SYRIA | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


SYRIA

Feb 03 11:39

Russian missiles strike area of Su-25 downing, killing at least 30 terrorists – MoD

Russian military planes have targeted the Al-Nusra-controlled area of Syria’s Idlib province where a Su-25 jet was earlier downed by militants, the Russian Defence Ministry said.

The military conducted “a massive precision weapon strike… on areas controlled by the Al-Nusra [terrorist] group,” the ministry said in a statement.

Feb 03 11:37

BREAKING: Russian fighter jet 'SHOT DOWN by rebels in Sarqeb', pilot reported DEAD

Syrian opposition activists claim rebels have shot down a warplane in the country's northwest where Government forces and their allies are advancing with the help of intense airstrikes.

A Syrian monitoring group and a Syrian militant say the pilot was killed when he resisted capture by opening fire from his pistol.

The Russian media quoted an official source confirming that an SU-25 has been shot down.

It is the first SU-25 to have been shot down for two years.

There are reports that the pilot survived and other that he was burned alive.

Feb 03 10:40

Russian missiles strike area of Su-25 downing, killing at least 30 terrorists – MoD

Russian military planes have targeted the Al-Nusra-controlled area of Syria’s Idlib province where a Su-25 jet was earlier downed by militants, the Russian Defence Ministry said.

Feb 03 09:30

Russian fighter jet 'shot down' in Syria's Idlib province

A Russian Sukhoi-25 fighter jet has been shot down in a rebel-held area near Idlib in north Syria, reports say.

The pilot was said to have ejected before the crash and been captured, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said.

Video posted on social media appeared to show the plane being hit, while other video showed burning wreckage on the ground, with a red star on a wing.

Russia has acted alongside its Syrian allies targeting rebels in the area.

Syrian government troops launched a major offensive around Idlib in late December, backed by Russian jets. The UN says some 100,000 civilians have been displaced.

The fate of the pilot has not yet been confirmed, nor which group shot his plane down or captured him.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

One has to wonder; who is really responsible for the shoot-down, and with what was it done, in light of the fact that no group has yet claimed responsibility?!?

We now have a update, courtesy of Zerohedge.com, as follows:

Russian Fighter Jet Shot Down by Syrian Rebles, pilot Reportedly Killed

I am having to wonder if, perhaps, the rebels who shot down this plane were US backed, and if that might have been what gave them the firepower to successfully bring down the Russian warplane; this hasn't happened since 2015. (Warning: very graphic tweets at the end of this article.

If, in fact, this was a US-sponsored and armed rebel group, the situation in Syria is just about to get a great deal more volatile than it already is.

Feb 02 09:16

SYRIAN WAR REPORT – FEBRUARY 2, 2018: MILITANTS’ DEFENSE COLLAPSED IN EASTERN IDLIB

The Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) and the Free Syrian Army (FSA) captured the town of Bulbul as well as the villages of Ali Kar, Za’ra and al-Ham from Kurdish YPG forces in the area of Afrin.

According to pro-Turkish sources, over 24 YPG members were killed in the recent clashes. Pro-Kurdish sources claim that 20 members of Turkey-led forces were killed.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also said that 800 so-called ‘terrorists’ had been killed since the start of Ankara’s Operation Olive Branch in the area on January 20.

The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and its allies liberated the villages of Wasitah, Tal Jina, Seihah Swamp Um Karamil, Tal Aqarib, Tal Jina, Atshana Gharbi, Um Karamil and Tal Husein from Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra, the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda) in eastern Idlib and southern Aleppo.

Government forces are currently deployed within about 16 km from the strategic militant-held town of Saraqeb.

Feb 02 07:00

Iraqi Forces Arrest ISIL Oil Chief near Border with Syria

The Iraqi forces have arrested one of the most senior members of the ISIL while attempting to cross the border into Syria, military sources reported on Friday.

sources said that the ISIL commander was identified as ‘Abdel-Ghani Zargham ‘Abdel-Sama, the terrorist group’s oil chief.

The sources added that ‘Abdel-Sama was traveling through the town of Masada in Northwestern Nineveh, when the Iraqi security forces ambushed his convoy.

Abdel-Sama surrendered immediately after he was surrounded by the Iraqi security forces.

>>>

Feb 01 11:44

Syria complains to UN about Turkey's 'assault, occupation'

Damascus has complained to the UN about Turkey's military campaign in northern Syria, denouncing the operation as "an assault and occupation" of the Syrian territory.

Ankara continues to "spread lies" about its military aggression against Syria and tries to justify the action as an act of self-defense, Syrian Foreign and Expatriates Ministry said in two letters addressed to the UN chief and the Security Council chairman.

“The Syrian Arab Republic stresses that the presence of any foreign military operations on its territories without its overt approval is an assault and occupation, which will be dealt with on that basis,” the ministry said.

The Turkish operation on Syria, it said, constitutes a violation of the UN Charter.

Feb 01 11:31

Trump’s Announced Strategy for Occupying Syria

“The President has committed, as a matter of strategy, that we will not leave Syria. We are not going to declare victory and go. And that is not my opinion; that’s the President’s strategic judgment. We’re going to stay for several reasons: stabilization and assistance in the vital north and northeast, protection of our allies the Syrian Democratic Forces, who have fought so valiantly against ISIS in the northeast, try to work to help transform the political structures in that area to a model for the rest of Syria, and capable of being credibly represented in a new Syrian state; but for other reasons as well, including countering Iran and its ability to enhance its presence in Syria, and serving as a weight or force helping us to achieve some of those broader objectives.”

Feb 01 11:29

Russia says hundreds killed in Turkish operation in Syria's Afrin

Several hundred people, including civilians, have been killed during Turkey’s military operation in Syria’s Afrin, Interfax news agency cited Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova as saying on Wednesday.

Feb 01 11:27

Doctors Warn Turkish Invasion Taking Toll on Afrin’s Civilians

Turkey’s ongoing invasion of northern Syria is inflicting a heavy price on the civilian population in the Kurdish Afrin District, their first target, with Syrian doctors warning of a rapidly declining humanitarian situation and hospital supplies running low.

At least 65 civilians have been killed so far in the 11 days since Turkey’s invasion, with all but two of those deaths directly attributed to Turkish attacks. The other two civilians were in neighboring Azaz, which the Kurds attacked.

Afrin hospital’s head reported dozens of civilians are being wounded daily, and urged the UN to do something to stop the fighting. Turkey has insisted that they intend to attack all of the Kurdish-held parts of northern Syria, about 25% of the country.

Feb 01 11:24

US Mission Creep in Syria?

