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Russian warplanes pummel jihadist forces in east Damascus just ahead of Syrian troops advancing to encircle key rebel stronghold

Posted: 12 Mar 2018 12:49 AM PDT

BEIRUT, LEBANON (9:45 A.M.) – Elite assault units of the Syrian Army are throwing in all they have into what is now a day-long battle aimed at fully encircling the jihadist stronghold town of Harasta in Damascus’ East Ghouta region.

Amid the relentless attacks by the Syrian Army along the Harasta-Douma road, Russian warplanes are conducting tactical airstrikes in direct cooperation and coordination with storming forces of the 4th Mechanized Division.

At least a dozen precision strikes have been delivered onto jihadist infantry groupings and positions just ahead of the Syrian Army’s advance.

According to some reports, the Syrian Army has actually managed to physically isolate Harasta from Douma in the last hour or so; however, the latest updates from sources trusted by Al-Masdar News state that government troops still have 200 to 300 meters to go before closing the gap.

Updates to follow.

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز

Big ISIS cross-border night attack on Iraqi forces from Syria ends in total failure

Posted: 12 Mar 2018 12:23 AM PDT

BEIRUT, LEBANON (9:20 A.M.) – Iraqi pro-government forces stationed along the country’s western border with Syria have fended off a big cross-border night attack conducted by Islamic State militants.

According to sources, ISIS fighters unleashed a technical-borne assault against positions of the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces (PMU) in the area of Aj-Jughifi via the Syrian province of Hasakah around sun-down on Sunday afternoon.

PMU forces (who are generally well equipped) in the area happened to be supplied with anti-tank guided missiles and at least one Islamic State armed pickup was knocked out with such a weapon (reportedly a Russian-built Kornet system) during the attack.

After what appears to have been several hours of clashes, PMU troops pushed the terrorist attackers to call off their assault and retreat back into Syria.

ISIS maintains control of a large swath of desert countryside in eastern Hasakah province and often launches cross-border assaults from the area against Iraqi forces positions.

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز

Breaking: Rebels ready for massive offensive against Syrian Army across Daraa, possibly in next 48 hours

Posted: 11 Mar 2018 11:15 PM PDT

BEIRUT, LEBANON (8:14 A.M.) – Rebel militias based in the Syria’s southwestern province of Daraa are gearing up for a massive multi-axis offensive against government forces according to opposition sources with close ties to Syrian insurgent groups.

Citing one high-ranking rebel commander by the name of Khalid al-Faraj, The New Arab news group reports that militant forces in Daraa are preparing for two assaults on Syrian Army defenses.

The locations where Syrian rebels are readying to attack the Syrian Army and pro-government paramilitaries were identified by the cited militant commander as (firstly) the ‘Triangle of Death’ area near Mazarat ad-Danaji and (secondly) Khirbet Ghazalah and Ezra towns north of Daraa city.

Moreover, the insurgent commander quoted by The New Arab went on to state that the rebel offensive against Syrian pro-government forces in Daraa may very well kick-off in the next 48 hours and that the operation will be aimed at relieving pressure on allied militias in Damascus’ East Ghouta region.

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز

VIDEO: Syrian Army tank takes out Islamist car bomb amid close-call attack in east Damascus

Posted: 11 Mar 2018 10:19 PM PDT

BEIRUT, LEBANON (7:20 A.M.) – On Sunday, a camera team from the Russia 24 news agency embedded with Syrian forces in Damascus’ East Ghouta region caught the moment a jihadist car bomb (often given the abbreviation VBIED for ‘vehicle-borne improvised explosive device’) was neutralized by a government main battle tank.

The engagement (show below – Time 4:26) occurred in the farmlands west of the rebel stronghold town of Jisreen in the southern East Ghouta pocket. The Syrian Army is currently locked in an intense battle with militant groups near the town.

According to sources, the insurgent car bomb belonging to Al-Qaeda affiliate militia Ha’yat Tahrir al-Sham (better known by its former name Jabhat al-Nusra) was either disabled or got bogged down en-route to striking a gathering of government troops near Jisreen; this gave the Syrian Army tank crew that destroyed it plenty of time to line up their shot.

As mentioned earlier, the Syrian Army is now flooding the remaining rebel-held areas of East Ghouta with battle tanks and other armored fighting vehicles in an all-out assault to deliver the killing blow to militant groups east of the country’s capital.

Footage source: Russia 24 news agency

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز

Syrian Army unleashes all-out assault to split militant-held East Ghouta into 3 pockets – Map update

Posted: 11 Mar 2018 08:56 PM PDT

BEIRUT, LEBANON (5:55 A.M.) – Following the split of rebel-held areas across Damascus’ East Ghouta region into two along the Masraba-Arbeen axis on Sunday afternoon, the Syrian Army is now making an all-out assault to force a third isolation of militant-controlled territory.

Since midnight on Monday until right now, assault units of the Syrian Army’ veteran 4th Mechanized Division have been in the midst of a major battle with jihadist fighters near the district town of Harasta in what is now the northern East Ghouta pocket.

The government onslaught is aimed at physically isolating (fire control already having been achieved) the Islamist stronghold town from the nearby rebel-controlled city of Douma and thus impose a three-way split of the insurgent presence in East Ghouta.

To this end, the latest battlefield reports indicated that the Syrian Army – backed up by Russian airstrikes – has come to within 200 to 300 meters of achieving this objective.

Harasta serves as a stronghold for two hardline jihadist factions: Muslim Brotherhood affiliate Ahrar al-Sham and Al-Qaeda affiliate Ha’yat Tahrir al-Sham (better known by its former name Jabhat al-Nusra).

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز

Breaking: Syrian Army just several hundred meters from isolating major jihadist stronghold in east Damascus

Posted: 11 Mar 2018 07:41 PM PDT

BEIRUT, LEBANON (4:41 A.M.) – Amid heavy round-the-clock clashes between government troops and Islamist fighters, the Syrian Army is now to within just several hundred meters of isolating the jihadist stronghold of Harasta from the rest of Damascus’ East Ghouta region.

Despite earlier reports (and map releases) stating otherwise, Syrian government forces have not yet physically isolated Harasta from the city of Douma in what is now the northern East Ghouta pocket.

Regardless, assault units from the Syrian Army’s veteran 4th Mechanized Division have already established fire control over the exit routes from Harasta towards Douma and are, right now, just two to three hundred meters from physically separating the stronghold.

The isolation of Harasta will bring about a three-way split of rebel-held areas in East Ghouta; given the fact that hardline jihadist militias affiliated to the Muslim Brotherhood and Al-Qaeda control the district town, it is yet to be seen if Islamist fighters actually allow themselves to be besieged or chose to make a run for Douma.

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز

Russian Navy could deploy 15 vessels to Syria at moment’s notice

Posted: 11 Mar 2018 07:10 PM PDT

BEIRUT, LEBANON (4:10 A.M.) – According to a recent statement released by the Interfax news agency, the Russian Navy’s Black Sea Fleet currently possess fifteen warships and support vessels.

Virtually all of the warships in the fleet carry land-attack guided missiles and already have some form of experience with Syrian operations since the time of the Russian intervention (having rotated duties).

It is unclear whether or not the term ‘warship’ in the Interfax statement is also being used to include attack submarines (which is a separate thing in some naval terminologies).

In any case, based on the fact that all Black Sea Fleet warships are now familiarized with operations in Syria and their generally close proximity to the Arab republic, it can be understood that the entire naval battle group could – if needed – be rapidly deployed to Syrian waters to carry out attacks against militant targets across the country or to deter aggression from other powers.

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز

VIDEO: Masses of Syrian Army battle tanks pour into Damascus’ East Ghouta region like a flood

Posted: 11 Mar 2018 06:22 PM PDT

BEIRUT, LEBANON (3:20 A.M.) – In a fashion all to typical of major government offensives when reach their peak, the Syrian Army is now unleashing its main armored reserve against militant groups across Damascus’ East Ghouta region.

Yesterday, the Syrian Ministry of Defence (MoD) released a video of 4th Mechanized Division and Republican Guard main battle tanks and other armored vehicles overwhelming rebel positions in what is now the southern East Ghouta pocket.

At the same time the Syrian Army’s elite Tiger Forces Division split East Ghouta into two at the Masraba-Mudayrah-Arbeen axis, the 4th Mechanized Division and Republican Guard launched additional attacks further south at Jisreen, capturing farmland areas around the town.

For now, Syrian Army assault units based in southern East Ghouta pocket are bypassing militant defenses at Aftris to attack the town of Jisreen directly.

Video source: Syrian MoD

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز

Russian military demands Al-Rahman Legion group to cut ties with Nusra Front

Posted: 11 Mar 2018 06:13 PM PDT

The Russian center for Syrian reconciliation demanded that the Faylaq al-Rahman militant group in Syria cut ties and separate from the Jabhat Fatal al-Sham terror group as a condition for its withdrawal from the besieged East Ghouta, the center's spokesman Maj. Gen. Vladimir Zolotukhin said on Sunday.

“A working meeting between representatives of the center for Syrian reconciliation and leaders of the Faylaq al-Rahman illegal armed formation took place, [the center] demanded to immediately separate from the Jabhat al Nusra* terror organization. The parties discussed issues related to withdrawal of the Jabhat al Nusra formations from Eastern Ghouta to Idlib as well as further destiny of the Faylaq al-Rahman group's members,” Zolotukhin said.

The official pointed out that the situation in Eastern Ghouta remained tense with militants having shelled Damascus from Eastern Ghouta with seven 120-mm shells. No people were killed or injured in the incidents.

“Despite provocations staged by terrorists, the Russian center for Syrian reconciliation, supported by the Syrian government, continues the humanitarian operation in Eastern Ghouta. At 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. [07:00 – 12:00 GMT] the 13th humanitarian pause took place to ensure the work of the humanitarian corridor open for withdrawal of civilians and militants with their families, who are provided with guaranteed security and transport for the whole route [to Idlib],” Zolotukhin said.

The center also held talks with the leadership of a number of settlements in Eastern Ghouta on ensuring civilians' access to medical care and humanitarian aid.

“Near the settlement of Jisreen in the southern part of Eastern Ghouta an additional crossing point continues to operate,” the official noted.Zolotukhin added that the reconciliation center, UN mediators and leaders of the Jaysh al-Islam group held negotiations on withdrawal of the second group of militants from Eastern Ghouta.

Russia, alongside Iran and Turkey, is a guarantor of the ceasefire regime in Syria. Moscow has also been assisting Damascus both through supporting the struggle against the terrorist groups and by providing humanitarian aid to residents of the crisis-torn country.


Source: Sputnik

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز

Mesraba residents react to SAA arrival in Eastern Ghouta (video)

Posted: 11 Mar 2018 03:39 PM PDT

Families trapped in the southern Syrian village of Mesraba in Eastern Ghouta witnessed the Syrian Arab Army arriving on Saturday.

They were reportedly taken to makeshift centres where they are receiving support.

Reports state that Syrian Army soldiers evacuated families who had allegedly been trapped in the area.

The civilians explained that they had refused to leave Mesraba with their captors, in the hope that the army would be able to find and relocate them to safety.

"[The insurgents] did not allow us to move, they would kill us if they could," recalled one of the liberated men, Arafat Farhat.

"I was away for four years from my family and brothers. Thank God, the Syrian Arab army came and saved us," he said.


Source: Ruptly

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز

Turkish warplanes conduct raids in northern Iraq, destroy 18 PKK targets

Posted: 11 Mar 2018 03:18 PM PDT

In conjunction with allied Syrian militants, the Turkish military launched operation Olive Branch in January 2018 to oust Kurdish-led forces, which allegedly have ties to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), from parts of northern Syria near the border with Turkey.

Turkish warplanes conducted a series of raids across northern Iraq over the weekend, successfully destroying 18 PKK targets, according to reports by Turkish media.

Areas targeted include the Zap, Metina, Gara and Hakurk regions of Iraq, according to information released by the Turkish military. Details regarding the number of casualties inflicted or the specific targets of the airstrikes are yet to be released.

The group – which is designated as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the US, and the EU – maintains a military presence in northern Iraq near the Turkey-Iraq and Iran-Iraq borders.

Turkey has regularly carried out similar attacks against the PKK in northern Iraq, and Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu recently said that they would be conducting joint military operations with Iraqi forces, though he didn't specify when this campaign will begin, or if it will include a ground offensive.


Source: Sputnik

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز

Syrian Army prepares to storm strategic East Ghouta town – map

Posted: 11 Mar 2018 01:01 PM PDT

BEIRUT, LEBANON (9:50 P.M.) – The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) continued their large-scale advance in the East Ghouta region, today, seizing several areas from the Islamist rebels near the key suburb of Harasta.

Led by the Tiger Forces and 4th Division, the Syrian Army managed to split the East Ghouta region into three pockets after a short battle with the Islamist rebels.

Below is a virtual map that shows the Syrian Arab Army’s gains since they began their offensive on February 25th.

With the East Ghouta split into three pockets, the Syrian Army is now preparing to storm the Harasta suburb, which is considered an important stronghold for Faylaq Al-Rahman and Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham.

Harasta is strategically located at the outskirts of Damascus, making it a top priority for the Syrian Army.


Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز

Syrian Army surrounds Jaysh Al-Islam stronghold in East Ghouta

Posted: 11 Mar 2018 11:27 AM PDT

Earlier, the Russian military said that militants in Eastern Ghouta are considering letting several dozen of residents leave the area in exchange for free passage, together with their families.

According to media reports, the Syrian army has completely surrounded the major town of Douma, a Damascus suburb in Eastern Ghouta, after advancing from Mesraba to Mudeira.

Advancing Syrian government forces joined troops from near the town of Harasta, splitting the remainder of the eastern Ghouta militant-controlled enclave in two.

On Thursday, according to media reports, the Syrian Arab Army managed to deploy near Douma, while other army units were reportedly advancing further, to Mesraba from Beit Sawa; troops were expected to launch a large-scale attack on the two towns.

Earlier, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted resolution 2401, urging all parties to the conflict to immediately stop all clashes and adhere to a long-term humanitarian pause affecting the entire territory of Syria in order to ensure the safe and unhindered delivery of humanitarian aid supplies as well as provide medical evacuation of those injured.

The ceasefire regime does not apply, however, to military operations against terrorist groups.

Eastern Ghouta was occupied by anti-government Islamist extremists in 2012. After the recent UN resolution, the fighting in the area didn’t abate, even when the humanitarian pause was in place, the Russian Defense Ministry said. As militants constantly target all exits from the enclave, civilians cannot leave the area safely.


Source: Sputnik

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز

Jihadist civil war continues in northern Syria after short ceasefire

Posted: 11 Mar 2018 11:11 AM PDT

BEIRUT, LEBANON (7:40 P.M.) – Just moments after the 48 hour ceasefire ended, the jihadist rebels resumed their month long civil war in the Aleppo, Hama, and Idlib governorate of northern Syria.

According to pro-opposition activists, the clashes occurred in the western countryside of Aleppo, today, after Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham refused any peace agreement with Jabhat Tahrir Souriya.

Intense clashes are ongoing at the moment, with Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham attempting to advance into the west Aleppo towns under Jabhat Tahrir Souriya’s control.

No further details were released.

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز

Turkish passenger jet reportedly crashes in southwestern Iran (PHOTO)

Posted: 11 Mar 2018 09:37 AM PDT

Iranian state TV reported citing aviation official that the crashed aircraft was heading from the city of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates to Turkey’s most populous city of Istanbul.

According to the Iranian News Agency Tasnim, a private passenger jet crashed near the city of Shahr-e Kord in the southwestern province of Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari. According to reports, the jet crashed in the mountainous area and caught fire.

Between 11 to 20 people were onboard the aircraft, the ISNA News agency reported citing sources in rescue services. Of them, 11 were allegedly killed.

​The reasons behind the incident are yet to be clarified.

Rescue teams have reportedly been sent to the crash site.

This is not the only plane crash in Iran in recent time. in February, the Iranian Aseman Airlines plane crashed in the country’s central Isfahan province, killing 60 passengers and six crew members onboard.


Source: Sputnik

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز

Retaliatory rebel mortar attack kills and injures scores in Damascus [+ Pictures]

Posted: 11 Mar 2018 09:29 AM PDT

DAMASCUS, SYRIA (6:30 P.M) – At least 6 people were killed, 24 other wounded so far when mortars fired from rebel-held areas hit the Syrian capital.

Vital and overcrowded districts and neighborhoods including Malki, Maiysat , Bab Sharqi and Jaramana suburb were indiscriminately targeted.

The bloody mortar rampage comes in retaliation for the recent military victories lately achieved by the Syrian forces in the increasingly-diminished rebel enclave in Eastern Ghouta.

Local sources reported 4 civilians tragically killed when a mortar shell hit a minibus in Jarama Suburb. 6 others were also injured in the incident.

In the meantime, the government troops literally sliced the insurgent-controlled pocket of East Ghouta after recapturing Madira town; linking up with Army units in Harasta.

Zen Adra | AMN
Zen Adra | AMN
Zen Adra | AMN

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز

Breaking map: Syrian Army slices apart militant pocket in east Damascus

Posted: 11 Mar 2018 08:14 AM PDT

BEIRUT, LEBANON (5:14 P.M.) – Hours ago, the Syrian Army’s elite Tiger Forces Division seized the militant-controlled district town of Mudayrah in Damascus’ East Ghouta region.

The battle to capture the rebel stronghold lasted several hours and saw elite Syrian troops combat insurgents of Jaysh al-Islam and Al-Qaeda affiliate militia Ha’yat Tahrir al-Sham (better known by its former name, Jabhat al-Nusra).

By taking Mudayrah, assault units of the Tiger Forces Division linked up with the Syrian troops holding out in the now famous Vehicle Management Base in Arbeen district and officially split the East Ghouta pocket into two.

Now it stands that the militant stronghold city of Douma and jihadist-controlled town of Harasta have been isolated from all other rebel-held areas of East Ghouta further south.

It appears that the Syrian Army’s job of slicing up the East Ghouta pocket is not yet over. To this end, all military developments indicate that the jihadist stronghold of Harasta is yet to be physically separated from Douma city.

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز

Russia successfully tests ‘Kinzhal’ hypersonic missile system (video)

Posted: 11 Mar 2018 08:10 AM PDT

BEIRUT, LEBANON (5:00 P.M.) – Footage from the Russian Defence Ministry shows MiG-31 fighter jet pilots carrying out the practical training and combat launch of a missile from the latest hypersonic ‘Kinzahl’ missile system, from an airfield in the Southern Military District on Saturday.

The fighter jet launched the hypersonic missile from the stratosphere, before it successfully hit its target in the range.

The launch offered confirmation on both the tactical and technical characteristics and parameters of the high-precision missile Kinzhal system.

The interceptor aircraft set off from an airfield in the Southern Military District in order to carry out pilot-combat duty training.


Source: Ruptly

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز

Hezbollah Deputy Chief pledges to counter US, Israel attacks on Lebanon

Posted: 11 Mar 2018 07:57 AM PDT

The deputy chief of Lebanon-based Hezbollah group, Sheikh Naim Qassem, asserted that his organization would shield Lebanon from any US or Israeli schemes to destroy the country.

Qassem said that Hezbollah contributes to Lebanon’s strength and stability, and that the group is a “pillar” in the country. Contrary to reporting by the western press, Hezbollah is “an integral part of empowering institutions, shaping future, maintaining independence and preventing the [Israeli] occupying regime.”

“The United States is trying to subordinate Lebanon [to foreigners]. Israel and America spare no efforts to attack Lebanon and impose sanctions on us. Hezbollah, nevertheless, is an obstacle to the implementation of such policies,” he declared in the southern Lebanese city of Nabatieh on Saturday.

The official added that Hezbollah would deter any attempts at meddling in Lebanon’s approaching parliamentary elections slated for May, and that he hoped the polls would be representative of the entire Lebanese nation.

“America seeks to meddle in these elections in order to reduce the number of our lawmakers and allied political blocs,” Qassem stated, quoted by broadcaster Al-Manar.

Addressing supporters via a televised speech from the eastern Lebanese city of Baalbek on February 24, Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah urged Lebanese citizens to participate in the upcoming May 6 elections.

“Voters should consider national interests when picking candidates and voting for them. People should approach the upcoming legislative polls from the perspective of fulfilling responsibilities towards the country,” he stressed, adding that voters must not favor those who would hand over the country to the US, compromise oil reserves by any sort of alliance with Israel or conspire to destroy the country’s economy.


Source: Sputnik

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز

Mass protests against militants take place in East Ghouta (photos)

Posted: 11 Mar 2018 07:43 AM PDT

BEIRUT, LEBANON (4:25 P.M.) – For the third time in the last five days, large demonstrations took place inside several towns in the East Ghouta region of Damascus.

According to the pro-government Damascus Now, residents of Sabqa, Al-Hammouriyah, and Kafr Batna took to the streets of their towns to demand the militants immediately leave.

The demonstrators called for peace and reconciliation, while also welcoming the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) to enter their towns in the East Ghouta.

Damascus Now
Damascus Now
Damascus Now
Damascus Now

Prior to the demonstrations, town elders from Al-Hammouriyah visited Damascus to hold talks with the government; they reportedly welcomed the Syrian Army to enter.

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز

Breaking video: Russian 2,000 pound precision bomb obliterates Al-Qaeda headquarters in Idlib city

Posted: 11 Mar 2018 07:38 AM PDT

BEIRUT, LEBANON (4:35 P.M.) – Russian warplanes have attacked high-value targets belonging to Al-Qaeda affiliate militia Ha’yat Tahrir al-Sham (better known by its former name Jabhat al-Nusra) in the northwestern Syrian city of Idlib with a series of precision airstrikes.

The strikes by Russian airpower have been conducted in response to the ongoing shelling of the besieged Shiite villages of Fouaa and Kafriyah – located just to the north of Idlib city – by Ha’yat Tahrir al-Sham.

According to sources, Russian warplanes conducted at least five airstrikes against Ha’yat Tahrir al-Sham bases, gatherings and headquarters inside Idlib city using laser guided munitions (some of the bunker buster variety).

Dozens of jihadist militants, some of them commanders, have been killed as a result of the bombardment.

A militant activist in Idlib city has captured footage showing the moment a 2,000 pound Russian guided bomb struck a headquarters center belonging to Ha’yat Tahrir al-Sham.

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز

Court in Egypt sentences 10 people to death for terrorism

Posted: 11 Mar 2018 07:20 AM PDT

A court in the Egyptian city of Giza sentenced 10 people to death for terrorist activities, while five more were given life sentences, local media reported.

According to the MENA news agency, the criminals were members of the Muslim Brotherhood movement (a terrorist organization, outlawed in Russia) which staged major protests after former Islamist President Mohamed Morsi was ousted.

The convicted established a terrorist cell in Giza to attack the police and army unites, planted explosives and arranged murders of police officials, according to the news agency.

Muslim Brotherhood-linked Morsi, became the president in 2012 after Hosni Mubarak's resignation amid the Arab spring uprising. In July 2013, amid the wave of public discontent, the Egyptian army ousted President Morsi and declared a transition period in the country.

Morsi supporters staged mass protests, demanding his reinstatement. Hundreds of Egyptians were killed in the subsequent riots and clashes.

In December, Egypt’s criminal court sentenced Morsi along with 18 of his supporters to three years in prison over insulting judges. Morsi and his supporters repeatedly insulted judges in public, the prosecutors said, according to local media.


Source: Sputnik

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز

Toxic substances found in opposition forces stronghold – Syrian gov’t

Posted: 11 Mar 2018 07:10 AM PDT

BEIRUT, LEBANON (4:05 P.M.) – Syrian chemical weapons specialists have recovered 20-tonne containers of toxic substances from areas previously controlled by militants, said Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad in Damascus on Saturday.

Mekdad stated that 20-tonne containers were found in storehouses near the villages of Az-Zahiriyah and Al-Khafsah in the province of Hama.

The Syrian Deputy FM claimed that these were just some of the many vessels found that were filled with “poisonous chemicals”.

He then said that all information had been sent to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons [OPCW], but that it had been "put on hold" until further proof was found that “it was the ATS that used this chemical weapon”.

Mekdad also stated that organic phosphorus containers were found in a warehouse in Muadhamiya, which lies 30 km from Damascus, and that additional "poisonous substances" were discovered in the vicinity of Suwayda in the suburbs of Hama.

"But these data, as you know, has caused absolutely no interest in those organisations that declare their desire to cleanse the world of chemical weapons", he stated.

“We have stated this many times, but nobody cares", Mekdad concluded.

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز

Watch the Syrian Army capture strategic East Ghouta town

Posted: 11 Mar 2018 07:01 AM PDT

BEIRUT, LEBANON (3:45 P.M.) – The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) reclaimed the strategic town of Mesraba in the East Ghouta region of Damascus on Saturday, according to the Syrian Arab News Agency.

After several hours of fighting, the SAA reportedly defeated opposition forces in Mesraba.

Footage shows tanks rolling through the remains of the town, where poorly-constructed buildings have been razed to the ground and smoke rises above the horizon.

Reports say that the SAA are moving closer to splitting the region in two, placing further pressure on the armed groups still in the area.

Local media states that the Syrian Army will now push to secure the area before continuing its operation, advancing into Harasta’s southeastern corridor.


Source: Ruptly

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز

BREAKING: East Ghouta enclave completely splintered, key town recaptured [+ Photos]

Posted: 11 Mar 2018 06:25 AM PDT

Moments ago, the Syrian Forces successfully managed to recaptured the last rebel-held town before completely splitting the insurgent enclave.

Islamist rebels in the town of Madira – located along the Mesraba-Harasta road – collapsed under the heavy artillery shelling and airstrikes, as well as the intensified ground invasion.

With Madira recaptured, the Army units advancing from both the eastern and western parts have finally met up at the Army Vehicle Base in Harasta.

Pictures shown on a state-run TV channel show parts of the recently-restored town.

Details to Follow

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز

More civilians killed, wounded as jihadists shell besieged Shia towns in Idlib

Posted: 11 Mar 2018 06:00 AM PDT

DAMASCUS, SYRIA (3:05) – For the five consecutive day, jihadi militants in north Idlib countryside rain down two encircled Shia towns with hundreds of mortar shells in retaliation of East Ghouta offensive.

Scores of civilians have been reported killed and injured – including children – in the rocket attack. Schools have been also suspended ever since to save lives.

Jihadi militants affiliated with al-Qaeda terror group stationed in neighboring Binnish and Sawaghiyah are using more than 5 mortar launchers to hit the beleaguered towns.

The deadly rocket attack comes – according to militants – as a response for the large-scale onslaught launched by government forces, supported by Russian airstrikes, against the rebel-held Easter Ghouta.

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز

VIDEO: Syrian Army’s missiles pound rebel enclave in northeast Damascus

Posted: 11 Mar 2018 05:34 AM PDT

DAMASCUS, SYRIA, 2:40 P.M.) – The Syrian Forces finally managed to cut off two major rebel bastions on northeast Damascus following weeks of intense battles with Islamist insurgents.

The significant advance was propelled by intense rocket shelling that targeted rebel barracks and fortifications in the area.

Video footage published by pro-government activists show Goulan rocket launchers of the elite 4th Armoured Division unleash heavy shelling on the al-Nusra-held Harasta suburb.

Military sources confirmed that the rebel enclave is almost splintered into two parts with only a few hundreds meter for the Army units to meet up at the Army Vehicle Base in Haraasta.


Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز

Syrian rebels shell Christian town in northwest Hama with rockets, Russian warplanes respond with incendiary bombs

Posted: 11 Mar 2018 04:15 AM PDT

BEIRUT, LEBANON (1:15 P.M.) – On Saturday, rebels linked to the Free Syrian Army unleashed a salvo of rocket fire at the predominately Christian town of As-Suqaylabiyah in Hama province’s northwestern countryside.

Militant forces in Hama province frequently attack As-Suqaylabiyah and sometimes the nearby Alawite-majority town of Tal Salhab with rocket fire. According to their own account, the rebels were targeting ‘regime positions’ at As-Suqaylabiyah.

Russian warplanes and Syrian Army artillery normally responds to attacks on As-Suqaylabiyah by bombarding the insurgent stronghold towns of Al-Latamenah and or Kafr Zita (also in northern Hama) within 24 hours.

To this end, rebel sources in Kafr Zita reported around midnight on Sunday that Russian airpower bombed the town with incendiary munitions. Footage of the counter-attack by pro-government forces (captured by militant activists) will likely be released in the hours to come.

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز

Breaking: Elite Syrian troops launch assault on imperative rebel stronghold in east Damascus

Posted: 11 Mar 2018 01:28 AM PST

BEIRUT, LEBANON (11:27 A.M.) – Storming units of the Syrian Army’s elite Tiger Forces Division have kicked-off a powerful assault to seize the all-important militant stronghold town of Mudayrah in Damascus’ East Ghouta region.

The well-informed Muraselon new group, citing own sources, reports that the elite formation launched its attack on Mudayrah just moments ago.

According to the same source, the stronghold town is jointly controlled by the Free Syrian Army-linked Faylaq al-Rahman group and Al-Qaeda affiliate militia Ha’yat Tahrir al-Sham (better known by its former name Jabhat al-Nusra).

Given the current situation, Mudayrah has immense strategic value – the town’s capture by the Syrian Army will result in the splitting of the East Ghouta pocket into two. Should the assault by government forces succeed, the city of Douma and town of Harasta will be isolated from other rebel-held areas in region further south.

Updates to follow.

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز

Breaking: Major rebel stronghold in Syria’s Hama province reconciles with government

Posted: 11 Mar 2018 12:45 AM PST

BEIRUT, LEBANON (10:45 A.M.) – The rebel stronghold town of Qalaat al-Mudiq in northwest Hama province has joined the Russian-brokered Syrian reconciliation agreement reports the Russian Ministry of Defence (MoD).

In the same statement, the Russian MoD said that the town of At-Touni, also located in Hama province just west of Qalaat al-Mudiq, has also joined the Syrian reconciliation agreement.

The latest peace broker has now brought the total number of reconciled settlements in Syria to 2,431 according to the Russian MoD.

Although major engagements near Qalaat al-Mudiq have not taken place for quite some time, government operations to take the stronghold in the past have produced bloody battles with defending militants inflicting considerable losses on Syrian Army ranks.

At the beginning of March, it appeared that the Syrian Army was mobilizing for an attack on Qalaat al-Mudiq or areas near to it.

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز