Syrian Army Begins Full-Scale Offensive in Hama Province, Oct 7, 2015, Sputnik News
“Syria’s army has begun a full-scale operation against the Islamic State in the country’s Hama province on Wednesday, a Syrian military source told RIA Novosti.
Terrorist forces’ military positions are being shelled from Syrian BM-21 Grad multiple rocket launcher systems. The Syrian army is fighting to free the Hama province from terrorist groups including the al-Qaeda-aligned Jabhat al-Nusra group and the Islamic State.
“A ground military operation began with [Syrian] artillery support and will head toward Idlib to the north. The goal is to cleanse the territory of ISIL and other terrorist groups,” the Syrian officer told RIA Novosti.
The offensive was reportedly preceded by massive artillery strikes ahead of the advance for much of the first half of the day.The assault began after several days of preparation by both the Syrian army and Russia’s air force. The Russian Air Force bombed terrorist infrastructure and underground headquarters in the province.
Lt. General Ali Abdullah Ayyoub Chief of the General Staff of the Syrian Arab Army:“Following the Russian airstrikes against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and other terrorist organizations, which have reduced the combat capabilities of the terrorists, the Syrian armed forces have taken the reins of military operations and formed well-armed and equipped human forces, mainly the “4th Corps Storming””Today, the Syrian Arab Armed Forces launched a large offensive to destroy terrorist gatherings, and liberate the areas and towns that suffered from its horror and crimes.”
“Russian Defense Ministry announced on Thursday that the Russian air force in Syria carried out 22 sorties during which it struck 27 sites for the terrorist organizations in Homs, Hama, Raqqa and Lattakia northern countryside.“The Russian warplanes have completely destroyed 8 sites for the terrorist organizations in Homs,” Spokesperson of the Russian Defense Ministry Igor Konachenkov said in a statement aired by Russia Today website.He added the Russian warplanes struck 11 regions where the terrorist organization of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) holds training camps in Hama and Raqqa.“The accurate shelling with bombs that penetrate reinforced concrete led to the destruction of dens of terrorists in Salma and Arafeet regions to the north-east of Lattakia,” Konachenkov said.
He described allegations of some foreign defense ministries on the ineffectiveness of the Russian raids as “baseless.”
General Konachenkov wondered “what was the result of shelling ISIS sites, since more than a year by those who criticize the Russian airstrikes,” nothing, but the expansion of ISIS over the lands it had seized in Syria and Iraq, he added.”
“Since September 2014, NATO pilots have made several thousand sorties targeting Islamic State (IS) objects, according to the information published by the US Congress the day before Russia has joined the operation in Syria. Still, in the entire year after the start of their airstrikes, the United States failed to achieve any success. IS terrorists just keep advancing. Many analysts believe that the US air forces were hitting in the Middle East some other targets rather than those of the IS. Otherwise, they say, IS (banned in Russia – ed.) would be destroyed already, taking into account the sheer number of airstrikes.
“One sortie is equal to one airstrike, and there were 7000 of them. Let’s be realistic, such results of airstrikes are natural,” chairman of the BoD in the National Association of the Unions of Retired Officers, Vladimir Bogatyrev, told Pravda.ru, when asked, intentionally or not Washington took mercy on the terrorists, or the US air forces just were unable to fulfill the task.
…the expert turned down the option of the US air forces’ weakness, saying that their combat capabilities have been the world’s highest.
“They possess the warplanes of the high class, world’s best high-precision weapon. We’ve got these weapons of the nearly similar level but, unfortunately, so far we lag behind by some parameters. The problem is, without interaction with the main structure which maintains the whole system of combat – that is, Syrian military leadership and Iraqi leadership – it’s impossible to pin the required targets and hit them precisely. No doubts, the US hit some particular, perhaps minor, targets of the IS,” Bogatyrev said.
…”Even France and Australia joined the operation. Still, all their organizations did not undertake any measures to use modern means of reconnaissance and to strike the groups which have seized towns, roads, other IS infrastructure.
…”All the rest is just hot air that they allegedly want democracy, or are worried about bloodshed and terrorism. They only need uranium, natural resources, oil, enormous natural gas deposits. This would harm Russia and Iran, as it happened in late 1980s, when the war against Iraq started. Those time the given strategic aim had been set up, today it’s being implemented,” Bogatyrev said.
“Those countries act openly and dishonestly. God allows we could prevent that, to bring about order and save those people and their once richest countries – Lebanon or Syria”.”
Russian Air Force hits 50 ISIS targets in Syria over 3 days, ‘significantly’ damaging militants, Oct 3, 2015 (edited Oct 6), RT.com
*videos at original link
“The Russian Air Force has conducted more than 60 flights and bombed over 50 Islamic State targets in three days, according to Russia’s top armed forces official. He added the strikes have significantly reduced the terrorists’ combat capabilities.
“The airstrikes were being conducted night and day from the Khmeimim airbase and throughout the whole of Syria. In three days we managed to undermine the terrorists’ material-technical base and significantly reduce their combat potential,” Lieutenant General Andrey Kartapolov, head of the Main Operation Directorate of the General Staff of Russia’s armed forces, told reporters on Saturday.
He added that according to Russian intelligence the militants are fleeing the area that was in their control.
“There is panic and defection among them. About 600 mercenaries have left their positions and are trying to reach Europe,” he said.
Washington has notified the Russian Defense Ministry that there were only militants in the areas of Russia’s military operation against IS in Syria, he added. “The Americans informed us during contacts that there was no one except terrorists in this region,” he said.
“Over the past 24 hours, Sukhoi Su-34 and Su-24M fighter jets have performed 20 sorties and hit nine Islamic State installations,” Igor Konashenkov, Russia’s Defense Ministry spokesman, reported.
Konashenkov added that yesterday evening Russian aircraft went on six sorties, inflicting strikes on three terrorist installations.
“A bunker-busting BETAB-500 air bomb dropped from a Sukhoi Su-34 bomber near Raqqa has eliminated the command post of one of the terror groups, together with an underground storage facility for explosives and munitions,” the spokesman said.
Commenting on the video filmed by a Russian UAV monitoring the assault near Raqqa, Konashenkov noted, “a powerful explosion inside the bunker indicates it was also used for storing a large quantity of munitions.
…Another bomber on a sortie from Khmeimim has dropped a KAB-500 air bomb on an Islamic State camp near Maarrat al-Numan. It destroyed fortifications, ammunition, fuel and seven units of equipment, Konashenkov said at a media briefing on Saturday.
KAB-500 bombs are accurate to within five meters.
The Russian Air Force has also eliminated a workshop in Idlib province, where terrorists have been mounting large-caliber machine-guns and other heavy armaments on pickup trucks.
Assault aircraft from at Khmeimim airbase have also inflicted airstrikes against terrorist forces near Jisr al-Shughur in Idlib province, destroying vehicle storage depots used for organizing terror attacks.
…Drones stationed at Khmeimim airbase are maintaining “round-the-clock monitoring of the situation in Islamic State’s operation areas,” Konashenkov said….”
Over 1,000 ISIS and Al Nusra Militants Surrender To Syrian Army In Last 24 Hours, Oct 5, 2015, Fars News Agency
“The development came after President Bashar al-Assad in a televised address in July pardoned all soldiers who have fled the army, saying that his words served as a general decree to relevant officials.
Hundreds of gunmen have been laying down their weapons and turning themselves in to authorities in areas across the country.
This number seems to be on the rise as the army has been making steady gains in the battlefield against the terrorist groups, recapturing an increasing number of regions, including strategic sites, which helped cut off many of the militants’ supply routes and forced them to surrender or run away….”
[see also: As Foreign Insurgents Continue to Terrorize Syria, the Reconciliation Trend Grows (Dr. Ali Haidar), Aug 22, 2014]
- ISIS and the Islamist rebels are still battling outside of Mar’e – no change.
- Jabhat Al-Shamiyah, Free Syrian Army, Harakat Nour Al-Deen Al-Zink, and the Syrian Al-Qaeda group “Jabhat Al-Nusra” have not gained any new ground around the province.
- The Syrian Arab Army has not gained any ground inside the provincial capital.
- Syrian Arab Army captured the villages of Al-Salihiyah and Tal Rayman in the Deir Hafer Plains of east Aleppo from ISIS.
- The predominately Kurdish “People’s Protection Units” (YPG) and the Free Syrian Army are still combatting ISIS near the city of Kobane.
- ISIS controls most of Hajjar Al-Aswad after firefights with Jaysh Al-Islam.
- No other map changes.
- Syrian Arab Army regains full control of the Al-Manishiyah Quarter inside the provincial capital.
- No other map changes.
Deir Ezzor Governorate:
- Syrian Arab Army’s 137th Artillery Brigade of the 17th Reserve Division captures 4 building blocks in the Al-Haweeqa District.
- Syrian Arab Army’s 137th Brigade captures half o the Al-‘Amal District after capturing the Juvenile Detention Center.
- ISIS takes control of the Missile Battalion Base near the Deir Ezzor Military Airport.
- Syrian Arab Army’s 137th Brigade recaptures Tal Kroum.
- Islamist rebels of Jaysh Al-Fateh recapture Al-Mansoura, Tal Wassit, and Al-Ziyarah.
- Syrian Arab Army’s 87th Brigade of the 10th Tank Brigade capture the villages of Markabat, Lahaya, and Al-Mughayr in northern Hama.
- National Defense Forces recapture the hilltops of Tal ‘Uthman and Tal Sakhar in northwestern Hama.
- YPG takes full control of the ‘Abdel-‘Aziz Mountains after ISIS’ failed offensive.
- No other map changes.
- Syrian Arab Army’s “Tiger Forces” recapture the Jazal Mountains after ISIS took control of the city and nearby hilltops.
- Syrian Arab Army’s 67th Brigade of the 18th Tank Brigade capture Tal SyriaTel in west Palmyra.
- Jabhat Al-Nusra and Jund Al-Aqsa capture the Abu Al-Dhuhour Military Airport.
- 6 month ceasefire agreement implemented in the towns of Al-Fou’aa and Kafraya.
- Syrian Arab Army and National Defense Forces launch offensive to the south of Jubb Al-Ahmar – 4 out of 5 hills captured.
- No other map changes.
- Free Syrian Army and Jabhat Al-Nusra launch an offensive in the Golan Heights – Tal Al-Ahmar captured
- No other map changes.
Rif Dimashq Governorate:
- Jaysh Al-Islam captures the Harasta Industrial Area.
- Jaysh Al-Islam captures the town of Tal Kurdi in the East Ghouta.
- Syrian Arab Army’s 105th Brigade of the Republican Guard recaptures the village of Al-Kassarat.
- Back and forth battle in Darayya: Ansar Al-Sham captures the Association Quarter – SAA later recaptures half of it.
- 6 month ceasefire agreement in Al-Zabadani and Madaya.
- No map changes.
- No map changes.
No fighting reported.”
Syria: Russian Intervention Exposes Coalition Lies, Oct 6, 2015, Felecity Arbuthnot, The Greanville Post
“…In 2013 Parliament voted not to be involved in Syria, making Cameron the first Prime Minister in 200 years to lose a Parliamentary war vote. It would anyway have been another illegal action, since they had not been invited by the Syrian President or government and had no UN mandate. However, in July this year it transpired that pilots of Britain’s Air Force have been “embedded” with US and Canadian Air Squadrons and been involved in flying: “intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and strike missions …” according to the Ministry of Defence. (2)
On 7th September Cameron also announced that a British drone strike in Syria had killed two UK citizens fighting with ISIS. What an irony, the UK has enjoined wiping out entire nations having accused their leaders of “killing their own people”, terrorists or not, now Cameron kills his “own people” in what Michael Clarke, Director General of London’s hawkish Royal United Services Institute has called a “targeted assassination.”
Those killed were : “… targeted in an area that the UK does not currently regard, legally, as an operational theatre of war for UK forces”, Clarke commented, adding: “The government insisted that, unlike CIA drones, they were never used for targeted assassinations in territories where we were not militarily engaged.” (3) Another government lie pinned.
As for “no boots on the ground”, another seemingly whopping untruth. As Stephen Lendman has written (4): “On 2nd August The Sunday Express revealed: ‘SAS dress as ISIS fighters in undercover war on jihadis’ side expanding that:
“ ‘More than 120 members belonging to the elite regiment are currently in the war-torn country’ covertly ‘dressed in black and flying ISIS flags’ engaged in what is called Operation Shader – attacking Syrian targets on the pretext of combatting ISIS.”
…In August it was reported that SAS troops in Syria “dressed in US uniforms, joined US special forces” in the assassination of alleged ISIS financier Abu Sayyaf and the kidnapping of his wife (Independent, 10th August.) It appears the British government only ever acts with, or at US behest, whilst sidelining it’s own Parliament.
Moreover: “Around 800 Royal Marines and 4,000 US counterparts were on standby to intervene on short notice if ordered”, wrote Lendman.
No wonder the Russians are being castigated for targeting the “wrong” kind of terrorists. In addition to being non-discriminatory and regarding a terrorist as simply that, they might also take the black flag waving SAS soldiers in fancy dress as terrorists. A “tangled web”, indeed.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is anything but selective about the head chopping, culture erasing monsters besieging Syria – CIA trained or not – stating last week: “If it looks like a terrorist, if it acts like a terrorist, if it walks like a terrorist, if it fights like a terrorist, it’s a terrorist, right?” (6)
…The US and UK of course are both bombing and supporting insurgents entirely illegally in Syria, having no UN mandate and no request from the country’s governing body. Did Kerry even blush when Lavrov remarked – over the unspoken questions as to whether Russia would extend it’s air coverage to terrorist groups in Iraq – that they had no such plans: “We are polite people, we don’t come if not invited”, he said.
Vladimir Putin had said: “We have … an invitation and we intend to fight against terrorist organizations and them only”, possibly referring to allegations that the US has been targeting Syrian government sites and military personnel.
Russia’s diplomatic envoys were reasonably polite to the US too. Before embarking on air strikes, according to US State Department spokesman John Kirby: “A Russian official in Baghdad this morning informed US Embassy personnel that Russian military aircraft would begin flying anti-ISIL missions today over Syria.
“He further requested that US aircraft avoid Syrian airspace during these missions.” Russia had, in effect given the US one hour’s notice to leave Syria.
The US speedily responded with a report of Russian attacks causing civilian casualties. Sadly it transpired that at the time of the reported attacks, Russian ‘planes had not yet left the ground.
By 2nd October, it seems panic has set in amongst the “US led coalition” which: “ … released a joint statement calling on Moscow to immediately cease attacks on the Syrian opposition and to focus on fighting ISIS.” (Guardian 2nd October 2015.)
The statement was issued by France, Turkey, the United States, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Britain.
However the US cat had already escaped from the Pentagon bag and made it’s way to no less than the Wall Street Journal which, the previous day had a header: “Russian Airstrike in Syria Targeted CIA-Backed Rebels, U.S. Officials Say.
“One area hit was location primarily held by rebels receiving funding, arms, training from CIA and allies.” Oooops.
Michel Chossudovsky has succinctly unraveled (7) the unholy morass of the various groups coupling his piece with the WSJ story:
“Affiliated to Al Qaeda, Al Nusra is a US sponsored ”jihadist” terrorist organization which has been responsible for countless atrocities. Since 2012, AQI and Al Nusra — both supported by US intelligence– have been working hand in glove in various terrorist undertakings within Syria.
“In recent developments, the Syrian government has identified its own priority areas for the Russian counter-terrorism air campaign, which consists essentially in targeting Al Nusra. Al Nusra is described as the terrorist arm of the Free Syrian Army (FSA)….”
“Attacks on the Syrian Arab Army have come from all sides, most western media claiming it has been ‘brutal’, defends a ‘dictatorship’, or represents an ‘Alawite regime’. While the army has confronted violence with violence, a series of ‘false flag’ accusations have been leveled at it, the most recent over the use of sarin gas.
However, in defence of this army, I ask two questions: one, after two years of foreign-backed attacks, mostly from religious fanatics, how would secular Syria have survived without its national army? and two, what legitimate function does any army have, if not to defend a nation from foreign-backed attempts to violently dismantle the state and constitution or, alternatively, to partition the country?
…Syria’s secular tradition is nowhere stronger than in the Syrian Arab Army. Making up about 80% of Syria’s armed forces and with half a million members, half regulars and half conscripts, the army is drawn from all the country’s communities (Sunni, Alawi, Shiia, Christian, Druze, Kurd, Armenian, etc). However they identify as ‘Syrian’ and ‘Arab’ and confront a sectarian enemy that brands itself ‘real Sunnis’.
…The Syrian Arab Army has been vilified by those very same regimes that arm the foreign jihadis and the local sectarians. Yet despite the relentless attacks, this army has held together and is showing strong signs of resuming control of their own country, in service of a secular and socially inclusive state. If that is not the legitimate function of a national army, I don’t know what is.”