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Trump on Syria ?

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Re: Trump on Syria - Syria AND Iraq
« Reply #625 on: Oct 28, 2017, 07:30:07 am »
 

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Syria-Iraq War Report – October 27, 2017: Iraqi And Syrian Armies Jointly Avdance Against ISIS

https://southfront.org/syria-iraq-war-report-october-27-2017-iraqi-and-syrian-armies-jointly-avdance-against-isis/

Syrian and Iraqi forces are advancing jointly on the ISIS border strongholds of al-Qaim and al-Bukamal.

On October 26, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and Hezbollah liberated the T2 Pumping Station from ISIS units after a few days of intense fighting in the area.

On the same day, the Iraqi Army and the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) launched their push towards al-Qaim along the Baghdad-Deir Ezzor highway and from the direction of Akashat. Iraqi forces established control over the H1 and H2 airbases, Maslus Mount, the State Company for Phosphate and the Agricultural Research Service as well as many other points south of al-Qaim. The army and the PMU also liberated Hawijah Karablah and reached Rawa west of the ISIS stronghold.

On October 27, the SAA and Hezbollah advanced further in the direction of al-Bukamal from the T2 pumping station, according to pro-government sources.

Meanwhile, Iraqi forces entered Rawa, which is the last notable ISIS defense site preventing the army and the PMU from isolating al-Qaim from the western direction.

The joint advance showed that ISIS does not have enough manpower to keep strong defense lines against government troops in both Iraq and Syria. In the coming days, Iraqi forces will likely be able to isolate al-Qaim city on the Iraqi side of the border. This will open additional opportunities for the SAA to advance on al-Bukamal along the Syrian part of the Baghdad-Deir Ezzor highway.

Once the highway is liberated, it will become an important supply line between Syria and Iraq. It will also allow Iran to provide its assistance to Syria via a land route.

On October 26, the SAA liberated Saqr Island, secured the entire al-Sinaa area and forced ISIS members to retreat deeper into the northern part of Deir Ezzir city. On October 27, clashes continued in al-Mazara and Khassat.

The advance is led by the SAA Tiger Forces and the Republican Guard. Government forces are focusing on Deir Ezzor city in order to strengthen their positions on the western bank of the Euphrates ahead of the expected battle for al-Bukamal.













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US delegation in UN accused Syrian President B. Assad that he "used chemical weapons on "opponents" in Syria. >:(

http://www.euronews.com/2017/10/26/syrian-regime-behind-deadly-chemical-weapons-attack



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UN On Khan Sheikhoun - Victims Hospitalized BEFORE Claimed Incident Happened

http://www.moonofalabama.org/2017/10/un-report-on-khan-sheikhoun-23-of-victims-hospitalized-before-the-incident-happened.html



'The reports conclusions are NOT by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons or even endorsed by it. They were made by the "Joint Investigative Mechanism" which consists of a Guatemalan diplomat, an UN bureaucrat from Malaysia educated in the U.S. and a chemical expert who works for the Swiss government. It is a political board with a political judgement.

The reasons for that rather vague wording, which is not reflected in the news reports, can be found in the details. The report says on page 10:

The Mechanism determined that sarin was released from the location of a crater in the northern part of Khan Shaykhun between 0630 and 0700 hours on 4 April 2017.


Many of the reports findings are based on open source videos and photographs published by the opposition. It acquired witnesses statements from the area which is under control of al-Qaeda. It also examined forensic evidence for which no chain of custody existed. Some findings are strange.

In annex II, on page 36 (of 39) of the pdf, it notes:

Certain irregularities were observed in elements of information analysed. For example, several hospitals appeared to start admitting casualties of the attack between 0640 and 0645 hours. The Mechanism received the medical records of 247 patients from Khan Shaykhun who were admitted to various health-care facilities, including those of survivors and a number of victims who died from exposure to chemical agent. The admission times of the records range between 0600 and 1600 hours. Analysis of the aforementioned medical records revealed that in 57 cases, patients were admitted in five hospitals before the incident in Khan Shaykhun (at 0600, 0620 and 0640 hours). In 10 such cases, patients appear to have been admitted to a hospital 125 km away from Khan Shaykhun at 0700 hours while another 42 patients appear to have been admitted to a hospital 30 km away at 0700 hours. The Mechanism did not investigate these discrepancies and cannot determine whether they are linked to any possible staging scenario, or to poor record-keeping in chaotic conditions.


At least 23% of the alleged casualties of the incident WERE ADMITTED TO HOSPITALS BEFORE THE INCIDENT HAPPENED.'

Read more: UN On Khan Sheikhoun - Victims Hospitalized BEFORE Claimed Incident Happened



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Re: Trump on Syria ?
« Reply #628 on: Oct 31, 2017, 06:53:12 am »
 

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Syria-Iraq War Report – October 30, 2017: Syrian Army Crushes ISIS And Al-Qaeda In Northern Hama

https://southfront.org/syria-iraq-war-report-october-30-2017-syrian-army-crushes-isis-and-al-qaeda-in-northern-hama/

Syrian government forces are clashing with Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra, the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda) and ISIS in the northeastern countryside of Hama.

