RUSSIA/UKRAINE | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


RUSSIA/UKRAINE

Sep 24 11:41

Russian MoD: Israeli F-16 hid behind Russian Il-20 plane to avoid Syrian missile

Data captured by Russia’s S-400 system proves Israeli jets were responsible for the downing of the Russian plane, the Defense Ministry said, adding that the Syrian missile changed its course shortly before hitting the Il-20.

Data gleaned from the S-400 air defense system deployed at the Russian Khmeimim air base in Syria’s Latakia province has revealed that the Syrian anti-air missile was, in fact, targeting an Israeli F-16 jet before it abruptly altered its course and eventually hit the Russian aircraft. This, and the position of all the aircraft at the moment of the September 17 incident, proves that an Israeli jet was de facto using the larger Il-20 as a cover, the Russian Defense Ministry spokesman, Major General Igor Konashenkov told journalists at Monday's news briefing.

Sep 24 10:39

Russia to Send S-300 Anti-Missile System to Syria After Il-20 Crash - DM Shoigu

The Russian Defense Ministry promised to take "adequate" measures to boost the security of Russian servicemen after the Israeli Air Force used the Russian Il-20 as a shield while attacking targets in Syria, which led to the downing of the aircraft by Syrian air defenses last week.

During a Monday briefing, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Moscow will deliver the S-300 air defense systems to Syria within two weeks as an adequate response to Israel's role in the downing of the Russian Il-20 plane last week.

"The Syrian Armed Forces will be supplied with the advanced S-300 air defense missile system within two weeks. It is capable of intercepting air threats at a range of more than 250 kilometers and simultaneously hitting several aerial targets," Shoigu said, adding that the S-300 would significantly boost Syria's combat capabilities.

Sep 24 06:50

OPEC, Russia Reject Trump Demand for Output Boost: 5 Picks

On Sep 23, Saudi Arabia and Russia said that they would not be raising crude output immediately. This was a tough response to President Trump’s recent tweet where he demanded that OPEC should immediately cut prices. The Saudi oil minister said that current supplies were adequate.

>>>

Sep 24 06:30

Poroshenko Sets Kiev on Warpath in Donbass: NATO Admission, Church Schism and War on Agenda

Ukraine reserves the right to take Donbass by force is actively arming in accordance with NATO standards and preparing creative and, I'm sorry, asymmetric measures. The statement was voiced by President Poroshenko at the Verkhovna Rada as a part of perhaps his last address to the parliament.

Sep 24 05:57

Ukraine’s right-wing Azov Battalion stages own version of Nazis’ ‘Cathedral of Light’ ceremony

The Ukrainian Azov Battalion, known for its ultra-nationalist sympathies, has staged a memorial service apparently inspired by a ceremony widely used by the German Nazi Party, the ‘Lichtdom.’

The ‘Lichtdom’ or ‘Cathedral of Light’ involved dozens of anti-aircraft searchlights beaming into the night sky during Nazi rallies in Nuremberg in the 1930s. The Berlin Olympic Games of 1936 used the same effect during its closing ceremony.

Sep 24 05:56

Russia to supply S-300 to Syria within 2 weeks after Il-20 downing during Israeli raid – MoD

Within two weeks Russia will deliver to Damascus an S-300 air defense system, previously suspended on a request by Israel. It comes as part of response to the downing of a Russian Il-20 plane amid an Israeli air raid on Syria.

Moscow accused Tel Aviv of failing to inform Russia about its impending attack on targets in Syria, which resulted in a downing of the Russian electronic warfare aircraft by Syrian return fire. Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the defense ministry to take several measures in response to the incident, the ministry said in a statement on Monday.

Sep 23 09:14

‘We don’t want 2nd fiddle role’: Russia may drop lunar station project with NASA, mulls own

Russia may walk out of a joint project with NASA to build a lunar station as it doesn’t want to “play second fiddle” in the effort. Instead, Moscow mulls joining forces with BRICS countries, a Roscosmos head has confirmed.
The fate of the joint program to build a Russian-American station to explore the moon is now at odds as both sides disagree on parts of the burden they would share in the effort.

“The Russian Federation cannot afford to play the second fiddle role in it,” Dmitry Rogozin, the head of Roscosmos, said.

Sep 23 09:10

How Russian Sanctions Are Helping Putin Achieve His Most Desired Goal

A recent flurry of Russian sanctions put in place by the United States are causing Russia's oligarch billionaires to repatriate more of their offshore assets, perversely aiding a long-held ambition for Vladimir Putin, who has been trying to encourage such repatriations for the past two decades according to a new Bloomberg report.

While sanctions were first put into place during the Obama era as a result of the conflict in Ukraine, which however resulted in a muted financial response, as a result of the Trump administration‘s unpredictability and Trump's desire to demonstrate his anti-Kremlin stance to Mueller, Russian billionaires - increasingly at risk from a hostile financial regime - have been forced to move some of their assets back to state-run banks and out of an offshore system that has been a popular tax haven since communism has collapsed.

Sep 22 10:52

Poroshenko Sues BBC For The One Time It Did Its Job And Revealed His “Purchase” Of Trump Meeting

President of Ukraine, Poroshenko, has filed a lawsuit in the UK court against the BBC television and radio company in connection with the publication of material alleging that he paid about $ 400 thousand for a meeting with US President Donald Trump. This is reported by the newspaper Daily Telegraph with reference to the document received at the disposal.

In the statement of claim, Poroshenko’s lawyers reject these statements and state that the publication “seriously damaged” Poroshenko’s reputation and “caused concern and confusion”. As stated in the document, the British company “there is no evidence of carrying out payments or secret negotiations.”

Sep 22 10:52

“TOTAL INDIGNATION” China Responds To Fresh US Embargo For Russia Friendship

Beijing is extremely outraged by the actions of the United States, which imposed restrictive measures against China because of military-technical cooperation with Russia.

This was stated by the official representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China, Geng Shuang

According to the diplomat, China has already made a sharp introduction to Washington and demands immediate lifting of restrictions.

Sep 22 10:38

Israel Asserts it can Bomb Syria at Will despite Downing of Russian Plane

Israel’s coordination with Russia on its attacks in Syria remains unchanged despite the deadly downing of a Russian plane, and the Jewish state retains its right to decide on military actions, an Israeli official said Friday.

Sep 22 10:26

China cancels its top navy officer's visit to US over anti-Russia sanctions

China has canceled the planned visit of its Navy commander to the US in response to the sanctions imposed by Washington against Beijing over its military cooperation with Russia, the Chinese Defense Ministry said.
On Thursday, the US State Department imposed sanctions against Beijing’s defense procurement agency, the Equipment Development Department (EED), for its “significant transactions” with Russian arms exporter, Rosoboronexport. The restrictions were triggered by two major arms deals agreed between Beijing and Moscow – a 2017 agreement for 10 Su-35 fighter aircraft, and a 2018 deal to supply the S-400 air defense systems.

Sep 22 10:18

Russia rejects Israeli findings on downed plane

Russia has rejected the findings of an Israeli investigation into the deadly crash of a Russian military aircraft in the Syrian province of Latakia, and called on Tel Aviv to launch a new probe into the matter.

The Israeli Haaretz newspaper said on Friday that the Russians had not accepted Israel's findings, which considered Russia and Syria responsible for the downing of a Russian Ilyushin 20 reconnaissance aircraft some 35 kilometers off the coast of ?Latakia as it was returning to a nearby Russian base earlier in the week. 15 Russian servicemen were killed in the incident.

Haaretz’ report came after an Israeli delegation led by Amikam Norkin, the regime’s air force commander, visited Moscow to brief Russian officials on Tel Aviv’s initial investigation of the incident.

The paper said the visit failed to defuse the crisis and the Kremlin rejected the Israeli conclusion that Syrian forces were to blame for the incident.

Sep 22 10:15

Russia Closes Down Huge Swathes of Eastern Mediterranean Airspace for Military Drills

Russian forces in Syria will conduct drills in the international waters off the coast of Israel and Syria between September 19 and 26 following the Israeli provocation few days ago which led to the downing of a Russian Il-20 intelligence plane by the Syrian Arab Air Defense Forces (SyAADF).

