Friday, September 21, 2018

Lavrov:Russia-Turkey deal on Idlib no threat to Syria’s territorial integrity

Continuing on with the coverage of the Idlib situation because it is pivotal to the Usrael remake agenda.


He said "the main threat to Syria’s territorial integrity comes from the eastern bank of the Euphrates, where independent and autonomous entities are being created under US control."
"We will insist this unlawful activity should be brought to an end. We have been saying so again and again to the Americans and in the UN Security Council," Lavrov said.

The deal between Russia and Turkey on a demilitarized zone in Syria’s Idlib is an interim step, Lavrov said.

"This deal is aimed at eradicating a terrorist threat. No doubt, this is an interim step, as just a demilitarized zone is created," Lavrov stressed.

"But this is a necessary step as the creation of this zone will make it possible to prevent the continuing cases of shelling from the de-escalation zone in Syria’s Idlib Governorate on the positions of Syria’s governmental forces and Russia’s Hmeymim base," he noted.

 From earlier today:

Israel Pleads “Not Guilty”: Syria & Russia at Fault- Russia Rejects Israeli Claims

Israel Pleads “Not Guilty”: Syria & Russia at Fault- Russia Rejects Israeli Claims

Syria Fired Missiles for 40 Minutes After Israeli Airstrike Hitting IL-20

I find the idea of Syria continuing to fire for 40 minutes after Israel’s attack a stretch..
(Just don’t think they’d waste the munitions in that manner.)

The Israeli report into the downing a Russian plane off the coast of Syria during an Israeli airstrike on Monday runs some 40 pages in English and Russian and shows that Syrian anti-aircraft batteries fired dozens of barrages indiscriminately for 40 minutes after the initial Israeli attack.

In a highly unusual move, the IDF acknowledged the airstrike and released some of the findings of its initial investigation, which concluded that Syrian air defense units fired without aiming and “did not bother to ensure that no Russian planes were in the air.”

The IDF’s initial findings were presented in recent days by top Israeli officials, including the head of its air force, Maj. Gen. Amikam Norkin, to their Russian counterparts in Moscow, and both Israel and Russia said Syria, not Israel, was responsible for the downing of the plane, although Moscow has been publicly critical of Israel over the incident.
According to the Israeli report, initially publicized by the Ynet news site, the “deconfliction mechanism,” a coordination system between the IDF and Russian forces meant to prevent friendly fire incidents over Syria, followed the usual procedure before the strike, as it had done in more than 200 attacks over the past two years.
This contradicts earlier reporting regarding the deconfliction protocols not being used appropriately.

The report says Syria’s military then activated several anti-aircraft batteries deployed throughout the country, firing for over half an hour, long after the Israeli planes had returned to their base. The Syrians fired dozens of missiles of various types, including the SA-5, a large, advanced missile which downed an Israeli plane over the Galilee in February, Ynet reported.

The Israeli delegation pointed out to their Russian counterparts that the fundamental issue — one likely to repeat itself — is the change in Syrian behavior since it hit an Israeli F-16 fighter in February.
 A change in behaviour was mentioned in this previous post:

That change had nothing to do with quantities of Syrian missiles being deployed. It had to do with the distance they were firing out to. So the Israeli version doesn’t sync, with the reporting from Janes
“a Facebook post written by the SAA just prior warned that it could and would engage airborne threats out to “at least 100+ km”

Until then, the Syrian batteries would fire a few isolated missiles at the Israeli planes. Sometimes they only operated one battery, assuming that their missiles would do little against the Israeli air force.

However, after hitting the Israeli plane in February, which was the first time that an Israeli fighter jet was downed by enemy fire since the 1982 Lebanon war, the Syrians became more energetic in their efforts, and deployed for the purpose new and advanced missile batteries from Russia.

“According to the IDF report, errors in coordination between those two countries led to the downing of the Russian Il-20 reconnaissance aircraft and the killing of its 15 crew members.”

Russia and Syria’s fault.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Israel to “improve coordination” with Moscow After Plane Shootdown Incident

From earlier today: Idlib Agreement A Victory for Syria As Trade Routes Reopen

Following up on:
“Israel said on Thursday it would not halt strikes on Syria but would do more to “deconflict” them with Russian forces, after Moscow accused it of “irresponsible and unfriendly actions” that led to Syrian ground fire mistakenly downing a Russian plane.

Although Russian President Vladimir Putin initially described the downing as “tragic chance”, Moscow has made its anger clear.

“Moscow views as irresponsible and unfriendly actions of Israeli Air Force, which exposed Russian Il-20 aircraft to danger and led to death of 15 servicemen,” the Russian embassy in Tel Aviv said on Twitter in English, adding that Russia would “take all necessary measures to eliminate threat to life and security of our military fighting against terrorism”.
Israel dispatched its air force chief to brief Moscow about the incident on Thursday. Expressing regret at the loss of life, Israel denied wrongdoing and blamed what it called wanton Syrian anti-aircraft fire after its jets had withdrawn back over the border”

Wanton Syrian anti aircraft fire after Israel’s jets had withdrawn over the border?
What a claim! Let’s break it down.

-Israel should not be attacking Syria.  Since Israel is attacking Syria it’s obvious that Syria should and would protect itself. So “wanton anti aircraft fire” is a rather self serving claim, ( big surprise) on Israel’s part.
-Withdrawn over the border?  What border is Israel referring to? Lebanon’s border? Notice the statement doesn’t mention the jets withdrew back across the Israeli border. We need some clarity on that!

-Syria's fault?  Implied in the statement is the fault for this incident lying with Syria due to the great distance “across the border” they were wantonly using their anti aircraft fire. Again Israel should not be launching airstrikes on Syria for the multiple hundreds of times they have!

Here’s where we might be getting back to the exploitation of information found immediaely preceding the attack. Information regarding the distance Syrian anti aircraft fire was willing to engage.

Mentioned in this post
“Naftali Bennett, another member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s security cabinet, said “deconfliction mechanisms” would be improved, referring to a Russian-Israeli hotline designed to avoid inadvertent clashes with forces Moscow sent to Syria as part of a military intervention mounted in 2015.

“We will of course strengthen these mechanisms. We will do everything so as not to harm anyone we do not intend to, God forbid,” Bennett told Army Radio in a separate interview. “

Deconfliction mechanisms were already in place. And had been since 2015- One way to improve them would be for Israel to use them in a timely fashion.  As mentioned in previous post (2) 
Since this mechanism has been available to them for the past 3 years. 

One last item of interest: Regarding the question of recognizing friends or foes?


It seems the answer to this question  (2)"There is a question of why the Syrian system didn't recognize the Russian plane as a friendly? Is answered below:
The Russian Defense Ministry has described as “amateur fantasies” claims that the Il-20 military plane was hit in Syria due to a failure in the friend-foe identification system. Each state has its own Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) system and Russia does not install its identification systems on armaments exported abroad, the ministry’s spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said Thursday.
There were no precedents where it had transferred IFF systems with Russian identification codes to other states. “All this fully applies to the domestic air defense systems delivered to the Syrian Arab Republic,” he said. “The IFF system of state recognition used by Russia is only used by aircraft and air defense systems identified as Russian.”

Idlib Agreement A Victory for Syria As Trade Routes Reopen

Idlib agreement a victory for Assad regime as trade routes to reopen
Definitely one plus in the Idlib agreement!
"Details of the agreement between Turkey and Russia on a demilitarised zone in the rebel-held northwestern province of Idlib, seen by The National, reveal a substantial victory for Damascus, even though it stalled a planned ground offensive there.

The announcement of the deal had at first appeared to deal a major blow to the Syrian government’s designs on the province. After weeks of building up forces around the edges and promising an attack, the Syrian army’s operation was nixed.

But the deal hammered out between Ankara and Moscow stipulates that two strategic highways running through the province be reopened to traffic by the end of the year, achieving a major aim of the planned government offensive without a shot being fired.

The M4 and M5 highways run from Latakia to Saraqib, and from Syria’s southern tip to the border with Turkey in the north – both have been cut off in Idlib since 2014.
Before the war, the M5 highway was a major trade route that connected the commercial hub of Aleppo to Damascus and on to the Jordanian border. The recapture of the two highways was seen as a likely first phase to a wider government assault on Idlib."

I’ve discussed the importance of opening the M-5 as well as the M-4 highways on more then a couple of occasions here at the blog- Which may be one reason why the Idlib deal came as far less of a surprise to me then most others:

"Leaks from the Astana talks, between guarantor nations in Syria (Russia, Turkey and Iran), show that questions surround how the roads would be secured and the extent of economic interest for the conflicting parties"
 "Reopening them would help resume trade between neighbouring Turkey and regime-held areas. The agreement says these steps are a way “to ensuring free movement of local residents and goods and restoring trade and economic relations”.
“Idlib is strategically relevant less as Idlib itself than as a crossroads between other more politically and economically significant provinces and as a gateway to Turkey,” said Sam Heller, a senior analyst at Crisis Group.

“For Damascus, reopening these roads is relevant economically as it attempts to reintegrate Syria economically and position itself for postwar reconstruction, and it has symbolic political value as another step towards a unified, state-controlled Syria,” he added.

You can see the full text of the Idlib document here

Or here

The re opening of the highways is written into the 10 point document. Check the 8th point out.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Israeli Military Delegation Heading to Moscow to Present Il-20 Findings

IDF Delegation Heads to Moscow
"A delegation of senior Israeli security officials is scheduled to fly to Russia early Thursday morning, in an attempt to resolve an ongoing dispute with the Kremlin regarding the downing of a Russian reconnaissance plane over Syria earlier this week.

Early Tuesday morning, an Ilyushin IL-20 turboprop reconnaissance was shot down, following an Israeli Air Force strike on a weapons development center in northern Syria.
According to an Israeli inquiry into the incident, the IL-20 was downed by one of the many surface-to-air missiles fired by the Syrian air defense network following the IAF strikes.

On Thursday, senior IDF officials, led by the Commander of the IAF, Maj. Gen. Amikam Norkin, will fly to Moscow in a bid to convince Russian security officials that Syrian surface-to-air missiles fired after the IAF jets had left the combat zone were responsible for the downing of the IL-20.

IAF commander and other IDF officials are expected to present the full IDF file on the incident, including the pre-mission information and the findings of the IDF inquiry regarding the event.

Along with the IAF commander, the delegation will include the chief of the International Cooperation Unit, Brig. Gen. Erez Maisel, as well as additional officers of the Intelligence Directorate, the IAF and the Operations Directorate.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday that he backed the Russian Defense Ministry statement accusing Israel of downing the reconnaissance plane, but added that the incident appeared to be an accident.

Putin later spoke with Israeli premier Binyamin Netanyahu, who expressed “regret” over the downing of the IL-20 and the loss of all 15 crew members.

According to a statement by the Kremlin following the call, despite Israel’s denials, Putin called on Netanyahu to prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future."

  If it is the case, as Israeli news is reporting, that Putin called Netanyahu in order to prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future then it’s certainly being implied that Russia finds Israel culpable.
A picture from the official Syrian Arab News Agency reportedly shows Syrian air defence batteries responding to Israeli missiles in Damscus on September 15, 2018

Daily Mail
"Israel's air force commander will lead a delegation to Moscow to share the military's findings on the Syrian downing of a Russian warplane following Israeli air strikes, the army said Wednesday.

The delegation, led by Major General Amikam Norkin, would on Thursday "present the situation report... regarding all aspects" of the incident, the army said in a statement"

“The group is led by the commander of Israeli air force, Major General Amikam Norkin, who will give Russians a “situation report” on the recent downing of a Russian Il-20 plane in Syria”

From earlier:

Did the Idlib Deal Result in Retribution Delivered by Israel and France?

Did the Idlib Deal Result in Retribution Delivered by Israel and France?

It's a question that needs asking. The timing is certainly suspect. But timing isn't everything.
It can be part of the whole picture. Might there be other aspects worth considering when thinking of the attack on the Russian plane as a message delivered via missile?

 Image and caption from Janes

An Il-20 with 15 personnel onboard was the unintended victim of Syrian air defence units that shot the aircraft down during an Israeli raid on 17 September.
 The Plane and it's crew gone-
"The four-engined turboprop with 15 personnel onboard disappeared over the Mediterranean Sea at the same time as the Israeli Air Force (IAF) was conducting air strikes against Syrian government targets in the coastal province of Latakia"

1- Israel failed to notify Russia in a timely fashion in advance of their attack per their deconfliction agreement. Why did they fail in their duties? 

Moscow Defense Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said Tuesday there was no warning even though Israel's aviation control must have noticed the Russian aircraft as it was landing.
"Israel did not warn the command of the Russian troops in Syria about the planned operation," Konashenkov said. "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."

2- Were the Israelis' able to exploit publicly available knowledge to their advantage?
JANES “a Facebook post written by the SAA just prior warned that it could and would engage airborne threats out to “at least 100+ km”. That this post was written the day before the loss of the Il-20 suggested that the SAA’s air defence units were on a heightened state of alert, even by Syrian standards, increasing the chances of a mistake such as this.”
 Here's where I need some militarily minded person to assist. If Israel knew that Syrian air defences were engaging airborne threats out to at least a distance of 100+km, would this knowledge have given them the ability to use the Il-20 as a sitting duck?  Allowing them the opportunity to maneuver out of the way before being hit. Leaving the Il-20 as the unknowing target?

JANES “By using the Russian plane as a cover, the Israeli pilots made it vulnerable to Syrian air defence fire. As a result, the Il-20, its reflective surface being far greater than that of [the IAF] F-16s, was downed by a missile launched with the S-200 system,” Russian Ministry of Defence (MoD) spokesman Igor Konashenkov was quoted by TASS as saying. The MoD noted that, while it had been given prior warning of the IAF attack, it came too late to have the Il-20 divert to a safe area"

There is a question of why the Syrian system didn't recognize the Russian plane as a friendly?
 I don't know how relevant that really is? If Syrian air defenses locked on the Israeli F-16 and it maneuvered out of the way.... leaving the Russian plane as the sitting target- Is that a question worth wasting time on? I'm really not sure that it is?

3- Impeding plans?

I do not think it is a coincidence that almost immediately after the Idlib deal is announced by Erdogan and Putin, Israel and France began attacking Syria. I had expected that the Idlib deal and all that it impedes would have garnered a response from those that have "other ideas".
 No. I’m not talking about Turkey and these imagined ‘dreams’ of a new or revamped Ottoman Empire. Which is a complete and total  red herring employed to obfuscate for US/Israeli expansionism  and border remake  done under the guise of Kurdistan creation.

Long story short a 'red herring' is a deliberate diversion of attention. 

I've read a ton of spin from 5 eyes alt and msm regarding this idea of "ottoman dreams" But not much REAL evidence to support it.  

What I'm referring to, as others divert your eyes/mind away, are plans that have been carried out since 2011, to destroy Syria and carve a big chunk of her territory away for that Israel 2.0 that’s been written about here for years now. And there is reams and reams of evidence to support this plan. I must have at least one hundred posts on the topic

2015- Kurdistan aka “Second Israel”- Ethnic Cleansing the Indigenous of the Middle East 
With regard to the possible stance of a Kurdish state toward Israel one may safely assume that it will be friendly to the Jewish state. For one thing, the Kurds will need the sympathy and support of another non-Arab state in the international arena. For another, the Kurds have never been in conflict with Israel 
The Map below has been around since 2006-

Blood Borders: A Proposal To Redraw A “New Middle East”

Why this Idlib Deal was such a shocker is beyond me

I’d written beginning in August of this year that Idlib had to be handled with care.

August 09/18: How Russia, Turkey, and Iran are Going to Avoid a Battle for Idlib

Yours truly “If Syria were to simply rush in and battle for Idlib as some persons suggest, the US and their PKK allies would take advantage of the chaos that would surely result. And Rojova will extend ever closer to the Mediterranean. Which is what the US and Israel both want!

It's really much more beneficial for regional stability that the Astana partners work together to deal with the Idlib situation in a more measured, careful manner.  That's my opinion. And to my mind it makes much more sense for the actual preservation of Syrian sovereignty.”

-This deal between Turkey Russia was, to my thinking, better for the preservation of Syrian sovereignty long run. If all goes well.

-This deal also blocked the US from attacking Syria as they took back Syrian territory.

-This deal also prevented the US from pulling off their chemical weapon psyop.

 Iran approves of the deal-
By facilitating the political settlement of Syria’s issues and considering all humanitarian aspects, the agreement can help the process to restore peace to Syria and end the life of terrorist groups in the country,” he said.

“Stopping violence and bloodshed while eliminating terrorism in the area is one the most basic and principled positions in Iran’s foreign policy,” he said.
Syria Accepts the Deal: From SANA

Damascus, SANA – Syria has welcomed the agreement on Idleb Province announced yesterday in the Russian city of Sochi, stressing that it was an outcome of intensive consultations between it and the Russian Federation with complete coordination between the two countries.
Syria welcomes the agreement on Idlib province between Russia and Turkey, the Foreign Ministry in Damascus said on Tuesday. The agreement was a result of intensive talks and full coordination between Damascus and Moscow, SANA reported, citing the ministry’s officials. They said the Idlib deal, which has “specific limited dates,” is part of the previous agreements on the de-escalation zones, achieved during the Astana-format talks in 2017. They are based on the commitment of parties to preserve Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and to free Syria from terrorists and any military or foreign illegal presence, the ministry added.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Idlib Agreement: A few more details

Tampa Bay
In the entertainment section?

The Latest: Details released of agreement on Syria's Idlib

MOSCOW (AP) — The Latest on the disappearance of a Russian military aircraft over the Mediterranean and other issues related to Syria (all times local):
11:45 a.m.
A pro-government Syrian newspaper says the agreement reached between Russia and Turkey over the northwestern rebel-held Syrian province of Idlib envisions three stages in returning Damascus government institutions to the area.
The daily Al-Watan reported on Tuesday that the agreement struck in Sochi the day before also calls for the establishing of a demilitarized zone along all the front line in Idlib by Oct. 15.
The rebels are to hand over their heavy weapons under the supervision of Russia and Turkey by Nov. 10.
The paper says the third phase will see government institutions return to the rebel-held region after militants withdraw from residential areas.
The agreement between the leaders of Russia and Turkey on Monday is thought to have averted an all-out offensive by government forces to retake the last remaining rebel stronghold in Idlib.
Additional Reading at Fars