Syria in the Last 48 Hours

Syria in the Last 48 Hours : Russia Enhances Defense Systems Over Syria


Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Aerospace Forces handed over the Gold Star medal of the pilot killed in Syria to the spouse

Today, in the 4th State aviation training and testing centre of the Russian Ministry of Defence, Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Aerospace Forces Colonel General Viktor Bondarev has handed over the Gold Star medal of the Hero of Russia, Lieutenant Colonel Oleg Peshkov, the pilot killed in Syria during task performance, to the spouse.

“Accept my sincere condolences, – said Viktor Bondarev. – We share your sorrow and grieve with your family. Your husband has always been and remains the patriot and the Hero of this country. His name is written forever in the history of Russia, the Russian Army and the Aerospace Forces of this country.”

Upon the request of the relatives of the Hero, the officer will be buried in the city of Lipetsk on December 2.

According to the Decree of the President of Russia Vladimir Putin, Lieutenant Colonel Oleg Peshkov was awarded the honorary title of the Hero of the Russian Federation for heroism, courage and bravery shown during fulfillment of the military duty (posthumously).

Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation


Army establishes control over more areas, kills scores of terrorists across the country
1 December، 2015
Provinces, SANA

The army units, aided with the army air force, continued targeting the Takfiri terrorist organizations’ hotbeds, gatherings and hideouts in many areas across the country, inflicting heavy losses upon them in personnel and equipment.

Daraa

An army unit destroyed Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist’s hideouts with all terrorists inside south of the Court’s vicinity in Daraa al-Balad neighborhood in the southern Daraa province.

A military source told SANA Tuesday that terrorists’ headquarters and gathering were destroyed in al-Bado neighborhood with all weapons and ammunition inside.

Meanwhile, Takfiri terrorist organizations acknowledged on their social media websites the killing of a number of their members, including terrorists Adman Mustafa al-Hilal and Mohammad Abdel-Rahman al-Saadi.

Aleppo

An army unit clashed with terrorists who attempted to attack AzizeIt Sama’an village in the southwestern countryside of Aleppo province, destroying a mortar cannon, a heavy cannon, a heavy-equipped machinegun, an armored vehicle and killing a number of them, while the rest fled away.

The army units destroyed terrorist organizations’ gatherings with all weapons and equipment in Kafernaha and west of al-Hader in the southern and southwestern countryside of the province.

Another army unit destroyed Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorists’ vehicles, some equipped with heavy machineguns in the village of Hazazeh, 52km east of Aleppo city.

In Aleppo city, an army unit targeted Jabhat al-Nusra terrorists’ hideouts and hotbeds in the neighborhoods of al-Ameriyeh, al-Rashideen1, al-Lairamoun, Bani Zaid and al- Sheikh Khedur, inflicting heavy losses upon them.

Lattakia

More villages under army control

Army units, backed by popular defense groups, continued advancement in the northeastern countryside of Lattakia .

The military source confirmed that the army established control over Arafeet al-Tahta, Arafit Fawqa, Rowaiset Sheikho and Katef al-Sallat villages after destroying terrorists’ dens.

The army seized weapons and ammunition, including 3 mortar bases, and dismantled scores of explosive devices planted by terrorists before they had fled these areas.

The army destroys weapons and vehicles for terrorists in western Aleppo
1 December، 2015
Aleppo, SANA

Army units destroyed a mortar and a heavy launcher, a heavy-equipped vehicle and an armored vehicle at the outskirts of Azizet Sama’an village in the western countryside of Aleppo province, a military source told SANA Tuesday.

Earlier Monday, the Syrian army air force destroyed the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist organization’s headquarters and machinegun-equipped vehicles in the villages of Akolah, Rasm al-Abed, Hemeima big, Hemeima small, Hazazeh village and Deir Hafer east of Aleppo city.

Civilian killed, another injured in terrorist terrorist attacks in Hasaka and Damascus
1 December، 2015
Hasaka/Damascus, SANA

A civilian was killed on Tuesday after ISIS terrorists blew up an explosive device planted in a house in al-Nu’maniyah village in al-Sabaa Skor area in the southern countryside of Hasaka city.

