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Lavrov is ‘100 percent sure’ Putin, Trump will not allow Russia-US war to happen

Posted: 19 Apr 2018 11:56 PM PDT

BEIRUT, LEBANON (9:55 A.M.) – Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has expressed virtual certainty that Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Donald Trump nor the Russian or US armed forces will ever allow for a situation that sees both countries go to war with one another.

Speaking to RIA Novosti in a very recent interview, the Russian FM stated:

‘Speaking about risks of a military confrontation, I am 100 percent sure that [both the US and Russian] militaries won't allow this, and of course neither will President [Vladimir] Putin or President [Donald] Trump … After all they are leaders, elected by their people and are responsible for their peace.’ [RT translation]

Lavrov’s assurance comes amid a period of great tension an escalation between Russia and the United States, particular with regards to the Skripal controversy, the US-led missile strikes against Syria and the ongoing Russia probe investigation.

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز - The Arab Source

VIDEO: Syrian Army’s Tiger Forces roll up the desert of east Qalamoun amid ongoing offensive

Posted: 19 Apr 2018 11:33 PM PDT

BEIRUT, LEBANON (9:30 A.M.) – Video footage has emerged showing the Syrian Army’s ongoing offensive operation against armed rebel groups in Syria’s eastern Qalamoun region.

The operation, spearheaded by the elite Tiger Forces Division, has so far seen government troops completely encircle the strategic rebel stronghold city of Ar-Ruhaybah and push militants to accept a surrender.

Despite the virtual defeat of rebel fighters throughout the region, the Tiger Forces have since pushed on to physically roll up and clear the vast desert area east of Ar-Ruhaybah and Jayrud cities.

In support of advances on the ground, the Syrian Air Force is targeting insurgent positions throughout the Batra and Ruhaybah mountain chains; around one hundred airstrikes have reportedly been conducted since the main offensive started three days ago.

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز - The Arab Source

This posting includes an audio/video/photo media file: Download Now

Pictures: ISIS unleashes battle tanks, artillery and up-gunned BMPs on rebel forces during major offensive in west Daraa

Posted: 19 Apr 2018 11:14 PM PDT

BEIRUT, LEBANON (9:10 A.M.) – On the night of Wednesday to Thursday, the Islamic State affiliate group Jaysh Khalid ibn al-Walid unleashed a powerful offensive on Syrian rebel forces in southwestern Daraa province.

At first, ISIS made some considerable headway, capturing a number of towns (including Shekih as-Saeed) and villages from rival militants near the Yarmouk Basin area.

The terrorist affiliate employed heavy weapons in its assault, including main battle tanks, artillery, technicals and even up-gunned BMP infantry fighting vehicles. Elite storming troops (referred to as inghamsis) were used to spearhead the attack.

In the end, rebel forces managed to turn back the Islamic State onslaught, however, they did so at heavy cost to their own ranks with some 21 fighters being killed and another twenty wounded.

Pictures source: Islamic State media wing (Jaysh Khalid ibn al-Walid branch)

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز - The Arab Source

WATCH: Iraqi warplanes obliterate ISIS-held multistory building in eastern Syria with dead-on-target strike

Posted: 19 Apr 2018 10:41 PM PDT

BEIRUT, LEBANON (8:40 A.M.) – Video footage (below) has been released by the Iraqi Air Force showing the moment one of its warplanes leveled an Islamic State-controlled multistory building in eastern Syria.

The strike was one of at least eight bombings by Iraqi aircraft that targeted ISIS positions and bases inside Syria on Thursday afternoon following approval by Damascus for such operations to take place.

It is still not entirely clear whether the shown airstrike took place in the province of Deir Ezzor or the province of Hasakah given that Iraqi warplanes reportedly hit targets in both east Syrian regions.

It is believed that the Iraqi Air Force will continue to strike ISIS targets in Syria has part of a new operation to prevent or at least severely undermine the terrorist group’s ability to launch cross-border incursions.

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز - The Arab Source

This posting includes an audio/video/photo media file: Download Now

Russian Air Force launches unprecedented number of airstrikes over southern Damascus (video)

Posted: 19 Apr 2018 04:32 PM PDT

BEIRUT, LEBANON (2:25 A.M.) – The Russian Aerospace Forces have unleashed an unprecedented number of airstrikes over southern Damascus, tonight, targeting several areas under the control of the so-called Islamic State (ISIS).

Our team is currently just outside of southern Damascus, where the Russian Aerospace Forces have launched at least six airstrikes in the past 15 minutes over the Yarmouk Camp and Hajar Al-Aswad.

This Russian airstrike featured in the video below was captured at 2:20 A.M. (Damascus Time):

According to Al-Masdar’s Ibrahim Joudeh, the Russian Aerospace Forces have been launching nonstop airstrikes over the southern districts of Damascus since 7:00 P.M. (Damascus Time).

These airstrikes have paved the way for the Syrian Army to attack the western axes of Al-Qadam and Hajar Al-Aswad, while also storming the northern flank of the Yarmouk Camp District.

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز - The Arab Source

This posting includes an audio/video/photo media file: Download Now

US accuses Russia, Syria of ‘sanitizing’ chemical weapons site

Posted: 19 Apr 2018 03:52 PM PDT

BEIRUT, LEBANON (1:40 A.M.) – The U.S. State Department has accused the governments of Russia and Syria of messing the chemical weapons site in the town of Douma.

According to the State Department statement, the US has “credible information” that Russia and Syria are attempting ‘sanitize’ the chemical weapons site.

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said the team of inspectors from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) had not been given access to the site of the alleged attack in the town of Douma on April 7.

“We have credible information that indicates that Russian officials are working with the Syrian regime to deny and to delay these inspectors from gaining access to Douma,” Nauert told a news briefing.

“Russian officials have worked with the Syrian regime, we believe, to sanitise the locations of the suspected attacks and remove incriminating evidence of chemical weapons use,” she added.

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز - The Arab Source

Cuban President blasts US-led strikes on Syria

Posted: 19 Apr 2018 03:32 PM PDT

BEIRUT, LEBANON (1:20 A.M.) – Cuban President Raul Castro criticized the US-led attack on Syria during a parliamentary session on Wednesday, Prensa Latina reported.

According to the Prensa Latina report, Castro expressed solidarity with the Syrian government, while adding that Syria is another victim of a US attack.

‘Regrettably, these unilateral actions have become an unacceptable practice, which has been tried out in several countries in the Middle East’, Raul Castro noted.

Castro has been an outspoken supporter of the Syrian government and has refused to break off ties from the country, despite international pressure.

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز - The Arab Source

Military map of eastern Qalamoun battle

Posted: 19 Apr 2018 02:54 PM PDT

BEIRUT, LEBANON (12:40 A.M.) – The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) is currently on the offensive in the eastern Qalamoun region, targeting the last rebel bastion near the town of Dumayr.

Led by their Tiger Forces, the Syrian Arab Army is hammering Jaysh Thuwar Al-Sham’s positions around the towns of Jayroud and Al-Nassiriyah in a bid to force them back to the negotiations table.

Unlike Jaysh Al-Islam and the Ahmad Al-‘Abdo Brigade, Jaysh Thuwar Al-Sham is refusing to negotiate with the Syrian and Russian military police, despite the fact they are currently besieged.

According to a military source in Damascus, the Syrian military is working to split the rebel-held areas in the east Qalamoun pocket.

By splitting the east Qalamoun, they will ultimately pressure the rebels to either fight till the death or surrender their last positions.

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز - The Arab Source

Syrian military uncovers mass grave in Douma that contained 112 bodies

Posted: 19 Apr 2018 02:15 PM PDT

The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) unearthed a mass grave in the recently cleared town of Douma this week after combing through the areas once controlled by Jaysh Al-Islam.

According to reports, the mass grave contained 112 bodies that were executed by members of foreign-sponsored terrorist groups, Press TV reported.

Syrian Forensic Medicine General Director Zaher Hajo said on Thursday that the victims had most likely been killed during the heavy fighting in the former militant stronghold nearly two weeks ago.

The bodies have been sent to the forensic department to undergo an identification process.

On April 14, the Syrian Army announced the liberation of Douma in the Eastern Ghouta countryside of Damascus, after the last members of militants from Jaysh al-Islam group and their families had left the area.

Militants from the Jaysh al-Islam armed group and their family members have started to leave the city of Dumayr, located north-east of the Syrian capital of Damascus, local media reported Thursday.

Overall, 5,000 people, 1,500 of whom have families, were leaving Dumayr in five buses bound for Jarabulus in northern Syria, the country's state TV said.

On Tuesday, the militants began surrendering their weapons as part of the agreement reached with the government forces.

Syria has been struggling to put an end to a civil war since 2011, with terrorist groups taking part in the conflict. At Damascus’ request, Moscow has assisted in defeating Daesh, the most dangerous extremist formation and has been assisting in reinstating peaceful life in the country.

The Russian side has played a key role in organizing humanitarian corridors in Eastern Ghouta, providing civilians — as well as militants – with the opportunity to leave the area.

Source: Sputnik

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز - The Arab Source

Russian airstrikes pound ISIS as Syrian troops attempt to advance in southern Damascus

Posted: 19 Apr 2018 01:54 PM PDT

BEIRUT, LEBANON (11:40 P.M.) – The Russian Aerospace Forces are hammering the southern districts of Damascus tonight, as they provide air cover to the advancing Syrian Arab Army (SAA) troops against the Islamic State (ISIS).

According to a military source in Damascus, the Russian Aerospace Forces have already launched over twenty airstrikes above the Yarmouk Camp, Al-Qadam, and Hajar Al-Aswad.

