Syria in the Last 24 Hours

Assad’s Army Makes Advances, Kills Hundreds of ISIL Militants in Syria
Sputnik – Middle East
A Syrian APC is followed by a tank in Harasta, northeast of Damascus, Syria, Thursday, Oct. 22, 2015Syrian forces are actively mounting an offensive against terrorists in different provinces of the country, killing large numbers of the Islamic State (ISIL) jihadist group militants and recapturing dozens of cities and villages.

Syria in the Last 24 Hours

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — On September 30, Russia began pinpoint airstrikes against ISIL targets in Syria, following a request from Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Russian Aerospace Forces have carried out some 830 strikes, killing several hundred militants and destroying dozens of command centers, and depots used by the terrorists.

SYRIAN ARMY SUCCESS

More than 300 terrorists were killed in the western province of Latakia, Syrian Armed Forces spokesman Brig. Gen. Ali Maihub told reporters Friday.

“In the province of Latakia more than 300 terrorists and vehicles armed with mortars were destroyed near the cities of Salma and Sad Badradun,” he specified.

The Syrian Army killed 45 ISIL terrorists travelling in a motorcade in the Hama Governorate, Maihub added.

Moreover, according to him, control over a number of villages in the provinces of Homs and Aleppo has been reinstated.

SEARCH FOR ‘MODERATE’ OPPOSITION

On Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Syrian leader Bashar Assad agreed with possible Moscow’s support of Syrian opposition factions in case they were ready to fight terrorists.

On Friday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov reaffirmed that Russia was eager to establish and maintain contacts with any Syrian opposition group interested in the struggle against terrorism and radicalism.

Neither the United States, nor European countries have been able to help Moscow identify “moderate” opposition groups in Syria for possible cooperation in the fight against the ISIL group, he added.

CARTER’S MAPS OF ISIL POSITIONS IN SYRIA

Earlier in October, reports emerged, claiming that former US President Jimmy Carter had given the Russian Embassy in Washington maps with ISIL terrorist locations in Syria after speaking with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

On Thursday, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova confirmed the information.

“Jimmy Carter actually turned to the Russian side with the offer of sending us maps created by his Presidential Center with the current locations of opposing sides in Syria, including the positions of the government troops, ISIL, and other groups,” Zakharova told journalists.

The maps are not considered classified since most of them could be found on the The Carter Center foundation’s website, according to the diplomat.

On Friday, Peskov stated that Putin had familiarized himself with the obtained documents.

VIENNA TALKS ON SYRIAN CRISIS

On Friday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov held talks on Syria with his US, Saudi Arabian and Turkish counterparts and held a series of bilateral meetings.

“It is essential to sharply intensify efforts to begin the political process in Syria… This envisages the beginning of full-scale talks between the representatives of the Syrian government and the whole range of opposition, both internal and external, with active support of outside actors,” Lavrov told journalists, adding that Russia was taking part in efforts to create conditions for such a process.

Syria has been mired in a civil war since 2011, with opposition factions and Islamist terrorist groups such as ISIL and Nusra Front fighting the Syrian Army.

Putin has repeatedly stated that the time frame for Russia’s campaign in Syria would be limited to the Syrian army’s offensive.

More villages in Aleppo in the army’s hands, terrorists routed in other areas
23 October، 2015
Provinces, SANA
More areas are coming under the army’s control, with military operations on Friday resulting in establishing control over two more villages in the southwestern countryside of Aleppo where a special operation was launched a week ago.

Aleppo

An army unit in cooperation with popular defense groups established control over al-Amara village and Tallit al-Mahdia in the southwest countryside of Aleppo, according to a military source.

The source said that the army’s operation, which was marked by accuracy, inflicted heavy losses on terrorists.

Earlier on Friday, Army units, in cooperation with the popular defense groups, established control over al-Huweiz and al-Qarasi villages in the southwestern countryside of Aleppo after eliminating the last terrorists’ gatherings in the area.

Terrorists’ positions were destroyed in addition to a number of their vehicles, some of them equipped with heavy machineguns.

Engineering units in the army combed the two villages and dismantled a number of explosive devices which terrorists planted in citizens’ houses and farmlands.

The Army’s Air Force targeted ISIS’ gatherings in Tabara al-Sakhana and the area surrounding Tal Maragha in Aleppo countryside.

Homs

The Syrian Army’s Air Force launched concentrated airstrikes against positions of Jabhat al-Nusra in Tirmaala and Jawalik town 10km north of Homs city, resulting in destroying terrorists’ positions along with all the weapons and ammunition inside them.

Syrian army units repelled an attack by terrorist groups coming from the direction of al-Samaalil towards a military point and from the direction of Talbiseh towards Ein al-Dananir village, killing many terrorists and destroying their weapons and munitions.

Another unit destroyed terrorists’ hideouts and a rocket launch pad in a series of precision strikes on their positions in al-Rastan 22km north of Homs city.

In the same context, the Syrian Arab Army’s Air Force destroyed concentrations of terrorists along with their equipment in al-Ghanto and Talbiseh 12km north of Homs city.

Hama

The Syrian Arab Army’s Air Force targeted ISIS terrorists’ hideouts in Tal Mahsar village near al-Hamra town 36km northeast of Hama city, destroying many of their positions and hideouts along with the weapons and munitions they contained.

The Air Force also carried out airstrikes on ISIS movements and hideouts in the villages of Rasm al-Tineh, Dabaret al-Dibeh, east of al-Sheikh Hiilal, south of Ethria, and in Uqairibat in the eastern countryside of the province, leaving many terrorists dead and destroying their hideouts, fortified positions, and vehicles.

In Hama’s northern countryside, the Syrian Air Force destroyed concentrations of terrorists from “Jaish al-Fateh” terrorist organization, along with their military equipment and machinegun-equipped vehicles in the town of Kafr Zeta.

Sweida

An army unit destroyed in a series of concentrated strikes hideouts for ISIS terrorists in Tal Sa’ad and Khirbet Sa’ad in the northeastern countryside of Sweida province, a military source said.

The source said that the strikes resulted in killing many members of ISIS and destroying assorted weapons and munitions that were in their possession.

Daraa

A military source told SANA that an army unit destroyed hideouts and fortified sites for terrorists from Jabhat al-Nusra and other terrorist organizations affiliated to it at the town of Atman north of Daraa city, killing a number of terrorists and destroying their vehicles and military equipment.

5 injured in terrorist attacks on Damascus and its countryside
23 October، 2015
Damascus, SANA

Four citizens were injured due to a terrorist mortar attack on al-Zablatani area in Damascus.

A police source told SANA reporter that two mortar shells fired by terrorists who are located in Jobar neighborhood and the farms of Eastren Ghotta landed on al-Zablatani area to the southeast of Damascus, injuring four citizens.

The source added that the attack caused material damage to two cars parked in the same place.

Later in the day, a girl barely over a year old sustained injuries from shrapnel of a shell that struck a popular market in old Damascus, while another shell caused material damage to a house north of the Grand Umayyad Mosque.

In Damascus countryside, terrorist organizations in eastern Ghouta targeted Jaramana city with two mortar shells that landed on al-Smadi and al-Qurayyat neighborhoods, causing material damage only.

Three other shells hit al-Sayyida Zeinab town in the southern countryside of Damascus, inflicting material losses.

Manar al-Frieh/Manal

Syrian Fighter Jets Stage Massive Air Raids on Nusra, ISIL Positions in Aleppo

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian warplanes continued bombing of ISIL and al-Nusra Front’s strongholds in various parts of the Northern province of Aleppo, provincial sources announced on Friday.

The sources said that the Syrian air force destroyed hideouts and vehicles of the al-Qaeda-affiliated al-Nusra Front in Zeitan village in the Southern flanks of Aleppo city, leaving heavy militant casualties.

The Syrian fighter jets also carried out several sorties over headquarters and gatherings of the ISIL terrorists in al-Halabiyeh and al-Hamra villages, Tallet al-Shawaya and the Syrian-Saudi Chemical Company (SYSACCO) in the Eastern parts of Aleppo, destructing the militant sites’ infrastructures.

On Wednesday, the Syrian fighter jets raided terrorists’ positions in several regions across the Northern Province of Aleppo, and inflicted heavy losses on the Takfiris.

Syrian fighter jets destroyed headquarters and concentration centers of terrorist groups in al-Dakwaneh, al-Mfalseh, Sheikh Ahmad, al-Bab and Um Argheeleh in Aleppo, and destroyed the militants’ equipment and vehicles.

Militants Withdrawing in Aleppo, Syrian-Hezbollah Joint Forces Capture Two More Villages

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian Army announced on Friday that its troops, backed by Hezbollah fighters and Russian air support, have recaptured two other villages in Southwest Aleppo province, bringing the number of the villages liberated in the last two days to 14.

The army said that the militant groups retreated from al-Huweiz and al-Qarasi after their positions came under attack of the Syrian forces.

Hours earlier today,the Army and Hezbollah forces pushed back militant groups from vast areas in the Northern Aleppo province, and recaptured at least three more villages.

Sources said that the Syrian Armed Forces and Lebanese Resistance recaptured Ghayghar, al-Ajoubiyah Farms and Tal Mafless after fierce clashes with the militants of Liwaa Suqour al-Sham and Harakat Nour al-Deen Al-Zinki.

The Syrian army on Thursday won back control over 9 villages in Aleppo.

The Syrian army and popular defense forces, backed by Russian warplanes, freed vast areas in Aleppo Province from the control of the Takfiri militants, killed a senior terrorist commander and took a wide stride towards the strategic Kuweires military airbase.

The Syrian forces regained control of al-Safira village in the Southern countryside of Aleppo in the early hours of Thursday, killing dozens of terrorists, including their senior field commander Uwais al-Qoqazi.

Later, the army also won back the villages of Balas, Jouret al-Hajjash, Rasm al-Skeikh Qiqan, Deir Salibah, Kafer Obeid, al-Halabiah and Teir al-Ward.

A few hours later on Thursday the army regained control of al-Ayyubiah village in the Southern countryside of Aleppo.

Russian Airstrikes Paralyze ISIL Terrorists in Syria’s Deir Ezzur

TEHRAN (FNA)- ISIL terrorists have withdrawn from their Deir Ezzur Airbase front due to the Russian fighter jets’ heavy attacks on the group, local sources said, describing the event as an outstanding development in the ongoing battles in Eastern Syria.

The sources said that, in addition to the Russian air attacks’ outcomes, the ISIL has suffered a significant number of casualties as a result of their aggressive attempts to bypass the Syrian Army’s defenses at the Southeastern gates of this large airbase in the vast desert area of Eastern Syria.

The ISIL’s casualties sky-rocketed once the Russian Air Force entered the battle at the request of the Syrian army; this proved to be the difference maker during the terrorist group’s repeated infiltration attempts, as they would encounter several airstrikes from the Russian SU-24 fighter jets repeatedly circling their positions at the villages of al-Meri’iyeh and al-Jafra.

On Thursday morning, the ISIL chose to shift their attention to the battle inside the provincial capital in order to sideline the Russian Air Force and attempt to advance their positions at the al-Sina’a (Industrial) and al-‘Amal Quarters, but the ISIL attacks on the Syrian army’s positions at the al-‘Amal and al-Sina’a Quarters were ineffective, as the pro-government forces successfully repelled all of the terrorist group’s infiltration attempts.

Another Iranian General, 7 Other IRGC Members Killed in Syria

TEHRAN (FNA)- A top commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) was killed in clashes in Central Syria last night, bringing the number of IRGC casualties in the war-torn country in the last couple of days to 8.

Brigadier General Reza Khavari, the senior commander of IRGC’s Fatemiyoun Division, was martyred in clashes with Takfiri terrorists in the Northern parts of the province of Hama, Central Syria, Thursday night while fulfilling his duty as a military adviser.

A sum of 7 other IRGC members, mostly from Ansar Corps, have been martyred in Syria in the last two days. Amin Karimi, a member of the IRGC’s Ansar Corps, has also been named among those killed in the last couple of days, although his military rank is not known.

IRGC Public Relations Chief General Ramezan Sharif told FNA on Friday evening that the IRGC has boosted the number of its advisors in Syria in recent days following government troops’ striking victories in multiple fronts across the nation.

Ramezan Sharif confirmed the 8 casualties sustained by the IRGC in Syria in the last several days.

Asked why the IRGC casualties in Syria are mostly ranking officers, he said Iran does not have combat troops in Syria and has only sent advisors to help the Muslim nation, who provide counseling services and strategies to the Syrian army commanders in the battlefield and from a very close range to the forefront. He reminded that low-ranking officers are not fit for such a vital job.

Earlier today it was revealed that the bodyguard of Iran’s former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has been one of the latest IRGC casualties in in Syria.

Abdollah Baqeri Niyaraki was martyred while fulfilling his duty as military advisor in Syria’s Northern province of Aleppo.

Baqeri Niyaraki was an IRGC commander who served as a bodyguard of former President Ahmadinejad for some time. Niyaraki was a member of IRGC’s Ansar Corps.

His martyrdom came after three other IRGC war veteran commanders were killed during attacks by the ISIL Takfiri terrorists in Syria.

On October 13, two IRGC commanders, providing military counseling services to the Syrian forces in their fight against the Takfiri terrorists, were killed in Southern Syria.

Colonel Farshad Hasounizadeh, the former commander of IRGC’s Saberin Special Brigade, was martyred while fulfilling his duty as military adviser in Syria and fighting the Takfiri terrorists in the Muslim country.

Also, the former commander of IRGC Hazrat Hojjat 1 Brigade Hajj Hamid Mokhtar-band, nicknamed Abu Zahra, was killed in Syria.

Both Hasounizadeh and Mokhtar-band were IRGC war veterans and were martyred in Southern Syria. According to Iran’s military rules, those missed or killed in operation are promoted to a higher rank and that’s why in a few Persian-language sources, Colonel Hasounizadeh has been referred to as a General.

A few days earlier, a top IRGC commander Brigadier General Hossein Hamadani was martyred during an attack by the ISIL Takfiri terrorists in the outskirts of the city of Aleppo.

General Hamadani was in Syria to render military advice to the Syrian army and popular forces in their fight against the ISIL terrorists in the Arab country.

In September 2014, Deputy Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Gholam Ali Rashid announced that Iran’s military advisors are present in the friendly regional states to provide those nations with necessary military recommendations.

“Some of our commanders are in the field to give military advice to the Iraqi army, Lebanon’s Hezbollah and the Palestinian resistance movement,” Major General Rashid said, addressing a conference attended by a group of senior military commanders in Tehran.

Iran and Russia: Strengthening the Hands of Justice in Syria

TEHRAN (FNA)- In Syria, when justice is done, it will bring joy to the righteous but terror to evildoers.

And evildoers have realised that the righteous will never be removed and the wicked will never dwell in that land. For the most part though, they pour scorn and criticize President Vladimir Putin for declaring the inevitable with dignity – after meeting his Syrian counterpart Bashar al-Assad in Moscow on October 20.

The official transcript by the Kremlin quotes Putin as saying to Assad:

“Positive results in military operations will lay the base for working out a long-term settlement based on a political process that involves all political forces, ethnic and religious groups… Ultimately, it is the Syrian people alone who must have the deciding voice here.”

From all accounts, Tehran and Moscow are keen on a political settlement in Syria, which is also their military exit strategy. To this end, though perfect justice is impossible, the coalition continues to treat everything and everyone in Syria with fairness and equality. This is not about a global crusade for democracy, liberal interventionism, dissolving borderlands, retribution, neo-colonial management or fanning sectarian flames. This is about them fighting a common foe and sharing a common cause: Halting the genocide and approximating justice for the long-suffering people of Syria.

The regime changers are free to express their disapproval of this humane process. They can delay changes, not stop them. They can even call the targeting of “moderate” agents of disintegration “a recipe for disaster.” But they cannot hide the fact that they are ignoring their conscience and that’s the first violation of truth.

Taken in its totality, the Moscow visit by President Assad underscored the strong bonding between the alliance members and their leaderships. This great deliberation has ruffled feathers in Washington and caused discomfort in some Middle Eastern capitals. The regime changers lament openly, as they know they have failed and the victory of resistance is half won.

By and large, the new development signals the beginning of the end for the extreme outfits – and after that the formal start to international diplomacy on Syria. A robust push for a meeting of outside powers with political influence in Syria can then be expected, which Iran will be attending. As Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov holds, “A Syria settlement without Iran has no prospects.”

The ground reality is that the counter-terror alliance of Iran and Russia has strengthened the Syrian government, forcing ISIL and al-Qaeda spinoffs to run for exits. What’s more, the neo-colonial managers have no great-game patron to counter the coalition. The impression becomes unavoidable that Washington feels irritated and marginalised by all this too. It could be that the reluctant interventionists and neocons are finally getting the message, cautiously readjusting their foolish stance on Damascus.

In any event, the house of the righteous will stand in Syria, where Assad remains the legitimate authority and will be part of any future settlement. For this, there is a deep strategic coalition and coordination between Damascus, Moscow and Tehran. The allies are staying the course, laying final touches on the counterterrorism process through massive airstrikes and ground offensives. This will innately be followed by a coherent and consistent process resulting in a unity deal to the vicious conflict. There is nothing twisted or crooked in that.