Talk:Russian airstrikes in Syria

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Tired now, but maybe we should give this a timeline format with brief descriptions of events and links to claims and counter-claims. I guess it'll be around with us for some time. Nice start, Petri. --CE (talk) 23:07, 30 September 2015 (UTC)

Russian jet shot down

This is obviously the big news now, and it's in/about Syria. Resup has some notes added on the front page. It's probably worth it's own page, but ... 1) I'm not feeling up to it now, and later it'll be even less of a new issue. (4-day weekend coming up though...) 2) It may not be controversial enough to be a very valuable page (that is, our best value is analyzing and clarifying issues that are or should be controversial when possible, tearing down lies). Just relating news most people already know/getting our own handle on it and a place to link to, are not that valuable. 3) Other thoughts before anyone jumps into it? --Caustic Logic (talk) 10:25, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

Agreed; unsure on best formatting of this material. Somehow all this may be a turning point, to colder climates. There seem to be no resolution or backing off options available.--Resup (talk) 12:13, 25 November 2015 (UTC)
I guess we can add analysis, even easily. MoA has info, and comments, and a map Turkey provided. Isn't this in the same locale as Turkish Downing of a Syrian Helicopter? Same little sore thumb of Turkey sticking in awkwardly, easy to barely cross, and their favorite ambush spot for enemy aircraft. --Caustic Logic (talk) 13:16, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

Russian Jet Shot Down?

Pretty sure it's fake in ether location or date. Certainly not a Russian Jet in Syria in the past day

Supposed Russian jet shot down

Some Discussion

Any idea when and where? --Charles Wood (talk) 20:37, 1 October 2015 (UTC)

Apparently the sound is dubbed in and the video may show more than one aircraft. Sound Source

al-Habait Sisters

Allegations of two photogenic sisters killed by a Russian bomb sounds suss - Especially as they feature in a related White Helmets video.

Liveleak Posting by Creosote

Extended and recut White Helmets Video

There is another version of the WH video with night-time outside shots of wreckage but no concrete dust. Can't locate it just yet

(It's not actually branded White Helmets but it features them and the presenter seems to be embedded with them) --Charles Wood (talk) 03:19, 2 October 2015 (UTC)

Russian Helicopters Shot Down

At least one is from wikipedia and dates back to 2003 Iraq - U.S. Army AH-64 Apache that crashed in central Iraq in November 2003. --Charles Wood (talk) 02:25, 12 October 2015 (UTC)
That was quick. Best guess then is all are fake, and this was some fake story. If not, there should be follow-up news. Until I hear that, done. --Caustic Logic (talk) 02:37, 12 October 2015 (UTC)
For completeness the helicopter on fire was Damascus 2013 Assad Helicopter Shot Down
I can't match the third photo but it's an AH-64 with radar dome and it looks very much like Iraq. The account these were posted on has been closed by Twitter. Done and Dusted! --Charles Wood
As a matter of some amusement, there are at least 3 or 4 fake videos in Liveleak each day showing alleged Russian Syria shootdowns, or alleged Russian Syrian victims. (talk) 02:48, 12 October 2015 (UTC)

Why airstrikes?

Airstrikes make newsworthy visuals, but I'd think unlikely to dramatically alter things on the ground, just by themselves. However this establishes significant external pro-government presence, de-facto makes certain areas out of reach for NATO planes, and makes replacement of Assad, by forceful means, rather improbable ... The best which can come out of this is a stronger drive to find a negotiated solution (but enough bad options too, of course). --Resup (talk) 22:33, 5 October 2015 (UTC)

Peskov: "political solution is the ultimate goal of all Russian actions, this is also the only possible goal of the international community." Similar but more nuanced line taken by Putin; also mentions proposal of Hollande that Syrian government and FSA act jointly against terrorism. --Resup (talk) 20:31, 7 October 2015 (UTC)

Why Iran?

From military perspective, Russia is using heavy strategic bombers, mostly Tu 22 M3, which carry from 12 to 24 tons of bombs and missiles. They were so far flown from Russia, and cannot take off from Khmeimim air base in Syria. Flying from Iran cuts the travelling distance significantly and makes their use more 'effective' (as much as high altitude bombing is effective at all).

However deploying modern weapons in Iran, and overal getting closer, is dangerous, and in any case clearly will not be viewed positively by the West, Gulf states and Israel. Thus, if further continued, it creates danger of USSR-in-Afganistan type scenario and/or long/semi-perpetual war with zero chance of diplomatic resolution. (There is nearly unlimited supply of fighters from neighboring states, arming them is not that expensive, so it can go on for a long time, at least untill somebody local is strong enough to establish authority, seal borders; but here external powers do not agree on such figure).

Gaming Iran may be temporary Russian tactics of pressuring the West on Ukraine, as Russian interests are ignored there, which creates no incentive to respect American insterests in the Middle East. (Sanctions do nothing worthwhile here; in fact are viwed as an opportunity to move away from oil-based economy). There are also economic and border control reasons for Russia to get closer to Iran (but a union made in heaven-it is not).

At present the 'chemistry' and mode of relations between USA and Russia is not good, so all this lead to more chaos and violence in both Syria and in Ukraine. Most likely this will drag on as it is till the elections in USA, and than, no matter who wins, may be some adjustment (hopefully not towards more chaos, but no guarantee, as it is based on self-interest much more than on high principles or common good). The longer this drags on, the higher are chances that tactical desions become stategic, and propaganda created to justify it is believed as truth. --Resup (talk) 10:38, 16 August 2016 (UTC)

16 Aug., 2016. State Department briefing, 16 Aug., 2016 --Resup (talk) 10:30, 17 August 2016 (UTC)

...I would say it’s unfortunate but not surprising or unexpected, and I think it speaks to the continuation of a pattern that we’ve seen of Russia continuing to carry out airstrikes, now it appears with Iran’s direct assistance, that at least purport to target ISIL and Daesh targets as well as Nusrah targets, but in fact – and we’ve seen this continually – predominately target moderate Syrian opposition forces. So that’s unfortunate, and frankly, that only makes more difficult what is already a very contentious and complex and difficult situation, and it only pushes us further away from what we’re all at least say we’re trying to pursue, which is a credible nationwide cessation of hostilities and a political process in Geneva that leads to a peaceful transition"...(etc) ...
it could very well be a violation of UN Security Council Resolution 2231, which, as you noted, prohibits the supply, sale, or transfer of combat aircraft to Iran unless approved in advanced by the UN Security Council.

Russia denied that the resolution was violated as there was no weapons transfer 'to Iran or for use in Iran or in its interests' --Resup (talk) 10:30, 17 August 2016 (UTC)

Lavrov (TASS, Eng.):"There are no reasons whatsoever to suspect Russia of violating Resolution 2231," the minister said. "In this case, there were no supplies, sale or transfer of warplanes to Iran."

Aug. 22, 2016. TASS quoting Iranian FM representative Bahram Gasemi: Russian use of Iranian airbase Shahyd Nozhe in Hamadan is stopped at present/for a while. There is no special agreement on base use. However there are anti-terrorist agreements, and as part of it Russia can use Iranian airspace and infrastructure to fight terrorism in Syria. Positions of Russia and IRan on fighting IS ant terrorism are very close. --Resup (talk) 11:27, 22 August 2016 (UTC)

Russia Bombed Base in Syria Used by U.S ?

'Russia Bombed Base in Syria Used by U.S', WSJ, by Adam Entous And Gordon Lubold, July 21, 2016, updated July 21 7:34 p.m. ET, reporting on an incident said to happen on June 16, 2016:

A contingent of about 20 British special forces pulled out of the facility less than 24 hours before the U.S. tracked Russian aircraft on June 16 flying across Syria to the garrison, according to U.S. military and intelligence officials briefed on the strike. The aircraft dropped cluster munitions on the target, according to U.S. officials and rebel commanders.

After that first Russian strike, officers with the U.S. military’s Central Command air operations center in Qatar called their counterparts in Russia’s air campaign headquarters in Latakia, Syria, U.S. officials said. The American officers told the Russians that the garrison was part of the U.S. campaign against Islamic State and shouldn’t be attacked.

Roughly 90 minutes after the U.S. warning was delivered, U.S. aircraft circling nearby watched as the Russians launched a second wave of strikes against the garrison.

