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Syraq SITREP 29: Ru MoD Says Drone Swarm Attack on Kheimmim Was State Sponsored, Asks Why US Navy Surveillance Plane Loitered Off the Syrian Coast During Attacks

Thursday, January 11, 2018 14:26
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from Rogue Money:

Several Western analysts were quick to suggest the Kheimmim incident heralded a new era of warfare, in which insurgents could humble modern militaries through ingenious use of radio controlled mini-planes as bomber swarms. The original reporting of the Kommersant newspaper claiming the destruction of multiple Russian planes on the ground December 31, however, could not be confirmed. As The Saker and his editor Scott suspect, the exaggerated toll on the Russian Air Force likely was Western intelligence boosted ‘fake news’.

Russian television showed footage of the only confirmed damaged aircraft, a SU24 bomber with the (mortar round damaged) tail number 29, allegedly repaired and within days back in action. The Russians say that their powerful electronic jamming complexes around the Kheimmim and their naval installation at Tartus on the Mediterranean were able to take down half of the 13 drones launched at them, while SA-22 Pantsir radar/infrared guided anti-aircraft guns shot down the rest. It’s unclear if the follow on drone ‘swarming’ attack which took place on Russian Orthodox Christmas eve inflicted any casualties or damage. The widely publicized drone attacks haven’t slowed the Russian-backed Syrian Arab Army (SAA) from attacking the last remaining large jihadist enclave in northern Syria’s Idlib province.

More interesting than the details the Russian Defense Ministry released regarding the drones advanced for ‘DIY’ characteristics, including their GPS programmed mortar round bombing run flight paths, was one particular claim. According to the RuMoD, a U.S. Navy Poseidon surveillance jet was loitering in international air space off the Syrian coast when the night time drone assault occurred. Like the Russian MoD’s claim in a briefing delivered to journalists days after the MH17 shoot down, in which the Ministry said the Americans just happened to have an orbiting spy satellite overhead in the minutes following the crash (whose supposed smoking gun imagery of THE Russian BUK that shot down the airliner CIA/National Reconnaissance Office refuse to declassify to this day)…the insinuation is American fore-knowledge and therefore complicity (at least at higher levels, not necessarily of lower ranking US Navy personnel on board the aircraft). 

While scoffing at a Pentagon spokesman’s claim that the sophistication of the thirteen drones sent in waves at Kheimmim could have been acquired in some random back alley jihadi drone bazaar, the Russian MoD nonetheless declined to name the U.S. or  Israel as the culprits. As the Sputnik News Agency reported, including this RuMoD tweet:

“After preventing the attack, the Russian military analyzed the design of and ammunition inside the seized UAVs, saying that such drones could have been supplied to the militants only by a country that is capable of “providing satellite navigation and remote control for the dropping of explosive devices.” Later in the day, the Pentagon issued a statement saying that such drones could be bought on “the open market.”

Commenting on the Pentagon’s statement, the Russian military expressed its concern over the remark that the technologies for attacking Russian military facilities are “easily accessible on the open market.”

”What are those technologies that are being talked about?” the ministry asked. A spokesperson also called for the Pentagon to reveal where this market is “located and what special service is selling space reconnaissance data” to militants.”


After the initial public exchange of views between the Russians and Americans regarding the off the shelf accessibility or lack thereof for such GPS guided drone bombing tech, Moscow directed its complaint toward Ankara. Specifically, declaring that the drones were launched from territory controlled by so-called moderate rebel groups that welcomed Turkey’s intervention in northern Syria. Such a complaint of course, should not be misunderstood as stating the Turkish military was behind the attacks, but rather that someone desiring to ratchet up Turkish-Russian tensions might have acted from areas nominally monitored by the Turks:

“According to a report published Wednesday by a newspaper of the Russian Defense Ministry, the area is controlled by “moderate opposition” backed by the Turkish government. The ministry said it sent a formal complaint about the incident to the head of the Turkish General Staff, Gen. Hulusi Akar, and the national intelligence chief, Hakan Fidan.

The letters “stress the requirement that Ankara deliver on its promises to enforce the ceasefire on the armed forces under its control and to establish observation posts in the Idlib de-escalation zone to prevent similar drone attacks on any targets,” the report said.”


The Art of Plausibly Deniable Escalation from Syria to Yemen: Houthis Shoot Down a Saudi Tornado Jet and Film Selves Almost Taking Down a RSAF F-15

Nineteen hundred miles southeast of Latakia, in the skies over war-torn Yemen, a hunter was becoming the hunted. The previously Saleh-loyalist Yemeni Army, who hid the impoverished country’s arsenal of old Soviet designed and Russian shipped surface to air missiles after the 2015 Saudi invasion, and their Ansarullah (better known as Houthis) allies had been waiting for this moment.

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