- Breaking: Syrian Army begins first phase of East Ghouta offensive
- Syrian Army begins amassing forces in Harasta for next East Ghouta offensive
- US Coalition should stop ‘occupation attitude’ in Syria – Russian envoy to UN
- Turkish-backed rebels capture key military camp near Turkish border
- Netanyahu happy with Trump’s embassy move to occupied East Jerusalem (
- What does the latest 30 day ceasefire in the East Ghouta mean?
- Iran accuses US of aiding ISIS in Syria
- Kurdish SDF to hand over Manbij in northern Aleppo to Syrian Army: report
- New satellite image confirms Su-57 jets in Syria
- UNSC vote cannot be used as pretext for military action – Russian ambassador
- Breaking: Al-Qaeda almost wiped-out by rival Islamist militant faction in northwest Syria after brutal 4-day annihilation battle
- Breaking: Another Syrian Army Tiger Forces assault battalion arrives in Damascus for mother of all battles offensive
- Breaking video: Russian warplanes carpet bomb militant stronghold after attack on Syrian minority towns in north Hama
- Armored rebel assault on Syrian Army sees militants get blown out of their socks, suffer embarrassing losses – video, statistics
- VIDEO: New Syrian Army armored division heads towards east Damascus with over 100 tanks, armored fighting vehicles
- Syrian militants fire over 70 missiles and shells into Damascus during single day, hit civilian evacuation points
- Another two Russian Su-57 jets land at Hmeymim Airbase in Syria
- Jihadist offensive near occupied Golan Heights meant to alleviate pressure on East Ghouta
- No Syrian Army troops have entered Afrin
- Merkel pleads for UN resolution on Ghouta (video)
- Surprise jihadist attack near occupied Golan Heights ends in failure
- Putin awards Hero of Russia title to pilot killed in Syria (video)
- Breaking: ISIS prisoners break-out of US-backed forces captivity in Syria
- Turkey claims nearly 2,000 YPG, ISIS fighters ‘neutralized’ in Afrin
- UN Security Council to vote on Syria ceasefire resolution Saturday at noon
Posted: 24 Feb 2018 11:44 PM PST
BEIRUT, LEBANON (9:35 A.M.) – At approximately 8:30 A.M. (Damascus Time), the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) kicked off the first phase of their long-awaited East Ghouta offensive.
Led by their 4th Division, the Syrian Arab Army stormed the Al-Nashabiyah area of the East Ghouta, seizing several points around the Air Defense Battalion, while advancing in the direction of Hazrama and Tal Farzat.
Should the Syrian Army capture the strategic hilltop of Tal Farzat, they will ultimately have fire control over Al-Nashabiyah.
This part of the East Ghouta is under the control of Jaysh Al-Islam, which is a group that refused to attend the Russian sponsored Sochi Peace Conference in January.
More details to come…
The Syrian Army is also amassing forces at the Harasta front; however, this axis will be the primary target of the Tiger Forces.
Posted: 24 Feb 2018 11:24 PM PST
BEIRUT, LEBANON (8:50 A.M.) – The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) has begun amassing forces at the Harasta front in the East Ghouta after a 30 day ceasefire was implemented by in the areas that do not have a Jabhat Al-Nusra and Islamic State (ISIS).
According to a military source in Damascus, the Syrian Arab Army’s Tiger Forces, 4th Division, and Republican Guard will be concentrated along the Harasta, Jobar, ‘Ayn Tarma, and Arbeen fronts.
In addition to the aforementioned units, the Syrian Army is also sending shock troops from the 7th and 9th divisions to these fronts in order to strengthen their forces at this part of the East Ghouta region.
The main offensive is expected to begin next week; however, a preliminary attack has reportedly started this morning.
Posted: 24 Feb 2018 09:54 PM PST
Russian envoy to the United Nations called on the United States to stop the “occupation” actions, to let the Syrian government recover peaceful life on the territories, freed of terrorists.