A U.S. military surveillance aircraft overhead tried to hail the Russian pilots directly using the frequencies which the U.S. and Russian governments had agreed to use in emergencies.

The Russian pilots didn’t respond.

U.S. officials said four rebels were killed in the Russian strikes.

After the Russian aircraft returned to base in western Syria, the Pentagon demanded that Moscow explain what happened.

Russian military officials initially told their Pentagon counterparts that Russian pilots intentionally struck the garrison, but thought it was an Islamic State facility, according to the U.S. officials briefed on the incident.

22 July 2016. Peskov: "(Kremlin) does not know about this incident, and in this case there is nothing to comment on this newspaper notes. Again, this is an issue that should be addressed to the Ministry of Defense" ("(Кремль) не знает об этом инциденте, и в данном случае нечего комментировать по этим газетным заметкам. Опять же, это вопрос, который нужно адресовать Министерству обороны) -TASS (Russ.).

A bit different quote, "In this case, I have nothing to comment on such newspaper notes ("В данном случае мне нечего комментировать по таким газетным заметкам") -Interfax.
--Resup (talk) 11:52, 22 July 2016 (UTC)

In English TASS version, appeared in an article Number of Russian troops in Syria may increase — Kremlin, answering reporters questions after the main comments.

The consultations on Syria between Russia, the US and the UN due to be held in Geneva next week are the result of a recent meeting of Russian President Vladimir Putin and US Secretary of State John Kerry, Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Friday.
--Resup (talk) 12:18, 22 July 2016 (UTC)

Unnamed 'informed military-diplomatic source in Moscow' in an interview to Interfax stated that there is no reason to discuss this again as it was a topic of a video conference between the US and Russian military. It is said that the target was over 300 km away from the territory declared by the US as territory where opposition joining cessation of hostilities operate. According to the source Russia informed the coalition about targets in advance, while the US did not provide exact coordinates of areas where controlled by it opposition operates. Report also appeared on Rusvesna with (apparently) photos of strike aftermath.--Resup (talk) 09:11, 23 July 2016 (UTC)

I guess the WSJ rag bring this up again because they are against the Kerry/Lavrov dealings. Make sure to read this piece on MoA about the incident when it happened. Apparently spot on as usual. --CE (talk) 12:41, 23 July 2016 (UTC)
Thanks!. -Indeed, the incident itself was (partially) visible in the news at the time (and as I can recall, not the very first incident when Western-backed opposition was hit) -but not that Western advisers could be hit there, too, risking potentially serious escalation, in an upgrade to the previously reported story. Timing of the new report is 'interesting', indeed. --Resup (talk) 13:14, 23 July 2016 (UTC)
Statement by Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook on U.S.-Russia Video Conference here, June 18, 2016.--Resup (talk) 23:34, 23 July 2016 (UTC)

Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Major-General Igor Konashenkov to Interfax: --Resup (talk) 19:06, 23 July 2016 (UTC)

Responsibility for that in Syria special military units of anti-IS coalition are risking to be in the areas where Russian aviation is used rests solely with their military leadership... Even after the June strike on militants training camp in the area of Al-Tanf, our American colleagues voiced the phrase: "Do not hit where you have just hit"

Russian planes transferred to Syria


Izvestia: "as was reported by media in July", two SU-24M2 bombers were given to Syria, and that number will increase to 10-12. Unlike old Syrian models, this plane can perform targeted bombing from height of 4-5 km, above MANPAD range. Mostly unguided munitions are used by Syrian airforce, as they do not produce more sophisticated ones and cannot afford to buy them. The article goes on to say that "Russian planes do not take part in bombing raids on Aleppo" and that Syrians 'have to provide air support themselves' (uncertain whether every word of this is accurate but at least Syria got planes which can be doing bombing in Aleppo, which than can be seen in social media...) --Resup (talk) 10:26, 19 August 2016 (UTC)

"A Syrian Su-24 dropped bombs “dangerously near” the US Special Forces personnel that are currently embedded with the People’s Protection Units (YPG) in the Al-Hasakah Governorate", almasdarnews. USA scrambled jets, informed Russians "immediately" -TASS.--Resup (talk) 21:41, 19 August 2016 (UTC)