Russian aviation continues to launch bombing raids on Islamist positions in Syria. Judging by the objective control data presented online by the National Center for Defense, and by the nervous reaction of the West, these attacks are really targeted and, most notably, accurate, in the sense - effective. What, for example, cannot be boasted by the Western coalition, which carried out more than 7 thousand bombings and missile launches, but which did not stop the triumphal offensive of the Islamic State groups prohibited by Russian law.
The fact that the militants began to abandon their positions and seek refuge outside the theater of operations (theater of operations), for example, in Turkey and Jordan, also testifies to the relatively high combat effectiveness of the actions of the Air and Space Forces of Russia. Another issue is that the results of the combat activities of the Russian Aerospace Forces are not yet supported by vigorous actions on the land front and the success achieved by air strikes, as far as can be judged from information reports, is practically not used.
Why is that? Russia has already stated that it does not plan a ground operation in Syria. As for the army of Bashar Assad and his allies - the Kurds, Iraqis and the so-called volunteers from Iran, then there are options. It is possible that the decision on the bombing was made in Moscow so quickly (and also secretly) that potential allies simply did not have time to prepare. Another option is the military-technical weakness of the armed forces of Damascus, which in four years of opposition to the Islamic International lost a good half of the personnel and military equipment.
As a result, Bashar al-Assad has to be re-armed in an expeditious manner - recently the Turkish side has noted the very intensive movement of Russian transports (apparently, weapons and military equipment) through the Black Sea straits. But the delight of official Ankara is somehow not observed. Rather, the opposite is obvious disapproval. That, in general, is not surprising, since Russia's military activity in the Middle East calls into question the implementation of geopolitical plans not only in Turkey, but also in the entire Western world.
One must be infinitely naive to believe that the so-called Arab spring, which eventually reached Damascus, was started solely out of good intentions to democratize Asia and Africa. Moreover, it is no longer a secret that the al-Qaida virus, and indeed the Islamic State virus, were grown somewhere in the secret laboratories of Langley. Moreover, to dump Bashar Assad is an intermediate task. The main goal is to create in the so-called southern underbelly of Russia a geopolitical entity that would become much more dangerous than American military bases in Eastern Europe and the Baltic countries. Well, in order to give the process a more befitting appearance, this whole mob was called the Free Army of Syria (CAC).
But, as it turned out, Islamic radicals do not know how to behave decently - they began to cut off heads and sometimes even came out of submission. In general, in order not to lose face, the Americans had to somehow react and declare war on the "Islamic State." But the war turned out to be a bit strange: over two years, thousands of tons of trotyl were spent, and the “Islamic state”, if only henna, won victory after victory and already controls most of Syria and large territories in Iraq.
Of course, Moscow understood what all this was going for and that Bashar Asad, whatever his attitude to him, was the only real force that at least somehow opposes radical Islam in the Middle East. And if you do not hold it now, it is possible that tomorrow Russia would have to fight with the "Islamic state" somewhere in the Astrakhan region.
Moreover, the decision to start the bombing of Islamist positions in Syria was made even with some delay. It can be said that at the very last moment, because, as it became known, the Western coalition, commanded by the United States, prepared a decision following the example of Libya to declare a no-fly zone over Syria. This means that the Syrian sky would be closed to Russian aviation, and Bashar Assad would have been destined for Muammar Gaddafi.
But it happened as it happened. And, unlike the Western coalition, Russia is now acting in Syria legally - at the official request of Damascus. And, as already noted, it acts quite effectively. At least with regard to air strikes.
ON INFORMATION FRONT
There are such cases when it is really better to be silent than to speak. The British Financial Times, which reported that Russia's military intervention in the Syrian conflict was predetermined by Western plans to create a no-fly zone over Syria — allegedly the leadership of the Western coalition was close to reaching an agreement to close the sky for Syrian aviation — clearly ignored this golden rule. If the passage about the no-fly zone is not an after-the-fact attempt to distort the true goals of Moscow in the conflict in the Middle East, then it turns out that the real enemy of the West in the Syrian theater is not “Islamic State”, but Damascus, which is de facto the main opponent of the Islamists land front. It was enough to squeeze the aircraft of Bashar Assad, which is already not very active, to the ground, and the radicals would receive complete military superiority.
This option, of course, would not suit Russia, there’s nothing to talk about. But no one expected that Moscow would act so decisively and mix all the cards ...
Although we have to admit that the confusion of the West, first of all, the United States, after the start of the Russian bombing, passed fairly quickly. At first, the White House, albeit discreetly, welcomed Russia's accession to the fight against the Islamists and even seemed to accept the fact that Moscow would act independently. But soon the United States corrected its position. “Frankly, for the time being we see the Russian decision to take military action in Syria and intervene in the civil war between Assad and the moderate opposition. We directly view this as a strategic mistake, ”said Mark Toner, a representative of the US State Department.
The crew of the Russian bomber is preparing to perform a combat mission. Photos from the official website of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation
It would be good if Mr. Toner would have suggested how to distinguish this most moderate opposition from the militants of the Islamic State on the battlefield. It is unlikely that the Americans themselves are capable of it, because, as experience shows, the fighters of the Free Army of Syria (CAC), trained by them, in large numbers and with weapons in their hands usually immediately leave the training centers for the Islamists. Nevertheless, the supreme commander of the US Army Barack Obama makes big bets on this phantom army.
According to the New York Times, President Obama, sharply criticized by Republicans and former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for inaction, intends to initiate a general offensive by coalition forces led by America on the Syrian city of Raqqa, the de facto capital of the Islamic State. As noted, in the course of the announced land operation, the stakes will be made on 20 thousand Kurdish militiamen and about 5 thousand militants of the moderate Syrian opposition, who "will receive the support of the coalition forces." With “moderate” everything is clear - it is difficult to rely on something that does not exist in nature. With the Kurds, too, the question. They do not complain about Bashar al-Assad, but are forced to act against the Islamists with him. But what they can negotiate with the Americans, if the closest ally of the United States, Turkey, from time to time iron the Kurds with bombs and artillery, is not very clear.
Speaking of Turkey, which has already joined the information war against Russia. First of all, we are talking about Ankara’s excessively nervous reaction to episodes when our planes accidentally flew into Turkish airspace for some seconds. On this occasion, the Turkish Foreign Ministry has twice called our ambassador to the carpet. I had to report to the official representative of the Ministry of Defense, Major General Igor Konashenkov, who clearly reported: "This incident is a consequence of adverse weather conditions in the area (in the area of Hmeymim airfield from which our aircraft operates. -" NVO "). One should not look for any conspirological reasons. ” But from the Turkish side there is a certain conspiracy moment, since the party to which President Recep Erdogan belongs is the same “Muslim Brothers”, just a side view, and these same “brothers” in the “Islamic State” are in plenty. Who is able to maintain self-control when Russian aircraft sights on their own? ..
And in general, try to shoot down our pilots with a sight in different ways. For example, there are active conversations that modern air defense systems will appear in the conflict zone from day to day (which, unfortunately, is not excluded). Moreover, in cyberspace, photos of allegedly downed Russian aircraft have already appeared. In the meantime, there is no evidence, various experts, including our compatriots, are spreading rumors that the armament of our aviation is outdated and ineffective.
True, in the picture, which shows burning Tanks Islamists, you can’t say that. Most likely, RBK-500U aviation cartridges equipped with self-aiming combat elements (SPBE) could be used here. Over the area of concentration of armored vehicles from the cartridge dispersed 15 submunitions. As soon as the infrared SPBE sensor detects the target, a command is made to detonate the warhead - and a kilogram piece of copper is fired towards the target with the speed of a meteorite. No dynamic protection will save! Moreover, this ammunition has indeed been more than 20 years old. But it was constantly modernized (see “NVO” from 05.09.08/XNUMX/XNUMX) and, as one could see, copes well with its destructive task.
AFTER THE BOMB
It is believed that the West is suitable for any development of the situation in the Middle East. If Moscow had not intervened and the Islamists were given the opportunity to defeat the army of Bashar al-Assad (it was believed that only a few months remained before the fall of Damascus), Russia would become the next target of the Islamic State. However, the option, when Russia was drawn into the Middle East war, also quite suits the United States and its partners. It is already obvious that the fighting on the Syrian theater is not over quickly and material costs, taking into account the sanctions and the state of the Russian economy, will be sensitive. How much - it directly depends on how quickly it will be possible to bring to the required level the combat effectiveness of the Syrian army and the regional formations that support Damascus. We cannot but take into account the fact that the West, of course, will put us sticks in the wheels as soon as possible. And the fact that we are not partners in this war and no coalition following the example of the anti-Hitler one will fail, this is already historical fact.
However, while the situation in Syria is so uncertain, Russia has no reason to leave it. At least in the foreseeable future. Firstly, as soon as Syria is left without our support, everything will be repeated - if not the “Islamic State”, then a terrorist entity with a different name (with what name they will be invented in the West!) Will try to take revenge. Secondly, after in Syria, along with an almost abandoned logistics point in Tartus, by the will of circumstances, our powerful air base was formed, Russia got a real opportunity to control, if not the whole Mediterranean, then certainly its eastern part. And so far nothing else is the 6th the fleet We cannot oppose the USA in this region.