Russia has urged the US-led anti-terrorist coalition to cease its “occupation attitude” in Syria, Russian Ambassador to the United Nations Vassily Nebenzia said at the UN Security Council's session on Saturday.
"We insist on the immediate cessation of the occupation attitude of the so-called coalition, which will have, among other things, a distinct humanitarian effect. It would allow the Syrian government to engage in the restoration of a normal life on all territories, liberated from the terrorists," Nebenzia said.
Earlier in the day, the UN Security Council has unanimously adopted a resolution introducing a 30-day truce on Syrian territory. The resolution aims to allow the medical evacuation of those injured and provide access to number of regions for humanitarian convoys.
“I would like to express my deep concern over the public statements of certain US officials who are threatening aggression against sovereign Syria. We immediately warn that we will not allow an arbitrary interpretation of the newly adopted resolution,” Nebenzia said after the adoption of the document.
The US-led anti-terrorist coalition is acting in Syria without UN approval or coordination with the Syrian government. Syrian permanent representative to the United Nations Bashar Jaafari told the UN Security Council earlier, that the coalition had intentionally destroyed 90 percent of Syria's town of Raqqa.
Posted: 24 Feb 2018 09:38 PM PST
BEIRUT, LEBANON (7:15 A.M.) – The Turkish-backed rebels managed to take control of an imperative military camp that is located in the Afrin region of Aleppo this week, forcing the YPG to retreat further towards the Syrian Arab Army’s (SAA) front-lines.
Led by the Free Syrian Army (FSA), the Turkish-backed rebels took control of the Omaratli Military Camp near the Aleppo-Turkey border after a fierce battle with the YPG forces.
Below is a video of the Free Syrian Army capturing this site:
As a result of this advance, the Turkish-backed rebels now control more than 20 percent of the Afrin region after a month of being on the offensive.
Posted: 24 Feb 2018 06:57 PM PST
BEIRUT, LEBANON (4:40 A.M.) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed his happiness with US President Donald Trump’s decision to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem in a TV address from West Jerusalem, on Saturday.
“This is a great moment for the state of Israel. President Trump’s decision to move the American Embassy to Jerusalem will make our independence day celebrations even happier,” he said.
Trump recognised Jerusalem as the capital of Israel on December 6, 2017, in a live televised address from Washington DC, simultaneously starting the process of relocating the US embassy from Tel Aviv.
The announcement sparked a wave of protests throughout the world.
Posted: 24 Feb 2018 05:59 PM PST
BEIRUT, LEBANON (3:25 A.M.) – The United Nations Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution on Saturday that called for a 30 day ceasefire to immediately be implemented in the East Ghouta region of Damascus.
Based on the terms of the resolution, all areas absent of the Islamic State (ISIS) and Jabhat Al-Nusra will be under this agreement.
Since the Islamic State does not actually have a presence in the East Ghouta, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) will focus on the jihadist group Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham (formerly Jabhat Al-Nusra and Jabhat Fateh Al-Sham).
According to a military source in Damascus, Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham currently has a presence inside the following suburbs: Jobar, ‘Ayn Tarma, Harasta, and Arbeen.
These aforementioned suburbs have the largest concentration of Faylaq Al-Rahman fighters and were already targeted by the Syrian Army prior to the ceasefire.
Almost all areas controlled by Faylaq Al-Rahman have a Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham presence, which leaves their territory out of the ceasefire deal.
Both the Syrian Army and Russian military have repeatedly warned Faylaq Al-Rahman about allowing HTS to operate within their territory; however, they refuse to expel the latter from the East Ghouta.
Posted: 24 Feb 2018 05:13 PM PST
The US has been transferring Daesh militants from Syrian cities to outside of the region on a regular basis, which undermines the fight against terrorists, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif noted, speaking at Tehran University during an event called “the Patterns of Regional Order in the Post-ISIS (Daesh) Era” on Saturday.
“The terrorist communication network remains in place, their leaders remain primed, and they still receive financial support; so we must expect the re-emergence of the threat any day,” the minister added.