A released navigational warning map shows that Russian forces will impose a no-fly zone covering most of the area around Israel waters during the drills.

Sep 22 10:12

SAUDI ARABIA FEARS US SANCTIONS FOR BUYING RUSSIAN MISSILE DEFENCE SYSTEM

Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Russia has revealed his hope that the US will not impose sanctions on his country for its plans to buy the S-400 missile defence system from Moscow, AlKhaleejonline.com reported on Friday.

Raed Ben Khalid Qarmali made his comment when asked if Saudi Arabia is going ahead with its plan to purchase the system, just one day after America imposed sanctions on China for a similar deal with the Russians.

“I hope that no one imposes sanctions on us,” said Qarmali. He noted that 14 memorandums were signed during the visit of Saudi King Salman to Moscow, including four military deals. “The implementation of three has just started,” the ambassador added.

The Trump administration imposed sanctions on China after Beijing bought aircraft and other military equipment from Russia. The Chinese government described the American move as a “flagrant violation of the rules of international relations.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Because Saudi Arabia's Royal leader, the B.O.Y. (AKA, the Butcher of Yemen) is so idolized by President Trump as "a guy who can get things done in the Middle East (like the genocide of the Yemeni people), I would doubt seriously that President Trump will have a problem with this; but he may well surprise me.

Sep 22 10:07

DOZENS DEAD IN IRAN AFTER GUNMEN ATTACK MILITARY PARADE, SAUDI ARABIA BLAMED

At least 25 people are dead and 53 wounded after an army parade in the southwestern Iranian city of Ahvaz came under attack by militants on Saturday, according to state media.

Nearly half of the dead are members of the Revolutionary Guards, according to state news agencies, making this one of the worst attacks ever on the elite force.

While the Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attack, there are conflicting reports over who is behind it. A spokesman for Iran's Revolutionary Guards, Ramezan Sharif, said the attackers were funded by Sunni arch rival Saudi Arabia.

"Those who opened fire on civilians and the armed forces have links to the Ahvazi movement," Guards spokesman Ramezan Sharif told ISNA.

"They are funded by Saudi Arabia and attempted to cast a shadow over the Iranian armed forces."

Zarif vowed Iran would "respond swiftly and decisively in defence of Iranian lives". -France24

Webmaster's Commentary: 

It appears that the "Usual Suspects" (read: the US, Israel, and Saudi Arabia) appear to be hell-bent on starting a war against Iran, and I am deeply concerned that this attack against the Revolutionary Guards being one of the opening salvos, other than economic, in that war.

I would like to strongly caution those who believe it would be such a "good idea" to do this, to remember the degree of Russia's assistance to Bashar Al Assad in Syria, where Russian intervention was successful in turning the tide against the rebels there.

So not believe for one moment, should Iran be attacked, that Russia (and ultimately, China) will fail to come to its aid, as evidenced by the following:

2015: Russia and Iran sign a military cooperation pact

And we need, also, to look at Russia's strengthening of ties to Iran this year, during the following meetings:

Russia and Iran deepen ties to challenge Trump and the United States

July, 2018: Russia and China have Tehran's Back

So, a global war against Iran, featuring the US, NATO, Israel, and Saudi Arabia on the one hand, and China, Russia, and Iran on the other?!?

The kind of devastation such a war would bring to this planet, is both unimaginable, and most probably irrevocable.

Sep 22 09:58

Russia Asks Iran to Use an Airbase on Its Soil

Russia yesterday asked Iran to provide access to the military base Noyeh (Noyeh Military Air Base) in northwestern Iran.

It is assumed that the air base will be used as a transit airfield on the way to Syria, where Russian military and military transport planes will be refueled. Syrian sources say that we are talking about several fighters and 4 air tankers IL-78.

Sep 22 09:58

A Container Ship Is Sailing Through Russia's Arctic Passage for the First Time

Explorers and navigators have long searched for a way to move ships through the Arctic Circle as find a faster way to move goods between the Atlantic and the Pacific without having to go around either Asia or South America. Groups of people hunted for the fabled Northwest passage through North America for decades. The problem, of course, is that the Arctic contains too much ice.

Over the past few years, however, ice levels in the Arctic have been hitting record lowsthanks to climate change, and while its effects are almost universally negative, one benefit is opened northern sea routes. Over the past month, a container ship sailing from Eastern Russia is pioneering a new Arctic route by being the first such ship to cross the Arctic Ocean.

Sep 22 04:48

Eastern Syria: US Conducts Another Heliborne Operation to Rescue ISIL Terrorists

The US military forces continued illegal heliborne operations and rescued several senior ISIL commanders from the Eastern province of Deir Ezzur on Saturday.
A US military helicopter landed on farms near the village of al-Morashedah between the two small towns of al-Souseh and al-Baqouziyeh, to take away a number of non-Syrian commanders of the ISIL that were possibly cooperating with the US-led coalition.

Heliborne of ISIL commanders by the US military has long been underway>>>

Sep 21 12:16

The Odd Chabad Connection Between Putin and Trump

Let’s begin here:

Starting in 1999, [Vladimir] Putin enlisted two of his closest confidants, the oligarchs Lev Leviev and Roman Abramovich, who would go on to become Chabad’s biggest patrons worldwide, to create the Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia under the leadership of Chabad rabbi Berel Lazar, who would come to be known as “Putin’s rabbi.”

Sep 21 11:54

Israeli F-16s Scrambled to Cover Behind the Russian Il-20 Because They Had Been Painted by Syrian Air Defense Radars

And so it starts. Russia must attack Israel, no—she must obliterate it, Putin is "soft", the world is coming to an end, Zionists are in control of Kremlin, Russia turns another cheek. And on, and on, and on. The chorus of noble warriors with the evils of Zionism is getting louder with each day. Behind this hysteria surrounding the tragedy of Russian VKS' IL-20 somehow crucial and widely publicized news have been ignored completely. It is no surprise they were ignored by all kinds of "specialists" in strategy, politics, and armchair strategists (I am one myself). The news are pretty simple. Lt. General Alexander Ionov, former Deputy Chief of Main Staff of Russian Air Force from 1991 through 2001, stated to popular Russian media Zvezda that it is guaranteed that Syrian Air Defense forces were not provided with compatible IFF equipment and codes.

Sep 21 11:45

US Worried S-400 May Obtain Sensitive Data on American Fighter Jets – Analyst

Even though it is not clear whether India will receive a waiver with regard to US sanctions against Russia, New Delhi has made it clear that it will go ahead with the S-400 air defense system deal as it is at an "advanced stage."

New Delhi (Sputnik) — A defense analyst has suggested that America's reservations against India acquiring the Russian air defense system is mainly borne out of the fear that if the S-400 is used to test the stealth capabilities of American fighter jets, India would have access to the data of American jets and that data could be leaked to Russia or other adversaries of the US.

Former squadron leader of the Indian Air Force and an independent defense analyst Vijainder K Thakur confirmed that S-400 systems can be used not only to identify radar tracks belonging to America's F-35s, but to also possibly determine the configuration of an F-35.

Sep 21 11:25

Russian Bombers Carry Out Scheduled Arctic Ocean Flights, Shadowed by UK Jets

Two Russian Tu-160 strategic bombers have conducted scheduled flights over neutral waters of the Arctic Ocean, the Russian Defense Ministry said late on Thursday.

"Two strategic Tu-160 bombers carried out a planned flight over the neutral waters of the basins of the Barents, Norwegian and Northern seas. Aviation support for the long-range aircraft was provided by the crews of MiG-31 fighters," the statement read.

The flight’s duration was more than 14 hours, according to the ministry.
"At separate stages of the route, Russian aircraft were shadowed by Eurofighter Typhoon and F-16 fighters of the Royal Air Force," the ministry noted.

Sep 21 11:04

Russia says Israel must provide more data on plane downing near Syria - Ifax

Israel must provide Moscow with more information about the downing of a Russian military aircraft near the Syrian coast earlier this week, Russia's Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Thursday, the Interfax news agency reported.

Fifteen Russian crew were killed when the IL-20 surveillance plane crashed near Latakia in northern Syria on Monday. Russia has said Syria shot the plane down shortly after Israeli jets hit the area, and accused Israel of creating the dangerous conditions by failing to give sufficient advance notice.

Sep 21 10:14

MORE EXPERTS CONFIRM THAT FRANCE TOOK DOWN IL-20, & IDENTIFY FRIEND/FOE SYSTEM DID NOT FAIL

FRN proposed that one purely military-strategic aim of the French downing of the IL-20, ascribed falsely to Syria, was to see how Russia would ‘plug the gap’ created by not having an IL-20. This appears to be a procedure aimed at that.

In addition, Russia has also formally stated that their IFF system did not fail. However Russia is overtly implying that because the Russian-built Syrian S-200 system which both Russia and the West alleges was involved in the downing Russian IL-20 did not have Russian codes, the IFF question did not come into play.

Sep 21 10:07

US slaps Chinese arms procurer with sanctions for buying advanced Russian weapons

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has authorized the addition of 33 Russian defense and intelligence officials and entities to the ever-growing US sanctions list and also targeted a Chinese military entity for buying Russian arms.

The Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) of 2017 instructs the US administration powers to target Russia, Iran and North Korea with various sanctions and restricts them from lifting previously imposed sanctions without congressional approval. Anyone dealing with those on the sanctions list faces at least a warning from the US as well.

In addition to extending the Russian blacklist to 72 entries, Washington has also targeted a Chinese military unit over the purchase of advanced Russian Su-35 fighter jets and S-400 surface-to-air missiles.

Sep 21 10:06

PUTIN DOESN’T BLINK AS ISRAEL TAKES DOWN RUSSIAN AIRCRAFT IN HUGE ATTACK ON SYRIA TO DERAIL PEACE IN IDLIB

The ‘Israelis’ really done did it now, didn’t they? Flirting with WW3 like never before. After spending billions of dollars over the last several weeks across the Zionist media, telling the world that Baby-Seal-Clubbing, Puppy-Eating Assad was about to gas totally-vegan-completely-democratic-pro-LGBTQIA Al-Qaeda terrorists in Idlib–with chemical arms he doesn’t have, mind you–they were completely caught off-guard with a massive bombshell. Vladimir Putin had negotiated a demilitarization agreement with Neo-Ottoman “sultan” Erdogan, thus, at least in theory, averting a potential bloodbath in the last Takfiri-occupied city in Syria. The prospect of the war on the hardened Syrian battlefields finally being over proved too much for the voracious colonizers in “Tel Aviv”. They simply couldn’t bear seeing all of their miserable efforts, arming, training, financing and giving medical treatment to these Wahhabi mercenaries for nearly 8 years now being OFFICIALLY kaput.

Sep 21 10:03

Ukrainian President Wants to Rename Street to Honor McCain

Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko wants to name a street in Kiev after the late Sen. John McCain.

"The Ukrainian president is asking the parliament's factions to support his initiative to rename the Ivan Kudrya street . . . after Senator John McCain," said Irina Lutsenko, an aide to Poroshenko, Russia's state-run media reported.

Ivan Kudrya was a Soviet intelligence officer who was executed by the Nazis in occupied Kiev in 1942. Poroshenko attended the funeral for McCain on Saturday.

McCain visited the Ukranian military on New Year's Eve 2016, in response to Russia's annexation of Crimea and invasion of eastern Ukraine.

"We stand w/ them in their fight against #Putin's aggression," McCain tweeted at the time.

Sep 21 09:44

Russophobia Digest Part 10: Boy scouts, anonymous sources and a new Salisbury 'poisoning'

In just a few days Russia has been accused of planning to hack American boy scouts, kill an Instagram "model" with rat poison, and help Julian Assange escape. All stories high in Russophobia and low in evidence.

Here's a look at the last seven days or so of Russophobia.

Sep 21 09:32

Russia Closes Down Huge Swathes of Eastern Mediterranean Airspace for Military Drills

Russian forces in Syria will conduct drills in the international waters off the coast of Israel and Syria between September 19 and 26 following the Israeli provocation few days ago which led to the downing of a Russian Il-20 intelligence plane by the Syrian Arab Air Defense Forces (SyAADF).

A released navigational warning map shows that Russian forces will impose a no-fly zone covering most of the area around Israel waters during the drills.

Sep 21 09:18

Russia-Turkey deal on Idlib only ‘intermediate step’ – Lavrov

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stated that creation of the demilitarised zone in Syria’s Idlib will prevent the shelling of Syrian troops and the Russian Hmeymim military base, speaking at in Sarajevo on Friday after talks with his Bosnian counterpart Igor Crnadak.

Lavrov said the agreement on the de-escalation zone between Moscow and Ankara is an just “an intermediate step”, adding that by mid-October all heavy weaponry and the Jabhat al-Nusra militants should be moved out of the area.

Sep 21 08:50

11-year-old boy’s eyelashes are almost two inches long

Muin Bachonaev from Russia his eyelashes could touch his lips when he was born. They are 1.7 inches long now.

Sep 20 17:03

Russia reinstated by Wada after doping scandal suspension

A decision to lift the suspension of Russia's anti-doping agency has been labelled "the greatest treachery against clean athletes".

The World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) has ended a three-year suspension which followed a major scandal over alleged state-sponsored doping.

Leading athletes and anti-doping bodies had opposed the move.

Wada president Sir Craig Reedie said the reinstatement was "subject to strict conditions".

"This decision provides a clear timeline by which Wada must be given access to the former Moscow laboratory data and samples," said the Briton.

Sep 20 12:31

EURASIAHEADLINE NEWSCONFIRMED REPORT: Russian Navy Has Closed The Eastern Mediterranean

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Updated Sept 20, 2018 @ 18: 35 – We Previously had this articled titled “TRUE? Unconfirmed report ”Russian Navy has Closed the Eastern Mediterranean” (MAP)” We then wrote in the first line: “FRN is still looking for further confirmation of the following story.”

We have now confirmed the accuracy of the report.

Published on: Sep 19, 2018 @ 20:42

RevContent InArticle SOLO
In response to the what Putin has called a ‘tragic incident’ that caused the death of the crew of the radio reconnaissance aircraft and the IL-20 VKS RF warhead, Rusvesna reports that the Russian military has made a major move.

Effective September 19th, the Russian Federation has announced the closure of a large area of ??the eastern Mediterranean for the movement of military aircraft and ships until the 26th of September.

According to the official version, this step is justified by the beginning of unscheduled maneuvers of the navy and aviation off the coast of Syria.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

My question, since what Russia has essentially done, is to declare a "no fly" zone over the Eastern Mediterranean, for Russian naval drills, will the US comply, or attack before the 26th of this month in their own "Freedom of Navigation" drills?!?

Unfortunately, if I were a betting person, I would think the latter, rather than the former outcome, is more possible here.

Sep 20 12:21

Orban's Moscow Visit A Middle Finger To EU After Last Week's Humiliation

The “salon des refusés” of political dissidents in the EU is getting bigger by the day. Less than a week after his government was condemned in a vote in the European parliament, Orban is in Moscow for talks about energy with Putin. His visit to Russia is the political equivalent of giving the EU the finger following last week’s humiliation.

Orban is not alone. In his battle with the EU over immigration and the rule of law, he is supported by Poland and the Czech Republic. Poland, which is also facing an Article 7 procedure against it by the European Commission, has vowed to protect Hungary, just as Hungary has vowed to protect Poland. So there is no way that the voting rights of either country can be removed, since the ultimate vote to do so requires unanimity. Orban also recently received the support of Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis and of the Italian Minister of the Interior, Matteo Salvini.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

It looks as though the EU is on the brink of imploding, due to massive, unchecked immigration, and the negative consequences thereof.

Sep 20 12:09

US Places 33 Alleged Russian Spies And Military Officials On Sanctions Blacklist

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has authorized the addition of 33 alleged Russian spies, defense and intelligence officials to the US sanctions list. The blacklisting took place following an executive order from President Trump authorizing Steven Mnuchin, in consultation with Pompeo, to employ all powers granted to the President "by IEEPA and certain CATSAA sections" for implementation of certain sanctions with respect to Russia.

A White House official said the new measures were aimed at "imposing costs on Russia in response to its malign activities."

