More Kurdish Fighters Killed, Captured in Turkish Army Operation in Northern Syria

Published in Middle East
Saturday, 24 February 2018 12:43

Over 1,930 Kurdish gunmen have thus far been killed or held capture in the Turkish army troops' operation in Afrin region, the Turkish Army General Staff said in a statement on Saturday.

The army's statement reported that a sum of 1,931 Kurdish militants have been killed or captured by the Turkish army men or Ankara-backed militants within the framework of Operation Olive Branch in Afrin region in Northwestern Aleppo that started on January 20.

Meantime, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) claimed earlier today that a sum of 1,219 Turkish soldiers and allied militants have thus far been killed in the last 5 weeks of Ankara's assault on the Kurds in Afrin region in Northwestern Aleppo.

The SDF reported on its official Facebook page on Friday that 1,219 Turkish army men and their allied militants were killed in Operation Olive Branch that started on January 20, in Afrin region.

The SDF further said that 66 military vehicles of the Turkish army have also been destroyed by the Kurds in the region.

Syria deploys anti-aircraft missiles, air defenses in Aleppo, Idlib

Published in Middle East
Tuesday, 06 February 2018 11:40

Syria has deployed anti-aircraft missiles and new air defense systems in the country's Aleppo and Idlib provinces.

A Syrian government commander made the announcement on Monday, noting that "they cover the air space of the Syrian north."

The northwestern province of Idlib, which borders Turkey and is largely under the control of al-Nusra Front militants, is one of the last main strongholds of Takfiri militants opposed to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who have been driven from most of their bastions across Syria in recent years.

Adding that the defense systems were deployed on the frontlines in rural regions of the provinces, he added that they had been deployed as "message to everyone."

The deployment comes at a time that Turkey has been launching airstrikes against the northwestern Syrian Kurdish region of Afrin, which is part of the Aleppo province.

Turkey launched the so-called Operation Olive Branch in Syria's Afrin on January 20 in a bid to eliminate the YPG, which Ankara views as a terror organization and the Syrian branch of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

Before Turkey launched operation Olive Branch, the government in Damascus had warned that it would shoot down any Turkish warplane that enters Syrian airspace.

Syria dismisses US chemical claims

Meanwhile, the acting charge d’affaires of Syria’s permanent delegation at the United Nations, Munzer Munzer, has rejected any claims of the use of chemical weapons or any other weapon of mass destruction.

While addressing a UNSC meeting on Monday, Munzer added that Damascus supports any action taken by the world body to probe such allegations.

“US claims are false and cheap and Syria is the first side which has an interest in finding truth and supporting any action taken by the UNSC if the intention is to reveal who is trading with the Syrian blood," he added.

He also stressed that Washington resorts to such fabricated accusations whenever it realizes that the terrorist groups are being pushed back by Syrian government forces.

“Syria confirms that the US, Britain and France bear full responsibility for obstructing the investigation of the use of chemical weapons by covering the crimes of terrorists in Syria,” he said.

US, UK sabotaging chemical attack investigations in Syria

While addressing the UNSC meeting, Russia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Vasily Nebenzya said that the Syrian chemical dossier "is used by the United States and the United Kingdom to slander Russia."

"It is absolutely clear for us why. The success of the Syrian National Dialogue Congress in Sochi and prospects for giving an impetus to the political process in Syria seem to be a pain in the neck for someone. So, a strong slander attack on Russia is needed to try once again to call to question its role in political settlement," Nebenzya added.

He noted that the US and UK envoys' speeches, in which they claimed that Russia is trying to hamper the investigation into chemical attacks in Syria, "as always, contain a tiny piece of truth kneaded with lots of lies."

Earlier, US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley accused Russia of obstructing the adoption of a UN Security Council condemnation of alleged chlorine gas attacks in Syria.

Haley told the Security Council on Monday that there was "obvious evidence from dozens of victims" to corroborate the chlorine attacks in Eastern Ghouta.

Since the beginning of the conflict in Syria in early 2011, the Western governments have on several occasions accused Syria of using chemical weapons against militants. Damascus has denied the allegation, saying it is meant to pile more pressure on the government forces and delay their success in the fight against terrorists.

Last year, the US and allies in Europe said Syria and Russia, an ally of Damascus in the fight against terror, used chemical weapons against militants in Khan Sheikhun in the province of Idlib. Moscow swiftly rejected the allegations, saying its fighter jets had in fact bombarded a depot in the area in which the militants had stored chemicals.

Tens of Al-Nusra Terrorists Join ISIL in Syria's Aleppo

Published in Middle East
Friday, 19 January 2018 11:15

Tens of fighters of the Al-Nusra Front (Tahrir al-Sham Hay'at or the Levant Liberation Board) have joined the ISIL terrorist group amid the Syrian Army advances in Southern Aleppo, dissident-affiliated websites reported on Friday.

The news websites reported that a sum of 60 terrorists of Al-Nusra have joined ISIL after the Al-Nusra suffered heavy defeats in recent clashes with the army men in Southern Aleppo.

The websites further said that most of the defected members were Al-Nusra fighters in Badiyeh (desert) or former members of Jund al-Aqsa that came under siege of the army men in Southern Aleppo.

In the meantime, a large number of Al-Nusra terrorists have escaped from their positions in Southern Aleppo and joined their comrades near the Abu al-Dhohour airbase in Southeastern Idlib.

Relevant reports said on Wednesday that the army troops stormed terrorists' positions in Southern Aleppo and managed to impose control over 2 more regions in their push towards Abu al-Dhohour airbase in Southeastern Idlib.

The army men pushed the Al-Nusra Front and its militant allies back from the village of Maseh and Tal (hill) Maseh West of the small town of al-Zaman in Southern Aleppo.

The army's engineering units have started defusing bombs and landmines in the newly-freed regions.

The army is trying hard to access and liberate Abu al-Dhohour airbase in Southeastern Idlib via activating different fronts, including Southern Aleppo flank.

Over 100 Terrorists Killed in Infighting among Rival Groups in Northwestern Syria

Published in Middle East
Monday, 13 November 2017 12:12

Nouralddeen al-Zinki members and other terrorists of Al-Nusra Front (Tahrir al-Sham Hay'at or the Levant Liberation Board) engaged in a fresh round of clashes in Aleppo and Idlib provinces, inflicting over 100 casualties on both warring sides, dissident-affiliated websites reported on Monday.

The websites reported that Al-Nusra and al-Zinki terrorist groups engaged in fierce clashes in Western Aleppo and Southern Idlib, leaving over 100 fighters dead from both sides.

In the meantime, Nouralddeen al-Zinki managed to drive Al-Nusra from the village of Taqad in Western Aleppo.

Nouralddeen al-Zinki members have gained control over most of the district in the town of Dar al-Izzah in Northern Aleppo.

Former Mufti (religious leader) of Tahrir al-Sham Hay'at said that his attempts to end infighting between Al-Nusra and al-Zinki in Aleppo and Idlib have failed.

Relevant reports said on Sunday that the Nouralddeen al-Zinki pushed Al-Nusra terrorists back from the village of al-Sa'adiyeh, Dar al-Izzah court and al-Konj checkpoint near the town of Dar al-Izzah that is the largest checkpoint in Western Aleppo.

In the meantime, Al-Nusra fighters seized the power generator in the Agriculture school that was supplying potable water to the small town of al-Abzamu's residents.

Also, clashes erupted between al-Zinki and Al-Nusra in areas near the towns of Orum al-Kobra and Taqad in Western Aleppo.

A large number of members of both warring sides, including Al-Nusra's Mufti (religious leader) Abu Mojahed Mesri, were killed in the clashes.

Iran military chief says Daesh on last legs on visit to Aleppo

Published in Iran
Saturday, 21 October 2017 09:51

The Iranian military chief has praised successful counter-terrorism operations during a visit to a frontline position near the Syrian city of Aleppo, saying the terrorists are taking their last breath in the country.

“The life of terrorist groups is coming to an end,” said Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Baqeri during a meeting with military advisors and armed forces involved in battles against terrorists in Syria, ISNA reported.

The senior military official further described “unity” and “exemplary coordination” among the Syrian army and its allied forces as the key factors behind the “successive” gains they have made against the terrorists.

Baqeri further expressed hope that the Syrian forces and allied fighters will continue to hold the upper hand in the fight against the Takfiri militants.

Since his arrival in Syria on Wednesday, the Iranian general has held talks with senior Syrian military officials.

On Thursday, he also met with President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus, where the two sides exchanged views on the battles against terrorism.

Iran, along with Russia, has a military advisory mission in Syria aimed at strengthening its army on the battlefield against terrorism. Moscow has also been providing air cover to Syria’s ground offensives. Syrian forces are also receiving assistance from fighters of Lebanon’s Hezbollah resistance movement.

Backed by their allies, Syrian government forces have managed to deal heavy blows to terrorist groups, which have been wreaking havoc on the Arab nation since early 2011.

Syria army liberates more areas near one of Daesh’s last strongholds in Aleppo: Group

Published in Middle East
Thursday, 18 May 2017 14:56

Syrian army troops have made further advances in the strategic northern province of Aleppo, liberating 12 villages and districts near one of the last strongholds of the Takfiri Daesh terrorist group in the province, a monitoring group says.

The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported on Thursday that the territorial gains had been made in the vicinity of al-Jarrah military airport, located about four kilometers from the northern Syrian town of Maskanah, on the eastern outskirts of Aleppo.

The group further said that the Syrian air force had pushed the Takfiri terrorists out of the area. Figures were not made available on possible casualties on the side of Daesh.

Syria has been gripped by unrest since March 2011. An assortment of militant groups supported by regional and extra-regional countries has been fighting inside Syria against the government in Damascus.

The United Nations (UN)’s Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura estimated last August that more than 400,000 people had been killed in the crisis until then.

Recent agreements between Damascus and the opposition have led to a major reduction in fighting. But terrorist groups, excluded from the agreements, continue to be targeted by the Syrian army.

Terrorist Confesses to Working with White Helmets in Aleppo

Published in Middle East
Monday, 15 May 2017 16:46

Terrorist Walid Hendi confessed to taking part in fabricating videos and photos for a Turkish TV channel while working with the so-called “White Helmets” that depict neighborhoods and areas in Aleppo being attacked with chemical weapons in order to blame the Syrian Arab Army.

In confessions broadcast by the Syrian TV on Saturday evening, al-Hendi said that he joined the “white Helmets” three years ago in return for receiving funds from the so-called “local council” and financers from Arab countries.

Hendi said that they were told that there will be chemical attacks, and they were given protective clothing and they staged a fake chemical attack that was filmed by a Turkish channel, adding that they were filmed by two people called Ibrahim al-Haj and Mohammad al-Sayyed as they sounded sirens and brought stretchers to transport supposed injured people, with the intent of posting these videos online and accuse the Syrian Arab Army of carrying out a chemical attack.

The terrorist also confessed to taking part in fabricating videos and photos depicting alleged attacks several times.

A Russian diplomatic and military source had revealed on May 4 that reporters working for Qatar’s Al Jazeera TV filmed a fake chemical attack against civilians in Idlib province in order to blame the Syrian Army.

In turn, terrorist Imad Abdeljawad said in similar confessions that terrorists in Aleppo possessed toxic chemicals and that he took part in transporting them.

Abdeljawad said that he was asked to transport what was claimed to be cleaning agents from al-Sukkari neighborhood to al-Ameriya neighborhood to cover up the fact that they were actually transporting dangerous chemicals, adding that after unloading materials from two cars and starting with the third, they wanted to know what materials they were transporting because their smells was agitating, particularly since he suffered asthma.

He went on to say that he saw people in silvery clothing, protective masks, and long boots transporting the materials to a basement, and they looked through windows and saw them opening barrels and pouting a liquid from them into cylinders, and when the man in charge of the terrorists noticed that Abdeljawad and his cohorts were watching he expelled them and prevented them from bearing arms.

Back in January, army engineering units uncovered while combing the Old City neighborhoods in Aleppo an amount of chemical materials of Saudi origin left behind by terrorists, which included sulfur, chlorine, and other materials.

Syrians hold mass funeral for victims of Aleppo bombing

Published in Middle East
Thursday, 27 April 2017 01:44

Hundreds of Syrians have attended a funeral procession for those killed in a recent deadly bomb attack outside the Syrian city of Aleppo that targeted buses carrying evacuees from the militant-besieged Shia-majority towns of Kefraya and al-Foua.

The mourners performed prayers in the shrine of Sayyidah Zaynab, the granddaughter of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), and laid the victims to rest in a cemetery in the town with the same name just outside the capital Damascus on Wednesday.

"Today, there will be funeral services for 52 of the dead, after they were identified. They will be buried in a cemetery near the shrine," said an organizer of the funeral.
At least 150 people, including 72 children, were killed on April 15, when a bomb attack hit buses waiting in the militant-held al-Rashideen district on the outskirts of Aleppo to cross into government-controlled territory.

Dozens of Casualties Reported in Aleppo Bomb Blast

Published in Middle East
Wednesday, 19 April 2017 11:29

A bomb exploded in Aleppo's Salah al-Din district on Wednesday, killing six and wounding 32 people, Syrian State Television reported.

The number of casualties was provided by the General Organization of Radio and TV news correspondent via social media, who classified the blast as a terrorist bombing, Sputnik reported.

Salah al-Din is located west of Aleppo's Old City. The district used to be the last territory held by militants until it was taken over by the Syrian army in December.

The blast came while the evacuation operation of residents of two Shiite villages was underway a few miles away in Rashidin, a southwestern suburb of the city.

On April 15, a blast occurred near a bus convoy evacuating residents of the besieged Shiite towns of Foua and Kefraya to Aleppo. Around 126 people were reportedly killed, with many women and at least 60 children among them.

On December 22, as the last militants left eastern Aleppo, the Syrian army gained full control over the city. Syrian President Bashar Assad called the liberation of Aleppo a "watershed moment."

Over 60 Children Killed in Aleppo Bus Convoy Bombing, UNICEF Says

Published in Middle East
Tuesday, 18 April 2017 17:09

The UN Children’s Fund has condemned the killing of more than 60 children in a recent Aleppo bomb attack targeting evacuees.

“After six years of war and human carnage in Syria… six years of heartbreak for so many Syrian families… there comes a new horror that must break the heart of anyone who has one,” the statement by UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake said.

“More than 60 children reportedly killed in an attack on a bus convoy yesterday outside Aleppo. A convoy of families who for so long had already known so much suffering. Now the survivors must bear such a new and terrible loss,” the statement added, RT reported.

Lake urged not only for regret, but for action to ensure that the war ends soon, saying, “We must draw from this not only anger, but renewed determination to reach all the innocent children throughout Syria with help and comfort. And draw from it also the hope that all those with the heart and the power to end this war will do so.”

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