Russia Hails Israel’s Strike against Islamic State Terrorists in Syria

Russia Hails Israel’s Strike against Islamic State Terrorists in Syria

The Russian Analyst has been writing about the growing ties between Israel and Russia for some time. While it would still be wrong to say the former frenemies who found themselves on opposite sides of the Syria proxy war are now allies, a new chapter is being written in relations between Moscow and Tel Aviv. While Russiagate hysteria and calls for new sanctions dominate Congress, both pro-Israel Congressmen and the legacy media do their best to pretend U.S. BFF Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and America’s supposed mortal enemy and Trump puppeteer Vladimir Putin do not have business-like relations. Much of that has to do with pragmatism, and Netanyahu recognizing that the ‘moderate’ Syria rebels have lost the war and the Kurds under American protection are cutting deals with Damascus. Another component is the fact that 1/7th of Israel’s population speaks Russian at home or has a relative who do so, and Israeli businessmen wanting to get Leviathan field natural gas from the Mediterranean into the Turkstream pipeline to Europe.

At any rate the Russian Defense Ministry issuing a rare note of praise for their Israeli counterparts for finally hitting ISIS in Syria rather than abetting them through air strikes on Russia’s allies in the Syrian Arab Army is noteworthy. The extensive talks between Netanyahu and Putin plus the Helsinki Summit are already bearing fruit, even if the U.S./UK legacy media ignore these subtle results. — JWS

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Syraq SITREP 59: SAA and Iraqi PMU Get Hit by Israeli Strike Near Abu Kamal, Syrians Clash with U.S. Proxies Near Al-Tanf

Syraq SITREP 59: SAA and Iraqi PMU Get Hit by Israeli Strike Near Abu Kamal, Syrians Clash with U.S. Proxies Near Al-Tanf

The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) launched Operation Basalt this week. The liberation of southern Syria’s Da’ara and Quneitra provinces is going forward despite U.S. threats and Israeli attempts to slow it. Israel hit pro-Damascus forces and Iraqi Shi’a allies in the border town of al Hari in Deir Ezzor province. The Israeli suspected drone strike carried out Sunday night, initially blamed by Syrian media on the Americans (likely because IAF jets were once again detected by the Russians squawking on IFF/radar as American F15Es rather than IAF F15Is) struck the meeting near the Euphrates River city of Abu Kamal, killing scores of SAA and PMU fighters from Iraq.

Undaunted by Israeli aggression against a nominal US ally, the Iraqi PMU have bolstered their support for the SAA this week. Officers of the Iranian-backed militia are reportedly joining Syrian government forces assault on the jihadists in Quneitra this weekend. SAA T55, T72 and modern T90 battle tanks were transported by flatbed trucks to southern Syria, with artillery and Russian-supplied Urugan and Smerch rocket fire pounding jihadi positions, cutting militants off from the rest of the Da’ara pocket.

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Syraq SITREP 55: IAF Strikes Hezbollah Shi'a Foreign Fighters Training Base as US Warns Damascus Against Liberating Southwestern Territory Close to Jordan and Israel

Syraq SITREP 55: IAF Strikes Hezbollah Shi'a Foreign Fighters Training Base as US Warns Damascus Against Liberating Southwestern Territory Close to Jordan and Israel

On Thursday May 24, Israeli warplanes launched standoff missiles, reportedly killing twelve pro-government foreign fighters stationed between the towns of Boukamal and Hmeimeh in Deir el-Zour province. Syrian media initially blamed the U.S. for the air strike, raising fears that pro-Damascus forces were again clashing with the American backed Kurds in the Euphrates Valley as during the notorious (and wildly inflated Russian ‘Wagner mercenary’ casualties) battle of the Conoco gas field on February 6-7, 2018. But the Coalition denied Syrian and Hezbollah media reports of its involvement and the Russians clarified that no American units were involved.