War-party Washington plans to expand its dangerous path of mission creep beyond its original goals of so-called war on ISIL in Syria. The ambitious attempt hasn’t gone so well with Turkey, which demands that the US immediately and unconditionally withdraw from the Syrian city of Manbij. Washington has said no, with Central Command Chief Gen. Joseph Votel saying that the US has no intention of withdrawing just because Turkey says to... The US already has 2,000 to 3,000 occupying troops in Manbij and nearby regions in the same Kurdish canton in Northern Syria, and that number is likely to keep growing as the US entangles itself more deeply in that country. An open-ended deployment in the territory of an unfriendly government that is supported by Iran and Russia is a recipe for a pointless and easily avoidable conflict. At worst, it is the start of a steadily expanding mission creep that will embroil the US in yet another futile war.

Feb 01 11:24

Turkish army, FSA extend Afrin operation, 800 militants killed so far

The Turkish Armed Forces and the Free Syrian Army (FSA) have extended their operation against the People’s Protection Units (YPG) in Syria’s Afrin district, with President Recep Tayyip Erdo?an saying that some 800 militants have so far been killed.

“Some 800 terrorists have been killed in Afrin [so far since the start of the operation]. Hopefully, this number will increase until the evening,” Erdo?an said on Feb. 1 at the Be?tepe Culture and Congress Center in the Presidential Complex in Ankara.

Turkish forces and the FSA cleared one more village of the YPG on Feb. 1 during their operation in Afrin, state-run Anadolu Agency has reported.

Feb 01 11:20

Several Civilians Killed in US Airstrikes in Deir Ezzur

Local sources in Southeastern Deir Ezzur confirmed on Thursday that the coalition airstrikes targeted the town of Hajin, killing 2 civilians and wounding 12 others. The sources in Southeastern Deir Ezzur had also reported on Wednesday that a number of civilians were killed or wounded in the US-led collation airstrikes. The sources said that the US fighter jets conducted heavy bombardment on the village of al-Bahara in Eastern Deir Ezzur, killing three civilians and wounding several more. Field reports said that some of the injured are in critical condition.

Feb 01 11:18

Aleppo: Infighting Reported in Al-Bab among Ankara-Backed Militants on Battle against Kurds

The Kurdish-language Hawar news quoted local sources in al-Bab as saying that the militants of Ferqat Sultan Morad, affiliated to the Turkish army, engaged in heavy infighting on Wednesday. At least four militants were wounded during the clashes. The sources added that the clashes erupted after a number of Sultan Morad militants defected the terrorist group and fled; members of the terrorist group also have differences on their dispatch to the Afrin fronts. Meantime, field sources said that tensions have increased in al-Bab. The development came as Turkey's Operation Olive Branch is pushing further into Syrian territories held by the Kurdish militants, as more civilians have been killed or wounded in clashes between the Turkish Army and the Kurdish militias in Afrin region in Northwestern Aleppo.

Feb 01 11:16

Tens of Ankara-Backed Forces, Militants Killed in Afrin

The Kurdish-language Hawar news reported on Thursday that the Kurds launched operations against the Turkish army and its affiliated militants in areas near the villages of Boukeh and Ali Kari in Bolboleh region on the 12th day of the Afrin battle, killing 15 Turkish army forces and its supported militants and wounding a number of others. The news outlet also confirmed that 3 Turkey-backed militants and army men were killed during the Kurdish forces' operations in the village of Khalil in Shiyeh region. Meantime, 3 Turkish army military vehicles were destroyed in the Kurdish operation in the village of Shangal in Rajou region. All soldiers in the vehicles have reportedly been killed. Turkish Defense Minister Nurettin Canikli said on Wednesday that nearly 30 Turkish soldiers were killed in Ankara's Operation Olive Branch against Kurdish militias in Afrin region in Northwestern Aleppo.

Feb 01 11:13

Turkish Army Occupies Several Regions in Afrin

The Turkish army and its affiliated militants gained control of several regions during the Operation Olive Branch against the Syrian Kurds in Afrin in Aleppo province. Field sources affiliated to the militants backed by Ankara reported that they have taken control of the villages of Korni and Shangal and the adjacent hills during clashes against Kurds in Rajou front in Afrin. They also claimed control over the village of Bak Ubasi near Shangal. Meantime, the Kurdish forces said that the Turkish army and its affiliated militants' attack on the village of Hamam in Jandariseh region has been foiled and they were forced to withdraw. In a relevant development on Wednesday, the Turkish army troops and their allied militants continued Operation Olive Branch against Kurds in Afrin region in Northwestern Aleppo and captured three more villages.

Feb 01 11:05

US General Admits SDF Is YPG – US Simply Changed Names Of The Org For Political Reasons

By Brandon Turbeville

Researchers and analysts who are familiar with the Syria Democratic Forces operating with American backing in Northern and Eastern Syria have long noted that the SDF is nothing more than the YPG along with a heavy peppering of Arab jihadists. Yet the corporate press in the United States continues to claim that the SDF are merely moderates (vetted, of course, for their moderation) who have no other interest than democracy in Syria.

However, while attempting to denigrate any independent research into the SDF by alt media researchers, the MSM has missed a glaring admission by the Special Operations Command, General Raymond Thomas, made on July 21, 2017 at the Aspen Institute Security Forum...

Feb 01 09:19

SYRIAN WAR REPORT – FEBRUARY 1, 2018: TIGER FORCES BREAK MILITANTS’ DEFENSE IN EASTERN IDLIB

Government forces, led by the Tiger Forces, achieved a major breakthrough against Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra, the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda) in the province of Idlib. Government troops liberated over 15 villages, including Mushayrifah, Tall Sultan and al-Tuwaym.

This advance pursues two goals: to liberate the remaining militant-held area in southern Aleppo and to prepare an advance on Saqrib.

Meanwhile, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham and its allies started bulding additional fortifications in Saqrib and deploy reinforcements there.
Separately the SAA advanced on positions of ISIS in northeastern Hama and liberated the villages of Al-Aww, Abyan and Jubb Zrayq. The SAA progress there is limited by its ability to establish security in the controlled areas amid the constant threat from mobile ISIS units operating in the pocket.

Feb 01 03:49

Turkish top brass say 790 terrorists killed since start of Afrin operation

Turkey’s Armed Forces have neutralized 790 terrorists in the Afrin region of northern Syria during Operation Olive Branch, the Turkish General Staff said in a statement on Thursday. "During Operation Olive Branch in Afrin, the Armed Forces killed another 78 terrorists from the People's Protection Units, the Kurdistan Workers' Party, the Democratic Union Party and the Islamic State extremist group (outlawed in Russia). Since the beginning of the operation a total of 790 terrorists have been neutralized," the statement said.

Jan 31 13:42

Terrorists Target Plane Carrying Syrian Delegation Returning from Sochi

The terrorist groups stationed in Eastern Ghouta of Damascus attacked the plane carrying the Syrian delegation upon its return from the Russian city of Sochi where they took part in the Congress of the Syrian National Dialogue.

Jan 31 13:27

Washington Widens the War in Syria by Provoking Turkey

The Trump administration has drawn Turkey deeper into the Syrian conflict by announcing a policy that threatens Turkey’s national security. Washington’s gaffe has pitted one NATO ally against the other while undermining hopes for a speedy end to the seven year-long war.

Here’s what’s going on: On January 18, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson announced the creation of a 30,000-man Border Security Force (BSF) to occupy East Syria. Two days later, January 20, the Turkish Army launched a ground and air offensive against Kurdish troops in the Afrin canton in Northwest Syria.

The media has tried to downplay the connection between the two events, but the cause-and-effect relationship is pretty clear. Tillerson’s provocation triggered the Turkish invasion and another bloody phase to the needlessly-protracted conflict. Washington’s screwup has made a bad situation even worse.

Jan 31 12:41

Turkey welcomes Sochi decisions, calls on all actors to fulfill responsibilities

Turkey has welcomed a decision for the formation of a constitutional committee by the Syrian National Dialogue Congress held in the Russian city of Sochi on Jan. 30, vowing to continue to contribute for peace and stability in its southern neighbor.

“Turkey will continue to support, on all platforms, efforts for a political solution that will bring a real political change to Syria in accordance with U.N. Security Council Resolution 2254. Turkey expects all actors that have leverage over the Syrian regime and on the ground to fulfill their responsibilities in directing the conflicting parties in Syria to negotiate a credible political solution,” read a written statement issued by the Foreign Ministry late Jan. 30.

Jan 31 12:40

US Has No Plan to Withdraw From Syrian Manbij, Despite Turkey's Warning

After launching its Olive Branch operation in Syria's Afrin, the Turkish authorities said that the operation was likely to expand towards the neighboring city of Manbij, where the US has some 2,000 of its military personnel deployed.

Pulling US forces from Manbij is "not something we are looking into", US Central Command chief General Joseph Votel said Monday.

Earlier this month, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that Ankara will not limit its precautionary measures against Kurdish fighters to Syria's Afrin district but could move to Manbij, also in Aleppo province.

Jan 31 12:38

11 members of Riyadh opposition group took part in Sochi congress. US, UK, France were represented at Syrian Dialogue Congress in Sochi

A total of 11 members of the Syrian opposition’s Riyadh group took part in the Syrian National Dialogue Congress in Sochi on special invitations, the Russian president’s special envoy for Syria, Alexander Lavrentyev, said on Tuesday. "About 11 members of the Riyadh group, who received individual invitations, were here in Sochi," he told reporters at a news conference to sum up the results of the congress. "They were here not as representatives of the Riyadh group but as individual delegates who arrived on a special invitation." The envoy said that organizers of the Sochi congress had no plans of excluding anyone from the dialogue.

Jan 31 12:29

Syrian National Dialogue Congress participants adopt final statement on country's future

Participants of the Syrian National Dialogue Congress in Russia’s Sochi on Tuesday adopted a 12-point statement outlining the Syrians’ view on their country’s future. The document says that Syria should preserve its sovereignty and territorial integrity, and its future can be determined only by the people of Syria in elections. The Syrians also requested the UN Secretary General to assist in organizing the work of the constitutional committee, whose mandate will be outlined as part of the Geneva reconciliation process. A congress participant, Archbishop of Homs, Hama and Environs Mor Selwanos Boutros Al-Nehmeh told TASS that the final document "was agreed by all participants." Syria's territorial integrity..

Jan 31 12:22

List of Syrian constitutional committee candidates has 150 names

The list of candidates to the newly established Syrian constitutional commission has 150 names, the Russian president’s envoy for Syrian settlement said on Tuesday. "Representatives who will be put on this list, will be handed over to [UN Special Envoy for Syria] Staffan de Mistura, who will then form from them a certain body tasked with discussing issues of constitution and the constitutional reform. The final statement says that de Mistura, naturally, will have an opportunity to determine the format and make-up of the commission tasked with those issues on his own, including to add as may additional participants as he sees fit, but under certain proportions to keep the balance," the Russian diplomat said. "All decisions regarding the number of participants and their identities should be made on the basis of consensus, in line with UN Security Council Resolution 2254.

Jan 31 11:21

What Russian withdrawal from Syria? PHOTOS of Russia bringing more war supplies to Syria via Turkish seaway

Supply and reinforcement for Russia’s Syria campaign continues at full speed despite Russian President Vladimir Putin announcing some months back of a limited Russian withdrawal. Syrian war observers and activists falsely believed it was a Russian withdrawal, however, taking into account the high volume of Russian airstrikes and military equipment still being brought from Russia to Syria, it is simply not true. The RoRo Alexandr Tkachenko, displaying the Russian flag, has transited from the Bosphorus in Turkey en route to the Russian naval base in Syria's Tartus. The ship was seen carrying KamAZ and Ural trucks. In the last month alone, Russia has carried hundreds of vehicles to Syria. Ships from Russia must pass through the Bosphorus Strait in Turkey and through the Greek islands in the Aegean, before reaching the Mediterranean port of Tartus.

Jan 31 08:39

SYRIAN WAR REPORT – JANUARY 31, 2018: TURKISH MILITARY COLUMN IS HIT BY CAR BOMB IN SOUTHWESTERN ALEPPO

On January 30, a Turkish vehicle was destroyed and few others were damaged in a car bomb attack as a military convoy of the Turkish Armed Forces was passing the town of Atarib in the province of Aleppo.

According to initial reports from the ground 2 or 3 service members were killed in the attack. The media wing of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra, the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda) even claimed that the convoy was struck by an artillery shelling or an air strike by pro-government forces.

Later, the Turkish General Staff denied the initial reports and said that a civilian support worker of the TAF had been killed as well as another civilian worker and a service member had been injured in the incident.

The military added that it was deployed in the area under a de-escalation deal reached with Russia and Iran during the Astana talks in May.

Jan 31 07:29

WATCH as Iranian leader says the US uses ISIS to destabilize Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan to protect Israel

SOT, Ayatollah Khamenei, Supreme Leader of Iran (Farsi): "Be aware, the hands that created Daesh [ISIS], either in Iraq or Syria, and committed all of those crimes through Daesh, using Daesh as a means to carry out attacks against entire populations, are the same hands that are now transferring Daesh to Afghanistan," he said. "They were defeated, previously, in Iraq and Syria. Now, they seek to ignite terror all over again in Afghanistan. It was only during the onset that they killed so many people, over the last month or approximately forty days," he warned. "They want to start the chaos here again and this is the start. From one month or forty days ago onward, they have committed a massacre over there," he explained. He then explained how the US destabilizes the region to protect Israel. "What’s important, for the US, is to cause continuous unrest in our region.

Jan 30 14:06

Syria – Neo-Conservatives Demand “Action” – Hope For A Larger War

The neoconservative writers and their op-eds should be ignored.

The U.S. polity and media now acknowledge what we reported on December 21. The U.S. announcement to build up a 30,000 strong PKK army in north-east Syria was a disaster.

It prompted Turkey to initiate its attack on YPG/PKK Kurds in Afrin. It threatens to drive it out of NATO and into Russia’s open arms. It gives the Syrian government new leverage against the Syrian Kurds.

Jan 30 13:08

Turkey plays its latest card in the New Great Game – Pepe Escobar

Sochi, not Geneva, is the forum where the endgame for the Syrian proxy war will be decided.

President Tayyip Erdogan’s ‘Olive Branch’ operation appears to have support at home and in Moscow, but failure would spell problems.

Olive Branch” is the Orwellian-named Turkish invasion of a chunk of Syria. The operation comes as no surprise. President Tayyip Erdogan had hinted for nearly a year that a move was likely in the Syrian Kurdish canton of Afrin.

Jan 30 09:03

Information Blackout Follows Putin-Netanyahu Meeting

What was today's most important diplomatic meeting, was also the least publicly discussed. And judging by the information blackout in its aftermath, that's just what the organizers intended.

Very few details have emerged from the lengthy Moscow talks between Vladimir Putin and Benjamin Netanyahu, the duo's seventh face to face meeting in two years, in which the two leaders who are currently reshaping the middle east in the power vacuum left by the US, were expected to discuss military cooperation on Syria and Iran’s influence in the region.

Jan 30 08:32

SYRIAN WAR REPORT – JANUARY 30, 2018: SDF SENDS REINFORCEMENTS TO AFRIN

On January 29, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and the Tiger Forces fully secured the town of Abu al-Duhur in eastern Idlib after a series of clashes with Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra, the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda).

Meanwhile, pro-militant sources reported that the Syrian Air Force and the Russian Aerospace Forces started conducting airstrikes in the area of Saraqib in a move described as a preparation for the upcoming SAA offensive there.

Overnight on January 30, a Turkish military convoy reportedly reached the area of Al-Eis in southern Aleppo in order to establish an observation point there. According to the media wing of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), several vehicles of the Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) are now stationed there.

Jan 30 08:27

Multiple Motives Exist As Reason For Turkish Invasion Of Syria

By Brandon Turbeville

Turkey has invaded Syria to fight against the Kurds. Turkey is fighting alongside FSA terrorists while the United States, a Turkish ally is fighting alongside Kurdish terrorists. The Syrian military is pushing northwest toward Idlib city and the Russian, Iranian, and Hezbollah forces remain in the country to stabilize the situation and defeat jihadist groups continuing to operate there. The Kurds work with the FSA but the FSA is now working with the Turks. The FSA also works with the United States who in turn works with the Kurds.

This is a brief example of the complexities of the Syrian crisis, exacerbated by recent events. For most casual observers, it is becoming harder to determine who is fighting who and likewise who is working together. With so many competing agendas and interests, the waters have become so muddied even researchers and journalists familiar with the crisis are less clear as to what is happening in Syria right now.

Jan 30 02:45

CRAZY NIGHT IN SYRIA:

CRAZY NIGHT IN SYRIA - WATCH as Al-Qaeda allows Turkish Army through its territory in Syria, Russia bombs oncoming Turkish forces

IDLIB, Syria - Last night a Turkish military convoy entered northern Syria and were allowed to travel through territory controlled by the Al-Qaeda affiliated Al-Nusra Front. This was captured on a video taken by an Al-Nusra militant himself.

(*video at source)

The Turkish military brought a dozen armored vehicles from Turkey's Hatay province and has attempted to take up positions near the Syrian Army in Point 4 in the Tal Al-Eis area of southern Aleppo countryside.

This is now irrefutable evidence of NATO-member Turkey directly colluding with a terrorist organization, the excuse it gives to battle the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) in nearby Afrin.

Jan 29 12:26

How Regional Rivalries Threaten to Fuel the Fire in Syria and Iran

Turkish allegations of Saudi, Emirati and Egyptian support for the outlawed Kurdish Workers Party (PKK) threaten to turn Turkey’s military offensive against Syrian Kurds aligned with the PKK into a regional imbroglio.

The threat is magnified by Iranian assertions that low intensity warfare is heating up in areas of the Islamic republic populated by ethnic minorities, including the Kurds in the northwest and the Baloch on the border with Pakistan.

Taken together, the two developments raise the spectre of a potentially debilitating escalation of the rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran as well as an aggravation of the eight-month-old Gulf crisis that has pitted Saudi Arabia and its allies against Qatar, which has forged close ties to Turkey.

The United Arab Emirates and Egypt rather than Saudi Arabia have taken the lead in criticizing Turkey’s incursion into Syria designed to remove US-backed Kurds from the countries’ border and create a 30-kilometre deep buffer zone.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

With Turkey demanding that US troops get out of Manbij ...or else, while the US government has declared it is not leaving,US General Votel says that US forces will not leave this could get very dicey, very quickly.

I have a very serious concern that those service members, embedded with the Kurds in Manbij, may be pawns, and it is not impossible that they are being used very cynically by this administration.

And I say that, because the minute US service members get killed by Turkish fire, the narrative may well immediately be ordered to be shifted, so that the US government will blame their deaths on either Syrian or Russian forces, as a "justification" for war against either, or both countries.

I just hope to heaven that I am a million percent wrong here.

Jan 29 11:35

Uncle Sam dumps the Kurds (yet again) – The Saker

Russians need to stop the Turks before this all turns into a major and protracted conflict.

Did Trump and his generals really think that Turkey, Iran, Syria and Russia would accept a US protectorate in Syria masquerading as an “independent Kurdistan” and do nothing about it? Yet again, and I know this sounds hard to believe, but I think that this is yet another strong indication that the Empire is run by stupid and ignorant people whose brain and education simply do not allow them to grasp even the basic dynamics in the region of our planet they are interfering with.

Whatever may be the case the Turks reacted exactly as everybody thought:

Jan 29 11:30

By Remaining in Syria the US Is Fuelling More Wars in the Middle East

The US may want to get rid of Assad and weaken Iran across the region but it is too late. Pro-Iranian governments in Iraq and Syria are in power and Hezbollah is the most powerful single force in Lebanon. This is not going to change any time soon and, if the Americans want to weaken Assad by keeping a low-level war going, then this will make him even more reliant on Iran.

The present Turkish incursion shows that Ankara is not going to allow a new Kurdish state under US protection to be created in northern Syria and will fight rather than let this happen. But the YPG is highly motivated, well-armed and militarily experienced and will fight very hard, even though they may ultimately be overwhelmed by superior forces or because the Turkish and Syrian governments come together to crush them.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

There is only one way in which to accurately describe the current US "strategy" in Syria: painfully incoherent, lost, and myopic.

Jan 29 07:52

Turkey could widen Syria offensive after Erdogan vows to attack ‘wherever there are terrorists’

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has hinted yet again that the campaign against Kurdish militia in Syria could spread beyond the north-western enclave of Afrin.

“Just as the terrorists in Jarabulus and Al-Bab weren’t able to escape elimination, the terrorists in Afrin and Manbij won’t be able to escape the bitter end awaiting them, either,” Erdogan said during a regional party congress speech in the heartland town of Corum.

“Our heroic soldiers made history yesterday in the area of Operation Euphrates Shield [a previous offensive in 2016-17]. They are making history today in Afrin. And they will make history tomorrow wherever there are terrorists along our borders,” the Turkish President told party loyalists hours later on Sunday, during an address in nearby Amasya.

Jan 29 07:50

Netanyahu & Putin to discuss better coordination on Syria & Iran in Moscow

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will meet Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow Monday to discuss ways to strengthen coordination between the Russian and Israeli air forces in order to avoid confrontation in Syria.
Netanyahu’s visit to Russia is scheduled to last only five hours. According to the Kremlin, the two leaders plan to discuss“Russian-Israeli cooperation in trade, economic, cultural and humanitarian areas as well as some pressing international and regional issues, including the situation in the Middle East and in Syria.”

The two leaders will exchange views on ways of “strengthening coordination between the Israeli Army and the Russian armed forces on Syria>>>

(*Very disappointing, Vlad !)

Jan 29 07:48

'Attack again, and I'll launch a missile at Ben Gurion airport'

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad today sent a threat to Israel through Russian President Vladimir Putin, saying that if Israel attacked them again, Syria would respond by firing Scud missiles at Ben-Gurion Airport. "Syrian honor above all else," Assad told Putin, who replied that he would convey the message to Israel.

Jan 29 07:43

SYRIAN WAR REPORT – JANUARY 29, 2018: TURKISH FORCES CAPTURE KEY MOUNTAIN IN AFRIN

The Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) and the Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army (TFSA) used their advantage over Kurdish YPG/YPJ forces in the area of Afrin and captured Bursaya Mount, Qastal Jundu and Yazibagh. Additionally, the TAF and the TFSA entered the area of Kevire Kerr Mountain where an intense fighting was reported. On other fronts, the YPG/YPJ was able to repel attacks by Turkish forces.

The Turkish General Staff released a statement claiming that Turkish forces ‘neutralized’ 73 ‘terrorists’ including some mysterious ISIS members in Afrin on January 29 alone. The statement added that from the start of Operation Olive Branch on January 20 to January 29, in total 557 so-called ‘terrorists’ had been ‘neutralized.’

Jan 29 07:41

US blinks under Turkish pressure in Syria

The Turkish President Recep Erdogan gave a stark warning to the Trump administration on Friday by stating his intention to order an assault on the northern Syrian town of Manbij, roughly 40 km from the Turkish border and 100 km to the east of Afrin, where US forces are operating alongside Kurdish militia.

He said, “Operation Olive Branch will continue until it reaches its goals. We will rid Manbij of terrorists (read Kurds) … Our battles will continue until no terrorist is left right up to our (910-km) border with Iraq.”

Jan 29 07:41

America’s Syrian humiliation is worse than it looks

Turkey’s “Olive Branch” incursion against Kurdish positions in Northern Syria this week looked bad for Washington. It’s worse than it looks: Turkey cemented a new set of strategic and economic relationships after defying the United States, its erstwhile main ally. Ankara now has financial backing from China and Qatar and the strategic acquiescence of Russia and Iran. Most of all, it has the financial backing to pursue its regional ambitions.

Turkey reportedly killed several hundred Kurdish and allied Arab fighters this week, reducing an American-supported force that had done most of the fighting against ISIS in Syria. US-Turkish relations are at an all-time nadir, but Turkey’s financial markets remain unruffled. Washington has hard words for Turkey, but no sticks and stones.

Jan 29 06:57

Thousands of Kurds Protest in Germany Against Turkey's Military Op in Afrin

The military offensive by the Turkish Armed Forces in the Kurdish-dominated Syrian city of Afrin, launched on January 20, has triggered public outcry among members of international community and Kurdish diaspora around the world.

About 7,000 Kurdish immigrants took to streets in the German city of Cologne, which is home to a large Kurdish community, protesting against the Turkish military operation in Syria dubbed Olive Branch, the German DPA news agency reported.

Jan 28 06:14

WATCH as Kurds in Syria's Manbij say US behaviour in Afrin shows 'double standards'

Kurdish military officer Khalil has accused the United States of having “double-standards” as they have offered no support Turkish-led forces invade the Syrian northwest canton of Afrin that the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) control. “What we demand from the US, in particular, is to fulfill the promises to the SDF (Syrian Democratic Forces) while they were combating terrorism, embodied by the Islamic State [ISIS], that is to protect the liberated areas, including Afrin, which, as we can see, has been fighting heroically and fiercely for seven days against the Turkish occupation, which is regarded as a foreign occupation,” he said passionately...

Jan 28 06:07

Syrian opposition made ‘big mistake’ when refused to attend Sochi peace congress

The Syrian Negotiations Committee "made a big mistake" when it refused to take part in the National Dialogue Congress in Sochi due on January 29-30, Lebanese analyst Nidal Sabi, an expert on Syrian opposition groups, told TASS. According to the expert, the Riyadh group of the Syrian opposition, "has fallacious illusions of US importance in the post-war settlement." "The US policy demonstrates that they are not interested in ending the conflict in Syria and seek to separate the country with the help of the Kurdish separatist movement," he said. "The only thing they are interested in is to preserve military bases created in Kurdish districts." "If Washington was indeed interested in restoring peace and stability on the Syrian soil, it would have joined the Astana process long ago to become one of the ceasefire guarantor nations," the expert added.

Jan 28 06:04

Kurdish representatives to attend Syrian National Dialogue Congress in Sochi

Representatives of Kurdish political forces will attend the Syrian National Dialogue Congress due in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi on January 29-30, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Rossiya’1 television channel on Saturday. "They are coming," she said noting that "it was not easy" to invite Kurds’ representatives to Sochi "since so many players had been doing everything possible so that Kurds, even not Kurds but their representatives, could not come." Russia’s position remains steadfast that "it will be extremely difficult to go ahead without Kurds," she added. "We reiterate that broad dialogue about future of the big country, where the Kurdish population matters, will be otherwise impossible," Zakharova said.

Jan 28 04:51

Syria’s UN Envoy Slams US for Supporting ISIL

"How can a country like the United States, which has given birth to Islamic State, which has been supporting and defending Islamic State, which continues to fight for Islamic State, a country, which has been violating Syria’s sovereignty by its military presence in our country and negating international laws and conventions, how can a country, which has the blood of the Syrian people on its hands, speak about a political solution and Syria’s future?," he said in Vienna, TASS reported. He voiced criticism of each of the five nations (the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Saudi Arabia and Jordan), which had come out with an unofficial document on Syrian settlement at a meeting in Washington in January.

Jan 28 04:48

Iraqi Popular Forces Preparing to Hunt Terrorists on Syrian Territory

The Iraqi volunteer forces of Hashd al-Shaabi announced on Saturday that its forces are on alert to carry out anti-terrorism operations on Syrian soil following coordination with Damascus officials. Vice-Chairman of the Hashd al-Shaabi Committee Abu Mahdi al-Mohandes announced that his forces have been put on alert to chase terrorists in Syria if the militants in Syria launch attacks on Iraq. He further said that Hashd al-Shaabi missions in Syria should be allowed and declared by the country's Prime Minister Haydar al-Abadi and in coordination with the Damascus government. An Arabic-language media reported last week that the Iraqi sources disclosed dispatch of forces and equipment to the border with Syria after the predominantly-Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) withdraw from the region in a surprising move.

Jan 28 04:19

Tribal Leaders Meet with Kurdish Fighters on Deployment of Syrian Army at Hasaka Borders

Tribal leaders in Hasaka province have held an emergency meeting with the Kurdish militias to pave the ground for the deployment of the Syrian Army troops in Hasaka province's border towns following the Turkish Army's recent attacks on the Kurds in Aleppo province, local sources revealed on Saturday. The sources said that one of the tribal leaders of Hasaka is negotiating with the Kurdish militias to prepare the bedrock for the dispatch of the Syrian army to Hasaka's border town. The sources added that the talks are aimed at the deployment of the Syrian army in the border town of Ra'as al-Ein which will be likely agreed by the Kurds. The Kurdish militants are afraid of a longsome war in Afrin and also expansion of the Turkish army operation along the borderline.

Jan 27 12:36

Turkey Vows to Expand Syria Offensive East to Iraq Border

One week into the Turkish invasion of Syria’s Afrin District, the war against the Kurdish YPG looks to be expanding precipitously, with President Erdogan first announcing he’d extend the war to Manbij, and now all the way east to the Iraqi border.

This suggests Turkey’s war against Syria’s Kurds is likely to span the whole of YPG territory, which at present is about 25% of all of Syria. That war will include Turkey’s allies, the Free Syrian Army (FSA), which Turkey tends to install as de facto rulers in places they’ve seized.

More importantly, this escalation all but ensures Turkey will be in an military confrontation with the US, as all of America’s troops deployed in Syria are in YPG territory, embedded with the Kurds, who they consider allies.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

But what if there is no "grand understanding:" between Turkey,Syria, the Kurds, Iraq, and Russia?!?!

And the other question, still unanswered, is how much military "monkey business" will Russia, which was invited to Syria at the behest of the Syrian government, allow to happen before it intervenes, and hard, militarily?!?

Is the US goal in Syria, in terms of having US troops in the country illegally, to pick a fight with Russia,and have that become the "justification" for a war against Russia, which, unfortunately, US troops might well not be able to win?!?

And I posit that question as someone who is a Christian pacifist activist, who very deeply cares about her country, and is deeply disturbed by various policy trajectories the US government is taking, both foreign and domestic.

We have reached a point in time where the US government believes that the only answer to any geopolitical dispute has to be war, and has completely forgotten the high art of good will/win/win, moral... negotiations.

Here are the cold hard facts; Russia consripts; the US does not. Our troops are intensely overstretched. The Russians have weaponry which has proven field tested and combat ready; the US presents badly engineered products,like the F-35. And the US doesn't have the manufacturing capacity (we've offshored it/outsourced that), nor the money to insure a positive outcome of a war against Russia.

Jan 27 12:02

TURKEY DEMANDS US FORCES LEAVE SYRIA'S MANBIJ IMMEDIATELY

As Turkish and allied militant forces from the so-called Free Syrian Army (FSA) advance further upon Kurdish positions in northern Syria, Turkey has called upon the United States to vacate its military bases in the Syrian district of Manbij. Speaking to reporters on Saturday, Turkish foreign minister Melet Cavusoglu said that Ankara is calling upon the US, its official ally in NATO, to cease any and all support to Syrian Kurdish forces and militias.

While both Turkey and the United States are in violation of international law by entering Syria with military forces without permission by Damascus or a UN mandate, both countries have vastly different interests in the country.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Note that in the information about the conversation between McMaster and his counterpart, Turkey's Ibrahim Kalin, there is no mention of a withdrawal of US troops from Manbij.

This could get ugly, very quickly, pitting one NATO member(Turkey) against another (the United States).

I would like to believe that saner heads in both the US and Turkish governments will do everything possible to ratchet down the tensions here, but I sure as heck wouldn't bet on it.

Jan 27 11:49

Turkish Foreign Minister Urges Immediate US Withdrawal From Syria's Manbij

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has stated that the United States should take concrete steps to prove the end of support for Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), rather than rhetoric.

The statement was made amid the ongoing Turkish military offensive in the Kurdish-dominated Syrian city of Afrin, launched on January 20 and provoked, as Ankara explained, by the necessity for the country to protect its borders from a "terrorist army," the new "Border Defense Forces," comprising the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and the Kurdish YPG militias, trained by the US.

On the day the operation was started, Pentagon representative Adrian Rankine-Galloway told Sputnik that the US recognized Turkey's concerns regarding the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), but called on all sides to avoid escalation and focus on countering terrorism.

Jan 27 10:17

Israel intends to drive a wedge in areas as deep as 40 km out of the occupied Golan plain to be guarded off by border forces, trained by Israeli military

The Syrian Army troops continued cleansing operation in Deir Ezzur province and found a large volume of arms and ammunitions, including Israel-made landmines, in ISIL's positions, a field source said on Saturday. The source said that the army men carried out mop-up operations in the villages and towns of al-Sayal, Hasarat, al-Salehiyeh and al-Jala'a West of the town of Albu Kamal, discovering a large volume of arms and ammunition in the regions that were once under ISIL control. The source said that a number of cannons, anti-tank missiles, machineguns, mortar launchers, arms, ammunitions, Israeli landmine and a large volume of agents and materials for making chemical weapons, masks, bomb laden drones and communication devices were found in the army operation in the region. The army men also found two air-to-air radar-guided heat-seeking missiles at ISIL's positions, according to the source.

Jan 27 10:11

Tens of Civilians Killed in US Airstrikes in Eastern Syria

Tens of civilians were killed and several more were wounded in the US-led coalition fighter jets' attacks in Eastern Deir Ezzur, local sources confirmed on Saturday. The sources said that the warplanes pounded the villages of al-Bahara, killing 30 civilians, mostly women and children. The sources further said that the death toll will likely increase as some of the injured are in critical conditions. The US warplanes also targeted the town of al-Sha'afeh on the Eastern banks of the Euphrates River on Thursday, killing at least 13 people, including 7 women, and wounding several others. The sources said that the airstrikes also killed 3 women in the town of Hajin.

Jan 27 10:09

Turkish Army Dispatches Elite Forces to Northern Syria to Join Operation against Kurds

The Turkish Army has dispatched several military convoys to the border with Syria, a Turkish media outlet reported on Saturday, adding that a sum of 200 special forces have been forwarded to Afrin to join the Operation Olive Branch against the Kurdish militias. The Turkish-language state-run Anadolu news agency reported that 200 Turkish elite forces that are expert in street battle and defusing explosive traps, landmines and bombs have been dispatched to Afrin region together with trained dogs. Its went on to say that more convoys, including 20 armored vehicles, anti-land mine vehicles and a large volume of arms and ammunition have been dispatched to the border town of Kilis. Anadolu added that another military column, consisting of several tanks has been dispatched to Hatay region at the border with Syria as well...

Jan 27 10:07

Fierce Clashes between Kurds, Turkish Forces Inflict Hundreds of Casualties on Both Sides

Fierce clashes between the Kurds and Turkish Army in Afrin region in Northwestern Aleppo inflicted hundreds of casualties on both warring sides, both Kurdish and Turkish sources reported on Saturday. The Turkish Army General Staff announced in a statement that 340 Kurdish fighters have been killed in the Olive Branch Operation by its soldiers and Ankara-backed militants in Afrin region in the last seven days. It further said that a number of Kurdish fighters' positions, trenches, bunkers and arms depots have also been destroyed in the operation. "Three Turkish servicemen were killed during the country’s operations in Syria’s Afrin and 16 remain hospitalized," said a Spokesperson of the Turkish Health Ministry. In the meantime, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) announced that the Turkish army and its allied militants have sustained 308 casualties, including four officers, during the clashes in Afrin region in the last seven days.

Jan 27 04:50

Syrian Army Discovers Israeli-Made Arms in Deir Ezzur

The Syrian Army troops continued cleansing operation in Deir Ezzur province and found a large volume of arms and ammunitions, including Israel-made landmines, in ISIL's positions, a field source said on Saturday.

The source said that the army men carried out mop-up operations in the villages and towns of al-Sayal, Hasarat, al-Salehiyeh and al-Jala'a West of the town of Albu Kamal, discovering a large volume of arms and ammunition in the regions that were once under ISIL control.

The source said that a number of cannons, anti-tank missiles, machineguns, mortar launchers, arms, ammunitions, Israeli landmine and a large volume of agents and materials for making chemical weapons, masks, bomb laden drones and communication devices were found in the army operation in the region.

The army men also found two air-to-air radar-guided heat-seeking missiles>>>

Jan 27 02:57

Mike Pence’s Middle East Tour: Outright Pressure and Threats as Foreign Policy Tools

Washington is pushing a plan pretty vague about details and is doing it without its Middle East strategy defined.

Jordan’s King Abdullah II wants Washington to “rebuild trust “after US President Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. The king believes that East Jerusalem must be the capital of Palestine. According to him, from now on the US has a “major challenge to overcome”.

“Friends occasionally have disagreements,” Mike Pence said ruefully in his comments on the outcome of the talks. The disagreement came into the open.

Jan 26 11:42

Trump Confounded by Turkey’s Invasion of Syria

After years of piecemeal US military operations vaguely advancing ill-defined goals, the American position in Syria, and its vast collection of allies and enemies is so inscrutable that the State Department tried, and failed, to clarify what the US position actually is.

President Trump is being described as downright confounded about what to do about the Turkish invasion of Syria earlier this week, which sees the NATO member nation sending troops into Afrin District to attack the US-backed Kurdish YPG forces there.

In the immediate term, the US can, and largely has, chosen to ignore this and urge calm, though with US troops embedded in Kurdish territory elsewhere in Syria, including Manbij, Turkey’s talk of expanding the invasion would quickly put them in the line of fire.

It’s not as if this problem is a sudden surprise. Turkey’s been threatening the Kurds for years, and has been complaining about the US backing the Kurds more or less constantly in that same period of time.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

There are no clear goals in this war against both Syria, and the reality is that the US government has failed, big time, to achieve its objective of regime change in Damascus.

I lay the President's confusion at the hands of that unholy triumverate of "President Whisperers" who have his ear right now, consisting of Kelly, Mc Masters, And Mattis; I suspect that the info about the coming debacle in Syria, and that the Turkish government was ultimately make good on its word to destroy the Kurds, got "filtered out" of any communication they had with President Trump on the issue.

And notice; not one tiny peep from the corporatized US presstitutes, that this was even happening. It has been labled "invisible to the US public (except to those who read or write blogs dedicated to ferreting out the truth, like WRH).

I first read of it on Friday, courtesy of zerohedge.com; then, the Turkish invasion was annouced at that same blog the following Sunday.

But this is Kryptonite to the US press, until the State Department has come up with some kind of a plan, to try to end this peacefully.

I am hoping - and praying - that none of the US embeds in Manbij are hurt or killed. But I am realistic enough to understand that this may well happen, and when that does happen, what the hell is the US government going to do about it?!?

Are our military in Syria to become the "sacrificial lambs", to be slaughtered as a "justification " for the US to go into Syria, hot and heavy, in a war against both Russia and Syria?!?

I wish I could bet that this will not happen; that at the end of the day, the US government will find a peaceful resolution, and get our troops safely out of Syria; unfortunately, however, just because an attack against Syria, and the Russian presence there, would be the most hamfistedly, pigheadedly stupid thing thing the US government and military could do right now, is absolutely no guarantee that it will not do it.

Jan 26 11:25

Turkey Will ‘Target’ US Troops If They Keep Supporting Syrian Kurds

US-Turkey tensions mounting surrounding the Turkish invasion of the Syrian Kurdish Afrin District look to be getting much worse, with Turkey’s deputy premier Bekir Bozdag warning that the US is the one risking confrontation by supporting the Kurds.

Bozdag warned the US needs to “review its soldiers and elements giving support to terrorists on the ground,” and that US forces who continue to support the Kurdish YPG, which Turkey considers terrorists “will become a target in this battle.”

The US isn’t believed to have any serious forces inside Afrin District, which Turkey is presently invading. Turkey’s President Erdogan, however, says they will attack Manbij next, and there are a substantial number of US troops deployed there.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

So, please let me get my head around this; Turkey, a NATO member, is threatening war against American troops embedded in Manbij, (The US is also a NATO member) if they find them embedded with the YPG there?!?!?

War with Turkey... over Syria?!?!?

This is a thoroughly insane situation, yet it has been brought about by the "magical thinking" inside the White House, Pentagon, and State Department, that if somehow the US was able to carve out a little piece of Syria to call "their own" (or the Kurd's own), and Syria's sovereign statehood be damned here, that they could somehow push Bashir Al Assad out of power, and regime change Damascus.

Not satisfied’ till Assad gone: US pushes for regime change as war in Syria winds

Erdogan has stated that he has "made a deal" with Moscow about this invasion into Turkey. And as an invited guest of the Syrian government, Russian troops, aligned with the Syrian troops, have done a formidable job of basically scraping most of the jihadists out of the country.

The question now is, what will happen if the situation in Manjib gets ugly quickly, and American military are shot and killed here?!?

Is the US government really thinking about spinning such a potential narrative here, as a reasonable excuse for going to war with Russia over Syria?!?

Jan 26 10:29

Syrian Kurds seek Damascus’ protection as Turkey’s Erdogan vows to return Afrin to ‘owners’

Kurdish officials in Afrin have urged Damascus to send troops to protect Syria’s sovereignty from the “Turkish occupier.” Ankara insists it will return the enclave to its “original owner” after its “liberation” from “terrorists.”

Jan 26 10:06

Russians and Turks Humble the US in Syria

The drama which is unfolding in northern Syria is truly an almost ideal case to fully assess how weak and totally dysfunctional the AngloZionist Empire has really become. Let’s begin with a quick reminder.

The US-Israeli goals in Syria were really very simple. As I have already mentioned in a past article, the initial AngloZionist plan was to overthrow Assad and replace him with the Takfiri crazies (Daesh, al-Qaeda, al-Nusra, ISIS – call them whatever you want).

Jan 26 10:04

SYRIAN WAR REPORT – JANUARY 26, 2018: TURKEY THREATENS TO ATTACK MANBIJ

On January 25, ISIS units attacked positions of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) in the villages of Kishmah and Ghuraybah in the province of Deir Ezzor. According to the ISIS-linked news agency Amaq, ISIS killed several army soldiers and destroyed two battle tanks with anti-tank guided missiles.

However, the terrorist group did not overrun the SAA defense and was forced to retreat. According to the Syrian state-run media, 25 ISIS members were killed and several vehicles were destroyed in the clashes.

ISIS seeks to seize some area in the Euphrates Valley in order to lift the siege from its members besieged in the Homs desert.

The Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) and the Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army (TFSA) captured 7 members of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) during clashes in the Afrin area, according to Turkish media. In turn, the YPG claimed that it had captured 16 Turkish servicemembers. However, these persons are likely just members of the TFSA.

Jan 26 03:51

Turkey, Syrian opposition kill 343 terrorists in Afrin — General Staff

Turkey’s Armed Forces and its ally, the opposition’s Free Syrian Army, have neutralized 343 members of terrorist groups since the beginning of Operation Olive Branch in Afrin, northern Syria, Turkey’s General Staff said in a statement on Friday. The Kurdish People's Protection Units, the Democratic Union Party (PYD), the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the Islamic State (outlawed in Russia) are labeled as terrorist groups by the Turkish General Staff. Last night, 13 warplanes of Turkey’s Air Force destroyed 23 terrorist targets, including shelters, ammunition depots and firing points, the statement said.
Five militants liquidated near US-controlled area in Syria - A modern electronic warfare package that belonged to the killed terrorists was made in Europe... http://tass.com/defense/987011

Jan 25 13:52

Syria’s Kurds are Now Sharing the Sorry Fate of Most Washington’s Allies

The fact that it’s a risky business being an American ally in any region of the world has been discussed time and time again, and still some of those allies seem surprised when they find themselves being the victims of geopolitical betrayal. It’s also been noted that Washington’s allies are paying a high price in blood for countless military adventures as they are recruited to fight alongside the US in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and other regions of the world.

Jan 25 12:45

Erdogan says to extend Syria operation despite risk of U.S. confrontation

President Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday Turkey would extend its military operation in Syria to the town of Manbij, a move that could potentially bring Turkish forces into confrontation with those of their NATO ally the United States.

Jan 25 10:27

We Need Another Chilcot Inquiry – This Time Into Syria

By Judy Tanner

Censorship of news is never a good thing. It might suit media corporations worried about their business model, falling circulation and losing advertising dollars, or maybe they worry about government directives and what they can and cannot say, but censorship is never a good thing. The new labels ‘fake news’, ‘post truth era’ which Facebook has taken up as its cause must be balanced against the fact that Facebook is a tech company, not run by journalists, not governed by journalistic ethics. So who is minding them?

The Chilcot inquiry looked into a number of questions arising from the inaccurate reporting of the Iraq war, the ‘failure of intelligence’ or as some might say, the lies Western governments told about WMDs that didn’t exist and the role of the media in uncritically defending the pretext for war on Iraq...

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