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  • citanon
    replied
    Another tank was destroyed in the same area on Saturday.

    http://www.foxnews.com/world/2018/02...cials-say.html

    Leave a comment:


  • citanon
    replied
    Originally posted by Ironduke View Post
    This footage is claimed to be US airstrikes on a Wagner Group tank and artillery position.



    https://video.twimg.com/ext_tw_video...fS0da4wr-1.mp4
    The last frame of that appears to come from this CNN report:



    Also, here's a fox news report talking about what was used

    Leave a comment:


  • Ironduke
    replied
    This footage is claimed to be US airstrikes on a Wagner Group tank and artillery position.



    https://video.twimg.com/ext_tw_video...fS0da4wr-1.mp4

    In Syria, in the province of Dair al-Zor, on February 7, the American coalition against the Islamic State dealt a massive blow to the pro-Assad forces in the Euphrates River valley, of which at least four killed were Russian soldiers of the Wagner PMC. Their names were revealed by the group of investigators known as the Conflict Intelligence Team (CIT) on Twitter, according to social media posts by the soldiers' relatives and acquaintances.

    According to CIT, Alexey Ladygin from Ryazan, Stanislav Matveyev, Igor Kosoturov from Asbest city of Sverdlovsk region, and Vladimir Loginov from the Kaliningrad region were killed in Dair al-Zor.
    https://www.rbc.ru/politics/12/02/20...c3ae?from=main
    Last edited by Ironduke; 13 Feb 18,, 19:54.

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  • citanon
    replied
    This story is getting more interesting by the minute. Apparently "some" might actually be as many as 200 members of the Wagner Group:

    https://mobile.nytimes.com/2018/02/1...yria-dead.html

    This begs the question, what was this? A Bay of Pig* type thing where plausible deniability kicked in when things went south, an actual rogue operation by Wagner in support of Syrian employers, a way for Russia to deal with an increasingly uncontrollable armed element using others' hands? A mix of the above?

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/artic...hters-in-syria

    Apparently the Wagner Group is paid in oil concessions. Interesting.
    Last edited by citanon; 13 Feb 18,, 18:49.

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  • Ironduke
    replied
    Yes, everybody competes and co-operates.

    I just don't see any differences between Iran and Russia in Syria that are serious enough where any wedges can be driven given the current state of affairs internationally.

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  • citanon
    replied
    Originally posted by Ironduke View Post
    Syria already had vastly strengthened ties to Russia beginning in 2005, prior to the civil war, while at the same time Syria already had pre-existing strong and continuing deepening ties with Iran. I don't see it as an either-or proposition, that Russia is competing for influence in Syria against Iran, or vice versa. Iran and Russia have mutual interests that are closely aligned anyways, they are co-operative, not competitive. I don't really think Russia is all that earnest where its stated interests in the outcome apparently diverge from those in Iran in Syria, I think that's mostly for show.
    Russia is competing with everyone all the time, just like every faction within Russia is competing with each other and the players within Putin's camp are competing.

    It's a fractal landscape of simultaneous cooperation and competition that is never on pause and never limited to one set of external enemies.

    Russia didn't say anything in this case. They showed with their inaction, which is much more telling.

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  • Ironduke
    replied
    Syria already had vastly strengthened ties to Russia beginning in 2005, prior to the civil war, while at the same time Syria already had pre-existing strong and continuing deepening ties with Iran. I don't see it as an either-or proposition, that Russia is competing for influence in Syria against Iran, or vice versa. Iran and Russia have mutual interests that are closely aligned anyways, they are co-operative, not competitive. I don't really think Russia is all that earnest where its stated interests in the outcome apparently diverge from those in Iran in Syria, I think that's mostly for show.
    Last edited by Ironduke; 12 Feb 18,, 23:17.

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  • citanon
    replied
    Iron Duke,

    I agree with your points. I think that's precisely why they want a weak and fragmented+ Syria dependent on Russia's military prowess.

    If Syria were to stabilize and Syria were to have greater oil resources, iran might become the senior partner in the relationship instead of Russia.

    Leave a comment:


  • Ironduke
    replied
    I've read rumors that several Russian PMCs from the Wagner Group were killed in that battle near Deir ez-Zor.

    In response to citanon, the Russians don't care about Syria as far as oil goes. Their naval base at Tartus is the only one the Russian Navy has in the entire Mediterranean (or anywhere else in the world, for the matter). Without it the Russian Navy is essentially confined to supporting fleet operations in the Mediterranean from the Black Sea. The rest of the Mediterranean is a hostile theater for them, as NATO controls the entire northern coastline, Egypt, Israel, Tunisia and Morocco are US-aligned, and Algeria is closely tied to France despite their past. Russia's only ally elsewhere that had Mediterranean access, Serbia, got landlocked after Montenegro gained independence (ultimately joining NATO in 2017).

    Russia also has significant investments in Syria pre-dating the civil war, and Syria's been a long-time customer for Russian weapon exports.

    It basically comes down to Mediterranean and Middle East power projection. Syria is their last lifeline as far as that's concerned. Russia's support for Assad and the policy they've been conducting is entirely unsurprising taking that into account. Without Assad they're basically completely shut out.

    Ultimately, Russian aims in Syria serve geopolitical ends for them.
    Last edited by Ironduke; 12 Feb 18,, 20:35.

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  • citanon
    replied
    Originally posted by Dazed View Post
    The Russians were six miles away and heard nothing. I believe that is deniability. Putin is going to have to decide if he wants to engage the Turks and the US.
    I think this is very interesting.

    Russia is backing Assad but has no interest in seeing he and the Iranians control more oil fields. Makes perfect sense. Russia doesn't want more oil production and more fields under Iranian control means more bargaining power for Iran in OPEC.

    Just shared interests after all.

    We just found a wedge issue between Russia v. Iran+Syria.

    Another possible Russian consideration: Russian is the interlocutor Syria and Iran needs during the current fragmentation and chaos. If Iran and Syria consolidates control, Russia won't be so necessary anymore and it won't be so important to Turkey and Israel either. So maybe the current situation suits Moscow just fine.

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  • Dazed
    replied
    Originally posted by citanon View Post
    Also interesting, apparently Russia gave the green light for the US response, even though Russian mercenaries were allegedly on the Syrian government side and were killed.
    The Russians were six miles away and heard nothing. I believe that is deniability. Putin is going to have to decide if he wants to engage the Turks and the US.

    Leave a comment:


  • citanon
    replied
    Originally posted by citanon View Post
    If s*** is gonna go down in Syria in the next few months, we might well have reached that juncture:

    https://www.cbsnews.com/news/u-s-all...eld-from-isis/

    Look for the pro-Assad axis powers to make their play.
    Turns out they did try something.... and got their asses kicked. I bet this isn't the end of it. More shenanigans will go down but they will try to shape the battlefield or wait for an opportunity first.

    https://www.politico.com/story/2018/...strikes-329658

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-42994235

    Syria has accused the US of carrying out a "brutal massacre" with a bombing attack in Deir al-Zour province.
    Well good. They better believe we'll be brutal if they try to attack our guys on the ground again.

    Also interesting, apparently Russia gave the green light for the US response, even though Russian mercenaries were allegedly on the Syrian government side and were killed.
    Last edited by citanon; 10 Feb 18,, 10:24.

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  • SteveDaPirate
    replied
    Turkey has stepped up shelling of Afrin ahead of what appears increasingly likely to be an invasion.
    The Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) said 70 shells were fired overnight.

    Turkey has for months said it would clear YPG fighters from Afrin, under Kurdish control since 2012. Turkey regards the YPG as a terrorist group.

    Syria has warned against an incursion, threatening to shoot down Turkish jets.

    Turkish Defence Minister Nurettin Canikli said the shelling was the "de-facto start" of a planned invasion of Afrin.

    Turkey's military and intelligence chiefs are in Moscow to try to get Russia's agreement to allow Turkish planes to use the Russian-controlled airspace above Afrin.

    Russia's acquiescence will be essential for any Turkish operation. It is a key ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and has a contingent of soldiers at the airport in the centre of Afrin.
    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-42747702

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  • Versus
    replied
    It appears that F-22 and Su-25 and Su-35 were playing today over the skies of Syria.
    http://www.businessinsider.com/f-22-...-syria-2017-12

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  • citanon
    replied
    If s*** is gonna go down in Syria in the next few months, we might well have reached that juncture:

    https://www.cbsnews.com/news/u-s-all...eld-from-isis/

    Look for the pro-Assad axis powers to make their play.

    Leave a comment:

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