لماذا بروتوكول موسكو المضاف حول إدلب؟ وماذا بعده؟

العميد د. أمين محمد حطيط

يسأل سائل لماذا مدّت روسيا اليد إلى أردوغان الغريق في إدلب وأريافها ومنحته فرصة جديدة للاستمرار عضواً في ثلاثية استانة الراعية لعملية البحث عن حلً في سورية، وهل كان بروتوكول موسكو المضاف إلى تفاهم سوتشي ضرورياً بعد طول خداع ونكول تركيّ وبعد الهزيمة التي تجرّعها أردوغان في منطقة إدلب وبلغت ذروتها في سراقب حيث ذاق مرارة هزيمة نكراء أنزلت به بحجم أذهبَ أحلامه وأوهامه (أو هكذا يجب أن يكون) وهل كان ضرورياً ان تقوم روسيا بكلّ ذلك رغم علمها لا بل يقينها بأنّ أردوغان ليس من الأشخاص الصادقين الذين يؤمن لهم او يستحقون الثقة بهم بعد أن جرّبته خلال السنوات الثلاث الماضية، وتأكدت من فشله في كلّ الاختبارات التي خضع لها؟

رداً على ذلك، وإذا نظرنا الى المسألة من منظور عملاني ظرفي، فإنّ أجوبة الأسئلة تلك تكون سلبية ومضمونها القول إنّ البروتوكول لم يكن ضرورياً او ليس مقبولاً في ظرفه، فأردوغان بعد معركة سراقب الثانية ظهر كليماً لا بل مثخناً بجراح الهزيمة ورأى أحلامه تتلاشى وتدفن مع جثث الـ 270 جندياً وضابطاً من جيشه التركي الذين اعترف بمقتلهم في الميدان في مواجهة منظومة الدفاع عن سورية، ويتأكد من أنّ أوهامه اختفت مع شروق شمس الحقيقة في سراقب بعد تحريرها الثاني الذي لم يستغرق أكثر من 10 ساعات فقط نفذ فيها الجيش العربي السوري ومعه وحدات من حزب الله اللبناني والحرس الثوري الإيراني معركة من أهمّ معارك القتال الليلي في الأماكن الآهلة، معركة أذهلت «إسرائيل» وأصابتها بدوار عسكريّ واستراتيجيّ عنيف نتج عن تفكيرها بما ينتظرها في الجليل عندما تدقّ ساعة تحريره.

نقول إنّ الإجابة ستكون سلبية ولم يكن البروتوكول ضرورياً، لأنّ أردوغان سيستفيد منه لحفظ ماء وجهه ولن ينفذ ما تعهّد به فيه، لأنّ التنفيذ سيجعله في مواجهة مباشرة مع كلّ ما اعتقد به أو ما خطط له، او ما دخل الى سورية من أجله، فكيف يحترم وحدة الأراضي السورية وهو الساعي للسيطرة عليها كلياً او جزئياً او أقله كما صرّح وأطلق المصطلح الغريب العجيب القائل بـ «حدود القلب العثماني» التي تتجاوز الحدود السياسية لتركيا القائمة حالياً وهو يريدها أن تصل لتشمل الموصل في العراق وحلب وحماة وحمص وإدلب في سورية. وكيف ينفّذ تعهّده بقتال إرهابيّي جبهة النصرة وهو الذي يعتبرها جيشه البديل الذي يعوّل عليه لتحقيق أحلامه؟

فأردوغان يحتاج من بروتوكول موسكو بنداً واحداً هو وقف إطلاق النار من أجل وقف العمليات العسكرية التي ينفذها الجيش العربي السوري وحلفاؤه والتي أدت الى تحقيق الأمن لحلب ومحيطها وفتح الطريق السريع لها، M5 ويعتبر هذا التدبير أي وقف إطلاق النار غنيمة له في ظرف الهزيمة المنكرة التي أنزلت به، ومن اجلها ذهب الى موسكو ودفع ثمناً باهظاً من كرامته وهيبته التي ضاعت في خنادق إدلب وسراقب وفي ممرات الكرملين في موسكو بين يدي قيصرها.

هذا في التحليل البسيط والنظر المباشر، ولكن إذا دققنا في الوضع استراتيجياً فنصل الى نتيجة أخرى، حيث إنّ لروسيا ولسورية مصلحة في هذا البروتوكول رغم تضمّنه بند وقف إطلاق النار الذي أوقف عملية التحرير راهناً، حيث إنّ هذا البروتوكول ومع علم الجميع أنه لن ينفذ منه إلا بند وقف إطلاق النار وبشكل مؤقت، فيه من الإيجابيات ما لا يمكن إهماله، فهذا البروتوكول:

1

ـ يثبت ويضمن استقرار الأمن في المناطق المحرّرة حديثاً ويمنح الوقت الكافي للجيش العربي السوري لبناء منظومة الدفاع الملائمة التي تحمي تلك المناطق، ويؤمّن فتح طريق الـ M5 بشكل آمن وأكيد ويفتح طريق M4 بشكل مقبول برعاية روسية يكون التركي شريكاً في الحراسة فيها.

2

ـ يطوي ملف الخسائر التركية التي بلغت المئات بين قتيل وجريح، ويوقف المساعي التركية الرسمية للتحريض ضد سورية التي لا ترى في تركيا عدواً، وتميّز بين تركيا الدولة والشعب وهما جاران وصديقان وبين أردوغان الرئيس الذي يعمل بعقيدة وذهنية اخوانية ويمارس العدوان والإرهاب ضدّ سورية. وبالتالي سيكون وقف إطلاق النار الآن مدخلاً لتبريد الجرح التركي. وهذا ما تريده سورية التي تنظر الى العلاقة مع تركيا استراتيجياً وموضوعياً ولا تريد عداءها.

3

ـ يمنح الفرصة للجيش العربي السوري وحلفائه لإعاده التنظيم بعد معارك الشهرين المنصرمين، وتهيئة البيئة العملانية وتسوية خطوط التماس لتكون مناسبة للعمليات القتالية المستقبلية التي ستنطلق عندما تخلّ المجموعات الإرهابية بقواعد مناطق خفض التصعيد ووقف إطلاق النار، او تمتنع عن الانسحاب من محيط الـ M4 لمسافة 6 كلم شمالي وجنوبي الطريق.

4

ـ يقيم فضّ اشتباك ميداني بين تركيا وسورية التي لا ترغب أصلاً بمواجهة تركيا، ما يمكّن سورية من التفرّغ لمواجهة الإرهاب ويتيح لتركيا مواصلة إشغال مقعدها في منظومة استانة. وفكّ الاشتباك هذا كان هدفاً سعت اليه روسيا للحفاظ على منظومة استانة التي لا زالت ترى فيها الآلية السياسية الوحيدة المتوفرة للوصول الى حلّ للأزمة السورية وفقاً للمبادئ الأساسية التي تراعي وحدة سورية وسيادتها واستقلالها.

أما على صعيد العلاقة الروسية التركية البينية، فانّ من مصلحة روسيا وبعد أن صفعت أردوغان في الميدان لا بل أدّبته بالنار أن تظهر له بأنها لا زالت تشكل له ملاذاً يطمئن اليه بعد أن خذلته اوروبا واميركا والاطلسي وبعد عزلته عربياً، وأن تحتضنه في لحظة هزيمته وعزلته حتى تبقيه في منطقة وسطى بينها وبين الغرب الأطلسي من دون أن يكون متطرفاً لصالح ذاك الحلف الذي ينتمي اليه، تقوم بهذا مع يقينها بانه لن يكون حليفها ولن يتخلى او لن يُسمح له بالتخلي عن عضويته الأطلسية. ومع هذا يمكن أن تجعله روسيا بعلاقتها المدروسة معه أقلّ ضرراً وأهون خطراً عليها إذا أبقت معه على هذه العلاقة التي لا تستلزم من قبلها التفريط بالعناوين الأساسية لاستراتيجيتها وسياستها او لتحالفاتها وقد يكفيها بعض التسهيلات او السلوكيات السياسية او الاقتصادية التي لا تمسّ بنية المنظومة الروسية الاستراتيجية.

