Syria in the Last 24 Hours – Counter terrorism Ops Continue, Russia Responds to Turkish Attack

Syria in the Last 24 Hours – Turkish Air force Shoots Down Russian Bomber Over Syria
President Putin’s Answers to Journalists Following the Downing of Russian Military Plane Over Syria
Lavrov : Downing of Russian Su-24 Looked Like a Planned Provocation
Medvedev : Turkey’s Actions Undermine Relations with Russia


Session of the Russian Defence Ministry Board held under the leadership of the Head of Military department General of the Army Sergei Shoigu in Moscow


On November 25, another session of the Russian Defence Ministry Board was held under the leadership of the Head of Military department General of the Army Sergei Shoigu in Moscow.

It was attended by the key personnel of the Russian Armed Forces, representatives of the state executive authorities and the Public Council at the Russian Defence Ministry.

In his opening speech, the Head of the Military department addressed to the events of the previous day, when the Turkish Air Force shot down the Russian Su-24M aircraft over the territory of Syria.

“Yesterday during the combat task performance on elimination of terrorist groupings on the territory of the Syrian Arab Republic our comrades were killed,” said the Minister of Defence.

Participants of the session observed a minute of silence in memory of the Russian servicemen killed in Syria.

Minister of Defence stated that the Russian and Syrian Task Force have successfully accomplished operation on rescuing the navigator of the downed Su-24 bomber.

“The operation was successful. The navigator was returned to the Russian base. He is in good health. I would like to thank all the Russian guys who had worked all the night with great risk to their lives. At 03:40 (MSK), they finished this work,” said General of the Army Sergei Shoigu.

“I reported the successful accomplishment of the operation to the Supreme Commander-in-Chief Vladimir Putin. He asked to convey a message of thanks to the servicemen who had taken part in that operation,” told Defence Minister.

He also claimed that “according to the decision of the Supreme Commander-in-Chief, an S-400 AA missile system will be projected to the Hmeymim airbase to ensure the air defence at all directions”.

First-hand measures were taken and a number of tasks were carried out. The Moskva missile cruiser has been restationed to a new area. It has been deployed in the area near the coast of Latakia and is ready to destroy any aerial target, which presents a threat to our aviation. Moreover, all further maneuvers of the Russian attack aviation will be carried out exclusively while escorted by fighter aircraft.

The Minister of Defence General of the Army Sergei Shoigu stated that Russia terminated all military cooperation with Turkey.

General of the Army Sergei Shoigu has scheduled the discussion of modernization and enhancement the Aerospace Forces as the first point on today’s agenda of the Defence Ministry Board.

The Defence Minister has noted that “successful actions of the Russian aviation group in Syria have been achieved due to the high level of professionalism of flight crews in employing combat weaponry”.

The next point on the agenda covered the planned activities of the Southern MD up to year 2020.

This year more than 1000 new and modernized pieces of weaponry have been delivered to the District, allowing for the equipment of newly formed units and re-equipment of already existing units.

More than 1500 exercises, conferences and trainings have been held since the beginning of the year.

The Board also discussed the implementation of the 2015 Defence Ministry Activity Plan; the 2016 plan was also approved during the meeting of the Board.

Talking about the measures of enhancing the quality of weapons and hardware employed by troops, the General of the Army Sergei Shoigu emphasized that “the reliability of hardware supply increases with the amount of supplies and the intensity of its use each year.”

According to the Defence Minister, most importantly it has to do with aircraft (Mi-28N, Ka-52 and Mi-8AMTSh helicopters and Su-30SM and Su-34 airplanes), X-102 air-based cruise missiles, BTR-82A armored personnel carriers, Iskander-M operational-tactical missile systems and spacecraft.

The Defence Minister stated that it was important to note the decline in the number of reclamations, and that in the first half of 2015 their number decreased by 16% compared to the first half of 2014. He emphasized that it was important to preserve this positive trend.

The Defence Minister also introduced issues concerning developing the organization of inspections held in the Russian Armed Forces.

The Head of the military department stressed that the real capabilities of the troops could have been checked only by holding control inspections and it was necessary to raise the effectiveness of such activities.

Sergei Shoigu said that the Military Strategic Research Center of the General Staff Military Academy of the Russian Armed Forces had developed proposals concerning establishing a system of troops’ inspection, assessment of readiness to perform assigned tasks and activity regularization of control bodies.

