De Facto Proxi War with TOWs? - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old November 24th, 2015, 07:33 PM
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De Facto Proxi War with TOWs?

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-1...-tank-missiles
I welcome Ray's view on this.
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  #2  
Old November 24th, 2015, 07:59 PM
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I call bullshit. That's not to say that ANF doesn't have TOWs--they do. I doubt that any of them were ever directly supplied by the US. Don't forget that the Syrian conflict is not a two-sided war. There are many factions attacking many other factions. In the case of the TOWs, I believe that some were obtained after US-trained and -supplied rebel fighters defected to ANF, the most dominant anti-regime force besides ISIS. Others may have been obtained when ANF overran weaker FSA units. FSA success is spotty. Some groups, like the 1st Coastal Division, are fairly capable. Others are not and are getting destroyed by the Russian-backed SAA, ISIS, and ANF. It's quite possible that ISIS and ANF have obtained TOWs from defeated FSA groups.

There is frequent discussion about ATGMs on the Syrian Civil War subreddit on Reddit. For a while, they had a daily AGTM update with video links and such: https://www.reddit.com/r/syriancivilwar/

That sub is an excellent news resource on the war and I read it daily, although you have to take everything in there with a big grain of salt as there is lots of propaganda from all sides.
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  #3  
Old November 24th, 2015, 09:36 PM
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Russell-
I can't really say much specifically about this.

That said, and akin to what Chris is pointing out but more focused on the article itself which reads like some college student's first chance at commenting on U.S. Foreign Policy and is full of vigor but low on substantive helpful recommendations-i.e. it is written as though the author learned everything from a book and never on the ground actually doing work.

Which raises the hypothetical point-so what? The employment of a TOW isn't exceptionally difficult but there is a large delta between (I'll use USMC occupational specialties here) a well trained 0352 Anti-tank gunner and an 0311 infantryman. One doesn't just hand out ground mounted TOWs and see tremendous returns from the masses, I'd say the Stinger that we supplied during Afghanistan is actually easier to employ correctly (and we train those operators too). Ask yourself what that tells you about the TOW shots you are seeing regardless of the rhetoric spilling over in the articles.

I won't dispute Chris's point that the resistance success is spotty; but its better on the defense than the offense and despite all the Putin fans championing the end of this as the badass Russians got involved with the affair what has actually happened? Last check (this was a week ago I think, as I don't follow this closely even though I was actually in Erbil last week) they had a net gain of like 20km along the front. That's due in no small part b/c TOWs have tore the frame out of the armored task groups that were one of the best eventual developments that the Syrians themselves got to in the evolution of conflict.

Throughout this conflict adaptation and mitigation has seen it evolve to where it is. Hizbollah's entry saw gains, and then things balanced. Russia's entry? Doesn't appear to fundamentally change things. The fact that Asad & Russia went after the non-ISIS elements vice the Caliphate tells you that their calculus on the conflict proves the effectiveness of the TOWs to bleed them.

I return back to the overall point I make quite a bit about this: ISIS isn't an existential threat to the U.S., and the existing conflict is horrible but is a de facto proxy war between Iran and the Sunnis in the region. A realist would say perpetuating that is good business.

But that's just my off the cuff thoughts at 0630 before I go get my ass kicked by my Marines this morning.
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  #4  
Old November 25th, 2015, 12:23 AM
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You don't Crossfit?



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I already belong to one cult. I don't need to join a substitute version (no offense to crossfitters on the board).

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Old November 25th, 2015, 02:02 AM
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Same basic topic: I'm wondering about the video this morning of the chopper being taken out. Seems odd to me that the thing was at full rest, at least for what the video was claiming. Earlier this morning it was claimed that they had shot the heli down as it attempted to rescue pilots, but seems odd that it would be just sitting on the ground. I think the video showed a different situation, or maybe a coincidental timing.

It is interesting that they had TOW missiles. I would bet they came from Saudi Arabia, or some other indirect source. But I do seem to remember something about our weapons going to Syria from just last week.
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Old November 25th, 2015, 03:19 AM
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My understanding is the helo was on the ground due to damage taken from AA/small arms fire; and then it was hit with a TOW-though you could in theory hit a low/slow helo with a TOW while in the air too.

Dated, but illustrates some of the dynamics at play here in terms of the TOW's arrival to Syria.
http://www.businessinsider.com/syria...ssiles-2015-10
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Old November 25th, 2015, 06:33 AM
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Should we be surprised that the search and rescue teams were sent in without any protective air cover?
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Old November 25th, 2015, 06:42 AM
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Interesting point, I can't speak to Russian CSAR tactics and such-other than to say they tend to not place the same value on life that we do, nor do I think they have honed tactics for downed airmen the way we do. That said this screenshot shows what looks like an MI-17 and an MI-24; each of which is a pretty capable platform in terms of rotary wing assets-the 24 in particular is a superb aircraft for flying in high small arms fire airspace.
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  #9  
Old November 25th, 2015, 08:46 AM
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Looks like a BGM-71 TOW took out the Mi-8 helicopter. https://www.rt.com/news/323306-video...icopter-syria/
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Old November 25th, 2015, 08:54 AM
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Russians are saying it was an MI-8, and to the degree it matters it was already on the ground when the TOW hit it. (SAF took it to the ground for an emergency landing, the TOW finished the bird off-killing a Russian Marine (Naval Infantryman...))
https://foreignpolicy.com/2015/11/24...ation%20Report
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Old November 25th, 2015, 11:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray_G View Post
My understanding is the helo was on the ground due to damage taken from AA/small arms fire; and then it was hit with a TOW-though you could in theory hit a low/slow helo with a TOW while in the air too. Dated, but illustrates some of the dynamics at play here in terms of the TOW's arrival to Syria. http://www.businessinsider.com/syria...ssiles-2015-10
That's what I was wondering, but hadn't seen any report of it. Impressive video.

As far as the SAR going in without air cover -- in Mother Russia, Mi24 make own air cover.

EDIT: http://levantreport.com/2015/01/01/i...iles-in-syria/
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