Battle Against ISIL: Russia Exposes US Lies in Syria

The successful Russian air strikes against ISIL in Syria have exposed the hypocrisy of the United States, an American writer and political analyst said.

Mark Glenn, a writer and co-founder of the Crescent and Cross Solidarity Movement, spoke in a phone interview with Press TV on Saturday.

“What we have to remember here is that Russia was able to achieve in two weeks’ time what America did not achieve in two years’ time, meaning that the Russians were in and engaged these terrorists in the way the Americans were pretending to engage with these terrorists,” Glenn said.

Pilot by a Russian MI-8AMShT cargo and attack helicopter at the Hmeimim air base in Syria.

He further said, “So, what in fact was taking place is that the Russians have exposed the Americans for being the outright liars that they are. It was never America’s intention from the beginning to deal with these terrorists.”

He explained that the US officials hoped that the presence of these terrorists on the ground would allow the US or NATO to invade Syria and remove Bashar al-Assad.

On September 30, Russia began airstrikes against ISIL terrorists in Syria at the request of the government of President Bashar al-Assad. Since then, Moscow has carried out dozens of airstrikes against terrorists in Syria, killing hundreds of militants, Press TV reported.

On Friday, a senior Russian general said there has been growing restlessness among ISIL militants with their command in Syria as they are getting ‘demoralized’ and are abandoning their locations and fleeing for their lives.

 

Iraqi Forces Add Russian Guns to US Tanks for ISIL Fight

TEL AVIV, Israel — Earlier this month, Shia militiamen in Iraq dropped off an American-supplied Abrams tank at a US-supported repair facility where workers were surprised to find an attached Russian machine gun plus Iranian ammo, Defense News has learned.

The MIA1 main battle tank — one of 146 frontline tanks the US sold to Baghdad — was transported through the Green Zone to a US-supported Iraqi service facility at al-Muthanna that was established as part of the Pentagon’s Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program.

The tank was equipped with a Russian .50-caliber machine gun and Iranian-stamped 12.75-mm ammunition, according to a source at the facility.

“They brought it in through Iraqi checkpoints, back-rolled it off the trailer and then drove away,” recounted the source.

“Once all the ammo was removed, as per procedure, by Iraqi personnel, we noticed Iranian markings on the back of the shell casings. Seems they put a Russian machine gun with Iranian ammunition on an Abrams tank.”

As Washington scrambles to adapt to the myriad, Iranian-backed Shiite militias fighting alongside its US-trained and -supplied partners in Iraq, new manifestations of shifting alliances may threaten the relevance of US end-use monitoring in that war-torn country.

After US-led coalition airstrikes were forced to destroy about 10 M1A1 Abrams main battle tanks (MBTs) seized from the Iraqi Army by the Islamic State group, often called ISIL or ISIS, Washington is now grappling with the phenomenon of their voluntary transfer to Shiite forces battling in concert with Baghdad against the fanatical Sunni Caliphate.

Foreign Military Sales violation?

The US-Russian tank hybrid could constitute twin violations of Iraq’s FMS agreements with Washington, due to unauthorized use by Shiite militias and the unsanctioned addition of the Russian gun and Iranian ammo, Pentagon officials say.

“Any time you do a foreign military sale, there’s a requirement that you do end-use monitoring, and it’s a violation if you do alterations,” Vice Adm. Joseph Rixey, director of the Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) told Defense News.

The presence of hybrid M1 Abrams tanks was confirmed to Defense News by Dr. Wathaq al-Hashimi, director of the Iraqi Group for Strategic Studies. “Iraq has been dependent on a number of different weapons suppliers, therefore they have integrated these weapons onto different platforms to achieve effectiveness.”

Al-Hashimi said this isn’t the first time Iraqi forces — looking for more firepower to battle ISIL — have integrated Russian weapons systems onto American platforms.

“Russian systems were placed on American M1 Abrams tanks specially with armor-piercing rocket systems to be used against ISIL explosive cars used in their attacks,” he said. “In Beiji [in Northern Iraq], there were 28 explosive cars used in one day and in Ramadi 15 cars were blown on another day.”