لكلّ ذلك نرى أن بروتوكول موسكو الإضافي كان ضرورياً وفي وقته الصحيح، ومع هذا نرى أيضاً انّ هذا البروتوكول لن يصمد طويلاً ولن يستعيد إدلب، اذ سيسقط بعد ان يؤدي دوره في فضّ الاشتباك السوري التركي، ويستعيد تركيا الى منظومة أستانة ويعطي وقتاً معقولاً للقوى العاملة في محيط إدلب للانطلاق الى وثبة التحرير المقبلة، التي ستكون حتمية لأنّ المجموعات الإرهابية التي تعرف انّ مصيرها محتوم وأنه لن يبقى لها وجود في أي شبر من الأرض السورية. هذه المجموعات لن تعمل بالبروتوكول ولن تنفذ شيئاً منه بما في ذلك وقف إطلاق النار، وعندما تصل خروقها الى الحد الذي يبرر استئناف العمليات سنرى القوات العربية السورية تستأنف التحرير الذي لن يكون إلا عسكرياً كما ثبت بالتجربة والبرهان خلال السنوات التسع الماضية.

*أستاذ جامعي وخبير استراتيجي.

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The Syrian Russian Turksih Idlib Stand-Of – Erdogan’s Last Stand?

February 06, 2020

by Ghassan Kadi for The Saker Blog

Even though the Syrian Army, with the aid of its international friends and allies, especially Russia, has been able to score many victories and liberate most of Syria’s major cities from the control of terrorist groups, the fight is far from over.

Before the situation in the American-controlled North-East is addressed, the Western regions, including Idlib and its surrounds must be put back fully under the legitimate government control.

As a matter of fact, politically speaking, the situation now is perhaps more complex to deal with than nine years ago when the “War on Syria” took form. Almost exactly nine years ago, the enemies of Syria combined efforts to launch a joint attack. United only by their hatred for Syria, they had diverse agendas, but they combined efforts in order to capitalize on each other’s strengths. The Wahhabi version of Islamists, headed by Saudi Arabia, joined hands with the Muslim Brotherhood version headed by Turkey and financed by Qatar, and they all joined hands with NATO, Israel and Lebanese ultra-right militia among other vendetta groups, for the single purpose of deposing President Assad and replacing the legitimate secular Syrian Government with one that is sectarian and pliable to the will of the Western roadmap.

They failed.

They failed in achieving their combined objectives and some of the armies they created, such as Jaysh Al-Islam, headed by former Syrian Army officer Zahran Alloush, ceased to exist. Alloush was killed in a Syrian Army attack in December 2015, but the casualties also included conspirators who were sidelined and lost their careers; the most prominent of which is Prince Bandar Bin Sultan, who was perhaps the single biggest architect of the attack on Syria.

The tides began to turn in favour of Syria after the Syrian Army scored its huge victory in the Battle of Qusayr in mid-2013. This was a decisive battle that basically disabled the terrorists from linking the Damascus province with their northern supply lines. Without this victory, in retrospect, it would be arguable if Syria would have been able to earn much support from Russia; if any at all. Syria had to show a fighting spirit, resolve, determination and respect for her to reach such an echelon. After all, Russia does not only by tradition honour and respect those who stand up with dignity against all odds, but on the geopolitical scene, and after decades of being sidelined by the Western bloc, any Russian global move had to be fully and thoroughly assessed before any venture was to be undertaken.

It was crucial for Russia therefore, and for President Putin in particular, to ensure that the presence of Russian troops in Syria had very high chances of success.

The fragmentation of Syria’s enemies began to take form before Russian action in the skies and on the soil of Syria. The Saudi’s first and biggest disappointment was when the USA refused to level Damascus to the ground after Prince Bandar orchestrated the alleged Ghouta chemical attack in September 2013. That was Bandar’s last draw after the loss of Al-Qusayr and his attempts to blackmail Putin by threatening him to unleash Islamists in Chechnya.

From that point in time onwards, the Saudi role in the “War on Syria” dwindled and came to an end with the demise of Alloush. But as the tensions between Qatar and Saudi Arabia emerged in 2017, Qatar remained “represented” via its ally Turkey.

Erdogan was initially determined to victoriously pray at the Omayyad Mosque in Damascus early in the piece. But he is still determined to get a bite of the cherry, a consolation prize, despite all the setbacks that his former camp has endured.

After Turkey downed the Russian Su-24 in November 2015, the relationship between Turkey and Russia reached its nadir. But the pragmatist Erdogan soon apologized to Putin and eventually reached an agreement about how to deal with the deadlock situation in Idlib.

But Erdogan is not coming clean about his commitment to what became to be known as the Sochi Agreement. https://thedefensepost.com/2019/10/22/russia-turkey-syria-mou/.

Erdogan defiantly continues to wear the hat of a fully-fledged NATO member, a close friend and ally of Russia, the leader of the nation that is desirous to enter the EU, an Islamist who wants to rebuild the Ottoman Empire, and a nationalist who is willing and able to deal with Kurdish issue. What he does not see is that whilst those antics gain him popularity amongst sympathetic Muslim supporters, on the international scene, he is increasingly making a mockery out of himself.

His clear-to-see contradictions seem mind-boggling, but to the pragmatic Erdogan who is trying as hard as he can to be Sultan, his mind is fixated on Islamism and nationalism, and he is performing as if he has found himself a Fatwa that permits him to dance to the tunes of the devil to reach his ultimate objectives.

Among other things, to Putin, Erdogan portrays himself as Russia’s friend who is reconsidering his alliance with the US and even wants to buy Russian S-400 defence missile systems. To America, he remains as a NATO member and an American ally who wants to buy America’s latest state-of the-art F-35 fighter jets. On one hand, he makes verbal attacks against Israel, but continues to opt to have strong diplomatic ties with that state. He pledges support for the Palestinian cause but offers no evidence to put his words into action.

If Erdogan truly deserves any recognition and respect at all, it would have to be for his ability to meander his way through and survive amongst all the contradictions that he has deliberately and systemically implanted along his path.

He could be running out of options; at least in Syria, but this doesn’t stop him from making yet more contradictory statements within a few days of each other. By the end of January 2020 he threatened to take a new offensive in Syria over the Russian-backed Syrian Army offensive in Idlib. https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/202001311078189883-erdogan-threatens-new-offensive-in-syria—report/ A few days later, he made a U-turn and declared that he will not allow the situation in Idlib to sour his relationship with Russia. https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/202002041078225599-turkey-will-not-escalate-tensions-with-russia-over-syrias-idlib—erdogan/?fbclid=IwAR1X6tQuRrWsX5iQ3kJCJaxFoR11cnfJpj–VlYhuUu9ZXLK6OQal0kiHaw But in between the two statements which are only four days apart, the Syrian Army has shelled Turkish positions and purportedly killed six Turkish soldiers and injured about a dozen. Whilst such an unprecedented incident should have sent Erdogan firing up as one would expect, according to Palestinian veteran journalist, Abdul Bari Atwan, this wasn’t to happen this time.

In a translation-worthy article, Russia and Syria have decided to take action in Idlib and they are no longer waiting for Erdogan to abide by his promises and agreements.

Atwan’s article’s title translates as: “What does the Syrian shelling of Turkish troops in Sarakob and the killing of six Turkish soldiers signify? And, what is the Russian message to Erdogan? And, did the Russians and the Turks tear up the Sochi Agreement? And, who will emerge as a winner in the bone-crushing battle in Idlib?”

According to Atwan’s analysis, the Syrian shelling of Turkish positions signaled the end of the line of joint Russian-Syrian patience with Erdogan’s lack of commitment to the Sochi Agreement. Atwan argues that opinion polls within Turkey indicate that Erdogan does not have the support of escalating in Syria and neither that of sending troops to Libya for that matter.

Did Atwan see the end of the line of Erdogan’s lies and contradictions this time? I personally hope he did. I must admit that in my previous analysis I have predicted several times that Erdogan had made his final and detrimental mistake . Somehow he always manages to slither out of the hole he was in and keep going.

Has he made his final and lethal mistake or is he going to relent and let Syria be?
Time will tell.

Blame for Russian Aircraft Crash Fully Rests with Tel Aviv: Moscow

Source

Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov

Moscow said on Sunday that the Israeli Air Force misled the Russian side by providing wrong information about the area of the planned air strikes in Syria, blaming Tel Aviv for the downing of Russian Il-20 military aircraft in Latakia on September 17.

Speaking at a press briefing on Sunday, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov provided more details on the downing of Russian aircraft, stressing that Tel Aviv violated agreement with Moscow on Syria.

“Today, we share detailed information about the crash of the Ilyushin IL-20 airplane of the Russian Aerospace Forces near the Syrian coast on September 17. We will present a minute-by-minute account of this tragic incident that was made based on the objective radar readings including those from the Plotto air information display system,” he said.

According to Konashenkov, the Israeli Air Force provided Russia with misleading information on the area of its airstrikes on targets in Syria, which stopped the commander of the Il-20 plane from relocating to the safe zone and led to its destruction.

“During the negotiations via the deconfliction channel, the representative of the Israeli Air Force Command reported that the targets assigned to the Israeli aircraft are located in Northern Syria … As you can see on the map, the Israeli jets delivered strikes in Latakia which is a western province of the country — and not in the north of the Syrian Arab Republic. The city of Latakia is located on the western coast. The misleading information provided by the Israeli officer about the area of strikes did not allow the Russian Il-20 airplane to move timely to a safe area,” Konashenkov said.

‘Israel’ Notified Russia Too Late

Konashenkov told the briefing that the Israeli Air Force notified Russia of its planned attacks on Syrian targets simultaneously with the beginning of the strikes instead of doing it in advance, thereby violating the 2015 bilateral agreements to prevent such incidents in Syrian airspace.

“Israel did not inform the Russian force about its operation in advance — but rather they issued a warning simultaneously with the beginning of the strikes, which constitutes a breach of the agreements. These actions constitute a clear violation of the 2015 Russian-Israeli agreements aiming to prevent clashes between our armed forces, in and over Syria, that were reached by the joint working group,” Konashenkov said.

He further added that the IAF has on multiple occasions created potentially dangerous situations for the Russian forces located in Syria, emphasizing that Moscow warned Tel Aviv about its air force operations in the war-ravaged country 12 times more often.

Audio Recording of Warning

Konashenkov emphasized that the Ministry possessed an audio recording proving that the IAF had warned the Russian side in the Russian language about the envisaged airstrike on targets in Syria when Russia’s IL-20 was downed.

“The talk was conducted in Russian. The Russian Defense Ministry has a record of the conversation,” he stressed.

‘Israel’ Either Allowed Criminal Negligence or Lacked Professionalism

According to the fresh released information, the Il-20 crew began emergency descending after it was hit by a missile, with pilots of Israeli F-16 fighter jets using the Russian aircraft as a “shield” against Syrian air defenses, according to the Russian general as quoted by Sputnik.

Konashenkov elaborated that an Israeli plane maneuvered toward approaching Il-20 — which was considered as another attack by Syrian air defense systems.

He further debunked claims by the Israeli military that their jets had already been within ‘Israeli airspace’ when the Syrian Army launched the missiles that hit the Russian plane, saying that F-16s left the area only 10 minutes after receiving the information on the downing.

“Israeli military either allowed criminal negligence or lacked professionalism, which resulted in the downing of Il-20,” Konashenkov said, adding that the blame for the crash fully rests with Tel Aviv.

The ministry spokesman further said that Israeli jets may have posed a threat to passenger planes when the Il-20 was shot down, and stressed that Russia has never violated the agreement on flights in Syria with ‘Israel’.

 

SourceSputnik

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Putin Keeps Cool and Averts WWIII as Israeli-French Gamble in Syria Backfires Spectacularly

Putin Keeps Cool and Averts WWIII as Israeli-French Gamble in Syria Backfires Spectacularly

Putin Keeps Cool and Averts WWIII as Israeli-French Gamble in Syria Backfires Spectacularly

By initiating an attack on the Syrian province of Latakia, home to the Russia-operated Khmeimim Air Base, Israel, France and the United States certainly understood they were flirting with disaster. Yet they went ahead with the operation anyways.

On the pretext that Iran was preparing to deliver a shipment of weapon production systems to Hezbollah in Lebanon, Israeli F-16s, backed by French missile launches in the Mediterranean, destroyed what is alleged to have been a Syrian Army ammunition depot.

What happened next is already well established: a Russian Il-20 reconnaissance aircraft, which the Israeli fighter jets had reportedly used for cover, was shot down by an S-200 surface-to-air missile system operated by the Syrian Army. Fifteen Russian servicemen perished in the incident, which could have been avoided had Israel provided more than just one-minute warning before the attack. As a result, chaos ensued.

Whether or not there is any truth to the claim that Iran was preparing to deliver weapon-making systems to Hezbollah in Lebanon is practically a moot point based on flawed logic. Conducting an attack against an ammunition depot in Syria – in the vicinity of Russia’s Khmeimim Air Base – to protect Israel doesn’t make much sense when the consequence of such “protective measures” could have been a conflagration on the scale of World War III. That would have been an unacceptable price to achieve such a limited objective, which could have been better accomplished with the assistance of Russia, as opposed to NATO-member France, for example. In any case, there is a so-called “de-confliction system” in place between Israel and Russia designed to prevent exactly this sort of episode from occurring.

And then there is the matter of the timing of the French-Israeli incursion.

Just hours before Israeli jets pounded the suspect Syrian ammunition storehouse, Putin and Turkish President Recep Erdogan were in Sochi hammering out the details on a plan to reduce civilian casualties as Russian and Syrian forces plan to retake Idlib province, the last remaining terrorist stronghold in the country. The plan envisioned the creation of a demilitarized buffer zone between government and rebel forces, with observatory units to enforce the agreement. In other words, it is designed to prevent exactly what Western observers have been fretting about, and that is unnecessary ‘collateral damage.’

So what do France and Israel do after a relative peace is declared, and an effective measure for reducing casualties? The cynically attack Syria, thus exposing those same Syrian civilians to the dangers of military conflict that Western capitals proclaim to be worried about.

Israel moves to ‘damage control’

Although Israel has taken the rare move of acknowledging its involvement in the Syrian attack, even expressing “sorrow” for the loss of Russian life, it insists that Damascus should be held responsible for the tragedy. That is a highly debatable argument.

By virtue of the fact that the French and Israeli forces were teaming up to attack the territory of a sovereign nation, thus forcing Syria to respond in self-defense, it is rather obvious where ultimate blame for the downed Russian plane lies.

“The blame for the downing of the Russian plane and the deaths of its crew members lies squarely on the Israeli side,” Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said. “The actions of the Israeli military were not in keeping with the spirit of the Russian-Israeli partnership, so we reserve the right to respond.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin, meanwhile, took admirable efforts to prevent the blame game from reaching the boiling point, telling reporters that the downing of the Russian aircraft was the result of “a chain of tragic circumstances, because the Israeli plane didn’t shoot down our jet.”

Nevertheless, following this extremely tempered and reserved remark, Putin vowed that Russia would take extra precautions to protect its troops in Syria, saying these will be “the steps that everyone will notice.”

Now there is much consternation in Israel that the IDF will soon find its freedom to conduct operations against targets in Syria greatly impaired. That’s because Russia, having just suffered a ‘friendly-fire’ incident from its own antiquated S-200 system, may now be more open to the idea of providing Syria with the more advanced S-300 air-defense system.

Earlier this year, Putin and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reached an agreement that prevented those advanced defensive weapons from being employed in the Syrian theater. That deal is now in serious jeopardy. In addition to other defensive measures, Russia could effectively create the conditions for a veritable no-fly zone across Western Syria in that it would simply become too risky for foreign aircraft to venture into the zone.

The entire situation, which certainly did not go off as planned, has forced Israel into damage control as they attempt to prevent their Russian counterparts from effectively shutting down Syria’s western border.

On Thursday, Israeli Major-General Amikam Norkin and Brigadier General Erez Maisel, as well as officers of the Intelligence and Operations directorates of the Israeli air force will pay an official visit to Moscow where they are expected to repeat their concerns of “continuous Iranian attempts to transfer strategic weapons to the Hezbollah terror organization and to establish an Iranian military presence in Syria.”

Moscow will certainly be asking their Israeli partners if it is justifiable to subject Russian servicemen to unacceptable levels of danger, up to and including death, in order to defend Israeli interests. It remains to be seen if the two sides can find, through the fog of war, an honest method for bringing an end to the Syria conflict, which would go far at relieving Israel’s concerns of Iranian influence in the region.

An Analysis of the Downing of Russia’s Il20 with 15 Onboard

September 22, 2018

Editor’s note:  Bodies and wreckage?  The search?  Nothing is right about this.  Am I missing something?
(Who did not attend Harvard Divinity School)
 
This past week we saw the spectacle of fifteen Russian servicemen losing their lives in the air. That comes on top of about two hundred Russian military contractors who got killed, and event to which Secretary of State Pompeo testified at his confirmation hearing.  The Il-20 was allegedly downed by Syrian fire led astray by Israeli aircraft, whereas the two hundred lost their lives as a result of a direct air attack by the US.  Every time USrael pushes Russia further, and Russia under Putin backs down, it builds up pressure inside a pressure cooker which may one day burst, making provocateurs in USrael realize what fools they have made of themselves and the rest of us that they drag along.
 
Let us examine the cause of downing of Il-20.  Today’s intelligent radar, when detecting a target, records its radar profile and keeps it in the memory of the radar’s on-board micro-controller. Consequently, the profile of one target, such as an Israeli fighter plane, cannot be confused with the profile of a larger plane such as the Tussian Il-20, Only older generations of radar which lack an on-board microcontroller or microprocessor and memory could make such a mistake.
 
Further, once the radar detects an object, it knows the distance of the object because of the round-trip time it takes for the radar waves to reach the target, bounce off, and return to the radar where they are detected. The bouncing off is instantaneous. The round-trip time halved then multiplied by the speed of light gives the distance of the object, which is recorded by the radar.  Radar waves travel at the speed of light, or 300 thousand kilometers per second.  In a modern radar, the distance from the target, once the target is detected, is recorded. This enables clear distinction of the target from other objects which may later enter the scene. If another object is detected to be at the same distance, and hence on the same arc as the first, it is the angle that separates them that helps the radar distinguish them.  If two objects are nearly co-linear with the radar, allowing one to largely hide another, it is their distance from the radar which distinguishes them. So if the Israeli planes came in front of the Il-20, the radar could not confuse them, because their distance from the radar is significantly different and because their radar profiles (signatures) are different. 
 
Based on the above two tracking and identification criteria, it would be impossible for the radar to mistake an Israeli fighter plane with an Il-20.  Once the radar has detected a target, being an Israeli fighter plane in the case under consideration, the identifying criteria of distance and profile enables the radar to lock onto the target. Therefore, unless the radar was from the 1960s-1980s, it is well nigh impossible for it to have made such a mistake. The same applies whether the radar is ground-based or mounted on the air-defense missile.  As I do not work in radar or electronic warfare I leave it  to those readers who do to comment to the general  readership if the above analysis is sound.
 
Conclusion
The above analysis would be known to Russian experts. They would have apprised Putin. Thus his statement that a series of tragic events led to this mistake is made-up, and serves to put a good face on his backing down. When Putin yields to criminals who have created, funded, armed and trained ISIS in the destruction of long-standing communities of the Middle East, to massacre the men of the community, rape the women, such as was suffered by Christians and Izadis, he hopes his conciliatory actions lead to rapprochement with the US and the West. But to USreal his action invites more crime and worse crime. Pressure inside the pressure cooker has been building up for some time.  Israel’s agents here helped it get away with its destruction of the USS Liberty, killing of 34 sailors and wounding of over 170.  The USS Liberty like the Il-20 was an intelligence gathering vessel. Each time Israel gets away with such actions it widens its horizons to commit more.  The Zionist lobby in Russia is no less effective than it is in the US. 

روسيا بين ديبلوماسية الانتقام وديبلوماسية الصواريخ .. ماهو ثمن ايل من لحم اسرائيل؟؟

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بقلم نارام سرجون

مهما كانت مكاسب الاسرائيليين من مغامرة الأمس مع ايل 20 فانها لاشك ستكون أشبه بقصة الكلبة براقش .. ورغم ان الغاية الحقيقية من هذه المغامرة لاتزال بعيدة عن التداول العلني فان من السذاجة ألا نعتقد ان الاسرائيليين لم يحسبوا حساب رد الفعل الروسي ..

 ربما ظنوا أن الاحتماء بالطائرة الروسية الضخمة واتخاذها درعا او رهينة تمنع الصواريخ السورية من الانفلات والوثوب نحو اللصوص .. ومع هذا فان من السذاجة أكثر ان نظن أن المخططين لهذه العملية لم يضعوا في حسبانهم أن مايفعلونه ليس محسوبا بدقة وأن هناك احتمالا كبيرا للخطأ .. فهناك هدف سوري على الارض يتعرض للقصف واطلاق النار الكثيف وفي غمرة الانفعال والعمل على استيعاب الهجوم فان قدرة المدافيعن عنه على تجنب الأهداف الصديقة اللصيقة بالعدو تبدو ضئيلة أو هامش خطئها كبيرا .. ولذلك فان هامش الخطأ في الحسابات الاسرائيلية ضئيل جدا .. وكان بلا شك من المحتمل ان يتم اصطياد الطائرة الرهينة بصواريخ صديقة لها .. كما يحدث في حالة رهينة يمسك بها لص ويطلق النار على الشرطة فتطلق الشرطة النار دفاعا عن النفس ولكنها تصيب الرهينة التي يتغطى بجسدها المجرم ..

مما سبق يمكن استنتاج أن الاسرائيليين وضعوا كل هذه الاحتمالات في حسبانهم ولم يتعرضوا للخطأ .. ولكن غاية الغارة كانت اما استطلاعية لمعرفة الممرات الالكترونية العمياء للرادارات وربما لاختبار امكانيات الاختراق والتشويش من أجل عمل قادم في مكان ما .. وربما استفزازية لخلق أجواء توتر تمنع اتمام تحرير مابقي في الشمال .. أو اي شيء آخر .. فليس من السهل تصور ان الاسرائيليين تعرضوا لسوء طالع وضع الطائرة الروسية بصدفة عمياء أمامهم دون توقع .. وحدث ماحدث .. فمن غير المعقول ان المعلومات التي يتابعونها دقيقة بدقيقة مع الامريكان والناتو لاتعرف مواعيد رحلات الطيران الروسية المكوكية والمنتظمة من والى السواحل السورية وهم يحصون أنفاس الروس في المنطقة ويدرسون كل سلوكهم العسكري 24 ساعة ..

سيحاول بعض المتحذلقين ان يقولوا ان روسيا لن ترد وستحاول امتصاص الأمر وتكتفي بالاعتذار الاسرائيلي .. وسيدللون ربما باعلان اسرائيل الاعتذار وربما بوصول نتنياهو الى موسكو لحل الموقف .. وان روسيا لم تفعل شيئا في المرات السابقة عندما اسقط الاتراك طائرة السوخوي .. رغم أن تركيا جاءتها على ركبتيها بعد اسقاط السوخوي ولم تجرؤ على مخالفة روسيا في الشأن السوري الا في مجال العتاب والتمني .. وبعد اسقاط الطائرة الثانية في ادلب فانها ردت باسقاط الـ ف 16 فوق فلسطين المحتلة .. كرسالة على تهديد حركة طيران روسيا فوق ادلب عندما اصيبت لها طائرة بصاروخ محمول كان مصدره مخازن سلاح غربية .. وكانت رسالة روسيا بليغة جدا .. واليوم فان العالم كله يترقب الرد الروسي الذي سيأخذ شكلا مستترا لايتوقعه أحد .. ويأتي من حيث لايحتسب الاسرائيليون .. بقفازات بيضاء أو سوداء .. لاتترك فيها بصمات رغم ان كوكب الأرض سيعرف ان اليد التي ترتدي القفازات هي روسية ..

سنكون في منتهى السذاجة ان اعتقدنا أن اسرائيل لن تعاقب وأنها لن تدفع ثمن فعلتها لأن الكلام الروسي الرسمي ديبلوماسي ويميل للتهدئة ظاهريا لأنه أذكى من أن يعطي فرصة لخصمه لاستخدام ردة الفعل الانفعالية لتصوير روسيا على انها دولة عصابات ومافيات .. لكن لن تفوت فرصة لرد الرسالة لاسرائيل وللعالم كيلا يستهين العالم بمصالح روسيا تحت اي ذريعة .. فرواية الجريمة والعقاب هي من انتاج عقل روسي .. واقتران العقاب بالجريمة وتلازمهما هو من صلب الثقافة والعقلية الروسية .. وهناك تناسب بين حجم الجريمة وحجم العقاب .. ولاشك أن مايشغل الاسرائيليين والامريكان هو كيف ستنتقم روسيا ولو بقفازات بيضاء لايخطئها أحد ولكن دون ان تصرح بذلك .. والكواليس تكاد تنطق من زحمة الاتصالات والحركة السرية لاقناع روسيا بالتخلي عن الرد وقبض ثمن سكوتها لأن اسرائيل وحلفاءها سيسددون الثمن .. وقال لي احد العارفين ببواطن الامور ان السعودية قد تدفع الثمن لأن صهر ترامب يتصل بالروس ويعرض أن تقدم السعودية ودول الخليج عرضا ماليا يسيل له اللعاب وصفقة مغرية لروسيا كي تنهي ملف طائرة ايل .. ولكن عقل فلاديمير بوتين لايفكر بعقل ترامب أو صهره او بن سلمان .. فهو لن يبيع جنوده ولاسمعة روسيا ولاهيبتها التي استعادتها بعد غيبوبة طويلة .. وتريد اسرائيل تصوير الأمر على ان دولة بحجم اسرائيل صدمت روسيا ولم تعاقب ..

ومايجب أن يبعث على قلق الاسرائيليين هو التصريحات الروسية الهادئة والباردة .. وخاصة تصريح بوتين الديبلوماسي الغامض الذي “تمنى ألا تتكرر هذه الحوادث المأساوية” وتصريح زاخاروفا عن لامهنية الطيران الاسرائيلي .. فهذا الضبط للاعصاب يحتاج قوة هائلة لاتصنعها الا الرغبة الهائلة في الانتقام .. وهذا مؤشر لايخطئ على ان بوتين لم يصرح بهذا الهدوء الديبلوماسي الا بعد أن وضع امرا للقادة الروس لاعطائه قائمة بالاهداف التي ستؤلم اسرائيل وبطريقة تنفيذها .. كما فعلت روسيا بمساعدة سورية لاسقاط طائرة ف 16 اسرائيلية واليوم ليس هناك من عاقل في اسرائيل يسأل ان كانت روسيا سترد .. والغريب ان الجميع لايجرؤ على طرح هذه الفرضية علنا .. رغم أن الجميع لديه يقين بذلك لأن العروض المقدمة للروس رفضت جميعا حتى اللحظة .. ولكن اليقين تسبقه أسئلة متى واين وكيف؟؟

الاعتداء الاسرائيلي ربما سيجعل رحلة الأمس الجوية لسلاح الجو الصهيوني نحو المجال الجوي السوري هي آخر رحلة طيران اسرائيلي نحو الشمال لأن الروس لمسوا كيف أن كل اجراءات تبادل الثقة والامان مع الاسرائيليين لم تكن موفقة ويمكن التلاعب بها .. وأنهم في أي لحظة بمكن أن يستفيقوا على طعنة أخرى في الظهر تنعكس سلبا على الداخل الروسي .. وربما نقلت هذه العملية روسيا من التستر بالديبلوماسية .. الى ديبلوماسية اس 300 السوري الصريحة في وجه طيران براقش التي قد يكتشف الاسرائيليون وجودها لأول مرة وهي تحمل رسالة روسيا اليهم الى قلوب طائراتهم .. وتتحول مكاسب نتياهو الى مكاسب للسوريين وحلفائهم .. وتصبح السماء ملكا للصواريخ وليس للطائرات ..

لانملك الا أن نقول بأن الله قد منّ علينا بأعداء يفسد عليهم الغرور والصلف دهاءهم وتدبيرهم ..لأن الأقدار تقيض لنا أعداء يقدمون لنا خدماتهم دون أن نطلبها .. فالثوار السوريون والمعارضون هم من أغبى المخلوقات مثلا .. هذه المخلوقات تلقت دعما عالميا ولحظة تاريخية لاتتكرر ولكنها ركبها الغرور وتصرفت برعونة وطيش وعدوانية ودموية وعناد وأصرت على التشنج والتحجر وتخلت عن أبسط الأخلاقيات والمبادئ .. فخسرت الحرب في الداخل والخارج .. وأرسل الله لنا عصابة صهيونية مصابة بالغرور أنها تتحكم في بعض عواصم العرب وقصور العرب وخليجهم ونفطهم ومياههم واسلامهم ودينهم وارهابييهم وتتحكم في كتبهم ومناهجهم وثقافتهم ومثقفيهم وأقدارهم .. وتتحكم في ثرواتهم وسلالاتهم وأعمارهم ونسائهم .. حتى دخلوا الكعبة آمنين .. فصار هؤلاء المغرورون يعتقدون انهم يريدون أن يغيروا مافعله الدم النازف فينا ويغيروا نتيجة الحرب التي خضناها بلحمنا ودمنا .. فصاروا لايميزون بين الخطأ والصواب .. وبين العتاب والحساب .. والجريمة والعقاب .. ولكنهم كما يقول المثل .. (جاء بالدب الى كرمه) .. واي دب ؟؟ الدب الروسي .. بشحمه ولحمه ومخالبه وغضبه ..

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ومخالب الدب ستعاقب اسرائيل .. وتنتقم لطائرة ايل .. ولاأظن أن ظني سيخيب ..

   ( السبت 2018/09/22 SyriaNow)

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Putin, Israel and the downed Il-20

Putin, Israel and the downed Il-20

SEPTEMBER 21, 2018

Putin, Israel and the downed Il-20

The Saker

[This column has been written for the Unz Review]

Yesterday (Sept 19th), I tried to post a short commentary suggesting that before we jump to conclusions about anything, we ought to wait for the fact to come out. But to no avail. The chorus of “Putin is a doormat!!”, “bomb Israel!!” and similar inanities is carrying on, louder than ever. Reading that crazy nonsense, I wanted to toss in a slogan, something like “Jew-haters and Putin-haters – unite!”. But then I realized that it would be futile because they have already united…

My friend Andrei Martyanov has tried to bring some logic and sanity into this pandemonium which I posted here (in spite of not normally doing reposts). Well, at the risk of being called a “gatekeeper” or a “cryto-Zionist”, I have decided to also try once more to bring this discussion into the realm of sanity, facts and logic.

First, let me start by a very simple and primitive question:

Why in the world has nobody considered that the Israelis might have truly screwed-up?

Seriously, I mean it. Unless you belong to the type of folks who believe that the Israelis are exceptionally crafty, smart and quasi infallible (there are such folks amongst both Jew-lovers and, more surprisingly, Jew-haters), this is a legitimate question, no?

What do we know for sure as of right now (Sept 20th)? We know that the Israelis did not give enough warning time to the Russians, which is in direct violation of an agreement between Israel and Russia. Do we know that they did it deliberately? No, we don’t. We really don’t.

Anybody with any military experience will tell you that what is known in the USA as FUBAR, SNAFU and “cluster****” is something all militaries do on a daily basis. Furthermore, the Israelis have had terrible screw-ups many, many times. Just a summary of all the screw-ups of the famous (and much over-rated) Mossad would take pages and include many outright embarrassing incidents (for a good laugh, just look at the inept Israeli attempt at assassinating Khaled Meshal!). So why is everybody assuming that the Israelis carefully planned the whole thing?

Next, let’s assume that this is simply the typical case of Israeli arrogance (not a myth!) and that they decided to inform the Russians as late as possible. Does that at all entail that the maneuver of the Israeli F-16s pilots to seek cover from the S-200 missile was something they had planned in advance? Does anybody bother to look at the actual (as opposed to Hollywood) record of the Israeli Air Force during past wars when they were actually challenged by a reasonably capable air defense? There is a detailed discussion (in Russian) about this here which can be summarized like this: as soon as the Israelis start losing aircraft their martial prowess rapidly vanishes. Now please recall this: the Israelis have had recent losses, some admitted, some denied, but there is no doubt that they are tense and very concerned. Bottom line: I would fully expect the Israeli pilots to freak out and seek cover as soon as they are told by their warning system that they are being painted by a radar in tracking mode (the S-200 has a semi-active radar homing guidance system). If that is the case, and I am not saying that this is the only possibility, then the fault is of the Israeli pilots, not of their commanders or the Israeli state as a whole. Yes, the command responsibility is the one of the state, but not the guilt for having engaged in such an evasive maneuver (besides, knowing the price placed by Israeli on goyim lives, this would be just so typical, would it not…)

At this point, I need to ask another question: what would the Israelis gain from shooting down the Il-20? They sure ain’t gonna frighten the Russians (Russian military don’t scare easy) and the Il-20 will be replaced. Scaring the Iranians or Hezbollah? Forget it – not happening. Maybe there was a real lucrative target that they destroyed? Yes, maybe, be so far we don’t know anything about this. So what would be the point?

Then the “sister question”: what would the Israelis risk by deliberately shooting down a Russian EW aircraft? Well, in theory, they would risk having their aircraft shot down and their airbases engaged with Russian missiles. That is highly unlikely, I will admit, and the Israelis probably understand the Russians very well (many of them being from Russia). But could they be sure that the local commanders would not order an immediate retaliation (as their current rules of engagement do authorize them to!)? Let me remind everybody that this Spring, the USA was not so sure at all, and following the words of the Russian ambassador that “not only missiles but their launchers would be destroyed” the USN and Air Force decided to shoot as little as possible and from as far as possible. As for the British sub, its captain decided to cancel the planned missile strike entirely (they were being shadowed by two Russian subs). Seems to me that the potential risks of that kind of operation would be pretty high, while the potential rewards rather unclear.

Those who insist that this was a deliberate Israeli act need to come up with a halfway credible explanation not only for how this was done, but also why this was done.

Now, like many others, I despise the Israeli racist, genocidal rogue state with all my heart. But that does not prevent me from being capable of imagining a scenario in which the Israelis simply screwed-up. Believe it or not, but my disgust for Zionist ideology does not at all entail a boundless belief in some Israeli infallibility.

Finally, let look at this: today (Sept 20th) an IDF delegation led by Air Force Commander Maj.-Gen. Amikam Norkin is in Moscow. Also participating in the trip are the Head of the Foreign Relations Division, Brig.-Gen. Erez Meisel and other officers from the Intelligence, Air Force and Operations Divisions. Does anybody believe that all these officers went to Moscow just to thumb their noses at the Russians? Or maybe they all traveled to Moscow to present some totally non-credible excuses which will only infuriate the Russians further?

My guess is that they have something exculpatory (at least in part) to show.

Putin-haters and Jew-haters (united, of course!) will immediately declare that the Israelis went to Moscow to pressure Putin into not giving in into the (very real) public outrage and calls for retaliatory measures. To this I will very simply reply: rest assured that there is a very powerful pro-Zionist 5th column in Russia which is already putting the maximal amount of pressure on the Kremlin and there is no need at all to send top IDF officials to do that (especially on Yom Kippur!).

This is probably due to my messy writing style, but very often when I say “A” some folks clearly hear “B” (or even “non-A”!), so with them in mind, I will be very very clear and spell it out: I am not saying that the Israelis did not deliberately shoot down the Il-20 and I am not saying that the Israelis are not responsible for the resulting loss of life and equipment.

What I am saying is that Putin, in contrast to the hordes of self-appointed armchair strategists, does have to look at all the possible options before deciding what to do next. Because even if we assume that the Israelis are irresponsible, arrogant, evil and reckless (which they are), this is not a reason for the Russians to emulate them or start a war.

If the Russians conclude that the Israelis did it deliberately, I will support a strike on Israeli air bases. If the Russians conclude that the Israelis cannot be trusted to abide by any agreements (which I think is indisputable), then I think that the Russians should declare an air exclusion zone over the Russian forces (a 100km radius or so). I also think that it is high time to keep a pair MiG-31BMs on 24/7 combat air patrol high over Syria (they can come quite close to replacing a much more expensive and vulnerable A-50U AWACS).

At this time (Sept 20th 20:37 GMT) all they have announced is that ““both sides emphasized the importance of the states’ interests and the continued implementation of the deconfliction system”. If that is all that the Russians decide, then I will find it wholly inadequate and I will predict a further surge in frustration against not only the government, but against Putin himself. But, for the time being, we need to wait and see what the Russian investigation will reveal. Only then can we begin cheering Putin or calling him names.

There is also this possibility: the Russians would decide on an air exclusion zone and tell the Israelis, but both sides would decide to keep this secret in order for Israel to save face (because if the Russians declare an air exclusion zone, this will create a safe heaven for Hezbollah and all the other militias which would be a political disaster for Bibi Netanyahu). So we might never find out.

Finally, I want to add one more thing which is rarely, if ever, mentioned.

The S-200 is a pretty old air defense system. We also know that it does not have a Russian IFF. However, the Russians have declared several times that the Russian air defense network and the Syrian one were integrated. This is what best explains, at least in part, the very high number of US cruise missiles intercepted in April. The problem is that the way the S-200 (and most modern air defense systems) works is that the S-200 is fully integrated into a larger air defense network administered by automated air defense management systems which is operated by a higher echelon air defense command. This means that the Syrian air defense crew did not simply detect the incoming missiles and fire off one of their own. At the very least, this decision was taken by a higher echelon Syrian air defense command. Now we know that the time was extremely short and, hence, the Russian air defense personnel might not have had the time to take protective action, especially not when dealing with a large, slow and vulnerable moving EW aircraft (the fact that this aircraft flew un-escorted is definitely a Russian mistake!). Still, we know that the Russians have many early warning capabilities which the Syrians do not have (AWACS, space based, shipborne radars, over-the-horizon radars, etc.) and there is a pretty decent chance that somebody could have done something to prevent what happened. True, since the Israelis and Russians had an agreement, the Russians therefore classified the Israelis as “non-threat”, but it does not take a genius to understand that four Israeli F-16 flying towards the Latakia Governorate are up to no good and that this warrants immediately going on full alert.

So this might be the reason why Putin spoke of “tragic circumstances”: there might be more blame to pass around than just piling it all up on the just the Israelis. By the way, even if true, none of this would in any way exculpate the Israelis for the very simple reason that had the Israelis warned the Russians on time this entire tragedy might have been avoided even if the prime culprits are cowardly Israeli pilots, less than competent Syrian air defense crews or too trusting Russians. By “warning” the Russians just 1 minute before the attack the Israelis created an environment in which such a tragedy simply had to happen. This is why I think that no matter what the Russian investigation find, anything short of an air exclusion zone over the Russian forces would constitute an inadequate response: the fundamental Israeli responsibility is already established. But what is still missing are the (important) details.

One more thing in conclusion: the last time the Russians made a deal with the Israelis, it worked remarkably well, let’s not forget that. The Syrian forces re-took control of their southern border without the Israelis doing anything meaningful to stop them. Let also remember that at the beginning of this war the usual chorus of Putin-haters was already screaming that “Putin disarmed and betrayed Syria!!” when the Russians removed the (useless) chemical weapons from Syria (thereby stopping an imminent US attack). When the Russians then proceeded to single-handedly save Syria from the “good” and “bad” terrorists, those who were screaming about betrayal remained silent and never admitted that they were wrong.

The truth is that no matter what Putin does, we can expect the chorus of Putin-haters to bellow at the top of their lungs “Putin betrayed X” (replace “X” with whatever you want). Yes, they are stupid and tedious, and nothing will stop them (I also suspect that a lot of that nonsense is machine generated, at least judging by the kind of repetitive crap the moderators constantly intercept on my blog). But for the rest of us, we need to remain critical of both Putin and Russian policies, but we need to do so by logically processing well-established facts, not by just waiting for whatever pretext to resume the usual mantra.

The Saker

New Satellite Images Reveal Aftermath Of Israeli Strikes On Syria; Putin Accepts Offer to Probe Downed Jet

An Israeli satellite imaging company has released satellite photographs that reveal the extent of Monday night’s attack on multiple locations inside Syria.

ImageSat International released them as part of an intelligence report on a series of Israeli air strikes which lasted for over an hour and resulted in Syrian missile defense accidentally downing a Russian surveillance plane that had 15 personnel on board.

The images reveal the extent of destruction on one location struck early in attack in the port city of Latakia, as well as the aftermath of a prior strike on Damascus International Airport. On Tuesday Israel owned up to carrying out the attack in a rare admission.

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Syrian official SANA news agency reported ten people injured in the attacks carried out of military targets near three major cities in Syria’s north.

The Times of Israel, which first reported the release of the new satellite images, underscores the rarity of Israeli strikes happening that far north and along the coast, dangerously near Russian positions:

The attack near Latakia was especially unusual because the port city is located near a Russian military base, the Khmeimim Air Force base. The base is home to Russian jet planes and an S-400 aerial defense system. According to Arab media reports, Israel has rarely struck that area since the Russians arrived there.

The Russian S-400 system was reportedly active during the attack, but it’s difficult to confirm or assess the extent to which Russian missiles responded during the strikes.

Three of the released satellite images show what’s described as an “ammunition warehouse” that appears to have been completely destroyed.

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The IDF has stated their airstrikes targeted a Syrian army facility “from which weapons-manufacturing systems were supposed to be transferred to Iran and Hezbollah.” This statement came after the IDF expressed “sorrow” for the deaths of Russian airmen, but also said responsibility lies with the “Assad regime.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also phoned Russian President Vladimir Putin to express regret over the incident while offering to send his air force chief to Russia with a detailed report — something which Putin agreed to.

According to Russia’s RT News, “Major-General Amikam Norkin will arrive in Moscow on Thursday, and will present the situation report on the incident, including the findings of the IDF inquiry regarding the event and the pre-mission information the Israeli military was so reluctant to share in advance.”

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Russia’s Defense Ministry condemned the “provocative actions by Israel as hostile” and said Russia reserves “the right to an adequate response” while Putin has described the downing of the Il-20 recon plane as likely the result of a “chain of tragic accidental circumstances” and downplayed the idea of a deliberate provocation, in contradiction of the initial statement issued by his own defense ministry.

Pro-government Syrians have reportedly expressed frustration this week that Russia hasn’t done more to respond militarily to Israeli aggression; however, it appears Putin may be sidestepping yet another trap as it’s looking increasingly likely that Israel’s aims are precisely geared toward provoking a response in order to allow its western allies to join a broader attack on Damascus that could result in regime change.

By Tyler Durden
Source

We Can’t Forgive Israel for Downing the IL-20 and Killing Russians, by Ruslan Ostashko

Source

September 20, 2018

Translated by Scott Humor and captioned by Leo.

Make sure to press CC for English captions.

The reckless audacity of Israel’s behavior in the Middle East, sooner or later had to lead to tragic consequences. And they finally came: from the provocation of Israel’s Air Force, a Syrian missile hit our Il-20 recon aircraft, killing fifteen Russians.

Do you remember the story with Gilad Shalit? He was a corporal of the Israel Defense Forces who on 25 June 2006, was captured by Hamas. To save their own soldier, the IDF started a military operation called “Summer Rains.” After the operation and other efforts did not succeed, after 5 years and 4 months, Israel exchanged Shalit for 1,027 Palestinian prisoners.

So this is to the question of how the state of Israel values lives of its soldiers. Now let’s return to the current events and the words of the Minster of Defense Sergei Shoigu about the actions of Israel, that caused deaths of fifteen our military servicemen.

“The blame for the downing of the Russian plane and the deaths of its crew members lies completely on the Israeli side,” Minister Shoigu said.

“The command center of the Russian troops were only informed with 1 minute left before the airstrikes by the Israeli F-16s began,” he mentioned.

“The actions of the Israeli military were not in keeping with the spirit of the Russian-Israeli partnership, so we reserve the right to respond.” – Minister Shoigu emphasized.

A question arises, if Israel has repeatedly been warned about the danger of such actions, and we have air defense systems in Syria, then why the hell did they not open fire on those who are a threat to Russian aircraft?

No, I understand international relations, a special partnership, and so on, but what kind of partnership is this, in which one side does what it wants, and then puts the other under attack? Do we need such a partnership?

I think you read how the head of Russia reacted to the incident.

“Regarding the response, they will be primarily aimed at additional security for our servicemen and our facilities in the Syrian Arab Republic, which will be such steps that everyone will notice,” Putin said.

It is very sad that our country does not undertake “steps that are noticed by everyone” before any tragedy occurred, but after the fact. Yes, Turkey didn’t just pay with sanctions on its tomatoes for shooting down our fighter jet, Turkey experienced economic pain and decided to be our partner. But, Israel has already been in our corner. At least we used to think that Israel is in our corner. Netanyahu attended the Victory Day parade in Moscow. May 9th in Israel is considered a holiday, and so forth. And now what? Are we going to forgive Israel, who fights for the life of every IDF soldier, for the loss of our fifteen compatriots?

