Thomas Wictor

Russian war plan for Syria explained. It’s already a failure

Russian war plan for Syria explained. It’s already a failure

This piece describes the Russian war plan for Syria, even though author Jamie Dettmer is wrong about fortunes being reversed.

The overall strategy — to crush the more moderate armed factions in the opposition, leaving the extremists — is straight out of the Chechnya playbook, say military analysts.

So too are the scorched-earth indiscriminate tactics of the airstrikes that are meant to sow panic and force civilians to flee.

Putin holds Arabs, Kurds, and Turks in contempt. It would never occur to him that they could get together and demolish his obsolete strategy. The greatest military skill is deception, not brute force. Russians used to know that. Beginning in 1904, they adopted maskirovka as an official weapon in their arsenal.

The greatest deception of World War I was the Brusilov Offensive (June 4, 2023 - September 20, 2023). In order to use nearly 500,000 men in a surprise attack, the Russians dug trenches to within 75 yards (69 meters) of the Austrian lines, along a front 300 miles (480 kilometers) wide. The digging was done only at night; during the day, the trenches were covered with green tarps to hide them from observation aircraft.

Specialist shock troops were trained.

They were very heavily armed with machine guns, hand grenades, short rifles, pistols, and sharpened spades. When the attack began, their job was to punch through the front lines and bypass strong points, going as far into enemy territory as they could.

A very precise artillery barrage began the offensive. When the Austrians hunkered down in their bunkers, thinking that hours of bombardment lay ahead, the Russian shock troops emerged from their hidden trenches. The barrage stopped, and the Austrians were overwhelmed by men throwing hand grenades and firing machine guns.

That’s what’s happening to Putin in Syria.

Russian propaganda is garbage

The Putin version of maskirovka is pathetic. Here’s an example.

We’re told that al-Qaeda or the Turks fired heavy artillery at the reporters. In reality the house had explosives planted in it. No munition fell from the sky. Here’s the noise that an incoming artillery round makes.

That rushing sound is characteristic of artillery. Aerial munitions make this noise.

No incoming sound in the RT footage. You can see that no projectile hit the house.


It’s another of Putin’s attempts to frame Turkey. In a moment, I’ll prove to you once and for all that the Turks aren’t shelling the Kurds. Both the Turks and the Kurds are making that claim for geopolitical reasons.

Russian decisions are terrible

On March 1, 2016, the US said for the first time that Russia poses an existential threat. Today another voice echoed that assessment.

“Moscow’s challenge to the international rules-based order now extends to Syria and the Eastern Mediterranean,” NATO deputy secretary general Alexander Vershbow said at an annual conference in Krakow, Poland.

His comments come on the heels of a stark warning earlier this week by NATO’s top general that “Russia and the Assad regime are deliberately weaponizing migration in an attempt to overwhelm European structures and break European resolve.”

By calling out Russia, the US and NATO are publicly approving the extremely violent operations that the Arab League has launched to end the Syrian war. There’s no doubt that the ground invasion of Syria has begun. Here’s just one of today’s stories.

Syrian insurgents were battling the Islamic State group for control of a key border post with Iraq on Saturday, a day after the U.S.-backed fighters seized control of the crossing, activists said.

The Tanf crossing in southeastern Syria links the Homs province, including the IS-held ancient city of Palmyra, to Iraq’s Anbar province, where IS has a large presence. The extremist group uses border crossings to shift fighters and resources to different fronts as it seeks to defend and expand its self-styled Islamic caliphate.

This is the area we’re talking about.


Photos of the insurgents were published.



Those are the real weapons and equipment used, but the men are stand-ins for the Arab League professional strategic special operators who carried out the mission. In the upper photo, the machine gun on the left is the American M240L. It’s a lightened version used by special forces. None of the men in the second photo hold their weapons or stand like soldiers.


The photos at the Tanf border crossing show two mortars. You have to be extensively trained to use such weapons effectively. Here’s how all Syrian rebels fire mortars.

As fighters, those men are useless. Now watch how an American mortar squad operates when taking direct fire from the enemy.

Mortars are for “area saturation.” You fill the enemy’s environment with razor-sharp, flying pieces of steel. The American mortar squad stopped the assault in three minutes and seventeen seconds. People who chant and shoot just one mortar round are poseurs, not soldiers.

Russian troops can’t do this

Here’s the caliber of Arab League and allied operator now fighting in Syria.

A group of gunmen has executed a leading member of the Islamic State (ISIS) in Syria’s eastern Deir ez-Zor city, local sources reported on Monday. Abu Saleh al-Jazrawi, head of the ISIS-linked al-Hisba department in Deir ez-Zor, was found dead in the Buqrus district.

“Al-Jazrawi had killed dozens of people who refused to pay taxes to ISIS. People of Deir ez-Zor were relieved for hearing the news of his death,” [media activist Mujahid] al-Shami said. This comes just two weeks after anonymous gunmen killed an ISIS Emir in the province.

“An ISIS convoy, consisting of two cars and seven militants, was carrying an ISIS Emir (prince) in Deir ez-Zor, before being attacked by an anonymous group of gunmen,” a member of the “Deir ez-Zor Is Being Slaughtered Silently” campaign told ARA News, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Five ISIS militants were killed in the attack, including the jihadi Emir, while two others were injured before the gunmen escaped the Ghassan Aboud square, where the incident took place in the evening of February 13.

“The gunmen, who have crossed the ISIS security checkpoints and infiltrated into the city of Deir ez-Zor, are most likely members of the local Arab al-Sheitaat tribe,” the source reported.

Once again, the professionals are giving Syrians credit. Both these missions required that men not only get through Islamic State checkpoints, they also had to infiltrate the Syrian lines, since Assad is attempting to take back Deir ez-Zor. It was Arab League special operators. They’re now wreaking total havoc all over Syria.

They’re attacking…

Back to the story about the assault on the Tanf border crossing.

“The overall square kilometers that Daesh has now lost in Syria has increased exponentially in just over the last couple weeks. But it’s not just the territories, it’s the strategic nature of the territory,” said Brett McGurk, President Barack Obama’s envoy to the coalition.

Russian lies about Turkey

The Turks are not shelling the Kurds in Syria. There’s no physical evidence to back up this claim. It’s to the advantage of both sides to say that it’s happening, but you need to know that the Turks are fully capable of killing thousands of Syrian Kurds in minutes. They’re not doing so.

According to Russian sources, the Turks are supplying al-Qaeda and other jihadists who hold the city of Azaz.


I don’t believe it. A long-winded video in Arabic shows an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) over Azaz.


That’s a Turkish Aerospace Industries Anka MALE (Medium Altitude Long Endurance) UAV. The Turks advertise it as an ISR (intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance) system, but it’s also used in target acquisition for artillery. Turkey now has GPS-guided artillery rounds, which I’m positive were supplied by Israel.

But the Anka MALE has a little secret of its own.

In the illustration above, the red arrow marks what’s called a “hard point.” That’s where you attach munitions. Bombs and missiles. This UAV has four hard points.

Hey, look! The Anka MALE over Azaz has a Hellfire missile (red arrow).

Therefore, if the Turks wanted to kill Kurds near Azaz, they’d use their UAVs to guide artillery rounds, or they’d shoot Hellfire missiles. They wouldn’t rely on incompetent jihadists to do the job.

Remember all the hoopla about the “advanced” Russian S-400 missile system being sent to Syria? Well, it can’t even shoot down Turkish UAVs. The Arab League has blinded the Russians.

Don’t let the Russians blind you.