The most likely explanation for the confusion is that Israeli Air Force (IAF) F15I jets were once again using U.S. transponder signals, which only the Russians would be able to distinguish on radar from U.S. Air Force F15Es. ISIS had been carrying out hit and run attacks in the Homs desert on the same day and the following days, drawing SAA reinforcements to the area.

Days after the IAF had boasted of using the stealthy F35 Adir in combat for the first time, Dabaa airbase in Homs province, no longer used by the Syrian Arab Air Force but known as a training ground for Hezbollah and its Iranian allied Iraqi/Afghan Shi’a fighters, was also hit by a several missiles. Syrian air defense forces claim to have shot down some of the incoming projectiles, and video was posted online of Syria’s old S200 SAMs firing into the night skies. After Damascus victoriously ended seven years of fighting in and around the Syrian capital, the Trump Administration warned the Syrians not to advance on the deescalation zone in Deraa, the ‘cradle of the revolution’ where jihadists are still providing Israel with a small buffer zone.

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Syraq SITREP 54: No Way to Swerve and Avoid Head On Mideast Collision?

Syraq SITREP 54: No Way to Swerve and Avoid Head On Mideast Collision?

There has been a lull in the hostilities between Israel and Syria since Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s historic visit with Russian President Vladimir Putin for the Victory Day holiday in Moscow. But this post-May 9 period should not be mistaken for an imminent outbreak of peace. A false alarm about an incoming unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) led to a missile launch from a battery of Israel’s Iron Dome system, suggesting the Israelis are very concerned about enemy drones. Notwithstanding Putin and Netanyahu generally agreeing that all non-Russian foreign forces must leave Syria, or Putin reiterating this principal after hosting President Bashir Al-Assad in Sochi.

As Damascus based correspondent Elijah J. Magnier writes, there are no signs the Americans and their French allies or the Turks are leaving the Syrian territory they illegally occupy any time soon. The Trump Administration did cut off aid to the jihadist held territories of Syria, and also areas controlled by the Kurdish dominated Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). This will make the Kurds more dependent on the U.S. military presence for survival (unless they reconcile with Damascus), while the jihadis, plagued by infighting across Idlib province, will become further dependent on the irredentist Turks for their salaries and food. Meanwhile, Syrian Arab Army (SAA)’s victories this week over the remaining ISIS remnants in southern Damascus and the Rastan pocket freed up more troops for operations in rural Idlib, and possibly against Israel’s illegal jihadi-manned ‘buffer zone’ in southern Syria. Another flash point is being created along the Golan Heights at the same time that political flares in Washington are being tossed into the rising oil price barrel fueled by the Israel/Saudi vs. Syria/Hezbollah/Iran conflict’s potential to explode.

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Syraq SITREP 53: Can Putin and Bibi Cut a Face Saving Deal to End Israeli Attacks On Syria?

Syraq SITREP 53: Can Putin and Bibi Cut a Face Saving Deal to End Israeli Attacks On Syria?

The situation in the Levant appears to be spiraling downward toward full scale war between Iran’s Syrian and Hezbollah allies and Israel. Tel Aviv has cited an Iranian military presence in the war-torn nation as a pretext to launch continuous attacks. Not only Israel’s Air Force but the Iron Dome defense system and the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) artillery were engaged after the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) retaliated for multiple IAF strikes inside Syria last week.

The clashes initiated from the Israeli side, which the ‘international community’ aka the NATO/Gulf Arab states bloc blamed on Iran, came hours after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Victory Day ‘Immortal Regiment’ march alongside Vladimir Putin in Moscow. The symbolism of a Russian leader jointly commemorating the Soviet victory over the Nazis with the PM of the Jewish State was not lost on anyone, especially after a report in Izvestia that no S300 missile systems would be delivered to the Syrians (though this report did not rule out that the systems have been covertly shipped to the Russian base at Kheimmim for safe storage from IAF missiles next to Russian troops).