Washington has also imposed new sanctions on a Chinese military unit over the purchase of Russian jets and missiles.The Chinese sanctions are to come into effect immediately.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The only thing these sanctions seem to have actually accomplished, is to strengthen the position of the ruble, and made it more self sufficient, and more attractive to investors.

One could almost say that this practice has rather backfired for DC in a spectacular manner.

Sep 20 11:52

Idlib: Lull Before the Hurricane. New US Military Doctrine for Intervention in Syria

Without fanfare the US has just reformulated its position to create the conditions for it to launch devastating strikes on Syria no longer just on the pretext of alleged use of chemical weapons but on any ‘humanitarian’ pretext the US sees fit. In an interview with the Washington Post on 6 September, James Jeffrey, the hawkish new Special Envoy for Syria fresh from the neocon incubator of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, did not mince words:

“We’ve started using new language,” Jeffrey said, referring to previous warnings against the use of chemical weapons. Now, he said, the United States will not tolerate “an attack. Period.”

“Any offensive is to us objectionable as a reckless escalation” he said. “You add to that, if you use chemical weapons, or create refugee flows or attack innocent civilians.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The primary question is, with the Russian/Turkish agreement in place on Idlib, how long with the Syrian government wait to regain Idlib from US backed terrorists, and will that be the "justification" for an American/Israeli strike against both Syria and Russia?!?

Sep 20 11:10

RUSSIA IMPOSES "NO-FLY" ZONE FOR ISRAELI MILITARY AIRCRAFT AROUND SYRIA

The Russian government has informed Israel that, as a consequence of their actions which resulted in the shoot-down of a Russia IL-20 Electronic Intelligence aircraft, Russia is imposing a NO FLY ZONE for Israeli military aircraft around Syria.

This No Fly zone will be from Flight level 000 to Flight Level 190 until September 26.

Any Israeli military aircraft operating outside the sovereign territory of Israel in violation of this No Fly Zone risks being shot down.

The Russian government has instructed 14 Russian Naval Vessels in the Mediterranean to begin enforcing this immediately.

Sep 20 10:58

Decoding Putin's Response To Attack In Syria

The fog of war and geopolitics makes initial responses to the attack on Russian and Syrian forces recently difficult to assess.

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s response seemed timid and was at odds with statements from his Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and more recent statements from Russia’s Foreign Ministry.

Putin backed off on explicitly blaming Israel for the downing of the IL-20 ELINT aircraft which killed 15 Russian servicemen, but made it clear he holds them responsible for the attack as a whole.

My thoughts on what the goals of the attack were are the focus of my latest article at Strategic Culture Foundation.

It was obvious to me that this attack was designed as a provocation to start World War III in Syria and blame the Russians for attacking a NATO member without proper cause, since the Syrian air defense forces were the ones responsible for shooting down the plane.

Sep 20 10:41

US puts 33 Russian intel, military officials on sanctions blacklist

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has authorized the addition of 33 Russian defense and intelligence officials to the US sanctions list.

Washington has also imposed new sanctions on a Chinese military unit over the purchase of Russian jets and missiles. The Chinese sanctions are to come into effect immediately.

Sep 20 10:39

US aircraft carrier Truman crosses Atlantic after threats to Syria

USS ‘Harry S. Truman’ is crossing the Atlantic after leaving the US east coast following last week’s drills. The movement of the carrier, used during the Middle East mission in April, comes in the wake of US threats to Damascus.
Data provided by the US Naval Institute (USNI) on Monday showed the ship in the Atlantic roughly over 1,000 km west of Ireland’s southern coast.

The previous position of the ship reported by the USNI the week before was not far from the US east coast. The aircraft carrier group with 6,500 sailors left its base in Norfolk and took part in “sustainment operations and carrier qualifications in the Atlantic” just over a week ago.

The warship’s Atlantic exercise comes after the White House warned earlier this month that it would respond “swiftly and appropriately” if the Syrian government used chemical weapons in its fight to secure Idlib.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The US is sending a rather intense, and potentially badly timed, show of force, just at the moment after a Turkish/Russian agreement has been created to stop the potential slaughter in Idlib, which, admittedly, would most probably result in the deaths of hundreds of innocent civilians.

The worst case scenario I can imagine here is some Syrian effort to take out the terrorists on their own here, which will cause US missiles to start flying (probably aided by Israeli military) and we are off and running with a battle between the US and Israel on one side, and Syria and Russia on the other.

Turkey, Russia agree on a buffer zone in Idlib

Sep 20 09:50

Russian FM: US Proposed Refugees Leave Rukban Camp for Syrian Army Territory

The US proposed refugees at the Rukban Camp in southern Homs leave the area for Syrian government-held territories, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Thursday afternoon
***
The US and Russian governments have been at odds over the fate of the Rukban Refugee Camp, with both sides trading accusations over the suffering of the people there.

Due to the US’ control over the Tanf Zone in southern Homs, the Damascus and Moscow have blamed Washington for the plight of the refugees, adding that their occupation of this vast desert area has done more harm than good.

In turn, the US has accused the Syrian and Russian governments of purposely prohibiting aid from reaching the Rukban Camp.

With the recent departure of one of the largest US-backed rebel groups in the Tanf Zone, it appears that the US is working to find a solution to issue with the Rukban Camp and their eventual departure from the area.

Sep 20 09:48

Blaming the Victim of Aggression

The tragic loss of a Russian military aircraft with 15 personnel onboard, off the Syrian coast, has to be seen in the context of the Arab country being attacked.

Attacked by the Israeli air force and facing an unprecedented buildup of NATO warships.
Yet, Syria – the victim of aggression – is the one being blamed.

What’s more, the Western news media are shamefully silent on condemning the aggression. Their silence is giving cover for further violence.

What exactly happened to the doomed Ilyushin IL-20 recon plane on Monday night is still being investigated. It appears to have been accidentally shot down by Syrian air defenses as it approached the Russian base at Hmeimim in northwest Syria.

Russia’s defense ministry blamed Israeli forces for putting the Il-20 in danger by flying four F-16 fighter jets in the vicinity, thereby possibly confusing Syrian radar signals to fire on an allied Russian plane. Was that a deliberate move by the Israelis?

Sep 20 09:47

Russian Response Options to the Latest Israeli Provocation

Over the past 24 hours the Internet, including this blog, have been flooded with opinion on what everybody and anybody would do if they were in Putin’s boots. Proposals range from declaring an no-fly zone over Syria to, I kid you not, send a couple of Russian SSBNs (subs which carry intercontinental ballistic missiles) off the coast of Israel. Furthermore, since Putin has failed, at least so far, to implement any retaliatory measures, the usual chorus of “Putin is a traitor” has been swamping my poor mods with sanguine expressions of disgust about Putin, Russia and yours truly :-)

I do realize that nothing I say would change the minds of this latter group, but for the rest of us in the real world, a short reality check might be helpful. So, here it is a a short bullet-point format.

Sep 20 09:44

SYRIAN WAR REPORT – SEPTEMBER 20, 2018: RUSSIA KICKS OFF SNAP DRILLS OFF SYRIAN COAST

On September 19, multiple reports appeared in some Arab, Western and Russian media claiming that the Russian Military Police arrested all service members of the 44th brigade of the Syrian Arab Air Defense Forces in the Syrian province of Lattakia over their involvement in the incident with the Russian IL-20 military plane on September 17. Then, the servicemen were allegedly moved to a jail at Hmeimim airbase.

One of the key sources of these reports was the Hammurabi’s Justice News blog well known for its links to US-backed militant groups in at-Tanf and the US-led coalition. The blog was not able to provide any evidence confirming its claims. Furthermore, a source in the SADF told SouthFront that the 44th brigade does not even exist.

Syrian pro-government sources described this kind of reports as another attempt to drive a wedge within the Syrian-Iranian-Russian alliance using the IL-20 incident.

Sep 20 09:24

Hillary Clinton On Putin's "Three Dimensional Chess": "They Wanted To Get Me Out Of The Way"

This is what two years of 24/7 media 'Russiagate' hysteria and the relentless pursuit of a "narrative" have brought us. And where better for Clinton to speak of the grand Russian conspiracy that shook the very foundations of the Republic than Queen Conspiracy Theorist Rachel I-see-a-Russia-Connection-Lurking-Behind-Every-Corner Maddow?

Who would have thought there was really no need for a whole book penned by Hillary over why she lost called What Happened?... Well she did just write a new Afterward wherein she questions the "legitimacy of our elections".

And here it is — the peak 'Russiagate' moment for the history books...

"I think I was an obstacle to [Russia's] plans to undermine and disrupt our democracy. I think I was an obstacle to impose greater authoritarian control in Russia... I think they wanted to get me out of the way," Clinton told Maddow in the Tuesday night interview.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

"I'm the victim! I'm the victim! I'm the victim! Feel sorry for me!!!" -- Hitlery

I do wish she would just shut up.

Sep 20 09:18

Source: EU summit in Salzburg not to adopt new anti-Russia sanctions over Skripal case

Heads of state and government of the 28 EU states will not adopt new sanctions against Russia over Russia’s alleged involvement in poisoning of the former Russian military intelligence officer Sergey Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury, a source in the EU Council told TASS.

"Introduction of new restrictions at the summit is not expected. At the moment no additional sanctions against Russia are planned," the source said.

Sep 20 09:16

UK’s Def Sec Gavin ‘Russia should shut up’ Williamson tours Ukraine’s ‘frontline’

British Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson has visited Ukraine and toured the eastern part of the country, where Ukrainian officials told him how they are fighting against a “Russian aggression.”

Two regions of Ukraine are divided between rebel-controlled parts and those under control of the central government in Kiev. Ukrainian officials regularly host tours for foreign dignitaries to show off its military, which, Kiev insists, is fighting Russian aggression rather than its own people who rejected the 2014 armed coup in Kiev.

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson is the latest such visitor to be snatched by hosts and brought to what can be loosely called the frontline. Gen. Sergey Naev, the commander of Ukraine’s military crackdown on the rebels personally told the visiting Briton about his successes and needs and “thanked the government and the people of Britain for supporting Ukraine in her fight with the insidious enemy,” as the Facebook page of his task force put it.

Sep 20 09:14

Russian Military Keeping Peace Along Demilitarized Zone On Syrian-Israeli Border

The Russian military police and representatives for the Russian Reconciliation Center for the Opposing Sides in Syria jointly patrolled the liberated communities in Quneitra province and the demilitarized zone.

>>>

Sep 20 09:10

TRUE? Unconfirmed Report ”Russian Navy Has Closed The Eastern Mediterranean”

In response to the what Putin has called a ‘tragic incident’ that caused the death of the crew of the radio reconnaissance aircraft and the IL-20 VKS RF warhead, Rusvesna reports that the Russian military has made a major move.

Effective September 19th, the Russian Federation has announced the closure of a large area of ??the eastern Mediterranean for the movement of military aircraft and ships until the 26th of September.

According to the official version, this step is justified by the beginning of unscheduled maneuvers of the navy and aviation off the coast of Syria.

Sep 20 09:08

Eight NATO Air Forces to Fly to Ukraine for Massive Drill

Soldiers from eight foreign militaries, including the US, will converge on Ukraine next month for the country’s largest aviation exercise yet.

Starokostiantyniv Air Base, about 150 miles southwest of the capital of Kiev, will play host to some 950 personnel from the United States, Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania and the United Kingdom as they engage in the Clear Sky multinational exercise, Stars and Stripes reported Wednesday.

The Clear Sky exercises will train soldiers in air sovereignty, air interdiction, air-to-ground integration, air mobility operations, aeromedical evaluation, cyberdefense and personnel recovery, Stars and Stripes reported.

Sep 20 03:21

Putin Tests Kalashnikov Sniper Rifle

Russian President Putin tests Kalashnikov sniper rifle, ‘firing between his heartbeats to hit targets 600 metres away’

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday showed off his marksmanship by testing out a new Kalashnikov sniper rifle and supposedly hitting targets 600 metres away.
***

Sep 19 18:36

Assad sends Putin condolences over downed Il-20 plane, blames ‘Israeli arrogance'

Syrian President Bashar Assad has sent a message of condolence to Russian President Vladimir Putin over the incident involving the Russian Il-20 plane, Syrian news agency SANA reports. The Syrian president praised the “Russian heroes who were doing their noble duties… in the fight against terrorism in Syria” and blamed “Israeli arrogance” for the incident.

Sep 19 14:04

Russian plane hit, nevermind that Israel has been attacking Syria for years

Sep 19 14:00

FALSE FLAG! Ukrainian Troops Shelled Their Own Positions Prior To Arrival Of OSCE Observers

Ukrainian fighters, on the eve of a visit to the Lugansk People’s Republic, by the first deputy head of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (HMM), Aleksandr Huga, staged a false flag attack on their own positions, which were then blamed on the People’s Militia of the LPR. This was reported by the official representative of the People’s Militia of the LPR, Lieutenant Colonel Andrei Marochko.

Earlier, the command of the so-called “operation of the united forces” accused the People’s Militia of shelling areas of the Crimean and Lugansk settlements under the control of Kiev.

Marochko noted that the practice of false accusations of LPR servicemen by the Ukrainian side “has long acquired a systematic character.”

>>>>

Sep 19 12:41

Syrian-Russian Victory Only Way to Avenge Israeli-French Strikes

Western and Russian media sources have reported an alleged joint Israeli-French strike on Syria on September 17. The attack included Israeli warplanes and French missile frigates operating in the Mediterranean off Syria’s coast. Amid the attack, a Russian Il-20 reconnaissance aircraft with 14 service members aboard disappeared.

The attack immediately prompted commentators, analysts, and pundits to call for an immediate retaliation to the unprovoked military aggression, warning that a failure to react would leave Russia looking weak. Some commentators even called for Russian President Vladimir Putin to step down.

Sep 19 12:25

Israel’s Failed Attempt to Start WWIII is the Beginning of the End

There is one thing that Israel fears more than anything else in Syria. The loss of its ability to fly its F-16’s with impunity and hit whatever targets it wants claiming defensive measures to stop Iran, their existential enemy.

Israel finally admitted to carrying out over 200 such missions over the past 18 months, only a few of which ever made any kind of international media, recently.

And with the sneak attack on Latakia which involved using a Russian IL-20 ELINT war plane as radar cover Israel has now not only raised the stakes to an unacceptable level, it has also ensured that this may be the last such aerial assault it will ever be able to carry out.

Sep 19 09:59

Israel "Expresses Sorrow" Over Russian Plane Downing, But Blames Assad And Iran For Incident

In a series of statements via the official Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Twitter account, Israel has said it "expresses sorrow" over the deaths of the 15 Russian crew members aboard a maritime surveillance plane that was shot down near the Syrian coastal city of Latakia Monday night.

While expressing regret towards the Russian loss of the aircraft and personnel, which was reportedly downed by mistake as Syrian anti-missile defense systems attempted to respond to a barrage of Israeli rockets and airstrikes from over the Mediterranean coastal area, Israel said that ultimately it is the Syrian military that's responsible.

Israel's statement begins by saying it "expresses sorrow for the death of the aircrew members” but that the government of Bashar Assad “whose military shot down the Russian plane,” is “fully responsible” for the incident. Israel also made mention of Iran and Hezbollah while assigning blame for the "unfortunate incident".

Sep 19 09:24

The Dutch Investigation into Flight MH17 and Kiev’s Veto

The Dutch government, soon to be given charge of the investigation, ruled out any dealings with the insurgency. After foreign secretary Timmermans at the UN called local volunteers ‘thugs’ on 21 July, falsely accused them of robbing the victims’ corpses, the option of negotiating with the insurgents was effectively closed. Although the Dutch government later apologised, contact was now only possible via the OSCE. A Dutch public prosecution team did fly to Ukraine, but it remained in Kiev to discuss matters with the coup government. Australian experts on the other hand arrived at the scene of the disaster without delay, as did a Malaysian team led by prime minister Najib Razak. As noted, it received the Boeing’s black boxes from the insurgents without any fuss and passed them on to the Netherlands on the 22nd of July.

