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Syria Superthread [merged]

Kirkhill

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Yup.  Russia is a heck of an ally. State of the art Air Defence System at your disposal.  Guaranteed to keep those western missiles away from your local dictator of choice.

So what happens?

168 missiles in two attacks.

The Russians decide to keep their missiles on the ground.  The Russians decide to evacuate the "defended" targets. The Russians maintain open lines of communication with the attacking force to make shure that their forces don't get damaged.

A reasonable person might be inclined to wonder if:

A) Russian GBAD systems are all they are cracked up to be
B) Russian support is all it is cracked up to be.

And if you were China or North Korea or Iran..... perhaps that might give you pause.

principles of war – Selection and maintenance of the aim; maintenance of morale; offensive action; surprise; security; concentration of force; economy of effort; flexibility; co-operation; and administration.

Surprise = tactical advantage.  Often it has to be manufactured.  Treading the same route time after time, doing the expected, is the antithesis of surprise.

In a world where war is conducted economically, politically and by subterfuge long before it is conducted on the battlefield perhaps it is not surprising that surprising things, unpredictable things, are seen to becoming more and more usual.

A huckster playing three card monte: game of chance, game of skill or con?  Depends on how much money you lost, I guess.
 

dimsum

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Rifleman62 said:
https://theaviationist.com/2018/04/14/everything-we-know-and-no-one-has-said-so-far-about-the-first-waves-of-air-strikes-on-syria/

Everything We Know (And No One Has Said So Far) About The First Waves Of Air Strikes On Syria.
Read more at https://theaviationist.com/2018/04/14/everything-we-know-and-no-one-has-said-so-far-about-the-first-waves-of-air-strikes-on-syria/#BojxDqrvtm54WWIE.99

Interesting to note:

That's a ton of info about tanker tracks, etc on ATC. 
 

Eye In The Sky

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For your AD system to work, you're going to turn on all your various RADARs, etc in their various modes and give people a really good look at your systems.  Ya, sooner or later that happens but why do it if you don't have to?  Is it worth it for defending something you don't really care about that much?

How cracked up are the S300/400s?  I hope I never find out.  If they're only half as good as I think they are now, that's still pretty damn good.

Russian and coalition forces in the area have had open lines of comms for some time now in the region.  We'd hear them on the 'common' freq talking to Fndly assets - when I got a RADAR off a Russian fighter come up, it usually followed in fairly quick time that we'd get passed info that a "insert aircraft type" took off from "insert location name" at "x time" heading "insert bearing/heading".  The Russian were also (usually)  pretty good at letting coalition forces know when they were going to send a few flying telephone poles thru the OA.  I don't see a big deal, the open comms line in that area has been there for a while.
 

Kirkhill

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Eye In The Sky said:
For your AD system to work, you're going to turn on all your various RADARs, etc in their various modes and give people a really good look at your systems.  Ya, sooner or later that happens but why do it if you don't have to?  Is it worth it for defending something you don't really care about that much?

How cracked up are the S300/400s?  I hope I never find out.  If they're only half as good as I think they are now, that's still pretty damn good.

Russian and coalition forces in the area have had open lines of comms for some time now in the region.  We'd hear them on the 'common' freq talking to Fndly assets - when I got a RADAR off a Russian fighter come up, it usually followed in fairly quick time that we'd get passed info that a "insert aircraft type" took off from "insert location name" at "x time" heading "insert bearing/heading".  The Russian were also (usually)  pretty good at letting coalition forces know when they were going to send a few flying telephone poles thru the OA.  I don't see a big deal, the open comms line in that area has been there for a while.

I think it all comes down to the highlighted line. How good an ally is Russia if it doesn't care enough to chance its technology on the battlefield on your behalf?  When it is a debate between protecting your life or its reputation, apparently its "reputation" is more important.

Especially when it sees that reputation as all that it has available to protect Kaliningrad, Moscow and Vladivostock. 

The fact that you say "How cracked up are the S300/400s?  I hope I never find out." is the key point.  Potemkin may have built a village.  Or maybe he didn't. 

There is more than one huckster here.
 

winnipegoo7

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Maybe there was no real benefit to shooting down the cruise missiles? If Russia attempted to shoot down US missiles there would be a financial cost and it could escalate the conflict. 

Russian SAMs aren't free and there are only so many of them in Syria. Why use them to defend against a limited attack that does not threaten the Russians or the Syrian regime? Yes the Russians and the Syrian regime might suffer some embarrassment and a few Syrian buildings might get destroy, but there will be no change to the status quo.

If Russian SAMs shot down a large number of US cruise missiles this could justify a US attack on the air defence system, which would escalate the war and be very expensive for the Russian/Syrians to replace the destroyed air defence components.

 

PuckChaser

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The US isn't going to kinetically attack the Russian GBAD system because of the risk of Russian casualties which would surely escalate the conflict. Russia either A. Doesn't have the missiles to intercept that many munitions at once, B. Doesn't have the capability to reliably target the US missiles so they stayed completely dark, or C. Combination of A and B.
 

GR66

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It was mentioned that the Russians may not have wanted to give up their electronic data to defend unimportant targets, but how could they know what the targets were without using their radars? 

How would they have known this wasn’t a major attack to say take out the Syrian Air Force or a decapitation attack against Assad and the Syrian military? 

During the briefing this morning it was stated that Russian air defences didn’t respond, but he also made it clear that didn’t mean it wasn’t turned on.
 

Eye In The Sky

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GR66 said:
It was mentioned that the Russians may not have wanted to give up their electronic data to defend unimportant targets, but how could they know what the targets were without using their radars? 

How would they have known this wasn’t a major attack to say take out the Syrian Air Force or a decapitation attack against Assad and the Syrian military? 

During the briefing this morning it was stated that Russian air defences didn’t respond, but he also made it clear that didn’t mean it wasn’t turned on.

Maybe *unofficially* they knew (because of some open lines of comms happening) where they were told "none of your stuff is getting whacked".

The  :blah: stuff happening for the media and Twitter isn't the only talking going on.  :Tin-Foil-Hat:  IMO
 

MarkOttawa

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Start of Reuters' piece with full text:

French declassified intelligence report on Syria gas attacks

France concluded after technical analysis of open sources and “reliable intelligence” that a chemical attack on Douma on April 7 was carried out by Syrian government forces, a declassified intelligence report showed on Saturday.

Here is the full declassified national assessment provided by the French foreign ministry in English:

I. SEVERAL LETHAL CHEMICAL ATTACKS TOOK PLACE IN THE TOWN OF DOUMA IN THE LATE AFTERNOON OF SATURDAY,7 APRIL 2018, AND WE ASSESS WITH A HIGH DEGREE OF CONFIDENCE THAT THEY WERE CARRIED OUT BY THE SYRIAN REGIME.

Following the Syrian regime’s resumption of its military offensive, as well as high levels of air force activity over the town of Douma in Eastern Ghouta, two new cases of toxic agents employment were spontaneously reported by civil society and local and international media from the late afternoon of 7 April.

Non-governmental medical organizations active in Ghouta (the Syrian American Medical Society and the Union of Medical Care and Relief Organizations), whose information is generally reliable, publicly stated that strikes had targeted in particular local medical infrastructure on 6 and 7 April.

A massive influx of patients in health centers in Eastern Ghouta (at the very least 100 people) presenting symptoms consistent with exposure to a chemical agent was observed and documented during the early evening. In total, several dozen people, more than forty according to several sources, are thought to have died from exposure to a chemical substance.

The information collected by France forms a body of evidence that is sufficient to attribute responsibility for the chemical attacks of 7 April to the Syrian regime.

1. – Several chemical attacks took place at Douma on 7 April 2018...
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-syria-france-intellige/french-declassified-intelligence-report-on-syria-gas-attacks-idUSKBN1HL0N1

Mark
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winnipegoo7

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Eye In The Sky said:
Maybe *unofficially* they knew (because of some open lines of comms happening) where they were told "none of your stuff is getting whacked".

The  :blah: stuff happening for the media and Twitter isn't the only talking going on.  :Tin-Foil-Hat:  IMO

This is my line of thinking. If the US wants to destroy a few minor targets in Syria that won't change the status quo, why would Russia try to stop it?

edited to add: but, as others have mentioned it may have been impossible for the Russians to detect and engage the cruise missiles, as it is possible that the cruise missiles flew too low to be detected - and you can't engage what you don't detect. for example in the naval environment a sea-skimming missile is only detected at 20 or 30 miles due to the radar horizon

so the cruise missiles might only be detected if it came within 20-30 miles of the Russia radar, so depending where Russian radars are located, it is possible that the cruise missiles just flew around them. That's why you want to use Awacs aircraft for cruise missile defence.