What quid pro quo between the two world leaders led to this controversial Kremlin decision was the subject of widespread speculation among Russia watchers and academics with an interest in the complex Moscow-Tel Aviv relationship. A bilateral engagement tested by being on opposite sides of the Syria War, yet (as we wrote back in late 2015) bound by shared interests in eastern Mediterranean pipeline gas, Jewish Russian re-pats returning from Israel to Moscow, and the Russian Orthodox Church’s historic role in the Holy Land. Due to the late and post Soviet emigration, after the three official languages of Hebrew, Arabic and English, Russian is Israel’s unofficial fourth language.

Photo of Syrian SAMs streaking across the Damascus skies, May 10, 2018 by 24 Resistance Axis

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С Днем Победы Биби! (Happy Victory Day Bibi)

С Днем Победы Биби! (Happy Victory Day Bibi)

In a spectacle that could cause cognitive dissonance for Americans who view Israel as America’s best friend and Russia as our worst enemy, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was Vladimir Putin’s guest of honor for the annual Victory Day parade on Red Square. Of course, Netanyahu’s presence and the perceived appeasement of Tel Aviv by Moscow is unpopular with many Russians at home and abroad, who view Israel’s military actions in Syria as unchecked aggression against two Russian allies — including last night’s Israeli Air Force missile strike against a Damascus suburb where Iranian personnel are said to operate (which reportedly missed any IRGC soldiers, and killed a civilian Syrian couple who operated a gas station). At least two of the five missiles fired by IAF jets while flying over Lebanon using heavy jamming support to confuse Syrian radars were shot down, according to Syrian Army sources.

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Syraq SITREP 52: Beating the War Drums, Bibi to Moscow for Victory Day and S300 Ambiguity

Syraq SITREP 52: Beating the War Drums, Bibi to Moscow for Victory Day and S300 Ambiguity

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s staff have confirmed to The Jerusalem Post that he will be in Moscow for the May 9th Victory Day holiday. In a sign that Vladimir Putin is seeking to deescalate tensions between Moscow and Tel Aviv, the Kremlin announced the Israeli PM had been invited to join Putin as an honored guest for the annual military parade through Red Square. A parade that will feature new Russian hardware on MiG31 jets like the Khinzhal hypersonic missile, designed to render American missile defenses obsolete.

Is this diplomacy evidence that Russia is a paper tiger, as the Anglo-American neocons contend, meekly accepting whatever the Israelis choose to dish out against its allies in Syria? Are the Kremlinologists correct that with the recently announced 20% defense spending cuts and rumored appointment of pro-Western globalist ‘cabal’ friendly liberals like Alexei Kudrin to the new presidential cabinet, Moscow is turning inward and seeking to appease the Americans and Israelis? Or is Putin calmly explaining to Bibi behind closed doors that Moscow cannot be responsible for the consequences, should he continue to recklessly provoke the Iranians and their (feared by the Israeli Defense Forces) Hezbollah allies?

Netanyahu/Putin archive photo by: Kremlin.ru

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Syraq SITREP 50: Russia Displays Missiles Downed Over Syria, U.S. General Complains About Russia's Electronic Warfare Jamming American Surveillance Planes in Syrian Skies, Israelis S300 Bluster

Syraq SITREP 50: Russia Displays Missiles Downed Over Syria, U.S. General Complains About Russia's Electronic Warfare Jamming American Surveillance Planes in Syrian Skies, Israelis S300 Bluster

On Wednesday April 25 the Russian Defense Ministry gave a press conference in Moscow intended to expose the falsehoods of their American ‘partners’ in the Pentagon and the false report President Trump repeated during a speech in Florida, boasting of 100% success in the missile strikes he ordered against Syria. Whether the President was lying or, as the Russian Analyst and London Paul suspect, Trump has been badly misinformed by his advisers remains to be seen. However, the evidence presented by the Russians that at least two missiles, one a Tomahawk and the other a Storm Shadow/SCALP of the type fired by the British and/or French, appears solid. The Russians conclusion that only 22 of the 105 missiles fired actually hit any targets is also consistent with the recorded damage to the three targets all sides agree were hit, which would’ve been blasted to dust by dozens of additional, successful hits.

