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Member since Nov-17-05

My wrap of our Chessgames Challenge: The World vs A Nickel, 2006 against ICCF Grandmaster Arno Nickel is at User: World Team Tribute.


>> Click here to see twinlark's game collections. Full Member

   twinlark has kibitzed 17218 times to chessgames   [more...]
   Oct-08-15 Biographer Bistro (replies)
twinlark: <Tabanus> Thanks for the response. I wouldn't want to take you away from your historical work.
   Oct-08-15 twinlark chessforum
twinlark: Also interesting is an opinion piece in discussing the "violation" of Turkish airspace by Russian jets. The article comments that the area in question was Syrian territory overrun by Turkey three years ago.
   Sep-20-15 World Cup (2015) (replies)
twinlark: <Why? Because the players are paid directly based on their performance and are not being promised anything if they don't perform well (like the appearance fee they get for RRs).> The performance they're getting paid for is based purely on outcomes which <always> produce
   Sep-19-15 John M Burke (replies)
twinlark: <Whitemouse> Burke was a 2200 a couple of months ago but his reaching 2600 is as much of a quirk of the new rating formula for young players as an outstanding effort on his part. Without denigrating this kid's talent, his results for producing a 2600 rating were far fewer ...
   Sep-16-15 Wei Yi (replies)
twinlark: You gotta be an Aussie with a moniker like that.
   Aug-29-15 OhioChessFan chessforum (replies)
twinlark: <Interesting player. He seems to show flashes of brilliance where you'd think he should be top 10.> Yes, I thought the same. It's interesting to speculate about the careers of some of the also-rans. Why didn't they take the next step up the ladder. In some cases, it's ...
   Aug-25-15 Aleksandra Goryachkina
twinlark: That seems to be the case, although with a possible caveat. Any games to be deleted from a 9+ round event have to be won games. Hence if we delete Goryachkina's wins against Ovod (2321) and Savina (2429), the average ratings of her opponents rises from 2460 to 2477, just squeezing ...
   Aug-25-15 Li Chao (replies)
twinlark: <sonia91> Those changes have been made. I must say it's nice to see someone noticing and reporting such details. I'd like to suggest though that if you find more amendments that need to be made to a bio, then post the details where biographers hang out at the Biographer ...
   Aug-21-15 Parham Maghsoodloo (replies)
twinlark: <cro777: <twinlark> Thanks for clearing that up.> Thanks for being diplomatic. Just noticed that Nakamura and Caruana can't both be finalists as they're on the same side of the draw, which is bad news for Tomashevsky. Jakovenko will obviously be cheering for them.
   Aug-19-15 chessforum (replies)
twinlark: <ceegee> Ta.
(replies) indicates a reply to the comment.

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 254 OF 254 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Premium Chessgames Member
  twinlark: <visayanbraindoctor>

Here's a good start on the 9/11 truth movement, namely Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth have put out this consolidated publication:

There is a lot more, and I'll post it shortly, including other groups such as pilots, ex-spies and ex-senior military and government officials.

Premium Chessgames Member
  visayanbraindoctor: <France, partners to discuss northern Syria 'safe zone': Hollande>

<Saudi FM: Assad must go or face 'military option'>

I was wondering how to relate Hollande's anti Syrian speech and KSA's aggressive statement to matters on the ground. Turns out that US and Turkey had agreed to a 'safe zone' in northern Syria.

Scouting around for more analysis, I came across this in a pro-Russian blog:

<Now he’s providing cover for Obama so the real details of the Incirlik agreement remain off the public’s radar. That’s why we say, Obama shoved a knife in Putin’s back, because, ultimately, the no-fly zone damages Russia’s interests in Syria.

The significance of the Reuters article cannot be overstated. It suggests that there was a quid pro quo for the use of Incirlik, and that Turkey’s demands were accepted. Why is that important?

Because Turkey had three demands:

1–Safe zones in north Syria (which means that Turkey would basically annex a good portion of Syrian sovereign territory.)

2–A no-fly zone (which would allow either Turkish troops, US Special Forces or US-backed jihadi militants to conduct their military operations with the support of US air cover.)

3–A commitment from the US that it will help Turkey remove Assad.

Did Obama agree to all three of these demands before Erdogan agreed to let the USAF use Incirlik?

Yes, at least I think he did, which is why I think we are at the beginning of Phase 2 of the US aggression against Syria. Incirlik changes everything. US bombers, drones and fighters can enter Syrian airspace in just 15 minutes instead of 3 to 4 hours from Bahrain. That means more sorties, more surveillance drones, and more air-cover for US-backed militias and Special Forces on the ground. It means the US can impose a de facto no-fly zone over most of Syria that will expose and weaken Syrian forces tipping the odds decisively in favor of Obama’s jihadi army. Incirlik is a game-changer, the cornerstone of US policy in Syria. With access to Incirlik, victory is within Washington’s reach. That’s how important Incirlik is.

