Differences Deepen between Russia, Turkey on Idlib

Differences Deepen between Russia, Turkey on Idlib
Thu Jul 04, 2019 2:25
TEHRAN (FNA)- Differences between Russia and Turkey have increased amid the Syrian army’s air and ground offensives against the terrorist groups’ positions and moves in Northern Hama and Southern Idlib.

Tahrir al-Sham al-Hay’at (the Levant Liberation Board or the Al-Nusra Front) terrorists stationed near the towns of al-Hawijeh and Shir Maqar in Northwestern Hama targeted the residential areas in the towns of al-Rasid and al-Aziziyeh in Qalat al-Maziq region with rockets, killing two children and wounding several other civilians.

Meantime, the Arabic-language al-Watan newspaper reported on Thursday that the Syrian army’s artillery and missile units responded the attacks by destroying the terrorists’ positions in the towns of Abu Ra’eideh, Hasraya, al-Latamineh, Kafar Zita, al-Hawijeh and Shir Maqar in Northwestern Hama, inflicting a heavy toll on the militants.

Also, the Syrian air force in several airstrikes bombed Tahrir al-Sham’s bases near Khan Sheikhoun, Hasaneh, al-Naqir, Abedin, Kanasfareh, Babolin and al-Habit, smashing a number of them and killing the terrorists inside.

It also quoted analysts as saying that continued dispatch of the Turkish army’s military convoys to Northern Syria and Russia’s airstrikes against the Ankara-backed militants in the region indicated increased differences between Russia and Turkey on Idlib.

Al-Watan had also reported in June that Turkey ordered Tahrir al-Sham to reinforce strategic military positions in Jbal al-Zawiyeh in Idlib province after it turned down Russia’s demand for withdrawing militants from the region.

It wrote that with an aim to confront the Syrian Army in Northern Hama, Tahrir al-Sham has sent large volumes of its military equipment to al-Jolmeh to North of Mahradeh.

“Turkey’s intelligence body has asked Tahrir al-Sham and other terrorist groups in Northern Syria to reinforce its defense lines, including 50 towns and villages up to the city of Ariha in Aleppo-Lattakia international highway as clean-up operation by the Syrian and Russian armies in Jabal al-Zawiyeh in Idlib is imminent,” al-Watan quoted local and opposition sources in Idlib as saying.

The sources reiterated that Turkey’s operations room in Shir Mughar region in Jabal Shahshabou in Northern Hama where terrorists are constantly supported in terms of weapons, ammunition and intelligence has warned terrorists that the Syrian army might soon capture Jbal Shahshabou which overlooks Sahl al-Ghab in Northwestern Hama and towns to the South of Idlib and then advance towards Jabal al-Zawiyeh.

The newspaper also further quoted the sources as saying that Russia had recently asked Turkey to make terrorists retreat from Jbal Shahshabou region in Northwestern Hama and Kabani town in Northeastern Lattakia which are regarded as the Southern and Western gates of Idlib, but Ankara has strongly turned down the demand.

Meantime, the Arabic-language al-Youm news website quoted media activists in Idlib province as saying that after supplying advanced weapons to terrorists, Ankara has ordered them to launch new attacks in Northern Hama to recapture the town of al-Saqilbieh.

Related Videos

Related News

Advertisements

Cowardly Israeli Aggression on Syrian Territories Aims to Prolong Terrorist War on Syria: Foreign Ministry

ST

Monday, 01 July 2019 20:00

DAMASCUS, (ST)– The cowardly Israeli aggression which targeted the Syrian territories last night is part of the Israeli continuous attempts to prolong the crisis in Syria and the terrorist war on the country, the Ministry of Foreign Affair and Expatriates has stressed.

In a letter to the UN Chief and President of the Security Council on Monday, the ministry said that the Israeli occupation forces after midnight attacked the Syrian territories by firing missiles from the Lebanese airspace against targets in Damascus, Damascus Countryside and Homs. The aggression led to the martyrdom of four civilians including a child and the wounding of 21 persons most of them are women and children and caused damage to people’s houses and properties, the ministry added.

The Israeli occupation has escalated its state terrorism to support the terrorist groups and raise their morale and to prevent the Syrian Arab Army and its allies from defeating Daesh and Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist organizations and their affiliated terrorist groups, which are Israel’s partner in terrorism, the ministry went on to say.

“All these Israeli attacks haven’t frightened the Syrian people, rather they enhanced their determination to achieve victory and restore the occupied Syrian Golan to the June 4th 1967 line,” it made it clear.

Syria affirms that Israel’s dangerous aggressive policy could not have been continued without the limitless support provided to Israel mainly by the US administration, without the immunity given by the US and other well-known countries member in the Security Council to this occupation entity and without the silence imposed by these countries on the Security Council to prevent it from playing its basic role in confronting such criminal attacks, the ministry said.

The ministry renewed its call on the Security Council to assume its responsibilities, within the framework of the UN Charter, to preserve international peace and security and adopt immediate decisive and deterrent procedures as to prevent such attacks. It also called on the Security Council to force Israel to respect international resolutions relating to the disengagement of forces agreement and to hold the Israeli enemy accountable for the crimes and terrorist acts being committed against the Syrian and Palestinian people and for its non-stopped support for  the terrorist groups in Syria.

Hamda Mustafa

Related Videos

Related News

This time, the accusation of Syria of using chemical weapons may be dangerous الاتهام بالكيميائي في سوريّة هذه المرّة قد يكون خطيراً

This time, the accusation of Syria of using chemical weapons may be dangerous

يونيو 25, 2019

Written by Nasser Kandil,

Since the American presence in the Gulf turned into an dormant force that is unable to make any events contrary to the active movement of the resistance forces represented in the operations of Ansar Allah which imposed their presence on the world oil markets, Washington felt that the initiative was moving to the hands of the resistance forces despite the American sanctions, threats, and mobilization which were thought by Washington and its allies to be enough to keep the initiative, but Iran was seeking to avoid the military response to the sanctions, so it tried to escalate gradually in its nuclear program in order to put the Europeans in front of difficult options including ending the nuclear commitment. Therefore the Gulf arena seemed free for the Americans and their allies but they were surprised by bombing oil tankers in the Emirati Fujairah Port and the announced attack of Ansar Allah which targeted Aramco pipeline that links the east of Saudi Arabia with its west and secures an alternative crossing to Hormuz Strait to pump oil across the Red Sea.

The Israeli raids which targeted sites in the south of Damascus and in Quneitra were signs of Washington’ intention to destabilize the situation in Syria in order to make a balance in the rules of engagement. When Al Nusra front accused the Syrian Army of using the chemical weapons in one of the villages of Lattakia’s countryside, the Syrian government hastened to deny that because the source of accusation is Al Nusra front. That denial seemed as a result of the realization that this game is under the coordination of Washington. After the escalation took place in the Gulf, the US State Department announced in a formal statement what it has already announced in similar occasions just in order to justify the military intervention by indicating that it has serious intentions of the usage of the chemical weapons by the Syrian army.

Apart from many positions and analyses which talked about the rocket which targeted the Green Zone in Baghdad near the US embassy, it seemed that that the rocket was a pre-emptive sign to open the issue of the American presence in Iraq if Washington tried to intervene militarily in Syria as the missiles which already targeted Syrian sites. Perhaps, in the coming days we will witness something similar that opens the issue of the American presence in Syria, in a way that puts the game of balance of arenas into an advanced escalation level and puts in return America among difficult options either to respect the rules of engagement which rule the ongoing battles in Syria between the Syrian army and the terrorist groups or to engage in these battles beside the terrorist groups. This means to accelerate the demand of the US withdrawal along with actions that may not remain political.

From their previous experiences, the Americans are aware of the balances that rule the equations in Syria and aware that the attempts to neutralize the Russian role have been failed repeatedly, and that a crucial battle is taking place against the armed groups under Syrian-Russian-Iranian partnership and some kind of the implicit coordination with Turkey. Therefore, Washington has no interest in waging an open battle against this quartet with which it has relations of hostility and tension especially after the Russian words which accuse Washington of dispersing the recent Sochi understandings through its reckless behavior in the region.

The region is on a hot tin and the opposed concerned parties try to avoid the war, but the reckless behaviors may break it out. The resistance axis is no longer behaving as allied groups, rather as an axis according to the speech of Al Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah. Therefore, the Americans and the Israelis have to take these words seriously in order to keep everything under control, but if they decide to go to war, the resistance axis will reply “we do not want war, and we will not hasten to it, but if is imposed on us we will not be afraid and we will turn it from a challenge into an opportunity”.

Translated by Lina Shehadeh,

 

الاتهام بالكيميائي في سوريّة هذه المرّة قد يكون خطيراً

مايو 23, 2019

ناصر قنديل

– منذ أن تحوّل الحشد الأميركي في الخليج قوة خامدة عاجزة عن صناعة الأحداث وواشنطن تحتاج أدوات بديلة لموازنة الحركة النشطة التي نجحت قوى المقاومة بإطلاقها مع عمليات أنصار الله التي فرضت حضورها على أسواق النفط العالمية. فقد شعرت واشنطن أن زمام المبادرة ينتقل إلى أيدي قوى المقاومة، رغم أن العقوبات والتهديدات والحشود الأميركية كانت باعتقاد الأميركيين وحلفائهم كافية لإبقاء المبادرة بأيديهم، طالما أن إيران تسعى لتفادي الرد العسكري على العقوبات، وقد سلكت طريق التصعيد في ملفها النووي تدريجياً لوضع الأوروبيين أمام خيارات صعبة من بينها إنهاء الالتزام الإيراني بموجبات الاتفاق. فبدا أن الساحة الخليجية خالية للأميركيين وحلفائهم حتى فوجئوا بخبر تفجير ناقلات النفط في ميناء الفجيرة الإماراتي، قبل أن تأتيهم لاحقاً ضربة أنصار الله المعلنة ببيان رسمي والتي استهدفت خط انبيب آرامكو الذي يربط شرق السعودية بغربها ويؤمن المنفذ البديل لمضيق هرمز لضخ النفط عبر البحر الأحمر.

– كانت الغارات الإسرائيلية التي استهدفت مواقع جنوب دمشق وفي القنيطرة، مؤشرات لنيّة واشنطن إعادة تحريك الوضع في سورية كعنوان لإقامة توازن في ساحات الاشتباك، وعندما أعلنت جبهة النصرة عن اتهام الجيش السوري باستعمال الأسلحة الكيميائية في إحدى قرى ريف اللاذقية سارعت الدولة السورية لنفي لافت، لأن مصدر الاتهام هي جبهة النصرة، وبدا أن النفي السوري استباقي ناجم عن إدراك أن اللعبة منسقة مع واشنطن، ولم تلبث الخارجية الأميركية مع تصاعد التوتر في الخليج أن أعلنت في بيان رسمي ما سبق وقالته في مرات مشابهة أرادت خلالها تصنيع ملف اتهامي للدولة السورية لتبرير تدخل عسكري، فأشارت إلى أن لديها إشارات جدية لاستخدام السلاح الكيميائيّ من الجيش السوري.

