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30 octobre 2015 5 30 /10 /octobre /2015 08:40
Surface Forces: Russian Cruise Missiles In Action

 

October 22, 2015: Adam Szczepanik – Strategy Page

 

Early in the morning on October 7th, the Russian Navy Caspian Sea Strike Group launched 26 cruise missiles against targets in Syria belonging to various rebel groups opposing the Syrian government, chiefly ISIL and Jabhat al-Nusra. The missiles, launched from three Buyan-M class corvettes and a Gepard class frigate traveled about 1500 kilometers over Iran and Iraq to reach eleven targets in Syria.

 

The strike was conducted with Kalibr 3M14T missiles (NATO designation SS-N-30A). These GPS and terminal sensor guidance systems have an accuracy of within three meters. Brought into service in 2012, the new variant of Kalibr is a close equivalent of the U.S. Navy's Tomahawk cruise missile. This was the first combat use of Russian cruise missiles they appeared to be about as reliable as their American counterparts.

 

The earlier versions of Kalibr can used either an anti-ship or anti-submarine warhead. The older 3M54 Klub missile, which Kalibr is an an improved model of, weighs two tons, is fired from a 533mm (21 inch) torpedo tube or special launch container, and has a 200 kg (440 pound) warhead. The anti-ship version has a range of 300 kilometers and speeds up to 3,000 kilometers an hour during its last minute or so of flight. There is also an air launched and ship launched version.

 

What makes these missiles particularly dangerous against ships is their final approach, which begins when the missile is about 15 kilometers from its target. Up to that point the missile travels at an altitude of about 32 meters (100 feet). This makes the missile more difficult to detect. The "high speed approach" (via the use of additional rockets) means that it covers that last fifteen kilometers in less than twenty seconds. This makes it difficult for current anti-missile weapons to take it down.

 

The land attack version does away with the high speed final approach feature, and thanks to the saved fuel has a 400 kg (880 pound) warhead and increased range of up to 2,500 kilometers. This is more than the 1,700 kilometer range of most modern non-nuclear Tomahawk, which is not surprising, as despite the same 533mm (21 inch) diameter, Russian torpedo tubes of the same diameter are longer, which allows the Kalibr to be longer than Tomahawk, and thanks to that it has more volume available to carry fuel.

 

Buyan-M is a 950 ton ship that is 74 meters (243 feet) long and has a crew of 36. Top speed is 45 kilometers an hour and endurance is ten days. Armament consists of a 100mm gun, two 14.5mm heavy machine-guns, two AK-630 multi-barrel 30mm autocannon for close range defense against missiles and aircraft. There are eight vertical launch tubes holding 3K14 Kaliber or older missiles of any variant (anti ship, land attack, anti submarine). There is also a short-range (5-6 kilometers) missile system (Gibkha 3M47) with eight missiles. There is an air/surface radar and optional sonar. The heavily armed Buyan-M provides you with a low-cost patrol vessel that can handle just about anything it runs into during coastal patrols and can even be useful in wartime. Russia has built eight Buyan-M class corvettes so far, and four additional ones are under construction.

 

The Gepards cost about $200 million each and have been in service for a decade. These ships are 102m (316 feet) long, have a crew of 98, and endurance of 15 days. Top speed is 50 kilometers an hour. These frigates are meant for coastal patrol. They were designed to carry eight anti-ship missiles (usually the 552 kg Kh-35 "Harpoonski", only one Gepard class vessel, Dagestan, carries 3K14 Kaliber missiles instead) and one SA-N-4 twin rail anti-aircraft missile launcher (with 20 missiles). There is a 76mm cannon, two six barreled 30mm anti-missile autocannon, four 533mm torpedo tubes (for anti-submarine operations), and a 12 barrel anti-submarine rocket launcher. The ship also carries up to 20 naval mines. Electronics include navigation and air defense radars as well as sonar. There is an option to provide a helicopter platform (but no hangar). Four Gepard class frigates were built, three used by Russia, one by Vietnam, and two more, intended for Vietnam, are under construction.

 

This missile attack, even though it might seem small in scale when compared to U.S. Tomahawk strikes in earlier wars that used hundreds of missiles over several days, will have major impact on the strategies and plans of many leaders. Firstly, it proves that Russia now possesses a modern, long range cruise missile, capable of accurately hitting targets in a theater different than the launching vessel is in, and above all, useable by warships much smaller than the usual platforms for such weapons, which will have consequences for NATO planning in Europe too.

 

Secondly, it shows that Russian military involvement in Syria is not going to be necessarily limited to the rather modest number of Russian aircraft and ground troops stationed there, which is bad news for all the rebel groups fighting Syrian government.

 

Thirdly, this event was also planned as a show for Russian internal politics too - it is notable that 7th October, the day of the attack, was also president Putin’s 63rd birthday.

 

This is no coincidence, as it shows the military’s support for the president, gives Russians a reason for national pride on this day because of the new, modern weapon that is being talked about by international media, and all that to assist the Russian intervention in Syria, which is positively viewed by majority of Russian population.

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30 octobre 2015 5 30 /10 /octobre /2015 08:30
Syria: Russian Backed Advance Stalled

Russian Airstrikes in Syria - Sept 30 - Oct 26, 2015 – Credits Genevieve Casagrande ISW

 

October 27, 2015: Strategy Page

 

The Russian supported government forces went on the offensive in October and for a week or so seemed to make some progress. The Russian air strikes, guided by Syrian ground controllers, were accurate and allowed the Syrian/Lebanese/Iranian forces to advance. But by mid-October the advance had stalled. There were several reasons for this. First, the rebels were suddenly getting a lot more recruits as many Syrians who were not keen on fighting other Syrians were very eager to “fight the Russians.” Even though there were no (or very few) Russian troops on the ground involved in these operations there were a lot of foreign fighters (mostly recruited, trained, armed and managed by Iran). These included Lebanese from Hezbollah plus Iraqi, Iranian, Afghan and other Shia persuaded (by Iranian cash and other favors) to volunteer for dangerous duty in Shia militias. There were Russians fighting FOR the rebels, but these were mostly Chechens working for ISIL.

 

The rebels quickly adapted to the Russian tactics by retreating from areas to be bombed and falling back when the Syrian ground forces advanced. Then the rebels came back at night to often regain what had been lost the previous day. This tactic was helped by the sudden arrival of additional TOW anti-tank missiles. These first showed up in early 2014 used by some of the more moderate rebels. Such American arms aid has long been limited because of fears that high-tech weapons would fall into the hands of Islamic terrorist groups and later be used for terror attacks against Westerners. With the arrival of the Russians the U.S. shipped lots (more than a hundred) TOW missiles and this led to the advancing Syrian forces losing up to ten armored vehicles a day. Some of these TOW missiles were delivered by air drop to rebel units in the way of the Syrian advance. Other types of ammunition were also air dropped. Because of a prior arrangement Russian aircraft or anti-aircraft systems did not fire on the U.S. transports.

 

Russia is also learning the hard way how difficult it is to maintain modern warplanes in the sand and dust of the Middle East. Russia knew about this problem because for decades it had sold military aircraft to countries (including Syria) in the region. But it turned out that there were a lot of (often minor) modifications Syrian maintainers made to their Russian aircraft to keep them operational in this environment. Russian maintainers are working overtime to adapt to all this. Despite that Russia is still getting several sorties a day out of many of the fifty or so warplanes it has in Syria. On some days there are nearly a hundred air strikes. The 50 or so Russian aircraft in Syria consist of Su-34 and Su-30 fighter-bombers, Su-24M bombers and Su-25 ground attack aircraft as well as about a dozen armed helicopters. There are also many transport helicopters.

 

The Russians have brought in UAVs and electronic monitoring equipment and have a lot better sense of where the best targets are. This has caused a lot of damage to the rebels who find their supply facilities and other support operations being bombed.  Russian air strikes in Syria are believed to have left nearly 500 dead so far most (about 70 percent) of them Syrian rebels. Russia officially says it is there to fight ISIL but most of the targets are non-ISIL rebels who have been taking a lot of territory from the Assad government this year. The Russian air strikes have killed at least one senior al Qaeda leader and a senior commander of the FSA (the largest secular rebel group). Both FSA and al Qaeda are hostile to ISIL but for Russia these two groups are a major threat to the Syrian government, which has long been a Russian ally. Russian warplanes are carrying out 50-60 air strikes a day. That is far more than the U.S. led air coalition.

 

Russia has also made a major effort to help rebuild what is left of the Syrian Air Force, which has suffered enormous (over 70 percent) losses since 2011. Russia has always provided tech and material (spare parts) support for this largely Russian fleet of warplanes and helicopters but not enough for the Syrians to keep more than 30 percent of the 370 aircraft and helicopters operational. The surge of Russian support will mean the Syrian Air Force can be rebuilt and be even more active.

 

So far the American led air coalition has carried out nearly 7,800 air strikes (64 percent in Iraq and the rest in Syria). The growing number of Syrian and Russian air strikes do not follow the restrictive American ROE (Rules of Engagement) and have been more effective. There are accusations from within the American intelligence community that political leaders are hiding the truth about how the restrictive ROE are crippling the air offensive against ISIL in Iraq and Syria. Another reason for the greater success of Syrian and Russian air strikes is that they have air controllers on the ground to make sure the right target is hit. The American political leadership forbids putting American air controllers on the ground despite the fact that American military commanders believe that the chances of these U.S. troops getting killed or captured is an acceptable risk because it would mean more effective air strikes. Currently the American ROE is obsessed with avoiding any civilian losses from air strikes and ISIL exploits this by regularly using human shields. The locals realize this is counterproductive because the longer ISIL remains operational the more death and misery they bring to the millions of civilians they control.

 

The Russian supported offensive was concentrating on non-ISIL rebels around Aleppo and in nearby Idlib province. The UN reports that this fighting has driven over 120,000 additional refugees to UN facilities and that has included a growing number of Islamic terrorists who cause all manner of problems in the refugee camps. Some areas around Aleppo were captured by the advancing Syrian forces and held. In addition some key roads in Idlib province were cleared of rebels. Around Aleppo some Russian air strikes are hitting ISIL targets because ISIL is cooperating (and often competing) with other Islamic terrorist rebel groups to take the city. This would have great symbolic value. Otherwise Aleppo is mainly a burden because most of the city center is damaged or destroyed by years of fighting. ISIL is now heavily involved in Aleppo because these areas are close to the Turkish border and that is how smugglers get ISIL supplies across the border and into the hands of ISIL.

 

The newly captured areas require constant patrolling to keep the rebels out and this is where the newly arrived Russians UAVs have come in handy. To help move the ground offensive forward Russia has sent some of its commandos to Syria. Some of these Russians are coming from months of recent service in eastern Ukraine. Exactly how these will be used is unclear but Iran already has some special operations troops in Syria and they appear to serve mainly for collecting intelligence and attacking key rebel leaders (not always successfully). Iran is providing a lot of trainers, combat advisors and, judging from the number of dead Iranian officers (whose families back in Iran do not hide their grief or keep it out of the media) the Iranians are deeply involved in supervising these offensive operations.

 

Cuban troops have been reported in Syria, brought in to help train and assist Syrian troops. Some of the Cubans are believed to be special operations (commando) forces. Cuba, Russia and Syria deny the presence of Cuban troops in Syria.

 

The Russian air strikes had already played a key role in halting rebel advances into the twenty percent of Syria that the Assad forces control. Thus most of the recent Russian air strikes are against targets on the border of Latakia province (where the Syrian ports are) and inside adjacent Hama and Idlib provinces.

 

This 20 percent of the country is where the pro-Assad population lives and must be held for the Assad clan to retain any legitimacy as the government of Syria. The coastal areas are particularly important because Russia is pouring in military and other supplies via the Assad controlled ports. The roads from there to Damascus and south to the Israeli and Jordan borders must be kept open and the military supplies on these ships helps make that happen.

 

Russia also approached some rebel groups to propose joint operations against ISIL. These offers all appear to have been rejected. Russia is being depicted as a “foreign invader.” This is a popular attitude in the Middle East. It was used to great effect when Russia invaded Afghanistan in the 1980s and then the U.S. and Britain invaded Iraq in 2003. The Russian aerial and electronic intelligence capabilities plus the informant networks of the Assads has provided the Russians with more information on rebel operations than even the West and neighboring Moslem states have been able to obtain. This enables Russia to make offers like this with some prospects of success. Russia is now able to quickly find out about key rebel casualties (especially the deaths of senior leaders) that the rebels would rather keep quiet (to soften the effect on morale). Russia would like Iran to be more secretive about Iranian generals getting killed in Syria. Six have died there since 2013 and several of those deaths were recent. Syria is a much more dangerous place for Iranian military advisors as only one Iranian general has been killed in Iraq so far.

 

Despite previously negotiated “deconfliction” agreements with Russia over use of Syrian air space by Israeli and Russian aircraft the agreement proved incapable of dealing with the growing number of Iranian and Russian UAVs operating over Syria. When any of these UAVs get too close to the Israeli (or Turkish) border there is the risk of it getting shot down. This has caused some tension with the Russians as UAVs were apparently not covered in the existing agreements. This is a problem because Russia is working with Iran, which has regularly vowed to destroy Israel and has no agreements with Israel at all. Russia does not want to get dragged into a fight with Israel because of Iranian misbehavior but the Iranians are apparently pressuring the Russians to help “defend” Iranian UAVs operating along the Israeli border. Despite this issue Israel has basically agreed to tolerate Russia (and their Iranian ally) defeating the Syrian rebels and keeping the Assads in power. Israel never liked the Assads but they were able to work with them. At the moment ISIL appears to be the likely winner of a civil war if there is no outside interference. Everyone agrees ISIL control of Syria is the worst outcome and behaves accordingly.

 

October 25, 2015: Local witnesses said that ISIL destroyed three columns of an ancient temple in central Syria (near Palmyra) with explosives. But first ISIL tied condemned men to each of the columns to execute them (for reasons unknown) along with destroying the ancient “un-Islamic” structure. ISIL took this Syrian site (in Homs province) back in May and since August has been destroying ancient ruins. This was an ancient oasis city that was largely abandoned a century ago and now people live in nearby villages. Palmyra is a major tourist site and it was long feared that ISIL would destroy ruins. But ISIL is also using the ruins as the backdrop of exotic executions that are very effective Internet based recruiting videos. One current video featured a man being executed by running him over with a tank.

Syrian Kurds accuse Turkey of firing on some of their positions in Syria near the Turkish border. Turkey is currently at war with the PKK (Turkish Kurdish separatists) and believes the PYD (the Syrian Kurdish separatists, currently fighting the Assad government) is often working in cooperation with the PKK. The PYD insists it is concentrating on the war in Syria and merely stays in touch with the PKK. Turkey later confirmed the PYD attack claims. Turkey has made it clear that it does not want the Syrian Kurds taking control of large parts of northern Syria.

 

October 22, 2015: The U.S. has sent a dozen A-10 ground attack aircraft to Turkey to join the force of F-16s that has been used for air strikes on ISIL in Syria. The A-10C can handle smart bombs and thus stay high enough to avoid ground fire but the A-10s are also designed and equipped for low altitude operations. The decision to send the A-10s was made in response to the arrival of Russian warplanes in Syria.

 

October 21, 2015: Back in Russia the Russian intervention in Syria is portrayed as part of an effort to curb Islamic terrorism inside Russia and appears to have helped. Some 2,000 radicalized Russian Moslems have gone to Syria to join ISIL (Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant) but local officials in areas where most of these Russian recruits come from (the Caucasus, especially Chechnya) point out that Islamic terrorist activity in the Caucasus has declined this year and reports they have received from local informants indicates that most of those who went off to join ISIL have been killed.

 

October 19, 2015: Turkey said its warplanes had shot down a Russian UAV that had crossed the border into Turkish air space. Russia denied it had lost a UAV. The Turks reminded Russia that piloted Russian aircraft would be shot down as well.

In Syria Russian warplanes bombed a group of FSA rebels, apparently because this group was equipped with American TOW anti-tank missiles, which had been causing a lot of damage to Syrian armored vehicles. The air strikes also killed a senior FSA leader.

Artillery fire against the Russian base at Latakia left three Russians dead and several other wounded. It is unclear if the fire was mortars, artillery or rockets. Russia later denied that any Russians had been killed in Syria.

Many observers were surprised when Russia moved several dozen warplanes to Syria in August and began bombing Syrian rebels with lots of unguided bombs. Since the 1990s the United States has increasingly used smart (laser or GPS) guided bombs and now over 99 percent of American air strikes use such weapons. Other Western nations also adopted smart bombs. Russia is known to have had such weapons since the 1970s, many of them based on American smart bombs (or fragments) captured in Vietnam. The problem was that Russia never built or used a lot of these weapons. For a long time Russia considered these special weapons for rare special occasions.

 

October 16, 2015: Russia revealed that it had established a “hotline” agreement with Israel so the two nations could quickly resolve any problems between their respective armed forces over Syria.

 

October 11, 2015: ISIL released, to the Syrian government, fifty Syrian Christians ISIL had kidnapped last August. It is unclear what this was all about. It may have been ransom since ransom has always been a source of income for ISIL, which has very high expenses (supplies, pay and benefits for key people, bribes, fees and rewards for many services).

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29 octobre 2015 4 29 /10 /octobre /2015 22:35
(Oct. 29, 2015) The Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Chancellorsville (CG 52) steams along the port side of Military Sealift Command dry cargo and ammunition ship USNS Wally Schirra (T-AKE 8) during a replenishment-at-sea with the U.S. Navy's only forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76). Ronald Reagan and its embarked air wing, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5, provide a combat-ready force that protects and defends the collective maritime interests of the U.S. and its allies and partners in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Nathan Burke/Released)

(Oct. 29, 2015) The Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Chancellorsville (CG 52) steams along the port side of Military Sealift Command dry cargo and ammunition ship USNS Wally Schirra (T-AKE 8) during a replenishment-at-sea with the U.S. Navy's only forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76). Ronald Reagan and its embarked air wing, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5, provide a combat-ready force that protects and defends the collective maritime interests of the U.S. and its allies and partners in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Nathan Burke/Released)

 

29 octobre 2015 Romandie.com (AFP)

 

Washington - Deux avions russes ont été interceptés mardi (bien mardi en heure locale) par des avions de chasse américains et sud-coréens alors qu'ils s'approchaient du porte-avions américain USS Ronald Reagan en mer du Japon, a-t-on appris jeudi auprès de la Maison Blanche et du Pentagone.

 

Le Ronald Reagan a lancé quatre chasseurs F/A 18 pour intercepter et escorter les avions russes, a indiqué le capitaine de vaisseau Jeff Davis, porte-parole du Pentagone, en précisant que les appareils russes s'étaient approchés à environ un mille du porte-avions.

 

Les deux avions TU-142 Bear, d'imposants quadrimoteurs de surveillance maritime et de lutte anti sous-marine, volaient à environ 500 pieds (150 mètres), a précisé le porte-parole.

 

Rien n'indiquait que les deux avions posaient une menace immédiate mais c'est une procédure opérationnelle standard pour les avions américains d'escorter tout appareil volant à proximité des navires américains, a déclaré le porte-parole.

 

Ce genre d'incident n'arrive pas fréquemment mais cela est déjà arrivé, a ajouté le capitaine de vaisseau.

 

Il a aussi indiqué qu'un navire escortant le porte-avions avait tenté d'entrer en contact par radio avec les avions russes, mais sans succès.

 

Le porte-parole de la Maison Blanche Josh Earnest a de son côté précisé que l'incident s'était produit lors d'un exercice associant la marine américaine et l'armée sud-coréenne.

 

Ces avions russes ont d'abord été interceptés par les avions militaires sud-coréens qui opéraient dans la région, a-t-il précisé.

 

Le porte-parole de la Maison Blanche a aussi souligné que l'interception s'était déroulée dans les eaux internationales, à la différence d'autres incidents récents survenus dans l'espace aérien de la Turquie ou des pays Baltes.

 

Elle n'a pas donné lieu à une confrontation significative, a-t-il précisé.

 

Les interceptions d'avions russes se sont multipliées en Europe après la montée de tension avec la Russie, suite à l'annexion de la Crimée et la crise en Ukraine.

 

Avions russes et américains se sont aussi croisés dans le ciel syrien après le début de la campagne de bombardements russes en Syrie le 30 septembre.

 

Moscou et Washington ont signé le 10 octobre un mémorandum pour mettre en place des procédures afin d'éviter que ces rencontres dans le ciel syrien ne dégénèrent en collision ou incidents armés.

 

Ce memorandum prévoit une procédure de communication entre les deux centres de commandements des opérations aériennes, russe et américain, selon le capitaine de vaisseau Jeff Davis.

 

Mais cette procédure n'a pas eu à servir depuis qu'elle a été mise en place, a précisé Jeff Davis.

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28 octobre 2015 3 28 /10 /octobre /2015 17:40
Yars ICBM photo Vadim Savitskii - Sputnik

Yars ICBM photo Vadim Savitskii - Sputnik

 

28.10.2015 Sputnik

 

MOSCOW - Russia has successfully launched a Yars intercontinental ballistic missile equipped with independently targeted warheads from its Plesetsk Cosmodrome to a range on the Kamchatka Peninsula, the Russian Defense Ministry said Wednesday.

 

The Yars is a multiple independently targetable reentry vehicle (MIRV) that contains several warheads. Great Britain, France, Russia, the United States, and China are the only countries believed to have these types of ICBMs in their arsenal. “The military blocks arrived to the intended region at the Kura Range on the Kamchatka Peninsula. The set goals of the launch have been reached and the tasks have been completed in full,” Igor Egorov, a spokesman for the Defense Ministry’s  Strategic Missile Forces, said.

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27 octobre 2015 2 27 /10 /octobre /2015 08:30
Su30SM aux côtés d'un Su-25 Frogfoot déployés en Syrie - photo Russia MoD

Su30SM aux côtés d'un Su-25 Frogfoot déployés en Syrie - photo Russia MoD

 

26 octobre 2015 Romandie.com (AFP)

 

Washington - Les Américains et la coalition contre le groupe Etat islamique n'ont pas mené de frappes aériennes en Syrie depuis trois jours, un calme contrastant avec l'activité de Moscou qui indique avoir frappé 94 cibles sur les dernières 24 heures.

 

Selon les statistiques de la coalition menée par les Etats-Unis, le dernier bombardement en Syrie remonte au jeudi 22 octobre, avec une frappe de drone dans la région de Mara (nord de la Syrie) visant un véhicule et un mortier.

 

Le Pentagone juge purement circonstancielle cette retenue, démentant notamment que la coalition puisse manquer de cibles.

 

Nous demandons à nos services de renseignement des cibles que nous pouvons frapper sans causer de dommages civils et nous n'en avons eu aucune ces derniers jours, a déclaré lundi le porte-parole du Pentagone, le capitaine de vaisseau Jeff Davis.

 

Mais ça ne veut pas dire que nous ne sommes pas en train de chercher d'autres cibles. Et il y en aura d'autres, a-t-il ajouté.

 

Il n'y a rien à lire dans ce calme récent, a indiqué un responsable de la Défense, sous couvert de l'anonymat.

 

Les cibles ne manquent pas mais il peut y avoir toute une série de raisons pour lesquelles nous renonçons à frapper, comme le mauvais temps, a commenté un autre responsable américain.

 

L'armée russe a annoncé lundi avoir effectué 59 sorties au dessus de la Syrie et frappé 94 cibles terroristes en 24 heures, un nombre record de bombardements depuis le début de l'intervention russe le 30 septembre.

 

D'une manière générale, les statistiques du Pentagone montrent un net ralentissement des frappes en Syrie qui a commencé dès le début du mois de septembre, avant même l'intervention russe.

 

En septembre, le nombre de bombardements de la coalition en Syrie est tombée à 127, alors qu'il était resté supérieur à 200 sur les quatre mois précédents, selon les chiffres du Pentagone collectés par Airwars, un site internet spécialisé.

 

En octobre, après le début des bombardements russes en Syrie, la baisse s'est confirmée, avec une centaine de frappes enregistrées jusqu'au 25.

 

Les frappes en Irak montrent moins d'irrégularités, oscillant approximativement entre 400 et 500 par mois sur les six derniers mois.

 

Le Pentagone se refuse à lire un quelconque essoufflement des frappes dans les chiffres concernant la Syrie.

 

Nous frappons les cibles où nous les trouvons et quand nous les avons vérifiées, a souligné lundi Elissa Smith, une porte-parole du Pentagone.

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16 octobre 2015 5 16 /10 /octobre /2015 07:30
Turkish Stream : la bataille ne fait que commencer (Diploweb - Juin 2015)

Carte des infrastructures d’approvisionnement en gaz autour de la mer Noire Source : Questions internationales, n°72, mars-avril 2015, p. 75. Réalisation Atelier de cartographie de Sciences Po.

 

9 juin 2015  Par Céline BAYOU * - Diploweb

 

Voici une remarquable lecture géopolitique des jeux et enjeux autour des gazoducs à destination de l’Union européenne. C. Bayou – qui suit le dossier depuis longtemps – précise et actualise notre compréhension de ce sujet déterminant. Un texte de référence, à la fois documenté, lucide et clairement rédigé. Illustré d’une carte.

 

DEPUIS QUELQUES ANNEES, le projet de Corridor Sud et ses concurrents russes focalisent l’attention d’acteurs qui envisagent de faire transiter du gaz par la région de la mer Noire et l’Europe du Sud-Est, puis de l’acheminer vers les marchés d’Europe de l’Ouest [1]. Quelle que soit la voie envisagée, via la Turquie ou via la mer Noire, celle-ci atteste la montée en puissance de cette zone en passe de devenir un nouveau pont gazier entre producteurs (russe, azerbaïdjanais, turkmène, iranien, irakien…) et consommateurs européens. Pour les pays d’Europe du Sud-Est, l’enjeu est d’importance, chacun ayant intérêt à voir passer le futur tube sur son territoire. La situation de la plupart de ces États en matière d’approvisionnement énergétique est en effet loin d’être confortable, ce qu’illustrent par exemple les protestations répétées des populations (Albanie, Bulgarie, etc.), mécontentes du montant de leur facture énergétique ; mais également la crise du gaz russo-ukrainienne de janvier 2009, lorsque la Russie a coupé pendant quelques jours les livraisons transitant par le territoire ukrainien, privant momentanément de gaz quelques pays, parmi lesquels la Serbie, la Croatie, la Macédoine, la Bulgarie et la Grèce. Mais le passage d’un tube sur un territoire, outre qu’il assure au pays concerné un approvisionnement a priori stable et régulier, comporte aussi une dimension géopolitique : il fournit au pays concerné des recettes de transit et lui confère un pouvoir de négociation certain à l’égard de ses voisins, surtout si des branches partant de ce gazoduc sont envisagées.

Suite de l'article

 

* Analyste-rédactrice à la Documentation française (revue Questions internationales et site P@ges Europe), Co-rédactrice en chef du site Regard sur l’Est, chargée de cours à l’INALCO et membre du CREE (Centre de recherches Europes-Eurasie, INALCO).

 

 

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15 octobre 2015 4 15 /10 /octobre /2015 16:40
Russian Military to Complete Testing on KAB-250 Guided Bombs This Year

The KAB-250 weighs a total of 565 pounds, with a warhead of 365 pounds and a 200-pound explosive.

 

Oct 11, 2015 Sputnik

 

The latest version of Russia's KAB-250 precision-guided bomb will soon complete trials, according to the weapon's manufacturer, Moscow-based Region Scientific and Production Enterprise JSC.

 

"The bomb is in trials on the Sukhoi Su-34 [Russian fighter jet], with the trials to be completed late this year," Region's director general, Igor Krylov, told IHS Jane's at the Russian Defense Ministry Innovation Day.

 

There are two versions of the 250-kilogram KAB: a laser-guided version and a satellite-guided version.

 

The KAB-250 follows the larger KAB-500, which made its combat debut in September when the Russian military began launching airstrikes in Syria.

 

The KAB-250 will enter the weapons suite of the PAK FA fifth-generation fighter next year. It can be mounted externally or stored in the jet's internal weapons bays.

 

According to Krylov, the KAB-250 was developed in response to the Small Diameter Bomb, which the United States developed for its F-22 Raptor and F-35 Lightning II fifth-generation fighters, IHS Jane's reports.

 

The KAB-250 has a fragmentation warhead designed to destroy lightly vulnerable materiel, thin-skinned vehicles, and other enemy installations. The bomb can be dropped individually or in salvoes. The aircraft carrying the KAB-250LG-Es must be fitted with a laser illumination system or the target can be illuminated by a forward air controller, according to IHS Jane's

 

The KAB-250 weighs a total of 565 pounds, with a warhead of 365 pounds and a 200-pound explosive.

 

The bomb is 10.5 feet long. It has a complex, compact tail design and is fitted with four long-chord, short-span wings to increase its glide range. It falls from an aircraft at a rate of 655-1,150 feet per second.

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Both missiles are being tested on board the PAK FA - photo Rostec

Both missiles are being tested on board the PAK FA - photo Rostec

 

Oct 13, 2015 Sputnik

 

Images of several types of new air-to-surface missiles designed to arm Russian jets have emerged recently. The missiles are planned to equip Russian aircraft, including the PAK FA.

 

The missiles are known as X-59MK2 and X-58USHKE.

 

The first projectile is designed to destroy located stationary ground targets. The targeting system is combined: inertial and satellite gps/glonass. A self-targeting optical-electronic device is activated on the last stage of the flight trajectory. The missile flies at an altitude of 50-300 meters. The missile can carry warheads of two types: penetrating and cluster.

 

The second missile is equipped with self-directing navigational gear. It can fly three times faster than the speed of sound for a distance of 250 kilometers while carrying a 150-kilogram explosive warhead.

 

Both missiles are being tested on board the PAK FA. According to Commander Viktor Bondarev, the T-50 equipped with weapons is showing excellent results.

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photo Russia MoD

photo Russia MoD

 

15 octobre 2015 Romandie.com (AFP)

 

Moscou - Une ligne directe a été installée entre Moscou et Tel Aviv pour éviter tout incident entre leurs aviations dans l'espace aérien syrien, a annoncé jeudi le ministère russe de la Défense.

 

Le partage mutuel d'informations sur les opérations de nos forces aériennes a été établi par le biais d'une ligne directe entre le quartier-général russe de la base aérienne Hmeimin, dans le nord-ouest de la Syrie, et celui de l'aviation militaire israélienne, a déclaré le ministère.

 

Des entraînements se sont déroulés pour que les états-majors des deux aviations se familiarisent avec cette ligne directe, a-t-il ajouté, précisant que l'un d'eux se déroulait jeudi.

 

Lors de sa rencontre en septembre à Moscou avec le président russe Vladimir Poutine, le Premier ministre israélien Benjamin Netanyahu avait indiqué que les deux pays s'étaient mis d'accord pour établir un mécanisme visant à coordonner leur action militaire en Syrie afin d'éviter malentendus et confrontations.

 

Avec le début des frappes russes en Syrie le 30 septembre, l'espace aérien est de plus en plus encombré, avec des risques croissants d'incidents, même si les chasseurs russes opèrent surtout dans le nord et dans l'ouest de la Syrie.

 

Les Russes cherchent également à finaliser un accord avec l'armée américaine pour éviter tout incident avec ses avions de chasse qui visent le groupe jihadiste Etat islamique.

 

Un accord pourrait être signé dans les prochains jours, a déclaré mercredi à Washington un responsable américain de la Défense à l'issue de la troisième séance de discussions par vidéo-conférence depuis le début de l'intervention russe en Syrie.

 

Selon des sources concordantes, Israël a effectué plus d'une dizaine d'attaques aériennes en Syrie depuis 2013. La plupart de ses frappes visaient des transports d'armes destinées au Hezbollah libanais.

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Le régime d'Assad étend son offensive dans le centre de la Syrie

 

15.10.2015 Romandie.com(ats)

 

L'armée syrienne, appuyée par l'aviation russe, a étendu jeudi son offensive dans le centre de la Syrie. Elle a lancé une opération contre les rebelles dans la province de Homs, ont annoncé la télévision d'Etat et une ONG.

Son objectif est "de restaurer sécurité et stabilité dans les villages et localités de la région", a annoncé la télévision syrienne en citant des sources militaires. Elle a affirmé que les forces du régime avaient pris le contrôle du village d'al-Dar Al-Kabirah, juste au nord de la ville de Homs.

 

La Syrie essentielle

Soutenues par la Russie, les forces pro-Assad tentent de reprendre le contrôle de ce que le pouvoir considère comme la "Syrie essentielle". Les principaux centres urbains de l'ouest du pays relient Damas aux régions côtières qui constituent le fief de la minorité alaouite dont est issue la famille Assad.

Une source militaire en Syrie a confirmé à l'AFP que les opérations dans la province de Homs sont "liées stratégiquement" à l'offensive en cours dans la région voisine de Hama. "Les opérations se poursuivront jusqu'à ce que soit atteint l'objectif de sécuriser le nord de Homs et de couper les contacts entre les rebelles de Hama et ceux de Homs", a assuré cette source.

La majeure partie de la ville de Homs est contrôlée par le régime, tout comme celle de Hama mais les régions entre ces deux capitales provinciales sont tenues par les rebelles.

 

Dix tués

L'Observatoire syrien des droits de l'homme (OSDH) a précisé que les avions russes ont mené ce jeudi 15 raids dans le secteur où ont lieu les combats, tuant 10 personnes, dont six rebelles.

De violents combats opposent les forces du régime aux rebelles près de Homs, selon l'OSDH, notamment au sud de la localité de Talbissé, située sur l'autoroute reliant Homs à Hama. Talbissé est aux mains des rebelles depuis 2012 et toutes les tentatives du régime pour la reprendre ont échoué jusqu'à présent.

Avec l'appui de l'aviation russe, entrée en action le 30 septembre, le régime du président syrien Bachar al-Assad cherche à avancer, sans grand succès jusqu'à présent, dans le nord de Hama et la plaine du Ghab, à l'intersection des provinces de Hama (centre), Idleb (nord-ouest) et Lattaquié (ouest).

 

Rien à discuter

Sur le plan diplomatique, Vladimir Poutine a dénoncé jeudi la "position non constructive" des Etats-Unis. Il a affirmé que les Etats-Unis avaient refusé le principe d'un échange de délégations avec Moscou pour parler du conflit syrien.

"Je pense que cette position est non constructive et apparemment la source de la faiblesse de la position américaine est son absence de plan (pour la Syrie). Visiblement, il n'y a tout simplement rien à discuter" avec les Américains, a déclaré M. Poutine, en visite à Astana, au Kazakhstan, selon des propos retransmis à la TV russe.

"Je ne comprends pas bien comment nos partenaires américains peuvent critiquer les actions de lutte antiterroriste de la Russie en Syrie tout en refusant le dialogue direct sur les questions importantes telles que le règlement politique" du conflit, a-t-il ajouté.

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photo military-informant.com

photo military-informant.com

 

October 10, 2015: Strategy Page

 

A Russian firm recently offered for export a new armored bulldozer design. This is the 21 ton B10 commercial bulldozer with armor added and a few other changes. This results in a 25 ton vehicle that is similar to the Cold War era BAT-2, a larger, 40 ton armored bulldozer. The militarized B10 is apparently more cost-effective than the BAT-2, which was an improved version of the World War II era BAT-M.

 

Most nations turn older tanks into “combat engineer vehicles” by removing the turret, adding an armored box for the operator plus a bulldozer blade and other items. But if you just want to shove stuff around while under fire you are better served by armoring a large commercial bulldozer. That is what Israel has been doing since the 1960s.

 

By 2009 Israel realized armor wasn’t enough and began converting all its D9 armored combat bulldozers to operate by remote control. Israel has been using the armored D9 bulldozer since the 1960s. For the United States the 62 ton D9 armored (via an Israeli armor kit) bulldozer has been an important tool for urban warfare after 2001.

 

IDF D9R armed with FN Mag machinegun and slat armor during IDF training - photo M. Aronov

IDF D9R armed with FN Mag machinegun and slat armor during IDF training - photo M. Aronov

Although the Israelis pioneered the use of special explosives to blast entry holes through walls, so troops can quickly get to their objectives, the D9 proved an even more effective solution. The D-9 lets you bash through walls, and buildings, much faster. The D9 can even shake the enemy out of some buildings. Thus the D9 proved very effective in urban combat. The Israelis often mounted a machine-gun on the D9s, to provide protection from the increasing number of attacks on these vehicles. The D9s are pretty sturdy, often surviving large roadside bombs and several RPG hits. But the D9s are not invulnerable and have increasingly become a target for enemy attack. Despite the armor kit and machine-gun, D9 drivers sometimes get killed or wounded, and the vehicles put out of action. Thus the need for a remote control option.

 

The remote control version of the D9, called "Black Thunder", was developed in 2006 as a secret program that was only revealed because so many troops were now aware of it. Even the Palestinians were talking about it, having been confronted with "Black Thunder" D9s during the 2009 war in Gaza.

 

"Black Thunder" D9s retain the armor kit, but instead of an operator, the cab contains the electronics and radio gear needed to run the dozer remotely. Several cameras and other sensors are mounted on the outside. An operator, sitting in a nearby armored vehicle or truck, views several flat screen displays, and operates the controls. Any soldiers with lots of video game experience can quickly master the remote operation of a D9.

 

In early 2003, the U.S. bought nine 62 ton D9 armored Caterpillar bulldozers into Kuwait for the Iraq campaign. The D9s, and their Israeli made armor kit, were purchased because of the Israeli success with the dozer in urban warfare against Palestinian terrorists. America had used the D9 during the 1960s in Vietnam, but after that only used the smaller (35 ton, with armor kit) D7. The D9 was not needed for urban fighting in Iraq during 2003, but was found very useful (much more so than the smaller D7) for combat engineering tasks. The D9 quickly cleared highways of debris and built temporary roads for combat vehicles. D9s was eventually used in Iraq for combat operations in places like Fallujah. The U.S. has also developed remote control systems for several types of armored vehicles.

 

Russia apparently will offer their B10 at a cheaper price than competing Western models as well as many additional options.

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photo Russia MoD

photo Russia MoD

 

13.10.2015 Le Fauteuil de Colbert

 

Nous sommes plusieurs observateurs à nous rejoindre sur un point précis à propos de la démonstration navale russe.

 

C'est le fait d'une canonnière (gunboat) - ce petit navire au pouvoir stratégique démesuré par rapport à son tonnage -, elle serait peut-être à rapprocher du concept de "caporal stratégique". Il y eu celle qui appuya les conquêtes coloniales, celle qui, dotait de missiles anti-navires, bouleversa les engagements et maintenant, celle qui, par le missile de croisière, voit l'influence de la mer décuplée, même à l'ère aéronavale. Bien que l'embarquement de missiles à très longue portée ne soit pas tellement une nouveauté. 

 

Cette nouvelle canonnière, façon russe, ne cesse d'interpeller le rapport entretenu par l'Occident (au sens très large : Europe, États-Unis, Japon, Corée du Sud, Australie, etc) avec la domination aérienne. Ce qui accréditerait le discours ambiant sur les menaces A2/AD (Anti-Access/Area-Denial) et démontrerait une certaine égalisation technologique avec les challengers (Russie, Chine, Iran ?).

Cependant, ce discours ambiant pourrait avoir aussi tous les aspects d'une navy scare. C'est-à-dire la peur de la perte de la supériorité navale, autrefois, aérienne aujourd'hui, sans qu'il y ait précisément de fondement rationnel à tout cela. Plusieurs choses nous invitent à considérer cette thèse et savoir raison garder.

 

Suite de l'article

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Russian Deputy Minister of Defence Anatoly Antonov discussed the activities of the Russian Aerospace Forces in Syria with the UN representative


13.10.2015 Russia MoD

Today Deputy Minister of Defence of the Russian Federation Anatoly Antonov has held a meeting with Special Envoy of the UN Secretary General Staffan de Mistura. They exchanged their opinions concerning the current situation in the Syrian Arab Republic.

 

Anatoly Antonov informed the UN representative about the objectives, missions and main results of the activities of the Russian Aerospace Forces in the region. In the course of the meeting, the parties showed readiness for meaningful interaction and coordination of efforts of all the interested states in countering terrorist groups in the region.

Staffan de Mistura expressed an interest in further development of interaction between the Russian Ministry of Defence and the UN structures, which carried out humanitarian operations in Syria.

One of the main issues of the negotiations became the activities of the aviation group of the Russian Aerospace Forces in the Syrian Arab Republic and the legitimacy of the presence of Russian aircraft on its territory.

“We told Mr. de Mistura in detail about the actions of the Russian Aerospace Forces in Syria, gave necessary clarifications, laid out our position and explained what we did in Syria as well as emphasized the fact that our presence there was legal,” told Anatoly Antonov.

The Russian party attached attention to the necessity of unifying counterterrorist efforts denoting the importance of international cooperation in that field.

“Recently, we have established contacts with many states, primarily with the United States of America,” mentioned Deputy Chief of the Russian Military department.

Moreover, the Russian Ministry of Defence has enriched the proposals concerning Syria for the USA and is waiting for the third video conference on the problems of Syria, which will take place between the Russian and the American parties. It is expected to be held on October 14. Representatives of the both countries will discuss the interdepartmental document suggested by the Russian Ministry of Defence on the activities in the air over Syria.

“I am pleased to report that we have sent to our American friends additional considerations to the document, which has already been worked on for about 10 days,” told Anatoly Antonov. “We hope that Washington will rapidly consider our ideas and tomorrow a video conference concerning the possibility of interaction of the both countries in the skies over Syria will take place.”

The Defence Ministry had prepared and sent to Washington the project of the interdepartmental document concerning avoidance of possible accidents in the Syrian air space between military aircraft of Russia and the ones of the coalition led by the USA.

Anatoly Antonov noted that the Russian party had stressed the significance of building close interaction between the Pentagon and the Russian Defence Ministry.

 “I asked Mr. de Mistura to get the importance of acquisition of precise parameters, targets, locations of the actual ISIS armed groups, which are operating in the Syrian territory, across to Washington,” stated the Deputy Defence Minister.

Moreover, the Russian party suggests the United States of America developing joint pilot rescue methods in cases of emergency and other incidents.

 “We reconfirmed our readiness to develop interaction with the US in fighting terrorism, we stressed the importance of cooperation, for instance, in saving our crews. Such accidents can happen not only with us, but with any aircraft crew of any country, which carries out operations in the sky over Syria. Our point is that there is nothing more important and humane,” said Anatoly Antonov.

Anatoly Antonov also spoke about the Russian contacts with Turkey and other Persian Gulf states concerning conflict in Syria.

 “We asked Mr. de Mistura for objective assessment of real situation concerning actions held by the Russian Defence Ministry in Syria. Mr. de Mistura is leaving Moscow for Washington just after this meeting,” stated Anatoly Antonov.

Moreover, increasing of humanitarian help supplies to the Syrian people is one of the topical purposes of Staffan de Mistura’s visit to Moscow.

 “Certainly, it’s necessary to use opportunities of our meeting in order to discuss the issues concerning activation of humanitarian help and support, especially, in those regions where the civilians suffer acutely,” said Special Envoy of the UN Secretary General Staffan de Mistura.

According to him, there should be a comprehensive political approach to settle the crisis in Syria.

Staffan de Mistura stressed that he was glad to have an opportunity to discuss chances and opportunities and to achieve some political progress in settlement of crisis in Syria.

He also noted that the faster the armed conflict in Syria would be ended and a political dialogue would start, the faster the Syrians would be brought relief.

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photo Russia MoD

photo Russia MoD

 

13 octobre 2015 Romandie.com (AFP)

 

Beyrouth - Le groupe Etat islamique (EI) a appelé au jihad contre la Russie dont l'aviation russe bombarde depuis le 30 septembre les positions de l'organisation jihadiste et celles des rebelles en guerre contre le régime, selon un enregistrement sonore diffusé mardi.

 

La Russie sera vaincue en Syrie, a affirmé le porte-parole de l'EI Abou Mohamed al-Adnani dans cet enregistrement diffusé sur les sites jihadistes.

 

Il a appelé les musulmans en tous lieux à lancer le jihad contre les Russes et les Américains, pour faire face à une guerre des Croisés contre les musulmans.

 

Le porte-parole a accusé les Etats-Unis d'être faibles et impuissants et de faire appel à l'Australie, à la Russie, à la Turquie et l'Iran pour l'aider dans sa guerre contre l'EI en Syrie. Ils sont prêts à s'allier même avec le diable, a-t-il ajouté.

 

Abou Mohamed al-Adnani a affirmé que son groupe se renforce chaque jour et continuera à devenir plus fort.

 

Il a par ailleurs menacé les groupes rebelles qui lui sont hostiles dont la branche syrienne d'Al-Qaïda, le Front Al-Nosra, les accusant d'être des vendus et des laquais et en affirmant que les combattants de l'EI les pourchasseront et les vaincront.

 

Les Etats-Unis sont à la tête d'une large coalition qui bombarde depuis plus d'un an en Syrie et en Irak l'EI, un puissant groupe ultraradical qui contrôle de vastes régions dans ces deux pays, sans parvenir à le neutraliser.

 

La Russie est intervenue le 30 septembre avec son aviation dans le conflit pour venir en aide au régime syrien, son allié, qui était en mauvaise posture après plusieurs revers face aux rebelles. Moscou affirme que ses avions bombardent l'EI et les groupes rebelles islamistes dans plusieurs régions de Syrie.

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Syrie : l'ambassade russe à Damas touchée par deux obus

 

13.10.2015 par JDD

 

Deux obus ont atteint mardi l'ambassade de Russie à Damas, en Syrie. Ils proviennent des rebelles islamistes positionnés autour de la capitale, selon l'Observatoire syrien des droits de l'homme.

 

Deux obus ont frappé mardi matin l'ambassade de Russie à Damas au moment où débutait une manifestation de soutien à ce pays, dont l'aviation apporte une aide aérienne aux forces du régime pour repousser les rebelles. Selon un journaliste de l'AFP, les deux obus sont tombés dans l'enceinte de l'ambassade, créant la panique parmi les quelque 300 personnes rassemblées pour remercier la Russie de son intervention en Syrie. Il n'y a pas eu de blessés parmi les manifestants selon le journaliste, tandis qu'aucune information n'a été donnée sur d'éventuels dégâts à l'intérieur de l'ambassade.

Suite de l'article

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Syrian Opposition Guide (Oct. 7, 2015) - ISW

 

Oct 7, 2015 - Jennifer Cafarella - ISW

 

This reference guide provides a baseline for identifying Syrian opposition groups. The guide aims to permit researchers to track how groups realign as the Russians commence operations. It seeks to inform the development of policies that aim to protect Syrian rebels willing to cooperate with the U.S. in order to defeat ISIS and marginalize al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra.

Read more

 

 
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photo Russia MoD

photo Russia MoD

 

October 11, 2015: Strategy Page

 

The Russian air support for the Syrian government forces has been effective, mainly because the Russians don’t care if civilians are in the way and get hurt. This is just as well because a lot of the Russian bombs are unguided. Russia does have GPS and laser guided bombs but not a lot of them. There are also many targets that can be destroyed just as easily with dumb bombs, especially if you are not concerned about dead civilians. The Russians are apparently shipping in thousands of unguided aircraft bombs, most (if not all) of them dating back to the Cold War (that ended in 1991). Syria, however is still using locally fabricated bombs and will probably continue to as Syrian helicopters are not equipped to drop aerial bombs. With Russian help the Syrian helicopter force will now increase but helicopters often make effective bombers. Since 2012 the Syrians have been dropping barrels filled with flammable liquids and explosives, rigged to explode when they hit the ground. This sort of thing is not unique to Syria and has been seen for years in Sudan where the government uses “barrel bombs” rolled out of transports and helicopters. These are not precision weapons, but if the target is a village or other residential area, they are accurate enough.  The Syrian barrel bombs have been used frequently against civilian targets like markets, mosques, hospitals, schools and apartment buildings. This has persuaded many anti-Assad Syrians to flee the country which is exactly what the government wants. Now many of these Syrian refugees are forcing their way into Europe, which is another win as far as the Assads are concerned.

 

Russian troops began arriving in late August and by mid-September began launching air strikes. That accelerated on October 9th and will continue to do so as more and more Russian cargo ships arrive with weapons, troops, ammunition and equipment. This increase in Russian military aid to Syria solves several problems for Russia. For one, it prevents the looming collapse of the Assad government, which has been losing territory at an accelerating rate in 2015 and is facing a collapse in morale among its forces and civilian supporters. Russia has been a staunch ally of the Assad dynasty since the 1970s. Iran cannot provide more aid, mainly because despite the July agreement to lift sanctions on Iran that does not go into effect until early 2016 and until then Iran is as broke as ever. But the arrival of the Russian troops does boost Iranian morale and willingness to send in more troops to act as advisors and trainers.

 

Russia is only sending a few thousand ground troops but these are some of the best troops Russia has and ISIL and the other Islamic terrorist rebels will suffer much heavier casualties if they clash with these Russians. All this will boost morale among troops and Syrian civilians in Assad territory and make it more likely that a Russian peace proposal that keeps the Assads in power, even if it means a partition of Syria, will be more acceptable to the world. Russia says it is sending only “volunteers”. This is a policy adopted in Ukraine, and for good reason. While “acting strong” is popular with most Russians, the risk of your own conscripted sons getting sent to Ukraine or Syria and killed or maimed is definitely not popular. To the dismay of Russian leaders it was found that even when young volunteer (“contract”) soldiers get hurt there is popular backlash. This despite government willingness to pay compensation (not a Russian tradition) to families of the dead as well as to disabled soldiers. Thus Russia has an incentive to rely a lot on tech and mercenaries (mainly supplied by Iran) to avoid Russian casualties.  That said the Russian force is not large (because Russian cannot afford a larger force) and they are depending on terror to help out. Russians make no secret of their indifference to civilian casualties and the use of terror against their enemies. ISIL sees this as more of a threat than the more high-tech and civilized Americans.

 

By mid-September Russia had brought in enough warplanes and troops to support and protect the airbase near the coast in Latakia province. Despite Russian talk about it all being about ISIL (al Qaeda in Iraq and the Levant), most of the attacks so far have been against the most immediate threats to the twenty percent of Syria that the Assad forces control. This means rebels who are trying to defeat the Assads and not, like ISIL, seeking to establish a worldwide Islamic religious dictatorship. To placate foreign criticism Russia did hint that a column might be sent east to threaten the ISIL capital Raqqa. That would certainly be possible but even the Russians realize that most of the ISIL gunmen in the east are based among the population outside Raqqa and while these fanatics would die in large numbers they would also be inflicting a lot of unwelcome casualties whoever the Russians had fighting on the ground. Nevertheless the Syrian government and their Iranian military advisors are examining the idea of sending a ground force of Syrian and mercenary (non-Russian) troops to Raqqa, assisted by ruthless Russian air power.

 

Russia wants to carry out a “heroic intervention” to defeat ISIL and earn some positive publicity. That sort of thing is badly needed as Russia is currently seen as a treacherous bully because of its aggression in Ukraine and elsewhere in East Europe. By the end of the year Russia expects to turn that around, even if some depict them as a treacherous and opportunistic hero. Smashing ISIL would nevertheless be praised and appreciated. It would also be seen as a defeat for America and affirmation of Russian might and loyalty to its allies. The main problem Russia faces is doing this with a minimum of Russian casualties. That means inspiring the Syrian military, the Hezbollah militia and Iranian mercenaries to do most of the dangerous work on the ground.

 

Russia admits that it is breaking the UN embargo to supply the Assad government with new weapons. That was clear as Russia announced the sale to Syria of another twelve MiG-29s. Only nine will be delivered by the end of 2016 and the last three will arrive in 2017. The Russia appears determined to immediately do a lot of rebuild what is left of the Syrian Air Force, which has suffered enormous (over 70 percent) losses since 2011. Russia has always provided tech and material (spare parts) support for this largely Russian fleet of warplanes and helicopters but not enough for the Syrians to keep more than 30 percent of the 370 aircraft and helicopters operational. The surge of Russian support will mean the Syrian Air Force can be rebuilt and thus be even more active. The 50 or so Russian aircraft in Syria consist of Su-34 and Su-30 fighter-bombers, Su-24M bombers and Su-25 ground attack aircraft as well as about a dozen armed helicopters. There are also many transport helicopters.

 

Turkey is threatening to shoot down Russian warplanes that continue to slip in and out of Turkish air space. Russia takes that threat seriously and apologized for several recent (October 3rd and 6th) incidents which appear to have been accidental. Russia says bad weather was at fault but the main problem is Syrian rebels operating close to the Turkish border and often crossing it unexpectedly. The Russian pilots will often lose track of the border when going after rebels who may have recently slipped across the border. There is another element in all this. Russia and Turkey are ancient enemies and Turkish public opinion backs using violence against Russian incursions, even accidental ones. Russia is in the process of increasing daily air strikes to a hundred or more a day but pilots are ordered to ensure that every sortie counts. This is especially true because the Russians have a big advantage over NATO here as the Syrian Army has lots of personnel who can speak Russian and are familiar with the procedures for calling in air strikes. So when the Russian pilots get a call for air support they know it is a confirmed target and the morale of the troops down there will soar if the Russian fighter-bombers can get the job done. This is what the Russian pilots are under orders to do. Russia could simply avoid rebels near the border but they know that the rebels would quickly exploit that.

 

In Syria additional Hezbollah, other Shia militia and Syrian Army forces are on the move in the northwest around Homs, Palmyra and Aleppo as well as in the south near the Israeli border. Rebel groups had recently gained territory in all these areas. This sudden counteroffensive is a direct result of the recent Russian intervention in Syria. This was very good news for Hezbollah and the Assad government. The Iran backed Hezbollah militia has been providing thousands of fighters inside Syria for the Iran backed Assad government but this has been increasingly unpopular among Hezbollah members and even more unpopular with Lebanese in general. That’s because Syria considers Lebanon a “lost province” and has always treated Lebanon badly. Hezbollah had to fight in Syria for the hated (by most Lebanese) Assad government because Iran has long been the main financial and military support for Hezbollah and demanded that Hezbollah send fighters to Syria. But Hezbollah leaders eventually told Iran that the Hezbollah operations (and casualties) in Syria were causing serious damage to the unity and effectiveness of Hezbollah in general. In fact, once it became clear that Russia was putting substantial combat forces in Syria, Hezbollah quietly informed Iran and the Assads that by the end of September Hezbollah would cease offensive operations in Syria and confine their participation to fighting Syrian rebel (especially Islamic terrorist groups) attempts to get into Lebanon. Decisions like this are very popular with most Lebanese and especially welcome by Hezbollah fighters, who always thought they had signed up mainly to defend Lebanon in general and the Shia minority of Lebanon in particular. Guarding the border is doing just that and will repair the damage to morale done because of combat operations inside Syria (and several thousand casualties suffered as a result). Now it is clear that Hezbollah, after receiving some additional weapons (including tanks) has been encouraged to do a little more. This appears to be something like pushing Syrian rebels much farther away from the Lebanese border as that would be tolerable to most Lebanese and help the Assad government as well. Putting Hezbollah forces on the Syrian border with Israel is also popular with many Lebanese, as long as the effort does not get a lot of Lebanese killed. Up north Iran is using thousands of foreign Shia volunteers it has armed, trained and paid. With Russian air support, as well as more sorties from Syrian warplanes (because of increased Russian aid) the pro-government forces are advancing. Many of the rebels, except for ISIL, have not experienced many air strikes this year, mainly because the U.S. led coalition aircraft have concentrated on ISIL. The Russians don’t much care about ISIL unless ISIL forces are in the way of the pro-government ground troops. American warplanes have been ordered to stay at least 30 kilometers away from any Russian aircraft and not interfere with Russian operations. This government offensive may not get far but it is off to an encouraging start and that is welcome news back in Iran. That’s largely because it is no secret in Iran that there are over a thousand Iranian trainers and advisors in Syria and these men have played a large role in keeping the Assad government from being destroyed by all the rebel Islamic terror groups constantly attacking since 2012. Officially Iran insists it has no military personnel in Syria, but there is a lot of evidence there, and in Iran, to contradict that claim. It is also widely believed (at least inside Iran) that Iran convinced Russia to intervene. This is in line with the ancient Iranian tradition of wisely using wartime diplomacy to create opportunities and turn defeats into victories. A senior Iranian general (Qassem Sulaimani, head of the Quds Force) is known to have made two semi-secret trips to the Russian capital recently.

 

The Russian intervention in Syria has caused Iraq to openly accuse the United States of being ineffective and unwilling to do what it takes to defeat ISIL. Iraqi leaders pointed out that over a year ago the U.S. and its Arab allies promised sufficient air support and other military assistance to defeat ISIL. That has not worked. Iraq believes the United States lacks the will to get the job done while Iran and Russia do have what it takes. Finally Iraq was considering asking Russia to extend its bombing campaign to attacks on ISIL in western Iraq and Mosul. This would involve allowing Russia to operate from Iraqi air bases. What is meant here but not being said is that Iraq disagrees with the American ROE (Rules of Engagement) which puts more emphasis on protecting civilians than in destroying the enemy. ISIL uses lots of human shields to protect its men and facilities from air attack. Russia and Arab air forces will bomb a target even if there are human shields present.

 

Russia has brought some of its new electronic jamming equipment to Syria and these are being used to jam ISIL and NATO communications. Some NATO radars and satellite signals are also being jammed. NATO is already familiar with some of these jammers, particularly the truck mounted Krasukha-4, which has been encountered in eastern Ukraine (Donbas).

 

Meanwhile Turkey continues to battle rebellious PKK Kurds in southeast Turkey and northern Iraq. The Kurdish government in northern Iraqi tolerates the Turkish air raids on PKK camps in remote areas and publicly denounces the PKK (although many Iraqi Kurds support the PKK goal of a Kurdish state formed from Kurdish populated parts of Iraq, Turkey, Iran and Syria).

 

October 10, 2015: In central Syria (Hama province) Syrian soldiers (assisted by Hezbollah and local Alawite militias) recaptured areas outside the city of Hama. This was aided by Russian and Syrian air strikes. Al Nusra has been fighting government forces in Hama since July in an effort to get into neighboring Latakia province. Latakia is a major center of government support because it is largely Alawites and where the Assad clan comes from.

In the southwest (Quneitra province) government and rebels have renewed their fighting. This is largely the result of the Russian intervention and Hezbollah agreeing to relax its new rule that all its gunmen would remain on or near the Lebanese border. The major target is the Southern Front rebels who are now on the defensive.

Meanwhile to the north ISIL took advantage of the growing Russian and Syrian pressure on al Nusra to attack and take control of some villages outside Aleppo. Russian air strikes on al Nusra forces was, in this case, a direct benefit to ISIL.

American and Russian officials met (via video conference) to work out procedures to avoid conflicts between NATO and Russian aircraft over Syria. These were described as “flight safety” discussions.

In Turkey two bombs went off in the capital near a demonstration by (mostly) Kurds calling for an end to fighting between the PKK (Turkish Kurdish separatist rebels) and Turkish security forces. Nearly a hundred people were killed and nearly 300 wounded. No one took responsibility for this. The Turks suspect either the PKK (that is hostile to Turkey and Kurds who do not support PKK) or ISIL (whose capital, Raqqa, is threatened by another Kurdish offensive by Syrian Kurds). Some Kurds suspect the government planted the bombs because most of the demonstrators were moderate Kurds whose votes in recent elections cost the current government a lot of political power.

 

October 9, 2015: There appeared rumors about a Russian MiG-29 being shot down by Turkish F-16s in northwest Syria after the MiG-29 violated Turkish air space. The rumors persisted over the weekend because no one would confirm or deny them. NATO did say they knew nothing about the incident and there were no pictures of the wreckage. Meanwhile Russia said it had launched 67 air strikes in the last 24 hours, the most in any one day since its forces first arrived in August. Previous to this Russia had been launching about ten air strikes a day. The surge today was mainly directed at targets in central Syria and the northwest (Hama, Latakia and Idlib provinces) as well as Raqqa province in the east.

There were also rumors that turned out to be true about more than twenty explosions in the ISIL capital of Raqqa. These were the result of air attacks by Russian aircraft on Raqqa. The Syrian government wants Russian help to capture Raqqa from ISIL before Syrian rebels (mainly the Syrian Kurds) do so. ISIL considers the Syrian Kurds less of a threat than the Russian backed Syrian military. That’s because the Kurds have Americans providing air support and the American ROE makes the use of civilians as human shields a very effective tactic. But that does not work against the Russians. So while civilians were forced to stay in Raqqa when there was a threat of American air strikes now that the Russian threat seems more likely ISIL is preparing to force civilians out of the city. The ISIL fear is that the city would undergo a siege and in a situation like that the civilians would be a burden, not a form of protection from air strikes.

 

October 8, 2015: In the north (outside Aleppo) a senior Iranian officer (Hossein Hamedani) was killed in combat. Hamedani was a general in the IRGC (Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps) and apparently in charge of coordination between the Syrian army and Iranian mercenaries (Shia volunteers from Iran and elsewhere who are paid, trained and armed by Iran) fighting for the Assads. Iran officially denies that IRGC personnel are in Syria but the deaths of senior IRGC officers are hard to keep quiet. The Iranian government said that Hamedani was simply visiting Syria.

 

American intelligence analysts believe that at least four of the 26 cruise missiles fired by Russian warships in the landlocked Caspian Sea at targets in Syria crashed in Iran. Both Russia and Iran deny this and insisted that all 26 missiles fired on the 7th hit their targets in Syria and that there were no civilian casualties.

 

Saudi Arabia has increased arms shipments to three Syrian rebel groups (Jaysh al Fatah, the Free Syrian Army and the Southern Front). None of these is known to be associated with al Qaeda or ISIL although these groups will sometimes trade (or surrender, if forced) weapons and ammo to al Nusra or ISIL groups. For this reason the United States is halting its program of training and arming the Free Syrian Army. The American efforts to aid Syrian rebels were always crippled by rules that prohibited aid to any rebels that might cooperate with Islamic terrorist rebel groups (especially those linked to al Qaeda or ISIL). The same criteria was used to select Syrians to train. Because so many Syrian rebels were Islamic radicals or eager to back Islamic terrorists because they were the most effective fighters, few suitable candidates could be found. It appears that the Americans are going to quietly copy from the Arab aid program that concentrates on rebel groups that share a hatred of ISIL. This means more aid for the Kurds, who are not attracted to Islamic radicalism despite being Sunni Moslems. The Kurds attribute this to their not being Arab. Russia is on the other side of this, not caring so much about ISIL right now and intent on destroying Syrian rebels no matter what their views on Islamic terrorism. It is estimated that so far only about ten percent of Russian air strikes have hit ISIL

 

October 7, 2015: Russian troops, operating about a hundred kilometers east of their main base at Latakia, used howitzers and rocket launchers to hit rebel targets outside the rebel held city of Hama. This was the first use of Russian controlled and operated artillery in Syria. About the same time Russian warships in the Caspian Sea launched 26 Klub (Kalibr) cruise missiles at rebel targets in Syria.

A Russian delegation has arrived in Israel for more talks about cooperation and coordination between Russian and Israeli military forces now that Russian troops and warplanes are operating inside Syria. An initial agreement was made on September 21st.

 

October 5, 2015: Several prominent Sunni clerics in Saudi Arabia have called for a jihad (holy war) against the Assad government of Syria as well as Russia and Iran. These conservative clerics have been known to praise Islamic terrorists in the past.

 

October 3, 2015: Local witnesses confirmed that ISIL had destroyed another ancient structure (a Roman Arch of Triumph) near Palmyra. ISIL took this central Syrian site (in Homs province) back in May and since August has been destroying ancient ruins. This was an ancient oasis city that was largely abandoned a century ago and now people live in nearby villages. Palmyra is a major tourist site and it was long feared that ISIL would destroy ruins for being un-Islamic.

 

October 2, 2015: In Iraq the fighting, mostly against ISIL, left 717 Iraqis (security forces and civilians) dead in September. This is about half what it was in August, largely because military operations against ISIL are stalled. On the plus side ISIL activity seems to be stalled as well, in part because ISIL is now more intent on dealing with the new Russian threat in Syria. Still Iraq was a lot less violent than neighboring Syria where the death toll was 76,000 in 2014. That’s over 91,000 dead during 2014 for the two countries where ISIL is most active. The death toll in Syria has risen more sharply than in Iraq. At the same time it is clear that ISIL, while still a threat, is no longer on the offensive anywhere.

 

September 30, 2015: Russia told foreign nations (especially NATO) to keep its aircraft out of Syrian air space. NATO refused and continued air operations over Syria as did Arab members of the American led air coalition. Russian warplanes also began their daily strikes on ground targets today and American aircraft did not interfere.

 

September 27, 2015: Israeli warplanes attacked Syrian Army units just across the border from Israel in Quneitra province because of recent rocket fire that had landed in Israel. These attacks remind Syrian commanders that such attacks have serious consequences. Often these attacks are accidents but when that is unclear, Israel retaliates, just to be certain that the other side understands.

Iraq announced that it had established an intelligence sharing arrangement with Iran, Syria and Russia and invited the United States to join.

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14 octobre 2015 3 14 /10 /octobre /2015 06:55
Napoléon passe en revue la Garde impériale à Iéna - Horace Vernet (1836)

Napoléon passe en revue la Garde impériale à Iéna - Horace Vernet (1836)


14.10.2015 source SHD
 

14 octobre 1066 : bataille d’Hastings (Angleterre). Guillaume, duc de Normandie a débarqué depuis deux semaines dans le Sussex et a fait construire une place forte dans l’urgence afin d’attendre le retour du roi Saxon Harold. Ce dernier vient d’écraser les forces Viking (roi norvégien Harald) débarquées dans le Nord de l’Angleterre à hauteur de York. Fatigués, par l’aller-retour qu’imposent ces deux débarquements, les 7500 combattants Saxons surprennent par leur bonne tenue dans le début du combat qui s’engage. Les 7000 Normands sont presque vaincus en fin de matinée. La rumeur de la mort du duc de Normandie se propage dans les rangs et terrasse psychologiquement les envahisseurs. Guillaume se place alors sur le devant des troupes pour se faire reconnaitre et conduit un nouvel assaut. Cependant, c’est l’action « commando » de quatre de ses chevaliers contre Harold (roi saxon) qui est décisive : ayant percé intentionnellement la ligne de défense juste devant lui, ils le tuent et provoquent la débandade saxonne. Guillaume est couronné roi d’Angleterre en décembre.

 

14 octobre 1543 : Barberousse hiverne à Toulon avec sa flotte. Suite à l'accord passé entre Soliman et François Ier, le corsaire musulman passe l'hiver à Toulon d'où la population a été évacuée. Cette alliance de revers connue sous le nom de Capitulations (signature entre 1528 et 1536) vise  à affaiblir la maison d'Autriche et instaure dans les faits, la vocation de la France à protéger les chrétiens d'Orient.

Note RP Defense : lire François Ier, l'Islam et la mer - CESM

 

14 octobre 1702 : victoire de Friedlingen (Allemagne). Le duc de Villars bat les Impériaux du prince de Bade et gagne ainsi son bâton de maréchal.

 

14 octobre 1806 : victoires d’Iéna et Auerstadt (Allemagne). Napoléon à Iéna et Davout à Auerstadt anéantissent la réputation de l’armée prussienne mise en déroute. Murat s’illustre en rattrapant à Weimar l’artillerie et la logistique prussienne en fuite. La reine Louise de Prusse, "âme damnée" de la guerre, parvient toutefois à s'enfuir par une porte de la ville alors même que les Français entrent par l'autre. Cette double victoire ouvre la route de Berlin. Clausewitz quant à lui est fait prisonnier à Auerstadt.

 

14 octobre 1918 : Adolphe Hitler est blessé (Belgique-Ypres). Affecté au 16ème régiment d'infanterie bavarois, le caporal Hitler est blessé au front pour la deuxième fois. Une attaque britannique au gaz moutarde sur le saillant d'Ypres le rend momentanément aveugle. Il est évacué sur un hôpital en Poméranie où il apprendra la capitulation allemande.

 

14 octobre 1939 : le cuirassé Royal Oak est coulé à l'ancre par un sous-marin allemand dans Scapa Flow (iles Orcades - Ecosse).  L'amiral Donitz commandant la flotte allemande veut frapper fort dès l'entrée en guerre et ordonne une opération spectaculaire contre la base britannique. L'U47 du commandant Prien parvient à pénétrer de nuit dans Scapa Flow malgré les courants très forts et les obstacles destinés à la protéger des attaques de sous-marins. Curieusement, l'explosion de la première torpille n'alerte pas les britanniques qui pensent plutôt à un accident. Ce n'est que 10 minutes plus tard, lors de la seconde salve que la chasse au sous-marin est lancée. Prien parvient à s'échapper. Churchill dans ses mémoires de guerre lui rend hommage, considérant que l'attaque est un fait d'armes de l'ennemi. Churchill était à ce moment ministre de la marine et venait d'inspecter les défenses de Scapa Flows...

 

14 octobre 1944 : suicide de Rommel (Allemagne - Herrlingen). Le maréchal Erwin Rommel se suicide sur ordres de Hitler qui lui tient rigueur de liens entretenus avec les officiers ayant attenté à sa vie. En contrepartie, sa réputation et sa famille sont préservées. Il a même droit à des funérailles nationales, le décès étant présenté comme la suite d’une embolie pulmonaire.

 

14 octobre 1962 : découverte de rampes de missiles à Cuba. Un avion espion U2 repère 36 missiles SS-4 capables chacun de délivrer 1 mégatonne à 2000 km. Les USA sont à portée de tir nucléaire des soviétiques en quelques minutes.

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13 octobre 2015 2 13 /10 /octobre /2015 16:40
South Africa Air Force jet pilots going to Russia for further training

 

13 October 2015 by defenceWeb

 

The financially strapped SA Air Force (SAAF) is further extending its foreign training commitments with Russia being the latest addition.

A report has it that about 10 pilots from 2 Squadron at AFB Makhado have been selected for further training in Russia. This is a direct outflow of a co-operation agreement signed between the defence ministers of the two countries, Afrikaans weekly Rapport said.

 

Four pilots are already undergoing training in Cuba and according to SA National Defence Force Chief General Solly Shoke, agreements have also been entered into with the United States and the United Kingdom on various aspects of military training.

 

At the same time the paper reports the SAAF has experienced more resignations from the ranks of its jet pilots.

 

“Four of only the handful of jet fighter pilots in the SAAF have resigned leaving the force with three times as many Gripens as qualified pilots for them,” the paper said.

 

Making matters worse is that two test pilots based at AFB Overberg, home of the Test Flight and Development Centre (TFDC), have not had their contracts renewed.

 

Against this background it is not surprising the original number of 18 pilots supposed to go to Russia was cut. Another reason for sending fewer jet pilots is cost. South Africa had to pay for travel and living expenses while Russia is carrying the cost of training.

 

The majority of those going to Russia are qualified pilots but are short of flying hours to build their experience base. The lack of flying hours, also a result of a tight budget, has contributed in no small measure to this.

 

Pilots at AFB Makhado told the paper their colleagues who resigned had done so because they couldn’t fly. They have apparently joined airlines or companies operating in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and China.

 

It appears the group bound for Russia are not going to have an easy time of it. A SAAF officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the Russians had made it clear no time would be wasted on pilots who cannot fly properly.

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13 octobre 2015 2 13 /10 /octobre /2015 16:30
« Quand Daech a attaqué, les avions américains ont survolé la zone, sans intervenir »

 

13/10/2015 Par valeursactuelles.com

 

Révélations. Mgr Hindo, archevêque syro-catholique d’Hassaké, au Nord-Est de la Syrie a répondu aux questions de l’agence de presse américaine CNS. Son point de vue est catégorique : la stratégie américaine en Syrie est « ambiguë ».

 

L’intervention russe est « positive » car « elle cible réellement Daech »

Au cours de cet entretien, relayé par le quotidien La Croix, l’archevêque est revenu sur les interventions américaine et russe et raconte ce qu’il a vu. Il témoigne. A son sens, l’intervention de la Russie en Syrie est « positive » car « elle cible réellement Daech ». Effectivement, il assure que les récentes frappes russes ont « démontré leur efficacité contre le groupe Daech » et auraient permis de faire battre en retraite l’organisation terroriste, vers le désert irakien. « Ils ont fui la région dans l’empressement, à bord d’environ 20 véhicules. Ils ont dû abandonner 20 autres voitures sur place. C’est le signe qu’ils ont vraiment dû battre en retraite », raconte-t-il.

 

Suite de l’article

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12 octobre 2015 1 12 /10 /octobre /2015 16:30
(Archives / photo USAF)

(Archives / photo USAF)

 

Par

 

Les Etats-Unis apportent leur aide à des rebelles engagés dans des combats contre le régime de Bachar Al-Assad et contre l'Etat islamique. L'armée américaine a ainsi parachuté, dimanche en Syrie, des munitions de petit calibre destinées à des rebelles du nord du pays, a annoncé un responsable de l'US Air Force, lundi 12 octobre, sous couvert d'anonymat. Une opération en réaction à l'intervention aérienne de Moscou favorable à l'armée syrienne, à laquelle Washington est hostile

Suite de l'article

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12 octobre 2015 1 12 /10 /octobre /2015 15:30
photo Russia MoD

photo Russia MoD

 

12 octobre 2015 Romandie.com (AFP)

 

Luxembourg - L'UE a appelé lundi la Russie à cesser immédiatement les frappes qui visent l'opposition modérée en Syrie et estimé qu'il ne peut y avoir de paix durable avec les dirigeants actuels alors que Moscou défend le président Bachar al-Assad.

 

Moscou a lancé depuis le 30 septembre des frappes en Syrie pour appuyer Bachar al-Assad dont le président russe Vladimir Poutine est un soutien indéfectible. Ce renfort aérien a permis à l'armée du régime d'avancer dans sa reconquête de territoires dans le centre du pays.

 

Mais pour les Européens, il ne peut y avoir de paix durable en Syrie avec les dirigeants actuels, selon une déclaration adoptée à Luxembourg par leurs ministres des Affaires étrangères.

 

Le régime d'Assad porte la plus grande responsabilité dans les 250.000 morts qu'a fait le conflit et les millions de personnes qu'il a déplacées, écrivent-ils, appelant toutes les parties à cesser les bombardements aveugles avec des barils d'explosifs ou des armes chimiques.

 

M. Poutine a indiqué dimanche que son armée intervenait en Syrie afin de stabiliser les autorités légitimes et de créer les conditions pour la mise en oeuvre d'un compromis politique.

 

Cette escalade militaire risque de prolonger le conflit, de saper le processus politique, d'aggraver la situation humanitaire et d'augmenter la radicalisation, estime au contraire l'UE.

 

Alors que la crise s'intensifie, il devient de plus en plus urgent de trouver une solution durable pour mettre fin au conflit, ajoute le texte.

 

Il appelle à un processus dirigé par les Syriens menant à une transition pacifique et inclusive, sans pour autant dire si Bachar al-Assad pourrait y participer.

 

Moscou dit lutter en priorité contre le groupe jihadiste Etat islamique (Daech) en Syrie, ce que contestent les Occidentaux, qui affirment que la majorité des frappes russes concernent des zones stratégiquement importantes pour le régime et où l'EI n'est pas implanté.

 

L'UE a exprimé sa profonde préoccupation à propos des attaques aériennes russes qui vont au-delà de Daech et d'autres groupes terroristes désignés comme tels par l'ONU, ainsi que celles qui visent l'opposition modérée.

 

Elles doivent cesser immédiatement, tout comme les violations russes de l'espace aérien de pays voisins, indiquent les ministres européens, en référence aux incursion d'avions et de missiles de croisière russes dans l'espace aérien turc.

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12 octobre 2015 1 12 /10 /octobre /2015 11:40
Missiles de croisière russes : quelles significations en Syrie et au-delà ?

 

par Arthur Le Chardon - echoradar.eu
 

Le tir de 26 missiles de croisière russes depuis la Caspienne revêt plusieurs significations stratégiques.

 

1/ Il s’agirait de SS 30 N. Chose surprenante comme l’a récemment signalé le Fauteuil de Colbert. Disons que si on en connaissait l’existence, on avait peu de détails sur leur portée et leur mise en service. C’est désormais chose faite, bien que certaines caractéristiques demeurent floues (notamment leur altitude de vol, donc la possibilité de leur détection). Autrement dit, l’effort de technologie de défense, entamé par la Russie en 2000, porte ses fruits.

 

2/ Les conséquences en terme de stratégie navale sont également grandes. La Caspienne, que personne ne considérait avec attention, devient désormais une « mer » à l’importance stratégique. La petite flottille russe de la mer Caspienne, que beaucoup d’analystes mentionnaient pour mémoire, revêt subitement beaucoup plus d’importance, que ce soit au Moyen Orient mais aussi en Asie centrale… Bref, une frégate et trois corvettes ont de la valeur stratégique et pas simplement tactique.

 

3/ Il semble, à bien regarder la vidéo publicitaire diffusée par les Russes (pas mauvais en Strat Comm, au passage) que les tirs ont été effectués du sud de la Caspienne. Soit dans les eaux iraniennes, soit dans celles du Turkménistan. Dans le premier cas, cela signifie un accord évident avec Téhéran. Dans le second, cela ne risque pas d’arranger la paranoïa du régime d’Achgabat…

 

suite de l'article

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12 octobre 2015 1 12 /10 /octobre /2015 10:50
photo Russia MoD

photo Russia MoD

 

12 octobre 2015 Romandie.com (AFP)

 

Luxembourg - L'intervention en Syrie de la Russie, qui soutient le régime du président Bachar al-Assad sur le plan militaire et politique, change la donne, a estimé lundi la chef de la diplomatie européenne, Federica Mogherini.

 

C'est certainement quelque chose qui change la donne (...) Cela a des aspects préoccupants,, a dit Mme Mogherini en arrivant à une réunion de ministres des Affaires étrangères de l'Union européenne à Luxembourg.

 

Elle a précisé que la situation en Syrie serait amplement discutée pendant la réunion, notamment en ce qui concerne les violations de l'espace aérien turc par des avions russes.

 

Les interventions dans le conflit doivent être coordonnées, sinon cela risque d'être extrêmement dangereux non seulement d'un point de vue politique, mais surtout d'un point de vue militaire, a ajouté Mme Mogherini.

 

Elle a appelé la Russie à clairement cibler Daech (acronyme arabe du groupe jihadiste Etat islamique) et d'autres groupes terroristes ainsi définis par l'ONU en Syrie.

 

Moscou affirme que les raids de son aviation sont dirigés contre le groupe Etat islamique mais les Occidentaux l'accusent de viser surtout par ses frappes aériennes des groupes de l'opposition modérée et le front Al-Nosra, la branche d'al-Qaïda en Syrie.

 

Nous avons une base commune, les Etats-Unis, la Russie, nous tous, a-t-elle insisté en référence aux travaux de l'ONU pour pousser à une transition politique en Syrie, un processus aujourd'hui au point mort.

 

Certains pays européens poussent de plus en plus ouvertement pour une négociation avec le président syrien Bachar al-Assad, une perspective rejetée avec force par la France et le Royaume-Uni.

 

Les ministres devraient appeler à une transition inclusive et pacifique à l'issue de leur réunion, sans dire si celle-ci inclut M. Assad. En même temps, ils estiment qu'il ne peut y avoir une paix durable en Syrie sous le leadership actuel, selon le texte qui doit être publié à la mi-journée, dont l'AFP a pu obtenir une copie.

 

Tous ceux qui ont un rôle dans la crise et dans la transition (doivent se mettre) à table, et l'issue de la transition doit être définie ensemble avec la communauté internationale, les acteurs régionaux, mais avant tout par tous les Syriens, a déclaré Mme Mogherini.

 

La Coalition de l'opposition syrienne en exil a indiqué dimanche qu'elle ne participerait pas aux discussions préliminaires proposées par l'ONU pour préparer des négociations de paix, en raison notamment des frappes aériennes que la Russie mène en Syrie.

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11 octobre 2015 7 11 /10 /octobre /2015 11:35
Russia will sign contract on Mi-35 deliveries to Afghanistan in October

 

Oct 9, 2015 By Dylan Vosman - defence-blog.com

 

Russia will sign contract on Mi-35 deliveries to Afghanistan in October. The Afghan government intends to buy Mi-35 attack helicopters from Russia in a bid to boost the capabilities of the Afghan Air Force. The Afghan Air Force received the first six Armed MD-530s last month with the NATO Train, Assist, Advise Command-Air and 438th Air Expeditionary Wing, saying that the armed MD-530s will increase the Afghan Air Force aerial fires capability. Armed Mi-17s and MD-530s give the Afghan Air Force six times the number of armed aircraft for Fighting Season 2015 as compared to last fighting season, which only employed five Mi-35s.

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