And that’s why the normally-cautious Putin decided to deploy his warplanes, troops and weaponry so soon after the Incirlik deal was signed. He could see the handwriting on the wall. He knew he had to either act fast and turn the tide or accept the fact that the US and Turkey were going to topple Assad sometime after Turkey’s snap elections on November 1. That was his timeline for action. So he did the right thing and joined the fighting.>

Now look at where Russian airforce has been bombing on day 1 and 2:

Most are around Latakia and Tartus, meant to secure Russian bases. But three seem to be in locations inside or adjacent the proposed US protected safe zone.

Premium Chessgames Member
  visayanbraindoctor: The article continues: <On Wednesday, just two days after Putin announced to the UN General Assembly: “We can no longer tolerate the current state of affairs in the world,” Putin ordered the bombing of targets in Homs, an ISIS stronghold in West Syria. The attacks, which were unanimously approved by the Russian parliament earlier in the day, and which are entirely legal under international law (Putin was invited by Syria’s sitting president, Assad, to carry out the airstrikes), have put US policy in a tailspin. While the Russian military is maintaining an open channel to the Pentagon and reporting when-and-where it is carrying out its airstrikes, U.S. State Department spokesman John Kirby said that the US plans to “continue to fly missions over Iraq and Syria” increasing the possibility of an unintended clash that could lead to a confrontation between the US and Russia.

Is that what Washington wants, A VIOLENT INCIDENT THAT PITS ONE NUCLEAR-ARMED ADVERSARY AGAINST THE OTHER? (I capitalize this because of the implications for a possible nuclear war.)

Let’s consider one probable scenario: Let’s say an F-16 is shot down over Syria while providing air cover for Obama’s militants on the ground. Now that Russia is conducting air raids over Syria, there’s a good chance that Putin would be blamed for the incident like he was when the Malaysian airliner was downed over East Ukraine.>

The author expects anti-Russian propaganda over the bombings. But unlike in Ukraine, Russia not only admits to getting actively involved in a hot war in Syria, it's even releasing daily updates and videos. See Obviously a prophylactic move that tries to lessen the impact of future expected anti-Russian propaganda from MSM.

Premium Chessgames Member
  visayanbraindoctor: <twinlark> Thanks for the link. It might take me some time to read it.
Premium Chessgames Member

This is a kind of attitude that could lead to a nuclear war. Is she proposing shooting down Russian jets in Syria if they persist bombing? Never mind that Russia is legally invited into Syria while US is conducting illegal overfly and bombings. Hopefully most of the US leadership does not have this attitude.

Premium Chessgames Member
  visayanbraindoctor: Every one outside Russia and Syria seems shocked at how rapid events occurred.

27 September 2015. Putin in CBS: "Russia will not participate in any troop operations in the territory of Syria or in any other states. Well, at least we don't plan on it right now.”

28 September 2015, Monday. Putin speaks to UN General Assembly about forming a coalition against 'terrorists' in Syria.

29 September 2015, Tuesday. Hollande announces that France and partners will discuss plans for northern Syria 'safe zone'.

30 September 2015. A day with several fast moving events; I am not sure of the order. Essentially, Turkey calls for the removal of Assad at the UN GA. Russia responds with its parliament approving military action abroad; and within the day, Russian air-force is already bombing in Syria on orders by its Commander in Chief Putin.

1. Turkey's Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu states that "anyone thinking of a solution to the Syrian crisis must think of a Syria without Assad," during his address to the UN General Assembly, in New York on Wednesday.

2. The upper chamber of the Russian parliament unanimously gives formal consent to President Putin to use the nation’s military in Syria to fight terrorism at a request from the Syrian President Bashar Assad.

3. Syrian Arab News Agency confirms that Assad has officially submitted a written request inviting Russia in: <the sending of Russian air forces was carried out upon a request of the Syrian state conveyed via a letter sent by President Bashar al-Assad to President Vladimir Putin.>

4. Russian air-force warplanes begin bombing 'terrorists' in Syria.

That was quick as blitz.

How did it happen so fast? I suspect that Putin and Obama held close talks after their speeches. By the way Hollande and Davutoglu spoke afterward, I assume Obama told Putin that US and allies had decided to push through a safe zone in northern Syria. Davotuglu's speech is essentially a confirmation of this safe zone as he is obviously calling for the removal of Syria's President.

I suspect that US and Turkey were already planning on a major offensive right after explaining 'how evil the Syrian regime is'. Their UN speeches were essentially justifying explanations for such an offensive. Russian warplanes probably hit the arms and ammo depots, command and control centers, and infantry training camps which the planned offensive is dependent or based upon.

Premium Chessgames Member
  twinlark: I guess in retrospect it's clear the steps that Russia was taking including the large scale military exercises in its Central Military Region.

It seems to mark a turning point in terms of Russia's involvement in matters outside its contiguous borders.

Here is another extremely interesting description of current and future Russian military materiel and possible deployment:

Premium Chessgames Member

Russia is acting like the blitz king of geopolitics. A year after Crimea rejoined it, a bridge across Kerch strait is completed. I thought it would take years given the anti-Russian sanctions. Crimea is clearly one of Russia's priorities.

Even closed to civilian traffic at the moment, I do not see why Russia can't bring in armored vehicles and war materiel across this bridge.

Premium Chessgames Member
  twinlark: Here are a couple of graphic videos put out by Russian Highways that visualise the completion of the project: and
Premium Chessgames Member
  visayanbraindoctor: <twinlark> Thanks for the videos. Must rank as one of the great engineering achievements of the early 21st century.

Seems that MSM propaganda against Russia in Syria has started straightaway. I can see nothing but criticism in western controlled press. They allege Russia is bombing civilians as usual without a shred of evidence (ironically a simultaneous USAAF bombing in Afghanistan hit a hospital and killed doctors, nurses, other medical personnel and probably patients too). The most hilarious is Obama's allegation that Russia is also targeting <moderate opposition> that US supports. (See So it has come to the point that Obama publicly admits the existence of armed insurgents in Syria that US officially supports. He does not seem to care that what US is doing is illegal. In other words, don't bomb our favorite terrorists. It's almost funny to see him speaking thus.

I believe the articles are designed to pressure Russia to stop the bombings immediately. Why such a desperate sounding tone to cease and desist ASAP to the point of admitting US illegal actions in another country? I suspect that US actually has intelligence officers and special forces embedded within some of the groups being bombed. Russian airforce strikes were directed at command and control centers, communication centers, and training camps, precisely where one expects covert US operatives would be in. If so, many of them could be dead and wounded, and the US administration must be in a panic trying to pull them out. In any case the bombings have almost surely aborted any invasion plan of Syria.

Below is a typical anti-Syrian article, featuring your foreign minister, that summarizes US allegations.

<Bishop: they are also broadening their attacks into part of Syria where ISIL or Daesh are not apparent and so it would appear that Russia's motivations go beyond just targeting Daesh>

<Obama, wary of military commitments in the Middle East after America's costly war in Iraq, warned Russian leader Vladimir Putin he was defending a crumbling authoritarian ally and could be sucked into a "quagmire".>

<Britain's defence minister said only one in 20 Russian air strikes in Syria were aimed at the hardline IS forces, which control large parts of eastern Syria and western Iraq.>

<Michael Fallon accused Russia of dropping unguided munitions on civilian areas, and against Mr Assad's Western and Gulf-backed enemies.>

<The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at least 39 civilians had been killed since the start of the Russian air strikes on Wednesday.>

Russia's response is quite amusing.

<We will not only continue strikes ... we will also increase their intensity," said Andrei Kartapolov from the Russian army.>


Premium Chessgames Member
  visayanbraindoctor: <twinlark> Russia also has built long hanging bridges in Vladivostok. See This one seems geared to upgrade Russia's world image, but the one to Crimea looks like a must. An emergency food and water pipeline in case Kiev totally blocks it, and a logistics line if militarily attacked. I wasn't even aware the Kerch bridge was being constructed until I saw it in RT.

There are quite a few places in my country's provinces where long bridges will be quite useful and decrease ferry boat accident drownings, but either we are just too poor, or the central government just does not care unless it sees a clear benefit to its own officials. I look at those bridges with a taint of envy.

Regarding 9-11 controlled demolitions theories, I am not an engineer so I can't say I understand the technical language the engineers and physicists use in describing the tower's fall. Yet I believe Americans should investigate it further. It takes a blind person to not see the similarity between controlled demolition videos and the twin towers' fall. Unfortunately, MSM keeps labeling those who want to investigate as conspiracy theory nuts, or worse implies they are traitors to the US for not believing the central government's official explanations. Many people just do not realize that MSM often lies to them especially regarding politically loaded issues, or comprehend that questioning the government's narrative does not necessarily make one less of a patriot.

It's the same phenomenon in the MH17 investigation. MSM lies (essentially becoming a false witness to alleged Russian guilt without evidence at all) but many readers just don't understand this.

Premium Chessgames Member
  visayanbraindoctor: <Russia Inflicts More Damage on ISIS in 1 Day than the US Did in 1 Year> according to the Syrian ambassador to Russia.

I did some checking on the equipment that Russia is using in Syria to do the damage. Two of the planes are oldies from the 1970s and 80s, the strike aircraft Sukhoi Su-24 Fencer (# 12) and the attack aircraft Sukhoi Su-25 Frogfoot (# 12). The main attack helicopter is the famous 1970s Mil 24 Hind. Typical of Russia: use the old, reliable, and cheap. A third bomber is being used, the Sukhoi Su-34 Fullback, the most modern Russian strike aircraft (# 6). This seems to be the latter's first war.

Escorting them to battle is the fighter aircraft Sukhoi Su-30 (advanced) Flanker-C (# 4). It's one of Russia's best fighter jets, but still untested in battle. The Fullback can also also act as a capable fighter.

One of the bombs has been identified by the Ruaf as the Glanoss patched KAB-500KR and one of the air to ground guided missiles as the Kh-29 Kedge.

With only approximately 50 of these planes and copters, Ruaf has already eliminated almost all major enemy command and control centers, communication centers, training camps, weapons and ammo depots. In three days. Obviously then, the Syrian airforce lacks the weaponry systems to successfully bomb the 'terrorist' targets, and the US coalition refuses to do so.

There are videos of Usaaf using guided bombs and missiles against live enemy in the internet. It's great propaganda. Ruaf has realized it and is filming many of its bombing. Suddenly the world is made aware that Russia too has smart bombs. That the shock and awe battle technique that the US military demonstrated in Iraq and Libya can be done by Russia too.

I can't get the details but the Russian warships off the Syrian coast are armed with anti aircraft systems to detect and hit any possible opposing aircraft or missile coming in from the sea, and cruise missiles that can hit ground targets in Syria and incoming opposing ships.

Russia is obviously projecting itself to be a powerful military player to the international community. It probably hopes not only to defeat an old enemy whose modern form it met in Chechnya in the 1990s and is rising up again, but also to show the world it helps its allies. Russia's reputation was badly damaged when it failed to help Serbia, and was a no show in Iraq and Libya. Now however, countries will once again think of aligning with Russia. For example, among the Arab countries Egypt, once an ally of the old USSR that turned to the US, seems approaching Russia again.,

If China does send in aircraft to bomb the 'terrorists' in Syria, even if only a token strike force, then it would be more apparent to the world that the era of US monolithic geopolitical dominance may be ending. It would show that a military coalition that is not US led can be formed.

Premium Chessgames Member
  visayanbraindoctor: You might find this article from a pro-Russian blog interesting (for how proficient Russian air defenses have become) and amusing, although I can't vouch for its accuracy.

<Russia does not discriminate between the different shades of 'crap' (terrorists)>

Some of the juicer tidbits:

<October 2 appeared an interview with former U.S. Colonel Jack Jacobs, who announced that the United States can't stop the Russians in Syria, as Russia has set up a no-fly zone.. This means that any military aircraft entering the combat zone, may be immediately shot down as a threat to the Russian airspace forces.. American sources claim that the Russian Federation with the assistance of deployed land-based air defense systems have established a no-fly zone over the entire airspace of Syria, in addition the approaches to the Russian airbase in Latakia are also closed from the sea to a distance of 100-250 km from the coast by the Russian navy, now conducting exercises in the Mediterranean sea.. Thus, the U.S. and its allies can't even carry out air reconnaissance of the Russian Federation forces.>

<American military in Turkey reported that NATO aircraft, trying to get close to the forces of the Russian Federation, have been identified by radar, and the source of the radar could not even be traced.>

An amazing piece of information if true. From what I can infer, US air superiority over the anti aircraft systems of Iraq and Libya was to a large part due to the US military's ability to identify radar sources and bomb them out.

<"The Russians have indicated that they can see everything, and getting closer is not worth it, otherwise it will be shot down", - said the American military.

"Frankly we were surprised by the air defense system of Russia>

<According to (NATO commander) Breedlove, Russia has created over Syria a "sphere of negation", which American planes can't enter.

General Breedlove believes that "very complex air defense system" deployed by Russia in Syria is aimed not against the "Islamic state", which does not have aviation. "They are against someone else," said the commander of the NATO forces in Europe.

"After several years of discussion in the U.S. of plans to create no-fly zones in Syria to protect the rebels and civilians, it appeared Vladimir Putin in a few days established his own no-fly zone.>

<The Pentagon has admitted the scale of the Russian no-fly zone in Syria, when it began negotiations with Russia on how to avoid conflicts in the conduct of their air operations.

Discussion between the military of the two countries was conducted on October 1 via a closed video channel, and lasted about an hour. On the American side in the negotiations participated the assistant Secretary of Defense for international security Elyssa Slotkin.

Elissa Slotkin expressed in the negotiations concern that Russia is striking not only the militants of the "Islamic state" but other groups of terrorists, which the US considers "moderate opposition to Assad" and supports them.

The response of the representatives of the Russian Defense Ministry is unclear, but apparently, the general sense was that



<the Americans had to accept it. Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook said that the U.S. government will not use U.S. air power to protect the "moderate rebels".

Apparently the "goodwill", shown by the United States compromising with Russia, is not exactly "good", but is caused by a complete fiasco of the U.S. armed forces, which in the last 20 years bombed only the 'Papuans' and forgot what it was like to deal with real high-tech adversary armed with modern sea and air defense systems.

And now the Americans are just lost because they do not know how to behave with those who are able to realistically fight back.>

Premium Chessgames Member
  visayanbraindoctor: <US Sends Search-And-Rescue Aircraft, Crew to Turkey>

It's as I feared. The above incident is severely under-reported, perhaps on orders from the US Presidency itself. The most plausible reason why US would send a rescue mission composed of <300 Air Force troops.. a number of Pave Hawk helicopters and search-and-rescue versions of the C-130 transport plane> to Incirlik Air Base Turkey near the Syrian border on 29 September, the 2nd day of Ruaf bombing, would be the presence of dying and wounded American personnel inside Syria.

<U.S. Air Force Gen. Philip Breedlove, head of U.S. European Command said the aircraft and crew "will enable us to better recover our coalition partners should they need assistance in Syria or Iraq.">

What exactly is <coalition' partners> that General Breedlove wants to <recover>? Wounded and dying high ranking FSA assets and American covert operatives?

