Daraa: Weapons Unearthed Left Behind by NATO’s ‘Peaceful Protesters’

 ARABI SOURI 

Weapons and munition found in Daraa southern Syria

Daraa, Syrian law enforcement authorities unearthed one more warehouse loaded with weapons and advanced munition left behind by NATO-sponsored terrorists in the southern Syrian province.

With the help of the locals, the law enforcement authorities busted a number of hideouts used by Al Qaeda ‘peaceful protesters’ in the al-Lajat Badia and in the eastern countryside of Daraa and found a depot of assorted weapons and munition which were used by the ‘peaceful protesters’ to ‘throw flowers and roses at the Syrian army and Syrian civilians’ as per the US’s Pentagon propagandists.

Weapons and munition found in Daraa southern Syria
Weapons and munition found in Daraa southern Syria
Weapons and munition found in Daraa southern Syria
Weapons and munition found in Daraa southern Syria
Weapons and munition found in Daraa southern Syria

The cache found includes light and medium weapons, mortar shells, tanks chargers, Malyutka, and Konkurs missiles, in addition to amounts of various kinds of ammunition. Our readers would realize that all of these are lethal and widespread killing tools, contrary to what US and European official and their propagandist claim that they supported Al Qaeda Levant as ‘unlethal aid’ paid for by their taxpayers, and weapons, in general, are costly, smuggling them through a number of countries and then into Syria through the open desert is more costly.

We wonder whether the US, British, German, French, and other European taxpayers are satisfied with the outcome of their investment in terrorism in Syria? The grandchildren of the medieval Crusaders have advanced in most fields except in humanity.

Ever since the ‘peaceful protesters’ of Al Qaeda and its affiliated groups were defeated, tons of their weapons and munition were found to the extent the Syrian Arab Army’s engineering corps ran out of warehouses to store them and are blowing up these findings in contained areas turning them into scrap metal for recycling, almost on daily basis.

Daraa province borders the British protectorate Jordan which acted as a hub in the south of Syria to host and train terrorists and smuggle them with their weapons and drugs into Syria from the southern long open borders, this is in addition to NATO member state Turkey in the north, Lebanon in the west, and occupied Iraq in the east. Most weapons depots found are hidden near the borders with one of these countries.

Russian MoD Opens a Museum for Weapons Confiscated from Terrorists in Syria

https://syrianews.cc/russian-mod-museum-terrorists-syria/embed/#?secret=mvhHvGcaIG

To help us continue please visit the Donate page to donate or learn how you can help us with no cost on you.
Follow us on Telegram: http://t.me/syupdates link will open the Telegram app.

More on the Topic

Even as a White Helmets boss admits ‘former’ militant links, Canadian national media talks ‘Russian disinfo’

*From Clarity of Signal


-by Eva K Bartlett

Even when a high-ranking White Helmet admits that some of the ‘rescuers’ came from the ranks of Syrian militants, all he gets from Canada’s national broadcaster is unquestioning praise and concern about “Russian disinformation.”

On March 30, Carol Off, the host of As it Happens on Canada’s government-funded CBC, interviewed Montreal-based Farouq Habib, deputy general manager of the White Helmets, about the organization’s operatives and their family members evacuated to Jordan (via Israel, with Canada’s help) nearly three years ago.

At the time, Canada pledged to take in 50 White Helmets and 200 family members. Off’s focus was on 43 evacuees who still haven’t arrived in Canada.

So she asked Habib: “There are some suggestions that the Canadian security believes that these remaining White Helmet people have a connection to the insurgency, that they were militants in some way. Is there evidence of that?

Habib replied to the positive, “Regarding this particular issue, we don’t deny it at all. It’s declared and we are proud that many of the former fighters who were involved in the beginning in the war…They lay down their arms and they joined the rescue teams to rescue others...”

Militant-linked propaganda operation

The Western-funded White Helmets describe themselves as volunteer rescuers, and claim to have “saved more than 100,000 lives.” To prove – or rather, propagandize – their heroism, the group uses professionally-produced videos and social media content about their operations.

Western corporate media has been unblinkingly regurgitating their claims and content, while at the same time smearing journalists who actually went to Syria and interviewed civilians on the White Helmets. From far outside of Syria, it has instead been whitewashing the controversial, militant-linked group.

The White Helmets are not just propaganda, though. I wrote previously about their ties to terrorist and extremist groups. They have been filmed holding weapons alongside terrorists. They were seen at scenes of executions, standing over dead Syrian soldiers, and reportedly cleaning up after an execution in Daraa Governorate.

Journalists have taken testimonies of civilians who had lived under the rule of terrorists, who spoke of how the White Helmets worked alongside terrorists, numbered among them, and denied medical treatment to the people they were supposedly saving.

The White Helmets purport neutrality, but evidence – summarily dismissed by mainstream media as Russian and Syrian “disinformation” – shows they are in fact very partial – partial to militant factions.

Canada backs the White Helmets, giving at least $7.5 million and unquestioning media support.

Hence, CBC has a vested interest in reading the “hero” script on the White Helmets, instead of actually doing journalism.

No questions asked

With the above in mind, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that Carol Off never veered from her script to at least doubt Habib’s claims that all of the militant-linked White Helmets have really “laid down” their weapons. Not to mention the numerous other questions a responsible journalist could have asked, like:

-How many White Helmets members formerly (cough) fought in armed groups?

-Which factions were they members of?

-Do any have blood on their hands?

-Do any currently carry weapons?

-How can you ensure that they have dropped their extremist ways and now are truly impartial and dedicated to helping all Syrian civilians?

Off could have asked any of these questions, or all of them. Instead, she went on:

Let’s remind people, the White Helmets are believed to have saved tens of thousands of lives. They were nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. But at the same time, we know that Russian and and Syrian agents have conducted a disinformation smear campaign against the White Helmets. There’s been a lot of propaganda suggesting that they’re not real saviours, that they’re militants. Do you think that the Canadian officials might have been exposed to that propaganda?

…as if she never heard the part where, just a moment earlier, Habib explicitly bragged that there are “former” militants among the White Helmets – a fact that, at the very least, should arouse suspicion with those responsible for letting them cross Canada’s border.

And just like that, no hard questions asked, the interviewer went on to trumpeting the White Helmets using their own propaganda about the “Russian/Syrian disinformation campaign.

‘A few’ bad apples?

As for Off’s guest, just how neutral is Farouq al-Habib?

He was a leader of the Homs uprising against the Syrian government and a founder member of the ‘Homs Revolutionary Council.’ When jihadist commander and footballer Abdul Baset al-Sarout died in June 2019, Habib mourned his passing, lamenting his “heroism” and “honour.” Sarout not only held extremist and sectarian views, but was in a terrorist faction and pledged allegiance to ISIS.

It’s not surprising that Off chose not to probe into Habib’s history, just as she chose to ignore his admission of White Helmets’ supposedly-former militant affiliations.

As my own and other journalists’ research on the ground in Syria indicates, many White Helmets members are partial to militant or terrorist factions. They even cheered alongside and for al-Qaeda in Syria. In the rare cases of acknowledging that, media have played it down as just “a few bad apples.”

That’s not the case. Most of the apples are fully rotten. And so is the mainstream reporting.

RELATED:

Decision to bring White Helmets to Canada dangerous and criminal

Western media quick to accuse Syria of ‘bombing hospitals’ – but when TERRORISTS really destroy Syrian hospitals, they are silent

 Aleppo’s Al-Kindi hospital, one of the best cancer hospitals in the Middle East.

*Dec 2013: FSA & Al-Qaeda bomb and completely destroy Aleppo’s Al-Kindi hospital, one of the best cancer hospitals in the Middle East.

moi

March 24, 2021, RT.com

-by Eva K Bartlett

As legacy media again bleat the unsubstantiated “Syria is bombing hospitals” chorus of its war propaganda songbook, let’s pause to review the relatively unknown (but verifiable) reality of terrorists bombing hospitals in Syria.

Following recent allegations of a hospital being targeted Al Atarib, western Aleppo, the US State Department repeated the claim, in spite of any clear evidence to back it up.

Instead, reports rely on highly questionable sources like the White Helmets, the USAID-funded Syrian American Medical Society and the usual unnamed “witnesses” and (clearly impartial!) “rebel sources,” as per a Reuters’ report on the recent claims.

In fact, Reuters even acknowledges being unable to verify the authenticity of videos purporting to show “a ward damaged and civil defence rescuers carrying bloodstained patients outside.”

Let’s recall that Idlib is occupied by Al-Qaeda in Syria – a fact emphasized (as I wrote) by the US’ own former special envoy, Brett McGurk, who deemed the northwestern Syrian province the “largest Al-Qaeda safe-haven since 9/11.

The presence of Al-Qaeda and affiliated terrorist groups makes it impossible for independent, neutral bodies to assess what is going on.

Facts matter, they say. But really, not so much when it comes to war propaganda.

In Sarmada, Idlib countryside, one of the targets was a Tahrir al-Sham (Al-Qaeda in Syria) fuel market, the smuggled fuel tankers obliterated.

A White Helmets video supposedly filmed in Al-Atarib alleges a hospital was bombed there. It indeed shows what looks like a medical facility covered in dust, and a lot of bulky men of fighting age. Glaringly absent are women or normal looking civilians.

Given the White Helmets’ penchant for working only in areas controlled by terrorist factions, working with them and even numbering among them, dabbling in organ trade, and having lied many times in the past, the video proves nothing.

There is, on the other hand, a precedent for “hospitals” or medical centres being weaponized by terrorists. And not just once or twice, but repeatedly in terrorist-occupied areas throughout Syria.

I’ve seen them in Aleppo and eastern Ghouta.

The Eye and Childrens’ Hospitals, a large complex in eastern Aleppo, was militarized and occupied by terrorists including the Tawhid Brigade, Al-Qaeda and even IS (Islamic State, formerly ISIS). Prisoners were held, and tortured, in nightmarish prisons and solitary confinement cells deep below. 

As journalist Vanessa Beeley noted, in eastern Ghouta, medical centres, “provided treatment almost exclusively to extremist armed factions.” They were also built underground, “linked by a vast maze of tunnels that snaked below most of the districts controlled by the armed groups, providing cover for the fighters during SAA [Syrian Arab Army] military campaigns.” (An aside, see one of these massive tunnels in Douma, at the location of the underground “hospital.”)

In Idlib, a “hospital” that the New York Times claimed Russian warplanes bombed in May 2019 was a cave used as a terrorist headquarters. Another fortified cave in Khan Sheikhoun was well-stocked with weapons, medical supplies and gas masks, and a prison with solitary confinement cells.

In areas liberated from terrorists, the Syrian Army routinely finds such caves, with tunnels connecting terrorist bases so they can avoid moving above ground.

In the past, Russia has provided satellite imagery when the question of a building allegedly being bombed arose. Until we have conclusive evidence either way, it is a question of he said, she said, although common sense (and the history of such lies) points to more media fabrications.

Hospitals bombed, media yawns

Since the media and pundits clearly care so much about Syrian hospitals being bombed, and even destroyed, it’s worth reviewing some of the major hospitals damaged or destroyed by terrorist factions.

However, unsurprisingly, not a lot of information is available. The following is a partial list, with me filling in details from attacked hospitals that I have gone to.

  • The September 2012 Free Syrian Army (FSA) bombing of and complete destruction of Al-Watani Hospital in Qusayr, Homs province. 
  • The September 2012 FSA bombing and complete destruction of two hospitals in Aleppo.
  • The December 2013 FSA & Al-Qaeda bombing and complete destruction of Aleppo’s Al-Kindi hospital, one of the largest and best cancer hospitals in the Middle East.
  • The April 2015 FSA bombing and siege of the National Hospital in Jisr al-Shughour, Idlib.
  • The May 2016 IS horrific multiple suicide bombings in Jableh (and also in Tartous the same day), including inside Jableh’s National Hospital.
  • The May 2016 attack outside Aleppo’s Dabeet maternity hospital, a missile hit a car parked outside, which then exploded, killing three women at the hospital and injuring many more. 

I went to Aleppo in July 2016 and spoke with the director, who confirmed his hospital was gutted in the blast, and noted that a week later terrorists’ mortars hit the roof of the hospital, destroying the roof and injuring construction workers.

In May 2018, before Daraa was fully liberated, I went to areas which were under fire from terrorists (including the day I went), and took a perilous high speed ride in the taxi I had hired in Damascus to the state hospital, down a road exposed to terrorist sniping from less than 100 metres away.

The hospital was battered and partially destroyed from terrorists’ mortars, and mostly empty of patients. The director showed me destroyed wards (dialysis and laboratory), and off-limits areas due to high risk of sniping (gynecology, operations, blood bank, nursing school, children’s hospital).

When I returned to Daraa in September, after the region was liberated, the hospital was full of patients, since it was finally possible to access without risk.

Behind the hospital, roughly 50 metres away, I saw a building when I was told had been occupied by terrorists. Hence the extreme risk of being sniped while inside the hospital.

I never saw any Western outlet speak of this hospital, although it serviced civilians and was quite visibly partially destroyed.

In November 2016, I met Dr. Ibrahim Hadid, former Director of Kindi Hospital, who said that he wanted medical colleagues and institutions to exert some of the concern they have for “hospitals” allegedly bombed in terrorist areas.

They, and Western corporate media, have done the opposite, of course.

Another chemical song and dance routine?