The top Iranian diplomat also stressed that it is not enough to destroy Daesh territorially, as its sources of financial and ideological support still remain in place.
“One of the West's major mistakes is that they believe that Daesh is over, but the conditions that created Daesh in the region are still present. Daesh is the birth child of the US invasion of Iraq and, before that, the Israeli oppression against the Palestinian people,” Zarif said.
Zarif’s speech comes after earlier this month, Chief of Iranian General Staff Major General Mohammad Hossein Baqeri accused the US of transferring Daesh terrorists to Afghanistan after the jihadist group’s defeats in Syria and Iraq.
The US has been accused numerous times of providing various forms of support to Daesh and other terrorist groups operating in the region.
On Wednesday, the source from the Syrian town of al-Hasakah told Sputnik that local people had witnessed US helicopters allegedly taking away some of the Daesh terrorists, detained in town’s prison.
In mid-December, the Russian Ministry of Defense accused the US-led coalition of using the al-Hasakah-based camp to train jihadist militants who had been reorganized into the so-called “New Syrian Army.”
Damascus stated that US air power had been used on numerous occasions to rescue terrorist leaders from their imminent destruction at the hands of the Syrian army and even to stage “accidental” attacks on Syrian forces as they advanced against the militants.
The US, however, has denied all accusations. The US-led coalition of over 60 states has been conducting a military operation in Syria, ostensibly aimed at fighting Daesh since 2014, though its military presence was requested neither by the country’s government nor by the UN.
Posted: 24 Feb 2018 03:24 PM PST
Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic forces (SDF) have agreed on the transfer of control over the northeast city of Manbij in the Aleppo province to the Syrian army that will enter the city in the coming days, a Kurdish security source told Sputnik on Saturday.
“The agreement was reached, under which the Syrian Arab Republic's army will enter the city of Manbij, controlled by the SDF," the source said.
On January 20, the Turkish General Staff announced the beginning of the Operation Olive Branch, aimed against certain Kurdish forces, in Afrin. Ankara considers the Democratic Union Party (PYD), a Kurdish political party in northern Syria, and Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) militia affiliates of the Turkish Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) listed as a terror organization in Turkey.
Following the launch of the operation, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Ankara's operation may be expanded to the city of Manbij and other Syrian regions bordering Turkey. Damascus has expressed its opposition to the Turkish operation, saying that such actions violated Syrian sovereignty.
Earlier, the Kurdish forces reported that 308 Turkish servicemen were killed since the start of the Olive Branch operation in Afrin. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan claimed however, that Ankara could extend its third military advance, vowing to “completely clear the region of terrorists, beginning with Manbij and throughout our entire border.”
Posted: 24 Feb 2018 03:14 PM PST
BEIRUT, LEBANON (1:00 A.M.) – A new satellite image posted by ISI revealed the arrival of the Russian Su-57 fighter jets to the Hmaymim Military Airport on February 23rd.
The ISI image specifically revealed the first deployment of two fifth generation Su-57 jets that were rumored to have arrived at the Hmaymim Airport after an image was posted from the southwestern countryside of Latakia.
Since the arrival of these two Su-57 jets, two more of these warplanes have been deployed to the Hmaymim Airport.
On Friday, two more Su-57 jets were spotted above the Hmaymim Airport after making the long journey from Russia.
Posted: 24 Feb 2018 02:58 PM PST
BEIRUT, LEBANON (12:55 A.M.) – Russian Ambassador to the United Nations Vasily Nebenzya said that negotiations were prolonged “to make sure that is not used as a pretext for any military action” speaking after the UNSC meeting in New York, Saturday.
“We wanted to make sure that is not used as a pretext for any military action. Because we heard some troublesome, worrying comments on that in recent days, and including today, some of the very bellicose,” the Russian ambassador said.
“It’s not only about eastern Ghouta, because we have to attend to all Syria, and the resolution says throughout Syria,” he added, while refusing to comment on Turkey’s Afrin operation inside northwest Syria.
SOURCE: UNIFEED-UNTV, Ruptly
Posted: 24 Feb 2018 11:06 AM PST
BEIRUT, LEBANON (9:05 P.M.) – Al-Qaeda affiliate militia Ha’yat Tahrir al-Sham (better known as Jabhat al-Nusra), long considered to be the dominate rebel faction among all non-ISIS insurgent groups, is on the verge of being completely wiped-out in northwestern Syria (its traditional stronghold) following four days of constant defeats to rival Islamist militia Jabhat Tahrir Souriya.
According to sources, the all-new rebel group Jabhat Tahrir Souriya has completely driven Ha’yat Tahrir al-Sham from fitly percent of the territory it once held across Syria’s militant-controlled northwest just half-a-week earlier.
After 100 hours of clashes, casualties for both sides now runs into the many hundreds.
Today alone, Jabhat Tahrir Souriya seized the key towns of Binish, Ta’om, Ram Hamdan, and Maart Masreen from Ha’yat Tahrir al-Sham who was driven in rout from its positions and bases near and within these settlements under a hail of artillery and heavy machine gun fire.
At the present time, Jabhat Tahrir Souriya is mobilizing for an assault to storm and retake the city of Idlib from Ha’yat Tahrir al-Sham, the Al-Qaeda affiliate’s largest and most important stronghold in all of northwest Syria.
Never before in the history of inter-rebel conflict within Syria has the power of Syria’s original Al-Qaeda affiliate group been so fundamentally compromised by a rival faction – yet alone so swiftly.
Posted: 24 Feb 2018 07:17 AM PST
BEIRUT, LEBANON (5:15 P.M.) – Another key assault unit of the Syrian Army’s elite Tiger Forces Division has arrived in Damascus amid the the ongoing build up of government forces near the capital for a major offensive operation against militant groups across its eastern countryside.
The newly arrived unit – about the size of Soviet-era infantry battalion – belongs to the elite division’s Tarmah group.
Like the rest of the Tamah regiment, the unit specially functions in the force-reconnaissance role, being specially equipped and trained for ‘tip of the spear’ storming operations against militant defenses.
Larger parts of the Tamah group (as well as the Taha group) already arrived in Damascus several days ago via a convoy of trucks and tanks several kilometers in length.
Despite the preliminary bombardment of militant positions throughout East Ghouta by air and artillery forces (ongoing since almost a week ago now), the Syrian Army still continues to gather troops and heavy equipment near Damascus from all over the country for what will clearly be a mother of all battles for the Syrian capital.
Posted: 24 Feb 2018 06:33 AM PST
BEIRUT, LEBANON (4:30 P.M.) – On Saturday, Russian warplanes carried out a major bombardment of the militant-controlled fortress town of Al-Latamenah in the northern countryside of Hama province.
Using a range of conventional munitions – including high-explosive, thermobaric (fuel-air) and bunker buster bombs – Russian airpower hit insurgent gatherings, movements, tactical positions and underground bases throughout the rebel stronghold with well over a dozen strikes.
The heavy airstrikes by Russian jets was a direct response to the indiscriminate shelling of the predominately Christian town of Saqilbiyah and the Alawite village of Tal Salhab (both under government control) by armed rebel factions the night before.
The town of Al-Latamenah is controlled by Free Syrian Army affiliate group Jaysh al-Izza. It possess a sophisticated network of defenses (including underground bases) in and around it.
In general, the settlement (nearly a city by Syrian standards) serves as a key mobilization point for militant groups to launch major assaults against the Syrian Army throughout northern Hama.
Posted: 24 Feb 2018 06:00 AM PST
BEIRUT, LEBANON (4:00 P.M.) – On Saturday morning, Israeli-backed Syrian militant groups operating in the western countryside of Qunietra province (near the occupied Golan Heights) launched an assault – backed by armor – against pro-government forces.
The rebel attackers mobilized and launched their assault from the militant-held town of Hamidiyah towards Syrian Army positions around the government-controlled town of Al-Baath.
In the event, the Syrian Army and local pro-government paramilitary units annihilate the leading elements of the rebel assault party – breaking up its ranks with cannon and heavy machine gun fire as well as anti-tank missiles.
So sudden and overwhelming was the response by the Syrian Army and allied forces that the militant attack was called-off within minutes of making first contact.
According to military-affiliated sources, Syrian pro-government forces killed at least five insurgent fighters belonging to shock troop units and destroyed two armored fighting vehicles – a main battle tank and a Shilka self-propelled anti-aircraft gun.
Posted: 24 Feb 2018 05:26 AM PST
BEIRUT, LEBANON (3:25 P.M.) – Amid the ongoing build up of Syrian Army forces in Damascus for an upcoming offensive against militant groups across the capital’s East Ghouta region is now arriving the 10th Mechanized Division, bringing with it all of its assigned troops and heavy equipment.
On Saturday, the division’s 62nd Brigade arrived in the Syrian capital from the its de facto posting in Qatana (western Rif Dimashq) with tens of main battle tanks and BMP-1 infantry fighting vehicles, at least one dozen howitzers as well as many hundreds of storming troops.
Like other military convoys seen arriving in Damascus over the last week, the convoy for 62nd Brigade was kilometers long.
In total, 10th Mechanized Division possess well over one hundred tanks and other armored fighting vehicles.
Most, if not all of the division’s remaining brigades are expected to deploy towards Damascus as the Syrian Army continues to build up its forces for the upcoming offensive against armed rebel factions embedded throughout the capital’s eastern countryside.
Posted: 24 Feb 2018 04:49 AM PST
BEIRUT, LEBANON (2:50 P.M.) – Syrian militant groups operating east of Damascus have, during the course of a single day, unleashed a crescendo rocket and shell fire onto civilian targets within the capital, also targeting government-run evacuation points for people attempting to escape rebel-controlled areas.
According to reports, Friday has witnessed militant artillery units fire-off 71 rocket (including ballistic designs) and mortar explosive projectiles at various government-controlled neighborhoods and evacuation sites across Damascus.
At least thirty projectiles hit the Dahiyat Al-Assad suburb and another 10 hit the Jaramana suburb.
Furthermore, eight projectiles struck the Al-Wafideen camp site where the Syrian Army has set up an evacuation point for civilians attempting to escape militant-held areas of East Ghouta.
The remainder of the rockets and mortar rounds landed across the districts of Mazzeh, Bab Tuma, Kassa and Rukn Ad-Deen.
As of Saturday, the civilian casualty toll has bene tallied at three killed and 60 injured – among this some 14 children.
Posted: 24 Feb 2018 03:08 AM PST
Two more Russian fifth generation Su-57 stealth fighters have arrived at Syria’s Hmeymim Airbase, Sputnik Arabic reported, referring to local media outlets.
Wael Al Hussaini tweeted that the Su-57s were escorted by Russian 4+ generation Sui-30SM multi-role fighter jets before landing at Hmeymim Airbase.
Earlier this week, Al Hussani reported about the deployment of the first two Su-57 fighters in Hmeymin, something that has yet to be confirmed by the Russian Defense Ministry.
Russian lawmaker Vladimir Gutenov told Sputnik that while he could not independently confirm the Su-57s’ deployment to Syria, he “whole-heartedly welcomed” the reports.
According to him, the presence of the Su-57s will doubtlessly send a political message, serving as a deterrent “for aircraft from neighboring states which periodically fly into” Syrian airspace uninvited.
In August 2017, Russian Aerospace Forces Commander Col. Gen. Viktor Bondarev said that the country’s fifth-generation fighter jet, formerly known as Prospective Airborne Complex of Frontline Aviation (PAK FA), or Sukhoi T-50, has officially been named the Su-57.
Designed for air superiority and attack roles, the Su-57 is fitted with a sophisticated avionics system capable of autonomous battlefield calculations, allowing it to assist the pilot.