Iraqi forces need to integrate different systems as they receive weapons from American, Russian, Iranian and European sources, al-Hashimi said.

“This integration may very well lead to a problem between the US and Iraq due to the purchase agreements,” he said. “However, there was a real problem and threat from the ISIS-armored explosive cars which led the prime minister to travel to Moscow with the minister of defense to acquire these rocket systems which were placed on the tanks.”

Iraq has a long history and experience in weapons and hybridization, al-Hashimi said, noting that Iraqi military experts may have acquired assistance from some of the estimated 5,000 to 6,000 international consultants present in the country from many countries including Russia, the US, Iran and France.

With Thursday being a national holiday, Iraq’s Ministry of Defense could not be reached for comment.

‘This Is Not What We’re Going to Do’

Interviewed in Washington this week at the annual Association of the US Army conference, neither Rixey, the Pentagon’s FMS chief, nor Maj. Gen. Mark McDonald, chief of the US Army Security Assistance Command, had knowledge of the event recounted to Defense News. However, both men suggested that their Iraqi customers had an obligation to report such occurrences in a timely and accurate manner.

“If they brought it into the maintenance facility, then that should be reported to our US folks there, and then we can have a discussion about how, ‘This is not what we’re going to do,’” McDonald said.

McDonald was deputy commander at the time the Iraqi tank deal was concluded, and noted that the FMS contract includes a maintenance package that covers the facility in question. “We eventually got them to buy the maintenance and training package, so I do know there is an ongoing maintenance effort going on over there under our FMS contract, with a US company doing the maintenance.”

The in-country source noted that it was the first time he had encountered the hybridization of the Abrams to accommodate the Russian gun and Iranian ammo.

“It could be an isolated event or it could mark the beginning of something worrisome. It’s too early to tell … but given the strange bedfellows over there in the Amber Zone, you never know.”

He was referring to the area adjacent to Baghdad’s US-dominated Green Zone, where, since the Iraqi Army’s stinging string of defeats at the hands of ISIL, sovereign Iraqi forces are cooperating — and often interoperating — with Iranian-backed Shiite militias against their common enemy.

The area designated as Amber Zone is now home to two regiments of Iraq’s 9th Armored Divison, each with 35 Abrams MBTs, a contingent from the Iranian Quds Force, Hezbollah, the Asa’ib al-Haq (AAH) and at least one other Shia militia loosely organized under the so-called Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), which is ostensibly under the command and control of the government in Baghdad.

US and Israeli intelligence sources note that Iran has flooded the Iraqi theater with billions of dollars worth of weaponry and ammunition since the Baghdad-sanctioned formation of the PMF in June 2014.

Washington also continues to send US State Department-approved and congressionally notified weaponry to Iraq on condition that US materiel remains under the strict command and control of Iraqi Security Forces (ISF).

But a video posted in January, in which a convoy of US vehicles, including an Abrams MBT, was shown flying the Hezbollah flag as they passed through the Iraqi desert offered circumstantial evidence that Iranian-controlled forces under the PMF umbrella have gained access to US-origin hardware.

At the time, Iraqi officials sought to assure their US counterparts that the convoy in the video was still under ISF control, and that the Hezbollah banner was simply displayed in solidarity for the Shiite militia sacrificing on their behalf.

Similarly, when told about the latest development, a source in Washington speculated that the hybrid tank could have been delivered to the facility by militiamen acting as drivers or subcontractors to the ISF. “It doesn’t necessarily mean that the tank was in direct control of the militias. We simply don’t know,” he said.

Yet another source suggested that the overabundance of Iranian ammunition and the preference many Iraqi soldiers still have for Russian-origin machine guns may have triggered an ad hoc rigging of the US tank for purposes of convenience.

US Central Command headquarters in Tampa, Florida, declined comment on the reported hybrid Abrams MBT or on the constitution of forces in the Amber Zone, referring all queries to the Combined Joint Task Force at Camp Arifjan in Kuwait.

There, US Sgt. Vanessa Kilmer referred Defense News to CJTF’s Media Ops Center, where, after 24 hours, detailed questions submitted to Sgt. First Class Eric Rodriguez were returned with “no additional information on this subject” and a recommendation to contact the Iraqi Ministry of Defense.

A US State Department official said he would need more information to determine whether Iraq could or should be held accountable for any end-use violations.

“We have made clear that the coalition will only support Iraqi efforts against ISIL that are under clear ISF command and control. We have received assurances from the government of Iraq and the Iraqi Security Forces that they will use US equipment in accordance with US law and our bilateral agreements,” the official said.

Section 40A of the US Arms Export Control Act mandates two forms of end use monitoring (EUM): the Blue Lantern program managed by the State Department and the Golden Sentry program delegated to the Pentagon’s Defense Security and Cooperation Agency.

The former focuses on pre-checks before an export license is granted and post-checks to determine that the designated materiel has reached intended end users. The latter, managed by primarily by the Pentagon’s in-country security assistance officers aims to ensure that recipients are using the equipment properly as stipulated in various government-to-government agreements.

“Our mandate to conduct assessments in-country and to visit military installations is agreed upon by the Letter of Offer and Acceptance (LOA), which have notes and provisos that commit the recipients to proper end-use assurances,” a Pentagon official told Defense News in an interview two years ago.

At the time, the Pentagon official said DSCA works in concert with the State Department “in order to try to bring a united front from a US government perspective.”

Retired Israel Air Force Maj. Gen. Amos Yadlin, a former head of Israeli military intelligence, said he would not be surprised if Hezbollah forces in Iraq or even Syria had access to frontline American MBTs. “It’s not surprising, because the Iraqi Army and the Shia militias and the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Quds Force and some American Special Forces are now fighting against the same enemy,” Yadlin said.

When asked if Abrams tanks in the hands of Hezbollah or other Iranian-controlled militias posed a concern to Israel, the former fighter pilot replied: “The dream of every Israeli helicopter pilot is to see this kind of vehicle against the background of the bare desert.”

CLASS ACT! Vladimir Putin says there’s only one reason the U.S. has failed to destroy ISIS: Obama is using them as a proxy army against Assad

830441b9069abbf9c7b7cb61037642-viRussia has struck over 110 ISIS targets in Syria in just two weeks. Over 40% of the Islamic State’s infrastructure has reportedly been destroyed already. The U.S. allegedly has been bombing ISIS targets in Syria for more than a year, yet failed to weaken ISIS at all. Military experts report that most U.S. bombers that went out on missions in Syria came back with their arsenals intact….as ordered by the Commander-in-Chief. In short, the airstrikes were all for show.

Truthstream Media It was recently noted by Putin that, by the time Russia showed up and started systematically destroying ISIS in short order, there were already 11 other countries bombing Syria.  In fact, it has been over a year since America started an airstrike campaign over there which accomplished virtually nothing.

It hardly needs to be pointed out how blatantly obvious it is that, regardless of how many billions the American people were told just had to be spent “fighting the terrorists” over there, this was never for one hot second about the West actually stopping ISIS.

The only way that lie works is if the Western coalition is the most inept terror rescue team ever invented in the history of time. Further, instead of applauding Putin’s timely and efficient intervention in Syria, the West is protesting Russia’s involvement and bombing of terrorists.

 

Russian Air Force destroys 29 ISIS camps in Syria in 24 hours 

Russian warplanes in Syria have bombed 29 terrorist field camps and other facilities of the militant group Islamic State in the past 24 hours, the Russian Defense Ministry reported.

Our aviation group over the past day has destroyed two militant command centers, 29 field camps, 23 fortified facilities and several troop positions with military hardware,” ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said Saturday.

The Russian Air Force conducted 64 sorties and hit a total of 55 targets, he said.

He added that the Russian effort has “considerably degraded” the strength of the terrorist forces in Syria.

During the initial phase of the operation, our warplanes have destroyed the biggest and most important supply hubs of ISIL,” Konashenkov said, calling Islamic State by its former name. This resulted in the “mobility and offensive capability” of the jihadists being reduced, he said.

