Information operations · Information Warfare · Russia

Salisbury CW Attack / Syrian CW Attack (52)

Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

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Russia’s self-flagellation campaign continues, with indulgences in new and rather distasteful stunts. The Russian proposal to supply the S-300PM2/PMU2 / SA-20B has gone effectively viral in the media, given the Israeli reaction – it does appear this will go ahead, although as yet the Russians have not disclosed exactly what in what quantities will be supplied to Syria. Kommersant reports additional 9K96 Pantsir S1 / SA-22 SPAAGMs supplied to Syria last week. Reports on Russian EW in Syria propagate further. Telegram debacle remains in the media.

In the UK, PM May assures public that Salisbury is now safe. Uglev accident goes viral, while RT tries to joke about conspiracy theorists – maybe the Muscovian propagandists do not understand what they have done to global perceptions of Russia over the last 4 years.

The debate around Syria, and Russian and Iranian intervention, has become very active. Israel tells Iran that any attack on Tel Aviv will see a reciprocal attack on Tehran – the IDF has an illustrious history of very long range air strikes, notable being the Wooden Leg strike on Tunisia, at a range of more than 2,000 km – Tehran is only 1,500 km away and would have been within reach even then. Iran’s leadership are playing a very dangerous game. Stratfor make a courageous claim that the S-300P series has “general capability against all kinds of targets, but cruise missiles are not its core strength”, despite the fact that the Soviets invested a fortune in developing its capabilities to hunt specifically cruise missiles, even documented on Wikipedia. Otherwise, a multiplicity of other reports on Syria.

Russia to supply Bashar al-Assad’s Syria with “new missile defense systems” amid reports about S-300 missiles – CBS News

Military's statement does not specify what weapons Assad will get, but it could represent reversal of pledge made a decade ago

Russia Says It Will Deliver New Air-Defense Systems To Syria Soon

The Russian military has said it will soon deliver new air-defense systems to Syria in light of missile attacks launched on alleged Syrian chemical-weapons facilities by the United States, Britain,…

Russia plans to deliver S-300 air defense system to Assad

Experts from Moscow will teach Syrian military personnel how to use the new air defense system, which will be delivered to Assad in the near future, says senior Russian military official.

Russia Confirms Will Supply Syria with ‘New Air Defense Systems’ | The Jewish Press – | TPS / Tazpit News Agency | 11 Iyyar 5778 – April 25, 2018 |

Russia will supply Syria with new air defense systems, the RIA Novosti news agency said Wednesday, quoting General Sergei Rudskoy, chief of the Main Operations Directorate of the General Staff. “Russian specialists will continue training Syrian military personnel, as well as assist in the development of new air defense systems, the deliveries of which will be carried out in the near future,” Rudskoy told the news agency.

Delivering S-300 to Assad, Putin sends Trump a clear message – and Israel should prepare – Middle East News –

New Russian missile defense system serves a double role: defensively, it protects Moscow’s military assets in Syria; offensively, it is a potent weapon of psychological warfare – and could be a game changer for Israel’s air force. We may hit Russian systems in Syria, Israel says after threats of ‘catastrophic consequences’.

Klein: Russian S-300 Transfer to Syria Would Mean Moscow Aiding Iran against U.S., Israel

Russian plans to possibly supply Bashar Assad’s regime with new air defense systems can only be viewed as defiance of the West.

Russia says it will soon deliver new air defense systems to Syria | The Times of Israel

Moscow doesn’t specify model, though officials have recently said S-300 could be transferred to Assad; Israel has warned it would destroy system if it is used against IAF jets

Russia May Gift S-300 Anti-Air Missiles to Syria to Beef Up Defenses |

Russia is considering giving — not selling — S-300 air defense missiles to Syria.

Israel jets under threat as Russia promises S-300 missile system for Syria | World | The Times

Russia will supply new air defence systems to the Syrian military — a move that could bring it into direct conflict with Israel. Colonel-General Sergei Rudskoi, of the Russian military general staff, said that deliveries of weapons systems would begin “in the nearest future”. Sergey Lavrov,

Russia reportedly makes progress on S-400 air-defense system sale to India

The S-400 is one of Russia’s most advanced air-defense systems, and would provide India with a hedge against advancing Pakistani and Chinese missile technology.

Russia Is Sending Bashar Al-Assad New Weapons After U.S. Syria Strike, Moscow Warns

Moscow has repeatedly hinted it could send some of its most advanced air defense systems to Syria.

UAWire – Media: Russia supplied additional anti-aircraft missile systems to Syria

The newspaper Kommersant reports, citing a military-diplomatic source, that Russia delivered additional shipments of Pantsir-class anti-aircraft missile (SAM) systems to the Syrian port of Tartus last week. At the same time, the source’s statement did not specify whether the Pantsir systems were sent for the use of Russian troops deployed at Syrian bases, or for the Syrian government army. The newspaper’s source also confirmed that there are no S-300 SAM systems in Syria. Pantsir-class SAMs, intended for the destruction of both air and ground targets, have already been used by the government army in Syria. According to the Russian Ministry of Defense, 25 rockets were fired from a Pantsir S-1 during the Western coalition’s air strike, of which 23 hit their intended targets. The Pantsir was also used in an attack against unmanned aerial vehicles on Khmeimim airbase in the province of Latakia in early January. The day prior, the military-diplomatic source for a number of Russian news agencies refuted a message by the Syrian Ambassador to Moscow, Riyad Haddad, claiming that the S-300 air defense systems had been commissioned by the country a month ago. He pointed out that Damascus has Soviet-made systems. Initially, Moscow’s willingness to supply Damascus with S-300 systems was announced by Chief of the Main Operations Directorate of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces, Colonel-General Sergei Rudskoy, on April 14. On that day, a coalition force of the United States, Great Britain and France conducted a missile strike on Syria. The possible supply of S-300 complexes to Syria was also confirmed by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

Russia’s Evolving Electronic Warfare Capability: Unlocking Asymmetric Potential – Jamestown

Since first initiating the reforms of the Russian Armed Forces in the fall of 2008, Moscow has developed a number of complimentary niche capabilities. The unifying themes of these reforms have been asymmetry and the recognition that the means and methods of modern warfare have changed. In large part, this has meant the adoption and integration of command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C4ISR) in the Armed Forces, itself a reflection of the move away from platform-based operations to operating in a networked-informational environment. One critical component of this shift has been in the level of progress in electronic warfare (Radioelektronnaya borba—EW) (see EDM, March 6). While this might appear abstract, Russian military scientists and top brass treat the task of EW development quite seriously, seeing it holistically as part of a greater effort to counter a high-technology adversary. Recent developments in this important field were addressed in an interview by the chief of the EW Forces, Major General Yury Lastochkin. His comments reinforce his published work and that of other Russian EW specialists, as well as shed fresh light on the potential deterrence value of these combined niche capabilities (Krasnaya Zvezda, April 16). General Lastochkin’s interview in Krasnaya Zvezda marked the annual April 15 celebration of EW specialists. He placed EW priorities and capability in the context of fighting in a single information and communications space, with the importance of protecting force assets and targeting enemy C4ISR. Lastochkin highlighted the changed nature of modern warfare and role of EW in such an operational environment: “Traditional frontal clashes of large groupings of troops at the strategic and operational level are gradually disappearing; remote non-contact impact on the depth of the operational construction of the enemy becomes the main way to achieve the purpose of the operation [combat].” Lastochkin explained that in this information environment, distinctions blur between strategic, operational and tactical levels, adding, “In these conditions, asymmetric actions that make it possible to level out the enemy’s information superiority acquire special significance.” He elaborated that the probable adversary would seek dominance in the aerospace and information domains, which increases the potential threat to Russia’s security and enhances exponentially the role of EW (Krasnaya Zvezda, April 16).