Meanwhile, the Syrian Arab Army, alongside their Palestinian allies, has taken advantage of this Russian assault to storm the Islamic State’s defenses around the Yarmouk Camp, Hajar Al-Aswad, and Al-Qadam – intense clashes are reportedly ongoing at the moment.

The Syrian Army launched their southern Damascus offensive tonight after the Islamic State refused the terms offered by government.

ISIS has occupied large parts of southern Damascus for over three years now; they control most of Al-Qadam, Yarmouk Camp, Tadamon, and Hajar Al-Aswad.

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز - The Arab Source

Douma residents speak about life after long battle for town

Posted: 19 Apr 2018 01:24 PM PDT

BEIRUT, LEBANON (11:00 P.M.) – Residents of Douma in the Eastern Ghouta shared their thoughts on how their lives changed after the Syrian Army liberated the city from militants, during interviews recorded on Thursday.

“We are happy now, and our faces know how to be happy,” shared a young resident of the city, adding that militants refused to share food with civilians, “now you can ask and get [what you want]. I just asked for bread and [the Syrian army] gave me bread and also a cucumber.”

People added that the militants didn’t allow people to walk on the streets freely, “we could not get out of our houses, now we can wander and no one would ask you where you are going to or coming from.”

Some add that “if you had been on the road you might have been arrested and taken, and your destination would have been unknown.”

People also recalled the enormous prices the militants imposed on goods, “My daughter did not suckle from her mother, she only had bottles. I swear that a can of milk was for 4,000 [liras] and [the militants] wouldn't give you any, the health care center was kicking us out saying: “there is no milk.”

“Now we eat and there is surplus food and bread, we are smiling,” said the Douma citizen.

Earlier, the Syrian Army released a statement saying that the Damascus suburb of Eastern Ghouta has been completely liberated, adding that all members of armed groups had left the area.

Video source: Ruptly

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز - The Arab Source

This posting includes an audio/video/photo media file: Download Now

Syrian military police raise flag of Syrian Arab Republic over Dumayr for first time in years

Posted: 19 Apr 2018 12:27 PM PDT

BEIRUT, LEBANON (10:00 P.M.) – For the first time in several years, the flag of the Syrian Arab Republic flies over the town of Dumayr in the eastern Qalamoun region of Damascus.

The Syrian military police were able to raise the flag, tonight, following the departure of Jaysh Al-Islam militants from Dumayr to the northern Aleppo town of Jarabulus.

Despite some rumors from social media activists that the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) had entered Dumayr, they do not actually have any presence inside the town, nor will they in the immediate future.

Similar to the Douma deal, the Syrian Army will allow reconciled rebels to patrol Dumayr alongside Syrian and Russian military police.

The Syrian and Russian military police are now attempting to convince the remaining rebels in the eastern Qalamoun region to accept the same deal as Jaysh Al-Islam in Dumayr.

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز - The Arab Source

Lavrov: Militants who attacked UN mission in Douma were warned in advance

Posted: 19 Apr 2018 11:57 AM PDT

The Russian foreign minister has commented in an interview with Sputnik on an incident of UN members coming under fire in the Syrian town of Douma on April 18.

“At the time when they were in the area, shooting began from the part of the town where there were still a few dozen extremists, who were clearly warned ahead about who specifically will be arriving in the area and for what purpose,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

A group of UN security personnel that visited Duma to assess the situation in the town ahead of the work of OPCW experts came under fire from militants on Wednesday. None of the UN officers were injured, but the attack hampered the OPCW’s on-site probe into the alleged use of chemical weapons in Douma on April 7.

The top diplomat told Sputnik that Moscow is “concerned about a number of players are trying to obstruct the activities of the OPCW. We do not doubt that high-level professionals are working in the OPCW, both in the Hague and in its visiting missions. However, we also can not exclude, because there is certain evidence of it, that these experts, these scientists could be used for political purposes.”

According to the Russian minister, certain forces wanted to prevent OPCW experts from promptly reaching the site of alleged chemical attack in Syria’s Duma.

What the West considers a chemical attack in the Syrian town of Douma on April 7, without providing any evidence apart from footage from the notorious White Helmets group, served as a pretext for the US, Britain and France to launch over 100 missiles against Syria on April 14. This happened just a day before OPCW specialists were going to enter Douma to investigate. The Russian chemical corps had visited Douma’s hospital and questioned witnesses of the incident and concluded that there were no traces of an attack.

The White Helmets’ footage has been proven to be fake by a doctor working at the hospital, where it was filmed, as well as by a boy used in the filming and his father. Moscow maintains the provocation was used to trigger a US strike on Syria and warned about such a development a month before the attack.

Source: Sputnik

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز - The Arab Source

Breaking: Syrian Army, Palestinian forces launch offensive in southern Damascus

Posted: 19 Apr 2018 11:25 AM PDT

BEIRUT, LEBANON (9:00 P.M.) – The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) has officially begun their long-awaited southern Damascus offensive, tonight, following a failed round of negotiations with the Islamic State (ISIS).

Backed by a plethora of Palestinian groups, the Syrian military began the attack by heavily bombarding the Islamic State’s positions at the Al-Qadam, Yarmouk Camp, and Tadamon districts in southern Damascus.

Following the barrage of missiles and artillery shells, the Syrian Army and their Palestinian allies stormed the Islamic State’s positions at the western axis of Al-Qadam in a bid retake the district from terrorist group.

Also participating in tonight’s battle is the Russian Aerospace Forces, who have already launched over ten airstrikes over Hajar Al-Aswad, Yarmouk Camp, and Al-Qadam.

The firefights are expected to intensify in the coming hours, as the Syrian Army and their Palestinian allies attempt to make a big push into the ISIS-held areas of southern Damascus.

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز - The Arab Source

‘German chlorine, smoke pellets from Salisbury found in E.Ghouta’ – Zakharova

Posted: 19 Apr 2018 10:57 AM PDT

BEIRUT, LEBANON (8:30 P.M.) – “Syrian Government forces found chlorine in containers, the most dangerous kind of chemical weapons, from Germany and smoke pellets produced in – attention – Salisbury, Great Britain,” in Eastern Ghouta's liberated areas, said Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova during her weekly briefing in Moscow, on Thursday.

“This fact is hard to comment on, as it is horrendous and undermines faith in the humanity of certain states,” she said.

Commenting on what she called “staged” footage of chemical attacks, Zakharova said “it is a mixture of hurriedly made stories and not understanding what they are talking about,” adding that it is “absolutely, 100 percent fake.”

Zakharova said that Russia and Syria had “repeatedly announced the existence of data suggesting that militants were preparing a provocation with chemical weapons” but “it still remains unnoticed by the West, the Western mainstream [media], which do everything possible to ignore it.”

The UK-government funded ‘White Helmets’ alleged that chemical-filled munitions were dropped over Douma on April 7 causing the deaths of dozens. The claim has been denied by Damascus and Moscow, who called the allegations a “fabrication.”

On April 14 the US, UK and France launched airstrikes against multiple government targets in Damascus as a response to the alleged chemical attack against Syrian civilians.

Video credit: Ruptly

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز - The Arab Source

This posting includes an audio/video/photo media file: Download Now

Russia accuses US-led Coalition of giving break to militants by attacking Syrian gov’t

Posted: 19 Apr 2018 07:19 AM PDT

The Russian Foreign Ministry said Thursday that the real aim of the recent missile launches by the US, the UK and France was to give terrorists a break.

“We’ve found confirmations that the real aim of ‘the three’ was to give terrorists a break, restore their strength, prolong the bloodshed on the Syrian soil, thus impeding the process of the political settlement,” the ministry’s spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said.

According to the spokeswoman, the Syrian forces have found containers with chlorine and smoke bombs, produced in Germany and the UK.

“In the liberated territories of Eastern Ghouta, the Syrian government troops have found containers with chlorine — the most terrible type of chemical weapons — from Germany, as well as smoke bombs produced — attention! — in [UK town of] Salisbury,” Zakharova said at a weekly news briefing.

“It is difficult to even comment on this fact in any way, as it is so frightening and undermining the belief in the humanity of certain countries,” Zakharova added.

Last week, the United States, France, and the United Kingdom launched strikes on a number of targets in Syria in response to the alleged chemical attack in Douma.

The launches came the same day that the OPCW mission was set to start the probe into the alleged chemical weapons use in Douma, which the West had immediately blamed on Damascus.

According to the Russian Defense Ministry, the three countries fired over 100 cruise and air-to-surface missiles, most of which were shot down by Syrian air defenses. According to Damascus, which has repeatedly said that it eliminated its chemical weapons stockpiles, the attack damaged Syrian infrastructure and left three civilians injured.

Russian President Vladimir Putin stated on Saturday that the strikes had been carried out in violation of the norms and principles of international law.

Source: Ruptly

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز - The Arab Source

First scenes from Jaysh Al-Islam’s infamous Al-Tubah Prison in Douma

Posted: 19 Apr 2018 07:04 AM PDT

BEIRUT, LEBANON (4:45 P.M.) – The Syrian and Russian military police in Douma have finally uncovered Jaysh Al-Islam’s infamous Al-Tubah Prison that was used to jail hundreds of kidnapped civilians.

According to a military report from Douma, the Al-Tubah Prison was located inside the basement of two buildings that were used by Jaysh Al-Islam militants.

Below is the video tour of the prison:

The military report added that Jaysh Al-Islam carried out several executions inside this prison.

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز - The Arab Source

This posting includes an audio/video/photo media file: Download Now

Israel marks 70th Independence Day with aerobatics display above Tel Aviv (video)

Posted: 19 Apr 2018 06:44 AM PDT

Israeli Air Forces staged an aerobatics air show above the beach in Tel Aviv, Thursday, to celebrate Israeli Independence Day, marking the seventieth year since Israel’s creation.

A number of military jets and aircraft performed in front of hundreds of spectators. The main performance dedicated to the 70th anniversary took place on Wednesday evening.

‘Independence Day’ in Israel commemorates the declaration of the creation of the State of Israel by David Ben-Gurion on April 18, 1948.

Palestinians often mark the day as ‘Nakba Day’ (Day of the Catastrophe) to commemorate the displacement of the Palestinian people, when 700,000 Palestinians were expelled and hundreds of Palestinian towns and villages were depopulated and destroyed.

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز - The Arab Source

This posting includes an audio/video/photo media file: Download Now

Israel’s obsession with attacking Syria’s T-4 airbase may be due to presence of experimental Iranian air defense system – reports

Posted: 19 Apr 2018 06:44 AM PDT

BEIRUT, LEBANON (4:45 P.M.) – According to some sources, the Israeli obsession with targeting Syria’s T-4 military airport in Homs province may be due to the present of an Iranian experimental air defense system.

Reports (unconfirmed) claim that Iranian forces known to be operating from the T-4 airbase currently possess a ‘Third of Khordad’ type Raad medium-range air defense system along with several Russian-built Tor batteries (themselves very formidable weapons).

Israel’s zero-tolerance policy towards the presence of Iranian and Iranian-backed forces inside Syria has repeatedly led its military to unilaterally attack targets across the country.

Recently, seven Iranian military personnel were killed in a suspected Israeli missile strike against the T-4 airbase. Although Israel has not official owned up to the attack, many sources have concluded that the country’s air force was responsible for it.

Iran, blaming Israeli for the attack, has vowed to respond.

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز - The Arab Source

Russian FM says containers with chlorine from Germany, smoke bombs from UK found in East Ghouta

Posted: 19 Apr 2018 06:28 AM PDT

BEIRUT, LEBANON (4:00 P.M.) – The Spokesperson for the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova, stated during a press conference on Thursday that containers filled with chlorine from Germany and smoke bombs manufactured in the United Kingdom city of Salisbury were found in the East Ghouta region of Damascus recently.

"In the liberated areas of Eastern Ghouta, Syrian government troops have found containers with chlorine – the most horrible kind of chemical weapons – from Germany, and also smoke grenades produced – please pay attention [to this] – in the city of Salisbury, the UK," Zakharova told a news conference in Moscow on Thursday.

The findings undermine “the faith in humaneness" of some states' leadership, who "give such orders and make such decisions,” Zakharova added.

No further details were released regarding this finding.

Chlorine can be used for a number of reasons, including producing chemical weapons and explosives.

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز - The Arab Source

Breaking: East Qalamoun rebels unconditionally surrender after being overwhelmed by two-day Syrian Army offensive

Posted: 19 Apr 2018 06:12 AM PDT

BEIRUT, LEBANON (4:11 P.M.) – Besieged rebel forces holding out in the eastern mountains of Syria’s Qalamoun region have unconditionally surrender to the Syrian Army amid realization of an impossible military situation.

The development comes just two days after elite Syrian Army formations launched an all-out offensive in eastern Qalamoun that blitzed militant positions throughout the region and isolated a key rebel stronghold – the town of Ar-Ruhaybah.

Namely it was the Free Syrian Army-linked group Jaysh Tahrir al-Sham which at first refused to accept government surrender terms that has since issued a formal capitulation.

Per virtually every other surrender agreement, rebels will be offered to either reconcile with the Syrian government or allow themselves to be evacuated to another militant-controlled region of Syria.

Insurgent forces in eastern Qalamoun are expected to hand over their heavy weapons (i.e. tanks and artillery) to the Syrian Army in the coming days.

Updates to follow.

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز - The Arab Source

UN to see interview with Syrian boy lured into White Helmets staged Douma attack video

Posted: 19 Apr 2018 06:00 AM PDT

A Russian TV report about an 11-year-old from Syria's Douma who was snared into taking part in the White Helmets' staged chemical attack video will be shown to the representatives of the UN Security Council members, Russia's Ambassador to the UN, Vasily Nebenzya, told the Rossiya-1 television channel in an interview on Thursday.

Earlier, the Rossiya-24 round-the-clock channel aired an interview with the boy who was ensnared into participating in the staged video of an alleged chemical attack in Syria's Douma. In the TV report, the 11-year-old explains how he appeared in the faked chemical attack video spread by the NGO known as The White Helmets.

In the same TV story the boy's father says that “the militants gave the boy some dates and cookies to eat” and then let everybody go home. The man says his son had been well all the time and there were “no chemical weapons at all.”

“We already have a subtitled copy of the video at our disposal. We will distribute it among the member-countries (of the UN Security Council – TASS) and journalists. At the forthcoming meeting of the UN Security Council we will let everybody see it on the big screen,” Nebenzya promised.

According to the White Helmets' claims, on April 7, Douma, a suburb in the Syrian capital, came under an alleged chemical weapons attack. The Russian Defense Ministry described that organization as a notoriously unreliable source.

The Russian Center for the Reconciliation of the Opposing Sides in Syria explored Douma and found no traces of chemical weapons use.

On April 14, the United States, Britain and France delivered a missile strike against Syrian military and civilian infrastructures, saying that it was in retaliation for the use of chemical weapons by government troops in Douma.

More:
http://tass.com/politics/1000676

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز - The Arab Source

ISIS launches several surprise raids against Syrian Army near Palmyra in one day

Posted: 19 Apr 2018 05:47 AM PDT

BEIRUT, LEBANON (3:45 P.M.) – Islamic State forces have conducted several powerful surprise raids near the ancient city of Palmyra in eastern Homs province, reportedly inflicting some losses on the Syrian Army.

According to sources, ISIS militant struck government forces at three points between Palmyra and the T-3 pumping station along the desert back road leading to Abu Kamal.

Islamic State media reports say that the raids resulted in the death of some Syrian troops, the destruction a military vehicle destroy and a 122-mm artillery gun and the capture of another military vehicle.

Al-Masdar News reached out to a Syrian Army source on the matter – whilst confirming that such an attack had taken place, they were unable to confirm if losses were suffered.

Overall, the terrorist raids near Palmyra come as a surprise due to the fact that no attack by ISIS has been conducted in the area for at least two months until now. In any case, the event serves as a testament to the ongoing insurgency being waged by Islamic State forces in Syria’s vast eastern desert.

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز - The Arab Source

Over 500 refugees return home to Beit Jinn from Lebanon (video)

Posted: 19 Apr 2018 05:26 AM PDT

BEIRUT, LEBANON (3:10 P.M.) – Around 500 Syrians who sought refuge in Shebaa in Lebanon were returning home to Beit Jinn in the countryside southwest of Damascus by bus, as they testified at a crossing point in Jdeidat Yabous on Wednesday.

The refugees spent nearly the entire seven-year-long civil war in neighbouring Lebanon, but the Syrian government has facilitated their safe return after offering them free transport home.

“We escaped the terror and destruction which was perpetrated by the terrorists. We passed over the mountain through a village called Shebaa, where we stayed for a period,” explained one of the refugees.

“But things returned to normal in our country, thank God, as our government facilitated a bus journey home and helped alleviate our issues.”

Video credit: Ruptly

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز - The Arab Source

This posting includes an audio/video/photo media file: Download Now

Breaking: Iraqi Air Force targets ISIS inside Syria after new agreement with Syrian military reached

Posted: 19 Apr 2018 04:59 AM PDT

BEIRUT, LEBANON (2:59 P.M.) – Moments ago, confirmed information surfaced that the Iraqi Air Force had begun to target Islamic State positions with multiple strikes in Syria’s eastern province of Deir Ezzor.

According to reports, Iraq warplanes have so far delivered at least five strikes against ISIS in Deir Ezzor’s eastern countryside.

An Iraqi military-diplomatic source says that airstrikes are the result of a new agreement reached between Baghdad and Damascus whereby the latter has given permission to the former to carry out offensive air operations over Syrian territory.

The strikes are apparently to be carried out on a per discretion (i.e. freedom of engagement) basis. Their aim will be to preemptively break-up concentrations of Islamic State forces that mobilize along the Syrian-Iraqi border and thus reduce the effectiveness of the terrorist group’s cross-border attacks into Iraq.

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز - The Arab Source

Breaking: Syrian Army’s elite Tiger Forces score blitz advance in east Qalamoun, encircle rebel stronghold town

Posted: 19 Apr 2018 04:24 AM PDT

BEIRUT, LEBANON (2:23 P.M.) – Vanguard battalions of the Syrian Army’s elite Tiger Forces Division have blitzed rebel positions in the eastern Qalamoun region, scoring a major advance over the last 24 hours.

According to military-affiliated sources, the Tiger Forces – backed up by airstrikes from Syrian warplanes – have managed to seize the Al-Kharnuba area and its corresponding mountain as well as the Al-Maselah plain.

By this advance, elite Syrian forces have completely isolated the rebel stronghold town of Ar-Ruhaybah – local militants inside the settlement are expected to accept initially rejected government surrender terms in the very near future.

Elsewhere in eastern Qalamoun, Syrian airstrikes continue to target insurgent positions throughout the mountain chains of Bara and Ruhaybah; here, at least a dozen rebel fighters have been killed in the last 48 hours.

Updates to follow.

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز - The Arab Source

Syrian rebels drive back ISIS offensive in southwest Daraa but at heavy cost – details

Posted: 19 Apr 2018 03:51 AM PDT

BEIRUT, LEBANON (1:50 P.M.) – Syrian rebels have managed to turn back a threatening offensive launched by Islamic State affiliate militia Jaysh Khalid ibn al-Walid in southwest Daraa on Wednesday night.

Sources report that Free Syrian Army fighters have recaptured all lost towns and points taken by ISIS in the last 12 hours including Sheikh as-Saeed. Despite the operational success, many rebel ranks endured a hefty blow.

Opposition sources say that 21 Free Syrian Army fighters, among them a field commander, were killed during the battle; at least another twenty rebels have reportedly been wounded.

The offensive launched by Islamic State loyalists in the area had been spearheaded with a car bomb attack, after which jihadist storming infantry, backed up by heavy artillery, hurled themselves at rebel lines via several assault waves.

2018 has so far proven to be one of the most bloodiest years for rebels versus ISIS clashes in southwest Daraa.

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز - The Arab Source

Syrian Army takes out rebel commander and his bodyguards with precision drone strike in south Aleppo

Posted: 19 Apr 2018 03:21 AM PDT

BEIRUT, LEBANON (1:20 P.M.) – The Syrian Army has neutralized a leading rebel commander along with his bodyguards in southern Aleppo province by means of a precision drone strike.

According to reports, the militant commander in question was Fouad al-Sarmah. He and the two bodyguards who protected him belonged to the Turkish-backed rebel group Faylaq al-Sham (or Sham Legion).

Specifically, Fouad al-Sarmah and his men were in the town of Khalsah at the time of being struck – Syrian Army aerial reconnaissance identified him, tracked his movements and then delivered the attack.

A military source speaking to Al-Masdar News claims that the Syrian Army is about to deploy considerable drone forces in northwest Syria as part of a new strategy to eliminate key militant positions and high-value targets (such as commanders) with pin-point strikes.

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز - The Arab Source

Syrian Army shells large rebel stronghold in north Hama with rockets despite nearby Turkish forces presence

Posted: 19 Apr 2018 02:51 AM PDT

BEIRUT, LEBANON (12:50 P.M.) – On an almost daily basis, Syrian Army rocket artillery units shell the large rebel stronghold town of Al-Latamenah in northern Hama province despite the nearby presence of Turkish troops.

The artillery attacks by government forces against the town are a response to the ongoing hostile activities of local militant groups in and around it that violate ceasefire rules set for the northern Hama region.

Rebel offenses in breach of the ceasefire often include shelling of government-held towns, raids against Syrian Army frontline positions (particularly so at the Zilin checkpoint area) and mobilization of fighters and equipment inside Al-Latamenah.

Turkish troops recently set up an observation checkpoint about eight kilometers to the east of Al-Latamenah at the town of Morek to enforce the Moscow-Ankara brokered ceasefire regime set for northwest Syria.

Despite this, rebel groups continue to conduct attacks on government forces and government-held towns with the Syrian Army responding in kind.

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز - The Arab Source

Breaking: ISIS forces in south Damascus reportedly accept evacuation deal – details

Posted: 19 Apr 2018 02:41 AM PDT

BEIRUT, LEBANON (12:41 P.M.) – Islamic State forces based in southern Damascus have apparently accepted a deal offered by the Syrian Army that will see them evacuated to the country’s east according to early, yet unconfirmed reports.

Sources say that some 1,200 ISIS militants located in the districts of Yarmouk Camp and Hajjar al-Aswad will surrender their heavy weapons and be transported, along with their families, to an undisclosed location in the Syrian desert.

Reports on this event come not long after the Syrian Army set a 48-hour deadline for Islamic State fighters in southern Damascus to accept evacuation from the area.

At the same time, militants belonging to Al-Qaeda affiliate group Ha’yat Tahrir al-Sham (better known by its former name, Al-Nusra Front) that are based in other southern Damascus districts nearby to ISIS-held area are to be evacuated to northern Syria per a separate deal.

Updates to follow.

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز - The Arab Source

Over 1,500 militants leave eastern Qalamoun for northern Syria

Posted: 19 Apr 2018 02:16 AM PDT

BEIRUT, LEBANON (12:00 P.M.) – A large number of militants from Jaysh Al-Islam and their family members left the eastern Qalamoun region, today, after several buses arrived in the town of Dumayr this morning.

According to a military source in Damascus, at least 20 buses arrived in Dumayr to transport more than 1,500 militants and 5,000 family members.

The source added that the Jaysh Al-Islam militants and their family members will now be transported to the northern Aleppo town of Jarabulus near the Turkish border.

While the Jaysh Al-Islam militants have left Dumayr, a large number of rebels still remain in the eastern Qalamoun towns of Jayroud and Al-Nassiriyah.

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز - The Arab Source

Still unclear when mission can be deployed to Syria’s Douma, OPCW chief says

Posted: 19 Apr 2018 02:00 AM PDT

The security situation does not allow experts from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to enter the Syrian town of Douma, where an alleged chemical weapons attack took place on April 7, OPCW Director General Ahmet Uzumcu said on Wednesday.

According to Uzumcu, experts from the United Nations Department of Safety and Security (UNDSS) carried out reconnaissance in Douma. “On arrival at site one, a large crowd gathered and the advice provided by the UNDSS was that the reconnaissance team should withdraw,” he said.

“At site two, the team came under small arms fire and an explosive was detonated,” he added.

“The UNDSS will continue to work with the Syrian National Authority, the local Councils in Douma, and the Russian Military Police to review the security situation. At present, we do not know when the FFM team can be deployed to Douma,” the OPCW head said.

“Of course, I shall only consider such deployment following approval by the UNDSS, and provided that our team can have unhindered access to the sites.”

More:
http://tass.com/world/1000611

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز - The Arab Source

Syrian Army uncovers massive rebel tunnel network in Douma

Posted: 19 Apr 2018 01:54 AM PDT

BEIRUT, LEBANON (11:40 A.M.) – Footage from Monday showed a massive labyrinth of underground tunnels used by the Jaish al-Islam militant group sprawling under the recently-liberated Douma in Eastern Ghouta.

“The warehouse in Douma is like a city beneath a city… tunnel upon tunnel, even extending to the other [Western] Ghouta," a local said.

According to one resident of Douma, rebels starved the locals to force them to work on the tunnels' clearance and reinforcement. "It took about a month or two to move the rubble and reinforce these locations,” he said.

“They [the Jaish al-Islam militant group] starved us, besieged us, they traded in our blood. As you see, these tunnels are massive…They had captives work on them, as well as civilians. They wouldn’t feed those who wouldn’t work,” another resident added.

The tunnel is 15 metres (49ft) deep and is equipped with electricity, rooms, parking lots and workshops. Weapons and underground artillery were also found inside.

The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) announced on Saturday that it had “fully liberated” the eastern suburbs of the capital Damascus, after the last group of militants was evacuated from the area.

Video credit: Ruptly

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز - The Arab Source

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Jaysh Al-Islam hands over large quantity of heavy weapons to Russian military (video)

Posted: 19 Apr 2018 01:43 AM PDT

BEIRUT, LEBANON (11:30 A.M.) – Jaysh Al-Islam turned in their heavy weapons to the Russian military police this week, fulfilling their last obligation prior to their departure from the eastern Qalamoun town of Dumayr.

The militant group handed over a large quantity of heavy weapons, which included several anti-tank guided missiles (ATGM), RPGs, machine guns, and mortar launchers.

Video footage of the weapons handed over by Jaysh Al-Islam below:

More than 1,500 Jaysh Al-Islam fighters have now departed from Dumayr, alongside 5,000 of their family members.

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز - The Arab Source

This posting includes an audio/video/photo media file: Download Now

Syrian Army gives ISIS 48 hours to surrender southern Damascus districts

Posted: 19 Apr 2018 01:19 AM PDT

BEIRUT, LEBANON (11:10 P.M.) – The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) has given the Islamic State (ISIS) terrorists 48 hours to surrender their positions in the southern districts of Damascus, Al-Watan reported this morning.

According to the pro-government newspaper, the Islamic State will have 48 hours to leave southern Damascus for eastern Syria; if they refuse, the Syrian military will begin their long-awaited offensive.

The Islamic State currently occupies most of the Yarmouk Camp, Al-Qadam, and Hajar Al-Aswad in southern Damascus; they also control some parts of the Tadamon District.

As reported yesterday, the Syrian Army is hoping ISIS will agree to be transported from southern Damascus to eastern Deir Ezzor.

The Syrian Army has already redeployed their elite Tiger Forces to the eastern Qalamoun region, but should ISIS refuse to leave southern Damascus, they could ultimately return.

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز - The Arab Source

ISIS captures new town in southwest Daraa

Posted: 19 Apr 2018 12:57 AM PDT

BEIRUT, LEBANON (10:50 A.M.) – The Islamic State (ISIS) affiliates in southwestern Dara’a scored a new advance against the Free Syrian Army (FSA) this week, following a big attack by their forces near the Jordanian border.

According to local reports from southwest Dara’a, the Islamic State captured the town of Sheikh Sa’ad after a short battle with the Free Syrian Army.

ISIS has maintained a large presence in southwest Dara’a for over three years now, despite the fact they have no supply routes to this part of the province.

The terrorist group’s last major advance took place in 2016, when their forces attempted to push north towards the strategic town of Nawa.

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز - The Arab Source