlord Governator view.

  45. different clue says:

    My purely speculative guess as to why the Neo Nazi Coup Regime in Kiev would allow, or even engineer, the flying of commercial air flights into a danger-of-shootdown warzone-airspace is that they wanted such a shootdown to use to agitate the West into supporting them militarily. Just as the rebels used kitchen sarin at Ghouta to try getting the West involved militarily.
    Same basic morality at work.

  46. Prem says:

    Whatever did happen to MH17, I simply don’t believe the Russians lent an SA11 to the DNR.
    It isn’t a manpad. It takes a hihgly trained crew to operate.
    I don’t want to hijack the thread, but the lack of information about ELINT intercepts of the SA11’s radars renders the report of dubious value (from the summary that I have seen). A lot of emphasis is given to eyewitness reports from the puported launch . Compare that to the TWA800 report where the eyewitness reports (from aircrew and others regarding a SAM) were dismissed.

  47. Prem says:

    If the Americans are reckless enough to allow this to happen then it’s hard to see it not having some effect – at least on helicopter operations.
    Maybe it’s the sort of gambit they might pull in the lame-duck session? Then when airliners fall out of the sky, the new administration can deny responsibility.

  48. turcopolier says:

    Does not the lack of Iranian made MANPADS indicate that the Iran supplies the Houthis meme is BS? pl

  49. Prem says:

    GPS can be spoofed with readily available, cheap, off the shelf, transmitters.

  50. Brunswick says:

    Perry’s back to poking holes in the narrative again:
    >>The JIT video report on the MH-17 case, which was released on Wednesday, also didn’t address questions about the location of several Ukrainian Buk missile batteries that Dutch (i.e. NATO) intelligence placed in eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014, the day that MH-17 was shot down. A finding from the Dutch intelligence service, MIVD, released last October, said the only high-powered anti-aircraft missile systems in eastern Ukraine at that time, capable of bringing down MH-17 at 33,000 feet and killing all 298 people onboard, belonged to the Ukrainian military, not the rebels.
    Although the location of the Ukrainian Buk systems would seem to be crucial to the investigation — at least in eliminating other suspects — JIT operates under an agreement with the Ukrainian government that lets it veto the release of information. Ukraine’s SBU intelligence service, which represented the Kiev government in the JIT, also has among its official responsibilities the protection of secret information that could be damaging to Ukraine.<<

  51. kooshy says:

    in case you haven’t seen this, they discuss Syria (apparently last week)
    A Conversation With Javad Zarif”

  52. mike allen says:

    Well, we agree that they are lying sons of bitches.
    I still leave all options open as to who Abu al-Ezz really is. The jury is out as far as I am concerned. He was never heard of before the Todenhofer interview. Maybe he is al-Nusra, maybe a breakaway faction of al-Nusra, maybe a competing jihadi group, or maybe even an IO campaign from Assad which is not unheard of. My BS detector also went up a few clicks with his gold ring and his hiding his lower face. Does he even have a beard. Most of those jihadis do not hide their face unless they are travelling back and forth between Syria and elsewhere.

  53. charly says:

    I’m no expert but i assume that South Yemen had cold war era Soviet manpads. That Yemen bought more weapons later on and that the Saudi’s etc always fly to high to be hit so the Houthi’s have still enough manpads in storage so they would rather be supplied with other weapons.

  54. Outrage Beyond says:

    The U.S. government issued notes of regret for the loss of human lives, but never apologized or acknowledged wrongdoing.[14] George H. W. Bush, the vice president of the United States at the time commented on a separate occasion, speaking to a group of Republican ethnic leaders (7 Aug 1988) said: “I will never apologize for the United States — I don’t care what the facts are… I’m not an apologize-for-America kind of guy.”
    Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iran_Air_Flight_655

  55. kooshy says:

    David, FYI today’ headline here in US is the director of FBI testifying to US congress warns on aftermath of Daesh, which means, as matter of policy making they know they are coming, and will kill some here in the West, but we are not going to change current policy due to our larger objective.
    “FBI Director James B Comey warned that though ISIS will be defeated in Syria in Iraq, “There will be a terrorist diaspora sometime in the next two to five years” in which terrorists will “try to come to western Europe and” the United States to “kill innocent people.”

  56. Bill Herschel says:

    For Russia, I’m repeating myself, regime change in Syria poses an existential threat. Assad must go is really Putin must go. Syria is Chechnya III. Kirby is a bona fide cutie. He’s saying Russia should get out of Syria are they will be destroyed, knowing what the truth really is.
    There is a Spanish Civil War odor to this disgusting American adventure. One wonders how many defeats the U.S. will tolerate before they directly attack Russian troops in Syria.
    The only hope is that the masters of the universe will whisper to Clinton that her revenue stream will be seriously diminished when the world is at war. Let us pray for Clinton greed.

  57. Linda Lau says:

    A certain rebel commander said that he has already received manpads from an unamed foreign country.

  58. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Could be that he was practicing dissimulation when he was suggesting working with Russia in Syria.

  59. dsrcwt says:

    I think also that our elites cannot imagine anything that they would be willing to die for, and as such, cannot imagine that the Russians have absolute red lines that they would be willing to die for.

  60. Abu Sinan says:

    “To see a dozen or more over Sanaa would be a delight.”. I’ll second that. The war in Yemen would look very different after that.

  61. Brunswick says:

    Guess you never noticed bin Laden’s bling, or Zaquiri’s either.

  62. turcopolier says:

    Who is “Zaquiri?” pl

  63. Brunswick says:

    Misspelled, Zawahiri.

  64. jld says:

    I don’t think this is the “Russian style”, they wery well might do it but they will never threaten to or disclose it.
    Compare to the “veiled” threat by the US of more Russian casualties (see Ghostship comment below)

  65. Amir says:

    On top of that the Commander Rogers III of the Aegis Class warship Vincennes (which had violated the Iranian territorial waters at the moment of the launch of the missile) as well as the sailers and air-warfare coordinator (who shot the Iranian civilian aircraft 655), was respectively given the Legion of Merit (for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding service as commanding officer), Combat Action Ribbons and the Navy Commendation Medal, immediately after their return from their tour of duty.

  66. Pundita says:

    Colonel Lang, please see this WaPo report filed by Karen DeYoung last night “U.S. threatens to suspend bilateral engagement with Russia over Syria”
    Once I read past the headline, it seemed to me that the world was treated to a dog and pony show at the UN. I’d say that all of it — Power’s histronics, Kerry’s grandstanding — was Obama’s way of washing his hands of Aleppo. If Putin thinks he can clean up the worst of the mess before Obama leaves office, that’s fine, while the Obama administration looks on suitably horrified.
    From that viewpoint, and from specific statements made to DeYoung, Washington has no intention of distributing manpads.
    As for the Gulfies — Aaron Klein reported to John Batchelor last night that Jerusalem is vehemently against distributing manpads. My interpretation of Aaron’s news is given that Israel is Al Saud’s new Blue Eyed Jinn (after the Obama jinn turned out to be a dud), the Saudis won’t cross Israel in that regard.
    In addition, the Saudis, and the rest of the Gulfies, know that they’re high on al Qaeda’s target list. So while they can make threats, I don’t think they’d actually risk manpads falling into the hands of people who would love nothing more than to shoot down their aircraft.
    As for Turkey — a flea can no longer sneeze in Syria without this being noted by Russia’s eyes in the skies. If Russia catches the Turks smuggling manpads into Syria, I don’t even want to finish that sentence. But Erdogan has surely by now asked himself how it was that the Russians knew he had only minutes to escape during the attempted putsch against him.

  67. Anna says:

    John Kirby, the State Department’s spokesperson: “…more Russian lives will be lost, more Russian aircraft will be shot down..” “https://www.rt.com/usa/360992-us-warns-russia-violence/
    “Foreign Minister Lavrov told Kerry that many US-backed groups are working side by side with the Al-Qaeda affiliate, and brought up media reports that Nusra was receiving weapons from the US. During the press briefing, Kirby said the US had “influence over some of the [rebel] groups but not all.”

  68. Anna says:

    The truth:
    by ROBERT FISK “… when I heard that Peres was dead, I thought of blood and fire and slaughter.
    Shimon Peres… decided to increase his military credentials before polling day by assaulting Lebanon… I saw the results: babies torn apart, shrieking refugees, smouldering bodies. It was a place called Qana and most of the 106 bodies – half of them children – now lie beneath the UN camp where they were torn to pieces by Israeli shells in 1996…
    When I reached the UN gates, blood was pouring through them in torrents. I could smell it. It washed over our shoes and stuck to them like glue. … here was a UN enquiry which stated in its bland way that it did not believe the slaughter was an accident. The UN report was accused of being anti-Semitic.”

  69. Chris Chuba says:

    Does not the lack of Iranian made MANPADS indicate that the Iran supplies the Houthis meme is BS?
    I think it is. The few stories I found regarding alleged captured Iranian shipments involve AK-47’s. I really doubt that the Houthi’s lacked AK-47’s and were begging Iran for those. I don’t know if seizures like these were staged or just routine black market sales being played up to create an Iran angle but it doesn’t smell right to me. The other possibility is that Iran is observing some Cold War type of boundary in how far it is willing to push its differences with the KSA.

  70. Chris Chuba says:

    Babak, are you saying that if the Russians supplied MANPADs to the Houthis that they would sell them to terrorists who would down airliners?
    I think the Gulfies and the U.S. are under some delusion that Cold War 1 started in 1979 and ended in triumph in 1990. People like Max Boot forget that proxy fighting is a vicious, two way street and not fun at all. In Vietnam the Russians supplied SAM missiles, MIG fighter Jets, AK-47’s, and explosives which proved extremely deadly to the U.S.
    The Russians today could recognize the Houthi council as the legitimate govt of Yemen and encourage Iraq, Iran, and maybe even China to do so, declare the blockade to be illegal (it probably is) and then supply them with S300’s and the Pantsir s2. The higher end air defense would be very hard to use by terrorists.
    What leverage do the Saudis have over the Russians ? I don’t think they can threaten to drive down oil prices again given their oil dependence and sucking the KSA into a bigger more expensive war makes the KSA need higher oil prices even more. I am starting to hope that Putin will show these people what fools they are but Putin is a very civilized person.

  71. Patrick Armstrong says:

    C’mon. Why would anyone think that some aircraft flying in a perfectly straight line at 10000 metres towards Russia was a Uke supply aircraft about to land somewhere near them? How long does it take a plane to come down from that altitude?
    PS don’t think about Iran Air flight; think about Siberian 1812 instead.

  72. Jake from Farm State says:

    I’m With Her…itage trains.

  73. irf520 says:

    Maybe – it wouldn’t be a public threat.
    The problem is the people coming up with the silly ideas think any price is worth paying as long as it’s not them paying it. How do you show them the error of their ways without a credible assurance that they will indeed be the ones paying the price?

  74. Degringolade says:

    You know, I think this quote by Obama (Reference to Saudi Bill Override) may well serve as the headline for all the posts here on SST.
    “It has to do with me not wanting a situation in which we’re suddenly exposed to liabilities for all the work that we’re doing all around the world.”

  75. turcopolier says:

    “all the work that we’re doing all around the world.” Yup. You couldn’t sum up their vision of their role in the universe any better. On top of that Fightin’ Joe Scarborough and Mike Hayden pretty much said today on MJ that HC will restore America’s place in the world by forcing Russia to do our will. I am beginning to think that i don’t care if POTUS smokes dope or can’t find Aleppo on a map. pl

  76. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Wait and see how many Muslim leaders or heads of governments present themselves at his funeral.
    The cleavage is complete.

  77. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Specifically about Houthis; I do not know.
    I am just thinking ahead; how the world would shape up if civilian airliners from one specific country let us say Russia – are downed by manpads.
    Will thy take it sitting down?
    Or will they find some clever way of retaliating?
    And what is the end state of such an escalatory ladder?

  78. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Let’s hope so.

  79. ex-PFC Chuck says:

    Last weekend Uri Avnery, an Israeli contemporary of Peres, posted a scathing pre-obituary of him. Avnery’s recap of their interactions over the decades is a pretty good overview of Israeli history since the country’s founding.

  80. Fred says:

    “It doesn’t matter if Jihadis kill civilians,…”
    The FSA has been looking for volunteers for years. You should sign up.

  81. Vic says:

    Does anyone in the administration think before they run their mouth? Lets list the possible 2nd order effects of MANPADS in Aleppo:
    – Force AC to fly at higher altitudes to avoid MANPADS or to maneuver on the bomb run to avoid MANPADS. This would decrease bombing accuracy. Bombs would more often hit outside the target area and possibly increase civilian deaths. The increased inaccuracy will force the Syrians/Russians to plan more sorties per target to make up for the greater inaccuracy which will also increase civilian deaths.
    – Force the air forces to conduct suppression of MANPADS (possibly using air burst cluster munitions, an “area” weapon). What ever munition is used it will greatly increase civilian deaths.
    – We might see Russia introduce armed drones to replace CAS AC.
    – More use of strategic AC (bombers) doing high altitude bombing runs in area carpet combing (increasing civilian deaths)
    – Where possible, artillery and MSL will replace vulnerable air strikes. Both are “area” fire weapons and will greatly increase civilian deaths.
    – As others have stated, the MANPADS will be passed to other terrorist groups, and will be used against civilian airlines (including American), and US military forces in other areas.
    For being so darned concerned by civilian deaths in Aleppo, they seemly don’t care if they cause increased civilian death and destruction as long as the jihadi’s do not lose. Makes you wonder which side they are on. This has got to be State Department/CIA thinking. The military always considers possible 2nd and 3rd order effects (but sometimes accepts the risk anyway).

  82. Jack says:

    Trump made two very substantial points in the debate that the MSM has naturally ignored. First, there would be no nuclear first strike. Second, we will not be the world’s policeman. This a dramatic change of course to less strife, more stability and restraint in our foreign policy.
    This is in sharp contrast to the Borg Queen. This alone is sufficient IMO to vote for Trump. The hypocrisy of the anti-war Democrats is stench worthy as their duplicity is out in the open. I love it when the Hillbots claim that Trump is temperamentaly unsuited when he is the one moving away from the Borg orthodoxy of continuous war, destruction and anarchy.

  83. robt willmann says:

    R+6 has three and a half months. They are focusing on Aleppo, which is probably the most important thing to do right now, with the clock ticking. Trying to clear the western part of Syria would be at the top of the list.
    However, after that, I continue to think that the critical thing is to get control of the Deir ez Zor (Dayr az Zawr) area and then clear out everything east and south of there, as oil and gas pipelines are in that area. If the neocons get back into dominant policy control, along with any other crazies, they will pounce on that area right away because of the oil and gas pipelines, the Euphrates River, and the border with Iraq.
    Here is Obama’s damning admission referred to by Degringolade that he vetoed the “sue Saudi Arabia” law because he did not want the U.S. “exposed to liabilities” for the “work” that we’re doing all around the world. Well, if you are doing “good work” and not hurting people, you do not have to worry about “liabilities”. Obama says it around 1 minute, 40 seconds into the video–
    Is Switzerland worried about creating “liabilities” for any “work” it is doing around the world?

  84. Chris Chuba says:

    How do chipped MANPADS work, do they disable the launcher or explode the missile when its in the air? This dovetails into the next question, where is the chip located, in the launcher or the missile?
    I’m just curious about the GPS spoofing idea to counter chipped MANPADs, would the Russians have to spoof where the launcher is used or just a small area around the targeted Jet? If the U.S. wanted to chip the MANPAD’s using GLONAS would be more inconvenient for the Russians to counter if they needed to do area wide spoofing.
    [I despise the idea of giving MANPADs to the head choppers, this is the geek part of me talking. I’m curious about the technology]

  85. mike allen says:

    Brunswick –
    You are right about bling.
    But there is a claim out there that the site of the interview was at Ayn as Safeer quarry located in Syrian Army controlled territory.
    Early in the video, Todenhofer’s vehicle is led to the interview site by what appear to be Syrian Army soldiers and not jihadis.
    And although al-Ezz claims in the video they are only 200 yards from the battle yet he is wearing immaculate white trousers with not a speck of dust.
    There is the manner in which Abu al-Ezz wears his grenade and wireless, what many claim is similar to how SAA officers wear their gear and not by the opposition.
    Some call out the slippers he wears as a sign that he is part of the SAA (which was long called the ‘slipper army’ by Syrians).
    al-Ezz does not use the fervent religious wording favored by al Qaeda and most if not all salafi jihadists.
    Why does al-Ezz not know that al Nusra changed the name of their organization back in July.
    Now I know that many of these counterclaims might also be hoaxes like they claim about al-Ezz. So I do not put full faith in them. Some are from FSA sources, yes. Others are from Todenhofer’s fellow Germans who may have an axe to grind. But neither do I put full faith in Todenhofer’s account. As I said earlier, Abu al-Ezz may be what he says he is, or he may not be. I will reserve judgement on him until it is confirmed by another source. As both Colonel Lang and FM 2-22.3 HUMINT Collector Operations say: analyze both the reliability of the source and the accuracy of the information. I give this Todenhofer article an F6 rating. Doesn’t mean its true, doesn’t mean its false, it just means there is no way to make a determination.

  86. Chris Chuba says:

    Kirby’s threat to kill Russians
    Yeah, if the Russians said Kirby’s words publicly the headlines in the U.S. would ring out, ‘Russians threaten to kill U.S. troops and home front with terror attacks’ and it would be accurate. However, our media has ignored Kirby’s imitation of Al Capone. This is probably my 10th post on the topic of ‘The U.S. press died after Vietnam’.
    Saudi 9/11 Bill
    No one should get too excited over the Congressional override. It contains a loophole big enough to supply Aleppo for a year.
    “In one of the biggest loopholes in the bill, the attorney general would possess the power to ask a judge to pause any judicial proceeding against a foreign state for 180 days if he or she certified that Washington was engaged in “good faith discussions with the foreign state defendant” on the charges.

    the U.S. government could receive additional 180-day extensions as long as the discussions continued.

