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Sunday, January 14, 2018



Elite Syrian Army unit fights hard to drive Islamist militias back from Abu Dali in southeast Idlib

Posted: 14 Jan 2018 12:07 AM PST

BEIRUT, LEBANON (10:05 A.M.) – As Islamist militias continue their counter-offensive against Syrian pro-government forces across southeast Idlib, an elite army unit – having been pulled out of the reserve and sent to drive back jihadist fighters from a key town in the region – is making its presence felt.

According to military-affiliated sources, the Tarameeh Group of the Syrian Army’s elite Tiger Forces Division arrived in southeast Idlib several days ago, deploying itself along the Abu Dali-Atshan axis.

Acting in a defensive role, the elite Syrian force is tasked with driving back persistent attacks by jihadist-led militias aimed at retaking the crossroad town of Abu Dali from army control.

Abu Dali serves as the main road hub that allows for the resupply and and reinforcement of Syrian Army units inside Idlib as far north as the Abu Duhur area. So far rebel groups have managed to get to within several kilometers of the town but are yet to seize it.

Over the course of Thursday and Friday, Syrian troops of the Tarameeh Group carried out a double ambush against jihadist forces at the town of Atshan, killing and wounded nearly 100 militants as a result of both snag attacks.

As of Sunday, the group remains heavily engaged against armed Islamist groups at various points northwest of Abu Dali including in and around the towns of Atshan, Khuwayn and Tal Maruq.

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز

Hariri’s political party calls on Jumblatt to ‘correct’ his stance towards Saudi Arabia

Posted: 14 Jan 2018 12:00 AM PST

BEIRUT, LEBANON (9:40 A.M.) – The Future Movement has called on Walid Jumblatt to “correct his stance” towards Saudi Arabia after his recent remarks about the Gulf kingdom’s crimes in Yemen.

"Harakat Al-Mustaqbal (Future Movement) regrets the style and content of Mr. Walid Jumblat’s rhetoric towards the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia during his interview two days ago on Future TV," the political party stated, as quoted by Naharnet.

"This approach is not compatible with his history, the history of the Progressive Socialist Party and his personal relation with a brotherly country that has always stood by Lebanon and its causes," Mustaqbal added.

Jumblatt has remained neutral in regards to the Iran-Saudi Arabia conflict, prompting the Saudi-backed Future Movement to call out the Progressive Socialist Party (Jumblatt’s party) leader over his stance.

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز

India: Israeli effigies burn across India ahead of Netanyahu visit (video)

Posted: 13 Jan 2018 11:32 PM PST

BEIRUT, LEBANON (9:25 A.M.) – Dozens of Muslims participated in a rally in New Delhi, Saturday, to protest against an upcoming visit by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, due to the recent position on Jerusalem by US President Donald Trump.

Protesters with placards and flags took part in the march before setting an Israeli effigy plastered with pictures of Netanyahu on fire. Reportedly, about 1,000 villages across the country held similar protests.

Netanyahu is due to arrive in India for an official six-day visit, despite India’s positive vote in the UN on rejecting US recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital.

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز

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

Jihadist rebels storm southern Idlib in another bid to retake lost ground

Posted: 13 Jan 2018 11:25 PM PST

BEIRUT, LEBANON (9:05 A.M.) – The jihadist rebels launched another big assault in the southern countryside of Idlib this morning, targeting the Syrian Arab Army’s positions near the Hama axis.

Led by the Turkestan Islamic Party (TIP) and Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS), the jihadist rebels stormed the Syrian Army’s positions at the towns of Um Khalakhil and Ja’dan in southern Idlib.

Pro-opposition activists are reporting the aforementioned towns have been captured by Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham and the Turkestan Islamic Party; however, Al-Masdar cannot confirm at this time.

Yesterday, the jihadist rebels were able to capture the town of Khuwayn, despite the heavy bombardment by the Russian Aerospace Forces and Syrian Arab Army.

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز

Syrian Army prepares to launch big offensive in east Damascus – map

Posted: 13 Jan 2018 10:55 PM PST

BEIRUT, LEBANON (8:20 A.M.) – The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) is preparing to launch a big offensive in the eastern suburbs of Damascus after successfully repelling another Islamist offensive in Harasta.

According to a military source in Damascus, the Syrian Arab Army’s 4th Division and Republican Guard have been positioning themselves to launch an offensive from several axes around the strategic vehicle management base.

The goal of this offensive will be to push back Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham and Faylaq Al-Rahman from the vehicle management base and secure the supply route to this imperative installation.

With Ahrar Al-Sham’s recent losses in Harasta weighing down their forces, the Syrian Army will likely take advantage of their misfortunes and launch the offensive in the coming days.

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز

ISIS kicks US-backed forces out of stronghold in east Syria for third time in as many weeks

Posted: 13 Jan 2018 10:31 PM PST

BEIRUT, LEBANON (8:30 A.M.) – Coalition-led forces have been ejected from a key fortress town in eastern Syria by Islamic State terrorists for the third time in as many weeks amid ongoing heavy clashes throughout the Euphrates valley region.

Back and forth fighting for the stronghold of Gharanij (also spelt Khara’ij) in Syria’s eastern province of Deir Ezzor has seen pro-Coalition fighters kicked out of the town for a third time in three weeks following an ISIS counter-attack yesterday.

According to reports from opposition sources, the Islamic State counter-attack that retook Gharanij was led by a car bomb attack which hit a gathering of commanders, killing five of them.

Overall, the battle for Gharanij has seen huge considerable of life among the ranks of both US-backed forces and ISIS; whilst over one hundred terrorist militants have been killed (according to pro-Coalition and Kurdish sources) due to clashes for the town, some 50-70 US-led fighters have also died (according to Islamic State-linked media).

For one month now, US-backed forces have been engaged in a major offensive operation in Deir Ezzor province aimed at driving ISIS militants from the eastern shore of the Euphrates River.

So far the offensive has produced mixed results as some towns and villages have been captured and held, whilst other settlements thought the be cleared of ISIS come under attack and are retaken by the terrorist group – multiple times in the case of Gharanij.

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز

Israeli Air Force strikes southern Gaza

Posted: 13 Jan 2018 09:05 PM PST

The Israeli forces have conducted an airstrike hitting a target in the southern Gaza Strip, the army's press service said Sunday.

“Some time ago, the Israel Defense Forces, using aviation, attacked the terrorist infrastructure in the area of southern [Palestinian city of] Rafah near the Egypt-Gaza Strip border,” the press release reads.

The Israeli army did not elaborate on reasons and the exact target of the airstrike.

“The Hamas terrorist organization is responsible for everything happening in and out of the Gaza Strip,” the press release added.

It was also noted that Kerem Shalom border crossing on the Gaza Strip-Israel border would be closed later in the day for security reasons.

Tensions between Israel and Palestinians flared up after US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and relocate US embassy to the city from Tel Aviv. Also, Trump claimed that Palestine was “no longer willing to talk peace” with Israel, and questioned the issue of giving aid payments to UNRWA.

Recently, the Palestine Liberation Organization urged to convene an international conference under the auspices of the United Nations with the aim of creating an independent Palestinian state with its capital in East Jerusalem.

Source: Sputnik

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز

Turkish military attacks Kurdish forces in northwest Aleppo

Posted: 13 Jan 2018 08:13 PM PST

BEIRUT, LEBANON (5:50 A.M.) – The Turkish Army once again attacked the Kurdish-led People’s Protection Units (YPG) in the northwestern countryside of the Aleppo Governorate this weekend.

According to a report from the YPG, the Turkish Army fired several artillery shells and rockets towards their positions in the Afrin Canton, inflicting considerable damage on the towns of Qarah Baba and Jisr Hashrakeh.

Following the artillery and rocket barrage, the Turkish Armed Forces and YPG exchanged heavy gunfire at these towns; however, there was no word on the total number of casualties.

This latest attack by the Turkish military comes after their forces targeted the YPG-held towns of Deir Ballout, Burj Sleiman, Jundeires, and Iska in the Afrin Canton on early Saturday.

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز

Syrian Army captures two jihadist fighters in southern Aleppo (video)

Posted: 13 Jan 2018 05:03 PM PST

BEIRUT, LEBANON (2:45 A.M.) – The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) captured two jihadist fighters from Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham during their military operations in the southern countryside of Aleppo on Saturday.

According to the Syrian military, their 124th Brigade of the Republican Guard captured the two jihadist fighters when they seized the key town of Tal Daman.

Video footage below shows the Syrian Army and the apprehended jihadist fighters in Tal Daman:

On Saturday, the Syrian Army scored their biggest advance in southern Aleppo, capturing more than 20 towns in less than 15 hours.

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز

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

Houthi forces score direct missile strike against Saudi-backed fighters in southern Yemen

Posted: 13 Jan 2018 04:42 PM PST

BEIRUT, LEBANON (2:30 A.M.) – The rocket battalion of the Houthi forces scored a direct hit on the defenses of the Saudi-backed Hadi loyalists in the Al-Bayda Governorate tonight, the Yemen-based Saba News Agency reported.

According to the Saba News report, the Houthi forces fired a Zilzal-2 missile at a gathering of Hadi loyalists in the Nadea area of the Al-Bayda Governorate.

The report added that another missile struck the Shaab-Mounqadea area, inflicting heavy losses on the Hadi loyalists.

Recently, the Houthi forces have stepped up their attacks in southern Yemen as a way to alleviate pressure on their forces near the western coast; it has worked for the most part, as the UAE-backed Southern Resistance troops have failed to make any new gains.

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز

Breaking: Russian jets unleash largest air attack over southern Idlib

Posted: 13 Jan 2018 04:26 PM PST

BEIRUT, LEBANON (2:15 A.M.) – The Russian Aerospace Forces are heavily bombing the southern countryside of the Idlib Governorate tonight, targeting several areas under the control of the jihadist rebels.

According to a Syrian military source near the southern Idlib front, the Russian Aerospace Forces have launched their largest air attack of the year over this part of the province, with already some 40 airstrikes conducted in the last hour.

The primary target for the Russian airstrikes are the jihadist rebels that recently launched a big counter-offensive along the Hama axis, which resulted in the capture of Khuwayn.

The source continued that in addition to the airstrikes, the Syrian Arab Army’s Tiger Forces have launched a large number of surface-to-surface missiles towards the Abu Dhuhour Airport in a bid to storm the installation in the coming hours.

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز

Over 500 displaced families return to Beit Jinn after jihadist departure

Posted: 13 Jan 2018 04:04 PM PST

BEIRUT, LEBANON (1:45 A.M.) – More than 500 displaced families returned to their homes in the once occupied Beit Jinn area of the West Ghouta, Saturday, the Syrian government reported.

According to the report, the families returned to towns of Beit Jinn and Mughir Al-Mir after the Syrian Arab Army’s (SAA) sappers cleaned the area of any potential explosives left behind by the jihadist rebels.

Most of these families were displaced three years ago, when the jihadist forces took control of several towns near the occupied Golan Heights region.

Since the departure of the militants, the Golan Heights front has been relatively calm, which has paved the way for many civilians to begin returning to this region.

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز

Turkey builds up forces along Syrian border amid Erdogan’s threats to Kurdish forces

Posted: 13 Jan 2018 03:40 PM PST

BEIRUT, LEBANON (1:05 A.M.) – The Turkish military sent a military convoy to the western part of the Idlib Governorate, Saturday, amid border concerns over the Syrian Arab Army’s (SAA) recent advances inside the province.

According to Turkish state owned Anadolu News Agency, five tanks loaded on trucks were transported from the southern countryside of the Hatay Province, Saturday, to the western countryside of Idlib.

The Anadolu Agency further added that the convoy was sent to reinforce their troops on the border, but did not provide any more details.

This latest build up by Turkish military comes shortly after Recep Tayyip Erdogan demanded that the Kurdish YPG forces in northwest Aleppo surrender their positions inside the Afrin Canton.

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز

Syrian Army kills lead strategist behind jihadist east Damascus offensive

Posted: 13 Jan 2018 02:52 PM PST

BEIRUT, LEBANON (12:40 A.M.) – The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) killed another high ranking commander of Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham in eastern Damascus this week, a military report claimed on Saturday.

According to the report, the Syrian Army killed Abu Nader Al-Aoss of Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham during their operation near the Harasta police hospital on Saturday.

The Islamist commander was known as the chief planner of Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham’s offensive in the eastern suburbs of Damascus; his death is a major loss to the rebel forces.

The Syrian military report further added that the Islamist rebels are on the verge of mass collapse as they continue to suffer heavy casualties in Harasta.

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز

Russia expects Syrian Congress in Sochi to be held in late January — diplomat

Posted: 13 Jan 2018 02:37 PM PST

Russia still proceeds from the fact that the Syrian Congress of National Dialogue will be held in Sochi in late January, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Friday.

“To date, we assume it to be held in late January,” the diplomat said, answering a question on the terms for the event. “Work on the lists of participants is currently underway.”

“As soon as we are able to confirm the precise date and lists of those invited, we will surely do it,” she added.

The Syrian Congress of National Dialogue is due to be held in Sochi in late January. It is expected to gather about 1,500 delegates representing various political forces in Syria.


Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز

Mass exodus of jihadists from south Aleppo as the Syrian Army captures 20 towns – map

Posted: 13 Jan 2018 02:21 PM PST

BEIRUT, LEBANON (11:45 P.M.) – The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) resumed their offensive in the southern countryside of the Aleppo Governorate, today, targeting the last towns under the control of the jihadist rebels near the Idlib axis.

Led by their 124 Brigade of the Republican Guard, the Syrian Arab Army managed to capture over towns in southern Aleppo on Saturday, resulting in the mass exodus of jihadists from this imperative front in northern Aleppo.

As a result of this advance, the Syrian Arab Army fully secured the Khanasser-Tal Daman-Arbeen Mountain Highway, which is approximately 45 kilometers long and stretches across the southern countryside of the Aleppo Governorate.

The Syrian Army is expected to capture the last militant pocket in southern Aleppo in the coming hours, as most of the jihadists have fled the area already.

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز

Breaking: Rebel forces use chemical weapons against Syrian Army troops in southern Idlib

Posted: 13 Jan 2018 01:59 PM PST

BEIRUT, LEBANON (11:55 P.M.) – Minutes ago, the commander of the Syrian Arab Army’s Shaheen Group of the Tiger Forces, Colonel Sleiman Shaheen, reported that the jihadist rebels in southern Idlib used chlorine gas against his troops at the town of Tal Maraq.

According to Colonel Shaheen, the jihadist rebels used the chlorine gas while trying to cutoff the Syrian Arab Army’s main supply line to the key town of Abu Dali this evening.

No further details have been released.

If true, this will be the first time during this battle for southern Idlib that chemical weapons have been deployed by either side.

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز

Yemen: Gun-toting women and children decry Saudi bombing (video)

Posted: 13 Jan 2018 01:40 PM PST

BEIRUT, LEBANON (11:30 P.M.) – Hundreds of women and children held an armed rally in Sanaa on Saturday decrying the ongoing Saudi-led bombing campaign.

“Today we have come out to protest against the aggression and external intervention in Yemen,” explained one protester.

Yemeni women called on their countrymen to “not surrender” and “give up” in a country ravaged by Saudi-led airstrikes since 2015 and suffering a blockade orchestrated by the Saudi-led coalition since October.

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز

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

High ranking jihadist commander eliminated in southern Idlib

Posted: 13 Jan 2018 01:29 PM PST

BEIRUT, LEBANON (11:10 P.M.) – The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) killed one of the highest ranking jihadist commanders in southern Idlib, today, after capturing several areas near the Abu Dhuhour Military Airport.

According to pro-opposition activists, the former commander of Jund Al-Aqsa and new leader of Jund Al-Malahem, Qassorah Malahem, was killed in the southern countryside of the Idlib Governorate.

Malahem was one of the highest ranking commanders of Al-Qaeda that led the Idlib offensive in 2015.

As a result of his death, the jihadist rebels have now lost two high ranking commanders in the last 24 hours in the Idlib Governorate.

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز

Iran: FM Zarif condemns Trump’s ‘shithole countries’ rant

Posted: 13 Jan 2018 01:10 PM PST

BEIRUT, LEBANON (11:05 P.M.) – Iran Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif condemned US President Donald Trump's "shithole countries" remark during a conference in Tehran on Saturday.

In his speech at the first Conference of Asian Cultural Dialogues, Zarif said, "Unfortunately, today we see that the person who holds the power in his hands in the United States doesn't have enough understanding that he refers to all [other] nations with vulgar and unacceptable words. It is unbelievable that these words are coming from someone who calls himself responsible for that country".

Zarif also called Asia the cradle of culture and civilization and lamented that it is now stricken with crises, conflict and massacres.

The first Conference of Asian Cultural Dialogues kicked off with 70 cultural and scientific figures from over 20 Asian countries in attendance. Following the regional meetings of the Asian Cultural Dialogues which had taken place in India, Malaysia, and Kazakhstan, the first international edition of the conference began in the Iranian capital, concluding on January 15 in three other cities; Mashhad, Hamedan, and Babolsar.

Source: Ruptly

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز

Infamous Swedish ISIS member escapes Raqqa for eastern Syria

Posted: 13 Jan 2018 12:19 PM PST

BEIRUT, LEBANON (9:55 P.M.) – An infamous Swedish Islamic State (ISIS) allegedly fled Raqqa in late 2017 after the US-backed forces took control of the city, Swedish media outlets reported this weekend.

According to the Swedish media, Michael Skramo made out of Raqqa city after the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) agreed to transport the Islamic State terrorists and their family members to the Deir Ezzor Governorate.

“We made a peace deal with the US and SDF and they gave us buses to leave,” Skramo allegedly stated.

Skramo is now believed to be living with his family in an area controlled by the Islamic State located just north of Albukamal.

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز

Jihadist rebels launch another big counter-offensive in southern Idlib

Posted: 13 Jan 2018 11:16 AM PST

BEIRUT, LEBANON (8:55 P.M.) – The jihadist rebels have launched another large counter-offensive in the southern countryside of Idlib this weekend, targeting the Syrian Arab Army’s (SAA) positions near the Hama axis.

Led by the Turkestan Islamic Party (TIP) and Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham, the jihadist rebels began their attack by storming the two towns of Tal Khaznah and Mushayrifah Al-Shmaliyah.

The jihadist rebels would manage to capture Tal Khaznah and Mushayrifah Al-Shmaliyah after a short battle with the Syrian Arab Army’s Tiger Forces on Saturday.

However, shortly after capturing these towns, the Russian Aerospace Forces began their heavy bombardment of these towns, inflicting heavy damage on the jihadist defenses after launching more than 30 airstrikes in a matter of four hours.

According to a military source in Hama, the Syrian Arab Army is preparing to launch their counter-attack to retake the towns they lost, adding that they should be recaptured by dawn.

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز

Qatar accuses UAE of second airspace violation in a row

Posted: 13 Jan 2018 10:52 AM PST

Earlier this week, Qatar said that a UAE fighter jet violated its airspace on December 21.

The Qatari Foreign Ministry has accused a second UAE military aircraft of allegedly violating the country’s airspace, prompting Doha to file another complaint with the United Nations.

According to the ministry, the “repetition of this terrible incident” was evidence of the UAE violating international law.

The alleged violation occurred on January 3, when a plane, traveling from the UAE to Bahrain, flew over Qatar’s special economic zone “without prior authorization.”

The incident comes just a day after the Qatari authorities filed a complaint with the UN regarding an alleged violation of the country’s airspace by a UAE military aircraft on December 21.

UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash, however, denied the accusation.

The United Arab Emirates is among four countries, including Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Bahrain that banned all flights to Doha as well as cut off diplomatic relations and with Qatar last year over the country’s alleged support of terrorism and interference in their internal affairs.

Source: Sputnik

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز

Crazy footage from Abu Dhuhour showing Syrian Army spies within ranks of HTS

Posted: 13 Jan 2018 10:46 AM PST

BEIRUT, LEBANON (8:40 P.M.) – For the third time this week, Syrian Army spies have released footage from behind enemy lines, showing the territories controlled by the jihadist rebels.

The latest video to be released was arguably the most shocking, as a Syrian Army spy filmed within the city of Abu Dhuhour in rural Idlib.

Earlier this week, Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham pronounced Abu Dhuhour a military area, barring all civilians from remaining inside the city itself.

The Syrian Army spy filming inside Abu Dhuhour show that the government has spies within the ranks of Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham – please see below:


Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز

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

Turkey vows to ‘tear down’ YPG forces, openly attacks Syria’s Afrin

Posted: 13 Jan 2018 10:33 AM PST

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has announced a possible military operation in Syria’s Afrin, aiming to eliminate a “terrorist corridor” on Turkey’s southern border.

The Turkish army opened artillery fire on the Kurdish militia positions in the Syrian city of Afrin, the Hurriyet newspaper reported.

According to the newspaper, the Turkish Armed Forces fired 10 shots from the territory of the Reyhanli district in the country’s province of Hatay.

Following the military operation, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced a possible military operation in Syria’s Afrin on January 13, adding that Turkey will clear its border of “terrorists.”

“If the terrorists in Afrin don’t surrender we will tear them down,” Erdogan told the country’s ruling AK Party in the eastern Turkish city of Elazig, speaking about the Peoples’ Protection Units (YPG) militants, which are considered to be a terrorist group by Ankara.

As the president clarified, the Kurdish YPG were trying to create a “terrorist corridor” on Turkey’s southern border, connecting Afrin to Kurdish-controlled areas to the east.

“With the Euphrates Shield operation we cut the terror corridor right in the middle. We hit them one night suddenly. With the İdlib operation, we are collapsing the western wing,” Erdogan said.

The president went on by saying that Turkey was dissatisfied with the US for failing to stick to their promises, commenting on Washington’s decision to stop supplying the Kurdish forces with arms, announced in December 2017. However, up to now, the US has failed to prove their stance with documented evidence and the statements from the White House continue to differ on the issue.

“The US sent 4,900 trucks of weapons in Syria. We know this. This is not what allies do,” Erdogan said. “We know they sent 2,000 planes full of weapons.”

The statement was made amid Ankara’s recent summoning of the US Charge d’Affairs twice within 24 hours over the issues of Washington’s support for Syrian Kurds and the US listing Turkey among countries, not safe for travel.

As Erdogan stated, Turkey’s possible military advance in Syria’s Idlib province would eliminate Kurdish militia in the area, which neighbors Afrin. The Turkish army entered Idlib three months ago as a guarantor of the peace settlement process and has repeatedly accused the Syrian government of violating the de-escalation zone borders.

Source: Sputnik

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز

Breaking: Syrian Army’s 100-hour ghost offensive haunts jihadists out of south Aleppo

Posted: 13 Jan 2018 10:20 AM PST

BEIRUT, LEBANON (8:20 P.M.) – In an avalanche of major advances throughout Aleppo province’s southern countryside over the last four days, the Syrian Arab Army and allied pro-government militias have chased armed Islamist groups from virtually the entire region.

Syrian army-led forces have swept armed rebel factions from southern Aleppo like a specter, blitzing through anywhere between 20 to 30 towns and villages per day in fashion that saw them constantly showing up in unexpected places and attacking via unexpected axes.

The main geographical feature of southern Aleppo is the Al-Hass plateau and to this effect the entire upland region – running from As-Safriah to Al-Ramlah and Tal ad-Daman to Khanasser – has been seized by pro-government forces in one hundred hours of campaigning.

With the rump of southern Aleppo now under the control of the Syrian Army including the important crossroad town of Tal ad-Daman, it is expected that soon enough the final advance will commence to link with other army forces battling it out against jihadist factions in eastern Idlib province – a journey no greater than three kilometers at the shortest point.

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز

Breaking: Militant defenses totally disintegrate in south Aleppo as Syrian Army grabs 10 more towns on final drive to Idlib

Posted: 13 Jan 2018 07:05 AM PST

BEIRUT, LEBANON (5:05 P.M.) – The Syrian Arab Army and allies paramilitary groups have achieved a mammoth advance in the southwestern countryside of Aleppo province, snatching up ten towns and villages amid the total collapse of militant defenses throughout the region.

Moments ago, military-affiliated sources reported that Syrian pro-government forces had gained control over the towns and villages of Tal ad-Daman, Tal Ahmar, Tal as-Sheikh, Qalaat as-Sheikh, Um Amud, Al-Hanoutah, Tal al-Hawasid, Abd, As-Shuwyha and Al-Lahb in southwest Aleppo province after very violent but brief clashes with armed Islamist groups

Despite a show of resistance by jihadist-led militias, they were quick to disengage once it became apparent the were seriously outnumbered and out-gunned with Syrian army-led forces simply blasting their way through rebel lines using tanks and artillery.

With the retreat from Tal ad-Daman (a town which Al-Qaeda-linked militants implied they were going to defend fanatically) in particular, militant defenses across southwest Aleppo virtually disintegrated and with this the door to eastern Idlib has been burst open for the much-expected linking-up of Syrian Army units in both provinces.


Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز

Breaking: Syrian Army rips town from hands of ISIS as two sides begin to show-down in northeast Hama

Posted: 13 Jan 2018 06:27 AM PST

BEIRUT, LEBANON (4:27 P.M.) – Forces of the Syrian Arab Army and the Islamic State terrorist group have begun to show-down in the northeastern countryside of Hama province. In the midst of recent clashes, Syrian troops have taken control of a town from jihadist militants.

According to reports, on Saturday, the Syrian Army and ISIS engaged in major clashes with each other along their connected front-lines in northeast Hama province.

During the course of the battle that erupted, Syrian troops managed to wrest control of the town of Abu Kahr from Islamic State terrorists. At the present time it is unclear whether the engagement is still ongoing or not.

The firefights between the two sides comes after ISIS attacked Syrian forces near the Abu Duhur airbase on Thursday, killed 3 soldiers and capturing another five.

Interestingly enough, some opposition sources in southern Aleppo’s Al-Hass plateau region (adjacent to northeast Hama) claim that the Islamic State militants who attacked Syrian troops near the Abu Duhur military airport were very recent defectors from the Al-Qaeda-linked Ha’yat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra) rebel group.

In any case, it is yet to be seen if Saturday’s clashes result in a larger confrontation between the Syrian Army and ISIS throughout northeast Hama.

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز

Breaking: Syrian Army battles its way through 8 towns in southwest Aleppo despite stiffening jihadist resistance

Posted: 13 Jan 2018 05:46 AM PST

BEIRUT, LEBANON (3:46 P.M.) – Amid an ongoing blitz offensive by the Syrian Arab Army and allied paramilitaries against armed rebel groups throughout the southwestern countryside of Aleppo province, another eight towns and villages have been restored back to the control of the Damascus government. Despite this, resistance from jihadist fighters is beginning to stiffen.

Military-affiliated sources confirm that Syrian army-led forces operating in southwest Aleppo province have officially captured the settlements of As-Safa, Tallil as-Safa, Kafr Kar, Al-Banan, Umm Jiran, Al-Zira’a, Burj Al-Rumman and Hufra Al-Hoss after hours of battles with Islamist militant groups.

In what is another day of successful campaigning throughout southwest Aleppo, the seizure of the aforementioned towns and villages by the Syrian Army during recent hours comes after captured it three other settlements earlier on.

By this latest advance, the Syrian Army now controls of most of the Al-Hass plateau region.

Nonetheless, it appears that Al-Qaeda-affiliated militants are finally beginning to offer a more determined fight against Syrian troops with noteworthy clashes taking place in southwest Aleppo today. To this end, resistance by militant groups is expected to increase evermore from this point on as pro-government forces inch towards linking-up with army units in eastern Idlib province.

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز

Entire Al-Nusra military convoy including car bomb blown sky-high by Russian airstrike in east Idlib

Posted: 13 Jan 2018 05:03 AM PST

BEIRUT, LEBANON (3:00 P.M.) – The Russian Aerospace Forces have carried out a huge airstrike in the eastern countryside of Syria’s Idlib province. The bombing destroyed an entire military convoy belonging to the Ha’yat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra, the Syrian branch of Al-Qaeda) terrorist group.

On Friday night at 11 P.M., the town of Khan As-Subul in eastern Idlib was rocked when a convoy of Al-Qaeda-affiliated militants and their heavy weapons passing through it were hit by as series of precision strikes from Russian warplanes.

The resulting destruction was immense not only because of the Russian airstrikes themselves but also due to the fact that the Ha’yat Tahrir al-Sham convoy consisted of a large-yield vehicle bomb which was intended for suicide operations against the Syrian Arab Army.

In addition to the destruction of the jihadist convoy, civilian casualties also occurred, this being due to the secondary explosions caused by the vehicle bomb (which had a detonation yield far greater than the Russian munitions used for the strike).

At the present time, opposition media is attempting to spin the airstrike as a deliberate targeting of civilians by Russian airpower.

In doing so pro-rebel sources are completely neglecting to mention that the jihadist convoy consisted of a large-yield vehicle bomb or that militant forces decided to use a section of main highway (the M-5) that passes through residential areas to transport their military equipment.

NOTE: The initial report says three vehicle bombs, this was due to a mis-reading of the source information by the author of the article. The author apologizes for any misunderstanding.

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز

Breaking: Syrian Army scoops up 3 more towns in multi-axis advance throughout southwest Aleppo

Posted: 13 Jan 2018 03:33 AM PST

BEIRUT, LEBANON (1:32 P.M.) – Another three towns have fallen to the Syrian Arab Army and allied paramilitaries amid their seeming ceaseless advance throughout the southwestern countryside of Aleppo province en-route to link-up with friendly forces in eastern Idlib.

According to military-affiliated sources, the last several hours has seen Syrian pro-government forces take control of the towns and villages of Sarj Fari, Bo Ghath’d and Jubb Jasem atop the Al-Hass plateau in southwest Aleppo.

The capture of the settlements are part of a ongoing multi-axis offensive by Syrian army-led forces – with some advance from Khanasser and others from As-Safirah – aimed at securing the Al-Hass plateau and joining up with other army units in eastern Idlib.

Whilst resistance offered by jihadist militias in southwest Aleppo is by no means comparable to the display of resilience being witnessed in eastern Idlib, it has become apparent that Al-Qaeda-linked forces may very well be preparing for a major battle at the town of Tal ad-Daman to prevent further Syrian Army advances throughout the Al-Hass plateau region; however, this is yet to be seen.

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز

Al-Qaeda readies for major battle against Syrian Army at strategic town in southwest Aleppo to prevent Idlib link-up

Posted: 13 Jan 2018 02:43 AM PST

BEIRUT, LEBANON (12:40 P.M.) – Al-Qaeda-linked militias are preparing for a major operation to halt the advance of Syrian pro-government forces throughout southwest Aleppo province by making a determined stand at a strategic town in the region.

As the Syrian Arab Army and allied paramilitary groups sweep across the southwestern countryside of Aleppo province en-route to friendly forces in eastern Idlib encountering little to no resistance (so far), Al-Qaeda-affiliated militants are nonetheless readying for a major engagement in southwest Aleppo at the town of Tal ad-Daman.

Tal ad-Daman is by no means a large town (not even to Syrian rural standards), however it does happen to command all the main roads leading from southwestern Aleppo into eastern Idlib and northeast Hama.

Several days ago, fighters of the Ha’yat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra, the Syrian branch of Al-Qaeda) militant group filmed themselves inside the town, claiming to have repelled an army advance.

Whilst the claim was an outright lie because the Syrian Army was tens of kilometers away from the Tal ad-Daman at the time, government troops are now in fact closing on the town via the Al-Hass plateau and Ha’yat Tahrir al-Sham has made clear its intention to fight for the it.

The end game of Ha’yat Tahrir al-Sham is clear, the militant group wants to hold Tal ad-Daman in order to prevent a secure link-up between Syrian forces in southwest Aleppo and those in eastern Idlib.

If the Syrian Army intends to properly connect the southwest Aleppo front with eastern Idlib, the control of Tal ad-Daman is crucial. By not holding it, Syrian troops leave themselves open to constant counter-attacks by armed rebel groups from the north, who will use the town as a major mobilizing point.

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز

Rebel ‘Response to Tyranny’ operations room only succeeds in oppressing itself with lies during Idlib offensive

Posted: 13 Jan 2018 01:45 AM PST

BEIRUT, LEBANON (11:45 A.M.) – Joining onside of a counter-offensive led by hardline jihadist factions (all of them linked to Al-Qaeda) against Syrian government forces in southeastern Idlib province, Free Syrian Army-linked groups formed their own operations room named ‘Response to Tyranny.’ In the end, they have only succeeded in oppressing themselves with lies.

The sheer amount of false claims, half-truths and blatant lies spread by opposition media groups and rebel press centers in regards to Thursday’s militant counter-offensive against the Syrian Army has been astonishing, topping by far any battlefield-related fake reports from such sources in the past.

The top examples of half-truths and lies regarding recent events in Idlib are as follows:

  • Syrian rebels hit a Russian Su-24 which flamed-up but miraculously returned to base (lie; began with the releasing of years-old footage of such an event over an pro-rebel account on Twitter that was shutdown within hours).
  • Rebels captured Atshan (half-truth; the town was captured by jihadist groups linked to Al-Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood who suffered huge losses as the result of a double ambush by Syrian troops).
  • Rebel counter-offensive killed 1,350 Syrian Army and allied paramilitary troops (the scale of this fake report was so far fetched that it even encouraged a Syrian Army-linked social media page to release a sarcastic mock statement pretending to confirm the claim for amusement’s sake).
  • Free Idlib Army claimed to have shot down a Russian cruise missile fired from a warship in the Mediterranean (lie).

The fact that opposition lies about battlefield developments have stooped to the level they now have at the time that they are draws historical parallels.

The past shows that the military leaderships of dying armies which persist on fighting despite have no hope of winning always revert to the use of fantastic tactical victory claims in order to delude the lower ranks in what is a crude and rather cruel form of morale boosting.

That the end result is the continuation of a pointless resistance and, by default, the guaranteeing of more meaningless death and destruct is in fact a form of self-oppression.

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز