“Your Longest, and Your Worst, Day”

 

“If you threaten us, it will be your longest, and your worst, day.” — Jim Mattis.

The Russians’ longest day occurred on February 7, when 500 (including Russian mercenaries) launched an attack on a base housing Syrian opposition forces along with US military advisers.

WASHINGTON — U.S. air strikes killed multiple Russia mercenary soldiers serving in Syria, according to news reports and open-source researchers, with some reports saying dozens may have died.

President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman denied knowledge of the February 7 incident in the Deir al-Zor region, whose mystery has deepened in recent days, as relatives and colleagues of Russians soldiers serving in Syria have begun speaking out.

The U.S. Defense Department said the air strikes, which included fighter and ground-attack aircraft, and Marine artillery, targeted Syrian government-backed troops after as many as 500 attackers launched a coordinated assault on a base housing Syrian opposition forces, along with U.S. military advisers in Deir al-Zor.

U.S. officials said around 100 soldiers were killed, but did not identify them.

“I will not speculate on the composition of this force or whose control they were under,” Lieutenant General Jeffrey Harrigian, a spokesman for U.S. Central Command, said on February 13. “We are focused on a singular enemy: ISIS. We’re not looking for a fight with anyone else, but as [U.S. Defense] Secretary [Jim] Mattis said last week: ‘If you threaten us, it will be your longest, and your worst, day.'”

Over the weekend, however, reports emerged on Russian blogs and elsewhere that an unknown number of Russian contract soldiers were killed.

US forces defended the base with B-52 bombers, F-22 fighters, AC-130 gunships, Apache helicopters, and Marine artillery. According to Reuters, the Russian attackers may have lost as many as 300 men.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova stopped short of confirming on February 15 that Russian contract soldiers were among those killed during hours of U.S. bombardment on February 7 by B-52 strategic bombers, F-22 fighter jets, AC-130 gunships, and Apache attack helicopters.

The Russians have been using mercenaries in both Syria and Ukraine. This is the first direct confrontation between US forces and Russian forces. They are finding that it is much more difficult to engage US forces than it is to target Syrian civilians, including Syrian school children and Syrian hospitals.

Russian forces on the Russian side of the Ukrainian border have targeted Ukrainian military and civilian targets with artillery and missile strikes. Families of so-called Russian contractors do not receive the same death benefits that the families of regular soldiers receive. The bodies are returning home, and questions are being asked, and ignored.

Another woman in the Sverdlovsk region, whose husband is also thought to have died in Deir al-Zor, was more scathing in her criticism of authorities and a perceived lack of government support. She told Current Time TV that he and his fellow fighters were “thrown into battle like pigs.”

Click on the two links in the essay for the complete articles from Radio Free Europe.

There are 16 comments.

  1. Quake Voter Inactive

    Doug Watt: U.S. forces defended the base with B-52 bombers, F-22 fighters, AC-130 gunships, Apache helicopters, and Marine artillery. According to Reuters the Russian attackers may lost as many as 300 men.

    You think these numbers might, just might, give McMullin, Boot, Rothman et al. some pause for thought about their Russia fixation, right?

    Of course not.

    I guess Putin is waiting for an attack which kills more than 1,000 Russians before releasing all the damaging Trump intel.

    • #1
    • February 16, 2018, at 6:11 PM PDT
    • 10 likes
  2. Doug Watt Member
    Doug Watt Post author

    Quake Voter (View Comment):

    Doug Watt: U.S. forces defended the base with B-52 bombers, F-22 fighters, AC-130 gunships, Apache helicopters, and Marine artillery. According to Reuters the Russian attackers may lost as many as 300 men.

    You think these numbers might, just might, give McMullin, Boot, Rothman et al. some pause for thought about their Russia fixation, right?

    Of course not.

    I guess Putin is waiting for an attack which kills more than 1,000 Russians before releasing all the damaging Trump intel.

    I really don’t remember seeing a lot of coverage of this engagement in the American media. I have to wonder if someone in the Kremlin believes that the Trump administration is under so great a siege at home that the resolve of American forces has been weakened.

    I would call this engagement very significant because of the number of Russians involved in the attack, and perhaps it was also designed to try and damage any public support in the U.S. for working with Ukraine, the Baltic States, and Poland.

    • #2
    • February 16, 2018, at 6:38 PM PDT
    • 10 likes
  3. Doug Watt Member
    Doug Watt Post author

    Radio Free Europe is an excellent source for information about Russia, and especially the insight on what the average Russian is saying. The second link contains a lot of information on the impact of this unsuccessful attack from the families in Russia whose son’s are serving as mercenaries for the Russian military.

    • #3
    • February 16, 2018, at 6:50 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  4. Percival Thatcher

    Vladimir should update the recruiting brochures: “Warning — you may be ordered to attack the US military, which will respond by killing you very dead.”

    • #4
    • February 16, 2018, at 9:14 PM PDT
    • 11 likes
  5. Percival Thatcher

    Doug Watt: U.S. forces defended the base with B-52 bombers, F-22 fighters, AC-130 gunships, Apache helicopters, and Marine artillery. According to Reuters the Russian attackers may have lost as many as 300 men.

    • #5
    • February 17, 2018, at 2:00 AM PDT
    • 17 likes
  6. EHerring Coolidge

    Russia has a major fault….it doesn’t know how to pick its friends …. and its enemies.

    • #6
    • February 17, 2018, at 5:14 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  7. Kozak Member

    Percival (View Comment):

    Doug Watt: U.S. forces defended the base with B-52 bombers, F-22 fighters, AC-130 gunships, Apache helicopters, and Marine artillery. According to Reuters the Russian attackers may have lost as many as 300 men.