  87. turcopolier says:

    mike allen
    One point in favor of your argument is the ring on the man’s left hand. Muslim men are told that wearing gold is to be discouraged under shariah (most). Was it gold? I know not. Want to do some more grammar? How about Arabic verb conjugations? pl

  88. mike allen says:

    Yes I had read somewhere that gold an silk are haram for men. Is there in fact a Sura or Hadith that espouses that? But I suppose many use platinum as a loophole.
    Verb conjugations are not even my favorite in English. And my handling of Vietnamese verbs was so horrific that ARVN and Kit Carson Scouts used to pretend not to laugh when I spoke to them.
    But I would be glad to learn of anything Arabic. I hope that DoD and State are now sending thousands to Arabic language classes DLA or elsewhere.

  89. Babak Makkinejad says:

    عربی کامل ولی فارسی عسل

  90. mike allen says:

    Colonel –
    What do you make of this guy with the Confederate Flag patch on his arm and on his ballcap? He was reputed to be a Russian in the Kurdish Canton of Afrin in Syria. I assume that was based on the T-shirt which looks like the ones that Russian Naval Infantry typically wear. But I am wondering if he is an American volunteer with the YPG, or maybe an American reporter. Do the Russians have any troops in the Kudish areas of Syria?

  91. Jake from Farm State says:

    I will be curious if we see the introduction of EMP weapons by Russia and U.S. The talk about NFZ and shooting down each other’s aircraft seems silly when each side can knock out the avionics of the other side. But I wonder if the Russian military will say “all bets are off” and start zapping all electronics in ISIS and jihadi areas? I think the planned and brazen U.S. attack and slaughter of SAA troops has changed the dynamic way beyond what a mediocre intellect like Breedlove understands and when another mediocre mind like Kirby starts spouting idle nonsense, Strategic Rocket Forces quietly start unsnapping their holster.

  92. kooshy says:

    Babak, I have relatives who are dual citizens of France, and Iran, they live and have homes, in both cities, Paris and Tehran. Last march I was told by some of them, they feel safer walking in Tehran, a city in the middle of all ill troubles of the world, with many surrounding hostiles and enemies, from Mediterranean sea to Hindu Kush, than walking the streets of Paris in the middle of Europe, with no hostility surrounding it. One wonders why is that, everybody knows that militant sunni jahadi islamist with help of west and their regional allies are blood enemies of Shia Iran, but the irony in all this is, while rightfully Iran is fighting them, France is helping them to fight Iran, still, because of her policy France is, and has become unsafer because of them, than Tehran or Iran did. That’s what I meant when I said an innocent citizen of the west’ life is no longer a concern for policy objective in ME, Ukraine, east Asia etc.
    Thank you

  93. turcopolier says:

    mike allen
    That looks like a Russian sailor or Spetsnaz tee shirt. Probably a foreign volunteer. pl

  94. turcopolier says:

    Farsi has many loan words in it from Arabic but is basically an Indo-European language. pl

  95. turcopolier says:

    mike Allen
    In Islamic law there are five possible opinions on every action or inaction (approval, encouragement, neutral, discouraged and forbidden) to know which category wearing gold or silk fits into in a given version of shariah would be a lot of work. There are no tenses in Arabic. I was joking. There are two states of the verb, completed and uncompleted. It is impossible to make a lot of English speakers fluent in Arabic. The language is too difficult and the learning takes too much time out of your life. Most foreigners who claim to speak Arabic are frauds. pl

  96. LondonBob says:

    The rebels were doing perfectly well shooting down UAF jets with MANPADS and low to medium range SAMs, I have no idea why they would suddenly introduce an unwieldy and unneeded BUK.

  97. The Beaver says:

    FYI: Saw this on a twitter a/c via Elijah Magnier site:
    “End user certificate” (LoL) of 2014′ Saudi’ shopping in Ukraine for Yemeni and Syria’n “moderate jihadi group” (est. 300 /500 millions)

  98. different clue says:

    Chris Chuba,
    Perhaps under a President Not-Clinton, if plaintiffs in such a case discovered the attorney general and a judge to be colluding in producing such 180-day pauses, the wised-up plaintiffs might go to Congress seeking a surgically-tailored bill voting to escise that particular little bit of language from the “okay to sue Saudi” law. And if President Not-Clinton were to veto that “pausectomy” bill, perhaps Congress could over-ride President Not-Clinton’s veto. (One could hope that a President Not-Clinton would go ahead and sign such a bill).

