Syria: Thoughts On The Russian Air Support
By Moon Of Alabama
October 01, 2015 "Information Clearing House" - Some things that happened today:
Immediately after news of the first Russian strike the U.S. payed "Syrian Civil Defense" organization "White Helmets" posted propaganda claims of killed children. The picture it used to prove its claims had also been usedon September 25, before the Russians started to bomb.
Next came claims that the Russian had hit "moderate rebels" which the U.S. says are its good guys.
To which Mark Adomanis snarked:
The US couldn't find "moderate" rebels in 3 years. Apparently the Russians did in 24 hours
Indeed. Even back in 2012 the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency found:
THE SALAFIST, THE MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD, AND AQI ARE THE MAJOR FORCES DRIVING THE INSURGENCY IN SYRIA.
"Moderates"- my ass.
The neocon Institute for the Study of War correctly identifies the target the Russian planes hit:
An alleged Russian airstrike hit the rebel-held town of Talbisah north of Homs City. Talbisah is home to Syrian al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra, hardline Islamist Ahrar al-Sham, and a number of other local rebel groups, all of which are active in local governance efforts in the area. Both Jabhat al-Nusra and the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) have claimed a number of vehicle-borne IEDs (VBIEDs) in Homs City, located only 12 kilometers south of Talbisah.
The Russians themselves claim 8 ISIS targets hit as they do not differentiate much between the various groups of violent jihadi organizations.
The U.S. and its European lap dogs are now outraged, OUTRAGED that the Russians did not hit the Islamic State but al-Qaeda. "They claimed to fight the Islamic State. How could they hit our moderate rebels and their friendly al-Qaeda cooperation partners?"
One of the eight Russian targets was in Rastan in Homs governate. No Islamic State there claims the "western" propaganda. Except that just nine days ago the Islamic State shot dead seven men in Rastan for being allegedly gay.
Human Rights Watch and its ever lying ISIS promoting boss Kenneth Roth have not yet complained that Russia is NOT using their beloved "barrel bombs". But we can be sure that they will soon come up with some other dull bullshit.
The Russian will first clear, as much as possible, the area between their base in Latakia and the Turkish border. That is pretty much a self defense measure as some insurgent groups have already tried to hit the Russian base with improvised rockets. It also has the advantage that the targets are only a few flight minutes away.
The bottleneck here is intelligence. The Russians have UAV drones as well as manned signal intelligence aircraft in Syria and will use those to find targets. The Syrian government will help with its on-the-ground intelligence.
The Russians now have at least 24 ground attack fighters on their base. Each could fly at least six sorties per day (and night), with double crewing even more. When the Russians have settled in we can expect a regular 100-150 air attacks per day on the "moderate rebels" with surges of up to 250 per day. This is about the same amount as the Syrian air force is currently delivering. But the Russian planes are better equipped and have better accuracy. For those CIA paid "moderate rebel" TOW shooters and their al-Qaeda allies life will soon become very uncomfortable. Only after the immediate danger to the base and to important Syrian government positions in west Syria is pushed away will Russia start to hit Islamic State targets further east. This may require moving some of its planes to another airfield further east.
I also expect that the Russians will do much more than just bombing rebel headquarters and the like. A main task will be direct ground support for the Syrian army when it starts to reclaim insurgent held areas. The Russians will have forward air controllers on the ground embedded with the Syrian forces. Effectively directed, all weather air support will make upcoming ground campaigns much easier.
The "western" anti-Syrian governments will continue to play outraged over the Russian help for the Syrian government. But I do not expect them to take any serious countermeasures. What can they do? Give anti-air missiles to their "moderate rebels" so that these can be handed over to al-Qaeda?
The Gulf dictatorships though may make such a grave mistake:
Adel al-Jubeir, Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister, said Tuesday that there were no circumstances in which his country would accept the Russian effort to keep Mr. Assad in power.