Monday 23 November 2015

Report from Syria - 11/22/2015

Despite American efforts to sabotage it there have been considerable gains on the ground by anti-Daesh forces

Gifts from Uncle Sam: Al-Qaeda Wages War in Syria With US Weaponry
The Al-Nusra Front, Al-Qaeda's affiliate in Syria, has released a grateful video, where they openly thank the Free Syrian Army (FSA), which the US has touted as a “moderate opposition group”, for supplying them with US-made anti-tank TOW missiles (“Tube-launched, Optically tracked, Wire-guided").

22 November, 2015

A recently released video shows an Al-Nusra Front field commander thanking the FSA commanders for giving his forces TOW missiles, according to a report released by the Iranian news agency FARS.

The agency reminds readers that the two groups, the Al-Nusra and the FSA, formed an alliance in March, the Army of Conquest, or Jaish al-Fatah in Arabic, to fight against the forces of President Assad.

Since then, they have fought together “at almost every single battle in Aleppo, Lattakia, Hama, and Idlib Governorates of Syria.”

Through this alliance several militant groups like the Al-Nusra Front and the Ahrar al-Sham movement have been given access to FSA's US-made heavy weaponry, which has been supplied to the militant group by the US, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

According to the agency’s estimates, Saudi Arabia sent 500 TOW missiles to Al-Nusra directly last month.

A fighter from Syria's al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front holds his group flag as he stands in front of the governor building in Idlib province, north Syria.

The US, however, claims that it is just supplying aid and weapons to FSA or the so-called moderate militant groups in Syria.

The BGM-71 TOW is one of the most widely-used guided anti-tank missiles. The weapon is used in anti-armor, anti-bunker, anti-fortification and anti-amphibious landing roles.

TOW missiles are used by the armed forces of more than 40 countries and are integrated in over 15,000 ground, vehicle and helicopter platforms worldwide

The Syrian Arab Army’s 103rd Brigade of the Republican Guard is rolling in northern Latakia right now after seizing approximately 193km (13.9 square km) of territory from the Islamist rebels of the Free Syrian Army’s “1st Coastal Brigade” and the Syrian Al-Qaeda group “Jabhat Al-Nusra” in just 10 days of battle.

On Sunday morning, the Syrian Arab Army’s 103rd Brigade – in coordination with the National Defense Forces (NDF) of Qurdaha, the Syrian Social Nationalist Party (SSNP), and Muwaqama Souri (Syrian Resistance) – imposed full control over the strategic mountains of Jabal Zuwayk and the village of Zuwayk after a series of intense firefights with Jabhat Al-Nusra and the 1st Coastal Brigade.

In addition to their capture of Jabal Zuwayk and Zuwayk village, the Syrian Arab Army’s 103rd Brigade and their allies advanced to the nearby town of Al-Shamisah that is situated to the north of the aforementioned mountains in northern Latakia.

The Syrian Arab Army’s 103rd Brigade’s end goal is to recapture the Turkish border-crossing into the Lataki Governorate, while another battalion seals off the Al-Ghaab Plains (Hama Governorate) and the strategic city of Jisr Al-Shughour (Idlib Governorate); this would create a protective wall along the vast Kurdish Mountains (Jabal Al-Akrad).

Two months ago, there was talk of the Islamist rebel forces launching a large-scale offensive in northeastern Latakia; however, the Syrian Arab Army’s recent success in this coastal province, coalesced with the Russian Air Force’s powerful airstrikes, have quelled this contingency and forced Jaysh Al-Fateh (Army of Conquest) to reconsider this military endeavor.

The past 24 hours have seen the Syrian Army's ongoing advance on Islamic State militants in Aleppo province, where Syrian forces, backed by Russian airstrikes, have taken back a number of villages

US Special Operations Forces (file photo)
A number of US Special Operations Forces will arrive in Syria "very soon,” according to a senior American official.

Brett McGurk, special US envoy to the coalition fighting Daesh (ISIL) in Syria and Iraq, said on Sunday the troops will have the task of organizing local forces fighting against the Takfiri terrorists in northern Syria.

"They will be going in very soon," McGurk told CBS television's "Face the Nation" program.

According to French Defense Minister Jean Yves Le Drian, Russian Aerospace Forces aircraft have been launching significant strikes against the ISIL positions in Syria.

"Russia’s stance on Syria has changed… It was dealt a serious blow by the ISIL… Now Russia launches significant strikes against ISIL positions," Le Drian told Europe1 radio station.

On Sunday morning in the Aleppo Governorate’s southern countryside, the Islamist rebels from Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham, Harakat Nouriddeen Al-Zinki, the Syrian Al-Qaeda group “Jabhat Al-Nusra”, and Liwaa Suqour Al-Sham launched a massive counter-offensive at the strategic towns of Khan Touman and Tal Al-‘Eiss in order to recapture the territory lost to the Syrian Armed Forces and Hezbollah.

According to a military source with the Syrian Arab Army’s 4th Mechanized Division, the Islamist rebel forces attacked the western flank of Tal Al-Eiss and the northern flank of Khan Touman, where they were confronted by several units from Hezbollah, the Syrian Armed Forces, and Harakat Al-Nujaba (Iraqi paramilitary) that were protecting their territorial gains from Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham, Harakat Nouriddeen Al-Zinki, and Jabhat Al-Nusra.

Unfortunately for the Islamist rebels, the defenses of the Syrian Armed Forces and Lebanese Resistance proved too difficult to bypass, as the several hundred reinforcements from Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham, Harakat Nouriddeen Al-Zinki, and Jabhat Al-Nusra withdrew towards the Idlib Governorate after a seven hour battle in Tal Al-‘Eiss and Khan Touman.

With this failed assault in Tal Al-‘Eiss and Khan Touman, the Islamist rebels of Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham, Harakat Nouriddeen Al-Zinki, Jabhat Al-Nusra, and Liwaa Al-Sham are in the same position that they were in before launching this large-scale inside the Aleppo Governorate’s southern countryside.

The German press reports on Russia's long-term plans to help rebuild Syria after the end of the war there, including renewed contracts for investment projects and a roadmap for a political resolution.

Russia has a long-term plan to rebuild Syria after the terrorists there are defeated, which requires the involvement of other regional powers to ensure that the threat of terrorism is extinguished, Deutsche Wirtschafts Nachrichten [DWN] reported on Saturday.

Syrian army making advances since Russian airstrikes began – Assad

Russian airstrikes have shifted the tide in Syria and, thanks to them, the army is now gaining at the terrorists’ positions, Syrian President Bashar Assad said. He added that the militants are supported from abroad, primarily by “Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.”

The Russian Air Force has eliminated 472 terrorist targets in Syria over the last 48 hours, making 141 sorties. The airstrikes were carried out in the provinces of Aleppo, Damascus, Deir ez-Zor, Hama, Homs, Idlib, Latakia and Raqqa

All Russian aircraft have successfully returned to the Khmeimim airbase near Latakia, Major General Igor Konashenkov, spokesman for the Russian Defense Ministry, said in a daily briefing.

In the last two days, Russian warplanes have been conducting active supplemental reconnaissance, inflicting pinpoint airstrikes on newly exposed targets, he added

Syrian Army Seizes Israeli backed Base on Golan Heights

The Syrian Armed Forces on Saturday morning stormed the 4th Battalion Base of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) in the Golan Heights and took full control over the base after fierce clashes with the FSA militants.

At sunrise on Saturday morning, the Syrian Army’s 90th Brigade of the 9th Armored Division, in coordination with Fouj Al-Joulani (Golan Regiment) and Liwaa Suqour Al-Quneitra (Al-Quneitra Hawks Brigade) of the National Defense Forces (NDF), launched a counter-assault at the 4th Battalion Base outside of the town of Taranjah, resulting in a series of intense firefights with the Free Syrian Army’s Southern Front Brigades.

The FSA has now lost all of their previous gains from the September offensive that put them in position to attack the Syrian government strongholds of Khan Arnabeh and Hadar inside the Golan Heights of the Quneitra province.

The Syrian Arab Army’s 90th Brigade and the National Defense Forces were able to impose full control over the 4th Battalion Base after they overran the Free Syrian Army’s defensive positions; this forced the aforementioned militants to withdraw to Tal Taranjah in order to regroup after their frontlines crumbled at the base.

According to a military source from the town of Hadar, the FSA militants have conducted a counter-assault since losing the 4th Battalion Base; however, they have yet to regain any territory lost to the Syrian Armed Forces this morning.

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