<The deployment of troops and aircraft to the base is part of the agreement earlier this year between the U.S. and Turkey. The agreement includes the use of Incirlik Air Base to launch U.S. fighter aircraft and surveillance missions into Syria. The U.S. began flying strike missions out of Incirlik in August.>

It cites the agreement between US and Turkey for the use of the Incirlik base from where US planes take off in order to overfly Syria. How about any agreement with Syria?

Note the article I previously linked to, describes an interview on 2 October. We can logically infer that some time in 29 September to 1 October, US and Turkey tried to fly planes into Syria, but probably got painted with radar. Thus NATO Commander General Breedlove's complaint:

<The commander of the NATO forces in Europe General Philip Breedlove said that the new military infrastructure of Russia in Syria, including air defense systems, de facto creates a no-fly zone.

According to Breedlove, Russia has created over Syria, a "sphere of negation", which American planes can't enter.>

However, Russia apparently denied US entry, even of search and rescue planes. <"We can not discriminate between the different shades of 'crap'. So we will hammer everyone who shoots at the soldiers of the legitimate government of Syria, at whose request we are here".>

Must have come as a big surprise to US Defense Department.

<And the Americans had to accept it. Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook said that the U.S. government will not use U.S. air power to protect the "moderate rebels".>

For once US exceptionalism isn't working.

It seems that <different shades of crap> as the Russians describe 'terrorists' include ISIS, al Nusra, FSA, and American covert operatives inside Syria working with al Nusra and FSA.

The American operatives, probably CIA intelligence officers and special forces commandos, are probably just doing their jobs under orders and not Kharijite ideologues at all. It's a tragedy that some of them may have died on the wrong side of righteousness on orders from a government that has fallen out of its high moral throne. Hopefully Americans would choose their leaders more wisely.

If the above scenario is true, then US has another problem. Syrian soldiers and Russian marines may now be searching for stranded surviving operatives. It would be a major embarrassment if one is caught and displayed in Syrian TV. Therefore US must be doing everything to whisk them out.

I think it would be best if US leadership would just pull all personnel out of Syria, and stop illegal overflies. One worry is that if US aircraft continues entering Syrian airspace without permission, sooner or later, Russian air defenses would shoot one down. Another potential direct confrontation between the militaries of US and Russia. Any such confrontation always carries a chance of escalating to a nuclear shoot out.

Premium Chessgames Member
  visayanbraindoctor: I made mistakes in the dates. I am trying to deduce everything from multiple sources and without a clear source I get confused. However, I am still of the opinion that some US covert operatives were caught off guard and got bombed in Syria.

<Russian bombers and ISIS are a match made in heaven>

This is thus far the most detailed single source article I have come across about the equipment Russia is using in Syria.

<Drones can be used for the scouting. For carrying out bombing strikes on the terrorists Su-25 and Su-24M front-line bombers are perfect. The sighting-navigation system PNS-24M "Tiger" on the Su-24M allows the pilot the ability to drop to a height of 50 meters and follow the terrain in the automatic mode. It is very difficult to shoot down this plane, especially since it can drop bombs and shoot missiles many miles ahead of the target.

Even more universal is the latest bomber Su-34. It should be called a multi-functional air-complex. This machine, depending on assigned task, works as a fighter and as a scout and, of course, as a strike complex. Also Su-34 can climb to 11 thousand feet, and its pilots do not even feel the overload, allowing them for the greater part of the route to not use an oxygen mask.

The new "Su" is equipped with a powerful system of electronic equipment with multiplex channel of information exchange. Multi-function radar and electronic countermeasures equipment improves the survivability of the aircraft. Su-34 can refuel in the air, install additional fuel tanks on the external load, so the range of its flight is essentially unlimited.

And one more important detail. Su-34 is able to use ammunition with satellite correction, which is especially important for destroying small targets, such as a jeep on which the terrorists could set a light machine gun or a light antiaircraft gun the type of ZU-23-2. Generally it is hard to hide from the strike of this machine.

But even this does not exhaust the efficiency of the new aircraft. Its "smart" missiles and bombs guarantee the destruction of the hidden underground bunkers. Dropped near the city of Raqqa from the Su-34 anti-cement bomb BETAB-500 accurately covered the protected ISIS command post, as well as the underground bunker with an explosives and ammunition depot.

About another high-precision munition - a guided missile X-29L used in Syria by the pilots of Su-34 and Su-24, talked the representative of the Airspace forces, Igor Klimov. "Air-to-ground rocket of X-29L class has a laser homing head. At its launch the pilot illuminates the target with a laser sight, while the aircraft may continue the maneuver," - he explained. And added that such a missile is capable of hitting targets with an accuracy of plus or minus two meters. It has a half-ton warhead with elevated striking factors of high-explosive and shrapnel action.>

There is a striking difference between the Russian military's approach in Ukraine and Syria. In Ukraine, it seems to me that the Russian military is always holding back its punches. They could easily roll over Kiev's armies with air strikes and massive artillery fire. There are no air strikes and artillery fire always is calculated to hold off Kiev's armies and just enough to gain strategically important positions. It seems to me that the Russians don't want to attack and kill Ukrainians, and they limit their military actions to the absolute minimum.

In Syria, in spite of working under the precondition that only a limited number and types of aircraft is to be used, the Russian military doesn't seem to be holding back its punches. I've seen the videos; Ruaf is dropping half ton bombs round the clock.

Until the third day they were hitting mostly important fixed positions. Beginning on the third day, Ruaf has been hitting more and more enemy convoys, and acting as air support for Syrian army infantry soldiers.

Putin has made it clear Russia will not send in infantry. However, I suspect that eventually he could send in self propelled artillery, especially multiple rocket launchers, that is patched up to GLANOSS and manned by a limited number of professional Russian artillery troops. These artillery units can stay behind advancing Syrian soldiers, clearing the field in front of them with GLANOSS guided precision fire. I believe that this is what the Russian military did in Donbass, except that it was native Novorussian infantrymen that were advancing on the ground.

Premium Chessgames Member
  visayanbraindoctor: <Obama up against growing support for a no-fly zone in Syria>

<Russia has been stepping up its involvement in the Syrian civil war - culminating in airstrikes last week that may have targeted not just ISIS, but also rebels opposing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Meanwhile, the Syrian refugee crisis continues unabated, with a massive influx of Syrians overwhelming Turkey and Europe.

To address this, lawmakers and presidential candidates alike - including the president's former secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, say the U.S. should respond with a no-fly zone>

When I first read this article, my first thought was: Are they insane?

Essentially, they are talking about shooting down both Syrian and Russian aircraft over Syrian airspace.

<For a no-fly zone to work, it has to be at least serious enough that Assad cannot fly fighters or helicopters without losing them and without losing his air bases if he persists," Cordesman wrote, saying it would require fighters, aircraft, drones and other intelligence and reconnaissance assets to enforce.>

Fortunately, Obama is against it at present. <Who opposes it? For one, the person who matters the most - President Obama himself. "What we have learned over the last 10, 12, 13 years is that unless we can get the parties on the ground to agree to live together in some fashion, then no amount of U.S. military engagement will solve the problem," he said Friday.>

Other US leaders who oppose it: <Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, said last week that he does not support a no-fly zone because it "could get us more deeply involved in that horrible civil war and lead to a never-ending U.S. entanglement in that region.">

<Republican front-runner Donald Trump said his move right now would be to "sit back. I want to see what happens. You know, Russia got bogged down, when it was the Soviet Union, in Afghanistan," he said. "Now they're going into Syria. There are so many traps. There are so many problems. When I heard they were going in to fight ISIS, I said, 'Great. Let them.'">

Below are some of the ones for it.

<Hillary Clinton: Last week she said, "I personally would be advocating now for a no-fly zone and humanitarian corridors to try to stop the carnage on the ground and from the air, to try to provide some way to take stock of what's happening, to try to stem the flow of refugees">

<New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie: said on ABC's "This Week" Sunday he would "absolutely" implement a no-fly zone in Syria, because "anybody who agrees with allowing the Russians into the Middle East is just painfully naïve.">

<Ohio Gov. John Kasich said in a statement that no-fly zones enforced by the U.S. and Europe would "prevent further escalation and suffering by civilians and refugees".>

<former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina: "said the U.S. should secure a no-fly zone around the rebels it supports. This is a tricky maneuver, it's a dangerous maneuver, but it's a maneuver that we must undertake because we must make it crystal clear to Russia, they do not get to move into the Middle East," she said. As for a potential fight with the Russians, she said, "If it does come to that, I think we must be prepared.">

<former Ambassador Ryan Crocker, who said on "Fox News Sunday" he wished the U.S. had established a no-fly zone earlier, which might have helped dissuade the Russians from intervening. But he said it was still valuable to pursue a no-fly zone enforced with offshore missiles, in order to "change the political dynamics.">

<former CIA Director David Petraeus also said the U.S. has the "capability" of stopping Assad's air force if the Syrian dictator continues to use barrel bombs against his own people.>

<Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, a longtime proponent of a no-fly zone, said, "I don't think he (Trump) understands very well the situation.">

Premium Chessgames Member
  visayanbraindoctor: <Clinton, Cotton, McCain & Fiorina Suggest No-Fly Zones Against Russia & Syria>

Straight from the horses' mouths.

Premium Chessgames Member
  visayanbraindoctor: <Smart missiles and bombs Russia uses to take out ISIS in Syria>

Another article that gives some details as to exactly what weapons are being used by Ruaf in Syria.

RT seems to be publishing this as a counter to MSM propaganda that Ruaf is dropping cheap dumb bombs that kill civilians indiscriminately.

1. KAB-250 and KAB-500. These bombs are reported to be GLANOSS guided, and as cheap as could be while still being 'smart' guided bombs. (Also see

2. Kh-25L and Kh-29L. These are expensive and are laser guided. <Also see>

3. Bunker-busting BETAB-500 air bomb. Rarely used, only for bunkers and fortified positions. (Also see

4. Fragmentation demolition OFAB-250 air bombs <have also been spotted under the wings of Sukhoi fighter jets at the Khmeimim airbase. These munitions are used to eliminate unprotected targets, such terrorist training camps and arms depots.> (Also see

Now these are the cheap dumb bombs, but you don't need expensive smart bombs to hit exposed depots and camps.

Also see

Ruaf is doing its best to keep the costs down while still maintaining accuracy.

Premium Chessgames Member
  visayanbraindoctor: <Russia has admitted making a mistake after its warplanes violated Turkey’s airspace. Ankara has accepted the matter, saying there is no ill feeling between the two countries. But NATO has slammed Moscow for what it deemed “irresponsible behavior.”>

Later, a second airspace violation occurred.

<05 October 2015
21:07 GMT

A Russian warplane violated Turkish airspace on Sunday, a Turkish foreign ministry official told Reuters, the second such breach over the past three days, prompting Ankara to once again summon Moscow's ambassador>

These are the kind of incidents that can potentially lead to an escalation.

Previously Turkey would shoot down any Syrian aircraft that approached the border; the Syrian government claims even if they were on the Syrian side. Turkey had already effectively established a no fly zone that extended across Syrian airspace. Under this functioning undeclared no fly zone, jihadi supply and personnel convoys could cross to Syria unimpeded.

Now however Ruaf is bombing convoys and 'terrorist' positions right on the border, although always on the Syrian side. This would make occasional overflying across the border into Turkey a good possibility. Perhaps it could have been accidental.

The other possibility is that Ruaf intentionally crossed the border, probably to check on 'terrorist' camps and facilities located on the Turkish side or to test the Turkish airforce.

Whatever the reasons for the overflies are, the situation creates the possibility of an escalation.

Even so, there have been cases as mentioned above of Turkish military shooting down Syrian aircraft inside Syrian airspace.

<State television said the pilot ejected safely from the aircraft, which crashed on the Syrian side of the border, according to footage broadcast on Turkish television networks.

There was no indication that Syria planned to retaliate for the attack, which marked the first time Turkey has shot down a plane since Erdogan threw his government’s support behind Syria’s rebels nearly three years ago.

It is not, however, the first time that tensions have flared between the two countries. Syria shot down a Turkish warplane in 2012, and Turkey downed a Syrian helicopter in September>

Syrian commenters say that the plane and helicopter never crossed the border, and the fact that they crashed inside Syria supports this claim.

Now if some rogue faction in the Turkish military were to suddenly decide to shoot at a Russian plane just across the border, Ruaf would probably shoot back at the offending SAM site or Turkish aircraft.

Unlike in Ukraine, there no possibility of plausible deniability for Russia (and Turkey).

IMO Ruaf should take measures never to cross the border.

Premium Chessgames Member
  twinlark: <IMO Ruaf should take measures never to cross the border.>

True, but I don't see much danger there. Turkey (ie: Erdogan) is playing both sides against each other to gain a decisive advantage over the Kurds, who are his real target.

A couple of minor overflights, as long as they don't involve hostile action on Turkish soil, will easily be forgiven. I doubt that Turkey will take potshots at Russian warplanes for what are effectively harmless and momentary breaches of air space, and risk an escalation into something infinitely more horrible.

Erdogan did sign an MOU over Turk Stream, but I'm not sure whether he's reneged on this understanding. He's a highly capricious and devious politician.

Premium Chessgames Member
  visayanbraindoctor: <I doubt that Turkey will take potshots at Russian warplanes for what are effectively harmless and momentary>

Hopefully so. RT is playing it down, but other sources are playing it up.

<Turkey Threatens to Shoot Down Russian Planes that Stray from Syria>

I expect that the Syrian army would go into ground infantry offensives anytime. Everyone knows air raids never won a war. Putin has already announced no Russian infantry would get involved, but he never said anything about artillery. So I expect these to get involved, even if clandestinely, especially GLANOSS guided mobile rocket artillery.

The Russians don't seem to be playing around and are sending ships off the Syrian coast.

<The flotilla, led by the Black Sea Fleet flagship — the guided missile cruiser Moskva — sailed from Sevastopol, Crimea on Thursday and is due to reach the exercise area late on Sunday>

On the other side, Israel not only confirms it; it claims that the Russian ships set up a no fly zone that covers southern Turkey, eastern Syria including all of the Golan heights, all of Lebanon, northern Israel

Russian military is trying to make sure no one interferes with them by sending jamming equipment.

<At the beginning of the video (the 6th second), which shows a Russian-made Su-25 landing at a Syrian airfield, a characteristic set of antenna devices is visible in the background. These could be the Krasukha-4 system, Zvezda reported.

Put into service in 2013, the Krasukha-4 is a broadband multifunctional jamming station>

I believe this will also jam communications in the field. If US still has any operatives in the field, they could find themselves incommunicado. Best to pull them out I think. 'Terrorist' communications will get jammed and the fog of war for them would go from foggy to opaque.

Premium Chessgames Member
  visayanbraindoctor: <Turkey (ie: Erdogan) is playing both sides against each other to gain a decisive advantage over the Kurds, who are his real target.>

Regarding the Kurds, I believe Erdogan's ideology and strategy to achieve his ideological vision is polarizing them, mostly against Ankara. Not all Kurds support the PKK or armed struggle, but Ergogan's attempt to obliterate the Kurds of Kobane via a proxy ISIS army really inflamed Kurdish feelings against his party. You will find this article supporting the above thesis an interesting read.

Caveat: This article is written from the US NATO paradigm, that Turkish government and ISIS are hostile to each other. Otherwise it gives a good summary of the Kurdish factions.

<In short, many of the Kurds liked the government, which in turn fought only the nationalist Kurds. Erdogan even launched negotiations with the PKK in 2012 in hopes of ending the insurgency. But the dynamic changed during Turkey’s most recent elections in June 2015, when the Kurds—liberal, conservative, and nationalist alike—coalesced around the Kurdish-nationalist Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP). (Unlike the PKK, the military wing of Turkey’s Kurdish-nationalist movement, the HDP doesn’t subscribe to violence, though Erdogan has been known to blur this distinction.) Alevi Kurds were attracted to the HDP’s liberal approach to issues like women’s and workers’ rights, while conservative Kurds abandoned Erdogan’s party for the HDP presumably because of the president’s reluctance to help the Syrian Kurdish city of Kobani when it was besieged by the Islamic State beginning in September 2014.

Given the political consolidation of the Turkish Kurds under the HDP, when the government launched airstrikes against the PKK this summer, it risked starting a war with its entire Kurdish community. The nature of the recent fighting has been a case in point. In September, the government enforced a week-long curfew; shut down electricity, Internet, and phone access; and sent in thousands of troops and police to Cizre, a Kurdish-majority town of 130,000 on the Turkish-Syrian-Iraqi border, before security forces could establish a tenuous hold on the area. Previously when the government fought the PKK, it could count on help from the local Kurdish population. That is no longer the case.>

There are numerous articles in Iranian and Syrian press that documents that PKK has attempted to retaliate against the Turkish airforce bombings of its camps, by attacking Turkish soldiers and police.

BTW, isn't it ironic that Turkey loudly protests two minor incursions of the Ruaf into its airspace, while all the while invading Syrian and Iraqi airspace and bombing Kurds?

Since the Ruaf has become active in Syria, Tuaf has never invaded Syrian and Iraqi airspace though, and has left alone Syrian warplanes near its border.

We'll have to wait until the next Turkish election to see how Erdogan and his party fare. If he stays at the helm, I believe there is a chance that a shoot out between Russian and Turkish jets might occur anytime. With him and his party out of power, then that chance falls to zero.

Premium Chessgames Member
  visayanbraindoctor: Surprise!

<4 Russian warships launch 26 missiles against ISIS from Caspian Sea>

1. I did not even know that Russians could launch cruise missiles from the Caspian Sea.

This carries huge geopolitical implications for the whole Middle East and Central Asia. Russian cruise missiles can reach any enemy within 2500 kilometers from the Caspian Sea.

2. The missiles passed through Iran and Iraq, which shows that both countries are actively cooperating with Russia on the matter of 'terrorists'.

One noteworthy implication of the above is that Iraq is now veering toward Russia. Since US was not informed, Iraq probably does not trust US at all on the matter of the alleged US intention to eliminate 'terrorists'.

3. Russia has found a way to totally bypass the considerable military and intelligence assets of US NATO in the Mediterranean Sea in the Syrian campaign. Thay probably expected Russia can only enter through the Mediterranean front door. Russia has stumped them by shooting through the Caspian backdoor, an area that US NATO intel knows little about and has no control of.

4. Russia does not have to risk the lives of its pilots to attack well defended 'terrorist' infrastructures in Syria.

5. Since cruise missiles are silent until they hit, 'terrorists' now know that they can be hit anytime without prior warning. This is bound to affect their morale and movements for the worse.

6. Russia just managed to test a powerful weapons system in actual combat.

7. Being able to detect and hit more than a dozen targets a day, Russia is showing that it has the surveillance capability and intelligence gathering systems that is one of the best in the world- its drones, radar, communications, and so on.

8. Russia is showing the world that it can do high tech military stuff that only the US has done in the past. This will be noted by other nations and it would encourage them to align with Russia.

9. Together with the Ruaf, Russia is showing that it has a capable navy; and that it has the economy to support their military operations in a country abroad. (Again the economic sanctions imposed by US is shown to be a fail.)

Premium Chessgames Member
  twinlark: This is a fascinating development that has completely upstaged the coalition and allied forces in the middle east. A real game changer, especially as these weapons and the strategy guiding them have been working with such efficiency.

Putin really was putting the US on notice at the UNGA with his address to the assembly. While the BBC was patronising in the extreme, saying how Putin had forced his way back to sitting at the grownups table, he was actually in the final stages of implementing what is amounting to a kind of strategic coup in a major geopolitical pushback that will attract a lot of waverers to his and the BRICS/SCO camp.

Premium Chessgames Member
  twinlark: Also interesting is an opinion piece in discussing the "violation" of Turkish airspace by Russian jets. The article comments that the area in question was Syrian territory overrun by Turkey three years ago.
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