"And I have found both freedom and safety in my madness, the freedom of loneliness and the safety from being understood, for those who understand us enslave something in us. But let me not be too proud of my safety. Even a Thief in a jail is safe from another thief. "

Khalil Gibran (How I Became a Madman)



Saturday, June 24, 2017

Katar, Körfez ülkelerinin 13 maddelik talep listesini reddetti- Sputnik News

Katar, 4 Arap ülkesinin 13 maddelik talep listesini reddetti. Katar hükümetinin İletişim Direktörü Şeyh Muhammed bin Abdulrahman el Sani, taleplerin gerçekçi ve mantıklı olmadığını söyledi.

Army repels attack by al-Nusra on surroundings of al-Baath city in Quenitra, Israeli warplanes target facilities and residential buildings in the area- SANA

Damascus, SANA – As part of the Israeli enemy’s continuing support for terrorist organizations, Israeli warplanes attacked services facilities and residential buildings in the surroundings of al-Baath city in Quenitra province at the same time as Jabhat al-Nsura terrorists were attacking the area.
A military source said that Army and Armed Forces units, in cooperation with supporting forces, repelled a large attack by groups from Jabhat al-Nusra terror organization in the surroundings of al-Baath city in Quneitra countryside, inflicting heavy losses upon them.
The source went on to say that while this was happening, the Israeli enemy sought to provide support for al-Nusra, as Israeli warplanes fired rockets from within occupied territory at the Governorate parking lot and a residential building, claiming a number of lives and causing material damage.

At Least 20 Injured After Overnight Militant Shelling in Syrian City of Aleppo- Sputnik News

Overnight shelling of a market in the Syrian city of Aleppo left at least 20 people injured, some of them seriously, local media reported Saturday.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — According to Syria's state broadcaster the shell fell after midnight on a market in Al-Furqan district of Aleppo injuring 20 people, with some of them in critical condition.
The shell reportedly was launched from Aleppo's western suburbs, where militants are located.
The city of Aleppo has become one of the main battlegrounds of the civil war in Syria. The city was liberated by the Syrian government forces in late 2016.

Syrian Army Entering Deir Ezzor Province- South Front

On Firday, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and its allies, supported by Russian and Syrian air forces warplanes, captured Wadi al-Wa’r, Al-Wa’r Dam and Al-wasta at the Syrian-Iraqi border.
According to pro-government sources, the  SAA has deployed in 20-30 km from the T2 strategic station east of Albuqmal Cityat the Syrian-Iraqi border.
In the eastern Homs countryside, the SAA seized the Zahr Abah area east of the Arak gas field and deployed in only about 25 km from Al-Sukhna town.

Friday, June 23, 2017

British Minister for Security from Lebanon: ‘Your Security is our Security’- Naharnet

Minister of State for Security the Rt Hon Ben Wallace MP has ended a two day visit to Lebanon, where he highlighted the strength of the UK’s security partnership with Lebanon, a press release said on Friday.
During his two-day, the Minister met Foreign Minister Jebran Bassil and Interior Minister Nouhad al-Mashnouq; the heads of the Armed Forces, Internal Security Forces and General Security, as well as other senior security chiefs; and witnessed UK projects to support the Lebanese Armed Forces and Internal Security Forces.
The UK has committed $100m since 2011 to supporting Lebanese security through our partnership with Lebanese security forces, it said.
During his visit to Hamat Air Base, Minister Wallace learned how the LAF are effectively countering Daesh in the Qalamoun; discussed UK support to secure 100% of Lebanon’s border with Syria by 2019; and observed a live training demonstration on counter IED, as well as a new LAF training component on International Humanitarian Law, where he addressed LAF officers and spoke to them about the important of respect for humanitarian law and human rights. By 2019, the UK will have trained around 11,000 soldiers for frontline operations across Lebanon.

