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Open Thread – Russian Plane Brought Down in Syria

Stock image – Russian IL-20 surveillance plane.

Last night, a Russian IL-20 military surveillance plane went missing over Syria, presumably shot down. Fifteen Russian personnel are presumed dead. This took place during an (illegal) attack by Israeli F-16 jets. At the same time, RT reported that Russia had detected missile launches from a French frigate in the Mediterranean.

This morning, Russia has formally complained to Israel – claiming the Israeli military gave less than 1 minute of warning, and then used the Russian plane as cover, causing the Syrian air defenses to bring down the friendly plane.

Speculation was rampant last night, with initial reports that Russia was blaming France for shooting down their plane. The story it was friendly fire from Syrian defenses originally came from the US, and was initially rejected, Sputnik calling it “fake news”. Although Russia has now officially “confirmed” that sequence of events.

Despite the Russian confirmation, some are saying that the now “official” course of events – that the Russian plane was brought down by friendly fire from Syrian ground defenses – is impossible because they unified their defenses. With many putting a different narrative together:

The questions raised:

  • Who really did shoot down this plane? Was it an accident or did France and/or Israel attack?
  • If France are attacking Russia/Syria what prompted this? What do they have to gain?
  • Is it possible for Syria to “accidentally” bring down an allied plane? Don’t they have IFFs?
  • Are Russia publicly accepting a false narrative to avoid having to retaliate?
  • Will Russia retaliate against Israel? They have claimed that right already.
  • What will they expect to extract as a quid pro quo on this issue?
  • How will the media report this? Will they call it a “near miss”? That’s surely what it was.
  • Do they even understand how close we’re coming to global war, whenever a NATO country operates in Syria?
  • How long can we rely on Russian common sense to avoid WWIII?


  1. vexarb says
  2. Big B says

    There’s a bigger picture. I would liken focusing on personalities to visiting Bedlam in the 19th century. What we are looking at, in the behaviour of the inmates, is to discern the least mad and better behaved: then declaring them sane …only, it is a relativistic judgement, taken collectively they all remain mad. And now they are running the asylum.

    VVP can act no differently within the internationally dominant cultural hegemony of growth and accumulation: nor can anyone else. But this is no substitute for sanity, or even humanity. Sanity and humanity create their own values of peace that exposes the insanity.

    The systemic overview is that the system itself is a ponerological processed insanity. We cannot culturally produce differing results from within the same value system of processed evil; we need a value system of peace …where peace is not just the absence of conflict, temporarily attained by accepting the limited freedoms within the common cultural system.

    Systemically produced values reproduce the same system. For a new system, we need genuinely differing values, not mere mirror-capitalist fairground reflections. On the way to peace, peace is the way.

    Peace is not the absence of war, peace is the absence for the need for war …the motivations for which are the artificial wants, needs and desires: which are themselves the industrialised fabrications of the pro-conflict machine-age system. The proliferation of militarism, nationalism, and imperialism; driven by the growth vectors of capitalist accumulation can never produce peace. Capitalism is inherently unstable, prone to crisis, riven with contradiction …and paradoxically thrives because of it That paradoxical thriving is in the shadow of the mushroom cloud: the seeming absence of Holocaust should not be mistaken as analogous to peace. The thriving is itself inherently conflictive and inevitably fatally contradictory. Inner conflict is the innate logic of the system.

    Thus, the capitalist system of aggressive competitive hierarchical advantage is war. Dominance over one is dominance over all. A very short critical appraisal of the recent events in Syria, as to whether they are promoting of peace, universal humanity, or of exceptionalist nationalist statist self-interest should reveal the collective systemic insanity of ALL involved?

    What we have witnessed is not the triumph of statesmanship, diplomacy, a superior ethic, or a charismatic leader (all capitalist lies) in the avoidance of war …merely a postponement of the inevitability of war, even if ‘accidentally’ triggered the next time. Or the next. The teleology of the current global system can only ever produce war: where the micro-war of aggressive competitive advantage must inevitably become the macro-war. The capitalist system is modeled on war, and its players are warriors. The system breeds its own conflict and dissatisfaction to reproduce itself. Peace is foreign to the pro-conflict systemic Them. Them that lead the uncritical Us unto Hell.

    “We do not lack communication. On the contrary, we have too much of it ….We lack resistance to the present” . Deleuze and Guattari.

    There is no profit in peace: ergo – the security and universal interests of all, equitably met, can only ever be cooperatively produced by the collective autonomy of the peaceful – without the dominant advantage gained through status or profit. Profit is war.

    End capitalism; end war.

  3. In today’s Icelandic news, NATO exercises are planned in Norway and Iceland during October and November. This at a time when the country’s Prime Minister is the leader of the “Left/Green” party, which has a policy objective of leaving NATO, of which membership has been a sore point with Icelanders for many decades, ever since the initial rioting which greeted the decision of some of the country’s “representatives” to join.
    Admittedly the current government consists of a very uncomfortable coalition with Conservatives and (Backward) Progressives, but the calm delivery of this news by the state broadcasting service, along with a token objection on a badly-recorded soundtrack by a politician who doesn’t think we should be practising killing people in the 21st Century, makes it pretty clear that nothing at all will be done.
    I’ll stay awake though. You never know: Perhaps there will be a large mass protest sometime soon…? Such things have happened, even if the media do tend to turn up half an hour ahead of the protest and record 35 early birds – especially the crazy guy with green hair – then leave just before 10,000 protesters turn up in front of Iceland’s Parliament… They also like to show footage of the usual 12 drunks doing damage AFTER the protest was long over…

  4. Regardless of whether Russia is lying about Syria accidentally shooting down the Il 20 in order to avoid having to grow the intestinal fortitude to retaliate against the zionazi pseudostate – and I’m convinced it is – the zionazis cannot claim innocence. They are in the position of bank robbers who took a hostage to use as a human shield, who cannot claim innocence if the hostage is subsequently killed by police fire directed at them. Again, Putin’s pusillanimous response is as harmful as a police commander’s in that situation who absolves the bank robbers of all blame, including for the bank robbery itself.

    • Admin says

      What do you think Putin should have done?

      Your reply needs to acknowledge the following:

      1) the neocon hardline and Israel are currently trying to manufacture an excuse for a massive attack on Syria, aimed at widening the war.

      2) the Israeli action was aimed at provoking a military response from Russia/Syria that could be used as such an excuse.

      3) a widened war would play into western hands and destroy Russia’s current ascendancy

      What action should Russia take that would punish Israel but avoid giving the neocon hardliners exactly what they wanted?

      • Are you asking me?

        What should Putin have done?

        Immediately call Nazinyahu and tell him that all zionazi bombing of Syria will permabperma cease, and any attempt to bomb Syria again will be countered by Russian defences including those famous S400s that Russia is so terrified of actually using while trying to sell them around the globe.
        Immediately supply Syria with S400s, assuming these missiles actually can work (from Russia’s inexplicable refusal to use them I do not believe that they can).
        Stop taking slaps on the face and pretending that it’s “restraint” to not retaliate.

        What “ascendancy” are you babbling about? America has illegal bases in Syria and no intention of leaving,Turkey has all but annexed Idlib, Syria, supposedly Russia’s ally, is being bombed with impunity by its zionist enemy with full Russian compliance, any day now Poroshenko, with full NATO aid, is going to invade the Donbass republics, and do you imagine the rest of the world isn’t noticing that Russia treats its alleged allies as chess pawns?

        If Putin does not take a stand now, and this is his last chance, then that war he’s allegedly avoiding becomes an inevitability.

        • Admin says

          Try to remain calm.

          I notice you don’t advocate that Russia should have immediately retaliated militarily. All the things you do advocate (well, most) – quite rationally – would not have shown any results as yet, so we don’t know they haven’t been done, do we?

          But, to repeat, you don’t defeat a man who is trying to lure you into a fight by punching him in the face. Intelligence is underrated by the non-intelligent. Subtlety is unappreciated by the crass. The Russian govt’s actions tend to be both subtle and intelligent – whether you approve of them or not, and so can go unappreciated by many on all sides of the debate.

          As to ascendancy – Syria was intended to be a new Libya by now. That this has been avoided, that the various terrorists are in retreat, that the country remains largely functional, and all without direct confrontation between east and west (so far), is an achievement anyone with any intelligence should recognise, and which the Russia government has every right to be proud of.

          Forgive me, but people have been saying variants of “if Putin doesn’t DO SOMETHING HUGE right now he’s going to burn” for at least the last four years, and they are still saying it, despite the fact he hasn’t burned (and neither have we), and, if their sage advice had been followed, we might all be cinders on a dead and cindered planet right now.

          • The only reason it hasn’t come to that yet is that the ground was not prepared fully before. Russia is slowly being pushed back to the ropes, the average Western citizen is being conditioned to racially hate Russians (did you read Nikki Haley’s comment today that Russians are culturally conditioned to lie and cheat?) and the consent is being steadily manufactured. As I said in my original comment, by showing “restraint” and not that he has teeth, Putin is encouraging his country’s enemies. Personally, I don’t give a damn about what he does about people he doesn’t like, but he’s not a private citizen; he is in control of Russia, for good or ill. Most of my Russian friends, all of the far left variety, despise him, incidentally, but that’s neither here nor there. The simple fact is that if Russia is to avoid a big war it has to actively deter one, not act like someone attempting to disarm an armed drunk by logical words and sweet reason. That is not going to work.

            • Paul X says

              Nobody, least of all Russians, would thank Putin for sparking off a NATO-Russia war when the facts of Monday evening are unanalysed. Meanwhile the Turkish Agreement gives them a month to clear the buffer zone of jihadis. It’s another chip off the Idlip Block with the pressure on the Turks who must be thinking twice about what they are doing in such an expensive dangerous strategy in taking responsibility for such a large section of Hell on Earth.

              • Let me respond with an extract from something I wrote on another site:

                Putin’s “restraint” is emboldening Russia’s enemies, and allowing them to think that they can get away with anything. And they are right. At what point will Putin stop showing “restraint”? When Poroshenko, with NATO help, destroys the Donbass republics? When NATO bombs Russian forces in Kaliningrad to “protect the Baltic republics from invasion”? (Don’t for a millisecond imagine they won’t if they think they can get away with it.) When NATO invades Russia itself? When does “avoiding WWIII” and “showing statesmanship” turn into abject surrender?

              • And as for Erdogan, here’s what a parody account on Twitter has to say; it so perfectly encapsulates my thinking that I don’t have to add a word to it.

                “Today Abu #Erdogan, with Abu #Putin blessing, responsible for protectioning #Idlib and longer we remain there longer Abu Erdogan continue to occupy and loot Idlib. Why he will want us gone? This make sense to you?”

            • “Most of my Russian friends, all of the far left variety, despise (Putin)”

              You need to do something about the sort of company you keep. The Russians I know who despise Putin share one or more of the following characteristics:

              They’re not very intelligent.
              They’re over-exposed to western media, and take regular, ill-advised gulps of its poisonous Kool-Aid, quite unaware of what they’re drinking.
              They’re utterly clueless about geopolitics in general, and have no interest in changing this situation.
              They’re jewish, and do not consider themselves Russian, having acquired their sense of reality from elsewhere.

              • Apparently all the Russians you know are the liberal elite of Moscow. You need to broaden your acquaintance to include Russian people living on 15000 roubles a month in Pushkin or Nizhny Novgorod, Volgograd or Vladivostok. But that would ruin your comfortable worldview, so it’s certain you won’t try it.

              • So, the Russian Ministry of Defence is saying the exact opposite of the statement by the zionazi stooge Putin, who pretended the shooting down of the Il 20 was a “tragic accident”. This could not have been done without effectively neutralising Putin, who is still officially the commander in chief of the Russian armed forces. The soft coup I predicted may have taken place, and Putin compelled to fall into line. Let’s see if the zionazis now face real pain, such as their war criminals being shot out of the air. If they do, we’ll know that the Putin era is over.


        • Paul X says

          If the Russians got a cruise missile down the funnel of the French frigate Auvegne (assuming there is a funnel) what do you think NATO would do? Would they shrug and say it serves Macron right or would they take off the safety locks and blast Russia from every direction in order to protect their partner who had been so ‘wrongly’ attacked? Haven’t they been waiting for the chance for years? Aren’t they already loaded up expecting the ‘chemical weapons’ shout to go up this very week? It would be vey foolish of Russia to take the bait of these provocations and it makes for uneasy reading when Westerners, sitting comfortably in safety, complain that Russians aren’t prepared to die for us in large enough numbers to keep them safe. You first guy!

          • So, at what point does Russia say, “all right, you’ve attacked us enough and we have to strike back?” When Poroshenko invades and destroys the Donbass republics? When the zionazis and France bomb Hmeimin airbase? When America invades Syria from al Tanf and Jordan? When Russian teritory itself is attacked? At what point does Russia say that it’s been provoked enough?

            Don’t be ridiculous. Russia isn’t showing good sense and restraint; it’s displaying appalling weakness, and don’t imagine the enemy won’t take advantage of it.

        • Rose says

          You do not win arguments by using words such as ‘zionazi’, you just turn readers off from bothering to read what you have to say.

          • Once I was a liberal who might have agreed with you, Rose, but now I abhor Zionists who seek to curtail free speech. And you might find a lot more people agree with that sentiment now, as they see this as just another attempt to stifle moral condemnation of “that shitty little country in the M.E.”

    • Paul X says

      When provoked so blatantly you need to look to see what the guy is hiding behind his back. In this case the West had built up their forces for a full scale attack on Syria as soon as the White Helmets released their video of choking children filmed a week or so ago. Putin disappointed them by coming to an agreement with Turkey that means the jihadis are further isolated and pushed into possible conflict with radicals. The time scales of the agreement are vague/unknown but it’s unlikely we will see a Jihadi Caliphate set up under Turkish protection. Like the Syrians it’s the crazy foreign fighters that alarm the Turks, the Chinese especially of whom there are 6000 heavily armed in the South. Turkey is keen to see the extremists pushed South making it difficult for them to enter Turkey. Putin’s reaction is far more sensible than firing the gun for a major conflict which Russia is most unlikely to win. Russia is still on track to squeeze the jihadis into smaller and smaller areas where they might be eliminated. It might make liberals happy to see Russia sacrifice herself a la 1941 but it’s not going to help anybody except their enemies. You can’t help thinking Putin knows exactly what he’s doing.

      • Putin certainly knows what he is doing. The problem is that Washington will only tolerate being outsmarted to a limited extent, after which it will turn to the “lash out wildly” option.
        As to the question of who might “fire the gun for a major conflict”, it really doesn’t matter who does that.
        If it happens, we all lose.

      • “Full scale attack on Syria”…….which would never have happened if Putin had not tolerated and allowed Zionistani bombing of Syria almost on a daily basis, if he had said clearly that any attack on Syria would be treated as a declaration of war on Russia. Can anyone be stipst enough to imagine that even the warmongers of Wall Street don’t know that in a nuclear war their stock options and bank accounts, not to speak of themselves, would go up in smoke? They would be very happy with a non nuclear war with Russia, and they’re doing all they can to strengthen their position until they can get their wish. The more “restraint” Putin displays the more encouraged they get.

        Apart from which, what do you think the morale of Russia’s armed forces is like this morning when they know they can be killed with impunity by their president’s zionazi bosom buddy, but they’re not allowed to shoot back?

        • Admin says

          There can never be a non-nuclear war between the US and Russia. Every strategist worth anything knows this. It’s the belief – created by the PNAC neocons – that this isn’t true that drives the hardcore nuts in Washington and London and elsewhere.

          This is the problem. They are delusional and believe they can fight a limited war with Russia. Those who know they are wrong, and that any such war would go nuclear very very fast are stuck in a profound dilemma. – How to defend oneself and one’s interests while avoiding the conflict the lunatics want, which will destroy life on earth?

          Answers on a post card please for anyone who thinks they can do better than the current Russian govt is doing.

      • Also, I’ve lived in Russia, and I can assure you that a huge number of Russians don’t think Putin knows what he’s doing. And I’m not talking about the Navalny traitors, I’m talking about actual nationalist Russian people, who say Putin is owned by the capitalists and do what they tell him to do. Just because he mitigated some of the worst of Yeltsinite capitalism and locked up a few oligarchs doesn’t make him any less a tool of rapacious capitalism.

        • Paul X says

          It is interesting that while the West always describes the fraudster as Putin’s main rival the polls showed him on 4% before the last election. Almost religiously they avoided saying that in truth the Communist Party was his real opposition on 22%. Maybe the Ameticans will pay for another colour uprising, a Red one?

      • @Paul. Agreed. With every step of the CW $cam exposed by Russian / Syrian surveillance and St.Theresa’s inept handling of the Novijoke, NATZO was all dressed up and nowhere to go. Without CW Casus Belli, Uncle $cam could not muster public opinion for a heavy engagement of Lootenant Pinkerton and the White Fleet. So the burden of representing “the irresistible armed might” of NATZO fell on the RAF in Akrotiri, the lone French carrier and the IAF — all of whom were covered by Russian security network (as I pointed out on a previous thread with the aid of a map from Bundy). So these 3 stooges came up with a really smart Wiley Coyote scheme: all fire together, so a Russian plane is down and you cannot say who done it.

        Result: the IAF is grounded for fear of retaliation; France and Britain have given their best shot — one Russian plane down in a sneak attack by 3 stooges; and The Man from Uncle is nowhere to be seen.

        C’est magnifique! mais c’est pas la guerre.

    • jiri says

      Great analogy. Just needs a few minor tweaks:

      The robber is the bank manager’s wife’s cousin and has the tacit approval of the bank manager to rob the bank because, you know, banks’ manager’s wife’s cousins have their needs.

      The bank manager has told the robber that he will get the bank’s security to stand down but he cannot be responsible if a customer or staff has a gun or penknife to defend themselves.

      The robber has done this successfully for more than 200 times in the last 18 months.

      Just this once, things don’t go as planned and the Bank manager’s Rolls Royce gets burnt to the ground.

      The bank manager is furious and tells his wife’s cousin that it is all his fault and that from now on he is only allowed to rob the bank with the explicit knowledge and approval of the bank manager otherwise the bank’s security will gun him down.

      If I were the banks manager’s wife’s cousin I would be furious.

      Wouldn’t you?

      After all, I have a right to maintain my lifestyle and it isn’t cheap.

  5. vexarb says

    Tozak BTL Saker Vineyard on September 18, 2018 · at 11:34 pm EST/EDT

    “a large-scale intervention of the US/Sioniste empire was planned, following a false flag orchestrated by the jiadists in Idlib. That’s where the trap was. The timing of this Western attack was perfect to further support Trump’s internal politics as the mid-term elections approached.
    Buying some time right now is very opportune.

    In the agreement with Erdogan there is an important point.
    An additional ‘demilitarized area’ with 15-25 kilometer depth will be created and patrolled by Turkish and Russian forces. This area will allow transports on the M5 highway. It is of high value for Syria and its economy. It was one of the Syrian government’s important goals to regain access to this highway. Now it’s done… without a fight!
    The Russian army also happens to have access to 15/20 kilometres inside Idlib territory… and this too, without having to fight!

    The Idlib mousetrap is gradually shrinking…

    Moreover (according to the well informed Elihah J. Magnier : “what was not announced officially is Turkey’s guarantee that no chemical attack will be staged in Idlib to “provoke” the long-heralded US-EU bombing of Syria.”

    So once again, the Russian strategy has undermined a very vicious plan, orchestrated by the US Zionist empire. which is why Israel is not very happy.”

  6. Serious question:

    How long will the Russian people and the Russian military continue to tolerate Putin’s absurd soft approach towards Amerikastani and ZioNATO aggression? How long until the military decides enough is enough, that it will no longer tolerate its soldiers and airmen being sacrificed at the altar of Putin still pretending that he’s going to someday improve relations with the West? Each time Russia shows “restraint” by absorbing a slap in the face, its enemies get encouraged and slap it again. What happens when the Ukranazi regime inevitably invades Donbass? Will Putin show the same “restraint” then? How long will the Russian people and the Russian military allow this?

    If you think I’m saying that there will be a coup, or a “soft coup” (foreign policy taken out of Putin’s hands) in Russia if things go on like this, yes, that’s what I am saying. Whether that is desirable or not is a question for the Russian people to decide.

    To anyone who says that Putin’s “restraint” is better than nuclear war, here are the facts:

    At the rate Putin is going he’s going to be left with no option but a nuclear war.

    There’s an old Indian fable about a snake which terrorised people in a village. It lived in a cave in a hill near the village and everyone was terrified to come anywhere near the hill because it would bite and kill them.

    Then one day a great sage who happened to be passing saw the snake, and, instead of being frightened, he told it about kindness and compassion to everyone. Overcome with remorse for its past actions, the snake promised that it would never bite anyone again. Soon afterwards, some people passing at a distance from the hill saw the snake outside its cave and instead of it attacking them it just bent its head in submission and friendship. Seeing this the men took courage, grabbed sticks and stones, and beat the snake, leaving it for dead.

    The old sage returned that way shortly after, and, finding the poor snake near death, nursed it back to health. When it was recovered, he asked it what had happened.

    “You told me not to bite anyone,” the snake responded. “So I approached the men in friendship, and this is what they did to me.”

    “Oh stupid snake,” the sage replied, “I told you not to bite people. I never told you not to hiss and frighten them away!”

    • There’s a slightly different version of that snake story: This snake also lived in a cave in a hill near a village and everyone was terrified to come anywhere near the hill because it would bite and kill them. The sage similarly appealed to the snake’s “conscience”, pointing out the injustice of killing people just because one doesn’t like them, or disagrees with them, but after some time he noticed that the snake was still biting people.
      The sage challenged the snake to explain why he was doing this, and the snake responded as in your story, with the difference that the snake worked out for itself that it didn’t need to poison people to death, but rather just let them know that it had teeth.

  7. TFS says

    I’m intrigued as to why the alternative press on mass has been beating around the bush on issues like these.

    The UN and ICC needs to be constantly hounded daily by the alternative press until it does its job.

  8. Francis Lee says

    I would really like to know more about this mysterious, all-powerful 5th column that Saker conjures up whenever. Putin pulls out of a hard tackle (football analogy). What is the extent of its power? Where is it situated? Can it be identified? And why has it been hitherto impossible to root it out?

    It seems that every time Putin pulls out of reacting to a gross provocation by the AZ empire (a tactic which ensures that the next provocation will be even greater) the 5th column has successfully sabotages his intentions to assert Russian interests as he should be doing.

    Nothing Putin can do according to the Saker, his hands are tied, it’s the dreaded 5 column at work. Well something must be done. He has dealt with Khordokovsky, Kasparov, Pussy Riot, the Yeltsin gang, Berezovsky, Navalny pretty effectively in the past, so why does he let this vipers nest of surrender monkeys and traitors determine what Russia can do to defend its interests properly and stand up to the encroachment and pervasiveness of this 5th Column.

    Undoubtedly Putin did a sterling job in pulling Russia out of the mess left by the Yeltsin gang in the early 21st century, but that time is gone. The new situation calls for a harder line both internally and externally, and I am not sure that Putin is the ideal person to clean the Augean stables of this 5th Column, nor has he shown any significant actions in this direction.

    • Russia wants peace and stability in the ME for its own reasons. Israel and the neocon hardcore in Washington/London want continued escalating war – for their own reasons. This is what they hope to achieve by these provocations. A direct military response from Russia is exactly what they wanted.

      A lot of people seem smitten with hysteria, naivety and short term memory loss over this issue. Let’s recall:

      1) the Syrian war is virtually won for Syria, which is why the provocations are occurring

      2) you don’t deter crazy people who want you to attack them – by attacking them!

      3) one wrong move out there could precipitate a global war that would quickly go nuclear. The armchair warriors might want to reflect that, unless they want their armchairs to be newly irradiated frontline positions, there’s something to be said ffor a nuanced response

      • Paul X says

        A provocation indeed! A missile fired from the Caspian Sea might sink the Auvergne with the loss of maybe hundreds of French sailors lives. . And the reaction?!
        Russia’s other motive in being in Syria is to eliminate Russian jihadi groups rather than let them slip back into Russia to create mayhem. Turkey would love to assist them on their journey back to the mountains and the Saudis will fund them.

        • jiri says

          Russia has no objection to taking the jihadist out of Idlib and into Turkey if that is what Turkey wants.

    • The “two factions of the deep state in the US fighting with each other” need to step up their game?

    • jiri says

      You need to read the Saker more thoroughly to understand the Russian fifth column.

      It’s been there since the days of Peter the Great.

      The Catholic church,Orthodox church are also part of it.

      A veritable Game of Thrones spanning 1000 years.


  9. Canthama BTL SyrPer:

    “No I do not think Russia will attempt any stronger response, nor it is needed.

    Russia will react and respond to any threat asymmetrically, this is how Russia has worked in the past and will continue to do so. Russia will defuse any attempt by NATO/Israel to provoke a large scale war in Syria, this is the base of all what Russia does in Syria and they will continue to do so.

    There are a lot of people that tend to push the narrative that no Russia’s response is an indication of weakness and that NATO/Israel will see it as their advantage to raise the bar and revert the progress made in Syria, I can guarantee this is not correct and it is indeed naive, Syria is still a powerful State, with military resources not known by many (not against terrorists and guerrilla warfare but against large scale war), so thus Russia and Iran as well.

    The provocation was clear to place Russia, Syria and Iran at odds, and at the bigger picture Israeli’s coward act was aimed to create issues with Iran, once more. Recall the Bavar 313 delivery at Damascus that was aimed by the IDF ? They seemed to have hit near the plane (after the cargo was unloaded) and debris hit the cargo plane and caused a some damage. Israel blames Russia for allowing Iran to deliver high tech AA and it the downing of the IL 20 could be a Israeli way to punish Russia, I do not buy the version it was an accident, this event was deliberate, planned and executed by the minute by many countries…from NATO and Israel.

    Iran will continue to ship bavar 313 to Syria, this is key for testing it in live attacks against IAF, Iran needs this very badly to test this sophisticated AA, and soon, we will see it being used, and this time maybe Russia will be also helping Syrian and Iran to make this happen, since one key element is how to integrate bavar 313 to all SyAAD-Russia AA inside Syria. This could be the asymmetrical response I am talking about.

    We haven’t seen China reaction in all the above, this is a “wild card” that could play at the right time and place. … We will see more China presence the ME; every quarter of every year, China will step up its presence, but for while it is the wild card.

    • Paul X says

      I thought there were already Chinese Special Forces with the Russians? They are there to make sure the 6000 or so Chinese jihadis, reputed to be the most extreme of all such groups, are eliminated and don’t return home – like a sensible power would rather than protect and nourish them like the West does. They currently occupy a town in Southern Idlip. They aren’t very popular with local Syrians by all accounts. The West prefers stories about a million Chinese Muslims in re-education camps without any attention given to the sheer brutality of the ‘rebels’. It’s important to eliminate them where they are rather than let them slip into Turkey and then, like the Russian jihadis return home for a Beslan style siege or two. If Europe is so concerned about Chinese jihadis perhaps they could offer them sanctuary?

      • Jonny says

        Yep, I’m sure Teresa the appeaser would love them here. Think of the cultural enrichment they would bring. Free housing, and free financial assistance and handouts at a rate much higher than uk citizens get. What could possibly go wrong. Sad thing is I’m sure it will actually happen!

        • Paul X says

          No I don’t see even the British ones being returned to the UK. It will either be Cuba, courtesy of the Americans, or death on the battlefield. The two notorious Brits captured months ago are still held in makeshift cells by a Kurdish militia group who captured them. Despite generous payments the Kurdish group would prefer somebody to lay claim to them; they’ve threatened to release them if a decision isn’t made soon. One can appreciate their anxiety holding such infamous IS prisoners. There ought to be efforts made to work out a policy for captured jihadis. The best strategy for Syrian militants is to merge back into Syrian society and wage a guerrilla war against Assad using suicide bombers. But the foreign fighters have no where to hide unless Turkey organises a rat run back to Russia and China.

  10. It’s a complex web.. one has to bear this in mind.. the inter-relationships.. the connections.. Putin for example has to tread the razor edge and fight with one hand tied behind his back due to the Zionist influence atop the Russian hierarchy….

  11. Matt says

    S-200 uses the SAHR guidance system. The radar signal is fairly wide, and if multiple objects fall within the signal, the one with the largest cross-section will be targeted. The Russian IL is much larger than the American F-16. Larger missiles like the 200’s 5V21 also tend to hit from above (they come down in a parabolic arc after the motors burned out). So if the F-16’s stayed a little behind and below the IL they’d basically guarantee the IL get’s killed.

    As “Partisangirl” claims, but does not properly understand, Russia integrated Syrian AD into their network some time ago. The purpose of such a integration was to avoid similar accidents.

    One problem: That was only for the newer stuff.

    A Pantsir, for example, can be told where targets are and what to shoot at by a larger system (they work in a pyramid hierarchy). S-200s are older than h*ll though. It’s basically a dumb system from the 60’s. (even dumber than a BUK)
    What it’ll do is spot a target, fire the missile and then when the missile “thinks” it’s in the right area (the kill box), it’s seeker head goes active (it’s a semi active seeker). It starts looking for radar ‘reflections’ and then homes in on the biggest one it can see. It doesn’t actually know what it’s looking at and doesn’t care. Just goes for the shiniest thing it can detect.

    My favourite part is how all these lies are held up as if they merit discussion and as if they deserve to be given equal treatment with what actually happened. It’s like holding a “discussion” as to whether or not Aliens rule the Earth.

    • Matt says

      As an aside: my personal opinion is that the Israel were hiding behind IL-20, but never intended harm to it. They merely were shielding themselves from Syrian AD and did not expect Syrians to actually fire at the IL-20. The Syrians most likely were not paying proper attention.

      • Mulga Mumblebrain says

        My personal opinion is that you are a hasbara disinformer.

        • Matt says

          This is the 2nd or 3rd time that you’ve accused me of being “hasbara”. Please stop following me around and harassing me. I have absolutely no relation to Israel or Judaism whatsoever.

          A paranoid poster is following me around and accusing me of being an Israeli cyberarmy agent… Wonderful.

          Mods, please help me out here. I know my opinions are unpopular here, but I don’t deserve this.

        • grandstand says

          I tend to agree with you, on the whole, Mulga, about issues to do with Israel, though perhaps not so stridently. But on this occasion I think Matt is honestly telling things how he sees it.

          On the other hand, one should ask why Israel is arbitrarily attacking targets in a sovereign country that is not threatening it. Of course, the answer is that this is what Israel does with impunity – witness USS Liberty among many others. On this occasion, it appears, from what I have read, that Israel was targeting the delivery of Iranian S300 copies to Syria – that is weapons to defend from this kind of attack in future. In reality, far from attacking Israel, Syria has even done nothing about recovering territory lost to Israel in 1967, though in international law Israel – that Israel signed up to – it should be given back to Syria. A few days ago, Israel attacked Damascus airport during an international fair with many visitors and potential for massive loss of life. It seems clear that Israel is trying (probably with US approval) to provoke a response.

          Putin always keeps his eye on the long term view but it is time for him to put a stop to this activity if he is to maintain credibility with his allies and his voters. This attack will serve to weaken Putin’s hitherto Israel friendly stance unless he wants to lose support in Russia. Putin is the best friend Israel has in Russia. It seems that Russian military is saying that there will be a response – much stronger than Putin.

          • grandstand says

            On the other hand – re my previous comment, Matt, IAF was clearly using the Russian ELINT plane as cover. It is tantamount to using civilians as human shields. Though the crew were Russian military, they were not involved in the action, apparently, and Israel had agreed not to target Russian assets in Syria. One cannot absolve Israel on this and the Russian military know it. They will be looking to Putin to permit a response.

        • Not appropriate MM. Please don’t insult commenters for expressing an opinion.

      • Jen says

        Then you surely would not object if Russia were to ask Israel to hand over the pilots involved so they can explain in a Russian military court or a similar setting their actions and the thinking and expectations that motivated them to hide their jets in the Ilyushin transport plane’s radar shadow.

        • Matt says

          No country would ever humiliate itself by handing over its own pilots who were acting on orders from the top brass. Not to mention the fact that Russia has no jurisdiction over these Israeli pilots.

          • Jen says

            If an investigation were to take place and witnesses were called, surely Israel would be required to send over the pilots even if they were acting on orders. If Israel does not, then it would be acting against its own interests.

            • Tom says

              I seem to recall the excuse that “I was just following orders” didn’t ass mustard at Nuremburg Nov 1945.

          • Yarkob says

            israel is breaking international law (again) its pilots, and their commanders and any FAO they use, are criminals. plain and simple

        • jiri says

          The Israeli top brass already went to Moscow to explain.

      • jiri says

        Like in a Hollywood movie where the bad guy threatens to harm the pretty girl if everyone does not do as they say?

    • Book: Our Occulted History Do The Global Elite Conceal Ancient Aliens?
      By award winning journalist Jim Marrs.
      Enjoy, I did.
      Occulted is in the sense of deliberately hidden, no ghosts or ghoulies.

      John Doran.

      • This was in reply to Matt’s comment above about aliens ruling the Earth.

        John Doran.

  12. BigMamma says

    I just keep on wondering about the relationship behind the scenes, between Russia, Israel, the USA, Uk and France (and the rest)…. Are they not all playing the game together…. Pretending to be enemies, and keeping the masses divided so they can all retain their own versions of authoritarian power..?

    Just a thought

    • Guest Columnist says

      Yes, there is a large element of theatre at play in this conflict. What many people don’t want to accept is that they have no way of knowing what the entire truth is. All the information about situations and events comes from partisan organizations with vested interests. Expecting the side one personally favours to present objective truths is wishful thinking at best, downright delusional at worst.

      The post-truth era means everybody walks around believing they have ‘figured out’ the truth, no hard evidence required, but they can’t all be right can they?😄

      It’s neoliberal individualism gone mad. 🤪

  13. Harry Law says

    Not so long ago Netanyahu was pleading with Putin [successfully] not to supply the S300 anti aircraft system [defensive] to Syria, at the same time Israel was the first country to get a fleet of F35’s [offensive] from the US. Putin defers far to much to the US/Israel, we now see the results. Incidentally how come Saudi Arabia can buy the S400 system, when they were one of the instigators of Syrian regime change. Russia’s “partners” want Syria destroyed, the warmonger McCain always said the US should take on Syria and that Russia would ‘do nothing’, was he right?

    • Admin says

      Let’s recall the realities here and not succumb to hysteria. One of the reasons these provocations are happening is that Russia is winning in Syria, militarily and politically.

      • Big B says

        What are the realities: we are not being told?

        Harry has touched on an important point: that Russia and Israel are becoming closer and closer strategic Russophone partners. Russia was the first country in the world to recognise W Jerusalem as Israel’s capital (before even Trump). There was only one foreign dignitary at the May 9th Victory Parade …their growing economic, military and cultural ties (Customs Union negotiations and visa free travel for instance) cannot be ignored.

        The IDF’s 200 strikes in 18 months must lead to serious consideration of tacit Russian approval …because they could be quite quickly stopped without it? But that would escalate the situation. Where does Iran stand in this, because VVP made quite clear to Netanyahu that Iran was Russia’s principle strategic partner in the region. Is that set to change?

        Netanyahu has met VVP what, three times this year, behind closed doors. What was said, and what agreements were made? It is also reputed that they have a direct one-to-one encrypted comms network (though I can’t confirm it was activated). But that they are in regular contact is undoubted.

        There is a lot more going on beneath the surface than first meets the eye. VVP’s relations with Netanyahu blurs the boundaries and greys the narrative. The fact that VVP is saying it “looks accidental” doesn’t ring true …it looks anything other than accidental to me. Was there a communication breakdown as VVP is in Hungary?

        I do not know, and based on what we have been told, neither does anyone else. The FS Auvergne fired missiles just as the Il-20 HQ went off screen. They weren’t firing at the IDF, I wouldn’t be too sure they were “window dressing” for them either. Whatever went on, we are being kept in the dark. Not precipitating WW3 is a good thing. Other than that, Russia’s foreign policy and ME relations are a 3D chess game that we know little of the motivation behind: but I can infer that Russia’s strategic needs are primary. At what point can that be labelled imperialist?

        • Frankly Speaking says

          “What are the realities: we are not being told?”

          Are you expecting to be spoon fed? And by the biased BBC, Guardian, etc!

          It’s pretty clear that Assad has won with Putin’s support. China is on side too as evidenced by recent military manoeuvres. What is happening now is the US, UK, France, Israel, Turkey, Saudi just saving face and been allowed the odd small success or two.

          However, Israel royally fucked up last night and Netanyahu will lose a plane or three if he tries it again.

          • Big B says

            You didn’t really read my comment: this “odd small success ” has happened 200 times in the last 18 months …with the downing of how many IDF planes …1? Russia providing S-300s, or S-400s, or upgrading the 1960’s SAM 2s would secure Syrian airspace. But these supplies are not forthcoming. Because Israel will not allow them.


            The situation is a lot more complex: and no, I don’t want to be spoonfed by the BBC. The Saker posits a “Zionist 5th Column” in Russia that VVP has to accommodate. You seem to want a simplistic ZioNATO v Russia narrative, all I am saying it is a lot more nuanced than that. And I didn’t get that from the Graun!

            • Mulga Mumblebrain says

              There are Zionazi Fifth Columns in every country on Earth, save China, hence the Zionazis’ great fear and hatred of China’s rise, and the implacable aggression of the Sabbat Goyim Trump regime towards China. And that of the pipsqueak Austfailian regime, its ‘intelligence’ apparatus and the fakestream media sewer here, as well.

              • 5th Column Always Ready says

                The Israelis have successfully infiltrated Chinese social media.

                In a similar fashion to the US, they continually (but not aggressively) ‘insert’ news favorable to jews and Israel, on Chinese social media websites. This is done in China in non-political settings on websites/webpages that seem unconnected to Israel.

              • jiri says

                In China the Fifth Column is the ruling faction.

        • Paul X says

          Yes indeed. Netanyahu with his Chief of Staff and Director of Intelligence arrived in Moscow within hours of Putin’s announcement Russia was entering the fray in Syria. While the Americans and Europeans had the tantrums over the audacity of Putin’s interference in ‘their’ war, the Israelis were flying in at very short notice. After 8 hours intense discussion both parties declined to say a word about any agreement they had come to. Russia has long had some influence in Israel not least because of what was virtually a mass exodus of Russian Jews to Israel when they were able to go, measured in the millions. Three cabinet posts are held (or were recently) by Russian speaking first generation immigrants. But that’s hardly a reason for special treatment, maybe it’s because they’ve got some formidable weapons, including the nuclear sort and are notoriously unafraid to use them, damn the international outcry. Putin is rightly careful and if he’s right about it being ultimately an accident then it would have been crazy to lie and say otherwise.

        • One must bear in mind the zionist factions resident at the top of the Russian hierarchy.. Putin has to fight and tread the razor edge with one arm tied behind his back..

        • Like Pope Francis (an ex-bouncer) Putin is street wise, but at heart Putin is a builder and a reconciler. Remember, when all this kerfluffle is over, there will be New Silk Road High Speed Rail links from China to Haifa and Damascus via Iran — then on to Africa and Europe by sea across the Med or by more HSR links via Turkey. China already has been given the keys to Haifa port by Israel (much to the consternation of Uncle $cam’s Lootenant Pinkerton because the White Fleet also uses Haifa port). And the first HSR train from China has arrived in Iran.

          A punch up is always fun, but for the first time in decades there are some intelligent, ethical and responsible Leaders in the world; Three Wise Men from the East: Assad, Nasr’Allah and Putin (with the cautious, patient, stability loving Leaders of 3,000 year old Iran and 5,000 year old China standing solidly behind these three).

        • Important to note that although I regularly read allegations against an American ‘military-industrial complex’, I rarely hear the same levelled against the Russian state. Russia is the second biggest arms manufacturer in the world, are there not political pressures to maintain this industry for the sake of the Russian economy, as there are in the United States or the United Kingdom?
          If so, then how well separated are the Kremiln’s policies on foreign policy and those on economic development? How does the need for startegic defence against Nato aggression rub up against the need to keep the bomb factories operating?
          War is a racket, we say. All wars are banker’s wars, we say. Russia too is a country with plenty of weapons manufacturers and bankers.

          • BigB says

            I’m glad you said that, Mog. The Russians don’t seem too bothered who they sell arms to, which is the dealer mentality.

            Bracketing off Russia, and their.increasing part in it …if we take the system view: the global elite neoliberal ruling class is turning the world into an armed madhouse, fueled by extractivist rape and pollution. They are basically insane, suffering from a collective hysteria of exceptionalist national interest and security. Securing the nationalist statist delusion is a zero sum race to precipitate Armageddon …either by civilisational collapse, ecocide, or nuclear extinction.

            They will not stop, perhaps a severe but less than totally catastrophic shock might cause pause for reflection. Unless the oppressed people wake from their slumber and protest for peace, world peace that can only be effected by system change, I fear nights like the one in question will proliferate. It’s no use blaming the individuals involved, but still less in praising their actions. Unless the people develop their own values, and embrace peace, one morning we won’t wake up.

            • I would think that the Russian government think quite carefully about to whom they sell which weapons and how many. I would think that all governments do.

          • Obviously the potential is there, but do you see much evidence to indicate Russia is pursuing pro-conflict policies? I would say, in general, the opposite is the case, don’t you agree?

            • The argument goes that arming naitons with advanced weaponry is a ‘pro-conflict policy’. There is an unavoidable principle at work: that making weapons makes money, that conflict creates demand for weapons and that nations are all in competition against each other to survive.
              Even if we conclude Putin’s intentions are wholly defensive, the Russian government is still beholden to these political forces.

              • Big B says

                The problem is not the “pro-conflict” personnel, the problem is the systemic “pro-conflict” production of the personnel …it is a machine-age industrialised production …a “pro-conflict” ‘machine-becoming’ [Guattari].

                Without a radical insight into the programme of the machine: there can be no systemic change …we just keep arming ourselves until one morning…

                Using Hannah Arendt’s definitions of thought and thoughtlessnes …there are two basic discernments, or judgement paths we are on. It only takes a minimum of critical consciousness to discern which one, and where we are heading. Who, from within the machine-age “pro-conflict” system can make that distinction and act upon it?

                Ergo, we must act for ourselves.

                The root cause of the current civilisational crisis is, counter-intuitively, a perception. How can a perception change the world? Well, our current perceptual misrecognition is about to end it.

                Carpe diem, Mog. I’m taking this a bit maudlin because I lost a good friend recently. Life’s transient, enjoy every minute …the way the machine-age “pro-conflict” elite gamble with out future, it could be over before you know it.

                I apologise for the bad vibe…

                • mog says

                  That is understandable.
                  I wander in a dreamlike state recently.
                  I can only wonder if humanity’s collective communication might force us to face our collective mortality together…in some way that I do not comprehend yet.
                  People keep telling me, “Enjoy yourself while it lasts”, but I think to myself (and occasionally ask), ‘What is real enjoyment if not in harmony with, if not toward, some kind of future?’

                  • Big B says

                    My friend, the future is already here, and the harmony that brings is in its immanence.

                    Look not forward, or back…

                    As Thay (Thich Nhat Hanh) said: “There’s peace in every step”…

            • Big B says

              200 IDF strikes in 18 months, that could be stopped by turning on their S-400s, would be an instance.. Israel has lobbied successfully to prevent Syria from securing its own airspace. The majority of these attacks are to prevent Assad acquiring what Haaretz terms “lethal weaponry” …a euphemism for Iranian supplied air defences that could secure Syrian airspace. As could a Russian declared NFZ (though the IDF would just standoff over Lebanon or the Med, and not penetrate Syrian airspace). Or Russian supplied S-300s.

              So my answer is yes and no. The Russophone alliance of Russia and Israel seems to be ascendant over Syrian sovereignty. Or it was, until Monday. There appears to have been a breakdown in the de-confliction agreement, or a deliberate misuse and provocation by Israel. The jury is out on that one for the moment. If the attacks are stopped, I would tend to agree with you.

              There is the small matter of the international silence surrounding the FS Auvergne firing missiles concurrent with the downing of the Il-20 HQ. These either hit the Il-20 or Latakia. Has anyone considered the Il-20 WAS the target? That there was no accident, but a deliberate targeting? Did the IDF or French take out the Russian early warning system and electronic warfare capability to leave Latakia vulnerable? I don’t know, and Rothschild Macron said no! It is worth considering though, I feel.

              Integrated into the systems view of militaristic, imperialistic, and sub-imperialistic, and extractivist proliferation: it hardly matters who did what when. They are not giving us an insight into their collective insanity and power games, where the stakes are humanities very survivability. Russia only seemed to remember on Monday that the serial numbers on the MH-17 BUK, means it was made in 1986. What else have they forgotten? What else do they not know?

              Humanity has no strategic allies within the global neoliberal ruling class. Arming the world is a “pro-conflict policy”, wouldn’t you agree? Where militaristic proliferation can’t facilitate peace: the only possible de-confliction becomes system change? There are good and bad actors within the current globally hegemonic cultural system: VVP is possibly the best, so it would be unfair to heap the woes of an essentially evil system upon him …especially in isolation. So it must fall to those outside the transnational globally integrated system to call out where this insanity will lead. That’s you and me?

              What I am suggesting is rather than the inevitably favourable comparison of VVP, and well, just about anyone else …let’s look at the bigger picture. International World Capitalism, as Guattari termed it, has faced us with the choice of three suicides. Without a radical transformation of the oppressed consciousness (a la Guattari, Deleuze, Freire, Bookchin, Naess, but better still the secular Buddha) …there will soon enough come the day that does not dawn… Monday night was a foreshadowing of that very day?

              • Russia only seemed to remember on Monday that the serial numbers on the MH-17 BUK, means it was made in 1986. What else have they forgotten? What else do they not know?
                Yeah, that was some slow paperwork (even by my low standards).
                Motive still leads my thoughts to Ukraine on that one, but WTF?
                We know nothing.

            • Tom says

              Agreed. Russia doesn’t have 800 bases around the world and doesn’t meddle other countries internal politics. Countries turn to Russia for armaments because they feel threatened by the west. They are cheaper, work and aren’t turned off when NATO feels like spreading “democracy” to their land. Russia solves problems with diplomacy, NATO not so much. Putin is winning in Syria. The terrorists in Idlib will soon see the territory they control get smaller and smaller, until they have no where left to run.

              “Alas,” said the mouse, “the world gets smaller every day. At first it was so wide that I ran along and was happy to see walls appearing to my right and left, but these high walls converged so quickly that I’m already in the last room, and there in the corner is the trap into which I must run.”

              “But you’ve only got to run the other way,” said the cat, and ate it.

    • mark says

      That’s right. Putin constantly kowtows to Israhell and the Neocohens in Washington.
      He refused to supply S300s Iran had paid for.
      Syria has to defend itself with 50 year old museum piece S200s because Putin is busy selling all the S300s to Turkey and Shady Wahabia.
      Russia always throws its friends and allies under the bus in the hope of a pat on the head from Uncle Sugar.
      It refused to supply Iran with the S300s it had paid for.
      It refused to complete Bushehr, as it was contracted to do.
      It supported the destruction of Libya and facilitated and enabled US economic strangulation of Iraq, Iran and now DPRK.
      Russia is a snake. It cannot be trusted.

      • Admin says

        Is Putin an aggressive dictator who endangers world peace by threatening NATO at every turn, or is he a weak appeaser who is constantly trying to get the approval of Israel and the US?

        • Paul C says

          Or is he a very reasonable man on a high wire juggling with big bombs labelled Nuke?

          • Admin says

            Well quite. But the anti-Putin narrative has two mutually contradictory arguments, and it’s appropriate to point that out. 🙂

              • The idea a head of state can function as a moral paragon is naive of course. Putin pursues Russia’s interests, not world peace and brotherhood. But at the same time we can’t ignore the fact he does so while adhering to the requirements of international law far more than the west does. In that sense, he has some claim to respect from those who value ethical conduct. Whatever his motives may be this fact deserves to be stated and made clear.

                • Big B says

                  Sorry, but remind me again where Operation Protective Edge is sanctioned in International Law?

                  Or slow genocide in general?

                  That seems a very moral relativist ethical argument. Ethical conduct as I understand it is normative and generative …peace produces peace; war produces war.

                  Perhaps if the current geopolitical system is morally relativistic, that is immoral, we should call out the whole system. Degrees of relative inhumanity will not produce humanity. Maybe there is still time to organise for system change.

                  I’m sure you read the Saker’s blog. Quite a few of the comments declare that they are sure VVP knows what he is doing. Maybe he does, but the Saker’s analysis shows he is being pulled, that is partially controlled, by many non-aligned intra-state factions. Which is to say, he is being pulled apart.

                  Are we really going to leave the future of humanity in the hands of one relatively sane man. Or do we take the radical responsibility of our own future back?

                  I would favour the latter, if, for no other reason, that we would have no one else to blame.

                  • “Or do we take the radical responsibility of our own future back?”

                    So, how many nukes do you possess?

                    • Big B says

                      Nukes are not a symbol of strength, but of weakness. There is only one global superpower, and that is us. Only, we have yet to find our strength, that is all.

                    • Coming from Pakistan as I do, Big B, then we found nothing deterred our larger expansionist neighbour to the East than that we should develop our own nuclear program. (India exploded their nuke first.)

                      And as the West already knows, we exchanged our nuclear dual plutonium/uranium technology with North Korea in return for their missile plans.

                      So the Korean peninsula is heading for peace in our times thanks in great part to Pakistan, just saying.

                      Nothing deters a bully more than a deterrent 🙂

            • Tom says

              “But the anti-Putin narrative has two mutually contradictory arguments, and it’s appropriate to point that out”. So does the Salisbury saga. Putin’s agents are supermen that can do the impossible but at the same time would give Chevy Chase) and Aykroyd from Spies like us a run for their money at being inept.

  14. Anyone else getting you are posting too soon messages or the notify new comments via email plug in not working?

  15. BTL SyrPer, vot tak on September 18, 2018 · at 12:22 pm EST/EDT

    Interesting take from an israeli.

    Israel Unlikely to Fly Freely Over Syria After Il-20 Incident – Ex-Official

    “Israel is unlikely to freely use Syrian airspace in the wake of the crash of a Russian Il-20 military aircraft over the Mediterranean Sea, Yakov Kedmi, a former high-ranking Israeli intelligence official, told Sputnik.

    “There was an agreement between Israel and Russia that the actions of Israel in Syria’s airspace would not endanger lives of Russian troops. Israel breached this commitment… What happens next will depend on the position of Israel. Most likely, Israel will no longer be able to enjoy the same freedom in the sky of Syria as it did before the incident,” Kedmi said.

    “Israel’s attack in itself, regardless of the consequences, was an irresponsible step, because there is not a single facility on the territory of Syria that might have been used by Iran and whose destruction would have justified an attack on it, which could endanger the Russian troops,” Kedmi said.”

    • Mulga Mumblebrain says

      The idea that Israel would honour ANY ‘agreement’ made with anyone is quite mirth-inducing.

  16. The US must be the worst nation on the face of the Earth. Everywhere it goes, death and destruction follow. To top it all off, the blatant hypocrisy is too much to handle. America is treacherous and duplicitous in the extreme. It has supported terrorists of all stripes in the Middle East and elsewhere for its own selfish geopolitical reasons. It is an entity not to be trusted, ever!

  17. Luther Blissett says

    Being born in the mid-70s I was often perplexed by accounts of ‘quagmires’, ‘cold war’, ‘McCarthyism’, ‘Missile Crises’. It all seemed like some mad aftermath from the World Wars. But now after almost 20 years in the 21st century I get it. The empire(s) never ended, the madness was never healed.

    Now I’m beginning to understand historical accounts of how WWI started “out of the blue” one fine August. You spend a few decade create unresolved political powder-kegs and sell boxes of matches (give them loans if they cannot afford the matches). The details aren’t really important – they are still debating the origins of WWI – but I’m beginning to know what it felt. The surface banality the barely masks the deeper violent yearnings.

    Maybe someday humanity will consider ‘war’ as bad as all the crimes it contains and unleashes (murder, theft, rape, torture, ect….) but it won’t be in the lifetime I get to experience.

  18. Cassandra says

    admin … you might find some answers to your questions here:

    Regarding (the long tradition of ) British-French-Israeli collusion …

    “Not only Russian and (allegedly) Israeli and French aircraft and missiles were in the air. Civilian radar also tracked British Royal Air Force aircraft, which, unusually, had switched on their transponders and gone into holding patterns – most likely to avoid being somehow involved in the exchange of fire over Latakia.” (source: Haaretz)

    … we should remember Sykes-Picot and “Operation Revised” (the 1956 Suez-deception) …

    “The documentary evidence does not leave any room for doubt that at Sèvres, during the three days in late October 1956, an elaborate war plot was hatched against Egypt by the representatives of France, Britain and Israel. The Protocol of Sèvres is the most conclusive piece of evidence for it lays out in precise detail and with a precise time-table how the joint war against Egypt was intended to proceed and shows foreknowledge of each other’s intentions.

    The central aim of the plot was the overthrow of Gamal Abdel Nasser. This aim is not explicitly stated in the protocol but it emerges clearly and unambiguously from all the records of the discussions surrounding it. Yet each of the three partners had a very different perspective on this war plot, and it was not at all clear how even the agreed aim was to be achieved.
    The French were the most straight-forward, unwavering and unabashed advocates of military force. As far as they were concerned, Colonel Nasser supported the Algerian rebels and that, along with his nationalization of the Suez Canal Company, was enough to justify a war to overthrow him. For their part, the French did not need any further pretext for taking military action. It was the British, unwilling to incur Arab hostility by appearing as ally of Israel, who needed a pretext and Israel was able and willing to provide it but only at a price. Israel also required the elimination of Nasser’s air force, for which task Britain alone had the heavy bomber bases sufficiently near at hand.” (Col.Fletcher Prouty’s insights into the engineered “Suez Crisis”)

    MI6, the CIA … the long history of covert ops in Syria …

    • John Gilberts says

      I was also struck by the Haaretz report that “Something strange was definitely in the air over Syria on Monday night with British and French forces reportedly present.” I hope this open thread may bring more information on this alleged NATO involvement. I am beginning to think this incident may have rather more actors than we’ve been told.

      • grandstand says

        Yes – agreed. FUKUS ships have moved closer to the Syrian coast in the last few days, presumably in anticipation of an attack (chemical or otherwise) that they could justify a response to. The Russians have been doing a great job in the (non-Western) media of predicting potential chemical fake attacks and thereby defusing them. The one minute warning from Israel suggests the possibility (no more than that) that the Israelis saw the ELINT plane approaching the airfield and quickly decided to use it as cover for whatever reason.

        As I’ve said in other posts, the Israelis have narrowed Putin’s options. Of FUKUS +I they are the easiest to pick off.

        A very different and is some ways attractive theory is presented here:

        I am not totally convinced – Matt’s view on the capability of the Syrian SAMs seems more convincing and it is not clear that Russian fighters could have scrambled in time, especially as the Israelis had agreed not to target Russian assets, but if true it perhaps is a clever – nay Machiavellian – way of opening up options for Putin vis-a-vis his Israeli/Russian Jewish oligarchs and hanging the Israelis out to dry.

      • Paul X says

        Is there any information about whether the Auvergne did or didn’t fire missiles? The Syrians (and Russians?) said they had witnessed the firing of missiles which seemed to be aimed at the same government buildings as that being attacked by Israel which suggests collusion.

          • Paul X says

            Yes but can Macron be believed? This afternoon, as the Senate interrogates his friend and bodyguard he’ll be denying there is anything odd about the living arrangements of his friend. Whether he’ll deny letting him dress up as a policeman and violently attack peaceful protesters is more debatable because of the video evidence. Instead he’s been trying to stop the Senate investigating the matter at all. He’s a flaky Leader, the sort that make major errors and bring war on their countrymen

            • Admin says

              Not enough info yet. The Russians may perhaps have been mistaken. It also may be mere politicking after the event. No reason to trust anything Macron says. The man is a liar and a fool.

  19. Thomas Prentice says

    Has Archduke Franz Ferdinand answered the page? … or shall the “Paging Archduke Franz Ferdinand” announcement continue?

    After all it took the whole month of July 1914 between the original Archduke’s killing and the start of WWI, aka the first world war to save the empires of England and France.

  20. Philpot says

    The US and NATO’s compliant poodles are clearly willing to risk WWIII as they think Russia will simply back down when they instigate open warfare and regime change in Syria. My own belief is that poor honest broker Russia has been left to decide the fate of world peace. Personally, for all our futures, I believe Russia must declare a no fly zone over Syria – anyone entering to bomb will be at mercy of S400. Otherwise this will continue and if the US gets Syria it will be Iran next and WWIII – that is, armageddon.

  21. Gary Weglarz says

    The entire of the West has now become simply a huge collective criminal enterprise operating completely outside the bounds of international law and threatening to bring about armageddon in the process. Of course one would never know this by reading or watching Western media where our clueless psychopathic leaders are portrayed as gallantly fighting for “human rights” and “democracy” through “regime change” and endless slaughter.

  22. Thomas Peterson says

    IFF had apparently not been set up with regard to Russian planes and Syrian air defences. It now belatedly has been.

  23. vexarb says

    BTL SyrPer Auslander on September 18, 2018 · at 7:54 am EST/EDT

    Israeli plane apparently passed just in front of the plane, SAA got a lock, Israeli doglegged left, missile lost lock and chose the biggest target…..our plane. Israel violated protocol, called one minute before the attack, not enough time for our bird to get out of the way. The french frigate was window dressing.

    It was a setup.

  24. Interesting that both Trump and Macron involved both stooges is the Israel military trying to trigger the third European War ?

  25. Rigged Democracy says

    Here are a couple of quotes that show how far the system has been rigged/corrupted:

    “one of the things we need to do is give young Jewish people the confidence to be proud of their identity – as British, Jewish and Zionist too .. There is no contradiction between these identities and we must never let anyone try to suggest that there should be ..
    “You can also count on my commitment to Israel’s security .. I am clear that we will always support Israel’s right to defend itself.”
    – UK Prime Minister Theresa May, at the United Jewish Israel Appeal

    “I’ve never seen a President — I don’t care who he is — stand up to them (Israel). It just boggles the mind. They always get what they want. The Israelis know what is going on all the time. I got to the point where I wasn’t writing anything down. If the American people understood what a grip these people have got on our government, they would rise up in arms. Our citizens certainly don’t have any idea what goes on.”
    – U.S. Navy Admiral and former head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Thomas Moorer

  26. Paul X says

    The BBC report no longer mentions the French frigate. Vanished!

  27. 0use4msm says

    The significance of direct military involvement by Israel and France is that the facade of a “civil war” (albeit by proxy) can no longer be maintained. The only thing that prevents it from being a regular war between nations is the omission of a declaration.

  28. SO. says

    Is it possible for Syria to “accidentally” bring down an allied plane? Don’t they have IFFs?

    Yup, and kinda. It’s perfectly possible to do it and IFF doesn’t really work the way a lot of people think. (IFF transponder beacon works by transmitting a signal to the ground station or launcher).

    If the ground station recognises the beacon it labels the aircraft as friendly and either denies launch permission or warns the operator beforehand.

    However with a system like the S-200 that will not actually matter. The SA-5 (S-200) is an old system from the 60’s which uses a semi active radar homing missile and how it works is quite simple.

    When the ground system detects a target it illuminates the target with it’s radar like a torch and launches the missile.

    The missile then follows the radar reflection from the target until it gets close enough to detonate, goes bang, shoots plane down.

    However the beam from the radar ‘torch’ can be quite wide (miles wide), F-16’s are quite small, IL-20’s quite big.. and the missile itself is pretty dumb.

    As such by hiding in behind the larger aircraft the smaller aircraft can almost guarantee an incoming missile will prioritise the large aircraft reflection and kill that instead. It doesn’t actually matter if the missile was launched against the smaller target in the first instance or if IFF came into play. The missile itself is too dumb to care. It just goes for the largest thing it can see.

    • BigB says

      Thanks for clearing that up: but it raises the question that the Il-20 was on a pre-planned flight path known in advance to both Russian and Syrian air traffic control (whom I believe are sitting next to each other?) Knowing what you have just posted (which I do not doubt) …it can hardly be termed “accidental”?

      I suspect the FS Auvergne fired its Aster missiles, but I’m not expecting a clarification of that. The situation is greyed by the burgeoning Russian-Israeli Russophone alliance. A simple narrative will not be forthcoming, I suspect.

      • SO. says

        The IL-20’s been on station flying figure 8’s on constant rotation for months so it’s flight and landing path would be known to everyone with half assed radar or even functional eyeballs.

        • BigB says

          Yep, I’ve seen the map. But the emerging narrative is sticking in my throat, especially now Putin is calling it “accidental”. I’m keeping an open mind, but something doesn’t add up.

          • Paul X says

            Putin can’t afford to get it wrong – for everybody’s sake. His power is limited. He has done an excellent job in defeating the West in Syria but how could he react to missiles from the French frigate without triggering a massive NATO attack not just on Syria but Russia? In the current climate and the West’s readiness it could happen in hours. He has always emphasised he puts Russian interests first – and those included eliminating thousands of Russian Jihadis before they returned home to create mayhem. He has never said he’ll take on the World. So the French missiles were a mirage and the plane an accident? Well that’s better than an even bigger war maybe?

          • vexarb says

            @BigB. Igor Bundy ABTL SyrPer supplies additonal info plus timeline, concludes that attack from only 4 planes is not lkely.

            Russia not received data from #Israel on situation with IL-20 in #Syria – Peskov

            -#Russia launched an S-400 missile/s against the Israeli jets which were dropping bombs 100Km away, so we’re kept in the dark for now.

            -#Russia responded immediately to the attack before the il-20M was lost Because the S-200 missiles were launched 20 min after the first wave.

            -The attack lasted about 50 min, so only 4 F-16 doing the bombing is unlikely

    • DomesticExtremist says

      Thanks for that explanation, which seems to fit the facts and is the mosy plausible so far. However, by being clever-clever, the Israelis appear to have given the Syrians justification for possessing more up to date anti-aircraft missile technology.
      Perhaps the Russian retaliation will simply be to provide S300 or S400 to the SAA, something they were previously begged not to do by Netanyahu.

      • SO. says

        Well, apart from the shoot down the Israeli’s have pissed the Russians off in at least another 2 ways.

        Provide adequate warning and co-ordinate with Russian forces. They didn’t. 60 seconds is a joke.
        Do not endanger Russian ground forces…which by firing on latakia they did.

        However the provision of a more advanced system like SA-20B may not actually be that useful to Syria or even politically risky/self defeating.

        Whilst the larger systems are lethally effective they’re also rather limited unless present in large numbers and supported by many additional systems. Full Russian IADS are large complicated things and the best way to think of the larger SA complexes is like the outer most skin of an onion which in the 20B’s case, extends well into israeli airspace.

  29. 0use4msm says

    No doubt the MSM will spin Israel’s attack as “pre-emptive self-defence” against an imaginary threat related to shipments coming from Iran, as if that’s a legitimate casus belli. Imagine if Syria bombed Tel Aviv airport for perceiving shipments from the US as a threat.

    The “insufficient warning” angle is irrelevant as Israel’s planes had no right to be there in the first place. It’s high time Russia and Syria declared a no-fly zone.

    As for France, its military presence is a pathetic attempt for some bargaining chips to join the club that rebuilds Syria once the quagmire is over.

  30. Fair dinkum says

    With deadly toys.
    Where are the men
    Of wisdom?

    • The men of wisdom need not apply, because the presence of a conscience and a functioning intellect automatically invalidate their application for high political office. Infantile fools are today’s personnel officers, so it’s hardly logical to expect them to hire people with 100 times the grasp of reality than they possess themselves.
      Besides, what “man of wisdom” would even want to touch today’s Washminster with a barge-pole?
      Only a person to whom a decent monthly salary was the only consideration.
      And there are millions of those.

    • BigB says

      You don’t give up, do you? The Auvergne is equipped with Aster SAMs …that’s surface to air missiles. No frigate can leave port without air defences.

      • Assuming normal procedure is followed…
        But there isn’t much which functions normally in today’s politico-military world.
        Nothing goes without saying any more.

        • Apologies for the unnecessarily black comment. One gets close to despair on a pretty regular basis these days…

      • Antonyl says

        Give up? Did I created that web page on the FS Auvergne? About every navy vessel has some air defense but this ship was not specialized in it.

        Haven’t the Russians accused Israel for confusing the Syrian land based air defense?

  31. Kaya3 says

    Well, I don’t ever want to see it happen, but at some point, Russia will have to respond and with strong force. The alternative certainly will be nuclear war, because the US, France, UK and Israel in particular will see this as weakness and only get bolder.
    I only hope there are talks taking place that none of us know about that are resolving this. It is rapidly reaching the levels of the Cuban crisis.

  32. Paul X says

    If the French and Israeli’s attacked at the same time then they must have liased with each other. Or conspired is another way of putting it. Shades of 1956? But nowadays there wouldn’t be the slightest outrage at such a collusion; it’s oar for the course. And where is the missing partner, the UK? “No longer up to it” the French would say. “Too busy” say the Brits. NB which bit of Syria are the French after this time? Or do they see it descending into the chaos of a Libya, their last successful destabilisation.

    • Note Russian and IDF planes in direct line from s-200 being fired ..with French frigate…..looks like deliberate coordination to provide cover for each….but if frigate attacked then IDF planes available to directly attack Bashir in Damascus….and frigate to provide a source of provocation for excuse for Nato forces to launch their massive attack they desparately wish to do….especially as Putin agreed no military attack in Idlib…..and Russian MoD presentation yesterday it was a Ukraine BUK….in fact it is tempting to say Nato did this to get back at Russian MoD and punish them for this and expose in any way Russia’s belief in trust and agreements and hotlines as a laughing stock…..and they have succeeded….a Russian plane shot down by an outdated Russian missile launched by Syria and Russia failing to supply s-300 but Turkey and everyone else can have s-400 which might ? have not ended up like this.
      And did not Russia promise to deal with the “launch source” of any more missiles against Syria since the previous lot? Surely their are Russians in Latakia……

      • Paul X says

        But you seem to be expecting or encouraging Russia to take on the World when in fact it’s resources are limited

        • The elephant in the room is Iran….no responses from them yet even though Israel uses excuses to say it is defending itself from them and continues to attack what tjey call Iranian assets or anything they might vaguely claim have any connections to Iran……..does Iran follow Putins example to keep calm and carry on….thinking their”partnership” is being put to the test as of course it is in order to provoke it to invite a response by usa and associates….does it say to Putin enough is enough we are going to do our thing as you have said Russia is only in Syria to protect its own interests so cannot we do the same…..what options covert or overt does Iran have one wonders…..

  33. One question you didn’t ask is whether this act, which appears to be an Israeli provocation assisted by the French, is related to the Sochi talks/agreement? Seems that supporters of the Syrian Opposition, of which France is right behind Turkey, might not like the agreement, partly because it stalls the plans for a “Syrian gas attack” by removing the pretext.
    However I think the wider question is why and how has France been involved in this, described on SBS as “Israeli and French forces conducting aerial attacks on Syrian State assets”? Israel is a law unto itself, but France’s intervention without any pretext whatsoever is a blatant war crime and escalation. The whole thing looks like a provocation, and one wonders when Russia will break. If Putin was unhappy having to make a peace agreement with the psycho Erdogan, he will be more unhappy now.

    • Kaya3 says

      It could be, France are being pushed by the big bully to provoke, see what the response is. Syria has the right to defend itself from an unprovoked attack surely.

  34. Paul X says

    Did the French frigate Auvegne fire missiles? Macron urgently needs a major distraction because his close friend and sometime bodyguard is due to be questioned by a Senate committee on Wednesday who insist on questioning him not just about the time he impersonated police officers and violently attacked protesters but about the whole ‘arrangement’ the bodyguard has with Macron. Are they in a relationship? A lot of French believe they are and that Macron should ‘come out’. Possible war with Russia seems a suitable distraction.

  35. Paul X says

    If Russia was ‘obliged’ to retaliate to Israeli or French attacks its inherent weaknesses would be exposed. It remains a relatively poor country and Putin must be well aware it can’t take on the US, Israel, the KSA and the other Gulf Emirs as well as France and the UK. It’s done a fantastic job saving Syria but it can’t take on The Rest of the World. If it has accepted Syrian missile defences brought it down that may well be the way out of a bigger war – this time.

    • Putin’s main interest is preserving Russian interests. Here, turning the other cheek likely is the best course.

    • writerroddis says

      I agree, Paul X. These are not only perilous waters, but untested to boot. In fact not one of the military powers you cite has had its strength tested against a non third world adversary. I know there are infantile tendencies crying “bring it on!” – as though speaking of a long awaited prize fight involving their heavyweight boxer of choice – but saner voices can only express alarm and profound dismay at what Western rulers seem bent on dragging us into. I say enough of this macho nonsense about who would prevail. I do take some comfort in the possibility – that US military power is overstated, but it is comfort of the bleakest possible kind.

    • The point is this, Russia can take on the whole World if it had to, but it would be a pyrrhic victory, because to do so would require nuclear weapons which no nation could survive. However, Russia has many allies, the largest of which is China, so it probably would only be taking on one major opponent, the US and a few of its erstwhile allies (France, Britain etc.), not by any stretch of the imagination, the whole World!

      • Paul X says

        China is even weaker than Russia and not long ago said it was 10 years behind the US in military terms and it’s hard to see they’d welcome a bit of sacrifice to pull Putin’s chestnuts out of the fire. That Alliance is for the future. Right now a full blooded NATO response would be quite enough. Many in America would be delighted if Russia used a nuke; total annihaltion of Russia would follow, something they’ve been dying to do for 75 years. And of course they might go for the First Strike.

        • tegost says

          “Many in America”

          There is a psychoparistocracy on this planet planning to kill countless creatures, oh yes, did you think it was just us humans? How vain. ‘Milgram’ is alive and well and you’re all part of the plan, give yourselves a one-handed clap for independent thought and action. Meanwhile the NWO bandwagon rolls on in plain sight.

        • Thomas Peterson says

          You need to get up to date, China is a technologically advanced country with a large, powerful and rapidly growing military.

          China’s only real military rival these days is the USA.

        • King Kong says

          China can not be conquered, Russia can not be conquered, the y are vast countries. Their defenses, defenses mind you are formidable. China has the largest army in world, fully mobilized it can have 10 million armed troops, that is a lot of people with a gun. Similar with Russia, armed for mobilized 3,5 million armed troops + an almost infinite strategic depth.
          “Quantity is a quality in itself” Stalin
          “there are 3 rules in war, never do warfare in Eurasia, never march on Moscow and never march on Moscow” B.L. Montgomery. ( I think he was a general of some sort)

          • Paul X says

            Even millions of under trained teenage conscripts are no threat to modern weapons. Although both are vast countries these days War doesn’t seek to occupy anywhere (except big oil wells as in NE Syria). Disruption and chaos are quite enough together with division by well funded militias. Libya is the model; its oil is safe but the country, once the showpiece of African socialism, is destroyed. Schools and hospitals lie derelict in a country where the health and education services were better than our own. That’s Victory these days.

            • ” Disruption and chaos are quite enough together with division by well funded militias. Libya is the model;”

              Russia, China and Iran are not Libya. They learned a lesson from Russia’s debacle in Afghanistan: the hegemon gets tied down once a state actor (here, Pakistan) arms local groups to drain the life blood of Empire, and now, they fight the hegemon by their armed support of Syria.

              Central Asia is the key to a multi-polar world, and their moves are admirable from a geopolitical viewpoint.

              This will be a Russo-Chinese century, as the West falls apart under its own internal contradictions.

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