GEOFOR interviews The Saker: Will Kiev decide on an open armed conflict?

December 05, 2021

Note: in late November I was interviewed by the Russian website Geofor.  Here is the English language translation of this interview.

GEOFOR: Mr. Raevsky, no sooner have the American warships left the Black Sea than the British went in there. Apparently, “unscheduled exercises” of NATO ships and Ukrainian watercraft are about to commence, again. Again, near the maritime borders of the Russian Federation. Moreover, a couple of American military boats were delivered to Odessa (although, politely speaking, not quite new). As a military analyst with experience in intelligence, how do you assess the degree of threats from this incessant demonstration of force in terms of the possibility of provoking a military conflict with far-reaching consequences?

Andrei Raevsky: From a military point of view, I assess the degree of direct threat from these forces as zero. Firstly, any ship that enters the waters of the Black Sea can be instantly destroyed by a number of Russian coastal defense systems and/or the Russian Aerospace Forces. So, the degree of threat from them is zero. Secondly, they are equipped with  rather outdated Tomahawk missiles. They have a relatively low flight speed, and they do not pose a great threat to Russian air defense systems.

On the other hand, there is an indirect threat from these NATO ships. And very serious. They are nudging Ukrainians in the same way as in 2008 they nudged Saakashvili in Georgia. They give Kiev a mistaken feeling being under an umbrella, under the protection of the US Navy or, say, NATO bomber planes, which is a complete deception and delusion, but this is the real danger.

GEOFOR: Does Russia have the ability to protect itself if it comes to launching Tomahawks? And how is this perceived in Pentagon and NATO headquarters? In the same context: what, in your opinion, is behind the decision of the Russian president to reject the Ministry of Defense’s offer to hold its unscheduled exercises on the Black Sea simultaneously with the United States and NATO? How will it be perceived in the Washington military-political establishment – as confidence in the capabilities of the Russian military to respond adequately to provocative actions or, as a desire not to take a potentially dangerous situation to the extreme?

Andrei Raevsky: Yes, of course, Russia can defend itself. As I just said, these are relatively slow and outdated cruise missiles, which do not pose a great danger to the multi-layered integrated air defense of the Crimea and the South of Russia and the entire Southern Military District of the Russian Federation. You can remember what the US missile strike on Syria was like, where most of them [Tomahawks] were shot down not by the Russian contingent in Syria – this is very important to emphasize – but by the Syrians with their relatively simpler air defense system.

Thus. I don’t think that all these Tomahawks threaten Russia very much.

I will also add that if the United States and NATO wanted to hit Russia with Tomahawks, it would be better for them to get out of the Black Sea and go to the Mediterranean Sea and move away to the maximum distance – just so as not to be instantly sunk.

Putin’s decision not to conduct simultaneous maneuvers in the Black Sea, in my opinion, is absolutely reasonable.

In Washington, this is likely to make an impression, in a certain sense, of a staged scene: Shoigu says: “I am ready”,  and Putin takes such a peacemaking, pacifying step. This is what in the West is called “Good cop – bad cop.” In fact, they are, of course, united in terms of developing principles and strategies for protecting Russia from possible aggression.

GEOFOR: And now a little more about Ukraine and the situation around it. Russian analysts find many analogies in the situation in Ukraine now and the one that was in Georgia on the eve of August 2008. How would you characterize the factors (internal and external) that could lead to Kiev deciding on an open armed conflict? And what will this lead Ukraine and Europe as a whole to? Who, in the end, may be the beneficiary?

Andrei Raevsky: Yes, the situation is very similar to that. And I would even say that the situation Zelensky is in, is worse than the one Saakashvili was in.

I’m afraid that his rating is such that he really has nothing to lose. The question of whether Kiev will decide on an open armed conflict implies that Kiev has an opportunity to solve something. I doubt it very much. Without getting the “go-ahead” from the “Washington Regional Party Committee” Kiev will not move. Thus, if Kiev moves, it will be, at least, in the presence of a “tacit” – not even consent – order, when the West gives the command “Attack!”. Few people in the West care that Kiev will then “get its ass kicked.”

But the most important thing in this context is to remember that the goal is not to “liberate ORDLO from Muscovites” (Note: “ORLDO” is the current official Ukie legal term for the LDNR) or “restore democracy and territorial integrity of Ukraine” and so on. The goal is to force Russia to openly invade Ukraine and start a war: so that it cannot be denied, in order to totally sink energy projects between Russia and the EU and make the EU completely dependent, first of all, on American shale gas and other energy carriers. And to achieve these goals, Ukraine does not need any victory at all – it’s enough to just say: “Here, these evil Putin’s “green men” have seized even more territory! Oh, how bad they are!”

We can say that from a military point of view, Russia will win very quickly. But from a political point of view, it will be a victory for the United States.

GEOFOR: Do you consider it possible that, with NATO’s symbolic support in the Black Sea, as well as the presence of various American, British and other instructors on land, Kiev will decide on a military provocation not in the Donbas, but in the Black Sea? After all, it is known that everyone is waiting for the Ukrainian military offensive in the east of the country, and why, for example, Zelensky not follow the path of his predecessor Poroshenko, who sent boats to break through the Kerch Strait, and, creating a conflict situation, disrupted the already agreed meeting between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin? Moreover, the second meeting of the Russian and American presidents this year is now being prepared…

Andrei Raevsky: Yes, such a provocation in the Black Sea is very likely. It is enough to recall their provocation when Ukrainian boats tried to pass into the Kerch Strait. And it was without any presence of Americans. Of course, this is possible. I think this is not only possible, but it will definitely happen.

And if there really are plans to arrange a meeting between Biden and Putin, then Ukrainians have very little time left. In December, Americans convene their “Democracy Forum”, then there are holidays…

If there is this meeting – and we don’t know if there will be one – there could be a lot of things that could undermine it. For supporters of the war – both in the United States and in Ukraine – this is a very important moment that cannot be missed.

GEOFOR: And in conclusion. If it is likely that the ongoing Russian-American consultations (the arrival of the Deputy Secretary of State and the director of the CIA in Moscow, for example) and the dialogue between the two leaders, which, hopefully, will take place, will lead to at least some stabilization, both around the Ukrainian problem and in bilateral relations. What problems in this regard could you highlight?

Andrei Raevsky: These consultations are very important, and this is a very desirable development of the situation because American officials of this level have not come to Moscow twice to present some kind of ultimatum.

To present an ultimatum, you can simply use a consul.

To do this, there is absolutely no need to send the highest representatives of the American authorities to Moscow.

The conversations that took place – whatever they were – were to the point. And they were serious. As long as both sides are talking, at least they are not shooting. And this is very desirable.

And we can only hope that such consultations will continue in the future.

Of course, the Americans are the most dangerous enemy for Russia. This needs to be understood.

This is not a get-together with a “vodka-herring” menu to just shoot the breeze. Neither is this a friendly meeting.

But this is a direct dialogue of those who can really make decisions in a difficult situation and influence the situation.

And in this regard, it is very important.

Therefore, there is no need to fall into the mistake that Americans very often fall into when they say: “We don’t talk to such and such.” We don’t talk to terrorists, we don’t talk to states and “regimes” that we don’t recognize. This is a very big mistake.

You need to talk to everyone, often including the fiercest enemies.

source: https://geofor.ru/4710-andrej-raevskij-reshitsya-li-kiev-na-otkrytyj-vooruzhennyj-konflikt.html

Video: Stormy Winter Comes to Syria

By South Front

Global Research,

December 03, 2021

South Front 2 December 2021

The winter came to Syria with a hurricane and a new wave of hostilities. On December 1, a storm hit refugee camps in the north of the country. The hurricane damaged and destroyed a large number of settlements in Idlib and in the north of Aleppo.

The hurricane is not the only reason of a headache for Syrian militants in Greater Idlib, where a military storm is going really strong. Several recent reports talked about a near ground operation by the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and its allies to reinforce the ceasefire in the region.

On November 30, three militants were killed when the SAA shelled a position they were manning in the al-Ghab Plains in the western part of the Greater Idlib region. The army reportedly used its Russian-made 2K25 Krasnopol laser-guided 155 mm artillery round.

Video Player

The slain militants were Syrian members of the al-Qaeda-affiliated Turkistan Islamic Party (TIP). They were fighting in the terrorist group’s Ansar [Supporters] unit which is dedicated for Syrians only.

The SAA shelling was likely a response to the ceasefire violations which led to casualties in Syrian ranks. In the last few days, two soldiers were allegedly killed in the al-Ghab Plains by sniper fire.

Meanwhile, the SAA, supported by the Russian Aerospace Forces (VKS), continues fighting terrorists in Syria’s central regions, and the last month was busy enough for the allies.

In November, the VKS carried out more than 610 airstrikes on ISIS cells and their hideouts in Syria’s central region, while the Syrian army conducted several combing operations in different parts of the region.

The most recently, a new wave of airstrikes targeted hideouts of ISIS cells located near the strategic Ithriyah-Khanasir highway, which links Hama with Aleppo.

While the SAA and Russian forces are doing their job, members of the US-led international coalition are busy revealing their activities in Syria.

The UK has officially claimed responsibility for the October 25 drone strike on northeastern Syria. The remotely piloted [MQ-9] Reaper, armed with Hellfire missiles, reportedly killed Sabahi Ibrahim al-Muslih, also known as “Abu Hamzah al- Shheell”, a cochairman of ISIS Shura Council.

The US also did not stay aside. However, it had no successful operation to reveal. Thus, Washington launched investigation into the murder of dozens of civilians.

US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin has ordered an investigation into an airstrike in Syria in 2019. According to The New York Times, an American F-15 fighter jet, by order of Task Force 9, dropped a bomb on a crowd of civilians gathering in a field near the settlement of El-Baguz on March 18, 2019. The US military leadership downplayed the strike, which reportedly killed about 80 people.

Despite the growing discontent among the locals, the US-led international coalition continues its reinforcement in northeastern Syria. Over the last few days, dozens of trucks loaded with supplies and military equipment for the US-led coalition entered the country from Iraq.

While civilians are preventing some US convoys from passing through their villages, throwing stones to the vehicles, other US convoys suffer more severe damage. On December 1, a convoy moving logistic supplies to US-led coalition bases came under an IED attack, when it was passing near the town of al-Malikiyah in the northeastern countryside of al-Hasakah. Two trucks reportedly burnt out as a result of the explosion.

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Video: Northern Syria is Volatile As Ever. Militants in Greater Idlib Ramp Up Their Provocations

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MORE THAN 20 RUSSIAN AIRSTRIKES HIT GREATER IDLIB AS MILITANTS CONTINUE TO LAUNCH ATTACKS (VIDEOS, PHOTOS)

 18.09.2021 

South Front

More Than 20 Russian Airstrikes Hit Greater Idlib As Militants Continue To Launch Attacks (Videos, Photos)
An Su-24 taking off from Hmeimim air base in 2015. IMAGE: Russian Ministry of Defense

On September 18, warplanes of the Russian Aerospace Forces (VKS) carried out more than 23 airstrikes on militants’ positions in the northwestern Syrian region of Greater Idlib.

According to the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the airstrikes took place as follows:

  • Ten airstrikes targeted the outskirts of the towns of Baluon and Mashoun in the southern countryside of Idlib.
  • Four airstrikes targeted the town of al-Bara in the southern countryside of Idlib.
  • Four airstrikes targeted the town of al-Kindah in the western countryside of Idlib.
  • Five airstrikes targeted the towns of Kabani, al-Khudur and Barza in the northern countryside of Lattakia.

In the last few months, Greater Idlib militants stepped up their attacks in violation of the 5 March 2020 ceasefire agreement forcing the VKS to intensify its combat operations in the region.

One of the most recent attacks was carried out by Ansar al-Islam, a terrorist group allied to al-Qaeda-affiliated Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS). The attack, which was carried out with mortars and recoilless rifles, targeted positions of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) in the northwestern countryside of Hama.

HTS and its allies appear to be unwilling to respect the ceasefire in Greater Idlib. This may force the SAA and its allies to launch a ground operation in the region very soon. Such an operation may lead to a confrontation with the Turkish military that maintains a large presence in the region.

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President Assad Holds a Lengthy Summit with President Putin in Moscow

 ARABI SOURI 

Syrian President Bashar Assad meets Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow

Syrian President Bashar Assad held a lengthy summit with the Russian President Vladimir Putin yesterday, Monday, in Moscow, the summit lasted 90 minutes and the presidents were later joined by the Syrian Minister of Foreign Affairs Faysal Mekdad and the Russian Minister of Defense Sergey Shoigu for an additional 45 minutes.

The visit was unannounced earlier due to security reasons, though it was planned for, President Bashar Assad is accompanied by a large delegate of Syrian officials.

President Bashar Assad meets President Vladimir Putin in Moscow

At the reception, President Bashar Assad highlighted the joint cooperation between the Syrian and Russian states, peoples, and armed forces, in combating terrorism in Syria which also saves many innocent citizens around the world because ‘terrorism knows no political borders and does not stop at political borders,’ President Assad thanked Russia for its support and highlighted the negative work of countries that impose inhuman, immoral, and illegal siege against the Syrian people.

President Putin congratulated President Assad on the ‘well-deserved excellent results in the presidential elections,’ President Putin told President Assad that the Syrian people have high hopes in him, they ‘associate his name with restoring normal life in Syria,’ for the efforts President Assad is exerting in this regard.

‘We have delivered a blow to the terrorists and now the Syrian state controls more than 90% of the Syrian territories,’ President Putin added, he also highlighted the illegal presence of foreign forces in Syria who are uninvited and contradict the international law, hinting at both the US and Turkish forces without naming them.

The following is the video released by the Syrian Presidency with the full transcript in English:

The video is also on BitChute and YouTube.

The video transcript:

Thank you, Mr. President. I am glad that we meet today in Moscow. The joint anti-terrorist operation has been going on for nearly 6 years, during which the Syrian and Russian armies achieved great achievements, not only by liberating lands or by returning refugees to their villages and cities, but also by protecting many innocent citizens in this world because terrorism knows no political borders and does not stop at political borders.

Of course, in addition to the important results in the liberation of lands and the retreat of terrorists was the launch of the political process, whether in Sochi, Astana, or recently in Geneva. This process has been going on for about two years now, but as you know there are obstacles because there are countries that support terrorists and have no interest in continuing this process in the direction that achieves stability in Syria.

Some countries have imposed a siege on the Syrian people, which we describe as inhuman, immoral and illegal, nevertheless, we are determined in Syria, as a government, and as state institutions, to go in parallel in the process of liberating the territories and in the process of political dialogue.

Today’s visit is an important opportunity to discuss these two points in addition to the bilateral relations that a team of specialists in the two governments will follow up in parallel with our meeting.

I want to take advantage of this meeting in order to thank the Russian state and the Russian people for the humanitarian aid provided to the Syrian people, whether with regard to the Corona pandemic recently or with regard to securing all the basic necessities that the Syrian citizen requires in his daily life.

I would like to thank you and the Russian political establishment, especially the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, for the efforts they made in international forums to defend international law, which at the outset states the sovereignty of states and the right of peoples to determine their future and destiny which managed effectively and strongly to prevent the exploitation of the process of combating terrorism in the world for political goals that serve the agendas of some countries.

Once again, thank you, Mr. President.

Honorable President, I am pleased to welcome you again to Moscow,

First, I would like to congratulate you on your birthday, and I also congratulate you personally on your well-deserved victory with an excellent result in the presidential elections, these results prove that people trust you, despite the difficulties and complications that Syria has gone through in the previous period, people associate your name with restoring normal life to Syria, which you are working hard to achieve including arranging the course of dialogue between you and your political opponents, and we hope that this process will continue.

Achieving this kind of synergy between all Syrian political forces will enable us to move forward in order to achieve a better future for the Syrians, many steps have been taken to achieve this, and thanks to our joint efforts, the largest part of the Syrian territory has been liberated despite all the difficulties and tragedies, and thanks to these efforts, the Syrian government today controls more than 90% of the territory.

The problem was the presence of some foreign armed forces on Syrian territory, in contradiction to all international references, and without permission from the Syrian government, which of course contradicts all international laws.

This gives you the possibility to make the maximum possible efforts to unite all the forces of the country to control the entire Syrian territory, as well as the possibility to reconstruct Syria as much as you can, in the absence of any armed forces in the Syrian territory.

But at the same time, unfortunately, we are still witnessing some actions by terrorists who not only control some lands, but also spread terror among the people.

The liberated areas are also witnessing the return of refugees, and I visited Syria with your kind invitation and witnessed with my own eyes how people return to their homes and rebuild their homes and work actively and energetically to return to normal life.

Our joint efforts are not limited to humanitarian assistance only, but also contribute to the development of economic and trade relations. During the past year, the volume of trade exchange increased by three and a half times.

At the same time, we are working together to get rid of the basic problem facing humanity, and I mean combating the Corona pandemic, we witnessed the supply of the first shipments of the Sputnik (7) and Sputnik Lite vaccines to Syria, we hope that, with our joint efforts, we will succeed in helping the Syrian people get back on their feet in the face of all these problems, including the reconstruction of the Syrian economy, social life and the health field.

Once again, I am pleased to welcome you, Mr. President. Welcome.

End of the transcript.

Russia Affirms its Support to Syria Economically, Politically, and Militarily

https://syrianews.cc/russia-affirms-its-support-to-syria-economically-politically-and-militarily/embed/#?secret=Ftd1XhBwWM

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A Busy Month For Russia’s Aerospace Forces Over Syria

 02.09.2021

Video Here

You can read this article in GermanLINK.

Russian Aerospace Forces (VKS) continue their aerial crusade over Greater Idlib and Central Syria.

On September 1st, as the capstone of a very active month, seven VKS warplanes carried out more than 25 airstrikes on ISIS cells in Syria’s vast central region.

According to the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), the airstrikes hit fortified hideouts of the terrorist group in the Hama-Aleppo-Raqqa triangle.

More than 550 Russian airstrikes hit ISIS cells in central Syria last August, according to a recent report by the SOHR. The airstrikes killed nine terrorists and wounded 20 others.

The other direction of the airstrike activity is Greater Idlib.

Efforts to contain Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), the ruler of Idlib are necessary, as on September 1st a six-year-old girl was killed in the government-held town of Jurin in the northwestern countryside of Hama.

Jurin was one of several government-held towns around the Greater Idlib which were shelled by HTS and its allies. According to the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the militants fired more than 50 shells and rockets at these towns.

Just hours earlier, in the evening of August 31, an old landmine exploded in the area under militant control in the Syria’s countryside of Idlib. As a result of the explosion, a man and his child were killed, while his second child was injured.

The constant escalation in the region prevents any de-mining or other safety procedures to be carried out, forcing civilians to risk their lives daily.

Instead of enforcing the ceasefire and aiding the local populace, the Turkish Armed Forces are fighting their own war and directly supporting the al-Qaeda-affiliated militant groups in northern Syria.

On August 30, the Turkish army and the militants it backs shelled with artillery strikes the surrounding area of the refugee camp north of the city of Ain Issa as well as the nearby village of Muallaq. The villages of Khalidiya, Hoshan, Ma’lek as well as the nearby M4 highway were also reportedly targeted.

On August 31st, a Turkish UAV hit a checkpoint of Kurdish forces in the town of Ain Issa. The town is strategically important as a link between the self-governing regions of Euphrates and Cizîrê. The town is regularly targeted by Turkish and Turkish-backed forces.

There is no apparent end in sight of the endless fighting between the Greater Idlib so-called “moderate opposition” and the Syrian Arab Army and the Russian VKS in one direction, and the constant fighting of Ankara’s forces and the militants it backs against the Kurdish groups in the other. Northern Syria remains as volatile and chaotic as ever, with varying levels of escalation.

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ISRAEL LOSES NO CHANCE TO REMIND OF ITSELF IN SYRIA

 05.05.2021 

Video here

Barely a week goes by in Syria, without Israel reminding of itself and the warplanes it has.

At dawn on May 5th, Israeli warplanes carried out an attack on several areas in northwestern Syria, including the port city of Latakia along the Mediterranean coast. The strikes also hit the towns of Hifa, east of Latakia, and Masyaf in Hama province

Syrian Air Defense systems reportedly intercepted most of the missiles that were launched.

According to initial reports, the strike led to the death of a civilian and the wounding of six others, including a child and his mother. This comes in addition to some material losses, including a civilian plastics production factory. A Syrian military site in Deir Shamil, near Masyaf was struck, personnel was injured.

Airstrikes appear to be all the rage in Syria, as the US-led coalition reported that on May 4th it had carried out a strike and eliminated a single ISIS terrorist in Deir Ezzor. Essentially, Washington’s forces carried out a drone strike on a single person sitting in a car.

Comparatively, Russian forces seem to be more effective, on May 3rd and 4th, Russia’s Aerospace Forces carried out dozens of airstrikes on ISIS positions in Syria’s central and eastern regions.

The May 4th strikes targeted locations in the eastern countryside of Hama and the administrative border between Hama and al-Raqqah.

Additionally, Russian fighter jets carried out dozens of airstrikes on the Syrian Desert on May 3rd, along with the ongoing search for ISIS cells in Athria area, Aleppo-Hama-al-Raqqah triangle, Jabal al-Bishri, and other positions in the eastern countryside of Homs. The number of airstrikes is at least 55, and there are reports of an unknown number of casualties.

This increased activity is in preparation of an expected operation by the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and its Russian support that should take place in the central region, further contain ISIS’ diminished numbers and limit the terrorist influence.

Local media reports claimed that reinforcements from the SAA’s 25th Tiger Force division were deployed to the desert area east of Itria.

Taking advantage of Russia and the SAA’s focus being elsewhere, Turkey and the factions it backs are attempting to stir the pot in northern Syria. Ankara’s forces, and the “moderate opposition” shelled a number of villages in the Aleppo countryside, causing only material damages.

Ankara is taking the chance, as the impending anti-ISIS operation is sure to not last indefinitely, and Damascus’ gaze is sure to turn northward sooner or later. Its positions and those of the militants it supports need to be reinforced and secured.

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Russian Bombing Eliminates 200 Terrorists Near Tadmor (Palmyra), Syria

 ARABI SOURI 

Russian aerospace forces in Syria

Russian aerospace forces bombed a training camp near the city of Tadmor (Palmyra) killed at least 200 of US-sponsored ISIS-affiliated terrorists, the Russian Ministry of Defense said in a statement yesterday, 19 April 2021.

The bombing of the newly-erect base northeast of the central Syrian city of Tadmor also destroyed 24 machine-gun mounted SUV vehicles used by the terrorists, in addition to half a ton of ammunition the terrorists were using to make explosive devices.

Deputy Director of the Russian Coordination Center in Hmeimim, Marine Major General Alexander Karpov added in the statement conveyed by the Russian Ministry of Defense that ‘Terrorist groups are planning to launch terrorist operations and attacks on Syrian state institutions in large cities to destabilize the country ahead of the presidential elections, which are scheduled to take place on May 26,’ indicating that “terrorist training is taking place in their camps on lands outside the control of the Syrian state. This includes the Al-Tanf area, which is controlled by the American occupation forces.’

This is a considerable blow to the destructive efforts by the ‘most diverse and inclusive’ White House junta led by Biden against the Syrian state and the Syrian people, it’s also a message in the larger confrontation arena between the NATO alliance of neo-colonial countries and the real international community of independent countries by stripping the colonialists of one of their main assets in the region.

Russian forces deployed legally in Syria at the official request of the Syrian government help the Syrian armed forces and their allies in combatting NATO-sponsored terrorist groups, the likes of Al Qaeda and its derivatives including ISISTurkestan Islamist Party, Maghawir Thawra, HTS aka Nusra Front formerly known as Al Qaeda Levant, and others.

The Pentagon Threatening to Revive ISIS

https://syrianews.cc/the-pentagon-threatening-to-revive-isis/embed/#?secret=tAavTFDBKf

After Trump killed the Iranian top General Qasim Soleimani and his companion the Iraqi top commander Abu Mahdi Mohandis in a drone attack in Baghdad, the US Pentagon worked overtime to revive ISIS terrorist groups in the Syrian desert areas along with other groups loyal to the Turkish madman Erdogan and their Kurdish separatist terrorist lapdogs, a number of bloody attacks carried out by these terrorists killed and injured dozens of Syrian army personnel and civilians in the past few months alone.

180 Faylaq Al-Sham Terrorists Killed and Injured by a Russian Airstrike in Idlib

https://syrianews.cc/180-faylaq-al-sham-terrorists-killed-and-injured-by-a-russian-airstrike-in-idlib/embed/#?secret=K7zkjL6Lxj

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RUSSIA AND DAMASCUS AGAINST “TERRORIST DEMOCRACY” IN GREATER IDLIB

07.04.2021 

South Front

In Syria’s Greater Idlib, Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham continues its attempts at rebranding, all the while keeping up its usual militant activity.

As per the Russian Reconciliation Center, militants in Greater Idlib shelled the surrounding areas 32 times on April 6th.

Another al-Qaeda affiliated militant group in Greater Idlib, Ansar al-Islam, posted photographs of its activities in Idlib province. The footage showed the work of terrorist snipers targeting the Syrian Arab Army. This is more than likely a tool to show that the Damascus government cannot impede their activities, and serves as a recruitment method.

The Russian Aerospace Forces continue responding to all violations by striking militant positions. On April 6th, an air raid was carried out near the settlement of Basankul in Idlib.

In spite of the Damascus Government and Russia’s attempt to deter the militants, the United Nations sent 88 trucks of humanitarian aid to Syria’s Idlib. The aid is supposed to be distributed among the needy people in Idlib and its surrounding areas. It is more likely that it is being used by Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham and other militant groups to consolidate their grip on the region.

In addition to countering the activities of the Greater Idlib factions, the Syrian Arab Army, with its Russian support is containing ISIS in the central region.

In the 72 hours leading into April 6th, the Russian Aerospace Forces killed at least 29 ISIS terrorists in their strikes. A large number were heavily wounded. These attacks were centered on the Hama province, and stretched all the way to the border of the Deir Ezzor province.

Still, limited ISIS operations continue. On April 6th, one civilian was killed, several were injured and a large number of citizens were abducted in the town of al-Sa’an in the eastern countryside of the Al-Salamiyah region in Hama.

The terrorists ambushed government forces who were protecting the civilians. In total 19 were abducted, out of them 11 were civilians.

ISIS minefields also remain, and need to be cleared sometime in the future. On April 5th, a civilian was killed and another injured in a blast, at the Bowera site on the Jabal Abu Rajmein road, north of Palmyra.

The United States profits from chaos, wasting no time in smuggling resources away from the local population.

On April 5th, according to Syrian media, US forces smuggled out a convoy of trucks loaded with wheat stolen from the silos of Tal Alou in Yarubiyah in the northeastern countryside of Hasaka.

Additionally, on the very next day, Washington’s troops smuggled out a further convoy of 34 tanks and trucks carrying stolen quantities of oil and wheat also from the Syrian al-Jazeera region into northern Iraq.

Every party involved in Syria is fighting tooth and nail for their own interests  and any small opportunity is being exploited, as is clear to see.

RUSSIAN SU-24 BOMBERS DESTROYED HTS CAMP, VEHICLES IN GREATER IDLIB

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DRONES OVER RIYADH, AS THE HOUTHIS PUSH TOWARDS MARIB

South Front

02.04.2021 

Yemen’s Ansar Allah are unrelenting in their fight against the Saudi-led coalition.

The fighting in Yemen shows no promise of stopping anytime soon, and in many locations it is a constant swing of back and forth.

On April 1st, Ansar Allah (also known as the Houthis) claimed that they had launched 4 suicide drones aimed at “sensitive and important” sites in the Saudi capital – Riyadh.

Houthi spokesman Brig. Gen Yahya Sari said that the operation had been successful, all targets had been struck and no other details were provided.

Not all such raids result in success, as a video was shared of a Saudi F-15 shooting down a Houthi Qasef-2K drone.

A few days earlier, 18 drones and eight missiles of Ansar Allah attacked targets in Ras Tanura, Rabigh, Yanbu and Jizan, ‘Asir, Najran as well as Kind Abdulaziz Air Base. This was their way of commemorating 6 years of war with the Kingdom.

On the other side, Riyadh carried out at least 15 airstrikes on various targets where the Houthi forces are currently concentrated. The Saudis were also behind at least 175 ceasefire violations in al-Hudaydah.

On the ground, clashes continue in the Yemeni Madghal and Hayfan districts. On March 31st, the Houthis captured Idat al-Raa, Dash al-Haqn and Hamat al-Diyab west of Marib.

Elsewhere in the Middle East, the Damascus government continues its operations to contain ISIS in the Syrian central region.

On April 1st, the Syrian Arab Army kicked off a large-scale combing operation in the southern and western Deir Ezzor countryside.

The Government forces are combing the outskirts of the town of al-Mayadin, from the area of al-Banja all the way to the area of Fayda Ibn Moin’a. They are being supported by the Russian Aerospace Forces.

On March 31st, Damascus deployed large reinforcements in Deir Ezzor to counter ISIS cells in the governorate, mainly near the border with Iraq.

In the same vein of containing ISIS, the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces are continuing their operation in the al-Hawl camp.

The SDF didn’t share the total number of suspects who were arrested on the fifth day. However, it announced that an Algerian leader of ISIS was apprehended. Muhammad Abdul Rahman Sharif Dabakh, was the ISIS military commander in the town of al-Shadadi in southern al-Hasakah.

On the fourth day of the operation, the SDF arrested more than 70 ISIS members. The total number of arrests as a result of the operation likely nears 150, or even more.

The containment of ISIS in Central Syria appears to be going well, and the Damascus government and Russian support appear to be carrying out a successful operation.

On the other hand, it is not exactly clear what is happening to the ISIS cell members being arrested by the SDF, as reports of them being extracted by US helicopters are not that uncommon.

ISIS VICIOUS CYCLE IN CENTRAL SYRIA

South Front

In a very busy month of March, the Russian Aerospace Forces, in support of the Damascus government, kept up a significant level of airstrike activity against ISIS every single day.

According to the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Russian warplanes carried out more than 1,380 airstrikes on ISIS cells in Central Syria.

These reportedly resulted in the death of 57 ISIS terrorists, and the injury of 25 others.

The airstrikes could potentially seem excessive, but there is no other effective way to contain the terrorist group. On March 28th-31st, 100 Syrian service members were wounded in attacks by ISIS or by explosive devices planted by the terrorists.

Despite all of this, security in central Syria is not as compromised as it appears. Roads are open for traffic, and some semblance of normality is present. Gas and oil fields are tightly guarded and operational, and all urban centers are secured from terrorist activity.

On March 31st, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov claimed that the United States used ISIS terrorists to hinder any potential political solution to the Syrian conflict.

In seeming proof of this statement, on the same day, the US reportedly transported 40 ISIS terrorists from al-Houl prison, east of Hasaka city, to its base in al-Shadadi city. Out of these forty terrorists, two are notably ISIS members who operated in Deir Ezzor.

The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) on March 28th began a security operation at the notorious al-Hawl camp, which houses 62,000 people, mostly women and children of ISIS terrorists.

Around 6,000 troops from the SDF, Asayish security forces and the People’s Protection Units are taking part in the operation.

The SDF has already announced the arrest of 53 alleged ISIS members, including a Sharia Judge of ISIS, Abu Muhammad al-Jumaili, and five other officials of terrorist cells that were carrying out various operations inside the camp.

There is plentiful footage, including videos and photographs showcasing the operation.

The situation in the camp has steadily been ramping out of control, with frequent killings taking place there. In the first three months of 2021 alone, at least 47 people have been murdered by terrorist elements. The United Nations has repeatedly warned of the deteriorating security situation in the camp.

Central Syria is secure, but still a hotbed of ISIS terrorists. The security operations by the Syrian Arab Army and its Russian support are unlikely to stop anytime soon, especially if the accusations against the United States are true.

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