Talk:Attack on Red Crescent convoy in Urm al-Kubra

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This is a talk page for discussing Attack on Red Crescent convoy in Urm al-Kubra. For sources, claims and narratives see the main page. (To see what is hot, see recent changes)


As of now: --Resup (talk) 08:50, 20 September 2016 (UTC)

"No airstrikes on the UN humanitarian convoy in the southwestern outskirt of Aleppo were carried out by the Russian or Syrian aviation," Konashenkov said. The Russian side did not monitor the movement of the UN truck convoy that came under attack near Aleppo after the humanitarian cargo was delivered to that city, he added.
Noted: From other comments made, it appears that Russian MoD finally watched White Helmets (nighttime) video, but not the morning photos; and can't see any munitions on White Helmets video. --Resup (talk) 14:01, 20 September 2016 (UTC)

"Anonymous US officials said"

  • BBC: But US officials, speaking in condition of anonymity, said two Russian SU-24 attack aircraft were in the sky above the convoy at the precise moment it was hit in Urum al-Kubra.
But that does not mean what they said is true. OK, there could be Russian planes in the sky; -and anywhere in the sky is ABOVE the convoy; and that could be for a period of time, possibly including strike time, because there was al Nusra attack on Aleppo and quite major fighting further east towards the city; so they might be checking it out. And one cannot say that a plane was directly above at strike time, because that 'moment of time' is like 7:30, +/- 10 minutes to half an hour, maybe; while it takes SU 24, flying at or above speed of sound, some 40 seconds to fly some 14 km to Aleppo front lines. And somebody who knows the strike time for sure, as well as where planes, if any, were at that very time, also knows who did it, without all this horseshit.
"There are no craters and the exterior of the vehicles do not have the kind of damage consistent with blasts caused by bombs dropped from the air," a statement from the defence ministry said.
Must be reading our page then? --Agreed. --Resup (talk) 00:48, 21 September 2016 (UTC)
Russian planes did not plan, and did not perform any airstrikes in the area of Urum al-Kubra settlement (Российские самолеты не планировали и не наносили каких-либо ударов в районе населенного пункта Урум-Эль-Кубра). They were not present in that area at all (их в данном районе не было вообще).
see also: "Predator" drones?-below.
--Resup (talk) 19:42, 21 September 2016 (UTC)

Kerry's "Parallel Universe"

(US SecState John) Kerry responded with anger and incredulity to Russia’s positing of various alternative scenarios having caused the carnage, saying he felt as if “we’re sort of in a parallel universe here.”

They have cited a ground incident, protested "airstrike" and suggested an airstrike by someone else. That's true, and a little confusing. But wtf?

Citing theorizing by Russia’s Defense Ministry that “the trucks and the food and the medicine just spontaneously combusted,” (Kerry) demanded: “Anyone here believe that?”

Russia said, as reported, on Tuesday "it believed the convoy was not struck from the air at all but had caught fire because of some incident on the ground." Obviously a violent incident, unspecified, not "spontaneous" magical "poof, it's just gone, who knows?" Does he really think people are stupid enough to accept his characterization? Daily Beast reports

The Russians also have claimed the trucks might have been destroyed by spontaneous combustion.
However, there is a mounting body of evidence that makes it clear the Syrian regime and, in particular, the Russian military, hold responsibility for the atrocity.

Had to check. John Kerry is not acknowledged as the author - it's Pierre Vaux, parallel universe inhabitant. Poof. The Russians really did claim that. Idiots! We hate them! right? And we're all transported to the parallel universe... --Caustic Logic (talk) 13:24, 23 September 2016 (UTC)


refers to an attack, not an air strike, blames no one. Neutral tone, relatively, speaking, is a "pro-Assad" position (not with us so against us) - all compromised agencies know to try and blame Syria/Russia from the first words. --Caustic Logic (talk) 01:38, 25 September 2016 (UTC) (Arabic) via Twitter

"There is no evidence that it was an airstrike of either Russian or Syrian aviation on the humanitarian convoy in Syria," Wael al Malas, the representative of the Syrian branch of the Red Crescent, which escorted the convoy, told Russia's Izvestiya newspaper.
"On the contrary, everything points to it being the militants of the terrorist organizations who exploded and set on fire the trucks of the convoy," he added.

FWIW Wael Mallas Arabic search ( وائل ملص ) 2016-09-03 SANA reports "Wael Malas representative of the Russian Cooperation and Development Center supervisor of the children show that he has the participation of children from around Homs..." Photo of Homs Governor and a guy that might might be Mallas with beard, looking at art pieces. Several related stories, little if any mention earlier. Newer mentions are the Russian media interview cited above. This may be used to tarnish his credibility. --Caustic Logic (talk) 01:38, 25 September 2016 (UTC)

Sputnik Arabic, 2014 report Dialogue with the social activist Wael Malas residents Hamedia old Homs. --Caustic Logic (talk) 04:20, 25 September 2016 (UTC)

'UN Official Said'

Syria conflict: Aid convoy attack was air strike, UN expert says, BBC, Oct. 5, 2016

Lars Bromley, research adviser at the UN Operational Satellite Applications Programme (Unosat), told a news briefing in Geneva: "With our analysis we determined it was an air strike and I think multiple other sources have said that as well." "For air strikes, what you are usually looking at is the size of the crater that is visible, and the type of crater," he added. "Basically air-dropped munitions are often much larger than anything you would fire from the ground."
So must be Predator/Reaper? They say, not. --Resup (talk) 14:33, 5 October 2016 (UTC)
Note that the article avoids saying whether analysis was of crater or the flash, which is (very) essential information --Resup (talk) 14:40, 5 October 2016 (UTC)


Probe will be "internal and independent," and led by Lieutenant General Abhijit Guha (India, app. to UN panel Nov. 2014). The probe was agreed to by September 30, and now they announce it will begin work "next week." SBS report says it'll start on Monday. --Caustic Logic (talk) 14:09, 23 October 2016 (UTC)

UN Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson announced on Friday that the UN investigators are in the area where the attack on a convoy of humanitarian aid in Oram al-Kubra town in Aleppo countryside took place in September.

--CE (talk) 19:29, 18 November 2016 (UTC)

What happened?

(After seeing nighttime video and immediate US accusations): Available evidence consists of videos and White Helmets story. Several destroyed trucks, fires still burning, no craters seen, some holes possibly from shrapnel but not for certain, and not a lot. There is a damaged passenger car clearly seen, but it could be damaged earlier. Content is thrown around but appears largely intact; possibly heating damage on packaging. Many ways to cause what is seen on video, some shelling (mortars/artillery/MLRS), staging, bombing from helicopter, or plane. Place, uncertain but building has distinct appearance and could be located. Time of attack, stated on the video, is 7:30 pm, Sept 19, 2016. --Resup (talk) 08:50, 20 September 2016 (UTC)

(After seeing some daytime photos/videos): clearly a quite substantial strike. Shrapnel damage, and fire damage. 4 twitter photos: photo 3, apparently an explosion at ground level, or possibly inside the cabin; no crater on the ground. Bent metal sheet on top appears to be by explosion outside; but also small part of roof is caved in a bit, making this tricky. Direct hit on top by aerial bomb will almost certainly obliterate the cabin, not slightly bent the roof in. Photo 4: small craters are seen mostly resembling mortar or MLRS, flying, apparently, left to right, but quite clearly not top to bottom. Elsewhere on this post, a collapsed wall. Getting tricky here. Thin wall, with some shrapnel damage (top right), and roof damaged, but like because the wall crashed down under it, not because roof is hit on the top; --but also not excluded that we do not see where it was hit, as it is gone now. --Resup (talk) 10:07, 20 September 2016 (UTC)

If there were planes in the area, that, with very high probability, should be known to Russian and US militaries, so if that's known why to play this hid and seek with some social media photos? Russian strike, in particular, does not seem to be likely as at this stage, they would be still obliged to coordinate with USA--Resup (talk) 10:24, 20 September 2016 (UTC)

Truck location likely negotiated long in advance and known to parties, and likely leaked to rebels. Hitting it intentionally does not seem very plausible. Provocation, knowing where they are too, is a possibility. --Resup (talk) 10:24, 20 September 2016 (UTC)

Rebels administered this whole area, had them stop and off-load here. The location would be known to that Russian drone and any Russians who mattered, and also to every terrorist with a mortar or rocket launcher in the area. But the terrorists and their supporters were clear it was a jet/helicopter/both, from Russia or Syria or both/whatever/not us. Uh-huh. Hell, they could have just raided the place, robbed and executed the aid workers, torched the trucks, and lobbed a few shells on it afterwards. Hypothetically. (BTW, any survivors? None that didn't pass through White Helmets and al-Nusra hands first.) --Caustic Logic (talk) 13:18, 20 September 2016 (UTC)
Visuals, First thoughts: I agree it's hard to make out any kind of craters Maybe just the trucks were all hit? The roadway seems weirdly smooth, like it was all re-graded overnight. (??) No barrel bomb fragments seen yet, nothing massively blown up as if by one, just light shrapnel like from a rocket all over, and everything burned. Firing directions could maybe be discerned. The location seems set - could double check more but most photos seem to be at the eastern location outside Urn al-Kubra. --Caustic Logic (talk) 13:18, 20 September 2016 (UTC)

Another activist video with different claims, and photos appeared now giving 'craters' and 'bomb fragments' (main page). As Konashenkov put it, 'geometrically increasing pile-up' of contradictory and increasingly crappy accusations, 'a well known method of warfare, with obvious goals' , and drowning remains of reasoning. Kerry accused ( BBC video) Russia in inconsistent response, but Russia was responding to this contradictory pile up in public statements, and informed US military on flight control data through military channels (Konashenkov said it was provided to a US colonel, name well known to USA). --Resup (talk) 22:34, 21 September 2016 (UTC)

Russians apparently told Kerry that their attack was on Khan Tuman, about 10 km SE from Urm al-Kubra, according to Kerry video on BBC (above) . --Resup (talk) 22:55, 21 September 2016 (UTC)

I'll toss in here that they very well may have heard jets in the area, but they may have had nothing to do with the attack on the aid warehouse. They could have been attacking Khan Tuman and passed over (or by) the aid warehouse location just before or after making runs at Khan Tuman. The Russian jets would have accurate targeting - there's no way they would have 'accidentally' bombed the warehouse/convoy if they had intended to target anything near Khan Tuman. At ground attack speeds, they could have traveled from Khan Tuman (depending on relative target location) to the warehouse/convoy in anywhere from 20 to 45 seconds. A rebel attack roughly timed with the Khan Tuman aircraft overhead could have made people believe the aircraft were actually responsible rather than Hell Cannons and mortars. --PavewayIV (talk) 01:32, 30 September 2016 (UTC)
Also: Churkin/Russian delegation at UN was told by Kerry that according to their information Russian jets were 'somewhere nearby' for 'several minutes' (Churkid told this in his UN remarks). Couple of minutes is quite enough to make a raid and leave the area. According to rebels, attack on Red Crescent lasted for way longer. No case was made really that they were involved in the attack.--Resup (talk) 02:34, 30 September 2016 (UTC)
Agree, Resup. It would be quite unusual for Russian Su-24s to make more than a single pass on the same target, and it's never done with their larger fighter-bombers (which were not claimed by the U.S. as part of the supposed attack). It's mostly a SAM-avoidance strategy. They go direct to the target, line up, bomb and leave. That's it. No loitering. No multiple passes. They might make a another close-by run at a second, distinct target but they would change routes. The multiple-pass thing wouldn't apply to the convoy/warehouse even if they did actually did some kind of magic craterless-bombing. I have not heard any specific descriptions of Syrian Su-24 tactics, so can't comment. All of the above independent of any U.S.-claimed involvement in the supposed convoy attack. I actually remembering the first reports of this by the U.S. merely claiming that two Russian Su-24s left Hmeimim (Khmeimim) Air Base in the general direction of Aleppo. An odd way to phrase it unless the U.S. knew they didn't attack the convoy but were trying to raise the spectre of guilt in the minds of the public, and putting the Russian MoD on the defensive, i.e., prove our ridiculous accusations are false if you're innocent (a common U.S. tactic). --PavewayIV (talk) 04:40, 30 September 2016 (UTC)

Was exact overnight location agreed?

A flag is seen outside warehouse in surveillance video.