    The Buff says hello too….

    • #7
    • February 17, 2018, at 6:57 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  8. SkipSul Moderator

    This essay should be rather sobering. It seems Putin intends for perpetual war as a means to reordering the country:

    http://www.nationalreview.com/article/456477/vladimir-putin-wartime-presidency-volatile-aggressive

    • #8
    • February 17, 2018, at 7:01 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  9. Profile Photo Member

    Doug Watt (View Comment):
    I have to wonder if someone in the Kremlin believes that the Trump administration is under so great a siege at home that the resolve of American forces has been weakened.

    It is interesting that the Russians may get their American news from the NY Times. For example:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/16/us/politics/john-kelly-rob-porter-clearance.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=first-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news

    If you knew nothing about the administration but what the NY Times prints, you could get the wrong idea.

    • #9
    • February 17, 2018, at 7:02 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  10. Nanda "Chaps" Panjan… Inactive

    SkipSul (View Comment):
    This essay should be rather sobering. It seems Putin intends for perpetual war as a means to reordering the country:

    http://www.nationalreview.com/article/456477/vladimir-putin-wartime-presidency-volatile-aggressive

    Indeed…Sobering, to think that the Bear may be coming out of hibernation.

    • #10
    • February 17, 2018, at 8:26 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  11. Doug Watt Member
    Doug Watt Post author

    SkipSul (View Comment):
    This essay should be rather sobering. It seems Putin intends for perpetual war as a means to reordering the country:

    http://www.nationalreview.com/article/456477/vladimir-putin-wartime-presidency-volatile-aggressive

    The Russians have established a naval presence in Syria, so they are now close to the northern entrance to the Suez Canal. Along with the Iranians they are supporting Yemeni rebels at the southern end of the Suez Canal.

    Shelling has increased in eastern Ukraine. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a Russian backed offensive to try and establish a Russian controlled corridor between the Crimea and eastern Ukraine.

    The British, Germans, and French are providing military assistance to the Baltic States. Norway asked the United States to extend the presence of U.S. Marines after winter exercises. U.S. forces have been training with Finland’s armed forces. The Swedish government, although not a member of NATO asked for and received a joint military assistance agreement with the United States.

    • #11
    • February 17, 2018, at 9:10 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  12. Profile Photo Member

    Nanda Panjandrum (View Comment):
    Indeed…Sobering, to think that the Bear may be coming out of hibernation.

    Russia is a failing state. The population is falling and their arms industry, which was the only thing that worked under the USSR, seems to be failing as well. Hitler in 1939 was looking at state bankruptcy in 2 years without the war. Putin is over extended in Syria and in trouble.

    David Goldman has been saying much the same about Iran for years.

    • #12
    • February 17, 2018, at 9:15 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
  13. Larry Koler Inactive

    Doug Watt (View Comment):

    Quake Voter (View Comment):

    Doug Watt: U.S. forces defended the base with B-52 bombers, F-22 fighters, AC-130 gunships, Apache helicopters, and Marine artillery. According to Reuters the Russian attackers may lost as many as 300 men.

    You think these numbers might, just might, give McMullin, Boot, Rothman et al. some pause for thought about their Russia fixation, right?

    Of course not.

    I guess Putin is waiting for an attack which kills more than 1,000 Russians before releasing all the damaging Trump intel.

    I really don’t remember seeing a lot of coverage of this engagement in the American media. I have to wonder if someone in the Kremlin believes that the Trump administration is under so great a siege at home that the resolve of American forces has been weakened.

    I would call this engagement very significant because of the number of Russians involved in the attack, and perhaps it was also designed to try and damage any public support in the U.S. for working with Ukraine, the Baltic States, and Poland.

    Did Mattis set them up?

    • #13
    • February 18, 2018, at 7:10 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  14. Larry Koler Inactive

    SkipSul (View Comment):
    This essay should be rather sobering. It seems Putin intends for perpetual war as a means to reordering the country:

    http://www.nationalreview.com/article/456477/vladimir-putin-wartime-presidency-volatile-aggressive

    Vlad the Impaler 2.0

    • #14
    • February 18, 2018, at 7:12 AM PDT
    • Like
  15. Larry Koler Inactive

    Doug Watt (View Comment):

    SkipSul (View Comment):
    This essay should be rather sobering. It seems Putin intends for perpetual war as a means to reordering the country:

    http://www.nationalreview.com/article/456477/vladimir-putin-wartime-presidency-volatile-aggressive

    The Russians have established a naval presence in Syria, so they are now close to the northern entrance to the Suez Canal. Along with the Iranians they are supporting Yemeni rebels at the southern end of the Suez Canal.

    Shelling has increased in eastern Ukraine. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a Russian backed offensive to try and establish a Russian controlled corridor between the Crimea and eastern Ukraine.

    The British, Germans, and French are providing military assistance to the Baltic States. Norway asked the United States to extend the presence of U.S. Marines after winter exercises. U.S. forces have been training with Finland’s armed forces. The Swedish government, although not a member of NATO asked for and received a joint military assistance agreement with the United States.

    The cavalry to the rescue just in the nick of time.

    Another Democratic president and we would have lost much ground.

    Like all 3rd world countries the military is the most important part of the dictator’s faction. These guys were probably really Russian soldiers on TDY. But, this attempt at deception has backfired for old Vlad and brought the scam into the light of day.

    • #15
    • February 18, 2018, at 7:22 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  16. Petty Boozswha Member

    For many of them it was their shortest and worst day.

    • #16
    • February 18, 2018, at 12:02 PM PDT
    • 2 likes