Syrian War Report – May 17, 2019: Syrian Army Eliminated 45 Militants In Recent Clashes

South Front

The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and its allies in northwestern Hama eliminated at least 45 militants during the past few days, according to pro-government sources.

Lt. Col. Mohammed Mahmoud Al-Shamali of Jaysh al-Nasir, Captain Ahmed Ismail and Mohamad Najar of the Idlib Free Army and Mohammed Abdul Karim and Muayad al-Jasser of Jaysh al-Izza were among the eliminated militants.

Both Jaysh al-Nasir and the Idlib Free Army are a part of the Turkish-backed coalition of militant groups, the National Front for Liberation (NFL), while Jaysh al-Izza is known to be a key ally of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda) in this part of Syria.

The SAA is currently developing its advance in the area of Sheikh Sultan.

In own turn, militants targeted a truck armed with a 23mm gun, a battle tank, an ammo truck and a pick-up truck belonging to the SAA around al-Huwayz with anti-tank guided missiles.

Hayat Tahrir al-Sham also claimed via its media wing that its members had shelled a “Russian operations room” in northwestern Hama with Grad rockets and artillery rounds. Pro-government source didn’t report any such incident. However, local sources said that several rockets landed in the village of al-Jarniyah injuring at least two children.

In the Homs desert, pro-government forces responded with a local security operation to the May 15 ISIS attack on SAA positions near the town of al-Sawwanah. According to the ISIS news agency Amaq, 21 SAA soldiers were killed in the incident, but this number was not confirmed by visual evidence.

A suicide vehicle-borne improvised explosive device exploded near a security center of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in the town of Manbij in the afternoon of May 16. A SDF security officer was killed and ten civilians were injured in the attack, most likely staged by ISIS.

 

 

MILITARY SITUATION IN SYRIA ON MAY 18, 2019 (MAP UPDATE)

The Syrian Arab Air Defense Forces intercepted several unidentified aerial objects over Damascus;

  • 42 ISIS members were detained and large quantities of weapons, including more than 40 sniper rifles, were captured as a result of the SDF operation in southeastern Deir Ezzor, the group claimed;
  • Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham militants are preparing a chemical provocation in the town of Saraqib, the Russian military warned;
  • The Damascus government and Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) swapped dozens of prisoners near al-Eis on May 17. HTS released nine captives including two women and a child. Damascus released twenty-seven prisoners from its jails;
  • The al-Qaeda-affiliated Turkistan Islamic Party (TIP) released a new propaganda video showcasing its heavy improvised rocket-assisted munition;
  • Clashes are ongoing in northwestern Hama and northern Lattakia

Military Situation In Syria On May 18, 2019 (Map Update)

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Dr. Nashabe: US Realizes Regime Change in Syria Fails

Dr. Nashabe: US Realizes Regime Change in Syria Fails

TEHRAN (FNA)- Dr. Omar Nashabe, Journalist and University Lecturer, believes the main reason behind the US decision to withdraw its troops from Syria was realizing that “the US agenda, including regime change,… was never going to be successfully done”.

In an exclusive interview with FNA, Dr. Nashabe also mentioned the role of Turkey in the move by Washington, saying, “The US learned that continuing to arm Kurdish rebels will lead to mounting tension with Turkey, which is a NATO member.”

Dr. Omar Nashabe is Lecturer in the Lebanese-American University in Lebanon. He is also an editorial member and reviewer of several international reputed journals, including al-Akhbar Newspaper.

Below is the full text of the interview:

Q: Donald Trump, US President, ordered the US withdrawal from Syria. On what military ground has he issued this order?

A: The US military withdrawal from Syria is in line with President Trump’s overall foreign policy. The US President has realized that the US agenda (i.e. regime change in Syria, weakening Hezbollah and playing and active role in ground of one of Iran’s and Russia’s close allies) was never going to be successfully done. But, the role of Turkey cannot be overlooked; the US learned that continuing to arm Kurdish rebels will lead to mounting tension with Turkey, which is a member of NATO. Therefore, the US military withdrawal from Syria can also serve as a message from Washington to Ankara: abandoning the Kurds may be an invitation for repairing what went wrong with the relations of Turkey and the US, and/or an attempt to persuade Turkey to stop its increasing rapprochement with Russia.

Q: Trump justified his move saying the US military presence in Syria had achieved its aim with the defeat of Daesh (ISIL or ISIS). Can the terrorist group be considered “defeated” by the US?

A: The Daesh terrorist group has been defeated; but not by the US. The terrorist group was rather defeated by a large coalition including Russia, the Syrian Army, Hezbollah, Iranian forces, and last but not least, the Syrian people themselves. It was only after Daesh attacked targets in Western Syria when Turkey and the US started advertising that they were fighting against the terrorist group. Even then, their armies were inconsistent in fighting Daesh. In numerous occasion, the US army refrained from attacking Daesh groups, because Washington had hoped that these groups may cause severe damage to the pro-government forces.
In short, US military withdrawal from Syria has nothing to do with defeating Daesh. In fact, Daesh still has military presence in some parts in Syria, namely in Deir Ezzur, where some American soldiers were stationed.

Q: The Kurdish majority Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) was supported and armed by the US, but Kurdish Spokeswoman Ilham Ahmad has described the US decision to withdraw from Syria as a stab in the back of the Kurds. What future do you anticipate for the Kurds without the US?

A: The Kurds will have no way but to reintegrate in the Syrian army. They should reach an agreement with the Syrian government for a certain autonomous provincial ruling system under the authority of Damascus. Kurds already know that if they fail to reach the agreement with Syria’s legitimate government, then the Turkish army will not hesitate to slaughter them. Then, the Syrian army may not be ready to go to war against Turkey to defend the Kurds, especially with their history of worked hard for regime change in Syria, being a puppet of outside forces such as the US.

Now that the US has abandoned the Kurds, somebody has to take over and control the situation. The development in the Syrian city of Manbij is an evidence: Syria’s troops entering Manbij would spell restoration of the government control over the Syrian-Turkish border. Syrian government is to exercise sovereignty over its own territory, and this is what it is doing right now entering Manbij, by the call of whether civilians or Kurdish forces.

Q: Trump says Saudi Arabia, not the US, will pay to rebuild Syria, while Bashar al-Assad, Syrian President, says the country does not need the help of the West or Saudi Arabia. What does that tell us about the real aim of the war on Syria?

A: The top in the US’s agenda was to topple the Syrian president and to place a puppet regime instead of the current legitimate government of the country; However, Trump realized that the plan for regime change in Syria was defeated. Therefore, he may be planning to lure Syria using Saudi Arabia’s money and the return of Syria to the Arab League. The plan seems underway: the Persian Gulf Arab states, including the UAE, are reopening their embassies in the capital Damascus, showing tendency to re-establish Syria as a member of the Arab League. Meanwhile, Pro-Saudi Sudan President Omar Al-Bashir recently visited Damascus and passed a Saudi message to President Bashar al-Assad, claiming that if he abandons his close ties with the Iran and Hezbollah, he shall be rewarded with substantial funds and reconstruction plans.

هل دخلت تركيا «بيت الطاعة» الروسي؟

مهران نزار غطروف

بدا واضحاً خلال المؤتمر الصحافي الذي عقده كلّ من الرئيسين فلاديمير بوتين ورجب طيب أردوغان في موسكو مساء الأربعاء 23 الشهر الحالي، الأجواء الإيجابية، وقد عزز ذلك تأكيد الرئيس بوتين على أنّ المحادثات سارت في «جو بناء»، وأنّ الحديث تركز على «التطورات في سورية»، معلناً أنّ دعم «وقف العمليات القتالية» في سورية، لا يجب أن يكون على «حساب محاربة الإرهاب».

وأوضح أنه ناقش مع أردوغان «الانسحاب الأميركي»، وأنّ موقف كلّ من موسكو وأنقرة «ثابت وراسخ» إزاء الأزمة في سورية، قائلاً إنه علينا العمل «على أساس سياسي ودبلوماسي وفق القرار الأممي 2254»، وعلى أساس «احترام سيادة ووحدة الأراضي السورية».

من جانبه الرئيس التركي أكد أنّ «حجر الأساس» للاستقرار في سورية، هو «التنسيق» بين روسيا وتركيا، وفي ما يخصّ الحديث عن تداعيات إقامة «المنطقة الآمنة» فقد انتقد أردوغان سياسات واشنطن، قائلاً إنها «لا تتعاطى بإيجابية» مع مطالبه وما يقوله!

وشدّد على أن لا مشكلة حول هذه المسألة – أيّ المنطقة الآمنة – مع روسيا، وأنّ هذه المناطق بعد تطهيرها من الإرهابيين، ستقوم «الجهات المعنية» أيّ وزارتي الخارجية أو الدفاع في البلدين، بالعمل ذي الصلة للحفاظ عليها!

ما يفتح الباب على سؤال مفاده: هل دخلت تركيا في «بيت الطاعة» الروسي؟

قد يستغرب البعض طرح مثل هذا السؤال في هذا الوقت! والذي باتت تشكل فيه تركيا الخطر الإقليمي الأكبر على الشرق والشمال السوري، ووحدة الأراضي السورية، وهي الساعية اليوم للحصول على منطقة آمنة بعمق 25 إلى 30 كم على طول حدودها معها، خاصة بعد قرار ترامب سحب قواته منها، حيث لا يوجد إلا «الرمال والموت» على حدّ زعمه!

فارضا بقراره هذا، حالة من التخبّط في صفوف حلفائه والمراهنين عليه، ما دفع ببعضهم للهرولة باتجاه دمشق، كالكرد «الانفصاليين» في شرق الفرات، للدخول بمفاوضات معها تحت رعاية روسية مباشرة، ظهرت بعض ثمارها بدخول الجيش السوري إلى منبج مؤخراً.

وبعد أن تمّت تصفية الإرهاب في معظم الأراضي السورية، ولم يبق سوى إدلب، والتي خسرت أو تنازلت تركيا مؤخراً عنها، لصالح «جبهة النصرة» المصنّفة عالمياً كمنظمة إرهابية، عبر بعض الجماعات الموالية لها، والتي كانت تسيطر على غالبية مساحتها سابقاً؟!

وقد برز في الآونة الأخيرة الاهتمام الروسي الواضح بتطورات الوضع فيها، فقد كشف الرئيس الروسي بوتين خلال مؤتمره هذا، أنّ موضوع إدلب تمّت مناقشته «بشكل مفصّل» مع نظيره التركي، معتبراً أنّ «صيغة أستانا» هي الأكثر «فعالية» بالشأن السوري، ومؤكداً أنه يجب «الاستمرار» في محاربة الإرهاب في إدلب «بغضّ النظر» عن اتفاق وقف إطلاق النار!

وقد سبق ذلك تصريح لوزير الخارجية الروسي سيرغي لافروف، أكد فيه «أنّ أفضل طريقة لوقف تنامي الإرهاب في سورية، هي في نقل الأراضي إلى سلطة الحكومة السورية» وتصريحات آخرى للمتحدثة باسم وزارة الخارجية الروسية ماريا زاخاروفا، تناولت فيها أيضاً سوء الوضع في إدلب ومؤكدة أنه «يتدهور» ومعربة عن «القلق» بشأن الارتفاع في عدد «انتهاكات نظام وقف إطلاق النار» في إدلب، والتي وصل عددها «لأكثر من ألف».

في الواقع اللافت للانتباه كان تركيز بوتين على تبديد مزاعم «المخاوف التركية» من خلال التأكيد على أنه لا مبرّر لها، بوجود اتفاقية أضنة المبرمة بين كلّ من دمشق وأنقرة عام 1998، لمكافحة الإرهاب بين البلدين، وتأكيده أنّ هذه الاتفاقية يمكن أن تساعد في ضمان «أمن تركيا»، وأنها «لا تزال قائمة».

وحقيقة هذا ما يجب الوقوف عنده، فهو تصريح روسي واضح للجانب التركي، بأنه لا يمكن له أن يستمرّ باحتلاله غير الشرعي للأراضي السورية، ووجوب العودة للعمل بهذه الاتفاقية التي تضمن الأمن التركي، كما كان الحال عليه ما قبل الحرب السورية، وما ينطوي عليه هذا التلميح الروسي من رسائل واضحة، تهدف لسحب ذرائع البقاء الاحتلالي من الجانب التركي، حيث باتت موسكو تعمل الآن مع أنقرة عبر سياسة فصل الملفات أكثر من ذي قبل، خاصة بعد قرار ترامب الأخير، الذي أغرق البعض معه من رأسه حتى أخمصه، كما هو حال التركي الآن…!

التركي الذي طالما حاول اللعب على التناقضات الأميركية الروسية في الحرب السورية، هو نفسه الذي سعى جاهداً إلى لقاء موسكو هذا، أملاً بإقناعها الموافقة على إقامة «المنطقة الآمنة»، عبر مقال لرئيسها أردوغان، نشر في صحيفة «كوميرسانت» الروسية قبل أيام عدة، ممهّداً لزيارته هذه، حيث قال فيه: «لا نريد التقليل من قيمة النجاحات التي حققناها مع الاتحاد الروسي في إطار عملية أستانا، أو التقدّم المحرز في مسار الحلّ السياسي.. يجب أن نعمل معاً لإعادة بناء سورية، وضمان الأمن والاستقرار فيها.. وهذه هي الطريقة الوحيدة لوضع حدّ للإرهاب، وبالتالي حماية سورية من التدخل الخارجي»!

ولكن جواب بوتين جاء واضحاً، وربطا بالقرار الأممي 2254 ، وبحصر العمل بالسياسي والدبلوماسي فقط، وضرورة العودة للعمل باتفاقية أضنة المعمول بها قبل عشرين عام.

فروسيا ترفض أيّ شكل من أشكال الاحتلال أو المساس بوحدة الأراضي السورية، وهي في حلف سيادي مع سورية، لا تستطيع بموجبه أن تمنح أحداً أياً كان، حقاً لا تملكه فيها، لا هي ولا غيرها.

في المحصلة: نعتقد بأنّ المأزق التركي يكبر يوماً بعد يوم، وهو بين أن يستمرّ أرودغان في سوتشي وأستانا، أو أن يذهب لعداء مباشر مع موسكو، وهذا ما ليس باستطاعته، فالتواجد الروسي على الساحة السورية ليس تواجداً ثانوياً وإنما هو تواجد أساسي، كونه حليفاً موجوداً ومفوّضا بقوة وموافقة من الدولة الشرعية السورية.

بناء عليه، باتت تشكل تركيا الآن الحلقة الأخيرة في الحرب على سورية، حيث لا خيارات لديها سوى الدخول إلى بيت الطاعة الروسي، وإلا فهي الحرب! ولكن الحرب هنا لن تكون ضدّ الجيش السوري فقط!

فلقد مضى الزمن الذي كان فيه التركي يضع قدماً له مع الأميركي، والأخرى مع الروسي، وترامب أفرغ جعبة أردوغان من أية أوراق تفاوضية منبج مثالاً ، كان يطمح بمقايضة الروسي عليها، في يوم مثل هذا اليوم، وقد سبق «سيف» ترامب «عذل» أردوغان لغير رجعة، وقد سبقهما الجيش السوري وحلفاؤه مجدّدا خطوة آخرى نحو النصر على مشاريعهما الاحتلالية.

وعلى ما يبدو أنّ أردوغان، بات يدرك جيداً اليوم أنّ الروسي، ومعه حلفاؤه في محور المقاومة، لا يهادن من ضعف، بل من موقع القوة، والقوة المطلقة، كما بات معروفاً عنه، وهذا إنْ دلّ على شيء، يدلّ على أنه استطاع أن يدخل هذا «العثماني الجديد» مرغماً إلى «بيت طاعتة» فمن التالي؟ لننتظر…

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SYRIAN, IRAQI WAR REPORT – JAN. 28, 2019: KURDISH LEADERSHIP AT CROSSROADS BETWEEN TURKEY AND ASSAD

South Front

On January 25, hundreds of Kurdish protesters stormed a Turkish military base near the northern Iraqi city of Dahuk in response to Turkish airstrikes that killed two Kurdish civilians on January 23. According to the pro-Kurdish NRT TV, Turkish soldiers opened fire at the protestors killing at least one and injuring many others. Despite resistance, protesters managed to breach the base and set it on fire. Protestors captured most of the Turkish soldiers who were inside the base and several units of military equipment. Two agents of the Turkish National Intelligence Organization, known as MIT, were injured. Later, the captured Turks were reportedly handed over to Peshmerga, a force of the Kurdistan Regional Government.

Over the past year, the Turkish Air Force has carried out multiple airstrikes on positions of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). These strikes are a part of the campaign to undermine the group’s capabilities and to prevent further PKK attacks on Turkish territory. Despite this, the Kurdish group keeps a large presence in northern Iraq having multiple bases in this area.

Ankara pursues similar goals in northern Syria claiming that the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), are just a local offshoot of the PKK.

On January 26th, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan claimed that a Turkish military operation in northeastern Syria would allow millions of refugees to return to the country. The Turkish President went on to claim that the Turkish invasion in northwestern Syria has allowed 300,000 Syrians to return to their homeland. He also said that the Adana agreement justified an attack on northeastern Syria.

In response, the Syrian Foreign Ministry accused Turkey of violating the agreement since 2011 by supporting terrorism and directly occupying parts of the country.

In the Turkish-occupied areas, the YPG-linked Afrin Liberation Forces (ALF) continued attacks on Turkey-led forces. On January 25, a Turkish-backed militant was killed in Azaz. On January 22, Kurdish rebels killed three more Turkish-backed militants in Azaz with an ATGM. On January 20, 3 Turkish-backed militants were killed in an ATGM strike in Abla and another one died from sniper fire in Sherawa.

Ilham Ahmed, a co-chair of the Syrian Democratic Council (SDC) told Bloomberg that Kurdish forces are negotiating with the Damascus government in order to protect northeastern Syria from any attack that Turkey may launch after the nearing withdrawal of U.S. forces.

“If we were cornered into choosing between a Turkish militia attacking our areas,” and reaching an accord with President Bashar al-Assad, she said in an interview in Washington, “we would go with the regime,” she claimed.

The official confirmed that the SDC has provided President Bashar al-Assad and Russia with an 11-point road map reintegrating the region under the Damascus government. According to her, Syria should be “decentralized” but united.

150 ISIS fighters surrendered themselves to the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) during the clashes in the middle Euphrates Valley, pro-Kurdish media outlets reported on January 25. On January 25, the SDF press center claimed that more than 82 terrorists were killed in clashes and US-led coalition airstrikes.

On January 24th, the Syrian Army and the Russian Military Police for the first time deployed in the area north of the SDF-held town of Manbij. This development could be seen as an indication of some progress in talks between the SDC/SDF and Damascus.

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A Convenient Killing of US Troops in Syria

A Convenient Killing of US Troops in Syria

FINIAN CUNNINGHAM | 18.01.2019

A Convenient Killing of US Troops in Syria

With unseemly haste, US news media leapt on the killing of four American military personnel in Syria as a way to undermine President Donald Trump’s plan to withdraw troops from that country.

The deadly attack in the northern city of Manbij, on the west bank of the Euphrates River, was reported to have been carried out by a suicide bomber. The Islamic State (ISIS) terror group reportedly claimed responsibility, but the group routinely makes such claims which often turn out to be false.

The American military personnel were said to be on a routine patrol of Manbij where US forces have been backing Kurdish militants in a purported campaign against ISIS and other terror groups.

An explosion at a restaurant resulted in two US troops and two Pentagon civilian officials being killed, along with more than a dozen other victims. Three other US military persons were among those injured.

US media highlighted the bombing as the biggest single death toll of American forces in Syria since they began operations in the country nearly four years ago.

The US and Kurdish militia have been in control of Manbij for over two years. It is one of the main sites from where American troops are to withdraw under Trump’s exit plan, which he announced on December 19.

Following the bombing, the New York Times headlined: “ISIS Attack in Syria Kills 4 Americans, Raising Worries about Troop Withdrawal”. The report goes on, “the news prompted calls from Republicans and Democrats for President Trump to reconsider his plans to withdraw troops from the country.”

A more pointed headline in The Washington Post was: “Killing of 4 Americans in Syria Throws Spotlight on Trump’s Policy”.

The Post editorialized, “the bombing showed that [ISIS] is likely to be a force to be reckoned with in Syria for the foreseeable future.” It quoted politicians in Washington claiming the “bombing deaths… were a direct result of a foolish and abrupt departure announcement [by Trump], and made the case for staying.”

Democrat Senator Jack Reed, who sits on the Senate Armed Forces Committee, said: “From the beginning, I thought the president was wrong [in ordering the withdrawal]. It was a strategic mistake for the whole region.”

With macabre smugness, anti-Trump politicians and news media appeared to exploit the death of US troops in Manbij to score points against Trump.

The president’s claims made just before Christmas of having defeated ISIS were widely replayed following the Manbij attack this week by way of ridiculing Trump’s order to pullout US troops from Syria.

Nevertheless, despite the deaths, Trump and his Vice President Mike Pence stated they were still committed to bring the 2,000 or so US troops home. Some military figures also went on US media to defend Trump’s pullout plan in spite of the terror attack in Manbij.

There clearly is a serious division in Washington over Trump’s policy on Syria. For Democrats and supportive media outlets, anything Trump does is to be opposed. But there are also elements within the military and intelligence nexus which are implacably against, what they see as, his “capitulation to Russia and Iran” in Syria. That was partly why his Defense Secretary James Mattis resigned days after Trump made his announced withdrawal at the end of last month.

Having invested years and money in regime-change machinations in Syria, there is bound to be US military and intelligence cabals which are resistant to Trump’s move to pack up. Not that Trump’s move portends a peace dividend for the region. It is more a “tactical change” for how US imperialism operates in the Middle East, as his Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in Cairo last week.

That is why Trump’s order to take troops out of Syria may not be a clear-cut withdrawal. His National Security adviser John Bolton on a tour of the Middle East last week has already tried to undermine Trump by attaching all sorts of vague conditions to the troop pullout. Bolton and Pompeo have talked about the need to ensure the total defeat of ISIS and of the countering of Iranian presence in Syria.

This brings up the question of who may have carried out the bombing in Manbij? Was it really a suicide bomber? Was it really ISIS? Several observers have pointed out that ISIS have not had any presence in Manbij for the past two years since the Americans and Kurds took control of the city.

As always, the key question arises: who stands to benefit from the killing of the American troops? The scale of the attack suggests it was carried out with a sharp political message intended for Trump.

One potential beneficiary are the Kurdish militants who are being abandoned by the putative US withdrawal. Without their American sponsor on the ground, the Kurds are in danger of Turkish forces launching cross-border operations to wipe them out, as Ankara has vowed to do. A Machiavellian Kurdish calculation could be to “disprove” Trump about “ISIS being defeated”, and that US forces are needed to prevent any resurgence of the terror group in Manbij and northeast Syria.

Another sinister player is the CIA or some other element of US military intelligence. It is certainly not beyond the realm of plausibility that the CIA could facilitate such an atrocity against American personnel in order to discredit Trump’s withdrawal plan.

Certainly, the way the anti-Trump media in the US reacted with such alacrity and concerted talking points suggests there was something a bit too convenient about the massacre.

It would in fact be naive to not suspect that the CIA could have pulled off such a false flag in Manbij. As in 1950s Vietnam, as told by Graham Greene in ‘The Quiet American’, the CIA have been doing such dirty tricks with bombing atrocities and assassinations for decades in order to precipitate wars in foreign countries that the agency calculates are in America’s geopolitical interests.

Syria: Kurds Seek Deal with Gov’t Regardless Of US Pullout

Local Editor

Syrian Kurdish leaders seek a Russian-mediated deal with the Syrian government regardless of US plans to withdraw from their region, a senior official reported.

The deal would mark perhaps the most important milestone because the two biggest chunks of Syria splintered by seven years of war would be rejoined, leaving only a corner in the northwest in the hands of militants.

Senior Kurdish official Badran Jia Kurd told Reuters that the Kurdish-led administration, which runs much of northern Syria, presented a roadmap for an agreement with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad during recent meetings in Russia.

“The final decision is to reach an agreement with Damascus, we will work in this direction regardless of the cost, even if the Americans object,” Reuters quoted Jia Kurd as saying in the northern Syrian city of Qamishli.

The main aims of the roadmap, the report added, are to protect the Syrian border with Turkey, to integrate the governing structures of northern Syria into the constitution, and to ensure a fair distribution of resources.

Last week, residents in Manbij asked the Syrian government to retake the northern city on the Turkish border after a US pledge to withdraw troops from the Arab country.

Jia Kurd said the local Kurdish-led administration was ready to cooperate with the government on ending Turkey’s occupation of Syrian territories and defeating the remaining terrorists in the north.

The region is currently controlled by the US-backed YPG militia which Turkey views a terrorist group but the fighters have mostly avoided confrontation with the Syrian government during the war.

Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team

Senior Kurdish Official: Deal With Damascus Is Inevitable, Kurdish Forces May Join Syrian Army

06.01.2019

Senior Kurdish Official: Deal With Damascus Is Inevitable, Kurdish Forces May Join Syrian Army

By: sdf-press.com

A deal between the Damascus government and the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) over northeastern Syria is “inevitable,” a senior commander in the Kurdish-dominated group said during an interview with the France-Press Agency (AFP) on January 5.

“Reaching a solution between the autonomous administration and the Syrian government is inevitable because our areas are part of Syria,” Redur Khalil told the AFP.

The Kurdish commander also revealed that negotiations between his group and Damascus to reach a final formulation for administering the northern city of Manbij are showing some “positive signs.” Kahlil said that if a solution was reached there, it could be applied to the SDF-held areas in the governorate of Deir Ezzor.

“We still have some differences with the central government, which need negotiations with international support,” Khalil said.

Kahlil added that Russia could be a guarantor of any agreement between the SDF and Damascus and he does not rule out the possibility of deploying the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) along the border with Turkey.

Last month, the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), which is the core of the SDF, announced its withdrawal from Manbij and called on the SAA to protect the city from Turkey’s threats. The army responded within few hours and deployed a large force in the outskirt of the strategic city.

At the end of the interview, Kahlil stressed that the SDF will not withdraw from the Kurdish areas in northeastern Syria. However, he said that group could be integrated into the SAA under a future agreement.

This new reaility in the relations between the SDF and the Damascus government is mostly a resul of Donald Trump’s surprise decision to withdraw troops from the war-torn country. Currently, Washington is trying to manipulate the decision in order to maintain military presence there. If this happens, the SDF will likely back away from any deal with the government as it had done before.

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A New Year of Victory for Syria

Hussein Samawarchi

In just a few hours, the year will end. And, what an ending it is!

Syria, our beautiful Syria, spearheaded more than just a military victory against terrorists ranging from long-haired degenerates wielding machetes at women’s necks to Kippah-wearing F-16 pilots unleashing bombs at children.

The country that stood by the Islamic Republic when the whole world supported Saddam Hussien in his vicious military campaign realized, then, that international pressure, no matter how fierce, should not divert it from righteousness. The same country stood by the Lebanese Resistance and turned a deaf ear to offers promising endless riches and geopolitical gains because Lebanon was fighting not just for its own survival, but for the honor of Arabs. This same Syria made sure that its moral compass always pointed towards Palestine. Administration after administration of US Zionist puppets have tried every possible Machiavellian approach to get the Syrians to abandon the Palestinians’ rights. Sometimes by means of threats and sometimes by offering a dominant regional role; nevertheless, the Syrian compass’s true north never pointed anywhere but towards al-Quds.

The events unraveling towards the end of 2018 have proved, once again, how a country, with its people and leadership, that refuses to give in does not only win, but also causes its enemies to collide with each other. This wise policy of patience and treating those who erred unknowingly as a father would treat a beloved son who went astray has caused the Americans to lose all hope in realizing a victory and with the wiser Kurdish leaderships seeing this, the Neo-Ottoman ambitions are also hitting a dead-end. The French launched political bombs on the Americans and the Americans, themselves, are too busy having an internal political fallout to respond properly to the French.

The dramatic act of fake unity that was put up by a few Arab regimes among themselves against Syria has also begun to crumble away with each of the conspiring parties speeding to reconcile with a country they tried to break down not so long ago. There is a race for who makes the first state visit and who re-opens the first diplomatic mission and then who is the first to acquire an approval from the Syrian civil aviation authorities to operate a schedule to Damascus International Airport. They have even started Twitter fights on the ministerial level.

Syria has accomplished the victory which led to all this and more. The countries that so eagerly allowed the refuse part of their populations to grow their hair and run to Syria for the purpose of creating an Israeli sponsored Caliphate of the Medieval ages, have been all but begging of the victorious Syrians to finish those terrorists off where they stand and not allow them to be repatriated.

Only the truly blind, or otherwise mentally challenged, will not acknowledge the fact that Syria’s victory is a broader one of the alliance it represents in its territory and the region. Friendship and brotherhood are not mere romantic concepts. Syria stood by Iran and the Lebanese resistance when it was needed to and they, in turn, answered the call when Syria needed them. It won without the Arab League’s help; it actually won despite the Arab League’s animosity.

Let Syria’s victory be a lesson to some, and a reminder to all, that even when 80 countries gang up against one, if they are doing so with malicious intentions then they will fail miserably. The heroic Syrian army had troops to spare for the national campaign effort of the reforestation of the country. This is how fast they are bringing their country back to normalization; they are doing it as their aggressors fight over the bigger portion of Yemen’s strategic sites. Little do they know that they will not get a single inch of Yemen.

Happy New Year dear Syria. Tomorrow we celebrate it in Manbij and next year in Majdal Shams.

Source: Al-Ahed News

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