A source at Hasaka Police Command told SANA reporter that the explosion caused the killing of a young man in addition to material damage in the near houses and properties.

The source added that the terrorists planted explosive devices in a number of the village’ houses before they fled away escaping the operations of the army and the popular defense groups.

On November 26th, a civilian was killed in a landmine that was previously planted by ISIS terrorist groups near al-Faj village, 23 km to the east of al-Hasaka city.

Citizen injured in terrorist mortar attack on Damascus

A citizen was injured due to terrorist mortar attack on Bab Mosalla residential area in Damascus on Tuesday.

A source at the Police Command told SANA reporter that a mortar shell hit al-Swika neighborhood in Bab Mosalla residential area, causing the injuring of a civilian and material damage in the targeted area.

First stage to clear al-Waer neighborhood from gunmen to be implemented next week
1 December، 2015
Homs, SANA

Homs Governor Talal al-Barazi said that an agreement was made between the reconciliation sub-committees to move weapons and gunmen out of al-Waer neighborhood, adding that all state institutions and services will be restored to the neighborhood upon the implementation.

Al-Barazi said in a statement to SANA reporter that the sub-committees discussed during a meeting on Tuesday the suitable mechanism to accomplish the agreement, adding that starting from the next week the first batch of armed militants will exit the area along with their families.

The past few months witnessed many attempts to solve the issue of al-Waer neighborhood, located in the western side of Homs city, to clear it out of weapons and gunmen.

In 2014, a similar agreement carried out in the old city of Homs under which the area was cleared of gunmen and weapons.


President Putin: It is not possible to form a broad front on combating terrorism with sides exploiting terrorist organizations to achieve temporal goals
30 November، 2015
Paris, SANA

Russian President Vladimir Putin affirmed on Monday that “it is not possible to form a broad front on combating terrorism in the presence of sides which exploit terrorist organizations to achieve temporal goals”, calling for implementing UN resolutions relevant to oil trade carried out by terrorists.

“I met a number of leaders and discussed with them a number of urgent issues, including the crisis in Syria and means to solve it,” President Putin said at a press conference on the sidelines of Climate Summit of Paris, affirming the solution would not be realized except by peaceful means.

He hoped the upcoming meeting of Vienna would find “new contact points.”

On his meeting with US counterpart Obama, President Putin said “we talked about the crisis in Syria and what should be done and what should be a priority for us.”

“There is an understanding on where we should go and the importance of reaching a political solution… we have to formulate a new constitution, hold new elections and monitor their results,” President Putin added.

As for downing the Russian warplane in the Syrian airspace, the Russian President said ‘I didn’t meet the Turkish President and I discussed the issue with other leaders, most of them share the same opinion that there was no need to down the plane because it didn’t threaten Turkey.”

Putin : Russia Has Evidence Su-24 Shot Down to Protect Daesh Oil Deliveries


Aircraft of military transport aviation of the Russian Defence Ministry delivered the body of the Hero of the Russia, Commander of the Su-24M Lieutenant Colonel Oleg Peshkov from Ankara to the Chkalovsky airfield


The aircraft of the military and transport aviation of the Russian Defence Ministry has delivered the body of the Hero of the Russian Federation, Commander of the Su-24M crew shot down by a Turkish fighter in the sky over Syria on November 24, Lieutenant Colonel Oleg Peshkov from Ankara to the Chkalovsky airfield.

During the flight in the Russian air space, the aircraft with the body of Lieutenant Colonel Oleg Peshkov was escorted by fighters.

Russian Minister of Defence General of the Army Sergei Shoigu and Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Aerospace Forces Colonel General Viktor Bondarev met the aircraft with body of the killed pilot Lieutenant Colonel Oleg Peshkov at the Chkalovsky airfield.

Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Aerospace Forces Colonel General Viktor Bondarev stated that “since the first day and up to the last flight, Lieutenant Colonel Oleg Peshkov was fulfilling his military duty with honour and dignity – the duty of the citizen and the officer of Russia”.

“Treacherous shot in the back terminated the life of a good man and an excellent pilot,” mentioned the Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Aerospace Forces.

“Today Oleg Peshkov arrived to the Russian land on a Russian airplane. We will always follow his example of serving the duty. Those who planned and executed this treacherous act will be punished,” emphasized Colonel General Viktor Bondarev.

”Flight personnel have always been following his example. We will fulfill our military duty to the end,” promised Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Aerospace Forces.

Silent drill team rendered military honours to the Hero of Russia Oleg Peshkov killed during task performance in Syria.

Upon the request of his family, the Hero of the Russian Federation Lieutenant Colonel Oleg Peshkov will be buried in Lipetsk.


Upon the initiative of the American party a telephone talk between Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces Valery Gerasimov and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the U.S. Armed Forces Joseph Dunford took place

On November 30, 2015, upon the initiative of the American party a telephone conversation between the Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces – the First Deputy Defence Minister General of the Army Valery Gerasimov and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the U.S. Armed Forces General Joseph Dunford took place.

Issues concerning the activities of Russia and the anti-ISIL coalition led by the USA in Syria were discussed.

General of the Army Valery Gerasimov and General Joseph Dunford agreed to continue bilateral contacts.

Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation


Russia arms Su-34s with air-to-air missiles in Syria for 1st time
30 November، 2015
Moscow, SANA

Russian Defense Ministry announced on Monday that Russian aircrafts participating in the military operations against terrorist organizations in Syria carried out their first sorties equipped with air-to-air missiles.

RT website quoted Igor Klimov, commander of the Russian Airforce in Syria as saying: “Russian Su-34 bombers, additionally equipped with air-to-air missiles, have set out their first mission in Syria”

“Today, Russian Su-34 fighter-bombers have made their first sorties equipped not only with high explosive aviation bombs and hollow charge bombs, but also with short- and medium-range air-to-air missiles,” spokesman for the Russian Air Force added.

“The planes are equipped with missiles for defensive purposes,” Klimov said.

The missiles have target-seeking devices and are “capable of hitting air targets within a 60km radius,” Klimov explained.


General Command: Army monitors crowds of terrorist groups crossing Syrian border from Turkey
30 November، 2015
Damascus, SANA

General Command of the Army and Armed Forces said that border guards in the Syrian Arab Army observed crowds of terrorist groups and two convoys of vehicles loaded with terrorists in two border areas with Turkey in parallel with cutting off power in the two areas.

The General Command said in statement: “Erdogan’s government continues to escalate tension on the Syrian-Turkish border.”

The General Command of the Army pointed out that on November 28th crowds of armed terrorist groups were monitored in the border area. In the morning of the next day, two convoys of vehicles loaded with terrorists were seen crossing the borders, adding that border guards in the Syrian Army had targeted them, forcing one of the convoys to return to the Turkish territory while the other escaped inside the Syrian lands.

The General Command added that those facts clarify the high coordination level between the terrorists’ leaders and the Turkish border authorities considering that these convoys began to move immediately after the cutting off power in the areas which showed that Erdogan’s government continues providing all kinds of support to terrorist organizations in Syria.

The General Command concluded the statement by saying that Erdogan’s government bears full responsibility for these dangerous violations, stressing the Army’s determination to do whatever it takes to prevent the entry of terrorists across the Turkish border.

Manar al-Frieh/Manal


Terrorists receive heavy losses due to army continued operations
30 November، 2015
Provinces, SANA

Army units thwarted terrorists infiltration attempts in many areas across the country and destroyed their gatherings and fortifies, inflicting heavy losses upon them in personnel and equipment.

Hama

The army units clashed with armed terrorist organizations which tried to infiltrate into Ma’an town, destroying an armored vehicle and killing and injuring a number of their members a military source told SANA Monday.

Field sources said that at least 6 terrorist, mostly from the so-called “Ahrar al-Sham Islamic Movement” and “Gathering of al-Izzah Brigades “ were killed in the army operations in Markabeh and Ma’an towns, among them Saleh al-Saleh, Mohammad Nassan Agha, Rashid al-Alwan and Fadi Khaled al-Khaled.

The military source added that the army units seized two vehicles one of them is armored and the other is equipped with machinegun, killing and injuring a number of terrorists who tried to infiltrate into a number of military posts in the villages of Zelin, al-Zalaqiyat, al-Bwaida, Tal Bazam, northeast of Souran town.

The army air force targeted the terrorist organizations gatherings and hideouts in the towns of al-Latameneh, Latmeen and west of Ma’an, destroying their headquarters, hideouts and vehicles.

The field sources also said that at least 9 terrorists were killed, among them al-Shukri al-Hussein, Ma’moun Khaled al-Haiyani, Abdel-Aziz al-Salem, Abdel Aziz al-Amouri of the self-claimed leaders of the so-called al-Izza Gathering Mohammad Arab al-Dawi, Mustafa al-Barho and Abdel Aziz al-Khaled.

The Air Force carried out sorties against terrorists’ positions in Lahaiya, Ma’arkabeh and Skeik villages inflicting heavy losses in personnel and vehicles upon terrorist organizations affiliated to the so-called Jaish al-Fateh.

Three vehicles were destroyed and 17 terrorists in the ranks of Jund al-Aqsa terrorists were killed including Abu al-Bara’a al-Demaqi, a leader of a group in the terrorist organization during special operations by the army against their dens in Mourk town.

Another unit of army destroyed BMB vehicle for terrorists in Ma’arkabeh village in addition to an armored vehicle in Lahaiya village with all arms and ammunition inside.

Idleb

In the Idleb countryside, field sources said that an army unit targeted a terrorist organizations convoy of vehicles loaded with ammunition and equipment, which was moving towards al-Dana city, 36 km north of Idleb city, destroying a number of the vehicles with all weapons and ammunition onboard.

Another army unit targeted Jabhat al-Nusra and other terrorist organizations affiliated to the so-called Jaish al-Fateh in Bab al-Salem border crossing with Turkey, destroying a number of cars loaded with ammunition and equipment.

Vehicles for Jabhat al-Nusra terrorists were destroyed in an air strike against axes of their movements in Tramla village 50 kilometers to the south of Idleb.

Homs

The Syrian Air Force targeted the gatherings and fortified positions of ISIS to the southwest of al-Qariatin city and the farms surrounding it in the far southeast countryside of Homs.

ISIS’ sites and vehicles with all terrorists and weapons inside them were destroyed during the airstrikes.

The Army carried out sorties against ISIS’ dens and gatherings in the area surrounding al-Shaer gas field and al-Biarat area in the countryside of Tadmour (Palmyra), inflicting heavy losses upon ISIS’ terrorists and vehicles.

In Tir Maala village to the south of Homs city, army’s airstrikes destroyed terrorists’ sites and positions.

Field sources told SANA reporter that at least 10 terrorists were killed and many others were injured during an ambush carried out by an army unit, in cooperation with popular defense groups, on the axis of Kafr Laha, al-Tiba, al-Sm’alil in al-Houla area in the northwest countryside of Homs, killing at least 10 of the terrorists and injuring many others.

Terrorist organizations acknowledged on their pages on social media sites that many of their members were killed during the ambush, including Sufian Kurh Hasan, Thaer Masri, Osama Sayed, Bashar al-Qassim and Abdul-Jawad al-Mustafa.

Aleppo

The Syrian army air force destroyed the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist organization’s headquarters and machinegun-equipped vehicles in the villages of Akolah, Rasm al-Abed, Hemeima big and Hemeima small, 40 km east of Aleppo city, the military source said.

Meanwhile, the Takfiri terrorist organizations acknowledged on their social media websites the killing of a number of their members, among them what it called “storming leader of special forces in Bab Amre battalion” Ali al-Daloub al-Fa’ouri and Amer al- Omar of the so-called Jaish al-Sunna, Jumaa al-Omar of the so-called Islamic Union of
Ajnad al-Sham, and commander of al-Sham legion nicknamed al-Zaher Baibars al- Salmouni.

The Army’s air force carried out sorties against ISIS terrorist organizations’ dens in Hazazeh village and Deir Hafer 52 kilometers to the east of Aleppo.

The Air strikes destroyed vehicles and headquarters of terrorists with all arms and munitions inside.

Hezbollah Troops Repel Terrorists’ Surprise Attack on Syria’s Zabadani

TEHRAN (FNA)- Hezbollah forces prevented tens of Al-Nusra Front and Ahrar al-Sham militants from penetrating into al-Zabadani plains through a long tunnel they had dug under the city.

A sum of 100 Al-Nusra Front and Ahrar al-Sham terrorists were trying to infiltrate into al-Zabadani via the tunnels they had dug from the town of al-Mazaya, but they were pushed back.

The Hezbollah fighters received intelligence tips about the intention of the militants to enter al-Zabadani plains and launched a timely surprise attack on them.

The Takfiri terrorists were forced to retreat after sustaining heave casualties and leaving behind the bodies of their comrades killed in heavy clashes.

The Syrian army was also pounding terrorists positions on the other side of the tunnel since Sunday night. Reports said some 30 militants were killed in the Syrian army’s massive artillery fire from Sunday night to Monday afternoon.

On September 2, the Syrian Army and the Lebanese Hezbollah Resistance Movement took back Syria’s border town of Zabadani from the terrorists.

The border city was purged of the terrorists Wednesday midnight after two months of intense clashes, FNA dispatches said.

Hezbollah and the Syrian army gained full victory after the remaining gangs of Ahrar al-Sham and al-Nusra Front terrorists were forced to withdraw from the Southern parts of Zabadani towards al-Mazaya region.

Zabadani was freed after a ceasefire plan went into effect three times and the two sides accepted to hold fire in the border region.

Zabadani is located 50 kilometers Northwest of Damascus and 12 kilometers Northeast of Lebanon’s Masnaa border crossing.

Hundreds of Fresh Forces Heading to North to Join Syrian Army Operations near Aleppo

TEHRAN (FNA)- Military sources announced on Monday that large groups of fresh popular forces, trained in the Syrian Army’s military camps, are heading North to take part in the final phase of large-scale operations to complete control over territories in Southwestern Aleppo province.

The sources said that the Local Defense Force (LDF) has dispatched hundreds of the ready-to-fight combatants to the Aleppo province to take part in large-scale operations with the Syrian forces in the Southwestern countryside of province.

Sources said earlier today that the Syrian Army and the country’s National Defense Forces (NDF) pushed back militants from the surrounding areas of the Air Force Academy in the Eastern countryside of Aleppo in a raid.

The pro-government forces’ operation in the Eastern countryside of Aleppo has brought about significant results and the strategic area of the Air Force Academy is now under the full control of the Syrian forces, army sources said.

The militant groups, mainly the ISIL, sustained a heavy death toll in the joint operation of the army and its allies.

Terrorists Acknowledge Defeat in Aleppo

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Takfiri terrorist groups acknowledged on their social media pages the death of a number of their members, including senior commanders, in Syrian military operations in Aleppo province, admitting that they retreated from vast areas on Monday.

The so-called “storming leader of special forces in Bab Amre battalion”, Ali al-Daloub al-Fa’ouri, and the senior commander of al-Sham Legion, al-Zaher Baibars al- Salmouni, have been identified among the dead, the terrorist groups said.

The terrorist groups also said Amer al-Omar from the so-called Jaish al-Sunna and Jumaa al-Omar of the so-called Islamic Union of Ajnad al-Sham have been killed in the Monday clashes.

The terrorists confirmed that they had to retreat from their positions following heavy airstrikes and massive ground operations by the Syrian army and popular forces.

Reports from Northern Aleppo province said on Monday that militant groups have sustained heavy casualties in the joint offensive of the Syrian Army and popular forces on their concentration centers.

The militants’ gathering centers and defense lines in Bashkoy and Hraytan came under attack by the pro-government forces, whose operations in the Northern part of the country pinned down the terrorist groups in their vulnerable positions.

Battlefield reports said the pro-government troops have seized a large number of weapons and military equipment in the attack.

The Syrian army and its allies have gained the upper-hand in different parts of Aleppo city and province in the last two months. Reports said earlier today that the Syrian army repelled the militant groups’ offensive on their military checkpoint Southeast of Aleppo province, and killed or wounded at least 50 of them in their counter-assault.

The Syrian Army’s military checkpoint near al-Aziziyah came under attack of the militant groups, who failed to infiltrate into the government defense lines and fled the battlefront after leaving scores of dead or wounded members as a result of the Syrian forces’ counter-assault.

Syrian Forces Target Terrorists’ Convoy near Turkey

TEHRAN (FNA)- Takfiri terrorists suffered heavy losses as the Syrian army targeted a long column of their trucks loaded with ammunition and military equipment on a supply route from Turkey to Idlib in Northwestern Syria on Monday.

Field sources in Idlib province said the army destroyed a long convoy of truck loaded with ammunition, weapons and military tools and equipment on a road that is used by the al-Nusra Front and other terrorist groups that operate under the umbrella of Jaish al-Fateh to supply weapons from Turkey through Bab al-Salem border crossing.

The convoy was moving towards al-Dana city, 36 km North of Idlib city.

Yesterday, some 94 wanted militants surrendered to local authorities in Idlib as the army, National Defense Forces and the Lebanese Hezbollah fighters, backed by Syrian and Russian warplanes, continue to advance against the Takfiris.

The developments came a few days after heavy fighting erupted between two rival Takfiri terrorist groups in Idlib province, leaving casualties on both sides.

A large group of terrorists were killed in exchange of fire between al-Nusra Front and Ahrar al-Sham terrorist groups in al-Rami village in Idlib countryside on Wednesday.

Turkey Arrests Generals for Stopping Syria-Bound Trucks ‘Filled With Arms’

TEHRAN (FNA)- Two Turkish generals and a colonel were detained on Saturday for intercepting Syria-bound trucks that belonged to Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (MIT), the newspaper Today’s Zaman reported.

In January 2014, Ankara Gendarmerie Major-General Ibrahim Aydin, former Adana Gendarmerie Brigadier-General Hamza Celepoglu and former Gendarmerie Criminal Laboratory Head Colonel Burhanettin Cihangiroglu stopped Syrian-bound trucks in southern Turkey after they received information from an anonymous source that the trucks were illegally carrying weapons to militants in Syria, Sputnik News reported.

When the information about the trucks became public, MIT officials and high-ranking Turkish politicians, including President Recep Teyyip Erdogan, who was Prime Minister back then, and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, then the country’s foreign minister, were furious that the gendarmes stopped the trucks and said the Syria-bound trucks were carrying “humanitarian aid” to Turkmen living just south of Turkey, the newspaper said.

“Yes, I’m saying this without any hesitation. That aid was going to the Turkmens. There will be a war next door and we will watch our Turkmen, Arab and Turkish brothers being massacred,” Davutoglu said, as cited by Today’s Zaman.

However, members of opposition parties and some Turkish media said the trucks were indeed transporting weapons to extremists and terrorists in Syria.

The gendarmes involved in the interception confirmed that the Syria-bound trucks weren’t going to an area where the Turkmen lived, but to an area populated by radical groups, the Turkish newspaper said.

When an investigation into the MIT case was launched, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) called the probe as “treason and espionage” on the part of prosecutors.

New Twist in the Story

New developments on the issue took place recently. Last Tuesday, Erdogan answered claims previously made by critics, who said the trucks were filled with weapons, by sarcastically asking them: “What if the MIT trucks were filled with weapons?”

Then on Saturday, contrary to his earlier claims that the MIT trucks were carrying humanitarian aid to Turkmen, Erdogan said the trucks were actually heading on their way to help the Free Syrian Army (FSA).

“They [the gendarmes who revealed the transfer] also exposed those going to the FSA in that way,” Erdogan said on Saturday while addressing his supporters in Balikesir, as cited by Today’s Zaman.