Sep 19 08:54

SYRIAN WAR REPORT – SEPTEMBER 19, 2018: MILITANTS REJECT DEMILITARIZATION ZONE AGREEMENT IN IDLIB

An implementation of the demilitarized zone agreement in Idlib reached during face-to-face talks between Russian and Turkish presidents on September 17 has appeared to be not a simple task as it has been pointed out by many experts.

On September 18, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra, the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda), the Islamic Turkistan Party, Jaish al-Izza and Hourras Addin refused to respect the agreement and to withdraw its forces and military equipment from the contact line.

On the same day, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu stated that work to establish a new security system in the Idlib de-escalation zone had started. He recalled that all heavy weapons have to be withdrawn from the demilitarized zone by October 10 and radical groups have to withdraw their forces by October 15.

Sep 19 08:50

Russia exposes audio recording proving Ukraine's implication in MH17 disaster

According to Russia, the voice in the recording belongs to Ruslan Grinchak, a Colonel of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Grinchak was responsible for controlling airspace in the zone of the military conflict in the Donbass. The man in the recording says that "we" can make another airplane disaster to repeat.

The conversation took place in 2016 in the Odessa region of Ukraine during the preparation of the Malachite radar station used to detect and escort air objects. The man's voice that supposedly belongs to Colonel Grinchak, says: "Take this supervisor, take Levchuk and say: "Boys, if this is going to be like this, then we will ***** another Malaysian Boeing."

Sep 19 08:30

It's Official, Russia and Syria Have Linked Their Air Defense Networks

Russia says it has formally linked its air defenses in Syria together with those of the regime of Bashar Al Assad. This could potentially limit the U.S. military’s ability to support its local partners fighting ISIS, increases the risk of a dangerous confrontation, and just add yet another layer to an ever more complicated situation on the ground.

Chief of Staff and Deputy Commander of the Russian Aerospace Forces Major-General Sergey Meshcheryakov made the announcement during a press roundtable at the Army-2017 International-Military Technical Forum on Aug. 25, 2017, according to state-run media outlet TASS. The event at the Patriot Expocentre in the Moscow Region is an annual military trade show and this year also includes a pavilion dedicated to the Kremlin’s intervention in Syria.

Sep 19 07:54

What does Russia want in northwest Syria?

Although it is currently in Russia's interest to de-escalate tensions in Idlib, an attack is still likely.

After months of heightened tensions in the Syrian province of Idlib, the last stronghold of the Syrian opposition, Russia and Turkey seem to have reached a temporary solution.

Following a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, on September 17 in Sochi, the two countries agreed to create a demilitarised zone 15-20km into opposition-control territories along the de-facto front line by October 15.

All "radical fighters" are to withdraw from the area and all "heavy weapons, tanks, rocket launchers, guns and mortars" are to be removed. Russian military police and Turkish troops will be patrolling the zone to ensure that all armed groups abide by the agreement. Erdogan and Putin also agreed to open the M4 and M5 highways linking respectively Latakia and Damascus to Aleppo to traffic from regime-held areas by the end of the year.

Of course, this temporary truce is far from ideal and does not include a roadmap for normalisation of the situation in the province, but it is still better than all the other, more violent, options.

>>>

Sep 19 07:41

Israel Unlikely to Fly Freely over Syria

Ex-Official: Israel Unlikely to Fly Freely over Syria After Il-20 Incident

Sep 19 06:32

Ex-Russian General Urges Moscow to Shoot Down Israeli Fighter Jets

***
"Moscow should expel the Israeli ambassador to Russia and shoot down the Israeli fighter jets in case of entering the Syrian airspace">>>

(*what's even more pertinent then the shwashbuckling overtone , is the air of confidence the ex Russian demonstrates in Putin's Russia , that could probably earn congressional consideration of loss of his right to travel abroad , at minimum , had he been an ex American general , making the same remarks here .)

Sep 19 06:10

3/5/18 flashback: Remarks by President Trump and Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel Before Bilateral Meeting

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Thank you very much. It’s a great honor to have Prime Minister Netanyahu and Mrs. Netanyahu with us. They’ve been friends for a long time. We have, I would say, probably the best relationships right now with Israel that we ever had. I think we’re as close now as, maybe, ever before.>>>
***
PRIME MINISTER NETANYAHU: Thank you. Thank you. Mr. President>>>
***
(*and yadah yadah yadah !
warm & fuzzy conversation , true , but worth considering as Putin hauls off and declares Israel Russia's enemy )

Sep 19 05:18

Mop-up operation in Syria’s Idlib to start in November

The breakthrough and landmark agreements between Russia and Turkey on Syria’s Idlib, announced by the Kremlin, can be hardly called final, Nezavisimaya Gazeta writes. Neither Russian President Vladimir Putin nor his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan wants terrorist groups such as Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra (outlawed in Russia) to remain in northern Syria. Experts are convinced that after a demilitarized zone is created around Idlib, irreconcilable militants will be eliminated by the Turkish and Syrian forces with Russia’s support, the paper says. So, the Russian-Turkish agreements on Syria, which were reached in Sochi on Monday, may be considered as intermediate.

Sep 19 05:14

Russia faults Israel over military jet’s downing in Syria, vows response

Putin vowed that ‘everyone would notice’ Russia’s tit-for-tat steps, Kommersant writes. The Israelis fear that Moscow will now be providing a harsher response to their strikes on Syria. The Russian Defense Ministry stressed that it views Israel’s actions as "hostile" and Moscow reserves the right to an adequate response, without specifying particular measures. Kommersant’s source familiar with the situation explained that the Russian military did not mean any attacks on the Israeli jets. "Most likely, they meant absolute inaction in the future regarding the issues where they were ready to help Israel earlier." In particular, Moscow may refuse to hold talks between Iran and Hezbollah. Leonid Ivashov, ex-head of the Russian Defense Ministry’s Main Department of International Military Cooperation, told Nezavisimaya Gazeta that Russia may start shooting down any Israeli jet intruding Syria’s airspace.

Sep 19 05:09

NATO's 5,000 warplanes ready to bomb Russia, Chinese media say

The United States of America is used to exercising control over the Russian Federation in cooperation with Europe. However, EU countries have had a plethora of problems lately, and the US will have to count on its own forces in the event of an open military confrontation with Russia. A recent article published on Chinese publication Jinri Toutiao said that the Russian government is confident and correct in its actions. The Kremlin does not even think to obey Washington, nor does it follow the path of aggression. Russia acts solely in its own interests and in the interests of national security, the Chinese publication said. However, the United States follows a completely different path of behaviour. The number of NATO bases in countries of Eastern Europe, such as Poland or the Baltic States, has been growing during the recent years. According to official data, there are several thousands of NATO soldiers and more than 100 tanks in Eastern European countries.

Sep 19 04:57

Russia sees Israel as enemy after Il-20 shootdown

Israeli Ambassador to Russia Gary Koren was summoned to the Russian Foreign Ministry following the incident with the Russian Ilyushin Il-20 aircraft, which was shot down by Syrian air defence systems over the Mediterranean Sea. Russia believes that it was Israeli pilots who set up the Russian aircraft. The Russian Il-20, returning to Hmeymim, was shot down by Syrian air defense systems in the evening of September 17, 35 kilometres from the Mediterranean coast. Fifteen Russian servicemen on board the aircraft were killed. The Russian Defence Ministry holds Israeli pilots responsible for the tragedy claiming that they "deliberately created a dangerous situation" for ships and aircraft in the region. Russian MPs from the Communist Party of the Russian Federation - Valery Rashkin and Denis Parfyonov - called on Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to work out a set of measures in response to Israel's provocation.

Sep 18 15:24

Russia will protect its servicemen, Israeli actions are ‘reckless’ – Foreign Ministry

The Israeli actions in Syria, which Moscow says resulted in the downing of the Il-20 plane and the death of its crew, are “reckless” and “unfriendly,” the Russian Foreign Ministry told Israeli Ambassador Caren Cohen-Gat. Russia will take all necessary measures to protect its servicemen, who “support the Syrian people in their fight against terrorism,” the ministry stressed.

