The First 100 Days: How Goes Russia’s War Against ISIS?

Survivors of Twin Towers attacks struggle through debris while coated in ashes.

The U.S. was attacked by Saudi-funded and trained terrorists on September 11, 2001.   The American government declared “War against Terrorism” and promised justice for the innocent victims of that attack.  More than 14 years have passed since that horrible day.

Meanwhile, the kick-off date for Russia’s own “War against Terrorism” was September 30, 2015. A mere hundred days have passed since then.

Rescuers frantically search for survivors in the rubble of the World Trade Center.

As this piece by correspondent Viktor Baranets, in Komsomolskaya Pravda, points out, it has been 100 days since Russia began her air war against ISIS terrorist targets in Syria.

This makes for a good milestone to take stock.  How is the war going?  What metrics do we use to measure success or failure?  And how does Russia’s “War on Terror” compare to America’s?

And, by the way, Inquiring Minds also want to know:  Is the USA

(a) really THAT underachieving when it comes to fighting terrorism, or
(b) are they basically just faking it?

[Hint hint:  The correct answer is (b).]

I come to destroy ISIS…. Oh wait! That’s my Mom’s company! Which I also work for!


Metric #1:  Physical Territory Controlled By Terrorists

Since August of 2014 Americans claimed to put together a coalition of over 60 countries (in reality, only 5-6 countries supplied bomber jets) to bomb ISIS targets in Syria.  [Without persmission of the Syrian government, one might add.]

During that period of time, ISIS expanded their control over physical Syrian territory from 30% to 70%.

Due to this poor and in fact counter-productive outcome, Russian Major-General Viktor Bondarev concluded that Americans were only pretending to fight against the terrorists.


Compare and contrast:  In the last 30 days, the Russian air force, along with assistance from cruise-missile carrying ships in the Caspian and Mediterranean Seas, have unleashed upon the terrorists one and half times more rocket and bomb strikes than the American coalition did in a full year.  In this short period of time, Russian air strikes have destroyed over 1100 objects in the terrorist inventory:  supply caches, arsenals, factories, command and control points, training camps, etc.  In this way, the Syrian army, with Russian air support, has managed to win back almost 30% of the territory previously lost to the terrorist side.  [See the accompanying map in KP.]

Metric #2:  Economic Assets Of Terrorists

Russian airmen based in Syria, relax while holding up a Syrian flag.

In the past 100 days the ISIS terrorists have lost more than 30% of their profits from the sale of stolen Syrian oil to Turkey.  Russian air strikes have destroyed giant cisterns full of contraband oil – enough to compare with a week’s output of three major oil-refining facilities.

Suffering from this sudden economic hardship, ISIS commanders have had to cut the salaries of their soldiers – from around $500-1000 per month, down to only $200 a month.

On the other side of the ledger:  According to American experts themselves, the Russian operation in Syria, while not cheap, is running about 2-4 times cheaper than [the ineffectual one] of the U.S.

Metric #3:  Political Successes

One of the main outcomes of Russian air strikes has been to force ISIS to roll back their grandiose political ambitions.  Many of the rank-and-file boneheads fighting on the ISIS side are Salafist takfiri who take all too seriously their goal of a Sharia “Caliphate” across the Middle East.  Their religious goals dovetailed with American political goals to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al-Assad via “colour revolution“.  And yeah, they probably would have gotten away with it too, if it weren’t for those meddling Russians.  But now it is clear:  Assad’s fate will be decided by the Syrian people, not on the battlefield, but at the ballot box, through free and fair elections.  Already, this is a huge political success for Russia.

Not only that, but many people around the world watch this Russian operation, not just with sympathy, but also with hope.  Hope that peace can finally come to the Middle East, and the conflict resolved with a reasonable, not horrible, outcome, as happened in Libya.

Prognosis:  Nobody Promised Us A Rose Garden

Cool though he looks in his shades, Assad will eventually have to face the voters.

In conclusion, Baranets writes,  nobody is under any illusion that the victory will be quick, or easy.  The bottom line:  As in any war, the ultimate resolution happens on the ground, not in the air.  And Russia has zero intention of fielding ground troops.  That part is up to the Syrian army itself.  Hence, the air war will continue, probably for months, if not years.  But already one can say that the plot to murder Assad has been thwarted.  Syria will NOT be partitioned into competing ethnic/religious-based fiefdoms led by blood-soaked warlords.  Syria will remain a unitary, secular state.  The Al-Nusrats and Headchopper gangs will eventually be driven out.  Russia is busy saving the world from the “black [jihadi] plague” of the 21st century, just as she saved the world from the “brown [fascist] plague”, back in 1945.

This entry was posted in Breaking News, The Great Game and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

29 Responses to The First 100 Days: How Goes Russia’s War Against ISIS?

  1. Jen says:

    “Cool though he looks in his shades, Assad will eventually have to face the voters.”

    If all goes well, Syria drives out ISIS and everyone leaves the country alone and in peace, Assad won’t have to face the voters until 2021.

    From the Wikipedia article “President of Syria”:
    ” … The Constitution of Syria allows the President to run for a 7-year term, which can be renewed once as of the 2012 constitution …”

    As of the 2012 Constitution, Bashar al Assad won the 2014 Presidential election with over 88% of the vote. About 73% of eligible voters participated.,_2014

    International observers including a team of US observers who later held a press conference at the UN, said the elections were fair and there were no irregularities.

    The Assads can afford to keep looking cool for a while.


    • Lyttenburgh says:

      Can’t Mossad the Assad!

      But, of course, “as everybody knows” ™, Syria is Russian “quagmire”, SAA is “spent” and “ineffectual”, and “partition is the only way” – as any teenage expert on the net will say you.


  2. Lyttenburgh says:

    Extra! Extra! Extra!

    The Light of Russian Democracy, the One True Leader of Liberalism and Handshakability…

    Sharanskiy Lives!

    Human masses in the Northern Mordor responded with approval and shouts of adulation to such news:

    Yeltsin Centres across Russia are expecting to triple their income.


    • yalensis says:

      Is that guy saying “Our purpose is to destroy CGI” ????
      ’cause that’s what I’m hearing….
      I would vote for him.


      • Lyttenburgh says:

        Don’t tell me you’ve never played the С&C series, yalensis! You are programmer (and Russian!) after all.

        No, Kane calls for the destruction of the GDI – “General Defense Initiative”, this world’s stand-in for the NATO (aka the First World Militaries).


        • yalensis says:

          Dear Lyttenburgh:
          You constantly educate me in new things that I never heard of before!
          Can I confess something to you? I never play games on the computer!
          Wouldn’t even know how to start.
          The only games I ever play are maybe card games.
          I mean, with, like actual physical cards. Like these:

          And let me give you a hint: This particular hand wins every time, so you can safely bet any amount of money on it:


        • Pavlo Svolochenko says:

          This particular NATO included Russia as a member, which looked like the way history was going back in 1995.

          The whole NOD concept is hilarious now because the organisation is ISIS in all but name.


          • yalensis says:

            Is that why they cut that guy’s throat? That was pretty gross. Another reason why I don’t like computer games – they’re too violent!

            And speaking of which, whenever ISIS posts videos of people getting their heads chopped off, the victims always sit looking very calm and stoic.
            I think if it were me sitting there, I wouldn’t be so calm. I like to THINK I would be brave, but realistically …. no…. I’d probably piss myself while waiting for the knife to descend.


            • Pavlo Svolochenko says:

              It is curious – you would expect at least of a few of them to collapse into a puddle of tears (and urine), wouldn’t you?

              I wonder if they’re sedated so that they won’t make a scene? I wouldn’t have thought that ISIS would mind if a condemned prisoner choose to humiliate himself in his last moments, but maybe they just want to be sure nobody interrupts the executioner’s peroration.


            • yalensis says:

              Or maybe within this kabuki theater, “the rules of the genre must be obeyed”, as Ostap Bender would say.

              A screaming, struggling vic would be as out of place as a puppet performance with uxorious Punchinello bringing his wife Judy a nice bouquet of flowers for her birthday.


          • Lyttenburgh says:

            “The whole NOD concept is hilarious now because the organisation is ISIS in all but name.”

            Only “whitier” 🙂

            But, yes, C&C series are a great example of the “Art imitates Life” trope and not so subtle propaganda. The Brotherhood of NOD is a collection of the “Third Worldist”. It’s “main hero” in the C&C2 (1999) is Anton Slavik (the guy doing throat cutting), a Bosnian Serb AKA the Great Kebab Romover “Serbian Wolf” and the head of the elite Black Hand Guard. The guy who gets his throat slit – former interim head of the NOD general Hassan, who acted like a quisling by cutting a deal with the GDI and not being generally murderous. Also mentioned in the clip general Cesar Vega – a Latin American drug lord.

            But, yeah – the NOD brotherhood is a totalitarian world spanning eschatological cult, whose only most prominent difference from the ISIS is… Kane. And Kane is… awesome 🙂


            • Pavlo Svolochenko says:

              That takes me back.

              I imagine you were less fond of the Red Alert series?


            • Lyttenburgh says:

              I consider myself truly lucky for the fact that a pirate CD with first “Red Alert” game that my brothers have borrowed from friends lacked video clips telling the story. This allowed me to feel proud of the Red Tide under mine command pwning Germans and Westerners.

              …And then came “Red Alert 2” in all its glory, with onion domed buildings (and large Hammer&Sickle logos) on Soviet buildings, Crazy Ivans, Lenin-like telepath Yuri and over 9000 other elements of the klyukvafication. And videos, how can you forget them! Even this early in the 2000s Russian gaming magazines were less than impressed with that (and without any nudging from dreaded Putin – imagine that!). Still, I grinded my teeth and nuked Pindoses in the name of… whatever.

              … I never played Red Alert 3. And I have no desire to do that. It was enough for me to watch all video clips from it on YouTube. And, no – the fact how Japanese Empire (with George Takei playing the Emperor) is portayed here is a small consolation to other batshit insanity in the game.

              Also – Tim Curry as the Soviet Premier Anatoly Cherdenko. Full. Stop.


            • yalensis says:

              Dear Lyttenburgh: So, why don’t you do a post on this? Sounds relevant, actually.
              Maybe we rake in some more readers, who are interested in this sort of thing.

              LIke Willy Loman says, “We have to expand our customer base!”


            • yalensis says:

              P.S. – what was wrong with Tim Curry as Soviet Premier? Tim is great actor, and I liked his seminal work as Dr. Frankenfurter in “Rocky Horror”. Especially the scene where he carves up Mr. Meatloaf with a chainsaw. Proving that he can portray ultra-violent acts on the screen. So, he should be perfect for a computer game!


            • Lyttenburgh says:

              “P.S. – what was wrong with Tim Curry as Soviet Premier?”

              Oh, gee, I dunno… Something to with his hammishness and phrases like:

              “Commander! You’ve rained on my glorious parade! For this, I’m sending everything I got at you, but I won’t let you have the satisfaction of catching me. I’m escaping to ONE PLACE THAT HASN’T BEEN CORRUPTED BY CAPITALISM… SPAAAACE!!”


              “Come Comrade General! A new world order awaitsï”

              or even

              “Dirty svoloch”, yep.


            • yalensis says:

              Well, that’s really strange, because Tim Curry was NEVER hammy before he played Cherdenko. This is something new and completely out of character for him.

              “Oh, you made it all zis way just to FAIL at the end?!
              Such a shime!”

              “I’m escaping into SPA–A-A-A-A-A-A-ACE!”
              “Duss vee daniya, Comrade! I’ll send you a postcard!”

              I was just waiting for Richard O’Brien to pop in and start singing:

              “Prime Minister Cherdenko, it’s all over.
              Your mission is a failure.
              Your lifestyle’s too extreme.
              I’m your new commander,
              You are now my prisoner.
              We return to Transylvania.
              Prepare the Transit Beam!”


  3. Patient Observer says:

    A great summary of Russian and Syrian success! Did not know that the average ISIS grunt was so well-paid until the Russians rained something on their parade. I wonder if suicide bombers have a higher pay grade.


    • yalensis says:

      Dear Patient Observer: Thanks for your comment, and sorry it got stuck in the spam filter until I noticed it this morning.

      Anyhow, I am pretty sure the ISIS troops get paid well by their American masters. Don’t know about a suicide bonus, but it wouldn’t surprise me!


  4. marknesop says:

    Tim Curry is a failure as the Soviet Premier because he has uniform cap badges pinned to his lapels. Anyone who cannot tell his chest from his head cannot into Premier.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s