The general said signal intelligence reports indicate that the militants are suffering from a shortage of fuel and ammunition after the Russian bombings. “Some of them are demoralized and are actively leaving the battle zone, moving in eastern and northeastern directions,” he said.

Konashenkov said that the increasing number of combat missions conducted by Russia in Syria is explained by the large number of potential targets identified and confirmed as viable by space and aerial reconnaissance.

Russia started its bombing campaign in Syria last week with a goal to provide air support to the government troops fighting against various terrorist groups, primarily Islamic State. This allowed Damascus to go on the offensive in Hama province on Friday.

Russia has also reported killing 2 ISIS commanders, and three hundred militants.

 

Iraq would welcome Russian airstrikes against ISIS

The Iraqi government would welcome Russian airstrikes against Islamic State targets inside Iraq, although it has not formally asked the Russians for help, Air Force Times has learned.

Russia recently began conducting airstrikes in Syria, but the U.S. and Russia disagree over whether the air attacks have been against the Islamic State or rebel groups allied with the U.S.

The Iraqis feel that the U.S.-led campaign against the Islamic State has become too focused on Syria and has not made enough progress on the ground in Iraq, a senior Iraqi diplomat, who asked to speak on condition of anonymity, told Air Force Times on Monday.

The official accused the coalition fores of moving too slowly, thereby missing opportunities to roll back the Islamic State in Iraqi cities. Since more than 2,000 Russians are among the Islamic State’s ranks and Russia has experience fighting Islamic militants in Chechnya, it makes sense to include Russia in anti-Islamic State efforts, he said.

However, Iraq does not want the Russians to send combat troops to fight the Islamic State on the ground, the diplomat said.

The diplomat also sought to allay fears about Iraq’s agreement to share intelligence with Russia and Syria, saying the Iraqi government has enough firewalls in its system to prevent harm to the U.S. and other coalition partners. The Iraqis will also coordinate closely with the U.S. on how to include Russia in the intelligence sharing operation, he said.

What the Iraqis need from the U.S. is more M1A1 Abrams tanks to help retake Anbar province from the Islamic State, according to the diplomat. The tanks would give the Iraqi military the offensive capability it needs right now, he said.

Both the State Department and Congress have approved the sale of 175 Abrams tanks to Iraq. Before the Islamic State captured Mosul and much of northern Iraq last June, the Iraqi army had about 140 Abrams tanks.

An unknown number of those tanks were destroyed, damaged beyond repair, lost or captured. In January, a video showed a Kata’ib Hezbollah convoy in Iraq that included an M1A1 Abrams on a truck.

As of Sept. 24, the U.S.-led coalition has destroyed 121 tanks in Iraq and Syria, according to U.S. Central Command’s latest list of targets struck. The list does not describe what kinds of tanks were destroyed. The Islamic State has captured many of the Syrian army’s tanks.

Airstrikes Hit ISIL Terrorists in Syria, Iraq > U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE > Been a While!

Airstrikes Hit ISIL in Syria, Iraq > U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE. More Dead Muslims!

SOUTHWEST ASIA, October 6, 2015 — U.S. and coalition military forces have continued to attack Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant terrorists in Syria and Iraq, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported today.

Officials reported details of the latest strikes, noting that assessments of results are based on initial reports.

Airstrikes in Syria

Bomber, fighter, and remotely piloted aircraft conducted seven strikes in Syria:

— Near Hasakah, five strikes struck four separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed an ISIL vehicle-borne improvised explosive device, five ISIL buildings, and an ISIL checkpoint.

Near Dayr Az Zawr, one strike struck an ISIL crude oil collection point.

Near Manbij, one strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL building.

Airstrikes in Iraq

Bomber, fighter, attack, fighter-attack, ground-attack, and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 17 strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of the government of Iraq:

— Near Huwayjah, three strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed three ISIL fighting positions and suppressed an ISIL mortar position.

— Near Habbaniyah, one strike destroyed an ISIL weapons cache.

— Near Mosul, One ISIL fighter Rear Mounted to a Donkey was destroyed.

— Near Mosul, one strike destroyed an ISIL tactical vehicle.

— Near Ramadi, nine strikes struck six separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed an ISIL vehicle-borne bomb, four ISIL buildings, ten ISIL fighting positions, an ISIL heavy machine gun, an ISIL excavator, two ISIL mortar positions, an ISIL improvised explosive device compound, three ISIL homemade explosive facilities, an ISIL house bomb, an ISIL homemade explosive cache, and denied ISIL access to terrain.

— Near Sinjar, two strikes destroyed six ISIL bunkers.

— Near Sultan Abdallah, one strike suppressed an ISIL mortar position.

Russia Claims ISIS Now On The Ropes As Fighters Desert After 60 Airstrikes In 72 Hours 

One question that’s been asked repeatedly over the past thirteen months is why Washington has been unable to achieve the Pentagon’s stated goal of “degrading and defeating” ISIS despite the fact that the “battle” pits the most advanced air force on the planet against what amounts to a ragtag band of militants running around the desert in basketball shoes.

Those of a skeptical persuasion have been inclined to suggest that perhaps the US isn’t fully committed to the fight. Explanations for that suggestion range from the mainstream (the White House is loathe to get the US into another Mid-East war) to the “conspiratorial” (the CIA created ISIS and thus doesn’t want to destroy the group due to its value as a strategic asset).

The implication in all of this is that a modern army that was truly determined to destroy the group could likely do so in a matter of months if not weeks and so once Russia began flying sorties from Latakia, the world was anxious to see just how long the various rebel groups operating in Syria could hold up under bombardment by the Russian air force.

The answer, apparently, is “less than a week.”

On Saturday, the Russian Ministry of Defense said it has conducted 60 bombing runs in 72 hours, hitting more than 50 ISIS targets.

According to the ministry (Facebook page is here), Islamic State fighters are in a state of “panic” and more than 600 have deserted. 

Here’s what happens when the Russians locate a terrorist “command center”:

According to The Kremlin, the structure shown in the video is (or, more appropriately, “was”) “an ISIS hardened command centre near Raqqah.” Su-34s hit it with concrete-piercing BETAB-500s setting off a series of explosions and fires that “completely destroyed the object.”

Here’s RT:

Surgical airstrikes by Russian fighter jets have knocked out a number of Islamic State installations in Syria, including the battle headquarters of a jihadist group near Raqqa, according to the Russian Defense Ministry.

 

“Over the past 24 hours, Sukhoi Su-34 and Su-24M fighter jets have performed 20 sorties and hit nine Islamic State installations,” Igor Konashenkov, Russia’s Defense Ministry spokesman, reported.

 

Konashenkov added that yesterday evening Russian aircraft went on six sorties, inflicting strikes on three terrorist installations.

 

“A bunker-busting BETAB-500 air bomb dropped from a Sukhoi Su-34 bomber near Raqqa has eliminated the command post of one of the terror groups, together with an underground storage facility for explosives and munitions,” the spokesman said.

 

Commenting on the video filmed by a Russian UAV monitoring the assault near Raqqa, Konashenkov noted, “a powerful explosion inside the bunker indicates it was also used for storing a large quantity of munitions.

 

“As you can see, a direct hit on the installation resulted in the detonation of explosives and multiple fires. It was completely demolished,” the spokesman said.

And here’s the Russian Defense Ministry taking a page out of the US Postal Service’s “neither rain, sleet, snow, nor hail” book on the way to serving notice that nothing is going to stop the Russian air force from exterminating Assad’s enemies in Syria:

Twenty-four hours a day #UAV’s are monitoring the situation in the ISIS activity areas. All the detected targets are effectively engaged day and night in any weather conditions.

Now obviously one must consider the source here, but Kremlin spin tactics aside, one cannot help but be amazed with the pace at which this is apparently unfolding. If any of the above is even close to accurate, it means that Russia is on schedule to declare victory over ISIS (and everyone else it looks like) in a matter of weeks, which would not only be extremely embarrassing for Washington, but would also effectively prove that the US has never truly embarked on an honest effort to rid Syria of the extremist groups the Western media claims are the scourge of humanity.

Summed up in 10 priceless seconds…