Sep 18 13:45

Russia Instituting Criminal Proceedings Against Israel

TASS/Censored: Russia Instituting Criminal Proceedings Against Israel, MOD

Sep 18 12:22

The Major Attack On Syria Followed Putin-Erdogan Agreement For Demilitarized Zone In Idlib

The world once again was taken to the brink of World War 3 Monday night, and the situation is still extremely dangerous. A massive wide-ranging assault on multiple Syrian provinces, including the coastal cities of Latakia and Tartus, occurred Monday evening reportedly by Israel and possibly with the help of France or the US, though the Pentagon is denying any US assistance during the assault.

With Syrian and Russian air defenses responding during the over hour-long attack which targeted among other things an alleged chemical weapons research center, and in the confusion of missiles cross the sky, a Russian maritime patrol plane was shot down with 14 personnel on board. The Pentagon is claiming it was Syrian defense which "accidentally" downed the plane, while Russia is pointing out its radar observed a French frigate firing in the area just before the plane went down.

Sep 18 11:24

Russia reveals the MH17 ‘smoking gun’

The “breakthrough” seems to have come from a JIT briefing last May, which produced fragments of the engine and nozzle of the 9M38 missile, launched by a Buk missile system, which downed MH17. According to Parshin: “Once we had the nozzle and engine numbers, we were able to find out the missile’s number.”

So now we know, via declassified files, that the engine of the missile 9D131 allegedly had the serial number 8869032. And a “passport” for the nozzle cluster 9D13105000 carried the number 8-30-113. The actual missile number was 886847349, they said.

The Defense Ministry established that numbers for the components of the 9M38 missile and the number of units noted in the technical documentation stored at the Dolgoprudny Research and Production Enterprise, outside Moscow, are the same.

Sep 18 09:45

Military spots body fragments of Ilyushin-20’s crew in Mediterranean

The Russian military has pinpointed the location where the Ilyushin-20 aircraft fell into the Mediterranean, the Russian Defense Ministry told the media on Tuesday.

"Taking part in the search for the crew of the Russian Ilyushin-20 plane, which crashed off Latakia, are eight ships and boats from Russia’s Navy. By now, the aircraft’s crash site in the Mediterranean has been identified. It’s 27 kilometers west of Baniyas, in the Latakia province," the Defense Ministry said.

Russian ships have picked up body fragments, personal belongings and the plane’s debris.

Sep 18 09:39

Orban’s Moscow visit a middle finger gesture to EU after last week’s humiliation

Russian President Vladimir Putin is reviled as an enemy of the West in general, and of the EU in particular, and yet Hungarian Prime Minister Orban continues to conduct “business as usual” with the master of the Kremlin.

The “salon des refusés” of political dissidents in the EU is getting bigger by the day. Less than a week after his government was condemned in a vote in the European parliament, Orban is in Moscow for talks about energy with Putin. His visit to Russia is the political equivalent of giving the EU the finger following last week’s humiliation.

Sep 18 09:38

Hungary wants Russia's Turkish Stream pipeline to be extended into Europe – Orban

The Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has asked Russia to extend the Turkish Stream natural gas pipeline to his country and further into Europe.
Orban, who is on a visit to Moscow, broached this potential project during a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday. "It's no secret that Hungary wants the pipeline that's being built near the south of the country, to go through Hungary,” Orban said. The countries have also agreed a gas delivery service from Russia to Hungary for 2020.

Sep 18 09:37

Downed Il-20 Was on Recon Mission Over Idlib De-Escalation Zone – Russian MoD

The Russian Hmeymim airbase had lost contact with the crew of the Russian Il-20 military aircraft late on Monday during the attack of four Israeli F-16 aircraft on Syrian targets in the province of Latakia.

"Our reconnaissance Il-20 aircraft with a crew of 15 on board was carrying out a reconnaissance mission over the Idlib de-escalation zone to determine the locations of storage and collection of unmanned aerial vehicles that fly out of the zone and strike different areas of Syria," Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu stated at a meeting with senior military commanders.

Israeli F-16 jets attacked Syria under the cover of the Russian Il-20, assuming that the Syrian air defense forces would not act in this direction, Shoigu said.

Sep 18 09:36

Russia Rages And Accuses Israel Of Causing Syrian Shoot-Down Of Russian Plane

Russia will respond to actions on behalf of the Israeli Air Force that led to a fatal crash of Russia’s Il-20 aircraft on Monday late night in Syria, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Tuesday. “We have informed today our Israeli colleagues, and I have also informed personally the Israeli Defense Minister [Avigdor Lieberman], that such actions will not be left unanswered by us,” Shoigu said, reported Russian state news agency TASS.

Sep 18 09:11

Russia Threatens "Adequate Response" Against Israel For Downed Plane

Update 4: The Russian Ministry of Defense cleared up the confusion surrounding the overnight downing of a Russian Ilyushin-20 reconnaissance plane on Tuesday when a spokesman revealed that Israel was indeed responsible for the attack, which resulted in the deaths of 15 Russian servicemen.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the plane was accidentally brought down by an aging Syrian S-200 defense system after Russia had scrambled its jets to respond to an attack by four Israeli F-16s on Syrian government targets. Israeli notified Russia of its attack over a shared hotline less than a minute before beginning the strike, giving the Kremlin little time to respond.

"As a result of the Israeli military’s irresponsible actions 15 Russian servicemen died," said Defense Ministry Spokesman Gen. Igor Konashenkov.

Israel has carried out roughly 200 strikes in Syria over the past year and a half as it pushes back against Tehran's growing presence in the war-torn battle zone.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

"Bad Israel. No bagel!"

Sep 18 08:55

Russia ‘reserves right to respond’ after saying Israel’s actions led to downing of Il-20 by Syria

The Israeli Air Force launched their surprise night attack on Latakia in a way that put the Russian plane in harm’s way, the Russian Ministry of Defense said in a statement. The ministry said Israel must have known that they were setting up the Russian plane to be hit by a Syrian counterattack, but failed to either change their approach to targets in Syria or give Moscow enough time to move the Il-20 to safety.

Sep 18 08:54

‘You are to blame for downing of Il-20 and death of its crew,’ Russia tells Israel

Russia has formally complained to Israel about its air raid on Monday, which led to the downing of a Russian Il-20 plane off the Syrian coast. Moscow has laid the blame for the crew’s deaths “squarely on the Israeli side.”

Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu spoke to his Israeli counterpart Avigdor Lieberman on the phone about the downing of the Russian Il-20 plane on Monday night. He relayed Moscow’s position on the incident, blaming the Israeli military for setting up the Russian plane to be shot down by Syrian air defenses, which were responding to an Israeli air raid, an official statement from the Russian military said.

Shoigu reiterated that Israel failed to notify Russia of the impending attack in a way that would have given its military an opportunity to move the Il-20 out of harm’s way. Instead, the warning came just one minute before the Israeli F-16 fighter jets launched their attack.

Sep 18 08:52

Syria downed Russia's plane because Israeli F-16s used it as cover — Russian top brass

A Russian military Ilyushin-20 aircraft was shot down by Syria’s air defense over the Mediterranean Sea because Israel’s F-16 fighters used it as cover, Russian Defense Ministry Spokesman Igor Konashenkov told the media on Tuesday.

"By using the Russian plane as cover the Israeli air pilots made it vulnerable to Syrian air defense fire. As a result, the Ilyushin-20, its reflective surface being far greater than that of the F-16, was downed by a missile launched with the S-200 system," Konashenkov said.

Konashenkov said four F-16s from the Israeli Air Force carried out a strike with guided air missles against Syrian facilities in the area of Latakia at about 22:00 on September 17. The fighters approached the target from the Mediterranean at a low altitude.

The Israeli planes deliberately created a dangerous situation for surface ships and aircraft in that area, he stated.

Sep 18 08:50

BREAKING: TURKEY EMBEDS INTO IDLIB, CEASEFIRE SECURED, INVITES RUSSIAN PEACEKEEPERS

Russian President Vladimir Putin has just publicly declared that Turkey and Russia have agreed to establish a demilitarized zone in Idlib which will have a depth of 15 km, to be ready and in place by October 15th. This is effectively a ceasefire, with Turkish forces and Russian military police that will conduct joint patrols towards the de-escalation in Idlib.

Russia’s Defence Minister Shoigu has just publicly stated: there will be no military operation in Idlib.

FRN previously raised the possibility of Turkey securing Idlib on its own, then working towards using this possibly to acquire territory or make a better deal with Russia. It appears the second has happened, as we forecasted. Our general operating thesis that ‘things are never as they appear’ was confirmed as well.

Sep 18 08:47

Syria Downs Russian IL-20 by Mistake Amid Israeli Raid, Moscow Blames Tel Aviv

A Russian IL-20 military aircraft heading to the Hmeymim airbase went off radar late on September 17 during an attack by four Israeli F-16 jets on Syrian targets in the province of Latakia.

The Russian Defense Ministry had said earlier that Russia's Hmeymim Airbase had lost contact with the crew of the Russian Il-20 military aircraft with 14 servicemen on board late on Monday. The ministry has shared a map of the area of the accident.

Sep 18 08:25

Will Russia-Israel ties suffer after downing of Il-20 military plane off Syrian coast?

Moscow and Tel Aviv have long enjoyed fairly good ties despite the turmoil in the Middle East but these relations are at risk as Russia blames Israel for the downing of its warplane off the Syrian coast and the death of its crew.

Although the plane was technically shot down by a Syrian missile, Russia made it clear who it blames for the tragedy, saying that Israeli pilots used the Russian Il-20 as cover.

Sep 18 08:24

Netanyahu tells Putin he expresses regret at loss of Russian lives

Israeli PM Netanyahu has expressed “regret” to Vladimir Putin over the downing of Russia’s Il-20 plane. He pinned the blame for the incident on Syria, but added that Moscow and Tel Aviv should continue coordinating their efforts.

“Netanyahu stressed the importance of continuing coordination in the security area between Israel and Russia, which prevented many losses on the both sides over the past three years,” the press service said on Tuesday, after Putin and the Israeli PM spoke by telephone.

Sep 18 08:06

SYRIAN WAR REPORT – SEPTEMBER 18, 2018: SYRIAN FORCES ACCIDENTALLY SHOT DOWN RUSSIAN IL-20

The Syrian state media said that the missiles came from the sea adding that a high number of them was intercepted. However, according to photos and videos, unknown number of missiles hit their targets. Pentagon spokesman Navy Cmdr. Sean Robertson officially denied the US involvement in the attack.

On September 18, the Russian Defense Ministry revealed that the attack was carried out by four Israeli F-16 warplanes. Furthermore, during the attack a Russian Il-20 surveillance plane with 14 servicemen on board disappeared over the Mediterranean Sea. The ministry said that “the plane was returning to the airbase of Khmeimim, 35 kilometers from the coast of Syria” when “the mark of IL-20 went off” from radars.

“At the same time, the Russian radars fixed missile launches from the French frigate Auvergne, which was in that area,” the defense ministry added.

Sep 18 08:04

POINTING THE FINGER Russia says its military plane was shot down by SYRIA and blames Israel for pushing aircraft into line of fire

A RUSSIAN spy plane with 14 servicemen on board was accidentally blown out of the sky by their Syrian allies, it has been claimed.

Moscow has blamed the Israeli Air Force for pushing the Il-20 plane, which vanished off the Mediterranean Sea coast at 8pm last night, into the path of Syrian rockets.

Sep 18 07:14

Putin on Israel’s role in Il-20 downing: ‘Looks accidental, like chain of tragic circumstances’

“When people are dying – especially under such circumstances – it is always a tragedy,” President Putin said during a joint press conference with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban in Moscow on Tuesday.

Responding to a reporter’s question as to whether the incident in Latakia could be compared to the downing of the Russian Su-24 by Turkey in 2015, Putin said the two situations were “different.”

Ankara “deliberately downed” the Russian jet, he explained, while the Il-20 incident “looks like a chain of tragic circumstances, because the Israeli plane didn’t shoot down our jet.”

Sep 18 06:05

Moscow says Russia & Ukraine will ‘inevitably’ overcome crisis after government change in Kiev

The Russian Foreign Ministry has said it expects relations between Moscow and Kiev to normalize sooner or later, but added that close ties would most likely be restored following a change of government in Ukraine.

The Foreign Ministry’s comment was issued after Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko signed a decree on Monday, which terminated the Treaty on Friendship, Cooperation, and Partnership between Ukraine and Russia. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavel Klimkin told the press that the termination of the framework friendship treaty would cause a major revision of other agreements between Moscow and Kiev, but did not specify details.

Sep 18 05:54

Will Russia-Israel ties suffer after downing of Il-20 military plane off Syrian coast?

Although the plane was technically shot down by a Syrian missile, Russia made it clear who it blames in the tragedy, saying that Israeli pilots used the Russian Il-20 as a cover.

Sep 18 05:51

Russian MoD Blames Israel for Downing Il-20, Tel Aviv Says it's Syria's Fault

The Russian Defense Ministry held a press conference to discuss the destruction of a Russian military aircraft with people on board off the coast of Syria, which happened at the same time that Israeli and French forces were mounting aerial attacks on targets in Syria.

The Il-20 aircraft has been downed by Syrian military forces after Israel jets put it under attack off the Syrian coast, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov stated. According to the spokesman, the Israeli jets deliberately created a dangerous situation in Latakia. He stressed that Israel's aviation control systems could not but notice the Russian aircraft as it was landing.

"Israel did not warn the command of the Russian troops in Syria about the planned operation. We received a notification via a hotline less than a minute before the strike, which did not allow the Russian aircraft to be directed to a safe zone," Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said.

Sep 17 17:39

PLANE VANISHES Russian military plane with 14 on board goes off radar in Latakia during Syria strike amid reports it was ‘accidentally shot down’

US officials have reported the Syrian army shot down the Russian plane while trying to thwart an alleged Israeli airstrike.

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The official SANA news agency said the Technical Industry Institution in the state-controlled city had been targeted, adding it isn't known who fired the missiles.

Russian radars registered missiles launched from a French frigate and recorded four Israeli jets over Syria at the time of the attack, Russia Today reports.

The Israeli military refused to comment on claims they were behind the attack on Syria.

Sep 17 17:29

US says Syria accidentally shot down Russian plane during Israeli attack

Initial reports from Syrian regime sources state seven people have been injured after “powerful explosions” echoed through the city.

Syrian regime military sources have told Russian media that Latakia’s power station and an aluminium factory had been hit.

Syrian media has stated that a ‘number of missiles’ have been shot down by its air defence network. SANA reported the missiles targeting Latakia came “from the sea,” citing military sources.

Latakia is close to Russia’s Khmeimim Air Base. It is unclear if its air defence batteries were also engaged in the defence, or if the aircraft was hit by ‘friendly fire’ from nearby Syrian forces.

Sep 17 17:17

Russian Aircraft Went Off Radar Near Hmeymim Airbase in Syria, Military Reports

The Russian Defence Ministry reported that the Russian Il-20 aircraft went off radar near Hmeymim airbase in Syria. The plane carried 14 servicemen; their fate is unknown.

"On September 17, at about 11 p.m. Moscow time [20:00 GMT], the communication with the crew of the Russian Il-20 aircraft was lost when it was over the Mediterranean Sea, some 35 kilometers from the Syrian coast, on its way back to Hmeymim airbase," the report said.

Latakia came under fire earlier today in a missile attack military sources said come from the direction of the sea. The Russian Defense Ministry in its statement about the missing plane identified four Israeli F-16 airplanes as part of the attack on Latakia. Personnel at Hmeymim airbase have organized a search and rescue operation.

Sep 17 15:52

Russian plane disappears from radars during Israeli attack on Syria’s Latakia – MoD

A Russian military Il-20 aircraft with 14 service members on board went off the radars during an attack by four Israeli jets on Syria’s Latakia province, the Russian Defense Ministry said.

Sep 17 14:33

Unconfirmed reports of Russian military intercepting missiles above west Syria

A number of reports surfaced this evening about the Russian military allegedly deploying their air defense missiles over west Syria.

According to a number of pro-government Syria pages, the Russian military intercepted a number of hostile missiles over the Latakia and Tartous provinces.

The Russian Ministry of Defense has not commented on these claims nor released any statement regarding this latest attack on the western provinces of Syria.

Among the provinces reportedly targeted this evening were the Hama, Homs, Latakia, and Tartous governorates.

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