20 September 2016

The deliberate U.S. air attack on the Syrian Army at Deir Ezzor.

Gates of Vienna has the video and transcript of the Russian reaction to the U.S.-led coalition air strikes on the Syrian Army defending the Deir Ezzor airfield against ISIS. Allegedly, the strike was carried out by aircraft of Denmark, the United Kingdom, and Australia, though the blog Moon of Alabama thinks the planes involved may not have belonged to these nations. I assumed that the planes were U.S. planes when I made my comment below on the Gates of Vienna article. It's not an important point as it's a certainty that the strike was ordered by or at the behest of the U.S. military, although Adam Hill at Russia Insider implies that U.S. planes were involved as well.

I republish my comment here (with minor bracketed additions). There is simply no way that I can dispose of the issue of American intention by assuming this degree of American incompetence:

** three tanks, three armored vehicles, four mine throwers and one rocket launcher **

This [equipment destroyed is] like a “clue” that the position struck was not an ISIS position. The US leaders didn’t coordinate with the Russians because they knew it was a Syrian position. Otherwise, how hard would it have been to make a call to Russian HQ and say, “Hey, Ivan. We have an armored ISIS unit as a high-priority target at Deir Ezzor? What have you guys got?” They did coordinate [to all appearances] with ISIS, however, who just happened to mount an attack right after the US strike.

Apparently, the real ISIS position next door could not be seen by the US. What do real ISIS positions look like anyway? Do they even use armor in this area and how does it get here and from what parent unit? Does ISIS have depot maintenance facilities somewhere that we haven’t bombed the bejeebers out of?

Let us see the gunsight camera video and listen to pilot-controller audio for the strike and the previous day’s of surveillance. Does the US claim this has been an “ISIS” position all along, or does US intelligence see all military positions in highly contested areas as tabula rasa, without any tactical history? How long had the Syrian unit been there? The ISIS units? If the unit targeted had not been there a long time, how can its presence be explained? Can it be understood to have fit in with an ISIS strategy or a Syrian strategy? Against what threat did the commander of the targeted position dispose his forces? Which way were the tanks’ guns pointing to put it in terms that even the Golfer in Chief can understand?

The Pentagram claims they thought it was an ISIS tank position. What tanks does ISIS have? Last I heard, they got their hands on a zillion of the Abrams tanks we left for the Iraqis. Do Abrams tanks look like the Soviet tanks in the Syrian inventory or does ISIS also have Soviet armor? If only Abrams, can US photo interpreters tell the difference? Are these questions left for pilots of US fighter-bombers to answer for themselves afresh over the target or is there some kind of a sophisticated intelligence analytical capability we have to make these target assessments beforehand? DIA and Air Force imagery with all sorts of labels and arrows is routinely generated in combat areas. What was generated in this case and when, and what did it show? What did the pre-mission pilot brief show? We’re the pilots told it was an ISIS site or were they told it was an SAA site? What can US pilots tell us about the logic of US target selection, its efficacy as part of an anti-ISIS/anti-al-Qaida strategy, and rules of engagement?

Did our JSTARS aircraft pick up any movement from Syrian controlled areas to the Deir Ezzor target area? Was this information ignored by US intel or was this movement observed to learn more? During the first Gulf War, it was clear that JSTARS planes could track bicycles and chickens (free-range). Are we to believe that the origin, route, and destination of the armor destroyed at this Syrian site was not tracked and available to US strike planners? Or does the American military shell out billions for high-tech JSTARS systems because it has an academic interest in tracking Gila monsters, rabbits, and goats as a possible global cooling global warming climate change climate disruption beggar-thy-neighbor strategy?

Where was the target in relation to other ISIS positions? Did the commander of the unit attacked choose his position so that it was more capable of being supplied logistically by ISIS or by the Syrian government? How were the targeted armor vehicles to be resupplied with fuel and ammo?

Did the US not understand the CRITICAL role the besieged air base plays in keeping eastern Syria from complete ISIS control? Was the US strike one of many against ISIS in eastern Syria and only this one happened not to be coordinated with the Russians and YouTube? Or is this strike sui generis and understandable only as supporting ISIS since it fits in with no anti-ISIS strategy? Is the US strike to be understood as a reckless or incompetent action? How likely is it that the US military is this incompetent? That this was an honest, “stuff happens” mistakarooney?

Who ordered the strike?[1] Who else was involved in it in any way?

These are the questions that occur to this observer after a mere [150] minutes of effort. Moreover, my estimation of the likely answers to these questions leads me yet again to wish for a speedy and orderly end to the present reign of liars, fools, metrosexuals, twits, dweebs, twinks, flakes, neocons, warmongers, Russophobes, regime changers, body men and women, opportunists, BLM enthusiasts, fundamental transformers, open borders fabulists, living Constitutionalists, natural born citizen poseurs, “refugee” resettlers, con persons, statists, Republican bed wetters, conservative capitulationists, globalists, MSM bag men, Saudi agents, communists, Muslim Brotherhood infiltrators, dilletantes, and sociable justice warriors.[2]

Notes
[1] Addendum: "The U.S.-led coalition has a rigorous process for approving airstrikes, involving extensive surveillance to confirm what is being targeted and to ensure civilians are not in the area. Targets have to be approved by a one-star general or above." "Top U.S. military official: Syria cease-fire not derailed." By Jim Michaels, USA Today, 9/19/16. H/t: Pundita.
[2] "Russian Military Briefing on the US Air Strike Against Syrian Forces." By Baron Bodissey, Gates of Vienna, 9/18/16.

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