Information operations · Iran · Russia · Syria

Salisbury CW Attack / Syria / Iran / Russia Ad Hoc Update (135)

Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

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The one constant in the world today is Muscovian mendacity. Russian TV launches a weekly personality cult show dedicated to the Vozhd. Former Pres Hollande publishes memoirs that Muscovy immediately disputes. While the Russian govt formally orders its first Su-57 fighters, reports emerge that Russia will be purchasing surface combatants from China as it is no longer able to build them itself. Russians sortie a large number of surface combatants in the Far East. Fears Russia’s campaign to erase the Gulag is being extended to remains of prisoners.

Six months since the GRU let a CW agent loose in Salisbury. – cleanup of the collateral continues.

More Tehran saber-rattling while deployment of TBMs to Iraq is denied, Israel warns that Iranian expeditionary forces will be attacked anywhere. Rial nosedive continues….

POTUS warns Russia, Iran, and Syria over Idlib, Russia thumbs its nose very overtly. Russia resumes Idlib air strikes. Multiple Syria reports.

Erdogan again thumbs his nose at NATO over the S-400s, while insulting the US over his financial mismanagement.

‘A Very Humane Human’: Putin Gets Love, Love, And More Love From New State TV Show

A new weekly program on Russian state TV is adding to its drumbeat of adulatory coverage of President Vladimir Putin, praising his physical fitness and love of nature, and showing him as a leader t…

Russian TV has a new show dedicated to fawning over Putin, and it said even bears are afraid of him | Business Insider

Russian state TV has dedicated an entire show to documenting Vladimir Putin’s activities and praising him.

Russian state TV launches program devoted to Putin | TheHill

Russian state-owned television on Sunday night reportedly aired the first episode of a new weekly program dedicated to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Kremlin Rejects French Leader’s Claim That Putin ‘Dreams’ Of Breaking Up EU

The Kremlin has rejected claims by French President Emmanuel Macron that Russian President Vladimir Putin “dreams” of breaking up the European Union.

Putin made a telling blunder in a shouting match with Ukraine’s president, France’s Hollande says | Business Insider

Russian President Vladimir Putin became so enraged during a shouting match with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko that he revealed he was lying about Russia’s role in a military uprising in eastern Ukraine, former French President Francois Hollande wrote in a book published earlier this year about his time in office.

UAWire – Peskov: Hollande’s memoirs on Putin threatening Poroshenko is ‘incorrect information disclosure’

During an interview for the TV channel Russia-1 broadcast on September 2, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that former French President François Hollande’s memoirs, in which he describes Putin as threatening to “pulverize” the Ukrainian army, are “an incorrect information disclosure” and a “discharge”. “It’s not normal. Rather, one could say explicitly that it is an incorrect information disclosure. These ‘discharges’, which frequently do not correspond to reality, they only cause damage,” Peskov said. The Russian presidential spokesman added that he considers it “incorrect” when former politicians “allow such things with respect to current politicians”. Earlier Peskov denied that Putin had threatened Poroshenko at the 2015 Minsk talks, claiming that he was at virtually all the negotiations, and never heard such a phrase.

Russia Places First Su-57 Order | Aviation Week & Space Technology content from Aviation Week

Since the first flight of the fifth-generation stealth fighter, the defense ministry has scaled back plans for its purchase.

Russia to buy frigates from ChinaEuromaidan Press |

In a remarkable turnabout, Moscow is going to purchase specially modified naval frigates from Beijing, the result of Russia’s declining ability to produce ships at home and its inability to buy them in the West because of sanctions and China’s growing arms production especially in the naval sector. Profi-Forex’s Elena Tarakanova reports on this remarkable turnaround. “Already a long time ago, the Russian state, in fact, lost the ability to produce major vessels,” she says, and had to purchase them abroad, first from the West and now from China, which only became a naval power recently. At the Moscow arms show ten days ago, China showed off drawings for four universal descent vessels with displacements of 40,000 tons, exactly the kind of ship Russian military planners are now focusing on to defend their coastal areas [and annexed Crimea – Ed.] and to project power in Russia’s neighborhood [such as in the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov in its war against Ukraine – Ed.] Chinese media outlets have since reported that Russia plans to purchase a variety of weapons from China in the near future, adding that

UAWire – Japan reports passage of the ‘largest’ flotilla of Russian warships

The Ministry of Defense of Japan reported that 28 warships of the Russian Pacific Fleet passed along the La Perouse Strait (between the islands of Hokkaido and Sakhalin). The ships left from Okhotsk in the Sea of Japan reports Kyodo news outlet. Japan authorities believed that this is the largest group of Russian ships to make this trip since the Cold War. Kyodo emphasizes that the ships did not commit any hostile actions or violate Japanese territorial waters. The squadron includes supply ships, destroyers, frigates and other ships. They entered the strait on September 1st late at night and finished 210 km from the northern coast of the Japanese island of Hokkaido on the afternoon of September 2nd. The forces of the Russian Pacific Fleet are conducting military exercises in the Sea of Japan and the Sea of Okhotsk, said Nikolai Voskresensky, Pacific Fleet Captain 2nd Rank and head of the information support for the Pacific Fleet. The military exercises include more than 40 combat ships, missile boats, submarines and auxiliary fleet vessels.“ The exercises also include onshore missile systems as well about a dozen aircraft of the naval aviation fleet,” noted Voskresensky. The vessels are training to counter submarine attacks, organizing an anti-aircraft defense, practicing missile strikes against enemy ships, as well as training in tasks of material and technical support to forces at sea.

Dig Near Stalin-Era Mass Grave Looks To Some Like Kremlin Dirty Work

Activists fear excavation near the scene of Stalin crimes is part of a bid to discredit a prominent historian and rewrite the significance of the Sandarmokh killing ground.

Novichok victim Charlie Rowley ‘feeling positive’ and ‘hoping to get out of hospital in next two or three weeks’ – ITV News

Read Novichok victim Charlie Rowley ‘feeling positive’ and ‘hoping to get out of the hospital in the next two or three weeks’ latest on ITV News. All the World news

Novichok victim hoping to leave hospital in two or three weeks | Dorset Echo

Charlie Rowley was originally released from the hospital on July 20 but was readmitted two weeks ago suffering from meningitis.

Novichok victim Charlie Rowley ‘doesn’t have long left to live’ fears brother as meningitis ravages his body – Mirror Online

Matthew Rowley said his brother’s voice, limbs and sight have been destroyed just weeks after he survived a nerve agent poisoning which killed his partner Dawn Sturgess

Novichok victim Charlie Rowley’s brother reveals he ‘doesn’t have long left to live’ and is now ‘incoherent’

Charlie Rowley was poisoned with the same nerve agent used in the attempted assassination attempt on former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and daughter Yulia. His partner, Dawn Sturgess, died from the exposure to Novichok.

Novichok poisoning victim Charlie Rowley treated for meningitis | UK news | The Guardian

Rowley says his eyesight is not fully restored but he hopes to leave Salisbury hospital soon

Novichok victim has meningitis and ‘doesn’t have long left to live’ | Metro News

A man who came into contact with Russian nerve agent Novichok ‘doesn’t have long left to live’, his brother has said.

Brother of Amesbury novichok victim Charlie Rowley says ‘it’s not looking good’

Matthew Rowley says his brother “doesn’t seem right”, with him losing his sight and being unable to move his hands, arms or legs.

Novichok victim Charlie Rowley ‘close to death’

NOVICHOK victim Charlie Rowley has lost hope and doesn’t have long left to live, his brother has said.

Spire FM – News – ‘Lessons learned’ since Salisbury spy poisoning

It’s now been exactly six months since the first of the nerve agent incidents in our city.

Salisbury nerve agent attack took place six months ago today | Salisbury Journal

TODAY marks six months since the city was descended into an international attempted murder investigation, after a Russian former spy and his…

Novichok case police cars dumped in Cotswolds landfill 

Emergency service vehicles used in response to the Salisbury Novichok poisoning have been buried in a Gloucestershire landfill site, the government confirmed.

Retired teacher recalls Salisbury Novichok incident – BBC News

A bystander returns to the scene six months after the first nerve agent incident in Salisbury.

WW3 fears: Iran leader demands military boost its defences | World | News |

IRAN’S Supreme Leader has demanded that the military boost their defence capacities amid fears the country is building ballistic missiles in neighbouring Iraq.

Khamenei says war unlikely but urges boosting Iran’s defenses | Reuters

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Sunday war was unlikely but called on Iran’s armed forces to boost their defense capacities, according to his official website, as the country faces increased tension with the United States.

Khamenei: War unlikely but Iran should boost defence capability | News | Al Jazeera

Iran’s supreme leader wants armed forces to be vigilant as fallout from US withdrawal from nuclear deal continues.

Iran plans to boost missile capacity in spite of sanctions | News | Al Jazeera

Announced intention to strengthen Iran’s defence capabilities also includes acquiring fighter jets and submarines.

Iran news: Israel issues CHILLING attacking message to Tehran as tensions peak | World | News |

ISRAEL has sent a chilling warning to Iran that it could attack its military assets in Iraq, similar to what it has done with dozens of air strikes in Syria.

U.S. Tells Israel Not to Attack Iranian Targets in Iraq: Kan – Bloomberg

The U.S. sent a message to Israel warning it not to attack Iranian targets in Iraq, the Kan public broadcaster reported, citing Western sources.

Convoy of Iranian forces was bombed near U.S. base in Syria, report says – Middle East News –

Syrian Observatory for Human Rights: Eight killed, including Iranian and Syrians, in air strike as Iranian foreign minister visits Damascus ahead of battle over Idlib

Baghdad: Reuters report of Iran moving missiles to Iraq is ‘without evidence’ | Reuters

Iraq’s Foreign Ministry said on Sunday it was “astonished” at a Reuters report that Iran had moved missiles to Iraq and that the article was “without evidence”, but stopped short of denying its contents.

Iran Rejects Reports It Has Transfered Missiles To Militias In Iraq

Iran has rejected a report by Reuters that it has provided ballistic missiles to its Shi’ite militia allies in Iraq and is developing the capacity to allow them to build missiles there.

Iran rejects Reuters report that Tehran has moved missiles to Iraq | Reuters

Iran on Saturday rejected a Reuters report that Tehran has moved missiles to Iraq, saying it aimed to hurt Iran’s ties with neighbors, the Iranian state news agency IRNA reported.

Iran’s Rial Hits New Low Against Dollar As U.S. Reimposes Nuclear Sanctions

The Iranian currency has hit another record low against the dollar on the unofficial market amid continued economic difficulties following the reimposition of nuclear sanctions by the United States, reports say.

Japanese Oil Wholesalers ‘Prepare To Suspend’ Iranian Imports

Japanese news media are reporting that the country’s major oil wholesalers are preparing to suspend crude imports next month.

Iran asks Britain to COMMIT to buying its oil as Trump sanctions threaten price | World | News |

IRAN has sought assurances from Britain that it will still buy its oil after Donald Trump pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal, putting the country’s oil prices and economy at risk.

Iran Cites ‘Bullying and Excessive Demands,’ Rejecting French Call for New Nuclear Negotiations

“Currently, Iran and its nuclear program have turned into [one of] the most significant concerns of the EU,” Federica Mogherini, the EU representative for foreign affairs and security policy, said Friday.

UK minister visits Iran; Tehran wants Europe to act on nuclear deal | Reuters

A British junior minister held talks in Iran on Saturday as Tehran said European states should take action if they wanted to save Iran’s nuclear deal following Washington’s withdrawal from the accord, Iranian state media reported.

Taking On Iran’s TV Taboos For Women: Cucumbers, Earlobes, And The Chuckle

An Iranian actor is taking on the censors over what women may say and do on state TV, challenging his peers to share their own encounters with censorship.

Trump drew a red line on Syria — but Russia looks set for massive retaliation this time | Business Insider

President Donald Trump warned Syrian President Bashar Assad, Russia, and Iran not to make a “grave humanitarian mistake” by “recklessly attacking” the last rebel stronghold in Syria’s seven-year long war on Monday – but Russia started airstrikes by the next morning. President Donald Trump warned Syria, Russia, and Iran against “recklessly attacking” the last rebel stronghold in Syria, but Russia started airstrikes by the next morning. Trump has ordered strikes on Syria in response to chemical weapons use in the past. But this time Russia looks to have forecasted its use and made plans to fight back against a US strike. The US can probably still attack Syria, and Russia wouldn’t do anything about it, but any hope for Syria’s civilians has long gone. Russia, Syria, and Iran seem close to ending the war on their terms. The best the US can offer now is punitive strikes in response to chemical warfare, and thoughts and prayers for the families caught in the crossfire.

Trump warns Syria, Russia, Iran against attack on rebel stronghold – CNNPolitics

President Donald Trump warned Syria and its allies Russia and Iran on Monday against attacking the last major rebel stronghold of Idlib province in the country’s northwest.

Trump warns Assad, Syrian allies on reported plan for Idlib province offensive | Fox News

President Trump late Monday warned Syria’s Bashar al-Assad and his allies in the region not to attack rebels in the country’s Idlib province, warning that “hundreds of thousands” could be killed.

Donald Trump warns Russia and Iran over expected Idilb offensive by Syria leader Bashar Assad – CBS News

President says it would be “grave humanitarian mistake” for Russia and Iran to take part in potential human tragedy in Idlib

Syria Idlib: Trump warns of ‘grave humanitarian mistake’ – BBC News

A “reckless” attack could mean the deaths of hundreds of thousands of civilians, the US leader says.

Trump Warns Russia, Iran, Syria Against Killing ‘Hundreds Of Thousands’ In Assault

U.S. President Donald Trump has warned Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his allies Iran and Russia not to “recklessly attack” Syria’s last rebel-held province, warning that hundreds of thousand…

Trump warns Syria and Russia not be involved in anticipated Idlib assault – YouTube

euronews (in English) Published on Sep 4, 2018 Donald Trump has taken to Twitter to warn Russia and Iran not to get involved in an expected Syrian led attack on Idlib province, the last remaining rebel stronghold.… READ MORE :

France warns of ‘disastrous consequences’ if Syrian regime launches offensive on rebel stronghold | TheHill

France is warning of “disastrous consequences” if Syrian forces and their allies launch an assault on the Syrian province of Idlib, the last major area held by rebels.

The Latest: French FM says Syria’s Assad has ‘won the war’ | Fox News

The Latest on the Syrian conflict (all times local): 3:40 p.m. France’s foreign minister says Syrian President Bashar Assad has won his country’s civil war but won’t win the peace without a political solution brokered by the international community.

The Aviationist » Here’s An Interesting Video Showing Some Of The Russian Aircraft Deployed To Syria For the Major Naval Exercise In the Med Sea

An interesting video released by Zvezda shows most of the aircraft taking part in the drills in the Mediterranean sea the Russian Ministry of Defense announced last week in a move Moscow said was justified by a failure to deal with rebels opposed to Syrian President Assad in Idlib and surrounding areas in Syria. As a Russian-backed offensive on Idlib looms, the Russians have amassed a naval armada in the eastern Mediterranean Sea made of 26 warships (including 2 subs) and 34 aircraft. The air contingent involved in the drills include the Russian Air Force Tu-160 strategic bombers, the Russian Navy Tu-142 Bear-F long-range maritime patrol and anti-submarine warfare aircraft (two of those were reportedly deployed to Syria a few days ago) and various Flanker variants, including the Su-30SM.  The clip shows some armed Russian Navy Su-30SM taking off from Khmeimim Air Base along with Il-78 Midas and an Il-20 Coot spyplane. Then the Flanker-derivative 4++ Gen aircraft can be seen escorting a Tu-142M “Bear F”, a reconnaissance and ASW variant derived from the iconic Tu-95 Bear bomber, with the characteristic tail with a MAD (Magnetic Anomaly Detector) boom. You can count seven Su-30SMs and four Il-78 on the ground at the beginning of the video. Noteworthy, the footage also shows the Su-30SMs refuel from the Il-78 tankers: according to the Sputnik media outlets, Su-30 pilots of the Russian Navy’s fleet air have only recently practiced air-to-air refueling for the first time. That’s why you won’t find many videos online showing the type during AAR (Air-to-Air Refueling) operations, including from inside the cockpit.

Situation in Idlib cannot be tolerated indefinitely: Russia | Arab News

MOSCOW. DAMASCUS: Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday the situation in the rebel-held Syrian province of Idlib could not be tolerated indefinitely, RIA news agency reported. Speaking to university students in Moscow, Lavrov said the Syrian regime, Russia’s ally, had every right to wipe out militants in northern Idlib, Interfax news agency reported.

Syria’s War: Warplanes hit Idlib targets as fears of battle mount | Syria News | Al Jazeera

Russia says Syria is preparing to ‘resolve terrorism problem’ in rebel-held Idlib as activists report air strikes there.

Russia Resumes Air Strikes Against Rebels in Idlib, Say Monitors

A Syrian rebel and a war monitor said Russian air strikes had resumed against insurgents in Syria’s northwestern Idlib province on Tuesday after several weeks. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has sworn to recapture every inch of Syria and has made big gains against rebels since Russia joined his war effort in 2015. Last week, a source close to Damascus said the government was preparing a phased offensive to recover Idlib province, but Turkey, whose army has a string of observation posts around the edge of the rebel area, has warned against such an assault.

Iranian Foreign Minister In Damascus Ahead Of Idlib Offensive

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif was in Damascus on September 3 for talks with President Bashar al-Assad and other Syrian officials ahead of an expected military offensive by Syrian go…

Kremlin says Syria army getting ready to ‘solve’ Idlib ‘terrorism’ problem

The Kremlin said Tuesday the Syrian army is getting ready to solve the problem of “terrorism” in the rebel stronghold of Idlib, apparently referring to a looming regime offensive. “This undermines attempts to push the situation towards a political and diplomatic settlement and most importantly

Series of explosions reported at Syrian military airport – CNN

The Syrian state media says the series of explosions was caused by an electrical fault at an ammunition depot in the area.

Casualties reported in alleged Israeli strike on Damascus overnight; Syria, Iran deny – Middle East News –

State media issues denial after war monitor, an official in regional alliance say blasts at base caused by Israeli air strikes Iranian state media confirms electrical fault, quotes an unnamed military official

A ‘battle like no other’ may loom in Idlib, Syria

Weary Syrian survivors of the siege of Douma look on warily as the battle for Idlib, the last remaining major rebel holdout, looms.

Syria’s war: Damascus airbase blasts ’caused by electrical fault’ | Syria News | Al Jazeera

Syria and Iran say explosions were caused by short-circuit, denying Israeli strikes were behind the blasts.

Blasts from area of military airport shake Syrian capital – ABC News

Syrian capital shaken by blasts from the direction of the military airport.

Syria blasts at Mezzeh military airport ‘not Israeli strikes’ – BBC News

An electrical fault, not Israeli air strikes, is to blame for the explosions, state media say.

One million Syrian children in Idlib at risk if assault mounted: UNICEF | Reuters

More than a million Syrian children are at risk in the event of a government military assault on the rebel-held province of Idlib, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said on Friday.

Toward an ‘Arab Fall’ in Syria – Opinion – Jerusalem Post

It seems that the Arab Fall in Syria will be marked by an Iranian presence with tight control over the Syrian economy.

A German Far-Right Group Aids Syrian Refugees — To Stop Them From Reaching Europe : NPR

A far-right movement is providing aid to Syrian refugees in Lebanon, but not for purely humanitarian reasons. The few refugees who received help didn’t know the group aims to keep them out of Germany.

UAWire – Erdogan promises not to ask permission to purchase S-400 from Russia

Speaking at a business forum in the capital of Kyrgyzstan, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Turkey intends to achieve full independence of economy, the Turkish newspaper Milliyet reported. In particular, Erdogan mentioned the agreement on the purchase of anti-aircraft missile systems S-400 from Russia. “We reached an agreement with Russia on the purchase of S-400. Somebody is concerned about this. Sorry but we are not going to ask anybody for permission,” said the Turkish president. The US opposes Turkey’s purchase of Russian S-400 air defense missile systems. In response, Washington threatened not to sell modern F-35 and F-16 fighters to Turkey. Ankara and Washington had agreed on the purchase even before the situation around the Russian air defense systems worsened. The US military forces announced that it is impossible to integrate Russian S-400 into NATO systems (Turkey is a member of the Alliance). At the end of August, during a visit to Turkey, US congressmen recommended that Ankara refuse to purchase Russian air defense systtams. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu responded that Ankara must protect its airspace, while the US cannot guarantee the sale of Patriot missile defense systems. Chavushoglu asked the US to leave threats and resolve the diplomatic crisis. “Our relations with Russia are not an alternative to our relations with Lithuania or the European Union or the United States,” the official said.

Turkey’s Erdoğan: US behaving like ‘wild wolves’ amid sanctions | TheHill

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Sunday lashed out at the U.S. over its sanctions against Ankara, saying it has acted like “wild wolves.”

Turkey’s Erdogan denounces dollar; US acting like ‘wild wolves’ | News | Al Jazeera

Turkish president announces negotiations with Russia are ongoing to sideline ‘damaging’ US dollar in global trade.

A Facebook War: Libyans Battle on the Streets and on Screens – The New York Times

A new wave of fighting shook Tripoli this past week. For many combatants Facebook, which has huge influence in Libya, is a key weapon.

Iraqi Military Hosts Counterparts From Russia, Iran, Syria

Iraq says its senior military commanders have met in Baghdad with their counterparts from Russia, Iran, and Syria to discuss regional security and the fight against Islamic State (IS) and other mil…

ISIS Never Went Away in Iraq – Defense One

“You can say that almost all of Iraq has been liberated from ISIS during the day, but you can’t say that at night.”