- Infighting Intensifies: Al-Nusra Front Ends Presence of Jeish al-Mujahedeen in Lattakia
- Iranian, Kuwaiti FMs Meet in Tehran
- زرع حلب أثمر في أستانة… فما النتائج والتداعيات؟
- «ثمار أستانة» في الميدان
- أستانة.. ماذا بعد؟
- الكويت تطلق وساطتها بين إيران والخليج
- “النصرة” تبتلع فصائل الشمال .. “احرار الشام” تعلن النفير العام وعدد من الفصائل ينضم لحركة الأحرار خوفا من بطش النصرة
- علاقات الأردن بدول الخليج «تشتعل»
- حوار أردني روسي مفاجئ بعد الخذلانات الخليجية: الملك عبد الله في موسكو بدعوة من الرئيس بوتين
- هل اكتمل مشروع تعبيد طريق عمان – موسكو!؟
Thursday, 26 January 2017
Success in Astana Backfires in Idlib
January 25, 2017
Voiceover by Harold Hoover
The so-called “rebel civil war” is blazing in the Syrian province of Idlib where Jabhat Fatah al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra, a branch of al-Qaeda) backed up by Jund al-Aqsa and Nour al-Din al-Zenki continues attacks against Ahrar al-Sham and its allied militant groups.
The main reason for the local civil war is competition for power in the province and control over flows of military and humanitarian supplies.
Jabhat Fatah al-Sham fighters, supported by tanks and artillery, seized Jaish al-Mujahideen’s local HQ in Sarmada. Clashes were also reported in Kafranabl, Marat al-Numan, Marshurin, Hurbnish, Al-Dana, Ehsem, Hreitan, Al-Halzoum, Batabo, Saraqeb, Ariha, and Deir Sunbul.
Reports say that up to 100 militants from both sides have been killed in the fighting so far.
A number of groups, for example Liwa al-Haqq, refused to help Ahrar al-Sham and its allies in the battle against Jabhat Fatah al-Sham, claiming that they remain neutral.
Both sides of the rebel civil war push a hardcore Islamist agenda far away from any kind of democracy.
So, in general, the only difference between them is that Jabhat Fatah al-Sham is described as a terrorist group on the international level for its links with al-Qaeda.
January 25, 2017
Kurdish YPG forces, backed up by the US air power and Special Forces, have repelled a large-scale ISIS counter-offensive in the northern countryside of the Tabqa dam. Pro-Kurdish sources claimed that dozens of ISIS terrorists were killed in clashes.
Joint forces of the Turkish Armed Forces and pro-Turkish militant groups, led by the Turkish Special Forces and Ahrar al-Sham captured the village of al-Seflaniyah after days of clashes against ISIS. As a result they besieged the important ISIS-held town of Qabasin. If Qabasin falls to Turkish forces, they will be finally able to flank al-Bab from the eastern direction after weeks of sterile efforts to do this.
Meanwhile, pro-government forces, led by the Syrian army’s Tiger Forces, have liberated 18 villages since the start of the operation in the eastern countryside of Aleppo. Kharabasha and Tell Rahal were the latest gains in the area. However, there are no indications that the army and pro-Turkish forces are going engage each other, showing that there is a non-public agreement between Damascus, Ankara and Moscow.
Government troops, backed up by the Russian Aerospace Forces, have been advancing against ISIS units to lift the siege from the Deir Ezzor airport. While the army and the NDF were able to ease the tactical crisis, the military situation in general still remains complicated.
On January 24, Six Russian Tu-22M3 strategic bombers have delivered airstrikes on ISIS positions in the area of Deir Ezzor for the 3rd time in a row, destroying plant producing ammunition and explosives in Tel al-Salhiya as well as ammunition depots and hardware in the province.
Government forces also continued pressure on ISIS west of Palmyra, targeting ISIS units along the Palmyra-Homs highway, southeast of the Tiyas crossroads and east of al-Qaryatayn, but no notable gains were made.
Voiceover by Harold Hoover
Russian and Turkish warplanes conducted joint strikes against ISIS terrorists near al-Bab in the Aleppo province on January 21, the Russian Defense Ministry said. 3 Russian attack aircraft [two Su-24M and one Su-34] and 4 Turkish warplanes were involved in hitting 22 targets. It’s important to note that the operation was coordinated with the Syrian military.
On January 22, Russian warplanes also bombed ISIS targets in the area, using info provided by the US-led coalition headquarters. Airstrikes reportedly destroyed several ammunition depots, military hardware, and fuel products. According to the Russian Defense Ministry, two coalition jets participated in the operation. US Air Force Colonel John Dorrian, a spokesman for the US-led coalition, denied the reports about the joint operation but confirmed providing the info to Moscow.
The Syrian army and the National Defense Forces (NDF) have liberated 3 more villages from ISIS terrorists in northern Aleppo: Diriya, Khan Hufrah, and Diriya Umm Adas. Pro-government and pro-Turkish forces are now very close to each other.
On January 23, six long-range Tu-22M3 bombers that took off from a Russian airfield carried out airstrikes on ISIS command post, arms, and ammunition depots near the city of Deir Ezzor, according to the Russian Defense Ministry. This was the second time in 3 days when Russia used its strategic bombers against the terrorist group.
On January 21, six Tu-22M3 bombers also made airstrikes against ISIS, destroying camps, weapon depots, and military equipment in the area.
Meanwhile, the Russian Aerospace Forces air-dropped another batch of supplies to government forces and civilians in Deir Ezzor and Syrian helictopers dropped reinforcements from the Syrian Army’s Republican Guard to the 137th Military Base.
These efforts allowed the army and the NDF to reinforce its attacks aiming to link up the Deir Ezzor Airport with the rest of the government-held area.
ISIS hit a Russian-made T-90 main battle tank with an anti-tank guided missile near the village of Drehym in the area east of the town of Khanasser on January 23. The crew was reportedly killed. Pro-ISIS sources claim that it was totally “destroyed” and the released video shows a burning T-90 tank. Further developments regarding the tank are unknown. This could be the first T-90 battle tank destroyed by terrorists during the conflict.
The flag in the picture suggests that the battle tank had been operated by a crew from Hezbollah, Fatimyoun Brigade or Harakat Hezbollah al-Nujaba – pro-government paramilitary groups backed by Iran.
River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian