French Strikes on ISIS-Controlled Oil Facilities in Syria Unjustified, Unacceptable
Sputnik – Military & Intelligence
A senior Russian diplomat said that Russia does not support French airstrikes targeting oil facilities in Syria controlled by ISIL militants as they are not approved by the legitimate Syrian government and cannot be justified by self-defense claims.
MOSCOW — Russia does not support French airstrikes targeting oil facilities in Syria controlled by Islamic State (ISIL) militants as they are not approved by the legitimate Syrian government and cannot be justified by self-defense claims, a senior Russian diplomat said.
“We cannot support such actions primarily because they are carried out without the consent of the Syrian government,” Ilya Rogachev, head of the Department for New Challenges and Threats (DNCT) at the Foreign Ministry said in an interview with the Russian Kommersant newspaper to be published on Friday.
Rogachev suggested that the French airstrikes on oil facilities in Syria could pursue goals that contradict the announced drive to ensure France’s self-defense in light of the growing terrorist threat.
“Because the French authorities consider [Syrian President] Bashar Assad and Islamic State as equal priority enemies of France, the airstrikes are designed to hurt both. For your knowledge, the French do not attack similar targets in Iraq,” Rogachev stressed.
The Russian diplomat explained that if the oil facilities remain intact, they will likely return under the control of the legitimate Syrian authorities once ISIL are defeated.
“I suspect that the French partners anticipate the ultimate success of the Syrian army offensive [against IS militants] and subsequent return of oil facilities under control of the Syrian government,” Rogachev said.
France launched major airstrikes in Syria after the November 13 terrorist attacks in Paris, which took the lives of 129 people, injuring over 350. The Islamic State (ISIL) jihadist group, operating in Syria and Iraq, claimed responsibility for the attacks.
On Thursday, French President Francois Hollande ordered to increase the intensity of military operations against the ISIL in Iraq and Syria.
According to French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, airstrikes against various non-military facilities of the ISIL, including oil facilities that are needed to support the militants’ financing, are essential to defeat the jihadist organization.
Earlier in November, France conducted airstrikes against oil pumping stations controlled by ISIL on Syrian territory.
Chief of Main Operational Directorate of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces Colonel General Andrei Kartapolov summed up the results of the 2nd and 3rd massive airstrikes on ISIS objects in Syria
In accordance with the orders of the Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, Russian Aerospace Forces continue conducting massive airstrikes on the territory of the Syrian Arab Republic.
Yesterday on November 18, in accordance with the Air operation plan, the second massive airstrike was made against 206 terrorist objects.
In the course of the last 24 hours, Russian aviation has carried out 126 combat sorties of Tu-160 and Tu-22M3 aircraft from the territory of the Russian Federation and of tactical aviation from the Hmeymim airbase.
Seven key terrorist objects have been destroyed by 16 air-based long-range cruise missiles in the provinces of Aleppo and Idlib.
Long-range bomber aviation destroyed 12 objects belonging to the ISIS illegal armed groups in the provinces of Raqqah and Deir ez-Zor.
Attack aviation from the Hmeymim airbase carried out 100 combat sorties, destroying 190 terrorist facilities, including:
58 command centres;
41 ammunition depots;
17 strong points and defensive positions;
74 militants’ concentration areas.
The objective monitoring data on the Russian airstrikes against terrorist strong points, positions and concentration areas can be seen on the screen.
As a result of massive airstrikes, terrorists have suffered significant manpower losses.
The available data shows that due to significant losses and inability to bury all killed members of illegal armed groups according to the religious rites of Islam, field commanders have decided to throw terrorists’ bodies into sewage pits.
In order to conceal the real numbers of losses, evacuation of dead and wounded terrorists is conducted at night. According to available data, a terrorist with the callsign “Abu Obeida” was tasked to discreetly deliver the corpses from the southern outskirts of Aleppo to the Khan al-Assal inhabited area.
Terrorists have acknowledged the deaths of field commanders Abu Nurlbagasi, Muhammad ibn Hayrat and Al-Okaba (who had been active near Aleppo), which resulted from the bomb and missile strikes of the Russian aviation.