Russia Widens EW War, ‘Disabling’ EC-130s In Syria « Breaking Defense – Defense industry news, analysis and commentary

GEOINT: The Compass Call is supposed to be one of America’s foremost electronic warfare weapons, but the EC-130s flying near Syria are being attacked and disabled “in the most aggressive EW environment on the planet,” the head of Special Operations Command said here today. “Right now in Syria we are operating in the most aggressive EW environment on the planet from our adversaries. They are testing us everyday, knocking our communications down, disabling our EC-130s, etcetera,” Gen. Raymond Thomas told an audience of some 2,000 intelligence professionals. While, for obvious reasons, we don’t know many details about the nature of the attacks on the EC-130s, we do know the Russians have done what one EW expert called a “good job” in several recent conflicts using EW. And the Russians are in force in Syria and provide most of the gear used by the Syrian military. “The Russians have redone and reengineered their entire EW fleet in the last 20 years,” notes Laurie Moe Buckhout, a retired Army colonel who specializes in EW. After the Russians attacked Georgia, they concluded they needed to upgrade their EW capabilities, she says. “The Russians put in millions on upgrades after Georgia. They’ve ended up with killer capabilities, jamming in a multitude of frequencies for hundreds of kilometers.” She also notes that the Russians may not have gone head to head against the EC-130s EW attack capabilities. They may have taken the much easier route of interfering with the Position, Navigation and Timing (PNT) or their communications gear, making it more difficult to fly the aircraft since crews would have had to rely on maps, line of sight and other techniques. “The problem the EC-130s have is that, while they are jamming, the crews aren’t doing much else,” making them more vulnerable to attacks, she says. “They could have gone after the PNT or the comms.” The Russians “know all of our vulnerabilities.” There are other problems US forces must cope with, says Loren Thompson, a well known defense consultant: “We’ve spent so much time fighting enemies in Southwest Asia who were technically unsophisticated that we are not up to speed on tactical electronic warfare.” Buckhout said Thompson has a point.

Russia now claims the US missile strike on Syria largely failed — and that it has captured US missile technology | Business Insider

A Russian general said that only 22 of 105 missiles fired in a US-led attack in Syria earlier this month successfully hit targets and that Syria shot down the rest with old air defences. He also claimed that US missiles were captured and sent to Moscow so Russia could improve its weapons systems. The Pentagon forcefully pushed back on those claims, pointing to a lack of evidence on Russia’s side.

Russia says it has a US Tomahawk cruise missile and will use it to improve its own weapons

Russia has gotten its hands on an U.S. Tomahawk cruise missile and it’s going to study it to improve its own weapon systems, the Defense Ministry said Wednesday. However, the U.S. Department of Defense told CNBC that the claims from Moscow are “absurd.”

Russia Is Arguing the British Staged Syria’s Use of Chemical Weapons | Observer

Footage of the chemical attack in Syria, filmed by the White Helmet organization, provided reason for President Donald Trump’s missile launches against Bashar-al-Assad’s regime, but Russia is denying the footage’s authenticity.

Russia presents unharmed Syrians at OPCW, Western allies stay away | Reuters

Russia and Syria presented several unharmed people from Ghouta, Syria, at the premises of the Organisation for the Prohibition for Chemical Weapons on Thursday to support claims that there was no chemical attack in the city earlier this month.

Russian briefing at OPCW chemical arms body is stunt: UK envoy

THE HAGUE (Reuters) – Britain’s ambassador to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) said on Thursday that a briefing arranged by Russia and Syria on the OPCW’s premises was a stunt. Russia and Syria say they have brought several Syrians from Douma, where the OPCW is investigating possible use of chemical weapons in an April 7 attacks, as proof that no chemical attack took place. Ambassador Peter Wilson said any witnesses should be interviewed by OPCW investigators instead, adding that Britain and its allies would not attend. “The OPCW is not a theater” he said in a statement. (Reporting by Toby Sterling; Editing by Gareth Jones)

Russian News Uses Fake Photos and Distorted Interview on Chemical Attack

Russian state TV used stills from a film about Syria and passed them off as real photos from Douma, Syria, where a chemical attack took place. It also claimed an 11-year-old boy who supposedly debu…

Filmmaker says Russian TV used his images to back ‘fake chemical attack’

Humam Husari says media outlets have used images from the set of his movie to claim that video footage from an April 7 suspected poison gas attack was staged.

Russia Blows Up Junked Warship in Provocative Missile Test

The tiny old frigate was no match for the latest in anti-ship missiles.

Russia: Russian air strikes inflict ‘significant’ losses on terrorists in Syria – MoD – YouTube

SOT, Major-General Igor Konashenkov, Russian Defence Ministry spokesperson (Russian): “The Russian Armed Forces in cooperation with its partners have deployed a multilevel intelligence system providing credible target detection. Air strikes are carried out against assigned targets only after additional checks of the received data, and the elimination of risks to civilian lives. Moreover, everybody already knows that detachments of the Syrian opposition share reconnaissance data with us quite effectively. Today, most of them are cooperating with the Syrian government.”

The West tends to ′exaggerate′ Iran′s role in the Syrian conflict | Asia | An in-depth look at news from across the continent | DW | 25.04.2018

Barbara Zanchetta, a London-based expert on war studies, tells DW that analyses of Syria’s conflict tend to oversimplify the complex issue by labeling it only as a proxy war between Iran and Saudi Arabia.

Media Lens – Douma: Part 1 – Deception In Plain Sight

News analysis and media criticism

Media Lens – Douma: Part 2 – ‘It Just Doesn’t Ring True’

News analysis and media criticism

Russian internet in chaos because of Telegram app ban.

“It’s not just one platform, it’s the whole principle of encrypted communication that’s under threat,” says Russian internet expert Tanya Lokot.

Stephen F. Cohen | Forgotten Truths: On the Imperative of Cooperating With—Not Criminalizing—Russia | The Nation

Cooperation with Moscow remains vital for American national security, but “Russiagate” allegations, now codified in a DNC lawsuit, are making that decades-long pursuit a crime.

Prime Minister Theresa May reassures residents ‘Salisbury is safe’ following nerve agent attack | Meridian – ITV News

Read the latest Meridian stories, Prime Minister Theresa May reassures residents ‘Salisbury is safe’ following nerve agent attack on ITV News, videos, stories and all the latest Meridian news.

May: Salisbury clean from chemical threats and safe again | The Sivertelegram

An official statement addressed to the people of great Britain, the Prime Minister Theresa may, who told us that the city of Salisbury where there was a poisoning of the former GRU officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter Julia, once again safe for local residents. Information later also transferred and the BBC.

Russian Chemical Weapons Scientist Run Over By Car, But Says It Was An Accident

Vladimir Uglev identified the poison that hospitalized the ex-double agent as Novichok and said he supported U.K. action against Russia.

Scientist blaming Russia in the Salisbury attack injured in hit and run | Newshub

Mr Uglev said the car wasn’t slowing down and he jumped onto the bonnet.

Car hits Russian… conspiracy theorists go into ‘Putin did it’ overdrive — RT World News

News that a Russian scientist linked to the development of the nerve agent A-234 (‘Novichok’) was hit by a car has sent Western conspiracy theorists into total meltdown mode.

ALCOHOL POISONING Russia makes Novichok-branded vodka in sick jibe at UK over poisoning of Skripals in Salisbury using deadly nerve agent

A picture of the spirit has been posted on Twitter by a Russia-based analyst

Israel defence minister vows to strike any Iran ‘military foothold’ in Syria

Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman vowed in an interview Thursday to strike at any attempt by Iran to establish a “military foothold” in Syria, following an attack this month attributed to his country.

If Iran hits Tel Aviv, well hit Tehran defense minister tells Saudi paper

Speaking in rare interview with London-based Elaf news site, defense minister continues to talk tough on Iran, vowing to prevent Iranian military presence in Syria, whatever the cost and to not sit idly by while I watch Iran try to transfer advanced weapons close to the Golan Heights.

Israel threatens Iran amid surge in confrontations in Syria

RIYADH – Israel would retaliate against any Iranian attack on Tel Aviv by striking Tehran, Israel’s defense minister said in remarks published on…

Avigdor Liberman: If Iran strikes Tel Aviv, Israel will hit Tehran – Middle East – Jerusalem Post

Liberman said Israel is not interested in any wars, but will pay any price to prevent an Iranian presence in Syria.

Israel may hit Russian S-300 in Syria, Lieberman says after threats of ‘catastrophic consequences’ –

Russia to send advanced S-300 anti-aircraft missiles to Assad, officials said Monday, warning Israel not to attack the new air defense systems

The US military had a savage response to Russia sending Syria defences it says can thwart US strikes | Business Insider

Russia has ratcheted up military tensions in Syria by announcing it would send the advanced S-300 missile defence system to Syria, and the US military had a savage response. A spokesman for the Pentagon’s CENTCOM said Russia “should move humanitarian aid into Syria, not more weaponry.” Russia stands accused of bombing humanitarian aid convoys on their way into besieged Syrian towns.

Russia says missile defences it’s sending to Syria can stop the US — here’s who would win | Business Insider

Russia said Wednesday it would send the S-300 advanced missile defence systems to Syria in an effort to bolster defences after repeated US missile strikes. Russia says the S-300 can stop US missile attacks, but its own military deployments seem to indicate it’s not true. In reality, nothing would stop the US from striking Syria if it needed to, and an expert tells Business Insider the missile defences won’t change much at all. Russia said on Wednesday that it would give the S-300 advanced missile defence systems to Syria in an effort to bolster defences as the US continues to pressure the country to stop using chemical weapons. Russia has previously said its S-300 system can shoot down US cruise missiles, and also maintains that Soviet-era missile defences downed 83 of 105 missiles fired by the US and its allies in the strike on Syria earlier this month. The Pentagon maintains that’s not true, that Russia has presented no evidence, and that all 105 missiles hit. And an expert told Business Insider that the S-300 “wouldn’t change much at all.” “The S-300 is a fairly misunderstood strategic long-range air defence that’s very capable,” Omar Lamrani, a military analyst at Stratfor, a geopolitical consulting firm, told Business Insider, adding that the system has a “general capability against all kinds of targets, but cruise missiles are not its core strength.”

Would Israel Attack S-300 Air Defenses in Syria? | The National Interest Blog

If the anti-aircraft equipment is attacked, there will be “catastrophic consequences,” warns Moscow.

Syria Chemical Attacks Are ‘Happening All the Time’ and Will Keep Happening, Says Journalist Who Exposed Assad Assaults

Ever since he began blogging during the dying days of the Arab Spring, British citizen journalist Eliot Higgins has made powerful enemies. The reason: Bellingcat, his investigative website, where he’s used satellite images, photographs and social media posts to uncover who’s behind deadly attacks around

U.S. Intelligence Alarmed That New Arms Shipments from Iran to Syria Could Threaten Israel | The Tower

United States intelligence agencies are alarmed by a series of cargo flights from Iran to Syria that they believe could be transporting weapons systems that could threaten Israel, CNN reported Wednesday. While CNN noted that flights between Iran and Syria are not uncommon, the flights concerning U.S. intelligence occurred in the aftermath of U.S.-led airstrikes against Syrian chemical weapons facilities earlier this month. On Monday, social media sites that track air traffic picked up two flights from by Syrian Air Force cargo jets flying to Syria from Iran. An administration official told CNN that there have been other similar flights including at least one Iranian cargo plane. Before the U.S.-led attack against Syria’s chemical weapons stores, an airstrike targeted the Tiyas or T-4 airbase in Syria, where Iran had personnel and advanced weapons. The T-4 airstrike was attributed to Israel and seven Iranian military personnel were killed in the airstrike. Since the attack on T-4, Iranian officials have stepped up their anti-Israel rhetoric and threatened revenge against Israel. Last week, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi said that Israel would receive “required responses sooner or later,” and that Israel “cannot take (such) an action and be exempt from punishment.” A few days earlier, Iranian Army Ground Forces commander Brigadier General Kiumars Heidari said that Israel can no longer attack Iran and that the date has already been set for Israel’s destruction.

After Suspected Chemical Attack, Douma Residents Flee To Northern Syria : NPR

A new camp in northern Syria is a muddy refuge for people who fled the town of Douma after a suspected chemical attack. They are traumatized and homeless and their futures are unknown.

Stefanik backs U.S. missile strikes in Syria partially blaming Russia | Local |

Rep. Elise Stefanik supports last week’s U.S. missile strikes in Syria, but she said she wants to see a more coherent strategy soon for dealing with that nation’s government.

Anders Fogh Rasmussen | Trump Takes the Lead Against Russia – WSJ

America’s sanctions are now stronger than the European Union’s.

Expelled spies included Russians suspected of tracking compatriots resettled in US – CNNPolitics

Among the dozens of Russian diplomats the US expelled last month were suspected spies who US law enforcement and intelligence officials believe were tracking Russian defectors and their families who had resettled in the US, officials briefed on the matter tell CNN.

The Latest: UN Warns of Surge in Attacks on Syrian Civilians | World News | US News

BEIRUT (AP) — The Latest on the Syria conflict (all times local):

Israel staring at Iran finds itself before Russia

Israel is concerned about growing Iranian presence in Syria more than anything – Anadolu Agency

Why the US Must Use Force | Jewish & Israel News – Can we at least agree that Donald Trump’s decision to strike three chemical-weapons facilities owned and operated by Syrian President Bashar Assad, a vassal of Iran and Russia, was consistent with American values? The gassing of civilians by dictators is, for most of us anyway, both morally repugnant and unambiguously criminal. Those who condone such practices, along with those who merely tut-tut about them, help normalize them. War will always be hell, but to make war a little less hellish, civilized people establish rules and enforce them. If you’re not certain that Trump did the right thing, imagine the counterfactual: that he had let this red line be transgressed with impunity once again. Can we also agree that it was in America’s national interest to launch this attack? One important reason why: It’s insufficient for America’s adversaries to know we have enormous power. They need to be convinced that the United States is prepared to use that power when it deems it necessary — without permission from the UN Security Council where Russia and China — illiberal and authoritarian states — exercise a veto.

Macron believes Trump will drop Iran nuclear deal – BBC News

France’s leader admits he may have failed to persuade his US counterpart to stick to the 2015 accord.

Trump’s resolve to withdraw from Iran nuclear deal hands Tehran a key diplomatic win – Israel News –

Trump and Netanyahu’s efforts to change the accord drive a wedge between Washington and Europe, help Tehran to be presented as a responsible regime

Iran’s Khamenei urges Muslim nations to unite against U.S. – state TV | Reuters

Iran’s supreme leader called on Muslim nations to unite against the United States, saying Tehran would never yield to “bullying,” state television reported on Thursday.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Urges Muslim Nations to Unite Against U.S. – The Daily Beast

Blasts America and “other arrogant powers.”

Iran Agrees $2B Deal For Russian Passenger Jets, Amid Ongoing Delays For Airbus And Boeing Planes

Two Iranian airlines have signed deals to buy 40 passenger planes from Russia’s Sukhoi, amid slow progress with orders for western-built aircraft.

Yes, It Is A New Cold War. What Is To Be Done? – To Inform is to Influence

This is one of the best and easiest to understand treatise on Russian strategic thinking I’ve read, by Dr. Ray Smith. </end editorial> RAYMOND SMITH APRIL 25, 2018 What a Cold War looks like depends to some extent on where you sit. From where I sat on the State Department’s Soviet desk during the early…