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US-Led Coalition: Russian MoD’s “Statements Are About As Accurate As Their Air Campaign”

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A statement of the US-led coalition’s spokesman and analysis of the recent developments over the Russian Defense Ministry’s statement on al-Bukamal.

US-Led Coalition: Russian MoD's "Statements Are About As Accurate As Their Air Campaign"

A U.S. Army soldier stands on an eight-wheeled armored fighting vehicle, near al-Ghanamya village, al-Darbasiyah town, at the Syrian-Turkish border. Photo by Youssef Rabie Youssef/EPA

On November 14, the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement that the US-led coalition had resufsed to carry out airstrikes on ISIS columns withdrawing from the Syrian city of al-Bukamal and de-facto allowed the terrorists to regroup in its area of the responsibility. It even added

The US-led coalition’s spokesman Col. Ryan Dillon responded to this statement saying that it is inaccurate.

I would say the Russian Ministry of Defense statements are about as accurate as their air campaign. And I think that is a reason for them to start coming out with their latest barrage of lies. They are currently having some setbacks,” Dillon told reporters. “Almost anything that comes out of the Russian MoD is suspect and inaccurate.”

Dillon pointed out that Syrian forces suffered a blow when they failed to establsih a full control over the city of al-Bukamal despite the official statements on the issue.

The al-Bukamal statement incident went far beyond a common “mistake. Let’s take a look on what really happened:

On November 14 morning, the Russian Defense Ministry reported a glaring fact: the US-led coalition refused to carry out airstrikes on ISIS convoys withdrawing from al-Bukamal. According to the Russian state-run media agency TASS, Moscow has recorded transcripts of the talks on the issue.

This incident was a clear example of the US support to ISIS terrorists operating in Syria. A showdown of this fact would deliver a blow to the US public image, especially when the US is steadily loosing ground in the world’s media landscape. However, the Russian Defense Ministry’s statement appeared to be illustrated with obvious fake images (in total, 5 images). Originally, the statement appeared in Russian with the aforementioned package of fake images. Later, in about 50-60 minutes, the English version of the statement also appeared online. But this version included a bit different images.

A fake ISIS column near al-Bukamal from the statement in Russian:

US-Led Coalition: Russian MoD's "Statements Are About As Accurate As Their Air Campaign"

Click to see the full-size image

A fake ISIS column near al-Bukamal from the statement in English:

US-Led Coalition: Russian MoD's "Statements Are About As Accurate As Their Air Campaign"

Click to see the full-size image

Almost immediately (within 10-15 minutes) after the release of the statement in Russian, some users in the comment section found that the released pictures are fake. One can only assume how well they are aware of the existing video footage on YouTube with wich they were able to compare the released pictures.

It’s hard to sppose that the release of 5 fake images could be a technical mistake or a negligence. This is especially unlikely when we talk about such an important issue for the Russian side.

Some epxerts find it highly possible that on November 14 we were able to observe an exampe of the successfull special operation conducted by US intelligence services, most likely the CIA. The Russians say that a civil service employee was responsible for attaching “wrong photo illustrations”. He may have received a bribery. This is one of the possible explanations. Another  explanation is a forgery with the use of technical means. Or something else.

In any case, the chance that it was an accident is close to zero. As a result of the conducted move, the US received an opportunity to mock any Russian accusations of cooperation with ISIS in the area of al-Bukamal. The facts are not the issue. The public opinion was shifted and the ground was created to take the discussion away from the facts to the emotions.

This incident, alongside with the previou mistakes of the Russians in the media sphere, will allow the US to strengthen its position in the ongoing information confrontation.

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ignorance as a weapon


So very accurate then, because Russian campaign actually restoring order in Syria instead of it falling in to hands of terrorists

Alejandro Bonifacio

you’re right, just imagine if the russians did not retreat part of the detachment in march 201

John Whitehot

imagine what?
the number of assets deployed is dictated by well-defined strategies.
that means, that you deploy the number and type of assets you need to complete objectives, which is what they have done.

the rest is just drunken-bar commentary, this is a military analysis site.

Moussa Saab

If I remember well, didn’t the U.S do the same before, posting fake/wrong images about Russian coalition or Syrian army?

John Whitehot

yes, they used videos of russian strikes on isis and called them coalition strikes.

Melotte 22

‘I would say the Russian Ministry of Defense statements are about as accurate as their air campaign.’

Well, in that case, the statements are pretty accurate to me.

Icarus Tanović

Well, yes.

Tiresia Branding

I said it was a cyberwar attack; and it is a serious event of overt hostility. Hope there was devastating counterattack

Politolog Externista

Russians can hack them and post incriminating info facts on them making jihadis a thing, them being repsonsible for lots of murders on a grand scale. In the end, they will burn in a place where a worm doesnt die and fire doesnt die out, where they cant die anymore.

Robert Duran

Russia cooperates or tries to cooperate with the US in Syria too much.To start with if the Russians are going to bomb somewhere no need to communicate with the US.Also why have I read that the storming of Abu Kamal has virtually no Russian air support?..Why?? this makes no sense

John Whitehot

what you say about the storming of abu kamal is false, tass reported that the initial success of the saa was backed by russian airpower.

Tudor Miron

I wonder how fast we forget about daily raids of Tu-22М3 strategic bombers coupled with calibr strikes right before SAA entered Al Bukamal. To me it looks like that: RuAF airstrikes disorganized ISIS ability to defend effectively and that allowed for relatively rapid advance (initial) of SAA in Al Bukamal. Problem was that this is actually last relatively large “nest” of Daesh head choppers. So there’s high concentration of commanders of various levels within remaining ISIS ranks. Also there’s apparently many higher figures of Daesh in some parts of AB with their best fighters around them. They were able to regroup and fight back. SAA force that entered the city wasn’t enough to withstand this counter attacks (10 atgm’s my ass as this is like 6 kalibr missiles and full payload of 6 Tu-22M3s/144 tonns of FAB 500 thrown at them) or decided to not risk/loose manpower in urban warfare and wait for specialists of such affairs (Tiger forces). AB will soon be liberated – that’s a given.
We’ll see what happens than.

John Whitehot

true. The problem is that we as public don’t get much info on which to elaborate. The heavy airstrikes before the offensive clearly reduced ISIS capability to defend the city. From the methods used (but we could not know all here), they hit their logistics, supply and command networks.

It could be that ISIS resistance has been suicidal for some reason, there are reports of that. It also could be that the SAA entered the city without immediate meaningful resistance and was prompted to celebrate too early – this could be well one of those “propaganda traps” .
Let me say that there is no meaningful comparison between ATGMs and Kalibr missiles, as I said, the TU 22 and submarine airstrikes are conducted against fixed targets, not on units engaged in battle.

We’ve also seen that several high level ISIS commanders died in the city. In the end, of course the city will be liberated. It remains unknown if the pentagon is trying to disrupt the current talks among nations by conducting their own war in israel service, as the area is a junction point in this respect.


Another aspect is they were probably set up defensively expecting to be attacked from the north , Tiger Forces et al. With the Kalibrs and unexpectedly attacked from the south , they retreated via their tunnel system , regrouped and struck back . My guess is they have had a long time to prepare their tunnel systems , and they likely connect to the east side of the river . Until SAA or the PMU’s control the east side of the river , I believe they could hold out for a year or more . And they are being well paid to do just that by SDF ,”oversight” .

John Whitehot

a year? naaaa.

i don’t do armchair warring but it’s likely a matter of days or weeks.

Frane Frlan

I agree. Well armed brigade, can defend such environment with ease. Without aerial support one needs at least four focused brigades to deal with. They enter with few hundreds, lost some 30, and dozen vehicles, and escape 5 km away.
Question is, why is so important to control that city as long as possible. And what happen with aviation and artillery when convoy exited town.

Tudor Miron

I can’t agree with you Robert. I hope that Russian leadership is working “in long run” and is wise. Don’t forget that there’s great responsibility – allowing to drag itself into WWIII is not a viable objective. I bet that you would not like if my country will play like a monkey that is given a grenade? Yes we should be assertive and we actually are. Russia managed to defend its ally (with great help of other friends – Iran and Hezbollah in particular) while managing to NOT let the conflict to escalate into another world war (would it be last one for this civilization? Many serious people say that detonation of even very limited number of modern nuclear warheads will be enough to throw up enough dust/smoke/debris that there will be a nuclear winter for a couple of years. That would be enough to starve a half of this planet to death). Putin is very aware of theoretical work of “Internal predictor of CCCP”, he knows how social super systems are actually governed. He knows and implements (with success) principles of so called (in “Concept of public safety” terminology) conceptual governing and that’s why Russia achieves so much with so little. Don’t forget that 10 years ago Russia was a laughing stock – no one was taking it seriously. The world was sure that west finally defeated Russia and it’s a question of time when it collapses into even smaller fragments – powerless but reach of resources – ready to be looted as it was happening in the 1990-s. That’s while 70 to 80% of countries governing apparatus, media etc, etc (so called elites) is either from commies times (managed to “throw and blow” a great country) or from Eltsins times (happily selling their country in favor of their US masters for a “little gesheft”).
I would say that we (Russia) should keep restoring our sovereignty on all levels (largely lost in 1990s, regained partly but far from 100%). The rest will fallow almost automatically especially (in the long run) if care is taken about education system (btw Stalin turned a country that was mostly unable to read and write into a country where even in small villages kids were receiving very good education – same program as in large cities and capital. As a result, in 30 years those dumb Ruskies were able to send a human astronaut into outer space and they were first to do it.) Both Russian people and the rest of the world (ordinary people) would benefit as Suria case is showing clearly.

Robert Duran

This was most likely bribery.One look at these photos and you can see they are fake.I am a normal civilian and I would double check first before posting these


Most probably someone was bribed in order to post those.

Tudor Miron

I will say it again – those snakes (employee of RuMod who made this “mistakes” and those who fooled him into that he would escape serious punishment) should be investigated and their photos shown to public. I would like to see that traitor face.
There were actual and true images and drone videos that were later posted via RuMod but damage was already done. West was desperate for something real to base their accusations and that rat created that out of nowhere. No matter how much he was paid but betrayal of his Motherland is something he would have to carry with him for all his miserable life. Life of a worm.


He deserves a life in prison.

John Whitehot

buddy, their motherland is money.

and is a well known fact, that citizens of the country called money are called whores.

always if somebody actually has performed treasonous acts.


The mistake isn’t that big of a problem. It was corrected and the exposure of the coordination stands and will be what matters.


Russia should have focused from day one on eradicating the various US proxies-ISIS, Al Nusra, HTS etc-but the only thing Kremlin cared about was appearing as a US partner. Typical russian idiocy..

John Whitehot

typical malignant nonsense.
if the russians wanted to appear as us partners they would had ceased to eradicate their proxies and adopted us strategy, when obama was telling that “The russians are welcome to bomb isis but they are bombing the legitimate opposition (al-nusra)”.

Since the russian kept on bombing us pets and the syrian army has kept liberating its country, i don’t see how one can state that they didn’t do it from day one without having being severely hampered in his senses.


Keep idolizing the Kremlin and considering them infallible while hurling insults to anyone that disagrees.

John Whitehot

no i keep hurling them at only you using 1000 different identities.


Oh, you truly are delusional..The fact that the Kremlin might have erred somewhere is beyond your myopic understanding of the world.

John Whitehot

i did not say that the kremlin never makes mistakes.

i said that the “opposition” is the most perverted, cynical, genocidal and blood-hungry device ever concocted by humanity.

and i feel a lot of pity of those folks that serve this device because in their limited, blinded perception they need to do something against the kremlin.

the bottom line is that if Russia fights against those who are trying to enslave the entire humanity, then I’m on their side. Because it’s the side of everything good and just, even if people inherently make mistakes, no matter what they are doing.

Deo Cass

What about thiscBBC report Mr Dillon?

The Saint

Accurate enough to kill tens of thousands of the US proxy army known as ‘Isis’.

The Saint

The Russian information has always proved very accurate, in contrast to the US side, as we saw in the BBC report about Raqqah. The US colluded with Isis in Raqqah, in Dez, in Mayadin..OF COURSE they are doing the same in Al Bukamal..


Maybe in a fantasy world that many of you live in Russian media is accurate.

John Whitehot

see, Dillon had to come up with a reference to the “mistake” in the isis photos issue to be able to state that “russians are having some setbacks”.

again, we must take care to consider that for this people it’s tough times, seeing their beloved jihadist pets being exterminated out of Syria and their genocidal plans averted.

i can’t express enough disgust though, for militarymen who swore their allegiance to their country and people, lower themselves in behaving and talking like little jewish lawyers, after having become puppets of another country and people – israel.

these people discredit their uniforms and have betrayed the trust of their fellow countrymen and soldiers.

in other times and places they should face the firing squad.


LOL remind me again, dillon, which side routinely kills dozens of civilians in their sorties? because i see it all the time on facebook, on news sites, “US airstrike kills 50-60 civilians in airstrike”

Icarus Tanović

You’re absolutely right. It crossed my mind too.

Politolog Externista

they basically take responsibility for hacking


It’s not even necessary that the official posting the photos was compromised. He/she will post what is passed onto her desk. If the process of “passing” of the photos was interfered with that could explain a few things. The official may not have information about the origin of the photos other than what they are told.


Fuck you US with your lies and with your fuck bodies ISIS let Daesh fuck you up until your neck. Criminals all of Syria with criminals all uninvited as US,Israel,UK,Kurd’s,ISIS and etc. The world is sick and tired to watch you (the US) as you doing your shit with all terrorist, you support the FSA/HTS, you support SDF/YPG/YPJ,PKK , you support ISIS/Daesh you support and arm all possible Terrorist in Syria. No one want’s you you are the Biggest Terrorist in the World as Mother of this terror groups all over the world. You don’t just go and waste money to help someone if you don’t get 10x more of that situation out. You are going all over the world liders (Trump) and do what arm sells of billions of $. Fuck you respectively and stop messing with others countries politics, start to look in your own country first you fuckheads.


Ryan Dillon is such a paragon of honesty and virtue after all… what a crock. The US military is totally corrupted by spy agencies and crony capitalism that, whereas the mistaken use of the wrong images by Russia (now corrected) is an unusual occurrence, it is more of an anomaly for a Pentagon mouthpiece to issue a factual statement. After all, how many different piles of rubble and corpses have been pronounced “liberated” by these dolts over the decades? How much lifeless jargon describing the utter destruction of entire nations and populations? It seems to me that the Russian military has a clear chain of command and operate under international law as much as is reasonable, and certainly go out of their way to avoid unnecessary death and destruction. The future history of the world will record the United States as being responsible for the longest orgy of murder and misery ever recorded – worse, the destruction of entire cultures, histories, literature, historical artifacts. In other words, the common wealth of all humanity – either destroyed or looted by sick greedy subhumans to stash in secret “museums” under their mansions. Even the Nazis took more care to preserve culture and history than the barbaric Americans.


very unfortunate statement……US air campaign is accurate?thats what thy imply?should have cleared in the first place what are they hitting…..because after 3 or more years of US involvement ISIS has taken over all of Syria….who fought them?come on……US should have been honest from the start…they never denied their intention to overthrow Assad…so everyone against him was their friend . Gave them weapons ,funds, training…..the air campaign was just a media show. Yezidis were a erfect example of that…..if any ISIS or ‘moderate opposition ‘leader tried to ask for more money….they bombed him to establish their rule…simple as that.

Bobby Twoshoes

Too bad Russia can’t do the same back, Yanks posting fake images wouldn’t raise an eyelid. Russia could replace their fake images with real ones in their self-indulgent “liberation” of Raqqah fantasies maybe?


Isn’t the US overdue to bomb another hospital of wedding by now? Ohhhh, I forgot they stopped bombing.

The Farney Fontenoy

A “statement”?? More like a cheap jibe, what else to expect from the people who kill 100 times more civilians than militants…

Mats Öhlén

Of course it was no “mistake”. The most funny part here is that the “unpartial” Southfront chooses to refer to “some experts” in building a case of US conspiracy instead of admit that the Russian Ministry of Defense is full of lies. And thus it became “the truth” in the commentary thread. Sad…

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