This dismal showing for US/UK airpower is likely why the Anglo-American media, usually eager to swarm any Russian Defense Ministry claim with an army of trolls and Bellingcat couch potato bloggers insisting upon a fake, were curiously quiet regarding the RuMoD press conference nearly 24 hours later. Alternatively, the propaganda network retired Army Col. DIA analyst Pat Lang has linked to the British Army’s Security Assistance Group (SAG / 77th Brigade) and the various UK ministries promoting the ‘White Helmets’, have been so fixated on salvaging their masters Douma ‘chemical attack’ operation, that they could not spare any resources for an immediate rebuttal to Wednesday’s presentation. A Pentagon spokesman did dismiss the RuMoD as ‘Russian disinformation’, but MSM coverage of the Russians claims remained low key.

The pro-Russian online aggregator and strategic analyses site Southfront has a collection of photos taken by RIA Novosti and Sputnik, as well as its own short video you can watch below. Perhaps mindful that the Pentagon would try to dismiss their missile parts display as faked, the Russians took care to label in English and Cyrillic various identifiable portions of the downed Tomahawk and Storm Shadow ALCM. Indirectly, via a complaint spoken to a room full of intelligence analysts, servicemen and contractors thousands of miles away, no less an authority than the head of U.S. Special Operations Command confirmed the Russians capability to ‘off switch’ American electronic warfare aircraft. If Gen. Raymond Thomas, speaking to the U.S. Geospatial Intelligence Foundation’s 2018 GEOINT Symposium in Tampa, could confirm the Russians were badly messing with JSOC’s EC130 planes’ onboard systems, what could that mean for the vulnerability of inertial guidance on the Tomahawk and StormShadow missiles? Did Gen. Thomas hint at the painful truth for the Pentagon, that the Americans have badly fallen behind the Russians in non-kinetic electronic warfare?

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Syraq SITREP 49: Douma Chemical Attack Case Falling Apart, Israeli Threats Against Damascus, and U.S. Demanding Turkey Drop S400 Purchase

Syraq SITREP 49: Douma Chemical Attack Case Falling Apart, Israeli Threats Against Damascus, and U.S. Demanding Turkey Drop S400 Purchase

Israel allegedly followed up on last week's barrage of U.S.-British and French cruise missiles fired against the Syrian government. However the Israeli Air Force (IAF) attack on a base near Homs supposedly targeting Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) personnel was said to use non-kinetic electronic warfare. Syrian commanders blamed the Israelis use of jamming from jets flying over Lebanon for making their country's air defense operators shoot off missiles, while being fooled into thinking that they were under attack. Perhaps envious of the Russian 'off switch' that may have taken down a large number of the missiles fired by the Anglo-Americans (at least two intact 'smart' missiles have reportedly been transferred from the Syrians to the Russians according to TASS) on the night of April 13-14, the Israelis may have wanted to demonstrate that they too, can pack an electronic punch.

