Translation Page | USAComment.com
USAComment.com
Zicutake USA Comment | Search Articles



#History (Education) #Satellite report #Arkansas #Tech #Poker #Language and Life #Critics Cinema #Scientific #Hollywood #Future #Conspiracy #Curiosity #Washington
 Smiley face
PROXY LIST
 Smiley face  Smiley face  Smiley face 
 Smiley face 
 Smiley face JOURNAL WORLD:

SEARCH +8 MILLIONS OF LINKS ZICUTAKE STATE

#Arabic

#Arabic


Jihadist offensive in Idlib proves costly and fails to yield any gains

Posted: 09 Feb 2018 12:06 AM PST

BEIRUT, LEBANON (8:45 A.M.) – Earlier this week, the jihadist rebels launched a big offensive at the Abu Dhuhour front of Idlib, targeting the Syrian Arab Army’s (SAA) positions at two different axes.

Led by Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham and Turkestan Islamic Party, the jihadist offensive got off to a good start, as their forces were able to capture the town of Ajaz near Sinjar.

However, the jihadist offensive would be short-lived after Syrian Arab Army reinforcements poured into the Abu Dhuhour front to help launch a swift counter-attack to retake their lost territory.

The Syrian Army would recapture Ajaz and several checkpoints they lost to the jihadists, while also inflicting heavy casualties on the enemy forces.

According to a military source in Hama, the Syrian Army killed over 20 jihadist rebels at the Abu Dhuhour front, forcing the latter to retreat from the two axes.

While the Syrian Army has not resumed their operations at the Abu Dhuhour front, they have decided to begin the reconstruction of the strategic military airport.

The military airport is expected to be used by both the Syrian and Russian air forces.

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز

Jaysh Al-Islam mourns death of high ranking commander in East Ghouta

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 10:54 PM PST

BEIRUT, LEBANON (8:20 A.M.) – Jaysh Al-Islam mourned the death of one of its highest ranking commanders on Thursday after he was killed by an airstrike in the East Ghouta region of Damascus.

According to Jaysh Al-Islam’s official media wing, the commander of the 3rd Brigade, Nouriddeen ‘Abdel-Jalil, was killed at his house inside the East Ghouta town of Masraba.

‘Abdel-Jalil was the commander of the Jaysh Al-Islam forces that are currently defending the rural town of Hawsh Dawahra.

The late Jaysh Al-Islam commander was the mastermind behind the defense of Hawsh Dawahra, which has seen several Syrian Arab Army (SAA) attacks repelled in the last three months.

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز

ISIS makes money with online casinos — ambassador

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 10:17 PM PST

The total revenue from the Islamic State’s sale of crude oil has shrunk to $2 million a month, requiring them to look for new sources of finance, Vassily Nebenzya, the Russian Ambassador to the UN said on Thursday at a meeting of the UN Security Council.

“As a result of successful operations of the Syrian Armed Forces that enjoy the support of the Aerospace Force of the Russian Federation, the IS has lost access to the vital oil and gas deposits and to the channels for their transportation and sales,” he said.

“The data at our disposal indicates the organization was getting $ 2 mln a month at the most at the end of 2017,” Nebenzya said. “As for their overall revenues in the Middle East, they've fallen to $ 3 mln a month.”

He cited by way of comparison the UN data for 2016, which suggest the IS had earned $ 260 mln from the sales of crude oil.

“In these conditions, the IS has plunged into a frantic search for new sources of subsistence,” Nebenzya said. “They're refining their skills in the utilization of up-to-date technologies. For instance, accomplices of the terrorists steal the monies of innocent civilians through internet shops in one of the countries neighboring Syria.”

“Nor are the fighters for the Caliphate ashamed of making money through online casinos,” he said adding that the militants were using intensively the already established system of messengers and the Hawala an informal system of financial settlements in the Middle East, Africa and Asia, which experts believe is closely linked to money laundering and the financing of terrorism.

“The IS criminal earnings increasingly often reach the accounts of quite respectable financial institutions in the Persian Gulf, Europe, the Middle East, and Central Asia,” Nebenzya said, adding that Russia had long submitted all the information available to it to the Financial Action Task Force [FATF].

He called attention to the IS striving to invest in legal businesses outside the Middle East.

“Some Western companies also seem to have an itch to do business with terrorists,” Nebenzya said. “We think such issues deserve investigation by authorities of the countries where they crop up.”.

More:
http://tass.com/politics/989169

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز

Turkey unleashes flurry of airstrikes over Afrin after short absence

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 10:03 PM PST

BEIRUT, LEBANON (7:40 A.M.) – The Turkish Air Force restarted their bombing campaign over the northern countryside Aleppo last night, targeting several areas under the control of the Kurdish-led People’s Protection Units (YPG).

According to local journalists, the Turkish Air Force heavily bombarded the Afrin region and nearby Mennagh Airbase, carrying out more than 20 airstrikes overnight.

The resumption of airstrikes by the Turkish Air Force came just hours after the Euphrates Shield rebels failed to advance against the YPG inside the Rajou District of Afrin.

With no air support, the Turkish-backed rebels have been at a standstill in the Afrin region, as the mountains in the area have provided much needed protection for the YPG forces.

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز

US military presence in Syria is meant to thwart Russian, Iranian influence – expert

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 10:00 PM PST

The US military presence remaining in Syria after ousting Daesh group from the country is targeting Turkey, Russia and Iran, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Tuesday. The Turkish leader accused the US of failing to stand by its promise to withdraw troops from Manbij, Syria, currently controlled by Kurds.

Iranian experts agree with Erdogan’s remarks and believe that the US is particularly unhappy with Russia’s and Iran’s influence in Syria.

Mosayeb Naimi, an Iranian political analyst and an expert on Middle Eastern affairs who is also a CEO of Iranian state Arabic-language newspaper al-Vefagh, told Sputnik that the US is pursuing a number of objectives in Syria after its failures in the region.

“The first is to discredit the image of countries supporting [Syrian President] Bashar Assad’s leadership, particularly Russia and Iran. The second — to bolster the crisis in Syria. The US makes sure to show the developments in the country to their best advantage: they commit crimes, either themselves or with the help of Daesh, and then make others answer for them,” Naimi said.

“But we shouldn’t forget that the most atrocious crimes, that cast terror into the hearts of the international community, were schemed with the backing of Washington, with Saudi Arabia’s financial support, and committed with American weapons,” he noted.

US Secretary of State John Kerry, left, meets with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, right, in Vienna, Austria, Saturday, Jan. 16, 2016, on what is expected to be implementation day, the day the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) verifies that Iran has met all conditions under the nuclear deal.

According to the expert, now that the crucial phase in the resolution of the crisis has come, the US is trying to create obstacles and aggravate the situation: for instance, by embracing the Free Syrian Army that has recently joined the Turkish Olive Branch military operation in northern Syria, or by replacing militants and terrorists from occupied regions.

Mani Mehrabi, Iranian political analyst, expert on international affairs and member of the Scientific Research Center for International Relations in Tehran, pointed out that Iran and Russia present hurdles for US goals in Syria.

