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War Of Words In Syria, Baltic: Russia Confrontational

Russia and the US are squaring off in both Syria and the Baltic Sea in the air and with words.

Two incidents have occurred so far today and it’s only 10 am here in Washington DC.

  1. An armed Syrian drone was shot down as it approached SDF (US coalition) forces on the ground in Syria.
  2. A Russian SU-27 flew within 5 feet of a US RC-135.

Let’s discuss the drone shootdown first.

US shoots down Iranian drone in SyriaFox News 10:05

First on CNN: US shoots down another pro-regime drone in SyriaCNN 09:58

US fighter jet reportedly shoots down armed Iranian drone over SyriaWashington Examiner 09:58

Update: the US statement from Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve here (on CJTF IR website) and here (picture of the statement).

Since tensions in Syria are so high at the moment, this event was clearly meant to provoke the US into another incident. Russia and Syria both know an armed drone approaching US-led forces will trigger a self-defense mechanism.

Russia’s response was simultaneous.

Aggression Continues: US F-15 Downs Pro-Syrian Government Drone Near al-Tanf Sputnik 09:58

Amazingly, the following was in the Sputnik report:

The Iranian-made drone was armed and posed a threat to US forces in the area, CNN reported on Tuesday.

In messaging terms, this indicates that the self-defense argument from the US coalition is justified.  This makes an accusation of “US provocation” almost impossible to refute, Sputnik concedes that point.  I would bet my next paycheck that the article will be edited in 3… 2… 1…

I also have a gut feeling Sputnik had that article written up in advance, it was released at the same time as the US media.  CNN television broadcast it, I was making a pot of coffee when I heard them say it.

At the same time, a Russian SU-27 flew within 5 feet, dangerously close, to a US reconnaissance aircraft.

Russia fighter jet flies 5 feet of US aircraft CNN 09:58

Nearly simultaneous events. Hmmm.  This is too much for a coincidence, I would say.

Russia is sending the US messages in a variety of mediums.  “We will not back down”, “you cannot tell us what to do”.

Clearly, Russia is acting as machismo as it possibly can.  But these are all provocations designed to make the US trip up and do something so Russia can respond.

Russia, your messaging sucks. We know your 2018 presidential election is on the line. We know you have to act like a leader, Mr. Putin, so lead your way to pick up the phone and stand down.  We get it, you’re the Russian bear. Grrrr. We get it.

Now act Presidential and negotiate your way to peace.


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