Syrian War Report – July 17, 2017: Israel Opposes To Ceasefire Brokered By US And Russia
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The Syrian Army Tiger Forces and Tribal forces have liberated Bir al-Zamlah, Bir Rumaylan, Eastern Zamlah, the Zamlah pumping station and the gas fields of Zalmah and Khala, and Fahed and Dubaysan oil fields from ISIS terrorists in the southern part of Raqqah province.
Meanwhile, 12 Syrian soldiers have been allegedly killed in Hamima village in the eastern Homs countryside as a result of an ISIS attack started with VBIED. ISIS also claimed that it destroyed two SAA tanks with ATGMs and captured a T-62 tank, a bulldozer, 23mm and 12.7mm guns and two Konkurs missiles. A fighting is ongoing in the area.
Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) claimed on Sunday that its special operation units have managed to detonate a VBIED inside the Al-Mina al-Bida Naval base operated by the Syrian Navy in the northern part of Lattakia province. According to HTS, the attack killed and wounded of a number of Syrian service members. Some pro-government media argued that the photos are fake. However, local sources said that the explosion took place but without significant damage to equipment or personnel.
The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) are still facing significant problems with breaking the ISIS defense inside the city of Raqqah. Almost no gains were made during last few days. According to Kurdish sources, 200 new US servicemen have joined the Raqqah advance in order to help the SDF to overcome these difficulties. A notable number of US Special Operations Forces units had been already involved in the operation, acting as forward air controllers and snipers and overseeing SDF units.
At the same time, the US-led coalition is attempting to solve the growing tensions between the SDF and local Arabs as well as between Kurdish and Arab factions of the US-backed force. They key problem is that nobody on the ground believes in the mainstream media mantra about so-called Arab allies of the coalition that allegedly are the core of the US-backed force. The SDF is almost fully controlled by Kurdish militias that are going to establish a full political and security control over the city and to include it into their self-proclaimed Kurdish-dominated federation after the defeat of ISIS.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday said that he opposes the ceasefire deal in southern Syria brokered by the United States and Russia. The reason is that the agreement does not serve so-called Israeli interests. According to Netanyahu, the agreement perpetuates Iranian plans to set up a long-term presence on Israel’s northern border.
ISRAEL REJECTS US, RUSSIA SYRIAN CEASEFIRE DEAL – PRESENTS LIST OF DEMANDS
French President Emmanuel Macron, left, welcomes Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, July 16, 2017. (AP/Michel Euler)
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has made clear today that he and his government opposes the ongoing ceasefire in Southern Syria, a deal negotiated between the United States and Russia, and which has continued to hold throughout the past week.
Netanyahu made the comments during a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron, declaring himself totally opposed to the ceasefire. Israeli officials revealed that the objections are primarily related to Iran still having forces inside Syria supporting the Assad government.
Israeli officials revealed that the objections are primarily related to Iran still having forces inside Syria supporting the Assad government.
Officials also say that during the US-Russia negotiations which led to the deal, Netanyahu presented the two sides with a “list of demands,” mostly insisting that Shi’ite forces couldn’t be allowed in southern Syria at all and that Iran could not be allowed to “consolidate” its position in Syria.
They also said Russian troops couldn’t be allowed to police the safe zones closest to the Israeli border.
Ultimately it appears that none of these demands were met, with neither the US nor Russia apparently willing to center the terms of their deal on a ceasefire in one nation’s wars on demands from another nation that insists it is not involved in that war.
That Netanyahu felt the need to go public with his displeasure points to this being a particular sore spot, and Israeli officials say he also brought the matter up to both US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
It’s not likely either side is going to revisit the deal to placate Israel, particularly since this ceasefire is holding better than most, and Israel’s objections are largely difficult to respond to, mostly centered on wanting the war to continue against the Shi’ites.