“Regional events, particularly in Syria, have led to the rise of US rivals in the region — Iran and Russia. It happened when the White House didn’t follow a concrete strategy on Syrian crisis management. As a result, the interests of US allies in the region — Israel, Saudi Arabia — have been largely compromised,” the expert said.

“The US aims to continue supporting the Syrian opposition fighting against Assad and trying to interfere in Syrian internal politics and to prevent this country from becoming a political and military base of Tehran and Moscow by so-called federalization of Syria.”

According to Mehrabi, Washington knows that withdrawing troops from Syria would mean paving the way for a stronger alliance between Iran and Syria. The US decision to remain in the country must be seen as an attempt to thwart Moscow and Tehran’s goals in the region.

The views expressed in this article are solely those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect Sputnik or Al-Masdar’s positions.

Source: Sputnik

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز

Last 2 British members of Daesh’s execution cell captured in Syria – reports

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 09:48 PM PST

The remaining two Brits, part of a four-man Islamist cell that executed hostages in Syria, were captured by Syrian Kurds, US media reported citing American officials.

The group, dubbed “The Beatles” for their British accents, was responsible for holding captive and beheading around two dozen hostages, including US reporters and an aid worker, according to the US State Department.

The two men were identified as Alexanda Kotey and El Shafee Elsheikh, the New York Times newspaper reported. US officials told the paper they had been detained by the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces.

Their identities were confirmed by biometric data.

The group's leader, Mohammed Emwazi, also known as Jihadi John, was killed in Syria in 2015. The fourth man, Aine Davis, is reportedly in a Turkish prison on accusations of terrorism.

Last year, the US Department of State announced that it had added United Kingdom national Alexanda Amon Kotey to the terror list and imposed sanctions on him for membership in Daesh.

 

Source: Sputnik

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز

ISIS prepares to make last stand in northeast Hama – map

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 09:35 PM PST

BEIRUT, LEBANON (7:25 A.M.) – The Islamic State (ISIS) is preparing to make their last stand in the northeastern Hama, as their forces face-off against the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) near the key town of Surouj.

Backed by heavy airstrikes from the Russian Aerospace Forces, the Syrian Arab Army was able to plow through the Islamic State’s defenses on Thursday, liberating dozens of localities inside this terrorist pocket in northeast Hama.

According to a military report from Hama, the Islamic State is currently confined to 250 square kilometers of territory in northeast Hama and an incredibly small pocket to its southwestern axis.

With their forces trapped in these pockets, the Islamic State has three choices: 1) fight to the death against the Syrian Armed Forces 2) Fight their way out of the pocket to jihadist-held Idlib 3) surrender.

The terrorist group is most likely going to try and fend off the Syrian Army assault; however, they will not be able to hold on for long, as the intense bombardment of their pocket becomes too much for their exposed fighters.

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز

US-backed forces might have caused destruction of key bridge over Euphrates

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 05:23 PM PST

A sudden rise in the water level has destroyed a key bridge over the Euphrates River that separates government and US-backed militant forces in Syria's east, suggesting this could be intentional, the Russian Defense Ministry said Friday.

The 210-meter (689ft) long bridge near the city of Deir Ez-Zor was built by the Russian military last September to move troops to the eastern bank controlled by rebel forces allied with the US-led coalition.

The Russian Defense Ministry-affiliated Krasnaya Zvezda (Red Star) newspaper reported that Euphrates waters suddenly rose by several meters on January 6, causing the current to gain in speed significantly.

“As a result, the bridge was destroyed the next day,” the paper reported. “An investigation by Syrian experts found that the abrupt rise in water level was caused by the intentional opening of floodgates at the Tabqa Dam in the territory held by groups controlled by the US-led 'international coalition'.”

Previous year, Kurdish Firat News Agency, quoted Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces SDF commander Rojda Felat as saying that the Syrian city of Tabqa and the Tabqa Dam were liberated after more than a month of offensive in the region. The US-led coalition aviation and US special forces provided assistance for the Syrian rebels.

The Syrian Democratic Forces, predominately consist of Kurdish fighters, but also include members of the Syrian Arab Coalition. Earlier, Washington confirmed it has been arming the forces, noting that the weapons were provided for the offensive to liberate Raqqa from Daesh.

 

Source: Sputnik

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز

Pentagon claims US attack on Syrian forces was ‘self-defence’ (video)

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 05:05 PM PST

BEIRUT, LEBANON (2:55 A.M.) – Pentagon spokesperson Dana White claimed that the US attack against Syrian Forces on Wednesday, that killed over 100 soldiers, was conducted in “self-defence” during a press conference from Washington DC, Thursday.

Full Transcript:

“Yesterday, Syrian Democratic Forces acted in self-defense with support from the coalition to defeat an unprovoked attack by Syrian forces in eastern Syria.

Pro-regime forces initiated what appeared to be a coordinated attack on Syrian Democratic Forces east of the Euphrates River, de-confliction line.

Syrian pro-regime forces moved in a battalion sized unit formation, supported by artillery tanks, multiple launch rockets systems and mortars.

After 20 to 30 artillery and tank rounds landed within 500 meters of the SDF headquarters location, Syrian Democratic Forces supported by the Coalition targeted targeted the aggressors with a combination of air and artillery strikes.

Coalition advisers were with the SDF and this action was taken in self-defense. Pro-regime vehicles and personnel were turned around and headed back west, were not targeted.

The Coalition observed a slow buildup of pro-regime forces over the past week. Coalition officials alerted Russian officials of the SDF presence via the de-confliction line in advance of the attack.

The de-confliction line, the de-confliction process served its purpose. Coalition officials were in regular communication with Russian counterparts before during and after the attack.

Russian officials assured coalition officials they would not engage coalition forces in the vicinity. One SDF soldier was wounded and there were no coalition casualties. Our forces have the inherent right to self-defense.

We are not looking for a conflict with the regime. Any action that takes away from our ongoing operations to defeat ISIS is a distraction.”

Source: Ruptly

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز

Saudi-backed fighters cheat death after being hit by Houthi missile (video)

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 04:43 PM PST

BEIRUT, LEBANON (2:25 A.M.) – The Houthi rocket battalion scored a direct hit on a group of Saudi-backed fighters that were traveling inside the Mar’ib Governorate of northern Yemen recently.

The Houthi rocket battalion managed to destroy the technical vehicle that was transporting the Saudi-backed fighters along the Mar’ib-Sana’a border.

Shockingly, the Saudi-backed fighters managed to survive the missile strike, despite the fact their vehicle was destroyed clearly hit by the Houthi forces.

Below is the video of the Houthi missile strike; it was released by their official media wing on Thursday:

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز

Syrian Army enters strategic suburb in east Damascus after several days of battle

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 04:05 PM PST

BEIRUT, LEBANON (1:50 A.M.) – The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) scored a major advance in the eastern suburbs of Damascus, Thursday, following a long battle with the jihadist rebels of Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham and Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham.

Led by the 4th Division, the Syrian Arab Army managed to breakthrough Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham’s front-lines at the northeastern axis of the Arbeen suburb.

According to a military source from the 4th Division, the Syrian Arab Army captured the Jordanian-Lebanese Company building and several trenches around this site after several hours of battle on Thursday.

In addition to capturing the aforementioned site, the Syrian Army also took control of the ‘Abdel-Rahman bin Awf Mosque and its surrounding neighborhood.

The mosque was used by HTS as an operation room in Arbeen before its capture by the Syrian Arab Army on Thursday.

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز

Transfer of force: US redirects air power from Iraq and Syria to Afghanistan

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 03:34 PM PST

With the virtual defeat of Daesh as a territory-holding entity in Iraq and Syria, the US has begun to transfer air combat resources from those countries into Afghanistan as part of the Trump administration's focus on gaining ground against militant groups there.

Air Force Maj. Gen. James Hecker, commander of NATO Air Command-Afghanistan, said that the wartorn Central Asian country “has become CENTCOM’s [US Central Command] main effort thanks to the recent successes in Iraq and Syria. “This has allowed CENTCOM to shift more assets our way.”

Transferred assets arrived in Afghanistan on Thursday, including MQ-9 Reaper drones, A-10C Thunderbolt II ground attack jets and combat search-and-rescue squadrons. Improved air power in Afghanistan is a cornerstone of the new administration’s strategy there.

But the ultimate American strategy in Afghanistan is to transfer combat responsibilities from CENTCOM and NATO to local security forces. “While US air power is destroying Taliban support elements in the deep fight, Afghan A-29 [Super Tucano light jet fighters] and MD-530 helicopters provide quick, lethal support to Afghan ground forces in the close fight,” Hecker said. “This growth has already started but is going to continue.”

The Afghan Air Force (AAF) conducted more than 2,000 air strikes in 2017, according to Hecker. In the same year, USAF reported that they conducted 4,361 strikes, more than the amount launched in 2015 and 2016 combined.

“When you look at the totals of who’s doing the most shooting, [the AAF is] roughly double compared to what the coalition air force is doing,” Hecker said.

The benefit of an emboldened air campaign against the Taliban is that it allows the US to more easily strike at the the “behind-the-scenes” operations that prop up the militant group: the training camps, control centers and opioid production plants that form the backbone of the Taliban’s economic operations.

He added that his goal was to triple the strength of the AAF by 2020 by introducing new hardware like 32 AC-208 attack aircraft and dozens of UH-60 Black Hawk assault helicopters. Hecker also said USAF will eventually double their number of A-29s from 12 units to 25.

At present, the majority of Afghan air strikes are done via the MD-530F Cayuse Warrior light attack helicopter, usually to support ground troops. “When an MD-530 is in direct support [of ground forces] and shoots rockets… that counts as a strike mission,” Hecker said.

While the Black Hawk is far more advanced than the AAF’s existing gunships, such as the MD-530 and the Russian-built Mil Mi-17 “Hip” helicopters, that may work to its detriment. The Black Hawk’s technical manuals are complicated, which could prove a major stumbling block in a country with one of the world’s lowest literacy rates. The MD-530 and Mi-17 are also cheaper to repair and replace.

In addition to the intensified air campaign, the US has increased their troop commitment in Afghanistan by transferring an unknown number of US soldiers previously stationed in Iraq.

 

Source: Sputnik

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز

ISIS terrorists run for their lives as the Syrian Army advances in northeast Hama (video)

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 03:12 PM PST

BEIRUT, LEBANON (12:55 A.M.) – Hezbollah’s official media released footage on Thursday of a group of Islamic State (ISIS) terrorists attempting to flee from the northeastern countryside of the Hama Governorate.

The terrorists were seen fleeing the battle in northeast Hama, as the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) raised their flag over another town that was liberated from the Islamic State.

Since liberating this town in northeast Hama, the Syrian Arab Army has erased over 90 percent of the Islamic State’s once large pocket near the southeastern axis of the Idlib Governorate.

The Syrian Army is expected to liberate the last parts of this pocket in the next 48 hours.

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز

Russian Defense Ministry reports activation of IS sleeper cell near Deir ez-Zor

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 02:20 PM PST

The Russian Defense Ministry has reported activation of an Islamic State (IS, a terror organization, outlawed in Russia) sleeper cell near Deir ez-Zor on Thursday.

“Shelling of the positions of Syrian pro-government forces has increased during the past days near the communities of Mazloum, At-Tabiyyah and Khsham in the Deir ez-Zor Governorate, to where the civilian population is returning,” the Defense Ministry stated.

“Radio interception revealed that the Syrian troops were shelled by militants from an ISIS (the old name of IS – TASS) sleeper cell that had activated in the area,” the report concluded.

More:
http://tass.com/defense/989086

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز

Breaking: Turkish warplanes bomb northern Aleppo for first time this week

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 01:57 PM PST

BEIRUT, LEBANON (11:50 P.M.) – At approximately 11 P.M. (Damascus Time), the Turkish Air Force resumed their bombing campaign over the northern countryside of the Aleppo Governorate.

Led by their F-16s, the Turkish Air Force restarted their bombing campaign by targeting the Bafliyoun Mountain and Kafr Jannah sections of Afrin, along with the Mennagh Airbase area of northern Aleppo.

According to local journalists in northern Aleppo, the Turkish F-16s have been relentlessly bombing these aforementioned areas for several minutes now.

Tonight’s airstrikes by the Turkish Air Force mark the first time this week that they launched any aerial attacks on the northern countryside of the Aleppo.

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز

Syrian Army liberates more than 90% of ISIL’s northeast Hama pocket

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 01:37 PM PST

BEIRUT, LEBANON (11:20 P.M.) – The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) had another successful day in the northeastern countryside of the Hama Governorate, as their forces managed to liberate dozens of localities that were under the control of the so-called Islamic State (ISIS).

Led by their elite Tiger Forces, the Syrian Arab Army began the day by liberating more than 25 localities from the Islamic State, paving the way for their soldiers to reach the key town of Surouj.

The Syrian Arab Army would continue their advance by liberating several other towns located near Surouj, leaving their forces in control of more than 90 percent of the Islamic State’s once large northeastern Hama pocket.

With ISIS confined to approximately 250 square kilometers of territory near the Idlib axis, the Syrian Army and their Russian allies have begun heavily bombarding the terrorist group’s last positions in this pocket.

Below is a video that was released by Hezbollah’s official media wing on Thursday; it shows the Syrian Army heavily bombarding the Islamic State in the northeastern Hama countryside:

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز

Israel’s begins construction on contentious border wall (video)

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 12:44 PM PST

The Israel state has commenced the construction of a border wall at its northern border with Lebanon, footage showed from Naqoura on Thursday.

Heavy machinery was being employed to put up the building blocks brought in by trucks along the border, formerly marked by a fence. The operation was overseen by Israeli forces and reporters.

Lebanon has slammed the operation calling it an intrusion of its territory and an act of aggression, accusing Israel of threatening the border stability. Israel has since denied the allegations stating the wall runs entirely on its side of the UN-recognised border.

On Wednesday, the secretary-general of Lebanon's Higher Defense Council said in a statement, "This wall, if it is built, will be considered an assault on Lebanese land" after a meeting with Lebanese President Michel Aoun, Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri and other high-ranking officials.

On Tuesday, Aoun, al-Hariri and parliament speaker Nabih Berri talked about taking active measures to prevent Israel from constructing its border wall.

 

Source: Ruptly

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز

US confirms 9 American Abrams tanks in hands of Iranian militias

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 12:22 PM PST

ranian militias in Iraq have obtained up to nine M1 Abrams main battle tanks, according to a Pentagon inspector general's audit of the mission to crush Daesh in Iraq and Syria.

“The US Department of State acknowledged that some US-provided military equipment sent to support the mission, including as many as nine M1 Abrams tanks, had fallen into the hands of Iranian-backed militias that fought against [Daesh] in Iraq,” the report, released on February 2, reads.

In the past, unverified pictures posted on social media indicated that militia groups under the People’s Mobilization Forces’ umbrella had the US-made tanks in their possession. The State Department has pushed the Iraqi government to make securing the tanks a priority, the report said.

A spokesman for the company that makes the tanks, General Dynamics, told al-Ghad Press in January that it would be packing its bags and leaving maintenance stations in Iraq since that country had violated the terms of the agreement and lent the tanks to the Iran-backed groups. The contract only authorized the Iraqi Army to use the vehicles themselves.

The State Department, however, would not confirm the General Dynamics representative’s statement about withdrawing maintenance crews due to the contract violation, telling Kurdistan 24, “The Abrams maintenance program for the Iraqi Security Forces is still currently active, and there is no plan to discontinue it in the future.” If General Dynamics refuses to do the work, the US can likely draw on vast quantities of contractors to pick up the slack.

“Sometimes the PMF asks for American tanks from the Iraqi Army if Russian-made tanks are unavailable,” according to Hussam al-Mayahi, a weapons specialist within the PMF, as quoted by We Are The Mighty.

Baghdad has been a prolific buyer of Russian and American tanks, but it has a history of letting its foreign-made weapons and military vehicles fall into the wrong hands. The Iraqis lost 40 M1 Abrams tanks as result of corruption within the army, poorly trained tank crews, and outright abandonment in the summer of 2014, according to defense expert Matthew Aid.

In 2014, the US State Department approved the sale of 175 M1A1 Abrams tanks to Baghdad, according to the Pentagon. Last year, Iraq started to accept delivery of an order for 74 Russian T-90 tanks to reinforce the Abrams fleet.

 

Source: Sputnik

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز

Syrian military opened fire on Israeli drone in occupied Golan Heights: report

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 11:59 AM PST

BEIRUT, LEBANON (9:50 P.M.) – The Syrian military opened fire on an Israeli drone that was flying close to Syrian border, Thursday, Israel-based Haaretz reported.

Citing the Israeli Army, the Haaretz report claimed the Syrian military opened fire with a machine gun after it saw an Israeli Sky Rider drone flying over the occupied Golan Heights.

The gunfire reportedly missed the drone, but struck a home inside the border-town of Majdal Shams.

No casualties were reported.

 

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز

Details from the US bombing of pro-government forces in Deir Ezzor

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 10:41 AM PST

BEIRUT, LEBANON (8:20 P.M.) – The U.S. Coalition carried out an alleged ‘defensive’ attack against the pro-government forces in the northeastern countryside of the Deir Ezzor Governorate last night.

While the U.S. claimed “100 pro-regime fighters” were killed in the attack, a Syrian military source reported that approximately 25-30 tribal fighters were dead and many more severely wounded by the Coalition assault.

According to the military source, the pro-government forces that were attacked by the U.S. Coalition were members of the large Al-Baraka tribe, who have fought the so-called Islamic State (ISIS) in the Euphrates River Valley for years.

Besides fighting the Islamic State, the Al-Baraka tribesmen are also from the Euphrates River Valley and considered locals.

The U.S. alleged that the tribesmen had carried out a large attack against the Coalition-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) near the imperative town of Khasham in northeast Deir Ezzor.

However, the attack was believed to be minuscule and possibly accidental because the tribesmen often search the eastern bank of the Euphrates for potential Islamic State hideouts and sleeper cells.

Since the attack, the Russian and Syrian governments have come and issued statements condemning the U.S.’ latest actions in northeastern Deir Ezzor

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز

Rebel commander and bodyguard become charred corpses after roadside bomb attack in Syria’s Daraa

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 10:28 AM PST

BEIRUT, LEBANON (8:25 P.M.) – Two rebel fighters from the Free Syrian Army – a field commander and his personal bodyguard – have been killed by a roadside bomb whilst traveling through militant-held areas in the northern countryside of Syria’s Daraa province.

The commander who died in the bombing has been identified by rebel sources as Basel al-Qarqai. Both he and his bodyguard (who remains unidentified) were reportedly killed instantly as a result of the explosion, being left to burn in the vehicle for some time until removed.

The two rebels had been traveling on the road between the towns of Aqraba and Kafr Nasij. Their intended destination is not known, but clearly the assassins of the two rebels knew their routine.

The assassination of Basel al-Qarqai and his bodyguard is by no means a rare occurrence in rebel-held Daraa with at least one assassination of militant ranks taking place every week (ten days at the most).

The Free Syrian Army group to which the two belonged officially blames Syrian government spies for the death of its fighters.

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز

US not looking for war with Syrian government: Pentagon

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 10:13 AM PST

BEIRUT, LEBANON (8:05 P.M.) – The U.S. is not actively seeking war with the Syrian government forces, Dana White of the U.S. Defense Department Spokesperson stated on Thursday.

Furthermore, the Defense Department Spokesperson claimed that the U.S. military contacted the Russians in advance before launching their assault that killed several pro-government tribesmen.

“We had a very productive conversation … we told them [Russians], they knew what was happening. They agreed not to attack Coalition forces. So, from that respect it was successful,” White said.

White then went on to tweet: “Any action that takes away from our ongoing operations to #defeatISIS is a distraction.”

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز

Kurdish YPG destroy technical vehicle belonging to Turkish-backed rebels in Afrin (video)

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 09:43 AM PST

BEIRUT, LEBANON (7:30 P.M.) – The Kurdish-led People’s Protection Unit (YPG) destroyed a technical vehicle belonging to the Turkish-backed rebels in the Rajou District of the Afrin region this week.

Video footage released by pro-YPG Hawar News Agency (ANHA) on Thursday showed their forces scoring a direct hit on the technical vehicle, destroying it after impact.

As a result of this attack, the YPG has now destroyed two vehicles belonging to the Turkish-backed rebels in the Afrin region.

Earlier this week, the YPG showcased their forces scoring a direct hit on a Turkish Army tank that was traveling through the Rajou District.

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز

Erdogan: Turkey’s Syria op will move to Idlib after Afrin mission (video)

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 09:26 AM PST

BEIRUT, LEBANON (7:20 P.M.) – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan gave a speech evaluating Turkish operations in Syria, at the presidential complex in Ankara on Thursday.

Erdogan said that following the completion of Turkey’s military operation in Afrin, Turkish forces will be deployed to Idlib.

He said: “what is following after Afrin? We will resolve the Idlib issue as [we did with] Afrin. We want our brothers to return to their homes.”

“For sure we are not going to keep three and a half million [Syrian refugees] forever [in Turkey],” he added.

 

Source: Ruptly

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز

Russia raises questions about US attack on Syrian government forces

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 09:12 AM PST

The pro-government Syrian militiamen have come under attack by the US-led coalition while they were conducting an operation against Daesh terrorists north of the city of Deir ez-Zor. The information about the incident contradicts US claims that the Syrian militias attacked Washington's allies.

Moscow is analyzing the information about the attack, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said, stressing that the version from the American side raises a number of questions.

“First of all, how can a 500-strong unit attack a headquarters with the support of tanks and artillery and injure only one of the attackers?” Zakharova stressed during the weekly briefing on Thursday. “How could the people inside the headquarters be able to survive in these conditions for at least half an hour that is needed for aviation to arrive at the scene? How could a decision to open a massive fire to defeat the Syrian militiamen be made in such a short period of time?"

The ministry is collecting the information to clarify the situation, Zakharova added.

US Version of the Events

According to the United States Central Command (CENTCOM), the incident occurred eight kilometers to the east of the demarcation line between the areas controlled by Damascus and the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), allies of the US.
The US-led coalition has described the attack as retaliation for an “unprovoked attack” by pro-government armed militias on the headquarters of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

"In defense of Coalition and partner forces, the Coalition conducted strikes against attacking forces to repel the act of aggression against partners engaged in the Global Coalition’s defeat-Daesh mission," the statement reads, adding that the US-led coalition will continue its operation in the Middle Euphrates River Valley to eliminate Daesh forces.

ABC news reported later citing an unnamed US official that as many 500 militiamen were reportedly hit during what he described a coordinated attack against US allies. He added that 100 Syrian militiamen were killed as a result of the incident.

Russian MoD: US Seeks Control Over Syria’s Economic Assets

The Russian Defense Ministry said on Thursday that one of the units of pro-government Syrian militia was carrying out a reconnaissance operation near the former Al-Isba oil refinery in Deir ez-Zor province when they were attacked by the US-led coalition’s aircraft.

“While carrying out the task, militiamen were subjected to sudden mortar shelling and artillery rocket fire; after that the helicopters of the US-led international coalition struck them,” the statement reads, saying that a total of 25 militiamen were wounded in the attack.

The ministry pointed out that the incident occurred because the operation of Syrian militiamen “was not coordinated with the command of the Russian task force,” adding that there are no Russian servicemen in that area of Deir ez-Zor. The militiamen launched the operation to deal with the attacks on the posts of the Syrian government forces by one of the Daesh cells in the area, the statement added.

The Defense Ministry highlighted that the attack on the militia showcased that the real goal behind Washington’s “illegal military presence in Syria” is control over the country’s economic assets rather than defeating the terrorist group Daesh.

Damascus: US-Coalition Strike is a War Crime

The Syrian Foreign Ministry has blasted the US-led alliance for the attack, urging the United Nations to bring the military bloc to account, according to the SANA news agency.

“This is a new act of aggression that constitutes a war crime and a crime against humanity, shows the direct US support for terrorists who and is aimed against sovereignty and integrity of Syria,” SANA cited the Foreign Ministry as saying.

Earlier, Syrian state TV has slammed the incident as “new aggression” by the US and “an attempt to support terrorism.”

US Military Presence in Syria Remains a Challenge to Peace Process

The US military presence in Syria presents a serious challenge to the peace process and thwarts the protection of the country’s territorial integrity, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Maria Zakharova said Thursday.

“A 55-kilometer zone unilaterally created by Americans around their military base near al-Tanf is being used by the scattered units of Daesh terrorists,” Zakharova said during the weekly briefing, stressing that the extremists have the opportunity to hide from the government forces in the area as well as regroup and prepare for new raids in the Syrian deserts.

“Some influential external players are apparently not using the opportunities they have to promote a political settlement in Syria and facilitate the elimination of terrorists on Syrian soil.”

The US-led coalition of over 60 states has been conducting a military operation in Syria without the consent of the country’s government or UN approval.

 

Source: Sputnik

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز

Syrian gov’t issues official statement condemning Coalition bombing

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 08:52 AM PST

BEIRUT, LEBANON (6:20 P.M.) – The Syrian Foreign Ministry issued an official statement on Thursday, condemning the latest bombing conducted by the U.S. Coalition on the pro-government forces in Deir Ezzor.

“This new aggression, which constitutes a war crime and a crime against humanity is directly in support of terrorism; it also reveals the disgusting nature of America’s intentions against the sovereignty, territorial integrity, and people of Syria,” the statement began

“The Syrian Foreign Ministry urges the international community to hold the so-called ‘International Coalition’ responsible for this latest massacre. We hope this will compel them to stop their crimes and attacks that have killed and wounded thousands of people, including women, children, and the elderly, along with also destroying the public and private infrastructure of Syria,” the statement concluded.

While the U.S. claimed “100 pro-regime fighters” were killed in the attack, a military source told Al-Masdar News that an estimated 25 tribal fighters were killed near the town of Khasham in rural Deir Ezzor.

The U.S. Coalition alleges that they were protecting their fighters in Deir Ezzor after an alleged attack by the pro-government forces.

 

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز

VIDEO: Rebels launch retaliatory rocket attack on key district in Latakia

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 07:56 AM PST

DAMASCUS, SYRIA (6:00 P.M.) – At least 5 rockets fired from rebel-held areas in Idlib province hit Qardaha town in Latakia governorate as the Syrian Army keeps on advancing against jihadi fighters in several battlegrounds across the country.

Militants from Ahrar al-Sham Islamic Movements in Jisr al-Shughour city of Idlib said they fired at least 5 missiles toward Assad’s hometown of Qardaha in Latakia countryside, in retaliation to the heavy airstrikes conducted by Syrian as well as Russian warplanes on Eastern Ghouta, Saraqib and Maaret al-Numan.

According to local authorities, the missiles hit farms and orchards outside the town, leaving only material damage with no casualties.

Meanwhile, Army units positioned in al-Ghab Plain responded to the assault by unleashing heavy MRL attack on jihadi positions in Jisr al-Shughour.

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز

Latest battlefield update from northeast Hama – map

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 07:39 AM PST

BEIRUT, LEBANON (5:30 P.M.) – The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) has had another great day in the northeastern countryside of the Hama Governorate, as their troops continue their offensive to eliminate the Islamic State’s (ISIS) pocket along the Idlib axis.

Backed by Russian airstrikes, the Syrian Arab Army managed to liberate another large chunk of territory from the Islamic State forces this afternoon.

As a result of this advance, the Islamic State has found themselves confined to 250 square kilometers of territory and no axis to flee this once large pocket in northeast Hama.

According to a military source in Hama, the Syrian Army should be in control of this Islamic State pocket in the next 48 hours.

The source added that the Syrian Army has demanded that the Islamic State terrorists in this pocket surrender themselves immediately – no offer to transport them to another front has been made.

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز

Over 100 missiles fired from russian warships during Syrian operation – Navy

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 07:28 AM PST

Over 100 missiles have been fired from the Russian warships since the beginning of Russia’s anti-terror operation in Syria, Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Navy Adm. Vladimir Korolev said Thursday.

“The Navy has been directly involved in the special operation of the Russian Armed Forces in Syria. The most important experience for the development of the Navy is, of course, the use of long-range cruise missiles from the Navy’s ships and submarines. Over 10 missile strikes with a total number of over 100 missiles have been carried out and they resulted in the destruction of more than 80 facilities of illegal armed groups,” Korolev said.

The Navy commander added that the Syrian operation allowed the Russian navy to use the aircraft carrier and sea-based aircraft in combat.

The ship-based aviation has carried out more than 400 sorties, destroying over 1,300 targets of illegal armed groups, Korolev added.

He also said that Russia has used its Navy in Syria on such a scale for the first time since the World War II. The armed forces have tested Caliber sea-based cruise missiles and gained combat experience in using the deck-based aircraft, he added

Russia has been conducting an anti-terrorist operation in Syria since 2015 at the request of the Syrian government. The aircraft and warships have been striking terrorist targets, destroying clandestine arms factories, tens of thousands of militants, including top commanders. In December 2017, the Russian Defense Ministry announced that Daesh in Syria had been completely eliminated.

President Putin has also said that the “victory over terrorists” had been achieved.

Source: Sputnik

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز

Syria’s greatest military hero: The killer of Adnan Aqlea

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 07:10 AM PST

BEIRUT, LEBANON (5:10 P.M.) – War is an art, especially wars conducted at the intelligence level. Such wars require different methods to the ordinary conflicts between armed forces.

The Syrian war against groups of the Muslim Brotherhood started in the early 1980s and one of the Syrian generals who had a crucial role in obliterating the Muslim Brotherhood in Syria was Brigadier General Mostafa Kamel Hammad.

Early life

Mostafa Kamel Hammad was born in 1942 in the town of Oghiq in the province of Aleppo to a Sunni family. In 1960 he joined the Syrian Military Academy in Homs. Brigadier General Mostafa Kamel Hammad was married to a lady from Al-Yassen in Latakia, and had 4 kids; 3 daughters and a son.

Role in obliterating the Muslim Brotherhood

Hammad was approached by a captain who was a member of the Muslim Brotherhood Cpt. Fawzi al-Ghazawi in 1982 to help the movement arm itself for what they called "Zero Hour" but Brigadier General, bound by his military code, informed the high command of a plot that was being put into place. In turn, he was order to bring the traitors into a trap that was set to them in the officer's club in Tartous; he set about this task.

Hammad invited Muslim Brotherhood conspirators to the officer's club – ostensibly for further planning and coordination. Here, Syrian military intelligence arrested the conspirators and sent them to an infamous desert prison in Palmyra where they confessed to the charges of their relationship with the Muslim Brotherhood and of plotting against the Syrian state.

After their confession, and their guilt of high treason they were executed by Brigadier General Hammad in accordance with military law; their names were added to the so-called ‘List of Shame.’

Afterwards, the brigadier general resumed his task in discovering and eliminating traitors within the ranks of the Syrian military; he was to discovered hundreds of them. In this pursuit he managed to capture and later executed around 400 ranks who were found guilty of high treason – among them Adnan Aqlea, who was captured in an intelligence operation that will be shared later.

Career

After graduating the Syrian Military Academy, Hammad worked as an instructor in the armed forces school. A number of highly-ranked and placed Syrian officers were trained by him such as the Director of the Syrian Military Intelligence General Mohammad Mahla, the Commander of the Syrian 3rd Corps General Mohammad Khaddour and the Syrian Minister of Interior General Mohammad al-Sha’ar.

Generally, intelligence operations are different and more complex and the Muslim Brotherhood group had indeed infiltrated into the ranks of the Syrian military.

But perhaps one of the Brotherhood's biggest mistakes was attempting to recruit Brigadier General Hammad after assuming that since he is a Sunni and not a member of al-Ba’ath political party he will unquestionably join their ranks. When they approached him, they gave him a financial bribe and a promise of a higher more powerfully placed rank in the Syrian military after their success.

However, Hammad rushed to inform the commander of the Syrian Military Intelligence at the time General Ghazi Kan’aan; who in turn sent him to meet with General Ali Duba and then he met with late Commander in Chief President Hafiz al-Assad.

Commander in Chief issued his orders to transfer Hammad from the Syrian military to the Syrian intelligence where he was appointed deputy director of the Syrian Military Intelligence in Latakia in 1983.

Death

On day in 1988 during duty, Brigadier General Mostafa Kamel Hammad was heading to the National Hospital in Homs and a bus driver collided with his car killing him instantly, later Syrian intelligence detained the bus driver and during the investigation he admitted to  belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood movement.

Legacy

Brigadier General Mostafa Kamel Hammad managed a lot of military operations and he was well known for his heroic stands, he treated his soldiers as brothers and stood up with them during the worst situations, using his skills, strength and experience Brigadier General Mostafa Kamel Hammad had a major role in eliminating the Muslim Brotherhood militia in Syria inside and outside the Syrian Arab Army, he left a big influence to everyone who knew him, and until today Brigadier General Mostafa Kamel Hammad is an icon to follow in the Syrian Arab Army.

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز

Bloodiest day in 2018: Over 100 Syrians killed across the country

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 07:02 AM PST

BEIRUT, LEBANON (4:30 P.M.) – The war in Syria has reached its deadliest point in 2018, as more than 100 Syrians have been killed across the country.

The death toll took a large climb this morning, when the U.S. Coalition bombed the pro-government tribal fighters in the Deir Ezzor Governorate.

As a result of this bombing by the U.S. Air Force, more than 25 tribal fighters from the Euphrates River Valley were killed, making this attack the second deadliest assault by the Coalition on the Syrian government forces since September 2016.

Meanwhile, near the Syrian capital, the battle in the eastern suburbs has reached its bloodiest juncture, as both the Syrian Army and Islamist rebels trade attacks.

Caught in the middle of these attacks are the civilians living in both the opposition-held East Ghouta region and government-held Damascus city.

According to the pro-opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), 36 people have been killed in the ongoing bombing of the East Ghouta by the Syrian military; however, other pro-opposition monitors have put the estimated death toll between 40-80.

Inside Damascus, at least a half dozen civilians have been killed, today, by the ongoing shelling from the Islamist rebels in the East Ghouta.

With the situation becoming increasingly more violent in Damascus, the death toll is expected to rise in the coming hours.

Several other areas across the country are experiencing increased violence, including the Abu Dhuhour front in the Idlib Governorate and Afrin region of northern Aleppo.

Many civilians have been caught in the crossfire of the Turkish-led Operation Olive Branch, which has also seen a large amount of people killed in the 72 hours.

Despite the recent peace conferences in Sochi and Astana, it does not appear that the violence in Syria has dissipated, as the overall death toll has increased since February 1st.

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز

VIDEO: Russian jets pummel al-Qaeda positions in Syria’s Idlib

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 06:37 AM PST

DAMASCUS, SYRIA (4:40 P.M.) – Russian Air Force continue to conduct heavy airstrikes against positions and headquarters of the ultraconservative militants in the northwestern Syrian province of Idlib.

Today, the aerial bombardment targeted Mishmishan town (West Idlib countryside of the Jisr al-Shugur region), a stronghold for the Turkistan Islamic Party fighting under the umbrella of Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham in Syria.

The airstrikes hit a former school building in the town used by the militants as weapon depot. No reports have been obtained about the casualties.

Russian Air Force has steadily increased its deadly airstrikes against the al-Qaeda-linked groups in Idlib after its SU-25 was downed, pilot killed last week.

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز

Erdogan refuses talks with Assad, calls him ‘murderer of a million citizens’

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 06:28 AM PST

BEIRUT, LEBANON (4:20 P.M.) – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has rejected the recent statement by the head of Turkey’s Republican People’s Party (CHP), Kemal Kilicdaroglu, regarding a potential meeting between Ankara and Damascus.

“What would we talk about with a murderer who has killed a million of his citizens," Erdogan said in his address to mukhtars— heads of Turkish villages and neighbourhoods—at the presidential complex in Turkey’s capital, Ankara, as quoted by TRT World.

"You can go arm in arm with terrorists when necessary … But, we haven't so far walked with those taking that path with the permission of terror organisations, and we will not walk with them in the future,” he added.

Erdogan has been a staunch opponent of the Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad since the advent of the Syria War, which has left both Ankara and Damascus at odds on almost every issue inside the country.

Assad has accused repeatedly Erdogan of being a Muslim Brotherhood supporter and a catalyst for the terrorist groups operating in Syria.

The two presidents have not spoken in years and often rely on Russia to mediate the issues between their nations.

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز

ISIL’s pocket in northeast Hama nearly erased by Syrian Army

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 06:08 AM PST

BEIRUT, LEBANON (4:00 P.M.) – The so-called Islamic State’s (ISIS) once large pocket in the northeastern countryside of the Hama Governorate has now been reduced to only a few hundred square kilometers of territory near the Idlib axis.

Led by their elite Tiger Forces, the Syrian Arab Army continued their field operations inside this pocket, today, liberating several areas from the Islamic State terrorists.

According to the latest military report from this front, the Syrian Army has liberated the towns of Rasm Madhi, Masitbah, Jubb Al-Hab, Rajm Jaara, Makhlaf, ‘Ayn Zarqa, and Abu Maiyal this afternoon.

As a result of this advance, the Islamic State pocket in northeast Hama has now been reduced to 250 square kilometers of territory.

The Syrian Army only has a few areas left to liberate from ISIS, including the imperative town of Surouj.

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز

US safe zone in Syria helps Daesh terrorists hide from gov’t forces – Russia

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 05:37 AM PST

The US military presence in Syria presents a serious challenge to the peace process and thwarts the protection of the country’s territorial integrity, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Maria Zakharova said Thursday, a day after the US-led coalition struck pro-Damascus forces.

“A 55-kilometer zone unilaterally created by Americans around their military base near al-Tanf is being used by the scattered units of Daesh terrorists,” Zakharova said during the weekly briefing, stressing that the extremists have the opportunity to hide from the government forces in the area as well as regroup and prepare for new raids in the Syrian deserts.

She went on to underscore that the US presence remains “a serious challenge to the promotion of peace in Syria and the protection of its unity and territorial integrity.”

“Some influential external players are apparently not using the opportunities they have to promote a political settlement in Syria and facilitate the elimination of terrorists on Syrian soil.”

US Attack Against Pro-Government Syrian Militias

The Russian Defense Ministry said on Thursday that the Syrian militiamen were carrying out an anti-Daesh operation near the Al-Isba oil refinery in Deir ez-Zor province when they were attacked by the US-led coalition’s aircraft.

“While carrying out the task, militiamen were subjected to sudden mortar shelling and artillery rocket fire; after that the helicopters of the US-led international coalition struck them,” the statement reads, saying that a total of 25 militiamen were killed in an aerial attack.

The Defense Ministry highlighted that the attack showcased that the real goal behind Washington’s “illegal military presence in Syria” is control over the country’s assets rather than defeating the terrorist group Daesh.

The US-led coalition has described the attack as a retaliation for an “unprovoked attack” by pro-government armed militias on the headquarters of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), its allies in the region. A US official has said as many 500 militiamen were hit during what he described a coordinated attack against US allies.

The officials in Damascus have yet to comment on the attack. At the same time, Syrian state TV has slammed the incident as “new aggression” by the US and “an attempt to support terrorism.”

The US-led coalition of over 60 states has been conducting a military operation in Syria without the consent of the country’s government or UN approval.

Source: Sputnik

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز

Trouble in jihadist paradise as HTS mobilizes forces to fight Turkish-backed rebels

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 05:29 AM PST

BEIRUT, LEBANON (3:20 P.M.) – A big battle is brewing between the rival jihadist factions in the Idlib Governorate as Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham mobilizes its forces to fight the Turkish-backed rebels.

According to pro-HTS activists, their forces have begun mass gathering and moving convoys to several fronts in the Idlib Governorate in preparation for a fight with the Turkish-backed rebels of Faylaq Al-Sham.

Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham has accused Faylaq Al-Sham of betraying them by handing the body of the Russian pilot to the Turkish forces, who then handed it over to Russia.

While HTS is gathering their forces in northern Syria, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stated on Thursday that his troops will defeat the terrorists in Idlib once they are done with Afrin.

The ‘terrorists’ Erdogan is referring to are likely HTS, who their Russian allies have vowed to eliminate in Syria.

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز

Syrian Army battles jihadist rebels north of Abu Dhuhour city (video)

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 05:16 AM PST

BEIRUT, LEBANON (2:50 P.M.) – The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) battled the jihadist rebels of Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham and the Turkestan Islamic Party in the northern countryside of Abu Dhuhour, yesterday.

The battle at the Abu Dhuhour front would last for several hours on Wednesday, as the jihadist rebels repeatedly attempted to infiltrate the Syrian Arab Army’s front-lines near the town of Sinjar.

According to a military source, the Syrian Arab Army recovered all of the territory they lost to the jihadist rebels, including the small town of Ajjaz.

Below is footage from this day long battle between the Syrian Army and jihadist rebels:

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز

Breaking: ISIS makes final stand at one and only stronghold in Hama as Syrian Army clears 98% of terrorist pocket

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 04:44 AM PST

BEIRUT, LEBANON (2:44 P.M.) – Islamic State forces are falling back to their one, only and last stronghold in the province of Hama following the virtual collapse of the terrorist group’s territorial holdings throughout northwest Syria at the hands of the Syrian Arab Army.

According to sources exclusive to Al-Masdar News, ISIS terrorists have withdrawn en-mass to the town of Suruj in Hama province’s northeastern countryside to make their final stand against the Syrian Army.

Over the last five days, the Syrian Army – led by the elite Tiger Forces Division – has swept across the provinces of Hama, Idlib and Aleppo in northwest Syria reducing what was once an ISIS bastion greater than one thousand square kilometers in size by 98 percent.

Prior to the Syrian Army offensive, ISIS possessed over 100 towns and villages throughout the country’s northwest – now it holds about half-a-dozen with Suruj being the largest.

It is believed that ISIS still has many hundreds of militant fighters in Hama, all of which are now concentrated into a single town.

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز

ISIS launches new offensive in southwest Daraa, FSA commander killed

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 04:30 AM PST

BEIRUT, LEBANON (2:20 P.M.) – The Islamic State (ISIS) affiliate Jaysh Khaled bin Walid launched a new offensive in the southwestern countryside of Dara’a last night, targeting the small town of Hayt that is controlled by the Free Syrian Army (FSA).

Jaysh Khaled bin Walid managed to score a small advance at Hayt last night, prompting the Free Syrian Army to call on their allies from Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham to help them drive back the terrorist forces.

The Free Syrian Army and Ahrar Al-Sham would launch a swift counter-offensive this morning that concentrated on the territory recently captured by the Islamic State affiliate at the small town of Hayt.

These rebel forces would retake all of the territory they lost, putting an end to the Islamic State’s briefly successful offensive in southwestern Dara’a.

While the offensive failed to give the ISIS affiliate any permanent gains, they did manage to kill at least ten FSA fighters, including the field commander Sami Al-Saffouri (pictured above).

ISIS lost at least five terrorist combatants and two vehicles during the short offensive.

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز

Confirmed: Dozens of Syrian troops killed by US ‘defensive’ airstrikes in Deir Ezzor

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 04:13 AM PST

BEIRUT, LEBANON (2:13 P.M.) – On the night of Wednesday to Thursday, the US-led coalition attacked Syrian troops in the province of Deir Ezzor with airstrikes in response to what it claims was a threatening assault by pro-government forces aimed at taking territory from Kurdish and Arab partner militias.

Initially it was reported by Reuters – claiming to cite a US military official – that the retaliation strikes killed over one hundred ‘pro-regime’ troops of a total force of 500 ranks backed by artillery and tanks.

Al-Masdar News – having contacted sources in the Syrian Army – can now confirm that some 25 pro-government troops belonging to the National Defence Forces (Syrian national paramilitary) were killed as a result of the airstrikes conducted by US-led coalition warplanes.

The US-led coalition insists that the retaliatory airstrikes were purely ‘defensive’ in nature and that it was only living up to its obligation to protect partner militias and foreign advisors involved in the so-called ‘defeat-Daesh (ISIS)’ campaign.

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز

Turkey to destroy terrorist threat in Idlib after doing so in Afrin – Erdogan

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 03:54 AM PST

The Turkish army will destroy the threat of terrorism in Syria's Idlib after doing so in Afrin, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Thursday.

“We will continue fighting terrorism, even despite the [Western] calls to stop the operation in Afrin … After we defeat the terrorists in Afrin, we will defeat them in Idlib too,” he said speaking to heads of local governments.

He added that Turkey is committed to clearing the north-western areas of Syria from terrorists in order to ensure the return of refugees to their homeland.

The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Turkey on January 20 announced the beginning of operation “Olive Branch,” directed against Kurdish forces in the enclave of Afrin in Northern Syria. The operation has been conducted jointly with Free Syrian Army forces.

Damascus strongly condemned Turkey’s actions in Afrin, noting that it is an integral part of Syria. Moscow called on all parties to restraint and respect the territorial integrity of Syria.

 

Source: Sputnik

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز

VIDEO: Female ISIS fighters join latest terrorist offensive against “deceitful, racist, criminal, atheistic, secular, mercenary Kurds”

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 03:47 AM PST

BEIRUT, LEBANON (1:45 P.M.) – Islamic State media has released a 20-minute propaganda video showcasing the terrorist group’s latest offensive against US-backed forces on the eastern shore of the Euphrates River in the province of Deir Ezzor.

The video shows for the first time every in official Islamic State media releases the presence of female fighters on the front-line among male ranks.

Surprising, the entire ISIS video is narrated in English. When speaking of the jihadist organization’s Kurdish and American opponents, the propaganda video exhausts almost every possible curse word in the ISIS terminology – calling them deceitful, racist, criminal, atheistic, secular and mercenaries.

Ironically, the overtly vindictive name-calling better serves to prove the racism and intolerance of the ISIS ideology.

The offensive in question was code-named ‘Revenge for the Virtuous Women’ and when combined with explanations provided for the name in the video really goes to show the fundamentally primitive and insecure mindset that followers of the terrorist group have.

Al-Masdar News does not in anyway condone the themes, behavior, ideas or attitudes expressed in the following propaganda video or any other media content produced by the internationally-designated terrorist group calling itself the Islamic State.

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز

Russia honors fallen pilot killed in Syria with farewell ceremony (video)

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 03:31 AM PST

BEIRUT, LEBANON (1:25 P.M.) – A farewell ceremony in honour of Hero of the Russian Federation Major Roman Filipov, who died in Syria last week, took place at the Chkalovsky Military Airport in Moscow Region on Thursday.

Filipov's body will be transferred to his native city of Voronezh, where he will be laid to rest during a military funeral ceremony later this day.

According to the Russian Ministry of Defence, 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.”

He was forced to eject from the aircraft. The wounded pilot blew himself up with a grenade as several dozens of militants closed in on his position.

The 33-year-old pilot was posthumously awarded the title of Hero of the Russian Federation, the Kremlin's highest honour.

Source: Ruptly

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز

Breaking: ISIS pocket in rural Hama on the verge of being vanquished as elite Syrian forces clear final areas

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 01:34 AM PST

BEIRUT, LEBANON (11:33 A.M.) – Elite forces of the Syrian Arab Army are on the verge of vanquishing  ISIS in the country’s northwest as they clear the final areas controlled by the terrorist group across Hama province.

Moments ago, military-affiliated sources reported that the Syrian Army – led by the elite Tiger Forces Division – cleared another swath of areas across the northeastern countryside of Hama province from Islamic State militants.

The recently captured areas include the towns, villages, mountains and hilltops of Turut Sharqiya, Turut Janoubiya, Rasem Anz, Tutul Humr, Qaser ibn Wardan, Muwaylih Suwaranah, Muwaylih ibn Hadib, Anbaz, Jabal Mudawar, Tal Muwaylih, Tal Abwiyah, Dabah, Jabal Huwayses, Tal Huwayses and Tal Zaebiq.

By this advance, the ISIS pocket in northwest Syria has been reduced to a dozen or so towns and villages, down from over one hundred settlements held by the terrorist group across the region just five days ago.

Updates to follow.

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز

Breaking: Syrian Army avalanche sweeps ISIS from scores more towns in northwest Syria as battle nears end

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 12:25 AM PST

BEIRUT, LEBANON (10:25 A.M.) – The avalanche of gains against ISIS by the Syrian Arab Army across the northwest country’s northwest shows no signs of stopping as a new assault kicked off today morning has brought yet eleven more towns and villages back under government control.

On Thursday morning, elite assault units of the Syrian Army’s Tiger Forces Division unleashed a renewed attack against Islamic State militants holed-out in Syria’s northwest.

Backed by strikes from Russian and Syrian airpower as well as a hefty artillery barrage, elite Syrian troops moved quickly, driving ISIS from the towns and villages of Baskhun, Wadi Jahanam, Abb Khazanah, Rasem Barud, Huwayses Umm Jazan, Huwayses ibn Hadib, Hawas Muhhamed, Rasem Hammam, Abu Kanadiq (the one in northeast Hama, not south Aleppo which was liberated days ago), Rasem Tinah and Rasem Ahmar.

By this advance, the encircled ISIS bastion in Syria’s northwest – once over one thousand square kilometers in size and comprising over 100 settlements – is almost totally diminished.

In any case, Islamic State resistance is expected to increase drastically once the Syrian Army corners the many hundreds of terrorists in the pocket down to their last few villages.

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز