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    Russian military intervention and aid to Syria #8

    KoTeMoRe
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    Post  KoTeMoRe on Fri Mar 18, 2016 1:03 am

    magnumcromagnon wrote:
    KoTeMoRe wrote:
    JohninMK wrote:Claimed to be a GRU party in Syria, photos from a personal device, from IS apparently. Bit strange.

    https://twitter.com/bm21_grad/status/710555720673050625

    The guy who they show dead could be possibly the telnyashka wearing man, seen wearing a gorka next (2nd & 3rd pictures). Otherwise the dead guy with the gorka could be a Russian reporter who looked close to the body.

    https://twitter.com/bm21_grad/status/710555720673050625

    They haven't killed 5 of them. I'm thinking only one and the dead they shown, could well be a Syrian guy.

    Yeah ISIS are known peddlers of black propaganda, apparently some of the gear is of the older variety, and it's not unheard of for Russian MOD to give the SAA some of it's older and even unwanted stuff, such as the GAZ-66's representing the former and the Iveco trucks representing the latter.

    I believe that the 74M modified is legit. It's an SSO gun, there's parts on it that are known to be in possession of SSO (Doctersight 3 and Charon Night Sight plus some of the items like the military Celox complement) and the m193 rail on adapter is typical of the guns.

    Also from the pictures: Look at the older guy in the GRU group and look at this.

    https://twitter.com/bm21_grad/status/708008636283555848

    Second picture.
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    short_fuze

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    Post  short_fuze on Fri Mar 18, 2016 1:07 am

    KoTeMoRe wrote:
    JohninMK wrote:
    ....

    The guy who they show dead could be possibly the telnyashka wearing man, seen wearing a gorka next (2nd & 3rd pictures). Otherwise the dead guy with the gorka could be a Russian reporter who looked close to the body.

    https://twitter.com/bm21_grad/status/710555720673050625

    They haven't killed 5 of them. I'm thinking only one and the dead they shown, could well be a Syrian guy.

    In a search for the origins of the group shot on the left, the only other place it occurs is liveuamap.com - a Ukrop site?
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    Post  KoTeMoRe on Fri Mar 18, 2016 2:04 am

    Russian military intervention and aid to Syria #8 - Page 21 LiveLeak-dot-com-978_1458255367-458_1458255474

    High definition of the gun and optics.

    The Gun isn't a 74M. Most probably a chop job on a 74N (you can also see the year of production of the gun, 1992). In retrospect, it looks like indeed a 74N has been applied almost the whole MR upgrade on the gun. Handguard, grip, buttstock

    BTW whoever this guy was, he died with his gun in hand. Rest in Peace warrior.
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    Post  KoTeMoRe on Fri Mar 18, 2016 3:09 am

    Guys guess it was true.

    The Hunter is in Syria.

    https://twitter.com/MathieuMorant/status/710582384257794048
    magnumcromagnon
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    Post  magnumcromagnon on Fri Mar 18, 2016 4:10 am

    KoTeMoRe wrote:Russian military intervention and aid to Syria #8 - Page 21 LiveLeak-dot-com-978_1458255367-458_1458255474

    High definition of the gun and optics.

    The Gun isn't a 74M. Most probably a chop job on a 74N (you can also see the year of production of the gun, 1992). In retrospect, it looks like indeed a 74N has been applied almost the whole MR upgrade on the gun. Handguard, grip, buttstock

    BTW whoever this guy was, he died with his gun in hand. Rest in Peace warrior.

    Either case R.I.P. for the fallen warrior, but there's a silver lining in this. ISIS, like true amateurs will likely be chanting on the civilian comms/radios about killing an adviser...and with the help of HUMINT/SIGNIT/ELINT VKS will likely pickup on the chatter, geo-locate their positions and blast them to smithereens with high-ordinance. I wouldn't be surprised if the revenge has already been carried out.
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    ultron

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    Post  ultron on Fri Mar 18, 2016 4:32 am

    Mi-35M already at Shayrat. Seems like Mi-28N will be deployed to Shayrat too cheers
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    Post  George1 on Fri Mar 18, 2016 7:15 am

    RuAF has already deployed 2 Ka-52s & 2 Mi-28Ns to Latakia, Syria. Future plan: Ka-52x8 or (Ka-52x4) + (Mi-28x4)

    https://twitter.com/BabakTaghvaee/status/710594317312598017

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    Post  GarryB on Fri Mar 18, 2016 9:57 am

    pretty clear to someone else that more than one post by the same guy after another is strictly considered spam and here we have Ultron spamming 5 times some gibberish, offtopic without waiting for someone else to comment.

    He was clearly upset and confused.

    He clearly thought Russia was running away, though recent comments from Putin clearly show if they need to go back in with aircraft they can do so within hours but only if they need to. Support for Syria will continue, though it is not Assad only based.

    Ultron did nothing and will continue do nothing else but troll this forum and spam with gibberish.

    It wasn't gibberish. I understood it. I didn't agree with it, but I understood it clearly enough.

    I never mentioned Vann7, even tho he whines quite alot, however he did land a few times not to shabby posts on some things that i aggree on. I have no problem with him, i do not demand ban on him even tho others might not aggree.

    So the core of the problem is that you have a problem with Ultron.

    I think i have a purpose here to be, Ultron on the other hand aswell now Solncepek are more than obvious trolls.

    There are members with good knowledge... you mention a few and there are many more from all over the place including the Crimea and the US and of course our balkan friends, and members from the middle east. They don't need to be Russia strong or Putin strong fanboys, just being from Iraq or Iran or even the US or Crimea means they offer a perspective that is valuable. there are other members who have no idea about many things, or the wrong idea about many things... I, for example, really don't know much about American people... I see their TV shows and movies and see the culture they export and I see the effects of their government on the world, but I really don't know much about Americans themselves... being able to talk to Americans and Iraqis and Iranians and people from Germany and Greece and India and China gives me a different perspective on things... even if it changes my mind or not it is of value to me. Then you get other members who post very rarely and just read and listen... that is a lost skill these days... listening.

    At the end of the day the western media produces a lot of propaganda and this is an English language forum where people can come to find out what might be true and what might not be true... some bubbles will be burst, but if you turn away people because they don't already believe what we believe or happen to post a few times in a row because they are agitated then we need some rule changes. Personally I don't think such things do any harm... I was surprised myself when I heard Putin was withdrawing aircraft from Syria and declaring victory and mission completion.

    At first I thought he was leaving Assad in the lurch but the more I thought about it... including reading the things Ultron posted, led me to think of what he was doing in a much broader scope and I realised this conflict needs a political solution first because after a military victory Assad will have no reason to negotiate in good faith and the whole damn thing could happen again.


    Do you remember ?
    1991 - it was USSR, and then Russia, Ukraine, Belorussia etc....
    90s - it was Jugoslavia, and then Serbia, Kosovo, Montenegro etc...
    2000's - it was Lybia....
    2015 - it was Syria, and then Kurdistan, Alewistan etc.

    And 2017 - it was the EU...
    And in 2018 - it was the US and then California etc etc etc.

    Sad, but true Sad

    The US and EU are rather more likely to split up than Russia is.

    It's mostly about bad management and short-sighted government. Nothing more or less.
    Firstly, it was Gorbachev and next Yeltsin.
    Now it's Putin.

    First of all ignorance is bliss... Gorbachev was never a leader of Russia, just like George Bush never was the governor of california.

    And Putin seems to have carried Russia through an economic and political situation that would have crushed any other country on the planet... including Russia in the 1990s.


    Nothing more than Gorbachev and Yeltsin.
    Putin was always only on defensive.

    Gorbachev and Yeltsin had nothing to go on the offensive with.

    Putin is rather more respected around the world than Obama ever will be.

    15 years of defence - looking back we can see how long were these years.
    No change, no alternation of the course.
    Always following the world's affairs and development, trying to react and adjust towards them.
    There was a time, when USSR did the world's agenda...

    15 years of getting Russia ready for the international community, and 15 years well spent... they have been forced to diversify away from EU countries for food and partnerships and that will lead to a much stronger more independent Russia that is less controlled by the west.

    The USSR never led the world or dictated its agenda.

    In 1991 USSR had 1/6 of the earth area, almost 300 mln. citizens, developed industry and economics, oil, natural gas...and Gorbachev

    An economy on the brink of collapse and plenty of citizens that no longer wanted to be a part of the USSR any more... not to mention the conflicts.

    Both 1945 and 1991 became periods of rebuilding, but with so much dead weight like the eastern block of europe being cut free Russia has become the most successful and powerful component that resulted in the break up of the Soviet Union.

    Even with harsh economic sanctions it continues to grow and improve...

    he point is GarryB, you do not do your job at this moment, the two turks that came here on this forum, coincidendel with the shoot down of Su-24, were let go with their hatred and horseshit by you and other mods while this scum insulted russian soldiers who were murdered by terrorists and nothign happened.

    Opinions were expressed but bans were imposed when the dead were insulted... am I supposed to just assume they will eventually break the rules and ban them a priori?

    If you think I am doing such a crap job then I am happy to take a 50% cut in pay. Rolling Eyes

    One has to die so the rest may live!

    I hate to say it but your logic reminds me of Washington... there is a problem so they get out their little black book of countries they don't like and pick a suitable scapegoat. In their case the countries they attacked in retaliation for 11/9 were Afghanistan and Iraq and they are suing Iran. If you follow the bread crumbs however 15 of the terrorists on the planes were Saudi Nationals and of the remainder most spent time training in Saudi Arabia... but this is not about the truth.

    In your case you don't like the fact that some people are posting less often than they did and you think it is because Ultron and Solncepek are not banned. It could not possibly be that those who are not posting so much have lives and don't currently have enough time...

    I find certain posters annoying too, but that does not mean it is unhealthy for me to hear their views.

    Perhaps you should start up a thread for the posters you miss to ask them about why they don't post so much any more. I think such a discussion would be interesting for the Mods and Vlad as well to see what could be done to make the board more attractive to its members... obviously it might take a while to get answers from some users, but some PMs might assist too.

    I am very optimistic and positive... I can't help that, so obviously it is good for me to hear some pessimism occasionally to keep perspective.

    Garry,
    Generally I don't favor banning but Werewolf has valid point and almost everyone might agree to the trolling that happens on a regular basis when important decisions/data point comes. The recent being Russian withdrawal/rotation of forces from Syria. Once that point has been crossed, the trolling has stopped/reduced, now it will restart only at the next point. After all even trolls needs rest.
    So why not consider short term vacations like 1 week or a month for trolls during such "peak seasons"?

    Not a bad idea Dima, but I would only consider it for extreme cases as it basically amounts to someone getting excited in a discussion and receiving a gagging order to just listen for a period... for some people that might be useful...

    I thought Putin said no Russian ground forces in action in Syria.

    He means no conventional ground forces.

    just like Obama and ground forces in Iraq an Afghanistan (and Syria).

    The US attempts to incite civil war in Russia by arming pro America Russian traitors.

    Pro American traitors in Russia would be less than 5% of the population would would be ineffectual even if very well armed.
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    Post  Cyrus the great on Fri Mar 18, 2016 12:42 pm

    Contrary to all the howls of protest and expressions of opposition and disbelief, I actually think that the Russians have taken the right course of action; by creating the conditions for a political settlement, the Russians have ensured that Assad will prevail in any prospective credible election held in the near future -> thereby disarming the vacuous and flimsy Western propaganda that wants us to be convinced that Assad is illegitimate, unwanted by the majority of Syrians and must therefore be removed by arming head-chopping Islamists.... Islamists the West desperately wants us to believe are "moderate" - whatever that means.

    Once Assad wins a credible election (making it abundantly clear that he is the legitimate representative of the Syrian people) a military option will become all the more attractive and can be pursued without any restrictions. Victory in Chess requires steps, a process -- the same is true for geopolitics. These are necessary steps to victory. Apart from the obvious military victories, the Russians have achieved certain diplomatic goals; Syria is to remain undivided; it must maintain its secular status -- which is the very opposite of what all the terror groups are fighting for; Assad cannot be forced to step-down by outside forces at the beginning of any interim arrangement... that power has been reserved for the sovereign people of Syria. Not too shabby.
    sepheronx
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    Post  sepheronx on Fri Mar 18, 2016 4:00 pm

    There seems to be conflicting information. In previous pages it said Su-24M would be staying in Syria but then our other friend states that already of the 12, 4 have left syria with only 8 remaining.

    Do we have confirmation as to what is actually going to stay and which is going?
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    Post  ultron on Fri Mar 18, 2016 4:17 pm

    Cyrus the great wrote:Contrary to all the howls of protest and expressions of opposition and disbelief, I actually think that the Russians have taken the right course of action; by creating the conditions for a political settlement, the Russians have ensured that Assad will prevail in any prospective credible election held in the near future -> thereby disarming the vacuous and flimsy Western propaganda that wants us to be convinced that Assad is illegitimate, unwanted by the majority of Syrians and must therefore be removed by arming head-chopping Islamists.... Islamists the West desperately wants us to believe are "moderate" - whatever that means.

    Once Assad wins a credible election (making it abundantly clear that he is the legitimate representative of the Syrian people) a military option will become all the more attractive and can be pursued without any restrictions. Victory in Chess requires steps, a process -- the same is true for geopolitics. These are necessary steps to victory. Apart from the obvious military victories, the Russians have achieved certain diplomatic goals; Syria is to remain undivided; it must maintain its secular status -- which is the very opposite of what all the terror groups are fighting for; Assad cannot be forced to step-down by outside forces at the beginning of any interim arrangement... that power has been reserved for the sovereign people of Syria. Not too shabby.

    I don't think the talks will go anywhere. It's already days and no talks. It's like Minsk agreement where Ukraine promised this and that and never does anything. Both sides are using the time to prepare for offensive. Rebels will never accept Assad not step down and Assad will never step down.
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    Post  Dima on Fri Mar 18, 2016 4:42 pm

    SyrianMilitaryCap. ‏@syrianmilitary  4 hours ago
    simply can't get a better pic of the RuAF Mi-8AMTSh over #Syria
    Russian military intervention and aid to Syria #8 - Page 21 Cd1LXtsWEAAWWrZ

    SyrianMilitaryCap. ‏@syrianmilitary  18 hours ago
    amazing pic of Mi-28 over #Lattakia today ! ! !

    Russian military intervention and aid to Syria #8 - Page 21 Cdx6g2sXEAI0Yae
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    Post  Dima on Fri Mar 18, 2016 4:53 pm

    SyrianMilitaryCap. ‏@syrianmilitary Mar 15
    the last pic show 15 Su-24 ,I guess the 4 new ones will stay and the other 11 will go back

    Russian military intervention and aid to Syria #8 - Page 21 Cdn81IBWAAEx0Qu

    ^ well, this was the numbers visible on the tarmac and in the frame before the first of the Su-24s left for their home base.
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    Post  PapaDragon on Fri Mar 18, 2016 7:00 pm


    I am not buying part about killed Russian, you would think that MSM would have been all over this in concert if there were any truth to this. It has been over two days now. Not everyone with fancy gear in mid-east is Russian.


    Russia flying daily sorties to back Assad forces around Palmyra

    http://news.yahoo.com/claims-five-russian-troops-killed-near-syrias-palmyra-001451766.html

    Beirut (AFP) - Russian jets are flying up to 25 bombing raids daily to back up a Syrian government offensive to recapture the ancient city of Palmyra from Islamic State jihadists, the armed forces said Friday.

    Senior commander Sergei Rudskoi insisted that the "conditions have been created for the encirclement and definitive defeat of IS armed formations in Palmyra".

    "Government troops and patriotic forces with the support of the Russian air force are carrying out a large-scale operation to liberate Palmyra," he told journalists.

    "On average Russian planes are flying 20 to 25 combat sorties each day," Rudskoi said.

    Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday spoke of "intense battles" going on around Palmyra as he decorated Russian officers who served in Syria and said he hoped the "pearl of world civilisation" would be returned to the Syrian people.

    The ongoing strikes come despite some of Moscow's jets in Syria returning home after Putin -- one of the main backers of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad -- on Monday ordered a surprise withdrawal of most of his forces from the war-torn country.

    The IS jihadist group has claimed the killing of five Russian troops in fighting near Palmyra.

