Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Report from Syria - 02/09/2016


8 February, 2016

The Geneva talks collapsed before it could even begin, and for weeks now, battles are raging inside Syria’s largest city of Aleppo that will soon decide who will win the war in the devastated  country.

Under the cover of Russian Aviation,  the Syrian Army and volunteers, Hezbollah fighters, Iranian Special Forces, and Iraqi Army, are now encircling Daesh terrorists inside Aleppo.
This is the reason why both Turkey and Saudi Arabia are now floating the idea of a ground invasion to “fight terrorism” which could only mean one thing, i.e. they want to rescue their ISIS Daesh mercenaries trapped inside Aleppo where its most valuable supply line for arms and oil smuggling with Turkey has been effectively cut-off.
Sun Feb 07, 2016 11:4

Syrian Army, Hezbollah Cut off Militants’ Main Supply Route from Turkey

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian Army troops alongside Hezbollah fighters drove the militant groups back from their main supply line near the border with Turkey and imposed full control over the highway.
The Syrian army men and Hezbollah ultimately cut off the terrorist groups’ main supply route from the Turkish city of Gaziantep, marking the first time in nearly 3 years that they have had a presence along the Aleppo-Gaziantep Highway that stretches through the Aleppo province’s Northern countryside.
With the recent capture of Ratyan and Mayer in Northern Aleppo, the Syrian Armed Forces have finally reached the Aleppo-Gaziantep Highway near the contested villages of Bayanoun, Kafr Naya, and Hayyan after an intense battle with the terrorists of al-Nusra Front, the Free Syrian Army (FSA), Jeish Al-Mujahiddeen, Harakat Nouriddeen al-Zinki, and Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham.
The Aleppo-Gaziantep Highway was the primary roadway for the militants to transfer supplies and reinforcements to the provincial capital of Aleppo province; its obstruction forces the opposition to rely on seasonal roads from the Idlib province that are easy targets for the Russian and Syrian Air Forces.
Also on Saturday, the Syrian army troops and their popular allies continued to target the militant groups’ positions along one of the supply routes of the terrorists in the Northern part of Aleppo and pushed them back form the battlefield following hours of intense battle.
The Syrian army troops, Hezbollah, the National Defense Forces (NDF) and several Iraqi paramilitary units imposed full control over Bashkoy-Ratyan Road after seizing the important Soap Factory from al-Nusra Front and Jeish al-Mujahiddeen.
The capture of Bashkoy-Ratyan Road has allowed the Syrian Armed Forces and their allies to advance against the militants in Hayyan.
Previous to this very significant development inside Aleppo, the Syrian Army has also wiped out critical Daesh high ground positions in the mountainous parts of Latakia which should give the Russian-led coalition more  strategic advantage .
Position of Syrian army at village of Salma and city of Zabadani
The Syrian Army took control of most of the Jabal Al-Turkmen mountainous region leaving hundreds of militants killed and wounded. The government forces inflicted heavy losses on the terrorists in other provinces too.
Al-Qaeda’s Nusra Front and the Free Syrian Army lost scores of their fighters during the fierce clashes in northern Latakia, retreating over a vast region to avoid more casualties, the agency reported.”
So, when Turkey refused to allow Russian monitoring party to fly over the country under the Open Skies Treaty with NATO, Russia’s intelligence about Turkish military movement along the border was confirmed. This latest Erdogan stunt could be his way of dragging NATO to war one more time, i.e. just like he did when he ordered the shooting down of one Su-24 bomber inside Syria.
The problem for the two countries is that while some rouge elements in the CIA may be prodding them to instigate hostilities in Syria even at this late hour in the game, the White House is not willing to start WW3 with the Russians.
The White House was pinning some hope at the negotiation table in Geneva for some geopolitical concessions, but the scheduled pep  talk collapsed early on as both sides could not agree on who the real oppositions are, and the Russian-led coalition has been pounding even harder on Daesh for the last 3 days, because it is sheer stupidity to pepper any talks about peace with ridiculous preconditions that would allow the terrorists to regroup.
The ongoing enhanced military operations against Daesh should make any negotiation moot and academic very soon, and Obama’s point man understands the situation very well:
America’s top diplomat also said that the country should expect another three months of bombing that would “decimate” the oppositionaccording to Middle East Eye who also says that Kerry left the aid workers with “the distinct impression” that the US is abandoning efforts to support rebel fighters.
In other words, Washington has come to terms with the fact that there’s only one way out of this now. It’s either go to war with Russia and Iran or admit that this particular effort to bring about regime change in the Mid-East simply isn’t salvageable.
He said that basically, it was the opposition that didn’t want to negotiate and didn’t want a ceasefire, and they walked away,” a second aid worker told MEE.
“‘What do you want me to do? Go to war with Russia? Is that what you want?’” the aid worker said Kerry told her.”
So, while Daesh militants are having a nightmare in hell for the last 127 days, Kerry is having a good time with his bestfriend Lavrov.
Saudi, for its part, hasn’t been making headways in Yemen. In fact, it’s the Houthis that’s been gaining ground since Russia and Iran became visibly active in Syria.
Saudi Arabia’s call to send its ground troops to aid the coalition against Daesh – also known as ISIS – in Syria has received ridicule from the commander of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guard.

They claim they will send troops (to Syria), but I don’t think they will dare do so,” Jafari told reporters in Tehran. “They have a classic army and history tells us such armies stand no chance in fighting irregular resistance forces. This will be like a coup de grace for them.
Apparently, they see no other way but this, and if this is the case, then their fate is sealed.”
As with Kerry, three months of constant bombardment against Daesh positions seem realistic.
Here’s Aleppo today,
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Ramzan Kadyrov, the Head of the Chechen Republic, claims that Chechen special forces loyal to the Russian Federation have gone to Syria en masse, infiltrating ISIS territory and setting up what amounts to an “extensive spy network ” within the caliphate.

Kadyrov said Chechnya had sent its best fighters to ISIS territory, and that they were playing a key role in providing targeting information for Russian airstrikes against ISIS territory. He said it was time the spies got their credit for risking their lives for the air war.
The Russian government spokesman Dmitry Peskov, however, refused to comment on the matter  saying it was inappropriate to discuss Chechen troops in Syria,, and said the Defense Ministry had already shared “exhaustive” data with our  Russian troops in the nation.
ISIS is known to have a significant Chechen contingent, and this announcement is seen by some as aimed primarily at sewing distrust among ISIS leadership that their Chechen members are actually spies, as opposed to being a realistic reflection of how many special forces are being used. Think what you will, Ramzan Kadyrov is everywhere, his web of catching and killing terrorists stretches worldwide ~
Added Text: Zak Novak



In late December of 2015, a three-way ceasefire agreement between the Syrian Arab Army (SAA), the Islamist rebels (primarily Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham and the Free Syrian Army) and the so-called “Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham” (ISIS) was put in place that would put an end to the fighting in several districts of southern Damascus and allow for civilians to return to their homes
The 1st phase of this ceasefire was implemented in early January when all of the militants fled the Qadam District, resulting in the Syrian Armed Forces taking full control of this area; this also allowed for several displaced families to return to their homes.
Read more AlMasdarNews

The Syrian government sends arms and ammunition to the Kurds
Le gouvernement syrien envoie des armes et munitions aux Kurdes

Via Yandex translate

IRIB - The coordination Council of the opponents of the kurds in Syria noted of the sending trucks of weapons and ammunition to the syrian government for the units of the kurds in the north of Syria.

On the other hand, 4 military aircraft of the syrian army carrying weapons and ammunition were landed Sunday at the airport in Qameshli.
A meeting was held in the presence of the commanders of the units kurds and security officials and soldiers of the syrian army in order to surrender the weapons and ammunition to the units kurds who are now ready to begin the operation of liberation of the city of al-Chadadai, one of the bastions of the most important of the terrorist group Daesh in the suburbs of the province of Hassaka.
The coordination council of the opponents of the kurds in Syria has also clarified that the aim of Damascus to cooperate with the forces of the kurds is to open a passage from Hassaka to the city of Deir ez-Zour where the army of the syrians are trying to fight against Daesh.

Terrorists Fleeing to Turkey as Syrian Army Advances in Latakia Province

8 February, 2016
TEHRAN (FNA)- A large number of Takfiri terrorists are trying to cross the border into Turkey after losing vast territories and tens of their comrades in the massive operation of the Syrian Army troops and their popular allies in the Northern and Northeastern parts of Lattakia province.
The terrorist groups have sustained major losses in the battlefronts as the Syrian army and its allies are hunting them down in the Northern and Northeastern territories of Lattakia province.
Tens of terrorists have been killed and dozens more have been injured in heavy clashes with the Syrian troops in Northern Aleppo in the recent weeks as the army conducted massive assaults to win back more villages and towns in the region.
The Syrian government forces have had eye-catching victories in Lattakia in the recent weeks.
On Monday, the militant groups withdrew forces from one more key village in the mountainous regions of the coastal province of Lattakia near the border with Turkey under the heavy attacks of the Syrian Army and popular forces.
The Syrian army troops and the NDF pushed the militant groups back from the village of Bashoura and seized full control over the village and its surroundings.
Several militants were killed or wounded in the offensive.

09.02.2016 Crisis News - South Front

Report from Saudi Arabia and Bahrain - 02/09/2016

Concentrating on Saudi Arabia and its plans to invade Syria; meanwhile Bahrain has come in and supported Putin in his war against the terrorists.
Saudi Arabia Prepares To Send Special Forces To Syria; Will Fight As Part Of "US-Led Coalition"

9 February, 2016

As we reported yesterday, in one of the most surprising developments involving the Syrian proxy war, Saudi Arabia and U.S. presence on the ground, the latest twist is that both Turkey and Saudi Arabia are now mulling a full-scale invasion while Russia and the Syrian government continue their progress in wiping out the US and Saudi-funded rebellion. To be sure, there was confusion when CNN Arabia reported first that the Saudis may send as much as 150,000 troops into Saudi Arabia, by way of Turkey, something which Anadolu news promptly denied.

However, the denial itself was softly denied by the Saudi Press Agency, which further stirred the water earlier today when it reported that not only is Saudi Arabia ready to send a special force to fight in Syria, but that this deployment was proposed by the US, which would oversee the Saudi troops as part of the US-led coalition in Syria. To wit:


And so, what was until recently purely an air campaign involving all the major global powers (except China, for for the time being), is about to become a full-blown land war, involving not only Suunis and Shi'ites (especially once Iran joins the fray), but also Russian troops on one side and US and Saudis on the other.

Most notably, oil has refused to budge even an inch on what is rapidly shaping up as a precursor to World War III.


9 February, 2016


The forces of the Saudi-led coaltion which already participate in the Yemeni war are preparing a new military opertaion in the Middle East.
According to some reports, the part of coalition’s forces are already concentrated in the UAE in order to regruppe befor moving toward the Syria-Iraqi battleground. It’s expected that intervention will be exercised in the area of the Saudi-Iraqi border.

Howver, the direct list of the countries which will particiapte in the agressive act is unknown.

A long military colum of the Saudi Armed Forces was observed on the way to the Iraqi border 2 days ago.  At least one motorized brigade equipped with about 90 armoured vehicles were moved to Iraqi border This force could become a core of a joint force which could be used in this operation.


9 February, 2016

According to THIS video, at least 1 motorized brigade of the Saudi Armed Forces has been moved to the border with Iraq to conduct ‘military drills’ in this area.

Tihs action is a clear power play.
Сoncentration of forces and facilities at the Iraqi border means that the Saudi military grouping invoveld in the Yemen conflict has been weakened.
SouthFront: Analysis & Intelligence estimates the possibility that these forces will be moved to Syria as low. In this case, Saudi Arabia will be invoved in a two-front war which will be critical for the state already weakened by the dragged-out war in Yemen.
However, there is a chance that these forces and facilities can be used to form a joint force which could be sent to the Syrian front.
قوات سعوديه تتجه لسوريا عبر الاردن
Posted by ‎ابوعرب عربon Monday, 8 February 2016


9 February, 2016


SouthFront: Analysis & Intelligence has recieved expert conclusions claiming the domestic situation is deteriorating in Saudi Arabia.
According to the experts, the main reason of the ongoing crisis is a result of the next:
  • The Saudi citizens’ standard of living has decreased dramatically as result of the low oil prices and high military spendings;
  • The Yemeni war has become a major economic, political and military failure which drains the soruces of Saudi Arabia;
  • A possibility of further confrontanion of the Saudi authorities with the oppressed Shia minority in the country.
Furthermore, the complicated domestic situation and failed military campaign in Yemen created a split-off in the House of Saud which includes thousands of members. According to reports, a part of the Saudi family is ready to overthrow the king.
In this situation, a Saudi Arabian King, Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, could be ready to do anything to keep the power and avoid domestic confrontation. A possible step is to involve Saudi Arabia into a Syrian war in order to unite the nation in the face of a new enemy. The recent military developments and official statements about possible open military involvement into the Syrian crisis could mark that Salman has chosen this way.

Iraqi Hezbollah Promises To "Open the Gates of Hell" for Saudi Troops in Syria

Iraqi Shiite "Hezbollah" groups have promised to "open the gates of hell" for the military of Saudi Arabia if Riyadh is to send its troops into Syria.
This was included in the statement made on Tuesday by the command of the paramilitary wing of the party - "Hezbollah Brigade".
"The deployment of Saudi Arabia troops on the territory of Iraq or Syria will open the gates of hell for Saudi soldiers," the statement said. The command of the "Brigades of Hezbollah" pointed out that "mercenaries (the terrorist group) in "Islamic State" have already paid the price for trying to carry out their criminal plans in Syria," and urged Saudi authorities "not to take risks and not to repeat the disastrous experience of the militants".
"Hezbollah Brigade" are considered to be one of the most influential and powerful Shiite militia detachments within the Iraqi militia who are fighting against the forces of ISIS in Iraq. In particular, in March of last year, they, together with divisions of the Iraqi army, participated in the battle for the liberation of the city of Tikrit.
The Statement Of Riyadh
On the 4th of February, the leaders of Saudi Arabia made a statement about their readiness for "ground operations as part of an international coalition in Syria led by the United States." The U.S. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter praised the decision of Riyadh, and said that he would discuss details at a meeting with representatives of the Kingdom in Brussels.
On the 9th of February, the Foreign Minister of Saudi Arabia, Adel al-Jubeir, spoke about the possibility of sending special forces to Syria. "The Kingdom expresses its willingness to provide forces for the operation of the international coalition led by the United States in Syria against Islamic State", - said the politician.
According to the United States, such steps by Saudi Arabia would not be interfering in the internal affairs of Syria. "We don't view this as interference," said the U.S. State Department spokesman John Kirby.. In his view, such potential hostilities with Riyadh "put greater pressure on the IS".
On the 7th of February, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the United Arab Emirates, Anwar Mohammed Gargash, said that the UAE is ready to send a limited military force to fight ISIS in Syria.
Russia's Position
The Chairman of the Federation Council Committee on Defense and Security, Viktor Ozerov, believes that Damascus will need to contact the UN in the event of ground operations by Saudi Arabia in Syria.
For ground operation, "first of all, you need the consent of the Syrian government to enter the territory of Syria where there are other armed forces," said Ozerov. "On the other hand, the Russian Federation has always advocated creating a broad coalition against terrorists, and we have not removed it from the agenda, we are ready to cooperate with other countries," he confirmed.
"But if this anti-terrorist coalition immediately raises a primarily political objective, the removal of Bashar al-Assad from his post, is it possible to carry out an anti-terrorist operation in a state where the head is not recognized?" - asked the head of Committee of the Federation Council. "This contradiction, at least for me, casts doubt on the sincerity of the operation that Saudi Arabia have described", he concluded.

Saudi Fail: Bahrain Sides With Russia on Syria
Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa highly praised Russia’s role in efforts to find a peaceful solution to the ongoing Syrian crisis, Bahrain’s Foreign Minister Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa said Monday.

8 February, 2016

SOCHI (Sputnik) — Bahrain’s king met earlier on Monday with Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Black Sea resort town of Sochi to discuss a wide-range of bilateral and global issues.
As to the Syrian crisis, His Highness highly praised the role of President Putin, the Russian government and the friendly Russian people in efforts to help Syria overcome the crisis,” Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa said at a joint press conference with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

Russia considers Bahrain an important partner in the Middle East, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Monday.

BOCHAROV RUCHEI (Sputnik) — Commencing talks with Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Khalifa, Putin stressed that despite “rather difficult” situation in the economy, the two countries continue to create new mechanisms needed for the expansion of bilateral cooperation.
Bahrain is our important partner in the Gulf and in the Middle East in general. We are very happy to see our friends, have the opportunity to talk on bilateral relations and the situation in the world and in the region,” Putin said.
Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov meets with Foreign Minister of Bahrein Khalid bin Ahmad Al Khalifa

Besides the two leaders, the talks taking place at the Bocharov Ruchei presidential residence in Sochi involve Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, presidential aide Yuri Ushakov, Bahrain’s Deputy Prime Minister Muhammed bin Mubarak Khalifa, and Minister of Foreign Affairs Khalid bin Ahmed Khalifa.The Bahraini king’s last visit to Moscow took place in October 2014, when he traveled to Sochi to attend the Russian stage of the Formula One World Championship, and to also hold talks with the Russian leadership.

Report from Turkey - 02/08/2016

Here we concentrate on what Turkey is up to - in terms of plans to invade Syria and its war against the Kurds and Erdogan's blackmail of Europe threatening to unleash refugees on the continent.


9 February, 2016

Original published by RIA; abridged translation and analysis by J.Hawk

Turkey’s Prime Minister Davutoglu called on the country to return its historical debt to “Aleppo brothers” who defended Turkish cities during World War 1.

Akhmet Davutoglu said that the country intends to defend Syria’s Aleppo, referring to it as the return of a historical debt. <…> “We will return our historic debt. At one time, our brothers from Aleppo defended our cities of Shanlyurfa, Gaziantep, Kahramanmarash, now we will defend the heroic Aleppo. All of Turkey stands behind its defenders,” Davutoglu said at the meeting of the Party of Justice and Development parliamentary faction which he heads.

J.Hawk’s Comment: Davutoglu is only the Prime Minister, not President, of Turkey, which means his statement carries less weight than even the words of the Foreign Minister. Is Davutoglu therefore preparing the ground for Erdogan’s upcoming statements, making statements as trial balloons, or is he perhaps trying to pressure and goad Erdogan into more aggressive action? The relationship between Erdogan and Davutoglu bears closer scrutiny in order to ascertain which of them is the more hawkish or dovish of the two (it would be very unlikely for them to have an identical view of the events in Syria), particularly since they are doing their level best not to show any public differences of opinion.

One way or the other, regardless of what is behind Davutoglu’s words, the formulation of “Aleppo brothers” represents a major change in Turkish rhetoric. The proposed Turkish intervention in Syria is no longer being framed in terms of fighting terrorism or even humanitarian assistance. Instead, it is framed in terms of reunification with long-lost “brothers.”

Thousands of protesters tear-gassed by Turkish police in Kurdish city

© Sertac Kayar
© Sertac Kayar / Reuters

Turkish police have fired tear gas at thousands of people protesting in the city of Diyarbakir. Citizens of the Kurdish-majority city had been demonstrating against the continuation of a crackdown on Kurdish activists by Turkish police.

As a sign of protest, shops and schools were closed in the city, which is in southeastern Turkey. A representative of the Democratic Societies Congress said that the demonstration would last for three days before residents decide whether to continue the protests or bring them to a halt, RIA reports....[ ]

US responds to Erdogan’s ultimatum on Kurds

Riled by a meeting between a US official and the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), which controls the Syrian town of Kobani, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has told Washington to choose between Turkey and, as he put it, the “terrorists.”

RT's Gayane Chichakyan went to the US State Department to get its reaction

Erdogan Blackmailed EU for €30 Bln Over Migrant Crisis Plan
In November, during a meeting with President of the European Council Donald Tusk and European Commission Chairman Jean-Claude Juncker, Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan demanded from Brussels €30 billion to resolve the European migrant crisis, a leaked document revealed.

9 February, 2016

The talks took place in Antalya on November 14, 2015. The confidential document has been published by Greek website Euro2Day.

According to it, Erdogan threatened to send migrants to Europe.
By that time, the EU and Turkey had agreed a plan on providing €3 billion to Ankara in exchange for assistance in resolving the migrant issue.

However, Erdogan threatened that he would take measures if the EU delayed Turkey’s admission to the bloc. Particularly, he said Turkey would put refugees on buses to Europe and the consequences for Europe will be "more than a dead boy" on the Turkish shores.
Erdogan refused to receive the €3 billion in two years, which he had earlier agreed to. He said the proposal should be at least €3 billion a year. Otherwise, no deal concerning the refugees would work, according to the document.

It also read that the EU Council of Ministers delayed its progress report on Turkey’s accession to the EU with the purpose to help the Justice and Development Party (AKP) to win the elections.

Erdogan was arrogant and hasty and the negotiations ended with no result, the document read. Demanding more money, he claimed that during the financial crisis Greece received €400 billion from Brussels.

He also told EU officials that Turkey had already spent €8 billion on refugee camps.
"Erdogan asks rhetorically: 'So how will you deal with refugees if you don’t get a deal? Kill the refugees?'," according to the document.
However, this incident exposing Turkey’s position has not been reported to the EU authorities and country members of the bloc, the article read.

Report: Erdogan threatens to flood Europe with refugees

Press TV have reported that a newly leaked report has revealed that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had threatened EU leaders with a flood of refugees unless Ankara was offered better funding to deal with the ongoing crisis.

On Monday, the financial news website published what it claimed to be minutes of a November meeting between Erdogan, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, and EU President Donald Tusk.

The report does not state the exact date of the meeting but, according to Reuters, it was probably held on November 16, 2015, in Antalya on the sidelines of a G20 summit.

During the meeting, the EU officials were attempting to gain Turkey’s support for stemming the flow of Syrian asylum seekers pouring towards Europe, most of whom arrive in Europe after crossing the sea between Turkey and Greek islands.

We can open the doors to Greece and Bulgaria anytime and we can put the refugees on buses … So how will you deal with migrants if you don’t get a deal? Kill the refugees?” Erdogan was quoted as saying.

He also demanded some six billion euros over two years. When the amount was denied by Junker, Erdogan said that his country did not need the money anyway.

In the end, Turkey settled for three billion euros, earmarked for improving asylum seekers’ living conditions, revival of the country’s accession talks, and acceleration of visa-free travel for Turkish nationals in exchange for curtailing the number of refugees entering Greece.