Information has been obtained that on the night of November 18, terrorists of the Sham Taliban illegal armed group organized evacuation of the corpse of their commander “Ahmad Ziyya”, who had been killed in the vicinity of the Jubb al-Ahmar mountain. Other terrorist groups active in this area urgently requested reinforcements due to significant losses in manpower.
The leaders of the terrorists active in the Idlib province stated that militants had suffered great losses after the strike of a Russian cruise missile on the facility near the Juzef settlement.
On Novemebr 18, in Askhim settlement, “Abu Bakra” field commander was buried after he had been killed by missile and bomb attacks of the Russian aviation.
As a result of the losses, the control over the illegal armed groups, which conducted activities in the Homs province, was completely disrupted. The cases of refusal to perform assigned tasks were registered. Thus, militants of the field commander Abu Massab as-Suri from the Jabhat al-Nusra grouping did not fulfill the order on elimination of units of the Syrian Armed Forces near Deir Hanna inhabited area.
Field commander with a callsign “Abu Husan” broke the order of the leadership and refused to move with his group to the area of the Talbiseh settlement (Homs province).
The effectiveness of strikes performed by the Russian aviation is assessed on the basis of the objective monitoring data received from aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicles. Engagement of the most important facilities is additionally checked against the results of space reconnaissance. The data on the losses in manpower among terrorists are received from the Syrian party.
Examples of such videos and photos are regularly shown to the public.
Today at 9 o’clock in the morning (MSK), the Russian Air Force made the third massive airstrike against illegal armed groups on the territory of Syria.
From 9:00 till 9:20, Tu-95MS strategic missile-carrying aircraft having arrived from the territory of the Russian Federation launched 12 air-based cruise missiles on the ISIS objects in the Aleppo and Idlib provinces. Among the targets there were: POL depots, a plant producing explosives, a command centre, and an HQ of the ISIS terrorist organization in the Idlib city.
From 16:40 till 17:30, a squadron of Tu-22M3 long-range bombers made a concentrated strike on 6 facilities in the Raqqah and Deir ez-Zor provinces. Their targets were terrorists’ oil production sites controlled by the ISIS, an ammunition depot and a workshop used for manufacturing and repairing of mortars.
The strikes resulted in destruction of the following facilities:
3 POL and ammunition depots; a plant producing explosives; a command centre; a workshop used for manufacturing and repairing of mortars.
3 large oil production sites; an oil transfer facility.
In the course of the day, the attack aviation from the Hmeymim airbase has planned to carry out 98 combat sorties to engage 190 objects of terrorist groupings.
By 17:00, 60 combat sorties have been performed, 138 objects have been destroyed.
Russian Aerospace Forces continue massive airstrikes against terrorists in accordance with the Air operation plan.
Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces discussed with his French colleague coordination of actions in Syria
Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces General of the Army Valery Gerasimov and the French Armed Forces Chief of Staff General of the Army Pierre de Villiers have discussed topical issues concerning implementation of orders of the Presidents of Russia and France on consolidation of efforts against international terrorist organizations.
During a phone conversation both sides exchanged their opinions on the current situation in Syria and discussed issues of cooperation of the Russian Navy formation and the French aircraft carrier group for fighting terrorist groupings in Syria.
At the beginning of the phone call Valery Gerasimov expressed his condolences to the French people for the deaths caused by the series of terrorist attacks that had taken place in Paris on November, 13. He said that Russia understood the sorrow of the French like no one else because the Russians also grieved over the victims of the air crash over the Sinai Peninsula.
General of the Army Valery Gerasimov emphasized that the terrorist attacks in Paris and the one on board of the Russian airliner were links of one chain, and that grief and anger had to help Russia and France to unite efforts in fighting international terrorism.
Chief of the Russian General Staff also informed his colleague about the progress of the Russian Aerospace Forces air operation in destroying terrorist infrastructural facilities in Syria.
The conversation lasted for about half an hour.
Russia air force, in cooperation with Syrian air forces destroy 344 targets for ISIS
19 November، 2015
A military source said on Thursday that the Russian air force, in cooperation with Syrian air forces, carried out one hundred and sixty sorties that destroyed 344 targets for the Islamic state (ISIS) terrorist organization, including 59 command-center, 41 depots, 17 fortified sites and 74 training camps.
The source added that the sorties also destroyed 3 stores for oil, a factory of explosives, a workshop for mortars and 3 stations for treating oil.
Meanwhile, Russia’s Defense Ministry affirmed that the Russian air force will intensify raids against terrorist organization positions, adding the warplanes continue their combatant sorties day and night.
“All Russian aircrafts in Hmeimem airbase are used in combat operations,” Russia Today website quoted Colonel Igor Klimov, spokesman for the Russian Defense ministry as saying in a statement.
The Russian warplanes destroyed nearly 500 tanks loaded with oil for the Islamic State (ISIS).
Five civilians killed, scores injured in terrorist attacks in Damascus and countryside
19 November، 2015
Five civilians were killed Thursday and scores others were injured in terrorist attacks that hit residential neighborhoods in Damascus city and its Countryside.
SANA reporter said that terrorists positioned in Eastern Ghouta fired mortar and rocket shells on al-Adawi, al-Amarah, al-Shaghour, al-Mazraa, al-Tabbaleh, al-Zablatani , al-Baramkeh, al-Abbasiyeen, Mazzeh and Ish al-warwar areas.
The terrorist shelling attacks killed two civilians and injured 31 others, causing material damage to the public and private properties.
A fire broke out causing thick smoke in al-Adawi area and caused material damage to at least three cars after a mortar shell fell in the area.
A police source also told SANA reporter that terrorists targeted residential neighborhoods in Jaramana city in Damascus countryside, killing three civilians and injuring nine others.
In a relevant context, three civilians were injured in a terrorist bicycle bomb attack in al-Mazraa neighborhood.
Earlier, terrorists blew up the bomb after they had earlier parked the bike in al-Shallal Street in the neighborhood, injuring three civilians, including two women, and causing material damage in the site.
On Wednesday, two civilians were injured in a terrorist mortar attack on al-Wafidin Camp neighborhood in Damascus Countryside.
Army establishes control over more areas in Lattakia, inflicts more losses upon terrorists in other areas
19 November، 2015
Units of the army and the armed forces on Thursday continued to launch wide-scale military operations against the Takfiri terrorist organizations across the country, inflicting heavy losses upon them in the personnel and the equipment and destroying their dens and positions.
A unit of the army and armed forces, supported by Russia’s air force, established control over post 1112 to the north east of al-Karoura Mountain, al-Wadi hill, Qartab Land and al-Raqraqiyeh, al-Daghmashlieh and al-Zweik villages, al-Zweik Mountains , Mosa, Saqr, al-Sendiyan and Jleileh in the north eastern countryside of Lattakia.
Earlier, an army unit, aided by the popular defense groups, established control over Point 803 in Kassab area and continued advancing towards the surrounding hills in Lattakia’s northern countryside, a military source said.
Later, the source told SANA that other army units, in cooperation with the popular defense groups and aided
by the Russian Air Force, established control over al-Shmeisa village, Point 482 and strategic heights in Jabal al-Zweik area in the northern countryside.
In the same context, the source added that the army’s air force carried out a number of airstrikes on terrorists’ hideouts and centers in Lattakia’ northern countryside.
Terrorists’ positions and vehicles were destroyed in Height 1112, Height 1154 and in al-Riqirqiyeh, Rweiset Sheikho, Arafit al-Tahta and Arafit al-Fouqa.
A unit of the army established control over the railway station in al-Sheikh Ahmad village in the eastern countryside of Aleppo.
Earlier, Units of the army and armed forces inflicted, last night and on Thursday morning, heavy losses upon the Takfiri terrorist organizations in the northern Aleppo province.
A military source told SANA that a unit of the army destroyed positions of the ISIS terrorists in al-Bab city in the northeastern countryside of the province, in addition to destroying a number of their dens.
The source added that units of the army destroyed terrorists’ vehicles and killed all terrorists onboard in operations carried out against dens and positions of terrorist organizations in al-Amiryia village in the southern countryside.
All members of a terrorist group from the so-called “Al-Hurryia Islamic Brigade” were killed along with its leader in an operation carried out by an army unit in the southwestern countryside of the province.
Meanwhile, a number of Jabhat al-Nusra terrorists were killed and their vehicles and mortar launchers were destroyed in precise operations against their hotbeds in the neighborhoods of Karm Maiser, al-Sheikh Ahmed and Bani Zaid.
In the same context, the Takfiri terrorist organizations acknowledged on their pages on the social networking webpages that a number of their members were killed.
The army’s air force destroyed vehicles of ISIS and killed all terrorists onboard in Tal Ahmer and Kabbara in Aleppo.
The army’s air force also launched airstrikes against ISIS positions in the villages and towns of Deir Hafer, al-Najara, Katar, Kabbara, Tal Ahmar and al-Sawame’ area to the east of Blat village in the eastern countryside of Aleppo province, where several vehicles and centers for the terrorists were destroyed.
Field sources told SANA that 6 vehicles were destroyed and at least 33 terrorists killed in army’s special operations against sites of “Jund al-Aqsa”,”Ahrar al-Sham Islamic Movement” and “Jabhat al-Nusra” in Hiraj Basnakol, Basamia and Saraqib.
The army targeted terrorists’ dens and gatherings in Ariha and al-Tamaniaa in the southern countryside of Idleb, killing more than 15 terrorists, including Abu Mohamed al-Maslamani, a leader in “Jabhat al-Nusra”.
The army’s air force conducted a series of sorties in which it targeted terrorists’ positions in al-Tamaniaa town and Orum al-Jouz village in the southern countryside of Idleb province, a military source said.
A number of vehicles equipped with machineguns and centers with terrorists and weapons inside were destroyed during the airstrikes.
The army’s air force launched airstrikes against gatherings of Jaish al-Fatah terrorists in Kafr Zita town and Morek city in the northwestern countryside of Hama province.
A military source said several of the terrorists’ vehicles equipped with heavy machine guns were destroyed in the airstrikes.
Meanwhile , 23 terrorists were killed during army’s operations against the gatherings of “Jund al-Aqsa” to the north of Soran, including Mousa Khaled al-Sallom and Kassim al-Sammaa.
The Syrian Arab Army air force destroyed vehicles of ISIS and killed all terrorists onboard in the surroundings of Maheen.
A unit of the army carried out precise bombardments against hotbeds and positions of Jabhat al-Nusra and other Takfiri organizations in Daraa al-Balad, destroying their hotbeds, one of their cars and a heavy machinegun to the south of Zenobia School to the west of al-Abbasyia Bakery.
A unit of the army also carried out a special operation on the northwest of al-Gharyia al-Gharbyia Bridge in the northeastern countryside, inflicting heavy losses upon the terrorists in the personnel and the equipment, in addition to destroying one of their trucks that was used for the fortification.
In the northeastern countryside of the southern Sweida province, a unit of the army destroyed positions of the ISIS terrorists and inflicted heavy losses upon it in the personnel and the equipment in Khirbet Sa’ad village and hill.
Meanwhile, a source at Sweida Governorate told SANA reporter that a unit of the army, in cooperation with the popular defense groups, foiled an attack by the ISIS terrorists who infiltrated from al-Qasir village to the surroundings of al-Haqaf village on the outskirts of al-Badiya “desert”.
The source indicated that the engineering units, in cooperation with the popular defense units, on Thursday morning dismantled three remote-controlled explosive devices, weighing between 15 and 20 kg, that were planted by terrorists at a-Haqaf/al-Bouthaina road.
The explosive devices were planted by terrorists in an attempt to infiltrate into al-Haqaf village.
Two command centers, two weapons and ammunition depots and two heavy cannons for terrorist organizations were destroyed by airstrikes launched by the army’s air force against their positions in Douma and Khan al-Shih in Damascus Countryside.
ISIL Evacuating Syria’s Raqqa
TEHRAN (FNA)- The top leaders and commanders of the ISIL terrorist group were seen by locals and citizens to be escaping from the Syrian city of Raqqa after sustaining heavy casualties in the Russian airstrikes and long-range cruise missile attacks from its Mediterranean fleet.
Intelligence sources confirmed citizens’ reports on Thursday that militants’ leaders are fleeing the so-called capital of the ISIL terrorist group after hundreds of ISIL members escaped the city on Wednesday to save their lives.
Various sources from citizens of Raqqa to local villagers and intelligence sources have reported in the last 24 hours that the terrorist group has started hasty evacuation of Raqqa after the Russian strikers and long-range bombers intensifying airstrikes on the strongholds and command centers of the ISIL militants in Raqqa in recent days.
The Russian military has also been pounding the ISIL stronghold in Raqqa with cruise missiles fired from the Mediterranean Sea since Tuesday.
Meantime, reports disclosed on Wednesday that the ISIL terrorists retreated from the Southern parts of Hasakah province, located North of Raqq, as Syrian army and popular forces, backed by Russian and Syrian airstrikes, continue to strike heavy blows at the militants.
According to the Arabic-language al-Mayadeen television, ISIL terrorists are moving their families and heavy weaponries from the city of al-Shadadi in the Southern countryside of Hasakah to Deir Ezzur.
Hasakah is a region in Northeastern Syria mostly populated by the Kurds. The Kurdish and Arab fighters have recently pushed the terrorists out of the Northern parts of the region.
Following similar heavy strikes in the Southern parts of the province by the Syrian forces, the ISIL terrorists were forced to retreat furthern to Raqqa, the so-called capital of the ISIL terrorist group. But after the start of heavy airstrikes by the Russian and French air forces in the last few days, the ISIL is again on the move to retreat further to deploy its central command in Deir Ezzur.
Also on Tuesday, the France’s Le Monde newspaper, citing a French official, said that the Russian military has launched airstrikes against the ISIL stronghold of Raqqa in Syria with cruise missiles from the Mediterranean Sea.
The information that Russia struck the ISIL positions in Raqqa was also reported by a senior French government source.
US officials also confirmed on Tuesday that Moscow conducted a significant number of strikes in Syria using both sea-launched cruise missiles and long-range bombers.
Homs Town Falling back in Syrian Hands
TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian army and National Defense Forces are rapidly advancing inside the strategic town of Maheen in Homs province hours after they entered the town on Thursday, locals said, adding that ISIL has sent hundreds of fresh troops to the town after sustaining a heavy defeat.
The Syrian forces also killed and injured a large number of Takfiri terrorists in the military operations.
Meanwhile, ISIL is determined to repel the Syrian forces assaults as reinforcements have allegedly arrived hours ago to help to push back the Syrian army and its allies.
Hundreds of ISIL terrorists escaped Maheen after the Syrian army and National Defense Forces entered the strategic town after weeks of fierce clashes with the Takfiri terrorists.
The Syrian forces began their wide-scale attack at the village of Hawareen after advancing from the recently captured village of Hadath.
The troops reportedly destroyed ISIL’s positions at the Sadad-Hawareen checkpoint, and took full control over the checkpoint before advancing inside Hawareen village and finally regained full control over this small village that is located directly North of the Maheen Orchards.
The Syrian army has entered Maheen, retaking the Northern Orchards after a series of clashes with ISIL militants, a military source said.
On Tuesday, the Syrian army troops purged ISIL Takfiri militants from a strategic village in the Central Province of Homs.
The army regained full control of al-Hadath village in the Southeastern countryside of Homs, field sources said.
A large group of terrorists were killed and injured in the military operation.
Hezbollah Ambushes Terrorist Group in Arsal Barrens
Hezbollah mujahidin (fighters) managed on Thursday to ambush a group of terrorists in the area of Wadi al-Khayl in Arsal barrens, killing two militants and injuring five others.
The Islamic Resistance had launched a large-scale campaign against the terrorists in Qalamoun-Arsal barrens which form the Lebanese northeastern borders with Syria, controlling large parts of the area.