More about that Russian “mercenary” attack in Syria

Last week I wrote about a Russian “mercenary” attack in Syria.  It’s described here by USAF Lt. Gen. Jeffrey L. Harrigian, in command of USAF Central Command, at a news conference.

It seems that a lot more was going on than was mentioned in that brief, bald official announcement.  John Ringo, well-known military science fiction author and veteran of US service, has his own sources of information.  He wrote on Facebook:

1. Sov… err… Russians built a bridge over the Euphrates which was the designated ‘deconfliction line’. Why? Reasons. ‘Commite of Nations’ or something.

2. ‘Hybrid’ force of mixed Russian contractors including multiple non-ethnic Russians (Serbs, Kossack, other non Slavics) as well as local Syrian Army ‘commandos’ attacked across temporary bridge. The ‘Russian’ side were ‘Blackwater’ equivalent mercenaries from a company generally called ‘Wagner’ which is the nom de plume of the boss. (Like if you called Blackwater ‘Prince’.)

3. Unit was partially mechanized, battalion strength. (One thing everyone agrees upon is ‘about 600-700 personnel.’) Had some towed artillery as well as ‘t-55 and T-72 MBT as well as armored personnel carriers.’ (Type unknown.) Full on ‘we’re taking that position and you’re not stopping us’ full court press.

4. Unit crossed bridge, arty deployed.

5. Arty opened fire while most of unit was still in approach column formation. (Normal) One portion moved to flanking positions.

5A. Minute the arty opened fire **** GOT REAL REAL QUICK.

6. Reapers took out artillery and most of armor with Hellfire. From the few videos, pretty much before they knew what hit them. There had to be quite a few Reaper drones up or they were feeding guidance to Hellfire from Apaches (see below.)

7. F-15E Eagles came in for clean-up and to check for anti-air defenses.

8. Warthogs showed up just to go BRRRRRRT!

9. AC-130 Spectre started ****ing up their day for the hell of it.

10. To add insult to injury, B-52s which, you know, just HAPPENED to be in the area, just minding our own business, just passing by from Diego Garcia which is a few thousand miles away, on our way to… somewhere… nothing to see here… decided to prove they could drop their entire load as precision guided weapons and just more or less DID A JDAM ARCLIGHT ON THEIR ***. At that point, more or less because CENTCOM said ‘Why not? ARCLIGHT is always pretty to watch…’

11. The whole thing being so over it was ridiculous, AH-64 Apaches basically did ‘hostile Bomb Damage Assessment’ and complained there were no targets left.

12. Oh, and then the Kurds, to just really **** with these guys, released water from a dam upstream and broke their bridge. So they had to ford back with their wounded.

13. Nobody knows how many dead and wounded. Russians are saying ‘only 8 Russian citizens’ but that doesn’t quite cover the whole of who may have been involved. One repeated number is 200 dead (remember, mixed Syrians, Russians and other ethnics) as well as pretty much the rest of the force wounded. (Not to mention pretty thoroughly demoralized.) One Kurd wounded. Probably fell off a stool laughing to tell truth.

There’s more at the link.  Worthwhile reading.



  1. How much tax money wasted in a fight that has nothing to do with defending the American nation? Bring our troops home and let Russia have the whole mess.

  2. Well, that reinforces the diplomatic concept of "Walk softly, and carry a big stick".

    In other news Peter, I have just arranged for the local library to stock "Take the Star Road." They take requests for books to buy in, and I requested yours! Needless to say I got to read it first, and it was a cracking good read.

  3. I fail to see the initial note from CENTCOM: "Hold my beer, I want to try something."

    I read ARCLIGHT and snorted hard enough to hurt myself. Sometimes you do need to use the Baby Seal Idea, and club hard enough to get attention.

  4. Sounds like someone's OpSec broke down.

    Also sounds like Coalition Forces didn't just want to repel the mercs, they wanted to destroy them. Maybe send a message along the line of "don't try this s*** again.


  5. Wow, just… Wow!

    Let's see…

    Reapers, uh-oh.
    F-15Es, bad.
    A-10s on a Brrrrt run, real bad.
    BUFFs doing a complete munitions dump, real real bad.

    Could have been worse.

    "Vasily, the Amis have withdrawn all their air assets, and their troops are hunkering down."
    "Victor, I wonder what they are doing?"
    "We see an Ami cargo plane flying over the site now. What do we do?"
    "We die."

    This has been needing to happen since we didn't flatten Lebanon after the Marine Barracks.

    Still, precision guided ARCLIGHT. He. Hehe. Hehehehehehehehehehehehe. Brrrrrrrt. Hahahahahahahaha.

  6. Overwhelming force is great.


    The US is fighting in Syria for what?

    Has Congress made a declaration of War against Syria.

    Far from destroying ISIS, they seem to be regrouping in Libya. Which the US turned from a relatively civilised country ( for a Moslem state ) into a full blown Islamic hell hole. Thanks Hilary Clinton, but why? Any one might think somebody in the Clinton State department had a hot line through to the Moslem brotherhood.

    If all we are about is finding somewhere to check if our weapons systems work …

  7. Well, ArcLight really is quite pretty to watch from a safe distance.

    I am disappointed that they only killed about a quarter of the attacking force. It just shows that overwhelming air power only accomplishes so much. They probably hit every single vehicle, so that's still a win.

  8. So this is in line with reports that suggest a deal was done with the local tribes to hand over the facility for a cut of the money and the US didn't approve.

    Overwhelming force indeed but not very nice. Its not like you will be able to work out which Syrian is burying ieds by the road if peeps were to travel by road.

    Good luck.

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