    "The soldiers of the caliphate, by the grace of God, have killed five Russian soldiers and six members" of the Syrian army, IS said in a statement.

    The group also claimed the killing of several members of the Lebanese Shiite Hezbollah group in the clashes near Palmyra.

    A website linked to IS, Aamaq, carried a similar claim and a video showing the bloodied corpse of a man in military gear that it claimed was a Russian military advisor.

    The footage also shows equipment presumably captured after the clashes, including a customised AK-74M rifle, a helmet and a compass.

    Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov did not confirm either the presence of Russian advisors around Palmyra or the IS claim of the soldiers' killing.

    "The advance (on Palmyra) is carried out by contingents of the Syrian army," Peskov said.
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    Post  PapaDragon on Fri Mar 18, 2016 8:25 pm


    Syria: Russia is withdrawing in order to stay

    http://english.alarabiya.net/en/views/news/middle-east/2016/03/18/Syria-Russia-is-withdrawing-in-order-to-stay.html
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    Post  short_fuze on Fri Mar 18, 2016 9:41 pm

    PapaDragon wrote:
    I am not buying part about killed Russian, you would think that MSM would have been all over this in concert if there were any truth to this. It has been over two days now. Not everyone with fancy gear in mid-east is Russian.


    Russia flying daily sorties to back Assad forces around Palmyra

    http://news.yahoo.com/claims-five-russian-troops-killed-near-syrias-palmyra-001451766.html


    ...

    Me too. If the guy in the film was Russian, it is totally out of character for the takfiris not to make the most of his death. Heck, they have filmed themselves machine-gunning the corpses of Syrians before, going from body to body. Now we get a short coy shot of someone dead, followed by a disconnected set-piece of carefully staged equipment. The mix of equipment doesn't make sense. A mine detector for a Russian advisor? Some Guccified gun gear. Where's the ID card? The dog tags? It strikes me as an attempted morale-booster for the takfiris.
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    Post  d_taddei2 on Fri Mar 18, 2016 10:30 pm

    sepheronx wrote:There seems to be conflicting information.  In previous pages it said Su-24M would be staying in Syria but then our other friend states that already of the 12, 4 have left syria with only 8 remaining.

    Do we have confirmation as to what is actually going to stay and which is going?


    yeah sourcs have said all aircraft going apart from Mi-24/35 and bringing in Ka-52 and Mi-28 although no numbers yet. Would be interesting which aircraft did this

    https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/russian-air-force-pounds-isis-raqqa/

    what is happening with the Su-27SM surely would be worth keeping them in Syria along with some Su-24M
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    Post  JohninMK on Fri Mar 18, 2016 11:38 pm

    d_taddei2 wrote:
    sepheronx wrote:There seems to be conflicting information.  In previous pages it said Su-24M would be staying in Syria but then our other friend states that already of the 12, 4 have left syria with only 8 remaining.

    Do we have confirmation as to what is actually going to stay and which is going?


    yeah sourcs have said all aircraft going apart from Mi-24/35 and bringing in Ka-52 and Mi-28 although no numbers yet. Would be interesting which aircraft did this

    https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/russian-air-force-pounds-isis-raqqa/

    what is happening with the Su-27SM surely would be worth keeping them in Syria along with some Su-24M
    AFAIK there are no Su-27SM there, only Su-35, Su-30, Su-34 from the Flanker family.

    Its logical to keep the 'fighters' but pull all the tactical bombing aircraft like the Su-24 and Su-34 out as they have destroyed most of 'their' possible targets so are no longer needed and their CAS role can be taken by the helicopters or the Su-30 in its bomber role.
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    Post  Guest on Sat Mar 19, 2016 2:17 am

    "On 17 March 2016, the Islamic State displayed a range of equipment it claimed to have recovered from “a Russian military advisor” killed during fighting near Palmyra. The nature of the equipment recovered indicates that the fighter was likely a Russian special operations forces (SOF) EOD operator. Amongst the equipment recovered  was an MIB type multi-function munition. Little is known about this relatively unusual munition, however its development and use is most commonly associated with Russian SOF units. The MIB (Многофункциональный боеприпас; ‘multi-function munition’) is often described as a “grenade mine”, alluding to a design which allows it to be thrown as a hand grenade, or emplaced as an anti-personnel mine. The MIB is believed to have been adopted by Russian forces in 2007, and two minor design iterations may have been introduced to present. One model known as the MG-2 appears to be very similar to the MIB, however there is little information available in the public domain. It is possible that the munition documented in Syria is an iteration of the MIB, an MG-2, or another derivative munition with a similar operating principle.

    Russian military intervention and aid to Syria #8 - Page 21 MIB-syria

    The MIB is a high explosive fragmentation (HE-FRAG) munition, weighing in at 830 g with an 80 g charge of A-IX-1 high explosive (96% RDX phlegmatised with 4% paraffin wax). When employed as a hand grenade, it functions with a simple 3-5 second time delay fuze before detonating. The munition’s functioning as a mine is similar to that of the US M86 Pursuit Deterrent Munition (PDM) or the Russian POM-2 scatterable AP mine. The munition is (ideally) emplaced in an upright position by hand or thrown. After a 60 to 120 second delay, the five perforated portions of the outer casing are forced downwards, stabilising the body and righting the munition if thrown. The mine then deploys four 10 metre-long tripwires; these function the mine when disturbed. The MIB has a 3-100 hour variable self-destruct timer, as well as a chemical fail-safe which renders the mine inert after no more than 120 days.

    Russian military intervention and aid to Syria #8 - Page 21 MIB-Vitaly-Kuzmin

    This is believed to be the first documented instance of the capture of this type of munition by a non-state armed group."


    Source: http://armamentresearch.com/russian-mib-type-multi-function-munition-captured-by-is-in-syria/
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    Post  Guest on Sat Mar 19, 2016 2:20 am

    Zivo
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    Post  Zivo on Sat Mar 19, 2016 2:28 am

    JohninMK wrote:
    d_taddei2 wrote:
    sepheronx wrote:There seems to be conflicting information.  In previous pages it said Su-24M would be staying in Syria but then our other friend states that already of the 12, 4 have left syria with only 8 remaining.

    Do we have confirmation as to what is actually going to stay and which is going?


    yeah sourcs have said all aircraft going apart from Mi-24/35 and bringing in Ka-52 and Mi-28 although no numbers yet. Would be interesting which aircraft did this

    https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/russian-air-force-pounds-isis-raqqa/

    what is happening with the Su-27SM surely would be worth keeping them in Syria along with some Su-24M
    AFAIK there are no Su-27SM there, only Su-35, Su-30, Su-34 from the Flanker family.

    Its logical to keep the 'fighters' but pull all the tactical bombing aircraft like the Su-24 and Su-34 out as they have destroyed most of 'their' possible targets so are no longer needed and their CAS role can be taken by the helicopters or the Su-30 in its bomber role.

    I don't understand the shock over the mission restructuring. Numerous posters here, including myself were well aware that deep strikes and other strategic plays can only go so far, and eventually they will run out of targets to bomb. It's a waste to have unused aircraft sitting on a desert tarmac, which was the past state of affairs before the current reduction. It's almost like some of you want Russia to repeat the mistakes the US military has made over the last decade, burning through equipment life to support lavish conquests.

    Strike aircraft out, attack helicopters in, this is the long awaited "phase two" of the operation.
    Morpheus Eberhardt
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    Post  Morpheus Eberhardt on Sat Mar 19, 2016 2:39 am

    short_fuze wrote:
    PapaDragon wrote:
    I am not buying part about killed Russian, you would think that MSM would have been all over this in concert if there were any truth to this. It has been over two days now. Not everyone with fancy gear in mid-east is Russian.


    Russia flying daily sorties to back Assad forces around Palmyra

    http://news.yahoo.com/claims-five-russian-troops-killed-near-syrias-palmyra-001451766.html


    ...

    Me too. If the guy in the film was Russian, it is totally out of character for the takfiris not to make the most of his death. Heck, they have filmed themselves machine-gunning the corpses of Syrians before, going from body to body. Now we get a short coy shot of someone dead, followed by a disconnected set-piece of carefully staged equipment. The mix of equipment doesn't make sense. A mine detector for a Russian advisor? Some Guccified gun gear. Where's the ID card? The dog tags? It strikes me as an attempted morale-booster for the takfiris.

    +1
    Morpheus Eberhardt
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    Post  Morpheus Eberhardt on Sat Mar 19, 2016 2:40 am

    PapaDragon wrote:I am not buying part about killed Russian, you would think that MSM would have been all over this in concert if there were any truth to this. It has been over two days now. Not everyone with fancy gear in mid-east is Russian.

    +1
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    Post  PapaDragon on Sat Mar 19, 2016 3:44 am


    Suspect

    Usual bullish*t aside, surprisingly good analysis:

    THERE IS NO RUSSIAN WITHDRAWAL FROM SYRIA

    http://warontherocks.com/2016/03/there-is-no-russian-withdrawal-from-syria/

    With characteristic deadpan delivery, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the sudden withdrawal of Russian forces from Syria earlier this week, declaring their campaign a success.  Before the day was through, Russian aircraft and crews were already departing from Hmeymim air base in Latakia.  Since this announcement, the media has been alight with speculation on the meaning of Russia’s sudden departure, its political and military implications, and the reasons for this seemingly unexpected move.  Much of the discussion has thus far missed the mark.  There is no Russian withdrawal from Syria, but rather a drawdown of the air contingent present in Latakia. Putin simply moved pieces on the board, without altering the equation.

    This maneuver is more about political perceptions than military reality. It constitutes a political reframing of Russia’s intervention in order to normalize Moscow’s military presence in Syria, and make it permanent, while convincing Russians at home that the campaign is over. Putin’s statement is yet another successful effort to achieve a domestic and international publicity coup.

    The “withdrawal” announcement is not about how Russia leaves, but about how it stays in Syria.  Those who have doubts should watch the actual video of Putin ordering Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to initiate the withdrawal of Russian forces from Syria.  He orders that Russia’s existing bases in Tartus and Hmeymim continue to operate at present levels.  In addition, Russia’s defense minister is to ensure that they are fully defended from land, sea, and air.  The worrisome S-400 long range air defense, along with shorter range systems, will remain in place, a point emphasized in later statement by Vladimir Putin.  Russia’s main military bases will continue operations: with naval cover, a ground contingent for force protection, and an unknown number of troops still on the ground to advise Syrian forces.

    Russian sources indicate that Russia is withdrawing Su-25 strike aircraft and Su-34 bombers from Syria; while it is leaving some Su-24 bombers and Mi-24 and Mi-35 attack helicopters, as well as Su-30SM and Su-35 multirole fighters.  It seems likely the number of aircraft present will be reduced by half, close to the original numbers Russia fielded in Syria in October 2015. The remaining aircraft will continue to operate over Syria, and in fact have conducted strikes in recent days in support of Syrian army efforts to retake Palmyra from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).  This means that, according to the Pentagon, they’re focusing on ISIL for the first time.  Russia’s Deputy Defense Minister Nikolai Pankov also stated that Russian aircraft will be striking ISIL and al-Nusra Front, the implication being that combat operations will continue.  Indeed, while some of Russia’s tactical aviation has left, it has been replaced with newly arrived Ka-52 and Mi-28N helicopters.  These more advanced helicopters will provide close support to Syrian forces, and also undergo combat exploitation as part of Russia’s effort to test new weapon systems in field conditions.  Russia’s naval squadron shows no signs of leaving the eastern Mediterranean, though the total number of ships may be decreased since the pace of Russian operations is bound to decline.

    In other words, what is happening on the ground is a drawdown of forces that were surged to Syria in the aftermath of the shootdown of a Russian Su-24 by Turkey in November 2015 and the intensified fighting over the winter.  Furthermore, since Russia is keeping control of the Hmeymim airbase and continuing work to expand the Tartus naval base, nothing changes from an infrastructure point of view.  Those investments have already been made, and are not going to be abandoned. The aircraft that are being withdrawn this week can easily be reintroduced should military or political circumstances warrant a ramp up.  Nothing is leaving that cannot come back in a matter of days, and other equipment is likely to arrive in its place.

    Putin’s announcement was seemingly a surprise; yet several days before some Russian papers and blogs had suggested that precisely such a turn of events was in the works.  It is unlikely the White House was genuinely surprised by the announcement.  The question is, why declare a withdrawal now?  The down payment on the operation was made in the fall, when the bases at Tartus and Hmeymim were refurbished, and most of the platforms and equipment being used in the operation were shipped to Syria. Keeping it there and maintaining it has never been especially expensive for the Russian military; on the contrary, the operation has provided an invaluable training and equipment testing opportunity.  A reduced presence gives Russia the opportunity to right-size its forces by withdrawing unneeded equipment, replacing it with more useful units, and cutting back on the contingent it has to sustain.

    Declaring victory and announcing that Russian forces are going home now is useful for Russia for several reasons. First, as Joshua Landis and other experts have noted, it gives Moscow political leverage with Damascus in the upcoming Geneva talks.  Putin no doubt wants Syrian President Bashar Assad to accept the compromise they reach at the negotiating table, and abandon any ambitions to reconquer all of Syria.  If Syrian forces break the ceasefire, or obstruct negotiations, they cannot know for certain that Russia will support them.  This move will impress upon Assad that he needs to keep Russian equities in mind, and is an important way for Moscow to maintain flexibility on what happens next in Syria, avoiding a policy trap.  In the Middle East above anywhere else, it is better to have choices than commitments.

    The domestic audience is perhaps even more important to the Russian leadership than Syria’s future.  Putin has cashed in politically on Russia’s recent military successes before any further complications can occur. By declaring victory and calling an end to the operation, he locks in his gains in both domestic and international public opinion, regardless of what comes out of the ceasefire and tentative peace negotiations.  No doubt this might offer a hike in political approval at home, but that’s just one aspect of Moscow’s play.  Russia’s leader is using this declaration as a means of recasting the military operations in Syria as a “traditional” military presence, thus normalizing it for the domestic audience.  This is no sleight of hand, Putin said it in plain Russian: The military presence moving forward will be considered Russia’s traditional footprint in Syria, not an operation.

    Anyone who believes that this withdrawal is a sign of Russian retrenchment due to overextension is likely to be disappointed.  Moscow’s announcement is a means of turning the chapter on the intervention in Syria, but it is not about defining how Russia leaves, but rather about how it stays to secure long term interests.  The change of political reference is a mechanism to ensure both the domestic audience and the international community come onboard and accept Russian military presence in Syria as the new normal.
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    Russian military intervention and aid to Syria #8 - Page 21 Empty reply

    Post  d_taddei2 on Sat Mar 19, 2016 3:59 am

    Zivo wrote:
    JohninMK wrote:
    d_taddei2 wrote:
    sepheronx wrote:There seems to be conflicting information.  In previous pages it said Su-24M would be staying in Syria but then our other friend states that already of the 12, 4 have left syria with only 8 remaining.

    Do we have confirmation as to what is actually going to stay and which is going?


    yeah sourcs have said all aircraft going apart from Mi-24/35 and bringing in Ka-52 and Mi-28 although no numbers yet. Would be interesting which aircraft did this

    https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/russian-air-force-pounds-isis-raqqa/

    what is happening with the Su-27SM surely would be worth keeping them in Syria along with some Su-24M
    AFAIK there are no Su-27SM there, only Su-35, Su-30, Su-34 from the Flanker family.

    Its logical to keep the 'fighters' but pull all the tactical bombing aircraft like the Su-24 and Su-34 out as they have destroyed most of 'their' possible targets so are no longer needed and their CAS role can be taken by the helicopters or the Su-30 in its bomber role.

    I don't understand the shock over the mission restructuring. Numerous posters here, including myself were well aware that deep strikes and other strategic plays can only go so far, and eventually they will run out of targets to bomb. It's a waste to have unused aircraft sitting on a desert tarmac, which was the past state of affairs before the current reduction. It's almost like some of you want Russia to repeat the mistakes the US military has made over the last decade, burning through equipment life to support lavish conquests.

    Strike aircraft out, attack helicopters in, this is the long awaited "phase two" of the operation.

    if there now looking for CAS role aircraft couldn't they keep Su-25? also would be nice for Russia to show case the Yak-130 in the light strike role (just a thought) cheap aircraft and cheaper to run than the Su family

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