  99. different clue says:

    ex-PFC Chuck,
    Unless that is a whole new article Avneri has written, I think I remember reading that Avneri article some time ago on Counterpunch.
    I believe Rabin was trying to move Israeli history in a new direction. And he appeared to be succeeding which is why Likudist elements engineered his assassination. And Peres was too proud to call snap elections and win on a huge sympathy/revulsion vote to first neutralize the Likudists and then carry out the Rabin program. He decided he would just take over the rest of Rabin’s term and show what a tough guy he was and how he would do it even better than Rabin could have. So he threw away the last opportunity there would ever be to crush Likud and purge it from Israel’s public and political life.

  100. b says:

    Lots of bullshit.
    Todenhöfer refutes it here: https://www.reddit.com/r/syriancivilwar/comments/54x4o2/j%C3%BCrgen_todenh%C3%B6fer_responds_to_allegations_about/
    The Jihadi fans still don’t like it? So what. The Green Barrett talking to Murphy essentially confirmed what the interviewee said https://consortiumnews.com/2016/09/29/how-the-us-armed-up-syrian-jihadists/
    As for “golden ring” and such nonsense. I put up pictures on my blog of Osama Bin Laden wearing a gold-looking ring. He wasn’t a Jihadi? According to the CIA Zwahihri also wear a “golden” ring. Check with some Saudi princes. They like rings too.

  101. Brunswick says:

    Todenhofer’s rebuttal:
    b’s column on the issue:
    And an interesting column on The White Helmets, ( long):
    BTW, Todenhofer notes:
    >>Some things cannot be found out from behind a computer screen, but instead one has to move ones ass in person and under big risks into war zones. Online-Heroes sadly never seem to do that. And that is amateurish, half-assed and irresponsible. It seems like I have to report much more from such regions [to educated those]. The lack of knowledge/competence from some critics almost pains me.<< It's basically an open invitation for critics, to out do all major Western reporting on Syria, by actually going to Syria, rather than using jihadi tweets, emails and phone conversations conducted safely from Beruit, New York, London or Paris.

  102. turcopolier says:

    There are many Saudi princes who are sinners. I said I do not know if this man is wearing gold. pl

  103. Walrus says:

    Chris, I don’t know the details of “chipping”. I just assume that because it is possible technically, someone will have already done it. You could also put a timer in it that would inactivate the unit after a few years. If the gadgets are embedded properly in the software and hardware, they will be undetectable and won’t be able to be removed. Spoofing won’t help if the missile software requires a valid set of GPS coordinates before launch.
    There are other variants to this game of supplying ammunition. In Vietnam, we occasionally “lost” hand grenades for the VC to find and use – they were fused instantaneous not Ten second delay. There are all sorts of happy pranks like this – for example, the Russians might decide to supply the rebels with some doctored MANPADS themselves.

  104. Brunswick says:

    Pacifica was pointing out that in the MSM, it doesn’t matter that the jihadi’s kill civilians, hold them hostage, extort them in various “gheema” for aid and basic needs scams, or even, overstates their numbers.
    In the MSM, the only dead civilians that “matter”, are the ones the jihadi claim the R+6 have killed.

  105. Babak Makkinejad says:

    More like from the Himalayas to the Atlas Mountains and from Carpathian Mountains to Kilimanjaro.
    No sense in stirring up and antagonizing such a vast population over such a vast landscape.
    No one is powerful enough to go unscathed.

  106. mike allen says:

    Brunswick & b –
    So, are you two saying that the Todenhofer report is the gold standard and deserves a rating of A1?
    The ‘A’ in the rating meaning the source, Abu al-Ezz has a history of complete reliability, and there is no doubt of his authenticity, trustworthiness or competency.
    The ‘1’ in the rating meaning the information the source provided is logical, consistent with other relevant information, confirmed by independent sources.
    If you believe that please tell me where is the history of Abu al-Ezz’s reliability and authenticity? I never heard of the man before, has anybody?
    Where has his story been confirmed by “Independent sources? I have not seen that confirmation anywhere, just rehashes of the same story in Russian, Iranian and Syrian sources.
    Please note that above I did not say the Todenhover/al-Ezz report was BS. I said it could not be evaluated with what we now know. I choose not to endorse his story until it can be proven with hard evidence.

  107. The Beaver says:

    @ mike allen
    This is a Novorossiya flag w/o the coat of arms

  108. Chris Chuba says:

    Does anyone in the administration think before they run their mouth? Lets list the possible 2nd order effects of MANPADS in Aleppo:
    Vic, I am assuming that you are giving us a classic example of a rhetorical question. To the psychopaths presently in charge of the State Dept and Pentagon this is a win/win. Either the MANPADs will kill Russians or it will force the Russians to kill more civilians and allow Samantha Power to go into another one of her whirling Dervishes at the U.N. She might even write another book.

  109. BraveNewWorld says:

    Every politician on the planet is flying into then out of Ben Gureon air port just over the border in Syria in the next couple of days for Peres’s funeral. Gotta pay tribute to a President that ordered an attack on the UN. Every terror group in Syria will know that. AQ obviously won’t want to take a shot against their Israel buddies but I am sure one of the other groups would want to. If some one gets a lucky shot off things could get interesting in the land of geo-politics.

  110. mike allen says:

    Beaver –
    This patch has the 13 stars on the St Andrews cross, which I thought were not part of the Novorossiya flag??? Was there a variant? And if so what would the thirteen stars stand for?

  111. turcopolier says:

    mike allen
    What would “hard evidence” be? pl

  112. Brunswick says:

    I think you are misreading Pacifica’s comment,
    I am reading it as “it doesn’t matter ( to the MSM and the Borg), if the jihadi’s (other than ISIS, and other than Palmira and der Ezzor), kill civilians, …..( they will blame Assad, not report it or just repeat SOHR claims it was “barrel bombs”),
    I don’t think he/she was expressing support for the jihadi’s.

  113. Anna says:

    “ISIL completely fabricated enemy by USA”, former CIA contractor:” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P_lN1fPfBkU
    The cat is out of the bag

  114. Brunswick says:

    Todenhofer has a stellar “history” in regards to persuing truth,
    and name an “independent journalist” going into jihadi area’s of Syria.
    Those claiming his report is fake, don’t speak any Middle Eastern languages, and have never been to Syria, Regime or jihadi.
    Over time it comes down to the voices you find “beliveable”, Judith Miller, or Scott Ritter, Robert Parry or Oliver North, Seymour Hersh or CENTCOM?
    Do you choose voices that state the uncomfortable, but proven right over time, or the comfortable voices, consistantly proven wrong?
    It’s a matter of “belief”, which can be, but is often not grounded in fact, but instead grounded in a belief system.
    Was the “Mission Accomplished”?
    But what do I know, I’m an old DFH, wrong on everything at the time, according to the MSM, proven right by history. My neighbor’s, gone and washed away by history, because they believed the MSM.

  115. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Every politician on the planet?
    Not the Iranians.
    By the way, the fellow’s original last name was Preske, just as Lauren Bacall’s.
    Perski/Perske – Persian – پارسی
    Heaven only knows how these Persian Jews wound up in Eastern Europe.

  116. mike allen says:

    Not sure what a smoking gun would be Colonel. I believe like you do that you have to separate source from content.
    We do not know this source, Abu al-Ezz. Perhaps if he provides other info in the future that can be corroborated, then he would certainly be judged as having some degree of reliability. As opposed to now when we know nothing about him.
    Hard evidence on the content of the article would be hard to find. The US and others have denied it, so it is a he-said, she-said situation. To prove it we would have to see if it is consistent with other relevant information. We know there are TOW missiles in the hands of some jihadis. We also know that some US armed FSA groups took TOWs into Syria and either defected and gave them willingly to al-Nusra or had them appropriated after they were killed. We have reportedly conducted airstrikes on al Nusra. US backed YPG and SDF have fought with al Nusra. So I do not see any other information out there that is consistent with Abu al-Ezz’s story. Of course there could always be the possibility of a CIA operation gone bad. Either by a rogue operative, or by a confused cock-up when an agent thought he was meeting with friendly FSA forces but got scammed. Such things have happened in other wars. I’m thinking the only confirmation we could get would be other witnesses of known reliability or perhaps a confession if an American was involved.
    Sorry my logic is so convoluted. I was never an analyst and am getting a little old to learn now. I understand that evaluating info such as this is very subjective and open to argument. Would be interested in your opinion on what that evidence should be.

  117. Nuff Sed says:

    I have always thought that Israel’s existence was threatened in the medium- and long-term by technological advances of her enemies, because her existence in Western Asia was and remains an artificial imposition by force (rather than some form of symbiotic relationship or even a detente, which she is apparently incapable of due to her supremacist moorings). In the past decade, Iran has been able to upgrade her missiles to become GPS-capable, making them much more accurate and capable of hitting, say, the Demona nuclear power plant, which would set off a radioactive plume that would kill Israelis in their thousands (in the event of a US and/ or Israeli attack on Iran). But I am curious to know if Iran’s military technology has reached a stage where it can produce manpads which are capable of putting a stop to air travel to and from Israel. And if so, whether this capability in the hands of Hezbollah is a game-changer?

  118. b says:

    Many independent sources have earlier confirmed the content of the information al-Ezz provided.
    The Nusra and “moderates” are practically one is long known – see 2012(!) DIA paper. That the “moderate” FSA are mere logistic forces moving stuff from the CIA to Nusra is also well documented (Pentagon trained/supplied folks went over border, handed weapons immediately to Nusra).
    Can you add one and two? Here is a test:
    “According to rebel sources, the core opposition factions with whom U.S. Special Envoy Michael Ratney has remained in contact include the Damascus-centered Army of Islam; opposition faction and Islamist movement Ahrar al-Sham; major Aleppo-area factions Harakat Nour al-Din al-Zinki and the Levant Front; and several others.”
    “Meanwhile, in nearby Hama province, FSA groups armed with U.S.-made anti-tank missiles are taking part in a major offensive with the al Qaeda-inspired Jund al-Aqsa group.”
    It is the Zinki groups, which Ratney consoles, that officially (with public announcement) went over to Jund al-Aqsa. “Jund al-Aqsa” IS Nusra/al-Qaeda not just “inspired” as Reuters obfuscates.
    The Green Barrett Murphy reported on (discussed on this site) confirms all this again.
    As for the veracity of the person – who knows – surely doesn’t uses real name – Todenhöfer says he knows, in detail, who he is and Todenhöfer is known as very reliable. You may not always like his opinions or conclusions but he reports straight and he can’t be bought.

  119. Giroro says:

    Mon Colonel,
    the Borgs are more and more like the Shaddocks aren’t they?

  120. turcopolier says:

    mike allen
    The source has to have a demonstrated record of access and veracity. I don’t follow the German press and have no idea of Todenhofer at this point other than what our German friends write. i am inclined to take “b”‘s opinion on this until I receive other information. pl

  121. turcopolier says:

    “I’m an old DFH, wrong on everything at the time, according to the MSM, proven right by history.” So how long have you been in Canada? What was it hat history proved you right about? pl

  122. mike allen says:

    Colonel –
    I have no idea of Todenhofer either. Some Germans call him a saint, others say he is a conspiracy theorist wrong on everything. So again it is he-said, she-said. Perhaps Ulenspiegel or one of the other Germans that sometimes comment here could weigh in on that?
    But in my mind the source that has to have a demonstrated record of access and veracity is Abu al-Ezz and not Mr Todenhofer.

  123. jld says:

    “Sorry my logic is so convoluted.”
    Have you tried not lying?
    It’s much simpler I assure you.

  124. jld says:

    No, no, no, you cannot fault the Shadoks on logic:

  125. mike allen says:

    jld –
    I’ve been accused of much worse believe me. But the only time I ever recall deliberately lying was back in 1949 when I told my Dad that it must have been someone else who clogged up the toilet with a toy wooden duck. He beat that out of me with his belt.

  126. Thomas says:

    “Perhaps Ulenspiegel or one of the other Germans that sometimes comment here could weigh in on that?”
    Why do you specifically call for him?

  127. mike allen says:

    Thomas –
    Any would do for me. Ulenspiegel was the only one whose name came to mind. Is there something wrong with him in your opinion? Is he not politically correct enough?

  128. Thomas says:

    Nothing wrong with him.
    “Is he not politically correct enough?”
    Apparently Todenhofer is to you,

  129. mike allen says:

    Please go back and read my comments on Mr Todenhofer. Nowhere did I claim or imply that Todenhofer was wrong or lied or anything else detrimental.
    What I said was that there was currently no way to fairly judge the veracity of Mr Abu al-Ezz or the story he related. It may turn out to be true as we learn more. Or we may never know the answer.
    But if you want to put full faith in al-Ezz and the story feel free, No sweat off my nose. I myself still prefer more evidence.
    Todenhofer may well be PC enough for both of us if what al-Ezz said turns out to be true. I’ll wait for confirmation.

  130. Fred says:

    “self-evident virtue”
    In some respects this has been a Northern American problem since 1865. Reinforced again in 1964.

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