• 40 volunteers from local tribes
  • 15 SAA fighters + Brigadier General
  • 20 fighters of ” ISIS Hunters” group
  • 5 Russian PMCs

Now that looks *a lot* more likely and more or less matches the official US “100” figure.

In my opinion this airstrike is pretty much a non-event.  The US Americans attacked a column threatening their control of the zone of Syria they want to occupy (what else is new?), the bombing was a one way thing with no air cover or air defenses (so probably not Russian or even official government organized), the column was wiped-off (well yeah, of course), the folks at CENTCOM were all happy with it and did not know what to say when some three letter soup agency decided to pounce on this to create a massive big deal ex nihilo.  The Russians were equally baffled.  A few days later, the entire story collapsed but for a short while the Internet went crazy about it.

Lessons learned: next time around when you hear the next mega-rumor, relax, take a breather, don’t immediately jump to conclusion and just wait!  Wait until the dust settles and you actually get some facts.  Here is a pointer: big, important, events usually have big, important, consequences.  When you hear of a mega-rumor and then nothing happens, you can be pretty sure that this is a non-event.

It is pretty safe to predict that there will be A LOT of these fake mega-non-events in the future, so we better get used to them.  At the very least, let’s wait 24 if not 48 hours before reacting to them.  Most likely imnsho: a new “chemical attack by the regime” followed by some “coalition bombing” which will “send a strong message” to the “regime” about the use of chemical weapons (in reality the US-backed “good terrorists” will use chlorine gas to trigger yet another bomb/missile strike on Syrian forces).

—The Saker