Syria in the Last 24 Hours

Syria in the Last 24 Hours

Opening of a flight recorder from the Su-24 downed by the Turkish Air Force over Syria held in the presence of journalists and experts in Moscow

Opening of a flight recorder from the Su-24 downed by the Turkish fighter over Syria has been held in the presence of journalists and experts in Moscow.

The opening of the flight recorder was webcasted, it could be watched by the whole world.

Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Aerospace Forces Lieutenant General Sergei Dronov gave a speech before the start of the procedure.

Upon the order of the President of the Russian Federation, the procedure of opening and decoding of flight data will be carried out transparently both for the Russian and foreign public. That is why the Interstate Aviation Committee has been addressed, as it has great experience in investigation of air accidents as well as modern equipment, which meets all the international requirements.

Now the Russian Defence Ministry has all the necessary evidence confirming the fact that the Russian warplane had not breached the air space of Turkey.

Sergei Dronov paid attention to a number of important facts. Previously published objective monitoring data concerning the air situation in the assigned region of Syria has been refuted by no country, including Turkey. Anyway, the Russian aircraft did not constitute a threat for the Republic of Turkey. Targets assigned for the Su-24 were located in the north-western part of the Syrian territories, 5.5 km far from the Turkish borderline. On the same day, leadership of the Republic of Turkey confirmed the usage of armament by the Turkish Air Force fighter for shooting down of the Russian aircraft. The Turkish officials explained this fact by alleged breaching of the airspace.

In order to provide transparency and objectiveness, the Russian Defence Ministry addressed to foreign experts from 14 countries and invited them to participate in this work as observers. However, experts from other countries, except for ones from People’s Republic of China and Great Britain, declined participation in the investigation referring to different circumstances.

Taking into account the fact that the flight recorder’s body had been damaged, the registered flight information will be transferred by the usage of special equipment. Up to this moment, no operations have been carried out on the recorder. It is in the same condition as it was found at the place, where the aircraft had hit the ground.

According to Deputy Chief of Flight Safety Service of the Russian Aerospace Forces Lieutenant General Sergei Baynetov, results of decoding of the flight recorder of the Russian Su-24M bomber shot down by the Turkish Air Force will be published after the works are completed.

Today the works on extraction of the solid-state drive from the device and mounting it on a technological stand are to be conducted.

Moreover, Sergei Baynetov mentioned that the works on reading the information and making a flight data file were to be carried out.

It is to be mentioned that the flight recorder was not touched by fire on the ground avoiding getting damaged by one of the most dangerous factors – thermal effect. That simplifies the work of experts.

The goal of the research is restoration and decoding of registered flight data of the Su-24 aircraft, the analysis of the registered data, reconstruction of the flight trajectory of the aircraft.

Specialists extracted memory card from flight recorder of the Su-24M bomber in the presence of the Russian and foreign journalists and experts.

According to Head of Investigation commission on accident with Su-24M Colonel Nikolay Primak, head of investigation commission on accident with Su-24M in Syria, memory card of the flight recorder from the downed Su-24M has been damaged.

He also added that the experts were to divide the cards and try to conduct an X-ray examination.

According to Chief of the Information Analysis Department of the Flight Safety Service Colonel Andrei Semenov, the presented memory module located in a protected frame consists of 16 boards soldered to a circuit. It is designed to register flight data for 20 hours. The last one continued for 40 minutes.

An X-ray examination will be conducted to find out if any of 16 chips are damaged.

On the upper board, 3 of 8 chips have evident damage. That gives evidence that there is no flight information on them. The flight recorder is usually situated in the rear part of the aircraft near one of vertical fins. So, the rear part was influenced both by the missile impact and by collision with land.

Reading information from the protected flight recorder is possible when there is an access to the memory module, which is inside the recorder. It is to be stressed that the bolts, which hold the cover, have not been unscrewed. There lacquer coating is not disturbed.

According to specialists, it is difficult to say how much time is needed for decoding. All the results of work will be published after information is obtained.

Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation

Russia’s S-400 Air Defense in Syria Forces US to Ground Warplanes

Sputnik – Middle East

As part of Russia’s anti-terror campaign in Syria, the Kremlin has deployed sophisticated air defense systems to protect its aircraft. According to the Pentagon, those units have effectively grounded US aircraft.

Earlier this month, Moscow deployed the S-400 anti-aircraft system to Syria. The next-generation air defense system, it carries three different types of missiles capable of annihilating aerial targets at both short and long range, and the decision came after Turkey’s downing of a Su-24 bomber in Syrian airspace.

“We believe that the measures taken by Russia after the criminal actions of Turkish aircraft, which downed a Russian aircraft – namely the deployment of air defense systems on land and in the sea – is an important step that will ensure more security for Russian and Syrian militaries,” Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad told RIA Novosti on Friday.

But according to US officials speaking to Bloomberg, the S-400 is also having the unintended effect of grounding America’s manned warplanes, and the Pentagon is struggling to adjust its strategy in the region.

The issue is causing enough panic in Pentagon circles that officials are looking for ways to paint Russia’s defensive installations as a sign of “Russian aggression.”

“The increasing number of Russian-supplied advanced air defense systems in Syria…is another example that Russia and the regime seek to complicate the global counter-Daesh coalition’s air campaign,” Major Tim Smith told Bloomberg.

“Unlawful actions by Russia and the Syrian regime will not stop coalition counter-Daesh operations in Syria, nor will such actions push the coalition away from specific regions in Syria where Daesh is operating,” he added.

But Moscow has made no secret about its efforts to join forces with the West in the fight against Daesh, also known as ISIL/Islamic State.

“Today, we, again, are faced with a destructive, barbaric ideology and have no right to allow the new-sprung bigots to reach their goals,” Putin said during his annual state of the nation address earlier this month.

“We must throw away all quarrels and differences, form a firm first, a unified anti-terrorist front, which will act based on international law and be sponsored by the UN.”

While the Pentagon has grounded manned flights in the vicinity of Russia’s air defenses, it still operates drones.

Russia has launched airstrikes against terrorist targets in Syria since September 30, acting at the request of the Syrian government. On Wednesday, the Russian Defense Ministry announced it had conducted 59 sorties in a 24-hour period, destroying 200 Daesh targets.

The US-led campaign has been targeting Daesh in Syria for over a year, but has done little to halt the terrorist organizations oil revenues.

From several unofficial sources; The German Federal Intelligence Service (aka BND) are reaching out, and trying to establish a cooperation with the Syrian Military Intelligence and Mokhabarat.

The Federal Intelligence Service want two things, Intelligence data on possible threats to Germany, and an understanding on which the Syrian side will provide tactical, and troops to rescue and downed German Air Force pilots, in exchange of complete cooperation between the SyAAF and Luftwaffe during any possible Luftwaffe campaign over Syria.

From a personal source, the Syrian command offered number of military intelligence data which proved sufficient. However, the Syrian command’s condition that no further intel exchange unless the German government resume all communication with the Syrian government, including embassies.

These news are not official yet, and we will be updating the page with the official story if disclosed.

We usually do not share unofficial stories. However, due to the sensitivity of this issue we made an exception.

Syrian Arab Army

The Army establishes control over strategic hills in Lattakia, continues to advance in other areas
18 December، 2015
Provinces, SANA

The army is advancing further in the northern countryside of Lattakia while its army units have stepped up operations in other areas, killing more terrorists and destroying their heavy weaponry.


Army units, in cooperation with popular defense groups, established control over hills 652, 687.5, 526, 662.8, and 427 in Lattakia northern countryside, inflicting losses in personnel and equipment on terrorists in these areas.

Earlier, Army units, in cooperation with popular defense groups, established control over Hill 754.5, Syriatel Tower, Jabal al-Aswad al-Kabir and Atira village in the northern countryside of the coastal province.

Other Army units also established control over the strategic al-Sayyed Mountain in the northern countryside of Lattakia province, a military source announced on Thursday.

Terrorists positioned in the area were fired at intensively, with many of them getting killed and the rest escaped, the source told SANA.

During combing operations in the mountain, the army units dismantled many explosive devices and mines planted by terrorists and found at its foot a 50 m tunnel equipped with lighting that contained vehicles and equipment used by the terrorists to dig trenches and tunnels to hinder the army’s advance in the region, according to the source.

The new achievement came one day after the army established control over the strategic al-Noubeh Mountain in Lattakia northern countryside.

Daraa and Sweida

An army unit carried out an operation against a center for terrorists in al-Badou quarter in al-Manshiyeh neighborhood in Daraa al-Balad area in Daraa city, a military source said on Friday.

Three vehicles with heavy machine guns mounted on them were destroyed in the operation and 18 terrorists were killed, including the leader of the so-called “Jabhat Thouwar Souria” who is named Rida Muhannad al-Masalmeh.

The source also told SANA that another army unit targeted Jabhat al-Nusra terrorists in al-Nazihin Camp in Daraa al-Balad, destroying a hideout with weapons, ammunition and terrorists inside.

A vehicle equipped with a heavy machine gun was also destroyed in Daraa al-Mahatta.

In Atman village in the northern countryside of Daraa province, an army unit killed a number of terrorists, injured others, and destroyed their equipment, while a second unit did the same in the nearby town of al-Naima.

Army units continued targeting terrorists’ movements on the administrative border lines between Daraa and Sweida, killing all members of a terrorist group moving on the road between Busra al-Sham city in Daraa and Barad village in the southwestern countryside of Sweida.

In Sweida province, a military source said an Army and Armed Forces unit prevented an attempt by terrorists to infiltrate in the direction of al-Thaala village in the province’s northeastern countryside.


An Army and Armed Forces unit directed concentrated strikes at hideouts and hotbeds of ISIS terrorists in al-Zakah valley, al-Musk valley, north of the quarries, and south of Palmyra Citadel in the eastern countryside of Homs province.

A military source told SANA said the strikes resulted in destroying machinegun-equipped vehicles, weapons, and military equipment used by the terrorist organization.

In the province’s northern countryside, the source said that the army destroyed bases and fortified sites for Jabhat al-Nusra and other terrorist organizations in al-Najma hill and Teirmaala village in Talbiseh area 13km north of Homs city.

Damascus Countryside

Following a series of concentrated operations, Army and Armed Forces units on Friday established control over a number of new points in the surroundings of the Military Airport and the outskirts of Marj al-Sultan town in the Eastern Ghouta area in Damascus Countryside.

A military source told SANA that the operations inflicted heavy losses in personnel and equipment on terrorists in those areas and destroyed a number of their fortified sites and bases, forcing the surviving terrorists to flee.

With this, the Syrian Arab Army bolstered its defensive positions and strengthened its control over points and lines in the town and surrounding farms, placing all terrorist sites in the depth of the Eastern Ghouta within the Army’s firing range.


An Army and Armed Forces unit killed and injured a large number of terrorists in the neighborhoods of Salaheddin, al-Rashidin 4, Sheikh Lotfi, al-Kallaseh, al-Sakan al-Shababi, and al-Maasaraniya in Aleppo city, destroying several of their hideouts, munitions, and military equipment.

A military source told SANA that another army unit inflicted heavy losses in personnel, equipment, and vehicles on ISIS terrorists in the surroundings of the Air Force Academy, while another unit killed a number of terrorists and destroyed their equipment in the surroundings of al-Nairab Airport in the province’s southeastern countryside.

Army operations in Aleppo’s eastern countryside resulted in the death of many ISIS terrorists and in destroying their concentrations and hideouts in the city of Deir Hafer and Maskana town in Manbej area.

A number of terrorists from Jabhat al-Nusra and other terrorist groups affiliated to it were killed and others were injured following army operations in the villages of al-Zarba, Khan al-Asal, Khan Touman, and Tal Hediye in the southern and southwestern countryside, while more terrorists were eliminated along with their weapons and munitions in Zamar and al-Huwaiz.

Civilian injured in terrorist mortar attack in Damascus
18 December، 2015
Damascus, SANA

A civilian was injured in a terrorist mortar attack on al-Abassyieen area in Damascus.

A source at the Police Command told SANA that 5 mortar shells hit al-Abassyieen residential area, injuring a sixteen-year-old boy.

The attack also caused material damage to citizens’ properties.