Israeli evaluations leaked to the press of the President Trump-ordered air strikes were that they represented a 'failure', because only three Syrian sites were destroyed. The American missiles missed the alleged chemical weapons the Assad government allegedly hid or produced since surrendering its CW arsenal to international inspectors in 2013-14. The logical follow up question then, with Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) multinational representatives on the ground in Damascus and headed for the nearby town of Douma to investigate an alleged gas attack, is why Washington and Tel Aviv do not immediately direct inspectors to sites where their intelligence services believe the Syrians are hiding toxic weaponry? As retired Army Col. DIA analyst Pat Lang noted about his time providing intel to UNSCOM, when Saddam Hussein remained in power after Iraq's crushing defeat in the 1991 Gulf War, UN inspectors were directed by American intelligence to chemical and biological weapons production sites, where WMD materials were found and peacefully dismantled. Of course, we don't see such referrals using intel from CIA and Mossad, because the alleged Syrian chemical arsenal is being used as a pretext for American and Israeli strikes on an ally of Russia and above all, Iran. What's clear is that there were no chemical weapons stored or produced at the three sites U.S.-UK missiles flattened (while France had an alleged failure to launch its weaponry). Otherwise the Syrian clean up crews and photojournalists who filmed the rubble would've shown symptoms of exposure. It's also evident that the Americans and British are increasingly nervous that their story about the evil Assad gassing children in Douma which was used to justify the missile strikes is falling apart, despite the legacy media’s propaganda.

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Syraq SITREP 48: Russian MoD Says Syria Shot Down More Than 2/3rds of Anglo-American-French Missiles, Pentagon Insists Not a Single Missile Downed by Damascus Defenders

Syraq SITREP 48: Russian MoD Says Syria Shot Down More Than 2/3rds of Anglo-American-French Missiles, Pentagon Insists Not a Single Missile Downed by Damascus Defenders

Nearly two days have passed, multiple satellite photographs of destroyed buildings have been released to the world since Saturday morning's U.S.-British-French missile strikes in Syria...and the Pentagon has a serious problem. An issue much larger than just 'PR' or the 'Russian disinformation' that Secretary of Defense James Mattis warned about, which is said to have included trolling activity increasing by 2,000% (from what baseline and over which period of time this percentage increase was recorded, the DoD spokesmen and women wouldn't say).

Perhaps in part because the blow was telegraphed last week by President Trump's tweet taunting Russians that the shiny new 'smart missiles' were coming, or due to the limited scope of targeting (just three sites allegedly related to a covert Syrian chemical weapons program), or just plain hubris and smug underestimation of Syria's defenders and their Russian big brothers watching the skies -- the attack was a dud. Such that even those who rushed to praise President Trump for striking Assad the alleged chemical bomber of children were left disappointed, pining for more multi-100 million dollar fireworks to show Vladimir Putin who's the global superpower boss.

While the Russian Analyst does not know if Moscow's tally of 71 out of 103 missiles fired from US-UK-French warships and aircraft intercepted is accurate...we can confidently assess that the U.S. Department of Offense spokesman's claims -- that every missile fired hit its intended target and that there were no launch failures or weapons falling short -- is false. We also know the Pentagon, likely due to the current hysteria over all things Russian in Washington, denied giving Moscow any strike warning on Friday beyond the usual deconfliction channels -- whereas the French immediately contradicted that point. What remains to be seen is how much wreckage from downed Tomahawk and StormShadow (French and British deployed) missiles the Russian generals will present in Damascus as proof their American counterparts are lying.

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Syraq SITREP 45: Israeli Missiles Strike Tiyas Air Base After Trump Threatens Assad Government Over Douma Chemical Attack

Syraq SITREP 45: Israeli Missiles Strike Tiyas Air Base After Trump Threatens Assad Government Over Douma Chemical Attack

Israeli missiles struck the Tiyas Air Base west of Palmyra in Homs governate around 3:30 Damascus time Monday morning, killing and wounding several Syrian soldiers. SANA reports that eight incoming missiles were shot down by Syrian air defense. The strikes were likely launched from over Lebanon, where locals reported hearing low flying jets. Israel's military would not comment, which has been its standard practice when striking targets inside Syria -- along with violating Lebanese air space. The Israeli Air Force (and possible sub launched cruise missile fired from the Mediterranean) strikes came less than 24 hours after President Donald Trump sent out a series of tweets Sunday morning, calling Syrian President Bashir al-Assad 'an animal' and blaming the Syrian government for a chemical attack in Douma, the last remaining jihadist-occupied exurb of Damascus.