Well, that’s getting pretty confusing — were the trucks delivering “humanitarian aid” to the Turkmen or the FSA then? Just make up your mind, Mr. Erdogan. Where the trucks were heading and what were they carrying after all?

Meanwhile, some very high-ranking Turkish officials, including then-president Abdullah Gul, revealed that the Syria-bound trucks were a “state-secret,” leading to more speculations that the trucks were indeed filled with weapons.

The recent developments are taking place in the wake of a major government crackdown on two Turkish journalists of the Cumhuriyet newspaper, Can Dunbar and Erdem Gul, who we arrested for covering a story and releasing pictures, claiming that Turkish trucks provided weapons to Syrian opposition rebels.

The reason why the Turkish government arrested the journalists is because Erdogan and his ruling party don’t want reporters to write about certain things, such as the government’s support of Syrian rebels, corruption and other important things that people should actually know about, human rights activist Arzu Geybulla said.

Following the arrest of the journalists, who covered Erdogan’s “tender” topic, it looks like the Turkish President is trying to eliminate everyone who’s willing to speak up or reveal the fact that the Turkish government was helping out extremists in Syria.

All of this comes amid the political scandal involving the downing of the Russian Su-24 by a Turkish Air Force F-16 fighter jet on Tuesday.

After the incident Russia said Turkey was one of the countries which cover the actions of terrorists in Syria.

Turkey Boosts Arms Supplies to Syria Terrorists in Exchange for Oil, Antiques

TEHRAN (FNA)- Turkey has increased weapon, ammunition and equipment shipments into Syria, according to Damascus, in exchange for oil and antiquities looted by the ISIL terrorists.

Meanwhile Moscow condemned Ankara for supporting “armed thugs” operating in Syria, RT reported.

“We have certain information that the Turkish government recently increased support for terrorists and the level of supplying them with arms, ammunition and munitions to continue their criminal acts in exchange for oil and antiquities stolen from Syria and Iraq at low prices, taking advantage of the presence of terrorists whom it enabled to control border areas,” a statement from the Syrian General Command said.

The new weapons shipments, paid for with smuggled oil and artifacts, are being delivered disguised as humanitarian aid, and easily pass through Turkish border controls, the Syrian officials said. Additionally, Turkey was accused of escalating border tensions by shelling Syrian army positions in Northwestern Latakia province from al-Aqra’a Mountain on Friday night.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan previously rejected accusations that Ankara is involved in the oil trade with terrorists, saying that anyone making such a statement must prove it. Erdogan accused Damascus of purchasing oil from the ISIL.

On Thursday a Turkish prosecutor requested the arrest of the editor-in-chief of Cumhuriyet newspaper, Can Dundar, and Cumhuriyet’s representative in Ankara, Erdem Gul, charging them with espionage and treason over a publication back in May that revealed that Turkish weapons were being transferred to Syria by Turkey’s intelligence agency. The story was accompanied by a video allegedly showing Turkish trucks packed with shells heading for Syria.

The recent downing of the Russia warplane “proves” that Turkey supports terrorism in Syria, said Syrian foreign minister Walid Muallem, who was visiting Moscow.

“Turkey helps terrorists due to ideological reasons, thinking that these terrorist groups are successors to the Ottoman empire,” Muallem said. “Turkey provides terrorists with weapons, logistical support, medical care and even shelter.”

Speaking on the same subject on Saturday, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova accused Turkey of supporting the “armed thugs” who killed the Russian pilot.

“These people Ankara seeks to protect … [in] every possible way, including illegal means, have nothing to do with civilians. They are armed thugs that shot down Russian pilot and then desecrated his body,” Zakharova stated.

The notion was previously voiced both by Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and President Vladimir Putin himself.

“We were stabbed in the back by those who support terrorism,” Putin said the day Turkey shot down the Russian warplane. The Russian leader also noted a “commercial-scale supply of oil from the occupied Syrian territories seized by terrorists” into Turkey, documented in reconnaissance missions and regularly struck by the Russian Air Force as one of the priority targets in the war against ISIL and other terror groups in Syria.