I consider that it would be a demonstration of a weakness. And the weak are attacked. I think that we should take down any of Israel’s military jet, that threatens us even with 1% of probability of the attack. After the first their fighter jet is shot down, we will be faced with their screaming and barking, but what will Tel Aviv do? Declare war on Moscow? It’s ridiculous.

Tel-Aviv either will be trying again and again, or may continue attacks until our next downed plane, or it will give up their attacks immediately. Meaning they won’t be able to set us up again. You cannot let down the lives of Russians to anyone, especially – to such cleverly “partners”. When our people die in terrorists’ attacks, we strike them non-stop until they are destroyed. Enough fidgeting with the Israelis. Otherwise, a similar thing will 100% happen again.

Every Israeli fighter jet approaching dangerously close to our aircraft and bases in this region must be destroyed. The Israelis themselves act exactly this way. And they should inherit that.

P.S. An interview with the distinguished military pilot of Russia, Vladimir Popov, explains how the Israeli F-16 had been hiding literally under the wing of the Russia aircraft.

The Usual Tricks! Israeli Pilots Baited Syrian Missile By Hiding Under Wing of Russian Aircraft

Russia, USA, Israel, Iran and Syria: Continuous Struggle to Trigger or Avoid War

The Syrian defence system shot down by mistake a Russian Ilyushin IL-20M 90924 surveillance plane in Syria with 15 servicemen on board on Monday evening, the day after an Israeli F-16 destroyed an Iranian military cargo plane on the Damascus airport runway killing the second pilot. Simultaneously with the downing of the Russian plane, four Israeli F-16s attacked Syrian and Iranian military targets around the northern city of Latakia. The Syrian air defence system responded against the incoming missiles and hit the Russian plane while in landing position over the Hamymeen military airport. This took place only hours after the signing of a deal between presidents Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan to halt the battle of Idlib and defuse the possibility of seeing Syrian army barracks and military airports destroyed. Who is pushing for a wider war and why are Russia and Iran refraining from responding to the many provocations in Syria?

War drums sounded loudly over the Levant the last few months after Syria and its allies, mainly Russia, liberated the south of the country and directed all military resources towards the northern city of Idlib. This city is under Turkish control but hosts fewer than 2 million inhabitants, of whom tens of thousands are jihadists and heavily armed Turkish proxies. The US and Europe voiced their will to bomb Syria “if chemical bombs are used against the city”. That was a clear invitation for specialised groups in Idlib to stage an attack and give an excuse for US-EU forces to unleash their firepower and destroy the Syrian army’s air power and airports. That is indeed the key to the Russian/Syrian/Iranian lack of reaction to Israel’s many provocations and to the Russian-Turkish deal to suspend the war in Idlib.

Decision-making sources said “Russia was seriously concerned about the US and European intention to destroy the Syrian army in the event of a staged chemical attack. The US had managed to gather behind it a coalition including Britain, France and Germany to bomb Syria, making it very difficult for Russia to react militarily. Putin is aware of US intentions and is not in Syria to start WWIII but to stop the war. But it goes against US interests to see Syria recovering and Russia expanding its control in the Middle East”.

The Turkish-Russian deal to postpone the battle of Idlib, blessed by the central government in Damascus and arrived at following several Iranian mediations, aims to keep Ankara close to the Moscow-Tehran-Damascus line and to prevent a wider war in Syria. As an example, it took the Syrian army three years to prepare and equip the Shuay’rat military airport and three minutes for the US to put it out of commission for another 3 years. Russia, Syria and Iran would like to avoid any further burden on Syria’s economy and capabilities. Moreover, a weak Syrian Army would give more incentives for over 60,000 – 70,000 jihadists and rebels in Idlib and environs to break siege and move towards Aleppo, widening the war and creating more opportunities for the enemies of Syrian unity to regain strength.

Damascus is happy to calm down the war atmosphere and to give more time for Ankara either to disarm the jihadists, to attack them, or to merge many of them with its proxies. The Syrian government benefits from the deal, if it is respected, by seeing all heavy weapons confiscated by Turkey, as stipulated by the deal, greatly reducing the military capability of jihadists and rebels.

Moreover, what was not announced officially is Turkey’s guarantee that no chemical attack will be staged in Idlib to “provoke” the long-heralded US-EU bombing of Syria.

On Sunday evening Israel fired missiles against an Iranian cargo plane on the Damascus airport runway. The Israeli missiles didn’t aim directly at the plane and hit next to it. But they were close enough to torch the plane and kill the assistant pilot. This was an unprecedented by Israel, the first of its kind against such a target in the 7 year war in Syria.

According to decision makers in Syria, the Israelis had asked Russia to “prevent the flow of weapons from Iran to Hezbollah and Syria”. Moscow answered Tel Aviv: this struggle is not part of its business and  it is not ready to police the movement of weapons from Iran to its allies.

Idem, when Iran asked Russia to force on Israel the cessation of attacks in Syria against its allies and its forces, Moscow gave the same answer: “we are not ready to take part in your struggle with Israel”.

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But after the Iranian defence minister promised to supply Syria (Russia refrained from delivering the S-300) with anti-air missiles, capable of endangering the Israeli jets over Syria and Lebanon, Israel decided to move a step forward. This is why Israel decided to bomb any cargo that might improve Syrian capabilities and any weapons factories in Syria developing precision missiles. Nevertheless, according to sources in Syria, Iran has imported enough technology and missiles to its allies so that Israeli jets are not able to damage Syrian missile capabilities nor those of Hezbollah in Lebanon.

“Even if Iran loses 15 cargo planes in Syria, this won’t stop it from providing the necessary help to its allies”, said the source.

A few hours after the Russian-Turkish Idlib deal, Israeli jets fired against a military facility working on developing Syrian military capabilities. Four missiles hit the target and others were intercepted by the Syrian defence system. Nevertheless, a Russian Surveillance plane was also hit by a Syrian missile while manoeuvring for landing 27 km from Banias (where the debris were found).

“Russia has paid a heavy price for its unwillingness to exploit its superpower position in Syria, and for its failure to prevent any external force (US, EU or Israel) from bombing its allies in a theatre under its own control and dominance. In order to protect a perimeter where its forces were deployed, the US attacked and killed hundreds of Syrians in the al Tharda mountains under Obama, and hundreds more in Deir-Ezzour and al-Badiya. By contrast Israeli missiles flew over the Hmaymeen Russian-Syrian airport and the US Tomahawks which hit the Shuay’rat airport travelled over the heads of Russian forces”, said the source which is part of the Russian command in Syria.

The downing of the Russian plane is expected to impose on Israel full coordination and approval for its flights over Syria hours before the strike, in order for Russia to maintain its neutral position. This will also give Syria and its allies the possibility to await Israeli missiles and jets and remove sensitive weapons to limit damage.

Moscow has paid a certain price but Israel has lost advantage, which is to the benefit of Russia’s allies. The Israeli promenade over Syria may not end there, because Israel has never been restricted in “defending its national security”, as Tel Aviv always says to justify any act of war or aggression against another state or group. Israel’s violations of Syrian airspace may not cease completely but will slow down  for a few days, enough to allow Iran and allies to rebuild any capability destroyed.

Iran, Russia and Syria did not stop the battle of Idlib – to avoid a war – in order to be trapped in a new war triggered by Israel or the US. This is what prevents Russia, Iran and Syria from giving the US, Israel and Europe any pretext for triggering a war, at the cost of looking weak in front of the world. These very risky decisions are made to allow Syria to stand on its feet again. They are essential to thwarting warmongers in the US establishment. And they are necessary if the economies of the three countries are to flourish rather than wasting all their resources on a useless war with Syria as its platform.

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