Pro-government sources initially said the strike on Tiyas which killed at least a dozen Syrian servicemen was 'American aggression'. Undoubtedly since U.S. intelligence is shared with the Israelis that designation is true, for President Trump had vowed on Twitter to make the Assad government 'pay a heavy price' over the chemical attack, without any forensic evidence being presented of Damascus' guilt ahead of a United Nations Security Council (UNSC) meeting Monday afternoon. However, the Pentagon denied any U.S. strikes on Syrian targets late Sunday night, while releasing a readout of a phone call with French President Emanuel Macron in which Washington and Paris vowed joint action to address Syria's alleged use of chemical weapons against civilians. The attack comes days after President Trump had announced his wish to pull American troops out of Syria and numerous legacy media reports that the Pentagon and his cabinet were pressuring the Commander in Chief to keep the Americans occupying sovereign Syrian territory east of the Euphrates River, with ISIS remnants as the pretext.

Now the question is -- will this largely symbolic strike be all for now in terms of military action by Washington and its allies, or will we see additional strikes that test Moscow's vow to respond and defend its servicemen embedded with Syrian troops from attack? Will National Security Adviser John Bolton's first day in his office be about starting a major if not global war?

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Syraq SITREP 42: Trump Says U.S. Will Leave Syria 'Soon', While Israelis Boast of F35 Flights Through Syraqi Airspace to Iran

Syraq SITREP 42: Trump Says U.S. Will Leave Syria 'Soon', While Israelis Boast of F35 Flights Through Syraqi Airspace to Iran

The clash between a commander in chief who claims to be determined to shake up how Washington does things and the Swamp/established bureaucracies apparently continued on Thursday, when President Donald Trump suggested in a speech to Ohio workers that U.S. forces would leave Syria soon. The mission of 'knocking the hell out of ISIS' Trump declared, had been accomplished and, "We're coming out of Syria very soon. Let the other people take care of it now, very soon. Very soon, we're coming out."

The question of what was the official U.S. position if not that of the President was pushed to the Pentagon, who punted to the White House, and the State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert declared herself unaware of any change in policy. Astute RogueMoney readers will note this is the same Nauert who declared the Russians were playing the victims following their expulsion of 60 American diplomats and closure of the U.S. consulate in St. Petersburg, in retaliation for Washington shutting down the Russians' Seattle consulate and booting sixty Russian diplomats or alleged spies under diplomatic cover. The so-called Skripal affair and the failing British attempt to 'link' the alleged use of nerve agent against one of their Russian assets on UK soil to (false flag) chemical weapons attacks in Syria being the stated justification for the harsh American measures against Russia's diplomatic missions to the U.S. and UN. Nauert also compared, in a bizarre press conference metaphor she used this week, the Russian state to some beast from the deep with many tentacles.

Even after forcing out Russophobic national security adviser H.R. McMaster, only to replace him with neocon bomb-bomb-bomb Iran enthusiast John Bolton, the contrast between Trump and his cabinet and the agencies that nominally follow his lead remains extreme. As MSM articles covering Trump's seemingly off the cuff promise to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria made clear, the Pentagon under Secretary of Defense James Mattis has refused to give any timetable for an American withdrawal from the territory liberated from ISIS it's (illegally) occupying east of the Euphrates. But Trump's hint at 'letting others take care of it' meaning the remnants of ISIS or Al-Qaeda (also known to RM readers as al-CIA-eda) strongly suggests that our friend at LaRouchePAC Harley Schlanger is correct, and the President's instincts are to cooperate with the Russians and Turks in establishing a durable peace deal in Syria. Which is precisely the opposite of what rabidly anti-Iran hawks like UN Ambassador Nikki Haley and John Bolton Trump appointed and who serve at his pleasure are demanding...and what Trump's BFFs in Israel are suggesting with their braggadocio about 'stealth' F35 missions through Syria and Iraq's air space to strike Hezbollah and Assad's patrons in Iran.

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Syrian Downing of Israeli Fighter Jet Was Designed To Send a Message

Syrian Downing of Israeli Fighter Jet Was Designed To Send a Message

Feb. 11, 2018 (EIRNS)—The Chinese news agency Xinhua emphasized in a Feb. 10 report on the events surrounding the Syrian downing of an Israeli fighter jet, that there have been many Israeli strikes inside Syria over recent years—nearly 100 strikes in five years, according to former Israeli Air Force Commander Amir Eshel, The Jerusalem Post reports—but this is the first time that Syria responded with more than denunciations and threats. This indicates, Xinhua states, “that Syria will no longer tolerate the repeated Israeli attacks on its military positions.”

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Syraq SITREP 35: Israel Admits F16 Shot Down by Syrian Air Defense

Syraq SITREP 35: Israel Admits F16 Shot Down by Syrian Air Defense

The Israeli Air Force announced shortly after dawn Saturday morning that one of its American made F16 fighter jets was hit by a Syrian surface to air missile, crashing after both pilots ejected over northern Israel's Jezreel Valley. According to the IAF spokesman the Lockheed Martin fighter jet was struck by a SAM as it was carrying out an air strike against alleged Iranian targets in southern Syria. The purpose of the raid according to IAF Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus was a response to an Iranian made drone being sent into Israeli air space. 

The Syrian military command claimed to have struck not one but two IAF jets with SAMs, taking down one and damaging another in response to Israel's 'aggression'. Whether or not Russia had a role in recently updating the older Soviet shipped S200 long range SAMs or if it was a newer, post-2011 shipped SA11 'BUK' which hit two IAF jets was not immediately clear Saturday. IAF technicians will likely know within hours if not days if the shrapnel that took down the F16 which crashed in northern Israel came from a Soviet/Russian designed SAM or an Iranian Shahren SAM.

What is clear is that several years of the Israelis being able to strike Syria with impunity while violating Lebanese air space to do so may be coming to an end. And the repercussions not only apply to Tel Aviv/Jerusalem, but also to Washington, which this week bombed pro-government Syrian tribesmen in Deir Ez Zor province. If Damascus can take down an upgraded IAF F-16, then some of the US Air Force's F15E Strike Eagles of the type that carried out the 'defensive' Coalition strikes on Wednesday could also get shot down in the nearest future.

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Syraq SITREP 34: Israeli, U.S. Air Strikes Reportedly Kill Scores of Syrian Soldiers and Militiamen

Syraq SITREP 34: Israeli, U.S. Air Strikes Reportedly Kill Scores of Syrian Soldiers and Militiamen

Early Wednesday morning, Israeli Air Force jets violating Lebanese air space struck the Jamraya research center outside Damascus, reportedly killing two and wounding four people at the  weapons development center linked to Iran. The Syrian government claimed that its air defenses engaged the incoming air to ground missiles, destroying several projectiles over Lebanon. The IAF strike came after reports that the Syrians had moved longer range surface to air missiles to northern Aleppo province, in order to back up Damascus' prior threats to shoot down Turkish Air Force jets that were bombing Kurdish forces in Afrin. It was unclear whether there was any link between the relocation of some Syrian SAMs and the timing of the IAF strike, though Turkish jets and even drones were reportedly staying clear of the newly relocated (and Russian or Iranian upgraded) Syrian air defenses, which left Turkish units operating miles away from their border without friendly air cover.

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Syraq SITREP 31: SecState Tillerson Commits Trump Admin to U.S. Occupation of Eastern Syria

Syraq SITREP 31: SecState Tillerson Commits Trump Admin to U.S. Occupation of Eastern Syria

During our commentary on Syria, the Russian Analyst and V the Guerrilla Economist began referring to the 'Race to the Euphrates' in late 2015, after Moscow forcefully intervened in the Syrian war to save the legitimate, and multi-confessional Damascus government. The historic analogy was to the Soviet and Allied armies meeting at the Elbe in the heart of a defeated Nazi Germany in spring 1945. However, like many historical analogies this one is both useful and flawed, in that elements of the Anglo-American-deep state (like their Wall Street bankster predecessors who supported Hitler's war machine even after Pearl Harbor) were covertly dealing with the Islamic State enemy. Certainly the huge convoys of ISIS oil tanker trucks left untouched by the Obama Administration's rules of engagement bombed to bits by Russia after President Putin's presentation to the United Nations in late September 2015 exposed the charade for anyone paying attention, shaming the Pentagon (including after a series of bloody Daesh attacks in Europe) into strangling the Langley/Riyadh fueled Frankenstein monster.

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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

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

On January 9, 2018, the Russian Defense Ministry all but accused Washington or an unnamed U.S. ally in the southeastern Mediterranean of sponsoring a 'home made DIY' drone attack on the Kheimmim Air Base. After the 2017 dismantling of ISIS pseudo-caliphate, when it seemed U.S.-Russia tensions might be easing in Syria, the 'shelling' attacks using low flying drones dropping mortar rounds on the Russian bases near Latakia and Tartus were clearly intended to tarnish the prestige of Russia's victorious military and put pressure on the Kremlin before the March national elections. A 'Free Allawite Army' which almost certainly does not exist in the Latakia coastal heartland of President Assad's sect claimed credit for the drone attacks.

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Syraq SITREP 25: IAF F35 'Adirs' vs. Syria's Russian SAMs and Hezbollah

Syraq SITREP 25: IAF F35 'Adirs' vs. Syria's Russian SAMs and Hezbollah

Did two of the Israeli Air Force's Lockheed F35 jets get removed from service due to bird strikes, or because they had close encounters with Soviet vintage Syrian S200 SAMs?

That was the question asked by the respected among alt media websites Southfront.org, which was picked up by Zerohedge this week. However, the Russia Analyst believes, thanks to W the Intelligence Insider, that there is a third explanation for the reported temporary grounding of the two F35s. This theory ties in with advanced IAF/IDF preparations for an apparently delayed -- but hardly averted -- devastating second war between Israel and Hezbollah. A conflict W has warned in multiple RogueMoney radio programs will change the Middle East as we've known it.

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Syraq SITREP 24: SAA/Russians Crushing ISIS at Deir Ez Zor, Israeli Air Force 'Assassins Creed' Strike

Syraq SITREP 24: SAA/Russians Crushing ISIS at Deir Ez Zor, Israeli Air Force 'Assassins Creed' Strike

The Syrian Arab Army has completed its breakthrough to Deir Ez Zor, lifting a siege by Al-Qaeda and ISIS that had lasted almost continuously over three and a half years. Russian air power and advisors on the ground were pivotal to this success, which pro-jihadist neocons like CNN's Michael D. Weiss said would never happen. The opened desert corridor is likely to be reinforced with more SAA troops and possibly friendly Iraqi forces advancing from the east and west on Daesh held oil fields beyond the Euphrates. However, the exultation at starting the final chapter for ISIS' pseudo caliphate was tempered by a reminder that not everyone is pleased with the Syria war's approaching end.

On the same day a United Nations report blamed the Assad government for a series of chemical weapons attacks in jihadist held areas where the terrorists controlled the chain of evidence (and in the case of Khan Sheikhoun, places where UN personnel or international forensics experts never went), the Israeli Air Force (IAF) struck a facility in northwest Hama province near the city of Masyaf. Pro-Syria jihadist pundits like Charles Lister proclaimed that the struck area contained a chemical weapons plant, though no evidence has been produced by the U.S. or Israel to support this allegation. It seems just as likely, given recent Israeli news reports about Iran setting up rocket factories on Syrian territory, that the IAF struck facility was being set up to produce medium range ballistic or cruise missiles for Syria's armed forces.

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