Erdogan Terrorists Bombed the Outskirts of Ain Issa with Artillery

November 2, 2020 Arabi Souri

Erdogan terrorists bomb Ain Issa northern Raqqa Countryside, north Syria

Terrorists loyal to the Turkish madman Erdogan indiscriminately bombed with artillery the city of Ain Issa, in the northern Raqqa Countryside, north of Syria.

The bombing of the Ain Issa vicinity with several artillery shells caused material damage in the area.

Less than 10 days ago the Erdogan terrorists bombed with artillery the towns of Khalidiya and Hoshan in Ain Issa while the US-sponsored Kurdish SDF separatist militia raided at the same time a number of villages in the eastern countryside of the Raqqa province.

This war crime is part of the continuous policy of the Turkish madman in his attempt to Israelize large parts of northern Syrian territories to be inhabited by terrorists from the anti-Islamic Muslim Brotherhood loyal to him after emptying the region from its original residents.

Displacing indigenous people and replacing them with other groups of people is a war crime, Erdogan wants to create a demographic change in the northern regions of Syria, he managed to persuade President Putin of Russia to enter during their talks in Sochi, he claimed first he just wants to protect his country’s national security from terror groups, he was referring to the Kurdish separatist militias while the term ‘terror groups’ applies more on his own armed mercenaries he’s bringing from other regions in northern Syria under his forces control and from other countries along with their families, the likes of ISIS and Nusra Front, the offshoots of Al Qaeda which is also led by Ayman Zawahri, a Muslim Brotherhood.

Murad Gazdiev, RT’s correspondent, caught Erdogan telling his supporters that all the Turkish soldiers who were killed fighting in Syria died to make “those lands a part of the homeland [Turkey]”; this statement alone contradicts all Erdogan’s signed commitments with Russia and Iran, and with the United Nations.

Trump Erdogan Putin Land for Terrorists - Israel 3

Somebody needs to remind the Turkish madman Erdogan that he will not live forever, his political and military stunts will live even shorter than him as the patience of the Syrian leadership is wearing thin, as well Mr. Putin’s patience in regard to Erdogan’s betrayal and his opportunist acts that contradicts the commitments he only committed himself to.

Spriter, a veteran on Twitter shared a picture showing Erdogan forces stealing old olive trees from Afrin in the northwest of Syria:

This is another continuous looting by Erdogan depriving the Syrian farmers of their livelihood income, Erdogan and his terrorists have been doing so from the early days of the so-called Arab Spring, the NATO plot to destroy Arab countries surrounding Israel to coerce them into ‘peace’ deals with the anti-Jewish Zionist state.

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Erdogan and Trump’s Militiamen attack Syrian Towns in Raqqa Province

October 25, 2020 Arabi Souri

US Kurdish SDF YPG PKK and Turkish FSA NATO Guns

Anti-Islamic Muslim Brotherhood terrorists loyal to the Turkish madman Erdogan and Kurdish separatist militiamen of the SDF carried coordinated attacks against the Syrian locals in the northern and eastern countryside of Raqqa province, north of Syria.

Both NATO-affiliated militias operate in regions they took control over with the help of US and Turkish armies after flag-exchange ceremonial stunts with ISIS terrorists. The only fights took place there were against the locals while the Pentagon media was hyping Kurdish separatists non-existing fights against ISIS, the offshoot of Al Qaeda, another NATO-US affiliate.

Turkish forces and their anti-Islamic Muslim Brotherhood terrorist affiliates shelled with artillery the towns of Khalidiya and Hoshan in the Ain Issa region, in the furthest northern Raqqa countryside bordering NATO member state Turkey.

The Turkish forces and their affiliated terrorists used its artillery and missiles in its indiscriminate shelling of the houses and farmlands of the locals in the above-mentioned two towns causing severe material damages in a number of properties, this is a continuation of the bombing of the Ain Issa region on the 16th of this month which resulted in killing a child and causing material damage.

Erdogan, the Neo-Ottoman sultan wannabe, wants to Israelize most of the northern parts of Syria which are rich in oil, water, wheat, and cotton farms, in part to have more land control and in another part to deprive Syria of its main food and energy sources. Erdogan wants to replace the people of these regions with members of the Muslim Brotherhood groups and their families he’s displacing from other areas in northeast Syria.

The current leader of Al Qaeda Ayman Zawahri is also a member of the Muslim Brotherhood ideology, an ideology created by the Brits over a century ago along with Wahhabism in Arabia and Zionism in Europe to manipulate crowds through their religions by misquoting and misinterpreting the divine teachings in the holy books.

Separatist Kurdish SDF Militia work for the USA

At the same time, Kurdish separatist militiamen of the SDF raided a number of villages in the eastern countryside of Raqqa, it kidnapped a large number of civilians and took them to its quarters in Gestapo-style raids.

Among the kidnapped were around 50 young men who were taken to special concentration camps for brainwashing and training to fight their own countrymen in the Syrian Arab Army and the Syrian police.

Earlier on Tuesday, last week, the Kurdish SDF separatists raided the city of Tabqa and the towns of Sakkir in Raqqa eastern countryside, and the town of Baghuz in Deir Ezzor eastern countryside. The Kurdish separatists imposed a full siege over the raided towns and carried out door to door raids.

This comes as attacks by unknown armed men against the Kurdish SDF separatists have been escalating especially after the Kurdish militia assassinated prominent elders of the local tribes in the region with the help and under the protection of Trump forces operating illegally in Syria.

Syria News Briefs: SDF Child Soldiers, Landmines, and Economy

https://www.syrianews.cc/syria-news-briefs/embed/#?secret=MQdn0d2j30

Erdogan Forces Loot Power Transformers in Towns they Infest

https://www.syrianews.cc/erdogan-forces-loot-power-transformers-in-towns-they-infest/embed/#?secret=u4rhZJq3Pf

Trump Forces to Relocate ISIS Terrorists Out of Northeast Syria

https://www.syrianews.cc/trump-forces-relocate-isis-syria/embed/#?secret=CMaJvGoPBn

Of Flags and of Idiots: Why be a Willful Dupe?

https://www.syrianews.cc/flags-idiots-willful-dupe/embed/#?secret=GnOFnVb497

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Six More Kurdish SDF Militiamen Killed in Deir Ezzor and Raqqa Provinces

September 19, 2020 Arabi Souri

Syria News Kurds SDF PKK YPG PYD Asayish USA NATO Turkey
Land Thieves and Oil Thieves

Six more militiamen of the US-sponsored Kurdish militia SDF were killed in separate attacks targeting them in the provinces of Deir Ezzor and Raqqa, in northern Syria.

A military vehicle carrying Kurdish SDF armed militiamen was targeted with an IED (Improvised Explosive Device) near the Al Omar oil field in the eastern countryside of Deir Ezzor yesterday. The explosion killed two of the militiamen.

Another IED was detonated in a gathering of the Kurdish SDF militiamen in the vicinity of the town of Sabha, in the eastern countryside of the province. The explosion left an unspecified number of the militiamen injured.

Two attacks against the Kurdish separatist SDF militiamen in the Raqqa province left four of them killed and others injured, the first attack was in the Dar’iyah district in the western suburbs of the city of Raqqa. Two of the militiamen were shot dead.

The other attack was near the Sugar factory to the north of Raqqa city where a military vehicle used by the separatist militiamen was targeted and left two of them killed and others injured.

A day earlier, two Kurdish SDF separatist militiamen were killed in Ain Eissa, in the further in the north of Raqqa province.

A group of ultra-radical Kurdish fighters was brought to Syria from the Kandil Mountains in northern Iraq by the US regimes of Barack Hussein Obama and his successor Donald J. Trump with a goal of creating cantons that would later be merged into a ‘Greater Kurdistan’, a sister apartheid state to Israel. These fighters created the group known as the SDF under the guise of fighting ISIS, which was also created and sponsored by a number of NATO member states and their oil-rich Gulfies. The base of this newly formed militia was from former members of the PKK, YPG, PYD, and other Kurdish militias. The USA pays handsome salaries to whoever joins its proxies and fights against the Syrian people, the more radical these groups are the higher the pay.

Active US officials worked hard to lure the Syrian Arab tribes in the northern regions of the country to join its efforts in destabilizing Syria, by promises of rebuilding what the US proxies and the US-led illegal coalition to sponsor ISIS in Syria and Iraq destroyed and by intimidating and kidnapping of young men, and children, of these tribes and force-conscript them into its fighting militia.

The SDF is an essential tool in stealing the Syrian riches in partnership with Trump forces and Israeli companies, their focus is mainly on stealing the oil, gas, and wheat produced mainly in the north and northeastern regions of Syria, namely the provinces of Raqqa, Deir Ezzor, and Hasakah. They continue the theft started by the Turkish madman Erdogan and his anti-Islamic Muslim Brotherhood radical terrorists.

Lately, attacks against the separatist Kurdish SDF militias have been on the increase, especially after these militias assassinated a number of the tribes’ elders who refused their presence and their Israel-like oppression of the people of these regions.

Separatist Kurdish SDF Militia work for the USA
Separatist Kurdish SDF Militia – Trump and Erdogan’s oil and wheat thieves partners. [Archive]
Kurdish PYD Asayish SDF Torching Wheat Farms in Qamishli
Trump SDF forces burn Syrian wheat fields, June 2019.
NATO terrorists burning Syrian wheat crops in Ras Al Ayn - Hasakah
US-sponsored Kurdish separatists burned Syrian wheat fields (Video)

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A number of “Qasad” militia gunmen killed and wounded in attacks by unknown persons in the countryside of Raqqa, Deir Ezzor and Hasaka

Source

Sunday, 23 August 2020 11:19

Raqqa – Deir Ezzor – Hasaka, (ST) – A number of “Qasad” militia, supported by the American occupation forces, were killed and wounded when their vehicles were targeted by unknown persons in the countryside of Raqqa, Deir Ezzor and Hasaka.

Local sources reported to SANA that unknown persons targeted, with weapons and machine guns, the headquarters and locations of armed men from the “Qasad militia” near al-Til factories in the al-Jazra neighborhood and the National Hospital in the city of Tabqa and in the village of Abu Qubei`, west of the city of Raqqa, killing four armed militants from “Qasad” militia.

In the northeastern countryside of Deir Ezzor, civil sources indicated that a gunman from the “Qasad militia” was shot dead by unknown persons in the village of Al-Ezbet, which witnessed demonstrations calling for the expulsion of this militia from the area as it is daily stealing Syrian oil and property and attacking civilians.

Yesterday, the checkpoints of the “Qasad militia” were attacked by unknown persons in the towns of Al-Hawayj and Jadid Akidat in the eastern countryside of Deir Ezzor, which resulted in the injury of a number of its gunmen.

In the same context, a number of “Qasad militia” militants were killed and wounded when their vehicles was targeted with an explosive device at Jalal village, east of Al-Shaddadi city in the southern countryside of Hasaka, according to local sources in the region.

Most of the areas of the countryside of Deir Ezzor, Hasaka, and Raqqa, which are under the control of the “Qasad” militia, are witnessing a state of anger and popular rejection of that militia, which is depicted through widespread popular protests calling for its expulsion from their villages and towns as a result of the practices it carried out against the civilian population and the theft of oil and the region’s goods under the cover and support of the American occupation forces. The shooting at demonstrations by that militia caused the death of a number of civilians and the injury of others.

Raghda Sawas

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Syrian Army Fights ISIS In Homs. SDF Rejects Deal With Damascus

Source

Clashes between government forces and ISIS terrorists have continued in central Syria since July 2, when ISIS cells stormed army positions in eastern Homs. In response, the Syrians supported by the Russian Aerospace Forces launched a security operation in the desert. Sporadic clashes and airstrikes were reported in the area over the next few days.

On July 4, ISIS terrorists even ambushed a unit of the Syrian Army in eastern Homs. The military reportedly lost contact with 25 soldiers in eastern Homs. As of July 6, their fate remains unclear. It’s likely that, members of the dispersed unit are now returning to their permanent positions in the province.

Pro-opposition sources claim that over the past week, at least 20 soldiers were killed in clashes with ISIS members. Pro-government sources do not provide details regarding army casualties, but say that government forces were able to destroy 3 ISIS vehicles and neutralize up to 10 ISIS members.

As the Syrian government fights ISIS on the western bank of the Euphrates, the US-led coalition conducted a raid against the terrorist group in the town of Husayn on the eastern bank of the Euphrates.

On July 5, US helicopters landed near the town and US forces assisted by members of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) detained at least 4 suspects.

Meanwhile, the SDF leadership declared that it does not see a possibility to reach a comprehensive political agreement with Damascus because the government wants to restore full control over the provinces of Deir Ezozr and Raqqa in the framework of such a deal.

SDF Commander-in-Chief Abdi Şahin better known by his nom de guerre Mazlum Abdi declined such a possibility claiming that the Kurdish-led group wants to keep control of all the areas that it has seized. Abdi is a member of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which seeks to create an independent Kurdish state in southern Turkey and, if it’s possible, include into it territories of northern Syria and northern Iraq. Therefore, such a position of the SDF leadership is not a big surprise.

In 2019, the Syrian Army came to northeastern Syria to rescue the SDF from the Turkish military advance when the group then abandoned by the US-led coalition needed it. However, after this, the Kurdish leadership once again turned back from the Syrian people selling its loyalty to Washington for weapons and a share of oil revenue from the US-controlled Syrian oilfields.

Infighting among Turkish-backed militant groups erupted in the provinces of al-Hasakah and Raqqa on July 3 and July 5. Tell Abyad, al-Yabisah and Ras al-Ain are the man hot points. At least 5 militants and several civilians were killed. The main source of tensions is the intra-militant competition for control of roads, agricultural lands and trade in a small chunk of area occupied by Turkey in northeastern Syria. The funding from Turkey decreased after the de-escalation of the conflict in this part of the country. So, Turkish-backed fighters are now looting the captured areas to obtain the needed financial resources.

Military Situation In Syria On July 6, 2020 (Map Update)

Military Situation In Syria On July 6, 2020 (Map Update)

A brief overview of the recent developments in Syria:

  • Israeli warplanes struck a truck convoy in Al-Dimas region in northwestern Damascus countryside. A weapon shipment reportedly headed towards the Lebanese border and was intended for Hezbollah;
  • Turkish forces targeted a civilian truck on the M4 highway to the west of the town of Ain Issa in northern Raqqa;
  • Syrian army artillery targeted the villages of Khirbet Al-Naqus, Mansourah in northern Hama and the town of al-Fatirah in Southern Idlib;
  • The US MQ-9 Reaper drone was spotted over the Idlib region;
  • Turkish artillery shelled the SDF positions near the town of Tell Abyad in northern Raqqa.

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ISIS TERRORISTS ATTACK SYRIAN ARMY NEAR AL-SUKHNA

South Front

Video here

About 2 dozen Turkish-backed militants have been killed or wounded in a recent series of clashes in northern Syria. 14 of them were reportedly killed in a failed attack on positions of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) near Kubrlik overnight on May 17 and up to 10 were killed or injured in clashes near Hazwan on May 15. Reacting to its own failures, Turkish-backed forces carried out a series of mortar and artillery strikes on SDF positions near Ayn Issa, Tall Tamr and Tall Unayb on May 16, May 17 and early on May 18.

Firefights and artillery duels between Turkish-backed forces and the SDF regularly erupt in this part of Syria. However, both sides do not conduct large-scale offensive operations against each other and despite the violations the ceasefire regime formally remains in force.

On May 17, seven former ISIS members fled the SDF-controlled camp of al-Hawl in the province of al-Hasakah, which holds a large number of the former ISIS fighters and their families. Following the incident, SDF security forces in the area were placed on a high alert. The search operation has been ongoing. Some pro-Kurdish sources claim that the fleeing terrorists have been already detained, but these calms remain unconfirmed. This is the second security incident in al-Hawl in less than 10 days. On May 13, SDF security forces foiled a plot of ISIS wives to set the camp on fire and flee to Turkey.

Early on May 18 reports appeared that a drone strike allegedly struck the area near a convoy of the Syrian Army in the district of Maadan in Raqqa province. Several Syrian Army soldiers were reportedly wounded. It remains unclear who was behind the attack, but the two main suspects are Turkey and the US-led coalition.

On May 17, US armoured vehicles chased in the province of al-Hasakah a Russian military convoy with 150 tones of humanitarian aid being sent to civilians in northeastern Syria, but were unable to stop it.

A firefight between the Syrian Army and ISIS members erupted near the town of al-Sukhna, on the Homs-Deir Ezzor highway. According to reports, ISIS cells tried to cut off the road, but were forced to retreat. Regular attacks by ISIS cells operating in the desert area remain a notable security threat for government forces.

At the same time, the situation in Greater Idlib once again de-escalated. After failing to capture Tanjarah in northwestern Hama last week, al-Qaeda-linked groups reduced their activity on the frontline. Despite this, it’s highly likely that Hayat Tahrir al-Sham and its allies will conduct more limited attempts to expand their zone of control in southern Idlib and western Hama in the coming weeks.

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ISIS terrorists confess that they have carried out many operations in coordination with US occupation forces in al-Tanf base

ST

Thursday, 14 May 2020

During a security operation carried out with the help of the Syrian Badia’s residents, an ambush was set up against an ISIS terrorist group composed of 6 members where 3 of them were killed and the remaining ones were arrested.

The three arrested ISIS terrorists confessed that they perpetrated many terrorist operations, including murder, execution, kidnapping and acts of destruction .

Many of these terror operations were carried out upon coordination between ISIS ringleaders and US occupation forces that exist in al-Tanf area on the Syrian-Jordanian border.

The terrorist Salah Jaber al-Daher – AKA Abo Abdul Rahman al-Salafi, born in Idleb in 1998, said that he joined ISIS organization through one of his relatives [ called Abo Salam Omareyeh] who was among the members of this Takfiri organization and he exploited his need for money and introduced him to another person called Samer al-Bori, who transported him to Jabal al-Bashari area in the Syrian Badia where he was welcomed by ISIS terrorists , including Abo Islam. This took place in 2018.

On his part, the second terrorist Abo al-Baraa al-Homsi, born in Homs in 1999, said that he met a person called Firas al-Khalid in Homs city in 2017. This person had a clothes shop and proposed to give him USD 100-200 and to transport him to Raqqa to join ISIS. He accepted the proposal because he was in need of money.

The third terrorist, Amer Abdul Ghaffar Neameh- AKA Abo Swan- born in Hasaka in 2001, said that he communicated via Whatsapp with his cousin Wahid Meameh, who was in the Badia and he told him that he will get money and a car if he joins the organization.

The 3 terrorists confessed that they were trained for several weeks by ISIS judges, who told them that they are Jihadist and any person fighting against ISIS is an infidel. They were also trained on how to use guns and rockets, including US rockets.

The terrorists were introduced to the so-called ISIS emirs of several nationalities besides fighters of French, British and Indonesian nationalities.

As for some of the crimes in which those terrorists were involved, the first terrorist [ Abo Abdul Rahman al-Salafi] said that he killed 21 people while they were searching for truffles and he carried out operations against Syrian army’s convoys.

“We were setting up ambushes against the Syrian army and civilian cars in several areas in aal-Badia'” he added.

The terrorists stressed that they were receiving orders from US occupation forces in al-Tanf area. These occupation forces were ordering ISIS ringleader Hasan Alqam al-Jazrawi of Saudi nationality, to target Syrian army’ units, Palmyra, T4 airbase, oil fields in Palmyra region.

One of the terrorists said: ” A person closed to al-Jezrawi, his name was Hasan al-Wali, told me that he met Americans in al-Tanf base and they told him that we must attack Palmyra region and the T4 airbase and they will provide us with rocket launchers, guns, money, cars and drones. They downlaoded Tag program on their mobiles to observe the movements of the Syrian army. Al-Jazrawi said that he will do that but he needs time to bring fighters from Euphrates region because the current number is not enough”.
The terrorists asserted that there is coordination between ISIS ringleaders and the ringleaders of ” Maghawer al-Thawra” which is affiliated to the so-called the “Free army” in the vicinity of al-Tanf base.

The terrorists were ordered to keep in touch with their ringleaders in order to go in and out the base.
The terrorists cited that the ISIS terrorists were holding the kidnapped people in holes under the ground, in trenches and cars.

The Terrorist pointed out that there were negotiations between ISIS ringleaders in Raqqa and the ringleaders of the US-backed “Syrian Democratic Forces”.

One of the terrorists admitted that the US and SDF forces covered their move from Raqqa towards Der Ezzour.

The terrorists affirmed that three ISIS members : Abo Sofyan al-Jazrawi, Abo Jnid al-Halabi and Abo Brahim al-Demashqi, who were in charge of financial managent in Badia, were going every month to al-Tanf base to bring 3 trucks loaded with food, weapons and money ro be distributed among ISIS members in Badia region.

Every terrorist gets $100, while ringleaders gets $500 and the military Wali gets $1000.                              
Al-Tanf base was a safe place for terrorists to receive medical treatment when they were injured.

 Basma Qaddour

SDF Releases Tens Of ISIS Members In Eastern Syria. Turkey, Russia Struggle With Idlib De-Escalation

South Front

On March 23, Russian and Turkish forces carried out a second limited joint patrol in southern Idlib. The patrol involved six armoured vehicles and took place along a short chunk of the M4 highway west of the government-controlled town of Saraqib. This part of the highway remains the only safe place within the entire security zone, which was set to be established in the framework of the Russian-Turkish de-escalation agreement.

After the March 23 patrol, the Turkish side got additional time to neutralize terrorists and radicals entrenched in the agreed to buffer zone. This was the second time when Moscow provided Ankara with such an opportunity. However, Ankara seems to be taking very little or no efforts to do so.

Over the past days, the Turkish Army established observation points near Khattab and Msheirfeh and made a formal attempt to de-block the highway removing earthen mounds made by terrorists. Despite these heroic efforts of the Turkish military, the M4 remains in the hands of al-Qaeda-linked groups and the security zone there exists only on paper. Such a situation on the ground is slowly but inevitably leading to the resumption of hostilities in the region.

Humanitarian conditions are deteriorating in the Rukban refugee camp within the US-controlled zone of al-Tanf. According to media reports, people in the camp have to pay money for tents and the bare necessities, and are forcefully recruited into the ranks of US-backed militant groups. Additionally, militants sabotage the evacuation of refugees from the camp.

A series of IED attacks rocked the town of Tabqah, controlled by the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), on March 21. IED explosions targeted positions, vehicles and personnel of the SDF next to the Andalusia pool and the Maysalun roundabout. 6 SDF members were reportedly killed. Pro-opposition sources immediately blamed ‘Assad agents’ for the attack. Kurdish sources blame ISIS and Turkey.

On March 22, the SDF released 80 ISIS members that had been captured during the combat operations along the eastern bank of the Euphrates. All the released individuals are reportedly Syrian citizens, from the governorates of Raqqa, al-Hasakah and Deir Ezzor. During the last few years, the SDF has released hundreds of ex-ISIS fighters.

The group often does this for money or upon request from influential figures, like tribal leaders, businessmen and local commanders. This SDF behavior likely contributed to the reemergence of ISIS cells in eastern Syria. Last week, ISIS announced that its fighters had assassinated 40 people in the province of Deir Ezzor during the last 3 months alone.

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SYRIAN WAR REPORT – DECEMBER 11, 2019: TURKISH PROXIES SEEK TO CAPTURE CHUNKS OF M4 HIGHWAY

South Front

On December 10, the military situation escalated in northern Lattakia and the surrounding area. According  to pro-government sources, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham and allied militant groups conducted attacked and shelled several positions of the Syrian Army near the M4 highway and south of the town of Kbani.

In response, Syrian air forces and artillery units conducted strikes on militants’ positions near Jisr al-Shoughur, al-Janoudiya, and at a contact line near the M4 highway and Kbani. Pro-militant sources immediately described these strikes as an example of blatant aggression and ceasefire violations by the Assad regime.

Pro-Turkish sources reported that units affiliated with the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces shelled positions of Turkish-backed militant groups near the city of Afrin.

In the province of Raqqa, Turkish-led forces once again seized the Shirlrak silos located on the M4 highway, east of Ayn Issa. Earlier this month, Turkish proxies withdrew from the area under the agreement between Aknara and Moscow. The control over Shirlrak allows pro-Turkish groups to rob civilians that use the highway. If they remain there, the Shirlrak silos will likely become a new point of tensions soon.

Meanwhile, Russian President’s Special Envoy on Syria Alexander Lavrentiev said that Turkey and Russia had agreed to not expand the northeastern Syria safe zone. Therefore, attempts by Turkish-led forces to seize more areas along the M4 highway is an open violation of the ceasefire agreement.

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IN VIDEO: DOZENS OF TRUCKS LOADED WITH U.S. MILITARY EQUIPMENT LEAVE SYRIA

South Front

At least 55 trucks of the U.S.-led coalition withdrew from northeast Syria on November 2 to the Iraqi Kurdistan Region through the al-Walid border crossing, according to the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA).

The state-run agency released a video showing some of the trucks on their way to the border crossing. The trucks were loaded with armored vehicles and equipment of the U.S. military.

Two days earlier, more than 80 empty trucks working for U.S. forces entered Syria from Iraq and headed towards Sarrin airstrip in eastern Aleppo. The trucks were apparently brought to participate in the base evacaution.

Despite the withdrawal from most of their bases in Aleppo and Raqqa, U.S. forces are reportedly working to establish new bases and military posts in the provinces of al-Hasakah and Deir Ezzor.

The deployment of U.S. forces in oil rich areas in northeast Syria is a part of Washington’s ‘oil securing’ policy in the war-torn country. The US aims to control major oil fields in order to block the Damascus government from reaching them.

More on this topic:

SYRIAN WAR REPORT – OCTOBER 17, 2019: SYRIAN ARMY ENTERING KOBANI AND RAQQA

South Front

On October 16, units of the Syrian Army entered the city of Raqqah for the first time since 2014. The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) has controlled the city since 2017, when they with help from the United States seized it from ISIS. The Syrian Army reportedly established several observation posts in the area and continued deployment within the SDF-held area.

According to pro-government sources, government troops are also preparing to enter the Omar oil fields. A day earlier, on October 15, Syrian troops and Russian Military Police units started patrolling the contact line between Turkish-backed forces and the SDF near Manbij.

On October 16, US-led coalition forces withdrew from the Kharab Ashk military base where dozens of US and French troops had been deployed. US-led forces burned the base in order to destroy equipment that they were not able to evacuate.

The Turkish Army and Turkish-backed militants are developing their offensive on SDF positions. They captured thirteen villages west of Tell Abyad and made another attempt to secure Ras al-Ayn. According to pro-SDF sources, 49 Turkish-backed militants were killed in an SDF counter-attack in the town. SDF units employed US-supplied military equipment. Pro-Turkish militants captured a Humvee armored vehicle near the town.

There are also reports that the SDF and the Syrian Army jointly recaptured the villages of al-Ahras, al-Rihaniyah and Manajir from Turkish-led forces south of Ras al-Ayn. Nonetheless, this was a tactical development involving Turkish proxies only. It is not likely that government forces and the SDF will carry out large-scale joint operations attacking positions of the Turkish Army. The main reason is that such an attack may lead to a large-scale escalation in the region and even a limited open conflict between Syria and Turkey.

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Media Yells “Cut!” When Trump Forgets His Lines and Says Something Anti-War

Trump Media Feature photo

Source

When it comes to substantive issues thatthe elite all agree on (such as foreign policy), there is little to no pushback against the president, excepting when he utters statements that are read as critical of war and militarism.

Trump has greatly expanded the U.S. role in the Middle East, announcing his intention to supply Saudi Arabia with over $100 billion in new arms and reversing previous decisions stopping the sale of laser-guided bombs that have reduced Yemen to rubble. He also vetoed a bipartisan resolution aimed at ending the U.S. role in a near genocide that threatens to kill nearly 24 million people in need of humanitarian assistance, according to the United Nations. Trump also made the decision to drop the MOAB — the Mother of All Bombs, the largest non-nuclear bomb ever used — on Afghanistan in 2017 (to applause from the media).

He also continuously threatens enemy states with nuclear annihilation (in gross violation of the UN charter). In 2017 he told North Korea that he would “totally destroy” the country with “fire and fury” while earlier this year he promised Iran that he would bring about “the official end” if it crossed America’s path.

Trump has also conducted a worldwide campaign of economic war against the U.S.’ official enemies, increasing devastating sanctions against the people of Russia, North Korea, Iran, and Nicaragua. And Trump’s sanctions against Venezuela have killed at least 40,000 people since 2017, according to a report from the Washington-based Center for Economic Policy Research. The United Nations notes that the sanctions are designed to hit the poor and most vulnerable, with an (American) Special Rapporteur who visited the country likening them to a medieval siege and describing them as a “crime against humanity”.

While many portrayed Trump’s national security advisor, John Bolton, as the real architect of the violence, the president revealed that Bolton was actually a moderating voice on Cuba and Venezuela, while he [Trump] favored even more direct action.

 

An anti-war war hawk?

That is why Trump’s recent statements on the Middle East were all the more surprising. Defending his surprise decision to withdraw from fighting in Syria, he argued that the U.S. “should never have been in the Middle East in the first place,” claiming “The stupid endless wars, for us, are ending!”

But the president went even further, offering a serious analysis of the costs of America’s overseas operations. “The United States has spent eight trillion dollars” on war in the region, he declared on Twitter; “Going into the Middle East is the worst decision ever made in the history of our country. We went to war under a false & now disproven premise, weapons of mass destruction. There were none!”

What was most shocking of all in this uncharacteristic bout of honesty was that Trump discussed the human cost of war, something rarely mentioned in corporate media. “Thousands of our Great Soldiers have died or been badly wounded. Millions of people have died on the other side,” he added.

His comments elicited a storm of outrage on social media from the professional liberal “resistance,” apparently more angry that he said the quiet part loud than about the millions of dead people. Political satirist Jeremy Newberger claimed he had been brainwashed by Turkish President Recep Erdogan, and asked him “did you consider putting a big bow on Syria when you decided to gift it to Putin?” Meanwhile, former British Member of Parliament turned professional #Resistance grafter Louise Mensch slammed the president: “TRAITOR! The women of the YPG are DYING at your hands as YOU let ISIS take Raqqa! You SURRENDERED TO RADICAL ISLAMIC TERRORISM!” she responded, in an eclectic mix of capitalized and non-capitalized words.

Liberal-skewing media was barely any slower in lining up shoulder to shoulder with traditional conservatives in opposing Trump’s anti-war intimations, giving pro-war criticisms of Trump from prominent Republicans like Lindsay Graham, Nikki Haley and Liz Cheney full coverage.

NPR, CNN and the New York Times all dedicated significant resources to reporting the condemnations of Trump’s tweets, the latter’s editorial board asking “Does Donald Trump [even] know what his Syria policy is?” The Washington Post claimed that Pentagon officials were “struggling” to explain Trump’s “abandonment of the Kurds and kowtowing to Turkey,” claiming national security aides were mobilizing to “repair the damage” Trump caused. An MSNBC segment headlined “Donald Trump betrays American allies” insinuated that Trump’s decision to pull away from Syria was due to his business deals in Turkey, reminding viewers of Trump Tower in Istanbul. Esquire Magazine claimed that his actions were something “only a twisted, compromised mind could concoct.”

NYTIMES Trump Syria

The New York Times dedicated significant resources to condemnations of Trump’s tweets

But it was The Hill that most accurately summed up the tone of the media. Pulling out of the Middle East is “impulsive, strategically vapid and morally obtuse” according to opinion contributor Will Marshall. On the topic of “endless wars” he said:

 It’s time to retire this mindless trope. U.S. forces aren’t engaged in the Middle East because Americans are addicted to war or the trappings of superpower status. They are fighting mainly to contain the very real threat of Islamist terrorism.”

Marshall continued to explain that it has been nearly 75 years since Japan surrendered, and the U.S. still has tens of thousands of troops occupying the country. This, for him, was a good thing, because they were there “to preempt threats to our homeland, deter aggression and protect America’s far-flung interests. Their mission is counterterrorism.” Thus, it seems that the liberal resistance to Trump is strongest when he begins to shift, however minutely, to a more anti-war position.

 

Our underfunded Military Industrial Complex

It was a similar story last year, when in December Trump took to Twitter to declare the $716 billion military budget he had previously approved “crazy,” fueling speculation that he might attempt to reduce the already enormous amount the U.S. spends on war — damn near as much as all other countries combined.

Then, as now, corporate media almost uniformly condemned the idea. The Washington Post described a reduction in military spending as “suicide,” claiming the U.S. is in the middle of a “full-blown national security crisis.” The crisis, according to its source, was that it could no longer be sure of victory in a war against Russia in the Baltic or against China in the South China Sea. Why it is crucial that the U.S. should be able to destroy other nuclear-armed countries on the other side of the world was not explained.

Other outlets followed suit. Forbes Magazine began its article with the words, “The security and well-being of the United States are at greater risk than at any time in decades.” Bloomberg recommended a consistent increase in military spending of three to five percent above inflation for five to ten years. The Wall Street Journal was even more blunt: “Don’t Cut Military Spending Mr. President,” its headline read.

The media’s deepest fears did not come to pass, however, as Trump committed to a massive increase to the military budget, up to $750 billion for this year, assuaging the media’s fears.

 

Liberals applauding war

In contrast, whenever Trump is at his most bellicose, media laud his bravery and leadership. Despite warning before his election that Trump was a dangerous fascist too erratic be allowed to control a nuclear arsenal, media overwhelmingly supported the president’s decision to bomb Syria, escalating a conflict that could have turned into a hot war with Russia. CNN host Fareed Zakaria was delighted by his decision: “I think Donald Trump became President of the United States last night,” he said on air.

Likewise, “resistance” media have given Trump considerable support in his attempt to force a coup in Venezuela, backing his puppet Juan Guaidó as the legitimate president. The New York Times claimed that Guaidó was “cheered on by thousands of supporters in the streets and a growing number of governments.” CNN (falsely) reported that there was a vast, popular movement behind him, as “Venezuelans took to the streets in nationwide protests.” CNBC did the same, noting there were “hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans” out on the streets, chanting together and waving national flags, demanding an end to Maduro’s “socialist government.” And all while downplaying or simply ignoring the catastrophic role U.S. sanctions are playing in the country.

For all the talk of an adversarial media standing up to an authoritarian like Trump, the reality is that the media have been selective about what to oppose him on. While they continue to mock him for his crude remarks or his mannerisms, when it comes to substantive issues that the elite all agree on (such as foreign policy), there is little to no pushback against the president, excepting when he utters statements that are read as critical of war and militarism. At that point media begin condemning him in unison, accidentally revealing their true agenda. To those who believe in an anti-interventionist foreign policy, the media’s resistance is useless.

Feature photo | President Donald Trump walks toward members of the media on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Oct. 10, 2019, before boarding Marine One for a short trip to Andrews Air Force Base, Md. Andrew Harnik | AP

Alan MacLeod is a MintPress contributor as well as an academic and writer for Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting. His book, Bad News From Venezuela: Twenty Years of Fake News and Misreporting was published in April.

Turkey bombed US special forces by mistake in northern Syria: Newsweek

BEIRUT, LEBANON (10:00 P.M.) – The Turkish military struck some U.S. Special Forces personnel in northern Syria this week while they were attacking the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), Newsweek reported on Friday.

Citing an Iraqi-Kurdish intelligence official and a senior Pentagon official, the Turkish military mistakenly hit some U.S. Special Forces personnel that were embedded with the SDF troops in the border city of Kobani (var. ‘Ayn Al-‘Arab).

The attack consisted of artillery fire and was reportedly carried out at Mashtenour Hill in Kobani.

According to Newsweek, the senior Pentagon official said that the Turkish Armed Forces should be conscious of the U.S. positions in the region.

The report did not specify if there were any casualties as a result of this attack.

The Turkish Ministry of Defense and U.S. Defense Department have not commented about the alleged incident in northern Syria.

On Wednesday afternoon, the Turkish Armed Forces kicked off “Operation Peace Spring” against the Syrian Democratic Forces and their allies from the People’s Protection Units (YPG).

Since launching this offensive, the Turkish Armed Forces and their allies from the so-called “Syrian National Army” have captured several areas around the cities of Ras Al-‘Ayn (Al-Hasakah Governorate) and Tal Abyad (Al-Raqqa Governorate).

 

New Multimedia Site Tells Story of US-Led Coalition’s Destruction of Syria’s Raqqa

ST

Created on Monday, 10 June 2019 14:02

Ruins of Liberation’ site gives rare behind-the-scenes look at Amnesty’s work amid the ruins of Raqqa.

June 6th marked the second anniversary of the so-called Washington-led “anti-ISIS operation” which killed at least 1,600 civilians

I witnessed a level of destruction not comparable to anything I’ve seen in decades of covering the impact of war’ – Donatella Rovera, Amnesty researcher.

Marking the second anniversary of the start of the US-led Coalition’s military offensive in Raqqa, Syria, Amnesty International has launched “The Ruins of Liberation” – a multimedia storytelling site giving a behind-the-scenes look at its investigations in the bombed-out city.

Panos photographer Andrea DiCenzo accompanied Amnesty’s Senior Crisis Response Advisor Donatella Rovera on a visit to Raqqa this February, documenting her investigation, according to the Amnesty International website.

Images by DiCenzo and Rovera are combined with audio commentary, with Rovera giving an intimate description of the people she met and the reality she exposed.

Rovera and her fellow researchers – including a team of specialists in remote sensing and open-source investigation – have investigated the Raqqa military campaign for over 18 months. They visited more than 200 strike sites, interviewed more than 400 survivors and witnesses, and released several reports, culminating in an unprecedented investigation in partnership with Airwars that documented the deaths of more than 1,600 civilians as a result of Coalition attacks – far more than the 180 deaths the Coalition has so far admitted.

Amnesty UK Director Kate Allen, who was in Raqqa recently, described the city – two years on from the start of the battle – as still “completely devastated”.

Donatella Rovera said in her report published by the Amnesty International website on Thursday, June 6th, 2019:

“On the ground in Raqqa, I witnessed a level of destruction not comparable to anything I’ve seen in decades of covering the impact of war.

“This site brings home the reality of the suffering I encountered and explains why I kept returning: to seek justice for civilians trying to piece together their lives.

“Two years on, the US-led Coalition must investigate the full scale of civilian casualties it caused, and ensure victims and their families receive full reparation and compensation.”

Amnesty UK Director Kate Allen, who was in Raqqa recently, described the city – two years on from the start of the battle – as still “completely devastated.”

The US-led Coalition’s campaign allegedly to oust the “Islamic State” armed [terror] group from Raqqa was among the most destructive in modern warfare. The offensive – lasting from 6 June to 17 October 2017 and led by US, UK and French forces – killed and injured thousands of residents, and reduced homes, businesses and infrastructure to rubble.

Civilians trapped by the fighting were prevented from fleeing by ISIS snipers and mines. Many were killed in their homes by the Coalition’s air bombardments and indiscriminate artillery strikes. Despite this, then Coalition commander Lieutenant General Stephen Townsend claimed the offensive had been “the most precise air campaign in history”.

H.M

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US Army Terrorists, Allied Militants Killed in Several Blasts in Raqqa

Tue Apr 30, 2019 2:13
US Army Terrorists, Allied Militants Killed in Several Blasts in Raqqa
US Army Terrorists, Allied Militants Killed in Several Blasts in Raqqa

TEHRAN (FNA)– A least two US Army terrorists and 20 Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have been killed in recent blasts and attacks on their military positions in the city of Raqqa.

The US Army terrorists were killed in a series of blasts in Raqqa City, including a bomb blast hitting a US Army military vehicle, the Arabic-language al-Mayadeen TV network reported.

The report also noted that 16 SDF fighters were killed in attacks and explosions against their military positions and patrols in Fonoun school, Shahid Bassel Street, areas near al-Baladi stadium, al-Qattar Street and near Electricity Company in Raqqa City.

The recent blasts and attacks have sparked tensions in the region.

In a relevant development earlier this monht, sources said the US Army deployed ISIL commanders and terrorists in the security bodies of the Syrian Democratic Forces in Raqqa paving the way for fleeing of a large number of militants from SDF prisons after paying large amount of cash, sources said.

The London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) quoted informed sources as saying that former ISIL commanders and terrorists who had still been in Raqqa before the SDF gained control of the region are now in charge of different security responsibilities, including traffic police and similar responsibilities in the town of Ain Issa in Western Raqqa.

It said militants were asking for bribes and taxes from vehicles, which had enraged citizens.

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Syrian in Last 24 Hours: Syrian, Russian Armies Launch Heaviest Attacks on Terrorists in Hama, Idlib

Fri Mar 15, 2019

Syrian in Last 24 Hours: Syrian, Russian Armies Launch Heaviest Attacks on Terrorists in Hama, Idlib

TEHRAN (FNA)– The Russian and Syrian air force units heavily pounded the militants’ positions in Northern Hama and Southern Idlib in response to the offensives of Tahrir al-Sham al-Hay’at (the Levant Liberation Board or the Al-Nusra Front) in the demilitarized zone.

“The Russian and Syrian fighter jets launched airstrikes against the terrorists’ hideouts in al-Tamane’ah, al-Nayrab, Saraqib, Kafr Amim and Ma’arat Hormat in Southern and Eastern Idlib as well as their positions in Northern and Northwestern Hama,” the Arabic-language al-Watan newspaper reported on Thursday.

Meantime, the Syrian army continued its military advances in other parts of Syria over the past 24 hours.

Tens of terrorists were killed and dozens more were injured during the Syrian army’s operations in several provinces across Syria.

Hama-Idlib

The Syrian and Russian air force units heavily pounded the militants’ positions in Northern Hama and Southern Idlib in response to the offensives of Tahrir al-Sham al-Hay’at in the demilitarized zone.

The Arabic-language al-Watan newspaper reported on Thursday that the Russian and Syrian fighter jets launched airstrikes against the terrorists’ hideouts in al-Tamane’ah, al-Nayrab, Saraqib, Kafr Amim and Ma’arat Hormat in Southern and Eastern Idlib as well as their positions in Northern and Northwestern Hama.

Field sources described the Wednesday attacks as the heaviest airstrikes by the Russian and Syrian air force units since September, saying that a large number of terrorists were killed and wounded in the offensive.

Concurrent with the airstrikes, the Syrian army forces warded off the terrorists’ attacks from Kafr Naboudeh, al-Sakhar and Murak against the military points.

They also targeted the militants’ moves from the towns of Ma’arat, Hormat al-Khowin, al-Zarzour and al-Tamane’ah towards the military points in Southeastern Idlib with heavy missile attacks, leaving heavy damage on them.

The Syrian army units in response to the terrorists’ attacks on safe regions in Aleppo and Lattakia, launched strikes against their positions in al-Khalsah, al-Hamirah in Southern Aleppo and regions near Jisr al-Shaqour and Lattakia mountains.

The Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement that the Russian Aerospace Force has destroyed a weapons depot belonging to the Tahrir al-Sham al-Hay’at terror group in the Syrian province of Idlib.

A pinpoint airstrike was carried out on Wednesday in coordination with Turkey.

The air raid “targeted a weapons depot belonging to the Tahrir al-Sham al-Hay’at terror group in the city of Idlib,” the defense ministry added.

“According to information confirmed through several channels, militants earlier brought a large number of combat unmanned aerial vehicles to the facility, which they planned to use for attacks on Russia’s Hmeimim air base,” the statement read.

Dara’a

The Syrian army found a large number of weapons and military equipment, including Israeli-made arms, during purging operations in regions liberated from the terrorists in the Northern parts of Dara’a province.

The engineering units of the Syrian army discovered the military equipment and ammunitions in the towns of Ankhal and al-Hareh in Northern Dara’a on Thursday.

A military source said that the Syrian army found different types of assault rifles, machine-guns, RPGs, cannons, anti-tank missiles, grenades, night-vision systems and different types of communication systems, adding that a number of them were made in Israel.

Raqqa

Several Kurdish militants were killed in the popular forces’ attacks on a convoy of the US and Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in Raqqa.

The Arabic-language website of Sputnik reported on Wednesday that the popular forces in Raqqa detonated a bomb on the way of a joint convoy of the US and SDF forces in al-Haramiyeh district in Raqqa city.

It added that the blast occurred as the US forces and the intelligence units of the SDF have planted over 600 cameras in the streets and districts of Raqqa.

Meantime, the Arabic-language al-Baladi website reported that during the attack, 3 Kurdish forces were killed and 8 others were wounded, adding that the SDF has put its forces on alert.

Popular protests against the deployment of occupying American forces and the US-backed SDF in Raqqa have increased recently.

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‘Entire Families Wiped Out’: U.S. Airstrikes Killed Many Civilians In Syria

Source

Raqqa’s first responders use a digger to push through the rubble of a building likely destroyed in an airstrike carried out by the U.S.-led coalition against ISIS.

On a busy street corner in Raqqa, Syria, a digger pushes through the rubble of a building hit by an airstrike. Onlookers shield their mouths and noses from the dust and stench of corpses of those who perished beneath.

Just streets away, three recovery workers pull out the delicate skeletons of two children from under the debris of a partially collapsed home. And across the city, in what was once Raqqa’s public park, men unearth more bodies from a mass grave.

“Raqqa did not deserve this destruction,” says Yasser al-Khamis, who leads the city’s emergency response team. “Of course, we understood its fate because it was the capital of ISIS, but we were hoping that the civilian death toll would be lower.”

One year after the U.S.-led military campaign against ISIS ended in Raqqa, Khamis’ team is still recovering the remains of the battle’s casualties. This grim, daily work is revealing a civilian death toll that is dramatically higher than the assessment offered by the U.S.-led coalition against ISIS.

The rescue workers’ findings, which they document in meticulous notes shown to NPR, point to an offensive that killed many more civilians than it did ISIS members, and where the majority of those civilians likely died in American airstrikes.

The U.S.-led coalition against ISIS has so far verified 104 unintended civilian casualties caused by its attacks in Raqqa and is investigating more cases, coalition spokesman Army Col. Sean Ryan tells NPR.

“With new information being submitted to the CivCas [civilian casualties] team by a multitude of sources every month, the numbers will presumably go up,” Ryan adds.

The workers in Raqqa, however, estimate the real tally is much higher — likely in the “thousands.”

Since January, the rescue team has uncovered more than 2,600 bodies. Through their identification process, they say they have found that most of the bodies were civilians killed in coalition airstrikes during the battle for Raqqa between June and October 2017.

Formally called the First Responders Team, the group receives funding from the U.S. government, but the assistance is limited. Its approximately 37 members work long hours for little pay — some are volunteers — and say their efforts are slowed by a lack of heavy machinery needed to access the bodies.

With many more corpses still under rubble, the rescue workers estimate it will take another year to clean the city of the dead.

Faster strikes and artillery barrages

Raqqa served as the capital of ISIS’ self-proclaimed caliphate for almost four years after the militant group seized the city in 2014.

The U.S.-led coalition’s offensive on Raqqa came after several years of fighting the extremist group in Iraq and other parts of Syria.

While campaigning for president, Donald Trump vowed to “bomb the s*** out of” ISIS.

In the months following his January 2017 swearing-in, conflict analysts reported increases in both the numbers of U.S. airstrikes and of civilians reported killed in the attacks.

President Trump reportedly handed decision-making power for major bombardments to the military, enabling airstrikes to be more easily called in by commanders on the ground during a battle.

In May 2017, Defense Secretary James Mattis told CBS News the U.S. was accelerating and intensifying the campaign against ISIS, and added, “We have already shifted from attrition tactics … to annihilation tactics.”

In Raqqa, the consequences of the “annihilation tactics” are still keenly felt.

According to Airwars, an independent research group monitoring the anti-ISIS conflicts in Iraq and Syria, the U.S. was responsible for about 95 percent of the airstrikes and all of the artillery barrages in Raqqa. The U.K. and France also participated in the offensive.

A view of a destroyed Raqqa neighborhood.

Ruth Sherlock/NPR

Data given to Airwars by the U.S. military’s central command show the coalition launched at least 21,000 munitions — airstrikes and artillery — in the city in little over four months.

“Entire families have been wiped out”

By the end of the campaign, Raqqa was a wasteland of smashed concrete; its residential tower blocks were flattened and schools and hospitals toppled. A United Nations study found that over 80 percent of the city — originally home to some 220,000 people — is damaged or destroyed.

Many residents say they lost loved ones in the strikes.

Mohanned Tadfi, 41, recently buried his mother, his brother, his sister-in-law and seven nieces and nephews. “Ten people,” he says. “A plane came and hit the house and the building of five floors fell on their heads.”

Tadfi says his brother Latuf had found it too hard and dangerous for his family to leave. “ISIS was executing anyone from his neighborhood who tried to escape. And in any case, our mother is diabetic and can’t walk well, and it was too difficult [to] carry her because the bridges out of the city had been bombed.”

The family stayed in their basement apartment as the war intensified around them. The Syrian Democratic Forces, a U.S.-backed militia, was closing in on the neighborhood and the family thought the fighters would soon capture the area from ISIS.

On Sept. 5, 2017, just after a muezzin in a nearby mosque called the end of noon prayers, an airstrike hit the building where Tadfi’s family was. Another brother, Raed Tadfi, went to deliver insulin for their mother. He found Latuf dead on the steps and the building collapsed behind him.

Days later, SDF fighters seized control of the neighborhood. Tadfi says he and his brother asked the militia for access to the house. “Please, there are children under the rubble. My brother’s children, young kids. Maybe even just one of them is still alive!” he recalls asking them.

But they were told the area was too dangerous for civilians. It wasn’t until three months later that Tadfi was finally able to recover his loved ones. He hired a flatbed truck and took them away to graves he says he dug with his own hands.

The Tadfis’ story is one of the cases being looked at by Donatella Rovera, a senior crisis response adviser for Amnesty International who has spent much of the last year in Raqqa. She compiles witness testimonies and analyzes war damage to buildings as part of an ongoing investigation to determine how many civilians were really killed in the coalition attacks.

The building in Raqqa of the former home of Latuf Tadfi and his family, which relatives say was hit by a U.S.-led coalition airstrike.

Ruth Sherlock/NPR

“This is one case of many that I have been investigating where entire families have been wiped out in places where they thought they would be safe,” she says, standing beside the wreckage of the Tadfis home.

Determining casualties

In a statement responding to NPR, Col. Ryan, the spokesman of the Combined Joint Task Force, said the coalition conducted “thorough assessments” to ensure it didn’t accidentally kill civilians. “The majority of strikes were executed as planned, but to say this was perfect execution from all sides is meaningless and we understand mistakes were made.”

He said the coalition was “fighting a ruthless enemy that was systematically killing innocent civilians and unfortunately some were unintentionally killed trying to liberate them, something we tried to avoid.”

Rovera doesn’t dispute that ISIS tried to prevent civilians from leaving. But, she says, the military knew that before the battle and did not adjust their attack plan accordingly.

Her investigation so far suggests that “many hundreds” of civilians were killed in the Raqqa offensive, which she says prioritized speed, even in densely populated neighborhoods.

Testimony Rovera gathered from embedded journalists and SDF militia sources suggests that strikes sometimes came “within minutes” of a local commander choosing a target.

Bodies recovered at a mass grave site that rescuers discovered in Panorama park in Raqqa, Syria. Rescuers say the remains included militants and civilians. Ruth Sherlock/NPR hide caption

toggle caption

Ruth Sherlock/NPR

Bodies recovered at a mass grave site that rescuers discovered in Panorama park in Raqqa, Syria. Rescuers say the remains included militants and civilians.

Ruth Sherlock/NPR

“If they had had observation for an adequate period of time, they would have realized that there were civilians in those buildings,” she says. “Yes, the war probably would have taken more time. But more lives would have been saved.”

The rescue unit says it determined most of the more than 2,600 recovered bodies were civilians in a few different ways. ISIS combatants often dressed a specific way and carried an ID card, the workers say. Other characteristics, such as victims’ age and gender and testimony from families, also help in the team’s documentation.

Rescuers say they recognize airstrike scenes from the scale of the destruction.

Airwars puts the civilian death toll in the Raqqa offensive at 1,400, but it believes the number could be higher. It gathers data largely remotely, through communication with sources and information from social media, and has not been able to verify every reported case.

“We expected a significantly higher portion of civilian harm reports to be determined as credible, since in Raqqa really the only player causing the destruction was the coalition,” says Chris Woods, the director of Airwars.

He explains that the coalition has assessed and accepted only a fraction of the casualty reports from Raqqa than it did from the major campaign to drive ISIS from Mosul, Iraq, from October 2016 to July 2017.

“That suggests a political dimension to the decision-making process,” he says. “We can’t think of another explanation for that discrepancy.”

Rovera, the Amnesty International adviser, says it is imperative that coalition forces send ground investigators into Raqqa. “Having dropped the bombs from the sky they should now be sending their investigators on the ground now to establish the facts of what was the impact of those strikes on the civilian population,” she says.

Col. Ryan from the coalition said the existing coalition forces in Syria are not a trained investigative force and taking them away “from their mission is not advisable as the fight against this ruthless enemy continues.”

For now, Raqqa’s people are left to count their dead largely alone, while the U.S. and other powers strike elsewhere in Syria.

US-led aircraft evacuate Daesh commanders from eastern Syria: Report

A helicopter with the US-led coalition flies over the site of Turkish airstrikes near the northeastern Syrian Kurdish town of Derik, known as al-Malikiyah in Arabic, on April 25, 2017. (Photo by AFP)
A helicopter with the US-led coalition flies over the site of Turkish airstrikes near the northeastern Syrian Kurdish town of Derik, known as al-Malikiyah in Arabic, on April 25, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

The US-led coalition purportedly fighting the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group has airlifted to a safe sanctuary several commanders of the foreign-sponsored terror outfit from a region in Syria’s eastern province of Dayr al-Zawr, where government forces and fighters from popular defense groups are tightening the noose around the extremists.

Local sources, requesting anonymity, told Syria’s official news agency SANA that two US-led military aircraft conducted the operation on the outskirts of al-Marashida village, and transported the Takfiris to an unknown location.

SANA, citing information received from local residents, reported on December 29 last year that American helicopters had evacuated Daesh commanders from several districts of Dayr al-Zawr province two days earlier.

Earlier that month, the Syrian government had sent a message to the United Nations, accusing the US-led coalition of reaching deals with Daesh and coordinating its actions with the terror group’s commanders.

On September 10, 2017, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem said the US-led coalition was trying to destroy the Arab country and prolong the armed conflict there.

Muallem said that Damascus would demand the dissolution of the military contingent, stressing that thousands of Syrian women and children had been killed by coalition airstrikes in Raqqah and Dayr al-Zawr provinces.

The top Syrian diplomat further noted that the Pentagon was using the coalition to cover up its destruction campaign in Syria.

He added that the US-backed militiamen from the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) were fighting Syrian army forces to gain control over the oil-rich areas of the country.

Damascus would not allow any external force to violate its sovereignty, Muallem pointed out.

Last August, the so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that US-led choppers had transported four Daesh members and a civilian from a house used as an arms depot in Beqres, a suburban area east of Dayr al-Zawr, to a safe area.

According to the report, the five people included a European bomb expert, three Egyptian Daesh members and a local resident of Beqres.

The US-led coalition has been conducting airstrikes against what are said to be Daesh targets inside Syria since September 2014 without any authorization from the Damascus government or a UN mandate.

The military alliance has repeatedly been accused of targeting and killing civilians. It has also been largely incapable of achieving its declared goal of destroying Daesh.

Syria has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. The Syrian government says the Israeli regime and its Western and regional allies are aiding Takfiri terrorist groups that are wreaking havoc in the country.

FORMER BRITISH AMBASSADOR TO SYRIA, PETER FORD, WARNS OF PENDING WAR PROPAGANDA ON COMMISSION OF INQUIRY REPORT TO UNHRC

In Gaza

Image result for Peter Ford, former British Ambassador to Syria

Peter Ford, former British Ambassador to Syria:
You will be seeing lurid accounts in the Western media of the latest  report to the UN Human Rights Council from the Independent Commission of Inquiry on Syria. This was issued on 12 September.
In particular it is being stated that the report vindicates claims that weaponised chlorine was used in Douma. This is not what the report (text below) actually says.
If you read the actual report – you have to reach section 92 so obviously few hacks will do that – you will see that it is carefully worded.

The inspectors, who unlike OPCW did not actually visit the site, ‘received a vast body of evidence suggesting that..’ (of course they did, from the jihadis and from hostile intelligence services); ‘they received information on [deaths and injuries] (which is not the same as seeing bodies or examining victims); they ‘recall that weaponisation of chlorine is prohibited’ (but do not actually say that Syrian forces used it in Douma).

Besides the text of the relevant part of the report I have added the paragraph on Raqqa and the ‘indiscriminate attacks and serious violations of international law’ by the coalition of which the UK is part, including the bombing of a school and killing of 40 people.
You will note also the acknowlegement that ISIS exploited hospitals in Raqqa (as other jihadi groups have done in every part of Syria). Naturally the media and our government will not want to discuss that paragraph of the report.
**
Excerpt from the text of the report by the Independent Commission of Inquiry on Syria:

92. Throughout 7 April, numerous aerial attacks were carried out in Douma, striking various residential areas. A vast body of evidence collected by the Commission suggests that, at approximately 7.30 p.m., a gas cylinder containing a chlorine payload delivered by helicopter struck a multi-storey residential apartment building located approximately 100 metres south-west of Shohada square. The Commission received information on the death of at least 49 individuals, and the wounding of up to 650 others.

93.                 While the Commission cannot make yet any conclusions concerning the exact causes of death, in particular on whether another agent was used in addition to chlorine that may have caused or contributed to deaths and injuries, it recalls that the weaponization of chlorine is prohibited under customary international humanitarian law and under the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on Their Destruction, ratified by the Syrian Arab Republic in 2013.
95. The Commission also continues to investigate aerial attacks launched against ISIL positions in Raqqah city between June and October 2017, which destroyed much of the city and displaced nearly the entire population. The Commission is concerned that the widespread destruction wrought upon Raqqah city included indiscriminate attacks and other serious violations of international humanitarian law. Significant challenges continue to arise, including with regard to how ISIL prevented civilians from documenting attacks as a matter of policy, how chaos often left victims and witnesses unable to identify whether a given attack was carried out by aerial or ground operations, and how ISIL terrorists embedded themselves and their military installations in numerous civilian infrastructures, including hospitals, thus significantly complicating investigations.
96.          The Commission further notes that the coalition led by the United States acknowledged on 28 June that it had killed 40 civilians during its aerial attack against Al-Badiya school in Mansurah, Raqqah on the night of 20 to 21 March 2017
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إيران ودرس كردستان العراق الجديد لمن يفهم!

سبتمبر 10, 2018

ناصر قنديل

– فيما الإعلام منشغل والسياسة منغمسة، في استقراء رسائل أحداث البصرة، والاستعصاء الحكومي في العراق، والتصعيد المفتعل في حرب الصلاحيات لتبرير التعطيل في لبنان، وبينهما وفوقهما، بما شهدته قمة طهران ومن ورائها معركة إدلب، التي بدا واضحاً أن كل التهديد والوعيد لا يفتّ في عضد أصحاب القرار فيها، قام الحرس الثوري الإيراني بالإعلان عن استهداف مواقع للجماعات الكردية المسلحة الإيرانية المتمرّدة والمتمركزة داخل كردستان العراق، وهي جماعات ينظمها ويرعاها الأميركيون للقيام بأعمال تخريبية داخل إيران. والحدث كبير جداً ويحمل رسائل تتصل بحجم القرار الإيراني في التعامل مع المحاولات الأميركية لتغيير توازنات النصر في سورية التي تقترب لحظاتها الأخيرة لصالح محور المقاومة الذي تشكّل إيران قوّته الرئيسية وعمقه الاستراتيجي.

– رسالة كردستان العراق ودرسها الأهم، أن إيران التي صمتت عن بعض هذه الجماعات في ما مضى منعاً للتصعيد، واكتفت بالاستعدادات داخل حدودها لمنع تسلل هذه الجماعات، قرّرت مطاردتها وتصفيتها داخل الحدود العراقية في ظل وجود أميركي مباشر في العراق، وفي أشدّ اللحظات العراقية السياسية الداخلية تعقيداً، وتجاذب سياسي داخلي عراقي يتصل بدور إيران، التي يفترض منها مراعاته ويتوقع منها تهيّب القيام بما يثير ضدها بعض المواقف ويستصدر بعض البيانات، فإذ بها تفعل العكس غير آبهة بما سيُقال، لتقول إنه في كل مواجهة تكون أميركا هي الطرف المقابل فيها بصورة مباشرة أو بصورة غير مباشرة، فلا خطوط حمراء تمنع إيران من الذهاب للاشتباك المباشر مهما كانت النتائج، وأنها مستعدّة لتحمل التبعات، وخوض المخاطر.

– هذا يعني مباشرة أن الرسائل قابلة للصرف في ساحتي اشتباك افتراضيتين، الأولى في سورية وفقاً لقراءة ما بعد إدلب، والتبشير الإيراني المتواصل منذ سنتين بدنو معركة الرقة، ومن ضمنها طرد الأميركيين من سورية، وليس خافياً أن العملية التي استهدفت الجماعات الكردية المجهزة لاستهداف إيران، يأتي بعد يومين على قيام جماعات كردية مشابهة يقودها الأميركيون باستهداف الجيش السوري في منطقة القامشلي، والثانية في مضيق هرمز، حيث حذرت إيران من دفعها لإقفاله أمام الصادرات النفطية، إذا جرى تقييد حركتها في أسواق النفط بصورة تصيب وضعها المالي والتجاري بنتائج قاسية، فالتحرك العسكري خارج أراضي إيران، وفقاً لمفهوم أمنها القومي، ودون تنسيق مسبق مع حكومات الجوار المعنية، هو منهج على واشنطن وضعه في الحساب، كلما دنت ساعة الاختبار في الخليج.

– بالتزامن تبدو الرسالة واضحة لجهة عدم ترك المجال للفهم الخاطئ لتعامل إيران وحلفائها مع مساعي الفتن التي يشعلها الأميركيون في العراق ويريدون إشعالها في لبنان، فالاحتواء والامتصاص أسلوبان ناجحان في الأحداث الداخلية العراقية واللبنانية سياسة رابحة لإيران، حيث تحوّلت الفوضى التي أُخذت إليها منطقة البصرة في العراق لإحراق اسم المرشح الذي يدعمه الأميركيون لرئاسة الحكومة، الدكتور حيدر العبادي، وتحميل تيار السيد مقتدى الصدر مسؤولية الفوضى التي استهدفت خصومه والقنصلية الإيرانية، بعدما كان المقصود استهداف تيار الحشد الشعبي ورئيس الحكومة السابق نور المالكي، وتحميلهما مع إيران مسؤولية المعاناة المتراكمة لأهالي البصرة. وفي لبنان فشلت محاولات تحميل رئيس الجمهورية مسؤولية تأخير ولادة الحكومة، وبدا بوضوح أن المسؤولية عند الرئيس المكلف تشكيل الحكومة رغم كل الحشد الذي تمّ استحضاره لافتعال معركة صلاحيات رئاسية. والرسالة، هنا هي لا تسيئوا فهم المرونة، فرسالة القوة في مكان آخر، ولسنا ملزمين عندما تهاجمون بالردّ في المكان والأسلوب ذاتهما، فافهموا الأبعاد والمعاني وضعوها في حساباتكم الأكبر، والأبعد مدى!

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