Meanwhile, Russia is warning of a possible new staged chemical provocation by Tahrir al-Sham in Idlib.

The Russian Center for Reconciliation says, “militants are plotting to stage a fake chemical attack near the settlement of Qitian,” to again accuse the Syrian government of using chemicals on the people.

As anyone following the war on Syria knows, although the West desperately wants to prove Syria committed one or more chemical attacks, it has failed, to the point where even OPCW experts spoke out, contradicting the claims.

As I wrote last week, in spite of incessantly lying about Syria for ten years, Western (and Gulf) media, pundits and politicians steam ahead with more lies – recycled accusations and war propaganda.

So, it is likely the “hospitals bombed” theme will surge anew, and then the “chemical attacks” theme. And then maybe we’ll have another new Bana al-Abed to ask Biden to bomb Syria or “holocaust” Idlib…

On and on it goes, ceaseless war propaganda.

The irony is of course, as I feel the need to make clear nearly every time I write, those script-readers claiming that Syria (and Russia) are bombing hospitals, or using chemicals, or whatever lie is next recycled, don’t actually care about the lives of Syrians. 

If they did, they would stop whitewashing terrorism in Syria, aid the country and its allies in liberating Idlib and the Aleppo countryside, stop pillaging its oil, leave Syria, and lift the sanctions.

RELATED:

Liberate Syria’s Idlib, precisely for the civilians that America fakes concern over

No attack, no victims, no chem weapons: Douma witnesses speak at OPCW briefing at The Hague

Organ theft, staged attacks: UN panel details White Helmets’ criminal activities, media yawns

In the Western Media Narrative, SAA-Targeted Underground Bunkers and Terrorist-Run Prisons Become “Hospitals”

Syria War Diary: What Life Is Like Under ‘Moderate’ ‘Rebel’ Rule

Israel violates international law anew, again bombing Syria…to further indifference of Western media

Liberate Syria’s Idlib, precisely for the civilians that America fakes concern over

US sanctions are part of a multi-front war on Syria, and its long-suffering civilians are the main target

It’s 10 years since the war in Syria began, and Western media & pundits are still eager to keep it going

ABOUT ME

Eva Bartlett is an independent writer and rights activist with extensive experience in Syria and in the Gaza Strip, where she lived a cumulative three years (from late 2008 to early 2013). She documented the 2008/9 and 2012 Israeli war crimes and attacks on Gaza while riding in ambulances and reporting from hospitals. In 2017, she was short-listed for the prestigious Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism. The award rightly was given to the amazing journalist, the late Robert Parry [see his work on Consortium News]. In March 2017, she was awarded “International Journalism Award for International Reporting” granted by the Mexican Journalists’ Press Club (founded in 1951). Co-recipients included: John Pilger and political analyst Thierry Meyssan. She was also the first recipient of the Serena Shim award, an honour shared with many excellent journalists since. https://serenashimaward.org/laureates/ Since April 2014, she has visited Syria 14 times, the last time being from March to late September, 2020. All of her writings and videos on which can be found here: https://ingaza.wordpress.com/syria/syria-my-published-articles-from-and-on-syria-2014-2017/ and here: https://www.youtube.com/user/InGazaUpdates/videos A more detailed account of her activism and writings can be found here: https://ingaza.wordpress.com/about-me/ Her social media sites: https://linktr.ee/evakarenebartlett

THE SYRIAN ARAB ARMY IN THE WORLD’S MOST VOLATILE GAME OF WHACK-A-MOLE

South Front

You can read this article in German. LINK

It is as if the Syrian Arab Army were involved in a giant game of whack-a-mole.  Each time it carries out a successful operation on one of its numerous battlefields, it gets punished elsewhere.

On March 16th, a convoy of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) elite 4th Division was ambushed in the countryside of Daraa. Despite heavy fire from the SAA, the gunmen were able to escape after killing 22 service members and injuring at least five others.

The situation in Daraa is quite complicated. In February, the SAA was preparing to launch a large-scale operation to arrest a group of wanted militants in western Daraa.  However former rebel leaders expelled the group from the area and accepted a new reconciliation agreement. The operation was thus avoided, but there has been no cessation of hostilities.

The time may have come for another operation in Daraa, keeping in mind the recent progress in actions in the northeast against Turkish proxies, who had been smuggling oil.

Sure enough, Russian Military Police also completed their deployment to the vicinity of the ancient city of Busra in the southern Syrian governorate. Wherever a Syrian operation is about to happen, Russian support is always nearby.

Meanwhile, the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) resumed oil and wheat shipments to areas held by the Damascus government. This is an expected result of continuous pressure from Damascus and its Russian support. The Russians even regained control of an oil field and a gas field in nearby Raqqah.

This, of course, comes in addition to the heavy punishment meted out by the SAA to the Turkish proxies in the northeast, who have been exploiting the situation and trafficking resources for Ankara.

More than likely the SDF took the decision to resume shipments 35 days after halting them after considering the developments of the last several days and weeks.

In central Syria, a testament to the progress made in pushing back ISIS is likely the 140 km long trench being dug by the Iraqi Armed Forces. Being pounded by both the SAA and the Russian Armed Forces, ISIS cells are attempting to move into Iraq and carry out their activities there. The Iraqi Army is attempting to pincer them and to both stop their movement in that direction and entrap the terrorists.

The SAA is making progress on many fronts throughout Syria, and large-scale operations are expected in the northeast. Time will tell which issue is more pressing – the Turkish proxies in the northeast, the terrorists in the central region, the “moderate opposition” in Greater Idlib or the insurgency in Daraa.

Busy Day for NATO Terrorists in Syria: 3 Kids Hurt by IED, Homes Bombed

 MIRI WOOD 

al jourin bombing

NATO terrorists had a busy day in Syria on 6 March: Three children were injured by an IED in Daraa, while homes and businesses were bombed in Jourin. Syria has had no honeymoon from terror since the changing of the occupant of the White House; NATO weapons continue to fall like manna from the heavens, into the arms of the demi-angels, those joyful freedom fighters.

Terrorists in the outskirts of Jisr al Shughur, Idlib governate, launched rocket fire against the residential neighborhood of Jourin, Hama governate. There were no casualties, but much infrastructural damage.

Rockets are ground-to-ground bombs.

The three children were injured while playing near the al Khirbeh roundabout at the eastern entrance to Daraa. Being children, they were enticed by a sweets box (“halwa”) protruding from a brick wall. The empty candy box was rigged to detonate when touched.

Local police discovered more explosives and several detonators nearby. Blowing up Syrian children has been ongoing evidence of the doubleplusgood activities of the NATO Spring, since the Russian sappers found explosives in toys while clearing almost one thousand hectares of the eastern parts of Aleppo, after the terrorists were put on buses in December 2016.

white-helmets-organ-traders
Russian sapper demining a doll of explosives
smart-prosthetics
takfiri left explosives in children’s toys
another toy rigged to blow off child’s arms
double aka amputee child in rehab
little syrian boy being fitted for prosthetic arm
arm prothestic

ARRANGING THE MIDDLE EAST NARRATIVE TO PUSH THE AGENDA FORWARD

South Front

The United States is returning to a level of activity in the Middle East unseen in nearly 4 years. This development has become obvious over the weeks since Joe Biden became US President, firstly with a large deployment into Syria, and subsequently with smaller ones.

On February 9th, the Pentagon said that it was no longer in Syria to protect and exploit oil fields.

It is now back to hunting ISIS. Back to the square one of 2014 and the Obama era. ISIS somehow obliged by ramping up their activities throughout Syria.

It is a mystery that they were able to make such a sharp and sudden resurgence. It should also be noted that the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces allegedly have about 10,000 ISIS terrorists imprisoned.

This statement of intent denotes a massive shift in posture for the US.  When defending the oil fields the US troops were mostly static, when hunting ISIS they can, once again, roam around and carry out various operations.

It appears likely that Idlib is now also in focus – US combat drones were observed surveying Greater Idlib. Idlib is a mixed bag – it has Turkish troops, Russians, the Syrian Arab Army along with terrorists and the moderate opposition, although confusing these two groups can be forgiven. The newest, future, US ally is there – the soon-to-be-rebranded Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham.

An indication of expected escalations and attacks are the Russian and Syrian military drills being carried out near Aleppo during effective wartime. Russia, separately, carried out a naval drill near Tartus.

And, as if by design, long-range missiles attempted to strike Russia’s forces at the Hmeimim Air Base. Drones occasionally attempt to infiltrate its airspace, but missiles are a rare sight.

Meanwhile in Western Daraa, the rebel leaders submitted to Damascus, likely fearing the upcoming chaos and wanting to choose a side.

Finally, the Biden administration is also working to secure Israeli support. The State Department said it doesn’t endorse Trump’s recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, but doesn’t oppose it. It also provided a $9bn weapon sale as consolation. Tel Aviv is likely to use these weapons to counter its nemesis – Iran. It does so by targeting alleged Iranian interests in Syria.

Syria remains the lynchpin of US Middle East policy but the US posture in Iraq and Afghanistan has also changed. Withdrawing from the region is now out of the question – ISIS is making a resurgence, and there are other groups targeting American forces and convoys.

In Afghanistan, specifically, if the withdrawal does not move forward, the Taliban are also likely to begin targeting the US again.

The democrats are back in control and back to spreading democracy in the Middle East.

Israel Strikes Syria To Celebrate Whitewashing Of Al-Qaeda In Idlib

South Front

 04.02.2021 

You can read this article in German. LINK

Israel is becoming increasingly assertive in its strikes and raids, allegedly against Iranian positions, on Syrian soil.

This is more than likely owed to the fact that US activity is at a low-point following Joe Biden’s inauguration.

Israel feels threatened by the slim possibility that the Iran Nuclear Deal will be revived. As such it is left to fend for itself and it appears to be doing so quite ferociously.

In the late hours of February 3rd, the Israeli military launched a large-scale attack on southern Syria. The Syrian Arab Army General Command said that that air-to-ground and ground-to-ground missiles were launched in a heavy barrage.

According to local sources the barrage targeted Damascus International Airport, Mezzeh Military Airport, a Syrian Arab Army base near the district of Kiswah, and a series of military sites in Daraa and al-Quneitra.

The Syrian military says that some of the missiles were intercepted, others caused only material damage.

Israel’s primary targets in the region are Iranian positions, or those of pro-Iranian groups and proxies. This includes Hezbollah targets, to limit the efforts of its Lebanese neighbor.

It is plain to notice what has changed in the most recent attack – it was launched from Israeli soil. In usual practice, the Israeli air force encroaches on Lebanese airspace to carry out its raids.

On February 3rd, however, an Israeli drone was targeted by a Hezbollah anti-aircraft missile. This is a rare occurrence, even if it only targets a drone. It means that the airspace encroachment is becoming more dangerous.

This is a testament to Hezbollah’s increasing capability in limiting Israel’s freedom of action.

The increasing Israeli activity in both frequency and scale, are providing a window of opportunity to ISIS terrorists throughout Syria, and predominantly in Homs and Deir Ezzor.

In the early hours of February 3rd, a surprise attack by an ISIS cell resulted in the deaths of at least 12 pro-Syrian government fighters.

There has been an increased intensity of ISIS attacks in recent weeks. It is quite self-evident that this arose amid Israel’s continued attacks on Syrian Army positions and civilian infrastructure under the pretext that they host Iranian forces.

Even if the Syrian Arab Army is preoccupied with defense, its allies in the form of Russia and Iran are picking up the slack.

Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) is set to establish a tribal force in Deir Ezzor. The main aim of this force will be to support the Iranian and pro-Iranian forces in the region and to serve in a style similar to the “ISIS Hunters”. Despite Israel’s “best efforts” Tehran’s influence in Syria is growing, and this is more evidence of that.

A region that has received less attention in recent weeks, due to the general chaos, is Idlib.

Russian warplanes continue pounding the al-Qaeda-linked “moderate opposition” in the area, attempting to put a stop to its adventurism beyond the demilitarized zone. The ceasefire must hold and Moscow attempts to limit militants’ attempts to compromise it.

Meanwhile, the terrorists in Idlib are being whitewashed, and presented anew as “freedom fighters”. PBS Frontline presented the head of Jabhat al-Nusra (currently Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham) as a reformed hero, working towards peace. For years he had a $10 million bounty on his head for leading the world’s No 1 terrorist organization. That appears to be no more, he is now a hero fighting against suppression.

The chaos in the Middle East is growing, amid increasing Israeli activity and renewed attempts to whitewash known terrorists by MSM. Despite Damascus’, Moscow’s and Tehran’s best efforts, the situation has the potential to get much worse, before it gets any better.

2 Children Killed and 10 Others Injured in a Landmine Explosion in Daraa

Landmine explosion in Syria - Archive photo - انفجار لغم أرضي سورية

ARABI SOURI 

Two children were killed on the spot and ten other children were injured in a landmine explosion in the city of al-sheik Maskeen (Maskin), northern Daraa countryside.

The victims and the injured children were rushed to the National Hospital of Daraa and the National Hospital of Izraa.

A spokesman for the Daraa Police Department stated that ‘a landmine was detonated in the Eastern Neighborhood in al-sheik Maskeen in the northern Daraa countryside yesterday, January 11, 2021, in a group of young children killing two of them and injuring ten others.’ The police spokesman added that most of the victims are from the same family.

