Talk:Alleged attack on Khmeimim airbase 31 Dec 2017

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Sputnic Reports:

Two Russian Servicemen Killed on Dec. 31 in Shelling of Hmeymim Base - MoD

The Russian Defense Ministry has refuted media reports about the alleged destruction of seven Russian military aircraft by militants during an attack at the Hmeymim air base in Syria. "Reports of Kommersant [newspaper] about alleged 'total destruction' of seven Russian military aircraft at the Hmeimim air base are fake," the ministry's statement read.

The Defense Ministry added that Russian aviation units in Syria were combat ready and continue to accomplish their assigned tasks in full.

"On December 31, 2017, after dark, the Hmeimim airfield suddenly came under mortar shelling from a mobile subversive group of militants. As a result of the attack, two servicemen were killed," the statement said.

"Syrian security forces are carrying out measures to find and eliminate the militants involved in the attack as well as to enhance safety at the nearby territory," the ministry added.

The Russian newspaper Kommersant said earlier that seven aircraft had been destroyed and more than 10 servicemen had been injured as result of the shelling of Hmeymim base by terrorists.

The day before, the Russian Defense Ministry said that a Mi-24 helicopter had crashed on December 31 during a flight to the Hama airfield in Syria, with both pilots dying in the accident.--Charles Wood (talk) 07:57, 4 January 2018 (UTC)

I guess we will not know more, unless there is more info, like further clarification or satellite photos maybe. Kommersant article Rus., robo-translation said some other sort of thing, along the lines of what Gerasimov said earlier, et-Tanf and all. But Kommersant sources , "two military-diplomatic sources", are of unknown quality, and they are not quoted directly adding to Gerasimov thing. Kommersant is owned by oligarch Alishar Usmanov, who is not interested in provocations, but journalists at Kommersant are fairly independent and generally reputable. But their sources may have their own agenda, and there is no hint on what 'camp' the sources are from --Resup (talk) 10:10, 4 January 2018 (UTC)

El Murid brings up earlier event, May, 2016, near Palmyra (Stratfor vs RU MoD). El-Murid is a blogger; he tends to over-emphasise --Resup (talk) 10:42, 4 January 2018 (UTC)

Some photos, Пострадавшая техника в Хмеймиме -Cassad, , 4 January 2018. (Real or fakes? Uncertain sort of damage, may be a collision or whatever, not definitely shrapnel, and nothing shown destroyed. Weather? A possibility, not a certainty. No clear insignia, colors-a possibility, not a certainty.)--Resup (talk) 04:45, 5 January 2018 (UTC)

I first thought collision for the first one, but the fuel jetting out in the second one looks like a small shrapnel hit
There is also ambiguity in reports. Al-Masdar says the attack was by rocket from a de-escalation zone (20-40 km away?) The new Cassad report talks about de-escalation zone in one place and mobile mortars in another place. I have also seen a report mortars were set up in a villa nearby and used in the attack
In the end there are two possibilities. It was a rocket attack from a de-escalation zone or it was a (mobile?) mortar attack from relatively close--Charles Wood (talk) 05:01, 5 January 2018 (UTC)

Presumably they will see a rocket from 20-40 km away on air defense, and there are Pantsirs, S-300/400, to try to shoot it down. With mortar , they probably cannot do much, apart from not letting it to happen. 31 Dec is a big holiday, they could be relaxing too much with things being quite in general. But this seems well planned, and May 2016 Statfor photos appear to show pretty accurate hit (like on second attempt, after a correction?) . Maybe interesting to see sat photos when they will appear for this one. Seems maybe a bit too professional for ragtag defeated jihadis, no? (But no definite info)--Resup (talk) 05:28, 5 January 2018 (UTC)

De-escalation? de-confliction? Whatever :-) --Charles Wood (talk) 05:38, 5 January 2018 (UTC)

Rusvesna sources: appears to be Vasilek automatic mortar --Resup (talk) 09:41, 5 January 2018 (UTC)

Wikipedia (FWIW) says the Vasilek has been used by both sides in the Syrian conflict - making the Rusneva story a bit inaccurate/misleading? Max range of ~ 4,000m excludes use from de-confliction zones.
Getting a piece of kit that size within 4,000m of the airbase would be very difficult. Personally I think this is likely unfounded speculation/propaganda from Rusneva. Maybe not, but I think more evidence is required --Charles Wood (talk) 10:00, 5 January 2018 (UTC)

Appears to be a guess based on Vasilek covering large area with small shrapnel, as there is little factual info available. Appears to be fog/rain and incidents happened in such weather previously. This thing could be on a truck (all those sources talk about mobile mortar). FWIW, no definite info. --Resup (talk) 10:40, 5 January 2018 (UTC)

Rusvesna updates that plane number 29 shown on photos was not damaged-- it appeared on a later photo intact, ---blames liberal-biased reporter for the fake photo report; details on exactly what happened are still not known, but Rusvesna own sources say that shelling did occur, but reported damage was exaggerated. (Noting too unusual, often goes messy like this; and military on the ground is not supposed to call to reporters and to explain). photos was not their source, it was reposted everywhere --Resup (talk) 22:10, 5 January 2018 (UTC)

There was apparently a major press tour through Khmeimim (sp?) (Russian: Хмеймим Arabic: حميميم‎ ) Airbase in recent days. I think subsequent to the attack date. I've seen a couple of sources of journalists visiting the base and then being bussed to former conflict zones e.g. France 24 Report. No sign of damage and probably some file footage included, but no scenes of devastation.--Charles Wood (talk) 03:10, 6 January 2018 (UTC)


Interesting that shoutwiki uses the majority day-month-year format for just about everything. Why are content dates here converted to minority American month-day-year format? --Charles Wood (talk) 11:58, 5 January 2018 (UTC)

I guess we so far use them in all possible ways at random (also in words, abbreviated words, and numerals). Should we stick to one convention? Fine by me, whatever. On main page its like 3 Jan. to have a separating dot and a brief readable entry. Also January 3 format may be not American format, but rather transcribing it in a way which sounds smoother, or whatever. It's random really. --Resup (talk) 13:21, 5 January 2018 (UTC)
As the American here (main one anyway) this is largely my fault. I could easily agree to do it however, and I can just as easily forget. ?? --Caustic Logic (talk) 03:53, 7 January 2018 (UTC)

Mortars or drones?

Mark Ames on Twitter:

Russia military confirms Syrian jihadis used sophisticated armed drones, not mortars, in Khmeimim airbase bombing raid that damaged 4 RU planes and 2 copters.

The link is to this Russian source:

-- Petri Krohn (talk) 00:13, 14 February 2018 (UTC)

Russian MoD issued a denial of RBC report, saying that timing, attack weapon, and the outcome are all wrong. Denial also states that on 1 Jan. 2018 the airbase operated normally; the attack happened on the night of 31 Dec to 1 Jan --Resup (talk) 07:03, 14 February 2018 (UTC)