Erdoğan: Kuzey Suriye'de bir devlete asla müsaade etmeyeceğiz- Sputnik News

Şanlıurfa'nın Akçakale ilçesinde konuşan Cumhurbaşkanı Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Suriye'nin kuzeyinde bir devlet kurulmasına asla izin verilmeyeceğini söyledi.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Russian Air Force obliterates ISIL base in east Hama- Al-Masdar News

BEIRUT, LEBANON (5:40 P.M.) – The Russian Air Force has carried out several airstrikes over the eastern countryside of Hama recently, targeting the Islamic State’s (ISIL) positions near their stronghold of ‘Uqayrbat.

Syrian War Report – June 21, 2017: Government Forces Launched Large Advance In Daraa- South Front

On Tuesday, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and the National Defense Forces (NDF) launched a large military operation in an attempt to split the militant-held area in the Daraa province into two separate parts.
Initially, the SAA and the NDF captured the Daraa Air Defense Base and the Dahdah Hill, but then government forces were pushed to retreat and the joint militant forces led by Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra, the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda) retook the area.
The SAA and the NDF also pushed in the direction of the Grain warehouses and inside the Palestinian camp but were not able to make notable gains.
During the clashes, militants destroyed a government forces battle tank, captured a battle tank, a bulldozer, and armoured vehicle.
On Wednesday, the Syrian Air Force continued bombing militant targets in the border area. This indicates that the SAA and the NDF may repeat an attempt to reach the border. If this is done, government force would develop momentum in the area in order to cut off supply lines to Hayat Tahrir al-Sham and its allies inside the city of Daraa.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

The Campaign for Ar-Raqqa City: June 6 – 20, 2017- ISW

The U.S. Anti-ISIS Coalition and Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) began operations to clear ISIS from Ar-Raqqa City in Northern Syria on June 6. This urban combat phase marks the culmination of successful shaping operations conducted over the last eight months to isolate Ar-Raqqa City under Operation Euphrates Wrath. These operations included the seizure of the Tabqa Dam in Western Ar-Raqqa Province on May 10. Ar-Raqqa City is currently isolated along its three axes with only limited water traffic to the south across the Euphrates River. The fight for the city will nonetheless prove difficult. ISIS retains at least 2,500 fighters in the city behind an elaborate system of berms, tunnels, improvised explosive devices, and other defenses “very similar” to its posture in Mosul, Iraq. ISIS’s forces are intermingled with an estimated50,000 to 100,000 civilians, raising the complexity and requirements of ongoing clearing operations. ISIS has thus far mounted a kinetic defense, ceding some outlying districts in favor of raids, ambushes, sleeper cells, and suicide attacks as the group falls back towards the dense urban core of Ar-Raqqa City. The capability of the SDF – a coalition of irregular forces dominated by the Syrian Kurdish YPG – to sustain its offensive and overcome these challenges remains doubtful despite expansive support from the U.S. Anti-ISIS Coalition.

The campaign for Ar-Raqqa City also faces significant challenges beyond the urban fight. Continued U.S. support to the YPG risks alienating local Sunni Arabs whose support will be required to secure and govern the city over the long term against the threat posed by ISIS, Al-Qaeda, and other Salafi-Jihadist groups. The local population’s long-standing ethnic and political grievances will not be addressed by the participation of Sunni Arabs in the Syrian Arab Coalition (SAC) or Raqqa Civilian Council – both of which locals view as mere puppets of the YPG in Northern Syria. The decision to back the YPG in Ar-Raqqa City also furthers a widening divide between the U.S. and Turkey in Syria. Turkey views with deep suspicion the institutional links between the YPG and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), a designated Foreign Terrorist Organization that is currently waging an active insurgency in Southern Turkey. Turkish President Recep Erdogan mounted a failed lobbying campaign to convince both U.S. President Donald Trump and former U.S. President Barack Obama to halt their support for the SDF in Northern Syria in favor of opposition groups backed by Turkey. Turkey retains the capability to launch a major cross-border intervention against the YPG along the Syrian-Turkish Border - particularly at the border town of Tel Abyad in Northern Ar-Raqqa Province. Turkey nonetheless will likely eschew any intervention over the near term and instead hope that the YPG weakens itself through a sustained engagement in Ar-Raqqa City. The Russo-Iranian Coalition also remains poised to exploit any setbacks suffered by the SDF in Ar-Raqqa City. Forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad advanced into regions directly abutting the SDF in Tabqa in Western Ar-Raqqa Province on June 13. The U.S. later shot down a Syrian Arab Air Force fighter jet after the aircraft dropped munitions near positions held by the SDF near Tabqa on June 18. Russia, Iran, and Assad likely intend to block further gains by the SDF near Ar-Raqqa City as part of a wider effort to constrain the U.S. Anti-ISIS Coalition in Eastern Syria that began in May 2017.

State Security Arrests 'Emir' of Islamist Syrian Rebel Group- Naharnet

State Security on Tuesday announced the arrest in the Bekaa province of a “former emir of the Ahfad al-Hamza Battalion of the Ahrar al-Sham Front.”
Identifying the detainee as Syrian national M.H., State Security said he was arrested after surveillance and after he raised suspicion that he had ties to terrorist groups.
“During interrogation, he confessed to being a former emir of the Ahfad al-Hamza Battalion of the Ahrar al-Sham Front and that he had maintained communication with the group's members in (Syria's) Idlib,” State Security said.
It added that the 41-year-old detainee had entered Lebanon illegally via the southern border town of Shebaa on August 20, 2015.
“He then resided in the town of Majdal Anjar in the Zahle district,” State Security added.

ABD, Suriye'de İran yapımı insansız hava aracını düşürdü- BBC Türkçe

ABD ordusu, ülkenin güneyinde hükümete bağlı birliklere ait İran yapımı bir insansız hava aracını (İHA) düşürdüğünü açıkladı. İHA'nın düşürülmesine gerekçe olarak, 'koalisyon güçlerini tehdit edecek şekilde ilerlemesi' gösterildi.
Fransız haber ajansı AFP'ye konuşan Amerikalı bir yetkili, F-15 Strike Eagle tipi avcı bombardıman uçağının Shahed 129 (Şahit 129) tipi İHA'yı Ürdün sınırı yakınlarındaki El Tanf garnizonu yakınlarında yerel saatle 12:30'da düşürdüğünü duyurdu.
Yetkili, "Birliklerimizi tehdit ediyorlardı. Üzerilerine mühimmat bırakmak için halkımızın olduğu yere doğru ilerliyorlardı" dedi.
ABD ordusu yazılı açıklamasında, İHA'nın 'koalisyon güçlerine doğru düşmanca niyetlerle ilediğini' söyledi.
Açıklamada, İHA'nın düşürüldüğü yerin, 8 Haziran'da koalisyon güçlerine bomba bıraktıktan sonra vurulan İran yapımı başka bir İHA'nın düşürüldüğü bölgeye yakın olduğu ifade edildi.

WHO says child from Raqqa among 15 new polio cases in Syria- Al-Arabiya

Fifteen new cases of polio have been confirmed in Syria, including a child who may have caught the disease in Raqqa, the World Health Organization said on Tuesday.

Aid workers are unable to vaccinate the population in and around Raqqa, a city held by ISIS militants and a target of US-led airstrikes.

The WHO reported two polio cases in an area of Syria partly held by ISIS earlier this month, the first re-emergence of the virus in Syria since 2014 and a blow for hopes of eradicating the disease globally.

WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic told a UN briefing on Tuesday that 14 more cases had been found in the same area, the Mayadin district of Deir al-Zor province, and another had come from Raqqa, a city where ISIS militants are trying to resist a US-backed assault.

Tensions escalated on Sunday as the US military brought down a jet near Raqqa for bombing near US-allied forces on the ground, and Iran launched missiles at ISIS targets in eastern Syria - the first time each state has carried out such actions in the multi-sided Syrian war.

Şam delegasyonu, Astana'daki görüşmelere katılacağını teyit etti- Sputnik News

Rusya Dışişleri Bakan Yardımcısı Mihail Bogdanov, Şam delegasyonunun 4-5 Temmuz'da yapılması planlanan Astana görüşmelerinin bir sonraki turuna katılacağını teyit ettiğini söyledi.

Basın mensuplarının sorularını yanıtlayan Bogdanov, Suriye hükümet delegeasyonunun 4-5 Temmuz'daki görüşmeye katılacağını teyit ettiğini belirtti. 
Bogdanov, "Türkler, İranlılar, Kazaklar ve biz, görüşmelere katılmaya hazır olduğumuzu ifade ettik. Suriye hükümet delegasyonu da Astana'ya gelecek" dedi.  
Kazakistan Dışişleri Bakanlığı Basın Dairesi Başkanı Anuar Jaynakov, Kazakistan’ın başkenti Astana’daki Suriye görüşmelerinin bir sonraki turunun 4-5 Temmuz’da gerçekleştirileceğini açıklamı

Suriye uçağının düşürülmesi Ankara'nın Şam'la yakınlaşması için son fırsat'- Sputnik News

ABD'nin Suriye'yi yeniden şekillendirme politikasını uygularken önünde hiç bir engeli tanımadığını, güneye ilerleyen SDG birliklerini vuran Suriye uçağını düşürmesiyle teyit ettiğine işaret eden uzmanlar, son krizin Ankara-Moskova-Şam iş birliği için önemli bir fırsat olduğu görüşünde.

Tabka ilçesinin güneyinde YPG'nin başını çektiği Demokratik Suriye Güçleri'ni (DSG) vuran Suriye uçağının ABD öncülüğündeki IŞİD karşıtı uluslararası koalisyon tarafından düşürülmesi; Rusya'nın Suriye hava sahasındaki kazaları önlemek için ABD'yle yapmış olduğu iş birliğini askıya almasına neden oldu. Sputnik'e konuşan uzmanlar, art arda yaşanan bu gelişmelerin, Rusya'nın siyasi çözüm için iş birliği eli uzattığı ABD'nin, kendisine tanınan bu manevra alanını kötüye kullanarak Suriye'yi yeniden dizayn etme çabalarına girişmesinin sonucu olduğunu söylüyor.

Gulf Diplomatic Activity Expected in Beirut- Naharnet

Several gulf envoys are expected to visit Beirut this week, media reports said on Tuesday.
Kuwait's Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah al-Mubarak al-Sabah will arrive in Beirut on Tuesday, reports said.
Dispatched by Emir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmed al-Sabah, the Minister is carrying a special message on Kuwait's preparedness to help Lebanon on various levels.
On Wednesday, a Saudi delegation led by Gulf Affairs Minister Thamer al-Sabhan is expected to arrive in the country.

Harb: Baabda Meeting Shouldn't be Confined to Ruling Authority- Naharnet

MP Boutros Harb said on Tuesday that an invitation for a consultative gathering at the Baabda Palace should have been extended to all political parties instead of confining it to those in power, al-Joumhouria daily reported on Tuesday.
“The invitation should not have been limited to the parties in power, it should have been extended to those outside the authority. Only then would the meeting at the Presidential Palace be chaired by the leader of the the entire Lebanese instead of leader of the ruling authority,” said Harb in an interview to the daily.
The MP added that it would be a good thing “if the President's invitation will lead to an improved ruling performance, respect for the constitution and motivates political parties in the government to work for public welfare. But, I hope this meeting never happens if they have an understanding to pass things contrary to the constitution.”
President Michel Aoun invited the country's top political leaders to a consultative meeting in Baabda on Thursday.

Syrian War Report – June 20, 2017: Situation Further Escalates In Syria- South Front

The situation escalates in Syria following the US aviation attack against an Su-22 belonging to the country’s national air force.
The Russian Defense Ministry said that the US move may be considered an “act of aggression,” and announced that it is halting all interactions with the US within the framework on the memorandum of incident prevention in Syrian skies.
Now, Russian missile defenses will track any US-led coalition aircraft west of the Euphrates River.
“In areas where Russian aviation is conducting combat missions in the Syrian skies, any flying objects, including jets and unmanned aerial vehicles of the international coalition discovered west of the Euphrates River will be followed by Russian air and ground defenses as air targets,” the ministry announced.
At the same time, the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) also joined the blame game by attempting to justify the act of aggression.
SDF Spokesman, Talal Selo, announced that Syrian government forces “have mounted large-scale attacks using planes, artillery, and tanks” against the SDF in the province of Raqqah.  Selo threatened the Syrian Army with retaliation if government forces attack the SDF again.  However, the SDF representative was not able to provide any info about these “large-scale attacks.”  Furthermore, no local sources reported such attacks in recent days, reducing the claim to mere propaganda on the part of the US-led campaign against Damascus.
Meanwhile, SDF units reportedly killed about 10 ISIS members and destroyed 2 ISIS vehicles.
The Syrian army and its allies launched attacks against ISIS from Ithriyah in the direction of Resafa, aiming to clear the road linking these [two] towns.

New Data About Fate Of Pilot Of Syrian SU-22 Downed By US Warplane- South Front

According to pro-government sources, Ali Fahed, a pilot of the Syrian Su-22 warplane downed by the US-led collation on June 18 has not been rescued yet.
Al-Mayadeen TV network – one of the biggest Arabian news networks – claimed that the pilot was rescued by a special force from the Syrian Arab Army Tiger Forces.
However, hours later Al-Mayadeen TV reported that the early claim was false and the pilot is still missing.
According to pro-government activists, sources close to the Ali family claimed that he had been captured by the Syrian Democratic Force (SDF).
Other sources from the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) also said that Ali was captured by a group linked to the SDF south of Tabqah and that negotiations are now underway between the group and the SAA to release him as soon as possible.
However, none of these reports can be officially confirmed now. No official source from the Syrian government or the SDF has announced anything related to the fate of the missing pilot.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Israel Reportedly Providing Direct Aid, Funding to Syrian Rebels- Haaretz

It's been known that Israeli hospitals have treated wounded Syrian fighters, but Wall Street Journal report uncovers direct support in cash, without which fighters say they 'wouldn't have survived'

Israel has been secretly providing aid to Syrian rebels in the Golan Heights for years with the goal of maintaining a buffer zone of friendly forces to keep ISIS and forces aligned with Iran at bay, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

The support has been substantial and direct, according to the report, including cash funds, food, fuel and medical supplies, creating a reality in which several armed groups and much of the civilian population in the area are reliant on Israeli aid. 

The Wall Street Journal based its findings on information provided by "half a dozen rebels and three people familiar with Israel's thinking," who said that Israel's secret dealings with the rebels began as early as 2013 under former Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon and that they continue to this day, with the goal of keeping pro-Iranian groups, like Hezbollah, away from the border.

Syria conflict: Why are air combat kills so rare?- BBC News

The shooting-down of a Syrian jet by the United States is believed to be the first air-to-air kill by a manned US aircraft since 1999.
Despite Hollywood blockbusters showcasing aerial dogfights, they have almost vanished from modern warfare.
In the 20th Century, skilled pilots who clocked up kills were often referred to as aces.
The US considers a pilot with at least five confirmed kills to be an ace - but no serving pilot holds the title.

What was the lesson of the Gulf wars?

A report published by the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA) in 2015 found just 59 kills since the 1990s - the large majority of which were in the First Gulf War.
Later that year, when Turkey shot down a Russian Su-24 plane along the Syrian border in a rare conflict, it sparked an international diplomatic row