– بمعزل عن كثير من المواقف والتحليلات التي تناولت الصاروخ الذي استهدف المنطقة الخضراء في بغداد وسقط قرب السفارة الأميركية، فقد بدا هذا الصاروخ استعداداً استباقياً لفتح ملف التمركز الأميركي في العراق إذا قامت واشنطن بالتلويح بتحريك تدخل عسكري يستهدف سورية على طريقة عمليات الاستهداف الصاروخي التي سبق وتعرّضت لها المواقع والقوات السورية، وربما نشهد في أيام قريبة شيئاً مشابهاً يفتح ملف الوجود الأميركي في سورية، بما يضع لعبة توازن الساحات والملفات في مرتبة متقدمة من التصاعد، تضع الأميركي بين خيارات صعبة، احترام قواعد الاشتباك التي تحكم المعارك الدائرة في سورية بين الجيش السوري والجماعات الإرهابية، أو الدخول طرفاً في هذه المعارك من موقع لن يكون سهلاً تمييزه عن موقع الجماعات الإرهابية، وما سيعنيه ذلك من تسريع المطالبة برحيل القوات الأميركية، وما يرافق هذه الدعوات من تحركات قد لا تبقى كلها في الدائرة السياسية.

– يدرك الأميركيون من تجاربهم السابقة التوازنات التي تحكم المعادلات في سورية، ويدركون أن محاولات تحييد الدور الروسي أصيبت مراراً بالفشل، وأن معركة فاصلة تدور رحاها الآن مع الجماعات الإرهابية بشراكة سورية روسية إيرانية ونسبة من التنسيق الضمني مع تركيا، وأن واشنطن لا مصلحة لها بخوض معركة مكشوفة مع هذا الرباعي الذي تربطها بأطرافه علاقات تتراوح بين العدائيّة والسيئة والمتوترة، خصوصاً بعد الكلام الروسي الذي يتهم واشنطن بتبديد تفاهمات سوتشي الأخيرة عبر السلوك المتهوّر في المنطقة.

– المنطقة على برميل بارود، والأطراف المعنيّة والمتقابلة تسعى لتفادي الحرب، لكن الخطوات غير المحسوبة قد تشعلها، ومحور المقاومة لم يعد يتصرّف كتحالف مجموعة أطراف بل كمحور وفقاً للكلام الأخير للسيد حسن نصرالله، وعلى الأميركيين والإسرائيليين أخذ هذا الكلام بجدية في حساباتهم كي لا يقعوا بخطأ في الحساب يتسبب بخروج الأمور عن السيطرة، أما إن أرادوا الحرب فرد محور المقاومة واضح، لا نريد الحرب ولن نبادر إليها، لكن إن فرضت علينا فلا نخشاها وسنحوّلها من تحدٍّ إلى فرصة.

Related Videos

Related News

Intensive strikes on fortified positions, supply routes of al-Nusra terrorists in countryside of Hama, Idleb

ST

Friday, 21 June 2019 22:44

Hama, Idleb – Syrian Arab Army units carried out intensive strikes on fortified positions and supply routes of terrorist organizations, inflicting losses upon terrorists in personnel and equipment.

SANA said that army units targeted with intensified artillery strikes fortified positions and rocket launch-pads for terrorists of “Jabhat al-Nusra” and other groups affiliated to it on the outskirts of Kafar Zeita and al-Latamina in northern Hama.

The strikes resulted in killing and injuring several terrorists and destroying rocket launch-pads for them.

The army’s strikes came in response to the terrorists’ frequent  attacks on safe villages and towns of Hama, where terrorists positioned in Kafar Zeita and al-Thamina in northern Hama, and on the outskirts of al- Habbit in southern Idleb targeted with several rockets the towns of al-Sheikh Hadid and al-Garniya in northern and southern Hama, causing material damage to the locals’ houses, properties and  a number of agricultural fields.

 

In southern Idleb, SANA added, the army units targeted with rocket bursts al-Nusra terrorists in al-Mastouma town and the vicinity of Jabal al-Arba’een while heading for south to Ariha city.

A number of terrorists were killed, others were injured, while the rest fled towards the adjacent village of Musaybeen  where some terrorist groups are positioned .

Related Videos

Related News

Bias, Lies and Videotape: Doubts Dog ‘Confirmed’ Syria Chemical Attacks

Disturbing new evidence suggests 2018 incident might’ve been staged, putting everything else, including U.S. retaliation, into question.

Global Research, June 21, 2019

Thanks to an explosive internal memo, there is no reason to believe the claims put forward by the Syrian opposition that President Bashar al-Assad’s government used chemical weapons against innocent civilians in Douma back in April. This is a scenario I have questioned from the beginning.

It also calls into question all the other conclusions and reports by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which was assigned in 2014 “to establish facts surrounding allegations of the use of toxic chemicals, reportedly chlorine, for hostile purposes in the Syrian Arab Republic.”

As you recall, the Trump administration initiated a coordinated bombing of Syrian government facilities with the UK and France within days of the Douma incident and before a full investigation of the scene could be completed, charging Assad with the “barbaric act” of using “banned chemical weapons” to kill dozens of people on the scene. Bomb first, ask questions later.

The OPCW began their investigation days after the strikes. The group drew on witness testimonies, environmental and biomedical sample analysis results, and additional digital information from witnesses (i.e. video and still photography), as well as toxicological and ballistic analyses. In July 2018, the OPCW released an interim report on Douma that said “no organophosphorus nerve agents or their degradation products were detected, either in the environmental samples or in plasma samples from the alleged casualties,” but that chlorine, which is not a banned chemical weapon, was detected there.

The report cited ballistic tests that indicated that the canisters found at two locations on the scene were dropped from the air (witnesses blamed Assad’s forces), but investigations were ongoing. The final report in March reiterated the ballistics data, and the conclusions were just as underwhelming, saying that all of the evidence gathered there provides “reasonable grounds that the use of a toxic chemical as a weapon took place,” due in part to traces of chlorine and explosives at the impact sites.

Now, the leaked internal report apparently suppressed by the OPCW says there is a “high probability” that a pair of chlorine gas cylinders that had been claimed as the source of the toxic chemical had been planted there by hand and not dropped by aircraft. This was based on extensive engineering assessments and computer modeling as well as all of the evidence previously afforded to the OPCW.

What does this mean? To my mind, the canisters were planted by the opposition in an effort to frame the Syrian government.

The OPCW has confirmed with the validity of this shocking document and has offered statements to reporters, including Peter Hitchens, who published the organization’s response to him on May 16.

The ramifications of this turn of events extend far beyond simply disproving the allegations concerning the events in April 2018. The credibility of the OPCW itself and every report and conclusion it has released concerning allegations of chemical weapons use by the Syrian government are now suspect. The extent to which the OPCW has, almost exclusively, relied upon the same Syrian opposition sources who are now suspected of fabricating the Douma events raises serious questions about both the methodology and motivation of an organization that had been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2013 for “its extensive efforts to eliminate chemical weapons.”

In a response to Agence France-Presse (AFP), OPCW director general Fernando Ariasacknowledged there is an internal probe into the memo leak but that he continues to “stand by the impartial and professional conclusions” of the group’s original report. He played down the role of the memo’s author, Ian Henderson, and said his alternative hypotheses were not included in the final OPCW report because they “pointed at possible attribution” and were therefore outside the scope of the OPCW’s fact finding mission in Syria.

Self-produced videos and witness statements provided by the pro-opposition Violations Documentation Center, Syrian Civil Defense (also known as the White Helmets), and the Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS), a non-profit organization that operates hospitals in opposition-controlled Syria, represented the heart and soul of the case against the Syrian government regarding the events in Douma. To my mind, the internal memo now suggests that these actors were engaging in a systemic effort to disseminate disinformation that would facilitate Western military intervention with the goal of removing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad from power.

This theory has been advanced by pro-Assad forces and their Russian partners for some time. But independent reporting on the ground since the Douma incident has sussed out many of the same concerns. From James Harkin, director of the Center for Investigative Journalism and a fellow at Harvard University’s Shorenstein Center, who traveled to the site of the attacks and reported for The Intercept in February of this year:

The imperative to grab the fleeting attention of an international audience certainly seems to have influenced the presentation of the evidence. In the videos and photos that appeared that evening, most analysts and observers agree that there were some signs that the bodies and gas canisters had been moved or tampered with after the event for maximum impact. The Syrian media activists who’d arrived at the apartment block with the dead people weren’t the first to arrive on the scene; they’d heard about the deaths from White Helmet workers and doctors at the hospital.

The relationship between the OPCW and the Syrian opposition can be traced back to 2013. That was when the OPCW was given the responsibility of eliminating Syria’s declared arsenal of chemical weapons; this task was largely completed by 2014. However, the Syrian opposition began making persistent allegations of chemical weapon attacks by the Syrian government in which chlorine, a substance not covered by Syria’s obligation to be disarmed of chemical weapons, was used. In response, the OPCW established the Fact Finding Mission (FFM) in 2014 “to establish facts surrounding allegations of the use of toxic chemicals, reportedly chlorine, for hostile purposes in the Syrian Arab Republic.”

The priority of effort for the FFM early on was to investigate allegations of the use of chlorine as a weapon. Since, according to its May 2014 summary, “all reported incidents took place at locations that the Syrian Government considers to be outside its effective control,” the FFM determined that the success of its mission was contingent upon “identification of key actors, such as local authorities and/or representatives of armed opposition groups in charge of the territories in which these locations are situated; the establishment of contacts with these groups in an atmosphere of mutual trust and confidence that allows the mandate and objectives of the FFM to be communicated.”

So from its very inception, the FFM had to rely on the anti-Assad opposition and its supporters for nearly everything. The document that governed the conduct of the FFM’s work in Syria was premised on the fact that the mission would be dependent in part upon “opposition representatives” to coordinate, along with the United Nations, the “security, logistical and operational aspects of the OPCW FFM,” including liaising “for the purposes of making available persons for interviews.”

One could sense the bias resulting from such an arrangement when, acting on information provided to it by the opposition regarding an “alleged attack with chlorine” on the towns of Kafr Zeyta and Al-Lataminah, the FFM changed its original plans to investigate an alleged chlorine attack on the town of Harasta. This decision, the FFM reported, “was welcomed by the opposition.” When the FFM attempted to inspect Kafr Zeyta, however, it was attacked by opposition forces, with one of its vehicles destroyed by a roadside bomb, one inspector wounded, and several inspectors detained by opposition fighters.

The inability to go to Kafr Zeyta precluded the group from “presenting definitive conclusions,” according to the report. But that did not stop the FFM from saying that the information given to them from these opposition sources, “including treating physicians with whom the FFM was able to establish contact,” and public domain material, “lends credence to the view that toxic chemicals, most likely pulmonary irritating agents such as chlorine, have been used in a systematic manner in a number of attacks” against Kafr Zeyta.

So the conclusion/non-conclusion was based not on any onsite investigation, but rather videos produced by the opposition and subsequently released via social media and interviews also likely set up by opposition groups (White Helmets, SAMS, etc.), which we know, according to their own documents, served as the key liaisons for the FFM on the ground.

All of this is worrisome. It is unclear at this point how many Syrian chemical attacks have been truly confirmed since the start of the war. In February of this year, the Global Policy Institute released a report saying there were 336 such reports, but they were broken down into “confirmed,” “credibly substantiated,” and “comprehensively confirmed.” Out of the total, 111 were given the rigorous “comprehensively confirmed” tag, which, according to the group, meant the incidents were “were investigated and confirmed by competent international bodies or backed up by at least three highly reliable independent sources of evidence.”

They do not go into further detail about those bodies and sources, but are sure to thank the White Helmets and their “implementing partner” Mayday Rescue and Violations Documentation Center, among other groups, as “friends and partners” in the study. So it becomes clear, looking at the Kafr Zeytan inspection and beyond, that the same opposition sources that are informing the now-dubious OPCW reports are also delivering data and “assistance” to outside groups reaching international audiences, too.

The role of the OPCW in sustaining the claims made by the obviously biased Syrian opposition sources cannot be understated—by confirming the allegations of chemical weapons use in Douma, the OPCW lent credibility to claims that otherwise should not—and indeed would not—have been granted, and in doing so violated the very operating procedures that had been put in place by the OPCW to protect the credibility of the organization and its findings.

There is an old prosecutorial rule—one lie, all lies—that comes into play in this case. With the leaked internal report out there, suggesting that the sources in the Douma investigation were agenda-driven and dishonest, all information ever provided to the OPCW by the White Helmets, SAMS, and other Syrian opposition groups must now, in my mind, be viewed as tainted and therefore unusable.

*

Note to readers: please click the share buttons above or below. Forward this article to your email lists. Crosspost on your blog site, internet forums. etc.

Scott Ritter is a former Marine Corps intelligence officer who served in the former Soviet Union implementing arms control treaties, in the Persian Gulf during Operation Desert Storm, and in Iraq overseeing the disarmament of WMD. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research

Featured image is from Mikhail Semenov /Shutterstock

Syrian War Report – June 10, 2019: Militants Suffer Large Casualties In Clashes In Northern Hama

South Front

Fierce clashes have been ongoing in northern Hama since June 6 when Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, Jaysh al-Izza, the Turkish-backed National Front for Liberation (NFL) and their allies launched an advance on Syrian Arab Army (SAA) positions there.

Initially, militants seized several positions, including Jibeen and Tal Meleh, but then the SAA re-grouped and launched a counter-attack stopping the further militant advance. According to pro-government sources, the recently deployed reinforcements from the 5th Assault Corps, the 3rd Armoured Division and 7th Armoured Division as well as support of the Syrian Air Force and the Russian Aerospace Forces played a role in this counter-attack.

The pro-opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said that at least 102 militants and 126 pro-government fighters have been killed in the clashes. Both these numbers seem to be overestimated. Nonetheless, if they are even partially true, these are the most intense clashes in the area over the past few months.

On June 9, units of the NFL and the al-Qaeda-affiliated coalition of militant groups, Wa Harid al-Muminin, attacked SAA positions near Turkish border in northern Lattakia. A source in the SAA told SouthFront that the attack, which began in the early hours of the morning, was launched from Turkish territory. The source said that vehicles armed with heavy machine guns supporting the militants were moving on the border line. A salvo of rockets was also launched from the direction of southern Turkey.

Sources close to the NFL and Wa Hariiid al-Muminin claimed that over 50 troops were killed in the attack. Nonetheless, this number remains unconfirmed by any photo or video evidence.

The NFL was formed last August by several Turkish-backed groups after direct pressure from Ankara. Wa Harid al-Muminin was established around the same time by al-Qaeda-affiliated Jamat Ansar al-Islam, Horas al-Din, Jabhat Ansar al-Islam and Ansar al-Tawhid.

Meanwhile, militants started using man-portable air-defense systems (MANPADs) against aircraft supporting the SAA.

On June 7, a Syrian warplane was hit by a surface-to-air missile over northern Hama. A military source told SouthFront that a Syrian Su-22M4 fighter bomber was hit with a MANPAD, but the damaged jet landed in a unspecified airbase in Homs. The pilot survived.

On June 8, the Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham news network claimed that a L-39 jet of the Syrian Air Force was targeted by a unspecified air-defense weapon while conducting a sortie over Greater Idlib. However, pro-government sources denied these claims.

Related Videos

Related News

Resistance report: Syrian Army offensive stalls as both sides trade blows

June 08, 2019

by Aram Mirzaei for The Saker Blog

Resistance report: Syrian Army offensive stalls as both sides trade blows
It’s been over a month now since the Syrian Army launched it’s long awaited Idlib offensive. The Syrian Arab Army and the jihadist rebels of Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham are involved in the deadliest battle of the month in northwestern Hama. What began as a successful month for the Syrian Army has since turned in a blood bath with all warring parties trading heavy offensives along the Hama-Idlib axis. This week alone has resulted in well over 100 casualties for the jihadists while the Syrian Army has suffered almost 40 casualties. It is quite noticeable that Ankara has a hand in this since Turkish made weapons have been found on several frontlines in the hands of these terrorists. On top of that, Ankara manages to yet again negotiate a short lived ceasefire which Moscow agreed to, yet as per usual, the dishonourable jihadists used this opportunity to regroup and rearm in preparation for their massive counter offensive.

It has to be said, Moscow keeps getting fooled for some reason to agree on these damned ceasefires, that keep prolonging the inevitable doom of the monsters occupying the Idlib province. This time Moscow, Damascus and Tehran have had a golden opportunity to finish the jihadists off as Washington seems rather uninterested in getting involved with this offensive. I say this because Washington has been unusually quiet this time around, save for some Sunday evening Trump tweet claiming that he was “hearing word” that Russia, Syria, and to a lesser extent, Iran, were indiscriminately bombing the Idlib province. Even the western media that usually gets all fired up about their beloved terrorists in Idlib have been relatively quiet, could it be that they are losing interest now that Washington has its hands full with a coup attempt in Caracas and building up for a full scale war in the Middle East?

Washington seems to have other things in mind as Bolton and Pompeo seem hell bent on starting wars with the Islamic Republic and Venezuela, while Europe seems too busy fumbling in the dark over the JCPOA.

This leaves the jihadists with few allies except for Ankara which I am convinced is playing a double side game with Moscow and Washington. The opportunists in Ankara have for long played both sides in Syria as they claim they are allied with Moscow and Tehran yet keep supporting terrorist forces against Damascus and her allies. It is deeply frustrating to hear Ankara strike a deal with Moscow over Syria’s survival and preservation only to hear the Turkish president or foreign minister the very next day claim that “the Assad regime has killed 1 million people”. At some point Moscow must force Ankara to stop with this insane approach and choose sides once and for all, or this war will continue for another decade as Ankara will only get bolder by the day.

Elsewhere, ISIS terrorists hiding in caves in eastern Homs are taking advantage of the massive Syrian Army build up near the Idlib-Hama axis to launch hit and run attacks and kidnapping operations on inexperienced garrison units near the Palmyra front. I really never could understand why Moscow and Damascus always allows a few of these terrorists to remain after every major operation they launch on their territories. It always comes to bite them back later on as these terrorists never seem to back down or capitulate anyways. Meanwhile, terrorist benefactor Israel has been active over Syrian skies once more after claiming that shells were fired into the occupies Golan Heights from the Syrian side. Not that I ever believed in what the Zionist state has ever claimed as an excuse for attacking Syria, but there has been no fighting in the Quneitra province for almost a full year now since the jihadist militants were expelled from the entire southern parts of the country last year. Of course the Zionist state doesn’t ever bother to provide any evidence for their claims so it can be concluded that the pretext was totally made up to cover their true intentions, to target any advanced weaponry Syria might possess. The attack targeted Syria’s strategic T4 airbase, known for being used by both Russian and Iranian military personnel. Israel very likely informed Russia before the attack, which is why they were able to avoid the latter at the T4 airbase.

Since the start of June, the Israeli military has conducted at least two attacks on Syrian military installations, resulting in the death of at least a half dozen soldiers. Fighting in Syria intensifies while Washington is targeting any oil shipments coming into Syria in its campaign to cripple Syria financially. Pressure on Tehran and Hezbollah is also intensifying as the threat of war still looms in the region with Washington and Tel Aviv’s continued posturing and Saudi Arabia’s pathetic false flag attacks in the Persian Gulf region which they as per usual try to blame on Iran.

It looks like it’s going to be a very hot summer this year for the Resistance Axis. It will take much effort and strategic planning to counter these foul plans hatched by the Zionist Empire.

%d bloggers like this: