800 IS KIA at Ghanem Ali, Syria


" …According to the statement, over 800 ISIS members, 13 battle tanks, 39 pickup trucks armed with large-caliber machine guns and 9 mortars and artillery guns have been destroyed during the clashes in the Ghanem al-Ali village area near the Euphrates River."  SF


Ghanem ali means Ali's sheep.  Ghanem al-ali would mean sheep belonging to the Ali.  This probably means that the people of that village are known as The Ali.  Pedantic detail?  Sure.  Enjoy.

As we expected the ineptitude of IS in positioning themelves in a concentration mass in a penetrating salient has cost them dearly.  Oh well, another day, another 800 men.

This must have been a tough day for the sheep and their owners.

I listened to Rex Tillerson talk about Syria and Iraq today on Fox New Sunday.  He did not say a word about what Russia or Syria are doing in Syria.  Nevertheless, coordination between the US and Russia continues.  pl


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64 Responses to 800 IS KIA at Ghanem Ali, Syria

  1. Dmcna says:

    This is a significant proportion of ISIS fighters. As well as being reckless in creating the salient, the offensive also seemed a little pointless. It has been suggested they just wanted a victory no matter where. Or did they really think it would be successful enough to relieve the siege of Raqqa? I would have guessed that under increased attack from the air and pressure on the ground at all borders that ISIS are moving their troops around the area under their control less than they did a couple of years ago. Then this 800 killed represents a really high proportion of their fighters north of Deir Ezzor along the Euphrates. What bad timing when SAA is able to reinforce with troops from the Homs pockets. I think the road down the south bank of the Euphrates just got a lot easier.

  2. steve says:

    Is it too soon to start talking about what happens after IS no longer holds territory?

  3. Henshaw says:

    800 fewer reinforcements for the end-game in Deir Ezzor. Also raises the question of the destination of IS forces retreating from Tel Afar. Will they head for DZ, and if they do, will Coalition air forces attack them as relentlessly as the Russians and Syrians have attacked retreating IS forces on the western side of the Euphrates?

  4. turcopolier says:

    I would think a countrywide search for IS supporters and a drive to liberate Idlib Province. pl

  5. blowback says:

    I suspect they were hoping to prove that God is on their side by creating a miracle. Otherwise, the supply of virgins might dry up.

  6. Lemur says:

    More good news:
    The Qalamoun offensive has ended in success. What’s left of ISIS there have agreed to evacuation to Deir Ez Zor. This resolves the last pocket left on the Lebanese border. It releases Republican Guard troops for other fronts.

  7. Lemur says:

    A major push to end the jihadi infestation in East Ghouta could be on the cards. Right next to the Syrian capital, that pocket is a real pain, enabling the terrorists to disrupt life in Damascus on a whim (shelling trade fairs, embassies, etc). It also ties down many crack units from the Republican Guard and the 4th Mechanized Division who would be then freed up for future major operations in Idlib.

  8. turcopolier says:

    Idlib should be a higher priority. pl

  9. eakens says:

    This is great news, however now that IS is doomed to failure, I’m afraid the war talk is going to be ratcheted up significantly vis-a-vis Iran in Syria.

  10. b says:

    I doubt the 800 killed that the SAA claims.
    I don’t doubt that it was a great success.
    The Russians report 52 destroyed vehicles. Usual during this conflict was (except for inner cities) a 1-to-4 up to 1-to-6 relation between the number of vehicles destroyed and the number of combatants killed. That 502 vehicles were destroyed would thereby point to some 200-300 ISIS killed.
    That is still a quite high number but one must keep in mind that 1,800 ISIS only recently fled from Tal Afar and went towards east-Syria. 200 are now additionally coming from the Lebanese-Syrian border.
    There are still enough ISIS left to give a quite bloody fight around their remaining Euphrates enclaves or to temporarily “vanish” into desert hamlets or caves.

  11. PVP says:

    Idlib has become more self-contained over time given every time the forces there launch any offensive action they get firmly put back in their box. It does give Turkey a route for causing mischief though.

  12. Old Microbiologist says:

    They were literally decimated. Add in the demoralization and it is going to collapse into a fight to escape death. I saw somewhere yesterday that the US evacuated by helicopter some of the ISIS leadership out of Deir Ezzor. It is hard to say what is truthful but it is certainly believable. I think the proxy fighters will be moved to a new gambit. Maybe Pakistan or Turkmenistan?

  13. elaine says:

    Colonel, Channel surfing on tv I discovered RT has a station. The video
    they showed about Idlib went into more detail than their website
    “New 25,000-strong Syrian terrorist force unites 70 gangs-Russian General Staff”

  14. johnf says:

    Things are happening very fast:
    “Two top US-backed SDF commanders defect to Syrian Army
    BEIRUT, LEBANON (11:45 A.M.) – Two top commanders from the US-backed, Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have defected to the Syrian Arab Army (SAA).
    The defectors are from the SDF’s Jund al-Haramayn Brigade – an Arab formation within the Kurdish-led alliance – and include the top commander of the formation, Ibrahim al-Banawi, and fellow officer Fayad al-Ghanem.
    The Jund al-Haramayn Brigade is, according to reports, located in the area of Manbij, suggesting that the SDF commanders defected to the Syrian Army via co-joining lines in north Aleppo or possibly southern Raqqa.
    Both defected officers have since met with top commander of the SAA’s elite Tiger Forces Division Suheil al-Hassan.”

  15. turcopolier says:

    I do not think IS is a proxy for the US. Where did you see this? pl

  16. turcopolier says:

    “I doubt the 800 killed that the SAA claims.” Russian MOD stated these losses not the SAA. pl

  17. SteveK says:

    Journalist Interrogated, Fired For Story Linking CIA And Syria Weapons Flights
    A months-long investigation which tracked and exposed a massive covert weapons shipment network to terror groups in Syria via diplomatic flights originating in the Caucuses and Eastern Europe under the watch of the CIA and other intelligence agencies has resulted in the interrogation and firing of the Bulgarian journalist who first broke the story. This comes as the original report is finally breaking into mainstream international coverage.
    Investigative reporter Dilyana Gaytandzhieva authored a bombshell report for Trud Newspaper, based in Sofia, Bulgaria, which found that an Azerbaijan state airline company was regularly transporting tons of weaponry to Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Turkey under diplomatic cover as part of the CIA covert program to supply anti-Assad fighters in Syria. Those weapons, Gaytandzhieva found, ended up in the hands of ISIS and al-Qaeda terrorists in Iraq and Syria.
    The Bulgaria-based journalist obtained and published dozens of secret internal memos which were leaked to her by an anonymous source as part of the report. The leaked documents appear to be internal communications between the Bulgarian government and Azerbaijan’s Embassy in Sofia detailing flight plans for Silk Way Airlines, which was essentially operating an “off the books” weapons transport service (not subject to inspections or tax under diplomatic cover) for the US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM), Saudi Arabia, Israel, Germany, Denmark, and Sweden. Silk Way Airlines has been the subject of other recent investigations involving weapons supplies for the Saudi war on Yemen. In addition, the military monitoring site Balkan Insight has exposed similar weapons cargo flights in and out of neighboring Serbia…

  18. turcopolier says:

    You think it is believable that the US secretly runs IS? If that is so why did we react to their conquest of Iraq by re-introducing our forces and greatly assisting the Iraqi government’s re-conquest of Mosul? Why have we been bombing the s–t out of IS? Why are we helping the SDF take Raqqa from IS? I have a lot of information on the air effort and it is massive. pl

  19. turcopolier says:

    It is long established that the CIA (and earlier DoD)carried out Obama Administration policy of supporting snti-Syrian government forces including people who were either openly or covertly Al-Qa’ida associated. We never supported IS (Daesh). pl

  20. Anna says:

    Inconvenient truths

  21. Anna says:

    Here is more on the CIA and the SOCOM (Pentagon Special Operations Command) material support for the jihadists: http://www.voltairenet.org/article197144.html
    “Since the beginning of the Arab Springs, a gigantic arms traffic was organised by the CIA and the Pentagon in violation of a number of resolutions by the UNO Security Council. All the operations that we will be mentioning here are illegal under international law, including those organised publicly by the Pentagon.
    In 2012, when Hezbollah attempted to unearth the CIA / SOCOM network, an attack was perpetrated against a number of Israëli tourists at Burgas airport, the nerve centre of the traffic. Ignoring the Bulgarian police enquiry and the report of the medical examiner, the Borissov government blamed the crime on Hezbollah, and the European Union labelled the Lebanese Resistance as a «terrorist organization.»
    According to Jeremy Binnie and Neil Gibson of the professional arms magazine Jane’s, the US Navy Military Sealift Command launched two tenders in 2015 for the transport of arms from the Romanian port of Constanta to the Jordanian port of Aqaba. The contract was won by Transatlantic Lines [6]. It was implemented on 12 February 2016, just after the signature of the cease-fire by Washington, in violation of its engagement. …
    The total of these operations represent hundreds of tonnes of weapons and ammunition, perhaps even thousands, mainly paid for by the absolute monarchies of the Gulf, allegedly to support a «democratic revolution». In reality, these petro-dictatorships only intervened to dispense the Obama administration with having to explain themselves to the US Congress (Operation Timber Sycamore) and cement their belief that the moon is made of green cheese [10]. All of this traffic was under the personal control of General David Petraeus, first of all via the CIA, of which he was the director, then via the financial investment company KKR, for which he worked thereafter. He benefited from the assistance of senior civil servants, sometimes under the presidency of Barack Obama, and then – massively – under that of Donald Trump. …
    The Hebrew state, which pretended to be neutral during the whole of the Syrian conflict, nonetheless bombed the Syrian Arab Army on many occasions. Each time Tel-Aviv recognised the facts, it pretended that it had destroyed the arms destined for the Lebanese Hezbollah. In reality, all these operations, with perhaps a single exception, were coordinated with the jihadists. So today we learn that Tel-Aviv supervised the deliveries of arms to these same jihadists, so that although Israël limited itself to the use of its air force to support them, it did in fact play a central rôle in the war.
    According to the international conventions, the falsification of certificates of final delivery, and the supply of weapons to mercenary groups who overthrow legitimate governments, or destroy recognised states, are considered to be international crimes.”

  22. mike says:

    Colonel –
    It is not true. But the propaganda that US is supporting Daesh is everywhere. It was started by Assad. But it has spread a thousandfold. Russian twitter bots maybe?

  23. Farmer Don says:

    “I listened to Rex Tillerson talk about Syria and Iraq today on Fox New Sunday. He did not say a word about what Russia or Syria are doing in Syria. Nevertheless, coordination between the US and Russia continues. pl”
    Also a few posts ago 600,000 Syrians are returning to their homes.
    Isn’t it amazing that this one part of presidential policy is running w/o leaks, and seemingly with a secure communication channel to Russia. Also Pres. Trump I assume knows what is going on as well as the people who post on this blog, but he is able to resist tweeting about it, or speaking about it at his rallies.
    Does this indicate that Pres Trump is playing a much deeper game than appears on the surface, or am I reading more into it than exists?
    Even his bombing of an empty Syrian runway a couple months ago makes more sense in this context.
    Sorry to ramble on, but up here north of North Dakota almost everyone believes Trump is nuts. I say he has done some good things, and mention 600,000 people being able to return home.
    Now, I’m afraid they think I’m nuts too!

  24. Lemur says:

    check out Bitchute:
    It’s recently emerged harnessing web-torrenting technology as a free speech alternative to youtube.

  25. Lemur says:

    SAA is making gains at an increasing rate. Tiger Forces are now within 50 – 60 kms of Deir Ez Zor City on the As Sukhnah axis of advance.
    In open desert with no air force and limited armour, ISIS can’t be having much fun.

  26. Old Microbiologist says:

    A Russian site with low credibility but with some video but that can come from anywhere. I did offer my doubtfulness of it but that doesn’t mean I don’t believe it could happen. I do think the IS is a proxy force as is AQ. This has been well born out by the direct support both receive from the US such as the US coalition forces bombing the bridges and SAA in Deir Ezzor in support of the IS attack there. The lack of any meaningful air attacks on IS forces before the Russians showed us up is another good example. The Israelis give direct support to IS in the Golan Heights region (such as medical aide). We have repeatedly been caught out providing weapons to rebel forces which quickly are found in the IS repertoire. That can’t be by accident. Like it or not the US assists terrible actors when it suits our purposes. We are all about regime change in Syria, Russia, Venezuela, Cuba, etc. and we will provide hypocritical support to the very same enemies we purport to be at war with. Benghazi comes to mind as another place we supported the same terrorists and I believe the reports that US aircraft were used to move AQ fighters from Libya to Turkey for use against the SAA in Syria.

  27. Annem says:

    Ghanem and the Arabic language:
    “غانم [ghanem]” refers to a “looter” or most probably, in olden times, a rustler. “غنيمة [Ghaneema]” is the loot/booty you collect in a raid. “غنم [Ghenem]” means sheep or as a verb, to loot. “غنام [ghanaam]” is a shepherd.
    Ghanem [m] and Ghaneema [f] are used as first or family names in the Gulf and among tribes elsewhere usually the same as a near or distant relative and absent the original meaning. Ghanem al Ali probably refers to a person with those first and family names. Who knows? Maybe this ancestor was famous for his exploits in tribal raiding, a common way to redistribute wealth in the deserts of old.

  28. aleksandar says:

    – Is this information vetted : accuracy,timeline, multiple sources and so on.
    – You point out US, but it can Russia or Syria exfiltrating spies, or another country exfiltrating national,Iraq, Qatar, SK, Bahrein…….Israel.

  29. turcopolier says:

    Interesting but it could also mean what I said it probably means. What is your background in Arabic? pl

  30. turcopolier says:

    “the direct support both receive from the US” Absolute bullshit. there are various discrepancies in the accounts you have given of your background and I doubt who you say you are. pl

  31. eakens says:

    The question is imo not whether we may not support IS directly, but how do we ensure our weapons deliveries into that region are not ending up in the wrong hands? It’s no secret that the US is shipping massive amounts of weapons under cover.

  32. turcopolier says:

    I think the past tense would be true with regard to shipments to AQ affiliates and never to IS except by capture. pl

  33. jld says:

    The propaganda that Assadd used chemical weapons is everywhere and has spread a thousandfold, CIA bots maybe?
    Why would Assad not play this game too?

  34. turcopolier says:

    farmer don
    You see, all you had to do is wait until got around to moderating your comment. I wouldn’t push the comparison of leaders too far. you have Trudeau, the shirt model “end of history” type. pl

  35. mike says:

    jld –
    Assad plays that game very well. Maybe the CW stories were spread a thousandfold but they were counteracted a million-fold. Assad’s Foreign Ministry has also tried to claim that the rebels are using chemical weapons from the US and UK.
    And although it was never resolved as to which side conducted the sarin nerve gas attacks, both the UN and the OPCW explicitly stated that Syrian military used chlorine bombs in Talmenes and Sarmin. Non-partially they also stated that the Daeshis undeniably used sulfur-mustard weapons in Marea.

  36. shepherd says:

    YouTube is not the government and can set whatever guidelines it pleases without violating free speech. Besides, the videos are not censored, they’re simply not collecting ad dollars (which they also weren’t, for all practical purposes, doing before). YouTube would, until last year, put a Snuggie ad next to a KKK video. It didn’t care. So brands got angry at this, and they’re the ones driving these guidelines. If you think about it, there’s a very wide range of what’s not suitable for advertising, since brands don’t want to get associated with controversial topics. I’m a little surprised to find that Ron Paul colors outside the lines, but he’s about where I’d expect the line to be.
    You can find people on both fringes complaining about this, but it would make little financial difference to the vast majority of them anyway. Ron Paul videos have a low viewership, and ads do not pay much. By my back of the napkin calculation, he was probably not making enough ad dollars to buy lunch.

  37. Kooshy says:

    Apparently the source of that news ( US airlifting ISIS leadership out of DZ) was the MI6 propaganda Syrian news shop in London, the so called Syrian observatory for HR. IMO is tough to analysis what such a news was released through a friendly outlet.

  38. Old Microbiologist says:

    I wonder why you took this personal? It is beneath you.
    Let me be very clear. I do not think IS is managed or directed by the US. I do believe we let them run free when it suited our purposes and this likely involved some direct assistance when necessary. We always were going to have to remove them from the board once the Assad regime was replaced. However, things took a turn and now we are seriously devoted to their destruction and we have lost out on the regime change gambit. We are now trying desperately to carve out the north into a new state but this is also being circumvented by Russia and Turkey. One may ask why we invaded Syria illegally at all?
    Now some links to partially validate my assertions. You can take them or leave them but these are relatively reliable.
    There are many such out there and yes, a lot of this is obfuscation and misdirection. It is a fact that the US has bombed the SAA in Deir Ezzor and a fact that the weapons from Bhengazi ended up in IS hands. There is a lot more such as Israel buying all that oil from IS and that we deliberately didn’t bomb the tanker convoys. We could go all the way back to the original creation of IS and Al Bhagdadi which is fishy.

  39. turcopolier says:

    You don’t know why I took this personally? Well then, I could not possibly explain it to you. pl

  40. Henshaw says:

    Source is possibly this SOHR report of helicopters in the night- http://www.syriahr.com/en/?p=72782

  41. turcopolier says:

    It is beneath me? In my service to the US nothing was beneath me but victimization of women and children and betrayal of friends. pl

  42. What is the difference between Al Queda and IS when it comes to their ideology?
    I don’t see any difference. One may be a few milliseconds quicker in cutting off your head but besides that I view them as one and the same.

  43. turcopolier says:

    Harlan Easly
    They are rivals for authority in Islam which is a seamless garment with regard to authority. pl

  44. Lemur says:

    That’s why it has to be regulated as a public utility. In practice, virtual spaces are the public square. The reason why government was prohibited from interfering with free speech was because in the 18th century, governments were the primary threat. But today, monopolistic corporations are, and if they’re not required be impartial regarding the speech on their platforms, there won’t really be ‘free speech.’
    Saying ‘we have freedom of speech’ because the govt won’t interfere is about as meaningful as saying the Queen still runs the UK.

  45. mike says:

    OMB –
    Regarding your DeZ wikipedia link I see you used the much truncated mobile version.
    In the full version they note that the attack was conducted by Danish, British and Australian aircraft in addition to US ones. It also mentions that the Syrian soldiers “wore a mix of tradition wear, civilian attire and military style clothing that lacked uniformity,” which was reportedly a factor leading to the conclusion that they were ISIS militants. Do you suspect that the Danes, Brits and Aussies are all in on some kind of plot with ISIS also? If so, your tinfoil is showing.
    I have some tinfoil theories myself. The RAAF in addition to their two F-18s that participated in the attack also had an E7 Wedgetail AEW&C aircraft on station above DeZ at the time. Seems to me that would indicate that the Aussies coordinated the attack. Neither the US nor the Coalition has ever made such a charge. But it makes sense to my military mind. Plus there is the fact that it was Australia that made a statement after the attack that the forces on the ground were “not wearing recognizable military uniforms or displaying identifying flags or markings”.
    In any case, whoever controlled the attacking aircraft, it was a tragic and catastrophic case of blue-on-gray error. As soon as the coalition was notified by the Russian hotline the attacks stopped immediately. Another tinfoil theory of mine: why did the Russian hotline delay notification to the coalition for half an hour after they knew of the incident?

  46. LeaNder says:

    Sorry, correction closing bold tag

  47. Bandolero says:

    pl, Stevek
    What I find remarkable in this old Bulgarian story is that it came to a greater audience because Qatari TV Channel “Al Jazeera English” pushed it now.
    I’ld see this as a sign that Qatar is drifting further away from Saudia and the agenda of regime change in Syria.

  48. turcopolier says:

    “It is beneath you” is a standard line served up by hasbarim when “the reveal” comes. pl

  49. eakens says:

    Speaking of Hasbara .. here’s an oldie but goodie:

  50. aleksandar says:

    1 – “Another tinfoil theory of mine: why did the Russian hotline delay notification to the coalition for half an hour after they knew of the incident?
    Problem, russians have complained that they have one hour long tried to call their US counterpart. Nobody responded or called back.
    2 – The ” “not wearing recognizable military uniforms or displaying identifying flags or markings”. is just a joke, in this case, you delay action until complete and clear identification. If not, you cancel.
    3 – These military genius were unable to see that in that zone all defense lines were oriented south, east and north ? Facing Isis ? Not Deir Ez Zor ? That all armored vehicles have their back turned to Deir Ez Zor ?
    4 – They didn’t have map of opposite forces locations ? SAA was there months and months before !

  51. blowback says:

    “Over 800 ISIS terrorists, 13 tanks, 39 pickup trucks equipped with large-caliber machine guns and 9 mortars and artillery guns have been destroyed, the Russian Defense Ministry said.”
    As seems usual, there is no mention of the number of plain pickups (not “technicals”) destroyed. So without knowing how many of those were destroyed, its difficult to estimate the maximum possible number of ISIS cultists killed. And the number of ISIS cultists carried in a plain pickup that might have been typical when ISIS was at its peak and had ready access to all the pickups it needed would not be the same as the number carried today now that ISIS is on its way out.

  52. blowback says:

    From what I understand CENTCOMM provided the Russians with the coordinates for the attack and they were far enough away from the defences of Deir Ez-zor that the Russians weren’t concerned. Having provided those coordinates to the Russians, why did the USAF with all of it’s alleged network capabilities then go and bomb a location with completely different coordinates? I thought that the point of the network capabilities was to allow coordinates to be entered once only.
    So, I could understand the USAF and its poodles dropping bombs on any SAA forces passing through the location provided to the Russians as being accidental but “accidentally” dropping them on a well-established SAA position with completely different coordinates. Really? Did the USAF subsequently demand a refund of all the billions of dollars it’s spent networking its aircraft from the contractor who did the work? No, so the hardware and software were working to spec.
    So, if this attack wasn’t launched for a reason then you have to accept that the USAF is not particularly competent just like the USN at the moment.
    As for the reason the attack was launched, how about CENTCOMM not wanting to get into bed with the Russian coordinating air operations over Syria by pissing off the Russians so much that they give up on the agreed plan in disgust which is what happened.

  53. sid_finster says:

    I don’t understand why Turcopolier would take such accusations personally.
    He himself might have honor or standards, but it is absurd to think that those who served with him all necessarily share them.
    In fact, I’d go so far as to say that most of our institutions are run by persons who could be fairly described as “sociopaths”. Why should the military be any different?

  54. Annem says:

    Fully fluent in Arabic. Began living in the region in 1968 as a grad student.
    As for the meaning of the words, it’s all about what comes before, after and in-between the trilateral root, gh-n-m. What or who the village was named after may or may not follow a region-specific naming tradition among the nomadic and semi-sedentary tribes in the area. Someone from the area or an anthropologist might have the answer to that question.

  55. Red Cloud says:

    Yea it must be Assad or Putin’s fault. It couldn’t possibly be the countless airdrops that just so happened to fall into Daesh territory. You don’t agree so it MUST be putin bots. Hilarious

  56. Red Cloud says:

    The coalition blatantly bombs Syrian forces on a critical front that they have no business interfering in, and your primary concern is about how long it took Russians to communicate with the coalition. Pathetic

  57. Red Cloud says:

    Thank you for clearing up the BS with facts

  58. mike says:

    Aleksandar –
    I agree 100% with your points #2, 3, and 4. The operation was a massive f*ck-up by the Coalition. It never should have happened. IMHO redress should be made, and the people responsible should be held accountable and amends should be made. There is no room in today’s world for friendly or (un)friendly fire incidents of this type. But blue-on-blue or blue-on-gray incidents seem to be increasing rather than decreasing. That in spite of the attempted training fixes, technology advances, and tactical adjustments. Jon Krakauer’s book on Pat Tilman cites 21 percent of the casualties in World War II were attributable to friendly fire and 52 percent of the casualties in the first Gulf War. That is a 150 percent increase.
    Regarding your point #1: I respectfully disagree. Russia called US CENTCOM at 4:25 p.m. (14:25Z). The designated contact was away from his desk at the time so the Russian operator “elected to wait to speak to their usual point of contact (POC) rather than pass the information immediately to the Battle Director”. When a subsequent Russian call to US CENTCOM was answered at 4:52 p.m. (14:52Z) the coalition aircraft ceased fire immediately and left the area. During that 27 minute gap 15 of the 37 total strikes could have been aborted.

  59. mike says:

    Blowback –
    You are right that mistakes were made on passing info on the hotline regarding location of the airstrikes. The Coalition hotline operator misinformed his Russian counterpart that the strikes were to occur 9 km south of the Deir Ezzor airfield. A bad mistake as they were actually planned to occur 9 km south of Deir Ezzor city. That is approximately a three to six thousand meter difference which led to the tragedy.
    All of the world’s Air Forces, including my own, are incompetent when it comes to these blue-on-blue or blue-on-gray incidents. See my response to Aleksandar above.
    But to use such incidents for agitprop saying it was deliberate in order to assist the Da’esh is as bad or worse, increasing hate and mass paranoia and doubling down on the possibility of starting a worse conflict than what is going on now.

  60. turcopolier says:

    I will try to explain as a parting gesture. This is not a site for those who think I “MIGHT have honor or stamdards.” Nor os it a site fpr those who thing the US is run by sociopaths. Life is too short. Go play with the other utopians. pl

  61. aleksandar says:

    That’s why I pointed out disturbing facts without drawing conclusions.
    IMO the lack of professionalism can perfectly explain this tragedy.
    And it’s, by htself ,a hugde problem.

  62. confusedponderer says:

    re Al Queda and IS being rivals for authority in Islam:
    I read that one of the main differences between the two is that IS wants the caliphate NOW, and have declared the caliphate NOW, in Raqqa.
    The joke is that, naturally, Al Quaeda wants a caliphate too, but later. They still allow the Saudis religious things to rule over. That makes AQ more acceptable for the Saudis.
    In contrast to AQ, IS by wanting and declaring the caliphate NOW challenges Saudi claims to have the authority in these matters. The Saudis assert that it is THEIR role of having the practical authority in Islam today.
    IS thus is a practical problem for the Saudis, they challenge Saudi ‘way of government’. IS is as much a problem for AQ. That is to say that IS is a sort of jihadi that has the Saudis in their target just as they have Assad, Russians, Shia, Alawites, Christians, Iranians or the US in their target.
    If the Saudis support, arm and/or finance IS, even if they do so indirectly, they are digging on their own grave. IS likely likes to happily take all arms and money that come from the Saudis, but then IS has its own odd way ot saying ‘thank you’: There probably would be a lot of Saudi princes being killed by them, despite any help given.
    In my view IS is unlikely to support Saudi claims to authority in and on Islam in questions like when to create a caliphate. In fact IS has demonstrated that they give a piss about what the Saudis think about their Raqqa caliphate. It’s to IS not any princes who determine whether or not have a caliphate but the believers themselves.
    It’s worth to keep in mind that practically all that IS wants and fiercely enforces is their religious duty, their religious law and their religious government – of course under AL Quaeda/ IS understanding of what that means (i.e. at the expense of any non-sunni).
    IS doesn’t have, to the extent I saw and read it, much respect for Saudi style ‘authority in and on Islam’ or the more mundane ‘accommodations’ made in Saudi Arabia.
    And as for IS and AQ, if there wasn’t Assad, the Syrian army and the Russians kicking their asses, IS might end up fighting out with AQ who is the really ‘real jihadi’.

  63. mike says:

    Red Cloud –
    “hilarious” did you say?
    I think it was a tragedy. Too bad it has been turned into a celebrity cause for America haters. Colonel Lang, our host, said it best:
    “Go play with the utopians.”

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