Syrian Revolution News & Discussions | Page 75 | World Defense

Syrian Revolution News & Discussions

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Five offshore oil pipelines damaged in Syria by unidentified persons

Monday, June 24, 2019


Unidentified persons have damaged five oil pipelines in the coastal waters of Syria. The incident happened near the city of Banias, reports the Syrian Ministry of oil on their Facebook page.

According to the report, the Syrian oil company discovered the oil leak near Banias. Underwater exploration was conducted to detect the leak, and as a result, expert divers found external damage in the five oil pipelines, reports RIA Novosti news agency.

The company has already started repair work and promises to restore oil supply soon. There is currently no information on who is responsible for the damage. Such an incident occurred for the first time on the Syrian coast since the beginning of the crisis in the country.

 

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Syrians returning home to reach one million once safe zone created: Erdogan
June 25, 2019

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Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan addresses members of his ruling AK Party during a meeting at the parliament in Ankara, Turkey, June 25, 2019. Cem Oksuz/Presidential Press Office/Handout via REUTERS

ANKARA (Reuters) - President Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday he believed the number of Syrians returning from Turkey to their homeland will reach one million once a safe zone is established in northeast Syria along their shared border.

Turkey hosts nearly 4 million Syrians - the largest number in any one country of Syrians displaced during the eight-year-old civil war. Tensions between Turks and Syrians flare up on occasion in the host country.

Turkey is in talks with the United States over the establishment of a safe zone across its border in northeast Syria, where the United States supports the Kurdish YPG militia. Ankara sees the YPG as a terrorist organization.

Ankara wants YPG fighters to withdraw from the area so as to secure its border, and Washington wants guarantees that its Kurdish-led allies in defeating Islamic State in Syria will not be harmed.

Turkey and the United States have also been working to implement an agreement over the Syrian town of Manbij, a process which Turkish military sources told Reuters in April was proceeding more slowly than desired.

Speaking in Ankara to lawmakers from his AK Party, Erdogan said: “We are trying to extend the safe zones along our borders as much as we can for the Syrian refugees in our country to be able to return home.

“At the moment, 330,000 people have returned, but I believe that when the problems in Manbij and the east of Euphrates are resolved, this will reach one million very quickly.”

Reporting by Nevzat Devrenoglu and Tuvan Gumrukcu; Writing by Sarah Dadouch; Editing by Mark Heinrich

 

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Syrian general infuriates Russia
June 25, 2019
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The Syrian brigadier general Suheil al-Hassan, known for his loyalty to Russia, has been displeasing Moscow of late, writes the Mada Post, citing the Syrian opposition news site Zaman Al-Wasl.

According to the article, the elite Tiger Forces under al-Hassan’s control have failed to make any significant progress in Syria’s Hama province, despite considerable support from Russian aircraft. The offensive operations carried out by the Tiger Forces were reportedly extremely expensive due to the division’s reliance on fire support, and yet they have proven to be poorly planned.

An opposition military source claims that Russia’s displeasure is being demonstrated in changes to the leadership of the Syrian army that are designed to reduce the Tiger Forces’ role in operational command. For example, priority has been given to new field commanders. According to the Mada Post, several of them are close to another brigadier general, Maher al-Assad, the younger brother of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Russia has already tried to recruit Syria’s 4th tank division, which is effectively controlled by Assad junior, for its own operations.

After the start of Russia’s anti-terrorist campaign in Syria, General Suheil al-Hassan became one of the most prominent Syrian commanders. He has been granted several Russian military awards, received a letter of gratitude and a cold weapon from Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu, and met personally with Valery Gerasimov, Chief of Russia’s General Staff. In an article for The Atlantic in May 2018, journalist Sam Dagher described al-Hassan as “Putin’s favored Syrian commander”.

 

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UN accuses Russia of raids on Syrian hospitals
June 27, 2019
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The UN has asked Russia for detailed information on how it has been using the location coordinates of hospitals in Syria. The demand was prompted by a series of airstrikes by the Russian-Syrian coalition in the Syrian provinces of Idlib and Hama in which several schools and more than two dozen medical institutions were hit.

The hospital coordinates are given by the UN to the conflicting parties as part of a humanitarian resolution system in order to protect them from attacks, Radio Liberty notes. However, the hospitals have been hit from the air since the Russia-backed Syrian forces began their offensive on Idlib at the end of April.

“Attacks on facilities whose coordinates were given as part of the UN’s system to prevent conflicts are simply unacceptable. Now certain partners think that giving geographical coordinates to the warring parties is like painting a target on their back,” Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Mark Lowcock told the Security Council.

He noted that several people have concluded that the bombardment of hospitals is a “premeditated tactic aimed at terrorizing people”.

Recently the British newspaper The Independent reported that Syrian doctors have started to conceal the location of their clinics from the UN. An open letter signed by dozens of doctors from around the world and published by The Independent states that the attacks on medical institutions by the Syrian government and Russia have forced the hospitals, which are already operating under exceptional circumstances, to provide treatment only in the most urgent circumstances.

Of course, officially Damascus and the Russian command claim that the attacks only target militant facilities as confirmed by their intelligence. Russia’s Permanent Representative to the UN Vasily Nebenzya urged the Security Council to verify the information on the situation in Syria before broadcasting it from the council podium.

“I must say that the information disseminated from the Security Council’s high podium sometimes contradicts the operational information directly from the de-escalation zones. This is evidence of attempts to politicize the Syrian humanitarian dossier,” the Russian diplomat said at a Security Council session.



 

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Turkey deploys special forces to Syrian border
June 29, 2019
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On June 28, Turkey announced that it is deploying special forces and military equipment to the border with Syria. According to the Anadolu news agency, a convoy of armored vehicles and SWAT teams arrived in the Reyhanlı and Kırıkhan districts in the Hatay Province near the border.

Also, the Turkish Ministry of Defense reported that it carried out an "effective strike" on the positions of the Syrian national army, controlled by President Bashar al-Assad. According to Turkey, Syrian army uses this position to bomb one of the observation points of the Turkish armed forces in the province of Idlib, in North-West Syria. A day before one Turkish soldier was killed after the shelling of the Turkish observation post in the South of Idlib. Three other soldiers were injured. The Agency also reports that Turkey "closely monitors the processes in the de-escalation zone" and told Russia that Ankara "will give the harshest response to any attacks on observers in Idlib."

About three million civilians live in the Idlib province, that remains the last stronghold of the Syrian armed opposition. The region is mainly controlled by the Hayat Tahrir al-Sham group that is close to al-Qaeda. Since late April, government forces have been attacking the rebels, trying to remove them from the region.

 

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Turkistan Islamic Party musters large force for battles in Syria

THOMAS JOSCELYN

June 29, 2019

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The Turkistan Islamic Party (TIP), an al Qaeda-affiliated group, has released a set of photos and a video showing a large group of its fighters preparing for battle in northern Syria. The TIP is a predominately Uighur organization, but it also counts others in its ranks, including jihadists from Western countries.

The insurgents are currently engaged in heavy fighting against Bashar al Assad’s regime and its allies, especially in the provinces of Hama and Latakia. And the TIP’s propaganda is undoubtedly intended to boost fighter morale as significant casualties are incurred on both sides.

The TIP’s images show dozens of fighters lined up to listen to a speech from one of their leaders. They then disembark on motorbikes and small vehicles on a long, winding drive through the countryside.

Some of its members wear red bandanas, signifying that they are part of the TIP’s elite special forces. Such well-trained guerrilla fighters belong to more than one group in northern Syria. The TIP’s battlefield partner, Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), also frequently trumpets the presence of its special forces in battle.

The TIP is closely allied with HTS, even after various controversies and infighting have disrupted the jihadists’ ranks. Yet, the TIP maintains its own independent branding and media presence. In May 2018, the group released a lengthy video celebrating the Sept. 11, 2001, hijackings and calling on would-be recruits to emigrate from the supposedly immoral West.

More recently, in May of this year, the TIP threatened Russia in another video that trumpeted the organization’s role in the global jihad.

The TIP doesn’t usually publish information about its leadership hierarchy in Syria, but early last year a jihadi publication provided some insight.

Doğu Türkistan Bülteni, a Turkish-language website that regularly documented the TIP’s activities and disseminated the group’s propaganda, reported in Feb. 2018 that two new TIP leaders had been dispatched from Afghanistan to Syria. Abu Omar al-Turkistani and Abu Muhammad al-Turkistani each had “more than 10 years” of experience fighting in Afghanistan as part of the Taliban’s insurgency. Abu Omar was named the “general emir” of the TIP in Syria, while Abu Muhammad was named its “military commander.”

It isn’t clear if they still hold these positions. Shortly after FDD’s Long War Journal reported on Doğu Türkistan Bülteni’s leadership story, the site was taken down. Assuming the story was accurate, the TIP had decided that new leadership was required for its Syrian branch. The change came in the middle of various intra-jihadist disputes. [For more, see FDD’s Long War Journal report, Analysis: The Turkistan Islamic Party’s jihad in Syria.]

The TIP’s media output received a significant upgrade in recent months, as the group launched a new official website and Telegram channels. Its website has since been taken down on more than one occasion for unknown reasons. It is currently offline. The TIP’s new Telegram channels have proven to be more stable, as the images seen below were taken from one such site that has been continuously active and has several thousand followers.

Images released by the Turkistan Islamic Party:

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Screenshots from a newly released TIP video showing the same gathering:

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https://www.longwarjournal.org/arch...-musters-large-force-for-battles-in-syria.php
 

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Turkey says observation post in Syria's Idlib attacked, no casualties
June 30, 2019
View attachment 8683
ANKARA (Reuters) - A Turkish observation post in the Idlib region of northern Syria was attacked by mortar fire launched from territory controlled by Syrian government forces, Turkey’s defense ministry said on Saturday, adding that there were no casualties.

The ministry said a Russian representative in the region had “immediately intervened” to stop the attacks but warned that it had completed preparations to “give the necessary response” if the attacks continued.

There have been similar attacks on Turkish observation posts in the region recently. One Turkish soldier was killed and three others were wounded in an attack on Thursday which the ministry judged to have been deliberate.

Russia, which supports Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in his country’s civil war, and Turkey, long a backer of those rebelling against Assad, co-sponsored a de-escalation agreement for the area that has been in place since last year.

The accord has faltered in recent months, forcing hundreds of thousands of civilians to flee. Idlib is the last remaining bastion for anti-government rebels after eight years of civil war.

Earlier on Saturday, President Tayyip Erdogan said he had discussed the attacks on Turkey’s observation posts in talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Japan.

“We hope these attacks won’t happen anymore. There is a calm right now. We never want these, it shouldn’t happen again. We discussed these,” Erdogan told a news conference at the summit.
“The presence of these observation posts is to protect Idlib and the region. We will defend our sensitivity on this until the end,” he said.

Reporting by Sarah Dadouch; Writing by Tuvan Gumrukcu; Editing by Hugh Lawson

 

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Russian Missile Misses Syrian Target, Lands in Northern Cyprus
02 July 2019

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Part of the missile that landed in Northern Cyprus


A projectile that hit a mountainside in the Northern Cyprus capital Nicosia yesterday may have been a Russian-made missile that missed a target in Syria.
"The first assessment is that a Russian-made missile, part of the air defense system, which was part of the air defense system that took place last night in the face of an airstrike against Syria, completed its range and fell into our country after it missed," Turkish Cypriot foreign minister Kudret Ozersay said on Monday.

The explosion happened around 1.00pm on Sunday in the region of Tashkent, some 20 kilometers northeast of Nicosia.

“The blast is linked to the military operations in the Middle East. It is evident it is not something stemming from our soil ... It is one of the bad sides of the war in the region falling into our country. We must investigate to establish the cause," Turkish Cypriot President Mustafa Akinci was quoted as saying by PressTV.

The incident reportedly came after the Syrian military "confronted" Israeli warplanes that fired missiles at military positions near the capital Damascus and the central city of Homs.

"Initial findings indicate the object that caused the explosion was either an aircraft carrying explosives or a direct explosive (missile). The writings and signs on the debris will allow us to understand exactly what happened soon," Ozersay said.

"An assessment from the pictures made public shows the base of its wings. It has Russian writing on it. Syria uses Russian-made missiles, so a not-so-safe assessment would be it was an S-200 (missile). The jamming technology could have led to the missile error," Andreas Pentaras, a retired army general, told Sigma TV in Cyprus.

 

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Russia concludes S-300 deployment in Syria
July 2, 2019

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The S-300 surface-to-air missile system which Russia has transferred to Syria has finally been deployed and is entirely operational, The Times of Israel reports, citing data from the Israeli satellite image analysis company ImageSat International.

A satellite photograph published on 30 June shows that the fourth and final missile launcher has been set up and is ready for use. For some time, only three of the four launchers had been installed at the Masyaf base in north-western Syria. At the time, ImageSat reported that the fourth launcher may have initially been out of order or inoperable.

The improvement to Syria’s aerial defense capabilities threatens Israel’s ability to attack Iranian and pro-Iranian forces in the country, the Israeli news outlet notes. Previously, the Times of Israel reported with reference to a military report that Israel is prepared to destroy the S-300 if it is used against Israeli planes, despite a potential response from Russia.

Russia began the process of delivering S-300 systems to the Syrian army after a Russian Il-20 reconnaissance plane was shot down over the Mediterranean Sea on 17 September, killing all 15 soldiers on board. The Russian aircraft was hit by friendly fire from Syria’s aerial defense systems, which were attempting to repel an Israeli air raid. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu later told Russian President Vladimir Putin in a phone call that supplying advanced weapons systems to “irresponsible players” increases the risk in the region.

 

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I wonder if they let Syrian soldiers use it yet.
Well the AD units already operate S200, so they are familiar with the tech and SOP's, so any move to S300 or S400 for that matter wont be a quantum leap.
 

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Well the AD units already operate S200, so they are familiar with the tech and SOP's, so any move to S300 or S400 for that matter wont be a quantum leap.
I mean for political reasons I don't think Russia will let Syrians be in charge of s-300, probably Russians are in control
 

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‘Unprecedented’ Russian Discontent With Israeli Raids on Syria
2 July, 2019

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A fire rages and smoke billows following reported Syrian government forces' bombardment on the town of Khan Sheikhun in the southern countryside of Syria's Idlib province overnight on June 2, 2019. (AFP)

In an unprecedented tone, Russia voiced its discontent with the Israeli strikes on sites in Syria and recent developments.

Previously, Russia refrained from commenting on such incidents, however, the various responses showed that Russia was “embarrassed,” as one Russian expert told Asharq Al-Awsat.

The fact that Israeli raids occurred a few days after the meeting of the presidents of the Russian, US, and Israeli national security councils in West Jerusalem “can be interpreted that Moscow granted Israel a cover to continue its strike in Syria, while the Iranian presence in Syria formed a point of contention Moscow was hoping to continue discussing, rather than a new act of provocation,” according to the expert.

Contrary to previous positions regarding Israeli strikes, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov was quick to comment on the development, saying his country is "establishing facts" about Israel’s missile attack on Damascus.

"One of our principles is that the resolutions of the UN Security Council, which are in place, must be respected and fulfilled. We will proceed from there, in assessing the actions of any players in this region.”

Later, Kremlin issued a statement denying any connection between the raids and the talks held on the sidelines of Osaka Summit between Presidents Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump.

Kremlin’s statement reflected Russia’s desire to highlight Moscow's dissatisfaction with the development, which also reveals it didn’t give Israel the green light to carry out the attack.

Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters that the Kremlin did not have enough information about the incident, urging them to explore the situation at the military level because it had more accurate information.

The Russian government said that Israeli missiles targeted a research facility in the Jamraya, west of Damascus, and that a number of houses and shops were damaged in Ashrafiyat Sahnaya, south of Damascus, reported Sputnik.

According to the network, the attack involved Israeli warships from the sea.

The sources said the Syrian air defenses managed to down the rockets fired by Israeli warships before reaching the Syrian territorial waters, noting that the missiles S – 200 in the Syrian air defense system dropped six Israeli missiles targeting military sites in Homs.

It is noteworthy that the discussions about the Israeli raids coincided with an Israeli satellite imagery analysis company saying Syria’s entire S-300 air defense system appears to be operational, indicating a larger threat to Israel’s ability to conduct airstrikes against Iranian and pro-Iranian forces in the country.

“The images of the three erected launchers at various times in Syria indicate that they are probably operational,” the firm wrote on its website in February.

The company said at the time that the fourth launcher, which has now been seen erected, was “possibly an invalid, dummy, or a different element that serves as deception.”

In other news, Peskov said that there is a possibility for holding a new tripartite summit on Syria.

Peskov told journalists on Monday that Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan discussed the possibility for holding a new tripartite summit on Syria on the sideline of G20 summit in Osaka, Japan.

Peskov said that there is agreement on holding the summit soon, and that the Kremlin will inform journalists of its date once it’s finalized.

After the G20 Summit, Erdogan said Turkey, Iran, and Russia might hold a summit on Syria at the beginning of the month. He added that he discussed recent developments in Syria, especially in Idlib with the Russian and US Presidents.

Erdogan noted that this tripartite summit will be followed by a quadripartite one with the participation of Turkey, Russia, France, and Germany. He also stressed that Ankara was still cooperating with Moscow on Idlib.

 

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S-300 Air Defence Systems in Syria 'Fully Operational'
July 3, 2019



Russian S-300 air defense missile systems launching missiles (image: Reuters)

Four Russian S-300 surface-to-air missile systems that have been deployed in Syria are entirely operational, images released by Israeli satellite image analysis company ImageSat International have suggested.

Three S-400 systems had been installed at the Masyaf base in north-western Syria. On June 30, ImageSat published a satellite photograph depicting the fourth, fully functional S-400 battery being deployed at the Masyaf base, UAWire reported Wednesday.

ImageSat had released satellite images claiming three out of four S-300 launchers had been erected in Masyaf, in February this year.

Russia delivered the missile systems and 49 units of systems-related equipment such as radars, basic target acquisition systems, command posts and four launchers last October. The deliveries took place after a Russian plane was accidentally destroyed by a Syrian air defence battery that was responding to an Israeli airstrike.

Interestingly, according to reports published in April, Israel has developed “Rampage,” a new supersonic air-to-surface missile that can speed past the S-300 air defence system without getting intercepted.

 

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200 corpses found in mass grave in Syria’s Raqqa: official
AFP
July 03, 2019

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So far 200 corpses have been found, but it is feared more could follow. (File/AFP)

  • The dead are thought to include victims of Daesh which occupied the city
  • While 200 corpses have been found, it is feared more will follow
BEIRUT: Two hundred corpses, including those of people believed to have been executed by the Daesh, were found near the Syrian city of Raqqa, a local official and a war monitor said.

The mass grave contained the bodies of five men in orange jumpsuits of the kind typically worn by Daesh hostages, Yasser Al-Khamees and the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

More bodies could be uncovered as search operations continue, Khamees said.


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