Information operations · Information Warfare · Iran · Russia

Salisbury CW Attack / Syria / Iran / Russia Ad Hoc Update (167)

The head of the GRU, Russian Colonel General Igor Valentinovich Korobov, has been utterly and absolutely humiliated.  

The GRU is the laughingstock of the global security services world.

GRU ‘secret agents’ have been absolutely disgraced for:

  • Horrible OPSEC
  • Poor tradecraft
  • Hiding in plain sight
  • Sequential passport numbers
  • Listing 305  addresses as GRU headquarters on a public vehicle registration site
  • Carrying evidence of other operations in other countries (notice the plural)
  • Carrying evidence linking them to GRU headquarters (Taxi receipt)

…and don’t forget one used his diplomatic passport photo on a Russian dating site. It’s called covert. I know it’s not clandestine, but jeez, guys.

…and that’s just in the Dutch OPCW operation. Never mind the Novichuckle operation:

  • Poor OPSEC
  • Poor COMSEC (The UK intercepted comms traffic on the hit)
  • Arriving and traveling together
  • No counter-coverage route
  • Hiding in plain sight
  • Drawing attention to themselves in their hotel room
  • Disposing of Novichok where it could be easily found (killed one civilian, injured second)
  • Not using the proper amount of Novichok (Soviet/Russian QC?)
  • Not using disguises/cover
  • Poor RT interview
    • Cathedral
      • Poor map reading, it was in the other direction
    • Stonehenge 
      • The Buses were running on schedule
    • Sports supplements – no corroboration
    • The actual snowfall didn’t match their memory

Then there is the little matter of Putin appearing like a fool, saying the ‘two lads’ were just citizens.  Oh, yeah, one of them received a Hero of the Russian Federation medal – from Putin – and his picture is on public display inside the GRU. 

You guys used to be pretty good. What in the heck did you do, sample your own products?

Choke On Coffee Warning on the editorial below.  Wicked!

Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

</end editorial>

The overnight deluge of media traffic around the GRU and its covert ops and hacking outside Russia make the label of a propaganda “epic fail” week or month simply inadequate – this has snowballed into a viral event and Wright probably captured it best saying that “Russia’s Image Tanks in the West”. This is simply unrecoverable politically, no differently than a stock market crash – in the West, Russia is now bankrupt in the political credibility game. What impact headlines and titles like “The spies who muffed it”, “Every Stupid Mistake Russian Spies Made During The Botched Skripal Poisoning Hack”, “Novichumps”, “The Novichokle Brothers”, “…hapless, beer-guzzling GRU spies…”,“Lager-primed laughing stock”,  “Amateur Russian spies were busted …” and “Bungling agents leave Putin exposed….” might produce inside Russia remains to be determined – the zombified might simply dismiss this as proof yet again of the evil machinations and conspiracies of foreigners who all hate the Motherland for its innate greatness.

Applebaum’s oped is good. As are a good number of other opeds. Appropriately a number of observers have pointed out that this cascade of FUBARs will neither deter, nor even slow down the Russian campaign.

As we have observed in Ukraine repeatedly since 2014, the mindset remains “press on, no matter what the cost”, losing 500 SOF “tourists” per day in futile assaults against the airport terminal simply saw more SOF operators sent into a wall of 12.7mm DShKM and 152mm arty fire, for weeks and weeks, until recruitable and later deployable personnel were all expended. Likely we will see increased optempo, shoddier planning, and even shoddier OPSEC, the very same pattern of Russian operations seen in Ukraine since 2014. The regime, like the WW2 NSDAP regime in Germany, plays almost everything around domestic propaganda outcomes, usually cares not about long-term impacts or immediate cost, as long as the leadership can grandstand to the public and proclaim some kind of moral victory, or victimization by the evil West. Public humiliation and ridicule in the West are always re-interpreted as propaganda, and proof of the evil intent of the West, a trope that goes back to the period of Muscovy’s betrayal of its Scandinavian founders 800 years ago.

NATO brief media on the upcoming Trident Juncture Exercise, intended to practice an Article 5 scenario in Scandinavia. Adm Foggo briefs on Russia’s growth in SSN/SSK capabilities in the West, including the Kalibr SLCM.

The IRGC publicly bait the Israelis, threatening to use Hezbollah troops to push the Israelis into the sea, a favorite theme in Arab propaganda decades ago. Cite: “I tell the prime minister of the Zionist regime to practice swimming in the Mediterranean”. This explosive growth in IRGC confidence appears to be a result of believing that the Russian delivered S-300PMU2 / SA-20B AD systems are impossible to defeat. Unfortunately for the IRGC, extremely difficult to defeat is not the same as impossible to defeat. If the Israelis decide to wholly annihilate the IRGC and its proxies in Syria, the only question is how long it will take.

The debate around the S-300PMU2 / SA-20B AD systems in Syria continues unabated. Gen Votel is entirely correct in his assessment, as proven by the IRGC commander’s statement above.

‘Russian hacking’ charges fly in formation: Mere coincidence or part of bigger picture? — RT World News

A wave of hacking accusations against Moscow flowed on Thursday from several western states. Russian diplomats believe it wasn’t a coincidence. But why take Moscow’s word for it, when you can check out recent events for yourself?

Germany, UK May Slap More Sanctions on Russia Amid Hacking Accusations – Sputnik International

On Thursday, the US Justice Department announced charges against seven alleged Russian military intelligence officers accused of hacking doping agencies and other international organizations.

EXCLUSIVE: Sputnik Gatecrashes Launch of Mark Urban’s Book ‘The Skripal Files’ – Sputnik International

It’s 6pm on the evening of October 4 and while the sun is fading fast, the temperature remains mild and Piccadilly Circus is awash with noise and animation – tourists eagerly snapping famous sights and struggling with voluminous shopping bags, buoyant office workers chatting and swigging outside pubs and bars, pretending it’s still somehow summer.

Ex-MI5 Officer Sheds Light on ‘Narrative’ Behind Book on Skripal – Sputnik International

The Russian embassy in London believes a book by a BBC editor about former Russian intelligence officer Sergei Skripal based on last year’s interviews is used in lieu of his testimony on the events of last March. Annie Machon, former MI5 Intelligence Officer has discussed ‘The Skripal Files’ by Mark Urban with Sputnik.

It’s getting much harder for Russia to deny hacking — but they’re trying it anyway – VICE News

“They’ll insult the critics, twist the facts, accuse the accusers of the same violation, and issue lurid warnings about the terrible consequences.”

Russia denies western accusations of attacks – CNN Video

The Dutch government accused Russia’s military intelligence agency, the GRU, of targeting the world’s chemical weapons watchdog. The Netherlands join the UK and other Western nations criticizing Russia’s military intelligence agency for carrying out worldwide cyber attacks.

Anne Applebaum | Russian hackers were caught in the act — and the results are devastating – The Washington Post

Dutch authorities have photographs of four Russian military intelligence (GRU) operatives arriving at the Amsterdam airport last April, escorted by a member of the Russian embassy. They have copies of the men’s passports — two of them with serial numbers one digit apart. Because they caught them, red-handed, inside a car parked beside the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in The Hague — the GRU team was trying to hack into the OPCW WiFi system — Dutch authorities also confiscated multiple phones, antennae and laptop computers. These have produced a trove of additional information. Among other things, the Dutch have proof that some of these men have been to Malaysia, where they were spying on the team investigating the crash of MH17 , the passenger plane brought down by a Russian missile in eastern Ukraine in July 2014. They have proof that these same men hacked a computer belonging to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), the organization that revealed the drug use by Russian athletes. They found train tickets to Switzerland, where it seems the GRU team was planning to hack the laboratory tasked with identifying Novichok, the chemical nerve agent that their colleagues used to attack an ex-spy in England. They even found a taxi receipt from the cab the team took from GRU headquarters to the Moscow airport.

Friday briefing: The spies who muffed it | World news | The Guardian

How Russian cyber-attack on WMD watchdog was foiled … what is ‘Canada-plus-plus-plus’ … and Vitamin D supplements ‘not needed’

Every Stupid Mistake Russian Spies Made During The Botched Skripal Poisoning Hack

Including registering five cars at a secret Russian base and a spy-based Sunday League team

Novichumps: Four Russian spooks caught red-handed trying to hack nerve agent lab | Metro Newspaper UK

FOUR bungling Russian spies were caught trying to hack the Salisbury novichok investigation armed with a laptop and a dongle. The GRU agents were found sitting in a hired Citroen C3 car outside the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in the Netherlands. Police recovered a receipt for their taxi ride to Moscow Airport… <a class=”view-article” href=“”>View Article</a>

THE NOVICHOKLE BROTHERS: Vladimir Putin’s bungling spies outed 300 Russian agents because their Lada was registered to top-secret cyber HQ

The four-strong GRU hacking team were the laughing stock of the world after they were caught red-handed outside the world’s chemical weapons watchdog in The Hague

Russian spies in new humiliation as hundreds of GRU agents names found online

Russia’s GRU spy agency has suffered a new humiliation after a list of over 300 names of suspected agents was discovered online.

Careless secret agents have managed to expose 300 of their espionage comrades

A car has linked the four spies who were caught trying to sabotage the Salisbury poison probe to GRU, Russia’s foreign intelligence agency. The Lada registered to one of the men also led British investigators to many more members of the shadowy unit.

‘300 Russian spies unmasked’ by Dutch hacking revelations | News | The Times

The GRU military intelligence agency was at the centre of the “largest intelligence blunder in Russian history” today after the Dutch hacking revelations appeared to result in the outing of more than 300 spies.Aleksei Morenets, one of the four Russian operatives publicly accused of attempting to hac

Russian GRU spies outed? Hundreds of names tied to elite group found after bungled hacking operation | Fox News

The names of 305 people tied to the Kremlin’s elite hacking unit were discovered online after investigators followed a paper trail left by a hapless Russian spy. Aleksei Morenets, one of seven Russian nationals named by the FBI this week in an indictment charging them for their “alleged roles in hacking and related influence and disinformation operations,” was discovered by the investigative news website Bellingcat to be the owner of a car registered to the Moscow address of Military Unit 26165, which the U.S. says is the cyber warfare department of Glavnoe Razvedytalnoe Upravlenie, Russia’s intelligence agency. Morenets was caught trying to break into a computer network belonging to a chemical weapons watchdog in the Netherlands.

Putin’s army of 80,000 spies EXPOSED as four Russian agents caught hacking novichok probe | World | News |

FOUR bungling Russian agents are part of Vladimir Putin’s 80,000-strong spy network, the UK was warned last night.

The five key steps to catching the hapless, beer-guzzling GRU spies who now face global humiliation | Daily Mail Online

Evidence shows how Moscow’s team of spies from the GRU military intelligence service attempted to gain access to the organisation’s IT systems.

Lager-primed laughing stock: how elite Russian hackers got caught red-handed by Dutch surveillance

The night before four Russian spies were caught trying to hack into the world&rsquo;s chemical weapons testing headquarters, they had drunk three cans of Heineken, a bottle of Lowenbrau lager, two bottles of Aldi&rsquo;s pure fruit orange juice and a packet of cold, cooked chicken slices.

Russia news: GRU agents who attacked OPCW caught with bag of empty beer cans | Daily Star

RUSSIAN spies have been caught drinking on the job as spooks found a bag full of empty Heineken cans in their car during a major operation in the Netherlands.

Amateur Russian spies were busted hacking the chemical arms watchdog. Here’s why Putin won’t stop – Europe –

The joint decision by the Netherlands and Britain to put Moscow in its place by deporting four Russian ‘diplomats’ and publicly revealing the botched operation to hack the OPCW was an attempt at drawing clearer lines. But it was barely a start


Unit 26165’s trail of blunders: How Putin’s elite globe-trotting hacking squad left a trail of clues including a selfie at the Olympics, a pile of beer cans and a TAXI RECEIPT from their spy base to airport | Daily Mail Online

The GRU used a laptop, Wi-Fi dongle and a rudimentary battery pack stored in the boot of a rented Citroen C3 in its botched cyber attack on the chemical weapons watchdog in The Hague.

String of own goals by Russian spies exposes a strange sloppiness | World news | The Guardian

The secretive, daring GRU seems to have lost its way in the age of internet search

Bungling agents leave Putin exposed in the global spotlight | World news | The Guardian

Botched missions in Salisbury and The Hague may prompt Russian leader to reassess his targeting of the west

Russia hack attacks: Revelations from ′spy mania′ | Europe| News and current affairs from around the continent | DW | 05.10.2018

From Berlin to Washington, Western governments have accused Moscow of staging all kinds of cyberattacks. DW examines the revelations about Russia’s counterintelligence operations on foreign soil.

Dutch cheesed off with Russians, expel four suspects over chemical weapons Wi-Fi spying • The Register

Russia hits back: Do not ‘swallow these provocations’.

Russian cyber spies busted by Netherlands ‘left behind evidence of many operations’ | ZDNet

Equipment seized by Dutch intelligence points to Russia’s involvement in hacking incidents around the world.

Russian Cyber Attack on Chemical Weapons Prohibition Body Foiled

Dutch security services said Thursday they had thwarted a Russian cyber attack on the global chemical weapons watchdog, as Western powers blamed Moscow for some of the biggest hacking plots of recent years.

Report: Police, AG targeted by Russian hackers | Malaysia | Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 5 — A global investigation into Russian state-sponsored cyber espionage revealed that the Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC) and Royal Malaysia Police were also targeted by the hackers. According to a report by British state broadcaster BBC, the motive for the cyber attacks on…

The Cybersecurity 202: U.S. and allies make coordinated push to ‘name and shame’ Russian hackers – The Washington Post

Meanwhile, Pence focused on China’s influence operations.

Russia GRU caught hacking into OPCW via WiFi, Dutch intelligence says – INSIDER

The Netherlands accused four Russian agents of trying to launch a cyberattack on the OPCW chemical weapons watchdog earlier this year. The attempted breach came as the OPCW was investigating the nerve agent poisoning of a former Russian spy in England.

British, Australian, and Dutch officials accuse Russian intelligence of ‘brazen’ cybercrimes | TheBlaze

British, Australian, and Dutch authorities have accused Russia’s GRU intelligence agency of being behind cyberattacks against both the Organisation for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons and the investigation into Malaysian Airlines flight MH17, which was shot down over Ukraine in 2014. On Thursday, the U.S. Department of Justice indicted seven GRU officers on a range of charges, including the OPCW hacking.

Germany warns Russia over cyberattacks | News | DW | 05.10.2018

The German government on Friday called on Russia to desist from carrying out cyberattacks in other countries, adding its voice to those of Britain and the Netherlands. “We sharply condemn such attacks on international organizations and institutions of our allies and call on Russia to meet its responsibility and cease such actions,” government Spokesman Steffen Seibert said in Berlin. He said that Germany, like Britain, believed that the Russian military intelligence agency GRU was, “with almost absolute certainty,” behind the APT28 cyberespionage campaign, which attacked a number of targets worldwide, including the German Bundestag and government data network. If such attacks were successful, Seibert said, they could directly threaten public security and “in principle also our democracy,” making it imperative that Germany ensured it was ready and able to take action in the digital sphere. He emphasized the importance of working together with other states to defend against such attacks.

Aleksei Morenets Dating Openly? – To Inform is to Influence

Aric Toler, of Bellingcat’s tweet: There’s no way this is the same guy, right? A participant at our current workshop found this on a Russian dating site. GRU looking for love? Morenets is one of the seven sanctioned GRU officers. “Don’t NOC it until you’ve tried it”. It gets worse.

Putin’s attacks are just ‘pilot projects’, diplomat warns

Russian president Vladimir Putin’s spies are mounting cyber attacks as “pilot projects” in readiness for full-blooded attempts to create chaos in the west, the Government’s former chief security adviser warned today.

From doping to nuclear secrets, Kremlin wages global cyberwar | News | The Times

Officers from the GRU have attempted to hack into a US nuclear power company, a chemical weapons watchdog, anti-doping agencies and a government investigation into the destruction of the Malaysia Airlines passenger jet MH17, we now know.The array of Russian cyberoperations detailed by western powers

Russia hacking: How a botched ‘cleanup’ operation helped to unmask a global cyberweb

Intelligence uncovered possible links between plots targeting various institutions and countries.

Russian plot to kill defector began with a false story of his death

In the summer of 2016, a Russian news agency published a story about the death of a high-level defector who had been living in hiding in the United States. But the defector, Col. Alexander Poteyev, was, and is, alive; the CIA’s former station chief in Moscow believes the phony story was likely part of a plot to smoke him out and target him for assassination in the U.S. Daniel Hoffman, a retired CIA officer and one of its top specialists on the Kremlin, says the Russian intelligence operation against Poteyev, which has only recently come to light, appears to be part of an increasingly aggressive pattern of activity by Vladimir Putin’s government to target Russian spies who betray their country. “He’s interested in exacting revenge on as many of these guys as he can find,” said Hoffman in an interview on the Yahoo News podcast “Skullduggery.” “There is no bridge too far for Vladimir Putin.”

Russian GRU agents ‘should not be underestimated’ after cyberattacks thwarted, officials warn

Officials say GRU is ‘constantly’ attacking UK government and critical national infrastructure.

The west has declared war on the GRU – but don’t expect Russia to tame its spies

Analysis: Agency is shamed as crazy and out of control, but there’s little sign that Putin’s faith in it will be diminished

Russia used bitcoin to fund its cyberattacks, Justice Department says – MarketWatch

The Justice Department indictment against seven Russian military officers for a series of alleged cyber attacks unveiled Thursday contained another allegation that Russia turned to bitcoin to fund the efforts.

Sources tell Russian newspaper that FSB agents leaked secret data to the FBI for 10 million dollars — Meduza

The newspaper Kommersant reported on October 5 that former FSB Information Security Center agent Sergey Mikhailov and his three accomplices allegedly received $10 million for giving the FBI classified data about Pavel Vrublevsky, the former head of the payment services company Chronopay.

What is Unit 26165, Russia’s elite military hacking centre?

The four intelligence officers detained by Dutch security services are part of an elite military unit that runs high-risk cyber espionage operations out of a 19th-century barracks in central Moscow.

Alleged operations by Russia’s spy agency GRU in recent years | News | Al Jazeera

An overview of recent allegations against intelligence agency GRU after series of announcements by Western nations.

No Russian interference yet in US midterm elections: FireEye – To Inform is to Influence

FireEye is disregarding what Hamilton 68 shows.  Russian trolls are stoking the fire surrounding the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings on both Twitter and Facebook.  True, we have not seen hack and leak attacks – yet. It is now October, an “October Surprise” would not have arrived yet. I’m not saying it will, however. </end editorial> Influence…

GRU Close Access Cyber Operation Against OPCW – To Inform is to Influence

GRU Close Access Cyber Operation Against OPCW Dutch MoD Briefing

Russian Hackers Indicted — FBI

Seven GRU military intelligence officers have been charged with hacking into the computer networks of U.S. and international organizations, including those cracking down on Russia’s state-sponsored doping activities.

Russia behaving like ‘pariah state’: UK in furious outburst after GRU sabotage | World | News |

RUSSIA has been accused of behaving like a “pariah state” after allegations the Kremlin tried to hack the UK Government and the international body that headed the Salisbury Novichok probe.

Russia unlikely to reduce aggressive spying, analysts warn | World news | The Guardian

Expulsion of agents from the Netherlands will not deter Vladimir Putin, experts say

Marc Bennetts | GRU isn’t out of control — it’s doing what Putin wants | News | The Times

The flood of revelations about botched operations by Kremlin secret agents have been portrayed in the West as a humiliation for President Putin, an ex-spy chief, but the intelligence failures are unlikely to have significant political consequences within Russia. Moscow has furiously denied that officers from its GRU military intelligence service attempted to hack into the Office for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in the Netherlands while the agency investigated the Salisbury poisonings. Britain said on Thursday that Russian spies were also responsible for a swathe of “reckless” cyberattacks on businesses, political institutions, media outlets, and international sport. Mr Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, has sought to portray the accusations as part of a nefarious Western plot against Moscow with its roots in “hysteria, spy…

No, Mr. Putin, the Bungled Spying Won’t Blow Over – To Inform is to Influence

The string of embarrassing failures is ruining the image of omnipotence the Russian leader spent years trying to build. By Leonid Bershidsky Leonid Bershidsky is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering European politics and business. He was the founding editor of the Russian business daily Vedomosti and founded the opinion website October 5, 2018, 2:00 AM EDT The…

News Analysis: Infighting? Incompetence? Distraction? What’s Happening With Russia’s Spies?

Hardly a day goes by without some revelation pointing to the nefarious activity and questionable competence of Russia’s GRU military intelligence organization.

Russian spies are outed, but will heads roll in Moscow? – CNN

It looked like a spy agency’s worst nightmare: The unmasking of several agents, and the disclosure of sloppy tradecraft in what appeared to be a bungled intelligence operation.

This Russian cyberattack would be hilarious were the GRU not so sinister | News | The Times

Russia is intensely proud of its espionage history. From the Bolshevik Cheka, through Stalin’s vicious NKVD, the KGB and now President Putin’s modern intelligence agencies, this is a country that revels in its reputation as the home of spying, ruthless, cunning and expert.Which is why Mr Putin wil

Opinion | Russia’s Spies, Foiled Again – The New York Times

The Kremlin’s cybersnoops tried to disrupt investigations into Russian assassination plots and Olympic cheating operations.

At a time of permanent cyberwar, the UK must stand firm against Russia | Tim Stevens | Opinion | The Guardian

Most options available to us would risk escalating tension into confrontation. Instead, we stick to the international rulebook, says global security expert Tim Stevens

Have Russian spies lost their touch? – BBC News

Four suspected agents uncovered in the Netherlands left a trail of clues, the BBC’s Sarah Rainsford writes.

VLAD’S FURY | Humiliated Putin left furious by hapless GRU spies who bungled Salisbury novichok sabotage, expert claims

Author and historian Ben Macintyre said Putin will be ’embarrassed’ that Russia’s status as a superpower is being undermined by comical blunders on the world stage

Russia’s Image Tanks in the West, but So Does Donald Trump’s | The New Yorker

Robin Wright writes on the West’s coördinated stand against Russia and a new Pew Research Center poll that shows approval in Donald Trump plummeting around the world.

Russia cyber-plots: Dutch defend decision not to arrest suspects – BBC News

Four alleged cyber-plotters were sent home as they were not part of a criminal inquiry, the Dutch say.

The Guardian view on Russia and hacking: time to tackle our vulnerabilities | Editorial | Opinion | The Guardian

Editorial: The disrupted cyber-attack on the chemical weapons watchdog and allegations of a sophisticated Chinese hardware hack have highlighted the dangers

Why we know so much about Russia’s GRU operations | Russia | Al Jazeera

Russia’s military intelligence has failed spectacularly to cover up its tracks at home and abroad.

Russian hackers were caught in the act — and the results are devastating – The Washington Post

The Dutch have decided to blow the spies’ operation wide open.

How regular citizens got caught in a US-Russia cyberwar – CNN

An online war is being waged all around us — and citizens are caught in its crossfire.

Bellingcat establishes identity of GRU member “Petrov” –

Bellingcat investigating network established the identity of one of the suspects of attack former member of Russian special services Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in British Saulsberry. Aric Toler, principal investigator of Bellingcat for Eastern Europe and Eurasia reported this on Twitter. ‘We established the real identity of Alexander Petrov, second poisoner of Skripal, who worked with Anatoliy Chepiga (Ruslan Bashirov),’ he said. Toler also claimed that Bellingcat would announce the real name of “Petrov” on Tuesday, October 9. As it was reported earlier, one of the suspects of poisoning Sergei Skripal in British Salisbury, Russian Ruslan Boshirov turned out to be Colonel of the Main Intelligence Directorate of Russia (GRU) Anatoliy Chepiga.

Trident Juncture Exercise Will Test NATO’s Ability to Repel Invasion of an Ally – USNI News

THE PENTAGON – The upcoming Trident Juncture 2018 exercise will be the first opportunity to test out the premise of NATO’s new “Four Thirties” initiative – the idea that NATO may need to move a lot of people and platforms quickly to defend an ally whose sovereignty has been violated – the head of naval forces in Europe said today. Adm. James Foggo, who heads all U.S. naval forces in Europe and Africa and commands the Allied Joint Force Command in Naples, said today that there are still details to work out surrounding Four Thirties, but that “we’re exercising it in spirit in Trident Juncture.” Four Thirties is the idea that NATO should have 30 ships, 30 squadrons of aircraft and 30 combat battalions that could be ready to fight within 30 days, an initiative that Defense Secretary James Mattis pushed at the July NATO Summit. Trident Juncture, which starts later this month, will seek to move and support 45,000 personnel, 60 ships, 120 aircraft and 10,000 ground vehicles in a simulated defense of Norway against an invading adversary. “We’re really testing our response to an Article 5 (defense of an ally under the NATO treaty), our ability to move rapidly – the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force will move into Norway to provide Article 5 defense. And, even more importantly, we’re testing our ability to conduct operations in the 6th domain of warfare, and that is logistics, which is so important – when you have 45,000 soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines and all their kit, you’ve got to get there. So that’s several lifts of aircraft, several [roll-on/roll-off ships] or sealift ships that are coming in,” he said while speaking at an Atlantic Council event in the morning.

Now this is transparency! NATO to deploy 45,000 troops near Russian border, calls it ‘defensive’ — RT World News

Amid ceaseless accusations of Russian aggression, NATO will deploy 45,000 troops to Northern Europe in what will be the alliance’s largest “defensive” exercise since the end of the Cold War.

‘I Want Them to Be There’: US Admiral Wants Russia to See NATO Exercise – Sputnik International

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – Russia should take up NATO’s invitation to send observers to the 2018 Trident Juncture military exercises as it is in Moscow’s best interest to observe the readiness and capabilities of the forces involved, US Navy Admiral James G. Foggo III said on Friday.

NATO invited Russian observers to their largest drills in decades – INSIDER

Senior NATO commander Adm. James Foggo says he wants Russia to come observe NATO’s largest exercise in nearly two decades because he wants to make sure Moscow receives the intended “strong deterrence message.”

US, NATO forces to conduct largest exercise since 2002 that sends message to one nation: Russia – ABC News

NATO has invited Russia to observe the exercise that’s meant to deter them.

Russia Increasing Submarine Capabilities In Mediterranean, Atlantic, U.S. Admiral Warns

Russia is augmenting its underwater battle capabilities in a direct challenge to U.S. and NATO forces in the Atlantic and Mediterranean arenas, a top U.S. admiral has warned.

Top US admiral warns of Russian submarine threat – CNNPolitics

America’s most senior naval officer in Europe, Adm. James Foggo, said Friday that he was “concerned” about some of Russia’s newer and more advanced fleet of submarines.

Russia’s submarines are showing they can strike deep inside Europe, and they have got the US Navy on edge | Business Insider

NATO naval officials have repeatedly warned about Russia’s submarines – a force they say is more sophisticated and active.

US admiral warns of Russia’s submarine capabilities

Russia is bolstering its underwater battle capabilities in a direct challenge to US forces in the Atlantic and Mediterranean, a top US admiral warned Friday.

Senior US admiral warns of Russian’s growing submarine threat | SBS News

America’s most senior naval officer in Europe says he has major concerns about some of Russia’s newer and more advanced fleet of submarines.

Iran General Says Israel Could Never Win, So Prime Minister Should ‘Practice Swimming’ Instead

The deputy commander of the Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards said that Hezbollah alone was powerful enough to defeat Israel.

Iranian official warns Netanyahu: Practice swimming in the sea – Israel National News

Deputy commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards threatens that Israel could be destroyed by Hezbollah.

Iran Guard warns Netanyahu will be ‘forced into the sea’ | Daily Mail Online

The deputy commander of Iran’s revolutionary guards warned Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday to “practice swimming in the Mediterranean”…

Israel’s prime minister questioned again in corruption probe | Reuters

Israeli police questioned Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for the 12th time on Friday in connection with a long-running corruption investigation.

IRGC: Netanyahu Will Be Forced to ‘Flee Into Sea,’ Should ‘Practice Swimming’ – Sputnik International

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed this week to continue “doing what it takes to defend itself” against Tehran, including fighting Iran’s alleged presence in Syria and Lebanon.

Iran Guard warns Netanyahu will be ‘forced into the sea’ | News , Middle East | THE DAILY STAR

The deputy commander of Iran’s revolutionary guards warned Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday to “practice swimming in the Mediterranean” because he would be forced to abandon his country.

IRGC commander says Netanyahu will be forced to ‘flee into sea,’ should ‘practice swimming’

In a fiery message aimed at Tel Aviv, Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps deputy commander Brig. Gen. Hossein Salami issued a warning to Israel. “I tell

Top Iran Revolutionary guard warns Netanyahu will have to ‘flee into the sea’ | The Times of Israel

‘I tell the prime minister of the Zionist regime to practice swimming in the Mediterranean,’ says deputy commander

Will Israel and Iran go to war in Syria?

Israel will need to create a stable deterrence situation in Syria, ideally better than what exists in Lebanon. This will mean making Israel’s redlines clear to all actors, including Iran and Russia, and acting forcefully when they are violated.

The Road to Tehran Runs Through Oslo – Foreign Policy

Norway—and Oman—can help end the impasse over Iran sanctions by creating an externally-managed and guaranteed oil fund.

India Will Buy Weapons from Russia and Oil from Iran, Ignoring U.S. Warnings

India is defying U.S. sanctions by buying Russia’s S-400 surface-to-air missile system and is increasing its imports of Iranian oil.

Pentagon: Delivery of S-300s to Syria ‘Knee-Jerk Response’ to Il-20 Downing – Al-Manar TV Lebanon

US CENTCOM Chief Gen. Joseph Votel, the commander in charge of US forces in the Middle East, has confirmed that Russia has completed the delivery of its S-300 systems to Syria. “We do believe that that system is – has been moved into Syria,” Votel said, speaking to reporters at the Pentagon on Thursday. “I won’t comment on any particular locations or anything like that,” he added. Characterizing the S-300 deployment as “a needless escalation,” the general suggested that the Russian decision may have been “perhaps a little bit of a knee-jerk response to the downing of their aircraft – the Russian aircraft – here a couple weeks ago.” Russia deployed 49 components associated with the S-300 system, including radars, control vehicles and four launchers, on Tuesday, in response to the destruction of a Russian Il-20 reconnaissance plane with 15 airmen onboard on September 17. The Russian Ministry of Defense blamed the plane’s loss on Tel Aviv, accusing Israeli warplanes of using the Russian aircraft as a shield against Syrian air defenses, and vowing to beef up Syrian air defenses and to take a number of other measures to boost the safety of Russian military personnel in Syria. Speaking to reporters, Votel suggested that the S-300 deployment has “nothing to do” with Russia’s mission of defeating ISIL, and claimed that it instead “appears to be an effort to cover for Iranian and Syrian regime nefarious activities in Syria.”

Russia Sends Strong Signal to US, NATO by Deploying S-300 in Syria – Analyst – Sputnik International

On October 2, the Russian Defense Forces finished their delivery of components of several S-300 air defense systems to Syria. Political analyst Ghassan Kadi, who has roots in Syria, shared his views with Sputnik on the missile defense system’s installation and the way it could influence the regional status quo.

Israeli Publicist Explains Why Tel Aviv Remains ‘Cool’ Over Syria’s S-300 – Sputnik International

Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman signaled on October 3 that Israel was unhappy with the delivery of Russian-made S-300 air defense system to Syria but wouldn’t stop its operations in the region. Speaking to Sputnik, Israeli publicist Avigdor Eskin shared his views on Moscow’s move and the future of Russian-Israeli relations.

In rare criticism, Russian chief rabbi blasts supply of S-300 missiles to Syria | The Times of Israel

Berel Lazar calls Russia’s decision to give advanced air defense system to Assad regime a ‘mistake,’ says he’s talked to Putin about it

Israel Sets Up Confrontation With Russian-Made SAMS…Saying F-35 Can Easily Beat S-300 In Syria… – Tsarizm

Israel Sets Up Confrontation With Russian-Made SAMS…Saying F-35 Can Easily Beat S-300 In Syria… Time To Get The Popcorn?

UAWire – Israel: Russian S-300 missile systems are not capable of defeating F-35 fighter jets

The Israeli Minister for Regional Cooperation, Tzachi Hanegbi said on the army radio that Russian S-300 anti-aircraft missile systems, which Moscow supplied to Damascus, will not be able to detect F-35 fighters, reports Haaretz. “You know, we have stealth-fighters, the best planes in the world. These batteries (S-300) are not even able to detect them,“ he said. As the newspaper notes, the first F-35 arrived in Israel in 2017. Russia decided to transfer the S-300 to Syria, after the Syrian military, while attempting to repel an attack by Israeli F-16 fighters, shot down the Russian Il-20 in the same area, killing 15 military personnel.

‘No chance’ Israeli minister TAUNTS Putin by saying Russian missiles are NO MATCH for US | World | News |

VLADIMIR Putin has been taunted by Israeli minister Tzachi Hanegbi, who warned him surface-to-air missiles bought from Russia and deployed by Syria have NO CHANCE of stopping its US-bought fighter jets.

David J. Bercuson: Putin may not want a fight with Israel, but he may get it | National Post

If Russian missiles (presumably operated by Russian military personnel) begin to shoot at Israeli aircraft, the Israelis will undoubtedly attack

France: Russias supply of S-300 risks military escalation

French Foreign Ministry says it is concerned by Russias delivery of advanced anti-aircraft defense system to Assads army since it has potential to intensify regional tensions and remove the prospect of a political settlement of the Syrian crisis.

Russia deployment of S-300 in Syria risks military escalation: France | Reuters

Russia’s deployment of the S-300 anti-aircraft defense system in Syria risks fuelling military escalation and hindering prospects for a political solution to the seven-year conflict, France’s foreign ministry said on Friday.

Moscow mediating between Israel and Iran after S-300 delivery, report says – Israel News –

London-based newspaper Asharq Al Awsat reported that Russia is aiming to ‘reduce tensions and prevent friction’ in Syria by opening channels of communication between Tel Aviv and Tehran

Russia establishes communication with Israel pertaining to S-300 missiles – Middle East – Jerusalem Post

The purpose of channel of communication is to reduce tensions in the region, in view of the transfer of Russian air defense system S-300 to Syria.

Russia seeking communications channel between Israel, Iran in Syria — report | The Times of Israel

Government source tells Arabic daily Moscow could serve as mediator to alleviate regional tensions

Israel Must Rethink Its Syria Strategy After Downing of Russian Plane | Jewish & Israel News


The Aviationist » Everything We Know About The Delivery of Russian S-300 Missile Systems to Syria

By David Cenciotti Let’s analyse if and how the Syrian scenario is going to change after the delivery of the S-300 air defense system to Assad. Images and video of the first Russian S-300 battery being delivered at the Khmeimim Air Base in Syria have been shared by the Russian MoD starting on Wednesday Oct. 3. The announcement of the successful delivery of the long-range missile systems had arrived on Tuesday but the photographs and clip showing the missile tubes, radar and control vehicles provided a visual confirmation of the claims.

Russia Says Its Syrian Air Defenses Can Track Aircraft In Europe, Israel | The National Interest

Or is that just fake news?