Syria is suffering massively from the tens of thousands of landmines and IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices) planted by the NATO-sponsored ‘freedom fighters’ of Al Qaeda FSA and of ISIS in all the areas they infested. In addition to planting a large number of military-grade landmines, gifted by the generous US and European taxpayers, the terrorists were making their own explosive devices in different shapes and sizes, some of which are like the usual household items. The terrorists would then spread their killing tools in its designated areas before they flee in order to continue killing and maiming Syrians, especially children who many of them were killed or lost limbs when picking up toys that were stuffed with explosives.

The task of demining and cleaning the regions newly liberated from NATO-sponsored ‘freedom fighters’ is overwhelming, to say the least, and it’s overwhelming for capable countries let alone a country that is still fighting terrorist groups in different parts of its territories, while it’s under a blockade and under inhumane draconian sanctions by the USA and its European minions preventing the Syrian state from acquiring needed tools to clear areas of the explosives and also impeding the procurement of medicine and medical tools and equipment.

Friendly civilized countries have been helping the Syrian state to clear the liberated areas from the explosives but those same countries are under attacks and sanctions as well by NATO and stooges.

To help us continue please visit the Donate page to donate or learn how you can help us with no cost on you.
Follow us on Telegram: http://t.me/syupdates link will open Telegram app.

Related

SYRIAN ARMY HUNTS DOWN ISIS IN HOMS DESERT, MOBILIZES FORCES IN SOUTHERN IDLIB

South Front

The Syrian Army launched a new combing operation against ISIS cells in the Hama-Aleppo-Raqqa triangle. The operation is supported by the Russian Aerospace Forces. As of now, clashes between the army and ISIS have resulted in the killing of at least 7 terrorists.

In the second half of 2020, ISIS significantly increased its activity in the central desert. ISIS cells reportedly buy supplies, including weapons, from U.S.-backed fighters based in the area of al-Tanf, as well as exploit the lack of control on the Syrian-Iraqi border to receive support from a network of ISIS cells in Iraq.

Meanwhile, sources loyal to Turkish-backed militants claim that the Syrian Army has started mobilizing its forces in the southern part of Greater Idlib. The army has allegedly deployed new reinforcements to the Jurin camp and the town of Shat’ha. Militants claim that these developments are a part of the preparation for an offensive operation on the al-Ghab Plains.

A series of assassinations has targeted personnel of Syrian government forces and civilians in the southern province of Daraa.

On December 21, gunmen shot and killed a warrant officer of the Military Intelligence Directorate and a soldier of the 4th Division in the town of Sahem al-Golan. On the same day, gunmen shot and killed two officers of the Air Force Intelligence Directorate in the town of Dael. On December 22, gunmen shot and killed a member of the 4th Division in the town of al-Yadudah. Later, an IED explosion killed a local state employee, Ismail Musa al-Falah, in the town of al-Sanamayn. Lastly, gunmen killed a civilian and two intelligence officers in the town of al-Ajraf.

ISIS cells are known to be active in the areas, where the attacks took place. Nevertheless, the terrorist group usually claims responsibility for such attacks. Therefore, militant groups supported by Israeli intelligence are more likely suspects in this case.

Recently, Israeli media outlets and think tanks started promoting the idea of military action to stabilize the ‘chaos’ in southern Syria and prevent what Tel Aviv likes to call the growing ‘terrorist threat’ from Iran and Hezbollah. The issue not covered by these reports is that Israel itself and its actions remain the main source of instability there.

Related News

Israel Is Searching For Pretext To Invade Southern Syria

South Front

The Russian military and Russian-backed Syrian forces have been increasing their presence on the border with Iraq.

Less than a week ago, the Russian Military Police established a local HQ in al-Bukamal. Recently, the 5th Corps of the Syrian Army, known for its links with the Russian military, created a network of border posts in the area. The move was apparently coordinated with Iranian-backed forces and the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces that actively operate in the border area.

Al-Bukamal is locating less than 30km from the town of al-Qaim, the stronghold of the Popular Mobilization Forces on the Iraqi side of the border.

Pro-Israeli sources claim that the increasing Russian presence in southern Deir Ezzor and along the border with Iraq may be a sign of a nearing Iranian withdrawal from the region. At the same time, there are no indications that Iranian-backed forces are going to withdraw from al-Bukamal anytime soon.

The presence of the Russians on the Iraqi-Syrian border is not something new. Russian forces played an important role in the anti-ISIS operations in the province, including the liberation of Deir Ezzor, al-Mayadin and al-Bukamal itself. In fact, the increasing Russian involvement is likely linked with the ongoing anti-ISIS operations in the central Syrian desert.

Just recently, the ISIS propaganda wing, Amaq, claimed that ISIS militants repelled a large attack of the Syrian Army on its hideouts in the eastern part of Hama province. 3 soldiers were allegedly killed, 10 others were inured and a vehicle was destroyed. Pro-militant sources also confirmed the increase of Russian airstrikes on terrorist targets in the region.

The remaining ISIS threat in the central part of the country also has a negative impact on the situation in the south. Negative processes have been taking place in Quneitra and Daraa provinces, which remain under the permanent destructive influence of Israel and its special services.

Recently, Israeli media and think tanks have started promoting the idea of the Israeli intervention into the ‘unstable’ Syrian south under the pretext of restoring ‘peace and prosperity’ in this region. Therefore, it is possible to expect the resumption of active Israeli military and clandestine operations to undermine the Syrian statehood in this particular region.

FSA Terrorist Aakef Zaki Killed by Unknown Gunmen in Daraa Countryside

 ARABI SOURI

NATO terrorist Aakef Zaki killed in Daraa

FSA terrorist and top wanted by the Syrian authorities in Daraa the so-called Aakef Zaki was killed in East Karak town in the eastern Daraa countryside south of Syria.

The NATO terrorist and former commander of the so-called ‘Martyrs of Eastern Karak’, one of the armed groups of the Al Qaeda FSA terrorist organization was shot dead in front of his house yesterday 7th of December, by unknown gunmen.

Aakef refused to join the large-scale reconciliation efforts in the southern Syrian province, the reconciliation led by the Russian Reconciliation Center in Syria returned thousands of people to their normal lives, some of the radical commanders refused to join the reconciliation and continued their attacks against the Syrian authorities, civilians, and notables in the region, taking advantage of the protection provided by Trump forces in the Tanf area southeast of Syria.

The killed terrorist was responsible for a number of attacks, kidnaps, field executions, and lootings in the southern Syrian provinces of Daraa and Sweida. On the 8th of last month, November, an armed terrorist group carried out an attack against a Syrian Army checkpoint to the west of the Eastern Karak town.

There were at least 34 terrorist attacks in the southern region post the reconciliation, they included the assassination of 24 persons, wounding of 8 others, two failed assassination attempts, including 18 of his former colleagues of the FSA fighters who joined the reconciliation. The terrorists shot dead 22 of the targeted victims while committed field execution of two others who were shot after being kidnapped.

Trump maintains a large number of his forces in Syria, mainly in the northeastern region bordering Iraq, and the southeastern region of Tanf in the depth of the Syrian desert bordering Iraq and Jordan. The Trump forces in the Tanf area protect members of the ISIS-affiliated group Maghawir Thawra which also runs the infamous Rukban concentration camp where thousands of Syrian refugees are held against their will in horrific conditions. Trump forces illegally positioned in Tanf also facilitated some of Israel’s bombings inside Syria and Iraq.

ISIS terrorists who committed the heinous massacre in the remote desert villages of Sweida province in the early morning hours of July 25th, 2018 fled to the same protected area by the Trump forces in Tanf. The Sweida massacre resulted in slaughtering 215 residents in their houses, injuring 180 others, and kidnapped 27 women and children.

The killing of Aakef Zaki will not help in uncovering much of the information needed by the Syrian authorities about the massacres and crimes committed in the southern region, it would have been much better if he was arrested to expose his accomplices and tell their whereabouts.

To help us continue please visit the Donate page to donate or learn how you can help us with no cost on you.
Follow us on Telegram: http://t.me/syupdates link will open Telegram app.

SYRIAN FORCES ARE HUNTING DOWN ISIS TERRORISTS IN DESERT

South Front

South Front

The military situation in Syria continued deteriorating in the recent days.

On August 21, the Syrian Army and its allies increased their anti-ISIS raids in the Palmyra-Deir Ezzor-Al-Mayadin triangle. According to pro-government sources, these efforts are being actively supported by recently deployed reinforcements from the Iranian-backed Liwa Fatemiyoun armed group.

On August 20, ISIS claimed responsibility for the recent attack on Russian troops in the province of Deir Ezzor.  The attack, which took place on August 18, killed Maj. Gen. Vyacheslav Gladkih and injured two other Russian service members. In a statement released by its news agency, Amaq, ISIS claimed that a number of improvised explosive devices (IEDs), which had been planted by its terrorists east of the town of al-Sukhnah in eastern Homs, struck a Russian patrol that was combing the region.

Earlier, the Russian military said that the incident took place near the al-Taim oil field, which is indeed located to the east of al-Sukhnah, in the western Deir Ezzor countryside. These details play into the hand of the ISIS propaganda. According to Syrian government sources, a few hundreds of ISIS members take shelter in the Homs-Deir Ezzor countryside. These terrorists pose a notable security threat to pro-government forces, but they claim that the full elimination of the ISIS cells in the desert is not possible as long as the US occupies the al-Tanf area.

Kata’ib Hezbollah, the Iraqi pro-Iranian group, is reinforcing its military positions in the southern countryside of Syria’s Deir Ezzor, according to pro-government sources. Kata’ib Hezbollah fighters are currently building fortifications around their positions in the outskirt of the city of al-Mayadin.

The situation is also tense on the contact line between the army and militants in southern Idlib. According to pro-militant sources, at least 2 opposition fighters were killed in Syrian Army strikes in al-Bara and other areas in the al-Zawiya mount.

The string of assassinations of former rebel commanders continues in southern Syria. An attack with an improvised explosive device killed Issa Al-Janati, a former rebel commander in al-Quneitra. The IED attack took place near the commander’s house in the town of al-Zubaidah in the al-Quneitra countryside on August 17. Al-Janati died of his wounds, while his wife was slightly injured. Al-Janati, who is known by his nom de guerre “Abu Wassim,” used to be a senior commander in the Free Syrian Army. In 2018, he joined the reconciliation process. Nevertheless, he refused to enlist in the Syrian Arab Army or any pro-government faction.

This was the first assassination of a former rebel commander in al-Quneitra. Such assassinations take place in Daraa province on a regular basis. Local sources link them with the increased activity of Israeli special services that are not happy to see how their former proxies are changing their public position.

Related

هل تنجح محاولات إسقاط تسوية درعا والجنوب السوريّ؟

العميد د. أمين محمد حطيط

كانت الشرارة الأولى للحرب الكونية التي استهدفت سورية تنطلق من درعا، وألبست الحراكات تلك يومها لباس الثورة التي تنفجر ضد الواقع السياسي والمعيشي حتى والأمني والاستراتيجي للدولة السورية. واستمرّت درعا ومنطقتها في موقع مميّز على خريطة الحراكات الميدانية خاصة بعد أن تحوّل ما أسمي ثورة إلى حرب تخوضها الجماعات المسلحة والإرهابية التي تقاطرت إلى سورية من أربع رياح الأرض في سياق خطة محكمة وضعت ونفذت بقيادة أميركية وانتظام من دول عربية وإقليمية وأوروبية تسعى جميعها إلى إسقاط سورية ونظامها، وإعادة تركيبها على أساس طائفي عرقي ومذهبي واهن يكون التقسيم فيه جوهر الحل وتكون التبعية لأميركا والانصياع لمقتضيات المشروع الصهيوأميركي سمته الرئيسية.

بيد انّ الحرب الكونية التي استهدفت سورية ونفذت فيها بخطط متتابعة واستراتيجيّات متتالية، لم تفلح في تحقيق أهدافها ـ رغم أنها توصلت في العام 2015 إلى السيطرة على أكثر من 65 إلى 70 % من مساحة سورية، لكن الحكومة السورية وبدعم من حلفائها في محور المقاومة وروسيا، أطلقت في العام 2015 خطة استعادة السيطرة على ما خرج من يدها وعاث فيه الإرهابيون فساداً وأنزلوا به الدمار برعاية أميركية أوروبية تركية عربية مستفيدة مما أسمي تحالف دولي تحت اسم ملفق هو «أصدقاء سورية» وهو تحالف مارس أبشع أنواع السياسات العدوانية ضدّ سورية شعباً وأرضاً ونظاماً وثروات.

وضعت الخطة السورية لاستعادة المناطق إلى كنف الدولة وقامت على ركنيين رئيسين، العفو والمصالحة أولاً، فإنْ فشلت المحاولة يكون الثاني متمثلاً بالعمل العسكري الذي يخرج الإرهابيين من الأرض التي يسيطرون عليها ويحرّر المواطنين السوريين من قبضتهم الإجرامية. ووضعت القيادة السورية خططاً تنفيذية مناسبة لكلّ من هذين المسارين، وسجل المسار الأول أيّ المسار التصالحي نجاحاً منقطع النظير وحقق تحرير مناطق شاسعة في سورية من غير قتال. ونجح مع المسار القتالي في تحرير بسط سلطة الدولة على أكثر من 80% من الأرض السورية الآن.

بيد أنّ المصالحات التي نفّذت، كانت محكومة بقواعد وضعتها الدولة تراعي بحزم المصلحة الوطنية أمننا وانتظام الحياة العامة في المناطق التي تجري فيها المصالحة، وعليه كانت تؤدي المصالحة إلى العفو عن كلّ مسلّح أراد أن يعود إلى حياته المدنية العادية في كنف الدولة مواطناً عادياً، ويتخلّى عن سلاحه وارتباطه ويخضع لأحكام القانون كافة منذ لحظة دخول المصالحة حيز التنفيذ، أما مَن لا يرتضي ذلك فيخرج مع سلاحه من المنطقة حتى تتمكن الدولة عبر القوى العسكرية والأمنية ومن دون شريك بسط الأمن وحماية السكان وحقوقهم ونشر سيادة الدولة كلياً على المنطقة المساعدة.

لكن المصالحة في درعا لم تراع مبادئ المصالحة التي اعتمدت في بقية المناطق، حيث إنه وبتدخل مباشر من الحليف الروسي ومن أجل تسهيل المهمة التي هي على وجه من التعقيد والخطر، صيغت لتلك المنطقة منظومة قواعد وأحكام أعطت المسلحين مكاسب لم ينلها أحد سواهم في المناطق الأخرى في إطار المسار التصالحي، وكان هذا التساهل بسبب خصوصية درعا ورغبة من الدولة السورية في الإسراع في طي صفحة الخطر الإسرائيلي الأميركي الجاثم في الجنوب والرامي إلى إقامة كيان انفصالي برعاية إسرائيلية مباشرة تذكر بما صنعت «إسرائيل» في لبنان وأقامت «المنطقة الأمنية» وجنّدت ما أسمته «جيش لبنان الجنوبي» ليكون قناعها لاستمرار احتلالها للمنطقة.

وهكذا فإنّ خطر الاحتلال والانفصال الذي ترعاه «إسرائيل» فرض المرونة في تطبيق قواعد المصالحة في درعا ومنطقتها، ولذا اعتمدت للمنطقة قواعد خاصة قضت بقبول مَن يرغب من المسلحين في البقاء في درعا مع سلاحهم وانتظام من يرغب أيضاً منهم في الفيلق الخامس الذي أسّسته الدولة في السنوات الأخيرة ليكون جزءاً من الجيش العربي السوري، وله خصوصية معينة، وهكذا شكل لواء خاص بمسلّحي درعا الحق بهذا الفيلق تحت تسمية اللواء الثامن الذي انتظم إفرادياً فيه ما بين 1500 إلى 1700 مسلّح.

وكانت الدولة ومعها روسيا التي تولي عناية خاصة للفيلق الخامس تنظيماً وتسليحاً حتى وإدارة عمليات، تعوّل على ترويض هؤلاء المسلحين سواء في الفيلق او في إدارات الدولة الأخرى التي أدخلوا اليها وحملهم على التخلي عن ماضيهم الإجرامي بحق الشعب والوطن، والعمل بنفس وطني خالص لا شائبة فيه.

بيد أن كثيراً من المسلحين الذين احتفظوا بسلاحهم في دوائر الدولة أو خارجها خيّبوا الظنّ السوريّ والروسيّ بهم وعاد بعضهم إلى ارتكاب الأعمال الإرهابيّة ضدّ الجيش العربي السوري ومراكزه المنتشرة في المنطقة كما وضدّ المدنيين، وراحوا يبدون من التصرفات ما بات ينذر بسقوط التسوية خاصة بعد أن أعلن من تولى قيادة اللواء الثامن في الفيلق الخامس (لواء مسلحي درعا) سعيه إلى إقامة «جيش الجنوب السوري» (ما يذكر بجيش لبنان الجنوبي) ورغبته في إقامة كيان خاص بدرعا ومنطقتها مستقلاً ذاتياً عن الحكومة المركزية في دمشق. وهنا يُطرَح سؤالان: الأول لماذا هذا التحرك المناهض للدولة ووحدتها الآن بعد عامين تقريباً من إتمام المصالحة؟ والثاني هل تنجح المحاولة؟

في الإجابة على السؤال الأول نرى أن المصالحة في درعا تعثرت وباتت مهدّدة بالسقوط للأسباب التالية:

واقع المسلحين الذين توزّعوا بعد المصالحة بين فئات أربع: فئة الوطنيين الجديين بالمصالحة وترك السلاح، وفئة المكابرين المتمسكين بحمل السلاح في صيغة ترعاها روسيا، وفئة معتزلي العمل المسلح كلياً والانكفاء، وفئة الخلايا النائمة التي لا زالت على ارتباط بالخارج وتتحرّك بأوامره وهي مع الفئة الثانية الأخطر على الأمن والاستقرار خاصة بعد أن تحوّلت الآن من نائمة إلى عاملة فاعلة وشجعت عناصر الفئة الثانية على التفكير بالانقلاب على المصالحة.

تأثير اليد الأجنبية الأميركية الإسرائيلية التي تعمل باستراتيجية «إطالة أمد الصراع» والسير نحو إنشاء الكيانات الانفصالية، كما هو حال الكرد في الشمال او السعي التركي في إدلب.

الواقع المعيشي الصعب الذي بدأ بالحرب وتفاقم بسبب الكورونا وتعاظم مع قانون قيصر وما فرضه من حصار متشدد على سورية.

تأخر الحل النهائي للأزمة السورية وخشية المسلحين وتعثر تحرير إدلب وشرقي الفرات ما دغدغ مشاعر المسلحين للعودة إلى الميدان ضد الدولة مع الخشية من تطبيق أحكام التجنيد الإجباري بحقهم واضطرارهم إلى قتال رفاقهم بالأمس.

كل هذه العوامل تضافرت معاً ودفعت بعض مسلحي الفئة الثانية والرابعة إلى ان تتوق للعودة عن المصالحة واستعادة الوضع الذي كانوا فيه قبلها وحتى السير قدماً نحو الاستجابة للسعي الإسرائيلي ضد وحدة سورية واستقرارها ومنع استعادة السيطرة التامة وبسط السيادة على كامل أراضيها؟

أما الإجابة على السؤال الثاني، فنرى فيها أن محاولة الانقلاب على المصالحة وإخراج درعا من سيطرة الدولة والعودة إلى العمل بأوامر أميركية إسرائيلية، أنها محاولة لن تنجح خاصة أن سورية اليوم لديها القدرة على مواجهة الخطر بما يقتضيه الموقف من عمل أو تدابير يبدو أنها وضعت موضع التنفيذ وفقاً لخطة علاج مركب أولاً من تدابير تنظيمية وأمنية واستخبارية لاحتواء الخطر ثم منع تفاقم الخطر واجتثاثه في مرحلة ثانية عبر العمل بما يلزم أمنياً وعسكرياً على السواء وهنا نرى أنّ قرار حلّ اللواء الثامن وإخراجه من الفيلق الخامس وتحويل من يرغب من عناصره إلى قوات الدفاع الوطني هو خطوة أولى ستعقبها خطوات أشدّ أثراً وأكثر فعالية ما يمكننا من القول إن محاولات نشر الفوضى والإرهاب في درعا لن تنجح وأن الدولة واعية لما يجري كما أنّ الرأي العام الشعبي في المنطقة هو في معظمه متمسك بالدولة ولن يوفر البيئة الحاضنة للإرهابيين الراغبين بالعودة إلى الوراء..

أستاذ جامعي ـ باحث استراتيجي

فيديوات متعلقة

History And Role Of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (Jabhat al-Nusra) In Syrian War

See Video here


Source

14.05.2020 

The analysis below was originally released by SouthFront in January 2018. Nonetheless, it remains useful to understand the situation in the militant-held part of Syria’s Greater Idlib region as Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (Jabhat al-Nusra) is still the most powerful armed group there.


History
Jabhat al-Nusra, originally Jabhat an-Nuṣrah li-ahli ash-Sham min Mujahideen ash-Shām fi Sahat al-Jihad or “Victory Front for the People of the Levant by the Mujahideen of the Levant on the Fields of Jihad”, was founded in January 2012, when military operations between the government forces and groups of armed Syrian opposition were in full force. Jabhat al-Nusra arose with the direct support of the Iraqi cell of al-Qaeda, the “Islamic State in Iraq”, which was at that time led by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. At the outset, the leaders of al-Qaeda tried, with the help of their Iraqi ally, to strengthen friendly Jihadist groups in Syria and to unite them into one militant organization.
Abu Muhammad al-Julani, a member of the al-Qaeda branch in Iraq – “the Islamic State in Iraq”, was chosen by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi to establish an al-Qaeda branch in Syria under the name of the “Al-Nusra Front for the People of Al-Sham.” Abu Muhammed al-Julani entered Syria from Iraq and began a series of meetings in Homs, Ghouta of Damascus, and Deir-ez-Zor. The first cells of Jabhat al-Nusra were established in the northern Homs countryside, western Ghouta of Damascus, and in al-Bukamal on the Iraqi-Syrian border.
On January 23, 2012, Abu Muhammad al-Julani officially announced the establishment of the “Al-Nusra Front for the People of Al-Sham” and small groups began to carry out terrorist acts against civilians, attacked the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and later began conducting clashes along with the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and ISIS.
In a short time, Jabhat al-Nusra under the leadership of Abu Muhammad al-Julani achieved a number of military successes and gained fame as one of the most efficient units in the north, north-west and northeast of Syria. A pivotal moment occurred at the end of 2012, when Jabhat al-Nusra seized many military facilities, arms and military equipment in western part of Aleppo. After the movement’s detachments were thus strengthened in the western and eastern parts of the province, the main routes of communication between the economic capital of Syria and the Syrian-Turkish border fell under Jabhat al-Nusra’s control, which forced other detachments fighting in opposition to Bashar Assad to establish relations and coordinate their actions with the organization.

Main operations and spheres of influence
In the Homs province, Jabhat al-Nusra, along with the al-Qaeda branch in Lebanon, Fatah al-Islam, was one of the most powerful fighting factions alongside the Al-Farouq battalion of the FSA, most of whose militants publicly or secretly joined al-Nusra or Fatah al-Islam.
Jabhat al-Nusra led many attacks in the old Homs area, Khalidiya and Baba Amro between 2011 and 2012, and led a large-scale attack on January 29, 2012 to capture the towns of Rastan and Talbisah in the northern Homs and succeeded in that operation.
In the south of Syria, especially in the Daraa province, Al-Nusra managed to form large forces rapidly, and led the attack on Daraa city on March 14, 2012. Within months, it managed to capture most areas within the city of Daraa.
On July 15, 2012, Jabhat al-Nusra participated in their first attack on the capital city of Damascus along with the FSA and Jaish al-Islam. Within days, they managed to capture most areas of eastern and Western Ghouta along with several districts close to the center of the capital Damascus, such as the districts of Jubar and Al-Maydan. Later the SAA managed to recapture most of these areas.
On July 19, 2012, Jabhat al-Nusra participated in the attack on Aleppo city along with groups of the FSA, the most important of which was the “Northern Storm Regiment”. Within days they managed to capture the eastern area of Aleppo. Later, Jabhat Al-Nusra’s influence expanded. At one point al-Nusra became the sole ruler of opposition-controlled Aleppo, especially after large numbers of the FSA jointed its ranks by the end of 2012 and after it took ISIS out of the city in 2014.
Since 2013, Idlib has become the main center of Jabhat al-Nusra in Syria, and the headquarters of its leadership. Jabhat al-Nusra managed to strengthen its influence further in the beginning of 2014 after the departure of ISIS from the province as a result of a number of disagreements between the groups.
Jabhat al-Nusra participated alongside Ahrar al-Sham in the attack on Raqqa city and managed to capture it on March 6, 2013, 3 days after the attack began. Later, in July 2014, ISIS took over control of Raqqa city. Some members of Jabhat al-Nusra decided to join ISIS while the rest refused to fight it. As a result, al-Nusra withdrew from the city.
From the beginning, Jabhat al-Nusra lead battles against the SAA in the Deir-ez-Zor countryside and in Deir-ez-Zor city. By 2013 al-Nusra seized most of the oil fields in the city’s countryside and along with the FSA, started an illegal oil trade with Turkey.

At the beginning of 2014 with the escalation of ISIS influence in Iraq, al-Nusra began to reduce its presence in Deir-ez-Zor city. After some minor clashes, most of al-Nusra’s fighters withdrew from Deir-Ez-Zour to Aleppo and Idlib, while large numbers of al-Nusra foreign militants joined ISIS.
It is believed that on April 6, 2014, the remnants of the FSA detonated a VBIED in the old Homs area with the aim of killing the commanders of Jabhat al-Nusra. The suicide attack was a success, and after the death of the commanders of Jabhat al-Nusra, an evacuation agreement was reached on 2 May 2014.
On March 24, 2015, Jabhat al-Nusra led an attack alongside the US-backed Free Syrian Army factions to capture Idlib city and were able to do so within 4 days. This operation was successful largely due to US support through intelligence and advanced weapons such as the TOW missiles, which reached the hands of al-Nusra militants.
By 14 June 2015, Jabhat al-Nusra and its allies from the FSA had managed to capture the entire western Idlib countryside, including the strategic town of Jisr al-Shughour, and carried out a series of massacres against the pro-government population, expelled even the pro-opposition population from the city, and blew up and demolished most of its buildings.
With Russian military intervention in Syria and the bombing of the positions of Jabhat al-Nusra in Aleppo, Idlib and the northern Homs countryside, both the “moderate” and radical Islamist opposition began to lose strategic initiative in the civil war in Syria. There was a lot of pressure from supporters of Jabhat al-Nusra, Turkey and Qatar, on the leadership of the movement, to disengage from and disavow Al-Qaeda.
After the great advance of the SAA in Aleppo and its success in besieging the eastern districts, Abu Muhammad al-Julani announced on July 28, 2016, the official disengagement of al-Nusra from al-Qaeda and announced the formation of the Jabhat Fatah al-Sham. He stressed that the objectives of the al-Sham Front are the same as those of Jabhat al-Nusra, which is the establishment of an Islamic Caliphate in Syria. In an ironic twist, al-Qaeda leader “Ayman al-Zawahiri” praised al-Julani’s decision and declared his support for the Jabhat Fatah al-Sham, prompting everyone, including the United States, to consider the move as a formality. The Jabhat Fatah al-Sham maintained its terrorist classification in all countries, including the United States, Saudi Arabia and Russia.
On October 28, 2016, Jabhat al-Nusra with its allies from the Free Syrian Army launched a large counterattack south and west of Aleppo city to break the siege of the SAA in the eastern districts; however, the attack failed two weeks later when Jabhat Fatah al-Sham could not hold the points it had taken over.
On 28 January 2017, Jabhat al-Nusra changed its name once again, this time to Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS). On March 21, 2017, it launched the offensive of the northern Hama countryside along with the FSA factions supported by the CIA, most notably are Jaish al-Izza, Jaish al-Nasr and the Idlib Free Army. These were considered the most important allies of Jabhat al-Nusra in Idlib and a major source of its weapons. The aim of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham’s advance was to recapture the settlements it lost in 2016. The active phase of fighting continued until the end of April 2017. For more than a month, neither side had a decisive advantage, and in fact, prolonged fights began, during which a number of settlements repeatedly changed hands.
Having accumulated enough reserves in the area and with the support of the Russian Aerospace Forces, the SAA launched a counter-offensive against the positions of the Islamists in mid-April and recaptured the territories it had lost at the beginning of the month.
On September 19, 2017 HTS, along with the units of the Turkestan Islamic Party and the FSA, once again made an attempt to advance on the position of the SAA in the northern part of the province of Hama.. The aim of HTS was to take revenge for their defeat in the April 2017 offensive. While fighting went back and forth, with settlements being occupied by both sides several times, the struggle continued until the end of September and ended in a stalemate, with neither side able of winning a convincing victory, with each side remaining in their original positions. As time went on, the situation in the province was further complicated by the appearance of the IS militants in early October 2017, as a result of which armed conflict erupted between all opposition groups in the region, which continues at varying degrees of intensity to this day.
In late November and early December, the SAA carried out a number of operations against HTS in northern Hama and southern Aleppo and achieved some success creating the prerequisites for a push towards the Abu al-Duhur air base. Taking the air base under control will allow government troops to expand the buffer zone adjacent to the road going to Aleppo and cut the front line to the west of Khanaser.
The intensification of the activities of the Russian Air Force in the region in the first half of December 2017 gives grounds to conclude that the preparation of the SAA for an attack on the position of radical Islamists is underway. This offensive is likely to have the goal of delivering a decisive blow to HTS, since it currently presents a greater threat than the IS.
In January 2018, the SAA liberated a large area from HTS in southern Idlib advancing towards the Abu al-Duhur air base.
At the present time (January 2018) the main area of ​​deployment of the armed units of HTS is in the province of Idlib. In addition, the units of Jabhat al-Nusra partially occupy the north-eastern part of the province of Hama, and the western and south-western part of the province of Aleppo. After al-Nusra finally broke off relations with Ahrar al-Sham, one of the most battle-worthy movements in Syria, they gained control of practically the entirety of the province of Idlib.
Structure
The movement avoids publications concerning the structure of the organization, the real names of commanders of its large units and the work of its main bodies. It is known that the advisory body Majlis al-Shura, consisting of 12 people, is at the head of the movement. Based on information surveyed and interviews, HTS operates through eight divisions, namely military, security, services, religious law, courts, media, finances, and politics. For each of these divisions, there is an office for the Shura Council.
In fact, since its inception, Jabhat al-Nusra / HTS was a coalition of armed formations.As a result of the rebranding conducted in January 2017, HTS includes such groups as “Jabhat Ansar al-Din”, “Nur al-Din al-Zenki”, “Liwa al-Haqq”, and “Jaysh al-Sunna” . According to information from the organization’s website, the new formation also includes groups: Tawhid Wal-Jihad, Ar-Rashid, Ibn Taimiyya, Liva Abbas, Sukur al-Izz, Al-Sahabat, Kuwafal Shuhada, Usud al-Harb, Liva Ahrar al-Jabal and others. Several large groups withdrew from the Ahrar al-Sham and swore allegiance to Hayat Tahrir al-Sham : Surya al-Aqsa, Liva Ahrar al-Jabal, Ansar Homs, and Kurdish paramilitary groups which together comprised of more than five thousand soldiers. The process of breaking and mending relations is constant and there is an alternate structure of the movement as of April 2017.
The auxiliary functions are performed by Qism al-Ighatha (Department of Relief), Idarat al-Khidarat al-Ammah (Public Services Administration), Idarat al-Manateq and al-Muharara (Liberated Districts Administration). In the so-called “liberated areas” where Jabhat al-Nusra has filled the power vacuum, it has created, along with other jihadist organizations, a system of justice and law enforcement called the Shari’ah Authority (Al-Hay’ah al-Shar’iyyah). The Shari’ah Authority operates its own police force called the Shari’ah Authority Police (Shurtat al-Hay’ah al-Shar’iyyah).
The military structure of the groups varies depending on the geographical location of the fighters in Syria. In Damascus, where the partisan tactics of fighting were employed, the divisions were divided into separate detachments, while in Aleppo, military operations were conducted by full-fledged military formations, consolidated into brigades, regiments and battalions.
The movement actively recruits groups of militants, formed on the basis of national and religious grounds.  There are units of militants from Ajnadal-Kavkaz, Caucasus Emirate (natives of Chechnya), and the Turkistan Islamic Party in Syria (Uyghurs and natives of the Central Asian countries of the former USSR). From a military point of view, this is convenient for management and interaction, since there is no language barrier between the fighters and the commanders. Upon returning to their host country, such a detachment is practically a ready-made cell with combat experience, in which each member knows one another, trusts his commander and is ready to act in the interests of the parent organization. Western experts estimate that in less than 2 years of its existence, there were almost 5,000 people from 60 countries who fought for the movement.
The core military formations varied in their numbers and at times amounted to up to 30,000 people. Together with the added paramilitary groups of like-minded people, the total number reached 70,000. At present, the number of formations is smaller and the core of the grouping, according to the estimates of the General Staff of the RF Armed Forces as of August 2017, consists of up to 15,000 men. Together with units of radical Islamists from other groups, it amounts to a total of 25,000.
The armament of the movement consists of small arms, artillery and tanks seized from the SAA, from various anti-Assad forces, and equipment received from foreign sponsors from the Gulf countries through the jihadist movements with direct or indirect US assistance. In addition, according to reports, the movement has chemical weapon reserves. In December 2012, at the SYSACCO chemical production plant (30 km east of Aleppo), the al-Nusra units captured about 200 tons of chlorine. In May 2013, Turkish special services arrested insurgents of al-Nusra on the border with Syria for attempting to acquire sarin components.
An indicative example of direct or indirect U.S. support is the use of the American ATGM BGM-71 TOW by the al-Nusra forces. These units were transferred to the armed formations by the “moderate” opposition, for example, FSA units (Harakat Hazzm). Subsequently, the ATGM systems were either voluntarily supplied, or forcibly taken from other groups by HTS. At the end of September 2015, the “30th division” of the opposition, supported by the US government, surrendered to the units of al-Nusra and handed over a large number of ammunition, small arms and artillery weapons and a number of light vehicles. The same happened with the FSA’s “13 Division” in March 2016, which directly received American weapons.
Rebranding
At the end of June 2016, the leaders of the Syrian opposition (primarily from Ahrar al-Sham) conducted negotiations and consultations in light of Russia’s actions against al-Nusra, which also threatened other groups. As a result of such meetings in the western part of the province of Aleppo and in Idlib, it proposed to either dissolve al-Nusra into a new association, which would be headed by Ahram al-Sham or to tear it away from al-Qaeda. The situation was such that a third of al-Nusra, first of all the ethnic Syrians, were ready to break with al-Qaeda and join a new group.
Then the leadership of al-Nusra undertook a rebranding, which, on the one hand, was to save it from a split, and on the other, in the eyes of the Syrians, to root it in the Syrian revolutionary movement. As a result, al-Nusra became known as Jabhat Fatah al-Sham (Front of the Conquest of Syria) and proclaimed its formal departure from al-Qaeda. After this, the leadership of Jabhat Fatah al-Sham attempted to unite with Ahrar al- Sham and other factions; however, this would have led to the inclusion of all participants of this union on the list of internationally recognized terrorist groups. As a result, the attempt to create a “Syrian Islamic Commission” at the end of 2016, in which A. Giulani wanted to play a key role, failed.

