Information operations · Information Warfare · Russia

Salisbury CW Attack / Syria / Iran / Russia Ad Hoc Update (160)

Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

Michael Peck’s article in National Interest’s “Russia to China: You Shouldn’t Have Stolen Our Jet Fighter” slams Russia in a very powerful way in the final two paragraphs. It also slams China, but the Russian slam is too good not to read.

</end editorial>

After three weeks of crashing and burning, the Russian propaganda machine may be losing momentum or focus, or both. Peskov in the Kremlin tells media “he’s tired of talking about it [Salisbury]”, Zakharova in the foreign ministry regurgitates past lines, and Lavrov in the UN produces an immense tirade of blameshifting, attributing to the US every single behavior we have seen Russia exhibit in recent times – Amb Haley’s comment to Iran clearly applies. Much being said about the delivery of the S-300 systems to Hmeimim but the exact battery configurations remain unclear. Reports the EW equipment being deployed is the Krasukha 2 and Krashukha 4, microwave jammers intended to disrupt Western ISR sensors carried by platforms such as JSTARS and U-2, and the R-330Zh Zhitel that is a cellphone and satnav ELINT / SIGINT / EW system, making many of the claims from Russia about the capabilities of the EW being deployed simply absurd – too lazy to check Wikipedia? Russian EWSP manufacturer KRET offers to retrofit state-of-the-art EWSP on the remainder of the VKS fleet of Il-20M COOTs, suggesting an expectation that Syrian AD batteries will continue to shoot missiles at Russian VKS assets. Dozhd TV in Russia report another domestic poisoning case, a retired GRU officer asking unwanted questions. Kashin in argues that the Salisbury attack was part of an effort to force Russia’s isolation, so the perpetrators of numerous Russian illegal actions cannot be extradited. Reports of yet another Russian led and funded urban terror network being broken up by the SBU in Ukraine. Goldfarb sues Russian media for defamation, a result of malicious blameshifting propaganda. Russian S-400 deployments in Crimea evidently intended to deny airspace over Black Sea NATO nations. Russian media bashing China over the reverse engineering of the J-15 from the Su-27K.

Multiple updates on Salisbury events, but no major new developments. Galeotti backgrounder on the GRU.

INN in Israel cites Iranian media claiming that “Russia has given Israel permission to attack Iranian bases in Syria other than ones near Russian troops”, which if true, is spectacular duplicity by Muscovy, but so truly Russian in its essence. Multiple analysis essays on Syria and the impact of the new Russian AD systems. US closes Basra consulate due to Iranian proxy attacks – evidently Iran is thumbing its nose at the US and its past warnings. Analyses of unrest in Ahvaz in Iran’s southwestern Khuzestan Province. Update on Erdogan’s visit to Germany.

Kremlin Tired of Talking About Skripal Poisoning Case – Bloomberg

Pressed for the second straight day to respond to allegations that one of the men accused of the nerve-agent poisoning in the U.K. is an officer in Russian military intelligence, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said he’s tired of talking about it.

Kremlin on Skripal suspect identification: ‘Many people look alike’ | Reuters

The Kremlin on Thursday cast doubt on photographs that appeared to show a suspect in the Skripal poisoning case was a Russian intelligence officer, saying that “many people look alike.”

Kremlin urges Britain to share its poisoning case suspicions – ABC News

Britain has accused to Russians of being behind a government-sponsored attack.

Russians dismiss Novichok hitman identification claim as “rubbish” – Channel 4 News

“A new bit of rubbish.” That was the response of the Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman to the publication of material suggesting that one of the men believed to have carried out the Novichok attack on Sergei Skripal in Salisbury was a colonel in Russia’s intelligence services.

Israel’s actions in Syria on September 17th were ‘unprofessional and cowardly’ – Zakharova

BEIRUT, LEBANON (12:00 A.M.) – The Spokesperson for the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova, discussed the downing of the IL-20 aircraft with

Israel’s ‘Unprofessional’ Actions Reason for Russia’s Il-20 Plane Crash – Moscow – Sputnik International

ROME (Sputnik) – Israel’s “erroneous, unprofessional and cowardly” actions led to the crash of a Russian Il-20 plane near Syria, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Thursday.

S-300s in Syria: A New Line in the Sand – Sputnik International

Russia announced that it will be sending S-300s to Syria as part of its response to Israel’s lethal recklessness last week, thus drawing a new line in the sand and making it so that Israel will no longer have the freedom to bomb the Arab Republic at will like it used to.

US General Claims Russian S-300s Will Create ‘Unstable Conditions’ for Syria – Sputnik International

“The introduction of more of these systems only serves to create more unstable conditions and the likelihood of miscalculation such as which we tragically saw earlier in the week with the Russian plane being shot down by the Syrians,” Benedict said, speaking to US lawmakers on Wednesday. “My greatest concern is that the more things we’re putting in to this small area, particularly as we’re starting to close in on the north part of Syria, the more dangerous the entire situation becomes because of the instability,” the officer added.

Downing of Il-20 Example of Escalation Scenario That Must Stop – US Syria Envoy – Sputnik International

UNITED NATIONS (Sputnik) — The recent crash of a Russian Il-20 military airplane off the coast of Syria is an example of an escalation scenario that urgently needs to be stopped, US Special Representative for Syria Engagement James Jeffrey told reporters.

Pictures reveal arriving of S-300 missile system into Syria . | Muraselon

On September 24, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shweigo took a decision to supply Syria with the S-300 systems to boost Syrian air defense forces after the Il-20 plane crash.

Lavrov: S-300 are on their way to Syria – Israel News – Jerusalem Post

“The measures will be devoted to ensuring 100 percent safety and security of our men”

Russia says Syria now has S-300 anti-air system

Foreign Minister Lavrov claims Moscow already started supplying anti-aircraft missiles to Assads army in response to downing of Russian spy plane; two aircrafts reportedly carrying defense system, landed over the past two days in air base near Latakia.

Russian FM Lavrov: Delivery of S-300 to Syria regime has begun | Russia News | Al Jazeera

Russia begins delivering S-300 missile system to Syria as Russian FM says relations with US are at ‘all-time low’.

Russia says it has started delivery of S-300s to Syria | The Times of Israel

Announcement by FM Lavrov comes amid crisis in ties with Israel, just days after Moscow said it would supply Assad regime with air-defense system following downing of spy plane

Russia: Delivery of S-300 to Syria has begun – Israel National News

Russian Foreign Minister says delivery of Russian surface-to-air missile system to Syria has already begun.

Russia’s Electronic Warfare System in Syria Will Be Able to Track Planes in Europe and Israel

The deputy director of Russia’s state-run Concern Radio-Electronic Technologies said Moscow would soon be able to track planes, “be it in Israel or Saudi Arabia or even in Europe.”

The Latest: Company says systems will help protect Syria | Fox News

The Latest on developments related to Syria (all times local): 7:05 p.m.

Krasukha (electronic warfare system) – Wikipedia

It is official, Russian army deployed R-330Zh jammer in the battle of Debaltseve – (English)

World War 3: Russia’s system in Syria capable of tracking jets from Europe and Israel | World | News |

Vladimir Mikheyev, first deputy director of KRET, told state-run media that as a consequence of the alleged Israeli attack, the Kremlin was looking to reinforce its tracking systems in the skies from Syria to Europe.

Russia Delivering Advanced Air Defense To Syria, Despite U.S. Objections

Russia has started delivering an S-300 missile defense system to Syria, despite objections raised by the United States and Israel, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said.

Russia begins missile system delivery to Syria, warns West on peace talks

Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu had said on Monday the system would be delivered to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces in two weeks despite strong Israeli and United States objections. A week previously, Moscow had accused Israel of indirectly causing the downing of a Russian military jet

Russia begins missile system delivery to Syria, warns West on peace talks | Reuters

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Friday Moscow had started delivering the S-300 surface-to-air missile system to Syria and warned Western powers of trying to undermine U.N.-led efforts to end the seven-year conflict.


Defense Updates Published on Apr 29, 2018 Russia’s Defense Ministry has confirmed that it is planning to send S-300 air defense systems to the Syria, in support of Bashar al-Assad regime.


Russian Il-20 Aircraft Could Be Equipped With New EW Devices – Tech Concern – Sputnik International

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Russia’s Concern Radio-Electronic Technologies (KRET) said Friday it was ready to re-equip the fleet of Russian Il-20 reconnaissance planes with advanced electronic warfare devices following the recent Il-20 tragedy in Syria. “The IL-20 is a rather old aircraft equipped with standard onboard equipment designed to protect against man-portable air defense systems. If the Defense Ministry sets the relevant task, we will equip the existing Il-20 fleet with advanced electronic warfare systems,” Vladimir Mikheev, an adviser to KRET first deputy general director, told Sputnik.

Drop the diktats, try diplomacy: Major takeaways from Lavrov’s UN speech — RT World News

At the UN, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov lashed out at the West’s “political blackmail and brute force,” saying diplomacy should not give way to diktats and unilateral sanctions.

Russia’s Lavrov Warns UN Against Unilateralism in Treating World’s Old Wounds – Sputnik International

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – In his address to the annual UN General Assembly on Friday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov took a swipe at those hoping to end the decades-old Israeli-Palestinian crisis unilaterally and called for global unity on UN-backed peace processes elsewhere.

Lavrov at UNGA: Russia Warns Against New Chemical Weapon Provocations in Syria – Sputnik International

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has addressed the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly in New York City.

Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov Speaks to Press on UNGA Sidelines (VIDEO) – Sputnik International

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has spoken to the press on the sidelines of the 73rd UN General Assembly.

Russian Foreign Minister Lashes Out At U.S.; Vows To Preserve Iran Nuclear Deal

Russia’s foreign minister lashed out at the United States and the West more broadly, denouncing accusations that Moscow was interfering in other countries’ affairs.

Lavrov Backs Iranian Deal, Swipes At Ukraine And Kosovo

Russia lashed out at U.S. policies in Iran and Ukraine while backing Serbia in its EU-mediated talks with Kosovo. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov used Russia’s speech at the annual UN General Assembly in New York on September 28 to defend multilateral organizations like the United Nations and warn against unilateral moves by the U.S. or other countries. Lavrov said Moscow would do “everything possible” to preserve the 2015 international accord on curbing Iran’s nuclear program despite the U.S. withdrawal and would support a resolution of Serbia’s dispute with Kosovo which would suit Belgrade. He also called on the West to “reason with its disciples” in Kyiv so it sticks to the Minsk agreement which he said was the only way to resolve what Moscow refers to as the “intra-Ukrainian” conflict.

Russia Assails `Belligerent Revisionism’ in Rare Trump Jibe – Bloomberg

Tension is growing between the former Cold War enemies.

Russia seeks to counter US weight as Lavrov takes UN stage | Fox News

Russia is framing itself as a counterweight to U.S. power around the world as the Russian foreign minister takes his turn Friday at the annual U.N. General Assembly.

Lavrov.: U.S. Using ‘Blackmail, Economic Pressure, and Brute Force’ Against Russia

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov complained to the U.N. General Assembly that America is bullying Russia to get what it wants.

Russia’s Lavrov takes swipe at U.S. ‘attacks’ on international order | Reuters

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov suggested on Friday that the United States had undermined efforts to reach international agreements ranging from Middle East peace, Iran, climate and trade.

Russia rails against Western ‘blackmail’, ‘brute force’

Russia’s foreign minister on Friday accused the West of resorting to “political blackmail, economic pressure and brute force” to prevent the emergence of rival global powers. “These powers do not hesitate to use any methods including political blackmail, economic pressure and brute

Russia: No proof that Iran backs terrorism

Western powers “do not have proof” that Iran supports terrorism, according to Russia’s top diplomat.

At UN, Russia says meddling claims baseless, slams the US

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Russia’s foreign minister trashed accusations of Russian meddling abroad as “baseless” and used the podium at the U.N.’s biggest event to tear into U.S. policies in Iran, Syria and Venezuela. He later declared that U.S.-Russian relations “are bad and probably

Russia levels blistering attack on Trump at UN, then calls for truce – CBS News

Russia's foreign minister Sergey Lavrov said that U.S.-Russian relations &quot;are bad and probably at their all-time low&quot;

China, Russia denounce ‘blackmail’ as rift with US exposed at UN – Channel NewsAsia

China and Russia denounced the use of “blackmail” on Friday (Sep 28) in thinly-veiled rebukes of President Donald Trump, highlighting the chasm …

China, Russia take up globalism mantle as US sheds it at UN – ABC News

China and Russia took turns at the podium at the UN’s annual gathering.

Former Russian intelligence officer claims he was poisoned when he started investigating Russian mercenary groups — Meduza

A former officer in one of Russia’s intelligence agencies told the independent television network Dozhd that he survived an attempted poisoning in August 2018. The man, who only agreed to speak on the condition of anonymity, suspects that he was targeted because he was investigating the activities of various private military companies.

Russian journalists in Africa reportedly eliminated by Russia’s PMC Patriot – Dozhd | UNIAN

Russia’s private military company (PMC) Patriot could be involved in the elimination of three Russian journalists in the Central African Republic (CAR) late in July this year. PMC Patriot is reportedly connected with Russia’s Defense Ministry.

The Real Russia. Today. Laughing about Russia’s GRU assassin, poison and mercenaries in Africa, and burning bridges to the West — Meduza

In an op-ed for Republic, columnist Oleg Kashin argues that the nerve-agent attack against Sergey Skripal was intended to cause a scandal that would further ostracize Russia internationally, insulating a “large and influential social group” made up of “new Cold War beneficiaries” like Anatoly Chepiga himself. Kashin believes that the GRU consciously staged the attack during Yulia Skripal’s visit to England, to guarantee that Sergey’s poisoning wasn’t mistaken for the complications of old age. Kashin says the entire operation against the Skripals was less about “punishing a traitor” than about “burning bridges” to the West, to ensure that men like Chepiga (and, by extension, anyone in Russia’s defense industry) never have to stand trial at home or abroad for the crimes of Moscow’s Crimea annexation, support for armed separatists in eastern Ukraine, intervention to save the Assad regime, and so on. “In this sense, for Colonel Chepiga, Russia’s isolation literally becomes a matter of personal survival,” Kashin writes.

Oleg Kashin | Waiting for Colonel Chepiga. The worse for Russia, the better for him

Thousands of people are involved in the Russian-Western aggravation of recent years, each of whom differs little from Petrov and Boshirov and will always be interested in the aggravation not. About this, of course, then they will make a movie, and some scenes are easy to imagine right now. Colonel Chepiga unfolds a brand new passport, looks at the name – Boshirov! – it is surprised why through “o”, and the gray-haired general somehow jokingly, well, the next shot is already the plane, the stewardess is carrying drinks, and the colonel, looking out of the window, grins – “Boshirov, Boshirov”.The writer, of course, will have to study a lot of any literature about the incident in Salisbury, but what kind of literature it will be — memoirs of Chepiga, an honored scouting hero, or trial materials on the “Putin case” – nobody knows about it now, and, probably, so and it is possible to formulate the main intrigue associated with the entire Salburyan history.

SBU blocks Russian attempts in Zaporizhia region to destabilize situation in Ukraine –

Law enforcement officers established that several representatives of criminal circles of Russia coordinate the activity of organized groups in Melitopolsk, Berdiansk and Prymorsk districts of the region. eng рус укр news analytics video archives UKRAINE CRISIS POLITICS FINANCE UA & EU SOCIETY SPORT RUSSIA #ATO #UNGA #political prisoners #Poroshenko #Sentsov #corruption #Ukraine: bird’s eye view #CloseEast112 breaking news x SBU blocks Russian attempts in Zaporizhia region to destabilize situation in Ukraine Law enforcement officers established that several representatives of criminal circles of Russia coordinate the activity of organized groups in Melitopolsk, Berdiansk and Prymorsk districts of the region 11:00, 29 September 2018 The officers of the Security Service of Ukraine blocked the attempts of the Russian intelligence in Zaporizhia region aimed at the destabilization of the situation in Ukraine through criminal groups controlled Russian thieves. The press office of the Service reports. The law enforcement officers established that several representatives of criminal circles of the Russian Federation coordinate the activity of organized groups in Melitopolsk, Berdiansk and Prymorsk districts, who are involved in commitment of serious and very serious offenses.

President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko announced the prevention of a large number of terrorist acts by the law enforcers –

President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko announced the prevention of a large number of terrorist acts by the law enforcers. He said this during a speech on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the National Academy of Legal Sciences in Kharkiv, which was broadcasted by 112 Ukraine TV channel. “I can now announce closed statistics that the Security Service, the Prosecutor’s Office and other law enforcement agencies have stopped preparations for a large number of terrorist acts,” he said. According to the president, it is, in particular, the preparation of explosions at ships, in places of mass congestion of citizens and enterprises of the defense complex. In addition, Poroshenko emphasized that 18% of such terrorist attacks were planned in the Kharkiv region. Earlier the defense of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko asks the court to oblige BBC to refute and delete the article about payment for the meeting of Poroshenko with American President Donald Trump and to compensate for his losses. Graham Atkins, head of law company Atkins Thomson who represents the President’s case in court claimed this to Ukrainian News. ‘The President pursuits unfounded accusations, the removal of the article and compensation for damages to his reputation. In addition, ensuring non-reprinting of made defamatory statements,’ Atkins claimed. He noted that the court hearing for the consideration of the case hasn’t been scheduled yet but the issue between the sides can be resolved as the case progresses. Earlier, BBC reported with a reference to its own sources that personal lawyer of Donald Trump Michael Cohen received a secret payment of $400 or $600 thousand for the organization of the first meeting of Petro Poroshenko with Donald Trump in June 2017. Yet BBC claimed that they reached to Michael Cohen, and also two Ukrainian officials who have allegedly organized the payment. The three rejected the information. The Administration of the Ukrainian President demanded BBC to refute the published information.

The Week In Russia: A Shockingly Normal Election, Novichok News, And More Jail For Navalny 

The Kremlin scrambled to shore up its power nationwide after a handful of electoral defeats, while evidence that the poisoning of former double-agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter was a GRU opera…

Alex Goldfarb | I’m a critic of Putin’s regime. Russian state TV is accusing me of murder. – The Washington Post

I’m a target of Russian information warfare. Does U.S. law offer any protection? Alex Goldfarb is president of the Litvinenko Justice Foundation. This month I filed a defamation lawsuit against two Russian state television channels that have falsely accused me of murdering the Russian ex-spy Alexander Litvinenko on behalf of the CIA in 2006 in London — and then of doing away with my own wife, who, they claim, “talked too much.” The truth is that Litvinenko died from poisoning with radioactive polonium-210 slipped into his tea by two Russian agents. My wife died of cancer. And I do not work for the CIA. It’s truly an eerie feeling being named a double murderer to an audience of millions — not to mention the fact that every CIA-hating terrorist in the world will now see me as a target. So I am trying to fight back. Yet current U.S. law offers me and people who share my fate little in the way of viable defense.

Deployment of Russian S-400 Missile Systems “Triumf” in Crimea Is a Threat not only for Ukraine, but for the Entire Black Sea Region

Russian Federation continues to militarize temporarily occupied Crimean peninsula expanding its military positions. As of late September 2018, the anti-aircraft missile Systems S-400 “Triumf” have been deployed near the cities of Sevastopol, Feodosia and Yevpatoria. S-400 “Triumf” is an anti-aircraft missile system that uses various types of missiles, in particular: long-range 48Н6 (250 km) and very-long-range 40Н6 (400 km). They can hit targets at altitude of 60 km. MTOT specialists prepared a map with operational range zones according to the places of deployment of the missile systems in temporarily occupied territory of Autonomous Republic of Crimea. Both civilian and military aircrafts as they fly above the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov and above territories of the countries of the Black Sea region – Romania, Moldova and Turkey are in the destruction radius of S-400 “Triumf”.

Russia to China: You Shouldn’t Have Stolen Our Jet Fighter | The National Interest

And Beijing might be paying the price.

Russia rips China’s J-15 fighter jet, which Beijing stole from Moscow | Business Insider

Although Beijing and Moscow recently forged a military partnership, there still appears to be some animosity over their checkered past.

Russia rips China’s J-15 fighter jet, which Beijing stole from Moscow – INSIDER

The J-15 is too heavy to operate efficiently from carriers, has problems with its flight control systems, which has led to several crashes, and more, Sputnik reported.

Special Recognition Officer to James Whale: Bellingcat ‘did a great job’ identifying Salisbury Novichok suspect | talkRADIO

Mike Neville, Managing Director of the Super Recogniser Unit, has said that Bellingcat, the organization responsible for revealing the supposed identity of one of the Salisbury suspects, did “a great job”. Mike Neville, Managing Director of the Super Recogniser Unit, has said that Bellingcat, the organization responsible for revealing the supposed identity of one of the Salisbury suspects, did “a great job”. Mr. Neville, whose unit uses images, CCTV and footage to catch criminals told talkRADIO’s James Whale: “I think they have done a very good job. They are helping the police. “They have done a great job. “All this nonsense we heard about them being two gay guys visiting the cathedral has now been put to bed. “It is about using people with the right detective abilities and the people who can find these pictures. “Then it is about having the right people to say yes, it is that person because… and they can name the features that match.”

The Latest: UK warns Russia about using chemical weapons – NewsTimes

Russians Confirm, Then Deny Skripal Assassin – To Inform is to Influence

In yet another bizarre twist involving Russia, villagers in Berezovka, Russia first confirmed, then only hours later deny, that named Skripal assassin, Colonel Chepiga is a native of their village. During this short period of time, it is implied that Russian authorities convinced the contacted villagers to “un-know” Colonel Chepiga. The article does not allege but the implication is fairly clear, that Russian authorities pressured the Russian citizens to change their minds in order to offset the suspicion that Colonel Chepiga is the Skripal assassin. The villagers knew that their Colonel Chepiga was awarded the “Hero of the Russian Federation” medal, and are proud of him. They are not proud, however, that he was caught. There appears to be no proof out of Russia that Chepiga is the Skripal assassin. Again, the waters are murky, the evidence obviously tainted. </end editorial>

In Russia’s Far East, villagers recognize a Skripal poisoning suspect – The Washington Post

Two villagers told The Post that an alleged undercover assassin was one of their own.

Skripal suspect was high-ranking military officer, says investigative website – CNN

UK investigative website Bellingcat claims to have identified one of the men accused of poisoning former Russian spy Sergei Skripal as a highly decorated officer in the Russian military.

Mark Galeotti | Special troops of GRU will be a growing headache for the West – Raam op Rusland

Ruslan Boshirov, one of the suspects of the poison attack on Skripal, has been identified by research group Bellingcat as a member of the Spetsnaz, special forces of the military intelligence service GRU. Putin gave him a high decoration. Russian newspaper Kommersant got his identity confirmed in his home village. According to security specialist Mark Galeotti the role of Spetsnaz, surrounded by a powerful mythology, is changing. The troops are increasingly being used for political operations abroad and will be a growing headache for the West. by The news that the citizen investigative agency Bellingcat has identified one of the men accused of trying to assassinate turned Sergei Skripal as a colonel in the Russian special forces has inevitably turned the spotlight of these ‘Spetsnaz’. Their reputation is by turns formidable, fearsome and ferocious, but they are also widely misunderstood. They are neither all remorseless Kremlin ninjas, nor just a collection of better-than-average gunmen. Instead, they demonstrate the Kremlin’s new conviction that war and politics are one and the same, and increasingly are being prepared for covert, deniable operations abroad. The term Spetsnaz is a contraction of ‘spetsialnoe naznacheniya’: ‘of special designation’ or ‘of special purpose.’ It is used as a generic term for various elite forces, from the Alfa anti-terrorist commandos of the Federal Security service to the Fakel hostage-rescue teams of the prison service. However, the ‘real’ Spetsnaz are the 17,000 or so special forces attached to what is still generally known as the GRU but which is properly the Main Directorate of the General Staff (GU GSh), military intelligence. There are some eight Spetsnaz brigades, an additional regiment, and a ‘point’ of Naval Spetsnaz equivalent to brigades attached to each of the four fleets. This is undoubtedly a formidable asset, and the Spetsnaz have participated in every conflict in which Russia is or has been involved, from Chechnya to Syria. However, even though the plan was for all Spetsnaz to be volunteers by the end of this year, like so many such goals this is likely to be missed, and at least one in five are still conscripts – even if the pick of the crop – serving one-year terms. More generally, the Spetsnaz are largely trained and equipped for reconnaissance and sabotage missions on and behind the front lines in relatively large units.

Former Russian spy Sergei Skripal worked for the intelligence of four NATO countries until 2017 –

Former Russian spy Sergei Skripal worked for the intelligence of four NATO countries until 2017. German Focus reported this with a reference to a high-ranking source in the counterintelligence of Alliance. In 2012, Skripal together with representatives of MI6 went to Prague, where was telling the local intelligence how Russian spy network works. The source claimed that in summer 2016, the former Russian spy provided data to Estonian intelligence necessary to expose three Russian spies worked in Tallinn. Also, there is information that Skripal informed Spanish intelligence about the activity of Russian mafia in the country.

Consultants brought in to ‘rebrand’ Salisbury after novichok attack | UK news | The Guardian

City looks to recover tourist numbers and change its image after nerve agent poisonings

Salisbury looks to rebrand after Novichok attack – POLITICO

‘Salisbury is world-renowned, but not for the reasons we would want it to be.’

Zizzi restaurant at centre of Salisbury Novichok attack to re-open – ITV News

Read Zizzi restaurant at centre of Salisbury Novichok attack to re-open latest on ITV News. All the news

Report: Russia won’t curb Israeli airstrikes in Syria – Israel National News

Iranian media reports that Russia has given Israel permission to attack Iranian bases in Syria other than ones near Russian troops. Iranian media reports that Russia does not intend to prevent future Israeli airstrikes on Iranian weapons facilities and shipments in Syria other than a few areas in southern Syria. The report comes as Israel and Russia remain at loggerheads after Syria mistakenly downed a Russian air force jet earlier this month following an Israeli bombing. According to reports, Russia is opposed to attacks in the area of the town of Latakia, due to the large concentration of Russia military personnel stationed there. Israel has long attacked Iranian military bases in Syria and shipments of advanced missiles to it’s Hezbollah militia in Lebanon. Tensions between Israel and Russia flared up recently after a IL-20 reconnaissance aircraft was reported missing over Syria, following an Israeli airstrike on a military research facility in northern Syria. The plane, which was carrying 15 crew members, was later declared lost, after apparently being downed by a Syria surface-to-air missile.

Russia had to swallow a deal in Idlib. Then came an Israeli strike on Syria – Israel News –

What exactly happened over Syria’s skies, play-by-play ■ Israel hopes Russia will ultimately forgive the downing of its plane, but much of it depends on Trump

Netanyahu says Russian supply of S-300 missiles to Syria ‘irresponsible’ | The Times of Israel

‘If someone shoots at our planes, we will destroy them,’ PM warns, but also stresses Jerusalem and Moscow are committed to avoiding clashes in ‘very crowded’ skies over Syria

Can Iran Stop Israel in Syria? New Warnings as Russia Prepares Missile Defense

Iran’s top security official said Israel “will face regrettable reactions” if it tries to attack Syria again, as Russia’s strategic balance sways.

Russia’s S-300 Is Syrian’s Consolation Prize | The National Interest

And also a gamble by Moscow. The question for Washington and Jerusalem, both of which oppose Iran’s role in Syria, is whether to challenge the regime further. For Moscow, it has gambled with the S-300. If Israel continues air strikes and the air defense system fails to be used effectively, Russia will be embarrassed, and Damascus will call on it to do more, forcing Moscow to decide on whether it is serious about escalation.

Russian-Israeli Conflict in the Skies of Syria – LobeLog

Pompeo accuses Iran of firing at U.S. embassy in Iraq

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo ordered the closure of a diplomatic mission in Iraq, following rocket launches that he blamed on Iran.

Iran dismisses Netanyahu’s ‘secret atomic warehouse’ claim | Iran News | Al Jazeera

Iran’s foreign minister tells Israel to ‘open its illegal nuclear weapons’ programme to international inspectors.

Iran Warns Saudi Arabia Not to ‘Cross Our Red Lines’ or Else ‘We Will Surely Cross Yours’

Deputy commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard tells Saudis and UAE: “Calm down and do not interfere, your regional ambitions have failed.”

Iran warns Saudi Arabia to not interfere as Middle East tensions increase | World | News |

SAUDIA ARABIA and the United Arab Emirates have been warned by Iran about their military activities after they were accused of being involved in a deadly attack on a military parade in the city of Ahvaz last week.

Iranian mayor apologises over billboard showing Israeli troops | News | Al Jazeera

Two public relation officials in Shiraz reportedly fired after altered image was put up to commemorate Iran-Iraq war.

Oops! Iranian Billboard Honors War Dead With Images Of (Wait For It)…Archenemy Israel

Iranian officials in the city of Shiraz have been mocked after mistakenly featuring Israeli soldiers on a billboard intended to commemorate the Iran-Iraq war.

Poverty, Separatism, And Bloody Memories Of War: Why Iran’s Khuzestan Matters

In a conversation caught on camera, a woman in Ahvaz, the capital of Iran’s southwestern Khuzestan Province, didn’t hold back as Labor Minister Ali Rabiei stood listening. “Khuzestan’s [people] have nothing. We only had security, which is gone now. Be sure that those young men who committed [the attack] did it because they were unemployed…. Go to [neighborhoods] in Ahvaz and see for yourself the misery people are living in,” the woman said in a video which went viral on social media.

Iran Struggles With Unrest in Pivotal Oil Hub – WSJ

Militant attacks on security forces and unrest in Iran’s main oil hub threaten the country’s economic engine as the regime struggles to cope with tighter U.S. sanctions, a falling currency and growing regional tensions.

Turkey’s Erdogan rebukes U.S. over Kurdish militia in Syrian city: paper | Reuters

Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan said the United States has failed to comply with the timescale agreed for the withdrawal of Kurdish YPG militia from northern Syrian city of Manbij, the Hurriyet newspaper reported on Friday.

Turkey accuses US of failing to abide by deal on Syrian town | Fox News

Turkey’s president in remarks published Friday accused the United States of failing to abide by a deal for a U.S.-backed Syrian Kurdish militia to withdraw from a town it had liberated from Islamic State militants in northern Syria.

🇹🇷🇩🇪 Can Turkey and Germany restore their broken relationship? l Inside Story – YouTube

Al Jazeera English Published on Sep 28, 2018 The leaders of the two countries have not seen eye to eye on many issues recently. The Turkish President is in the middle of a three-day state visit to Germany. It’s a critically important tour for Recep Tayyip Erdogan, as Turkey faces an economic crisis brought on by the crash of its currency, the lira, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel could be part of the solution. But behind the cordial greetings and joint news conferences, it’s been a rocky relationship for years. The two leaders have traded barbs over everything from human rights abuses, to political campaigning, and migrants. But with three million Turks living in Germany, it’s always going to be a relationship that needs to work.

Turkey-Germany: Erdogan urges Merkel to extradite Gulen ‘terrorists’ – BBC News

President Erdogan uses a state visit to demand the extradition of followers of Fethullah Gulen.