GR66 said:
It was mentioned that the Russians may not have wanted to give up their electronic data to defend unimportant targets, but how could they know what the targets were without using their radars? 

I'm no expert, but I suspect the US knows a lot (maybe everything) about the Russian air defence systems. AD systems undergo through testing before being put into service - which obviously includes turning the radars on and launching missiles at targets. The US military, NSA and CIA have ELINT aircraft (RC-135 and EP-3); ELINT ships and submarines; spy satellites; human spys; and hundreds (thousands?) of analysts. Many of whom work to learn about enemy air defence systems.

And who says the Russian systems were turned off? Maybe the Russians used this raid as a chance to gather valuable intelligence on Western capabilities? Maybe Russian radar and SIGINT systems monitored the raid and are sending that info back to Russia to analyze Western weapons and tactics?
 

larry Strong

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Wonder how many people know about Canada's contribution ;) 

Another interesting aircraft tracked online in the aftermath of the raid, is a Bombardier E-11A 11-9358 from 430th EECS stationed at Kandahar Afghanistan. The aircraft is a BACN (battlefield airborne communications) asset: BACN is technological “gateway” system that allows aircraft with incompatible radio systems and datalinks to exchange tactical information and communicate. By orbiting at high-altitude, BACN equipped air assets provide a communications link between allies, regardless of the type of the supporting aircraft and in a non-line-of-sight (LOS) environment. The BACN system is also deployed onboard EQ-4B Global Hawk UAVs. Although we can’t be completely sure, it is quite likely that the aircraft was involved in the air strikes as well, providing data-bridging among the involved parties
 

Colin Parkinson

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Considering the US likely told the Russians exactly where they would attack, who would tell the Syrians, who would move anyone of value out, means anyone left their to die would be quite expendable or very disliked. "Carl guard this place, we will be back......"
 

GR66

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Colin P said:
Considering the US likely told the Russians exactly where they would attack, who would tell the Syrians, who would move anyone of value out, means anyone left their to die would be quite expendable or very disliked. "Carl guard this place, we will be back......"

It was specifically stated in the US briefing that the Russians were not told that an attack was taking place.
 

winnipegoo7

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GR66 said:
It was specifically stated in the US briefing that the Russians were not told that an attack was taking place.
https://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/europe/syrian-missile-strikes-macron-s-most-significant-military-action-1.3462587

According to the Irish times, the President of France telephoned Putin at noon on Friday and the French DM says that the Russians were warned before the raid.

The article also states that the French DM said:
No cruise missiles fired by the US and its allies entered the zone of Russian air defences protecting their installations at Tartous [naval base] and Hmeimim [air base near Latakia].
  So perhaps the Russians never had a chance to engage any missiles.
 

Eye In The Sky

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winnipegoo7 said:
So perhaps the Russians never had a chance to engage any missiles.

Win-win-win then for everyone.  It's almost like they put some thought into it!

- the US doesn't have to be embarrassed that S400s knocked some of their fastballs out of the park;
- Russia doesn't get embarrassed at how many punched thru and hit their targets, and;
- the rest of us don't have to read comments from the Keyboard Experts/Warriors  on how and why missiles did or didn't get thru on the CBC article comments!  :nod:
 

tomahawk6

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Many of the missiles used were stealth capable.Found this article about the performance of the Leopard 2 in Syria.

https://warisboring.com/germanys-leopard-2-tank-was-considered-one-of-the-best-until-it-went-to-syria/
 

CBH99

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Extremely poor tank tactics used in these cases.  The tanks weren't employed the way they were meant to be, nor positioned well, not defended adequately.  Mickey Mouse operations in regards to any decent doctrine on the use of armoured forces.

Slight change of topic, but still Syria related...



Can somebody tell me what our (the West's) ultimate objectives are in Syria? 

Why are we there?  What do we have to achieve in terms of long term goals?

After overthrowing Libya, supporting the overthrowing of the government in Egypt, Iraq, and now Syria...forced regime change without a solid follow-up plan has been proven time & again to be a very poor strategy.  Brutal dictators as they may have been, they did keep order & relative predictability in the region.


But specifically in regards to Syria - what are we trying to accomplish/achieve?  (I ask this in all seriousness, not facetiously)
 
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