Confusing info on whether exact route and truck location at that time was agreed in advance. Western sources say aid was "agreed" (overall) and "destination known" (but was the exact route too?). Russian MoD says they did not monitor the convoy after 13:40 and as as far as they are concerned only rebels knew where exactly it is. Assuming it is accurate, it will be difficult for them to find it at this time on purpose to "attack" it, losing track at 13:40. It is on their video, but they might be not keenly interested to actively monitor, once it is out of their responsibility, and in any case did not know what happened next. 7:30 pm is after sunset and before moon rise (20:34), so difficult to spot by eye (especially so when getting closer to 8 pm). Trucks were standing there since 2 pm and engines were off, cold; so won't be seen in infrared either. But planes or helicopters will be excellently seen, infrared and radar, to blame and shame. With all that, if exact overnight location was not agreed, that would point to rebel attack as most likely. --Resup (talk) 17:58, 20 September 2016 (UTC)

The SARC guy that traveled from the government-side loading point until the rebel-side unloading was a resident and local director for Urm al-Kubra. I can't see any reason he wouldn't have told the government-side SARC people the location of the Urm al-Kubra warehouse. The route was a straight shot down Hwy. 60 directly to the warehouse, which was just before Urm al-Kubra town itself. Everyone from the area would have known the details - nothing should have been secret. --PavewayIV (talk) 01:32, 30 September 2016 (UTC)
I have been suspicious if the attack site even was a SARC warehouse. But a Red Crescent flag is seen outside warehouse after the attack and a flag is seen in the same spot in the surveillance video. So likely it was. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 05:32, 30 September 2016 (UTC)

Hell Cannon Attack?

Salt and Pepper Residue?

Not sure where this should go, but I'll mention it here because you link the pertinent Tweet/photos here that illustrates my point. Photo 1 shows the street just after a water truck came by and sprayed it, I guess to clean it. That seems particularly odd, and I was wondering what they could possibly worry about so much that they needed to wash down the entire street. There are vids elsewhere of the water truck in action, so we know for sure why the street appears wet in #1. Photo #2 is prior to the street washing. There appears to be an area of the street covered with what looks like a black powder and little white specs. Impossible to be sure, but further down this page I described the composition of a rebel Hell Cannon propane-tank bomb: a fill of prilled ammonium nitrate (little white balls like styrofoam), charcoal and a dash of diesel fuel. When these strike, many of these crude propane-tank IEDs either fail to explode at all, malfunction where they 'kind of' or weakly explode (subsonic deflagration) or else detonate as intended. If they fail to fully explode, then the fill is blasted about the area. I'll just suggest (without implying any level of proof) that if the street was covered with charcoal and ammonium nitrate prills, then the rebels or locals may have felt a need to wash down the street. It's more damning than hazardous, and one would not want al Jazeera reporters to focus too much on the evidence of Hell Cannons. For what it's worth, SyAAF 'barrel bombs' generally do not contain prilled AN. The military has access to plenty of TNT and other energetic explosives that have a better chance of detonating. Unexploded barrel bombs are usually shown with a fill of yellowish-tannish caked powder, which could be various explosives. Prilled AN is used by rebels because it is a common fertilizer available in bulk (mostly from Turkey). The substances on the road could very well be black ash from the fires and the white specks pieces of broken safety glass from the trucks - I don't know. --PavewayIV (talk) 01:32, 30 September 2016 (UTC)

Interesting possibility. I hope you don't mind my calling it salt and pepper. If so, the earlier we change this the better. The relevant photo, cropped down to just the roadway, or the major part with the clearest views, and one ball circled as a starter for the slow.
Urm al-Kubra Attack salt+pepper.png
According to this photo, at least one size of prilled ammonium nitrate is about 2 mm (1/5 of a cm) in diameter. Other sizes I saw in an image search were similar or even smaller grain, basically a powder. These white balls may be bigger, but there's glare effect to consider (light objects can appear larger) and it might be a coarser size than the kind shown. It definitely seems to be small, uniform, white balls in a scattered deposit, alternating with larger amounts of a black material. That must have some explanation. --Caustic Logic (talk) 12:33, 30 September 2016 (UTC)
As for why there's no evident crater - ir didn't detonate fully, right? And what pattern does this spillage suggest? I see a sort of curve actually, like it came in from the right, somewhat across the road, and then turned to spread more down the middle of the road. If that's at all valid, I guess it suggests a slanted line diagonally cross the road, which would be from the south (but maybe I'm just biased). --Caustic Logic (talk) 12:33, 30 September 2016 (UTC)
We might be having a good view here. White somethings of various size, including small white grains pretty much everywhere (look at front tire area, in particular, but similar stuff not too close to truck too). Bigger grains than flour , yet quite small, like seed size. Something black, looks like under it, in spots. Some curious pipes, front-left. Tires gone, but there was fire. Windows gone. --Resup (talk) 22:56, 30 September 2016 (UTC)
But also to consider, dusty/sandy roads round here. We have a good collection of photos here of various places, there and elsewhere. And if there is something in the warehouse or nearby (something black, farmland, coal), that may stain the road --Resup (talk) 23:12, 30 September 2016 (UTC)
Good point - this is a bit iffy as all kinds of black or white materials can be on a roadway. But here they come in conjunction, have the black portion shapeless and the white in little balls - almost too uniform in size to be any kind of pebbles. In the other view we probably see some of the same, just a couple meters away, but there's some kind of plaster going on too, with varied particle sizes, so not as clear. Further, this is consistent with Hell Cannons or other improvised (terrorist) explosives AND was quickly washed off the road as if the local terrorists realized that. So not 100% cartain by any means, but very compelling. --Caustic Logic (talk) 06:38, 1 October 2016 (UTC)
Urm al-Kubra Attack crater night.png
There's an apparent crater about 25 meters down the road from this spot, next to truck #5, as discussed here that seems to also have these white pellets. The size might appear too large, but illuminated by a headlamp at night, the glare effect will be high, and these will be smaller than they appear.

A crater suggest probably some explosion, perhaps a non-dud. These pellets may not be from the blast that caused this crater, but from another strike(s) that didn't work fully, scattering this fill over this crater and the road for some 20 meters in at least one direction. --Caustic Logic (talk) 11:20, 10 October 2016 (UTC)


The sparkling effect of one impact seen in anight-time attack video is possibly consistent with a certain kind of missile used by predator drones, but could also be consistent with the detonation of a Hell Cannon shell (see [#Hell Cannon?|below]) or, for that matter, with a few other possible weapons, including ones Russia or Syria might have. --Caustic Logic (talk) 06:41, 1 October 2016 (UTC)

Death Toll

This seems worth a table to comapre reported tolls.

reported death tolls
source SARC Aid workers drivers unclear total dead wounded (survived) total d+w
VDC OBarakat 10 11 n.a. n.a.
BBC (unnamed) about 11 "about 12" incl. OB 18 injured about 30
NPR OBarakat 10 workmen 4 15 unclear 15+
F24 OBarakat 12 5 18 15 drivers wounded 33
WaPo OBarakat 19 20 4 from Najeeb family (dead and injured) 24+
UNHCR OBarakat 20 21 unclear 21+
FSA 12 19 (incl. drivers) 31 any? 31?
UN rpt head of SARC Urem al-Kubra unclear five drivers at least 4 (implied) At least ten... 'At least' 22 ... including a further five drivers 32+ (?)


  • VDC
  • BBC (early report) "A media activist who witnessed the attack" says (on video, 1:00) "About 12 people were killed, including the head of the Red Crescent office. 18 people were also injured."
  • NPR ("Four truck drivers and 10 workmen were also killed." (besides Barakat)
  • France 24
  • Washington Post notes 4 Najeebs were grievously wounded, and a 16-year-old boy named Taqi Hashim was among those killed.
  • FSA ("represented by" Jaish al-Muhajadeen: "12 humanitarian aid workers and 19 civilians, including the drivers of the aid convoy.") --Caustic Logic (talk) 13:11, 2 October 2016 (UTC)
  • UN rpt summary of UN headquarters report, Dec. 2016. "At least 22" survivors should probably be "at most," to give a total of 32 (about the same as others) in the total dead and wounded. They don't give an "at most" and don't sound very sure. At most, perhaps 32 died, or the original 31, with one tacked-on "miracle survivor" they heard from? Point 7 doesn't specify if they did or did not hear from survivors - just witnesses. --Caustic Logic (talk) 11:39, 30 December 2016 (UTC)

Looks like another mystery here. There is really only one (1) name of a person said to be killed, and there are 0 bodies in autopsy. This can be anything in the range from nobody died to them all died, and anything in between. Reason to change drivers (as I understand was said at some point) could be to have things under control; or could be just that it happened for no big reason. But it's kind of unusual if they are all killed in a raid (why would they sit in the trucks so late, and not be gone or at the warehouse? Air or artillery attack, you can see and hear it's coming, and they would duck for cover, and some at least are likely to survive. They've been in a war for many years and have experience. In Donbass, 3 year old kids run for cover once booms are heard --Resup (talk) 12:26, 4 October 2016 (UTC)


  • Presumably one on this video. Burned face and blood on the mouth. Hmm... --Resup (talk) 11:15, 6 October 2016 (UTC)
I didn't see anything obviously shady with that guy, but it's worth checking. His arm position might be odd. --Caustic Logic (talk) 11:24, 6 October 2016 (UTC)
Aleppo Convoy smoke Imprint.png
Possibly one body evidenced here, in the warehouse blast. The fireball hurled some object almost straight up onto the ceiling while burning all around it. By peculiar shape and basic size, I think that was a person, who would've been filled with shrapnel as well. --Caustic Logic (talk) 11:24, 6 October 2016 (UTC)

In thermobaric blast, low pressure (oxygen sucked) followed by high pressure wave; any of that can kill alone but especially deadly in this combination. Blood vessels/heart may burst; KatKan once explained us a similar effect in MH17, here it is similar (and in opposite sequence). Does not have to be hit by any shrapnel at all. Will be clear in autopsy. Here, I'd say we do not see shrapnel wounds which killed but takes a medic or autopsy for a definite conclusion --Resup (talk) 12:54, 6 October 2016 (UTC)

I don't think this was thermobaric, just had a detonation fireball. Shrapnel is just a guess from the boxes, so a good guess. --Caustic Logic (talk) 22:47, 6 October 2016 (UTC)
Oh shit! Someone claimed this was Omar Barakat. I did not see any likeness at first, I thought the guy on the video had beard. Now as I look closer I see he has black soot on his face. His clothes are burnt around his stomach. Did someone place him face down over the would-be crater and blow up the explosives? Was he already killed? Is that his outline in the burn marks on the roof? -- Petri Krohn (talk) 16:04, 6 October 2016 (UTC)
Who said that where? I would presume these were too different people. The one dead isn't very torn up, and also has too much hair on top to be Barakat. The profile body maybe. Hard to say from that. Might be a person with a big middle, or a jacket flung open. --Caustic Logic (talk) 22:47, 6 October 2016 (UTC)

Hoax report hoax?

I've read it on FARS news, there's a new report by "a group of independent military experts attached to the International Syria Support Group (ISSG)" which claims that the attack was "a well prepared hoax". The report was "seen by RIA Novosti", but not by them or anybody else, apparently. Googling brought me to Sputnik News (under which name RIA Novosti publishes in English these days), who have the same information. This piece on "Inside Syria" says the news has been on other Iranian sites as well, and that State Department spokesperson Mark Toner was asked about the report at a daily briefing and said they had seen no sign of the investigation and that it was "bogus". I did not manage to find any link to the alleged report or that group of experts. If anybody has better luck, should be interesting. So far it seems Toner could be right for once, at least this is all (including the broad cited claims) not very convincing. --CE (talk) 15:04, 7 October 2016 (UTC)

Here in Russian, in near identical version in many places. 'Independent military' expert can be anybody (Saker's aunt?) . 'Attached' is undefined, by whom and how. So they both right, somebody said it, but it is not a part of any official or semi-official investigation. Probably released for the purpose of making some noises, and to point out one more time lack of craters and presence of rebel's mortar on a truck. --Resup (talk) 15:15, 7 October 2016 (UTC)
Yeah, looks like it. I wish they wouldn't do things like this. RIA Novosti has always been a serious, no-BS source I've been reading for many years (German edition). Pity that someone thought it was a good idea to be a bit more "colorful". If there's one thing you can't beat the Anglos at, it's imaginative spin doctoring. Better stick to the truth and leave the "hey we want you to know that we know" messages to diplomatic channels where they belong. --CE (talk) 19:57, 7 October 2016 (UTC)
Something happened with RIA Novosti in 2013, it was disbanded, merged with something, details on wiki and another wiki. I do not know the real details but it appears that some pro-Russian image making is part of its agenda. Two people are listed as current key people, Kiselev and Simonian. Kiselev has a show on the main TV channel which is more like image-making than not, or some sort of evening entertainment perhaps, of pro-goverment sort (and often sneered at by both wings of the opposition). I do not know much about Simonyan. She was a correspondent in Chechnya, and an editor in chief at a young age, but I am unfamiliar with her work; she does not seem to have a public presence. --Resup (talk) 21:09, 7 October 2016 (UTC)
I saw the SPutnik piece and left comments. I didn't address my skepticism, but I had the same doubts. What experts? Attached how? I don't like "hoax" as a word for a real deadly attack. And their reasoning seemed middling. Agreed totally on use of non-truth. Not a competition worth getting into. --Caustic Logic (talk) 22:36, 7 October 2016 (UTC)

SAA representative stated at the UNSC meeting on 8 Oct. 2016 that 'we conduct(ed) an investigation' of the Red Crescent convoy bombing at Urm al-Kubra, and results will be provided when the investigation is completed. --Resup (talk) 08:09, 9 October 2016 (UTC)

Scene Analysis

I think it's worth this try at a total mapping of the scene - how many trucks, where, what kinds of damage where, etc. This is version 1: I don't think I'm missing any vehicles, but maybe. Blast centers, just 4 that can be clearly called so far. --Caustic Logic (talk) 12:09, 5 October 2016 (UTC)

Note: bad graphic to start, very approximate, will improve.--Caustic Logic (talk) 10:26, 6 October 2016 (UTC)
Urm al-Kubra Attack Scene Map.png

Trucks I count 13 trucks or truck-trailer units or loose trailers and one car, as labeled here. Vehicles list with space for details:

  1. White truck, marked Allah Khorusun, moderate damage, trailer burned out
  2. burned
  3. burned, fragnetation damage, possible bullet holes
  4. badly burned, twisted
  5. badly burned, twisted
  6. green truck, little to no damage
  7. burned
  8. attached trailer
  9. attached trailer, damaged by blast in area 1
  10. unloading
  11. truck
  12. trailer
  13. trailer
  • Car/SUV: badly shrapnel damaged, blood next to it, afliated with Red Crescent vest and implicitly with Mr. Barakat (said to be in a car, waving his arms)

More vehicles not on the map (added to map): a light-colored pickup truck across the road from truck #6, seen in this video at 1:56] - seems heavily shrapnel-damaged. Further down the road, a bit off this map's lower left corner, are two seemingly unharmed aid trucks. One photo shows them from the front, and another photo shows them from behind, clarifying their location not far from the scene, with truck 6 visible, and even #1 in the distance.