There are other reasons why al-Nusra began to act under a new name.
First, it allows sponsors and leaders of the movement to avoid sanctions, since al-Nusra periodically gets on the “Consolidated List of Legal Entities Affiliated with or Associated with al-Qaeda Organization”, compiled by the UN Security Council. Updating the list, in light of objective reasons, is not keeping up with the evolution and expansion of al-Qaeda and its subsidiaries.
Second, it is more convenient for Western special services to deal with groups not listed on the list of the UN Security Council and/or on the American or European list of terrorist organizations. Instead, they prefer to deal with “rebels” who declared their secession from al-Qaeda.
On January 28, 2017, Jabhat Fatah al-Sham conducted another rebranding and was named Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (Organization for the Liberation of the Levant). This coincided with increased pressure on opposition groups in Syria and with a turning point in the Syrian war – the liberation of Aleppo. The military defeat near Aleppo, where Jabhat al-Nusra lost the bulk of its most trained fighters and much of its technology, was a turning point in reducing its influence.
Relations and relationships with other groups
Military successes in the first years of the civil war declined to the point where, starting from 2014, the movement started to systematically weaken and accept “moderate” groups, which represented secular and national opposition.
In November 2014, Jabhat al-Nusra attacked the “Syrian Revolutionary Front”, a large association that fought under the banner of the FSA and the National Coalition of Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces and received assistance from the United States and its allies. Its leader, Jamal Ma’ruf, was forced to flee to Turkey. Then the jihadists attacked the camps of the movement “Harakat Hazzm”, which the US planned to thoroughly train and supply with weapons and which many American analysts viewed as the most acceptable variant of the moderate opposition.
As a result, Jabhat al-Nusra at the end of October 2014, seized the base of the Hazzm Movement in Idlib, and in January 2015 displaced it from Aleppo, effectively forcing it to dissolve and merge with other militant groups. At the end of September 2015, al-Nusra attacked the 30th division of the FSA, forcing some of the fighters along with their arms to cross over to their side. The jihadists particularly intensified the fighting against the “moderate opposition” after the US and its allies began to conduct air strikes at the end of September 2014, not only directed against the positions of the IS, but also targeting “Jabhat al-Nusra.” Thus, the movement played an important role in the failure of the US project to create a “secular military opposition” in Syria.
Since 2012, the FSA’s relations with Jabhat al-Nusra have been excellent. The FSA and the US-backed factions supported Jabhat al-Nusra financially and most importantly with the weapons supplied to them by the CIA and Turkey. However, al-Nusra did not hesitate to turn its weapons against the FSA or hesitate to eliminate any group that opposed its will, especially in the province of Idlib and in Aleppo countryside.
As for the relationship of Jabhat al-Nusra with Ahrar al-Sham, one of the largest groups in the north of Syria, while Ahrar al-Sham obey the orders of Jabhat al-Nusra and treat its leadership with respect, Jabhat al-Nusra takes firm action with Ahrar al-Sham and has not hesitated to use its weapons against it in 2017. It has even issued a statement calling the militants of the Ahrar al-Sham “infidels” after clashes with the 46th regiment in the northwest Aleppo countryside. However, the militants of Ahrar al-Sham, despite a number of them being killed or wounded by al-Nusra tanks, refused to return fire on the al-Nusra militants.
It is also believed that Jabhat al-Nusra pushed Ahrar al-Sham into a losing battle in Aleppo in order to weaken it. The final gulf between the two-armed movements formed in July 2017. The reason for the conflict, in addition to purely ideological differences, was the fact that the Ahrar al-Sham group controlled the Bab al-Hawa border crossing on the Syrian-Turkish border, which was an important transport corridor, as well as a source of finance and the replenishment of the military formations of the “moderate” opposition. Perhaps the most important reason for the conflict was the issue of control over the “civil administration” of the province of Idlib.
The disagreement of Jabhat al-Nusra with ISIS began at the end of 2013, when al-Nusra separated its link to the Islamic State in Iraq – now ISIS – and the controversy increased in 2014 when Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi announced the formation of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, the separation from al-Qaeda and the establishment of the Islamic Caliphate. Al-Julani rejected Abu Bakr’s allegiance to the Caliphate. The basis of the controversy is that Jabhat al-Nusra believes that the Caliphate should be established after capturing the whole of Syria and Iraq, while ISIS believes that the Caliphate should be established in any area under its control. Although there was a great deal of talk about clashes between the two parties, clashes were rare, short-lived. Jabhat al-Nusra withdrew from Deir-Ez-zour and Raqqa, while ISIS withdrew from Aleppo and Idlib, with large numbers of militants from Al-Nusra changing their allegiance to ISIS.
Al-Nusra developed a difficult relationship with the movement of Nour al-Din al-Zenki (numbering 7,000 militants in 2017). In 2015 and 2016, both sides participated in clashes against each other; however, in January 2017, the Nour al-Din al-Zenki group in Idlib joined with al-Nusra. In the second half of July 2017, there was a conflict between the leadership of Nour al-Din al-Zenki and Hayat Tahrir al-Sham  because of a statement, made by an authority figure from Nour al-Din al-Zenki, saying that there is no Sharia rule in the territory controlled by Hayat Tahrir al-Sham.
Since HTS strategy is aimed at cooperating with local Islamist organizations that recognize the main goal of establishing an Islamic state and Sharia in Syria, such an approach does not allow Syrian Islamist groups, including Jaysh al-Islam, to oppose Al Qaeda in Syria in the face of Jabhat al-Nusrah / HTS. Both groups profess Salafi Islam and both groups raise the issue of overthrowing the existing power.
According to a former leader of Jaysh al-Islam, Muhammad Zahran Allush, there was a fraternal relationship between his organization and Jabhat al-Nusra, and the existing insignificant ideological differences could be resolved through the discussion and application of Shariah norms. In his interview, Zahran Allush said that he personally met with one of the leaders of “Jabhat al-Nusra” Abu al-Qahtani, and found no difference between the Shari’ah of Jabhat al-Nusra and the Shari’ah of “Jash al-Islam”.
In 2013, Jaysh al-Islam, together with Jabhat al- Nusra, organized a bloody massacre in the city of Adra, directed mainly against minorities, most notably the Alawites. After the death of Muhammad Zahran Allush as the result of an airstrike conducted on December 25, 2015, the new leadership of Jaysh al-Islam soon began to disagree with the leadership of Jabhat al-Nusra. This took place in light of the fact that the Islam Army has taken a strong stance in favor of negotiations, with Zahran Alloush’s cousin and close companion, Mohammed Alloush, heading the opposition diplomats in Geneva.
Participation of various groups of “moderate opposition” in the Syrian settlement under the patronage of Turkey, Iran and Russia led to a “split” in the ranks of these groups, which significantly weakened their position in the country.  In this respect, the case of the Jaysh al-Islam movement can serve as a prime example. Since the movement formally participates as a group and represents the “moderate opposition”, it had to sever its ties with HTS. In practice, the situation is quite different.
Jaysh al-Islam has several regional branches: Eastern Ghouta, Eastern Qalamoun, Daraa, and Idlib.
Eastern Ghouta – Jaysh al-Islam, HTS, Ahrar al-Sham and al-Rahman Corps are the most influential groups in this area near Damascus. All of them, in spite of some tensions, actively cooperate against the SAA. The peak of Jaysh al-Islam’s participation in the fight against HTS was when the group allegedly did not come to the aid of HTS during the battles in the area of ​​Jobar (Guta district). However, the truce in the region is very controversial. Not long ago, Ahrar al-Sham conducted a series of major attacks against the army in the area south of the Duma – the area of the Army Armored Vehicles Base.
Eastern Qalamoun – the militants did not show much activity here and before negotiations in Astana, there was a truce.  In fact, Jaysh al-Islam is forced to share resources and interact with HTS in this region.
As a result, it turns out that the leaders of this “moderate” opposition did not actually do anything of substance in constructively participating in the Astana process and limited themselves exclusively to vague formal gestures (such as sending delegations and making loud statements in the media).
Therefore, one can make the disappointing conclusion that the real influence of the Astana format on the situation in Syria is of much significance than originally thought, and the format is not very effective. Statements of the high-ranking officials of the Russian Foreign Ministry about successful negotiations are not accurate. To date, the moderate opposition does not want peace. It continues fighting, repeatedly delays negotiations, and awaits the intervention of other countries.
The Idlib de-escalation zone
Separately, it is necessary to focus on 4 zones of de-escalation in Syria, the boundaries of which were determined by the agreements in Astana on September 16, 2017. The agreement established the boundaries of de-escalation zones, where, as agreed, military operations between government forces and forces of the armed opposition groups which have already joined the truce or will join it in the future, are to be halted. To prevent incidents and clashes between various sides along the borders of zones, security bands were created. They include observation posts and checkpoints for the movement of unarmed civilians, delivery of humanitarian aid and facilitation of economic activities. The work of the checkpoints and observation posts, as well as the management of the security zones, is carried out by personnel from Russia, Turkey and Iran. This begs many questions, chief among them: Why is there is no mention of withdrawal of heavy weaponry nor the surrender of weapons inside the zones?
The most extensive zone of de-escalation is located in northern Syria. It contains the province of Idlib, as well as the bordering northeastern parts of the province of Latakia, the western provinces of Aleppo and the northern regions of the province of Hama. It is worth noting that the province of Idlib is one of the most problematic. It is here that the main forces of the terrorist organization Jabhat al-Nusra / HTS are based, and it was here that the Syrian authorities brought militants and members of their families from Aleppo.
According to Turkish President Recep Erdogan, Russia will provide security outside of Idlib while Turkey will ensure security inside of Idlib. Turkey had the right to deploy in Idlib, via a small group of troops, whose task is to organize observation posts, but they are not to form a full-fledged army group. However, by October 13, 2017, about 50 units of armored vehicles and 200 servicemen crossed the Turkish-Syrian border. The pro-government Turkish newspaper Yeni Safak claimed that 25,000 Turkish soldiers were mobilized to carry out military operations in Syria.
Thus, in the northern part of the Idlib province, the so-called free zone from Hayat Tahrir al-Sham  is created under the auspices of Turkish forces. The area will host the forces of the “moderate” opposition and Turkish troops. In the south, the province of Hama will host Russian observers. The forces of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham will be moved to a zone located in the middle. This way HTS will be deprived of any possibility of reaching the border.
Meanwhile, in the zones controlled by radical Islamists, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham  blames the “moderate” opposition, for abandoning the war against the Assad government and entering into peace agreements. At the same time, the movement, aside from fighting battles against the SAA, is actively engaged in attacks against factions of the “moderate” opposition.
Financing and communication with external sponsors
“Jabhat al-Nusra” is considered to be one of the most well-equipped and well-armed formations fighting against government troops. According to some estimates, before the conflict with the Islamic State (January 2012-April 2013), half of ISIS’ budget was sent to Jabhat al-Nusra. At the same time, the group received significant funds from Syrians with sympathies for radical Islam. From April, 2013 to the end of 2014, the budget of the movement was largely replenished by the illegal trade of oil acquired from the east and northeast of Syria. When the oil prices dropped, IS exerted control over these oil fields, and the movement lost this source of financing.
From the end of 2014 until the present, al-Nusra’s main source of financing comes from external sources. Most of the funding comes from the charitable Salafi foundations in Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and from high-ranking clerics and wealthy businessmen who sympathize with the ideas of Salafi Islam of Jordan and Turkey. Hamid bin Abdallah al-Ali is an example of a person who sympathizes with the ideas of the movement. He is an influential Salafi cleric in Kuwait. He has facilitated the transfer of funds, weapons, supplies and fighters to and from Syria for Jabhat al-Nusra,
Shafi Sultan Mohammed al-Ajmi is a native of Kuwait. He is included by the UN Security Council in the list of persons sponsoring al-Qaeda and related organizations. Together with his assistants, he raised funds and gathered weapons under the pretext of charity. He personally delivered the collected funds to various groups, including Jabhat al-Nusra.
Abd al-Rahman al-Nuaimi is a Qatar-based terrorist financier and a facilitator who has provided money, material support and conveyed communications to al-Qaeda and its affiliates in Syria. In 2013, Naimi ordered the transfer of nearly $600,000 to al-Qaeda via al-Qaeda’s representative in Syria, Abu-Khalid al-Suri.
Ali bin Abdallah al-Suwaidi is the general manager of Mu’assasat ‘Eid bin Muhammad Aal Thani al-Khayriyya (the Eid bin Muhammad al Thani Charitable Society). In this role, Ali al-Suwaidi manages the budget and directs the activities of the charity, including its work with organizations that have been tied to al-Qaeda. According to media reports, Ali al-Suwaidi worked with US sanctioned al-Qaeda financier Abd al-Rahman al-Nuaimi to transfer funds to jihadist militants in Syria, including al-Nusra.
Social networks are another important source of financing. Recruiters in social networks are urging a transfer of money for the aid of militants fighting in Syria. Given that financing terrorism is prosecuted in many countries, the fee is made in disguise to a bank account of an intermediary. The sponsors transfer sums not large enough to attract the attention of bank employees and law enforcement officials. The intermediary then sends money to a foreign bank – to the owner of a money transfer office in Turkey or Jordan for example. He informs his colleague in Syria that the money has come, provides the name of the recipient and gives a password. Money is given from a cash register. Such transactions leave no traces and are hidden from those who are fighting to interdict and disrupt the funding of terrorism.
In addition, the group continues to actively engage in kidnapping, extortion, and collection of taxes from citizens and businesses in controlled areas.
The group also developed a scheme to collect funds from small and medium-sized businesses in territories which are not directly controlled by HTS, but territories that host enough HTS emissaries and combat groups to the extent that those groups can facilitate racketeering.
Al-Qaeda, as the lead organization which promotes the idea of ​​ultra-radical Islam, is in financial crisis. It receives less and less financing from sympathetic individuals and from so called charitable foundations, to carry out its terrorist activities. This necessitated some optimization of costs. The movement had to change its tactics and constructed a new model, aimed at interacting with self-sufficient extremist organizations which do not require support from the lead organization. In this format, al-Qaeda plays a dual rule. First, it acts as a military adviser and mediator for radical Islamist groups. Secondly, it sends authoritative clergymen to various war zones. Al-Qaeda also provides local groups with their own schemes for the transfer of funds, facilitates the creation of enterprises, and provides information to support local organizations.
Loss of influence after the battle for Aleppo and the role in Syria after ISIS
When Aleppo was captured by government troops in late 2016, the appearance of HTS signaled a new phase of restructuring of the radical opposition in Syria. Yet another attempt to rebrand was nothing more than a formal effort by al-Qaeda to dissociate itself from its supporters in Syria, as well as its desire to withdraw moderate Islamists from the negotiation process on the future of Syria in Astana. The leadership of HST wanted to overpower and if that failed, to destroy the entities that are part of Ahrar al-Sham. They sought to become the single center of Sunni militarism in Syria. This caused a split among the opposition, and the most radical of its representatives moved to the newly created Hayat Tahrir al Sham, which marked the beginning of a conflict between the two largest groups in Idlib.
To support its strategy, HTS operates through four main bureaus: General Administration of Services; Military and security operations wing; Dawah and Guidance Office; and Sharia courts.
There are 156 Local Councils operating in the Idlib province with the following administrative divisions: 9% City Councils, 30% Town Councils, and 61% Municipal Councils. Of these Local Councils, 86 operate in HTS-controlled areas—14% City Councils, 39% Town Councils, and 47% Municipal Councils.
In August 2017 a conflict arose between the local city council of Idlib and the General Administration for Services, which is connected with HTS. The latter began the process of making unilateral decisions. The General Administration for Services issued circulars for local councils, informing them that it was the only body with the authority to monitor their work and required the transfer of the relevant council departments to the specialized agencies of the movement. In particular, this affected services which supply water and bread as well as transport. The city council rejected the request and on August 28, 2017, HTS units stormed the city council building of Idlib and ordered all those who disagreed with the policy to leave the building. In this way radical Islamists gained control over administrative services of the city.
The process where smaller formations join or leave the grouping is not static. On November 14, 2017, representatives of the group “Ajnad al-Sham” announced through twitter that they are joining Hayat Tahrir al-Sham. Ajnad al-Sham militants participated in earlier clashes with the Syrian Arab Army in western Aleppo, in the north part of the province of Ham and in the province of Idlib. In late October, there was information that the central division of the FSA, Faylaq al-Sham, and Jaysh al-Izza also joined Hayat Tahrir al-Sham.
Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham also conducted operations against smaller militant groups, who then sought support from Ahrar al-Sham. For instance, the group “Jash Mujahideen” was attacked by terrorists of Hayat Tahrir al- Sham in January 2017. At this time the radical Islamists seized warehouses with weapons. After that, part of Jash Mujahideen’s forces were forced to join Ahrar al-Sham, while the other part joined HTS.
Be that as it may, year after year HTS leadership adamantly follows its goal – the unification of all jihadist organizations in Syria under its leadership and the construction of the emirate. Radical Islamists are strongly established in the province of Idlib, and will do all they can to prevent the creation of a de-escalation zone.
Conclusion
The following conclusions and analysis can be drawn from all the information presented thus far. After the defeat of the IS in Iraq and Syria, the most effective group that stands to oppose Assad’s regime remains Hayat Tahrir al-Sham. This movement has the necessary number of trained militants in its ranks to confront the government army, it has a rather positive image when compared with the IS, and advocates the idea of opposing “the betrayal of the interests of the people of Syria.” Meanwhile, the conflict between the factions within the movement itself, the conflicts with other armed groups, the reduction of logistical support, and problems with financing, all lead to a gradual degradation of HTS. We can conclude that to overcome these problems, the leadership of the movement may hold another re-branding. This conclusion is based on the fact that, at a turning point in its existence, al-Nusra / HTS is able, in words, to abandon the ideas of radical Islam in order to preserve their ability for an armed struggle, and to establish itself as a legitimate and independent force in the ongoing war . It seems that there is a desire on the part of HTS to become a Sunni version of Hezbollah. In this effort, the group could receive support from some concerned foreign parties.
The clashes and reluctance to compromise with the moderate opposition, continued conflict with the increasingly capable government army, and the never ending struggle for resources – have all reaped poor results for the group, and highlight the poor choice of strategies adopted by HTS thus far. Without external help, HTS will not be able to confront, for any extended periods of time, the SAA and the Russian Aerospace Forces.

Terrorists Massacre 9 Police in Daraa, Syria

May 4, 2020 Miri Wood
Daraa: Nine police cadets killed in a surprise attack by al-Qaeda moderate opposition
Nine police officers were massacred when NATO-supported terrorists invaded the Daraa Police Command in Mzairib .



Nine police officers were slaughtered at 0800 Damascene time when fifty to sixty human pathogens launched a surprise attack on the Mzairib Daraa Police Command building.
Daraa Police Commander Brigadier General Dharrar Mejhem al Dandal told the media that the savages were armed with light weapons, taking police personnel by surprise, opening fire on all. He emphasized that the perpetrators will be “found and brought to justice.”
The bodies of the nine martyred police officers were transported to the Daraa National Hospital.
Had such carnage been inflicted on any police station in any western NATO country, it would be massively reported as headline news, scattered local police would be interviewed being in solidarity with their fallen brethren, and shown wearing black armbands.
Daraa may sound familiar to many. In 2017, the bipartisan Monsters of Congress created a mini-gang of American lawmakers to support the armed al Qaeda human pathogens, hashtagging their Orwellian call to “Save Daraa.” This gang was undeterred by the evidence of the slaughter of Syrian soldiers whose corpses were then mutilated, with the assistance of White Helmet members.

Drones and other ‘western’ weapons were discovered left behind in liberated areas of Daraa, in 2018. Massive weaponry was also found in June 2019.
There was no western coverage as Syria began to restore Daraa’s health sector after regions had been liberated from the al Qaeda degenerates.
Smugglers of Syrian Antiquities were arrested in Daraa, last year.
But this is Daraa, which is in Syria, and we westerners have been made accustomed to cheering the criminals and the criminally insane: Child beheaders; cannibalsfemicidalistsMenegele‘s bragging about practicing medicine without licensure and performing surgeries without anesthetics; child kidnappers and apparent child pornographers; raving lunatics who mutilate corpses after their murders; deranged who use severed heads as footballs.
We are also supposed to believe that NATO weapons fall into the hands of Satan’s offspring, like manna from the heavens.
Most heinous massacres in Syria were carried out in towns near the borders with the neighboring countries, who happen to be all in the US camp and all run black-op rooms, the one in Amman, Jordan is called the MOC room which coordinates such massacres as this one, it’s run by a number of NATO, Gulfies, Jordanian, and Israeli officers. They command al-Qaeda’s ‘moderate armed opposition’ in Syria.
Many of the terrorists who accepted the Russian-led reconciliation initiative in different parts of the country, including the province of Daraa, were pardoned in the general amnesty, others who refused to join the reconciliation were shipped to Idlib near their mother the Turkish madman ‘Erdogan’, and some went to remote areas and continued their terror attacks with the help of the MOC room, financed by US taxpayers and the generous Gulfies who can’t find anything useful to do with the vast petrol money they amassed over the past decades.
May the memories of the martyred police officers of Daraa be for a blessing; may the mourners be comforted.
עוֹשֶׂה שָׁלוֹם
— Miri Wood

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

Mysterious Drones Kill Militants In Greater Idlib

South Front

On April 16, airstrikes destroyed two vehicles of Jaysh al-Nasir and the 1st Coastal Division in the town of al-Enkawi on the contact line in northwestern Hama. According to local sources, 3 militants were killed and 3 others were injured in the strikes.

Some opposition sources claimed that the strikes were conducted by an Iranian unmanned combat aerial vehicle, while others said the drone was Russian. In the past several years, opposition sources repeatedly speculated that the Russian military was testing Kalashnikov KUB-BLA loitering munitions in Syria.

On April 15, the Syrian Army eliminated Abu al-Walid Tell Hadya, a prominent field commander of the Turkish-backed National Front for Liberation (NFL), in a rocket strike on the town of Maarbalit in southern Idlib. Both Jaysh al-Nasir and the 1st Coastal Division are also parts of the NFL.

A large explosion rocked the Turkish-occupied village of al-Ahras in the northern part of al-Hasakah province. The car bomb, which exploded just near a joint position of the Turkish Army and Turkish-backed militants, reportedly killed and injured several Turkish personnel. Following the incident, Turkish troops carried out a raid in the village detaining several civilians.

Over the past months, there have been dozens of IED and car bomb attacks within the Turkish-occupied part of Syria. Turkish sources often blame Kurdish armed groups for these attacks, but provide no evidence to confirm these claims. At the same time, ISIS cells are also active in the area.

A group of former ISIS commanders met in the town of Tell Abyad in northern Raqqa under the protection of Turkish-backed forces, according to media reports. ISIS members reportedly cooperate with the al-Shamiya Front, a faction of the Turkish-backed Syrian National Army. The town is reportedly filled with graffiti supporting the terrorist group.

Local sources speculate that former ISIS members will be employed by Turkish intelligence to stage terrorist attacks and provocations against the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces and the Syrian Army.

On the morning of April 16, patriotic civilians and Syrian Army members intercepted a convoy of the U.S.-led coalition and forced it to withdraw near the village of Tell Hamis in al-Hasakah province. This became the fifth such incident in the past few weeks. Earlier, US forces had repeatedly blocked movement of the Syrian Army and the Russian Military Police in the province. Now, they are passing through a similar experience.

Unknown militants ambushed a vehicle of the Syrian Army on the road between the villages of Izraa and Buser al-Harir in the province of Daraa. At least 3 soldiers were killed and 2 others were injured. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, yet. ISIS cells are known to be active in Daraa, especially in the governorate’s northern and eastern countryside. Furthermore, some supporters of radical Idlib armed groups are still active in this part of the country.

Related News

«تحسين الشروط» قبل لقاء موسكو: دمشق تواجه الغزو التركي براً وجواً

 حسين الأمين 

الإثنين 2 آذار 2020

شيّع حزب الله وجمهور المقاومة في ضاحية بيروت الجنوبية الشهداء الذين سقطوا في المعارك الأخيرة قرب سراقب (أ ف ب )

تعقّد المشهد الميداني في الشمال الغربي من سوريا، إلى حد غير مسبوق. معارك جوية وبرية يخوضها الجيش السوري بوجه الفصائل المسلّحة والجيش التركي، وسط استنكاف روسي عن مواجهة «الصلف» التركي المتزايد. حلفاء دمشق يعلنون أنهم إلى جانبها في معركتها ضد الإرهاب، لكنهم لا يسعون إلى اشتباك مع أنقرة. وإلى أن يحين موعد اللقاء المرتقب بين إردوغان وبوتين بعد ثلاثة أيام، تسعى كل الأطراف الى تحسين شروط التفاوض ميدانيّاًحتى فجر يوم الأربعاء الفائت، كانت التطوّرات الميدانيّة في أرياف إدلب وحماة وحلب، تسير ضمن سيناريوات متوقّعة.. لكن سيطرة المسلحين على مدينة سراقب الاستراتيجية، جنوبي شرقي مدينة إدلب على الطريق الدولي بين حماة وحلب، في ساعات الصباح الأولى من ذلك اليوم، قلب المشهد الميداني. بعدما استعادت الفصائل بلدة النيرب غربي سراقب، عقب هجمات متكررة، «صارت سراقب بلا هوامش دفاعية، تمنح الجيش قدرة على العمل فيها لصدّ الهجمات الواسعة والعنيفة»، بحسب ما يشير مصدر ميداني سوري، ما سهّل سقوطها. بعد ذلك، جاء استهداف الجنود الأتراك عبر غارة جوية في بلدة بليون في ريف إدلب الجنوبي، ليل الخميس ــــ الجمعة، ما أدّى الى مقتل أكثر من ثلاثين جندياً تركياً، بينما كان الجيش السوري يتقدم نحو سهل الغاب، والطريق الدولي حلب ــــ اللاذقية (M4).

بعد ساعات قليلة من الحدث، بدأت القوات التركية حملة قصف مدفعي وصاروخي، وعبر الطائرات المسيّرة. وفي إطار «الرد» التركي على المقتلة التي ألمّت بجنوده، استهدف من مرابضه في بلدة تفتناز شرقي إدلب، منطقة طلحية شمالي سراقب. وفي الأثناء، حاولت الفصائل المسلحة، وخصوصاً «الحزب التركستاني»، اقتحامها، إلا أن هجماتهم المتكررة فشلت، ما دفع الجيش التركي الى شن حملة قصف واسعة ومكثفة، أدّت الى استشهاد 9 مقاتلين من حزب الله اللبناني، وعشرات من القوات العاملة تحت القيادة الإيرانية في سوريا، بالإضافة الى عدد من جنود الجيش السوري وضباطه. وطوال ذلك اليوم، بدت القوات الروسية بعيدة عن كل ما يجري، فلا طائرات تشن الغارات، ولا قصف صاروخي مكثف، ولا حتى منعٌ للمسيّرات التركية من التحليق. تُرك الجيش السوري وحلفاؤه، للطائرات المسيّرة والقصف المكثف، على مدى ليالٍ عدة. بدا الموقف كأن موسكو سحبت يدها من المعركة، وأرادت للجيش السوري وحلفائه أن يكملوها.

ظهرت تلك الليلة (الجمعة ــــ السبت)، كأنها الليلة التي ستشتعل فيها المعركة بين القوى الحليفة لدمشق في محور المقاومة، والجيش التركي، وخصوصاً مع استنكاف الجانب الروسي عن التحرك لوقف التصعيد التركي أو مواجهته، إلا أن ذلك لم يحدث. بعد الاستهداف مباشرة، سعت هذه القوى إلى إرسال وسطاء الى تركيا، لطلب خفض التصعيد، دونما جدوى. في الليلة التالية (السبت ــــ الأحد)، أصدر «المركز الاستشاري الإيراني» (ناطق باسم تجمّع القوى الحليفة لدمشق في محور المقاومة)، بياناً أعلن فيه، للمرة الأولى، أنه شارك في العمليات العسكرية لفتح الطريق الدولي حلب ــــ حماة (M5)، بالإضافة الى دعم الجيش السوري لحماية الطريق ومنع سقوطه. كذلك، أُعلن في البيان عن إرسال وسطاء الى الجيش التركي، إلا أن الأخير «لم يأخذ هذا الطلب بعين الاعتبار». لكن ذلك لم يدفع هذه القوى الى التحرك ضد الجيش التركي بشكل مباشر، إذ اكتفت بقصف الجيش السوري للمرابض التركية داخل الأراضي السورية، معلنةً أن قواتها «هي لمواجهة الإرهابيين»، وأنها «ليس لديها أي هدف أو قرار لمواجهة الجيش التركي، وأن القيادة مصرّة على الحل السياسي بين سوريا وتركيا».

دمشق وحلفاؤها مصمّمون على استعادة سراقب وفتح طريق (M4)

ورغم ما حمله البيان من «صراحة» لناحية رؤية هذه القوى للمعركة مع تركيا، إلا أنه حمل تهديدات مبطّنة تتعلق بالنقاط التركية المحاصرة خلف خطوط انتشار الجيش السوري، والقوى الحليفة منذ أكثر من شهر. إذ قال البيان إن «المواقع التركية داخل مناطق قواتنا، إلا أن عناصر اللجان وفصائل المقاومة لم تتعرّض لهذه القوات التركية احتراماً لقرار القيادة، ولا يزال هذا القرار ساري المفعول حتى الساعة». ورغم فشل الوساطات لوقف القصف التركي، إلا أن مصدراً سياسياً مطّلعاً على الاتصالات الأخيرة، أكد لـ«الأخبار» أن «التواصل الإيراني ــــ التركي قائم حتى هذه اللحظة، ويحاول الطرفان تجنّب الاشتباك المباشر»، مضيفاً إن حلفاء دمشق، «يرفضون، حتى الساعة، خوض معركة لا يريدونها ضدّ تركيا، وهم قد تفاهموا على ذلك مع دمشق مسبقاً». وفي المقابل، يؤكد مصدر مطّلع أيضاً، أن «الإيراني لا يريد مواجهة مع التركي، لكنه يعتبر ما يحدث تعنّتاً تركياً غير مبرّر، ويشبه المشهد التركي اليوم، المشهد العراقي في الحرب العراقية ــــ الإيرانية، لناحية توريط الأميركيين للرئيس العراقي صدام حسين بحرب ضد إيران، لم تكن إيران تريدها، لكنها تصدّت لها».

يوم أمس، ارتفعت حدة الاشتباكات الى مستويات غير مسبوقة في الشمال الغربي. فدارت معركة جوية في سماء منطقة إدلب. تمكن خلالها الجيش السوري من إسقاط 6 طائرات مسيّرة تركية. وعقب إسقاط الطائرة المسيّرة الأولى، أقدمت طائرات حربية تركية كانت تحلّق فوق الشريط الحدودي بين البلدين، على استهداف قاذفتين سوريتين من طراز «Su-24»، وأسقطتهما. أما على الأرض، فحتى ليل أمس، كان الجيش السوري وحلفاؤه يسيطرون على الضفة الشرقية للطريق الدولي في مدينة سراقب، بينما يسيطر المسلحون والقوات التركية على الضفة المقابلة. كذلك، أوقف الجيش السوري تقدم المسلحين في ريف حماة الشمالي وريف إدلب الجنوبي، ومنعهم من السيطرة على بلدة كفرنبل غربي خان شيخون.

احتدام المعارك، وتعقّد المشهد الميداني، يصبّان في مجمله في خانة واحدة: «استباق لقاء الرئيسين الروسي فلاديمير بوتين والتركي رجب طيب إردوغان المرتقب في موسكو، يومي 5 و6 مارس/ آذار»، بحسب مصدر سياسي مطّلع على كواليس المفاوضات الروسية ــــ التركية. ويؤكد المصدر أن «للجانب التركي مطالب عديدة، مقابل التراجع عن سراقب وفتح الطريقين الدوليين M4 وM5»، وهناك «معلومات عن مطالبة تركية بالسيطرة على عين العرب على الحدود السورية ــــ التركية الشمالية، مقابل تقديم تنازلات في إدلب». كما يجري الحديث عن اتفاق روسي ــــ تركي مرتقب، «لم تجهز مسوّدته الأخيرة بعد»، بحسب المصدر. إلا أن «الجانب التركي عرض فيه فتح الطريقين الدوليين أمام المدنيين من كل المناطق، سواء ضمن سيطرة الحكومة أو المسلحين، مع إبقاء سراقب تحت سيطرة المسلحين، وتسيير دوريات تركية ــــ روسية مشتركة على طول الطريق من خان شيخون حتى سراقب، ومن الأخيرة حتى جسر الشغور»، بحسب معلومات المصدر.

ولا تنفي مصادر مقربة من دمشق هذه المعلومات، إلا أنها تؤكد أنها «لا تعدو كونها رفعاً للسقف بناءً على أوهام سرعان ما ستزول»، حيث «لن يسمح الجيش السوري، بالتعاون مع حلفائه، بالإبقاء على سراقب تحت سيطرة المسلحين». وتضيف هذه المصادر إن «المهادنة الروسية لأنقرة، في الأيام الأخيرة، دفعت الجيش التركي والفصائل المدعومة منه، الى التقدم اكثر وتوسيع سيطرتهم في جنوبي إدلب، ما منحهم أوراقاً تفاوضية أقوى». كذلك تشير المصادر الى أنه «سابقاً كان إردوغان يضغط للقاء بوتين، أما اليوم فتطلب موسكو التهدئة واللقاء في أسرع وقت مع إردوغان للتوصل الى اتفاق (…) هذا خطأ ارتكبه الروس، ويحاولون إصلاحه عبر إعادة تزخيم العمليات العسكرية لاستعادة السيطرة على سراقب، وقرى سهل الغاب».


الجيش يحاصر مسلّحين في الصنمين جنوباً

بدأ الجيش السوري، مدعوماً بقوات من «الدفاع الوطني» من أهالي محافظة درعا، أمس، عملية أمنية ــــ عسكرية في بلدة الصنمين شمالي مدينة درعا، بهدف القضاء على أهمّ تشكيل مسلّح رافضٍ للتسويات، يتزعّمه وليد زهرة، المعروف بـ«أبو خالد»، القائد السابق لحركة «أحرار الشام» في منطقة حوران. وتَخلّلت العمليةَ اشتباكاتٌ بالأسلحة الخفيفة والمتوسطة، أدّت إلى مقتل 5 مسلحين، واعتقال 6 آخرين، وانتشار الجيش في معظم أحياء المدينة التي أُغلقت مدارسها ومحالّها التجارية بفعل المعارك. وكان عدد من المسلحين قد تحصّنوا داخل الأبنية السكنية في منطقة العملية، ما دفع الجيش إلى تطويقها بهدف منع تسلّلهم أو هروبهم إلى مناطق مجاورة. وبالتزامن مع العملية العسكرية في الصنمين، شهدت عدة مناطق في درعا أحداثاً أمنية متفرقة، وتحرّكات للمسلحين بالقرب من نقاط تمركز الجيش، وخصوصاً في بلدة المزيريب شمالي غربي درعا، بغية التأثير على سير العملية الأمنية في الصنمين. كما شهدت المنطقة الغربية من محافظة درعا استنفاراً أمنياً، بعد قيام مسلحين باحتجاز عدد من مجنّدي الجيش وأسلحتهم، وقطع طرقات ومداخل رئيسية. أما في المنطقة الشرقية، فقد احتجز مسلحون في بلدة الكرك الشرقي عنصرين من الأجهزة الأمنية، وقطعوا الطرق الرئيسية أيضاً. وتأتي عمليات الجيش هذه بعد انتهاء المهل الزمنية المحدّدة لرافضي التسويات، والذين كثّفوا هجماتهم على مقارّه أخيراً، ونفّذوا عمليات خطف لضباط وأمنيّين، وعمليات اغتيال لكلّ من يتعامل مع الجيش من أهالي درعا والصنمين تحديداً. وتؤكد مصادر أمنية سورية أن «قوات الجيش والأمن تسيطر على الوضع، وقد تستغرق العملية أياماً عدة، إلا أنها ليست عملية عسكرية واسعة، بل عملية أمنية تنظيفية».
(الأخبار)

SYRIAN WAR REPORT – SEPTEMBER 6, 2019: US SEEKS TO DESTABILIZE SOUTHERN SYRIA

South Front

The US is seeking to reanimate insurgency in southern Syria. According to the pro-militant Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a number of Free Syrian Army commanders that fled Syria in 2018 are now working to form a new militant group, the Army of the South, to attack “Iranian militias” in the region. The allegedly closed U.S. Military Operation Center in Jordan will reportedly support the new group.

Over the past few months, the security situation in southern Syria became more complicated with an increasing number of IED attacks and assassinations aimed against the Syrian Arab Army (SAA).

The SAA uncovered loads of weapons during a search operation in the newly-captured town of al-Lataminah in northern Hama. The discovered weapons included several mortar cannons of different calibers, at least two Grad 122mm rockets, RPG-18 and RPG-26 anti-tank rocket-propelled grenades as well as a RPO-A thermobaric rocket launcher.

Militants of Jaysh al-Izza, a close ally of Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham, apparently left behind these weapons. The group’s members fled the town last month following a successful attack by the SAA.

On September 5, the Russian Defense Ministry denied recent reports claiming that several Russian service members were killed in a blast near the town of Jurin in northwestern Hama. These false claims were first published by Vedomosti business daily before being picked up by multiple Russian and Syrian media outlets.

Such reports appear to be a part of new propaganda wave aimed against the SAA and Russia. Such propaganda campaigns are often being launched amid important military or diplomatic developments in Syria, and the Middle East in general.

Related News

No, Israel Did Not Attack Iranian Targets In Iraq

 

By Moon Of Alabama

August 01, 2019 “Information Clearing House” – Israeli newspaper repeat a report which claims that Israeli planes hit Iranian targets in Iraq.

From the last one:

The IAF used its F-35i stealth fighter jets to hit two Iraqi bases that were used by Iranian forces and proxies and for storing ballistic missiles, the London-based Saudi daily Asharq Al-Awsat reported on Tuesday.

Asharq Al-Awsat is owned by Faisal bin Salman, a member of the Saudi ruling clan. It is – like other Arab papers – often used to launder Israeli disinformation and propaganda that is then repeated in the Israeli press.

The original Asharq Al-Aswat report reads:

Israel has expanded the scope of its Iranian targets in Iraq and Syria, western diplomatic sources told Asharq Al-Awsat amid reports that Tel Aviv carried out an airstrike earlier this month against an Iranian rockets depot northeast of Baghdad.

The July 19 attack was carried out by an Israeli F-35 fighter jet, they added.

On Sunday, the Ashraf base in Iraq, a former base used by the Iranian opposition People’s Mujahedin of Iran, was targeted by an air raid, said sources.

The base lies 80 kilometers from the border with Iran and 40 kilometers northeast of Baghdad.

The sources revealed that the strikes targeted Iranian “advisors” and a ballistic missile shipment that had recently arrived from Iran to Iraq.

Last week, Syria’s Tal al-Hara was struck by Israeli jets.

The diplomatic sources said the attack targeted Iran’s attempt to seize control of the strategic hill, located in Daraa countryside in southern Syria.

The above F-35 promotion then goes on to laud the Israeli Arrows-3 air defense missile the U.S. paid for.

Of the three incidents Asharq Al-Awsat mentions only one, in Syria, really happened.

On July 19 a fire broke out at a camp of the 16th Brigade of the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF). It set off some ammunition. The 16th is a light infantry brigade. It does not have ballistic missiles. While the incident was first reported as a missile attack, an investigation later said (Arabic) that the fire was caused by a defect of some equipment (machine translation)

The Central Commission of Inquiry sent by the People’s Assembly on Sunday announced the results of the investigation into the bombing of the Martyrs’ Camp of the Commission, which is located near the city of Ameri.

The report of the specialized committee confirmed that the investigations conducted have proved that the explosion was not a military target as a result of a plane or a guided missile, but was a fire of solid fuel due to an internal defect.

No one was killed in the incident.

The alleged attack on Sunday never happened:

TØM CΛT @TomtheBasedCat – 17:29 UTC · Jul 30, 2019

The Camp Ashraf incident was nothing more than a rumor that started on Facebook. It’s not even called Ashraf anymore, the base is named after the Brigade 27 commander who was Martyred in Diyala battles.

Saudis hard at work creating Fake News.

It is not the Saudis that created this fake news but the “western diplomatic sources”, aka the Israeli ambassador in London, who briefed the Asharq Al-Awsat writer.

The third incident, in Syria, did happen:

Syria’s state media said on Wednesday an Israeli missile attack had targeted the country’s southern province of Daraa, but did not report any casualties.

State news agency SANA and state TV added that the “Israeli aggression” struck Tal al-Hara hill that is home to Syrian army posts adding that it only caused material damage.

The Tal al-Hara hill, a strategic area overlooking the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, was for many years a major Russian military radar outpost until rebels took it over in 2014 before it was again recaptured by the Syrian army last year.

Israel did not hit any Iranian targets or anything else in Iraq. The Asharq Al-Awsat story is pure propaganda.

If the Israeli air force were stupid enough to bomb targets in Iraq, it would likely see consequences that it would not like:

TØM CΛT @TomtheBasedCat – 18:08 UTC · Jul 30, 2019

And besides

If Israel really wants to waste their time and resources striking sites in Iraq, by all means.

They’ll only accelerate the decision as to whether or not to purchase the S-400 system.

There are plenty of Air Defense Officers who are already fluent in Russian.

This article was originally published by “Moon Of Alabama” – 

Do you agree or disagree? Post your comment here

==See Also==

Israel to conduct new offensives in Iraq soon: “Israel has expanded its area of ??control against the Iranian presence in Syria, Lebanon and Iraq,” while indicated that it will conduct further strikes soon on Iranian sites in Iraq.

Syrian War Report – July 26, 2019: Russian, Syrian Warplanes Rain Hell On Militants In Western Aleppo

South Front

On July 25, warplanes of the Syrian Air Force and the Russian Aerospace Forces bombed positions of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra) and its allies near the villages of al-Bawabiya, al-Atarib, Qammari, al-Barqoum, Urem al-Kubra, and Kafr Halab, and the Base 46 area. According to pro-militant sources, the Syrians and Russians delivered dozens of airstrikes aiming gatherings of equipment and military infrastructure.

The strikes came in response to the July 24 rocket shelling on Aleppo’s city center that killed at least 3 civilians and injured many others. Pro-government activists accused Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham and the Turkish-backed National Front for Liberation of carrying out the attack.

On the same day, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham announced that its special forces had ambushed a unit of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) near Qasabiyeh in northern Hama. A military source denied HTS’ claims and told SouthFront that northern Hama did not witness any infiltration attempt during the mentioned period. This explains why the terrorist group’s claims did not include the results of the supposed attack.

Mashhour Zaydan, a Syrian commander affiliated with Hezbollah, was killed in western Damascus, Syrian sources confirmed on July 22. Zyadan was killed in the morning of July 21 when a guided projectile hit his car near Sasa in western Damascus. The strike also killed a 3-year old girl and injured three women, who were near.

Israel repeatedly claimed that Hezbollah is establishing a network in al-Qunitra’s countryside in cooperation with local commanders and warned that it will not tolerate such developments.

On July 24, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) struck SAA positions at Tell al-Harrah in western Daraa and Tell al- Ahmar in al-Quneitra’s countryside. Nonetheless, the strike led to no casualties among SAA personnel. According to Syrian sources, the IDF used Spike NLOS ground-to-ground missiles.

Additionally, the IDF accused Hezbollah of smuggling weapons and missile manufacturing materials through Beirut Port. Lieutenant Colonel Avichay Adraee claimed that Hezbollah is doing this in cooperation with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

These remarks went in the framework of Israel’s general policy in the region that is mostly based on opposing the growing influence of Iran and Hezbollah. In 2018, Israeli officials even threatened to strike supposed Hezbollah missile sites in Lebanon.

Related News

%d bloggers like this: