Sunday 24 June 2018

News from Syria

US warns Damascus to cease army operations in Syria

RT America
Concerns have been raised by the State Department this week that the Syrian government is increasing its presence in southwest Syria. Executive Director of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, Daniel McAdams joins RT America’s Anya Parampil to take a more in-depth look.

Syria - Damascus And Its Allies Prepare To Remove U.S. Forces From Al-Tanf

22 June, 2018

On June 8 we asked if the then ongoing ISIS attack on Albu Kamal was part of a U.S. plan:
There is sneaking suspicion that the U.S. directed the ongoing ISIS attack on Abu Kamal to gain control over the crossing and to disable road supplies from Iran through Iraq into Syria.
The U.S. must be given no chance to use the ISIS pretext to take Abu Kamal. The Syrian government must rush to support its forces in the border city. It must immediately request that Iraqi forces cross the border from Al-Qaim and support the endangered Syrian troops.
Some reinforcement came in and Albu Kamal was soon back in Syrian government hands. The Syrian army also launched an operation to destroy ISIS positions in southeastern desert.

Southeast Syria (red: Syrian Army, green: U.S. zone around al-Tanf crossing to Iraq, grey: ISIS, yellow: U.S./Kurdish SDF) 

But U.S. interference in the east continued:
The Russian military is warning of a false-flag "chemical incident" in Deir Ezzor governorate. The Syrian Observatory reports that Islamic State remnants in the southeastern desert and in the Rukban camp, both under cover of the U.S. occupied zone around al-Tanf, prepare for a large attack on Syrian government forces. It claims that such an attack is an attempt to occupy the zone between al-Tanf and Albu Kamal at the Euphrates. Both operation would be planned diversions intended to draw Syrian forces away from Deraa and could provide excuses for U.S. intervention on the opposition side.
Late Sunday an airstrike destroyed a building in the Harri area near Albu Kamal directly on the Syrian-Iraqi border. The building was used as a headquarter for the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces (PMU) who are securing the border in coordination with the Syrian army in the fight against the Islamic State. More than 20 fighters were killed and more than 10 were wounded. This may have been in preparation for the reportedly planned large ISIS attack.
Another serious incident followed last night when U.S. supported Maghawhir al-Thawra "rebels" (which include 'former' ISIS fighters) attacked Syrian government forces:
A Syrian army officer was killed in a U.S strike on a Syrian army outpost near a U.S. base close to the Iraqi-Syrian border, a commander in the regional alliance supporting President Bashar al-Assad told Reuters.
The Pentagon, said, however, that a U.S.-backed Syrian rebel group stationed in the Tanf garrison had engaged on Thursday evening an “unidentified hostile force” outside a “deconfliction zone” around the garrison, forcing it to retreat. It said there were no casualties on either side.
The Syrian Observatory claims that eight Syrian soldiers were killed in the attack. There is some footage of a desert chase with "technicals" that is supposed to be from these clashes. They took place in al-Halba, 70 kilometers northwest of al-Tanf and only 50 kilometers from Palmyra.

The U.S. sent "rebels" it trains at al-Tanf outside its self declared 55 kilometers deconfliction zone around Tanf to attack Syrian government forces. It supported them by air strikes. U.S. special forces are said to have taken part. This is likely the case as only U.S. special forces can call in such airstrikes.

It seems obvious that the U.S. is using ISIS, U.S. trained "Maghawhir al-Thawra" rebels, and its air power in another attempt to cut the land route between Syria and Iraq. It wants to use the upcoming Syrian campaign against al-Qaeda and ISIS in the southwest around Daraa to make a new move in the east.

But Syria and its allies will not allow that. They are building up their own forces in the east. As Elijah Magnier reported yesterday:
[D]uring my visit to the city of Palmyra and its surroundings, the presence of thousands of Russian troops is striking, indicating that Moscow is sending new infantry and special forces in very large numbers. This large presence has not been announced.
The Syrian army is also sending additional forces into the area and more Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units have arrived in the Al-Qaim/Albu-Kamal area.
Syria and its allies obviously decided to counter the U.S. move. Their operations at the Syrian-Iraqi border are coordinated by the common operation room in Baghdad.

Last night Syria, Iraq, Iran and Russia again discussed the situation in the east and made their decision:
SURA @AlSuraEnglish - 23:47 UTC - 21 Jun 2018
#BREAKING - #Iraq, #Syria, #Russia and #Iran confirm new mission to secure the #Iraqi-#Syrian border from all terrorist groups. The mission was devised in the operations room in Iraq's capital, #Baghdad.

via Sura - Iraqi, Syrian, Iranian and Russian officers in the operations room Baghdad -
"All terrorist groups" include the Maghawhir al-Thawra "rebels" and their U.S. protectors at al-Tanf.

Meanwhile the Syrian army continues its preparations for the large attack around Daraa which might bring it in conflict with Israel.

The U.S. again issued a nonsensical warning against such an attack but with a significant change in its wording:
The statement, however, omitted a line in a past statement on the subject that said the U.S. would take “firm and appropriate measures” if Syria violated the de-escalation measure.
It has been confirmed that Iran will not be involved in the fight in Daraa (We had noted thatthree weeks ago.) Hizbullah special forces might take part in the areas near the Lebanese border. Jordan reinforced its position on its side of the border. It is unlikely to join any fight but it will want to keep fleeing "rebels" from entering the country.

The operation in the southwest around Daraa will proceed. The U.S. attempts to use the occasion to cut Syria from Iraq in the east will be prevented by the new Baghdad operations room mission. Its high time for the U.S. to give up on its nonsense schemes in the southeast. The humanitarian situation in the Rukban camp near the U.S. positions in al-Tanf is catastrophic and the civilians there want to come back under Syrian government control. The al-Tanf position is indefensible against any larger force. The U.S. forces there can still move out without a fight. If they do not leave voluntarily, force will be used to remove them.

Breaking: Russia officially enters southwest Syria offensive despite US warnings

BEIRUT, LEBANON (12:20 A.M.) – The Russian military officially entered the southwest Syria offensive this evening, a source told Al-Masdar from the Dara’a Governorate.

The Russian Aerospace Forces unleashed a massive assault over northeastern Dara’a, tonight, targeting several areas controlled by the jihadist rebels.

According to a military source in the government stronghold of Izra’a, the Russian Aerospace Forces launched over 20 airstrikes across northeastern Dara’a tonight.

The source told Al-Masdar that the Russian Aerospace Forces specifically launched airstrikes over the towns of Masikah, Aeeb, and Busra Al-Harir

BEIRUT, LEBANON (2:20 A.M.) – The Syrian Arab Army continued their southwest Syria offensive on Saturday, scoring a new advance inside northeastern countryside of the Dara’a Governorate.

Led by their elite Tiger Forces division, the Syrian Arab Army launched another big assault inside the Al-Lajat region on Saturday in a bid to encircle the jihadist stronghold of Busra Al-Harir.

According to a military source in the government stronghold of Izra’a, the Syrian Arab Army managed to capture four new towns in the Al-Lajat region after a fierce battle with Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham and the Free Syrian Army (FSA).

The military source told Al-Masdar News that the Syrian Arab Army seized the towns of Al-Madwarah, Al-Alali, Barghasheh, and Al-Shiyahat after overrunning the jihadist defenses on Saturday afternoon.

Following the capture of these towns, the Syrian Arab Army continued their push, seizing Siyah Al-Sharqi, Al-Barghoutha and Al-Shomrah.

The source added that reports of the jihadists asking for reconciliation with the government were untrue and that only a couple Free Syrian Army groups in the area expressed interest in talking with the Syrian Arab Army.

Many of the jihadist groups in the Dara’a Governorate have rejected any peace talks with the Syrian government, despite the fact they are outnumbered at nearly every front in the region.

For the Syrian Arab Army, their primary objective at this point is to completely encircle Busra Al-Harir, which they believe will force the jihadist rebels to negotiate with the government.

Once Busra Al-Harir is captured, the Syrian Arab Army will likely push south towards the Nassib Crossing and historical city of Busra Al-Sham.

DAMA, Syria – More than a thousand terrorists of  Syrian Al-Qaeda, al-Nusra have launched an offensive against the positions of the 9th Panzer Division of the Syrian Army in the vicinity of the Dam and Deir Dama settlements, in the eastern part of the southern zone of de-escalation. The government troops, having suffered losses, were forced to withdraw from a number of occupied lines.
This was confirmed in the Russian Center for reconciliation of the warring parties in the region.
In the northeast of the southern zone of de-escalation, more than 1,000 militants of the Jabhat al-Nusra group attacked the positions of the 9th Panzer Division of the Syrian Arab Army in the vicinity of the Dam and Deir Dama settlements,” the org said.
Currently, Syrian troops are engaged in defensive battles.
The loss of government troops amounted to 5 people killed and 19 wounded. In addition, under the attacks of terrorists were the inhabitants of these settlements, “- added to the Ministry of Defense of Russia.
A number of commanders of militants have shifted to the side of the government
A number of field commanders of detachments of illegal armed formations appealed to the Government of the Syrian Arab Republic to regulate their legal status and participate in hostilities against militants of terrorist organizations as part of government troops.
Under these conditions, the Syrian government troops are compelled to take adequate measures to repel the offensive and reserve the right to use force and destroy the Jabhat al-Nusra squads.
The US is losing control
Despite assurances from the US that they are monitoring the situation in the southern zone of de-escalation and preventing the conduct of hostilities by the SAA in the framework of the liberation operation, terrorist groups continue to violate the ceasefire. The Jabhat al-Nusra group from the shelling of civilian settlements turned to provocations against the SAA units.
The current situation points to the inability of the US to act as a guarantor of security in the territory of Syria. At the same time, the issue of combating the terrorist group Jabhat al-Nusra in the southern Syrian provinces is becoming ever more acute. And the commanders of the units of the “Free Syrian Army” are ready to help government troops in the fight against terrorists.

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