Additionally, the plane is equipped with an active airborne phased array radar, which helps the Su-57 detect air, ground and naval targets at distances far beyond most modern systems.
Posted: 24 Feb 2018 02:42 AM PST
BEIRUT, LEBANON (12:30 P.M.) – In a bid to alleviate the pressure on their allies in the East Ghouta region of Damascus, the jihadist rebels launched a powerful assault near the occupied Golan Heights this morning.
Led by Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham, the jihadist rebels attempted to capture several points from the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) near the key city of Al-Ba’ath in the Al-Quneitra Governorate.
However, the jihadist offensive would fail after a short battle with the Syrian Arab Army and National Defense Forces (NDF) outside of Al-Ba’ath.
According to a military source in Damascus, the jihadist rebels attempted to take advantage of the recent redeployment of the 7th and 9th divisions from southwest Syria to the East Ghouta.
Despite the redeployment of the 7th and 9th divisions, the Syrian Arab Army and their allies from the National Defense Forces were able to overpower the swarming jihadist rebels before they could seize any ground.
Posted: 24 Feb 2018 02:27 AM PST
BEIRUT, LEBANON (12:15 P.M.) – No Syrian Arab Army (SAA) troops have entered the Afrin region of Aleppo, a military source in Aleppo told Al-Masdar News on Saturday morning.
According to the military source, the Syrian Army has been ordered to remain in Aleppo city and absent from the Afrin front.
The source added that the Syrian Army agreed to stay out of the battle after the Russian military held a meeting with their Turkish counterparts.
While the Syrian Army is absent from Afrin, the pro-government National Defense Forces (NDF) have entered this region to aid the Kurdish-led YPG.
The NDF coordinates with the Syrian Army, but they are not an actual branch of the military, which means they can operate autonomously if need be.
Posted: 24 Feb 2018 02:10 AM PST
BEIRUT, LEBANON (12:05 P.M.) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel hopes the UN will reach a resolution on the situation in the Syrian region of Eastern Ghouta, speaking in Brussels on Friday.
“Macron and I today wrote a letter with regard to the terrible situation in eastern Ghouta and Syria,” the German Chancellor said.
She added that “we urged the Russian president (Vladimir Putin) to do everything to make it possible for a resolution to be passed in the UN Security Council today.”
“Hundreds of thousands of people are living in absolutely disastrous humanitarian conditions. I very much hope that it will be possible to pass such a resolution tonight,” Merkel stated.
On Friday, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) postponed a vote on a draft resolution to enact a 30-day ceasefire across Syria, which will allow emergency aid to be delivered to areas such as the Eastern Ghouta.
Posted: 24 Feb 2018 01:47 AM PST
BEIRUT, LEBANON (11:30 A.M.) – The jihadist rebels launched a surprise attack inside the Al-Quneitra Governorate on Saturday, targeting the Syrian Arab Army’s (SAA) positions near Al-Ba’ath City.
Led by Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham, the jihadist rebels attacked the Syrian Arab Army’s (SAA) defenses at Al-Ba’ath in a bid to capture several points around the city.
However, the jihadist assault would be short-lived, as the Syrian Arab Army and National Defense Forces (NDF) managed to foil all infiltration attempts to capture these points.
Today’s assault by the jihadist rebels marks the first time this year that they have targeted Al-Ba’ath City in rural Al-Quneitra.
Posted: 24 Feb 2018 01:05 AM PST
BEIRUT, LEBANON (10:55 A.M.) – Russian President Vladimir Putin handed the star for the Hero of Russia to the family of the fallen pilot, Roman Filipov, during a ceremony on the Day of Defender of the Fatherland in Moscow, Friday.
The medal was given to the widow of the deceased pilot Olga Filipova. The hero's parents also attended the ceremony.
According to the Russian leader, Filipov “took an unequal battle with terrorists. He did not give up, did not retreat. And we have every right to compare him with the heroes – defenders of the Brest Fortress, defenders of Moscow, Stalingrad.”
“The death of Roman is an irreplaceable loss for relatives, friends and comrades. We all mourn with you and share this pain. Hats off to you. Thank you for bringing up a brave, worthy son,” Putin said.
The Russian Ministry of Defence says Filipov's jet was “attacked with a short-range man-portable air defence system (MANPADS/MPADS) while flying over the Idlib de-escalation zone to monitor a ceasefire.”
The pilot was forced to eject from the aircraft and then blew himself up with a grenade as several dozens of militants circled him.
The pilot was posthumously represented with the title of the Hero of Russia. Roman Filipov was burried on the Heroes’ Alley in Voronezh.
Posted: 24 Feb 2018 12:55 AM PST
BEIRUT, LEBANON (10:54 A.M.) – A group of Islamic State fighters who were in the custody of US-backed forces in Syria have escaped from their captivity according to a CNN report claiming to cite an American official.
A statement from CNN’s exclusive source vaguely claimed that the break-out had happened ‘recently’ and that the group of escapees comprised ‘less than five’ prisoners.
The exact location in Syria where the terrorist prisoners were being held has not been disclosed in CNN’s report.
There are believed to be many hundreds of ISIS fighters currently held in detention by US-backed forces at various ad-doc prison facilities across Syria’s east and northeast.
This is particularly true since US-backed forces launched their Al-Jazeera Storm operation in Deir Ezzor province in September 2017.
Russian military authorities have accused the United States of engaging in the reckless policy of retraining over one thousand ISIS detainees and then re-flagging them as ‘democratic forces.’
Posted: 24 Feb 2018 12:53 AM PST
BEIRUT, LEBANON (10:45 A.M.) – The Turkish General Staff claimed on Saturday that nearly 2,000 YPG and Islamic State (ISIS) fighters have been ‘neutralized’ in the Afrin region of Aleppo since the start of Operation Olive Branch on January 20th.
According to the Turkish General Staff’s statement, the total number of YPG and ISIS fighters neutralized in the Afrin region is currently 1,931.
In addition to 1,931 enemy fighters neutralized, the Turkish General Staff claimed that at least 782 “terrorist targets” had been destroyed since the start of Operation Olive Branch.
The Turkish-backed forces are now advancing along the Jandaris axis, where they have managed to besiege the YPG forces.
Posted: 24 Feb 2018 12:26 AM PST
The UN Security Council will vote on the Syria ceasefire resolution on Saturday at noon, Kuwait's Ambassador to the United Nations Mansour Ayyad Otaibi told reporters.
“We are working to have a consensus, draft resolution, and hopefully the council will be united, all of them, all fifteen will vote in favor of this draft resolution,” Otaibi said on Friday.
The ambassador said the vote will take place “tomorrow at noon,” adding that the Security Council is very close to reaching an agreement.
Earlier, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov expressed concern over the proposed UN Security Council resolution on Syria, saying that it may aim to accuse Damascus of everything. The minister also expressed suspicions that western countries want to shift focus away from the necessity of starting the Geneva talks to launching plan “B”.
The humanitarian situation in the suburb of Eastern Ghouta, east of the Syrian capital, has drastically deteriorated since February 18, when Syrian government forces launched an operation codenamed "Damascus Steel," in a bid to clear the region of Islamist units such as Jaysh al-Islam, but also Jabhat Fatah al-Sham (formerly known as al-Nusra Front), Ahrar al-Sham and Failaq al-Rahman. Russia has called on the illegal armed groups to cease resistance and surrender, the militants, however, ignored those appeals.
Eastern Ghouta is one of four Syrian de-escalation zones created during the Astana Syrian reconciliation talks. Russia, Iran and Turkey are serving as guarantors of the de-escalation agreements.
Earlier, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said that Russia was working within the UN Security Council to prepare a resolution on humanitarian issues in the suburb.
US Department of States said that Damascus airforces allegedly conducted airstrikes in Eastern Ghouta, killing civilians and urged Russia to stop supporting Syrian President. Moscow responded by pointing out that it was not clear, what the accusations were based on and no specific data was provided.
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