Recently, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and the National Defense Forces (NDF) liberated the villages of Jub Tabqaliyah, Abu Laffah, Wadi Zurub, Kherbet Juwayid, Msheirfeh and Rasm al-Tinah. According to pro-government sources, 30 HTS members, including 3 military commanders, were killed.

Separately, the SAA and the NDF advanced on the village of Abu Dali in northern Hama. It was captured by HTS on October 8.
According to pro-government sources, government forces recaptured Farkeh, Zahra Hill and Rajm Alahmar area, but didn’t enter Abu Dali itself.

The SAA and the NDF used clashes between Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) and ISIS in order to prepare and launch a limited military operation aimed at building a wider buffer zone west of the Ithriyah-Aleppo highway, which has been repeatedly attacked by militants over the last year.

In the city of Deir Ezzor, the SAA Tiger Forces, the Republican Guard and the NDF liberated worker district 1, worker district 2, Afri district and the stadium from ISIS terrorists. Government troops also advanced in the districts of al-Hamidiyah and Jbela.

The advance came amid an intense fighting with ISIS. The terrorist group’s media outlet Amaq claimed that pro-government forces lost 35 fighters, two battle tanks and a BMP-1 vehicle.

At the same time, the SAA and Hezbollah attempted to push towards al-Bukamal from the direction of T2 Pumping Station. However, no significant success was achieved.

On October 28, the US-led coalition officially announced that it and the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) are working to consolidate their gains in the Omar oil fields and to advance on the ISIS-held border town of al-Bukamal at the border with Iraq.

The real goal of the advance is to attempt to prevent Syria and Iraq from restoring control over the Deir Ezzor-Baghdad highway.

In Iraq, the army, the Federal Police, the Counter-Terrorism Service and the Popular Mobilization Units are working to build a buffer between an area controlled by the US-backed forces in Syria and an area controlled by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in Iraq.

As soon as, government forces establish full control over Faysh Khabur area, this goal will be achieved. Furthermore, Iraq and Turkey have already agreed to establish a Turkish-Iraqi border crossing using this area.

The successful operation of government forces to re-take contested areas from the KRG’s Peshmerga force came amid a rapid push towards the ISIS-held city of al-Qaim. This clearly demonstrated that the army and its allies have much more military power than the KRG’s leadership expected while it was starting their attempt to secede from Iraq.

On Sunday, the KRG’s President Masoud Barzani announced that he resigns from the presidency on November 1. This decision is a logical result of the recent failures of the KRG policy and a loss of large oil—rich areas to the federal government that started with the September 25 independence referendum held by Barzani’s government.













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Syria War Report – October 31, 2017: Tiger Forces Advance Deep Inside ISIS-held Part Of Deir Ezzor

https://southfront.org/syria-war-report-october-31-2017-tiger-forces-advance-deep-inside-isis-held-part-of-deir-ezzor-city/

On October 30, the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) renewed their operations against ISIS in the eastern countryside of Deir Ezzor city. SDF units seized Fudayn, Sijri, Jaar, Wandiyah and Kharijiyah along the road between al-Busariyah and as-Suwar.

According to pro-Kurdish sources, the SDF also entered Jadid Uqaydat and Jadid Bu Khayr cutting off the last road that could be used by the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) to reach the ISIS-held town of al-Busariyah on the eastern bank of the Euphrates.

Some fighting was also reported between the SDF and ISIS in al-Qusayr located east of al-Busariyah. However, the US-backed force will likely start storming al-Busariyah in full force only after it secures the entire area north of it.

In Deir Ezzor city, the SAA Tiger Forces and their allies reached the Khadijah School area in the district of Hamidiyah in the northern part of the city. In coming days, the Tiger Forces supported by Russian military advisers will likely increase pressure on ISIS terrorists inside Deir Ezzor. The liberation of the city is an important part of the wider effort to drive ISIS out of eastern Syria.

According to pro-government sources, the SAA and Hezbollah advanced east of the T2 Pumping Station near the Iraqi border and captured the settlements of Shammas and Baktal. However, it’s unlikely that the larger advance towards al-Bukamal is possible while the western flank of the assault group is not secured or Iraqi forces are not in control of the entire countryside of the Iraqi border town of al-Qaim.

In northern Hama, government troops liberated Rasm Abu Miyal and Murayjeb Jumlan from Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra, the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda).













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Re: Trump on Syria 1 November - ISIS Defense Collapsed In Deir Ezzor City
« Reply #630 on: Nov 02, 2017, 03:44:47 am »
 

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Syria-Iraq War Report – November 1, 2017: ISIS Defense Collapsed In Deir Ezzor City

https://southfront.org/syria-iraq-war-report-november-1-2017-isis-defense-collapsed-in-deir-ezzor-city/

On October 31, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) Tiger Forces and the Republican Guard liberated the neighborhoods of Kanamat, Khassarat, Badr and Old Airport from ISIS in Deir Ezzor city. Government troops also advanced al-Hamidiyah, Sheikh Yassin and al-Ardhi.

Earlier, the SAA and its allies liberated liberation of worker 1, worker 2 and Afri neighborhoods. Thus, government forces retook about third of the area, which was controlled by ISIS in the northern part of the city.

On the same day, the Russian attack submarine ‘Veliky Novgorod’ launched 3 Kalibr cruise missiles on terrorist targets near the ISIS-held town of al-Bukamal. The missiles destroyed several fortified command points, where militants and vehicles were deployed, and a large weapons depot.

In Iraq, the army and the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) have liberated the subdistrict of Ubaydi from ISIS east of the ISIS-held border town of al-Qaim. Now, the army and the PMU will likely focus on further clearing this bank of the Euphrates from ISIS in order to set a foothold for an advance on al-Qaim itself.

Iraiq forces launched an advance on the ISIS-held town of al-Qaim last week. Since then, they had liberated a large area east and south of it and reached the outskirts of the town.

The liberation of al-Bukamal and al-Qaim may be considered as a strategic loss of the US-led coalition. Washington had been seeking for a long time to build a buffer zone controlled by its proxies between Syria and Iraq arguing that in other cases Iran would be able to provide military assistance to the Assad government via a land route.

Meanwhile, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and the Iraq Federal Government allegedly reached an agreement over the border crossings of Faysh Khabur and Ibrahim al-Khalil. According to the agreement, troops of both the Federal Government and the KRG will be stationed there. So, Baghdad will be able to monitor the traffic between the KRG and Turkey as well as between the KRG and a part of Syria controlled by the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). This development will also have long-standing consequences for the US and its proxies in the region.













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Re: Trump on Syria - Syrian army targets Israeli jet over Homs
« Reply #631 on: Nov 02, 2017, 04:05:17 am »
 

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Syrian army targets Israeli jet over Homs

http://www.presstv.com/Detail/2017/11/01/540685/syria-israeli-jet-homs-target--missile-bomb



'The Syrian army has targeted an Israeli jet with a surface-to-air missile over the country’s Homs province.

A Syrian army commander was quoted by Reuters as saying on Wednesday night that the Israeli jet was targeted after it bombed a copper factory located to the south of the central province of Homs.

However, Israel's Channel 10 claimed that the aircraft returned unscathed to its base after bombing the factory in the industrial town of Hisya, 35 km (21 miles) south of Homs and 112 km (70 miles) north of the capital Damascus.

The Syrian commander did not say whether the Israeli strike had caused any casualties.

During the past few years, Israel has frequently attacked military targets in Syria in what is considered as an attempt to prop up terrorist groups that have been suffering heavy defeats against Syrian government forces.'


Read more: Syrian army targets Israeli jet over Homs



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Syria War Report – November 2, 2017: Government Forces Clearing Northern Deir Ezzor From ISIS

https://southfront.org/syria-war-report-november-2-2017-government-forces-clearing-northern-deir-ezzor-from-isis/

The ISIS-held area is rapidly shrinking in the city of Deir Ezzor. On November 1, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) Tiger Forces and the Republican Guard liberated Jubaliyah neighborhood, the central park area, the school of law and education area and the southern part of Hamidiyah neighborhood.

Thus, over the last few days, ISIS has lost over 40% of the area that it had been controlling in the northern part of the city.

On November 2, the Tiger Forces and the Republican Guard advanced deeper in Hamidiyah engaging ISIS in an intense fighting. If the ISIS defense there collapses, the terrorist group will have no chances to resist further attacks of government forces any notable amount of time.

As soon as Deir Ezzor is liberated, the SAA and its allies will focus on clearing the rest of the western bank of Euphrates from ISIS.

On November 1, six Tu-22M3 strategic bombers flew over the territory of Iran and Iraq and carried out a massive strike on ISIS positions near the ISIS-held border town of al-Bukamal. The strikes destroyed outposts, ammunition and weapons depots belonging to the terrorist group.

Meanwhile, the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces seized the villages of al-Akidat and al-Bakaara east of Deir Ezzor city. 29 ISIS members were reportedly killed in the clashes there. Now, the SDF fully encircled the ISIS-held town of al-Busarityah and cut off the only road that could be used by the SAA to reach it. Soon, the SDF will start storming the town itself.

Late on November 1, Israeli warplanes bombed a copper factory in Hisyah Industrial Area 30km south of Homs city. Local sources added that the factory was hit with 7 unspecified munitions. In response, the 72 brigade of the Syrian Air Defense Forces launched an unspecified ground to air missile at the Israeli warplanes. The missile exploded east of al-Qusayr city near the Syrian-Lebanese border. No hits were reported.

The 72 brigade of the Syrian Air Defense Forces is mainly armed with the old-fashioned Soviet-made S-75 air defense system.













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Re: Trump on Syria - Nov 3 : Syrian Army Liberated Deir Ezzor City
« Reply #633 on: Nov 06, 2017, 02:37:29 am »
 

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Syria War Report – November 3, 2017: Syrian Army Liberated Deir Ezzor City

https://southfront.org/syria-war-report-november-3-2017-syrian-army-liberated-deir-ezzor-city/

ISIS gave up the ghost in Deir Ezzor city after the Tiger Forces and the Republican Guard had liberated the key neighborhoods of al-Hamidiyah and Sheikh Yassin and advanced on the remaining ISIS positions in Ardhi and Rashdiyah.

On November 3, the SAA retook Uthaniyah and al-Hawiqah from ISIS and liberated the entire city.

The advance in Deir Ezzor came amid an intense fighting near Mahkan village southeast of the government-held town of Mayadin where ISIS has attacked the Syrian Arab Army (SAA). However, the terrorist group was not able to achieve any gains and lost 2 vehicles and at least 4 fighters.

On November 2, six Russian Tu-22M3 strategic bombers delivered the second strike in a row on ISIS targets near al-Bukamal destroying ISIS arms and ammunition depots, command posts and fortified areas near the town.

The strikes of the Russian bombers are aimed at destroying the ISIS defense facilities and stockpiles ahead of the upcoming storm of al-Bukamal by pro-government forces.

In the southwestern Aleppo countryside, clashes resumed between the SAA and Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra, the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda) in the area of al-Hass Mount. Initially, pro-government sources speculated that the military may attempt to reach Abu al-Duhur and the nearby airbase. However, this is unlikely amid an intense fighting in eastern Syria. Launching another big operation right now is a big risk for the Syrian government.

Clashes were also reported in the villages of Rahjan, al-Shakousiyah, al-Bayoudh, Sarha and Mushrafiyah in northern Hama.

According to experts, the front between Hayat Tahrir al-Sham and the SAA will remain relatively calm if the terrorist group is not able to concentrate enough manpower and equipment for some banzai attack in the last attempt to shift the situation for its own benefit.

The so-called rebels lost their last chance to dominate in Syria after the total loss in the battle for Aleppo city.













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ISIS' Self-Proclaimed "Caliphate" Is Witnessing Its Last Days In Syria And Iraq

https://southfront.org/isis-self-proclaimed-caliphate-is-witnessing-its-last-days-in-syria-and-iraq/

The self-proclaimed caliphate of ISIS has suffered a double blow in Syria and Iraq. While US-backed forces were democratically negotiating with ISIS-linked Arab tribes in the Omar oil fields and nearby areas, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) Tiger Forces and the Republican Guard supported by the Russian Aerospace Forces undemocratically crushed the ISIS defense inside Deir Ezzor city. On November 3, Syrian forces liberated Deir Ezzor after they had retaken all neighborhoods which were controlled by ISIS terrorists in the northern part of the city. On November 4, the SAA secured Kati’ Island north of Deir Ezzor and secured the recent gains.

The SAA lifted the three-years long ISIS siege from Deir Ezzor city on September 5 and from Deir Ezzor Airport on September 10. Government troops needed less than a month to liberate the entire area.

Meanwhile, the Iraqi Army and the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) often referred by the mainstream media as “Iranian proxies” broke the ISIS defense in the al-Qaim countryside. Iraqi forces liberated the town on November 3.

Thus, al-Bukamal remained the only major town controlled by ISIS on the highway between Deir Ezzor and Baghdad. As soon as the Syrian part of highway is liberated by the SAA and its allies, Iraq and Syria will establish a constant major supply line between two countries. Thus, the last gap in a land route linking Iran, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon will be filled.

Furthermore, a Russian-made T-90 battle tank and a Shilka vehicle equipped with the Syrian-made Sarab-1 active protection were spotted near al-Qaim inside Iraq. The both equipment pieces were operated under the flag of Kata’ib Hezbollah. Kata’ib Hezbollah is an Iranian-backed Iraqi Shia militia. It’s a part of the PMU and operates in both Syria and Iraq. In Syria, the group actively supports military operations of the Damascus government.

This is a clear evidence that Damascus, Baghdad, Tehran and Moscow coordinate their efforts against ISIS in the Syrian-Iraqi border area.

On November 1, November 2, November 3 and November 4, Russian Tu-22M3 strategic bombers conducted massive strikes on ISIS weapons depots, fortified positions and command posts near al-Bukamal. Russia’s attack submarine Kolpino also launched six Kalibr cruise missiles on ISIS positions in the area on November 3.

These strikes took place amid the ongoing Syrian advance on al-Bukamal. The SAA and Hezbollah are advancing on the town from the T2 pumping station direction and the Tiger Forces are advancing from the direction of al-Mayadin. According to local sources, ISIS members are in disarray in the town. So, it will not take many time from Syrian forces to liberate it.

As soon as al-Bukamal and Rawah, the ISIS-held Iraqi town on the eastern bank of Euphrates, are liberated, ISIS’ Caliphate will be officially defeated in Syria and Iraq. ISIS will become a common terrorist group without a unified control over territory and governing bodies.

According to local sources, right now a large number of ISIS members, especially foreigners, are fleeing Syria and Iraq. The former ISIS members will soon appear in their countries of origin across Europe, North Africa, Asia and Middle East. The ISIS leadership may also make attempt to use some African or Asian countries, like Libya, Egypt, Somalia, Malaysia, Philippines, Afghanistan and others, to establish new rear bases and training camps. However, without an independent source of revenue, like illegal oil trading, this effort will be unsuccessful without an additional support of some powers interested in spreading instability in the particular regions.

ISIS, in form of a terrorist state, is witnessing its last days. However, this does not mean that Syria and Iraq will face calm soon. There are still lots of ISIS sleeper cells and former ISIS supporters in these countries, a Syrian al-Qaeda branch (now known as Hayat Tahrir al-Sham) controls Idlib, and the Kurdish-Arab tensions are smoldering in northern Syria and Iraq. These issues cannot be ignored and will become an important part of the post-ISIS standoff in the region.













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Syria War Report – November 7, 2017: Syrian Army Pulverizes Al-Qaeda Positions In Northern Hama

https://southfront.org/syria-war-report-november-7-2017-syrian-army-pulverizes-al-qaeda-positions-in-northern-hama/

While the Syrian Tiger Forces and their allies are preparing for a final push towards the ISIS-held town of al-Bukamal, important developments are also taking place in the area west of the Ithriyah-Khanaser road.

Since October, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and the National Defense Forces (NDF) have been conducting a military operation in the  area against Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra, the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda) in order to expand the buffer zone near the Ithriyah-Khanaser part of the Ithriyah-Aleppo highway and to shorten the frontline in northeastern Hama.

Some pro-government sources even speculate that the SAA and the NDF may seek to reach the Abu Duhur Military Airbase, but this would take a large-scale advance, which would require deployment of additional reinforcements.

Recently, government forces have liberated the villages of Abu Ghar, Sarha Janubi, Mushayrifah, Husaywat, Jundya and Rasm Kahal and the hill of Sawan. The SAA and the NDF also entered Sarha Shamali where intense fighting was reported between government troops and terrorists.

Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) terrorists responded by attacking SAA positions north of al-Maqarayh and capturing Umm Turaykiyah and Al-Balil after repelling a government attack on Musharifah.

According to pro-opposition sources, the fighting is ongoing amid constant Russian airstrikes on terrorist weapons depots and convoys. However, the intensity of the strikes is relatively low.

As long as the town of al-Bukamal in eastern Syria is not liberated, the Syrian military cannot deploy the manpower and military equipment to the northeastern Hama frontline, which would allow them to crush the HTS defenses there and to reach the Abu Duhur Military Airbase. However, this moment may be closer than some HTS supporters would like to believe.













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Re: Trump on Syria - US airlifted ISIS commanders in Syria to safety
« Reply #636 on: Nov 08, 2017, 04:48:21 am »
 

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US airlifted ISIS commanders in Syria to safety: Witnesses

http://www.presstv.com/Detail/2017/11/08/541403/Syria-Mayadin-Daesh-commanders-US-airlift

'American aircraft reportedly airlifted Daesh commanders from a northwestern town in Syria before the Syrian army staged an offensive to liberate the town from the terrorists.

In a report on Tuesday, Russia’s RIA Novosti news agency cited several eyewitnesses as saying that US aircraft had recently picked up Daesh commanders from the town of Mayadin, which was later liberated.

“American military aviation first made a maneuver in the area […] near a Mayadin farm. Then [it] launched an airstrike, we tried to hide and saw several US helicopters. There were foreign Daesh commanders on the ground, who were waiting for them next to their headquarters… The helicopters took them outside of Mayadin,” said Muhammad Awad Hussein, a local shepherd.

He further said that he saw “US aviation… first a sound from it, then a massive strike that was followed by the US helicopters’ flight and transportation of Daesh leaders after which the airstrikes ceased.”

The 79-year-old said he had served in the Syrian army and could distinguish American aircraft.

Other locals told the agency they had seen cars taking two foreign Daesh commanders and their families from the town to a command post run by the Takfiri terror outfit. They said the ringleaders then boarded helicopters and headed from there to an unknown location.'


Read more: US airlifted ISIS commanders in Syria to safety: Witnesses



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Re: Trump on Syria - Nov 9 : Govt Liberate Al-Bukamal From ISIS
« Reply #637 on: Nov 10, 2017, 03:53:42 am »
 

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Syria War Report – November 9, 2017: Government Forces Liberate Al-Bukamal From ISIS

https://southfront.org/syria-war-report-november-9-2017-government-forces-liberate-al-bukamal-isis/

On November 8, pro-government forces successfully advanced northeast of the T2 pumping station, liberated Ratka oil field, Suwayyah, al-Hiri, Huwayjat Baghuz and entered the city of al-Bukamal at the Syrian-Iraqi border.

The Syrian Arab Army (SAA), the National Defense Forces and Hezbollah, supported by the Russian Aerospace Forces, participated in the operation from the Syrian side of the border. Harakat Hezbollah al-Nujaba of the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units participated from the Iraqi part of the border. Military advisers of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps assisted the advancing troops on the both sides of the border.

By November 9, the SAA and its allies are still in need to consolidate their recent gains in the area and to secure and demine al-Bukamal. ISIS terrorists control some points in the desert area north of the city and could use a wide network of underground tunnels to conduct counter-attacks.

ISIS lost the last its significant settlement in Syria. In November, the terrorist group will likely lost the remaining settlements. This will push ISIS to choose a guerrilla warfare as the main tool of its operations in Syria and Iraq.

Meanwhile, the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have tightened further its siege on the ISIS-held town of al-Busariyah. Within few days, the SDF captured Al-Qushayriyah, Al-Khan, al-Hereji, al-Khajjah and other nearby points.

The US-backed group is working to take control over the al-Busariyah-ash-Shaddaday road and prepare to storm al-Busariyah.
Eastern Syria is de-facto separated between pro-government and pro-US forces along the Euphrates River.

The SDF and the US-led coalition are working to secure their recent gains to strengthen their military and negotiating position in the post-ISIS era.













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Re: Trump on Syria - How Defeat Of ISIS Changes Prospects Of Conflict[
« Reply #638 on: Nov 12, 2017, 04:36:40 am »
 

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Syrian War: How Defeat Of ISIS Changes Prospects Of Conflict

https://southfront.org/syrian-war-defeat-isis-changes-prospects-conflict/

The liberation of al-Bukamal become another turning point marking the start of a new phase in the Syrian conflict. ISIS has lost all important cities, which it used to control in Syria, thus becoming just a terrorist group rather than a terrorist state.

The terrorist group still controls some villages in an area between al-Bukamal and Deir Ezzor, a part of the border between Syria and Iraq, a part of the Yarmouk Refugee Camp in Damascus and a chunk of territory near the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.

Many ISIS members are now fleeing the country in an attempt to reach safe havens around the world. The remaining terrorists will be involved in a guerilla war against the Syrian government and US-backed forces.

Now, Syria could be divided into 7 sectors controlled by various parties:

The Syrian government, backed by its allies – Iran, Hezbollah and Russia, controls the biggest part of the country, including the cities of Aleppo, Hama, Homs, Deir Ezzor, Damascus, Latakia, as-Suwayda and Tartus. However, the militant-held pockets inside the government-held area pose a significant security threat. The situation is especially complicated in Eastern Ghouta and the Yarmouk Refugee Camp. The pockets of Bayt Jinn, Jayrud and Rastan are relatively calm.

The situation is complicated in Daraa where Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra, the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda) and its allies are in control of a part of the provincial capital. The Russia-US de-escalation zone agreement in southern Syria allowed the intensity of fighting there to decrease. Despite this, clashes erupt from time to time in Daraa city and near the Golan Heights. Militants in southern Syria are mostly backed by Jordan, the US and Israel. Tel Aviv often uses tensions in the area to justify its strikes against Syrian forces and describes its support to local militants as a humanitarian assistance to the local population. It is interesting to note that Israel has no problems with the ISIS-linked Khalid ibn al-Walid Army, which operates near its forces. The so-called local armed opposition does not seek to fight ISIS there either.

The at-Tanf area on the Syrian-Iraqi border is controlled by the US-led coalition and a few US-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) groups. FSA units are concentrated around the US garrison at at-Tanf and in the nearby refugee camp. The US says that it needs this garrison to fight ISIS while in fact it is just preventing Syria and Iraq from using the Damascus-Baghdad highway as a supply line. US forces respond with airstrikes and shelling to any Syrian Arab Army (SAA) attempts to reach at-Tanf.

Northeastern Syria, including the cities of Raqqa, Tabqah, Hasakah and a part of Qamishli, is controlled by the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). Kurdish militias YPG and YPJ are a core of the SDF and the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) de-facto controls this area. A notable number of US military facilities and troops in this area are an important factor contributing to the SDF’s confidence. Some aggressive SDF statements against Damascus can serve as an illustration of this fact.

Northwestern Syria is also controlled by the SDF. However, the US influence in this area is lower and local Kurdish militias maintain better military relations with the Syrian-Iranian-Russian alliance. They also face more pressure from Turkey and its proxies.

Turkey and pro-Turkish militant groups control a chunk of the border area, including al-Bab, Azaz and Jarabulus, in northern Syria. Ankara has a strong position there and pro-Turkish militants have repeatedly clashed with SDF members near Tall Rifat.

Turkish forces are also deployed at the contact line with the SDF in the province of Idlib. However, almost the entire province is still controlled by Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS). This means that Ankara and the terrorist group have reached a kind of agreement over the deployment of the Turkish troops. Ankara actively uses various militant groups to pressure Kurdish forces, which it sees a part of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). The PKK operates in Turkey and northern Iraq and has been seeking for a long time to establish an independent Kurdish state there.

Clashes of various intensity between the SAA and HTS have been ongoing in northern and northeastern Hama since October. This clearly shows that the Idlib de-escalation agreement is not working and creates HTS positions in the area, which will be an obvious target for the expected SAA operation after ISIS is driven out from the rest of villages in the Euphrates Valley. According to pro-government sources, the SAA has already started redeploying elite units from Deir Ezzor to Hama.

Experts believe that the mid-term SAA goal there is to further expand buffer zone along the Ithriyah-Khanaser-Aleppo highway and to liberate Abu ad-Duhur. This will allow to shorten frontline and increase a concentration of troops and equipment on the contact line when the so-called opposition decides that it’s time to negotiate.

Another possible hot point is Daraa. Local militants will resume their military activity in the city if they see that their Idlib counterparts have become a target of a large-scale SAA operation.

Now, Russia, the US, Turkey, Iran and Syria are increasing their diplomatic activity in order to find a way, which could allow work to start on developing a final political settlement of the crisis. They all have objective limits to their influence on the ground and some contradictory goals. This complicates the situation, especially amid a lack of strategic vision from the US which, according even to American experts, has no long-term strategy for Syria. The US elites and their Israeli and Saudi counterparts are especially dissatisfied with the strengthened position of Hezbollah and Iran.

If the sides are not able to find common ground in the nearest future, the conflict may easily give rise to a new round of violence.













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Re: Trump on Syria Nov 13 : ISIS Conducts Counter-Attack Al-Bukamal
« Reply #639 on: Nov 14, 2017, 05:53:18 am »
 

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Syria War Report – November 13, 2017: ISIS Conducts Suicide Attempt To Seize Back Al-Bukamal

https://southfront.org/syria-war-report-november-13-2017-isis-conducts-suicide-attempt-to-seize-back-al-bukamal/

The battle for al-Bukamal heated up last weekend as ISIS terrorists conducted a successful counter-attack against the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and Hezbollah in the border city.

According to local sources, ISIS re-established control over a major part of the city on Sunday after two days of intense fighting in its vicinity and inside it. ISIS reportedly used at least 10 anti-tank guided missiles against pro-government combat units and had deployed additional reinforcements from other areas in Syria and Iraq.

Hazem al-Barghash, a member of the ISIS Shura Council – a top body of the terrorist group, and three ISIS military commanders – Hani al-Thalgi, Abu Munzer al-Shishani and Abu Mohamad al-Safi – died in the city.

Experts link the fierce ISIS resistance with the presence of more influential ISIS members in the area. The Hezbollah-linked media even reported that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was allegedly spotted in the area.

Another issue, which led to problems faced by government troops in al-Bukamal, is a lack of the coordination between the assault groups advancing from the T2 pumping station and forces deployed near al-Mayadin city. The Tiger Forces and other pro-government units deployed near al-Mayadin de-facto started their push towards al-Bukamal only on Sunday when the situation became very complicated.

Meanwhile, the Russian Defense Ministry denied reports that ISIS retook al-Bukamal and called these reports propaganda. The ministry said that the SAA has been in full control of the city since Friday and now are securing the area and destroying the remaining centers of resistance.

However, no photos or videos confirming a full control over the city still exist. The city remains besieged but is still not under full control of the allies.

Clashes also continued in northeastern Hama and in an area west of the Ithriyah-Khanasser highway where the SAA captured Hasnwi and Abu al-Ghurr from Hayat Tahrir al-Sham and entered the village of Rashadiyah. The situation remains tense.

On Saturday, the Israeli media started disseminating reports that the US and Russia have reached an agreement, which would push Iranian-backed forces from an area close to the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. The reports appeared on the same day when Russia and the US issued a joint statement on Syria after a brief conversation between Trump and Putin on the sideline of the APEC conference in Vietnam. The released statement does not refer directly to Iran, Iranian-backed forces or Hezbollah and indeed includes nothing new about the attitudes of the sides. The Israeli media reports are just another move in the ongoing media campaign against the Syrian-Iranian-Russian alliance after Tel Aviv failed to achieve the Russian support in limiting the Shia influence in Syria. Even if Moscow wants to make some trade-off with Israel, it has own limitations in this effort. The conflict is deeply integrated into the military and diplomatic standoff in the Middle East. The region is on the verge of the war, which may involve Israel, Saudi Arabia, Hezbollah and Iran.

Last weekend, the BBC released a report claiming that Iran is establishing permanent military base inside Syria. It’s located outside El-Kiswah, 14 km south of Damascus. Israel has repeatedly claimed that it “will not let that happen.” However, the only Israeli option to fulfill this promise is a military action.













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Syria War Report – November 15, 2017: Syrian Army Turns Militants Back In Northern Hama

https://southfront.org/syria-war-report-november-15-2017-syrian-army-turns-militants-back-in-northern-hama/


On November 14, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and the National Defense Forces (NDF) repelled a joint advance of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, Ahrar al-Sham and Faylaq al-Rahman in the Eastern Ghouta de-escalation zone, near Damascus.

The militants attacked the Armored Vehicle Base near the village of Harsta from the northern and eastern directions and used a car bomb to break the SAA defense there. They failed to achieve their goal. SAA Major General Walid Khawashqi was killed during the clashes.

The so-called opposition sees the expected defeat of ISIS as a threat to its security because it would allow the SAA to focus on the militant-held pockets across Syria.

In northern Hama, the SAA and the NDF have liberated the villages of Hasnawi, Qasr Shawi, Muwaylih Shamali, Mhassar, Rabiah, Hamra Silos and Mhassar Hill. The government advance came amid the continued tensions between Hayat Tahrir al-Sham and the Nour al-Din al-Zenki Movement in the southwestern Aleppo countryside. This opens an additional opportunities for government forces to expand their control in the area close to Abu ad Duhur.

In eastern Deir Ezzor, the SAA Tiger Forces advanced towards the city of al-Bukamal, captured the village of Bir Daham, the hill of Milhim and entered the Ward fields.

The situation in al-Bukamal itself remains unclear. The SAA and Hezbollah are clashing with ISIS there.

Russia has never promised the US and Israel a withdrawal of Iranian forces from Syria, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov announced on November 14. He added that the presence of Iranian forces in the country is legitimate.

Lavrov denied Israeli media reports that the US-Russian ceasefire agreement in southern Syria included a Russian commitment to ensure that Iranian-backed forces would withdraw from Syria.

“If you look at who is the greatest danger, it’s just the wards of the United States, various foreign terrorists, militants who are attached to those groups of armed opposition that the US supports,” Lavrov added.

Lavrov’s statement proved that Moscow has much less understanding with Washington and Tel Aviv than the Israeli media wants to show.














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Re: Trump on Syria - Nov 16 : Fierce Fighting Erupts In Eastern Ghouta
« Reply #641 on: Nov 17, 2017, 04:26:10 am »
 

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Syrian War Report – November 16, 2017: Fierce Fighting Erupts In Eastern Ghouta

https://southfront.org/syrian-war-report-november-16-2017-fierce-fighting-erupts-in-eastern-ghouta/

On November 15, Ahrar al-Sham officially declared a start of the operation to capture the Armored Vehicle Base and the nearby area from the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) in Eastern Ghouta near Damascus.

Ahrar al-Sham, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra, the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda) and Faylaq al-Rahman launched their advance on November 14. Since then, an intense fighting has been ongoing in the area.

However, the official Ahrar al-Sham offensive declaration means that this is not a limited effort. The ceasefire region in Eastern Ghouta collapsed.

On November 15, the SAA and its allies captured the villages of Hazm, Kikiyah, al-Arfa and Rabdah from Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) in northern Hama.

Meanwhile, the HTS-linked news agency Iba’a announced that HTS recaptured Sarha village and Sarha hill in the nearby area. According to Iba’a, the SAA lost at least 3 soldiers and a battle tank in the clashes.

On the same day, six Russian Tu-22M3 strategic bombers carried out a massive strike on ISIS targets near the border city of al-Bukamal.

According to the Russian and Syrian defense ministries, al-Bukamal should be in hands of pro-government forces and only few ISIS members remained in the city. However, according to photos and videos from the area, clashes are still ongoing there.

The Hezbollah media wing in Syria claimed that the US-led coalition is hindering the SAA efforts to establish control over al-Bukamal. The coalition is reportedly jamming the SAA communications and even blocking some part of the airspace over al-Bukamal.

The ISIS-linked news agency Amaq, claimed that ISIS members killed 7 SAA members, destroyed a bulldozer, a battle tank and damaged another battle tank in the al-Bukamal area.













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US won't be constrained by UN Security Council in Syria: Haley

http://www.presstv.com/Detail/2017/11/18/542640/US-politics-Russian-security-council-Syria-chemical-weapons-Nikki-Haley


'The United States does not consider itself constrained by the UN Security Council and may seek “justice” in Syria on its own terms, says the US representative to the UN, Nikki Haley.

Haley said on Friday that with or without unity of the council, Washington “will continue to fight for justice and accountability in Syria.”

She made the remarks after Russia vetoed a UN resolution that sought to extend the mandate of the international investigation into chemical weapons use in Syria.

The mandate for the US-drafted resolution, known as Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM), expired on Friday. This was the third time in a month Russia vetoed attempts at the UN to extend the inquiry.

The council’s permanent member, Russia agreed to the creation of the investigation two years ago, but it has consistently questioned its work and conclusions. It has repeatedly cited flaws in the work on instigators.

Russia’s UN ambassador Vassily Nebenzia said on Friday that the investigation could only be extended if “fundamental flaws in its work” were fixed. He said that for the past two years the investigators had “rubber-stamped baseless accusations against Syria.”'


Read more: US won't be constrained by UN Security Council in Syria: Haley



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