Developed proposals were also discussed during the Board session.

The Minister of Defence General of the Army Sergei Shoigu ordered not to stop at the reached results.

Speech of the Chief of the Main Operational Directorate of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces Lt.Gen. Sergei Rudskoy on provocative actions of the Turkish Air Force

Today, at 10:24 (MSK) an F-16 fighter of the Turkish Air Force shot down Su-24M tactical bomber of the Russian Aerospace Forces, which was performing a combat sortie over the territory of the Syrian Arab Republic. The fighter supposedly performed the strike with IR homing headed short-range missile.

The objective monitoring data confirmed that the Turkish warplane did not make any attempt to establish a communication or visual contact with the Russian bomber.

The missile hit the Su-24M aircraft over the territory of Syria. The bomber crash place is on the territory of Syria four kilometres far from the borderline. The Su-24M crew managed to eject. According to the preliminary data, fire from the ground killed one of the pilots.

The objective monitoring data shows that the Russian aircraft did not cross the Turkish borderline.

Data received from the Syrian Air Defence Forces confirmed this fact as well.

Moreover, radar reconnaissance data, which was received from the Hmeymim airbase, registered Syrian airspace violation by the attacking aircraft of the Turkish Air Force.

This fact is assessed as a flagrant violation of international law with extremely grave consequences and the direct breach of Memorandum on air incident prevention and flight safety over the Syrian Arab Republic, which had been signed by the USA and relevant for all countries of the coalition, including Turkey.

That is why the Turkish party started urgent consultations with the NATO instead of immediate contacting with the Russian Defence Ministry.

Defence Attaché of Turkey in the Russian Federation was presented a decisive protest against the actions of the Turkish Air Force, which had led to the loss of the Russian aircraft.

It is to be mentioned that from the beginning of the operation, the Russian Defence Ministry had established a direct telephone line between the National Centre for State Defence Control of the Russian Federation and the Ministry of National Defence of Turkey. But it has no practical use due to the fault of the Turkish party.

In order to evacuate the Russian pilots from the landing point, a search-and-rescue operation was conducted by two Mi-8 helicopters. In the course of the operation, one of helicopters was damaged by small arms fire and performed an emergency landing in the neutral area. One contract serviceman – member of Marine Troops – was killed.

The personnel of the search-and-rescue team and the helicopter crew were evacuated and are now at the Hmeymim airbase. The helicopter was destroyed by mortar fire conducted from the territory controlled by illegal armed groups.

The operation on searching and rescuing the crew of the Russian bomber is continued.

It is to be emphasized that in the action area of the Russia aviation the Syrian governmental troops are conducting operation on elimination of illegal armed groups, which include over 1000 militants from the North Caucasus according to the Russian data sources.

It is to be stressed that none of the Russian partners and none of the states, which are fighting against ISIS, has mentioned that there are units of so-called “moderate opposition” in that they do not recommend to make strikes in this area. On the contrary, these territories are known as the ones controlled by the most radical illegal armed groups.

Now the General Staff is elaborating additional security measures for the Russian airbase.

First: All the activities of the attack aviation will be carried out only under cover of fighter aircraft.

Second: Air defence will be reinforced. For that purpose, the Moskva cruiser equipped with air defence system Fort analogous to the S-300 one will go to the shore zone of Latakia. Russian Defence Ministry warns that all the potentially dangerous targets will be destroyed.

Third: Contacts with Turkey will be terminated at the military level.

Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation


The men in black are the Syrian military intelligence team who located the Russian Su-24M navigation before participating in his rescue. The team was led by Colonel T.

From a military perspective, and putting in mind that we cannot share everything, yet we can simply say the Russian navigator Captain Konstantin Murakhtin showed a high level of training in survival skills. He truly was a credit to his uniform, his training and his armed forces. We had no doubt otherwise, yet a true word should always be spoken.

Our condolences to the family of the Russian Marine killed during the Mi-8 Chopper incident; and our condolences to the family of Captain Sergey Rumyantsev who ejected, yet was killed by NATO-backed terrorists while was still parachuting.

The rescue mission was conducted by Syrian Spec-Ops from both the Syrian Army and Syrian Military Intelligence, and Russian Spec-Ops.

This act was not the first by the enemy military of Turkey, they once shot down a Syrian Mi-17 chopper and let their backed terrorists brutally kill them in the most inhumane methods.

The Turkish military are nothing but a disgrace to every military uniform in the world.

Syrian Arab Army

After loosing communication with the pilot, and hours of searching, and intelligence work. Syrian military intelligence operatives located the second Su-24M attack bomber pilot downed by Turkey.

A team of Syrian Spec-Ops and Russian Spec-Ops was airlifted behind enemy lines, reached the pilot, and escorted him into a safe pickup zone; where they were picked up and air lifted to Basel al-Assad airbase (aka Hmemeem airbase).

Syrian Arab Army

A lot of social media sites are spreading all kind of rumors on what happened with the Russian chopper. So once and for all, and let us remind you again, these information are somehow exclusive as one of our team member was on that mission.

The Russian chopper was hit by an AA gun in its tail, and had to make an emergency landing. The 15 men on board were unharmed, left the chopper and mistakenly headed toward a terrorist held territory.

Instantly, on the hit and before the chopper even landed, RuAF sent two Mi-24P choppers, and Syrian Army Special Forces unit from the 105th Mechanized Brigade of the Syrian Republican Guards was given orders to reach the chopper’s crew before terrorists do.

When the RuAF Mi-24P started hitting terrorist locations, the land crew knew they were heading in the wrong direction, so they barricaded and took a defensive position waiting the land forces to reach them.

There were three Syrian Special Forces teams who were advancing from three axis. Terrorists used AA gun to try and stop the land forces from advancing, but the RuAF Mi-24P in the air and Syrian Army’s Artillery took care of that. SyAAF and RuAF had jets in the sky in a close by location, including fighters, anticipating any foreign intervention.

The first spec-ops team to arrive to the crew’s location did not engaged the terrorists until they reached the crew. The other two teams arrived as well and the before the evacuation, our orders came to destroy the downed chopper so it won’t be left behind with any equipment intact. After taking a safe distance, and before destroying it, NATO-Backed terrorists launched a US-made TOW missile hitting the chopper on the ground.

The teams and the rescued crew members were extracted under RuAF, SyAAF and Syrian artillery into safety.

Syrian Arab Army


Russian pilot of the downed jet rescued by Syrian and Russian special forces
25 November، 2015
Damascus, SANA

A unit of the Syrian army special forces, in cooperation with the Russian special forces, carried out Tuesday night a special operation in which they penetrated 4.5 km deep into the terrorists’ lines and rescued one of the two pilots of the Russian jet downed yesterday by the Turkish army, a military source said on Wednesday.

The Russian Su-24 aircraft was downed over the Syrian territories yesterday by an air -to-air missile launched from a Turkish F-16 fighter jet when it was returning from an anti-terrorist mission in the northern countryside of Lattakia.

Members of the Syrian and Russian special forces who carried out the rescue operation returned to their position safely, added the source, stressing that the Russian pilot is in good health.

Reem/H. Said

No Warning from Turkish Jets Before Attack
Interview with Rescued Pilot


Russia to deploy S-400 air defense system in Hmeimim airbase
25 November، 2015
Moscow, SANA

Russian President Vladimir Putin approved deploying S-400 air defense system at the Russian airbase in Hmeimim in Lattakia, the Kremlin announced on Wednesday.

Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the President approved the Russian Defense Ministry’s proposal to deploy the S-400 system, Russia’s most advanced anti-aircraft defense system.

Earlier, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said at a Defense Ministry meeting that S-400 will be deployed in Hmeimim airbase after a Russian Su-24 aircraft was downed yesterday by an air-to-air missile launched from a Turkish F-16 fighter jet when it was returning from an anti-terrorist mission in the northern countryside of Lattakia.

The S-400 is employed to ensure air defense using long- and medium-range missiles that can hit aerial targets at ranges up to 400 kilometers. The S-400 is capable of hitting tactical and strategic aircraft as well as ballistic and cruise missiles. The system includes a set of radars, missile launchers and command posts, and is operated solely by the Russian military.

H. Zain/ H. Said

There is full coordination between Syria and Russia on counterterrorism
25 November، 2015
Moscow, SANA

Deputy Prime Minister, Foreign and Expatriates Minister Walid al-Moallem stressed on Wednesday that there is full coordination between Syria and Russia in all matters related to combating terrorism, noting that in less than two months, the Russian Air Force had outdone by hundred times the US-led coalition against terrorism over 18 months.

Al-Moallem explained during a meeting with Speaker of the Russian State Duma Sergey Naryshkin that in cooperation between the Russian Air Force and the Syrian Arab Army, more than a thousand tankers of stolen Syrian oil, hundreds of fuel tanks, depots and command centers for terrorists in different Syrian provinces were destroyed, while the 6000 sorties which were carried out by the United States and its allies over 18 months didn’t cause any weakening of ISIS terrorist organization.

Al-Moallem pointed out that the Syrian-Russian joint efforts in eliminating ISIS and other terrorist organizations have angered the Turkish leadership which mounted a flagrant aggression on Syrian sovereignty by shooting down the Russian aircraft over the Syrian territory, considering that such behavior was not a surprise as Turkish government has been plotting against Syria.

Al-Moallem expressed Syria’s thanks to the Russian people, leadership and President Vladimir Putin for their support to Syria in its fight against international terrorism.

Al-Moallem said that cooperation and coordination between the Russian Air Force and the Syrian Arab Army have inflicted heavy losses upon terrorists.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, he added, has been displeased with the progress made by the Syrian Arab Army with support of the Russian Air Force since this advance on the ground dispels his dreams in northwest Syria and shows to the whole world Erdogan’s support for terrorist organizations.

Al-Moallem also expressed solidarity with the Russian friends and deep regret over the shooting down of the Russian aircraft, describing this incident as a war crime.
In turn, Naryshkin said that the situation in Syria is among Russia’s top priorities and the focus of the attention of the Russian parliamentarians and society.

Naryshkin added that Russia has always stood alongside Syria and that the Russian Duma Council unanimously issued a statement confirming support for the Syrian government and people in the face of international aggression and opposed the use of military force on its territory.

Naryshkin noted that both the Russian Duma and Federation Councils have recently held a joint session that addressed the situation in the Middle East and North Africa, with a focus on the developments of the situation in Syria and combating terrorism together with the Syrian government.
Naryshkin said that Russia is eager to restore peace in Syria including the restoration of the political track and launching a Syrian- Syrian dialogue, stressing that the only the Syrian people have the right to self-determination away from external interference.

In a meeting with Chairman of the Russian Duma’s International Affairs Committee Alexei Pushkov, al-Moallem reviewed the latest developments in Syria and cooperation between the two countries in combating terrorism.

Qabas/ Manal

Lavrov: Downing of Russian warplane will not pass without a response
25 November، 2015
Moscow, SANA

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that terrorists are using Turkish territories to launch attacks in Syria and in other states, and that Russia will revise its relations with Turkey following the downing of the Russian warplane.

In a press conference held in Moscow in Wednesday, Lavrov said that the downing of the Russian warplane by Turkey over Syrian territories also requires revising the military structure of the Russian presence in Syria, and that Russia will not let this incident pass without a response.

He explained that the area where the plane was shot down contains bases and weapons and ammo depots for terrorists, and that the downing of the warplane is linked to the Russian airstrikes on oil refineries and storage facilities used by ISIS.

Lavrov said that Ankara tried to explain its actions by claiming that the Russian plane had entered the Turkish airspace for 17 seconds, adding that prior to the commencement of the Russian aerial operations in Syria, there had been direct contact between Russian and Turkish defense centers, but the coordination between the two centers has never been put to use, not even during Tuesday’s incident, which raises many questions.

The Minister described the incident as an act of provocation, noting that everyone saw the videos broadcast of the downing of the plane and said this could have been a planned act, despite the Turkish claims to the contrary, adding that Russian President Vladimir Putin had put forth a number of elements on Tuesday that are being analyzed.

He explained that the NATO didn’t apologize nor did it express regret over the downing of the Russian warplane, which makes it seem as if it’s trying to cover up the incident, adding that the EU’s reaction was similar.

“We have received information that in certain areas of Turkey, where terrorists feel at home, there is even an established market for human organs which are smuggled by terrorists from Syria, and those are body parts of the murdered Syrians.” Lavrov said.

Lavrov said after canceling his planned visit to Istanbul that Moscow doesn’t indent to send any senior officials to Turkey or receive any senior Turkish officials.

“We cannot fail to react to what happened. Not because we must retaliate. It’s just that there are too many issues in Turkey that pose a direct terrorist threat to our citizens. And not only ours,” he said, He pointed out that the problems at the Turkish-Syrian border could be solved by simply closing it, as suggested by French President Francois Hollande during his meeting with US President Barack Obama in Washington.