So all told, the 13 numbered trucks, a car, a pickup, 2 more aid trucks = at least 17 vehicles total destroyed, damaged, involved, related, or nearby. This compares to the lodged reports of 18 of the 31 aid trucks destroyed, which was already questioned by the reports that 17 of the 31 trucks had returned safely (sources around on these pages). --Caustic Logic (talk) 08:48, 10 October 2016 (UTC)

Why Are the Vehicles all Parked?

I was just looking at this and it hit me - maybe a stupid point, but I can't see that yet, so - all these vehicles seem to have been damaged in their parked positions. And there don't seem to be any empty spaces between vehicles.This is how the last 10 or so trucks would park, clustered near the work area. That never seemed odd, but now does. (the two parked to the southwest are too far out to count, and we don't know where they were at the attack time.)

It would make sense if the compound was hit all at once with everything, and everyone died or was wounded and the vehicles all rendered inoperable. But one only needs a few minutes to get in the truck and drive, if that's even possible. And distance video shows an attack that went on for some time, while activists make it sound like it went in rounds, prolonged so as to keep rescuers at bay as survivors bled to death. But here, there's no sign of anyone hopping into any of the vehicles during this prolonged attack and trying to flee. None were hit in the road, or apparently moving at all.

And there is no sign of any vehicles among them that moved and successfully escaped. One space, between trucks 7 and 9, is also the corridor to come or go, but might have been occupied by a truck that fled. Other spots to the south could have been occupied by escapees. Only maybe being parked on the outer edge of things could allow that, because this core area has full parking. And that's it, just park, and wait to get hit. The vehicles weren't pushed into these positions later to allow traffic. First videos on the scene show everything was already arranged that way while still on fire.

Implication: No one tried to escape, and as noted, it seems likely no one lived. This was already a ghost lot when hit. The drivers and everyone were already killed, or removed from the scene anyway. I think this was already suggested or hinted by someone, Petri at least, but that's my case anyway. Counter-thoughts welcome. --Caustic Logic (talk) 13:20, 13 January 2017 (UTC)

And I have one to start. In the one warehouse damage photo noted around, there is that imprint of what seems a human body blasted against the ceiling by that blast. But it might be a mixed event - say, that was the opening shot from nearby. The guards sent by the "local police" (how know to stay outside the warehouse) would then arrest and execute everyone, mangle some bodies to look convincing, then retreat and blow up the crime scene. For example. --Caustic Logic (talk) 13:20, 13 January 2017 (UTC)

Blast areas

(to be expanded - sorry, I re-numbered these after a bad start, will repair...) --Caustic Logic (talk) 15:41, 8 October 2016 (UTC)

OFAB-250 bomb in Urm al-Kubra warehouse.jpg
1) The strange scene discussed at File:OFAB-250 bomb in Urm al-Kubra warehouse.jpg A hole was punched in the roof, and perhaps detonated inside. Does not seem very powerful, like the suggested OFAB-250 would be, and also peculiar, and questionable. Crater: yes, fairly small. Boxes are mostly intact, just torn lightly by fine shrapnel, it seems. Directional fireball evidenced. If anything impacted here, clues say it came from the south. (additions Caustic Logic (talk) 04:41, 9 October 2016 (UTC))

Urm al-Kubra Attack blast area 1.png
2) This is an area of one or maybe two impacts. We see these collapsed the whole side of the adjacent building and damaged truck #9's back trailer, pushing it and truck 8's trailer to the side, into the circular island, hitting the trailer with shrapnel from the right and just a bit behind. Crater? Unclear, presumably (covered in rubble, seen at oblique or unclear angles) Discussed at File:Urm al-Kubra Attack blast area 1.png

This blast is the most likely to generate the shrapnel that marked the warehouse face some 30 meters to the north. Here's a graphic marking where chips cane be seen in various photos and videos. This is good but incomplete, might help say what angles the projectile came in on.

Urm al-Kubra Attack warehouse shrapnel pattern.png

3) This photo (gallery) with a UPI report shows the east side of the compound past truck 7 and the car. An outer wall is collapsed, a structure next door torn open, and some trees torn up at the top. To the south is worse, trees decapitated and burnt, wall burnt, truck 7 - all from one fireball? If this is all from one thing, it's a powerful FAE, probably fired from the north (?) --Caustic Logic (talk) 10:33, 6 October 2016 (UTC)

4) possible small crater in the road, seen in night-time video, filled in in the morning.

5) Unclear blast damage behind truck #1, one or more impacts unclear - knocking down a section of wall, scattering debris, and tearing open the side of the trailer. This scene is not easy to decipher. Most photos are from the road, offering a limited view. Below are some special views from videos of the truck from all sides and a panorama on the area behind it. --Caustic Logic (talk) 08:01, 10 October 2016 (UTC)

Urm al-Kubra Attack truck 1 all sides.png
Urm al-Kubra Attack truck 1 behind.png

There are other areas of shrapnel (most of it's clearly too irregular in size to be bullet-holes) and fire, but not easy yet to say where there should be a blast. Anyone can add one they think is clear enough to consider, and I'll make an update. --Caustic Logic (talk) 12:09, 5 October 2016 (UTC)

Areas of Interest

3) There seems to be an obliterated pile of scrap where the truck cab for #5 should be - seems powerful. Crater? May not apply.

I was under the impression that this was either the back of a truck or a disconnected trailer, but now I can't find a clear image to consider again. The crater shown on the night-time White Helmet vid (the one where he pulls a white circular piece of metal from the crater) is just in front of this truck. A guy in a bobcat filled it in with rubble, so it looks like an out-of-place light tannish clump of something on the ground in front of the ruined truck/trailer the next day.--PavewayIV (talk) 09:56, 6 October 2016 (UTC)
Actually it seems pretty unclear to me. There's just enough of something, and views aren't clear. maybe the best Is it even clear this was hit? Maybe on the top, a little towards the back? Should it even be a numbered entry? 1 and 2 are clear ... --Caustic Logic (talk) 10:26, 6 October 2016 (UTC)
I checked, but where's that crater? This video? At 0:04 looks kind of like a door frame. --Caustic Logic (talk) 10:44, 6 October 2016 (UTC)
Crater found, in a different video. Back to truck 5. Here's a good view with a lot of what seems like truck remnants. Engine seems missing? --Caustic Logic (talk) 08:01, 10 October 2016 (UTC)
Aleppo Convoy 4.jpg

4) A cab blown out a bit on truck #2 - seems not very powerful. Crater? Check the seat cushions.

This seems to me to be damage mostly from the #1 and #3 explosions. The cab doesn't seem blown out to me. The wind deflector wing thing is bent up and away from the blast - it's not the actual roof of the cab, is it? The windshield and windows would have been taken out by the #1 blast.--PavewayIV (talk) 09:56, 6 October 2016 (UTC)
(areas re-numbered: now refers to #2 and unlisted...) --Caustic Logic (talk) 04:41, 9 October 2016 (UTC)
will have to review. --Caustic Logic (talk) 10:26, 6 October 2016 (UTC)
Yeah, was a cursory review. Damage is all exterior and may include bullet holes, as discussed elsewhere. --Caustic Logic (talk) 08:01, 10 October 2016 (UTC)

Damaged car:

Urm Al-Kubra Attack Car Composite.png

(composite view, smaller door views added, back end not covered). Is the large damage here the same low shrapnel from blast area 2 that hit the back of truck 9? Or something else? --Caustic Logic (talk) 06:20, 24 October 2016 (UTC)


Happened right after embarrassing 'error' by coalition in Deir ez Zor, furious accusations at the UN, and followed by lapse of ceasefire at 7 p.m. Broader background, recently concluded Kerry -Lavrov talks (said to be opposed by parts of US government, so many hours break was required by Kerry to negotiate with Washington), and followed by ceasefire near collapse on the ground. Russia accusing USA of not separating moderate and radical opposition and not reciprocating steps to demilitarize agreed areas, etc. Further, approaching UN session, likely last for this US administration, and elections in USA. With ceasefire collapsing, blame games to start. --Resup (talk) 08:50, 20 September 2016 (UTC)

Interesting suggestion from Gareth Porter that the Deir ez Zor attack was related to Pentagon vs State Department infighting. Russia responding to that attack with a harsh signal to both. - see Pentagon Sank Ceasefire

Charles, good to hear from you again. It's unclear what Porter thinks of this attack, but otherwise an excellent analysis. --Caustic Logic (talk) 11:22, 25 September 2016 (UTC)
Well he did say Attacking the aid convoy by some means was a brutal way of signalling a response to such messages. Unfortunately, the brunt of the response was borne by aid workers and civilians. I interpret that as saying the convoy attack was a deliberate signal. This is sort of consistent with Lavrov laboring the point the Deir ez-Zour attack took 1 hour and Kerry then laboring the point the convoy attack took 2 hours --Charles Wood (talk) 02:55, 26 September 2016 (UTC)
Russia/Syria responded in a way, but with strikes, advances on Aleppo front lines. And making some fake rumors too. Attacking Red Crescent convoy will be counter-productive; Assad in a recent interview made a quite sensible point that this will play into the hands of terrorists, giving them more support from the population. Various US departments can use this in their campaigns, but otherwise no strong message for them here.--Resup (talk)16:07, 25 September 2016 (UTC)

Al-Zenki The area of the attack is said to be administered by Harakat Noureddin al-Zenki. (Vanessa Beeley). Omar Salkhu and Mohammed Maruf, (said to be "the two Aleppo commanders of al-Zenki") filmed themselves beheading a boy in July, were said to be arrested, but were seen armed and at liberty in early August (As discussed here).

A Channel 4 News video released October 4, as noted in this annotated version, features Salku and Marouf at least among the rebels they got up close and personal with, during battles in the Ramouseh district. Some footage is dated August, some undated, perhaps spanning weeks, up to October.

At 1:23, in a night-time scene, Salku shouts into his radio "sort out that bakery for me. Set it on fire or bomb it." Wouldn't it be interesting if this was the night of September 19 and he was radioing his guys in Urm al-Kubra? This Red Crescent center was by reports also a bakery. Would he go ahead and give that order in front of a news camera? Same guy who filmed himself helping behead a boy? Sure. He might say don't give a date.

But... it's most likely a coincidence. It's made to seem connected to a suicide bombing of an army position at dawn, smoke plume shown. But these are the guys running the area. There might be two or more bakery hits called in so far this fall. --Caustic Logic (talk) 09:39, 6 October 2016 (UTC)

Actually the bakery mention I had seen is apparently unrelated, from a few days later. But anyway, as Vanessa Beeley reports, Channel 4 got embarrassed and pulled the video (link now says "private," but the copies of it around aren't!) --Caustic Logic (talk) 12:54, 10 October 2016 (UTC)

Rebel motives?

The attack has all the hallmarks of a Nusra / StateDept false flag attack. There in no proof that any airplanes were involved. This could as well have been a Hell Cannon or GRADs. The rebel have every motive to attack the convoy. Why should "Syrian Christians" have aid, when they have just refused the UN aid convoys to enter east Aleppo?

  1. The aid sent by the Syrian government via Red Crescent was meant for government supporters in besieged areas and minorites. (The White Helmets guy on video says "Syrian Chrisians".)
  2. The convoy entered rebel held areas during the ceasefire. It was attacked half an hour after the ceasefire ended and the Syrian and Russian air forces resumed airstrikes.
  3. Rebels and their civilian supporters have blocked UN aid from reaching east Aleppo.
    • The ceasefire agreement comes with strings attached. If no aid is delivered, there can be no ceasefire. If there is no ceasefire, there is no need to separate al-Nusra from the "moderate" rebels.
  4. Rebels have said they will end cooperation with UN aid agencies because the UN "supports the regime".
  5. During the ceasefire the rebels merged their command structures. All may now be commanded by ex-Nusra.
  6. The White Helmets, who were first seen on the site after the attack, could se the SARC as a competitor operating on their "turf".

-- Petri Krohn (talk) 10:50, 20 September 2016 (UTC)

Is it acceptable to strike out someone else's text? But the Christians thing is a red herring. I heard it too, phoenetically it seemed clear. But it's at least a bit strane to say, and being a "center" of them, and Christian being not too far off from Crescent in sound, I'm pretty sure he's describing this like others do: the local center of the Syrian (Arab Red) Crescent. Other points: very interesting. --Caustic Logic (talk) 13:03, 21 September 2016 (UTC)
Urm al Kubra Attack NotoAid.png
Points 2 and 3, interrelated, are crucial, in my opinion. The main goal was to get Syria and Russia in trouble, but it helps to hit them with dead UN/SARC people and refused aid if you thought of them as enemies and wanted to refuse their aid anyway. Here's a Nusra-supporting local in east Aleppo explaining a September 14 protest against UN aid. It's part of a conspiracy against al-Qaeda, to sow division and halt the jihad. The "free people" in Aleppo don't want al Qaeda bombed, they want Assad bombed and Russia's bombing stopped by force, so they can keep or take control. Anything less is "humiliation" by "the UN and its allies." --Caustic Logic (talk) 12:50, 10 October 2016 (UTC)

Jurgen Todenhöfer conducted and interview with a Jabhat al-Nusra commander that was published Sept. 26, 2016 - it's contested, as many things are, as discussed here. This includes the relevant passage:

Todenhöfer: You do not want those 40 trucks with aid supplies to bring those into the eastern part of Aleppo?
"Abu Ezz": We have demands. As longs as the regime is positioned along Castello road, in al-Malah and in the northern areas we will not let those trucks pass. The regime must retreat from all areas in order for us to let the trucks pass. If a truck comes in despite that, we will arrest the driver.

At the scene where perhaps everyone died:

Urm al-Kubra Attack rip rip rip.png

Transit aspect

Rebel groups typically operate similar to gangs, having control on 'their' territory and receiving fees or other perks for transit. If there is a disagreement on any of that, 'something bad may happen'. In this case, a shipment coming from an enemy , to aid a Christian group, and arranged by enemies (crusaders/kafirs/takfirs/etc). Disagreements over participation in the relief deal, or relief distribution, may be additional motivating factors. --Resup (talk) 12:36, 20 September 2016 (UTC)

As noted, Christian aspect seems baseless. Otherwise, good point in line with some of Petri's above. Broadly, the problems that this obvious alleged airstrike happened in an area swarming with terrorist armed groups. That opens a lot of possibilities some people want to ignore. --Caustic Logic (talk) 13:03, 21 September 2016 (UTC)


The head of the Red Crescent in Aleppo, Omar Barakat was among those killed

Did anyone from the convoy survive? Has anyone returned to Aleppo? Did they tell what happened? Was this information made public? There were 30 trucks in the convoy meaning 30 drivers. Ten or twelve of these were "burned to death". This means a 50 to 60% survival rate. Eight SARC crescent personnel - most likely wearing the distinctive red outfits - were killed. If they had the same survival rate, then another twelve should be alive. Or did all of the SACR people die?

The activist are astonishingly certain that the head of the Red Crescent in Aleppo, Omar Barakat was among those killed. It is as if someone had seen him die, without being affected by the "blast" himself. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 17:12, 20 September 2016 (UTC)

BBC has this detail: The head of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent's office in Urum was killed, dying of his injuries as he waited hours to be evacuated. --Resup (talk) 20:44, 20 September 2016 (UTC)

Indeed, why don't we see any bodies and/or White Helmets desperately trying to save them? --Resup (talk) 18:16, 20 September 2016 (UTC)

The number of victims has now been upgraded, so that no survivors are to be expected: "19 civilians and 12 aid workers". See: FSA statement on Umr al-Kubra attack. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 21:21, 21 September 2016 (UTC)
This is definitely weird. I can't relocate where I saw 18 wounded, but this compared to that suggests they missed one, and he and all of them died. What happened to non-wounded survivors? Who got back to safety and talked about it? Survivors? Haven't seen anything yet, except this case of someone ostensibly in the SARC speaking anonymously for them.
Members of the Syrian Red Crescent, who had travelled from regime-held west Aleppo to make the delivery were too scared to share what they had seen, fearing punishment from Syrian officials. “They want to kill humanity, but humanity will not die,” said one of Barakat’s colleagues, insisting his name was not used. (Guardian)
That suggests they're back in a government-controlled area. Reports cite witnesses, but they're always from the White Helmets and affiliates. Or one "relief worker" (unclear affiliation) is said to speak to BBC Newsnight, but I can't find it. He sounds less afraid. The Daily Beast cites him so:
“What happened was—almost two hours before the bombing we heard and saw a drone, as soon as the regime announced the end of the ceasefire. I had concerns that it would start bombing, because it flew over us for a long time. After two hours the helicopter came and dropped the first barrel bomb. After half a minute it dropped two barrel bombs together, afterwards there were six air strikes by the military jets. Then the jets with guns launched an attack. Afterwards the helicopters came back dropping barrel bombs, and then the jet with guns came back and started firing.”
So that guy must have been there, right? --Caustic Logic (talk) 13:07, 23 September 2016 (UTC)
Don't see why, he is just telling same story as White Helmets (and not because it happened that way). If thermobarics were used, as a video seems to indicate, anybody in the affected area (large, judged by video) will die; having no survivors will not be surprising. Note that no bodies are shown. --Resup (talk) 14:27, 23 September 2016 (UTC)
Sorry, that was sarcasm. His account is extremely non-realistic. --Caustic Logic (talk) 00:31, 25 September 2016 (UTC)
According to a handwritten ledger kept by the Red Crescent, the youngest victim of Monday’s attack was 16-year-old Taqi Hashim. Five of the most grievously injured, including a 14-year-old, are from one family, the Najeebs.
Actual SARC-written ledger? They were taking notes on the killed in one of their pads afterwards and rebels have it? Or did rebels take a pad and write the names of those they killed. and show it to reporters? Or are reporters actually talking to SARC people? (I doubt it). But here we hear about more than 4 injured that apparently didn't die. --Caustic Logic (talk) 00:31, 25 September 2016 (UTC)
Taqi Hashim in Arabic should be:تقي هاشم - however, it seems no one even in Arabic is talking about him. Twitter search brings up a user of that name, young but from Iraq, who was posting regularly to Sept. 12 and hasn't since. No one mentioning the name. [V Google News search] - nothing relevant. Using their translit only brings up the same WaPo piece. Swapping k for q or ee for i (all 4 combos) brings up nothing else I see. Hm. --Caustic Logic (talk) 01:49, 25 September 2016 (UTC)

The quote isn't from one of these, who still have no direct voice. It's from the English-speakin WH in a blue shirt. Ammar al-Selmo, who "was making tea in a building across the street" and stepped out on the blacony when the attack happened.

“Tell me what was going through the minds of those pilots?” Selmo asked. “When they bombed an aid convoy, they must have known an ambulance would follow. Why did they wait to kill us? Why did they play this like a video game where you shoot everything that moves.” --Caustic Logic (talk) 00:31, 25 September 2016 (UTC)

Truck drivers, returned and not

  • OCHA Syria ‏@OCHA_Syria on Twitter, September 21, 2016
    After being stranded in Big #Orem for 2 days, 18 drivers & 17 trucks are back home to receive medical care in #Aleppo w/ @UN @SYRedCrescent

The information has been out there for almost a week, but no one noticed. On the video the one truck seen is empty. Where did these trucks unload? None of these trucks were seen on the footage from the attack site. 17 trucks returning out of 31 means 14 are missing. I do not think there are more than that seen at the attack site. At least three of the trucks seen were not destroyed, except for damage to tires, and could also have returned. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 17:53, 26 September 2016 (UTC)

Two trucks seen on the outskirts after the attack: Trucks carrying aid are seen on the side of the road on the outskirts of the town of Orum al-Kubra after a convoy delivering aid was hit by a deadly air strikeOmar haj Kadour/AFP --Caustic Logic (talk) 13:55, 28 September 2016 (UTC)

  • New York Times "The United Nations sought to retrieve the bodies of the drivers who had been killed, Mr. Egeland said. But the rebels didn’t let it. And there was no Mr. Barakat to help."

As Charles Shoebridge wonders "Afraid of what autopsies might reveal?" (tweet) --Caustic Logic (talk) 09:32, 28 September 2016 (UTC)

A final death toll of 31 announced by the local FSA brigade Jaish al-Muhajadeen says 31 people died, being "12 humanitarian aid workers and 19 civilians, including the drivers of the aid convoy." (see English press release) France 24, noting the opening of a UN investigation Sept. 30, said the attack "claimed the life of the local head of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, Omar Barakat, as well as 12 volunteers (13 aid workers) and five drivers." Total death toll 18, so this might be an early and inomplete tally they were once handed, and 13 more must have died of injuries? They add "Another 15 drivers were wounded," so perhaps all but 2 died? Or were there more "other" civilians killed?

  • 20 drivers total is a bit high for only 14 trucks remaining. It's a better fit with the reported 18+ trucks, but this doesn't seem right.
  • If there are one or two reported survivors, they would be suspect - all may have been killed, with a slot or two reported open, to fill with any actor to relate the details they want. Same applies to aid workers or anyone else. They likely won't have any visible wounds or sign of injury, aside from maybe being in a hospital bed. --Caustic Logic (talk) 06:55, 1 October 2016 (UTC)

See also parallel discussion below in NY Times article discussion section. It was reported by OCHA that After being stranded in Big #Orem for 2 days, 18 drivers & 17 trucks are back home to receive medical care in #Alepo , so 13=31-18 drivers were killed. This suggests that there are 'reported survivors'. Injuries may be very important in investigation; at this point, nothing is ruled out. But there won't be any bodies for autopsy (and we may have some stories, too). --Resup (talk) 09:09, 1 October 2016 (UTC)

"Predator" drone?

  • (See news on the main page, RT (Eng)., Sept., 2016). Usage is fire correction/observation, or strikes. Armaments used, according to wiki, is one of those options: 2 × AGM-114 Hellfire (MQ-1B); 4 × AIM-92 Stinger (MQ-1B);6 × AGM-176 Griffin air-to-surface missile (or combinations). One Griffin is enough for one truck. If trucks stand in one column, it can take out cabin of one and set fire to another; if in 2 columns, that may double. But it still seems under-powered in realistic situation to do the job reported. (FWIW, we do not see that many destroyed trucks on photos, too)
  • The US-led coalition air forces did not carry out any missions over the Aleppo area where the UN aid convoy was hit, Adrian Rankine-Galloway, a Pentagon spokesman, told RIA Novosti.
There is Aljazeera 2 part series looking into drone use in Afghanistan. It explains that drones may be assigned to CIA (classified as a civilian agency), and flown by it or military; disclosure and war rules then do not apply. (Claims made by Aljazeera have not been independently verified).
--Resup (talk) 18:11, 21 September 2016 (UTC)

Trucks do appear to be in a 2-column on one of the photos, FWIW --Resup (talk) 23:05, 21 September 2016 (UTC)

Metal-Augmented Charge?

Thermobaric blast seen on Aleppo 24 News video

PavewayIV on comments on a post at Moon of Alabama that the video of the explosion shown by ABC shows the sparkles of a Metal-Augmented Charge blast (in which the explosive is surrounded by a mesh of fluorinated aluminium. This type of explosive are used in Hellfire AGM-114N missiles which are used on Predator drones, but not in Russian missiles. He links to an ABC news video in which the sparkles are clearly seen in one frame at about 0.01. Pmr9 (talk) 23:01, 21 September 2016 (UTC)

Interesting. When a bomb, a warhead packed with fluorinated aluminium powder surrounding a small charge, hits its target, the charge disperses the aluminium powder throughout the target building. The cloud then ignites, causing a massive secondary blast that tears throughout any enclosed space., somewhere--Resup (talk) 23:18, 21 September 2016 (UTC)
For my part, not having looked at the argument in detail, I'm skeptical. One question is why didn't the Russians notice this drone earlier? I'll come back to it soon. --Caustic Logic (talk) 08:19, 22 September 2016 (UTC)
Konoshenkov said, in the very first sentence of his comment, that this was revealed publicly because Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications for U.S. President Barack Obama Ben Rhodes in 'categorical' (strong) form accused Russia, and further SU 24 accusation was made as a leak. Prior to that, radar control data was kept confidential. Detailed information (in the context, about Russia not making the strike, and possibly something else, not clearly stated) was provided by a Russian representative of the command at the airbase Khmeimim. to a US colonel (name not provided, said to be well-known to USA), over the phone in the evening of Sept. 19. Also noted, commenter on moon of alabama, discussed above, made a point that late sparkling outer halo seen on one of videos is characteristic of hellfire missile (and possibly some other NATO munitions), but not Russian ones, which may spark but in a different way. This type of munition leave no/just one small crater and tend to cause fires. Shrapnel marks need separate explanation but other munitions could be used as well. Don't know who is commenter but appears to be Western ex-military type; what he says makes sense. Watching some drone strikes, some instances resemble video above, and some don't. --Resup (talk) 09:03, 22 September 2016 (UTC)
PavewayIV says he is ex-US military. He has an account here, but is not very talkative. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 17:12, 22 September 2016 (UTC)
PavewayIV contributed extensively to the WhoGhouta blog a couple of years ago and his expertise helped to clear up several key questions. I would give considerable weight to his opinions on ordnance-related matters Pmr9 (talk) 19:22, 22 September 2016 (UTC)
Okay, I was wondering if the Russians had decided truth was a losing claim and they had to battle American allegations with their own (would not work if they tried, and I hope they don't). the details are compelling (speed and altitude given), there's even a graphic of the track (a bit cryptic), and the reason for delayed mention to the public is plausible. So I can see it as possibly valid, a wild claim but in line with wild stuff the US is doing lately with my tax $$. But still I'm going to stay a bit skeptical for good measure. --Caustic Logic (talk) 13:08, 22 September 2016 (UTC)


We don't know whether this video is from the right place and time (though Western MSM and pro Western social media thought that it is). The video is most consistent with a drone use (not very fast, not high, stays put in a closed area). We also do not know for sure ourselves that late sparkling halo is exclusively hellfire or similar NATO munitions, but the case for this has been made elsewhere, discussed above. --Resup (talk) 09:53, 22 September 2016 (UTC)

My MoA post was suggesting that it looked more like a MAC Hellfire (to me) than known/widely used Russian munitions. Russians have thermobarics that have a similar (yet distinct by my reckonning) effect but they are not even know to be used in Syria. So between those two and the presence (Russian MoD report) of a Predator, I would go with a Predator vs. something the Russians dropped from their Su-24M2. More below - there's also the possibility of a Hell Cannon as suggested by user Brunswick on the SST blog - I had not considered this or rebel motivation at the time in my Hellfire post. --PavewayIV (talk) 08:24, 27 September 2016 (UTC)

Videos: facebook, ABC news (more on main page (nighttime videos)). ABC news video shows in the beginning metallic based thermobaric, as discussed and linked above. On facebook, sparks are blurred. We also see 6 (apparently) munitions, going down, after the big blast (cluster munition? 6 griffins? why are they lightened up, as if to see them better? flares, not munitions?) . Then we see somehow 7 of those things falling down; and a second thermobaric blast (if this is not fiddled video and shows right place at all). Was not looking into this as was not sure it is the same place, but mass and social media yell that it is. There is a sound of a plane or drone, but may be at some distance. If this is a single drone, Reaper, not Predator? Falling down things, going somewhere to the right, look like bombs, and not very smart ones, apart from being alight to show themselves ... A Reaper has enough to do it, but why? For the show? --Resup (talk) 23:49, 21 September 2016 (UTC)

Illuminating bomb is sensible to use here as no sunlight, moonlight, and cold truck. Could not find aerial bomb info or video, but here is a mortar version of illuminating munition. One of photos, nighttime, appears similar to what's on video. Possibly called flare, of a particular sort. In Russian, called осветительные (светящие) авиационные бомбы, illuminating (lighting) aerial bombs, and they are known since WW2 --Resup (talk) 09:03, 22 September 2016 (UTC)
Rare to see illumination rounds used in modern aerial attacks, Resup. And not sure if the discussion is the bright, continuously-lit objects falling nearly vertically. If it is, those are probably anti-SAM IR flares. They would be dropped by either a fighter-bomber or a drone when making a low-altitude (below 10,000ft) attack run. They are routinely fired in groups immediately after a bomb release as the aircraft is turning out - standard procedure. They usually don't make it to the ground, so it's unusual to see them here. Very low pass? I'm also trying to confirm Predators have that capability. Another possibility: antiaircraft guns use tracer rounds which (depending on viewing angle) can appear to be falling nearly vertically late in their flight path. That seems less likely to me based on appearance. It would have been more apparent if we saw them hitting the ground. A typical IR flare is about the size of a shotgun shell and gets lighter as it burns. A 23mm anti-aircraft round is several hundred grams of lead. --PavewayIV (talk) 08:24, 27 September 2016 (UTC)
There is also one vid where it almost appears like a laser 'rays' flashing from the sky. I have heard that modern digital cameras can pick up the targeting laser of an aircraft/drone, so there's that (weak) possibility. Nothing to back that up, though. These were second-hand reports from guys in Iran working near U.S. stuff.

Actually, hellfire claim is not easy to youtube-verify, in daylight it may look as a bright flash at one point and black smoke at another. In night vision, it may look as a flash with no sparkling, and they do not come visible on military on board videos. So this is an effect to be seen at night, with a good enough camera, and few people were 'lucky' to be in the right place at the right time to film this. Needs to be AGM-114N variant, and this is a nighttime effect, according to above mentioned comment. --Resup (talk) 10:41, 22 September 2016 (UTC)

Agree, Resup. This observation is mine based on videos. I have never been unfortunate enough to be in combat or see this up close in person. I wish there were more mil types out there that could either verify or discount this based on their direct experience (Iraq, Afghanistan). It's impossible to see the fireworks effect during daytime and not picked up by most mil FLIR cams day or night - the flash overpowers the imager and they typically don't have very fine resolution. As noted above, my observation was directed more at the comparison of Predator/MAC Hellfire vs. Su-24/Common Russian munitions. --PavewayIV (talk) 08:24, 27 September 2016 (UTC)
I found one photo online that shows a similar sparkling effect. This is from Yemen and may have been some huge MOAB-fucking thermobaric bomb. (I was not a nuke.) -- Petri Krohn (talk) 21:22, 22 September 2016 (UTC)
Those are some "neutrons" --Caustic Logic (talk) 02:52, 25 September 2016 (UTC)
(not)--Resup (talk) 10:20, 25 September 2016 (UTC)
That particular explosion and the erratic sparkling of metal particles or whatever they are has all the mil types baffled. I would guess some kind of enhanced blast / metal augmented charge munition, but the bomb itself is obviously huge and the sparkles distinct from the fireworks effect that I claim looks like a MAC Hellfire. Interesting that Russia has their own version of a MOAB-f@#king-sized theromobaric/MAC bomb as seen in this MOABski@1:43 mark vid. --PavewayIV (talk) 08:24, 27 September 2016 (UTC)


I have a couple of questions. One, ... Moved to File:SARC Convoy Attack Sparkles comp.png#Which video is better?

SARC Convoy Attack Sparkles comp.png

Next: I'm having a hard time trusting PavewayIV's assessment on the size of these sparkles. As I gather, he says Russian versions can have smaller or bigger flakes, but this middle size points to the AGM-114N and to a Predator. But that seems pretty subjective or hard to call with certainty. Or did I miss something? (quite possible, not my best few days.) --Caustic Logic (talk) 02:52, 25 September 2016 (UTC) OK, he says

sry, it's a size/glow duration combo:
The Russians have thermobaric bombs as well, but they are of a different design and the blast usually looks different – non-existent sparkles because of a micronized metal powder, or long-duration sparkles on very large charges for whatever reason.

So he'd say the fact that they're seen puts them as larger than the micronized kind, and the short duration is the other kind's mismatch. Suggested: the Russians have no other kind like this. That could be true, but seems very hard to prove and make this into a leading smoking gun. --Caustic Logic (talk) 04:01, 25 September 2016 (UTC)

Yes - it's subjective at this point. I have seen videos of a MAC Hellfire at night over the years, but I can't locate any decent videos for illustration now. Most of the Hellfire strike videos available via a search are from aircraft/drone IR cams where it can't be seen. In some videos with this effect, the type of munition isn't identified, so I can't offer it as proof of what an AGM-114N explosion looks like. The military isn't keen on providing this kind of detail to the public. So for now, my claim only carries the weight of 'Paveway sez:' and hardly stands up to any kind of impartial scrutiny. If I do find something, I'll post it here. --PavewayIV (talk) 08:24, 27 September 2016 (UTC)
So it remains potentially important but sort of iffy, or hard to prove. But sometimes good clues emerge later. If you're hanging around, I'm fairly confident "we" will spot them, too. --Caustic Logic (talk) 13:31, 27 September 2016 (UTC)
On these videos, very bright flash, sometime later dimmer, outer layer sparkling halo, almost spherical shape, of secondary burn nature. In Russian blasts, it may sparkle irregularly inside bright flash, and sparking may fly off here and there in irregular manner, but no this late nice outer halo. In Russian design, essentially it burns in one step, here like in two steps, flash -outer sparkling halo. An interesting theory, and this argument is made externally already. We cannot verify this as we do not know who has what; and cannot add much to what's said already; this is not our argument. If he posts it here, can ask him some questions. There seem to be few videos like this at all, Petri posted link to one other. There are daytime or on-board recording videos of hellfires which do not look like here (apparently too much light to see dim effect or too low resolution or a different hellfire warhead). So at least what's seen here is an unusual (for youtube warriors) effect--basically visually good firework, as opposed to visually bad firework, same nature --Resup (talk) 08:03, 25 September 2016 (UTC)
The diffuse glow / halo are finely disbursed metal particles. Their interaction with the supersonic shock front is used for blast shaping, essentially enlongating an unconstrained blast pressure spike of a millisecond or two and hundreds of psi into a long-duration blast wave of hundreds of milliseconds and tens of psi. That's the part that makes it thermobaric. You can have metal-augmented charges that have absolutely no thermobaric or blast-shaping effects. They have some other evil physical properties better suited to, oh... say shredding the limbs of Palestinian children. The tungsten MAC of Israeli DIME munitions used for that effect.--PavewayIV (talk) 08:24, 27 September 2016 (UTC)
Also, if two SU 24 attack, they drop something and gone. Here, as Aleppo 24 video presents, thermobaric, turn on lights to see, turn lights again to see (illuminating munitions), another thermobaric, suggesting an attack from something not very fast, drone or perhaps chopper. No point for SU 24 pilot to deploy illuminating munition, he can't freeze a plane to take a good look/assessment. He will just drop his thing and report back that target was destroyed in a loud military fashion --Resup (talk) 08:29, 25 September 2016 (UTC)
Yes, the flares we see drop in fives or so ... I'm inclined to agree with your assessment. These parts of the attack seem more like a drone. Said to be there about 30 minutes. There could be a jet part as well, or not. --Caustic Logic (talk) 16:09, 25 September 2016 (UTC)
Have we considered this video Resup noted somewhere? Different views of some sparkling blasts and fires from closer up, but with jet-like sounds that need considered. --Caustic Logic (talk) 07:58, 28 September 2016 (UTC)

Here is a nighttime video of a real Russian attack for comparison: ‏@IraqiSecurity: Russian jets dropping incendiary munitions on rebel targets north of Homs, #Syria. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 22:56, 12 October 2016 (UTC)

Hell Cannon?

I had made a remark about user Brunswick on SST suggesting this looked like a Hell Cannon propane-tank home-brew munition, and provided a link to this vid of an explosion. He comments

Check out the "sparkle effect" and the large fireball, probably caused by clumping and a diesel rich amatol mix.

So does that look anything like the convoy bombing vid explosion? Slightly different, but close enough that I wouldn't insist on my Hellfire hypothesis.

BTW, all the head-choppers use prilled ammonium nitrate (AN) fertilizer - little white balls - readily available in Turkey/Syria as the basis for their propane tank bombs. AMATOL is a mixture of TNT and AN. I think TNT is kind of hard to find. There's an alternative, easier mixture consisting of prilled AN and fuel oil (ANFO). If they have any available, they will add crudely-ground aluminum powder as a kind of head-chopper MAC. That's difficult to obtain in quantity. So they use ground charcoal as an alternative in their ANFO to make it blow up better. The addition of aluminum powder or charcoal can produce the bright sparks flying away from the explosion epicenter as seen in the video. They are very prominent at night.

So why the chemistry lesson? Because I think the convoy attack explosion looks like a MAC Hellfire vs. something Russian. But all other things considered (shakey cam, somewhat blurry, bad camera color balance, etc.), I would be less inclined to say it looks like a Hellfire vs. a Hell Cannon AN-type explosive with extra goodies in it. There are subtle differences, but close enough that it's not worth arguing. I bring this up because the proposition I'm making is that it still doesn't look like anything Russian, but it does look like either a Hellfire or Hell Cannon.

The Hell Cannon argument needs to be considered along with rebel motivation. I'm inclined to think the easiest possible explanation for the attack isn't a false flag, but some rebel gang warfare over who gets to steal the infidel aid first. The Hell Cannons could have been used to drive of SARC and/or rival gangs away from the booty. Or else a the gang that intended to steal the aid couldn't work out a deal with SARC and left mad, only to return for a little scorched-earth payback (explains why they would burn the trucks as they left, then bombed what was left.) I'm not married to that theory, but this is Mad Max head-chopper turf. There is nothing like a unified rebel force - it's rival gangs of criminals and fanatics. If their gang doesn't get the lice shampoo, then nobody does! --PavewayIV (talk) 08:24, 27 September 2016 (UTC)

Very interesting, thanks! I guess if we are to look into this further, it be worthwhile to split videos into frame-by-frame to see whether HellFire (HF) is distinguishable from HellCannon (HC). Seems to me that in HC it all flies out radially in a wild way as it pleases, and in HF (and here, as initial running assumption) it is more symmetric and organised (synchronized), into spherical layers sort of ways. Whether this (or something else of difference) is catched on videos, unsure, (or how to split-frame well, better than pressing on mouse and getting some random jerks, either). Also any clue on rough size of HF blast? We see some trees in there for scale, and we see them in photographs. Trees are mid-height ones, like 10-15 m, about same length as those trucks; bright flash appears to us to be some 3 tree lengths, and halo, like 6 tree length. So it appears that the initial bright flash is up to 45 m diameter (up to 3 truck lengths) ? Also, on the video we see three blasts (one was burning to begin with, and two more are recorded); but Predators can carry only two HF? (though a Reaper can have more). --Resup (talk) 10:17, 27 September 2016 (UTC)

It also depends how the munition falls and what it hits, Resup. Lots of Hellfire vids are of AGM-114M with a tandem HEAT charge hitting armor - that's going to throw a lot of 'sparks' that have nothing to do with the ones produced by a thermobaric MAC 114N. They would be different, but I'm not so sure I could tell from a single vid. They are rarely identified in a video - it's just some soldier taking personal vid of 'a Hellfire strike'. They may have no idea.
Hell Cannons hitting a pile of flammable material and shredding it look different then one hitting a building. Then there are so many variants of the home-brew Hell Cannon bombs (compositon, construction, fuzing) that I don't know if you can ever get to the point of determining what a mythical 'standard' one 'should' look like.
Thus my comment about the indefinite nature of it and 'close enough'. Certainly something to consider among the other details, but vids are far from any kind of positive identification. I would say the HC vid explosion is different from the convoy attack explosion, but what does that really mean? Both are HC but just a different fill/fuze for the convoy attack one, or are we looking at a 'standard' HC in one video and a MAC Hellfire in the convoy attack? I don't think we can slice it and dice it that far. --PavewayIV (talk) 17:45, 27 September 2016 (UTC)

Also sequencing appears different: on our video, bright flash, sparkles firework than. On HC video sparkles/something fly off, and a bright flash after (?) --Resup (talk) 10:46, 27 September 2016 (UTC)

Potassium Nitrate & Aluminum mix?

I recall quite recently the description of a Syrian bomb that used Potassium Nitrate and Aluminum mix instead of ANFO. I've never brewed that particular mix but from experience with Permanganate/Aluminum and Chlorate/Aluminum I'd expect a sparkly result if the Al wasn't all fine powder. Incidentally, the majority of IEDs in Afghanistan are Chlorate based rather than ANFO because it's cheaper and easier to get. USA Today --Charles Wood (talk) 02:18, 28 September 2016 (UTC)

I'm for considering this, but I have nothing great to offer. Hell Cannon sparkles (if that's truly what that is - presuming so) Could explain what we see. I like what Resup says about the uniform suspension in the night video. The cannon video effect seems different - I'd think maybe bigger particles that fall more before burning out. But of course there's wind differences to consider. The cannon video has a clear breeze to the left, and the night video seems to have very little breeze. --Caustic Logic (talk) 07:58, 28 September 2016 (UTC)

HC and thermobaric are very different in how they work. In sparkling HC blasts, metal and an explosive mix/piles inside container go off, blasting and sparkling as they fly away. If there was something else, fuel residues, something combustible, also longer fires or fireballs . HF is different that a cloud of metal particles is spread first over pretty wide area. Than blast starts in the centre and spreads through the mix, in complicated (shock wave, and spreading 'forest fire' too), but I'd think fairly symmetric way. Depending on temperature and concentration, so essentially how far from the centre, looks like bright flash or sparkling halo. For some very particular thermobaric design (including how fine are the particles) may appear spherically-layered, flash in central region, dimmer delayed fireworks out (HF/US style thermobaric) Whether it can be spotted visually that this is different from just flying off from centre, with everything mixed together, like HC will do, is sort of open question. So thermobaric vs HC is about comparing blasts of different nature, not just blasts with particles a bit smaller or bigger or something else is incrementally different. However as was pointed out, lots of things contribute to visuals too, chemistry/fuse/target/etc, so it may be hard to distinguish them visually in practice. May be interesting to have more stills, and videos where we know what's going on. --Resup (talk) 08:56, 28 September 2016 (UTC)


Paveway - Lavrov is now quoting your original comment on Moon of Alabama, misattributing it to the Conflicts Forum website (also highly recommended) It's not typical of Lavrov to quote some random guy on the internet, so maybe the Russians know more than they're letting on. Pmr9 (talk) 20:25, 27 September 2016 (UTC)

This is interesting! For those who searching for the source, which'll be hard to find, his full quote.
The well-known website Bellingcat posted a report alleging that traces of a Russian-made bomb were discovered. However, half an hour before that, another website, Conflicts Forum, a US political think tank, posted a somewhat different report. Within the first few seconds of the footage aired on ABC, traces of aluminum dust, characteristic of ammunition used by Predator UAVs, were noticeable. The Americans did not deny that this kind of a UAV was over the part of Aleppo where the aid convoy was attacked at the time when it happened. Subsequently, these first seconds of the video showing the presence of aluminum dust were deleted. What [TV] channels, including the BBC, showed later did not contain that footage. But again, I don’t want to accuse anybody. Simply, we know very well how the world’s leading channels – CNN and the BBC – can tamper with facts (remember they showed something from Iraq several years ago but claimed it was happening in Syria today) and so, of course, we will demand a thorough investigation. We said this openly.

--Caustic Logic (talk) 23:44, 27 September 2016 (UTC)

It looks like the original ABC report I linked is up in it's original form, so they didn't delete the incriminating part. Lavrov must have read some second/third-hand comments inaccurately interpreting what I said about other MSM outlets avoiding footage of that blast and alternatively using the segment of the video with the shakey-cam blast where no aluminum sparks could be seen. Someone send Lavrov a link to ACLOS so we can straighten him out. --PavewayIV (talk) 04:39, 28 September 2016 (UTC)
I thought "alert Lavrov? What?" But the MFA is on Twitter, so I sent this "@mfa_russia Also, Mr. Lavrov was mistaken on this recently - see here" (link to here). That was preceded by this alert on my angled impact proof thing. --Caustic Logic (talk) 13:44, 30 September 2016 (UTC)
Sparkles on video are still due to metallic particles, so not really a mistake. It can be hellfire or hellcannon, as we discuss in more detail elsewhere on this page. But foreign affairs moved on by now, it becomes mostly about main battles in Aleppo, and who uses what against whom. This attack is now sort of special interest technical issue sort, not FA ... Unless there is an investigation, and as I understand there is none --Resup (talk) 14:02, 30 September 2016 (UTC)
  • BBC Russia's Sergei Lavrov: BBC interview in full, Sept 30, 2016. At 3:50 "reasons to believe a provocation" ; 10:30, more discussion, ending by a sort of BBC verbal strike or public announcement or whatever. Some mentioning of investigation made, but status of it is unclear (to me) --Resup (talk) 16:04, 30 September 2016 (UTC)

This just would not go away

thiqa agency Published on Sep 22, 2016, Scenes shown for the first time about the moment of warplanes and helicopters targeted a convoy of the Red Crescent in the town of Brive # Horm_kabry west of Aleppo اورم_الكبرى =Urm al Kubra . Russian-styled fireball for you, russkie, blam-tararam.

I think their ability to produce all that crappy social media stuff simply exceeds ability to do something about it There are many dark nights out there, to go and film, whatever. Really they should determine from radar data, and let it stay with that, otherwise, unending soap opera, new episode every day. --Resup (talk) 20:09, 22 September 2016 (UTC)

Bullseye hit on automobile

Here is video of the aftermath of a US drone targeting a SUV with al-Nusra Front Jabhet Fateh al-Sham members inside. The missile has blown the vehicle up from the inside. Only loose fingers and pieces of jawbone remain.

The damage looks similar to the truck cabin destroyed next to the gate of the compound (number 5 on the scene map). What Russian weapon could score a direct hit on the inside of an automobile? -- Petri Krohn (talk) 23:28, 17 October 2016 (UTC)

Does not take that much to destroy a car. FWIW, Bednov murder photos look sort of similar. That was (several) Schmels (small termobaric) --Resup (talk) 23:51, 17 October 2016 (UTC)
Yes, but the difficult part is accurately aiming for the car from 15,000 feet. ...with Soviet dumb bombs or dumb rockets. Hellfires, or whatever the American drones fire, are pinpoint accurate. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 00:37, 18 October 2016 (UTC)
Agreed there seems to be an obliterated cab there (AMC Facebook), and wondered about that, and where its engine went. It seems to raise a logic problem for an air attack, with one answer being a Predator's pinpoint weaponry. But AFAIK, Russians could have similar weapons. Could be a 'lucky' random hit - every missile will have to land somewhere. And, of course, it cold be fired from a mortar or rocket launcher nearby and not from the air at all. Agreed with Resup it doesn't have to a massively powerful weapon. And then if so, maybe they were aiming right for the cab, or maybe just near enough, and as it happened they hit right through the top. So, good thought, but hard to pin down into a firm point. --Caustic Logic (talk) 09:47, 18 October 2016 (UTC)
While we have this subject up, does anyone agree the cab seem blasted to it left (driver's side)? If this reflects munition trajectory, it would be from the south, more or less. --Caustic Logic (talk) 09:47, 18 October 2016 (UTC)
Yeah, missed that view somehow among all that mess...Looks unusual with something totally destroyed but not much shrapnel damage or crater around. What would be non-drone explanation for this? Fuel tank exploded? Some very lucky hellfire hit? Rigged with IED (but why)? --Resup (talk) 12:29, 18 October 2016 (UTC)

Evidence for Aircraft

Would like to get some summarized points up front soon. As it stands, off the top of my head ...

  • Alleged radar/etc. evidence of Russian SU-24 jets near the attack site at the right time
  • Alleged radar/etc. evidence of US Predator drone near the attack site at the right time
  • ground clues (blast clues, munition fragments, etc.): few if any - OFAB doesn't line up - all else could different things, angles not clear
  • Night video: jet sounds - could use some professional analysis -
    • certainly legit and not edited in?
    • Aircraft and not rocket sounds?
    • What models, distances, etc.? (more like a low drone or like SU-25?)
  • Night video: flares and possibly targeting lasers from the sky: may suggest a loitering aircraft
    • Loitering in an opposition area is not likely for Russian jets, but ok for friendly ones sharing the mission of the terrorists
    • More consistent with a drone than with fighter jets

--Caustic Logic (talk) 07:07, 2 October 2016 (UTC)

Russian Drone Video

(space for drone video links and intro)

Times and Locations

The Russian defence ministry later released surveillance footage filmed by a drone, which it said showed the stationary aid convoy being passed by a pick-up truck towing a heavy mortar.
But the Interpreter magazine reported that the video was filmed in the Aleppo suburb of Khan al-Asal, some 6.5km (4 miles) east of Urum al-Kubra.
It also pointed to screengrabs of other drone footage reportedly streamed online by Russia on the day of the attack that appears to show the convoy being unloaded. The timestamp says 18:41.

The Interpreter is a super-biased and unreliable source capable of making technically accurate points, when that doesn't interfere with their mission of demonizing the Russian and Syrian governments.

The video location could be right - the convoy would pass through Khan al-Assal. I may try and verify this. It doesn't debunk the Russian claim that I see. I think that is "here's a mortar truck passing the convoy." I don't think they made a claim as to where that was or wasn't.

The time issue - whatever the relevance is - is clearly incorrect. The screen time stamp does appear to say 18:41:38 (or swap 0s for the 8s, 10:41), but it doesn't seem correct either way. This would be 8 minutes after sunset at 6:33 local time, per NOAA solar calculator (to check - move the pin to the right area, select GMT +2 for time zone, DST on. This is clearly not after sunset but early afternoon, with sun shining down on the ground. In checking this, I found my earlier reading (225 deg = 2:25 pm) was a bit wrong. Measuring by the image, it's closer to 222 (range then = 222-225, weighted early) minus 13-15 deg for rotation from true north (did I forget to do this?) = 207-210 deg, which = app. 1:30-1:40 pm, or about the time the Russians say the convoy arrived (a no later than time). --Caustic Logic (talk) 08:19, 22 September 2016 (UTC)

Aleppo Convoy drone1 solar angles.png
orange lines are on or near shadows from vertical edges - yellow bars show basic height of the trucks - ground measures start from the bottoms of these, visible or not. White lines for the one building, same concept - the right line is corner of building at ground level, over to corner of shadow. This fits on the same orange line. Orange line measured (222, previously got 225, so made that a range). The deviation from north is about 14-15 degrees clockwise. So azimuth is shifted down that many degrees and comes out saying the time Russia specified, or a hair earlier. The sun agrees with Moscow on that point. Cool, we can move forward. --Caustic Logic (talk) 08:45, 22 September 2016 (UTC)
I checked the Interpreter piece, and it's pretty dumb.
If we look at the second video, we can also see that it was taken very close to sundown, though the exact time of either video is hard to determine with shadows alone since they are zoomed out and minute differences of angles matter.

What? You can see short mid-day shadows at a perfectly readable angle of about 206 degrees.

This means that these UN vehicles were passed by the truck that was carrying the artillery piece at approximately sunset. They then moved from this position, down to where the Russian drone spotted them a second time at about 6:50 local time (we know this from analyzing the MOD livestream's metadata)

Metadata, or screen-stamped time? Again, this is wrong, maybe by exactly five hours. It says 6:41, not 6:50. However the Khan al-Assal match looks pretty solid. But the time ... :Using, we can see that the video must have been taken very late in the day, perhaps right around 6-6:30 PM, near sunset,

I presume the program is fine and they just misused it. The visible solar angle is app. 198 degrees, or around 1:06 pm. I don't know what they thought they were doing. See green arrow here labeled "shadow" and right next to it an actual shadow from a pole at the real angle. How do you miss that? Trusted expert morons. --Caustic Logic (talk) 11:43, 25 September 2016 (UTC)
Have some trouble understanding the claim. Here is the video. Their green arrow seems to be more or less correct to indicate shadows direction. But this shows direction in space, and needs to be projected onto plane to get azimuth, result is counterclockwise rotation for the green arrow needed. And red line is not the north, the road goes SWW, so red arrow needs to be rotated about 40 degrees clockwise to show north direction. Giving smth like 1 pm for the time (not very carefully). There are posts shadows which are easier to direct. --Resup (talk) 13:22, 25 September 2016 (UTC)
Their point was simply that it's hours later than it is. The purpose seems to be nil - they note its before sunset, and so that truck with mortar is likely far away by the attack, about an hour later. They can have several more hours, according to the sun. A hidden purpose might be putting Russian surveillance as close to the attack as possible. If so, it fails.
So, for what it's worth... The green arrow does point from the truck's upper corner to the corresponding corner in the shadow. But as you noticed, this is almost useless in 3-D space. You need to measure along the ground, like a sundial, to get an azimuth. You could use the pole right there, the people across the road, or any of the trucks, IF you measure from its bottom corner along the ground to the corresponding corner. It should all be the same angle, minus surface irregularities.
I didn't notice that their red arrow to north is also way off, so good catch. North is almost straight across the road, with a slight angle in the opposite direction. Their arrow points northeast, maybe about 40 degrees off like you say. So they have the angle between two completely wrong lines setting their time that's a clear mismatch. If it was near sunset, there would be very long shadows. They don't get out much? --Caustic Logic (talk) 05:38, 26 September 2016 (UTC)
Update: 1:08 is a bit early. The sidewalk might be irregular. The prevailig solar angle everywhere else is a degree or so more to the west, so a hair later - I'd say 1:10-1:15 is close enough. --Caustic Logic (talk) 14:06, 27 September 2016 (UTC)

A few more additions:

  • Looks like the two images from the drone footage shown above may be at the same time, roughly. The Kafr Naha location: the north indicator is not correct as shown, 27 degrees counter-clockwise. Corrected and shadows (almost vertical on image) come out to azimuth around 212 = 1:44 pm. I wanted to check the video to see what order the sites are passed, but can't yet find those scenes in this video. If I'm right this scene should be a few minutes after the other, with the drone moving east, and the convoy was divided. --Caustic Logic (talk) 05:12, 16 October 2016 (UTC)
  • That video has scenes at the warehouse with longer shadows than shown above, or by The Interpreter, but that look more like what they describe. 1:04:02 in the video: azimuth is about 248 degrees, close to due west. But that's not near sunset either - 248 happened at 4:03 pm (solar elevation 28.89 degrees). At this time, at least a dozen trucks are parked on the side-road to the south, with apparently the same ones hit in the attack parked or milling around in or near the lot. --Caustic Logic (talk) 05:12, 16 October 2016 (UTC)
At this point, I count at least 7 trucks in or around the lot, with truck #10 (or one similar) backing into the loading bay, where it still was the next day, and mostly loaded. The SuV associated with Barakat may be there. Along the curving side road to the south, filling the curve almost totally, is a string of 13 trucks (some long trailer, some pickups with small trailers. This is where only two undamaged trucks were seen the next morning, still full. The 13 seen around 4 pm seem as if queuing up to get back on the highway and leave the area, or to enter the lot when there's room (depending if they're empty or full, and most logically, still full). So 20 trucks of the convoy, perhaps more, are there at this time. --Caustic Logic (talk) 13:50, 16 October 2016 (UTC)
  • Next: a graphic showing where and when for each of these sightings.

center}760px The significance is, at least, a long pause at or before Khan al-Assal, where they're parked with the mortar truck passing them and running ahead. At least one hour 40 minutes before they got past this point, but no more than 2 hours, ready for a late start unloading probably just before 1:30. The significance of this is debatable. Maybe this is the cut-off between JaM and al-Zenki territories? Did al-Zenki insist on inspecting the truck here maybe? Etc. --Caustic Logic (talk) 12:18, 16 October 2016 (UTC)

New York Times report

This might be relevant. New York Times report

Russian officials have acknowledged that one of their drones tracked the convoy, but said it stopped at 1:40 p.m., after which the trucks’ “movements were only known by the militants who were in control of the area.”
Drone footage broadcast by Russian state media, however, shows it continued tracking the convoy for several more hours.

They don't explain how that's so, and follow-up by citing two of their "witnesses" instead, saying it was there all afternoon, off and on at least. Maybe they meant the supposed late surveillance near or after sunset 'proven' by the Interpreter, and echoed by the the BBC. But Russian footage only proves they tracked it to 1:40 or so and then apparently lost track of its (non) movements. FWIW, and the NYT is trying to make something of it. --Caustic Logic (talk) 14:06, 27 September 2016 (UTC)

The impression I got was the convoy proceeded like this: loaded in government area and taken through to the western rebel/loyalist line. At that point, loyalist (or at least Aleppo) SARC volunteer drivers turned their trucks over to rebel SARC volunteer drivers. The convoy then proceeded into rebel territory to the (rebel) SARC unloading point. The route on the rebel side was straight down Hwy. 60 directly to the warehouse. It's the only way to get there and wasn't a secret to anybody. There was nothing like a complex, weaving route through a bunch of twisting side roads and little towns. Hwy. 60 (Halab-Idlib Road) is a straight shot right to Urem Al-Kubra.
SAA/Russia were responsible for the safety of the convoy while it was in government territory so they monitored it the entire time. The rebels were responsible for monitoring it once it was handed over to their drivers on their side of the line.
So the Russian drone footage at that point (rebel side) was for regular mil monitoring of the rebels in general. The drone mostly followed the convoy but was checking out nearby areas along the way (not 100% convoy monitoring) and continued its reconnaissance after the convoy arrived at the destination. I'm sure the Russians were monitoring it to see that the convoy didn't take any side trips or have trucks added/taken away enroute. Russia is very stingy with anything that might reveal their military/recon capabilities, and they had no obligation to 'prove' they were monitoring the convoy after it was handed over to rebel-side SARC drivers. I find it reasonable that they would only produce the longer video after U.S. accusations to prove the convoy at least arrived safely to the SARC warehouses. (Initial reports were that the convoy was attacked 'enroute', which was wrong) --PavewayIV (talk) 18:09, 27 September 2016 (UTC)
Drivers may have been switched, but what's specified is the SARC workers: "The Red Crescent volunteers from Aleppo switched places with their counterparts from rebel-held Urum al-Kubra, led by Mr. Barakat." From there, indeed, the "tracking" hardly adds anything but double-checking. The destination was generally known to all (unless maybe this wasn't the agreed destination) and the route is totally predictable. And I remember getting the impression it was driving, only to be confused by images where they seemed to all be parked. So I agree with this take on the "surveillance." It was an area of focus in their general monitoring, but not apparently the main thing. Further, I suppose the full footage would prove it never came back to that area, and the witnesses made that up (or, it could be argued, saw another drone, but I'm for made up) --Caustic Logic (talk) 23:22, 27 September 2016 (UTC)
"...Drivers may have been switched, but what's specified is the SARC workers..." As best I can tell (based mostly on a WSJ article IIRC), the only actual SARC worker or representative was Omar Barakat, described either as the regional director or the Urem al-Kubra local director who was in charge of the warehouse and local distribution. He lived in Urem al-Kubra, so it's not like they would have returned his body to Aleppo. That might account for the lack of photos (guess). Drivers and warehouse help were described as local volunteers, which I assume means part-time and not anything like a regular full-time SARC workers. Side note: the UN donated the aid and had originally asked that their representatives accompany the convoy. The Syrian government said no [trying to locate source], but this was apparently because they couldn't guarantee (or secure guarantees) of the UN representative's safety once the convoy was in the rebel areas. Seems odd that the Syrian government would have any method to contact or negotiate this with rebel forces in the area, not to mention that there were probably several different ones in the area. --PavewayIV (talk) 05:11, 28 September 2016 (UTC)
The drivers were not swapped at the checkpoint. OCHA Syria reports with video that the 17 undamaged trucks and 18 drivers returned to Aleppo on September 21st. Most likely many of the drivers were also truck owners. Unlikely for them to let anyone else take over their trucks. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 05:57, 28 September 2016 (UTC)
And thanks for that add, Petri, noticed above. I was just trying to work out how many drivers, based on claims of 18 trucks damaged. Seemed like probably a bit less. That means the "19 civilians" killed might be all 14 or so drivers, and 5 or so others. 18 drivers for 17 returned trucks ... do they have spares then, or did one have to leave his truck behind? --Caustic Logic (talk) 09:03, 28 September 2016 (UTC)
So 31 contract drivers and their trucks, the Urem al-Kubra site director Orem Barakat in his SUV, and some unknown number of SARC volunteers set out. 14 trucks destroyed or left (+ 17 returned = 31) and 13 drivers (+ 18 returned = 31) left behind - either dead or too injured to move. Unknown number of SARC volunteers set out (plus Orem Barakat) and none returned with the convoy?? SARC mentions nothing about any SARC member/volunteer killed or injured except for Orem Barakat. This seems strange to me.

Late September Bombing Claims

September 19: this attack marked the end of the 7-day cease-fire, as if trying to put a flavor on the resumption of hostilities. The Syrian and Russian governments claimed to amp up their offensives against rebels in Aleppo over the following days, while activists and Western governments claimed the renewed attacks were killing massive numbers of civilians and virtually no fighters, using devastating new weapons, reported as "bunker busters."

As the White Helmets reported at the weekend, cluster and “vacuum” (fuel-air) bombs were dropped repeatedly on the population in over 140 sorties. More than 164 people were killed, and over 200 injured in what has come to resemble the Guernica of the Syrian war.
One Aleppo hospital took in 180 dead and injured on Sunday. ...

Sept. 28 "@SyriaCivilDef claims In the past eight days alone, nearly 1,000 people have been killed in #Aleppo" tweet ARC4Syria

Sept. 30, AP report

At least 96 children are among the 320 people killed in Aleppo since a cease-fire collapsed on Sept. 19, according to UNICEF, as Syrian and Russian warplanes barrage the city’s eastern opposition neighborhoods, trying to crush more than five years of resistance there. Almost a third of the 840 people wounded over the same period are children, according to the World Health Organization.
  • VDC database query 9-19 to 9-30, from Aleppo (province, some in ISIS-held areas), killed by warplane shelling - as sampled Oct. 3 (as it was 2 days earlier in parentheses):
    • 457 civilians and 0 rebel fighters (was 454:0)
    • 243 are unidentified (was 258)
    • 331 Adult Male (includes unidentified, no gender) (was 336)
    • 39 women (was 39), 11 unidentified
    • 58 boys (was 54), 27 unidentified
    • 29 girls (was 25), 1 unidentified

Usual proportions, likely hostages. Possibly inflated, but they'll run out eventually. --Caustic Logic (talk) 14:29, 1 October 2016 (UTC) and Caustic Logic (talk) 10:16, 4 October 2016 (UTC)

Surface shelling, as reported, adds little to that one-sided massacre picture: A search for the same span says 33 civilians and no fighters were killed by non-aerial shelling: 12 by "Syrian government and affiliated militias," 18 by "Armed opposition groups," 2 Not identified, 1 by ISIS (the guilt category is a recent addition there, as is featuring civilians killed by rebels side-by-side with those killed by the government, and the switch from 'martyrs' to 'killed,' and the new design) --Caustic Logic (talk) 11:04, 4 October 2016 (UTC)

On the 23rd, it was reported three headquarters of the "White Helmets" were all bombed. The Daily Beast piece says this happened around 7 am, and the campaign was forewarned two days prior (so on the 21st), in a dramatic way.

Raed al-Saleh, the head of the organization, which is widely known as the White Helmets, was in Manhattan last week, where he told not only (Michael Ratney, the U.S. special envoy to Syria), but envoys from the Netherlands, Britain, and Canada....
“We just received a message from the spotters, just an hour ago, they detected messages from the regime radio that they will attack [Syrian Civil Defense] centers in northern Aleppo,” one of those sources jotted down during the meeting, quoting al-Saleh. “First with surface to surface to missiles and, if they miss, they will use spies on the ground to adjust coordinates and come back.”

It's said the response of these officials was muted or silent, in a scene that was "fucking bizarre." It's to be read as no one cared, so the reader must - no one stopped it, so the reader must urge that such things be stopped. --Caustic Logic (talk) 14:29, 1 October 2016 (UTC)

On October 3, another hospital (called M10) was reportedly destroyed by a 'bunker-buster,' killing 3-6 or 7, and the SOHR reported that around and mostly in Aleppo, at least 387 civilians including 72 children and 24 women had been killed by Syrian or Russian bombing or artillery since the cease-fire collapsed September 19. (The Latest: UN envoy regrets inability to end Syria fighting AP via SeattlePI) --Caustic Logic (talk) 10:52, 4 October 2016 (UTC)

Bunker Busters and New Weapons

Part of what's interesting in this latest "hell on earth" "new low" of "sick blood lust" - aside from the verbal intensity of all that noise, and the alarmingly high civilian death toll (as reported) - is the use of new weaponry. Primarily so far what they call "bunker buster" or an "earthquake bomb." It's said to be louder and more powerful than anything used, is taking out homes and hospitals, and even fortified underground areas are vulnerable.


...It was the first time, the opposition claimed, that they had documented the use of bunker buster bombs in Syria’s second city.
Known in Arabic as al-qanabil al-irtijajiya, “the bombs that shake”,...
“I’ve been in Aleppo for five years and I’ve seen a lot of bombing, but the destruction of these bombs, I have never seen before,” said Omar Arab, a journalist who lives in the Mashhad neighbourhood and witnessed the destruction there and in the neighbourhood of Sukkari, where the opposition says a bunker buster bomb was used.

Emotional Impact

Even the dreaded barrel bomb, a cylinder packed with explosives that is pushed out of planes and helicopters and is woefully inaccurate, does not inspire as much fear.
Previously we've heard they were used to the bombing, but the chlorine gas terrifies them ... they were ok with the chlorine, but the barrel bombs, oh boy ... now, the bunker buster is terror #1, and later it too will be just child's play as Syrians cower before novel menace #467. --Caustic Logic (talk) 11:35, 4 October 2016 (UTC)
When Hamdo saw the impact that one of them appeared to have had on Mashhad, he despaired. Schools, orphanages and hospitals in Aleppo that moved underground to escape the destruction around them now feel that even they are at risk.
“When I saw it I thought, my God, is it possible that there is so much destruction here and nobody wants to help us?” he said. “At that moment I knew that the international community had sentenced us to death, that we would be recorded as martyrs that they will weep over at some future date.”

But ... as Press TV reports:

UN special envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura said foreign-backed militants were using new types of bombs against civilians in the government-held parts of Aleppo, and that the use of deadly weapons in those areas "may amount to war crimes."

De Mistura is not one to pass on an unsubstantiated claims against these foreign-backed militants, though he likely used a different phrase. Are these new, never-seen weapons the kind Aleppo's opposition workshops are known for, like the innovative Hell Cannon and the Bashair 3 rocket, and various armored suicide attack vehicles, etc.? Why are they getting all novel at this time of Russia-Syria's alleged switch to new weapons in its effort to massacre civilians?

And the roof-piercing, delayed detonation, fine-shrapnel rocket images suggest might've been used in the Urm al-Kubra attack - I've never seen that before. Whose innovation was that? Well, terrorist supporters in their controlled area planted a fragment of another bomb there to make it look like Russia did it, so the answer there is clear. New weapons + false-flag is a opposition/terrorist thing here. --Caustic Logic (talk) 11:35, 4 October 2016 (UTC)

Correction: It seems De Mistura said no such thing. In comments theother day, new bombs and war crimes come only from the government side. All he says about opposition crimes is:
We have also seen reports of armed opposition groups firing hellfire rockets – you know what they are? They are basically gas canisters full of nails, stones and iron, which are being thrown in a rudimentary way across the other side of the line and do kill civilians, including one which hit al-Maari school in Hamidiyey neighbourhood on 22 September. On 19 September, the area close to the UN hub in western Aleppo was actually hit with two mortar shells coming from the opposition, killing one civilian.
BUT, I suspect they are the ones using new types of weapons, wherever they're used, against gov. areas or not, including against UN-SARC targets on Sept. 19. --Caustic Logic (talk) 12:39, 4 October 2016 (UTC)
"19 Sept, Western Aleppo, UN facility"--but this fits the attack we are discussing here ?? --Resup (talk) 12:47, 4 October 2016 (UTC)
It's a possibility, well worth mentioning and working in. Regime agents whose aid al-Nusra didn't want were identified as SARC and UN, I believe. --Caustic Logic (talk) 13:49, 4 October 2016 (UTC)

Valued item: any reports involving delayed blasts, especially seeming like a new thing. I haven't seen anything yet. --Caustic Logic (talk) 11:35, 4 October 2016 (UTC)

Maybe they do, not here , or else:--Resup (talk) 11:52, 4 October 2016 (UTC)

New Bomb Characteristics

Enter the building from the roof making a round hole, one square pieces at a time, use half of it for entry, and have rebars bend out picturesquely; find the UN boxes in the room, and explode right next to them, but no down below, with a shallow crater but so that cardboax boxes are not damaged (also arrange for a blast outside not like any other, and call for a press conference) --Resup (talk) 11:52, 4 October 2016 (UTC)

Or, simplified/my version: rocket or mortar shell, not bomb - the hole may be altered or not, but it only needs to be no wider than 40cm, hit on a n-s trajectory, have a heavy and sharp enough weight and shape, and adequate altitude achieved to break concrete (that seems the big question, but again doesn't have to explain every detail, just the main break-through.) Then, it has to have a delay fuze so it only detonates at second impact. It seems fairly weak in its blast power then, but it did detonate: there's a crater (small, shallow), a fireball (small, directional) and shrapnel (fine, only seems to effect soft materials). This destroyed only the boxes at the crater (there are the few no longer in the picture except in tiny pieces), damaging others lightly, tearing up people. --Caustic Logic (talk) 12:51, 4 October 2016 (UTC)
See File:OFAB-250 bomb in Urm al-Kubra warehouse.jpg
There's plenty of discussion in the comments section (including mine) on the Bellingcat site article about this alleged aerial bombardment site. I was going to bring up the more general issue of summarizing their 'findings' and critiquing/debunking them here. It is part of the greater pool of information/opinion out there and has relevance (even if they're biased/wrong). There should be some kind of acknowledgement here even if to discredit their inevitable western narrative findings. I would be happy to do it, but need some kind of guidance on what/how much should be here. A link and a short summary of their conclusions is the easy part. If you read the comments to their article (now some 333 of them), you get an idea of the complexity of the response. It could almost rate it's own separate page so as to acknowledge their article on the main page, but not have a long, overly-detailed section discussing it.--PavewayIV (talk) 07:53, 5 October 2016 (UTC)
Re: Bunker-busters - A lot of the argument against them is part of the Bellingcat debate. There is also some discussion of bomb fuzing on BellingCat, which would also apply to the two known Russain 'bunker buster' models: BetAB-500 and BetAB-500ShP. BetAB means concrete-piercing aircraft bomb (betonoboynaya aviatsionnaya bomba). I honestly don't think they apply here. It's unnecessary to use such a bomb to go through a relatively thin concrete roof, nor would Russia waste one on a single-story building. These thing are designed to go through 1.5m of reinforced concrete or five or six stories of a concrete building. There is just no reason to use one here. It was either a Hell Cannon/Volcano (~300 - 400mm diameter) or a larger-caliber mortar like an 88mm which could easily punch a hole like that through the roof even if it was a dud. The shrapnel damaged cardboard is inconsistent with any kind of explosion like that. And the obviously fake OFAB tail means it was set up anyway. Details in the BellingCat comments. In any case, I think the 'bunker buster' angle is pertinent and should be addressed, but (again) that might get a bit wordy. It shouldn't be part of the BellingCat thing because they never mentioned it there, but a lot of the argument that a BetAB wasn't used is part of the discussion there. How does everyone think this should be presented here? I can just blast the discussion page right here with the details, but I already wrote a novel trying to explain why the argument is so complex. --PavewayIV (talk) 07:53, 5 October 2016 (UTC)
I think there are no limitations here, on length or number of comments (we are posting too many bit-wise ourselves); if there are details we likely missed or misinterpreted better to know here. In the end of the day, as I understand, CL is planning to have something readable written up; so whatever can help to make it happen. I understand that the rest do not plan to do a final/readable write-up (at least I don't) --Resup (talk) 08:33, 5 October 2016 (UTC)
We have a short "How Russia did it!" subsection on the front page. Maybe there could be a short explanation of the origin of these "proofs" and then a link to a subpage. If you alone plan a longer write-up, maybe it should be under your (pseudo)name. You can create subpages by hanging a slash and the name of the new page after the exisiting one, like this Attack on Red Crescent convoy in Urm al-Kubra/An answer to Bellingcat by PavewayIV. The red link shows that the subpage doesn't exist yet. Just tweak the name according to your preferences (must not carry your name of course, just an idea) and go ahead. Looking forward to it. --CE (talk) 12:11, 5 October 2016 (UTC)
I'm happy to flesh out the critique, but not sure about 'by Paveway' - that seems to go against the spirit of the Wiki. I'll gladly take ownership of my opinions, but surely people here will disagree on certain points and have other observations. Nonetheless, I'll write it up under that to start and see what everyone thinks. --PavewayIV (talk) 19:02, 5 October 2016 (UTC)
Yeah, maybe not the best idea. I just thought if you're specifically addressing their claims it might be redundant with stuff we have already discussed. What's certainly very welcome is extracting the information from our usually vast talk pages and putting them into readable form on specific subpages (which will automatically have their own talk pages again). So maybe you do that and include the information available elsewhere like on Brown Noses, and your counter points. As I said, a slash and the name of a subpage behind the main page leads to its creation, and it will be in the hierarchy under the (topic) mainpage. --CE (talk) 20:16, 5 October 2016 (UTC)
I'd say, whatever seems to make more sense and/or easier to do, maybe either a page specifically about answer to BC, or contribution to the issues we discussed ourselves. Having thoughtful comments is more important than where they go. It can be cut and moved later if it has to. --Resup (talk) 20:31, 5 October 2016 (UTC)
At present state of affairs is that we are mostly concerned with issue 'what happened', occasionally make passing comments about BC, but never really bothered to spell out a proper rebuke. While they essentially ignore opposing opinions (and dominate mass media citations). As much as I can tell, not really looking there often. I understand that they also block opponents on social media, according to social media comments by Max van der Werf (MH17 topic journalist). We may try a rebuke page and see how it goes. Probably going too much into polemics is problematic, too little time, can't see myself going through 300+ low info-density comments, and figuring a way to respond to all those. Also rebuking, for broad consumption, will require to make the argument as easy and presentable as possible. Or else, we are doing it for ourselves and for not very broad audience who appreciate; but we do it already anyway. --Resup (talk) 20:54, 5 October 2016 (UTC)
P4, hi! I like 'by PavewayIV" as it taps into your credibility as a commentator from around. The spirit is to keep with what the page is about, and if that's the idea of that page then ok. But without is fine too, or if it's talky, signed, or if not ok too. I for one would like to see it. I skimmed the BC comments, but missed much. Last I looked they still didn't approve mine. Anyway, should be pretty new to me. --Caustic Logic (talk) 23:09, 5 October 2016 (UTC)

Rebels attack green buses

"Allah Akbar the buses which came to carry the infidels were burnt thanks to Allah and we will burn each one who comes to transfer those .... Allah Akbar ... Takbeer. Hey pigs you want to transfer the Shia ,,,,,,,God willing they will not exit but dead bodies."

Rebels destroy about ten green buses sent to evacuate civilians from Al-Fou'aa and Kafraya. See Colonel Cassad. The attack may have happened somewhere near Urm al-Kubra.

  • Al Khalidi أبو سمية @QAEML on Twitter
    All claims that JFS burned the buses heading to Fouah and Kafriya are FALSE. They were attacked by armed locals and their pictures are taken.