Regarding the political process for resolving the crisis in Syria, Lavrov reiterated calls for agreeing upon the “opposition” delegation and making lists of terrorist organizations that will not be included in the ceasefire as per the Vienna agreements.

Russia publishes video showing downed Russian warplane didn’t enter Turkish airspace
25 November، 2015
Moscow, SANA

The Russian Defense Ministry published on Wednesday a video showing the course of the Russian warplane which was downed by Turkey on Tuesday, with the video confirming that the plane did not enter Turkish airspace.

The video was broadcast during a press conference in which Lt. Gen. Sergey Rudskoy from the Russian General Staff, who confirmed that the downed Su-24 bomber never violated Turkish airspace and that its course was strictly over Syrian territories.

Russia’s responses to the incident so far included Russian President Vladimir Putin describing the act as backstabbing by allies of terrorism and announcing the deployment of S-400 anti-air defense systems at Hmeimim Airbase in Lattakia, while the Russian General Staff said that all military contact with Turkey has been has been cut and that any targets that pose a threat to Russian forces will be destroyed.


Woman and her daughter injured by terrorist attack in Aleppo
25 November، 2015
Aleppo, SANA

A woman and her daughter were injured after terrorists fired an improvised rocket on al-Muhafaza neighborhood in Aleppo city on Wednesday.

A source at the province told SANA that the attack also caused material damage in the private properties in the area, while a medical source at the University Hospital said the two civilians injured in the attacks were hospitalized and that their wounds aren’t severe.

The army kills more terrorists in various areas
25 November، 2015
Provinces, SANA

The army continued its operations against the terrorist organizations all around the country where its units targeted their positions and gatherings, killing a number of their members and destroying their vehicles and weapons.

Damascus countryside

The army destroyed a tunnel for terrorists, with 250 m length and 9 m depth, in the surrounding of the Vehicles’ Administration in Harasta in Damascus countryside.

Field sources told SANA that the army also destroyed two vehicles for Jaish al-Islam terrorists in Alya farms to the north of Douma, killing terrorists Aboud Abdoud and Moustafa Dahman.

The sources added that a unit of the army clashed with terrorists from Jaish al-Islam to the East of Harasta. The clashes ended up with the killing of a number of terrorists and seizing the building where they were hiding in.

The army also advanced along the way between Marj al-Sultan and Nouleh villages, killing large number of terrorists there.

Aleppo

The Syrian Air Force carried out sorties against the terrorists’ gatherings in Tal al-Bakkara, Dulama, and to the south of al-Zarba in the southwestern countryside of Aleppo city, inflicting heavy losses upon terrorists.

A source told SANA that the airstrikes targeted positions of Jabhat al-Nusra and “al-Jabha al-Chamia” terrorist organizations in Buwaida Saghira village in the western countryside of Aleppo, destroying number of their positions along with all weapons and ammo inside them.

The Air Force’s sorties also targeted a convoy of vehicles belonging to terrorist organizations and their supply routes in Enjara and Daret Ezza, causing the destruction of many of vehicles.

Terrorist organizations acknowledged on their social media pages the death of many of their members in Aleppo province, including Abad al-Aziz Hilal.

Homs

Army units, in cooperation with popular defense groups, established control over Tlol Um Kadom, Dahrat al-Said, Jabal al-Ramila, Tolol al-Sood in the southeast countryside of Homs.

Earlier, the Syrian Air Force launched concentrated airstrikes against the gatherings and dens of ISIS in Abu Alia, Unq al-Hawa, Masaada and Habra al-Sharqia to the east of Homs city.

According to a military source, the airstrikes destroyed the targeted ISIS sites along with vehicles equipped with machineguns and loaded with weapons and ammunition.

The Air Force also destroyed ISIS hideouts and vehicles in al-Bayarat area to the west of Tadmur (Palmyra) city in the eastern countryside of Homs.

Hama

A military source told SANa that the Syrian Air Force launched a series of airstrikes against the dens and gatherings of Jaish al-Fateh (Conquest Army) terrorist organization in the northern countryside of Hama province.

The source said the airstrikes resulted in destroying fortified positions and several of vehicles, some of which were equipped with heavy machineguns, for Jabhat al-Nusra and other terrorist organizations in Kafr Zita town and Latmin village.